Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Episode 5: Thief of the Night

Episode 4 Summary
           David and his newly found company set out on their quest for the Elite Stones, taking them first to an old waterworks building. After navigating the building, as well as learning that energy attacks don't destroy the environment, the youth obtains a second Elite Stone.

EPISODE 5: Thief of the Night     

            Driving northeast, the company reached the city of San Eduardo. They determined an Elite Stone was held in the local museum but it was closed. While waiting, the decided to stop for a meal in the plaza. After eating, David went to the restroom where was thinking about what was happening. Things were not exactly as he has anticipated.
             “This is weird,” he thought. “It seems like there are some elements to Neostriker that I didn’t have in there. I never came up with a character like Aquornor. Hmm. I need to find out what exists from my own Neostriker world and what has been added. I guess the fact that I made up Neostriker doesn’t give me as much of an advantage as I thought it would. Speaking of that. I wonder if those people have made the connection on all of this. They did play Neostriker with me when we were little after all. But then again, that was a few years back and I didn’t even call it Neostriker then. Oh whatever. Those two probably forgot about it anyways, having moved away years ago because their parents were in the military. Nonetheless, it would be cool to have a rival of some sorts just like back then.” As he finished collecting his thoughts, he walked back toward his table.
            However, just as David was in the restroom, Jenny had taken off her pendant to look at it. At that time, a thief bumped into her, snatched it, and escaped blending into the crowd. When she explained to him what had happened, David tried his best to console her, but it only seemed to get worse. He suggested that he would buy another one for her and at that she ran off bawling. David was at a loss and even more confused. The professor and Zel then had their hand in consoling David.
            “What happened?” was all David could ask.
            “Probably a typical misunderstanding between a boy and a girl” Zel gave as input.
            “Don’t worry about it,” Mr. Lokaf said. “David. I know you meant well. She probably thought you didn’t realize the significance of that gem. She’ll eventually calm down looking through the exhibits. She’s one of those types of peoples.”
            “A girl?” David responded still trying to wrap his head around it all.
The professor laughed at this remark saying, “No, but you are close; a person. We tend to forget that others are not absolutely predictable. You can say one thing and it can be good one moment and bad another.”
“For your case, what you said was at a bad time,” Zel inputted. “While you meant to help, your words implied she cared more for the actual item than what it meant to her. She is not vain nor a child, so don’t treat her like either. She is a human being and you need to respect her like one.” 
The youth nodded and the professor continued. “Let’s go to the museum. That’s where she probably is. She’s been around so much of that kind of stuff that it calms her.”
            They went to the local museum and were surprised to see on display one of the Elite Stones. Inside this one was a shadowy gas. It was being exhibited on the top floor near the balcony. The youth was excited and wanted to take it, but was stopped by the professor.
            “I know you have a right to it,” he started to explain, “but if you take it, it will look like a crime no matter how you try to explain it. It would also jeopardize our mission. We’ll need to think of a legal way to get it.”
            “But if we don’t get it, the Daelians will,” David protested logically. “It’s only a matter of time.” “Then we should think fast” was the response from the adult. “We need to come back later with some plan to get it peacefully. Let’s find Jenny.”
            Knowing that the professor was right, David gave up his side of the argument. They found Jennifer in the art exhibit. She had calmed down but David was still a bit afraid to approach her. It was then when the owner of the museum, Mr. Whealtor, came to greet them.
            “Hello, how are you enjoying this exhibit?” he asked nicely. Jenny smiled and gave her impression. “It’s really nice. I like how you organized everything according to the style and the lighting is perfect. The…” She went on and on. She even compared the museum to others she had visited, including the Cower’s Musuem back in Kelinor, however favorably for the one they were all in then. This pleased Mr. Whealtor very much and made him open up about the Elite Stone as they walked back to it.
            “It was a great find,” he began with great pride. “It’s utterly invaluable. I was simply admiring my garden when I found the gem lying there. I didn’t hesitate to put it on display either here. I have to help my museum when I can. However, I would gladly give it up to be able to understand the most complex puzzle in this world; the female mind.”
            “I feel you,” spoke the boy in agreement. Jenny looked back at David but he was looking down. By that point she had already forgiven him in her heart. 
            “There’s only one thing that I don’t want to happen right now though. And that’s for it to be stolen by that thief!” declared the owner as if just the idea irritated him. It didn’t take him long to explain what he meant. He told them, “The thief that has been robbing museums as of late. He baffles the police. Not only can they not catch him, but also he breaks into the same museum twice. The first is to steal a big gem; the second is to return it. He doesn’t even replace with a fake. It’s the genuine thing every time. Because of his hidden motive, whatever it is, he has been dubbed ‘The Thief of the Shadows.’ But really, what kind of thief returns what he has stolen like that again and again?”
            “Probably one that is only looking for a particular thing” voiced the professor. “So why is it that you are afraid of him if he always returns the items he steals?”
            “Because this rock is special. I have never seen any like it. It is possible that he might take it and never return it.”
            “Have you at least got a description of him?” David inquired.
            “Actually, yes. It’s a funny costume at that. He wears black and gray. Then he has a brown cloak. And on each of his arms are two yellow plates sticking out. That isn’t the only thing yellow. He also has these weird flat yellow things on this helmet. They curve a bit upwards then go laterally and then up again only to go straight down. Maybe they are fins or something. It’s certainly a weird fashion sense for a robber. It’s also very noticeable. The only thing that could compete for a bad choice of costume is a snow white suit. Anyways, I’m going to go. Stick around for a while. The museum doesn’t close till ten.”
            They stayed for a while longer and then went to a hotel. When night came and the museum was closed, David returned in forms to retrieve the Elite Stone. Along the way he was telling Zel how much he hated to take the Elite Stone from Mr. Whealtor. He was a nice man after all. But the idea that Daelians might get it first made David determined to take it. And it wasn’t like he was far from the truth at all.
            Before the Shadow Fox could even break in, the alarms sounded. Daelians must have arrived. Neocyx rushed into the museum and fought off a few Daelian soldiers by the entrance. To his surprise, David even neofied a couple of manned forms as he ran toward the Elite Stone display. When he arrived, the only one there was a Neostriker that looked much like an assassin. He was dressed with a round helmet that appeared to be cloth and a cloak. His armor was very light, David concluded that it must mean his opponent had agility. Brown and black were the general colors. His apparent weapon of choice was a dagger which he held in a reverse grip.
            “Who are you?” demanded Neocyx. To his knowledge, this was definitely not one of the forms he made up. But his opponent was not eager to answer.
            “There’s no need to tell you. For you won’t be seeing me again!” pronounced the thief. “I have got what I came for and now shall be gone.” With that he turned to leave but Neocyx summoned a Nellenion field. Angered, the Daelian faced David. “So you’re gonna stand in my way. I’ll teach you to go against Rogue!”
            “You may dress like an assassin but you sure don’t have the mouth of one” taunted David. He didn’t know who this guy way, but he was confident enough that he could handle him. Rogue begins the fight with a change of posture. He lifted his heels and was staying on his toes ready to move at the blink of an eye. Neocyx charged in to attack but Rogue, swift on his feet, evaded by side stepping and then returned to strike. The Shadow Fox blocked the initial swing but the assassin type flipped his knife around and thrust it for a direct blow. David responded with a hack from the shock sword and it worked. It stunned the Daelian and he was able to get in another blow. They clashed weapons soon enough but David used his dash technique to gain the upper hand.
            “Now I got him,” thought David. “He’s quick and good at evading long range, but he lacks force when comes in contact.” He tried the same technique again, but his adversary had learned from it. When Neocyx dashed again, Rogue ducked down and flipped the Shadow Fox right over. Luckily for him, David landed on his feet and blocked the incoming attack from behind. The thief revealed another dagger and used it to continue the assault. The teenage hero had to parry by bringing out a second blade of his own. Able to throw off Rogue, Neocyx then stabbed with the shock sword and neofied him with a last shot. De-formed, Rogue fell to the ground as a young teen no older than fifteen. He dropped a diamond shaped sapphire pendant which David quickly recognized. He snatched it and went toward the Elite Stone for the claim.
            It must not have been meant to be because Neocyx soon got hit by a purplish blast. From the window, another cloaked figure entered. He matched the description Mr. Whealtor gave. The only detail the owner failed to give was the symbol on his breastplate. Within the black armor, there was a gray circle. Inside the circle was an odd shape.
            “So what brings you here, Thief of the Shadows?” asked David in a somewhat dramatic tone. Perhaps he watched too many cartoons when the hero meets a rival in such a situation. Either way, the dramatic tone was a little much, even to David in hindsight. However, it didn’t faze the newcomer.
            “Thief of the Shadows… I like it,” he responded, “but as for now, I shall prefer Thief of the Night. Are you a Daelian?”
            “No. Funny. I was about to ask the same of you” David returned. He had a hunch that this Neostriker was neither Nellenion nor Daelian.
            “I am not either. My name is Knaidow. And who might you be?”
            “Neocyx. I take it you’re here to steal this stone.”
            “Neocyx, eh? Hmp. Perhaps if it is what I seek.”
            “Well then, you won’t mind leaving it alone then, will ya?” said the Shadow Fox knowing what was about to happen.
            “I’m sorry, but I am thoroughly convinced that it is what I’m after. And you know it. The Elite Stone of Night.”
            “Now I’m sorry. I can’t let you take it.” Things were starting to tense up. David knew he was in trouble.
            The intruder sighed. “I really don’t wish to fight right now. It would only be a waste of time. You see this circle on my chest? It means that this is a “mega form.” It’s far more powerful that your regular form. You have no hope of defeating me.” As he said that he fired his gun again, but not at Neocyx. Only at the young boy David had just defeated who was trying to take the Elite Stone while they were conversing. The shot intentionally missed and the lad ran off. He then fired another shot at the base of the display and knocked it over, launching the Elite Stone right into his hand. With that, he took his cloak and swirled it before him and vanished!
            “What?!” exclaimed Neocyx “Did he just warp?”
            “No,” said Zel privately. “He merely cloaked. Probably ran off.”
            “Wait a sec,” David started as if he discovered something. “You’re still there!” He charged right into that position and thrust his sword but hit only air. Knaidow then reappeared behind him and struck him down.
            “I’m impressed,” he declared, “but with the Elite Stone amplifying my own abilities, I can move without a sound and my cloaking is flawless. But I will admit that if it weren’t for the Elite Stone, you would have been right that I couldn’t move without a slight disturbance.” 
             “Arg! I’m not gonna lose to a thief like you. I’ll stop those who misuse forms!” cried Neocyx. Knaidow simply smiled as could only be told through the change in his eyes for the mask covered the rest of his face. “Good! You know your duty. It’s the duty of all to make sure that forms aren’t misused. They are a tool after all. But if you want to stop me then you’re going to have to defeat me. But before you try, maybe you should figure out what side I’m on. Am I even your enemy? I could be a friend for all you know.”
            “So far your actions say you’re an opponent” expressed the downed Neostriker.
            “But am I really? Am I like those Daelians? I didn’t come here to conquer the world.”
            “Then why are you here?”
            “Many reasons, of which I will only mention one,” stated the Thief of the Night.
            “Besides the obvious?”  asked the fox.
            “To challenge,” is what he said. “To challenge the government so as to aid society.”
            “What nonsense are you speaking?” David requested confused. He definitely did not expect that answer.
            “If you look around, you should see that as time goes by, the government corrupts. Even though it is a great thing, peace has its limits.” The Thief of the Shadows seemed like he practiced this speech.
            “What does peace have to do with corruption?” inquired Neocyx.
            “Peace leads to corruption” came as answer. “It’s an endless waltz that peace comes, corruption takes over, and then war. However, a little local crime has an effect that some seem to neglect. Crime always exists but is not always apparent. The most vulnerable time is one of supposed peace. When that time comes, people desire some action. It’s then when crime becomes glamorized and the public cheers for the criminal. Now if there is nothing of national importance to protect, what happens to the government? It slowly but surely corrupts. If it has no purpose it tries to make a new one for itself. It hates to give up power and takes over what it shouldn’t. Soon enough we are at tyranny and then war again. It all goes to chaos, the Daelian dream, is it not?”
            “Now to go down a different path, a government is in fact needed. But with peace comes laziness. If the people at the head of society become lazy, then they will only go for what they want, not what the people need. Then not only is the power at the top corrupted, it gets passed on and spreads. Because in order for that to happen, they need money. If that happens then the rich get in power and lead to chaos and society will fall again. Now do we want criminals who do just minimalistic damage to society? Or do we want criminals that can bring down society as a whole? You can call me an enemy but I’m a friend to society.” All of this he pronounced all so proudly.
            “There’s something wrong with your logic. I know it.” David said frustrated. He just couldn’t think about it. Perhaps the best thing he could have said then is that Knaidow didn’t form a proper link that this would work but instead that it could lead to what he said he was trying to avoid. But there was something more to what Knaidow was saying. As proud as he gave his theory, he was merely stating a theory. There was some motive under this whole affair that hadn’t been revealed yet.
            “Now all of that was merely part of my purpose,” Knaidow declared dismissively. “The idea is simply this. As long as some criminal threatens society and the government doesn’t get lazy the world should last longer.”
            “But if we let criminals loose, then chaos will ensue from that,” countered Neocyx.
            “That is true. Now you’re starting to think” praised the thief. “There’s another thing. We are given so many options on how we could live. If the rich did gain the power, it wouldn’t matter as long as they knew how to use it properly. If they discover that money isn’t so important, then maybe society could follow that path.” David was starting to understand that Knaidow was really just stating his thoughts and that he was the audience.
            “Now here is the most important reason for it all. To make the government develop.”
            “What do you mean by develop?” Neocyx asked curiously.
            “Have you heard the story of the Nellenion Kingdom?” Knaidow responded.
            “Perhaps” was the best term David could come up with. In his creation, he would in fact know, but seeing how different things were, he couldn’t be sure.
            “Let me tell you something about it. Sure it won the war against the Daelians, but it still fell. It fell because of an undeveloped government.”
            “What?!” cried David. The Nellenion Kingdom was supposed to be the perfect government in his mind. ‘How could it win a war without a developed government?” was the next question that came out of his mouth.
            “Oh it was developed. It was developed during the war and the years immediately after. But that was because of the king. The last Nellenion King was a perfect ruler but his son could not hold it together. He could not handle the power that he inherited; just like the Greek empire after Alexander the Great died. But it seems that those became great kings were those who were humble and fought a great evil. But when the last Nellenion King reigned in complete peace, there was no grand evil for the prince to face. It happens even today. When the public wins some major victory over a supposed evil, they try to make a new one to rise against, even if it will end up destroying society.”
            “So what you’re saying is that even with a perfect government, if the ones succeeding are not developed properly, it will fall?” concluded David.
            “Exactly!” Knaidow spoke with such grandeur. By then the sirens were beginning to sound. “So the cops finally arrive. I wonder why it took so long this time” the thief uttered. “Oh well, I must be off before you force me to stay and defeat you with your Nellenion field. By the way, convey to the curator this gem will not be returned.”
            With those as final words, the Thief of the Night vanished into the shadows of the city and Neocyx determined it was probably best to avoid conflict this time. Making his own disappearance, David retired for the night.

Episode 6: The Sword of Thunder

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