Hundreds of years after the Fall, the Lazloi are remembered with both fear and hatred by humans. Despite evidence to the contrary, the white haired race is blamed for the destruction of our civilisation, and the unleashing of the mutating Dust that turned the landscape to ash, and wildlife and people into monsters.

Not so by the Treem, who are not only immune to the Dust, but continue to regard the Lazloi as supernatural beings and living goddesses. Their devotion to the extinct race borders on the religious, and attracts the murderous jealousy of the Brotherhood of the Word on many occasions. Despite that, they continue to congregate at sites where the Lazloi have been known to tread, none more so than at locations where the artefacts of the matriarchs still lie.

In our quest for knowledge of the Lazloi, the Treem are invaluable guides, especially in remote locations where the Brotherhood have failed to extend their destructive hand. We spent many days crossing the desert for our last find, an area of country that was fertile once, but had been scoured clean by the Dust. On our route, we encountered several Treem caravans moving back and forth, more Treem than we had ever seen before. Many of the carts contained sick children or the elderly, and there was no shortage of charlatans, both Treem and human, eager to exploit them.

When we reached the oasis and saw the artefact for the first time, it was not hard to see why the Treem hold such places in reverence. Walking through the ruins of the old city, its concrete and brickwork crumbling and drowning in the tides of sand, a singular shape lay defiant against the elements.

Although it had sunk into the soft ground, and its blue grey surface had become shrouded by sand and dirt, the Lazloi spacecraft continued to exude the preternatural influence of its creators. Five hundred years it had lain here, and no agency of man or nature had harmed it in any way. Treem swarmed over the craft, many in rapturous worship of it. The sick and the dying would reach forward and touch the blue metal, some borne on stretchers so they could lie against its hull for hours.

According to our guides, the Treem believe that a Lazloi lies sleeping within the craft. Pilgrims could be seen bowing and prostrating before the entrance of the ship, pleading for the Lazloi to awaken and move among them, to bless the sick with her powers and bring them salvation. Other Treem say that the Lazloi cannot waken, because she is cursed by unrequited love. They say she is heart broken, that her lover was a human; they say that she will sleep till the end of time.

It's easy to laugh at the Treem and their stories, but even I was moved when I touched the glassy metal of the Lazloi. Despite the different colours and the intricate designs on the hull, there is not a single seam or joint anywhere on the surface, and despite the years of hammering and chiselling by humans and Treems alike, the doors remain firmly closed.

-- Mikaela, recounting her adventures, centuries after the fall.


Scene assembly and final rendering in Cinema 4D R14 Visualise. Post processed in Photoshop CS2

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Updated: 28 March 2013

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