The wheeling of the engine was the only thing she heard in the large metal bird. The girl sat against a pale orange seat, black straps wrapping around her chest and lap. A few others sat in the back of the aircraft with her, another girl and two boys from her town. They looked just as pale and scared as she felt, their faces silent and eyes looking down in their laps. Neda leaned her head back against the cold metal of the plane and let out a sigh, her sound being taken by the engine. There were no windows to look out of, no daylight to stream in and at least give some indication of passing time. It felt like hours, days even, since they had escorted her onto the plane, the boredom having set in awhile ago. In actuality it was only an hour, if that, in the air. The aircraft began to land, the sense of her falling flipping her stomach and casting her eyes around the haul. One boy locked eyes with her before she looked away. Her heart hammered in her chest, her palms grew sweaty and she waited. The sound of the engines slowly died as they came to a halt before the cargo door opened onto the concrete ground. Sunlight streamed in through the open hatch and she undid her buckles from her seat. The three others followed suit as four soldiers came from the front of the plane, wherever they had been sitting. The conscripts were escorted off the plane, the sun causing her eyes to squint as she stepped from the metal bird. One hand rose to block it out, eyes straining to see where she was. The cement ground as the first thing she noticed, then the building that seemed to extend forever that was stationed in the center of the compound like a pillar of power and authority. Neda looked up the length of the building, pausing to take it all in. She felt her shoulder being shoved. “Move along, conscript.” A man’s voice prodded her forward and she began walking, falling in line behind the other three. It had all started about two months ago. One person had gotten sick, inviting the parasite into their small frontier town. She hadn’t been one of the few infected but her mother had been. It was too late by the time the soldiers had arrived and her mother perished a day after their arrival. Neda had kept her distance from the soldiers, preferring to watch them from affair. She had heard stories of commanders plucking simple girls from towns in order to bed and forget them. The horrors of fighting the evil monsters and creatures that sprang from the earth and sky like locusts. She wanted nothing to do with that, happy milking her cows and not having another care in the world. When the soldiers left everything turned back to normal, after they buried the dead. Her aunt had taken her in, her father having been dead for several years. She had spent that new life looking after her little cousin and figured she could get used to that. Neda had assumed that the rest of her life would consist of living in that town, meeting a man and probably raising a few kids. Simple, yet safe and secure. She had been wrong. The soldiers came back as quickly as they had come, names been rattled off like a death note. A lot of the younger people, around her age, had been conscripted, sent off to various bases around the world. Her name had come near the end, with the three other individuals she now marched with. She hadn’t thought anyone had noticed her, having kept her distance and not giving the soldiers a reason to notice her. But someone had. With nothing but the clothes on her back she was loaded into the aircraft like cattle and shipped off to a new life of servitude and fear. Neda filed along with the others, coming to a directed stop in front of the large building that stood at the center of the base. Tents littered the ground and a few men and women wandered about, though they all looked like they had purpose. Like the other three conscripts, Neda wore the clothes they had picked her up in. She had a simple light green dress that hugged around her chest and waist and flared at the skirt ever so slightly, making her buttocks look bigger than it actually was. Her arms were covered in a thin cardigan that was open at the front. She wore no stockings or leg protection and instead had a bare of brown sandals that wound up her ankle like the ancient Egyptians. Wavy blonde locks cradled around her face, giving her an almost innocent child like look. She wore little make up, save for a bit of black eye liner. Around her neck was a long silver chain that dipped down into her cleavage, the medallion hidden in her small bosom. Her fingers were adorned with various rings, all of which where different designs and colors and none that matched her dress. The other three were dressed in different civilian clothes. The girl had a tank top and jeans while the boys each wore different t-shirts and jeans, all with proper footwear for living on a frontier settlement. Neda looked around anxiously, watching the stoic faces of the soldiers that seemed to be waiting for something, or someone. Her eyes wandered to the various small construction sites behind them.