- �The Battle For Lemuria!�, Written by David
Youngblood, September 2002.
[Camp Foray. Dawn.]
The stillness of the night was interrupted by the
shrill piercing blow of a galvanizing military horn. I
was never in the U.S. army, but I imagine that a bugle
would be far more soothing sound to wake up to. I sat
up with a start, as the high-pitched noise roused me
from my slumber. The camp around me was soon filled
with bustling soldiers in a hurry to pack their scarce
possessions. Preparations were quickly being made; we
would move out within the hour.
Olak burst into my tent excitedly. Today was the day
of battle, and he seemed happy about it. Looking back,
I don�t think his excitement was because of any love
of war, but perhaps a joy of getting the opportunity
to serve his land once again. Here was a man who�d
been cast out of the army, shunned away from his
nation, all for a training accident that wasn�t even
his fault. I doubt, on some levels, that he truly
cared what the cause itself was; but rather, that he
was so elated to be a part of something greater again,
that he�d have joined no matter what.
�Rise un� shun! Battle tum is hur! It�s uh long merch
frum hur ta da center a Lemuria, Muny miles in fuct,
so wur gonna be leavin� urly.�
I was still very drowsy and not eager to get up and
march several miles. But Olak left me no choice;
pulling me to my feet and shaking me wide awake.
�Hurry Psyclone! We gots ta pack tings up an� eat
still, an� we ain�t gots much time. Here ya go, get
drussed an� meet me outside.�
He tossed me a bundle and walked out. I unwrapped the
bundle to find a Deviant armor outfit. I sighed
briefly and pulled it on. It was dark brown and felt
like leather on the inside, but was stiff and
resistant against outside force. It was lightweight
and easy to move in. I could tell that the armor�s
designer was more concerned with maneuverability
during battle than stopping a sniper�s arrow, a
thought that did little to comfort me. Oh well. Time
to go fight a war.
War. I have a hard time explaining what was going
through my head at that time. I realized that I was
about to risk my life for a cause not my own, but I
wasn�t really taking it seriously enough. War. Big
deal. So we�d go in, kick this guy�s butt, and then
kick back for a while before I�d go back to Jersey. So
what? I�d seen Jean Claude van Damme do it tons of
I stepped out of my tent into a flurry of activity.
Over a thousand warriors packed into a small camp were
breaking down tents, eating their rations, pulling on
armor, grabbing weapons, or even meditating. Olak
snapped apart a few beams on my tent, and folded it
over on itself neatly.
�Come wit me,� he said.
I followed him to the far corner of the camp, where he
tossed my tent into a pile with hundreds of others. We
then stood in the rations line, waiting patiently as
the many people in front of us got their food, just as
the many people behind us waited as we got ours. One
thing that was clear to me was that I�d get no
preferential treatment due to my lineage. I was Kro�s
son, and most of them knew that fact quite well, but I
was to be treated just like everyone else
nevertheless. This was his wish I�m sure, since he was
trying to teach me to be a man from the first day I
The line moved fairly quickly, since everyone
understood the need and importance of haste. We soon
reached the front of the procession, where a small,
grizzly man with amber skin and a distorted face slid
a dish in front of me and dumped a large spoonful in
it. I looked down in my bowl to see a green broth
with small brown chunks floating in it.
�Eat. Yer gonna need duh energy,� Olak urged, seeing
I knew he was right, but for a second I wondered if it
might actually be better to pass out while marching
than force down what passed as grub here.
Nevertheless, I sighed deeply, closed my eyes, and
quickly gulped down the provisions.
I made a horrible face as I did everything I could to
keep it down. It tasted something like cantaloupe
juice mixed with sour milk. The distinctly different
tastes of sweet tanginess and pungent bitterness, all
too contrasting, assaulted my taste buds all at once,
and were almost more than I could handle. I could only
imagine what animal the brown lumps of spicy meat came
from, but I tried not to think about it.
With a gasp, I choked down the last of the dish. Olak
grinned as he finished his as well.
�Good, ain�t it?� He asked.
�Well, I can honestly say I�ve never had anything
quite like it.�
I was still reeling from the horrible taste when we
walked over to a groove of rocks and sat down. I
couldn�t take my eyes off of the activity and
excitement around me. Everyone was in a hurry. The
food line began to dwindle as the rest of the men
grabbed their food and gulped it down quickly. Olak
was saying something about what to do once we got into
the thick of battle, but I wasn�t really listening. My
mind kept wandering back to last night.
My father had shared with me one of his deepest and
most private secrets. He had told me that he was
half-Eternal and over 20,000 years old, a revelation
he�d never trusted to another person. (1) Beneath the
rough exterior of a Warlord was a man about to lead
his men on a suicide run, and was actually afraid to
miss the opportunity to meet me, his son. It wasn�t
until a little later that I truly realized the bond we
shared, but I remember being filled with great
confidence just knowing my dad would be there with me.
I excused myself from Olak, and went back up the hill
to find Kro again. Maybe we could have a talk or
something before heading out. My experience from the
night before had installed a faith that the distance
between us would quickly narrow. Filled with hope, I
knocked on the shack door.
�Come in, but have good reason!� Boomed Kro�s voice.
I slowly stepped in, to see him finish securing the
straps of a war suit. He looked in my direction as he
carefully tied his sword�s sheath to his belt.
�What is it, Psyclone?�
�Um, well...I was thinking that maybe we could chat or
something for a while, �til it�s time to move out.�
�There is not time for such matters. Our time of
departure is approaching within the next few minutes.�
�You sure? I don�t mean to burst your bubble or
anything, but there�s still a bit of a mess down
there. I really doubt everyone�s gonna be ready to go
in a couple of minutes.�
�The mess is due to the haste in which we are
leaving,� Kro explained, �not everyone is coming. We
have roughly one thousand warriors down in that
encampment, but forty of them will not be accompanying
us on our march for victory. They will stay behind and
take care of the clutter left in our wake. This will
allow the rest of us to march light, not having to
worry about tents, cooking material and other supplies
not necessary for our upcoming attack.�
�Gotcha. That, uh, makes sense I guess.�
�Of course it does. We need only carry our weapons and
ourselves. Speaking of which, why are you still
unarmed when our exit is so near?�
�Oh. Olak was going to the weapons area when I left
him to come see you.�
�Foolish, but for the best perhaps. Come. I have
something to give you then.�
I was feeling very awkward at that time. Feeling
stupid for coming up there. Kro wasn�t in a mood to
chat; he was in a rush to leave. However, my
constantly changing feelings of the situation were
turned upside down once again by his next gesture.
He bent down to a long, slender box, and unlatched it
slowly. From it, he drew a beautiful silver spear with
a gold blade at its tip.
�Here, take this. It was once my weapon as a young
man. You will wield it well, I am sure,� Kro said
�I can�t accept this,� I said in disbelief, �what will
�Do not worry about me. I carry my crystal bladed
sword, forged in the Valley of Diamonds several
hundred years ago(2).�
�I...I don�t know what to say.�
�Good, because we do not have any more time left to
waste here. The men are lining up outside. I want you
to stick by Olak�s side today, no matter what happens.
He is a worthy warrior. You will be in the second
group, and make certain that you do not get in the
first. Do you understand?�
�Not really. What second group?�
�I will explain outside, but we must get there now.�
The conversation ended with that. Not at all what I�d
been hoping for, but the small gestures that Kro had
made last night and in the shack forced me to continue
my desperate yearning to know my father. And in the
midst of my inner turmoil, I walked back out to the
camp to realize that I had, indeed, became a part of
something far greater.
Over nine hundred men stood in perfect uniformity in
front of the West Conduit. A ways behind them stood
another fifty men. Olak was among the fifty, so I
hurried down to him while my father climbed a winding
path at the conduit�s mouth, up to a rocky outcropping
overseeing his warriors.
The final forty or so men lingered back from the rest
that were in line. These were those whose job was to
clean up the camp after our departure. I would find
out later that this was because Kro wanted to make
certain that if we failed, Ghaur, or any other
enemies, would never discover the camp. It was the job
of the men left behind to wipe out any trace of our
ever being there, though it�d be months until I�d
discover why Kro wanted so desperately for the area to
One of the things I couldn�t help but notice was the
difference in weapons from the first group to the
second. The hundreds in the former were outfitted with
sonic disruptors and propulsion guns towards the
front, with the firepower lessening towards the back,
down to swords, shields, spears, bows and arrows. All
of us in the latter possessed the less destructive
weapons. The combination of advanced technology and
ancient weapons was astounding.
I fell into rank as Kro began to address the group.
The respect his sheer presence invoked was amazing.
Every warrior, every creature, every single ear perked
up to his words. Every eye gazed up with allegiance to
that face that could launch a thousand ships.
�My fellow Deviants, we go now to face a grave threat.
In Lemuria, the homeland of many of us, and the source
of heritage and lineage for the rest, a force of pure
evil has arisen. He calls himself Ghaur, but he is
nothing but an egotistical fool. The overwhelming task
of dispatching the usurper of sin falls upon us. We
all come from different areas and colonies; united by
the clinging dedication and responsibility each and
every one of us feels for our people.
Make no mistake; it will not be easy. Though he holds
the position through dishonesty and deception, as the
Lord of Lemuria, he still commands the vast and
powerful army. Many of these men will rally to our
side against him, but the odds will still be against
Therefore, all of you must be willing to pay the
ultimate sacrifice for your people. Many will die. No
matter the outcome, today shall go down in history as
a day of blood, pain, and death. Anyone amongst you,
who now wishes to leave our ranks, go now. Anyone
amongst you, who is not entirely ready to do whatever
is required of you, leave now. No repercussions will
be brought against you for doing so, but you must
leave at once.�
I felt a great sense of awe as I looked around. Not
one warrior, not a single person, would leave. They
all stood there, steadfast in their beliefs and pride.
Hundreds of them: all ready to serve regardless of
what might happen.
�Very well then. You have already been divided into
two groups. The first and larger one will be lead by
Jhilpez and Sercmed. It is their duty to guide you
into the City of Toads, and your duty to fight the
battle that will be awaiting you there. This is mainly
a diversionary tactic, to draw the army�s fire as I
lead the second group through the underground tunnels
to Ghaur�s stronghold in the Antediluvian Royal
Palace. Once my group has claimed victory there, I
will reassume command of the Lemurian army and end the
battle the rest of you will be entrenched in with a
minimal of bloodshed.
We only need enough time to retake the palace and
dispose of Ghaur, so do not throw your lives away
needlessly. Fight hard, fight intelligently, and watch
each other�s back. It is my great honor to be in the
company of such brave and noble warriors on this
fateful day. May Gaea (3) watch over us all and guide
us to victory. We shall not fail!�
A magnificent cheer went up, as one thousand voices
called out shouts for triumph and greatness. Kro
descended down amongst them all, and they cried out
support for their general. I gazed around me in
wonder, as Kro took his place at the front, amazed as
the change in those around me.
The night before, they�d seemed laidback and carefree,
cracking jokes and engaging in friendly spars. Today,
they had an aura of determination about them.
Overnight, they�d unveiled themselves as an invading
army of fierce resolution about to go on a suicide
incursion for a cause bigger than they ever would be.
It wasn�t the weapons or skills they possessed that
made this particular army so impressive, but their
unconquerable spirit of character. Many would die, but
they didn�t care. For each and every one of them was
part of something greater, and for the first time in
my life, so was I.
The roar finally began to die down, and with a sharp
call we headed out. Onward we marched, entering the
West Conduit, the small passageway from Camp Foray to
the outskirts of Lemuria. The first group led the way,
with Olak and I following with the second group. We
moved through the channel slowly, about to head
towards the territory of our enemy.
I looked about at the rocky walls of the Conduit.
Bathed in light as the area continued to get a little
brighter, I could see each and every stony
outcropping, covered in dull green moss with bits of
dew trickling over them. The stones were predominantly
all the same uniform dark brown color, with little
differentiation. I reflected briefly on all the
thousands of years of erosion it must have taken to
form this huge valley passage, and it hit that in his
long life, Kro might have actually witnessed the area
when it was nothing more than a continuous wall of
rock. An insect or small animal I couldn�t identify
would scamper across the boulders from time to time.
The ground beneath us was hard and uncomfortable to
walk on, but we just kept on going.
The walk gave me a little time to reflect on our task
ahead. Even then, I didn�t realize the enormous scope
of war, but I was beginning to comprehend a few
things. The soldiers on the front line had all the big
guns because it would be they who had to face the full
brunt of an opposing army. Every little helping
component they could get would be vital.
Also, there was a reason why it was Kro who lead the
second group through the dark tunnels to the palace. I
would find out later how much it irked him to have
someone else lead the group in greater risk, even two
men he greatly trusted, because he hated having others
have to face bigger danger for him. Even then,
however, it was apparent that the divisions were made
that way because Kro must be the only one capable of
navigating our way through the tunnels. The element of
surprise would mean everything against Ghaur.
Eventually, we came to the end of the conduit, and the
procession halted. We were bein given a moment to
catch our breaths, but it lasted no more than a few
seconds. Before I knew it, we were running. At first,
I thought we�d been attacked earlier than was
expected, but it was all a part of the plan. The first
division ran ahead through a clearing on the other
side of the passage, while Kro diverted the rest of us
to the right and cleared off grass and dirt from a
door buried on the side of a hill. He opened it and
began to usher us in.
I looked ahead as Jhilpez and Sercmed lead their
portion on hurriedly, drawing weapons and shouting
orders. Diversionary tactic. They were going ahead in
full speed to draw away the attention of any wandering
eyes from us as we went into the tunnels. Within
minutes, a servant loyal to Ghaur would alert him of
the charging army. By the time they reached the City
of Toads, legions of warriors would be waiting to
destroy them. I followed Olak into the dark tunnel,
wondering whether or not I�d ever see them again.
[Antediluvian Royal Palace]
I am Captain Hiskos of the Secret Guard. When Ghaur
rose to power, we secured his assets. We eliminated
what few enemies arose in positions of power. Ranar
and Kro both tried to challenge the master, but Ghaur
killed Ranar himself. (4) Eventually, we drove Kro
into banishment after a purposely-failed attempt to
assassinate him. Now, the Dog of Warlords seems to
I walked to the door of the master�s chamber, and
gently tapped my knuckles on it. He didn�t respond,
but the door creaked open. I walked in softly and
quietly, shutting the door behind me.
The room was dark, and I could only see the vague
image of the master on his throne.
�Lord Ghaur, our agents in outer Lemuria have reported
an army advancing through the country. The don�t seem
to be attacking any of the villages along the way, but
they appear to be headed here, towards the City of
Toads. It�s too early to say for certain, but it would
appear likely that this means Kro has returned.�
�Of course he has, you ignorant fool,� the master�s
raspy voice hissed back, �Just make certain that the
army is there waiting when his pathetic little
invasion force arrives.�
�Yes, Lord Ghaur. I will lead them myself.�
�You�ll do no such thing.�
�Do you really think that Kro would be so stupid as to
put all of his hopes into an invasion that has no
chance of succeeding? It�s a diversion to get our
attention away from the real threat.�
�What threat is that milord?�
�There is a vast system of underground tunnels beneath
this continent, leading all the way up to the basement
of this palace. That fool believes that he is the only
one who knows of their existence. But my own master
spoke of them to me long ago. (5) Have Captain Clement
lead the army. I want you to take your best men and
set a trap for Kro�s party for when they near us.�
�At once Lord Ghaur.�
I stood up and turned to go. Right as I reached the
door, however, I heard my master call out to me one
�And Captain Hiskos?�
I could see a quick flash of white from Ghaur�s thrown
as he grins briefly.
�Obliterate them all.�
I nodded sharply and left in a hurry. There was much
to do after all: places to go, people to obliterate.
[The Underground Tunnels. Psyclone]
We had been walking for a long time. Kro was at the
front of the group, leading us through the passage. It
was extremely dark in there, and we could only follow
the indistinct forms in front of us. Olak and I were
at the very back, trying to keep up with the others as
we felt our way along.
It was hard to see where we were walking, and we would
often trip over a loose stone in the path that we
didn�t even know was there. The air was musky and
heavy, and we had to take deep breaths to aerate our
lungs. There was a constant drip as me moved along,
and a few times we would have to wade through an area
with standing water.
We had been told not to speak or make more noise than
absolutely necessary. We creeped along stealthily,
being as quiet as possible. Occasionally, we could
hear sounds above us, at times when the tunnels passed
underneath a building or bunker. We would slow down
and go as silently as we could, and manage to depart
from such areas without incident.
Word had been whispered back from Kro in the front
that we were about to turn onto the final stretch.
Everyone else had already made the turn when we
approached the intersection. I raised my spear and was
about to follow when Olak�s hand stopped me.
�Hold up,� he whispered.
�Why?� I responded, voice lowered.
�I smellz sum�tin. Like...powder.�
Then it happened.
I�ll tell you what I recall. I recall thinking �Why?�
I recall thinking that life is fragile. And I recall
realizing that it all goes by too fast, as the
brilliant explosion ripped through the silence,
transforming our stealth march into a fiery inferno of
[Outside of the City of Toads. Jhilpez]
We had made great haste. With myself at the point, and
Sercmed guiding the group from the right, we�d sped
through Lemuria to the central capital, the City of
Toads. None of us knew for sure what was in store, but
we could guess well enough. Miracles do happen, true,
but one couldn�t waste time hoping for one in vain.
Our job was just to occupy the army long enough for
Kro�s group to accomplish their objective. We knew
we�d be outnumbered about twenty-five to one, and the
hope of surviving such odds was dismal at best.
But even though we were prepared for our duty, it was
still a bit of a shock to us when we got there. We
stopped still at the sight ahead of us. I recognized
Captain Clement as the traitorous fiend from Ghaur�s
Secret Guard. But even more than him, I recognized the
army that he led. We�d reached them: the Lemurian
My first thought was not to fight. To run, to
surrender, to find any alternative. These were not my
enemies; these were my brothers. They were under
someone else�s control, but I still didn�t want to
harm or kill them.
My second thought was to wish that Kro was here
instead. I saw it on the faces of many of the young
warriors opposite of me: quite a few recognized me.
They knew me as Kro�s right-hand man, and they didn�t
want to fight me either. But they would. For all they
knew, I�d turned into some remote despot since Kro�s
disappearance. So with the command, they would fight
my men and me. But they wouldn�t have fought Kro. They
respected him too much: not only as a ruler, but also
as a fellow warrior. But Kro couldn�t be here. It was
too vital to catch Ghaur off-guard while there was
still a chance. It was up to me.
My final thought was of Ghaur himself. Damn him to
hell. Things shouldn�t be like this. I shouldn�t have
to be ready to battle these soldiers doing their jobs.
It was all so unfair, and it was all because of him.
This helped. I thought of the monster behind all of
this, and my resolution strengthened once more. All of
this seemed to take an eternity, but it had only been
a few seconds since we had stumbled onto the Lemurian
army. Captain Clement was giving us our one chance to
surrender, but no one was listening to him. I looked
behind me and nodded to Sercmed, drawing my sword.
�ATTACK!� The call came from both sides.
The Battle for Lemuria had begun.
They were all dead. My father and everyone else in the
second division was dead. Soon, I would be too.
Olak shook me to my senses. Both of us had survived,
having stopped far away enough from the blast point.
When the explosion went off, the tunnel collapsed as
we were thrown clear by the force of the detonation.
We were aboveground now. And we were not alone.
I blinked twice and became aware of my surroundings,
taking it all in. Olak helped me to my feet and handed
me my spear. Twenty men formed a semicircle about us,
fencing us in against a wall of rock behind us.
�Captain Hiskos, two of them survived!�
�Indeed they did,� the captain responded, smiling,
�But not for long.�
�Get ruddy Psyclone,� Olak whispered, �I�lz took da
point. Folla mah lead.�
I looked at the weapon in my hand, only able to think
of my father.
�No,� I choked out.
�I�m sorry Olak. I just can�t do this. I can�t fight.
They�re all dead. My father is dead.�
�But we ain�t! Listen ta me Psyclone. We gots ta
finish what Kro an� da others set out ta do. We owe it
I kept staring at the spear that Kro entrusted me
with, and tears began to roll out from my eyes.
�I.... can�t. I just can�t.�
An arrow struck by Olak�s foot, narrowly missing. Four
of the Secret Guard had located themselves on high
outcroppings, and were readying arrows for an all out
assault. The others, lead by Captain Hiskos, began to
position themselves to block any exit we had.
Olak shoved me behind a large boulder where I�d be
safe for the time being, and turned to face his
attackers. He stood tall in the face of the storm, but
as I huddled with my own demons, I knew there was no
way he could hope to win.
We hit them with everything we had. The propulsion
guns were set off first. A shot of the weapons
generates a force of compressed air that knocks back
whatever it hits. It was enough to temporarily scatter
their front lines, and we had to take advantage of any
moment of confusion we could get.
The rest of us charged forward. Each propulsion gun
was only good for five shots before it had to be
recharged, so the blasts had to be used carefully.
Sercmed directed them to fire at the outcropping where
archers were perched, eliminating as many of the
snipers as we could.
I looked for Clement, desperately wanting a chance to
end his petty existence. I found that he was a way
off, already recovered from the effects of the
propulsion gun and directing his forces through the
chaos. I fought my way through the disorder, disarming
and disposing of those who got in my way. I tried to
only knock them out or wound them, killing as little
as possible. But in the midst of sheer pandemonium,
death was unavoidable.
I could see the fight from my huddled spot behind the
large boulder. Olak, the same young warrior I�d once
defeated in a spar, was facing the full might of
Ghaur�s Secret Guard. But this was no spar. While I
may have triumphed in a friendly bout with no
consequences, this was different. This was war. I had
no experience in this type of situation, and couldn�t
even get over the death around me to help him.
Olak had been in war, apparently. I�d beat him
yesterday (6), but today he was different and
powerful. He knew how to battle in this type of arena,
and he knew how to win. Spars mean nothing. War means
Experience wasn�t enough though. Olak was far
outnumbered, and couldn�t hope to win. He engaged the
first warrior, blocking a blow aimed at his neck. He
tried to counterattack, but had to block a thrust from
a spear by another opponent. He twisted around,
getting behind his attacker and driving his blade into
the enemy�s neck.
He leaped from an arrow, which stuck the soldier
behind him. He was engaging the men at such close
range that the four members of the Guard sniping with
arrows couldn�t get a good shot at him. But there were
still eighteen left overall, fourteen of which were
charging at him with weapons bared.
Olak plunged his sword into another attacker�s
stomach, but was cut across his back as he did it. He
cried out, but kept on going. He pushed his way away
from them all, leaving him open to sniper fire once
more. I watched in horror as an arrow struck him in
the neck, but he refused to fall.
He held his sword high in defiance as Captain Hiskos
approached him for the final blow. For a heartbeat, a
mental image of Hiskos� sword coming down was etched
in my mind, and then, just like that....
I ran away from a foster home as a teenager. Living on
the streets, I�d witnessed many horrifying ideals.
With all I�d seen in my life, I never thought of
myself as innocent. How wrong I was. How truly naive.
And at that moment, the innocence I never even knew I
possessed was dead.
As dead as Olak.
That task over with, the Guard now began to approach
me. I was vastly outnumbered.
I needed a miracle....
Their army was recovering from our initial assault. We
were lucky that Clement had not called in the use of
the military�s robo-tanks, or we would�ve been
squashed already. Still, that end appeared inevitable.
Surviving snipers were picking off my men left and
right, and the ground warriors were charging ever
forward. It wasn�t a fight; it was a slaughter.
We needed a miracle....
[Antediluvian Palace. Basement]
I hadn�t seen it coming. I should have, but I just
didn�t see it coming.
I feel the rocks and stones over me, but I don�t feel
the pain they invoke. I dig my way out, and punch my
way through. I have arrived at the end of my tunnels
and into the basement of the royal palace. Two guards
come running from the commotion, but I stand tall and
draw my crystal-bladed sword.
I failed. I failed them all. Failed Sercmed. Failed
Jhilpez. Failed my men. Failed my son.
My name is Warlord Kro, and I shall fail no more.
I was wrong. I had never realized what I was getting
into. War isn�t an action-packed film. War isn�t fair
fights and happy endings. The saying never made so
much sense. War is hell.
And there will always be war. Always will be those who
want to tear down, to destroy. They see war as some
kind of conquest, but it is not that either. It�s a
cacophony of motion and blood. The throes of the
wounded. The stench of the dead. It�s a cold and it�s
a broken Halleluiah.
No more hiding. No more running. Olak had just died
trying to protect me; trying to live up to the memory
Kro and all the others who had been killed.
I looked at his body as they charge, and was filled
with determination, not sadness. I looked at the spear
my father gave me, and was filled with the honor it
represented, not the pain.
I stood tall as a machete swung my way. I moved the
spear to block its blow, and twisted the weapon in my
hand. As my spear spun, it caught the hooked blade and
jerked it from its holder. My opponent was disarmed,
but this was no spar. The match was not over. My
innocence had been the first casualty when Olak died,
and my conscious became the second as I thrust my
lance into his abdomen.
The arrows bared down on me. My reflexes snapped into
instant motion, deflecting the projectiles. One
blocked. Two. A third, a fourth. The fifth struck my
shoulder, but I hardly even felt its sting.
Two more attackers reached me. I blocked the blow of
the first one�s sword. Leaping clear above the second,
I came down and shoved him forward. His spear
plummeted into his comrade�s stomach, and he was then
unable to draw it back out. An easy target, I picked
him off before he could gain his wits.
Three kills. I didn�t even flinch. I shut out the pain
of my shoulder and the whispers of my conscious and
focused only survival of the fittest.
Captain Hiskos and the others backed away and held
�Who are you?� Hiskos asked.
�Psyclone, the heir to Warlord Kro. In case you
haven�t realized it yet, you�ve just made the last
mistake of your lives.�
The statement was met with laughs, but I didn�t hear
them. The pain was returning, and I was starting to
feel my fatigue. With a horrifying jolt, I knew I
couldn�t hope to beat them all. I began to panic as a
thousand thoughts ran through my head.
No. Focus. Survive. Put it aside all aside and just
think. Think of Olak. Think of Jhilpez. Think of Kro.
Think of a.... storm.
They were charging again. No time to run. Too many to
fight. I gripped my spear with both of my hands
horizontally in front of me, shut my eyes, and
concentrated with all my might. I felt pain rip
through my brain like a thousand fiery spikes
streaking across my mind�s eye.
I hadn�t been hit, but was beginning to lose my
chance. Now or never. Captain Hiskos was feet away,
raising his sword. He was going to kill me, just as he
No, he wouldn�t.
I opened my eyes with a start. The blade was inches
away, when suddenly he was flying backwards. The time
had come. The tide had shifted.
My name is Psyclone, and I have the ability to create
small gusts of wind with my head. Tornadoes of the
mind. Telekinetic twisters.
The cyclones spiraled across the ground at my will,
each one about seven feet tall. With every tornado I
created, the pain of using my powers faded, and the
might of my wind strengthened.
The Guard was scattered, knocked around everywhere my
attacks. As they tried to regain their composure, I
ran forward. I would knock them down before they could
get up. They boxed me in; I blew them off.
The battle was waged through chaos, and I was soon
down to only five foes. The whirlwinds pounded the
archers perched high on the rocks, and most were
killed in the fall. I saw Captain Hiskos, the last man
The throes of the wounded. The stench of the dead.
Survival of the fittest.
He holds his sword, and picks up another from the body
of one of his dead men. Crossing them before his body,
he rushed me one last time.
Thrust. Parry. Block. I jerked into instant motion,
snapping my reflexes as I felt the shockwaves of his
checked attacks through the metal of my spear. I
couldn�t counterattack; I had no time.
It was in that moment that time seemed to slow down.
Our fight appeared to exist in between seconds, as
everything became crystal clear. As he lunged at me, I
noticed a slight limp in his left leg. As I made the
block, I realized that we were about ten feet from a
sharp stone protruding from the rocky wall fencing off
It was only a few instants between one blow and his
next offensive, but it was all I needed. Creating a
miniscule twister at my feet, I stirred up the pebbles
on the ground. Circling around faster and faster, I
let them go right at Hiskos.
At the increased speed, they tore into his leg like
buckshot. He cried out and stumbled as his blood
flowed. I knocked from his weakened grasp one of his
swords, then the other. Using the staff part of my
spear, I delivered one last powerful uppercut to his
He started to fall back, and I lifted him from his
feet with a fierce tempest of wind. The crushing
cyclone carried him through the air, throwing him at
the rock wall. The stone gouged through his back,
protruding out through his heart. I stared on as his
eyes rolled back in his head, and he took one last
They say that there is a defining moment in every
person�s life. At that time, standing alone as the
sole victor on that battlefield, my defining moment
had come. I took heavy breaths while I surveyed the
carnage about me. Even now, I can think of the episode
as a turning point in my life.
�Being out the sonics!� Screamed Sercmed.
I heard my ally�s call behind me, and I wished to
myself that he hadn�t said that. He�s right, I knew,
but I had been hoping that we�d last longer before
having to call in that artillery.
I pressed a switch on my arm covering, and my hearing
was completely shut off. I battled in silence as I
watched our opposition writhe in pain when my men
fired the sonics. A few of our own fell down clutching
their heads as well, having either forgotten to
activate their protection, or having lost their means
to do so.
The bands on our left arms had a small needle on their
underside, which punctures into the blood vessel when
you put it on. It released a group of antigens into
the bloodstream, which quickly travel up to the head.
By pressing the control on my armband, I set off a
series of change reactions in the antigens, which in
turn shut off all flow to the ear canal. The effect: a
complete lack of hearing while the sonics wreak havoc
with everyone else�s heads. But this can only be done
with armband, which was bad news for my young ally
who�s left arm was cut off.
The sonics are temporary, but their effects continue
to last long after the thirty seconds for which
they�re going. My hearing slowly restarts again. The
hysteria is even more chaotic than our initial assault
with the propulsion guns. Still, any advantage we were
gaining wouldn�t last too long. Blast it Kro, where
The guards were dealt with easily enough. They were
poorly trained and inattentive, and did not last long.
But it was not them who mattered to me, but the menace
upstairs that was sitting on my throne.
I made my way through the levels quickly; I knew the
palace better than anyone. I knew where to hide when
the guards ran past, and I knew where to run when the
heat was on. And I knew the one place where Ghaur was
sure to be.
My blade was drawn and my heart was ready. I kicked
down the door to the throne room and charged in.
I slowed up when I was greeted by only darkness. At
first, I thought he is not there. That I made a
mistake...again. But the room lighted up suddenly in
brilliant luminescence, revealing Ghaur.
He looked more like monster than man. Truly, the
ugliness he nurtured on the inside could be reflected
in his outward looks. Over six feet tall, he towered
at a height near my own. His skin was a horrific gray
that covered his entire body and monstrous face. And
his eyes were the worst part of all. Yellow. Worse
than yellow. It was as if he had truly no color in
them at all, but that his inner hatred exuded an evil
glow out his eyes. He stood before me in all his evil
glory, a proud smirk on his ugly face.
�My dear Kro,� he began, �I was under the impression
that you�d been wiped out with the rest of your men in
the tunnel. I must admit though, I was rather hoping
you�d make it this far. It was difficult to stand the
thought that you�d been destroyed by someone else.
I�ve been wanting the chance to do so myself quite
With every word he spoke, my anger rose. Every
syllable he mouthed made my blood boil. This fiend
stole my kingdom, deceived my men, and hurt my people.
He took it all away from me. My hopes, my dreams, my
son, everything. He would pay for it with his life if
it was the last thing I did.
�You want a shot at me Ghaur? Very well then. Take
With a flash of radiance from his hand, the fight
began. I dive to my right. The vase that was behind me
was shattered into a thousand pieces, but I survived
for a few moments more. I broke into a roll as I
avoided four more blasts from Ghaur.
Leaping back to my feet, I struggled to stay a step in
front of his attacks. He withdrew for a moment,
gathering power for something greater. I tried to rush
him in his moment of vulnerability, but I simply did
not have enough time to get to him. I could scarcely
get to the floor in time to avoid a flare of energy
scorching by me.
The widespread attack went over me, taking out the
entire east wall. Wind began to whip around the throne
room as we were exposed to the vacuum of the elements.
I struggled to stand, and instantly evaluated my
options. I only had a few possibilities as Ghaur
charged towards me, his hands glowing. I sheathed my
sword and sidestepped him at the last moment. Tackling
him from behind, I sent both of us flying out of the
palace through the gaping hole.
It was at that moment that the tide finally turned. An
explosion was heard from the palace as the east wall
collapsed out. Most of the fighting ceased as
thousands of warriors turned as watched as Kro and
Ghaur came soaring down from the throne room. Nearly
everyone recognized Kro, and those who didn�t were
quickly explained to, and it was soon apparent to our
opponents that we were not the enemy at all. A brief
glimpse of their long-departed leader, and they were
ready to switch sides.
The chaos settled down as brother stopped fighting
brother. Several skirmishes remained, but those were
soon routed by the vast majority working together.
Things were still jumbled and confused, but we were
gaining control of ourselves bit by bit.
The armies united, and led chiefly by Sercmed, we all
turned on the members of Ghaur�s Secret Guard that
were still trying to do his bidding, while others
helped gather the wounded and provide care for those
who were not yet beyond hope.
In the midst of it all, I lost track of Captain
Clement, but he found me. When running amidst the
chaos, he paid too much attention to who was behind
him, and not enough to where he was going. He learned
his lesson by running into me head on, and not even
realizing it at first. When he finally looked up to
see me standing there, it was too late. I did take
pleasure in the look of shock on his face right before
I snapped his neck.
Simply amazing. A short sighting of one certain man
battling another was all it took for most of them to
give way to peace.
I couldn�t see what happened to Kro. None of us could,
for they disappeared behind a mountain range in the
badlands. I wanted desperately to go aid him, but my
hands were full where I was. I could only wait, and
hope that he would prevail.
They would not have died in vain. I was going to go to
the palace and stop Ghaur myself, succeeding in the
task my father would have fulfilled if he hadn�t
I walked from the battlefield of my victory, and made
my way to the palace. The size and prestige of the
building made it obvious that it was the citadel I was
looking for. Our original plan had been to sneak in
through the basement, but the tunnels had collapsed in
the underground explosion set off by Hiskos� force.
I�d simply go in the front door, if that�s what it
My shoulder was aching. After defeating the last of
the Guard that had attacked Olak and I, I painfully
removed the arrow that had struck me. It bleeding was
minimal and quickly clotted, but the area was
throbbing nonetheless. I waited, crouched down in the
bushes a ways off from the palace. I could hear the
battle raging on the other side, but stayed put
despite my desire to go join in. I wanted to help
them, but I knew deep down that the best thing I could
do for them would be to take down Ghaur.
I was trying to study the timing and patterns of the
guards watching the door so I could plan my attack
perfectly. Before I could get it down, however, a
loud, cracking boom sounded from the upper floor of
the palace. An entire wall fell out, and Warlord Kro
and Lord Ghaur came flying out the gap it left.
Kro. My father. He was alive. At first I was overcome
by sheer joy and happiness at his well being, but I
soon forced myself to put a grip on my emotions. At
first, the two grappled with each other as they
plummeted, but their fall then changed into a soar as
they gained altitude and flew toward the badlands.
My joy faded into a grim realization. Yes, my father
was alive. But the way things were looking; he might
not be for long. I jumped into action, and rushed the
guards while they were paying attention to the flight.
I hit the first across the back of the head, knocking
him out, but ignored the rest. They tried to mobilize
and run after me, but I was only after their emergency
speeder not far away.
I reached it first, luckily. Hopping in, I realized
that I had no clue how to work the thing. There was no
keyhole or starter ignition, just a bunch of
unlabelled knobs, buttons, and levers. The guards were
fast approaching; so I hit I picked a large red button
and hit it. The speeder lurched and took off in a
The steering wheel was more of a joystick, but I found
I could control it well enough. I felt like I was in a
Star Wars movie, speeding along a foreign terrain at
inches off the ground. I didn�t know how or if I�d be
able to help once I found them, but I just knew I
couldn�t leave him to die.
He was chanting something as we fell. I do not know
what, but we suddenly soaring through the air instead
of plummeting. I wanted to fight him in the air, but
hanging on to him was the only thing keeping me from
falling to my death. We exited Lemuria, and went all
the way to the far badlands before he started to bring
us down behind a mountain. I�d been in the place many
times before. People were warned not to go here, for
it was the place of the Infinite Shaft, a gaping hole
in the ground that extended further than the eye could
see. Our scientists had once estimated that it went
all the way to the earth�s core.
We started to land, but I delivered a sucker punch to
his face before he could. It was apparent that he
intended to drop me into the Shaft so I could die
painfully, but I was not going to give him the chance.
I fell to the ground, though it was a safe distance to
drop now. My blow also broke his chant, and he fell to
the ground also.
I got up before him and drew my sword at once. Ghaur
had many magical abilities which no one but he knew
the limit of. I did not know what he was capable of,
but I had to get to him before he had a chance to
But he was too fast. Just as I was a few steps from
driving my blade into the usurper�s heart, he got to
his feet and recovered. A couple of indistinguishable
words later, and I found myself frozen in place,
unable to move at all.
He had me beat, and he knew it. He circled me a few
times, grinning all the while.
�The brave and noble Warlord Kro. Defeated at last.
How I�ve longed for this day. I�d ask you for a few
final words, but I�ve frozen every muscle in your
body, except for only those necessary to keep you
alive a little while longer. Because I want you to
hear this Kro: I have won, and Lemuria is mine. Every
man, woman, and child shall be under my iron rule, and
I will torture and kill any of them at the slightest
whim. After that, the same army that once idolized you
will be put to work conquering every outer colony in
the world, and soon all will know and fear my name.
�I�ve longed for this moment for years, just as you�ve
longed for the opportunity to kill me. I can take over
the complete body functions for any Deviant at any
time I please. (7) Because the complete genome of
every living member of our race is known to me
instantly, and I can command their body whenever I
choose to. Except for you, Kro. I�ve been denied
murdering you outright for years, because you are
somehow different. What is it about you Kro? What
little secret is it that that you hide in your blood?�
He stared at me intently and relaxed my facial muscles
just enough to allow me a whisper, but I wouldn�t give
him the satisfaction. He looked away, as if suddenly
uninterested in the cause of my immunity.
�Oh well. it doesn�t truly matter. You may be immune
to that ability of mine, but after years of
researching, I�ve found a way around even that
problem. A nice little spell that gives me temporary
limited telekinesis. It�ll wear off in a few hours,
but for the time being, I have a nice little alternate
method of dealing with you. So go ahead and die, you
With a gesture of his hand, he was about to cast me
into the Infinite Shaft. But suddenly, his head jerked
another way as he picked something up. I heard it too:
a speeder coming our direction. He gave me an annoyed
look and tossed my motionless body into a ditch in the
ground a ways off from him. With great concentration,
he chanted an incantation and moved a huge boulder to
hover above me.
�Looks like there�s no time for me to watch you die
slowly and painfully, Kro, and there�s not much point
in tossing you in there if I can�t enjoy it. I have
other things to attend to now. You now what they say:
a tyrant�s work is never done.�
He freed my body from its frozen state right as he
dropped the stone. More torture, since I knew for a
split second that I was free, only to be buried as one
thousand pounds of crushing rock.
I arrived just in time to see it. A huge boulder
coming down on top of Kro. I had found him, just to
lose him once again. It was so unfair.
I jumped from the speeder, grabbed my spear, and ran
towards Ghaur. Tears streamed from my face as thought
of vengeance rushed through my head. My shoulder hurt
so bad, but I kept forcing myself to put aside the
pain. I would beat him for what he did. I had to.
I didn�t have the chance though. In mid-stride, I
froze. I�d find out later that it was Ghaur�s ability
to control any living Deviant that was taking control
of my body. It had no effect on Kro, but though I was
his son, I wasn�t entirely immune. And at the time, I
was utterly perplexed as I was held there, motionless.
�Your the fool�s little brat, I presume. How ironic
that I would set my sights on the patriarch, but end
up getting another member of the family as well. I was
planning on tossing the recently departed Kro into the
Infinite Shaft, but you interrupted the process. I
suppose I�ll have to settle for watching you die.�
My legs slowly went into action, as I felt myself
taking one step after another towards a huge whole in
the earth. Ghaur was obviously planning on having me
jump in for the fun of it. He made a mistake though.
My father fought his control, and I would too.
My legs ached as I fought each step they took. I felt
Ghaur�s influence over my body, but I tried to impose
my will over his. I would�ve cried out from the pain,
had I been able to move my lips. But I kept fighting
his dominance, and forced my way to the ground a few
yards in front of the shaft. He tried to make me crawl
the rest of the way, but I held my ground.
Ghaur was beginning to get annoyed, and became even
more determined to exert his will over mine.
�So I see that some of Kro�s contemptible spirit has
lived on in you. But it won�t be enough. I�ve already
won, boy, and there�s nothing you can do to change
that. Now get up, take a few strides, and end this.
Jump Psyclone. Jump and die. The Shaft goes on for
miles, and contrary to what you may have heard, you�re
likely to remain conscious the whole way down. I am
your master now, and you will kill yourself at my
Ghaur was trying to beat me by weakening my resolve
through getting me to cave into my fears. But my mind
still resisted him, even though I felt my body
starting to give way. And that�s when it hit: his
control is physical only. And because he�d gained
dominance over my body, he thought I was helpless. How
wrong he was.
I panned all of my concentration into one great
cyclone, and it took him by surprise. The telekinetic
twister knocked him back to the very edge of the
Shaft. His spell was lost, and I dropped back to the
I had broken his attack, but I doubted that I could
ever thwart him entirely. But what happened next
amazes me to this day.
Ghaur was a moronic fool. I spent over twenty thousand
years of my life studying strategy and war. He could
not even execute one man without failing miserably as
his utter belligerence entirely clouded any unlikely
reason he possessed.
The one man was I, however, so it is hard to complain.
He dropped me in a ditch, leaving me room to work
with. His first mistake. He unfroze me before dropping
the boulder. His second mistake. He underestimated me.
The last mistake he would ever make.
The most I had ever lifted in my life was eight
hundred pounds, which was at extreme straining. But
lying there near death, I heard my son; I heard that
he was still alive after all. And then I heard Ghaur
threaten my son, and the adrenaline surged through my
Half a ton rock pressed down on me. There were no
holes to grip onto, so I made some. I took a deep
breath, and tried to lift.
I could have attempted to burrow through the ditch
past the area that the boulder covered, but that is
not the way of a warrior. I could have waited; hoping
that someone would come rescue me, but that is not the
way of a leader. My way is one of honor and respect,
of facing our challenges and discovering our
potential. Of strength, endurance, and trial by fire.
I am Kro, the one true Warlord of Lemuria.
I pressed up against the rock with every ounce of
energy I can muster. I heard a flurry of sound out
there and feared only the worst. I pushed upwards,
slowly budging the rock, bit by bit, inch by inch. I
could feel my muscles snapping and a fire burning
through my bones from the strain. It was a sensation
of pure and intense pain, and I welcomed it. I had
felt far greater pain through the millennia, and
staring at a bolder with more than enough mass to
easily crush me could nearly be laughed off when
placed side by side with the other trials I have
endured. I came close to smiling at that point,
knowing that Ghaur could never hope to truly beat me.
The slow inches of movement grew, and soon, I got the
stone just up and out of its crater, and the lifting
becomes somewhat easier. Pound upon pound responded to
my strength, and I was their master. I could have
rolled the rock away at this point, but I was finding
myself able to sit up carrying my load, and I was not
about to stop there.
Sweat beaded down my forehead as I worked my way to my
knees. The magnificent boulder on my shoulders, I
looked up to see an amazed Ghaur staring my way.
Psyclone was crouched off to the side, injured, but
For a moment, I felt as if I was the titan Atlas,
condemned to carry the world on my shoulders. The gods
sentenced him to an eternity of carrying his hefty
burden, and so I felt destined to be burdened. But
Atlas was weak as well. He accepted his punishment and
never fought back. No matter what happens, I shall
never give up and stop fighting.
With a great cry, I leapt to my feet and hurled the
rock. Ghaur had just been knocked by another attack
from my son, Psyclone, who must have survived after
all. My joy was doubled at seeing him, and doubled
again when I saw the last look of horror that ever
came across Ghaur�s face. The boulder came down on
him, and they both fell into the Infinite Shaft.
Every muscle in my body ached like they were on fire.
I cared naught. I had felt that stinging before, and I
knew I would one day feel it again. For that moment,
all that mattered was the victory we had won.
[Antediluvian Royal Palace. Psyclone]
A week had passed since our victory. My shoulder was
still tender, but was healing nicely. According to one
of the medics, the shoulder that had struck me hit
mostly bone, and would heal near fully within another
week or so, leaving not much beyond an ugly scar.
Things had been calm the past few days. Without war to
deter them, the people were very peaceful and caring.
Everyone had banded together in an effort to rebuild
and restore from the damage caused in battle. Though
it�s unfortunate, it appeared that Lemuria�s citizens
have had extensive experience in rebuilding after
disasters. Several Deviants made the comment that the
harm done wasn�t near as bad as the explosion
Apocalypse once set off below ground. (8)
Prisoners that had been locked away during Ghaur�s
reign were immediately freed. There was a look of
wonder on most of their faces, since they�d feared the
madman would imprison them forever. We had somehow
beaten the odds and grasped victory from the clutches
of hopelessness, and everyone was ready to put their
lives back together.
A large funeral service was held for the soldiers that
had been slain in battle. it was a solemn procession,
and the mourning was hard to watch at times. A
realized it was all a part of the grief process, and
that the mass burials would help us all to move on.
But still, I felt a stinging in my heart when Olak was
put among the dead, and dirt was gently thrown over
them. I had lost a friend that day, and I knew it
would be something that i could never truly recover
But things got better nevertheless. Moods shifted the
day after the funerals, when a large feast was held at
the Antediluvian Royal Palace. Everyone was in good
cheer, and they all seemed eager to put the painful
past behind them and move on into a bright future.
That night, a small military ceremony was held in
which Kro placed the title of Apex upon Sercmed. This
established good old Sercy as the head general of the
Lemurian army aside from Kro, and made him responsible
for training and a large part of combat strategy. He
looked a bit overwhelmed, but he was obviously ready
for the challenge.
Jhilpez always disconnected himself from the group
during ceremonies and big events. He was first and
foremost a loner, and you could always tell by looking
at him and observing his demeanor. He actually didn�t
even have an official military rank, and he didn�t
really need one. In the thick of battle, men would
follow him if need be.
Then there was Kro. I had thought winning the battle
would have made him more relaxed, but it seemed to be
almost the exact opposite. He appeared somewhat
burdened as he oversaw repairs and restorations. He
took the responsibility of a head of state very
seriously, and he was very concerned with the
well-being of his subjects. He was a good leader, but
it didn�t make it easy to get close to him.
It was the seventh day since the war�s conclusion when
I finally approached him. He was staring out at the
construction of a new well when I approached him.
�I appreciate that you have stayed for the duration of
the first stage of reconstruction, Psyclone,� he said
as I walked up to his side, �But you are no longer
required. If you wish transportation to the surface
world now, it will be provided at once.�
�I appreciate the offer, but I�ve been thinking, and
maybe I�ll stay here. I�m starting to get used to
everything, and hey!--who wouldn�t want to live in a
guest room at a palace?�
�Very well then, I will arrange for accommodations for
your extended stay. Just do not think that life will
be easy here. But whether you stay or go, it matters
naught to I.�
With that, he turned and walked away.
�It matters naught to I�.....? I had spent so much
time thinking about whether or not I should leave, and
the main reason I chose to stay was him. Then he had
to go throw it in my face that he doesn�t care? Was he
actually that heartless, or was it an act to keep me
from expecting too much?
I sighed and turned to go back inside. I realized that
it didn�t matter what he meant, things would work out
for the best no matter what. We still had a long way
to go, but we�d get there eventually.
My name is Psyclone, and I am my father�s son.
1. The revelation occurred last issue.
2. Kro�s special sword was first seen in Eternals: The
3. Though they worship the Dreaming Celestial, the
Deviants still have a deep respect for Gaea, or mother
4. Ranar was killed in Eternals (v.2) #2.
5. Ghaur�s �master� refers to the Dreaming Celestial,
whom most of the Deviants worship. Ghaur was the High
Priest of that religious order.
6. Psyclone managed to best Olak and several other
warriors in friendly, meaningless spars last issue.
7. Ghaur�s ability to take possession of any living
Deviant through their genetic code was first seen as
early as Eternals (v.2) #2.
8. Apocalypse exploded much of Lemuria in New Eternals
#1, for reasons still unknown.
Do you Yahoo!?
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