“Take us in close. Put the two crawlers next to each other and in the front. Curtis, keep us close to their backs so we can get in front if we get attacked. Once we hit the wall of the outpost we’ll dismount and find a way in.” Lazerus orders through the vox.
“Roger that, Brother Zuriel. There’s no wall. It is just a breaker rig. A great feat of Imperial engineering, six stories of incremental ore sifters, conveyors, grain sorters and jag bashers. There is also machine hangars and crew quarters, a small town within a factory machine. Bless the Emperors soul.” Horatio speaks reverently from the vox grill.
Outside the Dakar the great crawlers plod into a new formation, two in front, the other two bringing up the rear.
Zaphon speaks directly to Lazerus. “We haven’t been out here for so long. I have no idea what to expect.”
The crawlers crest over a high ochre dune. For a long moment, as the Dakar reaches the top of the dune, a jagged web of purple lightning rips over the horizon and illuminates the wastes beyond. Across the open wastes, clouds of oxide ash and caustic dust swirling around it’s pylons sits a massive black construction, Mine outpost Thirteen. Supported over the desert on great rockrete pillars, shielded conveyors stretching out from it like giant spiders legs, is an entire towns worth of buildings and factorum domes, all growing out of each other like a cancerous tumor. The entire shell of acid scorched hexaplate is dotted with hundreds of armored work lights and the whole monstrous thing looks like an evil mechanical hive for a brood of robotic wasps. The purple lightning slashes the sky, grounding on the tips of the rig spires and arcing across it’s super structure.
Curtis whistles through her teeth.
Kron curses under his breath.
“Brother! Now is not the time for blashpemy!” Hercutio scolds him.
Lucius is quiet and still. Working out the notions the scrap code lays before him. His constant attention seems to agitate the malignant code and it has begun to form complex patterns and lines of data. Lucius drifts deeper into the code work, his mental shielding slipping away as he delves into the unknowable. The jagged claws of the corrupt code work digging into his own mind as he digs into them.
Sila begins to pray.
Another flash of the crazed violet lightning and the clouds roll in, once again obscuring the sinister outpost from the eyes of the faithful.