The Beginning of the End

[An excerpt from the journals of Adam Roche, the Second Founder.  Age: 62.]

How’d it all come to an end?

I guess it all kind of started coming to a head about five years before the Fall of the Masters.  I know history’s recorded that the Fall got its beginnings in the three years leading to my saving the world, but I can assure you, there was more to it than that.

I found them back then.  Huddled in a bunker that had been abandoned for ages, holding on for dear life against the combined forces of starvation, dehydration, and loss of hope.  I came looking for shelter from the people that had been pursuing me for, at that point, going on twenty years.  Most of my adult life spent on the run.  But, I digress.  Their names were Mary Becker, Saul Peterson, and Steven Schwarz.

I couldn’t just leave them to die.  Maybe it was their pathetic faces, looking up at me…no, that wasn’t it.  There was something in their eyes.  Something I thought I’d lost when my teacher died trying to save me: hope.  I was their hope.  Their saviour.  My conjuration scared them, at first.  Nobody had seen a chromamancer in action in generations, most didn’t even know we’d ever existed.  But, I managed to convince them I wasn’t trying to poison them or turn them in to the Masters.

They were free, and so was I.  As the weeks passed, down there, we talked.  I laughed for the first time in years.  Seriously, genuinely laughed.  I had to protect that.  Allies were precious, but friends, which was what we had become, were irreplaceable.  That’s how the rebellion really got started.  A group of friends, bonding over food with the taste and texture of cardboard, conjured water, and a shared freedom.  The first of many people that pushed me into the foreground.  Taught me that it was worth it to fight for freedom.  That I had it in me to lead, to win.

That was how the End of Days began for the Masters.  No matter what the history books say, that’s how it started.

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