*Calm blue eyes opened slowly, eyes that have already seen what has gone on in all worlds, even though closed the eyes have appeared to be*
:Could it be, …is it time to awaken the powers already?:
*A sense, a sensation of evil, swirling above. The entity breathed a heavy sigh, closing its eyes*
:Darkness, has chosen another, …as must I, too, choose incarnates of blood-kin to me…*
"Keith? Wake up, it’s a school-day!"
"Unnh…" A form rolled over on a bed. The room’s walls are covered with poster of current Japanese and American pop stars and icons. Over in the corner across from the foot of the bed, sat a MNH Supyu brand Desktop Computer. In the corner next to it, a nightstand sat silently. The alarm clock on top apparently didn’t like the silence.
A few seconds later, the alarm clock didn’t survive the trip across the room.
Keith Esproki was an average eleven-year old boy with an obsession with video games. More or less short, with bangs and clear eyes, Keith was the very image of Genki Sakura, except for a shock of orange hair in his bangs. Keith’s attitude was a bit more radiant (if possible) though. Keith was a loner, slightly popular and slightly nerdy, with grades in PE, Math, and Science to boot. But, even though he is a loner, Keith never fails to make others happy. His very attitude can be caught by even the most misery of old grouches. He was, literally, an empath that sends radiant feelings. Keith’s radiance touched Genki "Gekko" Sakura jr., an old neighbor of his, and they have been best of friends ever since.
Because he lived in an apartment building, Keith loved Tamagotchi type games all the more. ‘Gekko’ said that the term came from a handheld virtual pet in the 20th century that was popular for a while then died away, but the idea lived on.
Groaning, Keith gradually woke up, checking his bioryde watch when his blurry vision was cleared. The watch, embedded into his flesh by nanotechs, told Keith that it was half-past… Second Period. Keith groaned and started to put on his clothes.
When Keith got downstairs for breakfast, he was fully awake and ready to tackle the next big thing that life threw his way… a plate landed in front of him, laden with an omelette in the shape of Africa. Keith blinked. "Enjoy," Keith’s mother told him, and she left for work.
When Keith got to school, people were talking about the new principal. It was being said that this principal was the harshest, the most kindest, the wierdest, blah blah blah, yadda yadda yadda, and etcetera. Keith got to Homeroom and decided to think over what Gekko had said last weekend:
"Keith, have you ever played MR-H2X? That’s an acronym for Monster Rancher-200X. Best game my great-great Uncle played. (Some say the game was the cause for his disappearance.) And it is. Someday, I will show you something, say, this upcoming Friday. Tell your mom that I’m going to show you a cool video game, I’ll explain the rest, this Friday."
Now, it was Friday, Mrs. Esproki had said yes, and Keith had tried the game-demos a couple times and couldn’t wait until after school. Mercifully, the day passed by in a blur. On the way to Gekko’s room, Keith could only remember bits and pieces of Algebra Homework and the Current Events of Czechoslovakia. Keith shrugged. :I’m in Japan, why should I care about Czekky-whatsitsname?:
Keith finally reached Gekko’s compartment. Taking a deep breath, he knocked on the door. When no one answered, he opened it and walked in. Keith looked around after stepping out of his shoes. No one was home, and no evidence anyone ever did except for a chair and a Game/Stereo system that was… On. Keith studied the area. Everything was empty, except for this room.
Keith looked back at the blue screen on the TV. Checking, he found a Playstation with a note on top: "Synchronize your unlock with the unlock on the screen, and a wormhole will appear. It is not your choice whether or not to enter; it is Fate’s. I have left, to bring another to this world. Go now, I am sure destiny awaits." Keith wondered who wrote that note, it certainly wasn’t typed or in Gekko’s handwriting.
Then, Keith did the only thing left to do: he turned the Playstation on and hopped into the chair. Keith watched as Sony logo came on, then watched in fascination the history of the game.
Narrator: "In this world, monsters exist. Not just any type of monster, special monsters willing to help humans, sentient monsters smart enough to match the wisest of elders, and strong monsters able to defeat legendary fighters in single blow.
"But like any other world, an evil existed. Evil that fed on hatred. Evil that made other monsters its slave. That Evil was called Moo. (here, Keith sniggered, watching the picture of Moo come on to screen.) But Moo was defeated, when a group of humans and monsters found the legendary monster, Phoenix. The group was led by a human boy named Genki, a child from another reality, a different world." Keith was startled to see his very image on the screen. And even more startled to hear Gekko’s true name in the prologue. "The Phoenix was a very kind-hearted monster, and the only one capable of annihilating Moo. Genki was returned to his world, his fate fulfilled, his life brimming with happiness.
"And now, a new evil has risen. One just as powerful as Moo. But quite possibly smarter. With more skill. And speed. And also Control. Any Human in his/her prime was dragged into slavery. All Monsters at their Golden Age was branded this Evil’s servants. All Mystery Discs were confiscated, and turned into evil creatures. (Keith watched in horror as Village after Village was destroyed, Ranch after Ranch invaded, and Towns all over this world demolished and ravaged.) All that remains to fight back is a group of young renegades, humans and monsters alike, too young to be hired but old enough to understand and hate this evil.
"Our story begins on the trail, where two young renegades have found a couple of mystery discs, in hopes of raising a good monster. They are heading for a shrine now, chased by the Evil’s minions."
Keith watched in fascination as a young girl and a weird looking new monster ran in forest, doing their desperate best to evade a group of Devil’s Forks [Beaclon/Gali]. The Forest opened out on to a road, which, according to a map on ther screen, led directly to a shrine. The girl’s monster, which looked like a human/leopard crossbreed, suddenly jumped ahead with the girl on its back carrying one mystery disc, and the other mystery disc in its mouth.
The screen showed a window with the words: ‘Enter Shrine?’ within. Keith grinned, and highlighted ‘YES’. The monster pounced on the boarded entrance to the shrine and entered, the Beaclon-breeds only a couple yards from the tip of its tail. With a burst of speed, the monster temporarily lost the Devil-Forks in maze.
The girl and monster entered the shrine. Immediately, the words: ‘Insert CD’ appeared. Keith took out his ‘Nadir of my Life’ music CD from his backpack, and replaced the Monster Rancher 200X CD with it. He closed the lid as soon as the monster had finished levitating the Mystery Disc over a circular hole in the ground. Keith pressed (X) in synch with the girl as she pressed a strange complicated panel.
Both Discs began to spin at the same time, a strange tunnel between the two discs forming. Through that tunnel, Keith went flying, alongside his backpack, the playstation, his roller-blades, and the chair. Girl and monster covered their eyes as Keith fell into the shrine and dust flew up everywhere.
Keith immediately jumped up, and started running around, crying "Ow! Ow! My butt! My butt! Owwwwwwwwwww!" Girl and monster sweated, and watched as Keith continued to run around in circles, eventually running smack-dab into the monster. The monster bared its fangs, making Keith back up, his smarting bottom forgotten about.
"You, you are, y-you are, but you’re from the…" Keith stammered, his mind not totally focused on what was going on, trying to figure out where he was, and how he got here.
The girl patted him on the back, looking a little confused herself. "And Where did You come from?" Keith blinked.
"Nanao, Japan. It’s a city on an island," he added at their confused looks.
"Kid, on this map, there’s no island named Japan, and no island with any civilization at all on it." The monster stared Keith in the eye after that statement. Keith was shocked; that voice was definitely female. Then he was shocked to realize what the monster had just said. :Keith, I don’t think we’re in Nanao anymore.: Keith though grimly to himself, turning to the girl and monster…
(If any of you have read Lisanne Norman’s books of Sholans, please do not look at this as copying; I love her books and, if you will, just consider this another world in the Sholan Alliance. Besides, Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery! For those of you who have-not/do-not-want to read Adult Books just yet, please enjoy.)
Running, always running.
Running from what?
"Gasp, gasp, pant… pant…"
I don’t know; I just know that I’m running from Something.
I’m always with someone. That person, he always feels like, seems to be like…
Sort of like, …like Light…:
T’kleju went home, feeling rather disappointed, tail swaying sadly. His talk with the school counselor hadn’t really helped. He had wanted so much to find out Who that person-whom-felt-like-light was.
T’kleju was a member of a species of felinoids called Kydrens, …mostly because they were residents of the planet known as Kydre. Each Kydren was part Cat, part Human. Some had legs evolved for use of trees, such as Bobcats and Jaguars, and others had legs evolved for use of lots of open ground, mostly plains and fields, such as the Cheetah and Lion. However, all Kydrens were able to stand on two legs.
Continuing to walk back to his estate, the sun fell its rays of light on to T’kleju, heating his almost midnight-black fur. T’kleju was a tree-type Kydren, a bit small for his age-group, but most respected for his history as a street-child, a survivor of the slums. His golden-amber eyes shone as he watched some birds fly around the park he was walking through. A small mane of silver hair went down to his shoulders, accenting a patch of blue fur between his ears. T’kleju’s lone-wolf style attitude was respected by students and teachers alike in his school; this mainly because he got better-than-average grades and helped students with subjects they don’t understand. Plus, to put in our terms, he was considered in the ‘cool’ crowd, but really, that crowd shunned him, not letting him really join in any ‘cool’ social activities. This was okay with him. Working out at the gym, meditating at the temple, reading a book at home, anything peaceful was an activity for him.
In this world, telepaths, telekinetics, and any other mental ability of any sorts was encouraged and regarded as a high status. There were telepathic Clans, families of telepaths who matchmake with each other to result in superiorly telepathic children.
T’kleju was an unfortunate empathic (able to send or receive emotions through mental powers) Kydren who did not like this system into which he was born. He disowned himself, and joined the nearest orphanage as fast as possible. T’kleju was now adopted by a family, under the false history that he had survived on the streets for five years, another seven years set as time he ‘still had his parents’. Now fourteen, T’kleju duly wished that people would stop trying to comfort him; the invention of a false history was beginning to catch up with him.
The thoughts during the walk home turned once more to the dreams which have been haunting him since school started. The dreams were always of him running. The setting is usually a dark forest, one that T’kleju thinks he recognizes in the dream, but really can’t be sure. Sometimes, T’kleju had the setting switch to an open field during a full moon. Always night, always dark. But scarily, T’kleju usually felt one with the darkness in the dream, like he was running with friends, or a Clan to which he belonged to. But T’kleju was always being chased. Chased by What he still can’t decide, but it is always evil. Definitely evil. The entity, because that is really the only thing it can be, is made of pure Hatred, Hatred that appears to be directed at everybody at once, Hatred so strong it almost made T’kleju angry in the dream.
But in the darkness, the dark pack he ran with, there was always a light, a light which was friendly, helping him, healing his tired paws, being a friend. The light, T’kleju knew, was a person, a real mortal, not like the entity trailing him. The light was a person he was sure had a radiant personality, a friend that T’keju would like to make himself. And how he knew that the light represented a friend he would never forget was kind of disturbing, as much as he liked the idea.
T’keju shook his head, hair flying wildly. :Almost home. Better check myself. Don’t want to daydream during studies:
The Kydran reached his home and checked the mail. Humming a song he had heard over the radio, T’kleju flipped through the mail. :Bill, Bill, Bill, Bill, Letter to Mom, Bill, Bill, Bill, Letter to Dad, Bill, Bill, Letter to Sis, Bill, Letter to Sis, Invitation to Sis, Bill, Bill, Package to-: "Me??" wondered T’kleju aloud. "Why would I get mail, let alone a package as big as my Entertainment/Comm?" For the first in a long time, T’kleju grinned. "This is gonna be FUN." A black blur rushed up the stairs to its apartment.
T’kleju carefully opened the door, saw no one was home, then tiptoed to his room. He opened the door carefully, shut it ever so gently, switched the psy-damper on (device that prevents other minds from picking up his thoughts while in the room) and immediately started to rip open the package with his claws.
Working carefully, the young Kydran finally got to the contents of the mail. Tail twitching exitedly, T’kleju pushed aside all the styrofoam padding until he reached the object at center. Immediately, the excitement almost all disappeared, save for one piece of interest and curiousity. It was from the Terran worlds, he recognized that. It was a square box-like object with a several circles on top, four ports on the side, and some more ports on the side parallel to THAT side. Frustrated. T’kleju turned to the instruction manual. On the manual, second of the three foreign languages printed, was his language, clearly stating "Sony PLAYSTATION."
T’kleju blinked, and reached for the game lying to the side. The note on top, clearly printed in his language, read: "Play the game that comes with this game system. To attach the system to your Entertainment/Comm, follow the instructions in the manual. Then, synchronize your unlock with the computer’s unlock, and your destiny will begin. Remember as such." No signature.
T’kleju sighed, and reached for the wires in the package.
"And that’s when you fell in." finished the girl.
Keith blinked. "Wow. Do you have any records of Genki’s stay here?"
The girl sighed. "I wish we did. From Granny’s description, Genki sounded like a nice kid."
Keith looked at the girl. "I know a Genki. He calls himself Gekko now, but he’s still a Genki. I think I’m one of his only friends now. …Is your grandmother, um…"
The girl smiled sadly. "Yes. She died. I was with her till the end. She told me to watch for Genki’s heir." The girl tilted her head. "…Which… you, would, be… wouldn’t you…?"
The Monster sitting next to the girl growled. "From your Granny’s description, Keith here isn’t nearly as hyper as Genki."
The girl laughed at Keith’s dismayed look. "It’s okay Keith. Karra is usually like this. You’re okay, for a kid."
"I realized," mumbled Keith, trying not to look at Karra, the Shanreli [Minotaur/Kato/Pixie] that guarded this girl who was sitting next to him,. "Did Genki ever tell your grandmother how he got into this world? Did your grandmother even talk about Genki?"
"Now that you mention it," the girl pondered, "Granny never talked about Genki much. In fact, almost never. She always stared at a golden/red feather displayed on her nightstand…" The girl got up. "Guess we should unlock that second mystery disc now…"
T’kleju stared at the screen. "It’s amazing how addictive this entertainment unit is," he muttered to himself, wondering where he should send the characters next. Then he saw an icon in the corner of the screen. "A Shrine…"
Karra and Keith placed the mystery disc over the hole. They signaled a thumbs-up to the girl, then scampered away as the disc began to spin. The panel glowed with power, energy around and around the mystery disc as it began to spin faster…
T’kleju blinked as he looked at the weird disc thing that came with the ‘Playstation.’ Although the language on it was his own, it was hard to understand. He shrugged, another Terran artifact, and replaced the MR200X C-D with the one he had been studying. If the game-manual is right, another character would be added to the party.
:That Keith… hmm… :
The disc began to spin.
At the same time, in both worlds, two voices shouted: "Unlock!"
Both Discs began to spin at the same time, a strange tunnel between the two discs forming. Through that tunnel, T’kleju went flying, alongside his shouldersack, the playstation, his comm-unit, and some other stuff from his room. Girl, boy, and monster covered their eyes as T’kleju fell into the shrine and dust flew up everywhere. The girl groaned.
T’kleju immediately bounced up and landed in a crouch, ready to attack any hostilities after the dust settled. However, when the haze cleared, the Kydran blinked when he saw three figures with their hands up, sweating meekly. T’kleju got up, and surveyed the area and situation.
~Okay, I’m trapped in a stone room, standing in the center of what appears to be a platform of circles, surrounded by what are apparently statues of idols. In front of me are an escape route, a Terran girl, a Terran boy, and…~ T’kleju’s thoughts trailed off there as he stared in shock at Karra. ~…a, …a, a Kydran?!~
"Someone tell me what’s going on?" T’kleju demanded in Kydran. Karra blinked and concentrated.
"Can, you, repeat that, in English?" asked Karra, in Kydran. T’kleju was surprised to see that the Kydran was not responding to her home language well, even though it appeared she was Kydran…
"Yes. Will someone tell me what’s going on? And do you not understand Kydran?" T’kleju asked. The girl, Keith, and Karra all looked at each other. T’kleju then realized he was still talking in Kydran, which they obviously didn’t understand.
"Will someone tell me what’s going on. Do you not understand Kydran." Repeated T’kleju, this time, in English. Karra stepped forward, as did Keith and the girl.
"We don’t know what’s really going on, nor why you two," Karra gestured towards Keith and T’kleju, "are here, nor do we understand Ky-dran, whatever language that is."
"We’re as much in the dark as you two newcomers," added the girl, wavering in fear. Keith touched her shoulder, and sent comforting thoughts. Gradually, the girl got braver, and T’kleju was shocked to see another Empath. The girl continued: "We’ll explain on the way out."
Together, the group started walking towards the exit of the Shrine, which T’kleju had deduced was their location. The girl smiled warmly, and extended a hand towards T’kleju. "We’re on a mission to find the Halcyon and the Star Phoenix, miraculous monster entities with the ability to convert evil creatures to good, and restore life to any dead animal. My name is Faith…"