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Broken Lives : Prologue

Peace shattered in an instant. Nothing left for us here. The world had gone from splendor to dust. What little hope remained faded the moment we looked out to our little scarred planet. But even in the new darkness enshrouding us could not take away our determination to live. Hope did not fill us that day. It would not for many years to come. No, determination filled us and gave us a reason to live.And in that bleakness that swallowed the world, Humanity would find a way to rebuild and restart the world. This is the world into which I was born. And into which adventure awaited.

He awoke to find the room dark. To his left, the cooled remains of a candle stood, reminding him of how late it had been. He lifted his head, pulling a few drool covered pages with him. Drowsiness still filled his body. He leaned back in the chair, stretching out as much as his protesting muscles would allow. He shook his head, dislodging all but one of the pages. Confusion clouded his mind, as he struggled to remember where he was.

The sound of birds singing and chirping just outside a window to his left told him it was still early in the morning. Sunlight poured in as if confirming what nature had already said. He slowly searched the room for signs of anything that could tell him something about his location. Realization suddenly hit as his eyes came to rest on the book laid out before him.

"How long...?" he whispered in the silence. "Ah, that's right. I was reading this journal. I must have passed out. Julie's going to kill me if she finds out." He looked around for his knapsack, finally spotting it resting only a few feet away. He reached for it, leaning as far as he could from his location within the chair. Closer and closer he pushed until the chair finally gave way, pulling him down with it.

"Ow," he groaned. " I probably should have seen that coming." He looked up, noticing the knapsack was now only inches away. He grabbed it and picked himself up to his feet "I guess the best I can hope for after that is forgiveness from Julie. I can see today will already be one of those days." He sighed, picked up the journal, placed it in his bag and turned to face the chair. Another sigh and the chair was back into its standing position. That's when he noticed the pages that had fallen to the floor.

He stooped down to pick them up when one in particular caught his eye. Written on the loose sheet were a few symbols he couldn't recognize and what appeared to be some kind of warning. He disregarded the writings as meaningless to him and placed it in his knapsack with the rest of the pages.

A knock at the door drew his attention. "Hang on a second. I'll be right down." Probably just Julie, he thought to himself. He slipped on his shoes and flew out of the room and down the stairs until he stood just behind the solid wood front door. Another knock sounded, this time a little more impatient than the last.

"Come on, Julie. I still need to unlock the chain." A quick slide of the latch and the door flew open, revealing the world outside.

"Now what's the hurry?" he said jokingly. Fear shot through his entire body as he suddenly realized Julie was not the person standing before him. A different girl, one drenched in still fresh blood, her hair a mess and stained, and her clothes equally tattered and stained, stood before him, Julie's head in her hands. The girl turned to stare at him, a blank stare fixed upon her face. He was unable to move, fixed in place by fear and disbelief.

Without warning, the girl threw Julie's severed head away and rushed him, slamming a fist into his gut. He fell, groaning in pain. Without pause, the girl turned and slammed a kick into his face. He was thrown back, slamming into the ground and then the staircase. The girl immediately followed up with another punch to the gut before picking him up by his throat and slowly crushing his windpipe. He gasped for air, struggling to try and free himself from the girl's impossibly strong grip. Life began slowly fading from his limbs. His strength began fading from his body as his air supply was slowly cut off. It was too late. He knew it. Another second and he would be dead.

Suddenly, the girl tossed him aside. He landed on the floor, gasping for breath. Nothing seemed to make sense. He tried to see where the girl had gone, but the lack of air had left him severely disoriented. His entire body felt weak, but he slowly managed to roll onto his side.

"W-wh-why?" he gasped. He couldn't see her, but something told him she was there. "W-wh-hy? W-wh-o are y-y-you?" Each breath hurt a little more. His head pounded, his heart raced. But he had to know. He needed to know.

A strange energy enveloped his body, lifting him off the ground. He couldn't move, couldn't resist. The energy suddenly surged, launching his body across the room. Before he hit the ground, the energy once again surrounded him. It forced his head back until his eyes met hers.

"You're still alive," the girl said. "How strange." He locked eyes with her. Despite not being able to make out her face, he could see the coldness with which she attacked. He stared at her, unable to look away. The girl turned and bent down to pick something up. She stood up and immediately locked her gaze back on his.

"You write this?" she asked. He didn't respond. He couldn't respond. His body refused to move. "Did you write this?" His body moved on its own, his head shaking in response.

"I see," she said. His eyes widened as something flashed within hers. "A pity really." With nothing more, he was thrown across the room. No magic cushioned his landing this time, as he slammed into the wall at full force. His sense of touch suddenly dulled, all strength left him, and he fell to the floor. He couldn't move. His eyelids suddenly felt strangely heavy. Sleep began tugging gently at him as the last of his energy slowly dissipated.

"Pathetic," he heard. He felt something pick up his head, holding his face toward the ceiling. "Tch, and I was hoping you would be different. I guess I was wrong." The gentle hands disappeared. His head dropped back to the floor, the world turning black. Please don't let me die now, he pleaded. Please give me one last chance! Nothing happened. He gasped one last time, his consciousness slipping away to the darkness.

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