A magnificent city was illuminated by a mysterious blue white light that rose over the horizon. Suddenly, the ground began to shake and massive waves began to approach the city, even though it was far inland. The once grand and imposing buildings and towers of the city began to crumble, falling in to ruin with people still inside them. Those who were not trapped within any of the fallen buildings ran from the city into the surrounding countryside in a desperate attempt to reach safer ground. However, for those left within the crumbling city, there was no means of escape.
Three people ran down a crumbling hall, but they were not trying to escape the building they were trapped within. They were headed deeper into the building, making their way through numerous halls and passageways, down multiple flights of stairs, until they finally reached their destination. A small room several stories underground.
The room was barren except for two massive crystal structures. The crystal structures radiated a dim light, keeping the room from being completely dark. The dim light from the crystals would have to do, as the torch had gone out and there was no time to light another.
The eldest of the three who had been running, a strong young male, turned to his two companions with a grim expression carved into his handsome features.
“I fear this is as far as I shall be able to go with you. The two of you must enter the stasis crystals before the quakes start up once again,” he calmly instructed.
One of the companions, a young male, glared at the older male, unable to believe what he had just said.
"Brother,” exclaimed the young male, “you cannot possibly be serious! How can you carelessly throw away your own life?! Our people will need you once the danger has passed and the crystal stasis ends.”
The elder male just smiled at his younger brother. “My time has come, brother. Fate decrees that I must die this day. However, you must live on. We have both sworn an oath to protect the princess. You must uphold that oath in my stead, as I shall no longer be able to fulfill it.”
The younger brother turned to the princess he had sworn to protect. Reluctantly, the younger brother followed to princess to the crystal structures and…
…an alarm woke Vega from her sleep. The nineteen year old fell out of her bed, knocking her head against the nightstand. Rubbing her head, Vega grabbed her phone and turned off the annoying alarm that had woken her. Once the alarm was off, Vega got ready for the day.
Vega Anand was a typical nineteen year old, besides the fact that her parents were the founders of a multi million dollar company. She had been born to a mother who emigrated from southern India to Canada in the late nineties and a father (also of Indian ancestry) who had been born in her home province of Alberta. The two had met and fallen in love in high school and married soon after graduating college. Not long after the two had founded their own business, Anand Industries, which was one of the biggest alternative energy companies in the world. A year later Vega had been born, but that had not keep either of her parents from focusing on building and expanding their business until it was one of the largest alternative energy companies in the world.
Despite her family being filthy rich, Vega led a pretty normal life. She lived in a typical suburban house, dressed in generic clothes and actually worked three jobs to pay for the year long cross country trip her and her friend, Martha, took after graduating high school. The only time she used her family’s money was to help pay for college, and even then she still paid for half the tuition.
Vega approached her vanity and got a good look at herself in the mirror. She nearly jumped out of her skin upon taking one look of herself in the mirror. Her skin was clammy, her hair frazzled and her eyes were bloodshot. She looked like she hadn’t gotten any sleep in days, which was partially true. For the last five days, Vega had been having those strange dreams. It was always the same. Two men and a woman running down a crumbling hall, the collapsing city, the room with the crystals, and the argument between the two men. But the dream always cut out before the younger man and the woman approached those crystals. She had no idea what brought those strange dreams on in the last few days but Vega wanted them to end. She hadn’t gotten a wink of restful sleep since they started.
Sighing, Vega did the best she could to make herself somewhat presentable. She used blush and bronzer to cover up her clammy skin and the dark bags under her obsidian gray eyes, blending them in so it was indistinguishable from her natural olive complexion. She battled to get all the knots and tangles out of her hair until the raven locks were smooth and sleek. Vega tied her hair back in a waist length ponytail before slipping on a simple white dress and matching sandals. With one last look of herself in the mirror, Vega grabbed her purse before leaving her room.
Vega was just about to head out the front door when her mother stopped her.
Mrs. Anand’s piercing obsidian gray eyes glared at her daughter behind thin red frames. Pushing her glasses up her nose, Mrs. Anand asked “Where are you going, Vega?”
Vega froze. She hated it when her mother gave her that look. How could a five feet four, thin, petite woman possibly inspire that much fear with only one look? It didn’t make any sense. Vega was five inches taller than her mother and had an athletic build from all the sports she’d done in high school and continued to do in college. And yet, she was still somehow intimidated by the woman who gave birth to her.
Mrs. Anand was growing impatient of her daughter’s silence. The woman adjusted her glasses as her gaze narrowed even further at her daughter. “I do not like to repeat myself, Vega. Now tell me, where are you going?”
Vega snapped out of her daze, a sheepish smile crossing her delicate facial features. “I was planning to go to the mall. There’s a sale on rock climbing equipment and I wanted to get some new gear. You know Martha and I were planning to go rock climbing this summer. You and dad already approved as long as I pay for all the equipment, just as usual.”
Mrs. Anand frowned. “I’m afraid your little shopping trip will have to be postponed, Vega. I need you to deliver something to your father for me. I would do it myself but I have a meeting with some international investors and I cannot miss it.”
Vega looked at her mother, seeming to finally notice the formal pantsuit and her black hair worn in a bun for the first time. She should have known her mother had a business meeting of some kind. Otherwise her mother, who usually despised formal wear of any kind, would not have been dressed as she currently was.
“Fine,” Vega sighed, “I’ll make the delivery to Dad. If I’m fast enough then maybe I can still make it to the mall before it gets too crowded.”
Mrs. Anand smiled, all intensity draining from her face. She handed her daughter a briefcase and gave her a kiss on the cheek.
“Thank you for doing this, Vega. I promise I’ll make it up to you. I already called a cab to take you to the office. You father took the truck this morning and I’m afraid I’ll have to take the convertible or else I’m going to be late for my meeting with those investors. Have a good day and I’ll try to be home for dinner tonight.”
And with that, Mrs. Anand walked out the door, got into the convertible and drove off to meet with her investors. Vega just shook her head. She loved her parents but at times they could be a handful. They were both such workaholics that Vega couldn’t remember the last time they even had a simple meal together. There was always some reason for them to be called off back to the office, be it a major malfunction or a simple bored of directors meeting, Vega’s parents were always busy. At times she wondered if they cared more about Anand Industries than her, their own daughter. Vega knew it was petty and childish to be jealous of a business for taking up so much of her parents’ time, but just having a simple meal together every once in a while wasn’t that much to ask for. Was it?
Ten minutes later the cab Vega’s mother had ordered arrived. Vega climbed into the back seat and gave the cabbie the directions to the main building of Anand Industries. She was at the building in under an hour, do to the light traffic this early in the day. Vega paid the cabbie (including a generous tip) with all the money her mother had given her and thanked him before grabbing her purse and the briefcase her mother gave her and made her way into the building.
Clutching the briefcase close to her, Vega approached the front desk. The front desk clerk was busily typing away on his computer and didn’t notice Vega at first. When he did look up he instantly recognised Vega.
“What can I do for you, Miss Anand?” asked the front desk clerk with the fakest smile Vega had ever seen.
“I have a delivery for my father,” she said, holding up the briefcase for the front desk clerk to see. “My mother would have brought it in but she has a meeting with some international investors so she asked me to bring it to him.”
“I’ll call security and have them escort you to Mr. Anand’s office. It shall only take a few moment for them to arrive, Miss Anand,” the front desk clerk assured as he dialled the security office on the company line.
Within twenty minutes of the front desk clerk making a call, two security guards made their way to the front desk. After going through the standard security check and having both of the security guards look over the VIP visitor ID her parents had issued her, Vega was escorted by the two security guards to the private elevator that would take her straight to her father’s office on the top floor of the company building.
The doors to the private elevator opened and out rushed a man wielding a black scimitar. The man’s muscular form was completely derived of any clothing, only having his long brown hair to cover him. The man towered over Vega and the two stunned security guards, standing close to seven feet tall. Vega felt her eyes be drawn to the knotted scars and crimson blood than stained the strange man’s copper brown skin. The man’s dark gaze locked with Vega’s obsidian gray and a look of relief flashed across his handsome face before a scowl replaced it upon seeing the two security guards.
The security guards, finally overcoming their immediate shock of seeing a naked man wielding an ancient sword run out of a private elevator, quickly drew their sidearms upon realising the man was armed. The security guards ordered the man to put down his scimitar and get down on the ground. His only response was to yell in some strange language that none of them could understand. When the security guards repeated their warnings at the man, they prepared to take open fire, only to be knocked over by a powerful wind.
Vega could not believe what she just saw. The strange man had raised his scimitar and caused a massive wind to knock the two security guards across the room. The strange naked man then grabbed her wrist and began muttering in that strange language again, his tone far softer than when he had been yelling at the security guards. He saw the two security guards starting to recover from his attack. Saying more in that unfamiliar language, the strange man began to drag Vega down the nearest hall with the security guards close at their heels. Vega screamed out for help and tried to fight back against the man holding her captive but every time she did his grip only got tighter and he pulled her along behind him even faster.
The man turned the corner but it was a dead end. There was no escape and the security guards were only a few minutes behind him. Vega saw the strange man quickly scan the area and take notice of the several doors lining each side of the dead end hall. He forced Vega through the nearest open door, which happened to be the men’s bathroom, and began barricading the door with everything within arms reach.
Vega stood in the corner of the men’s room trying to find some means of escape. But it was too late. The man had finished barricading the door with everything he could grab. Now he turned towards Vega and slowly approached her.