Chapter 34 Escape From the Compound
Its skin was grey and hard, like rocks. Dustin knew that if it broke through the door, the people wouldn't last but a few minutes. The cruncher had huge arms, that it used to walk on, but could grab and crush whatever was in reach. A shudder went through his slime form as he remembered how hard it had been to escape, the last time he encountered one. Granny had almost died when it grabbed her. Its powerful jaw could crush just about anything. He wasn't sure it couldn't damage his crystal form.
How the hell was he going to get these people out of here, and why the fuck do these people have these monsters?
Mulling over his options, he noticed it was getting harder to cycle out the gas from the clean air. He had to make a decision quickly.
The gas would kill them if he didn't get the door down, so he went back to melting through the bars. The cruncher started crunching its way through the corpse. The barbs didn't bother it at all.
The door was only still standing, because he was holding it in place. How was he going to get these people past that thing and still keep them safe from the gas? Moving the door very slowly, he tried to keep it between him and the cruncher. The thing didn't seem to notice him.
Nudging the people who were huddled inside his slime bubble, they complied in shuffling along, not really wanting to be touched by his slime. As he got them through the doorway, he started to turn them so they would travel the way he needed them to, when the gas started to escape into the hall. The effect on the cruncher was immediate. Blood started pouring from every opening, and it very quickly collapsed.
Dustin paused in shock. That was not what he was expecting to happen. Snatching samples from the nightmare bug and the cruncher, he added them to his PED.
(GENETIC SAMPLES ACQUIRED. ANALYZING, DO YOU WISH TO INITIATE AN EVOLUTION?)
'No, I just didn't want to pass up that opportunity.'
He continued to make the people shuffle down the hall, until they reached the elevator. There was an open grill next to the elevator, that had obviously housed the huge cruncher. While he waited for the elevator to open, he pondered the stupidity of anyone who was willing to keep such a dangerous creature around. These people were no better then the Josagn, and that was saying something.
As it swooshed open, Dustin fully expected it to have fully armed guards waiting to shoot him, or the people, but it was empty. He was too suspicious to take it. Snaking a tendril into the stairs next to it, he saw guards waiting to jump out and attack.
That was more in the lines of what he was expecting. This door wasn't as heavily reinforced as the last one, so a couple of good whacks with the door he was still holding, quickly had it open, and half the guards knocked to the ground. He waisted no time in ending them.
Shuffling the people into the stair well, he sealed the door back behind him, and then released them from his bubble.
Changing back, he motioned to the armor on the floor.
"There's not enough suits of armor for all of you, but at least some of you can have clothes to wear. As I kill more of them, there will be something for all of you to wear eventually."
"Who are you?" asked the same man as before as they slowly started picking up the armor. It was empty because he had eaten the bodies in his slime form.
"My name's Dustin. I'm here to help."
"Dustin?" they all started to murmur to each other.
"That can't be possible. You died over two hundred years ago."
"No, I didn't, or I wouldn't be here. Now, I can explain later, let's get out of this place."
They all quickly agreed, and followed him as he headed up the stairs. More guards met them at the door, but he made quick work of them. This gave almost half of the people clothes. What the hell was Granny going to say when he showed up with all of these people? Would she be proud that he was finally acting like the king he was supposed to be, or would she be exasperated that she had more mouths to feed?
Shaking his head to clear it of the nonsense, Dustin led them through the compound, killing any guards that showed up, and letting them salvage the armor. By the time he had them on the hanger, they all had armor. The kid looked silly in his, but at least he could survive in the atmosphere as he led them away from the compound.
Granny came to pick them up fifteen minutes later.
"Dustin, what the hell do you think you're doing?" she asked as he let the people on the ship.
"I have no fucking idea, but it felt right."
"So, what are we going to do with all of these people?"
"I was hoping you had an idea."
"You are the absolute worst king, I have ever known, and trust me, I've known a lot of them. You are the worst," she said, shaking her head and moving back towards the deck.
The people were looking back and forth between her and him, as if they couldn't believe their eyes.
Taking off their helmets, once the door was shut, they stood awkwardly in the hallway.
"Come on, this ship has to have somewhere other then the hall for you to rest."
After opening several doors, he finally found a large open room that was probably a kitchen or something, so he left them all there. As he went to leave, one of them grabbed his arm.
"Your majesty, does this mean you found us a home?" The kid's eyes were bright and hopeful.
Dustin's heart melted and he nodded.
"Yep, sure have. Just have to get there."
The kid's eyes lit up and he smiled a huge, gap-toothed grin.
As Dustin left the room, heading for the deck, he was cursing himself. Why the hell did he say that?