Friday, May 4, 2018

May 2018 Update

Last month, I shared a short story written for what I have in mind for a series set in the world of Neostriker: Shining. As you can probably see, the style is different than the Legends series I was posting before. I still plan to work on Legends, especially since I do have one story that I would like to write. One thing you might notice is that Neostriker works a bit differently in each of the stories, and that's something I decided after writing Shining back in 2009. The core would be the same in that Neostriker would be spirit-based, but how that would come into play would vary from series to series. Now let's dive into elements I intend to build the new series on as shown in this short story.

First element to point out is that David and company are not the main characters. This has always been the plan. This helps keep Shining as it's own complete story and I really don't have a story where they are the main characters.

The second element I want to try to expand is the continued link between dialog and combat. There are hints of it in Shining. Perhaps I will mostly use the same model as in Shining, but as this story shows, I want to focus on the dialog more and have that dictate the action. There is another model I'm considering where it'd be like a detective story where there is a battle and in the aftermath, a conversation. At the same time, I'm open to the possibility that some stories won't have any fights at all, sort of like the chase chapter in Shining or some stories in Legends.

The third element of the stories I'm planning is the task force model. Rather than being an adventure, the new series would simply be stories taking place in the same general area. My thought is that this would be a combination of superhero vigilantes, but they are actually a government force tasked with stopping evil Neostrikers. Part of that would be the use of human operators rather than Asens.

The fourth element is the additional combat mechanics. At the moment, I have two planned though they are pretty much related to each other. One isn't shown in this story, but it is related to the second element I mentioned above. The other mechanic is actually an old one that I didn't include in Shining called purification. While you could see Jenny do purification, it was actually a combat mechanic that the warriors would use.

The fifth element is the kind of topics the stories bring up. Arguably, this short story is more mature than all of Shining since it focuses on depressing matters like suicide, depression, and heartbreak. While I intend to stay away from having profanity and sex in my stories, I figure a topic that might concern a twelve-year-old is important to cover. I believe I was 10 when I I had a thought of committing suicide. And we also know there are stories of adolescents committing it even on live video feeds. As a result, I think providing good stories that help bring up the conversations while also providing some answers to help prevent such depressing actions is a good thing to do. Therefore, a large focus of this series would be examining everyday issues and questions youth may have.

The final element that I want to include is the letter at the end of the story. I actually originally had another story that I wanted to do based off the rival I mentioned before since there was great dialog and action, but there wasn't a good letter for that yet. These letters are based off the letters you can read from N. D. Moharo's blog, though I'm still working out how I want it to work.

How did you like the short story? What do you think about these 6 elements that I plan to base the new series on. Do you think the short story did a good job as a proof of concept? I would love to hear your thoughts about what worked and what didn't. I especially would like to know if you are interested in reading more stories like this.

Dream On!
J. D. Nyle

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Short Story: Assisting the Suicidal

The following is a draft I made for what I'm currently having in mind for a new series set in the world of Shining


Atop a suspension bridge, a lone figure watched over the water as the sun sets before him, giving a grand display of colors as it reflects off the water.
"This is great!" said a female voice, "You have to take me there sometime, big brother."
The lone figure smirked beneath his mask and answered, "Sure, sis. Let's make a plan to come again when we aren't working."
"It's not really work if you're doing nothing but enjoying a sunset. It's also not fair when you're doing it without me."
"You can still enjoy it from the feed I'm sending you. It's like you're here."
"It's not the same and you know it!"
The figure smirked again. It was very much true. The feel of the gentle breeze, the natural colors of the world, and the uninterrupted view made for a great experience to be enjoyed firsthand. To be fair, it's hard to feel the breeze when you're wearing a high-class armor, but at least it has it's perks.
"Maybe you should try and join me then," he teased his sister.
"That's not possible and you know it. Unless you want to give me your wings."
"Not happening."
The wings... Two grand wings like that of a great eagle. While his ability to fly wasn't perfect, the wings do at least let him reach this viewing spot. And from this spot, he could easily glide a good distance if he reads the wind correctly.

That need to glide would come handy quite quickly. Looking down, he spotted a figure climbing up the bridge fence, ready to jump. The winged figure barely got up before witnessing the leap.
"Sera, send a rescue boat!"
"Got it, George!"
George dived down. They say a peregrine falcon can travel faster than 200 MPH while diving. While he certainly wasn't trying to break that record, he did dive down fast and broke soon enough to get a good lift to support his glide to his destination.

The feminine figure was struggling to stay afloat, but soon George was in the water providing aid. This was good enough until the rescue boat came and took them aboard. The captain came with blankets to help the young lady keep warm.

"Are you okay, miss?" George asked as his wings dripped water. However, he was not going to get a welcoming reply.
"What's the big idea?" she retorted vehemently, rejecting the blanket. "I have a right to die!"
"Wait, what?"
"You know! I have a right to die if I want to. You just prevented me from doing that. How dare you impose on my right to choose?!"
George took another look at the woman. She did not seem any older than him. Simply a girl that may be in college. They could actually be the same age. Of course, she wouldn't know that with him wearing his mask.
"You might look like an angel in that getup, but you are a demon!" she continued.
"Is she saying that because my armor is crimson red?" George quietly asked his sister.
"George! Now is not the time for that!" Sera rebuked over the line.
"I know, I know. But I need to keep my spirits up in order to handle this."
"Well then, she would still have the same opinion if she saw your face."
"That's low, sis. You're supposed to be my support "
"Baka. That's what you get for trying to joke in a serious situation."

George faced toward the girl before him and replied, "What's the matter?"
"You! Don't you dare try and stop me again!"
She started to run off the boat. The captain grabbed hold to stop her, but then a purple mist enveloped her and she transformed. It was a simple form, utilizing a black color scheme, a hood, and a knife by her side. Using her added power, she pushed the captain away. Just then, a yellowish barrier encompassed the boat, preventing escape.
"This is the Nellenion field," George informed her. "You won't be able to escape unless you defeat me."
"Fine then!" she answered as she took her pose. She then dashed forward with her knife to strike.
"What makes you think you can impose on my right to die?" she asked as she attacked.
George evaded the blade. He then pulled out a sword of white light and swung, but he missed.
"Why do you want to die?"
"It's my right to choose!" the black form replied as she backed away and fired an energy blast from her hand. "I will not be controlled by a man!"
A barrier encased George and protected him from the blast. "I don't see how my gender has anything to do about trying to keep you from dying."
"It has everything to do with it!" came the reply as a another blast was fired at the winged figure. George was beginning to understand what was going on.
"Is it possible you had a breakup or suffered abuse?"
The girl froze. Eventually she muttered, "Both."
George moved closer and asked, "Would you mind taking about it?"
She examined him closely but then fired another blast while saying, "I gave him everything!" She fired another blast as she continued, "and then he dumped me for another girl!"
George did not try to evade as the blasts hit him. She saw this and stopped firing out of confusion.
"Why aren't you moving?"
"Because I don't know what to say," he replied while looking down at the floor. "You are hurt and I don't know how to console you."
The black figure looked down for a moment. She muttured, "No one loves me."
Despite as quiet as she said those words, George was able to hear them. "What about your parents and friends?"
"My parents don't love me. They are so strict that they would lecture me rather than comfort."
"And friends?"
"What friends? They don't even try to talk to me. I opened myself to all and no one responded."
"I see..." George put away his sword of light. "Do you need a hug?"
The girl examined George closely. No weapons out. Just the red angelic figure. She approached him, got right up to him, and then stabbed him in the rib!
"No one loves me," she cried out louder.
However, George didn't flinch. Instead, he closed his wings around her. She could not see that his hands were glowing.
"Do you know what it means to love?"
"What?" she asked in a demanding tone.
George paused fora moment before explaining, "My father said it's to desire what's good for someone else. Simply it's caring."
"So what? No one cares about me."
"What about me?"
"What reason do you have for caring? You're a stranger."
"You are human and that's enough, according to my father."
"Your father is an idealist."
"Yeah... He was..."
The hands began glowing more. The girl's countenance changed as she realized the meaning of those words.
"I-I'm sorry to hear that," she said quietly as she looked below.
They stayed quiet for a while. No sound was made but by the gentle motion of the water below them. But after some time, the black figure became alert, slashed, and tried to push herself away from George.
"I will not fall for your trap. I will not be abused again!"
George stood his ground.
"If there's nothing I can do to make you trust me, then let me at least share words from my mother," he said with a solemn tone. The girl calmed down and focused her attention on the angelic form.
George took a breath and continued, "The last words my mother told me before she died was this: 'Remember there will always be someone who loves you'"
"Do you believe that?"
George thought for a moment for this potent question. These words that his mother would often tell him. These words that were on her lips even as she died. These words that came from a mother who loved him so much.
"Because I'm not the only one would dive into the water to save a stranger. As my father said, there is no reason needed for loving others. Being human is enough."
"It's one thing to save a life, but do you care beyond that?"
George opened his wings and the girl stepped back and saw the marks from all of the attacks she made. At that point, the light from his hands grew and a bright flash filled the arena.
After the light faded, the captain of the ship saw the two figures still standing in place, but the black figure was no more. The girl had returned to normal and the Nellenion field had vanished.

"Thank you," the girl said. "Thank you for caring. Can I get your name?"
George smiled and replied, "George. And yours?"
"Sofia. Nice to meet you."
George smiled and replied, "How about we get you that that towel and warm you up? It's getting cold."
Sofia smiled and answered, "Thank you."
The captain brought the towel back and Sofia gratuiticly accepted it. The two youths sat down on the dock and continued to talk as they enjoyed the twilight sky and the gentle waters.


My dear child,

There are some evils I wish I could protect you from, among them is depression from loneliness. I pray that when you encounter this that you have the strength to continue on and live. Remember your mother's words: there will always be someone who loves you.

Loneliness is a strange phenomenon in that you can feel lonely even while surrounded by people. The reason for this is because loneliness truly describes the state when we don't feel loved at all. When we feel loved, we can endure the hardships of life still smiling. However, when we feel lonely, we can lose all motivation, losing even our will to live.

I ask you to continue to fight, my child. Fight the feelings and know that they are simply feelings. Remember that there will always be someone who loves you. If you can persist past these feelings, that would give me pride.

It is certainly a task easier said than done. To help you overcome this trial, it might help to understand the nature of loneliness. Here are my thoughts on the topic.

Loneliness is caused by not feeling loved. Therefore we must remember what can make people feel loved. Recall the four love tanks. People want to be cared for, admired, liked, and wanted. These in turn are filled by Dr. Gary Chapman's five love languages. If you can figure out which tank is empty and your primary love languages, that can help a great deal in recovering.

Now if you were to encounter someone who is suffering this fate, I would entreat you to help them. I can easily believe that this kind of depression is cause of most suicides. If you can help these people, then you will be a great hero.

With love,
Your father

Saturday, March 10, 2018

March 2018 update

If writer's block is when you cannot think of anything to write, what is it called when you have too many ideas to start? Let me know when you have the answer. Until then I can give at least an update about some recent ideas that have come to my mind.

I'm still really thinking about making a video game I would really think that would be fun and a good advertisement. And since it'd be based off a game I previously made, I know the mechanics, and so it shouldn't be too hard to make if only I had the game development skills required to make it. However to devote the time to acquire those skills would be very difficult.

One thing that has been recently developing, though arguably it has been developing for 9 years, is a sequel series for Shining. Back then part of the issue was trying to make characters distinguished from those in Shining and each other. Among those would be the rival for the main character. An idea I had was a type based off a musketeer since I liked fencing. However when I drew that concept it looked horrible. So for nine years I was without a concept for a good rival that could match any of the four from Shining. And since I wanted this series to be team-based this was a very important thing.

So here's a rough draft of what I have in mind. Instead of a fencer, he would be a martial artist. His main weapons would be very very short swords that he essentially he is punching rather than slashing. And at the same time he would also fire long-range energy blasts. This would reflect in his personality in which he would ask very direct and personal questions, but also keep things at a distance when he's not comfortable. One interesting idea is that by using punches rather than slashes, is a text or more quick and to the point while slashes follow the logic of, the longer the blade, the more time it takes to swing. This in turn reflects that maybe he will not allow people to think so much, and while his logic it might be sound, his comments might be a little too personal and direct. For example in one case he'll probably ask, "do you know what the meaning of life is?"

One concept that might be pretty cool is that maybe he can throw back bombs using energy powers kind of like how energy blast in shining. And most likely in every one on one encounter the main character loses to him. Yet he will probably have one flaw that would prohibit him from being able to defeat the main enemies. Most likely it would be from personal torment and dealing with the dark power perhaps he took a little bit as a drug and now he's addicted? This might allow for a deeper relationship with the main character's sister as maybe she is one that supports him in trying to recover.

This leads into one of the themes considering for the series: Life issues. I'm thinking of this series taking place either in high school or college age. This would kind of be like The Spectacular Spider-Man TV series in which they take care of crime and stuff but at the same time to deal with teenage issues such as asking a girl out on a date. And again and cover topics that don't seem to be questions as much. For example well, some teenagers will wonder what is the meaning of life. So it would be cool to explore that and see how different people act.

One TV series that used to watch when I was younger but it's starting to influence how I'm thinking about this series is Psych. In pretty much every episode, the main character would learn something from his father that would help him solve the case or was somehow president to the case even though these things tended to be typical life lessons or ways of thinking. We'll see if I can pull it off. While it would still be better as visual media, I might be able to work this out in a serialized story format as well.

Dream On,
J. D. Nyle

P.S. I wrote this blog post using voice typing. What do you think? I had to correct a few things, but otherwise I think the result turned out well and especially allowed my hands to rest.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Making the Cover Art

After the cover art was finally finished, my wife came to me and said, "Now I know why the cover art was so important. It makes you want to read the book." That's exactly true. The primary reason why I hadn't published the book after receiving it back from the editor for over 18 months was due to not having any art.

I had one artist who said he was interested, but he never sent me the first draft and never replied to my messages. There was another guy who sounded like he might have been interested, but I also never heard back from him. Then one guy came up and asked about the project. I told him and he said he wanted to do it and he even agreed to do a trial piece.

That trial piece was important as I looked at his deviantArt profile and couldn't find anything that resembled what I was looking for. Some time before, I had decided the best cover art for this book needed to be a tapestry that showcased modern elements. I eventually settled on the fight between Cyonex and Crawn as it was the best for showing the fantasy elements and the time. However, no art on the artist's profile page matched this feel, but the trial piece would give me faith.

Since this was a trial piece, I didn't want him to use Neostriker for the basis. Instead, I needed him to use another series that had modern elements and see if he could transcribe them to a tapestry art. The result was Star Wars. While I could see room for improvement, the trial piece was good and I gave him the task of making the cover art.

The first draft he gave is what I would describe as a comic book cover. It was good. He implemented part of my design for the hero, which was to my liking, but I thought it was too realistic. I wanted the cover art to allow freedom of imagination to the readers. It also wasn't the format I was expecting after the trial piece. Part of the issue is that it wouldn't work with the cover template I had found to be the best of the options available.

The second draft was closer to expectations and also very promising. It was still a bit dynamic, but I liked the design of Crawn he came up with. I didn't care much for the background as I felt like it took away from the location of the fight. However, the biggest objection I had was that Craw's sword wasn't pointed at Cyonex. It was a good piece of art, but it didn't look right for a cover piece. It looked like Crawn was lecturing Cyonex which would completely change the first impression readers would have. While the book certainly has a bit of philosophy, I felt like it gave the wrong impression as it made Cyonex look like the aggressor. Had this been inside art, then that would be okay, but not good for the cover.
The third draft was fantastic. Even though I personally liked the designs of the warriors in the previous drafts better, this one felt like it could have been made in medieval times. It also allowed the imaginations of the readers to flourish. In addition, adding the jetpack helped conveyed that it was a modern story. As a result, we proceed to color this one and fine tune it. The result is the final art piece we have today.

I hope you enjoyed that look into the process of creating the cover art. David is an aspiring young artist. His hobbies include Star Wars, comics, drawing, cosplay, and sword-sparring. If you want to hire him, you can reach him through his DeviantArt profile, Omnipotrent

J. D. Nyle

Neostriker: Shining is now available for purchase from Amazon in US, Canada, UK, and Europe

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The New Stories

Now that Shining has finally been printed, it could be said that it's time for me to move on to new stories. However, you might be aware I've been slow on working on them. Part of that was due to the decision to actually publish Shining in print, but it's also a combination of time and inspiration.

Neostriker is certainly a hobby, but it's one of many. While pretty much everything I do ends up contributing to Neostriker in some way, I can only write when I have free time and if I feel like it. While I would like Neostriker to be my career, the only funding I currently have is by working full time. In addition, I do have a family to take care of so the chances that I'll complete a new story in the near future is fairly low, unless I do serialized stories instead.

Now for years, I've had planned I want to do at least 12 different stories, but which ones I develop keep changing. Most of the time, it's the "Origin" novel that focuses on the first Nellenion King. However, I've also had periods of high inspiration for other stories along the timeline as well as sequels to Shining. To give an idea about the diversity, here is what I've been planning (names not final):

Main timeline

  1. Origin: Adventure novel on the first Neostrikers and the first Nellenion King. Feel would be like chapters 15-18 of Shining. The first chapter, which I wrote before deciding to rewrite Shining can be read here
  2. Legends: Serialized stories taking place in the same period as Origin. A few of them can be read on this blog.
  3. Twilight: Epic novel highly inspired by Twilight Princess. Takes place quite some time after Origin and focuses on the princess and a hero with the heart of a child. Many of the ideas here are a result of some dreams that I've had.  
  4. Fall of the Nellenion Kingdom: Covers the war that leads to the defeat of the Nellenion Kingdom which was partially described in Shining.
  5. Rebellion: Story of rebellion against the occupying forces taking place in a steampunk world. Inspiration varies from Zorro and The Last Story. Possibly serialized
  6. Wings of Freedom: Norse-inspired story that follows the descendants of the exiled prince.
Expanded universe
  1. Rising Sun: Japanese-inspired story. Possibly serialized.
  2. Eagle-heart: Native North American-inspired story
  3. Heart of the Ocean: story of a fisherman and his "mermaid" love (not actually half-fish).
Shining Universe
  1. Story focusing on the children of David and Jenny. Best if visual media like a movie
  2. Serialized stories following the events of aforementioned sequel. Best if a TV series
  3. Climax

I originally intended to focus on Origin, but I made a change of plans when I decided I wanted to practice my writing skills first with Shining. As a result, the core concept of the world has been established already, making me feel like I can actually write in any order like Brian Jacques did with Redwall. Of course, there is also the desire to make a Neostriker video game, which would take a very long time to do. Then again, if Shining sells really well, then maybe there is hope I can focus on these ambitions sooner.

Dream On,
J. D. Nyle

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Shining's publication!

The time is finally here! More than eight years after the first draft was completed, Shining is finally being published in print. Though since marketing plays a huge role in book sales, and I have none, I don't expect this to sell well, but if it can make some people happy, that would be great. Sure I would love to get a book/movie/game deal out of this, but that is certainly a dream that probably won't come true.

The book is finalized at 286 pages in a 6 by 9 inch book, with a little more story content, grammatical and plot corrections, improved flow, more character insights, and 2 appendices.


In the US, it is $12 and is available on Amazon, qualifying for Prime free shipping.

In the UK, it is £10.01. I see that if the book was more than £10, then it could grant free UK distribution. If £9.50 is better for consumers though, I'm willing to lower the price

In the rest of Europe, it is EUR 10,70. I don't know if Europe has free shipping options. If it does, please let me know

For now, I'm going to hold off making the kindle edition as I keep running into new complications and issues. Sorry to anyone who was hoping to buy that version.

The Differences

Now you are most likely aware if you are reading this that an earlier draft of the novel is posted right here on this blog. Most of the content is the same, especially the plot, so you might wonder what makes the print version different. So let me explain.
  1. Editing: I paid for an editing service to help polish up the story. In addition to that service, I also found a few of my own grammatical, spelling, and plot-related errors and fixed them up. 
  2. Plot holes and weak links: In the earlier draft, it made no sense for the father to trust David after being lied to. The lie itself was not in the original draft and it's reason for existence did not hold up, so I removed it. The explanation for why Neocyx survives the first battle also didn't hold up well, so I added extra dialog. I polished stuff like this across the book so things should be more consistent and the reactions make more sense.
  3. New sub-chapter: I added a chapter 10b to help cover a period of time and provide some added context.
  4. Two appendices: There is one appendix with 18 pages of notes on each chapter (including some ideas about what happens to the cast afterwards). The is also another one describing neocards David uses. I figured this would be helpful for readers who might forget what a neocard does.

In addition, I've made some decisions that I feel might help the reader even though it may be against convention.
  1. The neocards appendix is the last section. This helps because it allows readers to easily find it and read through it without many spoilers. From what I've read, the chapter notes should be the last section, but I figured this was better for the reader.
  2. Names of enemies are bold in the first mention if mentioned mentioned multiple times. This happens normally by the description or provides a hint where the description is to be found so if someone needs to refresh his imagination, it will be easy to do so.
  3. In the header, I go with chapter-title on the left-hand page and book title on the right-hand page. I found that having  the same chapter title appearing twice in a spread to be annoying, and for it to be beneficial to mark the chapter title when the last page of a chapter falls on the left-hand page.
Now whether you think all of these changes and improvements is worth spending $12 is up to you. I found it incredibly easier to read the book in print rather than on a screen. I personally would also like the support in growing the fanbase for the series. I would really like to be able to spend more time on Neostriker, but unless I can sell the books, I need to do other work in order to provide for my family and Neostriker would continue to be a side-project.

Again, you might wonder if there will be a sequel. The plan is I would like to write one, but my plan is that it would focus on the children of the current cast. Neostriker: Shining is a complete story and I have nothing more to add that is worthy of writing a new book with the current generation. Now if there are adaptations, I certainly have ideas for new material, but nothing solid for taking place immediately after the events of the book. If you are curious what happens to the cast in my current outline of the sequel, you can find some details in the episode notes.

Thanks for reading all of this, and I really hope you enjoy the book.
Dream on,
J. D. Nyle

Friday, December 15, 2017

Prologue and Episode 1: Dream into Reality (from Final draft)

Now that the release is near, I figure it's a good time to share a preview of what to expect in the finished product. I hope that by sharing the more polished prologue and first chapter, you may be drawn in to purchase the full book. If you are still uncertain, you can read through the earlier draft I posted earlier to get a feel for the plot.

J. D. Nyle


Long ago, there was an island somewhere in the Atlantic. On the island were two kingdoms: a good one and a bad one. These two kingdoms were at war a good deal of time and because of this, technology advanced leagues faster than in Europe.
In the good kingdom, there was a young boy of around fifteen with a mortal illness. He decided to give himself up to science to test a new theory that had arisen. The scientists had created a new technology that would make a mortal man into a great warrior. The youth had his arms and legs amputated, and they were fitted with mechanical replacements. The torso was equipped with a metallic armor that was made to fuse with the body to give life support, provide protection, and generate energy.
The operation was a success, and the concept actually made the youth potentially immortal as the armor was stronger than anything in the known world and capable of generating a barrier. The legs also provided boosters that permitted the youth to fly as well as run at great speeds. The arm could shift into a handless cannon that could fire destructive energy blasts. The youth was able to adapt to many environments and even use attacks based on the different elements. Flexibility was added, providing the skill to be able to do flips and other movements flawlessly. A sword of a great power and energy was granted to the test subject, and he could generate other weapons such as spears and explosives.
The young boy was given a helmet that attached to his head, allowing him to control these abilities with his thoughts. The researchers saw that the potential of this warrior and his abilities that were beyond man’s limits and gave him the name “Xagem.” The scientists rejoiced at the success their project produced. However, they decided it would be better if they could make the armor without needing to amputate and forever mutate a body, and so they began research on a wearable version.
Unfortunately, a fire emerged and destroyed most of the research and plans, and killed the main geniuses working on the project, leaving the remaining researchers close to square one. To make matters worse, there was a researcher with malicious intent. He somehow was able to produce most of the data and attach a black copy of the armor to himself, making himself almost equal of Xagem. The bad scientist then mass-produced his findings with the addition of hollow forms. These forms came in many shapes but there was nothing except the dark substance inside. The wicked scientist provided all of this to the evil kingdom, and the war ensued.
Xagem was a hero for the good kingdom; he was even more powerful than the treacherous researcher. Unfortunately, because of the mass-produced forms, the enemy had a greater number of troops and more power to spread. The youth saw that he could not protect everyone everywhere, and the good king was considering surrender.
However, Xagem realized that his harnessed energy could provide the scientists what they needed to produce more forms. He split his power and contained it in objects such as stones and cards. His elemental powers were segregated into eight clear hexagonal rocks that were distinguished by things such as a flame inside. These rocks were known as “elite stones.” His weapon abilities were harnessed into cards called “neocards.” The rest of his energy and powers was then used to provide the stimulus to make new forms based on his design. These forms were not as powerful as Xagem, but they were stronger than those in the opposing army, only fewer in number. Xagem also gave a vast amount of his power to the king, who already had great power. When the king’s power was mixed with Xagem’s, a strong energy was made that was able to eliminate the dark substance.
The evil scientist, seeing that his defeat was at hand, also decided to split his power into five orbs, and with them sources of the dark substance. He had them spread out to far distances so that his evil might spread and corrupt the rest of the world and thus defeat the good kingdom. The good king took his strongest warriors, and they fought a brave and long battle against the opposing kingdom. At one point, the evil scientist sneakily reached the king and was about to slay him, but the youth intervened. With the last of his energy, Xagem fought to the death and greatly weakened the evil warrior. The king, with the chance he had, used his powers to seal the evil warrior away, and the virtuous army won the battle. The king did what he could and sealed what was left of Xagem’s power so that it might be used again if ever needed to fight the evil scientist.
At least this is what was in the mind of young David.
In a time so close yet so distant, there was a junior in high school named David. He loved to play sports, especially soccer and tennis. It was winter and soccer season was in. The team so far had lost every game, and the student saw that the team just did not care. In school, the students broke the rules and took advantage of their privileges and thus lost them for everyone in the end. Now, some of us would look at it all and say that this was just small stuff. But the part that made it all hell for David was the death of his beloved grandfather. Since then, David’s world had been upside down, and any problem became a big deal.

Episode 1: Dream into Reality

As the sun rose one day, David was in his room playing around before school, living out a dream in his head. In this action, cannons were being fired amid a close combat duel.
“I shall destroy you, guardian.”
“No you won’t. As long as I have my friends, I will never give up! I won’t lose. Falcon’s blast!”
After such movements, David finally landed on his bed, gazing up as if he could see through the ceiling to envision the sky. He fell into reverie. “Man, how I wish Neostriker really existed. Then I could use that power for good and make a difference in this place. Or at least get away far from here. That would just be awesome. Then again, I hope it wouldn’t be as cliché as I just made it out to be.”
Such were the thoughts of the young David Reese Gallaback, a high school junior, a dreamer. With the sound of the bell, this dreamer went to classes for another miserable day. On the way, David encountered a big upperclassman abusing some freshmen and decided to intervene. Now this upperclassman was big in every aspect, especially around the waist. He and David always were at each other’s necks. Personally, David never hated the guy. He just couldn’t stand all the things he would do such as cheat or hide his books or make things difficult at soccer practice.
“Dude, l-leave them alone.”
“Why should I?” replied the bully. “In fact, why should I listen to a guy who cries in class when given a paper?”
“You know very well I wasn’t crying, just upset.”
“You cried, stutterer.”
“Whatever, Nero. By the way, why don’t you lose some weight, slowpoke?”
This comment struck a nerve in the round bully, who instantly threw a punch, but David easily evaded it. This benefit he was grateful for. He was much faster than his adversary, and so he ran off to class as he heard Nero yell the all-too-common threatening words, “You better watch your back, crybaby! I know where you sleep!”
Throughout the day, David encountered more and more troubles, and while a normal teen would just dismiss them eventually, they never seemed to disappear from David’s mind. And so how it remained for the rest of the year. One night, however, young Gallaback had a dream. In this particular dream, the junior envisioned an angel calling his name.
“David, David.”
“What is it?”
“The Divine Maker has heard your wish. He is willing to grant it to you for Neostriker to exist. Do you want that to happen?”
“Hah! This must be a dream or something. There is no such thing as a Divine Maker.”
“David, whether you believe in him is your choice. But either way, he has chosen to bless you with Neostriker. Do you wish this?”
“Of course,” the youth heartily responded. “It would definitely be better than this life.”
The angel smiled as if he knew the results of such a choice. “You shall see if you truly do think so. It shall be confined to the limits of California, and your wish shall be granted, but when the time comes, you will be given a choice concerning its fate, whether you are dead or alive.”
“What do you mean?” David asked, confused.
“You will know.” Those were the last words of the angel before he departed, and David awoke, shaking his head. Noting the time to be three in the morning, he simply concluded it was just a dream, as much as he hoped that it was true.
A few months later, summer vacation started, and David returned to his home in Kelinor. He could not really recall the past few months. It could have been that there was nothing worth remembering. Either way, as he entered his home, his sister was watching the news about a discovery in the Sahara that sparked his interest.
“This is an amazing find,” began the reporter on the TV. “An excavation here has struck archeological gold, artifacts from an ancient civilization. However, the one that has received the most attention is a scroll. On the scroll are paintings along with the text. And here to talk with us more on the subject is the professor leading the excavation, Professor Lokaf. Professor, tell us about the scroll.”
The camera moved to show a scraggy middle-aged man in an archeology outfit discussing something with a member of his party. After the reporter obtained his attention, he simply responded with a polite yes, but it was obvious from his face that he knew what the reporter was to ask him, as if they had practiced this many a time.
“What do you think about this find? Have you been able to translate the text on the scroll?”
“The scroll? Ah yes, the scroll. The scroll was most likely written in the Middle Ages, maybe the Dark Ages at that. The text itself I will want to look at more carefully to be sure. A great deal of the writing is missing because of age. What we have noticed, though, is that the text appears to be in some form of Latin. What we have been able to translate on the spot mentions an island presumably in the Atlantic.”
The reporter’s eyes glistened with excitement. “So this could very well be the mythical Atlantis?” she asked, seeking the professor’s confirmation.
“That is the popular theory at the moment. Anyway, there are a couple of interesting words here: ‘Nellenion’ and ‘Daelian.’ It appeared this island was subject to wars that lasted generations and these were the primary combatants. With what we have been able to gather, we can assume this scroll was written by a Nellenion, who perhaps fled to escape the war. Unfortunately, with most of the text eroded, we won’t be able to study it much more than we already have.”
“Professor, it is my understanding that these artifacts will be going on display in the near future.”
“Ah yes. The main sponsor of this excavation was Mr. Cower of the Cower’s Museum in Kelinor. As part of the deal, these artifacts will be on display there. After that, I believe it’ll be…”
David did not stay to hear what the professor had to say next. He went up to his room with his mind swirling. After closing his door and lying on his bed, the student began to ask himself about what was happening. “Nellenion? Daelian? Is this really happening? Those are the two kingdoms of Neostriker. Nellenion is the good kingdom, and Daelian is the enemy. Man, I need to get to that scroll and see if it’s true.”
Shortly after, his sister knocked and came in. “Was there something weird about that?”
“You have no idea, sis.”
“Well, it is interesting to think that this may be proof that something like Atlantis existed.”
“How about we go check it out?”
“I’m for it, but I don’t think it’ll be at the museum for at least a week.”
“All right, then I’m going to take a nap. It’s been a rough day.”
“Uh… sure. Talk to you later, then.”
With that, David’s sister left, and David’s mind continued to go wild over the whole affair. When the day finally approached, David had no hesitation in getting his family to the museum so that he might see if it was really what he thought it was. However, when they finally got to the exhibit, fighting their way to see the scroll, David’s eyes caught a glimpse of something else that interested him: a pretty teenage girl around his age with beautiful, long hair and a small fringe on the right side of her face. The teenage boy could not help but think about all of the possible scenarios to talk to her.
“Whoa! She’s pretty cute. Hmm. I wonder if I can take a picture with my phone? Then again, I’m probably never going to see her again, so why bother? Wait! If I go up to her and ask, then maybe I can get her number and then…But then what would I say when I got up to her? She probably would consider me a dope and leave. She probably already has a boyfriend—if not many—lined up.” With that thought racing through his head, the young boy let out a sigh.
However, the boy decided to at least try to snap a picture while pretending to really take it of the scroll. Nevertheless, just as he focused the camera, moving while doing so, he tripped over a cable. The phone flew into the scroll and dropped to the floor. If he hadn’t known before, David sure learned how fast security could move.
Embarrassed, David quickly retrieved his phone and raced to the bathroom to be alone. Inside, the splash of water was still not enough to relieve his embarrassment, and he proceeded to yell at his foolishness. “Great job, David! Now there is no chance at all to get to know her. She must definitely think me a dope. Argh! I didn’t even get a picture.” With that, he flipped open his phone and noticed something strange streaming down the screen—binary code. “Great” the clumsy teenager sarcastically thought. “Just another problem to add to my list—a broken phone. I wonder if Dad can fix this.” He then slapped himself saying, “I must be having some kind of nightmare.”
“I don’t think so,” said a voice from nowhere.
“Who’s there?” The startled junior looked around.
“Here, in your phone,” was the reply David got. When he checked, he saw the figure of a man. It was not an ordinary man, but a knight. He had on a green tunic, but chain mail could be seen beneath it. He had on a brown belt with matching boots and gloves. His hair was golden blond, and he possessed aquamarine eyes.
“The name is Zel. I am an asen, a Neostriker warrior.”
“Did you say a ‘Neostriker’?” inquired the seventeen-year-old.
“Yes, I did. Do you have a problem with that?”
“Uh, no…” replied David, but in his mind he added, “Maybe it’s a dream instead of a nightmare. Wait. I’d probably better not indicate that I know what a Neostriker is.” And so, he commented, “How should I know? I don’t know what a Neostriker is, even though it sounds kinda cool if not cliché.”
“A Neostriker,” said the mysterious figure, “is a warrior with great power, able to generate certain weapons at will and use them to fight. In the Neostriker realm there are two forces. There are those who use the power for good, the Nellenions, and those who use it for evil intent, the Daelians.”
“Why are you telling me this?”
“I am in search of someone who can fight for the Nellenions.”
“Why, might I ask?”
“I am what you might call a highly advanced program, but my nature is spirit. I am not able to fight Daelians who materialize. However, I can serve as an operator and aid someone deemed worthy,” explained the asen.
“So me…” the boy realized. “Why me?”
“Because there is potential in you.”
“This is sounding suspicious.”
“It is certainly your call whether or not you accept this offer. The powers that come from this are great, from the ability to fly to withstanding projectiles.”
“Flying, eh? So all I need is to be willing to fight for the Nellenion kingdom? And they are the good guys, so why not?” decided the dreamer.
A smirk came across Zel’s face as he proceeded with this warning. “Heh. Take note that the tide of war is approaching. If you want though, the powers can be taken away from you anytime. So if you want to give up, just say so, or if you do evil with them then they will be taken away with no problem.”
“That’s fine. I’ll just have to be responsible.”
“Very well then. Your phone has been given a new program and thus made into a neot. This will permit you to transform into a great warrior. All you need to do is bring up the program, press the send button, and say ‘Neoformation.’” Just as he finished, though, Zel’s composure changed, as if he had sensed something. “You may be put to your first test right now. I think the Daelians are here. So transform and I’ll inform you with more details.”
David performed the required steps. He said, “Neoformation,” and the phone emitted a bright light that enveloped David. A dark-blue breastplate was put on and then heavily shaded gray arms, legs, and a helmet with a black visor. On the back, a blue jetpack attached. Then a dark-brown cloak wrapped around the neck. All of this in the frame of two seconds.
“Wow. Is this really happening?” said the excited teenager. Just then, though, a thought came up and he asked Zel, “Wait! What about the cameras?” to which the asen replied simply, “Who puts cameras in the restroom? Perverts? That’s just plain wrong.”
“That’s true…. Then I guess I don’t have to worry,” the boy replied, though growing curious about the way Zel spoke.
“I can also disable cameras for a temporary time. Anyway, this form has been made custom for you.”
“Neostriker armor made for humans. Its name is—”
Neocyx,” blurted the excited boy, forgetting about his situation and only to remember it when Zel asked, “How did you know?” Thinking fast, David said, “Since it was made for me, I should be able to give it a name.”
Zel shrugged off this answer and merely continued saying that in forms, David was to be known as Neocyx the shadow fox, which David liked. After this, Zel ordered, “Now, go! The Daelians are here. I’ll instruct you on how to use this form.”
“But it wouldn’t it seem strange for people to hear your voice from me?” asked the new warrior.
“Only you can hear me in forms. Also, if you think to me instead of talking, you can keep it so other people won’t hear you. That way, the conversation is private. Got it?”
“Yeah,.” the teen responded as he sprinted through the museum toward the scroll display. Along the way, Zel informed David that forms allowed him to move in ways he wouldn’t have been able to before. All that was needed was to think of what he wanted. If he had it, it would come or be done, with limits, of course. This included flight for about five seconds, but Zel also told David that as he grew more powerful, he would be able to fly longer. Meanwhile, at the exhibit, three purple-armored “men” had broken in.
“All right. Stay calm and nobody gets hurt. All we want is the scroll,” said a Daelian soldier.
“You’re robbing the museum? Who are you? A new gang?” said David’s father. He was always quick to voice his opinion whenever he felt he was on the right side.
“We are Neostrikers. And this pertains to us. Any more questions?”
Not taking the hint, David’s father continued. “I don’t know who you are, but you are probably just some poor kids. Just stop this nonsense and—”
“You’re trying my patience, old man. Die! Neo-sword!”
At that instant, the Daelian’s hand transformed into an energy blade, and it dashed toward Mr. Gallaback. Just as he was about to swing, however, Neocyx jumped in the way with blades of his own and pushed the robber back.
“Sorry, but you aren’t doing anything here. You’re not taking the scroll, and you are especially not going to kill anyone!”
“Who are you?”
“Neocyx’s the name, and it will be the last thing you remember.”
Neocyx charged the Daelian and slashed him up, causing the robber to vanish in a puff of purple smoke. Zel would later reveal this process to be called “neofication,” in which the forms were said to be neofied. Then the other Daelians attacked Neocyx, but he jumped in the air and escaped the onslaught. After that, with the words “neo-gun,” one of his swords became a hand-cannon and the shadow fox used it to fire at the Daelians.
Zel rebuked David, “Be careful! You might hit someone!”
“You’re right. Let’s limit ourselves to sword combat at the moment,” said the shamed youth. He was risking the people he was trying to defend.
Neocyx switched back to dual blades and took out the Daelians while only taking a few hits himself. Just as he finished, though, the glass roof broke, and the shadow fox just barely escaped. However, the blazing blast that followed found its target. From the roof, an anthropomorphic dragon-like figure with tough red-and-orange armor, wings on his back, and a head with two horns sticking out the back, descended.
“Neocyx, eh?” said the dragon form. “That’s interesting. I am Drafom, a sergeant in the Daelian army. I believe you could rise through the ranks if you joined us.”
“Sorry, but I think I will decline at the moment,” replied the young hero in a rebellious tone.
The Daelian sergeant laughed. “Ha! You certainly have some spunk in you. However, I will now take the scroll.”
“I won’t let you!”
“Do you have a choice?” he asked while preparing a blast. “I only need to target these fools that didn’t escape when they had the chance.”
Realizing the situation and how helpless he was, Neocyx stood down. Drafom grabbed the scroll and laughed, “Now that I have this, I see no reason in keeping you alive.”
Neocyx responded quickly and brought out his neo-gun again, aiming at the Daelian and saying, “You don’t? How about I destroy that scroll with a blast? I’m sure your boss would be fine with that seeing that he sent you to retrieve it.”
The Daelian lowered his hand, thought for a second and replied, “Hmmm. You are a bit clever after all. Very well then. You can live now, but I will certainly crush you next time you oppose me.”
With that, the dragon form escaped. Heeding Zel’s advice, David scrambled out and used de-formation when he finally reached solitude. At that moment, Zel informed him that the forms he fought were “hollow forms” created by the Dark Power and they were not as powerful as those with a human host. As a result, when defeated, they vanished. He also explained how those with a human host acted a little different. In that case, neofication just forced the process of de-formation.

Returning to the exhibit, David’s father explained what just happened and how glad he was that David had just missed it due to his mishap. He even went further, saying, to the dismay of his son, that it must have been a divine intervention. From there they went home, and along the way, David contemplated his impending future as a Neostriker.