Book Excerpt : The Last Mutineers: Stigmata Rising by Patrick Bedont Jr.

Chapter IX

The Sowilo vs. The Coward

The group of Mutineers along with their newfound Stigmata comrades proudly rejoice over Roland’s rant. Doing so by letting out a loud ‘Haoorah’ as they begin splitting up into pairs. Just before they split up, Roland anxiously mutters to the group; “You guys leave Julian to me. If he slays me—then so be it. Just avenge my honor. All I know is that that prick is mine!”

“Yeah, yeah,” Noslen jokingly begins, “If he kills you, we kill him. If you kill him, we kill you. Got it.”

“Now is not the time for jokes, Noslen! Goodness gracious, talk about foot-in-mouth syndrome. Everything out of your mouth today is just downright rubbish.” Hervald roars before wishing the four young men the best of luck and going along his merry way.

The two groups silently split apart for the scrimmage. Splitting up to form eight rows in pairs of two. Each pair with about forty yards between them on the mountainous terrain. Making it so they stretch across the entire valley just north of Little Valentine Lake.

With their weapons drawn and ready to clash, Julian suddenly bursts forth and begins rushing toward Roland as he screams, “Are you all ready to meet your maker!? Go get em’ boys! Go–go–blood makes the grass grow!”

Everyone begins running toward their opponent. Eagerly rushing to decimate the adversary in front of them. Well, that is, everyone but Zakaria. For you see, Zakaria begins hightailing it out of the valley and back up the ramp toward Cathedral Peak as the fighting commences. His opponent chasing him as he flees.

“Get back here you coward!” the Orderman irritatedly screams as he picks up his pace behind Zakaria.

Yet, the moment Zakaria’s adversary begins gaining some leeway, Zakaria spins around and launches two knives toward him in rapid secession. The knives launch from Zakaria’s hand with so much ferocity and speed that they are naught but a blur traveling through the air. So much so that the Orderman apparently fails to even notice Zakaria launch the projectiles toward him. Well it is either that, or the knives are moving far too fast for him to see. For the Orderman makes no effort to deflect or even dodge the blades.

Within a moment’s time the knives hit their mark. That mark being the dead center of the man’s chest. Tearing straight through his tunic and lodging themselves deep into his chest. Forming a ‘V’ that protrudes out from each side of his sternum. Puncturing through both sides of his heart with their sharpened steel blades. It is truly a sudden unfortunate event for the poor soul. One that forces the man to fall to his knees immediately upon impact.

As blood begins flowing from the Orderman’s mouth, he begins mumbling to Zakaria; “You won’t–get away boy–Deodor will come next–along with his army at Fiddlers Lake. You will never escape–you and all of your little friends will–die–”

After a sudden pause the man begins coughing erratically before speaking out his final words; “–avenge–me–brother–”

Zakaria stands there in utter shock as the man expires before his eyes. Falling face first to the ground after coughing out his final words. It is an act that causes everyone to abruptly stop fighting mid-stride. Because the moment they hear a body hit the ground, the warriors’ curiosity over who achieved the first kill just has to be sated.

Upon seeing the man fall, Julian tearfully cries out; “ISSAC NO!” before vehemently screaming, “ROLAND! You will pay for my brother’s death with your own. You obstinate traitor! I will kill you and then move onto the rest of the nonconformist scum you call your friends!”

The moment Julian finishes speaking the fighting ensues. Moments after his heartfelt speech riddled with scorn, Julian’s ferocity intensifies to levels that Roland has never experienced. He is not the only one either.

For as soon as the other pairs clash for a second time, a thunderous roar rings out through the valley. A roar consisting of the harmonious shrieks of metal clashing. Shrieks that are soon followed by several bloodcurdling grunts. All of which occur within moments of one another. Because that is simply how long it takes for the fighting to come to an end.

Noslen and Hervald are finished before they even start. For with merely two swings of their swords, the Elders’ adversaries drop to the ground. With the Elders’ first swing, they slice through the Cutthroats’ sword. With the second, they slice clean through their adversary’s neck. Effectively severing their heads from their bodies.

Heads that slide off from the Ordermen’s necks shortly after. Seamlessly following the Elders’ swords’ swing path. All while their victims’ eyes stare up in complete disbelief the entire way to the ground below. Their brains shutting down completely mere moments after impact.

Even though the men were brick shithouses layered with naught but pure muscle and rage, the poor souls had no idea what was coming. The men died before they could even think of swinging their weapons in retaliation. It could almost be considered a tragic sight to behold. That is if it was anything besides human waste being disposed of.

For you see, that is one of the many benefits of social Darwinism and the justice it naturally brings. Lesser intellect generally equates out to increased aggression in most hominids. A trait that will eventually catch up to the aggressors and get them killed. Even if it occurs after they have already killed—they still end up dying prematurely. At least that is how it should work.

Now I believe it is safe to say that those who live in their own mind, those that fail to increase their potential by simply learning about the world around them and its many wonders, can all be categorized as those with the lesser mental power. They box themselves in and fail to educate themselves enough to form even a minute understanding of the world’s happenings. Those ignorant hominids are normally the ones with the aggressive tendencies.

Such aggression stems from the ignorant hominid’s innate fear of the unknown. A fear that only grows due to the fact that new knowledge is perceived as blasphemy to such beings. Well at least until the fact is reasserted by several other hominids to back up the initial claim. But most fail to ever go to such extremes to solidify their beliefs.

You may be asking, just what does this have anything to do with anything? Well, it is very simple. Those narrow-minds are very easy to control. All one has to do is use the beings’ ingrained herding instincts against them to achieve total dominance. The ruling elite simply utilize their feeble minds to get them to reproduce rapidly and continue on the cycle of ignorance.

Figuring that ignorance breeds intolerance, one can only assume that such will eventually lead to naught but apathetic narcissism. These traits are ones that are inherently detrimental to the human form. Ones that will lead to the devolution of humanity as a whole if left unaccounted for. Because to evolve, Homo sapiens must maintain their intellect throughout the entirety of their lifecycle.

If those gullible hominids with the lesser intellect become the majority, it spells out death for any free society. Those brainwashed citizens will kill their own mother if it means moving up in the sociopolitical ladder of their cult-like society. In essence, such acts of blind devotion are precisely what is going on here in the story. The masters have simply sent their dogs out to do their bidding.

However, things are not quite working out in their masters’ favor. For soon after the Elders vanquish their foes, Darios and Vegard are finished with theirs. Both of whom hastily make mincemeat of their unsuspecting opposition.

Darios simply swings his longsword into the side of his opponent with all of his might. Instantly paralyzing the Orderman by means of severing his spinal cord. However, Darios’ blade does not slice the entire way through as the Elders’ blades had done. For once it severs the Orderman’s spine, Darios’ blade comes to an abrupt stop.

The initial look of shock on the Orderman’s face is followed by a myriad of other emotions. He drops his blade the moment his spine is severed and stares at Darios as he experiences a lifetime’s worth of emotions in several seconds. His twisted and perverse fantasies soon begin playing out while staring deeply into Darios’ eyes. Staring with the sole intention of cursing Darios’ soul.

While staring, the Orderman wishes to die assuredly knowing that his opponent’s time on this Earth is about due as well. Such fantasies being the ones that are playing out as his brain shuts down. Fantasies of his masters torturing all of the dissidents around him until their last breath.

However, Darios has no intention of letting his opponent die on his blade. So before the man even has a chance to completely fulfill his deviant cursory act, Darios musters up enough strength to finish his slice. Causing the man to immediately collapse to the ground in two separate pieces. His entrails spewing out from both halves after the pieces of him fall. Followed suit by all of his blood and bile, which begins pooling around the corpse. Creating a viciously brutal stench that would make any being cringe.

Vegard makes quicker work of his adversary than Darios. But only because instead of using a longsword, he is using his fancy scimitar that is much more lean and easy to maneuver. Still, the adversaries share several blows before Vegard uses a nifty sleight-of-hand technique. A technique where Vegard magically bypasses his enemy’s sword midair before slicing the man’s neck. Effectively severing one of the Orderman’s carotid arteries.

The Cutthroat scum is apparently in shock after the impact. Looking as though he does not know what hit him. Because he stops dead in his tracks with a look of sheer fright on his face. Only proceeding to grab his neck after blood begins visibly spewing out from his mortal wound. Its red velvety essence splattering on his shirt and the ground below as it intermittently spurts out from his flesh. Forcing him to walk toward the shoreline to get a view as his life drains out from betwixt his hands. Both of which he is using to apply pressure to the wound. Desperately attempting to stop the blood flowing from his neck.

Yet, the man can do naught but stumble toward the shore to get a mirrored view of himself. Leaving naught but a trail of blood in his wake. For all of his paltry attempts to hinder the flow prove to be all but frivolous. Because each stumble equates to an exponential loss of life. Life that the man does not have much of. A fact that becomes quite apparent moments later when the man is coughing up blood clots while trying desperately to gasp for air.

Just before the Orderman reaches the water, he suddenly collapses to the ground. Upon making contact with the earth below, he throws up a grotesque mix of blood and stomach acid. Doing so before expiring on the rocky shores of Little Valentine Lake for good. His remaining life force spilling into the lake as it finishes draining from his corpse. Replenishing the lake with his body’s sustenance. Finally giving back for once in his vile and pathetic life.

Once both of their opponents are slain, Darios and Vegard peer over to their right. They are soon to realize that Hervald and Noslen have vanished along with Zakaria. Only the trio’s adversary’s corpses remain in their stead. Giving rise to a barrage of questions inside of the brothers’ minds. Apart from the Ordermen’s corpses, they see Roland, who is as steadfast as ever while clashing with Julian.

Darios and Vegard merely nod at each other in approval over the sight of Roland before looking to their left. For they know he will be able to make mincemeat of Julian in no time with his Sowilo Spear. So why bother even thinking about helping?

However, things take a sudden turn for the worse the moment the brothers’ eyes catch sight of the other two Mutineers. So much so that they can do naught but quickly run to help them. For Azimov and Merlin are both clearly struggling to overcome their more-than-formidable opponents.

Azimov is sparring against a towering six-foot man. A man that seems to be well over three-hundred pounds of pure muscle. Not to mention drunk off of rage due to his companions’ losing their fights so quickly.

Now even though his massive stature hinders his stealth, the Orderman makes up for it with his armor. For you see, Azimov’s foe is not equipped with the standard cloth-layered armor as all of the others. Instead, he has rebar-lined leather manicas on his arms. Manicas he uses to block every blow Azimov throws his way.

After each block, the Orderman counters Azimov’s advances with a powerful swing from his broadsword. Letting out intimidating grunts and groans with every devastating blow. Each swing knocking Azimov back as he tries desperately to block it with his worn, yet similar, Order-issued sword.

Just after the first several swings, Azimov can do naught but begin growing weary of his opponents unrelenting defensive maneuvers. I mean, the unwavering barrage of swings his enemy is issuing would be enough to slow any man. For each swing is riddled with naught but malice and scorn. Such emotions are quite evident on the Cutthroat’s face with each failed attempt at vanquishing his foe. They do naught but grow with ferocity every time he has to recoil his body to swing.

Before Azimov loses anymore oomph in his defensive abilities, he takes a gamble and chooses to take an offensive stance the moment after his opponent’s next brutal blow. So once the Orderman swings and his body is in its transitory state of recoiling for the next strike, Azimov gallantly thrusts his sword into the man’s abdomen and turns it every which way to ensure his fatality. However, even with Azimov’s sword decimating his innards, the Orderman does naught but grow all the more enraged.

The hulking Cutthroat scum begins makings all kinds of demonic noises as a look of sheer fright overcomes Azimov’s face. For it soon becomes clear that the now defenseless Azimov very well might not come out of his scrimmage alive. So Azimov does what little he can to escape. An act that simply consists of him hurriedly leaping back. Only to fall to the ground below and begin crawling on his hands and feet to avoid his adversary’s final attempts at vanquishing him. His eyes never leaving his opponent throughout the entire process.

During such acts the Orderman is looking dead into Azimov’s eyes. All while standing there with a blade sticking out of his gut. Standing motionless for several moments before taking one last swing that fills Azimov with terrified angst. But only due to the fact that his foe’s blade barely misses his throat. For the Orderman haphazardly spins himself down to the ground and uses his momentum to launch his sword at Azimov as he collapses. Only for him to expire moments later.

To the right of Azimov is Merlin, who is also struggling to overcome his foe. Now Merlin is simply trying to deflect his adversary’s sword swings with opposing swings from his cumbersome club. However, with each block, another chunk is taken out of the club. So as the fight progresses, Merlin’s club slowly begins dwindling down to nothingness.

After several blocked swings, Merlin manages to swing his club at his adversary’s hand. Effectively knocking the Orderman’s sword to the ground. Yet, before the Orderman’s sword even touches the ground, he rushes Merlin and initiates a bloody fist fight to the death.

The surprise alone troubles Merlin, who is more than overpowered by his adversary’s immense stature. Because the man pummels down on Merlin with the fury of god himself. Issuing a rapid hostile beating the likes of which said gods would only give to the evilest of men.

Upon seeing the fight beginning to turn in the Orderman’s favor, Darios and Vegard hurriedly make their way toward Merlin. As they run, the Kilmar brothers see Merlin falling to the ground while his enemy ruthlessly swings his fists at Merlin’s bloodied face. However, upon hitting the ground, Merlin simultaneously falls onto his back; reaches for his club; and kicks the Orderman back before leaping up off the ground.

As he leaps back up, Merlin blindly swings his club up the side of his stumbling opponent’s head. Producing a large burst of blood that is accompanied by a loud cracking sound. A sound that resonates throughout the valley. Reverberating for only a moment before being followed by a loud thud. For the Orderman immediately falls to the ground after impact. His blood pooling on the ground the moment he makes contact.

Upon coming to and seeing the sight of his fallen adversary, Merlin lets out a heaving sigh of relief as the Cutthroat’s blood begins to pool around his feet. However, Merlin is still beaten and fiercely shaken up inside after the scuffle. Walking away with at minimum a concussion. Not to mention the several lacerations and broken facial bones he has endured.

By the time Merlin is finished with his opponent, Darios and Vegard are not even halfway to him. So on their way, the brothers fetch Azimov and take him to Merlin. Now, since all that is left is Roland and Julian, the brothers simply find a good spot away from all of the Ordermen corpses and lead the others there to watch the fight.

It does not take long for the small group to grow bored with what they are seeing. For upon initial inspection, the group of onlookers notice Roland is not really having any trouble at all. So instead of watching a one-sided fight, the group makes their way up toward Cathedral Peak to tend to Tomas.

On their way up, Hervald and Noslen keep telling the group to “Make haste,” and “Hurry before the finale”; whatever that means. So the four men do as they are told and rush to go get Tomas. Leaving Roland and Julian all by their lonesome to finish their brawl.

From the get-go, Julian and Roland fiercely trade blows. Effectively cancelling each other’s blows by deflecting them with their weapons. However, as soon as Zakaria slays Julian’s brother, Julian begins striking faster and more violently. Causing Roland to take primarily defensive measures.

“I want to watch the life drain from your eyes you defiant scum!” Julian ferociously roars as he stabs and slashes at Roland, who is none too pleased with his negative sentiments.

“You deserve to die for your misdeeds toward mankind!” Roland snarls back.

As Roland’s anger grows, he begins to lose his patience. It boils up to the point where he can no longer tolerate the constant onslaught of Julian’s advances. The Sowilo Spear evidently picks up on Roland’s impatience. For it soon begins glowing a mystical fiery-orange right before their eyes.

Even though it appears to be scorching to the touch, Roland seems unfazed by his spear as he ferociously swings it in tandem with Julian’s sword’s swing path. His blade glimmering as he swings it with the utmost force. Swinging it so hard that once the two weapons collide, the spear slices right through Julian’s sword.

“Wh–wh–what in the hell was that!?” Julian cries.

However, Julian gets no sort of solace for his panicked inquiry. He does get to dumbfoundedly watch the next series of events unfold though. For he can do naught but stare madly at Roland as he draws his spear back for his next attack. An attack where he proceeds to slice Julian’s hand clean off with the swift flick of the wrist. Showing no hesitation or remorse for such actions as he stares wildly into the blue.

“What in the hell is wrong with you, Rollo?” Julian nervously questions as blood begins pouring out from his forearm.

Instead of responding, Roland blankly stares at Julian. For he appears to be lost in a trance of sorts. So much so that his eyes become heavily glazed over mere moments later. Making it appear as though Roland is being sedated by his mystical spear. Yet, even though his mind is out to lunch, his body more than makes up for its absence by moving ever so eloquently as Roland tortures Julian.

It appears as though Roland is in auto-pilot. As though he is letting his spear take control of his every action. All while he stands back in pure bliss watching the spear do his bidding. Playing out all of Roland’s devilish fantasies that have been accumulating inside of his mind since the moment he saw Julian’s vile face.

Before long, Roland begins mindlessly, yet playfully stabbing toward Julian’s chest with his spear. Forcing Julian to stagger back while looks of sheer horror engulf his being. He knows for a fact all of the pain and suffering he has ever inflicted on others is about to be wrought back unto him. Coming to such realizations the moment Roland lunges forward toward him.

Roland gracefully swings his spear as he floats through the air. Just barely coming in contact with Julian’s body with its glistening blade. An act that seemingly forces Julian to wince in panicked pain.

Because just from it singeing the hair on Julian’s chest and lightly cutting into his flesh, the entire Sowilo Spear transitions to a brilliant scarlet-red coloration. Once its transition is complete, the spear apparently takes full control of Roland’s being. A sight that clearly upsets Julian. For Roland proceeds to bring his spear back to his person before delivering the final blow.

However, just before he stabs his spear into Julian’s chest, Roland stops. Stopping mid-stab because he hears Hervald crying out from the top of the valley; “Roland snap out of it! Please wait! Don’t do it boy!”

Hervald and the rest of the gang hastily make their way down the valley with Tomas in tow. Tomas is covered in blood and barely hanging on around Darios’ and Vegard’s necks. His skin is now a pale white. Reflecting off the glistening sun overhead and making it apparent that the evil mistress, Death, is hovering over him. Waiting for the moment his mind fully devolves into naught but an eternal abyss to snatch up his soul and take it to the great beyond.

As the group comes together around Roland, Julian, who is staring down at the ground at the blood pooling from his severed hand, slowly lifts his head and peers from side-to-side. Only to notice that he is slowly being boxed in by his foes. Either that or he is having one helluva hallucination. For with him having already lost a considerable amount of blood, Julian is weaving in and out of consciousness. Bobbing around while thinking about how exactly his death is going to go down. Doing so with the same look of terror initially instilled into him by Roland still imprinted on his face.

The moment the claustrophobia sets in, Julian begins to panic. After helplessly staggering around in his delusional state, he proceeds to holler, “What are you waiting–fah–for–ya–you filth–you–cow–ard. Kill–me,” before carelessly leaping toward Roland. Spitting at him as he jumps forward.

Roland quickly falters back. Just narrowly avoiding Julian’s loogey. Doing so before beginning to shake his head violently in a desperate attempt to regain his cognizance, which is still strongly under the Sowilo Spear’s control.

After several awkward moments, Roland manages to recollect his mind. Upon doing so, he spitefully bellows out; “You will suffer just as all of the innocent people you tortured to the grave. You get a punishment that fits the crime! Remember? Isn’t that the ‘law of the land’!? You evil, hypocritical bastard!”

After Roland’s declaration, the group inches their way in closer toward the couple. Forming a large circle around Julian and Roland. So with no hope left of ever conquering his foe, Julian falls to his knees while cupping his severed forearm with his remaining hand. Whimpering as he prepares for his inevitable demise.

Hervald roars, “Everyone quick, join your hands together,” as he and Noslen dash over to Roland.

As everyone joins hands, Hervald completes the chain by grabbing a hold of Noslen’s hand and ordering Roland to give up one of his hands and finish the job one-handedly. Moments after they join hands, Hervald demonically whispers into Roland’s ear; “Kill that evil sonnuvabitch–NOW!”

With Hervald’s directive now on the forefront of his mind, Roland viciously thrusts his spear into Julian’s chest while looking him dead in the eye. Producing naught but a grunt in response as the spear pierces straight through Julian’s sternum. Doing so with no drag whatsoever.

The moment the Sowilo Spear comes into direct contact with an organic life force, it quickly begins illuminating a bright yellow. A sight that causes Hervald to roar, “Everyone brace yourselves!”

Shortly after Hervald speaks, the light being produced by the spear begins floating up off its surface. A bright sphere of light then begins expanding out from the site of impact within Julian’s chest. Light that quickly begins overtaking his body.

While it is engulfing his being, Julian menacingly hollers at the group up until his very last breath; “You kids won’t ever escape! In due time, you’ll all be slaughtered in a sea of blood! They will–come–forgive me–brah–ther–”

Once his body is fully engulfed in light, the sphere radiating off Julian’s body begins to combine with the light coming off of the Sowilo Spear. Combining to form one giant ball of radiant energy that soon bursts outwards toward the rest of the group. Showering them with an impenetrable shell-like barrier as all of their wounds are mystically healed.

“What the hell is this thing!?” Roland quizzically exclaims as the light seemingly molds to his person.

“That spear is the apex of all of our weapon craft technology,” Hervald excitedly begins, “It can sense your emotions via body heat signature monitors and heal wounds with the latest and greatest Organic Matter Absorption and Conversion technology. Or more simply, OMAC Tech.”

Everyone simply stands there with their hands clenched while listening to Hervald spout out information. Gazing over their bodies in sheer wonder. Speechless as the light seemingly penetrates through their clothing and into their beings.

As it courses through everyone’s veins, Merlin is overcome with a strong feeling of renewal. Due primarily to the fact that the pain in his bruised and battered face quickly dissipates. Causing him to joyfully cry out, “I don’t care how it works there boss–I–I–I feel like a million bucks! I seriously need to get me one of these! Does this work on any living organism!? If so, this is downright amazing!”

It is a warming sensation unlike any feeling any of them have ever felt before. Well, except the Elders of course. But even they can physically sense their bodies healing themselves. Because everything is restored. Down to the regeneration of tissue and bone mass they have lost naturally. All of which is clearly evident as the Elders begin seemingly going back in time. The act taking years off their faces and restoring their spines along with their statures.

Yet, the aura is most certainly nothing to take for granted. It may seem as though Roland is wielding the fountain of youth, but its powers are coming directly from Julian’s life force. It is quite the paradox you see.

Actually, it more or less has to do with the fact that the life rejuvenation comes from another life. Each one precious in its own way. Every person has someone that cares about them, or depends on them. It just boils down to whether or not they take them for granted.

By perpetrating such evil deeds, nefarious humans like Julian are those who quite apparently take everything for granted. They have not an ounce of sympathy or remorse for their fellow species and are just downright dead inside. So what is wrong with matching the inside with the out?

As the beam of light is fading away, it slowly exposes Julian’s body. At least what is left of it anyway. For all that remains are his clothes, which are covering the barely-joined fragments of his minuscule skeletal frame. Such a grotesque sight clearly disturbs them all. Because the entire group can do naught but simply stand there in utter shock over the thinned-out skeleton kneeling before them.

“So that’s how it works in real life application?” Hervald perplexedly begins, “Hm–I think I may have outdone even myself on this one. Talk about regeneration–am I right?”

However, his sarcastic questioning does not ease their shock. It just causes the group to burst out into a discomforting mix of frightened, yet awkward laughter. Such laughter leading straight into panicked awe as the skeleton collapses to the ground. Shattering into pieces upon contact with the rocky terrain.

“What the hell do you mean that’s how it works in real life? What in the hell is this contraption!?” Roland roars as he holds out the spear in the palms his hands. Fearfully staring at the strangely appealing polearm.

“Well–” Hervald begins before Noslen forcefully pushes him aside and gaily interrupts; “WellI invented a high-frequency nanochip called the VELM. Or, Vitals and Expelled Life-force Monitor. The chip is merely dependent on your body’s vital signs. The higher the heat and stress levels you emit become, the higher the output frequency the chip gives off. There are frequency bands which are routed through the grip of the weapon and are directed straight out toward the edges of the blade. Causing it to vibrate at an unseen rate. Them there high-frequency vibrations make it easy to slice through any material you can fuckin’ imagine. And you can’t feel it because those grips protect you. Well that along with the energy transferring nanochannels in the shaft. But we’ll dive into that complex shit later. I’ll tell you what though—both Hervy and I have them embedded in our blades. So I know for a fact they can cut down fuckin’ trees in one swipe! No fuckin’ effort whatsoever.”

“Yeah, what he said. Except we know how to manipulate the sensors. You see, we can make them output their highest frequency just by gripping the handle. But we’ll get into that later.” Hervald explains. Only to be met with a medley of surprised faces.

“What the hell!?” Darios and Vegard shout out in unison before Darios adds, “Where’s our VELM chips for our weapons?”

The guardsmen all join in on Darios’ protest with a resounding “Yeah,” as they all disappointedly glare at the Elders.

“Sorry guys, it’s still experimental. It is also very hard to make with the materials we have. We started working on it in the army. But then the whole Bio War thing–and the Chosen–” Hervald pleadingly begins.

“Well that doesn’t explain why Julian’s skeletal remains are all that’s sitting here and not his flesh and blood!” Roland exclaims.

“–well that’s rather complicated you see,” Hervald begins before taking a large breath and continuing on; “You see my young neophytes, the military began delving into the realms of sci-fi before the war. We nearly perfected this technology in controlled lab tests, but–and I stress this but–we never really used it in any sort of real-life application. Basically those printed diamonds on the tip of your spear are composed of thousands of micro vacuums. The vacuums funnel the blood and tissue from whatever life-form it comes into contact with through millions of tiny fibrous tubules that are laden with microfilters and energy converters.”

Hervald then pauses for a moment before walking over to Roland and grabbing the Sowilo Spear from his clutches. Doing so before continuing on; “Those filters and converters are what initially illuminate the spear. Creating the brilliant colors we all just witnessed. Their coloration simply being dependent on the injury. Well now–actually–it depends on the energy required to do the healing.”

As he continues on, Hervald demonstrates the process by placing the spear in Roland’s hands. He then glides his hands above the various parts of the weapon while he speaks of them. Seamlessly moving his hands with his speech, “The energy starts at those vacuums in the blade. Which is where the organic matter is converted down into its most basic forms. Once converted, the matter gets sent to the shaft where it is then separated and sent to the handle or handles of the weapon. The separated elements are then absorbed through the skin on your hands through means of our patented Fibroblast Manipulation technology. That being said, once it is absorbed through your hand, the energy is dispersed faster than the speed of light through anything or anyone you are in direct physical contact with. Utilizing the human’s natural electrical currents to aid in such processes. Only to blanket them with, in essence, the organism’s life force. Heck, there’s even a feature where if the weapon senses more than one opponent via your fear levels–which are detected by Noslen’s monitoring nanochip–it devours all of your foe’s energy before creating a blindingly powerful force field. Somewhat like the one you just saw, except it expels any intruding objects. But anyway—to make a long story short—you were the nucleus of healing a moment ago, Roland. Well, that is if you’d like to call it that.”

The crowd stands in complete awe as the Elders explain their creation. Everyone’s mouths dumbfoundedly hang open until Azimov speaks out and snaps them out of their funk; “So you guys were in the army before the Great War?”

“Why yes,” Noslen begins, “Barney, Hervy, and I were all top-level scientists working on some super hi-tech stuff. We all had the top-level security clearances and everything. We even designed and helped construct the caves you young’uns briefly saw,” he enthusiastically explains.

“So you guys knew about the caves before the war?!” Darios scornfully asks.

“Well yes, our jobs were to gather as many of the people on the President’s list as possible,” Hervald explains.

“So, you guys worked for that asshole!? And HE told you guys of the caverns? Psh! You are naught but lackeys with a hunch for luck! The stories of the past you speak of are naught but fabricated nonsensery! Are the legends of the Chosen even true?! Or are they from the Proditor as well?!” Vegard vindictively roars.

“Well yes and no–” Noslen begins.

“Please! Speak no more lies sir,” Darios hollers as he begins walking over to the Elders. Continuing only once he is standing directly in front of them; “You don’t want your entire tower of cards to come tumbling down—do you? Do you really want to burn more bridges? And to think we actually looked up to you and believed your every word. But I suppose they were just that: words. Words without an ounce of truth!”

Once Darios is finished, all of the guardsmen shout a slew of profane banter at the Elders while proceeding up the hill back toward the cave. Cursing and carrying on while proceeding back home. Scorning their beloved Elders the entire way…

The Last Mutineers: Stigmata Rising

by Patrick Bedont Jr.

Welcome to the Basilizoic era. A period of life on planet Earth that takes place after humanity drives itself to the brink of extinction with nanotechnology in the year 2045. The post Cenozoic era is definitely a Life Kingdom. With the nanotechnology working its wonders on all of Earth’s other lifeforms, the planet could not possibly look any better. Because in humanity’s stead, large voracious beasts now control the land. Making the Earth as it once was during the dinosaurs’ reign.
It appears as though Mother Earth is simply getting back what was always rightfully hers: lands free of destruction and suffering by the hands of man. That is not saying the vile species of Homo sapiens is completely eradicated though. For a few thousand of them survive the massive die-off that occurred after The Great Bio War. Doing so by fleeing to the barrier-protected lands within the Wind River Ranges of Lander, Wyoming.



About the Author

Scott Mullins is a freelance writer and digital content manager. When he’s not finding ways to distract himself from writing his novel he writes killer copy for companies all over the world. Connect with Scott on Twitter @ScottMullins86 or LinkedIn. He’s always looking to connect with other writers.