"Excuse me?" I repeated.
"Gin Zolcs, you have just been banished from Ao," he repeated. I looked to Mr. Anderson who was treating Jacke, but all I got from him was a disappointed look of defeat.
"If I must repeat myself one more time, I will call the guards in."
I looked down at the ground, devastated. What had happened? Did I just get banished from the city? Of... of course. After all, I had just almost killed Vice Admiral Jacke. But that wasn't my fault, was it? They can't do this to me.
"Gin..." Mr. Anderson put his hand on my shoulders. "I'm sorry." I sensed sincerity from his voice, and I looked at him with tears in my eyes. Lionhearts... all I ever wanted to be was a Lionheart. And yet, the leader of them had just banished me.
Mr. Anderson's grip became firm, and I turned around. What am I going to say to Thomas? My father? My mind was in a state of distress. Of course, anyone would be like this if they were banished. But it all happened so fast...
Mr. Anderson led me towards the gate, and with each step I took down the stairs, I felt my heart sinking deeper and deeper.
Outside, there was a black limo parked. Mr. Anderson slid the door open for me and handed me a package.
"Gin, the wastelands are dangerous. Be prepared for the worst." I looked at him soulless.
"Do I get to go home first?" I asked, fingers crossed.
Mr. Anderson sighed. "I'm afriad not, Gin." My heart felt like it got shot at. "So this is farewell." He stuck out a hand which I shook weakly.
I looked at him one last time. "Tell Thomas I'm sorry. And my father that I love him." Mr. Anderson nodded at me and walked away. I read all about banishments in every library. There was nothing to do. I might as well save my energy for when I enter the banishments. Just like that. No afterthoughts, I accept it. I looked up at the impending night, the beautiful skies on Elysium, overlooking Ao. I thought about all the memories I had made here, and realized how fast things can change. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and shut the door. I only noticed then the windows were tinted black and I couldn't see the outside world anymore.
The driver drove without saying a word. There was a wall that blocked the driver and the passenger compartment. Everything was black inside, with dim lighting. There was barely anything else apart from a digital clock that was projected at the front. I felt like a prisoner being detained. You couldn't roll down the windows, either. It was exactly like a prison cell. The wastelands, eh? It can't be that bad, right?
I looked at my hands and willed my power to materialize. It didn't, and I shook my head, closing my eyes.
I knew my future wasn't going to be the same after today, but it didn't go exactly as I planned.
Everything was going to change from today.
The limo stopped a couple of hours later. Though, it felt like eternity since we'd left. I tapped on the package Mr. Anderson had given me. I didn't want to open it yet. I didn't have the heart to. It was 1:00 AM. Strangely, I wasn't sleepy at all. The doors slowly slid open, and I stepped out onto the mossy cobble. It was the edge of the city. In front of me stood the gateway to the wastelands.
"Prisoner 2034, proceed," a static voice came from the tower built into the gates. I walked towards it, sensing the deadly aura coming from the other side. I hadn't ever read about the wasteland gateways in the books. They were never mentioned. But I knew what was behind those doors were the deadliest criminals that have ever lived. Yet, I'm not a criminal.
I gulped, and looked at my future behind the door, prepared for the worst.
A few men dressed in heavy black armor came forward and grabbed me by my arms. I looked around me, to see the city miles away, on the horizon, its light still shining brightly in the midst of dawn. The smell of the air was different already. It smelled like corruption, death, and all the horrible things that existed. They pulled me forward by force and they walked me towards the mile high steel doors. You couldn't even see the top of the walls that seperated the wastelands and the city. It was just a massive chunk of steel. It was the world's best prison. Nobody had ever escaped from there, not that we knew of, anyways. Not even the best.
I felt the ground shake, as the guards took me right next to the gates. . The gate itself was two thick chunks of steel perpendicular to the already thick wall, which stuck out for a hundred meters or so. I felt the ground continue to rumble, as if a miniature earthquake, And the light of dawn shone through to the other side. This was the mile high gate.
The gates only opened a meter wide, but it was enough for one person to fit through. The guards pushed me forward, and their expressions almost looked like they pitied me. Assholes. They lived their careers pushing sixteen year old through these gates of hell. Yet they pitied me? What the hell. I was furious, and I didn't dare look back at the city I love. The people I love. Just throwing them away and living the rest of my life on the other side of the gate. I clamped my hands together to stop them from shaking. With one steel conviction, I braced myself for whatever was over there.
I stepped through.
The doors behind me closed, and I was inside the gate, the only light being the light of dawn shining in from above. I walked for a few miutes through that meter wide slit. I've always wondered why the stronger metal manipulators on the other side couldn't have just bent the doors, not even a little. Now I see why. And I knew that this wasn't any regular metal. It was metal forged by Fusion, a service company who have some of the best earth based manipulators/creators. I knew this since I caught sight of its logo at the bottom of the control tower outside. The thing that's worse is, the head of Fusion is a Lionheart. Lionhearts. The word tasted bitter in my mouth. Never meet your heroes, they said. I punched the steel, despite knowing it futile, and kept on walking.
After a while, the light above disappeared. My legs were getting sore already. It'd been maybe I felt like I was in a tunnel now. Sure enough, after a while the roof came down and I was walking in a square shaped tube straight to the wastelands. I heard the gates shut behind me, the ground rumbling, and I hear something in front of me moving as well. A double gate. That's how they prevent anybody from escaping during the walk. Simple yet effective.
Finally, I saw light from in front of me. I felt malevolent power surging from in front of me. It was repelling. Was this the power of the banished?
I trekked on, and I finally came into the open.
What I saw was an absolute surprise.
When you say wastelands, you think of waste, debris, gray skies, death. You don't expect to see a land of grass, flowers, forests, with mountains and beautiful waterfalls.
That was what I was seeing now. Had the evil I sensed earlier been a malfunctino of my senses again? I breathed in, and nature washed through my nose. I was relaxed by it. The sun was rising too, although you couldn't see the sun from inside. I took a step forward. If I had to make do here for the rest of my life, it wouldn't actually be so bad.
"Well, well," a familiar voice formed above me. I froze in horror. "If it isn't my old buddy Gin."
I turned around, and he landed in front of me, ice forming under his feet.
"What are you doing here," I asked with distaste. "Dent?"