Chapter 3 – The Purge (2 of 3)

“What? WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO ME? MY SKIN!” My skin was no longer the light tan color I had lived with my entire life. In fact it was every color, my skin was alive—constantly changing and morphing in geometrical patterns. My forearm still remained in form, but the skin was bleached by every color in the spectrum; it was almost like an all-enveloping tattoo made of glyphs that moved with a pattern.

“Not me, my boy, you did this to yourself. A reaction to the genome you took three weeks ago.” I thought it was fatal at first glance, I thought that my life would be coming to an end, but then suddenly I remembered the crash. I had stopped, not the missile, but the explosion—I had contained it.

It is a truly profound feeling to be speechless.

 

“I didn’t purge the Raydenites to find you. You were the silver lining, the prize for all of our effort. The Raydenites left the Kingdom of Salaras long ago, and they had to be dealt with for their deception to the throne. During our ninety-minute war I found something remarkable—you, a boy, a lost boy, holding a genetic key to immortality.”

“This is—”

“We are leaving now. I’ve had a change of heart. It’s interesting how you say you would do anything for your people. They are not your people.”

“You’ll spare them?”

“There is no fun in hunting half-dead animals. If you take my hand we will discover everything, where you are from, who you were born of, and I will present all the opportunity that you will ever need in your life.”

 

No better way to recruit an enemy when you have all of the answers. I am nothing if not honest, and Arcoh had me there, he had convinced me. I never felt so lost in my entire life, everything I was told by my father and Virgil was a lie.

“You have no idea who you are, do you, Collin?”

I felt that my entire life was wasted on false values, everything they told me, everything I did was for nothing. All the proof I needed was imprinted on my skin, below my neck and from my waistline to the cuffs before my hands.

So in that moment I knew I needed a guide to discover the truth of who I was.

And as I reached for his hand, a miracle happened. Although I would have hardly called it a miracle if I could’ve seen beyond the smoke.

 

There are parts of this story that go untold in my personal point of view. That being noted, this story is not mine alone to tell. These are the records of those who were beside me all along. They fought with me and even learned with me and their experiences were just as important as mine.

They broadened my perspective on what had happened. I can’t deny you this chance to see the picture more clearly. So I will tell you everything that happened between our different worlds. Beyond my eyes and speculating the others—and once again, to better inform you so that you can inform yourself.

 

***

 

TEN MINUTES EARLIER

{Rayden: Western Hemisphere}

[-<Commander Mark Wyman>-]

-Outlander Citadel-

 

            “Fix your stance, Silas!” Mark went to stab Silas, who ducked and fell over after nearly dodging the wooden sword.

“Sorry, sir!”

Mark darted towards Silas and kicked him in the face as he attempted to stand. He stumbled back, and quickly reacted by swinging his wooden sword at Mark’s head.

“Predictable,” Mark said as he dodged Silas’s strike and struck him with a blow that swept him off his feet. Silas slammed into the floor of the white room and Mark rushed over him. And after rubbing his back he laughed at Mark, who dropped the wooden sword above his head and helped his young protégé to his feet.

“You are very fast, sir.”

“Old man’s reflexes is all that is. You’ll catch up to me one day, but fix that stance. We will work on it soon.”

“Yes, sir, thank you, sir.”

“I told you the ‘sir’ thing annoys me, Silas. And what’s the other thing I told you? Remember?”

“With everything you do grow smarter. How could I ever forget?”

“That’s right. You’ll be a great admiral one day, Silas. I have all the faith in the world in you.” Mark sat down on the floor of the white sparing room and panted, out of breath like his subordinate.

“Sir! I mean Commander.”

“Silas, you are so cautious not to offend. I am only a man, just you as well.”

“I’ll watch it, Mark.”

“There we go.”

 

Just then, General Casey, Zachary Wright’s staff general, ran panicked and impatient into the sparing room. “There you are! I’ve been looking everywhere for you!”

Mark laughed as he wiped the sweat off his face with a towel. “Ha! Never thought I’d be missed so much for an hour.”

“Commander Wyman, with all due respect for you Remorans and your armada, we have to move now!”

“Whoa, all right. Take it easy. Silas, on your feet.”

General Casey quickly led Commander Mark Wyman and his subordinate into the clustered hallways of the citadel. It had been only three weeks and Arcoh had exterminated over thirteen billion Raydenites. Only 10 percent of my people had survived, and all of them had fled to the citadel within the mountain for asylum.
“General Casey, what seems to be the problem?”

“The EMP storm has passed. An entire crusader regiment sits on the verge of the horizon just waiting for those particles to clear. We need you to act immediately! We need your weapon, we need the might of your fleet!”

Mark did not seem offended that General Casey blatantly insulted his competence as a leader. In fact, he went further to kindly re-inform him of the situation.

“You underestimate me, General. My people are in place, and that weapon has already begun to take effect on the regiment Arcoh deemed ‘enough’ to complete his objective here.”

Casey smiled brightly, as if completely relieved by the Good Commander’s remark. “Ah, I apologize, sir. I know you didn’t have to help us, but these are dire times. We just don’t have the ability to fight them anymore.”

“Arcoh’s old-world reason will doom us all if he is not stopped. This is not just on your people but ours, the GDR, and all of Eden as well.”

“I now see why they call you the Good Commander.”

“I always treat the man before me better than I treat myself, General, and I treat myself pretty well. Now, General, if you will excuse me, I have a battle to win.”

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