Stories from the Century Plains 01
Joseph walked onward through the flat desert plain, the bright almost oppressive glare of the dark orange sun bearing down upon him, tirelessly sending its tremendous heat into the sand and its scorched surroundings.
Joseph continued forward in the distance he could see his destination, the cool metal walls of the Century Plains Detainment Facility rose upward, gradually sloping inward towards its flat metal roof, topped by a tall cylindrical watch tower, the walls reflected the suns light making them painful to look at for too long on a bright day, A large Iron gate was pressed deeply into the buildings surface, providing the sole ground level entry point to what lay inside.
Joseph stood under the Gate Looking upward in the hope that someone looking through one of the viewpoints just above the gates would recognise him and grant him entry, otherwise he thought to himself, he'd have to wait for someone else to come out and it could be a long while before that happened. Joseph shuffled around slowly, trying to see whether or not anyone was looking down at him, eventually he saw a shadow flicker past one of the viewports, stopping briefly and appearing to look down in his direction, there was a whining hiss and the gates slowly began to open Joseph took a step back to avoid being hit by them as they swung outwards, a figure was standing in the open gate, they gradually drew closer, until they were almost within touching distance, he looked at Joseph for more than a minute before speaking "you know that the transport you took from the facility was sabotaged, don't you Joseph, and I would know because it was requested of me to do it...."
"And did you?" Joseph asked in what seemed to the man to be an overly accusing manor.
"If it wasn't for that saboteur, you would have been 100 miles into the desert where a bandit ambush was waiting for you, however as I'm sure you know 50 miles out, your transport's console began warning you that immediate repairs were necessary, and happened to last another 40 as you headed back, and once it finally failed it just happened that some, thoughtful individual had left a small kit skimmer in the supply container with enough power to bring you at least another 7 miles, so you should be thankful to 'whoever' sabotaged your transport, ay Joseph my friend, better a long walk than a bandit ambush"
"I was trapped out in the desert, with a broken skimmer who's seat came loose and detached at 60mph taking a pair of boots with it into an 18ft deep sand dune, meaning I had to walk bare foot for 2 miles to find that I'd been locked out of the facility and would have to wait almost another day for someone to open the doors."
"Calm down boy, you should be pleased to be alive, ay if you'd known what was waiting for you at 100 miles you wouldn't be complaining."
"Now come inside out of that accursed sand" the two had met many times before but Joseph hadn't ever heard the man's name said aloud, he had always assumed he was just one of the prisoners from the way that he was dressed, but he had never been entirely certain, it seemed odd that he would be the one to open the gate, none the less Joseph was just pleased to be let inside.
Joseph walked through the gateway, down a narrow metal passage into a large open space that was the main hall at the centre of the building, a network of mirrors spread throughout a system of vents in the buildings upper frame streaming in an image of the outside world in order to create the appearance of an open roof, despite or perhaps because of this the room had both a tranquil and an ominous feel to it, strong metal doors were set into all four sides of the room, leading to various parts of the facility, one of these appeared to have been damaged, it was the door to the main detainment wing, were the prisoners quarters were located, a small panel opened beside the door and a green light began to flash rapidly, the door shuddered and slowly began to open, The man knelt down and reaching into the pocket of his coat produced an old and heavy looking pistol
"Now this is where you come in useful Joseph, this thing should make our meeting look a little less friendly". Joseph looked at the man and then at the gun, "what do you mean" he asked suspiciously
The man threw the gun to Joseph "Point this at my head" the man said with a note of urgency in his voice,
"Quickly before they get that door open the whole way"
Joseph took a step closer to the man and placed the gun against his head, moments later the door opened fully revealing a set of armed guards. "If they ask, say you caught me leaving the facility" the man quietly muttered.
One of the guards who had been standing in the shadows behind the others stepped forward slowly, his face was scarred from multiple slashing wounds and he wore a torn jacket draped loosely over his guard's uniform, this was CPT. Haiashurin, looking at the man on his knees he laughed to himself darkly.
"The delivery man appears to have this situation under control" he said, nodding to the other guards who left the room. "Well done Joseph!" he said with a note of approval in his voice, as he gradually moved closer to them. "Very, well done indeed, for man who died in the desert......"
Joseph took a step back, anything Haiashurin said seemed somehow unnerving, especially those last few words,
Haiashurin moved closer pulling something discreetly out of one of one of his coat pockets and holding it just behind his leg so that it was just out of view.
Joseph took another step backward,
"You seem a little unsettled" Haiashurin said, a grin spreading across his face.
Just at that moment one of the other doors opened and another man emerged from the well-lit corridor behind it, he wore a red shirt with an ornately decorated white cloak, and a small golden band around his forehead, behind him walked a number of similarly dressed men who acted as the escort to Dasier Meahlash, a man of high religious standing and tremendous wealth who appeared to have developed a recent fascination with the facility and spent much of his time wandering about its grounds 'observing it's every day runningâ€™s; walking behind them was Dasier himself, wearing the same ornate cloak and red shirt as his followers, the only exception being the golden band was replaced with a small decretive looking stone on his forehead which seemed to be somehow set into his flesh. He nodded politely to Haiashurin who quickly returned the object he had been concealing to his pocket, and bowed slowly. Dasier then continued towards one of the other doors and left the room, the moment Dasier was gone Haiashurin reached back into the pocket of his coat and produced the item which he had been concealing, he lunged forward, swiftly grabbing Josephs arm and pushing the object firmly into the empty slot on the underside the guns handle. "I just didn't want '46' to see that your gun was empty, No use holding someone at gun point without any ammo"
"What did you think I was going to do", Haiashurin said laughing and patting him on the back reassuringly, so that Joseph began to relax, never let down your guard, Haiashurin said and suddenly pulled the gun from his hand, emptying the entire clip in his direction, Joseph leapt back expecting to feel the searing pain as the shots pierced his flesh, but there was nothing, they were blanks, for the next few minutes Haiashurin was doubled over with laughter, occasionally glancing up at Joseph when his laughter began to slow and laughing again. Joseph felt foolish but relieved, Haiashurin was well known around the facility for performing his sadistic style of humour upon unsuspecting victims, the man who had let Joseph into the facility was laughing nearly as hard as Haiashurin, he began to wonder, had this all been one long joke.
"Sorry Joseph" Haiashurin coughed "it's just, it looked as though '46' here already had you worried, I couldn't resist seeing how you'd react.
"But onto more serious matters" Haiashurin had returned to his usual ordered state, I hope that this little experience has been beneficial, remember, never let down your guardâ€.
There were times when Joseph disliked Haiashurin, but everything he did usually had a reason, or at least some way that he could justify his actions in order to avoid any real repercussions,
Haiashurin leaned forward and began talking to joseph in a hushed tone "now listen Joseph, all the business with the transport happened for a reason, we did arrange for your transport to be sabotaged but it wasn't for a mere joke, there really was a bandit ambush waiting for you 100 miles out, they've began attacking transports with new recruits or single member crews, someone here has been sending them information which allows them to make well calculated attacks, we don't know who is behind this, so me and '46' arranged to get you back here and make it seem like a coincidence"
"Why was '46' involved" joseph asked
"That's a question for later" Haiashurin said, "get some rest"
"Once you've recovered, I need you to join the escort party for the next group of prisoners to be sent for recreation at the detainment colony in Martraid, it'll head out in the morning, we can talk more then."
The next morning Joseph awoke with a renewed sense of vigour, put on the new uniform that was waiting on a rack beside his table, picked up the old pistol and placed it in his holster, then proceeded down the flight of stairs which connected the civilian and guard quarters to the other living accommodation, the rest of the party were already assembled in the main hall when he arrived, he was issued a rifle and fell casually into line with the others.
"Ready People! Prepare to head out!" Haiashurin shouted, the men and women then moved through the doorway and into the vehicle hanger, each of them boarded their assigned transport,
"Joseph, transport one, with me" Haiashurin grunted.
Joseph climbed aboard the transport, in the centre was a man sized iron cage and standing inside it was '46' "Good to see you Joseph...." he laughed
Haiashurin turned towards Joseph, "There is a matter of great importance to discuss" he said.
"You see....", but before he could finish he trailed off one of Dasier's men boarded the transport dressed in a guards uniform, but still adorned with the golden head band worn by Dasier's escort. "What are you doing here" Haiashurin demanded hesitantly
"We serve and adhere to the masterâ€™s wishes" Dasier's escort replied in an empty tone, "Master Dasier asked that this process be observed and recorded, so that his understanding could become more complete."
Haiashurin looked at him suspiciously opened his mouth slightly as if to speak and then slumped down in his chair.
The transport convoy moved at great speed through the desert, kicking up a vast plume of yellow dust, the man who served Dasier walked out of the passenger compartment and into the front of the vehicle "At last," Haiashurin said looking relieved to be temporarily rid of Dasier's follower
"Now Joseph" he said "this is important, I have reason to believe we are all in danger it seems that that there is some secret alliance orchestrating the bandit attacks. Whoever it is they have some influence amongst both the prisoners and the guards that is how '46' got involved, he overheard whispers about their activities on multiple occasions, we weren't sure whether or not to believe it, but '46' managed to acquire a fragment of more detailed information, relating to an attack on a single occupant transport, yours to be precise, it fitted with the pattern of the other attacks, almost perfectly, we sabotaged you transport so that you wouldn't make it to the ambush, however we believe there is something more too what's going on, you see...."
There was a sudden lurch, the transport leaned heavily to one side, and a sound like loud metallic scraping filled the interior, Joseph covered his ears just before he was thrown from his seat, '46' was knocked of his feat as the metal cage he was inside tilted swiftly with the rest of the vehicle and its occupants, "What's going on!" Haiashurin shouted over the noise, crawling desperately towards the pilots section of the transport and attempting to open the conjoining door, with a grunt of effort he stretched forward grabbing a small silver leaver and pulling it towards him, the conjoining door grunted and slid inwards revealing the body of the dead pilot, hanging limply in a tangle of seat restraints like a broken puppet, a large circular wound on his chest dripping with odd fluids; Looking past him Haiashurin could see a small bullet like hole in the transports main window, He Pulled himself up through the door and into the pilots compartment, keeping low in-case they were still under attack, he removed four wires from amongst a mass of dials, cables and switches beneath, the main console's maintenance hatch, the switches were used to manually configure the transports systems in case of an error or malfunction with the console, but Haiashurin knew a better use for them in this situation, he reached into his coat pocket and produced a small metal card, spitting on it he then placed the four wires against it, a bright spark flickered from the point of contact and the transport drifted to a halt. The servant of Dasier lay in a heap clutching something closely to his chest, and shaking violently, as if in shock. Haiashurin prodded the man in the ribs with the tip of his boot causing him to writhe around on the floor.
"Get up!" Haiashurin coughed
The man moaned continuing the clutch the thing to his chest, Haiashurin knelt down and moved to pick it up, Dasier's follower groaned,
"It's what" Haiashurin demanded. The follower rolled onto his back and revealed a long worm like thing with its head pushed shallowly into a wound on his chest, his hands were gripping the creature tightly as he struggled to hold it in place, the creatures lower body was limp as if the life was had been crushed from it but it's head pulsated rapidly, as thin feelers tried desperately to find a stronger grip inside the injury.
"Help.... Please...." He looked up desperately, as creature's upper body began to stretch oddly, part of it, just before the place it was being held, had begun to change in colour and texture, almost appearing as though it was about to tear in half,
Haiashurin looked coldly at the man, as if he was almost tempted to leave him and see what happened, he doubted that the man would be of much use alive or dead, but he still had no intention of letting him die, Haiashurin pulled out a small knife and pushed it a little way into the worms head, the creature went limp for a moment and the mass of feelers around its head turned back towards it and began pressing gently against its own wound, Haiashurin dragged the subdued creature from the man's hands and opening a small locker on the ceiling, pulled out a long glass canister, he unscrewed the lid of the container and placed the creature inside before resealing it.
"What was it" Dasier's follower asked cautiously, his eyes darting swiftly from his wound to Haiashurin and back again "I don't know" Haiashurin replied "But I believe I've encountered something like this once in the past...." there was a sudden rapid clicking as the creature began to writhe inside the cylinder, bubbles of brown-green liquid foaming from its mouth, until it filled the container completely.
Dasier's follower watched the creature wide eyed, but a sudden crash in the passenger compartment drew his attention "go and see what's happening, out there" he said. Dasier's follower nodded and walked through the doorway
Haiashurin looked at the creature closely and moved the cylinder around, he picked it up and slipped it into the pocket of his coat, then walked through the doorway himself
Joseph forced the heavy metal bar into the underside of '46's cage, levering it upward off of the floor
"It's coming" he shouted as the cage tilted further whining as it did so.
Dasier's follower walked closer to Joseph, grabbed the end of the bar and began to pull as well, the two grunted with effort, there was a click followed by a loud metal screech as the cage lifted free,
Haiashurin pulled a large flat object from a locker, and placed it on the ground in-front of the cage, "lift it onto this, it's a floatation device", "Can't we just break the lock now the cage is detached?", Surely it won't have any power"
"That's not how it works", "the cage holds residual energy, otherwise people could just hijack transports and free prisoners" "we need a signature card, if we want to override the cage locks before we reach another facility but we can use the cages residual power to our advantage, if we attach this floatation panel, it's only a matter of whirling it in, he said pointing to a long slightly pointed object with a cable socket attached, which was also inside the locker "and we can take '46' with us"
"Should we not simply wait?" the servant of Dasier asked "surely others will come for us eventually", "of course" replied Haiashurin "but they won't necessarily be from the facility, there are bandits and all manner of other people out here, not to mention things like that worm"
"Why don't we just repair the transport" Joseph asked
"It could take too long we still need to check the extent of the damage" Haiashurin answered
Haiashurin pulled the release mechanism for the rear loading doors,
"Come with me" he ordered, picking up a rife and walking outside into the desert
Following Haiashurin, Joseph and the servant of Dasier exited the transport as well and the two began to examine the damage in the hope that it could be quickly repaired,
The sides of the transport had been heavily scarred and one of the balancing supports was destroyed almost completely deep gashes like claw marks spread across the hull and it seemed as though it had almost buckled in places
"Odd?" Haiashurin grunted "what could have done this, the plains are mostly just bare sand for nearly one hundred miles in each direction but it looks as though the transport's had a heavy collision with some jagged rocks"
Haiashurin turned and looked into the distance for something which could have damaged the transport in this way but there was nothing except for almost featureless desert stretching into the distance, with the exception of what looked like a huge round dune a quarter of a mile from the transport.
Haiashurin moved towards it slowly as if drawn to it for a moment, before moving back towards the transport,
He walked closer to the damaged balancing support, and after looking more closely he pulled a small crystalline fragment from a scar in the metal, "I was right "he said looking at Joseph, "take this inside the transport and give it to '46'", "Some rocks found in the plains contain crystal elements, which can be used to make signature cards, there may be a way we can use it to trick his cage open"
Joseph walked back in the direction of the transport's loading door but was suddenly distracted, by a quiet scraping from the other side Dasier's follower was digging furiously in the sand by the side of the transport,
"There is something here" he shouted to Joseph, continuing to dig into the sand, he stopped and pulled something from the ground which was wrapped in a piece of brown cloth, he held it aloft and lifted the cloth from it, suddenly leaping back in shock from what he saw, it was a head, it's face was contorted and withered the sockets of its eyes plugged with what looked like congealed blood, but what scared him was the fact that, it around it's forehead was a metal ring, like all followers of Dasier.
"He looks like he could have been one of the escort your master takes with him" joseph said "but he seems as though he has been buried here for years"
"Surly we must excavate the rest of him," Dasier's follower said with a note of sadness in his voice
"The escort are given special death rites for their lives end, this isn't a fitting burial, for a follower"
"There might not be time for this" Haiashurin shouted from the other side of the transport
"One of the fuel lines is leaking!"
"Haiashurin ran into the transport hurry he shouted, help me lift this," Joseph and Dasier's follower helped him to lift '46's cage on top of the floatation panel which Haiashurin had left in front of it earlier, Haiashurin pulled some long strands of wire from a box of spare components in one of the lockers then grabbed four of the pointed objects and two small control interfaces pushing them through the small access hatch in the cage door, he ran one of the wires from a small, socket on the panel into a notch beside one of cages corners, there was a firm click and the cage pulled tightly to the panel and was lifted a small distance off the ground, Haiashurin pushed the cage and is drifted out of the doorway and into the desert, he then jumped clear of the door, followed by the others, ran until he had caught up with the cage and heled it still.
A small waft of noxious smoke was rising from one side of the transport followed by a bright flash of light as the toxic fuel began to stream out filling the air, Dasier's follower turned back towards the transport and grabbed the corpses head from the ground, he pulled the golden circlet from it and swiftly tied a small piece of fabric where the circlet had been before muttering something, and covering the head with the cloth he had found it in, he returned it to the hole, hurriedly pushing the sand back over it and running back from the transport as the plume of gas reached the other side of the hull soon almost entirely engulfing the transport and some of the surrounding ground, in a blistering well of fumes and heat.
"That shouldn't have happened" Haiashurin said "the fuel lines are usually sealed after a transport is in a collision"
There was a sudden bright flash and another transport sped into view, it was painted with the bandit insignia, something fired from a small cylinder in its side, and for Joseph everything went dark.
Haiashurin ran towards the top of the dune, scrambling on its steep sides the top wasn't flat as he had expected, instead it sloped down pulling inwards towards a great mass of stone in the centre, which was riddled with holes in its surface most of which more than big enough for someone to walk through, a slight breeze seemed to rise from the holes gently pushing the sand back from them.
Haiashurin motioned for the others to follow him, "Quickly" he shouted but when he turned and looked they were gone.
For now there was no way for him to save them, he kept running and dived into one of the large holes and waited to see if he was being pursued, no one came, over the dune. Behind him there was a sudden noise, like a drawn out click, then another, he turned but there was nothing, Click...., Click...., Click...., He turned again but still there was nothing, he had the sudden feeling that he was being watched, something landed heavily on his shoulder and he was suddenly dragged back ward into the tunnel.
Joseph awoke inside a room which appeared to have been carved out of solid stone, it was eerily lit by a strange glow which appeared to separate into different colours as it came into contact with a solid surface, the glow was emitting from a pool of water in which an object resembling an altar stood. A silhouette was standing at the altar, dipping its hand drinking a strange fluid which had an ever changing colour, four more silhouettes appeared dragging something in his direction, and throwing it down against the ground by the pool where the altar stood, and then looking up at the first silhouette, who nodded, looked downward at the heap that had been thrown down moving their head very slightly, as if they were talking. Joseph began to move around slowly towards '46's cage, this must be the bandit's encampment, he thought, it seemed likely that bandits would have some way of opening the cage here, some of their members were former prisoners who had been captured from facility transports and press ganged into the bandit crews, so must have been transported in the same manner.
Joseph gently tapped the bottom of one the bars of the cage gently in the hope of getting '46's attention, there was no response; He held onto the bars to steady himself as he stood up to get a better look, but they swung open causing him to trip and making a loud screech which drew the attention of one of the silhouettes who bounded towards him at tremendous speed seizing him in its grasp and dragging him toward the altar were he saw Haiashurin laying seeming unconscious. He could see the silhouettes clearly now, they were tall almost stocky with what looked like green-grey scales covering their bodies, and many sets of eyes peering out of the shadows which their bowed heads caused to fall over their faces. They didn't appear human, "Welcome Joseph", said a familiar voice in an almost friendly tone, it was Dasier, Joseph turned and faced him, "I'm sure you are wondering what's happening" Dasier said, "Perhaps I plucked you from the bandits grasp, or perhaps it was I who captured you, or perhaps it is not necessarily either of those things and something very different is happening", "but know you are safe.... for now", that is at least until you are the next to be consumed,
Dasier laughed to himself, "see where the one from the cage has gone to" he commanded pointing to one of the creatures which winced, before walking down a passage near to the rooms edge.
Joseph noticed as the creature bowed that it was wearing a gold circlet like the ones worn by Dasier's followers "amazing isn't it, how something so simple can be used to manipulate something so complex", there is little you can do, though while we wait perhaps I might give you a demonstration of how these circlets work he clicked his fingers and the servant who Joseph had met on the transport walked from the shadows and knelt before Dasier "what is it you ask of this escort, my master" he said in the hollow tone he had talked in before when he had first spoken on the transport, "now observe Joseph, this man, Araleis I believe he is called, like others who wear the circlet will do my bidding, even if most of them are un-aware of it themselves, watch I may even control this one directly", Dasier went limp for a moment, then his servant Araleis stood up, turned towards Joseph and Spoke in a way that sounded like Dasier "It is simple once you know how to do it, there are even some 'lesser creatures' who can be controlled in this way, like the deadly worm which attacked poor Araleis here, after he had introduced it to the pilot", Dasier smirked, "of course controlling something like that is far more difficult and also highly temperamental, there is not much place to fit a circlet on a worm, so their brains are fitted with control studs which allow some degree of control", "any way", he said as Araleis collapsed to the ground and Dasier returned to his own body again.
"I thought that you might find that interesting, now onto more important matters...." there was a sudden bang as a rifle shot flew from the darkness and moved in Dasier's direction, Dasier moved his arms across his chest, two bodies rose from the water in-front of him taking the impact from the shot, "don't be foolish" Dasier shouted there's no need to waste, innocent lives, trying to shoot me" the bodies slowly fell back down limply into the water, Dasier motioned with his hand and one of the creatures ran in the direction the gunshot had come from, and returned holding '46', it placed him down beside Joseph and handed his gun to Dasier who removed it's ammunition and tossed it to one side, he stood eying the two of them with a look of hunger in his eyes, then he grinned at them ominously, Haiashurin's hand touched Josephs leg, he still appeared semi-conscious, Joseph looked at him for a moment and almost thought he saw him wink, Haiashurin's finger moved around for a moment and then settled in an upwards position, Joseph realised he still had the old pistol, on his belt, and that Haiashurin was pointing to it, he cautiously reached for it and slowly brought it forward just out of Dasier's site, he pointed the barrel in Dasier's direction without moving the it into view and fired Dasier raised bodies as a shield again, but nothing happened the guns shots were blanks
Dasier laughed and leapt towards Joseph landing with a crunch as his foot came down hard on Haiashurinâ€™s stomach "I see you may be awake after all" he smirked then kicked Haiashurin hard in the ribs, there was a loud crack, almost like something breaking and a wet stain appeared on Haiashurin's coat, Dasier kicked him again harder this time and there was a metallic clank as something fell from his coat and rolled across the ground, Haiashurin rolled onto his side covering his chest, Dasier knelt down close to him perhaps I will consume you next he whispered, don't worry it wont be so bad, you saw me with the previous meal you won't die, I'll just drink the life essence as it flows from you into the waters, and in a few months once you've recovered we can do all this again," he said leaning in closer "with enough of you to feed on, soon I will soon be eternal, and they will finally see my worth" a boast-full look spreading across his face, he pushed Haiashurin onto his back, "What's this your holding", he snarled, pulling open Haiashurin's coat, Joseph had crept over to Araleis who had re-awakened and was silently, kneeling where Dasier had left him, he seemed to be in a dream like state and Joseph was aware that if even if he persuaded Araleis into trying to help the him and others, Dasier would likely remember he was there and take control of him again, but maybe if he removed the circlet now, while Dasier was distracted he might be able to save Araleis, from Dasier's manipulations, he reached for the circlet and began to pull Dasier span his head to face Joseph, making Araleis grab Josephs wrists preventing him from removing it. Don't be predictable, he cackled, suddenly Araleis' expression went blank, immediately letting out a squeal Dasier turned his head back towards Haiashurin, feeling something wet clinging to his flesh, he looked down, many slender feelers, had softly burrowed their way into him, the worm from the transport, which had been released when Dasier's kick broke it's cylinder sprang into life and following it's instincts it climbed from Haiashurin's hands into Dasier's exposed throat pumping paralysing fluids into his body,
Dasier struggled to control the creature but it was too late he felt his extremities go numb and a writhing sensation swept through his body, his eyes struggled to stay open as he collapsed, in a heap beside Haiashurin.
Haiashurin reached towards him and using a piece of rag pulled with all the force he could muster, tearing the decretive looking crystal from Dasier's forehead, "There" he said "Now his 'followers' and anyone else he was controlling should be alright"
Joseph removed the circlet from Araleis head and placed it on the ground, Araleis looked around uncertain of where he was, Joseph helped him up and took him towards Haiashurin '46' removed the circlet from one of the creatures heads, it looked at him and at the other occupants of the room expectantly, as if waiting for something, '46' removed the circlet from a second creature, seeing this the first began to remove the circlets from around the heads of the other creatures in the room, some came to their senses on their own and removed their own circlets, many of them then walking out into the passageways surrounding the chamber, and disappearing from view, four of the creatures stayed looking solemnly at the altar, they moved closer too and removed a number of bodies from the surrounding water, many had shallow cuts on the back of their necks and on their throats, "precaps some of these people can be saved, if they're not already dead"
They squeezed the bodies into, '46's empty cage which still appeared to be functioning, one of the creatures motioned for them to follow and moved down one of the passages, while another dragged Dasier's body roughly behind it, They soon emerged back on top of the dune, one of the creatures dipped its head, seemingly as a sign of respect and returned to the caverns below an unarmed man in a bandit uniform stood at the bottom of the dune waving his hands to attract their attention the other creature carried Dasierâ€™s body to the bandit transport which had been left outside and placed it on the ground before returning below like the other creature, the man greeted Haiashurin and the others and opened the bandit transport's door in the centre of the floor there was a pile of bandit head cloths commonly worn by their members, Haiashurin picked one up and examined it, inside the material he could feel a round loop of metal, he tore the fabric and produced another one of Dasier's circlets, it seemed that he'd been in control of the bandits too.
"Come on!" the Bandit said jumping aboard the transport "I've been ordered to give you a ride back"
Haiashurin, Joseph, Araleis and '46' cautiously climbed onto the transport, once they were sure it was safe they loaded Dasier and the other bodies, The transport turned in the direction of the facility and moved off leaving a trail of dust in its wake. For now they were all blissfully unaware of the grave danger the world was truly in; That Dasier was just one lowly and neglected member of sinister group operating across the whole planet, planning to unleash something truly terrible upon its inhabitants.