Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Power Array Saga - Season Three - Part XVII

Part XVII – Family is Forever

Stone walls towered above the city of High Garden Clearing. On its northern border was the Ura forest. A vast expanse of pine, broad leaf, and red wood trees provided cover for the demonic creatures.
                The party of five walked along the wide, concrete sidewalk that led out of Consonance and into the agricultural city of Melqart. Time seemed to pass with the speed of a drunk snail and the midday sun beat down. They continued to walk mostly in silence. Bringing up the rear of the straggling train were the twins, who periodically bickered amongst themselves. As the twin moons of the planet Threa shone above their heads, Monel stopped abruptly and let out an agonized groan.
                “Why are we walking?” asked Monel.
                “Why not,” Momotaru replied with a smile.
                “My feet hurt and I’m tired,” said Monel. “Don’t tell me that you expect us to walk all the way to HGC.”
                “Well why not,” said Momotaru.
                Monel’s blue eyes narrowed to dangerous slants.
                “Control yourself,” said Kya. “He’s our liege lord. If he wishes to walk then you’ll do as commanded.”
                “Shut up,” said Monel. “You can’t tell me what to do anymore. Father’s no longer here and we’re no longer in the guild.”
                “I’m still the oldest,” said Kya.
                “Not by much,” said Monel.
                The two sisters drew closer to each other with each step. Their eyes were locked on each other.
                “Yeah. And we all know why that is,” said Kya. “You’re not really one of us.”
                Monel let out a growl. She was about to lunge at her sister until Momotaru stepped between them. With his arms up, he held both sisters back.
                “Calm down,” said Momotaru. “What’s all of this about?”
                Both Kya and Monel turned their backs and folded their arms as they pouted. The twins walked up in front of Momotaru. They shared a look and then nodded their heads in unison.
                “Our older sisters are rivals,” said Chyntel.
                “They compete at everything… all the time,” said Cynia.
                “Shut it you two,” said Kya peering dangerously over her shoulder. Her dark eyes smoldered.
                The twins giggled to themselves.
                “What makes them even more competitive is the fact that Monel is only our half-sister,” said Chyntel.
                “Our father cheated on his wife with a highly skilled assassin that worked in the guild,” said Cynia.
                “But mother took him back,” said Chyntel.
                “I think it’s pretty obvious that she took him back,” said Cynia. “Or else we wouldn’t be here.”
                They traded several blows, striking one another in the shoulders repeatedly. Momotaru let out an exasperated huff as he slowly shook his head.
                “As far as I know,” said Momotaru, “I’m an only child. I can’t imagine what having a sibling is like. But while you all are acting as my bodyguards you will put this petty nonsense aside and function as one unit… think as one mind. I have big plans for this world. Now let’s get moving.”
                “So I take it that means we still have to walk across two more states before reaching HGC,” said Monel.
                “If I say yes to a cab then will you stop your whining,” said Momotaru.
                “I don’t whine,” said Monel with narrowed eyes.
                “Well whatever you call it,” said Momotaru, “you can cut it out. Let’s get to the nearest service station and order a hover transport.”
                After calling for a hover van, which dropped the group off at the entrance to High Garden Clearing, Momotaru and his bodyguards arrived before the large, wooden double doors of the fortress-like city. They were shut tight. Stone walls circled the entire area. Directly to the north of the expansive and winding stone wall was a large clearing. A plain of tree stumps stretched from the walled city to the edge of the forest. Momotaru stood and marveled at the vast amount of trees.
                “They keep the area in front of the wall clear of trees in order to make sure the sentries can see if the Ura try to attack the city,” said Kya.
                “And what exactly are the Ura?” asked Momotaru.
                “A race of wicked demons that inhabit this forest,” said Monel. “The Ura pray on the civilians and survive by drinking their blood.”
                “Why are they allowed to even live here?” asked Momotaru. “Why doesn’t the Eioda government or military launch an assault to wipe them out?”
                “Because most politicians think that it would use up too many resources to launch an all-out assault on the forest. It might not even work,” said Kya. “The Ura and extremely tough to kill.”
                “Well let’s get inside and find an inn to sleep at,” said Momotaru. He walked over to the towering doors of the city and shouted up to the guards who were sentried on the ramparts of the wall.
                The guard responded with a shake of his head.
                “They won’t let anyone in after dark,” said Kya.
                “Don’t you guys live here?” said Momotaru. “Can’t you force them to let you in?”
                “We haven’t lived in this city for several years now,” said Kya. “The twins were still teenagers when we were forced to leave our home. Ever since then we’ve lived in the capital with your father.”
                “Well fearless leader,” said Monel with hands on hips. “What now?”
                “How about we explore a little bit of this forest in front of us,” said Momotaru with a sly grin on his face.
                “Are you insane!” shouted Kya. The other three sisters responded with looks of shock and shouts of outrage.
                “You guys are supposed to be skilled assassins right,” said Momotaru. “Well this will be a perfect chance to see what skills each of you possess.”
                With that said, Momotaru did not look back as he sauntered toward the dark and gloomy forest.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Power Array Saga - Season Three - Part XVI

Part XVI – Father Knows Best

In a land controlled by the humans, and across an ocean west of the sun elves, lay the capital city of Consonance. Whilst the growing metropolis’ twisting spires stabbed at clouds in a bright blue sky, its most striking feature was actually the floating landmass that held a college above its north-western corner. Thanks to the technology invented by the elves, the world class college campus resembled a tear drop in the sky.
                Only miles away from downtown, and on the black sand beaches of the eastern shores, a building that resembled a massive church held a banquet hall. It had a large room with three rows of long tables that could seat twenty people to each side. On a raised dais at the rear of the hall sat a large booth with an ornate oval table in the center. Mr. Hakizimana, along with several other diplomats and officials from the Eioda government, were arrayed around the egg white table. Plates of food sat untouched.
                When Momotaru walked into the room his father eyed him dangerously from across the three rows of tables. Moments later his father seemed to notice the four assassins standing behind him. Mr. Hakizimana bristled with rage. Every head in the room turned to watch as Momotaru walked toward the rear of the room. More than a few who sat at the tables, either dressed in hardened plastic fiber exosuits or suits and ties, watched the assassins with eyebrows furrowed and lips either hanging open or turned down sharply.
                “What’re you doing here with them?” asked Mr. Hakizimana. “And what’re you wearing? Didn’t these girls tell you to wear something more befitting this occasion?”
                “I don’t even know what this… occasion is for,” said Momotaru. “After you stunned me into unconsciousness and I woke up this morning, you don’t even have what it takes to face me privately. It’s no wonder that mother had them send you away.”
                “What did you say?”
                “I’m leaving,” said Momotaru as he turned and walked away. “Don’t try to follow me or stop me… Oh, and by the way…” He turned to his father with a sly smile. “These ladies no longer work for you. They follow my orders now.”
                Before Momotaru could stroll through the exit, the dozen stationed guards in exosuit armor blocked his path. Momotaru unsheathed his adamantite black sword and the guards drew from their backs ceremonial longswords of their own. The assassins did not have weapons, yet they ran to surround Momotaru as each of them bounded into exotic fighting stances.
                “Stand back ladies,” said Momotaru with a grin. “I got this… besides, you all don’t have any weapons.”
                “Our hands are the only weapons we need,” said Kya. “Besides, if it’s now our sworn duty to protect you then we would be failing in our oath if we didn’t put our lives in front of yours.”
                One of the guards marched forward. “Take the diplomat’s son unharmed.”
                “What about the others?” asked another as the others closed in.
                No response.
                Momotaru growled as he closed his eyes and slapped his hands together. When he opened them again, his eyes were pitch black and seemed to drink in the shadow around the room. The guards paused as they watched him. Even Momotaru’s new bodyguards looked over their shoulders with raised eyebrows, until they sprang forward.
Kya and her sisters engaged the exosuit clad guards, their hands flashing blurs as they struck. Momotaru flashed through the room, like a flickering shadow. The guards couldn’t track his movements, and, as the assassins attacked them from the front, Momotaru dove towards their open backs. He struck out, hitting non vital areas, and the assassins proceeded to disarm and incapacitate the guards.
                In a matter of moments the room lay almost in silence, except for the groans of writhing guards, their bones broken and blood seeping through the cracks in their armor. The doors burst open. The room was flooded with exosuit clad reinforcements. They point their lasguns towards Momotaru and his assassins.
                “Hold your fire,” commanded Mr. Hakizimana.
                His eyes connected with those of his sons.
                “Let them go,” said Mr. Hakizimana.
                Gasps erupted around the room. The guards lowered their laser weapons and stepped aside. Momotaru and his group of assassins sauntered out of the banquet hall. Slowly, quiet whispers broke out amongst the tables seated below the royal diplomats.
                Sitting at the oval table on the dais, the secretary of state said, “Are you sure that it’s a good idea to let him leave… especially with those four?”
                “It seems like everything is going just as you planned, my liege,” said Mr. Hakizimana’s closest assistant.
                “How can you be so sure that he’ll continue to do as you suspect?” asked the secretary of state.
                “Because I know my son,” said Mr. Hakizimana. “Just because he hasn’t been here in Eioda doesn’t mean that I haven’t been keeping tabs on him. I knew that he would eventually find a way to roam the countryside… I just had to make him think that he was in control. Now I have four highly trained ladies to keep him company that he thinks works for him. Yes… everything is working out just as I planned.”

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Power Array Saga - Season Three - Part XV

Part XV – The Naked Truth

 Momotaru Hakizimana awoke in a huff. He looked around franticly with a menacing scowl on his face. He was inside a master suite. The bed that he laid upon was large enough for three people. Throwing the silk covers from his body he rose to his bare feet. His soles seeming to sink into the plush navy blue carpet. For the first time he noticed that he was wearing a scarlet silk robe. He ripped it away and tossed it to the floor.
                A knock at the door drew his attention. Whoever it was did not wait for him to answer. The door opened, several women, their eyes wide in shock, stood staring at Momotaru who was stark naked as the day that he was born.
                “Who are you and what do you want?” asked Momotaru. “If my father sent you then you can go back from where you came and tell him that I don’t want or need anything from him.”
                “I apologize, my liege,” said one of the females. “But we were given strict orders to attend to your every need. We cannot go back… there’s no place for us to go back to.”
                The group of young woman looked at the floor in unison yet their eyes did not see the carpet under their feet. Instead, Momotaru could tell that they were each remembering some tragic event which had landed them in their current situation.
                “Well then, the least you can do is tell me where my clothes are that I came here wearing,” asked Momotaru.
                “They were filthy my liege,” said the same female. “We were instructed to wash them. They’re in the closet.” She pointed to two large double doors that were painted white and had gold trimming and golden door knobs.
                Opening the double doors, Momotaru stared with mouth agape. Never before had he seen so many clothes. The walk-in closet was larger than most apartments.
                “Who would ever need so many outfits?” asked Momotaru stunned.
                “You will, my liege,” said the lead woman. “Lord Hakizimana has stated that you are to attend a congressional dinner within the next two hours… he also said that we must tell you that your attendance is mandatory.”
                Momotaru turned around to glare at the woman. His features quickly softened as the woman abashedly looked away, once again staring at the floor. He walked over to her and gently lifted her face up with a calloused hand under her chin. As their eyes briefly met, the woman looked away and blushed.
                “It’s okay to look at me,” said Momotaru. “I’m not going to bite.”
                The woman looked into his dark eyes and wore a small smile.
                “What is your name?”
                “I’m called Kya… my liege.”
                “And what did you and your friends do to end up working for my father?”
                “We are forbidden to speak of it my liege,” replied Kya.
                “It’s okay,” said Momotaru as he dressed. “Tell my father that I forced you to answer… now please tell me… what happened to all of you?”
                Kya turned around to look at her companions. They nodded in unison.
                “We were caught stealing from my lord’s vineyard,” said Kya not meeting his eyes.
                Momotaru shook his head and let out a small laugh. “Okay,” he said. “Well it’s good to know what the official lie is just in case someone asks me… but now I want to hear the real reason that my father has forced you into servitude.”
                Their eyes connected and the look that Kya received forced her to swallow her suddenly bone-dry throat. She nodded. When she met his eyes again, Momotaru could see a steely resolve that spoke volumes.
                “The other three women with me are not my friends,” said Kya. “They’re my sisters. I’m the oldest. Monel is after me, and the youngest two, Chyntel and Cynia are twins. From the time that we could walk our father trained us to be assassins. My father was the head of the assassin’s guild in High Garden Clearing. We helped to protect the commoners who were under constant attack from the demonic Ura. They inhabit the forest next to the city. But when our father received a contract to assassinate your father, we were… betrayed by another in our order. Our father was killed and we were found guilty of conspiracy. So instead of sending us to the work camps for the rest of our lives, we had to swear an oath to serve your father with our lives. Only death can release us from this oath.”
                “Well guess what…” said Momotaru with a devilish grin. “You no longer serve my father… you serve me now. I could use a team of assassins as my bodyguards for what I plan to do next… gather my weapons… I have a surprise in store for my father.”

 ~ Andre Alan