Chapter 14.1 - N958
Su waited for three days, but the Black Dragonriders didn’t hurry over. This exceeded his expectations a bit.
However Su did not stay idle. During these three extra days, he continuously expanded the range of explored areas. This mountain wasn’t large, so Su quickly reached the northern area of the mountains. Further north was another field that stretched as far as he could see, and plant life flourished on top of this field. A small river ran from the mountains in the west down to the foot of the mountain before making a turn into the north.
The field still had several traces of ruined roads, but apart from this, there were no other human constructs he could see. It seemed like this region didn’t have many people living in it even during the olden age, and it was unknown whether it was due to the cold climate or other reasons.
The road was almost completely ruined. There were a few places where mounds of earth were raised, and the surrounding terrain had all been altered. The concrete of the roads that were still relatively smooth had cracks running through it everywhere, and weeds were growing rampantly over its surface. However, because this was the only man made creation in the surrounding region, he could still just barely make out the road’s trajectory. The end lead to a valley that was full of various types of trees.
Su was startled to find that the road approached a valley. The valley wasn’t large and was only several hundred meters in circumference. At the end of the valley was a cave hidden within mixed trees. There was also a broken road at the cave entrance. Within the undergrowth, he could see the wreckage of an abandoned vehicle. However, it had been charred black, and only its metallic frame remained. A few shrubs tenaciously grew within the vehicle’s body. It was clear that that this vehicle had been abandoned here for many years already.
Su carefully made his way through the shrubbery branches that grew without restraint, allowing them all to return to their previous locations. This was the habit he had developed over these many years. No matter where he went, he wouldn’t leave behind the slightest trace.
Inside of the cave was a secluded and dark tunnel. The four walls were smooth, clearly carved out through manpower. Flat cement pavement covered the ground. Even though many years had passed, there weren’t many places where the cement cracked, proving that the quality of the construction all those years ago was rather outstanding. Su was a bit moved inwardly. He brought out the Magnum and cocked the hammer before proceeding into the depths of the tunnel without making any noise. He continuously switched between his infrared and glimmer sight, not allowing any hidden mechanisms or detectors escape his eyes.
At the end of the tunnel was a thick, multi-layered metal gate that was seemingly exactly the same as Base N11’s metal gate. The dark-green anti-corrosive paint on the metal door was perfectly intact, and printed right in the middle were the orange letters N958.
Ten meters outside the metal gate was a human skeleton. Even though all of his flesh had turned into ashes, it still maintained a crawling stance with one hand reaching towards the metal gate. On his middle finger was a striking metal ring.
Su looked at the metal gate and then looked at the corpse on the ground. He squatted down and slowly flipped the corpse over. Too much time had passed, and the corpse’s flesh had long rotted clean. Apart from a few scarred black traces, there wasn’t much else left behind. The only thing that was a bit different about the corpse was that metal ring on its middle finger.
Su removed the metal ring and turned it around. The loop of the ring was thick and flat, and the glossy surface didn’t have the slightest trace of rust. Inside was carved N958, the same as the numbering on the metal gate.
In the olden era, electronic locks and all types of special locks emerged one after another. The composite locks that emerged during the last thirty years of the olden era were extensively used in the various bases, safes, secret rooms, and other similar locations. These locks were manufactured from a special alloy. The space inside of these locks would have special wavelengths that analyzed the key’s interior, and only after that would the gate open. For these locks, other than the first key, there were no other items that could open them. In fact, during the first twenty years these composite locks appeared, the technology was not enough to imitate these locks’ keys. When the metal industrial arts finally could imitate the keys, the cost to replicate them was several tens to hundreds that of the price of an entire system itself. Compared to the electronic locks that were widely used during the olden era, these locks had another characteristic, and that was that it only recognized the key and not the person, fitting the special needs of certain parties perfectly.
No matter how you looked at it, the metal ring Su held in his hand was Base N958’s key.
Su walked in front of the base and looked at the metal control platform at the door’s side. The center of the platform had a small notch that seemed like it would perfectly accommodate the ring on Su’s finger.
For a hunter, the safety system and basic operations of the olden era’s bases was important knowledge, and as such, Su had studied and trained extensively in this field. He placed the ring into the metal control platform and patiently waited for the result. Since more than fifty years had passed, it was likely that most of the base’s power had been depleted, so all of the systems might had shut down. If this was true, then the only way one could enter was either by blasting open the entrance or looking for pathways like sewage or ventilation systems. However, those options were practically impossible, because safety was the most important thing to a base. Any base that could be easily infiltrated was absolutely worthless.
N958 gave Su a pleasant surprise. When the metal ring was placed inside, the display screen on the control desk flashed with a disordered array of light before stabilizing to a bright green. Then, the roaring sounds of heavy hydraulic pressure mechanisms sounded, and the ventilation shaft sprayed out large amounts of mist into the cave. Corroded metal struggled as they rubbed against each other, producing loud noises. The metal gate first receded inside, then it rolled to the side into the walls, revealing the entrance into the base.
Su wasn’t in any rush to enter the base. Instead, he looked into the short tunnel. Inside the small tunnel were two weapons and surveillance platforms. The composition of this place seemed identical to Base N11, with the only difference being the Minimi machine guns’ automatic capabilities. Their offensive power was much greater than N11’s, and there were more weapons on the weapons platforms as well.
The security camera on the weapons platforms continuously revolved about. After locking onto Su, the light in the lens changed slightly as it adjusted its focus. Su became vigilant, prepared to move at any time.
“Base administrator has confirmed permissions. Lifting alert protocol.” Contrary to what Su expected, it was different from the harsh electronic voice he heard before in N11. Instead, it was a gentle and sweet-sounding woman’s voice, one that was even a bit enchanting.