[ Interlude 1 ]
May 24, 1740 EQ, Cah Bel, Andril Region
i Nursing Home
Mancuso sat down on the stone bench grieving over the loss of the small chest.
Granted, it was only of sentimental value and not vital to his mission,
but still, it meant a lot to him. For a man driven single-mindedly
to redeem history, he did not allow himself many luxuries. This
poem was not for him, but for his mother written by his father. He
would never see them again and hadn’t seen them since he was nineteen.
Mancuso possessed few articles from those early years, and
this scroll was one of them. Over the years each of these articles
had fallen out of his possession like the leaves falling off of a tree
in late autumn. This recent loss served as a reminder that deep
winter quickly approached.
shook himself trying to clear the memory. “Face it, old man,”
he said to himself in his thick accent, “It is gone and has served a
lifted his right hand over his head. The stone bench he sat on
melted back into its original shape with the control panel overhead.
He pulled it down and forward and it came to life with a low rumble of
an engine. Dozens of jewel encrusted geometric designs joined by
flowing ribbons of gold ivy adorned the table. To one who had not
used such a device before this would look like a form of art, but to his
experienced eyes, the symbols and jewels were powerful tools. He
pressed a few and a soft female voice came from the control panel in an
ancient language, “Hyper-jump activated.” The air filled with
an electric hum.
where to next? He pulled the scroll out of the inner pocket in his
cloak and looked at it. Ancient words surrounded a hand drawn map
that represented the continents of Epi though the mapmaker could use a
lesson in proportion. Seven stars dotted the map, somewhat evenly
spaced across the globe.
lifted up his head in a short prayer asking for guidance. Then he
pointed to one in the western hemisphere near Cah Bel. “That
one. An old friend awaits his destiny.”
humming had grown and divided into harmonic beat patterns. It
turned into a high pitched whine and the vessel shook a little.
With a couple more adjustments on the table he sat back and smiled.
a bad morning’s work. It was sure good to see the old place
dome shaped exterior of the POD reformed and the wind stirred. The
hum increased in pitch and the POD faded into an outline. It
whipped fallen leaves into little swirls. The wind grew, gathering
the little swirls into a larger whirlwind around the silhouette of the
POD. Sparks of light jumped between the flying debris. The
silhouette shimmered and disappeared. A high-pitched noise faded
with a lingering pulsating beat.
The leaves settled.
All was as it had been in the beginning except for the unconscious Shadow Knights lying among the ruins of Cah Bel. The ruins, like a silent witness to all that had transpired, fell asleep once more.