Five Days after the summoning of mortem, the remains of society met at the foundation of their new home, the city BAKea, to discuss how they will rule the new world. Ten groups arrived at the city, and each chose one person to represent their nation. These would be the messengers of mortem, the delivers of justice, the shamans. Mortem came to them in the dark of the night and gave them the knowledge to heal the world. And as the sun began to rise, and a storm began to brew, mortem grabbed a bolt from the sky, and striked it into the large pieces of stone. Out of the flames and cracks, came the ancient texts that are treasured beyond measure. Mortem created the forbidden texts and the tablets of ram, and he gave them to us to help us. The shamans would then ride out, to spread their knowledge and numbers. The texts have gone through many hands over time, but they all served the same purpose. To give the instructed orders that will help keep the world from falling and giving it a chance to rise once more. Mortem is our god, our punisher, and our savior. These are his words, and these words will be the only answer to salvation
-The Forbidden Texts
Mozak cried out in pain, as the punisher whipped him again. The cell-keeper has already whipped him five times in a row, and he was getting ten for his daily punishment. His back was already bleeding quickly now, and all his body felt weak and shaking. He felt like he was going to pass out, but the crack of the whip woke him back up.
It has been one day after Zinc and Wero captured Xenon and Mozak, and the two were sent to the Dungeons below City Hall. They have been separated and were to be given daily punishments until a decision is made. Mozak didn’t know where Xenon was, but he could hear his cries of pain echoing through the cracked walls of the dungeon. Wherever he was, he was in pain.
“That is it, lizard scum!”, the cell-keeper belowed, “But don’t worry. We’ll do this tomorrow, the next day, and till the day you die unless we figure out what to do with yee!”The cell-keeper then left the room, but first chained Mozak to the wall, and locked his cell.
Mozak just hung there quietly, and his thoughts were slowly strolling along, as waves in the ocean. “How could this happen? Why did I listen to him? He led us to our death?” Mozak said to himself. This was all Xenon’s thought, Mozak thought. He has caused so many problems with so many creatures, that Mozak isn’t sure if he should be trusted anymore. Mozak then stopped thinking, and finally went asleep.
Meanwhile, Wero lifted up his long metal rod again, and bashed it again on Xenon’s face, causing it to bleed and smack to the floor. Xenon laid there, in a pool of his blood, and he spit out a tooth. Wero was furious, but he kept a face of manner and seriousness.
“For the last time Wizard, why are you here!?” Wero said as he smacked Xenon again. He wasn’t chained up, but Xenon had no chance at fighting back. “You came here from the East with a Zakaz as your ally. Why are you here? You caused problems with the Archers, the Zakaz, and now here. But I won’t allow your spread of devilry continue. You have either two options. Tell me, and the Zakaz can live, but you will die. If you don’t tell me, you both die.
Xenon just laid there thinking. Would it be worth it? He could save Mozak from death, but his mission would fail. No, it wasn’t worth it. He must find another way to get them both out of here. He can’t tell them, but he knew Wero would have some questions to the Archers. Xenon then decided to just lay down and let Wero continue to hit him.
Wero continued to whack Xenon with the metal rod, now covered in a layering of blood. He was upset, confused, and mainly furious. He doesn’t like it when someone messes with him, he lived through it too much during his long life. As he relentlessly smashed the rod on Xenon, he noticed something for a quick second that changed his mood. It slowed down his frustration and rage, and left an empty cold hole inside him, that grew slowly over time. It was Xenon’s face. A face of fear, guilt, and hopelessness. Wero looked at the face and slowly his uncontrolled rage seemed to fade. Somehow, that face looked like an answer to him. The face showed Xenon’s surrender, his sorry, and most importantly his beg for mercy. Wero decided to stop that day, and left Xenon in his cell, lying in a small pool of his own blood, dripping from his mouth.
Wero walked through the dark dungeon, and while he walked, his uncontrolled rage returned slowly. But it wasn’t at Xenon this time; it was at the Archers. The Archers we keeping something from him, he felt it, and he needed answers now. While he walked, he stopped by Mozak’s cell. He saw the Zakaz hanged up onto the wall, covered in fresh marks of the whip. This reminded Wero of something, something from his past, where a young creature was also whipped savagely, but was given mercy by a guard. This young creature was Wero himself, and seeing it as passing down someone sacred torch, he ordered the cell-guards to cease whipping the Zakaz for now. This seemed odd in Wero’s own head, but he had bigger problems at the moment, and those were with the Archers who gathered in his own hall, lying back after the work they’ve done. Wero entered his office, and closed the door.
Meanwhile, Zinc, Argon, and Radon were sitting in a bedroom given to them by Wero. They were reading papers of all sorts: maps, documents, recent events, anything that could lead them to the whereabouts of the Purple Rider and The Texts. They then ordered for some Dark-Wings, scruffy vulture-like birds. The Archers planned to send out letters, calling all of the closest troops to meet in The Metal Mountains, to begin an aggressive quarantine on the City, until the Texts are found. They all sat silent, until Radon broke it.
“Zinc, I do have to ask you a question? Why did you spare the Shaman and Mozak?” Radon asked.
“YEAH! THEY’RE BETRAYERS, AND WE SHOULD JUST KILL THEM NOW!” Argon yelled as he slammed his fist on a table, causing some old papers to fly off.
Zinc just sat there in silence, staring into empty space. “I know it seems odd to keep them alive, but I think there is some good out of it. If we fail to find the Riders, they may be useful in helping us find them,” Zinc answered.
“AND IF THEY’RE NOT?” Argon questioned.
“Then we can deal with them in any way we please, for they are no longer citizens of our society, but two scurrying rodents, spreading disease and sickness wherever they go,” Zinc said heartlessly.
The entire City Hall was quiet that night, and the whole City seemed to be mute. Maybe it was the fear of the Archer’s presence, but there was no commotion in this large commercial City this night. But in the dark, a figure emerged. It nearly camouflaged with the dark sky, but it’s darker color made a difference. It quickly moved past the giant metal corpses, and leapt across the buildings as swift as the night breeze. It quickly sprinted to City Hall, but instead of going in through the front doors, it slide down into a sewer pipe. A sewer pipe that led to the Dungeon below the building.
Mozak woke up when he felt that moon’s rays shinning on him in his nearly pitch-dark cell. In the door-opening, he saw a figure standing there silently. It quickly ran up to him and broke the chains that kept him there. Mozak fell to the ground, but the figure picked him up. Mozak looked up and his eyes widen in disbelief. Standing in front of him was a cloaked figure, covered in a purple robe. Mozak felt his scales tighten, and his tongue flicker in response. If this wasn’t a dream, then he was really being saved by the Purple Rider.
The Rider grabbed Mozak and quickly lead him out into his cell, and toward a dark sewer opening. But Mozak stopped him, realizing they need to get Xenon.
“Wait. I’m sorry but we have to go back and get my friend. He is also looking for you as am I,” Mozak said.
The Rider stood there quietly, then turned around. “Take me to him,” The Rider said in a strong but quiet voice. Mozak nodded and took the Rider to free Xenon.
Xenon woke up to the bright beams from the moon. His entire body was in pain from the beatings, and the his spilled blood has now dried over his face. He looked up wearily, and saw two figures in the doorway. A taller-figure quietly walked up to him, picked him up, and the next thing he knew, Xenon passed out again.
The next morning, Radon, Argon, and Zinc awaited the arrival of the Zakaz Troops. The morning sun left a dark orange color in the sky, and on the horizon came the troops. Some were marching while others were riding horses. They were covered in Battle Armor bonded together out of metal, bones, and fabric. Some carried spears, others carried Fire-Swords. They all were protected by the shielding made from the Zakaz scientists. Today was the first day for the search of the Texts. When the troops reached City Hall, they lined up in order to the Archers. The Archers were already ready, and Radon pulled out a old rusted revolver from him satchel, pulled the trigger, and sent the troops to search the town in the blasting of the old weapon.
The Zakaz marched into peoples’ homes, broke through things and pushed through people, but didn’t steal or kill anyone. They searched house after house, and meanwhile the remaining troops began to set up a perimeter around the City.
While all of this was happening, Argon decided that he would check up on the prisoners once more. He believed his more persuasive manner would get his people some answers more quickly. He went back to City Hall, and while he walked to the Dungeon, he noticed something odd happening in Wero’s Office. Wero was just standing by the window, frozen just like a gargoyle, with the only movement of twitches coming from his hands or wings. Argon wondered for a second, “Is he angry about us inspecting the place? I hope he is not going to freak out or something again?”. Argon then shrugged off his thoughts, and headed down into the cellar. But what Argon did not know was that his question was correct, and his fears weren’t just thoughts. Wero starred furiously through that window, and while he didn’t show it, Wero was on the snapping point. Something about all of this to him just seemed too much, no matter what prizes the future may await, and it needed to be stopped there and then. Wero left his room, with a jump and a quick flap of his wings, flew deep into his personal rooms, where he kept his Armory.
Meanwhile, Xenon was starting to wake up again, but he noticed he wasn’t in the same place. He was in a dark abandoned home, and in the room Mozak was sitting on a chair, and a figure was looking out through the window. Xenon slowly got up.
“Mozak, where are we? Who is this?” Xenon said.
Mozak looked at him worried, but then felt a cringe by it. Once again, Mozak felt this disgusted feeling toward Xenon, but he couldn’t tell why. Maybe it was because Xenon’s always asking questions, and leaving people in a state of confusion, but no matter what, Mozak still felt uncomfortable around him.
“Were in a abandoned store right now. The Zakaz are tearing down the City piece by piece,” Mozak said as they heard a explosion from outside. The Troops had just blew a hole in a wall with explosives, in order to inspect a old locked up home. They were close, and would be there any time soon.
“Ok, then we need to hurry. But first, who is this man?” Xenon said. The figure then turned around and quickly closed the curtains. It walked up to Xenon slowly, but powerfully. It’s footsteps left a silence in the room with the sharp clanking of it’s boots. A slimmer of sunlight shone through the old room, and shown itself onto the figure. This figure was wearing a large and ancient robe, it had golden chains and garments covering it all over, a large pike on its back and a old Shotgun in its belt, and its face was hidden by an empty black hole from the hood of the cloak. This was the Purple Rider.
The Purple Rider then turned away from Xenon, and talked to Mozak. “Mozak we don’t have enough time, they will be coming, but you can escape the city by horse. I’m going to help you, but you need to trust me; can you do that?” it said to Mozak sincerely.
Mozak was surprised, he didn’t expect the person they were searching for all this time, to be so polite and sincere. “Yes sir. I trust you,” Mozak said firmly.
The Purple Rider shook his head again, and went to a secret chest hidden in the back area of the room. But Xenon intervened it, but the Rider grabbed Xenon tightly.
“Purple Rider, please you have to listen to me. I am a Shaman from Ares, who has been sent by Mortem himself in order to find the Texts. Please let me ask you my questions. Who are you? Why did the Drake Family give you the Ancient Powers? Why are you helping us? And why do you belittle me?” Xenon said quickly.
The Rider just stood there quietly for a moment, but then it spoke.
“My name is no concern of yours, and is not important to the quest. The Drake Family gave me and the Orange Rider the texts because they trusted us more than any other being in the world. I’m helping you, so the Texts could survive. And I don’t belittle you Xenon, I do not trust you,” The Rider said to counteract Xenon.
Xenon was confused and upset. “How can you not trust me, a Shaman? I have spoken to Mortem three months ago in my sleep,” Xenon said.
“Ah, but let you know this Shaman, that at least one week ago, I too was given a dream from Mortem, and he told me the faith of our quest. He said, that his visions were wrong, and he given too much power to the ones he believed would balance everything, the Shamans. The Shamans are now in his eyes, just the same as everyone else, the punished. You have lost your privilege to be respected by others Shaman Xenon, and soon over time you too will face the consequences for your actions,” The Rider said as it moved again to the Chest.
“What actions have I done?” Xenon said frustrated.
“By losing your traditional ways by living by your own fears. You fear the Zakaz will kill your entire race, and in so, you neglect all other living things that need assistance. Every since your friend died at the hands of the Zakaz, you have run like a machine fueled by fear. You’re going to burn yourself down soon Shaman, and this time, it’ll cost you your life,” The Rider said.
Xenon just stood there bewildered, and then realized something. “How does he know my name? Or that my once dear friend has been killed?”, he thought to himself.
The Purple Rider walked to the old Chest, and took off the old drapes that covered it. It bent down to knee level, and motioned his hand toward the Chest. The Rider knew what it had in this chest was beyond it, and that is why the key to the chest, was is own skin and bone. It had made a lock, fused with the purest magic, and carved it’s own index finger into the key. It placed in the boned-down finger into the Lock. It made a clicking sound, and the lock came off it a crank sound. The lock fell down with a thud. The Purple Rider opened the Chest, to reveal a bright blue light that spread throughout the room. Both Mozak and Xenon were terrified, and placed there hands to there face, to reflect the incoming rays. Mozak hissed a little in response to the light, and his claws began to dig into the floor. He wasn’t sure, was this what he thought it was?
The Purple Rider then slowly picked up a large item from the text. It looked like a book, but much thicker, and it seemed to have no pages, only a flat surface, and from this surface the bright blue light glared. The Rider pressed a button on the Item, and wrapped it into a blanket. It walked over to Mozak and handed it to him.
“Mozak, you must make sure these texts reach the City of Bakea, the founding place of this new civilization. I have spoken to the Mighty himself, and he wants a Zakaz to bring the new order to the world. I know this seems a lot, so that is why I am going to come with you,” The Rider said and then he turned to Xenon.
“Shaman, you must go find Boro and Tungsten in the White Mountains, and get the Tablets of Ram and bring them to Bakea,” The Rider said as Xenon nodded his head in agreement.
Mozak wasn’t listening to the conversation, as he held the item in his hands. These were The Forbidden Texts, and they felt powerful in his hands. They both scared and excited Mozak, for here was the information that can save the world. He was so excited to do such as great thing, but was very scared of the road too it. Luckily, the Purple Rider was going to be with them along the way.
The three then decided to pack up what they had left, and The Purple Rider gave something to Mozak and Xenon, their weapons back, and also something for Mozak. A old small Fire-Sword, that looked like it had survived the coming of Mortem. It was rusted, but looked like it still worked. Mozak took the weapon and felt so grateful for the Rider’s hospitality.
They all snuck out from the back, and crept through the alley-ways, to avoid detection from the Zakaz Troops. Xenon was in the back of the group, but felt very worried about their situation. It was the middle of the day, and if they were going to leave the Metal Mountains, they were going to need the Zakaz’s horses in order to survive the heat. The very thought caused Xenon to panic, and he wasn’t sure if the Rider knew what he was doing. He was starting to shake a little as he walked, and his paranoia was getting the best of him. He didn’t know why he was so nervous, but whatever it was, he knew it had to due with the Rider.
The three sneaked into a stable where the horses were being kept. But before they were able to get near them, the nearby City Hall doors slammed open. Argon ran out in a blind rage.
“THEY’RE GONE. THE TRAITORS HAVE ESCAPED!! FIND THEM TROOPS, HURRY, NOW!!” Argon screamed as he ran to the stables to get his horse.
Now Xenon was beginning to panic, the Archers are coming for him again. He needed to find a way out, in order to save the Texts. In betrayal of his faith and duty, he ran out of the stables at Argon. The Purple Rider just stood watching him, and Mozak starred mortified.
Argon saw Xenon coming at him, and instantly grabbed him by the throat, and slammed him into the ground. He growled at Xenon, as he teeth clenched to a bleeding point.
“This has gone on for too long, Shaman”, Argon said as he grabbed out his spear to stab Xenon. But Mozak grabbed out his Fire-Sword, and shot at Argon. The bullet only hit Argon’s armor, but it caused Argon to fly back. Argon then quickly ducked for cover, as he advanced toward the stables.
The Purple Rider now got up, and ran toward Argon with the incoming troops coming. It punched one solider, knocking him back, and shot another, killing it. But Argon quickly tackled the Rider down, and began beating it with his sharp clawed hands. But the Rider got loose of its grip, and began to fight Argon hand-to-hand.
Mozak then quickly ran inside the stables and got three horses. He led them outside, and Xenon got on one. Mozak then got on the other while The Rider was fighting Argon. More troops were coming, so the Rider needed to get out of there. In a hasty move, he punched Argon in the face, throwing him back, and quickly jumped onto the last horse. They rode out of there as fast as they could, while the Soldiers shot at them. Argon whistled for his horse, got on, and rode after them.
The Zakaz Troops were on their tail, but the three continued to run away. Argon was leading the troops in a furious rage, as he shot as the three with his Fire-Sword. His shots would keep missing but would derail his targets from the road. When the three reached the City Gate, they were surprised to see the Zakaz Troops were already waiting there for them, and in the center were Radon and Zinc.
Mozak was scared, but he knew the only thing he could do was to listen to the Rider, but the Rider had no plan, and just continued to ride forward. And so, Mozak rode with the Rider.
But when they reached the gate, something strange happened. A explosion hit the troops on the left, and out of the air came gun-fire. Mozak looked up, and saw Agalma Soldiers flying in with weapons and explosives. In the lead, Wero was shooting down Zakaz with a rifle. This was the one thing everyone was worried would come, a bloodbath in the only civilization in the wastelands.
Radon decided to take on Wero himself, while Zinc tried to stop the Three Riders. But when Radon tried to shoot Wero, Wero kicked him back and shot him in the chest, causing Radon to fall back in pain. Zinc seeing this, quickly ignored the Riders and went to help his friend. He pounced at Wero mid-air, and fought him down to ground level. Zinc swung at Wero with his claws, causing cuts on Wero’s dried and old skin. But Wero strike back, by kicking Zinc so hard it threw him off balance, and he pecked at Zinc with his sharp beak. Zinc counterattacked by biting deep into Wero’s neck, causing it too bleed uncontrollably. He shake Wero like a rag-doll, but Wero again attacked by shooting Zinc in the eye. Zinc flew back onto the ground in blood, he was screaming in agony from the pain, but got back up as fast as he could. He wasn’t finished with Wero yet.
He once again pounced onto Wero, grabbed him by the head, and began to pound him into a rock multiple times. Wero kicked him off again, and shot him in the chest, just like Radon, but the bullet didn’t pierce Zinc because of his chest plate. But Zinc did fall, and Wero stood over him, ready to kill him. But then something happened that Wero didn’t expect, and this time cost him his life. Wero was shot in the head by Argon, who was riding in. Wero fell back into a pile of rubble, as he began to slowly die. Zinc slowly got up and moved over to Radon. Radon was bleeding very badly from his chest, but looked like he could make it with the right treatment. But the right treatment wasn’t here and not now.
The Three Riders tried to run about chaos unfolding at the gate, by hoping the small wall on the right. But while they tried to do that, Mozak heard Argon screaming something.
“WE NEED TO GET RADON OUT OF HERE!! WE MUST TAKE HIM OVERLEVAS! THERE POWERS WILL BE ABLE TO HEAL HIM!!” Argon screamed.
“YES ARGON. I HEAR YOU FOR MORTEM’S SAKE. BUT FIRST WE NEED TO WIPE OUT THESE AGALMAS” Zinc screamed back.
“What’s the Cult of Overleva?” Mozak quickly thought to himself, as he and the Riders jumped over the small wall, and back into the Infinite Desert.
Argon saw the Three Riders riding into the distance, but before they could escape, Argon shot one last time, and this time it hit something. It hit Xenon’s back, in a sharp cut. Xenon screamed in pain, as they rode out. Argon felt satisfied by that scream, but even that couldn’t help when he saw his friends injured on the ground.
Argon and Zinc heard a groan behind them, and saw Wero panting in his own blood. Argon walked up to him, grabbed out his spear, and stabbed him strongly. But Wero responded by pulling out a small remote, and pressing a button.
But this was no ordinary remote. Wero was very cautious about his city, and if the day had come where he died and it wouldn’t be protected, he would make sure it would come with him. And as he pressed the button, the explosives set up around the entire City’s generators began to blow up. A chain reaction of fire erupted, as the explosives began to erupt all over the City. The giant Metal Mountains began to tumble down, as Argon and Zinc screamed for all the Zakaz to retreat back into the Desert. The Zakaz Troops ran out of the City as fast as they could, trying to avoid impact from the debris. Nearly all were able to make it out, but some did die that day.
Argon and Zinc watched as the City began to fall down in front of them. Zinc was still in pain from his eye, but he covered it up with a bandage, and was looking at Radon. He was in a medical carriage, ready to be taken to the Overlevas. Zinc then began to think about something. “All of those people, those innocent people, were dead. We didn’t even think about saving our own subjects,” Zinc thought to himself. For one time in his life, Zinc wasn’t feeling cold-hearted, and began to warm up a little bit. But from this heat, came the tears, and Zinc began to cry in response to all of those deaths. They didn’t need to die, and this is what the Oracle warned them about. Argon saw this, and tried to comfort him, thinking Zinc was upset about his eye. While Zinc was thankful for Argon caring, his source of his hidden emotions was deeper than anyone could ever imagine.