An Empire of Betrayal & Order 3

A side story from “In The Ashes of Forgiveness”

Harrys Stratigakis
6 min readJul 29, 2022


Photo by Craig Whitehead on Unsplash

Dastan had returned to his home, but couldn't sleep due to his stress piling up about Phlox. He trusted Walter that they would handle everything correctly, so he tried to be patient and not act rashly.

As he was sitting on his sofa contemplating everything that went through, he suddenly heard a knock on his front door. That made him jump on his feet, believing that some miracle happened and the operation would begin shortly.

However —

“Dastaaan! Are you in?”, a familiar voice different from the one that he was expecting to hear called out to him.

“Tsch!”, Dastan clicked his tongue as he walked toward his door to open it, “It’s just you Arol?”

As the door opened Arol’s presence became apparent to Dastan’s eyes.

“What do you mean it’s just me? Who did you expect this late in the night?”, Arol spoke to him in a complaining voice.

“I mean…Nevermind. What do you want? As you said, it’s quite late in the night to pay me a visit if it isn’t something urgent.”

Both went to sit on the sofa’s soft cushions and Arol began talking.

“Well, I’ve been meaning to ask you how it went with Walter. Since we found the Dwellers together, I was hoping I could join the squad that will be sent there as well. I couldn’t sleep well anyway because my mind couldn’t stop picturing the innocent victims in the village…”

Dastan closed his eyes briefly and made a wry smile at Arol’s words.

“I get it, Arol. It’s the same for me as well.”, Dastan said trying to sympathize with Arol, “However, I don't believe you have to worry. Between you and me, they are already preparing an adequate unit that will deal with the Dwellers. It will be prepped and sent first thing in the morning from what I heard.”

The dim light inside the living room of Dastan’s apartment flashed out for a brief second as Arol reflected on Dastan’s words.

“Isn’t morning a little bit too late for that? And despite that…who is preparing that task force that will take on that task?”, Arol said in a puzzled manner.



Harrys Stratigakis

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