A story inspired ( or begun) by listening to:
"Pining for the moon...... Side by side in orbit."
Turion could see the moon through a small portal in his hiding space. Through half closed eyes, he could nearly see his mothers face turned up watching its path. The night sky was clear at the moment – but in this moment of serenity, it spelt danger. The catchers are due to fly over soon, searching for slaves.
Turion allowed past images to wash over him as he crouched, waiting. His mother had loved the moon, her pure white skin bathed in its radiance on the rare occasions she had dropped her veil. Distant memories of the citadel, of her dancing in the moonlight, her gown barely concealing her most private parts. Turion flushed; but not because he was ashamed of forbidden public view of any womans body, but for the realization that there were two worlds living side by side – in orbit; so different, so apart in every aspect and yet co-existing within a half day journey. The flush of embarrassment turned to anger and self blame. If he had never been born, his mother would be safe in the citadel. She sacrificed all to hide him, ending up with amongst the Lostfolk, far from any safety and comforts.
A blast of hot wind spraying sand into his eyes focused his mind on the mission. As the hairs on his withered arm prickled, the com unit he had patched into the catchers frequency crackled, heralding the squadrons eminent fly over. The bait spotted, two catchers arrived in their small transporters, the fine dust swirling outward from the engine boosters. Reaching out to the seemingly unsuspecting victims with their mechanical claws, the catchers sought out their slaves with meticulous agility. Aware of their impending capture, the victims ran screaming into the maze of wrecks, catchers in hot pursuit.
A flare shot up from deep within the hulking wrecks in the garbage dumps signaling the diversion. Ropes buried in the sand pulled upwards, forming a twisted network above and below the transporters. Confidently laughing at the simplicity of this failed trap, the catchers directed their transporters upwards dragging on ropes in an attempt to break free using the strength of their machines. Their assured attitude soon turned to panic as more ropes flung up and around their transporters. A mess of wire tension rope, nets and thick twined rope quickly captured the machines and their operators.
Hopelesly tangled, the catchers tore at the ropes with their soft hands in an attempt to break free. A dozen Lostfolk swarmed the transporters , their angry hands pulling at the catchers bodies, forcing them to the ground. Pent up frustration and grief, retribution for stolen loved ones fueled their limbs as they punched, kicked and pounded the catchers prone bodies, ripping their uniforms and flesh.
As one, they stood back, horrified at their actions; this had not been part of the plan. The bloodied shapes married now to the sand and dust. Turion hobbled past them, angry at their weakness.
“They have done far worse to our loved ones. Who knows what horrors the Taken have endured? Get the transporters untangled, we only have a few moments to get them operational before they will be noted as missing.”
Turions fierce energy matched his appearance. Disguised now as a Catcher. He stood amongst the Lost as their only glimmer of hope of finding any of the Taken or of gaining any closure to their disappearances. He had argued his place on the mission, for although his withered arm only held two fingers – they were strong and more nimble than others. He had compensated for his rolling gaint caused by a shortened leg and walked confidently, with a slight limp. His knowledge gathered of the catchers and trading with the scrappers gave him the best blue print of what was beyond the lost city and into the gates of the citadel. Turion knew that without him, anyonelse would be running blindly.
With one transporter free, he and the other volunteers took their places. They did not need to act terrified as they sat in the cages behind Turion. The other transporter would be stripped down parts sold to the scrappers and the remains recycled for the Villages use.
Having studied the coms and lax protocols the catchers undertook, Turion quickly contacted the squadron leader, cockily telling them that he had captured three young ones. He excused the other catcher telling them it had taken chase of a family through the scrap yard further south. Guttural laughter and jibes let Turion know that he had taken the right approach. It would give the Lostfolk time to hide the other transporter and dispose of the bodies, before they drifted into the sea of sand.
He had enough time to manage the rudimentaries of flight before the rendezvous with the rest of the catchers. Scores of hours of on the simulators he found on the hulks assisted, but nothing could replace the handling of actual flight as the transporter stumbled around the airspace in a drunken fashion. Speeding back to the compound, Turion could hear the frightened cries of the newly captured in other transporters; screaming in terror. Turion shut his ears from them. There was nothing he could do for them at this point as his goal was to free them all; find what had happened to his mother and if she still lived, to free her.