A man trying to carve out a piece of life for himself in the universe.
| General Anna Nadine gazes at the stars from her office window. She takes solace in the peace and quiet in her space from the day's noisy meetings. Standing with her arms behind her back, her faint reflection makes her focus more on her black and burgundy uniform than the stars.
She wasn’t too pleased with her actions.
Guilt plagues her thoughts when she remembers the calls she made for the sake of secrecy and the people she killed. Unfortunately, some of them, were dear friends. She could never let it all go. Nevertheless, she was proud of what she accomplished. After numerous expeditions in the far reaches of space, her superiors promoted her. Thanks to her exploits, she met new races and made alliances with them, which, in turn, greatly enriched her colony's understanding of the L Breakers.
One question always bothered her: Can great things be achieved without committing so many sins? For her, the answer was a resounding no, but can someone do it if they tried?
“General Nadine” a masculine voice calls.
“I told you not to contact me via telepathy. We have coms for that.”
“Sorry General, I thought this message warranted your… immediate attention”
“What is it?”
“The council is debating whether or not to bring charges against you for your part in sector twelve’s destruction”
“Of course they are. You follow orders and afterwards, they blame you for the fallout. What else is new? They’ve been trying to pin things on me for years”
“It’s your actions after completing the mission that aroused their suspicion. You disappeared and cut off all communications with your superiors”
“I wanted to... relax for a few months. The mission took a greater toll on me than I thought and I needed to clear my head. I submitted a report before I left.”
“If that's true, why did you return to the planet system?”
Nadine’s experienced eyes narrowed.
“You know we keep track of every single ship leaving the solar system. If you’re hiding something from us, I suggest you come clean”
“Get the hell out of my head, Bracer and tell the council to shove it.”
“Have it your way”
Now alone, she sighs as her heart sinks to the pit of her stomach. She plops on her leather office chair and plants her elbows on the mahogany desk. Intertwining her fingers, she rests her head on her hands and stares at the polished wood.
Many unpleasant thoughts flood her mind. She didn't care about being court marshaled; she cared about losing her chance to make everything right. If she could lift the regret away, she would happily die.
A tear drops on the wood as waves of conviction water her eyelids. She opens a drawer, picks up a notebook and a picture of Evin in his deep blue coveralls drops drops on the desk. She glances at it for a few moments, in sympathy, and wipes the tears from her cheeks before placing it back into the drawer. She opens her notebook, grabs her pen, and writes. Writing, in a strange way, helps her speak words she couldn’t say outright and calms her anxiety because she writes everything weighing her mind.
A beep behind the slide door sounds.
“Come in LG”
The door slides open and a middle-aged, dark-skinned woman steps in wearing the same uniform and salutes the General.
"Ma’am, the alarms at the dig site have been triggered. Someone went over their limit."
"Did you dispatch the troops?" Nadine asks while still scribbling in her notebook.
“Yes, Ma’am.” The woman says standing at attention.
“Good job, lieutenant. Who’s the unlucky character?”
“A driller named Evin Heartright.”
Nadine drops her pen in shock as it rolls off the table and hits the floor. Her hazelnut eyes widen in horror as she closes her notebook, springs from her seat and walks around the table.
“We’re going there now!” she says.
“Ma’am?” Dana asks confused.
“Let’s go, LG.”
Alarms blare through the facility and red spinning lights color the metal scaffolding around the moon as workers retreat from the area wearing their yellow spacesuits.
Warning, Warning unidentified being detected. All workers retreat to your designated stations and stand by for orders.
Workers float away from the dig site leaving drills and tools to drift about. They disappear into the facility and the metal gate closes. Inside the facility, men dressed in black spacesuits carrying assault rifles jog shoulder to shoulder down the metallic halls. Outfitted with flashlights on their helmets, gold chevrons pinned to their shoulders indicate rank.
Marines have been re-branded as hunters tasked with taking out hostile threats. They are the go-to force to deal with people who exceed their limits.
“Alright, Marines, the squad leader says holding a black assault rifle with red neon lights running through the center. “We have a possible threat out in open space so check your gear and scores.”
“Yes Sir” They shout in unison.
The men halt at Gate 05 and wait for the room to depressurize.
“Warning de-pressurization in progress.” The deep masculine computer speaks. "Ensure that your suits are safely secured."
The metal gate hums open revealing the light blue landmass contrasting the dark empty void above.
“Alright men stay sharp we don’t know what we're dealing with.”
The officer taps his hip with his hand deactivating his gravity boots and with one bound, he leaps out of the hatch. His men follow behind him and they soar out onto the satellite. There, The Lieutenant’s boots touch the moon dust and he and his men moon hop towards their target. Their bright flashlight lightens the terrain as building tall dirt mounds and mountains populate the drill site.
They activate their gravity boots and they walk on the quiet moon.
“Lieutenant Braxton?” One soldier speaks over the intercom. “Any info on the target?”
“A man named Evin Heartright,” The Lieutenant says. “A local driller”
“Must’ve had a low score eh?” Another soldier chimes in as they spread out. Their neon-lighted weapons glow as they trail across the terrain looking for any threats.
“Seven,” The Lieutenant says.
“Seven? Another soldier laughs. “Why are we even here? Low scores usually turn into non-threatening animals”
“We have our orders Corporal.” The Lieutenant says sharply
“Alright lets split up the Lieutenant says. Keep your coms on and your sectors covered.”
The group separates into teams of two and they disappear between the mountainous terrain.
Two Marines out of the group, a man and a woman walk around a building-sized mountain with portable drills floating in their path. The female gently pushes the tool out of her way while peering at the light glazing over the terrain.
“Come on where is it?” She whispers.
Then a beep sounds in the male marine’s suit.
“We have movement nearby...Ten o'clock”
“The stern woman aims her rifle in the guided direction and notices a small tail zip out of sight behind the mountain.
“Lieutenant, we’ve spotted something.” She says. “Moving in to investigate”
“Did you get a good look at it?”
“Only a blue tail sir” She responds.
The two soldiers continue through the void and when they walk around the mountain, they spot the small pointy tail lying on the ground. They look further up and see, blue tail expanding into something larger.
Confuse they continue walking and their flashlights glimpse the spiky back of a large blue scale dragon with wings folded on its back. Sensing their presence, the dragon stands above all the mountains surrounding it and turns its head towards the trespassers.
Both Marines eyes widen and jaws drop in shock as they gaze up at the massive behemoth.
Its fiery gold reptilian eyes freeze the troops in fear as its tail whips around and shatters a nearby mountain.
A few moments pass as the blue dragon glares at them moving its head closer for a better look.
It pulls its head back, opens its wings and unleashes a wave of energy from its gaping pink mouth as it roars at the two.
“DRAGON!!” The female shouts.
Both Marines aim their weapons and unleash red lasers from their muzzles only to bounce off the dragon’s tough hide.
“Code Red, Code Red!” the female shouts as she helplessly fires lasers at the dragon’s face.
The Dragon pulls its head back and its’ neck glows bright blue as sparks of electricity pop around his maw.
Reacting on instinct, the male Marine taps his hip shutting off his gravity boots. Floating, streams of air shoot from the jet-pack and he tackles the woman away. The Dragon thrusts its neck forward unleashing an electric beam from its mouth. The beam soars through the air and strikes the ground barely missing its target. An explosion of dust and debris ensues as the two are blown away by the heavy shockwave.
The rest of the Marines arrive and fire their lasers at the creature’s side to draw its attention away from the fleeing soldiers.
The plan works and with one flap, it vaults high into space. Lasers bounce off its body as it stretches out its wings with its light green underbelly and clawed legs hanging in space. Its wings flickers, its eyes glow as dozens of miniature electric spheres grow in the space around it.
The lieutenant’s face turns pale and his eyes widen in shock.
“FALL BACK!!” he shouts waving his arm. “EVERYBODY FALL BACK AND TAKE COVER!!”
Deactivating their gravity boots, jet packs hiss as they spew air out from the exhausts and propelling the men away from the dig site.
The Dragan flaps its wings forward and launches numerous energy spheres towards the moon. Numerous explosions of dust and electricity expel into space as the Marines maneuver through mini-mountains and dodging exploding projectiles.
“KEEP GOING!” The Lieutenant shouts as more projectiles collide with the satellite.
Dust debris fills the void around the area as the Marines retreat behind a metal container to hide. They activate their gravity boots and pin themselves against the container.
“Oh god!” one says gasping. “A Dragon all the way out here!”
“Keep it together Mack!” The lieutenant orders.
“We’re done for” the Marine repeats.
The lieutenant then snatches his subordinate by his collar and slams him against the container.
“I SAID KEEP IT TOGETHER MACK!” “We’re out here now, so suck it up and deal with it. Do I make myself clear?”
The marine nods his head as he calms his heavy breathing.
“OUTSTANDING MARINE.” He says slapping his subordinate’s shoulder.
“Truman, Wilson come in do you read me?.... Truman and Wilson, do you read?”
“Rockman, where’s Truman and Wilson?”
“I...I don’t know sir they were blown away by that last attack”
“Command do you read me... Command?”
A ball of electricity slams into the ground nearby causing all of the men to cover their heads as moon dust and pebbles pat their spacesuits. The tremor nearly topples them but they held their footing.
“Sir, the dragon is firing charged electricity,” Rockman says. “It’s probably jamming our coms.”
“Then you’re going to have to find Wilson. Her telepathy is strong enough to reach command”
“The rest of you are going to follow me and engage the dragon.”
“E…E…engage the dragon?” Mack says eyes widen in shock.
“Yes, numbnuts! If we don’t distract it before command arrives, it’ll attack the towers and everyone inside.”
“This is what we’ve been training for men!” The Lieutenant says. “Let's give it all we got.”
“OHRAH!” Everyone shouts in unison.
“On my count”
“Three” The men clench their weapons
“Two” they huff in heavy anticipation as they grapple with their fears while Mack mumbles a small prayer.
“ONE. LET’S PARTY!!!”
The Marines charge from cover firing their weapons at the behemoth. Red lasers trail through space and collide into the dragon. The dragon turns its attention on the marines and its neck glows brilliant blue.
The dragon unleashes an electric beam from its mouth and the thin stream of light zips between the men. The ensuing electrical explosion blasts the men away and dresses the area in glimmering moon dust.
Floating face down, the lieutenant shakes his head trying to stay conscious.
His helmet blinks red. As air escapes through a tear in the leg of his spacesuit.
Warning. Rupture detected. Please retreat to the nearest pressurized facility.
The Officer quickly hovers his hand over the tear and his hand glows green. The tear slowly repairs sealing himself away from the void. He taps his hip re-activating his gravity boots and he lands on the ground.
Looking around, he sees his subordinates all floating unconscious amidst rocks and boulders. Then a bright blue light flashes at the corner of his eyes. He looks up and sees the dragon’s gaping maw glowing as it prepares for a final strike.
Helpless, the lieutenant stands straight with the look of content on his face and bravely prepares for his end.
The dragon releases a thick thunder beam and it soars straight for the lieutenant.
He sucks in his breath and shuts his eyes.
However, the beam pings against a newly erected barrier. Sparks flicker around the translucent dome as moon dust jumps into the void.
The lieutenant opens his eyes and sees the electric beam fade from view. Then, flat triangular barriers appear beneath the dragon’s clawed feet, behind his back, and on both sides. They clamp tight, encasing the blue behemoth in a glass-like tetrahedron barrier. Its wings folded and tail curled inside, the dragon roars as it tries to break free from its restraint.
The lieutenant gazes at the spectacle eyes widen in shock.
“What’s the situation, Lieutenant Braxton?” a mature feminine voice speaks in his mind.
The Officer turns around and he sees General Nadine and Lieutenant General Dana walking up toward him.
“General Nadine, Lieutenant General Dana.” The man says as he snaps at attention with a resolute salute.
“I thought you were with command.” He says.
“Command knew about the dragon the minute it appeared, Lieutenant,” Nadine says as she salutes him back.
The two female officers didn’t wear any space suites as their extremely high magic scores allowed them to breathe in open space. However, they could only communicate through telepathy.
“You and your men fought bravely Lieutenant.” The General says with a reassuring nod. “You’re actions here saved the lives of many. I and everyone in the Marines are proud.”
“AYE MA’AM,” The lieutenant says filled with pride.
The General’s hazelnut eyes gaze up at the encased dragon and stares at it for a while.
“What are your orders now ma’am?”
“I’ll teleport you and your men to safety.” The woman says into his mind. “Lieutenant General Dana and I will handle things here.”
“But Ma’am I have three of my squad members missing.”
“I’ll teleport them as well.” She replies.
Then a crack splits the tetrahedron’s center as the dragon’s rage swells up inside the barrier. The lieutenant turns around and gazes up at the dragon thrashing about trying to break itself free.
“You will be on your way now Lieutenant. Good luck and Godspeed”
She then raises her palm and it shines yellow. A pillar of yellow light envelops the Lieutenant as well as his unconscious men floating in space. In a flash, they disappear from sight and she lowers her hand to her side.
“Looks like this is it.” The General says.
“Ma’am, what are we going to do? The woman speaks. Even with the two of us, I don’t think-
“I know what I must do.” The general says as she turns to Dana”
“The last dragon has appeared,” Nadia says as she looks up at the crackling barrier. “And if something isn’t done now, then it’s all over.
“The last dragon?” Dana questions with a confused look on her face.
Then the dragon bursts from its barrier with its mighty blue wings shattering the tetrahedron into pieces. Enraged, the dragon roars into space sending shockwaves into the depths. Then it lowers its head and glares at the General with its fierce, golden eyes. The behemoth’s mouth opens towards the moon and a blue spark popping glyph the size of its body appears in front of it. The circles within the glyph spin rapidly as light wells up bright enough to light the moon.
“I don’t have time to explain,” Nadia says alarmed by the coming attack. “Stand still and be ready to teleport everyone off this moon if I fail.”
“No, I can-“
“You have your orders LG.”
Dana relents looking into the General’s determined hazelnut eyes.
“Yes, Ma’am,” She says in a sullen tone.
“Just stand there and watch.” She says as a worried smile etched across her face. “Maybe you’ll learn a thing or two. You’ve been slipping with your magic”
Dana smiles back and gives a supporting nod.
With a magic score of five million, the General turns around and walks towards the barrier’s edge. She holds out her arms and, in a brief flash of light, a black, wide-brimmed wizard hat appears in one hand and a metal staff in the other. She graces her brown bunned head with the hat as she steps out of the barrier.
She clenches her staff out in front of her and the orb glows brilliant white. She closes her eyes and says a quick prayer before she slams the end into the ground. A sudden quake shoots dust into the void as she channels all of her power. Magic power swells up inside and her eyes and hair shine white as she stands ready to face the dragon.
The circles inside the glyph suddenly stop as the dragon’s gold eyes glow. Then millions of electric arrow-like projectiles erupt from the grand circle and speeds towards the General.
The woman thrusts her staff overhead and a yellowish octagon barrier appears directly in the path of the barrage. The projectiles slams into the large barrier in a grand display of blue and yellowish sparks. Violent waves spread across the shield it absorbs each blow.
The Barrage ceases and the glyph disappears.
The blue dragon then flaps its wings and charges towards the mage with a deep bellowing roar that echoes through the void.
Nadine takes her staff and holds it parallel to the ground as her shining eyes glare at the enraged behemoth.
The dragon unleashes a crashing thunderbolt from its mouth towards the General.
Nadine spins her metal staff rapidly and absorbs the thunderbolt. She spins around and fires the thunderbolt twice as powerful back at the dragon. The collision erupts in an explosion of blue gas that envelopes the mountain tall behemoth.
Nadine holds her staff at her side as she looks up at the gas cloud.
Dana worriedly watches as she pulls out a small rectangular device from her back pocket and points it at the general.
“C’mon General,” Dana says “You can do this.”
A tail swipe erupts from the cloud and whacks Nadine launching her out into space.
“No!” Dana shouts
Nadine’s body flips as she is nearly carried out from the void. However, she regains her bearing and fires a white chain from the palm of her hand that digs into the moon. Connected to the chain, the general looks and couldn’t find the dragon. Her head turns as she scans the rough terrain below wondering where it could’ve gone.
“BEHIND YOU!!” Dana shouts.
Nadine turns her wizard covered head and sees the growling dragon with its muscular arm cocked back.
With its sharp claws, the creature strikes the general hard plummeting her back towards the satellite. The woman slams into the ground in an explosion of dust that escapes into the void.
“GENERAL NADINE!” Dana shouts with her eyes widened with worry.
She looks down at the reading device and it reads:
Pain surges through Nadine’s back as parts of her body covered in dust. She tries to catch her breath but is distracted by a shining blue light piercing through the dust hovering around her.
The dragon opens its wings and mouth and a blue ball of electricity grows big enough to cover half of its body. The dragon unleashes the sphere of destruction and it plummets towards the floating dust cloud.The energy sphere collides and explodes into a fierce dome of electricity covering half of the dig site. Crashing thunder light up the area as a great plume of dust escapes far into space. The dome fades from view leaving a deep crater behind.
Dana rushes up to the edge and falls to her knees gazing down at the prone woman with her hat lying at her side. Tares and burnt fabric litters her uniform. Her brown unwrapped hair floats near balls of red crimson as she clenches her rod.
“General Nadie!” Dana worriedly calls.
Just as she was about to jump into the crater, Nadine responds.
“Don’t come near!” She speaks.
Using her metal staff, she struggles to her feet staggering about nearly falling. She leans on her staff with her head lowered panting in exhaustion. Blood colored the side of her face as she glances up at the dragon roaring in victory.
It was too much of a task for her to take on a dragon alone but she was the most powerful mage assigned to this sector. Contemplating her options she was left with only one choice.
Nadine calms her breaths, reaches down to pick up her wizard hat and places it back on her head.
“Lieutenant General Dana” She calls telepathically looking up at the dragon.
“Go to my office and read the notes I’ve written. Command now falls to you”
The battered General raises her staff into the air and a shimmering light bursts from the orb filling the crater with white light.
Dana turns her head and shields her eyes as she backs away from the blinding light.
The dragon opens its mouth for another beam attack but five giant swords jets from the shining crater and pierce the dragon’s arms, legs, and chest. The behemoth roars in pain as the shining white blades burrow into its scaly hide.
Dana’s eyes widen in wonderment as she recognizes the spell Nadine was about to cast.
“Seraph’s Hold? That spell is forbidden to use.”
Forbidden spells are spells that exceed the boundaries of reality to a degree that anyone who uses it automatically enters karma status.
A beam of light shoots from the five golden hilts of the swords and writes the names: Turiel, Humiel, Teriesh, Moreiel, and Anauel in white cursive letters. Then five doors open in the fabric of space around the dragon and white armored seraphs emerge complete with six wings. The same size as the dragon, they surround the injured beast as the swords restrain its movement.
Nadine emerges out of the crater as she holds her staff out in front of her. Glowing white strands of her hair wave about underneath her wizard hat as rays of light from her orb penetrate the darkness. She releases her staff and it rises further into space and a large white glyph appears around it.
Palms open, the woman stretches her arms out to her sides and all of the seraphs surrounding the dragon open their wings. Each feathered wingtip touches another trapping the behemoth inside a holy barrier.
Nadine closes her eyes and raises her hands overhead casting all of her magic to pay for the spell.
The Dragon roars aloud as the seraphs sing together. The swords embedded in its flesh envelop it in bright white light and suddenly vanishes from sight along with the dragon.
“She did it,” Dana says eyes widen in relief. But her celebration halted by the fact Nadine used a forbidden spell.
Nadine descends back into the crater and her feet touch the ground.
Dana quickly rushes down the crater as her feet scrape the gravel. She runs up to Nadine while she proudly held her staff.
“General you did it. You destroyed the dragon.”
“No Lieutenant General. I merely sealed it away temporarily. It will return soon.”
Then she takes off her wizard hat and hands it and her staff to Dana.
“You’re going to need these.” She says
“What do you want me to do with these?” Dana asks.
“The right thing Lieutenant-General” Her final words as her body dissolves like sand and scatters into the void leaving Dana alone.
“Semper Fi,” Dana says as she snapping to attention. She salutes her former leader as a single tear cascade down her cheek.
“Command?” Speaking in telepathy gazing up at Evin floating in space. “General Nadine…” She wipes the tear from her eye and adjusts her sorrowful tone trying to be professional. “General Nadine has passed away and the dragon has been sealed.”
“Yes, …he’s floating in space as we speak. I’ll retrieve him immediately”
A yellow light envelops Dana and she vanishes.
The silence dominating the dig site made it ghost-like as rocks and drilling tools float in the empty void. The blue light blinking on top of the metal coffin now floats in space as the recent battle dug it from its place. The metal terminal repaired, the blue blinking light shifts solid green and the coffin unbuckle as gas ejects from the opening lid. The lid floats away into the void and a pale hand clasps the edge of the metal coffin.
Wearing a white dress, a platinum-haired woman stands up from her encasement. Her long strands wave about freely as she opens her deep blue eyes and gazes up at Evin floating unconscious. She gives a sly grin as she raises her slender arms towards him.
“I’ve finally found you. My little dragon.”