Eclipse Star: Genesis Chapter Fifty-Nine

September 30, 2009 at 10:06 pm (Eclipse Star: Genesis) ()

Eclipse Star: Chapter 59

“Snow Drift”

Recap: The fight with the Octa-Rangers came to a close with the group pretty worn out. Next on the agenda was making sure Chris’ grandma was safe, though when they showed up at her house they were nearly killed by someone that vaguely looked like Syrus. Before the imposter could do any more damage, four individuals showed up. One in full Legion gear named Fox, one in robes named Job, a girl with short blonde hair named Grid, and a man wearing a red mask named Iess. The four all had their faces covered but it was apparent they knew the one who attacked them. The attacker fled before he could be subdued, though the four suggested going north to a safe place they knew of. The group decided to trust them and headed north, but what sort of mysteries await them? Find out today, on Eclipse Star!

-Everyone is flying at a fairly quick pace. The four newcomers lead the group with Iess far in front, keeping to himself. Grid and Job are staying more with the group.

Jack: (Still riding on Kyle’s back). How far north is this lodge?

Fox: Pretty far. It’s about to get a lot colder than you’re all dressed for.

Derek: Little snow never hurt anyone.

Job: Well, this isn’t just a little snow, not to say you couldn’t deal with it I’m sure. But uh, have you ever been up north?

Derek: Nah. I mean I’ve been camping with my dad and such but we never went high into the mountains.

Kevin: I’ve been up around here before. My family and I took a trip a few years back. It was a way for us to get away from any distractions and study the Bible for a few days. I even learned to fish.

Lindsey: Wow Kevin, you guys came all the way up here?

Kevin: Not up this far, but we came into the mountains.

Iess: Well we’re not just going into the mountains. We’re going past those and into more mountains. Big difference of at least 40 degrees or more.

Job: Keep your Pulse powers raised higher than normal while you’re getting used to the chill. It will help to stave off hypothermia.

Clinton: If it’s really that cold up here, why didn’t we stop and get warmer clothes? And for that matter, why do we want to go here if we’re just going to freeze?

Grid: The actual lodge is plenty warm. Half the time you’ll want to go for walks in the snow just to cool off.

Fox: It’s well hidden. No one else knows about it save for we four and the owner.

Danny: Is the owner going to be angry with us just showing up unexpected?

Fox: No. Partly, we’re not unexpected. This guy seems to expect everything. Secondly, he loves company, so there’s no worry that we’ll be pushing his hospitality.

Jack: He doesn’t work for the Regime, correct?

Fox: Correct.

Kyle: Uh, you guys don’t work for the Regime, do you?

Grid: Heh, nah, we hate them more than you guys do.

Leena: I don’t know; we hate them pretty bad.

Grid: They’ve done a lot worse to us for a lot longer.

Austin: What exactly ‘s your guys’ story anyway?

Grid: Uh, we-

Iess: That’s not important.

Grid: Well, it really isn’t. The short story is that we’ve been fighting the Regime for a few years now-

Fox: Roughly a year and a half.

Grid: Right, right. He likes to be precise.

Chris: I don’t mean to be rude, but…

Grid: Yes?

Chris: Never mind.

Iess: No, go ahead and ask. (Stops and turns around in the air). Why don’t you speak up, huh?

Chris: Jeez, it’s nothing.

Iess: No, you want to know why you haven’t seen us this whole time, right?

Lindsey: Well if Chris doesn’t want to know, I sure do.

Derek: So then, where the hell have you four been up until a few hours ago?

-Everyone starts moving again.

Fox: We’ve been training for a long time to prepare for anything, which is what you’ll be doing for the next few months.

Kyle: Excuse me; did I just hear that correctly?

Scott: Sounds to me like these guys are about to put us under house arrest.

Grid: No no, nothing like that. You guys just need to improve a lot in a short amount of time.

Jack: How short?

Fox: Not exactly sure.

Leena: Okay, I’m usually not the one to toot the Chris-related horn (ug, that sounded wrong), but we do still have Chris here. He can take care of pretty much anything that comes at us.

Chris: Leena, seriously, you give me too much credit.

Austin: Bogus. Chris, you’ve got enough power to take out Syrus single-handedly if you had to.

Iess: No, he doesn’t.

Chris: I agree with that guy.

Derek: Pff, Syrus isn’t that tough. If I remember correctly, the last time I fought with him I won, or were any of you paying attention during that tournament a few months ago?

Iess: I assure you, Syrus can and will kill you.

Derek: We’ll see about that.

Iess: Yeah, we just might…

-Derek looks puzzled at this statement but says nothing in response.

Kevin: I’m sorry for everyone’s reluctance here. Please, forgive us, but it has been very difficult to learn to trust anyone.

Jack: As usual, Kevin’s right. The last guy I trusted got us killed.

Austin: And the last guys I trusted saved our butts a few times in a row.

Iess: The last few guys you trusted are a bunch of kids.

Austin: Oh yeah, well how old are you four? You can’t be more than a year older than us.

Danny: I don’t know; they look older than that.

Fox: Don’t let our age fool you. We’ve been doing this longer than you have.

Derek: Quality, not quantity. We’ve stopped the Regime more than a few times in half a year. What have you guys done?

Job: We’ve struggled to stay alive as best we could, and I’d say we’ve done a pretty good job of that.

Willy: We’ve been doing that, too.

Danny: Yeah! And we only nearly died a couple of times.

Glitch: I don’t mean to interrupt, but you may like to know that the temperature just dropped approximately 57 degrees.

-Slowly the kids start to shiver and wrap their arms around themselves for warmth.

Kyle: Well, at least they warned us we were about to piss ice cubes.

Chris: How much further?

Iess: Another hour, unless you guys think you can go any faster.

Grid: Iess, back off. You know these guys aren’t up to our level yet, so give them a break.

Derek: I question the validity of that statement.

Chris: No, I can tell. They definitely know how to fight better.

Derek: Oh right, you can tell that because of the little scuffle they broke up before we got a chance to fight.

Willy: No, I don’t think that’s it, is it. They carry themselves differently, right Chris?

Chris: Yeah. Exactly.

Derek: Regardless, we’re not getting our deserved respect and it’s starting to tick me off.

Lindsey: Derek, come on, don’t push the subject.

Grid: No, he’s right for once. We aren’t giving you guys enough credit for what you’ve done.

Job: Yes. We couldn’t have gotten as far as we have if not for your actions.

Scott: So all of a sudden we’ve done great things, huh?

Job: Honestly you have.

-Glitch holds his hand up to his ear, then signals for attention.

Glitch: I’m finally picking up some news about the explosion at Chris’ house.

Austin: They still blaming us?

Glitch: Let’s see… (His voice changes to that of a TV anchorwoman). “Today has been a bad day for Brooksboro with one church in shambles and multiple houses burned to the ground. But all of that may be mild compared to an explosion that occurred in a small neighborhood on the outskirts of town. Eyewitnesses claim they saw a giant blast soar into the sky where it detonated without killing anyone, though an entire block of houses was demolished. Was this just another ploy by newly outed leader of the Demon Regime, Octavious, to cover up his false accusations against local teenagers? We’ll have more on the story as it develops.”

Kyle: Well I’d say that pretty much clears us entirely.

Jack: Regardless, we need to stay off-radar for a while.

Leena: Guess the best way to do that is just fall off the edge of the world up here then.

Iess: Get ready because it’s about to get a whole lot colder.

-The new chill hits the group. None of them speak for the longest time, attempting rather to keep themselves warm enough not to have limbs fall off.

-A little over an hour later…

Iess: I see the lodge up ahead.

Lindsey: I don’t see anything yet.

Grid: It kinda jumps out at you when you let it.

-A clearing appears just over a hill, revealing a massive lodge nestled between a pocket of trees. Everything seems to calm. Snow gently falls on utter silence with the ground being pristine. Despite shivering, the group lets out an audible gasp, clearly impressed.

Fox: Welcome to your new home.

Lindsey: Wow. It’s so peaceful. I almost don’t want to speak.

Grid: I had that exact reaction when I first saw this place.

Iess: Get ready to land.

Kyle: Don’t have to tell us more than once.

-Everyone lands and trudges through the snow towards the main door.

Job: Who’d like to do the honors?

Chris: Lindsey, go for it.

Lindsey: Really? Alright then…

-Lindsey goes up to the door and gently taps.

Scott: You call that knocking?

-The door bursts open. A gust of warm air hits everyone all at once. A man steps out, squinting to see who’s knocking.

Joshua: Is that…hey! It’s you guys!

Lindsey: Joshua?

Leena: (Nudges Kyle). Called it. Pay up.

Kyle: (Pulling money out of his wallet). Yeah, half the people reading probably called that.

Leena: What?

Kyle: Nothing, never mind.

Joshua: I’m happy to see you all! (Catches sight of Iess and his group). Wow, I really didn’t expect to see you four here. (Realizes the kids have begun to shiver again). Manners, manners, come in already!

-Everyone rushes in, hurrying to get away from the freezing cold.

-They step into the main room, opening up to see a huge area with a staircase leading up to two more stories. A few fireplaces burn in the room with extremely comfortable looking couches surrounding them.

Joshua: Everyone over to a fireplace before you freeze to death. Go go!

Kevin: Thank you, sir.

Joshua: (Laughs). Yes yes, hahaha!

-For a bit the group doesn’t speak, instead opting to warm themselves up. Derek looks over and notices Iess and his group still standing near the door speaking with Joshua in hushed terms, stepping out of the room.

Derek: Something about them doesn’t seem right…

Lindsey: You’re just saying that because they’re strong and you don’t like competition.

Derek: That’s not true.

Scott, Kyle and Austin: That’s bullshit.

Chris: Derek, you can’t stand anyone telling you what to do, so a few strangers telling us to go north gets under your skin like a needle, especially when they weren’t lying about a safe place to stay.

Derek: Oh yeah? Well how do we know it’s really safe?

Kevin: When was the last time Joshua led us astray?

Derek: He-

Willy: He healed you and gave us shelter from the Hex-Duo robots.

Danny: He trained us in the desert.

Chris: He let me meet my father.

Derek: So? What’s he done for us lately?

Kyle: Guy’s got a point here. No wait, what’s the opposite of that? Right, he’s way off. Hey, is that cocoa…?

Clinton: Strategically this place is soundproof. Our Pulse energies don’t register for very far, even when we’ve got ourselves pushed to maximum output. This far north completely shields us from detection.

Chris: Wait a sec, any of you guys see a cross on one of the steeples when we flew in?

Glitch: There’s one on the far side, yes.

Chris: I thought I saw one.

Scott: (Lighting a cigarette from the fireplace). Why? You getting the urge to go give thanks or something?

Chris: No, my dad mentioned something about churches right before I left. He told me that Pulse is completely masked while in real churches. If Josh has a church set up here, there’s a chance this place doesn’t give off readings of any sort.

Austin: Whoa, that’d be cool.

Clinton: I’m sure that’s just superstition.

Chris: Well, I didn’t feel anything happening during my three days, plus I didn’t feel my power increase until after I stepped out of the church.

Willy: Hey Danny, when did you know Chris was coming?

Danny: Uh, let’s see…few minutes before he showed up.

Lindsey: Which would put Chris a few minutes away, just stepping out of a church. Bam, proof.

Jack: (Booting up his watch). Let’s see if this theory matches research.

-The watch clicks on and scans for power for a bit. Finally it settles on a low blipping hum.

Jack: I’ll be damned. It’s true.

-Joshua walks back in the room. Suddenly Jack’s watch flips out entirely.

SCREEEEE!!!

-The group covers their ears right before the watch pops and fizzles out.

Jack: What the heck was that?

Leena: Well I’m no scientist, but I think your watch just broke.

Danny: (Pats Jack on the back). Bummer.

Jack: It blew a circuit. Probably a result of exposure to cold weather.

Austin: Yeah, or Josh is radically powerful.

Chris: Shouldn’t matter. My dad said churches mask power because God’s strength is way more prevalent than anything else, so-

-A few members of the group shut up for a moment to mull that statement over.

Jack: Hold on, I just remembered something. Willy, you said Joshua healed Derek?

Willy: Yes. Healed both Derek and Austin.

Jack: You think he’ll be able to do anything about these legs?

Willy: Worth a shot. Might as well ask him.

-Joshua parts ways with the other four as they exit the lodge. He walks to meet the kids near the fireplaces.

Danny: They leaving?

Joshua: Who? Oh the other four. They’ll be back. They just have other things to attend to at the moment.

Jack: So you’re Joshua, correct?

Joshua: Yes. Oh that’s right, you’re the only one that hasn’t had a chance to meet me yet. You’re Jack, correct?

Jack: Yes, and I don’t mean to impose but do you think you could help me with my legs?

Joshua: What’s wrong with them?

Jack: I was injured during the battle with the Hex-Duo and I haven’t been able to walk since without undergoing an extreme amount of pain.

Joshua: Sounds like you’re paralyzed then, eh?

-Silence.

Joshua: Oh whoa, that sounded really cold, didn’t it? Of course I’ll help you out. Come on upstairs.

-He starts to walk a few paces before walking backwards once more.

Joshua: Right, legs don’t work. Lot on my mind at the moment, please forgive me. Alright everyone, on your feet, Lindsey, if you wouldn’t mind carrying Jack since you two are dating. All together? Yes, good, great, on we go.

Kyle: If he pulls out a Gobstopper I don’t know what I’ll do.

Leena: Just walk, ya goof.

-Everyone listens and follows Joshua up the stairs.

Joshua: Second floor here has some vacant rooms for anyone that’s interested. Same with the third. I’m taking Jack up to the third floor. Pick any room you’d like if you want rest, otherwise follow the leader.

-Joshua continues walking. Scott, Leena, and Derek break off to find a room.

Derek: I’ll catch up with y’all later. Don’t do anything fun without me.

Chris: Night.

-They reach the third floor and continue down a long hall. As they walk by the rooms they catch sight of just how nice and cozy the rooms really look with fireplaces of their own, large beds piled high with pillows and quilts, armchairs, and even bathrooms adjacent.

-Joshua ends at the last room in the hall.

Joshua: Okay, this can be your room, Jack. Lindsey, please bring him in and set him on the bed, please.

Lindsey: Wow, these rooms are so nice. I can’t wait to sleep here.

Joshua: Oh no. No no, you won’t be sleeping here. Your room is down the hall. This is Jack’s room. No bunking up. You’re only 17.

-Lindsey turns at least eight shades of red.

Lindsey: N-n, that’s not what I meant.

Joshua: Oop. (Smacks his mouth). Hahaha, my mistake! Okay, back to Jack. Let’s see if we can’t do this right, shall we?

Jack: What do I have to do?

Joshua: Oh, just lay there for a moment.

-Joshua places his hands on Jack’s legs and closes his eyes. He hums for a bit while the rest of the group just watches, curious to see what’ll happen next.

Joshua: Alright, all done. Sins forgiven. Man, that was easy.

Jack: (Almost annoyed). Wait a sec, I needed my legs healed, not my sins absolved. Think you can take another crack at this.

Joshua: For a first impression, Jack, I can tell your priorities are way off most of the time.

Jack: (Now really annoyed). I’m not trying to make a lasting first impression; I’m trying to walk!

Joshua: Fine. So get up and walk already.

-A few group members snicker at this remark. Kevin can hardly keep from busting up laughing.

Jack: You’re serious? (Raises an eyebrow). You’re serious. Okay then.

-Jack slowly does his best to stand up. He gets to his feet, though his legs are wobbling. He stands on his own for a moment or two before shuffling around, finally sitting down in an armchair with a huff.

Lindsey: Alright! Jack, your legs work again!

Jack: (Wincing and out of breath). Heh, heh, I don’t get it. I can walk, but it isn’t easy to do.

Joshua: No, I suspect it won’t be. You learn to forgive yourself and those legs will probably be good as new. (Walks out of the room and waves his hand). It’s up to you.

Chris: Hey Josh, where you going?

Joshua: I’m off to my room on the first floor. Just search around and you’ll find it if you need anything. Kitchen’s open to anyone that needs it. If you want to take a bath, I suggest letting the hot water run for a few minutes. Still need to warm up a bit. And with that, I bid you all good night.

-Joshua leaves.

Danny: Night night.

Jack: What’s his deal anyway?

Lindsey: What? You not a fan of Josh?

Jack: How quickly did Derek and Austin recover?

Austin: Took us till morning before we felt 100 percent.

Jack: Well, maybe that’s the problem.

Kevin: Joshua said the problem was you couldn’t forgive yourself. Is there something weighing heavily on your head?

Jack: What is this, story time? Go to bed everyone.

-Everyone but Lindsey start exiting Jack’s room.

Chris: Fine, you’re welcome for the company by the way.

Jack: Didn’t ask for it.

Austin: Get some sleep, Jack. Hopefully you’re all better in the morning so that we don’t have to hear you piss and moan any more.

Jack: Out!

-Everyone leaves but Lindsey.

Lindsey: Jack, don’t-

Jack: You know what I don’t want right now?

Lindsey: Yeah, you don’t want a lecture. (She stands up and walks to the door). You know sometimes I’d prefer to agree with everyone else when you act like this.

Jack: I’ll keep that in mind. Now good night.

Lindsey: (Looks back at Jack. She speaks softly, clearly hurt). Goodnight, Jack…

Jack: (Slumps in his chair, sighing). So attempting to get my legs fixed only managed to turn people against me. (Closes his eyes). They’re really going to hate me for what I do next.

To Be Continued…

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