The Dunes of Despair


Just chillin'
The vast golden dunes of the Greater Mizharen Desert shift and transform constantly from the harsh, ever-present winds, making navigation and mapping of the desert nearly impossible. Compasses are worse than useless thanks to the thousands of lodestones embedded in the sand, leading many a traveler in hopeless, deadly circles. Most desert travelers navigate by the stars, but even they can be deceptive. Shooting stars and meteorite strikes are common in the Mizharen, leading star-seekers to venture forth in search of the fallen treasures. Some return with their precious prizes in hand, while others shuffle out of the desert empty-handed. Most, however, are never seen again. Their bones, picked clean by carrion beetles and bleached by the sun, are quickly buried by the blowing sand, hidden from the world until the desert chooses to reveal them once more.
A boiling hot desert is NOT where Diana wanted to be right now. She trudged along the hot sand, She had brought sun cream into the desert.
"These clothes are supposed to keep me cool. Yet i am boiling hot right now!" She grumbled. Ideia look at her,
"I'm as hot as you are, those clothes would keep you cool on a hot summer's day In England. The Mizharen Desert, is an entirely different story I'm afraid." Ideia told her.

Diana didn't even bring her own water. 'Pretty stupid for a smart girl.' She looked at Ideia, then back at her empty canteen and groaned in annoyance. Before continuing to trudge on, the sand pooling at her feet.
Blindfold stumbled out of the darkness, collapsing on his side.
He hated doing that. He had no idea when he was. He checked to find out and...
Agh! Where's my Sight?
Unlike most days, he couldn't see into the future. Or the past. It was like someone had grabbed ahold of his abilities and twisted them, cutting off the flow. What had happened?
Blindfold stood up uneasily, feeling the sand under his feet.
Wait a minute. Sand?
He had planned to emerge at Nexus City, but had ended up here. Whoever or whatever disrupted his Sight must have pulled him here.
But for what reason?
The sand made it hard for him to feel vibrations, so he had to stick to his ears, nose, and touch to figure out where he was. That was the problem.
He had no idea where he was.
Surprisingly, the endless stretches of desert gave Blindfold a lot of time to think. These are the things he thought about:
-The Desert it hot.
Yes, surprisingly the desert is hot. Very hot.
-He hated sand.
Yes, sand was probably worse than all the plights he had faced so far. (He had faced a lot.) It got everywhere. EVERYWHERE.
-Deserts were not exciting.
No honor, no glory, just sand and blisters in unfortunate places.
-Being blind sucks.
Yes, he was blind, but he also had his Sight, which wasn't working at the moment, so he was truly blind. And it sucked.
He kept thinking he felt someone, just standing there and watching him. It always ended up being a rock or a bone.
-A bone?
Yes, there were bones. Spoopy.
-Am I going crazy?
Yeah, just a little bit. But a little crazy is healthy sometimes.

He ended up finding a large spurt of rock to camp under for the night. He was unable to build a fire, but that's fine. Hopefully he was able to scare off any creatures by himself. He didn't really need the warmth, he was more adaptive than a regular human.
He practiced his echolocation for a little bit, clicking his tongue and delighted that he could at least know where things were. He hadn't practiced in a while, not since he had mastered his Sight. He was glad that he still had the ability, although he was rusty and he could only determine roughly the shape of things.
He considered giving himself up, letting Him take over, but expunged the thought from his mind. He wasn't that desperate. Not yet. He might not be entirely human, but he still had to eat, at least he thought so, and that might be his only way out. Besides, he reasoned, if something or someone had pulled him here, they, or it, must have pulled other people here, too. His worry was that if someone had the power to bring him here, they wouldnt be very friendly.
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It was sad, Blindfold thought. The nature of his powers we're dark, darker than most, and not a lot of people wanted to be close to someone like that. Besides that, his Sight normally made people uncomfortable, that he could see their futures. Besides friends, there was something that he wanted more than everything, as every creature wanted.
He probably wouldn't be able to find someone, and if he did, would he want to bring another person into his world? Or, more questionable, would he want to have a child? If he had one, would he bestow his abilities to someone else? Could he even have children? Because he was a half-breed. Part human, part monster.
Like a freaking mule.
Diana and Ideia looked at eachother. As the man popped out of nowhere. He seemed to be blind and deep in thought. Diana poked him on the back of the head, then jumped back.
Blindfold turned.
"Hello. I thought there were others here."
He tried to reach into her future but didn't succeed. Instead, he felt a scene somewhere far away. Daniel. His cheeks reddened and he broke the connection. They had every right to keep that private. Daniel had suffered a lot, all heroes had, and he deserved some happiness.
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Blindfold smiled.
"I don't know. I was traveling in my usual way when I was pulled off course by a mysterious force, someone, or something, wanted me here, as I suspect they wanted you."
"...Maybe. How do you know that you're not crazy? What if we're both crazy? What if this is all a dreeeeaaaaammm?" He chuckled. "There is no way to know. Do you know how to get out of this desert?"





"For Thief's sa–"

Kitty didn't have time enough to finish her exclamation before sand invaded everything, including her face—the area she had, unfortunately, landed on. There was just enough time for her to spit out a damp mouthful of the stuff and look up, watching the rift disappear above her.

The girl muttered something under her breath and tried to brush the sand out of her eyes, hair, nose, ears, jacket, jeans.... It was all over the place, and no matter how much effort she put into removing it, the dry winds always brought it back.

Why was there so much... sand?

She looked out across the dunes, dumbstruck. Of course it was a desert. It couldn't've been a forest or the plains, but a desert. After heaving an annoyed sigh and much grumbling, Kitty scolded the Nexus for spitting her out in such a random place and hoped there was a valid reason for her to be here.

Kitty paused for a moment. Was she hallucinating already...? She was certain the little dots on the horizon moved. One of them turned around. Were they... people?

This had better've been why she was sucked out to the middle of nowhere....
The heat of the desert was, in a word, punishing. The sun burned down upon them from above, without so much as a cloud to shade them. Its rays stung at any hint of exposed flesh, scorching skin red with brutal sunburns. The agonizing heat dried out the mouth and throat until even drawing breath was a painful ordeal. The constant assault of the sun was exhausting, sapping energy from limbs and making them feel as though they were made of lead. The sand didn’t help either, sinking and sliding underneath their feet as they trudged along across the endless wasteland. Stopping to rest was impossible, however, as the total lack of any vegetation robbed the landscape of any source of shade. Even sitting in the sand would prove uncomfortable, as the sand was painfully hot to the touch.

If any of the lost souls wandering the desert took the time to raise their eyes to the sky, they would almost certainly think themselves to be hallucinating. It was the only logical explanation. The heat had clearly addled their minds so much that they were seeing a second sun in the sky, a figment of their imagination as their overheated brains tried to come up with an explanation for the horrible, unlivable climate. However, as more people looked, it would soon become clear that the second sun in the sky was no hallucination. It blazed just as bright as the first, directly above their weary, sweating heads. Strangely, as they watched, the second sun seemed to be getting larger. It was impossible...but wasn’t a second sun also supposed to be impossible? It swelled before their eyes, growing slowly at first, then expanding faster and faster, the blinding light burning their eyes, a screaming whistle filling the air and piercing their ears, until-

The meteorite landed with a deafening boom, shaking the very earth upon which they stood. The shockwave kicked a massive cloud of sand into the air, irritating their already-dry throats and eyes. A massive crater now laid in the sand, hundreds of feet in diameter and perhaps sixty or seventy feet deep. At its center laid a misshapen lump of metal and stone, about the size of a small shed. Its surface glowed dully with heat, thin white smoke rising into the sky as it smoldered.
Diana's eyes widened. She grabbed the blind man, then threw themselves to the ground just as the Diana was thrown back a good five or six feet from the following shockwave. Ideia hit the ground, rolling to a stop on the ground. Diana rubbed her eyes, "T-the hell..?" Her eyes were irritated enough from the hear let alone sand getting blasted into her eyes.

Ideia stumbled to her feet, walking over to the blind man, "Are you o-okay?" She murmured so only the man could hear.
Blindfold nodded. "Unfortunately, I am almost always okay."
Blindfold growled in frustration. He had not been able to see that the meteorite was coming, or if the stranger he had met was okay, either.
He hated not knowing.
"Are you okay?" It seemed a prudent question, although not one he had asked many times before.
Not even halfway. More like one-third of the way there; that was the distance Kitty had traveled towards the small objects on the horizon—though she was certain she was losing her mind, following things that only got smaller, further away, as time passed. She was to die out here. The heat of the two suns was to be the end of her, she was certai–

Wait a minute.... Kitty took another look at the suns. Before she could utter a word, one of those "suns" landed where the things she'd been following had been, tossing sand up into the air, and leaving a crater visible from the dune Kitty was standing on.

With an interesting choice of words under her breath, the girl made a dash for the crater. More importantly, to see if the small dots—the people—were alright. Surely this was why the Nexus had called her here. Surely there was a reason.
"Oh I'm fine," Diana rubbed her eyes, "The meteorite kicked up some sand into my eyes though." Ideia looked up,
"And all the days to go to a desert! Honestly." She stood up. Diana looked at her,
"Fill up my water bottle?"
"Okay.." Diana looked depressed.
Blindfold chuckled at their bickering.
He pointed to his left without looking.
"I'm not sure... but I think we have a visitor. I can't tell their intentions, though. Be on your guard."
Kitty was out of breath by the time she had reached the crater. Relieved to see three completely alive persons on the opposite side from where she stood, the girl paused to rest her hands on her knees, exhausted from running.

The air was so dry, even the simple action of breathing felt like agony. Her lips were chapped, temples pounding, throat parched, and nose in pain from filtering so much sand. She continued to wear her jacket despite the heat simply because the sun on her skin was even more unbearable. Why did it have to be a desert?