The End: Story One - Palace City By: David K. Montoya


The End:Story One
Palace City
By: David K. Montoya

We had pulled past what seemed to be a statue of a stallion with a man standing next to it, but from my angle I could not tell who it was supposed to be, although, my guess is it was of Caesar. The man who had commandeered the SUV earlier (who introduced himself as Arch-Commander Patrick) pulled around onto a road that would lead to the entrance of the former Caesar’s Palace Casino. It looked to be a back entrance, possibly once used for the famous or ultra rich to make their way inside without anyone noticing them.

We pulled up next to a man that was dressed like the other men—in combat gear. As soon as Patrick cut the motor, the man outside snapped to attention and opened his door. The Arch-Commander stepped out, then turned back and told us to get out as well. Michael asked about our belongings, but the man told us not to worry about our stuff, which was stored in the back. He would have a few of his men take everything to our rooms once they were assigned; the thought of being assigned a room made my stomach turn. I had to wonder what had I gotten us into?

As we walked in, the first thing I noticed was the refrigerated atmosphere—the next thing I noticed was that the entire interior was completely lit up. I asked Patrick how they managed to have electricity; it had been many years since any plant was operational. He explained that they used the water from Hoover Dam to generate the needed power to run the complex.

Tina expressed her excitement with a small yelp of joy. She (nor any of us, for that matter) could believe what we were seeing. But then I noticed Richard, who had a sour look on his face, mumbling some obscenities about how the world was better without technology—that was Richard, though. He had been the closest thing we had to a hippy back in the old days; he had always shunned the civilized world, so I could see how he would be displeased with our new surroundings. The interior of the casino looked like a small town from out of the past. There were small buildings lining the complex, leaving a huge open area in the center, and in the middle of that stood a replica of King Neptune’s temple in Rome. The ceilings were painted to look like a cloud filled sky and while I was looking up, I noticed there were statues of Julius Caesar that lined the rooftops of the small buildings.

It was very impressive and amongst all this amazing architecture were people that seemed to be going about their everyday business.

As we followed Patrick and his men, he explained that this casino had been abandoned after the fall of Vegas (when the ‘Sickness’ hit the area). Around seven years ago, a small group of people found themselves caught in a terrible rain storm, so they took shelter here in the casino. The storm lasted for three days, after which the travelers did not move on. During the storm they came to realize that they had everything they could every want right here within the complex. So, the people went to work renovating the building and over time they welcomed others in from the outside world. At the end of their third year, they had gathered over one thousand people who became permanent residents, and the once famous casino would become an indoor metropolis, later called Palace City.

As we walked down the tile road that lead through the heart of the city, he explained how that their Emperor was able to use the water from a nearby dam to generate electricity for their building. We eventually reached the Neptune monument which was surrounded by fifteen or twenty guards. I was able to see that someone was sitting upon a throne, placed on top of the waterfall that was located in the center of the monument. The two men that guarded the entrance allowed us to enter, but I could tell they were eyeballing me every step of the way.

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About the Author

David K. Montoya has been writing for nearly 15 years and during that time has produced some 200 underground comics, including "M-Team," "Ayotnom," "The Hunters-Xydus," "Lifesigns," "Smash," and continues to work on the upcoming graphic novel, "Underground to Nowhere." Along with producing his current run of poems, short stories and serials, he also did the artwork and dialog for the soon to be released, "Smash, Special Edition."
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