The Summoner's Run
District 3 was made up of enormous oddly shaped buildings. Circular panels ran overhead reflecting light, which was the only source of power. Life here roamed underground with a few exceptions for land above for those who worked to bring provisions and other necessitates back down.
In the streets, Olden Gray was trying to pass through unnoticed, but with the Ministerial Guard prowling close by in search of his very presence, it was proving an inescapable task.
Olden had fair black hair, ocean blue eyes and wore a cloak that he had taken from one of the guards near the border.
It was a long time since Olden had slept. Even though his eyes were battling to stay open, he knew that he had to stay vigilant.
Unnoticed so far, Olden was trying to keep amongst a crowd. He wrapped his high collars around tightly leaving only his eyes visible below the hood.
The Ministerial Guard were out for his arrest and had been searching for Olden since he first jumped worlds. He had broken Continumental Laws, although he had no choice in the matter.
Olden went over it a hundred times. The Matter-Fabric was at stake. That was the very reason he had left home, why he had abandoned his duties and fled.
He had since been on a journey to find potential Bearers, those who were destined for greatness, those who had the ability to change the world. The future counted on the involvement of these extraordinary beings, to participate in the next Serilion.
Olden had walked hundreds of miles to get here, and he wasn’t going to take no for an answer.
He approached the house and checked his journal to make sure that he was at the right place. With a firm knock, he waited.
The streets of Harlo-Vidictay were filling up fast, space was limited. Nowhere was safe and it became increasingly difficult to get around.
Things were getting out of hand.
‘What do you want?’
Olden did not know how long the man had been standing there, since his focus had been elsewhere.
‘I’m looking for Simon Close.’
‘Never heard of him,’ came the man’s boisterous reply.
‘I was under the impression that he lives here.’
‘Well you’re mistaken, there is no Simon here.’ He locked the door. ‘Now if you will excuse me I have someplace to be.’
The man shouldered Olden and disappeared.
Olden was parched and so he made his way to find the nearest vendor. He was approached by a green-eyed boy who held out cupped hands. Olden pulled out a chunk of tijerun and handed it to the boy. The boy looked back, baffled. Here was a man who had just handed over more currency than he had ever known in his life.
Olden ruffled the boy’s hair and continued onwards.
A couple of streets further and the boy kept on Olden’s heels. It was when the boy bumped into Olden had he noticed that he was being followed. The boy tugged at his cloak.
‘Here mister,’ he said, trying to hand the tijerun back. ‘I cannot.’
‘Sure you can,’ said Olden, lowering himself so that his gaze was level with the boy’s.
‘But sir,’ he protested. ‘Rubin would not allow it.’
‘Ah.’ Olden smiled. What a coincidence. Never ignore a coincidence, that was one of Olden’s rules. Things happened for a reason, whether you believed it was fate or not. ‘Your keeper?’
The boy nodded.
‘Where might he be?’
The boy pointed to an emporium down the road, he volunteered to take him there and inside the man who had answered the door to Olden looked up, annoyed.
‘What are you doing here?’ He addressed the boy.
The boy tapped at Olden’s elbow.
‘This him?’ Asked Olden. The boy nodded timidly.
‘You again,’ grumbled the man. ‘Didn’t I tell you––’
‘The boy says that you are his keeper.’
‘What’s it to you?’
‘He gave me this,’ the boy held out the chunk of tijerun. Rubin’s eyes shot open, he grabbed the piece and waved it in front of Olden.
‘What right have you to come here and give this to Simon?’ At that moment Rubin froze, he had said too much.
‘That’s me,’ beamed the boy.
The boy looked up earnestly at Olden.
Rubin grabbed Simon’s arm, pulling him out of the emporium. Olden pursued, he had not thought that Simon would be a youngling. All the other Bearers were much older, it was the keeper he presumed he was after.
‘Hang on,’ said Olden, walking briskly to catch up with Rubin. ‘I just want to talk to you.’
Rubin flung the tijerun over his shoulder. ‘Here. Take it.’
Olden reached down to pluck the piece of tijerun. Rubin continued to drag Simon, rushing to get inside. Olden approached cautiously. ‘I need to inform the boy. It’s vital that he is given an invitation. I have crossed worlds to find Simon, our whole future rests on it. I implore you, I cannot stress how important it is that he is to be told.’
The keeper turned abruptly.
‘What exactly does he need to know?’
Olden took out a scroll from within his cloak. ‘This was written sendiums before the boy’s birth, by a Khalazaran who spoke of his participation in events that will soon come to pass. This is a summons to the Serilion.’
‘A Bearer! Nonsense. If Simon has extraordinary abilities I think I’d know about it. How do you even know that you have the right person?’
‘Does the boy have the markings?’
Rubin’s attitude changed. ‘How would I know?’ But then curiosity overtook him. Simon had always worn wristbands.
‘Simon?’ Rubin called. The boy looked from Olden to his keeper, petrified.
‘You’re not in trouble,’ Olden assured. ‘Show me.’ Simon sauntered over and held out his arm. Olden unstrapped the bands, which looked like they had never been removed.
There, on Simon’s wrist were three bold black circles, forming the points of a triangle.
‘That can’t be!’ Rubin said.
Olden bent down and kneeled, wiping away Simon’s tears with a thumb. ‘It is an honour to meet you, Simon Close.’
The boy smiled.
Olden handed over a scroll. Rubin broke the ribbon, unfurled it, and read:
Second door from Derratand Freslan
By the mandate of Octavian, Seer and Prophesier,
You are found in accordance to patterns in ricto-graphs to become a Bearer. Hence, you are to attend the Serilion and compete in the hopes to succeed as Master of the Matter-Fabric. At the appropriate time, you will be summoned and entitled a Bearer. It is the right of any soul to accept or reject their candidacy.
Peace be upon you.
There was more on the scroll, but Olden thought it best that Simon should read it.
‘He can’t read,’ Rubin confessed.
Olden merely beamed. ‘Teach him; reading, writing. Train him. You are his keeper after all, the responsibility rests upon you. Prepare Simon and make him ready for the Serilion.’
‘When will I be summoned?’ Simon said excitedly.
‘You’ll know when. Until then, learn all that you can.’
‘Will I see you again?’
‘If fate will have it, you shall.’
There was a commotion from somewhere, Olden did not turn around, instead he looked at Rubin. ‘You have not seen me.’ He murmured.
The keeper saw the Ministerial Guard advancing in their direction. ‘I’ll prepare the boy, you have my word.’
Olden left hastily.
With the Ministerial Guard grouping, it was now or never!
Olden broke into a run, his hood trailing behind, dancing with the wind. In his hurry, Olden managed to knock over an old man who fell, sprawled face down. ‘You halfwit!’ He barked, brandishing his cane furiously in the air as he was brought back to his feet by passers-by.
‘S–o–o–o–ry!’ Olden shouted, not daring to see if he was being pursued.
When he approached a thoroughfare, his foot landed neatly as he came faced with a guard. Olden glanced at the cloak he was wearing and noticed a Captain’s marking embroidered on the shoulder and realised that it had belonged to the being who was close enough to capture him.
Olden swore under his breath.
The Captain examined Olden for a while; trying to figure out if it was really him, both had not seen each other for sendiums. Olden had no intention of seeing how long it took for the Captain to realise.
The Captain summoned the Ministerial Guard. They had instructions to arrest Olden before he had another chance to cross worlds.
According to the parchment that he had taken from the breast pocket of the Captain’s cloak, he was near the border where routes lead to the ground above.
The Ministerial Guard approached.
‘VESNA JOIS!’ Came the Captain’s cries.
One by one, more guards appeared out of thin air. Dust lifted from their soles and swam boldly. The guards were tall and square-jawed with rectangular well-defined muscle shaped bodies. With each stomp they trudged ever closer to Olden who had picked up the pace.
Olden had outsmarted them so far and maybe he could again, one last time. Olden ran faster than he had ever run before. Oh, and he would run. Just like he had done ever since he was young, running for fun at first, but now he was running to keep himself from getting captured, from failing his mission. Olden was ecstatic.
‘HE’S TRYING TO GET ABOVE GROUND!’ Exclaimed the Captain, fierce with authority as he pointed high up to where Olden had almost managed to climb right up to the surface. ‘TOP SIDE! MOVE!’
It seemed like forever climbing the ladder to reach the surface.
As Olden looked down he saw four guards advancing. He climbed the last remaining way and wrapped his arm around the side of the ladder, removing the panel to get out into the open.
Clouds were countless shades of every colour imaginable, above that Olden could see three Silver Suns shining down as they radiated heat. He flung the panel shut and glanced around to find himself in the middle of a surreal white desert.
Olden ran across the sand, dragging his feet, he made impressions before the wind swept them away.
In the distance Olden could hear blades of Copters ripping through the air as he leapt off his feet, plunging forward as a trail of blasts sprayed, blinding his view.
The Copters hovered over, searching for his presence as several Ministerial Guard appeared from out of nowhere circling as the Captain materialised.
‘We’ve been tracking you through several worlds,’ the Captain spat. ‘Your luck has finally ran out.’
With his throat drying up and his lip beginning to bleed, it grew difficult for Olden to respond. Sweat formed on his brow as he felt a stabbing sensation, and a tug at his nape – a feeling that he had almost forgotten.
Olden was being summoned!
Clouds floated in front of the Silver Suns. Colours dazzled Olden’s eyes as the reflection of the suns created patterns across the white desert.
‘Oh, I think not,’ said Olden, grinning.
Although there was nothing physically showing, Olden could feel his fingers numbing. The sensation moved down to his torso, continuing further to his toes, until he had completely disappeared right in front of the Ministerial Guard.
The Captain watched as his squad attempted to grab what was left of Olden, yet instead they hit a force field that was sealing the barriers as Olden, once again, crossed through worlds––
The Ministerial Guard were sent hurtling backwards, crashing at the Captain’s feet.
Olden slammed against marble; he was not yet rid of the cold, but could feel it fading from his legs. He spent a short while with his face squashed, eyes shut tight and his fingers stroking the smooth surface. It wasn’t his first summons, but that didn’t mean he was used to it.
As Olden turned on his back, he let out a deep sigh as he brought himself to his feet. There were several archways connected passages forming a sort of maze into the Main Hall, which he had landed in, as its centre. Unmistakably he knew exactly where he was.
Olden then sensed a presence sitting on a silver seat. The 3Circle symbol was carved into the head of the seat, spheres were cast on the ends of the arms and the frame itself had been sculpted with intricate detail, making this seat exquisite. The pale-faced man was the occupant currently seated upon it, he looked exhausted; the slightest bit of movement seemed to pain him.
‘Father?’ Said Olden, waiting for a response. He walked across, climbing the dozen steps to stand in front of Polaris.
Olden pulled out an orb, it magically jumped to eye level where it floated freely.
As Polaris waved his hand, the magnets in his glove directed the orb to rotate, he generated the energy within to burn brightly. It turned from green to blue, blue to purple and then settled to a rich gold.
‘Do you know what this is?’
Olden shook his head.
‘This … is a Stolen Star. It contains a dying star with four times the mass of the Silver Suns put together. Releasing it will force it to continue its process and collapse upon itself and form a black hole so immense that it would rip through entire galaxies.’
The very thought petrified Olden.
He had found the Stolen Star concealed deep within a cave, in one of the worlds of the Continuverse where Time’s own nature moved differently.
’Cygnus had hidden it after he miraculously captured it within the Orb. Since then it has been left untouched and I fear that if you had not set out to find it, it would have been discovered by others and used to a disastrous climax. I requested you to traverse worlds, for this. You know that opening one barrier to a world opens the entire Continuverse, it forces beings in their world to cross unwillingly with no means in returning and when someone or something with wrong intentions crosses deliberately, then its times like that when you need to remain observant.
‘I had you break Continumental Laws for the sake of protecting life. Our power binds the responsibilities to act upon such dangers, in the hope for continual exist––’ Polaris grabbed at his sides. ‘It is forbidden, but necessary. Time is ticking away and now we have to sacrifice ourselves for the continuity of existence.’
Polaris winced, the Orb weighed his hand down. Olden grabbed it, balancing it with his fingertips. It floated the moment Olden had let go, spinning around on its own accord. He snapped his fingers and the Orb vanished.
Polaris cleared his throat and focused on what he had to say, for the seconds were drawing closer and he knew that he had barely moments before it was over.
‘You know what you must do.’
Olden held back tears. Just before he was instructed to depart and travel through worlds he was told that in his return he would see his father one final time.
Olden placed his index fingers on his father’s temples. He delved in Polaris’ mind, anyone would have found it difficult to even attempt to penetrate the simplest of minds, let alone one as complex as his Polaris’. He had been the only one who could. Olden saw flashes of memories that were not his, memories that belonged to his father were now transferring into him. He harnessed the thoughts his father wanted him to have. He felt the pressure build against his skull.
Olden was repelled with force. Polaris’ mind had closed in protest.
‘That ... is all I have to give.’
For a while Polaris remained still, breathing through his nose. He gathered his strength to utter the following few words. ’Continumental Laws are absolute, but there are those who want to use Time to their advantage, those who want to capture 3Circle energy and manipulate the timelines. Truyens! Most served under my command, but since have strayed from protecting Time to controlling it. Damien Shaw, one of my brightest, recruited others and gathered skilled and talented individuals, whether human or Orilian. To this day Truyens have been trying to take out those who have roles in protecting the Matter-Fabric.
‘Once they assume control, then no one will be able to stop them from interfering with the continuum.’ Polaris began to scratch an itch at his wrist. ‘A Traveller is destined to be our forthcoming Master. He will be the one who will guide Time to a continual existence and lead all races to a stronger and more prosperous future. Legend will tell his story as it revolves around hundreds of others. He will be the foremost in a long line of Masters to come. In your lifetime, you will see Time evolve exponentially at his hands, for without Time, life cannot survive. You must ensure that it remains in flux.’
‘I am nearing my end,’ continued Polaris. ’Before I go, I want to give you some guidance and urge you to move on. Find a way to reverse my mistake. I implore you to seek out the Traveller before it’s too late. Only he will have the power to truly patch the damaged state that the Matter-Fabric is in.’
‘I will make sure the Traveller is found, I promise you, father. I will recall your wisdom and your teachings to my last breath.’
Polaris thanked Olden. There were mumbles and what sounded like “proud to have you as a son”, but Olden hadn’t quite figured out what was said. For a good while, Polaris babbled, then he went quiet.
Olden had never seen his father like this before. A few montressens before he had left, Olden noticed that Polaris had jumbled up his words. Olden presumed that it was due to the stress he was under, ever since he took over Silus who abdicated over fourteen sendiums ago.
Olden wondered how much of his past his father could remember since Polaris was growing weary and forgetful.
In realising that he was overthinking, Olden had noticed that his father had been speaking for a while now. ‘I have had many unresolved visions, some that seem impossible, others which are clear. Through its vastness, the universe will deteriorate. Its indications will start from isolated incidents to obliteration. The smoke has caused pandemonium throughout Anselopha,’ said Polaris. ‘It is an indicator that the Cycles of Time are breaking down. The worse a state it gets into, the more Darkness fills the universe before paradoxes ensue to rip it open.’
‘It’s all my fault!’ Olden blurted. ‘Had I not created that contraption, none of this would be happening.’
‘No. I see your childhood still bears a mark upon you. You must forgive yourself and move on. What I told you to do was grave, you should not blame yourself. It was I who urged you to do it, I who has caused this. Having brought nothing but destruction onto the continuum, I hope the existence has a strong enough chance to outlive this catastroph–– catas––’
Polaris shook off the pain, refusing to be faltered.
‘Humans treat time as a progressional unit for measuring seconds, minutes, hours, days and so on. Which is half right. Time is and always has been a sequence of events. I have found it to be such a wondrous design, though I understood so little of it. I am convinced that its structure is too complex to comprehend. Nonetheless Olden, you must try … you must open your mind to the fact that this collapse will indeed happen.’
Polaris stood. ‘The worlds are brewing with Bearers, scattered throughout the universe. You will summon them, in the wake of the Darkened Days. The Prime Worlds must work together if they are to defeat their greatest challenge. Foes from all corners of the universe will strive to claim a single authority over the Matter-Fabric. In the wake of the Traveller, his League of Guardians will rise in their own light and will pledge their allegiance––’
Polaris clutched at his chest, he gasped for air but failed to catch it. His knees buckled, as he felt light-headed.
‘FATHER!?’ Cried Olden, tears streaming as Polaris lay motionless, his mind had closed indefinitely. He was gone.
Olden took a moment to sink it all in. He then took his father’s seat and watched as Polaris’ body turned into what looked like a swarm of golden fireflies multiplying as the body began to disintegrate. Golden particles swam everywhere.
The Ministerial Guard had found him.
Footsteps drew closer.
Olden convinced himself that he was not going to be apprehended for trying to save the continuum. Not today. Not ever.
The Captain and his guards approached.
‘Olden,’ the Captain said. ‘You are under arrest for illegal traversal through worlds with the sentence, of which, will be carried out by the First Authority.’
‘You are correct, of course,’ Olden interjected. ‘Though, in the unexpected passing of my father, he has failed to select a successor. Which by rights, falls to me to take the seat until someone more suitable can take his place. Until then I remain the First Authority.’
It was true, much to the Ministerial Guard’s displeasure.
‘Very well,’ remarked the Captain. ‘I shall return when a successor is chosen and then you will answer to your crimes.’