Friday, June 28, 2013

Renegade Station

The children huddled together,

     In the far Eastern wing of the station against the frigid air that ever maintained a constant state of visible breath, in a corner the seven of them held on to one another for warmth despite several layers of clothes, which were much too large for them in most cases being made generations ago for soldiers who fought in the world wars. Thick grey or green wool was the trend, all of them had a scarf overly long wrapped several times around making their necks look like part of their shoulders which were hidden under layers of tunics, jumpers and a long trench coat with a cloak and hood attached. The same could be said for their legs, long under garments layered beneath wool pants in which their tiny feet were wrapped up in socks trapped tightly in wool coated leather boots. Some had a beanie on or a wool cap while others had fighter pilot leather caps but all of them had goggles as old as the wars themselves.

     For as long as anyone could remember the children had been sent out from the frozen citadel high above the frozen tundra atop a spire of ice and stone. There the fortress had been since the world changed and the immortals had come out from their exile, back to the light of the sun. They were sent out, escorted by armed guards, to a crack in the ice where they would search the caverns for shards, crystals filled with liquid light, the fuel that kept the village outside and the stronghold atop the spire lit and warm.

     The seven children had plotted to escape after hearing the elder's tale of the child who fell and dreamt of green lands beyond the icy passage at the edge of the vale. The entrance to the mountain's depths was by means of a brick mason bridge at the edge of the village along the cobble stone lane along the walls of the fortress. Beyond the statues of gargoyles at the far end was a path that lead into the vale where the gates to the mines were locked.

    Of the seven, only two of them were over the age of twelve, the rest were wee squirts that were swept up in the motion of escaping when the guards discovered them in the alley on their way to the bridge, diverting them into the sewers where they found the abandoned station. The squat overly long armed pig men who hid their faces behind masks, some would know as goblins, had not given chase for they had met their end at the shard blades of the eldest two in a short but blood skirmish.

     Through the darkness of the village streets, for the blue lights of the shard were shut off in the late hours, the children were given chase by the soldiers of the spire, the silence was only broken by the footfalls of the children, for the goblins wore no shoes. When the group was nearing the bridge the oldest of the escapees realised the group wouldn't make it with the guards so close at their heels.

    Contra stole himself against the wall of one of the houses and in the shadows waited for the guards to pass as Sabine lead the group onwards. He only just noticed in time that the silent soldiers had passed for they moved as shades in the darkness. One quick flash and the first guard crumpled to his knees, a shard of crystal logged in his neck. The other turned to face the assailant, sending his spear out as he spun, nearly decapitating Contra, who just narrowly avoided the blade. Contra rose from his crouch like a snake he lounged at the exposed chest of the soldier whose life was taken by reflex and luck, if not by fate.

      Silence reigned as the realization set in that he had just taken the lives of two sentient beings, whose souls now meandered aimlessly between the shadow world and that of the living. Rising up from atop the dead guard's chest, Contra made his way through the dark streets to join the others.
     Under the last arch on the edge of the village, beyond which lay the bridge and freedom, the group stole their way into the ventilation maze between the town above and the forge works below. There they found the abandoned station and lay down to rest, though the eldest two knew their plans had gone seriously awry.

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