It wasn't always like this, a deplorable world of ash and stench, the very world I was born in. There used to be simpler times, days gone by where I would smile everyday, if I could. Times where I would confess my love to a cute little girl back in elementary school, times where I would laugh with my friends as we hung out at the local café, or even times where I would have a bad day and hope for a better tomorrow. Those were the times that I truly missed, but then they were taken away, by Them, all before my very eyes, and nothing was ever the same again.

The life I had once known was torn apart, leaves were stripped off trees faster than they could replace them, skies that were once a vivid azure were smothered by an unrelenting sweep of smoke and dust. Dust. Oh, how that world makes simmer. Then the water became drunk with waste beyond your wildest miseries, and in the end my sweet little world became a sour little hell, I the blink of an eye, my life had begun anew. This time however, my dreams would keep on melting away, melting away from within my grasp, on the tragic canvas that had become my reality.

So, where do I begin? Well, maybe I should tell you what happened not so long ago, right after a nice, old discovery that otherwise wouldn't have made much of a difference to any other survivor, but to me, it was the sign of hope I had always been looking for, I only hoped that would last long enough on this pestilent planet for my faith on change to finally flourish.

As usual, the day was as misty and acrid as it had ever been as I was walking along some of the shadowy ruins, it was an enormous heap of metal and stone that my people had abandoned years ago, the site of a deadly crime against the benevolent forces of Mother Nature. Though it was normally hard to recall the exact location of that eerie venue, I did know that I was somewhere around Kepple, the once-great fountain of the Arts and Sciences, home to memories of humanity during the wars that they so blindly followed. In a world where the people would rather forget their actions than learn from them, it honestly wouldn't have surprised me if that place was the first out of many to be decimated during the Omnus Invasion. Anyway, it I was just jumping from hill to hill of orphaned wreckage, when all of a sudden, a narrow red beam of light shot me in the eye. The blast had happened so fast, I almost didn't know exactly what had happened. But then I cried out in pain, thinking about the incision it bore on me, then the world around me faded into a soft darkness.

Luckily, the sound I made had caught the attention of a nearby guide, my guide actually, the one I was supposed to stay next when we decided to explore that godforsaken rubble. His name was Kuzey, and he was a tall, decent man with tan skin and a black, burly mustache perched just above his lips, he was covered in what could be mistaken as weather protection gear, and it was for the time of forecast we didn't even experience anymore! Nevertheless, he came, after following all that loud disturbance I was making in the murky air around us. He must've found my collapsed body on the ground, lying near some shiny, ruby object, because that's was I heard when I eventually came to in a rugged medical tent put up just around the corner from where I had been earlier.

I was lying down on some sort of dusty, stitched-up mattress which was, itself, sitting atop a rusty, old bed frame of what looked to me like iron wiring. It was something that you would normally find in some emergency ward or clinic, or at least an abandoned one, considering the state it was last left in. To my left was a wooden drawer, and above it, sitting directly level with my head and eyesight, was an ornate, golden, ring-like device that I had never even seen before. It was embedded in the center with some large, crimson gemstone, finely cut to fit with the rest of the object.

Then a thought struck me, kind of like what the tiny laser blast had done earlier. I sat up straight and started to feel my face for the damage that was done, but was stopped abruptly by a hand gesture on part by Kuzey.

"There was no blood on your face," he spoke calmly to me, "nor was there even a pool of it from where you were laying."

This news actually astounded me, I was so sure that something would spill out from the marking that it made on my retina, but according to the only other person at the site, that was all it did. I quickly stared at the glimmering Item which Kuzey had placed right beside my emergency bed. It glared back at me with a hypnotic sheen, the ambient light rays from the room dancing all over its surprisingly pristine edges.

I looked back at Kuzey, my mind swirling around his previous statement. "What happened to me?" I managed to say.

"Isn't it obvious," he said, humorlessly, "You were shot in the eye by something, I just don't know what."

I looked down at the bed sheets covering my abdomen, slightly unsatisfied with his answer. It seemed clear enough to me, though, that the laser blast must've come from the item, now sitting a short distance from where I was, just like back at the ruins, according to Kuzey.

"But", he continued, interrupting my thoughts, "the good thing is that you're still alive and that we've found a fairly useful object at the ruined site."

Kuzey turned his attention towards the device resting serenely on the wooden drawer, "And my what a precious looking thing it is," he said in awe, "I mean, just think about for at least a minute what it might be capable of."

Hopefully something that doesn't wound me anymore, I thought to myself.

Both of our minds were interrupted by a spontaneous, loud honk emanating from an approaching vehicle. My best guess was that it was a four-wheeled truck layered with a damp canopy and large enough to fit a total of eight people in the back. If I was correct, then it looked like my ride had come earlier than I had anticipated.

The big vehicle sped up to the opening in front of us and stopped with a hiss. I wasted no time in speeding out of the bed and gathering my stuff. Kuzey was wondering what was going on, he didn't say anything, I just could tell from the expression stuck on his face. Once all of my gear was in place, I quickly reached for the special device, but after laying only two fingers on its gleaming surface, I heard a sudden click and the next moment was feeling the cold barrel of a pistol pressed against my back.

I looked behind at him, partly in confusion, partly in frustration. "You can leave with your belongings," he said darkly, "but I'm afraid the device stays with me."

Wasting no time with his stunt, I gave out a whistle and immediately a gun outside fired into the atmosphere. The shot caught Kuzey off-guard for a barely minute, giving me plenty of time to knock the gun out of his hand and hit him in several of his vulnerable areas. In just seconds, the man that used to be my guide collapsed to ground in mere seconds, finally allowing me the opportunity to collect the device and my stuff and run out to the truck.

Hopping on quickly, I yelled to the driver and he sped us off without question. The tent and ruins slipped past me like the breeze, and I stared at the device in my hands. I didn't know its true capabilities, but I knew, I somehow knew, that the device was my key to the change I'd been yearning for all these years. Maybe it wouldn't happen now, or tomorrow, or even the day after that, but it still would happen and I hoped and prayed that I myself would be present to see such an outcome. In case you were wondering earlier, who exactly I might be, my name is Liam Roast, and soon enough, I'll be melting away with the past, alongside everyone else.

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