Charles Snippy hadn't had a good day in a long while. He'd had an okay day a while back, when he was able to make it all the way until lunch without incident. But it's safe to say, that that day didn't end very well for him. He never knew Turnip-phobia could be a real thing, turns out, it is and forever will be to him. But not this day, it was different. He woke up later than usual, filled with energy. He looked around the bare room incredulously, he had actually woken up on his own. No loud noises, explosions, or otherwise rather unfriendly manners of awakening. Captain wasn't hovering over him as usual, and Pilot wasn't springing out from anywhere with a weapon. He was about to go back to sleep, thinking that he was probably still dreaming, but a loud noise from outside startled him back into consciousness.
He sighed, well, that was short lived. He stood up and stretched, thankfully finding the rifle next to his pillow where he had left it the night before. Slinging his weapon over his shoulder, he looked out the hole in the wall, that could be considered a window.
Captain was standing amidst the white snow, in the clearing across of the villa. "Now Pilot!" he shouted, backing quickly.
With a loud bang, a rowboat came flying over a nearby hill, Pilot sitting inside, attempting to steer it. It hovered shortly in the air surrounded by flakes of white, before crashing onto the snowy ground and sliding away quickly.
"No Pilot! Come back! Come back!" Captain called, waving his arms, and chasing after the boat as it slid down a slope.
Snippy shook his head, heading into the kitchen area, why their stupidity still surprised him? He's never know. He looked around the open apartment, it had much less furniture than it should, and most of the first floor had no walls. Curiously, Engie was nowhere to be found, the man tended to stay indoors when he could, usually keeping busy by dodging his missions and avoiding his companions. Shrugging it off, he made himself a strong cup of coffee. He sipped the hot beverage slowly, sitting on the raggedy couch, and attempting to read a burnt book. Even though he didn't manage to make out anything off the crumpled pages, he was filled with a calm feeling. He walked onto the half a porch, breathing in deeply. Though the sky was dim and grey, and the weather wasn't particularly great, he had the feeling that he was going to have a good day.
Captain and Pilot weren't around to bother him, so he slung his weapon over his shoulder, deciding to take a hike. He made his way over the icy hills with caution, the chilly air passing through his respirator filling him with a fresh feeling. Whether it be the radiation messing with his head or not, he couldn't help but get a positive feeling about that day. For the first time in a long time, he was in a good mood, and it was making him feel as if the odds were in his favor. He wondered as he slowly inched down a cliff, if this positivity would linger even when Captain was around to elevate his blood pressure. Suddenly, as he was lost in thought, he stepped on an unstable rock. It broke out of its place, causing Snippy to lose his balance, and fall onto his back. He quickly skid down the slippery hill, his feet hitting the bottom abruptly, and sending him falling over onto his face.
The sniper groaned lowly, pushing himself up on his elbows. He wiped off the small pebbles and snow that stuck to his mask, lifting his eyes to see where he landed, wondering what had happened to his good fortune. It was only from that position that he was able to see a giant spider, about the size of a large dog, crawling round. It had a couple legs more than usual, and a heap of eyes glowing in a radioactive green color on its front. Stripes of the same color ran down it's back and legs, and venom dripped off its large fangs. Snippy carefully lifted his body onto his hands and knees, quickly crawling away, and hiding behind a cement block. He leaned his head back, breathing a sigh of relief. If he hadn't fallen, he would've walked right into the spider's lair, where there would have probably been even more spiders.
Seeing the spider crawl into a nearby building, Charles stood up, dusting his coat before heading around the corner. Could this truly be his lucky day? He never really believed in luck. But then again, what else had been keeping Captain alive and unharmed all this time? It certainly wasn't any of the powers the man believed himself to poses. He cut through a rundown house, all that was left of it was a flooring, a scattering of shingles, and cement pieces that were once part of the wall. The idea was quite intriguing, was fate finally giving him a break? If that was the case, he indeed deserved one…
Just as the thought was complete in the marksman's mind, the ground collapsed under his feet. With a short yelp, he found himself descending through the air, before coming into painful contact with the ground. So much for my lucky day. He groggily thought, standing up. He looked around, finding that he was in some sort of basement or cellar. He adjusted his rifle on his shoulder, searching for the stairs that would lead him out. Guided by the dim light coming from the hole in the ceiling, he headed out of a dark doorway, entering a broader room. To his delight, he found piles of packages stacked near a wall, with a medical symbol stamped on their tops. A couple skeletons were in the midst of some sort of exchange, near a flight of stairs.
The sniper quickly inspected one of the parcels, it had a few useful items in it. He wasn't entirely sure how legal the business once was, but at the moment it hardly mattered. Some of these medications might save his, or one of his companions' lives. He filled his backpack with what he felt was most important, making a mental note to come back sometime soon to gather what was left. He climbed up the short flight of stairs, a wooden door blocked the way out. However, with a few hits with the stock of his rifle, the rotting wood let out a crack, flying open. Heading into the inner city, he felt cautiously optimistic. Everything indicated that he was extra lucky, but just in case, he'd need some sort of test. He looked around at the quiet block he'd wandered into, what could he use to test his luck? He didn't want to do anything rashly dangerous, he could be wrong after all.
Better go with the basics, he thought, flipping a coin would have to do. However, where is he supposed to get a coin from? He hasn't used any sort of currency in a long time. Conveniently, he spotted a drycleaner across the street, and walked over to it. He'd probably even find the coin he needs right away. Standing in the ash covered entrance, he looked around quickly. Sure enough, he saw a small metallic object shine on one of the dryers in the back, under a skeleton's bony fingers. He walked over with quick steps, extending his hand to the metal article. He frowned, it wasn't a coin, it was a key. Perhaps, that wasn't how his luck worked? Suddenly, just as he turned around to leave the drycleaner, he heard a bang then a weird screeching noise. Before he could take another step, a car with flaming wheels came crashing into the front of the shop.
Snippy froze for a moment, his brain struggling to register what just happened. He stared at the frozen car, and the dying fire on its tires. How… But no, he'd learned long ago not to question how these bizarre things continued to happen in the wasteland. He climbed over the hood of the car, staring briefly at the black tracks in the asphalt, and the course of destruction the car caused. It had come from the top of a hill, and seemed to have hit every road block in its way before finally settling in the front of the shop he was in. Wow, that was.. Lucky.. He thought cheerfully. His suspicions were confirmed beyond the capability of ten coins. This was indeed, his lucky day.
Things only got better from there.
A giant crawler worm, at least double Photoshop's size, had chased him around a children's playground. It ended up getting impaled through the middle by a metal pole, sticking out of the swing set. After that, he came across a Game Pad x3, in one of the houses he walked into. Confidently pressing the On button, the large crystal screen flickered before glowing dimly as it turned on. He smiled fondly, the memory chip had roughly 500 different games, that were sure to entertain him for many long hours. At lunch, he was unharmed by the suspicious looking jerky he ate. Of course, he wouldn't be able to tell for sure until later, but he was confident enough in his luck not to worry.
Later, Snippy wandered into a construction site, and sat on the large wheel of a digger. As he rested there, humming a merry tune to himself, he heard voices. He curiously sat up, looking around, just to see a couple wastelanders walking by. He tensed, hoping that they wouldn't see him. They were just about to pass the area where he was, when one of them suddenly stopped. Getting his partner's attention, the two turned to aim their large weapons at him. Snippy didn't move, as they cautiously approached. Luckily, he had put his rifle aside, or they would've shot him immediately at the sight of the potential danger. Just as they made their way towards Snippy, a loud roar sounded. A creature jumped off of the remnants of the building, that had been in the process of being constructed, landing on one of the two wastelanders, crushing him flat. It had a slender body, roughly the size of a car, four cat like limbs, and a long muscular tail. The peculiar thing about it, was that it had bones on the outside of its body, like a frightening shield. It turned its skull, baring its canines at the second wastlander, who floundered to get his weapon working. With a swift swipe of its dagger like claws, the wastelander was yelling in pain, stumbling back and gripping his bloody arm. As the creature chased after the wastelander, Snippy snatched up his rifle, taking aim from the top of the wheel, and firing generously at the beast. His weapon didn't jam as it had been doing lately, and in a few short moments the creature was collapsing in the distance, letting the other man disappear between the buildings.
Snippy jumped off of the vehicle's wheel, tossing aside his faulty weapon. He glanced sadly at the dead human, sprawled awkwardly in a quickly growing puddle of blood. He then pushed the sentiments aside, removing the new looking machine gun the man had. He then quickly searched him for anything useful, finding a couple daggers, and a packet of gum. That was probably an encounter he would've never walked out of unharmed, had it been anything but his lucky day.
But the luckiest thing that day, was that he hadn't ran into the Captain the whole time. There were no insane missions to fulfill, no attempted murders to avoid, and no ridiculous pranks to endure.
Looking up at the sky, he decided it was time to head back to base. He should be able to make it back before dark, with any luck. Smiling at the last thought, he adjusted his goody-filled backpack, and started walking. He was enjoying this good fortune quite much, he finally started to understand how Captain felt most of the time. It was no wonder Captain enjoyed his time in the wasteland so much. He too would probably become just as careless, if he was this lucky every day. Being able to trust that no matter what happened, things would definitely work out in his favor, was quite the good sensation. It was liberating to not have any concerns, being able to do anything his little heart desired. The good mood remained with him until he was home, right before sundown. The grey sky was tinged slightly with peach, and the wind had calmed since morning.
Snippy spotted the engineer standing at the edge of the roof, that was in fact the remnants of a third floor. Placing his backpack indoors, he skipped up the couple flights of stairs. "How've you been doing today, Gromov?" he said cheerily, "Nice day, isn't it?"
The man didn't answer at first, staring into the distance absentmindedly. He then slowly turned to stare at the sniper, his expression hidden behind his protective gear. "You're sure in a good mood." He mumbled sourly.
Snippy, taken back by the dry reaction, took a few moments before replying, "And you're in quite the bad one." He said quietly, before restoring the upbeat tone in his voice, as he sat on the edge of a cement pile, "So what's up with you? Having a bad day, hm?"
Alexander didn't answer, his pose tense as he stared ahead. Snippy patiently waited for him to answer, already used to the man's absentmindedness. The engineer was probably thinking about the last touches on a blueprint, for some sort of mechanical frying pan or something. However, when the silence lasted, and he still didn't receive an answer, he became concerned. "Gromov, what's wrong?" he asked, getting up from where he was sitting.
He still received no answer. "Gromov?" he said softly, placing his hand on the man's shoulder.
Engie jumped, moving away from the sniper. "Gromov, what's the matter? You're shaking." Snippy pressed, approaching the man again.
"I'm fine!" Engie said, however, his voice was horse and shaky.
Snippy paused briefly with surprise, staring at the engineer who turned away. "A-are you crying?" he finally asked hesitantly.
The doctor didn't bother denying it, instead, he lifted his visor, rubbing his eyes with the back of his hand. The two then grew silent, but the sniper wasn't about to stop perusing the matter. Apparently, the engineer got that hint, as he drew in a deep breath, letting it out slowly. "Today.. Is that day.." he said in a calmer, but still sad tone.
Snippy wasn't quite sure what his crewmate was talking about, "That day?" he questioned.
Gromov attempted to answer, but the words got stuck in his throat, and he was only able to let out an incomprehensible murmur. Growing frustrated, he motioned sharply into the distance. Snippy's gaze automatically followed in the same direction, finally landing on the G-Complex barely visible in the darkening land.
"The day humanity died." The engineer was finally able to say.
Snippy felt his chest become tight, and a lump form in his throat. "Are.. are you sure?" he asked nervously.
Alexander sighed, sticking his hands in his pockets, and kicking a piece of rock off the roof. "I'm not positive.. I kind of lost track of time alone in the bunker." He answered lowly, "But it's roughly around that time."
Snippy couldn't think of anything to add, he stared at Alexander for a moment, before looking away. He could somewhat relate to what the man was feeling, however, surely it wasn't quite the same. Unlike himself, Alexander lost a lot in the downfall, his dreams, his creation, and everything else. And though he still holds the man responsible for the declining quality of humans' lives in the last years before the end, he can't help but feel sorry for the engineer.
"Who would've thought.." Alexander suddenly said, in a low absentminded tone, "Who would've guessed that these miserable ruins, is all what will be left of humanity one day? All their hopes, dreams, and memories, gone.. Reduced to some decaying buildings, and a lot of radioactive waste.."
The sniper stared at Gromov silently, while the later turned around, "That's our grand finally.." Engie bitterly scoffed, lifting his shoulders shortly before letting them drop again.
Snippy continued staring silently, as Alexander turned away once more, lowering his head. "This isn't what I wanted.." he whispered, his tone filled with pain, "This isn't…"
He broke off as his voice cracked, drawing in a shaky breath and holding it in, trying not to cry. He lifted his visor again, rubbing his eyes roughly. "Damn this stupid gear.. So annoying.." he grumbled.
Snippy stared at him for a moment, before suddenly coming up next to him, patting him on the shoulder, then resting his hand on it. "Then, we need to honor this day somehow." He said in a calm voice, struggling to keep himself from choking.
The engineer turned to stare at Snippy silently, while he looked away thoughtfully. "How 'bout.. A minute of silence, for all that has gone?" he finally suggested.
Engie nodded slightly, and they both turned away to stare at the pink tinged sky. The silence wasn't at all awkward or tense, instead the two let themselves get lost in the moment, deep in thought. Engie eventually lowering his head, chocking back a sniffle that fought to let itself be known. The moment was over, Snippy glanced over at the engineer that wiped his eyes. "This isn't the end." He said confidently, staring at ruins that were growing darker by each passing moment.
Alexander paused to steady his nerves. "It is for human beings.. And judging by the conditions, probably all forms of life soon." he sighed, looking at the sniper from the corner of his eye.
Snippy pondered for a moment, before stretching his arms back. "I don't think so. I think we'll pull through somehow." He wondered as he uttered these words where all the confidence was coming from, but chose not to question that, at least not at that moment.
Gromov let out a bitter chuckle, "You have your head in the clouds Charles." he said, backing away from the edge of the building slightly, "Unless you've learned how to reproduce by means of cell division, I don't see how going extinct can be prevented."
"Don't be thick Gromov." Snippy said with annoyance, before changing his tone back to normal, "I'm sure there's still humans out there.. Other groups of survivors.."
Engie chose not to answer, merely staring at Snippy silently for a few minutes. "Why… Why are you trying to cheer me up?" he asked hesitantly.
Charles scratched his head, "Heh, that is what I'm doing, isn't it?" he hummed, "Because it's the right thing to do I guess.. Besides, I was only saying what I believed."
The two silently stared out at the wasteland, pausing briefly at the G-Complex, both lost in thought. "Seriously though Gromov.." Snippy began again, turning to pat the engineer on the back, "It's no use bringing yourself down with such subjects. I just say make the most of everyday, and hope that things work out in your favor."
"That's so… Corny.." Alexander scoffed.
Snippy merely shrugged. He looked at the dying rays of sun, despite the odd ending, the day really had been a good one. "Thanks, Charles.." Engie said lowly.
Snippy glanced at the man sideways. "Don't mention it." he answered casually.
Before the situation could become weird, Captain's voice sounded from the first floor, as he shouted some sort of outdated greeting. It wasn't long before he and Pilot appeared, coming up the stairs. They were holding bags of marshmallows and tin cups. "There you are minions!" Captain said cheerfully, " What is the status of zee sausage and banana babies?"
Snippy exchanged a look with the engineer, "Uhh good?" he answered hesitantly.
Captain nodded in agreement, setting down what he held, while Pilot was quickly trying to light a fire. "Indeed it is!" he said, "Which's why we need to celebrate with the cocos and candy pillows."
"Coco and marshmallows? It's not like we're 5 anymore," Engie snorted, then paused, glancing at the pilot and then back at Captain, "I'm not anyways. I think I'd prefer a strong cup of coffee."
"Nonsense Mr. Engie." Captain said, sitting on an upside-down pale in front of the fire, "Hot cocos is the best thing after a long day."
Receiving the usual 'stop arguing, just do it' look from Snippy, Gromov walked over towards the lesser sane half of the group. Making himself comfortable on a rock, he made sure he was sitting at a bit off to a distance, attempting to imply his unhappiness. Smirking slightly, Snippy walked over as well. An unusual ending for an unusual day, he thought, quite fitting. He was about to sit next to Captain, when Pilot quickly jumped in-between, pushing him aside and sitting cross-legged on a small piece of cardboard. Snippy ignored the smug victorious look Pilot gave him, as he simply pulled a stone closer to the fire, sitting on it across from the captain.
"How was your day Mr. Snippy?" Captain asked, his mug hovering near his face.
Snippy smiled, looking down at the fire. "It was.. Good.."
Snippy was back in his room, setting his pillow on a more comfortable piece of ground, and unfolding the old heavy blanket. They had stayed up quite much that night, but they managed to have a fairly good time. Somehow managing to set their differences aside temporarily, and enjoy each other's company, despite the obvious contrast in their personalities. Snippy still felt positive, and so was promising himself a better tomorrow. He leaned his weapon against the wall, taking off his boots and putting them neatly next to it.
"Mr. Snippy!" Captain suddenly said, peeking over his shoulder.
Regaining his composure after the mini heart attack, the sniper turned around to face his superior. "Yeah Captain?" he asked in a calm tone, after all, he wasn't about to let the usual sudden-materialization ruin his mood.
"I believe I need mein lucky tie back." The Captain said, extending a hand expectantly at his sniper.
"What tie?" Snippy asked confusedly, "Since when do you have a lucky tie? What would you even need a tie for?"
Captain pointed at Snippy's jacket pocket, "Mein lucky tie!" he demanded.
"I don't have your stupid tie!" Snippy groaned, sticking his hand in his pocket to turn it out, "See.. No t-"
He cut his sentence short, when his hand came out holding a purple tie, covered in yellow smiley face stickers. The Captain quickly took it out of his hand, placing it in his own pocket. "When and why did you put your tie in my pocket?" the sniper questioned.
"I put it there last night.. I needed a safe place to store it, while my closet was being fumigated for tangerine gremlins." He explained, "But I'm afraid I need it back, to wear for Captania's 94th annual peace conference being held tomorrow."
There was just too many things wrong with what Captain just said, that Snippy found his minded too crowded with protests that none were able to make it out of his mouth. "Your.. Lucky tie?" he managed to whisper lowly.
Not hearing his comment, or just ignoring it, the captain didn't answer. So all Snippy could do was just watch dreadfully as Captain headed back for the door. "Good night Mr. Snippy, and sleep well.." he said, "You must be well rested, for tomorrow you will be responsible for gathering the kings of all our different mutant friends, to represent their kinds in the peace discussions."
Oh crap. This couldn't be happening!
The Captain continued out, stopping suddenly as a crunching noise came from underneath his boot. He moved his foot, staring down briefly, "Oh my.." he said carelessly, "Seems I've broken your electronic thingamabob."
He then lifted his face to stare at the silent man. "Shame on you Snippy, how many times have I told you not to leave your toys lying on the floor." He scolded, "Look at what you have done now!"
The man shook his head disappointedly, before disappearing into the darkness of the rest of the house. Still standing motionlessly near his bed, it took Snippy a few long minutes to register the meaning of what happened. He might need to steal that tie back.
A/N: Sorry if the story seems a bit disconnected =P I was originally going to have the story end on a heartwarming scene, but then the epilogue came to mind, and I couldn't resist.. btw, it might be a while before I upload any more stories, I don't have any more that are done yet, or even near done..