I sat up in my bed and screamed. After a moment Reinette and Raimundo ran in. I could see the others outside my room.
"Joe, are you okay?" asked Reinette. She ran her hands over me, searching for an injury. I opened my mouth but couldn't speak. Raimundo frowned and looked at me.
"Death…" The words escaped my lips. Reinette gasped and Raimundo's eyes widened.
"So the scrolls were right…" whispered Reinette. "I looked earlier, when Dojo couldn't find anything. I found a scroll, buried right at the bottom – one of the oldest. It was a legend, apparently, about Death. It said he was an immortal, and had four brothers and sisters, also immortals. He was the black sheep of his family. He dedicated his whole life to knowledge, eventually becoming equal to 'The Creator', a being thought to be God. After many years Death became King of Hell, and raised the dead to fight his siblings. No one knows what happened in the battle, but two things are known – The Creator fought, and Death survived. He has many powers, but the only one we didn't already know is that he can control Time." This made sense. I told them about my dream.
"So, if he controls Time," I finished. "Maybe he was showing me the future."
"That boy, with the spear," said Raimundo. "Who was he?"
"I don't know, but I think… I think he's Prehistoric."
"And he was wearing a Xiaolin robe with a Wudai sash…" muttered Raimundo. "How old are the Xiaolin Dragons, Dojo?" The dragon had come in during the story.
"I don't know. Very old though – my grandpa claimed that his great great great great great… great… grandpa was the first dragon to work for a New Age Dragon. And then before the New Age Dragons, there were the Fighting Dragons, the Flaming Dragons, the Shinnula Dragons, the Kodac Dragons, the Microsoft Dragons…"
"Err, are you sure about those last few?" I asked. "Kodac and Microsoft?"
"Oh yeah, you're right, there was the Axon Dragons in between! Then the Shoka Dragons, the Lekad Dragons, the Zygo Dragons, the Traken Dragons, the Pedalo Dragons…"
"So it's possible that the concept of Dragons went back to Prehistoric times, then?" said Raimundo.
"Yes, it's possible," replied Dojo.
"Young monks," said Master Fung, walking into the dormitories. "It is time to sleep."Silas
I was in Hell. This had to be a dream. I pinched myself on the arm and it faded. I was waking up. I was in Hell. I pinched myself again. I was still in Hell. But I was myself. How? I'd been told only your soul could go to Heaven or Hell, while your body stayed on Earth. What had happened before I got here? The temple… not real. A dream. The encounter with Death. That had to be it. The ground had opened up. I'd fallen. I'd felt my soul being ripped out. And I'd touched Death. My soul had stayed. That was it – the Touch of Death. But now I was in Hell. I heard a growl behind me. A giant dog with three heads, with serpents for a tail, stood over me, saliva dripping into the earth. I stumbled back as it moved its head forward. It sniffed me. Then it howled and jumped at me. I turned and ran. I reached an edge, and skidded to a halt. Small stones tumbled into the lava, and I heard a hiss as they dissolved in the lava. The dog was still bounding towards me. It opened its mouth, revealing a snake for a tongue. The snake smelt the air and hissed angrily. I had two choices – wait for the dog, or jump. I took a breath and stepped backwards, catching the ledge as I fell. The dog, too late, realised, and tried to stop, but plunged over the edge. I heard a loud splash. I scrambled back up, narrowly avoiding the fire that shot into the air. I thought I was safe. I was wrong.
For a while I wandered, hoping to find a way out. To my surprise, I found no more creatures for a while. Eventually, I sat down and started thinking.
"No-one knows what happened in the battle, but two things are known – The Creator fought, and Death survived…" I looked up in surprise. The words had just appeared in my mind. And the strange thing was, the voice sounded like the girl from my dream – Reinette, she was called.
"What's going on here?" I muttered. The rock I was sitting on broke off, and plunged into the lava. The flow pulled me away from the shore, or whatever it was called down here. And as I judged the distance, and wondered if I could jump, I heard a familiar sound. The sound of a water – or rather, lavafall. And I was headed straight towards it. I closed my eyes as I felt the rock go over the edge. Then I was falling.