The Book of the Ages

1.

"All Prepsfield students over this way!" The voice of the head chaperone, Mrs. Johnson, floated over the din of people at the busy airport. The Prepsfield students were clearly visible among the teeming crowd of people leaving the air port. Their school uniforms proclaiming the various girls and boys as a single unit. They all moved though the crowd to join Mrs. Johnson and the other chaperones just outside the door.

It may seem funny that on a class trip across the seas in a foreign country, the boys and girls from the Prepsfield private school were required to wear their uniforms. The children's comment to this was, "What else would you expect from a private school with 'prep' in the name." To the teacher's however, it made sense. If all the students wore their uniforms, it made it very easy to keep track of them, and for the students to keep track of each other as they moved through the teeming crowd. The students would be allowed to change their attire as they trip progressed, but they still had moaned and groaned about wearing them on the plane.

"Feeling at home then are we?" A boy named Rick MacDougal asked a fellow student, throwing his arm around and boy, and mussing up his hair, putting a really bad fake English accent into his question.

The boy shrugged out from under his classmates grasp and spoke in a real genuine English accent, "I do wish you would all leave me alone about that subject."

"Oh come on you British bugger, have a little fun for a change, your so uptight." Rick said, his blue eyes sparkling. With his brown hair bleached blonde but the brown roots still showing, and his wild looking blue eyes that sparkled in even the dimmest English sunlight, the boy looked like he would be more at home in cut off shorts and a Hawaiian shirt over a wife beater, than the shirt, tie and blazer of the school uniform. A coincidence is of course, that he packed precisely those items of clothing for later in the trip once he was able to change out of his uniform. His wiry frame common to those who embark in surfing, skateboarding, and other such sports was evident as he walked. His tight muscles and well built frame just barely beginning to show through the uniform's blazer.

"I didn't want to come." Said the English boy, whose name is William Reynolds. "Do you think I want to walk around and see a bunch of historical sights I have seen time and time again, and listen to some tour guide tell me things I already know? But Mother made me come. She said it would be a good opportunity to make some friends." The English boy is the epiphany of stereotypes, tall and lean with hair the color of sand. His frame is slight, and he lacks all kind of muscle definition. He is exactly how most Americans picture 'prissy Brits.'

Indeed, for Will had only moved to the United States less than a year ago, and he had proved himself to be very shy, which wasn't helped by his proper attitude. The only other articles of clothing he had packed for the trip besides his school uniform, had been shirts and ties. The only friend he had made was Rick, who pretty much only gave him a hard time at school, and that was the end of their relationship. The outgoing surfer guy knew what it was like to be the new kid, so he was helping the uptight and shy English boy in his own way.

The students boarded the tour bus that the chaperons conducted them towards. They all sat down in their respective seats, they had to sit with their roommates so attendance could be taken quickly. Rick was the closest thing to a friend that Will had, so it was natural that the pair were rooming together. The two other boys they had as roommates were Adam and Steve. When the roommate forms had come around, neither Adam nor Steve had put down anyone, and Rick and Will hadn't put down anyone for their third or fourth choices, so they all got put together.

Adam and Steve were both outcasts in their own way. They both had plenty of friends, but none of them were the type to go on a school trip to England. So the two boys went anyway, and ended up in the room with the other two outcasts. And so the quartet of people cast out by those at the Prepsfield private school in oen way or another, ended up in a room together.

As fitting with any school trip, the bus was noisy and excited. The students finally being able to unwind after the long flight.

"She is right you know." Rick commented to Will as they sat down in their seats.

"Who is right?"

"Your mother." Rick replied. "This will be a perfect chance for you to cut loose, and enjoy yourself. To meet some fine lady friends." Rick said giving his friend a nudge.

"I don't need to meet any lady friends." Will said. As he did, he unconsciously looked into the blank TV screen that was mounted at the roof of the bus. In it he could see the reflection of the blond girl sitting directly behind him. As soon as he gazed upon her face immediately he began to blush, realizing he had just given away something to Rick.

"Oh contrar mezomie." Rick replied, butchering the French phrase, but still getting his meaning across. "You must ask yourself why I chose this particular seat. For it is in the front of the bus. Someone of my stature is best found in the back most seat. But no, I picked these two seats, and even though I got to them first I sent you into the window seat that is precisely in front of that TV screen."

Will looked at it again and once again blushed.

"There is no need to blush my friend. I have known about your attraction to the beautiful Jenny Motly for quite some time now." Rick conveyed in hushed tones so the girls behind them couldn't hear. Will blushed even more.

"Trust me my dear Will, by the time this trip is over, I shall have cured you of all your ails, there will be none of this stuttering and blushing."

"William if you please."

"But I don't please my dear Will. You'll never get anywhere with a name like William."

"My father is named William, and he happens to be one of the most successful historians in all of the state right now. So for the last time, it is William."

Rick wasn't one to be easily swayed. "My dear boy, if you insist on my calling you William, I shall forever call you Billy."

"Fine, call me Will if you must." Will said with a harrumph, and began to gaze out the window, even though the bus wasn't yet moving.

One might find Rick's actions with the seating arrangement to be most noble. It was however, only half a noble act. It is very well known to all, especially Miss Nicole Henrickson, that she has been for a long time, the target of Rick's affection. His wild and outgoing antics are most often for the sole purpose of getting her attention upon him.

The bus set off, and the joyous chatter of those who are on the beginning of their class trip continued throughout the journey. Not to long later, the bus arrived at the hotel, and the chatter turned from joyous, to excited as the children all began discussing things they were going to do once they got free of the teachers. Knowing that everyone was tired after the flight, and it was bordering on late afternoon, the teachers had already told the children that they had the rest of the afternoon and the ensuing night to themselves. Also that the hotel in it's entirety was open to the students, including things like the weight room, gaming room, and of course, the Olympic sized swimming pool, complete with hot tub.

The teens were escorted to their rooms on one of the upper floors of the hotel, and were turned loose by the teachers saying that they all had to report to the restaurant at seven o'clock for dinner, and that it was mandatory for attendance purposes. Also the usual speech was given that they were not to leave the hotel, and had to listen to the hotel staff. All that usual jargon about how the students were representing the school, and they hoped they would not embarrass the school, and the ever present threats that if caught doing something wrong, a student would be flown home at their parents expense.

The quartet of boys reached their room and immediately were dismayed by the fact that there were only two beds in the room. None of them had considered this, and fitting with teenage boys, none wanted to sleep in a bed with another teenage boy.

"I say we have a royal rumble, and whoever wins gets the beds." Steve piped up as they all kinda stood there staring at the sleeping accommodations.

"You two go ahead and fight for that far bed." Rick said as he tossed his bag onto the bed closest to the door. "Will and I claim this one. We can sleep so that my feet are by his head, reversed so that way it's not quite like sleeping in the same bed with a guy." Rick said.

"Sleeping in the same bed with a guy, I always thought you were gay, and now this proves it Rick."

"Oh contrar mezomie." Rick said, still butchering the French phrase. "I am as strait as they come, it is just that I am a realist. We have nothing to sleep on the floor with, so I am making the best of the current situation."

"Still seems pretty gay to me." Adam said.

"Come on now boys, we're here to have fun, not to begin with baseless accusations that hamper the unity of the room." Rick said, in his usual chipper voice.

"Just as long as there is no 'union' tonight." Steve piped in.

With a sigh, Rick turned back to Will. "Lets go, grab your suit and lets head out."

"But I didn't bring a suit, just shirts and ties. The only suit jacket I have is the school blazer, and goodness knows I'm tired of that thing already." Will protested.

Rick's head cascaded downward and smacked into his uprising hand. "For God's sake man." He muttered into the palm of his hand. "I mean swim suit, not three piece suit. We're loosing time, so get your ass in gear and lets hit the pool."

Will's only response was to stand where he was and look slightly abashed. " I didn't bring any swim suits." He mumbled while looking at the floor.

"Hooo boy we have a lot of work to do." Rick said, shaking his head in dismay. "That means we must get started right away." He rummaged through his bag for a moment and pulled out a blue pair of wakeboarding shorts that had yellow flames going up the side. "Here get into those pronto." He said tossing the shorts to Will.

Will stood, looking at the shorts as if not sure what he should do.

"For goodness sake, we don't have all night. We must get to that pool ASAP, so either you change into those shorts, or I drag you down to the pool as is and toss your sorry British ass in there." Rick said, meaning ever word.

"All right, all right." Will protested as he moved off to the bathroom to change.

So then it was that the two boys walked down towards the pool, one wearing blue board shorts with yellow flames, and the other wearing red with yellow flames, both identical except for the color change. As they rode the elevator down, it stopped on the floor right below, and a trio of giggling girls got on, all decked out in tank tops and short shorts over bikinis.

Thus marks the difference between the two boys. Rick stood towards the front of the elevator, loving every single glance the three girls shot over their shoulders at him. He absentmindedly admired his own bronzed muscles as he stood there, bare chested. The only other adornment, aside from the shorts, was a pair of shdes perched up in his bleached hair. Will on the other hand had drifted to the back of the elevator and was feeling very self conscious. He had chosen to wear one of his button down collar shirts instead of going bare chested like Rick.

The elevator reached the ground floor, and the giggling girls exited, with only a fleeting glance at Rick as they left. Will proceeded tentatively out behind them. Rick hesitated so he ended up behind Will, and as soon as they were out of the elevator, he grabbed Will's collar, pulling him backwards and around a corner, and into a little niche where the only thing there was an emergency exit door.

"What the bloody hell are you doing?" Will protested in an aggravated whisper.

"Aight man, before we walk into the pool room full of girls we need to fix something. If there is one thing that is going to win you a girl it is jealousy. Not the mean type, but jealousy none the less." Rick began to explain.

"I thought girls hate to be jealous?" Will asked, obviously confused.

"That they do, and that is exactly the point, exactly." Rick said, putting special emphasis on the last word. "If a girl sees another girl paying attention to you, and suddenly she feels jealous, she is going to have the urge to pay attention to you. And that is what you want now isn't it?"

"Well yeah, but how the hell am I supposed to get a girl to pay attention to me?" Will asked.

"It's all about confidence my friend. A girl will find any guy attractive, as long as he has confidence. Now we need to win you some confidence. And for that, we'll need a new look."

"Oh goody, back to the suit and tie right? Women always like a man in a suit." Will said, beginning to walk back to the elevator.

Rick stopped him by grabbing onto his shirt collar once again. "Hooo boy, this is going to be more work than I thought." Rick said, still not believing what his friend had just said.

"Will you stop doing that please?" Will protested.

"As soon as you stand still. Now I am going to help you, but you have to trust me, and forgive me at the same time."

"Why forgive you?" Will asked, puzzled.

"Hold on two seconds, and I'll show you. Stay here, and don't move." Rick said as he ran off to the front desk. He asked the clerk for a pair of scissors, and returned to where Will was waiting around the corner. "Now this is the part where you have to trust me.

With one quick movement Rick lashed out and snipped at Will's sleeve with the scissors, and amid a teeming mass of protests and English swears he proceeded to do the same to the other sleeve. Having severed the seam, it was a simple matter for the wiry muscles built up from Rick's playing the guitar, to rip the sleeves right off.

Will began to protest severely, Rick's only response was to shove the severed sleeve into his friends mouth.

"Will you be quiet!" Rick hissed. "Now I told you you would have to forgive me. Now I am here to help remember."

"I don't see how ruining one of my shirts will do that?" Will said, spitting out the sleeve.

"I'm not ruining it, I'm improving it. Now unbutton it all the way, while I go look for something to do with that hair."

"You are not going to cut my hair are you?" Will half pleaded, his voice winy.

"No I'm not, trust me on this one. I know exactly how to make you a new man without damaging your hair, or cutting it or anything like that." Rick said as he walked off. He returned the scissors while he looked for something to help him. He found it in the form of a vase of plants. Making sure no one was looking, he snatched the vase and returned to the corner, where Will had the shirt unbuttoned as requested. Now his pale white, very undefined chest was exposed.

"Okay here I go, now lean your head down a tad bit, your just a tad bit to tall for me to work." Rick said as he poured some of the plant water into his hand. He then applied it to his friends hair, and repeated the process until the boy's hair was sopping wet. Then he proceeded to mold the wet hair until it was spiked.

Finished, Rick leaned back to admire his work. "I do believe I am a master. Now all you need is…" Rick pulled his shades off his own head and put them over Will's eyes.

"I don't feel any different, in fact I do feel rather silly." Will protested.

"The part about feeling no different is exactly my point. Now listen up Will, for this is the most important thing I am going to tell you. The rest will be up to you. This new look I have given you is just to get eyes on you. After that all you have to do is be yourself. Just add some confidence, none of this shy stuttering. If you want to say something, say something. Don't be afraid to laugh, but always be yourself. Just because your acting confidant, doesn't mean your not acting like yourself. Now just follow my lead, and by the end of this trip I will have Jenny asking you on a date."

"Well what have I got to loose?" Will asked, his face brightening a little bit.

"That's the attitude, now lets go."

The pair set out from the corner, thankful that no one saw them emerge, especially someone like Adam or Steve. Rumors that they had 'spent time in a corner together' would have quickly spread and would have been very hard to undo.

"Now because we took so long, this place is bound to be packed by now, so it's a good opportunity to get some eyes on you my boy. I'm betting no one will recognize you, so just be yourself, and lets get us some hunnies." Rick said, as he pushed the door to the pool room open.

The onrush of hot and humid air was almost stifling. The sound of many voices floated through the doors confirming Rick's assessment that the room would be packed by the time they got there. There is something about a pool room. Even though there was no sun, there were still plenty of people lounging around on the numerous lawn chairs that had been arranged around the pool. Sure there were plenty of people swimming, but still an equal number of boys and girls just lounging.

The pair sauntered across the humid room, purposely picking a pair of chairs at the back of the room, so they could walk across the full length of it, allowing everyone to get a look at them. Rick couldn't help but smile as he heard snatches of whispers, the people were all wondering who this boy was, they didn't recognize him as timid uptight Will.

Once in their seats, and safely out of earshot, Rick let out all the exclamations he had been holding in their entire walk across the room. "Oh man did you see them looking at you? Did you hear them whispering. No one recognizes you!" He said, just loud enough to get his point across, but not loud enough so others could hear.

"Maybe your right. I dunno how I feel. I feel different yes, but I sorta like it." Will confessed.

"Man I am a God!" Rick exclaimed. " Okay man, now just remember, be yourself, and that's all you'll ever need to get a girl. That and this awesome new look that I scraped together from nothing, and had all the girls looking at you as you passed."

"I feel good, I feel confidant." Will said, his face brightening as all his brooding thoughts about the slight identity crisis he just went though. He was struggling with the thought that this 'new look' isn't who he is. But he quickly realized that it is the person who wears the cloths, not the other way around.

"Okay man it's time to mingle." Rick said, for the pair had finished removing their shoes and sandals. "Now those spikes of yours will flop under water, so I suggest we hit the hot tub first. All you gots to do is keep them dry, and we're all set."

"I'm ready." Will said taking a deep breath.

"Lets rock and roll then brotha."

The pair once again sauntered across the room, and easily slid into a pair of vacant seats in the crowded hot tub. Luckily the previous occupants had both decided it was too hot, and left to cool off. The hot tub was naturally a very popular place, and there was only enough room for a few people at a time. What made the pair of seats a very fortunate find was the fact that the previous occupants had actually been a couple, and had been sharing about one and a half seats. This caused the two boys to have to sit very very close to the girls that were on either side of the vacant spot. They weren't Jenny and Nicole, but just because you like a girl, doesn't mean you can't flirt with another a little bit. Plus how are you supposed to make someone jealous if you don't flirt.

"Mind if we join you ladies and gentlemen?" Rick asked as he sidled down into the almost scalding water.

"Not at all, there's plenty of room for everyone." Someone across from the pair said. Rick recognized her as a girl named Melissa, she was a pretty blonde.

"We were just discussing the upcoming fencing tournament back at school." Piped up another girl named Olivia.

"We come all the way across a sea to this place for some genuine R and R and we end up talking about school?" Rick said with a mock serious tone.

As fitting with many private schools that have a very rich population, such sports like fencing haven't yet died out. Prepsfield is well known for requiring students to participate in a sport in some way, all year round. Both Rick and Will are on the fencing team during the winter months. Will is actually one of the top contenders in the school. Rick has some wild antics that allow him to win some matches, but his wild and crazy style is often beat by the more fluid styles.

"Who do you think is going to win the school championship?" Olivia asked Rick.

"Well I happen to think that my buddy Will over here is one of those fine few who have a chance to make it to the top. Isn't that right Will?"

Will looked slightly abashed at being put on the spot so suddenly, but he quickly recovered. "Well we all strive to do our best."

"Oh my God Will, I didn't even recognize you!" Melissa spoke up.

"Your hair looks so good spiked." Olivia, who happened to be sitting next to Will, said. She began to pat his spikes, most girls like the feeling that comes along with using gel.

"Be careful there, those things will flop right over if your not careful." Will said, adjusting the damage she had done with mock carefulness.

The talk switched over to things different about Will, the girls dominating that conversation. Rick leaned back and watched his handiwork with a certain sense of satisfaction. All he had done was inject a little confidence into the boy's spirit, and everyone else took it from there. At first he was still a little unsure of himself. Hesitating to say something, having trouble thinking of the right things to say. The girls regarded this kid of thing as cute, and only spurred him on to greater levels of confidence. He was talking about things that interested him, and had always interested him, and the girls were soaking it all up.

Rick thoroughly enjoyed himself as he sat back, for once the silent observer, and not always the extroverted person who dominated every conversation. It was a nice change.

After a while, when the hot water was getting just a little too hot for everyone, and the glares of the people who wanted a turn in the Jacuzzi got overwhelming, almost all the occupants of the tub decided to go for a cool off swim.

There was some part of Rick that will forever be a showoff. So naturally his front flip into the deep end of the pool was a great spectacle that brought much attention, especially from the life guards who scowled at him and told him not to do it again.

Rick and Will joined the group of people hitting a beach ball over a make shift net in the shallow end. They amused themselves with the disorganized game for a while. Will's spikes had long flopped over from getting splashed, and dunked in the water. He quickly found however, that even without the spikes, shades, and the improved shirt, with this new confidence he had, women would still talk and flirt with him. It was as if he was a totally new person.

After amusing themselves in the pool room for a while, everyone began to file off in small groups to get ready for dinner. No one wanted to go to dinner all sticky and smelling like chlorine. Rick and Will didn't wait too long before they too went back to their room to shower before dinner.

After a quick shower apiece, they both began to meander down towards the restaurant. Rick was sporting a surfing T-shirt, and had for once opted for a pair of faded, but loosely fitting jeans instead of his usual cut off shorts. Will was wearing his usual khaki pants, but with his newly improved shirt. Underneath he wore one of Rick's wife beaters that he had borrowed, so as to be able to keep the shirt open, but not have to go bare chested to dinner.

So it was thus that the pair walked into the dining hall, and immediately spied Jenny and Nicole sitting alone at a table made for four. Being opportunists, they both snagged a seat next to the girl that had caught their eye.

"You ladies mind if wee sit here?" Rick asked, as he plopped down. He smiled warmly at the women.

The two girls glanced at each other, communicating in the secrete way that girls can with only their eyes. "No we don't mind at all, take those seats for all we care." Nicole spoke as she and Jenny rose and sat down at another vacant table towards the back of the room. Their meaning was quite clear to the two boys.

"Ooooh Ouch, that's gotta hurt." Adam said as he and Steve plopped themselves down in the now vacant seats.

"That was about the biggest crash and burn I've seen in a while." Steve chirped in.

"Waiter! Waiter!" Adam called. "Bring these kids some soda to put these flames out." Adam yelled the slightly modified quote from Top Gun to the whole restaurant. People gave him a funny look, then went back to their conversations.

"Charming as always Adam." Will commented.

"Oh come on you British patsy, I'm only trying to lighten the mood." Adam said in his usual loud and obnoxious voice.

"You could be a bit more subtle about it." Rick complained.

"Oh come on boys, so you got shot down by a woman. I myself get shot down all the time." Adam went on.

"Oh, I wonder why?" Will said, sarcasm practically dripping off every word.

Adam continued on as if he hadn't heard that. "No really boys, you must learn to move on. So they turned you down and humiliated you in front of others. So what, what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."

"Honestly man, can you say one sentence without stealing a line from a movie?" Rick said, noting the fact that the making you stronger line was taken from the movie The Fifth Element.

"There is more wisdom in movies than any text book. You just have to know where to look." Adam replied.

"Movies are the prime source of education for today's youth." Steve chimed in. "Now they skip over first and second grade and throw them right into third as long as they have watched the Star War's Trilogy."

"And what exactly does the Star Wars Trilogy teach kids?" Will asked, skeptical.

"It motivates kids, and even goes as far as to teach them how to read, write, and count." Steve instructed.

"That's bull!" Rick exclaimed.

"No it's not man, if the kids can master The Force at a young age it teaches them all they need to know." Steve said, an amused look in his eye.

"You lying sack of." Rick have finished that statement, but the chaperones called for attention at that very moment. They did their usual attendance stuff, and then the buffet was opened, and all the tired children went up and ate their fill.

Once they had eaten some good solid food, not that junk they had all scarfed on the plane ride over, everyone began to feel tired. The effects of jet lag, and just the tiredness that accompanies traveling set in. Almost everyone went strait back to their rooms. Will and Rick sprawled out on the beds and began to watch some TV. Adam and Steve took advantage of everyone else being tired and hit the pool room. But they didn't last too long, and soon all four boys were fast asleep, as was pretty much everyone else on the trip.

* * * *

The next day all the kids were up nice and early. They showered, and in groups anywhere from two to four at time they began to meander on down to the front of the hotel. There everyone began to wait around in the usual social circles, and groups. After a few minutes of waiting, cause nothing ever starts on time, they were finally allowed to board the bus, and after another few minutes they pulled away and went to the restaurant where they were to have breakfast.

Not much of note happened with the breakfast. Everyone was chatting and talking while they piled their plates up from the buffet. All the usual foods, most covered in grease, others more nutritious like muffins and bagels and things.

Once everyone had eaten enough, they once again were conducted to the tour bus, and it took off again. Thus began the first day of sightseeing. They stopped at all kinds of places, seeing a wide variety of things. Their tour guide was first rate, and had the day jam packed with all sorts of things, never having to wait for extended periods of time, or anything like that.

By the time the lunch break rolled around, not one person was complaining. Everyone was so tired of structured touring that they were really looking forward to the hour of free time they would get to spend at the mall. Everyone got a food coupon good for certain things at the different shops at the mall's food court. Depending on what you were in the mood for, depended on what you got.

Rick went strait for the pizza shop. He had been craving a nice piece of pizza ever since he got here. Will stuck by his side, because a piece of pizza sounded pretty good to him as well. Once they had obtained their food and drinks, they found a nice empty table and plopped down wearily. Even standing in line at the food court proved tiring.

Rick greedily took a huge bite of his slice, allowing the warm embrace of the food to slide down to his stomach to quench the churning there as it begged for food. Then his throat began to call for something to wash away the feeling that resembled swallowing barbed wire, caused by the insane lack of fluids. He allowed the cool embrace of the soda to wash away all remnants of thirst.

"So what was up at dinner last night?" Will asked as they munched on their pizza.

"What do you mean?" Rick questioned.

"The way the girls left as we sat down?" Will added.

"Women man, women. There are only a few things that are certain in life. One is that eventually death comes to us all, another is that men will never understand women."

"But I would think they might be like the other girls, and maybe wanting to show us some attention." Will persisted.

"Well not all women are the same. And don't be getting cocky man, cause just because you have a new look that may have attracted the attention of other girls, doesn't mean you can go out and get any girl you want. Now I know you got your eye on Jenny, so I will do all that is in my power to get her to notice you. But from there on in, it's all up to you, and you just gotta be yourself. If you try to be someone your not, I guarantee you'll fail."

"Don't worry, I am still the same person." Will assured him.

"Good man. Now to business. We should see if we can find the girls, and maybe try and get a conversation out of them, but if they show even the slightest hint of avoiding us, we give them space." Rick said.

They finished the rest of the meal chatting about normal guy stuff. Soon however, they finished and set off into the mall. They browsed through a few shops, checking out the kinds of things that were on sale. Will was acting as a guide to Rick, instructing him in the kinds of things that each store sells. They decided to keep an eye out, but not go traipsing around looking for Jenny and Nicole.

Luck was either for or against them that day however, for after about fifteen minutes, who did they bump into, but Jenny and Nicole themselves. They were browsing in a clothing store, just being normal teenage girls.

Rick and Will decided they would take a look as well, for it was the next store in their line of browsing. They were dismayed to find that as soon as they entered the store, the girls decided it was time to leave. Fitting with what Rick had said, they took the hint and continued shopping like normal, leaving the girls to themselves.

After shopping around for a while, it was time to get back on the bus. As soon as everyone was accounted for, the bus took off, and headed for the next destination. It was some kind of museum that was in an authentic castle from the middle ages.

The group walked behind a middle aged tour guide, who drawled off fact after fact about the different rooms of the castle, what they were used for, the different pieces that were located in the rooms, the tapestries, and everything else you could dream of in a museum that is located inside an authentic castle.

The tour was interesting at first, but soon the women's voice began to drone on and on. Will and Rick found themselves at the back of the group where they could whisper snide comments to each other about the things located in the castle. To their delight, Nicole and Jenny were also fairly close to the back, and to their dismay, Adam and Steve also were.

"Ah boys, I think your going about this all wrong." Adam said, in his usual loud voice. "I think those girls are playing hard to get, and all you have to do is pay them more attention."

"Adam, the day you get a girlfriend is the day that I will take romantic advice from you." Will said.

"I've had more women than both of you put together, but I don't give a rat's ass about having a girlfriend. If you know what I mean." Adam said, winking.

"Your Pathetic." Will said.

"What was that?" Adam asked, menacingly.

"I said your pathetic." Will said, not backing down.

"You've turned into a cocky bastard ever since Ricky here morphed you into a wannabe like him. But I don't think you deserve such a foxy lady like Jenny. As a matter of fact, she is looking mighty good right now, I'd tap her in a heartbeat." He said, making a vulgar gesture with his fingers. "I'd even do it right here, right now. As a matter of fact, I think I will." He said, smirking, and speeding up to catch up to Jenny.

"Don't even think of it!" Will hissed, grabbing Adam's shoulder.

Like the veteran football player he was, Adam easily shook off Will's hand, and spun around to face Will. He gave him a viscous shove that sent the smaller British boy sliding across the hard cobblestone floor.

"So you think your tough?" Adam asked menacingly. Jenny, Nicole and Steve were the only people not around a corner in the castle, so they were the only three who heard what was going on. They turned to see what was the commotion.

"So you think you're a big man, and I hear you think you can win the fencing competition." Adam said, advancing on the crawling Will. He looked around, and spied a suit of armor clutching a sword towards the middle of the room. He stalked over to it and pried the blade from the armor's cold grip.

"Lets see how you like this little fencing tournament." Adam said, raising the blunted, but still dangerous blade above his head.

"Jesus Christ Adam, this isn't funny!" Rick yelled, and moving forward to get in-between Adam and Will.

Adam turned and took a swing with the sword, aiming right for Rick's head. With reflexes born in the fencing arena, he ducked the blow, and backed up a step.

"Shit, you could have taken my fricking head off!" Rick yelled. Adam ignored him, and continued to advance on Will.

"Adam what are you doing?" Demanded Nicole.

"Stop, your going to hurt him!" Jenny yelled.

Adam paused with the sword above his head. Taking full advantage of this pause, and knowing that Adam was going to continue with whatever strange rage drove him to try and injure both Will and Rick, Rick ran to the wall, and grabbed a circular shield from where it hung on the wall.

Just as Adam began to drop the sword down towards Will, Rick hurled the wooden buckler like a Frisbee. It struck Adam right behind the knee, taking him right off his feet. As he fell backwards, in his surprise, he lost his grip on the sword. The heavy blade went flying across the room and hit a glass case containing a book, that the tour guide had just recently identified as "The Book of the Ages." The case shattered, and the book fell to the floor.

Even Steve, who had been walking away from the fight, not wanting to get in trouble, turned around at the crash. Everyone gazed in horror at the shattered case, knowing that everyone, even the girls who were doing nothing, would probably be sent home for this. Their horror changed faces however, as the pages of the book suddenly began to turn rapidly, of their own accord, emitting a strange glow. Noise that sounded just like a battle of armored knights could be heard from the book.

Suddenly a blinding light came bursting from the book. Everyone had to look away it was so intense. Then suddenly, they all five of them began to spin. They were lifted up in the air, and were spinning around in an ever tightening circle around the book itself. Everyone had a fleeting glimpse of the horror on Steve's face as they spun past him. He seemed to be just out of the range of this strange force that was coming from the book.

With a blinding flash, the five of them were suddenly pulled into the book itself. Each one of them felt a feeling of cold emptiness. They could tell they were traveling, and it was the most uncomfortable feeling any of them had ever felt in their lives. It was like being trapped in a void of emptiness.

Then suddenly they found themselves above a large grassy area, with bright sunlight streaming down from behind them. They all began to spin as they descended towards the green land below, this time the circle was getting wider and wider with each pass.

They could see fleeting glimpses of the ground below them. It appeared to be some sort of village, with men and women running around wildly.

As he descended Rick came to a realization. The sound of battle before, was what he was seeing now. However it wasn't a battle, it was a massacre. Armored men on horseback, with infantry and bowmen in support were storming through the village, killing anything that got in their way. Already black columns of smoke could be seen rising up from the huts on the outskirts of the village.

These thoughts were floating around in Rick's mind, until he saw the roof of the building come rushing up at him. Then the only thought that came to his mind was if he was going to crash into the roof, or if the power that brought him here made him insubstantial as well. That was the last thing that went through his head before everything went black…

A/N: More to come, but tell me what you thought about this so I can make the next chapter even better.