Title: Fury’s Revenge
Josiah had purchased an Ultra-Terrain Hovercraft vehicle from a merchant that Ezra had recommended highly. The vehicle was saucer ship with ten seats and place for a large amount of cargo. The covering of the ship was smoked glass and although the occupants inside could see out, no one could see in. It glided across the desert floor silently with only the soft humming of the engines being heard. It was specifically built for travel across the rough terrain that existed on Helion Prime.
Vin sat in the pilot seat of the craft, with Chris sitting next to him in the co-pilot seat. Erza, Josiah and Nathan took the three seats behind them, leaving 5 seats empty. The cargo hold held things that they would need such as water, food, weapons and ammunition and of course, Ezra’s so-called valuables, which amounted to five large crates.
Chris and Vin had wanted Ezra to open the crates so that they could see what Ezra was hoarding, but the gambler/merchant denied them access and there was no way they could open it without the codes to the computerized locks and Ezra was not about to give the codes to them.
Chris and Vin were not about to give up though. They figured that sooner or later they would get Ezra to open the boxes.
They had been traveling for at least five hours now. The sun was setting and the passengers, except for the pilot was fast asleep.
As the UTH rode hovering over the desert floor, Chris was lulled to sleep by the soft hum of its engines. His head and stomach did not feel any better, but the lure of sleep that he needed was overpowering.
In his sleep, he did not notice how the bounty hunter next to him kept glancing at him as he dreamed. Vin saw that whatever Chris was dreaming about was not good and he loathed to wake the sleeping blond since he knew how really ill he was.
Chris was apt not to disclose this information to his companions since he thought he could handle it, as he always did. But Vin was more in tuned to the man’s feelings and emotions and he could not ignore the insight that he had into the man’s soul.
He knew the man was in pain, whether it was from the drug or his own anguish of the escape of the man that possibly was the murderer of his family, it made no difference. Chris was suffering greatly.
To Vin, it was a strange feeling to be able to tell what someone else was feeling and a stranger at that. He had never known anything like it since his mother and she was family. This man, this accused criminal and gunner was not something he would have any type of connection to, but it was there.
Chris was a strange one to Vin. His eyes, even stranger, but he had seen some strange things in his bounty hunting missions that he thought was more weirder than the sight of Chris’ green crystal eyes.
The man was an enigma, even to him and he had seen a lot in his young lifetime. He knew it would take some time to uncover the mystery that was the man and he figured they had plenty of time to do it with.
Vin had been piloting the vehicle now for six hours and he kept his eyes wary of any predators that might try to attack their vehicle.
They were only half way to the city now. And Vin knew they were deep into the desert of Helion Prime. The predators that existed in this part of the planet were numerous. The planet was still basically primordial and Vin was aware of the type of natural inhabited dangers there were that could kill a man in seconds.
As Vin was about to wake Chris for his shift, he felt something hit the vehicle with a sounding smack.
“What the hell?” exclaimed Chris who came immediately awake, pulling his laser from its holster.
Josiah, Nathan and Ezra also woke up and armed themselves as well.
Vin stopped the vehicle from moving and said, “It sounded like we hit somethin’ or rather somethin’ hit us.”
“Yes, but what? We are in the desert, which by the way happens to be the most miserable place on this godforsaken planet,” said Ezra.
“Could be a lot of things,” interjected Vin. “For one, it could be a sandmorg or a Sandman.”
“A sandman?” asked Ezra shocked. “I thought they were only a legend.”
“You thought wrong, Ez,” said Chris moving towards the hatch. “They are very much real.”
Sandmen were not really men. They were called so because they stood upright and had two hands, two legs and two feet. But they had no eyes and a large nose in the center of their so-called head. They hunted their prey with the huge orifice by smell, since they were cursed with no eyes.
The Sandmorg would have been the preferable antagonist as far as Ezra was concerned. At least it was basically an animal, something that looked like an old Earth wolf, but its outer body was made of a sandy type rock. They could basically camouflage themselves to look like part of the desert, luring their prey with their invisibility and then attacking it so ferociously that there was nothing left but pieces.
On the other hand, it was said that if it were a Sandman hunting you, you would wish you were torn to pieces. Sandmen did not have a physical need for food. They ate souls, or so it was told and that was worst than death itself. It was the one reason why they survived the original invasion of the Necromongers. They were the only things a Necromonger was afraid of, beside Riddick.
Ezra caught Chris’ green fiery eyes and knew the man was speaking from experience.
“So what do we do, Connell?” asked Nathan. He still had a hard time calling the man Chris. He had met him as Connell and the only other person that called him otherwise since he had met him was Ezra.
“Vin?” called Chris, his slivery green eyes glittering in the shadow light of the craft.
Vin nodded that he understood, although the others could have sworn that not a word was said between the two. He took the night vision goggles from the wall near the door and put them on. He then followed Chris over to the hatch cautiously. His gun ready, aimed at the hatch, waiting for Chris to open it.
Chris pushed a button on the panel and the door swooshed open. Sand blew into the ship, swirling dust clouds, almost blinding the others.
Chris looked out into the dark desert night, his eyes seeing on a different scale than human eyes. He could see into the darkness and what lay in it.
“What do you see?” came the voice of Ezra.
Chris held up his hand for silence as he scanned the open area in front of him. He then warily took a step outside of the craft, his eyes searching for any form of life in the inky blackness.
Having found nothing yet, he ventured further outside the ship, Vin following closely behind silently, keeping watch of their backs and at the same time closing the hatch from what may lay outside.
When the door closed behind Vin, the others rushed to the control board of the ship and Ezra turned on the viewing screen for the outside.
They watched as Chris and Vin moved further and further away from the ship. The two men moved in their search in such a synchronization of actions without words, that it brought surprise to the others’ faces. It seemed that each knew what the other was thinking and as such, their movements were in coordination.
Suddenly, Chris’ eyes caught something moving behind one of the sand dunes within his infrared vision. It was a slight shifting of light and heat and Chris knew it was a living thing. Animal, human or otherwise, he did not know.
He turned to Vin to signal him to approach the sand dune from the other side. Vin nodded and moved silently towards the right side of the dune, while Chris started moving towards the left.
When they were almost around the dune, Chris signaled for Vin to wait. Vin knew what Chris was going to do. He was going to surprise whatever was behind the dune. Chris hand went into the air with three of his fingers showing. Slowly in a rhythmic beat, each finger closed. Vin knew on the third and last count, he and Chris would both attack.
As the third finger went down, Vin ran quickly behind the boulder, with Chris running from the other side. What they found astonished both men.
Prepared to kill whatever lay behind the boulder, they both had their guns ready and primed to fire, but upon seeing the form huddled their behind the dune, both Chris and Vin lowered their weapons.
What they found was a young adolescent who looked half starved to death. His young face was badly sunburned. From what Chris could see between the torn clothing, were cuts and bruises that looked recent. His brown eyes looked at Chris and he tried to burrow himself within the sand dune.
Vin walked towards him cautiously. “Hey, we ain’t gon’na hurt ya.”
The young man looked suspiciously at Vin. He then looked at Chris and Chris could see the fear in his face.
“Then….Then what about him?” asked the young man, pointing directly at Chris.
“What about ‘im?” asked Vin.
“His eyes are glowing like the Vicar,” said the young man.
Vin looked at Chris and smiled. “Yeah, they do. But they ain’t red.”
The young man lifted his head slightly and looked at Chris again. The other man was right. They were not red, but a crystal-like green.
“What’s your name, boy?” asked Chris hurriedly. He knew the longer they stayed outside the risks would increase.
“My name’s JD. JD Dunne.”
“Well, my name is Vin Tanner and this is Chris Larabee.”
“Larabee. Hey, that’s just like the Lord Marshal’s last name,” said JD.
“So what are you doing out here all alone?” asked Chris, ignoring his comment.
“I was part of a caravan heading for New Mecca. That was until we were…we were attacked.”
“By who?” asked Vin.
“By Sandmen. They came out of nowhere and the next minute I know we’re surrounded. They took everyone except me. I escaped.”
“You escaped Sandmen?” came Vin’s surprised question.
“Yeah. We were trying to run when I got cut off from the others. Didn’t see anyone, so I kept runnnin’. That is until I came here. I heard ya vehicle, so I threw a rock at it, hoping that maybe you were humans and prayin’ that you weren’t the Vicar.”
“How do you know so much about the Vicar?” asked Vin.
“Long story,” was all that JD replied.
Chris looked at Vin and nodded. Vin knew Chris wanted them inside the ship fast and ready to move on.
“Come on, Kid. We can give ya a lift to New Mecca and ya can tell us that long story. Let’s go.”
“Really?” said JD standing up from his kneeling position behind the dune.
“Yeah,” said Vin leading the young man towards their craft.
Chris followed behind them, still silent in his thoughts about their new passenger.