Rebellion on Aquore, Chapter 4: The Mysterious Masked Rescuer

A man in a dull brown robe stared at the gate of the Pedestal, his hood was pulled down so that it hid his face. He waited until he saw two guards walk past each other behind the gate before he made his move. He marched up to the gate, and grabbed the steel frame of the gate with his iron gauntlet covered right hand, and pulled. The gate ripped free off of its hinges with a loud shriek of tearing metal. The guards turned and gave a shout of startlement and ran at the hooded man.

The man threw the gates to the ground and waited for the guards to grow closer. One of the guards pointed his spear at the man’s chest. “I don’t know who you think you are, but you’re going to spend some time in the dungeons for what you just did to that gate!” The man grabbed the guard’s spear and pulled it to himself, along with the guard. The guard yelped in surprise, but was cut off when an iron gauntlet crashed into the guard’s face.

The other guard shouted out, “We’re under attack! Defend the gate, defend the gate!” He stabbed at the hooded man’s chest with his spear, but the hooded man dodged out of the way and rushed at the guard. The hooded man grabbed the guard by the face, pulled his head close to the guard’s ear and whispered in a low gravely voice, “Your government should do a better job of choosing their guards.” He then slammed the guard into the ground and left him groaning softly.

The hooded man walked up the stairs that led to the front door of the Pedestal, and slammed his right fist, the one covered with the iron gauntlet, into the door. The door exploded inwardly, and showered the guards rushing out to the aid of the one that had called out with splinters and chunks of wood. The hooded man stepped inside of the Pedestal and looked at the statues of the members of parliament.

The guards got over their initial shock and formed a semicircle around the hooded man, their spears all leveled at his chest. One of the guards, with a yellow star on his shoulder growled at the man, “Surrender yourself to us, or we will use force!”

The man in the hood chuckled, and then said in the same low whisper he had with the previous guard, “Yes, I suppose using force is all you Enforcers are good for.” He lifted his arm up and indicated the statues. “You devote yourself to protecting these people, these representatives who claim to act in the interest of the citizens of Aquore, but in reality, you are just bullies abusing the people alongside these frauds.” The man took a step forward and grabbed the haft of the officer’s spear, and snapped it off. “Let’s see how much you enjoy having the same force used on you!”

The officer stepped back, his eyes wide in fear. “Take him down! I want him dead!” The other guards stabbed at the cloaked man’s chest, but their spear points bounced off with a high pitched ting. The masked man shook his head and started lashing out with his fists, the right one covered in an iron gauntlet, the other a bare fist. Guards fell before his blows, the remaining guards lashed out in panic with their spears, a couple actually wounding their allies in their fear. One guard managed to knock the hood off of the man’s head, revealing an iron mask that covered the man’s face and the top of his head like a helmet. The mask looked like the face of a skeleton, and two brown eyes stared out at the guards from silver sockets.

The last guard fell before the masked man’s punches, leaving only the officer, who was cowering and sobbing against the wall in the back of the room. The masked man stalked toward the officer, and the officer cried out, “What do you want? Is it money? I’ll show you where the treasury is!”

The masked figure grabbed the officer by his throat and picked him up. “Money? No, what I want is justice, and and I’m getting it right now!” The masked man shoved the crying man into one of the statues. The statue crumbled under the force of the blow, and the officer screamed in pain. The masked man tossed the bloody officer to the ground, and the officer’s screams cut off as he passed out. “I suppose I should have asked him where the dungeons were. Suppose I’ll just attract some more guards to give me directions.” The masked man lashed out and started destroying the statues filling the room.

“There he is men! Open fire!” The masked man turned and saw the room was filled with more of the Aquore Enforcers, led by a man with two stars on either of his shoulders. Ten guards holding spears stood between the officer and the twenty men with crossbows aimed for the masked man’s chest. The men fired their crossbows, but the bolts all bounced off of the man’s chest with a series of pings. The soldiers stared in shock at the masked man, and the officer took a step forward. “What are you?”

The masked stared back at them with unblinking eyes. “Which way is it to the dungeons?”

The officer stared at him in confusion, and then said, “Men, reload and prepare to fire on my command.” The guards wielding crossbows started cranking the strings back and grabbing replacement bolts.

The masked man shook his head. “You are being less than helpful. I guess I’ll just find it on my own.” He turned, and slammed his right fist through the wall behind him, and charged into a room filled with desks and seats surrounding a raised platform. This was the pedestal which the capital was named after, and was used as a stage for the members of parliament to address their fellow representatives.

The soldiers poured through the hole in the wall after the masked man, and once the officer stepped through, he pointed at the intruder and shouted, “Fire!” Another hail of bolts flew through the air bounced back off of the back of the masked man with a ping. The masked man turned to face the enforcers and growled at them. “This isn’t what I was looking for, get out of my way!” He charged into the midst of the crossbow men and swung his right arm into them, sending some of the crossbowmen flying into the spearmen standing behind them. He charged back through the hole that he had come through, knocking more guards out of his way, narrowly missing the officer who scampered out of his reach.

The masked man pulled his hood back up and ran to his left down the hall. He came to a staircase that led both up and down. The masked man charged down the stairs, assuming that they would lead him to the dungeons, or at least get him closer to them.

The officer brought his men that were still standing out into the hall once more, and watched the masked man run down the stairs. One of the guards ran to follow the masked man, but the officer grabbed him by his shoulder and stopped him. “No, don’t follow him. He was looking for the dungeons, and that’s where those stairs will lead him. If he’s going down, he’s going to have to come back up. Half of you men go down the hall and watch those stairs, the other half of you stand guard on these. When he tries coming back up, we’ll have the high ground and the advantage.” The guards moved to follow his orders.

The masked man paused at the bottom of the stairs and listened for sounds of pursuit, and was surprised when he heard none following him. He frowned, but turned and took in the room he found himself in. It was a stone cavern filled with cages, cells, and torture devices that were illuminated by faintly glowing lights. His hands quivered as he looked at the blood stained floors around the torture devices, some of it fresh. An Enforcer stood over Tyler, who was strapped to a table, his body covered in cuts. The Enforcer held a bloody knife in his hands, and stared at the masked man in confusion. “Who are you, and how did you get down here?”

The masked man stalked closer to the table where Tyler was strapped down. “Do you take pleasure from causing people pain? Do their screams and cries for it to stop cause you to smile? Let’s see how much you smile when you are the one doing the screaming!” The masked man grabbed the Enforcer by his throat and slammed him against the wall. The knife dropped from his hand and his eyes rolled back as he fell unconscious. The masked man growled and tossed the Enforcer to the side. He ripped the restraints holding Tyler off and helped him down from the table.

Tyler coughed and moaned. “Who are you?”

“A friend, the rebellion sent me to free you.”

Tyler looked at the masked man with confusion. “We’ve only just been captured, how did the rebellion know to send aid, and find some so quickly?”

The masked man shook his head. “I don’t have time to explain it all now, but I will explain everything to you eventually. Can you go and free the others from their cells?” Tyler nodded, picked the keys off of the passed out Enforcer, and started unlocking cell doors. The masked man started smashing tables and torture devices around the room. “No more will you shed my people’s blood looking for answers that please you!”

Walter hurried out the cell and whispered to Tyler, “Who’s that?”

Tyler shook his head. “A friend come to rescue us, more than that I do not know.” The key turned in the final lock and the last of the prisoners were freed.

The masked man turned his attention to the cages and cells. He walked up to them, and touched a bar of one of the cells with his left hand. “You have been used to strip my people of their freedom, but no more!” He punched through the bars with his right fist, leaving the metal as a crumpled and bent pile of steel and iron.

Tyler winced as he watched the masked man destroy the cages, and turned to the other rebellion members. “He’s making enough noise to attract all the guards in the Pedestal. While he’s doing, that, let’s escape!” The rebellion members started to make their way to the stairs

“Stop!” The masked man cried out, and the rebellion members turned and looked at him confused. “The guards didn’t follow me down, I think they must be waiting for me up above.”

Kyle threw his hands up. “Oh, this night has been filled with great rescues! First all my rescuers get caught, and now this one gets the guards to set up an ambush for us. We don’t even have cells to be locked up in anymore!”

The masked man moved over to the far wall of the cavern and knocked on it lightly. Tyler shook his head and walked over the masked man. “What are you doing? Shouldn’t we be trying to figure out how we’re going to get all these people out of here?”

The masked man turned and looked at Tyler. “Step back.” Confusion filled Tyler’s face, but he stook a few steps away from the wall. Once the masked man decided that he was at a safe distance away, he punched the wall with his iron fist. The wall crumbled away, revealing a tunnel. “This is how we will escape.”

Tyler and the rest of the prisoners ran over to the wall and looked into the tunnel. One of the members said, “It’s dark.” Another said, “Where does this tunnel even go?” “I’m not going in there, anything could be in there!”

Tyler stared in wonder. “How did you know about this tunnel? Where does it lead?”

The masked man stepped into the tunnel, and a faint light shone from under his robes. “This is an old mine shaft that went too near the dungeons of the Pedestal. The government closed the shaft down and resealed up the hole, but we can follow it out to the surface.” The man pulled his robe back and the lights shown from different parts of his arm, which was completely wrapped in metal. “Follow me and stay close and I’ll get you all to safety, I promise.” The rebellion members all hesitantly stepped into the tunnels and started after the masked retreating figure.

Thank you for checking out my story, if you liked this and want to see more of it, come back on Wednesday when I will publish part two, and check out the other stories I’m working on writing, here: Tales of the Imagination, check out my facebook page to connect with me and give me some feedback: Facebook, and follow me on Twitter here: @EJBorchardt. Please like, comment, and tell your friends if you like what you’ve read.Also, if you enjoy reading my stories, and you enjoy drawing, I’m looking for pictures of my characters. If you want to send me your fan art, I promise to include it with some of my posts! I look forward to seeing that art!

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