Bryan was no stranger to bad circumstances. His entire life had been a struggle, as it was for most who lived outside the walls of Arcadia. He silently stared out, over the vibrant city, unable to regain the initial vigor he had the day before. Though he had to admit that it was nice they elected to put him in a comfortable room with a view, as apposed to a dank cell in their underground prison. Which he felt was more than he deserved. How could he possibly have let himself fall for something like this? Clearly he allowed his emotions to cloud his rationality. He was just so grateful to be accepted into Arcadia that he would do anything for its citizens, no questions asked. But for a man of his intelligence, he knew that ignorance was no excuse.
“How are you doing?” Came the soft voice of Michelle.
Bryan almost jolted with surprise. He turned from his view of the city to see Michelle standing directly behind him with concern in her eyes. Lost in his self-pity, he wasn’t at all surprised that he didn’t notice her enter.
“Sorry if I startled you.” Spoke Michelle with a warm smile as she stepped closer in concern. “But I figured you could use a friend.”
“That’s more than I deserved.” He replied as his head dropped in shame.
“The damage is done Bryan, gloating about it now will do no good.”
Bryan knew she was right but he couldn’t help his guilt. He should have known that even in the world’s most honest civilization, there would be serpents lurking in its corners.
Bryan forced his head up; he had to fix this, somehow. “Michelle I didn’t mean to....”
“I know Bryan.” She said before he could finish. “And the Tribunal knows as well, James left a note taking full credit for what happened. They know you were just a pawn.”
Bryan gave a sigh of relief. “So, why are they still holding me here?”
“I don’t know.” Michelle clinched her hands and began to walk around him toward the window of the other side of the room. “Right now everyone’s trying to figure out what it was the Locus had stole from us and why.”
Bryan gasp, “Wait, those men were from the Locus!”
Bryan had never before encountered the Locus, though he had heard the stories. A vicious bunch of nomads, who travel the continent, invade lesser civilizations and strip them of their resources. Those who are lucky enough to survive their encounters are usually kept alive as slaves or toys for their amusement, only to be fed to the Locus’ beasts once their use has expired. Although they lack the technology that Arcadia and Magg city has, they do seem to have other means that makes them a force to fear. Control over nature itself and the beasts of the world. Something that even Arcadia’s greatest scientists fail to understand. Bryan’s civilization had been fortunate enough to have never encountered them. “So they do exist.” Stated Bryan, unaware of the words flowing from his lips.
“They haven’t been as threatening to weaker civilizations as they were before their former leader Mark was killed by the Phoenix.” Replied Michelle. “After his son Lexx had took control, revenge became his sole focus. They do still invade other civilizations from time to time, specifically when they’re low on resources but Lexx’s eyes are set solely on taking down Arcadia and killing the Phoenix.”
Michelle finished her explanation to see Bryan now standing right next to her with interest. “Well if everything I’ve heard about them is true, than what use would they have for an info-disk?” he asked.
Michelle sighed before turning back to the sight of Arcadia staring back at them. “That’s what everyone is concern about.”
Bryan again fell into deep thought. He couldn’t help noticing the park in the distance. It felt a bit ironic that they would give him a room with a clear view of it, as if to remind him of his ignorance. “Apart from getting arrested, it wasn’t such a bad night.” He said, again surprised by the words leaving his lips. He then turned back toward Michelle. “I saw your play, it was amazing.”
Michelle replied with a flattered smile.
“Is it your own creation?”
Michelle turned back toward the window, and stared at the empty stage in the center of the park. “It’s actually a story I’ve read in an old book my father had found in the barrens. He was a scout and would search various ruins to see what information and technology could be recovered from the old days. I’ve always had a fascination with ancient art so every time my father came across something, he’d bring it back to me. It started with paintings and sculptures, but as I learned to read he started to bring me books. One in particular was a collection of plays by a man named Charles Heareaux. The play that you saw is one of my favorites, confronting the pain of ones past to allow happiness in the future.”
Bryan latched on to her every word; he had never met anyone as passionate and pure as Michelle seemed to be. Most people he had encountered in the world were a product of their surroundings. Their thoughts and desires seemed limited to only what they can see, do or create. Michelle on the other hand seemed bold enough to allow herself to dream far past her limits. To ideas and realities that were knowingly out of her reach yet some how she was able to enjoy them all the same. As a scientist Bryan never once gave himself the freedom to dream beyond what he knew to be possible. He envied her for that, and hoped that once this Locus mystery was over, he could finally start his new life in Arcadia by learning how to break through his barriers of logic.