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I Dreamt of Rust: 3 - Rise of the Wild
The little dreamer stayed behind. He stayed behind, the truth to find. But in his mind, he too, was blind.
About this creation


"The first forests each had Hearts buried inside them - a guardian light, ages older than even the oldest trees and deepest valleys. The Hearts used their light to keep their forests safe from time. Those places were forever full of life and the songs of their children."



"But the world did age, and as it grew ever angrier and hungrier, it turned its wrath upon the first forests. As the trees fell to destruction, the Hearts began to disappear, one by one. Some burrowed even deeper into the soil, hiding from the chaos surrounding them. Others left their places and have not been seen since. The Heart of the Blackwoods is one of few that remains in its original place. New forests did grow where others had fallen. But without the Hearts, they would never be the same."



Samson Smith turned toward the Minister of Human Development and Popular Growth. His pickaxe dropped into the sparse grass, soon to be cleared.
"You sure about this, Mr. Minister?" he asked.
"Yes, I am. The Mayor wants it destroyed."
Samson eyed the Heart. It had stopped glowing several days ago.
"If that's really the Heart of the Forest..." he said, his voice trailing off.
"Have you heard of them before, Samson?" the minister asked.
"Oh, everyone 'round here has," Samson said. "Heard the stories, at least. It's bad luck to touch them, they say."
The minister frowned.
"Bad luck?"
Samson nodded, leaning in close. He looked quickly over his shoulder before continuing.
"They say if you touch one, it flies into a rage. Then, they say, it turns you into a plant," he said in a low voice.
The minister laughed.
"Do you have any more childrens' stories for me, or are you going to get to work?" he asked impatiently.



Samson frowned.
"It's not a children's story," he grumbled.
He turned back toward the Heart. It flashed suddenly. A thin chorus of voices floated by, like a braid of woven wind. He took a deep breath, and raised his pickaxe over his head.



The Heart flashed again as he cut into the knots of roots surrounding it. He dug deep, clearing a space around the Heart.



After a few minutes, Samson took a step back. The Heart lay bare in front of him, glowing furiously.
"All done," he said.
"You haven't destroyed it yet, Samson," the minister said.
"You're right," Samson agreed.
The worker didn't move.
"What are you waiting for, then?" the minister asked, impatient.We need houses here, in this very spot, by the end of the week!"



Samson took another deep breath. He raised his pickaxe one last time, his eyes shut.



The pickaxe crashed down into the Heart. The impact shook the forest like cannon fire. The ground quaked. The noise overpowered even the din of the steam engine, breaking like waves against their chests. Within seconds, the Heart split into spears of light, each brighter than a hundred flames.



By the time they recovered from the explosion, the Heart was gone. Samson blinked, dazed. The only sound left in the shadows was the ringing in his ears. The minister clapped him on the shoulder.
"We did it, it's gone!" he shouted over the ringing in his own ears.
Samson could only nod in reply.



"I'm going to tell the mayor," the minister said as the ringing in his ears subsided.
"Keep clearing the trees from this area."
Samson nodded again. He was still processing what had just happened. He wasn't a plant, anyway. Not yet.



Amasoma watched as the Heart vanished from its resting place. It had gone ten millennia untouched, only to be violently torn away. But somewhere in the thick fog, she knew the Heart still lived on.
"Go, find someone who will help," she said softly. "Find someone who will fight back."
She raised both her arms towards the sky. Talking to herself in a low whisper, she walked away.



****




Thornley sat by the fire. The last few days at work had him exhausted. He was sure Mr. Shelley had given him at least twice as many assignments as he'd given Lana, which only made things worse. He barely had energy to write in his journal. That, he knew, had never happened before. So he just sat, half-asleep, half-dead.



He look at the plant seated next to him. He had thought it was dead once, but its flower had since blossomed again. On any other day, Thornley would have thought how like a phoenix that flower was. It had descended into decay, only to rise again even more beautiful than before.
"You are a funny one, aren't you?" Thornley said aloud. "Dead one night, alive the next morning...I'd call it magic, if I didn't know better."



"But there's no magic here, is there? Not anymore, anyway. If there ever was, all of our machines and inventions must have scared it off."
Thornley leaned back in his chair. The fingers of flame licking his face was just enough to keep him awake.



A loud crash shook Thornley's apartment. The fire trembled slightly. Thornley glanced sluggishly over his shoulder. He groaned and looked back at the plant.
"I should go check on that," he said.



Thornley found one of the skylights on the floor, wrenched from its frame. Thornley looked up and sighed. He surveyed the damage up and down again. His landlord was not going to be happy.
"He's going to kill me," he thought. "Maybe I can fix it?"



As he walked toward the fallen bars, a glow in the corner caught his eye. A small orb sat on the floor of his apartment, carrying with it the sound of a gentle wind, or the rustling of leaves.



As Thornley stood there, mesmerized, the orb flew into the air. It twisted and turned, as though confused. Finally, it went toward Thornley, hovering in front of him.
"What on earth?" he said softly.
"I am the Heart of the Blackwoods," came a voice out of the orb. It was delicate, yet heavy with age and wisdom. "The men from Olympia are destroying my home."
"I'm sorry...to hear that?" Thornley said hesitantly.
He'd never talked to something like this before, and he was too confused to think clearly.



The Heart filled with light, forcing Thornley to shield his eyes. Its voice doubled, tripled, each word like a blast of air. It struck Thornley with withering force, flooded the small apartment like the banshee's wail of a storm's front.
"You must fight, Thornley," it roared. "Fight for the world you want to save."
The words tore Thronley abruptly out of his confusion.
"But how?" Thornley protested. "What can I do against Olympia, let alone the rest of the world?"



Vines and branches flew out of the Heart, surrounding Thornley. The light of the Heart grew even brighter.
"Find the other Hearts, Thornley," the voice roared again. "The empires of men are nothing when we are united. Find them, and even the whole armies of Olympia will be powerless to stop you."



The leaves grew thicker, trapping Thornley inside. The light grew still brighter. Even behind the walls of foliage, Thornley had to hide his eyes from the brilliance. He struggled against the leaves, but it was no use. The coiling vines were like iron bands.
"Why can't you find the others yourself?" he shouted.
The Heart's voice softened slightly.
"I am weak, Thornley. I am nothing without your help."
Thornley kicked at the vines again.
"You don't seem very weak," he muttered.



The light disappeared. The leaves stopped growing. Thornley opened his eyes. He scanned his prison suspiciously. The thick vines still resisted his attempts to escape. Through a hole in the leaves, Thornley saw that the Heart was still there.
"Hey, are you going to let me out?" he called.



Without warning, the Heart returned to life. Thornley covered his eyes again. The voice had quieted down considerably.
"I am giving you my spirit to make you strong, Thornley. The fate of the old forests is in your hands now."



With that, the Heart vanished. Thornley felt something hit him in the chest. Everything turned black after that. The apartment was silent, save for the fire still burning beneath the chimney.



Thornley woke up halfway through the vines that held him captive. His head ached badly. His apartment seemed to spin around him. He raised himself up and tumbled onto the floor.



He lay there for a long minute.
"I really hope that was a dream," he thought.
His eyes felt heavy, so he shut them for a while. Soon he was asleep again.



He was awakened suddenly by a sharp pain in his back. He turned his head slightly to see the leaves that had imprisoned him earlier, prodding him.



Before he could react, they had all vanished. The pain in his back lingered.
"Worst day ever," Thornley muttered.



Thornley got up. His legs felt like jelly. He raised his hand to his face, massaging his forehead. That was when he noticed the gold implant on his arm was gone.
"I should have noticed if it was gone," he thought to himself. "It should be hurting a lot by now....I'm definitely dreaming."



He picked up the skylight.
"Or maybe not."



As Thornley stood thinking how to fix the skylight, his landlord barged through the door, advancing on him. Thornley backed away.
"What was all that noise?" he demanded. "What are these plants still doing here? What - nevermind, no. I'm going to have to ask you to leave, Thornley. Enough is enough."



Thornley backed up in a panic.
"W-wait! I can explain," he said.
It was a lie. He couldn't explain. He couldn't explain what had just happened if he had ten years to organize his thoughts. He was the victim here, not the criminal. He raised his hands. Leaves began growing around his fingers. Thornley and the landlord stared in mutual shock. The landlord stood still.
"What the hell?!" he said.



Behind Thornley, vines began growing out of the walls, seeping through the cracks in the bricks and mortar. They crept across the room stealthily. The landlord's mouth fell open.



Thornley shook his hands frantically, but the leaves kept growing. He tried pulling them away, but his fingers were helpless beneath the growth. A huge plant tore through the wall and flew toward Thornley's landlord. He broke free of his daze instantly.
"Thornley?" he shouted.



He turned and ran just as the plant crashed onto the floor.
"I've seen enough. I'm going to have you arrested!" the landlord yelled as soon as he was clear of the door.



Thornley looked up at the plant, horrified. The leaves coiled around his fingers vanished into his palms.
"What did I do?" he thought.



Thornley ducked under the giant plant and ran. He didn't know where he was going. He just ran. He wanted to tear that part out of him, that part that created out of nothing, that part infected with deadly forces of nature. But he couldn't, because he knew that wasn't a part of him. That was him. So he ran, and he didn't stop running.



And you better run run, run run, to me.



Comments

 I like it 
  September 30, 2017
Another interesting and great story and build. Can't wait for the next one.
 I made it 
  August 30, 2017
Quoting Doug Hughes Crazy stuff, very enjoyable story man, and love the atmosphere you achieve in the builds/pics!
Thanks man! Glad you like it so far!
Quoting Rove Random I like where the story's going, keep it up!
Thanks! Next one will be a while, unfortunately.
Quoting Werewolff . Incredible! The story and world-building is just awesome, and the builds themselves are great as well, especially the plants!
Thank you!
 I like it 
  August 30, 2017
Incredible! The story and world-building is just awesome, and the builds themselves are great as well, especially the plants!
 I like it 
  August 30, 2017
I like where the story's going, keep it up!
 I like it 
  August 30, 2017
Crazy stuff, very enjoyable story man, and love the atmosphere you achieve in the builds/pics!
 I made it 
  August 30, 2017
Quoting C Stucky Nice! You have me riveted :)
Thanks! Good. :)
 I like it 
  August 30, 2017
Nice! You have me riveted :)
 I made it 
  August 30, 2017
Quoting High Emperor Duckie I like where this is going! Great work!
Thank you! :)
Quoting Jonathan Demers Great new episode! The lighting and builds are excellent :)
Thanks! It took me a whole day to photograph this episode so I could get the lighting right.
Quoting Roanoke Handybuck Awesome Justin! I really like the angles of all your photography! My favorite part of the story, along with all the builds is the super quickly growing plant scene... :D Keep it up! :D
Haha, thanks! That's definitely not the last time super quickly growing plant scenes will show up. ;)
 I like it 
  August 30, 2017
I like where this is going! Great work!
 I like it 
  August 30, 2017
Great new episode! The lighting and builds are excellent :)
 I like it 
  August 30, 2017
Awesome Justin! I really like the angles of all your photography! My favorite part of the story, along with all the builds is the super quickly growing plant scene... :D Keep it up! :D
 I made it 
  August 29, 2017
Quoting Traykar Pawfoot Nice! I'm curious as to what happens next!
Thank you! Next episode won't be out for a long time, unfortunately.
  August 29, 2017
Nice! I'm curious as to what happens next!
 I made it 
  August 29, 2017
Quoting TMNS 5097 Yes! I have been waiting for this! This story is coming along great! You have a very smooth and natural writing style, which is something few people have, and it makes easy and enjoyable to read. As for the story itself, well, that's great too. It's a new storyline, and it's very interesting and keeps me waiting for the next chapter, basically the perfect story! Can't wait for the next chapter, Keep it up! :)
Thanks for your comments man! I really appreciate the depth you go into with them. As for the story, I felt like it was a little disjointed while writing it, so I'm glad to hear that you felt differently. Unfortunately the next chapter won't be out until November, assuming I have time to build while I'm back home for thanksgiving break. Sorry for the long wait!
 I like it 
  August 29, 2017
Yes! I have been waiting for this! This story is coming along great! You have a very smooth and natural writing style, which is something few people have, and it makes easy and enjoyable to read. As for the story itself, well, that's great too. It's a new storyline, and it's very interesting and keeps me waiting for the next chapter, basically the perfect story! Can't wait for the next chapter, Keep it up! :)
 
By Justin Li
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LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop I Dreamt of Rust: 3 - Rise of the WildSteampunk


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