Vince sat in the opened window of his little hut in the middle of the desert. The sun was at its highest position and it was burning hot. He had his dark curly hair tied back and wore a black tanktop and cargopants in the color of white sand. The sun had no mercy and blinded him as he looked for something unknown in the sky. It seemed like there was no other form of life nearby although the hut was positioned near a protecting rock, right in the middle between the separated towns of West-Calm and East-Calm. There was the only road through the desert with the red sand just passing the hut. Behind him there was the jukebox, that he bought long ago and modified afterwards. It was playing “In Extremo – Die Gier”. While he was thinking he rubbed his little beard on his chin. Then he turned around. There was the ordinary chaos, so he just took the water bottle, that was half full. He drank quite a lot and put the bottle back to its place. Then his eyes got caught by the RAH hanging above his desk. A friend who had the ability of traveling through place and time gave him that strange weapon long ago. Although the fact, that he hadn’t used that jewel for years, it was important to him to keep the weapon in perfect condition. Suddenly he heard something from the back of his house. There was only a cage with his pet, a Desertraptor named Grex. He put on his boots and took his favorite weapon, a wooden staff. Then he walked through the back door. A Bonebear, a strange beast with the shape of a bear with an exoskeleton, was shaking the whole cage, while the raptor inside paniced. The bear turned as he realized Vince’s arrival and seemed to rethink his options, so Vince gave him this time. Then the bear moved towards Vince. Vince rose the staff, which had a pointed end on one side and an iron weight on the other side. As the bear rose his paw Vince pressed the weight against the bear. That limited the bear’s movement. Then the bear moved the weight to the side, but that was just the action Vince has been waiting for. He pushed the pointed end through that part of the bear’s body where he supposed the heart to be. The bear was totally surprised and as Vince ripped the staff out, the bear fell forward. Then Vince smashed the bear’s head with the weight. The bear was dead and Vince opened the cage’s door. Grex jumped out and started eating the bear’s corpse immediately. There was a big relief about the victory in Vince’s face. He left Grex alone with the corpse and returned to his place in the window. Then he saw a cloud of dust far away. It was obviously from a vehicle. According to the direction of the cloud the vehicle came from Tomawall, a desert city that consisted out of pueblos and metal huts. The inhabitants were to a high percentage very poor and there were always criminal activities in the town. By now the vehicle was close enough for Vince to recognize that it was a wheeler, a vehicle built with old plans. These vehicles basically consisted out of two wheels, a big engine and a driver cabin. The jukebox now played the flute theme of “Bolero”. Vince reached for the remote control but he took his flaming red sunglasses. With a little anger he put them on and stood up to change tracks manually. Now there was the “Song of Asthra”. This song fit his melancholic mood better. As he wanted to sit down again, he already heard the wheeler’s sound and looked outside through the window. The wheeler stopped and a woman with straight red hair got off.
She wore a bluish racingsuit that covered her body from the knees to her shoulders and gloves and sandals in the same color. On her belt there were three little boxes to store throwing knives. She had a nice smile, although it wasn’t real. It was too obviously faked. Vince knew these situations: Someone wanted something from him. Although he tried hard to keep his looks in an eye-high level it was hard to ignore the woman’s beauty. He waited for her looking at him to start the conversation. With a bright, clear voice she said, “Are you Vince, the hunter?” Vince answered spitefully, “No, I’m a clone of him. Is anyone else living in the desert’s middle hoping not to be disturbed!?” The woman said resentfully but politely, “Excuse me that I asked you. Can you remember Alex, the Traveler? His life has ended and he asked me to hand this to you.” She took a little transparent stone and a minidisk out of her pocket. Vince got outside through the window and took both things. “Thanks”, was his only answer. The woman seemed to be hurt by this rudeness. She sighed and said, “I think there is a message on it but I wasn’t able to decode it. Please, contact me if you find something. My name is Crealin, but “Lin” is enough. If you want to try to contact me via the Globalcom-Network, my username is “FemaleSkull”. Bye.” She hurried to get in her wheeler and drove away immediately. Vince followed her with his eyes, he was fascinated of her look and her easy going way. Then he went back into the house through the front door, turned the jukebox out and activated the Globalcom-Intelysystem. A tiny woman appeared in a holographic column in the middle of his room. Vince put the minidisk in the middle of the holograph and ordered, “Data Analysis. Identification: VINCE; “DesertFortress”. Start Decoding.” There was an answer: “Voice recognized. Authorization clear. Starting Decoding.” After a short period of time the voice said, “Decoding Completed. Start Viewer.” Then the woman disappeared and a audio sequence started, “Hello, Vince. By the time you see this I’m already gone. But the reason I have to contact you although the fact that I’m dead at the time you get this is dead important. I destroyed my traveling device, but I can’t stop the travels from world to world that easy. That is the reason why I sent you this Save-Crystal containing pieces of information about other worlds. On this disk is also a plan how to built the device. Vince! I know you are not that skilled with mechanics to build that device on yourself. That’s the reason why I sent Lin. She is brilliant on that things. You can trust her because of the fact that she’s my daughter. Another thing: Please hand over the RAH to her. It is necessary for you to take the risks of this exhausting journey on you. I thank you. Farewell.”
Vince deactivated the Intelysystem and leaned back into his hammock. He took another gulp from the water bottle and sat up. His decision was clear. He wanted to help his friend that had helped him so often. He reactivated the Intelysystem. He logged in and ordered, “Open Contact: User “FemaleSkull”” The answer was: “Connection online. Opening Channel.” Vince said, “Lin, you there?” Lin answered, “Yes, I am. Have you got the data?” Vince said, “Come here and bring paper and a pen. Ah, yeah. Sorry, I was rude. I didn’t know you’re his child.” She answered, “I will be there in about ten minutes. Please be patient. I will have to pack up some things and be sure that no one will follow me.” While Lin was on the way to Vince’s hut Vince turned on the jukebox again. There was now “Korn-Did my time”. He took a tissue to clean the wooden staff from bear offal and spent the time until Lin’s arrival that way. After some time the song changed to “Nas-One Mic”. Then Lin finally arrived. He heard the wheeler stopping in front of the hut and went out to welcome Lin. Lin now wore a turquoise cape. She said, “Hello, again. I brought a block and a pen. That should be enough. What does the message say?” Vince asked, “Don’t you want to come in first? Let’s handle the biz inside.” They went inside and while Vince preferred to stand, Lin sat down in the hammock. He told her about the message and Lin wasn’t surprised too much. It seemed like she had expected something like that. She asked, “So you want me to have a look at the plans?” Vince answered, “So I want you to build the thing.” She said, “You are going to need my help. That means you are also going to accept my conditions. The only one is that I am certainly going to be your companion while your journey.” Vince said, “Look. How old are you? Huh? You got no experience. No knowledge about what’s going on. You’re just in my way then.” Lin yelled, “How could my father be a friend of such an rude guy? You are indeed the most unfriendly person I have ever met in my life.” Vince sighed and said, “Wait. Wait. I remember something. He told me to hand you the RAH. Maybe that says I’m going to need you and your technical things more than the weapon.” Vince took the long weapon from its board and hand it over to Lin. She looked at it and took it after some time. Now she was quiet. Vince said, “Your dad gave it to me long ago. It’s not from this world. It’s got unlimited ammo and no recoil. It’s the most precise weapon I’ve seen. You know how to shoot?” “No, I don’t know how to shoot”, was her answer, “and how shall I keep this big thing with me?” Vince laughed, “That’s no prob, I’ll handle that, if you leave it here for some days.” Lin said, “That will be all right. Can I now see the plans?”
Vince activated the Intelysystem and ordered, “Visualize Plans.” A big plan of a complicated machine now filled the room. He looked at the plan and sighed. He didn’t understand anything. Lin said, “That is really going to be easy. The plans are very detailed and not that complicated as they look at the first sight. I bet you have no clue what this is or even how big this is going to be.” Vince answered, “You’re right.” “This little high tech device is going to be as little as a toy dice. But it seems like there could be some difficulties while building the device, since the parts are that tiny. I will have to construct tools that are that little before”, was Lin’s comment. Vince asked curiously, “How long?” “Well, at least a week, because the preparations will take their time too. And I don’t know where to take the money from, since some parts are going to be quite expensive”, mentioned Lin. Vince’s face slowly showed a smile, “Again my problem.”