Lusus Naturae: The Lion in the Desert Chapter 1 (1)
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Lusus Naturae

The Lion in the Desert


Their footfalls echoed as the two men traversed the long steel corridor, walking in time like seasoned soldiers; only the sound of their steps and the raspy respiration escaping through their filtered masks penetrated the silence of the underground hallway. Their appearances were both comical and frightening—their purple gas masks and gloves clashing harshly with their desert camouflage.

The men continued their journey beneath the indifferent glow of the halogens burning quietly above them. Each light was conical in shape, spreading intermittent areas of light and darkness like a barcode on the ground. They ran the length of the corridor, hanging from steel cables at roughly ten-foot intervals; there were over fifty lights suspended along...

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