The Desert Asteroid of Umajo

OOC - Apologies for any mis-tagging. If you'd rather be elsewhere just ignore the tag. I figured the engineers would be here maintaining mining kit or something?

The prisoners were herded like sheep, the robots intercepting and guiding the inmates to their correct, designated locations. Most of them seemed to know where to go, but the remaining Dwarfers were harried towards a large shuttle-bay. The room was full of people, all looking as, angry, scared, confused and venomous as the Dwarfers. Obviously these were the other newer intake prisoners.

"Form an orderly line. Board the shuttles quickly." Barked one of the mecha. Jade heard Cass choke back an angry sob. Until that moment, it hadn't occurred to her that some of the larger mecha vaguely resembled her own monstrous creations. Jade placed a hand on Cass shoulder, attempting to reassure the woman.

"Bite me!" Someone yelled from further down the line. A sandy haired man in his twenties stepped out of the queue that had formed and spat at one of the robots.

"This can be arranged." It said, in it's flat monotone voice. The shock collar sent a violent jolt through the man. He collapsed to the floor, spasming uncontrollably, unable to scream the force was so strong. It was easy to notice the tenth light flicking on as the high pitched electric hum died away.

"Get up. Re-join the line." A second mecha ordered, booting the man in the chest. He spasmed again, his muscles contorting in the afterglow of utter agony.

"Last chance." The first growled.

"Alright." The man weakly crawled to his feet. Those around him too scared to help him up and he stumbled back into the line near 'Phil' and Cass.

"Board the shuttles." A third mecha bodily inserted itself into the line, diverting the stream of people to another space craft.

"Here. Take this." The sandy haired man said shoving an item to the prisoner in front of him. "I can't take any more, it still needs more charging." A small metal looking object passed hands out of the guards view. The two men proceeded to whisper out of earshot, Katrina shot a glance towards Cass. The woman just shrugged, utterly broken and unable to work out what the device was.


The shuttles headed out towards the largest of the asteroids in their droves. A monumental beast that was almost a planet in size dominated the view. It looked golden from a distance, clouds swirled and danced in the atmosphere. As they drew closer, it was clearer that they weren't clouds but sandstorms ripping through the blasted ground and rocky terrain creating artful dunes and drifts that shifted and crept in an ominous twisting landscape. A few hardy cacti and succulent plants clung to life in the sheltered places, stringy, tough grasses grew in clumps. Rocks poked up in rounded boulder like clusters, constantly worn away by the sandpaper effect. All throughout, sand moved, shifted and distorted the landscape.

The shuttles flew low over the landscape, and the huge base came into view. A massive spoked metal structure that resisted the blasting sands thanks to a force field domed around the enormous building. Sand piled up against the edges, drifting into heaps miles high before the wind would change and a new drift would blossom upwards. After what was clearly a demonstration of the facility from the air, the craft joined the holding pattern and swung through the force field in a carefully timed gap, descending to one of the spokes do dock.


The hubbub in the room cut out quickly as a grizzled man walked onto a hastily constructed platform in the landing bay, the viewing window behind him showing a beautiful vista of the dunes behind. His face was scarred, as if by a huge beast, his hair was buzz cut short and a fierce platinum blonde-grey. A little name badge on the prison fatigues read 'Quarry'.

"You're not in Kansas anymore. Ladies and Gentlemen, you're on Umajo. If there is a hell, you might want to go there for some R&R. We operate... We live... At a constant threat condition yellow. If you wish to survive, you need a strong mental attitude, you need to follow procedure..."

"Gee, he's just a bundle of laughs isn't he." Jade whispered to Katrina.

"Tell me about it. Reminds me of that guy from that old film Full Metal Jacket." She whispered back.

"You will be assigned tasks each day. You will be made aware of your assignment on the shuttle flight over each day. For today only, you will be in training. You will learn which end of the mining laser not to stand at. If any of you idiots can handle that then you will learn how to process the ore. They are simple jobs, do them well and you will have marks removed. Do them badly and we feed you to the sandstorms. Do you understand." There was a chorus of positive sounding agreements. Quarry signalled to the mecha and they began to shepherd the people towards their next location.


Given that most of them had worked on a mining ship, you'd expect the Dwarfers to be at least partially adequate in handling mining equipment. That said, the only experience they had was in operating the giant mostly automated machines when they needed to fix Old Blue up a bit. Even then, that was mostly under the direction of Cass, and no one seemed to want to point that out right now. After all, the woman was upset, angry, unstable and currently in possession of a handheld mining laser that could cut granite with ease.

By now the small team of newbies had got used to the occasional booming echo of mining explosions and the dull vibrations through the metal deck plating. So it was with a unanimous look they all turned as the booming echo of an explosion was also joined by the ear wrenching screams of metal twisting in distorted agony.

The building fell silent.

"Warning. Force field deactivation in progress. Multiple external breaches detected. Caution advised, multiple foreign organisms detected within facility." Claxons blared and red lights flashed on the walls. Monitors displaying various affected areas of the facility. The force field was flickering, in imminent danger of falling. There were holes in the external walls of the metal exterior. Deep down in the mine shafts cave ins revealed expansive cavernous areas beyond. Things began to move in the shadows. Things that resembled everything man feared, with glowing eyes and jellylike floating bodies, things that resembled everything that made predators dangerous with claws, teeth, horns and fur everywhere.

Then the lights went out and the screaming started.



What was the metal box passed between the prisoners before the shuttle ride? Do we ever find out?

What caused the explosion? Was it the box they had? Can the box save us?

Do we encounter any creatures? What do the mecha do if we start usin g the mining lasers as offensive weapons?

Does the facility begin evacuation procedures?

Does the force field go down? If so does the 'sand' start getting in?

Locke: Hope that was ok? It got a bit lengthy so I trimmed it down a tad towards the end.

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