Before we begin, just a heads up. I’ll put author’s notes in quote blocks like this one. And I wrote this story when I was 12, so…
Chapter 1: It’s Only Just Beginning
“It was just another day at the hostel for our heroes…. no, too cliched. ‘Our heroes?’ Ugh. How does one properly start a novel?” Vivi wondered as she looked down at the book in her lap. She had already managed to fill up one page with cancelled introductions! Vivi was a seventeen-year-old strong-willed girl with just-past-chin length hardwood brown hair, turquoise blue eyes and skin the colour of honey. She was an aspiring author, among other things. Lots of other things…
“If by ‘just another day’, you mean the day for our annual blueberry hunt, then sure! C’mon, today’s the last day of winter break, and then back to the rigorous hostel routine.” Zack, Vivi’s best friend and also seventeen, stated, as he plonked himself on the grass beside her. They sat on a hillside, not far from campus grounds. He had spiky black hair and aquamarine blue eyes. He was also unusually pale.
“Jean and Peter aren’t here yet. Chances are, they landed themselves in another ‘we’re twins, it’s what we do’ argument again…” Vivi observed as she made the quote marks in the air, not looking up from her notebook. “Did you bring your basket? Or will we have to make an emergency substitute out of glue and flowers again?” Vivi finally looked up at Zack.
“Yeah, about that, I still have no idea why you had glue with you last year. Anyway, this time I have the basket!”
“Guys! We’re here!” Jean said as she and Peter came up the hill, baskets in hand. Jean had her mid-back length red hair up in a ponytail, and her green eyes were wide behind round, black glasses. Contrary to most popular beliefs about redheads, she was rather shy and had porcelain skin from too much time spent in computer labs. Peter had a mess of blonde hair, warm-sand coloured skin, and twinkling, ocean blue eyes. Both were, once again, seventeen. Although Peter was older by three minutes and fifty-seven seconds.
“Finally! Late, much?” Zack said, poking Peter in the shoulder.
“Ouch! Anyway, let’s get going! Did you guys remember to hand in your ID cards?” Peter asked, proud that he managed to actually remember to do this.
“Yes, obviously. That’s how come they’re here dummy.” Jean rolled her eyes.
“Hey! No need to be mean!”
“I’m not being ‘mean’. Just stating facts.”
“SHUT UP! One more WORD out of the two of you and I will personally see to your decapitation!” Vivi exclaimed exasperatedly.
“Fine. Anyway, let’s get going. The creek should be right past that bend there,” Jean pointed to the aforementioned bend. “Across the bridge and beyond the few rows of trees should be the blueberry bushes. A little further and we hit the meadow where we can eat lunch. There’s also a lot of pretty flowers there.” She finished. Showing everyone the mini-map she had created on her laptop (though they probably wouldn’t understand it.)
They set off down the path Jean mentioned, stopping to admire the creek along the way (and take a few pictures of it using Jean’s ‘mini-expandable-picture-taking-device’, as she called it). As was the custom, they split into two teams, boys versus girls, to race to see which team could collect more blueberries. As usual, the girls won. Mostly because the boys couldn’t stop eating the blueberries as they collected them.
Laughing their defeat off good-naturedly, the boys helped themselves to sandwiches (courtesy of Peter. He was an excellent chef) and some of the blueberries offered to them. The four now sat in the meadow, in a clearing free from flowers on a little picnic blanket.
All of a sudden, there was a loud explosion amidst the trees, and smoke filled the air. The curious bunch could not help but investigate.
Peter was the first to reach the site in question. The four stood very still, three of them wondering what was going on, and the last wondering how to break the terrible news to them. “It’s… what is it, Jean?” Asked Peter, observing what looked like the remains of a metal mouse.
Vivi was very, very pale. She swore (rather softly), grabbed the other three by the arms (and poor Zack by the collar), turned tail and fled. She dragged them along in the same direction until they were even deeper in the forest, possibly lost.
“Oh great! Now we don’t know where we are!” Zack exclaimed, shooting a withering glance at Vivi. He hadn’t taken very kindly to being pulled along by his non-existent collar. He was wearing a t-shirt.
Vivi huffed, “I know where we are, so calm down. Well, don’t exactly calm down. Well, if it helps you then sure, we’re perfectly safe. Well, not really, but at least I know where we are!”
“Woah, slow down. What’s happening, and why do you seem to know so much about it?” Said Jean, sour that Vivi, for once, knew more than her about a piece of technology.
“Scope bots. Those mouse-like things are called ‘scope bots’. The one we saw must have been faulty.”
“Well, that explains it. So now, mice are doing advanced research on humans?” Jean responded sarcastically.
“No, Jean. Scope bots are only shaped like mice so they blend in with common mice. Also, it helps that almost everyone is so terrified of mice that they don’t look close enough to realise these ones are made of metal. They’re here to find us. Well, more specifically, me.”
“And, how do you know that?” Peter asked, finally having cleared all the leaves from his hair. It was only sometimes advantageous to be significantly taller than all your friends.
“Well, um. You see… I… no. I really don’t know how to explain this. And I doubt we have the time for this right now.”
“So tell us in short,” Zack said.
“Well, there’s this super-genius inventor. Even smarter than you, Jean,” The girl in question scowled, not liking the story so far. “He created these scope bots to scan a territory before actually setting foot on it so that he wouldn’t end up getting stuck dangerous areas. These bots can do a lot of things. They can create maps, collect stuff and even find people. He’s working on a version that can fly right now. Also, I may have forgotten to mention this, but he’s evil. Very very evil. His goal is to throw the elements out of balance and take over as a God. So he’s after the guardians, yes they do really exist, of the six different elements. And the seventh guardian – of Life.”
So they have no mobile phones but they do have the concept of robots. I don’t think this was made very clear.
“And one of them is you?” Jean asked, not quite believing herself for even accepting the existence of such a ridiculous fantasy.
Vivi nodded, “I control light. And, I know you guys don’t believe a word I’m saying, but you’ll have to trust me for now. Now then, they can’t actually find me while I’m in this form. It’s my disguise. So is this name. They’re both fake. Don’t worry, I’ll explain all of this to you another time. But I will maintain this form at all times, or they’ll find me in a heartbeat.”
“But who is they? There’s only one bot! And all that’s left of it now is cinders.” Peter said.
“No. There are many more. We only found one. Where there’s one scope bot, you can be sure there’s at least nine more. And, well, I was never told much about the enemy. Except his name; Damien. The other guardians always thought I was too young. Me and Naomi both. It’s stupid really. How can I take down the bad guys if I know next to nothing about them?! I was only ever there for one meeting. Two years ago. And, well….” Vivi stopped mid-sentence. The others didn’t pressure her to speak, assuming it was something she didn’t want to tak about.
“All that is in the past. Vivi, tell us what we should do now.” Zack said.
“That was rather anticlimactic…” Peter commented.
“We will do nothing. I will leave on a quest. The guardians have each been sent to a different continent, to maintain peace and guard the world against the threats of Damien. I must find them and gather the pendants they possess to forge the ultimate weapon and destroy Damien and his works forever. I’m sorry, I’m endangering you all by staying here. I guess this is goodbye.”
“Oh…” Peter and Jean said together. Zack frowned slightly, before his expression returned to normal.
“I guess it is.” Zack said, surprisingly calm. He smirked, very slightly, and then hollered, “Goodbye!” while waving to the forest and meadow. The twins quickly caught on, and repeated his actions.
“You guys!” Vivi sniffed. She had the best friends anyone could ever ask for.
“Anyone wanna pack anything? Last chance. Or we’ll have to start from scratch.” Jean said.
“No. We’ll pack as much as we can in small back-packs and start tomorrow. Make sure to pack plenty of water. It’ll be a long trip, but we’ll be staying the nights in hotels. And also bring some money. Don’t worry if you can’t bring much, I’ll handle the rest. Get a good night’s sleep tonight. I’ll wake you all up at four-thirty tomorrow. But, are you all sure? You can’t come back to the hostel again. This means saying goodbye to all that for good. I won’t blame you all if you want to back out.”
“Are you kidding? I’d love to ditch that campus!” Zack grinned.
“You said it, bro.” Peter fist-bumped Zack.
“I agree, it was getting rather monotonous and tiresome. This would be like a fresh breath of air for all of us. Saving the world doesn’t sound like that bad a reason to leave campus.” Jean smiled.
All this time and none of them thought to remember the four very sad and very abandoned baskets that sat in the meadow.
“Tomorrow morning four-thirty sharp, then. We have to be out those gates before anyone notices we’re leaving. There’s a change of guards around that time – totally not suspicious that I know this stuff. And, also, thanks guys. You’re the best!” Vivi hugged her best friends.
“This is gonna be an adventure!” Peter said, the second he had escaped from the group hug.
Zack grinned, “And it’s only just beginning.”
So, who exactly is Vivi? Is she really a guardian? Do guardians even exist…? What does she mean by this form and name are fake? Don’t worry. All will be explained in chapter two, along with the true purpose of this quest. So, stay tuned for more adventures and news about the poor forgotten baskets! (hint : they probably won’t be remembered for a while.)
Stay tuned for more chapters : also, I may change the name of the book. This is a story I have been writing for a while and “Adventures in Africa sound kinda cheesy. So yeah. Also, this is the first book in a series of books. That will also be explained in subsequent chapters.
Thanks for reading! Please comment and share your thoughts with me.