WARNING! The following page contains spoilers for the lore and story of Worlds Adrift
I don't know how long it had been going on, by then. But when I first spotted the small huddle of workers at the southwest corner of the Darat camp, at the blind spot where the bending palms obscure a kink in the fence, I froze.
For some reason I didn't sound the alarm. I lust watched. I waited to see who, or what was drawing them here. I recognised the shrivelled pot-bellied Tepes. one of the Goners, and some others. I could have sworn they were talking with someone beyond the fence.
A colleague appeared from the elevator to relieve me of duty. I knew if he saw what I saw, he'd report me. I distracted him with card talk, and when I next snuck a glance at the kink in the tense. I saw that the Bandinians had returned to the exercise yard
I went down to the mess room, and picked up a hot vittles, and guilty bowl of corn. Guilty, because every time I lifted the spoon to my mouth, I thought how much more others needed it. Those slaves at the fence. That's probably what they were doing there, but who was giving them food?
I went to command, and I said, "Commander, I really like the view from South Tower, I'd like to continue duty there, if possible. The bracing desert wind brings me closer to god."
He grunted. I had invoked an old promise that barely held any sway these days.
"If you must," he said, "speak to the dutyman."
As I closed the door to his office, I heard the radio warble to life, and his feet prop up on a chair.
Section 3 MISSING
It was early morning, a good hour before dawn. I yawned. It had been a dull night's watch. As always I'd kept my eyes on the kink in the fence, waiting for something.
Then I saw him. Pale Fox. An apparition catching the lens of my binoculars. The outline of a being, hunched, his face strangely crooked.
The figure was so still, that after some time I began to doubt if it was anything more than moonshadou. But as the first ray of sunlight arced over the land, the grainy figure stood prouder against the sand, I could see his feral mask.
Suddenly he twitched, and for a few moments stared straight at me. Then he shot away into the scrubland.
After that he grew balder. He came to the fence at Quiet times, when he knee there was no-one else on duty but me.
We observed one another curiously. He must have wondered what I'd let him get away with, how far he‘d be allowed to go before I betrayed him.
I noticed he had stopped meeting the slaves to give them food, and it wasn't hard to guess he had something more ambitious planned.
One night, he went north of the kink in the fence to another spot, not far from the western gate. As he slipped between the perimeter fence and theback of the storehouse, he turned been to look at me. I pointed to my eyes, than towards the western watchtower, to let him know they would be watching. Then I sliced under my neck to imply it would be dangerous.
He paused, nodded, and darted on.
I was complicit in it now. I was a traitor.
Section 6 MISSING
I knew it would begin not long after the start of my
shift. There were more than usual in the exercise yard as I looked out across the camp, and to the left where the kink in the fence was, Pale fox stood stock still. I felt
just as nervous as him.
He locked to me, and gave me a countdown on one hand. At zero, I called the inspector at Nest Gate.
"Oh hello Inspector, it's South Gate watchtower here."
“The commander wants to see you in his office.”
"Really? What, now?“
"Yes, he said right away. We are god.“
I watched him step out of the booth and wander back along the line to West gate, he put his angel into the machine, and the barrier rose. He pointed his gun at the nearby slaves, who backed away. Then the gate lowered behind him. For a moment I worried he could shortcut through the back section where Pale Fox was waiting. but he took the longer, more established route.
The escapees wouldn't have long.
At my signal, Pale Fox dashed off into the scrub, then I saw him return at speed through the tunnel to the booth, where he whipped a spare angel key and jammed it into the gate machine.
He looked at me again.
"West Tower, this is South Tower. The commander is on his way over. He wants those surveys."
"Thanks South Tower."
I swung my binoculars to West Tower. The guard was in the elevator, heading to the archive. I raised and lowered my arm quickly. Pale Fox began ushering the Bandinians out through the gap between he fence and the storehouse. They only had to run across open ground for a few feet before they got to the gate.
"Hey, who are you signalling to?" shouted the inspector, who was standing outside the commander's office. When I didn't reply, he ran inside. I waved frantically at Pale Fox, and he drove the slaves out at greater speed.
"Sound the alarm!" cried the commander, putting his mantle over his shoulders, and looking up to my tower in disgust.
Section 9 MISSING