"When last I saw you, the dissidents were dragging you away in ropes and chains with all the others still singing songs of Allah," Az said. "And I was being dragged in the other direction, with those who claimed there were no gods, only savages bent on destruction."
"You always had a way with words, old friend," Samson said and laughed, a loud booming that seemed to carry on the wind, strong enough to cut through the clouds and echo through the mountains. He clapped Az on the back, sending Az, who at 6'3 seemed slight next to Samson, reeling forward a bit. "Sorry, old man, but I forget my strength at times."
"Quite forgivable, my friend. Just glad to see the strength remains" Az commented, grateful that this behemoth was on his side. They shared another quick laugh before noticing an annoyed Lily tapping her foot in a puddle. She exaggerated a sigh, glancing at her wrist as if she wore a watch, as if time was still of the essence in this world.
"Right, right. Lily, this is my oldest and dearest comrade, Samson. We fought side by side in the Race War of 2010, the war of no winners. You were probably too young to remember, Lily, when the Illegals held President Swartzeneggar hostage and demanded change. When Mexico burned like Atlanta, and California demanded to be its own country. What a fun time that was, huh, Sam?"
Samson grunted, understanding the dripping sarcasm of Az's explanation. Lily shifted on her feet, arms crossed in front of her. She absolutely hated it when Az used the age card! She had seen a great deal in her 30 years on this planet, things that the average young woman wouldn't survive. Just because she was only seven when the Race war ravaged the world and separated families doesn't mean it didn't impact her life. Her mother was a flaming Irish debutante, her father, an Illegal of mixed heritage himself, having a Japanese mother and a Hispanic father, who chauffeured her family around to numerous high profile events. Her parent's love affair guaranteed banishment, not only because of the class differences but the race ones as well. When they took off on their own, choosing to live a simple life amid the hills, life was sweet. Lily remembered her and her sisters Jasmine and Rose, and brother Thorn running through rich green fields sprinkled with a rainbow of wild flowers, laughing and hiding from their father, who pretended he was a troll who ate small children for dinner. She can still picture her mother standing atop the hill, shielding her eyes from the bright sun, squinting and smiling, hair and dress fanning in the wind, while their dog Parsley watched lackadaisically from the porch. The next thing any of them knew, men dragged their father in one direction, their mother in the other, and her and her siblings ended up in different camps, fighting for different causes, not because they believed in them, but because they were told to.