"September 1st, 2008"

Guess who just got back today?
Them wild-eyed boys that had been away
Haven't changed, haven't much to say
But man, I still think those cats are great

They were asking if you were around
How you was, where you could be found
I told them you were living downtown
Driving all the old men crazy

The boys are back in town

The boys are back in town

I said…

The boys are back in town

The boys are back in town

"The Boys Are Back In Town" by Thin Lizzy

Blue…Everything was blue Cody thought as the Time Machine whined loudly as it powered up to critical mass. The entire capsule was vibrating and arcs of blue lightning raced in circles around the outside of the machine faster and faster. He braced himself as best he could, back pressed against the capsule's interior, arms braced and gripping conveniently located handholds, not knowing what to expect.

The machine lurched forward slightly and then Cody felt the ground fall away beneath the capsule. There was a feeling of acceleration and a roaring outside the time machine as it continued falling faster and faster. Soon he found himself weightless as the capsule reached terminal velocity.

As the machine continued doing whatever it was doing, Cody took a moment to reflect on the events that had just taken place which were confusing to him.

"You made me destroy his soul!" Ashani's voice echoed in his thoughts, and then he saw the moment just before that…

"No!!!" Jarran screamed in the split second before the attack connected with his body. As the deadly energy impacted him and illuminated the room in sickly green light, Jarran's shadow seemed to waver, distort and then flail about briefly. The ghostly shadow screeched with an inhuman voice and burst into smoke.

The moment Jarran's soul had been destroyed by his father, the young man had dropped like an unstrung puppet and his presence had abruptly vanished from Cody's senses. From this he deduced that body and soul were connected and that if the soul was destroyed, then they body died. But if that were true, then how had Jarran gotten back up?

Jarran was back on his feet…


Jarran moved forward with liquid grace under his father's left arm and inside his defenses. His right arm drew back as a flash of white light blinded Cody and then…

Flash of white light? Where had that come from? He hadn't realized what it was at the time, but now Cody was sure that it had been the power of the light. But why did it appear? Cody couldn't tap into his power, and his light was gold anyway. Surely it couldn't have come from Ashani or Jarran, they were Children of Darkness. There was no way they could summon a power like that.

Another memory, an older memory, rose to the forefront of Cody's thoughts.

"What is…I mean I have a power and a sword like yours…" Cody sputtered, unsure of how to ask the burning question.

"The power…is light…" Came the answer from the boy warrior, Taschen, as he died. He was probably the only one who could give Cody the answers to the questions that now burned inside of him.

"Taschen, what is Cody?" Lily asked, slipping her hand into his as he groaned in pain and the effort of talking.

"Cody Martin is the Truth Seeker," Taschen answered without stopping this time. "My brother, I think he was like us."

"Yes…" Taschen replied, coughing a couple times. Blood ran freely from the corner of his mouth and his eyes widened in pain.

Cody's entire line of thought came screeching to a halt. Zack had the same power as he did. In fact, Cody had seen it before in a dream when he and Lily had been trying to escape from Chiam through the subway system. He'd always wondered if it had been real. If he had really seen Zack's last moments in a dream.

Something snapped inside of him in that moment and power rushed into his body, filling him from head to toe with an intoxicating energy.

His hands started to glow and then in a flash of light he suddenly found himself holding a sword that glowed in such a way that it seemed to pull the light in the room into it, rather than radiating its brilliance, leaving everything else looking dull and dark.

White. Zack's light was white, just as Cody's was gold!

"Gold," Seeing that Cody did not seem to understand his cryptic answer, Jarran shook is head in dismay and explained in detail. "The Truth Seeker is always gold. The White Knight is, oddly enough, always white. The Guardian and Warden are red and blue respectively."

"You mean…the color of my light?"

"No. The color of your shoes!" Jarran exclaimed sarcastically in exasperation. "Yes your light. Good lord do you not even know who you are?"

Zack was the White Knight, Cody the Truth Seeker and that made Taschen, whose light was a reddish gold, the Guardian. That left the Warden… Cody wondered who that was…

Then Cody's mind reeled as he hit another realization. Zack's light was white and he too possessed a sword not much different from Excalibur with a gleaning metallic silver blade.

Jarran moved forward with liquid grace under his father's left arm and inside his defenses. His right arm drew back as a flash of white light blinded Cody and then…

The silver blade reached up into the air, rivulets of red blood running down its perfectly smooth reflective surface back onto Ashani's back.

Jarran's soul was destroyed and his body left to die without it…

Cody's momentary feeling of vertigo just after that as he became lightheaded, as though a great weight had left his shoulders…

The Jarran miraculously on his feet again…

The flash of white light followed by Zack's sword running through Ashani…

Cody spun around in the capsule expecting to find his twin brother looking back at him, nodding a confirmation to his theory, but found nothing there. If the body died, what happened to the soul? Was Zack still alive somewhere on some supernatural plane watching over his little brother? Had Zack somehow jumped into Jarran's body the moment before it died, taken control of it and stopped Ashani to protect Cody from harm and enable him to go back in time to change all of their fates?

"You cannot…stop them…without Zachary. You could…try, but…you would…destroy yourself," Taschen's voice echoed. The boy was right. Cody couldn't have stopped them all without Zack. Who had been there to pull him back from the brink of disaster when Chiam had fallen? Who had come to him when Cody believed himself dead at Pandora's hands and encouraged him to fight his way back to life? Jarran had done a number on Ashani, but he wasn't the one who killed the Demon Lord. He couldn't have been.

Zack was still with Cody, helping him however he could and revealing himself when Cody's need for help was greatest.

"Thanks Zack," Cody said softly, closing his eyes and letting himself get carried off to sleep by the vibrations that the time machine was making finally feeling a sense of inner peace. He could have sworn he heard a reply, but he wasn't quite sure.

"Any time."

Cody was rudely awaked as he was sent sprawling forward, landing on a soft, but firm, surface that he couldn't exactly see very well because there was a persistent smoky blue haze all around him. He picked himself up off the ground and looked around, surprised to see himself in a dark blue void surrounded by the haze.

What was going on? Had the time machine failed? Was he dead now?

"Hello?" Cody called out. His voice sounded small and insignificant in this void, not carrying very far into the haze. Movement caught his eye off to the right and he was rewarded by a breathtaking sight.

Four knights in brilliantly colored armor walked out of the haze towards him. Each one of them were the colors that Jarran had spoken of. There was a knight in elaborate red and gold armor, another in blue and gold followed by one in white and gold which was Zack's color. Last of the group came the knight in gold and black armor, Cody's colors. His plate armor was exactly as Lily had described it. Each of them wore helmets so he could not see their faces.

These were the Children of Light, Cody was sure of it. Each one of them represented one of the four souls entrusted to protecting the Earth from the Children of Darkness. They spread out and surrounded Cody, the Warden stepping around behind him, the Guardian on the left, White Knight on the right and the Truth Seeker came to a stop standing directly in front of him. He looked up at the imposing knight and wondered what would come next.

"Your conduct is not befitting of a Champion of Earth," The Warden spoke with a rich feminine voice from behind.

"You gave up hope and were ready to throw your life away for nothing," The Guardian continued, his words picking up the instant that the Warden's had stopped.

"You lost your way and nearly lost yourself," The White Knight boomed. Cody looked back to the Truth Seeker expecting to hear him give criticism of his own, but the golden knight merely gestured for Cody to speak as if he knew the young man had something to say.

"None of you know what it was like! You were all dead and gone!" He screamed at the three of them, "It was hell on Earth, the worst thing I've ever experienced in my life and here you all stand high and mighty judging me?" Cody paused, feeling his skin tingling as all of his pent up anger came boiling to the surface.

"I didn't ask for this power and if I'm no longer 'befitting' of it, then I don't want it anymore!" He seethed with anger, daring any of them to say something else about what he'd gone through so that he could rip into them. Then the Truth Seeker spoke next, his voice calming Cody down as easily as Kurt Martin's soothing words had all those years ago when the younger twin awoke from horrible nightmares.

"Not even if you could save everyone on Earth?"

"I…That's why I'm doing this! That's what I'm risking my life for, to go back and undo all of the damage that the darkness did."

The Guardian and Warden unexpectedly stepped back into the haze and vanished. The White Knight put a heavy gauntleted hand on Cody's shoulder and forced him to his knees as the Truth Seeker produced Excalibur.

"So this is how it ends?" Cody muttered, believing that they were about to kill him since he had told them that he didn't want the power anymore if they deemed him unbefitting of it.

"No, this is how it begins," The White Knight said and the Truth Seeker rested his blade on Cody's shoulder. Realization struck him. Were they seriously knighting him?

"I give you my sword, my strength and my skill Cody Martin. Do not give up on yourself so easily and most importantly, never give up hope. The light is strong, and so are you."

"Just take it. Besides, I have a feeling it will come in handy if you should ever lose all hope for the future again." Jarran's words echoed the knights' sentiments.

The Truth Seeker glowed a brilliant golden light that intensified until it hurt too much too look at and then Cody felt something warm and powerful fill every corner of his being.

The light had returned to him.

Daniel Winters was driving home on the interstate after a long day at the office when he spotted a brilliant blue flash of light followed by arcs of lightning appear alongside the road and briefly race across to the median in front of his car. Rather than panicking, he eased into the brakes coming to a quick and firm stop. A power transformer must have blown, there could even be downed wires on the road ahead of him.

Thankfully there were no cars behind him for a good distance so no one would get hurt. He looked around for a moment and then crept forward with his car to where the asphalt was scorched. There were no downed power lines. So what had caused the flash of blue light?

He happened to look out his side window and he gasped in surprise. Lying facedown in the grass was a body covered in blood.

"Oh my god…"

Daniel got out of his car quickly, his first instincts were to see if there was anything he could do for this unfortunate victim. As he reached the body, he realized that it was only a young man, not much older than his own sons Aidan and Tristan, and he felt sick with dread.

To his surprise and utmost relief, the kid was breathing steadily. Daniel shook his shoulder and he moaned, annoyed at the disturbance to his rest.

"Come on kid wake up," he pleaded. The teen's eyes slowly opened and focused on him, "Are you ok kid?"

The poor guy had really taken a beating, there were bruises, scratches and blood all over him. Daniel knew he had to call the paramedics now and get this boy some help right away. He started to pull his phone out of his coat pocket, but the boy sat up and put his hand against Daniel's, stopping the movement. He was surprised how warm this kid was on such a chilly night.

"What's your name kid?" Daniel asked, amazed at the boy's lack of any sign of pain all things considered.


"Well Cody, how are you feeling?" The teen seemed to consider this question for a long moment as he looked around taking in his surroundings, seeing cars pass on the opposite side of the highway and the light of a small town just down the road offering the usual combination of roadside amenities to include fuel, food and a place to stay for the night.

"I feel like a new man," Cody said, a small smile creeping across his lips. Then he started crying and a very confused Daniel tried comforting the young man who reminded him so much of his own twin sons. What he didn't know was that Cody wasn't in any pain at all.

His tears were tears of joy.

A/N: And so Truth Seeker, the first story in the Chaos Series, comes to a close.

Thank you all for reading Cody's perilous adventure, giving me your feedback, posing tough questions to keep me honest and giving me your ideas for several sections of the story which made it turn out far more epic than it would have been originally.

Last, but not least, thanks for all your support which gave me the motivation to bring this tale all the way to its conclusion. It's been a wild ride and left me with a lot of ideas, material, scenes and other plot ideas to include in the next story in the series.

Please, if you enjoyed Truth Seeker, feel free to join the discussions with the other readers and myself as well as get the latest news and sneak previews of the next story at http:// forum. fanfiction. net /forum/The_Chaos_Realm/70751/

The battle for Earth begins again in CHAOS SERIES #2: The Chaos Demons.

~ Kulmanari