Chapter 5

Copyright© 2019 by LT Vulcan

Andy awoke in a bed in a room, he looked over and saw Lukas and Mark sitting there talking.

“What happened?” he asked.

“Well, it seems that you died Andy. But that was quite the fight. What did you think?” Lukas said.

“The Ashfiends weren’t that hard to deal with, but Onyx is a completely different story. They are quicker and smarter; they actually work as a team.”

“Good. Now that’s the tricky thing with them. But it’s not as difficult once you start developing your powers. What’d you think of the sword? Pretty nice huh?”

“Yeah its blade sliced through them like butter, and it wasn’t even heavy.”

“Well get ready cause we are going back in. Leave your rifle; I’m going to train you to enhance your swordplay. Plus, there are some other things I need to teach you.”

And so, they went back into the dream world. This time they were in an empty city. The skyline is scattered with towering skyscrapers, and even from afar, they manage to display their beauty.

Lukas drew his sword and said, “Now then come at me.”

Andy drew his longsword and charged forward, swinging his sword in a downward slash.

Lukas blocked it with ease.

Andy, with his sword still in contact with Lukas’, spun his arm and caused Lukas’ sword to fling out of his hand.

Lukas flicked his arms to his side and out came two knives. He swung one out at Andy, who blocked it with his sword. Lukas then brought his foot up to kick Andy.

Andy suddenly felt a sharp pain in his side. His instincts forced him to jump backward. He brought his hand to where the pain was and felt something wet. He looked at Lukas’ foot that was still in the air. There was a shiny object on the tip of his shoe.

It was a shoe knife. He’d been stabbed with it.

Lukas charged forward, swinging his knives and kicking his feet in a wild manner.

Andy was on the defensive using everything in his power to keep the barrage of sharp objects from hitting him. Realizing he needed to create separation and get his bearings back, he got an idea.

During one of Lukas’ downward stabs, Andy let go of his sword throwing off Lukas’ rhythm for a split second. He dropped to one knee and lunged forward. He threw his arm out and slammed it into the center of Lukas’ chest. It was causing him to become off balance.

Andy quickly spun backward, grabbed the blade of his sword, spun back around and slammed the guard of his longsword into Lukas’ side. The then threw the sword in the air and caught it at the hilt. He jumped back and brought his sword to his side with the tip aimed at the ground behind him, ready to swing out at the smallest movement.

Lukas flicked his arms twice and quickly brought his right arm straight up and then his left arm.

Andy felt a sharp pain in his shoulder and his leg. He tried to run forward through the pain, but he couldn’t move. He looked down and saw throwing stars sticking out of him. Suddenly there was a flash, and he saw steel sticking out of his stomach. Andy realized that its blade was wider than a katana.

“Like my machete? It’s nice for when I no longer have my sword.” Lukas said. He violently pulled it out of Andy, and everything went black with Andy’s last thought being how this could’ve happened.

He woke up again in the same room as before.

“Son of a b-”

“Well, it seems that you died again. Don’t worry, though; you fought a lot better than I expected you to.” Lukas said, interrupting him.

“How could I have lost so badly? What can I do to become stronger?”

“The first thing you need to learn that a battle isn’t decided solely on who is the strongest. A major decider is who is the smartest. I can throw everything I’ve got at you, but if you outsmart me during that fight, then my strength means virtually nothing. Always think ahead that way you’re not fighting wildly, but instead, you are setting them up. I set you up during that fight; you’re experienced, so I needed to throw you into something uncomfortable.”

Lukas continued, “Well I think that’s enough for today. I’ll get you taken home, and I’ll call you if I need you.”

He reached out his hand and handed Andy a small pill like object. “Here take this. This is what we call a Tool Pill. It holds the melee weapon of your choice, in your case a longsword. That way you’re always armed if an Ashfiend or Onyx show up and no one is there to help. Just pop it open; it’ll release your sword and a pistol.”

He reached out his other hand and handed Andy a book “This is basically our handbook. It contains a basic understanding of our unit tactics, as well as our rules of engagement. Number one thing is don’t get caught in public.”

A few days after he arrived home. Andy was driving to his grandparents’ house. It was Thanksgiving, and family tradition dictated that anyone that could meet at their house. When he got there, he noticed that his mom and younger sister had just arrived as well. Andy parked his car, got out to greet them, and headed inside together.

The mouth-watering scent that came with a day like Thanksgiving filled his nostrils as Andy followed his Mother and his Sister into his Grandparent’s home. But with it, he felt a mysterious tugging in his chest. Something was calling him to the woods that bordered the backyard of the house. He had been looking forward to seeing his family and sharing a few laughs. The past few days had been, grueling as he attended the funerals of his friends, his teacher, and his girlfriend. He prepared himself to meet the seemly endless stream of family members that came to great him.

After what seemed like an eternity when the crowd of relatives began to disperse, his Grandfather finally came up to great him “Andy! Wow, you have grown up tall.” He said as he reached out his hand for Andy to shake. Andy took it with pleasure and proceeded to bring his Grandfather in for a hug.

“It’s good to see you again Grandpa. How have you been?” Andy asked. He had asked this same question to a few his other relatives. However, this time it was more genuine. After all his Grandfather was without a doubt the most influential person in his life. Ever since he was a child, Andy had always strived to become just like him when he grew up.

“Better than most men my age. How are you doing in College?” he asked.

“Really well actually. I just got a ninety-five on my European History exam.” Andy answered.

“Good, history is an important subject. Well, you can head on into the living room. Dinner should be ready soon.”

“Okay great,” Andy said.

Andy turned left and walked through the doorway and into the living room where he saw some of his family members. They were gathered around watching the football game that was shown on television. Andy wasn’t really into football. He understood the rules well enough, but he just couldn’t get into it as others could.

He decided to try and get away from the rest of his family. It’s not that he didn’t like spending time with them; it’s just that he preferred to hang out by himself that night. He settled on going out onto the porch which overlooked the large backyard. He leaned against the railing and reached into his pocket.

“How are you doing?” Andy heard the heart-warming voice come from next to him. He looked over and saw his cousin, Jenny Floyd.

She had a mixed look of curiosity and compassion. It looked as if she cared but that she just wanted to know. She was Jackie’s best friend; he and Jackie had met through her.

“Okay, I guess,” Andy said a bit more meekly than he intended to. He continued with “It’s just so hard to grasp that it happened.”

She had sad yet focus look on her face when she said, “What exactly happened?”

Andy felt the need to tell her the truth, but he just couldn’t bring himself to do it. Whether it was because of Lukas’ threat or he didn’t want to hurt Jenny any more than he already had he couldn’t tell.

“I don’t know. One minute we were leaving the airport the next the ground was shaking, and everyone was sent into a panic. I was separated from Jackie and knocked unconscious. When I awoke the building was gone, and only a few of us were outside. Jackie wasn’t one of us.” He said with a saddened voice.

“Well anyway, Grandpa told me to let you know that dinner was ready. Let’s go inside and try to forget that it happened, at least for now.”

“That sounds great; I’m starving,” Andy said glad that the subject was changed. He then proceeded to walk back inside and into the kitchen.

There he saw a large buffet of food. It was filled with mouthwatering turkey, sweet glazed ham, warm mashed potatoes, creamy gravy, flavorful cornbread stuffing, and a fresh batch of grandma’s famous homemade bread. He proceeded to grab a plate and make a mountain of food on top of it. He then moved into his grandparent’s formal dining room. He found a seat along the rectangular table. He was then flanked by his sister on his right and mother on his left. Jenny and her parent sat across from them in a similar fashion. The rest of the family sat down in mostly random order with his Andy’s grandparents taking the ends of the table.

They took each other’s hands, and his Grandfather led them into prayer “Lord, thank you for walking with us through the seasons of our lives. For the winter, when we are held safe in your arms through the darkness. For the hope of spring, as we are filled with new promise and life. For summertime, full of warmth and color and for autumn days as leaves fall to seed new growth. You are always with us. Amen.”

“Amen.” Everyone said in unison.

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