Ok here's my first entry to the writers challenge.
While the most important invention of man must surely be said to be speech, for without it community could not exist and thus neither could civilization, and while oral tradition passed down from a generation to the next allowed for something that had never existed before, one species accumulating knowledge, it was writing that truly set this accumulation into motion. It allowed us to learn from our mistakes and to build upon what the previous generations had done rather than to have to reinvent and rediscover everything they had. Perhaps the former is the reason I write, so that other may learn from our mistakes, but also from our triumphs. Perhaps it is that during the long and winding history of mankind there has ever been those willing to put the torch to that what had been written, to destroy the knowledge and scatter it to the winds. One such man was Aldenei Ildrin, one of the most important persons to shape the events I will divulge, but history let's men like these take up far to much space in it's pages, and tells far less of the other sort, those who seek to preserve and record, those who build and create. Vildred Higgs was such a man, and a far more interesting one if I may make such a judgment call. It is his story I will divulge, but it isn’t until the destinies, if there may be said to be such a thing, of these two men intersect that things become really interesting.
It all began on a rainy autumn morning, by my reckoning of time, and such things must be acknowledged to be entirely subjective, the year 2078, a strong wind had been forcing wet air from the warmer seas around the equator north and when coming in over the southern highlands of the Borras continent the wet air was forced unto a higher altitude and thus cooled to rain, and often, but not on this very day, hail. Austakil was a port town the mouth of the river Akil, it name literally meant mouth of akil one of the greater cities on the continent. Always bustling with activity as ships from all around the empire docked there, unloading the cargo from seagoing vessels and unto the riverboats that would take it inland to the capital Urbakil, city on the Akil for those interested in linguistics.
In one of those dreary grey brick houses that the people of Borras seems to favor lived Vildred Higgs, no relation to the physicist I'm afraid. Usually Vildred would not be awake this time of the morning, having sat up far to late the night before mulling over his theories, we would consider them archeology but to the people of the empire it was considered theology, over where and how man had first arrived on this world. Not this morning though, this morning he was hurrying through the apartment looking for things, every time he passed through the kitchen stopping and taking a sip from his coffee and thinking about actually sitting down and having that breakfast, but each time remembering something else he had forgotten. He was tall, about 1,85 had a mess of brown hair that he never seemed to be able to get cut on time and glasses that had seen better times. The apartment was relatively small, two rooms, one bedroom and one kitchen combined with living room, the apartment of an academic, but not a wealthy one. It was also like it's inhabitant let's say slightly unkempt but not badly furnished, loads of dark wood and warm colors would have made it quite homely if Vildred had ever bothered with keeping it in a nice condition.
Vildred sat down with his coffee, sighing he was almost certain he had all he needed for his expedition to the southern continent. Of course to the universty it was not an expedition since they had not funded it but a vacation and none of them thought he had any chances of finding the proof he needed. Almost a soon as he had sat down a steamwhistle from the harbour announced that the 9 o'clock ferry up to the capital was leaving. Which meant he had less than an hour to get to his ship in time. Vildred grabbed his suitcase and his overcoat and ran out the apartment, only to have to return five minutes later to lock the door. He left the building again in a hurry almost knowing over two imperial soldiers outside on the sidewalk. He avoided them narrowly and then began running.
“Stop!” he heard a voice shout behind him. Vildred was in a hurry and paid it no mind. “Doctor Higgs, stop!” the voice called again. Vildred was about to stop when something hit him over the forehead and he collapsed on the wet cobblestones.
“You dare defy an imperial magistrate” a voice hissed down at him. Another soldier Vildred decided as he got on his feet again. Just to feel a kick to his ribbs and collapsing yet again.
“That will be all soldier” the first vice chided “I think the good doctor has learned his lesson, now let him get up” Vildred got on his feet and faced the man, he was short but meticulously well dressed, his style was that of an imperial official, a magistrate the soldier had said but from the way the soldiers were eying the man afraid even though they could have broken him like a twig, Vildred was willing to bet secret service. He had dark hair also flawlessly kept and was relatively tan for Borras.
“I am Tehnel Aqarra, I serve the emperor” the man introduced himself in an odd accent, then again the empire spanned the entire world, and all sorts ended up in the capital. “And you are Vildred Higgs, the theologian with the... unique... ideas”
“I am” Vildred acknowledged.
“His majesty has heard of your theories” Aqarra began, Vildred blinked, the majesty as in the emperor? The Emperor? “he finds them intriguing, but he cannot allow you to persist in spreading them around, but he will tell you more when you meet him”
“Meet him?” Vildred felt confused “I am honored but I cannot meet him I must be on a boat to Merdia in less than half an hour”
“I am incredibly sorry Doctor, I should have made myself more clear, you have no choice in the matter” He fished something out of his pocket and showed it to Vildred. It was a small broch showing the golden laurels of the secret service but inside it was a golden star rather then the usual open book. “This designates me as an inquisitor” Vildred almost chocked, the inquisition was just an evil rumor an organization above the law who answered only to the emperor himself. “And you have just been recruited, in the name of Emperor Aldenei Ildrin, any act but obedience is considered an act of treason. Now if you will please come with us” he motioned towards a carriage at the corner. Vildred followed him meekly, the emperor was a god amongst men and he were not going to challenge him, or at least so he thought at the time, funny how these things change.