Eclipse Star: Genesis Chapter Thirty-Five

April 30, 2009 at 9:52 pm (Eclipse Star: Genesis) ()

Eclipse Star: Chapter 35

“Months of Healing”


Recap:  When we last left off, Project Locust had begun, though thankfully the group was given some forewarning by Chris and found their way to the highest roof of the Legion’s base to make their stand.  Joining them was the Commander; although no one had a plan for action other than have Jack create a barrier to protect them.  Once Kevin stepped forward with a variation of this plan, everyone rallied together and shared their energy, giving Jack the power to make his shield and the Commander the energy to destroy the entire swarm of Locust creatures.  It looked as if there wasn’t going to be enough strength to finish the task, but at the last possible second, (of course), Chris showed up and reestablished the connection between the group and the Commander, thus providing just enough of a boost to end the chapter.


Commander:  (He looks more tired than usual, but still grateful that a crisis has been averted.  He lets out a heavy breath).  Well, the city isn’t in danger, and our base is still standing.  Quite the opposite from what happened to the Regime’s base a month ago.  I don’t tell you all enough, but I’m proud of you.


Jack:  (Crouched down, holding himself tightly, very shaken up from the power surge he experienced as a result of having everyone’s energy transferred to him).  Kevin, you never did tell me where you learned that…


Derek:  (Weakened but still standing).  If you learned that from the Hermit, he sure as hell didn’t tell me.


Kevin:  (He is nearly sleeping as he speaks, smiling widely though from a job well done).  The Hermit gave you a pair of weapons.  He gave Danny and I each something to make use of.  It just so happens that he figured I’d find the most use out of the energy transfer technique.


Jack:  Yeah, Derek would be the one to try and use it in other ways.


Derek:  Ha ha, isn’t Jack funny?  So if I was given the Demon Sai and you learned that, what’d Danny get?


Danny:  (A few people turn to Danny to ask).  Hah, I’m not gonna tell you guys just yet.  It’s more of a surprise when you find out at the last second.  (Willy looks over at Danny hurt that Danny hasn’t told him yet).  Don’t worry Willy, I’ll tell you later, but then you won’t get to experience the surprise.


Willy:  Well I do enjoy the surprises, so I suppose I’ll wait, too.


Kyle:  (Calls over to the rest of the group).  Hey guys, Chris is dead again.


Most everyone else turns towards Kyle to see Chris again.


-He’s lying on the ground, unconscious with Lindsey cradling his head.


Lindsey:  Kyle, he’s not dead!  He’s just passed out from the strain, that’s all.  He’ll be fine, (Looks up at Kyle, ready to scold him), so stop jumping to conclusions and assuming he’s dead all the time, alright?!


Kyle:  (Holding his hands up as defense).  Alright, alright, back off now, didn’t mean any harm, he’s my friend too ya know.


Commander:  We should get him back in bed before anything worse happens.  Derek, carry him back.


Derek:  Why me?


Commander:  You seem to be the only one here other than myself who can really stand by themselves, and I’m not about to do grunt work.


Derek:  Oh, so you think I’ll do grunt work?


Lindsey:  Fine Derek, I’ll do it.  (She slings Chris’ arm over her shoulder).


Austin:  (Walks over).  I’ll help.


Kyle:  And I’ll supervise.


Kevin:  (In awe of what happened, almost remorseful at Chris’ part).  He ended up taking the full brunt of that.  I’ve been trained how to defend against being overtaken by the upsurge of power, but if you don’t know how deal with it, it can almost kill you, as we’ve just seen demonstrated…


Leena:  (Tagging along as Lindsey helps to carry Chris).  And he wasn’t particularly in shape either.  Hardcore…in a lame pathetic sort of way.


Lindsey:  (Not amused).  Leena…


Leena:  Alright, I’ll lay off.  I’m gonna go take a bubble bath until everything stops acting goofy for a while.  (Walks away from the group).


Kyle:  (Follows Leena).  And I’ll supervise.


Leena:  You follow me and I’m using your eyeballs as bath salts.


Kyle:  Ooh, kinky.


Leena:  Ug, I hate you.


Commander:  (Patting Jack on the back).  Jack, are you alright?


Jack:  (Looks up, he’s still not himself at the moment, not cocky and in control).  I’m…no, I’m not alright.


Commander:  You look pretty battered from that.


Jack:  How aren’t you…?


Commander:  I’m far more conditioned than you all for this sort of thing.  Don’t feel like you’re any weaker for not being prepared for such a dramatic shift in power.  That would be the sort of thing you’d learn ten years along, but you insist on doing things now instead of later.  (Rubs his eyes).  So much like I was…so much like I still am.


Jack:  (Looks away from the Commander).  You were holding back there, weren’t you?


Commander:  Yes.  I’m surprised you realized that.


Jack:  What was the point of holding back?


Commander:  You’re all growing past where you should normally be at your ages; it’s going to be extremely difficult for me to teach you anything without it forcing you all to be pushed past your comfort level.  Now you know how conditioned you should be for real fights; that’s valuable information that could save your life.


Jack:  (Finally regains his composure).  You were still surprised with how much energy we were able to come up with, weren’t you?


Commander:  Jack, I would never have been able to control the drastic power swell if I hadn’t been better trained.  That much power hitting someone all at once would kill anyone too weak to handle it.  Partially why I’m about to go drink until the other half of my body is numb enough to match its counterpart, and partially why it doesn’t surprised me that you’re alive.  (Jack smiles, the Commander smiles back).  Go report to the hospital wing and stop faking that you can feel anything below your neck.


-Elsewhere in the city…


Syrus:  (Standing in front of a large television screen).  So Octavious, I’m told that you have something important to say?


Octavious:  (On the other end of the communicator).  Yes Syrus, I do have something important to say, not that it seems you’d care.  First, I’ll ask how Project Locust went.  (Sarcastically).  Well, how did it go?


Syrus:  Project Locust did not succeed in its primary objective.  The Legion’s base still stands and not a single member was fatally injured.


Octavious:  I am not surprised since you were leading this operation.  Why was the attack only centralized on the Legion’s base?


Syrus:  We didn’t need an act of war and we didn’t need innocent lives sacrificed to achieve this victory.


Octavious:  I would have attacked the city outright.


Syrus:  And thus why our styles are slightly different.


Octavious:  And thus why this mission was a resounding failure.


Syrus:  Not so.  I said the mission didn’t succeed in its primary objective; that doesn’t mean that its secondary objective wasn’t an absolute success.


Octavious:  (Not sure that he’s ever been informed of this).  The secondary objective?  Explain.


Syrus:  I suggested that Charles modify the Locust virus so that it could retrieve information from hosts.  Although he couldn’t make the virus both deadly and informative, he was able to mix in a few modified versions into the attack, and all of them hit their targets.  Every single member of the Legion’s “special” forces have been tagged.


Octavious:  Meaning?


Syrus:  (Fully enjoying having something to dangle over Octavious’ head).  Haha, Octavious I find it so wonderful that this knowledge puts me I’m in a position of power over you right now.


Octavious:  (Getting noticeably pissed from the last comment).  Give me the God damn explanation already.


Syrus:  We now know all about the children who’ve been bothering us, including their Commander, whom I’m sure you’re quite familiar with.


Octavious:  (Still annoyed).  Yes yes, I already know all there is to know about my cousin, what did we learn about the pests?


Syrus:  We possess a greater understanding of what they’re capable of thanks to their genetic makeup.


Octavious:  You stole their DNA?


Syrus:  “Borrowed” would be a better word for it.


Octavious:  Finally some good news.  That means that the Hex-Duo Project…?


Syrus:  Is proceeding better than planned?  Yes.  It shall be ready months sooner than expected now that we have this information.  There is now nothing that these kids can do that we don’t already know about.


Octavious:  (His lips curl into a very satisfied smile).  Excellent.  Dismissed.


Syrus:  Transmission over then.  (Turns the monitor off before Octavious can speak again).


*          *            *            *            *


-Another week goes by and finally Chris wakes up in the hospital wing again.


Chris:  (Slowly opens his eyes).  I’m getting sick of this.  (Looks over and sees the Commander sitting in a chair in the corner).  Huh?


Commander:  I figured you’d wake up in about a week.  Seems I wasn’t wrong.


Chris:  Everyone alright?


Commander:  Absolutely.  They’re off training with Jack and Derek right now.


Chris:  Why the fascination with me then?


Commander:  Partially it was Jack’s request.  He wanted someone to be here when you woke up and they were all busy, so I agreed to do him this small favor since I haven’t been the perfect role model lately to you all.  I must thank you.  If we hadn’t been given a little forewarning we probably would have suffered a fatal hit.


Chris:  Well thank you.


Commander:  How do you feel?


Chris:  Everyone always seems to ask me that question.


Commander:  You hate that they care?


Chris:  I hate that they keep expecting so much from me.


Commander:  You’ll have to get used to that.


Chris:  Why?


Commander:  It’s in your blood to exceed expectations.


Chris:  Why can’t you just give me some of those pill things and heal me quicker?


Commander:  Those pills that you’re talking about are still in development and only provide a temporary fix.  I don’t encourage their use since it’s much better for you to heal naturally, especially in cases such as yours.


Chris:  It doesn’t make it very easy to live up to their expectations when they’re all getting stronger while I’m stuck in bed.  I don’t even know how strong they’ve gotten since I’ve been asleep.  (Hangs his head).  And it’s killing me.


Commander:  They’ve all reached the rank of Class 3 soldiers.


Chris:  (Reacts with frustration to the fact he never had the rank system explained).  I don’t even know what that means…


Commander:  Warriors in today’s age are classified based upon a ranking system, usually from one to ten, although there are exceptions now and then.


Chris:  (Remarking to no one).  This is so stupid…  (Back to Commander, actively engaging in the conversation).  And they’ve all reached the 3rd rank?


Commander:  Just barely but yes.  The highest-ranking officers in the Legion are Class 4; I’m a Class 5 myself.


Chris:  Do you know what class Syrus belongs to?


Commander:  No one can register him that easily since we haven’t clocked him at his best, although what really worries me most in not Syrus, it’s Jack.


Chris:  Jack?


Commander:  He doesn’t show it very often, but I’ve seen him capable of things beyond myself.  The day that he fought with Derek was a key example.  I saw the blast he created, and if that’s him at his best then he’s far more powerful than the rest of you, myself included


Chris:  I don’t believe that.


Commander:  You’ve all been growing in strength far faster than any group I’ve ever seen.  I apologize for not knowing how to handle this, but I assure you that I never meant for any of you to get seriously hurt as a result.


Chris:  The mission in the ridges then?


Commander:  I was calling your bluff hoping that you’d all back down a little and act your age.  I expected your group to get lost, wander around aimlessly for a week, and then finally give up and understand some sort of limitations, but as it would seem you all weren’t bluffing and did what no one else had the initiative to do.


Chris:  So then did you…?


Commander:  Know where the base was?  Yes, I knew, and I was one of the few who did.  It’s information that I didn’t want getting out as common knowledge within the Legion or else someone would demand to storm the base and tactically it would have been required, what with an invading force planting itself on our soil and posing a threat.  It would have gotten to the president and from there he’d order the charge and no good would have come from it.  It’s bad enough we have a war abroad between our two nations; we don’t need things to show up here, right in the public’s eye.


Chris:  Then why didn’t you just attack it yourself?


Commander:  I have my reasons.


Chris:  (Angry).  Too risky for you to be put in actual danger instead of us, huh?


Commander:  One of the highest-ranking officers in the Legion is a spy for the Regime, although he doesn’t know that I’m aware of this.  They would have been far more ready to defend had he told them that a group of the Legion’s best warriors were planning an assault instead of a few kids.  (Stands up and starts to walk away).  But now I’m telling you more than you need to hear and far more than you should know.  Jack would be jealous.


Chris:  Wait, I have just one more question.


Commander:  What is it?


Chris:  Why does the Regime want the Eclipse Star so badly?


Commander:  (Pauses for a minute).  Don’t get yourself involved with that now.  You need rest if you’re ever gonna stand a chance of getting well in time to catch up to your friends in training, and I promise you, if you knew what the Eclipse Star was you wouldn’t be resting much anymore.  (Starts to walk away but stops).  Wait…there’s one more thing.


Chris:  (Still annoyed).  What is it?  More information that I’m not supposed to know?


Commander:  No…this is information you should know, but only you.  (Reaches into his coat and pulls out a tape).  I’d been debating about giving this to you, but in light of what’s happened, I feel it’s the only right thing to do.


Chris:  What is it?


Commander:  (Hands Chris the tape).  It’s a tape I’ve been holding onto for a long time now.  I’ve watched it more times than I can remember, but no one else has seen it.  You’ll be the second.


Chris:  What, is this supposed to make amends for things?


Commander:  In a way, yes.  Just watch the tape.  I’ll keep everyone busy for a while to give you privacy.


Chris:  And if I choose not to watch it.


Commander:  Then I don’t give a damn.  I gave you the tape; that’s more than I needed to do.  (Leaves).


Chris:  (Stares at the tape for a while).  Huh.  What the heck’s so secret that only the Commander’s seen it?  (Inspects the tape).  What the…?  (A label on the front says simply, “For Chris.”).  What sort of joke is this?


-Chris sets the tape down on the bed and lies back for a while before finally getting up.


Chris:  Fine.  Let’s see what’s on this thing.


-Chris walks over to the TV and inserts the tape before sitting back on the edge of the bed with the remote.


Chris:  Alright, “play.”


-The TV turns on but it only shows static for a while.


Chris:  Figures.


-Suddenly the tape kicks in as an image comes onto the screen, fuzzy at first as someone fiddles with the camera used to film.  The person sets the camera down in front of her and sits on a plain chair.  The woman is looking down, having a hard time beginning to speak.


Chris:  (Getting really intrigued).  What the hell is he making me watch?


-The woman on the screen looks up finally, a tear rolling down her cheek from large, light-brown eyes hidden behind glasses.  She has dark-brown hair coming down past her shoulders.  She’s wearing a standard Legion-issued uniform with Kevlar armor.


Woman:  I…


Chris:  Well?


Woman:  I don’t expect any of this to make much sense to you, but please believe me.  Chris…(sniffs back a tear).  I’m sorry I’m not around to explain this personally, but circumstances have forced me to do it this way.  I’m…I’m your mother.


Chris:  (His eyes go big as he instantly scoots as close to the TV as he can manage).  Mom…?


Chris’ Mother:  Listen closely Chris.  There’s a lot I need to say and I don’t have a lot of time to say it.  I don’t know how much your grandma told you about me, because I don’t think she really knew much.  I kept a lot secret from her.  For start, I haven’t been going by our last name for years.  I’m sure you go by Chris Collins, right?  You won’t find my name in any documents anywhere, because I’ve been going by Sharon Duke, but your last name is Morgenstern, from your father, James, my husband.


Chris:  Weird…


Sharon:  For the last several years, I’ve been in command of an organization I established as counter-terrorist group to resist any threats the world falls under.  I’ve named my organization Legion, after the Biblical demon.  “For we are many.”  It seemed only right to combat Octavious’ new regime.


Chris:  My mom founded the Legion?


Sharon:  I did my best to do everything I could to better the world, and eventually I got the chance to do that on a grander scale than I could imagine, but I think it’s about to come at a price.  Decimus, if you’re watching this, I put you in command of Legion.  I hope the idea of continuing the fight against your cousin isn’t something you can’t handle alone.


Chris:  Decimus?  Who’s Decimus?


Sharon:  Chris…(another tear rolls down her cheek).  I’m sorry, I’m not usually so emotional.  Hmm, you try for years to fight the stigma of being a woman and here you go weeping like an idiot…  (Shakes her head).  I was offered the chance to fight alongside some of the greatest individuals ever to exist on this earth, one of which was your father.  We did our best to save this world, and it seems we did as best as we could have been expected since the world’s still here.  It just looks a little different.  We stopped the Eclipse Star from accomplishing its purpose, but that wasn’t enough.  Most of the others are dead, or they will be soon.  I’m going back to protect your father, but before I do I want to leave you with something…to remember me by…  (She turns away, tears streaming down her cheeks).


Chris:  Ah mom…don’t cry…  (He’s tearing up, too).


Sharon:  (Regains her composure, serious and stern).  Chris, you’re the son of a good commander and a wonderful man.  If you’re anything like your father, you’ve made yourself a handful of close friends, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve accumulated a handful of guilt.  Whatever happens from now on, it’s up to you to keep them safe.  Even if the world goes to hell, even if everything else is lost, keep them safe.  Never, ever give up.  That’s an order.  I know that it isn’t going to be easy and I know you aren’t going to want to, but you have to.  (Starts to break again).  You have to.  (Shakes her head).  No…I can’t help you any more than this.  If you ever meet a man named Syrus, for God’s sake be careful.  He’s extremely dangerous, but you couldn’t possibly begin to understand his motives.  Just stay away from him if you can.


Chris:  (Quietly).  Too late…


Sharon:  Chris…I love you.  (Kisses the tips of her fingers and presses them against the screen).  I always will.  Your father does, too.  We wish we could help you through whatever it is you’re about to face, and we’re sorry we can’t.  Just hang in there.  (Sniffs).  Good…goodbye.  (Fumbles to turn the camera off).


Chris:  (He stares at the screen as it goes back to static, just trying to take it all in.  He finally buries his face in his hands).  Mom…  The Commander of the Legion?  (Looks up).  What happened to you?  Where did you go?  (Head down again).  How can I be expected to do that much?  I didn’t ask for any of this.  (Looks out the window).  Damn, I wish I hadn’t wandered away from the fieldtrip in the first place…


*          *            *            *            *


-Three months have gone by.  Derek has succeeded in teaching everyone how to fly in addition to using complicated energy attacks.  Jack has started teaching the basics of his barrier technique now that he’s had enough time to practice it.  Everyone has begun to develop their own styles and moves as well.


-Furthermore, the stones that Austin’s group had found in the forest temple have proved to be extremely powerful, each granting a different elemental-style to the possessor; one of fire, one of water, one of electricity, and one of earth.  The group has begun learning how to control these powers, although not very closely since only four of them can use the stones at the same time, thus some arguments have broken out.


-And low and behold, who should we still find in the hospital wing…


Chris:  (Up and about his room, pacing and sparring with no one).  Why won’t he let me out there with them?!  (Punches the air).  I’m fine!  I’ve never felt better!  (Kicks at nothing).  Damnit, I hate this room!  (Tries to power up, falls over from overexerting himself).


Austin:  (He and Kyle are sitting off to the side, both somewhat tired of hearing Chris complain day in and day out).  Sorry buddy, from the looks of things you’re still too thrashed to leave the sick bay.


Chris:  But I’ve been here for three months now; how is it possible that I’m not well enough to do anything?!


Kyle:  You seem to have enough strength to complain; I suppose that’s a plus.


Austin:  And you’re caught up with your schoolwork, too.  We’re way behind at this point.


Chris:  Hey, toss me one of those stones you’ve got, I’ll show you that I’m fine.


Austin:  (Pulls out the red stone).  One of these?  You think you can use one of these just by assuming you can?


Chris:  Absolutely.


Austin:  I don’t believe you.  (Tosses him the stone).  There, now wow me.


Chris:  (Grabs the stone tightly and focuses his mind, straining to make it do anything).  Come on…come on damnit!  (Nothing).  Ga!  (Tosses the stone back to Austin).  Alright!  Are you happy that I can’t do it?!  Huh?!


Austin:  No, I want to see you happy, and I know it’s tough for you to have to sit on the sidelines while we’re out and getting better, but sometimes life just goes like that.


Kyle:  Yeah, every once in a while your friends are gonna learn how to fly and create earthquakes and hell storms and such and you’re not gonna be able to play; thus is life.


Austin:  Sorry Chris, I love ya man but I can’t just sit in here and listen to you complain about things so much.  Get some rest.


Chris:  Stop telling me that!


Austin:  I’ll be sparring with everyone else outside if you decide to stop acting like a jerk about everything.  (Walks out of the room).


Kyle:  I’m not about to give you some sentimental hooey to make you feel better, so…don’t get some rest.  Haha, reverse psychology.  (Walks out of the room).


Chris:  It doesn’t work if you tell the person about it to their face!  (Sits down on the bed in a huff).  I give up…  (Knock at the door).  Come in.


Lindsey:  (Slowly opens the door and walks in).  Hey, Austin said that you might need some more cheering up so I thought I’d stop in and see how you were doing.


Chris:  I’m doing…(sigh)…as good as always.  (Smiles).  You look tired.


Lindsey:  (Regarding this more like an insult).  Oh thanks.


Chris:  No I mean…that’s not what I mean.  You just look like you’ve got a lot on your mind.


Lindsey:  It’s just…(Sighs).  Okay, you know how Jack’s always acting like a tough know-it-all?


Chris:  Yes, I know exactly what you mean.


Lindsey:  Well, I’ve been trying to get him to loosen up and calm down a bit and it’s harder than I figured it would be.


Chris:  He’s pretty stubborn sometimes.


Lindsey:  (Hands on hips, teasing Chris).  Oh, look who’s talking.


Chris:  Good point.


Lindsey:  Anyway, Jack is a sweetheart deep down, I know this, but it’s getting really hard to let him see this.


Chris:  Why do you even care?


Lindsey:  Chris, don’t tell anyone but…(Bites her lip).  I’ve got kind of a small crush on him.


Chris:  (All color fades from his face, his brain melts out from his ear).  Oh…re…really?


Lindsey:  Yeah, but like I said, don’t tell anyone.  Leena’s the only one I’ve told and I don’t want it to get back to Jack so soon.  I’m trying to get him to ask me out but it’s really difficult to make a guy make the first move, you know?


Chris:  (Speechless).  No.


Lindsey:  Well maybe that’s because you’re just a great guy.  Anyway, I don’t mean to trouble you, I just needed someone to talk to about it.  Promise not to tell him?  (Chris nods but clearly he’s separated his mental being from his physical being).  Thanks Chris, you’re a good friend.


-Lindsey hugs him.  Chris’ eyes dart around the room for a gun to put in his mouth.


Lindsey:  So you feeling any better today?


­-Chris is about ready to flip out, however….


Lindsey:  What the…?


A piercingly loud siren begins to go off inside the building.


To Be Continued…


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