By Ken M. Williams
Atsin didn’t know what was more exciting, that the revolution had made it to the
capital of Hydros, or that the King planned to come to her territory to make a speech on
the war. King Hydrops the First was probably the most idiotic despot that Hydros had
seen. In his six years as King, he managed to fail to prevent war with two other nations;
he failed to prevent the largest famine Hydros and southern Gelondar had ever seen. It
even hit her home nation, Ginir Atul, “The Atular Bridge” extremely hard. She lost her
uncle to the easily preventable food shortage and her father had been cannibalized by
her uncle’s family. The most angering thing of all was that as the common people
starved, the nobility only gained wealth and food.
Atsin was probably more insulted than anything else when King Hydrops came to
the Lower District of the capital with his wife and son to make a speech on the war. All
King Hydrops cared about was the war, not the starving people around him who fought
for food. She knew his reign had to end. She did wonder, though, what would happen to
the King’s brat, Hydrops the Second. The child was halfway to five years old. She
doubted Lord Nagerons would kill a technically innocent child because his father was
the previous King. When the Watrs first claimed power, they had not wiped out the
Hydros family, but then again, not for lack of trying.
King Hydrops waved at the large, starving crowd surrounding him, trying to
garner their adoration, but was met with only booing. Atsin joined in and threw a piece
of dung lying by her feet.
“These people are starving!” She screamed, “Give them some food, not some
empty smiles and gestures!” The crowd chanted “Food! Food! Food!”
The dung hit one of the guards and all of them readied their weapons. King
Hydrops stood up.
“I do not take orders from peasants such as y-” He looked shocked when he
noticed that Atsin did not look like she was emaciated and impoverished, but rather a
healthy sort of thin, young, and wearing university clothing. Her blue hair was tangled,
but from a long day’s work, not lack of care. He could not mistake the look in her brown
eyes though. It was pure, unadulterated hatred. His expression turned from harsh
authority to sickening false generosity. “Ah, yes, food, now tell me, girl, you look to
come from money. Why are you here, where you might get abducted or raped by the
beastly rebel scum who lurk here?”
“I am not one of your people, I was raised in Ginir Atul, but the Garan of Atul
never called his people scum, and nor would I. The people you call ‘scum’ aren’t lurking
in the shadows. They’re begging for food with the rest of the poor and exploited.
Perhaps if you gave them some, you wouldn’t be threatened by the Purple Wave.”
King Hydrops waved his hand dismissively. “A rebel sympathizer. Arrest her.”
Two guards nodded, no expression seen through their armor. For a race that had
no vital organs except for brains half the size of an Atular’s, they were very protective of
their bodies. The metal was almost like a second skin. They jumped off the King’s
platform and got into the crowd to take her. She ran into the alley to escape, sliding
through the mob around her, them helping block the guards as best as they could. She
ducked into a fork in the road and ran until she reached a dead end. The terror filled her
mind near unbearably. She couldn’t imagine what horrors would happen to her if she
was caught. One of the guards caught her in the dead end; the other had taken the
other road. He sheathed his blade and laughed.
“My comrade is probably dead by now. Good work hun.”
After a moment of confusion, the guard removed his helmet, revealing himself to
be Kirn, her boyfriend. Atsin hugged him and kissed him on the cheek.
“When Tolin said you were on an assignment, he didn’t say you were posing as
one of the King’s guards?”
Kirn shrugged. “I didn’t know either, but I have an assignment. I will help capture
the Prince of Hydros.”
“The prince? That little boy? What use would he be to the Cause?”
“I don’t know! I’m just following orders.”
Atsin glared at him. “You’d best return. Tell your King that I got away.”
Kirn turned away to return, but was interrupted by Atsin yelling, “One more thing!”
She then kissed him on the mouth. “I love you, Kirn, Stay safe.”
Kirn smiled at her. “I will, Atsin. I’m more worried about you.”
Atsin and Kirn went their separate ways. Atsin returned to her home near the
university. It wasn’t much, just a two room shack; one room for her bed, one room to eat
and sit in. She sat in the mutely colored dining room, watching the news and thinking of
the rebellion. She half expected to be raided in just a few hours. She then let the
thoughts escape her. Her mind changed to King Hydrops’s brat, Hydrops the Second.
He reminded her of her cousin, no older than only about ten. Hydrops’s kid was born
five years ago. She remembered it being big news when she arrived in Hydros for
freshman orientation. Not only was the kid the son of the King, but they had discovered
the Watr family pride in him: psychic abilities. They had already tested him positive for
telepathy and telekinesis. They found he had other powers, but refused to release the
information. If Hydrops the First taught his son to rule as he had, then Hydros and
perhaps even Southern Gelondar was doomed to the rule of tyrants, and her and Kirn
and their children would be doomed.
The next morning, Atsin went to work at her division’s HQ. The Purple Wave had
seven divisions. She was a part of the Fifth Division, led by Mueyar Guin, a short
Hydrosian, once an advisor to Gelion Watr, Hydrops the First’s father. His second in
command was Tinit Tinit, or at least that’s what he called himself. He was a tall Atular
from Crimson Atul who came to the capital during the wars with the island of
Pyros. He was a refugee from Serill, a small city in Pyros, which had been taken by
Admiral Guilon Tarkes, who afterward painted its keep with the blood of the men who
died defending it. Both of them were monarchists, supporting the oldest son of the line
of the original Hydrosian ruling family, Kulir Hydros. Atsin didn’t like the idea of Kulir
Hydros ruling Hydros any more than Hydrops Watr. She was a democrat, as were many
from her homeland. Democracy had worked wonderfully in Ginir Atul.
Atsin bowed when she saw her leaders going into work. Mueyar grunted and
then addressed her. “Miss Calar, I want to congratulate you on your performance
yesterday. The proletariat of Hydros are growing more restless and are looking to us as
a symbol of resistance against the Watr family. There was even a riot after your
Atsin smiled. “It’s a shame I wasn’t there with popcorn.”
Mueyar laughed. “That would not have been beneficial to the Cause.”
Atsin’s smile faded. “Now you listen here, I don’t give a flying fuck about your
Cause. Neither the Hydros family nor the Watr family are my king. All I want is justice for
my family, and that’s what I intend to get. Don’t lump me into your ‘Cause’.”
Mueyar stepped back. “O-of course. Sorry to offend.” He and Tinit started to go
about their business when Tinit stopped and turns to Atsin.
“By the way, Atsin, we should have a prisoner moved in in two days. Be a dear
and take guard duty for him.”
Atsin nodded reluctantly. Her place was with the people, not watching political
prisoners. It was probably going to be some minor lord that no one cared about anyway.
That day in the HQ, besides her conversation with her bosses, was a typical HQ day:
sending progress reports to other divisions, making sure that the Purple Wave’s plan
was going on schedule. That day, Lord Nagerons Aseal, formerly High Landsponge of
the Hydrosian Military, was giving a speech on the failures of the King. Atsin would have
liked to see his speech if it weren’t for one detail, the premise that he based his
revolution on. Nagerons Aseal had been the High Landsponge from 2975 Watr to 2994
Watr, serving three kings, King Carel Watr, King Gelion Watr, and King Hydrops Watr.
His observation was that the Watr Kings had grown too weak and complacent and new
blood needed to be introduced.
The night after, Kirn had come home to her. He rang the doorbell at around 7:00
PM and Atsin ran to the door. She kissed her boyfriend and he picked her up. His armor
was cold, but she felt love’s warmth. Kirn was a bit taller than her, had bright red hair
and green eyes, as opposed to her natural blue hair and brown eyes. Her skin was also
a pale blue, while his was just pale. He seemed more confident this time when he came
home. He seemed reinvigorated by whatever he did.
“Atsin, you’re the best girlfriend I’ve ever had. If you’d like, I’d want you as my
Atsin rushed in excitement. “Of course I’ll be your wife!” She kissed him over and
“I’m quitting being a guard for King Hydrops tomorrow. I’m faking my death. I
need to get out of there before he finds out what we did.”
“What did you do?”
Kirn wouldn’t say. Whatever it was, it must have been horrid. It couldn’t have just
been kidnapping the Watr brat. He had told her about that already. Perhaps they
assassinated members of the King’s Council. They could have poisoned the military
food supply. She didn’t care about those people though. They were nothing but cogs in
the machine. They had to dismantle that machine. The next morning when she woke
up, Kirn was gone and she was alone.
She returned to work the next day, to cheering people. No one told her what was
so great that was happening, but she was told to go to their brig, so she did. She
entered the metal room and saw a young boy of about ten years, except he was a
Hydrosian, so probably five years. The boy was chained to a chair and was blindfolded.
She didn’t need to ask to know who that boy was. It was Hydrops Shekal Watr II, King
Hydrops’s son. She went in and closed the door. She heard the boy’s voice in her head.
“Who are you?”
“My name is Atsin Calar. I’m a member of the Purple Wave from Ginir Atul and a
democratic revolutionary,” she thought back.
“How democratic is it to kidnap a child?” his voice replied bitterly.
“It’s not my ideals running the show. I know that because of your family, my
people starve. My uncle and father both died from this family,” her words blurted out,
“Am I responsible for my father’s actions? Or rather inactions?” his words
dripping with hate.
“No, but this is how things will work as long as we need your family out of power.”
“You ‘revolutionaries’ are all the same. Just as murderous as my father.”
“Whatever,” Atsin walked out of the room and stood guard outside, angered, but
defeated. The Wave designed this cell to contain psychics. He wouldn’t do anything in
Near the end of her guard duty for the day, one of her coworkers came to her. He
was a freshman at the university, but she didn’t know his name. He wore a mask and
robe to hide his identity, as many did. He called himself Oldruin. It was quite ironic that a
member of an anti-Watr group would name himself after the first Watr king, but that was
likely his intention. His blank metal mask faced her and he spoke in an electronically
“Atsin, I’m sad to be the bearer of bad news, but Kirn’s dead.”
Atsin laughed. “No he isn’t, silly. He faked his death to escape King Hydrops.”
“No, he didn’t. King Watr found that his son had been snatched and demanded to
his guards if they knew anything. He th-threatened to start killing them until someone
spoke. Kirn tried to try to k-kill the king while he had the ch-chance and Hydrops had
him executed. His body is out in the Square.”
“No! That c-can’t be true!”
“I’m sorry, Atsin. Please don’t go there. You really shouldn’t see it.”
Atsin ignored him and ran out into the square. She saw what remained of her
boyfriend. His body was beaten and broken, bones jutted out at almost every joint. Each
orifice on this body was bleeding. His face was also burnt, but not unrecognizably. That
was the gruesome corpse of her boyfriend, and it made her sick to her stomach. She fell
to her knees, stunned. She looked into her eyes, hoping for some sign of life, when she
saw his eyes were missing. That drove her to tears. She sobbed for what felt like hours
as people began to crowd. One of the townsmen looked down at her.
“Are you his widow?”
She continued, not noticing him.
“Miss, are you his widow?”
She sniffed. “Yes, I am.”
“I’m so sorry. Did you know what he was?”
She knew she had to lie, luckily for her, she would not be suspect as in Hydros,
women tended to be housekeepers, not revolutionaries.
“No. I hadn’t even been informed of his death until I was on my way to the
The passerby seemed stunned at her words. For a split second before, he had
looked like he was trying to get a confession from her.
“You poor thing! Do you need a place to stay?”
“N-no. If you wouldn’t mind, I just want to put my love to rest so I can grieve in
The passerby walked away, leaving Atsin to bury her love on her own. When she
touched his corpse, it felt strange. What she felt was dark magic. Something dark had
interfered. As quickly as the darkness had been felt, it disappeared. She shrugged off
the foreboding feeling and buried her love in the Atular graveyard on Hydros. She knew
there would be no funeral for him, as he was a traitor to Hydros.
She returned to her home on the other side of the capital and her eldest son
greeted him. She had named him Aren, named after her father. She loved her child, and
feared for him. Now that Kirn was dead, Aren and his sister Cuin could be targeted by
the Hydrosians if the King wanted to make an example.
In the next year, the revolution had grown more unstable. King Watr grew
desperate to find his son. He grew more rash to try to find him and innocent civilians
were often attacked by Hydrosian troops. She was terrified that a Hydrosian raid would
come upon her house, so much so that she created cellars to escape through. She
hoped to whatever god existed that it would not come to that.
Atsin’s role in the Purple Wave had been curtailed from the field since Kirn’s
death. As a Ginir Atular, she was not welcome in the Nation of Hydros. Her kind wasn’t
as hated was Red or Blue Atular, but nonetheless, were held in great disdain, despite
both groups holding the same religion and even in some cases having shared
ancestors. Atsin herself had the blue tint of Hydrosian descent.
She was put in charge of Hydrops the Second’s cell. She didn’t understand why,
but she was told to guard the boy psychic. He barely spoke in the cell. When he did, all
he did was ask for a book. She normally tried to oblige him. She found a number of
interesting books in Mueyar’s library. One day he had asked for a specific book. He
knocked on the door from behind and Atsin turned around.
“Miss? Do you have a copy of the Book of Dobrahadra here?”
Atsin shrugged. She had heard of the legendary book, but never seen a copy of
it. It was said to chronicle the history of the dark goddess feared by the Hydrosians,
Dobrahadra, imprisoned for over a million years. She nodded to the boy and went to get
the book for him. Mueyar had it on a desk in his library. It was open, on a chapter called
“Dobra’s Revelation”. Atsin didn’t dare read it, for the book made her uncomfortable.
She brought it back to Hydrops, where he hid it in a hole in the tiles that only the two of
them knew about. An hour later, Mueyar and Tinit Tinit came to take Hydrops to a
secret room: a torture room. It pained Atsin to see a boy taken there, but there was
nothing she could do. It was this or let Hydrops the First destroy the world.
Her third year anniversary at work was a nightmare, just over fourteen months
after Kirn’s death. Hydrops II had been in their custody for over a year. The boy had
grown to hate them. Atsin came to cell that day entered through the cold metal doors
and looked at the “dangerous, murdering psychic”. It was nothing more than a boy,
beaten, tortured, angry, and afraid. She got on her knees, making perfect eye contact
“What happened to you?”
He looked up, afraid. “The lightning chair, in the other room, needles, needles, go
in me, can’t think! Can’t think! Burning! Fuzzy! Don’t let me die!”
Atsin looked at him in pity. She had never seen a Hydrosian so broken. She
kneeled down. “It’ll be okay. I’m not going to hurt you.”
The boy lashed out with a psychic blast, throwing Atsin back. “NO! NO! NOT US!
SOMEONE ELSE! MY FATHER! HE ABANDONED ME! NOOOOOOOO!”
The boy ran to the corner, panicked and distraught. Atsin didn’t know what to do,
so she left the room and shut the door. She left the headquarters completely and
returned to her home. She sighed as she entered her home, and told the babysitter to
go home. After all this time holding the Watr child a prisoner, she couldn’t help but feel
guilt and horror at his state. If Kirn had only known what would have become of him,
perhaps Kirn would have quit.
Atsin could not escape her despair. She sighed as she got a rope from her closet
and tied a noose. She sniffled tears as she stood on a chair to jump. It took her a
second, but she did jump. The knot came loose and she fell to the ground with a smack.
Her children woke up, but she did not notice. What she did notice what the blood spilling
from her nose. On impact, it made a print in the floor, words. “You are not free yet.” It
scared her to see. Whatever dark magic was preying on her, it loved watching her
suffer. Either that, or she was going insane. Either way, she knew what she needed to
do. She needed to save the boy. Maybe then she could die with her conscience intact.
The next day, she walked to the Sea Citadel. It was a tall, metal-crafted tower,
five towers actually, four small towers on each corner and a central tower. It had
weapon emplacements all throughout the towers. It was a frightening sight to behold,
but she had to go in. She had to tell the King what she knew.
She knocked on the great doors of the Citadel. They opened and a guard came
out. “No one may enter the Citadel without the leave of the King,” he bellowed.
“Sir, I must see the King, I have important information on the Purple Wave, and
the whereabouts of his son.”
The guard looked uncertain, as if he suspected her intentions, but he let her
pass, not risking that she might actually have information. She found King Hydrops with
another Atular. His black robe and onyx crown led her to believe it was Orinar Glarigas,
the lord of the Black Atular. They had been at war with the Pyrosians longer than the
Hydrosians. She could only catch the last bit of conversation they had.
“King Watr, as practical as an alliance between our nations would be against the
Pyrosians, I will not force my military to work with the creature you have allowed to act
as High Landsponge. He is a monster and a sadist. It surprises me that a house of your
dignification would even consider him to be an admiral, less so a High Landsponge.”
She knew who he spoke of. Admiral Guilon was one of the Hydrosian figures that
the Purple Wave loved using against the monarchy. He was a sadistic Hydrosian who
spent most of his time torturing POWs. When he wasn’t, he was making offensives that
ended in him and his soldiers massacring anyone they could and displaying the
Atsin kneeled as soon as attention turned to her. Lord Orinar bid the King
farewell and left. The King eyes Atsin in suspicion. “Who are you?” he asked
“My name is Atsin Calar of Ginir Atul. I am a member of the Purple Wave,
specifically a member of the branch that holds your son, and I will help you get him
The King scoffed, “I can torture you and get his location, then free him myself.”
She nodded. “If you can prevent them from killing your son first. I have a plan.
But first, leak out that an informant told you that the Wave is torturing your son, because
they are, and that will cause the people to be disgusted.”
He suddenly seemed to recognize her. “You are the girl from the speech the year
“Yes, I am!” she exclaimed, a bit too proud, “And I can get your son back. In two
weeks, send your men to attack Tikinis Base, it is where my division is based. I will
sabotage it for you.”
He raised his eyebrow in suspicion. “Why are you doing this?”
She replied solemnly, “Because no living thing deserves what they are doing to
King Hydrops did as Atsin requested. He told the world that his son was being
held by the Purple Wave and being tortured by an electric chair. The effects of an
electric chair were horrifying. It interfered with the electrical processes from their brains
that kept them together. The body would become just a puddle until the brain recovered,
but the pain would not subside for hours. Apparently Lord Nagerons knew the horrible
effects, because the next day he surrendered. He had condoned the imprisonment of
the prince, but he would not abide the torture of children. The Purple Wave was
finished, except for Division Five. Mueyar and Tinit continued their operation and
tortured the boy more, threatening to kill him if the King came. After the two weeks, King
Hydrops’s troops came and laid siege. When Atsin heard the first shots, she raced
towards the prince’s cell. She opened it, seeing the boy strapped to the chair, a trap set
beside it to kill on Mueyar’s command. Atsin cut loose the straps and pulled him out of
the chair. “Go!” She near yelled, “Your father’s troops are outside. They’ll bring you to
safety.” She led him to the hallway to the exit. The boy smiled at her, a loving smile.
“Thank you, what’s your name? I will honor you greatly.”
She smiled sadly, expecting to be executed or imprisoned rather than honored, “Atsin
Calar.” The boy nodded and went down the hallway. She waved happily, until Mueyar
came behind her, swinging a hooked blade which pierced her stomach. “You ruined
everything you bitch!” he screamed. Hydrops screamed as he saw her struck to the
ground. Through her pain, Atsin smiled. She pulled up her shirt, a red light flashing
through her stomach. It was the control to the reactor. She spoke softly to Mueyar as
Hydrops the Second ran away. “I told you I didn’t give a flying fuck about your cause.
The prince is free, and the Purple Wave is dead, including you and-” The explosion
drowned out the rest of her speech.
The fire consumed her and she was free.
Copyright 2014 Ken M. Williams. All rights reserved.