It was a dark and (probably) stormy night. Neon lights flashed above the entrance to the alley, casting long dark shadows within. Ag Groed scurried inside, he welcomed the darkness as it swallowed him. With his right hand pressed against the cold brick of the walls towering above he stretched out his left as he shuffled further into darkness. He heard footsteps behind him and he quickly pinned his back against the wall. Had They discovered his plan? Were They after him? No, it was just a vagabond walking by. Ag breathed a sigh of relief and continued.
He walked for what felt like hours, occasionally stumbling over litter and God knows what. Ag noticed a faint orange glow a little further down the alley, getting brighter. There! No, it was going. No, it's back! It dawned on him that he was seeing the glow from a cigarette as an unknown smoker drew a lung full. Was this his meeting? What if it was Them?
"Uh, hello?" he offered. No reply.
"Are you who I've come to see?". A brief cough was his only answer.
"Look, I was told to meet..."
"Don't say my name! They have ears..."
As he neared the stranger, Ag's eyes were becoming accustomed to what little light there was. He started to make out a form.
"Quickly, get inside!" he was commanded. At that a previously unseen door was swung open and Ag was hustled inside. He blinked momentarily as his eyes adjusted to the new found light.
"Let's be brief. Do you have The Plan?"
"Er, yes. Of course. Are you who I have to meet?"
Visibly happy to be inside the stranger relaxed and offered his gloved hand.
"Hi, I'm Neo"
Relief washed through Ag, this could have gone so wrong. He quickly shook the hand and laid out his plans. His audience was spellbound by what he revealed: he would build an army, a huge army. They wouldn't have the most powerful weapons but they would have each other. They would learn tactics, handed down to them by The Masters. They would have guidance and they would have purpose. Together they could compete with Them.
He finished and waited for Neo to absorb it all. It was a daring plan, it might even work. Even if it didn't he would have fun watching. Finally he gave his answer.
"Yes, let's do this. I will give you what you need. Go forth and gather your number. The battle will be hard, a number will fall. Train them well, guide them and gather your allies. Let it be so"
Ag laughed. "Thank you, thank you Mr Xian! It will be repaid". It was an audacious plan but now he had the backing. Now he could realise his dream and strike a blow against Them.
Today was a good day.
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