Accompanied by his squat companion, Damon strode through the gloom, stopping every now and again to speak to a man or woman; whispered words of encouragement that drew back shoulders and straightened backs. The passageway was narrow and badly lit, an infinitesimal section of the massive access and ventilation tunnels that serviced the gigantic city above. After following the tunnel for some distance, Damon and his companion found themselves in a small metallic cavern. Originally designed as a service area and meeting place, the room was broadly dome-like, the metal walls curving upwards. The light was dim, the only illumination was that offered by three recessed glow tubes; all that remained of the original twenty. Openings were spaced equidistantly around the walls, identical in size and shape to the one the pair had entered by.
As many as fifty people were gathered together in the room, talking quietly in small groups. All conversation ceased as Damon make his way towards the center. His companion remained by the entrance of the tunnel they had entered by, his dark eyes scanning the room ceaselessly.
Damon reached the center of the room and stopped. Unlike the uniformly dark haired crowd, Damon's hair was pure blonde; a shaggy white mass that tumbled to his shoulders and matched his close trimmed beard. He was the tallest person in the room; standing almost a head above the tallest of any of the others in the room, and had little trouble seeing everybody watching him.
After studying the crowd for a moment, Damon began to turn, moving easily in a slow circle, his startling amber eyes deliberately meeting the gaze of every person in the room. When he was done, he glanced down at the riveted metal floor for a few moments, as if collecting his thoughts. The crowd waited silently; expectancy written across their upturned faces.
After waiting for the anticipation to build, Damon raised his head once more. His pale eyes glittered the intelligence behind them, burning softly in the muted radiance of the glow tubes.
"Friends: my freinds.' He began. His voice was low, authoritative, and carried easily to the ears of those furthest away. "I am Damon.'
"I am a human being.'
"The crowd listened intently. Damon's voice had power; a passion that ran through them, inflaming their senses like nothing they had heard before. Once again, Damon turned a slow circle, his arms raised to the level of his shoulders, displaying himself as he talked.
"A human being.' He repeated. "I am not Sapien, as those who dwell in luxury above us, call us. That is only their name for us, their name for something they consider to be little more than beasts, to be enslaved to their will, or bred as food animals.' He stopped turning, and allowed his arms to drop. "I am human: as you all are.'
"We are born; we live, and we die. That is the natural way of things. This is what makes us what we are. We can love, we can feel.' His eyes raked across the attentive faces before him. "And we can hate.'
A hushed murmur arose from his audience, and Damon raised a hand for calm. "My friends, "let me tell you something about human beings; about you.' He paused and smiled, that drew every individual in the room into his confidence.
"Since leaving this city as a very young man, I have wandered this world. I have been to places, and have seen things that you would not believe. But, in all of my travels, I have never seen another human being.'
"But, I have learned much upon my travels, my friends. I have learned that the Pyre were not always the masters of this world. There was once another race, a race of intellect tempered by emotion. Of passion, and compassion. And, my friends, do you know who these people were?' Damon looked around at his audience. Every set of eyes were fixated upon him. He smiled inwardly.