He stood out wearing all black in a crowd of people wearing white robes. He disregarded it and felt plenty confident to approach Ezekial as he was. He marched right up to the podium, and Ezekial’s eyes went wide as he saw him grab a pistol with a red handle. Kayden tapped it, and the handle turned blue—set to stun. Ezekial heard the charge of a laser. Ezekial put his hands together and pressed them down on the podium, and two horrifying malformed abominations came out of two black circles next to him on the ground. They had glyphs and magical markings. The beasts that were multiple human bodies sewn together crudely with large straw as stitching and two gaping mouths with jagged, sharp teeth and four arms approached Kayden. They hulked through the crowd goring the people as panic-struck, and the masses went running.
“Damnit,” Kayden grumbled. He switched the color of his pistols to red—to ninth-grade kill shot mode, and started shooting at the abominations. It didn’t faze them. He holstered his guns and grabbed the hilt he’d equipped earlier and approached one of them, and looked up.
“You know I’d still be taller than you,” Kayden remarked. He pressed his thumb against the hilt of the sword and activated it. Suddenly, a large red blade emitted from the hilt of pure light half as tall as him. He wielded the two-handed sword and swung it around wildly, chopping both abominations in half. Ezekial summoned more as he fled, and Kayden started running after him slicing up one abomination after the other until, suddenly, his stride was inhumanly fast. Ezekial looked back and panicked before he lifted his hands, and the abominations stopped spawning.
“You won’t take me in!” he exclaimed. The ground started to tremble before dust and pebbles fell from the ceiling. Kayden halted before looking up to see cracks in the ceiling. He witnessed large pieces of concrete fall around him. He turned and looked to see a dozen humans running from the falling shards of cement—he saw one large piece in particular that had to be twenty feet across.
“Damnit!” he exclaimed as he faced them. He grew back to his height of ten feet seven inches and ripped through his jacket just as he leapt one hundred feet across the stadium right between the group of humans. He lifted his arms and caught the large chunk of debris and didn’t even break a sweat. The humans looked up to him in fear and panic.
“Don’t just stand there, run!” he exclaimed. They screamed and fled. He looked around and didn’t see any more humans in the stadium. He tossed the chunk of concrete effortlessly before he turned to see a fleeing Ezekial. He ran after him until a chunk of cement blocked his path. He turned to go around it, but another piece landed in his way then too. He paused to look up and saw the entire stadium on its way down.
“Ah, hell,” he remarked. The entire stadium collapsed on him. Humans screamed as they fled several dozen feet away in every direction from the fallen stadium. Rubble trembled and scattered as Kayden shoved chunk after chunk off of himself. He coughed as he stood and patted the cement dust off his front and legs and let out a sigh.
“This is such a pain in the…” he started before he noticed Ezekial one hundred feet away near a car. Kayden grinned and crouched down. He used all his strength to leap the distance and landed on Ezekial’s back, who let out a loud groan. He grabbed him by the wings and held his sword up to his neck.
“Stop struggling, or I’ll slice your precious wing off,” Kayden threatened.
“The bounty doesn’t say to take you in alive either,” Kayden added with a wicked grin, and Ezekial grimaced. Kayden materialized shackles out of his wristband.
“They were happy!” Ezekial exclaimed.
“No one feels happiness under the power of suggestion—which is what you used, Ezekial. I know what your tricks are,” Kayden said. He led him out to the charger and put him in the back seat with his hands behind his back, and got into the driver’s seat after sizing back down to seven feet tall. He activated the console and started the car. He headed back to the highway through the crowds of chaotic people running back and forth.
“Look at the mess you’ve made for these people; it’s going to take months for them to get their lives back together,” Kayden said with disdain.
“Like you care, you’re just a rogue agent, Kayden Royal. Black hair, red eyes, a silver metal left arm. Yeah, I recognize you,” Ezekial said. Kayden looked in the rear view mirror and gazed at him.
“You’re space trash. Not even the Guardianship wants you!” Ezekial laughed. Kayden sped up suddenly as he buckled his seat belt and then purposely turned the wheel to swerve to a stop, knocking Ezekial to the other side of the car hitting his head in the process against the glass.
“I may no longer be a Guardian, but that’s bad news for you. That means there are certain rules I don’t have to follow to get you to your destination of Macca Nine. You could go there in pieces in my irresponsible care. Who knows?” Kayden asked with a menacing smile, and Ezekial cringed as the look of horror spread across his face. Kayden suddenly sped up again. He saw the bleeping on his wristband start to turn into a solid light, and he slammed on the brakes causing Ezekial to fall between the passenger and driver’s seat and hit his head against the windshield in the process. Kayden stopped the car and opened both doors, and dragged Ezekial out.
“Not Macca Nine! I didn’t commit that bad of a crime!” Ezekial pleaded.
“Macca Nine is where they want you. You’ve grown some notoriety out here on the lesser planets gathering followers and exposing them to the dangers of black magic. What awaits you is a long sentence in the cryogenic freezer and a life of a memory wipe and reform,” Kayden said as he pressed buttons on his wristband and lowered the hatch of his ship. He marched Ezekial in and led him to a room at the side of his ship. He pressed in a code at the side of a double door, and they rolled back. There were several upright glass containers with a metal casing around and over them. Kayden shoved Ezekial in one after taking off his shackles and closed the glass door on him. Ezekial banged on the glass and pleaded, but Kayden didn’t want to hear it.
“You’ll never get back the fame and honor you had as a damned Guardian no matter what you do or how many of us you put away, Kayden!” Ezekial shouted angrily. Kayden sneered and pressed one big red button on the side of the freezer pod Ezekial was in, and it instantly frosted him into a cryo-state. Kayden plugged in the pod to his ship’s main system to support life and safeguard Ezekial’s vitals. Kayden left the room with a metal barred holding cell that was roughly twenty feet by twenty feet with black bars made of Obliturium, one of the strongest metals found in space at the time. The same metal his armor was made from. His arm, however, was made of a lesser metal to his dismay. He sighed as he looked at his view of the horizon and sat there for a moment pondering to himself.
“Time to get the hell off this planet,” he remarked, and he went to the helm and picked up the joysticks, and lifted off the ground with his ship, ascending into the sky. He made sure to exit the planet away from their spacecraft but heard a loud CLUNK! As he collided with a satellite.
“Damn humans and their space trash,” he groaned as he sped up and set his console to an automated location and pressed one button, and leaned back in his chair. He put his index finger between his eyes as he closed them, tracing from the tip of his nose up to his forehead, and his cyclops eye reformed.
“Much better,” he said as he stood up and took off what was left of his leather jacket.
“Keegan, let’s get your siblings and cousins,” the man said in a deep voice as he scooped up the toddler.
He had long silver hair in a half-ponytail with piercing gold on black eyes. He had gold scars all over his face with one prominent one going through his right eye. Each gold scar shimmered as the light touched it as if his very blood could have been gold, which it was. He had two gold horns with two bangles on them that looked important. The man had long pointed ears and claws for fingers. He stood on hocks with five talons for toes and had a long sleek golden tail. He walked to the benches to find his children lounging as humanoids or running around as horned wolves altogether.
“Kids, it’s time for a story,” the man said. They all perked up and ceased what they were doing.
“Are you finally going to tell us about the Cyril, Uncle Kayden?” one older boy asked with burgundy on black eyes but with silver curly hair. The man—Kayden nodded.
“I’ll tell you our history and where we started,” Kayden said before making a chair out of branches with the mere gesture of his hand to face them and sat down.
“It was a few hundred years ago—long before the era of the true hybrids of Golden Celesi and Lacauss, and even before the discovery of the Mana Walkers….” he started.
“It was when I was a different species, like many of our Guardians,” he continued.
“What did you look like?” one girl with brunette hair and green on black eyes asked.
“Cyril were cyclops—therefore, I only had one eye, for starters,” he said as he poked his right eye closed, making them giggle.
“How tall were you back then?” one boy with red on black eyes and brown curly hair that had silver tips asked. Kayden smirked and eyed them.
“Ten foot seven,” he said—making the youth burst out in laughter. That was about 322cm.
“You were short, papa,” Keegan said with a giggle—he had short silver spiky hair and gold and red on black eyes. Kayden smirked.
“This was the time before the true giants emerged, kids. Back then, Cyril didn’t get very tall thanks to the stunting of genetics by enhancements,” Kayden said. He looked off into the distance as they paid more attention.
“Back then, I wasn’t even a Guardian. I had gone freelancing…it was like going rogue, but not on the wrong side of the law,” Kayden said, making them all gasp.
“Why, papa?” the young brunette girl from before asked.
“Because I believed I failed to protect the one person that to me mattered the most. I figured…I couldn’t protect anyone because I couldn’t protect her,” he added, making them all frown.
“But I realized later, that wasn’t quite true…” he trailed off before he started to recall the memory.
Kayden Royal got out of the shower and ran his right organic hand through his hair as he dried it off. His hair was as black as night. It barely draped past his shoulders and was silky smooth. His left arm from the bicep down to the fingers was made out of silver metal—it was a cybernetic arm. He tied back his hair in a half ponytail. He had a light tan complexion and an intense red eye. He lounged in the pilot’s chair on his small and sleek black ship with red accents with his feet crossed resting on his front steering console.
His Command Console was circular and had buttons on all around it with a projection unit in the center that could display a full vibrant array of colors mimicking realism in every picture it showed. He was on autopilot headed for Earth, a planet he visited four years ago. When everything went wrong. He pressed a few buttons on his console and brought up his mission briefing. “Wanted: Ezekial Armstrong. Race: Avian. Wanted for illegal use of black magic,” It read. Magic wasn’t unknown in the galaxy, it was caused by the naturally occurring phenomenon of mana, an invisible force that flowed through air and space. Earth was no stranger to magic; they had learned about its existence and used it on a day-to-day basis. This Ezekial Armstrong was abusing the power of mana, and on Earth. Avians and other aliens utilized mana in a much more powerful way than Earthlings could and were considered highly dangerous. He was gathering an army of followers by his use of dark magic and summoning dark apparitions to threaten those who didn’t want to participate in his plot. At least, that’s what the report said.
Kayden sighed as he neared the International Space Station and pressed a button, it cloaked his ship and even hid the electronic signal. As if it were invisible. Cloaked. It was a Guardian-issued ship he had still managed to hold onto. Cyril technology was the apex of the known universe and had been for several hundreds of thousands of years. The only alien species to come close were known as the Ressix. The Cyril people themselves easily lived for several hundred millennia and then some. Kayden was considered very young and not anywhere close to being in his prime; he was considered a young adult at best at the age of nine-hundred and thirty-five. Kayden grabbed his joystick steering control at his helm and began to pilot the ship himself as he entered orbit and brought up the map of his intended target location. Every time he entered Earth’s atmosphere, he could see her beautiful face.
“Damnit, that’s too close to the city…” Kayden muttered in his deep and masculine voice as he hovered over the desert just outside of a small town—it was a small town to him compared to the ones on many planets he’d been to. A few hundred thousand people weren’t nearly enough to inhabit what he considered a city. Kayden was wearing dark gray cargo pants and boots to his shins, but his torso was bare—revealing many scars and scrapes. He had an intensely muscular physique and well-toned chest under his scars—the Cyril were a hardy species that were naturally made that way. That’s why Cyril were only allowed to become Guardians above other species.
Kayden lost his upper armor in a fight somewhere and never managed to get a new piece before losing his rank as Guardian and had to travel without it. He stood up, went to his closet, grabbed a shirt of stretchable fabric that was black and sleeveless, and put it on. He sighed as he looked in the mirror. He put his left index finger to the center of his forehead and closed his eye as he traced down the middle of it and to the bridge of his nose. As he did, his eye separated into two eyes equally set apart. He opened his eyes and blinked a couple of times, inspecting them in the mirror, and grinned.
“Still got it down,” he remarked.
“Now the hard part,” he muttered as he walked to the corner of his closet. There were white tick marks of measurements. One marked his current height at ten feet seven inches—322 cm, and another marked seven feet—approximately 213 cm. He looked at the seven foot tick mark, grabbed his silver belt buckle, and closed his eyes. He began to shrink in stature all the way down to seven feet tall, and a much smaller frame. His metal arm shrank and reformed with him. He opened his eyes and measured himself, and nodded. Then he returned to his closet and went to the lower rack with a black plastic label marked for a shorter height. He sorted through some clothes and found a black leather jacket, and put it on. He walked over to his small armory which wasn’t much to speak of—a rifle, two pistols, a black hilt of a sword, a couple of grenades, and small silver discs. He took off his jacket for a moment and put on his gun holsters before putting it back on and put his two black pistols with red grips in them. He picked up the sword hilt, equipped it to his belt latch, and walked back over to his Command Console. The hilt didn’t look like much at first glance, but there was a button on its side that activated a full physical manifestation of a red ninth-grade laser blade once powered on. He dialed in a few numbers, and the hatch of his ship opened up. He stood outside his ship and gazed at the horizon.
“Always leave my homing beacon on for safety,” he muttered as he pressed a few buttons on his wristband. It took up his whole forearm with a black band and a screen emitting from it before he minimized it and headed off his ship. As he exited, he turned back and pressed a few buttons on his wristband, and the door shut, making the ship virtually invisible to the naked eye.
Kayden approached a long stretch of highway and examined it. There wasn’t a single person for kilometers. He saw something that stood out to him across the highway in the parking space of a diner that was long vacated. He approached a car that made him grin—it was a red charger with black racing stripes. He put his right organic hand to the handle, and something pulsated from his hand as the door unlocked. Another pulsating wave came from his hand as he wrapped it around the steering wheel, and the car turned on. Kayden backed out of the parking spot, put it in drive, and cruised down the highway at ninety miles per hour.
He drove for several minutes, noticing empty cars on the side of the highway as if abandoned.
“He’s been here alright…where is that bastard now?” Kayden asked out loud. He frequently talked aloud to himself over the course of his life as a nervous tick; only when he was with other people did he do it less. He drove into town and slowed down as he went down streets heading for the city center, where many cars congregated. Then he saw a person wearing a white robe. He drove up to the woman who had short curled hair and green eyes wearing black glasses. He rolled down his window.
“Where are you going dressed like that?” he asked.
“To where he is,” she said eagerly.
“Who do you mean?” he asked.
“Our savior,” she said with a smile as she turned and continued walking.
“Hmph. This is way too easy. I guess I know why the bounty was so low…” he muttered as he rolled up the window and drove slowly, following her. He eventually made it to a stadium and saw hundreds of people filing in. He parked the car, turning it off in the process, and got out. He walked through the front gates and through the crowd to make it inside. He went to the second floor and looked down. There was a man with two angel wings on center stage near a podium. Kayden grabbed a small black circular device and put it on his temple before a red screen appeared in front of his left eye. He started scanning the crowd until he positioned it to target the man with wings, and it flashed and beeped at him.
“We’ve got a match,” Kayden remarked as he disabled it and put it away before he made his way to the bottom floor.
A large three-tiered stone fountain stood in the center of the Grand Gardens with figures with wings, horns, and merfolk. A tall and imposing man sat at the edge of it with a young boy sitting near his feet with figurines in his hands. The boy had horned wolf figurines in his hands.