Chapter 11 – Primal Awakening
Cyn stood idly as Lenos tried to reconfigure the connection with the tracer. They were more worried about the lives of Team Grim than the state of their mission. As Lenos typed vigorously, he started to get frustrated. Cyn could hear the frustration every time he pressed down on a key.
"Dr. Sawano, please, take a breather." He suggested.
"I'm sorry." Lenos continued to type. "I have to help them somehow."
Cyn walked over to him and placed his hand on Lenos' shoulder. Lenos stopped typing and lifted his hands from the keyboard.
"I know how you must feel, but you can let this feeling of guilt consume you." Cyn told him.
Lenos sighed and turned to his superior. He knew Cyn understood what he was going through, but he couldn't help feeling useless.
"It's my fault they're in that predicament. I was so excited to achieve my dream; to help mankind on a scale that only a selected few have done."
"It's not your fault. You did what anyone in your situation would've done." Cyn took his hand off his shoulder. "I have faith in both Team Grim and Team Trinity, do you?"
He took a moment before answering.
"I do." He stated with pride.
Cyn nodded at him and Lenos turned back around. He went to work back on trying to reconnect them to the tracer. This time, his mind was at ease and his focus was stronger. After a few more clicks, the monitor showed the tracer's view. It was still flying over the gorge. They saw Yuto and Elise keeping the vault opened, while Jester and Aleyos stood behind them waiting for more shades to come from the fog.
The lab door opened and Dr. Arcfield walked in the room with Vahlia and Eiano. Both Cyn and Lenos greeted Vahlia with their salute.
"Headmaster, it's good to see you but if I may, what brings you here?" Lenos asked.
"I came here to show my support, Doctor."
"Yes, yes, of course." He said embarrassingly.
Eiano walked forward to Cyn and Lenos, "Did Theon not make it yet?"
"It doesn't seem like it." Lenos responded.
"He better hope he does." Eiano walked away from the group.
"Where are you going?" Vahlia asked without turning to him.
All eyes were on him as he stopped in front of the opened lab door. "May I be excused headmaster? I have important tasks that need my undivided attention."
Eiano walked out of the room. Their eyes shifted to Vahlia, who was still focused on the screen. As she watched, a figure came out of the vault; it was Loki and he had the key in his hand. Both, Aleyos and Jester ran to him and helped him walk away from the portal that was still open.
"It seems like out luck has yet to run out." She said.
They all looked at the screen and saw Loki with the key. Lenos and Dr. Arcfield cheered. It had even put a smile on Cyn's face, although not hard to do when good things like this happen. Vahlia, however, didn't smile and everyone in the room took note of that.
In her mind, she was filled with joy that they were about to be closer to ending this war, but in her heart, she knew it was wrong to celebrate just yet.
Cyn looked back at the screen and counted how many people were outside of the vault.
"The girl is missing." He said.
"The leader of Trinity? Last I heard, she was recovering from fighting against a rampager and was staying at Outpost Defiant." Dr. Arcfield informed him.
Vahlia shook her head. Not in disagreement, but because she knew Aleyah was there.
Lenos noticed that Yuto and Elise kept the vault open. "They wouldn't keep the vault open after Loki came out if she wasn't there." He pointed out.
They all watched patiently for Aleyah to return, but after a few minutes, it raised concern. When Dr. Arcfield looked at Dr. Sawano to tell him something, she saw the fragment glowing red.
"Hey, is that supposed to happen?" She pointed to the fragment and everyone turned to the crystal.
It started to crack. Lenos ran over to the data pad to monitor the fragment's condition.
"The aura streams are rapidly rising. I don't understand what's causing this phenomenon." He began panic.
"Is there any way to stabilize the aura? Maybe we can bring a Nova user here and-"
The fragment cracked on several sides and before they knew it, a bright white light beamed from inside the crystal. They all covered their eyes. When the light was gone, they saw the crystal, shattered in many pieces.
"What happened…" Lenos couldn't believe his eyes.
Dr. Arcfield ran to the monitor opposite of the one that controlled the tracer that tracked Team Grim and Team Trinity. She pulled up the surveillance from the tracers set up in the room and rewind what had happened. On the video, the fragment shattered. A ball of light flew out of it and busted a hole through the door. They all turned around and saw that hole the light made.
"Where do you think it's headed?" Cyn asked.
"I don't know, but let's just hope wherever it's heading, it's on our side." Vahlia responded.
Loki finished telling them about what happened with Aleyah while they were getting the key. Aleyos and Yuto couldn't believe what they just heard. Loki would've offered to go back inside, but he couldn't. All his aura was gone.
"I'll go in and get her." Jester volunteered.
"No, we can't let you do that." Aleyos told him. "The only reason why you're lasting this long in your Nova form is because of my daybreak arena. In there, you wouldn't last two seconds."
"But if I don't go, who will?!"
Suddenly, Yuto and Elise simultaneously screamed in pain. They fell to the ground which stopped the enchantment on the vault. It closed with Aleyah on the other side.
Aleyos ran over to them, "Are you both okay?"
Blue light covered their bodies and then disappeared. It took them back to their normal uniform. They were out of aura.
"The vault…it just kicked us out." Elise said as she rubbed her head.
"Aleyah…she's…stuck there." Yuto's voice faded as he came to realize Aleyah had no way to return.
Aleyos helped Yuto and Elise on their feet. Jester took Loki over to them and when they regrouped, so did the divine army. They heard metal rustle against itself and out of the fog came more shades walking towards them.
"We need to get Loki out of here." Jester stated.
"I won't leave you guys." Loki replied.
"You don't have a choice Loki." Elise said with regret.
Both, Elise and Yuto got up. Yuto looked at Aleyos as he stared at the shades walking toward them.
"I'm sorry Aleyos…" He said.
The shades began to rush at them. Their march shook the ground beneath them, it seemed terrifying. Jester lifted his gauntlets up and Aleyos pointed his spear at the army.
"For Aleyah…" He whispered.
From above the gorge, a red light flew pass the horses that were kept near a tree. As it entered the cavern, a high pitch screech echoed through the witches' ears.
"What is that?!" Jester cried.
Jester and Aleyos suddenly lost their Nova and Eclipse forms. They were brought back into their Sentinel uniform.
"What just happened?" Yuto asked.
"I don't know, the arena's effect must've worn off." Aleyos panicked.
Suddenly, the key in Loki's hand started to glow.
"Loki, the key." Elise pointed out.
He looked at it with confusion. He didn't understand what was going on.
The shades got closer and in a matter of minutes, they would all die by them, but something else caught their attention. From the fog, a red light shot out and went through a line of them. Each of their bodies exploded into white light. The red light, that was originally from the fragment, went straight to Loki.
"Loki, watch out!" Jester shouted. He tackled Loki to the ground causing him to let go of the key.
The red light shot into the key and pulled it inside the vault. It disappeared as if there was a portal to go through. They all looked at the vault and wondered where the key went and what that red was.
"What was that?" Aleyos asked.
"I have no idea." Yuto answered.
As they stared at the vault, the inscriptions on the platform started to glow again. Symbol after symbol, each brightened with a red glow this time. After the last symbol, red electricity surrounded the vault.
"What's going on?!" Elise cried.
"We have a problem; the shades are right behind us!" Jester yelled.
They all turned and saw the shades closer than what they were before. In a few more feet, they would be right in front of them.
Out of nowhere, tiny balls of red aura formed from the ground surrounding the vault and lifted in the air. They all looked around at the energy as it flew towards the center of the vault. The last ball of aura reached the center and shot a blast of red aura at the divine army causing an explosion. Before the smoke cleared, the same red ball from the center of the gate lifted itself in the air and shined in the sky.
Aleyos, Yuto, Elise, Jester, and Loki all covered their eyes, but Aleyos and Yuto were the first to uncover them. In the air, they saw her. Aleyah was floating in the sky in her Nova form, but there was something different about her. Chains, attached to her dual blades, were wrapped around her arms.
"Aleyah?" Aleyos question. He wasn't sure if that was her, but Yuto didn't care.
"Aleyah!" Yuto cried out.
Aleyah opened her eyes, twisted her body, and stared at the army of shades. The fog seemed to have decreased in thickness as well after the red light shot through it. She threw her blades at both walls in the gorge and pulled herself with the chains into the center of what was left of the fog. When she passed the blades, they detached from the walls and enter her hands. She was now in the fog and all the shades that originally went for Aleyos and the others were now headed for her.
She smiled, "I will protect you. I'll protect all of you! Searing Soul, Axios' Reckoning!"
The chains attached to Aleyah and her blades started to glow red and pulsate. Aleyah threw her right blade and stabbed a shade in the chest plate. The blade then pulled it closer and she stabbed it in the helmet with the other. Because it was stuck, she swung it over her head and smashed it on the ground. Inside the shade was a soul, however, unlike Aleyos, the soul immediately got absorbed by her.
When the shade's body disappeared, she swung her blades from the side and sliced over twenty of them standing in front of her. After they came back to her, she threw them over her head, which impaled another two. The chains pulled them closer to her and once the handles of her blades got back into her hands, she pushed both shades onto the ground causing their bodies to break and disperse.
She pushed her foot forward and launched herself toward the army. All the shades in her immediately reach got struck down by her blades. Aleyah found herself in the center of the army, but that didn't stop her.
"Searing Soul, Axios' Tormet!" Aleyah's chains started to glow orange and waves of heat could be seen coming off it. She spun around and had let go of her weapons. The blades, along with the chains, was then released to slice down and burn through the shades surrounding her.
Aleyos and the everyone else was standing there watching as Aleyah took on a whole shade army by herself with a new-found power.
"How is she able to do all of that?" Yuto asked.
"The fragment. It chose her to be its key." Loki answered.
Shade bodies flew in the air as Aleyah continued to strike them down. After killing a few more, she jumped far behind her and landed in front of everyone else.
"Is everyone alright?" She asked.
"Yeah, we're doing fine." Aleyos responded. "What about you?"
"Are you sure you can handle them all by yourself? They just keep coming Aleyah." Yuto stated.
"I will protect you all until backup arrives." She said calmly.
Missiles was shot down on the fog from above them. They all looked up and saw several streamers in the air.
"There's out backup!" Elise yelled.
"Teams Grim and Trinity, do you copy? This is Theon Crest from Nova 1." Theon called out.
"This is Loki of Team Grim, we're all here and alive!"
"Alright, that's great. Everyone, fire at the fog. Make sure these bastards have nothing to feed on!"
All the streamers reigned hell on the fog and the shades out of it. After the fog cleared, not one shade was left alive.
Theon landed his streamer as the others stayed in the sky. He walked over to both teams but caught sight of Aleyah's new look.
"Is that what I think it is?" He asked.
"The fragment? Yeah, it chose her as its host." Loki answered.
Aleyah was clueless about what they were discussing.
"Aleyah, do you know much about the fragments and their keys that lie beyond these gates?" Theon asked.
She shook her head.
"You must be very special then."
Everyone's eyes were on Aleyah. She knew this new-found power couldn't have been a good thing for her. They stared at her, which made her feel like an outcast. That was until she saw Aleyos and Yuto's eyes. They were happy to have their leader back; their sister and best friend.
"Well, this will certainly be a headache to report. We will escort you all back to Sentinel." Theon broke the silence. He walked away from the crowed and climbed into his streamer.
"Team Grim! Team Trinity!" He cried out. They all looked at him as he turned to face them. "Good work." He closed the hatch and flew up into the air.
Aleyah went back into her uniform and stared at her arms and hand. Something felt different about them, so she rolled up her sleeves. On her arms were tattoos of the chains that were a part of her blades. She rolled them back down and looked at everyone else.
"I'm sorry if I caused any of you-"
Yuto and Aleyos hugged her, which stopped her from talking.
"It's good to have you back." Yuto said. Tears fell down his cheeks and landed on her back.
"I'm gad you're safe." Aleyos added with his eyes closed shut. He tried his hardest not to cry as well.
They had both let her go and moved away. She was smiling at them with tears in her eyes. "I missed you guys."
Elise, Jester, and Loki smiled at them.
"You have one hell of a team Aleyah." Loki told her.
Aleyah wiped her eyes and pulled out her hand to shake his, "So do you."
Loki shook her hand, "I look forward to saving humanity alongside you and your team again."
"The same goes for us." She agreed.
"Aleyos and Yuto, was it?" Jester asked.
They both nodded.
"Your bond is as rare as it comes. I have never seen a strike team work as well as you three. Thank you for helping us."
"Anytime." Aleyos responded.
Loki walked away from them and Jester and Elise followed, but Elise stopped in front of Yuto.
"You're a strong Mythic user Yuto. Come by my barracks and I'll teach you a few things." She gave him a kiss on the cheek and walked with her team back to their vehicle.
Yuto blushed and stared down at the snow on the ground. After a few seconds, he noticed Aleyah and Aleyos starring at him with huge grins on their faces.
"Nothing to see here!" He yelled.
They laughed at him and began their walk to the horses. Theon watched them from above.
"I'm sure you all saw that."
The tracer that was sent earlier by Lenos flew pass his window.
"We did." Cyn said through their radio.
"That isn't something normal is it?"
"This is the first we've ever heard of it."
"I figured. How are we going to proceed with this?"
"We don't." Vahlia interrupted.
"Headmaster?" Theon stared at his communication panel.
"I'm curios about how this will play out. We still don't know much about these fragments and right now, that girl is the closest we have in finding out."
"Understood. We're heading back now."
"Hey um…hm, that's odd." Lenos said from afar. He was behind both Cyn and Vahlia.
"What is it?" Theon asked.
"I thought I saw a spike in aura flow on the other side of the gorge, but I guess the system is just malfunctioning."
"Alright, well, I'll see you back at the stronghold. Theon to Sentinel, out.
"Sentinel, out." Cyn replied.
The link between them cut off as the tracer flew back to Sentinel. Everyone was headed back as well except Theon. He stared across the gorge wondering what Lenos might've seen. Nothing appeared after a while, so he left to catch up with the others, however, there was something there.
Outpost Defiant's Prisoner Chamber
Captain Ramsey and the colonel of Outpost Defiant walked into the prison chamber where they kept the cultist they captured from Crowpeak Village. He was awake with a devious smile on his face. A guard opened his cell door and they walked in.
"I heard you were asking for us. Are you ready to talk?" The colonel stated.
The cultist looked up at him with that grin on his face and said, "Are you familiar with your religious texts?"
"Nowadays, I tend to stray away from believing in what the Gods have to say."
He chuckled, "What if I told you I could save you?"
"Save you all." He corrected.
"Save us from what?" Ramsey asked.
He turned to Ramsey, "From what's about to come."
Ramsey went towards him and grabbed him by the shirt. He forced the cultist against the wall and the guards that's stood outside of the room, ran in.
"Captain Ramsey!" The colonel cried out.
"I lost too many damn men to you and your fanatics! Tell us what's coming!" He demanded.
The smile on the cultist disappeared. "Fanatics? You simple-minded fool."
Ramsey dropped the cultist to the ground. He didn't bother to get back up. Instead, he looked up at Ramsey, who backed away.
"What is coming?" The colonel asked.
"Why are you so sure it's a what?" He asked.
Ramsey and the colonel looked at each other. The cultist linked his hands together, closed his eyes, and looked up. He started to mutter a prayer to the Gods, but they couldn't make out what he was saying until he repeated the same phrase over and over.
"Your dream is my dream; your nightmare is my nightmare. I offer my soul through the eternal night." Is all he said.
Seth walked into the room and told Captain Ramsey and the colonel to follow him to the investigations department. Ren was in the room when they arrived. They were tasked with researching the markings on the cultist's robe using the old text priest used during ceremonies.
Outpost Defiant's Investigation Department
"So, what did you find?" Ramsey asked.
"The cult that man is a part of worships a dangerous deity. According to the pretext written here, this God was very active here on Noah. It went back and forth between this world and the divine frequently to feed off the dreams and nightmares from the people before us. It even said they would sleep for days just to be visited by him."
"Why is this important?"
"Because at the ending of the text it talks about his return."
"Return from where?" The colonel asked.
She looked into his eyes and they saw fear overpower her.
Dark purple goo formed from the snow where Lenos spotted the unusual spike in aura. A figure, in torn robes with two books chained to his chest, rose from that goo.
When the rest of his body got out, the goo disappeared. There was no snow nor grass on the ground. It was all dried up beneath his feet.
His hair was messy with a dark purple color, much like the goo he came out of. His skin was wrinkled, and he had a hunched back. The sun's light shined on him and he lifted his hand. Slowly, he moved it across his face and dark clouds covered the sun's light. He smiled, revealing the minimal number of teeth he had left which were all crooked.
The man dropped his arm and looked around.
"I was kept from my children for far too long." His voice sounded raspy and decayed.
He widened his arms and deeply inhaled the air.
As he exhaled, he looked at the sky, "I hope you are watching my brothers and sisters…" The man turned around and looked at the snow-covered valley. He lowered his arms.
"For I will give these children the promised dream that was taken from them by you." The chains around him unraveled and released the right book on his chest. It floated in place and went to a random blank page.
Words burned onto the page and the snow started to melt. After the snow turned to water, it evaporated and burned the grass. The land in front of him, that went on for miles, became a complete drought. The book closed and went back on his chest. The chains wrapped around him again.
"I am still weakened by your betrayal. The sympathy you have for these…humans…was it worth it brother? Was it worth your life?"
He turned around and faced the direction Aleyah and everyone else went.
"It's there isn't it? The rest of my power?"
The purple goo appeared before his feet again, but this time, he started to fall into it.
"I will restore my power and I will repay you back for everything you took from my children." More than half of his body had sunk into the ground. "I will give them their eternal night; their true nightmare." He widened his eyes and his pupils was formed differently. They glowed bright purple and took the shape of an X.
Outpost Defiant's Investigation Department
"Sanctum? What was this God's name?" Ramsey asked.
"The God of Dreams and Nightmares, Reavish."
This marked the end of Team Trinity's beginning. Awaiting Aleyah, Aleyos, and Yuto further down the road would be their greatest challenge yet. With their new allies and Aleyah's new power, can they really handle what lies in their near future? Until next time seeker in, Primal Guardian Book Two-Gods.