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Facing Death: The Beginning

The world was dying.
For years, it had been consumed by inextinguishable fires. Hot orange flames covered the ground. All the concrete and brick was burning. It had been consumed by uncontrollable floods. Horrible weather and natural disasters occurred at an unnatural rate. Snow never fell, nor did the rain. The sun never shone, and the stars had not been visible for years.
People had been praying for an escape, and now the world was ending.
They knew it was pointless to run. They wouldn’t be able to get out. If they ran from a fire, they would drown. If they ran from the water, they would burn. Either way, they were going to die. And so the families huddled together, shut up in their burning homes, and hoped the end would be quick.
But there was one.
One would not give up. He bolted through the streets, towards the center of the city, where the fire was thickest and the water poured from the sky. There, in the center, was his chance. His only chance to change the ending of his story.
Behind him was a girl. About two years older than he, she raced after him relentlessly, never willing to watch her closest friend give himself to the flames. To Death itself.
At last! He had reached his destination. H e was panting hard and sweating off most of his weight, but his will was hard as iron, and he stood in the eye of the storm - where the fire didn’t burn and the waves didn’t flood, where the sky proved that the sun was still out there.
And it was from there that he planted his feet firmly into the ground, thrust out his arms, threw back his head, and shouted into the nothingness, “Scourge! I offer myself to you in exchange for the life of our world!”
Finally catching up to him, the girl tried to see through the smoke and found her best friend standing in the position of an offering to Scourge. Her eyes widened. “Bolt, don’t!” she cried, but he was unable to hear.
“Mortal,” a voice boomed from somewhere above. “Your move is brave, but foolish.”
“Please! I’ll do anything!” the one, Bolt, cried. He wouldn’t give up on his world. He wouldn’t!
“Come to me,” the voice commanded, and Bolt found himself suddenly floating above the flames, above the water, above the clouds. And above the clouds was a stillness the world had not seen for over three hundred years. Here, the sun shone, the air was breathable, and time had no meaning. It just…was.
“Mortal,” the voice was beginning to take shape in front of him. “Tell me your name.”
“Bolt,” Bolt said, still somewhat in awe of his new surroundings. A small ring the size of his fist appeared before him, glowing blue and bright. He stared at its strange markings, its pulsing neon light.
“Bolt, you are courageous. You have done what no other has. You have defied the fate before you and instead claimed a new one. Take this.”
Suddenly the ring was thrust toward him. Floating above the clouds, Bolt reached forward and took it in his hands, feeling the warmth spreading up his arm and into his whole body.
“This gift I give you. You have one chance to change the world you know. Go back to when it all began. Solve the mystery of Scourge. If you are successful in changing the way things are, your world and everyone in it will be spared. If you fail, you face death with the rest of the mortals. Will you accept this challenge?”
Bolt pondered for a moment, but not long. He could change things, make them better! He could prevent the Scourge from happening. He could save the world. How could he refuse?
“Yes.”
“Take your lady with you,” Scourge said. “Good luck, Bolt. Knight of the World.”




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