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Chapter 1

“All passengers, the transport will be lifting off shortly. Please take your seats and prepare for liftoff,” ordered the pilot over the internal comm system.

Marthan T’an turned his attention back to his datapad which he had been reading earlier as soon as the announcement had ended. He hadn’t managed to get far in his reading though as his concentration was interrupted yet again when a few people the transport had just taken on began entering the cabin he was seated in. Up until now, the cabin he was seating in was occupied by only him and two other people: both who were asleep ever since they left the last port they stopped at. He liked it that way as he could concentrate and enjoy his reading. Please don’t be too loud, thought Marthan to himself as he turned his attention back yet again to his datapad.

“Excuse me, can I take the seat next to you?” asked a feminine voice.

Marthan looked up from his datapad to see who had interrupted him. He saw a was young lady who was probably around the same age he was. She was standing next to the empty seat next to him with a duffel bag in hand. He noticed that she had flawless, unblemished skin and shoulder length black hair with streaks of red in them. She was attractive. Well, to him, anyways.

“Go ahead,” replied Marthan.

She proceeded to place her duffel bag under the chair in front of her before taking a seatnext to Marthan. “Thanks.I’m Shayla by the way,” said the young lady with a smile on her face as she reached out her hands towards Marthan.

“I’m Marthan,” replied the young traveler to Shayla as he shook her outreached hand. Her hands were soft and smooth, like fine Tyrellian silk, opposed to his own coarse hands.

“So why are you heading to Corethdel?” queried Shayla, trying to engage Marthan in some small talk to pass the time.

“I’m going to Corethdel to continue my Paladin training.”

“You’re a Paladin initiate too?” she asked excitedly. “So am I! What a coincidence,” she said with a hint of elation in her voice.“Where did you do your basic training?”

“On my home planet, Aldrila,” answered Marthan. He as amused that out of all the people that could have sat down next to him on this journey, it was a fellow Paladin initiate.

“I read about Aldrila before, beautiful planet with a lot of crystal clear lakes, snow-capped mountains, forests and rolling plains,” remarked Shayla. “Is it as beautiful as they say it is?”

“Even more,” replied Marthan with a smile on his face,

“My instructors told me that initiates from Aldrila’s academy focus their training on harnessing and using their chi, is it true?” asked Shayla.

“Well for the most part it is true,” answered Marthan, “we are trained to have a greater and more precise control of our chi, but that doesn’t mean we neglect training our martial skills.”

The familiar hum of the transports quad-ion engines firing up could be heard in the background. It would not be long until the transport takes off and make its way to its final destination, Corethdel.

“So can you harness the elements with your chi yet?” queried Shayla who had a glint of curiousity in her eyes as the transport lifted of the ground and made its way to the stars.

Marthan lifted up his right hand and for a brief moment, electrical discharge began to form around his hand. Shayla watched in amazement at Marthan’s ability to emit brief sparks of electricity by using his chi.

“That’s amazing,” Shayla said in awe. “I wish I could do that--all I can do at the moment is move things around,” she moaned.

“I still have a lot to learn when it comes to harnessing my chi though. And don’t worry, your master will teach you how to do it soon enough,” assured Marthan to Shayla. She smiled as she heard his reassuring words.

Marthan looked out of the viewport and saw that the transport had left the surly bonds of the planet and was now in space. Soon they will be on Corethdel, and soon they will begin a new chapter in their lives.

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