I must have passed out when I entered the light, because I woke up dazed and tired, lying on a smooth, cold floor that smelled faintly of rubber and...orange?


The sudden booming yell sent me shooting up to my feet, scared half out of my wits. My vision was blurry, and for a minute I thought I lost my contacts, but it soon cleared, and I frowned; this wasn't Auburn...

In fact, I had no idea where I was. I was standing in the middle of a bustling marketplace, people going on in their daily lives. What struck me as weird was the look of the place; the road was made entirely of a white material that felt hard when I stepped on it, but when I touched it, it gave to my finger. The vendors were advertising their products in cubicle stands, but the items were floating. OK, that's a little strange. Buildings that seemed like skyscrapers towered above, made of some other white material.

Everything had a smooth edge to it, like how those old 60's movies pictured the future to be, except a lot more detailed and not as blocky. The pedestrians wore clothes that looked like the designers had gone insane with detail and added a lot of useless accessories, like belts and zippers where none needed to be. People didn't seem to react much about my unsheathed katana, but they shied away from its blade.

Not wanting to get any unwanted attention, I replaced it to its sheath and strapped it to my back, then to blend into the crowd; even though this place was unfamiliar, I was pretty sure weapons were not to be drawn in public.

Unfortunately, a large man in intimidating red and gold armor had seen me and stopped me by the shoulder, a wicked-looking spear in his grasp.

"Hey kid, swords, even strange ones like yours, are forbidden to commoners. Do you not you know the law?"

"What law, tinhead?" Frankly, I don't like being told what I can and can't do in a foreign place, so I shrugged him off. The guy apparently didn't like that, and knocked me down with the shaft of his spear. I hit the ground hard, but got back up and drew my sword, the crowd making a circle around us. My attacker, a soldier of some kind, seemed to like the idea of giving them a show and chuckled, "Alright, if you want me to spill your insides on the street, I shall be happy to oblige."

I ran forward, bringing my sword down in an arc. The soldier was ready, blocking my attack with ease. I came again with a swing from below, only to be blocked again. Then, to my great surprise, the tip of the spear glowed with a green energy, and he pointed it at me. Suddenly, I was thrown into a cart as a ball of energy hit me in the chest. The impact left me dazed, but I struggled back to my feet, the soldier clearly amused.

"Heh, come on, boy; you are making this too easy!" Cocky bastard, I thought. Changing tactics, I went from holding my sword up to backwards, getting low to the ground. I waited for him to attack, and when he did, I was ready. He thrust his spear at me, but I sidestepped and whacked the shaft with my katana, throwing off his concentration. Then I rushed and swung my leg in a roundhouse kick, sending him to the ground with a crash. The crowd gasped in amazement, and before he could get up, I put the blade of the katana to his throat, not believing that I had just done that.

Suddenly the sound of approaching footsteps got my attention; a squad of soldiers with similar armor as my defeated foe pushed the crowd aside and surrounded me, spears pointed in my direction. One of them, who had a red cape on that distinguished him from the others, came up to me. His helmet then removed itself, components and parts shifting and folding away into the neck armor, to reveal a man with long black hair, a thin beard, and piercing blue eyes.

His face etched into a small smile, "Well done, lad; you succeeded in defeating one of the Fire Legion's soldiers, a great feat indeed for someone your age. But, this makes you a threat that I, Captain Marcilus Evio, must detain and eradicate."

I gulped; just one of these guys was bad enough, let alone two dozen. As I shifted where I stood, I felt a hard object on my belt; of course, the pistol I always have on me!

Unholstering it quickly, I aimed it at Marcilus. He was no doubt surprised by the action, but began to laugh when I cocked it, "Hahahah! What is that small toy going to do to-"

And then I shot him, right in the shoulder. He yelled out in pain and clutched at his shoulder, which began to bleed, unable to move his arm. His subordinates were stunned, but soon they turned on me again, but I waved the gun at them.

"Who wants to get shot next, huh?!" I yelled, challenging them with my eyes, but still they didn't back down. The sound of a sword being unsheathed came from behind me as well as a strong voice saying, "Get lost, Fire-sucking freaks, or do I have to unleash Ragnorok upon you?"

I watched, astonished as they reluctantly backed away, taking Marcilus with them. A guy and a girl around my age came up to me; the guy had messy blue hair, cerulean eyes, and wore a blue jacket trimmed with silver that he wore unzipped, a black shirt underneath, pants with two straps hanging around the pockets, and metal boots. A large sword, probably as long and wide as me was in his grasp. His female companion was attractive, vivid green hair cut to her shoulders, silver eyes that took in every detail of me, but seemed to focus on my gun. A chainmail vest was protecting her body, along with shoulder pads, gauntlets, leggings, and boots.

The boy, who was several inches smaller than me, nodded at my pistol, "That is quite the weapon you have there. Not from around here, are you?"

"No," I replied, holding the gun up to the sky in an idle position, "But I'm gonna get back home, so don't get in my way, or I'll blow both your brains out."

The girl suppressed a chuckle, "Easy, stranger; Fire Legion soldiers are push overs, but Reno and I are anything but. We are not here to fight, but to bring you somewhere safe."

I thought for a minute; here were two strangers whom I've never met, and they want to take me to a "safe place"? It sounded suspicious, but regarding that I was in an unknown location, I needed allies where I could get them, even more so now that I only had 5 bullets left in my clip.

And if they turn out to be liars? The darker side of me questioned. My answer was that if they tried anything, they wouldn't stay alive for long. But for now, I followed them down the street.