For my entire life of 13 years, all I have known is slave labor. Father tells me it's been this way for over 300 years. The nation of Tribunial, a prosperous land filled with big cities and rich suburbs, has been a land of murder, starvation, beatings, and humiliation for my people, the Mangas. We've built their cities, paved their roads and plowed their fields and have gotten nothing in return.
But today our fortunes change. Three weeks ago, a wealthy man named Harper purchased a group of 150 slaves for his land. My father and I were bought in the sale. We prepared for more grueling work, but Harper had other plans. He handed my father a map of a nearby land. It was a rough terrain which the Emporer had decided to ignore. Under the cover of night, we would escape to this land and start a civilization of our own. That night was tonight.
We are free! All 150 of us escaped last night. We have already made it to the mountains to the East. We should be safe from the Emporer's scouts this far out.
The mountain passes are rough, the wind is cold, and we are starting to run low on food, but overall we are in good spirits. My father estimates we are halfway to the river where we will settle.
It was a rough night. Four people died and several more are sick or starving. My father and several other grown ups have agreed to forego their food rations so that others may eat. A small group of Tribunial scouts came near last night but luckily did not find us.
Hopefully we are not too far from the river now.
My father has fallen sick. He has hardly eaten in days and I worry for him. I tried offering my food but he refused. I'm cold and tired.
Father is terribly sick now. He has ordered us to go on without him for fear that he is contageous. I don't want to leave him. He has given me his map and divided up his remaining food amongst all the travelers. I tried to stay with him but he simply wouldn't let me.
It's too cold to cry.
We can see the river. It is beautiful. Father would have loved to see this. He promised me it would all be worth it once we arrived. I hope it's true.
The new leader of our group has found a suitable place on the shore to settle. We have plenty of water now, so tonight we hunt for food. Tomorrow we will begin constructing buildings and a power plant. Harper promised to have supplies to get us started waiting by the river, and he delivered. There are enough materials to build a small town and get us started.
Before I left, Harper handed me a small note, telling me not to open it until we arrived. It reads "The Emporer will never learn your secret from me, unless he learns to raise the dead." I didn't understand, but several of the grown ups seemed to take comfort from this.