Chapter 8:

Halfway Inn

Downcaster


Teph ran through the crowd, occasionally bumping into Pure Bloods who were outraged at being touched by a Mixed Blood, but luckily they couldn’t run after him. Teph was looking for his comrades, the men who escaped the army with him. Korn, Mort, and Trent, he spotted them idling with a bunch of other Mixed Bloods Teph couldn’t recognize, but were from the engine operators as that was what the insignia on their uniforms told.

As he joined their group, the three shared looks of surprise, they knew.

“What are we gonna do cap?” asked Trent, hands on his hips.

“Tomorrow they will kill him, we can’t stand down, not after what General Khol did for us” said Korn.

“We rescue him,” said Teph.

“How?” Trent asked again.

“There is an abandoned platform not far from here,” said Mort pointing towards the stage. An oddly shaped building was silhouetted behind it.” As soon as we see him get up on stage tomorrow, we seize the chance. I know a place where we can escape to after we have him in our hands.”

Teph looked at the physically fit man with confusion. “How do you know all of this?” he said. “Trent, Korn you two don’t seem as surprised as I am.” he turned towards them.

“We tried many times sir, to tell you about this,” said Korn

“But, every single time we mention the pure city, you shut down” continued Trent.”But, we didn’t know anything about Entz. The Pure Bloods never allowed any of us Mixed Bloods to their preaching ceremonies, not even on Feynoor! This time, however, they changed their mind. Does it sound off to you sir?”

“Yeah” Entz replied head down “They think he is going to change the way things are, just like his father did, they want to repeat history.” He looked up inspecting his men.

“Are we going to allow them, sir?” Trent said with a weird grin on his face.

“No. No the hell we are not. I’d rather go to damnation than continue living in a place like this” said Trent his voice growing more confident. “We are going to live up to the promise we made 14 years ago. We are going to save Entz Bentecko!”

****

The group of five - mainly consisting of four Downcasters and one recently titled Tyrant - shot through the air. They were hopping from one point to another, though the distance between the points was a few hundred meters. There was a myth spread among the population of Morshina that stated Downcasters could fly. And, now that Entz was among four Downcasters, he knew it was completely false. He and his group didn't fly, they were falling with style.

The city was bustling with people. Most were Mixed Bloods; the ones crowded in the streets; Pure Bloods were atop those floating stadiums; Although he could still see a few of the 'lower ranked' Pure Bloods arrogantly standing with Mixed Bloods next to them. The country was in deep confusion, most of the officers who were trying to maintain order helplessly threw their sticks at Entz and his group. The Mixed blood, however, cheered for them. For the first time in Entz's ninteeen-year-old life, he saw Mixed Bloods happy. GENUINELY HAPPY. Without noticing it, he felt his cheeks soaked up with tears. Tears of joy and glory, it was a step in the right direction.

The city was filled with towers, towers that he didn't know had screens on them; ones that projected his speech a day ago and his execution moments ago. Everything was glowing around him, neon lights all around, sometimes he wondered why this place wasn't called night city. As night was the only time when Morsh - the capital city - truly showed its colors.

They slammed into the ground; Tephs downcasted legs absorbing most of the impacts. As Teph sprang his legs to take another leap; Etnz's insides were twisted. It was a surreal feeling, mankind has been trying to concur the skies for a long time. He read many epics where men owned the skies for themselves as if they were running with the wind. But, this, this was as close as anyone has got to flying. No airplane could recreate such an intimate feeling with the skies and the winds. It was truly something out of this world.

They continued their ‘bunny hops’ for a while; the streets, still crowded. This part of the city wasn’t filled with many of the large screens that projected the previous day’s event. But, giant floating speakers were more common around here; it sounded like a podcast.

Squinting his eyes Entz noticed the roads were growing less dense with Mixed Bloods who already began marching back home; The distance, however, was a few hundred paces away. They were soaring away from the crowds as they didn't want to draw any attention to them. Strangely, so far no force attempted to intercept his group, was it because they were being secretly followed? or was it simply because Teph's plan caught everyone off guard, either way, Entz was beginning to grow tense.

Shortly after, he began to make out the city gate across from him, however, at the same moment, a member Entz didn't recognize, decided to turn to the west side of the gate and the group followed. Clever, Entz noted. After a few moments, he noticed their altitude growing lower as they entered the central sewage system, VERY clever. They then came to a halt.

"What now?" asked Entz.

One of the men looked at him confused "Oh no sir, we aren't stopping just yet," said the surprisingly tall man whose hair was white, for some reason it faintly glowed despite the eerie darkness, that was only lit by faint bulbs, and the group's Downcasted fists and legs.

"We are simply running," replied Teph his tone hurriedly as he grabbed Entz by his arms, and sat him laying on his back. They then leaped forward, Entz grunting at the sudden motion.

Downcasting always fascinated Entz, ever since he was a child Entz was very interested in the strange phenomena. From its mental to physical manipulation, Entz took it upon himself to further study after what brief knowledge he got from school. It was then that he discovered the government's lies. The strangest thing was that more Mixed Bloods were able to harness the powers than Pure Bloods. He didn't know exactly, to make it a face, in fact he needed more experiments to confirm his theory, but so far everything he uncovered about Downcasting allowed him to have more steps toward the truth.

The group took multiple turns, the undulating patterns of the sewage system were breathtaking. Morshina's popularity came from its men of honor, but what many seemed to ignore was the unique and extremely complex architecture. How many hours days, weeks, months, or even years did it take not to build, but design such architectural beauty.

Moments after, his underground tour came to an end as the group reached a tall ladder that stretched upwards. He began climbing after Teph gave them a sign that told them site was clear. Before leaving he took one last look, and then finally emerged from the depths of Morshina.

For some reason Entz didn't Recognize this part of the city, it was darker than usual. A man that Teph called Trent said that they have arrived - he was the one with the strangely colored hair.

"What is this place?" Entz asked Trent.

"It is where we Mixed Bloods live in the Pure City, somewhere safely hidden from any police partrols," Trent answered, he started forward as if that was the end of their conversation. Entz wasn't offended, he was surprised to see himself treated not as heir, but as plain little Entz. Strange feeling, he thought. Trent returned a moment later telling them to follow him. The group did as ordered.

Walking down here was different. No one seemed hostile towards him or his group, rather, they looked more inviting, he even got a few smiles from some that passed by. It was a completely different atmosphere. Those people weren't as privileged as the Pure Bloods, but they weren't as poor as the Mixed Bloods, they were somewhere in the middle. A completely new social class. Was it a bad thing or a good thing? Entz didn't know. For now, he didn't care, he just let everything sink in.

They continued down an alley before reaching a four-story building and a sign outside that read Halfway Inn.

“Smart name that,” said Trent grinning to himself.

Trent explained that he had already pre-booked a room for the group and so they climbed their way to the second floor. As Entz entered their unit, he was surprised to find the place lavishly furnished. The couch in the middle seemed to have been made from good material. The curtains were ostentatiously beautiful. And the bedrooms - there were two of them - had two large beds that proved to be just as comfortable as they looked.

The group shuffelled as they got in, Trent and two other men took one room, he and Teph took the other

“Take a nap my boy, because we will need to discuss a lot of issues later,” Teph said, his voice muffled, as he was face down on a pillow. Entz nodded to himself and he too let his fatigue consume him as slumped on the bed.

Momentie
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