Copyright © 2017 Jeremy Jexter, All Rights Reserved.
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3500 AD — a period in history where peace reigned supreme upon the earth. This peace had not always been present however.
A millennium and some centuries prior, the earth was in turmoil.
A great many wars had plagued the planet, which led to a cataclysmic event known as Pandemonium — most of the details of which became lost in history.
All that was known was Pandemonium was a destructive and terrifying natural disaster, spanning the entire globe.
The fate of humanity thereafter — as well as the earth — had rested in the hands of a race of ethereal, extra-terrestrial beings called the Ati.
Introducing themselves as an ancient race of beings — spawned since the beginning of time in a galaxy where the lax laws of physics allowed them to master and control the elements — the Ata revealed their roles as protectors and progenitors of life and the guardians of magik.
With their advanced knowledge and abilities, the Ati aided humanity in rebuilding and reshaping their civilizations; creating a new epoch in human history of technological and social advancement.
The Ati also reinstituted to certain noble, human keepers the knowledge of magik — the control of the elements existing within the universe which in ancient times was practiced by human societies.
Consequently, humanity crafted a new, unified civilization and government across the earth called Neo Gaia. During the establishment of Neo Gaia, humanity came into contact with other advanced races of extraterrestrials within the Milky Way Galaxy, some of whom allied with the human race and shared in culture, technology and knowledge — leading to the creation of the Galactic Fellowship or simply the ‘Fellowship’ as it was more commonly known.
Among other endeavors, the Fellowship took great strides to maintain justice, law and balance throughout the galaxy and thus formed the Illuminan Army — consisting of specially trained military personnel — as well as the Guardian Order of Illumia; an autonomous order which consisted of mages specially trained in the art of magik — Mages.
Though fewer in number than the Illuminan Army, the magi were highly skilled and their training rigorous — mostly contained within temples across the galaxy.
The mages were often employed to handle special matters which the Illuminan Army were not trained for. Many of these matters involved traveling to far reaches of the galaxy or in the case of this day, the Space Colony Illumia — one of the largest space colonies in the galaxy.
Illumia was more than a colony — it was a symbol of peace and cooperation between the various governments of the Fellowship. As such, many races of beings from across the galaxy dwelled upon Illumia. It was also where the main temple of the Guardian Order of Illumia was situated; in the 7th Zone of the Aquarius District — one of twelve districts named after the zodiacal signs of old.
Anerius Novengard took great pains to sneak out of the temple, just as he had been doing for the past month. The ends of his dark cloak flapped as he flew through the air — propelled by the element of air which he had priorly summoned — a feat of elemental magic only those trained at the Guardian Order of Illumia were privy to.
It did not take him long to reach his destination — a tall building on the outskirts of the Aquarius District.
The premises were well gated and guarded, though such was of no consequence to him; having now made it past every sensor, guard and security system.
He stood stood on a balcony on the building’s highest floor, taking no notice of the two guards laying on the floor whom he had previously incapacitated. Anerius walked through the translucent, automatic doors which parted to grant him entry. The suite was large. Just as always.
He felt a presence behind him, turned around quickly.
“Knocking out my guards again, Neophyte Novengard?” the female standing before him asked.
Anerius took off his hood with a gloved hand and appraised her form — she was beautiful as always; her damp, curly hair spiralled down to the end of one shoulder as she patted her hair dry with a white towel — similar to the one wrapped around her petite body.
Anerius grinned, “They are not so good to keep if a mere Neophyte can get pass them, Aura,” he replied, staring at the plain, white wall ahead.
“Your abilities are far different than theirs,” she said, stepping around to stand before him, “It is not a fair assessment,” she added with a smile.
“Until we discover who has been trying to kill your father, it should be ensured that you both have the best security available.”
“That is why we have the Illuminan Guard at our disposal, or is it just that you want an excuse to come see me?” she said with a smile.
Anerius smirked and stepped closer to her, “I would be remiss if something happened to you.”
“I am not worried,” she said, smiling up at him, “I shall be fine, especially with one such as yourself attending to my safety. Won’t sneaking out of the temple every night get you reprimanded?”
“They are none the wiser,” Anerius boasted, finding himself lost in her large, brown eyes. “You took a traditional shower? How unusual.”
“Oh yes, it’s nice sometimes to experience the elements in their most base form…no magic,” she said, leaning her body against his. He didn’t care for the wetness as he wrapped his arms around her, listening as she continued, “You do it all the time at the temple I’ve heard, it must be beautiful having real nature and elements all around you.”
“I need it for my training,” Anerius said, leaning in close to her lips till his met hers.
They locked in a soft kiss till she pulled away and grinned, “Is this part of your training as well?”
“It could be,” he replied, chuckling as he turned to look into the mirror on the wall not too far away. His smile faded as he looked at himself. His thoughts became enmeshed in a storm of contemplation.
“Is something the matter?” she asked, a worried expression on her face. Anerius released her from his embrace and walked towards the mirror, standing before it wordlessly. “Are you still worried about it?…the darkness?”
“No, you have helped me overcome that…”
“Then what is it?” she asked, stepping close behind him.
“The order still has not found Alzio.”
“I see. Do you think he really did it?”
“I don’t see why he would. Those secrets contain nothing but dark magic…the seed of the Ita…the enemies of the Ati.”
“The Ita had been banished to another dimension long ago.”
“But their dreadful magic remains, or what was left of it the order took great pains to hide…until he stole everything.”
There was silence for some time before Aura spoke, “You should not worry too much about it, is tomorrow not your initiation test? The last thing you need is this on your mind.”
“You’re right,” Anerius said, turning to face her. The smile which spread across her face warmed his otherwise worrisome countenance. He could not tell her the whole truth, how could he? All order matters were to be secret — though in this case, he worried that it might be detrimental to her. “Tomorrow is a big day for you as well. If the chancellor succeeds in his diplomatic meeting, there will finally be peace between the Fellowship and the Yenari.”
“Indeed. The Yenari have been a troublesome bunch even before the Fellowship’s creation, hopefully my father and I can talk some sense into them.”
Anerius nodded, “I don’t like it, but if it means peace so be it.” He then opened his palm and held it facing upward, a gesture which left Aura with a puzzled look on her face. In a moment a ball of fire manifested, illuminating the otherwise dimly lit room. “Enough talk about these things,” he then held his palm outward towards her, upon which the fireball grew and enshrouded her body.
Aura drew in a deep breath and shrieked as the fire completely dried her damp body. It took her by surprise but did not hurt her.
Anerius put a forefinger to her lips as she rubbed her body in astonishment, “Shhhh, you must be quiet or the guards will come,” he said with a grin.
“Your control of the elements has improved considerably,” she replied with a giggle.
“I can do a lot more than that.”
“Why don’t you stay the night and show me?”
“Stay…the night?” His expression was thunderstruck. “You always make me leave before midnight—”
She tiptoed and put a forefinegr to his lips silencing him., “Well Neophyte Novengard, tonight you can stay. You can show me your magic and I can show you…”
“Show me what?” he asked with a chortle.
“You’ll see”—she turned away from him and headed towards the walk-in closet. He could see her silhouette clearly, divesting herself of the towels and shuffling through an arrangement of garments the features of which he could not discern.
Anerius cleared his throat and adjusted the collar of his cloak, trying to look elsewhere. Aura re-emerged afterwards wearing a black nightgown — her hair let down and curls bouncing as she walked towards him.
“Ummm…” was all he could say as he stared at her.
“Ready for a surprise?” she asked, smiling sweetly.
“I…haven’t…I don’t know…that is…” he stuttered, watching as she pointed to the corner of the room where set upon a table was a chessboard upon which were crystalline chess pieces.
“Chess, the ancient earth game. You told me you always wanted to play against me and I’ve been practicing,” she said. Anerius’ gaze fell to the ground as he exhaled as though having held in a year’s long breath and rubbed his forehead.
Aura cocked her head to the side and smirked at him, “Yes, were you…expecting something else?”
“Oh! No, no absolutely not. Chess it is then,” he said holding a hand out towards the table. “After you,” he followed her as she sat at the table and followed suit.
“Shall we begin?”
“If you win, you can sleep in the bed.”
“I intend to win, then where will you sleep?” he asked, lifting two fingers and moving a chess piece with a current of wind he created beneath it.
She rested her elbows on the table and placed her chin within her palms, smiling at him, “In the bed.”
At her words the chess piece he controlled fell on the table.
“You won’t win like that,” she mused, setting the piece upright and moving her own. Anerius laughed and refocused on the game, his mind now finally filtering the myriad thoughts which had previously assailed him a few minutes prior.
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In a future where the human race barely survived extinction, 21-year-old Anerius Novengard is a member of an arcane military order of mages. He struggles to avoid falling prey to the dark elements which seek to ensnare him at every turn, being able to overcome their pull by the aid of his love interest and mentor. At the same time that a comet hazardously flies towards a peaceful space colony, he is given a special initiatory mission to protect a government official who had been the victim of several assassination attempts. What Anerius discovers during his mission will forever change his world, and that of those around him.