Anthony DeLapi, Staff Writer

For things to remain balanced and consistent with the times, it must be changed along the way. For nature to be balanced, life must change. The foundations we are built on must experience some tweaks at times, either small or large if necessary. If something doesn’t work for the good of the people, don’t let it stay. Speak up about it, and see it be changed with the approval of the population. But do not seek this as an opportunity for personal gain, for that will only lead to suffering onto yourself. Learn from the mistakes, grow upon it for the success of the future.

– The Forbidden Texts.

It has been 2 decades since the War for the Texts. While there was only one battle, its impact spread across the land. With all of the Archers dead, the Empire of the Zakaz collapsed onto itself within a couple of months. Then the combined forces of both Mozak and Velus swept in to claim the destroyed territory. They met little resistance, and even some soldiers of the Archers joined their side.

Mozak kept the Texts, and established a kingdom by the Caverns of Fire, his original homeland. From there, he established a capital for his new goal, a Republic. A Republic of the Zakaz, where he would lead the subjects through the first couple of years. In his Republic, he included the Zakaz, the Velus, Humans, and all of the beasts and creatures of the world. The grand fortress of the tower stood as a beacon of hope in the surrounding desolate place filled with lava and burned ground.

Mozak never felt twisted by the Texts, and he kept them locked up in the Fortress. He knew that he was strong-willed, but he refused to test it, or poke at it with risky decisions. No. From here on out, Mozak decided to follow the course life takes him. Being the leader that represents most of the population.

Overtime ,though ,the Texts started to take their effect on Mozak, but in an unexpected way. It drained his emotions dry. No longer did he feel sad, happy, or angry. Instead, he focused on ruling his early Republic wisely and cautiously. And that is what he did for 20 years.

20 years from the day he established his Republic, early in the morning, Mozak was sitting on his throne while representatives across the land became walking into the large hall. The morning sun gleamed inside in rays as the assortment of creatures and mutants slowly walked in. Mozak stood on his throne, now with a full gray beard, and emotionless eyes.

This was an important day. Today would be the day where Mozak steps down from power and picks a new leader. He brought together all of the representatives and decided that they should vote for their new leader. He slowly got up from his throne and walked down to a marble table in front of the room. On this table, there was a box. Saying nothing, Mozak simply placed a green token in the box. The rest of the mutants slowly walked up in single file, placing their different colored tokens in the box.

There were two choices for the next leader. One was a mutant elephant named Megalo. He represented the Velus, and wanted to continue the ideals held already by Mozak during his reign. The other was a chameleon Zakaz named Cottu. He wanted to bring more changes to the new Republic, some of which divided the majority of representatives. Nevertheless, they all still voted, and allowed Democracy to decide.

Mozak instead of going back to his throne, sat on a little wooden stool with the other two candidates, as Agalma’s counted up the votes. Megalo won the election. Everyone clapped for the winner. Megalo bent down on his knee so Mozak could crown him the new leader of the Republic. Megalo climbed the steps up to the throne, and sat down, shuffling a little to get comfortable.

Mozak then began packing up his things. He planned that after he was finished ruling, he would go off and do some exploring. There were still some parts of the world that intrigued him. He stayed for the after party and said goodbye to all of the friends he made during his time as king. He spent a long time forming a new order, but a new thirst of adventure began to brew inside him.

As he left the Fortress on that same night, he saw a familiar figure in the distance. It was Boro. He hadn’t changed much, despite having new colorful tattoos on his shell and wearing a robe now then instead of armor. He still carried the Skull Staff, which clanked as he made his way up the steps. He was grinning a little when he finally reached Mozak.

“You did a good job, Mozak,” Boro said. Mozak replied with a smile and turned back with a concerned look at his Fortress.

“Do you think it will fall?” Mozak asked Boro.

“Not likely,” Boro said. “You made a strong foundation for it.”

“Was all of this your plan?” Mozak asked as the two made their way down the steps.

“In some places,” Boro said. “But for the most part, it was all you that led to this creation” The two finally reached the ground and looked out onto the wastelands south. “What now?” Boro asked.

“I want to check out what’s down South,” Mozak explained. “I heard rumors that the Overlevas were down there, creating mindless cults for Ram. I think I would like to talk some sense into them.”

“You won’t be going alone,” Boro said.

“I know,” Mozak said with a grin. “And I think that is why you came here.”

“Exactly,” Boro said with a beaky grin.

The two made their way across the wastelands, under the light of the stars. As the moon began to fall back into the earth, the sun will rise again.