Vay: Vicious Circle
Prologue Part 3- Ghosts of the Past
 

Years passed since the incident with the "Silver armor". The people, slowly but surely, began to repair the massive damage that the monster caused. Soon, the people began to repair their minds as well, and details of the horrific battle were lost over the mists of time.

However, the people were still fascinated about the battle itself, and the tale was still told to little children at night before they fell asleep. But, a few people soon felt that it could only be a legend, that the legendary "Armor of Vay" and the "Five magicians of Vay", as they were later called, must be an elaborate fairy tale. So, time passed, with little conflict.

Although there were a few die hard believers who felt that the orbs the magicians left behind must contain incredible power. So, treasure hunters and thieves constantly searched lo and far for the magical orbs, but their efforts always came up empty. Soon, everyone began to believe that the Armor of Vay was made up.

A millennium passed, and that is when the trouble started.

For years, the kingdoms kept a close eye on the empire known simply as the "Danek Empire" This empire had been the home of one of the great magicians, Ardor, and the empire was proud of it. The empire had always been a military-based nation, preferring weapons and warfare than peace. However, they were smart enough not to pick fights with other nations just for the sheer hell of it. So the people were never that concerned about the empire. If worse came to worse, the remaining kingdoms would join together and bring the empire to it's knees. There was nothing to be worried about.

But the last five years made the people slightly nervous. During those five years, the monarch of the Danek empire was brutally killed by a military coup. It was on that fateful spring day that a band of soldiers stormed into the emperor's throne room, and the leader of that army shot a crossbow bolt into the Emperor's chest, killing him instantly. That leader was a top general for the Danek army. That man was known as Jeal McDougal.

On the day that Jeal rose up to become emperor, he started increasing funds for the nation's armies, weaponry, and navy. The new emperor was hatching some sort of plot, but no one knew what it was, they could only guess that war was around the corner. Strangely enough, the empire seemed to have a great interest in mining a strange metal known as "iron". Shipload after shipload of this precious metal came pouring into the small nation, and the people were even more confused than before.

The newfound emperor, himself, had a great air of evil around him to begin with. He always had a certain sneer on his face that would make a man cringe, and seemed to have a horrible temper. However, he was young, and that did attract some women to him, but he didn't seem to care in the slightest. He had a heart of stone. Some even claimed that anyone who spoke out against him were never seen again...

So the people were put out on constant alert, and waited for the day the empire would strike out against them. And when that day finally arrived, no one was prepared.

The empire, somehow, made grand monsters out of metal and steel. These "monsters" were extremely similar to the monster that rampaged the land over a millennium ago, but since that event happened so long ago, no one made the connection. These machines couldn't be destroyed by any weapon or magic, and they had the ability to spit fire, and lay waste to whatever they touched.

The first assault happened in the kingdom of Lorath. The prince of the kingdom, Sandor, was marrying the love of his life, Elin. The wedding went without a hitch, that is, until the metal monsters came a' knockin on the prince's door. Without warning, the monsters blew the entire castle away, slaughtered his parents, and made off with his bride.

Sandor, in rage, swore that he would stop the empire, and get the love of his life back. He went storming out of the castle, and began his long quest. Along the way, he made friends, lost them, and made allies with other countries. Our story begins a few weeks before the conflict reached it's climax... before the Danek Empire fell.


The man looked out over the sparkling ocean and sighed. Why did things have to be so difficult? Why couldn't these simpletons understand his point of view?  If they let the empire do as it wished, why, it would be a better world for all! Now, he had enemies behind his back, and getting what he desired most would be quite a challenge.

He really didn't expect someone like the prince of Lorath to fight him singlehandly. He figured the man would be so torn with grief that he would surrender. That miscalculation in his plans would never happen again. He couldn't afford for it to happen again. He spent five years molding the empire, and the new emperor himself, to suit his tastes. Damned if he was going to let it end now.

It was easy to get Jeal to trust him, so very easy. When he promised new weapons known as "machines" and complete domination over the world, why, the emperor couldn't say no. The emperor made him the high advisor, and he had the upper hand. He spent five year perfecting his plans, but they were far from complete. But he was patent, you had to be if you've been living for 1,052 years...

His mind lazily embraced old memories. Memories of old friends and a crisis that threatened to destroy the world. A silver monster going wild. A plump boy, a wild magician, an elf, and a beautiful young woman risking their lives to stop the monster, and he was among them. The old days, when he was known as "Ardor" and not this new name he made up "Sadoul". When he was a nieve young man itching to make it big, and the day when he saw his chance.

On the very day Sadoul, or Ardor, sealed the armor away, he happened on a similar monster, just like the one he just defeated! However, this one was not active at all, and it's power had been fully drained. He took the armor home and carefully studied it. Like he thought, the armor was exactly like the one he sealed, and, on further study, he concluded that it wasn't alive, but a strange art that he dubbed "mechanized technology". He spent years creating machines based on the machine he found. He also spent years restoring power to the armor he found. It was, indeed, powerful. Even though he only powered it up to 1/4th of it's potential, the effects it had on his enemies was devistating...Sadoul also knew that, in order for his plan to work, he had to live forever. The armor would take years to power up, so, with his magic, he was able to live, without aging, for decades.

But, Sadoul also knew that the original armor he sealed could be revived again. He knew that if he was able to revive that armor, then, he could have complete power, the chance to change the world to what he wanted. But, apparently, someone must have told Sandor the same, for he was searching for the orbs as well. Sadoul figured someone told him the Armor of Vay is the only thing powerful to stop the empire, but Sadoul saw it as a blessing in disguise. He would just let Sandor do the dirty work, and once he had all the orbs, he could swipe them from him, and destroy him utterly. And, since he had the Orb of Soul right in the palm of his hand, so to speak, Sandor didn't even have a chance...

The question of where the Orb of Soul was hidden eluded him for years. Elynthia did her homework, and hidden it in a spot even Sadoul couldn't find. About three years ago, he began to hear stories of "The Eternal Woman". This woman was said to be extremely beautiful, graceful, and old. Very old. The people said that even though she looked to be about twenty, she was "older than the oldest dragon." Sadoul discovered she dwelled in Toth Shrine, up in Marwick, and realized that it was the same shrine Elynthia came from..

And indeed, it WAS Elynthia, living off the same magic that made Sadoul immortal. Sadoul was elated! This was his opportunity to find out where Elynthia's orb was located. And he began to remember the day he confronted Elynthia, in her very home...

****

Sadoul stormed through the shrine, scaring the wits of the skitty priestesses who were scurrying right and left, eager to get as far away from this man as possible. He decided to wear the armor he spent years perfecting. His cape billowed in the wind as he walked up to the large oaken doors in the back.

"Let me inside, now." he sneered at a priestess.

"N-no sir, our lady, she will..."

"She is expecting me, I believe. Let me in..."

The priestess, in fear, scurried into the inner sanctum, and Sadoul pressed his ear against the door to hear what the two were discussing.

"My lady, this man has an air of evil about him. He means you harm m'lady! We should turn him away..."

"But, we must face the Danek Advisor sometime, Mayfair. Do not worry about me. I will be fine..."

"But..."

"Do not worry....please leave me now..."

The priestess sighed, and walked out of the room, just seconds after Sadoul stopped eavesdropping on their conversation. He recognized Elynthia's voice at once. He knew he was right about this "Eternal Woman".

The priestess quavered. "T-he ..She will see you now, sir.."

Sadoul pushed the ditzy priestess out of the way and walked into the room, eager to get this over with.

Sadoul took a moment to gaze at Elynthia. She didn't change at all from the last time he saw her. The same long, golden hair, the same red lips, the same shapely hips and breasts. Sadoul felt himself having feelings about this girl all over again. But, his desire drowned out those feelings immediately, his plan was too important, even more important than love.

Elynthia was gazing at the floor when he came in, and spoke softly. "What is it that you want from us, high advisor of the Danek Empire? We have nothing that will-" Then Elynthia finally gazed up at Sadoul, and gasped, her eyes wide with shock. "ARDOR!!? No! Impossible! You're dead!"

Sadoul laughed, a voice dry without humor. "Well now Elynthia, do you think you're the only one privileged enough to use the spell of rejuvenation, that allows you to live as long as I?" he continued to chuckle. "No my dear, I'm very much alive, and I want something from you..."

Elynthia continued to stare. "And that armor! How could you have found that armor? We sealed it away, and we never knew of another!"

"Ah, but that's where you're wrong, my dear. There are two armors..."

Elynthia shook her head. "Impossible.."

"No, my dear, its very possible." He went on to tell her what happened to him the last millennium, all his plans and new technology. Elynthia just sighed in despair.

"Ardor, what happened to you? Have you gone mad? And now you want to revive the old armor? What would the others say?"

Sadoul smirked. "Nothing. They're all six feet under. But, you are still here. Tell me Elynthia, where is the Orb of Soul?"

Elynthia kept a calm composure, and said simply, "I'll never tell you. You've become twisted and bitter. You're not the Ardor I knew."

Sadoul sighed. If she wasn't going to tell him, then there was the problem of her knowing too much. She had to die. And, looking at Elynthia's face, she knew it too.

Without another word, Sadoul whispered good-bye and fired a ray of burning light at Elynthia. She screamed, and when the light died down, there was nothing left...not even ashes.

This puzzled Sadoul, there SHOULD be some remains left, but there were none. He cursed to himself, she MUST have escaped! Ah well, he mused to himself. She's too injured to live. He'd just have to find the Orb of Soul on his own. And, since all of his old comrades where dead, he had nothing to fear...

****

That day happened over three years ago, but Sadoul had a stroke of luck on his side, Elynthia DID live after all.

However, it wasn't that easy. Somehow, she had lost all knowledge about her past. Sadoul knew that the injuries she received that day couldn't have given her amnesia, she did it on purpose. He cursed bit of news at first, then saw it as a blessing. He could mold her like he molded everyone else! Make her his own personal puppet, and one day, force her to tell the location of the Orb of Soul.

After doing some of his world famous research, he found that she lived in the kingdom of Lorath, under the name of Elin, the same Elin that fell in love with the prince of Lorath. Sadoul found this amusing, but it didn't really matter that much. He attacked the kingdom, not just to destroy it, but to take Elynthia away...

And, so far, his plan was working, somewhat. He forced Elynthia to forget about her past once again, but Sandor was hot on his trail...and...

"Sir!"

Sadoul was shaken out of his thoughts by the cry. He turned to the fellow solider. "You have something to report?"

The soldier nodded. "Indeed we do sir. The Prince of Lorath has just taken the Orb of Water. Emperor Jeal tried to stop them personally, but he was unsuccessful. However, he was able to annihilate one of Sandor's companions."

Sadoul smiled, and yet frowned upon this news. Damn that boy! He was moving too fast!

"Very good soldier. I will speak to the Emperor personally. Let's go." Sadoul began to walk away from the precipice. Reminicsincing could wait until later...

****

The sounds from the bar echoed throughout the hotel. People were all discussing the same thing. "Did you hear about those warriors who are taking on the empire? Yeah! And I hear they're strong too! Didya hear they found two Orbs now? No? Three? WOW! And can you believe that a PRINCE is the leader?! WOW!"

A girl in the back of the bar whooped. "Hey Sandor! Hear that? They're talking about us!"

The man beside her smiled. "Yup, guess they are Rachel."

Rachel kept on smiling. "I have to admit, this does get to your head after awhile. I mean, it's nice to be known as a hero, not just some mercenary in leather clothes.."

A drunk man from the back yelled, "HEY! You're still a mercenary in leather clothes!"

Rachel turned to the man, smiled a little too sweetly, and stuck her middle finger right in his face. "Bite me, OK?"

The man turned red in the face, and turned back to his beer, with his barfly buddies snorting "HA! She told you Mav! Hahah!"

Sandor gave her a amused look. "Did you have to get so drastic as to stick up "the finger?"

Rachel shrugged "Hey, I'm a little sensitive about my clothes OK?" She grinned, and started looking around the bar. "Hey, where's P.J.?"

Sandor sighed, his good mood gone instantly. "I dunno, she's not exactly in the best mood."

Rachel nodded. "Don't blame her...I think she really liked him. No one should die like that...Poor Pottle."

A loud crash echoed amidst the chatter and all the heads turned to see a young lady throwing a barfly to the ground.

Rachel laughed. "Well, there ya go! There's P.J.! What the hell is she up to?"

P.J. face was livid as she stared straight down at the man, shouting, "Listen, you punk! I had A VERY BAD DAY! Someone I knew died today! And I REALLY don't appreciate you grabbing for my breasts! I'm an excellent magician, see? I'm high in the Kerzalt Royal Magician's court! And, if you DARE to pull that shit with me again, I'll turn you into..into...a TOAD! Got it? GOOD!" P.J. huffed off and sat down next to Sandor.

"Um..er..hi P.J." Sandor started.

"Um..Sandor, I wouldn't say anything right now, it's a bad idea." Rachel pointed to the huffing and puffing P.J.

"I'M FINE!" P.J. growled. "I just wanna get out of this hick town. Where do we go today?"

"Well," Sandor began. "We should try to get Penan to align with us. We'll go to Penan Castle right away. It's almost noon..."

P.J, despite her huffing and puffing, smiled. "Good! The sooner the better! That was MOST embarrassing!"

****

The hero valiantly climbed up the stairs, his face full of determination. He paused only briefly to see his love, the princess, chained up to a wall, dressed in rags. He looked up at her and smiled.

"Don't worry, my love! I'll save you!"

But, as he spoke these lines, the princess' kidnapper appeared, the sorcerer Alback! He cackled at the princess' love, calling him a fool. But the boy was undaunted. He drew his trusty sword, as the sorcerer pulled out his, and they began to fight. Every cut the Alback made into her loves flesh, the princess could feel as well, and every cut her love made into the twisted sorcerer, she felt a rush of joy surge inside her. Finally, the hero jumped high in the air, and thrust his sword into the sorcerer's black heart.

"ARGH! I will not be defeated! No!" Then, the sorcerer melted into a puddle of slimy blue ooze.

The hero wasted no time, he ran to his love, undid her chains, and held her in a tight embrace.

"My Princess.." he breathed.

"Oh, my love, I knew you would come.." Then, their lips met, and they.....

Phoebe sighed, and closed her book. If only these things would happen to her! If only she had a handsome beau to sweep her off her feet! If only...

Phoebe mentally smacked herself. Here we go again, me and my wild imagination! She leaned back against a tree, sighing some more. She always wished for a little more excitement, knowing she'll never get it. How could she get it? She lived in the most boring place on earth! Not that she wasn't grateful for having a roof over her head, or having friends, oh no, not at all. But sometimes..

Phoebe was a young girl, only 13, but already, she had chosen her path in life. As far back as she could remember, she'd been training to be a priestess, learning the ways of healing and helping others. Unfortunately, Phoebe lived in a rather quiet place, a small shrine by the sea. It was beautiful, she had to admit. You could take a short walk, and find yourself in a lush garden looking out over the ocean. Take a brisk walk north, and find yourself in the busy town of Cannisk where people always seemed to smile. Well... most of the time.

But the shrine itself was isolated, and not many new people came by here. Most of the people who sought treatment were fishermen who got a bad case of scurvy, or old cranky men who complained of Gingivitis, gout and sore colons. Nothing out of the ordinary. In all of her time here, she never had a patient who was her age. It'd be nice to make a new friend...

"Psst! Hey! Phoebe! Whatcha readin?"

Phoebe smiled inwardly. At least she had some friends now, and that counted for something. "Oh, nothing Shayla, nothing."

Shayla grinned. "Oh yeah, nothing? So let me see it!"

Phoebe clutched the book to her chest. "Um...no."

Shayla groaned. "Not that damn romance novel again! Gosh Phoeb! Every time you read that, you get so depressed that you don't have that kind of life!"

Phoebe pouted. "I'm not ASKING to be a damsel in distress, I just want...you know, a more exciting life!"

Shayla nodded. "And what's so bad about living here?"

"Nothing! But..."

"But what?"

Phoebe shrugged. "You're right, my life isn't bad..."

Shayla sat down on the grass and gave her best friend a tight hug "Yup! Not so bad! You have me!"

"Is that supposed to be a good thing". Phoebe smirked.

"Don't get smart."

"HEEY! Shaaaaylaaa! Oooooh Shayllaa! Where are ya?"

"EEK! Quick! Phoebe! Hide me!" Shayla scurried to the back of the tree Phoebe was sitting by.

"Why? Afraid?"

"Of course I am! Duh! I don't want Mort to-"

"Hey! There you are! I've been looking all over for you Shayla!" A young boy jogged up to the two ladies, panting. "Where the hell have you been?"

"Shoot." Shayla grumbled. She stepped into view and scowled. "What do YOU want, maggot?"

"Touchy today, ain't we? Well, just telling you that High Priestess Imogene is looking for you two and Arianna is too.."

"Oh no!" Phoebe moaned. "Not Arianna! Why didn't you stall her?!" Arianna was the world's biggest snot. She was from a noble family, and because she knew this, she felt that she should get royal treatment. Phoebe often wondered if Arianna was born to make her life miserable.

Mort shrugged. "Tried. But well, I...umm...er.."

Shayla stared at Mort, scowling still. "What did you tell her, Mort..?"

"I..um..I accidentally leaked out that you were not studying earlier today, but I swear! I didn't mean anything by it!"

Phoebe's heart sank. This was going to be a long day...

"YOU ABSOLUTE DORK!!!" Shayla ran over and bopped him on the head.

"Ow! What the hell? I said I was sorry!"

"Oh yeah, and thanks to your slip up, we're gonna get it! Thanks a lot Mort!"

"There you three are! You're gonna get it now!" Arianna walked up to the trio, with a walk that she thought made her look important, but just gave the impression that she had a limp. "I came here to.."

"We know, tell us to get back in the shrine and train, right?" Shayla grumbled.

"Hey. I didn't ask YOU...you...elf!"

Phoebe tensed. This was gonna get ugly. "You have something against elves?" She brushed back some of her dark hair and pointed to her ears. "Do you?"

Arianna snorted. "Yeah, I do. They're dirty, smelly people. And you're not even a full elf! You're half elf, half gypsy! I feel so bad for your family. What WERE they thinking...?"

Phoebe squeezed her eyes shut. Oh dear god, Shayla's going to kill her, she's gonna tear her apart...

Mort gaped. "C'mon Arianna. Isn't that a bit harsh?"

Shayla struggled to keep her fist from flying at Arianna's smug grin, but she succeeded. She sucked in a breath, and though clenched teeth, hissed, "We'll be there in five minutes."

Arianna smiled, happy that she could put them in their place, and skipped back to the shrine.

"What an arrogant jerk! She has no right to treat anyone like that!" Mort said as he watched Arianna skip off.

"Are you OK, Shayla?" Phoebe asked.

Shayla nodded. "Yeah, I'm fine. I don't let her bug me anymore. I'm lucky, really. No one wants to be friends with elves, or gypsies, but being half elf, half..well, it's tough, I'm really lucky that the people here took me in. Arianna just doesn't know my life. She's too ingnorant.." Shayla calmed down, and turned to Phoebe and Mort. "Well, I gotta go back! You two coming?"

Mort smiled widely. "Why, of course, Lady Shayla! I would be honored to-"

"Can it," Shayla interrupted him. "Phoebe?"

"In a second, you two go on ahead."

Shayla nodded. "See ya then!" She ran off to the shrine, with Mort hot on her heels.

Phoebe shook her head. How selfish she had been! Here she was, wishing she had a better life, when someone like Shayla was born into such a tough life to begin with. She'd never think that way again.

****

Drifting...drifiing...Waves crashing..crashing...bobbing up and down, up and down...

Have to hang on...no...no...want to sleep...sleep...

Bobbing along...bobbing along...have to keep awake...have to fight...

Bobbing along...bobbing along...

No...the water's crashing against me..can't breathe! I'm being pulled down! Someone help me...please...can't hang on!

Drifting...drifting...waves crashing...

Oh god, it hurts. Maybe I should...no...I can't give up...I've come too far...

Can't...make it...

Drifting...drifting...

****

The small fishing boat drifted lazily in the ocean, with the sun shining brightly overhead. A plump woman was busing herself by checking the cargo nets, while another man, her husband, was checking his bait over and over again.

"Whelp now Helene, I think this is gonna be a mighty fine day for some fishing! Dontcha think?"

Helene smiled. "Oh yes Ben, I think it'll be a fine day for fishing. But I think we should use the nets today, don't you?"

Ben grinned. "Sounds good to me! Let's use 'em!" Ben flipped a switch and sent one of the cargo nets into the ocean, waiting for a big catch.

****

Drifiting...floating...

It's so hard..hard to live...I want to sleep...wait...what's going on...?

What...? I'm...I'm trapped! Am I dead? No...wait...it's a net...Is someone going to save me? Please! Help me!

****

"Well Ben, we waited long enough! Let's get the big one!" Ben grinned and pulled the cargo net up from the ocean. He closely inspected the net with satisfaction. Sea algae, Carp, Tuna, a hand...

A HAND?!

"Ohmygosh! Helene! Look at this!" Ben pointed to the pale white hand that was jutting out of the cargo net.

Helene gasped. "Oh my lord! What are you waiting for Ben? Help me open up that net! Do it!"

Ben yanked the net down onto the boat, and, with his handy-dandy pocket knife, ripped the net open in one quick swish. He threw the algae and fish out of his way until he was able to find the body the hand belonged to. He was surprised when he found it. It was a young boy, unconoious and completely soaked by the sea. Blood, both fresh and dried was matted to his tunic, although he didn't have the time to check where his wound was. Grimly, he felt his neck for a pulse, and was surprised to find one, no matter how faint it was.

"Is he..?" Helene breathed.

"No, he's still alive, but we don't have much time! We have to take him somewhere. Where's the nearest healer?"

Helene tried to think. "Umm...isnt't there one near Cannisk?"

"Yes! There is! Great! I'm going to get this ship to the mainland, you keep an eye on him, Helene. all right?"

Helene nodded quickly and ran to get some fresh water. She felt time constricting on her. She was an older woman, and had 3 children and 6 grandchildren. She would hate to tell his family that no matter what they did, they failed.

****

What...? What was happening now..?

The boy felt so tired, and frightened. Was he saved after all? Even if he was, he couldn't hang on much longer..

He suddenly felt something cool on his neck, and it felt so blissful, his skin was so parched. Someone was washing the blood off with cool water. Yes, someone had saved him. Maybe....

He struggled to open his eyes, but couldn't. He was so tired...and his chest ached.

He heard a kind voice whisper in his ear. "Now, now, everything will be all right. You'll be just fine. We're going to take you someplace where you can get help. It's going to be OK, you just hang on..."

He tried again to open his eyes, and this time, he succeeded. The woman's outline was hazy in the bright midday sun, but she had a kind face. He felt, for the first time, safe.

The woman gasped. "Oh my! Sonny! Sonny! Can you hear me?"

He tried to speak, but he had no strength left anymore. He used his remaining energy opening his eyes. He kept trying to speak until he was finally able to utter "Thank you" before slipping into full unconciousness.

****

Phoebe groggily woke and sat up. What time was it? She brushed the sleep out of her eyes and looked at the sundial in the distance, and when she saw the time, she nearly had a heart attack.

"Oh dear god! I...I fell asleep against the tree! I was supposed to be at the shrine two hours ago! Lady Imogene will have my head for sure!" She scooped up her belongings as soon as possible and prepared to run like she had never run before, but something stopped her. She noticed people scurrying like she was, only it was in the opposite direction, the docks. All of the were carrying things from the shrine. Blankets, a stretcher, oincment..

Phoebe was curious now. She shyly stopped one of the men and asked him what on earth was going on.

"You mean you DON'T know?! Where the hell have you been Phoebe?"

"Sleeping." Phoebe moaned. "So what's going on? Are we going to war? I've never seen so many supplies!"

"Ha! Well, for once, we actually have someone who NEEDS them. A fisherman and his wife found a boy in the ocean. Hurt really bad. They dunno if he's gonna make it."

Phoebe's mouth dropped open. "And how old is he? Or do you know?"

The man shrugged. "About your age. Now, if you'll excuse me miss." Without another word, the man charged to the dock.

Phoebe continued to stare. Could it be that she was finally going to have a little excitement around here? She smiled. THIS should be intresting..she just hoped that boy would be all right.

****

Another night, another bar...

Sandor sat back in his chair and reflected the last day. He couldn't believe so much happened in the course of one day. In that one day, he lost a friend, almost got into a heap of trouble in a bar, journeyed to the Castle of Penan to speak with the king, only hearing the king wanted some jewel from a dragon's den, went to the dragon's den only to find the dragon wanted to hear, of all people, a minstrel sing, went back into town to find a minstrel, and fortunately, they did, a man named Lynx, went back to the den to find this man had the vocal talents of a dead rat, had to fight the pissed off dragon, won, and out of embarrassment, gave them the jewel, went back to the castle to find the king was nothing more than a Danek sympathizer, and plopped them in the Penan sewers, got saved by Lynx by the last minute, fought and killed another dragon, met up with the king and overthrew him, saving Penan from Danek influence, and that was only ONE day! What would tomorrow bring? Sandor almost didn't want to know.

Their current goal now was to liberate Rachel's town of Treefall, which the Danek took over by force. Lynx, out of friendship or lust of adventure, decided to join them. Sandor couldn't complain, he needed all the help he could get, and Lynx seemed to be a nice guy, but...well, he was what you could call a "womanizer". He loved to hang out in bars, drinking, hitting on the local ladies. Sandor wondered if that was the REAL reason he was a bard.

Even now, Lynx was sitting beside two rather giggly ladies charming them with his all powerful wit. Sandor had to admit, he knew how to sweet talk.

"And so you see, I took my halberd and thrust it into the monster's side! And oh, ya should have seen that thing run!"

P.J. motioned Sandor from the back and mouthed "B.S."

The girls didn't think it was made up, the stroked his back and giggled, "Oh my Lynx, you're sooo strong! Ooooh!"

P.J. couldn't take it anymore, she laughed so hard that she fell out of her chair, rolling on the ground. "Oh god! What a LIE that is! Heheheeh! Maybe we should tell you how we met him. How we had to pay his 20,000 gold bill so that the bartender wouldn't kick his sorry butt! HAHAAH!"

"P.J., " Lynx muttered. "Shut up.."

P.J. kept on laughing. "Oh yeah! And they confiscated his harp too, and he was almost gonna cry! I swear! HAHAHAH!"

"Now now P.J., I think that's enough. We don't want to hurt Lynx's pride...that much." Rachel rose out of her chair and helped the still giggling P.J. stand on two feet.

"Sorry..." P.J. began, then busted out laughing once more.

"Oh brother." Sandor moaned. "Anyway...we should get to Treefall by tomorrow morning, the sooner the better."

Rachel's upper lip stiffened at the mention of her home. "Yes, the sooner the better."

Sandor didn't know what to say to his friend now. He knew she blamed herself for not being there when the empire took over her home. He just hoped they had the power to liberate it, for her sake.

P.J. finally stopped laughing and yawned. "Well, if we're gonna go so early in the morning, I'm going to bed! Night all." She smiled and ran up the stairs, two at a time.

"Well, at least she's in a better mood than earlier..." Rachel noted.

"Yeah..."

****

Phoebe paced outside the door where they took the boy in to be treated. Even now, Phoebe still hadn't seen him up close. He was surrounded by workers and priests. All she saw of him was his blood stained hand hanging off the stretcher, and that chilled her to the bone. She wondered who was cruel enough to do such a horrible thing to someone. She was afraid that he wouldn't make it. Phoebe had a quality that she both hated, and liked. She cared too much for people, and she hated to see them suffer. Although she thought this quality would drive her insane someday, Lady Imogene said it was a quality few priestess had. She figured if Imogene praised it, it couldn't be all that bad...

Phoebe was startled out of her thoughts by a loud, anguished cry coming from the room behind her. She felt as if someone had poured ice water into her veins. It was the boy, screaming in pain for the fifth time that night. She felt hot tears welling up into her eyes. Why did people have to suffer? Why did this boy have to be in so much pain? Couldn't they find a way to treat him without hurting him?

"Phoebe..." She felt a hand on her shoulder, and spun around.

"Oh, Shayla..."

"It's almost midnight Phoebe. You should go to bed. There's nothing for you to do here."

Phoebe shook her head. "No, no. I'm staying. I want to see if he'll be all right."

Shayla raised an eyebrow. "Wow. You are concerned about this one, huh? Well, truth is...I am too."

Phoebe stared at the floor, and sighed. "Shayla, I know this sounds like a dumb, nieve question, but...why do good people suffer?"

Shayla sighed as well. "I don't know Phoeb. I really don't know...I guess we all have to suffer, so we can grow stronger. I mean, I always had problems with fitting in. Mort has problems with just being a dork, and well..." Shayla trailed off, then brought her head up. "Besides, how do you know this is a good guy anyway?"

"I don't. But people shouldn't suffer anyway."

The door suddenly swung open and old Lady Imogene came struggling out. She was a frail looking woman, but everyone knew that looks were deceiving, she still had a will of fire. She looked even more worn and haggard now, covered with blood, as she plopped herself on one of the nearby pews.

"Lady Imogene!" Phoebe rushed up to her, "Is that boy all right?"

Imogene sighed. "Well, he's stabilized, but he's in a deep coma now. We're still not sure if he'll ever wake up, and we're not sure who our "John Doe" is either. Hmm.."

Phoebe felt her heart sink again, and started to walk away.

"Phoebe! Wait!" Imogene called. Phoebe turned around, with a puzzled look on her face. Imogene began again. "I see you've stayed out here all night tonight. I'm proud of you, little lady. You've shown quite a bit of compassion for someone you didn't even know. I'm going to give you a special assignment and have you be the caretaker of this boy until he recovers...if he does recover, that is."

Phoebe's eyes widened. Shayla gaped, muttering. "Lucky!"

"Are you sure?!" Phoebe asked. "I mean, that's something higher level priestess do! I think-"

"Phoebe," Imogene interrupted, "I think you can handle it. You're a resourceful girl. Of course, I'll have Arianna keep an eye on you and your work, but the job is yours."

Phoebe made a face. Ah, Arianna, there was always a catch. But even still, this was wonderful! "Th-thank you Lady Imogene! I'll make you proud!"

"I'm sure you will, dearie. Now, I'm going off to bed! Let these weary bones rest! Good-night, ladies." With a creak, Imogene rose and walked off to the inner sanctum of the shrine.

"Well," Shayla began, "I'm going off to bed too! You'll have to tell me about this guy tomorrow morning, eh Phoebe?" She giggled and walked off, leaving Phoebe alone.

Phoebe shrugged. She might as well see him. Heck, she was dying to see him up close. Walking down the corridor, and turning to the left, she came across a room with a sign that blared "John Doe" and figured this was the room. Creeping slowly inside, and stopping only to pick up the candle burning on the nightstand, she walked up to the bed, peered down, and grinned. He was cute! Well, he'd be even cuter if he didn't look so hurt. She brought the candlelight down to the side of his face, and gasped. He had pointed ears, just like Shayla! So he was an elf! Incredible! He must have come from far away, but where?

So many questions. Phoebe wondered if she'd ever get the answers.

****

Two weeks had passed since Sadoul reminisced about his past on that ocean precipice. And, just when he thought his plan was coming together at last, it was starting to unravel right before his eyes.

The final part of his plan involved the assassination of Emperor Jeal. That part went without a hitch. The emperor was already his personal puppet, he just had to cut his strings...Because Sadoul was the high advisor in the Danek Empire. He rose up to become the new emperor of the Empire.

But the second part of his final plan involving Elynthia failed miserably. He was so close to having Elynthia tell him the location of the final Orb. So close! But Sandor forced his way into the Danek Castle, and got to Elynthia before he did. Somehow, someway...Elynthia remembered everything that ever happened to her, and she knew what kind of man Sadoul had become. And then...then she ended it. She suddenly collapsed, and disappeared in a blaze of light, and when the light faded, Sandor was holding the Orb of Soul.

Sadoul could have killed himself then. It was so obvious! She sealed it within herself, within her very soul! And, if the Orb was separated from her body, she would die. That was the real purpose of why she lived that long. Sadoul then watched with horror as the five orbs Sandor collected melded together with the armor he found in Elynthia's shrine. He watched with horror as the armor revived.

And now he was waiting in his fortress for the final showdown. To bide himself some time, he magically made the fortress float in the sky. But, the final conflict was enevible. He felt cheated. Sandor was more powerful than he now, Elynthia was dead by helping her love, His empire was in ruins, what was he fighting for?

Then he remembered. For a better world, His world.

Grinning, he put on his battle helmet, and mentally prepared himself. The final battle was coming, and he would be the victor.

****

"Time to make 'ol Sadoul roadkill! We'll avenge everyone who died! Right Sandor? Roooooaaaadkill!"

Sandor smirked. "Yeah, roadkill. Won't let Elin-er..Elynthia down." Sandor felt so powerful now. It was amazing that this armor could be worn by a human, and used for good perposes, not evil ones. He hoped it would be enough. He thought of Elin then. He would miss her more than anything, but this armor, this chance at destroying Sadoul was her final gift. He wasn't about to let her down.

Many things had happened in the past two weeks. Like Sandor predicted, Rachel, out of guilt, left them to guard her hometown after they liberated it. He didn't blame her at all. But now, they had another female friend, Kinsey. Well, maybe more like "The fierce pirate captain Kinsey." Kinsey was known throughout the world for being the leader of a cutthroat band of pirates, who pillaged rich cargo ships aplenty. Sandor and his friends had their prejudices, but it turned out Kinsey was had a heart of gold, and was a valuable ally. Like everyone else in the world, she had a gripe against the empire.

The party, after Elin died and Sadoul took off running to his little fortress in the sky, pillaged the Castle to find a strange vessel dubbed "The Red Dragon.", although he heard from a Danek soldier that it was also called "An Airship." It was an amazing vessel. It was able to fly through the sky with no magic to power it up! Although they were afraid they couldn't fly it, Kinsey claimed that, since she was a pirate, she had this little motto. "If it's a ship, I can make it go."

But Kinsey wasn't having an easy time doing it. Although they were slowly flying straight to Sadoul's fortress, the ship wobbled to and fro as a miffed Kinsey banged on the controls, muttering "Goddamn freakin' technology crap! Where's the steering wheel on this blasted thing?"

"Um..there?" Lynx asked, and pointed to a metal wheel device.

"Oh, thanks." Kinsey grabbed hold of it and the ship sailed smooth as silk. She gave the thumbs up sign to Sandor. "Told you I could do it!"

"Oooohhh..uuuuhh..S..Sandor..I think I'm..gonna be...sick.." P.J. moaned and tried her best not to vomit on the others, covering her mouth.

Kinsey snorted. "God! I swear! You land-dwellers have the weakest stomachs on earth! I'm not doing that horribly!"

"Uh..ye.yes you are! I never felt so gross.." P. J. couldn't hold it in anymore and threw up in the corner.

Kinsey rolled her eyes. "What did I tell you?"

Lynx scrunched up his face. "Oh, that's just so attractive P.J. SOOOO attractive. Bet all the guys will be FLOCKING to you now."

"Argh, shut up."

Lynx smirked. "Payback for that time in the bar, with you telling those two ladies about my finical troubles.."

P.J. snorted. "Geez, that was two flippin weeks ago!"

"Ah, but I NEVER forget. Hee hee."

P.J grinned and stuck her middle finger up in his face. "And I don't either, and in the words of Rachel I say "bite me."

"Ooh, gotta admit, that's a good comeback! You're so pathetic that you can't make up your own!"

"Why I ougtta..."

"Guys!" Sandor butted in. "Can we just go somewhere without you two bickering?"

P.J. crossed her arms and huffed. "FINE!"

Kinsey turned to the others. "Well, you'd better be done. We're here..."

Sandor sucked in a breath. "Well, here we go.."

P.J sobered up. "Yeah, for better or worse, we'll win."

Lynx stared out the cockpit window. "Dang! That's one big place Sadoul has there! But whoo! He's got a bad decorator!"

Kinsey nodded. "No kidding."

The team walked out of the airship, only to be met seconds later by a barrage of enemies, both monster and machine. P.J. moaned, and pulled out her staff. "I hate this..."

"Well now, isn't Sadoul just the NICEST guy? He even rolled out the red carpet for us!" Lynx laughed.

"Yeah, real nice. He's a regular prince." Kinsey spat.

Sandor nodded. The fated hour was upon them. They couldn't fail.

****

Phoebe whistled softly to herself as she cleaned up some of the glass ornaments sitting on the windowsill. While working, she took another quick glance at the bed behind her, and her face fell, knowing what she'd see. Nothing. Ever since that boy came in two weeks ago, he just lied there, in a coma, not even moving once. She didn't want to think that he wasn't there anymore, she couldn't think that. If she didn't have hope of him getting well, than who would?

Arianna skipped in then, peering at Phoebe coldly. "WHY do you keep worrying about him anyway. He's a vegetable."

"That's not true Arianna. We don't know that."

Arianna brushed her long blonde hair out her face and laughed. "I'm just saving you some heartbreak squirt. He's not gonna wake up, so why don't you do something valuable with your time here, and quit tending to the veggie!" She skipped away then, snorting with laughter.

Stupid cow, she thought. If only I had the guts to tell her that in person, but I'm too shy. She shrugged and went back to tidying up the windowsill. She kept whistling, keeping herself busy..

"M...m...mm...ungh..."

Phoebe nearly dropped the ornament she was cleaning. No..it couldn't be. Had to be her imagination. She went back to cleaning.

"Ugh...mm...uhh..."

Now she KNEW she heard it that time. She whirled around to the bed again, and nearly whooped with joy. He was moving! He was waking up! "HA! In your face Arianna!" she snickered. "You were WRONG!" Quickly, she grabbed a warm washcloth and started dabbing his forehead with it. "C'mon...prove Arianna wrong. Wake up..."

And slowly, his eyes opened. He blinked several times, trying to focus. "W...hat? Where am...?" he spoke so weakly, it was hard to hear him.

Phoebe let out a sigh of relief. "Don't worry," she spoke softly, like a mother conforting a child. "You're in the Shrine of Taltana, near Cannisk. You were hurt badly, but you'll be just fine now."

He closed his eyes, and Phoebe was afraid he would fall back into a coma again, but he opened them and swallowed thickly. "Who..?"

"Me...? I'm Phoebe. How do you feel? Do you need anything?"

The boy smiled. "Phoebe...that's...a pretty name...I feel tired... that's all...my chest hurts..."

"Yes, well, you'll have to rest for a while, but you'll recover. I can feel it! Can you tell me your name?"

The boy blinked in confusion. "My...name?"

Phoebe nodded. "Yeah, we don't know your name. Can you please tell us?"

"My..." he trailed off. Then, slowly, his eyes grew wide, and his face paled even more. He began to pant heavily. It took a few seconds for Phoebe to figure it out, but he was complete panic.

"I...I don't know!"

He grabbed onto Phoebe's hand with a strength that surprised even her. "I...I can't remember!"

Phoebe tried her best to calm him down. "Shh...It's OK. Can you remember where you came from? Who your parents were?"

Big mistake. He panicked even more. "I...I can't remember that either! I can't remember anything!"

Phoebe was beginning to panic too. What was she going to do?

"Hey, Phoebe. I-" Arianna walked in and gaped. "WHAT? He actually woke up?!"

"Arianna! I'm so glad you're here! He's scared. He can't remember anything about himself! I can't calm him down."

"What!" Arianna yelled. "Why didn't you call me? Are you dense? Do you want him to get even more hurt than he is? I have to calm him down." Arianna searched trough her pockets and pulled out a long tube with a needle at the end...

"Arianna, what are you...?"

"Humph! What does it look like? I'm gonna calm him down a bit."

"What?! You're going to SEDATE him? Are you crazy? He just woke up, and you're going to put him to sleep again? He doesn't need to be sedated! Besides, you have to ask Imogene first!"

The boy gasped. "No...no...Please miss, don't..."

Arianna snorted. "Well, Imogene isn't here, is she? Get out of my way Phoebe." She pushed Phoebe aside and quickly stuck the needle into the boy's arm. He flinched as she pulled it out. Arianna turned to Phoebe. "Next time, don't try to stop me like that. I know what I'm doing!" Then she walked out.

Phoebe looked at the boy with a guilty face. "I'm sorry. I should have stopped her..."

He was already falling asleep, but he smiled. "It's ok...wasn't your fault..." Then he closed his eyes and was out.

Phoebe shook her head. Why didn't she stand up to people sometimes? Why did she let them push her around? Then, she heard Imogene yelling up the hall. "WHAT ON EARTH WERE YOU THINKING ARIANNA? My god, girl! You NEVER should sedate someone without my knowledge! No! I don't want to hear it! You'll be severely punished for this..."

Phoebe smiled. There was justice after all.

****

"There you are Sadoul! You're ruthless scheme stops right here and now! Give it up!"

Sadoul grinned and faced the ragtag bunch of heroes. "Oh am I? With this armor, I'm unstoppable. You have no chance against me. Your efforts to stop me are, in fact, futile. You should have stayed home!"

Kinsey snickered. "Who do you think you are? God?"

Sadoul raised an eyebrow, and laughed in a crazed manner. "God? I like the sound of that. Yes, I am god!"

Lynx made a little circle around his head, and whistled "WHOO! Got a live one here! Doesn't matter! He's going DOWN!"

P.J. nodded in agreement, and figured it was time to come up with a heroic speech. "The grounds quake with the cries of anguished people! For all the people who have suffered and died by your hands, it's time to meet your maker!"

Lynx pointed at P.J. "YEAH! What she said!"

Kinsey cracked her whip around and smiled menencingly. "Time to dance..."

Sadoul just kept on laughing "Little lambs to the slaughter! If only you understood that only my hands can purify the world! But, you don't seem to have that ability, do you?" He raised his sword in salute. "Now we fight, Prince of Lorath." He flicked his fingers and the party felt a bright light envelop them. When it faded, they were on the top of his fortress.

"I thought this would be a perfect spot for our final conflict, don't you think?"

"Doesn't matter to me." Sandor said, "You'll meet your end wherever you are!"

Sadoul slashed his sword Sandor, and he barely dodged. The battle had begun.

P.J. blinked and started chanting spells as fast as she could. Lynx struck out with his halberd, missing, only to get a side swipe with Sadoul's blade. He cursed. "Gawdammit. This doesn't look good."

Kinsey snapped her whip at Sadoul and wrapped it around his neck, strangling him. "Choke and die, you sonnfabitch!" Sadoul choked for a few long seconds before flinging Kinsey over his shoulder and having her crash into the metallic floor.

However, this one second was all Sandor needed before slashing Sadoul in the back, right in an area that wasn't as protected by the armor. Sadoul roared, and stabbed Sandor in the leg. Sandor went down holding his leg, trying to stanch the flow of blood.

P.J. finally finished her lengthy chant, and large bursts of ultra hot fire blasted from her cane. They engulfed Sadoul and he cried out in anguish. P.J. kept it up by doing slightly weaker spells, but layering them one after the other. Sadoul was breaking under the strain, and P.J. felt a rush of hope surge in her. He's weakening! I'm gonna kill him! YES! Her hope was short lived, however, as Sadoul sent his own spell flying at her, and P.J. wasn't ready for the assault. The spell hit her straight in the chest and she went flying into a wall, dazed and confused.

Lynx ran over to P.J. and Kinsey and raised his hands up in the air. They glowed with a soft blue light, then the light floated and entered the two injured girls, healing them. P.J. stood up and grinned. "Thanks. I needed that."

Sandor grunted and raised his sword in the air. He had a plan, a desperate one, but it just may work. He jumped high in the air, with a power he didn't even know he had, and screamed "FOR ELIN!" and aimed his sword for Sadoul's heart.

And it worked beautifully. The blade plunged deep, causing Sadoul to gasp and sputter out blood. Sandor screamed to his companions "NOW! Attack him now!!"

P.J. cast spell after spell, Lynx banged him repeatedly with his halberd, Kinsey kept snapping her whip, and there was nothing Sadoul could do. He was outnumbered. Undone.

Finally, he fell to the ground, a bleeding, pulpy mess. He painfully turned his head to Sandor and his friends, and smiled, blood running into his mouth,

"Well done...you have defeated me...little warrior...but this is not...the end of my empire...." and with that, he collapsed, dead.

Sandor shook his head. "No Sadoul, it is the end. And if any more trouble comes from you or your memory, we'll be there..."

Then, only seconds after Sadoul died, the entire fortress seemed to shake. Mortar and beams came crashing down, and the walls started to crack open. "His magic! It's unraveling!" P.J. shouted over the noise. "We have to hurry out!"

"No shit!" Kinsey shouted. "This way! Hurry!"

The party ran as quickly as they could throw the falling debris, dodging danger right and left. Finally, they saw the exit up ahead. Lynx whooped for joy and pushed ahead of the others to get inside the airship.

P.J. snorted. "Thanks a lot! What about me?"

"Hey! I'm holding the door open, aren't I? Get the hell in!" Lynx scolded. The others crammed their way into the airship, Kinsey pushed a button, and they were in the sky, watching the fortress teeter and totter, then crash headlong into the ocean. It was official. The tyranny of the Danek Empire was over. They won.

Lynx gaped in awe over the sight. "I'll have to write a song about this one."

Sandor looked at the disctruction, silent. They won, but Sandor, despite himself, couldn't help feeling sorry for Sadoul. He felt Sadoul never knew what he was fighting for. All that power, he thought ...wasted...

****

He was falling.

That's the only way to describe it. The sky was dark, and had a blood red tinge to it. No, wait, everything seemed to be tinted red, like a child that got into a paintbox and went wild. But now that he looked closer, he wasn't falling, but about to fall. He was holding on to something by the tips of his fingers, swinging side to side.

And there were people there. He couldn't make out who they were, but they were talking to him. One, who sounded male, was calling out something, his name maybe, but it sounded garbled. Another woman, who had long claws that looked like macabre fingernails, was trying to reach him, to pull him up. And a young woman, younger than the other two, was whimpering I'm sorry! I'm so sorry!

Then his world faded to black.

The boy awoke with a start, and he his body rebelled with the effort. He groaned as the wave of pain passed. Where the hell was he?

Then he remembered the other day, how he awoke in the shrine with the pretty young lady attending him. How he couldn't remember anything, how that snotty blonde got so fed up with him that she put him to sleep, and how the nice priestess tried to stop her.

Unfortunately, he still had no clue who he was, or where he came from. He wasn't panicked about it anymore, he just felt a profound sadness, a loneliness that he couldn't describe. He didn't even know his first name, why he was wounded. Heck, he even didn't know what he LOOKED like. But, the girl yesterday who helped him, she had to be the most beautiful girl he'd ever seen! Well, if he remembered meeting any other girl, that is. She had such long, shiny auburn hair, and such a sweet smile. But the most striking thing about her were her eyes. She had large violet eyes.

The door clicked open and the boy was brought back to reality. Please, he thought, don't let it be that snotty blonde again. Please please please...Then he smiled to himself as he saw the nice priestess walk in, carrying a bowl of steaming food. She grinned when she saw him. "You're up! I'm really sorry about yesterday, you know. But you look a lot better!"

"It's OK." he told her. "It's not that big a deal, and I do feel a little better."

She kept on smiling and sat down on the bed. "Do you remember anything today?"

The boy's face fell. "No. Sorry."

"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have brought it up."

"It's all right, really. Actually, I owe you my life for helping me."

"But I didn't do anything..."

"Of course you did! Without you, I'd be six feet under!" He coughed, finally feeling the strain of his wounds.

"Oh! You shouldn't be straining yourself like that!" She gestured to the bowl of steaming food she brought in. "I brought you some oatmeal. It'll help get your strength back!"

"Thank you." he picked up the food and smelled it. He suddenly found he was starving, and wondered if he ate since he got hurt. "Hmm...tell me, Phoebe, was it? Yeah, Phoebe, tell me a little about yourself." he asked between mouthfuls.

"Myself?" Phoebe asked. "Well, I'm a junior priestess here, I've lived here all my life. I...um..." she stared out the window, in silent thought..

"Something wrong?" the boy questioned.

"Oh no. I just have this feeling. Something's going to happen today. "

"Really? What?"

She turned to him and put a hand on his shoulder, and the boy knew that for a brief instant, he blushed. "I've haven't told many people this secret about myself, but, I don't know. I feel like I can trust you. Do you promise not to tell anyone what I am about to show you?"

The boy nodded. "Of course."

Phoebe closed her eyes and whispered. "Look at that glass ornament on the table, all right?" Then, she squinted her eyes, like she was concentrating, and the ornament began to wobble and rise up into the air, soar to the bed, and landed in the boy's outstretched hand. The boy nearly choked on his oatmeal. "How on Earth..? Where did you learn to do that?"

"I don't know." Phoebe admitted. "I've always had it. Sometimes, I can tell what someone is thinking, or dream about something one night, and have it happen the next day! Sometimes, I can talk to someone without moving my mouth! I don't know where I got it from, but I keep it secret. I don't like to flaunt things."

The two were silent for a while when two people poked their heads through the door. "Can we come in, Phoebe?"

Phoebe turned towards the door. "Sure Shayla!"

Shayla ran in, with Mort right behind her, and shook the boy's hand energetically. "Hi there! Nice to see you among the living! You had us worried for quite awhile!" She cleared her throat. "I'm Shayla, and that fungus over there is Mortimer, or Mort."

"Hi there, and no, I'm NOT a fungus!" Mort stuck out his tounge.

"Yes you are."

"Shaddup Shayla."

Phoebe coughed loudly, and the two quieted down. The boy grinned. "Hello. Nice to meet you."

"Anyway...We heard what happened to you yesterday. Don't be too worked up about Arianna. Actually, we found out she has to clean the toilets out for her punishment! Hehehe. Oh yeah! I almost forgot! I came here to..um..er..Mort, why did we come?"

"To tell them the war's over, right?"

The boy looked confused. "War?"

"Yeah, The whole battle with the Danek Empire, of course! The prince of Lorath kicked the new emperor's ass! We're in for smooth sailing now!"

"That's wonderful!" Phoebe clapped her hands with joy. "Finally..."

"Empire..." the boy began, and trailed off.

"Something wrong?" Phoebe looked concerned.

"No! Not at all!" He put on a fake smile. Something about that bugged him, nagged on his mind, but he wasn't going to think about that now.

"Well, since you can't remember who you are, and Imogene said you could stay here as long as you like, I think we should make up a name for yourself! Unless you wanna be called "Boy" and "John Doe." Shayla snickered.

The boy scrunched his face up. "No. We should make up a name."

"How about Tony?" Mort suggested.

"Or Josh?" Shayla added.

"Hmm...no." The boy said. "Too corny."

"How about...Derek? Like that?" Phoebe asked him.

"Derek...Derek...Yeah, I do like that!"

"Well then, guess we that's the name we'll use! Hello Derek!" Phoebe giggled.

The four teenagers smiled. A new friendship had started.

****

Stirring..stirring...

Finally, it had the power to watch, and see all. A millennium of sleeping was finally ending. Someone had used the Orbs...and that little mistake caused her to awaken.

She could see that prince, the one who slaughtered Sadoul at a coronation ceremony, HIS coronation ceremony. He was being crowned King.

She could see his comrades going back to their normal lives, living in peace in harmony. Everything was as sweet and lovely before, and that made her sick!

Anger welled inside her like a poison, and it felt so good. It wouldn't be long before she would rise to power again. She didn't have her armor anymore, but she did have something that would be beneficial to her, human puppets. She just had to bide her time.

Weither the world like it or not, she would return. The entity was going to finish what she started.

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