Truthborn: The Final Order
Rahlsier had heard stories.
Heard, not read. Books were for the other revolutionaries, who lived in worlds of fantasy, who thought their ideals could substitute for experience. They had failed. All of them. Not Rahlsier. He was different. He was an individual.
He had heard stories, but he hadn’t actually listened. What did it matter what the world had been like before the sky rained ash, the plants turned brown, the nambles roamed the mist at night? Before the skaa had let themselves be enslaved by the promises of altruism? Rahlsier knew these things were irrelevant, like dreams and fantasies. He knew that the Final Order needed to be destroyed, and that he was the only man who could do so.
The sun was setting now. Soon the mists would rise, and the nambles would come out. Rahlsier had nothing to fear from them: he knew they had little interest in such as him. But the skaa cowered in their hovels, terrified of being savaged and eaten by the hulking beasts.
Rahlsier laughed at the idea. I'll have to cure them of that someday. The women especially. He smiled his secret smile, and entered one of the larger hovels.
Silence. The skaa stared at him in rapt attention, and why not? He was taller than most skaa, though not all, and his yeard was the envy of all the men (and a few of the women). They looked up at him in awe and wonderment…but something was missing from their stares.
A young girl stood near him, unaware of Rahlsier’s thoughts. She stood there, unknowing, as he pulled a lump of pewter from his pocket and tried to swallow it. She made a face as he gagged on the metal. Foolish girl.
Rahlsier greeted the room of skaa with a kick to the girl’s chin. Normally, such a blow would have shattered her jaw, maybe even severed her tongue. He was digesting pewter, though, the allomantic metal for strength, and so his kick tore her head clean off. It landed across the room, in a pot of boiling soup. Rahlsier laughed at the coincidence.
Silence. He coughed expectantly.
The men at the tables laughed. The women in the kitchen laughed. The children laughed. All of them laughed together, expect for one woman sobbing hysterically in back. What a stuffy bitch, Rahlsier thought.
When the laughing had gone on long enough, Rahlsier silenced them with his raptor-like gaze.
“Greetings,” he said. “I have come to free you from the Lord Ruler’s oppression.”
“Really?” one of the men asked.
“Really. Also, I brought food!” Rahlsier hefted the heavy sack he had slung over his shoulder, and tossed it onto one of the tables.
The skaa all grabbed for it. Like lemmings, Rahlsier thought. One upended it, hoping to have first pick of the food inside.
Ash spilled out. They all looked back at Rahlsier, accusingly.
“I lied. Don’t you see? You can’t expect to be given food or freedom. You have to rise up and live your lives. Take freedom for yourselves! Rebel!”
“But…” a skaa stammered. “They’ll kill us all!”
“Not if you fight.”
“Especially if we fight,” an older man said. “You know as well as I do, boy, the Lord Ruler cannot be beaten.”
Now Rahlsier was growing angry. How dare they refuse him? He was only trying to help them, to give them the strength to…
Wait. “Help” them? “Give” them the strength? That was altruism speaking. That was the enemy working its way into his thoughts. The skaa had to choose rebellion for themselves…but these had already chosen death.
His thing rose inside him. He drew the Sword of Truth and ran his tongue down the length of the blade. Tiny particles of metal made their way through his mouth and down into his stomach. Not pewter for strength, or steel for dexterity, or even tin for charisma. This metal had no name, but its allomantic property did: deus ex machina.
Rahlsier exploded into action.
Bringer of death.
Spines were torn out through stomachs. Limbs were severed at wrist and knee, elbow and thigh. Heads flew. Another landed in the soup.
The room was soaked in blood when Rahlsier finished. He took a moment to savor it all, and then left the hovel as swiftly as he had entered.
Morning would see him back in the capital. There was work to be done.