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Chronicles of M: A'loc (Book 3)
Chronicles of M: A'loc (Book 3)
Chronicles of M: A'loc (Book 3)
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Chronicles of M: A'loc (Book 3)

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A serial killer is on the loose. With no clues, no witnesses and the bodies piling up, the local police call for the only people who can help. What the police don't know is just how full Thomas and M's plate already is. Time is running out. It's been ten months since A'loc showed up and challenged M to a duel to the death.

For him to even have a chance against A'loc, M must learn a lifetime's worth of magic, but Thomas's brother Amit is missing. Without him, M can only hope to learn what Thomas is physically able to show him. M also has to learn how to handle himself in a fight from Mai and discover the extent his mutant powers can go, but how can he do that when he can't even beat her? It's been a long hard road for everyone and it's not even close to over yet.

LanguageEnglish
Release dateJun 19, 2013
ISBN9781301296439
Chronicles of M: A'loc (Book 3)
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Author

Nicholas Forristal

Born in the 80s during the age of Oregon Trail, Nicholas remembers the days before the internet, when the world was young and herds of dial-up BBS roamed the digital landscape in peace. Nicholas went on to college at Kansas State University and studied psychology. It was here, at the pinnacle of his lowly existence, that he met his future wife. After that, life became dull and work-centric, as adulthood typically does. So now he writes to fight back the madness, while his son plays with his imaginary friends.

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    Chronicles of M - Nicholas Forristal

    Chronicles of M:

    A'loc

    By

    Nicholas Forristal

    Copyright

    The Chronicles of M: A'loc

    The Chronicles of M Series

    Smashwords Edition

    © 2013 Nicholas Forristal

    All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior written permission of the author. Your support of author’s rights is appreciated.

    This is a work of fiction. All characters in this compilation are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

    More Books by The Author

    Chronicles of M series:

    CoM: Ammit (Book 2)

    CoM: A'loc: (Book 3)

    Hitori

    CoM: Consequences (Book 4)

    Five Man Midget Death Squad

    CoM: The Lord War (Book 5)

    Short Stories:

    Catch and Release

    Coming Soon:

    Com: The Purge (Book 6)

    Contact the Author

    Website

    Twitter: @Nforristal

    Facebook

    Google+

    Goodreads

    Pinterest

    Email: nickforristal@gmail.com

    Prologue

    Greetings, Dr. Ister,

    It is with a warm smile and a warm heart, figuratively of course, that I write this first email from my new office. The move went perfectly; no zombies and no mortals were harmed in the process. My boss, if you can call him that, knew of my fondness for work and was kind enough to provide me all the luxuries of home life, but in an office setting. It wasn't until I was moved in fully that I realized how much I missed the comforts that a soft couch and steaming cup of tea can provide a weary mind. I must remember to thank Thomas when I get a chance.

    Thomas, my boss, is a great man who has provided me an opportunity here that would otherwise not be possible. In my previous situation, the space was very limited and with hazards at every turn. Even in the middle of nowhere there were peering eyes to be on the lookout for. With this space, the only limitation is myself. Thomas provides unlimited resources without a bat of an eye. He seemingly understands what I am doing and what my end goal is and supports me to the fullest. He occasionally asks of my progress and will provide ideas and suggestions without the least bit of expectation – my people and my projects are entirely my own to control. Thomas's only requirement in all this is a continued friendship that I have missed greatly during our decades apart. I am lucky to have such a friend.

    The space provided for me and my kind exceeds my highest of hopes. It resembles my old woodland home with more accuracy than I thought possible. The trees stand tall, proud and majestic, towering over the almost endless foliage that blankets the ground. If I did not know that I was thousands of feet below the surface, I would have never guessed that the day and night cycle is purely artificial. The plant life, on the other hand, is very real, but has been genetically altered so that sunlight is not a necessity to its survival. Yet, these trees and plants still provide the oxygen for the entire facility; simply amazing. The scientists here, lovingly called coats, tell me that this forest realm is a replica of their own living quarters and for that I am glad. I would wish this sort of beauty shared with everyone.

    This new home has additional benefits that I had not anticipated. Where the early-stage zombies would patrol the fence line of their previous home with clockwork-like precision, they have stopped altogether in this new, subterranean home. My suspicion is that this is because of the lack of woodland creatures in this place, as well as the daily protein injections. One or both variables have induced the Beast within my early-stage kin into a dormant state. They still mill about, opting to stay in groups, but do not exhibit the typical semi-aggressive characteristics of a Stage 1, or 2. They are more akin to slow-moving, injured drunkards.

    This change in behavior has also brought to light another interesting observation that I was unaware of, even during my own heyday. Apparently, the Beast, who controls all the physical and predatory natures, is either able to recognize the difference between real animal noises, or does not rely on those sounds at all. For all my decades of being trapped in the mind of the Beast, never once did I suspect that it relied completely on smell and sight. Truly, those were the senses that heightened during the hunt, but the sounds of nature, of life, were always there, albeit dull and indistinct in those early years. Sometime in the near future I should conduct a test to see if the Beast relies on sight. Judging from the numerous nighttime hunts of which I was a spectator in my time, I truly doubt sight is a necessity.

    Forgive my ranting in this email. I live in an exciting time, one that was a long while coming, even if I wasn't aware of such a thing. How go your own experiments? Have the results of my own aided you in the slightest with your endeavors?

    Sincerely yours,

    Marcus Uhler

    Chapter 1 – Defeating Depression

    A cold wind blows between the trees and through the boy's short, blond hair. In any normal scenario, with any normal person, the wind would send a chill down his spine. Not this time and not this boy. His heightened senses concentrate on the smell of wind, the slightest sounds in the air and the smallest of movements all around him. Only the light crunch of snow underfoot keeps the boy from being completely silent. Months of training have gotten him this far, but he still has so much more to learn. Pushing the thoughts out of his mind, he needs to concentrate on the task at hand – find and defeat the target. In this deep, dark forest that will be a difficult challenge and mental distractions will only make it worse.

    His competition is cunning, quick and deadly. If all were equal in the world, she would flay him before he even knew she was there, but things are not equal. Where she has speed, the boy has strength. Where she is as silent as a shadow, he can hear her thoughts as clear as day. Where she has fighting experience beyond what any mortal could ever have, he has powers at his disposal that no other possesses – and he will need every advantage possible if he plans to win. Even that hasn't been enough in the past.

    For an hour, he hasn't heard anything but the chirping of birds, the rustling of leaves and the soft sound of snow underfoot. His impatience is getting the best of him. He grumbles to himself, but stops almost immediately. That one little mistake will cost him dearly and he knows it; no amount of cringing can take it back.

    She comes quickly, almost too quickly. The boy spins around and despite catching her sword with his bare hands, the tip of the sword cuts a line above his eye. Blood trickles down his face, half-blinding the boy, but he carries on, ignoring the pain, ignoring the red blurred half-world view. With the sword in one hand, he jumps back, away from any possible kicks she may consider. With his free hand, a burst of invisible force knocks the woman and her katana away, sending both tumbling across the ground. The woman recovers almost immediately, sliding to a halt across the snow, leaving an exposed trail of dirt in front of her. In an instant, she sprints towards the boy, her arms extended back and sword in hand.

    The boy sees her charging and unleashes a fire spray from his index finger that extends several feet in front of him like a flamethrower. She dances back and forth ahead of the flame and advances on him with every motion of her graceful body. Her pure white robe flutters all around her like an apparition. It hides all but her cold, dark, focused eyes and straight, black hair. At the last second, she leaps over the fire and the boy faster than he can react.

    She lightly lands, one-footed, on his shoulder and kicks him in the back of the head like a horse. The blow sends him crashing face first into the snow and her back onto the ground, on her feet and facing in his direction. Her sword reaches his neck by the time he's able to get on his hands and knees.

    Yield, she says, drawing a trickle of blood from his neck onto her sword.

    Yeah, yeah, he replies, smacking the snow and leaving an impression of his hand in the ground below.

    The two stand up and exchange nods. They have been through this routine many times over the past ten months and never once has the boy won this game. He breathes out a heavy sigh and wipes the blood out of his eye and into the snow below. Grabbing branches from the nearby trees, the boy piles them up and starts a fire with his power.

    Did you really need to cut me? he asks, sitting down by the fire.

    She sheathes her katana and sits across from the boy. Yes; without realism there is no fear. Without fear, you will not perform at your best. How can you expect to better yourself if you do not perform at your best?

    Some things can only be learned through pain and failure, another voice says, as I demonstrated to you months ago, M.

    M bows his head. Point taken.

    From the darkness two men walk into the firelight. One is an older gentleman with dusted gray hair and a button-down shirt. The other is a younger, Japanese man with black hair tightly pulled back in a pony tail, wearing a suit of armor and holding a dog-faced helmet. The woman quickly stands and bows low.

    Master, she says.

    The younger man raises his hand. Rise and be seated, my champion, you have done well this night.

    Thank you, master.

    M looks up at the two men and nods, Thomas, Bisha... I mean, your highness.

    Good try, M. Do you know where you made your mistake? the older man asks.

    I shouldn't have lost focus and made a noise. I realized it right away, Thomas.

    Well, that was a minor mistake. The fact is, Mai has been tracking you for the past half an hour.

    I wanted to see how aware you were of my movements. You did not appear to know.

    M shakes his head. I didn't. You're next to impossible to hear and for some reason I couldn't hear your thoughts either.

    Thomas raises his hand. That was me. We don't know if A'loc is capable of blocking his mind from you so, I thought you should train as though he can, just in case.

    Gee, thanks. Like getting my ass handed to me every day of the week isn't bad enough, you have to blindfold me too? M pushes the embers around with a stick.

    The younger man looks at Mai and whips his hand in the air. She disappears.

    She could have stayed, Bishamon, Thomas says.

    Bah, at least this way you don't have to say ‘your highness’, or ‘emperor’ over and over. It gets old, you know?

    Thomas nods and sits next to M on the ground. Look, M. I know this is hard, but what choice do we have? We have less than two months before you take on my brother and we still have no idea how truly powerful he is.

    You have to prepare me for the worst. I know. I'm just sick of losing to her. All these powers of mine, and the best I can do is knock her away.

    Perhaps, if you'd learn to defend yourself... Bishamon starts to say.

    I did defend myself, that's why I only got cut above the eye.

    What about the shield I taught you? Thomas asks. Why didn't you use that?

    M says nothing, pushing more embers around in the fire.

    If you had, her sword would have reflected off. A shield to her body or face and she would have been on her ass without you needing to tap your mutant powers.

    I know...

    And don't let her recover; stay on your opponent until the end, Bishamon interjects.

    Yes, I know.

    This isn't a movie, M. You don't let her get back on her feet. Stick to her like glue, like Bishamon said.

    Okay, okay, I get it. Chill out. You don't need to tag-team lecture me.

    Minutes go by as the three gaze into the fire in silence.

    You couldn't hear her at all? Thomas asks.

    Not one bit. Even with the wind carrying her movements to me, it was like she wasn't there. I don't understand how Mai does it.

    Fourteen hundred years of demon hunting experience is how she does it, Bishamon smiles, sitting back on his hands. I trained her well.

    Well, train me.

    I cannot teach you in two months what took Mai hundreds of years to perfect.

    Are yourselves still messing up? Thomas asks.

    Yup. I can talk to them, share info when I need to, but their understanding of future events is gone. If I'm lucky, they can tell me about something that's about to happen. M chucks the stick into the fire, and ash and cinder fly up in the air.

    That was a very useful ability, I bet, Bishamon says.

    It was. I think I know why it's not working too.

    You figured it out? Can we fix it? Thomas asks.

    I still think Ammit is to blame, but not the way I did before. Her possession of my body didn't short it out because she intentionally did something. I think the events in this reality are so drastically different from the alternates that myselves aren't able to advise me because they aren't dealing with the same things anymore. Ammit was only the beginning.

    How did you come to this conclusion? Bishamon asks, his head slightly tilted.

    My future self told us that demons only exist in this reality. The alternates all have these robot, android things to deal with. Also, I'm the only one with super strength.

    Time does not work that way. Your future self is mistaken.

    How so?

    Certain events happen regardless of personal choice. That's how life stays its course. It's how we handle these events that makes things change. So, he is right in having you only change certain upcoming events. Life is both fate and choice. It seems to me that you are somehow being blocked from seeing the alternate realities that follow your decisions the closest.

    Doesn't sound like I figure it out either.

    Perhaps, or perhaps your future self was an alternate and didn't know it. Besides, there's no guarantee that you will survive that long.

    M looks up at Bishamon. But my future self...

    Is only a possibility. The Great Purge will happen whether you live or not. Life will go on even if you die. Bishamon smiles. You are not the center of everything, child. You simply have an insight the rest of us lack.

    Not much of an insight if it's wrong.

    What about magic? Are yourselves learning that from my alternate versions? Thomas asks.

    Yup.

    What if you had the alternate Ms concentrate on different aspects of magic, then all of you could come together and know everything faster and better. Doesn't work like that. Anything I learn from myselves, I only remember for a short amount of time. It's like cramming for a test.

    Thomas gets up. I guess we should get to it then, are you ready?

    Sure. M stands up and stretches.

    Learn anything new in the last week since I saw you last?

    I had an idea a couple days ago that I've been playing around with.

    Well, let's see it.

    Bishamon, can you please come here?

    Oh, do I get to be part of the demonstration? Bishamon grins.

    Yup. I need you to hit me.

    My pleasure.

    At the drop of the last syllable, M stumbles backwards as his chest pulsates a transparent, red color. Bishamon flies backwards through the air and crashes into a nearby tree with a loud boom.

    What the heck was that? Thomas asks, wide-eyed.

    I figured out a way to combine Margaret's push ability with your magic shield.

    But how did you do that? You didn't even move.

    M scratches the back of his head. I don't know. I had formed the spell in my head, like you taught me, and readied the push, but Bishamon attacked before I had a chance to complete it.

    Bishamon appears in front of them and brushes the snow off his shoulders. You said to hit you, you didn't say to wait. Besides, I don't see you getting thrown into a tree. Bravo by the way. I hadn't expected that.

    Have you tried combining anything else?

    No, but I had another idea.

    M takes a step back and turns towards the tree that Bishamon slammed into. Raising his left arm towards it, M rips the tree out of the ground with a grunt and sends it directly at himself. His fist turns the tree into an explosion of splinters and wood chunks.

    Thomas moves his arm away from his face. When did you learn telepathy?

    I didn't. That was Mar's push in reverse.

    How did you figure all this out?

    M shrugs. It was an accident. I was practicing producing bursts of fire, when for some reason my mind started thinking about Margaret's house after Ammit got through with her. Next thing I know, the burst of fire goes flying out of my hand and damn near starts a forest fire. He turns towards Bishamon. Sorry about that.

    I was wondering how that happened. Don't worry about it. You know how these pocket universes work: a thought here, a thought there and it's all replaced. Bishamon smiles.

    So, what are you two doing here anyways? I thought you wanted me to train for another couple weeks?

    Thomas replies, The police need our help catching a serial killer. I've been putting them off for a while now, thinking they would work it out themselves.

    I'm guessing they haven't?

    Nope. No clues, no witnesses, nothing at all. The only reason they know it's a serial killer is from the way the victims were murdered and the fact they were all killed within a few miles of each other.

    All right. Let's go.

    You go ahead. I need to talk to Bishamon for a second. Order us some lunch and I'll meet up with you.

    Cool.

    M walks to the tree line and disappears into the darkness. A slight breeze goes by and

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