Night gave way to day, and slowly back again, as Guyard tried his best to deal with his recent loss. He had plugged the hole on his bike, leaving him with about 50 miles worth of fuel. Next, he had dragged his parents up the family sepulchre; a small underground bunker that held the bones of his grandparents and their parents. Finally, he had gathered his spare clothes, the flakes, and the precious varyite, hidden within a small niche in the wall. He had dared not shown them were they were, and since his parents were dead, he had nothing to barter for them, so he had kept their presence hidden.
The night had settled in, and he gathered his items, loaded them on the bike and got ready for a long night. It was always best to travel in the dark, for the ground becomes hardened by the cold and more stable. His bike revved, and he was off. 50 miles would get him to the nearest settlement, so long as there are no disruptions, and that’s pushing it.
The sun lowered, as did the moon, and Mars became a cold wasteland. Dust whipped at his face as he sped across the horizon. Guyard must’ve hit a rock or something, for the bike jolted and started to stutter. No, no, no, no! Not good. The bike slowed, and he dismounted quickly. Going straight to the engine, he found nothing. The fuel tank was intact, and the motor was unclogged. Just to be sure, he cleaned the engine out, to make sure the dust doesn’t build up.
On closer inspection, he saw the wheel had been burst. The hole was corroded, as if it had run over acid. He knew these kinds of contraptions. Inventium, the cold, heartless androids of Mars, bent on furthering their knowledge of the varyite, to power their androids. Because of their hearts, they don’t run on electricity, and the abilities of the Inventium allow them to craft it into powerful batteries.
This particular trap was a small spike attached to a canister of acid, which is laid in the thousands around choke points. When something passes over the trap, the spike bursts the wheel while the acid sprays inside, melting the inner tyre and wheel. He cursed them. All of them. Why did they always make so hard to live? The Inventium with their traps, the Koranti with their raids, bandits and dust storms and unbearable heat or freezing cold. All of it, trying to kill him.
After a few hours, he managed to fix the wheel. The acid hadn’t hit the inside of the tyre properly, so it was only just a little weakened. After saddling up, her made ready for departure.