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GetMeOffTheMoonRockman PMTRRL
Fan Fiction by Dashe
Press Start to Continue - Chapter 9: Can You Dig It?

Chapter 9: Can You Dig It? Chapter image depicts the inside of the Klickelan ruins. It's like the Lake Jyun ruins, only way bigger, with more green in them and more bottomless pits and places to get lost.

The right hand path led straight into the central hub of the Klickelan Network. Teisel almost stumbled right back into the hole in the wall as he took in the vast blue cavern filled with diggers of all shapes and sizes running around and blowing things up left and right. The terrain had been completely excavated for the most part and had a few incandescent accents, but every so often he'd see some areas that hadn't been completely uncovered yet. He noticed a few pillars and more than a dozen ramps and bridges connecting the various structures. And on top of everything, there were Reaverbots crawling all over the place.

"Out of the way!" a woman with a considerable tan and dual bomb cannons perched on her shoulders shouted at Teisel as she sent a volley of what appeared to be fireworks straight at a small group of Fingerii lurking nearby. Teisel ducked just in time to hear her exclaim "Dynamitastic!" as the Reaverbots shattered into fragments.

"Max, take note of my current position," Teisel instructed, mentally adding, "If you can even read your map at all," for good measure.

It was pretty hard for anyone, even a rookie spotter like Max, to miss the hub, and during Teisel's original stay on Klickelan, it never failed to remind him of one of those online RPGs he'd become addicted to during the rocket construction. Not much had changed over the years. There were so many diggers running around...though terrorizing them from the cockpit of a mecha and running around on foot as just another face in the crowd were shaping up to be two vastly different experiences already. The central chamber was about five stories high, and contained more branching paths leading to different sectors of the ruin than he or anyone could really count.

From what he could discern so far, Teisel had emerged on one of the upper levels. To his relief, the area's Reaverbots didn't look too threatening. It would be the other diggers he'd have to worry about this time around. That woman with the fireworks seemed likely to cause a cave-in.

He scrambled down a ramp to a less-populated area where a bunch of garden-variety Horokko were waddling around. They may not have been the biggest targets, but at least they dropped refractors with some degree of consistency.

Just as he finished riddling one of the little guys with bullet holes, a short, stout man in a red helmet and mismatched armor burst onto the scene and took out half of Teisel's targets, snatching up the refractor shards for himself. "HEY!" Teisel shouted. "YOU..."

The guy was completely out of earshot before he could even come up with a suitably memorable threat, and the distraction afforded one of the Horokko the perfect opportunity to tackle Teisel from behind, knocking him to the ground. His right knee hit the floor hard, but he rolled onto his back and sent a spray of gunfire into his assailant's creepy red eye. The Reaverbot tipped over backward and exploded, dropping two 50-zenny refractor shards. Teisel pulled himself to his feet and stumbled to grab them before anybody else could take the opportunity to beat him to his earnings again.

"T-Bonne!" Max shouted. "These readings are telling me you took a hit! Are you alright?"

"I'll live," Teisel shrugged it off and turned his attention to an incoming pair of Horokko on the left. "I just picked up a hundred more zenny. That would have taken me half an hour back in that hallway." One of the Reaverbots lobbed a bomb in his direction. Teisel tried to shoot it out of the air before it could hit him, but he missed the projectile completely. But before the bomb could hit, a third Horokko tackled him from his right and knocked him out of the line of fire. He returned the favor by unloading a volley of machine gun fire at the lot of them.

"Looks like you're kicking some serious butt in there!" Max exclaimed over the communications link. "You're not doing too bad for a first-timer!"

Teisel brushed off Max's compliment and gazed around the immediate area. "Can you see any unattended groups of Reaverbots on your radar? If we're going to make this deadline I can't sit around waiting for them to come to me."

"Try heading down a level. I'm seeing a bunch of small blips without any interfering signals coming from other diggers," he instructed. "It should be about 30 yards northwest from the end of the staircase, near an opened treasure chest."

"Roger that," Teisel replied with a nod. He checked the amount of pressure he felt comfortable putting on his knee. It still felt a little sore, but it wasn't going to slow him down anytime soon. He had a rougher time just getting out of bed that morning after running through the Shekuten hall for all those hours.

Those Reaverbots would never know what hit ‘em.

Teisel had pocketed somewhere around 3,500 zenny when rumors of a Guild check-in began to be whispered among the diggers.

"Hey now, what's this Guild check-in stuff all about?" He asked as he tentatively approached a two-man digging team who looked like they were packing up their equipment.

The shorter member of the duo glanced up. "You must be new around here," he stated. "Every week or so, a bunch of Digger's Guild officials run a sweep on the ruins to make sure nobody's digging here without a license," he explained very quickly as he helped his partner collapse a tripod with a gun turret on top. "If I had to make a guess at it, about a third of the people in these ruins at any given time don't have one. Check it out." He pointed across the chasm to a ledge, where three officials in matching blue and gray uniforms were in the process of apprehending a young brunette woman in a mining suit. She reached into her pocket and pulled out a slip of plastic. They nodded and proceeded to the next group.

"Rats...I didn't think she had one," The short guy sighed. The two men slung their equipment over their shoulder and made off toward the nearest exit. "Anyway, we've gotta get going. If they catch us again we'll be spending the next month doing jail time." He finished. The two of them scrambled for the nearest passage out of the immediate area before Teisel even had a chance to respond.

"T-Bonne, nobody ever told me about any license checks!" Max exclaimed. "If what that guy said is true, we can't stick around!"

Teisel didn't need to be told twice. He stole a glance over his shoulder to make sure the officials weren't paying any attention and booked it after the guys with the tripod.

However, a few steps into the tunnel, he caught a glimpse of two more armed officials rounding the bend at the other end and closing in on the guys he'd been following. He broke into a cold sweat and scrambled backward and out of the way. Just how many men did the Guild send underground for these checks, anyway?

"Max, can you see the officials on your radar at all?" Teisel asked, ducking behind a pillar and scanning the hub area, taking note of a third group patrolling the level below him. "I've spotted eight of these guys already, traveling in groups of two or three." He sprinted for another passageway with a steep path leading upward, taking care to scan the area for any more of those Guild reps. There seemed to be a lot of branching pathways down that particular passage and plenty of niches he could duck behind in a worst-case scenario.

"I'm not picking up anything but Reaverbots," Max replied. "They must not show up on my radar. Get the heck out of there!"

Teisel frowned. He had his own problems to deal with. All this running around was really wearing him down.

He felt another surge of adrenaline hit him after a few minutes of running. "Chief, we're heading up to level 5 through passage C-16. Over." He heard an unfamiliar voice loudly state from the general direction of the hub, probably right around where the slope began. "Stockley thought she saw someone heading up this way. Looked like an older guy in armor."

Now was definitely not the time to eavesdrop. Unfortunately, as the footsteps behind him grew louder and louder as he scrambled up the stairwell, he realized that he wasn't going to be able to outrun his pursuer. The moment he spotted a side corridor he could use to try and shake the Guild off, he sprinted into it without hesitation.

This new hallway looked like it was undergoing major excavation efforts. There was still dirt and rock caked to a lot of the walls, and some scaffolding scattered about, but it was completely devoid of witnesses, and there were a number of doors lining the passage. The first one he opened put him face-to-face with a treasure chest, but the room itself was tiny and unembellished and looked to be a dead end. The second door was locked. He glanced back in the direction of the ramp. The ruin's natural lighting cast a long shadow on the wall. The Digger's Guild was still following him!

There wasn't enough time for him to be picky. He raced into the third door, hoping with everything he had in him that he wouldn't find himself stuck in another small room with nowhere to hide.

The room he'd just entered turned out to be a larger, dark hallway, with incandescent lights evenly spaced every so often. He deduced immediately that they weren't a natural feature of the ruin. In the distance, he spotted a few glowing red dots hovering in midair. Miitan, most likely. Maybe Foo-Roo. Whatever they were, if they spotted him, he was as good as caught, and sniping them would do nothing to quiet them down.

If he stayed close to the entrance, however, it would be almost certain that whoever had been chasing him down would find him.

It was then that Teisel spotted the generator box sitting on the floor, tucked close to the wall and out of the way. He decided that blindly making his way down the hall wouldn't be anywhere near as risky as letting the Reaverbots spot him and self-destruct. He grabbed the power cord attached to the lights and yanked the cable out of its socket.

The hallway went dark, save for the glowing red lights in the distance. "Hey Max, whatever you're doing up there, do not contact me for any reason." He hissed into his mic. "If you can completely cut off the communications system, you might want to do that. I've got dormant Miitan up ahead that could very well give me away if you so much as make one peep out there, got it?"

"What?! Are you nuts?!" Max balked on the other line. "What if you need me to warn you about something giant and dangerous at the end of..."

"Shut it down, Max! What if someone shows up? What if a motorhorse engine picks up on the mic? What if one of those officials happens to be patrolling the surface looking for unlicensed spotters?" Teisel whispered. He wasn't sure if he was hearing things or if the mysterious footprints were really approaching the door. " me."

"Fine, fine." Max mumbled. Even though Teisel couldn't see him, he could tell that his spotter was rolling his eyes as he shut the communications system down.

It wasn't a moment too soon. As Teisel crept directly underneath what he'd decided were probably Miitan, he heard the door to the room slide open.

Against his better judgment, Teisel took off. Two of the Miitan beeped and detonated. The explosions briefly illuminated the passage and revealed a door a few feet ahead of him on the right. He could have sworn he heard a man yelling for him to stop, but he wasn't stupid. Not by a long shot. He slipped into the passage and hoped that the Klickelan Digger's Guild rep they'd sent after him would have a rough time trying to avoid the remaining Miitan on his own.

This next room was reasonably well lit. The ruin's natural incandescence was back in full force, and he followed a winding passage to a large, deserted chamber filled with phosphorescent rocks. He could see a small stream with a natural bridge over it. It looked to be powering some kind of turbine, and even though he couldn't see anybody hanging around inside, there was an odd, persistent clanking sound echoing throughout the area.

In the center of the room, on a pedestal of sorts, was an unopened treasure chest.

Teisel reflexively started to ask Max if the chest was reading as a mimic, but then he remembered that he'd told Max to cut off the system. After a few moments of deliberation, he decided that even if he were dealing with a trapped box, it would still probably drop quite a bit of money. It was definitely worth the risk.

The treasure chest contained two glowing, pink energy blades. They looked like something straight out of an episode of The Steel Prince. He was half expecting the chest to blow up in his face, but here it was. A genuinely legitimate find. One that was probably worth something up on the surface, at that!

He was so caught up in trying to figure out the best use for them that he didn't notice the invisible Sharukurusu materialize out of nowhere and tackle him to the ground, sending the treasure skidding across the room.

"WHAT THE HECK!?!?" He shouted as the Reaverbot vanished before he even had a chance to register that it had even attacked him. He dove to the ground in an effort to pick up the swords again, but either a second invisible Sharukurusu or that same one from before skidded between Teisel and the treasure and lunged at him with a bone-crunching tackle. There was no mistaking that clanking sound now.

Teisel, in a frenzied attempt to avoid the Digger's Guild at any cost, had accidentally stumbled upon an invisible Sharukurusu nest.


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