• Prologue
    Trenching through the cold snow, he stumbled every time he took a step, making it harder for him to continue going. Keep going! His conscience was pushing him on. It wouldn’t let him give up. If we’ve walked this far, it can’t be that much farther. Despite the optimistic comments from the conscience, the situation was very grim. Walking in weather cold enough to freeze the hot, foggy air coming out of his mouth, he couldn’t feel any of his limbs. Every step he took used every bit of energy he had. Onward! The voice said. Keep going! We can make it! Despite the voice, his thoughts were more towards the negative side. I need to sit down, but if I do, I’ll never move again. Dear reader, I urge you to try and remember a time when you had to either walk or run for a long time that over-exceeded your personal strength. An endurance test, in other words. If you haven’t experienced that…. You’re loss. I’m sure it’ll happen to you sometime along the line. Well, I want you to imagine that you weren’t able to stop, no matter how dead tired you were or how much your legs wouldn’t move. Regardless of all these things, you would be forced to keep moving. If you stopped moving, you’d probably never move again. In other words, you would be left for dead. That’s just a bit of what this boy’s going through. To add some more things, the temperature that you’re walking in is below zero, your apparel consists of a t-shirt, shorts, and a thin jacket, and you’re walking through two feet deep snow. Oh, I almost forgot! You’re also being chased. You are an outlaw. Alright, just so you know, this boy didn’t really do anything bad. It all started a month before this tragic journey.

    “Falto!” his mother called from up the street, “Goodness, Falto, where are you?”
    “Here, Mother,” he called back, “I was behind the house, picking up leaves. The frost is coming soon, you know.”
    “Well, frost, or no frost, gosh darn it, child, do something more productive with your life. You're a man now, not a farm child,” it was apparent that his mother was not pleased
    “Mom, don’t you know I did it for you, so you wouldn’t have to do it with your sore arms and your weak back,” Falto replied, hoping she might show some gratitude.
    “You’re almost fourteen! You have better things to be doing!" She ranted and raved on, "You could at least start looking for a wife! Do you know how many men your age are already married and have a family?"
    "Yes, mother, I do," he mumbled under his breath, "but I would rather not rush life. I want to actually choose the right person for me, so I know that they will never walk out on me."
    "Don't you dare bring your father into this, young man!" She heard every word he said, "He left because of you!"
    Whatever. The boy's conscience retorted. He left because he didn't want her anymore.
    "No," the boy replied to the conscience, not meaning to say it aloud.
    "What did you say?" she, thinking he said it to her, yelled, "Are you trying to tell me I'm wrong?"
    "Oh! No, mother!" Falto was frantic, "I was just talking to myself! Honest!"
    "Forget it!" still angry, the mother hissed, "Go out into town and don't come back until you've found a job, at least!"
    Without reply, the boy, Falto, left for the marketplace. Surely someone would be kind enough to give him a job under these circumstances.
    "Did you see that lady back there!" his conscience exploded, "Hey, I know! Why don't you leave this town and go find another town to live in? Just you and me! What do you say?"
    " Of course we can't!" Falto replied mentally, "No one has ever escaped the city. What makes you think I can? Do you know how many guards stand at the gate, only letting the people with traveling passes go in and out? To go out there, why, I'd need a–"
    "Exactly!" the conscience was confident, "A traveling pass!"
    "But how do I get one?" Falto inquired in his mind, "Forge one?!"
    "Yep! You got it!" the conscience replied happily, "or you could go through that long process and all that hard work, but I'd just make a fake one."
    "If you say so," Falto didn't know what to do. If he forged the pass, it wouldn't take long for him to get out of the city. It also wouldn't take long for the guards at the gate to realize that the pass was fake. Still, it did take a very long time for a person to get a traveling pass. First, you had to file a request, asking the members of the city's High Council, asking for a traveling pass. It would take a few weeks for the filed request to reach them. Then, they would take weeks, or even months, digging up any information that might prove you not fit for a pass. If they don't find any, then they will grant you your request. Still, though, it takes just as long to get back to you as it took to get there.