Marquis Colford paid for his bag of vegetables with a smile, and hopped into his horse drawn carriage. He had gotten a bargain on all of his food, and his wife and children would be pleased. It was a special day for all of them; it was the fifth anniversary of when they had finished building their house in Great Britain. His wife was going to prepare a special dinner, and his daughter was going to help her cook it. His son was skinning the fat rabbit that he caught, which was going to be the main course for the night. He was especially proud of his son; he was just on the verge of becoming a man. He was strong, smart, and had a sharp eye when it came to hunting. Marquis was proud he and his wife had raised such a charming young man. He would have to find him a bride soon, so his son could raise his own family. The young girl at the meat market had strong birthing hips...
While Marquis was daydreaming, he didn’t realize what was going on in front of him. His horse knew the long winding path to their house all too well, so well that Marquis did not need to pay attention. By the time that Marquis was a mile away from his home, he noticed the large cloud of smoke. He saw the gigantic millipede-like metal train that they used to get around in whirl past him faster than the speed of a thousand horses. As it rushed by, he felt a gush of wind blow at him, and he took a deep breath. He recognized that definitive scent of rustic metal technology anywhere.They had come again.
He demanded his horse to run as fast as its legs could carry it. He had to get home. He had to make sure that he wasn’t the target. That they didn’t mean to kill him; that someone else had done something wrong. If he was the target, and he wasn’t there to protect his family, that would mean--
His thoughts stopped when what should have been his house popped into his sight. The embers still glowed with heat, but their flame had long since been diminished. The ashes were scattered all across the neighborhood, leaving very little to be looked through. The place where Marquis thought he would be spending an amazing evening with his wife and children was nothing but a charred patch of soil and grass.
There was no hope in looking for his family or any personal belongings; if they didn’t find you, everything you had would be gone. They would take it from you, to teach you one of their cruel lessons: never leave what you love unattended. Marquis had learned this lesson many times before. He knew that he shouldn’t have left them unattended. He should have brought his son with him, so they couldn’t have done this to him again. Why had he been so thoughtless? Did the fact that they hadn’t bothered him in over twenty years get to him? In his many years of immortality, he and them have been at war. Did he think that they had taken him off of the list of people they wanted to torment? He never really understood why he was on the list; the only thing that made him different than everyone else was his striking purple eyes and red curly hair. He couldn’t change those things, so why were they punishing him? Why did they have to attack him?
He would not let them push him along any longer. His whole life, the InsectZ have been there, watching over him. They made sure to keep him in line; to make him just as special as everyone else in Great Britain. And as a result, his entire family was dead, his home was destroyed, and he was alone in the world. He had been marked. Once you were marked, no one would help you, for they were in fear of getting on the list as well. He couldn’t ask his friends, neighbors, or anyone else that knew about this incident for help, or they would end up just like him. Marquis knew just what he had to do now, he was just surprised that he hadn’t acted upon it before. Maybe it was because he had a family that would miss him if he didn’t come back alive.
Marquis formed a plan in his mind as he got in his carriage and rode off at top speed. His horse rode into town in under ten minutes; a new record for the old thing. He got his bag of vegetables and gave them to the horse as a treat. While the horse was eating, Marquis sold him to a loving old woman. He thought of all the fond times he had with that horse. Marquis would miss him, but it couldn’t follow him where he was going. Marquis said a loving goodbye to the horse, and left without looking back.
He stopped by his favorite clothing store, and purchased the latest styles. Compared to his rural country clothes, these were made of gold and lined with silver. If you didn’t know any better, you would think he was just a man in his mid-twenties with a normal life. Marquis longed for that life. He wished he could conform that last little bit so that the InsectZ would leave him alone forever. His troubles would be gone.
Marquis stopped himself. If he wanted to daydream and wish, he’d have to do it on his own time. He stared at his reflection in the store window he had just come out of. He would be able to blend in to the city folk with almost no trouble. As long as they didn’t look him in the eye...
He then went to his quaint little blacksmith shop, and decided that it would be best that he close it up. These loyal customers would be heartbroken, but even if he returned alive he knew that he wouldn’t rejoin the blacksmithing business.
He unlocked the door and entered the cold, dark shop. He started a fire in the fireplace and waited for a large flame to build so he could start working. He brought out his blueprints for his favorite weapons, and began to plan. If he could build a skeleton key and a crossbow by tonight, he could be prepared if anyone tried to attack him while he was sleeping. Tomorrow he would build a combobulator and a chainsword by noon, and be on a ship by nightfall. Leaving by tomorrow will ensure that no one else here would be harmed. No one else was going to die here because of his actions.
By now, the fire was roaring, making the shop warm and full of orange light. Marquis brought out his blueprint for the sword, and began to gather his supplies. This was going to be a long night.
* * *
Marquis finished hammering his last piece for his final weapon. He felt confident and empowered; he was ready for any battle the world threw at him. He packed up his things and locked his shop for the final time. He then ran euphorically to the pier, where he was certain he would find a captain who would take him on his journey. He talked to every captain, and asked them to take him aboard his ship for his astounding journey. When they asked what it was, he refused to tell them. Of course, he couldn’t tell anyone what he was doing, or they would be brutally killed by the InsectZ. Every captain refused him, for they thought he was just a bum and a freeloader, wishing for a free journey for nothing in return. Marquis grew worried, what if he couldn’t convince a captain to take him? The InsectZ would accuse the town of harboring a fugitive, and wouldn’t show mercy to anyone. He had to think quickly, for it was getting close to sunset.
The last captain of the night was about to set sail, and Marquis realized that this was his last chance. He gathered all of his heroic dignity, and threw it overboard. He caught the captain’s attention just before walked on deck. He was a small man, with a beard and a tricorne hat. He dressed in fancy clothes, but they had become tattered and worn. He had a hook for a hand, and a parrot on his shoulder. He was more than happy to take him aboard.
“Ya want to ride with me ya scoundrel? What did ya do to make you want to ride with me crew? Ah, it don’t matter. I could always use more people to help me sail the seas!” He laughed, and brought Marquis up to give him a tour of the ship. The boat set sail, and they were off to sail the rocky seas.
The captain showed Marquis everything, from the brig to the crows nest, and Marquis was thoroughly impressed. He was just about to ask where he could sleep for the night, when the captain yelled at the first mate to get him a bucket of water and some rags. The first mate had them in the captain’s hand in under a minute, and the captain handed them over to Marquis.
“If yer gonna get yer revenge on those evil InsectZ, yer gonna have to pay yer dues. Ridin’ with me ain’t gonna be free! Now get to scrubbin’.”
Marquis started washing the floors, for he was afraid of coming so far and losing it all just because he was afraid of a little hard labor. “How did you know I was going to see them?” Marquis asked suspiciously.
“When ya have been sailin’ the seas as long as I have, ya pick up a few things. Also, ridin’ around with a bunch of weapons on yer back helped me hunch. With those eyes, I’m surprised ya haven’t done it before!”
Marquis kept scrubbing the deck, but pondered the comment about his eyes. What did that mean? What did eyes have to do with anything? Why were they important?
Marquis continued to scrub, and for several months that was all he did. For as long as he was on the ship, Marquis felt like he was being tortured in the Underworld. He fell asleep where he worked, and he cleaned when he woke. The ship was never clean, and the captain knew it. He didn’t care less, for he spent most of his time partying with his men and drinking stolen wine. There were only a few raids of the innocent when Marquis was on board, but it was frequent enough for Marquis to fear for his safety. The months were long and hard, but he persevered, and he finally made it to his destination.
“The InsectZ headquarters. Ahoy, hey boy, are ya sure ya want to go through with this ploy? If ya leave with us now, ya just might make it out alive.”
But Marquis had been through too much to quit now. If he was going to die, he was going to die fighting to reclaim what he had lost. Those few months with the captain had turned him bitter; spite had completely taken over him. He was ruthless now, lusting with such hateful vehemence that the mere presence of the island made him want to run on a maniacal rampage.
“Of course I do. My family is dead, my life is over, and it’s because of them. The only thing I did wrong was to have a specific hair and eye color! I conformed to every rule they had given me, but they still chose to take everything I had. I am going to take them down, and if I don’t, I will die trying.” Marquis was shaking with rage when he was finished.
“I wish ya good luck boy. If it were me, I’d walk away; be free! But it’s yer deathwish.”
Marquis jumped off the boat and ran into the lush, green forest that surrounded the headquarters. He took his chainsword and slashed through the thick plants, making a pathway for him to walk. He hacked and hacked for what must have been a mile of shrubbery, when he reached a massive clearing. In the center, was a highly guarded facility with thousands of guards running around the campus. Each had different weapons, and had high-tech green and silver armor with a matching helmet. If he just charged into the clearing, he’d be dead within a minute. He had to wait for one of the officers to come to him before he could make his move.
An hour passed, and an officer left his post to come pee in the woods. Marquis was ready, and when the man was defenseless and vulnerable, he attacked him with his combobulator. The death was quick, the man didn’t even have time to cry out. Marquis undressed the man in a rush, hoping that he wasn’t taking longer than the average pee. He undressed himself, and put on the fallen soldier’s armor. The man was a bigger build than he was, and Marquis hoped that his ruse wasn’t going to fall through because this man was fatter than him.
He leisurely strode out of the forest, trying to appear casual and nonchalant. A radio inside the helmet yelled at him. “Private! Get your butt out of the forest and talk to the advisor. He wants to have a word with you.”
Marquis hurried to the door and saw that it was locked. He grabbed his key out of his metal pocket and fumbled to get it in the lock. This raised some questioning looks from the other soldiers, and started raising suspicions. One man yelled out “Hey Rook! You need some help over there?” A few soldiers chuckled, but the man was serious. He pushed through the crowd and said, “I’ll help you. Give me the key. Your first few days are hard.” He opened it with ease, and the door slid open. “Let me show you around. These guys can be jerks, and the job’s hard enough as it is,” the man said.
They walked in the door, and Marquis was amazed at its enormous size. The building looked small on the outside, but the inside was monstrous. The ceiling was ten men tall, and was a golden orange marble of some sort. The walls were metallic, and the floor was made from granite ivory tile. The room was circular, and there was a giant circular island in the center of the room. You could fit a small army in this room alone, but it served as a marvelous hallway. There were doors on every inch of the metallic walls; some even needed a ladder to get to. The center island had doors surrounding it too, but Marquis didn’t see how they could lead anywhere, considering it was only a bit smaller than the average schoolroom. The man walked into the closest door to his right, and pulled out a map and a pen. He circled specific places that were apparently important, but Marquis didn’t need to know most of the information the man gave him. He pretended to be interested, but only because he didn’t want to seem suspicious.
“This is bathroom 67, that’s the juice bar, it really calms you after a long day of work,” he cheerfully reported to me. The look in his eyes when he said that made Marquis think that there was more than juice in those drinks. “You’ll spend a lot of time there. You’ll love it,” he added with a smile.
His face turned somber as he said, “This is the war room.” He pointed straight ahead as he said it, and he commented quietly, “If anyone goes down there without permission, the entire place will be destroyed. No exceptions. The secrets are just too important to let anyone know about. The bosses have enough time to escape, but all of the soldiers will die.” He smiled a wicked smile, and said in a maniacal voice, “There is also a captive village in the right tunnel down there. No one visits it much, because of the confusion between it and the war room. I don’t know why we have a village, but we just do. I think it gives the bosses a feeling of power...”
Marquis wasn’t listening any longer. He knew where his destination was, and he thought that his plan might actually work. He just needed to get this friendly soldier off of his back.. He shifted his weight from one side to another, making it look like he really had to pee. He was just about to tell him about his fake bathroom troubles when red lights started flashing all around him. Sirens were going off, and a voice on the intercom said, “Attention all soldiers, there has been a breach! There has been a breach! Prepare to be searched! Prepare to prove your loyalty if requested! That is all!”
Hundreds of soldiers stood in a tightly packed group, so no one could escape. However, Marquis was lucky enough to be on the outside, so he could if he tried. He was about three meters from the war room, but soldiers were intensely watching to see which one of their brothers was betraying them. Marquis slowly lowered to the floor, and began silently creeping on his hands and knees to the door. While he was crawling, he heard them interrogating a man.
“You’re a traitor, aren’t you? You moved away from your post as of nineteen-hundred. Where did you go, and why did you leave?”
“Please, don’t hurt me.” Marquis recognized this voice. It was the man who helped him find the war room. “I love the InsectZ. I would do anything for them,” he sounded extremely terrified. Marquis felt bad for throwing him to the dogs, but then he realized he was an Insect. They were ruthless killing machines, and he deserved whatever they did to him.
“You would do anything for us? I say you should cut off your own hand.”
Yelling filled the room, soldiers defending the Insect on trial. Saying that if he was in fact loyal, he would be useless because a man with no hand serves no purpose.
Finally, the interrogator yelled to silence them, “Alright! If you are loyal to us, you would cut off your pinky fingers for us, right?”
“Yes I would, masters of the InsectZ.”
Marquis had finally reached the door, and slowly opened it He crept in just as a piercing howl of pain filled the bright orange room. He deserved it, Marquis thought.
The room was small, and mirrored the color scheme of the hallway. The only thing in it was a dark hole with a ladder in it. Marquis couldn’t see where it lead to, but he climbed down, because he couldn’t go back now.
When he finally reached the bottom, Marquis was torn. There were two pathways, and Marquis couldn’t see down either of them. The man had told him something about this... Which way did he say the war room was? On the right? Marquis was certain that he said the war room was on the right, and he ran as fast as he could toward it.
Marquis ran until he was out of breath, until he finally reached the door. Marquis opened it, and thought he had somehow wound up outside.There was a warm and bright light shining down on him, and the smell of grass and manure was overwhelming. Surrounding him was a forest of trees, further than the eye could see. Marquis couldn’t believe his eyes; he was at least a mile underground, but yet he had somehow found himself in the most spectacular forest he’d ever been in. The sky was an electric blue with not a cloud be seen, and the trees were a shocking bright green. The sun was a piercing yellow, with a dynamic, and almost voltaic hue of color.The colors were so surreal suspected he had somehow fallen asleep. If he was asleep, he needed to awaken, or he would be caught and tortured. He heard a flute off in the distance, and decided to find the source of it. The music was so alluring, he couldn’t resist. All his concerns went away as soon as he heard the first note.
The source of the music came from the captive village. Apparently they were having a celebration of some sort, but they stopped in their tracks when they saw Marquis in the trees. It was a group of at least twenty young people; no one was aged over forty. There were people of every size, shape and race in this tiny village. The houses were very poor, made out of only sticks and mud, but the people showed no signs of deterioration or unhappiness whatsoever. They all wore different clothes too; some child happily wore a potato sack for a shirt, and a woman stood next to him wearing a silk blouse. It was insanely perfect; everyone and everything was perfect in this little utopia.
The one thing that was upsetting them was Marquis. The littlest ones hid in fear behind the older, larger ones. They stood their ground but looked as if they were about to tear up. Marquis wondered why they were afraid of a fellow human being, but then he realized what he was wearing.
“Please don’t be upset, I’m not here to harm you,” Marquis called as took off his helmet. The villagers began to tremble, and a little boy burst out crying. Marquis didn’t know what to do; these people obviously wouldn’t trust a man who had worn a traitorous suit of armor, but he knew he had to gain their trust. He stripped off all of his InsectZ armor and laid down his weapons, leaving only his street clothes for them to see.
He called out to them, “If any of you would like to come talk to me, I will prove to you that I am not one of them.”
A large, dark skinned man took his challenge. He leisurely walked up to Marquis, succeeding to keep a cool demeanor and not show his true horror towards Marquis. When the man was only a few feet away from Marquis, he stopped, refusing to come any closer. Marquis rolled up his right sleeve and showed the man his inner elbow. The man gasped, and turned to face the village.
“We are able to trust this man, for he has the mark of the hunted upon his skin. Somehow, he has avoided capture from the shiny men, but they want him dead. If we turn him away, we are letting one of our own be killed for no good reason. We must accept him with open arms.”
And just like that, the villagers began to rejoice again. Marquis didn’t even know what they were celebrating, but he joined in with them. He didn’t touch them; they didn’t trust him enough to let him be that close, but he still enjoyed the day with them all the same. They celebrated until the fierce glow of the sun faded over the horizon, and then they began to prepare a campfire. Marquis sat on the ground, while the others sat on thick logs and poorly-made branches. The large man, whom Marquis thought as their leader, invited him to tell the story of how he arrived to their little village. Marquis was pleased that they wanted to hear his tale, and he was more than eager to share his story. So Marquis told them everything, from how he met his wife up until he went into their quaint little forest. When he was finished, everyone cheered. They congratulated him on his amazing journey, and told him to push onward. After that, everyone talked amongst themselves. Marquis talked with the leader, and he suggested, “I could help you to escape out of this place. I could create a distraction so you all could escape. There are ships on the other side of the island; you could leave and see the world. Don’t you want to see the world?”. The leader looked at him with sad eyes, and said, “We couldn’t leave this place if we tried; we were born here, we were created here. We can’t escape, because this place is a part of who we are. I like to imagine what it is like in the outside world, but it is only a dream.”
The sun’s bright rays had finally disappeared, when everyone decided it was time for bed. The leader suggested that Marquis should sleep in their princesses hut, because anyone else would get night terrors from having him over. “Our princess is as tough as a diamond. She takes care of us well, so I’m sure she’ll take great care of you.”
They walked to the farthest side of the village, silently. The leader seemed content with the silence, but Marquis was not. Ever since the sun went down, Marquis began to see things that weren’t there. If he stared at something for more than a second, it began to have a faint glow around it. If he kept staring at it, the surface would turn grainy. As a result, Marquis blinked his eyes nonstop to keep the hallucinations away. By the time they got to the princesses hut, Marquis’ eyes were beyond tired, and all he wanted to do was rest. Marquis closed his eyes for just a second, and when he opened them, the leader was gone. He hadn’t had a chance to thank him, and he felt a little guilty. He considered looking around for him, but when he tried to move he became dizzy and fell down. Finally, he gave up and just knocked on the princesses door. Marquis couldn’t believe his tired eyes when he saw the princess. She wore the pale blue robes of an empress, which complemented her pale, skinny body. Her straight, long hair was the color of cornsilk and fell to where it almost touched the floor. On the top of her head was a golden tiara filled with amethyst jewels, which matched the color of her wide, innocent eyes.
The second he saw her, he knew she was like him. She was different, she was beautiful; it was plain as day why the villagers worshipped her. She was like a goddess walking the earth, and there was no way she could be real. And suddenly, everything shifted.
His goal wasn’t revenge; it was to get her out safely. One look into her eyes had changed his entire perspective. He would do anything for her, he had to make her his own.
“Excuse me, but why are you outside my door when it is clearly bedtime?” the princess asked in a mildly irritated voice. Her voice was the sweetest sound Marquis had ever heard. It was a mix between a soprano in the angel’s choir and what you would expect a baby deer to sound like if animals could talk. Marquis just wanted to listen to her talk all night long. He didn’t need sleep, he just needed to be with her.
“Um, I am sorry madam. I just, um, came from the campfire...” Marquis mumbled idiotically.
“”Oh yes, you aren’t one of my people. Who are you? State your business with me, and then please leave me to my rest.”
“Um, yes, I’d like to stay with you in your living quarters for the night, yes? Please? Otherwise, I’d have to sleep out in the cold.”
“Stay still, don’t move. If you do, I’ll kick you out of my village!” the princess demanded in a threatening, but still somehow innocent voice.
Marquis stood as still as a rat about to be caught in the peripherals of a domesticated cat. He didn’t dare to twitch, or blink, or even breathe. She moved closer and closer to his face, looking him straight in the eye while doing so. She had to stand on the tips of her toes, but she looked directly into his eyes, not blinking, just staring at him.
Marquis knew she had no ulterior motive. She simply stared into his eyes for an unbearable amount of time. No matter how long he looked at her, she didn’t turn into a grainy mess, she stayed just as beautiful as she was. In fact, she looked even more beautiful with every second that passed by.
The princess looked shocked for a moment, as if she had seen a little person behind his own eyeball who had told her a distressing story. It certainly would explain the length of time it took for her to stare into her eye...
“You are the one! The one who has come to set me free! It has been at least two hundred and fifty years, but you have come for me!” she shrieked with excitement. She started to do a little dance, and gave Marquis a hug. That physical contact made Marquis regain his focus. He didn’t know why, but touching her cleared his head. He didn’t need her, and he didn’t need to make her fall in love with him.
When she let go of him, all of those feelings returned again. He had to have her.
She must have seen the look in his eye, because she grabbed Marquis’ hand and said, “Oops, I’m sorry. You can’t be thinking clearly; I have that effect on people. It seems to go away when I touch them, but not when they touch me. I’ve had this condition ever since I could remember, and think I’ve found a way to counteract it. I’ll have to show you in the morning though, because we need sleep if we’re going to escape. I am Aria, by the way. What’s your name?”
“Marquis, but I have something to tell you first. I am on a mission, to avenge my family--”
“And destroy the InsectZ, because they have destroyed my life for hundreds of years. I know, I heard you. I can read your mind if you do not know how to block it. I also know that I need to put on a different nightgown, because based on what you’re thinking--”
“Okay! No need to go poking into my head now. Let’s go to sleep.”
* * *
Marquis awoke to a white, blinding light above him, and his nose filled with the smell of anesthetics and soap. Marquis rolled his head to the side, hoping to shield his eyes from the brightness. When that didn’t work, he tried lifting his hand to cover his eyes. His hand refused to move from it’s spot on the table. Marquis began to freak out, and started to struggle. He opened his eyes and saw that his arms and legs were kept to a table by metal cuffs. He began to panic, struggling against the metal cuffs until he began to blister. A man chuckled at him from the corner of the room. The bright white walls were so blinding, that Marquis didn’t see him at first. He wore a white lab coat, black gloves and black goggles. His white hair was sticking out in all directions, and he had the smile of the devil on doomsday. Marquis felt unnaturally scared when he looked at him, so he chose to look at the blinding white ceiling instead.
The man walked over to him, and spoke in a vicious and beastly voice, “You are mine now. You may have escaped hundreds of years ago, but now you will never leave.”
Marquis had never seen this man before, so he had no idea what he was talking about. “I’ve never been anywhere near here before. I’ve spent centuries alone, working as a simple blacksmith. I’ve moved from city to city, and I had never gotten close to anyone, in fear that the InsectZ would find them and kill them. I never know what I did to be a person of interest to you, but whatever you want from me, I will give it to you. As long as you promise that as soon as you are finished with me, you will let me live without interference.”
The man maniacally laughed at Marquis. “You think you have never been here before? That is side-splitting! You have been here, longer than you know. Not only did you spend the first decade of your life here, you were created here. My great-great-great grandfather made you with his own hands. He wanted to create a man who was stronger than a thousand men, but he created you instead. You had no way to access your powers, and he grew ashamed. He didn’t want to show anyone his failure, so he wiped your memory and released you.”
Marquis couldn’t believe his ears. He was created in the InsectZ laboratory? How could that be possible? He wasn’t evil. He didn’t kill people just for the fun of it. He didn’t have any extraordinary powers, no matter what this man said. So how could he be one of them?
The man kept talking, “The InsectZ leader was so angry that you were gone, because if you were discovered, the peasants would want alterations as well. They would revolt, and then we’d have to kill hundreds of thousands of people to keep our dictatorship running. Years later, we tried creating another weapon to help find you. The only other successful attempt was Aria, and she is way too powerful to use as a weapon, because any one of us could fall under her spell. As soon as we found you, we were going to destroy you two together, for there is only one bomb we know of powerful enough to kill immoral immortal people like you two. Unfortunately, it will destroy the entire island, so we need a new headquarters. We were thinking somewhere in the British Islands... but why am I blabbing to you? I have a boat to catch. Enjoy your last few minutes of life!”
The man walked out of the room, pushing a button on the wall as he left. The man over the intercom said, “Ten minute countdown to detonation. Please leave the island, or be destroyed.”
Marquis was beyond exasperated. They were concerned with keeping their dictatorship under their control? They were going to kill innocent people, for simply having the potential to cause riots? They had the nerve to call him immoral, when they kill hundreds of people a day for the fun of it? Then the reality of his situation sunk in. He was going to die, the villagers were going to die, and Aria was going to die.
Aria was going to die.
Everything shifted again, and the world focused on her. He kept his focus completely on her, and he felt the strength course through him. The metal cuffs that once troubled him were broken, as if they were made of butter. He hopped on top of the table, and frantically searched around him for the princess. She was asleep on a table to the left of him, chained to it as he was. Marquis ripped the metal shackles off of her, ensuring she wasn’t hurt with each laceration of the metal. He picked her up gently, cradling her in his arms. She awoke with the movement, and looked up at him questioningly. He smiled at her adoringly, and whispered to her, “Don’t worry, I’ll make sure you’re safe.”
She had a look of sadness and concern on her face. “But... the villagers...”
Marquis hadn't thought about the villagers; how would they all get to safety? Would everyone make it? Marquis didn't care; he began to run for their lives. When he got to the door, he went to the other side and looked at what it said. Marquis felt a rush of relief as he saw War Room written on the sign on the door. He ran with his full strength towards the village, and was there in minutes. He opened the door, and was shocked to see absolutely nothing in the room. It was just a large, blindingly white room with no life for as far as he could see. He looked to the left wall, and saw a switch. The switch was labeled Holograms: On/Off. The whole village was a lie; Aria’s whole life was a lie. He couldn’t let her see the switch, because she’d be heartbroken.
Instead, he quickly shut the door and to her, “They must have taken the village with them. We must hurry out of here now, otherwise we’ll be destroyed along with the island.”
The princess nodded, and shut her eyes. The voice on the intercom said, “Five minutes until detonation. Get off of the island or be destroyed.”
Marquis ran to the stairs, and set the princess down. She had fallen asleep again, so Marquis was extremely gentle with her. He braced himself for impact with the ceiling, and bent down low. He felt his strength move to his legs, and jumped with all of his might. He broke through seven stories of metal and granite, without a scratch. He landed on the edge of the island, and ran back towards the building. He ripped off a giant sheet of metal, and bent it into a canoe. He tested it in the water, and it floated with ease. As he brought the boat back onto land, the man on the intercom said, “Two minutes until detonation. You might as well sit down, crack open a cold beer and relax, because you are doomed.”
Marquis ran through the walls of the building, not bothering to use the doors. He jumped down the mile-deep hole, and landed on his feet like a cat. Aria was waiting for him, and he took her in his arms again. He jumped up out of the hole, and out onto the edge of the island. He set Aria down, and let her get into the boat. The man on the intercom started counting down, “Thirty, twenty-nine, twenty-eight...”
Marquis pushed the canoe into the water. He held onto the back of the boat, and swam into the water. He swam as fast as he could, propelling the boat faster than a motorboat. Marquis looked back at the island, which was only a tiny dot in the horizon now.
The island exploded, leaving a fiery red mushroom in it’s place. The entire sky turned red, and the water started to become choppy. Marquis climbed into the boat, soaking wet and shivering. Marquis grabbed Aria’s hand, and the couple rode the shockwave out into the sunset.