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End of Year News (December 2017)

Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:57 am by Adrian

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Infinity's Row - Rebellion

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Infinity's Row - Rebellion

Post by WritingBookworm on Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:27 pm

Hey there! So I had an idea as to what Gentry did during Arker's War, and I'm finally putting it down on paper. So of course, the majority of it takes place during Apocalypse, though events transpiring in here will later become critical in Runite's Return. Now, with this said, I hope you like this story as much as I do!

It is the end.

The end of the world.

I know it because I see it in the corrupted Generator. I know it because I see it in the grotesque, hellish demons rampaging in the streets, killing anyone in their path. I know it because I see it in the servants’ frantic faces as they rush through the manor, doing everything that my dad commands through the intercom system.

Watching from my window from on high, I watch as a woman who slowly backs away from a wolflike demon, clutching a baby to her chest like it's her greatest treasure. Her face morphs into one of pure fright, and she turns and begins to sprint away only for the demon to leap forward -

A set of talons protrude from her chest.

I inhale sharply and clamp my eyes shut, like that alone can stave off the horrors swirling around me. But still the sickening crunch of a skull hitting the sidewalk finds its way to my ears.

I should be out there. Good Ciel, I should be out there, with the rest of the Row.

And I would be, if only I could have my way.

I only reopen my eyes when I hear the door to my chambers being swung open, revealing Emilia, one of the many maids in Yate Manor. Her face is crippled with sheer fright, yet still she draws in as much dignity to herself as she can.

“Mi-Miss Yate,” she says. “Your father requests your presence by his side. Immediately. Please.”

Deciding to not waste a second by giving a reply, I gather up the skirt of the golden silk dress and run over to the short woman. We clasp our hands in one another’s, and then take off down the halls.

The pristine marble halls are fraught with chaos. Guards in chain mail, barking out commands to one another, swords and spears in hand. A black-haired doctor, barely stopping to feed me an apology for bumping into me before rushing over to aid whoever may be wounded. And of course, there’s Emilia and me, trying to make our ways through the midst of it all.

We stop only when we’ve come to a set of iron-wrung double doors that are at least three times as tall as me. Emilia releases my hand and has to ram her entire side into the thick mahogany in order to open the way.

Inside the circular office, Wesley Yate taps a button adjourning a small microphone built into the side of his desk, putting an end to his latest orders. He jerks his head upward when the doors open, and the brown eyes of a commander softens into that of a father's.

"Thank you, Emilia," he says quietly. "Please, see to the wounded. They are in more need of help than either of us are."

Emilia nods and scurries away, pulling the doors behind her closed.

"Dad." It comes out more as a sigh of relief than an actual word. I had been worried for him with the demons running amuck, and judging from the way we share the same solace, he had been concerned about me, too. For once, I'm really glad Mom is on a business trip right now.

Yet my assuagement succumbs to curiosity. "Dad," I say again, taking a step forward, "do you have any idea what's going on? I never got an understandable answer from the servants."

I wonder for an instant if he will choose to keep the truth from me, like I was a small child that could barely understand any of the world's ways. But he doesn't.

"Arker Zenh'aliem," he says. "According to the reports I've received, Arker was the one who summoned the demon army."

"Wait, Arker did this?" Arker, one of the head officers of Runite's Row? But . . .

The transmission, I realize. The transmission heralding Stein's death . . . by Ciel, Stein wasn't killed by a beast, was he? Arker murdered him.

I smash my teeth together. "We have to stop this." I turn around and begin walking to the door. "We need to put an end to Arker, he'll--"

A hand rests on my shoulder, stopping me right where I stand. I turn and see that Dad has come up to me in a matter of strides.

"Gentry." His voice is barely audible. "Please. No."

"Don't you see? Arker's going to take over N'al Ren!"

"Exactly. We can't afford to act rashly, Gentry, you must understand this."

Tch, what I understand is that he's being a coward. "We have a bunch of guards, right? We have a lot of them, heck, probably enough for a militia, and maybe we can stop this from happening--"

"This is already happening." Father sets his jaw, his voice firmer this time. "And our guards are not enough to overpower all of Arker's forces."


"Even if I did, men and women would die," he says. "Their lives would be gone, or ruined by the casualties they suffer. Their families would drowning in sorrow, and we do not need to add any more grief to what is already slated to come."

Father turns and walks over to his panoramic office window, the view shielded by thick black curtains. He cups his palm around the end of a curtain and brings it over to a side, revealing part of the window. I can see his face reflected in the glass pane, see his eyes drink in the sight of Ald Ruhn.

"Victory is impossible without sacrifice," he says almost reverently. "Their lives is not a sacrifice I can make."

Neither him nor I can find it within us to speak after that, enabling a deathly stillness to seize hold of the office. The quiet air is a pathway, enabling us to hear inhuman roars of demons, stones and bricks grinding against one another as once-great structures succumb to ruin, and the shrieks and screams throbbing with sheer agony . . .

Those sounds flock to me and they stay, reverberating in my bones and echoing all around my skull.

So then and there, I decide.

Maybe Dad's a coward. Maybe he really does have the audacity to sit back and let things play themselves out as Arker takes control of N'al Ren.

Maybe he can tolerate this.

I ball my fists.

But I won't.


[Infinity's Row: Interlude l Anaphora: Pariah l Infinity's Row: Uncontrollable l Anaphora: Vengeance]
Currently Reading: Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
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Re: Infinity's Row - Rebellion

Post by Mythie on Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:34 pm

Why are you so perfect writing!

Hi! I'm Mythie and I like Warm Hugs
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Re: Infinity's Row - Rebellion

Post by Hime on Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:50 pm

Holy... Wow. That was incredible.


"She was the light."

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Re: Infinity's Row - Rebellion

Post by WritingBookworm on Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:27 am

Thanks, guys. Smile I'll hopefully get the next part out sometime really soon.


[Infinity's Row: Interlude l Anaphora: Pariah l Infinity's Row: Uncontrollable l Anaphora: Vengeance]
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Re: Infinity's Row - Rebellion

Post by WritingBookworm on Mon Mar 16, 2015 12:15 am

This place seriously needs more security.

But hey, not like I'm complaining. After all, it just makes it all the more easier to slip into the gleaming steel building, navigate my way through the halls, tuck away a homemade bomb of mine into one of the room's corners and leap out of a window. My feet smash into the concrete sidewalk, and then I hurl myself away from the building as fast as I can.

Five months have passed since that fateful Hannellat day. Runite's Row is scattered, city streets are ravaged by demons, and Arker has assumed complete control of N'al Ren. If I'm being honest, there's not really anything good to say about this time, except maybe for the fact that I turned fifteen in Eredeat. N'al Renians as a whole have let go of any sense of hope.

Except for a few.

Because a promise is a promise. I swore to myself that I would not tolerate Arker Zenh'aliem's uprising, and I haven't. Thanks to Yate Enterprises's connections and resources, I've managed to obtain equipment necessary to assume a new face and a new name.

The one running away from the building? That isn't Gentry Yate, the young and wealthy heiress to Yate Enterprises. That is a masked, black-clad figure that was eventually labeled as the Insurgent, a vigilante well-known for putting dents in Arker's dictatorship through small acts by robbing banks, intercepting and stealing trades, and blowing up ammunition storehouses similar to that steel building over there.

I can't directly take on Arker. Not yet.

But I sure as heck can annoy him.

Finally, when I know I've put a very, very, very good amount of ground between me and the ammunition storehouse, I stop and turn around. Through the dark visor of my black helmet, I can see that the once-looming storehouse looks like nothing more than a gray speck in the distance. It's almost like it's gone from something seemingly indomitable . . .

And into something that can easily be squashed.

I look out at the building while I still can, entwining my fingers around the thin, cylandrical trigger. Then--

I stamp my thumb into the button.


I can feel the earth-shaking impact even from here as the ammunition storehouse bursts into a plume of blinding fire. A few screams shoot up from the air as billowing smoke curls up, scraping against the cloudless sky.

Under my black helmet, a great wide grin bursts across my face. The mission was a complete success.

"Yes!" I pump my fist into the air --

And that's when I notice two of Arker's men on the other side of the street staring at me.

Okay, so maybe cheering about the explosion in public wasn't the best thing to do.

I whirl around as one of the men aims his rifle at me and duck seconds before he shoots. A bullet whizzes over my head, and I bring it back up just as I throw the bomb trigger aside and draw both of my handguns.

I turn around a corner after sprinting into an alley between two buildings, spotting a metal trash can standing behind one of the buildings and quickly tipping it over. I kick it with all the force I can muster, sending it in the opposite direction as I spin back around proceed to run for my life. As expected, footsteps shortly come around the corner, and their cries are sweet music to my ears as I hear the heavy trash can smash into their bodies.

"The Insurgent!" I hear one of them yell into a communicator after recovering from my attack. "Send in reinforcements!"

Oh, fun.

That man's communication is already getting through, because another one of Arker's men is stationed high at the top of a four-story building I'm running behind. He quickly notices me and aims --

I hurl myself to the ground and roll to the side just as a stream of bullets spray the place where I'd been running just seconds before. I get back up to my feet and continue running.

I weave in and out through the alley, turning around corners and lunging down streets at random. The longer I run, the more heated -- and more numerous -- the cries of Arker's men become. My breaths become labored, becoming fogged against the visor, and I skid out from the alley and into an Ald Ruhn road --

Soliders flood the exit, immediately getting down on one knee and training their guns on me. I turn around, starting back in the direction I came, only to be cut off by more of Arker's men.

I set my jaw and cock my handguns. Am I outnumbered? Yes. Badly? Outgunned? Definitely? Does this look bad? Yup, very.

But I can't go down without a fight.

I train my handguns on one of the men and place my fingers on the triggers --

A storm of gunfire erupts.

I jerk my head down --

Only to register that the gunfire hasn't come from any of the men.

I lift my head back up, watching in confusion as soldiers scream and stumble backward as they're hit. They look up and fire up into the sky, and I follow their gazes --

And that's when I see him.

A figure stands high above us all on a hoverboard, a long and slender shotgun propped on his shoulder. He flies his hoverboard to the side, narrowly dodging their attacks before turning back to Arker's men and returning with a stream of bullets.

The instant his bullets clip them in the shoulder is the instant he swoops down to me at the speed of light, jerking up his hoverboard at the last second in order to avoid crashing and burning right on impact. He hops off of his hoverboard, ducks when a bullet comes for him, and replies with a few more attacks of his own before he finally turns to me.

"The Insurgent?" The boy, who can't be more than a year older than me, lifts a pair of shooting goggles up to his forehead. Bright blonde bangs fall into his aquamarine eyes, with which he inspects me before lifting his thin golden eyebrows. "Huh. You're a lot shorter than I expected."

"Excuse me?!"

I throw myself to the side just in time to avoid getting clipped in the shoulder and quickly return fire, firing from both of my handguns at once.

I look back to the boy, who shoots at some of the soldiers. He holds his shotgun in lean but well-muscled arms, and the rose-colored vest over his black, long-sleeved shirt make his eyes all that much more vivid. He was actually kind of attractive, if you looked at him the right way.

Deciding that I might as well take advantage of the support of a new ally, I blast bullets into the soldiers' shoulders. Picking them off has suddenly become an easy feat with the effort of my handguns and this boy's shotgun, but that doesn't change the fact that for as many as we shoot, there are more that keep on coming, they keep coming --

I shove one of my handguns into its holster and use my free hand to yank the boy's arm toward the hoverboard. "We have to go, now!"

The boy nods and lowers his weapon before turning around. Together we dash over to his stranded hoverboard.

We have only just reached it when he turns around and aims his gun at Arker's men.

"I'll hold them off!" He sends a few bullets at them before stealing a look at me over his shoulder. "You just get to work on flying us out of here."

"But - But -" I frantically scour the hoverboard's sleek metal surface, trying to figure out some sort of way that I can work this thing. "But I don't know how!"

He grins and looks back to them. "Time to learn, then."

"Wait, what?"

"You heard me! Time to learn how to operate a hoverboard."

"Are you freaking serious? You think it's a good idea to teach me to fly this thing in a life-or-death situation?"

The boy just chuckles. "Well, you know what they say - the best way to teach someone to swim is to push them into a pool filled with piranhas."

"Um, I'm pretty sure no one says that."

I cast my eyes back on the hoverboard. It'll be useless arguing with this guy if he isn't going to listen to reason, so I guess that only leaves me with one option.

I inspect the hoverboard, funneling the sound of gunfire to the side so I can focus on activating the vehicle. Is there some sort of switch on the side, or on the surface?

Or maybe . . .

I stand up and place a foot on the metal surface. As if on cue, the engine thrums awake, and the hoverboard almost feels like it pulses with life under my feet.

I bring my other foot up to join its twin. Okay, now that I've turned it on, how is it that I steer this thing? Because I don't really see anything that can help me control it. Is there something I'm not seeing? Or do I just will it up --

The hoverboard shoots high, high, high up into the air, never stopping. I hang on for dear life, my screams muffled by the wind, and I'm still going up and I can't control it I can't control it --

I close my eyes. I exhale hard, like I'm inwardly trying to push something down.


The hoverboard jolts to a halt.

My next exhale isn't so much tight and rigid as it is filled with relief. I readjust my footing, burying the soles of my feet as deep into the metal as they can go. I still hold an edge of the hoverboard with a hand, just for good measure, but I think I've got it.

I nudge it downward, just a little, and the hoverboard responds accordingly. Grinning, I allow it to sink down even further, and then the next thing I know, I'm willing it into a full-on dive, plummeting right back down where I began.

I lock my eyes on the boy, who's slowly backing away from Arker's men. He's grimacing, and shooting with far less vigor than before. I quickly see why when I spot blood streaming from a bullet wound lodged in his right bicep.

One of the men is about to shoot him, but I fire at his hand with my free hand. Crying out in pain, he drops the gun I swoop in by the boy's side.

I grin and offer him a hand after inserting my other handgun back where it belongs. "Guess who can fly a hoverboard?"

His smile matches mine. "Knew you could do it."

He clasps my hand, and I help haul him up onto his hoverboard. The second he climbs is aboard is the second I take off and zoom over the soldiers' heads, gunfire exploding in our wakes.

I grit my teeth, willing the hoverboard to fly as fast as it possibly can. Come on, come on come on come on . . .

The wind howls right into my eardrums, and I risk a glance over my shoulder. Arker's men now look like nothing more than little toy soldiers in the distance, and by the time we've raced past a few more buildings, I can't even see them.

"Phew." I open my mouth ever-so-slightly to let myself sigh. "That was close."

"No kidding." The boy adjusts the shotgun strap so it's not threatening to slip off of his shoulder, but even that one small movement makes him wince.

My eyes drift over to his bullet wound. "We're going to need to get that checked out, you know."

"Yeah, I realize that." He peers down at the Ald Ruhn roads, strands of blonde fluttering in the afternoon breeze. "There's a place right by a bar in southern Ald Ruhn. I live there with a medic -- she's really good at patching me up whenever I run into a little too much trouble."

"Which I'm guessing is a common thing?"

His lips break out into a grin yet again. He really seems to like the whole smiling thing. "Gee, how'd you guess?"

"Instinct, I suppose." Then I pause, realizing something. "Hey, I never got your name."

"Huh . . . ? Oh! Yeah, names. That might be a nice thing to know. Anyways, it's Asder."

"Wait, Asder?" Did I hear him correctly?

Apparently I didn't, because he says, "No, Aster. Aster, with a T. T as in . . . um . . . I don't know. T as in tequila."

I barely stifle in a snort. "'Tequila'? Is that really first thing you could come up with?"

"Hey, don't judge me!"

I eye him, this blonde, gun-toting sixteen year old that I just can't quite figure out.

Then I chuckle. "You're not quite normal, are you, Aster?"

Aster's grin begins to dissolve.

He purses his lips. He looks away from me and out into streets, the restless boy becoming so silent still.

"I guess not."

It doesn't take us long to arrive at the place Aster described. I swoop back down to the streets, the hoverboard's speed graduay decreasing and decreasing like it's falling asleep. At long last, I will it to rest, and it stops just as we pull up next to a bar.

I jump off of the hoverboard and lift my helmet up from my head, now exposing my face and letting my brown pigtails fall to my sides. I feel safe doing so -- Aster may seem a little weird at times, but I think I can trust him.

I put my helmet under the crook of my arm and look around. These buildings look shabby and worn, neglected of the care given to other fine buildings such as my estate. Litter is strewn along the crumbling streets, and I crinkle my nose when I inhale burning smoke that makes my insides churn. This whole place just looks a little weird to me, given that I haven't really been around the slums of Ald Ruhn.

Doing my best to ignore the smoke, I look up at the brick building I've parked next to. Bold letters in chipping white paint nailed above the door spell THE MIDNIGHT STOP, and the closed door isn't able to stop the strong smell of beer.

"This the bar you were talking about?" I ask Aster.

He nods, looking back up at me once he's finished compressing the hoverboard into a more portable size. "Go down the left side of a building," he says. "It leads into another alley. And there, home sweet home."

Wait. An alley is where he lives?

Does he not have a home?

"So am I good-looking or something?" Aster says, his cocky grin returning. "Because you just keep staring at me."

I blink, suddenly snapping myself out of it. "Oh. Sorry."

Without waiting for him to respond, I turn around and walk into the alley. I still can't help but wonder -- if this is apparently where he lives, then what happened to his parents?

"Hey, if you don't mind me asking," I say, "how exactly did you wind up --"

I stop short when I feel the cool metal of a pistol being buried into the side of my head.

"Don't move."


[Infinity's Row: Interlude l Anaphora: Pariah l Infinity's Row: Uncontrollable l Anaphora: Vengeance]
Currently Reading: Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
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Re: Infinity's Row - Rebellion

Post by Hime on Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:39 pm



"She was the light."

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Re: Infinity's Row - Rebellion

Post by WritingBookworm on Mon Mar 16, 2015 10:53 pm

I freeze instantly, not daring to utter a word. Inch by inch, my fingers drift toward one of my handguns, and I try to get a good look at the one holding the pistol to my head through my peripheral vision --

Behind me, Aster just laughs.

“Come on, Lily,” he says. “She’s with me. You’re getting far too paranoid.”

“Wait. Aster?”

The girl, another sixteen year old, steps out of the shadows and comes around to where I can properly see her. Like Aster, her chin-length hair is a golden blonde, but the similarities end there. Her facial features are far softer, her arms and legs are long and thin, and her eyes are not so much a teal as they are a deep, rich sapphire.

I watch her inspect me, assessing each part of me from the black suit I wear, to the handguns at my sides, and finally to my brown eyes.

“You’re with him?” she says.

I quickly nod. “I don’t mean any trouble, I swear.”

She lowers her pistol, breathing a sigh of relief.

“Well, if Aster says you’re a friend . . .” she smiles, and her hostile exterior rapidly dissolves. “That’s definitely a good thing.”

She looks down at her rusted flintlock pistol. “After all, it’s not like I’m an expert on this whole shooting thing. Aster’s the one who usually has that covered, as reckless as he may be.”

“Hey, Lily,” Aster says. “You realize you’re talking to the Insurgent, right?”

I whip my head around and shoot Aster a death glare, but Lily just says, “Wait, really?”

Well, I guess what’s done is done. And if she’s close to Aster . . . then I guess I can trust her.

“Yeah,” I say. “But seriously, don’t call me that. My name’s Gentry.”

“Well then, it’s nice to meet you, Gentry.” She extends a hand to me, and I firmly shake it. “I’m Lily Parsons. You know, Gentry, you’re doing a lot of good.”

“Oh . . . uh, thanks.” I let go of her hand, already feeling my cheeks redden. “It’s not like I’m directly confronting Arker, though.”

“Perhaps not, but at least you’re trying to do something. That’s more than I can say for half of Ald Ruhn’s citizens.”

Lily dresses her words with a kind smile before her eyes wander over to Aster. Her gaze lingers on his face, drinking him in, before her eyes eventually trail down and spot the gunshot wound embedded in his bicep.

Just like that, the kind look in her eyes is gone. She clenches her teeth, and she balls her fists so hard they go white.

“Aster . . . !”

He laughs uneasily as Lily storms toward him. “Um, yeah, about this . . . ow!”

Aster grimaces after Lily punches him. She proceeds to seize his wounded arm, eliciting a yelp from him, and immediately gets to work on inspecting it.

“You’re an idiot!” She doesn’t look up from the injury, but she still sounds absolutely furious. “A reckless, hopeless, idiot! I tell you to be careful, but what do you do? You go get yourself injured! Again!”

“Lily, geez, calm down --”

“I can’t be calm if you’re making me sick on a daily basis,” she snaps. Done with the inspection, she yanks his wrist forward, forcing him to march along after her. “Now, we are getting that wound treated right this very instant!”

I can only watch, stunned, as Lily drags Aster along after her, leading him past the bar and down into the basement of an abandoned building behind it.

I tilt my head. Does Lily . . . hate him?

No, that doesn’t feel right, I decide. Her behavior toward him, as angry and heated as it is, just doesn’t seem like hate. More like . . . well, I don’t know what it is. But it isn’t hate.

Amused by the whole thing, I follow them and descend into the abandoned building.

~   ~   ~

For what it’s worth, Aster and Lily have made a dusty underground building into a suitable home for the two of them. Two sleeping bags lay side by side, and though they look exactly the same, I can tell which one belongs to who: one is messy and ruffled with a bunch of ammunition laying askew next to it while the other is neat, orderly, and primly made with a simple laptop resting on top of it. They have a vast of storage of food off to the side, and a medical kit ready for Lily’s use.

Lily really is a good medic. She immediately gets to work by forcing Aster to lay down against the wall, and begins to surgically remove the bullet from Aster’s bicep. I can’t do anything to help save be absolutely be quiet as she focuses. Her movements are slow and deliberate, and she mutters an apology each time as she sees Aster wince. After a long and tedious process, she carefully extracts a blood-soaked bullet from his flesh. She drops it onto the floor, quickly grabs some other supplies from her box, and starts to treat it some more.

By the end of the process, Aster’s bicep is wrapped in a thick tan bandage. Lily takes a look at her work, then gives a single satisfactory nod to herself.

“You’re going to be just fine,” she announces. “It’ll probably leave a scar, but there shouldn’t be any lasting damage . . . if you don’t go off doing something recklessly heroic, that is.”

I lift an eyebrow. “Recklessly heroic, huh?” I can’t help but smile a little as my gaze shifts over to Aster. It isn’t exactly hard to picture him doing something among those lines.”

Aster clears his throat and seems to sit up a little straighter. “Well, there was this one time a few weeks back when I saved this one family--”

“You mean one man,” Lily interjects.

“--From an entire hoard of Arker’s men--”

“There were two of them.”

“--All highly trained specialists--”

“They’d just been recruited.”

“And I swooped in at the last moment on my trusty hoverboard and wiped them all out single-handedly!”

“During which you of course got two shots to your abdomen, requiring me to come in and save your sorry butt,” Lily says, elbowing Aster hard. “Stop it with these gigantic tales of heroic grandeur and tell the freaking truth, you moron!”

He just grins all the more. “Well, you know what they say -- the bigger the tale, the more epic it is.”

“I can’t think of anyone who’s ever said that.”

“Neither can I,” I pipe in, and Lily’s eyes turn back to me.

She sighs. “Nevermind him. This fool over here does that a lot, you see -- claiming a phrase he just made up from the top of his head is widely recognized.”

“I figured that out already,” I say with a chuckle. “But still, Aster. Whether it was one man or an entire family, that doesn’t change the fact that it’s still pretty noble of you.”

Honestly, that already sounds more impressive than my own track record as the Insurgent. Maybe I’ve blown up storehouses and robbed banks to give money to victims of Arker’s War, but how many people have I actually saved from terror? How many senior Row members are still out there? Ciel, how many have died? How many other innocent lives have been completely tarnished?

How many of them have I actually managed to save?

“It . . . it kind of makes me wonder if I should up my game,” I admit.

My head starts to sag down to the floor . . .

“What if you can?”

And just like that, it snaps back up.

“. . . What do you mean?” I say slowly. “Like . . . rescue people? Confront Arker?”

He’s already shaking his head. “Nah, not yet. Even I know that’s reckless, given that there’s only three of us. But there is still something we can do. We can give N’al Ren a gift.”

Lily lifts an eyebrow. “You’ll need to elaborate.”

Aster leans forward. So do I.


The word is barely above a breath, but when he continues, his voice is louder, and it gains strength. “Hope, we can give them hope. We can record a message, broadcast it, and give them all a reason to smile, a reason to laugh. A reason to fight.”

“That . . . that doesn’t really sound like it’s much riskier than anything else I’ve been doing,” I say.

“A message?” Just like me, Lily seems to be a little skeptical of the idea. “Do you actually believe a single little message can restore a continent’s faith?”

Aster looks at her dead in the eye.


I bite my lip, pondering the matter. It’s just one transmission, and it’s not like the whole of N’al Ren would all be tuning in at once. It wasn’t as if it would single-handedly turn the entire tide in our direction.

And yet . . .

Maybe there was some truth to what he was saying. There still might be at least a few people listening in, and it was possible that we could at least make a difference in one single person’s life.

And just one person is worth fighting for.

I grin. “Count me in.”

Aster beams at me, but hesitation is still written clearly across Lily’s face.

“I . . . I don’t know,” she says, looking down. “I have a bad feeling about this, guys.”

“Come on, Lily,” I urge. “It’s a simple message. Just exactly how much do you think can go wrong?”

Lily presses her lips together, but she doesn’t argue any further.

She glances at Aster. “You realize what this means, right?”

Just like that, he pales. But that doesn’t stop him from nodding resolutely.

I glance between the two of them. Am I missing something?

I think there is. “What are you talking about, Lily?” I ask. “What exactly does this mean.”

Lily tucks stray strands of blonde behind her ear, allowing me to see her eyes as they flicker over to me.

“It means infiltrating the House of Talon,” she says. “It’s a noble family near Ald Ruhn, headed up by the patriarch Lucas Talon. For a long time, they’ve been infamous for the underground crimes they’ve committed to claw their way to the top, but no one was ever able to strictly prove any wrongdoing on their part. So they’ve remained exactly where they are for generations, and now they’re one of the only families that isn’t completely oppressed by Arker Zenh’aliem.”

“Lucas Talon . . .” I muse, resting my chin in my hand. “I think I’ve seen him before, actually, at a few parties at Yate Manor. Didn’t he have a son or something that disappeared?”

“He did, but that’s not relevant,” Lily says. “What is relevant is that as a part of his vast resources, Talon controls a communications tower that transmits signals along a broad range in N’al Ren. I’m just as good of a hacker as I am a medic, so chances are I can get into the system pretty easily. If we can just manage to slip in, infiltrate the communications tower and get out without getting caught . . .”

“It’s perfect,” Aster says. “The security over at Lucas Talon’s place won’t be too hard to get by, anyways.”

“That doesn’t mean we can just fight our way in there,” Lily protests, glaring at Aster. “We still need a plan. And we need equipment, equipment we may not even have--”

I lift a hand. “Or equipment that I have.”

Two sets of blue eyes turn to me, and I quickly explain, “I mean, I’m Wesley and Matilda Yate’s daughter. How do you think I’ve been getting the equipment needed to become the Insurgent? I can just as easily hook you up with some of those. Heck, we could even set up a base of operations there, given that half of the rooms in Yate Manor aren’t even being used for anything.”

I’ve seen Aster grin a lot, so it isn’t new when he proceeds to do it again. But this one is the biggest out of any of them I’ve ever seen.

“We’re set, then.” He rises to his feet, shotgun slung across his back, and sets back his shoulders with all of the confidence in the world. “We infiltrate Lucas Talon’s fortress, hack into the broadcast system, and then . . .”

Aster looks up, his eyes as brilliant and bright as the endless sky.

“And then we help change N’al Ren.”

He brings his head back down and looks over to us. “Who’s with me?”

Lily stares at him, utterly transfixed, like she’s lost in an entirely different world.

Then, to my pleasant surprise, she smiles and stands up along with him. “I’m with you.”

When the two of them turn back to me, I join them.

“You didn’t really have to ask, now did you?” I say.

Just when I didn’t think Aster’s smile couldn’t get any wider, it did.

“Then it’s set,” he says. “Right now, on this Verediat day, the three of us solemnly swear that we will bring hope to N’al Ren.”

And so we did.

On that day, that is exactly what we set to do.


[Infinity's Row: Interlude l Anaphora: Pariah l Infinity's Row: Uncontrollable l Anaphora: Vengeance]
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Re: Infinity's Row - Rebellion

Post by WritingBookworm on Fri Mar 20, 2015 6:59 pm

Gonna bump this. ^.^


[Infinity's Row: Interlude l Anaphora: Pariah l Infinity's Row: Uncontrollable l Anaphora: Vengeance]
Currently Reading: Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
Currently Playing: Doki Doki Literature Club
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Re: Infinity's Row - Rebellion

Post by Hime on Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:23 pm

I love these new characters, Writing!! Excellent chapter!


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Re: Infinity's Row - Rebellion

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