Chapter 8: Revelation

Chapter 8: Revelation

A Chapter by StarNinja

Milica was floating in a sea of bliss wondering what the point of suffering was. How could she even remember suffering? Everything was so warm and bright and inviting here. It felt good. It felt like home. Every once in a while something touched her senses. Sounds from the world beyond. Sensations cold and prickly. She didn’t like it. She wanted to stay here where it was safe. Slowly the light began to fade. It was the worst feeling she had ever felt. She grabbed desperately at the numbness as it left her, slowly replaced with clarity. Her eyes opened gradually. She was lying on the floor. Her head hurt so much. She tried to move her body but her effort was wasted. Where was she?

When she had gained enough consciousness to figure out that she was alone and no longer in the cell from before, she tried again to move with a little more success this time. She inspected her surroundings carefully. This new room was ivory in color and seemed very large. It was hard to tell where the floor ended and the walls began. There wasn’t any definition to the surfaces in this place. It was all smooth and white and uncomfortably bright. She rubbed her eyes and when she opened them again, she saw him. Sitting in an ivory chair that wasn’t there a second ago was an old man. His hair was silver, almost white, and his skin was drawn and pale and his eyes were deep and dark like the night sky. He wore an elegant white robe that was alien in design yet regal and commanding in a familiar way, like something a royal scribe would wear.

“Who are you?” Milica asked.

The old man didn’t seem to hear her; instead he continued to look at her as if he was waiting for her to do something. After what seemed like an eternity of waiting, Milica’s anger flared and pushed her fear aside.

“Who are you?” she asked again, this time more forcefully. The old man nodded with a look of satisfaction.

“Good. Very good. How are you feeling my dear?” he asked; his voice sounded as aged as he appeared.

“What is this place? Why have you brought me here?” she asked. The old man arched an eyebrow.

“Why do you think it was I who brought you here?” he asked.

“Are you a prisoner too?” Milica asked.

“No no, I am but a caretaker,” he replied.

“You are not dressed like a simple caretaker,” said Milica.

“Oh? And who made you the captain of the fashion police?” he asked, sounding amused.

“I am no captain. I did not even know there was a force that policed fashion,” said Milica. The old man chuckled.

“Kids have no sense of humor anymore. Or maybe it is just the world you come from,” he said.

“And how do you know about that?” Milica asked.

“I know many things,” the old man replied.

“Then you must know why I have been brought here and by whom,” said Milica.

“You have been brought here to fulfill a purpose but what that purpose is, is not yet entirely clear to me. As for who brought you here, well that would be me.”

Milica’s eyes burned with hatred. Her captor sat before her with no guards in sight, and no magical defenses to speak of. He had no fear of her and he was taunting her with that knowledge. She would have to remedy that.

“What do you want with me? Am I to be ransomed now? My mother has many daughters. She will not miss her youngest one,” Milica said; her seething emotions audible in her tone.

“And you’re okay with that?” he asked.

“Of course not! I would not be a worthless heir if you hadn’t taken me. I would be proving myself right now in the Festival!” Milica said.

“Don’t be mad at me. Be mad at fate. I did not choose you, I simply brought you here,” said the old man.

“But you still have not told me why you brought me here,” said Milica.

“Why you are here on this world? As I said, the reason is not yet entirely clear, but you’ll see why soon enough. As for why you are here in this room? That I do have an answer for. I want to know what you’re capable of.”

“What I’m capable of? What do you mean?” asked Milica.

“I saw what you did in the waiting area. Very impressive. But what could you do, say, if you were forced to fight in a life or death situation?” the old man asked.

“Are you aware of who I am, he who knows so much?” Milica asked.

“Of course! You’re Princess Milica of House Bredic from the planet Everic. Your mother is Queen Mirna Bredic of the Forked River Queendom,” said the old man.

“Then you must also know that I was trained by the best mages in the queendom,” said Milica clenching her fists.

“That’s good. Then if I were to conjure up a foul beast from the nether realms you would be able to dispatch it fairly easily?” he asked.

With a swish of his hand, a ball of energy appeared between the old man and Milica. The energy dissipated and a hairy four legged creature appeared. It was both furry and bristly and a putrid stench clung to it that made Milica wretch. It looked at Milica intently, as if it had just spotted an easy meal. The magic in Milica’s blood boiled, pushing closer to the surface.

“Cunning illusion,” she said. She placed her hands together, palms facing each other and uttered a single phrase. The creature exploded into a million shards of light, and faded from existence. “But an illusion nonetheless. You are no conjurer.”

“Not bad. How’d you see through it?” the old man asked.

“There is no magic in this place. You have no true power,” said Milica matter-of-factly.

“Power can take many shapes and forms, dear,” said the old man.

“Do not call me that. I am not your pet. My name is Milica,” she said tersely.

“Temper temper,” the old man said.

“I tire of your games. Release me from this place,” Milica demanded.

“No can do, princess,” said the old man.

“That was not a request. Release me and you yet may live to see tomorrow,” she threatened.

“Now that’s more like it. Are you ready to get serious yet?” he asked.

“Are you mad? What did you hope to gain from kidnapping me if not wealth? Was it for my power?” Milica asked.

“That has something to do with it, yes,” said the old man.

“You will learn nothing from me. My power comes from the blood. It is not a secret you can pry from me,” said Milica.

“I am not interested in acquiring your magical talents, simply using them,” said the old man.

“For what purpose?” Milica asked, her frustration overflowing.

“I’ve already told you, you just don’t listen,” said the old man.

“Enough. Release me right now or I destroy you,” Milica said furiously.

“More threats. How cute. I wonder how long you would have lasted in the Ascension like this. ‘Release me. I’m warning you. Last chance’,” the old man said, mimicking Milica’s voice. “Those aren’t fighter’s words, my dear. That is nothing more than bluff and bluster.”

That was it. Milica called upon the primordial power flowing through her veins. The magic came quickly and her whole body became engulfed in it. Her aura glowed golden like the sun and radiated across the room. She brought her palms together and entwined her fingers. The old man sat forward in his seat, interested to see what would happen. The magic condensed in her hands. It plucked the image of flames from her mind’s eye and made them reality.

“You kidnapped the wrong princess!” she screamed.

A wave of flame exploded from her hands and flew at the old man. He disappeared in the flames as they exploded, consuming everything within a ten yard radius of the ivory chair. The fire burned bright as Milica forced the conflagration to get as hot as she could make it. When the magic had done its work she let the spell go. The flames flickered away and as they did she saw the impossible. The old man was still sitting in his chair, not a single singed hair on his body. He rested his head on his hand, looking rather disappointed.

“Was that all? I thought you said you were trained by the best,” he said.

“What is this? Another illusion?” Milica asked.

“Oh I assure you I’m quite real, princess. You’re going to have to do better than that pretty light show if you’re going to do me in.”

“Disappear!” Milica said clasping her hands together again. The old man waited. When nothing happened he scratched his head and sighed. “Impossible. That’s impossible,” said Milica, suddenly afraid.

“There are many things you thought impossible that are simply not. You are going to have to accept this if we are to continue,” said the old man.

“I accept nothing! I am getting out of here and going home!” Milica screamed as more flames appeared in her hands.

“That is one of the things you are going to have to accept will not happen; not until you have fulfilled your destiny,” said the old man.

“Burn you stealer of children!” she screamed.

She compressed the flames into balls and threw them at the old man. He held his hand up and the fire balls bounced harmlessly off of him. Milica had no idea how he was protecting himself. There wasn’t a trace of magic coming from him. Milica performed a rote hand movement. A ring of fire erupted from the ground and surrounded the old man and his chair.

“Is that the only trick you know?” the old man asked, sounding bored.

“I call upon the flames of the mighty dragon!” she chanted, her hands high above her head. From the empty space above her, a well of fiery energy began to grow, swirling outwards from itself. She made a few more rote hand movements, memorized years ago. “To ashes with you,” she said.

The fire shot forward in the shape of a dragon. It opened its jaws wide and collided head first into the old man, exploding with such force that Milica was thrown backwards from the blast. The flames died down and to her horror the old man was still there. He regarded her with some amusement.

“Not bad. That one actually had some teeth to it,” he said, chuckling at his own joke.

“What are you?” Milica asked backing away from him.

“What do you think I am?” he asked as he started walking towards her.

“A ghost? An angry spirit? A… a god?” she said.

“Ha! None of those things my dear. I am but a man,” he said.

Milica tried her hardest to suppress her fear, but the sight of the man who was very much not on fire frightened her greatly. Her mind grasped for an explanation of his abilities but none came to her. Then she had a thought. He may not be an illusion, but if fire did not reach him then perhaps he was simply incorporeal. She stopped retreating, brought her hands to their proper position and started to incant the ritual her mother had taught her.

“I command the Titans thus,” she began.

“What are you doing?” the old man asked. A menacing orange glow surrounded Milica’s being.

“Bind corruption,” she said. A series of brass wires appeared from the floor and wrapped around the old man, anchoring him in the physical world with a taut snap. “Strangle evil,” she continued. The wires pressed tighter and tighter against the old man’s body until blood began to draw from him. Searing magic coursed through the wires, making the old man’s skin sizzle from the heat. “And finally, pierce the wicked!” she shouted.

With a sick wet sound, the old man’s body exploded as dozens of needles burst from inside him in all directions. They extended almost twenty feet before stopping. It was a grotesque scene, like a sculpture made by a cannibal. Milica didn’t get sick from it. She had seen her mother do worse things to criminals. It was a royal duty to exact justice personally on traitors to the throne. In fact, Milica had been the one who had pleaded her mother to teach her this particular spell. To never waste the spell on those who didn’t deserve it had been the only caveat given to her. Child stealers definitely deserved it. Milica let the spell go and the old man collapsed into a bloody little pile. Now she had to figure out how to escape from this room. She looked around for a hatch or something to blow open and gasped when she saw the old man standing very close to her.

“Don’t worry. I’d be surprised too,” he said with a disapproving frown.

“Why won’t you die?” Milica asked.

“That was clever, I have to admit. Very clever. But such a direct assault upon me does not come cheaply,” he said taking a step toward her again. Milica backed away as fast as she could; desperately hurling force bolts from her hands as she did. “Okay that’s enough. You can stop attacking me,” he said but she did not stop. “You watched me die, right before your eyes. Your attacks do nothing. You can calm down now.” Still she continued.

“It has to be a trick. No one is beyond death!” Milica shouted.

“I wanted to see what you could do and you’ve shown me. There’s no need for you to… okay you know what? Enough!” he commanded.  Milica felt her feet snap together and she fell backwards to the floor with a yelp. “Attack me again and I will destroy you, you impudent little child! Do you understand?” the old man bellowed as he stood over her tiny form.

“Please have mercy on me!” Milica pleaded, her arms shielding her face.

“Okay then. I’m glad we got that cleared up. Care for some tea or stim-juice?” he asked with a warm smile. Milica lay on the ground unmoving. After a while, she looked past her arms and saw that the old man was sitting in another ivory chair, this one big and comfortable looking. Across from him was a table and another chair, all ivory. He was sipping a cup of hot liquid, waiting for her.

“What?” she asked.

“All that magic hooblagah must have made you very tired. Why don’t you have a seat and we can talk?”

The invisible bonds around Milica’s feet were gone, but she didn’t remember when they’d gone. She didn’t move from where she was. She didn’t know what was happening or what to do.

“Are you going to sit down or not?” asked the old man.

“Why are you doing this? Why are you toying with me on the most important day of my life? Have I done something wrong? Is this punishment for a slight my family caused you?” Milica asked, trying to hold her sobs in.

“Oh don’t cry, dear. Here, have a seat,” he said, offering his hand.

Milica hesitated, and then reached for his hand. To her surprise it was solid and warm to the touch. He was not a phantom after all. She stood and cautiously sat in the other chair. All the time, the old man watched her, judged her. It felt like he was peeling away the layers of her soul and examining them. She didn’t like it one bit.

“What is this?” she asked, looking at the cup.

“Whatever you want it to be,” said the old man. Milica wished it were her nursery maid’s special brew and suddenly the cup filled itself with a steaming hot liquid.

“Is that? Did you?” Milica asked.

“Try it,” said the old man. She reached tentatively for the cup. It smelled delicious, just like her nursery maid used to make. She blew on it and took a sip. It was as delicious as it smelled.

“How did you do that without magic?” Milica asked.

“It is a long and boring explanation. Suffice to say there are other things in this world besides magic that can make the impossible real,” said the old man. Milica kept sobbing even as she enjoyed her drink. The old man worried that he might have accidentally broken her. “I’m sorry I made you cry. It was only my intention to make you snap you out of your freak out session.” Milica didn’t say anything. “If it makes you feel better, you broke the record for the amount of time it took to attack me after coming to,” the old man said with a chuckle, but Milica didn’t share his sense of humor. She was still searching for a way to escape.

“What is going to happen now?” she asked.

“That depends. Do you promise to behave?” he asked her back.

Milica swallowed nervously. She had heard stories about men like this; old crotchety sorcerers who lived alone in their towers, looking for fair maidens like her to partake in their vile rituals. She knew what he wanted. If she was to survive, she would have to do what the maidens in the stories did. She would have to wait until he was either asleep or drunk. Then she would kill him and flee. But then, how would she kill him? He had already returned from the grave twice before her very eyes. Perhaps it had been an illusion, just one so powerful even she could not break it. But there was no magic! Could that have been part of the illusion too? With a resigned sigh, she pushed a loose strand of hair behind her ear and looked the old man in the eye.

“I am yours to command,” she said.

“Er, what?” asked the old man, confused.

“I will do whatever you ask of me. I will clean you, feed you, pleasure you, anything you wish,” she said in her best servant’s voice.

“Whoa! I think you’re getting ahead of yourself,” replied the old man.

“But…”

“You’re not here for me. You’re here for you. Okay?”

Milica was dumbfounded. What was this sorcerer’s aim if not to enslave her? She’d thought all that nonsense about destiny and fate had been a ruse to get her to comply with his will. Was she too ugly for his tastes? Impossible. Perhaps boys were more to his liking. She counted herself lucky, but then realized that now she had no escape plan. What would Miradel the Bold or Iana the Daring do in her situation? They would wait it out, play along. They would use their cunning to escape this old man’s clutches. Strength was important, but there were different kinds of strength. To be named the heir, Milica had to be crafty as well as strong.

“Can I ask a question?” she asked.

“Certainly,” said the old man.

“Why did you kidnap me if you don’t know why you need me?” she asked.

“Well that is a complicated question,” he replied. “But it is an answerable one if you would like to hear a long story.” The old man settled back in his chair. “It all started… oh I haven’t introduced myself yet have I? I am called Guardian, Keeper of the Tower.”

Milica nodded but didn’t say anything. She didn’t know what to say to a man who could ignore death as if it were a pesky fly. She wished she wasn’t so terrified. Fear was weakness and she didn’t like feeling this way. She did her best to hide it, but Guardian could tell by her shaking that she was afraid. Yet at the same time, he also noticed something subtly hidden behind that frightened stare of hers. A quiet determination. Even as she offered herself to him, there was a moment when she let her guard down and he saw that determination flash briefly in her eyes.

She had no intention of staying cooped up here. That was good. He realized she had been chosen specifically for that reason. She would be the anchor for his designs. It was always different with every child. Some thought they were dreaming, some didn’t say a word, some ran away and some fought with desperate fury. She had done exactly what he’d hoped, though he was surprised by her ferocity all the same. But the mind of a child is fragile. He could lose her yet. Still so much work to do.

“I guess there is no easy way to say this so I’ll just say it. You’ve been chosen to save your world,” said Guardian. Milica almost choked on her drink when she heard that.

“Excuse me?” she said.

“Let me explain. This place you are in, it is more than just a building. It is a place of great power. Stored here are powerful artifacts of times long gone. One of these is a mechanism by which I can discern the very fabric of fate itself.  The Mechanism foresaw a catastrophe so large that it was my responsibility as Keeper to act. There are many players involved in my plan to avert this catastrophe and you are one of them.”

“I don’t understand. I am a princess, not a heroine. I cannot do what you ask of me,” said Milica.

“You have great potential in you, princess. That raw material that would have made you a great ruler can also make you a great hero. One worthy of legend,” said Guardian.

“I thought you said you didn’t know what you needed me for,” said Milica.

“I don’t. I can only infer based on the Mechanism’s readings. It does not give me many details, simply links and relationships. According to my projections you are essential,” said Guardian. Milica thought for a moment.

“What of the others? The ones in the cell?” she asked.

“They are also important but not as important as you. Everything hinges on you, Milica. Together all of you can stop what is coming. This the Mechanism has foreseen,” said Guardian.

“You kidnapped me from my home, brought me to this place, claim a device revealed dire portents to you and that I have some role to play in stopping a catastrophe?” Milica asked.

“That is a pretty concise summary,” said Guardian.

“Why? What could I possibly do to save my world that you, powerful as you are could not?” Milica asked.

“I am not as powerful as you think,” said Guardian.

“Says he who does not die,” said Milica.

“Well said. I guess what I mean to say is that while it may seem that I can change the world around me at will; my reach does not extend beyond this Tower. As its Keeper, I am bound to this place, holding my lonely vigil against the evils that would snuff humanity’s light from the stars,” said Guardian.

“Humanity?” Milica asked.

“Yes, all of human kind. I guess you’re not used to hearing big concepts like that. I apologize,” said Guardian.

“You expect me to save my world yet I am but a child to you. Why would you entrust me with such a task?” Milica asked.

“Because it is your destiny, Milica. This is what you were meant to do,” said Guardian.

“I was meant to be a Queen. I was meant to rule,” Milica said, though it didn’t seem directed at Guardian. Her eyes had lost their focus. He was losing her.

“Those are still things you can do, my dear. Once your quest has ended I will send you back to where you came. You are not trapped here and I am not your captor. I am simply a facilitator. An expeditor,” said Guardian.

“And what is it that threatens my world?” Milica asked. With a flick of the wrist, Guardian summoned the image of a short blue creature holding a golden rod.

“This. It is called a Groneen,” he said.

“That?” Milica asked.

“Yes,” said Guardian.

“That is what threatens my world?”

“Yes,” said Guardian.

“But it is so small and feeble looking. And what is that it’s holding?” Milica asked.

“Do not misunderstand. It is not one of these creatures but billions and billions of them that are the problem. As we speak they are spreading across the stars, consuming everything in their path and soon they will discover the means to invade your home. If they do it will be too late for Everic,” said Guardian. Milica stared at the creature for a long time, her mind processing everything she’d just learned.

“What would you have me do?” Milica finally asked.

“Glad you asked,” said Guardian. He made a motion with his hand and the room came apart. The ceiling disappeared high above their heads and the walls fell away, revealing an even bigger room beyond it. Milica was stunned by the sight. She had never seen a non-magical person do what Guardian had done and she began to suspect she would continue to be surprised as the day wore on.

“Princess!” shouted Clodi. Milica saw the other youths rapidly approaching. They were sitting in ivory chairs like she was, holding on for dear life as the chairs arranged themselves in front of Guardian.

“What’s going on here?” Neg demanded to know. His eyes were red like he’d been crying profusely.

“I think I’ve seen enough from each of you. Consider the vetting process over, for now begins our work. The work of saving our worlds,” said Guardian, his arms spread wide.

“I’m confused,” said Gairmo.

“We’ve all been chosen. We’re like heroes!” said Clodi, somehow giddy through all of this.

“What is the matter with you? Are you a crazy person?” Neg asked her.

“I’m not crazy I just think this is kinda cool. I’ve never been chosen for anything in my life,” said Clodi.

“Oh would you be quiet! I grow tired of listening to your voice,” Milica said. Clodi frowned but didn’t say anything back.

“Now children, be nice to each other. You’re going to be working together for a good long while,” said Guardian.

“What do you mean? What do you want from us?” Gairmo asked.

“I want you to help me save your worlds,” said Guardian.

“This isn’t real. None of this is happening,” said Neg, though he didn’t sound so sure himself.

“It’s okay, Neg. We’ll be okay if we all stick together,” said Clodi. Guardian smiled. Kind Clodi Grue in perfect form. He had to refocus them.

“Yes all of you will be fine for now but you must listen,” said Guardian. The commotion ceased. “As I explained to each of you, disaster looms. The Groneen are getting ever closer to discovering warp travel. That which brought you here will soon be in their grasp.”

“Where is here? What is this place?” Neg asked. He wouldn’t last long like that. Guardian would have to do something before he lost the boy.

“You’re in the Tower. It is the last monument ever built by Man. Its purpose was to be a lasting symbol of hope in this universe. Unfortunately, the Tower’s builders were too far seeing to notice the immediate challenges that threatened their world,” Guardian said wistfully.

“And where is this tower?” Gairmo asked.

“On a world you’ve never heard of. Clodi was right before. Each of you was brought here from a different world. What unites you all is that your worlds are equally threatened by the Groneen,” said Guardian. He clapped his hands and a hatch silently opened on the floor. A huge… thing rose from the hatch. Milica could give the shape no name, it simply was and it astonished her, filling up almost the entire room with its mass.

“What is that?” Clodi asked, mesmerized by the sight.

“Please tell me I’m going to wake up soon,” said Neg, burying his face in his hands.

“Do any of you know what a compass is?” asked Guardian.

“To follow the light of the heavens, the craftsman made that which could trace the invisible from top to bottom. No matter where, he would find his way. So it is written,” said Yana.

“When did he get here?” asked Gairmo.

“That’s not a boy,” said Clodi.

“Okay, so some of you do know what a compass is,” said Guardian. He pointed to the Mechanism. “This is like a universal compass. It points the way to many things. It is hard to decipher it sometimes, but it is clear that each of you is necessary for what comes next. In order to avert disaster, you have been chosen. That is why I brought you here.”

“That is what you were talking about? This thing foretells the future?” asked Milica.

“Yes. More specifically it reads the waves of probability and causality that emanate throughout the multiverse but anyway I found each of you with the help of this Mechanism,” said Guardian.

“So it’s like a computer?” asked Clodi.

“Precisely, Clodi,” said Guardian. A small golden orb floated down from above and buzzed near Guardian’s ear. He nodded. “I see. That’s very fortunate.”

“What is that?” Clodi asked.

“How I love your questions,” Guardian said with a smile. “Children, I would like you to meet Unit. He is my assistant.”

“Hello,” said Clodi.

“Greetings,” said the orb.

“It can talk,” said Gairmo, mystified.

“He’s just reminded me that we’re running a little behind schedule and as much as I would like to answer all of your questions like why me, how is this possible, how can we all understand each other even though we don’t speak the same language and all that junk I think it would be better if we began our work,” said Guardian.

“I refuse,” said Milica. The others looked at her as she stood from her chair. “You have given me no reason to trust your words.”

“There’s always a skeptic, but I didn’t expect it’d be you, “said Guardian.

“Always?” Milica asked.

“Never mind. So what sort of proof would you like?” Guardian asked.

“I don’t want your proof. I want you to send me home,” said Milica.

“That’s a request I cannot abide,” said Guardian.

“You said you were not our captor. If that is true, let us go,” Milica said. Clever girl, Guardian thought.

“You would abandon your duty even after all you’ve heard?” Guardian asked.

“I have no duty to any of you. My only duty is to my Queendom,” said Milica. Guardian smirked.

“What you say is true. You are all free to leave whenever you like. However, doing so will have tremendous consequences for all of you,” Guardian said ominously.

“Is that a threat?” Milica asked.

“Is he gonna kill us? He’s gonna kill us isn’t he?” Neg said, losing his cool once again.

“I could explain, but perhaps it would be better to show you,” said Guardian. “Unit? The lights please.” The lights dimmed and a massive screen appeared which hung silently in the air.

“Hello,” said a disembodied voice, “and welcome to your orientation.”



© 2021 StarNinja


Author's Note

StarNinja
Let's get this show on the road. Reviews people, let's see reviews! Keep in mind this is rough draft stuff here.

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Omar’s thoughts wandered to Phillip. What he could not process was the amazing feats Phillip had managed to accomplish.

*Alternative: No matter how many times he tried to wrap his head around it, Omar could not process the amazing feats Phillip had managed to accomplish.

More hours passed. Omar had gotten hungry and scanned one of the subbats to see if it would be edible. Unfortunately it was a fairly toxic creature, probably due to its fungal diet. The leathery wings would have to suffice.

*Remark: Nice. I enjoyed the bit of biology lesson you inserted here... the reason behind the toxicity of the bats.

“Apologies will do you no good on a slide. In fact, you will have no one to apologize to because all of your mates will be dead on account of your mess up! Set it up again!” Akri commanded.

*Remark: what an a*****e...

“Advance team continue,” said Omar as he navigated the dense jungle underbrush, his team following close behind.

*Suggestion: it would be interesting to see actual visuals of the jungle underbush. You can describe some bits here and there of the setting as Omar explores the place.

And suddenly a deafening explosion that even the slider suit auto-senses couldn’t correct.

*Remark: By that, were you perhaps referring to a noise-cancelling device? Maybe it will be more clear to the reader if you tell them -briefly and before hand- how auto-senses function. Contrary to the general rule, sometimes tell is better than show. Sometimes.

“Understood,” said Omar as he went for the source of the distress call.

*Correction: distressed call.

“Silence, Cadet Major. Everyone reached the Breaker in time despite your efforts not because of them..."

*Suggestion: Everyone reached the Breaker in time despite your efforts not thanks to them.

"...Tenko tries to behave like a hero at every juncture and I have had it!”
“When did trying to emulate our heroes become a bad thing?” Molfen asked.

*Remark: Always, always one of my favorite lines in this chapter.

*P.S: I noticed a Sin Tula here... Just to let you know, I have a character named Tula in the book you are reading right now. And weather you came up with the female name innovatively or you looked up somewhere, don't let it bring you down, because the similarity of the two names in my story and yours are pure coincidence.

See you on the next chapter.
~Aysha



Posted 6 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

StarNinja

5 Months Ago

Ah yes, I never did get around to explaining auto-senses. I'll have to correct that! A more descript.. read more



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Omar’s thoughts wandered to Phillip. What he could not process was the amazing feats Phillip had managed to accomplish.

*Alternative: No matter how many times he tried to wrap his head around it, Omar could not process the amazing feats Phillip had managed to accomplish.

More hours passed. Omar had gotten hungry and scanned one of the subbats to see if it would be edible. Unfortunately it was a fairly toxic creature, probably due to its fungal diet. The leathery wings would have to suffice.

*Remark: Nice. I enjoyed the bit of biology lesson you inserted here... the reason behind the toxicity of the bats.

“Apologies will do you no good on a slide. In fact, you will have no one to apologize to because all of your mates will be dead on account of your mess up! Set it up again!” Akri commanded.

*Remark: what an a*****e...

“Advance team continue,” said Omar as he navigated the dense jungle underbrush, his team following close behind.

*Suggestion: it would be interesting to see actual visuals of the jungle underbush. You can describe some bits here and there of the setting as Omar explores the place.

And suddenly a deafening explosion that even the slider suit auto-senses couldn’t correct.

*Remark: By that, were you perhaps referring to a noise-cancelling device? Maybe it will be more clear to the reader if you tell them -briefly and before hand- how auto-senses function. Contrary to the general rule, sometimes tell is better than show. Sometimes.

“Understood,” said Omar as he went for the source of the distress call.

*Correction: distressed call.

“Silence, Cadet Major. Everyone reached the Breaker in time despite your efforts not because of them..."

*Suggestion: Everyone reached the Breaker in time despite your efforts not thanks to them.

"...Tenko tries to behave like a hero at every juncture and I have had it!”
“When did trying to emulate our heroes become a bad thing?” Molfen asked.

*Remark: Always, always one of my favorite lines in this chapter.

*P.S: I noticed a Sin Tula here... Just to let you know, I have a character named Tula in the book you are reading right now. And weather you came up with the female name innovatively or you looked up somewhere, don't let it bring you down, because the similarity of the two names in my story and yours are pure coincidence.

See you on the next chapter.
~Aysha



Posted 6 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

StarNinja

5 Months Ago

Ah yes, I never did get around to explaining auto-senses. I'll have to correct that! A more descript.. read more
Okay, let's quote some of my favorite lines as a start:

"Pubertic parameters maladjusted."

“Yeah but… ow,” said Phillip as he rubbed his face.
“Interesting. The slap does act as a mental reset. You have strange but effective customs on your world,” said Omar.

-Hahaa! I love that Cadet.

“When did trying to emulate our heroes become a bad thing?” Molfen asked.

This chapter was a long one! And quite essential, I believe, in revealing another dimension of our second most important character.

It would seem to me at first impression and later observation, that the "Holy Green Terra" can be seen from one corner, as the mirror of Earth; the reflection standing opposite Phillip's planet in an alternative universe. The mental features of Omar, to begin with, are what Phillip is not. The first boy relies on contemplation of one's self and of others around him and a quick estimated calculation, while the second boy is more directed by his emotional alarms and later-on reactions like how he keeps the strong urge to 'get out of here' company after every conversation or argument with his partner.

There was mainly focus on Omar's training and the nature of social relationships in that atmosphere, but it is to some point not inaccurate to imagine Planet Terra and it's people as the more advanced, civilized, and also conservative version of Earth. There is a tradition (not practiced on earth) or maybe a necessity of educating young boys and girls in the field of physical-fitness, military-readiness, invasion and self-defense techniques in a tightly-monitored atmosphere and accurate tracking of time with every move. Terra is also conservative in ithe way its people preserve the old-fashioned consideration for differences in power hierarchy. There is evidence, through being shown Omar's reactions and being informed of his internal emotions, of dutifully maintaining or perhaps surrendering to good-conduct related to being respectful of the older individuals responsible of higher positions, even when the latter ones are in the wrong or unable to see what younger trainers see. On Earth and in the era Phillip lived in, this kind of obligation and tolerance towards age-difference was in its early stages of fragmentation into individualism.

"He bent down and grabbed Omar’s arm. “Don’t think I will tolerate any more of this. I am the teacher right now.”
“Yes, Sin,” Omar struggled to say. Akri could tell Omar didn’t mean it."

Phillip also somewhat reminds me of a typical late-bloomer. Indicating self-destructive fear or negativity towards everything new --and at times proving 'undetected usefulness' in trouble hours-- But later proves otherwise.

So, the picture is clearing up now. Phillip, the cowardly human that finds courage when it is VERY unlikely to be found and Omar, the foreign right hand/friend that the main character strongly needs in order to mature and develop towards the trail of the plot.

I've read this chapter previously, and now after a second reading, I apologize for the late review. I will try to be active more often on the Cafe after my exam week. In addition to what's mentioned above, your characters' style of speech is very palatable and fitting of their introductory characteristics and it reveals a lot about who they are and where they come from, and I think you displayed that sleekly in Qu-Ni and Sin Akri scenes. But you might want to try to expand your vocabulary in general like replacing " The sutures were almost done," with "The machine had almost finished applying stitches." maybe something shorter than my suggestion.. Thank you for sharing, and keep writing! Still a fan of 'Warped'. : )

-Rain.

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

StarNinja

7 Years Ago

Hey don't worry about it, focus on those exams! :)
Once again thank you for the input. Someti.. read more

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Added on October 19, 2011
Last Updated on May 27, 2021
Tags: Warp, 80's, fantasy, project, Phillip, Omar, alien, planet


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StarNinja
StarNinja

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