Over 100,000 yeas ago, not long before the Core War...
It was a peaceful night just like any other on Spherus Magna. The starts twinkled in the sky, the weather had been beautiful, and the Agori and Glatorian below went about there business. Everything was as it should be.
But then, in the blink of an eye, everything changed.
No one knew exactly what they were, at first. Huge, mysterious gray shapes appeared in a flash, like rocks floating high in the sky, each the size of an entire village. In the villages below, all eyes watched the unknown shapes warily.
Then tiny holes opened in the strange objects, tiny specks of light only slightly larger than stars. Immediately after, thousands of strange beings began to descend from the strange objects. They flew on orange wings, and each carried a legged creature underneath them. Agori screamed and fled as the Glatorian rushed forward to defend our villages.
The mysterious beings did not attack, at first. They might not have, if our Glatorian hadn't shot their Thornax first. That's when the flying beings retaliated with a spray of their own projectiles, which exploded upon impact. Those who weren't killed fled under the onslaught.
The Glatorian tried to fight back, but the legged robots were armed with strange hand-held devices, which fired beams of light that burned through both flesh and armor alike. Even the Glatorian stood no chance of defeating an army of these dangerous beings.
They evacuated the villages, trying to at least save the Agori. While the invaders ransacked our homes, the Glatorian did their best to protect the Agori.
And then, as abruptly as they had come, they left. The flying robots picked up their legged friends and returned to the flying objects just as a new day dawned. The huge floating rocks vanished in a flash of light, leaving the broken shells of a few of their robots and several years' worth of repair behind them.
In one horrible night, our villages were destroyed. It was all so surreal. I, for one, was sure it had all been a dream. That I would soon awake from the horrible nightmare. But I did not.
The Element Lords calmed us, helped us to find shelter in caves and hollow trees. They instructed their tribes in the repairing of our villages, leading us through those dark days with the promise that something was being done about it, though they refused to tell us exactly what.
I was among the first few to find out what that mysterious "something" was.
I am Agori Reise, and this is my story. The journey of the crew of The Unreachable Star. This is the Stellar Quest.
Over 100,000 yeas ago, not long before the Core War...
It was as I lay on the beach of Aqua Magna, my home, with the water gently lapping my feet. The gentle rhythm soothed my troubled mind. I stared up at the sky, dappled with stars, pondering its vastness. Where had those beings come from? Were there other worlds out there, where more beings lived? Obviously so. Was one of those stars their home? Was Spherus Magna a star to them?
A cold wave splashed over me, bringing me out of my musing. I spluttered and coughed, spitting the salty water out of my mouth. When I looked up again, the Element Lord of Water was standing over me.
"Oh! H--hello, sir," I stuttered, surprised, and climbed to my feet. What did he want with me? Was I in trouble? Was he mad it me for taking a break from assisting in the repair of the Aqua Magna village?
His answer would have been my very last guess. "I have a job for you, Reise," he said simply. "You must come with me."
I was dumbfounded. What in the world did an Element Lord need from me? "I-I'd be pleased to help, sir. What do you need?" I asked.
He did not reply, just turned and walked away, into the water. I cocked my head as he walked straight out, until his body blended with the ocean, his bubble-enclosed head disappeared.
I stood there, waiting. Was he coming back? Did he expect me to follow? Surely he knew that I could not breath underwater as he could?
With a sudden roar, a huge wave leapt out of the water, towering over my head for a heart-stopping second. No sooner had the thought of running managed to enter my mind that the wave crashed down on me, sweeping me into the sea. I twirled helplessly underwater, pulled along by a strong current. Vainly I fought, kicking and flapping my ams with every muscle I posessed, but the flow was too strong.
As the ocean swept me along, despite my persistent struggles, panicked thoughts came into my head. I am going to drown! I never expected to die this way! Death by the very ocean that is as much home to me as my own house!
I kicked wildly, flailing my arms, but the current just dragged me along. A thought struck me. Surely a current so strong could not be natural. I had swam these waters many times before, and never had I met any tide like it. Was the Element Lord of Water doing this? Was he trying to kill me? But why?
My limbs were aching. My heart was throbbing painfully. And my lungs felt like they would burst. If I didn't get air soon, they probably would. Oh, what a terrible way to go! I thought.
A deep, exasperated voice said suddenly, "You can breath, cool dude."
In a moment I realized that he was right. I should have realized the Element Lord of Water would provide a "bubble helmet", like his own, for me. I gasped painfully, sucking in as much air as I could. Oh, sweet, wonderful air!
I stopped fighting and turned around to face the way he pulled me. It was dark, and I could only just make out the Element Lord's bubble farther ahead, but little else. The moonlight did not make things much brighter. Despite the blindness, as I began to calm, I realized this wasn't such a bad way to travel. In fact, it was very enjoyable, riding effortlessly through the water at high speed. I would even call it peaceful and relaxing, once you realize you are not drowning.
Suddenly I remembered why I was here, and curiosity pricked at my mind again. What in the world might the Element Lord of Water want from me? But I could think of nothing! I was just an Agori, what could I be needed for? Well, I am a medic, I thought. Is someone hurt? But even then, why call on me?
The current swerved. We must have gone into a cave at that point, for the moonlight disappeared. We were left in complete darkness. The current swept on, the tunnel curving this way and that.
Finally we surfaced. The bubble around my head popped, and I took in the dank, musty smell of the cave we were now in. Everything was dark, but there was a light coming from somewhere ahead. I couldn't see the Element Lord, but I assumed that was where we were headed. I walked carefully, cautiously feeling for any rocks, small creatures, or deep pits with razor-sharp spikes at the bottom.
The light got bright enough for me to see the ground beneath my feet. There were few rocks, only one animal here and there, and not a single deep pit. The Element Lord of Water led the way not far ahead of me, a swirling vortex of water with a head encased by a bubble resting at the top.
I was surprised to find, as we emerged from the tunnel into a large chamber, that our destination was already filled with people. I was even more surprised to see that none of them were from Aqua Magna, but that they were all from other tribes. Three Glatorian, an Agori, and even a Skrall were present, along with the other five Element Lords: Rock, Sand, Jungle, Fire, and Ice. Water joined them around a circular table, and I moved closer to the tribespeople, feeling a bit awkward.
The Element Lords conferred quietly for a few minutes. I occupied myself with surveying the others in the room. The Glatorian were each of a different element, those being Sand, Jungle, and Ice. Their expressions showed the large variances in their personalities. The Sand Glatorian rocked back and forth on his feet, slightly nervous but excited. The Jungle Glatorian looked bored, his eyes roving from one thing to another. They often lingered on the Element Lords for a few moments, before moving on. At one point, our eyes met. He rolled his and looked away.
I can tell he's going to be a good friend, I thought sarcastically. I just hope we'll be working separately.
The Ice Glatorian was anxious. She bit the tip of her finger, tapping one of her feet on the sandy floor. I thought that, at the moment, I felt most like her.
The other two tribespeople were both females. The Skrall genders, I knew, lived in separate tribes. The females wore no armor, only dark cloaks. The one I met that day wore a tattered cloak of a dark, faded purple. Her hood was down, revealing her repulsive face. That is only the opinion of an Agori, of course--all Skrall are ugly to me. She stood farther away from the rest of the tribespeople present. She was looking away from all of us, and by the sneer on her face, I could tell she was disgusted. Skrall, I knew, were very anti-social, except within their own tribes. The females especially despised any that were not one of them.
And at last I took note of the Fire Agori. She stood in front of me, staring straight ahead at the Element Lords. She bounced up and down on her toes, arms folded, bursting with eagerness and curiosity.
I suddenly wondered what my own appearance told. I was shuffling my feet, hands clasped behind my back. I felt nervous and awkward, with a tinge of excitement, and my actions betrayed me.
At last, the Element Lords ceased their whispering and turned to us. Sand, leader of Bara Magna, spoke first, saying, "Welcome, tribespeople of Spherus Magna. I am sure you would all appreciate an explanation for our bringing you here so mysteriously."
Maybe not all of us, I thought, glancing at the Jungle Glatorian and Skrall.
"The Great Beings have an important mission for you," Sand went on. "They left it to us to choose one member from each of our tribes, and so we have chosen you six."
The Element Lord of Rock glared at the female Skrall, who returned a look of pure loathing. I highly doubted that choice had had anything to do with Rock.
"As you are all painfully aware, our planet was recently attacked by mysterious beings from a world unknown," said Jungle.
I should have known it had to do with that, I thought. But yet, what could they expect us to do about it? Do they want us to find the bodies of the ones the Glatorian killed?
Fire spoke up. "The Great Beings want to learn more about these beings. But they are far too busy, and of course we Element Lords can't abandon our tribes. So that's where the six of you come in."
Excitement was building all around. I was leaning forward eagerly, the Fire Agori was bouncing more than ever, the Ice Glatorian had stuffed half her hand into her mouth, and the Sand Glatorian was rubbing his hands together while nodding slowly. Even the Jungle Glatorian was smiling expectantly at the Element Lords. The Skrall was still irritated by our presence, but she watched the Element Lords with interest.
There was a pause before Sand spoke again. "You six are to search among the stars for the planet from which those beings came."
We gasped in astonishment. That is what the Element Lords had chosen us for? Out of all the people of our tribes, they wanted us six for this important mission? To explore beyond our blue skies? For an adventure among the stars? Surely, it was just another dream.
But no, it could not have been. It was not. It was all real, and the six of us would soon set forth past the mountains, past the clouds--into a world beyond anything the likes of which any of us had seen before.
Thanks for reading!
Word Count: 2,098
Sincerely, Nuile: Lunatic Wordsmith
Edited by Nuile: Lunatic Wordsmith, Oct 17 2011 - 01:30 PM.