Cade- I Need Help
The ringing of the alarm broke my meditation, letting me know that gods had entered my state of New York. Multiple knocks came from the door.
I opened my eyes to a motley crew of GCP members entering my all-white room.
Moses came up front, sweat dripping from his pale face. “We’ve been looking for you.”
I nodded. “What’s happening?”
“Something’s gone bad with the mission to aid England. The gods are overtaking the headquarters in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales.” Moses shook his head. “The Republic of Ireland is reported to fall any minute, they’re under attack by the gods that were held prisoners underground in London. Hurry now.” Without waiting for my reply, he turned and ran out.
I got up and rushed with the others to the front of our US headquarters, crowded with members viewing the screens on the walls showing the events taking place at various locations around the globe. I stopped to watch a screen that showed hundreds of gods flying past cities in New York; knowing they were making their way here. Switching my focus to the main concern, I got as close as I could to view the screens projecting images from Heaven’s Eye, an enormous computer that allowed us to see anyone or anything on Earth.
Before studying the screens, I stood by Moses and whispered, “Their mission was to aid England in wiping out those gods. Now you’re telling me that the gods who were turned to stone have been revived? How is that possible? They would need—”
“The Golden Water.” Moses gave a sharp nod. “The gods have twelve containers of it, Cade. They killed George Proctor who was protecting it before he could get into a teleportation pod to this location. They were statues like usual, monitored twenty-four hours a day by Guardians and members alike. Then, the next minute they were awakened and simultaneously attacked in a coordinated way … almost like this was planned.”
“Vera… Please tell me she wasn’t resurrected.” I stared into his eyes, wanting an answer. “Did they tell you anything about her?”
“No, we’ve heard nothing so far … but she’s the only answer for this, don’t you think?” He turned to face me. “She’s the only one able to lead the gods to a successful revolt.”
I pursed my lips, thinking about Vera, the daughter of Ominous—one of the three royal god figures—since Moses was right about her being the only one capable to successfully lead such an army.
Moses put his hands in his pockets. “After all, Vera controlled the strongest army in her universe and never lost a war.”
“My father and Marie Proctor both fought Vera and took her down.” I stared down at the floor. “My father has never been touched in battle, and I remember him telling me that when he faced her, it was the only time he didn’t refuse help from others. She’s not someone to take lightly. Legend says her own kind respected her as their queen despite being under her father’s rule.”
“Nonsense. Your father would have taken her or any other god out without breaking a sweat. We have footage to prove that.”
“He didn’t fear her fighting abilities. He feared her mind—her ability to lead an army and take out this universe. If she’s been resurrected, we’re goners.”
Moses closed his eyes. “Colvin knows what’s at stake. He would’ve told us.” He slowly opened his eyes. “And he wouldn’t allow someone so powerful to be resurrected. He wouldn’t let things go that bad.”
“You speak of my brother as if he’s some—”
I stopped talking when a large group of our members walked up to crowd around us to witness the overthrow of the UK headquarters. Gods who were held captive under the British Isles exploded out of the ground. Many of the screens in front of us showed different views of members from the UK fighting alongside their Guardians—supernatural beings from our universe who came to Earth to use their amazing powers to help us fight the gods.
At this point, their help didn’t make any difference.
Seeing the carnage happening live, I turned and asked, “How many gods were revived?”
“Millions, in England alone. We’re outnumbered and losing by the second. And now the gods are here at our doorstep. What do we do? All of the US Protectors are in England, so we’re shorthanded here.”
I shook my head, accepting the reality of things. This is what we were chosen for—our destiny. As GCP members—God’s Chosen People—we were created to protect the most powerful items in all four universes from the gods, who sought full control and destruction of humanity and the Afterworld, a planet where all souls ended up. We fought for the protection of the living and the dead.
For the first time, the end seemed to be close at hand, maybe in a matter of minutes.
“Also, there’s no response from Washington or New York,” Moses said as he made his way closer to the gigantic center screen. “And we did receive a report that the gods are planning on using the Golden Water to revive a supreme deity—a god who can’t be awakened by anything other than the Golden Water.”
Names like “Washington” and “New York” weren’t states or cities in a geographical sense, but code names used for the GCP members in those locations. A member with a city, town, or village code name protected that specific area, along with the unique item given to them by the GCP—so these were called Protectors, one of the job classifications within the GCP. If an individual had a state code name, then he or she served as a captain over all those in that region.
“Understood,” I said to Moses, knowing that he meant both the Washington and New York captains were likely dead.
I pushed forward and made my way through the throng of members to stand by Moses in front of the central screen. Beneath that screen sat a long workstation with a single keyboard that required multiple people to properly work Heaven’s Eye.
“Millions got revived but it looks like there’s a couple thousand on that island. Show me the exact locations of every god who’s been revived and who we’re dealing with,” I said.
“Sir!” said a communicator as he got up from his seat and faced me, even as the other communicators continued to work. “England just sent word that Vera was the first to be resurrected.”
Moses and I shared a glance, then I nodded and the communicator sat back down to begin typing on the shared keyboard again.
“There,” I said, pointing at a smaller screen to my right, where a live video stream showed several gods descending into Florida. A still image of a teenage girl appeared on the side of the screen.
“Sir,” another communicator said, “there are gods entering the state of Florida.”
“Yes, just seeing that, thank you,” I said. “They must know that the rest of the Golden Water is somewhere in that state. Who’s the girl?”
“Heaven’s Eye is showing us Angela Proctor, Marie Proctor’s daughter. To the outside world she goes by Angela Lopez. She lost contact with the social world after her mother’s death.”
I frowned, then reached into my pocket and took out my own holy item—the Yang, a necklace enabling its user to project pure astral power from the universe—but I didn’t put it on just yet.
Looking back at the communicator, I asked, “How long do I have before they get to Angela?”
Another communicator turned around in his chair to face me. “A few hours, maybe less.”
I continued to stare at the live footage. “New York won’t last long now that they’re here. If any hostiles get near our location, go to Code Red. Right now, power up this building to collect all the energy possible from every base in America and center it to this city alone. If the gods get here, it’ll be the end of this world. I have to get the Golden Water, as well as Angela Proctor.”
Moses came up and pulled me aside. “You’re talking about leaving every base in every city in this country defenseless. What if a god happens to land at one of our bases and realizes it’s not protected? Each base has intel that can put us at risk.”
“I know, but as long as we have all the holy items here, nothing else matters. There are twenty-four containers of the Golden Water, and you know as well as I do that the gods can use the tiniest drop to resurrect anyone. They already have twelve. You know Marie stashed the other twelve before she died. I’m guessing that Angela knows something about their location even if she doesn’t realize it, but if the gods get to her, it’s over.”
“I know, but—”
“Then why are you trying to stop me? Humanity is at the risk of extinction. We have no leader, so it’s up to me. Notify every country about what’s going on. When you hear from my brother, send him to my location.”
Another alarm went off, and Heaven’s Eye showed a large group of gods flying toward our location in Closias.
“Code Red! And why isn’t that force field up yet?” I said as I hurried back toward the workstation.
“Doing our best, sir,” one of the communicators said. “Almost done pooling all the energy from other US bases.” Typing as fast as he could, he stared at the screen. “Alright … there! Engaging force field, sir.”
What looked like an antenna atop of our building shot a beam of light upward, slowly creating a domed force field that would cover all of Closias. I switched my gaze back and forth between two screens: one showed the blue force field’s progress and the other showed hundreds of gods approaching the city.
A member near me shot an impatient look at the communicators, then yelled, “Speed up the process! They’re coming!”
Moses ran forward and shoved one of the communicators aside. “Move it! I know a few tricks from the old days.”
I looked back up at the screens and saw an individual in black armor flying out in front of the gods, who seemed to be only seconds from entering the city.
I shot a glance at Moses. “Hurry up!”
“Almost there!” Moses barked back.
The force field abruptly finished covering the entire city, appearing as a sparkling blue dome.
One communicator stood up and pointed to a small screen showing a single god. “There! That god levitating above the others has the Golden Water.”
“Galoriah,” I said.
“I say we evacuate this city now,” Moses said.
I nodded as we all focused in on the video that showed a figure covered in black armor—Galoriah, a seven-foot-tall god notorious for killing GCP Protectors and innocent bystanders for centuries. His armor looked similar to a bulletproof vest, and he carried a war-hammer.
Galoriah looked down at our city of Closias, then slowly descended to land on the ground, shouting, “I know you can hear me … even see me! We’ve killed your superiors, your fellow Protectors, and those Guardians in the UK. They’re all dead. They’ve failed to stop us, and the rest of my kind will soon find their way here.”
I could hear several gasps and cries around me as I studied this bloodthirsty monster. After a moment I said, “Put all civilians to sleep ASAP. They could be exposed to the truth.”
I looked at Moses, who glanced at the other communicators to confirm they were carrying out my order. Seconds later the dome unleashed a white spark of light that put every non-GCP person in the city to “sleep”—meaning they would continue doing their usual activities, yet remain unaware of what was actually happening in the present time.
“We’re clear,” Moses said. “Everyone is asleep. I’ll also command them to stay indoors to prevent any casualties.”
I nodded, and Moses walked over to a part of the keyboard that held a mic to control anyone who was in a sleeping state. As Moses spoke into the mic, I watched Galoriah raise his war-hammer, aiming it at the force field.
“You are to hand over the rest of the Golden Water and every holy item confined in that building you’re all hiding in,” Galoriah said. “You do this without the slightest resistance, and I will show mercy when killing you all.”
Moses backed away from the workstation to stand next to me. “What now?”
The army of gods descended to join Galoriah on the ground, and then one of them walked to the edge of the force field, where Galoriah stood. This god wore no shirt but a long black jacket, black pants, and black boots. His shoulder-length blond hair shone in the bright sunlight. Lucius: a foe not to be toyed with.
I folded my hands, waiting for their next move. “We’ve collected all the energy in America, so this is an incredibly strong force field. No way can they break through it.”
Heaven’s Eye now zoomed in on a portal that had appeared beside Galoriah and Lucius. Out of the portal stepped a goddess with blazing red eyes and short black hair that stopped midway down her neck. As the portal disappeared, every god and goddess bowed at her presence.
I pursed my lips and looked at Moses, who only shook his head.
“Wait!” a female communicator said. “Whoa whoa whoa! That’s her.” She got up and backed away from the screen. “That’s … that’s Vera!” She turned to look at me and Moses. “We were instructed to leave immediately if we ever encountered her.”
I kept quiet, thinking of the options left to me, and Moses just pointed the communicator back to her workstation.
On the main screen, Vera opened up her hand revealing three small black orbs that floated forward to touch our force field. The orbs shone red and I watched as the orbs began to drain the power of the force field.
We looked on as she turned toward the other gods, then said, “Soon this barrier will be diminished. Get what I’ve requested and I will liberate you all from this planet and restore balance back home.” She looked to her right, opening up a portal, then left just as quickly as she’d come.
A GCP weapon-smith made his way through the crowd around me to say, “I’ve studied those damn orbs. They’re attracted to life and energy. Once they suck the energy out of our force field, they’ll kill us next.” He looked at me. “We can fight another time. We have to hand over the location of the Golden Water.”
With every second that passed, our force field became more transparent. I could sense the others waiting for me to make a decision. I shook my head and said, “I’m not handing over any info on the rest of the Golden Water. Marie Proctor died protecting it from the likes of Vera. What we do today determines if the lives of those who died for the GCP were meaningless or not. If we die, let it be because we fought for the future generation and for the ones in the Afterworld who have already paid the price. They won’t taste death a second time.” I clenched my jaw, remembering how many had died fighting the gods. “But I also just can’t leave now.” Thinking of my options, I said to myself: “Angela is just going to have to wait.”
“Then what do you expect us to do?” Moses said as he looked at the horrified people around us, then back to me. “We aren’t Protectors like your brother. We weren’t born for this. There are orphans here who are still learning to be Protectors. You only have weapon-smiths, doctors, nurses, communicators, and technicians here. What exactly is your plan?”
I looked at Moses. “We hand over information on the Golden Water and this universe will be gone. You understand what’s at stake?” I looked around at everyone. “If we let them kill us and they find out about Alice and what’s inside her, they will kill her and resurrect Genesis. We have to fight.” I looked back at the main screen, studying Galoriah’s face. “Even if we do what Galoriah says, he’ll kill us once he finds out we don’t have the Golden Water here or any knowledge of its location.”
I nodded toward the entrance of the HQ and began walking that way. Moses got the hint and followed along.
“Marie Proctor died without telling us where she hid the Golden Water, other than it’s somewhere in Everglades City,” I said to him. “Seven years later and we still can’t locate it. But Gabriel said the one who is destined to be Florida will find the Golden Water—and I think that’s Angela. That’s why we can’t give in to this fiend. Brighter days are ahead.” I put on the Yang necklace, summoning my armor. “I’m going to keep fighting and protecting for the sake of humanity. That’s my purpose; it’s my destiny.”
A hand from behind grabbed my wrist, and then a familiar female voice said, “You’re heading out there, aren’t you?”
I turned. “Alice …”
Her green eyes caught and held my attention, but she said nothing else.
“I have to do this,” I said. “You go to the vault and put on the ring. Once you do, raise your hand and the ring will shine, collecting all the holy items we have stored. To release one of the holy items, or all of them, simply call out the name of the item or items you need.” I leaned in closer to Alice. “I need you to carry the ring.”
Avoiding Alice’s stare, I stepped over to Moses. “Power up the building and put this entire city underground.”
Alice grabbed hold of my hands. “Don’t go alone! Wait for Colvin.”
I hated when she brought his name up—like he was the answer to all our problems. “We’re in this situation because he couldn’t kill them off,” I said.
“I had a dream of you dying last night.” Alice squeezed my hands, then got closer. “If you go, you won’t return.”
I squeezed her hands much tighter. “I’m not letting one innocent life die out there. Today won’t be the day I die either. I made a promise.”
“I know, Cade, I know!” She pulled her hands from mine. “You’re not listening to me. You’re going to die if you go out there! My dreams are accurate most of the time.”
Alice’s red hair matched her inner fire that exploded whenever she was upset. I always believed my scruffy brown hair and personality represented the rock that became a foundation to her happiness—and the rock that extinguished the fire whenever she was hotheaded.
“I’m going to fight,” I said.
She shook her head. “You don’t even like fighting. You’re only doing it because of your father and how the GCP will look at you if you don’t fight. We can just leave and finally be together.”
“I’m not leaving!” I glared at her. “My brother is somewhere in the UK fighting for his life and you want me to leave?” I started to breathe heavily through my nostrils. “If any god kills …” The thought of him dying only made me angry as I squeezed my hands. “If any god kills my brother, I will end them all.”
Alice looked up into my eyes and got closer. “You know better than anyone that Colvin can’t be beaten. The gods fear him. He’s built for this and … you’re not.”
“Then why don’t you just go be with him?” I stepped back. “Every time you say his name, it’s always a praise.”
“Don’t say that!” Alice spat back. “I’ve literally known him my whole life. He’s just like his dad: he can’t lose. I’m just telling you the reality of it. You’re hiding from the fact.”
“My father entrusted me to take care of Earth … You really don’t believe in me?”
She looked down. “Just scared that’s all … Listen, there’s a small chance that good could still come out of this. That can only happen if you save Angela. If you go out there now, only stay long enough to buy us some time, then you leave and save her. Don’t put your life at risk trying to save anyone but her. The GCP needs you both.”
I looked at her for several moments, then nodded. “Agreed.”
Alice offered a small smile. “Cade … I know how it feels to lose a father. My mom is just this … this miserable and depressed person. I don’t want to be like that. Please don’t die. I can’t imagine living without you.”
“I know. I still love you.”
I glanced over at the door. Moses nodded. Turning back, I could see tears in Alice’s eyes. I gave a small nod to her, then I headed toward the exit. I knew she couldn’t say anything. I was now a GCP Protector. I had just taken on the mantle of New York, and so I was obligated to protect the entire state. But more importantly, it was my duty to protect the GCP holy items from the gods who sought to destroy this universe.
“Just wait …” Alice looked at the floor. “I don’t want to be like my mother. I … I’m … pregnant, Cade.” She looked into my eyes. “Please don’t die.”
I froze, staring at her face as fear crept up inside me. “Wait, what?” I said, walking toward her.
I halted when a loud bang came from afar.
“This isn’t the time!” Moses said. “They’re trying to break inside.” He looked to the door. “Go save the world, Cade.”
I glanced at Moses, then at Alice as my head began to spin. “Right …” I closed my eyes, trying to concentrate. Her news was something I wish I hadn’t heard right before doing this.
Opening my eyes, I looked into Alice’s green eyes and then teleported to the far side of the city where Galoriah stood with his army. Being surrounded by acres of open grasslands and farm fields—nowhere near the city of Closias—I focused on what was now inches from my face: Galoriah. The only thing that stopped us from starting to fight was the force field that separated us at the moment, but was rapidly disappearing by the second.
Galoriah lifted his face with a smirk. “Cade Walker … son of Gage Walker. So you chose mercy rather than fighting as a Protector. Coward … but then again, a smart one. And yet here you are.”
“Eh.” I shrugged. “I don’t like dying without putting up a fight. The rest of the Golden Water won’t be yours, not ever. I’ll make sure of that.”
Even while keeping eye contact with Galoriah, my thoughts were elsewhere—focused on the news Alice had told me. My mind was spinning with what I should do now … What does all this mean for the future of our baby … and more importantly, how I would be able to protect a pregnant girl?
Galoriah’s face remained calm. “I was expecting nothing less, actually. Fighting you should be a nice warm-up.”
Making their way to the front of the group, Aerozayle, a goddess with green eyes, long black curly hair, and rosy lips flew to Galoriah’s side with Lucius following behind her. They didn’t say a word, they only stared at me waiting on their leader’s next move.
I flew back as I saw that the force field had nearly disappeared now. “Moses, are you underground yet?” I said in a quiet voice, knowing he would hear me via the subdermal communicator implanted behind my right ear.
Moses’s voice replied: “This is the first time going to Code Red in the city your father built. It’s going slow, but we’ll still be descending once the force field is gone.”
I flew into the air, keeping my eyes on Galoriah, Aerozayle, and Lucius as I replied to Moses, “I intend to fight ’til you are all safe.”
Closing my eyes, I transcended past reality to one of the celestial realms in the West Universe. I got into my meditation posture and closed my eyes, moving myself fully into the Avex Realm. In front of me I saw an army of Avexes, standing in complete darkness and waiting for my command. Avexes had previously been Avians like myself, from Planet Avia. Once an Avian died, he or she turned into a white astral entity called Avex.
“I need an army.” I said.
In this dark realm an Avex flew to me. “An army you shall have, my lord.”
I opened my eyes back on Earth—with an army of Avexes by my side, awaiting my command.
Flying downward, I landed on the ground. “Let’s go!” I shouted just as the force field disappeared, along with Vera’s orbs.
As the Avexes came forward, the army of gods charged at us.
I pulled out my bow and drew the string, causing an arrow of white energy to appear. I released the string and the arrow shot forth, with multiple arrows following from behind me from the army of Avexes. Many of our arrows struck the gods, piercing their armor and then exploding, turning them into stone.
My army of Avexes now flew straight into the remaining gods. I followed behind, transforming my bow into a sword. Teleporting to the first god, I drove my blade into his chest. Seeing two more coming my way, I extended my right hand to send forth a bright light, blinding them. I moved in, summoning another blade. I sliced the two blades into bodies on my right and left, and both gods turned to stone.
“Cade!” came Moses’s voice in my ear. “At your nine o’clock—that’s Amentous. You have to fall back!”
I looked over and saw another one of the royal gods—Amentous—striding toward me, wearing his infamous gold armor, supposedly impenetrable against any power or weapon in the four universes.
“I fall back, he gets to the city,” I replied. “Moses, I have no choice.”
As I finished saying this, I saw that many Avexes had already begun to surround me, shielding me from Amentous.
Continuing to walk forward, Amentous kept his attention on the Avexes protecting me. “You’re all beneath me,” he said.
Then Amentous opened his hand and shot a red wave of energy—wide enough to destroy the city. I watched the Avexes ahead of me quickly disappear as the wave hit them.
Moses’s voice returned: “If that wave hits us, we’re all dead … and we’re almost underground!”
“It won’t,” I said, lifting off the ground and flying back toward the city even as the wave followed behind.
I saw that the city of Closias was indeed almost underground, with just the tops of a few buildings showing. The ground around the city began to close.
“This is it!” I called out, closing my eyes to summon more Avexes from their realm.
As soon as they appeared, I shouted, “Make a shield strong enough to block that wave!”
In unison the Avexes created multiple force fields. I looked down to see that the ground was seconds away from closing up and sealing the city safely below. But the energy wave still posed a threat if it reached the gap before it disappeared.
“Moses, I’m going to give it everything I got,” I said.
Then I touched my wrists together and closed my eyes to transcend to Planet Avia. “Phase one,” I whispered.
At that moment multiple Avexes flew into my physical body on Earth. Feeling a surge of energy racing within me, I opened my eyes as my heart started to race. I extended my hands toward the red wave, feeling the power of my home—Planet Avia—coursing through me.
My skin shone as I shot out a large mass of energy, destroying the red wave.
“Over here,” came a familiar voice from behind as Amentous touched my left shoulder.
I turned around to no one.
“Over here.” The voice came from my right this time.
I switched my attention and looked up to Galoriah. My body completely froze as Galoriah descended in front of me and extended his hand toward me. Then, using his telekinesis, he turned my body around to face Amentous.
Aerozayle flew over and hovered by Amentous’s side. Lifting my chin, she stared into my eyes. “Tell me, where’s the Golden Water?”
Her green eyes shone, and I tried to tear my gaze away, but it was too late. My body was compelled to tell the truth on its own as I felt my mouth was now able to move: “Somewhere … in Everglades City … Florida.”
Even without being able to move my eyes, I could see the army of gods coming together behind Galoriah. Angela, I thought, wherever you are, we’re depending on you… Sorry, Dad, this is it for me.
Amentous flew forward. “I know you teleported the millions in the city underground from here to another country. You sacrificed yourself so that humanity had a fighting chance. Hmph, how noble of you. My father did that for our sake. But you’re a fool to challenge the gods.” He extended his hand to my face. “Now perish.”
A ball of yellow energy emerged from his hand and shot out. The pain only lasted for a second and darkness came.