Introduction to Transformation
Introduction to Transformation
A prelude to The Edge Falls Series
The night sky was clear as glass when Gabriel drove across the desert land. The air was warm and dry. Sometimes the wind started to blow across the flat surface, carrying bits of sand with it. The stars were plentiful and bright, surrounding two half-moons that hovered above the horizon. They served like they always do as guides and marking points for the explorers coming across new lands. Gabriel felt that he was like one. He went to this desert land in search for an item, an item that could help him for many years to come. It wasn’t for gain or greed. Gabriel was not a fighter, a ruler, or a plotter. He was an artist one who wanted to leave his work behind and have an audience to appreciate his work. He heard that this item was held by a wayward thief. So that was his quest and this is was the start of his journey.
The desert he was crossing was a unique place. It was a land that stood at the edge of the Universe. Very few know that the very edge of this universe was an endless desert that collects particles from everywhere. The paths crossing this desert were difficult. Monsters and armies roam the land, hoping to catch some unlucky wanders. Storms and meteorites were also known to come suddenly and destroy everything on the ground. All these dangers make going across the path dangerous. But even with this being the most difficult path to cross, it won’t stop Gabriel. He was damn near immortal and very destructive. If any army was unfortunate to come across him, they would be totally abolished. But only a few will see Gabriel tonight.
After a long time something appeared in the distance. It was a white square structure that stood directly in front of Gabriel. He sped his motorcycle and shot straight for it. The wind was picking up. All the signs were screaming danger. They said trouble waits ahead. Any sane person would turn around, knowing that nothing was going to end well. But Gabriel didn’t care. He would have answers one way or another. Before the hour was up Gabriel arrived at the white block. It was like a small building the size of a house but made complete of marble. There were no windows or doors. No features or structures surrounded it. It was nothing but a block of marble in the desert land. But Gabriel saw different.
Gabriel hop of his bike and walked towards the building. His black leather boots left little imprint on the sand. The black coat that covered him flapped in the wind as it picked up. He had his hood on covering his face and some of his wild red hair. His good, blue eye stood out as he scans the area. The wind was starting to pick up, blowing sand everywhere. Gabriel ignores the wind and sand. He turned to the building and took a step forward. Instantly the wall in front of him crumbled and was blast away. Gabriel went inside easily. It was nothing but darkness. It gave off a cold, dusty feeling that clung to the air desperately. It reeked of death and decay. Gabriel moved his right hand in the air and fire appeared. The fire floated down and landed softly in the middle of the room. Light spread, revealing the area around it, sparing no secrets. All around were ruins of treasures and wooden ships. It was all trash and junk that no one would care to find again. But in the middle of this junk pile there was a weak being. It was an old man that had features of a cat. Disfigured paws with tawny fur, a muzzled full of sharp teeth, pointed ears, and blind yellow eyes. But this old man was sick. Feathers and scales were growing all around his body. His breathing was labored and sickly. He sat down, realizing that a fire was nearby. Then he noticed that he was not alone.
“Aw,” he said quietly. “The one eye king returns.”
Gabriel looked at him, disappointed. He was told there was a great thief out in the desert. Could he be it? Gabriel sat down next to the fire. The old cat man seems to follow his movement. He may be blind but he must have powerful sense to make up for his lack of vision. He could be physic for all Gabriel knows. Hopefully he could keep his curiously away from Gabriel’s mind and keep his sanity. Gabriel began his interview.
“I am not the one eye king.” He said lightly.
“But you were a king and have one eye left.” The old man said. “Your smell betrays your history.”
“I don’t care what you know of me.” Gabriel said impatiently. “Are you not a great thief? Do you not have a powerful object in your midst? You should understand, I had crossed the desert for weeks looking for you.”
“Aye, I am the great thief you seek.” The old man replied. “My name is Raul the Invisible. I have been hunted down in most of the galaxy, I was very infamous. But I found a way to keep myself hidden and well-kept until you came my lord.”
“I am not here to take you in.” Gabriel said. “I heard that you obtain an item that could be very useful. I request that you give it to me now. It is said to be a ring.”
“You mean this ring?” Raul said and held up a bright, sliver ring with a red stone in the middle. Gabriel could see the power it was giving off. It was intense. Gabriel titled his head. He could see ruins on the ring, magical marks that were so old even he could not tell what they came from. The thief’s hand was trembling as he held it. It was like he wanted it on, became addicted to the power it gave.
“What is that ring?” Gabriel asked curiously.
“The Ring of Transformation” the thief whispered. “It was my greatest achievement but also my greatest downfall. It has extraordinary power but great consequences. It has changed my life and my mind. But it can ruin you, destroy all your feelings and yourself because you cannot let go or stay here. I got this ring from the very god who created it, from Edge himself.”
“Who is Edge?” Gabriel asked.
“You have not heard of Edge?” Raul sat there, looking curious. “Where did you come from? Most of the inner galaxies have him in some lore. He is a god, a powerful being that walks across the skies. Surely you know who he is.”
“Sorry, I don’t know him.” Gabriel said. “All I know from the prophets I talk to is that you have a powerful artifact and it will help me.”
“But if you don’t know what this ring is then how do you know if it will help you?” Raul asked. “You are just following the directions you were given, lost until you find a safe haven. You know I am a thief yet you seek an item I stole. This business is very risky. But you don’t want to hear the warnings? Then my best advice is to leave. Do not take this ring until you fully know what it contains.”
Gabriel didn’t move. Raul sighed.
“Edge is the god of transformation.” He said. “He is a god who can transform any material, any being into something else. He can alter all sorts of matter making it very different.”
“Are you sure that it is not a god of matter?” Gabriel said.
“I doubt it.” Raul said shortly. “Otherwise he could have destroyed me easily when I stole this ring. No, Edge is the master of transforming things. He can change a mortal into anything. There are cultures, legends, and tales of his power and followers.”
“I still don’t get it.”
Raul looked at Gabriel with a slight annoyance but continued anyway. “Transformation is a gift and a curse, a power but a limitation.” He told Gabriel. “There are many stories of changing shape, altering one’s form. It is in many mythologies. It is a dream of many mortals to leave one’s shape. But of course it is a double edge sword. Can the ability to transform help you learn and explore a different world or will it be used to punish you, to rip your stable, perfect life by throwing you into different position? This is what the power of transformation has to offer and it is what I’ve learn since I stole this ring.”
“But how does this matter?” Gabriel asked swiftly. “I have told this ring can help me. But how can it?”
“What so you need help with?”
“I feel lost, confused, and tired really.” Gabriel said quietly. “But can this ring help me with that? What wounds or disease can it cure? Will it satisfy my mind? My soul? My body?”
“It does all that.” Raul took a deep wheezing breath. “It can broaden your mind. Teach you things you thought were never possible. Once you transform, once you take on another shape you can never go back to ignorance. Like each stages of life the form you become can show you a different view and teach you many things. Yes the same problems will be persistent but you will have more answers and more questions than every before. The ring can also help you find companionship. There are cultures out there that desire for this ability, groups of mortals that want to transform. Together they find their common interest. You can find friendship and a different side to the fellow person next to you. But of course for those who prefer solitariness or want to feel something new and energetic can use this ring for physical pleasures. Another body is fascinating in many ways.”
“You mean people are attracted to this?” Gabriel said taken aback. “That is just weird...”
“We are discussing one of the most elusive powers in the Universe and you think you can judge it so easily?” Raul smiled darkly. “I guess there is no other way but to teach you. I will give you this ring. However tell me this, do you know where we are?”
“The edge of the universe” Gabriel replied. “On the desert land of Ora Infini, why?”
Raul let out a wheezing laugh. Gabriel did not find this amusing. The thief was now bent down in laughter, not paying attention to the being in front of him. Psychic or not, vision or no vision no one could see the rage building under Gabriel’s face. He kept his cool, serious face while he analyzed the area around him. The air didn’t taste right for one thing. It was moist. It was if a body of water was nearby. The area also felt newer, totally new. It felt like he was in a different part of the universe all together.
Faster than a bolt of lightning Gabriel stood up and put his hands out. The fire that separated him and Raul rose straight in the air and separated into two columns. The columns transform into two large hands that lunged at Raul like vicious vipers. Raul had little time to react. By the time he notice the anger from Gabriel and the rising heat from the fire he had only enough time to respond with a look of horror. The fiery hands lift Raul up off the ground and slam him to the wall behind him. Several items broke and rolled across the floor past Gabriel. Gabriel approached the thief as calm as he could.
“Now that I have your full attention,” Gabriel said in low voice. “I will ask you three questions and you better answered them correctly. Where are we, why have you been stalling me from the ring and why would I need the power of transformation?”
Raul tried to speak but the flames were burning his arms, making it hard to get air into his lungs. He had heard rumors of powerful fire creatures in his adventures. They were rumor to be war people filled with bloodlust and rage. But what he felt from Gabriel was just peace, patients, and longing. But now Gabriel was the very opposite. Raul guessed that laughing was a mistake that he shouldn’t let slip.
“Well?” Gabriel said impatiently.
“We are at two places at once!” Raul yelled.
“Explain to me at once,” Gabriel said calmly. “Tell me your whole story, all of it.”
“This is how I escaped every world and galaxy for all my life.” Raul gasped. “We are in a place called Linum Tela. It a dream place, a fantasy land that only dreamers and seekers can go to. It is a place that can deify the laws of the universe and reality. Hell, it is deifying the entire universe. Where do you think the powers, the magic and the gods go to when the universe finds them illogical and irrelevant? It is refugee for mortals and immortals that are sick of the dullness of reality and order! I made my hideout in one of the hybrid places, areas that can lead one to Linum Tela. We are in between two places of the universe, maybe more!”
“So where is the other place in the universe?”
“It is a planet called Earth.” Raul screamed as pain began to increase. “It is filled with mortal human beings. The other place is another desert. They called it Jornada Del Muerto. It means a single day’s journey of a dead man in one of their languages. It is actually fitting for me.”
“What do you mean?” Gabriel growled. “Why have you been delaying me the artifact of the gods? Did you think I was going to give up?”
“I was testing you, you idiot!”
“Why?” The fire was starting to get hotter.
“Did you think you were the only one hunting me down?” Raul asked Gabriel. “I had been hiding from him for who knows how long. He is a mantic, a leviathan to every mortal out there. He has been hunting me down ever since I got this ring. Nothing will stop him!”
“Who is he?” Gabriel asked.
“The being of shadows, a demon of hell” Raul seems to be getting scared. “I told you about Linum Tela being the refugee for dreamers, a source for magic and gods to reside. Well there are some beings who wish to destroy it, blast Linum Tela into bits and steal all the power it has. They will stop at nothing until this ring and all the dreamers who followed this power are under their control and are feeding them all their will and energy. I had to make sure you didn’t work for them especially the Eight Claw One. He will kill me as he had poisoned me. I am forever in his sights. And now he is coming.”
“What is his name?”
“They called him Zagan.” Raul said quietly. “He has the power to temp any mortal into doing his biding. He can kill us, torture us, or consume us. We only have few minutes before-”
But the wind outside began to pick up. The sand began to swirl and soon surround the structure. A low growl started to come from outside. Gabriel dropped the thief as the wind became a deafening howl. Curse myself, Gabriel thought. If it was his own fault for arriving here that brought interlopers here then he had made his chances of getting the ring very slim. Gabriel turned to the opening he made. If Zagan was going to come in then this is where he will show.
“Why do you believe the ring is powerful?” Gabriel asked Raul who was coughing behind him from the smoke and dust. “Why do you think it will help me?”
“The ability to transform can teach you many things.” Raul said as soon as he caught his breath. “It could give you a powerful form or it can teach you to think like your enemy. But that is not the point. If you have great willpower and strong determination you will defeat Zagan. He hates it, it is his weakness. Even so he has power to temp people to give in. He poisons their minds and souls until they give in to his will.”
“Is that what he did to you?” Gabriel asked as the ground began to quake.
“Yes” the thief whispered. “Every form gave me new sensations, new feelings, and new opportunities. But Zagan managed to taint the ring and my mind. He wanted me to be less human so he can control me easily.”
“So in order to kill Zagan we have to defeat him physically, mentally, and by willpower?” Gabriel looked deep into the veil of sand as a dark figure appeared. “Is that what we have to do?”
“Basically that is it.” Raul gulp as something came closer.
“Then give me the ring.” Gabriel commanded. “I will ensure you that Zagan will not have it.”
Raul hesitated before he threw the ring. Gabriel grabbed the ring in one swoop.
“No mortal can simply defeat Zagan.” Raul told Gabriel.
“I will keep that in mind,” Gabriel said. “But I am no mere mortal.”
Just then a blast shook the room. Something emerged from the sand curtain. It was dark and morbid. The creature was hunched down and walked slowly towards them. He was covered in a cloth that resembles something like seaweed. Seven appendages were sporting out of the back sweeping the area around him. They were black tentacles, sucking everything in the air. A large red claw came out of the cloth and moved the hood. Zagan had a twisted face with bulging blue eyes that stared at Gabriel. His other hand came out, a black slimy thing that wants only one thing.
“Give me the ring.” Zagan demanded hoarsely.
“No” Gabriel said, giving a small smile.
Zagan let out a small hiss before all his tentacles lunged at Gabriel. Gabriel however raised his right hand up and all the tentacles were cut up. Zagan step back but didn’t retreat. His tentacles began to reform. Another wave of attack came from Zagan but it not physical. Instead a wave of mental strikes came at Gabriel, fast and complex. But Gabriel simply blocked them. This surprised Zagan who had haven’t a tough opponent. He let out a loud, deadly hiss.
“Are you finished?” Gabriel said.
“Give me the ring now.” Zagan said. “It belongs to me…”
“I doubt it.” Gabriel said. “Last chance, leave or die”
But Zagan didn’t listen. He instead plunged his tentacles down into the ground. They burrowed underneath Gabriel and attack Raul with surprising swipe. Raul let out a small yelp before he was thrown to the ground. The tentacles wrapped around Raul tightly and dragged him across the ground. Raul struggled but not for long. Zagan threw him around, studying him before let out a piercing scream. A horrible sound of bones breaking snapped across the air and Zagan dropped the dead body of the thief.
“Where is it?” Zagan asked angrily.
“Gone” Gabriel said and shows an empty hand. “I made it disappeared to Earth. You will never get your hand on it.”
Zagan looked confuse.
“I cursed it.” Gabriel explained. “I made sure you will never get close to it like you did with Raul.”
Zagan lunged angrily at Gabriel. But it gave Gabriel an opening he was waiting for. He shot his hand out and touched Zagan’s head. Suddenly flames and hot ash spread all over Zagan. He agitated in pain but was determine to attack. He shot his claw out but Gabriel blocked it with a flaming sword he conjured. Zagan attacked again and again but was kept getting block. Gabriel spun around Zagan and stabbed him in the back. Flames covered Zagan, killing him.
Gabriel turned to Zagan, wondering if he was really deadly. But Zagan turned to him.
“This isn’t over, you phoenix!” he yelled hoarsely. “I am legion and I am many! I WILL FIND THAT RING!”
Then light began to emit from the evil creature. Gabriel felt the energy coming from Zagan, a type that usually comes from a large explosion. Gabriel knew what was going to happen in a fraction of a second and hightail it out of there. He sprinted out of the building and into the sandy world beyond. A bright light emitted from the room and brighten the night. Then the world shook and the air became smoke. The force was strong enough to lift Gabriel and flung him into a sand pile. Gabriel emerges out of the sand, coughing and burnt but otherwise unharmed.
What was left of the structure was a heptagram made of green glass. It stood out like a monument before it crumbled away. Gabriel looked around. He was still in a desert land, surrounded by sand and large rocks but the sky above was totally different. Only one moon surrounded by unfamiliar stars filled the night sky. Gabriel sighed as he brushed himself. He was now on this strange planet. It was now a race between him and a monster for the mysterious power that was in this ring. If he fails this planet could be in danger. But if he wins then a new chapter will began and Gabriel will have his answers solved. Gabriel walked away from the blast and found his bike sitting in the sand. He hopped on and started it up. The night was still young and he had a long journey ahead of him. He sent the ring out of the area into another place. The Ring of Transformation was now in another unconformity on this planet, a place that was on the edge of the dream world called Linum Tela. It was there the battle will begin and where it will end.
It was a town called Edge Falls and that is where Gabriel drove to.