Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Laufey's Treasure - Chapter 18

Following the construct map proved neither difficult nor taxing, and in the journey there, Laufey perceived that those who were otherwise obstinate, unwilling to aid him before, were now more generous in doing so, Geira especially. The shadow man, whatever creature he was, or was not, followed them day by day to observe them. Laufey discovered him one morning walking away into the tree line, his head disappearing just as Laufey turned his head towards it after emerging from his tent.

The compound, as it appeared on his map, still stood in Gaun. The building's exterior, though neglected, was intact and as he suspected it to be. Kaun and his brothers, their scouts, were the first to find it, not that finding it was difficult of course. The structure stood on the head of a great delta that flowed into the fjord. Given it's size and presence at the head of the river, he wondered to himself why the building had not attracted the attention of others.

What secrets did it hold?

After the party exited a long, cavernous pass which ran adjacent to the river, it became apparent to Laufey why this was the case. It was populated with people. He looked at the map, then up at the compound, shaking his head.

"No..." he lamented. "This is all wrong. This isn't right." Laufey removed his binoculars from his head and passed them to Geira. Scanning the compound, he heard her grunt something angrily under her breath.

"When we get back," she began in a slow, calm voice, "I am going to find the man who sold you that map, and kill him."

"Get in line," Ragna growled. "What the hell are we supposed to do now? Do people already know what is inside?"

Laufey shrugged.

"I can't answer that," he admitted. "That, right now, doesn't matter. But if Amma is going to live, we are going in there. Grab your gear."

And they did, and soon had found their way nearly to the front, along a large road that had worn away in the past years, large parts of it washed out from past rains. The compound seemed impervious to weather on the other hand, it's foundation built of reinforced masonry and it's walls made of titanium.

Each of them perched themselves up behind a bunker in the sand to peek their heads over the hill. The figures walked routinely, some stopping to chat with one another. Another took out tobacco and rolled up a cigarette, a detail that struck Laufey as odd, for tobacco was hardly common this day an age.

"There's a lot of people up there," Kaun grumbled. "How do we get in?"

"Not a question of how, but where, don't you think?" Keli added.

"Look at their guns..." Kaupi murmured, ignoring their qualms.

"That's the main door," Laufey confirmed, pointing to where three guards stood, pacing the airlock in suspicion. "We have to get in through there."

"And how to we manage that?" Geira said. "Each one of those guards are armed."

"I don't know," Laufey admitted, letting his head fall into his hands. "I'm still trying to figure that out. Jesus..."

"Hey Laufey," he heard behind him.

Turning around, Laufey saw Anke standing next to a soldier, his arm sticking through the man's belly as the energy around it shimmered and distorted. The guard noticed nothing, looking around causally, as if they weren't even there.

"What does this mean?"

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