Beyond Apocalypse (SS)

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Mar 14

Beyond Apocalypse (SS) (By Inars) (Thanked: 8 times)

Disclaimer: This story is a work of fiction. The places and characters depicted in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to any person living or dead or place is purely coincidental.

 

Beyond Apocalypse

 

 

PREFACE

 

The world is ending. Hatred and three wars led it to what it is now. Cold and empty. When people were fighting for power and religion, a bigger threat emerged.

 

Nature.

 

No one had seen it.

No one had predicted it.

 

The earth was almost destroyed in the year 2021 when the third world war broke out, destroying billions of lives and homes. The prophecy occurred then. The remaining living souls who saw the blinding light emerge from under their feet swore it was the apocalypse. Instead they were given a chance.

 

But man did not amend his ways and 100 years later it happened again, the apocalypse, and millions of lives were taken. Man didn't learn from his mistakes. In the year 2221, it will happen again. Mankind will destroy itself. Our race will die. The hunger, distrust and thirst to lead and rule will kill them all. Warriors will be no match of the calamity. Commoners will hide inside their home and pray for the goodness. Visions will only tell what we all know, the Outcome. And royals will do nothing but sit at the throne and watch the people die.

 

And I, Arnav and my sister, are the only hope, to save the world from dying.



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Mar 14

Glossary (By Inars) (Thanked: 9 times)

(Not in alphabetical order)



Royals: Ruler/King and his family, descendants of first leaders of the new world.


Visions: Oracle/Foretellers/Prophesier.


Warriors: People born with skills of a soldier.


Commoners: Rest of others i.e. farmers, healers, sellers.






Note:

This story requires a lot of proofreadings.

So there will be weekly updates.

Please be patient friends. It's a virtue to hold.


Mar 25

Chapter 1 & 2 (By Inars) (Thanked: 9 times)

 

CHAPTER 1

 

 

Year 2207

 

 

She wanted her mother.

 

Khushi was anything but coward. But her courage deserted her when she needed it the most.

 

She had no idea where her mother was but she wanted her arms around her cold and shivering body. She needed her warmth. The floor felt cold. But that was not the only reason she was cold. No, it was the noise. The wretched and deafening noise. She pushed her fingers further into her ears till it hurt but it was no match to the ear-numbing sound.

It had been a usual day for her. It had started with a lot of laughter at the breakfast table and her father teasing her mother. But by noon it had turned sour. Her mother was acting weird since she had her vision and since then her father had not left the guns alone. Some were tied to his back, some hung on his belt and he was carrying a shotgun.

"Khushi! Stay where you are!" Her mother shouted from downstairs. Khushi might have missed her voice if the noise had not stopped for a moment. She didn't want to move either. She was scared. She knew this sound. Someone was firing and she was sure that someone was shooting at her house. She had seen guns before, used those which shot bullets at intervals but this was something else. People called it machine gun in 20th century. It was a blood seeker. She had seen her grandma dying of its wound. It was horrible. Horrible than the first monthly cycle she had few months ago.

The bullets were piercing through the walls of her room, her stuffed dog on the rack. Her precious dog, Tiny. She wanted them to stop. They were killing everything she adored. Where was my mother?

 

"Mom!" She shouted.

 

Her mother came rushing upstairs. She had not heard her climbing but she saw her moving feet from where she was hiding. She had hid under the bed when the shooting had started. It was one of the things her father had taught her. He had told her to not to come out of the hiding place till he or her mother come to fetch her. She tried to move out of under the bed but her mother shouted then.

 

"No Khushi. Stay under the bed!" Her mother dropped down and her face came into the view. Her mother was scared. She had never seen her mother afraid of anything. Her mother reached out and put her hands on her ears. Her hands didn't do anything good. The noise was too high for Khushi’s ears.

 

“Where is daddy?”

 

"Remember I told you that mommy and daddy have to go." Khushi nodded. This was a discussion they had every Thursday since she had turned 11. No matter how important work or paper Khushi had, she had to sit through it. It was boring. But she remembered every bit of it. Don't tell anyone who you are. That was simple enough to remember.

"They are going to question you after your daddy and I are gone. Don't tell them anything, alright." Khushi nodded again, the defeating sound vibrating the whole floor of their home like an earthquake.

"Now close your eyes and count to hundred." She shouted over the noise. Khushi did. She always did whatever her mother told her to.

One.…Two…. Three…….Four……..

Khushi felt a sharp pain in her head and that's when she saw the boy.

 

“Parents are dead?”

“Yes Father”

“And the girl?”

“She isn’t the one. She was having a vision when we caught onto her.”

“What a waste.” And the man sighed. “The chosen ones are those Raizadas then.”

 

 

CHAPTER 2

 

Year 2220

 

Akash and Nikhil were waiting for me at the door of Great Hall, arms crossed at their chests, looking as displeased as ever.

“I was sleeping.” Akash complained yawning.

It was not his fault. Last night it was our duty of night watch at the gates of residence of council members including my father. I had just hit the bed when a summon had come from Sakshi, the vision requesting my presence. I knew what this had meant. And I had changed and hurried over to meet her.  Sakshi was the oracle of Raizada clan. Although she talked in riddle most of the times but she always forewarned us about the attacks happening at the boundaries of our territory, to save innocent lives. It was a hard time for all of us. With the end approaching, everyone was anxious and afraid of the outcome but I was not going to embark on it. When I had returned from her residence another summon had arrived from the Council. I was as disoriented as Akash from the lack of sleep. We had not slept a wink since two days. The day before we were in the weapon room with Nikhil and other warriors till the wee hours of the morning for monthly weapon count. With more than half of the warriors away to battle the Jhas, we were overloaded with more responsibilities than ever. Jhas were becoming a problem now, sending their troops every other month. My father had raised his question to the Great Council but Jhas were far from listening. It was just a matter of time when my father would take the matters into his hands.

I ignored Akash and knocked at the door of Great Hall. But Nikhil didn’t want to be left behind in this complaint game. “And I was eating.” Nikhil whined, staring at me like it was my fault. Nikhil liked food. In fact loved it and had married it if it was possible in any way. No wonder he was irritated. But all in all he was a good person. He had a clean heart. But rarely someone gave him company at the dinner table. Reason? Well it was simple enough to understand. He ate from their plates too. And no warrior liked to share his food when time was so scarce to spare to have a proper meal or even get it from the kitchens.

“I was eating the…….” Fortunately the gates were pulled open from the other side saving me from his whining and I ignored him like Akash did. I stopped in the center of the hall and Nikhil and Akash stood a step behind, on either side of me.

My father sat in middle of the large table in the center of the hall flanked by two council members on each side. They stopped talking as soon as they saw me. Manohar, one of the five councils smiled at me then unlike Shashi who was glaring at me like usual. The reason was I had denied marrying his only daughter Lavanaya three years ago who was now courting Nikhil. I ignored him too. It was not like I hated marriage but my future was uncertain and then dragging a poor soul into it was a sin. Just because I was going to die did not mean someone else had to die with me. The dread for the safety of Anjali was enough for a lifetime.

 “So you know.” My father stated as a matter of fact.

“It’s time, Father.”

 “We don’t know the outcome yet, Son. And you are important, you know that.”

“True Father but it’s the only way.”

And my father sighed. He knew I was right. There was no other way. Not even with the possibilities of the future, I had to leave, in all of them. And soon or we would lose her. Again. Twice we had sent our men to fetch her but she always evaded us at the last moment. What exactly was she trying to do we had no idea. But the future was uncertain, with the Vision dying; we could not control what would come next.

 “Is Sakshi better?”

“No.”

"Ah son, you are never the one to delay or hold things. You have to work on this." I would have. But did I have that much time?

“How much?”

“A month. More or less.” I told him. I had met Shakshi today. She didn't look well to me. And she had predicted her own death. Being a vision was a gut wrenching job.

“Your mother and sister?”

“With Sakshi.”

I could tell from his expressions that he didn't appreciate my bluntness or my straight and pointed words. But was I to blame? I had no time in the world.

The end was approaching and soon. I had limited time left and I was not going to waste them on mundane things. Consoling someone was one of them. So were flowery words or diplomatic answers. My father never liked them either.

Mahendra Raizada, chieftain of Raizada clan was born to rule. His every action spoke volume just like a true king. And he was, in every trait and aspect. He was the one who was keeping all of us, be it commoners or warriors, together as a family. There were other clans and rulers but no one was as shrewd as him or worthy of the throne. He was strong but he had weaknesses like every other human being. His were my mother and my sister, Anjali. He never verbalized but I was one of them. He feared for future and if Anjali and I were part of it. But we weren’t. I wasn’t. I had never been. I knew what my destiny was. Sakshi had hinted at it so many times that I had lost count.

“Take Akash and Nikhil with you.” My father commanded breaking through my chain of thoughts. Sakshi had already seen me with them. It was already decided. And it meant we were on the right path.

Akash and Nikhil acknowledged the silent command with a nod. I curtsied and left the great hall. The council members were unusually silent today. They had not uttered a word or made a sound. Something has happened and I was certain it was related to my father. His emotions were uncontrolled and unguarded. Something was bothering him but I decided to put the question to him later when we were not surrounded by others. I had yet to meet my mother. I had seen her this morning when I had visited Sakshi. Anjali was sitting with my mother then too. This reminded me that I had yet to meet her too.

“Did you meet her?” Akash asked as soon as we were out of the door. I nodded and answered his unspoken question. “Not good.” His answering expressions were exactly like my father, pained. But I could not feel it. I had no right. Compassion was not my cup of tea. I was born to be the scape goat, the one who was soon going to die. But first things first, I had to find that one vision who I was destined to bring to the Great Hall, the one to be our eyes for the future.

“Pack for two days.” I told them but of course Nikhil had to ruin it with one of his marvelous plans.

“No. Let’s make it for five days. Just the three of us brothers, like old times.” He said, excitement overloaded given the circumstances. I was going to set him straight when Akash beat me to it.

“Really?” An outing? And what about Lavanaya?” Akash was boiling with temper. I knew it wasn’t the case with him. Payal was pregnant and he didn’t want to leave her in her condition. Though she was six months along but she was weak, even for a short woman.

“What about her?” Had Lavanaya been here Nikhil would have been a dead man by now.

“You are impossible.” Akash left making this statement and I followed. I did not want to be the one to spell it out to Nikhil. I had better things to do.

 

Residence of Councils

“You are leaving now?” My mother kissed my hair with the complaint. She was teasing me. She was with Sakshi when she had sent the summon to meet me. She knew what had transpired there but she was a mother and it was her right to complain no matter how right or wrong it was.

“Yes mother. But I’ll be back in two days.” I promised her. Her eyes brimmed with tears. She cried whenever I had to leave for a battle even when she knew it was safe for me, when Sakshi would predict that I would come back unharmed. “Where is Anjali?”

“Cooking something for you to take for the journey.” My mother wiped her face. Sunaina Raizada was nothing like this weepy mother till I and Anjali were born. She was strong, wily and beautiful. She still was but the motherly instincts and a batch of years was soaking them out of her. On the top of it, the fear for the future of her children was a constant worry on her nerves. The lines of concern and anxiety were visible on her forehead, at the corner of her mouth and eyes. I wanted to tell her to not to be afraid. I wanted to tell her that I loved her. But I couldn’t. I didn’t know the test destiny had threaded for me and Anjali. I didn’t know if we would pass this test. I didn’t know if Anjali was the other chosen warrior for this test. She had been tested but Sakshi could only see her in the periphery of the sacred-stones and never sitting beside me and it was nagging me since it was explained to me. I didn’t know if I was supposed to tell this to my mother. It was better this way.

“I have to leave now mother. I’ll meet Anjali in the kitchen.” I kissed her cheek and left the room hurriedly. The room was heavy with emotions I didn’t want to feel. I just wanted to leave. I didn’t want to hurt my mother more than I was.

I met Anjali at the kitchen. She had prepared solid and plain food for the three of us but it was better than soft, delicious looking but rotten food. She had packed three small containers for water.

“The food and water are ready.” She said.

“Thank you. You shouldn’t have troubled yourself.” It was one thing that I hated. I had always been proper with Anjali. Since we were recognized as the chosen ones, we were strictly cordial with each other. We hardly met each other every day despite living on the same floor. The test always loomed on our head.

“Do you really think you can catch her?” Anjali whispered regardless the fact that we were alone. “Every warrior in the past had failed.” She stated.

“I don’t know. I’ve never chased a vision before but I will try.” I told her the truth. It was impossible to catch a vision, let alone chase her. “She is going to be difficult. But I have to get her here. It’s the only way.” I was never the one to sit idle. I would try. Again and again till I would catch her. She was going to run but I was ready.

 

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