The Presumption of Innocence
The Imperial Guardsmen bayonets clashed against the armor of the Night Lords in the rain. They had done nothing but stall the advance of the traitors. The guardsmen had returned to the earth they were born from, as their mangled and mutilated corpses fell against the mud. Most of these corpses were little more than boys that had been forced into conscription days ago. The Night Lords hacked as both blood and rain sprayed against their armor. In fact it was nearly impossible to see the blood in the darkness and rain.
Two remaining guardsmen stood before the ten Night Lords in the rain. The one closer to the Lords of Night screamed at the other one. “Run! Run away Joe! I’ll hold them back!” The taller of the Night Lords brought up his knee and stomped on the man’s chest. He tried to scream as blood clogged up his throat. His scream was nothing more than a loud cough. The rain washed the blood of his face and streamed it into the red mud that lay underneath him. The smaller guardsmen turned and tried to run, but was stopped by five more Night Lords. One of the Night Lords grabbed him and took him with them to the guardsmen groaning in the bloody mud. The guardsmen on the mud tried to shout out words, only to cough up more blood. He finally managed to spill out some words as he saw the guardsmen of the boy that was thrown before him. “No!” More blood spilled out from his throat. “Not my son! Please! I beg you! He is innocent, he is just a boy.” The Night Lords looked at one another. The taller one with the bigger fist and decorated helm finally spoke in a deep robotic tone. “There are more youths in the city. This cowardly boy will not survive the process. Let us spread fear and dread into this old man’s heart.” Four of the Knight Lords each grabbed one of the boy’s limbs. The boy was no more than 66 inches and looked like a stuffed animal being pulled by four men clad in armor. His tears could hardly be seen, but they could still feel the sorrow and fear in the boy’s eyes as their hearts filled up with joy. Another Night Lord walked up to the child with two sharp knives. He ripped the guardsmen uniform off from his chest and started working his instruments into the boy’s chest. The boy screamed as the knives started to cut him open. The father watched as his son was screaming. Hate and sorrow filled the old man, as he was unable to defend his son.
The boy’s guts were coming out of his body and yet the boy was still alive. “That’s enough, let us make haste before the other warbands take all the stock.” The four Night Lords grabbing the boy’s four limbs pulled as the boy’s limbs cracked and the boy screamed out his last cry. The boy had been ripped into four parts. One of the Night Lords had a leg attached to the torso and slammed the body on the ground while he laughed. “Looks like I’ve won again.” The rest of the Night Lords followed in his laughter as they walked amongst the strong rain towards the city.
Critan was a shadow of its former glory. The city’s Imperial Governor had sacrificed all boys and girl above the age of thirteen to give time for Imperial Reinforces to arrive. Mothers and grandparents were huddled around the remaining children hiding in cupboards and behind furniture. Every so often a scream could be heard. They were completely defenseless now, with the only hope that they would be unnoticed. A young woman with five kids was wrapped around the same blanket. She held two babies in her arms with both hands covering their mouths. She had two boys and a daughter all under the age of ten. They were her life, and she had done everything to try and save them. Olga was her name, and she knew that she was a widow. No word from the Guardsmen Regiments had come to the city since the last conscripts had been sent to die.
The door suddenly crashed open with wood flying inwards in different directions. Olga and her children looked up through the gaps in the wooden floor. For all her efforts she could not stop her babies from crying and coughing. They had not eaten in days and her foolish babies could not control their innocent needs. Tears rolled down her eyes, as she knew that her children and her had been found.
A pair of dark blue gauntlets pierced the oak wood floors and pulled her through the floor. He threw Olga aside. Two more Night Lords made there way inside her residence and pulled her children from the hiding place. They threw the two boys aside with their mother. “NO! Not by babies! Please! Leave my babies alone!” She tried to reach for her babies and was pushed against the floor. One of the Night Lords spoke. “Take the suitable ones and let’s go!” He stormed out to meet the other prisoners in the other residences when all of a sudden a loud bang hit the side of her house, followed with a cloud puffed with red. Olga first looked at the wall where the bolter round had gone through. She suddenly heard a big thump hit the floor. She quickly turned around to see her headless daughter’s corpse. Olga jumped at her side, terrified and shocked, and screeching her cries. “NO! WHY! WHY DID YOU DO THIS! Why?” She closed her eyes as she held her daughter’s corpse. All of a sudden she heard loud thumping on the walls. She quickly opened her eyes to see her two babies being battered amongst the walls and thrown to the other side of the room. She ran at the Night Lords as they dragged her remaining sons out with them. She was battered to the floor with a backhand. “You cowards! They were innocent!” The Night Lords paused. One of them took of their helmet and turned around. His smile was wide with sharp teeth and purple lips. He had scars all over his pale warped face. He walked towards her and said, “How dare you speak to me of innocence. No child is innocent from the deeds of his father!” He grabbed the woman shouted, “LOOK AT ME! I am son of the Night Haunter, I know.”