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 In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand...

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Sadie
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PostSubject: In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand...   In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand... I_icon_minitimeThu 12 Apr 2012, 7:48 am

((On a completely random note, it appears that this thread is the official 321'st on this forum)).

Sandstorm. Shelter. Shielding the face from stinging sand. Safety. Security. Words running through her head as she lay face down in the sand, head resting on her folded arms. Just centimetres below the tip of her nose was sand. She had to breathe ever so softly, lest it stir up sand and whirl it into her nose and mouth. If she coughed... if she even gagged, she knew she'd reel back. The whirling storm would tear her face off.

Her neck and ears were covered by her backpack, her ankles buried deep in the sand. How long had she been lying there? Minutes? Hours? It was pitch black either way. The urge to scratch her nose was almost unbearable. Why not let the wind scratch your nose? It can scratch your skin off in the process... She gritted her teeth again, wincing as she felt sand grinding in between them.

Her bionic eye had been shut down to protect it in case the moving sand caused static electricity to build up. She needed that eye so much, without it she was helpless. The memories of that cruel day she had been forced to pull out her own eye to gain sympathy from the surgeon. It was probably devoured by a scavenger by now. No, she had to stop thinking about that quickly. Anything that could make her want to sit up had to be shut out of her mind, tighter than an air lock.

Instead, she managed to force her mind to begin wondering about more relaxing things. Things, that made her want to lie down. For once, she didn't regret imagining that she wasn't the only one lying down, in a bed looking out over the dunes. As long as it protected her from the cruel death waiting just above her backpack, it would be suitable.

The winds began to slow, but they hardly stopped. She panicked for a moment as she struggled to get up. So much sand had gathered on her, when she was leaning up, she was up to her shoulders in it. It took some work to free her lower body, by that time her organic was stinging again from the blowing sand. Shaking sand out of her cap and trying to ruffle as much out of her hair, she quickly strapped her sunglasses up and hauled her backpack on. Night was falling, and in the storm, a fire would be completely useless. She knew how to determine where underground structures were. The easy part was getting down into them. Harder, was fighting off whatever lived in them...

***************************************

"Sandstorm, fah! Never have I seen such a doozey." Lowering the telescope, he replaced it in the hole in his chest gorged by a passing Jeep, and turned to the motley group that made his raiding party of scavengers. "If this keeps up, we're heading back. No point starving to death chasing over one little girl." A few grumbles passed through the group. Most had distorted faces, one looked barely human. A couple were only just beginning to develop a dark tan.

"When you've gone without for a few years, maybe you'll think about that speakin of yours." Laughter followed, although not from the original speaker. Keeping a grim face, he grabbed his knife and keys, making his way over to the group truck.

"Come on lads. That's storm's headed towards us, I'm not waiting it out." Followed with more grumbling, and the occasional exchange of words, the makeshift shelter was quickly disassembled, the site covered over roughly with kicked sand. The few skeletons they had picked clean of meat were hauled into the truck as well. If they had one decent thing left in them, it was respect for the dead, and giving them a proper burial.

***************************************

Hammering the stake in, the rope hit the pile of sand that had formed on the long abandoned tunnel road, the regular click as Terri used a ratchet to lower herself down echoing in the empty chamber. It was long and straight, no doors, no breaks in the wall. It was partially safe at least. Still, she wasn't going to take chances.

Jumping down to the ground, she quickly assembled a metal stretcher, and used the ratchet to bring the rope back up, tightly securing the stretcher. Using a blanket for padding, she further secured the rope, and lay down on the suspended stretcher. The wind that blew into the hole slowly rocked the stretcher, gently letting her sleep. No danger for once it seemed...

_______________________________________________________________________________________
I'm 21 years old, I didn't come up with something better to put here.


Last edited by Jokie155 on Fri 13 Apr 2012, 6:46 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand...   In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand... I_icon_minitimeThu 12 Apr 2012, 7:52 pm

Mitanda.

She blinked.

The sun continued to murder, if slowly, as did the sands and the winds and the sky and the terrible, terrible aching.

Mitanda. Mitanda, Mitanda, Mitanda.

Now just what the hell was that supposed to mean?

She didn't think she'd ever known much but the sun and the sands and the winds and the sky and the terrible, terrible -

No. You've been there. Focus.

On Mitanda. Focus.

She remembered Mitanda. Mitanda was a city? It must be. Otherwise, why would she be out here, trying to get there?

One foot in front of the other. Don't think, go.

Blink.

January raised her waterskin to her mouth for perhaps the tenth time in as many minutes. It was as much a disappointment as the last attempt to conjure the sweet liquid from thin air - the last drop of water had been drunk yesterday morning. Now here she was, no oasis or structure or any landmark of any kind in sight, and all she had was Mitanda.

She was dressed in a light beige robe, as she commonly was, and had been wandering the unforgiving desert for at least three weeks now. The rival scavengers had left her own party with no supplies, but luckily January had the luck to stumble upon an ancient village, which had been unearthed by the wind and would have disappeared in less than a day. She had taken shelter in some sort of bunker stocked with provisions, and there she had remained until the sands shifted once more to allow her access to the outside world once more.

Blink.

One foot. Mitanda.

Now she remembered. Mitanda was the legend, the haven, the paradise. She would find new life there. All she had to do was keep moving. She would get there and be happy and there would be water and no sun and her mother and sibling would be there and they would be happy and there would be water...

Blink.

The waterskin fell from January's dried, chapped hands. She stumbled on against the sun, the winds, the sky, and the terrible, terrible aching.

Water. No, no water. There is no water. Mitanda. One foot. Other...

She blinked. Mitanda.

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PostSubject: Re: In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand...   In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand... I_icon_minitimeThu 12 Apr 2012, 11:46 pm

A tall figure stood atop a rusted and barely operable Sandtruck. It was enclosed in the frontcab, but the back was open and covered in a heavy canvas. The front and back treads half buried in sand. The figure, now shown to be of masculine yet not entirely of human build, wrapped his face, and other places of exposed flesh. Below him a smaller very similar looking figure sat pressed against the cab inside of the canvas tent. This one was also male, but disfigured in another way. He too was wrapped up to his eyes with linens and leather. Inside the cab, a figure sat, though this one could barely be seen from all of the sand stuck to the window.

Horan, the adult male scavenger/human stood upon the truck, gazing at the Sandstorm with a "looktube", as he put it, watching the tiny distant figures of another group of scavengers. They looked like they were discussing something, though it was impossible to tell why they were gathered. Not long afterward they departed in the opposite direction of the storm, perpendicular to the direction Horan had been traveling, they were about a two leagues (defined by him as: a half hour by sandtruck, or 20km away. The storm was about three leagues away, and towered over the landscape. It would be less than an hour before the storm hit and the truck needed to be somewhat sheltered by a sanddune.

He took a quick look in the other directions, looking for any good spots to sit this out. There, about half a league in a direction parallel to the sandstorm. He quickly collapsed the zoomtube and jumped off the cab of the truck. He went around to the rear where the smaller figure was sitting covered by the canvas. He slid the zoomtube into a bag and beckoned to the figure. "Come, sit forward with us." The boy got up readily and jumped off of the platform on the back of the truck. Horan walked to the driver side door of the cab and opened it, the boy jumped in first and sat next to the previously unseen figure. The figure now exposed was obviously a female, and looked more human than the others but was still obviously not so. Her course dark skin and long agile fingers were proof of that.

Horan pressed the button labeled start and the truck started its low whine of the engine. He pressed the controls forward and the truck lurched through the sand.

~~ 20 Minutes later

The boy stood atop the truck stretching out a beige tarp the color of the sand. Horan stood below hammering in large anchor spikes and tying them to the tarp. The female was out in the open dropping clay pots and burying them, holding a thin spool of wire that connected to each pot.

Once all of the mines were laid, and the wire covered with sand, along with the truck under the tarp. (all of which took about 10 minutes to do) the sand storm loomed over them, and would be on them momentarily. They all clambered under the tarp and into the canvas covered platform which was zipped up real tight and zipped again. Minutes later the storm shook the truck.
----

_______________________________________________________________________________________
For those that break our hearts; who hurt our self-esteem; who think nothing of us; who don't want to hurt us, but do anyways; For those we love, who don't know the meaning of the word...

Have a nice day.
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PostSubject: Re: In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand...   In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand... I_icon_minitimeFri 13 Apr 2012, 6:45 am

The night howled on. Once or twice, she felt as if something was crawling on her leg. But the feeling subsided as she twisted it, only to hear the sound of a few mounds of sand hit the ground. It was a relief to hear that sound either way. She had seen scavengers from afar, and even they took refuge in shelter. What kind of animals grew on the surface? Especially since the last pulsar wave had only been weeks ago.

She returned to sleeping, using a similar method to before, only out of desperation for re-cooperation, instead of survival. At least she could breathe slightly easier on her side, although she had to shuffle every so often to avoid the build up of sand. At least she wasn't lying on her stomach being slowly crushed.

"Not too far now. Just another day's long haul... and I'll be with you again..." She smiled again as her mind drifted off into the realms of sleep. The official story was that he had been shot down. She knew better. He was waiting there, for her, and her alone. He had said so, and she believed him. The one person she wouldn't kill on a whim. The autopsy had been slack, they had found the wrong body. He was still alive, waiting for her...

Unconsciously, she ignored the note she kept in her breast pocket, the one thing that she had told herself was keeping her sane. If anything, it was making her deluded. Why should she believe a note written to her by her parents? They were dead, long dead. But not him...

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PostSubject: Re: In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand...   In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand... I_icon_minitimeFri 13 Apr 2012, 8:49 pm

Perhaps they were minutes, perhaps they were hours, they might have even been days. Whatever they were, they brought January to the top of a rather tall sand dune.

She gazed out into the sky, which had lost its color. That was odd. Sky should not do that.

Mitanda...?

She did not think so. Mitanda was not big and golden-brown and all-obscuring and so noisy and windy and sandy and sandy. At least she did not think so.

Down. It's not Mitanda.

Instinct threw January to the ground. There she lay, huddled, for some time. It felt like only a moment later when her internal reason screamed at her that no, no, she was doing it wrong.

Move.

Painstakingly, January's robed hands and feet huddled forward. The noise grew louder, louder still, impossibly loud - the sheer volume of it, surrounding January, awoke in her some primal instinct - she wanted nothing more than to simply jump to her feet and scream. She closed her eyes, crying dry tears. The merciless wail would not let up.

Somehow, she suppressed the urge to run away from it all, for moving from this position would surely end in her death. Neither, however, could she lie still, as January had little time left on her existential clock - movement was perhaps the only thing that could keep the black miasma from creeping at the edges of her vision and swallowing her whole.

Her cloak seemed to keep out most of the sand, but it did not stop the wind. It pressed on her from all sides, making her feel as if the world had been turned upside down, as if she would be swept away in the dry tide if ever her fingers lost their grip.

And still she moved on, for sleep meant death.

Mitanda. I can't die yet. I will, I will, but I can't die yet.

Every movement, every sparse breath, every single second, was hell.

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PostSubject: Re: In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand...   In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand... I_icon_minitimeSat 14 Apr 2012, 6:46 pm

Horan sat in the truck, the wind whipping and roaring outside. His thoughts wandered. First, his mother, whom he had never met. He had seen pictures of her, one of twelve survivors of the disaster that destroyed her city. An attack from the scavengers, a population of scavengers that numbered twice the city. It was a massacre, and only sheer luck and mercy that any survived at all. Funny. The scavengers mercy, his fathers mercy, led to the death of... almost all of his people. Horan glanced at the two other scavengers, his half brother and half sister. It was only his mercy that kept them from the caves of insanity. Otherwise he would throw them to the wind outside, and watch their skin be torn off of their bodies. They would lay there, sore and raw, until a "sunwave" came again, and turned them into charred shriveled pieces of meat. But they had proved they were... mostly loyal to him, more loyal to each other though.

He opened a box in the floor of the platform and flicked on the switch, providing light to the small enclosed platform. Until then they had been sitting there, in the dark, silently. The platform was cluttered near the rear of the truck, several small crates carrying food, water, and weapon ammo. Near the cab, three beds had been made length wise, and a tablet sat in between the two siblings. They blinked, then crawled to their beds and slid into the folded fabric. Horan picked up the tablet and checked his bionic legs. They seemed fine, the synthetic skin was keeping the sand out. Satisfied, Horan scooted over to his bed and flipped the lights back off.

He fell asleep almost instantly.

_______________________________________________________________________________________
For those that break our hearts; who hurt our self-esteem; who think nothing of us; who don't want to hurt us, but do anyways; For those we love, who don't know the meaning of the word...

Have a nice day.
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PostSubject: Re: In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand...   In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand... I_icon_minitimeSat 14 Apr 2012, 7:47 pm

Morning. Sand everywhere. Tightly gripping the rope with her gloved hands, she used the ratchet once more to return to the surface. The rope and stretcher were too valuable to leave behind, even if Mitanda was only a day or two away. There was an innumerable amount of uses for those two items. Quickly pulling both up, she untangled the stretcher from the rope, looping it into a coil before removing the pins of the stretcher and packing it into her bag.

Switching on her bionic eye, she glanced around the ground around her. The density scanner had saved her life on more than one occasion, it had been the way she found the hole in the roof. Making her way around some of the weakest areas, she gratefully stepped onto the ridge of the sand dune, and continued down, not changing direction. She was right, just on the horizon was the faded outline of mountain ridges. Over the course of several thousand years, they had receded since the Burning. Mitanda lay in front of them.

She froze as a different sound reached her ear. Shifting sand, a regular flop. A flat tyre... The sound stopped. Jeep. Racing back to the sand dune, she struggled against the sand as it moved downward to prevent her from getting over the ridge. They had pulled over, which meant they'd search the area to make sure that it was safe. No-one changed their tyre without at least three armed guards.

"We've gotta find her. If the other corporations find out that we're here, they'll send everything our way. We won't hold out against odds like that on even grounds." She paused. 'Her'? As in herself? She smiled slightly. Fame wasn't something she expected, who else would they be searching for in a giant desert? Obviously her exile had been more publicised than she cared to think. But who were they? Mitanda... other corporations...

"You think we don't know that? We've got a city of seven thousand riding on this plan. But she's very dangerous, and if we don't do this properly we're toast. Now just get that tyre ready..." She heard more shuffling of sand. A block being placed, most likely for some sort of jack. Changes in pressure, they were crouching. Now was her chance. Getting her rifle ready, she turned around and stood up on the ridge.

"Just keep working on that tyre, I'd rather not get blood on the jeep." They continued working, albeit now tense. She heard some slight whispering, but didn't question it. There was probably thirty metres in between her and them, most of that was up a treacherous slope which she had just experienced herself. I told you she was dangerous... She gave a cocky smile and refocused her gaze on their caps. The sun was behind her, creating a large glare. T... E... H...

"I take it that you heard just about everything. I'm Michael, TEHRS Squad Leader." That was good enough. Carefully making her way down the slope, she lowered her rifle and crouched beside them.

"Sorry about that. You stopped rather suddenly, can't blame a girl for being spooked can you?" She stood up and gratefully placed her backpack in the boot, keeping her rifle beside her. The guard on watch went to help them change while she resumed her position on the hill. "So, you're wanting to hire me to defend a city from a constant barrage of attacks from enemy corporations. Usually... I'd just shoot your ear off. In this case, tell me more..."

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PostSubject: Re: In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand...   In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand... I_icon_minitimeSat 14 Apr 2012, 9:15 pm

Eventually, January came to the conclusion that the wind and sand were not quite as windy and sandy as before. She shuffled on for a few more seconds, or minutes or hours, just to be safe - her mind was really starting to give time the boot.

January raised her head to the mercy of the sun before realizing that there was in fact a sun. Had there been a moment ago, during the wind and sand? She did not think so. Yes, yes, it had been dark and now it wasn't.

Blink.

She had been staring at the sun for perhaps a tad too long. Quickly, January lifted a hand to her eyes before stumbling to her feet. She waited another span of time while her eyes regained their vision - the purple blots slowly faded away.

There was a truck. She peered closer. Yes, that was definitely a truck. Not Mitanda, a truck. January remembered trucks. She'd lived on one? Was that right? Yes. Yes it was. Maybe these were her friends, and they were to be reunited once more. They must not have seen her lying down in the no-sun windy sandy.

This particular truck was covered in a beige tarp. If there were figures near it, she couldn't see them - perhaps they were all inside.

Off in the distance was another truck, but she couldn't be sure. Perhaps they were all mirages. Perhaps they were all Mitanda.

Having nowhere else to go, January began limping slowly in the direction of the nearest truck. By now, she had lost most of the feeling in her feet - they had bled before, but the blood had long since dried and crusted over.

Mitanda.

She collapsed once, then rose to her feet and continued walking. It took her several moments to realize that she was now going in the wrong direction, and several more to spin about and relocate the truck. It did not seem that much closer, but this did not bother January very much - she had ceased to be in a hurry. She was going to die anyway, wasn't she? How could these be her friends when her friends had been...

...

What happened to them, anyway? She could not remember. Perhaps they'd found Mitanda and were waiting for her. Perhaps they were in the truck. She should get to the truck. One foot. Other. One foot. Other.

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PostSubject: Re: In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand...   In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand... I_icon_minitimeSat 14 Apr 2012, 10:50 pm

The sandstorm had stopped, but Horan still slept. An arm bumped his shoulder, and he stirred a little. "Wake." It was his half-sister. "Wake, Person outside." He sat up. What was she mumbling about? Finally the gravity of the situation struck him, "The mines!" The simple pot bound explosives were only powered by the small wire that ran to the truck. If the person got to close, the electrostatic detectors would go off and there would be a small crater where the person once was. He had to shut off the mines and stop the person while the mines were powering down all the way. He quickly unzipped the canvas and as he jump out and into the sand, flipped the switch to stop powering the mines.

He ducked under the tarp and looked around. "Where?" He did not see anyone. The boy was on the roof of the truck, and he pointed away from the sun. He turned and looked. Sure enough a female was... what was she doing? Spinning in circles while slowly walking... strangely. She was alone. How could a single female survive alone in the... His thoughts drifted to his mother... He had to stop her just long enough for the mines capacitors to power down. A half minute had passed since he pressed the button. The capacitor took 90 seconds to completely drain. A minute. SHe was about 30 seconds from where the mines where placed.

He began to desperately wave his arms and yell "Stop!" She reminded him of a picture of his mother... She was... No. He continued to yell, he had to stop the woman. He would not cause the death of an Innocent, not again. "Wait! Wait for a moment! Woman, stop or you will become the sand!"

_______________________________________________________________________________________
For those that break our hearts; who hurt our self-esteem; who think nothing of us; who don't want to hurt us, but do anyways; For those we love, who don't know the meaning of the word...

Have a nice day.
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PostSubject: Re: In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand...   In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand... I_icon_minitimeSat 14 Apr 2012, 11:45 pm

January stumbled again, but caught herself this time. She frowned - the wind appeared to be a bit louder today.

Look. Focus.

She stopped. She looked around. She saw a man. The man was by the truck.

Yes. Focus. What does he want?

This was a harder question. He was waving, shouting... Shouts. That's what the wind was, it was shouting. January took a tentative step forward, but this did not seem to help matter. So she simply stopped and stared, swaying gently back and forth. What is he saying?

She racked her brains. It had been so long since she'd last heard someone speak - or at least, it certainly felt like it. Perhaps she should try to say something in return. She reached up and lowered the cloth wrapped around her face just enough to get a word out...

However, her mouth did not feel like cooperating. All that rose from January's parched throat was a hoarse rasping, and she subsequently entered a lengthy fit of wheezing coughs.

Stop. He was saying stop, I should stop...

She fell on her knees until the coughs subsided, then rose up, re-covered her face, and eyed the man with hope.

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PostSubject: Re: In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand...   In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand... I_icon_minitimeSun 15 Apr 2012, 1:58 am

Whenever she did get a chance to ride a vehicle, which was quite rare, she often turned her bionic eye off to save the battery cell. With the constant updating of zoom and filtering, it was quite a drain. The surgeon had sealed off the area in her eye socket, so she could remove the eye if need be. With the appropriate modifications, it had the possibility of remote transmission.

But now was not one of those times to test. Sunglasses tied tightly under her ponytail, she watched as the mountain ridges gradually approached. Even with five in the jeep, and the sun continuing to beat down on the canvas roof, they were making good time. Fortunately one thing that hadn't been lost to lack of materials was heat efficient metal. Both the engine and the car itself kept a regular temperature, despite the glaring heat.

"We recently gained contact with Tendra. He says that he has a plan to bring the survivor's we've taken in to a much safer place. But, it's going to be a long trip, and we need a lot of vehicles. That sort of activity is bound to alert spies, so we're anticipating pre-emptive attacks. They say you're the best in the business, we could really use your help."

She listened attentively, choosing to ignore Michael obvious nervousness. Surely she wasn't that feared, or maybe he spent a bit too much time in the cool underground. "Sound's easy so far. Which is why I don't like it. By 'attacks', I assume you mean land assaults, they wouldn't haul that much stuff through the tunnels." Casually picking at a small nick in her knife, she looked out at the horizon again.

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PostSubject: Re: In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand...   In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand... I_icon_minitimeSun 15 Apr 2012, 2:01 am

The woman was ill. Hopefully it was nothing that required magic ick. He had no magic ick. But she had stopped, and just in time. In five or so yards she would have triggered atleast one of he mines. Horan shifted his foot through the sand, looking for the wire. Just a few more seconds and it would be safe.

His foot found a wire and he pulled at it. It shocked him, but not the same amount as it would have if it was fully charged. Just a few more seconds. He could feel the current dieing, dropping to the point where he could no longer feel it. "Just a few more..." He started the count down, 10... 9... He started forward, pulling the wire up watching where the small clay pots shifted the sand. 8... 7... 6... He moved carefully between each of the mines, staying a good distance from the static detectors.

5... 4... 3... He doubted the charge would be strong enough at this moment to set of the detector, but he knew that any movement could set off the powerful explosive inside. 2... 1...

He quickly rounded each of the mines and stood feet away from her. "It is safe now. But you are ill. Come with me." She looked at him with hope, in such a way that he had only once experienced before, on the day he brought down the towering HQ of Oppression. "You will be ok." A tear was in his eye as he extended his hand out to her, his large claws wrapped up in the linen cloth. The tear evaporated before anyone could notice, and the linen mask he wore would have all but blocked the tear entirely.

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PostSubject: Re: In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand...   In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand... I_icon_minitimeSun 15 Apr 2012, 3:18 am

January watched as the man did something strange to the sand. Perhaps he was dancing.

She blinked.

The man approached her and began to speak more - January had difficulty following the exact meaning of his speech, but the meaning was clear - he was a friend, after all. He held out his hand. January lifted her own, hesitant, swaying lightly back and forth. Inquisitively, she looked the man in the eyes.

She wasn't quite sure what to do next.

Perhaps it was the heat, or the weeks of solitude, or the near-death state, but something in January's brain found the situation quite funny. She bent over slightly and lowered her head as her sides shook with a rasping wheeze. Unused to this sort of stress, her stomach attempted to heave itself but could only produce a thick bile that caught in January's throat and was re-swallowed.

She regained her footing and tried as best she could to follow the man back to the truck. How nice this was.

Mitanda.

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PostSubject: Re: In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand...   In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand... I_icon_minitimeMon 16 Apr 2012, 2:41 am

Horan pulled her towards the truck as delicately and softly as he could. The walk was short, but with the woman coughing and being as wobbly as she was... It took about 2 minutes for them both to cross the quickly heating sands. By now his siblings had partially uncovered the truck, which was difficult as a pile of sand had gathered on the left side where the wind was blowing from. Kible(boy) and Sorah(girl) were both shoveling out the sand as well as they could, with the small shovels they were using it would take them a while.

Horan moved the woman against the side of the truck, and went into the back of the truck to retrieve the food and water that was left from the last town they stopped at. He returned with a flask of water, and a couple pieces of stale bread. He knew that if he gave her too much she would be ill. And with her current amount of "waterlack" vomiting would not be good. He held out the flask to her, wondering if she was in her right mind, or if she was suffering from "Brainfry". He looked her over, she was not sensible, her feet were bloody and blistered, and her eyes were glazed over like she was on the "flying mushrooms". He had eaten one of them before, of course he had known what it was. He noticed he had lowered his arm, so he quickly raised it again, "Drink this, it is water."

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PostSubject: Re: In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand...   In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand... I_icon_minitimeMon 16 Apr 2012, 10:05 pm

January let herself be dragged to the truck. She had little choice in the matter, anywho - once during the trip, she even blacked out for an instant before a painful voice at the back of her head refused to tolerate that sort of thing and jerked her away from sleep.

She barely acknowledged the younger boy and girl, who seemed to be caught up in their own dances, too.

Suddenly, the flask was in front of her. She gave it a sniff and found it unfamiliar. What was this stuff? Was it Mitanda? It must be, otherwise why would it smell so good and be so here.

January watched as the man lowered his hand. Her eyes remained rooted to the flask, and suddenly he spoke, raising it up again.

Drink. Water.

Where have I heard that before?

It was quite the puzzle. Sometime between now and before now, she distinctly remembered those words bouncing around her head. Perhaps they were Mitanda after all, and she would soon be saved.

January took a sip.

MITANDA.

Her eyes opened wide and her muscles locked for a brief instant as her brain tried and failed to comprehend the shocking amounts of pure life that was currently being ingested. How could something like this exist? And dear God, was that flask full of the stuff?

She scrabbled weakly for it, hoping for more.

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PostSubject: Re: In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand...   In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand... I_icon_minitimeTue 17 Apr 2012, 10:48 pm

"Alrighty, let's roll!" The fixed tire specifically designed for sand travel with very wide rims rested on the sand once more with a satisfying grind. Wasting no time, the group got up into the jeep, Terri and the only female sitting on the roof, a makeshift canvas built up around them. Michael took off with a slow start to avoid getting bogged down, but once they were onto the harder baked plains, the speed picked up.

The trip was rather silent. Apart from the occasional jolt, or the dark speck on the horizon followed by a sand cloud, no words left her mouth. When one of the men offered her a drink, she silently took it, nodding in acknowledgement. The other woman had a mechanical implant along her arm, vaguely similar to her own cranial attachment.

"Contact at 2 o'clock." She whipped up her rifle in an instant, gazing over the horizon. Her organic eye had only been repaired partly, so while she could perform many tasks with it alone, she couldn't spot the contact. Carefully adjusting her bionic eye to not update, she switched it on. A sand streaker. Light tanks with long range bullet weaponry. Raising her rifle up, she kept a steady aim on it, ready to shoot the first hatch that opened.

"Terri, it's alright. That's one of ours." Michael proceeded to relay radio messages to the tank, which circled around behind them to act as a defence in case they were being followed. She finally lowered her rifle, resuming her gazing at the mountain ranges. A small line on the horizon was forming. Mitanda...

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PostSubject: Re: In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand...   In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand... I_icon_minitimeWed 18 Apr 2012, 10:23 pm

"Be careful and do not drink too much." He watched as the woman drank the water, the delight on her face was... He turned away and looked into the rising sun covering his eyes with his hands. He turned back to yell at the boy, and have him climb back up to the top of the truck and take a look around. He did so, the jeep from before had driven away, and could faintly be seen as a small dot in the distance along with another that had not been previously seen. They looked like they were in a hurry, they must be going after something.

The boy relayed what he saw to Horan as he stood a few feet from the woman who was gazing at the flask as if she had discovered a god. Where was she from that she had not seen simple water before? In Hystrul they had always had... a relatively steady supply of it. Though it was often to contaminated to drink for the humans, he seemed to have very little trouble drinking the irradiated elixir. He thought upon this, and though his brother and sister (if they had heard his thoughts) would not have known but a few words. He had learned Terran from schools, they had learned Terran from the screams of the killed and the dealings with traders.

He chuckled in his throat, I doubt the woman knew what we were. If she looked upon us without the wrapping, and homely garb... He walked to the back of the truck and grabbed a wad of linen wrapping. Her feet were torn nearly to the bone from walking, no diseases were about anymore. At least, not on the surface. There was no danger of infection, only loss of blood and improper healing. Horan turned back around the corner the linen in hand. "Your feet, how do they feel?"

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For those that break our hearts; who hurt our self-esteem; who think nothing of us; who don't want to hurt us, but do anyways; For those we love, who don't know the meaning of the word...

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PostSubject: Re: In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand...   In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand... I_icon_minitimeThu 19 Apr 2012, 8:11 pm

It took January a few moments to be able to respond. After another ship, she took her rescuer's advice and turned to examine him.

She squinted.

He stood taller than a normal human, with a leaner body and limbs, and his eyes seemed almost animal. She gazed downwards to his clawed hands, possessing an unusual number of digits...

This was, without a doubt, a scavenger.

January dropped the canteen, allowing some of the precious fluid to trickle into the sand. She began backing up as her mind came to life for the first time in three weeks.

"Who- are you...?" She managed to stammer, voice still raspy but beginning to regain its smooth tone. January prepared herself for a fight, though if it occurred it was not one she would win. Suspiciously, she eyed the wrappings he'd fetched. Was he going to strangle her with them? Stuff them down her throat? Use them to- what did he say?

Her feet. Why was he worried about her feet? Wasn't he going to kill and eat her? That's what most scavengers did...

...wasn't it?

January attempted to regain her composure, straightening herself so as not to display her immense confusion and fear. If she was going to die, she might as well die with dignity, but if she wasn't, there was no need crouching like a coward. She cleared her throat.

"My feet are... fine. They are fine. Who are you...? Where are we?"

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PostSubject: Re: In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand...   In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand... I_icon_minitimeThu 19 Apr 2012, 8:51 pm

So, she had noticed. He bowed silently, old fashioned yes, but perhaps it could disttinguish him from the vile and putrid animals that were his Fathers kind. "I am Horan, I was born and raised in Hystrul. Currently... " he recalled the location in old latitude and longitude, "about 100 kilometers from the sacred city of Miranda." He reached down and picked up the canteen, "My word may not mean much to you at the moment, but I promise I will not harm you in any way." He chuckled softly, "nor am I going to eat you." He looked back at the woman's feet.

"Now that I have introduced myself, who are you? And why are you wandering this forsaken realm alone?" No doubt she would avoid the question, but this was matter of civility. If she refused his help, she would wander the sands for some time before reaching another wayward migrant. He could not force her to come with him no matter how...

"Leave if you wish. I nor anyone else will stop you."

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For those that break our hearts; who hurt our self-esteem; who think nothing of us; who don't want to hurt us, but do anyways; For those we love, who don't know the meaning of the word...

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PostSubject: Re: In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand...   In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand... I_icon_minitimeFri 20 Apr 2012, 6:26 pm

Taken a bit off-guard at the mention of Mitanda, January swallowed. The Scavengers she had been used to were brutish, uncivilized types, certainly not like the man in front of her. Perhaps he could be trusted.

But then, perhaps not. "My name is January. It is a pleasure to meet you, Horan. I was taken prisoner by a band of Scavengers when the glass-farms were raided. They left me for dead in the desert."

She curtsied lightly. "I am most grateful for your hospitality. Tell me, what is this sacred city? And would you mind bringing me with you? I am a good worker, and I have useful knowledge of plants..." She trailed off awkwardly, still a bit dazed.

Maybe in time, once she was sure this group could be trusted, she would reveal the truth of her origin. The man was staring at her as if he knew she was lying, anyway.

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PostSubject: Re: In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand...   In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand... I_icon_minitimeSat 21 Apr 2012, 12:32 am

A lie. Hmm, typical human. Then again, to trust a scavenger that brings a civilized front is likely the last thing someone would do. "Well January, you may come with us. The sacred city does not turn away those in need and neither will I." He looked back at her feet. "Those wounds need to be wrapped and you need rest before you should be doing any work. You may rest in the back of the truck, where I will have the boy watch over you. He is not as civil as me, but he will do as I say." Horan walked around the rear of the truck and whistled to Kible. He relayed his short and simple commands to him, making sure he understood them... well most of them. Basically, "Do not eat her, if she runs away do not stop her, and do not touch her." Kible nodded and gave Horan the shovel he had been using. The boy walked around the corner of the truck and sat down with out a word.

Horan reached into the back of the truck and pulled out one of the larger shovels and put away the tiny folding one. Then he proceeded to the front of the truck where he started scooping out the sand that was burying the front left tread of the truck. His sister was also scooping, the sand slowly sliding to her feet as she tossed the pile out of the way. She drank from her flask as she paused for a breath. This would take some time...

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For those that break our hearts; who hurt our self-esteem; who think nothing of us; who don't want to hurt us, but do anyways; For those we love, who don't know the meaning of the word...

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PostSubject: Re: In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand...   In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand... I_icon_minitimeSat 21 Apr 2012, 11:44 am

January nodded her thanks and, curtsying again, moved to the back of the truck. She sat down patiently and watched as the younger Scavenger bandaged her feet.

So she was actually going to make it to Mitanda, assuming the Scavengers were telling the truth. Amazing. The whole situation still felt a little surreal - perhaps January had died, or was near death, and this was all a hallucination? She tapped the bed of the truck with her roughened fingers - no, no, it all felt too real. She sighed and examined the horizon, squinting against the bright sand.

The young Scavenger had been working in silence for a minute or so now. Suddenly, it seemed quite silly that after weeks of solitude in the desert, January would now be among three other beings and yet not talking to them. "Hello... do you have a name?" she slowly vocalized. It was unlikely that the Scavenger spoke her as well as his brother (or at all), but she had to try.

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PostSubject: Re: In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand...   In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand... I_icon_minitimeSat 21 Apr 2012, 6:30 pm

Kible~


"Hello... you... name?" Was all he really understood. He smiled, showing his missing teeth. Scavengers of the equatorial region were of a much higher mutation class than lower scavengers, far larger amounts of mutagens from the radioactive bombardment. He was not exactly a king or anything but more or less a count. "Me Kible. You?" The boy was about the age of seven. His naivety was astounding, but that was to be expected.

Kible wrapped the woman's feet the rest of the way and looked up at her smiling. His teeth... were almost normal human teeth. But he was missing at least four teeth, about where the canines should be, he was growing the fangs of the royal blood. In a couple years he would be a ravenous killing machine. He couldn't wait for the day. All of this, going through his mind while he was talking to the woman with simple conversation. What sort of insane man was this you ask? He was no man, he was a young male scavenger bent on wreaking destruction.

The woman's feet were all wrapped up, and he was proud of his handiwork. He jumped up onto the back of the truck and walked to where the beds lay. "You sleep."

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For those that break our hearts; who hurt our self-esteem; who think nothing of us; who don't want to hurt us, but do anyways; For those we love, who don't know the meaning of the word...

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PostSubject: Re: In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand...   In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand... I_icon_minitimeSun 22 Apr 2012, 3:57 pm

January couldn't help but smile. Truth be told, he reminded her a little bit of her younger brother - but this was most likely because she could remember very little about her family. Indeed, casting her mind back to the time before the weeks of sand and sun, January could remember very little.

She knew she had run away to find Mitanda and had lived with some Scavengers for a time, and could still remember most of her botanical knowledge, but the actual details on her mother, sibling, and friends were very hazy. She quickly set her mind to other tasks to keep herself from getting frustrated; the memories would come, in time.

"Hello Kible. My name is January." She rubbed her newly-wrapped feet gently, feeling much better. "Thank you."

She should have been exhausted, but somehow, she couldn't bring herself to lie down. She simply had to see the paradise city for herself...

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PostSubject: Re: In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand...   In the Shadow of a Dying Star - Sand, Sand, Sand, Se... Sand... I_icon_minitimeFri 27 Apr 2012, 6:51 pm

Finished, Horan took both of the large shovels to the rear of the truck. The woman... January, had not lied down yet. He paid no mind, she would undoubtedly rest after they started moving for the next few days. The road was going to be mostly smooth once they were in sight of the grand city. He wondered what it looked like. He had always imagined it looked like a picture he had once seen in an ancient book. Beautiful glass domes resting in soft beds of sand. Bluish winds whipped around the domes and inside peaks of glowing crystals were stark against the deep blue of the backgtound.

He doubted this was the case though. Winds were not blue and crystals did not glow. He sighed as he climbed into the cab of the truck. He pressed the start button and it whined to its silent life. He had always wondered what powered this thing. The truck was one from Hystrul and did not run on the same thing scavenger vehicles did. All he knew was it had never died or not started. Though it did require water every so often it never had troubling problems. This machine absolutely confounded him, and as such he did not touch the buttons that looked menacing; like the button under the dash that was a circle with yellow triangles sticking out.

He pusshed one of the pedals forward, turning up the dune towards Mitanda. The crawled started off slow, but worked its way to its Max speed. Less than two days till Mitanda is close enough to touch.

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For those that break our hearts; who hurt our self-esteem; who think nothing of us; who don't want to hurt us, but do anyways; For those we love, who don't know the meaning of the word...

Have a nice day.
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