CF, I must thank you. You're an artist on my team in AfterWorlds, a good friend, and an inspiration. Thanks again, man. Thank you SOOO much for reminding me of this plotline.
Anyways. On with the story.
The Dreams series is called a "quartet" since it a series of four books.
Infernum will be finished first, don't worry, but this new series will soon change everything about stories on CHFW. Not to brag, but, to quote ConfirmFail, "it was a total hit".
The Dreams Quartet is VERY VERY VERY heavily based on the Christian/Roman Catholic religion, and was written by me a long time ago. I now present this to you, CHFW'ers.
This is a story written by TM, or 21bub21. Originally a fanfic, then a mini-series, then a popular read.
This story follows the Book, Genesis and Revelation, and everything in between. This story follows the story of humans, and of bio-mechanical beings. This story follows the powers of good, and evil. This story follows birth, death, and rebirth.
This story follows...life. Again.
It follows the trials of Hero Factory's greatest heroes. And their dreams.
Dreams Quartet | Book I | NightmareEdit
Dreams say what they mean, but they don't say it in daytime language.
He felt a light tap on his forehead, and he was immediately wrapped in the gentle arms of warmth.
A fuzzy image of a beautiful raven haired woman with clear, blue eyes floated in front of him.
He seemed to know her, but her name was already slipping away. And then...and then...
His alarm beeped gently and persistently, lifting him out of his dreams. He cracked an eye open, glanced at the chronometer, and then groaned lightly.
8:08. Late. Again.
He rolled his eyes, and shifted over, doing his best to squint at the sleep pod next to him. It was empty, so she must have left for an early shift.
After all, being a Cyber Huntress is hard work.
A final yawn, and Mark Surge was up and about. As he made his way to the bathroom (YES, robots need to go relieve themselves!), Surge XL paused to adjust a photo frame on his bedside table.
His team. Stormer, Furno, and co. All a thousand feet above him, on some mission in space. But not Stormer. He was way, way, above them all.
Mark opened the door of the bathroom, and groggily stepped in and reached for his toothbrush.
Except it wasn't quite there.
He looked around, and shrugged. Surge reached over to open the cupboard...
But it wasn't there either.
Surge frowned, and rubbed his eyes. When he re-opened them, he was in a world of grey, and nothing else. He could hear whispers, getting louder with each second.
'Drink...the water...' (VERY IMPORTANT LINE: REMEMBER: DRINKING THE WATER)
The voices came from everywhere and nowhere all at once, echoing, and then fading as soon as it reached Mark's ears.
Then another voice, much louder than the rest.
"C'mon, you're going to be late for work!"
Mark's eyes shot open, and he felt his heart slow. He had been having these strange dreams for a few months now. He looked at the chronomater. 7:47. He wasn't late.
"Natalie! I'm not supposed to be up until eight!"
She turned, by Natalie wasn't Natalie. 'Natalie' was a grotesque figure. She looked like a chicken on steroids with Mr. Makuro's face. No offence, of course.
Mark's heart lurched, as 'Natalie' produced a knife from nowhere and...
...whacked him with a gel-pillow. “Get up, Mark! Nathaiel will skin you alive if you’re late to work again this week!”
Surge slowly cracked an eye open, and glanced warily through his helmet lens.
His wife was standing before him, hands on her hips, already wearing her Cyber Huntress suit.
He breathed a sigh of relief. Natalie was Natalie, not some freakish monster wanting to stab him.
Mark looked at the chronometer.
8:10. That’s more like it. Wait. 8:10?
He shot out bed, wrapped Natalie in a hug, and dashed to the bathroom.
“About time, sleepyhead. I’m going to take Allana to school, ‘kay? Drop off Preston when you get to Hero Factory. Don’t mess up this time.”
“Last time you did, Preston almost got ran over by a dump truck.”
“I know. I was there.”
Breez rolled her eyes, and punched Mark on the shoulder. His wife had been in service for nearly a decade, but she still had one heck of left hook.
“Allana! Time for school!” Natalie called.
Allana was like a girl-version of her father. Blue limbs, yellow eyes. But she behaved just like her mother.
“OK. I’m off. See you at quitting time, Mark.”
“Take care, Natz.”
The front door opened briefly, then shut.
Surge XL opened the bathroom door, not surprised to see his three-year old son, Preston, trying to eat the toilet paper. Natalie and him had found it fitting to name their son after a great hero.
He gently pried it form the toddler’s mouth, and reached for the toothbrush.
Good. Still there. As was the cupboard.
But where was the toothpaste?
Chapter 1 - The UsualEdit
Five minutes later, Mark struggled to put strap up one his boots, shove his piece of toast into his mouth (Yes, robots get hungry...), and restrain Preston from eating, biting, or gnawing on anything.
At last, Surge was at the subway, heading for work. This time, he made sure Preston was holding his hand. Mark shuddered at what had happened last time.
A rush of air, and the underground train slowed to a halt before a crowd of people impatiently waiting to storm inside. First stop, the daycare. Mark boarded the train, and managed to squeeze into a seat. Make that two seats, because of his bulky suit. The train rumbled to a stop in front of Fountain Square. In minutes, Preston was happily chomping on rubber blocks with a bunch of other toddlers. With close supervision, of course.
The train then stopped once more at Hero Factory without incident. Mark glanced at his chronometer. 10 minutes late. Oh well.
He pushed open the large double doors of Hero Factory, and was greeted with a huge triple height entrance hall, jam-packed with heroes, officer, civilians, and convicts alike, all milling about, as if they had to be somewhere in a hurry. And for a Cyber hero, triple height is impressively tall.
He waded through the waves of churning bodies and found a sanctuary within the pressure lift, where he met Drake Extreem. The laid-back hero had recently got his 2.0 upgrade.
"Hey, Drake! How's Val and Dustin?"
"Mark! Nice to see you, too. Dustin, same old, same old. Now that he's in charge of the entire Gamma division, he's screaming at everyone within 10 feet. Congratulate Natz for me on her promotion to Commander."
"I will, Drake."
"And Val, you say? Well, we're pretty much even-steven, but she needs a tad more time to appreciate the finer things in life. Like me."
"Right. Like that's ever going to happen."
"I'll get there eventually."
The lift dinged, and the doors slid open silently.
"All right then. Best of luck with Valkyrie, Drake."
"See ya, Mr. Cyber Hunter."
Mark made his way to the Tech Lab, when he noticed Jenny Sharp drawing a finger across her throat and pointing in his direction. Mark needed some maintenance work on his Cyber Suit, which wasn't fully completed.
Jenny was admitted by Nathaniel into the Tech Lab after her XL upgrade. There was an odd surge in her intelligence during the upgrade, and Sharp XL could easily keep pace with the other techies, if not surpass them. Now, she worked part time in the Tech Lab, along with keeping up her other heroic duties.
History lesson aside, Jenny got the message across. Surge braced himself, and stepped into the Tech Lab.
Everything was either a stark white or a polished chrome in the Lab, save for the scorch marks and bullet holes. It was like stepping into a different world, as one's eyes adjust to the white walls of the Lab from the gentler blues and silvers in the rest of the building.
"Mr. Surge! You're late! Again!"
"Sorry, Nathaniel. I kinda...uh...slept in."
"Save the apologies. Just get over here, Mark."
Odd. He wasn't exactly getting skinned alive or beheaded, as was foretold previously.
Mark craned his neck to see what Nathaniel was holding. After all, Mark stood at nine feet and a bit, while the mission controller was barely half that sized.
The item in Nathaniel's hands looked like a flamethrower with a shower head attached to it.
"Zib-ster, what is that?"
"This? It is a gas gun."
"You've finally finshed it!" The gas gun was one of Nathaniel's many pet projects.
"Yup. Just made it last night. Check this out." Nathaniel snapped his fingers, and a lab assisstant hurriedly wheeled a dummy in front if the mission controller. Then, the mission controller flicked the 'on' button, and set the dial to 'deep freeze'.
"Here, the honours are yours, Cyber Hunter. Just watch out for the recoil!" Too late.
The trigger was pulled, a cloud of sparkling blue gas wafted out, and the dummy and ceiling were iced over as the gun blasted backwards and smashed Mark's face. (It hurts. A lot. Trust me. I've done that before.)
"Now du dell me!" Mark managed, even with the ice covering his face. His waved his hand over his helmet, and the built in temperature regulator did its job.
Mark shook his head form the rather unsettling experience, and noticed an option on the gun that read 'Methane'.
"Say, Zibby? Can I try this thing of yours one more time?"
"OK. Just don't break anything."
And so, Mark flipped the dial to the Methane option, pulled the trigger and...
...nothing happened. He pulled the trigger again...and again...
and a huge cloud of greenish brown gas wafted out of the gun. Immdiately, Nathaniel had his nose covered. "Mark!? What did you do? Oh, hell, you used the 'Methane',didn't you?"
"Hey! At least nothing broke!"
Jenny poked her head into the Lab.
"All right, who beefed?"
7 hours later
Mark stepped out of the subway that took him home. Natalie had left a half hour ago, and used part of her lunch break to take home the kids.
Surge walked down the alley he always did when he came home from work. After all, it was quite a bit faster than tiring out his legs on another half block.
It seemed a bit colder and darker today. Perhaps it was because he was in his Breakout form after the techies had taken away his Cyber suit for a check-up.
Or, perhaps not.
Then, a flash of orange. A thump, and bits and pieces from the nearby wall showered Surge's face.
He was being shot at?
Someone was actually shooting at him!
Mark turned, and ran for his life.
Chapter 2 – La-la LandEdit
“Mark Surge!” A deep, scratchy voice. Clearly, his assailant knew his name, and had no qualms announcing it to the rest of the world.
Mark could scarcely think. Without his Cyber suit, he would stand no chance against a strong assassin. If he could only make it to the end of the alley…
Another shot whizzed by. He could feel the heat of the plasma bolt.
Mark could see the light at the end! Only to be blocked out by another silohuette. Clearly, someone wanted him dead, and wasn't taking chances about it.
No choice but to go upwards, maybe climb a building.
And so, Surge clambered onto the nearest garbage can, and shinnied up the pipe. A decade ago, Mark would have fallen back down to his doom. A decade ago, he would have been killed on the spot. But, working in Hero Factory had transformed him from a wide-eyed rookie to a toughened verteran.
Mark jumped off the pipe and landed lightly onto an outdoor staircase, only to have his neck armor melted away by another shot.
Surge wrenched open the fire door, and caught a glimpse of his first would-be-killer. He had wings! Mark had no choice but to play a game of hide-and-not-get-shot on the rooftops with his assassin. What fun.
Up and up he went, nearly pulling each badly painted and rusted door as he went up the stairs. Would he make it?
At last, the roof. Mark drew his sword, ready for anything.
He gingerly pushed open the door, with a slight cccrrreeeaaakkk. And a massive, gleaming hand shot out, and closed the front of Mark's neck.
Hot, steamy breath washed over Mark's face, even as the hero was slowly suffocating.
Two bright, orange eyes. Full of hate, full of depise.
“Well, well, well. Look’s like the tables have turned, Mark.” The villain’s breath smelled like sulfur. (VERY IMPORTANT LINE. REMEMBER: SULFUR LIKE BREATH)
“Flamebot? What the-? You’re supposed to be in prison! And...you look different. You have wings, and...everything!”
Sure enough, the villain who towered above Mark was indeed Fire Lord, complete with wings, a chaiugun of some sort, and a wicked blade. And a Meteor Blaster. Two of them.
Fire Lord chuckled darkly. “Oh, I have my wa-” Fire Lord’s eyes bulged as Mark punched in the chest. Oil sprayed ,and there was an audible crush as Fire Lord's armor was dented. Another strong punch, to the face, which left behind another dent, and a half-dimmed eye. At last,Mark was let go.
But, he didn’t run. No, instead, Mark Surge opted to stare, horrified, as Fire Lord’s armor clicked back into place, and his weak eye flickered back to life. All without a trace of effort.
“How’d you do that?”
“As I was saying,” Fire Lord wheezed, “I have my ways.” He rasied one of his Meteor Blaster.
Mark ducked, but at point blank range, he had no chance. The projectile sliced through the air, and clipped his temple, taking a bit of metal with it. Unconciousness was immediate.
And Mark Surge dreamed.
The world would never be the same again.
Chapter 3 – The PondEdit
Then again, the world had always been changing. War, peace, scientific breakthroughs, economic slums, and dreams.
Well, Mark’s dreams anyway.
Surge woke, and his first thought was, “Am I in heaven? Am I dead?”
Heaven certainly didn’t look like heaven. Hell was a better description.
Thick, gnarled, blackened trees surrounded Mark, and they stretched out in every direction a far a he could see. Every limbs, joint, and fibre within him felt like they had been stretched to their limit, and then released, like a rubber band. It was altogether not a a very pleasant feeling.
Mark sat up, and looked around. He was in a clearing, with a small, tranquil, pond. His head wound had magically diappeared, and his clothes were as good as new.
He looked at himself. He ran his hands through...hair.
He patted his hands on soft skin...
He was a human. An honest-to-God human. Unbelievable. This must a be a dream, he told himself.
Things got even better, as a menacing growl filled the air.
‘Super,’ Mark thought to himself. Then a massive wolf padded out of the dense, blackened tree trunks.
The beast was at least as tall as he was, with matted black fur. It growled, saliva dripping off yellow, chipped fangs. Other than that, Mark would not have been worried. After all, he had years of combat experience.
However, trouble had seemed to take a liking to Mark. The ‘beast’, or ‘thing’, had red eyes, like some evil being had ripped out the wolf’s eye and had them replaced with cherries. Then, the evil being ripped out the eyelids for good measure.
Things simply got better and better as a second, and a third wolf stalked into the clearing, where Mark Surge lay defenseless.
He gulped, and muttered, “This is all a dream…This is all a dream…”
The three wolves opened their mouths, and a sulfur-like stench rolled out.
‘Drink…the water…Drink…the water…’
This certainly was not a dream.
Chapter 4 – ZenthoryxEdit
Natalie paced around in the living room. She had not thought of taking off her Cyber suit. Her mind was clouded with worry.
She glanced at the chronometer. A quarter past nine.
Natalie paused her pacing. Before she could convince herself she was acting crazy, she scooped up her two assault rifles. She had no choice but to find out where Mark went herself, even if heading out armed to the teeth would draw attention.
Just as soon as Natalie was at the door, there was a light tap on her thigh.
“Mommy? Can you wead us a bedtime stowy?”
Breez looked at the wide eyes of Preston. His ‘sad puppy’ face was as potent as any mind-control drug.
Mark could wait, maybe. Just five minutes.
Not that it mattered much.
The wolves closed in, with their sickly breath still pouring out of their mouths.
Mark felt a sudden urge like to drink the water. He really, really should. What could go wrong? So he knelt before the clear surface of the little pond. It looked so refreshing, and…and… (For clarification, the drinking of the water is the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil. I’m ppprrreeettyyy sure none of you got that.)
The approaching beasts abruptly snapped thier jaws shut, and parted.
Another wolf. But, this one was much different. Green eyes, and a slight blue-and-gold sheen to its pelt made it seem almost regal, infinitely trustworthy.
Mark scrambled to his feet. ”OK. Enough of this sh*t. I just want to go back home. Who are you, Mister Big, Bad, Wolf?” He didn't expect a spoken answer, but that was exactly what he got.
The green-eyed wolf chuckled. “I am known by many, many names. You may refer to me as…Zenthoryx. Yes, I like the sound of that. Zenthoryx.”
Surge stood, rather shakily, on his feet, and brandished a large stick he had picked up, while doing his best to overcome shock and fear. “Just send me home, and I’ll never bother you again, Zenthoryx.”
“I’d be happy to, but, wouldn’t you like a small sip from that pond? After all, you must be tired from your journey.”
Surge backed slowly. “Eh…it’s fine. I’m not that thirsty anymore.”
Zenthoryx’s emerald eyes narrowed. “I insist.”
Mark didn’t bother replying this time. He simply hurled his stick at the nearest wolf, and booked it.
Now, one would normally have a hard time navigating his way through a dense, black forest by moonlight. So, how did he do it? Most likely by following the path of two white eagles as the glided above the treetops. He had no idea where the eagles came from, but he didn't dare to take his eyes off of them.
They were his lifeline. Hopefully.
“…And the little bear fell asleep, and dreamt of honey and fish. The End.”
Natalie glanced at her sleeping children. Preston was drooling, most likely because he was dreaming or honey and fish. No surprises there.
Breez crept down the hallway, and out the door, making sure to close it silently. She stepped out into the cold, crisp night, lit only by the crescent moon above.
She drew her saber, and ran towards the alley which her husband always used after work.
Surge ran, keeping the brilliant white birds in his sight at all times. A lot easier said than done when you had wolf jaws clamped firmly around your arm. Not to mention that he was running out of breath, too.
He felt a searing pain on his left leg. A second wolf had caught up to him, and raked its claws on his leg. He tried to activate his build in nano-medicbots, but realized that humans didn;t com equipped with nanobots.
He continued to stumble forward, and ahead, he saw the two eagles, hovering in the air, waiting for him on the other side of a small, but apparently shimmering, stone bridge.
As Mark grew closer to the edge of the black forest, the wolf on his arm relinquished it hold, and the other beast gave up the pursuit.
He was going to make it!
Then, the air seemed to ripple, and Zenthoryx stood before him.
His pupiless green eyes transfixed Mark’s own blue eyes.
“Have a fruit, Mark.”
When Surge looked down, the wolf was holding a succulent, perfectly ripened pomegrante in its jaws.
Behind the wolf, the two eagles began shaking their heads and gesturing wildly with thier wings. ‘NO!’ was the clear message. First, a talking wolf, and now intelligent avians. It was certainly a day for the weird.
But, how bad could one little nibble be? “Fine. I’ll eat it. But what do I get from eating this fruit of yours?”
“Power,” the wolf replied. “Everything you could imagine.”
The eagles stared at him intently.
Mark took the pomegranate, and weighed it in his hands. As soon as his palm closed around the soft red skin of the fruit, his mind clouded, and his head pounded lightly. Stars danced in the corners of his eyes. He felt an overwhelming urge to eat. He felt hungry. So, so hungry.
Then he saw the eagles. He saw the almost predatory look in Zenthoryx's eyes.
A look that could kill.
He threw the fruit as far into the black forest as he could, and threw a punch at Zenthoryx. His hand simply passed through. On the other hand, the large wolf’s teeth and claws were anything but insubstantias as they shore through his soft flesh.
Chapter 5 – The EaglesEdit
On the other side of the brick bridge, the two eagles looked at each other.
The bigger one sighed. “We’d best help him out.”
“Brilliant, Sherlock,” the smaller one replied.
Mark had lot a great deal of blood and flesh, and was close to passing out.
He needed a miracle. Fast.
And a miracle was what he got.
The white eagles were suddenly behind the golden-furred wolf, pecking at him, and scratching at him with razor-sharp talons.
Under the onslaught of the birds, Zenthoryx had no other option but to flee.
And flee he did. It all seemed too easy. Much too easy.
Surge muttered something along the lines of , “Thanks,” and collpased.
A thought, not one of his own, then rushed through his mind.
‘We will meet again, Mr. Surge…’
He did his best to ignored the dark, yet velvety, voice, and fell down towards the darkness of uneasy sleep.
And Mark dreamed, once again.
The two eagles had huffed and puffed their way across the shimmering bridge, hauling an injured Mark Surge with them.
At last, the birds were over. A shadow crept over the eagles, and they turned thier heads.
A young, raven-haired woman stood behind them. “And who might this be?”
“You wouldn’t know him, Thorn. He’s eh…from another village. Yeah…” the smaller eagle said.
“Yup, that’s certainly true, Gabe,” the larger bird commented.
“I don’t see you coming up with anything better, Michal…” Gabe pouted.
Thorn knelt down, and peeled back Mark’s eyelids. “Hmmm…interesting eyes…At least he’s better looking than most of the others…Tell me, do you know if he’s married?”
The eagles’ beaks dropped open. Women these days...
Chapter 6 – Back to ‘Reality’Edit
Natalie continued to follow the footprints up the fire stairs, and after that, she began following a trail of blood.
She reached the roof, and noticed Mark sprawled in a pool of his own blood. There was no sign of the assailant, who must of left Mark for dead, who was close enough anyway. The bullet had caused a deep enough wound that he had began to die of blood loss.
Wait. Blood? How...?
Breez quickly healed her husband with one her nanobots, as he made his way out of his ‘dreams’.
“Nat! I-I…What happened?”
“It’s okay, Mark. By the way, what did happen?”
“I was dead, and in this black forest…with these bunch of talking animals…I feel tired.” Mark Surge slumped into the arms of Breez, and was asleep, snoring away.
Natalie breathed a sigh of relief. It could have been worse. Much worse.
Funny thing, that. It was just about to get worse.
As Mark fell asleep in his wife’s arms, then woke up, and found an equally beautiful woman looking at him, scrutinizing him, as if he were some lab specimen.
“Michal! He’s awake!”
“Alright then, Thorn, let’s take a look at him, shall we? C’mon Gabe.”
Michal gestured for Thorn to move aside and was nearly stepped on as Mark unexpectedly peeled himself off the lush, green grass to get a better look at the ones who had saved him. Michal and Gabe looked like any eagle he had seen before, except they had a snowy white plumage, and green eyes. With pupils, of course. All in all, they looked magnificent.
Both eagles, however, fell short of the young lady standing in front of him. With shoulder-length black hair, greenish-hazel eyes, perfect skin, all in a flowing, satin-red dress, Mark could think of only one person that could compete with Thorn.
Surge must have been practically drooling when Michal cleared his throat.
“So, mark…anytime you’re ready.”
Mark peeled his eyes away from Thorn, and looked downward at Michal.
“OK. I’m slightly confused, Michal. It's Michal, right?”
The bird nodded.
“Right. So how did I end up here? Am I hallucinating? Have I gone insane?”
Gabe hopped forward. “Long story, Marky. Mike and I will dumb it down for you.”
“And how do you two know my name? And I'm human. Why.” It was not a question. To be honest, it was more a demand.
“Well...you aren’t on any other planet, let's get that straightened out. You haven’t teleported or anything. And above all, this is all real.”
“I see.,” Surge replied.
“You will have no idea who were are talking about, but Cyrandi-”
“I was about to get to that…Wait, you’re from 2012?”
“So he’s from the Histories!” Gabe squawked excitedly.
“Yes, which explains why he knows nothing. Anyway, you’re not in 2012 anymore, Mark,” continued Michal.
“You don’t say.”
“This place, this time, is after both the Great Deception, and the Great Judgement of your era.”
“So…I’m in of a post-apocalypse Earth?”
“That’s exactly right,” Gabe confirmed.
“OK…presuming I’m not mental, and you guys aren’t a figment of my imagination, this still doesn’t explain how I got here, or pretty much anything else…”
This time, it was Thorn who explained things to Mark. “Cyrandi created the universe from nothingness. That explains everything, doesn’t it?”
His head began to pound. “No! And why me? Why did I have to have these…dreams?”
“Remember, Mark, you are in a world after the Great Judgement. So, when Cyrandi created the world, he made a few…changes…”
“Like the knowledge of Goo-” Gabe got a beakful of wing and feather for his trouble from Michal.
Michal shook his head, very, very slightly.
Thorn shrugged, and took Surge’s hand. “Maybe a little tour will jog your memory, Mark.”
Mark was instantly putty in Thorn's hand. “Why didn’t you say so?”
Thorn led Surge through a grove of tall trees, which seemed to almost glow with multicoloured light. Some were a light cyan, while others were a bright magenta. Still others had a slight purple aura around thier trunks.
“Thorn, why are the trees…glowing?”
“Oh, the Book states when Cyrandi created Terra, ‘He made the trees shine with His own light, and their fruit radiate His own power. He then made His peoples in His image, with His purpose in mind.’ Which, of course, was us.”
‘Interesting,’ Mark thought, ‘Thorn and the others don’t seem to know too much about the Histories, as Michal called my time. Also, Terra? Odd name for the planet.”
And so, the day wore on, with Mark and Thorn walking throughout the village, with Surge marvelling at the quaint little huts, and the sheer perfection of everything. There were other white eagles in the sky, and everyone seemed to be in harmony with each other. Like a never-ending dance.
Chapter 7 – He's coming. Do panic.Edit
At last, Mark retired to Thorn’s hut, after meeting so any new faces. Venta, a charming little woman, who was a master with the bow. Lithos, a young man, who had taken an immediate liking to Mark. Jain, one of Thorn’s best friends. And Aidan.
Aidan was different. He was human, and looked middle-aged. According to the others, he was the firstborn, and was a master of all things combat. Surge couldn’t wait to meet him tommorow.
But first sleep…
…and Mark woke up in his bed. His other bed, with a gel-mattress and titanium springs, not a small straw-filled cot.
At first, he was slightly disoriented, but he managed to get his bearings.
He threw off the covers, and met Natalie in the kitchen.
“OK, Mark. What did you do?”
He deftly changed the subject.
“How long was I out for?”
“Answer the question, Mark.”
“Well…First, I got shot by Fire Lord, then I fell asleep, then I dreamed a bit, then met Thorn, then I fell asleep a few more times, and now I’m here. How’s that sound to you?”
Breez looked at her husband. “You got shot? And who’s this Thorn?”
“Um…she’s I mean he’s…someone I made up…”
“The truth, Mark.”
Surge stared at his toes.
“OK. Fine. Thorn's a she, and she's the most beautiful human being I ever clapped eyes on." Mark made sure to put emphasis on 'human'.
Breez raised an eyebrow. "Really. Then what about me?"
“You're the most beautiful bio-mechanical being I ever clapped eyes on. Big difference. Plus I was dreaming. I would never choose a figment of my imagination over you."
Natalie unfolded her arms, and exhaled. She had expected the worst..
“These dreams…do you think they are real?”
“Absolutely, Natz, absolutely. Oh, by the way, I told you about Fire Lord, right?”
“I don’t think I showed you this yet.” he held up a hand covered with a flaky red substance, when he punched the villain's chest and splintered his armor.
“Ugh,” Breez grimaced. “Disgusting. You better get that...stuff...cleaned up." Sure enough, her husband's outstretched hand was caked with rust. "What the heck is going on, anyway?” she continued.
“How should I know?”
“Clean that up, Mark. And try not to get shot again. Hopefully, if you keep a low profile, nothing will happen.”
“C’mon Natz. You’re a fully trained Hero Factory operative.. Surely, you know how assassins and those who hire them work. As soon as they find out I’m not dead, they’re going to try again.”
“That’s not important, Mark. Think about the kids, the home. Those killers could come back at any minute.”
An almightly blow shook the front door, like God’s own punch. Right on cue.
Natalie slowly turned.
“Natz! Take the Allana and Julius and meet me at the Plaza! Hurry!” Mark cried.
Allana rushed into the kitchen. “Mommy, what’s happening?”
“C’mere. We’ll just going somewhere for a while. Get Julius.”
Another blow shook the entire doorframe, a little bits of wood fell to the floor.
Natalie, shepherding Allana and Julius, shattered a window with her dagger, and the three ran down the fire stairs like the wind, as if some murderous criminal was trying to kill them. Breez paused to mouth, ‘Be careful,’ to Mark. And she was gone.
Surge turned just in time to get shower with wood slivers and sawdust as the door more or less exploded.
No time for chatter. Deathstroke drew a railgun and shot the hero twice.
Mark was on the floor, fast asleep, even before the pain kicked in.
He awoke to a light tingling.
Mark gazed up at the wooden roof, and briefly wondered how he got here.
He remembered. He had been shot, again, by Deathstroke of all people.
Surge soon got the pattern. As he fell asleep in one world, he would wake in the other, and vice versa.
A knock on the door, and Thorn opened it.
“About time you got up, lazybones. Aidan’s expecting you.”
The firstborn of all. Not too many had seen him up close, and a private meeting with him was an honour.
Mark got out of bed, and grabbed a strange, oval fruit from a basket nearby, as breakfast. Fruit was the main food in this strange world. Not that he disliked it, or anything.
A bittersweet juice flowed into his mouth when he bit into the soft flesh of the fruit. He was immediately filled with a sense of well-being and warmth.
As Thorn had said, “He made the trees shine with His own light, and their fruit radiate His own power.” Obviously, this God-like figure called Cyrandi had plenty of power to spare.
Thorn, who was wearing a long, flowing white dress today, then presented Mark with a large, but thin, wooden case.
“You’ll need that for the ‘meeting’ with Aidan.”
Mark Surge opened the case, and whistled. Inside, there was a meter-and-a-bit steel rapier, two long daggers called dirks, and an iron deflector. All four weapons were masterly crafted, perhaps rivalling the weapons made by the Assembly Tower.
A deflector was a very small, wrist mounted shield. The main advantage was that the wearer could still hold a dagger or small sword, along with the deflector.
“They’re beautiful, Thorn, but, what are they for?”
“Aidan wants to fight you, of course!”
Mark stared at Thorn.
“Say what, now?”
Chapter 8 – DuelEdit
As she watched her husband fall, Natalie other plans than just making an escape with the kids.
“Allana, I want you to take the bus to Hero Factory. And take these.”
Breez handed her 10-year old daughter a spare set of house keys. “Look after Preston okay?”
“Good girl. Preston, stop biting the pipe. It’s dirty.”
Breez stormed up the stairs, her crystalight saber drawn and ready. A knife whistled over her head. Obviously, Deathstroke knew she was there.
She decided to unfurl her wings, and cautiously made her way through melted window, and walked into something that resembled a warzone.
Clang. A swoosh. Another ring of steel against steel filled the air. The scuffle of boots on grass. A thunk as a rapier was knocked on a tree.
For the third time in the same number of minutes, Surge could see that Thorn wasn’t exaggerating. Aidan truly did know the sword like the back of his hand.
It wasn’t that Mark knew nothing about swordfighting. He had mastered his thunder greatsword during his long stint as an XL hero. Because Mark was used to his very heavy two-handed sword,so the rapier felt too light and off-balanced to him. The deflector, however, he was happy about.
“Aidan, do you think I could switch weapons?”
“But of course,” came the rumbling reply. Always courteous and genorous, Aidan was a tall and well-muscled man with smooth, brown hair, and shining blue eyes.
Thorn approached, and led Mark into a storage room.
“Thorn, if Cyrandi created the world to be perfect, then why do I have to fight and learn how to use the sword?”
“Simple,” Thorn replied. “You’ve been in the black forest. Once we are ready to strike a blow for Good, we will invade the black forest, and rid Terra of the wolves.”
“Well, no more time for chatter, Marky. Pick a sword. Any sword.”
Before him, hundreds of weapons, swords and others, were neatly placed on wooden frames.
Mark gradually worked his way through the scimitars, the falchions, and the battleaxes, all the while, laughing and sharing jokes as Thorn and him tested the weapons. Sometimes, Surge would nearly fall to the ground as he swung a battleaxe, or Thorn would comment on how he looked brandishing a scimitar above his head. All in all, it was a great time. But Mark couldn’t help but wish Natalie were here.
At last, he settled on a double-edged longsword, of middling length. It had a wooden handle, and a emerald encrusted hilt. It also had a fuller, which was a shallow groove on each side of the blade, and was located in the middle. The fuller increased a sword’s strength, weight, and blade flexibility. In short, it was perfect.
It was nearly thirty minutes before the two finally stepped out of the storage room to Aidan, who was dozing on a bench.
Thorn skipped over and shook him roughly. “Wake up!”
A grunt, and Aidan nearly fell off the bench. “OK! I’m awake!”
Mark grinned, and drew one of his dirks and and his new longsword.
Aidan tapped his chin for a minute, and strode over the rapier, which was embedded into a tree when Aidan had disarmed Mark Surge. The firstborn yanked it out, and presented it to Thorn, who then flourished the blade by her side, while tying her long black hair into a ponytail.
Mark, oddly enough, was not in the least surprised to discover that Thorn knew how to handle a sword.
Aidan took his place at the opposite side of the training grounds, and drew his huge broadsword with his right hand. “Now, I’m ready.”
Thorn took her place beside Mark and they charged Aidan. While Mark cut high, Thorn would jab low. While she would stab from the right, he would slash from the left.
Bit by bit, the master swordsman was losing ground. At last, an uppercut from Thorn smacked Aidan’s right hand, and he was forced to let go. He had lost.
“Well fought, Thorn, Mark. Very well fought. But, would like to know a little secret?”
Apparently Thorn already knew, since she was struggling not to laugh.
“Ok…” started Surge.
Aidan kicked his sword up, and caught it with his left hand. “I’m left handed.”
Thorn had already took a seat on the nearby bench, and watched Mark, as he was pummeled by Aidan. Only once did he manage to land a blow with his longsword, but, on the other hand, he recieved countless bruises from the flat of the broadsword.
The battering suddenly stopped, as Aidan bowed. “I think that will enough. Perhaps, I could train you, Mark, along with Thorn.”
Surge clumbsily bowed back, despite the massive bruise on his back. He mumbled something like ‘All right’, and stumbled to the bench and collapsed beside Thorn, to tired to speak.
And he slept, and dreamed, once again.
Chapter 9– Blood and BruisesEdit
He would wake to find himself spawled on the floor, while his wife and Deathstroke towered over him, locked in fierce combat.
Natalie towered over her opponent, but was held back by a little grey trident Deathstorke always carried. His co-called "Souliron" Trident.
No one really knew what it was made of, or how he got hold of such a weapon. However, all heroes knew that a single touch from this weapon would cause a sudden, painful death. As such, Breez could advance no further.
Unless he picked his sorry butt of the floor, and help beat the tobacco juice out of Deathstroke. Which, was, of course, exactly what he did.
Mark Surge swung his tiny pipsqeauk of a blade at Deathstroke, hoping to slash at his back, while the villain was still focusing on Natalie. Fat chance.
Faster than the eye could follow, Deathstroke's own blade came out of its sheath and parried his own.
Mark desperately wished for his thunder greatsword...
However, his wife was there to save him. With uncany speed, she closed the distance between herself and Deathstroke, as he criminal was deflected Mark's own sword.
But she was met with that cursed Trident again.
Deathstroke's trident was at Breez's neck, while her crytalaser rapier was pointed at Deathstroke's head.
Mark gingerly joined in by holding his lightning sword at the villain's chest. The air was fraught with tension.
The villain's face twisted into a gruesome approximation of a smile, and tossed a canister to the floor. It beeped once, and there was a blindingly white flash.
Within seconds, Deathstroke was gone, leaving nothing behind except for a ruined door.
Surge let out a pent-up breath, and stumbled onto the couch, which remained miraculously intact after the scuffle.
"Don't you dare fall asleep again, Mark!" Breez started. "You've been dozing off too often lately!"
But her concerns were to no avail.
Surge snored on.
In the perfect land of Terra, Mark awoke to a delicate stream of sunlight, which snaked in from a nearly-closed curtain.
"Daytime...? Already?" Mark muttered sleepily.
Thorn came skipping through the open doorway, and pressed something, a tiny orange-like fruit, on his forehead.
"Hey, wake up Mark," Thorn said softly.
Thorn shoved the little orange-thing into his mouth, and breezily walked off, humming to herself.
Mark was wide awake after that.
With both a smile and scowl, he managed to pull the fruit out of his mouth, and got a good look at it for the first time.
It look like an orange, had the shape of a lemon, but felt a bit like an avacado.
It tasted like a little slice of heaven.
"Hey! Is there a Mark inside there?" A loud voice rang from outside.
Not in the least bit worried, Mark shouted a confirmation. The people here on Terra pretty much sauntered here and there, according to their whims and wishes. Many of them would visit other people's huts simply to greet whoever was in it.
There was no danger, and there was certainly were no rabid, talking wolves waiting in the shadows.
The front door opened, and warm sunlight streamed in. A rather nondescript man stood in the door frame.
Mark approached the man, and the stranger stuck out his hand.
"How're you doin'? Name's Lithos. How're you doin?"
Lithos had a rather excitable air to him. He was a thin, but no too thin, person. He wasn't too tall, not too short. His eyes were the average green that was common on Terra. All in all, he was a typical Terran. An average person.
"I'm great thanks. I'm asuming you're a friend of Thorn's?"
"Yes sir! I'm indeed a friend of hers! You're one of her friends, right? I'm right, aren't I?"
"Yeah. I guess."
"Anybody who is a friend of Thorn's is a friend of mine! C'mon!"
Lithos looped his arm around Mark's and led him out of Thorn's hut. Mark promptly extricated his arm out of Lithos' grasp. The slightly scrawny man was surprisingly strong, but Mark reclaimed possession of his limb nonetheless. Excitable and care-free as he was, Mark could not help but take an immediate liking to Lithos. He seemed the kind of man who would stick around, and help out.
They trundled down the winding, gravel path that led to the center of the village. Lithos chattered on about a story he once heard, with quite a few animated gestures. Mark followed at a more sedate pace, but was drawn into Lithos' story.
His was a story of laughing jesters, and fiery explosions, which made little sense, yet was captivating to the ears.
Lithos was a peculiar man. A nice person, but peculiar.
Mark reached the central village after a quick minutes of walking and talking.
The sight of the village was breathtaking. Soaring buttresses, cedar roofs, intricate stone pillars were all meshed together to form a village, though it was more a small city, of spectacular architecture. It seemed as if God's own hand had made this village.
"Some place you've got here," Mark managed to say.
"Glad you like it! Most of locals around here call it Arcadia. Some refer to it's original name of Eden, but what the heck. Here, let me show you something. Everybody who comes to this town should calp eyes on the gardens."
With that, he looped his arm around Mark's again.
Mark took in the sight before him. Being a hero in Makuhero City meant he had been surrounded steel, concrete, and glass for much of his life. It was only now he appreciated the...living part of life.
He had been to forested planets before, but they might as well have been arid deserts compared to Arcadia's gardens. This was the fourth little patch of green perfection Lithos had shown him. In each one, there seemed to be people snoozing. -TBC-
Recurring Characters (all four books):
- Cyber-Breez XL (bio-mechanical being, female)
- Cyber-Surge XL (bio-mechanical being, male)
- Jenny Sharp XL (bio-mechanical being, female)
- Randy Punk XL (bio-mechanical being, male)
- Fire Lord (bio-mechanical being, male)
- Deathstroke (Vortrexx, male)
- Oli Nitranomus (bio-mechanical being,male )
- Cyrandi (???, male)
- Zenthoryx (???, male)
Book One: Nightmare (very sparse life, but not primitive)
- Thorn Rynnelle (human, Primos, the female warrior in the banner is Thorn.)
- Aidan Animus (human, Primos, male)
- Lithos Krayt (human, Primos, male)
- Venta Ashran (human, Primos, female)
Book Two: Retribution (medieval + fantasy)
- Lord Cruor Corpus (human, Kalenjin, male)
- Thorn Vectivus (human, Primos, female)
- Lithos Ferrum (human, Primos, male)
- Venta Ciril (human, Primos, female)
Book Three: Refulfillment (modern day + additional technology)
- Lord Cruor Corpus (bio-mechanical being, Imperiads, male)
- Pheonix Corpus (bio-mechanical being, Imperiads, female)
- Thorn Vulnetrix (cyborg, Civicry, female)
- Lithos Virtus (cyborg, Civicry, male)
- Venta Sueritha (human, Civicry, female)
- Jalix of Northern (human, Civicry, male)
- The Royal Imperiad Army (robotic, Imperiads)
- Though not a character, Pentafrax 7-4 is where the third book is set in.
Book Zero: Redemption (very, very, very far future)
- Lord Cruor Corpus (human, Cicatrix, male)
- Pheonix Surge (human, Eschatos, female)
- Preston Surge (human, Eschatos, male)
- Allana Surge (human, Eschatos, female)
- Azojal (human, Remnant, male)
- Cognus (human, male)
- Satrina Deathshard (human/cyborg, female)
- Dead and Gone (T.I. feat. Timberlake)
- Red Flag (Billy Talent)
- Not Afraid (Eminem)
- Halo (Beyonce, Rihanna)
Reveiw? i don't have too, I give it 10 stars, no wait, it can't be perfect....Anyways though Good Job, I like how you incorprated Humans and HF, Great Job! - NgoRocktoro
Wow, only 4 chapters in and i'm already hooked. Another masterpiece in the making by 21bub21. Looking forward to whats to come. btw Bub I love wolves way to incorperate them :). I am beginning to see the comparisons to the roman catholic religion and it is great. I am also so seeing some Diablo 3 in this (probably unintentional but still cool) can't wait for the next part and i hope i get to see Randy Punk in the story. You rock 21bub21! keep up the great work I'm FranktheTank and I'm Awesome 22:56, May 1, 2012 (UTC)
EPIC-O-RAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Death Rider 16:15, June 30, 2012 (UTC)
Just a really, really well put together story. From what's already here is excellent, and as for what is to come, Bub can take all the time he needs to write the next fantastic entry. - Oonie We'll save this wiki.....together!!! 02:01, July 12, 2012 (UTC)