Calton's Bluff

Calton's Bluff


We rolled into the town just after dawn. Our headlights threw thick luminous beams into the swirling sea mist, picking out the ruins of cars and shattered buildings that filled and surrounded the roads. Intersections were largely clear of debris, but occasionally we would see makeshift barricades and improvised fencing. We would stop and shout out, or sound the horns with long mournful blasts. Nobody appeared, not even the dyybuks that we feared might have overrun the place. Who ever was here had either moved away or succumbed to the waves of warped humans and animals that roam the land.

Across the roofs of the old quarter, we could see the towers and antennae of the spaceport, but as we got closer to the main field the level of damage to the buildings increased considerably. Windows were blown out and walls collapsed, especially those that faced the spaceport. Moving became more difficult and the chances of getting blocked in by wreckage raised our fears of ambush and getting trapped.

Reluctantly, we dismounted and moved forward with the vehicles moving a little distance behind, our eyes and weapons scanning the windows and doorways with frantic urgency. We moved like this for another half mile until a shattered sliver of melted rock blocked our way. It appeared as though it had erupted from the ground like a giant stone flower, and was accompanied by several smaller companions nearby. Larger eruptions lay beyond it culminating in a dense cluster in and around the landing field and buildings.

We had seen destruction like this before at the main starport in Illaria City, the signature remnants of Lazloi disintegration beams that had rained down from their orbiting space craft when we first came here. Nine years of sun and rain had only just begun to soften the edges of the broken rock and concrete, while little tufts of grass and shrubs eagerly invaded the exposed soil and bedrock revealed by the fury of the matriarchs space weaponry.

The pattern of destruction seemed logical at first, the main targets being the hangars and landing pads that would have housed any space capable craft. We guessed long ago that the Lazloi had meant that none of the horrors on this world could ever escape it. Destroying the craft here made some kind of sense.

As we moved out on to the promontory proper, it seemed that our progress was being deliberately blocked by carefully placed weapon blasts, which created almost continuous walls of melted rock. Small and easily defended gaps in these barriers were the only way we could make our way to the giant control tower, and these contained the decayed remains of warped creatures. Most had been struck down by spears and arrows fired from above, and we became acutely aware then of little bobbing heads watching us from the top of the walls.

The first of the little savages scampered into view with an uneven and toothy grin. He wore the remnants of old outdoor clothing, at least a size or two too small for him, and a grubby woollen hat sat on top of his greasy fair hair. An old revolver hung from his belt, but his preferred weapon seemed to be a long and deadly spear, which is waved in our direction.

"Daddy said you'd come one day," he said smiling even wider. "When will you take us home?"

-- Mission log of Lieutenant Ara Mercator, Recon Group
-- Mission Clock: Unknown


Bobcat Multi Mission Vehicle is an original model created in Hexagon, imported and rigged in Cinema 4D. City Ruins models by Stonemason.

Scene assembly and final rendering in Cinema 4D R11.5. Post processed in Photoshop CS2

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Updated: 10 September 2010

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