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Impact (formerly known as Astoria), OR

May 8th, 2073

Silence was key in this place. After the world had fallen everything had gotten so much quieter, at least around here. Of course this place had been ground zero when it had all happened according to the legends. The place had laughingly been renamed after the near-devastation that it had somehow missed. To be honest the most devastation that had come had happened to the residents. The buildings had been left largely intact and the landscape, while tainted for at least a couple of generations, had eventually grown back.

He’d heard tell of the legends that had passed through this place more than once. He’d even learned that the last of them had supposedly perished just across the river, in the one place that no one was said to able, or perhaps allowed, to ever go. Origin, the place where the Darkfall had come from supposedly, was off limits to everyone it seemed, courtesy of a mysterious caretaker that had taken over the place some time ago. He didn’t know the caretaker’s full legend, but he knew that any way into Origin was pretty well blocked or impassable at this time according to rumor and legend.

There were a couple of ways to access the place by land, as the peninsula that jutted out from the mainland just across the river was still connected to the land mass that sat just to the east of it. But as far as he’d been told no one had set foot on that hallowed place that hadn’t been tossed to the dreaded Durgess that lived in the river, or to the mercies of the wide-open Pacific beyond the western edge of Origin. None had come back with an honest story of what had happened, but all agreed upon one thing: the caretaker was not a person to be trifled with.

A gentle breeze caressed the back of his neck as he sat upon the wild grasses that dotted the banks here and there, overlooking the river and giving him a good view of the broken remnants of what had once, according to legends, been a mighty bridge that had spanned the whole length of the river. The water that lapped against the broken stone spars that remained occasionally showed just a small part of one of the river guardians, the great fish that would not hesitate to end the life of anyone that dared to enter their territory.

The Durgess, large, heavily-scaled denizens that ruled the river for miles upon miles, were not his problem at the moment though. He had a plan as to how to get around them. It was the idea of what he might do, or what he might say once he was across the river. It was the thought of how he would tell the caretaker that he was his son.

(to be continued)

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