Shadow: I came up with the idea for this story last summer when I was helping out for all these weddings at my church. Just watching everyone inspired me in some little way. I never had the time to write it until now. It takes place about four years after TLA. You do the math. Enjoy!


Disclaimer: WARNING! THIS FANFICTION CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS FOR THE ENDING OF THE LOST AGE. Just thought we'd let you know so you don't bitch about how we ruined it for you. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.


Prologue

The wind rustled through the tall sun-dried grasses growing on the slopes of Mt.Aleph. No, it couldn't be the wind. There was a distinct pounding on the earth that echoed the rustling. Someone was coming. But who? Who in their right mind would approach the mountain with the reputation of great danger?

A child would. They would come running through the grasses towards the peak, basking in the summer sunshine. Oh how he wished he could taste that sunshine once again. How he wished he could stretch his arms and run through the golden fields like a child once again. The thought crossed his mind as he watched the child collapse in the grass amidst a fit of laughter. He could be free once again.

"Help," he whispered. The boy sat up and looked around. His chocolate-brown hair blew in the wind as he gazed around. "Help me."

"Hello?" he called out as she stood up. "Is someone there?"

It was working. Inwardly, he grinned with delight. "Yes, I am in the earth below you. You must help me," he pleaded.

"How can I help you?" the boy asked, turning his gaze to the dirt under his feet.

"The mountain," he said. "There is a cavern that leads into the mountain; that is where I am. You will find me. But hurry!"

The boy fell for his ruse and quickly headed toward the peak looming ahead of him. As the voice had instructed, there was a small hole wide enough for him to enter. He got down onto his knees and crawled into the gap and into the darkness. "Hello?" he called out. He listened to her voice echo in the cavern around him. Bats screeched and fluttered their wings in the darkness. "I can't see you!"

A beam of light shone through the darkness. "This way," the voice beckoned. "Please hurry!" He nodded and followed the light. It led him to another larger cavern where the pale limp figure of a man extended from the rocky wall. His body had seemed to fuse with the mountain itself and all life had disappeared from his body.

The child gasped as he ran towards the man. He placed a hand on his alabaster face: cold. His long blue hair hung down and framed his white face. "He's dead," he murmured as she stepped back a few paces. "But then whose voice did I hear?"

The man's eyes flew open and stared at the child. He let out a scream as the glazed eyes stared straight through him. Darkness overcame the boy as he fell to the cavern floor, lifeless.


"This is the tenth child that's disappeared this month," the mayor of New Vale sighed as he glanced at a missing child poster. "And just when we thought things had gone back to normal."

Things had returned to normal in New Vale, as normal as they could be. It had now four years since Mt. Aleph had collapsed, destroying the town of Vale. Once Isaac and his friends had returned, they helped to rebuild Vale and make it better than it was before; New Vale. Mayor Jerra turned away from the poster and watched the children that were still there play in the warm afternoon sun.

"OK, I can be Isaac. You get to be Garet," one of the boys instructed as he pointed to his friend.

"But I wanted to be Isaac!" the other boy moaned.

"You can be him tomorrow," a girl interjected. "I get to be Mia!" She tapped 'Garet' on the shoulder with a smile. "I cast Ply! Now you're healed!"

The children were lost in a fit of laughter as they played with wooden swords and sticks as they acted out a mock battle. "Look! It's the Doom Dragon!" 'Isaac' exclaimed as a dog padded up to him.

"Flare wall!" 'Garet' shouted as he raised his wooden sword. The dog cocked his head as he watched the children's strange displays of behavior.

"The children admire those adepts," Mayor Jerra sighed. "It all stands to good reason though; they saved us and our world."

"Gramps!" a rough voice shouted as a red-haired man ran up.

"Garet! Good to see you! And on such a fine afternoon," he smiled.

"Give me a break," Garet sighed as he wiped the sweat from his brow. "We just finished re-building town hall. Come see it." He dragged his grandfather down the streets toward the newly build town hall. The old man's face lit up with joy at the beautiful sight.

"I can't tell you how grateful I am to you kids," he smiled, still staring at the building.

"It's no trouble," Isaac smiled as he, Ivan, Felix, and Picard walked over.

"No trouble?" Felix gasped. "It took us a month to get it rebuilt!" he shouted as he whacked him upside the head.

"Well, it's a good thing we got the town hall rebuilt in time for tomorrow's big day," Picard winked in Isaac's direction. Isaac grew tense as he noticed everyone grinning in his direction.

"Stop it you guys!" he laughed nervously. "It's no big deal!"

"No big deal?" Ivan shouted.

"Tomorrow's your wedding day!" Garet laughed as he shook his friend gruffly by the shoulders. "We can't have New Vale looking like a mess on such a special day!"

"Yea, he's right Isaac," Felix added. "A whole bunch of guests are arriving, if they haven't already."

"Speaking of which, I had better go look for my sister," Ivan said as he ran off. "Catch you guys later!"

"I'm pooped," Garet sighed as he let his shoulders slump. "I'm going to go get cleaned up." He grabbed Isaac by the shirt collar and dragged him along with him. "Come on you."

"Here, we'll help get your things moved in," Felix and Picard offered. With that, the three followed the mayor back to his house, leaving the street somewhat empty. Except for two cloaked men who stepped out of the shadows.

"Looks like everyone's got their guard down," one of the men said. "Especially Isaac."

"Of course. Now that my body is back to its full strength I can take my revenge on Isaac," the other laughed.

"You mean that ALL of us can take our revenge," the other added. "That punk's got what's coming to him."

The other man lifted his hand and stared at it for a moment. He could see the intricate patterns his veins traced in his palm, just as they should. It felt good to be alive again. "It's only a matter of time now Isaac," he sneered as he lowered his hand.


Shadow: How's that for a beginning?

Spark: We promise things will get much more exciting in the next chapter. Like the answers to these heart-pounding questions: Who are these mysterious men?

Shadow: Alex and some other dude.

Spark: glares Who is Isaac marrying?

Shadow: Mia.

Spark: still glaring Who is Ivan's sister?

Shadow: Hama.

Spark: STOP! And what is Alex going to do to take his revenge?

Shadow: That I can't tell you. You're just going to have to wait until chapter two to find out! Leave me a review and I'll consider updating a little faster.