TITLE: Neodymium Betrayal
The children could never have imagined they would wake up inside a volcano.
They did know it could be a long time before they returned to the embattled hell they had called home. Several hundred pre-adults in thick yellow camouflage huddled against each other in the dark belly of their transports, strapped to the humming metal floor by simple safety belts. The littlest ones laughed as they played with the screens on their wristbands; the oldest sat in silence and wondered where they would find themselves when the light came back.
The four transports carrying the children sailed across waving flaxen grass, piercing through rolls of fog like giant black bullets. A solitary figure stood on a hill overlooking the convoy. Mist wisped about him like breakers against a rock. His faded tan tunic flapped in the wind, tugging as if it had a life of its own and only his still form kept it from seeking out adventure.
Nineteen-year-old Roz Bereens wanted to plop into the grass and collapse--he'd had a long night--but he stayed on his feet, his fingers drumming on the short bamboo staff suspended from his belt as the wind tousled his auburn hair. He had promised not to rest until the children escaped.
His tired mind played picture-games with his vision. A bright blue-eyed spectre in a black jumpsuit had tormented his dreams all night long. Diebol.
Maybe the torture-nightmares would stop if he wasn't behind everything.