In a dying world plunged in complete chaos, does a man have what it takes to awaken and control the power residing in him? Can he change the planet? Is his creed strong enough to be able to bear th...
I'll be getting straight to the point: I'M A COMPLETE NEWBIE HERE so please bear with my writing skills. Reviews, criticisms, and suggestions will be greatly appreciated. I also would like to dedicate this whole story to a certain girl named Diana. I hope she gets to read this.
In a dying world plunged in complete chaos, does a man have what it takes to awaken and control the power residing in him? Can he change the planet? Is his creed strong enough to be able to bear the consequences of his actions?
Chapter1: A Flood Of Memories
Light. It's been a long time since he last saw light. Light flooded his vision as he slowly opened his eyes. The lad could not make out anything at first. It was just all white. Shadows slowly formed in his vision as he strained to see. This went on for a couple of minutes, white then shadows, then back to white. Eventually, the image became clear.
The lad surveyed his surroundings. He was sitting on the floor with his back leaning on the wall in a room similar to a prison cell; the only difference is he doesn't know why he is there. He doesn't even know who he is. He can't remember a thing. He struggled to stand but fell over. He felt so weak, like someone has drained his body of blood. With no power to even stand, he contented himself at examining the room where he is. The room or rather cell seems to be centuries old with its brick walls thickly covered with dust and the iron bars already rusting. A musty smell emanates all over the place even beyond the room. Outside, there was no source of illumination except for the torches outside the cell which glow faintly and the eerie purple light glowing on the wall where he was leaning on.
He turned to face the wall behind him. True enough, purple light was glowing behind him. However, it was not the wall which is glowing but the thing that is embedded on it. His eyes tried to focus on the thing, trying to see what it was.
He made out a huge circular symbol of some sort made out of crystals, purple glowing crystals. The crystals glowed faintly but its light was enough to illuminate anything near it. That's when he noticed of the five chains connected to each of the corners of a star-shaped symbol inside the circle. Almost all of the links of the chains were broken except for one, the one handcuffed to his right hand.
Struggling with all his might, he tugged the chain.
"Shit, don't faint, you idiot." He cursed himself. He continued to struggle even though he felt very weak. He was already losing consciousness when he heard a low-breaking sound. He sighed with relief as he realized that the chain broke. He tried to stand again. However, at that very instant, a wave of nausea hit him. Not knowing why he did it, he held onto the wall for support. He looked back at the symbol. Suddenly, images came flooding into his mind.
A young lad dressed in what seems to be a soldier uniform, hundreds of crystallized creatures, dead bodies of soldiers piled on top of each other. The images came fast and blurry, but somehow the images carried bits of information into his mind.
Trey Crest is his name. He is a 21 yr. old citizen of----He can't remember the name of his homeland. All he knew was he used to be a soldier of an empire. The Empire, his home is the only place that symbolizes the whole Eastern Lands. Among the four other main empires in the world, his place of origin was the strongest and had the most advancement in technology especially in warfare.
A huge hexagonal structure in the desert, that's the impression his birthplace would immediately give to visitors. It was the only human habitat to be situated in a desert. However, this proved to be a tactical defensive position because sandstorms are frequent in the desert of Gard where it was located, providing camouflage to the city. When seen from afar, the structure looks more like a citadel than a city. Up close, the city is a sight to behold. Canons protrude form the huge metallic walls that cover even the tallest skyscrapers. Towers taller than the wall, on the other hand, serve as corners of the hexagonal city. Inside, tall buildings litter the place which one will only see if he/she is granted access to enter. With only one entrance and exit that has enough space for only one person, a visit is already considered a great privilege. In reality, however, various entrances are hidden in the desert, only accessible to the citizens and can serve as "ambush-site"for soldiers.
Trey focused his gaze on the crystals embedded in the symbol as images again flooded his mind, images of a newspaper article, a man talking to him, and him dressed in a soldier's uniform fighting indistinct shadows.
Radiance Crystals, that's what the scientists decided to call the purple-glowing crystals when they discovered it in the country of Althus in the Southern Lands. The date of discovery was A.C. 1001-Mnem. The date was considered as the date of hope for times were hard back then. Due to the rapid and continuous progress of cities all over the world the demand for energy resources went high. This later on caused a massive depletion of energy resources which scientists pertain to as"The Famine." The cities were getting more and more desperate for an alternative source of energy and conserve what little is left.
The Famine caused a great change in the world as sources of energy slowly disappeared.
"Is the end of the world at hand?"He remembered reading an article's headline in the newspaper regarding The Famine. According to the article, many fertile lands have already turned into barren lands and deserts keep emerging in places where it shouldn't. Countries, empires, and continents encouraged their citizens to conserve energy. For example, the Reiliff empire started the use of"hydro-cyrstals" in replacement for the expensive "Arnix grains" in industrial productions. The city of Rigor, on the other hand, revived the cultivation of nature-friendly "Brohm pearls" as source of energy for their weapons. The used of Ferals as transportation instead of cruisers and cycles was encouraged all around the world.
However, any news of an alternative energy source results immediately to wars between countries, between empires, and between continents and the discovery of the crystals was no exception.
The discovery brought great turmoil for it was proven the"Radiance"; the energy inside the crystals was tremendous and infinite. Hope immediately spread on the world for it has found a source of everlasting energy. The next day after the crystals' discovery, alliances were made. Troops and weapons were prepared. A war started to brew and Althus will definitely receive its boiling rage.
The war that ensued became known to history as the "Empire Wars" for there in the Zygoras Mines, the place of Radiance discovery, in the country of Althus the four empires that symbolize the four main continets battled. Vaugnaut Empire from the Northern Lands, Azerix Empire of the Southern Lands, Reiliff Empire of the Western Lands, and his native land, the empire that he serves for the Eastern Lands all battled for control of the mines.
The war lasted for almost half a month. By the end of A.C. 1002- Vehn, the Azerix Empire has fallen into the hands of Vaugnaut. Vaugnaut was running out of soldiers and weapons. Reiliff was the only empire to have sustained minimal loses. His empire, on the other hand was already forced to the borders of Zygoras Mines.
He was just a cadet that time. However, because of the possibility of a siege to happen, Trey together with the other cadets was ordered to guard the city. During the war he heard little about the current state of the Empire's forces. But from what he heard, it was losing. It was destined to lose, or so he thought for on the 36th day of A.C. 1002-Vehn, it showed its superiority.
"It happened all of sudden." His father narrated to him. Even though he cannot remember the face of the person narrating, he knew it was his father.
Reiliff managed to banish his empire from the mines completely. However, as soon as the Reiliff soldiers were rejoicing, there was an explosion. The first explosion was followed by many more. Black smoke greatly enveloped the whole area. Before they knew it, their comrades started to fall one by one. Cycles flew over their heads and each time the cycles' wheels will touch the ground, a brief shot will be heard and soon after that a body will fall for one shot is all it takes for the Empire's slingers to take down the enemy.
No one could see the slingers because their cycles and uniforms are black; black as the smoke mines they have planted. By night time almost all of Reiliff's soldiers were dead. Vaugnaut, on the other hand tried to take advantage of the chaos by using Azerix's remaining weapons and soldiers.
"You could imagine their surprise back then----Trey's faceless father told him when Vaugnaut found out that the Empire's huge metallic cruisers made short work of the captured Azerix camp.
"Then when the remaining enemy soldiers reached the borders as they run for their lives, the strikers came." His father said with excitement like the excitement in a mother's voice when telling the best part of a fairytale to her children.
Strikers, that's the only thing that kept him in the military. He always hoped that from being a cadet, he would be promoted to the striker division. Strikers are considered the assassins in their military. Characterized by their long, black leather coats and the silver rings they were on each of their fingers, they are truly a sight to behold. Added their ability to wield multiple long blades ranging from wood to metal, and to even pure stone and with their awesome stealth and dexterity skills, they are the deadliest fighters the military has. According to his father, the strikers made short work of the remaining enemies.
By dawn, the Empire managed to completely control the mines. This sudden victory earned it the title "The Great Tide." However, this victory brought tragedies over the next few months.
The exact date was 6th of A.C. 1002-Mhar, Trey remembered reading on the newspaper. By that time gigantic plants were already built around the mines. Hostility was practiced. Any non-empire soldier and citizen alike who get close to the borders were shot dead by slingers. No one tried to oppose such hostility for no one had such power to oppose. Vaugnaut even surrendered some of its cities to the empire's control. Azerix was now history. Reiliff lost its power to its very own citizens. Those would have been big news but the tragedy that happened in the plants was bigger and more unforgettable.
It was the very first Radiance extraction. If it prove to be successful then the world won't need to worry about energy depletion anymore. Plant XZ-003 was the first plant to conduct the extraction.
Everything went smoothly at first. The scientists even managed to complete a 50% extraction. However, by the time 75% of the extraction was completed, a major energy surge occurred. No one expected this. The scientists tried shutting down the whole plant, but things only took a turn for the worse.
A gigantic energy explosion ensued, obliterating even the plants near it. It left a big crater at the mines. Only a few survived the incident. The mystery, according to the writer of the article is;
"Where did they take the survivors?
"What happened to them?"
"Is the rumor about the survivors getting some-sort of illness true?"
"So the crystals are useless after all." Trey remembered saying to himself after reading the article.
"Looks like the crystals aren't stable for energy extraction."remarked by---- He forgot even the name of the faceless person sitting beside him that time.
True enough, the mining of Radiance crystals were stopped one week after the incident. Scientists of the empire then focused on finding away to make the crystals stable.
"Earthquake strikes Northern Lands!"the newspapers said for on the 19th day of A.C. 1002-Knov when agreat earthquake occurred in the Northern Lands. Twenty cities collapsed, including some of the cities of Vaugnaut. The earthquake also opened up numerous sand pits in the Grahn Desert near the Northern Lands. Because of fear of an aftershock, traveling across the Northern Lands was greatly discouraged. However, the earthquake also brought a solution to the crystals' instability.
On the third day after the earthquake, a floating temple was found at the middle of Grahn Desert by his birthplace's passing salvage teams. Curious and awe-struck by the temple, the salvagers decided to explore it.
The salvage team had a hard time reaching the temple but it was all worth it for inside the temple they found the answer to their problem. Inside, they found a Radiance crystal embedded in an altar carved with strange circular markings.
"Creed Mark." Trey muttered as he realized what the symbol on the wall was. Creed Mark, a symbol composed of the four elemental oracular symbols representing the four elements, and named after the legendary hero, Creed, who killed the thirteen-eyed demon, Akrenon. It is the only thing that can stabilize Radiance. After months of negotiation, his homeland finally got held of the temple and the mining of the crystals continued.
Everything was slowly coming back to Trey now. It was as if the chain was a switch connected to his memories for the moment it came off his memories started coming back. However, most of the memories coming back to him were disturbing especially the images of his fight with the Naturals.
Naturals are creatures made up of Radiance crystals. They were discovered in a large room inside the temple. Not a single detail was known about them. This prompted the scientists to conduct studies on the creatures. This decision of the Empire took its toll on the world on A.C. 1002-Syra.
There were thirteen Naturals discovered and subjected to experiments. However, eight escaped. Days later, reports of cities being taken over by Naturals started sprouting up. People bitten by Naturals caught adisease known as "Infection" and were later turned into "Infected." Signs of"Infection" include high fever, appearance of numerous rashes in great sizes which burst after a matter of minutes, releasing pus and blood, and lastly, the formation of Radiance crystals on the rashes that burst.
Within days cities fell apart one by one. Soon, a worldwide declaration of war against"Naturals" and the "Infected" was made.
This last bit information agitated Trey for he remembered something, something important and recent.
His homeland is about to fall. Trey shuddered at the very remembrance of the memory. Suddenly, he started to remember what might be the last thing he did before ending up in his current place.
He was with the other soldiers defending the borders of the Empire as more and more Naturals and Infected showed up. However, even their crystal-powered weapons were useless for both Naturals and Infected can control the crystals. It was already noon that time on the 21st day of A.C. 1002-Zheiger and the desert was in pure chaos. Naturals, Infected and soldiers battled furiously. The scene was intensified by occasional sand storms. This, however, didn't help them.
They were at complete disadvantage. They were the last line of defense of the Empire against the hordes of hell. There were about 100,000 of them left together with a handful slingers and strikers. Cadets were already permitted to use cruisers and cycles, and Trey was one of those cadets. He still remembered how he dodged his way through the battlefield. He rammed Naturals and Infected alike but he never used the Radiance gun given to him.
He is scared of using a gun. His hands would always tremble while holding a gun. That's why he always joked about how he would be immediately kicked out of the army if he was promoted to the slingers'division. But times were different back then. Now, cadets were permitted to use guns, canons, swords, whatever weapon they can use to defend the city. However, that didn't change their position.
Radiance blasts were being fired from all directions. When inside the battlefield, the blasts looked like meteors falling from the sky. Combine that with sand and occasional winds and you have the perfect zero-visibility battlefield. Fortunately, Trey managed to get out of the battlefield alive and uninfected despite these conditions. While dodging he would occasionally stumble into crystal shards of Naturals and an arm or leg of an Infected. These don't bother him while he was on the battlefield but the sufferings of his comrades do. He remembered seeing a fellow cadet being torn from head to toe by a group of Infected and another one being feasted upon by aNatural.
By night, the last line of defense was almost wiped out. Trey, together with a handful of cadets was asked to retreat as the remaining cruisers together with a few slingers and strikers tried their best to keep the creatures at bay. He remembered looking at the night sky one last time before he retreated.
As Trey reached the base camp, a gruesome and sorrowful sight greeted him. The whole camp echoed with screams of agony and pain. Everywhere he looked is a sad sight. He saw a soldier crying in pain as he transform into an Infected. Another one, a striker cut his left arm which was beginning to grow crystals as he too also gets the Infection. A fellow cadet gouging his right eyeball as a huge crystal already sprouted from it. He tried to avoid their gaze, tried to shut out the screams of agony, of sadness, of death. He tried to walk faster but his feet seem to be so heavy.
Why does this have to happen?
He repeated the same lines in his head as he walked towards the tent of the officer-in-charge.
Upon reaching the tent of the O-I-C Trey gave his report. He was then briefed on their situation. That's when he learned the truth about the disease, Infection. Persons who are bitten by Naturals or Infected, or exposed directly to Radiance gets the disease. He was then ordered to go the empire gates and tell the guards to proceed with a plan known only as "Z-001."
As he stepped out of the tent, he felt a small tug at his pants. It was a female cadet a little older than him based on her looks. Her condition is also the same as the others. The rashes in her body was already bursting, blood and pus flowed to the ground as Radiance crystals started sprouting already on her body.
"Take it. Oh please, end it, please." The woman cried as she handed Trey a gun which he hesitantly took.
"Please, oh please end it. I can't take the pain anymore."The woman cried harder.
"No, no, no, no!" Trey shouted as he lowered the gun.
"End it! End it, you son of a----"but the woman wasn't able to finish her sentence as a crying Trey already shot her on the head.
The moment the dead woman's hold loosened Trey ran. He was crying as he played the scenes he saw back at the camp in his mind. He ran back to his cycle and took off for the empire gates.
Upon reaching the gates, he frantically entered the code to open the communication in the security system. He said with a shaky voice"Proceed with plan Z-001. I repeat, proceed with plan Z-001." And with that astream of light appeared in the sky.
Trey was back again at the room where he was. The images had stopped entering his mind. The flood of memories ceased. He was breathing hardly and sweating rapidly. He already managed to stand upright and without pausing to think for a second, he ran.
Well, that's pretty much it for chapter1. I know it's pretty long but please take time to finish it. Please also take your time to leave a little suggestion, comment, review, criticism, or something. I will really appreciate it. Next Chapter is still ongoing. Chapter2: A Natural Chase coming up....
The dates mentioned in this story follow this format. A.C. (After Creed, much like our A.D.) 1001(Year)-Vehn(month). Days are mentioned ahead to specify the exact no. of day. A month is consisted of 40 days and year is composed of 12 months. Months are named after historical figures or significant persons in the world in this story.