Chapter 1- Child of Fate




            The war of Lyons and Denegrad had been going on longer than anyone could remember.  It was due to this length of time that most people forgot what they were fighting for, let along how it started.  Most people in Lyons tried to separate themselves from the war as much as possible.  Such was the case as it stood with any of the High Schools in the country, and such as it was at one party in one town in one city in the great country of Lyons.


            Pounding music filled the house with a deafening roar.  Not that anyone could really hear the music, though.  It was more along the lines a pounding baseline that everyone occupying the house was already too drunk to hear, let along comprehend the lyrics.  If they had been sober, they would have been wondering why the police hadn’t broken it up yet.


            Everyone was enjoying his or her self pretty well, mostly because they were too plastered to not have a good time.  The only person who didn’t see to be absolutely enthralled with his situation was a young man sitting on a couch in the middle of the dimly lit room.  Quietly ignoring the slurping noises coming from the joined mouths of the couple next to him, he silently read to himself the letter in his hands that he had probably looked at twenty times already this day.


            Tyrion Mandrake was considered a pretty odd individual by most of his peers.  To make things more difficult, he was never quite able to blend into a crowd, mostly due to his predominate feature, his head of dark blue hair.  Messily cascading over his forehead and tied in the back into a long braid that almost reached his waist, you couldn’t miss him in a group of people.


            People had always teased Tyrion by calling him simply genetically superior to the rest of the school.  Naturally, this was the source of much jealousy.  Why should he get to be the smartest and the fastest and the strongest?  What made him so damned special?  It wasn’t all exaggeration, either.  He was expected to be Valedictorian at the end of this senior year of High School.  He was captain of both the debate team <I>and</I> the hockey team.  Not only that, but he had an extremely good looking girlfriend to boot.  Obviously, this was probably the biggest cause for jealously amongst his male classmates, though his other highly respected possession, a black belt in an ancient Ithilmarian form of martial arts, tended to sway these said classmates from going after his said source of jealously.


            Ah, his girlfriend.  That was where the letter he was reading came from.  She was down south over this winter vacation making a last examination of colleges before applications were due.  She could probably get in wherever she wanted, so it all seemed redundant to him (though he had already been accepted on early admission to his first choice of college).  He missed her, through all of this, and the party scene was decisively lacking without her presence.  Swirling the beer around in the cup he held, he read the letter yet again, his deep amethyst eyes sore with pain.


Hope everything is going well up there, Ty.  Things are wonderful down here.  There are so many schools to choose from, I don’t know what I’m going to do.  I’m upset I didn’t have a first choice, like you did.  But, I’ll make due.  You’ll be so proud of me wherever I go.


You know I want to go so school down here, even though you got into college further North.  I don’t want you worrying about that.  Lyons isn’t that big after all.  We’ll find a way to stay together.


I’ve got to go now.  I’m sorry this is all could write.  Look on the bright side, though; by the time you get this, I’ll be home in a few days.  I miss you, Tyrion.  I’ll be back soon.  Love always, Rachel.


            Tyrion sighed deeply.  He was sure he was in love with her.  He would marry her when they got out of college.  He was upset that they were going so far apart for school.  Maybe proposal before their senior year was over would ensure that they would stay together. 


            He always wondered why he was lucky enough to end up with someone like her.  She was every teenager’s wet dream through junior high.   As if her body wasn’t perfect enough, she was smart and funny and just lifted the mood of everyone when she walked into a room.  If God would really tare them apart, then God had one sick sense of humor.  Not that Tyrion believed heavily in a God, though.  Organized religion wasn’t for him.  The only real form of religion left in Lyons was that of the Apostle of Griever Church, more commonly called the Griever Sect.  Tyrion didn’t buy into that.  The thought of some all powerful being controlling the history of everyone on his planet simply irked him the wrong way. 


            Folding the paper up slowly, going by the creases he had made from folding it after every time he read it, he placed it into the inside pocket the brown leather jacket he was wearing.  Gazing in mixed disgust and envy of the couple next to him, he climbed out off of the couch, leaving his beer on the end table to his right.


            “You know, you should try to get over this whole melodrama of your girlfriend being away for two weeks,” came a voice from beside him.  He looked to see the slightly drunken face of a guy who’s name was Josh, but everyone just called Jolt because of his constant intake of caffeine.  Like most people Tyrion knew, he considered Jolt a friend.  He had a lot of friends, though a dismal few that he could consider close.


            “You know, you shouldn’t pick on me because I’m depressed,” Tyrion said softly, giving the slightly shorter Jolt a bit of a cold stare.


            “You should just be getting slammed like the rest of us, dude,” he said, patting Tyrion on the back.


            “I don’t get drunk,” Tyrion corrected him.


            “Nonsense!” Jolt said.  “Everyone gets drunk!”


            “Not me,” Tyrion said with a shrug.  “I just don’t drink enough.”


            “Maybe that’s your problem,” Jolt said, looking at him with a goofy face.  “You’ll feel better once you can’t remember that your girlfriend is probably down there cheating on you.”


            “Shut up,” he said.  “She wouldn’t do that.”  Jolt then took it on himself to poll the rest of the room.


            “Who thinks Ty’s girlfriend is boning someone else down South!?” he shouted at the top of his lungs.  Adamantly, at least half of the room raised their cups in a cheer of acknowledgement.


            “You know I could kill you for that,” Tyrion said bitterly.


            “That’s the scary part,” Jolt said, suddenly seriously.  “You would.”  Then he simply broke out laughing.  Tyrion shrugged it off and walked off aimlessly into the crowd.  Somewhat upsetting, he found Jolt following him.  Trying to find something interesting to watch, he noticed the brewing of a fight off in one corner of the room.  There was some really big guy pushing around a much littler one.  The smaller person couldn’t have been more than a sophomore and probably had not done something against his thus unlearned code of the keg party.  Tyrion could vaguely hear the slurring of  ‘what did you say about my girlfriend?’ coming from the mouth of the larger guy.


            “Who’s that guy?” Tyrion asked, pointing to the big person. 


            “Him?” Jolt asked.  “I’m surprised you don’t remember him.  You had a hat trick against his team last weekend.”


            “Farfield High School?” Tyrion asked.


            “I think he was the captain.  I’d be amazed if he remembered you, though, in his current state of drunkenness.”


            “That looks like it’s getting nasty over there,” Tyrion said, showing signs of worry.  “I think I’m gonna break it up…” he said softly as he walked over the impending beat down.  Quickly juxtaposing himself between the two potential combatants, he spread his arms out and pushed them away from each other.  “Quit it!” he yelled to the two of them.  “How would you like it if you were gracious enough to host the Friday party only to have your house messed by some stupid fight?!”  It took a few moments, but eventually, the big guy remembered Jack.


            “Hey, I remember you,” he bellowed, backing up slightly.  “You nearly broke the leg of our starting left wing!”  Not being able to actually rationalize if fighting with Tyrion was what he really wanted to do, he shoved Tyrion backwards, nearly into the smaller kid whom had just been saved from an inevitable pummeling. 


            “I’m not looking for a fight, Tyrion defended himself verbally.  It’s just not nice to pick on smaller people.”  He looked back to the smaller kid.  “Get the hell out of here,” he told him.  “You should learn not to piss off people his size.  You shouldn’t even be here in the first place.”  The smaller kid woozily nodded his head before picking up the cup that he had dropped and running off into the next room.


            “I think you just found one, though,” The big guy said, pushing him again.


            “Look,” Tyrion said.  “Was that kid really worth it?  What would you have gotten out of beating the crap out of him, huh?”


            “He was talkin’ shit about my girlfriend!” the big guy said.


            “No he wasn’t!” Tyrion said, even though he was unaware of what actually happened before the fight almost broke out.  “You’re just hearing things.” 


            “Listen, Blue,” the big guy said, poking Tyrion in the chest with his big fore finger.  “We don’t need no do-gooders likes you breakin’ up fights.  You know who I am?”


            “You’re nothing but shit off my shoe,” Tyrion said.  “Now get out of here and go have another beer.  It’s not worth the trouble.”


            “I think you’re worth the trouble,” he said, pushing Tyrion again, this time into the wall.


            “Dude, you’ve got three seconds to back down,” Tyrion said, trying to sound menacing and hoping the guy wasn’t too drunk to comprehend reason.


            “Okay,” the big guy said with a shrug.  “One…two…” he started to count.  When he reached three, though, he wound up his big fist and slammed it into Tyrion’s stomach.  “Three,” he finally spat as he Tyrion doubled over.  “That’s what you get for not minding your own business.”  Slowly, though, and to his surprise, Tyrion reeled up again, standing tall.  He gritted his teeth.  Tyrion eyed him bitterly for a moment before finally growling out a challenge.


            “Fine.  You want a fight?” he asked rhetorically, staring upward at the guy.  The guy didn’t answer, but bit his lip and stared at Tyrion bitterly.  Tyrion took it at a yes.  “Outside!” he yelled, pointing to the door.  Pushing past the guy, he stormed out the front door as the chants of ‘fight!’ echoed behind him.  As he reached the front lawn, the big guy exited the door behind him, along with almost the entirety of the party.  A circle was quickly formed Tyrion faced the big guy.


            The blue haired youth slowly took off his leather jacket, his rippling arms revealing themselves outside of his black tank top.  Throwing the jacket to the side, he looked for someone who might still retain intelligent thought.


            “Call the cops,” he said softly to a relatively sober looking brunette girl.  She nodded quickly and headed back into the house.


            “You’ve gonna die, Blue!” the big guy said, slurring the words as he pointed.  Tyrion ignored him, cracking his knuckles and preparing for the battle.  His large opponent didn’t want to disappoint him however, as he simply ran forward with his head lowered and tried to tackle Tyrion.  Simply stepping aside, Tyrion dodged the attack, though the people that were standing behind him weren’t as lucky.


            Tyrion’s opponent quickly recovered, not really feeling pain as much as he would in a more sober state.  Rising again, he stumbled towards Tyrion with large arms flailing.  With giant fists, he swung at Tyrion again and again, but the blue haired fighter simply faded out of the way of each attack.  Swaying effortlessly, his movements were simply and fluid.  The brute before him couldn’t hope to connect.  Eventually missing with one final punch, the excess amount of force he had put into the strike sent him flying past his target and careening into the ground.


            He stumbled to his feet again to look at the cocky form of Tyrion, who had not even taken up a fighting position.  Simply standing there with his arms at his side, he seemed to beckon at him.  It took him awhile to clear his head this time, but he promptly rushed at Tyrion again, not even noticing that the youth was embarrassing the hell out of him.  Still making it look effortless, Tyrion placed his hands in his pockets as he slipped away from the next desperate attack.  Hopping back again, he looked down at the fallen young man.


            “You know, you fight like a girl,” he taunted.  He didn’t really want to hurt him…that badly, but just wanted to buy time until the cops showed up and sent everyone off on their way.  “I think maybe I’ll start to use my hands now, if you’re up for it.”


            “You little…I’ll kill you!” he shouted, jumping up off of the ground and running at Tyrion again.  Now the blue haired combatant decided to give his mammoth of an opponent some pay back for the gut punch before.  Keeping his hands in his pockets, he stepped aside again, swinging his leg up into his opponent’s gut.  Temporarily stunned, he wasn’t able to do anything as Tyrion finally attacked.  With a roundhouse kick to the side of the head and a follow up reverse heel kick to the kidney area, Tyrion pummeled his opponent, who could only simply groan as he was smashed further with a series of four kicks to random parts of his body and finally an awkwardly executed kick that smashed into his nose.


            Regaining his position, the big guy once again swung at Tyrion with his giant fist.  Finally snapping his hands out of his pockets, Tyrion blocked out the punch and grabbed the brute’s wrist.  Snapping it over and spinning around, he quickly flipped his enemy over his leg, sending him into the ground with a thud.  Not yet releasing his hold on the boy’s wrist, he stepped over him and gave it a quick and violent twist.  The people who were sober enough to understand what the quickly following snapping sound meant cringed as Tyrion finally stood up and walked over to where he had dropped his jacket.  Picking it up and putting it back on, he sighed.


            “Maybe with a broken wrist you’ll be less inclined to pick on people smaller than you,” Tyrion said casually as he pushed his way through the assembled crowd and began

to walk towards his car.  Strolling down the street, outside of the wall of parked cars, he vaguely saw behind him as the crowd of people went to examine the body that he had just felled.  The big guy certainly had a broken wrist, and Tyrion wouldn’t be surprised if he had caused some internal bleed with his kicks to the boy’s kidneys.  It didn’t really matter though.  The paramedics would show up after the cops.


            Basking in his victory, though it hadn’t been that hardly earned, he didn’t notice a sleek black limousine pulled up behind him.  One of the tinted windows rolled down as it ran up next to him.  From inside the car, someone called his name, gaining his attention.


            “Tyrion Mandrake?” the raspy voice called from the inside of the vehicle.  Tyrion turned slowly.  His own car was still a little further up.  Its red convertible form was shining even in the dark of the night.


            “Yes?” Tyrion asked slowly, trying to see into the car but to no avail.


            “Excuse us for bothering you, and this may sound abrupt, but we’re with the Lyons Government.  My name is Agent Kallar.”  Suddenly, a hand with a badge blazon with the seal of the Lyons Federal Intelligence Bureau came out of the window.


            “Umm…okay,” Tyrion said with a shrug.  “What can I help you with?”


            “Mr. Mandrake, we saw that fight you were just in.  The one that lasted about half a minute?”


            “Yeah, okay,” Tyrion said.


            “And noted that you use a style of combat similar belonging to an ancient Ithilmar brotherhood.”


            “And what of it?” Tyrion asked, now getting a little bothered.


            “You’re movements are very fast, Mr. Mandrake.  And your technique seems impeccable.”


            “Okay…” Tyrion said, fading out.  “I’m going to be leaving now, Agent.  I’m going to get in my car and you’re going to leave me alone.”


            “Wait,” the voice pleaded.  “Here me out, first.”


            “You have thirty seconds,” Tyrion said bitterly.  “And then I’m going home.”


            “Then I’ll make it very short.  Basically, your government needs you, Mr. Mandrake.  We’ve been watching you for some time now.  It’s promising youth like yourself that we’ve been looking to take into our wings to fight the Denegradian scum.”  Tyrion distorted his face in confusion for a moment.


            “Wonderful,” he said sarcastically.  “I’m sure it does, but right now, I have better things to do.”  Tyrion started to walk ahead, but the car slowly followed him.  When the open window caught to him, he was caught in shock when a hand with a gun extended from the car.


            “Get in the car,” the Agent said simply and coldly as he waved the gun in Tyrion’s face.  Tyrion’s eyes widened and without thinking, jumped out of the way of the car.  Wondering instantly what kind of crap he was getting into, he sprinted away from the road and onto the property behind the cars.


            “Follow him!” the Agent yelled to the driver of the car.  The car peeled out as the accelerator was slammed on and the car spurted forward.  Making a right at the next turn, they hoped to catch the youth on the other side of the set of houses he was running past.


            Ignoring the car and knowing better than to go back to his own car, Tyrion endeavored to stay within the cover of the trees and shadows cast by the houses in the neighborhood.  Sprinting through a series of backyards that he had known since his childhood, it occurred to him that his house might be suddenly unsafe as well.


            Having to finally cross a street, he bolted across the open road, only to see the black limo still coming after him down a main avenue!  Avoiding the open space of the park that presented itself before him, he ran off towards a large set of buildings that made up a library complex.  He could here the car coming after him (as the rest of the road was rightfully empty at 1:00 in the morning), and tried to judge its position from the roar of its engine.


            He heard the noise of the engine subside as he hid in some bushes.  They were waiting for him.  He say silently for a moment until something in the bushes behind him rustled slightly.  Were they out of the car and chasing him?


            Moments later, a hand wrapped around his mouth and pulled him down to the ground.  Struggling to break free, Tyrion jabbed his elbow where he thought his assailant’s stomach should be and was satisfied when a grunt came from behind him and he was released.  Springing up into a fighting position, he looked to face his new attacker.


            “Who are you?!” he demanded at the fallen man on the floor.  The man slowly rose up to reveal a face of a middle aged man.  He was wearing what looked like running clothes.


            “Keep your voice down!” the man hissed.  “Do you want them to hear you?”  Tyrion didn’t drop his hands from his ready stance.


            “Don’t move, asshole,” he said, his voice shaking somewhat.  He was scared.  He didn’t know what was going on. 


            “I’m not one of them,” he pleaded in harsh whisper.  “And unless you want them to get you, keep your voice at a whisper.  They’re looking for you.”


            “Who are you?  Who are they?” Tyrion asked.


            “They’re agents from Denegrad special forces, posing as members of the Lyons FIB.  They’re trying to capture you.”


            “Trying to capture me?  No shit,” Tyrion spat, trying to whisper now.  “But how do I know you’re telling the truth?”


            “I’m from Lyons,” the man said.  “I work for Military Intelligence.”  He flashed his badge in front of Tyrion.  “Those men are imposters.  Why else would I be here helping you?”


            “What do you want with me?” he asked hesitantly, slowly circling around the man and not dropping his guard.


            “I just need to talk with you,” the man said.  “And to save you from those Denegrad agents.”




            “There’s no time to explain.  Just come with me if you want to live.”


            “My ass, there isn’t time,” Tyrion hissed.  “We’ll make time.”


            “Do want to die?” the man said.  Tyrion shook his head.  “Then come with me.”  Then from the outside on the road, they heard someone shout ‘there they are!’ and Tyrion looked at the man skeptically.  Why was this happening suddenly?  Who do you trust?  The one who offers to help, or the one who points a gun at you?  What was the answer?


            “Okay…” Tyrion said slowly, walking toward the man.  He knew the answer.  “I’ll go with you…”  The answer was ‘neither.’  As he edged toward the man, he quickly slid forward and punched the man in the face, following it up with a knee to the crotch.  The man collapsed and Tyrion burst out of the bushes onto the main street.  Suddenly, something lit up behind him and he turned to see the headlights of the black limo staring him down.


            Tyrion started to run.  He ran and he ran and he ran.  He ran like he had never run in his life.  Suddenly filled with a new energy, some new power filling him, he sprinted down the road without exhaustion.  Behind him, the limo began to chase after him.  For a car, though, Tyrion thought it should be catching up faster.  It sounded like it was being floored, but when he looked back, it almost looked like he was gaining ground on the car.  This didn’t make much sense.  He wasn’t faster than a car, and yet, the car couldn’t keep up with him.  On and on he went, sprinting for his life and behind him, he heard the car screech to a stop.  They couldn’t catch up.  They had given up.  He had won…but for how long?


            Back at the stilled form of the black limo, Agent Kallar climbed out of the car and looked down the street at the form of young Tyrion Mandrake getting away from them.  He held up a small device to the air and it began to give readouts of energy residues.


            “Well?” came a pained voice from beside Agent Kallar.  He turned to see the man in the running suit limp up to the car, clutching his genitals. 


            “What happened to you?”


            “He’s strong,” the other agent whimpered.


            “And fast,” Kallar confirmed. 


            “So?” the agent asked.  “Did you at least get a reading?”


            “Check it out,” Kallar said casually, handing him the device he had just used.  The other agent looked at the readings.  His eyes opened wide.


            “Mother of Adrakel…” he mumbled.  “He’s…”


            “Yup,” Kallar said.  “He’s definitely the one.  So that’s one down…one to go.”




Elsewhere on the Lyons continent


            Tristan Tenser climbed out of the landing pod which he had just used to reach the surface of Planet Celes.  As the repulsion field of the ship disappeared and he stepped on to a rocky ground of the surface, he found himself in the middle of some sort of salt flats.  There wasn’t anything besides the caked dirt of the ground for as long as the eye could see.


            “Man, when Jack said ‘not noticeable landing point,’ he really meant it,” he said with a sigh, talking to himself.  “What a dump this is…”  As he spoke, he heard a small alert signal coming from the inside of his ship.  Jumping back into the LEA craft, he checked his warning table and hit a few buttons, causing the flashing blue lights and low hum to cease.


            “What’s this…?” he asked himself, checking the readings that had set off the alarm.  “LE shockwaves not coming from a potential dwelling?”  He tapped a few more buttons, establishing a link with the Weatherlight.


            “Weatherlight, this is Colonel Tenser,” he said into the com unit. 


            “This is Weatherlight,” a voice said over the link.  “Go ahead, Colonel.”


            “Patch me through to the High Commander,” Tristan said.


            “Right away, sir,” the voice said.  There was a pause in the communication before Jack’s familiar voice came over the unit.


            “What is it, Trist?” Jack asked.


            “Jack, we’ve got a problem.”


            “Mass LE shockwaves from a non-potential dwelling?” Jack asked, already having seen the readout from the orbit.”


            “I think we found one of them, Jack,” Tristan said.  “Just get me the location of that source and I’ll have him in no time.”


            “We’ve got the trace all ready,” Jack said.  “We just sent it to your ship.”


            “Right,” Tristan said.  “Colonel Tenser, over and out.”  He shut off the link and quickly ran over to another computer screen on the bridge.  There, the longitudinal coordinates of the Pulse showed up.  “Garden City…” he said to himself with a grin.  “Well, Mr. Tenser.  Let’s go have some fun.”




”The first manifestation of the Black Wings can occur at just about any time in a young Planeswalker’s life.  It is, however, most typically brought on by intense emotional stress or an extremely pressing situation…” –Planeswalker Report, Inquisitor Rithar




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