Prologue Chapter 1-1 Chapter 1-2
The things we needed to know
The crowd was enthusiastic about the event. Many even fired a few explosions towards the air. It was all just an overwhelming atmosphere.
“May we call upon our brave fifty people who would be participating as this year’s hero? Come to the podium so that our people may see the brave faces of the people who would bring us one step closer to freedom” The leader stood expectantly on the podium. A proud smile was on his lips as the heroes came up to the podium.
One by one, men and women came marching from the crowd. So many of them were heavily armed people with automatons that basically replaced their entire bodies. Some of them only had a few modifications but what struck them the most was when they saw their father, walking up to the podium. What was their mother doing to stop him, was the question on both their minds. As soon as Audrey saw her father going up the podium, she immediately raced across the crowd. She tried to squeeze her way up to the front as much as she could. She was barely making it past the crowd. What’s worse was that her voice got drowned by the cheers the people made for the heroes.
Tinble, on the other hand, just stood in his spot, frozen with fear of what would happen to their father when he goes to this battle the man was talking about. The realization hit him far too late. The hero volunteers were already receiving something this person was giving them. They just weren’t sure what it was.
By the time their father was making his way back to their mother’s side, Audrey was already so close to him that she noticed how her father had started looking around the crowd, calling out her name. It was a struggle when the crowd continued to congratulate him, being the reason why his path kept getting blocked. There were just too many people that it took so long before Audrey finally reached him.
“What are you doing here, Audrey??” Once their father reached her, he grabbed onto her arms and shook her lightly “This is no place for children. You should be asleep”
“But Daddy, why do you want to fight?” Audrey looked up at him, tears welling in her eyes. She was already aware of what was happening after all the things they talked about while building but now seeing that he was willing to sacrifice himself was a different feeling altogether.
“I have to… Did you come alone?!?” He looked from side to side, hoping to check if Tinble was with her
“Tinble! I left Tinble at the entrance-” She gasped at the realization and immediately looked back to the crowd “We have to go get him!”
Instead of walking through the crowd, she was surprised when her father’s legs extended much higher. It also surprised her how easily he leaped over the crowd while looking around. The father she thought was just a normal inventor was much more than what he seemed. She was sure of that now. Tinble was still at the entrance when he found him, still crying since Audrey left him there to go after their father. Yet he was just as shocked when he saw their usually clumsy father have a few mechanical pieces attached to him. Ones they’ve never noticed before.
The gathering was dismissed by the time it was dawn. All but the hero volunteers stayed behind to have a more detailed discussion with the leader about the plan and how they would attack.
“Petula, take the kids home for now… I’ll go home when the meeting ends” Their father pleaded as he gently pushed the two towards their mother.
She answered with a nod and placed each hand over the children’s shoulder.
“Daddy no! I don’t want you to be a hero!” Audrey was struggling out of her mother’s grasp, trying to reach her father who was already walking towards the doors at the other end of the building “Daddy! You have to come back with us!”
“I will, darling… Daddy will come back home when the meeting is done” He turned back and forced the most assuring smile he could before he disappeared behind the doors.
Audrey just cried and allowed her mother to take them back home. They were forced back in their beds, and as punishment, they were to help out at the shop for sneaking out at night. For that entire day, the two just spent their time in their beds. They had so many more questions in their heads now, and nobody was answering them. It was like they were back to square one but this time, they didn’t know what to do. It wasn’t helping that they didn't know when their father would return from the meeting and if he could even stay for so long. For so long, they just stared at the walls, the ceiling, at whatever could distract themselves until they both eventually just fell asleep from exhaustion.
It was the sound of the door creaking that woke them up. And when they looked out the window, it was already dark outside.
“Your mother asked me to fetch you. She’s been waiting at the dinner table for a while no-” Before their father could go on with his sentence, the two had already tackled him into a tight embrace. Both of them just clung to him like he would disappear if they didn’t.
He wrapped his arms as tightly as he could around their frames “We need to eat supper, children. Then maybe after that… I could tell you a story”
They perked up when their father mentioned a story. The last time he ever told them one was when they were little. By the time Audrey had turned 5, the stories had stopped and the very next day, they found out that their grandfather had passed away. Since then, there had been no more stories so they both had a bad feeling when he suddenly brought it up again
“What’s the story about, daddy…?” Tinble asked, worry could be traced in his tone.
“You’ll just have to find out when I tell you. Now get up, mummy’s still waiting” As reluctant as their father was to break out of the embrace, he did with a sigh.
With that, they all got to their feet and made their way to the dining room where they ate their meal in silence. When they had finished supper and the dining room was cleared up, their father guided them back to their room. He sat them down on their beds while he sat on the seat that used to be his storytelling spot when they were younger. Yet this time… they knew it wasn’t just any story…