Written in 365 Parts: 29: Going Underground

Drick dropped out of the short tunnel that was the freeway underpass to sub-level seven and took the executive vehicle off the highway and over the side of the road.

In this section of the city there were the vast recycling and energy plants that powered many of the floors and industries above. These massive machines were more super-sized robots with autonomous intelligence. They optimised themselves to recycle or consume all waste material, organic and inorganic, from the city above.

They were almost wholly self-sufficient and had thousands of small droids that maintained their systems. Built with backup fusion generators for the periods when they couldn’t derive power from consumable non-recyclable material they would last for generations.

They did, however, require updates, monitoring and the occasional repair that needed the overseeing, or assistance of, an organic. That would be from the Engineer’s Union. Also, strange as it might seem on some worlds, there were some tasks that robots were too expensive, or just not as adept for the cost is more accurate, to perform. The menial tasks and sometimes the role of staff. These were done by organics and controlled by unions.

But the Engineer’s Union was the largest organisation, more a corporation of itself. They controlled most of this section and the sub-levels. Drick didn’t want to have a fight that would cause more friction between the Engineer’s Union and Drick themselves.

But the Engineer’s didn’t control the under-city. That was where Drick was heading as they piloted between the massive buildings following forward sensors and pushing the vehicle as much as possible. Drick knew that the attack vehicle was close behind, the only god that Drick would pray to had told them so.

Drick hit ground level and flattened out the vehicle to race along, they were heading towards an entrance way to the under city that they knew lay nearby. But it had been too long since Drick had last ran these streets and the layout down here was not static.

The city didn’t stop at ground level. There were massive workings below. The foundations of the massive buildings reached down for over a mile to large gravity generators and compression supports that allowed the super-tall structures to drift gently back and forth with the effects of tidal movement and the shifting ground..

This world was slightly tectonic, as most worlds with moons and a liquid core tend to be. The city was so large and the buildings so tall that it was affected, very slightly by the moons’ pull, and to a greater extent by the motions of the ground. So they built massive systems to counteract this movement.

In addition there were miles of tunnels for sewage processing, water reservoirs, and the transportation tunnels for raw materials and food plants. These were built and re-built and had been for hundreds of years. There was a maze of known, and forgotten systems, and it was here that Drick would make a stand, if the vehicle behind followed them.

Drick saw the entrance way they had been looking for. An abandoned mine tunnel that led to a quarry nearly four hundred miles away. It was a maze of dark tunnels and the main lair for several gangs and illicit industries. It wasn’t a moment too soon as the ground around Drick’s vehicle exploded with shrapnel from twin cannons that had suddenly opened fire.

Thankfully for Drick this first salvo was done from extreme range and it was clear the vehicle hadn’t got a clear target. The active defences of Drick’s vehicle coupled with the range prevented that. It saved Drick’s life as that salvo would have ripped this vehicle to shreds.

Drick had a few seconds before they would be in range, fewer if the gunner got a lucky shot. Drick gunned the engine to maximum speed and shot into the tunnel mouth and would have whooped with delight, if they were not focusing so hard to stay alive, as the pursuit vehicle followed them into the tunnel.

Drick flicked a signal on the comm instructing god to close the hatch and prepare for a prayer.

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