Towncraft: The Story
The setting sun was peeking through the oak and birch trees on the outskirt of Hillside City as Kolgrath patted the last of the dust off of his overalls. Building stables is hard work, but the town sorely needed it. And now Kolgrath’s muscular black steed “Ban Hammer” had a place to mill around and fraternize with the other horses in town. Well worth the effort.
Just as he pulled the stable gates closed, Kolgrath heard the familiar sound of horse hooves beating up the oak plank roads that coursed like arteries throughout all of the town. Kolgrath gazed down the road to see who the rider was, and right away he knew this was no ordinary citizen looking to board their horse for the night.
“I have news! I have news!” shouted General Gabriel, waving a faded yellow parchment clutched in his fist.
The moment had arrived. Days before TASA, the Towncraft Aeronotics and Space Agency, had discovered a massive asteroid hurling in the general direction of Yeterra, the home planet of Towncraft. This asteroid had enough mass to completely annihilate the planet. TASA was tasked with calculating the exact path of the asteroid and report back on whether or not it would collide with the planet. Gabriel was holding that news in his hands.
“Let’s have it,” Kolgrath said as he took the communiqué from the General’s outstretched hand.
A chill completely gripped Kolgrath as his eyes picked up the words he dreaded: “Asteroid is projected to make a direct impact with Yeterra. Projected planetary damage: 100%.” There it was. Total destruction confirmed.
“Have Eli and Torrenz seen this?” asked Kolgrath, never taking his eyes off the note.
“No. You’re the first,” replied Gabriel.
Kolgrath folded the note and put it in his chest pocket.
“Summon them to the Ivory Tower at once. There is much to discuss,” Kolgrath ordered as he turned to whistle for Ban Hammer. There wasn’t a moment to lose. With one push up on the stirrup Kolgrath was astride his steed and with a forceful “Hiyah!” they were on their way for Capitol City.
Torrenz sipped his evening coffee. Standing on the bridge connecting Capitol City and Enchanted Woods, he had an excellent view of the sunset. After a day of building infrastructure, this was the way he enjoyed winding down. It filled Torrenz with real pride to look over the city and see the people living life using the roads and community buildings that he worked so hard to construct.
As Torrenz brought the cup to his lips again, he saw General Gabriel thundering up the road towards the bridge he was standing on.
Gabriel was atop Sorica, a gorgeous white horse that never failed him. He pulled Sorica to a full stop just a few feet in front of Torrenz.
“I have a personal summons from,” Gabriel started to say, but Torrenz immediate cut him off.
“Kolgrath. He wants to meet at the Ivory Tower.” Torrenz knew. He was dreading this moment as much as Kolgrath was.
“Yes. Kolgrath is at the Tower now.” Gabriel made a clicking sound and Sorica turned around to speed him off to find Eli.
Eli sat at the edge of a pond on a granite boulder he had spent weeks smoothing out to make comfortable for sitting. Eli too had heard the news from TASA about the asteroid and had spent every moment since then contemplating evacuation plans for the people of Yeterra.
Sorica’s hooves kicked up grass as the horse powered General Gabriel towards his final courier mission. Gabriel found Eli sitting there, tossing stones into the pond.
“Kolgrath wants to see me at the Ivory Tower, doesn’t he?” Eli already knew what the General was there for.
“Yes he does. If I could ask one question,” began the General. Having delivered urgent news three times today, Gabriel was starting to feel alarmed.
“You want to know what all this is about.” Eli interjected and Gabriel nodded
“This is about starting over, in the worst way possible,” Eli stood and stretched, and gazed at the horizon, “and we’re running out of sunsets.”
A grim look of contemplation gripped Kolgrath’s face as Eli and Torrenz arrived at the conference room of the Ivory Tower. Kolgrath was already seated with Drakeot, Kolgrath’s son and director of TASA.
“So what do we do now?” Torrenz put the question out there that was on Kolgrath’s mind too. But Eli had already thought this one through.
“We leave.” Eli’s answer had the tone of a solution, not a suggestion.
“Leave? How? To where?” Kolgrath felt hope for the first time since receiving TASA’s terrible confirmation.
“Ships. Star ships. We build them and fly everyone out of here.” Eli pulled a blueprint out of a stack of papers he brought with him and slapped it on the table. Kolgrath and Torrenz’s eyes lit up as they saw an intricately designed vessel drawn up and ready for construction. “I can have enough of these built to carry everyone to a new planet as well as transport many of our structures to give us a head start on our new world.”
“A week. That’s what we have, according to our latest calculations,” Drake had an air of despair in his voice. He knew a week wouldn’t be enough time to build enough starships to shuttle the entire population of Yettera to a new world.
— Tune in tomorrow for more of this exciting story! —