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Monday, November 21, 2005

Chapter 51 - The Return

The building was in ruins, and the people had barely escaped with their lives. People cried out, wounded from the brief fight with Lukäski’s band.

Jude walked towards the ruins, and called out for a circle to form around him. In just a few moments, another meeting was called.

“It is time that we returned to the motel,” he said, his voice filled with frustration of the escape of Lukäski. “We have much to tell those that remained, and I learned more last night that I have not told.

“I will not tell it now, we should return to safe territory first. The return to the motel is our primary objective.”

The people nodded silently, and not a word was spoken objecting what he said. They were curious as to what he had learned, but it could wait. They wanted beds to sleep in for the new night.

The Council gathered into a pack and began heading back in the direction towards the motel. They went up a hill, the same hill on which Jude had sniped Hylik, nearly killing Tyra in the process.

And when they reached the crest, they looked down at the motel. But it was not there.

A blast crater was there instead, still smoldering. Everyone ran down the hill towards it. Tyra, Krynn, Relik, and Jude were immediately reminded of the destruction of their village. The signs looked identical to those that were present when their village was destroyed.

Skeletons were clearly visible amidst the ash, the defenders of the motel who were left without enough to defend even themselves.

Jude walked towards the ash pile, and lay his head on the ground. He let his mind float through extradimensional space, and colors began swirling around his consciousness.

He saw the motel last night. It was peaceful, and the watch saw no activity going on. A single, soundless bolt of light struck the motel. Blue crackles of electricity wrapped around it, and flames shot up. The images ended.

Jude walked over to his friends, who he knew had seen the destruction of their village.

“Tell me, what exactly did it look like when it was destroyed? I need to know.”

Relik spoke up. “It was peaceful, and Krynn and I weren’t entirely certain that we weren’t just hearing noises in the night. But then, a single soundless bolt of light struck the village. Blue lightning flickered around, and flames shot up, destroying the village. Why do you ask?”

Jude looked at him unhappily. “Because that is the way that this place was destroyed. They may have been the same attackers."

The people walked around in the rubble, crying as they unearthed personal possessions, and the bones of their loved ones. The sadness was contagious.

Soon, everyone was weeping for the dead of the Free Council. They improvised a makeshift funeral for the ones lost, burying both a kryon gun and a human gun in the same hole, then burying it. Jude stood on top, raised a hand to the sky, and spoke an oath in the kryon tongue.

“Ukl mort tÿr undâr.” The dead shall walk.

When the funeral was over, Jude spoke to the crowd.

“If we stay here much longer, we are inviting an attack from whoever has committed this atrocity. I shall now tell you what I learned tonight.

“The city that we live in is indeed New York City, and thus, we must travel with the sun rising on our left side to reach the capital, where the tower is. We must carry out what The Messenger said to us. We will find it and bring glory back to humanity.”

Cheers rang out from the crowd. Kysandra joined Jude in the center, and spoke to the crowd.

“But we will not forget those that we have lost, from Pulse during our rebellion to even Hylik, the traitor. All shared our cause, at least for a time.”

They left the motel, and headed towards the capital, where the tower must be.


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