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eyeonthemountain

The Blank House

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It has been a few nights since Sanctis started his nightly patrols, and he has not found much of interest. Tehre is so much tech, that, to be honest, it is starting to get him down. How in the universe is he going to destroy all this tech. And the nights of wandering have served to intensify this private dread.

Along the way Sanctis has caused innumerable bits of destruction, people destroying cell phones, random phone booths and even a few cars, though the aftermath of the second one, a decapitation and a true mess of blood, has gotten him to quit that, as he is not here to kill, just bring humanity back to his dark masters.

Then, one night as he is over on the west side in an area called Lantern hill, he notices a blank spot in the sea of technology around him. Of course there are many such, like parks, streets and a few totally abandoned buildings that have been well stripped. But, as he comes across this certain house, something tells him it is occupied. Occupied and without lights? How interesting. Maybe there is something here. Something new, at least.

And SAnctis moves a bit closer.

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Lazarus Swain's house was a fine representation of the period in which it was built, not long after Freedom City's founding; no electricity, no running water, and restored using period techniques. The rings and hisses of metalworking occasionally sounded from the gated courtyard in front, though not so on that particular day, and passers-by would often note that Swain himself could be seen sitting near one of the upstairs windows, pondering a book of history of philosophy. The demagogue refused to provide tours, stating that his residence was not a curiosity but instead representative of the way things should be, but the neighbors knew well that he did not live alone, as five others could commonly be seen entering and leaving. What they could not possibly guess from all this disjointed information was that Swain was in fact Ned Ludd, infamous anti-technology vigilante fallen from a noble cause but believing himself to still be serving it.

Ludd and his Luddites spent much of their time spreading the words of their beliefs in their normal identities, with the more violent aspects removed in order to gain some public approval. They encouraged people to contemplate their reliance on technology, and to look at where that technology came from and thus who they were supporting by buying and using it. As often as possible they entered their shining armor, moving covertly through the streets to strike swiftly at symbols of capitalism in the hopes of further opening the eyes of the civilian population. Of the remaining time, some was spent in personal commitments, some in repairing weapons and armor, some in eating and sleeping, and some in the reaffirmation of doctrine. When Sanctis made his discovery, it was the final sort of time that was in session; around a handmade oak table sat four men and two women, all powerfully built, though five clearly dwarfed by the vast figure of the sixth. They dressed in homespun garments, and anyone who had walked through parks on the days of his speeches would recognize Lazarus Swain as the most muscular of them all.

"...Brother and sister Luddites, we know our cause is just, and we know that, no matter how many defeats we find, victory is inevitable. Our cause is just; it inevitably leads toward victory, for as long as there are those left in the world who see the truth and champion it, the powers above will look favorably upon them and their cause. With their aid, there can be no lasting loss. Though we may fall in battle, or be captured by the enemy or its misguided servants, our spirits shall live on and bolster our allies with righteous fury, through which they will tear down the corporate towers and teach Humanity to live as it was meant to live once again. We will open oppression's shackles and free the downtrodden from those who claim them as property, and abolish the laws that legitimize exploitation of the weak; these goals we shall accomplish by any means necessary, and... hold, a moment... I think we are not alone."

Reaching over to the cabinet beside the table and moving his hand behind it, Ned withdrew Gladius Eraditum Apparatos from its hidden sheath and crept to the window, sword in hand. Slowly he edged the window open, his blade hidden behind the windowframe but ready to strike; he could not risk revealing himself to some teenager on a dare, and had no particular desire to harm anyone, but if his stronghold was under attack by true foes mercy was a luxury he could ill afford. He had heard a sound coming from just beyond the sill, and would have to ensure that no one had overheard his conversation...

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Certain he heard something, let his sword remain covered by the windowsill, then stepped out into plain view. He wasn't sure exactly where the sound had come from, only that it was outside. Neither did he see anything, but he didn't waste time looking too hard. Whatever the problem was, it needed to be resolved swiftly. No outsider save an ally, and Ned had no allies, could be allowed to escape having heard even a snippet of the conversation. Still, it was time to take a more direct approach. Teenagers who were detected often gave up if called out.

"I know you're out there; come into the open, please. You're trespassing, by the way."

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