Psych! That last preview for the AC0 chapter, I realized the date was wrong on it and that it would conflict with what was happening in AC4, so while I was editing the one some of you read, I came up with a different idea… annnd wrote this one. I hope you enjoy!
"Man's enemies are not demons, but beings like himself."
Chapter 1: Prologue
August 1, 2001…
I poured three glasses of Sunny D, one for myself and one for my niece and nephew. I put the juice back in the fridge and somehow managed to carry all three drinks without spilling any orange juice on me or the floor. I was quite proud of myself for that. When I entered the living room, Elizabeth Banks, my fifteen year old niece, relieved me of the two for her and her brother Albert, although he preferred to go by his middle name Genette. He was seventeen.
"Thank you, Elizabeth," I replied, plopping down on the couch next to her. A little bit of orange juice flew out of my glass and onto my jeans. So much for my no-spilling streak…
"Uncle Jason?" Elizabeth asked hesitantly.
"I know we've heard the stories a hundred times or more but what was it like flying with the aces of the Belkan Air Force?"
I studied my niece and nephew carefully. I realized that I saw myself more in Elizabeth than in Genette; that wasn't always a good thing. I'm a full-blooded Belkan, but when I was one, my parents moved me and my sister (Elizabeth and Genette's mother) to Ustio because of the Rald Party; I remained there until I was eighteen. I went back to Belka for college, to train for the Air Force but when I saw the danger posed by the Rald Party, I dropped out of the Air Force. I didn't know what to do at first, because I still wanted to fly. The sky is like another home to me. I didn't want to fight for Sapin because I couldn't speak a lick of their language. I didn't want to fight for Osea because I felt like they had enough fighters. Therefore, I went back to Ustio but joined as a mercenary. I always felt more Belkan than Ustian.
What I was talking about before though, about seeing more of me in Elizabeth than Genette not always being a good thing, I mean that Elizabeth acted more Belkan than Osean (my sister moved to Osea after she married). Being a Belkan, you are taught to show no emotion, because when you show no emotion, people can't read you, and when people can't read you, they don't know what your next move is; when people don't know what your next move is, you have the advantage in the situation no matter what it is. Belkans are taught to have pride for their country, something I saw in all of my side of the family. Belkans are taught to analyze every situation and to have a plan for any situation that might arise. That trait was something very prominently showed in my niece. She always had a plan, and if she didn't, she made one up on the spot, acting as if the plan had always been there. I didn't mind some of the traits, it was the emotion one that somewhat bothered me. Belkans usually showed absolutely no emotion, no matter who they were with. Elizabeth openly displayed her love for her family, of course, but when something was bothering or upsetting her, she hid it well… very, very well. It frightened me. She even looked Belkan with her blonde hair, but her hazel eyes were the Osean part of her, something she and her brother had inherited from their father. I was glad that she has some Osean genes in her.
Genette, on the other hand, was more Osean. He almost always openly showed what he was feeling, whether he was upset or angry. He tended to wing it most of the time rather than creating plans. Of course he held pride for his country. Both he and his sister loved Osea. They thought it was the best country in the world, and living in three different ones, I have to admit Osea is the best so far.
"Uncle Jason? Why are you staring at us? It's creeping me out," Elizabeth said bluntly as she pushed a piece of golden hair, the same color as mine, out of her face.
I laughed. "Sorry; it's just you remind me a lot of myself, Elizabeth. You have no idea. The Belkan aces were the devils of the sky."
"But there was one guy that could always defeat them no matter who they were," Genette interjected.
"Who's that?" I asked, knowing full well what they were going to say. I just wanted to annoy them.
"The Demon Lord!" They exclaimed simultaneously.
"Oh, right. Him," I said casually.
"You sound jealous, Uncle Jason," Genette joked.
"Why would I be jealous of him?" I prodded.
"Oh, it's not like he's one of the greatest fighter pilots of all time. Did you ever fly with him?!"
I stared at them again. I hated keeping it from them, especially when they were so intrigued by the guy that they had no inkling of the fact that he was me. My identity as the Demon Lord, for my personal safety (and by order of the Ustian government), had been kept confidential, but I couldn't keep it from anyone else any longer. I wanted them to know, so I decided to tell them; however, I was going to let them figure it out.
"You guys want to know a secret?" I queried. They both nodded eagerly. "Okay, but what I'm telling you is confidential. You must tell absolutely no one, not even your parents."
They both swore on their lives they wouldn't breathe a word. I decided it was safe to tell them.
"I flew with him on every mission," I said. Elizabeth's mouth fell open while Genette ran a hand through his cropped, light brown hair.
"But that's impossible," Elizabeth finally said. "He had two wingmen but neither was there with him the whole time."
"And you have actually flown planes so you couldn't be his RIO. Are you lying to us?" Genette looked at me suspiciously, narrowing his eyes. I shook my head. I looked back at his sister; I could almost see the gears turning behind her glittering hazel eyes that met my blue ones.
"He's not lying to us Genette. He's telling the truth," she said, staring at me wide-eyed.
"What are you talking about?" He prodded.
"He did fly with the Demon Lord on every mission… because he is the Demon Lord."
December 31, 2005…
I watched as Genette and Elizabeth wrestled on the floor. He still could get the upper hand over her but she was stronger than she had been before; she was smart, she was strategic, and sometimes that helped her win the fight with her brother.
"All right you two, enough wrestling or you're going to break something," I said. Genette stood up, helping his sister stand in the process.
"Hey, what time is it?" Elizabeth suddenly asked.
"Almost noon, why?"
"Genette! The documentary!" she exclaimed. The expression on her face mirrored that of her brother's almost identically before they leapt into sitting position on the couch, eyes glued to the TV.
"What's so important about this documentary?" I inquired, sitting down beside Elizabeth.
"It's about you. This journalist found people that flew with you in the Belkan war, both enemies and allies… mostly enemies but still."
"What's the journalist's name?"
"Brett Thompson. He came and spoke to us at OCU a year ago. It was about how to create good credentials to help you gather information. Guy's a bloody genius," Genette answered. OCU stood for Osea Continent University. It was one of the toughest schools to get into on the continent. UOB (you-ob), the University of Belka, was the hardest. Elizabeth attended OAFA, the Osean Air Force Academy, which was also no easy task to get into. I still found it interesting that the two had practically switched career choices. It used to be that Elizabeth wanted to be a journalist and Genette wanted to be a pilot (although that might've been because his friend Alvin Davenport was an Air Force fanatic and the two could talk about it for hours). Go figure.
I nodded my head and watched the beginning of the documentary. I had never told my niece and nephew the stories of my time as the Demon Lord. I always told them I would tell them at a later date, that it wasn't the right time. But now, seeing the documentary created specifically to focus on my career, I decided it was the right time. However, I also chose to watch the beginning of the documentary just to see how it was going to start out, just to see what approach the journalist was going to take on it.
The three of us regarded the show with an unbreakable interest as it started. It began with a black screen with the white words "25 NOV., 2005 NEAR A DISPUTED BORDER" as a voice that I recognized immediately said, "Oh, him? Yeah, I know him."
The screen changed, showing a man in a military uniform, sitting in a chair, semi-bracing himself on an AK-47 since he leaned forward. The place he was in was rundown, almost seemingly forgotten and near to the point of falling down, but it somehow still stood. Only the bottom half of his face showed, but I still knew him. I knew that face from anywhere.
It was Pixy. My buddy.
"It's going to take a while…" my old buddy continued. "It happened years ago." He shook his head a little as he said it. He looked down thoughtfully at the floor, allowing for a brief glimpse of the rest of his face before he looked up again and said, "Did you know… there are three kinds of aces? Those who seek strength. Those who live for pride. And those who can read the tide of battle." As he named each one of, he held up a finger. "Those are three. And him? He was a true ace. I've never met anyone like him ever since…"
The voice changed to that of the journalist while showing pictures of fighter jets in the air, specifically of me and Pixy flying; I distinguished the red signature red solo wing on our planes (I'll get to that later). I also couldn't help but notice the reporter sounded like Genette. "He was a fighter pilot they called "Solo Wing Pixy. He was a colleague of the man I seek. Ten years ago, there was a war that engulfed the world. The Belkan War. And in that war was a pilot who trailed across the sky, and disappeared from history. He was a lone mercenary who inspired both fear and admiration. He is the man I seek. And so… with words of 'Solo Wing,' the curtain rises."
The screen flashed back to Pixy who was still in the same position; I now observed he was chewing gum. I wasn't sure why but I did. It was his turn to talk again. "It was a cold and snowy day…"
The video faded to black and switched to a commercial. I had TiVo, so I paused the entire channel. I looked over at Elizabeth and Genette; they were staring at me.
"I think…" I said, "that I told you of my time as the Demon Lord."
Okay, so this is the new (and hopefully improved) beginning of AC0. Hope you enjoyed and please review! Thank you to RandomNumbers523156, Ben Webster, and LaniusLegioXIII for reviewing on the other preview that no one but us knows what we're talking about because I deleted that preview and posted this one… BYE