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He searched the horizon for the coolia. Bad enough that food was getting short, but now that 3 coolias ran away, the situation got worse. 3 months had passed since he and his clan left the valley, searching for a new life. Since the Tower had been destroyed, the plains, forests, mountains had turned into odd land, dry and lifeless. They were hoping to find shelter in the ruins of the Empire capital. The hunters were looking for scent rock, and they had not returned. If they didn’t come back soon, the group would have to move on and leave the hunters behind. The youngest of the Seekers, as these people were called, was patrolling nervously. He was a Compiler, but they needed every man they had.

Gash looked at the map. “Zadoc, come here!” he called in a scratchy voice.

An old man, visibly tired, came running towards Gash, the leader of the Seekers. “What’s wrong?” Zadoc asked.

“How far is it to the capital?” Gash asked.

“Too far…I believe we won’t make it before are supplies are exhausted. One of the coolia’s had a lot of our supplies. We can only hope that the hunters find it and a scent rock”, he replied.

2 days passed. The hunters hadn’t returned yet and they had found the three coolia dead, without their rations. Gash was hoping that the hunters would catch something, but half bloods were rare, and the full-blooded had disappeared, because the Towers controlled them, but now that the Towers were destroyed, the monsters had no duty. Lahda, the guardian, had been very busy; the death list was getting longer every day. The old ones couldn’t hold on much longer, many were already dead. Many children were ill, not hardened enough for this life.

One good thing had happened, though, a hunter named Raul joined the group and was guarding the camp. He was a mysterious man, spiritually scarred. The caravan he guarded before had been wiped out, except a girl named Fei and her father Baicah, whom Raul had brought to the seekers, too. Fei had lost a leg to a monster, and was resting in a tent. Her father took care of her.

Gash was thinking. He thought about going on, without the hunters. It would be a hard journey without them, but they couldn’t wait any longer.

But luckily, the hunters came back soon, and they decided to go on. Soon, they saw hints of the capital on the horizon. But it was still a long way, about a day’s travel. Altogether, their quest for a new home seemed to become easier. Odd lands turned to grassland, dust to water, and death to life.

Gash assumed one of the ruins was still here and operating, making this place possible. But they couldn’t just stay here, because there was little shelter in these plains. But before they went on to the capital, there was still one thing to do. He would have to destroy the ruin. So he called the hunters together, and asked them what they thought.

“A crazy idea.”

“We don’t have a chance against the full-bloods there!”

“I guess about 80, or 90 monsters there. We wouldn’t even be able to defeat 5 of them at once!” Many voices said or similar.

“Quiet, QUIET!! Don’t you think I don’t know that? Zadoc is working on an infiltration plan right now, he’s been working all night and he’s still in his tent now.” Gash replied irritated.

“But why do we have to?” a hunter started but was interrupted by Gash.

“Destroy the ruins?? I’ve told you that over and over again, I thought you understood me!”

“With all dew respect Skiad-Ops (Shadow Eye)”, a young hunter said. “We understand your opinion, but many people relied on these machines. I believe we have no right to decide their fate!”

Gash was cooking. He almost wanted to slap the boy, but held it back and walked out. At the entrance, he said, almost hissing, “You all have to choose your way now. Either follow me to the ruins or leave the camp.”

He left. Some hunters exchanged glances nervously. The older (and more honourable) hunters decided to stay, but the young ones… well, a few rebellious thoughts were brewing in their heads.

Fei looked at her sleeping father, who had fallen asleep at her bedside. “Father… wake up…” she whispered. All of a sudden he woke up, with a worried and terrified face.

“Were you dreaming again… about them?” she asked.

His face relaxed as he realised it was only a dream, but then the hard truth that what he had dreamed had really happened hit him like a punch in the face. “I’m… okay.” he stammered. He was trying to sound okay, but inside he was shaky and sad. “How are you?” he asked.

“The pain’s gone away… but how should I say it… I have a feeling that Enkak is still alive. We never found him, whether dead or alive…” She replied.

“Could be… but all alone out there…” he whispered.

“Well, there are hardly any monsters out there, and if he has some rations…” She started.

Baicah’s face lightened. “I’ll talk to Gash.”

“I’m sorry, but we searched the whole area for him and any other survivors, but we found no one.” Gash answered sadly.

“I guess you’re right, but there are signs that he may have survived. You said you only found the rest of the leader and my wife.” Baicah answered.

“Well, yes but…” Gash started, but was interrupted by Baicah.

“And there were hardly any monsters in that area, right?”

“Yes, damn it, but we don’t have time to go back! I’m really sorry about it…”

Baicah turned around and said, “Yes, it’s okay, I understand…”

This piece of fan fiction has been discontinued