Castle Roland

Elios Book I

by Arthur

In Progress

Chapter 1

Posted: 19 Feb 15



The three boys lay together on their mutual sleeping mat, they had shared the same mat since they were sent down here to the level for boys, it was marked in the ancient's symbol of B3, the boys could not read but they guessed it meant it was level 3 for boys. These levels went all the way down to B15 but the lowest three levels could no longer be used as there was a continual seepage of water that was slowly filling the levels at about two hands (approximately 12") each Yarn.

The boy in the middle was smaller than the other two; his body was slim and wiry and when standing he was about 10 hands tall, the other two boys could almost have been brothers as both were the same height, eleven and a half hands, the same strong build and like most boys born into the world of 125AH looked very much alike. All three boys had the same light sandy hair colour, the same grey eyes with faint green flecks and the same tawny tan bodies.

At times it was discussed by older people that the sameness came from the breeding habits of the caves but all knew it was just the way things were. The boy in the middle liked to be pressed tightly between his two friends, it gave him a feeling of belonging and it felt even better when one of his friends entered him with his hard boyhood, this was the really good times, when both boys would make the game they called "pushing" and the smaller boy would groan in pleasure as the other two took turns to make him feel good.

The boy in the middle was named Elios, after the level he had been born on just the same as his two friends, Elam and Elvan, they had all come to this boy level together on the same day and so the old crones of the boy levels placed them on the same mat and they had stayed that way for the last 13 Yarn. It was tradition that, as soon as a boy showed signs of man hair, he would be sent from the breeding cliffs to make his own way in the world, but Elios and his friends had been deceiving the old crones that looked after the boys.

As Elios was smaller and therefore seemed to grow slower than Elam and Elvan, each night they would let him inspect their boyhood for the faint man hairs, when he found some, they would put aside the stinging pain as he pulled them free of their bodies so they could stay together until Elios had some of his own, it had taken nearly a full Yarn before Elios started to show some and now the crones had seen them, tonight was the last night for the three boys to stay in the breeding cliffs, tomorrow they would be sent out into the world to make their own way.

As they had vowed to each other many Yarn ago, when they were sent out to be Rovers they would stay together as this was the best way to stay safe and also gave them a better chance to find whatever it was that they were going to look for, besides, being a Rover could not only be dangerous but it was also very lonely and the three boys didn't want to be parted from each other, especially Elios for he enjoyed his two friends boy game too much and trusted them with his life as they did with him.

In the years of searching for food and artifacts, they had been a force to be reacconed with when battling with other boys for food or artifacts that had been found, Elam and Elvan had been the muscle, Elios had been the speed and brains, it was not often, even against older boys, that the trio lost a find, they lived almost as one entity whether eating, sleeping, fighting or playing boy games they worked as one.

It was difficult for the three to fall asleep, even after a long time of playing the boy game, each filling Elios small tight hole and bouncing on his slim narrow butt three times each, Elios had groaned and moaned in pleasure each time as he too spent his small quantity of boy juice on the mat below him but, still they could not sleep deeply, each thinking of the new morning when, for the first time in their lives they would be given their parting gifts and sent out into the world.

The thought of the small tanned skin clothes had excited Elios, he and his two friends had never had their bodies covered before and it excited him to think of his boyhood pressed tightly to his slim body instead of projecting straight out like it seemed to do all the time which made it difficult to run fast as their boyhoods would flop about and break their rhythm which caused all sorts of comments by others watching them.

No one knew who made the gifts for the boys but many suspected it was their own mothers as they had very little else to do while waiting for the next cycle of breeding or birthing, the spia were the most prized as wud was very rare and had to be searched or bartered for and this was only done by Pap or one of his helpers, it was seen as his personal gift to one of his many, many sons.

Finally the first rays of morning began to make themselves seen at the entrance to B3, the crones went around waking the younger boys to get them fed and ready for their day of searching, Elios, Elam and Elvan sat up and looked around the large open level for what would be their last day in the breeding cliffs, it was a very large flat surface made from the hard grey stone of the ancients, the roof was held up by thick grey stone towers in between each tower there were faint white lines evenly spaced, there were ten lines to each section of towers, the boys were allotted one marked space each or in the case of Elios and his friends, they used one space for the three of them just as some other boys joined together would use one space, some had one boy others would have up to four in the one space, it depended on how many came down from the breeding level at the same time.

Boys from one level would never be mixed with boys from another level, even if they were brought down on the same day, it was tradition that boys of the same level stayed together when they were born under the same symbol of the ancients. It was easily noticeable which were the first time children, a breeder who was birthing for the first time would usually have a smaller baby than one who had given birth a number of times before, such as Elios, his smaller size told everyone his mother was a first birther where as Elam and Elvan were obviously from a breeder that had had many more babies and so produced bigger and stronger children, this didn't bother a boy like Elios, all he knew was his two friends were as good as brothers and that was all he needed to know.

In the new world the idea of Mother, Father, Brother, Sister was not a concern, nor was the ancient idea of marriage, there was no longer any type of religion or god hood, all these arcane ideas had been destroyed by the Horror, besides, who could believe in something that just sat invisible from man, they or it didn't provide food for the dei, nor did it or they fight the battles of men therefore it or they did not exist, life was much simpler, albeit harder.

The three boys rose and went to the far corner where the crones had placed the days water, taking a small amount of water in their hands, they rubbed the sleep from the eyes vigorously and wiped their slim stomachs with the remainder, they then made their way to the entrance where three crones waited for them, this was the time of leaving, they all knew that Pap would not be seen by them today because he had to leave them from his mind on this their last day in the breeding cliffs.

Each crone held out a small grey cloth sak, each name had been sewn on the outside with small even stitches; this marking had been the reason for the boys to think that their birthing breeder had made them for their boys. In each sak were the small breach-clout a pair of ankle length moccasins a small bled a small metal cup and four rounds of dry bred (bread), the crones each held the boys wud spia in their free hand.

The three friends held out their hand for the sak and their free hand for their spia, around each boy's neck was their own hand made sling, it was a natural part of every boy and they could be a deadly weapon when used by these boys. Taking their sak's and spia, the boys gave a slight nod to the crones who had looked after them for all of their short lives and, without further acknowledgement, left the breeding cliffs for the last time.

Once outside, the boys quickly opened their sak and pulled out their new treasures, first it was the soft tanned skin of the breach-clout, putting these on for the first time elicited a lot of laughs and whistles from the three friends as well as the younger boys just now leaving for their days searching, the fit was tight the Main flap was shaped so that at both the front and back there was a wider flap, in the middle, where it went down between their legs and covered their boyhood was a small pouch that was cut thinner where it passed between their butt cheeks and then flared out again to a wide flap to cover their rear.

All three boys were instantly hard as the feeling of the soft tanned skin touch and caressed their skin, the looks given to them by other emerging boys said a lot about how they looked with their front and rear covered but their flanks bare and contrasting the colour of their tawny skin with the bleached whiteness of the tanned skin. Next came the moccasins for their feet, all three boys tried these for fit but soon replaced them in their sak as they felt better with their feet bare, the moccasins would be good for any cold times or when the ground was to rough to walk or run on in comfort.

The boys took one bred from the sak and, as they began their life journey, chewed slowly on it, they were well aware of the dangers that lay out there in the wilds, first they would have to make their way clear of the four breeding cliffs and out over the rubble and detritus that had been their hunting grounds for the last 13 Yarn, this in itself was not really all that dangerous as they were now clothed and armed and most of the boys roaming and searching would give them a wide berth but they were not the only boys leaving the breeding cliffs on this day and any chance to increase their goods would be taken by others if given the chance.

The three boys stopped along the way at their special hidden place, it had been found a long time ago by Elvan as he rummaged in a pile of broken stones, it was a large square metal box, at first no one of the boys could work out what it was or how they could make use of it until, Elios looked at the rear of the half buried box and saw some small shiny spots that stood out from the rest of the dull red colour that the rain caused on most metals.

The boys had sat and discussed what use the box could be if they could find a way to open it, it took most of the first half of the dei and the sun was high before the quiet Elios jumped to his feet and began to search the ground.

"What you looking for Elios?" asked Elam.

"Some small metal to fit into the holes in the shiny parts." Replied the smaller boy, Elios.

The other two didn't argue with Elios, if he needed some old metal for something then it was their duty to help him and so the search began. The sun had gone past half way to night by the time the boys had found an old piece of metal that would do what Elios wanted and so Elam and Elvan sat and watched their smaller friend squat behind the metal box and begin to play with the small shiny parts.

It took a while but eventually Elios worked out how to turn the shiny parts a certain way and they began to come free, soon they were all sitting on the ground beside Elios as he reached up with his small hands and pulled the back off the box, inside there was no hint of why the ancients had put the box there, there were some metal plates and thin steel ropes covered with strange coloured stuff, four shiny gles towers lead up to the top of the box but had been broken on the outside, the rest of the box was empty, the boys had no idea what it was for but Elios suggested that they use it for their secret place to hide the things they may need when they had to leave the breeding caves, both Elam and Elvan agreed, after all, Elios was the real smart one and always had good ideas.

Over the next one Yarn and five Mune, the boys collected small things they could carry with them that might be useful on their roving, Elvan had secretly taken a fire stone from one of the old crones as she slept, Elios had found a small opening one day and had wriggled his small body inside to find a huge underground cave, the inside was once very large and on the floor were lots of broken pieces of coloured gles, most to small to be of any use but Elios had also found, hidden under a wud box, a large block of the soft wud that the ancients seemed to have had a lot of.

This one was large and heavy, the outside was like all wud, hard and rigid but the inside was full of the thin soft wud covered in the ancients mysterious symbols that no one knew what they meant, this was indeed a great prize and Elios had taken it outside to the other boys, they had pulled a handful of the soft wud pieces out and rolled them up so they could carry them to the secret place for later, the rest they took back to their cave for the crones to use as fire starters, it never crossed Elios mind what the large symbols on the front were, after all, what did, "HOLY BIBLE. ST JAMES VERSION" mean to three boys of the new world.

Elios also found in the same place a new metal they had not seen before, his quick mind soon saw the possibilities for this new metal, it was in long thin ropes and had been used to keep the coloured gles in place, it was soft and much to Elios surprise, quite heavy for its size, it didn't take him long to realise that if he heated it in a fire, it would become really soft and could be used to make small hard pellets for their slings, much better than the uneven stones that were normally used as the metal could all be made the same size and weight which increased its accuracy and hitting power.

It was Elam that found the strangest item, they had been out all day and found nothing, just as they were about return to their home cave, Elam slipped in a small hole and, after a rumbling sound below him, discovered another of the ancient's hidden caves that had been covered by time. The three boys had carefully climbed into the opening and found themselves in a square box like cave, it was like many others that were occasionally found and just the same this one had been cleared out many Yarn ago, but this didn't stop the curious boys from looking in every corner and in every old box, it was Elam that found the soft wud box at the back of the cave, it had been tucked under another hard wud shelf but somehow water had got in and melted the soft wud until what was inside had fallen onto the floor of the cave.

At first the boys could only stare at the strange objects, they were two coloured oblong blocks of stone, one side was red stone and the other opposite side was grey stone, Elam ran his fingers over the strange stones but could not see any use for them, they were rough, not shiny and smooth like so many of the ancient's items, slowly Elam looked around the cave until he saw an old piece of metal laying on the floor, just out of idle curiosity, he took one of the stones over to the metal and began to rub it vigorously with an edge of the stone.

It took only moments for the old metal to lose its red dusty covering and become bright and shiny, Elam could plainly see the scratches on the metal from the stone, he turned the stone over to the finer red side and continued rubbing, again it took very little time for the old metal to now become shiny and now also smooth from the stone, Elam looked at his two friends and smiled, they would keep one of the stones and take the other five back for Pap.

Elios and Elvan continued the search as Elam played with his new stone on the old metal, in a dark corner, Elios spotted and strange pile of old torn cloth, picking it up he felt it was smooth and shiny but was all in tatters, what really interested Elios was the strange metal contraption that had held the cloth in place, it was made of a very light metal, each side was about three hands long and holding it together were three shorter lengths about two hands long, small pieces of the cloth still hung around the metal pipes, for they were hollow and still after all this time, quite shiny in that they had none of the red dust that the usual metal had.

It took Elios quite a while to work out how to pull the five pieces apart so that he ended up with three short pieces and two long ones, the three short ones would make good water drinkers when they went on their roving, the two long ones he didn't know what to do with but decided not to leave them for some other boy to find, as he turned back to his friends his foot went down on something hard that had been lying under the strange item.

Elios looked down and saw another unusual piece of stone or metal, he wasn't quite sure what it was made of, picking it up he found it looked like stone but felt like metal, it had three sides and at one end tapered to a blunt point, running his fingers over the rough surface, Elios discovered it had lots of small teeth like ridges in it, he lightly ran it over his thumb nail and was surprised to see a deep groove in the nail, quickly he went to the old metal that Elam had used and pushed the strange rod over the surface, again a deep groove was cut into the metal, Elios eyes brightened, 'now this could be really useful' he thought to himself, no one had ever found one of these before.

The three boys left the newly discovered cave in high spirits, it was almost the best haul of artifacts they had ever found and there was enough for them to hide some in their secret place for their roving. On the day of their leaving the breeding cliffs, the boys had stopped off and collected all their treasures and put them in their new Saks, evenly distributing them between the three of them.

It took, what in the ancient's time would be called three hours, but in this time it was not acknowledged the same way, before the boys were clear of the area and, as they looked out onto the bareness of their future home, they tightened the string of their sak and shrugged it more comfortably onto their shoulders. All three at the same time took their first step out into the new world.

Each took up their searching position just as they had back at the breeding cliffs, Elam in front followed by Elios and coming behind as the rear guard, Elvan, each boy had his own strengths, Elam had the eyes of a preying bird, Elios the speed and flexibility of the giant cats that sometimes came looking for food in the breeding areas, Elvan had the solid strength and fighting ability that had saved them many times from being ambushed by other boys.

These three new Rovers made a formidable trio as they took their first steps into manhood, there were many trials ahead of them before they could or would find there eventual haven although each had a different idea of what that would be, Elam wanted to find his own breeding cave, Elvan wanted to find new places and hopefully new worlds, although they weren't sure if such things existed and, Elios wanted to find a place where he could grow food and be safe from the trials of survival, while each had his own dream, for the moment they were together for better or worse.

As the trio made progress towards their destinies they caught occassional sight of other boys in the distance, each going his or their own way, the boys had decided to head in the direction of the dying sun, this they knew would lead to a nearby Oshun that was only two dei's walk away, it would be a place where they might find some of the rare food that came from those places and was now and again traded to the Pap of the breeding caves.

As they moved, Elios again went into silent thinking mode, he had to think of a way to move faster but still be safe, every boy knew that Renegs waited for boys to leave the breeding cliffs and that they always went in different directions, but the pace in which a boy could move sometimes made it easy for the Renegs to work out where the boys would stop for the night, Elios did not want himself or his friends to be anywhere near those areas and so had begun to think things out as he was inclined to do about everything.

Slowly a plan came to him, it would make them move further faster but at the same time keep them safe, he called a halt and the three boys sat in a small circle as Elios explained his idea, Elam, with the best eyesight, would take the lead and search out in front, Elios would stay in the middle and search to each side, Elvan would keep watch on their rear, this was to be done as they walked for three plus ten paces, on the last pace, the three boys would start to trot at double walking pace for another three plus ten paces then again back to walking pace to search and save their breathes for the next set of three plus ten and so on until they stopped for the high sun stop.

During the time of the highest and hottest sun, the boys found a small cave in a shallow cliff face, there they settled down to rest until the sun lost a little of its raging heat and the red sands would begin to cool a little making their trek a little easier, water was always a concern and although their bodies were used to minimal amounts of it, they still could not take chances in the heat of the middle of the dei.

Over the period of their young lives, the boys had learnt many tricks to survive, one of the most important was finding water where none seemed to be or to find food where only innocuous weeds seemed to grow, these and many more lessons were what made the boys of the new world very adept and independent, there was no place in this world for the weak or unprepared.

As they lay resting, Elvan saw again the sight that had excited him the full time they had been walking, Elios small butt had intrigued him like never before, the rhythmic movement of his small hips and the unseen pleasure that was now hidden from his view by the new breach-clout had caused Elvan to stay rock hard the whole time, oh he was well aware of what delights were under the tanned skin, he had seen and felt it many times before, but, now, for some unknown reason it was hidden and therefore more delectable now that it was covered from his view.

All three boys had the same trouble and that was a small amount of chaffing from the skins on their tender flesh, it was not used to being covered and the sweat had caused the chaffing, with relief, all three seemed to remove the breach-clout at the same time to give their skin some relief, it took only one brief glance from Elvan to see the smooth wetness between Elios cheeks to bring him to full mast again, without further thought he reached over and began to rub softly over Elios butt, it was their unsaid signal that it was time to play a boy game.

Elios grinned broadly as he felt the hand rub him softly, quickly he turned so he was facing Elam's rising boyhood and, with practiced ease he rose onto his hands and knees so his own boyhood was at Elam's mouth and his mouth was on Elam's boyhood, Elvan knew the position and quickly kneeled behind Elios and pushed slowly forward until he was starting to enter Elios, the moisture of Elios sweat made the entry a little easier than normal and he slid slowly deeper until he was fully inside the warm welcoming hole.

In complete unison the three boys began to take their pleasure in the boy game, moaning and groaning in pure delight as each fulfilled the desire of the other, time meant nothing to the trio as they tried harder and harder to make their friend feel good until, finally all three could hold them selves no longer and released their pleasure into each other, with great sighs of relief and satisfaction they all collapsed back onto the sand of the small cave and wrapped an arm about each other in contentment, there first day of manhood was beginning with a real bang.

Some time later the three boys donned their now dry breach-clouts and prepared to leave on the next part of their walk, before they went, Elios walked around the cave looking for signs of ground water, it took a little time but eventually he recognised the signs right at the back of the cave, he first cleared all the loose sand from the floor and then, with his spia, began to dig deeper into the hard surface, finally after a short time he had a small bore hole dug and in the bottom could be seen the first dribbles of moisture, the three boys sat and waited for a short time as the hole filled with water and then, taking out a small thin metal rod each, they sucked up the water until the hole was empty again, it was enough for their needs for now, Elios filled in the hole again and then the boys left the cave to continue their walk to the Oshun.

By the time the sun was beginning to disappear they had covered more than half the distance to the Oshun because of Elios walking plan and could have made it all the way had they decided to continue but, for this first night they decided to find a place to sleep and start fresh at sun rise. Although their eyes were quite capable of seeing in the dark when the stars were shining bright as they did most nights, they decided safety was a better option as there were things out at night that could be very dangerous and that was not only the animals.

As the sun dipped further, the boys quickly searched out another cave to sleep in, their meal tonight would be another of the hard dry bred, it wasn't much but it was better than nothing, besides, the boys were still too excited by their new freedom to worry about good hot food. This new freedom had been planned by Elios and the boys for more than a Mune, they had collected all their treasures, Elios had invented a way for them to move quickly but not get tired and they had each other.

It was agreed that they would not light a fire this first night, it was too easy to been seen from a long distance and would attract unwanted attention from anyone searching for new boys as was proved by Elvan spotting two separate fires far behind them, obviously of some new boys settling down for the night, the boys knew that this was just what the Renegs would be looking for so they left their cave in darkness as they settled down together for the night after eating their bred, there would be no boys games tonight as they wanted to get a very early start at sun rise and try to be at the Oshun before high sun.

Sometime during the night, Elios was woken by loud yells and screams echoing over the sand below them, as he moved the other boys sat up as well, they quickly recognised that all was not right out in the sands. Slowly and very quietly they made their way to the entrance on their stomachs, in the distance behind them, they could see a large fire, their sharp eyes soon picked out moving forms around the fire as People moved in front of the flames.

While it was difficult to pick out individuals the general indication was of Renegs, there wild animals that they rode could be heard stamping in the still night air, these animals were fast and dangerous, it was said that even some of the Renegs died trying to tame them to ride. They were big animals with four large legs and strange flat round feet, it was said that the ancients called them a Haws and had once had many of them tamed for their work and pleasure, the boys could not imagine why anyone would want one of the wild dangerous beasts for pleasure, they were ok to eat but that was all the boys knew of them.

The screams went on for a long time until finally there was silence and the sound of the Renegs on their Haws moving away into the night, no doubt looking for more boys to play with, Elios and the others moved back inside their cave, they would have to wait for sun rise to check out what had happened before moving away from the safety of their cave, if Renegs were around they would be better to stay in here safe until it was clear to move on, the boys lay down again and tried to sleep but it wouldn't come, the sound of the screams were still fresh in their ears, eventually they sat up and started to discuss how they should move on from here.

All agreed that they should keep up the same way of walking but now go over the cliff behind them and stay on the high ground so that they were not caught out in the open sands by any roaming Renegs. Three new young boys would not be able to do much against fast running beasts and dangerous, heavily armed Renegs. The boys continued to make plans until the first signs of sun rise made its appearance at the entrance of their cave, they ate a little more bred and dug for cave water at the rear, sipping the water through the metal pipes Elios had found for them. Checking that they had replaced everything back in their sak's, the three boys went to the entrance and studied very carefully the outside sands.

In the distance they saw the last remains of the large fire of the night in the form of a faint wisp of smoke rising in the windless dawn air, they had no desire to go and see what mayhem the Renegs had caused during the night, they had heard all the stories as young boys and knew there would be nothing there for them to do or get, it was better to ignore what had happened and continue on their own journey to the Oshun.

Once outside the cave they looked up at the cliff, it was no more than two plus ten lengths, and while it would not be easy to climb, it was possible for the three fit boys so they began their ascent carefully, they did not want to slip and fall at the beginning of their new life, an injury could be the means of their quick death.

Explanation of measurements

The people of the new world counted on their hands and fingers, when bartering they would start with their right hand and close the small finger as the sign for 1, then the next and so on, when the thumb was also closed forming a fist, this was 5, then the left hand was used in the same manner and would bring the total to 10, knocking the two fists together would indicate 20 and so on so that two plus ten equalled 20, for odd numbers they would open one or more fingers to indicate smaller numbers by those that were still folded. Distance was in hands, 1 hand was approx 6 inches, a length was approx 5 feet, and a leag was approx 100 feet they used no other measurements for greater distances as they used land marks to go from one point to the next and further than that was only spoken of in the number of Dei's to walk there.

After a few moments of scrapes and scratches the trio finally made it to the top of the cliff face, once there they looked out at where they had travelled from the previous dei, for as far as they could see there was nothing, no signs of life, no signs of movement, the Renegs had disappeared into the far reaching sands and any of the boys from the previous day had now either been taken by the Reneges or had found their way to a safe hiding place until it was clear to move on.

The first rays of the rising sun lit up the immense sands with highlights and deep shadows. The boy's eyes adjusted quickly to the first rays and they took the time to turn right around and see where they should head to, as they stared out, Elios though he caught a faint glimpse of something shiny in the distance just across the narrow valley below them as the sun hit something for a moment. Quickly marking it in his mind before it disappeared, he nudged Elvan and pointed in which direction of the opposite ridge and told the others they should start their day in that direction, the shiny something had piqued his imagination and he wanted to investigate.

Although the ridge top was rough and a little uneven, the boys continued to use Elios way of walking and they speedily covered the ground while still being able to keep a sharp look out for trouble, when Elios thought they were approximately opposite where he had seen the glimmer of light, he signalled that they should start to descend the ridge into the valley below, a few more bruises and scrapes and they were on the floor of the small narrow valley but still heading in the general direction of the Oshun.

Elios stood still for a long moment as he tried to work out where he had seen the glimmer from, finally, just a little further along the valley he spotted something that looked out of place on the barren sandy valley. It was the edge of something square and looked as though it had once been made from the metal of the ancients but most of it was still buried in the sand, there must have been some wind lately that had uncovered the item and a small piece of broken gles had reflected the early morning sun.

The three boys moved cautiously towards the object until they were standing only a few short lengths from it, as usual Elios was the first to move forward and, using his small hands, began to push away some of the sand so that he could see more of the large metal box, The other two boys jumped in quickly to help their friend. A short time later and the three boys could see a faint outline of two bodies inside the large box, Elios removed his small breach-clout and used it to clean away some of the grime and sand covering the gles. Inside they saw two white skeletons sitting upright, one was holding some type of tool while the other was sitting in front of a large wheel, vestiges of ancient cloth of a green colour hung on the whitened bones.

Looking closer through the still grimy gles, Elios could also see some type of belt around what would have been the waist of the once live men. The belt was made from a strange material that the boys had never seen before; it had a metal fastening and two rows of holes around the centre. On one side there was what looked like a small box made from the same odd material, it had a flap covering whatever was inside, the boys couldn't wait to see what they had discovered and went back to hurriedly clearing away more sand so they could open what was obviously a metal door.

Finally the metal door was clear, the boys took a short rest and then Elios began to try to open the door. It was strange at first because it was not like the doors of the breeding caves but after trying various ways, Elios finally heard a heavy 'click' and began to firstly push and then finally pull at the metal, with a loud groan of tortured metal, the door began to slowly open and reveal the inside of the metal box.

Elios looked over the white bones of the two bodies, the box was a about ten hands wide and six hand deep, one skeleton sat against what looked like another of the metal doors on the other side holding a before unseen artefact, it was black and about seven hands long, at the base it was flat and wide, at the other end it was just a small round pipe held on to another thicker pipe below. There was another strange box sticking out about half way along, this was indeed a great find, something that had never been seen by any of the boys before and none of them had even heard of such an item.

Elios, being the more adventurous of the three, reached over to the side of the skeleton behind the large wheel and tried to lift the small lid of the box on the bodies belt, it was very stiff and a small button was holding it tight, with a strong tug at the lid, Elios pulled it open, his eyes grew wider as he looked at another unknown artefact, with trembling fingers he grasped the item and pulled it free of the box.

Elios was surprised at how heavy the small metal item was, it also was black and one part was at right angles to the other and seemed to be held together with a funny looking half circle with a piece of metal coming out where the two pieces met. Elios turned it over and over in his hands, to his racing mind he felt it had to be important for a man to wear it so close to his body, he continued to turn it over and over and noticed there were small buttons and levers fitted onto the sides, on the top at one end was a small thick bled and at the other was another piece of metal that was fixed crosswise and had a small grove in the centre.

Suddenly Elios concentration was broken by the call from Elvan and Elam, while he had been hunting inside the box; the other two had been trying to uncover more of the big box and had discovered that the box with the skeletons was only a small part of the strange artefact. By clearing more sand they found that the box had another larger part behind it but this part was covered by rotting and decayed material and held up by steel ribs that went from their side and further under the sand.

Elios joined his friends and the three looked up at the sun, it was almost high sun, time for them to find some shelter until after the main heat had gone, Elios suggested that they should clear the bones away and use the smaller box to hide out of the sun. It would be a tight fit but it was better than sitting out in the full heat of high sun, the others agreed and left their new find to help throw out the bones, the two artefacts Elios had found were put on the floor of the box until they could investigate further.

Once all three were comfortably sitting inside the box, they began to discuss what they should do. After a while it was agreed that the finding of the box was too important to leave without trying to see everything it held. There was no real hurry to get to the Oshun as they still had enough food for two days more even though it was only dry bred. They were used to living on less if they had too but the box was just to tempting to resist, once they agreed, all three hugged close and tried to doze off for the main heat of the dei.

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