Our New Brothers
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Radiowave transmission from 2020/03/01
Translation as follows:

Group [SNAKE HEAD] reached [HOME].
75 [CHILDREN] survived.
No other portals have opened.
We commemorate you, fallen [CHILDREN].
The song of [DEAD GOD] never plays again.

No further attempts in communication were made.

Our New Brothers

Thus finally the mouth of the portal in front of us opened and gave view into a blurred landscape. My children did not cheer, they were still too shocked by the experiences of the past hours. Some were still in the same position as in the moment they collapsed. Some dead; some seriously injured. The others had their eyes either on me, or on the glow of the portal, the only source of light that cut through the darkness of the cave in which we had landed. It hadn't been long before the first portal closed, but the fear of the one that would hopefully appear afterwards stretched the minutes to an eternity. Anyway, fate remained gracious towards us. Not only had almost all of my children survived, the second portal had also come for us. Home was close.
I remembered my task and straightened my back, put on a solemn face and pushed the thoughts out of my head. I had been given the task of guiding the other children, giving them hope and leading everyone safely through the portals. I took one last look at my children - ninety out of a hundred, including thirteen warriors, five scholars and the rest healthy families, two mounts and a transporter with food and scripts. I felt proudness. Group Bird head had survived and could preserve our culture, no, keep our people alive. I nodded to them encouragingly and said that it was time to return. We should not be afraid, we are expected. Everyone would get their place at home; everyone will be a celebrated hero.

I signaled the group of warriors to split up. Half should join me at the front, the other at the end of the procession to escort the injured and weak. Then we stepped through the glowing, spongy surface that forced us to close our eyes until we went through it completely. We all experienced a strange tingling sensation on the skin, a pulling and tugging on our innermost organs, which we were by now familiar with. When the first few warriors reached the other side together with me, we opened our eyes.
But the Children, our people, were not the ones greeting us. There was no bright, turquoise sky. No songs of the gods. We looked into another cave, wet and overgrown with plant bushes or fungi. In a semicircle around us stood almost ten figures, clothed in dark colors and armor, a bit similar to those of my warriors. They had no faces; they were humanoid demons ready to attack. Their arms merged into shiny objects that my warriors instinctively identified as danger and made them ready themselves for an attack. There was a loud noise and a bright light was directed at my children, which blinded us and we had to cover our eyes.
I knew something must have gone terribly wrong - I had to act before more Children died! I blinked at the glare, moving carefully forwards, which made the demons shout in a language I didn't know yet. However, they did not attack, a sign which I understood as positive, so I slowly lowered my arms and offered them a gesture that spoke absolute calm and devotion. I didn't think they would understand my words, but despite my inner tension and fear, I pleaded them not to harm my children any further, we were a dying nation already.

It seemed to be having an effect, since one demon turned its shiny head and spoke into a black box on its chest. Shortly thereafter, the blazing light subsided and the demon came closer. I thanked my warriors internally for their reluctance and domination and prayed to the remaining gods that the portal would hold and the demons would let us pass. Maybe this was just another stop along the way? Another safety precaution from the rulers? An exam? Before I could get lost in worries, I thought about my task again and took another step towards the demon that had spoken. The group followed my every move carefully with their heads, but no longer in absolute fighting stance. They seemed to have expected us, just as our people should have been. I eyed the figure in front of me. The lines of his armor and clothing were clearly visible and I understood that this was not a demon, but a man. He grabbed his neck and with a practiced movement of his hand, he removed his shiny helmet and a piece of cloth that had left only his eyes cut out in a small window. The cold eyes of an experienced warrior faced me now, framed by a life-drawn face with a distinctive scar, and I felt a surge of relief emerge, but suppressed it. The warriors ahead of us could still be dangerous to my children.

I saw the man's lips curl slightly and he started to speak. I did not know what he was saying at the time, but later I learned that his words meant "Welcome to Switzerland, twenty-twenty".

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