Naturally, it wasn't quite as easy as 'just going down there'...
Predicting dirty breathing conditions, it wasn't all that hard to just grab a fashionable purple scarf and wrap it around my muzzle, something the other's did as well... The 'problem' in my mind was these enormous freaking eyes I had now that were going to be freaking dust magnets and no human eye protection was going to protect them properly. There wasn't really much choice but to go anyway.
It 'was' a pretty easy ride to start, though I did my damndest not to let the various bodies scattered around get to me, the stairwell was only dusty at the half-way point, though it got thicker with every inch down we went... Then I foolishly thought 'Oh it's just stairs, I don't even need my eyes for this!'
And promptly stepped off of an unseen collapse in the stairwell's third floor level... I vaguely registered the other's shouts, but I was much more interested in my own potential eminent demise. Some instinct kicked in and my wings beat themselves against the dust, but it was to little effect with such a short fall and only served to rile up the dust before I crashed onto piled of uncomfortable and thankfully not 'sharp' stone below.
Of course I 'did' get to experience the predictable agony of big vulnerable eyes getting dust in them and had to keep my eyes tightly shut to try and wash it out.
After a few moments I registered the other shouts from above and called back "I'm Alright! Just some bruising! And I got dust in my fucking eyes!... It freaking burns!... But the fall's not too bad."
I couldn't see too much past this point, I'd effectively gotten myself blinded, if temporarily, minutes into trying to escape my own house... Freaking pathetic.
I heard them climbing down, which oddly enough I pictured Vein using his obscenely long arms to hang down and lower them one by one like some kind of giant dog monkey... "Heh...
" After a few moments of making sure I wasn't just ignorant of something stuck in me I heard Pinks talking.
"Well, the stair's have collapsed it seems, we're going to have to move through the second floor.
""This is unfortunate, they weren't like this when we checked earlier. Here's hoping it was only structural failure catching up... and not 'something' causing it.""Well there's a scary thought. I'm not particularly interested in getting into a fight while I'm still unsteady on four legs.""Mmmmhmhm, I could give you some experience with those legs of yours if you-"
I cut in suddenly, albeit with a slight laugh/cough "Ladies! We've got more important matters, Like our breathing getting harder the longer we're in the dust. We need to reach the shaft and use that to get down there instead"
I vaguely picked up on the buzzy voice of the rookie "Wow... I don't need to breath... and my eyes are protected naturally... cool..."
I chose not to address this as I would be very biasedly angry at the moment.
Rather quickly we picked out way into the second floor... I still couldn't see much, my eyes were a deep blur of tears washing the pain away but also keeping further dust from reaching my eyes, for now. I still didn't like needing to be led along by my... hoof, wing, whatever! I didn't have much choice again.
There was a collective groan of annoyance that was quickly explained "Some of the emergency shutters are closed, but obviously not enough to keep the dust controlled. We'll-
" He was suddenly cut off by an incredibly loud *KLANG!*
from somewhere that made everyone noticeably jump, and it continued happening, coupled with the sound of tearing metal "Well! That's not good, 'something' is tearing through one of the outer shutters from the sound of it, we need to go around, quickly!"
Naturally, we did... though quickly was a matter of opinion, for me it meant a stumbling fast-walk that I had to be caught from falling out of several times, but general sounds of relief told me that other obstacles didn't prevent us from getting to the shaft... to clarify, that's kindof an emergency hole straight through the building for emergency downward travel.. yes, kind of like the bat-case entrance with the pole.
There was a pause and a bit of chatter, but the sound of something grinding as it was pulled open told me we'd at least found it... Within moments we were sliding down the poll one by one, even in my blinded state I could at 'least' hold a pole.
And then we were in the basement! and once the emergency door was manually shut to keep the dust out we were about as safe as we could possibly be... for now. I knew, eventually something was going to get damaged, or just be turned off, and we'd end up without power down here as well, but for now we had safety, I had time to really work on cleaning my eyes out, we could get the fabricator up and running and... and... I had a lot of time to do nothing but think and I didn't want to right now... So instead"Hey rookie... What's yer name?"
I actually heard what I took for a 'surprised buzz' that got a tiny chuckle out of me " Uh, w-well... I, don't really have one... I was... one of the Corporate slaves you rescued, I never had a name. Everyone just called me Brown Thirty Two."
Oh... huh, interesting "Oh... well, I'm quit glad you've survived at least, heh... could call you Brownie, but sounds like more of a nick-name... maybe we should give you a normal name to use... like Buzz, heheh... Orrr... Shit, I've always been terrible with names, that's why I call people by colors a lot... s'easier."
I heard a little buggy chuckle come out of him "It's alright, Thirty Two will do for now... i'll... try to think of something else later, but we've got more important things to worry about right now don't we?"
I let out rather an exasperated sigh... but nodded "True, unfortunately... It's going to take me a while yet for these tears to finish cleaning my eyes so... oh! I know what I can do, I'll send a message!"
I could imagine several raised eyebrows in reaction "Hush, the city's going to hell. As amazing as we are, we're going to need some help, now get the factory working and start looking around for whatever's still working... and before anyone says it, yes, I know 'everyone' will be able to get the message, I'm prepared for that."
I waved a hand or hoof or something to try and blindly shoo them off to get busy while I was doing that... Luckily I could interact with my holo-comms blind just fine, and it seemed security on the network was in turmoil anyway, leaving it quite easy to hijack a very special signal this close to the core. Not many had the authority to make a broad-band transmission that would travel the chain of individual nodes to every device in the city, I certainly didn't, but with the security already over-worked from the catastrophe it was child's play to hijack it... and by 'every device' I meant it, Televisions in street shops, person comms, vehicle radios... god this was a bad idea, but I had no other way to quickly and efficiently reach out to other survivors.
<<To all who get this message... You can call me Indie, that's all you need to know for now. I'm not actually corporate, I just hijacked the emergency broadcast network is all. I'm sending this to tell you all... The Towers are 'Down'. Yes, that's right, The Corporate Towers have fallen, over the west side if I had to guess, I got to witness the fall myself. Ho! I tell you, It's a sight that'll stick with me for the rest of my life... however long that may actually be.
On that note, Survival... I'm sure many of you are more than willing to do it on your own, but, capable or not, I'm sure some are more than willing to work with others to ensure mutual survival... Lets be honest, in a scenario like this, the loner will eventually find something he can't handle and get waxed. So I got a proposal for all of you. If you're interested in mutual survival efforts, then I know a place that we can hole up in long enough for the dust to clear... of course I'm not going to specify where on air, you'll have to meet me in person to get that information. on the western edge of the East slums, precisely in the center, under the edge of the party district, is the more mundane looking noodle shop you ever did see... Meet me there within a 24 hours, I 'may' wait up to a day longer if the shop is fully intact and breathable.
Now, if you're anything like me, then you've experienced the recent catastrophe's effects on our bodies, and have likely been transformed into some other form of not very human creature as a result. I hope you'll all keep that in mind when showing up, don't panic immediately because someone else looks dangerous, but I won't tell you to be passive either, I'll be on the lookout for idiots who think this'll make a nice trap for a bunch of suckers too!
Either way, we 'need' cooperation, now more than ever, because right now the 'air' itself is inhospitable to us, and there are likely other survivors who've lost their minds and are no less of a threat...
Anyway! You'll recognize me easily enough, I'm that freaky bat horse thing that'll be hanging around there, with all the purple on him... I'll set this message to repeat... oohhh, say, a couple dozen times, just incase you're not around to catch it right 'now'.