Chapter 2

I woke up and stretched my arms above my head before I realized that it wasn't my bed. I was on a plain white bed, with plain white sheets, and in a plain white room; to sum it all up, it was very, very plain.

"You awake sleeping beauty?" A voice asked. I turned and found Commander Ethan standing next to my bed with his arms crossed in front of his chest.

"What am I doing here?" I asked.

"Well, after you fainted. We rushed you to the medical bay," Jaq said from the foot of the bed. I twisted my neck and it cracked loudly in the silence.

"Hey, don't do that. You'll get arthritis if you do," a man with snowy, white hair and pale green eyes said. I rolled my eyes, it sounded like something my mother would say.

"Sorry, we forgot to introduce ourselves earlier. My name is Jaq Miles, the current pilot for Lumios. The white haired know it all is Jake Abroth, pilot for Cindra. The brown haired man over in the corner with the scowl on his face is Theo Greno, is the pilot for Genokia. Those three out in the hall are Ran Fang, pilot for Darcia, Mike Allston, pilot for Mineko, and Bernard Alexander, pilot for the Staria. Our last crew member isn't here, he got stuck in a training session, but his name is Steven Omnes and he pilots the Farlier," Jaq said.

"My name is Leo Pasto, and I have no clue what's going on," I said. Jaq laughed and said, "Let's start at the very beginning. The Seven Star Gods were not made by humans, well, at least we think so. They were found on Minisron, one of the few other planets in this solar system. We learned to control them and use them in battle against VIRUS. Again, we don't know where VIRUS came from or why they're attacking colonized planets, but they do and so we have to defend ourselves. About a hundred years ago, the government passed the law that allowed the military to make the SPP unit. The Starwarriors are mere human duplicates of the Seven Star Gods, but they were poorly made. The Seven Star Gods seem to have… a mind of their own. They chose a pilot by the pilot's heart and if it is worthy, they become the next pilot for one of the Gods. We're all marked with the same symbol, but the color depends on which God picks you. Whenever the pilot dies in combat or retires, the God will not fight until he has chosen a new pilot. You are a special case though. Even though I am still the current pilot, you have been marked as Lumios's pilot. That means that when I die or retire, you will take my place. Hopefully retire."

"But I'm just a cadet," I wailed.

"Whoa, calm down pip squeak," Jake said.

"Why do you insist on calling me that?" I asked.

"No offense, but your pretty short compared to the other cadets," Jake said. I rolled my eyes and sighed. Leo and I had always been short for our age and were regularly teased by other people.

"Since you are going to be the next pilot for Lumios, you'll have to receive special training," Commander Ethan said as he scratched his chin. Suddenly, the Commander snapped his fingures and turned to Jaq.

"Since Leo here is destined to pilot Lumios, you and the other six pilots will train him," the Commander ordered.

"Sure," Jaq said with a shrug, "We'll be happy to take him in."

"Awesome, it would be nice to have some fresh meat in our section," Ran called from outside. I jerked in surprise and stared warily at the two pilots in the room.

"Don't worry, he's kidding… I think," Jake said. I sighed and rubbed my temples as I felt a slight migraine come on.

"Let's go," Jaq said and grabbed me by the arm. He dragged me outside and he and the other pilots lead me down the hall back to the hanger of the Seven Gods. When we got inside, I collapsed on my knees, both mentally and physically exhausted.

"Hey, don't go fainting on us again," Ran said in a mock serious voice. I glared at him and got to my feet, brushing my uniform off.

"Hey can you tell us how you got in here in the first place?" Jake asked.

"I don't know. I was actually looking for the bathroom, but I think Lily gave me the wrong directions and I ended up in front of the hanger door. I just pressed my hand on the door and it said, 'Access granted," so I went inside," I said.

"Lily always had a bad sense of direction," Theo said with a sigh.

"Well, let's get Leo's evaluation test done," Jaq said and grabbed my hand again. He led me into a huge gym that had sparing rings, a track, and various types of exercise equipment. Jaq pulled me over to a stack of boxes and said, "Jump as high as you can and see if you can land on the top of the stack."

I almost laughed out loud. On Cadaron, Leo and I always jumped up and down the rocky hill near the river for years; this was a piece of cake in comparison. I decided to show off a bit and jumped at full strength, flipped, and landed on one foot in the center of the top box. The pilots stared at with wide eyes for a while before Jaq motioned for me to come down. He pressed a button of the wall and another box appeared on top of the stack. I kept on jumping till the stack got to a ridiculous height and I opted out. Next, the let me to a moving track and told me to run in the opposite direction in which the track was moving; again, a piece of cake for me. They kept on raising the speed till I felt myself slipping and hopped off the track in fright. They did multiple other tests, which were all fairly easy for me… except for the last test. Dancing had never been my favorite, but the pilots convinced me that in order to gain complete synchronization when piloting Lumios. They started the music and I flipped and turned easily to the rhythm like I would when my brother and I would go to a party or festival. They nodded in approval and Jaq grabbed me by the wrist again and dragged me into a plain, white room. It had a king size bed, a night stand with a lamp and alarm clock, a full sized dresser, and a bathroom connected to the room.

"This will be your room from now on. Feel free to decorate it however you want to. We'll come get you tomorrow at six sharp to begin your first day training. Your luggage is on your bed and dinner will be at six thirty, so we'll come and get you when it's time," Jaq said before he waved and left the room. I went over to the bed and flopped down next to my suit case, exhausted. After a few minutes of rest, I started unpacking and organizing my things. I hid the feminine products under my shirts in the bottom draw of the dresser and quickly went to the bathroom. I went over to the control panel next to the door and ordered, "Green walls, white rug, blue sheets and pillows on the bed, neon bathroom, and an astronomical ceiling. There were several beeps and clicks and the room began to shift and change. I tapped my foot and in a matter of seconds, my room had turned into an exact replica of Leo's room. I moved my suitcase over to the side of my room and something fell out. I picked it up and a sad smile crossed my face. It was a picture of my family when we went to an amusement park when Leo and I were five. Dad had begged to take a little time off from the SPP and came back right in time for Leo and my birthday. I set the picture on the night stand and I checked the time. The door slid open and Jaq and the others came in, though this time, there were seven of them. A raven haired, dark eyed boy who looked to be in his late teens stood in the back of the group, a solemn look on his face.

"I'm guessing your Steven?" I asked. He nodded, but said nothing. Jaq grabbed my arm for the fourth time today and dragged me down the hall.

"We have a surprise for you," Jaq said in a sing song voice. I furrowed my brow in confusion. I let myself be pulled down the hall and into a small dark room. The lights flickered on and I realized that a tall, dark figure stood in front of me. I looked up and my jaw dropped in shock.

"Dad?" I whispered, breaking the silence.

"Hello Leo," my dad said.