8. Night of the Worms

royal william yard abandoned building 2

Catch up on last week here

What’s Happened So Far:
Arriving on the planet Malistoni Minor, in the city of Dapryt, famous for it’s trade; Lewis, James and Shannon enjoy a meal in one of the native restaurants. After trying (and sometimes spitting out) some of local delicacies, they head out for a bit of exploration. Witnessing some criminals being led into what appears to be an abandoned cargo storage, Shannon sneaks in behind them to investigate. Despite warning her not to, James and Lewis reluctantly follow to get her out. When trying to escape however, they are locked in…

Music for this Extract:


Extract:
All three of them squinted as a harsh white light glared at them through a torch lens. Behind the torches stood five confused and unimpressed faces, obscured by the contrasts in lighting. The room was dark; dark, damp, and gloomy. Wooden crates were piled up high absolutely everywhere, lazing around like it was a retirement home for forgotten, useless boxes. One of the women stepped forward, the one in the middle, stern-faced with a bob-like structure to her hair. She had an outfit on that resembled a macho astronaut, they all did. James could feel his heartbeat speeding up as she approached. She stopped.
“Who are you?” she asked, strongly confused and almost in disgust.
Confused himself as to receiving such an unfamiliar and unexpected welcome, Lewis had a quick half-look behind him to check he wouldn’t be interrupting anyone about to speak, “Well, I’m Lewis,” he said, putting a spread out hand to his chest, “this is James, and this is Shannon. Sorry, we don’t mean to come across as rude here, it’s just we’re not really used to such an unthreatening welcome,” he laughed to himself.
“Why are you here?” another girl asked, as if they were absolute idiots.
“We were having a look around the city and I accidentally stumbled upon this place,” Shannon replied, “is it that much of a big deal?”
“Don’t you know who we are?” the first woman asked, changing the subject, avoiding the question.
“But what’s so bad about this place?” James enquired, changing it back.
“You honestly have no idea what’s going on?”
James shook his head.
“You better tell ’em,” said a male voice, the seriousness in his voice scaring them as to what was about to be said.
“Night of the Worms?” she asked, as if they twelve year olds that couldn’t understand 2+2. Shannon looked over at James and Lewis to check if they’d understood before she looked stupid in front of everyone; they hadn’t.
“I’m sorry, but we really don’t know what is happening.”
The woman sighed and started to work around with stroppy feet.
She went over to a man who was stood on the far left of the group, she smacked her hands down onto his padded shoulders, “This is Lertac, bank robber, caught trying to steal a million obos from the bank of Gilyonis. This is Purtia,” she continued, moving on to the other woman who had spoken earlier, “vandalist, tried to deface the Moonon Rock with a message of peace during the Raqtan war. Marcus Lampton, spy,” she moved on, keeping the ball rolling, “tried double crossing for the DeGrayans and the Killingtons, was ultimately unsuccessful. Harkon Kole, my right hand man,” she changed her tone, moving on to the final person in the line, “banned from the Tuhuna Church for sacrilegious regions – returned there, what a plonker.” Harkon laughed. “And finally, me: Lockwell. I killed the man who murdered my brother,” she announced, a vengeance present in her voice that she clearly still pursued today. Lewis, James, and Shannon just stared, not sure what kind of reaction they were supposed to give.
“Um… Hellooo,” Lewis replied, instantly regretting saying something so stupid. Shannon gave him a funny look.
“But why are you all here,” James stressed, “you still haven’t answered my question.”
“Ever heard of the Cargo Worms before?” Lertac asked.
“No.”
“Humongous parasites that are extremely deadly. On your first encounter, with no chance of escape, they’ll devour you ’til you’re nothing but a pile of bones.” James, Lewis, and Shannon waited in silence and suspense as they anticipated the dreaded words.
“And they’re here, in this old storage bay.” There they were.
“Then how do we kill them?” Shannon asked.
“With explosives,” Harkon replied, confidently. “I’ve got a bomb in my bag. Once we plant it at the centre of the building, it’ll wipe out the Worms before they can reach the city without the explosion reaching any of the people in the Dapryt.”
“Not that I see why they should get to live,” Marcus mumbled.
Lockwell turned around, annoyed, “Marcus, if you continue moaning like this then you might not even make it to the worms, now shut it.” Childishly, he pulled a face as she turned back around.
Lewis was deep in thought, “But surely if all it takes is explosives, then why do they need… Criminals.” Lewis stopped, no longer a question but a dreadful realisation. Lockwell could tell that he’d worked it out.
Shannon was staring at his face trying to figure it out, “What is it, what, what…,” her eyes widened in horror as her jaw dropped at the revelation, “this is a suicide mission?!”
“I’m afraid so,” Lockwell answered, showing no sympathy for them.
“But we’re not supposed to be here, WE’VE DONE NOTHING WRONG!” James protested.
“D’ya think they’re gonna believe you outside? D’ya think they’ll unlock the doors for someone who they believe to be a criminal, desperate not to die?” Harkon replied, progressively getting louder with frustration.
“We’re gettin’ out of here, we don’t deserve to be here!” he continued to argue back.
“Oh, and do you think I deserve to be here?!” Purtia yelled, “For trying to create peace during a bloodied war?”
James pointed an aggressive finger at her, “You’re a criminal!” Purtia was appalled.
“You are coming with us, whether you like it or not!” Lockwell snapped, imperatively, secretly frustrated at James’ comments. She calmed down. “It was pretty obvious you weren’t supposed to come in here, you’ve only got yourselves to blame. Now, come on, you’re going to help us.”

Night of the Worms Music

Lewis takes James and Shannon to a restaurant on Malistoni Minor

Next Time:
Tribal: 9 of 13. On the jungle planet of Koloko, a tribe is terrorised by golden spheres that randomly appear out of nowhere. As Lewis, James, and Shannon try to help the tribe with their problems, no one is prepared for what’s inside…

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