So, this is a story I wrote (surprise). Well, the first chapter, at least. I have the whole thing written, but I was going to do it one chapter at a time (there are 7 chapters then a short Epilogue that I may or may not include). This is to kind of see if people like it or not and also because I'm proofreading each part before I send it so I don't feel like reading the whole thing at once (it's fifteen pages long on sheets of paper in a pretty good-sized font). Tab wouldn't work for me and I don't really like adding a space after each paragraph, so that's why it has a format like that. Also, if you see any grammar errors or other improvements that could be made feel free to point them out. Though, I would prefer if you weren't rude. With all that, if you have any questions about my story, I can answer them (if they don't spoil the storyline, of course). ~.-.~ Chapter 1 - A Sacrifice“Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the beginning of the end.” The announcer's voice was calm and everyone around me had the same peaceful demeanor, but I could tell something was off. I didn’t know where I was, where I was going, and why I was there. I couldn’t remember who I was. “Please stay seated as the attendants come around. Do as instructed by your assistant as to minimize pain during the proceeding.” A younger woman clad in black walked down the aisle, tray in hand. When she reached my seat, set in the long row pushed against the vehicle's side, she handed me a small plastic cup filled with a clear liquid. “Drink it.” She told me, then walked past. I glanced at the others around me and saw that all had downed their strange beverages with little hesitation. All except me. Whatever was happening here, I didn’t want to be part of it. Thinking fast, I upended the contents of the cup onto the floor when I decided no one was looking. Pretending to sip the now missing liquid, I surveyed my predicament. All the other people, besides the attendants who were now disappearing through mechanic doors, had blank looks on their faces. They were neither perceiving the world or understanding the things taking place around them. Documenting this to memory, I continued my search for other useful information. The space we were in was a blank white with sitting areas attached to the walls and occupied by humans of varying age and race. In all, there must have been about a dozen of us. There has to be a way out, I thought, unluckily seeing no windows. Though, before I could continue my inspection, the transportation device we traveled on suddenly stopped, rocking me slightly in my seat. The assistants reappeared from a room beyond sight, one stopping to press a button on a panel I hadn't noticed. With a loud snap, all the seatbelts released at once. “Stand.” This came from the loudspeaker hidden somewhere in my surroundings. With that one word, the mind-wiped humans that surrounded me rose as one, continuing to stare forward blankly. I scrambled to my feet, trying to resemble those around me. “Please follow the assistants to the exit and out the doors. Watch your step; it’s a long drop.” Only after I had marched out the newly appeared gap in the formerly sealed metal box did I realize what the speaker had meant by those last sentences. A small, white-stoned platform was the only thing keeping me from tumbling to my inevitable death, seeing as below us was the red surging mess of a volcano. This beast of all lava-eating mountains was enormous, stretching for what seemed like miles until the edges rounded up into steep cliffs. Along these sharp crags were white, square buildings, perfectly positioned in an order only high technology could form. The transportation vehicle I had been on just seconds before ran along a thin path of which stretched across the whole length of this volcano. The trail stopped only once on its long trek; this being the place I was currently at. We were above the exact middle of the fire-spewing giant, standing on a stage of sorts. I could even see what appeared to be people watching from the far edges of the red expanse, up close to the looming cliffs. Besides the assistants and the emotionless mind-wiped, one other person stood on the platform. I knew immediately it was the announcer who had spoke into the transport. She was slightly more elevated than us, staring out at the distant crowd. The bright white gown she wore flowed down her frame in fluttering waves, beautiful but filled with hidden deadliness. There was a small microphone close to her mouth and, as she spoke, it carried the noise to speakers on the volcano’s edge. “Welcome, my people, to the Beginning of the End!” What must have been great applause came as a gentle roar, echoing the growl of the volcano itself, “We will once again feed Hutand, for he is the sleeping beast that fuels our empire, protects our empire, and what could destroy our empire. As always, twelve worthy sacrifices have been chosen. They will give themselves for the might of our King to keep our continued peace and grandeur!” Fear sparked it’s way up my spine. Sacrifices. Now I understood. This is the pain the assistant spoke of. This was why I was here. I was going to die. “Please bring our Soldiers of Life to the edge of the platform.” The assistants began to push us forward, having moved behind the mind-wiped as the woman spoke. None of the others who had been on the lift with me seemed affected by the knowledge of our inevitable doom, but I could feel tremors beginning to run through my body as I was nudged up in front of the announcer, right to the sheer drop before her. “Your sacrifice is worthy, my Soldiers of Life, and you will be remembered for it. Now, jump.” Eleven humans lept from the platform, falling down to the gurgling mass of liquid fire. The volcano's tongue of burning death swept them up in a sickening lash, their screams going unheard. I just stared: scared, mystified, and afraid. Should I run? Should I jump as well? But they didn’t give me a choice. A hard hand shoved itself into my back, pushing me off and over to my doom. A cry caught in my throat as I began to fall, heart sputtering unevenly. In a desperate hope of life, I snapped out a hand, reaching for something. Anything! I got a metal beam. ~.-.~ Thanks for reading!