C H O S E N D A Y

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“...the book, the Necronomicon you must take it from Gideon and open the time rift . Only then ...... Her muscles for example were more .... “How dd you get here?

C H O S E N DAY

When the Earth ends, life begins.

VAGABOND KNIGHTS C H O S E N DAY

DREW EVANS *Incomplete Ver. 4.1.0 - Unedited/Revised 2x

PROLOGUE

The year is 1999. It is a time in which monstrous cities with enormous one hundred story buildings, called skyscrapers, touch the clouds and beyond. Great prosperity has enabled humanity to out grow their barbaric ancestors. They act with humility, honoring each other with the wave of a hand and a small smile. It is a time consumed by technology, technology used for both convenience and wartime.

Recently humanity rejoiced over the discovery of nuclear power. Since then great advances have been made that now enable the storage and use of such magnificent power, however with great power there lies great risk. Mankind has grown selfish. Their greed and lust for power fuels their undying quest for glory. Their machines are powerful and their weapons show no mercy for any and all that stand before them. Many great scholars have prophesied mankind’s final days, including the great minds of; Aristotle, Galileo and even the wise Nostradomus. It is during this time that all will be judged, when all of humanity is subjected to intense scrutiny of various sorts and forms. Yet many of Earth’s people are often unaware of such dangers lurking around them. Most think religion is nothing more than grand fairytales that over time evolved into a way of life and thus expected daily practice. For Gideon this time is something that he has longed for for generations. A time where Earth’s people no longer believe in the Gods, nor notice as they walk beside one another. His power once unleashed would be absolute, their would be no one stop him. Finding Rose it seemed was going to be all too easy. Yet, Gideon is not all he appears to be. For the last two years he has ran from Lars, avoiding him at all costs, forcing Lars to chase after him no matter where he traveled. Was he afraid of Lars and his new found powers or simply trying to lead him on a wasted journey? His secret, first revealed to an old friend soon changes everything, including the past. With his grand powers of time travel, Gideon returned to the Crystal Forest, to the day he lost Lady Elana forever. What occurred during his short visit as he encountered his former self fighting desperately against General Zadock, lead to series of events that now has only one inevitable outcome...the earths ultimate destruction. Now, returning to the future unaware of such changes Gideon seeks out Lars, frantically chasing him, hoping to reveal the truth behind what really happened over the past two years. Yet, finding Lars is going to be more difficult that he originally anticipated. For Lars he is now alone, helpless in a lonely land, stranded in a distant future he does not understand. He has awoken in a rectangular shaped room, dressed in strange clothing. His powers are gone. All that remains are his memories from the past that slow fade from existence for unknown reasons and slowly replaced by new ones he questions as reality. What is going on? For Lars there is only one person capable of helping him now. An old ally, his mother Lady Elana speaks to him through a broken mirror which stands at the bed side in the small room. It is there the two relate back and forth, devising a plan to save Rose and once and for all end Gideon’s horrible reign of terror. Yet, his only ally, his mother, Lady Elana, or so he thinks soon becomes his greatest enemy. As he fights against a series of unrelenting enemies he learns that Payne has returned and been granted a grand gift. She is now the final Ark, the one who will come when all others are united - The Ark of Life. Her sacrifice in Setie’s tomb while trying to protect Gideon gave her new life, new purpose. However, she sees no need to unite alongside Rose and Lars.

Rather she uses her powers for the wrong reasons and inevitably soon loses them as quickly as she had gained them. Now, a new Ark will appear and the one destined to inherit the soul of their ancestor is the most unlikely of them all. Weeks and months pass as Lars continues chasing after Rose, desperately trying to find her. One day without warning a tragic event nearly takes Rose’s life. Now, she is lying in a white room on the thirteenth floor of a hospital in the psychiatric ward. The nurse claims her to be mentally unstable and locks her behind a door with no handle on the inside. They listen, recording her voice as she speaks from her sleep, depicting mankind’s end of days, claiming that time is near. Yet, the nurse, with her assistant, Jeremy soon reveal themselves to Rose. They are not who they claim to be. As Rose is threatened by these two mysterious characters, she find herself in a fight for her life. As the fight continues, she is impaled through the heart by a deadly sword. Forced out of a high window, her attacker soon realizes that she had only helped Rose to fulfill her destiny. As the final battle nears a grueling and seemingly never ending fight to the death forces the four Arks to witness what they were destined to stop, mankind’s destruction. Facing off with multiple enemies, including the four forgotten titans, The Stone Golem, The Kraken, Pharon and Leviathan the Arks battle desperately against an enemy summoned to earth two years earlier by General Zadock...Genesis. It during this fight that the truth is revealed and the true enemy, an immortal named Axis challenges the Arks for ownership over the souls of mankind. Now, to save the earth and those that inhabitant it the four Arks must fight against impossible odds, unite together and defeat an enemy generations old. When the Earth ends, life begins.

CHAPTER ONE ~ A ghost in the night ~ A small florescent light flickered above a broken and beat up bed. It was night and nearing 3:00am. The only window, cracked and missing a chunk of glass from the lower right hand corner whistled as the wind pushed through its seams. A neon sign, seen across the street flashed as if it was set on a timer to do so every eight minutes. Next to the window and leaning slightly against the bedpost was an antique mirror, covered in filth, mostly likely dust and grim. A heavy comforter covering the bed seemed to be hiding someone or something. Two pillows, both at the head of the bed were untouched and in perfect condition. A bulge in the center of the mattress pushed upwards to the ceiling. Was there someone there? A voice cracked. It came from underneath the blankets. Slowly something moved pulling and pushing at the comforter. Moments later, the blankets flew from the bed landing over the mirror covering it completely. A boy, nervous and scared jumped up scrambling across the floor. It was Lars. He seemed changed. His hair short and above his shoulders. His clothing different. He tugged at his cuffs, then his pants. “What is going on? Where am I?” He muttered softly asking. He was dressed in blue jeans and a long sleeve T-shirt. Slowly he walked around the room, inspecting every square inch. “What is this place?” he asked softly. Moving silently over to the window he gently pushed aside a broken vertical blind. Looking down over the windowsill, from no less than six stories high he gasped as a car quickly sped by. “What monsters are these?” he asked quietly. Off in the distance he could hear voices, a woman and a man shouting back and forth. Suddenly he became excited. Thinking for sure it was Rose and Gideon he stepped back away from the window. It seemed he planned to jump out over the windowsill and rush to Rose’s side, however as he ran forward he was stopped by a voice resembling Lady Elana’s. Skidding across the floor, he bounced off a small ledge in front of the window. He fell backwards, stumbling over his feet. Anxiously he called out, asking, “Is someone there?” He waited, nothing. Walking to the mirror, he grabbed hold of the sheet covering it and yanked it behind his head. He jumped, startled by an image of Lady Elana that stood motionless in the mirror. “Mother?” he asked. “Is that you?” Watching as the image turned to face him he smiled. He was glad to know she was still with him. “My son...,” she replied. “My time is short, therefore I must be brief. I must warn you of many dangers now lurking around you.” “What is happening?” Lars asked. “First, beware of your powers, they are non-existent in this world. Second...” Lars interjected, asking, “Non existent?” “This world...,” Lady Elana continued. “differs greatly from the one you remember. Our powers are given to use through beliefs and prayers. Sadly this time, these people have forgotten us.” Lars turned and walked back over to the window. He placed his hands on the windowsill while looking out off into the distance. “It is hopeless,” he muttered. He yelled, screaming out into the night. Quickly spinning he faced the mirror, listening as Lady Elana said, “Please my son do not give up hope. There is a way.” Stepping forward Lars replied anxiously. “Tell me, please.” Standing with a blank expression on his face he knew that the plan Lady Elana now spoke of was an utter impossibility.

“...the book, the Necronomicon you must take it from Gideon and open the time rift. Only then can you return home.” “I cannot just leave. I must find Rose.”

“Rose is gone my son. Let her go, it is for the best.” “No!” he shouted. “All that matters now is stopping Gideon.” Lady Elana replied. “But without my powers...” He watched as Lady Elana’s image faded in the mirror. Running forward he called for her, pleading with her to stay. It was useless, slowly she vanished. As he watched her disappear he heard her call out saying. “Find the book, it is the only way.” Then seconds later she was gone. “No,” he said softly. “I will not leave Rose.” Turning to the window, he looked out across the rooftops, scanning the city skyline and muttered. “I love her.” For the first time in his life he spoke from his heart. He closed his eyes and thought of Rose, he thought of reuniting with her, hugging and holding her. With the visions flashing his mind, a swirling and whooshing sound suddenly surrounded his forearm. At first he thought he had imagined the sound but as he opened his eyes looking down he saw that one of his gauntlets had reappeared. “What!” he exclaimed. “But how?” he asked softly. Clenching his fist the long ice saber shot up from off his wrist. Opening his hand, it dissipated into the air. Confused, he could only come to one conclusion - somehow by thinking of Rose and remembering her he was able to regain his magical abilities. He wondered how fast they would return. What triggered the return of only just the gauntlet? Was it something about Rose? Or maybe something he did? He did not know. He asked himself over and over would he be whole again when the final battle finally came to pass? He was determined to find out. Knowing that he could no longer fly or hover above ground he would have to take the stairs. He ran to the door at the front of the room and opened it cautiously. Peeking his out passed the doorframe he looked from side to side making sure the no one would see him as he left. Gideon knew that he had followed him through the rift. Lars worried that Gideon may now as well be seeking him out. Who else stood at Gideon’s side? he wondered. Did Gideon somehow find new allies in this distant world? Or would fate see fit to pit father against son one last time?

CHAPTER TWO ~ Strange New World ~ Exiting the strange room Lars walked cautiously down a long narrow hallway, peeking his head around corner of the wall before continuing. He looked up, taking notice of the ceiling. A pipe, apparently broken and leaking had created water stains. Looking at the stains, Lars realized that they had dried in a straight line. Somehow he felt guided by them almost as though he should follow. Coming to the end of the hallway, he stood before a door. A sign, red and white, written in two languages at about eye level made him wonder what laid beyond. One language appearing the same as that which he had learned as a child, yet as pronounced it the meaning made no sense. Slowly he pushed against a cold push bar laying horizontally across the door. He only opened it slightly when an awful buzzing noise surrounded him. It seemed he had set off some sort of alarm. Quickly he rushed forward, but stopped as he got to the top of a short flight of stairs. He looked behind him, he sighed when he saw no one. Rushing down the stairs the sound stopped. He was relived. He calmed himself then continued turning with the stairs as they changed directions. He stepped forward with his hand on the railing. A voice called out he dashed up the stairwell hiding behind the railing on the level above him. He looked down between the gap in the twisting staircase. He could see only the shoulders of a man as he slowly walked up concrete stairs. He turned his head wondering what to do next. If he went back up he would never get out. He had to move forward it was the only way. Clenching his fist tight the ice saber sprung up from off his wrist. Ferociusly he yelled and then rushed down the stairs. He jumped off the bottom step and came upon an old man, brittle and wearing glasses. He swung his arm. Screaming out in fear the old man cowered in the corner. Nearing the man’s neck, Lars slipped as the saber appeared to have no effect. He fell backwards, wondering what was happening. His saber had hit nothing. It was as if the man didn’t even exist. A loud cracking sound echoed in the stairwell. Crashing, Lars split his head against one of the steps behind him. As he laid still on the floor, he watched as the man walked forward slowly calling to him. Lars tried to speak but he found his words grabbled and incomprehensible. Slowly his eyes shut. Moments later, he blacked out. “Stupide Américain,” said the old man. Sitting Lars up the man grabbed him tightly underneath his arms and dragged him over to the corner of the stairwell. Propping him against the wall the man quietly scoffed while saying, “Ei, mon dos.” Looking back over his shoulder, he held one hand on his lower back. He rubbed it gently, turned then grabbed hold of the rail next to him. Slowly he descended the stairs. Reaching for a door at the bottom. He swung it open and shouted out into the hallway. “Frank, viens ici, aide-moi. Y’a avait un stupide americaine qui est tobmbe d’escalier.” Holding the door open he smiled as a large man, much younger and ripped with muscle came through the doorway. Placing one hand on the door, he held it open as he shook his head shook his head side to side. “Oi, pas encore, said Frank. Frank walked forward taking only a few steps while gently letting go of the door behind him. With one hand he signaled to the old man. “Leon, viens avec le carriage,” he said. “Nous allons lui mettre en deriere avec le garbage.” Nodding, Leon opened the door and hobbled into the hallway. Frank remained behind and carefully approached Lars. Kneeling at his side he touched his shoulder. He shivered while saying “il est froid.” Frank waited for Leon’s return, all the while

carefully inspecting Lars from head to toe. He couldn’t understand why Lars’ flesh felt so cold. Outside it was summer, why should he be so cold he thought. A loud clanking echoed in the hallway outside the door. Moments later a loud bang hit against the metal, rattling the door.

“Ouvriez. Je l’ai” ing tall frank walked to the door, with one hand he reached for the handle. He was nearly run over by a large shopping cart as Leon came bursting through. “Idiot.” Leon rolled the cart over to where Lars lay. The wheels squeaked as they grinded against the metal housing securing them. Picking Lars up by one arm Frank tossed him over one shoulder, took a few steps forward and then dropped him inside the cart. Lars moaned as the metal bars smashed against his spine. Patting Frank on the shoulder, Leon pushed him aside and with two hands grabbed cart’s handle. Pushing it, Lars fell hitting his fore head against the front of the cart. Frank reached out and pushed him back. “Depeche-toi et ne rien dit.” Rolling the cart through the doorway, Leon looked back over one shoulder and watched Frank walk up the stairs, disappearing as the door closed behind him. Taking a moment, Leon looked into Lars’ face. Something in his eyes reminded him of his son. Gently he pushed the cart forward wheeling it towards an elevator at the end of the hallway. Pressing the button he waited for the doors to open. As they did he wheeled the cart inside, turning it around to face forward, he then pushed the button making the doors close. Pressing button B-1, the elevator slowly descended. Looking to Lars he said “Aaron, comment tu me manque.” Stopping at the bottom, the elevator bounced once, seconds later the door sprung opened. Looking out passed the doors, Leon spied a furnace and a water heater. He wheeled the car forward to a small door seen off in the corner. Tipping the cart forward, Lars rolled head over heals, smashing up against the door. Leon looked to Lars and noticed blood running off one ear-lobe. Reaching forward over Lars he turned the door knob and pushed the door opened. As the door opened Lars fell backwards inside the room. The door smashing on his hip as it quickly closed. Squeezing his body though a tiny crack between the door and the frame, Leon steeped over Lars, carefully trying not to step on him. He entered the room, with one hand he looked to Lars while turning on the lights. After a few trying the light finally turned on. He stepped back grabbing Lars’ arms, he pulled them back passed his head. Dragging him into the middle of the room Leon rushed to a rusted sink, and grabbed a small pot from off a shaky shelf above his head. Filling it to the brim with cold water, he tossed it underhand, splashing the water onto Lars’ face. After moaning a few times Lars sat up. Placing one hand on the back of his head he asked, “Where am I?”

CHAPTER THREE ~ Leon of Paris ~ Lars flickered his eyes. An intense pain surged through his skull. He looked up, watching as Leon gently patted his forehead with a soft with a wet rag. A drip of water feel into his eye. He shot up, sitting with arms locked and his hands pressed firmly against the floor behind him. He scurried back, but got stuck a piece of elevated concrete rising out of the floor. He looked to hip as a small rip toe though his pant leg. “S'il vous plaît reste calme.” “Who are you? How did I get here?” Lars asked. “Je suis Leon, le concierge de ce complexe.” Confused, Lars pushed himself up off the floor, swatting at the cloth in Leon’s hand. He stumbled forward but quickly regained his balance. With one hand he stretched his eyelids, pulling his flesh under his eyes down. He then shook his head from side to side and reached back touching his skull, it surged with great pain. He gritted his teeth, then slowly dropped his hand to his side. “Devrait-je appeler une ambulance.” “Sir...,” said Lars. “Forgive me, but your words are forgein to me. I cannot understand what...” “My name Leon,” he called out loudly, replying quickly. “Leon?”Asked Lars strangely. “Please, accept my apologies. I am sorry for attacking you earlier. I hope you are not hurt?” He asked rhetorically. “My English no so good.” “English?”Asked Lars. Lars instantly became concerned as he watched Leon picked up a small cordless phone, which laid at his side. He called out but before he could speak, Leon said, “I call doctor. Please wait.” Lars watched Leon pressed a few buttons then placed the phone to his ear. Rushing forward, Lars grabbed the phone from out of his hand. Startled, Leon jumped up and looked strangely to Lars. “Que faites-vous?” Leon asked. “No magic!” Lars shouted. “Gideon shall find me.” “Magie? Gideon?” Leon replied with a curious smirk. “I am sorry. Gideon must not find me.” “Gideon? Who is Gideon?” “My...father...,” replied Lars hesitantly. “He wants to kill me.” “Tuer!?” Leon Exclaimed. “Police. I call for you.” Shouting repeatedly Lars insisted that Leon refrain from the use of any magic. He reiterated, telling him it would alert Gideon to his whereabouts. Grabbing the phone, Lars held it tightly in one hand while waving it widely in front of his face. Turning he looked to the wall, then with a hard throw he threw the phone against the concrete wall. He watched as it shattered, falling into pieces. Leon cringed in fear. A sound, like a large snake, made Lars jump to his feet. He turned facing a steam pipe overhead. He listened as it hissed, releasing the built up pressure from inside. “Monsters? Here?” he asked quietly.

Scurrying in fear, he turned quickly and grabbed Leon by his collar. He lifted him up to his feet and spun him around, pushing him into the corner. He looked to the ceiling, then clenched his fist tight. His saber shooting up from off his wrist. “Come on,” he said as he grinded his teeth angrily. A hard grab on his shoulder from behind startled him, forcing him to turn. He swung his arm, nearly decapitating Leon. Ducking, Leon fell to the ground, he covered his head with both arms as he shouted, “Aaron! It is me papa.” Lars gasped as he watched Leon cower in the dark corner. Looking to the ceiling Lars followed a series pipes running in all directions. He looked to Leon, asking, “What makes such a horrible noise?” Leon said nothing. Just peeked through his arms up at Lars. Walking over to his side, Lars kneeled down and grabbed him gently by both shoulders. “Sir...” “Aaron?” asked Leon. “Aaron?” replied Lars strangely. “Who is Aaron?” Pushing himself up the wall, Leon cautiously lowered his arms. He blinked his eyes then shook his head. “Pardon,” he said. “I make mistake.” “Aaron...is that your son?” Asked Lars. “Yes,” replied Leon. “He died many year ago, when he was child.” “And I remind you of him?” asked Lars. “Yes.” “May I ask how he passed?” “Help me, please,” said Leon. Helping Leon out of the corner Lars walked him over to a decrepit wooden chair. Holding his arm, he helped him as he sat gently down upon a soft cushion. Exhaling, Leon looked up to Lars and smiled. He placed both hands on his knees, then extended one arm out in front of him. “Sit, sit.” Leon said quickly. Siting on a small ledge with a mesh screen that was used to protect against burns and boils from an old failing water heater, Lars placed his elbows on his knees and listened as Leon asked, “You are tourist, no?” Lars was unsure of what Leon meant to ask. He wondered what he meant by “tourist.” He had never heard this word before. “Sir...” “Please, call me Leon.” “Leon...,” said Lars. “Can you tell me where I am?” Leon smirked, he was sure Lars must be joking. He laughed but stopped suddenly when he realized Lars was serious. “This is Paris.” Leon said happily. “And the year?” “...L'amnésie du cerveau.” “Sorry,”said Lars. “I do not understand.” “It is 1999.” Standing slowly, Lars turned and placed one hand to face, partially covering his mouth and nose. He paced from side to side. He seemed nervous, almost scared. “700 years,” he said softly. “Pardon?” Leon called out. Stopping, Lars locked eyes with Leon. After a few moments he walked forward to within arms reach of both Leon and the chair.

“700 years in the future. That is how far I have come.”

CHAPTER FOUR ~ Immortal? ~ Speaking with Lars, Leon became more and more confused. To him, Lars spoke nothing but nonsense. Hearing about his trip through time made him feel as if he should thumb through the local newspaper and search for “wanted” ads. Yet, each time he looked into Lars' face he saw only his deceased son, Aaron. He felt a dire erg to help Lars. Somehow it would help to bring him closure, at least he hoped so. He blamed himself for his son’s death and since that fateful day never forgave himself for his negligence. Slowly he placed his hands on each armrest and gently pushed himself up into his feet. Walking to a small cabinet dangling from a improvised shelf, he opened two small wooden doors. Reaching in with one hand, he gently grabbed a brown, torn wallet. Opening it he pulled out strange papers and handed them to Lars. “Here. You will need them,” he said. “What is this?” Asked Lars. “Argent.” Leon replied. “Use it for your travels.” Taking the money from Leon’s hand, he nodded thanking him. He then folded the paper in half and placed into his pant pocket. Gently Leon took hold of Lars hand. Leading him forward, he tugged him towards the door. Lars smiled to Leon then turned his head, looking at the door. After a few seconds, Leon asked Lars to wait as he walked up to a small key ring nailed into the wall at his side. Waiting, Lars looked around the room; everything was new to him. He felt the need to investigate. It wasn’t long until Leon called to Lars asking him to hurry to his side. Taking a step forward, Lars’ face suddenly fell losing all expression. A shadow appearing suddenly under the door concerned him. As he watched the shadow move, he could feel his arm shake uncontrollably. He grabbed it with his free hand, holding it tightly. Moments later, without warning his ice saber shot up from off his wrist. Leon looked awkwardly to Lars, wondering what was happening. As Lars watched the shadow he frantically tried to get his saber to retract but it was no use. Then, only seconds later, looked on, watching as a black ooze, apparently the ominous shadow, squeeze underneath the door. He gasped and called for Leon to move away from the door. Then the ooze dripped up and solidified, taking the shape of a familiar foe, Payne. Looking once to Leon, she pinched the key ring with two fingers taking it without resistance from Leon’s hand. Slowly she turned, smiling as she looked to Lars. “Hello again, Lars,” she said. “You!” Lars cried. “Your supposed to be dead.” “Now, is that anyway to greet your “mother”.” “You are not Elana!” shouted Lars. “I never said I was,” replied Payne.

“Where is Gideon?” Lars asked “Close.” “I have come to deliver a message.” “Message?” “Life has been reborn. The Ark has returned.” “What nonsense do you speak?” “After all these years you still do not understand.” “You died once, you will die again,” Lars gritted his teeth. “Not today,” Payne replied mockingly while smiling. Staring at Lars, Payne extended one arm out to her side. A crunching noise overtook the air. He cried screaming Leon’s name. It as too late. Payne, with a quick slash cut his head clean from his shoulders. Lars ran forward but stopped as he watched Payne wave her arm in front of her eyes. “What are you?” Lars asked. “I am...immortal. In this world my powers are beyond even my wildest expectations.” Payne said with a soft giggle.

“You...you are no immortal,” said Lars angrily. “Do not tempt me,” Payne replied. “Your pathetic powers are no match for mine.” Shaking her arm, Lars watched as it transformed morphing from a long metallic like blade back to a hand with five fingers. She stepped forward, glancing down to Leon’s twitching body. Approaching Lars, she took notice of the gauntlet surrounding his forearm. “I see you have learned the secrets of this world as well.” Lars stepped back, keeping distance between him and Payne. Looking up, he watched as she walked underneath a leaking steam pipe. He smiled, nodding his head. “You will not escape me this time,” Payne said. Swinging his arm up and over his head, he cut the leaking pipe in the ceiling in half. The steam poured out, spraying in Payne’s face. The steam so hot is melted her flesh clean off her bones. He watched as she lifted her arms up to her face, screaming and yelling and she threw her body side to side. Hitting a large cabinet with two metal doors, Lars ducked as a canister full of ammonia fell from off the top. Hitting the ground it splashed in all directions. Hurdling over the large spill he rushed for the door. Taking one last look over his shoulder, he watched as Payne slowly died, melting into a bubbling puddle of green and yellow goo. Turning, stepping out the door a loud thump was heard. Lars fell back, something had struck him in the chest. He tumbled across the floor, crashing into a leg of a wooden table. Old and unstable, the leg snapped in half and the table then fell on top of him. He vison blurred momentarily as he looked a figure walking calmly through the open door. Reaching forward, the figure grabbed Lars by the throat and lifted him up off the ground. He flickered his, desperately trying to focus. He gasped as he looked to Payne, standing smirking while holding him by the throat. Taking both hands he fought for his life tying to break her forceful grip. After a few moments, she released him, dropping him to the ground. He fell to one knee, coughing and gagging. Squinting his eyes, he looked up calling her name. “How?” He asked. “I watched you die!” he shouted. Payne stepped back, keeping her eyes locked on Lars. She said nothing as she made her way over to the open door. Standing under the doorframe, she smiled. “Today is the chosen day, the day when all life will be free of sin.” Scurrying to his feet, Lars stumbled forward nearly crashing into protruding objects along the way. As he neared the door, he was blown off his feet by a tremendous explosion that within only seconds engulfed the small room in a fiery blaze.

CHAPTER FIVE ~ Impact ~ A calm wind blew as a young girl walked down a crowded sidewalk. She was dressed in a modern fashion, wearing blue jeans, a tight fitted baby t-shirt and calf high valor boats with fake fur spiraling upwards from the ankle to the shin. Around her neck, hanging low on a thick brown cord was a green crystal. Bouncing against her back, was an orange backpack, with small patches of black cloth that seemed stuffed to seams and ready to burst open at any given moment. In her hands she was holding what appeared to be journal. As she walked forward shifting her body between the passing crowds, she could be seen occasionally stopping to write on a clean, bright white page of the journal. While writing, a sudden and forceful bump knocked her journal from her hands. Instantly she fell to her knees searching for it. But the pedestrians rushing by, continuously without notice kicked and pushed the journal farther and farther out of reach. As she chased it, she was suddenly stopped by a man that kneeled in front of her, snatching the journal from off the ground. “Excuse me, miss. I believe this is yours,” the man said. Handing over the book, the girl pressed it to her chest, clenching it tightly. A few seconds later a smile lit up across her face. “This journal means the world to me...thank you,”she said. The man replied by nodding his head and smiling warmly. He then extended one hand out in front of him, apparently wanting to shake hands. “I am Martin,” he said. “What is your name?” “Rose, you can call me Rose,” she said as she reached forward to shake Martin’s hand. “Please forgive me. I am late for work. I hope I did not hurt?” Martin said. “No,” Rose replied. “Just startled me, that’s all.” “I am glad you are alright. I am sorry but I must go.” “I understand,” said Rose. “Goodbye.” Moments later Martin stopped and turned slightly looking over his shoulder back to Rose. “Rose...,” he called out. Turning, Rose listened as Martin said, “Be careful.” She nodded then watched as he crossed the street and entered a large building with a revolving door. “...You too,” she whispered back. With a long sigh, Rose looked down to her journal. She smiled once seeing a 3x5 picture of a tall man with dark black hair. The picture was faded and the tape which secured it to the cover

appeared old and discolored. It was obvious this was not a recent picture. As she continued to focus on the tall man a faint, soft voice called to her, “Rose, they are coming.” Looking from side to side, Rose called over to a women standing with a cigarette in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other, “Excuse me. Did you say something?” Looking strangely to Rose the woman replied in an arrogant tone, “No, now leave me alone.” Adjusting her backpack, Rose turned and slowly began to head to the street corner ahead of her. “Bitch,” she mumbled. Coming to the corner, Rose stopped and looked up, watching as the street light changed from green to red. Stepping forward onto the pedestrian crosswalk, she casually made her way her way to the opposite side. But as she reached the middle of the crosswalk the strange voice called to her again, “Rose, he is coming. You must run. It is your only chance.” Shaking her head, a man touched her shoulder and asked if she was alright. “It’s only a headache. I’ll be fine, thanks.” Regaining her composure, she continued but it seemed that her apparent headache was worse than she first thought. Collapsing, she fell to one knee. “What is happening?” she mumbled. Pushing herself back up to her feet, she stumbled a few times while trying to stand. As she took a step forward a man’s voice shouted out from behind, “Look out!” Rose gasped and lifted her arms up in front of her chest and face. A speeding car screeched its way forward. Within inches of Rose it then suddenly stopped. The pedestrians, including the man who only moments earlier shouted to Rose appeared frozen, as if time itself had come to an abrupt halt. “What in God’s name is happening?” Rose whispered. Looking down to her journal, she watched as the picture of the tall man vanished and in its place appeared an image of a stuffed teddy bear. “What is this?” On the verge of tears, Rose called out pleading that someone help her. But, no one came. After a few moments, the strange voice that seemed to be issuing her a warning again called out, “The time has come. The Arks must unite.” Seconds later the voice vanished and time returned to its normal state. Almost immediately Rose was struck by the speeding car. The impact sent her tumbling backwards, flying through the air. No one said a word as she finally came to a stop on top of a parked car across the street. The silence was suddenly broken when a woman screamed out in horror. As a few men and a one women rushed to Rose’s side, those that stood watching covered their mouths, some even collapsed to their knees crying. “Someone call an ambulance!” A man shouted.

CHAPTER SIX

~ The Messenger ~ Following the massive explosion in the buildings boiler room, Lars rushed back to the apartment where he first awoke. He patted himself on his chest and legs, then lastly each arm. He could not believe he was alive. He wondered just how it was he survived the scorching flames? Why his flesh did not melt clean off his bones? As he entered the dark room, he quickly made his way over to the large mirror that stood at the side of the bed. He stared into the glass, shouting Lady Elana’s name, demanding she show herself. “My son, you are alive.” “You seem surprised. Did you know Payne was here?” Lars asked. “Yes.” “What is she?” “She has become the very thing we are trying to save.” “Which is?” “Life, everlasting life.” “...Is she...immortal?” Lars asked hesitantly. “In a way. The prophecy states...” “I am tried of all this nonsense!” Lars shouted. “I no longer care for this prophecy. I am only here for Rose.” “And what of Gideon?” Gabriel l asked. “Will you simply allow him...” Lars interjected, angrily he replied, “Gideon is my father.” “That is something I cannot change, nor would I want to.” “He is evil now, my son.” “Maybe so, but what you are asking me to do is impossible,” he paused. “I cannot kill my own father.” Turning away from the mirror, Lars walked slowly to the door, left slightly open so only a single beam of yellow light creped its way into the room. Reaching out for the doors handle, he looked

over his shoulder, grinning. “Long ago you would have died to save him. What so suddenly changed your heart?”He asked. Lady Elana said nothing as her image slowly faded from the glass. He signed then shook his head from side to side. Something inside his brain caused him to have a sudden and unexpected epiphany. In his mind he had realized that maybe the reason why Lady Elana wanted so desperately to see Gideon’s downfall, was simply because it wasn’t Lady Elana at all. This, though illogical was by far the most probably and rational thought he felt he had since first waking up in this strange new world. Slowly he let go of the door handle, stepping back into the room. Walking in front of the bed, he stared sternly into the mirror. His gut twisted with anticipation. Could it be that all this time he had been speaking with someone other than Lady Elana. If so, why? And who was he speaking with? He decided to play along, to see if he could draw out this mysterious figure. He was sure if he exposed whoever or whatever it may be too soon, he would lose any chance at finding Rose. Back and forth various theories bounced around in his mind. At first he thought that just maybe this figure wanted to help him. However, his instincts told him it was more likely trying to stall him. Stall him just long enough to give Gideon ample time to find Rose and fulfill the prophecy. He had to hurry. He needed answers and he needed them now. “Damn you,” he mumbled. Blowing strongly through the open window, a gushing wind hit Lars directly in the eyes. A small piece of gravel, apparently caught by the swirling winds, blew into one eyes, momentarily blinding him. He hunched forward, flickering his eyes lids, rubbing them gently. Feeling around with one hand, he reached for the bed. Pushing on the mattress, he sat at the very edge. Knocking the pebble free from his eye socket, he made all sorts of weird and frightening faces while trying to focus his eyes. Finally, his vision returned. Falling backwards, he bounced once on the soft mattress and sighed. He placed his both arms behind him, with his hands on the back of his head. Looking up to the ceiling he softly said, “What in Gods name is happening?” After a few moments, a funny and odd looking stain on the ceiling suddenly came to life. He squinted his eyes, watching as the strange object zipped from spot to spot. Seconds later, it spun. Slowly at first then gradually increasing in speed all the while growing slightly bigger with each rotation. A loud, screeching sound reverberated back and forth around the room. Hearing the sound Lars jumped from the bed. Standing beside it, he watched as a dark figure seemed to drop from out of the object and stay suspended upside down from the ceiling. Again a strong wind hit up against Lars’ face. This time the wind was stronger and more violent. It pushed him back, forcing him to stumble over a small night table behind him. When the wind finally stopped, Lars could see a large male figure with two enormous white wings that spanned from one end of the room to the other. “Who are you? Where did you come from?” Lars asked anxiously. Falling from the ceiling and onto the bed, Lars gawked at the mans wings, they were extended out behind him and both arms were held out to his sides. He smirked and looked to Lars, staring into his face. “I am the messenger, I am Gabriel. Through me you shall find the Rose,” he said. “Rose!” Lars exclaimed. “Where is she?” “The Rose shall awaken in a dream.” “I do not understand.” “Your flower is blooming, the season of war is at its end.” “Is she alright?”

“In my hand I hold your answer,” Gabriel replied. Holding one hand out in front of him, he slowly unfurled his fingers revealing an object covered by gems of all sorts. “Behold, the Shield of God,” he said. “It is the final piece to the puzzle you seek to complete.” “Puzzle?”Lars asked strangely. “The four Arks shall soon become one.” Gabriel replied with a smile, “This is the cause to Earth’s sorrows, the war and its inevitable outcome. This is what Gideon and all those before him have quested for. Now I give it to you, its true owner.” Cupping his hands, Lars caught the strange object as Gabriel dropped it into his palms. As he caught it, it glimmered once, pulsing a white light. “What is it?” he asked. “It is the answer. The only way to stop the prophecy,” he paused. “Combine this with that which makes you whole and then shall you see.” “Make me whole?” “The Dyad Crystals. It is with the combined power of all four that you can unlock the mysterious of the four Arks.” “Where may I find these crystals?” “Gideon has three, one consumes him with hatred. You must find him and retrieve the three crystals.” “And the fourth?” “The Rose...it is with the Rose.” “Tell me, Gabriel...” Lars said. “Can Gideon be saved?” “Only you can decide.” “Only me,” Lars mumbled. “Once freed from the hatred Gideon shall require true love to heal his heart. If such a love cannot be found I believe he shall perish.” “Then such a love he shall have. I will save my father and with him mankind,” Lars replied in a strong masculine voice. “Do not be so eager to help Gideon.” Gabriel replied anxiously. “Remember, he has chosen his path as have you.” Lars turned facing the wall behind him, he knew Gabriel was right. He dropped his head, shutting his eyes. Holding the strange object, the Shield of God in one hand he squeezed it tight, gritting his teeth. Slowly he turned back to face Gabriel. “No,” he said. Lars tossed the “Shield of God” onto the mattress. Gabriel watched as it bounced once then rolled up against his feet. “What!” he replied. “I will not be a pawn anymore.” Folding his wings behind him, Gabriel jumped from the bed and onto the floor, he stood within arms reach of Lars. He paced from side to side, pointing to Lars, he seemed angry. “She swore our plan would not fail,” he muttered. “Plan? What are you talking about?” “Payne. She devised a miraculous plot. A plot that would once again allow me to rejoin my brothers in the holy land.” “It was her!” Lars exclaimed. “She was here!”

“It seems we have been exposed. I warned her to be careful. Now, I have no choice but to destroy you.”

“Destroy me?” “I will not be rejected again.” Without warning Gabriel disappeared, frantically Lars turned his head in all directions. Poising himself in a strange defensive stance, he clenched one fist tightly shut, his ice saber shooting up into the air. He paced in small circles, calling Gabriel’s name. He did not reply. “Gabriel!” Lars shouted. “Show yourself. Face me, so I may end your suffering.” Listening, Lars investigated every corner of the room as a raspy laugh echoed around him. Looking behind every night stand, dresser and armoire he searched for Gabriel. But the more he searched, the louder the laugh became. It was as if Gabriel was toying with him, taunting him with his sudden disappearing act. “Do not tire yourself, hero.” Gabriel said. “You are a coward just like that pathetic accomplice of yours, Payne.” A burning sensation ripped through Lars’ lower back. Catching a glimpse of Gabriel as he ran passed him while holding a bloody rapier in one hand, Lars swung his saber behind him. Unfortunately, he missed striking back at Gabriel. Lars could not follow his tracks as he again appeared then quickly vanished before his very eyes. He held his back for only a moment, he then raised his hand in front of his face. He gritted his teeth as he saw small patches of blood covering his fingertips. Knowing in order to defeat Gabriel he had to keep him from constantly appearing and disappearing, he could think of only one sure fire way to end his barrage of invisible attacks.

CHAPTER SEVEN ~ Distant Connections ~ Unconscious and in a near coma like state, Rose laid still. Both wrists were cuffed by heavy duty belt straps that were tightened on both sides of her body to chrome plated armrests. Her ankles were bound in the same manner at the foot of the bed. Across her mid-section was a single white velcro strap that pressed firmly into her rib cage, allowing her very little room to move. Her eyes twitched and her head shook from side to side. Was she dreaming? ~ A fuzzy image, blurred and distorted called Rose’s name. It seemed to be a man running, almost sprinting forward. Yet, to Rose the faster he ran the father away he became. Finally he was gone. She called to him, asking his name, asking where she was and what was happening. There was no answer.

~ Shaken awake, Rose pushed and pulled against the cuffs restraining her wrists. Something about this situation triggered an event in her mind that she questioned as real or fake. For a short moment, she could remember being bound by her wrists and hanging from a odd, metallic looking

tree, but as quickly as the memory came too her so did it leave. Looking beside her, she watched as a nurse, dressed in a white gown with a white hat, pressed the plunger of a long syringe, a clear liquid shot from the tip of the needle. “What are you doing,” Rose asked. The nurse remained quiet. Walking to a small tray beside the bed she nodded her head to a man in a green slicker standing in an open doorway to come and assist her. Stretching a short surgical tube in front of him, he smiled as he entered the room. After a few moments, he joined the nurse at her side. “Go ahead,” the nurse said. Nodding the man in the green slicker quickly grabbed Rose’s arm. Holding tightly she cried out in pain. With two fingers he tapped a vein just below her elbow joint. Moments later, he wrapped the surgical tubing around her arm and tied it tight. Watching, Rose repeatedly asked for the nurse to stop, but she continued. Closer and closer she came, lunging forward with the long needle. Pulling, Rose yanked her arm trying over and over again to free herself from the woman’s grasp. With her free hand she tried to swing at the man holding tightly onto her arm. Slamming her palm into the side of his head, just below the temple, he simply smiled as if the blow tickled. Sticking the needle just below the flesh, Rose screamed, yelling out in fear. Moments later, she blacked out. Across town, Lars fell to his knees. His head swelled with a strange cry, the sound scratched his brain. Quickly he cupped both ears, gritting his teeth and clenching his eyes. “Do you know who makes that sound?” Gabriel asked. Breathing heavily, Lars looked up, angrily staring at Gabriel. Taking one hand from off his head he placed it at his side then slowly pushed himself up to his feet. Shaking his head, he held one arm out in front of him then quickly clenched his fist tight. Again, his saber shot up directly in front of him. “Another tick, I gather,” he said. “Trick?” Gabriel questioned. “No, no trick.” Jumping forward, Lars lunged at Gabriel, swinging and cutting at anything in his path. He thought he could surprise him but once again he vanished into hiding. Laughing, the sound seemed to ricochet around the room, bouncing off the walls, doors and furniture. “After so many years, you still do not understand.” “You are a coward, Gabriel.” Lars said. “What do you think your father fights for?” Gabriel asked. “Revenge,” replied Lars. “No...He fights to protect you, to save you from what must now happen in order to stop Genesis,” Gabriel paused. “He believes that if he sacrifices himself in your place you will not have to forfeit yours.” “And what of Rose?” Lars asked. “Why come here? Why kill her?” “Kill her? What makes you think he seeks to kill her?” “I only figured...” “No,” Gabriel paused. “Gideon seeks Rose to...” Screaming through the open window came a series of small serrated disks. Hitting a large dresser in the corner of the room, the disks ripped the wooden dresser to pieces. Falling around Lars, he turned, glancing behind him. Gabriel stood, bleeding from one shoulder. He walked

forward, holding his hand over one of the disks impaled into his flesh. Lars could hear a whirling sound, the disk was still spinning, boring deeper into the wound. “Call the Arks it is Earth’s only chance.” Moments later, Lars dove over the bed, rolling once on the opposite side as a whining sound screamed over his head. Turning, he propped his chin up onto the mattress and watched as Gabriel fell to his knees. Behind him, Lars saw another spinning disk rotating quickly in the sheet rock wall, it appeared to be stuck. A thump was heard only seconds later. Rolling to the front of the bed, Lars gasped as he saw Gabriel’s head slowly coming to stop only inches away from his feet. He scurried back as Gabriel’s eyes sprung open. “Forgive me,” Gabriel said. Seconds later, his eyes slowly shut. A flash of orange light illuminated the room. Lars looked, watching as Gabriel’s body burst into flames. Looking back, anxiously awaiting some sort of horrifying end to abruptly come to the rest of Gabriel remains, he was taken by surprise as the floor, only inches away swirled and spun in clockwise motion. A black pool, filled with a grotesque ooze of some kind was seen seconds later. Lars watched as the pool came to life, spinning upwards. Jumping to his feet, he cowered in the corner as the ooze fell, revealing a woman who was apparently standing inside it. Walking slowly over to the edge of the bed the woman kicked at Gabriel’s head, popping it up off the floor and into her hand. Holding it by the hair, she looked to Lars and smiled. “Poor Gabriel,” she paused. “How naive he was.” Stepping out of the corner, Lars closed his hand, clenching his fist. Something strange had happened. His saber did not appear. Why? He looked to his hand, then to the woman. “Who are you?” he asked. “What have yo done to me?” “Formalities, how useless.” “Useless?” “I demand you tell me who you are?” After a few moments the woman smiled the replied wit a curious tone, “Do you really insist on knowing the name of the one sent to destroy you?” she paused. “How heroic.” “Tell me your name!” Lars demanded. “I am called Three.” “Three?” “Mistress, finds names a nuisance.” “Payne!” Lars blurted out. Smiling, Three smiled brightly. Placing one hand over the other, she reached up into her sleeves and pulled two star shaped disks from harness’s attached underneath each wrist. Holding them up in front of her, she showed them to Lars. “Your end has come. Prepare to die.”

CHAPTER EIGHT ~ New Awakening ~ Pt. 1

“Rose...,” a mans voice called. “It is me Lars.” Fluttering her eyes, Rose became started as she saw a Lars standing, hovering over her bed. Quickly she jumped up back against the bed’s headboard. “Please, leave me alone,” she cried. “Rose it is me Lars.” “Lars?” Reaching up, she attempted to touch his face. Suddenly, the door swung open. Turning, Rose looked to the nurse once again entering through the door. In her hands she was carrying a tray with two bowels and one mug. Teetering on the edge, was a small paper cup filled with different colored pills, all of various sorts and sizes. As she turned again, looking back up to Lars, he was

gone. Shifting her eyes around the room she wondered was he hiding. “Now, lets not make this hard, alright,” the nurse said. “What?” Rose questioned. “First your pills, then supper.” “Pills?” As the nurse came within inches of the bed, a door apparently behind her swung open and in rushed the man in the green slicker. Grabbing her, he pinned her to the bed. With one hand he pressed against her chest, while taking his opposite hand and squeezed her jaw, forcing her to open her mouth. “Shhh, it’s almost over.” Struggling, Rose pushed against the man’s strong grasp. It was no use, she could not break free. Reaching into the back of her throat, the nurse gently placed two pills on her tongue. Seconds later, the man shut her mouth and held it closed until she swallowed. “There, done.” “Let me go!” Rose shouted. Turning, Rose scratched at the man restraining her. Quickly, he raised one hand to his face as he felt her fingernails scrap against his flesh. “We are here to help you,” the nurse said. However, Rose was focused on the man at her side. She looked to his face and nearly vomited as she saw strips of flesh hanging loosely down below his chin. “Who are you people?” she asked. Smiling, the nurse dropped the tray, it chimed making a horrible nose as it hit against the floor. “You will never return.” “Return?” “Your friends are dead and so too shall you soon be.” “Friends?” Startled, Rose jumped covering her face as a brilliant flame instantly engulfed the nurse standing beside her. Repeatedly she tried to get up out of the bed, but each time the man shoved her back down onto the mattress. “This is the fun part,” he whispered. After a few moments, the fire dissipated revealing a odd looking woman, dressed in black with a long, dark trench coat that dragged across the floor as she walked. It was Payne. “Dispose of that useless thing,” Payne said. “Yes, Mistress,” the man replied. With a long breath, he inhaled then held his breath for only a moment. Rose watched as his body expanded like a balloon until finally the flesh covering his bones exploded, scattering in all directions, hitting the walls and ceiling behind him. She cried out in horror as she looked a grotesque creature standing beside her. Her eyes budged, protruding out from her eye sockets as she looked to a green, reptilian creature that seemed to smile as it looked her up and down. It skin was scaly and rough. It’s eyes were a bright yellow, with a deep black pupil in the center. ***insert armor magically manifesting here*** Bright chrome plated armor was seen strapped tightly around both its forearms and legs. On its chest was a breastplate with three straps, two running back up over its shoulders and one around and under its arms. A medallion seen in the middle of the breastplate kept the straps taught across the creatures chest, it seemed to depict a large Cobra type snake, more human than lizard, holding a sparkling spear in one hand and in the other a shield. On its back, attached to the three straps was a circular looking weapon, its edges

both razor sharp and deadly. For Rose everything was happening so fast, her mind couldn’t comprehend the on goings around her. She wondered what exactly this creature was? And where it came from. She thought for only a moment if the flesh it used to conceal itself in was a costume? Or if it was something more sinister, more unthinkable? “This is Jeremy, my second in command...,” Payne said. “However, you may call him Two.” Slowly, Rose watched as Jeremy reached back over his head and pulled the odd weapon from its harness. Carefully he held it in one hand out in from of him. Quickly he swung it side to side then up and over his head; it made a loud whirling sound that scratched inside Rose’s ears. Holding it still, he then placed both hands on the weapon and in one swift motion seemed to pull it apart creating two rather than one. As Jeremy stood at attention awaiting his next order, Rose listened as a soft hissing sound surrounded the room. “Stand her up,” Payne demanded. “It is time to end this once and for,” she said with a smirk.

CHAPTER NINE ~ Pandora Attacks ~ Chapter Incomplete

CHAPTER TEN ~ Reunited ~ Gideon stood, patiently waiting, watching through an open window as the sun began to slowly set behind the rooftops. “He has been here, “ he said. “I know, I sense him as well,” a woman replied. “Can we find him?” Gideon asked. “I am not sure,” she paused. “I am weaker here, this city somehow interferes with my abilities.” “If it is the city that worries you then we shall rise above it.” “I do not understand.” “Look there,”Gideon pointed to a tall, square shaped building across town. “That building, it is

taller than any other. On its roof, your senses should clear.” Small footsteps were heard as the woman slowly approached Gideon from behind. Placing one hand on his shoulder, she stood at his side, smiled then nodded. “Yes,” she said. “It should do quite well.” Turning, Gideon looked to his side. He scanned the room around him, then focused on the mirror. “Payne, is here. I am sure she will use her tricks to try and subdue Lars into one of her traps. We must find him first. I must save my son.” “Do not fret, my love. He is strong, together we shall see him home.” “Elana...” he paused. “My son must live, promise me this.” Lady Elana said nothing, she just nodded her head and smiled. Gideon turned, looking back out across the rooftops, then moments later dropped his chin down onto his chest. “My plan has failed,” he said. “Still, Lars fights and now because of me he is even in more danger than ever before.” Lady Elana softly called to Gideon. Reaching forward, she gently touched his face. Slowly he raised his head and locked eyes with her. “You did what you thought was right. Your clever rouse fooled us all. All this time you have been fighting to protect us, leading the Legion down an empty path. Your selfish ploy was all that kept you focused.” Gideon seemed angry, almost insulted. He interjected saying,“Selfish!” “However...,” Lady Elana continued. “All you have ever wanted was to protect the ones you love, sacrificing your life to save ours.” Gideon smiled warmly as he listened to her speak. He laughed when he realized that she insulted him only to return quickly with a compliment. “You are different,” she said. “Your abilities are overwhelming.” “Much has happened and much will happen,” he replied. “There will be no memories of past events, no burdens left to bear.” “Everything is so strange now...” Lady Elana paused. “When I stepped through the rift alongside you I was suddenly overcome with memories of things past. Even though I have never experienced these things, I know them to be true. I have seen the horrors of your plan, the conflict you have endured. I even remember dying.” “I have always regretted that day, the day I killed you. It was then that I came realize I had to become the very thing I had been fighting to destroy. It was the only way to change the past and save the future.” “Is that why you returned to the Crystal Forest, to save me?” she asked. “I came because when all this is over none of it will have ever have happened. Only together can we save our son,” he paused. “The Dyad energy swells inside me, slowly it is overtaking my consciousness. I need your help. The crystal must be healed, only then can the four Arks unite.” “How wise you have become...looking to the past to save the future,” she paused and smiled. “One day you will tell me the whole story.” After a few moments she grabbed him gently and pulled him close. The two stood hugging one another as they watched the sun set beyond the horizon.

CHAPTER SEVEN ~ The Crystal Forest ~ Pt. 1 Revisited Leading Lars through the time rift was a well planned scheme carefully pre-mediated by Gideon. Secretly he knew that he could trap Lars in a distant time, inevitably halting his destiny and thus saving his life. Yet, unbeknownst to Lars, Gideon had returned to the exact moment in time when he had accidentally killed Lady Elana. Returning with her to the future as well saved her from the

fate he bestowed on her. However, all was not as easy as Gideon first hoped. Convincing her it was actually him and not some devious ploy by General Zadock proved to be more difficult than expected. Gideon had changed, his physical appearance altered and near unrecognizable, making his words seem like lies as he pleaded with Lady Elana for her trust and understanding. Interfering with the battle he longed to forget changed many of the events taking place that day. Using his time travel abilities Gideon knew he could very well go back to the day Zadock took control and began his merciless quest, yet doing so would stop more than just the war. Changing the past wold have indescribable consequences in the future. For one, his son, Lars would never learn of his lineage. Caleb would as well continue to be trapped in a horrible stone prison. His friend Kamaru he knew would remain trapped in Akvan. The war brought much pain, suffering and strife, yet even with all the death and destruction there were many days the war seemed like a blessing. Today, Gideon challenged the laws of space and time. The consequences of saving Lady Elana was something he was willing to risk. When he left with her in his arms, taking her into the future, he left his former self at the mercy of General Zadock. The words left behind may very well be the key to saving humanity’s future. It is once again up to Gideon and Lady Elana to find both Lars and Rose and save humanity from utter annihilation. Today hero’s shall rise... Today Heaven shall send it’s angels... the chosen day has finally come.

Three years prior

Lady Elana walked a few feet passed Rose. Turning she looked back and smiled. With the wave of her hand, she used the last of her remaining power to create a large orb which surrounded Rose entirely. Rose screamed and yelled to be let out, pounding her fists against the orb’s strange interior. Lady Elana closed her eyes. Seconds later, she began chanting an incantation of sorts. Gideon cried out from across the large clearing, “No!” Moments later, in a desperate voice he shouted, “I need her.” Lady Elana so focused on her chanting seemed not to notice Gideon as he yelled. Looking to Zadock, Gideon rushed forward. Using him as a strange type of human ladder, Gideon climbed up his body. First, his leg, then his hips. Pushing himself with both feet off Zadock’s chest, he flew threw the air, screaming for Lady Elana to stop. Then, in a fit of anger he

landed briefly with both feet on top of her shoulders. Standing for only a quick moment he then pushed himself forward, stepping off her as if she were a small flight of stairs. Snapping his foot back he kicked her in the base of her skull, knocking her forward. As Lady Elana stumbled towards a pointed spear like tree limb a sudden and surprising flash of colored light ripped through the large clearing. It was the time rift. Jumping with his arms held out in front of him, Gideon sprung forth catching her only moments before she was to become impaled on the dagger like limb. Startled she turned looking over her shoulder. As she stood pressed up against this familiar stranger she suddenly felt a violent pull forcing her to stumble sideways. “Cease, or perish by my fury,” Gideon shouted from across the clearing. “Yield, I am not you enemy.” With his arms blazing fire, Gideon rushed forward hurrying to Lady Elana’s side. As he drew closer, he felt an frightening sensation overtake him. Skidding his heels, he came to sudden stop as he slowly lowered his arms to his sides. “Who are you,” he asked. “I am here to amend a grave mistake, a mistake made this day.” “I asked you your name!” “We are the same, blood and flesh alike. All that separates us now is time.” “How can this be?” “What happens here today will determine your destiny. That which dose not will save mine.” “You cannot be me. Such things are impossible.” “Believe with your heart not your eyes.” “...Why are you here?” “It is best you never know.” “Will she be alright?” “That is up to you.” “I see,” Gideon paused. “I understand.” “Farewell.” Watching as Lady Elana left with his future self, Gideon listened as Zadock called to him from behind. He turned, said nothing as he cracked small smile. He felt a warm calming feeling overtake his insides. Somehow he knew everything would turn out alright. “I will not fight you, Zadock,” he said. “Pathetic, such useless gestures do not melt my heart,” he paused. “I always knew you were weak.” “Weakness...Your wrong.” Gideon paused. “Once we hailed side by side as friends and brothers. Your anger and loss have turned you into something far greater than I could ever be. When Erlina died you lost hope, became faithless. Elana is all I have. Knowing that she is safe, far from your reach has granted me solace.” Zadock scoffed and smirked slightly. His belly rumbled as he roared loudly, laughing and mocking Gideon’s remarks. “A great warrior, they said. He will stop you, they said,” he paused. He gritted his teeth, the muscles in his face clenched. He pointed to Gideon then continued, “When Erlina died you left me to rot,” his voice grew loud as he continued, “You and that witch Elana turned your back on me.” “Your memories are twisted. All we wanted was to help you, but you refused us, forced us out. We had no choice but to leave.”

“I will not debate such events any longer,” Zadock’s eyes burned with anger. “You took her from me!” He shouted. “I took her?”Gideon asked. “You could have saved her,” Zadock replied. “Such things were forbidden. Erlina broke the rules, she was saved once, given a second chance.” “Saved?” Zadock questioned. “You call a life trapped in a haunted palace, protecting souls not worthy of Hell a second chance?” he asked rhetorically. “She would have died otherwise.” Gideon shouted back. “I did all I could. The choice was hers, she took the bargain.” “Bargain?” Zadock paused. “Death or exile, not much of a choice.” “I jeopardized my own life trying to save hers.” “You left her, just as you did me. You were to much of a coward to stay on Earth. I was all she had, and in the end it wasn’t enough.” “You stayed at her side because you loved her, it was not my place to do such things.” “For sixteen years we rotted in that Palace, not once did you return, even now the nightmares haunt me.” “I am sorry you suffered so long.” Gideon paused. “There are many reasons why I never came back, know however that not one day passed that I did not think of you both.” Turning, Zadock put his back to Gideon. He dropped his chin to chest, his arms dangling at his sides. It sounded as if he was saying something but his words were to faint for Gideon to hear. After a few moments Zadock lifted his head and stared up at the setting sun. “Forgive me, my love,” he whispered. He turning quickly back to face Gideon. “I am beyond saving brother,” Zadock said. “All that matters now is finishing what I have begun.” “I will not fight you.” “Regardless, you will die.”

“Even in death I shall find life.” The two stood momentarily looking into each others eyes. With the wave of hand, Zadock spawned a glowing orb of fire that levitated above his open palm. Stepping forward with one foot, he launched the orb at Gideon’s feet. As it impacted the ground, it spread out, encircling Gideon in a ring of fire. The fire so hot it melted the crystal floor beneath him. Gideon fell, sinking waist deep in the warm crystal rock. As the fire slowly dissipated it solidified, trapping Gideon. “Farewell, brother,” Zadock said. Turning, walking off to his side he stood next to a tall tree. He took one last look back over his shoulder to Gideon, the turned again to face the tree. Rasing his arm out to his side, he grunted softly then shot a orb covered in flames at the tree beside him. Slowly it fell, creaking, making all sorts of odd noises. Looking up, Gideon shut his eyes as the tree fell on top of him. As Zadock turned to face him, he could see the long spear like limbs impaled through his chest, arms and shoulders. Slowly Zadock shut his eyes as a small tear trickled from one eye down his cheek. As he opened his eyes, he watched as Gideon’s lifeless body slowly vanished. Seconds later, a loud crack broke in the skies above. He looked up, a rain drop hit him in the face followed shortly after by another and another. The rain increased, becoming heavier with each passing second. “Cry for him,” he said softly. “For it seems I cannot.” As suddenly as the rain began, it stopped.

“Strange,” Zadock mumbled. Walking into the center of the clearing, hoping to get a better view of the skies above, Zadock felt an eerie presence overcome him. As he stood in the clearing looking side to side, up and down he could hear what sounded like whispers. Moments later, he felt a tingling sensation run through one hand. As he lifted high up to his face, he watched as it became translucent. Quickly he looked his opposite hand it too had undergone the same strange effect. Seconds passed, he watched as his entire body began to slowly vanish. After roughly one minute Zadock had completely disappeared.

C H A P T E R VIII ~ Genesis : Fade into the future ~

Pt. 1 The Savior Returns ~~ Gideon has been revealed, his true plan unmasked. Lady Elana has been saved and General Zadock has been stopped, yet one thing stills remains...Genesis. Having been preoccupied with Lady Elana’s safety, Gideon had forgotten to put an end to the summoning of the great creature. Even with General Zadock’s downfall, Genesis still fell. Three years ago when he defeated Zadock in the Crystal Forest he himself gained control of the massive comet called - Genesis. Having not gained this ability, Genesis fell, destroying Earth and all those that inhabit it. Thus life was ended and Earth ravaged but an unstoppable force who’s only purpose is to destroy. Now, the events of that day have begun to take shape in the future world. In only one day Genesis has slowly begun to manifest in the skies above Paris and yet again it must be stopped. Gideon is the first to take notice of the changes occurring on Earth. The skies have begun to slowly darken, blocking out the sun. The buildings have begun to strangely decay at an irrational rate, as if a thousand years of erosion had occurred in only a matter of hours. Gideon, once again with Lady Elana’s help must find their son, lead him to Rose so the Arks may finally merge and once and for all stop Genesis. Still, in this world there are only three souls destined to save mankind, not the four needed to do so. Caleb, is now dead and beyond saving. Returning to save him before Genesis impacted the Earth is impossible. For Earth was destroyed seven hundred years ago, so in essence there is no Earth to return to that time is lost forever. How will they find a soul which died generations ago? Is it possible Caleb has been reborn in a new body perhaps? It is up to Gideon and his comrades to find the answers yet still the question looms - Are Earths hero’s too late? ~~ Leaving the apartment complex which Lars keep briefly as a home, Gideon and Lady Elana decided to first journey across the city in hopes of saving Rose. As they walked down the streets, apparently unnoticed by the civilians frantic and trampling down the streets and sidewalks Gideon said in an odd, almost arrogant tone of voice, “Do not see us.” “These people have forgotten us, we are invisible here,” Lady Elana replied. Rushing in front of him a screaming woman, looking and pointing up into the sky ran quickly from side to the other. Shaken, he looked up and spotted a enormous, almost transparent image hovering high above the rooftops. It was Genesis. He pointed up, calling to Lady Elana, “Look, my love.” Squinting, looking out across the rooftops Lady Elana replied in a scared, frighted tone, “What is it?” Stepping forward, clenching his fists at his sides Gideon called out softly saying, “...Genesis!” Turning abruptly Lady Elana reached forward and grabbed his shoulder, as he turned looking back over one shoulder, he listened as Lady Elana asked, “Here? But how?” she paused. “Zadock is dead. You said yourself you defeated him in the forest.” “Maybe my meddling changed the outcome of that fight. Maybe...,” he paused. “I lost.” “Lost?” “We need to return. We have to go back. I have to stop this from happening.”

“Go back?” Lady Elana asked. “Do you not see...” “....” “If Genesis is here that means our time is gone, destroyed in its horrific wake.” “Destroyed? How?” “If Genesis is now appearing here it means that our worlds are merging, the past and present are now becoming one,” she paused knowing Gideon still did not understand. “...It means that the day you faced Zadock in the forest was truly Earths final day. Now, that day is manifesting here.” “Then...we have failed,” he said dropping his head. “No,” Lady Elana replied. “If we can stop Genesis here then a new world shall be born.” “A new world?” “Stopping Genesis within the next twenty four hours shall birth a new dawn. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes so too shall Earth.” “But a different world it shall be?” Gideon asked in saddened voice. “Yes. Yet, it shall be a better world, a world unlike any other.” “And what of the humans?” “They too shall be given a second chance, a chance to rise above even our greatest expectations.” “And if they cannot not?” “Then we will show them the way. We shall teach them just as we did hundreds of years ago.” Smiling, Gideon reached out for Lady Elana. As he touched her hand a sudden and unexpected pain surged through his arm, instinctively he pulled it back. “Are you alright?” Lady Elana asked. “I..I do not know. My arm...” “I am sure it is just your nerves.” Watching the smile illuminating Lady Elana’s face slowly fell to a frown. She called out for Gideon, screaming his name, rushing forward as he fell to his knees. “What is wrong?” “I...I don not know. This pain...something is happening.” “Show me your arm,” Lady Elana insisted. “I can help you.” “No, please, step back I beg you,” Gideon pleaded. A few seconds passed until suddenly Gideon’s arm seemed to be overcome with a mind of its own. Yanking at the socket, his arm shot straight up over his head. No matter how many times he tried he couldn’t lower it back down to his side. He screamed out in pain, he could feel the muscles tearing away from the bone. On looking, Lady Elana watched as a bright white glow appeared inside his closed fist. “What is this?” she asked softly as she stepped back. Moments later the light faded and in his hand manifested a long sword, all black with a curved blade and a purple jewel in the hilt. Slowly he lowered the sword in front of him. Staring at it he asked, “What is happening?” Stepping up, Lady Elana kneeled at his side. At first she had no answer, but as she spotted the purple jewel she eagerly replied, “This is the answer. This shall save us.” Slowly Gideon stood tall, confused he turned and asked, “Answer?” Happily Lady Elana pranced around, gitty and overcame with joy. Gideon smiled and laughed as she spun in circles, dancing and hoping in front of him. Stopping she rushed before him, nearly tackeling him to the ground. She hugged him stepped back and said, “You have been chosen.” Nervous, Gideon stepped back and looked down to the sword in his hand.

“What do you mean...chosen?” “Do you not see...,” she paused. “You are becoming an Ark. More specifically the Ark of Life.” “But...but how?” “Something you did. Something you sacrificed.” Anxiously, Gideon threw his head up, locking eyes with Lady Elana. “The forest!”Gideon blurted out anxiously. “Forest?” “I must have died in the forest.” “I am not sure I understand.” “When I saved you, I warned myself to be weary. Maybe Zadock defeated me?” “That would explain why this change is occurring now,” she paused. “The Ark of Life can only be inherited by a pure soul, a soul so pure that even when threatened with annihilation they remain steadfast and uninhibited by evils will.” “So what does all this mean?” “I am not sure,” Lady Elana paused. “However, I am sure we are going to find out.” Rasing the strange sword in front of him he inspected it slowly from top to bottom. He stared at his reflection in the glare of the dark, chrome patted surface. With a quick downward slash, he cut the air at his side. A great boom exploded on the ground before him, followed by a quick flame that dissipated into the air. Again he raised the sword in front of him, he waited a few seconds then thrust it high above his head, it vanished in a brilliant white glow.

CHAPTER IX ~ New Awakening ~ Pt. 2 Holding Rose from behind with a tight grip, Jeremy smiled watching as Payne slowly approached from across the room. Stopping, Payne grabbed Rose with one hand and gently squeezed her cheeks. Slowly she turned Rose’s head from side to side, looking her up and down, inspecting her as she was a fruit of some kind. “Amazing!” she said with a small grin. “The crystal is nearly invisible.” “Crystal?” Rose questioned. “Why did it chose you, I wonder?” Payne paused. “Such a weak body and naive mind cannot understand the power of the Dyad Crystals.” “Dyad Crys...” Payne interjected, “You will never save them.” “Save who?” “The rest of them,” Payne replied as she pushed Rose’s hand back out of her hand. With a quick twirl, Payne turned putting her back to Rose. She walked a few feet then looked back over one shoulder and nodded to Jeremy. They were up to something. “I will show you the true power of an Ark. The reason we have been feared for generations.” Holding one arm at her side, Payne clenched her hand tightly shut. Instantly a strange sword, similar to the one Gideon held manifested in her hand. Quickly she turned and locked eyes wit Rose. Taking the sword in both hands, she raised it to the side if her head and held it you in front of her. “After all these years you shall finally die,” she said with a cold grin stretching across her face. “Die?” Rose paused as tears fell from her eyes. “I am not who you think I am...Your making a mistake, please.” With a stern push, Jeremy threw her forward into Payne. Ducking, she evaded being struck in the neck by the sword. Running for the door, she pulled and pushed on the handle, it would not open. She screamed at the top of her lungs for help, but no one answered. Payne slowly turned, she knew Rose could not escape. Unbeknownst to Rose, Payne had slaughtered the remaining men and women on the floor, including the doctors and nurses. “There is no escape.” “Please...,” Rose begged. Looking back at Jeremy, Payne nodded, she was signaling for something. Without a word, Jeremy leap up onto the ceiling. Like a spider, he hung upside down with his back hovering above the floor. Hissing, he lashed out with his tongue, black and covered roaches. Over and over again he lashed his tongue, each time the roaches infested the ceiling, scurrying in all directions until finally they swarmed the walls encompassing the four walls around him. Scampering from left to right, froward and back Jeremy attempted to force Rose back within arms reach of Payne. As Rose watched the disgusting bugs rush towards her, she fled in the only direction she could, back into Payne. With a quick pop Jeremy fell back down to the floor behind Rose ensuring she didn’t double back and head for the door. Again, Payne swung her sword and still without fail Rose evaded the deadly blow. However, this time she tripped and stumbled to towards the window. Thankfully, she caught herself against the windowsill. As she stood with her arms grasping the sill at her sides, Payne chambered her sword back passed her head. Seconds later she released it,

throwing like a spear at Rose. Frozen by her fear, Rose stood watching as the blade came closer and closer. Moments later, it pierced through her chest cavity puncturing her heart. As her body went limp, she fell up against the glass, it shattered when her body weight smashed up against it. Payne walked forward, looked down to the street below, Rose was gone, vanished into the air. Her face grew angry. She was becoming frustrated. “No!” she yelled. “You must die!” she screamed as she searched for Rose in the sky around her. Moments later, Jeremy silently approached Payne from behind. Carefully, he placed one hand on her shoulder, almost instantly she shrugged her shoulders, knocking Jeremy’s hand free. “She must die,” she said as she turned to face him. “Mistress, no human could survive such a fall.” “True,” she paused. “but she is not a human, at least not like know them.” “If she is not human then what is she?” Jeremy asked. Payne laughed. Jeremy question had suddenly reminded her of herself many years ago, naive and foolish. “What she is is indescribable,” Payne replied. “Know this, if we hope to succeed she must perish,” Payne paused. “She is their last hope. The only one capable of stopping us.” “Are we to forget Gideon?” Jeremy asked. “I am certain he knows we are here and I am certain he will come to destroy us.” “Gideon stills feel for these creatures,” Payne said. “He will not let them come to any harm.” “What do you intend to do?” “Destroy them all,” Payne said happily. “With their demise so too shall he fall and thus I shall rise to take his place.” “Your plan is farfetched, it will fail,” Jeremy replied. “Do you doubt me?” “Your mission is suicide. Your new found powers have mad you arrogant. I will not be part of such a disastrous plot.” “Disastrous?” Payne replied angrily. “You dare...” Lashing out, Jeremy struck Payne, slapping her with an open palm across her face. Holding her cheek, Payne looked to Jeremy. Strangely, her memories of Datura confronting her in the catacombs creep back into her mind. Years ago she swore she would never feel as vulnerable as she did that day. Without a word, she clenched her hand tightly shut. A white light illuminated in her palm. Jeremy watched as her sword manifested back in her fist. Tightly she clenched fist around the swords handle. Quickly she slashed as Jeremy, yet he was faster than she expected. Easily he avoided her attack by simply jumping a few feet back. “What are you doing?”Jeremy asked anxiously. “Your insubordination will not be tolerated,” Payne replied. “I warn you, sheath your sword,” Jeremy replied as his voice grew angry. “I was wrong to think you would follow me,” Payne said. “I was wrong to feel we could become allies.” “Mistress, your tactics are flawed. You must understand in order to win we must be smarter than our enemy, you simply rely only on your feelings.” “My tactics are none of your concern.” Moments later, Payne raised her sword and held the tip at Jeremy’s throat. Slowly she stepped, each time pushing the tip into Jeremy’s green flesh. The two stood staring into each others eyes. Payne cracked a smile, she knew Jeremy had no chance of defeating her. A strange pulsing nosie, indistinct at first, grew louder and louder as it drew closer to the

shattered window of the high rise. Turning his head, Jeremy looked back over his shoulder. In the distance he could see what appeared to be a cylinder shaped object, transparent and hollow. It was covered by what was assumed to be fire, yet the flame was a strange green color. Looked out over Jeremy’s shoulder, Payne’s jaw dropped. She knew what was coming. Payne called to Jeremy, “Move, get away from the window.” Reaching forward she grabbed him by shoulder and threw him back behind her, he stumbled, spinning and crashing into various objects as he tried to regain his balance. As Jeremy watched, Payne deflected a strange beam of light of the blade of her sword. She waited momentarily before counterattacking by pointing her sword into the sky blasting a ball of fire into the clouds. Slowly she lowered her sword, took a few steps back and watched Rose, now physically changed with her hands glowing a bright green color float softly up to the shattered window. Payne marveled at the wings flapping behind her. The appeared transparent, fragile, yet solid. Rather than flesh it seemed to be covered by small stones and gravel. Patches of moss seemed be growing over the rock. Hovering at the window, Rose said, “Your evil plot is exposed. Cease of suffer eternal damnation.” “So, you have returned, Ark of Humanity.” “Join your brothers, unite with me as my sister. Only together can we stop Genesis.” “Do not assume I care for your plight. All I seek is revenge, saving such a worthless planet is none of my concern.” “You have been given a fantastic gift and yet you betray your ancestors.” “Ancestors?” “We have inherited a glorious gift, the eternal souls, souls passed down from generation to generation and inherited by the worthy.” “Enough talk. Show me your great power, I demand it.” “The Arks should never quarrel, that is what is written.” “Fight me!” Payne yelled. “I am the Ark of Life, I cannot die.” Hovering over the windowsill, Rose gently floated to the ground, landing at Rose’s feet. She stood for only a moment before kneeling down to one knee with her head down and her arms placed on the floor at her sides. After a few moments, she lifted her head and said, “You are no Ark.”Payne smiled and raised her sword. “Finally, you shall meet your end” With a single strike she struck at Rose, however her sword had no effect. It simply passed right through Rose as if she wasn’t even there. Again Payne raised the sword above her head. As she slashed at Rose again a massive Payne surged through her arms. Stumbling back she tripped over the bed post falling onto the ground. She tried to get up, but the pain was so excruciating. “What have you done to me?” she shouted. Moments later her sword, which lay on the floor in front of her vanished and her arms burst into fire. Payne screamed out, pleading for help. Rose did nothing just stood there watching. “I am here mistress,” said Jeremy from across the room. Walking to Payne, he kneeled down at her side and gently picked up her cradling her in both arms. He walked to the door but stopped after a few feet. “She will no longer be a bother,” he said. He turned and looked to Rose from over one shoulder, “All I ask you do not kill her.” Rose stepped forward. The green light in her hands slowly faded. She smiled, signaling to Jeremy she agreed.

C HAPTE R X ~ The Crystal Forest ~ Pt. 2 Overview Changing the past brought dire consequences to the future and stability of the human race. Gideon had returned to Crystal Forest and selfishly changed the events occurring that day simply to help him erase his guilt. He wanted nothing more than to free his mind of the horrible memories of when he watched Lady Elana die while in his arms. When he murdered her he lost everything. His faith was repeatedly tested and more often than not it seemed as if he was incapable of surviving without her. What he had done that day, three years ago ended a horrible reign of terror by a merciless man who’s soul breed only evil and who’s heart cared for no one. But yet for Gideon this evil seemed more powerful than ever after he carelessly he interfered with Zadock’s plot. Touching the Dyad Crystal after being the presence of such a great evil gave it a dark and foreboding energy. This in turn was transcended to Gideon when the crystal finally cracked and he unwillingly accepted such a great power. Often times he thought of what may have happened should he not have been there. Would the crystal have still possessed the nearest bystander or would it simply have just ceased to exist? Would his quest have ended after Zadock’s defeat rather than continue in what eventually became a never ending nightmare? When Lady Elana died he had no choice but to become the very thing he fought to destroy. Yet, even in such a state of mind Gideon still kept his oath. Secretly he single handedly planned the inevitable demise of the legion, the downfall of Setie, the recovery of the Necronomicon and finally the ability to control time. To his soldiers and the that followed him they knew no different. They saw his deeds as acts of evil and assumed each task they were given beared some meaning on the domination of Earth and inhabitants. For years they remained unaware of his true plan. It wasn’t until King perished in Setie’s Tomb that they began to question his motives. It was then he knew his plan had tricked them into facing the only one who could stop them...the Ark of Destruction. It was Caleb along with the help of his former master, Zadock who returned to warn him to change his ways, that the legion finally met its end. With the legion gone, Gideon had succeeded. He had finally accomplished the one task he never could...the end of Zadock’s horrible army of darkness. Now, he was free to do or say whatever he please. First on his to do list was to return to the crystal forest and save Lady Elana. He assumed that all would return to the way it once was, ending the war and stopping Genesis. Yet, not all was as it seemed. When Zadock vanished after defeating Gideon, Genesis grew closer than ever before and nothing was going to stop it from devouring the Earth and its people. What happened then sealed Gideon’s fate, changing his destiny. He has become the Ark of Life and ironically the one who shall eventually chose wether the Earth is reborn or wether it is destroyed in the wake of the massive creature, Genesis. Along with his companions, The Ark of Humanity, The Ark of Destiny and The Ark of Destruction, Gideon shall battle the great beast and once and for and all prove why humanity is worth saving.

Three years prior, Gideon’s quest to destroy General Zadock ended in failure. With a final strike Zadock crushed him with a large monstrous crystal tree. Yet, the events of that day changed everything and thus began to effect the future. Having died three years prior Gideon’s body had suddenly begun to under go drastic and radical changes. Occurring first was a strange black sword with a purple jewel set in the hilt. The powers in wielded were unimaginable. Still he had no idea was happening. Yet Lady Elana knew. Proud, she pranced around joyfully telling him of what was happening. However, neither one could have imagined that only moments later, Genesis would appear in the skies above Paris. Both stood confused and wondered how this could happen. With a raise of her eyebrow, Lady Elana suddenly realized her worst fears had come true. With Gideon’s failure Genesis fell, destroying the Earth. But, still she knew there was a chance, no matter who slight it might be. A chance to save humanity from utter annihilation. The Arks would have to stop Genesis here in this time, in the future. Only then could the Earth be saved and humanity rescued. As Zadock vanished into space and time while standing in the Crystal Forest, Genesis grew closer and closer to Earth. But the question remained just why did he disappear? If he won in his fight against Gideon then his plan did not fail, thus he should have ruled as a king just as he always intended. Something happened, but what? Gideon would have to find out. Debating back and forth all he and Lady Elana could figure was that Genesis did intend fall destroying the Earth. Unfortunately everything else remained a mystery. The giant meteor hit with impressive force tearing the Earth in two. Almost instantly all life vaporized in a brilliant flash of yellow light and then swallowed whole by the scorching fire. They had twenty four hours to find the answers or suffer extinction. With Lady Elana’s help Gideon would now find Rose take her to Lars and then finally locate the last Ark now believed to be reborn on Earth. It seemed an impossible task. But Lady Elana knew underestimating Gideon was not wise. The final hours of man’s reign was now at hand. Would they survive another day? Or would their empire on Earth crumble to mere ashes?

C H A P T E R XI ~ Genesis : Fade into the future ~ Pt. 2 True Destiny Watching the strange sword dissipate into the air, Gideon caught sight of a large chunk of rock, possibly 400 miles wide and 200 miles tall. He looked to the object as it fell from the sky and into the Earth’s crust. Shaken, Lady Elana turned to face the commotion occurring in front if her. She had not seen the massive chunk of rock fall from the sky. She stumbled but quickly caught herself as she reached out for a young man rushing past her in a panic. Unfortunately her arm passed right through the man’s body as if she wasn’t even there. She had forgotten that she was invisible and unable to interact with the humans around her. Slowly she turned to face front. She shifted her eyes slightly, looking over her shoulder to Gideon. He was fixated on the rock that now stood like a wall in front of them.

“What is that?” Gideon asked as he pointed up to the comet hovering in the skies before him. “That...,” Lady Elana paused. “Is Genesis.” Only slightly visible through a large hole in the meteor appeared what at first glance could be assumed an infants leg. “A child?” Gideon questioned. “Not just any child...” Lady Elana replied as she turned looking up into the sky. “What do you mean?” “It is the place were all life originated from. Zadock summoned Genesis for an evil purpose, “ she paused. It was summoned for an evil purpose by and evil man. Genesis will not stop until it destroys everything we have helped to build. We must do what must be done if we hope to stop such an act of hate from occurring.” Gideon turned, raised one hand to face. He pressed his lips tightly together. He was growing angry. He unlike Lady Elana felt their fight was nothing more than a suicide mission. After a few moments, he dropped his arm to his side and sighed. “We will never win,” he said softly. Lady Elana shook her head. She had heard his words even though he had not intended her to. She was upset that Gideon would give up so easily. “Over the next twenty fours hours, Genesis will grow from an infant to creature more frightening, more powerful than any you have ever seen or faced,”Lady Elana said. Gideon scoffed, “One day, that is all,” he paused. “Impossible.” “We can win.” Lady Elana insisted. “Do you see what is happening?” Gideon replied as his voice grew loud. “Do you?”Lady Elana paused. “What happened to you? Giving up so easily are you?” “Do not insult me.” “You will risk anything to save me. Yet, these people, your son you will refuse them your help.” Turning, Gideon waved one hand in front of his face. “What do you know of war anyway?” he asked rhetorically. “Do you forget the years at Bontavant? It was I that saved you,” she paused. A few seconds

passed until finally her eyes swelled and a small tear became caught in the corner of one eye. Quickly she turned, hiding her face from Gideon. He voice cracked and her throat nearly closed up as she continued in a broken voice, “Maybe I was wrong to love you, maybe you...” She stopped suddenly as Gideon wrapped his arms around her from behind. He placed his chin gently down on her shoulder and looked into her eyes. She smiled then sniffled softly. Slowly Gideon let her go as she turned to face him. With one hand she raised it up to his face and gently caressed his cheek. Suddenly his face illuminated with fear, it seemed his apology would have to wait. With one hand he grabbed her by the shoulder and threw her behind him. Climbing from out of pools of black ooze which appeared one after the other on the surface of the slab of rock as if they were spawning from within it, were green streaming transparent beams of energy. As they grew closer, Gideon could see distinctive features, including a nose, mouth and eyes. He yelled to Lady Elana to run for safety. With only a single thought, his sword manifested in his hand. He rushed forward but stopped to take one last look back to Lady Elana. He could see she was doing as instructed. He watched as she slipped into darkness down a narrow alleyway. Seconds later, he ran forward, slashing and cutting at the strange green glowing objects that now circled overhead slowly surrounding him. His strength however could not overwhelm the strange creatures. They toppled him to the ground, pinning him down by the shoulders. Moments later he disappeared as one after another they piled on top of him and covered him completely.

CHAPTER XII

~ The Return ~ Rose has fulfilled what Lady Elana predicted years prior. She was the first of four to have accepted the power of the Dyad Crystal without any of the adverse effects like those inherited by Gideon. Now, she stood as a symbol of hope, a symbol of which all of humanity could unite behind thus empowering the people, bonding them as brothers and sisters without bias or discrimination of any kind. Though she would have killed Payne and stripped her of her Ark powers it seemed such a horrid duty would never befall her. What happened stunned her and in a way saved the life of her arch enemy. Payne used her great powers for the wrong reasons. Still, what neither knew was that Gideon, for his sacrifice in the Crystal Forest was the true bearer of such magnificent powers. Upon his death he was chosen, chosen to defend the Earth from evil and its unholy conquest of mankind. Now, her physical appearance was greatly altered. Her eyes were pale blueish/white color with a haze that partially covered her eye sockets. Her muscles for example were more distinctive, though they didn’t protrude out through her clothing they did however seem more defined. Her hands were surrounded by a white glow as if surrounded by a type of telekinetic energy. Her clothing wasn’t clothing at all rather her flesh formed around her body in a such a way that one would assume it was some sort of body suit. From her knees down it appeared she was wearing a high boot of some kind, white and black. It was possible that this was as well an illusion. Spread wide across her back were massive wings, transparent and covered by small stones and rocks. A green tint appeared to be growing over the small pieces of gravel. Could it be that due to her elemental powers this was meant to be a sort of sign to all those that confronted her? Rose stood motionless in the white room that for days imprisoned her like a criminal . Knowing that Payne and Jeremy made sure to eliminate all those that could interfere with there plans, she knew that was no reason to lurk around the halls and slide through the shadows. Yet, walking the halls seemed to be a useless gesture. Why search for ghosts in ghost town? While looking outside she took notice of Genesis hovering in the sky above. She heard the boom as the giant piece of rock impaled the Earth. Yet, she did not witness the glowing creatures that attacked Gideon, suppressing him on the ground. Since Gideon was attacked a strange cry echoed in her mind. Ignoring it only made it intensify. What was this sound? Walking to the window, Rose scanned the buildings the rooftops and the ground, but saw nothing. There was no sign of trouble or anyone in need of help. As she looked to Genesis, then to the stone wall she could see a small scuffle on the ground before it. For only a instant she could a glimpse of a man trapped and pinned to the ground by strange glowing creatures. As she locked with this man, her eyes clenched and she gritted her teeth. A pain shot through her stomach. With one hand, she grasped her stomach and jumped, backing away from the window. Within seconds the pain vanished. Taking a moment or two to regain her compose she then walked back to the window. Instantly the pain returned. “What is happening to me?” she asked softly. The sound she heard moments before returned, yet this time is came in the form of a voice. Unfortunately, she could not understand what it was saying. There was only one thing she could do...

CHAPTER XIV ~ Alone ~ Since defeating Pandora, Lars has been scouring the streets looking for any sign of Rose. Unwilling to break, even under the threat of death, Pandora refused to give Lars the answers he sought. Knowing where to find Rose, Pandora taunted and mocked him, leaving him with no choice but to kill her. The note that rolled from her hand as her body fell limp was the only clue to Rose’s whereabouts. “...EMERGENCY ROOM, ROOM 312.” These four words slowly began to haunt Lars. Rose was so close, yet so far. If he could decipher the notes meaning maybe he would have a chance to find her. Frantically, he went from street to street, looking in doorways, through windows and even inside cars. Nothing. As a matter of fact, he found no one. There wasn’t a single person in sight. Chapter Incomplete

CHAPTER XIV ~ Hurt ~ Watching the struggle on the ground below, Rose felt a sudden pinch in her side. The pain quickly subsided but as she looked down, just below her kidney she witnessed a small incision skin deep which slowly dripped blood down her hip. She touched it with two fingers and held her blood covered fingertips up in front of her face. Watching in amazement, she saw the blood become absorbed back into her flesh as if her hand was a soft sponge. Quickly she looked back down to her hip, the wound was gone. Turning she looked back out the window and gawked at Gideon in a heated battle with the frightening creatures. Sash after slash, stab after stab he pierced each one, yet sadly his blows had no effect. It was obvious the battle was beginning to take its toll on him. His was weakening and his strikes became slower and more lethargic. Rose remembered him, how he came to save her while in the clutches of General Zadock. She wanted to run to him, yet as she made her way to the door at the opposite end of the room, a quick memory flashed before her eyes. She remembered seeing him charge at Lady Elana and brutally attack her. Strangely, the more she thought about that horrific day, the less she could recall. It was as if this sudden memory was being wiped from her mind. Still, she debated wether he was a friend or foe. She asked herself over and over again wether the creatures he so desperately fought off were indeed as evil as they appeared. She watched, on looking, waiting for a sign, a signal telling her if Gideon still possessed a threat or wether he was in need of her help. His appeared had changed dramatically from the way she remembered him. In a way he was a mirror image of herself. All that differed was the color of his dress and style. She remembered the black tunic from years ago, yet something seemed different. Rather than made from cloth it seemed to be constructed from a hard durable metal, like a piece of armor. His sword was fantastic in every sense of the word. As she watched him wield it, a long trailing purple color with a tint of red followed the each and every motion of the sword, no matter how quick or slow it was swung. Rose spoke aloud as if talking to someone beside her. Every so often she could be heard calling Lady Elana’s name. Yet, she never answered. Rose wanted desperately for her to answer, she felt only with her guidance could she decide wether to help Gideon or leave him be. Moments passed that seemed more like hours than insignificant seconds. Again she spoke aloud, asking simple questions, wanting only simple answers. Surprisingly, this time a voice called back. Startled, Rose turned, her palms glowing with the white fire. Holding one hand in front of her white beams of light pulsed from her hand. Watching, Rose saw a woman quickly pull a white hood with a blue streaking line down over her head. Quickly, she jolted from side to side, front and back. Her movements so fast that Rose had a very difficult time tracking her. Seconds later the figure stopped standing dead center of Rose within only inches of her face. Stumbling, Rose tripped backwards as the woman spoke telling her who she was and what was happening.

“My dear...,” she paused. “You have grown into a fine warrior.” Cautiously, Rose stepped forward, leaning in, trying to look into the woman’s face. “Elana? Is that you?” she asked. Lady Elana replied with a giggle, “Am I that obvious?” “It is you?” Rose paused. “How dd you get here? What is happening?” Taking one hand Lady Elana reached back over her head and firmly grabbed the hood covering her face. With a quick pull she yanked it back down to shoulders. “You look just as I remember,” Rose said. Stepping forward, Lady Elana gently placed ne hand on Rose’s shoulder. She smiled warmly then carefully removed her hand. “Much has changed, both for the better and for worse. There is little time so we must make our greeting a short one.” “Who is that man?” Rose asked. “Is that Gideon?” “Yes,” “Is he still against us?” “No, nor has he ever been. His rouse was clever and fooled us all.” “Rouse?” “That tale is a lengthily one, maybe another time. For now we must focus on the problem at hand.” “Problem? I do not understand.” Pointing to Gideon then high up into the sky, Lady Elana replied, “Genesis, it has sent its minions to seek us out.” “Why us?” “My apologies...more specifically you. You, Gideon and Lars are all its children, thus it wants you back. Without you it can never be whole, sadly it must be destroyed or the Earth and all those that dwell upon it shall perish.” “You speak of children, yet I remember my mother. I remember Lars, Conrad and all those that helped to raise us.” “Do not take it literally, you and those like you have inherited the souls of the past, of those before you. These souls came from Genesis, it is where they born and from where they escaped.” “Escaped?” “Long ago, Genesis traveled the universe sparking the first seeds of life, from the simplest of creatures to intelligent life. In a way my and my kind are responsible for its return. Genesis is a living being, with powers far greater than any you have ever witnessed. It feels just as you do, it hurts just as you do and it can die just as any living this must.” “But Zadock is the culprit...” “In a way. Yet, Genesis is attracted to war, to evil. Me and my peoples arrogance is the true culprit. Our pride kept us from understanding each other, and our arrogance kept us from learning. The first war threatened to destroy Heaven and even God himself. This war has. We are the last chance, the only defense for Heaven and Earth alike.” “So me and Lars....have you always known?” “Yes,” Lady Elana paused. “Just as the prophecy states it children shall return to destroy it.” “And you never told us?” “I prayed this day would never come.”

CHAPTER XVI

~ Ghosts of Gaia ~ Pt. 1 The Alliance Gideon fought as hard as possible against the minions of Genesis. Yet, inevitably he fell overwhelmed by the powerful creatures. As he laid pinned to the ground he stared into the face of one of them. All expression fell from his face and his flesh turned a pale white as if he had suddenly become sick. What he saw scared the life out of him. A face resembling his son, Lars seemed to smile back at him. After watching the creature for only a few moments he noticed its face begin to change shape, slowly morphing into one similar to Rose them quickly back to resemble a man. “What are you?” he asked. However the creature said nothing as the two stared back at one another. Moments later three distinct voices could be heard calling to Gideon. It seemed however these voices were speaking to him telepathically for the mouth of the creature did not move. First a mans voice echoed in his mind but its words were to faint to understand. Almost the face shifted to resemble a woman then followed immediately by a woman’s voice. “We are the past, those before you, the chosen.” Scurrying to his feet, Gideon pushed and pulled his way out from the center of the creatures, he held his sword high and breathed heavily. “The past?” he asked in a heavy breath. “We are the ancient, the Ghosts of Gaia.” “Ghosts of Gaia?” Gideon paused. “I do not understand.” “We can not allow you to harm our father.” “Father?” “Genesis...” the voice paused. “You are not like us, you are different...” the voice grew loud. “You are not a child of Gaia,” it shouted. Suddenly the face shifted, changing instantly from the pleasant image of a woman to a man angry and violent. Instinctively, Gideon slashed at the air in front of him attempting to keep the strange creature at bay. However, his strike had no effect. The creature rushed forward, evading Gideon’s blow. Passing directly through his body, Gideon could feel a cold chill run through his entire body. He shook uncontrollably for a moment or two, then collapsed to one knee. He smiled and called to the creature now behind him. “You are right about one thing,” he paused. “I am different,” slowly he stood tall, turned and shouted, “and I shall never be one of you.” The creature said nothing as a strong wind pushed up against Gideon. His eyes fluttered for only a second, quickly they focused on a figure, transparent and green slowly advancing forward. It

was Lady Elana, or was it? “Elana?” he asked. “Is that you?” “Yes, my love.” the figure paused. “You are safe now, lay down your arms, the danger is gone.” “This...this cannot be real.” “Do not fear, no harm will come to you now.” A creaking nosie alerted Gideon’s senses forcing his attention up onto Genesis high in the sky above. Like the shell of an egg being torn apart, another huge slab of rock slowly fell down from above. Frozen by his fear he stood looking up at a partially hidden face, he squinted his eyes focusing on a moth with thin lips and a nose like a button. Shouting from behind, Rose called to him, yelling for him to move. Hearing Rose voice his eyes bulged from their sockets. Quickly he dove back as the slab of rock smashed the ground below, crushing the green creatures. Dust and chalk popped up off the ground, blinding his vison momentarily. He coughed only once and thought to himself, “Are they dead?” Sadly the creatures would not be defeated so easily. He watched as they rose up from beneath the rock as if it wasn’t even there. After a few seconds, they flew up into the sky and disappeared. Finally Gideon felt relieved. The fight had ended. Carefully he waked over to Rose and hugged her gently. “It is good to see you again,” he said. “Elana told me everything.” “She is alright?” he asked excitedly. “Yes, she waiting for us.” “Come we must go,” he paused. “Let us hurry.” As they turned and prepared to leave a booming voice called down from above, shaking the ground, knocking debris loose from the building. It was Genesis. “My children,” it said. “Soon I will be with you, soon your suffering shall end.” The two turned simultaneously their faces illuminated with fear. Gideon drew his sword as Rose’s hands burst forth a brilliant white glow. “Do not fret. I mean you no harm,” Genesis said. “Harm!” Gideon shouted. “Do not insult me,” he paused. “I know why you are here.” “Why I am here?” Genesis asked strangely. “You are here to judge us, to decide who lives and dies.” “My children only do as asked. If you threaten me they will do what they must.” “So shall we,” Rose interjected. Moments later a red beam, thin and narrow shot from Genesis’s eye, directly from the center of its pupil striking Rose in forehead. She froze, unable to move. Gideon tried to rush to help her, but a intense pain shot through his stomach, sending him falling to his knees. The beam focused on Rose lasted only a moment or two before vanishing. As the light zipped back up into the sky Rose fell backwards, landing with a loud thump on her back. “What did you do to her?”Gideon shouted. “She is strong, but you are my prodigy, you are my true son.” “What did you do to her?” Gideon screamed spitting saliva. “I give you new life, I give you purpose and still you seek to kill me,” Genesis paused. “Why?” “I demand you tell me what...” Again the pain surged through Gideon’s stomach. He cried out and fell forward, dropping one hand in front of him and grasping his mid-section with the other. “You will do as I command.”

“Never...” Gideon replied, grunting and groaning. He then continued, “Whatever I may be, know that I will never call you father.” “You will do...” Suddenly, Gideon exploded into a rage, silencing Genesis, jumping back up to his feet. He fought the pain surging through his stomach as he threw his sword high up above his head. It stopped upright and burst forth a purple glow highlighted by a shadowy red. Blasting from out of the edges of the blade came a white glowing streams of energy. Like tracer missiles, they shot forward towards Genesis. However, its hard shell repelled each attack. It seemed nothing could penetrate it armor like exterior. “You cannot harm me,” Genesis said with a bellowing laugh. Moments later, the sword fell from the sky, impaling the ground below blade first. Gideon watched as the color surrounding the sword slowly faded. Quickly he clenched one fist tightly shut. Moments later the sword vanished and reappeared inside his tightened fist. He ran to Rose, kneeled at her said. He called her name and watched as her eyes slowly opened. “We must go,” he said in a frantic voice. Helping Rose to her feet the two watched as a third giant slab of rock came free from the shell surrounding Genesis. It feel and moments later slammed onto the ground, shaking it violently. Gideon watched as an arm, covered in a stringy mucus like substance, with long fingers and talon like fingernails extend forward, the palm facing out. He watched as a small orb red and green swirled in the center. Slowly it grew bigger and bigger until suddenly it shot straight down, crashing into the Earth’s crust. The ground exploded throwing chunks of Earth in every direction. He shielded Rose as large and small pieces of debris fell around them. As the dust settled Gideon took notice of a large crater, at least one mile deep before him. Again the Ghosts of Gaia manifested flying up out of the large crater. Gideon was certain this time it was going to be a fight to the death.

CHAPTER XVII ~ Destroyer Reborn? ~ Following the clues left behind in the note by Pandora, Lars looked for a building with more than thirteen floors. There were only two. The rest were townhouses and small business. The first was the Ifle Tower which he could see from miles away. He figured it was likely that Rose would kept in such a open and well ventilated area. Lars knew that where Rose was and whoever had taken her wanted to keep her well hidden. The second he saw was a large hospital complex with multiple buildings both big and small, yet there was one that stood out above the rest. It was a light base color with dark windows, probably tinted to keep the sun out. He would take his chances, if Rose was there he would find her. If she wasn’t, he Lars would have no choice but to continue looking, hopefully finding Rose before it was too late. Lars hurried to the large basie building across town. As he neared a driveway which lead into a large underground parking lot, he came upon two iron clad gates. One leading into the garage, the other into short narrow paved road that merged with a small circular roundabout. He wondered how to pass. Should he jump he gate or use the small keypad attached to the left of the gate. Flipping open a small transparent cover, apparently used to protect the buttons from adverse weather, he gently pushed one finger on the number five. A few seconds later, a buzzing sound startled him. He jumped back, readying himself. Carefully, he approached the keypad once again. Waiting a few moments he then slowly he reached forward, one finger extended in front of him. However, before he could push the button for a second time, the buzzer sounded starting him again. “Well, you gonna stand out there all day...,” a man’s voice called through the speaker on the keypad. “Hello,” Lars replied. “Son, this is a hospital,” the man paused. “Something I can do for you.” “Rose, I am seeking Rose,” Lars said. “Son, the florist is two blocks south...,” the man replied sternly. “Is she here?” “Im going to call the police, now please leave.” “I must find Rose,” Lars demanded. “Son, there is no Rose here,” the man replied angrily. “Please, I must find her,” Las insisted. “Son, Paris has been evacuated. Its best you leave too.” Lars grew angry, “I will not leave without her.”

“Son, I am warning you,” the man paused. “Now leave...please.” A deafening boom shook the skies behind the tall building. Suddenly, the intercom went dead. Lars called for the man but he did not answer. He became, worried, fearing Rose was in danger. He clenched his fist and watched as his saber extended off his wrist. He swung it wildly, from side to side, cutting at the gate in front of him. However, the bars rather than break upon impact simply froze over, covered by frost and ice. He stood looking at the frozen gate, seconds later he screamed a loud yell and kicked at the gate before him. The bars shattered creating a small hole just big enough for him to squeeze through. Stepping over the shattered bars one foot at a time, Las gently passed through the broken gate, being carefully not to catch himself on the sharp edges. Once through he ran forward, but stopped only inches away from a revolving door. A sudden pain surged through his stomach. He fell to one knee, nearly collapsing. He braced himself against a column under the overhang of the building. He waited for the pain to subside before trying to continue. After a few moments the pain ceased and he quickly got up to his feet. Again he rushed forward to the doorway. Cautiously he pushed at the doorway in front of him, it spun clockwise, starling him. “Strange this worlds technology is,” he said softly. Pushing forward he entered the doorway. Stopping in the lobby, he looked. He saw no one. The lights were dim and few flickered on and off. “Where is everyone?” he asked quietly. In a dark hallway off to the right, he could hear a small girl crying for her mommy. “Mommy...,” she said with a sniffle. “Mommy, where are you?” she asked. Lars stepped forward hoping to locate the source of the strange cry. At first he saw no one, but as he continued to stare into the darkness he could see a small glimmer glaring under a dim light at the end of the hallway. “Hello,” he called out. “Rose is that you?” he asked. The girl remained quiet. Lars could hear as small footsteps quickly faded down the opposite end of the hallway. “Please, I need your help,” he paused. “I am looking for Rose.” Again the footsteps sounded. He squinted, trying hard to see past the darkness. Suddenly he felt a bump at his side. He looked down, but only caught a quick glimpse of a small figure as it ran past him. “Who is it?” he asked. “Who is there?” “I want my mommy,” a girls voice replied. “Where are you?” Lars asked. But the voice did not answer back. He turned and walked in the direction he thought the figure had ran. As he came upon the corner of the wall he could see a small figure, sitting fetal position on the floor. He kneeled down and reached forward with one hand. “I will not harm you,” he said. “I need your help,” he paused. “I am looking for Rose, have you seen her?” “My mommy left me here,” the girl replied. “What is your name?” Lars asked. “Krystal, my name is Krystal,” she replied. “It is nice to meet you, Krystal. I am Lars.” “Hi Lars. It’s nice to meet you too,” she paused. “Have you seen my mommy?” she asked. “I am sorry, but no,” Lars continued. “But if you tell me what she looks like maybe I can help you find her.”

With her eyes tearing Krystal lifted her head from out of her lap and stared into Lars’ eyes. He caught a cold chill as he listened to her say, “I think she is dead.” Lars was taken by surprise, this was not the reply he had expected. “Dead?” he questioned. “What makes you say such a thing?” “I can feel it,” Krystal replied. Lars said nothing, yet something inside him told him to keep Krystal close to his side. Somehow he could sense this young girl would soon be more help to him than he could ever be to her.

CHAPTER XVIII ~ The Ghosts of Gaia ~ Pt. 2 The Second Son Gideon insisted that Rose remain at safe distant and not take part in the grueling fight against the strange creatures. Repeatedly, she demanded she be allowed to stand and fight alongside him. She was different, changed, yet Gideon still saw her as the young girl once held prisoner in the Crystal Forest by General Zadock, weak and helpless. Though Gideon thus far had been able to keep the creatures at bay, Rose knew he would soon tire and without her help he would soon fall victim to their wrath. Rose watched, on looking as Gideon unleashed an array of magical attacks, similar yet different to those she witnessed only moments earlier as his feeble attack against Genesis failed. “Gideon, listen to me...,” Rose paused. “Elana told me when the time was right my skills would be needed to finish this fight,” Rose panted, tired from screaming as she attempted to get Gideon’s attention. Gideon called to Rose from over his shoulder, “These beasts will not subdue me again,” he paused. “I will vanquish them all!” he yelled as he slashed, cutting through a horde of the creatures as they blitzed forward. “Gideon,” Rose shouted back. “Your powers are grand, but we are meant to win this fight together.” Gideon said nothing, he just continued slash after slash attacking the creatures. Rose was becoming frustrated. “Gideon!” she shouted. Rose took a few steps forward, her eyes calling to Gideon. She was angry and refused to she ignored. The white glow consumed her hands, the light brighter and more blinding than before. She clenched one fist tightly shut then swung her arm behind her then quickly forward. A long, colored beam of light, like a whip snapped forward. It seemed she had a strange ability to control the light glowing from her hands, shaping it into any form she wished. The long beam, she now used as a whip, wrapped itself tightly around Gideon’s ankles. With a quick pull, Gideon fell onto his back, the wind suddenly being sucked from his lungs. Rose yanked him back, dragging him across the sharp rocks and bits of gravel. He was taken by surprise and tried repeatedly to cut

the ????? with his sword. Strangely it had no effect. Moments later, the Earth underneath him rose like a small platform. Quickly, he jumped to his feet confused and disoriented. “Listen to me Gideon,” Rose said. The small platform sloped down taking the shape of a small flight of steps. Gideon turned, looking to Rose. “Elana was right,” he paused taking a moment to smile, “Your wait is over...Come now, join me. Let us bring this war to an end.” Rose smiled but quickly her face fell, her lips turned upside down, her face clenched. She yelled then faster than the eye could see ran forward to Gideon. Using the steps she herself had created, she ran to the top then jumped a few feet off the ground. Holding his sword in one hand, Gideon quickly grabbed the handle with his free hand. Like magic, he pulled the sword apart creating an exact replica which he held in his opposite hand. Crossing one over the other, he caught Rose as she landed on top of the blades. Instantly, he pushed both up to the sky, pulling them apart rocketing Rose high up into the air. Moments passed until finally Rose spread her wings, she seemed to come to slow stop, hovering over the large crater in the ground below. She watched as the creatures violently rushed froward twoards Gideon. He waited patiently and took a quick look up to Rose. This time they would fight as one. Hovering above the ground, Rose looked down watching as the strange apparitions rushed towards Gideon. A sudden cry, like a hawk screamed through the air. The cry had come from Genesis eagerly watching from the skies above. Instantly the creatures stopped and retreated back. They seemed to be waiting for something. But what? Gideon watched as the green colored consuming them faded to a clear transparent white. Suddenly they vanished. “They are gone,” Gideon mumbled. “What is happening?” Just then a electric globe, huge beyond rational, appeared high in the sky in front of Gideon. He called to Rose but it was too late. The electricity energizing the globe surged out on all directions, socking Rose sending her falling to the ground below. Gideon gasped and rushed forward. He caught her in both arms just as she hit the ground. “Rose,” he whispered. She was stunned, but alive. Gently he let her go, placing her on the ground. A scratching noise broke the skies above. He watched as the ball began to shift, changing shape, stretching out, then imploding slightly inwards and out again. Moments later, the ball pulsed, sending a shockwave rushing through the air and across the ground. The wave sent Gideon head over heels, tumbling through the air. He landed face first on a round boulder a few feet away. He grunted and groaned, he was only stunned. He would recover quickly. Pushing himself up onto his feet, he gasped as a the globe liquified and dripped like water from a faucet to the ground. It was strange, rather then the water splashing on the ground it seemed to fall into a predetermined shape and size. First came two feet, then legs, a waist, torso, arms and finally a head. “Once he thought as you did,” Genesis said. “Millennia ago I came to this world, watched its people as they destroyed themselves,” Genesis paused. “I have survived your predassors and so too shall I survive you.” “A mindless lackey he is,” Gideon replied. “I am not impressed nor intimidated.” “When I am whole you shall cower before me,” Genesis roared. Watching, Gideon gawked as the figure slowly walked forward. Its body slowly solidifying, turning from a clear water like substance to flesh and bone. Dressed similar to Gideon, he knew that at one point this figure must have been chosen as a defender, as an Ark. Now, Gideon would

battle one of his own, a learned lesson that years ago he punished Payne for breaking. It was against his teachings to fight with those he called brother. This man was no different. He prepared himself, calling forth his sword into his hand and again pulling apart, creating two, one in each hand. Yet, surprisingly the figure called to him, begging for only one thing, freedom. Freedom from his horrible curse as a so called son of Genesis. Gideon understood. Somehow memories of him and Zadock years prior before the war rushed into his mind. Something reminded him of the connection the two had and the hunt for his former master as he turned against Heaven, seeking to destroy it rather than defend it. Gideon could not bring himself to strike an unarmed adversary. He stood deep in thought, debating what to do next. Yet, as his mind wondered he became blind to the fact the figure approaching slowly before him was walking into his sword. A thump alerted him. He looked up, startled his eyes wide and his mouth gaping open. A brilliant white flash burst before him. Tring to focus and see past the colored spots floating before him, he watched as the figure was consumed by the intense light. Then just as quickly as he appeared he vanished. As Gideon stood wondering what had just happened he spotted Rose, standing in front of him with an outstretched arm. She had struck the figure with her magic under the assumption it was hurrying to attack Gideon. Both Rose and Gideon smiled warmly at one another then simultaneously turned looking up at Genesis. They wondered could he actually be defeated?

CHAPTER XIX

~ Blood and Fire ~ No one knows where Genesis comes from; why it exists or how to destroy it. Legend tells that if Genesis falls in battle all life will end, not just on Earth but everywhere, all planets shall fall victim to its destruction. However, there are those that claim Genesis is the key to starting over. It is said that anyone with the will and courage can summon the creature. But, it is the intent and will of its summoner that Genesis feeds on. Since General Zadock was not destroyed by Gideon, Genesis absorbed his strength, feeding on his anger, his hate and his lust for revenge. Unbeknownst to Zadock, he was consumed by Genesis three years ago immediately following Gideon’s downfall in the Crystal Forest. His was literally eaten alive and swallowed whole by the beast he himself summoned to Earth. Without proper balance, good and evil, Genesis will destroy everything leaving nothing but a wake of fire and ash as he destroy’s each world one by one. The only hope is that Gideon and Rose, along with Lars will somehow find the answer to stopping Genesis. Yet, Gideon like Lars, knows that without all four Arks their attacks will be in vain. Together he and Rose shall make a stand, together they will fight unleashing their hidden powers in a flurry of light and endless magic. Will they be strong enough to finish Genesis once and for all or will they die trying? As the two set to engage Genesis an unexpected surprise arrives, it seems their search is over. Gideon stops, halting his attack. His senses tell him Lady Elana has found the last Ark. Is he right? Or is it something else? Telling Rose of his premonition she quickly responds saying he is wrong, her gut tells her so. She demands they attack without hesitation once again. Yet after a tiring debate, Gideon convinces her to return to the hospital where she left Lady Elana hours ago. Now only ten hours are left. Genesis has grown well beyond his size from when he was first seen only hours earlier in the sky above. As Gideon and Rose watch from a distance they witness a strange and concerning transformation begin to overcome him. What was happening? Time is almost up. They must hurry if mankind is to survive.

CHAPTER XX ~ Lost and Found ~ Returning to the hospital where Rose first encountered Payne and Jeremy, she and Gideon rushed to the room she had left Lady Elana a few hours earlier. Quickly they came upon the door, it was slightly cracked open and Rose was certain she closed it as she left. “She is gone,” she mumbled. Quickly Gideon dashed to the door and pounded it open with his shoulder. He looked around as he entered the room, he saw no one. He was frustrated and said, “Where do say we look now?” Thinking, Rose spotted a note fluttering in the wind. She pointed to the ground and called out, “Look!” Gideon ran forward and quickly reached for the paper, its edges were torn and it appeared to have been written in a hurry. “Do not fret,” the note began. “I am safe. I have gone off in search of friends, helping hands that shall protect me from evil. I will return when I unite them all.”

Gideon crushed the note in his fist and gritted his teeth. Rose wondered why he was suddenly overcome with anger. “May I see it,” she asked. Passing the note Gideon walked forward to the window. He placed his hands on the windowsill, but quickly gasped in pain. He had not seen the shattered glass and he had cut his hand because of it. Strangely, Rose yelped as well and watched as her hand like Gideon’s bleed. Yet, moments later the wound quickly healed leaving no scar or evidence of its existence. “Are you alright?” Gideon asked. “That was strange,” Rose replied. “That is the second time that has happened.” “Second time?” Gideon replied strangely. Gideon said nothing, he knew that only Lady Elana would have the answer for such strange on goings. “Where could she be,” he asked pounding his fist on the wall beside him. “What do you think she meant by ‘friends?’” Rose asked. “I am not sure,” he paused. “Yet, if I had to guess I would say she is seeking out the guardians.” “Guardians?” Rose replied strangely. Suddenly a voice followed by a screaming cry broke through the doorway at the front of the room. The two looked

to one another. Instantly, Gideon thought of Lady Elana. She is in trouble. I must help her, he thought. Running past Rose he exited the room ignoring her many attempts at trying stop him. As he faded down the hallway she could see his sword manifest into his hand.

“Gideon!” Rose shouted. “Wait.” Chasing Gideon, Rose rushed down the dimly light hallway. At first she lost sight of him, but a quick glimmer of light bouncing off his armor showed his location. As the two rushed to find the source of the strange cry, Rose tripped falling over a body laying up against the wall in the dark hallway. Catching herself on her hands she took a moment, shaking her head before trying to get back up onto her feet. She turned her head only slightly, fear suddenly struck her all over. It was a horrific sight; a bloody body laying in a pool of its own blood apparently stricken with blunt force trauma to the head. Was it a woman or a man? Rose couldn’t tell. Her hand slid across the ground as she shuffled back from the lifeless body. Lifting it form the ground she looked to it; it dripped droplets of a dark red substance. Rose was unsure wether it was blood or something else. It was thick and syrupy, it was unlike anything she had ever seen. Remembering Gideon she hurried off her hands and knees and again quickly chased him down the hallway. Repeatedly she called for him, yet he refused to answer. At the other end of the hallway, down a flight of stairs next to the elevator Gideon came upon the young girl Krystal, her eyes tearing and on the back of her shirt appeared to be a tear, like something had clawed at her. Stunned, Gideon stopped in his tracks, keeping his distance. His first thought was that it was some sort of trap, a ploy devised by Genesis to lure him into his clutches. “Who are you?” he asked. “I...I...” “Answer me!” Gideon demanded. “Kry...,” she sniffled. “My name is Krystal.” “What are you doing here?” Just then a whooshing sound echoed down the hallway passed Gideon. He turned slightly, looking to a narrow doorway hanging loosely off its hinges; it appeared to have been broken and smashed in. What could have done this? he thought. At first Gideon saw nothing, but still the sound concerned him. He feared the Ghosts of Gaia may have followed him into the hospitals halls. But the blue glow, now gleaming brightly made him think otherwise.

“Who is there?” he asked loudly. Nothing. There was no answer. Moments later, a glowing blue light illuminated the darkness. It seemed to move in a circle, slowly at first then faster and faster. Suddenly, it shot forward, like a spear it aimed to impale him. He raised his sword and asked one last time for whoever or whatever to reveal itself. “Gideon!” a voice shouted. Seconds later, Lars appeared from out of the darkness, his saber held out in front of him. Happy to see his son, Gideon replied, “Lars, it is me.” But Gideon had forgotten that Lars was not aware that he had only been acting as Zadock once did and did not mean him or others harm. As Lars’ saber drew closer, Gideon desperately tried to deflect the blade, but it was too late. The tip caught him in his ribs, tearing a chunk of flesh clean off. He clenched his side and stumbled back. Instantly a pain followed surging through Lars’ side, he mumbled a few incoherent words then placed one hand against the wall propping himself up. He thought for sure that Gideon had struck him. But as he would soon find out he and his father were connected in more ways than he could ever imagine. A voice shouted down the hallway, it was Rose. She was angry, “Lars, stop!” she paused. “It is alright, please you must yield.”

Rose’s voice seemed to soothe him. Slowly he recalled his saber, it dissipated into the air. His face burst with joy. After all his searching, after all hope had faded, it seemed an ironic ending to a what felt like an endless search...Rose had found him. “Rose,” he said. “What is all this?” Calling from behind Rose was a voice, soft and calming to all that heard it, “It is best I answer that question,” the voice said. Squinting his eyes, he saw a fuzzy image slowly walking into view behind Rose. It was Lady Elana. With one hand, she gently touched Rose’s shoulder. Carefully Rose patted her hand, looked her in the eyes and smiled; Lady Elana smiled back.

CHAPTER XXI ~ Dyad Crystals : Secret Revealed ~ ~~ The secret of the Dyad Crystals has long been debated among the counsel of the Caer Sidi. Once it was believed that these crystals contained the seeds of life. In other words elements; fire, wind, earth and ice. Some believe that they were left on Earth by mankind’s ancestors, those written and spoken about in legend; the Arks. Why no one knew or understood. Others claim that these crystals are keys needed to awaken the Ark soul inside those destined to inherit them. They said that only with the crystals can each Ark obtain what is now called their “final form.” A magnificent transformation granting the Arks the powers of the past, those that came before them. They would no longer be one, but hundreds, countless souls alive and generations old. In such a state magnificent power is obtained. For instance, Lars who wields the power of ice can manipulate and control even the slightest water molecule at the highest peak of any mountain. Rose, who wields the power of earth can shape and transform the very ground she and others walk on. Others like Gideon who wields the element of wind can call forth ferocious and destructive tornados. When combining his power with Lars’ they together can summon tidal waves unlike any before it. The crystals are forever, yet those that carry them are not. It is said that when each Ark fulfills its destiny it combined with and thus becomes the Dyad Crystal. It is the past, the souls of eternity that contain the energy needed to save humanity from extinction. To this day, Lars and his companions are unaware of such a fate. From the beginning Lady Elana has feared that she may have to surrender her son to an afterlife where the battle is never ending. Though the souls once combined with the Dyad Crystal do not exist on a physical plain, they do however recall all the events which had taken place while they walked upon the Earth battling, fighting to save those who rarely remember them. The Arks do not seek glory or reimbursement of any kind for the deeds they do. Yet, history has always remembered and even honored those who have died while in combat. Even Hell has it hero’s and thus they too are written and spoken of in Lucifers grand bible - The Necronomicon, or Devil’s Bible. The Arks however have never been give such a hero’s praise. They fight because the have to, they died because that have to. There is no choice, no debate only destiny. Such a destiny is inbreed, it runs through each one’s veins, it calls to them, warns them or impeding danger and tells them to prepare. When the time is right they awaken and rise to meet whatever fate awaits them.

Now, Lars, Rose, Gideon and even Krystal have been thrust into a war they never volunteered for. They are all that can stop Genesis, if they fail the Earth, its moons, sister planets, such as; Venus, Pluto and other shall all perish, exterminating life until nothing is left anywhere on any world. There are no second chances, no reset button. It is for this reason that Lady Elana must allow her son to fight, fulfill his destiny no matter how much she may resent it. She is set to lose more than the rest, for her true love, husband and father of her only son must join Lars at his side, fighting Genesis finishing what began years prior. At Gideon’s side Lars will finally comes to grips with the truth. Until now Lars was under the impression Gideon held all the Crystals, that he had pulled them from Zadock’s dying hand as he was dragged down into the bowels of Hell. But, if the past and present are becoming one and Gideon did not defeat Zadock then it seems an impossibility for him to have obtained the Crystals. Does he have them and if not where could they be? ~~ Back in the hallway of the hospital, Lars asked question after question, asking faster than Lady Elana could answer. First his voice stern and demanding as he insisted to know the truth behind Gideon’s involvement in the battle against Genesis and why Rose seemed so eager to stand fighting at his side. With only on sentence Lady Elana replied, “Because he loves you...” Confused, Lars complained of a headache, his brain pulsed due to the massive amounts of information hitting him so suddenly. As he moved to the wall he leaned against it, taking deep breaths and rubbing with both hand the front and back of his skull at the same time. His eyes hurt due to the incredible lack of sleep over the many weeks he had briefly been living in this place called Paris. Still he didn’t understand it, nor did he care to. All he wanted was to do what had to be done in order to put an end to Genesis and its minions. “Father,” Lars called from behind. “Why not tell me, why such a trick?” he asked. “My son,” Gideon replied. “If I simply told you I would have put you in even more danger. My rouse, cruel yes, kept you chasing me, kept you seeking me out rather than at my side fighting against impossible odds.” Lady Elana called out, “Son,” she paused. “You must learn to see things for what they are,” she paused. “You must learn to forgive those for their deceit. Life is unpredictable and I too would have made the same decision should I have needed to.” “But, mother,” Lady Elana interjected, “Lars, he is your father. Would you not do all that you can to protect him?” she asked. “Of course, but...” “Lars, know that a grudge weighs heavily on your soul. It is such emotions that made Zadock into the man he became. I have watched you grow and three years I ago I too deceived you. Like, Gideon I only sought to protect you. Yet, such a lie had to be told. I hope now you understand why.” Rose called out from behind, her voice shaky and nervous, “Elana,” Lady Elana seemed not to notice as she continued, “I have tried to give you all you need, to teach you and guide you down the right path. You and your father are much alike; both of you are stubborn and hardheaded,” she paused. “See with your heart not your eyes.” Insert “Gideon Expkanation about the Crystal Forest.”

CHAPTER XXII ~ Heavens Fury ~ ~~ With each summoning comes a choice, a choice in which the four Arks alone must make. Though they deny their connection with Genesis it is true that they are its children. Gideon defiantly challenged Genesis, insisting that he would never bow to his will. Sadly, Gideon’s attacks failed resulting with him being mocked and laughed at by Genesis. Lady Elana had said that only six hours remained yet it seems she was wrong. Genesis is at his full size, he has gained incredible powers many beyond imagination. As for Lars and the rest they still wonder how their strange connection with one another actually works and what if any other impressive powers they may posses. Each one knows that a specific task has been given to them, they know that each of their companions not only represent an element of Earth but as well a specific duty corresponding with a piece of humanity. For instance Rose is called the Ark of Humanity. She first heard Zadock use this term when speaking with her in the Crystal Forest. To this day she is still confused and concerned by it. Now that the secret of the Dyad Crystals has been revealed the Arks have more time to focus on the impeding danger posed by Genesis. Still in the back of each one’s mind the await the moment when they shall learn why such names and duties have been assigned to them. They have come to grips with the inevitable fate that awaits them should they defeat Genesis. Unfortunately, for them none had any idea of the intense and excruciating battle defeating Genesis would actually be. ~~ Having warded off the Ghosts of Gaia, Lars found himself staring at a one eyed monster, like a cyclops hovering before him hundreds of feet above. He took notice that the pupil of the eyes appeared to be somewhat mechanical in design. He wondered could this monster have been made by man as some sort of weapon. Yet, time for wonder was over. As he watched the eye move, side to side, up and down, he could see small bursts of what looked like red light pulse inside it. Could

it be that the eye was actually a weapon of some kind? Taking his attention away from the creatures head, he looked it up and down, inspecting its flesh. He could see small spikes on both its arms, like tiny horns, which ran up from its wrists to its elbows. On its chest was one gigantic horn pushing outwards, it was cracked and broken on one side. Dangling over its head attached to its back as if they had a mind of their own were long barbed chains. At the end of each chain was a sickle shaped blade. Lars watched as they shot out and then quickly retracted back. Its body and torso was interesting, in place of a solid stomach was a hole, like something had shot straight through it. Strangely, the objects on the other side remained hidden and instead spun a black globe glowing white like some sort of turbine which spun rapidly. For a moment Lars had the idea that this machine was the creatures heart. Its legs resembled its arms with tiny horns spread up and down in no particular pattern. “Heaven help us,” Lars mumbled. He watched as the creature opened its mouth. At first there was nothing but silence confusing Lars and making him wonder what was going on. Suddenly, a cry, like a scream surrounded him shaking the tall building off in the distance. He covered his ears and gritted his teeth; he could feel trickles of blood seeping out of his ear canal. Moments later he watched as the Ghosts of Gaia, in multiple straight lines rushed past him and up into the spinning globe. As the last ghost entered the globe the pupil of the eye glowed a bright red. Seconds later, three orbs, red in color pulsed outwards. One hit only a few feet next to Lars, another struck a building, disintegrating it into nothing. The third landed on the opposite end of town. “What is it doing?” Lars asked softly. A loud trampling noise rushed up beside him. He turned looking in fear, but quickly relaxed as he saw Gideon and the others coming to his aid. “Where is Elana?” he asked. “We thought she was with you,” replied Gideon. “With me?” “Seems we need a leash for that one,” Gideon mocked chuckling softly. Appearing unnoticed, Lady Elana replied, “Why must you always be so condescending?” Rose with great excitement shouted, “Elana!” “Mother,” Lars said. “What is happening?” “That is Genesis. A horrible creature who bears no remorse for its wrong doings.” “We thought you left us,” said Rose. “Left you?” “I wish you would have,” Gideon said. “Soon this place shall bear much blood,” he paused. “Please seek shelter far from this place, I beg of you.” “Am I not valued among such fine warriors?” she asked rhetorically. “When my destiny is fulfilled I shall go. Until then I will remain here.” Lars pleaded, “Elana...Mother, please do as father asks.” “My son,” she paused. “Do not fear for me. It you four that concern me now.” “We know what we must do,” Rose said. “I am sure you do,” Lady Elana replied. “However, you will need all the help you can get.” “What do you mean?” Gideon asked. Pointing to a cloud of debris seen off in the distance, Lars and the rest watched as the dust slowly began to settle revealing four massive beats of great strength. They were Ddraglais, Tiamat, Shiva and long reptilian creature with two wings rather and no feet often times called Leviathan.

“Look,” she said. “Here they come.” Gathering together Lars, Rose, Gideon and Krystal looked on in amazement as they watched the four great beasts approach Genesis. Could it be they were the target of its earlier attack? Watching the four guardians trample across the Earth, Lady Elana slowly began stepping backwards as if she was afraid of something. She held her arms out to her sides pulling everyone together in a tight cricle behind her. “Stay behind me,” she said. “What is happening,” Rose cried. The ground shook. Lars watched as tiny pebbles popped up and down off the ground. His eyes budged from there sockets as he looked up. A red orb, hanging at the end of Genesis’s eye grew bigger and bigger with each passing second. Suddenly it shot with tremendous velocity down at Ddraglais and his allies. However, Ddraglais had no intention of remaining on the ground. Quickly he ran up beside Tiamat, the legendary dragon. Flying low to the ground, Tiamat hovered above the ground, grunting and groaning, shaking his head up and down. Ddraglais stopped but only for a moment, he waited until Tiamat was roughly one hundred yards in front of him then he leap up into the air. The red orb crashed directly below him, if he had not jumped from harms way he would have been struck and surely killed. With a soft landing he stood atop Tiamat’s back, a little back down passed his shoulder blades. Like riding a surfboard over an enormous wave, Tiamat flew up, down, side to side all the while trying not to knock Ddraglais, his ally off his back. Higher and higher they flew until Tiamat was at eye level with Genesis. Flapping his wings down then followed quickly by a strong upward motion, he pushed Ddraglais off his back and into Genesis. Ddraglais roared loudly, bearing his teeth and clawing at anything in his path. Yet, even with all his strength he was no match. Knowing his friend was in grave danger, Tiamat exploded, shooting a huge blue white orb at Genesis’s glowing eye. But it was too late. He could not save his friend. With a swift strike from his sickles, he lashed out with his chains. The blade cut through Ddraglais not completely but close enough. Tiamat tried desperately to catch his falling friend as he fell to the ground. Yet he wasn’t quick enough. As Ddraglais landed, the ground exploded, throwing dust and grim high up into the air. Instantly, Lady Elana and her companions rushed to his aid. As they came upon him the could see green blood quickly filling a small crater underneath him. “I have failed you, milady. Please, I beg you forgive me.” A screaming nosie echoed from above, it seemed only Gideon had heard it. A she looked up he saw Tiamat held tightly in the clutches of Genesis. “Pathetic,” Genesis said. “Even your powers are no match for me.” Then almost immediately Genesis lashed out throwing Tiamat across the sky. Gideon watched as he smashed up against a tall building. As he hit the buildings side, Genesis unleashed orb after orb aiming each one directly at Tiamat. With perfect aim each one hit its target. As the barrage of attacks ended, the building fell, crashing down, suffocating Tiamat. Reaching out for Lady Elana, Gideon said, “Elana it is time to go,” he paused. “Please...” “Perhaps you right, Gideon,” Lady Elana replied. Rushing Lady Elana off, Gideon turned and said, “Genesis must not wander. Do whatever you must to see he remains here.” “We will try,” Rose replied. “Are you coming back?” Lars asked. “I will not be long,” Gideon replied. Lars watched as the two disappeared from sight. Slowly he turned to face Rose.

“What do we do now?” she asked. “I am not sure.” “Should we help them.” “Gideon said nothing about the guardians. We must make sure we contain Genesis.” “They are our friends,” Rose replied harshly. “I am sure they can handle...” Rose shouted back, “They are our friends!” Lars said nothing just focused out onto the battle taking place between Shiva and Leviathan. Rose scoffed. She was upset Lars could be so cold hearted. “If you will not help them, then I will go alone,” Rose said. Grabbing hold of Krystal, the two rushed out onto the battlefield. Krystal turned, looking angrily to Lars. For a moment he swore she stuck her tongue out at him. “Rose, wait,” he shouted. As the two ran to their friends, Lars shrugged his shoulders. He watched as the Ghosts of Gaia again returned, spawning one after another out of the strange spinning orb in Genesis’s abdomen. Like a flood, they engulfed the battlefield. Surrounding the two guardians and eventually Rose and Krystal. Lars could hear her calling for him. She was in trouble, he wanted to go but without Gideon he knew they would not survive. “Lars!” Rose shouted. Hearing her scream, he dashed forward, his ice saber appearing suddenly. He stopped clenching his side as an intense pain shot through his neck and back. It seemed he was helpless. Moments later, small bursts followed by explosions began to consume the battlefield. Lars caught a glimpse of the action through a small gap in the fighting. He could see Rose standing back to back with Krystal. It seemed in her fear she had harnessed her powers of destruction. One by one she destroyed the ghosts from within. As the pain ceased in Lars body he jumped to his feet and once again rushed to Rose. He was determined to make it. A strange sound heard overhead forced him to look back over his shoulder all the while still running forward. It was Gideon, behind him was a tornado massive in every sense. As he spotted Lars he landing at his side. Together the two watched as the tornado circled around Rose and Krystal inhaling the ghosts and spitting them out across the skies. As the spinning tornado ceased, a bellowing laugh was heard overhead. It was Genesis. “Soon, you shall return to where you belong,” he said. His words enraged Lars. Eager to fight he stepped forward, but was quickly stopped by Gideon. He pointed back to where the hospital once stood. “Will she ever learn,” he said. “What does she think she is doing?” Lars asked. In the distance, Lad Elana could be seen waving her arms over her head. The two wondered what she was doing. The fighting had only stopped momentarily. Lars knew he needed to stay close to Rose. He called to her and Krystal to come. He did not want to leave her on her on. As Rose returned, she punched Lars in the shoulder. He grasp at the pain. “What was that for?” “We could have died out there.” As they group turned their attention back to Lady Elana they watched as she called forth her scepter form both hands. Impaling into the ground a long narrow dirt path shot forward, it seemed something was trapped underneath. Startled the group instinctively drew their weapons. They gawked as Lady Elana sprung up before them. She had vanished and then reappeared at their feet.

“I was tired of walking,” she chuckled. “Listen to me now, the guardians have failed and I fear Genesis is stronger than even I have predicted. I must pass to you my powers, my wisdom, my strength, my love and my integrity. Use what I give you and with it you can defeat this evil.” “Elana, please...” Gideon pleaded. Angrily she replied, “Gideon, that is the last time you stuff me in the closet,” she paused. “As my last deed upon this Earth I pass to you, the chosen four my powers.” “Mother, do not do this.” “Lars!” she shouted. “It is the only way.” “But...” “Silence!” she yelled. “Please move into a circle.” As the four walked hesitantly into a circle, Lady Elana stood back and watched. Squeezing her way into the center she took a moment and looked around. First to Lars, then to Rose, Krystal and finally Gideon. She smiled then walked forward. First she approached Rose. She reached forward caressing her face with one hand. “Dear Rose,” she continued. “For years I have looked to you as a daughter. I have watched as you have grown into a fine young lady and a great warrior. I know you will make me proud,” she paused. “To you I give my wisdom. Use it wisely.” Gently Lady Elana leaned in pressing her lips to Rose’s. The group watched in awe as the wings on her back began to change colors. Slowly they turned to a bright white color; her eyes momentarily flashing to a bright green color then back again. Lady Elana pushing herself back watched as Rose expanded her wings and hovered a few feet off the ground. Rose looked back taking notice of the sudden change. She could see her wings covered by various flowers and chunks of gravel and dirt intertwined with the feathers. Rose was overcome by emotion; she was happy yet sad at the same time. Turning Lady Elana then said, “Krystal,” Taking a few steps she slowly approached her. “Sad we meet under such conditions,” she paused. “You are young yet wise, strong and resilient. To you I pass my integrity. Use it wisely,” she continued. “Grow honorable and just.” Again she kissed Krystal as she did Rose. Pushing herself back she watched as Krystal’s back illuminated with a bright white color. As the light faded two wings, bright white expanded slowly across her shoulders. Strangely her eyes did not flash any color whatsoever. Looking to her wings, Krystal noticed they appeared damaged, burned and charred. Moments later, she too hovered a few feet off the ground. Walking back she approached Lars, what she said melted his heart. “Lars,” she paused. “You are my son, a demi-god. Three years ago we meet for the first time. I only wish we had more time,” she paused. “You are a great man and a wonderful friend. You and Rose are meant for fantastic things, your journey together has only just begun. To you I give my strength.” Again she leaned in and kissed him on his lips. As she pushed back his wings changed, illuminated by white light, his eyes like Rose’s flashed, however a different color, dark blue. Icicles could be hanging from the feathers; his eyes flashing a bright blue color then back again. Taking a moment, she exhaled a heavy breath then turned dropped her head a approached Gideon. She said nothing as she stood before him. He called her name, but she did not answer. Gently he held her chin with one hand, slowly he lifted her head and looked her in the eyes. He could see she was holding back a waterfall of tears. Smiling he said, “My love, it is alright,” he paused. “Please, continue.” Smiling back she said, “Gideon my love, our journey together must now end.”

Gideon quickly blurted out, “No, my love...we will always be together.” “You must be victorious,” she replied. “Without you I cannot live. I will wait for you until the end, until you return home. As you fight remember me, remember my sacrifice.” “I will,” he replied softly. Regaining her composure she shrugged her shoulders then continued, “To you, Gideon I give my love. Use it when your heart fells heavy.” One last time she leaned in, this time her kiss was longer. As she pulled back, Gideon’s back exploded with white light when it faded his wings had changed from black to a brilliant white; his eyes, liek Rose and Lars flashed this time a bright purple. He too floated a few feet off the ground. As he flapped his wings those around him stood in awe; like a hummingbird the they flapped faster than any human eye could see, the wind was ferocious as the massive wings fluttered widely. Facing Gideon she smiled then slowly walked backwards into the center of the circle. She closed her eyes moments later her flesh began to fade transparent. Suddenly in a flash of colored light she was gone. When the light faded a swarm of monarch butterflies, orange and white flew in all directions. “She is gone.” Lars said. Watching the butterflies the group remained silent. Rose held out her hand as one landed in her palm. “It tickles,” she said with a giggle. Turning to Rose, Gideon gently held her hand and closed her fingers around the butterfly. “Keep it safe,” he said. “I will,” Rose replied. Gideon smiled as he turned and walked away from Rose and over to Krystal. He called her name and told her not to worry. “There is one last thing we must do before we face Genesis,” he paused. “The last crystal, it must be given to its rightful owner.” Kneeling down, Gideon carefully sat down onto his knees. He placed his hands on his thighs closed his eyes and exhaled a heavy breath. “Father?” Lars said. “Are you alright?” Gideon remained quiet. A few seconds passed. Strange sounds startled Lars and Rose, they jumped back. Krystal however seemed unaffected by the sudden convulsions overtaking Gideon. Rose turned to Lars and asked, “What is wrong?” Suddenly Gideon fell forwards, spitting and vomiting up a thick black ooze. When the convulsions ended a small black pool of this disgusting ooze lay before him. Slowly he stood, wiping his hand across his mouth. “What now?” Rose asked. Gideon turned and replied, “Patience. It is coming.” Walking forward Lars reached out and placed his hand on Gideon’s shoulder. “Father,” he said. “Are you alright?” “My son,” he replied as turned slightly. “That which controlled me long ago shall now be reborn.” “....’ “Look!” Rose shouted pointing passed Gideon. “There,” Gideon paused. “Magnificent is it not?” he asked rhetorically. Taking a few steps backwards, Lars asked, “What is that thing?”

He seemed scared and nervous. Raising up and hovering up above the from the ooze in a glorious glow of flames and burning fire, was what looked like a crystal. Its color was hard to fathom due to the flames consuming it. Suddenly the group simultaneously raised one hand to their face, the fire seemed close enough to singe their eyebrows. Moments later the fire swirled and spun, clockwise at first then twisting suddenly in the opposite direction. Forming a small funnel, the flames quickly spun inward, into the center of he crystal then disappeared. When the flames could no longer be seen a burst of colored light, yellow and gold pulsed outwards, slicing through the group as they stood watching the strange on goings. Pointing to Krystal, Gideon said with a smile, “Take it,” “Will it hurt me?” Krystal replied. “What lies before you will unite us all.” Stepping forward towards the crystal, Krystal reached out for the strange object with one hand. Almost instantly she jumped back startled from a sudden burst of intense light. “It senses you,” Gideon said. “You will not be harmed.” “What will happen to me?” “You will become one of us,” Gideon paused. “The final Ark.” Krystal nodded then focused her attention back to the crystal. Again she reached forward. With each step the crystal pulsed. As she drew closer and closer, the pulsing increased, harder and faster reaching further and further out beyond the group. Moments later she was gone, engulfed by the ominous light. When the light faded, Krystal could be seen lying face up on the ground. Lars pointed, “Look!” In her forehead was seen the Dyad Crystal. One by one each member of the group inspected her forehead. Bending forward but being careful not to get too close. None of the have ever witnessed the aftermath of being consumed by a Dyad Crystal. They were all surprised, but only seconds later their surprise would turn to excitement. Watching, the group stood awe struck as the crystal began to slowly sink below the young girls flesh until finally it was gone. As it disappeared her eyes sprung open and she flew form the ground, her arms held out to her sides. Her white wings flapping in the wind. “It is time,” Gideon said. “Finally, our self proclaimed father shall fall. Let us now destroy that which threatens us.” Walking forward, Krystal stopped at Rose’s side. Rose looked down smiled then said softly, “Do not be afraid.” Krystal smiled back. Blasting beside the group came a massive explosion. The impact sent each one flying off in a different direction. As they lay on the ground eager to know what happened, Genesis shouted, “My will is absolute,” his voice went calm. “Know this, If you seek my destruction you shall seal the fate of mankind. Defeat me and I shall strip you of all you have strived to become.” Gideon shouted back,“Your threats do not intimidate us! We will not yield.” “You have made your choice,” Genesis replied. “From this day forward the human race shall be no more. Mankind’s reign is over, today the earth dies.” Moments later the group watched as the chains welded into Genesis’s back spun in together in small circles over his head. One by one he lashed the ferocious chains at the earth. The first, struck the earth, impaling it to the core, from the right side. The second, struck on the left. A loud grinding noise followed moments later. Crying out in horror, Rose and Lars yelled in horror. A red

orb, generating at the very tip of Genesis’s eye, shot like a laser down at the earth. The ground shook violently as the laser tore through the earth’s crust, it core and finally exiting at the opposite side. Gideon jumped to his feet, somehow he knew what was going to happen next. Quickly and in a near panic he rushed the others back up onto their feet. “Fly,” he said. “Fly as high as you can.” Without question the group did as told. Soaring into the sky they broke the earth’s gravity, through the stratosphere and up into space. Stopping the looked down only see Genesis rip the earth apart as if it was a frail piece of wood. Watching the two ends float away from one another, Lars cried, “No.” Seconds later, Genesis shot one then another of his destructive red orbs, each striking almost simultaneously at the broken prices of the earth. As they hit, the two ends of the earth exploded, sending a shockwave up and into space. Thankfully, the group was at safe enough distance not to be affected. As if shaken from a dream Gideon awoke to find that events he thought had occurred were only some sort of eerie warning of things to come. Could what he saw in his mind actually come to pass? He decided it better not to reveal his premonition to any of his counterparts. If he did, he thought, they might all be consumed by panic. “We have to stop him,” he whispered. Quickly he jumped to his feet, calling for the others to join him. They too awoke all showing no signs of injury, only slightly disoriented and nervous. “Coward!” Lars shouted. “You fear us,” he continued. “You attack us from behind,” he paused. “You will fall, I swear it.” “You dare insult me?” Genesis replied. “My minions shall be your demise.” Moments later the globe spinning in his abdomen stopped and pouring out from within came hundreds if not thousands of the Ghosts of Gaia. Yet, rather than attack the group directly something strange had begun to occur. Laying in a single file line, covering the earth completely they took the shape of a star, like a pentagram. As the group continued to watch, surrounded by hundreds of these ghosts, they became distracted as they heard a creaking noise, like metal which had rusted over. They looked up, gasped then quickly covered the heads as a red liquid, blood possibly gushed out of Genesis’s mouth. As it hit the earth it seemed to become attracted to the ghosts and their strange pattern. “Behold, the Golem,” Genesis said. Appearing at the top right and corner of the star, thousands of miles away, sprung a monster, a titan of incredible size. It towered over the earth, taunting and mocking the group as they stared into its eyes. Next, appearing almost immediately at the upper left hand corner sprung another demonic creature, massive and nearly identical to the one before it. “Behold, the Kraken.” Next Genesis released a creature named Pharon. For Lars he knew he heard this name before yet broken memories of a shattered past kept his mind clouded. Last Genesis released a creature more intimidating then the rest, it was made complexly of molten lava and burning flames. It’s name is Abadon, a forgotten titan as old as the earth itself. As it sprung up from out of the estranged symbol, Lars asked, “Father...what is happening?” But Gideon did not answer. In his mind he was asking himself the same question. Showing no hesitation, Gideon gathered the group together. With one final prep talk he began, telling his those around him not to be afraid. He did his best to explain what these demon creatures where, but explaining where and when the came from was impossible. Just their names consumed more time than he had expected.

“Listen to me,” he said. “My senses tell these creatures are elemental based and can only be defeated using their polar opposite,” he paused. “Lars,” he continued. “Abadon is fire based, I assume his weakness is ice. Use it to defeat him. Rose,” he continued. “You will face the Pharon, your powers of earth shall conquer him quickly. Yet be weary he will retaliate with incredible wind based attacks, be careful,” he paused. “Krystal,” he turned slightly. “You must face the Kraken, watch carefully its water attacks can be devastating.” Turning, looking out across the earth looked to the towering creature standing before him. He said nothing as he inspected it up and down, searching for its weakness. “That leaves only the Golem,” Lars said. “Correct,” Gideon replied. “He is mine,” he gritted his teeth. Watching as each of the four creatures walked across the earth, trampling anything before them, Gideon shot forward, his wings reaching far back as the wind carried forward. Moments later, Rose, Lars and Krystal followed. Catching up with Gideon they flew side by side, in an awkward “V” shape. Exhaling a tremendous cry, Gideon lead the group as on; they burst forward even faster than before. Suddenly a sonic boom echoed across the ground below. The titans shook, but quickly regained their balance. Above, Genesis laughed louder and louder as he watched the groups feeble attempt at trying stopping him and his minions. Gideon pointed left then right. Rose followed by Krystal split away from the group, Krystal heading to face the Kraken, Rose heading to face Pharon.

CHAPTER XXIII

~ Final War ~ Krystal and Rose were the first to find out just how strong these titans were. Krystal using her powers of destruction struck what she assumed would be a fatal blow. But the would she inflicted was only a scratch to such a creature. Focusing her energy she attacked it head, like small boils pockets of flesh exploded off the creatures skull. Her attack was more of a nuisance than concern to such a creature. Quickly it retaliated, using his powers of water, it lashed out with intense waves which the creature could control and manipulate into any shape, throw in any direction and so forth. As if he was pulling at the strings of a Marionet puppet, he tossed Krystal side to side up and down. Finally the assault was over, but Krystal was badly wounded. It seemed her powers were no match for Pharon. Sadly Rose failed as well, her attacks halted by the power of Pharon. His ability to manipulate wind kept her at a safe distance to were she was unable to attack, thus vulnerable to much abuse. Lars as well as Gideon seemed like gnats to the titans, they too failed horribly. “This is impossible,” Lars said softly. Hearing Genesis mock the group again, Gideon flew high up into the air, stopping only inches away from Genesis eye. “They are indestructible,” Genesis said. “You will not defeat them.” “Will can an we will,” Gideon replied. “When they fall we shall come for you. You shall feel our fury like none before.”

Closing his eyes, he concentrated on his allies. Hearing his voice inside their own head, the remaining three quickly rushed to his side. Pointing to the globe in Genesis’s stomach he said, “They draw their strength from that.” “Then let us destroy it,” Rose replied. Bursting forward, Rose headed for the globe. Hovering before it, she unleashed pulse after pulse of white light from her hands. Violently, the light hit the strange surface of the globe. At first it seemed to have no effect, but moments later she could she a crack begin to form across the surface. “Get back!” Gideon shouted. Stopping her onslaught of attacks, Rose quickly dashed back behind Gideon. She watched as his sword manifested into his hand, again he pulled it apart, making two rather than one. Throwing one then the other, the two swords struck the globe, the first cut deep into the surface, embedding itself below the surface. The second, striking it deeply as well. Moments later the globe began to glow brighter and brighter. “No...Nooooo,” Genesis cried. Suddenly an explosion, like a atom bomb engulfed the space around them. When the shockwave passed, they could see the blood used to feed the ghosts slowly vanish followed shortly after by the ghosts themselves. “Now,” Gideon said. “Attack them now, destroy the titans.” One by one the group headed back down to the ground. Violently and without mercy they attacked the titans. They had turned the tide, their attacks brutally tearing the titans to pieces. Krystal again focused her energy and mercilessly annihilated the limbs of the Kraken, until only its torso and head remained. With an incredible cry she circled her arms around her body, then pushed both hands out in front of her, throwing her energy at the beast. The beast was dead, the earth littered with its remains. She rushed to Rose, thinking she was in need of help. Yet Rose, like Krystal had defeated her enemy. Her tremendous powers of earth were no match for Pharon. As Krystal arrived she could see the beast impaled on a large stalagmite, rising up from out of the ground. Its blood splattered across the earth and a small pool, like a moat surrounded the base. Gideon on the hand took his time in destroying the stone Golem. As he rushed forward, he pummeled the creature with punch after punch, kick after kick. He wanted the beast to suffer. As he hit the creature a blinding purple burst of light pulsed out. His fists so fast, the creature seemed to be at his mercy. Yet, Gideon showed none. He knew that should it be him under attack by this brutal foe he, like the titan would be made to suffer. As his violent punches and kicks ended, he took a moment to regain his breath. Suddenly and without warning he screamed, louder than before. This would be it, the titan was done for. With both hands he grabbed the titans arms, struggling he pulled them forward, slowly tearing the muscle away from the bone. Seconds later a loud rip was heard and blood spewed from the creatures shoulders. Gideon had torn its arm clean off. Turning them against his enemy, be again beat the titan bloody. As the titan prepared to die, Gideon called his sword into his hand. Quickly it manifested into his palm. At only a short distance, Gideon, like a bullet, ran forward; his sword behind him and the tip dragging in the ground beside him. With a thunderous leap, he jumped high up into the air. As he descended he leaned back, holding his sword overhead. With a single long slice, he cut the creature in half. Landing, watching the creature as it slowly fell into two pieces, he carefully opened his fist, his sword vanishing form sight. Knowing the creature was dead, he looked out into the over the horzion, calling to Lars. He

knew Lars was still engaged in combat with Abadon. However, he too was about to end the conflict in a brutal and disgusting fashion. Using his powers of ice, he started at the creatures legs. Suddenly a quick memory reminded him of his battle while in the Blood Chamber as he and Lady Elana fought for their lives against the Gommorahh. He too found his fists more effective than his weapons. Striking the ground he split the earth, splintering it in all directions. The beast, consumed by fire melted the ice trapping his legs. unfortunately it was too late, its fate was sealed. As the earth split, the creature stumbled from side to side, the crevasse opening wider and wider. For the first time, Lars knew just what he was truly capable of and why those that loved him feared his awakening. Shooting ice and frost from his hands, he encased the monster from head to toe, however rather that simply let it fall into the bowels of the earth, he created a long frozen strings of ice, which he used as a type of pully system to control the creature. Lifting it off the ground, Lars smashed him against the side of the massive crevasse. Shattering into pieces, Lars watched as the frozen shards of blood and flesh fell into the darkness of the bottomless pit. Moments later, he sealed the wounded earth by filling it completely with ice. It didn’t take long for the other to find him, each one had defeated their opponent however, Rose had one more task ahead of her. Lars’ battle with the ???? left the earth wounded, a bruise that struck deep into its core. If is was not healed, the earth would fall from its axis and be destroyed. Only Rose could stop this from m ever happening. Quickly she pushed Lars out of the way. Quickly she focused her energy, closed her eyes and held her arms out in front of her. Like a thousand snakes scurrying across the ground, roots, limbs and leaves flowed from Rose’s palms. Aiming them down, the roots covered the ice, burrowing deep beneath it. Filling the hole with new life, the earth slowly stopped rumbling. They had done did it, at least for the meantime it seemed they had won. They knew that their next encounter with Genesis would not be so easy.

CHAPTER XXV ~ From Within ~ Having defeated the titans, the group felt more hopeful than ever before. Yet, the fear loomed that Genesis, with his devious tricks and mind games would hinder their progress any further, keeping them occupied while he prepared to tear the earth to pieces. That fear would come to light more quickly than any of them could fathom. Immediately following the titans downfall Genesis unleashed a black hole, a vortex which seemed to spawn directly from the center of the earths core. It covered only a small portion of the earths surface, yet quickly it expanded, bigger and bigger, growing more violent with each passing moment as it began to swallow the earth. It seemed the group had one last distraction to tend to before finally facing Genesis in a battle to the death. What they would find inside would be more devastating, more horrific than anything they have encountered thus far. A creature, long like a worm, with two heads, one at its rear and one at its front made it an even more competitive foe than the massive titans the four faced only moments ago. Quickly rushing to the growing vortex the group hovered above the seemingly endless tunnel boring through the earths center. “Genesis is preparing, we must hurry,” Gideon said.

Pointing to the vortex, Rose asked,“What is that thing?” “A distraction,” Gideon replied. Like huge birds the group soared down, approaching the vortex from high above. As they entered the darkness a loud crunching and grinding noise surrounded them. The sound resembled woodpeckers as they punched holes in hundred year old red wood trees; the sound was fast and high pitched. Inside the vortex they viewed crumbling earth falling from the ceiling, however even more intriguing was the fact that the walls of the cylinder shaped vortex looked as if they were imploding, collapsing in on themselves. Continuing further, the group came upon a large beast, its mouth lined with razor sharp teeth, maybe eight to twelve rows inside its jaw. It had no eyes and shined a brown and beige color as it shimmered in the light. It was apparent that it was eating the earth from the inside out. “Disgusting...,” Rose said tweaking her nosie while twisting her mouth in weird patterns. “What is that smell?” Lars asked. Pointing Gideon replied, “Eggs, the eggs have gone rotten.” Lars pinched his noise shut, “My God..,” he gagged once. “Its horrid.” “Ignore it. We must stop this menace,” Gideon replied. Seeing the group the beast stopped momentarily and roared loudly. As the creatures roar faded around Gideon clenched his fist, his sword quickly manifesting into his hand. “Remember your training,” Gideon said. Chambering the sword back behind his head he turned, looking to Lars. “Ready?” he asked. Lars nodded, he was ready. Throwing his blade forward, Lars and Rose followed quickly behind it. Gideon grabbed Krystal, stopping her at his side. He kneeled down smiled and said, “Remain here. When he is weakened you will strike the final blow.” Krystal smiled then jumped on top of him and hugged him tightly. She whispered in his ear, “Be careful.” Turning back to the disgusting beast, Gideon watched as his sword pierced deeply into its head. It cried out, screaming a horrible cry. However, the blow was not strong enough. Quickly the creature shook it off, freeing the blade from his flesh and impaling the sword in the wall beside it. Lars only inches from the creatures mouth, ignited his ice saber, quickly it shot off his wrist. Rose, using her weapons as long whips lashed out over and over again, striking the creatures head, inflicting damage both large and small. Lars covered by Lars attacks seemed invulnerable to attacks by the creature. Focused on Rose the creature didn’t sense Lars as he ran up and stopped withing inches from its mouth. Extending his arm high he drove his saber up and through its mouth, again it screamed out in pain. Lars watched as ice slowly began to form, engulfing the creature completely and frazzling it in time. Unable to counterattack, Rose used her whips as grappling hooks, latching them onto its ice body. Once attached she threw the creature sideways. Seconds later it became impaled on Gideon’s sword embedded into the rock wall. Retracting her whips, the creature exploded, tint pieces of it flesh rained down like large balls of hail. Though simple the creature was still alive. Unbeknownst to the group, this was not the end of their battle. Again the rock around them shook. Moments later, the creatures lifeless body pulled back as if being dragged away. Immediately, two arms reached forward through the now gaping hole in the wall. Grabbing onto the walls, a roar was heard as finally the beast revealed itself. Pulling its head forward, Lars gasped and jumped back evading a quick bite, as if the creature intended to swallow him whole. “Lars get back!” Gideon shouted.

The creature, with only its head visible violently swung itself in all directions, biting and chomping at anything in its path. Its head, shaped like a hammerhead shark with enormous fangs and a jaw covered with collapsible mandibles, which sprung open when feeding, pushed itself harder and harder into the tunnel, reaching for Gideon and Krystal. As Rose readied another attack, she was stopped suddenly by a rumbling noise, which seemed to be coming through the wall next to her. Moments later the wall exploded, she ducked narrowly she missed being struck by a large piece of debris as it flew, crashing up against the wall at the opposite side of the small tunnel. “What in Heaven’s name...,” Rose mumbled. Seconds later a gigantic chrome, mirrored, partially rusted object broke through the cracked wall slicing the creature into pieces. “Genesis,” Gideon said.. “What is happening?” Krystal asked her voice sounding shaky. Waving his arm widely, Gideon shouted, “Hurry, we must flee.”he paused. “Follow me.” As the group rushed to the exit they could hear Genesis, in a deep raspy voice say, “Your time is over. Prepare to die.” As the group escaped unharmed, they witnessed a enormous display of power. Watching from above, they, Rose bursting into tears, screaming at the top of her lungs, as Genesis using his sycile like daggers, driven deep into the sides of the earth, pulled with all his might ripping the earth into two floating pieces of nothing. Still attached to the ends of his sickle’s, controlled by the long chains welded to his back, he unleashed two reb orbs from his glowing eye. Striking the two pieces of earth both nearly exploded within only seconds of the other. Just as Genesis said, the earth had been destroyed and with mankind... or had it?

CHAPTER XXVI ~ Love and Fear ~ As Lars watched the remaining pieces of the Earth disintegrate he was overcome by anger, his rage at a critical and uncontrollable level. He shouted, screaming and taunting Genesis. Nothing but bellowing laughter was heard as Genesis retracted his chains. Gideon turned looking to Rose; she was in a panic, crying tremendous tears and losing her breath each time. “What will happen to us now?” Krystal asked quietly. Turning Gideon stared at Genesis, his eyes burning with anger. “Genesis must be destroyed,” he paused. Turning back to the group, he continued,”The earth is gone, however there is still a chance to save the remaining worlds.” “We will never defeat such a demon,” Rose said with her voice cracking. “We must try,” Gideon replied. “You are right father, Genesis must perish,” Lars blurted out. As Gideon processed the words, he watched as Lars blitzed forward, soaring through space at an

incredible speed. “Lars,” he cried. “Wait, you cannot win alone.” Watching, Gideon screamed out in horror, Rose covered her face and turning from the horrific scene. Genesis had struck Lars, piercing him through his chest with his massive blade. Nearly ripped in two, Lars dangled helplessly at its tip. “Why continue this ridicules fight,” Genesis said. “You cannot win, I will not allow it.” Lars gargled blood, his voice angry, “Allow it?” Pulling his blade from Lars chest, Genesis roared. Twitching his eye above him, Lars shot straight up. Suddenly he stopped, momentarily hovering overhead. Seconds later, his wrists followed by his feet and ankles became trapped in a strange type of shackle. His arms thrust above his head, his legs pulled straight down. He swore he was going to be torn to pieces. He cried out, screaming for Gideon. The shackles trapping his wrists and ankles began to glow bright blue. Moments later, a surge of electricity, emanating from the shackles ran up and down through his extremities, nearly making him slip into unconsciousness. “Yield or watch him die,” Genesis paused. “The choice is yours.” Focusing his energy, Gideon used his powers of telepathy to speak with Lars as he hung restricted by his shackles. “My son,” he said. “You will live, but you must listen to me now.” “Father it hurts,” he cried loudly. His voice echoing through Lars’ ears, “The answer you seek resides inside you. Find the key and awaken it.” “Answers,” Lars mumbled. “We all posses it,” he paused. “The knight, release it.” “I cannot, my armor,” “Do you remember the forest, son?” “I do.” “When you found me with Elana you challenged me to battle,” with a sobbing voice he continued,“You lost, yet I could not kill you.” Hesitantly Lars replied, “I know, father.” “However, I never wanted to. I only wanted to give you back what is rightfully yours.” he paused. “The crystal, you already posses it. It lies dormant inside you, awaken it and unleash the knight.” “But the mirror, Mamu, without him I do no know how.” “Mamu and his mirror only helped you to realize what you already knew,”Gideon replied. “I do not understand.” “The power of the knight has always been your to command.” Waiting long enough, Genesis opened his mouth wide, Rose and the rest of her companions watched as large flying creatures, demonic looking with large horns and rotting flesh flew towards them. “Rose,” Gideon called. “Take Krystal, do what you must to destroy those creatures.” “Are you not coming?”she asked. “I will be along shortly.” “What will you do?” “I must help Lars, if I do not he will die.” Turning back to Lars, he continued, “The gauntlet, how did you summon it?” “I do not know.”

“Think Lars, please.” “I do not know!” he yelled. His eyes shifted as he heard Rose cry out in pain. He looked to her watching as the creatures unleashed by Genesis attacked her and Krystal viciously clawing and biting them all over. “Rose!” he cried. Startling him a blue white glow exploded on his chest. His breastplate, the one he witnessed within the mirror had returned. Gideon smiled, “That is it,” he mumbled happily. Calling to Lars again he said, “Rose, she is the key. She is your link to the Knight.” “Father, I do not understand.” “Answer me this,” Gideon paused. “Do you love her?” Lars hesitated, “I...I.” “Answer the question, Lars!” “Do you or do you not love her,” he repeated. “...I, I do,” Lars replied softly. “Louder!” Gideon insisted. Lars raised his voice, “I do!” “Louder!” Gideon demanded. “I do!” Lars screamed aloud. Moments later his flesh (reword)bubbled, (reword)pockets formed until suddenly his muscles grew bigger and more defined. Unable to keep him restrained the shackles burst open from the pressure against them. Lars was free. However, he seemed to be in pain. He yelled crying out in pain. As Gideon watched Lars’ body went limp his chin dropping down laying softly upon his chest. Rose took notice and cried out horror. She had not seen the strange on goings taking place only moments earlier. After a few seconds Lars’ body turned blue and ice slowly formed around him; first at his feet then traveling quickly upwards until finally his entire body was encased in an icy prison. “Gideon!” Rose shouted. “Help him, please,” she pleaded. Holding one hand up to her Gideon signaled for her to wait. Just then the ice exploded sending sharp pieces like daggers out in all directions. The ice struck the flying demons one by one as if they were intentionally aimed to do so. When creatures cries faded Lars was seen standing upright and breathing heavily. His appearance had changed. He did as Gideon instructed. He had transformed once again into the Vagabond Knight.

CHAPTER XXVII ~ United ~ Standing in awe Rose gawked at the sight of Lars now transformed. She muttered a few words; all were incoherent. Her eyes went wide, her pupils dilated as she watched the cloak swaying behind him suddenly come to life. Flapping at his side it slowly took a familiar shape - a wolf though made of cloth it could surely distract Lars’ enemy giving him ample time to attack. Standing beside him Lars listened as the wolf growled softly. It wasn’t long before Gideon, Rose and Krystal came to Lars’ side. At first Rose was scared, nervous to approach him. This man was not Lars. He was different and more willing to die in battle. “Lars is that you?” she asked.

“Rose, are you aright?” He replied dis-concerned with his own well being. Rose said nothing. She was intrigued by a cold mist that it blew from his mouth while speaking. “I am fine. Are you alright?” “Yes, thank you for your concern.” “Lars,” Rose said. “How did all this happen?” “I do not know.” Gideon interjected, “Rose my dear. These transformations are nothing to fear.” “How is this possible?” “What you see is what was left by our ancestors as they departed the Earth. We have inherited their souls and now with their help we shall destroy Genesis.” “How does it work?” Gideon smiled, “Simple,” he paused. “Search deep inside yourself.” “What am I searching for?” “The key,” Gideon replied. “It differs for us all.” “I do not understand.” “You see, thinking of you, your love and his fear of losing you awoke the Knight within Lars.” “I think I am beginning to understand.” “I have found mine, as has Lars,” Gideon continued. “Let me show you.” Stepping back Gideon called his sword into his hand. Again he pulled it apart holding one sword end in each hand. Calling out wildly he threw them both high up over his head, kneeling to one knee (reword)he dropped his head. The two swords stopped only momentarily then shot from the sky down into back his hands. As he grabbed hold of them a bright purple light shadowed by a red tint exploded around him nearly consuming him completely. As the light faded he lifted his head looking to Rose then stood tall. Spinning the swords in his hands he smiled. He had transformed. A crown, purple in color with small cat like ears surrounded his head. Falling down behind him was a similar colored cloak. Rose wondered if it possessed the same powers as Lars’ did? She gawked,“Wow!” Excitedly she continued, “Let me try.” Closing her eyes she interlaced her fingers locking them tightly together. She smiled then giggled softly. Moments later her hands glowed a bright white. Slowly it grew bigger and bigger. As the light engulfed her, those around her felt compelled to cover their eyes. Slowly the light diminished, when it was gone, Rose was seen transformed just like Lars and Gideon. A crown, a glorious white, again with small cat like ears surrounded the top of her head. Strange daggers protruded off her high boots and gauntlets around her forearms.. Striking someone or something would surely be lethal, if not fatal. If impaled by such dangerous weapons her enemy would surely die a most grueling death. In her hands was what looked like swords, each with a crescent hilt covered by small protruding spikes. She did not possess a cloak like Lars and Gideon however something much more useful was seen, another set of white wings. Yet rather than expand outward across her shoulders, they folded down, back behind her legs. With an extra set she could suspend herself longer, fly farther and quicker then her counterparts. It wasn’t clear why Rose was the only one to be blessed by such extraordinary powers, yet there had to be a reason; or maybe there wasn’t one at all. The only conclusion Gideon could come to was that if needed she could help the group to flee before it was too late. He would have to wait and see. Moments later, Krystal broke into a panic. Her heart raced and her breathing became more sporadic. With one hand she grabbed her chest, her eyes quickly shifted from side to side. What was she looking for? Suddenly she screamed aloud. Her arms pulled out to her sides as her chest pushed forward. Watching in horror the group stood in awe, wondering what was happening.

Seconds later Krystal’s wings folded around her, covering her completly. Nearly a minute passed until finally her wings burst open, revealing her transformation. For a quick instant, Lars swore her eyes burned with a blazing fire. But as he shook his head and looked into her eyes again, her pupils returned to normal. As far as Lars could tell Krystal had not changed all that much. Yet, he would soon come to realize that she was the most deadly and intimidating of all four Arks. As she spoke, she spit small burning embers. As she moved her hands a trail of flames followed. Lars was unsure of whether it was even safe to touch her. He feared just poking her with a single finger would ignite his flesh and melt his clothes. The thrill of watching each of the transformations quickly ended as Genesis again unleashed a horde of flying creatures. Pointing Gideon said, “It has begun.” Watching the flying creatures for only a moment, he then looked to Krystal, smiled and nodded. Somehow she understood what she had to do. Turning, she focused her energy onto the creatures. Closer and closer they came. Lars became nervous. He was sure these creatures would soon surround them, leaving them no room to defend themselves. He wanted to cry out and hurry Krystal. Yet, he trusted Gideon. He knew his father would not intentionally endanger him or his companions. He decided to wait. An eternity passed, or at least to Lars it felt that way. Yet, his worry soon turned to joy as he watched the creatures begun to suddenly fly erratically , knocking and smashing into one another. Moments later, Krystal unleashed a firestorm of glowing red hot orbs down upon the creatures. Touching their flesh, the orbs melted directly through their bone and internal organs as if they were made of rubber. Rose pinched her nose as a horrid smell overtook her senses. Looking to each of his companions, Gideon said, “The final battle is upon us,” he continued. “It is time, prepare yourselves.” Finally the group was ready. Each one had transformed into their final form - the Vagabond Knight. Still, would their increased strength be enough to stop Genesis. Only time would tell.

CHAPTER XXVIII

~ At the edge of space ~ The battle waged for days across the skies, ripping through space light years away from the earth and then back again. Lars and Gideon spent countless hours attacking Genesis with a combined elemental attack of ice and wind. Krystal with Rose at her side used an array of varying attacks of earth and fire, launching molten rock and streams of burning lava at Genesis and its minions. Yet, the sheer size of Genesis made each attack seem weak and non threatening. Striking Genesis only subdued him for a short period of time, not allowing much opportunity for a constant chain of attacks. Lars called for Gideon, “Father we must flee. Our attacks are useless.”

“We will deter from our goal.” “Father, Rose she help us.” “We will not run.” “But father.” “No!” Gideon shouted. Lars grinned, his lips pressed tightly together. “Lars,” Gideon said. “If we run, Genesis will never stop. We are all that can stop him now,” he paused. “Please fight at my side, I beg of you.” Lars smiled. It warmed his heart to hear Gideon say such a heartfelt plea. “As you wish,” he said with a smile. Smiling back, Gideon motioned for Lars to follow as he flew forward to both Rose and Krystal, evading the disgusting flying creatures. Along the way Gideon had a thought. A small spark in his brain that ignited a marvelous plan. Using is telepathy he called to his companions one by one. Telling them to ignore the flying creatures and head toward the mouth. Gideon knew getting there in one piece would not be easy. The creatures protected Genesis in swarms, when their numbers dwindled Genesis simply opened his mouth and out came more of the same. Maybe if they entered the mouth they could stop the creatures at their source. Yet, even in their wildest dreams they would have never have imagined what lay in wait in the belly of the beast.

One by one they desperately avoided the attacks of the creatures swarming Genesis and entered his mouth, leaving the fight outside. Inside Lars gawked at a series of iron beams and bridges, like a wireframe of a tall building they seemed to be holding Genesis together. “At last,” Gideon said. “What kind of creature is this?” Asked Lars. “I...I do not know,”Gideon replied. Looking around, the group watched as the metal frame began to shift and move in all directions. It appeared to covered by all sorts of organic life. Holes, deep and narrow were seen in no particular pattern lining the interior of Genesis. Gideon’s suspicions told him that these were tunnels which had to the different points throughout the body. Pointing Gideon said, “There. That is where we must head.” A hole directly in front of them seemed to shimmer from the inside a rainbow of colors. “What makes you think that is the correct way?” Asked Lars. “Because it calls to me.” “Calls to you?” Lars replied strangely. “Listen and you shall hear them too.” “Them?” “Our ancestors,” Gideon paused. “Follow me.” Climbing up over various iron beam and objects, the group followed Gideon as he apprached the hole. Bending forward Gideon looking down the long tube, he could hear voices and an array of bight colors ran past him. “Do you see them?” He asked in amazement. Lars leaned in, looking over Gideon’s shoulder the lights danced before him, he was awe struck and quickly called Rose and Krystal over to his side. “What are they?” Rose asked. “Father?” Lars asked. “They are all that is left,” he paused. “We must free them.” Staring at the lights the group, one by one listened as voices called to them, men and women. They seemed to be asking for forgiveness , pleading with the group to be set free. “Release us from this prison,” a man’s voice said. “Please help us,” a women’s voice called out.

“Who are you?” Lars asked. “Once we were like you, warriors, protectors of the people. However we failed in our fight and thus have been trapped here, in this horrible place, seeking a way out.” “What is this...thing?” Rose asked. “Genesis is not what you believe it to be,” the man replied. “It is a machine, a weapon built in a distant future to protect mankind from intergalactic war.” “Why?” Lars asked. “Thousands of years from now a race of beings called - ????? accidently found the earth on a deep space mission in search of new home. These beings were unlike anything we ever encountered before. They came to us, seeking friendship only to turn on us and enslave us all, those that resisted where destroyed.”

“Why build this thing? Why not...” The man interjected, “The future I speak of is far different then this time, this place. The human race many years from now has abolished all weapons, a new world order has been established and each man women and child are now implanted with a bio mechanical chips, lodged into their brain immediately following their birth,” the man’s voice said. Rose cringed, “How horrid.” The woman’s voice, appearing again continued, saying, “This idea, its plan was intended to control the population.” “You see, in the year 3032 mankind nearly destroyed himself. Each nation waged war on another, unleashing intense and destructive weapons upon the people. When the fighting ended, there were very few of us left. Those that survived quickly fought for power, when the struggle ended a new world order - called the, Brotherhood of ?????? was created. To ensure such a war never happened again each of us were given bio mechanical implants...”

Lars was frustrated, “You said that already.” “Please,” the woman’s voice continued. “These chips were designed with one purpose, to control our way of life. Each chip was the same, yet each one was different. Embedded into the programing were blueprints, blueprints that told us who we were, who we would grow to become, and when we would die.” Rose interjected, “Sounds like a waste of life.’ The man replied quickly, “To some.” “Yet most found living this way much easier than their predecessors . However, there were a select few that for years plotted against the Brotherhood. Secretly they constructed this...thing, this creature. With the help of many scientists they found a way to combine both organic life and artificial intelligence. When this fusion came to pass, we found ourselves threatened by the very thing we built to protect us.” “You mean Genesis?” Gideon asked. “Yes,” the man replied. Lars called out, “How did it get here?” He asked. “For ninety nine years we found this machine. As our numbers dwindled we were left with only one choice - send Genesis back in time, back into the past.” The man’s voice then vanished. Suddenly the woman spoke, softly she said, “We are sorry for this burden. Please, can you ever forgive us?” The group said nothing. They were overwhelmed by what the two voices had told them. Gideon called out, asking, “Can it be destroyed?” “Yes,” the man replied. “How?” “Pass through this tunnel and you shall find a cocoon.” “Cocoon?” Lars asked strangely. The woman spoke, saying, “It is here you shall find the creatures heart. But I warn you...” she paused. “There is great evil inside.” “What kind of evil?” Asked Gideon.

“When Genesis was sent back through the time gate there was man named Axis who desperately tried to convince us Genesis was not a threat, that it could be controlled. The entire project, from beginning to end was his idea. Thus, he refused to allow harm to come to his creation. He did all he could to save this retched thing.” the woman paused. “He is there, inside, waiting,” she said in a shaky voice.

CHAPTER XXIX ~ Save the Future ~ Crawling through the tunnel, Gideon and his companions could hear multiple voices echoing around them. Barely the group could understand what they were trying to say, yet every now and they could hear a voice call out, “Thank you.” The lights slowly faded and with them the voices vanished. Crawling on his hands and knees Lars could hear crunching sounds suddenly surround him. He called for Krystal, who was behind him, followed last by Rose. He asked her to come to his side. Holding her hand over the ground a burst of red and orange light illuminated the tunnel for only an instant. Lars gasped. Quickly Gideon called out asking if something was the matter. “Bones,” Lars said. Again, a sudden glow illuminated the darkness. This time Krystal tried as hard as she could to keep the flame light. The light lasted for only a few seconds longer then before and this time Lars got a better view of the bones beneath him. “We are not the first to crawl through these tunnels,” he said. Waving his hand over his head , Gideon called out saying, “Come on. Let us hurry.” Traveling for what seemed like days through the dark and bone littered tunnel hope of ever defeating Genesis began to fade. Yet, just when they were ready to give up, hope returned. A light

broke, revealing the end of the tunnel. The first to exit was Gideon, followed by Lars, Krystal and finally Rose. Gawking, Gideon stood on a circular catwalk, staring up at an object magically suspended high over head in the center of the room. “Is this the cocoon?” Lars asked. Gideon hushed Lars, “Quiet.” Gideon said. Standing side by side the group looked up, each locking their eyes onto the cocoon. “What now?” Rose asked. “We have to find a way in,” Gideon replied. “Look around, there must be a switch or something.” Breaking apart each one searched high and low looking for anything that may trigger the cocoon to open. After roughly five minutes, they returned all empty handed. “Great,” Lars said sarcastically. “Perhaps we should say ‘open sesame’” Just then a voice called, apparently from with the cocoon. “Who is it?” The voice asked. “My name is...” The voice interjected, “What do you seek here?” “Can you tell us how to destroy Genesis?” Gideon asked politely. “You seek the destruction of my creation?” the voice asked rhetorically. “Your creation?” Lars replied strangely. “For thousands of years we have roamed through space, devouring worlds, feeding on the souls of those who summon us” “We?” Gideon asked strangely. “Perhaps you should see for yourself,” the voice replied, laughing. Like a flower blossoming, the cocoon split open, folding down on both sides. Gideon jumped back at the sight of what was inside. A man, naked with eyes made from solid diamond, that twinkled in the light could be seen with hundreds of tubes running out from his neck, back, arms and legs. He was sitting in a reclining transparent chair. Running through the strange tubes was a red liquid. Could it be blood? They didn’t know. Gideon sensed that these tubes were indeed veins that ran throughout Genesis’ body. Could it be this liquid is what powered the creature? “What are you?” Lars asked, with a disgusted look on his face. “I am Axis.” “Creator of this fine machine, destroyer of all you touch.” Bursting into a rage, Gideon rushed forward, instantly his sword manifested into his hand. Chambering it back past his head, he swung hard down in front of him, eagerly awaiting the moment his sword would cut through Axis. Unfortunately, the sword did just the opposite. Rather than strike Axis, it bounced off an apparent force field of some kind. Axis laughed, taunting Gideon. “Even now in your final moments have you yet to realize you cannot win.” “You would be wise not to underestimate us,” Gideon replied. Smiling, Gideon stepped back, walking up in front of him was Krystal. Screaming she unleashed a barrage of fiery orbs. Still, her efforts ended with the same result. Then cam Rose, lashing out with her light whips, still nothing. Trying to summon her powers of earth she was taken by surprise as nothing happened. “You magic cannot harm me here,” Axis replied, laughing loudly. “Why have you come here?” Lars asked. “To kill you, to kill you all. That is what I have been summoned to do.” “Summoned?”

“One of your own, the betrayer of man, he is my voice, my reason. His will guides me on the path I now follow.” “Zadock!” Gideon exclaimed. Stepping forward, Lars stood in front of Gideon. He was confused and asked, “Is he not dead. Did you not stop him in the forest?” “Lars,” Gideon paused, his chin falling to his chest. “The events you remember never occurred, my memories differ greatly than your own. When I returned to save Elana I saw my self, saw what I was about to do. I did all I could to stop those events from ever occurring,” he lifted his head and locked Lars in the eyes. “My son, that day,” he paused. “I died, killed by Zadock’s.” “But...” “Lars,” Gideon continued. “It is alright. I have been given a second chance, I only hope we all shall be granted such a gift.” “Gift?” “I sense if we defeat Genesis the earth shall grow from his ashes.” Stepping aside, next to Gideon Lars and the group listened as Axis called out saying, “You are not the first, many have come here seeking to kill me. I shall show to you what I showed to them,” He paused. With both hands he reached up to his face and pulled his eyes from their sockets. Looking, Lars cringed as he saw an empty hole swirling with a grey almost black cloudy mist. Holding one diamond in each hands, the group watched as they suddenly came to life. Like a projector, they spit images all around Lars and his companions. Moving in a small circle the group saw what they assumed was Axis as a young man, and apparently the leader of some sort of evil clan. ~~ A aged man nearing his mid - sixties sat at a rectangular wooden desk. He jumped suddenly turning to look at the window behind him. He leaped from his seat as he watched black ooze like oil slowly run down over the glass before him. (reword) When the window was engulfed by the black ooze a looming voice called out saying, “It has been to long, my friend.” “Who's there?” (add line) “We must unlock the clues. Only with the power of the sphere can I fulfill my promise to our master.” The man at the desk turned throwing his head from side to side. He was searching for something. “Axis is that you?” He asked. “Yes. I have come to check on your progress. Have you decoded the diagrams yet?” “Soon. However, in all my research I have found nothing relating to this relic you call - The Sphere of souls.” “You fool,” shouted Axis. “It is right here in plain sight. Do you not see it?” He asked. Then appearing from the shadows came a tall man, dressed in a black cloak with a hood. Over his shoulders ran silver stripes, that reached to the floor on both front and back. He smashed his fist atop the wooden desk, then pointed to the top left hand corner of the piece of paper lying still on the wooden desk. “Here,” he said. “Just as I said. The first clue to fulfilling our plot.” “My lord, please accept my apology, I...”

“Enough!” Shouted Axis. “Next time...look harder.” Pausing, Axis turned and walked a few steps to the doorway. Looking back over one shoulder he said, “This is our last chance. We must not fail. The society depends on us, for our skill, our intellect and sacrifice.” Rushing a few feet forward the man reached for Axis and asked, “Where are you going, my lord?” Axis did not answer, he simply remained silent. A few moments passed, he then smiled and snapped his fingers. In a flash the lights in the room came on and the ooze covering the window vanished. Standing at each side of the desk were two men. Both were equal in height and build. They were dressed in silver suits, with black stripes running down over their shoulders. Covering their heads was a type of helmet, with chain mail hanging down the back. A long, single spike shot up from off the top. A solid metal strip, one on the left and one on the right of the helmet, with three holes on each side, probably for breathing, protruded forward making a awkward triangle. Their eyes were all that remained visible. “It is only a matter of time before others learn of our plan. We cannot stay hidden forever. I leave you in the company of my soldiers. They will know what to do if you encounter any problems. Until I return, continue in your search.” The man in the dark black suit relaxed his arms and stood with a stern grin on his face. “I understand,” he said. “I will continue with my research...It will not be long now.” He then watched as Axis took a few steps forward. Seconds later a swirl of black mist engulfed him like a gushing tornado encircling him from head to toe. Moments later he was gone. The old man turned and walked back to the desk. Slowly he reached forward, gently grabbing hold of th paper on the desk. As he picked it up a diagram, possibly a blueprint was seen. At the top read: PROTOTYPE. Below it was an image of a massive machine, of Genesis.

~~ The group stood dumbfounded. As they watched the strange images of Axis only a single thought entered their minds. Is was he that was to blame. It was he that brought this despicable thing to Earth. He was the cause of their plight. “You are a monster,” said Rose. “You will die for the evil you plagued us with,” Gideon said. “My family, my friends, their all dead because of you,” Lars said as his voice grew angry. “You killed them!” He shouted. “I only do as commanded,” Axis replied. Placing the clear diamonds back into his skull, Axis smiled. Moments later, the transparent chair Axis was laying comfortable in shifted up and down. Finally it locked into place, like a long table standing upright. The tubes embedded into his skin, exploded suddenly startling the group. As they flailed in all direction the red liquid splashed over nearly everything. Slowly, Axis levitated down to the ground. As he approached Gideon, the group watched as a silky substance shot from out of his skin. At first they appeared at first glance to strange clothing. Shooting from out of his skin came what looked similar to bandages, black and white in color. They wrapped themselves tightly around his chest, then slowly fell like a thick paint over his chest, back, and legs, covering both the front and back. As the strange on going ceased, Gideon saw Axis now dressed in what appeared to be a red coat, with a high collar that partially cover his mouth. His long bangs falling down below his cheeks. His legs covered by what looked like black pants, tightly fitted with red strips down the sides. Hanging off his lower back was a cape, its color could not be distinguished, it changed ever few seconds. Gideon thought this was some sort of device Axis used to distract his enemies from

battle. His feet dressed with elegant shoes, similar looking to tuxedo shoes and his hands were covered with black gloves. Finally, attached to the sides of both legs, high on the each thigh was cylinder shaped tubes, chrome platted with black writing. Inside each was what looked like an axe, strangely designed, with multiple sharp points. Unbeknownst to the group, these axes held a dark secret. Axis, standing before Gideon looked him up and down, as if he was scanning him for something. Gideon did not move, simply stared into his face. Suddenly a loud cry broke the silence, startling Gideon. The group watched as Rose blitzed forward, her wings spread wide. Seconds later she took flight. Flying overhead she flipped and spun. “No!” Cried Lars. “Rose, stop.” Just then Las watched as Rose, with her swords held out in front of her, dove back down to the ground. Like a spear she rushed towards Axis. Laughing, Axis turned his attention overhead. Quickly his eyes flashed a bright red. Moments later Rose was gone, vanished into thin air. “No!” Lars shouted. Stopping Lars as he ran forward, Gideon said, “Lars, you cannot help her.” Lars ignored Gideon and continually tried to attack Axis. Rather than take cover, Axis simply laughed, enraging Lars even more. “Lars,” Gideon yelled. His voice went soft, “we will get her back.” Lars turned, looking into Gideon’s eyes. A small tear fell down his cheek. “Father, please...let go of me,” Lars said softly. “I cannot, my son,”Gideon paused. “Think about what you are doing.” Pulling Lars back behind him, Gideon stared hard into Axis’ face, he said, “Where is she?” he asked. Smiling Axis replied, “She is in my world now.” “Your world?” Lars replied strangely. Again Axis’ eyes flashed a bright red, seconds later Gideon, just as Rose vanished without a trace. “Bring them back!” Lars shouted. “Only you can set them free,” Axis replied. Grabbing hold of Krystal, Lars turned and began running back to the hole that lead him and his companions to the strange circular catwalk. Krystal barely able to hold on to Lars’ hand, tripped once nearly pulling the two to the ground. “Hurry,” Lars said, pushing Krystal forward into the narrow hole in the wall. Looking over his shoulder his eyes went wide as he wacthed Axis’ eyes flash once more. Calling to Krystal he shouted, “Run.” “Krystal, run!” Seconds later, he was gone. On her hands and knees inside the tube, Krystal slowly turned, looking over her shoulder back at Axis. “You are alone, yong one,” Axis said happily. “What will you do now, where will you go?” He asked. “Your friends are gone, there is no one left to help you.” “They are not my friends,” Krystal replied smirking. “No,” Axis said crunching his eyes and tweaking his upper lip. Krystal said, her voice growing loud. “They are my family!” Axis laughed loudly. His voice reverberating around him. With a stern step he lunged forward, reaching for Krystal. Trying to pull her from the tube, he

screamed in pain. Touching Krystal, he hands went a blaze, scorching and burning them beyond recognition. Krystal watched as Axis stepped back, stumbling back against the strange chair. Slowly she made her way from the tube, wiping her hands against one another she watched as ash fell to the ground below her. “You should have listened to Gideon,” she said. Axis screamed, “Arrgghhh...” Krystal laughed, then said, “It is not wise to underestimate us,” she said smirking. “Foolish child,” Axis mockingly replied. “I will enjoy watching you die.” “Release my friends!” “Now!” She demanded. Screaming Krystal unleashed a firestorm like a flamethrower from her (reword)mouth. Unfortunately, Axis spotted the attack and returned by sending Krystal to whatever dimension Lars and his allies were now trapped in. As the red light in his eyes faded, Krystal was gone. The fire shooting from her (reword)mouth dissipated within only inches of his face.

CHAPTER XXX ~ Into Oblivion ~ The Final Battle

The strange dimension now trapping the chosen few seemed to be a type of dimensional gateway. A world within a world. Yet, inside this strange realm there existed nothing. A world composed completely of emptiness, all white and cold as ice. For Lars this world would play very

well to his strengths, yet those like Krystal would be unable to attack, her power, fire would be useless. Even Rose would seem helpless, without ground, trees of other objects she could not use her powers of earth. Gideon, with his power of wind only needed a slight gust to create a monstrous tornado. He could even use his own breath as a catalyst. For him, their were no disadvantages. Still, they had no idea of what Axis was truly capable. If he could simply flash his eyes and send his enemies to another dimension, they could only guess what else awaited them in their coming fight. With his voice calling from seemingly out of nowhere, Axis said, “I have played with you long enough. Sadly our little game must come to an end.” Appearing suddenly, Axis stood before the group, levitating, hovering over the open space. He watched as Gideon, with Lars at his side, Rose and Krystal, flapped their wings gently behind them. A few seconds passed as each one took notice of Axis. Slowly he reached to his sides, gently grabbing hold of the weapons bouncing softly against the inside of their holsters. Ne by one her drew them out and held them in front of him. Holding them low by the handle, he twirled them at his sides. Gideon, grinned sternly then clenched his fist tightly shut, instantly his sword appeared in his hand. Moments later he pulled them apart, making two swords that he now spun in small circles over his head at his sides. Rose, following Gideon’s lead, lashed out with her light whips, as they retracted to her hands they suddenly formed into her strange swords, with crescent hilts covered with spikes. Lars, like Gideon clenched his fist, extending his saber off his wrist. Krystal, held her hands at her ears, smiled when suddenly her hands caught fire. The battle was about to begin. The Arks had reached their final form, each one wielding incredibly destructive weapons. Now, they would turn them on Axis. If they were lucky, they would overwhelm his with their great odds. Unfortunately, Axis was not all he appeared. Launching one sword in front of him, Gideon watched as his sword shot blade first at Axis’ chest, as it inched closer and closer, Gideon waved to his companions and suddenly rushed forward. Sadly, Axis was only toying with them, tossing his axes only slightly into the, he flipped them over catching the by the blade. Holding them by the blade, which made a strange type of handle, he pointed them at Gideon and Lars. Moments later, loud bangs sounded. They were bullets apparently shot by Axis from his weapons. One struck Gideon’s sword sending spinning wildly in all directions, the other he aimed at Lars. Yet, Lars and his allies were not as weak as Axis hoped. Using his abilities of ice, Lars lashed, shooting a stream of ice at the bullet. Hitting it in mid-air it froze, seconds later it fell to the ground. Lars smiled, watching as Axis grinned angrily. Gideon’s sword, now spinning out of control acted like a boomerang, turning back around. Seeing it approaching from out of the distance, Gideon leap into the air, hoping to catch it in one hand. But as he reached for the sword, Axis again blazed a sea of bullets in all directions. Occupied with their own safety, Lars and the rest were unaware that Gideon was heading into trouble. As the bullet neared Gideon’s chest, Rose spotted the trouble form the corner of her eye. Reacting in instinct, she jumped into the air, flying towards Gideon at an unprecedented speed. She noticed that as the wings, flapping behind her legs, traveled father the rest. Looking around her she watched as time slowed down, nearly coming to a stop. Faster and faster she flew, hurrying to Gideon. As she reached him, her wings slowed down and time returned to normal. The bullet zipped past Gideon, Rose had reached him just in the nick of time. She held him from behind, pulling him out of harms way. “Thank you,” Gideon said. “Are you alright, are you hurt?” Rose asked excitedly, searching him for injury.

“I am fine, trust me. Yet, your wings are marvelous. How did you know they could do that?” He asked. “I didn’t,” she replied with a giggle. “Go now, please help the others.” As Gideon hurried off, he turned suddenly, his face scared and nervous, “My sword,” he said. “Where is my sword?’ Rose pointed to his hand, “Look,” she said. “I...I do not understand,” Gideon replied. “You have fallen for his tricks.” “Tricks?” “His mind games,” she paused. “Be weary.” Startled the four turned as they suddenly heard Axis say, “Watch as my power surrounds you, as it swallows you,” he paused. “You are doomed.” Holding his arms out in front or him, Axis shouted strange and mysterious words. Slowly a black swirling ooze poured from his hands. Traveling in all directions, up, down, left and right, the ooze slowly engulfed the white emptiness around Gideon and his comrades. As the darkness consumed the strange world, Axis vanished. Moments later, he reappeared standing in front of Krystal. With a quick slash from one axe, he cut Krystal across the chest, she stumbled back, looking to the cut. Thankfully, it only grazed her, still she stood shocked and confused. Quickly, Axis dashed from side to side, moving at incredible speed. Back and forth he traveled, so fast in fact that to the naked eye it appeared that there were two rather than just one. Striking at all four, Gideon, Rose Krystal and Lars they stood no chance at defending themselves. As he hit one he moved instantly to another and another. Yet, the strange connection each Ark held with the other inflicted more pain and suffering than just a single blow. Watching helplessly, Lars screamed as a flying axe caught Rose between her shoulder blades. Deep it punctured her skin, splitting her spine in two. Near unconscious she fell lifeless to the ground. As Lars hurried to her side, he fell to his knees as a sharp shooting pain surged through his back. Next to him Gideon cried in pain followed shortly by Krystal. Recalling his axe it tore Rose’s skin to pieces as it pulled from her flesh. Seconds later, she vanished into the air. Rose was gone. Lars wounded was she dead? Gideon watched as the axe spun until Axis finally grabbed it from the air. Again he threw the axe, sidearm at Gideon. Yelling, he watched as Krystal jumped in front of him. Quickly he stood trying to pull her out of harms way. But it was too late. The axe caught her in the side, digging deep underneath her rib cage. As she fell, Gideon caught her in his arms slowly he fell to the ground, placing her gently at his feet. “Why?” he asked. Krystal said nothing, just smiled. A tear fell down her cheek as she looked into Gideon’s eyes. He rubbed her head gently, pushing her hair back from her eyes. Moments later, she too faded from existence. Quickly he spun his head to Lars and nodded. Both had tears swelling in their eyes and both knew that Axis must be destroyed. Sternly the walked to the other. “My son,” Gideon said. “No matter what happens Axis must be stopped.” “Father,” Lars replied. “We are not strong enough without them.” “If we give up now their deaths will be in vain.” A loud whizzing sound rushed passed Lars, he cringed covering his head with both arms. As he lowered his arms, looking to Gideon, he could see his father standing before him with an axe

impaled in his chest. Looking down, Gideon gawked wondering how he could have been taken by surprise. Lifting his head, he couched once, spitting blood. Moments later he fell to his knees. As he collapsed Lars fell with him, catching him in his arms. Neither said a word as they looked into the others eyes. Both were shocked and could not believe what had just happened. Lars was worried. “Father,” he said. “My son,” Gideon replied with a small cough. “Father, please do not speak. It will be alright.” “It is up to you now.” “No,” he paused. “You will be alright.” Gideon laughed. “This is the second time I have died.” “Do not griveve for me, we will meet again.” “Father, please I need you.” “You never needed me.” Gideon replied. “I have met my destiny, now my son, you must do the same.” he paused. Breathing heavily he said in a broken voice, “Go, defeat Axis.” “But how?” “Listen to me Lars,” Gideon replied. “This fight is only one you can win.” he paused. “Do you remember when Elana first came to you.” “Of course, I hated her then.” “She knew, like did I, that when the time came only you would stand in the way of evil. Only you would be strong enough to save us.” he paused. “Go now my son, fulfill your destiny.” Seconds later, Gideon was gone. He joined his allies in oblivion. Now only Lars could rescue them, only Lars could save humanity.

CHAPTER XXXI ~ Death ~ Slowly Lars stood tall. A bellowing laugh echoed around. He looked around watching as Axis

shuffled form left to right, front to back. He was taunting Lars, hoping he would make a fatal mistake sealing his doom. It was then that Axis made his. Generating a circle of phantom like images, clones of himself, they appeared one by one surrounding Lars from all sides. It was then Lars struck what would become the final blow, the blow that would send Axis back to the hell that created him. Hearing Gideon’s words echo in his mind, he remembered them, listened to the over and over again, ignoring Axis futile attempts to enrage him further. At his hips, Lars’ hands glowed a bluish white glow, brighter and brighter until the light began to irritate his eyes . Slowly Axis watched as two glowing spheres appeared in each hand. In one swift motion he raised both hands above his head. Slowly a long cylinder object, made of solid ice with a pointed tip, long and tapered appeared like a tower over his head. Repeatedly Axis threw weapons at Lars, but each time they bounced off him as if he was protected by a magical force field. After a few seconds Lars lowered both hands down in front of him, aiming the ice cylinder directly at Axis’ heart. Like a cannon he launched it forward. He watched as Axis did all he could to escape being impaled upon the object. It was no use. A crunching sound echoed all around him as he watched the pointed tip plunge through his chest. The weight of the object forced Axis to his knees. Walking forward Lars gasped as the ice slowly melted from front to back. Lars, looking to a gaping hole in his chest, Axis’ raised one hand above his head. Listening Lars covered his ears as Axis screamed a horrible cry. Bursting form his palm came brilliant white light, Moments later, the same light exploded out for his back. The continued shooting form his legs, chest and finally head. When the light faded Lars found himself once again alone and floating in an empty void of nothing. Yet, this time he wouldn’t be alone for long.

CHAPTER XXXII ~ Rescued Souls: The End ~

Axis had been defeated. The evil torturing the universe for millennia had finally been destroyed. Genesis, the monestrous creation, devised by Axis himself was now gone, destroyed in the wake of Axis’ defeat. Though Lars was still inside whatever world Axis had sent him and his companions to, he could hear voices, familiar ones, his father, Rose, Krystal and even his mother, Lady Elana. But where were they coming from? Manifesting before him, Lars jumped at the sight of his father Gideon. Yet, his image appeared like snow on a television and was extremely hard to distinguish, yet as he drew closer and closer he came into focus. “My son,” he said. “You have done it. Axis is gone, Genesis is destroyed.” “Father,” Lars replied. “What is this place?” he asked. “This is oblivion, the sea of creation.” “Sea of Creation?” “A single thought is all that is needed to spark new life into the universe.” “So, the earth, did....did it survive?” “Sadly no. Yet, here you can give humanity a second chance.” “Second chance?” “From your memories the earth can be reborn.” he paused. “Hold out your hand.” A few moments passed until Lars did as asked. “Here.” Gideon said. “What is it?” Lars asked. “It is a seed.” “Seed?” “This seed shall bring green back to the planet, water to the canyons and air in the skies.” “I entrust it to you. Use it to start over.” Lars closed his fingers around the precious seed. Tightly he clenched inisde in his fist. “Father,” he dropped his eyes. “Please, I cannot do this without her.” “You mean Rose?” Gideon asked. “Yes,” Lars paused. “I love her.” Gideon smiled. “I have given you the keys, now you must unlock the doors.” Las did not understand. He watched as Gideon slowly faded from sight. “Father wait!” he cried. Gideon smiled then waved a final goodbye to his son. Immediately another image appeared before him. It was Lady Elana. “My son,” she said. “Mother!” he exclaimed. “Son,” she continued. “You have done well. I am very proud of you.” “Mother, what is happening?” “Soon, you will go back. I just wanted to say goodbye.” “Goodbye?” “This is the last time we shall see one another.” “Last time? He replied strangely. “Listen to me son,” she paused taking a small step forward. “Soon you and Rose shall continue your journey. For a while you will be all the other has. But know that what you have done here today, shall in time birth a new world, a world where mankind shall embrace one another in loving harmony,” she smiled then continued. “For when Adam met Eve, life began.” Lars appeared deep in thought. Moments later he blurted out, saying, “Come with me.”

Smiling, she replied, “I am not meant for your world, my son.” “Besides,” she said giggling. “I will only get in the way.” Lars dropped his head, he seemed suddenly saddened. “Please son, do not be sad. At least I will always have your father at my side.” Lars smiled. Slowly he lifted his head. “Please tell him goodbye for me, will you?” “Why not tell him yourself,” she replied with a smirk. Appearing beside her from out of a hazy shadow came Gideon once again. “Father,” Lars said. “Why must you go?” he asked. “Son, our time on earth was limited. Our meeting was a mere accident,” he paused. “Do not be saddened,” he continued. “should you ever need me simply look to the stars. There I will be watching, smiling down upon you for all time.” “I will miss you,” Lars replied. “I will miss you too...” Lady Elana interjected, “We love you son.” Lars smiled, his eyes swelled. “I love you too.” Gathering together the three hugged one another for what seemed like forever. Tightly Lars held onto Lady Elana and Gideon, but sadly his grip could not keep them from fading away. No matter how much he hated it they had to go. He could fell them as they disappeared before him. Tightly he clenched his eyes resisting the erg to cry. Moments later he heard Lady Elana’s voice call out to him, “Lars.” “Lars my son, open your eyes, you are home.” Lars’ eyes sprung open. He stood looking in amazement, pacing knee high in a field of tall grass surrounded by large trees. Over the horizon he could as the sun slowly climb over the hills. Suddenly a voice called from beside him. It was Rose. Shaking his head, he wondered was it really her. “Did you not hear me?” She asked. “I..I am sorry. I cannot believe it,” he paused. “Is this really happening?” he asked softly. Walking up next to him, Rose hugged him around his waist. She closed her eyes and smiled. “I was afraid I would never see you again.” “I feared I had lost you forever,” Lars replied. “I love you, Lars.” “I love you too, Rose.” Letting go, Rose jumped back excitedly and said, “Hey, look what I still have.” Opening her hand, Lars watched a butterfly flew out of her palm. Lars followed it for as long as he could until finally it disappeared into the trees. “You had that thing all this time?” He asked. “Yup,” Rose replied. “Where did you keep it.” “I have my hiding places,” she replied with a giggle. Holding her arms out to her sides she spun in small circles in the grass. Stopping suddenly she looked to Lars and asked, “Hey, Lars” she continued. “Do you think Gideon and Elana are alright?” She asked. “Yea,” Las smiled. “I sure they are just fine.” “Where do you think they are anyway?” “Home,” Lars replied. “They have gone home,” he said happily. Finally the sun broke the horizon lifting the smell of the morning dew off the leaves and tall

grass. Lars’ nostrils tweaked; he loved that smell. He smiled then turned to Rose, watching as she continued spinning in small circles and laughing loudly.

THE END