The following morning, John shook me awake. He held a finger to his lips, and gestured for me to follow him. We crept out of the bedroom and he tapped on several parts of the wall. A door appeared in the floor, and he jumped into it. I followed him down, and he shut the door above us. The room was small and circular, with several pathways leading out of it. “What’s going on?” I asked. “We’re under attack. Somehow, the automations guarding the world of Iropolice were all shut down, and many of them have been destroyed. The city is in flames as we speak, and our attackers are smashing through all our backup defense systems. We have to meet up with the rest of my people and escape while we still can.” I felt around in my belt and pulled out my new pistol. “What are you talking about? I mean, I agree with you guys that violence isn’t great and all, but if someone is attacking you, you should fight back! You guys could easily smash any opposition.” John shook his head, and started towards one of the tunnels. I followed him, and grabbed his arm. “Speak as we run, Mr. Jinx. I told you before that our people do not like war. War is for people like Ms. Swift. She has already lost her soul, and has no love but war itself. We still have ours, and wish to keep it that way. If we were to start fighting, we will step onto a downhill slope that we cannot escape.” We burst into a large room filled with Iropolician people. The Leader was standing in the middle, giving some sort of speech. John and I edged closer so we could hear her. “…therefore, we must decide on our course of action! I ask you now to vote on whether to flee from this fight or attempt to save our homeland!” I choked. “You’ve got to be screwing with me. She wants a vote now? That’s impossible. From what I understand, the city is up in flames as we speak! There isn’t any time, we just have to act!” John shook his head sadly. “This is how our culture is, my friend. This place can hold out long enough for us to finish the casting of the votes.” “What if you chose to save the city? What will you save, a pile of ashes? Screw the voting, you have to choose now! Either you run, or you fight! If you just stand here stuck in an endless loop of voting, you’ll never survive!” Many people turned to stare at me as I ranted. The leader shook her head. “No, this is the most effective way of rule. The people must decide on everything they want to do!” She cried. I scowled, and opened my mouth to argue with her. A loud banging echoed throughout the room, followed by an explosion. “Impossible, there is no way they could have found us already! The exits were hidden!” I cursed. I looked vainly around the room, looking for a way of escape. However, the huge stadium filled with people was just like their shooting range. They were just little targets moving around vainly, unable to save themselves from their fate. “Hey, we can still make it! We just have to get some of your weapons and the opposing side won’t stand a chance! I’m sure you have some hidden away!” I yelled. The Leader glared at me. “You will not be allowed to interrupt us! We will vote now, and then decide on our path of escape!” “All of you who want to live instead of trading your lives away to a stupid notion that long, calculated decision is always better than acting on the moment follow me! We will find weapons and fight back against this menace, and we will live to see tomorrow!” I yelled. “Those of you, who wish to keep our sacred tradition safe and not fall into the foolish notions of outsiders, follow me! We have no reason to lose our souls in a worthless fight! What use is it to live on when you have nothing but killing left to live for?” The Leader shouted back. The people in the room milled about madly, and soon separated roughly into two halves. Half of them crowded around me, and the rest crowded around The Leader. “You are fools to follow an outsider who wishes to corrupt you!” The leader screeched. Oh boy, now it fell to me to somehow fend off an attack from some unknown enemy with only half of the Iropolice people. “Where can we get some weapons?” I asked. A woman from the crowd rushed over to a wall and pressed on it. It opened, and dull light seeped in, along with the stench of ashes and blood. “Follow me!” I hissed, and started up the passage. I reached the exit, and peeked out. When nobody came into sight, I waved for them to follow me. Strangely, the platform I was on wasn’t floating. “Why aren’t we floating?” I asked. “When we were attacked, the Suspenders must have stopped working. I figure the handheld ones still work though.” John said from behind me. I breathed a sigh of relief. I was worried that John wouldn’t follow me, and I would be left with a crowd of utter strangers. “I see. Take us to the nearest weapon cache or wherever we can get armed!” John nodded, and waved for us to follow him. We crept down the now still streets of Iropolice, looking around for any sign of attackers. The buildings around us all burned and smoldered, and it was physically painful to watch the once mighty city burn to the ground. “Whoever is attacking will find us pretty soon. There are too many of us to go unnoticed. Forget caution and just sprint! John, get them all the weapons they need, and don’t trust anybody not from our group. We’ll meet up at that dome, ok?” “Aren’t you coming with us, Commander?” There it was again, that name. I used to find it a mighty title, something to show off. Now it was a lead weight, pressing down on my shoulders with the weight of the lives that depended on me. “I have to find Lilly. My gut says that she’s got something to do with this.” John looked sad, but somehow it seemed like he had expected something along those lines. “I will do as you say.” I pulled my suspender out from its resting place on my belt, and activated it. I shot off towards a burning building, and looked around vainly for any signs of Lilly. I noticed several black cloaked forms shooting across the burning city, and directed my Suspender towards them. I crashed down in front of them painfully, and flipped the switch off. I grimaced. It was a good thing I had managed to land on an earthy area. If it had been any harder, I would have broken my legs. I pulled my gun and aimed at one of the cloaked figures. The figure lifted his arm, and a shimmering shield appeared on it. “Pull back!” He barked, and they sprinted off. I frowned, and put my pistol back into its hiding spot. I shot back into the air, and spun around, looking for signs of Lilly. I heard the sound of a laser bark off to my right, and wobbled around trying to position myself. I bounced and weaved towards it, finally coming into range and dropping painfully to the floor. There was another laser shot, and a black cloaked figure toppled to the ground. Lilly stood above him, breathing heavily. “Lilly! Are you ok?” I called. She spun towards me, prepared to shoot, and I threw my hands into the air. She sighed when she saw it was me. “I’m fine, but these cloaked fighters here were well trained. They nearly killed me, but a building fell on one and the other tried to save him, giving me an opening. I think these are the Unknown Enemies soldiers! What if that means he’s already beaten Pisces Empire? We have to get those blasted troops and get out of here!” She yelled. I nodded. “Hold on to me. I’ll fly you back to the troops I got for us. They should be pretty easy to find.” Without asking what I meant, she wrapped her arms around my shoulders. I pulled the Suspender out, and we shot into the sky. Sure enough, the mob of Iropolician people were milling about near the weapon shop John had taken me to the day before. I flew down next to them, bowling into several people. I yelled a hasty sorry, and ran to find John. He was handing out weapons to the people, and grinned when he saw me. “There are easily enough weapons here for everybody. This place was made to equip an entire military if necessary. Just a precaution that I never thought would be useful, but I guess I was wrong. Everyone has a communication device, at least one weapon, a grenade or two, and there are some armored vehicles in the basement. There are also some scanners being handed out to the people, and I saved one for you.” He tossed me a little mirror shaped device. I tucked it into my belt, and looked around. “Any signs of the enemy yet?” He shook his head. “Not yet. We’re watching though. Oh, there are about twelve thousand people here. I guess you got you military force after all, eh?” I sighed. I got it all right, but definitely not the way I had wanted to. “Get those armored vehicles, and let’s get out of here! If we can get to the Void, we’ll all be safe. Grab all the extra things as well, ok?” John gave me a funny look, but said he would. I paused to catch my thoughts for a moment, and then pulled my scanner out. “Meet me at the place I came here in with everything I told you to get as soon as you can. I’ll be waiting there.” I said, and flew off without waiting for his answer. I easily found the building, considering it was a shining beacon to the world with its silvery coating. After a quick sweep of trying to avoid slamming into burning buildings while occasionally glancing down to check for enemies, I landed heavily in a grassy area next to the building. I closed my eyes, and activated the grid. It flickered to life, and I located the center circle. I walked over next to it, and then sat down to wait.