Journey to Elvander


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Chapter 1

The alarm went off with a loud, blaring annoying god-awful sound. Deacon shifted over from side-to-side trying to fight back the sound with his grunts and yells. He blindly threw his pillow at the alarm clock hoping to knock it on the ground away from him. The pillow only got on top of the clock muffling the sound.

Good enough.

He rose from his bed like a vampire barely waking up from his ten century long slumber, but without the fangs or taste of blood. His hands rub his eyes to recover the blurry vision while he yawned loudly. The young man looked over by his glass door and saw that rain was still heavily pouring down. Deacon enjoyed the noise of the rain, but the muffled alarm clock reminded him that he wasn't running on his own time and quickly rushed to the bathroom to fix his appearance.

His toothbrush rubbed against his mouth staring boringly at his mirror; he knew that he was going to the same place that he's been going to for the last three years and what was going to happen before he set foot in there. Routine was poison to him; it killed him slowly as each day passed. He hardly complained about it though since it paid his bills. He was trying to be as quick as he could to avoid being late for the second day in the row he didn't even shut off the alarm clock when he passed by it to make himself a pot of coffee.

"Oh man." Deacon looked over to his alarm clock. "Can you shut up for one second?!"

The tired man stomped over to the bane of his morning and pulled the cord off the wall plug. His face gave a smile of satisfaction while he tossed it on his bed, which consisted of a mattress, a blanket, and a pillow. His bills didn't allow him a frame, or a pillowcase for that matter.

Deacon rushed to his recliner where he had his work clothes laid out and ready for him to wear. The outfit consisted of black slim jeans and a black T-shirt that said I heart Code in a fun style typography. Within five minutes, he was dressed and prepared to get to his job, rain or shine.


He stood outside of his glass door under the heavy rain. He sighed heavily and pulled over his yellow poncho as he stepped down his stairs to the street where he looked toward his garage. His car was parked inside with the hood opened and partially covered with a tarp; it had seen better days and Deacon knew that. Unfortunately, the car's next better day wasn't going to be today.

He ran to the bus stop along the corner of his home in front of the corner store that sold his favorite red bean bagel. His pockets were strapped for the week thanks to his budget and his last purchase of the Raging Uppercut season pass. The purchase itself set him back about fifty dollars. He regretted every second of that purchase, but enjoyed every single minute of that show.

The rain beat down his poncho while he waited for the bus, which would looked like it was almost at his stop.

"I made it." Deacon told himself with a smile.

The bus approached cautiously to the bus stop and hissed until it made a full stop. Deacon allowed the other commuters to exit before he made his way inside. The inside was filled with elderly ladies holding their shopping bags of groceries and mothers holding their children on their laps to leave space for the other riders. Although it looked hectic with the variety of people inside; it gave Deacon a peaceful feeling that he only found inside Tyur, his hometown.

He placed two dollars inside the slot and retrieved his bus pass then proceeded to sit in the side of the bus next to one of the mothers. Her baby stared at him with her big eyes and saliva dripping down from her chubby cheeks matched the dripping frequency of the rain outside of the bus. Deacon gave her a smile and a silent wave as he put his headphones on to listen to his lo-fi playlist. His struggled to make his eyes stay open since he didn't want to fall asleep and miss his stop...again. He nodded his head, but pinched himself awake while the baby next him continued to stare at him.

"Next stop is Baldur Plaza." The bus driver said over his P.A. system.

"Bye cutie." Deacon lightly pinched the baby's cheek then quickly pulled the stop line and rushed to the exit of the bus.

The rain began to drop lighter than before, but still soaked the sidewalk that he was standing on. Baldur Plaza was decorated with a variety of shops ranging from souvenirs to books all the way to electronics in the form of the Repair Hub, a small store that specialized in selling used electronic devices and repairing phones, tablets, and other everyday devices that may need some tender, loving care. The place of business for Deacon. The store was located at the other end of the plaza; the opposite side of the bus stop. His phone said he was still about ten minutes early to make his shift. He started to make his way to work while the rain tapped on his poncho then seeping into his shirt. He shivered with the cold water, but he was close by the shop to bother complaining about it.

Luckily, he didn't have to deal with the customers which gave him the benefit of having an easier day than his co-workers who had to talk the people into why purchasing a refurbished tablet was better than getting one at some mega-market. Deacon obviously knew that it was just the price, but those guys milked the pros a little too much for his taste.

His personal opinion.


The door to the shop chimed as Deacon entered for his shift. Children were already running around and playing on the video game consoles that stood around the store like monoliths, except more entertaining. The televisions that weren't playing the latest hit video game had the news with the subtitles scrolling below the monitor. The headlines were the same as the week before and the week before that.

"Looks like Elvander may begin to suffer without any form of a fuel source." The female reporter stated.

"You may be right." Her male companion agreed with her. "Shadow Cannon has been a force of destruction along the coast of Elvander, leaving a wake of fire and death wherever they land. Now with their primary fuel depots being siphoned, it may begin to mark the end of the once-prospering nation."

"Damn." A female salesperson sighed from behind the counter, "It's starting to look like this war is going to end before it even started."

"I don't know." Deacon shrugged, "Didn't we have this kind of scare last year? People are going to the fueling huts buying as much as they can before we run dry. Sounds like a conspiracy to me."

"Only you can see the 'positivity' into things!" His manager's breathless voice shouted from the stockroom.

"All I'm saying is that I'm not going to feed into this panic when nothing is going to happen to us."

"You do know that they will be releasing giant robots to attack the other surrounding countries, right?" The salesperson said while she rang up a customer for a gift card.

"Yeah," His manager emerged from the back with a large box, "Like us!"

"You guys are putting way too much thought into this 'war'." Deacon clocked in through the counter's computer to start his shift. "Now pass me those phones, so I can actually look busy."


The final minute to five finally arrived allowing Deacon to punch out and call it a day. He rushed to the bus stop and met with it to get home. The rain continued its way down to the street while Deacon's footsteps stomped on the puddles when he made his way to his stop. The brakes hissed and the doors opened giving him access inside. He handed over his bus pass to the access machine and sat by the exit close by the driver to make a quick getaway to avoid getting any more wet than he needed.

He looked out by the road while the bus began its departure and saw some of the people stockpiling on water, fuel, and toilet paper; it looked like they expected the worst especially what they saw on the news. Rampaging machines, bombs, executions, and that was only this week. Deacon felt it was only Elvander's problem since they were the ones who needed to make a power move when Shadow Cannon threw up their taunts.

Deacon shook his head in disbelief and slipped on his headphones to listen to his playlist while he took a short nap. He left one cup off his ear, so he can pay attention if his stop was coming up. The calculated time he came up with gave him a twenty minute window to close his eyes.

The bumps on the road kept waking him, but he attempted to power through since he didn't get a chance to catch up on his sleep all thanks to his season pass. After a few minutes of rumbling, he finally closed his eyes and let out a deep breath.

"We're now arriving at Pinecone Corner." The bus driver announced through the P.A. with her siren-like voice.

"Yay." Deacon sighed and stood up from his seat to get out of the bus.

Outside of the bus, the rain was reduced to a light drizzle and the street lights began to turn on for the night. He knew he wasn't going to make it home before the sunset. The young technology repairman power-walked up the hill to his home just at the peak.

He ran up the steps, took off his poncho, and kicked off his shoes by his glass door entrance. His hand reached for the door handle then turned the lock to slide it open to get in. The house was quiet and dark from the spots the sun couldn't reach while it sank below the horizon. The young man walked to the fridge to pull out a beer that was stashed in the very back of the fridge followed by throwing his work clothes back on his recliner where he sat down to watch TV.

The networks all began to show the breaking news about the Elvander/Shadow Cannon war, but Deacon didn't want to waste his time with it; he cycled through the television until he found a comedy show about chefs trying to compete for the same love interest. A played-out concept, but he was a sucker for them.

He sipped his beer and leaned back on his seat to enjoy the rest of his evening. The same thing he did every other day. He didn't expect anything more out of it.


A loud bang alerted him from outside. He wanted to ignore it, but his curiosity took the bait making him hurry to his glass door where he saw a bright, fiery object falling down from the sky. Deacon's eyes opened up wider as the object got closer to the ground. Deacon decided to break his routine and see for himself what that mysterious fireball was. The orange light that emitted from it soon disappeared once it reached the ground. A loud explosion was muffled from the distance, but it was obvious that it came from the direction of the strange falling object.

Deacon ran down his stairs while he put on his poncho and grabbed his keys. His steps paused once he reached to his garage.

"I really hope you can survive this short trip." Deacon looked over to his car.

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Chapter 2

Deacon’s car sputtered down the highway toward the dense forest where he saw the falling object crash. The trees were high and filled the area until it blocked the sun causing an instant darkness; at seven o’clock it was pitch black. The only thing that aided him for light was the car’s headlights.

He veered off the road into the grass that surrounded the forest. The car kept firing off a loud noise from the exhaust and any animal in the vicinity will instantly dart off away from it, obviously thinking it’d be a gun of some kind.

A faint orange hue shined from the dark forest among the dense trees, but thankfully the flame seemed to be subdued preventing any wildfire from happening.

The curious man parked his car by the “entrance” of the forest to make the rest of his trek on foot to avoid any accidents. He stepped quietly toward the crashed object with his smartphone flashlight shining the path in front of him. As usual, it was littered with scrapped cars and other automobiles that people decided to abandon after they were beyond possible repair.

The place where machines were left to die.

Each step grew closer to the orange hue and every inch made the light brighter than when he first arrived to the site.

A loud screeching noise caused him to hide from whatever was there. Deacon’s heart began to pound hard against his chest almost like it wanted to turn tail and run away from the sound.

“What the hell was that?!” Deacon tried to catch his breathing as quietly as he could to avoid detection from whatever was beyond the trees.

His phone rang with its chime that notified him about getting a text message. The innocent sound was louder in the woods than it was in his living room. He quickly drew out his phone to silence it, but the message that appeared gave him pause. His face was shown through the light of his screen as he stared at his phone with his eyes and mouth wide open.

The message read: Who is there?

“Who saw me?” Deacon crouched to blend in with the trees as well as he could.

He sent back a message asking for his name.

Nothing. Things began to horrifyingly turn.

Again, the sound of metal screeching gave Deacon the chills while he tried his best to avoid the person or thing that was there.

“What did I get myself into?” Deacon whispered to himself. “I should’ve just ignored it and went to bed.”

Another message buzzed into his phone: Help me.

“Help you?” Deacon read the message then narrated his reply, “I don’t even know who you are. How did you get my number?!”

He waited for a response; the paranoid young man looked over his shoulder to avoid any unnecessary surprises.

Another message appeared: Walk toward me.

Every fiber of his being wanted to turn the other way. Just run as fast as he could then drive off forgetting every single thing that has happened so far. That’s what he thought about; instead he followed the message and assumed it was from the crashed object. His footsteps quickly marched to the object in order to see who needed his aid.

Another metal screeching sound woke the birds that were nesting above the trees. A large group of wings flapped quickly to escape from the disturbance. The screeching was slower than the other noises before it. The smell of burnt wires soon began to emerge from the trees.

“Is it a ship?” Deacon wondered. “Definitely has to be a ship.”

His guess was soon discovered to be wrong when he found the origin of the shooting star that crash landed on his routine.

A message buzzed again: Help me.

The screeching noise sounded again followed by two red lights.

“Oh damn, oh damn, oh damn!” Deacon quickly retreated back to the trees to avoid the red eyes. “It’s one of them! Those Shadow Cannon soldiers!”

His phone buzzed again, but the scared young man chose to ignore it while he thought through his options. Nothing looked good to him; each review of his scenario resulted in him getting killed in some way that he would rather not repeating out loud.

He let out a sigh then slowly walked out of the trees toward the machine.

“Are you the one sending me these messages?” Deacon held up his phone.

The robot nodded while it held its arm over its chestplate. The impact may have did some minor damage to it, but something else gave it the gaping hole that it was now tending.

“You do know that you’re bad guy, right?” Deacon slowly walked up to the large robot. “Helping you is pretty much a death sentence.

The robot whirred softly and nodded again.

Deacon’s phone buzzed: I won’t tell if you don’t.

“Humor. This robot knows humor. Just my luck.” Deacon scoffed, “I can’t believe I’m going to ask this, but can you show me your wound?”

The machine slowly moved its hand away from the sparking hole in its chestplate. The hole wasn’t clean through the robot, but it still looked bad enough to cause any future issues that could affect its basic motor functions, such as exterminating an entire city.

“Well, I don’t know what you got into fight with, but looks like it won.” Deacon said while he shined his phone’s flashlight around the hole to see what was salvageable. “There’s nothing I can do about it right now without my tools. Do you mind waiting here? Then again not like you have a choice.”

The robot nodded with an affirming whir.

Deacon’s phone buzzed: Please hurry.

“Well, I’ll try my best. Just try not to blow anything up.” Deacon sighed. “If I help you, will you leave this town and not kill us?”

Another message got to his phone: Yes.

“Alright then. Just give me about an hour.” Deacon checked his phone to make sure he was right about his trip estimate.


Deacon arrived back at his house with his car sputtering to a complete stop and headlights lighting up the garage. He rushed to his workstation where he had some various tools from his projects that he never bothered to complete like a vacuuming robot, some app that would keep tabs on a pet, and a motorcycle that ran on social media likes. The only things he felt that were needed was a USB cable, a plasma saw, a miniature welder, and some splice connectors to aid him with the wounded robot.

“Damn.” Deacon grabbed a bag from under his workstation. “I really hope this is all I need.”

Hopping back into his car; he sped off toward the forest to see what he was able to accomplish with his limited materials.


The sputtering car stopped once again at the forest where the robot still sat with its hand holding the wound. Without wasting anymore time, Deacon exited the car and ran to the machine with his tool bag in tow.

“Alright I need to connect this plug into your hard drive, where do you have it?” Deacon pulled out his USB cable from the bulky bag.

The robot whirred then pointed at the back of its neck where the port was located.

The young man connected the USB port to the hard drive and his phone to view the contents on it to diagnose any issues that occurred when it got wounded.

He looked at the main folder that said “Project Ragnarok”, a name that didn’t give him any comfort, but opened it nonetheless. Using his fingers, he scanned through the various folders and libraries to locate any code that can give him a sign to where the damage was mostly popping up.

“Well, Mr. Ragnarok,” Deacon sighed while he looked at his phone. “You look like someone had a field day with you. You’re code is so buggy thanks to your friend who shot you.”

His phone buzzed: Ragnarok?

“Yeah, that’s what it said on your source code. Basically it means ‘End of the World’ in the Norse mythology.”

Another message: World… end?

“Yeah, I guess Ragnar can work. Sounds less… world end-y.”

Ragnar shrugged in a half-agreeing tone.

“Luckily for you.” Deacon pulled out his plasma saw. “All you need is a band-aid.”

Deacon searched for some scrap metal around the forest and with the wide selection of cars it wasn’t going to be much of a challenge. Holding his plasma saw and showing a large smile, Deacon began to cut off pieces of automobiles that he felt made the cut as a patch for his patient.

After close to an hour, he managed to grab himself a vast collection of would-be patches for Ragnar. He dragged each of them back to the machine and laid them out on the ground for him.

“Take your pick.” Deacon used his flashlight to show Ragnar the selection of metal, ranging from the rusty, dystopian look to the polished white perfection.

Ragnar took his time to make his pick, but soon chose a bright red matte look to compliment his gunmetal shell.

“Alright then.” Deacon pulled out some splicing connectors to put back the wiring that was split apart from the damage. While he peeked inside he noticed a high-caliber bullet lodged inside the wound. After some use of his elbow grease, he managed to pull it out.

The bullet was about as wide as his palm and as long as hand. The shooter meant business when he fired at Ragnar. The wiring was soon organized after another hour of trying to match the pair of damaged wires, easily making his whole night complicated.

“Now hold this over the hole.” Deacon pointed at the red panel that Ragnar had picked with his other hand holding pair of goggles.

Ragnar followed the order and planted the panel over his wound while Deacon welded it on to the chestplate. The light was bright enough to light up the surrounding darkness with some quick strobes of brightness. Deacon’s hand moved slowly as he moved his miniature welder to get every inch of the panel attached to the chestplate.

“Good as new.” Deacon smiled. His goggles blocked his eyes, but he was exhausted from the work. He reached for his phone and cable again to make sure the hardware in Ragnar’s chest was working with the code written in his hard drive.

The phone screen loaded with the folders that he originally opened and saw some of the buggy code vanishing when he compiled it again. That would’ve been the end of it, but more messages appeared on the console saying that some of the functions were not being read.

Deacon grew curious and tapped onto the console message to pull up the folder. The code read well, but most of it was missing. Whatever was there as Ragnar’s main function was erased. The missing code wasn’t affecting Ragnar or its basic movement, so Deacon was okay with leaving it be.

“Alright looks like I’m finished here. You remember our deal, right?” Deacon unplugged the cable from the large machine’s head.

Ragnar stood up from the ground and stood up easily towering the young man. The height looked like an easy twelve feet. The robot looked down to stare at Deacon leaving him with an uncomfortable feeling.

“I’m going to assume that you remember our deal.” Deacon nervously chuckled. “You know, the one about you not… killing… us. Bye.”

Deacon quickly walked to his car and reversed out of the forest then sped off back to the highway that led to the city. He looked at the rear-view mirror and saw the two red eyes still fixed on him as they grew smaller from the gaining distance.

“What a creepy robot.” Deacon said to himself with a shudder going through his body. “The last thing I need is this guy sneaking up to my house in my sleep ready to kill me.”

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Chapter 3

Deacon laid on his mattress tossing and turning for the rest of the night trying to get the whole ordeal out of his head. He couldn’t shake the heavy guilt that he may have helped the enemy destroy his hometown.

The bed looked like a disaster area whenever he tried to find another comfortable spot. Bed sheets were kicked around, the blanket was hanging off the mattress, and one of his socks found its way on the floor while he wore the other one. His night was tough, but at least he was in the safety of his own home.

Deacon noticed a tapping noise coming from the area of his kitchen window. “What was that?”

The sound stopped for a few minutes allowing him some peaceful sleep before more interruptions decided to make him wake up.

His eyes were heavy and with the darkness of the room he wasn’t enjoying the moment— to put it gently. He spun himself to the edge of the bed then slowly leaned himself off to attend to the disturbance.

More light tapping noises echoed through his studio home. He didn’t have to go through hallways or other doorways to get to the kitchen; all he had to do was stand up and walk a few steps to make it.

Deacon slowly peeked over to the street in order to see what was keeping him awake. The image of Ragnar appeared in front of him.

“Oh no.” Deacon looked at the familiar figure standing below his window holding a few pebbles in its large hand.

The giant machine somehow ventured away from the forest and followed Deacon home then decided to wait outside for him like if it was a stray cat that the young man fed one time only to see it swing by his house every day.

“Shoo!” Deacon waved Ragnar off with a low, hushing yell in order to avoid waking up the neighbors. The last thing he needed was for them to see him harboring an enemy of the world.

Ragnar only returned a puzzled look and a confused whir followed by another pebble thrown at the window.

“I just wanted to sleep.” Deacon leaned in defeat by the window giving a loud sigh. He walked outside to get at a personal distance with the war machine.

Ragnar stood still waiting for his new friend to exit the house.

“You got a lot of nerv— wiring to be here!” Deacon scolded the titan.

Ragnar whirred again.

“Can you just at least get in the garage?!” Deacon pointed it toward the garage where his car was parked and covered with the tarp from before.

Ragnar’s heavy steps thudded loudly while its metal joints screeched. It was clueless to the ruckus it was creating and crouched to get into the garage due to its large size.

“It’s like a dog!” Deacon ran up his stairs to get his sleep. He didn’t want to waste anymore time trying to talk some sense into Ragnar and felt that it was something that can wait.

His phone buzzed with its screen shining the dark home.

“An annoying dog!” The young man felt like crying at that point.

The message from Ragnar read: Can you help?

“I really hope he didn’t do any damage to the car.” Deacon scoffed. He walked back outside before he could even get to his bed.

“This better be good!” His steps were heavily making contact with the wooden stairs, creaking as he descended.

Ragnar sat in the corner of the garage staring outside. As a machine, it didn’t need sleep, but its curiosity may have done some unwanted results.

Deacon tried to hold his scream when he saw his car scratched from where Ragnar crawled through to get to the corner of the garage.

And from where he pointed.

And sat.

“Why?” Deacon attempted to hold back his anger. “All I needed was a few hundred dollars to get it repaired!”

His phone buzzed again: Help?

“Oh yeah, sure!” Deacon waved his hands up. “Let’s ignore the fact that you demolished my only car!”

Ragnar reached for its chestplate to release the internal latches that were hid inside its chassis. A short hissing sound emerged from its interior; the chestplate began to open slowly as a blue glow emerged causing Deacon’s face to shift from an angry expression to a shocked look.

“What am I looking at?” Deacon walked toward the glow.

His phone buzzed: Fuel cell.

“From where? For what? Why do you even have something like that inside you?” Deacon had a lot of questions, but he didn’t know what answers he really wanted to know.

Ragnar sent a response: Elvander.

“You stole it from Elvander or you’re taking it to Elvander?”

Another response: Both.

Deacon examined the fuel cell to make sure it wasn’t some kind of trap that was created by Shadow Cannon. The blue energy were composites of the Shell mineral that was only found in Elvander. If squeezed with heavy pressure, it would release a gas that would encase the mineral in a blue light. The country of Elvander was known for its near-limitless energy resources. No one there had to pay any energy bill of any kind, maybe a tax but that was as far as it went.

Well, that was as far as Deacon knew from the articles he read.

“Is that why you got shot?” Deacon asked.

Ragnar nodded in affirmation.

“That’s heavy. That must explain the massive amount of empty spaces in your code.” Deacon scratched his head. “Did Shadow Cannon even build you?”

Ragnar let out a puzzled whir followed by a text message: I don’t know.

“I guess there’s more bugs in your code.” Deacon sighed. “Well, there isn’t much I can do for you at this point and if they shot you over that thing you’re holding; what makes you think I’m going to have a better chance if I’m helping you? So good night.”

The young man walked back upstairs to his living room and headed over to his bed. He threw himself onto his blanket and pillow to officially end the fiasco.

His phone buzzed: Representative.

“You’ve got to be kidding me! He’s relentless!” Deacon groaned. He sat back up to answer the text message. “What do you mean representative?!”

Ragnar responded: I cannot be seen in Elvander alone.

Deacon responded as to why did they even have Ragnar go in the first place without a representative. His phone’s keyboard clacked away as he angrily typed his response. All he wanted to do was sleep, not become some kind of babysitter for a giant robot that seems to be a glutton for punishment. The only thing that was on his schedule was to sleep in for his day off while the television played re-runs of some show he didn’t like.

That was living.

Ragnar replied: My escort is not here.

“Where is he?” Deacon read his text response aloud.

Ragnar sent another message: I do not know.

“Damn it.” Deacon groaned.

None of the things that were going on at that moment made sense to him. Why did someone send a rogue Shadow Cannon war machine to steal a prized fuel cell without an escort to get to him? That whole thought just sounded off.

Deacon stood up from his bed to go back outside in the early morning darkness. He was still mad, but now knew that it wasn’t going to help anybody in this scenario. His staircase creaked as his feet stepped back down toward the garage.

Ragnar’s red eyes looked out to the entrance. It whirred softly as it tilted its head when it saw Deacon standing in front of the garage.

“So who exactly sent you?” Deacon asked. “Someone altered your code, but I don’t know what to make sense out of it.”

Ragnar messaged: Help me?

“I’m not going with you on this suicide mission, especially when I don’t even know which side you’re working for.” Deacon protested, “But. I will let you stay here until you get your battery charged.”

Deacon pulled the tarp away from his car then popped the hood open to reveal the interior. His main focus was the battery; he grabbed the jumper cables that were in his back seat to hook them up onto the battery terminals.

“I don’t exactly know how much juice you need, but this should get you up and running for your trip.” Deacon climbed on Ragnar to connect the other ends to its neck to charge the large robot’s battery.

His hand turned the key to turn the car on in order to connect the cables to the terminals allowing the current to transfer to Ragnar.

“I know I’m going to get an ear-full from my neighbors, but I guess this is pretty important for you.” Deacon sighed over the sound of the car’s sputtering engine running.

The sleepy young man tossed the tarp over Ragnar to hide the machine from prying eyes while he tried to get some sleep in. For extra privacy, he closed the garage door about seventy-five percent from being closed to keep the noise at a minimum.

“Now if you need me and I hope you don’t. I’m going to be asleep inside.” Deacon exhaustedly yawned.

Ragnar whirred under the tarp that was hiding its head.

For what felt like the hundredth time, Deacon walked back inside his home then tossed himself on the bed while he stared at the window where the street light shined. The ambiance was already something he was used to and it always helped, but after all the moving back and forth with Ragnar it made him not able to catch his much-wanted sleep.

His hand moved slowly to his phone and scrolled through his apps until he found the news. His thumb pressed it open to look at any articles, specifically about the war between Shadow Cannon and Elvander. To his surprise, he found what he wanted, but much worse than what he expected.

Shadow Cannon launched a full-scale attack on a small town called Hazlan, they didn’t have enough resources to even be a challenge to the terrorists. The preferred weapon they used were what they were calling Golems.

No losses on Shadow Cannon’s side, but the small town of Hazlan was lucky if it would still be found on the satellite.

Deacon’s guess was that the Golems operated on a hive-mind protocol which basically meant they all shared the same code and followed the same orders. Ragnar was still in the forest when it happened. The coding that was inside Ragnar’s hard drive was completely erased causing the hive-mind network to be inoperative.

“What if they’re looking for the missing fuel cell?” Deacon whispered to himself. “They only shot Ragnar down without going to search for him or any remains. Hazlan is around the border of Cille.”

He gently dropped his phone onto the floor by his bed then reached for his television remote to watch something to get his mind out of the chaos he was reading. His thumb kept pressing on the channel button cycling through different networks until he could find something that was capable of distracting him.

The channel that was working for him was doing a show about a chef finding true love in his kitchen. Not something he would be watching, but desperate times call for desperate measures. The show was running a twenty-four episode marathon which would last a few hours if it counted the infomercials that ran at that hour.

“I guess this is looking to be a romantic-comedy kind of day.” Deacon got up from his bed to lay on his sofa to watch the show. He hoped it would get him bored enough to make him sleep.

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