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Tullier stared in shock at his weary, beaten parents, whom he had presumed dead for years. The Grandmaster watched him for a moment, and then spoke.
“Yes, they are your parents, the last of the Knott family, aside from you. They are the most hated people in the entire Pen community. They have been running from us for years, but we caught them several days ago, and interrogated them. It was then that we discovered they had a son, you, whom they had hidden with your uncle, who was killed years ago. Jason was sent on a search for you, and he did rather well, I dare say, even saving you from the Agents. Ah, but you probably don’t know who the Agents are, aside from them being the people who constantly hunted you. They are a separate group, who have neither Pens or Pencils, and wish to acquire such instruments–and thus, power–for themselves. And then there’s the rest of the world, completely oblivious.”
Tullier was barely listening, simply staring at his parents. The entire hall then fell silent, watching, waiting to see what would happen. Tullier stood and began walking slowly towards his parents, but two Pens ran up to hold him back.
The Grandmaster waved his hand. “No, let them meet.”
Swallowing hard, Tullier approached his family. His parents, through their bloodied mouths, whispered his name and the three embraced.
“My son,” whispered his mother. “Tullier…. You’ve grown so big.”
Tullier lowered his face. “Is is true? What they said about you killing those who wanted peace, I mean?”
“The Pens’ peace wasn’t… wasn’t a good peace. The whole situation is so complicated, not black and white like the Grandmaster said. Please, don’t hate us for what we’ve done, Tullier… my son.”
Relief flooded over Tullier as his mother’s earnest words reached his ears.
Then they embraced again, and as they did so, Tullier’s father whispered, “Do you still have the pencil?”
“Of course,” Tullier replied, also in a whisper.
Then they were roughly pulled apart.
“Well, wasn’t that nice,” the Grandmaster said sarcastically. “Tullier, your parents are right, it isn’t so black and white as all that, but there was still a right thing to do, and that was to make peace.”
“Not in the way you proposed!” shouted Tullier’s father. A guard hit him roughly in the side of the head and he collapsed.
“Father!” Tullier screamed, throwing himself at his parent.
The Pens held him back though, and he struggled in vain. Finally, he calmed, allowing the Grandmaster to speak. “Yes, we wanted peace. We wanted to collect all Pens and Pencils and allow only a select few to use them, those select few ruling everyone and keeping peace.”
“Which is wrong,” gasped Tullier’s father, who had risen weakly to his knees again.
“Silence!” bellowed the Grandmaster. “We wanted peace, but these blind fools wouldn’t allow it. And now our offer, having been rejected so many times, is gone. The opportunity is lost. It is time for war.”
“No!” cried Tullier’s mother. “That won’t solve anything!”
“Be quiet!” roared the Grandmaster. “Tullier Knott, these, your parents, will be the first casualties.”
It took a moment for Tullier to grasp what the Grandmaster meant. But then, as Jason stepped forward holding two pens in a suspiciously weapon-like way, his face paled and then flushed with fury. “No!” he shrieked. “No! No!” He continued screaming and writhing like a wild animal as the Pens held him back.
His parents were heaved to their feet. “I love you Tullier!” shouted his mother, before a pen, thrown like a dart, pierced her heart, and she collapsed, dead.
“Don’t believe them, Tullier!” yelled his father. “Discover the truth for yourse-” His last word was cut off with a gurgle, as he fell in a heap beside Tullier’s mother.
Still screaming, Tullier was dragged out of the hall and locked in a small room–a cell–where he pounded the walls with his fists until he fell to the floor in a faint.