Chapter 1: fav.me/d9ao25n
Chapter 2: fav.me/d9j1cl5
I am a Certified Color Therapist. Student in Graphic Design and Crystal Therapy.
I'm currently writing an original story and hope to turn it into a manga. With a little luck and lots of hard work, maybe even published
Before you ask (I get asked this a lot), I use:
Pens (Sharpies, Prismacolor, Faber-Castell, anything I can get my hands on etc.)
Pencils (#2 Mechanical is my best friend)
Colored pencils (Crayola and Daler-Rowney)
"Ah, a day off!" Linsey Hart rummaged through her closet, looking for something to wear today besides her school uniform. It was a beautiful day; the kind you wanted to do something with, and with no classes, Linsey knew just what. After several minutes of carefully choosing, she settled on a short-sleeved blue shirt with a brown skirt, brown leather vest and a pair of brown leather mechanic's gloves that matched her boots.
"And I know I look smoking hot in this!" she said out loud optimistically, then sighed because there was no one to hear her. Her roommates had disappeared for the day to do their own thing. No matter........
"I'll just go find the boys!" she burst out enthusiastically.
Cecil Alisdair was quietly engrossed in a book in the school library, his green head bent over his ever-present notebook which he used to make occasional notations. His relative peace was disrupted by the sudden presence of another human being.
"Heya!" The blonde whirlwind that was Linsey plunked a hand down on the table in front of him. Cecil looked up in annoyance. "Want to go with and explore Dromeda?"
Cecil calmly turned a page in the book he was reading. "Not interested."
"Oh come on!"Linsey thumped both her hands on the table. "I'm sure it's got all sorts of fascinating things to see. Don't be such a stick in the mud."
"I am not a 'stick in the mud,' Cecil replied quite calmly. "I simply do not wish to waste my time traipsing around somewhere I've been many times before."
"So you'd make the perfect guide! I get it, you just want me to twist your arm into making you go." Linsey winked at him.
Cecil looked up from his book and narrowed his eyes at her. "You seem to be making a point of purposefully misunderstanding me. Besides - "
"So, whatcha reading?" Linsey pushed the book forward so she could read the title. "'Myths of Mercanan'? Dude, that's on the reading list for fossils. That's like a bazillion years old."
"Only about seven hundred, actually." Cecil's tone was frosty. "Can you please -"
"So, I was thinking we could ask Xenith to go with us." Linsey looked around. "I don't see him; I was sure he would be here."
"And why would he be here?" Cecil sighed.
Linsey looked at him oddly. "Isn't he you're friend?"
There was something blunt and accusatory in the way she said it, and it made Cecil uncomfortable. And feeling uncomfortable made him irritable. "We're only acquaintances, Linsey. Before the other day, I had never spoken to him. Now, would you PLEASE go away!?"
Linsey backed up a step. "Eesh, no need to shout, I'm going already. Um, where does Xenith live around here, anyway?"
"You go past the fountain, take a right and - You know what, I'll just show you. Knowing my luck, you'd get lost and I'd never be rid of you today." He stood up, slamming the book shut.
"You're all heart, Cecil." Linsey's voice was dry as she followed him out of the library.
"Would you please stop addressing me so familiarly?"
"You really need to get over yourself, ya know?"
Knock knock knock!
A small furry blue creature a little larger than a squirrel uncurled itself and looked up sleepily from the pile of blankets it was resting on on the bed.
Knock knock Knock!
"Xenith? Xen, you in there?" The voice, feminine, was muffled by the door.
The furry creature gave a frightened leap as the mound of blankets heaved, and Xenith emerged from his covers rather bleary eyed.
Knock knock -
"Yeah, yeah! Hold on, I'm coming!" He staggered up out of bed and to the door. "Who is it?"
"It's Linsey! And Cecil - wait, hey! You're not going anywhere yet, pal."
"I already told you, I -" Definitely Cecil.
Xenith unlocked the door and pulled it open a crack. "Yes?"
Linsey literally almost bounce in place. "So, we were thinking of going to explore Dromeda, and wondered if you wanted to come along!"
Xenith's expression changed from blaise to uncertainty.
"Please!" Linsey begged, clasping her hands together. "It will be loads of fun!"
"I'll come with you, I guess," Xenith said after a moment's deliberation, disappearing from the door. "Just let me take a quick shower and get dressed."
About fifteen minutes later, he emerged, locking his door carefully behind him. "
Hey, Lumi!" Xenith suddenly exclaimed in surprise as the small furry creature that was previously on his bed scuttled out the door and scrambled up onto Linsey's shoulder. It started purring and rubbing it's head on her cheek.
Linsey was surprised, then started rubbing it's head. "Oh my goodness! Is this your pet? He's adorable, aren't you? You're just a little sweetheart, that's all you are......"
Cecil of course reacted differently. "Wha-!! What is that thing??" he gasped, scooting back from the critter. It looked at him for a moment and spat, then turned back to Linsey.
"Oh Cecil," Linsey snorted. "He won't bite you."
"And how do you know that, may I ask?" Cecil grunted. But Linsey wasn't paying attention.
"What kind of creature is he? I've never seen anything like him before," she asked Xenith when he came back. He put his hand to his lips and whistled, fluttering his fingers to flute the sound. The little creature sprang from Linsey's arms to Xenith's shoulders and started making a sound that sounded like a cat's meow and a crow's caw. A 'maowgh' kind of sound.
"That's enough, Lumi. Sssh." Xenith put his finger to his lips and looked at the little creature. "No more noise."
It made one last mornful moan then lay down on his shoulder. He stroked it's head once then turned to his companions. "Well, shall we go?"
"You're taking that-that thing??" Cecil pointed with some horror.
Xenith looked at him oddly. "Something wrong with him?"
Linsey sidled up to Xenith and put her hand to her mouth. "I think he's scared of it," she stage whispered loud enough for Cecil to hear.
"What?! No I'm not!"
"The species is called Firillis. Some people refer to them as Foomey bears because of their lack of size and short temper." Xenith smiled, petting the creature. "I found this little guy in a corner of the school garden last year. We've been firm friends ever since." The creature purred.
"Fine whatever, just keep it on a leash." Cecil waved his hand. "Now, we'd better go get permission to leave the school before we take off."
Xenith took the Foomey off his shoulder and put it in his jacket pocket.
"Oh, so you are coming then?" Linsey asked slyly as she and Xenith fell into step behind him.
Cecil snorted. "Does it look like I've got any choice?"
The teacher they found to give them permission to leave the school was perfectly fine with the idea - until he learned that Xenith wanted to go. Then he deferred and sent them straight to the principal of the school.
"I was a little worried this would happen," Xenith said as they marched down the hall to the principal's office.
Cecil looked at him. "Why's that?"
Xenith looked uncomfortable. "It's - just a feeling I had."
Cecil's eyes bored daggers through him, but Cecil merely faced forward again and kept walking. Xenith could feel the questions beginning to bubble to the surface in the other boy's mind. Something was bothering him.
Linsey, oblivious to the sudden tension from the boys, chattered about the things she hoped to see in town. Some students suddenly rushed past them in a flurry of excitement.
Cecil grabbed one of them on the way past. "What's going on?" he demanded.
"The Grand Chalise is here at the school!" the other boy sputtered breathlessly.
"The Grand Chalise?" Lindsey asked as Cecil let the student go. "That's--who again??"
"The ruling advisor next to the Emperor himself?" Xenith supplied with some humor in his voice at Linsey's lapse of memory.
"Considering that we went over the concepts of the hierarchy in class yesterday, you're a complete idiot to not remember." Cecil was sarcastic.
Linsey refrained from sticking her tongue out at him, and made a face instead. "Cecil, you're such a jerk." She latched onto Xenith's arm. "From now on, I'm only talking to Xenith, and you can just go fly a kite."
"A real shame, I'm sure," Cecil tossed his hair back out of his eyes and put his hands in his pockets. "Let's see, I wonder how many of my brain cells will be saved by bypassing the liability of answering your ridiculous questions?"
"Why you-!" Linsey flared, stepping close to Cecil.
"Want to make something of it?" Cecil matched her toe to toe.
"Hey guys, now let's not get carried away," Xenith waved his hands uncomfortably.
"What's all the commotion out here?" The door in front of them opened as this was said, revealing a young man, older than the three, very tall and dressed in a long blue trench-style coat, trimmed with white, that buttoned snuggly around the torso and peeled off into tails behind him. He sported equally long, pressed, steel gray trousers. His hair was light brown, combed flat on the right side, while the left fell forward, very straight, in front of his face about halfway down his nose. His face was intelligent, sharp even, and his brown eyes bored straight into the three students in front of him. The way he stood staring at them was not quite disdainful but appraising, as if he was calculating how they were to be of use to him; his aura of nobility was almost palpable and unmistakable.
"I asked," he reiterated tersely when the three didn't answer, closing the door behind him, "what is going on here? Don't you understand that you are being loud and disruptive? There is a meeting within these chambers and you are causing significant disturbance."
Cecil's best manners came on display. "Pardon us, your lordship," he stepped forward, bowing low from the waist. "We did not realize the Grand Chalise was visiting the headmaster. Please forgive our inconsideration."
The noble narrowed his eyes. "And what makes you presume the Grand Chalise is here?"
"It's quite simple, really, sir," Cecil looked up to meet his eye. "You're Marco Yanders, junior advisor to the Emperor and deputy executive of internal affairs. And we heard the Grand Chalise was on the school grounds today."
Yanders bent slightly to look at Cecil's face. "Ah, you're from the Alisdair family," he concluded, straightening. "That explains much."
"You were able to tell all that - in one look?" Linsey blurted out.
"Body structure varies from region to region, due to conditions, adaptions, habits, and nutritional supply. Faces are important in the line of work I do," Yanders supplied, almost too readily. "You can tell where most people come from by looking at their faces, if you know what to look for."
"Really?" Linsey's voice was partly interested, partly incredulous. "So, where am I from?"
There was a hint of almost smug on Yanders face as he leaned over and said, "Maveck, Outer Regions, Sparconia."
Linsey stared a moment, then gave a little screech. "Aaaagh! You're a mind reader! You're a psychic! Can you tell my fortune? What's the answers to the test on -"
"Linsey," Cecil was a little red in the face, " he works with internal affairs. He read our files."
Linsey stopped. "Is that true?" she asked Yanders.
Yanders snapped his fingers. "Quite. It's one of my jobs to thouroughly research each student here at Macheval Military Academy."
"Noooo," Linsey groaned. "All my dreams have been shattered-"
"You remembered just her file?" Xenith finally spoke, his dark eyes shrewd.
"Photographic memory," Yanders tapped his head. "I remember almost every file I've ever read on anyone - including yours," he pointed at Xenith briefly. The two locked eyes for a moment, then Yanders turned away.
"Well, now that I've delayed you long enough, the headmaster should be ready to see you," he said, opening the door and sweeping through. "Come."
"I don't trust that guy," Xenith murmured to Cecil and Linsey as they passed through.
"For once, I agree with you," Cecil returned. "All that nonsense about recognizing face structures, then identifying me as a member of the Alisdair family - he knows exactly who I am, the toffee-nosed badger."
Before he could say more, Yanders had reached the office door, then turned to them. "Wait here," he said curtly, then disappeared through it.
"All this to go outside," Cecil fretted, then turned back to Xenith. "Do you mind if I ask you a question? No, nevermind, I'll just ask because it's really bothering me now. Who are you, really?"
Xenith was taken aback. "I'm not sure what you mean."
"Like Yanders didn't know what he meant when he made a point of telling you he'd memorized your file specifically," Cecil retorted. "Linsey and I are out in the open, but we don't know a thing about you!"
Xenith didn't get a chance to reply, because Yanders opened the door, and a tall, middle-aged man with crew-cut brown hair and a white suit and teal cape exited through it. His eyes, cold and red, lingered briefly on Xenith before he strode away down the hall. Xenith wasn't aware until Cecil shook him that he'd been standing gaping.
"Are you stupid?!" Cecil was irate. "That was the Grand Chalise; you should have bowed. Even Linsey knew to do that much!!"
Linsey was pleased for a moment. "Hey! What do you mean 'even'?"
"S-sorry." A chill chased up and down Xenith's spine.
"I've just about had enough of this!" Cecil finally lost his already-short temper. He collared Xenith. "What the hell is the matter with you anyway?!"
"Mr. Alisdair!!" A voice boomed from the still open door. "Either close the door or get in here before I put you in brig for disturbing my peace."
The three students quickly and quietly scuttled into the office, with Linsey careful to close the door behind him. The principal was an older man, thin and sallow, with gray hair swept back off his face and matching the color of his suit. He clenched a pipe firmly in his teeth under his crooked nose, from which a constant tendril of smoke rose and curled about his head. He looked up at them with heavy rimmed eyes. This was the overseer of Macheval Military Academy, Commander Orin Wendell. "Well, what is it? I haven't got all day."
"Sir! Permission to go to the city, sir!" They all stood at attention, speaking in unison.
"Why didn't you ask some of the teachers instead of pestering me?" Commander Wendell shuffled through papers on his desk. Then his eye rested on Xenith. "Oh, it's you, then." He stood up. "You have permission to go on one condition. Follow me."
He gestured to Xenith to follow him to a back room, while Linsey and Cecil stayed where they were, and waited. They heard a cry of pain, then the commander was marshalling him back out to the office. Xenith was ashen-faced and holding his hand tightly. "No go on and get out of here! I've got work to do." Commander Wendell pushed them all out and slammed the door shut.
The three students hurried to put distance between themselves and the office. "What did he do?" Linsey asked Xenith, who continued to hold his hand.
"He zapped me with some weird gun thing," Xenith winced, trying to rub the sting away.
Linsey pried his hand off. "Gooood night!" she exclaimed, wide-eyed. A barcode of some sort of glittery purple material was etched firmly onto the back of his hand.
"What is it?"Xenith and Cecil both asked with some concern.
"He's tracking you," Linsey said with some disbelief, her eyes smoldering. "That's what that is; a tracking device."
"Tracking?" Cecil seemed slightly more concerned than Xenith.
"That's the kind of tag we'd use on shipping crates back in Maveck," Linsey supplied almost woodenly. "And the commander slapped that on you just like a.......a......."
"But why?" Cecil asked, almost to himself. He looked Xenith dead in the eyes. "Alright. Time to come clean, before we make one step outside that gate."
"You make it sound like I've done something wrong." A fire suddenly lit in Xenith's eyes. "I don't know! How should I know why your people are so afraid of me, why they treat me this way!?"
Cecil was taken aback. Xenith lifted a lock of his hair off his forhead. Near the base of his scalp, there was a line of white that should have been black like the rest of his head. "I'm guessing this is why. You tell me, Sparconian, what this means to you."
Linsey leaned forward with Cecil to look. "That's - what is it?" she asked.
Cecil knew. "Great stars above!" he breathed, something like horror and awe chasing across his face all at once. "You're - "
"That's right." Xenith put his hand down and lowered his voice with a sigh. "I'm a Celenian."
A shadow in the shape of a person flickered at the gate, unseen by the guards, and disappeared.