Power of the Stones

Chapter 2:

The sky was dark and thick with clouds. The air was cool and the wind just barely ruffled his dark brown hair.

He looked down at his feet and found that he was standing on a frozen sea of ice. The ice was a light, foggy blue; smooth except for the few patches of snow that dotted it.

And as he looked down through the ice, he saw something move within it.

He saw, rather then heard the ice begin to crack and fracture. And he became afraid. If the ice broke, then he would fall into what lay beneath and drown…

Something was stirring under the ice; something was waking, trying to get out…

He was afraid, but at the same time a part of him wasn't…

Then he heard a screeching sound, like an eagle's cry, and then he was engulfed in warm, pinkish red light and lifted into the dark sky, away from the ice.

And the thing beneath the frozen lake calmed and stilled. Once again falling into a deep sleep…

Waiting.

------

He slowly opened his eyes and only saw darkness. He waited for the sleepiness to fade slightly before he slowly sat up. It was cold, and he quickly pulled up the soft black fabric that covered him, wrapping it around his body. He shivered, the air made colder still by the dampness of his clothes.

He'd had one of those dreams again.

He pulled his knees up to his chest, wrapping the blanket tighter around himself. He hadn't had one of those kinds of dreams for a long time.

His eyes finally adjusted somewhat to the darkness, and he looked around at his surroundings.

He was in a destroyed building. Half of the ceiling was missing, and he could see the black night sky and the brightly glowing stars outside. A fourth of the wall farthest from him was gone too and the walls on his right and left had large holes. He had been laid on the floor against the only wall that was still completely intact.

How did he…?

"Your awake," a deep voice stated from the shadows to his right.

He jumped, and slowly turned his head toward the voice. He hadn't seen anyone there…

The dark outline of a monster slowly rose from its sitting position on the floor behind one of the still standing pillars. It turned toward him and slowly came to stand in a patch of moonlight.

He stared.

What kind of monster was he…?

Human shaped armor, sword and shield… a Durahan?

Red colored, like fire… Red wings, with gold flecks on the bottom half… Gold flecks on his armor… Emerald eyes… But only one monster had those traits that he knew of... A Phoenix…

A Durahan and Phoenix mix…

But was that even possible?

"I'm surprised you woke so soon," the monster said, returning him to the present. His mind finally coming out of its foggy state, everything that had just happened came crashing back down on him. Why he was here and what had happened. The monster attacks, seeing so many people die in a matter of seconds, fighting the Jells. Seeing his home destroyed…

His chest tightened, and his eyes began to sting. Pulling his kneed up close to him, his grip on the blanket tightened, and his body started to shake. Then the tears started flowing. He couldn't seem to hold them back…

The monster stiffened slightly and started shifting uneasily, his fists clenching and unclenching nervously.

But with his face hidden within his knees he didn't see this. He continued to cry silently before the monster finely responded.

"Don't do that," it commanded gruffly.

He tried to stop the tears, but he couldn't get them to even slow. They just kept coming, and they wouldn't stop. His chest tightened even more and he was finding it hard to breathe now…

"She's dead… mom's dead…" he whispered to himself, and the tears begun to flow harder as he began to sob.

He'd said it. His mother was gone…

The monster stilled. It waited a full minute, before it finally spoke again. "Your mother, she was in that building?"

He lifted his head from his knees and nodded silently, the tears still running down his cheeks. His mother had been in the building, he knew that. She was gone, and crying wouldn't help or bring her back. The shacking in his body started to fade.

"And, your father?" the monster asked.

He shock his head, the tears where beginning to slow now too. "My father died six years ago," he whispered quietly. The tightening in his chest slowly reseeded too a dull ache.

He quickly wiped away his tears, suddenly feeling slightly embarrass of having broken down in front of someone. He was brave, and he needed to be strong. He shouldn't cry, especially in front of someone who could be the enemy.

He quickly erased that though, having no idea where it had come from. He shouldn't think like that, he wouldn't think like that! This monster was not the enemy, because if he was, he wouldn't have saved him.

And anyway, the monster was part Phoenix…

Part Phoenix…?

His mind once again came to a screeching halt. He stared in shock at the monster that was standing in front of him. There was no mistaking it, he was definitely part Phoenix…

The monster crossed his arms and turned slightly to his right, obviously fully aware of being stared at. It felt like it took forever for him to get his mind back in order, and the first question to come.

Or more like tried. It came out sounding more like very slurred gibberish.

"Genki," the monster said thoughtfully.

He blinked. "How did you know..?"

"Your eyes," The monster interrupted. "You are the one with Clear Eyes."

"Huh?" Then he remembered, about the times there when others had said the same. He had never really under stood it, but had never questioned it either. He had simply brushed it of.

"Do you think you can walk?" the monster asked him.

"Uh, Yeah…" He slowly got to his feet, blanket still rapt around his body.

As soon as the answer left his mouth, the red armored monster briskly started walking out of the ruined building. He had to practically run to catch up.

"What's your name?" He asked as he caught up.

"Garuda," The monster answered.

As they made there way out into the street, though, his question was soon forgotten as he turned his attention to the destroyed buildings, then to the bodies that they passed and then back to the ruined buildings again. He never let his eyes stay on the bodies for more then a moment though. He had counted them as they walked at first, but he had stopped once he had reached 23.

How could someone do this? How could someone be this evil?

"Where are we going?" He asked suddenly. He received no answer. "Shouldn't we look for survivors...?"

"It isn't necessary."

He stopped then, and the monster did to. "What do you mean?" He asked quietly.

"There will be no survivors." Garuda replayed evenly, turning slightly to look at him. "We need to keep moving." The armored monster added gruffly.

"But…"

"Garuda!" a faintly familiar female's voice called out.

He jumped at the voice, instincts quickly taking over his body. He pivoted swiftly on his right foot, turning to face the new arrival.

A female White Hound came running up to them, looking somewhat out of breath. A part of his mind quickly noted the strange color of her coat. It was a beautiful pearl white with a barley noticeable light blue tint to it. It was strange for a White Hound to have that color of fur.

Or maybe not; the only White Hound he had ever met had been Grey Wolf.

"The second wave is on its way!" The White Hound breathed out, though her voice still held a calm air to it.

"Second wave…?" he asked, fear starting to sink into his heart. There would be nothing left of his home… "W-we have to stop it…"

"I'm sorry child, but that would be impossible," the White Hound's soft voice whispered sadly.

"But there are probably still people…" His eyes were stinging again and a tremor shook his body.

"If there are still people alive, there's nothing we can do for them," Garuda's voice cut through his thoughts. "We need to find a gate before the second wave reaches us."

There was nothing they could do…

His home was going to be completely destroyed, and there was nothing he could do. He could help save another world, but he powerless to save his own…

There had to be away…

He felt so weak and useless…

*Another crack appeared in the ice covering the frozen lake*

"Looks like we won't have time," Garuda said harshly as he pulled his sword out from the sheath on his back.

The White Hound turned her head and he looked up; in the sky heading towards them at amazing speeds were a group of six Dragons.

"It seems that I didn't go unnoticed after all," the White Hound said as she turned her dark blue eyes to him. "Child, around my neck there's a string. Untie it."

It took his mind a moment to register the command and to tear his eyes from the Dragons heading toward them. Then his body was moving and he reached out and found the black leather string that was tied to the White Hound's neck. Once he got the knot undone, he let go of the string.

The string fell heavily to the ground and made a dull clicking sound as it hit the pavement. He looked down and his dark brown eyes widened. Lying on the ground, connected to the black leather, was a light emerald green stone. A Magic Stone.

"Put it on and don't take it off." The White Hound instructed.

"Here they come," Garuda warned, getting in to a fighting stance as the Dragons began to dive towards them.

And no matter what they said, he wouldn't allow them to attack his home again.

Reaching out for the stone's power, like Holly had said he should do, he closed his hand tightly around it.

. . . the Dragons unleashed their attacks . . .

The same warm power that he had called upon to defeat the Jells came surging forward, channeling itself into the stone, making it glow a bright red. But the power felt different this time. Something had come with it…

Another kind of power…

The stone's light exploded and expanded outwards, engulfing him, Garuda, and the White Hound in its light.

When the light faded, the Dragons found that their three targets had disappeared, and their attacks had hit nothing but pavement and road.