Chapter 27"Entanglement"

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The Neman's

The stories of what happened during the years of the second Dark Age are many, and most are almost certainly embellishments or even outright falsehoods. With the tale of the giant spider that destroyed the city of Detroit and the supposed video evidence being a prime example of tall tales, it must be clarified that the Nemans are a different story. Everywhere on the North American Continent, where some form of civilization endured, there are tales of the Nemans. Were they gods? Were they a band of inter-dimensional heroes? Or were they something else altogether? At this point, there is no way to be certain. But as the years pass and more of the old world is reclaimed, we may one day have the answers.

- University of New Lazlo Database (Updated 100 PA)

Time and space are unraveling around me and the threads of reality fray at their ends... I wish to see no more; please show me no more. Why must I continue to watch?

- The Collected Prophecies of Tamara Walker

1

University of New Lazlo

May 4, 100 PA (1 Year Ago)

"... and that is what I mean when I say the Golden Age was far from perfect. Great things were done, yes, but we can't forget that for every miracle cure and great leap there was a corresponding act of stupidity," Doctor Randal Cooper said from the front of the lecture hall.

A hand shot up in the back of the room and Randal nodded.

"Sir," said the speaker, a young human male, "how can we know that? It's been so long and so many of the records have been lost, it's all devolved into myth and lore. I mean take the Nemans..."

"The Nemans," Randal laughed darkly, cutting the young man off in mid-sentence. "Yes, the great and powerful Nemans. Let me tell you about those heroes of myth and legend." There was unmistakable contempt in Doctor Cooper's voice. "They weren't demigods. They weren't selfless knights sent to save the human race. And they weren't figures worthy of the pedestals your parents and their parents put them on for more than three centuries. They were ordinary men and women trying to do an impossible job under unbelievable circumstances. Some of them achieved great things to approach the heroic levels attributed to them, whiles the others..." Randal hesitated and a dark look came over his face. "Well, at its core humankind has the potential for infinite grace and infinite depravity."

The bell rang, signaling the end of the period and breaking the dark tenor of the room.

"Alright," Randal said, a smile pushing the cloud from his handsome face. "I'll see you all next week and remember to come ready to dig. We'll be heading to the ruins of Eastern Michigan University."

It was the last period of the day and as the students filed out, Randal started packing up his bag. Once the last of the young faces had exited the room, and the door was closed, he spoke.

"You can show yourself now," he said, not looking up. "I've known you were in here the whole time."

"Very well," Hasani replied, materializing from the shadows. "It has been too long, Tammy Sanford."

"You ask me, it hasn't been long enough," Tammy replied, shifting from her male aspect to her original form. "What do you want, Hasani?"

Instead of answering, Hasani strode around the classroom, inspecting the artifacts on display and nodding. A perfectly intact, and still filled bottle of Coca-Cola encased in clear resin sat on a niche shelf. On the walls were images salvaged from libraries, schools, and homes across the Midwest. And holding a place of pride was the faded pictures of two young girls seated in the front car of a roller coaster. The looks of joy and invigorating terror on their faces caused Hasani to smile.

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