(DEAR GOD! Why was this section so long!? I’m so sorry!)
Disclaimer: Immortal Wars was the book I came up with and wrote in high school. I hadn’t even hit college by the time I wrote the first two books. That means I hadn’t developed my style yet, wasn’t good at self-editing, and the story was fairly basic. So, you’ve been warned that this is the ultimate author throwback segment for my blog and will show my author origins. FYI- I put the first book (The Summoning) through a Print-on-Demand publisher and the second one (Light, Blood, & Tears) never saw the light of day. Enjoy!
When the three-hour game is finally over the living players have been changed in more ways than one. Ed is the only one who is wearing the clothes that he had arrived in. Both Kelly and Delila are wearing weird outfits that SEAS had specially made for them. These are their guardian uniforms that are made out of a thin, flexible material called Glebnokian steel. This material is tougher than titanium, but feels like cotton. It can also absorb any colored water and stay as that color until the material is destroyed.
Kelly returned to the others in a crimson bodysuit that has ivory lines going down the sides and a bare midriff. A pair of shimmering, black gloves and matching high heel boots perfectly cover both her hands and her feet. Kelly’s new name is Miracle because she has the power to form objects called solid illusions. These illusions can be touched as if they were real, but disappear after something hits them very hard.
Delila’s outfit is not as skin-tight as Kelly’s and is a dark forest green. Her gorgeous bodysuit has a short skirt and a sleeveless top, which has a picture of a churning whirlpool on her chest. The Neptune guardian’s elbow-length gloves are tipped with small claws and each of her boots has a finger-length, blade on the outer side of each boot. Delila is now called Hydrana since her birthright power is to create and control water in any of its three phases. Just like she had always dreamed of when she was a child.
“This is so much fun. I was born to have this kind of power at my fingertips,” mentions Hydrana as she picks up an empty cup and pours cold water into it. The odd thing about this very common activity is that the cool water comes from her gloved fingers instead of a sink or a glass pitcher.
“I know exactly what you mean, Hydrana. My powers can let me do just about anything I want,” claims Miracle as she sits back in a shocking pink chair that had appeared out of nowhere. Hydrana walks behind Miracle and kicks the chair for no apparent reason. The chair vanishes and Miracle falls on the hard, carpeted floor with a resounding thud.
“What the hell was that for?” yells Miracle from the floor.
“Fine. That’s my excuse for filleting you like a salmon.” Miracle suddenly creates a long, pink sledgehammer with a cerated edge and is about to hit Hydrana. Before it hits, an apple hits the hammer and causes it to disappear. Both of the women turn to see Ed staring at them with another apple in his hand.
“Try to behave yourself, Kelly. Just ignore the stubborn little brat,” yawns Ed who is sitting alone at the bar.
“No problem. And the name is Miracle. Not Kelly. Okay?”
“Yeah. Right. Anything you say, gorgeous.”
“I wonder what you’re going to get, Blondie. I seriously doubt any of it will be better than my powers. You can’t possibly defeat one who can control any of the elements,” remarks Hydrana as she leans back in her own chair.
“I guess we’ll all just have to wait and see.”
Suddenly, the game room’s door opens and Solix walks in with Steve, who has an outfit that looks as impressive as the other uniforms. His uniform is dark blue with orange lightning streaks mimicking his ribcage and a yellow belt around his waist. He also has a glistening black cloak, which makes him look like a darker, and much cooler, version of Solix.
“The new Earth guardian is now ready for battle. Steve’s codename is Infinity and his powers are . . . ,” says Solix.
“I can move things with my mind and change into a huge bird. I might be able to move my own body and send out telekinetic energy blasts. Nobody’s sure what the bird can do, but doesn’t that sound cool?” interrupts Infinity.
“Thank you for cutting me off. The thunderbird form is not one of your true birthright powers, but it still showed up on the ability scanner. SEAS and I will just have to look more into it. Now, Mr. Slane. SEAS has taken it upon himself to find out your birthright powers and make your guardian uniform without my knowledge and permission. In other words, you went behind my back for some reason.”
“As long as it’s done. What powers do I have?”
“Put on your uniform and I will explain. There is a small locker room behind that silver door. Just don’t use the shower because it has been spitting out magma for some reason. Here is your uniform,” says Solix as he throws a gray box at Ed and points toward a small door next to the bar. The young man quickly walks into the next room and leaves the others waiting in suspense.
“I can’t wait for him to finish. Can you tell me what power he has? Just whisper it to me and I’ll act surprised when you mention it. I really want to know!” exclaims Miracle after a quick minute of waiting.
“Calm down. At least let him be here to find out,” whispers Infinity, who has taken off his cloak’s hood.
“How do I look?” asks Ed as he walks back into the room. His uniform is made of the same material as the others’ glossy outfits. He has a black pair of pants and a black v-neck shirt that are extremely flexible and skin-tight, so he can do acrobatic maneuvers with super-human ease. Around his waist is a white belt that has a picture of a silver coin on it and on his head is a dark blue headband that is hidden by his long, blond hair. Blood red boots, that look like they’re too big for him, cover Ed’s feet.
“Very nice. But I think the boots are way too big. They make you look like an evil circus clown. That ruins the whole cool and threatening effect,” answers Miracle. A beam of golden energy bursts from a ceiling tile and makes the oversized boots shrink to the right size before anyone else can say anything about it.
“I am terribly sorry about that mistake. I promise that it will not happen again,” explains the computer.
“It better not. Now, Fate. Your birthright powers are both very interesting and very . . . baffling,” says Solix.
“Wait. Hit the rewind button. What did you just call me? Fate? That sounds rather wimpy to me. How about the name Stalker or Ace? Anything, but Fate.”
“Act your age, Mars guardian. That is the codename you will have for all eternity. So get used to it. It was given to you because you have the birthright power to bestow good luck on either yourself or anyone you can see. This power has even done something very remarkable to your genes.”
“What do you mean by that? His jeans?” asks Hydrana.
“Please tell me that you’re kidding, Hydrana. His genetic makeup is what I am talking about. SEAS has found that he has a natural immunity to some of the magical weapons that our enemies have at their disposal. I don’t know which of the weapons exactly, but that is a valuable ability for him to have. Aside from those birthright powers, you are the fastest and most agile of the new recruits. Hydrana and Infinity are slightly stronger than you are and Miracle will turn into the smartest after a few weeks of personal tutoring with SEAS.”
“I don’t really care. It isn’t like I wanted to be the best of the new guardians. But I do like the powers and they help explain the extremely stupid name. Although I still don’t like the name. Now, tell us what we have to do,” orders Fate.
“A simple answer for a simple question. We will start your training in the arena. I want all of you to go in there and wait for me to program the drones. They are simple robots that are armed with guns, swords, and lasers. Their attacks can’t kill any of you, but I doubt that any of you would like to feel the pain at this point in the training. Just remember to fight back and try to get used to your enhanced physical abilities. Here we go,” explains Solix. He hits a red switch that locks the door to the arena and opens some holes in the floor. About twenty robotic skeletons with weapons crawl out of the floor.
“Damn. These things are armed to the teeth,” says Infinity as he dodges a punch to his head. He hits the robot with a telekinetic blast that sends it flying into the far wall. Nearby, Miracle and Hydrana are stuck in a circle of robots that are firing at them. Both of the women twist and flip out of the way and occasionally one of the projectiles hits one of the robots. Finally, Miracle leaps up to the thirty-foot ceiling and ricochets to the farthest corner of the arena. Most of the robots follow her while five remain behind to keep shooting at the redheaded woman. After ten minutes of shooting and dodging, one of the lasers passes through Hydrana’s shoulder. The wound closes almost immediately, but it stops her long enough for the other lasers to riddle her body.
“This is getting boring. Just go away, tin men,” says Hydrana as she is getting shot. She stops in the middle of the circle and points her fingers at the robots. High impact streams of water shoot out of the robots and destroy all that are in the way.
“They are doing better than I had anticipated. I might have to increase the difficulty of the robots before our next class,” thinks Solix as he watches Fate pick up the sword of a robot he just ripped the head off. Fate somersaults away from another robot and sweeps kicks the attacker. While in midair, the robot’s body suddenly has an energy surge and the laser pack on its forearm explodes.
“How’s everyone else doing?” asks Fate as he backfists a robot that was charging him from behind. The impact leaves a fist shaped dent in the robot’s face. The thing just falls backwards and starts to shoot sparks out of its head.
“I think everything is finished up here. But they’re giving Steve, I mean Infinity, a little bit of a problem,” answers Miracle after she punches her hand through the last robot’s ribcage. She pulls her hand out and the robot falls on its face, but its hand quickly grabs her by the ankle and yanks her off her feet. Another robot that is nearby leaves the group that is beating Infinity in a corner and jumps onto Miracle.
“Get off of me!” yells the guardian. The robot opens its mouth and bites into Miracle’s side. It grows long claws from its fingertips, but it is knocked away by a pink gorilla that appears behind it. One slash of its claws causes the gorilla to disappear. When the robot turns around it sees a very angry Venus guardian walking over to it.
“Surrender or die,” orders the robot. It sticks out its claws and attempts to slash at Miracle’s face. Instead it misses her face completely and the red-faced guardian grabs both of its wrists.
“You bit me,” growls Miracle. She snaps the hands off of the arms and kicks the robot right in the head. It goes sailing through air and manages to catch a groove in the wall with its feet. It stays there and a large laser cannon comes out of the top of its head.
“Surrender or die.” The cannon is about to fire when a sword suddenly hits the nozzle of the cannon. The sword sticks in and cause the energy to build up before it becomes too much for the weapon. The robot explodes and flaming shrapnel goes flying around the arena.
“Bet that had to hurt. You ok, Kelly?” asks Fate as he runs over to her.
“Nice shot. And I’m fine. But the name’s. . .”
“Excuse me, guys. But does it really matter. My boyfriend is currently stuck under a pile of deadly robots. You can play Romeo and Juliet later. Let’s go help me,” says Hydrana as she runs toward the moving pile of robots.
“I’m fine!” shouts Infinity from underneath the pile. They can all see a bright white light appearing from beneath the robots. Within seconds the whole area is filled with this light and it explodes. The robots are turned into mounds of ash and there is only a ten-foot tall bird with blue and white feathers.
“O my god! Is that you?” inquires Hydrana as she circles the large hawk that is standing where her boyfriend used to be.
“Yep. This body seems very awkward. It can’t figure out how to use the wings and there thoughts going through my head that I don’t understand. Something about lightning blasts from eyes, but I don’t know how to do that.” Slowly the robot’s remains disappear and the arena turns into a dense jungle. Mist comes out of the ceiling and a small pool of water appears in the middle of the arena.
“What’s going on, Solix?” asks Miracle. Behind her, Infinity slowly changes back into his human form.
“You four have shown that you are capable of fighting separately. But now we shall see how all of you do against one opponent. This will force you to act as a team and depend on each other for assistance,” explains Solix as he walks into the clearing that appears around them. Tree stumps and boulders grow out of the ground in the clearing and the mist clears enough to see trees surrounding the area.
“Well, who is this one opponent?” Solix hits Miracle right in the stomach with a quick punch and picks her up over his head.
“I am the opponent.” Solix tosses Miracle into the pool of water and teleports out of the way of Hydrana’s water blast. He appears behind Infinity and grabs the younger immortal by the neck. Solix puts a chokehold on Infinity, but he is suddenly lifted into the air.
“Hold him there, birdboy. I’ve got him in my sights!” shouts Hydrana from behind the other two immortals. She charges up an ice blast in her hands and fires it at Solix. The Sun guardian teleports out of the way and Infinity gets covered in ice.
“A warrior must be aware of what is going on around them. And announcing one’s actions does not help during battle,” mentions Solix as he reappears next to Hydrana. She throws a punch at him, which he catches. He throws her over his shoulder and she hits Miracle who was trying to get out of the muddy water.
“This is a practice in teamwork. And all I have seen are four amateurs trying to showoff with their new powers.”
“What do you expect, Solix? You’re a lot better at all of this than we are. We don’t even know how to fully control our powers. Mine haven’t done anything for me,” argues Fate as he stands alone in the clearing.
“Here’s a thought, boy. Try using them.” Solix runs at Fate and does a roundhouse kick five feet away from the other guardian. In mid-kick, Solix teleports in front of Fate and kicks the young man in the face. The force sends Fate flying across the clearing into a thick tree, which is cracked in two.
“Now, I’m severely pissed off,” mutters Fate as he gets to his feet. His eyes start to turn gold and bright as he moves toward the older immortal. Solix makes another charge at Fate, but a root that he hadn’t known was there trips him. As he falls, Fate runs at him and slides right into his face. Solix feels his jaw snap and his vision is blurry for a few seconds. But when he gets up, he sees a leg flying at him. The jump kick slams Solix into a boulder and cracks his armor.
“End the program and unfreeze Infinity, SEAS. Very good, Mars guardian. But anger is not what should be used to win a battle. All of you have failed this particular lesson. But you have brought up a very good point, Fate. We will not do this again until I am sure that you are ready. I suggest that you all get some much needed sleep for we will be training for most of the next five days. Follow me to your rooms,” says Solix as he gets up and leads them out of the arena.
The four young immortals leave the game room and follow Solix to their personal quarters. All of the rooms are the same, except each room has different kinds of pictures and plants. All four rooms have a computer monitor that can be used as either a TV or a communication linkup system. There are huge walk-in closets and a floating cylinder-shaped chamber for their guardian uniforms. The fancy beds take up a fourth of the room and the brilliant light comes from a hovering diamond near the ceiling.
“I hope you enjoy these accommodations. We will start nice and early with the training tomorrow. SEAS will wake you up for breakfast,” states Solix. He walks down the hall and slowly teleports up to one of the higher levels. The four new guardians are finally left alone in their rooms and their minds are still filled with several questions and problems.
“I hate this. Solix made it sound like being a planet guardian was going to be fun and exciting. I don’t want to do all this work. It hurts,” remarks Hydrana as she opens up the mattress of her bed and starts putting water into it. On her room’s monitor are Fate, Infinity, and Miracle who are exploring their own rooms.
“Don’t think of it as work, Hydrana. Just consider it survival training,” replies Miracle as she looks through her closet and picks out a pair of white pants and a tight, black T-shirt to change into.
“Survival training? What the hell do you mean by that, tomboy?”
“Simple. If we don’t learn how to use our powers, we don’t survive. Of course, we don’t know if Solix is telling the truth about those evil immortals. For all we know, he might be the real bad guy. That last exercise seemed very dangerous to use with beginners like us,” explains Fate. He has already changed into a gray pair of sweatpants and a red shirt.
“Who cares if those guys are real or if we’re being tricked? This is going to be a lot of fun once we learn what to do. We’re all going to being galactic heroes,” mentions Infinity, who is juggling two stone statues with his telekinetic power.
“I don’t care. We’re immortals, which means we can’t die of old age or be killed by anything. Guess that blows your survival training excuse out of the water!” exclaims Hydrana as she finishes making her waterbed.
“Forget about it. Let’s just get some sleep,” yawns Miracle. She collapses onto the bed and immediately falls asleep.
One by one all of the computer screens turn off. There is no sound for a couple of minutes until a loud crash is heard from Infinity’s room.
“Oops. Sorry about that guys! Do you have a broom, SEAS?” yells Infinity.