01 - Welcome, Today You Feast

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5 Years Ago

Port of Southampton

Earlier that day, a large freighter arrived from Colombia. The ship was registered under the ‘Hamilton Company’ name, and was supposedly confirmed to be transporting large quantities of the key raw ingredient needed to make the cure for the ‘360 Bolivian Disease’.

The multiple shipping containers storing this ingredient were craned from the freighter over to the loading docks, individually fixed onto trucks and driven to a secure, private complex around fifteen minutes from the port. This private complex belonged to the ‘Hamilton Company’.

On arrival at the complex, some of the trucks split off from the main convoy and were then driven to, and stored in a large underground warehouse. After the containers were checked for a red lick of paint on the access door, they were opened. A combined total of 27 refugees emerged from within.

Private Storage Complex: Warehouse

The warehouse was well-lit, albeit basic in its rectangular structure. The walls and ceiling were made of steel; the floor was made of thick rubber so that heavy objects stored there couldn’t cause any major damage.

With the exception of the shipping containers, what appeared to be a buffet set up on three adjoining tables in the middle of the warehouse and several men wearing grey suits with handguns holstered at their hips (Grey-Suits), the place was essentially empty.

Tillan – "Line them up!"

The guard who’d already helped himself to some of the food from the buffet seemed to be the one in charge – his name was Tillan. As soon as he’d asserted his authority, some of the Grey-Suits lined the refugees up exactly as they’d been commanded – side by side.

Tillan – "Begin the count!"

With another dominant order, Tillan continued chewing a greasy chicken-wing that dripped hot-sauce onto the rubber floor. Some of the other Grey-Suits took their original positions surrounding the refugees while another approached with a black marker-pen in his hand.

Guard – "One!"

The count began. It seemed as though Grey-Suits had been instructed to double-check the amount of refugees on board once the trucks had safely arrived within the confines of the warehouse.

Guard – "Two!"

Once he yelled out the digit, he grabbed the refugee’s hand before drawing the letter C on its wrist. After marking it to confirm it’d been counted, the guard moved on to the next one until they’d all been marked. The count total was as it should have been – 27.

Tillan – "Refugees!"

Tillan stepped away from the buffet and walked over to the row of confused foreigners. Among them were men, women and children – all of whom sought a new safe haven.

Tillan – "Let me rephrase..."

With a slightly sadistic smile on his face, the bald oddly-proportioned body-builder cleared his throat. His voice was deep, his eyes were brown and his pecks pressed firmly against his blazer.

Tillan – "Mules! Until you’ve reached your final destination... and until the entirety of our stock’s been extracted from whichever hole you sacrificed to get through customs and sneak onto our ship, you belong to the Hamilton Company."

Tillan – "With that in mind, as the company’s representative I order you to eat! I’m sure your journey to the South Coast of the United Kingdom has been long, tiring and at times even nerve-wracking. Please enjoy the buffet we’ve laid out for you. Eat to your heart’s content!"

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