Wild ARMs: Ignite the Past

Prologue 1

Riley Thorn

In the small town of Starwork, a fearsome beast called Scorpio terrorizes the people. Many of their men have tried to kill the beast; all have failed. A sixteen-year-old boy, son of a Drifter, now wants to take that challenge.

"I'm not you Dad!" A blonde haired youth yelled as he slammed the door behind him. He glared at the villagers with steely blue eyes as they stared at his sudden outburst. A man on a crutch threw open the door that was just slammed and limped out.

"Don't walk away when I'm talking to you! Riley!" He tried to go after the boy but fell after only a few steps.

"Why shouldn't I?" Riley said stopped, but not turning around. He lifted his gun, an AGD Auto (AN: think a bigger version of Jet's gun) and placed it on his shoulder as he spoke. "It's not like I'm scared. And just because you failed to kill it, doesn't mean I will."

"Son, you don't have to do this. The sheriff has already called for a professional and-"

"And by the time he arrives we'll all be dead. Dad, don't you see?" he sighed, "Rest your leg. I'll be all right. I'll go in, kill the thing, and be back before the sun sets." As Riley headed out the southern gate of Starwork, his father prayed.

"To the guardians that keep this planet alive…hear my plea… please make sure my son comes home safely." A warm gentle breeze blew the man's brown hair. He looked up from his prayer to the sky thinking to himself, Did you hear me?

Den of Scorpio

Riley paused at the mouth of the cave where the monster dwelled. As he stared into the darkness thoughts flooded his mind. What am I doing? My father couldn't do this, what makes me think I'm any better? He sighed to himself. Well, it's not like I can turn back now. "Wow, its dark in here." He said in a whisper as he tried to look inside. Near by to him he spied an unused lantern thinking for a moment he reached into a satchel at his side and took out a Tindercrest. As he began to focus on the tiny card it started to radiate heat…when he was satisfied with the amount he tossed the card into the lamp. The flaming card caused the lantern to immediately light. "That's better…now I'll be able to see what I'm going to run into…" He picked up the now lit lantern and began to walk inside the cavern. "Well this isn't too bad…" he said softly, but before he could barely make five steps the floor started to crumble beneath his feet "AH!" he yelped and started to sprint to safe ground, having to jump the last bit before reaching the other side. He fell to his knees, huffing and heaving a bit looking behind him at the gaping hole in the ground. "Damn, how am I supposed to get out now?" He stood and held his lantern up to look around as he began to walk deeper into the cave.

As he explored the cave he saw that the walls were damp, and everything had the faint smell of acid. "Ick…" he said softly as he kept going until out of nowhere he saw a bird screeching and flying toward him.

"CAWWWWWWWW!" it yelled as it dived at the blonde. Riley grabbed his gun and ducked down, sliding under the fowl.

"Where the hell did you come from?!" He yelled and stood as the bird flapped to stay mid-air in front of him, taking a huge breath in, only to blow it back at him. He held his gun in front of him to block to mini tornado the bird had formed with its breath. "Gah! It stinks!" As the bird began to draw another breath Riley aimed, held his own breath and fired. As the bullet left the gun Riley fell backward back onto his arse. Riley's bullet pierced the bird through the chest and embedded itself into the dripping wall. With the critical wound dealt the bird fell to the ground blood still dripping from the open wound, but the bird very much dead.

"Whoa, this thing has more kick than I thought!" He said excitedly as he looked to his gun, before noticing something shimmer on the ground next to the fallen beast. "What's this?" he asked no one in particular while getting up and walking to the object. It was a Heal Berry, he quickly picked it up. "Awesome."

The rest of the cave didn't give him much trouble, a few battles here, some winding pathways there, nothing truly difficult for the blonde youth and he started to feel quite safe…until he reached a large pitch black circular room. He lifted his lantern to get a better look, and something reflected in the light. It was a small scorpion that sat in the middle of the room. "This…this can't be Scorpio." He said smirking and walking over to the thing, it looked up at him and hissed, trying to snap him with its tail. "Ah! Fucking thing…" he fired a round into it causing it to screech loudly. "That'll teach ya!" A much louder screech rang throughout the room. "Uh oh…that's not good." The ground shook so violently that Riley fell back, his lantern tossed from his hand. It clanked and fell into the acid that surrounded all but the way Riley had just come, causing the entire thing to engulf in flames. The entire room was now lit and a gargantuan scorpion was revealed to Riley. It screeched loudly again as it stood in front of him. "OH SHIT!" He shouted, scampering back up. He had to quickly move out of the way as Scorpio swiped its claw at the youth. As he dived to avoid it he fired a few shots; but they bounced right off the beast. In reaction to being shot at the scorpion's tail rose up and shot piping hot acid out toward Riley. He rolled behind the scorpion firing again, but with the same result. "Is there no way to kill this thing?!?!?" he yelled in frustration as the scorpion turned to face his attacker. For a brief moment Riley glimpsed a jewel in the scorpion's head. A weakness? He hoped, and shot at it, but the monster blocked the shot with its large pincer. "It is." The scorpion swiped at him again but when he tried to move out of the way it grabbed him with its other pincer. "GAH!" He said as the scorpion began to squeeze trying to snap the boy in half, all Riley could think of was his father, waiting for his return; the village expecting him back; his mother…his mother never even knowing that he was in trouble. As the scorpion squeezed harder Riley shook his head, "No…no I will not die! Not here! Not now! Not when I'm just beginning!!!!" As he yelled he felt himself get a boost of adrenaline, his gun seemed hotter, the bullets inside like dynamite. He pointed at the pincer that was holding him. "INFERNO BUSTER!" he yelled as a wave of bullets flew from his gun so fast that it looked like a stream of fire. The monster's pincer exploded from the attack, causing Scorpio to screech loudly. On a roll Riley quickly focused and fired again into the other pincer, leaving Scorpio with only his tail to defend him. Riley fell to one knee, gasping for breath, both of the attacks leaving him exhausted, but the monster just charged for him. He raised his gun to fire again, but it felt heavy. Even after all that…it will still end here? He felt the familiar heat in his gun and shook his head clearing his thoughts and letting the heat overtake him again, making himself fire up into the glimmering jewel in Scorpio's forehead. Once hit, the gem shattered causing the scorpion to freeze in place then shake violently, before exploding into a puff cloud of acid. Riley coughed and quickly covered his mouth and nose.

Once the dust cleared Riley smiled and fell to both knees, staying there for a while. I did it. I killed the monster… He struggled to get up. "Ah…damn…" he took a Heal Berry out of his satchel and munched on it, the juices flowing through his body and healing it. "Mmm…that's better." He said smiling and standing. The way back through the cavern was much easier than the way through, all the monsters having been defeated, but once he reached the crevice at the entrance he stopped. "I forgot about that…How am I supposed to get across?" it was too wide to jump, and there wasn't enough room on the sides to slide across. "What do I do?" He heard a faint whisper in his head answer him …jump… He yelped a little, "W…what? But I won't make it!" …trust…me… "Who are you? Why should I trust you?" …I am…fire…Moor Gault… Riley felt a comforting warm presence engulf his entire body. He sighed, "I guess it's better than standing here…" He looked at the chasm once more then took a breath, closed his eyes and jumped. He felt heat blaze under him and carry him to the other side of the ravine. When he reached the other side he looked behind him, there was nothing but the hole he had just crossed. "Wow…" he felt something hit his head, and fall into his hands. It was a small stone tablet with a flame engraved on it. He felt the heat that guided him again, but it was weaker. The voice spoke once more in his head…medium…summon…arcane…Baskar… "I don't understand…" he whispered. But the voice was gone, only the constant gentle heat remaining. He placed the stone in his satchel and began the walk back to Starwork.

Most of the town had showed up to meet him when he returned with his father at the forefront. "Riley!!!" he shouted as he embraced his son. "Thank the guardians you're all right…" He smiled and brought Riley inside. "So, you did it." He smiled proudly at his boy, "You really did it." He hugged him again, still leaning on his crutch. Riley smiled weakly and yawned a bit.

"Yeah Dad… hey, I'm tired. Do you mind if I take a nap?"

"Of course, Son! You've had a long day. A nap will do you good." He settled himself into a chair as Riley went up to his room. Once Riley arrived he collapsed on his bed, taking the stone tablet from his satchel and dropping his gun next to him.

"Moor Gault… what do you want with me? I'm not a medium…I'm not even a Baskar. My father and his family have lived here all their lives…generations upon generations…" he glanced at the picture of his mother that always sat on his bedside. His mother…a Drifter…could she have been a Baskar? No, no she wasn't. The picture showed a fair woman, blonde with light blue eyes…none of the markings of a Baskar. He picked up her portrait, looking to the photo's captured image. "Five years… not a letter in two." He sighed. He remembered the day she left. A strange group of people came to their home, his mother welcoming them with open arms, his father weary of them and keeping the young Riley away. He couldn't recall their names or faces now, and that seemed to bother him, he felt he should know them…Should know the people he last saw his mother with. That evening she gathered her things and left with them, leaving Riley and his father in Starwork. As he stared into the picture he asked it. "Where are you? What are you doing? Are you in trouble? Are you hurt? Are you…" he couldn't bring himself to say the last question, as if speaking it aloud would bring it to reality. He put it down and sat up, reloading his gun and putting it in his back holster. He decided then, what he wanted to do…what he must do. He put the tablet in his Satchel along with the picture of his mother, then headed downstairs. "Dad?"

"Yes Riley?" he looked up at his son, smiling gently.

"I…" He hesitated, he didn't want to leave his father alone…but… he knew he needed to go. "I want to go after Mom." He finally blurted out looking at the floor. His father's face fell. "I know it will be dangerous, but I can't stay here! Constantly wondering if she's ok. If there is anything I can do to help her. Please you have to understand-" His father interrupted him.

"Riley, you have your mother's spirit." He got up slowly and limped to a bookcase, grabbing a book and opening it. Inside, a space was hollowed out, hiding a small sack. "Your mother always knew you would want to leave one day. So we set this aside for you." He gave Riley the bag, when he opened it he discovered it had 3000 Gella, some heal berries, and a few mini carrots inside. "Travel where the wind takes you my son. Always remember you have a home…and come home safe." he hugged his son tightly and whispered again. "Just come home safe."