Monthly Archives: May 2013

The Lord of Light

Tyria’s Tears – Volume 1: The Chronicles of J’Rontia

Chapter 6: The Lord of Light

J’Rontia looked at the grade on her exam and was very frustrated. She was used to all perfect scores and this one was definitely not perfect! The older students told her that this instructor was one of the hardest when it came to grades but she did not believe them. She had always found a way to earn top marks and was confident that she would prevail once again but she hadn’t on their first large project.


The assignment was a situational problem where you had to decide on a rescue. The deeper into the course the students went the more complex these types of situations became. This one actually seemed simple on its surface. There were two people trapped by a criminal in a closed alley way that only permitted access from one direction. The criminal had the two hostages in position so that at least one of them would die if you took action. In addition, there were traps in place to destroy the rescuer if they made a mistake.


The directions gave the criminal force sensitivities to prevent the Kuli candidates from using their stealth abilities or mind control techniques on the criminal. She thought she had done very well with her solution. Her result was that only one hostage died and the criminal was taken care of. Everyone else in the class either lost both hostages or died themselves along with the hostages. 


She was on a porch outside the building where she had picked up her assignment and was trying to find her way through the problem. The wind was coming off the ocean with a mist and she enjoyed the moist feeling on her face as it helped to keep the frustration at bay. Her eyes were squinted to keep out the salt from the mist and she took an occasional deep breathe to enjoy the smell and taste of the ocean. She closed her eyes and imagined the forces working against her in her mind. Slowly she defined all of them until she no longer felt the wind pushing on her. She was sliding sideways through space time in her mind and wondering if she would ever learn to do it in the real world.


A touch on the shoulder brought her back to reality and she turned to see the face of the instructor that was haunting her mind, Supreme Guardian Kuli J’Lopt. He grabbed her arm firmly and pointed down. A shocked look came across her face as she realized she was out over the ocean. She started to drop until his grip on her arm held her. He stepped back and lifted her over the railing and back on to the porch.


“Well I guess you have taken your first steps at controlling space time.”


J’Rontia looked at him, still in shock at what she had done and said, “I didn’t know …”


J’Lopt laughed. “You are a very talented young lady and it will be a long time before you can control space time on purpose. Still, even by accident, it shows the tremendous talent you possess.”


She turned away in embarrassment and mumbled thanks.


J’Lopt interrupted her saying, “I came by to talk to you about your assignment. Do you have a moment or two?”


“Yes. I have time.”




J’Lopt moved over to a chair on the porch and sat down, motioning to her to join him. He reached out with his hand toward the paper she was still holding and she gave it to him.


J’Lopt asked, “Do you think I should have given you top marks for letting a hostage be killed?”


J’Rontia was a bit startled by this question and thought for a moment before answering. She said, “I understood the assignment to be about solving the problem and was not able to find a solution that kept everyone alive. If there is a solution that does that, then I should not have earned top marks.” 


J’Lopt answered, “Good. You are thinking through it better now. However, my question was about a hostage being killed, not you or the criminal.”


“I did not consider a situation where I died. We were taught in past courses to factor ourselves in at a high value so that we could compensate for the number of times, over the course of our lives, that we would save people.”


He asked, “Who were the hostages?”


She tried to remember and could not. She took her paper back and looked over the data again. The names of the couple sounded familiar so she checked her computer. When the results came back she understood the problem much better.


The names of the hostages matched the names of the founding parents of Murhan. The ancient story said that all of the advancements of the Murhan and Linthian people come from the pure blood of the first ones. The first ones’ children breed with the life that they found on the core planets and produced the peoples of the Galactic Wing. This was only one of the stories of creation and was not very popular but still she should have studied harder. She was humiliated with her failure and said, “I am so sorry to disappoint you!” She got down on one knee and bowed.


J’Lopt responded softly, “Rise my girl. You are never to bow to me. The story is designed so that you will learn to always look beyond the immediate problem to how it fits in the entire picture. Now, what would you do knowing that your hostages represent all that Murhan and Linthia would ever become?”


J’Rontia spoke quickly, “I would use the F’Hored force technique to protect the hostages while killing the criminal as quickly as possible.”


“Do you know that would more than likely kill you?”


“Yes. But compared against the elimination of our entire race, my death would be a minor thing.”


J’Lopt nodded, “I thought the same way at one time.”


He paused and looked at her carefully. She was still very young, only six standard years and yet she was smarter and wiser than most of his adult trainees. He didn’t know if she was ready but decided to go on.


J’Lopt pointed at a nearby classroom and said, “Let’s step into this room and I will tell you the true story of The Lord of Light.”


J’Rontia entered room F-7 and sat in a chair in the front row as J’Lopt pulled a chair in front of her. He took an unusual device out of his pocket and placed it on the table. It was in the shape of a ball, so small that he could have hidden it in his hand. The ball started to spin and then lifted off the table hovering in the air. After a short time, it returned to the table top and three legs came out. The ball balanced itself on the legs and a green light leapt out of its top and flowed around the room as if it were a liquid. Once the entire room had been swept, the light returned to the ball and a steady orange glow emanated straight up.


J’Lopt said, “It is now safe to speak the truth of the Lord of Light.” He sat down in the chair and continued:


The story they tell you of my battle with the Lord of Light starts on the Planet Hrufger at the edge of the Galactic Wing – 75 standard years into the Religion Wars. I was sent to the dark moon of Hrufger where the Lord of Light’s forces were massing for an attack into the Galactic Wing. I had one of the new Kuli combat ships with the high capacity energy shields and the latest weapons. I was being sent to destroy the fleet that had gathered there. The Linthian Armada was engaged in other areas and the mission was designed to be a quick surgical strike. I was given the authority to deviate from my mission if the Lord of Light himself was there.


The true story started much earlier. The Lord of Light was the grandson of two KR2s. The KR2 soldiers were genetically enhanced warriors that were used by the Linthians to reduce the number of regular combat troops needed to defend the planets and interests of the Galactic Wing. The KRs were created from volunteers from some of the most prestigious families in Linthia and Murhan. At first, they were a great success and their numbers increased as the armed forces numbers decreased. As time went on, problems began to develop. It turned out that they burned so bright that their light went out early. There were also problem with some losing their mental stability.


Their military use was so successful that tremendous effort went into attempts to correct or compensate for the difficulties. Still, some did incredible damage and the Council ordered them out of the general public and restricted them to combat situations. This worked very well and the public became comfortable with their new soldiers.


The project had a failsafe built in by making all of the KRs sterile. This meant that as they died the military needed volunteers to maintain their force strength. As time went on, the KRs stabilized and the armada was able to shrink in size. It was a success of sorts. And then the children came.


The military kept the births quiet because it eliminated the problem of having more volunteers. This attitude created an issue with the KRs as they had agreed to serve for life but they did not agree for their children’s life to be given to the military, plus a lot of the children had no special abilities and the military had little use for them. Dissatisfied, many of the KRs slipped away from the military and tried to raise their children in secret.


The situation moved into the classification of a crisis when a couple of the KRs who were in hiding lost control mentally and used their advanced abilities to totally destroy a group of planetary police who were trying the capture them to return them to the military. This confrontation included a lot of news video and the public was able to see the true depth of their power and their glowing eyes. Fear ran rampant throughout the galaxy as word spread about the danger of those with glowing eyes.


For approximately 40 standard years, the situation worsened as the various civilizations outlawed the KRs and demanded they leave their planets. Faced with charges of desertion if they returned to the Galactic Wing, the KRs who left the military were forced on to fewer and fewer planets. Then the impossible happened.


In a hospital on the planet Raxfet, a child was born to two children of KRs. The event was broadcast on the newsnets all throughout the galaxy. The child had no special abilities and his parents believed that if everyone left them alone, the KRs would fade away. The galaxy breathed a sigh of relief. That is, except a small group of Linthian scientists and one Supreme Kuli who knew the truth. The KRs were designed to be sterile to prevent a child like this from being born.


There is so much more to tell… But we are not here for that. Suffice it to say that when the child reached puberty, the advanced abilities awaked. The limitations and constraints on the powers that were built into the originals were not there in this boy and the child soon learned that he was the most powerful person in the galaxy.


By the time he was 20, he had a following that thought he was a god sent to rescue the exiled KRs and all the other unfortunate people in the galaxy. In short order, he had multiple planets under his control and armies rose against him. He crushed them all. Each victory brought him more worshipers and additional resources to build his war machine. At 25, he named himself a god and declared war on all who would not give tribute. The religion wars had started.


You have studied the wars so I will not bore you with the details again. I only wish to remind you how he drove a path straight through the galaxy toward the Galactic Wing, swallowing system after system. He was about half way across when the Linthian Armada started to engage his troops. No ships or troops were able to withstand the Armada and soon the war ground to a halt far from the Galactic Wing. We thought the war was won until he appeared in front of cameras on the planet G’Rosst where a Supreme Guardian was protecting one of the Linthian Council members.


As the galaxy watched on the news programs, he took the light out of the sky and roiled it in his hands. Then he threw it at the Supreme Guardian and the galaxy watched as one of the greatest warriors known, T’Klot, went to his knees. A second blast destroyed T’Klot’s protective shield and he literally melted into nothing. The galaxy was stunned. The KR grandchild stepped in front of the recorders and told everyone that he was The Lord of Light and no one could stand against him.


This scared many in the galaxy and governments all over sent assassins to kill the Lord of Light, including the Linthians. Everyone tasked with killing the Lord of Light died, even the Supreme Guardians that the Linthian Council sent. This scared the Council as they saw the ranks of the Supreme Guardians start to diminish due to the losses in battle and the losses from assassination attempts. Soon they decided to back off of the personal attacks. They changed strategies and sent a group of us to a special outpost in the Abyss where we trained in the advanced technologies that they believed the Lord of Light was using.


We only took one break during our years there. When we emerged from our training during that break, we learned that the war was going poorly. The Linthian Armada was the best in the galaxy and outperformed all that they came up against; however, when the Lord’s armies were being pushed back he would show up and turn the tide with the use of technologies so advanced people other than his followers started to believe he was a god.


The Lord of Light had learned enough about controlling energy to withstand some of the most powerful energy weapons of the Linthian Armada. The Armada could destroy all of his ships and troops but every time they started to win a battle, the Lord of Light would show up and melt some ships to stop the Armada once again. Soon the war became a controlled retreat. System by system the local governments agreed to worship him in exchange for him letting them survive.


There were five of us who survived the advanced training, including my wife. My wife was also a Supreme Guardian and she not only survived the training but gave birth to our daughter while we were there. My wife was very gifted in the advanced arts but did not have the broad range of abilities that I had. For this reason, I was chosen to be one of the two who would be the first to face the Lord of Light. After all the years of training, we were eager to face the enemy.


The war had almost reached the edge of the Galactic Wing when the two of us arrived on the scene. The Linthian Armada had slowed the advance of the Lord of Light’s troops to almost a stand still because the Linthian Council had allowed the building of ships with advanced technologies that prevented the melting and because they deployed the KR troops. Except for battles where the Lord of Light fought, the Armada was winning. Still, the creep into Linthian and Murhan space continued.


J’Trudd was my partner and we were trained to work in pairs to help protect each other when battling the Lord of Light. The Linthians had learned that the Lord of Light could slip through space for short distances, much as you just did, which allowed him appear and disappear as he wanted. So we planned to attack in pairs to cover each other’s back. When we arrived on Hrufger, J’Trudd stepped on a mine that took both his legs. He was send back to a Kuli hospital for regeneration and I ended up alone.


The planet Hrufger is a huge planet with three moons. One of the moons always stays on the dark side of the planet and after three local days I received word that the Lord of Light’s troops were massing there. I had one of the new Kuli combat ships with the high capacity energy shields, the latest weapons, and stealth capabilities. With my advanced training I was sure I could handle anything.


I landed without incident near the rim of an old crater on the dark moon. My sensors said that I was not detected and that there was an enemy base over a nearby hill. I could see hundreds of enemy ships in the night sky and proceeded to set up my monitoring equipment to prepare for my attack. When I finished, I moved outside my ship. The gravity was light and my breathing equipment slightly uncomfortable. The moon had an atmosphere of sorts and I did not have to wear a space suit but it was far below freezing and I was dressed warmly. I went to the rim of the crater and set up the rest of the monitoring equipment that I brought with.


As I finished, I turned toward my ship and saw him. The Lord of Light was standing between me and my ship. He was a thin man with pure white hair and a face with no beard. He stood no taller than the average Murhan and had an angular face with a pointy chin. He looked young but had a cold and stern look in his eyes with a smile that could raise the hairs on your neck. His skin was leathery and had scars all over it in grotesque patterns with no hair. He wore a gold band around his head, one on each wrist, and one on each ankle. He did not have any clothes on except for a light gold cape and a wrap that went from his waist to the top of his thighs. He wore sandals with gold straps and he had six toes.


The Lord of Light looked directly at me and smiled as he said, “J’Lopt. How are you doing?”


I was shocked that he knew my name but tried not to show it as I said, “I am a little cold. Are you here to surrender?”


He laughed and shook his head. Then he said, “I don’t think I will be surrendering. Do you really think your special training can have any impact on me?”


I was young, strong, and fresh from training and said, “I don’t know what you think you know but I am not afraid of you. If you surrender, I will escort you to Kuli headquarters so that you will be assured of a fair trial.”


He laughed for a bit and then stopped. He reached out with his hands and rotated them in a quick spiral pattern and the sky disappeared. The faster he moved, the darker the sky became. The only light I could see was coming from his hands. It looked as if he was drawing all of the light out of the sky into his hands and in mere moments he unleashed a light pulse on me.


This was what we prepared for. I also had gold bands on my wrists and absorbed the energy he sent, working it with my own knowledge to create a pulse that was out of phase with his that I hurled back at him. I hit him square on with the pulse and fully expected him to die or melt.


He only laughed and said, “I guess their assumptions were wrong. Now try this.”


The Lord of Light motioned again and another blast hit me and sent me flying into the rocks of the crater’s rim. I felt my bones shatter from the force as I hit and my clothes and skin were torn to shreds as I slid across the rock. I focused on my condition and shut down the blood loss while accelerating my healing. I quickly turned my focus back to the Lord of Light and started to rise.


The Lord of Light was walking over slowly shaking his head once again saying, “Stop and save yourself. You cannot stand against me. Your powers are nothing compared to mine.”


I tried to concentrate on the energies around me but only found my ship. When I went to draw power from the engines I could feel the Lord of Light interfering as he said, “That power is mine also. You have nothing here to draw power from and I need nothing to have power. You Kuli gave up your real knowledge and power thousands of years ago and now that knowledge is mine.” He raised his hand and blasted me into the rocks and dirt again. Agony rippled through my body as it screamed in distress over the damage I had sustained. Caught off guard by the sheer magnitude of his power I had allowed myself too few defenses and was paying a price for my arrogance. I decided it was time for strategy and told my body to act like it blacked out.


When I seemed to come to, he was almost directly over me and coming closer. This is what I had hoped for. I had stored up a large amount of energy and was acting as if I was knocked out to bring him closer. I was about to strike with laser precise and cut off the wrists so that his bands would not work when an unknown force threw him off to the side with great force. I tried to sit up but could not due to all of my injuries.


I saw flashes of energy as a battle raged. I fought through the pain and it seemed like eternity before I was able to sit up and what I saw brought tears of pride and fear. My wife was engaged in an energy exchange with the Lord of Light and was losing. She had caught him off guard but he clearly was the master of the forces in use. My wife was both beautiful and fierce at the same time. She warmed my heart with her courage and skill as she parried his every move with a speed and proficiency that exceeded the best I had ever seen before. But it wasn’t enough.


The Lord of Light just kept speeding up while my wife was slowing down. He was thriving as the energy flowed through him and I could see that he was strengthening every time he used the power where she weakened. I reached out to the ship and siphoned the engine’s remaining energy and waited for my chance. After one of her attacks, the Lord of Light fell back and I sent all the energy I had, even some cell level energy, directly at him. The blast threw him across the crater into the ship. An explosion erupted from the craft as pieces flew in every direction. My wife had an energy shield up in time to deflect the debris and I could see her relief.


Soon, my wife was walking toward me with her lovely smile as she said, “Your timing was perfect. I could not have held out much longer.” She took two more steps and then froze.


I saw him standing there with the flames behind him. His skin was glowing as were his eyes. The look on his face was evil itself. He rose up off the ground and floated toward us as he held my wife frozen in place. His clothes were burned off and the remaining threads fell as ash to the ground. His evil laughter filled my head and fear clawed its way into my soul.


The Lord of Light said, “You fools! I have all the power of the best of you and training in areas you could not begin to understand. I can control all of the energy around us and it feeds my cells directly. I cannot be damaged permanently by your pitiful attacks.”


He looked me directly in the eyes as he motioned with his hand and the flames from the ship formed a cone that rose in an arch that landed on my wife. At first the fear was in her eyes and then only sorrow as she said, “I am sorry. I love you.”


I watched as the flames consumed her. My heart shattered and I could not even cry. I looked at her till there was nothing left except ash. My hatred formed a burning coal in my soul as I turned to the Lord of Light and summoned everything that was left, even the energy of my cells, as I prepared to go out in a blaze of fury. Then I saw the ship.


The Lord of Light saw it also. He turned away and moved to the center of the crater and concentrated on his hand movements as he darkened the sky once again. He threw a light pulse at the ship and hit it square on. The energy flashed and sparkled but the ship continued on surprising the Lord of Light and a smile came across my face. It was not a nice smile.


The ship was like no other ship I had ever seen. There was no defining shape as it seemed to morph as it came down. The color was silver with gold stripes on what was now the bottom. The final shape as it landed was a square box with four feet on the bottom.


The Lord of Light had not stopped attacking the ship. I had never seen so many types of energy attacks and was just beginning to understand the extent of the power the Lord of Light had at his disposal. Yet the ship was unfazed. The Lord of Light stopped his attack as the ship landed. We both watched as the door opened and a ramp descended from the ship.


I saw a strange, tall man coming down the ramp toward the Lord of Light. The stranger did not look old, nor did he look like he was very young; he had light brown eyes with a gold glint in them and smile lines all over his face. He seemed to radiate a visible energy that was impossible to define. His hair was white but he had a confidence about him and a certain spring in his walk as one has when they are young and indestructible. He wore a coat of dragon skin that rose from his shoulders to the top of his head in a cowl and flowed down from his shoulders to his ankles. His hair fell out of his cowl down across his chest and he wore a neatly trimmed beard that covered most of his face. When he walked, his long coat would sway with each step accenting his stride and giving him an almost royal look.

The strange man was holding an elaborately decorated cane. The handle appeared to be of silver with a delicately crafted symbol of a solar system with three suns that shone silver almost like a beam of light. The length of the cane was a deep yet shiny black with traces of silver threaded through it. Just below the handle was a band of silver with streaks and sparkles of gold scattered randomly. The bottom of the cane had an unusual end that was the blue of the open sky without that rubber look that most tips have.

The Lord of Light attacked as soon as the man reached the bottom of the ramp. Energy flashed and flames erupted in the most concentrated and intense attack that the Lord of Light had managed yet. When the flames faded, the tall man stood quietly and said, “Are you done?”


The Lord of Light sneered and said, “I have only just begun.” He began to weave another attack when the tall man held up his cane and the Lord of Light collapsed to the ground as a silver beam came out and struck him. The tall man walked over to the Lord of Light and motioned with his hand. The Lord of Light floated up off of the ground struggling the whole time against invisible ropes.


The tall man said to him, “We told you that the technologies were forbidden and that you could not use them. Did you think we were not serious?”


The Lord of Light answered, “You are not allowed to interfere. You better release me or you will suffer consequences.”


The tall man all of the sudden looked very sad. He set the Lord of Light down and said, “Go ahead and call for help. I will wait.”


The Lord of Light reached to the sky and a bolt of lightning flew from his hand into the depths of the heavens. Moments later he sent another. A third leapt from his hand in frustration a short time later.


The tall man looked at him with a sad look and softly said, “You have been deceived. Now surrender.”


The Lord of Light screamed in defiance, “I will never surrender. You cannot defeat me.” He then clasped his wrist bands together sending a blast into the tall man. The tall man had moved with lightning speed and was not there when the blast would have hit. Instead he appeared behind the Lord of Light. The Lord of Light also disappeared but when he appeared he found the tall man directly in front of him and he received a blast from the man’s cane. After four more attempts, and four more blasts, he dropped to the ground again.


As he struggled to rise back up, the Lord of Light appeared confused about this tall man that was besting the one who blasted star ships out of the heavens. He asked, “Who are you? You cannot be an ancient; they do not have this kind of power.”


The tall man shook his head and answered in his sad soft voice, “There is always a civilization more ancient and there are always people who rose higher.”


The Lord of Light went to clasp his wrists to his head band but was stopped just before they connected. The tall man said, “You will not survive a blast of that magnitude.”


The Lord of Light sneered again and said, “Neither will you. So prepare to die.”


The tall man moved and stood over me with a sad look on his face. The Lord of Light was still working against the forces holding his wrists back and they moved ever closer. The tall man glowed as a force field surrounded me. Then my world exploded.


When I came back to my senses there was nothing as far as I could see. No ship, no tall man, no Lord of Light. The moon’s crater was about twice as deep as before and I was lying on a hill left due to the force field. I quickly assessed my injuries and realized that I would die soon. The battle had taken too much and I had even drained deep cell energy. I tried to connect to the lifeforce but found little within the reach of my weaken powers. My wife had died in vain.


I drifted in my mind as I wondered if the tall man was dead also and who he was. There were more questions than answers. I was so wrapped in my thought and in controlling my pain that I did not see the ship approaching until it was almost upon me. It was one of the advance Kuli fighters. When my vision cleared again, I could see Tomli bent over me. He held his hands out and I felt healing powers run through me. The power did not flow properly and I could see the concern on his face. I blacked out again.


When I awoke, Tomli was still there. He said, “The Lord of Light’s energy blasts injured your cells at a level that damaged their core components. I have repaired what I can but you will have to go into medical stasis until the Kuli healers can fix the pathways. It will take a long time.” I nodded.


Two years later, I was released from the Kuli healing center to a hero’s welcome. Tomli credited me with destroying the Lord of Light and his fleet. He recorded the energy blasts from afar and then the final blast that destroyed most of the nearby fleet. I tried to tell my version but ended up in front of the Kuli Council.


The Council sat in silence as I waited in anticipation for their reprimand. Time seemed to drag on forever, them not speaking and me not being allowed to speak. Finally, a door opened behind the Council and the tall man came forward. No one looked at him or even seemed to notice that he was there.


He smiled at me and said, “You and your wife fought without holding back. You were willing to give all to stop an evil and save the galaxy. Your unspoken wish and prayer for the leader of the religion wars has been granted with a considerable cost to yourself. There are a great many challenges ahead and even more evil. Only you can do what is needed in the years to come. You learned many of the Lord of Light’s secrets during your battles and mine. You will need this knowledge in future years.”


The tall man gave me a small book and said, “You have earned the knowledge in this book. Use it well and give it to the child who walks on air.” I nodded yes and then he vanished in front of my eyes.


The Council chairman spoke as soon as the tall man left and said, “Thanks, you are dismissed.”


I walked out of the room with the book and never told anyone my version of the story until now. You have read many of my exploits since then. You are now one of only three outside of the Council who know that I did not have great powers at the time of my battle with the Lord of Light. Nor did I destroy the Lord of Light with them. What I learned from the battle and the book enabled me to address the remaining KR threats and end the religion wars. I also used the knowledge to rebuild the Supreme Guardian Kuli forces.


I never healed completely and live every day with pain almost as intense as the day it happened. It is only the techniques that Tomli taught me that day on the dark moon that enable me to control the pain. Still, that is nothing compared to my agony over my wife. Love is the most powerful force in the universe and the loss of a great love is the most excruciating pain one can endure.



When J’Lopt finished it was quiet in the room for a while. J’Rontia was stunned by the story and wondered how he lived so long with so much pain. She had always thought of him as a hero and, now that she knew the true story, she was even more impressed. It reminded her of an old saying Tomli taught her:


“It is not how many times you win or how big your victories are that determine how strong you are. Rather, it is how big of a disaster you are capable of surviving or overcoming.”


J’Lopt handed her an old book and said, “You will have to sacrifice much in the years to come. During those years you must remember that you may be all that stands between evil and this galaxy we love. You cannot ever sacrifice your life willingly. You must fight to the end and always believe that you will win and good will triumph. You need to remember that, up till the end, you will be watched over by Angels and Ghosts.”


J’Lopt stood up and put the chair back. He stepped in front of her and went on, “The correct answer to the assignment was to have the hostages attack the criminal.” He smiled at her and then he turned and walked out the door.


J’Rontia watched him leave the room and then looked at the book. The book was old, leather bound and it had pages made of real paper. There were three words, one paired with two, etched into the leather in a language she did not understand but that she knew one day she would figure out. J’Rontia carefully opened the book and flipped through the pages looking at the beautiful calligraphy of the hand-written and wonderfully illustrated masterpiece. She was awe struck and closed the book to look at the cover again as it seemed to radiate a warmth deep in her soul.



That night J’Rontia slept soundly and dreamed of J’Lopt and the stories she had learned. In the middle of the night, a tall man materialized in the room next to her. He walked over to the desk and looked at the book. He smiled. The seeds were bearing fruit. He looked at the girl in the bed and smiled again. He took an object and a paper out of his pocket and placed them on the desk next to the book. After one last look at the girl he vanished.



In the morning, J’Rontia dressed and prepared for the day. When she completed her preparation she had some time left before breakfast so she went to look at her book. When she reached for the book she saw the object sitting on the paper. She read the paper. “This crystal will translate the book for you. Just place the crystal over what you would like to read and you will understand the text.”


J’Rontia picked up the crystal and held it over the book. She was surprised by the book’s title and set the crystal back down. As she quietly sat eating breakfast, she wondered what secrets the book held.


That night she started her reading of the book with the unusual title of “πάντα αρχή & πάντα κατάληξη.”



SR: To Understand Them You Must Walk Their Path

The Silver Realm: To Understand Them You Must Walk Their Path

Earth – 2052 AD

The man looked at his hands and saw the card attached to his wrist. It was an interesting card and full of color to attract attention. He wondered what is was for and why it was attached to his wrist. He read the card.

“Your name is John Carter. You live at 12007 Freedom Avenue, Corpus Christi, TX”

This was followed by a picture of a really old man and a mirrored surface below which was written: “Look in the mirror.”

He looked into the mirror and saw the really old man staring back at him and he remembered that he was John Carter. The memories flowed back into his mind along with the realization of what that meant about his condition. He imagined that he went through this multiple times each day and a strange sadness spread through his body as the weight of the years overwhelmed him.

John Carter flipped the card over and saw the map. He was seated on a bench in the park about half way on his daily walk. He looked at his timepiece and noted that he was on schedule based on the map’s notations. It was nice to know that there was a plan and he felt much better. He decided that he needed to start on the next segment of his daily trip.

When he reached for his cane, he saw a strange, tall man coming directly toward him. The stranger did not look old, nor did he look like he was very young; he had light brown eyes with a gold glint in them and smile lines all over his face. He seemed to radiate a visible energy that was impossible to define. His hair was white but he had a confidence about him and a certain spring in his walk as one has when they are young and indestructible. He wore a coat of dragon skin that rose from his shoulders to the top of his head in a cowl and flowed down from his shoulders to his ankles. His hair fell out of his cowl down across his chest and he wore a neatly trimmed beard that covered most of his face. When he walked, his long coat would sway with each step accenting his stride and giving him an almost royal look.

The strange man was holding an elaborately decorated cane. The handle appeared to be of silver with a delicately crafted symbol of a solar system with three suns that shone silver almost like a beam of light. The length of the cane was a deep yet shiny black with traces of silver threaded through it. Just below the handle was a band of silver with streaks and sparkles of gold scattered randomly. The bottom of the cane had an unusual end that was the blue of the open sky without that rubber look that most tips have.

John Carter looked up at the man after taking time to consider all of what he had observed. The tall man smiled and John Carter felt his heart open with joy. The man said, “It is time. I have brought your cane.” Then he took John Carter’s cane and replaced it with the black and silver one. He smiled once more and left. John Carter had nothing to say as the shock of the visit tried to settle.

He watched the tall man walk out of the park and cross the street. He grabbed the handle of the cane and sparkles flashed across his vision. The cane was warm to his touch and his knees reminded him of why he needed the cane as he stood up. The memories about his walks came back as the pain in each step told him the reason for taking a break on the seat in the park. He walked as fast as his 90 year old body would allow and was surprised by a memory of his 50th birthday when he ran two miles with his son. He wondered what happened to his son and if he had more than one.

The cane was a perfect fit and he pondered the tall man again. The man looked so familiar to him, yet he figured with his condition that might be the case all the time. He was just thinking about how comfortable the cane was when he heard the explosion.

The sound came from just beyond the entrance to the park and he ducked just in time to miss a flying fragment of something. He quickened his pace as he moved deliberately toward the sounds of plasma guns firing. He tripped and fell down on the sidewalk with his cane hand underneath him. He felt shards of pain screaming through his hand and wrist as bones shattered and skin ripped. When he came to a stop he had scrapes on his face and he was laying on his side in agony.

He tried to move his hand but it would not let go of the cane and the warmth spread from the cane through his hand and wrist. The pain in the hand lessened and in moments he was able to roll over and stand up. He looked at his hand while he opened and closed it. There was no pain. Nor was there any of the old arthritis stiffness he usually felt. He decided that adrenalin was a good thing.

He moved toward the sounds of battle once more. His thoughts surged with memories of times when he went into the crisis zone as other left. He remembered running to stop fights in a school and rushing to an accident to help out the people in the vehicle. Other memories were of fighting fires and more of a violent nature. In every case, he ran toward the action while others fled. He smiled as he understood that he had been brave in his life and helped others, even at risk to himself.

He stepped off of the curb at the entrance to the park and almost fell. He half jumped and skipped to keep his balance and managed to recover without falling. He could smell the burnt flesh that comes from a plasma strike on flesh and anger flooded his heart as he saw the terrorists in the distance shoot a child.

He saw the faces of his six children, twenty three grandchildren, and some number of great grandchildren as they flashed across his mind. The joy at being able to remember them was tempered by the scene in front of him as he increased his speed to a trot with a stagger as he moved closer to the fiends.

The woman who ran to the child as he fell had red hair and was screaming hysterically. She clearly did not understand the danger and the terrorist smiled was he leveled his gun. John Carter yelled “Coward” at the top of his lungs drawing the terrorist’s attention away.

The terrorist turned at the sound and was stunned by the apparition of the old man hobbling rapidly toward him. He yelled back, “Idiot. Now you can die.” The terrorist fired his plasma gun directly at John Carter.

John Carter instinctively lifted his cane to block the assault knowing he was about to die. The fire did not hit him as the cane blocked the blast with a force shield and energy flowed through his body. He had stopped when he saw the attack and now without a moment’s hesitation he surged forward.

The terrorist almost fell to the ground when the old man survived the blast. He couldn’t believe his eyes. He fired again and the old man glowed again and kept on coming. He flipped the gun to full power and held the contact.

John Carter had a part of his mind telling him this was not possible as the pain in his knees, back, and neck disappeared in the heat of the battle. The cane continued to act as a force shield for the next blast although it slowed his pace a bit. Then he was hit by the sustained high capacity blast. He was stopped in his tracks and fought to hold onto the cane as the shield withstood the continuous blast from the plasma weapon. He could feel the power hitting the shield and yet he also felt his own power increasing. His memories were also returning.

He missed his wife. The redheaded woman had stirred the memories and now they poured out of his brain as their life together came forward in chunks of love and struggle. He wished she was here now. She had stood by him during so many times of trouble and never let him down up until the day she passed. After he married her, all of his struggles were theirs and she was the best warrior friend a man could have. He wished again that she was at his side even as he tried to understand why he used the phrase “warrior friend.”

He felt his strength continue to build and he started to move forward even under the impact of the continuous blast. He could feel his strength returning at a faster and faster pace and soon he was running. He had not run for years and the sensations were welcomed by his whole body and a mischievous smile slowly drifted onto his face.

The terrorist was holding the contact and screaming at his companions. The old man looked frail enough to collapse on his own when he first fired and now the impossible was happening. Soon all three of them were firing on the old man and it had almost no impact. Fear choked their throats as they came to grips with the face of death.

John Carter’s body was old no longer. He leapt into the air just before reaching the three who were now conveniently all together. In the air he twisted and reached with his other hand catching the first terrorist under the chin with his forearm. He locked his arm as he finished his twist on his way back to the ground with a snapping sound coming from the terrorist’s neck as the terrorist collapsed to the ground. John Carter did not stop.

He continued dropping toward the ground sweeping his leg around taking the second terrorist to the ground in a thud. During this motion, he was spinning the cane and struck the handle on the forehead of the third terrorist as he turned to fire on John Carter. The impact on the terrorist’s skull created a loud crack that was followed by a second terrorist dropping to the ground. John Carter did not stop moving and continued spinning as he stood back up and released a sword from the cane. The sword came down on the second terrorist as he attempted to rise slicing off his head as a knife goes through butter.

Everything had come back to him. He knew who he was on this planet and he knew who he really was. He was not John Carter. Years ago, the officials had found him wandering without his memory and just gave him that name. Still, it didn’t matter what his other name was here because it was time to go home.

He looked around and saw the tall man off on the side smiling. As a huge crowd looked on, he walked toward the tall man with sirens screaming in the distance and people crying all around. Some started to approach calling him a hero but then they stepped back as both tall men started to shimmer. It was only a moment or two and then they were gone leaving an unbelievable story behind for the police to sort out.


The Silver Realm

The portal entrance started shimmering and the staff hurried to their tasks. Moments later, the two tall men stepped through the portal smiling. Neither of them looked old, nor did they look like they were very young; they had light brown eyes with a gold glints in them and smile lines all over their faces. They seemed to radiate a visible energy that was impossible to define. Both had hair that was white and had a confidence about them with a certain spring in their walk as one has when they are young and indestructible. One wore a coat of dragon skin that rose from his shoulders to the top of his head in a cowl and flowed down from his shoulders to his ankles. His hair fell out of his cowl down across his chest and he wore a neatly trimmed beard that covered most of his face. When he walked, his long coat would sway with each step accenting his stride and giving him an almost royal look.

The other had extremely unusual clothes that had burn marks on them and were filthy. In his hand he carried the Cane of the Realm. The staff immediately bowed down and said, almost in perfect unison, “Your Majesty.” The man with the cane looked around at his subjects and tears ran down his face in happiness as he bowed back and said back, “Stand and give me a hug.” The staff ran to him and smiled and hugged as they welcomed him home again.

That night the Silver Sovereign and his son the Steward of the Realm stood in the night looking into the night sky at the Black Abyss.

The Steward asked, “How many times does this make?”

The Silver Sovereign answered, “Almost as many times as there are peoples in the universe.”

His son asked, “Why do you do it?”

The Silver Sovereign was thoughtful as he considered his response, “Most of the journeys are enlightening and give insights that you can get no other way. Then, you have one like this last…” He looked off into space and a single tear fell. “I loved her more than ever. I can see and feel her red hair in my hands. She made me feel like I was special and valuable in a world where I was nothing. I can still hear the children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren playing on my knees. I was able to watch them grow and become adults and have their own children. I know them like you can in no other way. I truly love them and they are now a part of me for all time.”

The Steward knew that the time was coming for his own journey, his first, and he needed to know more. He asked, “Yes. I can understand that. But you also take on their aging, their pain, their rules, and, most importantly, their limitations.”

The Silver Sovereign took a long pause before answering, “The Great One has given us a job like no other. We influence growing civilizations in subtle ways to keep the darkness from taking over. How can we make decisions in their best interest unless we truly know them?”

The Steward of the Realm nodded and put his arm around his dad.

His father continued, “To understand them you must walk their path.”



The Osgord: Eye Opening

You’re running. You aren’t sure where you’re running or why, but you are most definitely running. Looking around, you see nothing but dark. There are no distinguishing features in your vision to tell you where or even what anything is, and you see no landscape or trail, yet you keep running, focusing on silent breathing. Only there’s no breathing, either. You listen for the sound of your own feet and hear nothing. You feel for your own heartbeat and feel nothing. You stop running only to realize you hadn’t actually been moving. From the inside of your own mind, you scream, ‘No! No, please! Not again!’ But there’s not even a whisper of sound.
‘Keri, dear, don’t be frightened.’ That voice… You know that voice, but it’s impossible. You hear it in your mind once more, ‘Oh, sweet little Keri, it’s alright. Don’t cry. Open your eyes, sweetie.’
You open your eyes. You’re not yet a cycle old, and you look up out of your crib into the peering eyes of a beautiful woman. She’s not young, but neither is she old, though the creases in her face imply an age far beyond that of her shining, green eyes. Her expression is one of concerned fear. She turns to one side and calls out, “Plua’die, come quickly! Keri is awake, and I have to feed her.’ Her words, you notice, run a bit long, but this is normal. She’s always been like that.
A man you always find to be exceptionally tall walks into the room and reaches down into your crib. You reach up and begin grasping your fingers at his face, so far away and yet so close and so wonderful. He smiles at you, and picks you up, grabbing you under your armpits and spinning you around him until you coo and grin at him. He smiles broadly, his graying whiskers lifting like the great big, well, lifting things. You giggle at the thought, and he pulls you into a gentle hug. You wrap your arms around his neck as much as you can, but it isn’t much.
He begins to lower you down, and you turn to see your mommy reaching out from her seat to hold you. Her grey-blue hair spills over her shoulders as she leans over her frail legs to grab you. Her hands are a bit bony, but they’re mommy hands, so you don’t mind. You look up into her eyes and are entranced by the green light emanating from them as she whispers, “Open your eyes, Keri. Don’t be frightened.” You don’t understand and simply coo again, reaching your hand–
You awake to a great booming sound. You unstrap yourself from your bed, moving away just in time for a great crashing vibration to go through the ship.  ‘Shilo,’ you think, ‘what’s going on?’
Another boom precedes a great groan of metal as the rotating semi-cylinders through the central fuselage of the ship come to a halt, and the little simulated gravity that was left vanishes with the rocking of the compartment. ‘We’re probably under attack. I’m not sure who would be attacking this far into the core, though. This doesn’t bode well. I need to think.’
Shilo retreats into your mind once more while you prepare for the possibility of battle. You shed your nightgown and petticoat and pull out the tight garment used as the primary neural interface with Valkyrie armor. You step into the gelatinous material and zip it up. Despite your best efforts to avoid it, the zipper snags twice, and it takes you a full milliday to zip it all the way. Once you’ve finished, you wrap your hair tightly and pull the hood of the undergarment over your head.
Another crashing sound is heard, and you kick away from the bulkheads to prevent yourself from being knocked around while you pull the main armor pressure suit on, sealing the suit once you get the choker around your neck, a rush of air passing over your face as the suit removes all pockets of air between itself and you, at once expanding inward slightly to apply standard pressure across your whole body. The cool sensation of your undergarment’s inner gel layer warms slightly, maintaining appropriate skin temperature which will lower if it detects your muscles warming. Bracing yourself for your least favorite part of donning the armor, you twist the release on the choker indicating that the seal has been formed comfortably, and there is a slight whirring sound as plasma needles insert sterilized intravenous catheters to monitor your hormone levels, to allow fast transfusions if necessary, and to allow you to maintain proper nutrition and hydration without removing your armor. You make a face as the excretory interfaces are carefully placed with an awkwardly gentle seal.
Once that ordeal ends, you begin attaching equipment to the pressure seal, servo motors squealing and humming as the various pieces of equipment are latched and screwed into place. You add canisters of blood, water, and various nutrients, vitamins, and proteins in solution. A box full of smaller canisters attaches to your chest, the canisters inside containing various drugs and hormones for automatic emergency treatment. Swinging it over your back, you attach the main DPU and air supply system. Once you’ve finished attaching the various weapons and such that you may need, you begin adding the armor segments that fit over it all.
Another crash as you place the final segment over your back startles you a bit, but you ignore the noise and finish setting it in place, and the segments all press inward, connecting to one another and creating an appearance that would prevent the uneducated eye from seeing that the armor is, in fact, more than one piece. You pick up Shilo’s sword and swing it around to an inverted sheath on your back, the sheath over a head taller than you despite extending almost a whole arm’s length to your side. You turn around to grab your helmet.
A long, grinding sound approaches you from the forward external direction, and you quickly pick up the helmet and shove it over your head, the main seal coming into place with the visor still deactivated just as the sound accumulates to a roar as your bulkhead is torn apart, and the compartment instantly depressurizes along with the area immediately surrounding your eyes, your sight taking in the sight of a rounded ship sweeping past followed by an opening to the dead of space, into which you are immediately pulled, your eyes screaming in pain. You close them as tightly as you can, your voice joining your eyes in their scream when your boots fail to magnetize in time to prevent you being vented into space. You feel yourself tumble as your eyes begin to boil, and there’s a thud as you hit the other ship.
The plasma visor finally initializes just as your breather kicks in, air rushing over your burning, frozen eyelids, and pressurized air works its way into your lungs. You can hear a thunk as your magnetized boots fix themselves to the hull of the enemy ship. Through the metal, your audio sensors begin to pick up the sound of alarms and shouts, though there is no sense of panic. The shouts seem to be a simple attempt to speak over the sound of the proximity and impact alarms. You feel your way across the hull, still refusing to open your eyes as tears and blood work their way through your tightly shut eyelids. You feel what seems to be a bioswitch and engage it by using one of the intravenous catheters to draw blood and pump it through a pipette in the thumb of your armor. The switch retreats into the hull to reveal a handle, which you turn to open the hatch into an airlock. You work your way inside and close the hatch, air filling the airlock with a whooshing sound.
You press your eyes tighter in pain, concentrating as much as you can on bringing your glow up and feeling outward into the ship. There are only two people inside. As soon as you feel them, however, they both turn toward the airlock and start advancing toward it purposefully. You feel their focus on you and realize that this wasn’t meant to be an
attack. It was a search and rescue. She may not know you, but you recognize the feeling of Keliar’di from Shilo’s memories.
The door to the airlock opens, and you manage out a weak, “Stop the fight. I can explain everything,” before losing consciousness, your small body too weak from the ordeal.
You coo again and pull at your mommy’s hair. She smiles gently as she removes your hand’s grip. “Everything’s going to be just fine.” Your bottle comes into view, and you immediately go for it. Your mommy’s hand caresses your head, and she looks to your daddy with a joyful face. It’s a face you’ll never forget. After all, it’s one of the last faces you’ll ever see on your mommy.
You awake and remember the pain over your eyes, which you squeeze more tightly closed immediately. Tears squeeze their way out into the air, and you realize you don’t have your helmet on. Then, a soft hand presses against your forehead gently, and an impossible voice says, “Shh, it’s alright. Don’t cry. Open your eyes, sweetie.”
In an act of almost sheer incredulity, you release the pressure over your eyes and open them to a sight unlike any you’ve ever seen. The world around you is a mass of multicolored light, and you feel like you can see through the very bulkheads into the vastness of space. And staring down into your eyes is a light brighter than any of the others with eyes as bright a green as you’ve ever seen. You realize now that your eyes aren’t actually working. Your glow, however, is seeing for you.
A figure of light moves over to the green-eyed light and whispers something. You can see their minds lighting up, but you don’t know how to make sense of it. The green-eyed figure speaks with that same, impossible voice, “No, that can’t be right.” The other figure nods slowly as if to assert that whatever she was just told is, in fact, very true. The green-eyed figure becomes brighter and looks to you again, her thumb caressing your brow.
“Keria’Ledrii, is it?” You nod, and she continues, “I’m your mother’s sister, Qzcia’Ledrii. I’m so sorry about your parents and Shilo, but its all going to be alright. You’re on the Osgord again, sweetheart, and we’re all at the dock orbiting the planet Osgord. You made it. We’re going to do what we can to fix your eyes, but I’m afraid I can’t make any promises. I’ll talk to you more on the other side, alright?” You nod again, and a dim light is placed over your face. A few moments later, and you’re out again.