“That is acceptable. We appreciate your assistance.” Lazerus says as he dons his own suit.
“Curtis, button up and get us moving. ” Lazerus orders.
The team climbs into the Dakar, accompanied by Zaphon and Hercutio. Hercutio stows his overly bulky customized metlagun in the weapons rack near the hatch.
Lucius continues his communion with his own spiraling streams of thought.
Curtis slips into the driver’s seat and engages the engines. She turns to Lucius and speaks softly, “Thanks you, Priest of the machine.”
Zaphon moves in close to Curtis and begins giving her instructions on the location of the vehicle shed and the best way to reach it.
The Dakar growls and rolls out of the hangar. The storm outside is raging acidic wind and abrading grit scour the paint from the Dakar’s hull plates.
Curtis deftly pilots the big transport through the total visual black out using only the radar and the words of Zaphon.
The doors of the vehicle shed appear out of the hissing gloom only a meter or two in front of the windscreen. Curtis halts the machine.
Zaphon requests the vox mic and Curtis obliges.
“Motor store one. This is Zaphod, please respond. We are at the gate. Please respond.”
The vox crackles with storm born static and then the voice of Horatio replies, “Zaphon, all is well, we are loading now. Please stand by.”
“Roger that, Horatio.”
Moments pass as the storm continues. Rocking the Dakar gently like a babe in arms.
A figure walks out of the storm and into the beams of the Dakar stab light. Man shaped it is a brunt skeleton cluttered with rusted bionics, flesh stripped away by the caustic winds. It’s arms are gone and it stumbles against the wind and bumps into the Dakar. Biting at the hull plates with broken teeth, it’s eyes glowing with a sickly green light.
Suddenly the great gate of the Imperial Motor Store splits down the middle in a ten meter tall line, and begins to rumble open. Bright white light, like the Emperor’s glory shine out of the ever widening seam.
AS the door opens four massive ore crawlers, five meters tall and mounted on a dozen, meter thick aracnoid legs. The heavy industrial vehicle tower over the Dakar. Each has a crew cabin large enough for eight miners in full gear. The cabins are forward mounted and lit up from inside, the crew visible making preparations inside. The body of each crawler is made up of three segments, each a covered ore hopper. Hazard light begin to flash along the sides of the vehicles and with great lethargic steps the massive machines move forward out of the motor store like mammoth insects waking from ages long slumber.
Curtis reverses the Dakar out of the way of the advancing crawlers. The skeletal wretch tips forward as the Dakar hull pulls away. It lays writhing in the orange sand until the giant blunt tip of a crawler legs comes down, punching it into the dust.
The four great crawlers move off to the northeast, yellow hazards flashing, pistoning legs throwing up clouds of toxic ash. Curtis does her thing and the Dakar falls in behind them.