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“That way’s North. North is home. I must go home…”
Rock, brown and dull, stretched for miles in every direction. Bane couldn’t remember the last time he had seen anything different. He had been stumbling over the desolate surface of his planet, every step sapping his hope and life a little more. The feel of his feet on the ground had disappeared long ago. The time seemed to pause, fast-forward, and rewind. Weeks, Months, even years could have passed. Bane didn’t care. He was heading home.
As day gave way to night, Bane’s body also started to give way to exhaustion. His steps became sluggish, and sleep hung from his eyelids. He couldn’t see in the pitch black of the moonless night, but somehow he knew he was still heading North. His legs gave out from under him. He desperately tried to get back up, but exhaustion had paralyzed nearly every muscle in his body.
“That way’s… North… North is home… I must… go… home…” The words whispered between his nearly still lips. His thoughts faded, but not before something caught his eye.
Barriers vaporized instantly from Bane’s mind as the welcoming wave of sleep washed over them. Bane could think clearly, unimpeded by his will to survive. His brain became active after being shut down when instincts took over.
-I’m in a forest…?
The memories flooded back, overwhelming his emotions. His parents telling him his real name, yet calling him by Bane. The conversation he overheard, where Bane learned of his parents hatred of their kind- of humans.
-They destroyed their planet…
He remembered the video footage they had showed him of what was left of Earth, and the footage of what it used to be
-The oceans, forests everything… gone… Just craters and cracks…
He realized what had caused it.
Bane had seen what mining pods were capable of. He had come across craters full of robots, mining to the core of the planet for minerals, depositing them in a contraption labeled “P.O.D.”
-And they just… moved on? Continued onto our planet?
A video came to mind.
He watched it, horrified and confused. It said his parents didn’t want their child to be human, and his human instincts had been replaced with a computer chip. He would be “so non-human that he was, in fact, Superhuman.” It went on to detail how it had malfunctioned, leaving only the Compass intact.
-They just took it away…took it all away…
He remembered the death of his parents...
-…caused by my own hand…
… and how he had left that day, determined to undo his wrongs.
-They always said “Home is in the North”. North is home. I must go home…
It was the pods that awakened Bane.
A searing pain rippled through his skull, dragging Bane out of his dream. He looked around. A crater lay where the forest had once been.
“Which way’s North?! Where is home?!”
Time passed, until Bane finally realized: