Screams. People everywhere were screaming and running in a panic. The earth was quaking under his feet as he watched giant Lambton Worms burst out of the ground, ready to coil around and squeeze the life out of anything in the pass. Through the smoky, red sky Zak could make out the outline of a dozen flying creatures ranging from small Cinnmologus birds to giant terrifying Rocs who swooped down, and carried off humans for dinner.
"NO! Stop! I command you! I am Kur! Obey me!" Zak shouted, over the screeches and roars of the creatures, but it did no good. They refused to obey him, almost as if they couldn't. The young twelve year old raced through the destroyed city hoping to find his family and friends, but they were nowhere to be seen. "Mom! Dad! Doyle! Where are you? Fisk, Komodo, Zon if you can hear me answer me!"
A dark chuckle sounded behind followed by a creepy voice saying, "They're dead my young Saturday. I killed them myself along with the Secret Scientist," Argost informed the boy. His mask was off, but Zak was unable to make out his face clearly in the smoke. Ignoring the orange glow building up around the boy Argost continued speaking. "You have lost child! Everything you have ever cared about has been reduced to ashes, the beloved cryptids you swore an oath to protect, are now under my command. The human race in on the verge of extinction because you were too weak to stop me. The world is doomed because you failed Kur! Your Kur abilities and your pathetic magic are no match for me! Die!" The TV personality shouted, his eyes glowing green. A burst of green energy rocketed through the air ready to incinerate him.
Zak stood his ground, holding the Claw out in defense, his eyes glowing bright orange. He muttered a few Hindu words under his breath creating a shield to defend him. As the attack wore down on him Zak spoke again, with great effort. "I won't let this future come to pass Argost! I'll stop you even if I have to change history to do it! Ahhhhhh!" the Kurling screamed as he was obliterated from the face of the Earth.
Zak Saturday shot upright in his bed, panting heavily with sweat pouring down his face. His two familiars, Cercrops and Kitchi-At'husis, a garter and ringneck snake, hissed at being disturbed from their slumber. Since taking up residence with the former King of the Nagas, they had been reluctant to leave the boy's side. It took all his powers of persuasion to keep them out of sight and away from his family. Even after six and half months, Zak hadn't told the Secret Scientists everything about what happened when he went through his monster puberty.
"It's bad enough that Beakman and Gray wanted to ice me after my latest screw up, but I didn't need to hear that Epsilon and Frances were thinking about taking me away to their HQ to train me. I'd go nuts if I had to wear that shade of green all the time. Still I feel bad. You guys think its time I tell Mom and Dad my little secret? I think Mom's suspicious after how quickly I healed from that Endrop's bite in Romania two months ago. She didn't exactly buy my whole argument that water horses can't bite hard on flesh."
Cercrops raised his head and spoke telepathically in Zak's mind. "Secrets are hard to keep my dear Kur, but in this case a necessity. Your parents already struggle against the forces of the Secret Scientists. Should they learn of your special gifts to conversant with us or ability to heal quickly they would most certainly freeze you. Something no cold blooded creature wants."
"He's warm blooded you idiot. The only time he's cold blooded is when he's attempting to regain his old Naga form through his magical training. You're improving greatly young one. If that stupid furry gorilla and our cousins hadn't barged in while you were meditating I think you could have unlocked that form. Who knows you might gain better control over your mystical powers," Kitchi-At'husis interjected. Before the two could start bickering again Zak handed each of them a rat to keep them quite. "Thank you, young Master."
"No problem Kitchi-At'husis. Komodo has plenty more where those came from. Just try to keep out of his way. I don't want to have to distract him from hunting you again. I'm going to go check on the rest of the family. You two wait here," Zak instructed his familiars, quickly pulling on a bathrobe and tiptoeing out of the room.
As Zak headed for the main computer lab his thoughts turned back to his dream or vision as he was beginning to think of it. He had had the same dream now for over a month. Each time the vision got more vivid. Was his vision of the future true? If that was the case then how did Argost gain the ability to control cryptids? What was that green light and why couldn't he see his face?"
Zak was so deep in thought he nearly ran into a door, but stopped when he heard yelling going on. It sounded like his entire family was in the lab. "Wonder what's they're talking about. I bet my allowance it's me. Hmm, time to try out that new spell I've been working on." Muttering Hindi under his breath, Zak shimmered before becoming completely invisible and started hovering a foot off the floor. He had to work fast. He could only maintain the spell for fifteen minutes.
"NO WAY IN THE WORLD ARE YOU GOING TO DO THAT BEEMAN!" Doc shouted, angrily at the screen. "I thought we were past all this! Zak has improved greatly with his Kur powers. Why are you threatening to take him away from us and freeze him now?"
"He started a stampede in the Chezch Republic, when he failed to contain his powers. Every water demon in the country reacted to his power surge! It took us twelve hours and whole lot of money to silence everyone about that. Before that Spiky Lock's managed to cause two hippogriffs to invade a summer camp. The list goes on and on. Salt and Pepper is not gaining control of his powers, but losing them!"
"Drew, Doc you're to close to the situation, but you must realize that Zak has become a danger to everyone around him. The powers of Kur are just too much for a twelve year old to control. We need to lock him up until we can figure out a way to remove the power from him," Gray tried to reason with them, but they wouldn't hear it.
"Don't you dare talk to me as if you know what I'm going through Miranda! This is not the same as when your sister decided to become a mercenary partner with Van Rook! My son is not the enemy here! Locking him up like a criminal and experimenting on him is not how we operate!"
"Do any of you braniacs think you can forget about the Mini Man for a few minutes and focus on the real problem? In case you haven't taken a look outside recently, the whole world is proclaiming that one V.V. Argost is alive and well. An old buddy of mine had a confirmed sighting of him and Munya at Loch Ness a few days ago. Instead of worrying about Zak losing control we should be thinking of a way to take him down once and for all!" Doyle argued. He was getting ticked off with how far the good guys were willing to go on the off chance Zak would turn on them.
"That is precisely the reason that Zak should be kept in a secure facility where he can be monitored and protected at all times!" Dr. Mizuki roared, his Hebagon nature getting the best of him as he smashed apart his desk. In the background his tiger roared in agreement.
"I offer once again to take Zak under my wing. I'm sure with Francis help he'll be mastering his powers in a matter of days," Epsilon offered. He was ignoring Francis sticking a finger down his throat in the background at the mere thought of being in the same room as Zak.
"Over my dead body! It's my duty to guard Zak! You won't take him away from us!"
"Back off before I eat you!" Komodo threatened.
"That goes for me too!" Zon screeched, despite the fact no one, but Zak had a clue what she was saying. The arguing continued on with the threats getting greater and greater. No one noticed the doors open and close softly. They were all to focused on what to do about the "Kur Problem."
Back in Zak's room both Cercrops and Kitchi-At'husis eyed their master suspiciously. Zak was packing a large knapsack full of a number of items including; food, clothes, money, and books on magic and cryptids. Once that was done he removed all his clothing and electronics. He put on a pair of dark green pants, a navy hoodie, and a brown cloak. After checking for any tracking device he sat at his desk and started writing a letter. The two familiars slithered over and wrapped themselves around the Claw until it resembled the caduceus. Both were curious what their young master was doing.
As if reading their thoughts the young Saturday told his familiars his plans. "I'm leaving home guys and going a journey of self discovery. I'm putting my entire family in danger by staying here and if the Secret Scientist have their way I'll never see daylight again. I need to go somewhere I can learn to control my abilities without harming anyone. Maybe find someone who can teach me. I'm not running away because of what they said really. My visions are telling me something evil is lurking in the shadows. If I'm going to be the hero I need to learn to stand on my own."
"Leaving the safety of home is dangerous young one. Since your reawakening six months ago many treacherous cryptids have awoken. The increase in activity is due to your growing power. Without your Lemurian guardian or you parents to protect you how are you going to quell the up rise? Only are cousins the Nagas could help you now. Sadly, they are no more thanks to your Dr. Paganastan formula they all perished," Cercrops hissed.
"I know Cercrops, but I haven't been missing sleep for nothing. I stumbled upon a ritual that would bring back all the Nagas in one of mom's books. If done correctly those serpents will have to obey my every word. This means I don't have to worry about them raging war on the human race. There it's finished, we have to hurry. I know the Secret Scientist are monitoring the house at all times so were going to have to use alternative means of leaving. I know I'm taking a big risk here, but if I don't the whole world could be doomed. You understand you two?"
"We understand Kur and will accompany you in your brother's steed. We know a way to leave the area unseen, but we must move fast. Put everyone in a deep sleep and let's hurry," Kitchi-At'husis informed him. Zak smiled and cupped his hands muttering under his breath the words to a sleeping spell. A blue white globe of energy formed in his hands. It floated out of his hand and through the wall until it found its target. Thankfully the conversation with the SS was over as the globe exploded showing the Saturday family. They struggled to keep their eyes open, but soon succumbed to sleep leaving Zak free to leave the compound.
Zak stealthily made his way towards the cliffs, careful to stay out of camera range. His snake friends told him when to use the Claw to disable a hidden sensor. Finally he arrived at the cliff and used his Kur powers to call for a ride. He didn't have to wait long as the Oshadagea, or dew eagle, swooped down. The bird was large enough to carry the boy on its head if he persuaded it right.
"Hey there, I know you don't I? Dad told me all about you. How the Iroquois people say you live in the western sky keeping an eye out for fires. If you spot on you'll release the pond on your back to put it out and give the earth fertility again. Can you help me out please? I have to get to the other side of the world and if use mortal means I'll be discovered. Please help I want to protect you," Zak whispered, his eyes glowing bright orange as his power washed over him. He could feel it building up and was afraid it would escape his grasp. The connection was about to be broken when the Oshadagea lowered its head offering a ride for Kur. "Thanks I owe you. Now let's go." With a flap of its wings the cryptid and Zak were gone.
Hours later the Saturday family would be awoken to a loud and excessive knocking on their front door, followed closely by said door being blown off its hinges. Instantly the whole family was alert. Drew had her fire sword out with flames leaping off the tip. Doc cocked his fist back, his battle glove ready to incinerate something. Doyle had at least six concussive grenades ready while the Cryptids looked ready to rip to shreds the intruders. When the smoke cleared the family saw every Secret Scientist armed to the teeth ready to pull the trigger first sign of movement.
"What is the meaning of this?! How dare you come here and invade my home! I want to know what this is about right now!" Doc demanded angrily. He was tired of getting pushed around by the others. "I'll give you to the count of three. One, two..."
"Why don't you cut the crap and tell us where the little monster is!" Beamman retorted his ray gun looked ready to explode. Dr. Bara gently, shoved the space dude's arms down and told him to calm down.
"David's right Arthur, getting emotional will solve nothing. Doc, Drew I'm sorry about invading your house, but we had no choice. Shortly after we finished our "conversation" our satellite feed on your property went dead. The tracking devices that we put in Zak stopped transmitting. We have reason to suspect that he left the property."
"You were watching us? You had my baby tagged! What kind of friends are you?!" Drew shouted angrily. Flames leapt off her sword tip and nearly scorching Odelie and Cheecho.
Ignoring his sister's rant, Doyle decided to get to the bottom of this. "What do you mean Mini Man's not here? He's sleeping in his room right now! I'm surprised your explosions didn't wake him up."
"Not so Mr. Blackwell. Up until 11: 50 last night all our surveillances on Kur were functioning properly. Then for some reason they stop working and we were unable to get them back online until early this morning. When we ran a diagnostic on the equipment we could find no reason for a power failure. Once more there is no record of Kur in the house or outside it after that time period. Somehow the boy managed to disappear in thin air. We are here to find out where he went before we lock him up for study," Epsilon informed him.
The cryptid Saturdays were up in arms. They growled threats and would have attacked if Drew and Doyle hadn't held them back. While everyone started yelling and screaming at one another Doc had slipped out of the room to check on Zak. He came back in the room carrying a letter and looking grim. Everyone shut up fast as they waited for him explain. Drew looked at her husband, tears threatening to fall should he deliver bad news.
"Doc what is it? Where's Zak? Where's my baby?"
"He's gone Drew, he left last night. I found money missing from the safe along with his documents. This was next to his cryptidpedia. You need to read this outloud." Drew, shaking, took the letter and started reading out loud.
Dear Mom, Dad and everyone else,
I've been debating over what to do since discovering I'm Kur. I know that the Secret Scientist don't trust me and they fear my abilities. They believe that learning to control my powers is impossible and that I will doom the world. Well, I have to admit their fears are well founded. I can't learn to control my powers, at least not here. I know that everyone has been trying to help me, but the truth is no human can possibly help me understand what or who I am. If my monster puberty taught me anything I need to learn how to survive my own. So I'm leaving on a journey of self discovery. I'm going to travel the world on my own without the help of technology or the SS in order to learn how to master my powers. I know what you're going to say. I'm too young or it's too dangerous, but I have to do this Mom, Dad. My powers have been showing me disturbing visions of the future and Argost. I have to do what I can to prevent them from coming true. Don't worry about me and please don't look for me. I took Doyle's Naga artifact and I've done something to prevent Fisk from finding me. I'll be okay. Secret Scientist, I know your hearing this so I beg you, please let me be! I promise I won't destroy the world, but I need time and space to learn more about my powers. I don't know if you'll believe me and I have an inkling that you're going to come after me. Just know I will defend myself should you attack. I hope that when we all meet again it will be under better circumstances. Until then goodbye and I love you.
Sincerely Zak Saturday aka Kur.
"Your son has runaway! The entire world is in danger because you were to soft hearted. I don't care what Zak said we are going to hunt him down and capture him no matter what," Gray told the distraught family.
"I'm sorry it has come to this Doc, Drew, but we can't take a chance when it comes to Zak. If you won't help us capture him then you're against us. I wish it didn't come to this. Goodbye," Dr. Paganastan spoke gently to the parents. With one final glance at the Saturday Family, the SS packed up and left. The hunt for Kur had begun.
Drew was weeping uncontrollably. She couldn't understand why her son had left. She was also worried about what would happen to him now that the SS were out for blood. "What are we….going…. to…. do Doc? Zak's out there all alone. We have no way to find him! He could be anywhere!"
"Shush, don't worry I know it looks bad, but we will find our son and bring him home safely. He couldn't have gone far on foot. We'll find him and then he's grounded."
"Yeah don't worry Mom," Fisk said.
"Zak's a fighter. Those Secret Scientist don't stand a chance!" Komodo growled. Zon screeched in agreement. Doyle put a supportive hand on his sister's shoulder. "I promise you sis we aren't going to lose anymore family. I think its time I call in a favor to an old friend of mine. He'll help us track down Zak don't worry."
One Week Later: Underwater Caves in Thailand.
A tired and hungry Zak Saturday was preparing a magical ritual with the help of scores of snakes. His journey from America hadn't been easy. The Oshadagea could only carry him part of the way. He had no choice, but to call for a ride from an undine (water spirit) to carry him the rest of the way. He then backpacked from Europe to India to Thailand. All along the way he'd been practicing using his Kur powers to calm and control cryptids. He had developed a bit more control managing to get rides through countries. Now he had reached his destination, Bhogavatie, the original home of the Nagas.
"Careful with those lotus blossoms! If we lose one petal then the ritual will not work," Zak warned the cobras assisting him. In order to resurrect the Naga race it would take a combination of magic and Kur power. At the moment he was placing lotus flowers on the mosaic on the floor. The picture showed the history of the Nagas. After painting them with blue dye and mixing a potion of Ganges River water, his blood, scales from the corpses of Nagas, and a few other elements he was ready to begin.
"Okay be ready to defend me, but if any of them challenge me you can't interfere. Great Goddess Shiva hear my plea. I humbly ask you to lend me your power. Oh Holy Nagas, I your King Vasuki, summon you back to the world of the living. Come forth now and obey my commands!" Zak chanted. A blue light glowed under the hood of his cloak and his lit up bright orange along with the Claw in his right hand. His body was outlined in black as repeated the chant. His familiars and their brethren added him by letting poison drip out of their fangs onto the floor speeding up the process. Zak groaned in pain as his body felt the strain of trying to mix his Kur power with magic. "Just a little more, please…Ah!"
A column of orange and black light filled the cavern. Skeletons popped out of the ground and flesh started appearing on the bodies. The blue light entered their mouths returning their souls to them. When the light vanished thousands of Nagas appeared healthy and alive once more.
"We live again my brethren! Today is a day to celebrate!" Rani Naga cheered. Memories of her last hours of life before that fleshling's poison killed her filled her mind. She wanted nothing more, but to make the human race pay.
"My Queen how is it that we are alive and back in our ancestral home? We died in Nagred, not Bhogavatie," Thaman questioned. Not that he was complaining to be alive again.
"Yes and how all our extinct brethren are with us too. How is this possible?" Anand added.
"Powerful dark magic would have raised a few of us. To bring us back to power of full strength would have taken the abilities of a powerful cryptid," Hara spoke up.
"It did," a voice behind them said. All the Nagas turned to see Zak Saturday standing on a rock surrounded by snakes observing him. The Nagamani shone brilliantly on his head and his neck and face were covered in black and orange scales. The Nagas were confused wondering what was going on. "It is good to see you again. I resurrected you because I am in need of your assistance. You see…"
"Why should we listen to a fleshling! You are the reason we all died back in Nagred! Your human family destroyed us! You have no authority here!" Nag'arjuna roared. All his hatred and jealousy of Zak came rushing back. "We should kill you for your impotence!"
"Are you challenging me Nag'arjuna? I, who am Kur the ruler of all cryptids, I who possess the Nagamani and am mated to the Queen Rani? Whose blood was used to bring you back thus binding your wills to mine? You dare think you can challenge me?" Zak hissed darkly. He eyed the male sizing him up. "If you think you can beat me go ahead and try it!"
"I accept your challenge. Prepare to die!" Nag'arjuna shouted, slamming his massive tail into the rock destroying it, but Zak had already shot out the Claw to zip away. Extending the end he used it like a lever to push as statue on top of Nag'arjuna intent on crushing him. The former prince of the Naga obliterated the falling artwork with his dark magic. Sparks of magic nailed Zak in the shoulder; he winced in pain as his wound closed. Dropping to the ground he used his Kur powers to hold Nag'arjuna in place so he could heel kick him before delivering a right hook to his jaw.
Nag'arjuna was sprawled on the ground, one fang less and bleeding. "You will die child!"
"Not today!" Zak yelled, unscrewing the bottom of the Claw to reveal his newly installed dagger. Without a moment's hesitation Zak drove the blade into Nag'arjuna heart, twisting it until the Naga died. Removing the blade he wiped the blood on his pants and looked at the Nagas who were bowing in awe. "Does anyone else have a problem with my authority?"
"No one will challenge your power my beloved Kur. Thanks to you we will finally rule the world as we are meant to!" Rani purred, as she wrapped the boy gently in his coils. Zak used his Kur powers to get her to release him.
"Not exactly my beloved. After all weren't you the one who said I was a creature of two worlds? To cross the divide that was my previous incarnations doom? If I am to be king I wish to rule both humans and cryptids fairly. I came to ask your help with my powers, both Kur and magical. In exchange you and your brethren will help me stop Argost from destroying the human race. Should you do what I ask then I promise you no cryptid will ever be hunted down again. Equal rights for both human and cryptids is my goal and considering my human blood runs through your veins it should be yours my love," Zak told her confidently. All around him his snake familiars hissed in agreement. Seeing as they had no choice the bargain was struck. Zak had taken the first step on a journey of a thousand miles to controlling his powers.