Excerpt for The Land of Time by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

The Land of Time By: Jeffrey Estrella

Land of Time: Next summer a normal young woman from our own time will be given the chance to exceed the boundaries of time and space to save our world from pure evil, a sinister threat, meeting both friends and enemies along the way, by finding the mysterious and ominous yet amazingly mystical and legendary land of time. “This is the story of five heroes that discover they are part of an ancient legend in time and space regarding an ancient alien experiment involving the creation of a sacred land destined to be home to the ultimate weapon, the all-powerful six stones of the cosmos.”

Chronix Bay, May 19, 2017 A.D.

“Whenever the road of life takes us around unexpected places and pathways, there is a difficult question that tugs at our hearts and minds that is the roadmap to truth and ultimate posterity. As a child, I have heard of stories of angels and demons, heaven and hell as discussed in holy scriptures but never did I think it would be possible to actually transcend the bounds of the universe to new heights of adventure both joyous and exciting while simultaneously dangerous and lethal. Everyone has a meaning or purpose to their life, a destiny, but whether we have the courage to pursue it full-fledged and the knowledge to see it coming exist as two very different things eagerly awaiting us on the horizon. I just know that there's a better place somewhere out there somewhere waiting for us beyond everything, beyond the imaginable, beyond all of time!” 

“Just take a look through my eyes” says Rachel Bloomweather as she stares up into the skies, the bright sunlight beating down on her face as she prays for a miracle. She folds her hands before her extending her arms upward, the sleeves of her pink satin jacket pushed up to her elbows. She runs her fingers through her golden blonde hair as she drops them down to her blue jeans and puts her hands in her pockets as she walks on looking forward thankful for another beautiful day in her home town neighborhood of Chronix Bay. “God of forever be with you” says a priest standing on the corner near a store waving a bell and holding a bible as he solicits funds for the church in a black kettle hanging from a tripod near him. “Thanks” she smiles removing a quarter from her pocket and tossing it in. “Thank you” says the priest as he smiles cheerfully. Rachel moves on thinking of her private destiny and feeling lonely but knowing she has faith in God on her side so all will be well in time. Suddenly as she walks down the street about to cross it, a golden eruption of energy interrupts the silent streets and a glowing portal of golden energy hazily flows and whirls while roaring loudly before her. Rachel stands in shock at the amazing feat before her as a custom-made expensive-looking Corvette speeds down the street and doesn’t stop in time before crashing into the golden portal of energy and stopping frozen in time before it, changing in form completely to a golden ball of light and being sucked into the great doorway. The golden portal intensifies with the influx of energy from the converted vehicle. Rachel looks on at the electrical fluctuations in the event horizon of the glowing round vortex. “David Rants… where did he go?” She backs off fearfully but then feels an eerie compulsion towards the void. Suddenly her mind flashes with images as she approaches the glowing light. She reaches out her hand in curiosity. “Flight of fantasy… the eye of gods … unga tangu… the time stone …. We will fulfill the destiny of hope and find all of the stones of the cosmos …. Everything changes … perhaps that's mans and our ultimate destiny … is changing all …. I guess true wisdom is finding happiness with what you got! Without change or love, there is no peace or hope!” The voices and images of herself and other people permeated her mind as her own words, as but a mixture of past events during her childhood and unknown or uncertain times she never heard and never uttered before. She didn’t understand some of what she was saying as if the void was opening itself up to her revealing things to her that would be perhaps yet to come. She approaches the light not noticing others were curiously gathering behind her. As she walks forward not hearing voices yell out from behind her as she was only thinking of the voices associated with the images she was seeing in her mind, she touches the golden light with the outstretched hand before her feeling a tingling sensation unlike any ever before as if pure joy and ecstasy existed within her while a shaping feeling covered her body like millions of insects suddenly crawling on her in a cloud of electrical energy. The roar intensified as she felt her consciousness merge with the golden light until she was in its center encircled completely and zapped into the central vortex whirling brightly about just as the car she saw before. The golden portal collapses fading onto the empty air it occupied leaving a confused populace on the streets of Chronix Bay. Cars stopped as their driver’s looked on in awe. The priest crosses himself in fear as he stands with a shocked look on his face. “God of forever love her just the way she is!” 

Thirty years ago

“Once upon a time there was a magical and ancient land that bestowed the powers of the universe, including time and space…” spoke a radiant young woman with dark curly hair and a stillness in her eyes as she stares at a group of kindergarten-class-age children in a colorful playroom surrounded by glass and neon lights, “and there lived three brothers who followed this wisdom for all the ages who lived in harmony and happiness on the land with their fellow man and animal friends, knowing true peace knowledge ethics and wisdom. They prayed every day in peaceful ceremonies to their ancient guardians, the great divine spirits above. They enjoyed peace, love, togetherness, and abundance with enough resources for everyone as equal partners in the land; no one was better or worse than the other. One day there was a darkness that plagued the land and a philosophical division broke out causing fighting amongst the once harmonious trio and all the problems of inequality, poverty, sickness, war, greed, ego, bitterness, hunger, and strife that we know today were born that night. The world in each passing generation prayed for a hero and until know those prayers were forever unanswered.” She closes her book and rises to her feet and smiles with a faint fear on her mind. “Alright, everyone go to recess outside” she speaks loudly and almost every child runs out screaming out the door to the playground. The teacher walks over to a small boy remaining at his desk fixated on the paper before him coloring into it filling in gaps in a drawing, a rectangular shape with pink and gold highlights as the crayons and pencils roll throughout his desk and spillover onto the floor. The teacher picks them up as she stands over the child looking down, “its break time David Jeremiah Rants… why don’t you go outside and play with the rest of the kids?” The boy continues looking down quietly as he draws on his paper. “What is this?” asks the teacher picking up the paper from under the boy’s hands which grab on tightly trying to keep it as he struggles to continue drawing on it as if in a zombie-like trance. The teacher forces the paper away and holds it up looking at it oddly with a sincere glare of shock and fear. The boy reaches up trying in futility to grab it back. The teacher looks on turning her head slightly at the drawing of a pink marble laden altar with gold highlights and markings with strange symbols and pictograms on high-relief button apparatuses throughout the altar top. The symbols looked prehistoric but the device itself looked futuristic. “David Rants, what did you do?” The teacher swallows nervously and looks down at the boy forever reaching up to her for the drawing back. 

Mysterious Land, Unknown Time

In a vacant field surrounded by beautiful green pastures, endless rows of growing vegetables and colorful arrays of flowers of all kinds in multiple colors streaming like a rainbow along the green landscape and a colorful path of bright orange circling around as the only sign of civilization, a bright paving of a strange alloy extending upward through hills and valleys to a glistening fortress floating of several tall towers high above the clouds in the distance, tall and reaching a collectively-combined pointy apex. This idyllic setting under the bright yellow sun was interrupted by a loud eruption of golden light as the portal appears whirling and roaring in the field while instantly depositing a ball of light spit out like a gumdrop and forming a young woman, Rachel Bloomweather, dropping to all fours like a jungle cat and quickly rising up examining her strange surroundings shocked that she was no longer in downtown Chronix Bay. She turns magnanimously facing the portal that fades away before her. “I am not in Chronix Bay anymore” she gulps nervously looking around fearfully but incredibly impressed by the amazing beauty of the natural landscape and strange glistening roadwork before her.  She looks up at the citadel of the floating city fortress far above and how the orange metallic road culminates upward throughout the land and smiles with a single word under her breath, “hope!” 

In the far reaches of the pristine landscape miles and miles away, dark clouds gather over a lonely and isolated castle that has been neglected and abandoned for thousands of years. Lightning strikes the darkness above the castle as thunder consumes it and the darkness remains isolated from the daylight, split down the middle by an invisible line that separate dark from light. The main throne room is occupied by a sole resident who sits in somber sullen sadness. Dressed in a long black gown and having a long curved mustache, he remains bitter disgusted by others and forever pitiful to himself and others. He sits with his face cupped in one hand forever contemplating the unthinkable thing. A lonesome rat crawls across the floor from one open hole in the wall to another looking up slightly in the middle of the room. “I took myself upon this place years ago” he talks in an English accent silently to himself addressing the rat seeing him as a fellow kindred spirit as lonely as he. “I have been seeking something and nothing in particular… I believe I am at the point in my life, turning older tomorrow, where I do not care about wealth or power, fame or success… or in finding the relic of the ages, the fabled myth of temporal spatial distortions and instant transportation, its power surge…. Nothing is to be so hidden in my prior incarnations and core elements. I, Solomon Syrus, last of the remaining Shadrin itribesman and great sorcerers of old, just feel like I want to see the world suffer greatly!” The rat runs into the wall quickly sensing something dark of the human soul. The man lowers his head further in a crimson bow and moan that rivals the roaring thunder from the dark clouds above. 

“No one should be alone” says Rachel to herself walking along the orange walkway feeling oddly like skipping over the shimmering and colorful metal beneath her feet. She feels compelled in the direction of the floating towers high above in the distance. As she skips along, she sees a series of giant trees, their barks long and thick covered with rough patches and extending outward on rapidly on their own growing quickly. She stops in shock at the movement of the trees extending their limbs, bark, and leaves to form a natural barrier crossing in all directions blocking her path. “What is this?” she asks curiously touching the bark and it moves in response but remains hard and unbreakable. “Oh no” she cries and drops to her knees weeping into her hands suddenly. “I just want to go home” she cries. “Don’t cry little one” says a strong masculine voice coming from the trees. “Why do you feel sad?” “Who are you?” asks Rachel. “Who I am of no importance but what I do is, isn’t it?” “Why do you talk like that?” asks Rachel frustrated. “I am what is and what was” then suddenly a figure emerges from the barricade of natural shrubbery stepping out of the brown and green as a humanoid extension of it separating himself and then glowing a bright green color before appearing before Rachel as a man in his twenties with dark hair, fair complexion, and wearing clothes similar to hers but colored brown and green. “I am called Arbor-Arbatz… and I welcome you” he says taking a bow. “I’m Rachel Bloomweather. What are you?” “I am one with the natural surroundings of all living things in this Earth and I am overlord and overseeing protector of this area. What brings you to trespass?” “I didn’t mean to” she cries “I was walking down the street in the city … in my town Chronix Bay… and then there was this light, a glowing electrical golden light and then I wound up here. I just want to go home and find hope. I think that city up there might be it” she points to the floating citadels. “Those are dangerous places where few return. In fact, I have never seen anyone return. You are only the second trespasser to come here in recent time. The last was driving a strange ground vehicle… very fast and strong… took down my branches but I stopped him … or tried to” he speaks fast and nervously. “You are very long winded” says Rachel. “I am indeed one with the wind too and everything else in nature. I am the ordinary and super extraordinary one” he moves his hands dancing about and the trees and plants around them sway to his movements and circle about him. “That is amazing” says Rachel looking about reaching for the plants moving about before her rapidly. “How do you do it?” “I was born with the gift of movement, to control all life about me… Earthen and hopeful, I make things great and new again…. I think you will seem so delightful. I just want you to know you seem much nicer than that other guy.” “That must have been David Rants, son of the richest man in town where I come from. His corvette … his really fast car fell into the golden light before I did and probably arrived here before I did” she touches her lip thinking. “I bet he is heading to that floating city too.” “He will face hardship and doubt up there… it is not for the faint hearted but I admit I have always wanted to explore it… I have desire for hope too… I need a friend.” He dances around moving and waving his arms singing loudly as he talks and the plants and trees sway and move, extending out to his movements. He jumps and skips on moving branches around seeming like he is floating on air for a time and is brought back down guided to the ground below. “I am tired of being the only humanoid here. I have been alone here forever. I love my Earthen friends and plant life but a man desires … a man has needs… a man has urges…. I just need more like me around here… maybe a woman… to have some babies… hmm” he smiles winking. “Uh, yeah, I don’t think I’m your type” she shies away. “Well, in any event, I cannot let you go up there alone … what kind of man-tree I would be to let a fragile young thing like you brave the elements up to the harsh terrains to the Forbidden City … Unending Tempting Fortresses up there… I must and I do voluntarily agree to accompany you, Rachel Bloomweather of Chronix Bay.” He extends his hands like a perfect gentleman and she grabs it and smiles as they bow gracefully to one another. He inadvertently sees a leaf sticking from his finger as if growing from a tree branch and he spots it shocked and curls it away before extending his hand again. “Well, you certainly are a perfect gentleman” she adds. “I am and will make sure… my Earthen peeps and I will ensure you a successful and bountiful voyage” he raises his arms and the flowers, plants, grass, trees, and remaining flora all rise up to the skies behind him as he stands with a commanding presence. “I think that is fantastic” says Rachel. “Great” says Arbor as he drops his hands and the entire troop of foliage retreat to their original positions in an instant. “And watch what I can do” he adds waving his hands and the natural fence of branches blocking the metallic orange road separates and dissipates growing thinner and less elongated curling back away from the road and to their original positions leaving the clear path once again. “They say this road was created by mystics… others say by moon men… I think it was encrypted.” He jokes and laughs taking Rachel by the hand and marching forward with her as the plants and trees follow along the sidelines. “Who told you that if you are the only one here?” asks Rachel. “Good question… I wish I had a good answer” he jokes and laughs holding his belly with both hands and then again walking along. “Let’s go, Arbor Arbatz” says Rachel smiling extending her hand smiling and he takes it so they head on skipping together down the orange metallic road to the floating city in the distance. 

Walking along the road for miles, Rachel stops. “I am tired” as she sits on a hollow log but is shocked when it moves and she jumps up. “Oh my God… did you do that?” “No” says Arbor shaking his head as the plants and trees behind him shake their branches and leaves too. “What is that?” asks Rachel as the log is a hollow artificial plastic tube that moves around and rolls on the ground to the fearful looks of Rachel and Arbor until it rises up and two legs pop out from the bottom. Two hands emerge from the top. Rachel’s jaw drops in shock as she wonders what is next. The log is grabbed by the two hands and pulled upward revealing a man in his thirties with a tan complexion, faint facial stubble and shaggy hair, wearing a t-shirt and ripped jeans, and speaking in a slight Latin-American accent. “Hello… what is this?” “We can ask you the same thing” asks Rachel. “I am… who am I? Really, I do not know.” The man says coyly. “You don’t know who you are? Are you for real?” asks Rachel. “I do not know who I am and that is for real. I know I got here long ago… oh bravo… abandoned by my people….” “He sounds crazy indeed” says Arbor. “There was a golden light, bravo” he says spreading his hands across the sky shocked as he rises to his feet “with mesmerizing beauty, it was like God’s eyes twinkling with lightning oh what bravo” “That is how I got here” says Rachel. “Oh my God, I’m Rachel Bloomweather and this is Arbor Arbatz … I am from Chronix Bay, are you from Chronix Bay too.” “Bravo, I do not remember. I know bravo I am here and that is all that bravo matters. I don’t know my past or future, my history and destiny are both mysteries, bravo. I need bravo hope to find my true bravo name and what I must bravo do.” “Why do you say bravo a lot?” asks Rachel jokingly. “Why don’t you come with us then, friend?” asks Arbor. “We are going to the great towers above” pointing to the floating citadels in the distance. “Oh bravo yes” says the man clasping his hands together playfully pleading. “Yeah” says Rachel, “I hope they can help me find a way home.” “And I hope they can help me too… as I need a friend” says Arbor. “I am sure they can help you too” says Rachel. “Bravo…. You really think so?” asks the man. “Sure, if they can make floating cities, they could easily help you get over your amnesia. Then you can figure out where you came. That golden light has to have originated from somewhere and we will find it “she says proudly and joyously with her hands on her hips. “Oh great bravo and joy… I so hope they can help me bravo find my memory, history, destiny, purpose bravo in life” says the man clapping and dancing up and down. “You are going to be fantastic” says Arbor. “You are a miracle like us and we will make our dreams and hopes real” says Rachel, “by the way we should call you something…”; “yes we should call you something” adds Arbor. “What should you bravo call me …something bravo?” asks the man. “How about since you like to bravo so much… that is what we will call you, Bravo?” “I love it bravo… it is so bravo simplistic and joyous to my bravo ears.” “I am glad you like it, Bravo… you seem normal” says Rachel. “Welcome to the winning team, Bravo” says Arbor clapping and the plant life behind him claps their branches too. “It is just temporary until we learn your real name, which we will” says Rachel confidently. “Great bravo… I am so bravo happy to be able to someday get my bravo memory back. I got hope, high hope, and the highest bravo hope” he says cheerfully looking up clasping his hands together. “Yes, we are one” says Arbor moving his hands and the trees and plants move and dance around them. “We are going upward bound to new frontiers” says Rachel as she puts out her elbows arms akimbo and Ardor and the man link their arms to either side smiling eagerly. “We will bring about hope for us all” says Arbor. “Nothing bravo can stand in our bravo way” says Bravo. They continue as the happy trio who are skipping along the orange metallic road. 

Rachel, Arbor, and Bravo walk along the road, the plants flowing along the sidelines beside them and then the trio begins slowing down as there is a humidity and moist dampness to the sudden air. “It sure is getting hot over here” says Rachel taking off her jacket leaving a tank top. “What is this bravo?” asks Bravo fluffing his t-shirt that is covered in sweat. “Water… around the bend… I must go” says Arbor as the plants run along the sides away from them towards a lakebed nearby that is blocked by plants, heavy tree wood, and shrubbery. “Oh no” says Rachel sweating profusely as the intense heat increases. “I am so parched now” she adds. “Bravo… I am not sure what is going on… this is hot as hell!” “Ahhh” says Arbor as he falls to the ground with his arms raised and the plants rush over to pick him up but struggle as their green becomes brown and crumbles in the intense heat. The flowers fade and wilt the trees brown and leave, and plant life drops to the ground as dead matter in large quantities surrounding Arbor’s form unconscious and face down on the orange metallic road. Rachel bends down crying grabbing him but he is covered with dead leaves and branches. “Oh no, Arbor” she repeats as she cries. Bravo kneels down next to her sadly wiping gobs of sweat from his face. “I am sorry, Rachel” says Bravo putting his arm around her. “I can’t believe this” she cries as reaches deep into the deep leaves and branches and feels deep to the orange metallic road below feeling no human form corpse, only more dead leaves and branches as Arbor’s body had been consumed and reverted. Rachel lays there crying as she holds the dead leaves and branches of Arbor’s former self. “I can’t believe he is gone” she cries. “Devilish fools” a strong deep female voice echoes from above and the humidity intensifies focusing itself away from them and towards the road ahead. Rachel and Bravo look up in shock as they see the humidity personify itself in the distance coming together like invisible reams of energy forming a body floating above the orange metallic road, the humidity coalesces and becomes a series of hot orange flames that make the person form, a tall voluptuous female form that slowly fades in intensity of the flame until it is gone and there it materializes to a perfect humanoid breathing freely as if for the first time in ages with her arms and legs stretched out, with long fiery red hair waving behind her, deep tan caramel skin tone, and bright green eyes, her nude form glows brightly orange that quickly fades giving her clothing of denim jeans and sneakers along with a denim jacket buttoned up half way revealing her large chest slightly and her sleeves rolled up beyond her elbows. She lowers herself, her eyes slowly shut, and she lands on the ground of the orange metallic road, her fiery red hair softly landing behind her back. She walks over slowly as she is opening her eyes. Rachel looks on in fear and awe. Bravo makes the sign of the cross wondering where he remembered to do that. The mysterious woman approaches and looks on at the frightened pair below. “What are you?” she asks. “We can ask you the same thing” says Rachel bravely standing with Bravo standing behind her. “What happened to our friend Arbor?” “His kind is of no consequence to the great flame of the north. I am the true power of fire and abysmal flame” the woman continues eagerly and with a deep and dark conviction. “We didn’t mean you any harm” says Rachel crying. “You come like the others, with anger and rage to destroy” the woman says extending her hand with long bright red nails revealing a ball of fire forming over her hand and fingertips spreading upward slowly. “No, we are good and want to help. We wanted hope. My name is Rachel Bloomweather and I want hope to find a way home. There was this golden light and I appeared here from my home town in Chronix Bay and I don’t know where I am and want to go home.” She cries. “You seem sincere” says the woman. “I am and this is Bravo. He lost his memory; he doesn’t know who he is. He hopes he can regain his memory to go home like me” adds Rachel and Bravo nods frantically repeating his signature word. “And Arbor down there controls the plants somehow but now he is dead. All he wanted was hope to find a friend. Surely you can relate to that.” The woman looks down somberly. “All we want is to get to that floating city in the sky… the orange metallic road seems to lead there. That is all we want. Please don’t hurt us” Rachel continues. The woman looks down and lowers her hand so the flame from her hand disappears. “Your friend Arbor is not dead” says the woman walking away. “He isn’t” says Rachel cheerfully. “The plant life in this land enjoy uniquely enhanced momentum and they regenerate at an incredibly rapid rate and so will he as he is connected to them. My flame causes otherwise.” Says the woman as she floats above the orange metallic road and concentrates her mind and closes her eyes summoning all the humidity from the nearby area sucking it into her quickly. “Wow” says Rachel, “it’s getting cooler.” “Yeah, bravo… I am not so hot now and yet still very thirsty.” The hotness and humidity flow to the woman floating above as she glows a bright orange covered in flames and fire overcoming her human form. The plants below quickly regain their green color and the trees regain their leaves, the grass and flora grow wildly again and the colorful flowers bloom as the dead matter below disappears from the orange metallic road consumed by the living rapidly developed photosynthesis above and around them, the water from the nearby lakebed suddenly flows freely towards the plants all enjoying their fill. Bravo and Rachel quickly run over and duck their heads and hands in taking scoops of fresh water into their mouths. “Oh this is so good” says Rachel drinking repeatedly. “Bravo, yes it is very good” says Bravo drinking too.  “And all is well as all is well” says Arbor as the plants and tree branches coalesce over the orange metallic road. Rachel and Bravo turn in shock to see the plants and branches coming together and forming a humanoid shape materializing in the glowing green light again forming the person as the one they recognized as Arbor dressed as he was before. “Arbor” says Rachel screaming running over and throwing her arms around him crying. Bravo follows her. “Oh my goodness, I am so glad you’re alive” Rachel says. “Yes, bravo, well, all is well now” says Bravo patting Arbor on the back and then hugging both Arbor and Rachel. “So you guys are mortal… you can die or be killed but not like a regular human” says Rachel, “your mega powered… mega mortals!” The woman above continues to absorb the last drop of humidity from below and slowly re-materializes to her human form from the mass of flames she had become. She looks down at the trio hugging in gratitude that they are alive and well, not wanting anything else at the moment on the orange metallic road. The woman hovers down and walks over. Rachel, Arbor, and Bravo turn to the woman. “Thanks” says Rachel, “whatever you did healed him?” “I simply removed my flame from the area and allowed Arbor’s plant life to continue. A gesture of good will and it is not a sign of weakness.” “You have done well” says Arbor nodding “and we are grateful.” “Bravo, yes” nods Bravo. “You don’t have to be afraid of being seen as weak to be strong. Sometimes compassion and kindness are the most powerful weapons there are” says Rachel. “I have never been known to help others or to associate with others. It is not my way to be weak” says the woman. “You are definitely not weak to me” says Rachel; “in fact you are probably the strongest person or super person or mega mortal I have ever known” she shakes her head and then nods smiling. “Oh yes bravo, indeed super woman strong” says Bravo. “You’re might is to be revered” says Arbor as the plants about him bow behind him moving in humility to the woman. “We offer great respect as always!” “I am feared and also therefore I am loved” says the woman looking down sadly. “Sometimes, I wish I could just be loved!” “Sounds like you need hope from above” says Rachel pointing to the floating city in the distance smiling. “That place has never been found by one who returned.” “We will be the first” says Rachel. “Come on and put some hope in your heart. Whoever proudly hails up there will help us all, I am confident in that” says Rachel. “Are you sure you are all willing to risk your lives?” asks the woman. “Whatever it takes, there is no shame in trying and we got to do something” replies Rachel. “Come with us and I am sure they can help you find your true love.” “I admire your spunk but I can only see hardship for you but apparently that is not going to stop you” says the woman. Rachel, Arbor, and Bravo shake their heads smiling. “I am going up there with the hope of getting home back to Chronix Bay” says Rachel proudly. “And I am going up there with the hope of finding a friend” says Arbor proudly. “And I am bravo going up there with the hope of bravo finding my memory and purpose in life” says Bravo proudly. “Come on” says Rachel extending her hand. The woman smiles for the first time and lifts her hand and slowly places it in Rachel’s hand. “And I am going up there with the hope of finding my true love.” “Yes bravo” says Bravo. “Absolutely fantastic” says Arbor raising his fists in the air as the plants and trees behind him raise their limbs and branches. “We are on our way now” says Rachel slipping on her jacket and pushing up her sleeves as she fluffs her hair back and places her arms out. Arbor and Bravo run to either side and lock arms akimbo with Rachel. The woman walks alongside without locking her arms but smiles and nods as she recognizes that she will join them. “Let’s go” says the woman looking at Bravo nodding as he extends his arm out. The woman sighs and extends her arm to lock with his. Rachel, Arbor, and Bravo smile. “I think our new companion is learning to trust” says Rachel. “By the way, what do we call you?” asks Rachel. The woman turns with a positive smirk, “Calypso.” 

“That nymph in Greek mythology and decedent of Atlas” smiles Rachel as she nods and the group of four walk and quickly their walk turns into a skip along the orange metallic road, the plants skimming along the sidelines. 

The group of four skips along happily along the orange metallic road until they come across a body of water larger than any they have seen before. “This looks like a full-scale ocean” says Rachel. “I don’t think bravo I know this” says Bravo. “It is larger than anything” says Arbor. “It extends for miles” says Calypso, “according to legend this land originated from a large body of water such as this, larger than any ever seen on the planet.” “Well that is certainly interesting” says Rachel.  “There are lots of legends like that from my world, usually Native American. My grandmother spoke of stories of the world starting on the back of a giant turtle on the world’s biggest ocean, like a world within a world or something.” “There are always things” says Arbor. “Bravo yeah we must find something to cross this” says Bravo, “the floating city is closer but not too close.” “Look maybe that can help” points Arbor as the plants limbs and branches extend over the water over him. Rachel is shocked to see a Corvette overturned in the water floating upward towards them. “Oh my goodness, that is David Rants’ car… he vanished here before me.” “Perhaps he wasn’t as fortunate as you. He tried to out maneuver my flame” says Calypso. “After he tried to overrun my plants” says Arbor. “I don’t remember bravo him” says Bravo. “Poor dude” says Rachel shaking her head. “He was always a mean one back home.” “You guys shut up” screams David rushing out of a bush wearing shrubbery over his lower half, his hair messy, no shirt, his face and chest dirty with paints from the Earth, and holding a spear fashioned from sharpened twigs. “David” says Rachel, “it’s me Rachel” she screams as David strikes at the four with his spear with madness in his red eyes. “What bravo are you doing?” asks Bravo screaming. “He is crazy” says Arbor jumping up as a branch and leaf float below him lifting him up. “Seems like he wants round two” says Calypso extending her hand angrily making a fireball appear again. “Wait” says Rachel, “David… we’re buddies, you remember me?” “Buddies” screams David slashing at her but she moves back fearfully looking back at Calypso holding her flaming hand up but lowers it as Rachel nods with a sincere glance. Rachel turns back to David and nods, “we just want different things from the floating city above, that’s all David… I know you are scared and probably just want to go home yourself but hurting us won’t get you there, it will only impede it… working together … joining us will most likely get you what you want and what we want. I want to go home, Arbor wants a friend, Bravo wants his memory back and purpose in life and Calypso wants true love. We have high hopes for this that the floating city will help us get it. Join us. Tell me. What do you want?” David looks down sadly lowering his knife and then dropping it as he somberly looks up at Rachel. “I want my family back” he begins to cry and collapses in Rachel’s arms as she catches him and pats him on the back consoling him.  “There, there David” says Rachel. “He is simply lost as we all are” says Calypso lowering and extinguishing her hand. “He can benefit from the floating city to get his family back” says Arbor lowering himself on his floating leaf to the ground and dropping of. “We will help him to bravo do that” says Bravo. “I just want, I don’t know” cries David in Rachel’s arms. “It does going to be alright, just like I always said when we were kids growing in Chronix Bay” replies Rachel, “and those playground games.” “Yes” he chuckles still crying and looks up. “Great to see you smile” says Rachel, “tell us what happened to your family?” “They are gone” David says. “Did they bravo leave?” asks Bravo. “They were taken” says David “the same golden light that brought me here and you as well…” he nods and Rachel‘s eyes widen in disbelief. “It was incredible” starts David, “the golden light manifested over our home in the suburbs and it consumed them. I woke up and saw them up in zombie-like trances, my wife was walking down the hall followed by our two small children and instantly they vanished into thin air. I later checked the security cameras and saw the golden light hovering over our roof, it was gigantic. I didn’t tell anyone. Everyone thought I did something to them but I wouldn’t. That’s why I have been a recuse and drinking a lot lately. The police questioned me seventeen times but didn’t have enough to hold me. They said it was a mystery how they disappeared but everyone still suspected me.” “But you had it on video” says Rachel. “Everyone thought I was crazy and made it up, doctoring the footage. But I know the light was there.” “It seems to be going on and happening a lot lately” adds Rachel. “The floating city will give you answers like it will for us, I am sure of it” she adds. “You really think so?” asks David curiously shocked. “Who knows what amazing technological marvels are waiting for us up there?” asks Rachel rhetorically. “Let’s go” he nods. “I will do anything. I am so glad you guys are here, I thought I would die alone here.” “You’re not alone now” says Arbor. “We will bravo help you” says Bravo. “It is for the best” adds Calypso. “How will we get across this river and up there?” asks David. “We can build bravo a raft” says Bravo. “I started to but don’t think I did it right” says David pulling out a rickety bunch of dead wood tied sloppily with reeds. “Sad” says Calypso. “I am no engineer” says David. “I think I know” says Arbor as he waves his hands and nods, the plants beginning to extend to David’s makeshift raft and lifting it, wrapping them around it and enveloping the craft while others extended outward gathering more raw materials and dead wood from the landscape and trees, ripping off branches and working in unison to add to the raft, extending the space and adding a wooden canopy while making sure they were tied well and holding congruently. Arbor whistles while he waves his hands like a conductor orchestrating the rapid event and the others look on in awe. The plants pull a series of leaves off the trees and combine them together wrapping them with their tentacles extending and creating more rapidly regenerating as they worked forming a long sheet of leaves bound together and attaching it gently to the craft as a sail tying it securely from all sides. The plants add a touch of soil and living rooted seedlings to the canopy to grow and regenerate for repairs as needed. “A living craft” whispers Calypso, “how fascinating.” “Finally the craft is complete” says Arbor as he holds up his hand while the plant tentacles hold up the craft a meter off the ground ready to deposit it over the water. The plants and trees swayed behind it proudly admiring their work as Arbor nodded and smiled. “Excellent” says Rachel clasping her hands joyously. “Good bravo work man” says Bravo nodding emphatically. “That was impressive” says Calypso. “I am amazed I couldn’t do better myself” adds David. “Now how do we get it out to sea? There isn’t too much breeze” inquires Rachel. “Have you ever heard of a hot air balloon?” asks Calypso rhetorically as she holds her hand up raising a fireball again and blowing on it sending it sailing through the air freezing it right behind the sail but not too close to send a slight push of hot humid air to move it along the water. “That is awesome, now we are all using our God-given talents. Let’s go to the floating city” says Rachel as she hops on board the raft followed by the others who help each other on board and at Arbor’s command; the plants lower them into the water sending them off with a heavy push. The hot flame blows the sail on course of the little raft into the great blue sea.  

The little craft moves along quickly along the bright blue expanse of sea leaving the land behind and riding along in the middle of the great abyss. “We’re sailing away, sailing away… come sail away, come sail away” sings Rachel mimicking the famous Styx song while swaying in the warm air. “I don’t think you got that right” says David. “Happy bravo time” says Bravo nodding. “We are a bit miles out to sea” says Arbor. “We will be travelling for some time” says Calypso looking ahead. “Who knows how long this is?” “It is as long as it is” says Arbor. “This is some adventure for sure.” “Look bravo land” says Bravo pointing to a small island formed in the middle of the ocean out of a translucent crystalline material. “Already” says Calypso shocked. “Sounds like good omens are on our horizons” says Rachel. “We should be careful. It could be an oasis” says David. “Let’s test it” says Calypso focusing the flame making it larger sending more heat to the sails and accelerating the craft to the small island arriving in seconds. Rachel jumps out as the raft touches the island. “It looks real to me” says Rachel happily. “This could be weird” says Arbor as the rest but he joins Rachel on the Island with a small cavern made of the same crystalline material, clear and bright as the blue waves reflecting off of it in the sunlight. The entire island encircles the cave in a small circumference. “This is it?” asks Rachel. “I better stay with the ship” he adds holding the plants together. “Good idea, Arbor” says Rachel.  “This is a bravo small island” says Bravo. “There is just this cave” says Calypso. “There is not much to explore” says David. “Maybe it bravo goes underground” says Bravo. “That would be to the ocean floor dear” says Calypso mockingly. “Well we go to the bravo floor” says Bravo gesturing downward into the dark cave. “This thing appears like out of nowhere” says Rachel. “Whoever built it, they put it here for a reason” says David. “Well, we are wasting time arguing” says Calypso. “Right” says Rachel, “we should go down there or in there or whatever… it beats travelling along the apparently endless ocean.” “It has to have an end” says David. “Well bravo we don’t see it” says Bravo dumbfounded. “This water cave is weird” says Rachel, “but I am going in.” She walks into the cave ducking down and soon turns in shock as a bright light fills the room and Calypso enters holding her hand up with a flaming fireball spreading illumination throughout. “That’s better isn’t it” she adds. “Much” says Rachel “thanks.” Calypso nods as David and Bravo enter behind her. “What is this?” asks David as they look about at the suddenly lit up perimeter of walls with hieroglyphs and strange writing carved in with an empty space where the wall meets like a triangle. “This freaking bravo igloo sure is crazy” says Bravo. “What odd language” says Calypso, “I can’t read it” says Rachel. “But I can” says David. “You can?” asks Rachel. “I spent half my life in the schools in Asia studying ancient languages” says David. “Good boy” replies Rachel. “What does it say?” asks Calypso. “Uh” says David looking at the wall and seeing images of animals and pictographs with carved symbols. “It seems to be a weird mix of Ancient Greek, Hebrew language, Old Persian, Avestan, Middle Persian, Sanskrit and ancient Egyptian.” “That’s a bravo mouthful” says Bravo. “Come on college boy you can do it” says Rachel cheering him on. “Thanks” says David shrugging, “it seems from the type of text this place has been around for thousands of years and from what I can gather it says something about a cave dweller people, a race of beings who lived in caves and used the water as shelter. It talks about a lost continent sunk under the waves… like Atlantis and crystals of water used to further their purpose … it speaks of a mythical hero or god-like figure that becomes immersed in water until he is pure water… for lack of a better translation The Water Bearer!” “Wow” says Rachel, “not my zodiac sign” she adds. “Interesting… what becomes of this being?” asks Calypso. “He … if he exists” starts David, “is supposed to become an all-powerful deity of the sea. There is something else” he follows the signs to the triangular apex on the adjacent wall. “There is a source of great power; a weapon… localized energy… capable of destroying a deity.” “Wow that’s rough bravo” says Bravo. “Why would anyone make a weapon like that and how do you kill a god?” asks Rachel. “It’s only a myth” says David “it might as well be a several-thousand-year-old story.” “What else happens?” asks Calypso. “I see there is talk of other items… stones of the great expansive universe, cosmological things… and there is… interesting it seems to be a button” he runs his finger on the wall and pushes a part of the stone-like crystal inward and a rumbling sound shakes the cavern. “Wow, what did you do?” asks Rachel. “Nothing much” says David. “We should retreat” says Calypso. “Wait bravo look” says Bravo pointing as the floor opens sliding like a trap door before the apex wall and up raises a rectangular altar of stone, crystal, and marble-like material with high relief buttons, gilded finishes, and strange markings, symbols, and pictures of plants and animals on the buttons. “Wow” says Rachel. “It looks intense.” “It looks ancient but advanced” says Calypso. “Bravo well of a thing” says Bravo touching it rubbing his hands on the top. “I have seen it before” says David. “The altar I drew in Miss Thompson’s kindergarten class. I was in a daze for months when she took it from me and tossed it. I tried to recreate it but couldn’t. It was a powerful image in my mind. I will never forget it and this is it.” “It has to mean something” says Rachel. “A premonition of your trip here” says Calypso. “Bravo you are one… good choices” says Bravo. “What do you make of it?” asks Rachel. “I think this is related to the writings on the wall, the story” says David. “Maybe you’re the one meant to be the deity” says Rachel smiling. “Don’t be silly” replies David. “It says the chosen one must be pure of heart and devoted to the waters” he reads on the altar while pointing behind it. “This one says… secret or something related to secret” he adds. “I wouldn’t touch those” says Calypso. “I think its fine” says David as he touches several of the buttons and pushes the one he read as “secret.” Then the altar shakes and a panel slides open at the top revealing a pedestal rising up with several crystals on it, twelve sharp and pointy crystals clear as the structure they were in joined together in a bunch. “Interesting” says Calypso. “It appears to be something important” says David. “I’ll say” says Rachel moving closer. “Aye man bravo no feel good now” says Bravo crossing himself. “This is related to the water bearer, I can feel it” says David. “Or the weapon” says Calypso surmising. Rachel tries to reach for the crystals but David grabs them first and steps aside studying them. “Hey, David… what are you doing” asks Rachel. “I think it wants me to do something” he fiddles with the bunch of crystals moving them up and down into a pattern until he pushes the ones on the four corners down and then the one in the center. Suddenly the crystals glow together in unison. “Great, you activated it” says Calypso screaming. “What did you do, Dave?” asks Rachel. “I think I am doing something I am supposed to do. I recognize this but I never seen it before.” He holds the glowing device and brings it closer to his chest where he begins to glow, his body changing color to match the clear blue translucent glow of the crystals and the crystals merge into him. His body glows entirely. “Oh my goodness” says Calypso. “This is insane for bravo” says Bravo. “David… what is it?” asks Rachel rhetorically with worry in her voice. The bright blue glow surrounds David entirely and the light soon fills the cavern. Everyone else avers their eyes and Calypso extinguishes her flame. The light from David’s aura intensify the cavern and spread upward shooting forth a powerful radiant beam of energy blasting through the roof of the cavern pulsating upward into the blue skies above. 

“What the ….?” Arbor stands on the craft looking at the beam of blue light pushing to the 

skies and suddenly stopping. Inside, Rachel looks on at the glowing David who begins to drip water all around him as if his body is made of water. They look up at the hole in the roof of the cave and the skies piercing in. “Let’s get out of bravo here” says Bravo. “I concur” says Calypso. “Don’t have to tell me twice” says Rachel. They run out as David follows them slowly materializing from the dripping wet blue form to his old self. He smiles as he lifts his hands to the sky and out pours reams of water like two fire hoses on full blast. “Wow, David really is the water bearer” says Rachel. “I suppose the heralded legend is true” says Calypso. “This is cool” says Arbor. “He is one of us… what did you call it Rachel? Mega Mortals.” “That’s right” says Rachel “and he looks more superb, stronger with bigger muscles than before and I knew him back when he was a day dream believer in kindergarten” she adds. “He is a real strong man now” says Calypso; “It must be the new liquidity of his dynamic physique” says Arbor. “Bravo super nova well it is” says Bravo. David lowers his hands stopping the show and smiles. “This is so awesome, like a new reason to go on in life” he says. “You really got super powers David” says Rachel, “you really are a Mega Mortal.” “I advise with great power there is need for responsibility in harnessing it” says Calypso. “Of course, we will get to the floating city now” says David. “How?” asks Rachel. “We don’t need to ride these waters to it… the waters will ride with us” replies David. “He lowers both hands and focuses and then suddenly the water from the ocean ascends into his hands like reverse fire hoses, the water going into him and beginning to recede in the ocean, lowering the craft. “Hey, how does that help?” asks Arbor as he feels the craft sinking and he jumps off with his plants whose rooted selves attach to him taking their living remains with them sending the craft down into the nearly endless depths of the ocean, now a shallow ravine as the water rapidly entered David’s hands and a bright blue light that faded as he then speaks reverently “anyone not super powered, hold onto me” and Rachel and Bravo look at one another and grab onto his back and upper arms. “You just drank up the whole ocean” says Rachel “you’re a living ocean, man… I guess we will get to eat cake by you later.” “What’s up with you and the pop references?” David shakes his head speaking sarcastically. “Let’s just go” Rachel adds. “And away we go” says David looking at Calypso and then Arbor who nod in silent response.  David lowers both hands and emits streams of water from both hands launching him up into the air with Rachel and Bravo grabbing onto him tightly. Calypso closes her eyes and lights up bright orange covered in flames launching her up into the skies above. Arbor smiles as his plants wrap around his legs and extend upward launching him high into the skies above and then rapidly twirling below his feet like small helicopter propellers moving him forward. Arbor and Calypso fly beside David who moves rapidly shooting reams of water below to keep himself up with Rachel and Bravo on his back. “Wowwweeee” screams Rachel happily. “This is too bravo crazy for bravo” says Bravo. “We will be at the floating city in no time” says David smiling as he begins to glow bright blue and become a humanoid mass of water. “Slippery David” says Rachel having trouble staying on. “Sorry” says David and he focuses. His arms change back to solid muscle mass. “Thanks” says Rachel. “Awake bravo when bravo over and landed” says Bravo holding on tight with his eyes shut. “We are approaching the city” says David as the trio of fliers accelerate moving towards the glistening towers of the forbidden floating city, several citadels joined together surrounded by smaller structures and substructures resting on a cloudy cushion of air and fluffy white clouds generated from underneath the buildings high above the orange metallic road that continues to stretch and climb up slightly. “That is so beautiful” says Rachel as she admires the city thinking for a moment on how far she has come and how she has made such wonderful new friends on this journey. The trio of fliers spread around and spiral into the city staying in unison as the skies turn red bringing on the dusk of the setting sun. They see the road extend around and spiral to under the city’s cloud formation visible as they approached. “Look” pointed Rachel “the orange metallic road comes up here to the city… just like I thought which means the people there were the creators of the road and they probably hold the key to unlocking many secrets of this land.” She smiles excited. “Calm down… one step at a time” says David as he leads the trio of fliers around the bend in a heroic pose. They fly around the bend in unison heading up into the major entry arch of the giant platform that the city sits on, rising above the smoke towards a small central apex and the orange metallic roads’ ending point culminating into the archway but continuing into the city itself. They shoot up above the clouds looking at the long towers they once admired from a distance up close and looking beyond the horizon as the orange metallic road shimmers throughout the city to the main citadels meters onward, surrounded by an interior well-lit blue sky artificially made inside the darkness outside of the setting night. 

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