The Next Generation Part 8

Through The Pillar

By Krazy Sam

“Oh my god…” Lana whispered. She placed her hand on Sari’s face, and jerked away. It was warm!

“Help me…” a voice whispered in her mind.

“Who are you?” Lana asked out loud.

“Help me…”

“What do you want?” Lana demanded. The chilling voice seemed to taunt her from all angles. It surrounded her, and threatened to engulf her. “Who are you?”

“Lana, are you all right?” Maro asked, kneeling beside her. He put his arm around her trembling shoulders.

“Help…” Maro, too, heard the voice.

“Sari’s…dead…” Lana muttered.

“No…” the voice objected.

“Sari?” Maro cried.


“Alive?” Lana questioned.


“Why aren’t you breathing?” Lana wept. Silence. “Well?”


“Yes, we know you need help!” Maro replied impatiently. Olana, sitting some distance away from the bloody mess, looked quizzically at Lana and Maro, who seemed to be talking to no one.


“Get her a tonic!” Lana demanded. She pushed Maro in Olana’s direction, and he stumbled blindly to her.

“I need a few tonics,” he said softly. Olana pulled out three vials of purple liquid, and stared as Maro brought them back to Lana, who poured the contents into Sari’s mouth. Sari’s right shoulder healed, but her arm was still gone. Sari’s eyes fluttered open and she coughed.

“Thanks,” she whispered faintly.

“If you were alive, why weren’t you breathing?” Maro asked seriously.

“I was…I was breathing slowly and shallowly.”

“What happened?” Lana asked.

“Tavi…was inhabited by Lao. He turned off the power to Robo, and Elena ran into that room,” Sari answered, pointing to the other door, “Gaspar is alive…barely…and Spekkio is apparently unhurt. I…killed Tavi…” Her eyes filled with tears, and she quickly wiped them away. “Well, now, I only have one arm!” She stood and pointed at the bloody sleeve of her short shirt. The blood instantly vanished. She stuck her hand out in front of her, and Tavi and the bloodstains around him also disappeared. She walked over to Robo, stuck her hand in his back, and his green glass eyes began to flash.

“Systems activated,” he said suddenly. He looked around. “What has happened?”

“Tavi was inhabited by Lao. Sari has lost an arm, and Elena is missing. Gaspar is barely alive,” Lana explained softly.

“If we get Sari back to my time, I can make a robotic arm for her. I would give her mine, but it is too large for her,” Robo replied. He studied Sari’s face. “I can also correct her eyesight, since she is only slightly nearsighted.”

“Thank you,” Sari murmured, “I would like that very much.” Robo started for the Epoch with Sari, and disappeared. A minute passed, and Lana suddenly heard the Epoch arrive. Robo and Sari stepped out. Sari had a large silver arm instead of her normal right arm, and was not wearing glasses. She looked a lot better without them.

“What about Gaspar?” Maro asked worriedly. Sari rushed to him and shut her eyes tightly.

“He’s dying.” Lana gasped and knelt by him.

“So much death…” she whispered. Gaspar slowly opened his eyes, and smiled.

“I see my time is near,” he said softly.

“What’s going to happen?” Maro questioned.

“Spekkio…will take my place…”Gaspar replied, gasping for breath. He stared blankly at the mist. “He is immortal, so he will not need a replacement.”

“You can’t leave us like this!” Lana objected, her eyes filling with tears.

“I must. I have grown old, and I must take my place with the other gurus. Belthsar was the first to die, and just recently, Melchior has passed away. I will now join them.” Gaspar paused to take a shaky breath. “Remember me with this.” He reached into his robe and pulled out ten large opalescent bands. “These will help your magic grow stronger, and will protect you from the powerful sorcery of the monsters you will battle. Defeat Lao…” He took a deep breath. “Sari and Robo’s world depends on it…” He exhaled softly, and his eyes closed. His wrinkled face looked peacefully asleep.

“No…” Lana whispered. She let out a loud sob, and Maro hugged her tightly, a single tear falling down his cheek. Sari only stared at him, her eyes dark. Olana allowed a few tears to fall, to splash the cobblestones. Sari held her palm out, and Gaspar disappeared slowly.

“He’s gone…” she whispered. As she said those words, a pale green light shone from the lamppost.

“Remember my words…” Gaspar’s voice called from the light. The green light faded, and only the bright yellow light from the lamp remained. Spekkio emerged from his room, in the form of a white fuzzy bear.

“I see that Gaspar has died,” he said gravely, his energy seemingly drained.

“Yeah,” Sari replied softly. She stood up suddenly, and her eyes grew darker until they were almost black. She emitted a scream of fury, and ran to a wooden barrel. She punched it as hard as she could with her robotic arm, but it did not break. Instead, its lid fell off, and sparkling water was revealed. Sari then slid to the ground, fuming.

“Are you okay?” Lana asked worriedly. Sari raised her dark eyes to her and her face contorted into a mask of hatred.

“Shut up,” she growled softly, “nobody asked you what you thought. Nobody wanted your pity!”

“But…” Lana whispered, her eyes filling with hurt tears.

“Shut up!” Sari screamed wildly. She created a small red ball and hurled it into the abyss. “I mean it!” Lana spun into Maro’s arms, sobbing frantically. “By the way, don’t go thinking that Maro can protect you forever. There will come a time when he can’t protect you. You will be alone!” Maro gasped. At that moment, Sari’s eyes paled and lost all trace of color. She shut her eyes tightly, and slumped over, unconscious.

“Oh dear!” Spekkio cried. He ran over to Sari. He placed his paws on her fragile face, and suddenly frowned deeply. “Her brain is overloaded.”

“What does that mean?” Olana asked.

“Her mind can’t take all the stress that it is forced to handle. Mind powers, Shadow magic, and the loss of her best friend… they all work on one’s mind, you know. She needs to get rid of most of her mind powers if she wants to be normal,” Spekkio answered calmly.

“Why don’t we wake her up and ask her what she wants to keep?” Maro offered.

“We can’t do that. First off, she’s in a deep trance. She couldn’t be woken up if we tried our best. Second, if she were to awaken, she would not be able to do anything because her brain can’t handle the stress of doing anything else. You must decide what must go.”

“Well…” Lana said softly, “she should keep her telekinesis. She loves that.”

Spekkio nodded. “She could safely keep that.”

“She should also keep her telepathy and empathy… so she could talk to Roly, and to sense who wants to help us,” Olana spoke up.

“If she were to keep those three powers and her magic, she would be fine,” Spekkio voiced after a moment of thought. He raised his paws, and white light flowed from Sari’s heart. It floated into his waiting palm, and Sari’s eyes fluttered open.

“What happened?” She murmured sleepily.

“You lost most of your mind powers,” Spekkio explained. Sari smiled.

“Good. I hated seeing the near future and all.”

“Well, that’s good, because you won’t.”

Sari stared closely at Spekkio. “Why has your form changed?”

Spekkio sighed. “Let’s face it. If you’re strong, I look strong. If you’re weak, I look weak.”

“So you’re saying that we’ve been getting stronger,” Olana concluded.

“Yes.” Spekkio paused. “By the way, I don’t believe we have met. I’m Spekkio, the Master of War! Your inner character suggests that you would be perfect for Lightning magic.”

“But…I already know wind,” Olana argued. Spekkio sighed with exasperation.

“Yes, but you would be much better off learning Lightning,” he shot back. Before Olana could protest once more, Spekkio had already summoned a lightning bolt to strike her. Maro, who was nearby, leapt back, startled. Olana stepped forward, and her blue eyes took on a golden glow.

“I also have some tricks I want to teach everybody!” Spekkio exclaimed energetically, as if he had already forgotten Gaspar’s death.

“Okay…” Lana muttered. Spekkio rushed to her and smiled.

“You already know your basic fire command, but you can easily create something that your mother used… a grenade,” Spekkio instructed. “Now that your magic is strong enough, you can make one. Go ahead, concentrate on a nice little grenade.” Lana shut her eyes and opened her hand. She concentrated on a small grenade, and soon felt a cold object resting in her palm. She opened her eyes and found a shiny metal egg.

“Is this a grenade?” She asked softly.

“It sure is. Pull the tiny tab, and throw the grenade over the edge of the fence.”

“Okay…” Lana did as she was told, and soon, a huge explosion ripped through the air. Even though the grenade had gone far into the abyss, she could see the gigantic detonation taking place. She grinned with pleasure as Spekkio ran to Maro.

“Now, for you, my lad!” He exclaimed. “You can have some powerful healing magic! First, I want you to slash at Lana with your sword.”

“What?” Maro asked with obvious disbelief.

“Do it!” Spekkio commanded. Maro drew his sword, and, sighing, sliced halfway through her arm. She shrieked in pain and clutched her wound. “Now, concentrate on healing her.” Maro shut his eyes tightly, and Lana’s laceration healed without a scar. He gaped in amazement.

“Did I do that?” He asked softly, but Spekkio was already at Olana’s side.

“Your magic is powerful, but you can’t learn anything new. Sorry.” Olana frowned, but got over her disappointment. He turned to Robo.

“You still see me as a Nu, right?” He asked.

“Yes,” Robo answered.

“Well, that means that you can’t learn anything new!” Spekkio giggled and rushed over to Sari.

“You already know all the magic that there is to know, like Ice, Water, Fire, and Lightning, but you need to learn other forms of Shadow!”

“Like what?” Sari asked.

“Well, you can also make a grenade!” Spekkio answered.

“Cool!” Sari exclaimed happily.

“Create one, and do as Lana did.”

Sari did as she was instructed to do, and tossed her grenade over the edge. An even larger explosion took place, but instead of a fiery detonation like Lana’s, the flame was dark. “What happened?”

“It is a shadow bomb!” Spekkio cried. “It is just as powerful as a fire grenade, but it inflicts Shadow damage!”

Sari gazed at the ground. “We need to find Elena, wherever she is. I know that she isn’t here.

“I forgot about her!” Lana gasped, putting a hand to her mouth.

“She went into that room,” Sari cried, pointing to the other door.

“I never noticed that door before,” Maro said thoughtfully. Robo shook his head.

“It was always there. It used to lead to separate Gates, but they all sealed…I think…”

“They might not be,” Lana argued. Sari raised an eyebrow.

“What makes you say that?” She asked seriously.

“Remember that Gate we found in the gym? Mother said something about the gates being sealed, and receiving the Gate Key triggered the opening?” Lana started.

“I get it… if the gates are appearing in other places, they will show up in that room!” Sari exclaimed.

“Yes… Perhaps Elena is in one of them!” Maro piped up.

“Maro, Sari,” Lana barked, “you’re with me! We’re going to find Elena!” Sari nodded, and Maro tightened his white cloth belt.

“Ready!” Sari exclaimed. Maro nodded in agreement. Lana dashed through the door, and suddenly stopped. Three identical pillars greeted her, and Lana had no idea which one to go through.

“Which one did she go through?” She asked, puzzled. Sari ran around the room, trying to get a better look at the shafts of blue light. In doing so, she came across a single silver sandal.

“Lana!” She shouted. Lana and Maro dashed to Sari.

“What?” Lana questioned. Sari held up the sandal.

“This is Elena’s, right?” Lana took a closer look at it and nodded.

“I suppose she went through this gate, then,” Lana reasoned. She gazed at the column in front of her- the column on the left. She stared at the flowing light for a long time, and finally stepped inside. She felt her body being lifted up, and then had a sensation of falling. She found that Sari and Maro were beside her, but something was amiss. She gazed down, and found that she was not touching any ground. Lana shrieked, expecting to fall any second, but she didn’t.

“Sari…?” Maro questioned softly. Sari didn’t answer. Her brow was furrowed in concentration, and Lana felt herself being slowly lowered to the ground below.

“Now, to find out where we are,” Sari said without emotion.


Elena groaned and tried to sit up. She felt a moist object on her forehead, but made no effort to remove it. She slowly opened her eyes and looked around her surroundings. She was in a straw hut, with bearskins hanging on the walls like trophies. There was a roaring fire in the center of the hut. She then lay back and tried to figure out what had happened.

“Tavi…” she whispered, remembering the horror she witnessed. She remembered the macabre gleam in his eyes, the wicked curl to his lips. She sighed deeply, inhaling the strong scent of smoke and sulfur. At that moment, she heard footsteps outside of the small hut. “Who’s there?” she called apprehensively.

“You awake? Good! Me found you at Mystic Mountains, and carry back to hut,” a woman with long blond hair and a skimpy animal skin outfit replied calmly. Her large blue eyes sparkled like gems, and she dropped a huge armful of herbs onto the floor.

“Who are you?” Elena asked, sitting up and removing the damp cloth from her forehead.

“Me Zala, Chief of Ioka. Who you?” Zala replied.

“I am Elena. Nice to meet you.” Zala nodded in reply and rubbed the herbs over Elena’s forehead.

“You have nasty bump on forehead. Poka plant help,” Zala explained. She stopped rubbing the Poka over Elena’s brow, and Elena’s hand flew up to feel the damage done.

“What happened?” She asked.

“Fall from sky! You land on head and go boom! You okay now. You missing sandal, though.”

Elena glanced at her feet. Sure enough, one of her silver sandals was gone. She sighed and sat back. She and Zala were silent for a few minutes, and an aging woman then walked into the hut.

“Hi Mom!” Zala cried. Elena glanced in the woman’s direction. She looked exactly like Zala, except that her hair was graying, she was wearing a purple robe, and her eyes were gray, not blue.

“What happen? You say something big happen. What happen?” the woman asked excitedly. She took one look at Elena and her eyes went wide.

“Hello…?” Elena squeaked.

“Me Ayla. Who you?” Ayla boomed. Elena’s eyes then enlarged in shock.

“Did you say that your name was Ayla?” she asked in disbelief. Ayla nodded.

“Yes, why?”

“My father told me quite a bit about you!” Elena cried. Ayla frowned.

“Who father?” she asked softly.

“Sir Glenn. He says that you might know him better as…Frog…” Elena replied. Ayla nodded once more.

“Me remember. Good friend of mine. Very strong!” she laughed.

“I thought you were the chief,” Elena said softly. Ayla laughed heartily and shook her head.

“Zala now stronger! Chief of Ioka, big muscles! Zala chief since she twelve!” Zala modestly blushed.

“Me not that strong…” she muttered. Elena giggled as a man with silver hair and a purple toga walked in. Ayla turned to him and back to Elena.

“This Kino. He Zala’s father,” Ayla explained.

“Your…husband, right?” Elena ventured. Ayla nodded. “He chief before Zala.”

Elena’s head spun with confusion. “But I thought that you were the chief before Zala!” Ayla roared with laughter at that.

“Me chief before Kino,” she explained, “Me quit chief, Kino then chief. Zala stronger than Kino and me, so she chief!” Elena nodded slowly.

“I think I have it…” she murmured. She frowned and stood up. “How can I get back?”

“You stay until strong again. Once strong, you go back!” Zala answered. She stared at the door of the hut. “Eun and Lapo come soon. You meet!” Elena narrowed her eyes.

“Who are Eun and Lapo?” she questioned.

“Eun my husband. Lapo my son,” Zala answered. She smiled. “Lapo very strong. Lapo mean ‘strong fire’.”

“Strong fire?” Elena asked softly.

“I name,” Ayla said proudly. Kino acted hurt.

“I help!” he murmured. Elena smiled lightly. She was beginning to feel a bit better. Suddenly, the thought of what might’ve happened flashed through her mind. She saw Tavi brutally murder everyone at the End of Time and greeting Lana, Maro, and Olana when they returned. She also saw him kill everyone and search for her. She cringed.

“Tavi…” she whispered sadly.


“Where are we?” Maro asked. Lana shook her head. She cautiously sniffed the air and wrinkled her nose.

“It reeks of sulfur!” she cried, pinching her nose. Sari smiled.

“It would appear that we are in prehistoric times,” she said lightly.

“What makes you say that?” Maro questioned.

“For one, that reptile seems interested in us,” Sari laughed. She pointed to a reptilian being that was about three feet high. It ran up and bared its teeth.

“It’s going to attack!” Lana whispered. Sari nodded.

“It sure is,” she gasped. At that second, nine identical lizards joined their comrade.

Lana gasped loudly as the reptiles advanced on her, Maro, and Sari. “We’re outnumbered!”


As Eun walked through the Mystic Mountains with his son, Lapo, he was hoping to catch a couple of lizards for dinner. So far, they weren’t around. He ran a large hand through his short black hair. He looked down at his five-year-old son and grinned. Lapo had all of his mother’s features, except for his wild red hair. No one in Ioka knew why Lapo had red hair, but Eun’s mother-in-law, Ayla, said that red hair was the sign of the strong, for one of the strong visitors that arrived when Eun was a small child had spiky red hair. He sighed, remembering how he told them that they wore odd skins.

“Where dinner, dad?” Lapo asked softly. Eun shook his head.

“Me don’t know. Usually lots lizards around!” He and Lapo finally came to a long pathway. At the end, Eun could make out ten lizards and three people cowering against a huge rock wall. He squinted suddenly, for a large flash of light almost blinded him when one of the people turned to the side. Lapo’s eyes went wide with pleasure, seeing the reptiles.

“Dinner!” he called. He glanced at the people. One of them had purple hair, like a Laruba villager, another had plain brown hair, and the one in the center, a boy, had red hair just like his! Lapo ran up to investigate, and half of the lizards turned his way. They shrieked loudly and prepared to attack.


Lana glanced at the boy skeptically. He seemed to want to take on five reptiles at once! She sighed and drew her gun. Maro pulled out his prismatic sword, and Sari created her shiny purple baseball bat. She ran up to the largest of the lizards and swung with all her might. It caught the lizard in the belly, and it went flying into a nearby bush.

“I love this arm!” Sari cried, flexing her robotic arm. Maro raised his sword and ice swirled around it. He then pointed at the lizard and it froze. When the ice melted, it was still alive and angrier than ever.

Lana sat still, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. Four of the lizards were starting to group, and Sari was also ready for them to do so. Lana turned to Sari, and was given a slight nod in return. Sari shut her eyes, and dark clouds hovered over her. She chanted slowly and carefully, and the cloud lit up. A bright white bolt suddenly shot out of the cloud, striking the four lizards in the vicinity. Lana thrust her arm out and began to cast fire magic. The fire swirled around where the bolt used to be, and the lizards were incinerated. The small boy battling the five other lizards seemed to be having the time of his life. He happily struck one lizard, and whirled around, kicking another in the process.

“He’s strong!” Sari gasped. She ran up to the boy and proceeded to help him as best as she could. As the boy punched one reptile in the head, she would smash her powerful mechanic arm over the back of it. After a few minutes, all of the reptiles were dead. Lana raised an eyebrow as the boy slung five of the dead lizards over his shoulder and trot back to the older man.

“Dinner!” he cried joyfully. Lana gagged. That kid was actually going to eat those? Maro seemed to sense it.

“Well, it IS prehistoric times. Why else would they have matching loincloths, eat lizards, and survive in a volcano environment?” he laughed. Sari nodded.

“They are related, and are going to give the…dinner…to the chief,” Sari explained.

“Who is the chief?” Lana asked.

“The man’s wife, and the kid’s mother.” Maro watched as the boy turned around and beckoned for the three to follow. Lana shook her head.

“We aren’t going to follow them. For all we know, they are going to eat us, too. Besides, we need to find Elena!” Lana insisted. Sari raised an eyebrow.

“Are you sure that’s wise? Elena might be at their hut. I sense her, and she’s all right... it wouldn’t do any harm to follow,” she argued. Maro smiled faintly.

“They’re waiting for us. We either follow them now or don’t. Which is it going to be, Lana?”

Lana hesitated. “Sari… had a good point. We’re going to come with them,” she finally replied. She then turned to Sari. “Could you at least…check… to make sure that their intentions are good?”

Sari turned to the prehistoric pair. She studied each one closely, and finally smiled. “They mean us no harm. They plan on introducing us to the chief.”

“Sounds good to me!” Maro cried. He sprinted to the duo and signaled for Lana and Sari to follow. Sari shrugged her shoulders and dashed to catch up to him with Lana on her heels.


As Elena struggled to get a grip on what had just happened, Zala stormed impatiently around the hut. “Eun and Lapo supposed to be home hours ago! They better have good excuse!” she shouted, punching a bearskin angrily.

“Eun and Lapo come. Dinner must be hiding,” Ayla assured her daughter. Zala calmed down.

“Maybe…” she murmured thoughtfully. She gazed out the door of the hut. “Me worried.”

“They come,” Kino insisted. Elena nodded in agreement.

“You just have to be patient, Miss Zala,” she said politely. To her surprise, Zala started to laugh.

“Miss Zala?” she roared, “Me just Zala. Me no call you ‘miss Elena,’ so why you say ‘miss?’”

“Sorry, Zala,” Elena muttered, giggling to herself. She stared at the setting sun. The volcanic ash in the air made the sun seem to burn green and yellow, all at once. She marveled at the beauty of the sunset, and became thankful- after all; it’s not every day that a person can see a green sunset! She suddenly became aware of five figures, one of which the sun’s glow was reflecting off of. “It can’t be…”

“Eun! Lapo!” Zala screamed. She ran out of the hut to greet her husband and son. She then glanced at Lana, Maro, and Sari. “More strangers?”

Eun nodded gravely. “They help catch dinner. They friend,” he murmured. Zala nodded.

“What mean, ‘more?’” Lapo suddenly piped up.

“Girl fall! She in hut!” Zala exclaimed.

“Elena!” Lana gasped. Sari nodded.

“I definitely sense her. She is nearby.”

Maro dashed inside the hut and saw Elena lying on a bearskin throw. He sighed with relief as she smiled and waved to him. “I’m so glad that you’re okay!” Sari, hearing this, also ran into the hut. Unfortunately, she skidded on a leftover skin from a previous meal and her right side crashed into Maro. She gasped as Maro went down like a bag of bricks and lay still. A single red mark on his left temple was the only evidence of him being hit. Lana shrieked and rushed to his side.

“What did you do to him?” she demanded. Sari only stood, her eyes wide.

“He’s just unconscious. It…was an accident…” she whispered. She placed her left hand on Maro’s temple, and the mark disappeared. “He’ll still be out for a while, but there is no damage.” Lana sighed with relief.

“Good. If you killed him, I swear, your head will roll!” Sari jumped back, surprised by the coldness in Lana’s voice. Zala, who was standing nearby, stepped forward.

“Me chief, Zala. You rest here tonight while guests heal. In morning, we take you home, okay?” Zala asked softly. Lana nodded. She was awfully tired, after the trauma she had just faced not more than an hour ago. She sat back against a straw wall.

“That sounds wonderful,” she murmured. Zala nodded.

“We eat.” She tossed a lizard into the fire and quickly pulled it out. The charred carcass gave off a foul odor, and Lana gagged at the stench. There was no way that she was going to eat THAT. Suddenly, her stomach growled loudly, and she realized exactly hungry she was. She reluctantly dug into the reptile, and her eyes widened in surprise. The lizard actually tasted…good! She tore into the flesh of the lizard, and Sari slowly did the same.

“Killing Tavi has demolished my appetite,” she explained. Lana shrugged. Anything, as long as she got enough to eat. Zala tossed the rest of the lizards into the blaze, and the large group began to feast.


Hours later, Sari woke from a deep sleep. She stood slowly and glanced around the hut. Maro was snoring loudly, and apparently, so were everyone else. Sari gazed around once more and started to sit. The sun was about to rise, and the sky was gray with anticipation for the beauty ready to take place. She shut her eyes, and was able to catch a vivid vision. Her eyes snapped open, and she saw that she was sitting directly next to Maro. She closed her eyes again, and colors began to blur. It was then that she realized that she was viewing Maro’s dream. She smiled and lost herself in the fantasy.


Sari saw a lone figure clad in a gauzy, blue gown. The person’s purple hair flowed wildly behind her, and slowly began to turn. Sari grinned as she recognized Lana. Lana smiled softly and began to walk toward her. “I must be viewing this through Maro’s eyes!” Sari whispered.

Her assumption was soon confirmed when Lana started to hug her. Sari caught a glimpse of Lana’s bare shoulder as the gown slid off. Sari decided not to stay any longer and abruptly opened her eyes.


“Whew!” Sari gasped, giggling madly. She looked over at Maro, who was grinning in his sleep. She leaned back and decided to see if anyone was awake. Sari felt an air of emptiness in the room suddenly. She gazed around the hut and suddenly gasped. “Lana’s gone!”


Go To Chapter 9

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