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Tales of Armmageddon, Book 1, Prologue
I sit here in my lonely room and the voices of my people cry out to me through the years. "Tell our story!" they cry. "Do not let our troubles go untold!" So I write. Your story will be told my people, I, Nasay the Chronicler, promise you this.
The invasion took the world completely by surprise. No one was ready for it. When the forces of the Enemy arrived most of us just accepted it. After all this was the end of the world, right? What could we do about it? Many humans died, and dozens more were taken into captivity, in the first attack. Darkness fell over the land. But there were those who resisted.
These were divided into two groups, the first being the Specials, whose abilities were extremely useful for fighting the Enemy, until they revealed themselves to the world. Then the Enemy sent his warriors after them, and destroyed all but a few. Those who did survive went into hiding.
The other group was the Rebellion, a guerrilla group that used military strength and tactics to lead raids and sieges on the Enemy's forces. Their main base was in the capital city of Cockaigne, they spend their days in the shadow of the impregnable Tower. They were led by a man known as the Captain.
There was also a sub group of the Specials known as the Dreamers. The Dreamers had visions of things to come, but didn't realize their powers until the invasion. Even then some of them refused to accept their power and tried to block the visions. A few succeeded.
Three years later out on the edge of town a small bar was one of the last areas in Cockaigne where people could freely talk about the Specials, Dreamers, and Rebellion. It was to this unassuming structure that a dark figure made it's way one cold March night.
"Can I help you?" the bartender asked it warily.
"Yeah, I'm looking for an old friend." He said coming into the dim light. He was tall, with a long scar running across his face and under a black eye patch over his right eye.
"I have a lot of customers. What's this friend of yours like?"
"She's a Dreamer."
A pair of shadowy men sitting in the corner got up silently and slipped unnoticed into the night.
"Ha!" a hooded figure at the bar laughed harshly. "You've come to the wrong place, mate. No one here dreams. Least ways not anymore."
"Well, would you be willing to make an exception?" he asked.
"Look you,"she replied, flinging off her hood and turning around to face him. She stopped when she saw who it was. "Well,well, well. Look's who's come topside. What do you want, 'Captain'?"
"OK, not appreciating the mockery." He retorted. "Especially when you're drunk."
"Huh. It's not like you're doin' anything better." She snorted. "And I'm not drunk"
"Well you're pretty damn close." He said giving her a look from his good eye that could have unnerved even the most hardened warrior. But not her. She turned back to the bar.
"Aye?" replied the sullen bartender.
"Is there someone over me right shoulder?"
"Aye. This time."
"Look Kai," she said turning back to the Captain, "I think I know what you want and I would love to help you but there's nothing I can do. Face it. Lekaia's dead."
He looked down at his feet and kicked a wadded up flier that lay there. "I know, but..." he shook his head. "I could have saved her..."
"Oh, and this is what you think she'd have wanted you to do? Dressing up and playing soldier with your little friends?"
"It's better then whatever it is you're doing."
"Is it?" Her voice began to rise.
"Yes. It is." He responded in kind.
"Have you ever considered that maybe vengeance isn't the best idea? Or that maybe she's better off?"
"How do you know?!?"
"Even if you have no respect for yourself, at least have respect for the dead. Or have you forgotten that followed a similar path?"
"That's none of your business." She growled. She turned back to the bar and silently fumed over her bottle.
One of the men slipped back in.
He was about to respond when a knife flew between them just missing Matka's ear. Without a moment of hesitation she turned, reached for her belt, and dropped the assailant without so much as a blink.
"You see? This is why I cut communication with everyone and stopped having the dreams. It made me a bloody target!"
"I'm sorry," he paused, "How long has it been?"
"She stared at him, trying to decide what he meant.
"Since the last time you dreamed." He clarified.
"Right after she died."
"And right before he disappeared, and thank you so much for bringing that up."
"Look I'm sorry. Honestly. But I do need your help."
"Nothings changed." she said taking a swig from her bottle.
He ignored her and continued, "We're taking the Tower."
A large spew of liquid went flying all over the place. "Are you mad?!? That's a suicide mission."
"Not if we have you."
"Forget it! I'm not helping you get killed."
"There's a chance, however small, that..."
"No there isn't!" She said cutting him off and glaring at him.
"They were right about you. You've given up."
"Look stop trying to guilt me into helping you. I'm not."
Just then a big black cat came walking towards them and jumped up on the seat next to Matka.
"Rugnap." She said quietly as she ran her hand down his back.
"You still have him."
"And what does he think of taking the Tower?"
The cat tilted his head to one side and mewed questioningly.
"See? I'm not the only one who thinks it's a bad idea."
"I think that was more of a 'Can I come?' then an 'Are you insane?'"
"You are insane." she laughed.
He smiled. "Yeah, I am. And I'm not the only one. Please. I am now begging you to help us."
"Aw, Kai don't look at me like that. You know I will...eventually."
"Took you long enough."
Rugnap jumped down to the floor and marched to the door, then stopped and looked back as if to say "Are you two coming?"
"He always was a very intelligent cat." Matka observed.
"If you are going to help us, meet me at the corner of First and Fountain tomorrow at 6."
"I will." she said as they got up and walked out the door.
Outside my room I can hear people walking past. The brick walls are solid except for the two doors. But I don't really want a window. Even if I had one, it wouldn't make a difference.