2 YEARS AGO
Chairney City, Queensland,
Goldland of Commonwealth.
Liam sits by the lake, which is only about fifty meters away from his father’s large wooden house. The sun was not as bright as usual, giving a light reflection to his ginger’s wavy and stiff hair swept away by the wind. He was wearing a thin T-shirt that was larger than he should have, the outskirts as dark grey as a wet rock on the Walesia Lake. Dull blue cargo shorts and sneakers have always been his favorites. His father’s watch continues to be worn. A medium-sized mustard-colored backpack was located not far from him, lying just like that, deflated on the front because there wasn’t much inside. Liam has just returned from his school in the city, Allof Senior High School of Chairney City.
Beneath his thick eyebrows growing apart, Liam’s eyes looked bored, almost as emotionless. he doesn’t know why, lately Liam can no longer tell the difference between the two. Liam’s special eyeballs, and always attracting people’s attention, didn’t shift in the slightest from the calm surface of the lake. Why are his eyes unusual? Because Liam’s eyeballs inherited the color of his mother’s eyes, Connac Eyes, the bright orange of the twilight sky on the beach when the half-sun sank into the ocean. Speaking of sunset, it’s very rare for Liam to see it, because of the location where he lives around mountains and hills. The sea is a long way from Chairney City.
Commonwealth Country geographically is a country surrounded by mountains, hills and valleys located to the southeast of Newland. It is the country with the largest natural resources in Newland. So many green fields are on the city limits, where a small percentage of the population chooses to live gardening or become breeders. Animals in this country are mostly special ranching animals and not wild. Cities in the Commonwealth itself have semi-modern architecture with many statues of various shapes adorning parts of the city, a hallmark of the country. Like Chairney, Liam wasn’t that interested, probably because he was born and raised in this city, so it didn’t catch his attention anymore.
“You know what? I think you’re sleepy.” Said a girl in a mocking and lazy tone, laziness as she herself yawned. Liam looked at his best friend. The short-haired of the tomboyish girl is red, with combed bangs covering the right side of her forehead, and short on the left top of her ear. Terra is a tomboyish girl who always fails to take Liam to skip classes, and instead, ends up being a near-exemplary student because she continues to follow Liam in class. Terra was sitting on her feet—much more masculine than Liam’s—in a black leather jacket above a plain white T-shirt, ripped tight jeans, and a toned-colored sneaker. Eye catching, that might be how one’s first impression would be if they saw Terra. Relaxed, but dangerous. Like when you see a wild red-haired horse, you’re bound to be amazed, but you know it’s dangerous enough for you to get close to it.
“I’m just bored, you know...” Liam replied. Now his view moved on the background of the large wooden house behind Terra. Some teenagers were standing talking about something in the yard of the house, right near the Statue of a roughly six-meter-sized stone in the shape of a soldier riding on a horse, unsheathing a sword, like he was ordering his men to attack. Liam’s father named the statue Captain Cook. He doesn’t know the reason, he didn’t ask.
Liam’s house is big, really. It’s just that it no longer looks luxurious because it’s old enough. The house is a hereditary relic of his father’s family, House Smith.
“Alexander Liam Smith,” Terra said of Liam’s full name whenever she felt Liam was hiding something. “Okay, I know. I mean, you’re bored every day,” she continued, turning to Liam’s eyes, “So should we celebrate something? I don’t know, anything, so that the atmosphere becomes festive? Making William dizzy, for example?” She said while chuckles, seeing Liam’s adopted siblings arguing at their yard.
Liam smiled. All right, let’s talk about family. The Smith was a rich family in Commonwealth. It was a long time ago, until no one remembered it anymore. Maybe Liam’s father was the only one. He told the story of their family tree when Liam was a child. The truth doesn’t matter to Liam what-so-ever. The most important thing is that Liam realizes that his father is very proud of their ancestors. So, Liam chose to be quiet and not argue, nor ask many questions. Liam’s mother died when Liam was 5 years old.
Liam’s older brother, Maddox, was then nurtured by relatives of their mother’s family when Liam was seven years old. Liam has not seen him since, but has been in constant contact lately. Liam’s father, Professor Lukas Smith, is a biotechnology scientist working for the government in the development of ancient biological weapons. But some of those facts are just part of what he’s actually doing. Dad is researching us, me and the other adoptive Smiths, The Bloodliners.
True. This place, is not The Smith orphanage as some Chairney city people know. This place is a training ground as well as the development of Bloodliners. Shelter, as Dad calls it, is one of the safe places for young Bloodliners to be able to live normal lives like teenagers in general, while developing their potential at the same time without any threats or threats to certain parties. All of Liam’s adopted siblings were given a new identity when they first arrived, not even Liam knew their true origins. But he loved them like his own siblings, as did they loved him. They’ve spent years growing up together as a family, a unit.
William Smith, the oldest, is 25 years old, with hair similar to Liam’s, with skin slightly darker and sharp brownish-yellow eyes. Tall and muscular. It’s just that the years William spent as a sibling’s babysitter impressed his innocuous. On the contrary, his expression was attentive yet firm. You know, like a bear who spends too many of his days keeping his honey collection instead of eating it. But like all bears, you won’t have the guts to make him angry even if it’s just for a joke.
Zuzu Smith, aged 18, has light brunette hair, with blushing white skin. Her eyes were narrow with tosca green eyeballs, like a shallow sea water bathes under the scorching sun. Zuzu is a popular student at her school, due to her beautiful stature and extroverted personality. She’s a Cheeeleaders. But just by looking into her eyes, Liam knows the girl is hiding an awful lot of dark past, perhaps that’s where her attitude can sometimes turn out to be much more intimidating than Will’s, though never to cross the limits of her elegance.
Matthew and Kristan Smith, aged 16, are the same age as Liam. Yup, they never get along. Matthew was tall like Liam, with short, straight-cut hair covering his forehead. His eyes were round in dark color and his skin was white like Zuzu’s, but seemed paler. Brained, well-dressed and always obey the rules set in shelter. He’s the perfectionist. Kristan, meanwhile, is attractive in stature like Zuzu, with slightly narrow eyes characteristic of Republic, and shorter a few centimeters than Matt and Liam. His eyeballs were bright blue, as bright as the cloudless sky, calm like the surface of the ocean. His personality is as smart as that, even you know, almost as calm as Terra. It’s just that, Kristan earned the nickname of the sensitive not with a trivial origin, according to Kris, cheerful is equals flat. His mood can change faster than the weather forecasts.
Then Shareen Smith, was the youngest, the 12-year-old with dark straight hair, olive skin, and grey eyeballs as cloudy as the times of hostile weather. But Shareen’s personal is not that scary. She is a smart and brave girl, and excited one. Sometimes Liam asks himself if this girl is from the desert country south of Newland.
And now, with the exception of Zuzu, who is currently in front of a mirror combing her hair in her room full of trinkets sea creature-patterned trinkets, Liam’s other four siblings are gathering in the room. From the look on Will’s face, it seemed like something serious was going on. Liam looked in all directions, then when he looked up at the sky, Liam smiled.
“I think you better go home, Terra.” Liam said. Then continued with a smile again even wider before Terra could argue by giving another suggestion about making a joke, “Yes, I kicked you out!” Liam gestured towards the sky. The mischief was already done without the two of them try.
“I think you’re right.” Terra said with a chuckle. “We’d better get in before Kris gets everyone drenched...” She said, shaking her head more like she didn’t want to go home. She distrusts the gray clouds that formed awkwardly among the clear blue sky. “Right?!” She rebutted it again, replying to Liam’s glaring eyes at her, as they walked down the ground slid towards the rest of the Smiths crowd. Terra is the only resident in Chairney City who knows the existence of the Bloodliners, even if it’s just that. You know—different, powerful, dangerous, don’t bother them because they’re weird—and so on. The wide variety of actual explanations is even less than five percent of the actual facts. But that was all enough for Terra. And Terra’s reception without much of this was enough for Liam. It’s very hard to hide Liam’s identity as a Bloodliners when Terra is always with him. Moreover, when more than once Liam made the ground shake and several times made the school building crack or almost collapse on them. The point is Terra knows. Liam wasn’t in a mood that made him want to tell a story at length. After all, you don’t want to know because it must be boring.
“How many times have I told you, Kris? You need to take your power more seriously. Your ability is the most striking among us.” Will’s voice was a little more emphatic than usual, with an unusual upsized intonation. His long-sleeved red shirt seemed to be getting tighter on his body, as did his jeans and sneakers.
“Liam is so much more striking than me.” Kris argued as he tapped the end of his beloved clear hooded umbrella to the ground. It ends with blowing his unraveled bangs covering his forehead. The look on his face was calm expressionless, but his eyes flashed furiously. His short hair at the top of both ears but long at the back covered more than his neck, flying slowly in the wind. Kris wears a soft pink sweater one size larger than her body size, white jeans, and boots. His blushing white skin makes it legal to use any color.
“Earthquakes are common in the Commonwealth.” Matthew replied calmly regardless of Kris. He was dressed as usual, with khaki-colored chinos, a cream-colored short-sleeved shirt with none of the loose button, and a tie that inexplicably didn’t make him claustrophobic.
“Shut up, Geek.” Overwrite Kris without glancing. But the cloud in the sky just above the Smith Shelter, got darker.
“Kris is right.” Liam defends as he and Terra join them.
“See?” Kris said quickly. Still sticking with his relaxed tone and unreadable expression. “Thank you, Liam.”
“But Matt is right too.” Liam said again, then tried to be impartial.
“You are full of uncertainty.” Continue Kris straight away. But this time he smiled. Glancing at Liam, then Terra, who was trying hard to look serious. Even so, the clouds began to rumble.
“Kris. I said enough.” Will voice become flat and deep. And along with his hardened expression, the ground around his legs cracked. It’s like being sucked a jolt in. Matthew, Liam, and Shareen, took a few steps back. Yet Terra seemed to choose a greater number of steps, along with a mixed expression of shock, fear, and amazement.
The roar of the clouds stopped. But Kris was still standing there. With the same calm, but now his eyes were shining wet, like he was about to cry. And a drizzle of rain had drenched them all. No one dared to speak, until the rain suddenly stopped. It just pooled and gathered like a floating puddle, floating a few meters above their heads all.
“I hate cheap drama in broad daylight like this. Even more when it rains, or worse than that, the ground is muddy. Because my shoes are going to get dirty. So, can you all stop?” Zuzu stood on the second-floor balcony, leaning back casually while tying her hair. “Really, I have dinner outside.” She added casually, but at the end of her sentence, her eyes flashed green tosca.
“Of course, Zuzu.” Kris said. “I’m sorry, Will.”
“Go into your room. We’ll talk later.” Will said. His tone had returned as usual.
Kris obeyed him. Enter the house without looking at anyone. But everyone knew he must have cried in his room after this. The rain still fell.
“Kris! Wait!” Shareen followed him with a worried look on her face. Almost tripped and dropped her beloved hamster, Sandy, while running in. She wears a cartoon-patterned purple dress that Liam don’t know what it looks like. Maybe a hamster like Sandy, who knows.
Matthew caught up with them after ranting “You whiny.”
“I think we should talk.” Will said, more to Zuzu than Liam.
“Agree.” Zuzu replied from the balcony. “And bring your friend with you.” She told Liam. “How many times have I said don’t involve her with affairs like this. You know the consequences. And quickly, I can hold the rain for a while, but not the clouds.” Zuzu added as she disappeared into her room.
“I never liked that beautiful girl.” Terra whispers to Liam. To which Liam replied with a wink and pointed upwards as if to say, stop talking or we both ended up wet in that big bubble. And just then, the water fell down on the two of them all of a sudden. Byurr! Letting Will somehow stay dry without splashing in the slightest.
“Okay. Let’s come in.” Terra said to Liam and Will, and the three of them laughed as they entered the house.
“Dad called a few hours ago.” Will said, when Zuzu gave Liam a towel to dry himself. Zuzu could have separated the water from Liam’s shirt quickly if she wanted to. They’re sitting in the family fireplace. The place was not so big, nuanced wood, with so many bookshelves filling the walls, large carpets covering the floor above comfy sofas and tables. There are two large windows overlooking Lake Walesia, where Liam is now standing his back to it with a towel half covering his head, and hot chocolate in his hand.
Terra was probably changing clothes in Zuzu’s room. Zuzu lent her a shirt and told her to stay there as an excuse to not involve her in the conversation. Although Liam knew Terra was too smart not to understand such a reason. After all, Liam would definitely tell Terra afterwards. “What is it?” Zuzu had been sitting pretty on her feet with a serious face. She wore a long plain lime green dress. There was a strange bobble necklace hanging around her neck, always. A trident. “It was unusual for Dad to call when he’s on duty.”
“The Commonwealth Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency has received numerous reports from city dwellers about weather irregularities in the area around where we live. It is only a matter of time until our Agency can no longer stem the government’s insistence and must take action. They urged Dad. Before this problem gets big, He want me to...” Will stopped for awhile before continues, “I mean, he orders us to be able to master our respective powers faster. Especially Kris, in this weather cases. And of course, the next concern is Shareen, because storms that come in times of sunny weather are also unusual. And lastly you, Liam, without exception.”
“Wait.” Zuzu interrupted. “You mean, Shelter Smith is under Cyguard surveillance?” Zuzu concluded in question.
“Ya.” Will nodded. “But that’s not the problem here. Cyguard has been watching us from the beginning. It’s just, it’s getting tighter now. And they seem to be allowed to intervene if things get out of control. But, again, that’s not the concern. But you, Liam.” Will insists, “You’re the reason Dad called.”
Liam was caught with the hot chocolate he was drinking. “Why?”
“Okay, okay.” Zuzu said, being a little more relaxed. Then she picked up her phone and typed something in there, continuing, “I think the guy who asked me for a date tonight is the Elite-Cyguard in charge of collecting information. I don’t like falsehoods.” By wagging her hair, Zuzu ends her blind date. “Now, let’s talk about this one ground-rocking one.”
“Hey!” Liam protested. But Zuzu and him laughed afterwards.
“Dad found a clue. About that weapon.” Will explained briefly.
Zuzu and Liam look at each other. Liam, because he doesn’t understand. Zuzu, because she’s interested.
Zuzu said, “You mean, that sword? Or the sacred book? Or...” Zuzu is the only one who has followed Dad several times on a research journey in search of ancient weapons that are currently under discussion. So, Liam assumes Zuzu must know something.
“What are you guys talking about?” Liam asked, he wasn’t confused about the weapon, but he was confused about why he had something to do with it.
“You don’t know?” Someone joined the conversation. Matthew is the one who speaks. Stand on the open door. Behind it is a décor living room with classic wooden chairs, and paintings, large paintings of mountain landscapes as well as green valleys. Matthew stood waist-to-waist. Next to him, trying to hide behind a wall, is Terra. Now wearing Zuzu’s tight long-sleeved shirt, which was rolled up to the elbows, with jeans that were too short than she used to wear. Liam is caught between funny and stiff because of it.
“Tales of the Titan’s instrument.” Matthew said. “About Dragon.”
“What Dragon?!” Liam doesn’t believe in dragons. Liam feels his hot chocolate is getting more and more tasteless.
“Stop.” Zuzu cut. “She shouldn’t have listened to this.” Zuzu said it again. “The more she knows the more dangerous it is for her.” Zuzu continued with a raised forehead. Answering the question emblazoned on Terra’s face. “Wait in my room.” Zuzu said seriously.
“Well, I’d better go home then...”
“Oh, no.” Cut Zuzu off in a while. “You can’t go home, girl. You’ve heard too much.” Zuzu added, which surprised Liam. “It’s safer for you to be here. With us. Trust me.”
“Wait... What!? But you just said that...” Liam was just about to protest but he felt hot chocolate drench his shirt. “Ouch!” It was Zuzu.
“She’s a Bloodliner like us. It’s fitting that she should be here.” Zuzu gestured with bulging eyes. Sorry, stupid earth-rocking, but please be quiet.
Liam was confused. He saw Terra stiffening where she stood. Matthew gestured for Terra to step into the room, then he himself closed the door and remained standing there. Terra sat stiffly beside Zuzu. Will casually stood up and spoke like nothing strange.
“Do you know Draco Mountain?” He asked. Liam nodded, replying. “Alright, let’s start from there.” Will walked up picking up a large piece of dull colored parchment, from the side between the two bookshelves.
The door opened, Kris and Shareen joined in. Liam was even more confused to see Kris’ flat expression when usually he must have locked himself in the room until tomorrow. Kris sat next to Terra, placing his umbrella between them. Shareen chose to stand behind Will. From the end of his eyes Liam looked out of the window, the rain grew heavier.
Will opened the parchment on the table. Map of the Commonwealth. He pointed to a point at the southern end, a small island separates from the South Wall.
“Here.” He said, “As we all know, Mount Draco is an active volcano mountain. It is where the origin of earthquakes that often occur in Queensland. Those little quakes, or sometimes bigger than that. We never really got the real one, besides Liam’s of course. Because we’re in the northern area of Goldland. The geographies between Queensland and South Wall separated by victory river. But can you imagine if we were in the south?” Will didn’t really ask, as he then immediately continued without pause. “That’s where Dad is right now. Researching ancient relics around Mount Draco. Fortunately, there has been no dangerous activity from the mountain lately.”
Liam nodded again. Try to respond without talking. Because he knew something wasn’t right. Everything is not right. He tried to catch his best friend’s eyes, but Terra seemed to be more interested in an umbrella that was only a few centimeters away from her feet.
“Please just get to the point.” Zuzu cut again. “Only Shareen is a kid here. After all I don’t feel she’s the reason we explained this. Not really understanding is okay.” Zuzu’s smile at Shereen glared. Sandy squeaked on her shoulder. “Or do you want me to explain? Faster.”
“All right, Zuzu.” Will said. He glanced at Zuzu. But afterwards, Zuzu changed her sitting position to lean on the sofa. Surrender the authority to the oldest. Terra moved uncomfortably in her chair. Kris breathed unconcerned. Then now it was Will who smiled as he continued again, “Tales of the Titans’s instrument.” He repeated Matthew’s sentence, then walked back to one of the bookshelves, picked up one of the thickest books, and opened the page, then read it.
“Everything began with a silly thing.
There were two kingdoms rule over two different mountains.
The mountains are as high and strong as the other.
But both Monarch are arguing and fighting about which mountain is the highest.
“On the mountain in the north,
Where there’s a Queen, who thinks she can almost touch the sky
Where her flower grew beautifully in her garden,
As so her only daughter,
So pretty but as the other flower the Queen is watering,
Loving and protecting,
The Princess can never leave the garden.
“On the mountain in the south,
Where other King builds his castle upon the volcano,
Everything remains a mystery.
The only thing everyone knows, there is one knight who stole the princess’ heart.
And there it is,
A mysterious sword stuck in the stones.
The Excalibur of the Great Alzira, The God of the mountain.
“Is it done?” Ask Shareen curiously. Sandy bit into her dress collar. “I don’t think the third lyric is really connected. I thought it was a fairy tale about dragons.”
“You’re right, smart boy. Unfinished. Unfortunately, the records of Smith’s ancestral relics, just like that.” Answer Will. “It’s incomplete and it doesn’t provide any information.”
“Huh? Then?” Liam couldn’t help but talk. “I’m really confused. So, what does that have to do with me? The story you read just now and that weapon.”
“I think someone can explain it to us.” Will said. But he just finished saying it, and all happened so fast.
Terra pressed down her watch, and something shot out, initially like a coin, flattened and small, then enlarged like a machine and grew bigger forming into a weapon, drifting past the room hitting the closed window next to Liam. Liam reflexively looked down. Shock. Pieces of glass were strewn under the window frame. Shareen screamed and looked down. Sandy jumped hiding among the bookshelves.
Kris and Zuzu reacted. Kris grabbed his umbrella, but Terra was faster. His leg hit Kris right in the stomach and Kris crashed into the back, crushes Matt. Then Terra picked up something tucked in the back of her pants: a Hypertech weapon. With a single shot, the energy bullet hit Zuzu, she struck onto Will. Will gets up and goes forward crashing, but something darts back from the window above Liam’s head, hitting him down. Terra recaptures her unique weapon. And quickly ran towards the open window.
“Sorry, Liam.” She said without looking at Liam, as she jumped out the window. Liam was still reasoning everything that happened, he didn’t have time to react. But Zuzu stood up swinging her hands like a dance motion, and Terra crashed back into the room. A number of waters hit her, she bounced back and hit the bookshelf.
“No, I’m the one apologizing.” Zuzu said, smoothing her hair. Blood flowed at the end of her lips. “I get you drenched twice a day. But I think we’re breaking even.” The bright brunette girl continued, as she kicked both of Terra’s weapons away from their owners. The larger weapon returned to coins. “Boomerang.” Zuzu concluded, her gaze returned the looks of Terra’s eyes, which were bleeding in her temple. “You are Aborigin. I expected it. You are a Recessive Bloodliners. Such speed is not belonging to Balancer—normal human being. “Do you work for Cyguard?”
Terra who was drenched and in pain with many books on top of her body, just stared at Zuzu without speaking.
“I told you my plan would work.” Matthew said. While tidying up his crumpled shirt. “Kristan’s rain is useless other than a little change in temperature. But Zuzu’s water control is very reliable. Raining down covering the Shelter area was the same as creating a water prison. No one can escape, or enter. A steady combination, you know what, the two of you?” Matthew said with a chuckle, more like praising himself.
“One more time you said my rain was useless, I’ll cover your room with clouds.” Kris sat back casually while checking if his umbrella was broken.
“Are you okay?” Will ensures Shareen’s condition, even though he is the one who just hit by boomerang. Shareen asked Sandy the same question. Then she and her hamster nodded at Will. “How about you?” Will asked Liam. The only one who had just watched everything looked surprised. Liam turns back to Terra.
“Of course, I’m not okay.” Liam said finally, after mastering himself, and decided that he better listen to what all this really was about. Although actually, he was a little disappointed because he felt Terra had betrayed him, whatever the reason for his best friend. Or are they really friends? Or Terra from the beginning approached him just for information as Zuzu said. Liam walks up to Terra, giving his hand to lift Terra up. “I need an explanation, friend.”
Terra thought for a moment. Her views moved on to the entire Smith family. Then when she looked into Liam’s eyes, her gaze softened although her body can’t move. Liam knows Zuzu uses the water that drenches Terra’s body to keep the Aborigin girl from doing other extremes, Terra nods softly.
Zuzu snorted. And Terra’s wet body became a little relaxed. Then Terra caught Liam’s hand. Liam helped her stand up.
“Don’t do unnecessary things, Terra.” Liam’s advice to her, while gesturing towards Zuzu and Will. Liam helped Terra get back in the chair.
“She should have known another verse from the Mountain’s Prophecy. Maybe the continuation. We just need to combine the two.” Zuzu said. She is about to begin the interrogation. “She’s Aborigin, her ancestors have a lot of stories.” Continued the water girl. “Make her say it. Or I will force her to speak.” Zuzu leans against the window away from Liam. Like giving Liam the opportunity to settle this matter on the basis of friendship.
“Terra, please.” Liam pleaded. When Will and Matthew had stood on his right and left side. “Are you an Elite Cyguard?”
“I am from the Aborigin Clan, yes. But I’m not a Cyber-Guardian.”
“Your weapon, is Hypertech, a level one technology that only the State Defense Agency has. If you’re not Cyguard, where did you get it from?” Matthew’s eyes flashed dangerously as he asked, his pupils enlarged and shrunk back in such a way. It still gives Liam goosebumps every time. But for some reason, Liam didn’t feel threatened the first time he saw it, instead, it felt familiar. “And two of your comrades hiding behind the trees not far from here. If you’re not Cyguard, then what?” Matthew has hearing acuity and vision that exceeds that of a normal human being. Like the senses of a beast.
“Try to answer one by one.” Will said, his tone was firm and calm now. Maybe it’s because he sees Liam positioning himself between them and Terra.
“I’m sorry, Liam.” Terra finally said. “I should have told you from the beginning. I am a member of the tribe who has the honor to protects you. I’m your Guardian.”
“Sweet. But please explain in more detail as I get confused. It doesn’t answer Matt’s question.” Kris commented in passing without looking at Terra. His friendship with Terra obviously made him dislike this betrayal.
“I want more effective conversation, Terra.” Will said. “I’m really angry. First, you do extremes behavior in front of a child.” He said while glancing at Shareen, who was now quite frightened. “Secondly, there’s no point delaying time, your two comrades won’t be able to break through the rain that locks you up.” This time Will glanced at Zuzu, who was standing waist-to-waisted in front of the window. “So, let’s get this done quickly. Shall we?”
Terra exhaled to give up. Realize the situation is not on her side. “All right.” It is said. “We the Aborigin people, over the last few years have been trying to develop our tribe. Don’t imagine us like primitive tribes in the reading books in this room. We have seriously trained members of our tribe and worked with technology like any other organization involved in your battle of the Bloodliners.”
“Aren’t you guys also Bloodliners?” Ask Liam.
“Oh no, Liam. Unfortunately, not.” Terra replied. “Since long ago, aborigines were an outback tribe that devoted themselves to performing the verses of Lord Alzira, The God of the Mountain. Like the ancestral beliefs before us. We believe in Alzira’s guidance. Our ability comes from something much more ancient than Bloodliner.” There’s honesty in Terra’s words. She gulped. “And our main task since long ago, was to protect the Descendant of the Mountain. In that case, you, Liam, and Will. The Mountain Clan.”
Terra continued, while move on to Will. “And one of my colleagues out there, I think is your Guardian, Will. But one other person, I don’t know who.” There was a worried tone in her voice. Liam thought about the worst possible outcome. Will’s Guardian is fighting with someone.
No one commented. Only Sandy squeaked loudly and jumped back in Shareen’s arms.
Terra said, “Over the past two hundred years, our chieftain, Aboreg, as we call him. The previous Aboreg realized that we Aborigines wouldn’t have had the opportunity to protect you if we didn’t keep up with the technology, as you and the enemies out there have been so sophisticated. So Aboreg decided to change the lifestyle of our tribe, and started sending generations before me to mingle with the people of Goldland and try to adapt. So, we went to school, and learned your lifestyle. Starting from technology, how to dress, to appetite, etc. We are growing rapidly.” Terra is speaking more smoothly now. “And aboriginal soldiers like me. We have been trained in the same methods as the Commonwealth Cyguards. Regarding that technology, we have experts who can make it in our tribe, he is a graduate of a Commonwealth University and a former scientist who retired from government. My grandfather, the current Aboreg.”
All nodded. Terra already answered both questions from Matthew. But Liam knows the Smiths aren’t that easy to believe. They just gave approval so Terra will talk more.
“And about the verses of the mountain god, I know some of them.”
Zuzu stepped forward. “I warn you not to lie, because I think you also know the fact that someone can die if their head is submerged in water.” Zuzu said firmly. Terra shuddered. But Liam knows Zuzu never want to kill someone.
“Stop it, Zuzu.” Liam couldn’t bear to see his best friend threatened with death. Even though Terra didn’t look so frightened. It seems that the mentality of Aborigines soldiers is indeed trained as bold as Cyguard.
Terra clenches the verse she remembered.
“For we are the Aborigines, we are the Monarch of the mountain.
And this land is the Queensland of me and you.
For the mountain is your power,
The hill is your hands,
The stone is your arms,
The earth is your feet,
And the flower is your hearts.
The Giants and Kangaroo knew is the time for them all to kneel over their new Monarch.
But when the sounds of thousand feet of the Orcs marching closer,
The princess knew those were the army of the south…”
“Wait a minute... Giants? What do you mean?” Matthew shuddered slightly as he asked, “You mean that Giant? The creature from the Fairy Tale of Goldland?” There were doubts in his tone.
“Those Giants.” Terra justified the slightest strange expressionlessness, as if she was talking about something that she had already seen herself. “And the Kangaroos, they are...”
“Liar!” The water that drenched Terra’s clothes and body suddenly separated and merged into round-shaped blobs, locking her head. Terra rebelled at hitting the blob, trying to free her head which was now unable to breathe. Zuzu is in action.
“Zuzu, stop it!” Liam screamed and helped Terra. Kris did the same. But the blob still locked the Aborigin girl’s head. “Zuzu!”
Shareen covered her face in Will’s arms. Sandy squeaked in panic. And at that moment Liam felt his stomach shaken, anger began to spread on him. And the ground began to shake. Everyone’s on standby. The glasses in Shelter Smith produces dangerous sounds.
“Liam!” Kris complained. His expression was like despairing against the coming of a new disaster.
“Zuzu Smith! Enough!” Will shouted protecting Shareen in his arms, as the building shook louder.
Zuzu staggered backwards due to the trembling ground. A ball of water freed Terra’s face, falling inundating the floor. Terra was lying on the sofa trying to breathe. Kris is still helping her. Liam continued to stand staring at Zuzu angrily, his stomach getting nauseated until he heard Shareen’s crying voice, mixed with the sound of wind sweeping through the rain outside the Shelter. The wind is causing strong splash of rainwater that entered so hard into the fireplace room and had killed the fire that had previously burned there. The temperature gets colder. But the earthquake had stopped, leaving one cracked wall and one bookshelf falling to the floor, and Matthew half-prostrating on the wall.
“Oh, no...” Matthew eyes were glued to the window. Hinted at everyone that the wind Shareen had created had swept away the clouds in the sky. The rain shield is gone. And that’s when a wing flap-like voice sounded. Matthew shouted to tell them to get down. Liam and Zuzu followed directly. Two boomerangs rushed into the room. One smashed the door. The other one revolved around the room, smashing and destroying the bookshelves and paintings. A few seconds later two persons had stood in front of Terra, protecting her, after jumping in from the window and re-capturing their weapons. And when Liam stood up, Boomerang was already around Kris’ neck. Another one around Matthew’s.
Liam’s transfixed. Zuzu stood up like she was going into action but stopped, because it was useless, the water that was in the room and that pooled on the ground outside the house would not be enough to stop three Aboriginal soldiers at super speed without intention to kill them, especially when Kris and Matthew’s neck was at stake. Will’s overwhelming strength will be pointless because he’s too slow, plus, Will chooses to protect Shareen and his two brothers’ necks. If Terra is right about Aborigines being the Guardians of the mountains, it still doesn’t include Kris and Matthew. And Liam knows his earthquakes are only going to put everybody at risk. The Smiths have lost. The situation has turned around, it’s time for them to listen.
“Don’t try, Oceanborn. If you don’t want your people to get hurt.” The word came from the guy who has an appearance as big as Will, to Zuzu. The boomerang pressed Kris neck closer, the tip turned sharp. This one has Aborigin characteristics, large bony, mature tan skin, and bluish-black hair tied in a ponytail. “We didn’t come to make a fuss.” He said again. “We are on your side. We’re the protectors of the Mountains Clan, remember? I think Terra has explained it to you guys.” He added while gesturing to Liam and Will.
“Aryan.” Terra said, mentioning the name of the horsetail guy. “He’s your Guardian, Will.” “I’m Adelard.” Another Aboriginal speaks, about the same age as Liam. With short bluish-black hair similar to Aryan, but slightly darker skin. Both were dressed as Queenslanders. T-shirts, jackets, jeans, and sneakers. Boomerangs, however, are very intimidating, let alone one that can turn sharp. It explained how dangerous the two of them were.
And from outside the window, there was a strange, familiar sound. Liam is like he’s heard a sound of an animal, like the one when he was on an excursion with his father and Zuzu. And from Zuzu’s shocked screams afterwards, Liam was convinced he wasn’t wrong when he turned to the source of the sound. An animal with a body almost as tall as Kris was jumping in from the window. A kangaroo using sophisticated iron armor and hand upholstery resembling a boxing glove has succeeded in making all the Smiths believe in the verse Terra paved a few minutes ago.
“What a fact!” Said Liam to an iron boxing glove. His mouth gaped.
“There’s not much time to explain everything. We need to get out of here. We have to take you to Campigin— the headquarters of the aborigines.” Aryan said.
“Mount Campigin?” Ask Liam.
“No one will leave this place until everything is clear.” Will stood up, visibly brain-twisted even though Liam knew his brother was aware that despite the fact that the Aborigines were on their side, at least this was their only chance. This great discovery is valuable information. Perhaps even Dad didn’t know if the Aborigines were involved in the fight of the Bloodliners. After all, they have no choice. Liam remembered his father’s words, it’s not the mountain that you should fear when you climb, but yourself. Liam has to take a risk.
“I didn’t know aborigines people had jet planes either.” Matthew finally spoke, even though it had nothing to do with anything.
“Stop that nonsense, Matt.” Terra didn’t accept it.
From the look on Terra’s face that hints that sophisticated according to aborigines does not include fighter aircraft, making Matthew stiffen. So did all the other Smiths. Liam turned to Will, demanding ideas.
“Are you sure, Matt?” Will’s expression changed seriously.
Matthew nodded, pointing one of his ear.
“Terra, you’re my best friend, I trust you.” Liam said quickly, almost as desperate. “Show us the way to Campigin.” Liam then continued as he looked at the astonished expression on Terra’s face, perhaps not expecting them to believe so quickly. “Matthew heard the sound of the jet engine approaching us. Father had never allowed something like that to enter the Shelter area. And if that’s not you guys...”
The Aborigines looked at each other immediately, and seconds later they had all agreed without words that they all are indeed on the same side. Terra led in front as everyone followed her jumping out the window. Will held Shareen tightly. Sandy shook in her dress bag. Zuzu doesn’t look as imperious as ever when Kris pulls her running hand-in-hand with an iron-clad kangaroo that jumps beside them.
“Where did the plane sound come from?” Asked Terra as they were running halfway towards the lake, past over Captain Cook’s stone statue which also pointed right in the same direction. Liam and the others turned to the sky, looking all over the direction of the wind, but saw no sign of the plane.
“It’s invincible,” Matthew said. “Remember the first time the Agency brought us here?”
“Camouflage.” Kris and Zuzu said at the same time.
“Jet aircraft with camouflage features?” Terra was surprised.
“West.” Matthew replied. “It’s still quite far away.” After a few seconds he closed his eyes.
Liam and the others in unison looked in the same direction while walking slowly, taking refuge in a statue of Captain Cook, more precisely, on his horse.
“Okay. There’s no point in hiding for a long time here,” Terra said very quickly. “Because they must have seen us.” Terra glanced at Aryan with a blaming look. Liam agrees, because a kangaroo of that size can’t hide with one family behind a horse, even when it’s a big horse statue of Captain Cook.
“Run over the edge of the lake to the north. And don’t stop until you get to the city limits. Someone is waiting for you there.” Aryan said. “Me and Santua will stand guard behind you.” He spoke to Will exactly. And make all the Smiths understand that Santua is the name of the kangaroo. “Remember,” Aryan continued, “Whatever happens, don’t stop.”
Liam and the other nodded.
“On the third count.” Aryan said. “One... Two...”
BUK! Not yet Aryan had finished counting something hitting them all hard. A blow of an energy. If it wasn’t because of Santua, maybe they’d all have crumbled like cake. Liam crashed ten meters towards the lake. His head dipped as he tried to digest what was happening. The energy just now was Santua’s, because Liam had seen the kangaroo did it. The animal saves them from impromptu danger. Liam saw Will and the others not far from him, all trying to take control of themselves. But what Liam can’t explain, is that Captain Cook has now moved like it’s alive. His stone sword had left Santua in pain, but the distinctive iron armor the kangaroo wore seemed to protect him from death. Liam wants that kind of armor, too.
“Giants!” Shout Terra.
Captain Cook’s clay skin shed and turned into rocks that, again, neither could Liam explain the type. To be sure, Captain Cook’s stone skin is now looking so strong, yet cracked and smoldering in every crack of it. And also, the sword. Yes, his sword is covered in lava. The hot steam produced by Captain Cook is what makes Liam believe in the existence of Giants. It was the first time in his life that Liam felt his knees shake not because of the earthquake, but out of fear. A moment later everyone was like forgetting about the jet plane and just fixated on watching the sight of Captain Cook the giant, fighting with a boxing gloved kangaroo.
“Now! Run!” Aryan said as he threw his boomerang.
Liam still wonders how it works. The boomerang sped around like a propeller and hit the Giant’s face. That’s when Terra pulled Liam’s hand and dragged him running.
“We can’t do anything, Liam. We can’t protect everyone now.” The girl said as they ran towards the lake. “I can only protect you alone at my current state.”
“But...” Liam’s breathing was tight, running in a state of half shock.
“Liam, listen!” Terra half shouted. “Our mission is to take you and Will safely to Campigin, no matter what.”
“What about the others?” Ask Liam.
The other Smiths ran not far from him. Terra is about to answer when they finally reach the Lake, but Aryan’s screams stop her. Everyone stopped. Liam turned around. Captain Cook stood, with Santua under the soles of his feet, and Aryan in the grasp of his hand. Liam didn’t need to explain the condition of the two because Adelard’s angry screams had become the answer.
“No!” Adelard’s Boomerang slid right then and there along with his tears. “Brother!”
Shareen sobbed, Will immediately closed her eyes. Zuzu, Matthew, and Kristan stood around them. The wind was so strong. Makes Adelard’s boomerang go twice as hard. It struck captain Cook’s hand grasping Aryan, releasing his death body. But when the boomerang turned around, the weapon had blackened the part where it hit the Giant’s volcano skin. Adelard drops his boomerang to the ground, apparently because of the heat.
“Adelard! I am, Terra Camore, hereby take Aryan’s place as mission leader,” Terra said, though her voice trembled, she continued, “I remind you for the first and last time, let’s not forget the purpose of our mission. Don’t waste your brother’s death.”
Adelard wiped away his tears. His body shook violently. But he took a few steps back. Unfortunately, the giant took a few steps forward.
“Go.” It was Will who spoke, as he finally advanced to Adelard’s side.
“No!!” Liam and all the other Smiths simultaneously denied it. Zuzu advanced, the lake water began to creep closer to her.
“It’s the duty of the aborigines to protect the Mountain clan. But it was a brother’s job to protect his younger siblings. Let me sort it out. Your strength is very useful in protecting all of you down the Lake.” Added Will.
Zuzu finally nodded, although she now started crying.
“Then I will stay and fight with you.” Liam said. The ground shook, the giant had advanced another step.
“You have to reach Campigin. After all, your strength is useless when you can’t control it.” Strictly Will. “I’m asking for an apology.” He told Shareen who was now rebelling greatly in his arms. Will patted Shareen slowly and the girl just fainted. “Your wind will make the enemies find you. Do you want a pat too?” Will continued to Kris who shook his head so hard with tear-soaked cheeks, as Will handed Shareen over. Cloudy clouds never formed above them. “Take care of them.” Will’s message to Zuzu. Just before he walked forward towards the giant, at every step of the way, the ground cracked like ceramics. Liam was crying.
“I said GO!” Liam saw the giant fall to his knees as Will punched him in the leg.
That was the last time Liam saw his eldest brother move. Because just as the giant whose body was broken from his legs, so did Will’s head. Their bodies fell at the same time shaking the ground. Just like the tears of Liam and the others. Behind the gigantic body that was exposed, stood someone dressed like Cyguard, but with a silver-colored mask and armor covering their entire body. On the chest of Will’s killer, Liam still had time to see it, a foreign symbol in the shape of a winged horse. The enemy stood casually with one hand raised, set against the backdrop of the black plane as the plane’s camouflage slowly faded away. The door of the plane had opened, in front of its gate, on top of the plane, had stood two other people. One of them had a sword-toothed ferocious beast by his side.
Liam’s angry cries sounded much more like he is the sword-toothed beast on board of the jetliner, as he lunged forward along with the ground that began to shake and split.
“Terra!” Zuzu shouts. “I gave you the rest!” The anger and confidence in her voice was as big as Walesia Lake that stretching behind them all.
And the last thing Liam witnessed that day was his anger and body wrapped in water along with two Aborigines and his three other siblings, as Zuzu covered them in water and sent them across the Lake. It crashed away very quickly. And Liam doesn’t know what happened to the Oceanborn, because the waves of lake water that rise as high as their house do not allow Liam to see it. Zuzu’s wave sweeps across her enemies like Liam’s consciousness being dragged away, disappearing.