Gorgans as they were getting closer to the paper tower saw a line of people appearing from distance Gussar saw them through his binoculars each holding something in their hands a plate of fruits
a lamb or even a baby.
Koy got close to Gussar's war truck as he was riding his bike
"what are they doing? Do they like dying?" Koy asked Gussar.
The sound of engines made Koy spoke loudly.
"no, they are trying to escape from it"
"and we can't let this happen, right boss?" Koy was sure what Gussar would say and started signing his raiders for a merciless massacre.
"what, we can't…" Koy muted when Gussar looked with his dark eyes which carried the weight of the thousands of words it was time for him to listen to his master.
"change of plans raiders no one kills or rapes anyone or anything" Koy ordered his men but all were curious about Gussar's decision though no one dared to question him.
When Gorgans reached near the peaceful people of Paper tower they stopped and didn't lay a finger on them, Gussar wanted to meet them in person.
Gussar walked toward the harmless people, they looked calm and confident perhaps their weird tattoos hidden their fear' He thought.
"who made you do such thing" Gussar asked them strongly.
No one answered for a few seconds then Roosh got close to Gussar as he held a jar of honey and politely with a soft voice answered "I asked them sir, to do what is right" Roosh bowed and offered the jar of honey to Gussar.
"What is your name, old man?" Gussar took the jar and gave it to his men to keep it.
"you know who I am and now what we do to whoever is against us and still you made these people confront me in an open field with no gun and nowhere to hide to offer us what they have"
Roosh stayed quiet.
"that tower, you built it right?" Gussar pointed at the Paper tower
"yes sir, took us so many years but we did it"
"walk me to the top of it" before Gussar enters the tower he continued "take what they are offering except their babies, instead take a thousand of those who can fight and look healthy"
People of both Gorgans and the Paper tower were surprised but in the end, it was a win-win and no one couldn't say otherwise.
"Koy" Gussar shouted
"I'm going in the tower and if I see any of the raiders did anything stupid I would execute them personally" Gussar gave the final warning and kept walking beside Roosh.
Gussar looked dull and hide his fascination with the Paper tower but he admired how Roosh managed to build this place.
As they were getting on top of the tower with an old mechanical elevator Gussar started talking "so what are those tattoos for?"
"I did this so we can't lie about our past so we can have a better future"
"It means you can write and read too" Gussar added
"obviously... can't you, sir"
"no, I had to learn how to kill when your people were shopping in the malls. And there was no school left for us" Gussar bitter words enlightened the sense of empathy in Roosh's mind.
"I'm sorry to hear that"
The sound of chains that were lifting the elevator stopped they were both were on top of the tower.
As far as eyes could see vast fertile lands surrounded the lake and green farms and blossoms on the trees gave it a sign of life a color of living something Gussar wanted to see his whole life, the warmth of peace.
He took a deep breath and said "what you did was wise, old man" and continued "if others thought as you did maybe I wouldn't be as I am now"
"I just did what I thought was right sir" Roosh answered humbly
"come with me" Gussar said "look at them" he pointed at his endless army.
"When I'm finished with both empires these savage animals will have no purpose. They will start killing each other and reaping each other's throats, and then I'll end up as the man who ended the world"
Roosh stayed silent and listened to Gussar "I want a bright future for our sons and daughters somewhere to learn how to read and write, I want instead of being worried about the war they worry about what food is better to eat or what is it better to wear or what university should they go." Gussar never opened up to someone before. The fierce and the mighty looked like a kind and caring man if scars on his face would let it be shown.
"I'll leave our children here with your people and enough manpower to protect you from any harm"
Roosh was surprised "I don't want to disrespect you, sir, but I fear our way of life are very different do you think they'll respect our ways as you do"
"don't worry the soldiers I'll leave behind will be the noblest and honest ones they won't stand in your way of teaching I'll assure you"
"well then I'm honored for your trust but can I ask you one thing?"
Gussar stood on the edge of the tower as the wind was brushing his skin "yes"
"Why do you trusted us of all the people?"
"liars and dishonest people will panic in the face of death they do anything to escape it" Gussar looked at Roosh
"you bowed before it, respected it, and were ready to become part of it"
_ _ _
Far from the paper tower Adam and Annia camped and tried to get some rest after three days of getting as far away as they could from Gorgans army.
Annia was still devastated by the fact that his people and all she worked so hard for and Roosh who saved her from her horrible past are all probably turned to ashes now, she hugged her knees and sobbed.
The warmth of the fire camp might've been able to heat up their bodies but not their hearts.
Adam didn't feel any better as he remembered clearly what happened in Vina and still found it hard to accept that he failed Lilith, he wasn't man enough to protect her. He tried to stay busy with keeping the fire going on and even walked a bit under the shining stars of the Ma'ash desert.
Both of them slept with a heavy heart and not knowing what happened to them and what they cared about the most. That night truly felt like an eternity for Annia and Adam but time passes and doesn't care if you are sad or happy, if you are the victor or the defeated it passes and won't look back.
Annia opened her eyes as she felt the cold wind of dawn of Ma'ash desert on her skin she looked at Adam. He was making sure that bike was ready to take them far away from Gorgans and the high heat of the desert which will soon be a problem.
"let's get going before we are burned to death" Adam said and gave Annia a bottle of water
"hope this will be enough until we find more"
Adam looked like a soulless man as if the cruelty of life finally emptied him of any feelings, Annia, however, looked angrier and was pissed at everything especially Adam for making her leave the Paper tower, she started shouting;
"you did it, I should've stayed with them and die rather than flee with you like a coward" tears poured down her chicks as her face turned red from anger.
"I should've let you die that night you didn't deserve to live"
However harsh those words were Adam stayed quiet and let Annia keep cursing him.
"I've let them down, I betrayed them"
The emotions were overwhelming her and it took her a long time to get calm once again with Adam remaining like a mute, he didn't give her any reason to keep being angry. All Adam cared about was to start moving before sunrise up. No more words trading between the two of them when they got on the rusty bike.
Adam rode fast as a hot wind dried their lips and they were nearly out of the water if the bike doesn’t run out of fuel first but for once it seemed fortune was on their side. In distance they saw a shape, a shape of the building of some sort it was hard to see what it was exactly since the heatwave coming out of the hot desert made their view blurry but whatever it was, it was there and that was enough to continue with some hope.
First Adam and Annia thought it was a massive black rock but they got closer and it seemed more like an abandoned outpost because surely no sane man would live in Ma'ash not even in times of before the final war.
Seemed like they still underestimated what people are capable of in dire times, however. The building was a fort defended with all sorts of artillery and guarded with many brown-skinned people though they didn't shoot their bike so at least there was some chance that they'll be friendly and spare them some water if not bullets of their magazines.
The fort seemed impenetrable and had only one gate as thick as the walls itself and heavy enough that took around five minutes to open it for Adam and Annia.
People unlike the fort itself seemed friendly and as soon as they entered the fort the people of the Ironfort welcomed them with cold water and wet towels so Adam and Annia can clean their faces.
How do they have water in the hottest desert on earth or was there a vile purpose behind these friendly faces and a warm welcome added to the pile of things that Adam and Annia had to worry about but for now they couldn't say no to that clean cold water that their dry mouths craved.