Benjamin J. Sonnek would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Stormlock: Activation

By Benjamin J. Sonnek All Rights Reserved ©

Adventure / Scifi


In case you haven’t noticed, elemental wizards haven’t been around for a while. The wars of the world’s empires have left much of earth a wasteland. The wealthy have holed up in their fortress-manors. Few villages and fewer cities survive. And, worst of all, there are no wizards anywhere. Until now. A scientist has located an ancient and mysterious vault, and amongst its documents is the formula to recreate these powerful elementals. It has been a long time since the last one was alive, though, so long that we’ve forgotten how they work. They’ll have to be tested. They have the facility—Stormlock. Now they need the test subjects. Zamrenom Corsello is among the chosen. A clever slave in a fortress estate will accept an offer to escape, to come and reshape the world. To become a wizard. But Stormlock is hardly a controlled testing environment—the trials are challenging, the surroundings can prove deadly, and the facility’s AI sometimes goes a bit berserk. Not to mention there’s no guarantee the fellow test subjects will even cooperate to survive. Secrets lie inside every chamber. You’ll need weapons. You’ll need skills. Zam will need his awesome hat. The tests have begun.


Note 0.1

The Professor was hiding.

That dark, dry, earthy smell surrounded her as she hunted for cracks, crevices—anything that could hide her forever. Her former life lay, quite literally, shattered behind her. Now all she could do was run.

If you happened to be inside that same cavern, she’d seem odd to you, especially considering what she brought with her: A flaming torch, a flashlight, a water bottle, some leaves, a few rocks, a portable radio, and a pinwheel. Eventually you could decide that the torch was for light, the flashlight was for more precise light, the water for hydration, the leaves and rocks for samples, and the radio and pinwheel for her own amusement. Then you’d head in the opposite direction, towards the surface, wondering if the radio got any reception that far underground.

It didn’t. That was the idea.

If she could just make it far enough west…far enough to where the hiding place lay. Her family’s secret, their heritage. The place that even her pursuers knew nothing about. But it was still so far away…

For the Professor, every twitch of the pinwheel, every guttering of the torch and every ominous underground noise made her heart freeze, an exposed animal in headlights, certain that its end was near. Suddenly the flashlight flickered and went out. The Professor panicked and banged it into the wall. It turned back on. A false alarm? She backed slowly, carefully, into another passage.

And fell, straight into untold depths beneath her. In an instant, even her echoing scream was lost down the chasm.

She hit the bottom. Sliding to a stop, she curled up into a ball and waited for the end. None came. Three, five, ten minutes passed without even a sound. Opening her eyes did no good; there wasn’t so much as a spark this far down. She stood on wobbly legs. Her torch was out, but she still had the flashlight—a tap brought it to life again. Then she could see.

A huge golden wall filled the chamber in front of her.

Neglecting to gather her scattered equipment, she walked towards it. The light from the flashlight reflected off the polished surface, turning the cavern a buttery color. For the moment, the Professor forgot her troubles. She could see a faint seam, oval-shaped, in the wall. A door? She touched it lightly.

CLUNK-Crunch-KABANG! The Professor jumped back. With a slight hissing noise, the oval divided into four quarters, each sliding up and away until a t-shaped aperture appeared. Bright light flooded the cavern. The Professor, overcome by curiosity, stepped beyond the wall as though she were in a dream.

The door closed, but the Professor felt no fear; if anything, she felt more secure when it locked behind her. Her flashlight was useless in this place as a warm golden glow reflected off the ceiling and floor. She couldn’t see the source of the light until she weaved through a multi-layered marble colonnade. But by the time she found the source, she immediately forgot all about it.

She had passed beyond the forest of columns and onto a balcony. A glass orb on the gilded ceiling was the light source, but the Professor barely had time to note it before she was taken in by the scene unveiled before her. More deadly than an arsenal and more powerful than an army; it was an immense library. Shelf upon shelf of books, scrolls, maps, and papers stretched out to fill up a chamber the size of a football field. It wasn’t exclusively written things stored here either. Strange objects, unusual artifacts, and weapons of all descriptions were piled in corners, leaned against the shelves, or placed alongside the books. In a curious fashion, the whole floor looked like the burial chamber for twenty literate pharaohs. Looking up, the Professor could see ten different symbols etched around the orb of light. Elemental symbols, symbols of power. Finally, at the far end of the library, she found another set of doors. This room was only the first.

The professor took it all in. If this was what she thought it was, this wouldn’t be merely another hiding place for her.

It could be her salvation.


Back above ground, the professor located a phone. A tad archaic, but secure. She picked it up.

“How may I help you?” came the tinny buzz.

“Hello, I’d like to place a call to the Rockhill International Science Center please.”

“One moment.”

The mechanical operator might as well have told the Professor to wait a year.

“Hello, this is Rockhill International Science Center headquarters. Here at RISC, we are dedicated to the preservation and advancement of…..”

The Professor let the receptionist drone off the script. She couldn’t use her real name—too risky. She quickly thought about what name she’d have to give.

“...and models of space-grown eggplants. How may I help you?”

“Hello, this is Professor…Mary Tanner. Could I speak to your director?”

“Lady, do you have any idea what time it is? The executive scientists are back in the village, and unless you want to talk to the cleaning crew…”

“Who cares what time it is?” The Professor took a deep breath. “Look, miss, call your boss. Call everybody. This isn’t just some obsolete technological artifact that I’ve discovered. This is the scientific find of the century. My discovery could shape the future, even change humanity as we know it. It is a power that nobody else has. It needs to be tested!”

There was a brief moment of hesitation on the other end. “And…you need RISC’s facilities to test it?”

The Professor coughed out a chuckle—the first in weeks. “Your facilities? No. I just need your scientists. My discovery requires more than a practical laboratory. It needs a singularly capable and well-stocked testing site, a facility of nearly limitless potential and capability. And, as it turns out, I have access to such a site.”

“Really? Where? What is it?”

Her hiding place. Her family heritage. The past and the future.


End of note

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

Ruby O'Keeffe: I'm only a few chapters in and I love this book! The writing style fits the setting and theme perfectly, and the descriptions of the characters, setting and more are beautiful! I would love to read to read more from this author!

snowview03: This is the first book I have read on this app and I loved it! When I read the title I thought about the hunger games, but this novel is so much more. Some book have a comparison between other books that fallow like premises so i will do my own: Arena has the compellingly emotional stresses and t...

spatiaangelus : Loved reading this novel. the intricacy of the storyline, the amount of detail and the development of the plot was amazing.Not only is it a unique read, I found it utterly enjoyable and cannot wait to read more

Drew C. Elyon: I've only read one chapter so far, but from what I've seen, this is steampunk at its best. The narrative flows so beautifully I could envision every scene in an almost cinematic fashion. I believe in the complexity of simplicity, and this story has that in its descriptions.

William Elliott Kern: A young boy," later found on the highway by General Jarda", was murdered by Barbarians, came back to life as he was an Anmah, age 6 when the loss of his family had occured.........General Jarda, took the boy, gave him a new name, and introduced him to another Anham and the King, This Story is w...

larry: I’ m not a professional book reviewer, but this is a good one! I liked it enough to read it non stop!

More Recommendations

Hali McGowan: when will the third book be done? I am absolutely hooked. I red the first two books within less than a week. I'm itching for the third one. The plotline is absolutely wonderful. I've never been much for sci-fi ish books. but you've got me hooked on this series

bloodrosemaiden: I love this book!! I have read it several times and though there could be improvements I applaud the author. I know positive feed back is appreciated!! I enjoy reading about the learning the different character's backstories, and the affects in the overall story!

sujitha nair: What's so distinct about this story was that it could easily be real.Praveena can be your classmate, neighbor or that girl you saw at the coffee shop today. The important decisions she makes and the dilemmas she faces, remind us of our own twisted lives.

JWalker: I loved this story from start to finish! It flows at a really nice pace and the story world feels so real. The fight sequences are a treat especially when Isanfyre is training to become a warrior. I found the names really cool and thankfully easy to pronounce. Personally I have always struggled w...

Jordano Quaglia: I was taken to the future, to the shock of worlds among the people in the underground versus the mutants. The characters are well defined and rich in details, as I felt that I empathized well with them and envied their adventures while being scared by their predicament. It i a world that I would ...

{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.