Friday, 16 May 2014

Chapter 1: The Beginning

Somn... Luke thinks to himself as they all start moving. I kinda wish I could get another hug... In a desperate attempt to hide his blushing, Luke looks to his side and sees the boy that appeared with him now walking alongside him. Who is this? he wonders briefly. Then he notices the brunette goddess waiting for his reply. Right, Somn asked our names! I'll learn his name then. What was my name again? Luke, that was it, Luke the Almighty. The two boys reply in turn, first Luke with his and then the other boy. “Krill. Krill the Caliginus,” says the boy.

Krill... Why does that name seem so familiar? Luke unconsciously slows down to ponder on this, leaving him behind the other two.

"Luke! That was your name, right?" Somn shouts. "Hurry up! We have to go! The elders are waiting!" Luke jumps in surprise as his concentration is broken, but he manages to get the gist of what Somn said and runs after them.

"So, who are these elders?" Luke asks. "Are they the ones in charge of... this place?"

"No... well, some are, some aren't," says Somn hesitantly, a little unsure herself. "The elders are just the older gods. The ones that we're meeting are our teachers, though there are powerful elders that command all of..." Here Somn pauses dramatically but continues walking.

"All of what?" asks Luke, lengthening his stride to walk beside the girl. "You can't just leave us hanging like tha-- Oooh..."

"... this," finishes Somn with a wink, sweeping her hand in a grand gesture over their enormous view, the setting sun providing a magnificent backdrop to the city. Grand buildings, some impossibly built, others large and imposing, all built in ridiculously close vicinity and separated by brick roads that shine with a suspiciously golden gleam, creating a network of pathways that stretch well beyond their current line of sight into the distant horizon."Welcome, boys," says Somn, "to Godville-- home of the gods."

“It’s gigantic!" Luke shouts, trying not to run ahead of the others and explore. A few steps in front of him, Krill’s slack-jawed look of awe echoes his friend’s sentiments.

Somn allows herself a quick smile at the two gods’ reaction, then breaks into a run. "Get cracking, both of you. We don't have much time."

"What exactly are we in such a hurry for?" Krill asks, as if anticipating Luke’s puzzlement. "I don't see any need to rush."

"Tight schedule," Somn huffs. "That glow of yours is gonna settle soon. If you wanna see this again, run like you've got Heromnivores on your backs."

"What do you mean?" Luke asks, matching his gait with her. "Are we in danger at all?"

"If I don't get you to the elders soon, you'll die from lack of power," says Somn. "Gods need the power of prayer to survive. I'll explain the rest later-- right now, Godville is the only safe place for newborn gods," she says. A quick look at the newborns reveals their faces changing from inquisitive glances to fearful gazes. "Move. Now."

Don't need to tell me twice, thinks Luke darkly. "You said it." He suddenly grabs Krill and Somn takes off running as fast as he can. Faster and faster, his pace increases until he feels as if he is flying.

"LUKE!" yells Somn. "STOP!!"

Krill, on the other hand, was enjoying the thrill. "Relax, Somn, he's got this!" he yells over the wind. "Enjoy the ride!"

Luke grins in agreement, pumping his legs as quickly as he can. This is great! Is this the power a god can have? This... This is amazing! he laughs. In his haste, he doesn't notice the hole in front of him. His foot finds nothing but empty air far too late. Why does it feel likE I'M FALLING???

Luke wakes up at the bottom of a pit, followed a little later by Somn. Krill, however, remains unconscious from the fall. Upon seeing their condition, the trainee goddess pounds the ground in anger. "We were so close!" she hisses. "Those monsters... They always have to try and set traps for the young gods!"

She turns and looks at Luke, and sees something that makes her start visibly panicking. "Oh no, no nononono... We should've had more time than this! Okay, umm... Just... stay calm Luke, don't do anything..." She starts digging around in her knapsack, only for her complexion to turn ashen. "I forgot to bring the scrying mirror!"

Is she crying? wonders Luke. Why is she crying? Oh no, did I make her cry?! Stupid! You know that men don't make women cry! Stupid! Stupid! Stu--! Wait, why do I feel... lighter? he wonders. He looks down at himself in time to see the last of the gentle glow rising off his skin seep back into his limbs. Then, slowly...

OHMYRANDOM! Luke watches, horrified as his hands and feet start fading away. "Somn... What's happening? I'm getting scared..." he whispers.

"Luke, you... you used too much of your mana and this... this is the result. The Fade. It's the first thing they warned me about... When gods run out of power, they literally fade out of existence," explains Somn, slowly, as if she doesn't want to believe it herself. "Normally, if you don't use anymore godpower, you'll can wait till it replenishes. But right now, you don't have a source. You need to be sustained by a worshipper, or you'll eventually just go... poof." She turns to look at Krill. "He's alright for now, but he'll be next."

Luke finds himself agreeing with her instinctively, but he currently has bigger problems to worry about. I'm going to disappear? he thinks desperately. I... I don't want to... "Somn, are you sure there's no way out of here? If we can get help, we can make it out," he suggests.

Somn lets a short, sour laughter escape her lips. "I wish. All I can do right now is a little dream travelling, not enough to get anyone moving, unless..." Somn suddenly tilts her head up at the sky.

Luke instinctively follows the suit to see the sky now a brilliant orange. "It's getting dark," he says, not understanding.

"Exactly," says Somn with a newfound hope. "A friend of mine will be waking up soon-- if I work fast enough, she might be able to get you guys spare mana in time. I need to focus my power for this, so don't distract me. Try waking up Krill."

Luke watches Somn position herself in a corner of the hole, then close her eyes. Moments later, she starts humming a soft lullaby, but the sound is laced with power. He crawls over to Krill, hoping that his newfound companion knows what she is doing.

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