Lord Cividil and the nine ministers of Babeldel seated around a Tungsten polished table, brooding over their recent encounters of resistance among the resurrectants and the annihilation of the remnants beyond the citadel’s outskirts—the last of what might be free humanity.
The Goths of Citibaad must not be allowed to reach the sentient state. Contact with outsiders, anyone beyond these walls, is to be strictly prohibited. An outskirt rat mingling with our Goths would spell disaster—and ultimately such encounters could lead to the dissolving of our order.
Folds hands. Smiles knowingly.
The Goths, my bothers, are incapable of true sentience. What the Goths imitate is not a display of true self awareness. Rather, what we’ve seen thus far is a display of mimicking. The only consciousness these resurrectants possess is the programming they’ve received from the necro cloud.
Doubled fists, and bloodless, strikes the table.
Not so! Word has reached my ear with quite different news, brother Argos! A community of remnants is not far from this side of the blight. It is only a matter of time…
Shakes his long wavy hair. He pens what is said on to a block of parchment.
It is no rumor. Such a community does indeed exist.
—and of the agency protecting it?
I’ve noted it down as fact—that some agency works against our purposes. Sorry, for the interruption, brothers. Please continue.
Agency? Nonsense. Those in the blight are nothing more than the offshoot of a careless project undertaken by our former head master.
Hardly should one of us refer to Jon’s work as ‘careless’.
Ridiculous! I can’t believe what I’m hearing!
It is a loose end to cleanse… nothing more. I’ve noted your argument. Let us move on to more pressing issues. Please, digress on the matter of the remnants. Continue otherwise.
Smiles knowingly and nods.
In any event, the next horde of Necrotep will sweep our communities branching out from the citadel. The time draws near for his return. Perhaps, it would be wise if we cut those loose ends from our concern, and—
No, no, no! I have invested a great deal in spreading a culture through the surrounding outskirts of Babeldel!
--and instead fortify what we can afford to reinforce with power and supply.
I won’t stand for this. My investment? Timeless. Priceless work!
Meet the demand, first and foremost, brother Argos.
I understand the prophecies as well as any of my fellow ministers here in this room. But, Jon’s army is a plan of folly. That may just be my opinion.
Looks around the room.
Is it truly wise, my brothers? Is it? To meet this dark force with resistance?
What would you have us do, then? Come. Enlighten us, brother Argos. What strategy have you mustered in all this time you’ve spent on your collateralization projects with resurrectants in the outskirts?
Donning the cog-helm of the citadel, the rogue slips through the necropolis under the veil of monster curfew (a time when citizens are locked in their dorms due to the monsters unleashed by the order of Babeldel.
Eyes ignite like welding torches upon sensing the presence of the rogue, Joseph.
((to be continued…))