Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Sands of Time Ch 67

Joon walked through the concourse, stopping occasionally to look at a market stall or vendor. He and Hillier had planned this carefully. She went to other shops, seemingly at random, and at the right time made her diversion. Tripping over a basket, spilling merchandise everywhere, heated words with the vendor. Just enough to distract their guard, just long enough for Joon to disappear. He had carefully selected the entry point he wanted, had seen security personnel coming and going.  

Within was a long access tunnel, pipes overhead, low lighting. He hastened down the passageway, alert for signs of activity, watching for cameras. Everything here was under surveillance, in his estimation. And once they discovered him missing... 

There were side tunnels, occasional access hatches. Ladders leading up at various intervals. This place is a mazeAt one point he heard voices and took cover just in time, before several security guards strode by. 

Why so much security down here?

He found himself descending, and came to a three way junction. NO ADMITTANCE and a biohazard icon above the central tunnel decided it for him. He went that way. 

He soon came to a maze of passageways, with an occasional door labeled SPECIMEN. Not encouraging. 

A greenish glow appeared before him and grew brighter. He sloshed through water- some of the tunnels were lightly flooded, pipes overhead dripped. He rounded a corner carefully and came into a wider area, with glass walls on both sides. The green glow originated from here. 

To his right he could see row after row of tanks- filled with green liquid, and people in various stages of development. Children, adults, some missing limbs. Some just had a protoplasmic substance floating in the liquid. 

And to the left... bodies. Piles of bodies, many with cables attached to ports in the neck. Technicians in white were stacking bodies, or dousing them with something from a hose, handling them with disregard. Joon stared. And then one of the technicians turned and stared right at him. 

Joon fled. 


Maia sat helplessly, looking at her food. Howie keened above her, his tentacles swaying as he slowly floated about the room. He seemed distraught about her lack of appetite. 


She pushed the food away, frustrated at her lack of choices. Stella had restricted her movements, for her own safety, ostensibly. Maia didn't buy that for a second. And did they know anything about Joon, and not telling her? 

"We have to do something," she said to Howie. 

He seemed to agree, changing colors. 

She carefully unwrapped the crystal that Hillier had left with her. They had brought three crystals back, one was for Hillier although Stella had never actually agreed to that. Hillier had left it with her for safekeeping when they left. She held it up and Howie got more agitated. 

"Could this help us?" she asked no one in particular. "Find them?" 

Howie keened. 


"Did you find anything you were looking for?" Jack asked. 

Joon shrugged tiredly. "Do you expect me to take everything just at face value? I was just looking around."

"Right," Jack smiled. "That's why Security finally caught up to you in the garbage level. Lost, you told them." He laughed mirthlessly.

He'd been down there for hours. Tired, sloshing through flooded corridors, no sense of direction. Trying to find a way up but just getting more and more lost. He did hear voices at one point, saw a group of people in the distance, down a wide access tunnel, and he saw something else curious- the letter R emblazoned in red on the walls, a red R surrounded by a circle. He asked Jack what it meant. 

 "R means Refuge. There are dissidents- malcontents- down there, eking out their own existence. It's none of our business. We stay out of matters that don't concern us."

"How much do you know about what the Scholars are really doing here?"

"What exactly did you see?" Jack countered. 

"Nothing." Joon looked at Hillier. They didn't know if they could trust Jack yet. 

He noted the look. 

"Your movements are restricted henceforth. You picked a bad time to go AWOL. Right after your meeting with Yvette. It went well, from what I understand. She won't be happy."

"She may not be happy if she saw what I've seen," Joon muttered. 


  1. Story is unfolding as gripping as

  2. Oh..those scholars might not be up to NO GOOD. It gives me a feel from LOST as well as some Chinese Dramas I have watched. & Yes! Howie & Maia..she might never need Joon again (✿◡‿◡)(✿◕‿◕✿) But I am sure you will surprise yourself on this writing journey. Sometimes, you can just connect things..kind of like Elvis and Wade. And who knows..maybe Boone and Lily will learn a few things along the way. Thanks again for reading..and being here. Wishing you lots of joy in putting the next episode together.

    Ivy's Closet

  3. Sounds interesting. No Admittance usually means enter haha!

  4. Genial fragmento. Lo dejaste muy interesante. Te mando un beso.

  5. Oh, what Joon saw! Doesn't sound like Joon or Maia are in a good place.

  6. the actor might be in trouble..... and story getting more interesting.....

  7. People in tanks is never a good thing! And I hope Maia and Howie are able to find their Joon.

  8. Interesting story, but scary to imagine the place. Thank you friend