wore a loose fitting, dark uniform without symbol or badge from head to
foot. It helped conceal his movements and allowed him to respond
quickly. The only device on his uniform beside the broadsword
strapped to his side was a gold band around his left arm just above his
elbow. When activated, this band acted with opposite effect of the
rod. It repelled chronomic waves, making him invisible to the POD
and its occupant and since all the Shadow Knights wore the same band, the
occupant of the POD would think he was alone.
snapped back the two wings on the rod so that they lay flush and
extinguished the light. He glanced toward his commander and nodded.
With a swift and practiced hand signal, Consus motioned to the others
several paces behind him. Without a word, they activated the gold
bands and dispersed, hiding among the fallen ruins to wait for their
ago these sleepy ruins were the central structures of Cah Bel, the
military academe of Arcathia, a highly advanced civilization long since
fallen. They built Cah Bel on a low mountain in the middle of a
great uninhabited valley. Crumbled towers stretched out away from
this central lone mountain across the plane as far as the eye could see.
Now abandoned, both capital and civilization had succumbed to the ravages
of time and slipped into forgetfulness. Few now remembered their
names or could even read their writings.
the summit of the mountain, stood the dominant edifice, a fortress in the
shape of an eight-pointed star. The Arcathians called it Zhongjian,
which meant “The Center” in their tongue but the locals now called it
the Old Fortress. Here thousands of would-be soldiers once trained
and defended the Arcathian civilization, but Consus and the Shadow Knights
had scanned for the POD, not in the Old Fortress, but the large
amphitheater upon a lower foothill. Those who forgot its real name
called it the “Old Arena.” It was designed so well