Time of the Gospel Chapter 1

By Taran

It was beautiful. The sun shone light down onto everything below. And within... Within, the land was flowing with life and beauty. It was truly paradise. From that paradise, crystal waters fell, melding with rays of the sun as both ran down to earth, down to animus and anima: man and woman. Two one-winged angels, extending hands to aid each other. Where the two beings touched with reaching Eden, a bond formed. There, the three: man, woman, and God, became one. Man and woman helping each other, loving each other, extending that love to God, and receiving it back tenfold: forever it would remain the same. But forever came sooner than expected. A dark sin formed on the earth, quickly spreading a black crack entering paradise, and in an instant, everything, man, woman, paradise, and God was shattered.

Fragments of the stained window rained down on an unsuspecting monk. He raised his arm to protect him from the glass and although providing temporary protection, it did nothing against a shuriken that followed. As soon as the metal star pierced the man's heart he fell dead, blood spilling out over finely polished stones of a monastery floor, tinted black from a cold night's sky. On that same floor, two feet landed. They were clad in black, as was the rest of the killer: a woman wearing a dark ninja's gi. Her hair was hidden under the hood of a cloak wrapped tightly about her, her face behind a black cloth mask, and her body weighed down by a clutter of weapons ranging from silent daggers and thin katana to fast pistols and powerful rifles. She bore the appearance of an assassin, ninja, mercenary, or a cross between the three. Whatever she was, by her mark on the monk, she was dangerous.

One lantern bulged from the tower wall. Its half glass casing was finely pierced and the flame within was snuffed out. Everything went dark, the shadow vanished into its own and remained unseen.

Rather, the murderer herself was not seen, works of her hand were evident.

In a small chamber of the monastery, several priests sat around a long, oak table, praying before partaking of an ever-late evening meal. Although it was not much, merely a few loaves of bread and some fruit between them, they were thankful. One began to cut into their bread. Raising his head, his eyes opened, gazed towards heaven, then rolled back behind their sockets. His face fell onto the table, revealing a dagger stuck in his back. Another priest could relate as blood trickled down the front of his white robes, dripping from a gash in his neck. The cut was thin, but deep, only preformed by a quick strike from a slick blade, such as a katana.

The seemingly invisible warrior was next spotted racing down a stone corridor, full moon and a scattering of stars providing more searchlight than the vast decreasing candlelit rooms inside. A simple dash, from door to door, quick cut across a courtyard, but before she could reach an archway at the opposite end a monk blocked her entrance. She slashed at him with her katana, but the blow failed to make contact with its target as his upper-body jolted to the side and back. Feet until then planted, the monk hit her with a roundhouse kick that sent the woman sprawling on the stone floor. Recovering from his attack, she pulled a dagger from a cloth sheath and threw it at him. The spinning knife was strong and sharp enough to kill, however, the man was quick enough to catch it between his fingers as it flew at him. Taking his newly acquired weapon, he discarded it in a grass lawn to his side.

Leaping to her feet the intruder charged towards the monk with another sword. As she made a slash, he dropped his triceps onto her extended arm. With a sweep of his leg he knocked her off her feet then slammed into her, sending her clattering back several feet. Deciding her element of surprise was growing less effective every second, the rogue drew a pistol and fired at the monk. Having to make up for lost time, she sprinted through the archway, then raced down the last stretch of the arcade until entering a shrine.

The shrine was a marvelous site, but the mercenary obviously had a job to do. Flipping over to an altar in the center of the room, she prepared to take the abbey's Soul-Stone. Reaching out to grab a tintless, clear crystal, the thief took her prize. After successfully removing the Soul-Stone from its pedestal set before an altar and placing it in her cloak, she prepared to flee the monastery.

As the outlaw turned to backtrack through the abbey she was met by the glare of an Ethos knight. He looked as he had just risen from bed, wearing only half of a suite of armor, only a spare sword by his side, and his eyelids baring gray marks of sleep. Lack of decorations allowed her to only guess at his rank, but an aura of strength and vigor about him hinted higher than Acolyte: perhaps Etone, or even Pointiff. Seeing him made the outlaw cower, perhaps not being as confident as before. Nonetheless, she drew out three daggers with one hand and aimed them one by one at the knight. The blades flew towards the man, who did not even make an attempt to dodge them. An attempt was not necessary though, as the knives were reflected half a meter before they reached him, as if by an invisible shell. ‘Definitely Pointiff.’ The holy warrior then charged at her, spinning at the last moment to ram her with his shoulder rather than strike with his sword.

"Dne raui quem*." The rogue laughed in her languid Ethos tongue. Before the knight could reply she took out a small ball of some kind and hurled it towards the floor. It released a giant cloud of smoke and steam, covering the shrine in a thick haze. The knight could not see where, but she was gone. The ninja again passed undetected…

…But she was caught in the courtyard. There, the knight was waiting for her, standing by an arched entrance to the monastery. Foolishly, the assassin charged forward, running strait towards the Ethos. With sword in hand, he prepared for her assault. The assassin came closer and closer, then leapt backwards into the air. An explosion erupted behind the knight and the force blew him across the courtyard. From the ashes of the flames a lygir came, running into the abbey's inner ward.

The mercenary jumped over the creature and landed on its back. Taking out a small glass ball, she launched it at an opposite wall. Next she drew out a pistol and fired. A bullet struck the orb, which was filled with gunpowder, just as it knocked against the rock. Both the ball and the wall exploded. As a large portion collapsed, a small rock must have shot into their camera’s lens, for a black crack-shaped emptiness respectively formed on the view screen. On the fragmented glass, the ninja jumped the large feline through the opening in the wall and then onward towards a forest. After she had gone out of site of what remained of the camera, he shut off the video.

"That is what our links were able to show of the assault on the Ethos Church just an hour ago. It is reported that she was the one behind the rebels at Gimiea. Your mission is simple: find her, apprehend her. Are there any questions?" A captain glanced across a line of soldiers. Five earth-toned uniforms stood perfectly still. They were all standing in attention, all of them ready for the upcoming mission. They were his elite group, and he was proud of them. When none stirred, he continued. "Good. Your transport leaves in ten minutes. Dismissed."

Five soldiers turned and filed out of the small briefing room. When they were out of range of their captain, they finally eased up with a sigh. "Alright, I'll start the pool with 600 gold on Xolis." one of two girls began. She was skinny, her body did not seem fit for physical combat. As they walked down a long, steel plated hall of Guard Headquarters, her brown hair was tossed about and fell in front of large glasses. Irritated, but accustomed, she brushed it back behind her ears where it would not stay.

The man on whom she had placed her wager appeared much more apt for any physical labor. His hair fell a little past his shoulders, was dark, and slightly curled. Most of his exterior looked gruff, but his face was different. He was cleanly shaven, his lips were broken apart in a smile, his eyes were lighted as a child’s heading out to play. “Thanks Allys," he replied, "but I've promised 600 behind Taran."

Taran flexed and they all laughed. His strength was not the most visible. Of course he was strong enough to grab his position of Guard Elite, but he was not the bodybuilding type. As the youngest of the group, his face was not masked by the military, not as lighthearted as Xolis’, but a smile was still on his lips and eyes were opened wide. A third whose hair would fall, but his brown hair was pulled back into a thin, long tail. Nevertheless, one strand seemed to stick out of place.

Now entering an equipment room, the other woman made her bet. "I will place one thousand..." That made four with long hair, hers the longest save Taran’s tail, and brightest. Her blonde hair let her fit perfectly into the mold that stereotypes had created. Not only her hair, but her slender figure and rich endowment helped to reinforce others' prejudices. Still holding hands with society's standards, being the 'supermodel type,’ she was spoken for. "...on Lance."

And her boyfriend broke the trend. From his scalp shot up many a thin blade of hair, but they were each but an inch tall. Picking up his own lance from its place on the wall, the man touched the tip of his weapon. Immediately a drop of blood formed on his finger. "Well placed." he remarked as he watched the drop fall to the floor. "I'd place a thousand on me too, but that's against the rules, so I guess it will go to Kyrin. The rest of you had best match the stakes."

"Alright, I'll put one thousand on Xolis." Taran shrugged as he pulled on a pair of shoulder pads.

"Same here." Allys agreed. She clipped a gun to her belt. "What about you, Xolis?"

"Two thousand gold for me to get her first?” He twirled two, long katana. “No pressure there.” He laughed. “But… one thousand on Taran…?” Xolis gulped. “I know he’s shown us some surprises but… oh, alright.”

“Gee, thanks for the confidence.” Still no weapon joined him.

It was expected. All knew who would actually bring her in. The assignment was to kill, and none seemed more able than Lance. He was the roughest of the Guard Elite, the strongest, largest, and he never held anything back, except his emotions. That hidden side of him, whatever it held, was only shown to Kyrin. Hands clasped tightly, the two of them headed towards a sand dock where their ride was waiting.

Small, sleek, made of steel, their sand cruiser was in uniform design of all the latest models. A small, acute cockpit sat infront covered by a squeezed half-dome canopy. Body falling back symmetrically, the entire craft rode low on three smooth ‘ski’s’ that could both climb up and slide down dunes of the desert. A walkway suspended in air reached out to it and three others from the dock. Lance fell behind his love and lifted her up, carrying her across as if a bride the threshold. Caught off guard, Kyrin fell suddenly, and then willingly into his arms. Letting out a childish giggle, she laughed with delight. "Lance, what are you doing?" He would have answered, was he not kissing her. For the time, she seemed quite satisfied with his response.

Following them closely, but out of earshot, Allys whispered to Xolis, "He's practicing, isn't he? For the big day?"

"Man, you don't miss anything, do you Boss?" the man was quite impressed.

Xolis always respected Allys' keen sense of observation and correct assumption. They were but two of the qualities that made the leader of the Guard elite so effective. Another was that, although it looked appealing when she saw Lance and Kyrin, she put aside personal feelings and close relationships. Gazing longingly at the two for a brief moment, she forced herself back to reality. "No, I don't. After all, it is my job."

"Now only Kyrin doesn't know." Taran remarked. He watched the two board the vessel.

"How long was he going to keep her in the dark?" Allys inquired.

"The plan was until tomorrow night:" Xolis responded, "their 'anniversary.' I suppose he'll propose right after this mission though. Taran and I've already gotten the ring and everything for him."

"You guys coming or not?" Lance demanded as he stuck his head back out the door of the transport to scold the trio standing outside.

"Right." The three of them headed within and joined the other two in a passenger's room. "Xolis, get this thing moving, will you? Set your course for Blackmoon." The man took a few brief steps to become stationed in the cockpit. Spread out before him was a large rectangular painting of Aveh desert: the ‘sea of sand’. Treads began to make their path as the boat set sail. Their wake was of tank tracks that led strait through the picture frame hanger door and out from an under city dock and onward across the waters.

Allys continued: “We believe the target has left Legend’s Valley and entered the forest. Ethos knights have been commissioned to guard the woods, but of course except for the one at the monastery, none will arrive for some time. The rebel should be hiding out in a denser patch of the woods. Any questions?”

“She’s not the rebel, is she?”

“Don’t question the Captain. Xolis, are we there yet?”

"Heh, yeah right. We've got about another hour or so.” The pilot looked around his cockpit: controls for their speed, height, uphill or down, readouts of their course, stability, area, and one little button. “Now where was that M Disk?” Rummaging with one hand through a pocket in his brown Guard jacket, the other keeping the back level as they swished down a dune, he found it. Taking out a thin metallic discus, he turned and placed it in a small tray that slid away. A loud, fast paced, tune, ‘An Ancient Dance II: Very Ancient Indeed,’ blasted out from speakers spread across the vessel.


“Eznaqa… Pheshaq qa… Narmyg…”
Orange… or rather… crimson.

“Dan…” another sniffed the air. “Esh synsyrd ry qada.”
And… the odor is distinct.

“Deppys eqa relag esh rean rysh. Solus, osaz emys ry sy.”
This means the scales are tipped. Solus, it is time to go.*

Out in the open night sky stood three sages: Gaspar, Belthazar, and Melchior, self-named after the sages of almost forgotten Shevat. They were old men, but, despite wrinkles and white beards, they still had the strength and vitality of their youth. They were astrologers, engineers, inventors, artists, true ‘Renaissance Men’. They were finely dressed, draped in robes of royal purple, true orange, and a hint of gold for effect. As was one of their students who stood with them, Solus, named closely after Shevat’s rival country.

A single piece cement path led them towards the shore of an island. Lining either side of the walkway was a yard, its grass cut short. Sprouting up from the grass here and there were tall lampposts that lit the path with a white glow. Further down the road branched off in three directions. The west fork headed to a garden. Flowers in full bloom, small fountains, and a hedge maze grown for amusement were sights to be seen, but the true destination of the path was a university. Not being selfish men and having learned a great deal throughout their many years, the three had begun a school to pass on their knowledge and experience to other generations. East was an automated farmland. Irrigation channels broke it in rows and sprayed water to each side when a single pump was set to work. All it required was planting and harvesting to feed the island year after year, and there were machines that helped that as well. Neither was their destination.

Keeping to a strait course they continued until they reached a beach. “Step out here.” Belthazar instructed.

“But…” Solus objected, there was nothing.

“Just step.” With one foot forward, he stepped out onto the water and stood firm. He turned around to the sages in question. Belthazar smiled. “Glass platforms a centimeter below the surface.” Solus continued across until he was a good ten meters or so from shore. Suddenly, he noticed the water level rising, but it did not touch him. Actually, he was being lowered down a glass chute by a crystal Stepping Stone. He was taken past the ocean’s floor and down into a large room. Standing in the center was an enormous robot.

It was about two stories tall, a massive titan. Its skin was made of black metal polished so that electric lights reflected off. It was designed like a human, only much larger. Two pronged feet touched the floor, a knight’s head, the ceiling. A jetpack protruded from the back and downward. At first it was still, but as Solus approached it wined to life. An engine geared up, its eyes took on a glow, and a distinct humming sound was emitted. Over the whir came Belthazar’s voice. “16.3 meters, 17.8 tons*. It is very maneuverable for its size. Ether machine and joints all working fine… It was stripped down, but we replaced any equipment missing. Welt-12400 frame. The engine’s a B30-4200, and the armor is very strong: RX Metal 50. All in perfect condition. We took the liberty of equipping it with C, D, and F circuits. That way you should be able to make good time over any terrain.”

“You mean this is what I’m going in!? I can’t fly a Gear!”

“Actually, you are the only one who can.”

“What do you mean?”

“Solus, we’ve left one little thing out of your lessons. You see, after the destruction of Deus, all Gears and most everything else stopped working. Over the last two hundred years, people have managed to apply other power sources and parts to various machines, but never to anything as complex as a Gear. Gears, however, seem to react to you and your brother. You’re different from all of us, you’re special. There is something in you, and him, that comes strait from above, and now it is time to fulfil your destiny.”

Solus gazed up at the titan, the titan gazed down at Solus. “What’s its name?”

“Well, it was Weltall, Alpha actually, but you can name it anything you want.”

“It looks like a ‘Shadow,’ but I’d never ride something called that.”

“We could paint it you know.”

“No, that’s alright. I think… I’ll call it… Gabe for now, until I can think of anything better.”

“Gabe?” Melchior frowned.

“What? You said I could name it.” Solus reminded.

“Yes, but I never thought…”

“He wants you to name it Melchior.” Gaspar jested.

“Well he didn’t name it Gaspar either.” Melchior defended.

“No, but at least he used my first two letters.”

“As well as mine.” Belthazar added” I guess he abbreviated it GAspar-BElthazar! Ha.”

“Sorry Melchior.” The student apologized.

“No, that’s alright.” The sage choked down his pride. “I’m… quite above this…”

“You really should get going.”

“Okay, this is goodbye, I guess.”

“Do not worry, we shall see you again. Remember, go where he guides you.”

“Yes sir.” Turning towards the Gear, ‘Gabe,’ Solus stared at it again. The steel giant broke free of clamps, wires, and cords, knelt down, and extended a flat palm to its new master. Using it as a step, Solus climbed into the cockpit.

True pilot detected. Please enter alias.

“Hey, I didn’t know Gears talked.”

Please enter alias.

S – O – L – U – S

Welcome Solus. Shall I run a preliminary status check?

“Uhm…Yes please.”

Frame Integrity: 12400: full. Fuel: 4200: full. Attack Force: 350. Defense Force: 500. Ether Amp: 10. Ether Defense…

“Er… hello?” Solus’ voice was projected throughout the chamber via a speaker implanted within ‘Gabe,’ and the others’ voices returned through similar perceivers.

“Yes Solus?”

“Did I mention that I don’t know how to work this thing.”

“Do not concern yourself with that. It shall come to you.”

Status check complete. Prepared for action.

“Okay. Uhm… how about this, and this… wait, no, now, alright! Go! Yes!” At first uneasy, very soon Solus was acting on instinct, turning dials to shift weight, adjusting movement, and then suddenly he was rocketing out of the sea and into the sky, chasing after a long descended sun, or perhaps fleeing as it rose somewhere not too far behind him. Raising a lever flicked on two bright lights shining down on uneasy black waves tossing back and forth. Waves, far in either direction. “I guess it’s just you and me now Gabe.”

Yes sir.


A fast, extremely loud, roaring, explosive burst of sound screamed through the cargo area. The mother of all alarm-clocks. The Guard elite shot up. “Franz collection, huh?”

Everyone grabbed their weapons and departed from the transport where Xolis had docked. Despite the late hour, there was still a man tending a few steeds. After paying him six hundred gold and three hundred for an insurance loan, they saddled together upon three Grass Hoppers: quick reptilian creatures that ran on two feet, almost birdlike. A number of minutes’ dash across the edge of the desert and then over plains, trees began to sprout from the ground. They came to a halt.

Once directly across the plain, the five of them dismounted and stood before a menacing forest. Dark trees rose high from the earth as if a huge jaw of sharp, jetting teeth. Blackmoon was said to be the hunting grounds of a powerful beast, and many travelers had disappeared while passing though. Greater than the fear the woods instilled upon trespassers was the fear that these trespassers instilled upon the woods. The Guard elite stood before its next battlefield, more than ready to do so. Before, on the voyage, they were having fun, letting themselves go. Now, they were on the job. They were no longer a laughing bunch of friends, they were the elite guard for the Fatima Dynasty, and they were prepared to fulfill that title.

Taran En Voy: strong, fast, brave, not concerning himself with a weapon as his bear fists and quick kicks that made up his chi attacks served him just as well. Allys Balis: neither strong nor fast, but more than smart and wise enough not to need physical qualities. She was the leader, kept them all working as one unit, one strong terror against its enemies. Xolis Gridge: stronger than Taran, just as brave, holding a sharp blade that he drove through Guard’s enemies more accurately than he drove any ship. As for piloting, he had yet to crash in any of the treacherous sands of Aveh. Kyrin Delgao: More beautiful than anything else, like a rose. But the forest knew its own, and it knew that its own roses often hid the sharpest prick. Lance Lyon: Closed off, far from kind, but working on that. In the meantime he still enjoyed battles and blood.

“Alright, let’s go.” Five of them fell into one strait line and passed into the forest. Their Guard jackets removed and left at Dazil, stray branches scratched at their arms and the girl’s legs, their skirts even higher than the bottom of their jackets had been. Xolis, in the front, cut through several twigs and knelt down, scanning for any signs of their target. He found none. “Split up, fan out, find her.”

Allys held an advanced gun up to her shoulder: a long pistol pointed to the sky as she walked around a dense cluster of trees. Making her way through, she came into an open clearing. A shadow flashed through the tops of the leaves. Someone was definitely up there. She was about to fire, when several creatures rushed at her from out of a large bush. She could not waste a shot on them, nothing to tip off the mercenary. Instead, she assaulted two hobgoblins with a switchblade. Here, her brains paid off. Studies of biology and evolution had taught her that over the past couple hundred years, goblins had developed stronger muscles due to more harsh conditions, as well as a thick, outer shell. She had also dissected a goblin, and knew where its weakness was.

As the beasts pounced on her, she delivered a quick kick to one, dodging the other. The one to whom the blow had been delivered lay helplessly upside-down in the tall grass. With her small knife she stabbed the goblin’s belly, or would have had not the other made a second jump, onto Allys’ back. Several claws-like tentacles tore the back of her uniform to shreds and continued to slice into her flesh and blood. She wanted to let out a cry of pain, but she restrained herself.


Xolis had split up from the others and was tracking the thief best way he knew how: like a hunter after his pray. He examined the forest floor, cracked sticks, rustled leaves, none. Raising his line of sight to eye level, he found what he had been looking for. A mark had been cut into a tree. Upon a closer look, Xolis saw a deep scar in the bark, and another about an arm’s length higher. He had picked up the scent. Placing his blade into its scabbard, an ascent of the tree began. At the top, he slowly turned himself in a complete circle, attempting to keep on her trail. The attempt was a success. Along one of the branches, and then continuing onto an outreaching limb of another tree, was a clear path empty of leaves and full of thin, broken twigs.

Crawling across the same path the hunted had, Xolis was attacked by the forest as it reached for him, trying to cut off his path. One branch caught his long, black hair and held him in place. Turning about, he used his hands to set himself free. Stuck on the same limb was a small piece of black cloth. He checked his pants. Only one small tare and it did not match the shape of the one on the tree. He was on the right track; he continued down it.


At the opposite end of the woods, Taran left Kyrin and Lance, keeping them in eyesight as long as possible. He weaved through a grove of trees. In, out. In, out. The trees stretched up to embrace the night air, and cut off any light from reaching the underbrush. The dark would not have scared Taran when he was six, let alone eleven years later. Bravely the man confronted the darkness, beckoned for its challenge to approach, and so it did. A rumble began, a deep growl. Taran did not turn. It grew louder, closer. He remained focused on the path ahead. A monstrous roar was let out as a creature pounced from a bush behind Taran, then a monstrous yelp was let out as Taran’s fist made hard contact with a black dog’s jaw. The dog landed, and prepared for a second attack.

The wolf attacked, missed, and was hit by Taran’s fist. The battle went from growl, to yelp, then to a howl to the harvest moon and even more growls. Several wolves came to the aid of the pack, surrounding Taran. One of them pounced; the martial artist delivered a high kick to its exposed belly and let it fall to the earth. Another jumped forward at the same time and clamped its jaws around his arm. A jolt of pain shot from his hand to the top of his shoulder and then began to flow throughout his body as the blood flowed from the cut. The wolf did not let go. With his left arm, he punched the beast’s head until it gave in and collapsed. Still, its jaws remained tightly fixed. Grabbing its neck, the man pulled hard and flung the dog at another. Taran did a half flip, landing on his hands, then propelled himself feet first into another, his entire body spinning like a drill. When those three had gone under the force that was behind this Guard elite, the others fled quickly.


Lance and Kyrin stayed together. Although the seriousness of the Guard elite varied from moment to moment, the love between this branch remained the same. Holding hands made it more difficult to maneuver through the branches, but they did not care. Nothing would come between them, except for two giant armored grubs that came rolling into a clearing. Them and two enraged hawks. As one of the beetles quickly approached, Lance knelt down and extended his spear, impaling the critter. The other was not so easy. Kyrin, having taken a vile of zin* in the transport, stirring up her Ether, raised her hand and created a small ball of flame to engulf one of the green birds and an ice block to form around the other.

In the shadows, an even darker shadow, the form of a woman, rushed by. Lance caught a glance at it. “Kyrin, quick, go after her. I’ll finish off the beasts.” She nodded and ran even deeper into the forest. As soon as she had gone, two more hawks fluttered into the scene and began to screech and claw at Lance’s face. He tried to stab them with his lance, but he could not reach. As the battle continued, the monsters seemed to gain more and more reinforcements: several more of the grubs, birds, and two hobgoblins joined in, as if the entire forest was against Lance. That was less than what it would take to prevail against him.


The trees of Blackmoon were thick and dark. A green clearing clashed easily when viewed from high above. Gabe lowered down, no time for retrorockets, it crashed / landed in the woods. A large clang rang out through the forest as the metal made contact with the earth. Solus wasted no time to dismount and dash into the trees. All seemed quiet. A flock of small birds departed on his entrance, but for a time nothing confronted him. Jogging towards the heart of the forest brought him further into enemy territory. A purple skinned elf stood in his way. Solus broke into a spin and slammed the elfin warrior. Two more took up the fallen’s slack. Solus rolled onto his hands, began a flip, then came down hard with his feet onto one of the forest defenders. The other hit him with an uppercut. He fell to the ground, then returned a similar attack with his foot. When the elf came down, he was hit with two open palms. The elf ran and Solus continued deeper into the forest.


Allys reached behind her, grabbed the vile creature from her back, and blasted its underbelly. It fell dead. Life was more precious than surprise. She turned towards the one she had overturned earlier and did the same. After reloading her gun, she searched the tops of the trees again in hope of finding the rogue. She could not. The rogue found her. With a loud thud, someone landed behind her, she tried to spin around, but was too late. A hand grabbed her shoulder and quickly went over her mouth. Another wielded a small dagger and pointed it towards her neck. Xolis saw it all from his perch. Leaping down behind the thief, he drove his own blade deep into his back. It was not the one who had stolen the Soul-Stone. “Just a common thief…” Allys muttered. “Thanks. Come on, we’ve got to find the others, and the target.”

They saw a bright red flash that lit up the sky. Another exploded as the first faded into the sky. A white flare came over the treetops and annihilated the red. Another red spark left residue over the white. They repeated, white and red. Lance saw them too and ran towards them.

The Guard elite entered a large clearing that had not previously existed. In the center of the wasted crater stood Taran, two others lay motionless, one was Kyrin.




You don’t expect everyone on the planet to speak the same language do you? Well, even if they did, they probably wouldn’t speak English, so that just tears down any realism in language I could hope to achieve. However, I’ll try to give just a little taste of the language barrier every now and then. (Though I’ll probably give up in a couple chapters)

In case you care: “Dne raui quem:” Roughly, it’s Ethos for “Your mercy shall be the end of you.” Don’t try to ‘learn’ Ethos, ‘cuz I made it up.

The original game used sharls and kahnns and such, but I think I’ll stick to English for this part. Everything else is ‘translated’ anyway

What is zin? You’ll find out later

Anyway, thanks for reading this fic. You probably had something better to do than read this, and I have something better to do than write this right now. But somehow, the two of us have come together, not doing what we ought, but instead delving into worlds conjured in the minds of men. Hey, I should write that down…

So, e-mail me or something. (etaran@hotmail.com)


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