I.N.S.E.C.T: A.C.E Division

A plot with pretzel-like twists, hopefully you'll like it... if you actually read it... and if you've no allergy to pretzels...
And by the way, i know that 11 chapters might seem a long read, but they are not very long! Plus, if people are actually interested in it (big ask, i know) then i'll publish the remaining chapters


7. Can somebody fill me in?

‘Wait a minute…’ I said, ‘I’m… I’m one of the Kchtanta? How does that even work?’ The thin man looked at me, his face serious. ‘The Kchtanta still exist. Or rather, their blood does,’ he said, ‘You see, the Kchtanta were once on the brink of becoming a large power in the world. Many people had come around to their way of thinking, and even more admired their tenacity: the way they held their beliefs with utmost pride.’ ‘So what happened?’ I asked. His face fell. ‘They were betrayed. Their oldest tribe member believed that they were destined to fail if they consorted with the Ghunta, meaning ‘others’, and so he branched off from the Kchtanta. In their language- no longer in use today- Kchtanta means ‘One of the Chansz’. Their betrayer formed a new tribe called the ‘Buiweql’, meaning ‘Spirit of Victory’. This tribe held far less complex beliefs: the weak would fall and the strong would conquer.’ The screen showed the words: BUIWEQL (BW- EE- KUL). ‘There was a battle. Cataclysmic. The Kchtanta, now one hundred strong, against the Buiweql, who had an armed force of over two thousand. The bloodshed was immense, the battle taking place over two days. And yet… and yet, though greatly outnumbered- twenty to one- the Kchtanta harnessed the power of the Chansz. And won.’ He knelt down, and spoke, so softly I was sure it was only me who could hear. ‘They were reduced to just twenty people. And these twenty people could not possibly compete with the rising population. And so The Battle- as it is simply known as- marked the end of both tribes, the Kchtanta diluted down along generation after generation.’ He smiled at me. ‘And then we come to you. You, Tom, are perhaps the last surviving ancestor of the Kchtanta alive today.’ My face froze, both shock and excitement icing my jaws open. ‘You see, on the eve of The Battle, a woman had a child. A baby boy. Fearing he would be slaughtered by the Buiweql, she sent him to her dearest friend, who was neither Kchanta or Buiweql. Thus, the boy was born into civilisation, and ‘How… do you know all of this?’  I asked. ‘Well, that was due to luck on the behalf of Mr Van Scave here,’ he said, gesturing to one of the four people. In the wave of information, I had forgotten about the other three people in the room. ‘Tom, this is Rick Van Scave,’ he said, gesturing to a black-cloaked man. The only one there that wore a black cloak. ‘He is the unofficial leader here, and also the Head Engineer.’ The black cloaked man stood up and shook my hand. ‘For future reference,’ he smiled, ‘Could you please call me Mr Van Scave, only for the sad reason that I dislike my forename greatly.’ ‘What’s wrong with Richard?’ I asked. ‘Well, my name is not short for ‘Richard’, more’s the pity. My parents had a strange sense of humour, and so my name is simply ‘Rick’.’ ‘This is Plodimir Rotund,’ said the thin man, gesturing to a small, plump man who smiled in return. ‘He is the Head of Security.’ I found this strange, but my whole experience so far had been rather strange, and so I took it in my stride. ‘This is Juliet Blundizgoat,’ he said, indicating to a woman of average size. ‘She is Head of Testing.’ He then gestured to a smaller woman. ‘And, finally, this is Arietta Mizz. She is the Head of Technological Studies, or T.S. as we call it.’ ‘You like your acronyms, don’t you?’ I said. ‘Yes, indeed!’ he chuckled. ‘It makes it a lot easier- and cheaper, especially when emblazoning logos on marble flooring.’ He laughed again. ‘I am Benedict Emberton, but you can call me Ben. I am the Head of Briefing, but I’m also going to be your guide and mentor. But anyway, enough with the pleasantries- back to Mr Van Scave.’ The black cloaked man- Mr Van Scave- smiled at me. ‘Yes Thomas, as Mr Emberton was saying, I discovered the very existence of the Kchtanta completely by accident. You see, I was investigating a rare compound that could be used as a fuel for our machinery, around a month ago in the frozen North, and I discovered a cavern in which some of the bodies of the Kchtanta had been buried. Of course, I didn’t know who they were at the time, but I saw that they were perfectly preserved. It meant that either the soil they had been buried in had a high salt content, or it had been frozen. I deduced it was the latter from my surroundings, and so I tested other areas of the frozen North. Lo and behold, I found a burial site with about fifty Kchtanta in. They had been buried in war armour.’ He licked his lips, and I could see his eyes flashing with the memories. ‘The armour was thick, and extremely strong. In fact, my partner on the expedition, who unfortunately passed away some weeks ago, broke his ice pick on the armour. The armour was, judging by the layers of soil, around three thousand years old, and yet was as light and strong as it had most likely been when freshly made. I took a sample and tested it, and found out it was exactly three thousand and sixty three years old. ‘I was hooked. I wanted to find out who they were, and what their life was like. My research led me back to the frozen North, where I found a collection of pictorial inscriptions in preserved clay. They detailed the rise and fall of the Kchtantas, The Battle, and the traitor. Furthermore, the language they had used was very similar to Hungarian, of which my expedition partner was fluent in. Therefore, he was able to very loosely translate the names ‘Kchtanta’, ‘Buiweql’, and ‘Chansz’, their beliefs and their lives. We also found out that one member of the Kchtanta had given birth and had secretly given her child, a boy by the name of Tamomasz, to a non- Kchtanta. And so the boy’s blood was most likely present in today’s world. We tracked the history books down, and followed the blood of the Kchtanta down the line. And we discovered something magical. Utterly… amazing. ‘The blood of the Kchtanta has an ability to render the mother infertile after the first child. Every single ancestor of the boy had been an only child, as was the boy himself, due to some sort of biological time bomb set off by the blood.’ He looked at me. And I swallowed hard. Because we both knew it. I was an only child.

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