Chapter 1


Kevin leaned hard to his left and swerved on his bike to avoid running into the person standing in the middle of the cul-de-sac lane. He lost his balance and tipped over, tumbling off of the bike and rolling along the ground. His knee took the brunt of the impact and became scraped and bloody, but when Kevin came to he was more worried about his bike. It had tipped over and skidded for a distance nearby, but was unharmed. After a sigh of relief, he got to his feet and shouted at the person who caused him to fall.

"Idiot! Watch where you're—"

Only it wasn't a person, Kevin realized. The figure looked somewhat like a man, but its skin was completely silver. It was slender and tall, and the late afternoon sun reflected brightly off of it. The thing's head looked more like a dome attached seamlessly to its shoulders, with a black visor where its eyes and nose should be. Its arms started out humanoid, but they got smaller and more tentacle-like further down.

Before a questioning "What the heck?" could leave Kevin's mouth, the figure's arm lashed out and wrapped itself around his neck. A wave of panic washed over the boy. He felt his breath get cut short by the icy cold tentacle, keeping air from flowing to his lungs. The faceless thing stared at him as the boy struggled against its iron grip.

Kevin was too frightened to think. Any thought dissolved into panic as soon as it was formed. He couldn't breathe. His windpipe was totally closed off. He kicked and struggled and squirmed, but to no avail. Suddenly, a thought made its way through the panic. It was terrifying possibility of death. He was going to die. He was going to die right then and there, at the tentacles of some thing that caught him off guard.

Kevin's vision went from seeing sparks to blackness as he began to pass out. As his consciousness retreated into the recesses of his mind, he felt something disappear. Something disintegrated, like a bubble gently popping. He'd always known it was there, he could always feel it. But it had never done anything. He had never gave it a second thought. But when its barrier disappeared, he felt something erupt from it.

A chord.

A surge of energy filled his head, growing and swirling faster and faster until it pushed all of his thoughts and notions of death aside. It sounded—no, felt like a musical chord, a number of solid tones playing together to form something greater.

Kevin had to let it out. He felt like his mind was going to explode inside of his head as the pressure built. As if it understood him, the power traveled down his spine and around his oxygen-deprived lungs, filling every nook and cranny with an inexplicable feeling as it rushed by.

Kevin felt the power surge throughout his being. Not just his body, but it glowed within his very thoughts, tickling a sense he never knew he had. It grew warmer and more intense with every passing second, and he felt like not even his entire body could contain it for much longer. His eyes fluttered open just long enough to see his hand, which was clutching the robot's arm in a futile attempt to break from its grip. Through the storm of panic and power he saw it begin to glow. His eyes opened wider as he saw not just his hand, but his whole arm shine in many different colors. He would've gasped in surprise if he actually could.

Suddenly, Kevin felt a reflex had never used before twitch, and he released the energy all at once. The rainbow of colors blasted from his body, straight at the figure trying to kill him. The light engulfed it and its grip on Kevin immediately released. He dropped to the ground as the figure was blasted backward into the fence, its body dissolving in the light. An instant later, it disappeared in a brilliant flash of color.

The boy was too awestruck to realize that he was still short on air until the light went away, and he immediately took a deep breath. But before he could do anything else, an intense exhaustion washed over him like a tidal wave.

Kevin passed out.