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Read Part 4

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Antonville, Mississippi, June of 1852

* Violence and Gore

* Transphobia
* Family Betrayal

Ash couldn’t explain it or understand it. A ball of flame simply engulfed the Silun and expanded outwards in a moment. After Ash’s eyes readjusted, he realized that he was on his back, on the ground, and without the rifle. Saturn was helping him to his feet.

“What happened?” Ash said, blinking to try and restore his still-damaged eyesight.

“It’s an old Silun trick,” Saturn said glumly, “It’s called a FireFlash. It’s meant to knock people off their feet and blind them long enough for the user to abscond with whatever they want. That ghoul took the rifle back, and some skulls. You still have the stone?”

Ash reached into the pockets of his overalls. For a moment, he felt nothing, and began to panic, but then his hands find the smooth now-familiar surface, and pulled it out. Saturn sighed with relief, and Ash put it back.

Blinking one more time cleared Ash’s eyesight, and he now saw that Saturn’s clothes had been ripped to shreds in the battle. Revealed were small, emaciated limbs which were being supported and strengthened by a series of metal gear, levers, pulleys, and tiny pistons.

“Impressive,” Ash muttered before changing the subject and asking, “What happened to my brain?”

“The Silun Siren Song,” Saturn said, “It can rattle you bad, but it wears off and it doesn’t always work.”

Ash looked out over the carnage. Church had once been a place of solace, then torment, and now it was a slaughterhouse. These people had once been his friends and family, then his oppressors, and now they were helpless, harmless piles of meat and bone.

“These people deserved better,” Ash said, his heart breaking at the meaninglessness of the violence.

“Did they?” Saturn said, snorting with derision.

“You wouldn’t say that if you knew them like I did,” Ash said tersely, jaw clenched.

Saturn grunted, “Perhaps. But they never allowed me a shred of dignity in life. So I have no interest in their dignity in death.”

Ash had never really thought of Saturn at all, but now considered what it would be like to be the son of a slave who was punished and ostracized for educating herself. Ash had tremendous resentment towards these people, but Saturn would have no pity at all. Which made Ash think…

“Why did you try to stop me?” Ash put a hand on the steel plates which covered Saturn’s mechanical armor, “Why didn’t you let me die?”

Saturn took a moment to collect his thoughts, staring at the ground, before responding in a hushed tone, “I was never going to stop the Silun alone. We still haven’t stopped it together. I couldn’t save everyone. But if I was going to save anyone… it was going to be someone who was a good person…”

Saturn turned and looked over the carnage, truly taking it in for the first time. He gathered up a powerful breath, and recited verse in the style of a preacher: “Some thought Diana was too cruel, too unjust; while others said her action, though severe, was worthy of a goddess so austere.”

“What is that from?” Ash asked.

“The Bible,” Saturn said, and took a small leatherbound book, no larger than his hand, out from the deepest reaches of his clothing, “Metamorphoses by Ovid. A complete collection of the history of the Olympian gods. The religion of my mother. You’re going to need to know your Bible if you’re going to survive this.”

“I’m Christian,” Ash said.

“I don’t care which Bible you study, just study it,” Saturn said sternly.

“Why?” Ash asked with sincere curiosity.

“Because you have to come with me, and if you’re going to do that, you’ll need moral direction,” Saturn said, “My allies will be here soon to erase this town from the map. No one can know the Silun is here, or that it is loose. We have to track it down, kill it, and take its technology. History will forget about Antonville. The last thing we need is anyone trying to follow us.”

“Who are your allies?” Ash felt like he just kept asking why, but so much was happening at once.

“They’re your allies, too, now. Welcome to the Order of Darkness.”

Read Part 4

Continue the Adventure with Time Wars Tales books!


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