Friday, March 6, 2015

The Boy Who Burned the World-10

The questors could not avoid the notoriety of their deeds forever. Despite all attempts to maintain obscurity, soon someone pinned names to faces and the demon minions got a copy of that list. Once they confirmed it, the questors immediately became wanted men and Lame/Cygnus/Trogdor offered the reward of being made a champion if they succeeded in bring them in- dead or alive. Subjugated peoples, being a pathetic and craven lot, took up the challenge and soon both demon and human hunters dogged the questors.

Fortunately, the spirits of the dead kept their alliegence to the questors and tipped them off time and again. The questors, knowing that the time for being a run-away gang is done, began setting traps and ambushes more and more often- and of increasing ferocity as their means to resist also grew stronger and more numerous. Lame, for his part, used the affair to clean out disloyal and suspect underlings; their demise at the hands of the questors served his purposes in multiple manners, securing his power while manipulating the narrative to his advantage.

Having cleaned out his hierarchy of opportunists and backstabbers, Lame then ensured that the hordes of human hunters died like dogs before these questors by raising the reward to being one of a personal bodyguard. This had the desired effect, turning even more of the population against the questors in their desperation to alleviate their own misery. The questors, in turn, despaired at the turning of the population against them in so swift a fashion; if they had not successfully deceived so many of the hunters after them, they would have given up or been slain.

But they did not; they found, at last, the sources that they sought. Surviving records of Chester Lame, deep in the basement of a ruined office in what remained of Washington D.C., they recovered from a hard drive secured in a hardened drop box before the world burned in a rain of meteor fire that brought in the very demons that now subjugated the world.

And in that moment, they fell--at last--into Lame's trap.

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