Master Token followed Lord Ican up the steps and through the portal, bright light eminated from within the following room. A spectrum of colour kept bouncing of the circular corridor that they were walking down.
It went on for a minute or so until they reached a large cast iron door. Two guards silently on watch, they opened the doors for Lord Ican and they both entered the Emperors Chamber.
This room was decorated in gold and jade, the epitome of richness here on Eden. Tokens eyes widened in both disgust and impressiveness. Jade statues of cats lined the walls and the ceiling fluttered from blood red rubies.
Around the room were lots of furniture from desks to chairs. On the throne sat the emperor.
Lord Ican bowed swiftly to the Emperor and spoke.
“I have brought Master Token as requested your eminence” he bowed again to which Token thought was ridiculous. Imagine grovelling to another human being, the notion irritated Token.
The Emperor looked at the servant and nodded slowly then looked to Token, he eyed him with interest before he spoke.
“Master Token, I believe you are an intelligent man.” The Emperor paused and glared at Token.
“So why do I hear whispers of certain…crime elements in your domicile?” Token looked taken aback.
“I do not know what…” token started but the emperors hand was raised motioning silence, Token stopped and eyed the emperor with suspicion.
“Never mind. However it is of no importance, perhaps i can overlook certain things.” The emperor looked at him menacingly “I have need of you”.
Lord Ican looked at Token with disgust, how could the emperor need this lowly citizen.
The emperor noticed this and turned to the Lord
“Leave us Ican, I must talk with him and I fear that your presence will not allow free and open discussion” the emperor waved his hand and Lord Ican bowed low and left the room. A noticeable trace of annoyance in his footsteps. The Emperor chuckled.
Token watched him leave the room and smirked a little, he knew that had hurt the arrogant lord. For here he was a lowly citizen talking to the great emperor freely.
The Emperor caught the smirk but ignored it before continuing.
“May i offer you some refreshment Master Token?” The emperor suddenly had a pitcher of wine and two glasses.
Token shook his head to decline the offer.
The emperor laughed aloud.
“You do know I could have you in the jails for declining such an offer” he slapped his hand hard on the throne. He stood up and walked up to Token, he was a tall man and Token felt a little intimidated as he strode forward.
“I am in need of someone like you Master Token” he started slowly, Token remained silent.
“But please, let us sit and talk, I need to find the measure of a man that i have need of. You need to prove worthy of the task.”
The emperor waved his hand towards a table and two chairs. In the middle of the table sat a diamond game board. It was in the shape of a diamond with 12 markers on each side of the table, one set black and the other white. Token groaned, a childish game he thought, how he disliked this game called Danaan.
They both sat down and the emperor proceeded to place some markers on the board seemingly setting up the game to play.
“I do love this game!” The emperor lifted his hands and clapped lightly.
“I do not play such games anymore Emperor, I used to with my childhood friends”
” this gives me a good advantage then! You go first Master Token”
Token noticed something about the Emperor in that moment, he looked withered and old but his eyes when he smiled, he looked very young.
“Young at heart Master Token” the emperor caught his thoughts “I shall let you go first”.
Token shivered with uneasiness, nothing worse than someone knowing your thoughts.
Very well he thought, I’ll play this game and with that he moved a white marker at the top end of the diamond board And moved it to the fifth middle square.
“Master Token you must be rusty, that is indeed a dangerous first move” tutted the emperor.
“What say you of our scientific endeavours? Do you think we have achieved greatness?” The emperor moved two black markers from left and right of his side of the board and surrounded tokens marker. Tokens checker was lifted off the board and fell with a thud in a box to the side.
“I believe we have not achieved everything. Not only that our planet is dying. I doubt we will see much more than we have created”
He moved a white marker from the front two spaces absentmindedly. He didnt care for this game at all.
The emperor sighed.
He moved his marker to meet tokens but did nothing more. The emperor looked heaven ward and put his hands together.
“Yes it is sad that this world will cease to exist. Sooner than you think”.was the emperor welling up? Did token notice a small tear?
“Let me ask you Master Token.”
Token moved his other marker to the side of the Emperors black marker. He took the Emperors marker and it went into his box with a thud.
“Yes?” He was intrigued by this powerful man.
“I need to know that I can trust you. I want us to be honest, if we are not then you shall be out of my service” he looked at tokens face and analysed the expression.
“Would you kill one person for our species to survive?”
“Depends on whether I liked the person or not”
The emperor laughed loudly at the answer seemingly the joke brightened his sombre tone.
“But seriously emperor I am a pacifist at heart. I do not like war, it has taken the lives of many I know and recently my best friend”.
The emperor moved his marker from the middle of the remaining group and advanced it two squares ahead.
“The General.” The emperor sadly shook his head but to tokens dismay the emperor smirked, why? Tokens blood began to boil again.
“His name was Gjada Pascall!” Master Token grimaced angrily, his anger subsiding as he realised this was the Emperor. He needed to be careful.
He breathed in deeply and moved one of his markers to the side away from the Emperors.
“Of course, my apologies. However, things are not always as they seem” he chuckled and Token could feel his anger rising. The emperor moved two more of his markers on the left and sat in front of tokens.
He took tokens checker and put it in the box reverently.
“I confess I too hate war” the emperors eyebrows furrowed and squinted “I especially hate war were it is not even our fight.”
Master token moved a marker to the right of the board. He was shocked that the emperor uttered these words.
The emperor looked up and down at the board and moved his left marker to the side away from tokens.
“It is a pointless war. I never thought there would be a war over water” the emperor mused.
Token moved two markers towards the Emperors and won his prize.
“Yes, I understand it is not just the water. Its dominance and the fact that no rainfall has happened for months. Not here in Eden and certainly not in the sandy lands of Lehl.” Token sighed as the emperor took his marker.
“Ah the lands of Lehl, very proud people” the emperor remarked as token made his move.
“Very dangerous”. The emperor moved a marker to the middle of the board.
“I have heard the stories your eminence, I’ve heard of the sacrifices of children and the barbaric actions against enemies”
The emperor shook his head sadly, tokens marker met the Emperors.
“They are the fallen ones of this world” the emperor moved two of his markers to either side of tokens. Three in a row.
The emperor put all three in a pile and declared he had won.
Stupid game token thought.
“I believe I have the right measure of your character Master Token.” The emperor smiled.
“Walk with me please” he urged. They both walked to the throne, the emperor produced a red velvet bag, token heard cracking against cracking in the bag. The emperor placed his hand in and brought out small diamond pyramids, 5 to be precise, the Emperor then produced a small metal rod. At the end of the rod he lifted a small lid and out dripped a black liquid. The black liquid activated the diamonds and suddenly they grew to 4 times the size it was.
He repeated the cycle with the other pyramids.
The emperor put the same metal rod in the centre of one pyramid and clicked on the top of the rod. A bright spark of electricity hit the centre of the pyramid then a ray hit the opposing pyramid then the other until all pyramids had Ray’s beaming.
A portal rose in the centre of the five Ray’s.
“Come Token, there is so much to say and do”
Token was dumbfounded, he had heard of this technology but never seen it.
“Oh dont worry, I used to be a scientist you know. Our little secret, yes?”
“Of course…wait…you were a scientist?” Token asked in amazement.
“Yes, a long long time ago my friend” the emperor replied as he urged Token through the portal.
They both walked through the portal, the emperors flowing ceremonial robes fluttering as they passed.
The portal opened up to a large meadow, it had animals of every type from flying reptiles to sheep grazing. Five black diamond pyramids surrounded this side of the portal as well. The emperor took out another metal rod from his robes and repeated the same process of placing the metal rod in the top of a pyramid and clicked the top. The portal closed suddenly.
“I will put a protective orb around us to shield us from nature.” The emperor continued as if this was the most natural thing in the world.
He took the rod out of the pyramid, twisted it 3 times and pulled both sides away from each other.
Suddenly a crystal clear orb surrounded them and he put the rod back in his robes.
Token was impressed, amazed at what the emperor was doing.
“The nature around us will not see us Master Token but we can observe. This is my favourite past time!”
“How did you do this?” Token asked dumbfounded.
“Ah, magnets and mirrors!” The emperor winked cheekily at the scientist who looked taken aback.
“Sire! I just dont…” the emperor stopped Token
“Please refrain from titles and official talk, I tire of it. Just call me..” the emperor put a finger to his mouth and thought. He suddenly raised his finger in response to a great thought. “Just call me Bojac!”
“Bojac?” Token was getting really confused at this situation unfolding.
“Yes Bojac! It is indeed a name dear to me. Let us walk” he waved his hand to urge Token forwards.
They walked through the meadow talking about things in the kingdom and tokens general day to day life. As they walked they saw many creatures, a massive two legged dinosaur chasing after a small three horned one. Bojac explained what the names of the animals were, a tyranasurus rex he exclaimed chasing after the triceratops. He clapped his hand in excitement.
Token looked disgusted at the emperor wallowing in the joy of predator and prey.
Bojac noticed this and stopped immediately.
“My friend, this is life. It is what life does. I do not see predator and prey, what I do see is atoms clashing with other atoms.”
Token could see the logic but it was still barbaric to him, even more barbaric was the emperor enjoying it.
“Look” Bojac continued pointing to the hunt that was ongoing “energy, thats all it is. The triceratops energy is depleting and being transferred to the tyranasaurus.”
“Its still…horrific” token replied angrily.
Bojac looked at him curiously.
“Let is walk on” bojac replied shaking his head.
They walked on as the weather changed rapidly. Nothing outside affected inside the orb they were travelling in. Snow blew at them and smacked off the orb, in front of the orb now stood a massive beast with tusks the size of Token. It had huge mats of brown hair and a long elongated nose.
This beast moved slowly towards them.
“It is a mammoth! Very rarely seen, I think this is twice I have seen one!” Bojac clapped his hands excitedly “amazing!”
They walked on until the snowy weather gave way to burning summer heat.
Inside the orb it was cool but Token touched the orbs side and moved his hand away quickly as it was roasting.
Bojac smiled “it’s not magic, it’s all science my friend”.
“I need help” the emperor suddenly stopped and looked at him. “Our planet is dying, Token”
Token nodded slowly and replied cautiously “yes, as we discussed, Data shows that our species are on the brink. Our natural resources depleting”
Bojac nodded “I need you to help me with the greatest mission we have ever faced”
Token laughed to break the awkwardness of the situation.
“I can assure you it is no laughing matter!” Snapped bojac. His face flashed red with anger then disappeared as he calmed.
“Would you believe it. I’ve seen it!” Bojac replied calmly.
“Seen what?” Token asked tactfully, he didn’t want the wrath of the emperor.
The emperor sighed loudly.
“The destruction of our planet” he continued “however not the destruction of our species.”
They walked back the way they came heading towards the meadow.
“I must tell you that all this time in this realm, we have not missed a single second back at the palace” the emperor said to Token.
“It is strange to know that i have lived longer than any man alive but I grow weary token.”
Token looked at him with suspicion, he looked around 50 years old, hardly old at all.
Bojac stopped and looked him the eyes, put his hands on tokens shoulders.
“My boy I am well into the thousands with my age. I have simply lost count. These portals keep me alive longer than I have dreamed of”.
Token laughed loudly, his mind was reasonable and only obeyed logic. There is no way this man in front of him was in the thousands of his age.
Bojac pushed him away in annoyance.
“You’ll see.” He muttered.
“I’m sorry Emper…sorry…bojac” he corrected himself “it’s a lot to take in”.
They walked on in silence, they travelled through jungles and deserts noticing the various animals that were in their natural habitat.
Bojac stopped and sighed heavily looking towards the sky.
“You know what this place is Token?”
“It seems like a laboratory of dreams.”
“No” the emperor said slowly “it is an ark, this is how our species will survive.”
Token nodded at the emperor who then said something to which Token never imagined he would say.
“Let’s go see Gjada Pascall”.