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The Desert, Part XX

The Desert, Part XX

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part XX
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Published by: Devin Thunderbird Michelson on Mar 26, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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03/26/2012

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It was the last real city. It was built around a lush patch of greenery thatthrived due to a deep deposit of groundwater. This is Sweetwater. Circling theentire city is a wall built of stone that extends to an impossible height abovethe wastes. Atop the wall are guards and they circle around all day and rotateconstantly with their comrades to assure no one enters who is no desirable.Most commonly trespasser’s fate is to be stabbed and gutted and left forpredators on the road leading to the city. Their heads are placed on the wall tolook down at those who may think to do like them.East past the city was an expanse known to Sweetwater locals as theEastern Tract. Those who live west of the city have no name for it becausethey have never seen it. Beyond the Tract is the Wall. And beyond that is saidto be a place known only to the God of the East and no one may go their savethose He has chosen. They pulled the traveler out of the cart and led him by his bonds to thefront gate. The preacher took point and they approached the guards cordially. They exchanged greetings and the guards eyed the traveler with a noticeabledisgust.Who’s this? said one.One of your pets? asked the other. The preacher smiled. In a way, he said. This is our newest initiate. We’vecome to see that he sees the light. You aiming to make a mess in the square again? The first guard curledhis lip.Not if I can help it. He’s survived this long. Clearly he’s resourceful. It’sbeen my experience that resourcefulness is often paired with wisdom. And thewise thing to do would be to accept what we offer. Isn’t that right, boy? The traveler was silent.Well resourceful or not, you know the rules, said the other guard. He’s tobe kept locked up til the time’s right and done away with if he gets to uppity. That clear?Of course.Enter then. Yeah. Don’t make trouble. They crossed the threshold into the city. The traveler was in awe as helooked and left and right there were all manner of buildings not made from

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