01 - Welcome, Today You Feast

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Over the course of the following 45 minutes, the refugees ate like free men. Crowding around the three-table buffet in a large group, they enjoyed expensive meats and wines. They joked with one another and laughed like they were having a feast in their own homes.

An elderly woman walked over to a Grey-Suit tasked with watching the refugees. Clasping her hands together to symbolise prayer, she bowed in gratitude as if these men were angels sent from heaven. Unfortunately, bloody vomiting and the collapse of a single girl dragged the blissful back to reality.

The girl was only fourteen. She was clever, pretty. Her hair was curly and black, her skin was tanned and smooth, but she currently writhed in pain. As she started to seize, a thick white froth oozed from her mouth and dribbled down her cheek.

Old Lady – "DIOS MIO!"

Hope instantly turned into a mad frenzy of fear. The adults panicked; the children stared aimlessly at the squirming body of this girl as she gargled on her own bile.

The girl’s father rushed to her side and dropped to his knees.

Father – "ESTHER! ESTHER!"

Sweat poured from his brow. Anguish took shape in his eyes.

Father – "QUE LE PASA!? POR QUE ESTA TEMBLANDO!? POR QUE NO RESPIRA!?"

Father – "POR FAVOR! POR FAVOR AYUDENLA! AYUDEN A MI HIJA!"

His cries echoed throughout a warehouse which had become dead-silent. The Grey-Suits were instantly alerted, and Tillan walked over to the source of the commotion. Upon seeing the problem, Tillan sighed after running his giant hand across his shiny scalp.

Tillan – "We have a Burster!"

Two Grey-Suits rushed over to the scene.

Tillan – "Fucking mules. There’s always one who starts squirming like a bitch... and there’s always one who starts screaming like a baby."

At that point, the father grabbed hold of Tillan’s trousers with a flood of tears in his eyes. Tillan looked into these pathetic blood-shot beads with disgust. He didn’t like filth touching his clothes, but orders were orders and he had to make the refugees feel important.

Father – "Mi hija... AYUDEN A MI HIJA! POR FAVOR!"

Tillan looked over to one of the two Grey-Suits beside him.

Tillan – "What’s he saying? I don’t speak refugee."

Grey-Suit – "I believe he’s begging you to save his daughter, Sir."

Tillan – "I see. Well, if that’s the case... I suppose I should."

Staring directly into the eyes of the grovelling man, Tillan simply nodded. Esther’s father looked elated. A new ray of hope appeared – one that could even be reached from the pits of despair.

An old lady then knelt beside the girl’s body as two Grey-Suits grabbed Esther by the shoulders and hips; she began to pray with a surge of emotion and once she’d finished, Esther was carried away.

Old Lady – "En el nombre del Padre, el Hijo y el Espiritu Santo, Amen."

Five minutes had passed since Esther was taken to hospital. In those five minutes, the majority of refugees had managed to calm down. An atmosphere of positivity started to form once more.

Some had picked up their plates and filled them with steak, while others grabbed entire bottles of wine and drank them as they were.

Over near the shipping containers stood a lighter-skinned male with dark shaggy hair, rough-looking stubble, green eyes and a scar on his throat. He was smoking a cigarette in solitude and seemed to be enjoying the isolation, when all of a sudden...

Sebastian – "Hey man. You have another one?"

A short-black-haired Colombian extended an open hand to this loner. The loner looked at Sebastian’s olive skin, and then into his hazel eyes before handing him a smoke straight from the pack.

Sebastian – "How come you’re out here on your own, man? How come you aren’t celebrating with the rest of us? Okay, maybe there was a bit of a scare, but the girl’s gonna be fine. She’s gonna go to the hospital, she’s gonna get patched up and then she’s gonna see Papi again-"

Loner – "What fucking dream are you living in?"

Sebastian retreated slightly.

Sebastian – "What’s wrong with you, man?"

Loner – "I have almost a kilo of cocaine stuffed up my asshole. I don’t know about you, but I can’t shit that out in one go... and besides..."

The loner looked over to Esther’s father. The man was indeed still a mess, but he was looking more positive by the second. With Tillan’s continued assurance that Esther would be taken care of by the best people his company could offer, her father’s fears slowly dissipated.

Loner – "That man... he’ll never see his daughter again."

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