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The political landscape of today’s world is… a fucking mess.

So there is a local government that’s elected.

You mean corrupt local government… that sometimes the powerful people of the city allow elections. At this level it’s mainly organised criminal enterprises like the one we semi work for.

They handle small stuff and tax personal taxes no business tax because most businesses are stronger than the local government.

We live in a society where a few ‘clans’ are literally stronger then the government creating a status hierarchy that can’t be breached by an average person meaning there are people who are literally above the law.

Then we have the enforcers… I LITERALLY HAVE NOT THE SLIGHTEST CLUE. Actually from what I can tell these people are good people. They do enforce the law and often times are empowered by the families to do so. But the main reason why they can remain just is because of the people at the top.

Then we have the powerful families these and some extremely few corporations that are often run by families anyway that are also above the law. If someone from these families was to kill someone in front of a policeman… the policeman would either pretend to not see anything or… well die. But not before watching their families be tortured to death.

By the way my mother belongs to both a family and a ‘clan’ the only difference between the two being power.

And then above the families we have the council of elders. 18 ‘elders’ that stand above everything. See we live in a society where someone could be born tomorrow with the power to destroy the world.

I am not lying… about 288 years ago I think… maybe my memories not the best someone was born with the blessings called the plague touched.

He was sick with a plague that would spread by touch, air, water. But everything changed when the fire nat- what are you saying? Your not making any sense also touch is not earth.

Oh sorry I was distracted a second by anyway the child killed herself when her father and mother died to her pluge by accident but her pluge continued.

Oh… fuck that beautiful little loil and her words ah I think I am crying. Her last words “ If my death can bring happiness to those and lessen the hatred I have caused then please Mason… just let me died.”

Ahhh did that happen!

So long story short the world was all but destroyed however a cure was made on time by the world was wrecked. Then a the council of elders was formed to ‘protect’ the people and ‘protect’ the blessed.

See at the time religion was a bigger thing than it was now. Oh wait that won't help you… there is a reason it's called blessed and not cursed and that’s because the church at the time used the power blessed to slay the cursed or the rebellious blessed and heightened. We also didn’t know the difference between heighten or blessed but now we do.

What he failed to tell you is that the council of elders was made by said church so it had the blessing of the goddess.

Although the church still called any magic user a witch and we even had a new round of witch hunts during the plague. But the church was shaken and most didn’t want anything disaster to occur so they were happy to sell there blessed children to a place where they would be looked after. Most of the blessed taken by the elders actually become enforcers.

But you see this was never meant to be a government. They just simply grew stronger by collecting stronger people. They are also oddly big on diversity of ideas which put them ahead in technology, research and all that stuff.

Ahhh but you see the church was not big on this at all. Soon the council split from the church as its power grew weaker with each generation and the improvement of science and magic becoming better understood by common people.

But like I said it was not meant to be a world wide and so we get to today's situation where I live in and dead zone.

Dead zone are areas where the government and enforces are cut out completely leaving only the above the law clans and criminal organisations. In fact there is no police man in this entire city or at least half. But these have another plus. Few enforcers. More free blessed or undocumented.

Also there are other special things like the elves that are extremely racist and own their own area.

Actually that's just case the king of the elves is an ‘elder’

Actually that king is dead we were invited to his funeral it was nice the queens adopted son is in charge now… although there are elves who hate this extremely.

So what I am saying is that if I was to kill someone in my district where my house is located no one would care.

If I kill someone here I have to face the wrath of the ruling clans or… pay a fine.

I could also pay a criminal organisation to hide the evidence for a cheaper price.

Ok so what does this mean to the average person. No one is not armed to the teeth. You would think that the clans would run wild stealing wife’s and stuff but actually they take small amounts of taxes and keep to themselves. Sometimes they will fix public infrastructure of course with the associated tax rise as well.

As for why this is.

  1. That old guy laying on the street could have a blessing that will obliterate you.
  2. Everything you do is recorded

Yep… its the dead zone that keeps the clans in check. Because people like me and Zoe trained killers walk the streets. And trust me it's not hard to get from one district to another. I live a few minutes away from the area the clans control.

Actually a dead zone is probably the only place where one can do as they please. Technology is a scary thing thats all I will say.

Well at least that's how it was back in the day… maybe things have changed… the elders might not be on top anymore. It's been around 50 years since we were anybody of importance. Anything could have happened but you’re mother hasn’t told you about anything important happening so it’s probably nothing.

Never liked them. Always got in the way if my plans.

Well they are at least still the rulers of the world in the eyes of… people.

Hey Sef? What? Do common people who about the elders. In some places… but remember there are places where they don’t know about enforcers the world government is really good at restricting information so less people probably know about them now than they did before.

Technically technology is scary…

That's all you can say because we don’t have the slightest clue how any of that stuff works.

Yep.

“ Then let's go… girl named Vex”

Oh I remember!

Remarkable!

Outstanding!

Extraordinary!

Hahahahaha what can I say…

… praise me more.

“ Remarkable! You actually remember my name!”

By the way Sef.

Yeah what is it. Like I know her name but… who is she?

Hahahahaha ha! Z never mind let's just get on with what we were going to do?

What's that?

I don’t know you wouldn’t tell me. Really that doesn't sound like me.

I leave the gym with my new ‘mummy’ in toe. I am holding a bandage like a leash honestly I feel weird but she tied it around my arms and said I wasn’t allowed to take it off in case someone got lost. I wonder if she is bad with directions

I think it you she is worried about anyway what are we doing?

Oh I need money right.

Yeah.

So I am just going to take some from one of the clans.

What?

Of course not today… today I am going to scope them out then tonight I will start picking them off one by one then I will move on to the next clan, then the next until only one remains…

Then you will ask them for money you will use to buy the materials required and the reputation gained will be your status to use.

Well in the power gap the clan will probably grow bigger and get conceited so we will destroy them after we get the money.

This should also help you get back into shape.

Maybe… hopefully.

It would be nice. Yep… so why are you taking your only descent on a suicide mission!

WHAT? SHE’S MY DAUGHTER!

Don’t yell at me! Young man go to your room.

“ Um where are we going? Father what's the matter.”

“ I was told off for yelling.”

“ Um by who? Father there is no one here but us”

I sulk in the corner and Vex comes over and begins to shake me and tell me people are watching. And I don’t care! Actually aren’t the streets empty.

No you just don’t care enough about others to even notice there existence… even if someone was shot and killed before you at most it would be a momentary wonder before completely forgetting them.

Well people are people and people I don’t care about are bags of meat not worthy of my time.

So let's go watch from the shadows.

******

People are filth. They are lesser and disgraceful and… not fun. In a sense the average person is simple boring to me. As are there struggles.

There pain on the other hand is quite nice. It shows me them at their best and I can see instantly if they are worthy of my time which is as we all know the most valuable.

Time. The ticking of a clock. It is a beautiful sound that no one can afford to hear. Or at least that is what I believe.

“ Sir Russ”

“ I will great the gusts in a minute. Exactly 57 seconds fear not Wonda.”

That was Wonda and she was quite the wonder full woman. Her screams were beautiful last night. It took me time to break her. As it should. It gave her value to me and now we spend each night together. She was an assassin who came to take my life but was caught. I tested out most of her flesh both inside and out. Although she is partly metal she can still use those fabulous heighten strength she possess and it brings some variety to the bed room which we sleep.

Oh look at the time a minute has passed and it seems I have lied. Lying is one of the great sins in the eyes of the goddess so I must repent for I know I have truly sinned.

I despite the expectations of others and a man of the goddess. I marvel at the idea of her. And I won’t lie and say that I have not sin but without her I would not even know that I have sinned. To lie to a person is bad and I try my hardest to avoid it but sometimes I falter. And for my sins to be forgiven I must make a sacrifice. A sacrifice of time to both the goddess and the person who I have harmed.

“Wonder I have lied to you… I apologise”

“ I forgive.”

“ Thank you very much… but I am afraid I must also ask this of the goddess.”

“ I will tell the guests you are dealing with a matter and will great them shortly… good bye master.”

“ Oh goodbye Wonda I am glad I was able to meet you and think very highly of you. I might go so far as to say you have me spellbound.”

I must be kind to Wonda. The goddess demands that one love there fellow person… and Wonda has proved to me through her screaming she is a person of value.

But the person before me has not. They are not a person… they are filth and therefore it is ok to lie to them. “ Don’t worry… you are doing well”

Oh she’s screaming. I must say that I am getting very sexually excited right now she is quite attractive and I enjoyed the sensation of her… attempted at simulated love. But it is a shame that she is not a person. Only people can love so she can actually feel love. Or pain to be honest she is justified in belief that she can but unfortunately for her she can not.

Although things can be enjoyable sometimes as well but they are just that things. Oh her screaming has stopped… has it broken?

Shame… I was having fun. Well it's time to go to work.

I am quite wealthy you see. I am the master of a clan although many believe I am too young for such a role and sometimes I agree. But unfortunately I tested my father and he wasn’t a person. Although my mother was and I had Wonda test me. She says I am a person.

I have trained Wonda to identify people and so far she hasn’t made a mistake. That is quite amazing as I too have made mistakes before. Although not on Wonda. I test her each night when we sleep together and each time her screaming is more and more human like. She says the its the same for me.

I love people. I truly do it's a shame they are so hard to find. And so rare.

I walk out of the room just as Wonda is coming back. She takes out a clean clothes and tries to clean off the blood but I must say that her attempts are probably not going to succeed and so she leads me away. To get changed. Sometimes this woman is quite troublesome but I suppose that blood is not a valuable substance in society. Thats a shame as it has such beauty to as do the people it comes from. Oh but I guess this isn’t valuable because it doesn't come from a person.

My darling wife Wonda. It caused quite the uproar when I revealed my plans to marry her as she is not from a clan like me. But in my personal experience real people most often found in difficult situation and that revealed many fakes and reals to me so I gained many friends and lost a few as well.

I would like to deal with my new found sexual desire with Wonda but there is a time and a place for everything as there is a price.

I won’t lie and say that my life is difficult. No in truth it’s quite a wonderful life. But it had a price as do all lives. One of them is social obligations where I must pay certain prices in my time to keep my and my clans current living standards.

The goddess speaks that one should protect their families from harm is the mark of a true warrior. I chuckle. I am strong. The strongest in my clan.

And yet the goddess says that doesn't make me a warrior even if I fight all day and every day but because I have the ability or the strength to protect my family that is why I am a warrior.

The goddess is quite the lovely person. To ask for such simplicity in her followers devoted. The simplicity of need of absolute faith in her divine will.

“ Did you pray for forgiveness?”

“ Yes… Wonda thank you for the concern I am very touched.”

“ How do you know she accepted your plea.”

“Faith.”

“ That response makes me very jealous.”

Wonda is not a religions woman but that is ok. I am not like the church who take from the holy script and use what they please and hide that which doesn't suit them until it does never to allow their own corruption to be revealed.

But that is fine. The goddess will decide if they are to be punished or me who avoids her places of worship because I feel they have been tainted.

No the idea of a church is also debatable as the divine text simply asks that one speak the words not convert the listener.

So all I can for wonda is speak and hope that she listens.

She helps slide one sleeve into the purple suit that I have personally chosen as my current attire replacement for tonight. She then straightens my tie and corrects it positioning. I know that all of this is something I could do myself but I believe I should respect the desire of my wife as she feels helpless when something isn’t done herself or clean to perfection and a healthy relationship is one where both parties love, accepted, desire and most importantly negotiate with one another.

I walk down the corridor. Wonda steps in time with my own feet to make it less difficult I walk with a rhythm. Image is a tool. This is something my wife often repeats. She says that I must hold an image that demands respect and if that is to hard then I should take actions that enforce fear. I chuckle.

My wife is very loving I am happy that she tried to kill me and was captured alive.

I am happy I could play with her for she makes the most stimulating screams of pain I have ever heard. I also like how she stays in shape. Very pleasing to the eyes. I also live with her personality and find it extremely enjoyable experience to hear of herself and her throughs on matters.

She is also very accepting of my faults and I like to think I am accepting of hers.

I believe that to be a good person one thing is needed. Discipline.

I am strong but as a person I have much room to grow to become better and I hope I can for the goddess demands respect for her people. So when a person of hers enters my room and is discovered they leave freely.

I push open the door. Place on a fake smile and step into a room.

I see fakes wearing nice suits or a pretty dress.

Oh how I want nothing more than to kill everyone here.

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A note from Rhys Harrison

Ten chapters more than I expected. 


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Rhys Harrison

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