The driver grimaced as he heard city people shouting at them over their rover's PA. Even over the roar of their engine and the aggressive drone of the hostile rover it boomed across the dunes at them. They were ordering them to stop. The driver considered it briefly. It beat getting into a gunfight with a squad of marines. But they were so close to the canyons. All it would take is another hour or two of barely outpacing them and they would be able to lose them in the labyrinthine landscape they called home. Plus the lookouts would spot them coming and see them through safely. "What we gonna do bossmang?" One of the other called up to the cockpit, there was a laugh from others at the casual use of the belter language that had filtered into their own language over the last few decades. Even with trying to keep as far from the city people as possible, the tribes still needed to trade, and the belters did not care for the laws of the so called 'Republic' and assisted them regularly. It was getting harder and harder these days of course, with the city people becoming more paranoid with each passing day and keeping their skies closed, but from time to time a smuggling ship made it down, like the one they saw the day earlier heading towards Sharonov Crater. The driver was about to reply when an alarm blatted at him from the console. A weather warning from one of their remote radar stations had been sent to them. "What is it?" someone called, "A storm warning...class...shit...class 5!" he called back. "WHAT?! What the fuck are we going to do? We'll get buried alive, the engine can't run in that shit!" "I know these things Vic." Just as he pulled up a map, gunshots rang out and several holes appeared in the side of the ATV, sunlight streaming in in diagonal lines. The younger ones screamed in terror and tried to scramble into the cargo hold below, to try and shelter from any more fire. More gunshots, more holes. "Fuck, Vic, give them a taste of Martha!" "Okay, winding her up now." Vic was still in the gunners seat the plexiglass dome was thankfully bullet proof, but the rest of the ATVs armour had been stripped long ago and was mostly just metal panels and insulation now. He flipped several switches on the turret and pulled on the joystick on the armrest. With an ear piercing squeal and groan of rusted joints poorly maintained servos the turret rotated around to point the giant old 30mm, eight-barreled gatling autocannon at the city peoples rover. Two figures were on top and they seemed to freeze for a moment, like their lack of movement would stop Vic from seeing them. He didn't want to kill them though, just give his friends some more time. Squeezing the trigger for a couple of seconds, martha' spun up and spat several hundred rounds into the side of the rover. "Whhooooooo! This thing is amazing, why didn't we use it sooner?!" "Because using it depletes our energy cells! We're almost out, we gotta find somewhere to hide and recharge while this storm is raging." "Oh...right okay." The city-people had momentarily fallen back, clouds of black smoke pouring from the side of the rover he has just turned into martian swiss imitation-dairy cubes. "I found a place! It's an old tourist hub thats been abandoned for a while!" the driver called back. Vic rotated the turret back into its original forward facing position and climbed back down the ladder, wincing from his injured leg. "What is it?" he asked when he reached the cabin and slumped down in the co-drivers seat. "It's an old pre-colony base, one of the earliest, early millennium...Map called it 'Ares 3'. There's not much there, juts a small habitat and a few tourist information centres, all empty, but all capable of keeping us safe. "Lets do it," Vic said, "Hopefully those city thugs turn back now." "I wouldn't count on it, we are well past outrunning that monster." the driver said, leaning forward in his seat and looking out the viewport at the huge wall of dust and fury bearing down on them. There was a crash followed the sound of something dragging behind them. "What the hell was that?" Vic asked, peering into the side mirror. "Well when the city people left, they put up a big security fence, I guess to keep looters out." "Didn't expect looters to have ATVs then.." "No they did not. Okay, we're here." The ATV skidded to a halt outside a collection of low lying structures, gathered around large, transparent dome. Inside was an ancient circular hab, the words "ARES 3 - NASA" printed on its side. Opening the rear door, Vic helped Garkhan carry Pon's sister while the rest sprinted for the tourist centre, the wind was already raging and the storm was close to them, but they all made it inside safely with time to spare. Outside the wind continued to rise, even masking the sound of another vehicle approaching. Shortly after, everything went dark as the storm hit in earnest, and the world was reduced to a a hellish roar and a small pool of light, surrounded by teenagers and kids, in an empty habitat.