White pants, white jacket, keeper mask, conical drill, three gas grenades. Check!
“Where is station E8?” asked John while finishing the seal on his hazmat.
“Ha, if you are asking me that, gonna be a fun first day!" said a keeper adjusting his equipment.
John just kept walking down the corridor assuming he would run into it at some point. He noticed the numbers, five, six, seven, but didn’t see anything that pointed out if he was in E or not. Stopping at eight, he pulled out his transcriptor dossier, it flickered to life and gave him the green check showing he had arrived.
John entered the elevator and found his team waiting for him. The floor descended with four or five other beekeepers and a pair of botanists, identified by their green collars as pointed out in John’s first day handbook. The scanners in their hands ebbed a glowing beacon every few seconds, which made the room feel that much darker as they continued downwards.
Spiralling chevrons traced along the walls as the platform thunked into a final position. The beekeeper lead brought them forward and stopped against the first cavernous wall. According to the manual, they helped give a sense of distance and dimensional direction. The botanists retreated towards the blueish chevrons as the rest of us calibrated our equipment. Using an acronym, whoever wrote must have thought made him brilliant, BUMBUZZ.
“B!”... “Check” said one of them, “Check” another “Is that for Barrier or Bolster?” John had to ask.
A frumpy hazmat suit came towards me and pulled my helmet zip cords to “Bolster” my security. Seriously who the f* wrote this shit?” John thought to himself. The team dragged John through the rest of it. An acidic smell, somewhat like a sweaty old lemon came wafting towards them. As they rushed to their coordinates, John noticed small fissures in the walls making humming noises. Getting closer, the humming turned into a reverberation bouncing between the walls; with a strong enough effect that it was hard to walk in a straight line.
“ h03: It is recommended to keep a low profile as you walk past the stratifications to keep yourself oriented.” John read later in the beekeeper manual. Didn’t mention the fact that you would feel the vibrations afterwards. “Davers! head over to the southwest opening and prime your pack,” echoed past us as we entered an opening expanse.
“Shit, this looked more like a war zone than cleanup, they called it custodial duties.” John said to himself.
Different frequencies of humming came from two walls. One with a “thom… thom… thom...” other “bu. bu. bu. bu.” It was critical for me to cover against the wall. John turned his head to look at the lead for orders. “GET UP JOHN!" he screamed. The eastward wall crumbled before them and a melody of colors came splashing towards John. Parts of it felt soothing, like it gave me more meaning, while elsewhere it burned. The lead pulled me back as he had simultaneously plunged a handheld device into my chest…