OK, so here's the 2nd try at winning some money! I'm aiming at 100+ votes :-)
Please vote, and get anyone else you know to vote, or failing that, any other IP address :-)~
And here's a revamped introduction to 'Manna-X', with help from authonomy.com writers.
I hope you like it :-)
Short Pitch: Hidden
for over 3000 years, the Manna Machine, Manna-X, becomes the treasured
prize of a select few. Can you hear the tick of the Manna-X?
If this wasn't far enough, then what was? Rihat began to dig, out
in the middle of nowhere, far from any living man, creature or tree,
days from any encounter with a settlement. He dug deeper and deeper,
under the light of the moon and the stars, stopping only to listen to
the faint sounds on the breeze. A distant howl of a lone wolf brought
out an instinct bordering on paranoia to protect the precious cargo.
'Run like the wind, run as far and as fast as you can, allow no one to
take or touch the item which you carry. Hide it for all eternity, away
from our imminent destruction, away from the hearts and minds of all
humanity...' He'd left his Master in the doomed Holy city, to suffer the
onslaught of the Babylonian heathens.
Rihat stood up in his now three-foot deep hole, looking around,
scanning the open plain and saw no one. He dug once again, sweat pouring
out of every pore, thinking it was only the mind playing tricks.
A second sound. That was a word. Or was it? He'd roamed north for so long, it could be any language.
That was Greek for sure. He knew a little Greek, Stavros was his name.
“Shalom?” Was it wise to reply?
“Hello! What ya doing?”
There was someone else here in this open plain. Rihat grabbed the
sack containing his heavy burden and jumped out of the hole and into
another. On landing there was a snapping of wood, quickly followed by
“Ooo, that looks nasty, you wanna get that seen to.”
There was a silhouette of a man in the hole, illuminated by the moon, sitting, watching, picking his nose.
“Argh!” The pain was unbearable. “I think I’ve broken my leg.”
“Yes, snapped it right off, if you ask me. Congratulations.” The man applauded.
As well as the overwhelming pain, it was warm, very warm in the hole, comfortable though numb.
“Is it me, or is it warm down here?” Every word was torture.
“It’s just you, there's no heating down here. Probably that’s where
the warmth is coming from.” The man pointed down. A pool of blood
trickled onto the bottom of the hole.
“My guess is yours, 'cause it's not mine. Looks like your leg isn’t your only problem.”
His bag. Rihat must’ve landed on his bag holding the item. He was immobile on one side.
“You said it.”
After so long running, hiding, feeling thirst and hunger and above all, fear of being captured, to end like this?
“Where am I?” Life, draining away.
“About half an hour from unconsciousness, if you ask me.” This man wasn't helpful.
“No, where are we?”
“In a hole. Next question.”
There was no time or energy for this.
“No. Where is this hole?”
“Oh! On the Plain, far from the nearest settlement.”
Would he drown in his own blood before…?
“And who are you?”
“Me? Err, let me think now…” Don't think too long. “Moront, Moront
Pilock, that’s me. Linguist, translator, interpreter, at your service.”
He ignored the man's attempt to shake hands, what a time to be polite.
“What kind of name is that?”