Friday, June 27, 2014

delay and fan creation

I'm sorry everyone. Episode 9 will have to be delayed due to some last minute edits to Episode 8 and forgetting how it affected Episode 9. I hope to have it released next Wednesday. Until then, I thank you for your continued support.

Speaking of support, I was sent an image and link by a reader, named Emily (according to her DeviantArt profile). I was very impressed by the work even though it is simply costume jewelry. Apparently, it was crafted years ago but it looks like a perfect representation of what Jenny's pendant might look like. I might have to commission a real thing.
Looking through her other work, I am even more impressed. If I need anything steampunk related, I might have to contact her. If the link above doesn't work, you can find her profile at

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Episode 8: Tactical Maneuvering

Episode 7 Recap:
          After a defeat from Crawn, David and Jenny were alerted to the reemergence of a signal of the Elite Stone in the city. Deciding to check it out, the youth approached the location. However, the stone Neocyx found was a fake to lure him to a new challenger, the Wolf. The Fox knew from the beginning he had no chance against this new Mega Form but being forced to fight, he gave it his all, including a new technique called a neocard combo. This technique allowed him to combine the power of multiple neocards into one strong attack, but it failed to do anything against his opponent as the youth fell in absolute defeat.

EPISODE 8: Tactical Maneuvering

            When David told Jenny and Prof. Lokaf what happened, they decided that there was no point to staying in Plotarch any longer. They left the city and drove to the city of Felosville, where the second signal disappeared. The city was a suburban paradise. Obviously filled with upper-middle class people, Jenny pointed out how many fancy cars there were. The city was filled with stuff like that. There were also some four story buildings gracing the side of the road. Parks were carefully planned about and scattered. Yet, there was always some eyesore or another. In this case there was some construction.
            Thinking back on how Mr. Whealtor said he found the Elite Stone of Night, Jenny suggested that they search the park. It was a nice park, plenty of greenery but no luck on the Stone. However, they did find two old ladies gossiping on a bench.
            “Did you hear about those boys the police arrested in San Eduardo?” one of the gossipers said to the other.
            “The ones that tried to rob the museum? No. What happened?”the other asked with utmost curiosity.
            “Strangest thing. They all committed suicide. The police have been trying to keep it under cover, especially since it seems to be a common now. The same thing happened to that one guy who was behind the kidnappings of young girls. All happening before the police could gather any information.”
            “The poor youth. They have everything to live for and they just waste it” the other stated with presumption.
            “And that’s not all!” the first woman declared. “Remember that story in Plotarch about the fellow who was going to kill some people? The police couldn’t do anything. They had bulletproof armor. What they did do is act a stupidly and tried to arrest the one who stopped him. And then another came and killed the poor soul.”
            “If you ask me, he deserved it!” the second woman pronounced with no regret. “But what is up with all of this? Just last night there was a rascal who robbed a few stores. The cops couldn’t deal with him either and he was only running!”
            “Hey wait!” the first gossiper called out. It was to the professor. They recognized him from the news and began talking to him.
            Hearing enough, David takes a walk around the park with his phone to his ear. “Zel, do you think it’s a Daelian that’s doing the robberies?”
            “It’s possible, but there might also be a third party involved. It’s also possible that this thief is Knaidow” Zel expressed as his opinion.
            “Nah,” David dismissed the idea. “Knaidow wouldn’t escape using a skateboard. He can vanish at will. There wouldn’t even be a chase.”
            “Either way, it might be a good thing to capture this guy and see what he’s up to. If he’s Daelian, then we might learn something about their operation.”
            “Good idea.”
            That night, David found a high rise building that looked over a good part of the city. Perching there as Neocyx, he watched.
            “Are you sure you’re up for this, David?” Zel asked with concern. “I know you haven’t gotten over your fear of heights and you barely kept your composure the last time.”
            “Y-yeah…” David responded, considering Zel’s perfectly valid point. “Well, I’ve done it before so I should be good.” He said all of this with a little uncertainty in his voice, but at least he knew that forms would protect him if he screwed up.
            Soon, he heard burglar alarms. The culprit had struck a nearby jewelry store and was now running for it. Using the scope feature on his visor, Neocyx was able to see the perpetrator was a red and white form. The overall design was reminiscent of a racecar.
            Convinced this guy was the culprit, the fox took his leap of faith, that is, if last time did not count. The glider came through and David took to the skies.
            Due to the lack of practice on David’s part and the lower than optimal altitude of his drop, He was only able to make down the street, but it placed his target in range. He lowered himself to the ground level and then his cloak became loose again. The jetpack, on the other hand, popped of his back and became a hover-board with a booster. Feeling much more comfortable on the ground than the air, the Shadow Fox continued his pursuit.
            Glancing back, the racecar-like form took note of his hunter and accelerated. The chase had just begun.
             Despite the time of night, there were still plenty of cars and a few pedestrians to avoid. Luckily, cars were not an issue at first. The thief kept on running on the sidewalk at a lower speed than the average car, but still fast. He would glance back at his pursuer only to find him still on his tail.
            One thing that the thief deserved credit for was the ability to stop almost on a dime and then reach high speed again. In order to keep up with that, Neocyx would have to improvise by grabbing a nearby pole and rotate around it to maintain his speed.
            “Where are the cops?” David thought to himself as he continued his full speed chase.
            “That is a good question. We should have heard sirens by now,” Zel affirmed.
            David would have continued thinking about what could be going on if not for his Asen yelling, “Stop!”
            Surprised by the sudden outburst, the Shadow fox stopped just in front of the intersection and a truck just shaved by him. Even, if he had made it past the truck, he would have been knocked by the deluge of cars driving by and none slowing down.
            “That was close,” Zel sighed with relief.
            “But we lost him!” David yelled at himself, looking past the moving cars and not seeing his target.
            “Keep calm. He hasn’t disappeared. Look carefully.”
            The boy ended his self-punishment and looked around. “You’re right!” he exclaimed, starting his chase again alongside the road. “He just turned!”
             Spec was across the street, but still running. Using his board, Neocyx continued to chase after him but knew he would be impossible if he couldn’t get to the other side. Unfortunately, cars were still driving down the street and preventing any opportunity to cross.
            “I’m surprised he’s not further ahead,” said the youth, starting to realize something.
            “The women said he was able to outrun the police, but his speed has been about the same as ours. Not only that, as a Neostriker, he doesn’t need to run from the police,” the Asen commented.
            “And with his ability to shift directions so easily, he must already have the Elite Stone, probably of something to do with speed…Wait! Does that mean he’s just doing this for the thrill of the chase?!”
            “It would appear so.”
            The boy’s feelings were mixed. Still not everything was clear. It’s helpful to understand the opponent, but it doesn’t bring up nice emotions to realize you’re being played with; that the whole thing was a game. Add the frustration at the idea of the cops not doing their duty but combine it with the relief that they are not getting in the way, and that pretty much summed up David’s mindset.
            “David, there’s construction equipment ahead,” the Asen informed.
            The boy understood the idea. He found a ramp and boosted up it. Wings popped out of the boards sides and turned it into a small glider. Thanks to the boost, Neocyx was able to jump over the street above the incoming cars.
            But now, things appeared to have changed. David could see the thief turn at the next intersection, but it was unlike the others. Those had the finesse as if they were planned. This one appeared to have been unexpected. Neocyx looked across the street but could see nothing. He continued the hunt.
            Before he could turn the corner, he heard car horns honking. As he made the turn, he spotted the culprit making another cut like before. The Shadow Fox spied another ramp and used it to get air and cross the street. This time, however, he decided to switch up his game and take to the roof tops, since the closest one was flat and low enough to reach.
            By running across the roofs, David could get a better view of the situation and his target while cutting the distance between them. He then realized they were heading toward the park.
            The chase continued, but it appeared the thief was less concerned with Neocyx and was no longer having a thrill. He sped up and continued to run without any care, but still making his way the park, but it did not appear to be his goal.
            Neocyx finally reached the park, a bit behind his target but still within range. However, as soon as he arrived, he saw the thief get shot a couple times and he de-formed. Out of the shadow of the trees, another Neostriker appeared.
            This one had camouflage colors. In his right hand was a high quality rifle with a scope attached which made it an effective sniper rifle. His helmet had a retractable antenna and his visor was a transparent red. On his back, he carried an army-style pack. The thing that told David that he was in trouble, though, was the circle crest of a mega form. His success against those had been nil.
            The Shadow Fox was just about to hide when the mega form called out, “Don’t leave, Neocyx. I have something to talk to you about.”
            Meanwhile, cops also appeared from the bushes and trees and arrested the neofied speedster. One picked up the Elite Stone from where he fell. The distinguishing feature of this crystal was a miniature sundial. This was the Elite Stone of Speed. The camouflage-armored Neostriker called to the officer.
            “Alright, you have your criminal. Now fulfill your promise. The stone.”
            “Why should I hand this to you, bounty hunter? If it’s so valuable, then I need to take in for evidence and examination.”
            The mega form sighed. “Don’t be a fool, officer. If it’s one thing I hate it’s police you can’t trust. Don’t be one of those stupid cops complained about all the time.”
            The policeman still resisted, even pulling up his gun. The Neostriker shook his head.
            “Don’t bother. You already tried shooting me last night. It didn’t work, remember?”
            One of the cops attested to the form’s remarks, but it did nothing to change the officer’s mind.
            “Maybe guns won’t work, but we can still overpower you. There’s more than enough of us here. You are coming to the precinct.”
            “Fools. Don’t you remember I have plenty of resources? How do you think I forced  him to come here? But officer, since you really seem to desire a vacation…” The form raised his gun and shot the cop’s service weapon out of his hand, followed by kneecapping him.
The other cops instantly reacted by firing on the Neostriker, but with no effect. After the form glared at them and they realized it was futile, they stopped, tossed the stone, and left taking their prisoner and the injured cop. The mega form reminded them not to bother trying to track him since he could jam their devices, and already had.
With the police force gone, the sniper Neostriker focused on Neocyx.
            “Nothing against them. Too bad they needed a reminded to keep their word. They were just doing their duty. Except for that guy; he was a dirty cop with no intent to follow protocol.”
            “Who are you?” David asked, not coming any closer.
            “I don’t plan to keep you at a disadvantage. I’m Cepos,” he introduced himself.
            “I take it you want to fight me for the stone?”
“No,” the sniper replied. “I already know of your skills and you would lose. What I want to see is how you think.”
David’s eyes focused harder on Cepos. He lowered his gun but the air around him was still alert. His aura also revealed some confidence in his procedure.
            “What do you have in mind?”
            Cepos pointed over to a table. “Someone forgot a chessboard here. I say we settle the stone’s owner in match.”
            David felt reluctant to take this challenge. It had been a while since he had touched a chess set. Good thing about the game though, is once you know the rules and how to play, it’s simple to pick up again. The difficulty really lies with how good the opponent is and how well you concentrate. The Fox at least knew that the sniper’s evaluation was correct: he would not be able to win in a battle.
            Cepos dismantled his gun and put it away efficiently. They sat at the table with the sniper Cepos choosing the black pieces.
            “Are you a Daelian?” David inquired of his challenger.
            “What do you think?”
            The Shadow Fox took a careful look at Cepos and said, “I don’t think you are bounty hunter. That was just a cover to keep the police from asking too many questions.”
            The sniper nodded but said nothing. They played their opening moves without any pieces being taken. As the match reached the middle game, the challenger started to speak, still playing.
"You know, not everything is as simple as black and white."
"Yeah, so?" Neocyx responded to opponent’s move.
"Even the things that appear to be black and white can be more complicated. Take this chess board for instance. White always makes the first move. So technically, it could be said White is the one to declare war and Black is just defending itself."
"You're using chess to establish morals?"
"Why not?" The mega form moved his bishop.
"Sometimes things are simple and the danger is to make them seem more complicated. For all we know, Black is the one to declare war and White is just able to move faster. Just like you did." David moved a pawn up, threatening the aforementioned bishop.
"Or maybe it's just a game,” Ceops replied, retreating the same bishop. They continued to play as they spoke.
"So why bring it up?"
"Do you really think the Daelians are evil?"
"I think the attempt to conquer the world and kill innocents would justify that reasoning."
"Do you know why they evil?"
"I've just assumed they always were."
"Too bad they weren't."
"What do you mean?"
"You really don't know? Fine. I'll tell you. The Daelians were actually part of the Nellenion kingdom."
"That's right. What happened was that the Daelians revolted against the rightful and just king. The king had come and offered peace and freedom. Those who accepted the king became Nellenions."
"So the only Daelians left were the ones who rebelled."
"That's right. Generally they were the ones who had power in their evil realm, but they were able to drag others with them through lies and pressure. However, the Daelians could not compete with the Nellenion power, so they turned to the Dark Power for aid and it consumed them. And that's how the Nellenions got the reputation for being good, and the Daelians for being evil. It emerged from the same group of people having a choice."
"Okay. But I ask again, why bring it up? You've just established that the Daelians are the bad guys."
"I told you before. I just wanted to see how your mind works." Cepos continued to explain, “We’re building a Nellenion army to fight the Daelians. I wanted to know personally if you were up to the challenge. However, I know your fighting skills are lacking and it’s the same with your mental game.
“You can see some of the results of your actions, but not all of them. Sometimes the things you hope for to happen actually are against you. You remember how I manipulated our Daelian friend to come here?"
"Yeah, like a rat in a maze, you forced him to turn at certain spots."
"Mhmm. You need to know when you are supposed to make them move. For example, if you did not make me move my bishop, you could have won a few moves back, but now it's checkmate." And with those words, he moved his knight. Neocyx looked at the board and saw it was over.  
"You still need some practice," were the soldier's last words as he took the Elite Stone and disappeared.

Episode 9: National Plan

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Episode 7: Wind Storm

Episode 6 Recap:
          David and company traveled to a city named Plotarch. There, they encountered Nero from David's school. Later, a Daelian was found threatening the local civilians but Neocyx came to the rescue a defeated him. However, the victory was short as a Daelian colonel named Crawn showed Neocyx how weak he was.

EPISODE 7: Wind Storm

A night’s rest helped David recover from his encounter with Crawn, but he wasn’t back to his normal self yet. The professor brought some breakfast foods into the room and the three of them began to plan their day.
“Based on what we heard yesterday, the Daelians don’t have the Elite Stone. Does that mean it was Knaidow who claimed it?”  
“It could be. He’s the only other party we know of,” David affirmed.
“But we can’t rule out that he doesn’t have partners, or if there is another party,” the princess added.
“Either way, it’s probably best that we don’t move until we receive a new signal,” Jenny’s father decided. “Perhaps we can find information about who found the stone. That could be valuable information.”
            After Jenny and the professor went their own ways, David stayed around the room for a while to talk with Zel.
“So Zel,” he began, “do you have any ideas on where to start?”
“None,” the Asen replied. “But maybe if we look around where the signal was before it vanished, we can find some clues.”
David responded, “I guess that’s better than nothing.” However, he was still a little nervous about talking directly to Jenny to ask for the information. He decided to switch topics. “By the way, how’s the shock sword?”
“It’s fine. Crawn may have broken it but it’s just a program. When you enter forms again it’ll be as good as new.”
“Nice!” David said, relieved. The news was very comforting to him. For once, something that was different from how he made things was in his favor. He then inquired, “Out of curiosity, are there any power up programs for neocards?”
“No,” Zel answered. “But there is a special capability called a ‘Neocard Combo.’ It’s normally made when you order your weapons or neocards in a special way and they form a more powerful ability. However, it’s normally for a single use per formation, and after you use the combo, everything used to make it become useless until it recharges. So if you use your neo sword, you’ll be without it for most likely the entire fight. You’ll be able to use it by the next time you enter forms, but I’m sure you realize by now that that too takes time to recharge after you use it.
“There is another way to recharge, though. They are rare, but you can occasionally come across a ‘repshor’ and it’ll heal your form from any damage and restore all used neocards.”
“Hmm, I’ve never needed to enter forms again after being de-formed so I guess it never occurred to me,” David muttered. “Well, that’s good to know. And I think I know of one combo. Bring up the page. It’s time to stock up.”
Looking through the list of neocards, David selected the ones called “super sword,” “ultra sword,” “neo bomb,” and “recover.” It seemed likely that perhaps the simplest and probably most obvious of neocard combos would be there. Now he only needed to test the theory. Zel explained further that if David is able to form a combo, the screen on his visor would tell him. Satisfied with the explanation, David finally set out to seek the Elite Stone. However, he used Professor Lokaf to relay the request and information.
No luck came to the investigation. The professor consulted local newspapers and bulletin boards. Jenny decided to try the rumor mill and gossip at various places, mostly the hair salon. It’s amazing how much information can be obtained just from people wanting a haircut. David did not know what to do besides looking around and eavesdropping every now and then. Later rather than sooner, his phone rang.
“David. Something odd has come up,” the voice on the other end said. It was Jenny. “We have a signal again and it’s in this town.”
“Is it the same as before?” David moved the phone closer to his ear. He repeated the question and she finally gave an answer.
“There’s no way we can tell. The signals all appear the same. So it is possible that there were two stones here, or there was something blocking the signal yesterday.” 
“I still need to go after it. Can you give me the exact coordinates?” David rose up with energy renewed. To him, this was an opportunity to make up for the day before, even if there really wasn’t anything important to redeem.
“It looks like it’s the same location as before, so you should be close.”
“Alright. I’m on it,” the boy answered. Just then, he received an impulse. “Jenny. One more thing… thanks for being a good friend.”
There was no response on the other end but soon after, he could hear the dial tone.
At that moment, David was in the outskirts of the city used mainly for storage. So there were plenty of warehouses to investigate. While Jenny could not give precise coordinates to where the signal emanated, she could at least narrow it down to an area.
Deciding it best to be careful, the youth entered forms and started his search. Using his abilities, reminiscent of a fox, he was able to climb and sneak into the various storage buildings.
It took a while, but he found his search was not in vain, through the window of one of the warehouses, apparently abandoned, he spotted the Elite Stone on the ground in the open space. However, just before going in, Zel tried to instill caution.
“Don’t you think it’s weird for it to just be lying in the open like that?”
“Well, the museum director said he found one in the dirt. I guess they just randomly appeared.”
“Aren’t you going to check for traps at least?”
“It’s out there. Do you see any problems with the floor? Any lasers? I don’t. Besides, I just need to dive in and snatch it before anyone else does. Don’t worry. We’re the good guys and the good guys always win, right?”
The Asen sighed. At least it could be said his efforts were not wasted. After breaking in silently, the impulsive boy tossed a stone on the ground near the stone to test for anything dangerous. There were no problems. Still, Zel insisted to be careful. So finally caving to his Asen’s demands, the Shadow Fox took a closer look using the zoom on his visor. It was then a revelation hit him.
“That’s not an Elite Stone…” he muttered in surprise.
“So you came after all, Neocyx” a voice called out. “Just as planned.”
Before David could move, a form emerged from the shadows. It was a dark green armored Neostriker. He put forth his hand and showed the real Elite Stone. Inside the pure crystal, there appeared to be an ever-going tornado.
            “You have me at a disadvantage,” David called out calmly. “Who are you? A Daelian?”
            The other form laughed in his breath.
            “You can refer to me as the Wolf. You will have to prove yourself worthy of knowing my name.” A closer look could show how the name fit. The helmet of this Neostriker resembled the canine creature in some ways, the closest being the ears. Unfortunately, the same closer look would reveal this to be a mega form, just like Knaidow and Crawn.
            “Will you at least answer the second question?” the Fox repeated.
            “No, not for now at least. And don’t try to escape.” The Wolf moved to block the Fox’s exit. “I’ll give you a shot to earn this precious stone. Just to warn you, I already defeated another for it.”
            Was he referring to a Daelian? Or was it to Knaidow? Either way, David knew he would have trouble fighting this form. However, the problem in his mind was that he sort of recognized this form, but could not place a name on it.
            “So you want a duel?” the Fox.
            “Well, I can’t just let you leave. I know you have an Elite Stone.”
            David took a look around. There was no escape. He had the idea that if he started to fight, then his opponent would eventually move out of the way, permitting him to get away. Unfortunately, the Wolf must have read his mind; a Nellenion field activated
            “Wait! You used a Nellenion field. That means we’re on the same side, right?!” David cried out, surprised again.
            “If you’re worthy,” the green-armored Neostriker replied and drew out a simple neo sword.
            There was no helping it. They moved to the lower level in the open space and Neocyx activated his shock sword and neo sword. The Wolf stood his ground, silently gauging his prey. David took a similar stance and observed it would be difficult to get past this opponent. He had set up this meeting and was obviously not to be trifled with. Hence, not being foolhardy, the Shadow Fox refused to make the first uncalculated strike.
           It’s difficult to say whether it was out of lack of patience or another attempt to analyze that Wolf made the first move. He darted in with a strong thrust, but it was obvious enough to permit the Fox to evade it.
            David attempted a counter attack with his dual swords but his foe’s defense was strong; he parried each slash and thrust with ease. He could have done it with no care, but the Wolf stayed focused and judged each attack.
            “So why did you lure me here?” David asked, hoping that by having his adversary answer questions, his focus might drop and provide an opening.
            “No need for me to answer. You already know,” the green-armored Neostriker responded not losing any concentration. He rarely counter attacked, but when he did, it was at a methodical pace and thus easy to dodge or block. However, it was still easy to ascertain he was superior.
            Jenny’s Guardian backed off and attempted a different tactic. He threw his neo bomb at the wolf-eared Neostriker and dashed in behind it. The blast did not faze his opponent and the attacks were blocked as easy as before.
            “If you want to take my Elite Stone, you’re going to have to fight,” Neocyx quipped as he leapt back and started firing his gun. The Wolf appeared to have a sixth sense, because he was able to anticipate every shot and dodge it with as much effort as his parries.
            Feeling desperate, the Shadow Fox decided to try the neocard combo. He switch out his shock sword and refocused his neo sword, followed by activating his super sword and ultra sword neocards. The result was fairly spectacular. The energy of the swords fused into one giant blue energy blade called a “mega sword”.
            He took this powerful weapon and swung it at the Wolf. Unfortunately to his surprise and dismay, his opponent had done the exact same thing! The giant swords clashed and vanished after their one-time use.
            To add to his troubles, the Wolf had just begun to pounce. His swings became faster and more frequent, breaking through the Fox’s weak parries using only his shock sword. David was able to compensate for a couple of the blows by using his saiber armor to block one, and recover to heal from the other, but it was nowhere near enough.
            He finally broke free of his prowler’s fury of slashes. As the wolf-faced Neostriker charged in, David activated his aqua gun and fired a shot, amplified by the power of Elite Water. It was a direct hit and pushed his attacker back.
            The boy took a sigh of relief until something came to his attention. The attack did next to nothing! The power of Elite Water should have been at least as powerful as the neocard combo. Not even a barrier could withstand the power of an Elite Stone or neocard combo. But the green armor suffered no damage and the eyes of the Wolf revealed his smirk behind the mask.
             “You have shown your ultimate attacks. Now it’s my turn,” he declared. He disposed of his swords and pulled the one out of the sheath at his side. Such a marvelous weapon. A dual edge sword with a white strip down the center. The hilt to even the pummel was of pure silver and wondrous design. The handle swirled downward like a tornado. The cross guard had in its design two cloud shapes. Between them was a star sapphire. When the green Neostriker unsheathed this blade, it glistened in the sunlight that entered through the window. The mighty Neostriker then swung the sword out wide and placed his left hand to split his eyes.
“Obviously you cannot use the full power of the Elite Stones,” the Wolf stated focused. “Let me show you how with the one you came to seek, Elite Wind with the power of Widrond. Cyclonic Wind Slash!”
            A white aura encompassed the seemingly unbeatable Neostriker as he dashed right at Neocyx at such a high speed, he appeared to had vanished. Before David could think of what to do, the Wolf had slashed him as he passed by with near instant movement. David was still standing as he was deforming, but after he had been neofied, he fell flat on his face. The victor walked over and flipped him over and smirked.
“So you had two Elite Stones. Impressive. Luckily, the fight was just for one, so I’ll just take this off your hands. See you later, whoever you are.”
He said this as he grabbed the Elite Stone of Water and walked away. He spoke with an expression of satisfaction as he left David all alone and motionless in utter defeat.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Episode 6: The Sword of Thunder

Note: Because this is a longer episode, episode 7 will be released on Saturday, the 21st. This is to give more time for people to catch up.
Episode 5 recap
          After obtaining the Elite Stone of Water, David and company found another Elite Stone in a museum. After talking to the curator, they learned there was a thief stealing gems but then returning them later. Figuring the Daelian forces were not far behind, David decided best to grab the Elite Stone as soon as possible. True to his gut, that night, the Daelians infiltrated the museum. However, once he defeated them, the thief, called Knaidow appeared and, after giving more details about the Nellenion history, took off with the Elite Stone.

EPISODE 6: The Sword of Thunder

The following day, the three travelers left San Eduardo and changed directions. This time they headed north along the Eastern border to a city called Plotarch. It was interesting because this time, two signals appeared and they had to decide which one to go after. However, soon after they arrived in town, Jenny noticed something.
“The signal’s gone,” she declared.
“Which one?” The professor asked.
The professor pulled the van over to take a look at Jenny’s phone.
“This hasn’t happened before, right?” David asked the fair youth.
“No. The signal only disappears after it has been claimed,” she explained. “So I guess we’re too late.”
 “So the Daelians beat us to them,” David sighed.
“That’s not necessarily true. It could have been your friend from the museum too,” the professor threw out there. “Well since we can’t search right now, we might as well get some food.”
After stopping to eat, David remembered he had something for Jenny.
“Uh. Jenny?” he started no idea what to say but he knew it should be done sooner rather than later. “I wanted to apologize about yesterday.” “It’s okay,” Jenny interrupted. “You were only trying to be nice. I understand.”
“Well, I still got you something if that’s alright,” he began with a little smirk. “I found it last night and thought it might be able to replace your pendant.”
Jenny was about to explode at him again thinking he still didn’t understand until David pulled out the pendant and gave it to her. Then, she did explode, but this time out of joy. She was speechless and so happy that she hugged and pecked him on the cheek, something that David had no complaints for. It definitely was a good way to start things off. Jenny even began to disclose some of her inner thoughts and secrets.
“Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!” she said ecstatically. “You don’t know how much this means to me! Not only is it the last gift from my mother and the only link to my lost brother…” she stopped herself. “Let’s just say it’s really important to me. Even more now,” she concluded.  “I don’t know what I would even do without you anymore,” she declared. The whole thing sure made her chatty and the only way to stop her would have been to offend her. No way David was gonna do that now.
“You’re like my brother Zack!” she finally belted out. “Sure he was a bit overprotective but older brothers are like that and I always admired him for that. You both got me out of so much trouble. I would probably be dead by now if it weren’t for any of you two. Thank you so much!” She squeezed him again. Things could have possibly gotten better but they soon got worse. Perhaps the one guy in the world that David did not want to see appeared.
“Well, well. If it isn’t the stutterer?” declared a large and heavy teen of David’s height.
“N-Nero?!” cried David, stuttering in the process. Things had definitely had turned for the worse.
“Oh wow! You have a girlfriend now? Wait till everyone at school hears this. Don’t you hate women?” taunted the fat boy.
“I never s-said that!” exclaimed the accused in defense. This was probably the weakest state of mind Jenny had ever witnessed David in. It would have been hard for anyone to believe that this guy could be a hero.
“Really?” said Nero. “I could swear that you have a tendency to laugh at them with some of the teachers.”
“How about you fix yourself before you make such accusations?!” David retorted. He was about ready to let loose a punch when Jenny slammed a pie at Nero’s face. He wasn’t happy about that, but then something clicked in his head and he was unusually happy again.
“So she is your girlfriend,” laughed Nero. The torment of David was something that he thoroughly enjoyed when he had the chance.
Jenny, despite wanting to hear David’s response, stepped in with an admonishing tone. “Excuse me, but who are you?”
Nero, taken back by this sudden reproach from her, replied “Nero, a friend of David.”
“More like a bully!” she retorted in a rising tone. “I’m David’s friend and I am not a fan of bullies.”
“What are you going to do about it?”
“Tell you to stop it and leave us alone. That is the quick and easy way… for you.”
The big bully laughed. “No way,” he said. “This is too much fun. So you can move aside, girly. Oh that’s even better! David has to be defended by a girl! Hahaha!”
The next thing anyone knew, Nero was face-down on the ground with Jenny holding his arm in a lock. Her quick movements were flawlessly executed and Nero never had a chance. The professor came back with food in his hands. He set it and bent down to talk to the bully.
“You must have done someone really nasty to get my daughter to show off her black belt skills. So I think you owe an apology.”
“I didn’t do anything!” Nero claimed.
“Words meant to incite are as good as the first punch. That means you are still guilty of starting a fight, despite the fact you never had a chance,” the professor lectured. He then turned to his daughter and with a stern face told her to release the boy.
The humiliated boy ran off. Some people had actually taken pictures of the situation and others were praising the girl. Nevertheless, the girl’s father still rebuked her actions.
“Unless he actually intends to hurt you, you shouldn’t be using force. Violence does not solve problems. It only delays and escalates them.”
“Yes, father,” Jenny nodded. However, she quickly turned to David with a less than sympathetic tone. “So what was that about, David? I’ve seen you come to my aid, but when a bully comes around, you just sit there and follow his lead?” Not even waiting for a response, she grabbed her sandwich and walked off.
David just sat there, trying to comprehend it all. It happened way too fast for him. One minute, Jenny is praising him, the next she’s fighting a bully for him, and then she walks away upset at him. He was about to get up and go after her, but the professor motioned him to sit and explain. After the youth finished spilling the details with Zel’s aid, the professor sat back and thought for a moment.
“Interesting,” the professor muttered to himself. The youth had to coax him into going more depth. The professor continued, “I’m guessing that she’s more disappointed in you than angry. Either way, she’s upset. It could be because she had just compared you to Zack, but you also just failed in that department. I can’t say that’s exactly what happened. The whole thought process can go by in a second, and there may have been other triggers you never noticed. For right now, let’s just eat and let her calm down.”
David had a feeling the professor had a better understanding of his daughter than he was saying. However, he also noticed that Mr. Lokaf was hinting to drop the topic. After eating, David decided to walk around as well. Eventually, he wandered to a deserted alleyway.
“So what are you gonna do now?” said the voice from his cell.
“Zel… I have no idea,” uttered the sulking David. “Can you track her down for me?” he requested, thinking he would just figure out something when he found her.
“Are you sure you want to do that?” The Asen asked.
“Yeah. Let’s see happens from there.”
Following the signal from Jenny’s Neot, he found her getting ice cream with another guy with short black hair, almost like a bowl cut but not quite. He did not see the guy’s face, but could see he had a good build. Deciding it was pointless, David didn’t even attempt. Walking away before she could see him, he wandered the streets.
“Oh! Hello, Reid!” she greeted with a smile.
The black haired boy responded courteously, “Hi, Jenny. How are you doing today?”
“Good,” Jenny answered. “It’s nice to see an old friend out here,” she disclosed.
“Yeah, tell me about it. It’s funny too. We just happen to run into each other here. How long has it been since camp? A couple years?”
“Just about.”
“So how you long do you think you’ll be in town?” Reid asked. Jenny explained that she had no idea. She thought yesterday would have been it but her dad hadn’t finished his business. Then out of the blue she got a little excited on what she had to tell Reid.
“Oh! By the way, I made a new friend!” she expressed gleefully and ever so proud. What could it possibly mean to Reid that she made a new friend or not? Was it not to be assumed that someone like her could easily make friends? Yet Reid did not care because he understood.
“That’s great!” he said supportively. “I remember at camp you had some trouble making friends. It’s a shame too because you’re a good one. So what’s your friend like? Is he or she cool?”
Jenny smiled at the compliment but did not hesitate to answer her friend’s question. “It depends. He does have a sweet heart and even found my pendant for me after it got stolen. But he seems to also be weak-minded at times. I don’t know what to think of him and…” She began to blush. Reid had to push her to finish her statement. When she finally spoke, she uttered, “and I wonder what he thinks of me.”
Reid laughed. He then said with encouragement, “If he’s your friend, then he better think well of you. Otherwise I’ll come by and teach him a thing or two.” Jenny hugged him and then his watch beeped. “I’m sorry, Jenny. I gotta go. Hopefully this friend of yours realizes how lucky he is to have someone like you care for him.”
            Jenny blushed with embarrassment and was about to yell out something as he ran off but held it back.
David returned to the alleyway and started moping.
“Now what’s the matter?” Zel asked slightly annoyed.
“I feel like I’ve failed to impress her, and now she’s with another guy.”
“Seriously? You’re already interested in a relationship with her? I don’t want to even have to deal with this right now. How about we talk about something else? There’s something you might want to see.”
“What is it?” David asked. He wasn’t in the mood for something yet he knew he needed to get out of his pitiful self-pity.
“I’m surprised you haven’t asked this yet. Have you ever wondered how to obtain new neocards?” the Asen led the youth. “There’s a store your Neot can connect to. There, using points you automatically accumulated from defeated Daelians and DE neomon, you can purchase more neocards.”
“That sounds cool. So there’s a catalogue of neocards I can access?”
“Exactly. I’ll bring it up for you.” The Asen loaded a screen on David’s Neot. The youth took notice of the points he had and browsed the catalogue.
“Considering the situation last night, it might be useful to be able to disappear,” David thought to himself. He looked and purchased a smoke screen neocard.
“It might also be a useful offensive tool,” Zel added.
“I have a better idea in mind for offense. This sonic sword neocard appears to launch a sword wave after it’s swung,” he said as he purchased the card.
“But it’s limited. Once you swing it twice, it’s gone,” Zel warned him.
“I know, I read the description fully, but it’s also powerful. It can equal my charge shot any day.”
Soon, they heard sirens and a scream coming from the plaza square. After running to catch a glimpse of the scene, the youth found Daelians threatening the people after displaying some of their power. All appeared like hallow forms except for one. This Neostiker had a blue and gray color scheme but also looked heavy. In one of his hands, he held cannon. It was attached to a cable of some sort with connected to the Neostriker’s back. The youth found this interesting until he noticed a second cannon actually attached to the warrior’s back.
 “Alright, my demands are simple. If you comply, then no one will be hurt. All I want is the Elite Stone!” shouted the heavy Neostriker. David was safely outside of immediate danger but everyone seemed scared. The police arrived and pulled their guns.
“Freeze!” ordered the police chief, but the sergeant laughed at them. “Do you think that puny gun can scare us?” he called out. “It should,” was the response from the police. At that, the Daelian dared them to shoot. One officer, losing his composure fired his entire round at the Neostriker but they bounced off with no effect.
David watched from a safe distance as all of this was happening. “Zel, these guys are in trouble,” he said. “They’re not alone either,” Zel replied. “Jenny is in that crowd. Just because those bullets won’t harm the Daelian, one shot from that cannon could kill anyone.”
Knowing his duty, David ran off where his identity could be safe. Returning to the scene, Neocyx arrived just as the Daelian was ready to execute ten citizens. He activated the Nellenion field just in time to intercept the Daelian fire, keeping everyone else safe.
Being that it was just David against the ten hollow forms and himself, the Daelian sergeant ordered his minions to attack. However, Neocyx was getting used to combat and was able to defeat them easily and with the help of his newly bought sonic sword. This weapon, though limited to only a couple swings per neoformation, sent out a sword wave to attack at a distance. It was David’s favorite neocard weapon.
“Who are you?” demanded the Daelian sergeant as he glared at his opponent since it was just the two of them.
“Me? Oh I guess I should tell you,” responded the fox not seriously. He stood and coughed like some people do when they want to clear their throat before giving a speech. Then, in his best impression of a Spaniard’s accent he answered, “My name is… What was it again? Ah yes. Amigo Montana!”
“Cut the wisecracks, you bastard!” the fat sergeant yelled, pointing his cannon.
“Language, man! You seem to think you’re high and mighty but you aren’t. Why should I tell you who I am? That’s so cliché. It basically demands for a stupid response.”
“Because it’s proper to tell your executioner who you are.”
“I don’t know. Everyone else seems to tell their name. There’s always some banter between two enemies when they are alone. Cliché or not, it’s what we’re supposed to do.”
“Well, if we’re going to be proper, then I guess I should. Name’s Neocyx. Pleasure to meet you,” and he bowed.
“Same to you. I’m Cannor. Prepare to die!”
            They began their duel. The Daelian attached his canno to his back and used them both as a jetpack and launched into the air where he took one cannon out and began firing a flurry of blasts. Neocyx soon learned that there was no end to these blasts. They had a quick reload time and were powerful. Likewise, the one cannon as a jetpack worked as a stabilizer, meaning he could stay in the air with no problem. All the Shadow Fox could do was run in circles, hoping to dodge every single blast. At least he was succeeding thanks to the boosts from neo dash neocard.
            As he was running, the fox attempted to fire his own blasts at Cannor but he quickly found out that one of the Daelian’s shots was as powerful as his charged shot. Canoor finally gave Neocyx a break. The Shadow Fox looked at his adversary and found him charging up his cannon. The heavy opponent then fired a powerful laser which David barely avoided.
            Trying to take advantage of the cool-down period, Neocyx fired a charged blast of his own, but the Daelian cannon quickly recharged and negated the shot.
            “This is going to be hard,” David said while regaining his breath.
            “You certainly are going to get your exercise with him,” Zel replied.
            “Oh thanks, for the good news,” the youth replied sarcastically. “Can you analyze him and find any weak points?” The Daelian began his barrage and the Shadow Fox was once again on the run, but even when he was relatively close, the unending barrage kept from getting in range.
            “Well, he hasn’t moved from that spot the entire battle. He’s practically a tank stationed to fire artillery rounds. This means that in his design he must have focused all of his power into those cannons and its reload time. As a result he must have sacrificed any close combat weapons and movement boosts.”
            “Yeah, I can only fire like three or four shots before I have to let my gun recharge. He can keep it up as long as he wants if he doesn’t charge that laser again. Now if only I could get close. Even though he’s big, he has good rotation in the air. I can’t get behind him.”
            “Actually that might be your opening,” Zel observed. “He’s up high enough that it might seem like everything is covered, but since he’s so big, there’s one spot he can’t protect.”
            “But I tried running underneath him and he could aim at me,” the youth protested.
            “But if you get some air, then the blast will miss you. He’s just high enough that he can aim at the ground, just jump and you’ll be fine,” the Asen explained.
            Attempting Zel’s plan, Neocyx dashed toward the center. Once he got underneath, he fired a charged shot. Like Zel said, once he was in the air, any shot from Cannor missed. However, unlike his opponent, David could not stay in the air long. He had to be sastisfied with that one hit and that he found an opening. Unfortunately, the Daelian realized it and came down before the Shadow Fox could return.
            Now that he was on the ground, Cannor took out his second cannon and made it a more difficult course for Neocyx.
            “I thought I had that covered, but you’re more clever than I thought,” the Daelian called out.
            “Are you sure it isn’t ‘cleverer’?” the youth called back. This caused the Daelian to pasue for a second until he noticed the Shadow Fox coming closer.
            “You trickster! I’m not letting you get close to me!” he shouted in outrage for falling for it. The fury of the blasts resumed and the Cannor attempted to catch him in a trap. He aimed the two cannons on opposite sides of Neocyx and tried to bring them closer together. However, this failed when David performed a backflip and switched directions.   
            “Zel,” David began after performing this feat. “Is it just me or are his shots getting slower?”
            “No, your reflexes are getting better. Because he has been using the same attack over and over again, you are naturally learning how to overcome it.”
            “You’re right!” the youth exclaimed, now with a second wind. “I can anticipate the paths of his shots just fine. That means, I can finally get closer!”
            After another shift in direction, the Shadow Fox began his approach toward Cannor using a zig-zag pattern varied in distance and speed. Soon enough he was in range to attack with his sword. He slashed twice before getting knocked back by the two lasers, but the saiber armor protected him from one.
            David gained some satisfaction from Cannor’s face. Even though the face was covered by the helmet, the youth could see in the eyes that the Daelian was uneasy about that feat. He was also very uncomfortable as the Shadow Fox got closer. That’s when David realized that the closer he got, the more inaccurate Cannor’s attacks were.
With this new knowledge in hand, David decided to use something he had been holding back ever since he got it. Before, he never really needed to use it. It wasn’t even that he needed it now, but his pride was aching and he wanted to prove to himself that he had power. He put away his blades and then started dashing toward Cannor with just a fist. The Daelian fired his shots but Neocyx was focused. He easily evaded each spread and was in range of a slash. Cannor attempted to fire another shot at point blank, but before he knew it, Neocyx had been enveloped in a flaming aura and soon powered the fox’s knockout blow. He struck with a blazing uppercut that launched the Daelian back as Neocyx rose. The power of Elite Fire had neofied Cannor and for some reason, it did not surprise David that it was Nero.
“Well, that’s it. I guess I should leave him to the authorities. At least I probably won’t have trouble with him in school anymore,” the youth thought to himself.
He turned around to leave when, all of a sudden, he got hit by a strong yellow blast that sent him flying back. When he got up to see who his attacker was, he saw something he did not like. Another Neostriker with black and yellow colors had appeared. The helmet was all black save for the red outline around the eyes. David could see beyond the mask and noticed a few scars and some rough dark brown hair inside the mask. To add to his worries, this was a mega form. David knew what form this was and that it was not a friend.
“Colonel Crawn!” Nero yelled out. “Good timing. Now you can hurry up and kill this guy!”
The new Neostriker turned and faced Nero. He then walked toward him slowly but the pace struck fear into Nero. When the colonel came to him, there was no comforting news. He took out a sword shaped with four bolts. The hilt was cast of magnificent gold and the blade was no less impressive. Its name was Thudron. “You have failed,” were the first words out of his mouth. “And what was this I hear about you threatening the civilians?”
“T-they wouldn’t comply with my request!” Nero shouted in defense. “They wouldn’t hand over the Elite Stone!” Just then, he started acting up, as if an invisible force was choking him. He cried out in a raspy voice, “Please. Give me some dark energy.”
“YOU FOOL!” Crawn shouted in rage. “They wouldn’t know what that was. All you have done is betray the Daelian cause! There is no room for scum like you! This decision comes from the top.” Before Nero could protest or even reveal to Crawn that Neocyx had an Elite Stone, he died.
“You wouldn’t save your own ally?!” Neocyx yelled in astonishment.
“Would you support an order like what he gave? No. I do not work with such people. I joined the Daelian army to protect, not kill the innocent.”
“Protect? Yeah right! You’re a Daelian, all you care about is destruction and chaos!”
“And what are you exactly?” responded the mega form. “A guardian? Very well then, Guardian. If you are so adamant that you can possibly defeat me, go ahead and try proving your point with your blade.”
Taking the dare, David got up and rushed in with his shock sword to slash. As he swung his sword, however, Crawn parried with Thudron and sliced the blade in half! After which, he grabbed Neocyx by the cloak and threw him over, leaving the fox speechless and in defeat.
“That is a mere sample of my power. But out of thanks for stopping that scum known as Cannor, I’ll spare you this time. I hope you are stronger the next time we meet. Otherwise it will be a waste of my time.” With those words, the Daelian left. Neocyx was still on the ground feeling sorry for himself. The police gathered around, having not yet determined if Neocyx was a threat or not. Using the smoke screen neocard, David escaped into the crowd.
After everything settled down, Jenny found David in an alley sulking. Zel had to tell him that he had an audience for him to notice her. After glancing at her, he just went back to sulking, not with tears, but still with his head down in his legs. He kept muttering but it was incomprehensible. Jenny, having feeling some sympathy sat down next him and tried to console him.
“Don’t worry. It’s okay,” she said. Despite how soothingly she said it, there was no effect on David. In his mind, he was weak and an idiot. He felt so high from his win, he attacked someone he knew he had no chance against. He was also shocked to see his bully dead. He knew now how serious things were becoming.

Episode 7: Wind Storm