Everyone remembers the day they dropped into our lives, quite literally. How that happened? Well let me explain.
We were on a mission, inspection and recovery of useful things in that abandoned science area of the bunker. Rumour had it that the reason we no longer played around with genetic enhancements was down to something that happened in these labs not all that long ago, but that itself is another story. Besides everyone knows what the Toy Soldiers views on ‘playing with the laws of nature, physics and gravity’ are (mainly that we ignore them).
Whatever trouble we get into due to that is all in the name of fun… and it helps we have a really good cleanup crew.
Most of the gear here was just left to accumulate dust but once a few engineers found out some of the specs during an inventory they insisted on scavenging parts. I went with them because if you thought a bunch of people capable of wiring circuit boards and coding stuff could read a basic map you’d be very wrong.
After they had started geeking out about the various tech in the labs I explored the area myself. For a toy soldier lab it was pretty tidy but it was dark and dusty, the power to this area was long gone. I found a door with a label slightly worn away. From what I could make out, it read ‘enclosure’. I put my torch in my teeth and forced the door open.
To my surprise I found myself in a garden which had become overgrown due to neglect. There were flourishing trees, wild flowers growing everywhere amidst grass as tall as my waist and the sound of birds echoed throughout. I propped the door open to let light into the lab as I checked out the wilderness. There was a glass ceiling with holes in it for ventilation, also artificial sunlight and sprinkler systems which seemed to be on an automated weather cycle It was impressive to create a climate Obviously this place had thrived after being forgotten.
One of the engineers entered the enclosure behind me and we began to take pictures. We had to show this to everyone back at HQ. As I took a photo of some of the weirder looking flowers I heard a growl then a yelp and a thud, whipping round I saw the strangest thing. A small bear with black fur and violet eyes was pinning the engineer, snarling. It had large forearms with three prominent claws.
The engineer was staring at it with fear in his eyes. “What is this thing?!”
“I have no idea… Stay still.” I warned the engineer. “Now easy…”
I inched carefully closer to the bear like creature and my fellow soldier, hands ready. The moment I was close enough I stooped and scooped the little beastie up. I was surprised at how heavy it was for something so small. The engineer scrambled to his feet.
I held the small ball of fur far from my face but kept a firm grip as it fidgeted in my grasp. “Oi… now behave!” I told it sharply. It made a weird mrrt sound and cocked his head at me, settling down slightly. Clearly we’d just startled it. It’s weight seemed to lessen, though I wasn’t sure how, as it calmed.
I smiled gently at it as I shifted to cradling it in my arms. I was sure it wouldn’t hurt me.
“There we are, you alright?” I was half asking both the creature and my companion.
When there was nothing but silence as an answer I looked at the engineer who had gone pale and was pointing behind me.
I heard another growl , straining to look over my shoulder I saw two more bear like creatures in the trees, one with pink fur and brown eyes and a fluffier red one with black eyes. I motioned with my free hand in a surrender mode. The one in my arm made a noise then squirmed out of my grip to sit on my head. Whatever it was communicating, it seemed to settle the others down.
I put the black furred leader down in a tree near to the others and began to search my pack. I had no idea what these things ate but judging by the fruit leftovers in this place I figured they weren’t strictly carnivores. I put down my snacks and sat on the ground to allow them to help themselves. I smiled wryly to the engineer but he still seemed worried.
“Hey is there anything about these little guys in the lab?” I asked. “Could you find it?”
I’d given the engineer an out and he took it. A little while later he returned with some folders pertaining to some creatures known as Drop Bears. It seemed they were based on an Australian legend/tourist trap when they were created. Sadly the koala genetics never really took hold but some creatures were created that had the capability to drop from great heights, jump to similar heights and take little to no damage. They could also alter their mass which meant they could go from being as light as a feather to weighing a tonne in a matter of seconds. It also turned out the scientist who had been experimenting on them had been the one involved in the incident which caused the shutdown of this particular science division and so they were forgotten about.
After reading it I sighed. “Trust a toy soldier not to send in their report.”
The ‘Drop Bears’ were currently making their way through my lunch at speed. It became plain that there weren’t just three of these bears either, there was a fourth one. A small cub with pink and white panda like markings and pink eyes, but no claws and what looked like an infection on its hind leg. This one needed to see a nurse and soon.
Slowly I went into the med-pouch I kept on my belt, it gets more use than you’d believe, to find some swabs, disinfectant and bandages.
As carefully as I could I coaxed the little one closer with more food then gently petted it until some trust was established before I dared to pick it up and clean the cut. All of this under the watchful eyes of the red one who seemed to be it’s parent.
Making an executive decision I located one of the trolleys we had brought down this way to carry back scavenged tech and put a blanket in it. The engineers groaned about having less places to put stuff but promptly got over it as they began playing tetris with the gear they’d taken. Meanwhile I put my new friends into the trolley with some more food. They really seemed to like the jam sandwiches and they seemed to trust me which helped.
On my way back I thought about how I was going to explain the bears to everyone else. Then again, this was the bunker. Explanations not really necessary.