Jim's Alley: The Legend of Jim

Somewhere by the wall of Arkology’s lowest level, where the light of the great machine above was at its faintest, a lone scav was wandering the street in a stupor. Jamal smoked a hooka some hours before, and it had disoriented him more than usual to the point his memory had become fragmented. When he woke, he believed he was still on his homeworld. His hosts needed to pin Jamal down as he threw a violent tantrum because he was under the assumption he had either been abducted or got trapped in a nightmare.
His recollections only made his mental state worse, as he recalled the world and the life that he had lost. The faces of friends and family, whose memory would die with him, were more vivid now than they had ever been. Jamal wished it wasn’t so. Memories were just the thing he wanted to get rid of.
Now he wandered the narrow street, trying the remember which of these doors lead to his den. It wasn’t much. Each of these one-room apartments was no better than a ship’s cabin. It was still better than a bunk bed.
A sudden noise made him jump and he turned to face, Jim’s Alley. A dark tunnel comprised of empty dens and illuminating fungal colonies reaching all the way into the dark.
Although Jamal did not believe all the stories, that place was said to be haunted. Personally, he assumed it was all the damn critters who lurked in the empty dens, luminous plants, and fungal reefs that had accumulated over many cycles.
There were stories of scavs trying to forage from that place who were never seen again. Others tell of people who tried to clear the dens so they could live in there. No matter what the reason, many have died in that place. Some said it’s a coincidence. Others say if you want to kill somebody you do it near the walls. One theory suggests there is a hole at the end of that alley, leading straight into the corridors of Hades.
But the most popular story of all was that of a vengeful spirit guarding his horde against a group of scavengers who betrayed him. A scavenger’s ghost who enjoyed smoking leaf-rolls, by the name of Jim.
Jamal sniffed the air to check for the fragrant smell of brunt leaf that was said to linger here. But all he huffed was the scent of mold, incense, and ground steel. ‘Catter sheit,’ he said, reminding himself there were far darker things lurking in the tunnels than some leaf-smoking ghost. But meanwhile, a chill ran down his spine.
When he was about to continue his journey Jamal was startled once again.
A crackling voice spoke up.
As Jamal spun around in fright, dagger drawn, he noticed an old radio and a stack of two small containers. Through the static, he could make out some gibberish. But what worried him was what activated the jury-rigged device. There was nobody here, and the light of the Machine was at its strongest, meaning most people flocked to the bazaar to catch some grub.
‘What the hell,’ Jammal grinned, ironically. It was just a radio.
But just as he was about the walk away again, he saw the radio move closer to the edge. As if frozen he stared, doubting his own eyes. Maybe it was the hooka, but he felt more sober than before. Fear can do that to a man.
But then the radio slid across the container again.
Jamal stepped back, his lips quivering. He faced danger before, but usually, he could see what was about to attack him.
With a jolt the radio flew off the container and hit the ground, spilling its internals as it hit the ground.
“GET OUT!” bellowed a voice.
Jamal nearly tripped as he staggered backward, and ran. Ran as fast as he could before Jim changed his mind.

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