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Book 1: A New Beginning
by Nikhil Dhingra
Table of Contents
1. Draktos Lives!
2. Garion, the Chosen One
3. Finding a Comrade
4. Preparing for Battle
5. Let the Games Begin
6. The Secret is Out
7. Back to the Basics
8. The Darkness Rises
9. No Way Out
10. More Bad News
11. Uncovering the Evil Plan
12. You‟re Under Arrest
13. The Master Plan Launches
14. Draktos‟s Secret
15. The End of Garion?
Sneak Peak: The Quest for the Double Star
Nirem was just another normal kid doing everyday normal things, that is, until his life changed completely in the middle of science class one day. Suddenly, he found himself tangled in a web of intergalactic events no one could have ever expected in their wildest dreams. Nor probably would they want to.
You see, Nirem was abducted by aliens.
Chapter 1: Draktos Lives!
“Huh,” Nirem said, glancing down at his watch. “It‟s 2:15 p.m. already? Time for science.” Nirem was the top student in his class and considered a teacher‟s pet by all of his classmates. Now you probably would think this is a good thing, but not at Steven Park Middle School. People bullied him, made fun of him, and even shot rubber bands at him when teachers weren‟t looking just because he was smart. But today, everything was about to change.
When Nirem and his fellow eighth graders arrived at science class, the teacher, Dr. Evanston, was waiting patiently for them at the door. He greeted each student individually as they walked into the classroom.
Four large, rectangular tables with metal legs formed two rows. There was a big stainless steel sink in the corner of the room that had a showerhead; a giant periodic table was taped to the wall above it. A fifth table was centered at the head of the classroom— presumably the teacher‟s because of the messy stacks of paper on top of it. The items that caught most of the students‟ eyes, however, were the various glass test tubes filled with different colored solution that stood upright in wire holders on each of the tables.
Before the students even got seated, Dr. Evanston, anxious to introduce them to their new subject, closed the classroom door and got started. “Now class, today we are going to mix
some chemicals and see what you can create. Get in your seats quickly, class. Let‟s get started!”
The children hurried to find seats and immediately began rummaging through their backpacks for their science books. Dr. Evanston seemed unusually excited and they didn‟t want to disappoint him in any way.
“Turn to page fifteen of your science manual and follow the steps on mixing chemicals. Be careful and make sure to follow the instructions,” the teacher warned. “I had almost forgotten about this project. It‟s a good thing one of the students reminded me about it.”
Dr. Evanston started walking through the classroom to make sure that the students were correctly following his instructions. When he reached Nirem‟s table, he noticed Nirem was slumping down in his chair. Little did he know, Nirem had just been hit in the back of his head by a flying rubber band.
Dr. Evanston was a bit surprised to see Nirem all slumped down like that. Nirem was one of his best students. In fact, Nirem not only could make any creation that Dr. Evanston would invent, he also helped Dr. Evanston come up with entirely new concoctions that always produced amazing results. Dr. Evanston was convinced that Nirem could one day be a great inventor and make new discoveries.
When Nirem realized Dr. Evanston was looking down at him, he quickly sat up and began to work on the task at hand. At the same time, he nonchalantly twisted his body toward Dr. Evanston so the teacher couldn‟t see his back covered with red marks from the rubber bands. Dr. Evanston sensed something was wrong but understood Nirem didn‟t want to call any attention to whatever it was. He moved on to the next table.
Nirem was relieved that Dr. Evanston didn‟t say anything to him, but he was fuming inside. He knew that Quishow was the culprit. Quishow was the leader of the rubber band-shooting army. He organized an army of people to shoot rubber bands at Nirem everyday. Quishow was the one who started it in the first place. He always started it. But, if he forgot, his right-hand man, Max, would remind him. But sometimes, Max protected Nirem from the rubber bands when he realized just how much Nirem got picked on. Of course, Max couldn‟t let Quishow know this, so he stayed quiet when Quishow was around.
Only ten minutes remained until the bell would ring. “Now, let‟s see what you‟ve done so far,” Dr. Evanston announced. “How about Max and Drake? Why don‟t you show the class your findings?”
Both boys groaned at the same time but stood up to present their results. Max started reading the steps from the manual aloud while Drake demonstrated with the test tubes. Drake took the lead in explaining the results of their mixture.
While the students were busy sharing the results of their experiments in Dr. Evanston‟s class, there were some other chemical reactions taking place in Abra Kadabra, Bam!!, the magic shop across the street from Steven Park Middle School, too. The magician, Psychic Paledia, whose slogan was “All the magic, in a Crystal Ball” was staging her 2:15 p.m. show. There was nothing much in the shop, just a front desk with souvenirs; but in the back, there was a mystic-like curtain. It was behind this curtain that Psychic Paledia had her shows. But this show was going to go horribly wrong. She was working on her own mixtures and performing tricks in front of a small audience who crowded around her with wonder. She rhythmically moved her hands around in circle above her crystal ball, attempting to show the crowd the legendary Draktos, from the Dark Dimension. They all craned their necks to peer into the cloudy sphere.
They say Draktos was one of the first beings who ever existed. He used to be a God of Light until he accidentally released the darkness into the containment chamber where he was raised. His power was too strong and uncontrollable, as he was only a baby back then. Thus the shadows were born. Since the damage was irreversible, Draktos‟s dad made a decision that Draktos would only be allowed to stay on a remote side of space, which he named the Dark Dimension. But today Draktos would escape.
“Now,” said the magician, “I will reveal the life of Draktos!” The magician started chanting random, incomprehensible words to himself. The nervous crowd waited. Nobody moved. But suddenly, the magician took a step back. His face went blank and his
eyes filled with horror upon realizing what she had accidentally done. He had recited the wrong spell!
A tiny white object quickly twisted and spun around in the crystal ball. As each second passed, it grew bigger until it was in full view for everyone to see. “It‟s the soul of Draktos!” the magician cried, raising his hands up to protect himself. “Run for your lives!” Everyone panicked and stampeded out of the magic shop into the street.
Back in the science lab, Dr. Evanston had just mixed a green chemical with a purple chemical. The reaction produced a small white cloud of smoke. Then, a barely visible white smoke with a certain texture went into the cloud of smoke. Within seconds, Nirem recognized the texture and screamed, “It‟s the soul of Draktos!”
“Yeah, yeah . . . shut up,” Quishow muttered from the back row, rolling his eyes. Nirem and Quishow, along with all the other kids, had heard the legend of Draktos and his quest to spread darkness and destruction to the entire universe—but that‟s all it was to them, a legend. Right? Nirem sat frozen with fear in his seat.
Dr. Evanston jumped at Nirem‟s scream, let Nirem‟s information sink in, and cautiously sniffed the chemical reaction before him. A bright, white light shined out from the mixture. It was so blinding that the class had to look away.
At that moment, a blood-curdling scream ripped through Dr. Evanston‟s body. The light started penetrating through his flesh and bones, ripping him into millions of tiny atoms. Almost immediately, he disappeared.
When the bright light cleared, the children slowly opened their eyes and looked toward the front of the room where Dr. Evanston had been. Instead, there stood a black-skinned man, with no legs, wearing a long, black cape. The cape was draped over his face, making it difficult to see what he really looked like.
He pointed at Nirem. “You are the chosen one!” he said solemnly.
Nirem, ignoring the comment, was mostly worried about the safety of his classmates. Catching his breath, he knew he had to get his classmates out of there. “Run, everybody! It‟s the soul of Draktos!” he cried. With that, he grabbed a few of their arms and led the way out of the building. Everyone left but Quishow. “Let‟s go!” Nirem snapped at him. For once, he listened.
But Draktos followed close behind, not letting Nirem out of his sight. Right as Draktos was about to catch him, a flying saucer appeared out of nowhere. Shocked, Nirem looked up as it hovered directly above him. It sucked him up. Nirem fainted.
Chapter 2: Garion, the Chosen One
When Nirem woke up, he was surrounded by aliens with thick strands of orange and green strings hanging all over them. He was strapped into a machine with his head under a steel metal cap. Nirem was terrified. He pinched himself, wondering if—hoping—that it was all a dream.
“This is not a dream, Garion,” a voice said.
“Who‟s Garion?” Nirem asked, in complete shock.
“It is you,” the voice replied. The voice called to another one of the aliens. “Push the button,” it instructed.
Nirem heard a click and then felt strands of orange and green strings swarming all over him and actually growing out his skin. He screamed but no one was there to help him. And then he blacked out.
Eventually he came to. Dazed, he immediately recognized he was still in the nightmare. He couldn‟t move. “What did you do to me?!” Nirem demanded.
The alien spoke again. “We have just revealed who you are. Now let me explain to you what is going on.” Nirem wasn‟t so sure he wanted to know. He just wanted to go home.
The alien moved closer to him.
“There is life on every planet. Humans just haven‟t figured it out,” it sighed. “We are some of the creatures from that other life form. Draktos, the person chasing you, was from the Dark Dimension that is filled with villains from around the galaxy.”
“What did he mean when he said that I am the Chosen One?” asked Nirem.
“You are the Chosen One. It says so in the Prophecy,” the alien stated. He continued, “The Prophecy says one human named Garion will save us from Draktos.”
“But I‟m not Garion,” Nirem insisted. “I‟m really not. My name is Nirem.” The alien just watched him in awe. Nirem wanted to take the attention off of himself. “What is your name?”
“My name is King Rebolto but you may call me Rebolto. I am the ruler of Mars,” the alien said, bowing its head down slightly. “Your real name is Garion. Nirem was just an alias. In the Prophecy, it says the Chosen One will make an army and destroy the evil god of darkness, Draktos.”
Nirem couldn‟t believe what he was hearing. He tried to think back to the day‟s unfolding. Rebolto interrupted his thoughts. “You lost all the memory of your past. So, in this quest, you will uncover your memory piece by piece.”
“Wait a second, what Prophecy are you talking about?” asked Nirem.
“The Prophecy of Shabithi,” replied Rebolto. “Shabithi is our god on Mars. While I was in the temple praying to Shabithi, a message appeared on a stone tablet. The message said: Your planet is doomed unless you find a person who will save your kind. He will gather an army and set forth to find the shadows that live in the North. He will destroy Draktos and then he will see that he will not need to flee. His name is Garion, never a threat. He will save everybody. But don’t forget: he needs to find his own kind. He must find his memories and everything will be fine.”
Nirem hesitated before he spoke. “Well, okay, I think I‟m up to saving the world . . . but wait! What about my parents?” he asked. Panic started to set in. Were they looking for him? Did they know he was missing?
“Your parents are also Martians,” Rebolto said calmly. “You will get to visit them after you gather your team. But right now, since you are the Chosen One, you must focus on saving us from Draktos. You have the power to go to any planet you want.”
“I choose Venus,” Nirem said, still amazed at the story he just heard, “I‟ve always wondered what it looks like there. But wait, how do we breathe on Venus?!”
“Martians don‟t need air. We have a special kind of chemical in our bodies called prethemenes,” Rebolto replied. “This chemical allows our bodies to breathe without air. Now that you are a Martian, you have prethemenes in your body.” Nirem, or Garion, blinked his eyes. He was speechless.
Rebolto smiled. “Okay, now that that‟s all settled, we‟re off to Venus. Get on the meteor.” “The meteor?” Garion asked. They got into a meteor that was covered with different colored gadgets and buttons. “This is just like an elevator,” Garion realized. Rebolto pressed the yellow button with a V on it. Garion heard the engines roar and they took off.
Chapter 3: Finding a Comrade
The first thing Garion noticed when they landed on Venus was a huge gate and two guards standing on each side of it. The guards were in red uniforms but it was apparent that they were aliens due to their purple texture.
“Password?” barked one of the guards.
“Muta,” Rebolto said. The gate creaked opened slowly and they went inside.
When Garion got inside, he saw a little purple room that was no bigger than his bedroom back home, except this room was much different. It was filled with aliens, all of whom had purple skin, which made it difficult for Garion to see them clearly. Rebolto led him into another room that looked like a huge wrestling arena with an empty ring in the middle. Of course, the place had purple walls. An alien stood quietly next to the ring, watching him.
“What‟s your name?” Garion asked, approaching the new alien.
“My name is Purstan,” the alien answered. What‟s yours?”
“My name is Garion,” Garion replied, still getting use to saying that. “Apparently, I just became an alien.” He smiled weakly.
“I also just became an alien and . . . wait a second, Garion? You mean the Garion? From the Prophecy?” Purstan asked in disbelief.
“Yes,” Garion answered, a little surprised.
“That is so cool!” Purstan cried. “It said in the Prophecy that you have to build a team to help you fight Draktos. May I join your team? Please?”
“Um, sure,” Garion said, shrugging.
“Awesome!” Purstan replied excitedly. Then his face got serious. “We should probably practice using our powers.”
Purstan led Garion into the ring. It was a large rectangular platform with a dark purple floor and rope railings on each side. Heavy steel posts stood at each of the four corners. They positioned themselves diagonally on opposite sides of the ring. Purstan called another alien into the room and instructed him to ring a metal bell when they were ready. Purstan glanced over at Garion. Garion nodded.
The match started. Garion stretched his tentacles and threw Purstan against the ropes. “Wow! I‟m unstoppable!” Garion laughed, admiring his new powers. But suddenly Purstan threw him to the ground without even touching him.
“You were saying?” Purstan grinned.
The fight went on for about two hours until Rebolto finally came in to see the progress. He immediately saw Purstan panting on the floor and Garion standing next to him. “I see that you won, Garion.” Purstan quickly got to his feet.
“Yep!” Garion said proudly.
“Okay,” said Rebolto, “now show me what you have learned.”
“Sure,” Garion said with confidence. Since Rebolto was still standing near the door as he spoke, Garion quickly transformed into an alien liquid and reappeared in his normal form right next to Rebolto. Rebolto laughed, amused by Garion‟s creativity. They both quickly moved into the ring and began.
Garion tried to throw Rebolto but Rebolto threw him first. “Nice,” said Rebolto. He turned to Purstan, who was watching from the inside corner of the ring. “Now let‟s see you, Purstan.”
“I‟m ready!” Purstan said. He made a purple ball out of his hands and threw it at Rebolto, but Rebolto blocked it with an invisible force field-like shield.
“Energy ball,” Rebolto nodded. “Nice.”
“Purstan‟s on my team now,” Garion said.
“Oh, good,” said Rebolto. “You‟re getting a head start on building your team. Now let‟s go. You two need to quickly finish building your team.
Garion smiled. “We‟ll just need a lift to Earth.”
Rebolto nodded. “Get in the meteor. But don‟t tell anyone who‟s not on your team that you are aliens,” he warned. “If you do, they will think you are trying to take over the world like Draktos. They will want to get rid of you.” Garion and Purstan said they understood. They got in the spaceship and took off.
Chapter 4: Preparing for Battle
The spaceship landed in the middle of a narrow, dark alley in Garion‟s former neighborhood, Lower Manhattan of New York. Just as quickly as it landed to drop off Garion and Purstan, the meteor disappeared again. Garion and Purstan quickly changed shape so that they‟d blend in with the human population. Within seconds, they looked like normal kids again, wearing worn baseball caps, torn jeans, and basic t-shirts. No one would have second-guessed them.
“The first thing we have to do now is look for a place to build our team base,” Garion said, taking charge. “We‟ll need an area to build our training ground and then search for the right team to assist in helping us defeat Draktos.”
“Agreed,” said Purstan. “Let‟s look around for an available lot of land.” They both looked at each other from head to toe one last time to make sure they looked normal and then headed out of the alley into the city streets.
The city was busier than ever. There was a huge line of traffic that stretched so far that Garion thought it ended out of town. People were everywhere, walking up and down the sidewalks and back and forth across the streets; cars were honking for the people to stop blocking traffic. For some strange reason, it seemed that almost everybody had a copy of the newspaper in his or her hands. Some were huddled together reading while others were walking and talking so fast that it was hard to make out what they were saying.
“What‟s going on?” Garion asked Purstan, confused. Purstan shrugged. They crossed the street to get closer to the action. Garion found a copy of the newspaper, left on top of an outdoor café table of a restaurant, and picked it up. He started scanning the headlines.
There was a lengthy article about Tom Granger, ex-CEO of a major computer company, and known billionaire, and his plans to build a majestic mansion, surrounded by a moat, on a large, private section of land in the heart of the city. All Garion and Purstan had to do was somehow get access to Granger and negotiate with him directly to give them the mansion and land, which would be a key part in building their plan to eventually defeat Draktos.
When they reached the construction site for Granger‟s new mansion, they saw workers with hardhats, heavy machinery, and dust everywhere. They asked one of the construction workers if Granger was around.
“He‟s probably inside his mansion right now attending to some business,” said the worker. “He‟s been spending a lot of his time here lately.” The man pointed toward the main entrance. “If you ask me, I don‟t even know why he‟s building another mansion. He already has around twenty of them.”
Garion got the feeling that this worker seemed to know Granger and decided to test his theory with him. “Do you think Tom would consider giving us this land?” Garion asked, hopefully.
The worker burst out in laughter and was barely able to speak. “In a million years… maybe!” He looked squarely at the two boys in front of him. “He ain‟t never gonna give this valuable land up. If you came here just for that, you can just go back to where you came from.” He wiped the tears of laughter out of his eyes and sighed before picking up a shovel and getting back to work.
Still not totally convinced, Garion and Purstan thanked the man for his time and pretended to leave the premises—but snuck inside the almost-completed mansion instead. It was easy to do with everyone walking in and out of the building.
The inside of the mansion was absolutely gorgeous with shiny white marble walls and matching marble floors. Surprisingly, there, in the center of the main hallway, stood Granger, one of the richest men alive. He was talking to two of his staff members.
Garion was so excited that he couldn‟t move. So Purstan took charge and went up to Tom to start a conversation. “Hey Tom, I‟m a huge fan. Can I talk to you for a second?” he asked casually.
“Um, yeah, sure. Anything for a fan,” Tom replied, a little startled, but smiling nonetheless. He turned to the staff members. “Hey, give me a second. I need to talk these boys.”
Tom led Garion and Purstan to a little room off to the left of the hallway that also had shiny marble walls and floors. The three of them sat down at a large solid oak table; the two boys sat on one side and Tom sat on the other. Tom folded his hands on top of the table and smiled again. “So, what can I do for you boys?”
By now, Garion had gotten over his initial shock and got straight to the point. He remembered they didn‟t have a lot of time. “Would it be okay if we have this land?” Tom didn‟t answer for a second, probably wondering if they were playing a joke on him. When he realized they were being serious, he spoke. “Sorry, guys, but no. I need this land to build my new mansion and use it as a tax shelter.”
The hopeful boys frowned. Tom tried to lighten the mood. “Unless you have $500 million to offer for it?” he joked. This wasn‟t going to be as easy as Garion and Purstan first thought.
“Can you give us a minute?” Garion asked. Tom, still dumbfounded as to why the two boys were there and why he was wasting his time even talking to them, obliged. They excused themselves and went outside to talk.
“Okay,” Garion said. “If we can‟t negotiate with him, we‟re going to have to fool him into wanting to give us the mansion.”
“And how are we going to do that?” Purstan asked, totally confused.
“By finding the creepiest animals and putting them in the mansion, scaring everyone, including Granger, away,” Garion smiled.
Still puzzled, but not finding much point in arguing about it, Purstan sighed, “Okay .”
Garion and Purstan snuck back inside the mansion into one of the partially completed bathrooms so they could plot out which creatures they were going to put in the mansion. “How about we put rats in here and see how that goes?” Purstan said.
“Yeah,” replied Garion. “Great idea!” He flung his arms up toward the cathedral ceiling and, magically, dozens of rats began to scurry out of his palms. Then, they waited.
Before they knew it, Garion and Purstan heard screaming from the hallway. Tom‟s voice echoed through the hallways. “Rats! Filthy rats! In my mansion?! Who knows how many more rodents there could be in here!?” Garion and Purstan quickly ran back outside.
Tom came storming out shortly after. His face was beet-red. “You can have this land if you still want it,” he muttered. “It is infested with rats and will probably cost me more to
deal with this problem than it‟s worth. Plus, I picked it up for practically nothing to begin with . . . and now I know why.” Tom and all his men packed up their construction equipment and left. Garion and Purstan did it; they got the land!
“Okay, now we should start building our team and making our base,” Purstan said.
“And we should somehow show people that this is our land, just to be safe,” Garion said. That‟s when they overheard Tom speaking to his throng of fans in the distance.
“Sorry, but I‟m not going to build the mansion here. I found rats everywhere,” Tom said. A few diehard fans cried out in disappointment. “I gave the land to two people who really wanted it. The deed is on their lawn.” Boy, were they really getting lucky today!
Garion located the deed and found a new bathroom cabinet in the mansion to keep it safe. He shut the cabinet door and brushed his hands together, pleased with the work they had already accomplished back on Earth. “That ought to do it,” He smiled.
He then stood in the center of the hallway and stretched out his hands, palms up. Within seconds, he sucked the rats back into his hands. They were now really ready to build their team.
“We‟ll need at least one thousand people on our team,” Garion calculated. “And I have an idea. I think if we gather all sorts of television heroes then we could create a solid team in no time!”
And that‟s exactly what they did. They gathered every hero from every television show one could imagine. It took them two full weeks to build their team but when they were all done, they had exactly 1,000 people eager and ready to help Garion and Purstan however they physically and mentally could. Coincidence.
But there‟s one part you should see. It‟s the part where Garion and Purstan get a superhero named Crasher to join their team. There‟s some important information about Crasher you should know.
When Garion and Purstan got to Crasher‟s house, they left a note saying to meet them in the back of his house at 7:00. He met them there and they had a little talk.
“Listen,” Garion said. “An evil god named Draktos was imprisoned in a crystal ball. Now, he has escaped so we formed a team to stop him. We want you to join that team.”
“Okay,” Crasher said. “Sounds good so…wait did you say, „Draktos!‟? I have an ancient ring on my finger and inside this ring is an ancient soul named Muta. Muta has fought Draktos before with the people of Venus and can give you some very useful information on him.”
“That explains Venus‟ password,” Garion said, “Then it‟s settled. “You are now on our team.”
Garion and Purstan invited the entire team to the mansion, noting that it was still under construction, but when they all gathered at the house Garion and Purstan realized they had a big problem. They had their land but they never built a team base!
Suddenly, the teammates began to fight. They thought they were wasting their time.
“Don‟t worry!” Purstan shouted, trying to calm everyone down. “We can use our powers to quickly build a base. All of you can give us ideas, and then Garion and I will use our powers to create the strongest base ever.” The massive group stopped arguing and looked at Purstan.
“You have their attention,” Garion whispered to his friend.
Purstan took a deep breath. “Now, if everybody could just form a single file line . . .”
Somehow, they did as they were told. Purstan managed to write down all of the ideas in a massive notebook he had found on the construction site. Then he handed it to Garion. Garion read through each idea, worked through them in his mind, and then used his Martian powers to build the team base. The result was a big, rectangle-shaped mansion
with alternating purple-and-gold bricks on the outside. Inside, he created an entertainment room with a giant plasma TV, a virtual room, and other high-tech rooms. When the team saw what Garion and Purstan were capable of, everyone involved agreed to stay.
At the same time, Draktos had just finished building his secret hideout—under Garion‟s base. “Attention!” Draktos called out to his team of villains as they gathered around their leader. “Now that our base is built, we can do a surprise attack on Garion‟s team tomorrow. We just need to go outside and find some secret doors we can enter and attack from.”
Draktos‟s teammates started eagerly whispering amongst themselves. Draktos continued, “I‟ll make blueprints of the mansion and write where the secret doors are so we can enter through them. The team will be divided into four groups. One group will go on one side; another group will go on another side. Sound good?” The team unanimously agreed to the plan.
Draktos and his team found lots of secret doors in the mansion by searching with their supernatural powers in the middle of the night. But when Draktos left, he tripped over something, and accidentally dropped the blueprints on the ground. As soon as he realized the blueprints weren‟t in his hands, he whipped around to go search for them. That‟s when one of his overenthusiastic teammates, who had been following close behind,
tripped and knocked over a metal paint can. The can made a short but high-pitched sound.
Garion‟s eye shot open. “Who‟s there!?” he called out into the darkness. Nobody responded and so he assumed he had just been dreaming. A few minutes later, he was fast asleep again.
Chapter 5: Let the Games Begin
The next day, Garion was outside for some fresh air when he saw blueprints lying on the ground. Hmmm, thought Garion. I better show this to the team.
Garion picked them up and ran back inside the mansion. “Hey, guys!” he shouted. “I found some blueprints on the ground out front.” Everyone turned to face Garion and waited for him to continue. “And I don‟t think they were left by the contractors.”
Garion carefully scanned the blueprints on the table while everyone but Purstan crowded around, trying to figure out what exactly they were for. There was only one logical answer: a surprise attack lead by Draktos! The room was silent as everyone‟s eyes darted around the room. What were they going to do now?
Just then, Purstan walked into the room. Everybody looked at him. “Hey, what‟d I miss?” he asked casually. Garion looked at him and stretched his tentacles to a red button on the wall: DRAKTOS ALERT: FOR EMERGENCIES ONLY! Garion pressed the button.
Bright lights and sirens suddenly sounded off everywhere. “Get in your positions now! We‟re going to destroy Draktos today!” Garion yelled. “We need our army ready. C‟mon, move it, move it, move it!”
Purstan held up his hands. “Wait a second! What‟s going on?” he cried, trying to keep from getting trampled while everybody around him was running all over the place.
“We found a copy of Draktos‟s attack plans,” Garion filled him in. “Where were you before!? Draktos is going to lead a surprise attack at our base today so we need to be ready.” He quickly folded up the blueprints and took a deep breath. “I‟m about to announce our battle plans.”
Garion walked upstairs to one of the bathrooms and took a long look in the mirror. Not long ago he had just been a regular kid getting picked on in science class and now, here he was, a Martian and the leader of an army that was about to go to war. He hoped Rebolto was right about everything. More than anything, he hoped they would all make it out alive. He took another deep breath and headed back downstairs toward the commotion.
“Everybody stop!” he shouted at the top of his lungs. The rushing and running instantly ceased but the flashing lights and screaming sirens were still there. “We are going to get in our battle positions but pretend that everything is normal. So, I want us all then to sit down and eat breakfast.” There was confusion amongst the teammates and some of them started to chatter again.
“Shush!” Purstan hissed. The noise stopped again. “Go on, Garion.”
Garion nodded. “I‟ll put the blueprints on the ground so it seems like we never knew about them. Since Draktos doesn‟t have the blueprints anymore, he‟ll probably just charge the base. That‟s when we will jump out and attack first.”
The nervous chatter began to pick up again but this time everyone was excited, too. Finally, it was almost time for battle.
Draktos‟s army was more than ready to attack Garion‟s base but Draktos was silently cursing himself for having lost the blueprints. He decided it was time to approach his team and make an announcement. Everyone was becoming restless, talking so loud and running around so much that Draktos couldn‟t even hear himself think. He was getting more and more agitated by the minute.
“Everybody quiet!” he screamed. Everybody silenced at once and turned to their leader. “Now that I have everybody‟s attention,” Draktos began, “we have a problem. We don‟t have the blueprints therefore we won‟t remember where the secret doors are.” The teammate who had kicked the paint can tried to be invisible in a corner of the room.
Draktos glared at him before continuing. “So, we will just have to charge Garion‟s base as a surprise attack. They will never see it coming. We leave in ten minutes. Get ready now!”
Everybody started running around and yelling at once. Garion was right. They were going to charge at his base.
When Garion‟s team finished setting up, Draktos‟s army still hadn‟t stormed in so they carried on business as usual. But suddenly, Garion heard the sounds of the shadows moving. Then everyone heard a low rumbling noise in the base, almost like distant thunder. Garion and Purstan exchanged glances. Purstan nodded.
“Now!” cried Garion, raising his fist in the air. Everyone moved at once with Garion leading the giant pack and Purstan right beside him. It was time to fight.
At first everything was still. But suddenly Draktos popped out of nowhere and hit Garion with a powerful shadow ball. Garion fell to the ground but quickly regained his composure and got back up. Draktos then immediately produced a ball of smoke from his hands and threw it directly at Garion‟s army. When the smoke cleared, Draktos‟s entire force was standing right behind him. Waiting.
“Attack!” Garion cried out. That was the signal. Everybody went for a member of the opposite team. Garion set his eyes on Draktos.
“Do you actually think you can stop me?” Draktos snarled. He made a cage of darkness around Garion. Garion easily jumped out of the cage of darkness.
“I don‟t think it; I know it!” Garion growled back, stretching his hand out to try and squeeze Draktos to death. Draktos broke free.
Garion lunged at his opponent, all the fear and shyness he had possessed in school was entirely out of his system. It was a freeing and exhilarating feeling. “It‟s over Draktos,” Garion said. “I‟ve got you cornered.”
Draktos found himself standing at the edge of the moat. The water below was dark and murky and jagged rocks uninvitingly speared the top of it. Garion held out his left hand and a huge sea monster flew out of it, twisting and thrashing about in the air. Its teeth flashed right before it disappeared down into the cold, black water. It was hungry—very hungry.
The sea monster had startled Draktos and at that very moment, Garion pushed him with all his might over the edge and into the sea monster‟s new lair. Bone-crunching sounds filled the air; the sea monster ate him up in seconds! Satisfied, Garion slowly looked around. There was bloodshed everywhere. Draktos and his army were dead. The war was over. Sadly, Garion lost around 150 members from his heroic team.
Exhausted, Garion and his remaining army trudged back inside their base to recover and tend to their wounds. “Well,” Garion said softly once everyone was safely inside, “that was intense. But now Draktos is dead and we can all finally feel relieved.”
“No,” said a loud voice out of nowhere. “Draktos is not dead. The wars are not over. In fact, it has all just begun.” Garion lifted his head and looked around.
A man pushed through the crowd. It was King Rebolto. Everyone gasped.
“Rebolto!” Garion cried. He ran over to the king and hugged him.
“Hello, Garion,” Rebolto said solemnly. Garion stepped back.
“The sea monster ate Draktos!” he insisted. “I saw it.” Purstan nodded in agreement. “I‟m afraid you are wrong,” King Rebolto replied. “Draktos teleported to his secret hideout right before the sea monster could eat him.”
“Then what? Who?” Garioan interrupted.
“He used his magic to put one of his men in his place at the last second; the sea monster ate him up.”
“But . . .” Garioan began.
Rebolto raised a hand to stop Garioan from talking. “Draktos built a secret hideout under your team base.”
Rebolto motioned for everyone to come around him as he waved his hands in the air. A foggy mist appeared before him and suddenly the whole army could see Draktos and his remaining team, laughing and talking about how good of a trick they had pulled off. In the background, Garion noticed a dartboard with a picture of him on it. The picture had rubber bands nailed to his head. He remembered Quishow and shuddered.
“So it has just begun,” Garion whispered.
“See?” Rebolto said. “Consider today‟s battle practice for what is to come.”
Garion sighed. “Guess we better start training, guys.” The team grunted. “We can start tomorrow but for now we‟ll take a break.”
Chapter 6: The Secret is Out
The next morning, Garion was up extra early for training. But when he went outside to grab the newspaper, he almost fainted. On the front page was an article about the war Garion and his team had fought. The article said that at 4:00 p.m. today, the president was going to personally visit Garion to show his gratitude.
When he finished reading the article to his team, one of the members asked, “So, what‟s the big deal? I would think this is a good thing. Now the whole world knows about us and we‟ll be famous.”
Garion shook his head vigorously. “The big deal is King Rebolto told us that if we show everybody that we are aliens, they might think we‟re harmful and try to kill us.”
“But they just saw us fight a war to protect Earth,” the confused member said.
“You don‟t understand,” Garion replied. “I‟ll just work something out with the president on my own.” The whole team agreed to this plan.
When 4:00 p.m. rolled around, Garion had everything set up for the president‟s arrival. He checked the bathroom mirror to make sure he looked like a human. The doorbell rang.
“Come in!” Garion said.
The door opened and Garion saw two Secret Service personnel dressed in black suits standing in the doorway. A tall, skinny man, also wearing black, stood behind them. The tall man was the president, Tim Carter.
“Hello, Garion,” The president said.
“Hello, Mr. President!” Garion said excitedly. “Please, call me Tim. Also, you don‟t have to hide it.”
“Hide what?” Garion asked nervously.
“Your alien form,” Tom replied, smiling. “Everybody knows you‟re an alien.”
Garion hesitated but then morphed into his alien form. It was quiet for a second but then Garion spoke. “Tim, would you like to join me in the conference room?”
The president nodded and the two of them, along with the Secret Service members, went inside a big room with an oversized table and numerous chairs surrounding it. When everyone was comfortable, it was the president‟s turn to speak. “So Garion, what was that war all about?”
Garion told the president everything. He told him about Purstan, and, of course, Draktos. While he told the president everything, he also talked about how friendly Martians really are.
When Garion finished, he pleaded, “Please don‟t try to kill us. We are friendly aliens and we won‟t hurt anybody. Honest.” He almost sounded like the young, innocent boy he had once been not so long ago.
The president laughed. “Why would I try to kill you?”
“Because everybody thinks aliens are harmful,” Garion said matter-of-factly. “A lot of people think aliens are evil and want to take over the world.”
The president nodded. “Well, when I first heard about the war, that‟s what I thought,” he admitted. “But when I looked into it a bit more, I discovered you were fighting the evil god, Draktos. I knew you were the good guys, but there‟s just one thing . . .” he said cautiously.
“Oh? What‟s that?” the president asked.
But now I‟ve decided, I am going to make you famous like your idol, Tom Granger. Starting tomorrow everybody will be begging for your autograph, too.”
“Unfortunately, there will be more wars like yesterday,” Garion explained. “My team and I are going to do our best to keep Earth safe so we need some training time. Could you just stall them until the day after tomorrow?”
The president pursed his lips together and thought a moment. “I see,” he said. “Well, sounds good. If there‟s anything you need from the United States Army, then let me know.”
“Thank you, Mr. President!” Garion said excitedly. “But I think—I hope—we‟ll be all set.”
“Sounds good,” the president said. He and his two guards stood up. “Well, I have to get to a meeting but it was nice meeting you, Garion.” He extended his hand to shake Garion‟s tentacle. Escorted by his secret service staff, he quickly exited.
“It was nice meeting you, too!” Garion called out.
The next time Garion saw the city streets, there was an unusual amount of traffic and people all over the place. Once again, everyone had copies of the newspaper in their hands. The only difference was that this time Garion knew what was going on. He didn‟t feel the need to be alarmed.
Back home, as soon as Garion went into the main room, Rebolto teleported inside. “What have you done!?” Rebolto cried. “You are a fool!”
“It‟s okay,” Garion said, trying to reassure the king. “The president knows we‟re the good guys.”
“But what If he double-crosses you?” Rebolto asked. “Then what are you going to do?”
“He‟s not going to do that,” Garion said.
“Don‟t come crying to me when the SWAT team arrives at your door,” Rebolto muttered. With that, he teleported back to Mars. Suddenly a sinking feeling lingered in Garion‟s chest. Had he done the right thing? He shook the negative thoughts out of his head. This was no time to second-guess himself.
But Rebolto was right, as he always was. The president had gone straight out the door— and under the team base. “I did it!” he said proudly to his audience. “Garion really thought I was the president!” Everybody in the room laughed. Then the imposter slowly peeled off his skin to reveal his true identity: Draktos! The two Secret Service members took off their disguises to reveal Draktos‟s right- and left-hand men.
“The day after tomorrow,” Draktos laughed wickedly. “Garion dies!”
Chapter 7: Back to the Basics
The next morning, Garion woke up early to set up the virtual room. But when he entered the virtual room, he had no idea how to work anything. He thought there would be some kind of instructions for him but all he saw was a big empty room with a mechanical texture. Garion decided to call the president and ask for instructions, after all, the president had told him to call if he needed anything. Because of that, training was delayed until 2:00 p.m.
At 2:00 p.m., Garion finally got the instructions by teleporting to a fake office that Quishow made. The instructions were there, and read:
Whatever you want the virtual room to turn into, just think it and touch the wall. The virtual room will read your thoughts and turn the room into those thoughts. NOTE: Only one person can use the room at once. When the person who put his hand on the wall first leaves the virtual room, the next person who touches the wall can do whatever they want until they leave.
“Seems easy enough,” Garion said. “Let‟s go.” The team followed its leader to test out the high-tech room. Garion thought about the top of the virtual room being a chair with an enormous control panel. On the bottom he would make training courses for the team with the control panel. He touched the wall and all that happened instantaneously.
“Crasher, now would be a good time to tell us what you think Draktos‟s weaknesses are,” Garion suggested. He looked to his partner.
“Hmmm,” Crasher thought for a moment. “One of Draktos‟s major weaknesses is light,” he said. “We should probably practice throwing balls of light from our hands.” He volunteered to go first. Garion pressed some buttons on the control panel. Darkness came out of nowhere. In about a minute, the bottom of the virtual room was shrouded in darkness.
“Okay, Crasher, you know what to do?” Garion asked.
“I think so,” Purstan said confidently.
The room fell silent. At first, everybody thought that the darkness got Purstan. But then a big ball of light broke the mist and Purstan was unharmed. “I did it!” Purstan yelled. “I did it!” He high-fived a few of his teammates.
“Great job, Purstan. Next?” Another volunteer stepped up.
The team practiced for the next two hours. After that, different team members started guessing some of Draktos‟s army‟s weaknesses, based on the first war. Garion would create various virtual scenarios and members from his army would take turns conquering each situation.
They practiced for the entire day. Given that Draktos‟s most fatal weakness was any form of light, Garion and his team figured that his next plan would be to block out the sun, perhaps with a hybrid machine. This time they‟d be even more ready than before.
“Okay,” Crasher said. “First thing tomorrow we should set up security cameras in Draktos‟s hideout, just to see if he really is building a machine to block out sunlight, then we can . . .”
“Absolutely not,” Garion interrupted. “We are not going to his hideout. Ever. It‟s too dangerous.”
The teammate‟s face flushed with embarrassment. “Okay, sorry,” he said.
“Tomorrow everybody will know about us and they will be begging for our autographs and to hang out with us.”
“But afterward we can…”
“There is no afterward!” Garion yelled. Once we get recognized, there is no way we‟ll have time to execute our plan against Draktos. In the meantime, let‟s hope that Draktos doesn‟t finish his machine.” The room grew silent.
“So now we just wait?” Purstan asked nervously.
Garion hesitated. “I don‟t know. I‟ll have to sleep on it,” he said. Man, I’m still just a kid, he anxiously thought. There was so much pressure on him, well, to save the world. He knew he was smart but his earlier insecure days were still tugging at the back of his mind. He pushed the thoughts away again.
Chapter 8: The Darkness Rises
The next day, Garion awoke to a swarm of people at his door. They were holding notebooks and pens. “Oh great, must be the fans!”
The sound of the fans woke up everyone else, too. “How do we calm them down?” asked one of teammates.
“I think the only way is to give them what their looking for…our autographs.” Garion said. He went up to the door and opened it. A stampede of people came inside. Garion was close to getting crushed. “They are going to ruin all our work,” worried Garion. Just then he had an idea.
He went outside and made a small piece of land with a tiny body of water and then created a replica of their mansion. Garion used his wristwatch to communicate to his team. He instructed his team to act like robots and pretend their mansion was made only for tours.
“He-llo,” one of the teammates said, “Wel-come-to-the-ex-act-re-pli-ca-of-Gar-i-on‟sman-sion.”
Another teammate picked up, “Ev-ery-thing-looks-like-the-real-man-sion-next-to-thisone.”
“Hey,” one of the people shouted, “this isn‟t Garion‟s team. These are robots. And the real mansion is next to here. Let‟s go to the real one!” Everybody rushed out of the base.
“Glad that‟s over,” Garion said.
“But what if they come back?” Crasher asked.
“Don‟t worry, I‟ll think of something by then,” Garion said.
While all of this was happening, everybody forgot about Draktos. Garion was right. Draktos was building a machine to block out the sun. And he had just finished.
“I must wait for the perfect moment to successfully launch my machine,” he snickered. He started pressing buttons on the machine and then stopped with a grin on his face. “Garion will be destroyed and I will rule the world!”
He decided to incorporate the element of surprise—to activate the machine when Garion and his army least expected it. He knew they were aware of his base under the ground. To mix things up a bit, he decided to teleport to the one of the Earth‟s most feared places: The Bermuda Triangle. He then planned to turn on the machine from there.
Draktos attached a flag from the Bermuda Triangle on top of his contraption. A huge white light came up all over the island. Then he started the countdown. “Now that The Flag of Power is ready, which is the reason this place is haunted, I can start the countdown. Ready to launch in 5 . . . 4 . . . 3 . . . 2 . . . 1. Go!”
He pressed a big red button on the machine. A huge red-and-black light shot into the sky. The light began spreading all over the world. “My machine works!” Draktos cried out. “The world is now mine!”
Garion was headed to his room to reflect on the upcoming battle when he saw a huge white light through the window. Immediately, the sky turned red and black. Draktos is probably behind this, he thought right away.
As soon as the dark-colored sky hit the base, his entire army morphed into zombies. Quick-thinking Garion used his powers to create a shield around himself and Purstan so they wouldn‟t turn into zombies—and so that they couldn‟t attack him. It took him a minute to figure out what was going on. In the end, he decided that he had been right about Draktos‟s machine. Draktos had just launched his machine to block the sun and it is spreading all over the world.
Garion stuck out his hand and a tiny spray can came out of it. The label on the spray can read INVISIBLE SPRAY. Garion shook it vigorously and sprayed its contents all over his shield so he could see and be protected at the same time. The zombies thought Garion‟s
shield was gone and charged at him again. No matter how hard they tried, they couldn‟t break through.
“Where is all this is coming from?” Garion wondered out loud. He carefully took the footage of the white light in the security cameras outside of the mansion and put it in his tracking device. Upon reviewing the footage, he was able to track the white light to place where almost no one would dare go to: The Bermuda Triangle.
When he got there, he expected to see something enormous but what he saw was a tiny island part of the Bermuda Triangle—plus Draktos and his machine with a flag in the middle of it. Draktos whipped around and locked eyes with Garion.
“Well, well, well,” Draktos sneered. “If it isn‟t Garion trying to stop my plan. This time you‟re too late!” Draktos stuck out his hands and then two bigger, black hands stretched out and grabbed Garion‟s shield. The hands rubbed the shield all over until the Invisible Spray wore off. They crumbled the shield and it immediately turned into dust. Draktos retracted the giant hands and trapped Garion in a dark energy ball.
“What‟s going on?” Garion demanded angrily. “Why are you doing this?”
“Isn‟t it obvious?” Draktos replied. “I‟ve been trying to take over the world and I finally did it! This flag that‟s stuck in my machine is the Flag of Power. It controls Earth from the Bermuda Triangle. Why do you think half of the planes and ships that crossed
through here have mysteriously disappeared? Too much power! And now that this power is stuck in my machine, I control Earth! And now I‟m about to control you.” He took the dark energy ball off of Garion and grimaced.
“You just made a big mistake,” Garion warned him. He charged for Draktos.
“I don‟t think so,” Draktos quipped. While Garion was charging for Draktos, he stopped dead in his tracks and fell to the ground. He suddenly felt very weak and tired.
“What have you done?” Garion cried out in a panting voice.
“Simple,” Draktos answered. “Whoever is under the dark sky becomes my zombie minion. That‟s how I programmed my machine. Oh, and by the way, I was the president, you imbecile.”
Garion gasped. King Rebolto had been right all along. Why hadn‟t he listened to Rebolto? Will the real president eventually come?
“Just so you know, I made you famous for a reason: So a bunch of fans would charge for your house and that would give me time to launch my machine,” Draktos hissed at Garion. “The only reason I gave you an extra day to train is because I needed time to finish my machine. Now rise, minion. Rise!”
When Garion got to his feet, he, too, was a zombie. “Master, what is your command?” Garion asked, hating every word that was coming out of his mouth.
“Redesign your team base to make it look like this,” Draktos said proudly. He held up a hand-drawn picture of a big, dusty haunted mansion with a big BEWARE sign on the front lawn. On the top of the mansion, there was a sign that read: DRAKTOS‟ MANSION: THE DEATH MAKERS.
Garion nodded, having no energy to argue. He had no other options; he was a defeated soldier. “I‟ll get to work on it,” he said slowly. With that, he barely managed to teleport back to his base.
Things went smoothly in the city of Darktopolis (Draktos renamed New York) for approximately two years. Draktos put a force field around Earth so the Martians couldn‟t come in and destroy his machine. But one day, when Draktos was holding his weekly Freaky Festival, a new hero flew to save Earth from Draktos‟s dark wrath. His name was Nightblader. He was a swift soldier who spread light everywhere he went. He works alone and is known for his dark clothing, eye mask, and a picture of an eagle that adorns the middle of his shirt.
Draktos was in the middle of Draktos Stadium, making an announcement. “Hello, people!” Draktos said excitedly. “Welcome to this week‟s Freaky Festival!” The crowd started screaming. “This week we will be featuring . . .”
Draktos‟s watch started to beep. Huh? That’s strange, he thought. SHIELD DISABLED, the watch blinked. SHIELD DISABLED. SHIELD DISABLED. SHIELD DISABLED.
“Excuse me for a moment,” Draktos said, clearly distracted. “While I‟m gone, please enjoy my friends, Mr. and Mrs. Blood, perform their act.” A group of vampires stood up and flew onto the stage.
Draktos quickly slinked inside a little room in the coliseum. When he got there, he switched the watch to the communicator function and called the government. The watch‟s screen displayed an image of a big, burly man who looked like a security guard. Draktos could see people running all over the place in the background.
“What is going on!?” he whispered.
“Someone passed through the shield and now it‟s broken,” the security guard answered. “Whoever did this is moving at the speed of light. And get this: wherever this person goes, the light goes. If he runs across China, the sky will be bright only in the exact path that he travels.”
“That‟s absurd!” Draktos cried. “So what are we doing about it?”
The security guard continued. “Unfortunately, he already destroyed your machine at the middle of the earth. But this machine has given so much energy to Earth that the planet can fully power itself now. That‟s not what we‟re worried about though. We‟re worried that this man is going to run all over the Earth to change it back to normal.”
Draktos gasped and glared into the screen. “We cannot let that happen now, can we?” he warned.
The security guard shook his head. “Don‟t worry, sir. We‟re already hunting him down.”
“Call me if anything bad happens,” he said. Just then a man approached the security guard and handed him some papers. The security guard scanned them and looked amazed. “What? What is it?” Draktos asked, reading his concerned face.
“Well,” the security guard said. He turned to his computer and started typing like a madman. “Looks like I was right. This guy is literally running around the world. We have to stop him quick. Wait…what‟s that noise?” He heard his men screaming and suddenly disappeared from the screen. “What is going on over there?!” Draktos demanded. “Tell me! Come back!”
The security guard returned, visibly flustered. “Draktos, you have to stop this person at all costs. You must . . .” The screen went blank. Draktos turned off his watch and went back outside to the coliseum.
“Attention, people!” Draktos said urgently. “First of all, I hope you enjoyed the Bloods‟ act.” The Bloods stood up and the crowd started cheering. “But . . .” The crowd went silent. “There‟s a little problem. It seems that the shield protecting Earth broke.”
The crowd gasped and started to panic. Draktos raised his hands to calm them. “If everybody could just form a quiet, single-file line and leave for shelter—” He didn‟t have to tell them twice. The crowd rushed out of the stadium screaming.
Draktos could see flashes of light from far away. “I have a very bad feeling about this,” said he mumbled. And then he, too, ran for shelter.
Meanwhile, Garion was going off to defend Draktos‟ base. He saw the flashes of light outside and his heart began to beat wildly. “Run!” Garion shouted to his army. But it was too late for them. Flashes of intense, bright light came from all over the place. Garion fainted.
When Garion came to, he was in front of his team base. A wooden bucket sat at his feet. The sun was shining again so Garion knew everything was back to normal. He cautiously
looked inside the bucket at a purplish kind of water. Then he noticed a handwritten note attached to the handle:
My name is Nightblader. I am the person who saved you. Inside this bucket is dark energy. I took this dark energy out of Draktos’s machine before I destroyed it. If you mix this with some light energy, the results won’t be disappointing. There’s more about myself but I cannot yet reveal it. We’ll meet again . . .
What was that all about? Garion wondered. He stood up but felt a little woozy still from passing out. Ugh, I’ll think about it tomorrow. For now, I need some rest.
He heard Purstan calling out to him. “Come on, Garion! We‟re about to shut down for the night!”
“I‟m coming,” Garion responded, rubbing his head and picking up the heavy bucket of dark energy. He went inside the team base and informed everyone about the bucket, its
contents, the note, and the latest on Draktos. By then he was so exhausted that he didn‟t even remember falling asleep.
Chapter 9: No Way Out
Garion woke up at 11:00 a.m. the next morning. He was really tired from being Draktos‟s slave for a little over two years now and it was wearing on him. He decided to let his team sleep in, too. He washed up, ate a light breakfast by himself, then went to the stage, which was set up in the middle of the room, and set everything up for the energy mixture. He prayed that it would do something, anything, to make him and his army feel better.
He put three matching buckets on the stage: two were empty and one had the dark energy inside it. It took him about fifteen minutes to get everything organized. He grinned a little, remembering the days when he used to mix food coloring-laced solutions in school. Life was much simpler then. At least he didn‟t have to dodge rubber bands anymore. Now it was balls of deadly energy. He shrugged.
When he was all set, he sat on the stage and waited for the rest of his team to wake up. Well, Garion thought. It may be a while before these guys wake up. Perhaps I’ll take a little nap. Garion got comfortable on the stage and was fast asleep in seconds.
When Garion‟s team finally woke up and went into the meeting room for breakfast, they noticed Garion lying down on the stage outside. “Great! Let me get the bullhorn,” laughed Purstan. He went to a cabinet and opened it. He took the bullhorn out of the cabinet and everyone tiptoed outside to the stage. He counted to three silently with his fingers and then blew the horn in Garion‟s ear. Garion woke immediately and jumped a
mile. “You jerk!” Garion grumbled. “I guess I must have fallen asleep. But now that we‟re all awake, I can get to the mixing. Let‟s start.” Everybody crowded around the stage.
First, Garion made a little light ball in his hands. Then, he gently lowered the light ball into one of the empty buckets. When the light ball touched the bucket, Garion let go of it. The light ball turned into a yellowish kind of water. Then Garion put the bucket with the purple water into the other empty bucket and put the bucket with the yellow water into the bucket that held the purple water. Half of the water was purple and half of it was yellow. Garion formed a ball out of that water and shot himself with it.
There was a huge white light reaction but it only lasted a couple seconds before it disappeared. After the white light wore off, Garion was half-yellow, half-purple, and had a little spiky hair do. “I‟ll call this form of me . . . Plaskin!” Garion joked. Everybody clapped at the transformation.
Right after that happened, a quick flash of light came into the base. After the light was gone, a note appeared at Garion‟s feet. Garion picked it up and read the note to the team:
I will join your team, if you want. But first, I want you to see my base.
“Did somebody send me this as a prank?” Garion asked, slightly annoyed. The team stayed silent. A few seconds passed and then another quick flash of light appeared. This time, Garion was gone when it cleared.
The next thing he knew, Garion was flying through space at light speed. In less than a minute, Garion was at one of the highest points in space. He was in a little laboratory with computers and all kinds of high-tech gadgets. Garion immediately changed back into his alien form.
“What‟s going on?” he asked, taking in the strange and unfamiliar surroundings. A person dressed in a black costume with a hawk symbol on it approached him.
“My name is Nightblader,” he said. “I am the one who sent you that note and gave you the dark energy. This is my laboratory.” He extended his hand out as a peace offering but Garion didn‟t move.
Nightblader continued. “Like I said in the second note, I will join your team if you see my laboratory. Now, come over here and stand by this wall.”
“Why?” Garion asked cautiously.
“Because you might activate the security system if your DNA isn‟t registered into my laboratory,” Nightblader informed him. “The only reason the alarms didn‟t go off already
is because I turned them off. If you stand by that wall and stick your hands up, I can press this button and my laboratory will scan and save your DNA.” He held up a remote control with a big red button.
“Okay,” Garion hesitated but he went over to the wall. “Now what?” Nightblader smiled wickedly. “Now I laugh since you fell for my evil plan!” He pressed the button and the wall spun around quickly in one full revolution. Suddenly, Garion found himself cuffed to the wall. Someone he didn‟t recognize was also cuffed to the wall but that person refused to make eye contact with him. A small black stain separated Garion and the prisoner next to him. Garion wasn‟t sure what it was but he knew he was about to find out.
Nightblader ripped off his skin to once again reveal the evil Draktos. Nightblader was actually Draktos! “Let me explain what‟s going on,” Draktos said. “I pretended to be Nightblader this whole time. The first note was sent by the real Nightblader, but I sent the second one.”
Garion shook his head, confused. What was going on? He tried to move his arms but he was frozen in the restraints.
“After Nightblader sent the first note, I uncovered it and came up with this brilliant plan. First, I captured Nightblader and trapped him here in his own lab. But why ruin anymore surprises?” Draktos laughed. “The rest of my plan you will find out later.” Garion started
violently shaking in his cuffs, trying to free himself, but it was no use. The second prisoner made no efforts to move whatsoever. “Oh, one last thing,” Draktos grinned. “Say hello to the real Nightblader right next to you.”
This time Garion turned his head all the way to look at the form next to him and he couldn‟t believe what he saw. It was his classmate, Max! Max had helped Quishow fling rubber bands at him. Max is being pretty quiet now, Garion thought, rolling his eyes. But he was torn. Seeing him silent and obviously in pain made him want to help him but the anger and resentment from their schooldays just made him frustrated.
But while he was wrestling with his emotions, he suddenly saw the black stain on the wall start to grow bigger. Soon enough, it turned into black ooze. As it began to slowly cover Garion and Max like quicksand, it formed a big face of its own. The face growled.
“Meet Synthesis,” Draktos said. “I told you you‟d find out most of my plan later. Soon you‟ll know the ending and I promise you, it‟ll go off with a bang!” With that, Draktos pressed a button and bright red lights began flashing all over the laboratory. Then he disappeared.
A robotic alert sounded over a nearby computer: “Self-destruct in five minutes.”
“Self-destruct?!” Garion yelled. “Max, we have to get out of here quickly!”
Max, or Nightblader, slowly looked over at Garion. It was obvious he was a bit disoriented. “How do you know my name?” he asked.
“It‟s me, Nirem, from school!” Garion cried. “Considering the circumstances, I think it‟s time we put aside our differences and just be friends.”
“Nirem?” Max asked incredulously. “Is it really you?”
“Yes it‟s me,” Garion answered. “There‟s no time for small talk now though. Right now we have to get out of this mess or we‟ll be someone‟s breakfast tomorrow morning!”
“I know,” Max said. “What should we do?”
“We have about three minutes left to get out of here before this place explodes. Are you ready, Max?” Garion asked, looking straight into his eyes.
“Ready,” Max replied.
“I‟ll try first and if I get out, I‟ll get you out,” Garion said.
“Okay, hurry!” Max responded anxiously. Garion tried hard to slip into the wall but he couldn‟t. Synthesis growled.
“I can‟t do it,” Garion exclaimed. “Synthesis‟s melting into my skin! He‟s draining all my powers. I can‟t even move!”
Max also tried to move but he couldn‟t. “Neither can I!” Max shouted.
“Self-destruct in thirty seconds,” the computer announced.
“Well,” Garion whispered. “If we‟re going down, at least were going down together.”
Max gulped. “Yep,” he replied. Both boys squeezed their eyes shut and waited. destruct in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 . . .”
“Wait!” A gigantic boom shook the laboratory. The boom was so loud that Garion‟s teammates could hear it from far, far away. Garion slowly opened his eyes and realized he was still alive. His plan had worked. He looked over at Nightblader who was staring at him in total disbelief. “Wow,” the two boys said in unison.
What Draktos didn‟t realize was that Synthesis didn‟t only trap Garion and Nightblader, he protected them. Synthesis‟s thick, oozing body acted as a shield for the two warriors. Not only that, after Synthesis was eliminated, Garion turned into Plaskin, which used Synthesis‟ dark energy to create a bigger shield. Their chains had been shattered in the blast and they were free again—but now they were floating in space with no sense of direction!
At the last minute, Garion had also attached his Plaskin form to Nightblader so they wouldn‟t lose each other during the blast. Two days passed as they continued to float together in the quiet darkness. It was eerie but almost peaceful in a way; they drifted in and out of consciousness and survived on the food and water Garion could make in his alien form.
Martians found them on the third day and took them back to Mars.
When Garion and Nightblader woke up, they were in the Martian hospital. When their eyes opened, everyone started clapping. A figure approached Garion. It was Rebolto. He smiled.
“Last time I saw you, you busted out the door, talking about how I would get arrested,” Garion muttered.
“I know. Sorry about that,” replied Rebolto, feeling bad for somewhat deserting his protégé. “But can you just stay here one more night so we can make sure you don‟t have any serious injuries?”
“Alright,” agreed Garion. He was very groggy. “Are you taking care of Max? He had been with me. Are his powers okay?”
“His powers are fine,” Rebolto assured him. “He‟s actually a few beds over from you. He, too, should also stay another night.”
“Okay,” Garion said weakly. Garion looked across the way. He saw Max receiving some shots and stitches. “Max?” murmured Garion.
Max turned around and saw Garion. He smiled. “Max, when we get back to the base, you have some serious explaining to do about your powers,” Garion said. Max smiled again and nodded, then he closed his eyes.
The next day, Garion and Nightblader were released from the Martian hospital. On the way out, they heard Rebolto calling them. They stopped and turned for a moment. “Garion, I almost forgot to tell you,” Rebolto said, catching up to them. “I scheduled an appointment for you to visit with your parents tomorrow. The spaceship will pick you up from Earth at about 11:30 a.m.”
“Seriously?” Garion asked. It seemed like he hadn‟t seen his folks in ages. “Thank you. I can‟t wait!” Garion and Nightblader thanked Rebolto for his kindness and flew back to the base.
Chapter 10: More Bad News
Garion woke up very excited the next morning. He was finally going to meet his Martian parents. But first, he needed to talk with Max. As soon as he and Max were alone in the conference room, Garion began questioning him. “So, tell me everything,” he said. He was eager to learn as much as possible.
“Well,” Max started, “I should start by telling you that I‟m not from this planet. I came from a planet called Garlock. Garlock was created when Pluto froze up.”
“Wait a second, Pluto was once warm?” Garion asked, trying to recall his mental notes from all of his science and social studies classes, but nothing jogged his memory.
“Yeah, but then an ice comet hit it,” Max said., “Anyway, the Plutonians fled Pluto and found another planet with no life on it. The Plutonians figured that the planet‟s life must have been destroyed in a huge battle. So they claimed that planet as their own and named it Garlock—after their chief leader, Garlock.”
“Go on . . .” urged Garion.
“Well, that‟s not the point,” Max said abruptly.
“Okay, then what is the point?” Garion asked, extremely confused.
“The point is, I was actually born when a—” He was interrupted by loud sounds of rockets in the backyard. It was time for Garion to go visit his parents. He stood up quickly.
“Time to go!” he grinned nervously. “Finish your story later!”
Garion ran outside and boarded the meteor. He was headed for Mars. When he finally arrived, Garion saw two additional aliens standing next to the regular guards at the large gate.
“Mom, is that you!?” Garion cried. Tears welled in his eyes. “Dad?!” Garion ran up to the aliens and hugged them tightly.
“Yes,” responded his mother between sobs.
“We‟ve missed you, son,” his father whispered.
Everybody went to the conference room in the Martian capital to talk. “Mom, Dad, I can‟t believe you‟re aliens, too!” Garion said. “How did you become aliens!?”
“Well,” Garion‟s dad began slowly. “We‟ve always been aliens. Since your birth, we decided we wouldn‟t tell you. But then, when Draktos showed up, we decided it was time you knew the truth. That‟s why I told the Martians to quickly get you away from Earth.”
“That was you!?” Garion shouted in disbelief. “Couldn‟t you have at least told me that you were going to put me through all that confusion?”
“Sorry,” Garion‟s dad apologized. “It was all so sudden and we didn‟t have much time.”
His mother interrupted. “There‟s one more thing you should know,” she said, glancing at her husband. “We realized what Draktos‟ new plans were. Draktos is planning to—”
The ceiling crashed down. Garion‟s parents screamed with terror. When Garion wiped the dust from his eyes, Draktos was already flying off in the distance with them.
“Mom! Dad!” Garion cried. He shot up into the air and chased after Draktos. “Give me back my parents, Draktos!” he screamed. “They have nothing to do with this!”
“Actually they do,” Draktos snapped back, clutching the couple with all his might. He flew to the Martian torture chamber in another building. “If you don‟t give me the Time Freezer, I‟ll blow their heads off!”
“No!” Garion screamed.
“Don‟t test me!” Draktos warned. He strapped Garion‟s parents in the seats and taped their mouths shut. “If you ever want to see your parents again, you‟ll give me that Time Freezer!” He started up the laser guns. There was a moment of silence.
“Fine! You win!” Garion gasped. ”I‟ll tell you where it is.”
Garion walked Draktos down the path toward the Time Freezer. But Garion treaded very carefully, attempting to lead Draktos directly into a booby trap. When Draktos stepped in it, he was instantly tied up to a chair. The chair was no match for his strength though and he quickly broke free.
“So you want to play dirty, huh? I‟ll show you dirty!” Draktos charged for Garion at sonic speed. Garion quickly shot a beam from his hand. A huge explosion erupted. When the smoke cleared, Draktos was flying away with Garion‟s parents again—and he also had the Time Freezer!
Garion teleported back to his team base and searched for King Rebolto. Once he found him, he demanded that they meet in the conference room at once. Garion and King Rebolto entered the empty conference room and Garion slammed the door shut.
“How could Draktos have found the Time Freezer?” he cried angrily.
“The guards told me they overheard Draktos wanting to steal it and tried to hide it in another place,” Rebolto explained calmly. “But while they were moving the Time Freezer, Draktos saw it and snatched it.”
“But what does Draktos want with it anyway?” Garion asked.
“Your parents were about to tell you that before Draktos came,” Rebolto replied.
“Max was also about to tell you that before the spaceship came to pick you up.”
“How did you hear that conversation?” Garion asked with surprise.
“I looked in the security camera I installed in your base to see if you were ready, and then I heard it all. Also, when Max was about to tell you, the rockets suddenly sped up.”
“You installed a security camera in my base?” Garion said incredulously.
“For emergencies only, of course,” Rebolto replied, taking a step back.
“But how was that an emergency?” Garion asked angrily.
“Well, okay, maybe it‟s not always for emergencies . . .”
“Rebolto!” Garion barked. “Why were you spying on me?”
“That‟s not the issue right now,” Rebolto said, changing the subject. “How about we go back to the base and put it on lockdown so Draktos doesn‟t hear us? Then I will tell you Draktos‟s full plan.”
Garion was fuming but took a deep breath to try and calm down. “Fine. But I don‟t want you spying on me anymore!” he snapped.
“Fine,” replied Rebolto, crossing his fingers behind his back.
Garion was suspicious, so he nonchalantly used his X-ray vision to see through the king.
“Hey!” Garion yelled. “You‟re crossing your fingers! When we get back to Earth, I am destroying those cameras!”
“Okay, okay,” Rebolto said flippantly. “I promise I will only use the cameras for emergencies.”
“Good,” Garion said, not exactly satisfied. He didn‟t know who to believe anymore.
“Are we good?” Rebolto asked, raising his brow. Garion nodded and looked away. Rebolto smiled and pressed the EARTH button in the spaceship. They headed toward Earth to tell everybody the news.
Chapter 11: Uncovering the Evil Plan
Back at Earth, everybody gathered in the conference room to hear about Draktos‟ evil plan. “Okay, is everybody here?” Rebolto asked.
“Yes,” everyone sighed. The army wanted to do away with Draktos once and for all. He was causing way too much damage to the planet.
“Good. Now, before I start I think one of our guests should help explain. Come on up here, Max.” Max walked onto the conference room stage.
“Max?” Garion asked surprised.
“Yep,” replied Max. “I was trying to tell you about Draktos‟s plan before when the spaceship showed up. Now I can finish.”
Max walked up to the front of the stage. “Everybody, please pay attention. This whole thing all started in Garlock, the minute I was born. Suddenly a huge shadow storm came out of nowhere.”
“What‟s a shadow storm?” Garion interrupted.
“A shadow storm consists of tiny purple raindrops that can melt even steel in a second,” Max explained. “Anyway, my mom thought I was a bad omen so she tried to get rid of me. But before she could, the storm killed her. Somehow, I was protected from the storm by a shield.”
Garion nodded. He was familiar with magic shields. “Continue,” he urged.
Max nodded. “The storm lasted for three weeks and when it was over, the survivors of my planet thought that‟s how the life that used to live there ultimately met its demise. So, to make sure this didn‟t happen again, they threw me into space.”
“After I traveled in space alone for quite some time, I realized that I wasn‟t an omen, I was a sign. I learned that when the universe was created, a big argument between the Light and Dark gods ensued. Both gods wanted to rule the universe,” Max said. He paused and looked at the faces of his audience, making sure they were still following him. They were.
“When the Light God won, the Dark God cursed the universe so that a shadow storm would fall on a different planet every year. Depending on which planet was being affected at the time, all the villains who lived there would gain infinite power for a single minute. And I knew, since I had a magical shield that day, I had to be sign that I will someday defeat or help defeat the god of Darkness, ” he said.
“Hmmm, I think I get it now,” Garion responded. “Draktos stole the Time Freezer so he could stop time entirely when that minute happens, right?”
“Now I will take the story over from here,” Rebolto stepped in.
“You are right, Garion. This year, the shadow storm strikes Earth. Draktos is planning to stop time in that one minute so the villains will gain infinite power.”
Garion‟s team began to whisper. The whispering turned to panicking. What, exactly, were they going to do?
Suddenly, King Rebolto‟s wristwatch started beeping. Rebolto answered the call. He then raised his arms for order again. “We have learned that Draktos has stolen a device that can duplicate and transport items. We think he plans to put a shadow storm and Time Freezer on each planet.”
Max nodded. “We better get our battle strategy down soon because the shadow storm will occur in approximately two weeks.”
“Everybody, get a good night‟s sleep,” Garion said authoritatively. “We definitely have a big day tomorrow.” His team agreed in unison; everyone anxiously went to his or her sleeping quarters.
That night, Garion lay wide-awake in his bed, thinking about everything that has happened to him in the past few days. Suddenly he remembered something Draktos had said. He said he pretended to be the president. If that was true, the real president was probably going to arrest each and every one of them!
I’d better warn the team, Garion thought. But he was too tired to move. Besides, everyone else was probably sleeping by now anyway. Why upset them twice in one night? I’ll do it first thing in the morning, he thought. Then he drifted fast to sleep.
Chapter 12: You’re Under Arrest
When Garion woke up the next day, he completely forgot about his thoughts from the previous night. He was ready to stop Draktos‟s evil plan, once and for all. When everybody finished eating breakfast, there was a sudden knock on the door. “I‟ll get it,” Garion offered.
“Wonder who would visit us this early in the morning?” Purstan said.
“Probably Rebolto ready to give more commands,” a teammate answered.
Garion opened the door to have several FBI agents and numerous police officers stampede inside. A tall man in a black suit followed them in. Garion looked long and hard at the man but his worst fears were confirmed. He was the president—the real president.
“Get him.” the president ordered in a calm but serious tone.
Two FBI men ran toward Garion, grabbing him and handcuffing him to the wall. The handcuffs were electric and, when they were activated, imprisoned Garion in electric shields against the wall so he couldn‟t get out.
“Now, listen up,” the president said to the FBI agents and the police officers. “
We need to capture all the aliens here. Every single one of them!”
“Wait a second,” Garion yelled, “What‟s going on?”
“You‟re under arrest,” the president responded with authority, “for threatening our planet with your wars.”
Garion‟s intuition had been right. The police really were going to arrest him. But there was no way of warning the team without the president thinking they‟d try to escape.
Meanwhile, Draktos had secretly been watching the police arrest Garion. In fact, he had been the one to call the cops, saying Garion was trying to take over the world, and now he was enjoying the show, using his invisibility to keep himself hidden. Draktos warned the officers that he was against Garion‟s evil team. He made up dozens of stories and offered fake documented plans that showed how Garion was planning his attack.
Draktos made sure to cover everything. If Garion insisted that he was good and Draktos was actually the villain, he had a plan in place for that, too. His fingers twitched as he watched in anticipation.
“But we were trying to protect Earth,” Garion tried to explain. “An evil god named Draktos wants to destroy it. You have the wrong army!”
“Prove it,” the president challenged him. “We know all about your antics, Garion. Perhaps Draktos rings a bell? He told us everything.”
Draktos! thought Garion. That trickster! He set me up! He thought a moment and then an idea came to him. “If you let me out of these handcuffs, I can show you his evil hideout,” Garion insisted.
“Nice try. I won‟t let you out of the handcuffs that easily,” the president scoffed. “However, I will let the FBI guards make sure your handcuffs stay on while you take me to this „evil hideout.‟ If you‟re lying, I will make sure you and all of your alien friends pay . . . dearly.”
Two FBI men held onto Garion‟s hands to make sure he didn‟t escape and Garion led the president and his posse to Draktos‟s hideout. When they reached the entrance to the hideout, Draktos panicked. His original plan was to tell the president that Garion had no proof that he was truly evil, but now he had to think of something else—fast. A new idea came to him.
Draktos made himself invisible and shot up from under the ground straight into Garion‟s body. Perfect! thought Draktos. Now I can make Garion say anything I want!
He tested out his new body. “Gotcha!” Draktos said. Since he was in Garion‟s body, the president thought Garion said it! He looked at Garion like he was crazy.
“What are you talking about?” the president asked angrily.
Draktos used Garion‟s tentacles to slip out of the handcuffs. “This isn‟t really Draktos‟s evil hideout!” he laughed. “He doesn‟t have an evil hideout. He only has a good hideout. It‟s near the White House so he can protect it from villains, like myself. I was the evil one all along!”
The president had had enough. “Arrest everybody from this mansion at once!” he ordered. FBI men started running all over the place. It was complete chaos.
Meanwhile, upstairs in the mansion, the team was waiting for Garion to return. Rebolto was already there, ready to help Garion give out orders. The team started to worry about their leader so Rebolto decided to go downstairs to check up on him.
When he saw the FBI agents running toward him, he started screaming and signaling to his team, “Run and hide! Run and hide!” The team started looking for places to hide while Rebolto maneuvered through the FBI agents.
I knew it, Rebolto thought. I warned him, but he didn’t listen.
When Rebolto went outside, he saw Garion being wrestled to the ground by numerous men. “You‟ll never catch me! Muah ha ha ha!” Garion cackled.
When Rebolto heard that laugh, he immediately recognized the voice and realized the current situation. Garion was being controlled by Draktos! Rebolto had to take matters into his own hands now.
He made himself invisible and swooped in through Garion‟s body, grabbing Draktos along with him. It all happened so fast that Draktos couldn‟t react.
“What happened?” Garion asked in a daze. The FBI men—confused by the sudden change in his personality—stopped gripping him for a minute. Garion wriggled free. Before the men could charge at him again, they saw Rebolto and Draktos.
“What‟s going on Draktos?” the president asked. He was getting a headache.
“Allow me to explain, Mr. President,” Rebolto interrupted. “Draktos has always been evil. Garion wanted to fight against Draktos to keep peace in the world. Draktos took over Garion‟s body and pretended to be Garion just now. He also claimed to be evil. That is why you heard a change in Garion‟s voice once Draktos took over.”
“Now that you mention it, I did notice a change in Garion‟s voice when he said he was evil,” the president said, scratching his head. “And it did sound like Draktos‟s voice. Hmmm.”
“It‟s completely okay,” replied Rebolto. “Here‟s Draktos.” Rebolto handed Draktos over to the FBI agents. Draktos hadn‟t experienced a swoop move before. He suddenly fainted in the agents‟ arms.
“Thanks,” said the president. “We‟ll take him to Area 51.”
“Sounds good to me,” Rebolto answered, wondering if that‟s where his spacecraft sent out from Mars went in July, 1947. And with that, the team went inside to discuss their final plan to destroy Draktos.
Chapter 13: The Master Plan Launches
Luckily, Garion‟s plans for Draktos weren‟t delayed because, once again, he managed to quickly get out of a sketchy situation. But when he went inside, Rebolto was waiting for him.
“I can‟t believe it!” Rebolto lectured. “I told you that you would get arrested and that‟s exactly what happened. You don‟t listen to me!” He sighed dramatically before continuing. “And now Draktos‟s team is building a new hideout in a place we don‟t know anything about.”
“You sound like my dad,” Garion muttered. “Anyway, Draktos is in Area 51. He won‟t be able to break out.”
“That‟s where you‟re wrong,” Rebolto said. “The president doesn‟t understand Draktos‟s real powers. Breaking out of Area 51 for him is child‟s play. So, listen closely to me now. We‟ll have to split up.”
“Okay, just tell me what you want me to do,” Garion said. He decided he would listen to Rebolto‟s plans from now on.
Rebolto continued. “I will find the new hideout while you figure out how to stop his machine. Remember, we only have two weeks until Draktos‟s plan is launched.”
Garion nodded. “I‟ll go tell the team.”
After Garion explained how the battle plan would is work for the next two weeks, everybody manned their stations, as appropriate. During this time, however, the plan didn‟t go so well. Rebolto couldn‟t locate any clues as to the whereabouts of Draktos‟s new hideout was and the team didn‟t have any luck locating the machine. Everyone was becoming discouraged.
Soon enough, the day before Draktos‟s plan was to launch had arrived. Garion decided to pay a last-minute visit to Area 51. But that‟s when the president called with some bad news. Garion and Rebolto ran to the conference room to put the president on speakerphone. “Sorry guys, but Draktos broke out of Area 51 and destroyed all of its files and technology,” he said dishearteningly.
“We saw this coming,” Rebolto replied. “It wasn‟t your fault. You didn‟t fully understand Draktos‟s real powers.”
“You‟re right,” the president sighed. “Again, I‟m really sorry about this. I‟ll get the authorities on it right away.”
“Thank you,” Garion said.
Once they got off the call, everybody gathered in the conference room for what could be a final team meeting. “Okay, did anybody find any facts on how to stop Draktos‟s plan?” Garion asked hopefully.
“As suspected, all the files that weren‟t destroyed were blocked by Area 51,” replied one teammate.
“Did you find anything?” Purstan asked Rebolto.
“No,” he answered. “I didn‟t find anything. And I checked under our base again just to be sure, but Draktos was definitely gone.”
“Where could he be?” Purstan pondered. “It just doesn‟t make any sense. Max, what about you?”
Max spoke up, “You know, for some reason, when I scanned the mansion grounds I did pick up on something—but it was just a big bug‟s nest so I left it alone.”
“Things are not looking good for us right now,” Garion groaned.
“Maybe we could use the facts we know to destroy Draktos,” suggested another teammate.
“Yes,” agreed Rebolto. “What do we know?”
“We really only know one thing,” Purstan said, frustrated. “Draktos hates light.”
“Then let‟s try to work off that,” Rebolto replied.
For a long time, the team brainstormed ideas on how to destroy Draktos. None of them were very good or logical, but eventually Purstan came up with an idea that had potential.
“We could destroy the Time Freezer before he activates it,” he simply said. “And if he shows up, we hit him with energy balls filled with light.”
“But what about my parents?” Garion countered. “Draktos might threaten to kill them.”
“So we‟ll set up a spy team to rescue your parents if he threatens them,” Rebolto said. There was a spark in his eyes. “This plan might work! There‟s no time to waste. Get everything ready now! We need to be ready for tomorrow.”
The team spent the rest of the day preparing for battle, or whatever was headed their way. They decided that Garion would go in and stop the Time Freezer. Purstan and one team would attack Draktos full-force. The spy team would rescue Garion‟s parents when Draktos wasn‟t looking. It seemed to be a brilliant plan. But Garion then realized something.
“Invisibility!” Garion shouted moments before everyone went to sleep for the night. They all turned to look at him but he was already out the door and running as fast as he could toward the yard. Rebolto followed close behind. Purstan and Max joined them, too.
“What‟s going on here?” Rebolto asked curiously. “What are you doing?” Garion started digging in the ground near where Draktos‟s evil hideout used to be.
“Um, I told you that was just a bug‟s nest,” Max whispered. “I checked there already.” “Watch,” Garion said, ignoring everyone. He crafted an energy beam in his hands and held it close to the brush that resembled a bug‟s nest. Through the darkness, they could see a glass wall. With a sharp pound, Garion shattered the wall. Loads of machinery now stood in front of them.
“You found it,” Rebolto cried. “Draktos‟s hideout!”
“But where‟s Draktos?” Purstan wondered, looking over his shoulder.
“Probably still setting everything up,” Rebolto said cryptically. “We have no time to stop him right now. We have a big day tomorrow. Let‟s get some sleep.” The foursome agreed and all headed back to the mansion.
The next morning, Garion‟s team woke up very early. Everyone ate breakfast together and then got ready. Rebolto estimated that at 3:05 p.m., the shadow storm would arrive. Max shuddered at the thought. Then the army took their places, hidden out of sight from Draktos.
When Garion got to the machine, he wasn‟t surprised. They were in the Bermuda Triangle. Garion surprised Draktos, who was in the middle of setting up his machine in his hideout. When Draktos saw him, he immediately jumped—but then regained his cool composure again. “Hello, Garion. You came here just in time.”
Garion ignored him, scanning the room for his parents. That‟s when he saw them crouched down and tied up behind the machine. “Give me my parents!” Garion yelled. He lunged forward at Draktos.
Outside, the team knew that Garion‟s yelling was the signal. Purstan burst into the hideout and started shooting light balls from his hands at Draktos; the rest of the team followed suit.
Draktos turned around to face the team full on. Then, with one quick movement, he grew three giant hands: one to grab Garion; one to grab Purstan‟s team; and one to grab the balls of light. He threw them all as far as he could as if they were weightless. They landed in the water outside of the island and immediately swam back up.
“You expect to beat me?” Draktos challenged the army. “Too late!” He made a powerful beam and aimed it directly at Garion. Garion thought he was a goner. Instead, Draktos teleported everybody back to the base. Everybody, that is, except for Garion.
“What‟s going on? Garion said, looking around. “Where did everybody go?”
“They‟re back at the base,” Draktos laughed. “The reason I didn‟t teleport you is because I think you should know a secret about me before you die. You see, I am . . .”
Chapter 14: Draktos’s Secret
“. . . Quishow!” Draktos stared at Garion, waiting for a response. He had waited so long to tell him who he really was.
“What?” Garion exclaimed. “That‟s impossible!” Deep down, however, he wasn‟t that surprised. He then realized something. The rubber bands! That‟s why they were nailed to a picture of him.
“It‟s true,” Quishow said. “Although I‟ve had some help from Draktos‟s evil soul.”
A white light shined brightly, blinding Garion for a minute. When the light subsided, Quishow was standing next to Draktos‟s hovering soul. Garion couldn‟t believe what he was seeing.
“You have helped me a lot,” Quishow said to Draktos‟s soul. “And I have learned all of your powers. But now I no longer need you.”
“What?” asked the soul of Draktos. “The deal was that we take over the world together!”
“Not anymore,” Quishow grinned. “Now that I learned your powers, the deal is off.” Quishow made a big black beam that obliterated Draktos in one shot. Garion‟s mouth fell open in awe.
“It can‟t be!” he said, utterly shocked. “Back at school, you didn‟t even know how to multiply. But now you‟re smart enough to double-cross an evil mastermind!”
Quishow smiled proudly. “Well, I have gotten smarter,” he admitted. “In fact, I‟ve learned almost everything there is to know, including information about the Stars.”
“Wow,” Garion said, rolling his eyes. “You know about astronomy. Good for you.”
“Not those stars, you fool,” Quishow said. “The real Stars. They‟re only the greatest life forms that have ever lived!”
Garion had no idea what or whom he was talking about and shrugged.
“No matter,” Quishow said flippantly. He looked at his watch and smiled. “Your time has come.”
It was 3:05 p.m. The first drop of the shadow rain splashed onto Quishow‟s machine. Instead of breaking it, it made the machine shoot a white beam into the air. The beam
started spreading across the sky. As the beam started to spread and gain momentum, the sky changed to red and black. Quishow glanced at his watch again.
“Is everything going according to plan?” Quishow asked each person on each planet.
“Yes sir,” answered one of his minions. “We are getting energy off of your location as we speak and the other planet‟s time is stopping.”
“Excellent,” Quishow said. He turned to look at Garion. “When Draktos found me, he told me he was feeding off our professor‟s atoms. He didn‟t have enough energy to stay alive, so he wanted to use my body.”
“And you agreed to that?” Garion asked, surprised.
“After we made a deal, I said yes,” Quishow said. “He told me everything about space, and, more importantly, the Stars. After I learned everything, I planned to double-cross him. Pretty clever, isn‟t it?”
“Tell me what the Stars are!” Garion demanded. He knew he was fading fast.
“You can learn about the Stars when you‟re dead!” Quishow cackled. “Just a few more minutes, I bet.” He looked at his watch again.
Garion couldn‟t think of anything to do. The shadow storm was beating heavily on his skin, burning it up. Quishow didn‟t seem to mind.
Suddenly, Garion remembered something; the place where Quishow got the Time Freezer. He needed to go to the Valuables Vault!
It all became so clear. He just had to go to Mars and find something that could stop Quishow. But it was one of the hardest places to get into—much more difficult than Area 51—so he had to think quickly. There wasn‟t much time. I must get there! he frantically thought. It’s our only hope.
Garion quickly flew to Mars as fast as his weak body could carry him—but Quishow followed close behind. Eventually, Garion managed to lose Quishow once he reached the planet. When he got to Rebolto‟s palace, Rebolto was nowhere to be found.
Garion ran through a secret passage under the floor to a little room with a big NASA-type computer in it. The computer was able to take him to any room in the palace. He typed “VV” for Valuables Vault. The computer denied the password. Why would it deny my password? Garion thought. He answered his own question out loud. “Probably because Quishow recreated Mars.”
“Where‟s Garion!?” Quishow asked a palace guard.
“I-I-I d-don‟t know,” the startled guard said. I-I-I saw him g-go down there.” He pointed to the secret door. Quishow threw him out of the way and ran through the secret passage. The guard turned into a zombie at Quishow‟s touch.
Quishow ran as fast as he could until he reached a door. He yanked it open and there, and standing in front of the elaborate computer, was the weakened Garion. Garion was typing furiously, pausing, and typing again. He looked frustrated. Quishow grinned at the sight of the frazzled warrior and swiftly levitated Garion out of the way. He slowly started typing in the new password.
“No!” Garion screamed.
When Quishow finished typing, a giant tube opened up out of nowhere and he jumped in. Garion quickly followed after him. They both slid through the long, twisting tube. Garion saw Quishow and tried shooting him with some light beams. Quishow tried to dodge them but he couldn‟t. When they reached the end of the tube, they were dumped in front of a large metal chamber with a big sign hanging on the front of it: VALUABLES VAULT.
This is it, thought Garion. The moment of truth.
Chapter 15: The End of Garion?
Garion was ready for his final face-off with Quishow. “You haven‟t changed a bit,” Quishow sneered. “Weak and defenseless, just like you were at school.”
“I‟ve gotten stronger than you think,” Garion said. He created an invisible shield around himself so he wouldn‟t be consumed by the darkness.
Quishow hit Garion with a dark blast but Garion blocked it. Garion disappeared under the ground and popped back up behind Quishow. Quishow sensed his presence and quickly turned around, trapping Garion in a ball of shadows. Garion‟s shield was broken. His mind started playing tricks on him and he knew he was about to turn into a zombie again.
Suddenly, Purstan popped out of nowhere and freed Garion. “Snap out of it!” he screamed, shaking Garion‟s shoulders. “Don‟t turn into a zombie!”
“You!” Quishow roared.
“Who‟s that?” Purstan asked.
“Draktos,” Garion answered. “I‟ll explain later but we have to get inside that door. Can you stall him while I go in?”
“Sure!” Purstan said. He ran up to Quishow and attacked him. Garion ran to the door and slipped under it. When Garion got in the vault, all he saw was golden items on the floor. Then he found a mask and picked it up.
“The Mask of Power,” Garion whispered. “Whoever wears it gains infinite power.”
Quishow saw Garion access the vault and screamed. Immediately, he turned his hand into a sharp knife and stabbed Purstan. Purstan didn‟t have a chance as he slunk to the floor. Quishow stepped over his body and headed toward the vault. “No more games!” he shouted.
He, too, slipped under the door to find Garion holding the golden mask. “Give me that mask!” Quishow warned. “Never!” Garion answered. He dashed toward Garion and stole it from his hands. “Now the mask is mine!” He put it on and his whole body turned shiny gold. Garion tried to use Plaskin to stop him but it was no use; Quishow immediately destroyed it.
Now Garion was fresh out of ideas. He couldn‟t think of anything else he could do so he ran. He ran out of the palace and into the darkness as fast as his legs could go! He looked back to see if Quishow was getting close. As soon as he turned his head, he stumbled over a strange-looking rock. He picked up the rock and kept running. That‟s when he noticed it had an inscription on it.
He tried to read the words, but they were in another language.
Suddenly, he found himself trapped on a ledge; Quishow caught up to him. “It‟s over for you!” Quishow screamed.
Will this inscription help me!? Garion wondered. If I concentrate hard enough, will it somehow magically come to me? He closed his eyes and concentrated. Quishow was quickly crafting a giant darkness ball. The words actually started to light up. He was about to figure out what it said!
Quishow slammed the darkness ball at him with as much force as he possibly could. At that exact second, rock‟s inscription was revealed. It said . . .
To be continued . . .
Sneak Peek: The Quest for the Double Star
Note: Do not read this if you like to be surprised.
In the next book, The Quest for the Double Star, Garion realizes a big secret about himself; he is the god Shabithi! He also gets crowned the king of Mars. He bravely goes on a dangerous quest with even more adventures, secrets, and action than ever before. He must find an item called the Double Star that Quishow will use to take over existence before it‟s too late. Will Garion and his army succeed?
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