crouch hill

The Plan in Action

Starscream waited at the agreed upon point overlooking the warehouse late that evening. Glancing at his chronometer, he determined it to be some time around 11:45 pm Earth Time. He smirked slightly, meaning to arrive early in order to stake out the place. Below, humans were entering and exiting the building like a hive of Insecticon drones, still busy even at this late hour. 

Starscream studied the organics with something like fascination. Whatever celebration was in a few minutes, the humans certainly made a big deal over it. But he would worry about customs and culture later - if at all. He crouched low over the hill’s crest and waited for Trepan to show.



The landscape outside Eshowe, a town about two hours northwest of Durban, is an undulating green sea of sugar cane plants. Houses appear intermittently, sprinkling across the hills. Monkeys crouch at the side of the road, near speed bumps, where they snatch up crops that fall off passing trucks.

Four days a week, Babongile Luhlongwane, 40, and Busisiwe Luthuli, 32, trek up and down the rolling terrain, their backpacks stuffed with medical equipment. Though they get paid only 2,500 rand a month — about $174 — the women have an important job: testing their community for HIV. The number of infected people in their area is absolutely staggering.