Restoration of the deathless (part II) by Martin Sjöstrand

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SUMMARY: I was recommended in feedback earlier to split this story into sections, so here is the second part of of my story Restoration of the deathless.

President Tira Beldar was unable to resist as invisible hands of superhuman strength lifted her off the floor, moved her to the wall near the main entrance to the chamber and pinned her there in a very uncomfortable position. In the background, a dozen Keldanian bodyguards just stood and watched with neutral expressions, clearly not caring how much she suffered; those bodyguards who had been killed in the honor guard's rescue attempt had been replaced and the bodies of the fallen of both sides in that fight had been carried away and no longer stained the floor of the room.

"I am curious," the Immortal King said with mild interest but in a scornful, superior way. "Did you Latakians really think you could wipe out entire populations and get away with it?"

"That is the past," the president replied. "None of today's Latakians are responsible for what happened to your people. We have committed very few atrocities in the last century. You can't hold us accountable for all of that now."

"And because it is the past, the damage isn't done?" the Immortal King said, shaking his head at what must to him have seemed a total lack of logic. "The peoples you wiped out are less dead because it is the past?" He stood still for a moment, almost as if thoughtful. "Well, I suppose you might have gotten away with it had you not made such a powerful enemy in me."

She saw, through her speaker's balcony door on the other side of the room, a crowd of Latakian citizens being forcibly assembled outside by Keldanian soldiers. Suddenly deeply concerned for them, she waved a hand in the direction of the balcony and asked, "What do you intend to do to my citizens out there? You will not let your military harm or kill them, will you?"

"Oh, no. That would be a terrible waste of...human resources, one might say," he replied smugly.

She felt a brief moment's relief, but that relief that was quickly extinguished as he went on.

"I have a much better use for them than that. Of course, they will probably wish they had just been killed before the end."

"What?" she asked with sudden apprehension. "What do you intend to do to them?"

"They are a very useful resource to me," he said icily.

"Look, whatever wrongs you feel you and your people have once suffered at the hands of our ancestors, using my people in cruel ways today won't change it. There is nothing anyone can do about the past."

"Oh, but there is!" he replied in a very confident tone. "And that is exactly what I've come to do."

Her face darkened, and her apprehension reached a new level. "What? How? We don't know how to bring back even our own dead to life, and we certainly can't help you bring back those of your people who died over a century ago. Besides, if you had been able to resurrect your people, surely you would have done so by now."

"Well, I have found a ritual – a magical one – that can restore the situation in the world to how it was at a specific moment in the past. Exactly how far back in history this ritual takes the world is a bit difficult for the user to control, but according to my calculations, it should be approximately a millennium.

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