“Brainstorm, Sire! The groundlings are back from the ruins! They bear books!”
With a heavy sigh the large man stood, taking a moment to balance himself, but just a moment. He had long ago learned how to adjust for his oversized skull and the oversized brain it barely contained.
Slowly, he moved toward the oversized, velvet backed chair on its raised pedestal. Despite its wear and tear, it gave him an aura of magnificence. Then, slowly but surely, the groundlings- his subjects- began to trickle in.
It was the usual assortment of offerings: complete editions of William Shakespeare, copies of Dainty Duck #4 and some water soaked books that were impossible even to identify.
Still, some food would be enough encouragement to keep the groundlings looking, “Thank you, minister, put these offerings with the others and give these valiant searchers the usual thanks.”
Suddenly, the chief minister was running in. Running? The old man hadn’t run in years.
“Brainstorm! It’s the Savant! He has completed the restoration!”
His heart beat faster as he exited the ruined courthouse, his castle, and made his way through the ruined city toward the ancient library, the massive edifice run the only man in the world smarter than him, a man who had devoted his life to restoring the lost historical documents of the ancients.
The ancient man sat hunched in his wheelchair, looking over the book laid open on the table in front of him. The book hadn’t even been legible when it was found and he had been working on just this one holy manuscript for months, drying the pages, gently stripping away soot, and repainting the pages to restore what was lost.
The look on his face let Brainstorm know something was terribly, terribly wrong.
“The manuscript is USHER Dossiers #199, friend Brainstorm. It is the latest manuscript we have yet recovered. It is called Dark Future, and gives us the information we finally need to understand the Great War. It was a war between human and mutant. They rounded us up, put us into camps, experimented on us and hunted us down. They started the war. With us.”
Brainstorm looked over the pages, now laminated and sewn into leather bindings to protect them. As he turned the pages and read the ancient language, his expression hardened with every word.
“Minister, are those groundlings still in the courtyard?”
“Y- yes, Sire, they are.”
“Kill them. All of them.”