With a faint blue haze along the horizon a large convoy approaches a cave tucked away in the forests of the Magic Zone several miles to the North of a burning town known as Blights Village. As many of the motorcycles and hoverbikes pull away from the convoy only two vehicles remain to enter into flame lit maw of the cave. Containing dozens of people a large truck backs up to an unloading bay and several men dressed in black rubber begin to drag the unconscious masses deeper into the cave. Personnel attached to the convoy via the other vehicle depart as a large two wheeled contraption is pulled from the remaining truck.
“Hey! Did you hear Zeeb?” A spry young man dressed in leather and buckles pokes at the back of a thin man who is naked from the waist up.
“Oh, Spike…Did I hear what, pup?” The man known as Zeeb replies, walking slowly further into the cave. His thin, white body ripples with barely controlled muscle spasms as if his whole being was forced to remain in place rather than bursting outward. Zeebs head is pierced by several small cylinders and his eyes dart in every direction like a man living in slow motion would take in the world.
“They totally bought the illusion and everything!” Spike says excitedly as he points to the unloading bay, then to a small medallion which he presses, appearing to increase in size and take on a very Juicer-like build.
“Really? I suppose since I have never actually led the Road Raiders, who ever claimed to be me would appear to be me. Interesting isn’t it, pup?” Zeeb holds out his hands, bright red blood dripping from the cup formed as he holds a heart out for Spike to inspect.
“Zeeb…Not again.” Spike lowers his head in resignation as he waves to guards to open the gates leading into the well lit concrete base hidden in the cave, and presses the medallion again, returning to his original form.
“What, do you mean I have done this before?” Zeeb asks, a look of genuine horror graces his chiseled face.
“Of course you have Zeeb, and the Sleep Gun Raith gave me worked perfectly too.” Spike point to the red gun on his right hip.
“Good. Raith has been in constant contact with Lord Huegar in order to supply him with information. What did I say the last time, pup?” Zeeb indicates the heart by moving it closer. As he does so crimson splashes the nearly white tile of the inner base.
Spike and Zeeb exchange different viewpoint of the squishy-ness of hearts, the various textures, and generally vile details before arriving at a large metal door with the name “Raith” spelled out in American.
Opening the door the imposing figure of Raith appears, various switches, wires, and gems dangle from his leather work apron.
“Spike,” Raith says with a nod in the young man’s direction, his voice low and markedly sinister, “Zeeb, why do you have a human heart in your hands?”
“Oh, Raith, the man to whom this squishy heart belongs decided that I couldn’t have it and tried to hit me, so I took it…Any word from Lord Huegar, pup?” Zeeb’s expression flashes from confusion and concern, to warm and inquisitive as the subject changes.
“Yes, he says that there are few sacrifices remaining before the ceremony can begin, we are to collect our harvest and purify the results before meeting up with him. Speaking of, what was today’s haul, Spike?” Raith’s turns his large, muscular body and with a wave of his hand he summons his fellows into his room to sit on one of the many chairs within.
“Total captured, forty-eight, total dead in Blights Village, 120 or so. Among those captured are two magic users, a young man and a boy, one psychic and one sensitive, two or three militia members, and a large cyborg among others. No one younger than 14, no one older than 40.” Spike replies in a calm, measured voice.
“Good, I guess the Sleep pistol worked well then?” Raith smiles when the red weapon is exposed again.
“Like a charm, but this might interest you more.” Spike tosses an ordinary looking gun to Raith, who begins to examine it carefully.
“Amazing, fear…or horror, did any of you men get hit with this?” Raith asks as Zeeb begins to gnaw on the rapidly cooling heart.
“No, actually someone pointed it at themselves and nearly drove half a dozen of my men away.” Spike replies before reaching over and taking the heart away from Zeeb.
“Very interesting. If the individual who constructed this is in the lot you brought back, and he survives, I might wish to have a word with him. Anyway, you two go and prepare the next batch for extraction, we need to secure these last shipments to Lord Huegar as soon as possible.”