Saturday, July 12, 2014

Episode 12: The Warrior of Fire

Episode 11 Recap
          Brian, Jenny's little brother, under the influence of Celonret used the Dark Power to activate forms after being enraged with the people's remarks against Neocyx. However, being blinded by the Dark Power, Brian begins to attack everyone, including Jenny. After David steps in, he's able to extract the dark energy and it causes him to become a violent and uncontrollable beast that takes the Wolf, Knaidow, and Cepos to step in and defeat him.

EPISODE 12: The Warrior of Fire

It was later that day when David finally came to. He woke up to find himself in a cave with soothing music being played. He sat up and saw across the room, three guys his age playing cards. When they saw that their guest had awoken, they got up. “Man, David. You sure know how to make trouble,” one remarked. He had rough brown hair and was wearing dark clothes. “So how are you feeling?” asked another. It was the guy that David had seen with Jenny in Plotarch. He was wearing green and beige clothes. The third guy, also wearing green but with brown and a military haircut, stood staring at David.
David gazed at them for a second and said, “Wait… who are you guys?” The two that had spoken were a little surprised but the third laughed. The one with the dark clothes then said, “Really? You don’t remember us? That’s harsh.”
“Don’t worry about it, Dyl. It’s been a while,” the other commented. Then, David remembered just who they were. “Dyl?! Reid?! No way!” he exclaimed.
They then smiled up and replied, “Finally you remembered.”
David answered for his defense, “What has it been? Three… four years? Dude, how have you guys been?”
Reid was the first to respond, “Good. Of course we would like some explaining about what’s going on here.” But before David could answer back, Dyl jumped in, “By the way, David, meet Nathan. Nathan, meet the maker of the Neostriker world.” The military haircut guy stepped forth and waved.
“So you made up Neostriker. Good job then,” Nathan complimented.
“Thanks,” David replied. “However, this whole thing confuses even me. And I also never thought that…”
“We would get the same forms we had when we were little?” Reid interrupted.
“Yeah,” David expressed. “Though you did make some changes.”
“Well, they are our forms,” Dyl smirked. “However, in case you forgot, I’m Knaidow, the stealth master. Nathan is Cepos, our tactician and long range support. And our glorious leader, master of the sword is Reid as Shatl the Wolf.”
David nodded. If he didn’t know two of them already, they might as well have been the same guy with three different forms.
“Technically, the leader should be David,” Reid commented. “That is as long as he doesn’t go wild again. So are you feeling okay? You took in a lot of dark energy,” Reid asked.
“Uh… yeah,” David answered. Everything that had happened was foggy in his memory, but things were starting to return.
“Do you even remember the fight?” Nathan put in.
“Sort of, but it still feels like a bad nightmare,” the questioned answered. “Wait! Were you able to get rid of the dark energy from me?!” he all of a sudden asked anxiously.
“Uh, some,” Reid responded. “At least, we hope. We brought you here to see if we could do anything, but we can’t.” Gloom appeared on David’s face. “But,” Reid continued on, “it appears that the Guardian’s Ring you have is keeping the Dark Power at bay.”
David looked at the ring; He had forgotten that he even had it. “Wow, Jenny. It looks like you saved me this time,” he thought.
“However,” Dyl butted in. “That is just a theory. You should have better knowledge on the subject.”
“I think Reid is right,” David exclaimed. “I got this from the Shining Princess so it may have some Shining Power inside that can control it.”
“Well, if Reid is right, then the Dark Power will only come when you seek it,” Nathan expressed. “You’re gonna need a strong will to resist the temptation of using it,” he added. This was true. The Dark Power was being contained by the Guardian’s Ring, but if David decided to use the power, the ring wouldn’t be able to stop him.
“Guys,” David started, “just to warn you, not everything that is happening is like how I planned it when I came up with Neostriker.”
“We figured as much,” Reid expressed. “By the way, when did you change the name?”
“Maybe a year or two ago? I figured it sounded cooler.”
“Definitely!” Dyl blurted out laughing. “So, I think we need to figure out if we want you on our team.” David’s ears perked up.
“Yeah,” Reid began to explain. “We’re forming a Nellenion Army to fight the Daelians. It’s going slow but each Nellenion soldier is about ten times better than a Daelian hollow form.”
“That sound great,” David said, but his tone then went down. “However, I don’t think you need to waste time considering me. I can’t become Neocyx anymore.”
“What?” all three cried in unison. David then had to explain what had happened the past couple of days and how he decided to stop fighting. The only form that he currently had was the beast one and they knew that he couldn’t use that for their advantage. They talked a while longer about what they were doing but soon decided to take David back to the city. They dropped him off in an alley and he walked the rest of the way to Jenny’s mother’s house. The whole time he was frightened of what may happen, but he needed a way to go back home.
When David reached the small house, he saw Jenny waiting out in front. She saw him and they stared at each other for a while. David started to apologize for had happened but Jenny ran up and embraced him saying, “Thank you for saving Brian.” It was almost like she had forgotten about him attacking her. That wasn’t the case, but she knew that he was fighting the beast inside of him. She was just glad that he came back safe and unharmed.
Jenny soon finally gave the boy breathing space, but when she did, David saw the marks on her neck from his grasp. His heart sank and he looked down. He felt awful for that and told himself that he would never use the beast mode ever again. He was determined that he would protect Jenny and that he would do whatever it took to make sure she was safe. He told her that he needed to go home.
The professor came out to see David. He had learned of what had happened and agreed with David’s choice. After all, no good father would like the risk of uncontrollable beast around his daughter, as much faith he may have had in David. He was ready to leave at once and told Jenny that she should stay until he came back. However, Jenny protested against this suggestion and forced her father to let her tag along. If this was the last time she was going to be with David, she wanted to make it as long as she could.
Since it was late and the drive was long, they stopped in a hotel for the night about halfway. At this time, David had a dream; a dream more like a vision if it wasn’t. In this dream, the youth was floating around in white space. He called out, “Hello? Where am I?” and then he heard a soulful voice answer, “You can figure that out. Can’t you, David?”
            “It can’t be!” David exclaimed with utter surprise. He couldn’t believe it. It was the voice of one he cared for so much. “Grandpa?!” he shouted out into the vastness.
            It was then when in front of David an elderly figure of a man in white garments appeared. His snow white hair was combed to perfection as an old loving wife would do out of habit. His form was very grandfatherly and his face had that look of care that pierces through the soul of those who met it with their own eyes. David out of jubilation sprinted to him calling out, “Grandpa! Grandpa!” He embraced him like a little child does when he sees a family member he missed greatly. “So you’re not dead?” he asked innocently wanting to believe it to be true.
            The response came and it did not please the boy. “No, I am dead. But yet I still live.” Oh, the talking in riddles. It’s something old people love to do, whether they intend to or not. It’s a wonder why they do. It is possible that they never want to give a straightforward answer and let their tortured peers figure it out. Perhaps when they see their peer discover the answer, their pride loves it. Or perhaps they simply want them to work for the answer that they likely worked for themselves. All I know is if a person wanted to make hints for something, going to an old person would probably be best.
            “So you aren’t really with me?” was all David could muster up. The expression in his face was almost like a lost puppy or a child who was deeply disappointed but for some reason feel like that face might get what they want.
            “No, I am not, but at same time I am,” he said. It was the same as before but in another way. The heart of David knew what he meant, but it still saddened him. He started to respond but could not find any words to say. His grandfather then rebuked him saying, “Jeepers Creepers. Listen. My spirit still lives and it sees some things that are saddening. Your faith is missing. You’re angry at Him and even doubt.”
            “Why shouldn’t I?” the youth defended. “Where was He when you died?! How could he let someone like you die like that?” The tears were pouring down; Tears that had been held in for so long with no one to release them to. “You devoted your life to His service and He just let you die. Why couldn’t he spare you?! At least for one more week.” As he finished, his voice had collapsed as one does when the thing he has held inside for so long finally comes out. He was still a child whose spirit needed guidance.
            “David, David,” he simply said. “Everyone has to go some time or another. That’s how nature works. It was just my time to go.”
            David’s face had a river flowing down, and his legs were weak. He raised his voice asking, “But why couldn’t you have waited until I came? I had so much to talk to you about. I still have so much to ask your guidance for. I miss all the times we had when I was younger. I miss them all. The dandelions, the planes, the cards, the talk. I just want them back!”
            The old man embraced his grandchild and spoke with a heartfelt voice, “David, I got your message through your father. I was happy to hear you wanted to be there, but everything was in the way. But it was my time to go. It’s part of His mercy to let us die. You know that this world is full of sadness as well as happiness. I was ready and praying.”
            “B-but Christmas wasn’t the same!” the crying boy declared. “We only wish all the more that you were still there, even if we would lose sleep to take care of you. I always wanted to be at your house for Christmas. Even though that came true, I didn’t want it for that reason. I wanted one more Christmas with you.”
            “David, it would have been nice, but it wasn’t to be. I guess I couldn’t live in the world anymore. I was ready. It’s not right to take your anger out on God. There is no logic to it. Remember. He blesses us to show His love. He blesses us so that we may come closer to Him. And He tests us to see if we love Him back. Those who are meant to be the greatest must suffer the greatest pains. As it is, I am not that great. But David, you and everyone else are still blessed and have the rest of your lives to be great. God is ready to grant you and everyone else as many blessings as needed.”
             “Can you tell me this? If I am angry with Him, why does he still bless me?” David inquired. The tears were slowing down. His grandfather needed no time to think about the answer. He simply responded, “Do you need to be in His grace for Him to do something nice for you? Are you what determines his kindness? He loves you and wishes for you to return to him. You still have things He wants you to do.” He let go of his grandchild and set him up tall. He then said, with a hint of annoyance in his voice, “Now be a man and stop crying like a little girl. Shall I go to God and tell Him that my grandson is a failure in being a man?”
            The youth laughed and did his best wipe the streams from his eyes. “You’re right,” he began with a sniff. “I guess I just didn’t want to accept the truth. If I convinced myself that He didn’t exist, you dying would have been easier to deal with. At least I thought that.” A thought then entered his mind that made him chuckle. “Funny how things turn out. You always told me you were gonna send me to orbit. Sure I guess I was a pain at times, but I think you’re closer to orbit.”
            “Oh I haven’t gone yet. I’m waiting for you” was his humored response.
            “Grandpa, I missed you so much. I miss the good times we had.”
            “I saw you didn’t forget them at my funeral. You threw a dollar bill and the Queen of Spades in my grave,” he chuckled.
            Just the memory made David smile. “Yeah, I remember how I wanted to get mail so much that you would send me a dollar bill using the postal service. Then I remember how we would play Hearts and you would give to whoever gave you the Queen of Spades with the phrase ‘What goes around comes around’.”
“That’s it, David. Are things better now?”
“Yes. Thanks, Grandpa. Will I ever see you again?”
“As long as you have my picture,” he answered with a joking tone. He then gave a more serious reply. “That isn’t up to me, but if you work hard, we will see each other when your time comes. Until then you must deal with memory. It is a great thing. It is how the dead live and how we learn from them. For guidance you’ll have to turn to that or someone else who is wiser.”
“That’s right. Every time the clouds are gloomy and it rains, I think of you. That is how it was when you died. It was as if even the heavens were crying and trying to hold back.”
“Do not let those memories keep you away from enjoying the present. Now I must go. Perhaps we will meet again and it will be more joyful.”
“Wait, Grandpa. I have one more question to ask you,” David called out. “Is Jordan with you?”
“I’m not permitted to say. Keep praying though. Good bye.”
Choked up, David said farewell, but a light of hope came on his soul that it would be as he said. David then woke up. It was still night and the moon was shining in its full glory. A tear was still trailing down his face as he silently wept for his grandfather. 
            When dawn came, David was all ready and looking out the window deep in thoughts. On the way to David’s house, the youth decided to ask the young woman what was on his mind.
            “Jenny, I was wondering. What do you plan to do after you drop me off?”
            Jenny looked over at him and responded, “I’ll continue what I have been told to do. It will be hard. I still have no real power, but I’ll find a way. If I have the opportunity to do some good, then aren’t I obliged to do it? If we all ran away from it, then society would never improve.”
            “Sorry,” David muttered as he turned away, ashamed. Jennifer, however, said consolingly, “It’s okay. You made your choice and I made mine. They just happen to be different.”
            “Yeah,” David spoke under his breath as he looked out the window. Turning back to her, he stated, “Hey Jenny, if you need help, I know some guys that are good. I know you can trust those three who stopped me. They are definitely on the right side.”
            “Alright,” Jenny replied with a smile, though in her heart she wished that David would somehow change his mind.
            Some time later, they arrived at David’s house and were greeted by his family. His sister was most curious about whether or not David had found for himself a potential girlfriend and had fun teasing him about it. For a welcome back celebration, they decided to go for a picnic and invited Jenny and the professor along. Jenny had to coax her father but he eventually succumbed to it. He enjoyed talking with David’s father about the events happening.
            The park was beautiful. David forgot how nice it looked and plenty of childhood memories came back to him. It was dismaying though to see no one else was there enjoying it. It was a big area too, just deserted.
            They had a good time. David occasionally glanced at the fair Jennifer chatting with his sister Mary. As time goes on, each glance became longer as he began to realize that it may be the last time he may see her. His heart began to conflict on whether to leave her or not. He knew that Reid and Dyl would be suitable to aid her. However, he still did not wish to separate from her. Adding to his conflict was the fear of harming her again; something he never wanted to do again.
            A couple of hours passed and it was afternoon. They were beginning to pack up and David had left to use the restroom when a man in black appeared. Jenny’s stomach knotted as she recognized the aura that surrounded him. The man laughed out maniacally and finally exclaimed, “At last! I’ve found you!” Everyone else was confused but it didn’t take long for the man to speak again. He called out, “Now where is your guardian, my dear? I have something to discuss with him.”
            Jenny answered back with force saying, “Leave us alone, you creep!” The man cackled and continued to walk towards them. His walk was not normal but with his arms hanging, body leaned forward, and his face was slightly distorted as if he had gone insane. “Oh don’t say that, my pretty,” he began with a serpent’s tongue. “I have no care at all for you. Though, that spunk of yours is tasty. Your friend, however, must come with me. I will tame him.”
            David’s father stepped in and admonished the man, “I don’t know what is going on, but it’d be best if you leave, or we’ll have to call the cops.” Why he said that, he didn’t know. He had already figured out that this was likely related to his son’s mission. The man laughed out even harder than before with that insane laugh that freaks out everyone. “You foolish old man. You have no idea who you are dealing with.” And with that, he began to crack up again hysterically and then transformed into a black creature of a half spider and half of his old form. It was like a centaur with the body of a spider instead of a horse.
            When everyone saw this, they stepped back with shock. But then, another voice cried out, “Leave them alone, Celonret! You want me?! Here I am!” David came down from the hill with a strong glare in his eyes. The giant arachnid licked his chops and smiled. “Well, well. You recognized me even in this new form. You are special indeed.” The youth’s composure didn’t change. The Daelian continued, “My web was weaved for that other child and yet it caught you instead. A much better result. Instead of a cub, I found a roaring beast! I will tame you!”
            “No,” David answered. “I will never join you.”
            “Oh, but you already have. Since the moment you extracted the Dark Energy from that foolish child.”
            Jenny enraged at this yelled at the Daelian, “You bastard! You’re the one who twisted my brother?!”
            The sick minded man cackled even more. “Oh yes, and what joy it brought me. No one has ever resisted the Dark Power for so long. This will be by far my greatest achievement. I will break your spirit, boy, and you will be mine!”
            With those words, he fired off a web that trapped everyone except David. He stood contemplating. There was no action he could do to fight if it came down to it. Sure it was possible to call out Faldrak mode, but would he dare risk Jenny’s safety again?
            “David…” Jenny began, trapped by the sticky web that held her stuck, but she couldn’t think of what to say. She knew as well that David never wanted to become that form again for fear of not being able to control it like last time. Celonret, with one last crackle, decided to attack and fired a powerful blast at Jenny saying, “You’re gonna have to choose!” At that, David instantly jumped in front of her with his arms spread out to take the blast. All of a sudden, a flash blinded them.
            At that moment, David saw himself inside a dark and murky land. The trees around were dead and scorched. The swampland was ghastly and horrible stench came from all around it. The boy recognized this land as the one he dreaded the thought of returning. A figure appeared and the youth knew what it was; the dark armored Neostriker with horns of a bull.
            “You have returned,” it stated with a voice of a devil, arrogant and conniving. “You wish to save your friend once more,” it began. “I can offer you the power again if you wish.”
            “No. I don’t want your power,” David responded with defiance. “The last time I took your offer, I almost killed the one I wished to protect. I will not fall for your scheme.”
            “You know you cannot fight without my help,” the Bull-headed Neostriker replied. “She is as good as dead as we speak. You are running out of time.”
            “I will not become that beast again and risk harming her,” David stood his ground.
            “Is it not better to take a risk and know you can at least save her?” the conniving Neostriker asked.
            “Not if I become something worse!” the youth answered back with authority. “Now be gone and never return!” He commanded. His spirit stood strong as his heart prayed, “Zel, please come back and help me. I need your help, not this demon’s.”
           The black figure persisted saying, “Accept my offer and save your friend!” But David resisted and called out, “No! I will not become something she’ll despise to save her. I would rather die to protect her!”
            At this proclamation, the land around him began to change form. Soft grass appeared beneath his feet. The swamp became a crystal lake with water so clean and so fresh. The trees once more had life in them and bloomed while the sun shined bright. The wicked Neostriker vanished and coming forth from behind David was Zel! David turned and ran to his old Asen crying, “Zel! I need your help to save Jenny!” His voice had anxiety in it fearing that what the evil Neostriker had said was true in that he had no time.
            “Relax. Breathe,” Zel responded. “Where we are there is no time. But if you wish to save Miss Jennifer, then follow me.”
            With that, the Asen raised his arm over the water and the land began to tremble. The youth did not understand what was happening until he saw what was emerging from the water. It was a passage through the lake. Vines covered the walls as if it had been undisturbed for centuries. Zel motioned him to follow and went in. The youth, though slightly uncertain if he should trust his old Asen entered.
            The passage was formed of connecting flat stones that also formed a set of stairs. No water entered as the entire passage was sealed with four walls. Only vines filled the well crafted tunnel and even they were located where they wouldn’t be inconvenient to walk through. At the end of the passage, the staircase went up again and the two figures emerged through some foliage into what seemed to be an ancient yet simple shrine. Only trees and flowers encompassed the area they had entered. The sun shone through and focused in the middle where a sword in a pedestal stood.
            Zel and David walked toward the blade covered with moss so that it only retained the shape of a blade. The area must have been abandoned for at least a millennium. The Asen then began to explain. “If you wish to save Jennifer, then this sword is what you will need.”
            “This sword?” David asked a bit surprised. Could a sword that must have lost its power help?
            “Let me present you the situation,” Zel continued. A chessboard appeared with the white queen trapped and being attacked by a black knight supported by another piece. “As it stands, the queen is lost as only the king in position to aid. However, as you should know, you cannot put your king cannot be put into check or you lose. Now let me show you another situation.” Another board appears with only the kings.
            “A stalemate,” David declared.
            “That is right,” Zel responded. “In this situation no one can win. And it is possible this is how it will end. But if you pull that sword, then the kings will have to fight each other to the death.”
            David takes a look at the board and then at Zel. His mind had come to realize the true situation of all things. Returning to the first board, David took the king and took out the black knight.
            “You cannot do that,” Zel stated. “With that move, you would lose your king.”
            David smiled, “There are a few things about war that chess does not implement. First, humans can put themselves in danger. Second, there are reinforcements. And third, the fighters can defend themselves, including the king.”
            David walked up to the pedestal and gripped the sword. He spoke aloud and said, “This sword. I know what it is. It is a blade meant to protect all that is good in this land. I know the responsibility that comes with it and I am now finally willing to accept it.
            Zel smiled at the response And David pulled the sword from the stone. As he pulled it from the pedestal, a flash of light emerged. David was back in the real world and a shining barrier appeared to protect him and Jenny. To Celonret’s dismay, they were unharmed. David looked up, glanced at Jenny, who was surprised, and answered back, “This is my choice,” and with a loud voice cried out, “Activate now! Mega Neoformation!”
            With that call, another bright light surrounded the man as he entered into a new form. A magnificent combination of crimson red and blue sapphire armor appeared over him. A blue jetpack attached to his back as it was with Neocyx. Two bronze converging plates decorated his helmet with a diamond-shaped ruby in between them.
He then pulled out his sword which had become something magnificent itself. It was no longer covered in moss but shining with the sun. The golden hilt had the design of the sun with a ruby piece carved into it and clouds acting as the guard. A ruby red strip ran across the center of the blade, called the fuller, and David raised it high.
            David walked towards Celonret as a Nellenion field appeared to set them both apart from everyone else. He spoke again saying, “Celonret, this is my choice. I will take the responsibility handed to me as Cyonex, codenamed Falcon, Warrior of Fire. I will fight the return of your Dark Master and this sword of the purifying flame, Sudron, is testimony to that.”
            Celonret anxious and surprised at this new transformation fired a couple more blasts but with the swing of his new blade, Cyonex slashed through and negated them. The Nellenion field then appeared and separated the Neostrikers from the rest. David with his trusty well-honed blade slowly but confidently walked toward the human arachnid. The Daelian took a step back with uncertainty. Then, finding some inner strength, he took a strong stance and transformed. The four hind legs rose up at a right angle and the legs turned to face forward. The Daelian looked almost like an insect version of a tank.
            No words were exchanged between the two combatants, at least not uncommon or meaningful words; just taunts.  David stopped and switched his blade to his left hand while raising his right. His hand became an arm cannon and after charging it for a while, he launched a red and yellow blast called a “falcon’s blast.” Celonret could not move as form required him to be solid and so he withstood the powerful assault.
            The Daelian made his move, the four raised legs extended to half of the Nellenion field in attempt to stab the knightly figure. David easily avoided them and slashes them with his blazing sword in a motion called a “sun slash.” The spider tried to crush David by slamming the weaponized legs together but the Slayer of the Twin Dragons leapt into the air with his jetpack and into the sun’s glaring light. From there, he emerged again and landed on the Daelian’s back with Elite Fire.
            After the flame quickly subsided, Celonret’s arachnid form broke apart, leaving him with just the anthropomorphic figure. The Daelian then took out his remade staff and faced the knightly youth. They then clashed weapons, but Cyonex was able to thrust his blade through and produce a heavy blow. The Daelian backed off and swung his staff, which unleashed a flaming wave. The youth charged forth with no worries as he ducked through the wave and continued his assault. Celonret’s skills were subpar with the youth’s and he was shortly after defeated.
The neofied Daelian fell on the ground. He pushed himself up to curse at David but collapsed again dead. With the Nellenion field gone, David freed everyone from the web. With no more reason to stay in forms, David put Sudron in its scabbard and de-formed. Speaking to his father he said, “Dad, knowing you, you’re probably going to call the police. However, for your report on what happened, leave us out. Professor, Jenny, I say we should get going.”
“Wait a second,” David’s mom interjected. “Are you going to explain what is happening here?”
“That should be done later. But David’s right. You three get out of here. Mary, your mother, and I will stay behind and give a story to the police on what happened without implicating any of you.” With that, the three travelers left the park.

Episode 13: The Warrior of Lightning

Note: This episode marks the halfway point of the series. Since it is long and because it is the halfway point, I'm giving readers a chance to catch up. And since I cannot think of any edits that need to be made for the rest of the series until the very end, the only breaks that will happen is to allow people to catch up. With that, Episode 13 will be released be released on July 23rd. Thank you for your patience and continued support. 
J. D. Nyle

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