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Elmo

The Awakening.

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Dry taste. Eyes forming a paste, holding them together like glue. Eye cracks open and a sliver of bright white light forces its way in to my vision. I moan with the shock and shut my eyes tightly, my eyelids a fortress and the light the besieging them.

I shuffle along blindly, opening my eyes for fractions of a second to glimpse the greyness of the room. Strange... yet familiar in some respects. A cold feeling kisses my bare knee. I have reached another wall, yet this one seems colder than the first. I open my eyes and allow them to adjust to the light, scrunching them in pain but forcing them open, defiant against the powerful bulb.

Coercing the rusted steel wall with my callused hands. Smooth, only a stray screw or nail poking out to interrupt the steel plains. I turn my head and spot a shining doorknob, too fresh for the age of this steel. Concrete and steel... Am I being imprisoned?

Shuffling over on painful, scabbed feet, I notice that the doorknob also has a keyhole. I place my eye over the keyhole and I am met with a blanket of greyness. Filled in with concrete... My heart begins to race. What if I'm being held? How did I get here? Where's my air coming from?

Slamming my hands furiously against the door, I scream and yell with all my lung power, nearly rupturing my vocal chords in the process. Nobody comes. No footsteps, no voices, just the deathly silence of my own wasted breath. I turn and survey the room. A bed with no mattress, a dangling lightbulb, too high for me to reach. My God this room is tall. At least fifteen feet, maybe more. I spot an opened window. At least this solves my air problem, now the problem of food, water and being imprisoned.

I look at my bloodied knuckles, already turning purple from their exertion on the hardened steel. That was foolish of me, almost childlike. I look up and notice a glinting in the window. Maybe it's the glass, maybe it's the sun, who knows? I stand up and move to another angle for a better look and then I hear it. Footsteps. One. Two. Three. Four. Five... Silence. I press my ear to the door, hoping to hear something else.

A loud thump echoes through the steel of the door. I jump back in fright. What was that? Before I can answer my question, steel grinds against steel and the door opens. There stands a small woman, roughly five foot three, with a large assault rifle.

"On your knees Haralds" the woman said gruffly. I raised my hands and dropped to my knees. How did she know my name? I open my mouth to speak and a rifle butt interrupts me. I slam in to the ground, the rusty taste of my own blood filling my mouth. "Not one word" she said menacingly, almost as if she was afraid of me speaking to her.

Blindfolded. Stones digging in to my feet with every step. Loose concrete or gravel, hard to tell. Every few steps I have to stop and move my feet loosely. This irritates the woman and I've caught a few smacks of the rifle butt in the shoulders for my pain. "Hurry it up." a gruff voice says, clearly not the voice of the woman. I feel the barrel of the gun poke between my shoulders and the woman says "no more stops, start to move fast." Fearing for my life, I oblige and break in to a light speed walk, willing myself not to fall or twist my ankle on every step.

Thudding to the ground, I feel a pair of handcuffs slide over my wrists. "Shall we stay with you?" the woman says to another person. A hoarse, rasping voice replies "No." Steps followed by the creak of metal hinges and the slam of a steel door. My blindfold is raised. Dimly lit room thankfully. I turn to sit up and I am greeted with a young face, too young to be the rasping voice. Where was the second person? "Hello Haralds" the young face said, in the rasping tone of the previous voice. I nod in reply. "I suppose you'll want to know why you've been brought here and how you got here, yes?" I nod in reply again.

"It started with a dream you see Haralds. I dreamed that this would happen. The world would crumble, humanity would fall and pockets of survivors would be all that remained." I listened intently. "As you know, this turned out to be true. You've done well to survive this far, most people either decided to opt out of the situation or were driven insane with grief for the loved one's they have lost." The man, more of a boy really, makes a gun gesture with his fingers and presses them to his head. "But not you Haralds. I envisioned your coming. People said I was wrong, that nothing could destroy civilization on such a scale." The boy grew angrier. "I told them, they could have prepared but they didn't! Why? Because they were stupid! I tried!" The talking stops and the boy breathes deeply. "Moving on. Recently, two days ago in fact, I envisioned you scavenging around the once great city of Elektrozavodsk. I told my people to wait for you there with some vials of M-99 and there they waited. Eventually you came around and that was when they seized you. I don't know when you awoke but we heard the banging on the door. Impressive strength I must say Haralds. It's a shame really isn't it?" He looks at me questioningly. "What is?" I replied, gulping down whatever fear I had in me to answer him without my voice cracking.

"The fall of humanity, the state of Chernarus and what will happen to you and to all of us, ultimately. Unless it happens to you first, Haralds." He wraps his dark brown cloak around himself, turns his head and stares at me with his beady brown eyes. "What will happen to me?" I asked, voice cracking. "Scared? Don't be Haralds, this is an honour for you. Saving humanity. You see, I envisioned that once we had captured you, we would sacrifice you to God, ending this plague and restoring humanity to former glory."

My eyes widened in fear and I struggled with my bonds furiously. "You're crazy! God won't stop this! There is no God! If there was, why would he do this in the first place!"

The boy turned his head and looked at me with sadness. "To punish humanity." He steps aside and reveals an altar with a jagged Kris Blade resting on it, stained with the blood of previous victims.

The boy claps and two men in cleric garments enter the room. "Seize him and restrain him on the sacrificial altar." commanded the boy. The clerics took hold of me by my left and right arms and dragged me to the altar, kicking and screaming for dear life. The handcuffs slid off me and my legs were locked in to place by metal restraints built in to the altar. My hands were manacled with manacles attached to the sides of the altar.

The boy began a chant. I looked around, desperately looking for a way out of the altar. Left, right, left, right. Nothing. No key, no luck, nothing. The chant begins to intensify and then begins to slow. Not much time left. Still frantically searching for anything to break out with. Robes, the Kris Blade and my manacles. Blade is out of reach, as are the robes. Silence. I look up and see the blade rising up in the boys hands.

"Please... no..."

The blade falls...

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