City of Angels
Part One: Exemplar Alastor
Written by Col. Karl L Schubaltz
Exemplar- The highest level of arch-mage attainable. Once an arch-mage reaches this level, they are immortal and no longer bound by the rules of reality and mortals
3-|-Quintessence- The building block, the very essence of magic itself. If a mage is devoid of any magic, he is a lot more hungry than is allowed. If an exemplar is devoid of any magic power... a city is going to go hungry for a few days.
13 years ago...
"Hey, Karl!!!" The 10-year-old boy with dark blonde hair rushed over toward the wall. He looked up to see his older brother walking along the wall with his backpack on his back. The wind rushed in his light gold hair, his pretty, young face was brightly light with a smile. He looked down to see his younger brother running beside him. "Thomas, you should be in computer class." He saw the look in his brother's green eyes. "You got expelled again, didn't you?" "Yes, please don't tell papa." "He'll kill you if he finds out." Karl leapt down off the wall and stepped beside his brother. "He'll take the switch and beat you with it." "I know...." Thomas hung his head down and let out a small sigh. "Don't worry, Tommy..." Karl pulled the 10-year-old in his arm and held him close. "I won't let him touch you." "Thanks, Karl." Thomas giggled and held his brother in his arms, smiling. "I got a few Marcs left, let's get some ice cream." Karl smiled, that got a happy reaction from Thomas. "Alright!!! Ice cream!!!" Thomas ran after his brother, laughing along the way. Karl was also laughing, racing his kid brother to the malt shop. They didn't get far when an explosion rang through the streets, causing both of them to stop. Karl and Thomas ran across the street to the construction site, looking at the flying bits of dust and debris. They saw a few construction workers with their Godoses walking around in the loose dirt, the building was going to be carved alongside a large cliff. To Karl's keen eyes, he spotted a cave on the west side of the cliff's edge, he nudged his brother and they moved to the edge of the fence. The construction workers didn't notice the cave there, they were busy working away on the rubble. The boys crawled into the cave, Karl making sure his kid brother got through okay. The cave got wider and more spaced out, allowing them to get off the ground. Their uniforms were now dirty and muddy, but now the ground was made of metal. "What's that?" Karl saw a keypad off to the side of a barely illuminated door, he took a small screwdriver from Thomas's backpack and jimmied the keypad. The door opened, the room inside came alive with lights. Thomas gasped and hid behind Karl, the 14-year-old picked up a stick from the side of the door and eased their way in. In the middle of the room was a suspencion capsule, but none of the writings and machines were zoidian in nature. In fact the writing was alien and the insignia off to the side was alien also. There was a flag strung on the wall of the chamber, the flag had a blue box with 50 white stars and 13 red and white stripes. It looked yellowed with age, and a little torn as well. On the other side of the capsule was a few space suits with patches on them. Thomas neared them and looked at the patches, there were four noticable red letters on one patch, they said: N.A.S.A. But there was another patch as well, they had a purple and gold pitchfork like cross on it, a prong going through the stem. The language on this particular patch was especially alien. Thomas touched the spacesuits again, but something showed up in the glass of the helmet... a human skull. The boy screamed, Karl ran to his aid and pulled him in his arms and pulled him away from the spacesuits. The boys ran for the door when it closed on them, locking them in. Karl pounded on the door, calling out to anyone outside but the loud pounding of the Godos drained his voice. Thomas turned around to see the skeletons in the spacesuits come to life, he screamed and latched onto his brother's shirt. Karl turned around and swung the stick at the skeletal astronauts, one fell against the panel of the ship. But doing so caused the stick to shatter upon impact. Karl and Thomas backed up in the corner of the room, as the skeletons approached. The capsule behind them was shattering, a glowing aquamarine goo leaking out of the cracks. Thomas clung to his brother's shirt, tears falling. Karl had his brother in his arms, staring at the skeletons with fear yet determination in his green eyes. Thomas clung to Karl's shirt, crying. "I want to go home, Karl!!!" Holding his brother close, watching the skeletons advance, Karl felt the telltale signs of terror creep up in his slender body. He felt the lump in his throat get bigger and more pronounced, his arms held Thomas comfortingly although he himself was petrified with fear. //Don't cry, little one.// They felt something warm in the room, someone was there with them, someone who made them feel safe. Karl and Thomas huddled together, Karl's face buried in Thomas's shoulder and vice versa. The 10-year-old boy felt as if someone had wiped his tears away very gently, very ardently. The skeletons were advancing but soon stopped, they turned their attention on the capsule to find that it had cracked and whatever was in there is now gone. Their jaws flailed around as if words were forming from their mauls, the skeletons turned around to find whatever it was that escaped. As soon as the skeletons knew it, something mowed them down with one fall swoop. Lightning crackled from the slice, the bones turned to powder and the spacesuits dissolved in a heartbeat. Karl and Thomas looked up from their huggle, they saw a very handsome man standing there with really long black hair and a manly physique. He wore the same kind of cross around his neck, except it was constructed of amethysts and chains. He was completely nude and in his hand was a wicked looking silver sword with a wolf's motif. It crackled with lightning in his hand, his indigo eyes were covered with his long strands of black hair. His body was covered in a thin layer of that aquamarine muckus-like substance. He fell to his knees, dropping the sword on the ground, the boys slowly stood up to look at the man closer. "Hey, mister? Are you okay?" Thomas asked, his hand touched the man's slimy shoulder. The man looked at Thomas, there was a mark on his forehead, the mark of the Mage's Cross which was the same was his necklace. He looked up at Karl and then at Thomas, but soon coughed out that liquid from his lungs. Thomas wrapped his arms around the man's muscular body and looked up at Karl. "He's shivering!" Karl ran about the room, then ripped that red, white and blue flag from the wall and rushed over to the man. He draped the flag around the man's body, he held it together with his hands. "Who are you?" Karl asked, looking the man in the face. "Are you from around here?" "What's your name?" Thomas asked, his inquisitive green eyes looking in the man's eyes. "A-alastor..." The handsome man muttered, his lips trembling. "Alastor?" Karl asked, then looked at his little brother. "Hey!" "We can't leave him here by himself." Thomas helped Alastor up and looked at his brother. "He'll get cold and lonely!" "Alright." Karl smiled and nodded, then slung Alastor's arm around his shoulders. They helped him out of the cave carefully, Alastor's eyes winced upon seeing the light for the first time in who knows when. They managed to sneak him into Karl's bedroom and then into the bathroom. Karl started the bathwater, Thomas easing Alastor in the scolding water. The aquamarine liquid from Alastor's body and hair turned the water a light blue color. Karl took the small sandbox bucket from the side of the tub and filled it with warm water, he poured the contents in Alastor's hair. He took the shampoo and massaged it into Alastor's skull, Thomas was busy washing Alastor's arms, legs, chest and back. Alastor was enjoying the new fanservice, soon a bucket of hot water washed the soap from his hair. "Hey, Tommy. Go to papa's room and get some clothes. I think he can fit in them." "Okay!" Thomas set the brush down and rushed off to their parents' bedroom. "What's your name, kid?" Alastor asked, looking at Karl with a small smile on his face. "My name's Karl. Karl Lichen Schubaltz." "Nice to meet you, Karl." Alastor nodded, smiling gracefully. "This little goofball is my little brother, Thomas." Karl smiled, knabbing Thomas as he flew in, then gave Thomas a noogie. "Hey!! Kaaaaarrrrrrrlllll!!! No fair!! Leggo!" Thomas giggled, dropping the fresh set of clothes. [I can really sense the togethernes of these kids... and I didn't need my powers for that.] Alastor thought to himself, but all three were soon alerted by a door closing. "Karl!! Thomas!! We're home!!" "It's mama and papa!" Karl stood straight up from noogying Thomas, a look of fright in his face. "They can't know about Mr. Alastor!!" Thomas shouted, holding onto his brother's shirt. "Karl! Thomas! Are you okay in there?" A woman's voice was heard, a light knocking wrapped on the door. Karl and Thomas turned to Alastor, only to see a soaking wet black Scottish Terrier sitting there, panting. The Mage's Cross was on a collar around his neck and he was panting happily. It yapped, alerting the parents. "Karl? Thomas? Did you find another stray dog?" "But mom! Can we keep him?" Thomas wrapped his arms around the Scotty's neck and looked at their mother with pitiful green eyes. "Yeah, mama... we'll take very good care of him." "Ohhh.... alright. I suppose. But you two are soley responsible for the care of that dog." "YAY!!!!" "Thanks, mama..." Karl smiled, stroking the Scotty dog on the head. The mother closed the door, the dog turned back into Alastor. "That's a neat trick!" "I'll say! It fooled mama!" Karl sat by his brother, smiling. "Yes, it is, isn't it." Alastor smiled, then stood out of the bathwater.
Thomas lied in bed, petting Alastor on the head, the Scottish Terrier yawned. The door opened and Karl entered the room, he threw his bookbag on the chair and sat on the bed. The door closed on its' own, allowing Alastor to transform back into human form. He noticed that Karl had a black eye, Thomas noticed the black eye also. "Did you get into another fight?" Thomas asked, getting on his hands and knees. "Some asshole slugged me during the martial arts competition... although it's originally illegal, I hate that punk with a bloody, morbid passion." Karl growled, wincing when Alastor's hand cuffed over his black eye. "Is it that Hermann punk??" Thomas asked, then swung his chibi-ish arms. "I like to slug him around, he's a little Republican punk!!" "Now, kids... violence solves nothing." Alastor's eyes closed softly, his hand emitted a warm, white glow. Karl felt relief from the glow, soon he removed his hand from Karl's eye. It was normal again, the black eye was gone, Thomas waved his hand in front of Karl's eye. "How'd you do that?" Alastor winked and smiled, his index finger raised pointedly. "That's magic, Tommy.... simply magic. If I explain it, it wouldn't be magic..."