It’s amazing how much can change in just a few years. An entire generation of soldiers is gone. Their successors are young, unprepared, and ill equipped for the danger that is ahead.
There was Jorah son of Tartarus; that kid was willing to get himself killed if it meant impressing everyone else. Then the child of Eros, Brandon, seems unable to grow up. He’s always playing tricks on the others with his love arrows. Alonzo, the son of Phusis, was way to outgoing for my liking. At least he wasn’t like that lunatic Maximus. Then there was Xaro, most of the older guys that were apprentices during the war like Julian, Karelia, and Eric knew all about children of Erebus. I didn’t trust that kid one bit. The group just didn’t work well together and treated everything like an ice-cream social.
These kids weren’t soldier, weren’t heroes, weren’t even assassins. They were just kids and pretty soon we’d be putting everything into their hands.
The images in my head repeated themselves. It wasn’t pretty. Gone was the world we knew and very soon our own would follow in its course. I pressed a button on my desk and spoke.
“Hello everyone, I would like to speak with Julian, Aubrey, and Xaro please. Thank you.”
I turned and looked at myself in the mirror. I hope I knew what I was doing
“Hello everyone, I would like to speak with Julian, Aubrey, and Xaro please. Thank you.”
“Ohhh looks like someone’s in trouble!” Brandon said, and jokingly threw a piece of paper at me.
I shot him a playful look and got up. I was in the cafeteria with a couple other members. But I was the only one in the room that got called.
“Meh, he probably just wants us on lookout duty again.” I took my tray and threw it into the dirty dishes pile, where a nymph quickly grabbed them and took them to a dishwasher.
I made my way out of the cafeteria and through the hallway. The corridors were always dark and doors lined the walls. I passed various rooms like the War Room, the Armory, the Weapon Testing Room, the Training Room, the Vehicle Room, and a elevator that led to the top floor where our aircrafts were. Then I turned left into the sleeping quarters.
In addition to all the “work” rooms there was also rooms for each member of the DC. Each door was themed appropriately with its primordial. Across from each was the room of that member’s apprentice. There weren’t many apprentices so most of those rooms were empty.
At the end there was also a room with a big “X” on it. I had tried to read the words that were on it, but never really got it. It was like “Thaneaus” or “Ganatus”. I really had no idea and didn’t think about it too much.
At the end of the sleeping quarters was the Leader Room. Only leaders were permitted unless you had permission from Nyx or Phillip. Julian and Xaro were already there waiting for me.
“Took you long enough,” Xaro said smiling at me. Xaro was a nice kid and he was always looking out for the newer members. A lot of guys before my time didn’t like him for some reason.
“Well, now that were all here, let’s go in.” Julian said. Julian was a quiet, reserved guy. He was also super cute!
“Fine by me,” I replied. Julian turned from me and knocked on the door.
We waited for a few moments when Phillip’s voice was heard.
Julian grasped and turned the handle, opening the door. The three of us walked in and saw that Phillip had prepared a round table and four chairs.
As I took my seat, I looked around at the room. It was very clustered. Plans, blueprints, and other miscellaneous items were sprawled over desks, shelves, cabinets, and tables. There was also a computer that sat on a desk behind us.
“So, I have gathered you all here to inform you that I am resigning. Immediately after this meeting.” His voice was so…serious. Phillip never joked, but giving up this position out of the blue seemed unreal.
Julian was the first to say anything.
“Wait…What are you talking about?!?”
“A few hours ago I was contacted by a person whom I trust like no other. In the next coming weeks a series of events will occur that will ensure the destruction of our world.”
Now I was getting confused. World about to get destroyed and our fearless leader was going to run away? Xaro must have shared my concern.
“So you’re just going to run away?” He asked. That made Phillip break his poker face with a quick glare.
“No, but it is important you watch this.”
He stood and walked over to the computer as we all turned around. He typed in a few things and a video began playing. The screen was dark, and then all of a sudden a middle-aged man appeared. He looked distressed and panicky.
“Phillip…by the time you receive this message you should have a complete Circle. What you see behind me is earth.“
The screen shifted and a wasteland could be seen. Trees were dead, rivers were dried up, and skeletons had littered the ground.
“Very soon, your world will be subjugated to this fate. But you can stop it. Along with this video I have a list of events to come. At least as many as I know of. These event must not happen or a civil war with the Protogenoi will begin. Destruction and devastation has brought humanity to near-extinction. The Olympians are gone, the minor gods are gone. And the protogenoi have waged an endless war. Phillip, this order comes from me. You must resign and pick new leaders. It is crucial that you play no part in this coming war. I’m sorry but that is all I have time for. A last resistance to the primordial begins today. We will not be remembered, but we will be avenged. Avenge us Phillip…and one more thing. Xaro must take leadership and restore his line--“
The screen went black and we sat there in silence. Then I realized that the man in the video was Phillip from a dark future. We all silently came to that conclusion and realized that we had been chosen as the leaders.
Then Julian broke the silence. “What do we have to do?”
Phillip walked over and put his hand on Julian’s shoulder.
“My last order. Assemble the circle, inform them of what has occurred, and fulfill this mission!”
Almira Flare’s POV
I saw the three of them leaving from the meeting room. Xaro, Aubrey and Julian’s faces looked serious, as if a heavy burden had just been given to them. I smiled at them but it was only Xaro who tried to smile back. I reached the meeting room; I peeked a little since I was not given any permission to come in. I saw Philip sitting, watching some kind of video.
"You may come in child." I heard my mother whispers in my ears. I went inside and as soon as Philip heard the door open he closed the video.
“Do you need anything Almira?” He asked me in her normal voice, without portraying any emotions. I walked towards him and put my arms around him.
“My real mother used to hug me whenever I feel down. I don’t know how she finds out about it though, but now I think I understood how she knows and I’m pretty sure that she will hug you too if she sees you in this state.” Philip giggled a little.
“You and your believes, it really amazes me. I do hope that one day you will learn how to protect yourself properly, for we will all mourn if you die.” I let go of him and turn to face him.
“I have friends here in the Dark Circle, including you. I’m pretty sure you’ll always be there to protect me and the others. So don’t worry.” His smile turned into a frown. He stood up and patted my head. “I’m afraid I won’t be here to protect you any longer Almira. “
“Let’s have a party then. Everyone would like to say a few words before you go and you have to announce that Aubrey, Xaro and Julian will take lead from now on.”
“How did you…never mind, we should have that party later on this evening after everyone is done with their training. Which reminds me Almira did you skip yours again?” He asked in a bossy kind of way. I smiled once again and finally run out of the room.
I’m not a good girl and I hate doing unlady like things like sword fighting, using powers to travel from one place to another, so instead of doing all those that are needed of me, I roam around rooms, knocking and telling them of the party that will happening later on. I also ask those who wanted to help in preparing the food for the party, few helped me in making the dinner plans and decorating the cafeteria. By the end of the day everything was finished. The others went down and sat together in groups, some talked with each other, Xaro joked around with some girls, trying to impress them, Aubrey on the other hand is silently sitting with a group of girls and Julian.
Philip was in the center of the cafeteria, with a weird thing in his hand, from what I heard it makes voices louder.
“Welcome to this Party that our beloved Almira planned for us. Today will mark the day of change. A lot of you will be surprised, a lot of you might be frightend but I’m pretty sure that we will all leave this party with a new knowledge, a new mission and a new beginning.” Everyone clapped their hands. Philip allowed everyone to eat first before he announces the reason of this party. I stood on the farthest corner of the room and looked at everyone’s happy expressions as they ate what I helped in cooking. I didn’t know what happened to me but I began to cough out blood. No one noticed. I hoped it stayed that way….
The food was nicely cooked, everyone enjoyed their meals. Everyone started talking and gossiping about the new threads and of how they defeated monsters. Philip was around talking to each and every member. I was surprised when he started talking to me. Our conversation was brief, but I will never forget that memory.
“Christopher, I want you to be a good big brother to your sister and to the Dark Cirlcle.” I nodded and when he was about to leave I stopped him and asked the question I have been meaning to ask ever since I became part of the circle.
“Why do you trust me even though everyone doesn’t? I could never understand your leadership.” He smiled a little.
“I accepted you as a part of my circle that means I already trust you, because I know that she chose you for a reason.” He looked at me for a while then he turned to his watch, we said goodbyes and he headed to talk to Aubrey, Xaro and Julian.
I noticed his long conversation with the three of them, mine only lasted a minute while theirs seems to last for hours. Everyone else began to notice this unordinary conversation within the four of them and began to whisper among them. This didn’t last long, as Philip stopped his talk with the three and went to the center of the cafeteria. Holding the mic to his mouth he called everyone’s attention.
“A bad future is in store for us in the next few years, but we have the power to stop this. Firstly I want to tell everyone of the new changes that will happen in the Dark Circle. From this day onwards I shall be stepping down as your leader, Xaro, Julian and Aubrey will be taking charge from now on.”
I looked at the faces of the other members of the circle, all of them were shocked. Most of us were just new in this circle and we do not know what it felt like without Philip in charge. I looked around in search of Almira Flare, she being the one of the few that was under Philip’s training must be greatly affected, but she was not around the crowd.
Philip continued his talk of the future, about things that we have to prevent in order to stop the happenings that will cause the destruction of the world as we know it. He was just talking about how we need to find a certain person that will start all this destruction in our world when all of a sudden Almira appeared from the shadows and called Philip. She tossed something to him A round disk of some sort, he pressed a button on it and a hologram of pictures, list of events and a lot more appeared.
"I edited the video that you left in the meeting room, basically what we need to do first is to save a girl from a group of monsters that are after her. According to the list its one of the reasons why she did what she did. I do not understand the meaning of it but its the first thing we need to do." Almira told Philip as Philip scrolled down on the task that was on the hologram.
Just when I thought he was going to order us to do something he walked towards Xaro and gave him the round disk. "You are now the leader of this group. You must decide what actions the group must do with these informations."
I sat in my room after Phillip made the announcement that he was stepping down. Like the rest of the members of the Circle, I was surprised, but I didn’t stick around to discuss this change in leadership. I’ve never exactly connected with people, especially the other members. It’s not that I don’t like them; it’s just that I’ve been like this for a while. I prefer to remain silent.
As I think about all of what’s happening and what’s going to happen, I hear a knock on the door.
“It’s Karelia. Can I come in?” Karelia asked from the other side of the door.
“Of course, Kare,” I replied. She entered and came towards me with long strides, her wavy, golden-blonde hair flowing behind her. She stopped in front of me and smiled.
“So, did you actually congratulate our new leaders for being promoted or did you just skip out and not bother?” she asked jokingly. Out of all the members of the Circle, Karelia was the only one I could open myself up to. For the past year and a half, she has always been like an older sister to me. Karelia was the one who found me injured, brought me to the Dark Circle base to heal me, and after learning that I was a demiprotogenoi, not to mention a daughter of Gaea, she asked Phillip to allow me to join. If it wasn’t for her, I could possibly be dead rather than sitting in my room in the base.
“Does nodding count?” I asked and she laughed briefly, “So, what do you think of all of this?” Her face slightly darkened, showing a sign that she was obviously worried about the situation, which was saying something because she wasn’t one to worry.
“Well, I think Julian and Aubrey will do fine as leaders and I can see why Phillip chose them, but I’m surprised he picked Xaro. I’ve always been wary of Xaro, and you know why. I’m sure there’s a good reason for it. As for the situation we’ve been thrown into suddenly, I’m a little worried. If I thought the war three years ago was bad, then I have a feeling that this is a whole lot worse.” She told me. Karelia had been an apprentice in the Dark Circle in 2017 during the war. So, she had an experience to compare this to. I looked at her. I could tell she was thinking about something.
"What should we do now?" I asked.
"We should get some rest. I have a feeling we're going to have a long day tomorrow," Karelia told me, "'Night Nicole." The older girl exited the room swiftly before I could reply. I laid down staring at the earthen colored walls, closed my eyes, and soon fell asleep.
Usually, I would've gone straight to the Pontus room, my room, to think, but I had already been thinking. I needed to ask some questions. Now, I'm usually more of a go-with-the-flow kind of person, but the fact our now former leader's future self sent a message showing us what could become of Earth if we don't stop it, that worries me. I approached the end of the hallway and stood before the closed door of the leader room. I knocked.
“Who is it?” a male voice asked. Xaro.
“It’s Karelia,” I answered.
He replied, “Come in.” I entered the room as I had just been given permission and shut the door behind me. “So, what’s up?”
I sighed. “I’m just worried about… the entire situation to come in general. Nothing this major has come up in three years, and while I should’ve known it wouldn’t stay that way, I kind of wish it wouldn’t have come now. I mean I know that the process of changing the future that we’ve been shown has already begun with Phillip stepping down, but… I’m just worried that what we’ve been told to do to change the future isn’t going to help.”
“Well, none of us actually know how much our efforts will change the future. We just have to hope that it does,” he told me.
“I guess you’re right. I’m also worried about the whole Circle actually working together as a team. I’m also not entirely sure about…” I stopped. I knew I probably shouldn’t bring that up.
“Yes?” Xaro inquired. I looked down at the ground, shifting my stance slightly.
“Never mind, just forget I ever started to say anything.” I said.
“Let me guess. You’re not entirely sure about me being one of the leaders, correct?” He asked.
Right. He can read minds. He probably knew that was a majority of the reason why I came here before I even began to speak. I thought.
“Actually, I didn’t until just now. There wasn’t a need for me to read your mind to know why you came to the leader room to talk.” Xaro told me. My head snapped up to look at him, and then shifted back so that I was staring at the ground.
“Sorry… It’s just that ever since you’ve joined, I’ve been wary of you, and I think that you know I still am. While I have come to respect you and you’ve proven yourself to be a trusted member, I think the real test for you is now since you are one of the leaders. I honestly don’t want a repeat of three years ago.” I explained.
“I don’t think you have anything to worry about, Karelia. I have no intention of betraying the Circle,” he assured me. He sounded like he was telling the truth, but I had read way too many books in which a character says that and then betrays everyone to believe him one hundred percent, but that may just be me being a bit paranoid.
I smiled and nodded. “Thank you. I think I had better go now. I don’t want to fall asleep on the mission. That wouldn’t be good.”
“No, it wouldn’t. ‘Night Karelia,” he said. I turned around to head back towards the door and started towards it when I remembered something else.
I stopped, half turning back to face Xaro. “Oh, and Xaro, I don’t think I said this earlier, but congratulations.” I opened the door and exited to leader room before he could say anything else.
Before I could say anything Karelia was out the doors and down the hall. I sighed and returned to my work. I had come into the Leader's room to reorganize and get Aubrey, Julian and myself settled in. I had never really been in the room too much. As I walked around the room I realized just how cluttered and disorganized the room was.
I was in the process of organizing when Karelia interrupted me. Now I raised my hands and felt the objects tremble around me. I flicked my wrists and sent everything flying into the air. Various items swirled around me in a tornado of junk and papers. I selected a large filing cabinet and the drawers sprang open. I began sorting the blue prints and maps of the base and stored them in there. Another filing cabinet I filled with past reports and documents concerning the Circle.
Once all the papers, map, and blue prints were sorted. I made a slow swepping motion and every book lined the large bookshelf on the far wall correctly alphabatized. I flicked my wrists and sent the other various items into the cabinets lining the remaining walls. Everything else I simply tossed in the trash.
I floated over and plopped my self in the large, leather chair behind the desk admiring my handy work.
"Being a telepath does have it's advantages." I thought to my self. I turned my chair towards the computer. The monitor was blank and a yellow post-it note was stuck to the screen. Phillip had written a long list of passwords for each program and left intructions to change each one. I examined the note, then after memorizing each word I burned the paper to a crisp with hell-fire.
I logged onto the computer, or tried to. The thing was running slower than a three legged centaur. Finally the computer logged in and I was able to reset all the passwords, then wrote them down on another piece of paper.
"Hmm, we're gonna need a new computer... actually I should order three." I thought thinking of Julian and Aubrey.
I looked at the clock on the wall: 10 PM. I streched and got out of my chair. Trystan and Liana would probably want to go outside for a few hours. As I walked to the door I noticed framed pictures hanging on the wall. Their names were carved into the frames. One showed a boy with black hair and dark eyes. The name read: Caleb Taleg.
He was the son of Erebus everyone had been talking about. Apparently he was the main cause of the war that happened three years ago and the reason almost no one here trusted me. A ball of hell-fire appeared in my hand as I scowled at the picture. I lofted the fire ball ready to throw it at the picture when I heard foot steps outside the doors. I extinguished the fire ball and walked over to the bookshelf waiting for the knock.
There was no knock on the door, instead Julian and Aubrey walked in together. They looked around the room shocked by the new organization and lack of clutter they had seen last time we were here.
"Xaro, did you clean the entire office?" Aubrey asked still looking around the room.
"Yep." I said giving myself a pat on the back.
"How long did it take you to do this? I mean I don't think Phillip ever cleaned this placed." Julian said doing a slow 360.
"Umm I don't know, five minutes?" I said looking at the clock.
Julian and Aubrey each gave me a weird look. "What? When you're a telepath things are a lot easier to accomplish. Besides, my mind and powers works better when things are in order." I said trying no to laugh.
Julian whistled. "You have got to teach how to do that."
I shook my head. "Trust me you don't want to learn. It takes years of intense training and a lot of sitting still, clearing your mind, and meditation. Take my word for it now and forget about it." I persuaded him.
"Feel free to look around." I said motioning to the desk. "Also wer'e going to need a couple new desks and new computers." I snapped my fingers and a furniture catalog flew at Aubry. "Now then I have to get going. See you guys tomorrow."
"Night Xaro." Aubrey said. Julian simply waved as he walked around the desk.
I closed the door and quickly flew towards my room. I stopped in front of my door and waved my hand across the handle deactivating all the traps and defences. I walked in and was immediatley tackled by Trystan. Trystan and Liana are my two black jaguars. I rescued them over a year ago from a gang of cyclopes who had killed their mother. I adopted them and raised them here at the headquaters.
"Trystan get off." I said pushing him off of me. Liana, his big sister simply sat at the foot of my bed watching us.
"I know I'm late. I had to clean out my new office." I said scratching her behind the ear. I walked over to my bedside table and pulled out their gold and onyx collars. The collars gave them a few umbrakinetic abilities which made them more dangerous but they've never hurt anyone.
I put their collars on and opened the door that lead to my deck. I had the deck built a couple years ago. I had to pull a few strings and manipulate a few minds but it was worth it. The deck was fairly large and adjasent to my room. It had two lounge chairs and a fire pit, but the best part was the large apple tree that grew directly out of the deck. It reminded me a lot of back home, plus Trystan and Liana loved hanging out in it.
My pets climbed into the tree while I lit the fire pit and sat in the lounge chair. After a few seconds there was a knock on my door.
"Oh for the love of..." I flicked my wrist and heard the door open.
The door opened by it's self and I walked in. Xaro was on his front porch in a lounge chair while Trystan and Liana were lounging in their tree.
"Hey Xaro!" I called across his bedroom.
"Hey Jorah," He said turning around in his chair. "Grab me a soda out of the firde, grab one for yourself too if you want it."
I walked over to the small mini-fridge next to the flat screen TV. Everyone's room was basically the same when we first moved in, blank colored walls, bed, TV, desk, computer, and a microwave oven. Over time we were able to customize and add to our rooms. Xaro had taken it a little far with the deck but no one complained after he hosted a few parties.
I pulled out two glass Coca Cola bottles and tossed him a soda. Before it landed in his lap it hovered in the air and popped it's self open. I took a seat next to him and opened my soda.
"A toast," I said and raised my glass. Xaro chuckeled then raised his. "To you, Xaro Leitz, the new leader of the Dark Circle. May you rule long and just and fair."
We clinked glasses and drank our sodas.
Xaro sighed. "I hope I can live up to that toast. There's a war coming Jorah. I Just hope the Circle will rally behind me as well as Julian and Aubrey."
"Hey don't you worry about that. You've had your eye on the leadership position for longer than I've been here." I convinced him. He nodded and finished his soda.
At that moment I heard a roar in the distance. "He's getting restless." I said finishing the rest of my drink. I got out of my chair and climbed onto the railing of the porch.
"You wanna come with?" I asked Xaro turning around.
Xaro looked at his watch then at Trystan and Liana. "Yeah what the heck I could use a midnight flight."
"Awesome." I said and jumped over the edge. I plumeted through the air for a moment before I landed a large figure ten feet above the rocky mountain side. My feet landed on a large scaly back the I slid down into a saddle with my legs between the scaly neck.
"Good catch Balerion." I said leaning forward and grabbing the reins. Balerion is my pet dragon and a gift from my father, Tartarus. Balerion is a black and red dragon and one of the most powerful monsters ever to exsit. Currently Balerion was the size of a fighter jet but he can grow up to the size of a 747.
We flew around the headquaters few times. I spotted Vianca Landover in her room reading a book. My heart skipped a beat. I had had the biggest crush on her since I joined the Circle but whenever I tried to talk to her my mind turned to mush. She looked out the window and spotted me. She waved at me and I managed to wave back with out smacking my self in the face. I flew out of her view and climbed into the night sky and flew through the clouds. There was a full moon out and stars filled the sky.
Xaro appeard next to me and noticed my face was beat red.
"What's up?" He shouted over the wind.
"Nothing!" I shouted back. Before he could atempt to read my mind I flicked the reins and Balerion flapped his wings and we took off like a bullet. I sent him into a nose dive and a couple barrel rolls. We leveled back out and I looked behind me. Xaro was no nowheres in sight.
"Ha, lost him." I said out loud. Balerion roared and I turned around just in time to see Xaro emerge from a portal and shoot a shadow ball at us. Balerion dived and the shadow ball missed us.
"What was that for?" I shouted.
Xaro smirked and summoned another shadow ball. "For trying to ditch me!" He threw another shadow ball. This time I simpliy raised my hand and shot a jet of fire at the shadow ball. The two elements collided, causeing an explosion.
Xaro took the opportunity, he flew forward and placed his hands on my temples. All of my thoughts and memories of Vianca flashed through my mind and I knew Xaro saw all of it.
"I knew it! You have a crush on Vianca!" He shouted taking his hands off my head. A wide grin on his face. I looked over the side of Balerion and wondered if falling from this height could kill me.
"Oh no you don't." Xaro said raising his hand slightly. I left my self go weightless and I knew I was helpless. "Let's go Balerion." He sat in the saddle and flicked the reins. Balerion flew back to the base with Xaro on his back and me floating in the air. We landed on the porch and Balerion shrank down to the size of a Geman Shepard. He joined Xaro's cats in the tree while Xaro threw up a force field around the porch.
"So," Xaro said sitting on the railing. "Here's what going to happen. I am going to assign a small group to the mission tomorrow. The group is going to include you, Vianca and a few others. When the mission is complete and you are back here at base, I will name you my Lieutenant then the first thing you do is ask her out."
"What... who... how is that going to work?" I asked.
"You are going to be the most powerful member on that mission. When Vianca sees how tough and powerful you are she'll start to like you." He explained. "Then after a couple dates she's all yours."
"I don't know Xaro. This could back fire very badly. What if we fail on the mission?" I asked.
"Impossible, you can control monsters and the target is going to be attacked by monsters." Xaro retorted.
Confidence started to build in my chest. "It might just work." I said quietly.
"There ya go," Xaro said sliding off the railing. "Now go get some sleep, you're going to need it."
"Alright, come on Balerion let's go." Balerion flew out of the tree and we walked to the door.
"Night Jorah." Xaro called from the porch.
"Se ya tomorrow." I called back and headed for my room.