Cameron remembered the day they escape like it were yesterday.
He recalled sitting in one of the tents, locked up alongside Gia, Tyson and Elizabeth. It had been a week since the incident with the Valdorians. At first, Ray hadn’t known what to do with the youngsters. As much as they wanted to, they couldn’t kill off potential soldiers.
They weren’t exactly free enough to torture them much either, so the next best thing they could think of was to imprison them for a month, with the minimal amount of food and water.
So, clutching his stomach, Cameron sat with his back against the wall, his head dizzy from not having eaten anything for the past two days. There was enough water, but it could have only carried them for so long.
Elizabeth feebly walked across the room to check on Tyson, who was having the least amount of food to ensure enough of it for his sister Gia, and although Gia was adamant about not eating the part he left for her, she was forced to after the pain in her stomach got unbearable after three days of being unlocked.
Gia, of course was sleeping. She was very tired. They all were.
In Cameron’s mind, Stanley’s words kept replaying.
“You should come to Valhalla,” He had said.
“Maybe that’s we should do,” He muttered softly. Catching his words, Elizabeth turned to look at him, her head titled in confusion.
“Do what?” She asked.
Cameron looked her in the eyes. “Escape from here.”
Elizabeth frowned. Her expressions became sad, as she came and sat by his side.
“Hey,” She spoke, “I know what they’re doing is rough. But even considering aligning with the enemy forces is the highest level of-”
“No!” Cameron and Elizabeth slowly turned to face Tyson, who made several attempts at getting on his feet, which he finally accomplished after grabbing onto a desk.
He rose, brushed the dirt off of his clothes.
“We can’t continue living here. Cameron is right.”
Elizabeth quickly got up, enraged at his words.
“So we just run away like cowards? No, I refuse to-”
“You don’t have to face what Gia and I have to go through!” Tyson yelled with all the strength he could muster. He slumped right back down.
“That man…he’s a monster. And I’ve had it. I don’t want any more harm to come to her.” Tyson paused, gently stroking Gia’s cheek as she slept.
He looked up at Elizabeth, then at Cameron.
“I’m going to get out of here,” He said with a determination that Cameron had never seen in him, ever before. “Or I will die trying.”
Elizabeth was stuck in a dilemma. She didn’t want to commit treason, with her older brother already under stress from Ray for not contributing enough to the army, but then, she couldn’t just let her friends leave without helping them.
Cameron got up, and squeezed her shoulder. Under normal conditions, she would have tossed him across the city if he touched her, but as he did, she let out a sigh.
“We have to go.” He said.
Elizabeth looked at Gia for a second, before giving up.
“Fine,” She said, “But you know that you guys can’t just bust out of here. They’ll kill us if we are caught outside.”
“Don’t worry,” Cameron smiled confidently, “I have a plan.”
Tyson and Elizabeth raised an eyebrow. Cameron was usually the one who launched right into the midst of trouble without thinking for a second.
But that day, Cameron was out to surprise them.
“Wake up Gia. We have a lot to discuss.”
An hour later, everyone was ready.
Elizabeth stood near the door, her fists at the ready. She repeatedly pounded on the door, faking a cry as she begged to be let out, apologizing for her actions.
A few minutes later, a guard showed up, with a huge double handed sword strapped to his back.
He opened the door, probably to tell her to shut up for once.
He never got the chance.
Cameron swept him off his feet and then electrocuted him into unconsciousness. He grabbed the sword on the guy’s back. It was heavy, but Cameron managed to take off the strap from the guy and put it on his back. Elizabeth grabbed the dagger in the guard’s pocket, while Tyson and Gia stood behind, waiting for clearance.
Soon, they dragged the guy inside, and came outside.
It had been dark, which was a blessing as only three patrol guards were to be situated at that time.
Elizabeth quickly locked the door, and the four of them proceeded towards the gates, trying to avoid the guards the best they could.
They had planned to go to Cameron’s house one last time to steal as many supplies as they could before leaving. According to Tyson, Valhalla was at least a hundred miles away. The journey wasn’t going to be easy.
Fortunately, they managed to sneak into Cameron’s house and gather up several food capsules and water capsules.
Then, Gia had a brilliant idea, one that had almost got them killed.
“I know,” She said, “Let’s steal the Scavengers!”
Cameron and Tyson, who were busy packing, looked at each other, then grinned slightly.
Elizabeth however wasn’t on board with the idea.
“No!” She firmly said, “This is suicide enough. Stealing the Scavengers will get us caught.”
“Is Elizabeth scared?” Cameron taunted.
Elizabeth was taken aback with the comment. If there was one thing she hated, it was being called a coward.
And so, they sneaked through to the tent where the Scavenger was kept. Everything was going surprisingly well, but Cameron kept having a nagging feeling that something was about to go drastically wrong.
Inside the tent of the Scavengers, Ray sat on a chair, and chuckled as the four of them entered.
Cameron turned to run, but as he turned, the doors of the tent automatically closed, locking them in.
Ray got up, his face seeming more devoid of emotion than usual.
“You think you can escape so easily?” Ray’s voice dripped with murderous intent.
“We here at Valdore are not so forgiving to treason. You will be-”
Before he could finish, his mouth closed automatically. Confused, he tried to force it open, but only succeeded in hitting himself. A second later, he slammed directly into the floor.
Cameron glanced behind him. Tyson’s eyes had a tinge of purple in them.
As the three of them glared at the skinny guy, he raised an eyebrow.
“What?” Tyson demanded. “He was getting annoying.”
Cameron looked nervously at Elizabeth.
“Okay!” he tried sounding upbeat. “Ray’s out for the count. Let’s get out here before we die.”
The four paired up, with Elizabeth going with Cameron and Tyson going with Elizabeth. They climbed into the Scavengers, and loaded up its guiding systems.
“Voice recognition needed.” The automated system announced.
“Are you kidding me?!” Elizabeth yelled.
The doors of the tent opened up, and Joseph Valdore strode in, a scythe in one hand and his electric whip in the other.
“How dare you, you insolent-”
“Voice sample recognized.” The system cheerfully announced. “Now heading to destination: Valhalla.”
“Well, that works,” Cameron said. He lifted his hand, and sparks of electricity shot out, hitting the guards and Joseph. It didn’t do much damage, but it was enough to buy them time to escape.
As the Valdorians recovered from their confusion, the Scavengers had risen into the air, and set off at neck-break speeds towards the city of Valhalla, leaving behind the camp of Valdore, as a loud yell of pure hatred arose from it.
Cameron snapped back to reality. Stanley was waving his hands in front of Cameron’s face.
“You there, son?” He asked.
“Yeah,” Cameron replied, as he wiped the sweat off his forehead, “Just some old memories going on my head.”
“Alright,” Stanley replied, his voice showing a hint of concern. “Just don’t blank out on me again.”
Cameron took note of the surroundings. He had completely ignored where they had reached. The flames had gotten intense in these parts, raging violently as they burned down everything to ashes. Only one building was left untouched.
The Headquarter building.
Cameron and Stanley walked towards the building’s entrance. Cameron could spot that a fight had taken place inside. The gates were blasted apart. On the building itself, several windows were broken.
Tyson and Elizabeth had been here.
“We should be careful,” Cameron muttered, “Ray could probably still be in there.”
“I don’t think he is,” Stanley spoke quietly, and when Cameron turned to question him, he saw that Stanley was looking around, trying to search something.
“Listen,” Stanley whispered, “I think there’s something that’s been following us.”
“Something?” Cameron whispered back.
“Yeah. A monster. Not human.”
“Uh-huh,” Cameron slowly drew his sword, and let electricity flow into it. It was a special trick that Tyson advised him to practice in battle.
For a moment everything was calm.
The next second, Cameron heard a loud battle cry as two unknown creatures launched out. They were large, fat creatures with brown scales on their backs.
Cameron quickly launched an attack. He thrust out his hand and shot out a bolt of electricity. It hit the first one which was blown back several meters. Cameron then dashed and stabbed his sword into the creature. It yelped, before quickly falling to the ground.
The second one let out a huge pillar of flames, which Cameron was able to dodge, thanks to his training with Elizabeth. Before he could launch a counter-offensive, Stanley shot it in the back.
The latter came to where the second monster lay, almost dead.
“What the heck is this thing?”
“A pyro-Paladin. A monster that can manipulate flames.”
Cameron had never heard of these monsters. The only ones he knew about were Siauhus.
On seeing Cameron’s confused face, Stanley continued to explain.
“They’re usually found in the areas nearest to the cores. Which means-”
The Paladin cried out loudly.
“You…” It said with a wheezy voice, “You humans will die.”
“They can speak?!” Cameron was taken aback.
Even Stanley was shocked.
“I don’t understand…”
“You will die soon. Now that he is back. He will destroy the planet, and with it, the entire planet.”
“Who?!” Stanley put his foot on the monster’s chest. “Who are you talking about?”
The monster made its best effort to smile.
“The warrior of the shadows. The one that is the master of ice.”
Stanley’s face turned pale, and he looked as though he was stabbed.
“You-You’re lying,” he stuttered.
“Stanley!” Cameron tried to make Stanley get a hold of himself.
“Who is he talking about, Colonel?” Cameron asked.
Stanley didn’t have to respond. The monster at his feet did.
“Thanatos, the dark warrior. The bane of this planet’s existence.”