The community we found at Calton's Bluff was a wretched affair. All without exception were scrawny and malnourished, with a feral glint that our military training told us to be wary of.
Nobody there was more than twenty-five years old; meaning all the inhabitants there had been a child when the Dust invaded Illaria. When we asked where the adults were, they showed us a make shift graveyard full of pitiful mounds with sticks as markers. They said that many of the adults had died in the first few years, either succumbing to the local wild life or changing into monsters themselves.
We also saw some recently dug graves, and they were marked with toys and scribbled notes. These were the children that been born and raised more recently, and who had in some cases become warped at an early age.
We didn't have much food to spare, but it was good quality and they fell upon it like flies. They were eager for stories from the outside world and sat around us expectantly as we recounted our adventures over the years. Despite their age, it was clear that they had a good knowledge of the area and a keen sense of survival.
We asked them more about the starport, and learned that there were small craft here. None however were capable of interstellar travel, but what was there might give us a chance to explore the planet further.
Our conversation moved to discuss the ramparts carved into the ground, which appeared to protect the bluff from any kind of mass attack. A few of the older children shook their heads, but the younger ones pointed their fingers towards the sky and shouted gleefully. "The White Witches made them!" They didn't recognise the name Lazloi, so we asked when they had last seen the White Witches. It seemed that it was when we witnessed their attack on the main starport some ten years ago and had not been seen since.
We returned to our vehicles to sleep overnight, and the next day opened a small field hospital to check the health of the group. While that was happening, the senior staff in our group and myself spoke to the leaders and started the negotiations to bring them into our little network of villages. It was an easy trade; our food and expertise in return for access to the starport.
Emerging from the tent we were met by a small band of children jumping around and pointing excitedly towards the sky. Over the dusty town behind the ramparts was the glistening blue bulk of a Lazloi craft, a beautiful and graceful vehicle whose detailed scrollwork flashed in the sun.
It settled slowly to the ground grinding the brickwork below it to dust. For a while nothing happened and nobody dared to approach. It was only after some twenty minutes that a side door opened, and out stepped a white haired figure dressed in white flowing clothes. The younger children gasped in awe, and even the young adults were visibly moved. As the shimmering form approached, I could only feel anger at what this arrogant race had done to us. While the children backed away as the Lazloi came closer, I stood my ground until the Lazloi and I were only ten metres apart.
"I am Alisandra, daughter of Hybritta, daughter of Kyraenia," said the Lazloi in a voice filled with musical tones. "I am here because I need your help."
Her words touched the nerve that was gnawing inside me, so I pulled out a gun and pointed it straight at her. "You can go to hell, all of you!"
There was a sharp snap like a bullet being fired, and instantly the Lazloi was protected by some kind of swirling barrier. She held up her hands and smirked at me with a sidelong glance. "We should talk", she said simply.
-- Mission log of Lieutenant Ara Mercator, Recon Group
-- Mission Clock: Unknown
V4 figure in Space Dweller outfit with Nabia Hair. SP3 figure with FAS-X outfit and Chico Hair
Space craft is an original model created in Cinema 4D R12.
Scene assembly and final rendering in Vue 8 Complete. Post processed in Photoshop CS2