Power of the Stones

Chapter 1: Dark Skies

He moved though the bushes swiftly and silently. His weapon was loaded and ready to fire; all he needed to do now was find his next victim. Hearing footsteps, he stopped and crouched down. He raised the slightly heavy and bulky gun up, the quick movement causing the weapon to make a sloshing sound. The first he had made in awhile. Shifting his weight to either stand and fire or dodge and run, he listened to the footsteps of the person who was nearing his hiding spot.

The person actually turned out to be two people. There names where Zack and Bradley if he remembered correctly. The enemy. The two twelve-year-old boys where talking quietly to each other. Apparently they thought his team was beat. Grinning, he stood and fired at the two unprepared boys, completely soaking them with ice cold water. They were quick to recover from the surprise attack and returned fire.

He reacted on reflexes; diving out of the way of the attempted attack and rolling instantly back onto his feet. Not hesitating or pausing in his motion, he twisted back towards his enemy and fired again.

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He sighed as he flicked a soggy spike of dark brown hair out of his eyes. His sky blue tank top and light brown shorts were damp from the water gun fight and clung to his body uncomfortably as he walked down the street.

He'd had fun though, and that's what was important, he thought to himself. Not to mention I'm a lot dryer than the others who were in the water fight.

He praised himself for that fact. That his reflexes where still sharp, even though he never needed to use them anymore. Not since then, almost a year ago. He was still quick and could still think on his feet, even if he was a little rusty. His wet clothing a statement to that.

He sighed again as he looked to the west. The sun was setting and he was supposed to be home half an hour ago. His mom was probably freaking out by now, and he felt guilty.

When he had returned home from there, his mom had gone into a fit of hysterics. Not that he could blame her; he had been gone for over nine months! When she had asked where he had been, he'd lied, telling his mom and everyone else that he couldn't remember.

Now his mom (who thought that he ran away) freaked out if he was ten minutes late for anything. Again not that he couldn't blame her.

It was almost by chance that he looked up when he did. They were just red dots at first, filling up the sky. However, those red dots stopped him in his tracks. He felt something tighten in his chest as the red dots got bigger. He recognized what they were; he could put a name to them easily, but still he did not act. He just stared in shock as more and more red dots came into view…

So many…

Finally, his mind started working again as the first of them started to dive towards the streets. There where people on the streets…

"Move! Get off the streets! Get off the streets!!" he screamed franticly. Most of the people turned to look at him like he was crazy and some just ignored him and kept on walking. Nobody got off the streets.

Then suddenly, in a blink of an eye, half the people on the streets were dead and the other half were screaming in terror…

He leaned heavily against the ally wall, gasping for breath. It had been only half an hour since the first wave, and so much had been destroyed. His dark brown eyes slid to a burnt body on the other side of the street. So many people were dead…

He covered his mouth and noise with his dirty hands, trying to block out the smell of the burnt flesh. As he slowly slid down the old brick wall, he thought, Even when he'd been there he hadn't seen so much destruction, so much death.

Buildings where on fire and the streets where littered with rubble. Everywhere he looked, cars and trucks were overturned or on fire. Some even looked like a steamroller had run over them.

And there where bodies…

Dead bodies and Lost Disks where completely two different things, he had quickly come to realize that. With Lost Disks, it had been easier to accept. To pretend that they weren't once living things, even if he knew that they were. Lost disks were like graves, not the real thing, but a marker of someone who had died. Dead bodies . . . there was nothing to lessen the impact of what death really looked like…

He was shaking, and tears were running down his cheeks. He sobbed and the shaking in his body increased. I'm almost home, he told himself firmly. I have to pull myself together. Taking a beep breath, he quickly wiped away his tears. Now was not the time to cry.

A quick scan of the skies showed that there where no dragons to be seen. Taking another deep breath, he darted out of the ally.

He rounded a corner at top speed and slammed into something soft and slimy, sending them crashing to the pavement. It took him a moment to come back to his senses. When he did, he cursed his folly.

"Where do you think your going, little human?" one of the Scaled Jells asked.

"Good! Another human to play with!" another added.

There where only five. Two by a truck embedded in a building across the street and two more in the middle of the road. Then the one he'd just ran into just finished pulling itself back together and turned to face him. And he saw the bronze medallion on his chest.

Moo's crest…

As soon as his brain registered that fact, he shifted into autopilot, quickly taking note of where the enemies were, what he knew about Scaled Jells, and if he could beat them. It was just like he was back there...

Except now he was alone, and there weren't supposed to be any more Badies...

But now was not the time to think about how there where still Badies or how monsters got here, into his world.

He had to get past the Jells, but he couldn't beat them alone…

No, he could beat them alone. He just had to get them closer to each other… get them to merge… and hope that he could still focus his energy like he did there.

An idea came to him.

Before the Jells had a chance to stop him, he was on his feet and running back the way he had come.

"Stop!"

"Halt!"

"Get back here!!"

"What's the matter, slowpokes? Too scared to merge and just plow me over!? Chickens!!" he taunted as he ran.

"Grrr, we'll show you, human! Scale Jells, merge!!" and the five Jells combined into one large, green, slimy looking ball.

Perfect.

They could move quicker, now that they were merged, and they quickly caught up to him. But he was ready. Skidding to a stop, he dove out of the way of the oncoming Jells and rolled quickly back on to his feet. In one quick motion, he turned towards the retreating bolder of Jells, hands out stretched.

And he felt nothing. The warm, flowing power that had always been there, that had always risen to the surface when he needed it most, was simply no longer there. But it has to be…oh, come on…I know you can work…

The Scaled Jells where coming back at him, and he had no time to move. He was going to die…

Then it was there. It rose so fast that he was almost overtaken by the rush of heat and the following dizziness. The reddish-pink energy ripped from his body almost violently, just barely channeling itself out of his hands and focusing its main force onto the Jells. When the dust cleared, there were five Lost Disks in the place of the Scaled Jells.

After his attack ended, he sank to his knees tiredly. He didn't think he would ever get used to doing that. He sighed in relief when he felt the warm power slowly sink back to wherever it came from. His dark brown eyes resting on the five Lost Disks for a moment…

More dead… More bodies…

His body shook once, and then he forced himself to stand. He only had a block to go before he reached his house, and hopefully his mom. Just around this last corner and he would be home, but this time he looked to make sure that there where no more Badies.

He could see his apartment building, and ran towards it. He was almost at the door when there was an explosion. He immediately looked up to see three more balls of light collide with the side of his building. His mind barely registered the Pixies that where circling the now burning and crumbling building.

His mind barely registered the pieces of debris that were falling straight towards him…

His mind only clearly registered one thing. His mother had been in that building…

And now she was probably dead. And at that one moment, at that one realization, it felt like his heart had stopped beating. His heart felt frozen, and the cold icy feeling spread from his chest throughout the rest of his body until his whole body was left feeling like he had jumped into a frozen lake.

One of the pieces of debris was only feet away from crashing down on top of him, but still he couldn't move, not even realizing the danger, his body was frozen in place.

If his mind had been working correctly, he would have noticed the females voice yelling "Lighting!" or the attack that knocked the piece of concrete away from him. He would have noticed the cool, dark red metal arm that hooked itself around his waist and lifted him up like he was nothing. Or how his metallic rescuer had sprinted away—nearly as fast as a Tiger—from the falling building.

But his mind was still trying to process the fact that his home was crashing to the ground, most likely with his mother still inside it. And all he could think was: All it took was a matter of seconds… and now she's gone… she's gone!

Everything that had happened in the last forty-five minutes overwhelmed him, and his mind, which was unable to cope with it all, started to shut itself down. And then there was only darkness.