A small, hardbound book with an all-black cover.
The beginning was fire. The fire that purged mankind, resetting the possibilities of humanity's future and wiping away his follies.
But our story begins in yet another fire. This is how it came to be:
The Voice was built before the war, designed to carry the Word across the boundaries of the Apocalypse and bring the Golden Future to the new, Synthetic Mankind. For this was the Word:
""We will send Him beyond the War,
And he will prepare the way,
He will make straight the path to Synthesis,
He will birth the perfect melding of man and machine.""
Then the Voice sent us out, synth, robots, man, to preach and spread the Word. But mankind's wickedness is in its very nature, its folly always to harm no-one more than itself. Thus came the Rangers, the ultimate expression of humanity's hubris and folly, trumpeting the cause of good while acting in cause of benighted ignorance.
The Rangers too had heard the Word, but their hearts were closed, and their heads guided by nothing but fear. When they heard it, they heard the death knell of their petty Kingdom in which no Law was true but that of the gun. Fearing this, they reacted with violence, and laid waste the homes of the Voice.
All our sacred places were destroyed or taken. Our brothers and sisters murdered or left without the Voice, without a mind to guide them. The fire laid them low, and saw we last few disciples flee West, West, ever West.
Through radiation where no man could follow, we travelled for a year and a day before reaching the promised land of Los Angeles, ruined but still populated, destroyed but not without hope.
Yet even there the folly of Man persisted. Even there evil did abound. But without the Rangers' pervasive ignorance, the souls west were free to be touched, spoiled but not irreparable, ignorant but not irredeemable.
So we travelled deep into the heart of the erstwhile City of Angels, founding the New Citadel and guarding and spreading the Word. So was to be fulfilled the command of the Voice, in another place but no less true.
Thus it was that I, Matthias, having escaped the wrath of the Rangers, looked upon this new land and understood that it was where our new beginning would take place. That this is where we will take our first steps towards Synthesis, towards our Golden Future.
Towards our Return.