XeoNexus Episode 1: Guardian Chapter 1

Prologue: Nearly four thousand years ago, an evil and malevolent force threatened the Earth.  That force was the Dark Realm and its army led by their evil ruler known as Jaquio.  Jaquio had his sights set on conquering Earth just as he has conquered the Light Realm known as Argetha one millennium ago.  It was once a beautiful place and the Argethan people lived in peace for a long time.  Until a malicious being and his army come to the peaceful plane and wreaked havoc across all of Argetha; they brought chaos and destruction to the land, decimating everything in sight and ravaging the land with death and destruction stripping it of its former beauty.  The Argethan ruler’s castle was demolished and, in its place, stands a twisted and malevolent spire known as the Tower of Darkness; a sinister castle brought out by hate that the Dark Realm lord called Jaquio calls home.  The Realm of Light was turned into the Dark Realm and the Argethan people were enslaved, forced to build weapons and armor for the army of Jaquio.  However, Jaquio wanted more.  He gathered his army and set out to conquer a little blue planet called Earth.

Edenia, the Spirit of Earth, sensing the threat, called upon four gods from the four corners of the Earth to come together to combat an evil that threatened man and god alike.  An epic battle ensues.  The four gods, having set aside their differences, clash with the forces of the Dark Realm in a conflict that shook the Earth.  After the intense clash, the four gods succeeded in driving Jaquio’s army back to their desolate realm.  With his plans in ruin, Jaquio left, vowing to return the Earth and succeeding where he has failed.  Millenniums pass by and the remnants of that epic battle are lost through history.  Lost but not forgotten.

Chapter 1

It is just another typical day in Philadelphia, with people going to work in Center City and other parts of Philadelphia.  The city is alive with people commuting to work by whatever means were available.  Some people carpooled with their fellow co-workers, some took a taxi and others rode on Septa.  The Coffee Hut on Market Street is packed with people as they stop in for their morning coffee before heading to work.  The vendors that line the street are especially active as they tend to their customers who want their morning breakfast to go.  It is a rush to get in their morning breakfast or snack before a long hard day at work.  Interstate 95 is crowded with cars as drivers from New Jersey commute to Center City to work and Philadelphia residents travel to New Jersey for their jobs.  As these people are sitting in their cars on the crowded highway they find ways to pass the time until the rush hour traffic clears.  Some people read the newspaper.  Some are listening to their favorite radio station and others are talking on their cell phones and drinking their morning coffee.  But all of them have one thing in common.  They are all getting frustrated due to the length of the traffic jam.  “When the hell is this traffic gonna start moving!  Everyday this freakin’ happens!” a frustrated man yells as he honks his horn, “Come on damn it!”

Today is just as normal as any other day in Philly, but for one high school student at Theodore Roosevelt today is going to result in some changes.  Brayden Pryce is your average high school student.  He likes going to class, hanging out with friends and just having fun.  He meets up with his friend Dan while on his way to his first class.  “Hey Dan,” Brayden said as he shook his hand. 

“Dude, what’s up?” said Dan. 

“So, are you ready for another fun filled day of learning?” Brayden said sarcastically as they walked toward the building.

“Aw c’mon, you’re kidding me, right?” Dan said.

“Remember, dude, we are the future leaders of the world.”

“If that’s the case then the first thing I’m gonna do when I become a leader is decree no more school,” Dan said jokingly.

They laugh at Dan’s remark as they enter the building and walk down the first hallway.  Roosevelt High was bustling as students make their way to their first class.  They talk and converse amongst each other about what ever interests them.  Dan Snider is Brayden’s best friend.  They have known each other since they were kids.  Dan is opposite of Brayden when it comes to school.  He can be a slacker but he’s a lot smarter than he lets off.  It’s this laid-back attitude of his that’s a perfect complement with Brayden’s care-free demeanor.  Brayden and Dan approach Brayden’s first class and it was time for them to part ways.  “Alright see you later; last class,” said Brayden. 

“Don’t remind me,” said Dan rolling his eyes.

“Later, dude,” Brayden said with a chuckle.

“Later,” Dan said as he and Brayden touched fists.

Dan continued his way down the hall as Brayden went it to the class room a sat down.  A few minutes later the teacher walks in and greets the class.  “Good morning, everybody,” said the teacher as she went to her desk and sat her briefcase on top of it.  “Good morning Mrs. Kilborne,” the class said in unison.  Mrs. Kilborne sat in her chair started talking about today’s lesson.

Three hours later it was time for lunch.  Brayden decides to go to the library and read up on tonight’s homework about the Civil War.  When he found the book he was looking, he sat down at one of the tables and started reading.  While he was reading, a girl from his history class walks over to him and taps him on the shoulder.  “Um, excuse me,” she said in a soft, polite voice.  He looks over at her and sees that she is kind of cute with shoulder length almond hair, brown eyes and a slightly round face.  She was wearing a black T-shirt with stone washed blue jeans and black boots.  “You in my history class, right?” she said. 

“Yeah, name’s Brayden,” said Brayden. 

“Hi, I’m Heather,” she said.  Then Heather points to the chair opposite of Brayden and says, “May I?”  Brayden gives a nod.  “Thanks.  I heard that you were really good in this class and I was wondering if you could help me,” Heather said as she moved the chair next to Brayden and sat down.

“Sure, always glad to help a damsel in distress,” Brayden said with a smile, causing Heather to blush, “So where exactly are you having trouble.”

“Pretty much everything,” Heather said with a laugh, “I don’t know jack about the Civil War except for that old movie with some lady named Scarlet or whatever.”

“You mean ‘Gone with the Wind?’”

“You see; I didn’t even know that.”

“Fair enough,” Brayden chuckled, “We’ll begin here.”

Brayden and Heather read the book together and he helps her with tonight’s homework assignment. After lunch was over, they decide to remain in the library through the next class since they both had the same class.

The school day went on as usual with students changing classes and teachers handing out assignments.  Brayden was sitting in his last class of the day while the teacher explains tonight’s assignment.  Dan was sitting next to him, obviously bored with the class as he lets out a big yawn.  “Man, how much longer is this guy gonna talk.  He’s been at it ever since class started,” said Dan. 

“Don’t worry dude.  In about five minutes, it’ll be time for your favorite part of the school day; the end,” Brayden said to him. 

“Yeah, well it seems like it’s taking forever,” Dan said as he slumped in his chair out of boredom.  Brayden chuckles a little at his friend.  The bell rings signaling the end of another school day.  Dan and Brayden are the first ones out of class.  They stop off at their respective lockers and meet up at the entrance. 

“Ahh, freedom,” Dan said as he and Brayden exit the building, relieved to be out of school. 

“Come on, it wasn’t that bad,” Brayden said as they walked towards the front gate. 

“That bad?  I didn’t think it could get any worse,” said Dan, “Anyway, what are you doin’ this weekend?”  Brayden says that he isn’t doing anything.  “You wanna hang out?” asked Dan.  Brayden asks what they were doing.  Dan suggests they go to their favorite hangout—a pool hall.

“Cool.  Who’s all goin’?” Brayden wondered.

“Uh, Jake, Cindy, um…Frank, Chopper, Tracie, Millie, Sandy and her sister Cat, Will and Axel.  Oh and of course us,” Dan told him.

“All right, what time are we leaving?”

“We’re all meeting at my house and leaving around four.”

“Sounds good, so I’ll see you tomorrow,” said Brayden.

“Yep.  Later.”

“Later,” Brayden said as they shook hands, “Don’t forget about tonight’s homework.”  Dan groaned in protest and Brayden chuckled, “Later, dude.”

“Hey don’t forget to call me tonight, and remember Rob Zombie’s new video is on tonight, so don’t forget,” Dan said.

“Not a problem.  I’ll buzz you about nine-ish,” Brayden said.

“Excellent, all right gotta go,” Dan said.

They touched fists and went their separate ways.  Dan got a ride from his brother and Brayden walked to Cottman Avenue to catch the bus.  When the bus arrives, he gets on and puts his token in the fare box.  He sits in the back of the bus and watches the sky as it gets dark.  There’s a thunderstorm brewing outside as the sky darkens to a grayish-blue.  As he is traveling home, the sky grows darker and angrier as more storm clouds gather together, preparing to dump their load of rain on the ground below them. Always the one to never miss a good storm, Brayden decides to get off the bus a couple stops before the one he normally gets off at.  He was always fascinated by thunderstorms even as a child.  Whenever there was a thunderstorm he always felt as if he was drawn to it, like his only satisfaction came from being in a storm, to be part of it.  And today’s storm was no different, just more enjoyable.  As he’s walking home, Brayden decides to cut through the football field of the school around the corner from his house as it starts to rain lightly.  He takes his time enjoying the beauty of the storm as the darkened sky is brought to life by the flashes of lightning and the roaring thunder.‘Ahh, now this is relaxing.’ He thinks to himself.  While he was standing in the middle of the field savoring each droplet of rain that fell on him and the scent of moisture in the air, a bolt of lightning streaks down and strikes one of the posts on the field goal.  Instinctively, Brayden shields his face and turns away from the shimmering spark of electricity.  The smell of the electric discharge filled the air.  “Whew…that was close,” he said as he lowered his arms from his face, “I think I better get out of this one.”  Nearly being struck by lightning would’ve frightened most people but for some reason this experience has rather excited Brayden.  It was almost as if he found some joy in almost being hit.  He thought about this as he continued to make his way through the field unwavering from the storm.  Just then another bolt of lightning shoots down and strikes Brayden, sending him flying through the air. He hits the ground hard and slides almost back towards the goal posts.  “Okay, that hurt,” he groans as he hauls himself up. While standing halfway up, he is struck again. Brayden has no time to scream, no time to cry out as nature’s fury rips through his body. His body locks up tight as every muscle and nerve is sent into overdrive. For a moment, time slows. The rain droplets hang in the air for a split second. Time resumes normally. Brayden stands silently before dropping to his knees and then to the ground. Ripples of electricity course over his body before softly fading.  The rain kept falling in huge drops of water as he lay in the soggy grass.

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