Friday, April 14, 2006 - 10:00 AM

Master Rukijo stands outside the empty building as Eric Clastic runs up to him excitedly. The wide smile on his face extends from ear to ear. Master Rukijo stands still, a stern look on his face.

"I won!" Eric blurts out suddenly. "I held on to my title, Master Rukijo!" Master Rukijo simply nods. Eric can quickly sense something wrong. "What's up, Master Rukijo? Aren't you happy for me? Your training worked!"

"Yes, yes." Master Rukijo confirms. "I am very proud of win. But something not right." Master Rukijo leads Eric into the empty building. But something is different. The large chest still sits locked in the corner but a cushion is missing. Where there would normally be two, sits a single cushion. Master Rukijo takes a seat on the cushion.

Eric doesn't understand. "Where's the other cushion?" he asks. "Are you ready to train? I'm totally pumped."

Master Rukijo lowers his head in disappointment. "Can not you feel it, Eric?" Eric looks at him strangely. "Can not you feel the unbalance in heart?"

"I'm sorry, Master Rukijo. I'm not sure what you're talking about. What's wrong?" Eric takes a seat on the hard floor next to Master Rukijo.

"I have been seeing things. Things not good." Master Rukijo explains. "People. Bad people. They have something important. Very important. A dragon egg."

Eric laughs out loud. "Are you joking? A dragon egg? Dragon's aren't real."

"Yes." he sighs. "I did not believe so either. But is true. I not sure exactly what happened but you must find out! You must leave, today! Dragons are dangerous. Very dangerous. If egg hatches we are all doomed!" Master Rukijo lowers his head.

"What do you mean I must leave today? Leave where? What are you talking about?" Eric rubs his head in confusion.

"Come," Master Rukijo orders, getting up from the cushion. "I explain on the way." Master Rukijo and Eric make their way out of the building and begin down the long sidewalk. "On island, people have frozen egg. Dragon egg. Dragons are most dangerous creatures. They believe they can raise dragon to attack world. But dragons can not be contained. If dragon hatches world will end."

"Well then we have to tell the authorities!" Eric says obviously.

"If only were that easy. They would not believe."

Eric opens his mouth to speak, but decides against it and quiets. After a long walk of silence the two are introduced to a large, open field. Tall grass sways in the wind. A seemingly endless wooden fence surrounds the plain. In the center a small biplane stands by its lonesome. It seems fairly old and in bad condition. The two men approach the plain.

"What's this?" Eric asks.

Master Rukijo answers. "You will need this for journey. Island far, far away."

"I'm afraid I don't know how to fly one of these things. I mean, look at all these buttons!" Eric had climbed into the plain. He was like a little child receiving a toy. Excited and ready to play without knowing anything about it.

"Down, Eric." Master Rukijo says fatherly. Eric complies and drops down next to Master Rukijo, who places his hand on Eric's chest. A warm sensation overcomes Eric's body and his muscles seem to relax. "Wisdom." Master Rukijo says slowly. "Wisdom will guide you to destination."

"What?" Fear suddenly strikes Eric. A shiver slowly creeps up his spine. "But I haven't learned enough about wisdom yet. There's no way I can do this!"

Master Rukijo sighs. "I thought were different, Eric. I thought maybe were special. But I guess not. You just like rest of them. I sorry you feel this way, Eric. Please, leave. Obviously you were wrong person for job."

So many emotions clutter Eric's mind. Fear, excitement, sorrow, guilt. "I'm sorry. I'll try Master Rukijo. I really will! Besides, you're coming with me, right?"

"No. You must go on your own. I am too old for this. You can do this, Eric." He pauses. "Now, go."

Eric doesn't move. He is unsure of his powers. But Master Rukijo pushes him up the biplane and Eric settles in. All the controls are overwhelming. Blinking buttons everywhere. Nobs and switches. How could anyone fly something like this? Eric quickly gets out of his frozen state and focuses on what he's meant to do. Slowly the controls become less confusing and to his amazement, Eric understands what they mean. He kicks the biplane into gear and the engine revs up. Master Rukijo smiles in approval.

Suddenly, the biplane begins to move. It swiftly rolls across the field before finally taking its leave from the earth's gravitational pull. Eric smiles to himself and looks down at Master Rukijo who smiles back. Turning back, Eric stares into the open sky. Freedom. The biplane is still a little wobbly, but Eric slowly gains control. Eventually the biplane steadies and the ride becomes smooth.

Eric is enjoying the wind blowing through his wavy hair. The trees above him seem so small. Eric had been in airplanes before, but this feeling was like no other. Such control. A sense of accomplishment. Then suddenly, Eric realized something. He had no idea where he was going. But Eric understood he needed to focus and follow his heart. He flew in the way he felt was the best direction. With this theory, he quickly approached the Atlantic Ocean. Eric knew he was doing the right thing.

Eric continued for hours over the open blue. He watched as the waves splashed high into the air. The dolphins that soared above the water before returning elegantly back into the sea. Aside from the loud buzzing engine, it was peaceful here. No worries or cares. Nothing like the city life of Los Angeles.

Eric looked up ahead, where he could see a large island. It was beautiful. Green trees and shrubbery covered nearly the entire center. Golden sand surrounded the glory inside. Eric got a feeling in his chest. It shocked him at first, but he soon realized what was happening. This was the island. This was the island he needed to retrieve the dragon egg from.

He quickly swooped down and got ready for the landing. He wasn't how to land, one of the hardest things to do when flying a plane. Hopefully wisdom would guide him through this as well. The biplane was quickly approaching an open path of thick sand. The single front tire skimmed the ground. The plane lowered just a bit. The tire stuck into the ground and the plane was sent out of control. It flipped over and smashed into the ground. Pain struck Eric in every place of his body.

Eric unbuckled his seatbelt and felt out of the cockpit. His arm was soar and his back felt different. He slowly rose to his feet. Eric could barely stand and leaned against the upside down wing for support. Blood dripped down his face. He hears strange noises in the distance and looks up to see what all the commotion is. Men.

Men were running towards. Hopefully they could help him. But when they approached, Eric could see they were not ordinary men. They were shirtless with leaves to cover below their waists. Large feathered hats sat atop their heads. Large swords made of stone or flint hung around their hips.

"Hello," Eric spoke softly.

He could see the men conversing among themselves, obviously not in English. Eric raised his hand and formed the peace sign, but the men ignored it. Suddenly, they all drew their swords and placed them out straight.

"Shit..." Eric mumbled.