Due to the amount of changes and additions and corrections I made from the first draft and the first revision, I decided to just post the first chapter again. I feel like it flows a lot better and reads a lot easier than the first revision.
|"It's Science! I ain't got to explain shit!" This picture is actually more relevant than you may think and if you know where it's from then you'll have a good idea where I'm gonna take the story. <3|
Key to the Void, Chapter 1
We start our little story with a simple phone call. Yep, just a phone call. Nothing really special about this part right? See I told you all it would be boring, anyways back to the phone call. I was phoning a friend of mine from a few years back about a missed call and a 17 minute long voice mail with nothing but static on it. You see, right after I graduated high school I did the whole college thing, but messed up a lot and ended up going to a bunch of different colleges before finally finding one that worked for me.
This guy I knew was from the second college I had attended and I hadn’t seen him since I transferred. When we both used to hang out, we talked about all sorts of subjects from physics, history, politics, and most importantly (to the story at least) the more esoteric topics like the secrets of the world and how to access them. When we talked about the secrets we both had uncovered over the years, we found out that some things seemed to be too convenient or too well planned for something to have happened at chance. Of course I never thought too deeply into the subjects because I was busy with other things (girls for example) so when I transferred I kind of lost contact with him.
From people who I still talked to from that college, it seemed like he really withdrew and became something of a hermit you might say. There was one thing that everyone kept on repeating about my old associate: that he really got into the more taboo subjects of the magicks and he always seemed to be looking over his shoulder for something that wasn’t there. I never said anything about the fact that I may have gotten him more interested in those subjects than I should have, but I did feel kind of bad when I heard about it. Kinda….
Back to the phone call I was still making. Three rings and he still hasn’t picked up, which I found very strange since this guy never went anywhere without his phone. I had been to his apartment a few times to hang out and get drunk so I knew where he lived and I was a little worried at this point. Though I try to come off as a cold, uncaring person, my true personality is one of the “I can’t leave you alone” types where I would always go out of my way to help random people. It’s somewhat of a problem which occasionally ended with me in the hospital for who knows what reason. This time though, I felt that I had something to do with his withdrawal from society and that made me really want to help him out.
So after another three calls and four texts, I grabbed my coat and jumped into my car to drive the short distance over to his apartment. It was pretty close by car anyways, like only 20 minutes. While in the car I called him one last time and said that I was coming over whether he wanted me to or not and to make sure he has pants on when I get there (long story, even longer than this one). I pulled into the parking lot in front of his apartment complex and climbed the three floors to his door and knocked a few times. After a few long pauses I knocked again and yelled through the door that I knew he was in there and that he should just answer the damn door already. Getting a little mad since I drove all the way over here (I just don’t really like driving) I tried the door handle to see if it was open, and low and behold it was!
I yelled into the dark apartment that I was coming in and that he should make sure he was actually wearing pants this time. I walked into the dark room and fumbled around the wall for the light switch and eventually found it after much groping. Even with the light from the hall, I could barely see into the mess that was his apartment so I wasn’t expecting anything close to what I found. Tables, couches, chairs, and random other furniture just thrown around his place along with strange books, pictures of some kind of black mass/blobby thing and other magick-related materials. I thought to myself that he really did get into this stuff, and massively from the looks of it.
Still looking around the mess I stumbled into the kitchen where I found the only clean section of ground covered in all kinds of different glyphs and symbols which I had never seen before. They were arranged in somewhat of a spiral pattern which covered a great bit of the ground. Around the spiral were more magick-related items along with a few candles which looked like they had just recently been lit. Not wanting a potential fire to erupt in my friend’s apartment I blew them all out and then continued to wander through his increasingly macabre place of living.
Whatever it was he was doing it just didn’t feel right¸ if you know what I mean. Just stuff that I had never seen before was just strewn across his apartment and relics which looked like they were close to a few thousand years old just lying about everywhere. Where the hell did he get the money to buy these things? We were both just college students just a few years ago and he now had enough money to buy 2nd century manuscript on the… “Proper Rituals for Summoning the Void”? The hell is the void and why was it in this apartment? Now not only did I want to find my friend, but I wanted to ask him what the hell is up with all of this stuff. He had a pretty big apartment for a guy living on his own, but I never thought it polite to ask where he was getting his money from. The place looks like it could have easily gone for a few thousand a month at least.
I finally was working my way into the back room where he usually slept when I remembered that I should try to call him and see if his phone was still there. Taking out my phone, I called him one last time and heard the faint sounds of a phone going off in his apartment and it sounded like it was coming from his room. I walked over to his door and knocked a few times, and then said screw it and walked in. I see the phone on the ground covered by some scrolls or something and then look around the room to see if he was actually there.
Nope. No sign of him in here, or anywhere in the apartment. I guess he was going to go and do something, somewhere and wanted me to come along… or something. Whatever the case, he wasn’t here and I wanted to leave. I’m usually ok when it comes to the darker esoteric stuff, but this place just felt wrong for some reason. In fact, I have been feeling as though there were a pair of eyes watching me ever since I blew out those candles around the spiral. I just wanted out of there at that point and decided I would try to call another. As far as I was concerned, my work there was done….
Or so I thought. You know that feeling when you know without a shadow of a doubt that someone or something was watching you? Yeah, the hairs on the back of my neck were standing at attention pretty damn quickly as I heard the front door shut and saw the lights go out all over the apartment. Wondering what the hell was going on, I called out for my friend which I had thought just got back from where ever he went. No response, which was in a way freaking me out at that moment. It was about 7:00 or so PM and the sun had mostly set at this point so the inside of my friend’s apartment was pitch-black. I got out my cell phone and used it as a light to try and get out of this horror house of an apartment. I made my way into the hallway and noticed the dense blackness which was now in the way of my exit. I nervously called out to my friend in the hopes that it was him, only to be met with a pair of glowing red eyes. I shined the light from my phone over in the direction of the scary pair of eyes to see something that was… impossible… or should I say close to impossible?
When the light hit the creatures flesh, the pure blackness of the creatures hide turned a pale white within seconds of contact from the light. Its eyes receded back into its sockets leaving a face which looked like it belonged in a H.R. Gigar painting. It was crouching since it seemed like it was too big for the hallway, so it must have been over 10 feet tall when it stood up straight. It’s arms and legs were almost stick-like in their appearance and both of them seemed way to damn long for their own good. Long fingers and toes which had very sharp looking claws attached to the ends of each and then it had an almost sickly look in its body, like one of those starving African kids or something. Its neck seemed like it should break any second from the stress put on it from the head and how skinny it was, but it didn’t. Finally the head, which was elongated and had some very nasty looking teeth arranged in a smile on the front of its face. It almost looked like what a human skull would if you just added more to the back and installed some razor sharp teeth in the front.
The thing just was looking at me, maybe studying my appearance as well and was deciding on how it will feast upon my flesh or something morbid like that. For what seemed like an eternity, we just stared at each other, not making a single movement. Suddenly the creature began to back up, into the darkness and slowly disappear into the void. The last thing I saw of it was the pair of red eyes and the glint of light coming off the things contorted smile full of sharp teeth. Then, as suddenly as it had arrived (and almost made me have an accident in my pants), it was gone, and I could see the door which the thing had been blocking till just now. Not giving the thing any time to decide that it was in fact going to have me as a snack, I bolted for it and dived for the exit. Landing with a thud on the wall across from the door, I hurriedly closed the door shut and flew down the stairs to my awaiting get-a-way car.
I never once asked or thanked god for anything before today, but with the speed I was going in my car in those residential districts, well let’s just say that I’m lucky as hell that a cop wasn’t there to bust me. In about half the time it took me to first get to my friend’s apartment, I arrived at my own home and ran inside, locking the door behind me. Safe, I thought to myself, and relaxed a bit after turning on every light in the house and collapsing on my couch.
What the hell was that thing? Did it have anything to do with the random bits of magick-related things around my friend’s apartment? Oh right! My friend! I wonder… did he get eaten? Or killed or something? That would really suck, but I didn’t see any blood or body or anything of that sort so he might still be okay. I hope he is, because the next time I see him, I’m gonna kick his ass for bringing something like that into our world. I mean really, there is a limit on what you can and can’t get away with and summoning a creature from the “void” is definitely something one should not do, at least without parental supervision.
From the whole ordeal, I was tired… really tired. I closed my eyes and soon found myself in the world of dreams. Only, I knew it was a dream, which I guess isn’t too strange, but the man in the nice suit waving me over the have a drink with him is. I don’t recognize this man, and hell, something about him just doesn’t seem human. Whatever it is, I rarely turn away good alcohol so I joined this well-dressed gentleman in my dream which I was awake in.
“Welcome! Welcome! Welcome to the land of your dreams!... but you already figured that part out now didn’t you?” the man asked me in a very energetic, almost playful way.
I told him that yeah I knew this was a dream and I was wondering who he was, since I once heard that dreams are fragments of memories and I had never seen this man before in my life.
“Ah, well, you must be wondering who I might be right about now aren’t ya?” again with the playful questions, he seemed as though he had read my mind. “Oh I didn’t read your mind, I mean, we’re inside of it after all. Your thoughts are just floating around everywhere so it was pretty easy to see what you were thinking. Well then, how about I introduce myself… hmm…. What should my name be…. Hmmmmmmm…… AH! Yes! I know what my name is! It’s Dave. Just Dave. Nothing more, nothing less. Mostly likely at least.”
Well, now I know who I’m talking to, this shouldn’t be to hard from now on, but Dave? Seriously?
“What? You have a thing against the name “Dave”? I think it’s pretty cool…”
Yeah whatever, so “Dave”, what are you doing hanging out inside my head and why the hell am I so ok with this?
“Ah well, that’s probably because even though you know you’re sleeping, you’re still calm and everything from being asleep. Anyways, on to business! Will, you did something you really shouldn’t have now didn’t you?” his eyes narrowed while asking this question to which I responded that I didn’t know what he was talking about. “Oh Will… Willy Willy Will… You really don’t know what you got yourself into now do you?
“Well of course I don’t know what “I have gotten myself into”, why don’t you explain to me what it is that I have “gotten into”. “Well… you see there were these candles which you blew out, probably to prevent forest fires like Smokey the bear says, but what you didn’t know is that by doing that you forever made yourself a prime target of the void. Don’t know what the void is now don’t ya?”
Nope, not at all.
“Well… the void is… hmmm…. How should I explain this to your underdeveloped brain… hmmm… well think of it as a place of non-existence… or something like that. In this place of “non-existence” there exist beings which call that place their home. Now, you can’t have things existing in places of non-existence now can you? I’ll answer that for you. No, you cannot. So how do these beings exist in this place? Paradoxes; a whole truck load of them. Anyways, they reason why the are there and why the exist is not really important to you, but what is important is that these “Void Beasts” have been interacting with your plane of existence for a while now and have occasionally made their way over to here. The thing is though, they can’t interact with your plane yet. They don’t have enough power to phase into this reality and can only do so with a certain artifact… which now exists inside of your soul…”
“Just like you heard, you now have what amounts to a “key of dimensions” lodged right up in there in your soul. Those candles you blew out? They were the things that were keeping the Void Beasts out of your plane and when you blew them out, which by the way was ingenious, the “key” jumped into your soul.”
“Now, I know what you’re thinking, since I can see it floating around everywhere, “The hell is this well dressed badass talking about?”… ok maybe I exaggerated that last part, but it is all the truth. So now that the key exists in a human soul, all the void beasts have to do is kill you and destroy your soul and then the last barrier between the Void and your lovely dirt ball will be broken apart and then say hello to the end of the world kid!”
So… not only do extra-dimensional creatures exist, but they are trying to enter our plane and the only thing stopping them now is… me… I felt almost sick. I’m the only thing standing in between the world and doomsday? To think, the only thing I wanted to do was make sure my friend was ok.
“Fret not young Will! I’m apart of… a group of mostly like-minded individuals and would not like it if these Void Beasts rampage across your world, so we decided we are going to help you. Kinda…
”What do you mean “kinda”? Are you gonna help me or not?! I was getting irritated now, I didn’t want any more bullshit. I just wanted to know what I would have to do to stop this “end of days” scenario from happening.
“Ah! Good! You learn quickly! That is very good, considering what is about to happen to your real body.”
Huh? What do mean?
Suddenly I see what looks like a giant screen appear out of nowhere and it shows me sleeping on the couch. I really look like that when I sleep? Damn… oh… wait a minute.. I thought I saw something off to the corner of the screen..
“Ah! Good! You saw it too! Well, that my little mortal friend is that Void Beast who was eyeing you earlier. It seems to have come to finish the job when you are most vulnerable.”
Well.. shit! Shit! Shit! SHIT! Wake me up! I have to fight it right? Oh shit, how can I even fight it..
”Ah, it looks like it would be too late anyways even if you did wake up.”
The creature was moving towards my helpless body, with me powerless to do anything but watch as the monster ripped me to shreds and then destroyed my soul. I’m done.. I’m finished... Good bye cruel world!!!..... Wait a minute… Is someone else there?
“You really do have some good eyes, or senses or whatever. Yes, there is someone there who is about to save your defenseless ass. Thank her when you do finally wake up”
I said before I was suddenly snapped back into my body with about a second before the beast rips my face off. I turn around to try and jump over the couch when I saw her. Dressed in some kind of armor and wielding what looks like a spear, this mystery woman jumped out from behind the couch and delivered what looked like a finisher on the beast.
I rub my eyes in a pointless attempt to blame this all on an overactive imagination or something, but as soon as I’m done and open my eyes, there she is, standing there covered in the creatures black fluids. She… looks young… like my age young. The young woman was looking over her kill with satisfaction when she turned around towards me.
“Sooo you’re the one they are having me protect and train at the same time… you look pretty weak… no offense.”
It’s true that I don’t work out that often and my metabolism handles my food pretty well, but being called “weak” by a girl my age felt humiliating.
“My name is Alex Aice and I’m gonna be making sure you don’t get killed or anything. At least till we figure out what we are gonna do with you.”
I looked up to the girl, who seemed like she was shorter than me, but seemed so much bigger in some way I couldn’t describe.
“My name is Will Kenwal, I guess I should say “thank you” or something for what you just did so, thank you.”
She stares at me for a few seconds before breaking eye contact with me to look in some other direction. “Don’t mention it. I mean, it’s my job to keep you safe till you can do it on your own.”
She looked a bit embarrassed, which really just made her become all kinds of attractive to me. I should mention I haven’t had a girlfriend in… well let’s just say “a while”.
“So Miss Alex, now that you saved my sorry ass, what are we going to do now? You said something about “training” me. What was that all about? Dave in my dream said something like that too.”
She looked a bit confused by what I had just said, “Dave? Who’s Dave? Anyways, we need to get out of here. The smell from this dead one is gonna attract scavengers and if they find you then you’re pretty screwed, but then again so am I, so let’s get the hell out of here!”
With barely enough time to gather my thoughts, I’m pulled up off of my couch and rushed out the door.
“Can’t I even pack anything? Where are we even going? Hey! Answer me!”
Suddenly I felt a sharp pain in my stomach.
“Just shut up and follow me, I’ll tell you everything you need to know when you’re safe” *Cough*
“Yes… ma’am...” Dammit, that hurt like hell!
Next thing I knew we were out in the middle of nowhere. How we ended up here, I couldn’t say. One second we were walking down the sidewalk towards some unknown destination, the next we were In the middle of this field.
“Follow me, hurry up now!”
Well isn’t she bossy, “Well do you mind telling me how one second ago we were walking down a sidewalk and then the next second we are in the middle of this field?”
Annoyed, she said “Just shut up and follow me. I’ll tell you how I did it once we get to our base camp.”
When she said “base camp” she meant a small, hidden entrance to an abandoned bomb shelter. It looked like it was well supplied and could make do with what it has for a long while if ever someone drops a nuclear bomb on our heads. Along with the random assortment of supplies that were lying around in some unknown order, there were also a wide variety of weapons set up on a wall. From guns to swords, this collection had everything. It was almost disconcerting considering I just followed this girl on a whim and don’t even know who she is. I mean, she could be one of those would be assassins who want me dead because of this key thingy lodged inside my soul. All this thinking is reminding me of my friend’s apartment and the large creature from who-knows where attacked me. What the hell did he even get himself caught up in anyways? Not only that, where the hell was he? Was he dead, on the run, or being held captive in some otherworldly prison? I haven’t a clue, and trying to think about it is gonna get me nowhere real fast. I have to somehow take control of the situation and find out what’s going on from this girl, or at least get some basic knowledge about the things that are now after me since ‘Dave’ was a little sparse on the information regarding that. All I know is that they are not from this dimension and that they want me, or my soul, gone.
While I was busy being deep in thought about what I was going to do, a sharp prod to my side reminded me that I really don’t have a choice in what I do right now. I’ll follow Miss Aice and figure some things out along the way.
“Ummm… so when you said “base camp” you meant this well supplied and armed fallout shelter in the middle of nowhere?” I asked this just to avoid the awkward silence which I could feel creeping up on us.
“Yes, this is where we will live and train until I can feel safe that you can take care of yourself. Till then, this is your new home.” She sounded almost cheerful when she said that last part, but I’m pretty sure I was just imagining it.
“Follow me and I’ll show you around the place.” I thought for a second about what she just said…
“Show me around? Isn’t this it? I mean I don’t see any doors that lead anywhere except for outside…”
With my sentence finishing, she pulled on a concealed leaver located somewhere behind some pipes. Mechanical sounds filled the small area as a previously sealed part of the wall suddenly came out a bit further from the wall to reveal a small, hidden passage. Alex motioned for me to enter before her so I proceeded through the small entrance. This small passage way went on for about 100 feet before opening up into what looks like a waiting area. Confused, I went to ask Alex what this place was when the large, multi-layer doors began to unlock themselves and pulled away revealing what looked like an underground city.
This place was huge, massive, and sprawling. I couldn’t believe a place like this existed somewhere underground. It looks like we entered from a side entrance which was located near the top of the cavern that the city was built in so I could see almost all of the way across the city towards the other side, but my vision is obstructed by one of the massive columns which are supporting the roof. The buildings themselves look like a combination of modern and gothic architecture so they looked like they were almost too odd and strange for them to exist, but in here they looked like they just belonged. I guess I had been staring at the underground city for a little too long when Alex decided to begin pulling me towards what looked like an elevator. After a few presses of some buttons we were off, slowly descending into the splendor of the city.
“The city of Helgat, or as some others call it “Hell Gate”. This city was built to manage and maintain a sort of balance between here and the void. There are about 23,000 residents who all work for the people who run this place. It was initially built in the 1300’s as a last resort against the end times which people back then thought was coming at any moment. Over time it began to serve a new purpose, which is the training and educating the Gate Keepers who fight against the Void and the chaos it brings. In fact, I’m a Gate Keeper and you are gonna be my first student!”
While I was being taken for a crash course down the history of the city I guess I’ll be living in from now on, Alex slipped that little bit at the end before the gates to the elevator finally opened up revealing a bustling city street with all manners of people walking around doing whatever they needed to. Alex set off and with me in tow; we began to make our way through the massive city towards who knows what.
We walked for what seemed like an hour until we came to a stop in front of a well decorated church-like building. I’m guessing it was sort of an official place of business judging by the people walking in and out. We headed up the steps towards the entrance where we then walked right in and through the main lobby area. We stopped in front of another elevator and boarded it along with a few others.
“Can you press B32 please?”
Alex asked the man in front of the display showing the current floor and the many, many others. It looked like this elevator headed all the way down at least 100 or so stories. It didn’t take long before the door opened to the 32nd basement floor of the building and I was greeted with a few people standing by the door. Alex showed them some papers and then took me to a room somewhere on the floor. I walked in and was told to sit down at a small desk, which I did without question. At this point the excitement of seeing this underground city all but disappeared and was replaced by a creeping sense of danger. Alex then left, along with the two guards and closed the door behind them. I was all alone in this room with no windows or other furniture except for the chair and desk I was sitting in. What seemed like an hour passed before I noticed I wasn’t alone in the room any longer.
“So I see Miss Alexandria got you here in one piece. You have to hand it to the kid considering she’s the same age as you.”
In one of the 4 dark corners of the room I see a long, slender woman appear out of what appears to be nothing casually walking towards me. She was dressed in professional, business attire which made me think of a person in power, which was accurate.
“My name is Natalie Davis and I’m… well… just know that I’m in a pretty high place of power here. If Alexandria didn’t already tell you, we are going to begin training you to become a full-fledged “Gate Keeper” in order for you to protect yourself from the many dangers which are on their way. I’m going to say this as bluntly as possible; we cannot have you die, under any circumstances. You now hold the only thing which will keep the Void from consuming our world. The training is going to be harsh, and you’re going to wish you were never born. You will start training tomorrow morning at 5 AM. Till then, I’m going to have Alexandria show you around the city a bit just so that you can get familiar with the layout. And…. That just about does it! You can go now, your keeper is waiting out in the hallway for you and you shouldn’t keep a girl waiting too long.”
Just before she disappeared into the shadowy corner in which she came she turned around and asked me the one question I had been hoping for since Alex and I entered the city, “Do you have any questions?”
“Yeah, I do have a few which I would very much like to have answered, if you don’t mind.” I was turning on the charm I had worked many hours on perfecting. Being the calm, polite, and charismatic talker was a life skill that I’m very glad I spent time on.
“Go right ahead; though I can’t say anything about anything classified, I’ll try to answer your questions to the best of my ability.”
She didn’t seem fazed at all from my charm. Defeated, I began to ask my questions.
“What am I gonna be learning from Alex? Basic combat techniques or something?”
“Basically, that is exactly what she will be teaching you. She will also brief you on the different armors which we use and the weapons that go with those armors. Since you have such an important artifact locked away in your soul, I wonder how much power you can syphon from it…”
“From the way you talk about them it sounds like the armor I’m thinking about and the armor you’re talking about are not exactly the same thing.”
“Correct! When you think of armor, you probably think of something like what you would see in a museum or in history books. We have long since discarded those armors of the past and have since incorporated innovations from the military you know of, along with applying ancient designs to the armor we use to boost their effective combat strength against the void beasts. You’ll learn more about them tomorrow when you begin your training, anything else?”
“Is there any way that I can get this thing out of my soul? I feel that if I got this thing out of there it would make this situation a lot easier. I had been just “going with the flow” up until now and I finally want to know whether or not I’ll be able to go back to my “real” life any time soon.”
“That’s… a difficult question to answer. This is the first time in recorded history where a “key” latched itself onto a human’s soul. We can’t even begin to know how to fix it until we gather more information about the incantation which bounded it in the first place. So… what I’ll tell you is this: As of right now we have no idea how long it might take or even if we can remove the “key” from your soul. That is the situation we are all in and because of it the walls… Oops, almost said too much. I think you have had enough world shattering realizations for one day. No need to add another one on top of the already large pile.”
“What about a “wall”? What does a wall have to do with this situation?” I was getting aggravated from the lack of real information that she was giving me. There was definitely more going on than she was telling me and I wanted to know about it.
“No. I already have said too much already and we haven’t cleared you for any of this information. You have to remember, if you want to live, you’ll have to do what we say. If that means going through hellish training to make you close to unkillable, then so be it; any other questions?”
Stunned by the information she just dropped into my lap I told her “No… that’s fine for now…”
“Good! Well I think I’ve taken enough of your time. I’ll be contacting you soon, till then good luck.”
With that, she faded back into the shadows and I was left alone in the room, by myself once again. So much information was just given to me, and I have almost no idea how to handle it. Yesterday I was sitting in my apartment watching some TV, today I’m located hundreds of feet below ground in some sort of soldier training program which will make it so I’m not as killable as I am right now.
Sighing, I get up and head towards the door which will lead me to some really, really unknown future with a girl who is now going to be my instructor? I open the door and find Alex leaning against the wall looking rather bored. When she notices that I left the room her face brightens up a bit before changing back to her usual look of annoyance.
“Took you long enough, I was just about to leave without you.”
“Yeah, I guess you are gonna show me around tonight?”
“That’s right, just the basic places since we had a long journey and I’m beat.”
With that last note we made our way towards the elevator and then to the street level once again. She dragged me around from place to place for about an hour before she led me to the place where I’ll be living in for the foreseeable future. It was a smaller building on the outskirts of the city and seemed a little worn down. We entered and I followed her up to the third floor before stopping at room 332.
“This is it, your room. Now, I suggest you get some sleep since I’ll be training you early in the morning tomorrow. I expect you up by 4:45 and ready by 5:00. If you’re not up… well… just make sure you’re up.”
With that she gave me a somewhat sinister smile which told me that I better make sure I got up when she wanted me to.
“Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some things to take care of. Good night.”
Morning came way sooner than expected and I found myself being able to get only a few hours of nightmare interrupted sleep. I had been this tired only a few times before and those times were after nights of insane amounts of drinking. Hell, I feel like I even have a hangover even without the drinking. The only way I was able to remove myself from the hard bed was with the incredibly loud alarm going off on the other side of the room. I reached for the light switch near my bed and quickly turned off the annoying sound of my early morning wake-up call.
Half-asleep, I slowly got dressed into the clothes they gave me which were similar to some military fatigues I had seen once before. They were stiff and hard to move in, but after stretching them out for a minute or two they felt almost alright. I grabbed the boots and put them on as well, and with that I was dressed.
It was only 4:40 when I finished getting dressed and splashing water onto my face a few times to wake up my tired mind and body. While drenching my head under the water faucet I remembered that Alex never actually told me where to go when I got up. All she said was to be up by 4:45 and if I wasn’t she would… I actually have no idea what she would do, but the way she said it made me feel a bit uncomfortable. When I was sufficiently awake I decided to look around and maybe find Alex somewhere rather than waiting around doing nothing till she came to find me.
I opened the door and looked down the lighted hallway and saw an excited Alex running towards me. The second she saw me an almost disappointed look appeared on her face which makes me glad I was able to get up on time, no matter how early it is.
“Well I see you’re up, that’ll make things easier. Today we start your training, and the very first thing we need to do is improve your stamina. So, to accomplish this we are going to run, a lot. I hope you’re ready for it.”
“I’m not, but that doesn’t really matter now does it? Let’s just start this thing so I can sooner get some breakfast and maybe take a nap.”
Alex led me to a deserted track near the building I slept in. It was still dark out (no surprise there considering this city was underground) and no one in sight. Lights from overhead came on and from the way Alex was telling me to come to her I guessed it was time to start running.
“So, Alex, how many laps are we gonna do? Four? Maybe six?”
“You’re going to run until I say you can stop. Don’t worry about the amount of laps you’ll be doing, since it’s gonna be a lot.”
Now, I’m not the most out of shape person there is, but I’m also not the healthiest. About 30 minutes into our run around the track I was out of breath and on the ground. Alex was yelling at me to “grow a pair” or something, I wasn’t really listening all that much since I was doing my best to keep from throwing up. In the time since we started running, more and more people started showing up. I hadn’t really been paying any attention to them since I was more focused on this hellish run Alex was making me do. On the ground, while Alex was still yelling at me for being pathetic, I looked around at the other people that had shown up since we started.
Immediately something amazing caught my attention and I regained my composure to ask Alex about it.
“Hey… what are those things over there? Are those the “armors” I was told about?”
Alex looks in the direction I pointed her to and she saw a group of people doing maintenance on what looked like giant suites of ancient armor. Except for the fact that they looked modern while maintaining the oldness of whatever armor they were designed from. From my great vantage point on the ground I could see that the people working on them had taken off the external armor and were working on its innards
“Ah, those? Yes, those are what we call A.V.A.’s, or Anti Void Armor.”
“Can you tell me a little about them?” I felt like my strength had returned by looking upon such incredibly cool machines that were just there like it wasn’t a big deal.
“Well… alright. You can rest for a few minutes while I tell you about the AVA’s. There are three very different types of AVA’s we deploy in missions. The first is the Light class AVA “Delta” which is what we issue to recruits as well as our police force. The second class is the Medium class AVA “Beta”. This class is much larger and heavier than the “Delta” class of AVA. It uses cutting edge technology fused together with ancient spells to create an AVA which could be considered a “power armor” because of the incredible strength and speed increase brought on by it. Its main use is for fighting the larger types of void beasts in enclosed spaces along with supporting the lighter AVA class in battle.”
“The last class of AVA’s has only very recently been rolled out and applied to our battle strategies. The Heavy class AVA “Alpha” is the largest and deadliest of the AVA’s which we have. While the “Beta” AVA only increases height from around an average of 6 feet to around 9, the “Alpha” increases height to around 17-20 feet depending on the model. Rather than “worn” like the other models, the user of the “Alpha” AVA essentially “rides” it rather than wear it. It carries our most powerful anti-void weaponry and is the most destructive out of all of our AVA’s.”
“The problem with the “Alpha” AVA’s is that rather than a traditional power source it draws its energy from the pilot through a state-of-the-art void-syphoning system. Without getting too far into the details, what it does is tap into the natural connection to the void and draw power from it. The only way it can do this is through the pilot, and even then unless the pilot is extremely well trained to open the connection to the void to its fullest the “Alpha” might not even move. It’s very temperamental, but with the right users it can be a game-changer.”
…did she say what I think she said? What she was just describing was a bipedal robot!
“I’m looking forward to seeing your results, considering you have the void key inside you. If I were to guess, you can probably draw out more power than anyone else here. Though that is just conjecture, I’ll have to wait and see.”
“Alright, rest time is over! GET BACK TO RUNNING YOU SAD EXCUSE FOR A MAN!!!”
… that last attack kind of hurt… my pride…