In what seemed like an infinite expanse of whiteness, a portal opened, spitting out eight figures, creating a massive explosion behind them. The explosion sent them all flying in different directions, disappearing into the infinite whiteness.
Almost everyone was knocked out, except for two boys. They groaned as pain seared through their bodies, but it only lasted a moment.
"Damnit, Rand, couldn't you have gotten them out a bit sooner? Like before the explosion or before that monster let his blast loose?" The boy with white hair and blue highlights spoke, shaking his head, and trying to will away the feeling of passing out. "So... this is what it feels like to be human."
As Bel looked around, he expected to see someone else with him, but found he wasn't anywhere near him. He closed his eyes in deep thought as if he was searching for something. Grinning, he teleported to where he thought Rand was in the infinite whiteness.
Rand shook his head still trying to gather his bearings, his brown hair flopping as his head moved. He badly needed a haircut, but he liked it the way it was. "I... didn't expect that, Bel."
Just as Bel appeared right in front of Rand, he jumped into Rand with a tight hug, knocking both boys over. The moment lasted a minute before they broke up and sat upright.
Bel sighed and turned to look at the result of the explosion. "So you heard me..." getting a nod in return, he continued, "anyway... that could have destroyed us a second later... all of us in fact." He shifted his gaze so his light red eyes were looking down on Rand, who was still on the ground sitting upright. "We should be safe here babe, but for how long is the question? We hafta search for those we lost. Their powers might not work here and ours are at half. I still can't figure out why you brought us here when there were plenty of other places to choose from."
"I couldn't think of any at the time till I read one of the adult's thoughts and they directed me to the white void. I'm quite familiar with that, but that place was too dangerous for a Human without powers. He'll survive here, but I can't guarantee he won't go mad with insanity." Rand finally managed to gather his bearings and looked at Bel with a slight giggle, causing Bel to giggle, too. Rand began to attempt standing up, causing Bel to stop giggling and watch him with a serious expression, as he was concerned about his boyfriend. "It seems I don't feel dizzy anymore. Stop worrying about me! It's not like I'm dying or anything."
Bel was hurt and it showed clearly with his body language as he shifted so he could stand comfortable, then let out a loud annoyed sigh. "Seriously, don't ever say that! You do realize how close you came to dying the last time? If you don't remember, do I have to show you everything I went through again?" Bel was almost in tears as Rand quickly moved to embrace him in a hug.
"I'm sorry. It's just, I laugh in the face of death. I'm still having a hard time dealing with that moment. It's something I don't talk about everyday."
Bel weakly smiled, "I know, I just hate it when you talk like that." He brushed some of his blue-white hair out of his eye and looked off into the empty white expanse. "So how do we search for them here? I can't sense their presence, but surely they survived that, yes?"
Rand looked in the opposite direction of Bel and sighed, "Yeah... I just had a thought. We could split up..." He craned his head to face Bel, whose expression looked of horror, "...or not. I could make clones of us, but that would attract some attention. We'd need to refrain from teleporting way too much without first finding a spot to teleport to. Clones make it possible, but we are limited to no more than five. It will speed things up; depending on how much time it will really take. Cloning yourself could drain you, but I'd have a better chance at it, so I really don't see any other choice."
Bel groaned, "You know I don't like being alone. I could do it but only for a limited time." He looked down then up and back into the same empty whiteness as he was looking in. "I suppose they are still knocked out. We won't know till one of them wakes up. Strange, I only faintly sensed the adult human." He could not sense him, and only faintly sensed him at the same time.
"Same here. Could he be the boys' father? If he is, then it explains why. Okay, so, I guess it's time to get moving. That monster cannot be allowed to live. His presence is very weakening to me and he'd easily win if he faced off with us. I don't know why, but that beast emits some sort of power that disables others... somehow. I wonder if that old man who was fighting him was aware of that."
Bel turned to look into Rand's brown eyes and smile, "Let's worry about that later. We've gotta do some search and rescue. Did you see which way they went?"
Rand nodded, "Yeah, only two of them went off in the direction I was looking, didn't notice where the other three went. Did you?"
Bel groaned lightly, "Only one, so that leaves two who are missing. This place is too big to search."
"Never know if we might stumble on one of them on our way to the others." Rand gave Bel a quick hug and ran off in the direction he was looking.
Rand sent a thought to Bel for extra measure, 'Time is wasting and the longer they are alone, the more madness sets in.'
Bel smiled after being hugged and watching Rand run off, he nodded then immediately set off in the opposite direction.
The twins had fought Sid and lost. They were alive at least. The current white void everyone is in is called the Time Void. Regardless of its infinite whiteness, some could be there for centuries before finally finding a door. Higher beings have it easy compared to those who aren't and first time entrants. Time in the Time Void was completely different than time on Earth. For every day that had passed in the white void, a minute has passed by on Earth. Time was meaningless in the Time Void. One would never age, whether it was human, alien, energy being, it did not matter. In the other void the twins knew so well about, time is almost equal, but not quite. The only difference was, one would not cease to exist compared to the White Void Simon was trapped in. It was said he was lost there then ceased to exist, but he somehow used all of his power to go back to earth as a newborn. It was one of the drawbacks of using almost everything, including his own life-force, but not all of it. In that realm, higher beings were able to survive within it.
Sid had been terrorizing Earth since he thought he had been rid of the guardians, but little did he know they were still alive. Ever so slowly, humans began to fall to Sid. All who opposed him were killed mercilessly. There was no stopping Sid in his quest to conquer Earth, then he would surely destroy the planet. Those who did not fight Sid were taken in as slaves to do his bidding. Even if there was resistance on Earth, Sid knew where to find them, but they were not a threat to him. He continued carrying about his pleasures, making Earth a dark planet.
Elsewhere deep underground, the silent woman had been trying to help Trish come back to reality, but nothing was working. Chad was at a loss on what to do, yet he knew very little of his Aunt. She had lost her entire family and all she thought of was killing Sid and getting her revenge, but it wouldn't bring them back. Nothing would bring them back... unless of course, time travel was an option, but she knew it wasn't worth the risk. Traveling back in time would completely drain Trish, rendering her helpless to aid her family. Even if she tried to head further back in time, things would get out of hand, even if she stayed in the shadows. She continued to silently weep as she felt all hope was lost, even when various people came by to console her.
A cough filled the silence as a boy of about eleven rolled onto his back and winced as he tried to open his eyes. The bright light hurt and he slowly moved his blood-covered arm to shield his eyes. He seemed lost and confused as his eyes slowly adjusted to the white light. As he looked around and then tried to sit up, he winced as pain shot through his lower body. Following his instinct, he attempted to reach for where his locket was supposed to be, but it was gone. Feeling the panic rise, he searched every pocket for the locket with no luck. He looked around and saw nothing. He tried to stand, but his legs were too weak to do anything. Suddenly, he never felt so alone and longed to hold his brother. His brother. He gasped as he searched for his brother and couldn't find him. He couldn't feel him. Then it hit him: he realized he was watching as this strange creature was shooting an intense beam of destructive energy at his siblings and then nothing. His worst fears came to realization as he quickly guessed his brothers were dead. His body began to shake as tears welled up from within his eyes and let out a slight whimper. Soon, the small tears became streams as he lost control over his emotions and collapsed on the ground crying his eyes out.
Bel had thought he felt a power spike and heard something, but he couldn't see anything. He paused for a few more moments then continued to walk in the same direction as he had been. He knew it was dangerous being in the void, but he knew he wouldn't get lost since he had been there before.
Rand and Bel had been playing hide-n-seek throughout the universe one day and Bel accidentally stumbled upon the Time Void, confusing Rand. It took Rand a week's worth of normal time to search for Bel, only more time had passed from within the void and Bel was almost unrecognizable with his long hair. When Rand finally found his friend, he wanted to scold him, but he couldn't help but laugh at the length of Bel's hair.
"Bel, you almost got yourself lost in here ya know! It is said that when someone enters the Void alone, he is forever lost with no hope of escape."
Bel looked down sadly, as if he was being scolded. Rand quickly spoke again. "I'm sorry. It's a scary thought of that happening to anyone. If more than one person was here, one wouldn't get lost, but it would make finding someone in here a bit tricky. The only reason I knew how to find you was because of our bond. Without it, it's much harder."
Bel nodded, wiping away the tears, causing Rand to step forward and give him a hug then a kiss on the cheek. Bel looked up and smiled, causing Rand to smile.
Bel smiled at the faint memory and had an idea. He knew he could split up his body to make duplicates of himself, but it really caused him to drain a lot of energy. He was still trying to get used to cloning himself as Rand had taught him. Rand could make up to a hundred clones of himself before he began to feel the effects. Bel knew he would feel somewhat weaker, but he wanted to be able to find the missing survivors within the Time Void. If any of his duplicates found anything, he would instantly know through their connection with one another. With that, Bel closed his eyes and concentrated on forming four clones of him. Each one slowly materialized as if they were being energized by a transporter pad from Star Trek. First, they looked transparent, but after several long minutes, they finally became solid and were moving about. When Bel finally opened his eyes, he was satisfied with what he had and nodded to each one as if they all knew what their objective was. Once Bel began walking in the same direction again, the rest of the clones took off in various random directions and disappeared into the whiteness.
'Yes Rand?' Bel responded thoughtfully as he continued walking and looking for anything not white.
'Did you split yourself up again?'
'Uhh... I guess I did.' As an answer, Bel received a mental picture of Rand shaking his head with a small smile across his face, causing Bel to giggle.
'I'll do the same. Hopefully we'll increase our chances of finding them.'
'I agree, be careful.'
Rand sent Bel a mental picture of him rolling his eyes. 'Love you too.'
Bel shook his head. He knew it was risky and every time he always told Rand to be careful, 'I love you, too' became his default reply. He had to giggle some more at that till he spotted a moving figure that appeared to be on the ground. Pushing some power to his legs, he took off in a flash, arriving at the sobbing figure at the ground. Being as gentle as possible, he knelt and softly shook the boy's arm, causing the boy to jump in shock then watched him crawl backwards as if he feared Bel.
"Dude, relax, you're safe now." Bel tried his best to smile and send positive thoughts to calm the frightened boy.
Still somewhat shaking with a tear stained face, he looked around and saw nothing but a white-blue streaked haired kid staring at him. "Am I in heaven?"
Bel's facial expression changed from reassuring to looking at the boy questionably.
"Heaven... you know... angels?"
"Ohhh! Ah, no. This is a white void. I've..."
The boy's expression suddenly changed to panic at the mention of white void. "how long have I been here?! I need to return to Earth!" He tried to struggle to stand, but he couldn't as intense pain shot through his body, causing him to wince and cry out.
"Hmm?" Bel wondered if he had meant his own version of the white void so he explained. "This isn't the white void you are thinking of. Things are different here. This is actually the Time Void...but it is called many things and White Void is one of them, but I suppose there are a lot of other white voids out there..." Bel closed his eyes as if to concentrate on something then stood and walked towards the confused boy. He reached out and gently placed both hands on his temples. With his eyes still shut, he slowly moved his hands down to the boy's legs and a faint hum filled the air followed by a bluish-golden glow. The glow only lasted a second and as it faded away, the pain slowly subsided and the boy flexed his legs then jumped to his feet. He ran in circles around Bel. As Bel watched and stood, the boy ran into him with a firm hug.
Bel smiled, "my name is Bel."
"Huh..." Bel was still smiling as he was waiting for the boy to tell him his name. Sure, he could dig into his thoughts, but he felt first impressions were better so he waited patiently as the boy wondered what a strange name Bel had. When he finally realized what Bel wanted, he blushed some and looked off in the distance. "Name's Eric."
Bel's eyes went wide with joy, "Sweet! Lemme let Rand know I found one of ya!"
Eric tilted his head as if to say 'huh' as Bel openly transmitted a thought to Rand of his discovery.
'Good! One down, five to go!' Bel had to roll his eyes then looked back at Eric.
"Sorry, he is my boyfr... err I mean friend."
"It's ok, I have one of those too." Eric smiled then his smile faded suddenly. "What did he mean by five to go?"
Bel felt relieved and at the same time he dreaded Eric's question and wondered how he'd been able to pick up that thought. "Well, you aren't the only one that survived. Let's just say that Rand and I rescued you at the last millisecond, a bit too close for comfort. If he had done so a bit sooner, we wouldn't hafta look for you all."
Eric's smile widened considerably. "You mean my dad, Jason, and my brothers are all alive?!"
Bel nodded, causing Eric to jump with joy and hugged Bel tight. "Thanks!"
"Welcome. Now... how were you able to read that thought between myself and Rand?"
"Oh, well, uhh, it was kinda loud, ya know..." Eric's voice trailed off as Bel turned his head suddenly off in the distance. Quickly switching subjects, "What is the Time Void? This looks so like the White Void..."
Bel shifted in thought. "Well, without me or Rand here, you could be very well trapped for an eternity, depending on how you look at it. You will not grow old, but certain parts of your body does grow, depending on who you are. I'll explain later when we find everyone. It'll save me time from repeating everything."
Eric smiled agreeing with his logic. "Deal!"
Bel returned the smile then a sudden feeling caused him to lose the smile.
Eric noted this and his smile quickly went upside down. His thoughts became clouded with bad feelings and this didn't go unnoticed by Bel.
"Don't worry, Eric, its actually something good, nothing bad." Bel closed his eyes to concentrate more then opened them after a few moments.
"Hmm, my clone found someone. Here," Bel held out his hand for Eric to grab on to, "Hold onto my hand, I'm going to teleport to where my clone is."
Eric nodded and grabbed Bel's hand then instantly, the two boys disappeared, leaving a blank space and a slight ripple in their place. Slowly, the white void patched the breach, but at the same time a presence from outside was monitoring the slightest activity and picked it up. That someone ignored it and continued going about his duty as if it was nothing more than a natural occurrence.
Rand felt like he had been searching for hours and hours and was starting to complain to himself about not finding anything, yet he knew Bel already found two of the survivors. He hated walking. He wished he could teleport all over the place, but he couldn't, as there was nothing there, other than Bel. He knew that excessive use of teleportation would cause someone from outside the void to become curious about any activity from within. It was a small price to pay, but he still hated it anyway. With a sudden feeling of a wave passing over him, he looked around and saw nothing. He thought for a moment then decided to ask Bel about it.
'Bel, did something happen?'
'Yes, I found another and teleported to my clone.'
Rand sent a visual of him groaning to Bel, 'Be more careful! Teleporting from within the void is bound to attract all kinds of creatures from the outside!'
Rand groaned again, 'How can you just say that?! What if someone finds us?! What if...' his thoughts trailed off as he spotted a figure off in the distance and hurried over to investigate.
'Rand?' Bel's thoughts sounded nervous, stopping Rand from walking further.
'I found another one. This one seems young.'
Bel sent a mental picture of him sighing in relief. 'Found another, too. This one looks young as well. Could be the brother's younger twin brothers.'
'I agree. Chat later.'
Bel sent another mental picture of him rolling his eyes causing Rand to smile. He slowly approached the child and noticed how badly hurt he was. 'Damn, I was really cutting it close. I hope I'm not too late...' He knelt down as he reached the boy. The boy appeared to be motionless, but the rise and fall of his chest told him he was breathing, which was good, but the extent of the damage to his body was so great, he wasn't sure if he alone could heal him.
Elsewhere, Six Months Later –
Two dark cloaked figures made their way to a large two-story building with many windows. The building was a thousand feet long by two hundred feet wide. Cars were sparse, but that was the norm with the morning hours. The dark figures wore black cloaks with hoods that covered their appearance from anyone trying to get a look at them. Sure, they were slightly suspicious, but they kept themselves well hidden when anything approached their way. As they crossed a four-lane highway, a grey Jeep Grand Cherokee pulled into the parking lot. The driver spent quite some time in the car, seemingly trying to wake up from the clutches of sleep. This allowed the two cloaked figures find a place to hide in the shadows with a perfect view of the parking lot. From there, they watched what the driver would do.
As the driver stepped out of his jeep, the pale full moon was shining brightly on, revealing he had a shaved bald head. The guy was tall and thin, obviously worked out and kept himself in shape. A rustle from his left, about twenty feet, behind a nearby tree caused him to pause before closing his jeep's door. Curious, he crept closer to the source of the sound, but nothing happened, so he turned around to head back to his jeep, only to find a stranger standing in front of him. Before he could react, the stranger thrust out its hand and it's eyes began to glow green. A second later, the bald man collapsed to the ground.
As the cloaked figures looked on, the stranger began to morph, taking on the bald man's appearance, but not his personality. They wanted to rush to his aid, but the figure on the right put its hand on the one on the left and shook its head no. They continued to watch as the stranger dragged the limp body into the jeep then close the door and walk to the building.
The figure on the right finally broke the silence. "We must hurry before it's too late. I have a feeling this is someone high up in that ever-growing army. As far as intelligence reports, only a handful of his men can take on the shape of anyone and anything they touch."
The figure on the left nodded its head in agreement. "In all this time, this area seems unaffected."
"Do you really think in six months' time this area would still be looking like this? I can sense powerful forces at work here, we must be careful."
The figure on the left let out a sigh. "Fine, but those things are damn tough to kill!"
"Sorry honey, but it comes with the job."
"Uhh..." There was a pause as a loud crash and an explosion from within the building took place causing the cloaked figures to stop their discussion and look at the building. "Never mind, let's go!"
The two cloaked figures emerged from their hiding place and made a mad dash to the building in a second. At first, they stopped near a nearby window to see what was happening and saw nothing at first. Next, they moved further back towards the end of the building in time to hear a beast-like sounding roar coming from inside. They exchanged glances and quickly rounded the corners. As they skidded to a stop, there stood a huge beast with red scales.
The red-scaled beast looked like a dragon, but without wings. It had foot-long razor claws and a spiked tail. It's eyes were glowing green and it was smoking from the mouth.
Further inside the building, between several heavy automatic machines, there stood a man that looked to be sixty. He had a red flannel shirt and black pants. His black hat topped his salt and pepper waist length hair and wore a very angry, if not, annoyed expression across his face.
"I finally found you! He will be proud and make me his second in command!" The beast spoke as a plume of smoke came from his mouth.
"Yeah, you did and you also lead others here as well. Be gone, all of you!" The old man yelled back, feeling fearless and confident.
The beast snorted a chuckle, "You're coming with me!" It raised it's left claw and a green beam of light shot from it towards the old man.
The cloaked figure on the right was about to take off and rescue the old man, but the figure on the left grabbed its arm to stop him from making a mistake. "Not yet."
The beast heard a noise and shifted its attention to the newcomers with a shocked expression. "YOU AGAIN?!"
The cloaked figures remained motionless as they watched in surprise at the old man making his first move. He made a partial shield that protected his front, absorbing the green beam then immediately departed the spot he was standing in. In a flash, he was directly in front of the beast, directly below its chest.
With one quick movement, he placed both hands on the beast's chest and concentrated hard. The beasts eyes widened then looked down to see what was happening before it bellowed an echoing 'no' as beams of white enveloped the beast, destroying it from the inside out.
The cloaked figures had to shield their eyes at the blinding light. When the light became normal again, the old man stood there alone and panted heavily. The cloaked figures returned their attention to the old man with wide eyes.
The old man grinned, "You two shouldn't be too surprised by that. After all, it's been too long since we last met, now hasn't it?"
The two cloaked figures looked at each other then lowered their hoods to reveal a woman of about her mid thirties with light brown hair and light blue eyes. She looked young for her age, but she looked to be the average wife with kids.
The man had sandy colored hair and looked to be about almost forty. His brown eyes gave him a soft tone to his facial features that welcomed anyone to be friendly with him. They both had light smiles across their faces and bowed when the old man approached them.
"Oh jeez, it's been too damn long for formalities. Seriously, Barb, Ben, just greet me as you would anyone else."
"But sir! That's going against protocol!" Barb protested as her head jerked upwards to stare at the old man in the eyes.
"Nonsense, I retired as Founder Guardian a long time ago. I simply wanted to live my life as normally as possible, but that dammed creature from hell had to mess things up now, didn't he?"
Ben looked up slowly, staring into the Founder Guardian's deep blue eyes. It took him a moment as he almost got lost in them. "Then you already know of Sid and what he has done."
"Of course I do! It's in the thing you call a television. Isn't technology awesome?"
Barb and Ben audibly groaned, causing the Founder Guardian to laugh.
"Please, call me Will. I insist."
Barb and Ben finally stood and exchanged glances. "Other than the T.V., do you know what else has been happening?"
"Sadly, I do. I had to be careful not to give myself away, but obviously, my powers stand out like a beacon of light to those who know where to look. I'm sure more are on their way here and it isn't safe."
"Nowhere is safe anymore, not even the universe!"
"Ah! I disagree! Long before I became the so called 'Founder Guardian', when I was but a boy, I was able to find a spot that shielded me and any other forms of power."
Barb and Ben exchanged skeptical glances and both were about to ask a question, but Will stopped them from doing so as he raised his hand.
"Don't worry, I cannot detect anyone there, however..." he let the suspense fill the air as his listeners grew wary and impatient. He continued noting their impatience, "Plenty of time anyway. There could be someone there without even me knowing. But... I kinda need to borrow some energy from both of you in order to get there. I used up three fourths of my full strength on that beast for a killing blow and no, I cannot be asked to go up against Sid. I, however, know who can." Barb and Ben were about to ask quickly when a loud crash came from behind them inside the building.
"Shit! They found us! Quick, gimme your hands!" Will extended his arms towards Barb and Ben as he watched the incoming creature.
Barb and Ben did not hesitate; they immediately grabbed a hand of Will's as they watched another of the same beasts plow through the building as if nothing was holding it back. Will, then concentrated for a second once he came in contact with Barb and Ben's hands then the trio disappeared from the area, causing the beast to howl in anger, destroying the building with a shock wave that emitted from its body.
Oh, Man! What just happened! Where did they go? Where is this place he is talking about? I wonder if it is the same place where Rand and Bel are? Who can fight Sid? Why are they hunting the Founder Guardian?
Way too many questions for this pups mind! This is really starting to wind up and get going quickly! Hammy still has left us with questions from the prologue! Now I have to go sit in my Dog House and wait for chapter two. Fortunately, Hammy has left me with a bone or two to chew on!
Great start to book two!!