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RECONNAISSANCE

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RECONNAISSANCE

 

                Larry sighed loudly as the trees rushed past him in the opposite direction. He shut his blue eyes for a second then opened them. His gaze fell on the silver bracelet on his left hand. He touched it subconsciously feeling the grooves on it. For twelve full years, the bracelet had always been on his hand, never budging nor losing its lustre. He had stopped his countless attempts to remove it.

                The last attempt had seen him taken to a hospital under strict hawk-eye watch. This was because h e was seen as a suicidal person and fairly obsessed with cutting off his left hand. He had gone for therapy and counselling sessions to help out the deranged mind. All his doctors had a similar report- a young child obsessed with a crazy “bracelet” around his arm.

In the end, Larry withdrew from the outside world and put up walls that even The Great Wall of China was a dwarf besides his. He was ten by then and slightly over three feet in height. His stature made him look too tall for his age as he was thin. A light skinned Caucasian with shocking white hair. As much as he was thin, he was ever energetic and strong.

It was for the last reason that finally he was allowed to be free to join a summer camp. His doctor had written favourable reports about Larry. For once in his life, he would not be under anyone’s watchful eye. Or so he thought.

As the train rumbled on, spewing out black thick smoke, two young men sat across him in the coach. One of them in a tweed coat was dozing, snoring loudly. The other in a black Italian suit, was reading a newspaper carefully. The other seven passengers, most of whom were women were busy chattering within themselves. He was the only unaccompanied youngster on board the train.

His tummy grumbled loudly as a feeling of acute hunger arose in him. He ignored it but in vain. Finally, unable to bear it, he looked around before getting up. He slid the coach door open and walked out. The sleeping man suddenly stopped snoring and got up quickly. He peered around then stood up. He took in a deep breath then opened the door.

The tweed man walked down the hallway then stopped dead in his tracks. His hairs stood up on end. The next moment he heard a loud scream coming from the next coach. He pushed the door open and saw a middle-aged woman down on the floor bleeding from her neck. Two of her companions were besides her, one still screaming. He shut the door and went back to his coach. He found Larry back in his seat, gazing out at the setting sun. He swore he could make out three red spots on Larry’s white collar.

 

‘Okay, the McAllister is due for 5pm,’ the stationmaster said over the phone. He nodded his big oval head then said, ‘Yes, the items are on board and under surveillance. Right now it should be passing through the Rolling-Stones Valley point.’ He listened some more then hung up. He sat down and put his feet up as a wide smile formed in his face.

 

‘Earth, Wind, Water, Fire, the four principal elements.’ The professor said. He strode into the classroom and all the purple-robed students stopped to listen to Professor Skittles.

‘Spirit,’ an eleven year old boy added. Professor Skittles nodded, ‘Yes, that’s the fifth element. Finally, there is a sixth element.’

His heart warmed as everyone paid more than the usual attention to him. He put down his book then cleared his throat. ‘The sixth element is not yet accepted and even less than Spirit. Let us take a journey back in time to millennia past, before the creation of humans.’

Professor Skittles waved his hand and the room turned pitch black. Another wave and the classroom walls instantly vanished. The students gasped in awe as the room became one large open night sky. A few tried to touch the stars that floated all over. A comet passed overhead, lighting the starry room an incandescent white-blue. Professor Skittles’ voice now issued everywhere as if he was omnipresent.

Four beautiful women stood before a large hall. A red carpet ran all the way to the raised platform with two muscular brawny men eyeing them. All around were white ghostlike beings floating in the air. The two giants placed golden bracelets around their wrists.

The first of the women had brown eyes and hair and the ground shook slightly as she was acknowledged. Her name was TERRA.

The second to be acknowledged had a veil round her head flowing down to cover her face. However her eyes shone a brilliant white through the veil. A breeze fluttered into the room. She was VENTUS.

The third was also similarly veiled but her eyes were as clear as a blue diamond crystal. UNDA was her name.

The last one had flaming red hair and orange eyes. FLAMMA she was called. She took her position between TERRA and VENTUS staying as far away as she could from UNDA.

The four women got down on their knees after which they stood up. The two giants then turned and started to leave when one of them stopped. He muttered rapidly beneath his breath and darkness quickly descended upon the castle. FLAMMA heated up to give forth light. The other three were then able to make out hooded shadows surround them. FLAMMA continued giving forth light, burning brighter with each second but in the process she increased the heat. UNDA used her powers to counteract the heat as TERRA and VENTUS fought off the Shadow Demons.

 

The students watched in dumb awe as the battle raged on for long. No one realized they were holding their breath as they watched. After two days of fighting, VENTUS was wounded making the girls in the class shriek. For half a day, TERRA continued fighting, the only active combatant as FLAMMA was still providing light and UNDA was counteracting the heat. Just as a Shadow Demon was about to strike TERRA in the heart, a loud fizzling sound was heard followed by a lightning bolt that blasted the demon to smithereens. A fifth woman appeared by the Titans side.

‘LEVITUS,’ the same eleven year old boy whispered.

LEVITUS eyed TERRA and FLAMMA coldly. A flurry of fear spread through her though it quickly disappeared when she saw UNDA who sneered at her. When she saw VENTUS down, she was so enraged that she howled in anger. The sound of a thousand thunders pierced the air though Professor Skittles toned it down for the delicate young ears.

LEVITUS drew from her well and in less than five minutes she had obliterated the demons. Only the two elder titans now stood in her way.

She threw two jolts at them but a wall of rock shot up and blocked the bolts. She turned round to see a wicked smile on the three titans faces. It dawned on her hitting her like a diesel train on full speed. She turned to face her two uncles who gazed at her with a mixture of pity and arrogance. She shut her eyes and opened them her eyes blazing but not out of anger.

TERRA acted much faster and trapped LEVITUS to the ground where her powers were rendered harmless. Then FLAMMA threw a stream of orange fire at her. LEVITUS wondered why FLAMMA was attacking her yet they both knew fire couldn’t harm her. It hit her a microsecond before UNDA stepped forward. She froze and waited for the excruciating pain that would quickly come. FLAMMA had just opened up UNDA –expanding her in other words.

The moment the first jet of water hit her, she let out an ear-piercing scream that pierced the air. VENTUS stirred and opened her eyes only to see the grisly scene. Her wound forgotten, she jumped to her feet, eyes glowing snow-white as the winds bent to her will. The four winds spun round the castle picking up speed, entangling UNDA and FLAMMA together. At impact they both passed out.

TERRA was picked up and hurled out from the castle. VENTUS ran quickly to LEVITUS who was slowly allowing Hades to carry her.

‘Lexi, don’t leave me please. I’m sorry,’ she pleaded, tears flowing down her visage. LEVITUS gazed into VENTUS eyes smiling.

‘I don’t blame you sister,’ she whispered. VENTUS held her head and watched as her life ebbed away. She felt a timid touch on her shoulder and knew her younger sister Spirit had come. Spirit stretched out her hand at the two giants who collapsed instantly. VENTUS and SPIRIT then carried LEVITUS out of the castle.

 

The students were back in the classroom- a few of them had tears in their eyes. Professor retuned the light then said, ‘Yes, LEVITUS is the sixth element. Now I want a five scroll report on Divinity in Ancient Greece. If I am not mistaken then I know I have helped you with assignment that Professor Barney gave you yesterday evening.’

Five minute later the bell rang and all except the eleven year old boy rushed out.

‘Professor,’ he called out.

‘Yes Dilan,’ skittles said looking up at his young student with spiky jet-black hair. He took the report that he was handed and smiled as he said:

‘Ahead as usual I see. I’ll go through it and get back to you.’

Dilan ran out, pleased with himself.

 

‘First we use the longest route possible and now we are slowing down,’ one lady grumbled. As it was dark outside, Larry took a lantern and placed it at his headrest. He shook his head as the tweed man let out an exceptionally loud snore. Larry took a swigful of a red drink in his bottle. He wiped his mouth wondering why they were slowing down.

According to his knowledge, they were already two hours behind time. The usual line had been blocked by rocks and boulders forcing the train to back track about six miles in order to use the Mountain of the Moon route.

Larry wondered how someone could sleep as heartily as the tweed man. His travelling mate was not even bothered by the fact that his head was on his lap. The only other interesting event, had taken place earlier with the sudden bleeding of the woman in the next coach. He took another swig of his red drink, swallowing it with pleasure. The train came to a grinding halt and stopped in a tunnel just at the foot of the mountain.

Then he felt it.

For the third time in his life, a scar, he usually hid from view started to send impulses to his brain. He felt as if his hand was on fire while being supported by red hot pins. He stifled a gasp as a tear rolled down his eyes. A gasp escaped his throat as he dug his fingers into the armrests, his knuckles turning white. One of the ladies looked at his expression.

She asked him if he was alright but he barely heard it. The pain was growing rapidly as he blinked back his tears. The tweed man was now awake watching Larry closely. Something quickly passed outside his window and tweeds stood up. The door suddenly opened and flung the tweed man away across the coach. A tall heavily built growling figure stood at the doorway. The pain shot to his brain and Larry let out a loud piercing scream.

The lady looked up and cursed. The figure stepped forward into the light. Larry was curled into a protective ball resembling a hedgehog. The bracelet oh his arm rapidly gained temperature before turning ice cold and the tempo increased as the footsteps approached him.

Glass shattered raining slivers everywhere as the woman was snatched outside. Larry opened his eyes for a moment to see a hairy dark monster with long deadly claws moving towards him. It had two horns on either side, curled up like a ram’s. It walked on two hooves and had a short stubby tail. It had a wolf’s head baring its rows of deadly teeth. It growled menacingly advancing on Larry.

A poof! attracted its supersensitive ears. It turned round to see a tall thin man adorned in a flowing red cape stand behind him. A tall bowler hat cocked slightly to his left on his head. He moved forward elegantly like a courtier and stood besides the creature staring at the curled up creature.

‘Hallo Wolfsan,’ the man said coldly sending cold shivers up Larry’s spine. He heard the creature give out a howl, a growl then replied, ‘Greetings Count.’

Wolfsan was now in his human form- heavy set with a large beard and an oval shaped head.

‘It is all yours,’ he said pointing at Larry. The Count stared at Larry then turned to Wolfsan, ‘You do not know how long I waited for this moment.’

‘You should be more grateful,’ Wolfsan growled, ‘My brothers had to roll the obstructions onto the line otherwise you wouldn’t have been standing here now.’

‘An easy feat for you considering you are the stationmaster and your pack has strength,’ The Count said as coldly as ever. Besides in the end I would still get the boy. Let’s go, I have only had one human meal this whole journey, I have to return to the Puritans. When you see a half blood, do me a favour and kill it.’

‘With pleasure, Dracula,’ Wolfsan growled.

Larry heard the whole conversation though he was still in pain. He noticed his head was clearing up and it then dawned on him that before him was a lamia and lycanthrope- mythical creatures that were not known to exist. His scar was slowly retreating to a dull throb though the bracelet was still alternating frequently between red hot and ice cold. He slowly moved his hand to his knapsack as he quickly planned an escape.

He was surprised to see tweeds appear besides him slightly startling the two creatures. Tweed then spoke in a soft voice, ‘Over my dead body.’

‘As you wish,’ Wolfsan growled and jumped on the man. Tweeds waved his hand and Wolfsan was flung across the coach.

‘LEP!’ Dracula spat his name and twirled his pinkie finger.

Lep countered the tornado by creating a counter wind. As the two battled Larry looked up and saw the open window that was his only chance. He waited for the perfect chance when the two were deadlocked and he acted. He dived through the window, landing on his feet and he quickly scrambled from the tracks. He wore his knapsack and ran through the open plain.

Half a kilometre away he heard an angry roar coming from the train. He figured tweeds or Lep as the lamia had called him had been defeated and the two creatures were now after him. A loud thump sounded besides him, he looked back to see the wolfish creature hot on his heels. He increased his speed and the distance between them increased.

A shadow passed overhead and he correctly guessed the vampire was on him. A poof by his side confirmed it.

‘For a human you are very fast,’ the Count told him matching his speed. Larry increased his speed, astounding Dracula. He transmogrified back into a bat and disappeared. He appeared ahead of Larry in his regal courtier vampire self.

‘Your pathetic speed is no match for my powers, kit,’ he whispered dangerously and Larry saw the vampire’s eyes turn death black. He was frozen in his place and his eyes automatically moved and locked gaze with Dracula’s.

‘You shall now be subservient to me. I command you to stop fighting,’ he heard Dracula whispering in his head. As much as Larry was frightened, a part of his mind wondered what the vampire was doing. His subconscious kicked into gear and he remembered back home all doctors tried to hold a swinging pendulum in order to hypnotize him. It usually ended with them going to sleep and he showing himself out. He stared without blinking into Dracula’s eyes. The Count stopped in surprise.

HOW? He had used Compel on the human. Yet it did not affect him. He looked curiously at the boy before his eyes fell on the bracelet. Larry felt Dracula looking at his left hand and he was surprised as it registered that the creature could see it. However, he was more surprised when he saw a wave of fear wash the lamia’s face.

Wolfsan caught up and suddenly stopped upon seeing The Count’s composure. He could smell fear from the lamia and he wondered why, as Dracula was the most powerful pure blood vampire. He was on The Council of Four- and he was feared by everyone.

It was then that he followed Dracula’s gaze then shuddered. Silverware was not good for Wolfsan as a werewolf. He still wondered why Dracula was scared until he saw the engraving on the bracelet. The star in the circle was definitely not a good sign for them. Even as he thought that the star shone brightly.

The two looked at each other as mutual understanding passed between them. They blasted a wave of dark energy at him- enough to kill an elephant- at the boy. Larry was hit by the wave and thrown across the field. He landed in a heap and struggled to his feet. He heard the rush of a second wave head for him. He instinctively raised his hand and got a shock when a wall of earth shot up to protect him.

He then was able to see the star shining brightly. His head started throbbing but not painfully and he swore he felt something enter him as the face of tweeds appeared. He heard the vampire teleport as the wolf charged at him. Dracula reappeared behind him and thrust a jolt at him.

Larry was ready and he felt water running beneath him. Up shot a mud wall to his back and an earth wall to his front. Bane struck the earth wall hardly breaking a tooth. Wolfsan got to his feet as the dark energy wave struck the mud wall.

The Count shot another wave at him as Wolfsan changed back to human form. Larry ducked quickly, the wave missing him by his teeth’s skin. Wolfsan muttered something and Larry felt another wave approach him, he waved his hand and felt a force pulling him gently.

‘Did he just open a vortex?’ Wolfsan asked.

‘Lep!’ muttered the lamia watching as the vortex opened wider. ‘That wizard should have been killed eons ago.’

The circular vortex flashed with silver lightning bolts spreading open an inch every second. The wind picked up speed around the field and Wolfsan felt something being drawn from him. He looked at his hands and gave a low gasp. Black light was flowing from his hands and slowly heading to the vortex.

‘That’s no vortex, it is a—’

‘Magic Sinkhole.’ Dracula finished for him. ‘I think Lep transferred all his knowledge to the kid. This makes him too dangerous, time to get serious.’

Dracula muttered to himself and a vortex appeared to his left, the difference being his expanded rapidly and instead of flashing silver bolts it flashed green bolts. Wolfsan felt his powers flowing back to him as three tentacles appeared from The Count’s vortex. Larry felt his vortex close and watched in fear and awe as the three tentacles became four then seven, ten and then thirteen.

The tentacles were black in colour and were scaly with suckers the size of his head on the underside. They stretched out looking for a firm foothold for whatever creature the belonged to. His bracelet turned red hot suddenly and the star shone a dazzling blinding white. The light enveloped him as a monstrous gigantic squid stepped out of the vortex giving out a mighty roar that felled three nearby trees.

It smelled the air finding the scent it wanted. It cocked its beak at The Count, the Lycan and finally at the white light. It raised one of its tentacles and dropped it at the white light.

Larry felt the approaching missile and he brought up fire and shot it up to meet the limb. The limb was scorched to ashes and the squid let out an agonized roar. He shot more flames at the tentacles until he had scorched all of them. He then turned his attention to the lamia and with a twirl of his wind he caused a tornado to hit it. At the lycan he aimed a block of earth that he summoned from the ground.

Dracula got to his feet an angry black look on his face as he shot a fire wall at the boy. Larry created a wall of water that met with the firewall and immediately shot a front of air. Hot water rained down on the lamia and he roared in anger.

Wolfsan turned back to wolf and charged at the boy. Larry quickly shifted his attention to the lycan and summoned the earth to help him. Vines, lianas and creepers shot up from the ground and started wrapping themselves around the creature, cocooning him.

A giant tentacle struck him and threw him across the field back to where the train was. He got to his feet though he was close to fainting. Through his half closed eyes he could make out the squid heading for him.

A voice in his head coldly said, ‘I forgot to mention it is a hydra. Kit, I have been at this for thousands of years. ’

Exhausted and tired Larry sank to the ground. He saw Wolfsan head for him, jaws and teeth bared wide open. The star on his bracelet lost its glow, glowed brightly for a second before it petered out.

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