Short 1: Dethrouge is the first Character Short produced for Tech 10: Rebooted.
The hot desert winds whisked up a heavy sandstorm, rolling over the uninhabited dunes with intense ferocity. Only one living thing dared to venture through this mighty storm; and, as terrifying as the storm was, most would much rather face the deadly winds than this particular figure.
His deep prints in the sand quickly being covered by the storm, the golden-clad figure slowly made his way through the desert, making his way through the vicious winds as if they were naught but a light breeze.
After a few hours of walking through the storm, the figure suddenly paused, looking down at the ground. He stretched out his armored hand, emitting a brilliant golden glow. Thousands of years of built-up sand moved out from underneath him, slowly swallowing him into the dunes. After a few moments, the sand fell back into place, with no sign that the mysterious figure had so much as existed.
The golden figure dropped down into an ancient room, long forgotten by all but him. Slowly raising himself up, he proceeded to remove his mask, setting it down on a nearby golden chest. He stumbled forward, the initial shock of the armor’s strength being removed momentarily sending him off-balance.
After regaining his composure, he slowly walked towards the far wall, raising his hand to a circular pattern in the center of it. After a few moments, the symbol flashed, and the wall slowly began sliding apart, revealing a small room, empty save for a strange, box-like machine with a clear top. Inside, a woman could be seen, laid out gently in a regal manner. The machine’s preservation functionality made her appear as if she was in perfect condition, belying her true state of death.
The armored figure stared at the woman for a few moments, then turned away and slumped to the ground. The area was silent for quite some time.
“I killed a child today, my dear.” The figure finally spoke up, his brow furrowing into an expression of defeat.
“I don’t mean in one of my standard attacks, either” He elaborated. “Personally. Deliberately."
“What was I to do?” He asked halfheartedly. “He was...”
“...In my way.”
“This armor was intended to be a beacon of hope, my dear.”
The figure raised his hand up, looking over the metal plates enveloping them.
“What has happened to it?”
He slowly lowered his hands, still staring forwards at nothing.
“What has happened to me?”
“This duty of mine...is it worth it?” He pondered. “I was given this power to save those who doom themselves with their shortsightedness. Power beyond that of the gods themselves, all to save them.”
The figure paused.
“Yet I couldn’t save you.” He finally choked out.
“I wonder, my dear, if you were to see me today...would you even recognize me? My appearance has not changed, but you...you were always more perceptive than that.”
“I can remember gazing into your eyes, more beautiful than the stars themselves. I remember feeling your gaze pierce my very soul, unveiling who I truly was.”
“And I remember you loving me anyways.”
“In the end, that is why I must fulfill my duty. If I fail...and our reality is erased as prophesied...you will have never existed.”
The figure lifted his head, a look of conviction appearing upon his face.
“And that is something I could never accept.”
The figure stood himself up once more, slowly making his way towards his mask.
“If I am to save our past, our future must be wiped away. And when I am the only one left in this cold universe of ours, when I am done picking up the corpses...”
The figure picked up his mask, affixing it back onto the rest of his armor.
“I can finally join you, my dear.”
As the figure ascended out of the ancient tomb, the walls that had hidden the secret room slid closed.
Never to be opened again.