FIRST BOOK OF THE NEW YEAR! And because I'm fun: last book in a series. Ha.
Originally this novel wasn't supposed to exist but then the epilogue of Book 3: Finale happened and this one was begging to be written so here we are. Book 4: Adam's Story takes place immediately after the events in Book 3 but 12 years have passed in the last few chapters of Book 3. Blair is no longer an 18 year old rookie Time Knight but is now a 30 year old psychiatrist who's job on earth is to find other Time Knights. Xe's also still a Time Knight.
Unlike the other books, Blair is NOT the Point of View Character. Adam is. Blair's still a main character but we don't get to hear xer thoughts. Book 1: Discovery was about Blair finding out xe's a Time Knight. Book 2: Seeking is all about figuring out who the bad guy is and the world of the Mists. Book 3: Finale is the final fight with the bad guy as he jumps between various worlds to destroy each one.
Book Four: Adam's Story answers the questions left behind in book 3, namely what happens to Dyns. There's also a new enemy threatening the Mists and Adam is the one who has to stop said enemy. Why? Well, Alaya told him he had to and when an Ala'gan tells you you're the one meant to destroy the enemy then you'd better pay attention. Onwards!
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Word Count: 94,116
Prompt: Conclusion of the Mists of Time series.
Main Characters: Adam, Blair (who finally gets a last name), Zallahia, Lyo, Tyo, and Lylina VanHelgrove
Minor Characters of Note: Tim, Helen, Mac, The Mist Watcher, the Grand Healer, Ova, King Demek VanHelgrove, Lance VanHelgrove, and honorable mention goes to Gunther who was created on page 145 and died on page 147. Super-duper honorable mention goes to Rayleigh, Lylina's dragon because he's awesome.
Summation: Adam's the first Time Knight Blair discovers and now Adam has to learn all about being a Time Knight and what it entails. Adam reacts differently than Blair through the entire process and even wants to figure out a way to stop Mist Beast from coming into the Mists. Of course we throw in a bad guy no one expects and we have some fun.
High Points: The VanHelgroves as a whole. They kind of steal the story...
Low Points: Zallahia
The World: Earth with three mages (Blair, Adam, and Clay Orrell) and the Mists.
"Why doesn't earth have a connection to the other worlds?" Adam asked.
She (Blair) frowned. Adam felt bad for making her upset.
"Twelve years ago there was a, complication, in the Mists..." Mrs. McKinley-Lafrance said (Again, Blair. Yes xer name is Blair McKinley-Lafrance)
"But Adam said if he left my office he wouldn't be coming back. He's a skeptic and well, there is no better way to make a skeptic believe than show them."
After fainting from seeing his first Mist Beast:
"Um, wow, your legs are really smooth." Adam said (to Blair. Ha.).
"I can't believe," (Adam's mom, they're talking about cooking dinner)
"But we had to do a project for science!" (Little brother Xander)
"Yeah, science!" (Drew, twin to Xander)
"You always said we have to apply ourselves more!"
"Yeah, apply ourselves more!"
Adam wanted to laugh at Drew repeating Xander's last few words.
"Let me guess, these two 'had' to stay late for school and Adam 'forgot' because of homework." Dad said.
He was good. Mom nodded.
"But it was for science!" Drew said as if it would make a difference.
"Right, science. I guess we're getting burgers or pizza?" Dad asked.
"Pizza!" The Terrors (Xander and Drew, it's Adam's nickname for them) said together.
Mom rolled her eyes.
"For science." Mom said.
"How much time do you have?" Mrs. McKinley-Lafrance asked.
"Well, you can freeze it." Adam said.
"But don't you have to give me a final test?" Adam asked.
Zallahia groaned. She shook her head and Adam wondered how she got through school. Schools must be completely different on Yavis.
"Your final test is not dying when a Mist Beast attacks you." Zallahia said.
"That's not a good test." Adam told her.
"It's the only test. I'm your tutor until I think you can survive out here alone." Zallahia said.
There should be quizzes and smaller tests before a final exam. Adam wanted to ask about those but had a feeling Zallahia would give him an answer he wouldn't like. There had to be some form of structure though.
"But, what about," Adam started.
She cut him off with a groan.
"Your first test is to summon something and you pass when you summon something. The next test is to summon something good enough to fight a Mist Beast and you pass when your something defeats a Mist Beast. The final test is coming in here, summoning something, beating a Mist Beast, and not being exhausted all without my help. Oh, there's also a mini-test on getting to Central without my help. And for us personally I'll be teaching you some form of hand-to-hand combat and there will be various tests there. One test is not falling on your ass when I punch you in the mouth. Another is being able to duck under my sword so I don't chop your head off. Happy?"
Adam wasn't. It didn't sound like he could sit down and study for any of those tests. (Yes he's a majorly into being a perfect student)
After Zallahia faints when Blair tells her who he really is:
"She'll come around in a minute or two," Mr. McKinley-Lafrance said (to Adam). "You know, I think you two were paired up for a good reason. You need to learn to stop over-thinking and she needs to learn to think. The cosmos are laughing at you."
"I've no idea and vague prophecies are what I do," Alaya said. "Adam, The Attack isn't over. There's one person left alive who isn't happy about how things are running now and you're going to have to be the one who stops him."
"Why?" Adam questioned.
"You because, well, I'm not sure to be honest," Alaya said. "You're not any stronger than Blair but Blair is fairly strong when it comes to Time Knights...The universe and the Higher Powers like picking on unsuspecting heroes from earth probably to knock the Ambrosian Mages down a peg or two when a simple Earthling saves the world and they can't."
"He has most of the knowledge of the universe in his head?" Adam asked.
"Yep," Tyo began.
Adam prepared himself for a long-winded explanation. Zallahia groaned.
"We went to the Universal Library of All when were 12 up until we were 15 and well, once we read a book it stays in our heads forever even if we read it that one time. That and if Lyo reads something, I know it so technically we can read two books at one. Oh and it only takes us a few seconds to read a page depending on the size of the book so,"
Tyo stopped here with a shrug. Adam wasn't sure what was more surprising: the fact Tyo had stopped talking on his own or the fact the VanHelgrove Twins knew everything there was to know in the entire universe after skimming over the information once.
"Holy shit." Adam said.
"Good summation," Mr. McKinley-Lafrance said. "But they have to constantly be multi-tasking or they can't do simple tasks."
"Wait, wait, so they have to walk and read or walk and talk or walk and do something so they don't trip over nothing?" Zallahia asked.
"Yep." Mr. McKinley-Lafrance said.
Tyo waved his hand as if to clear the words from the air...
"Yeah, well, shut up. Do you want to see the books about the Attack or our father or the Universal Library of All?" Tyo asked.
He probably remembered every word of every conversation. Adam suppressed a shiver. No, he would never want the Twins' memory.
"I think you covered it all pretty well." Mr. McKinley-Lafrance said.
Lyo snorted and a small smirk came to his face. It was gone before Adam realized in full the smirk was there.
"Good," Lyo said. "Tyo's voice gets annoying sometimes."
"Oh, I guess you need someone to talk to as well." the mother said.
"Besides the voices in my head, yes." Adam said. (Ha)
"She (the mother above) wants me to be a boy but I'm not, you know? I've always been a girl but I'm in the wrong body. She says God doesn't make mistakes and I don't know how to tell her she's wrong." Amber (who yes, is transgender) said.
"Well, he doesn't make mistakes," Adam said (wait for it)
Her face fell.
"Because you were always a girl and always will be a girl." Adam finished.
"Do you know how to fight?" Zallahia (TRAINED WARRIOR) asked.
"I understand the concept behind fighting." Adam (NON TRAINED WARRIOR) said.
"Hit the other person while avoiding being hit." Zallahia said.
Adam nodded. Zallahia moved. Adam caught the movement but couldn't shift in time to avoid her left hand coming out. He felt the air whip by his head at her fist and stilled. She was so close he could almost feel her body against his. She was grinning.
"I missed your face deliberately. I figured I'd be nice and give you some practice before throwing you into the test of "not falling on your ass when I punch you in the mouth." Good idea?" Zallahia asked.
"Good idea." Adam said.
He yelped and stared up at her from the ground. She had done something with one of her legs against his and made him fall through the fog and onto whatever made up the ground of the Mists.
"Oh sorry, that was the first test in "avoid being knocked on your ass." I'm going to call that a fail. Wanna try again?" Zallahia questioned.
"But I want to be a doctor and save people's lives." Adam said (after being informed he might be a Dark Mage).
"So?" Tyo began. "You're going to be cutting into people to save their lives. You'll be removing flesh, burning to cauterize wounds, watching them bleed, sometimes killing them temporarily to get an operation done, and even removing limbs to save their life. All healers are sadists. Who willingly wants to cut into a living person and screw around in their insides? And people say Dark Mages are messed up in the head."
Adam opened his mouth but couldn't think of what to say. Tyo chuckled, caught another book then shook his head.
"But the difference is you care about the people you're going to be cutting up and you'll feel sad if they don't make it. Me? I'd laugh about it. Give me a living being who doesn't mind being cut up and I'll smile while they're screaming in pain."
There was no harm in trying to summon something by naming it instead of picturing it.
"Um, Rocky?" Adam tried.
Tyo yelped as a rock landed on his head. Thankfully it hadn't been a big rock.
"The first thing you have to understand is everyone has a fear," Lyo began. "Some bury it deeper than others but I can still find it. Only those who are truly insane lack fear and if you are dealing with someone who has no fears then you may as well give up.
"The second thing you have to understand is I am capable of learning your fear, amplifying it and essentially scaring you to death. You do not have to be asleep. You do not even have to be thinking about your fear. I will find it. I will make it believe it is happening to you. When it is over there won't be a mark on your physical body except the mark of fear."
Adam gulped. It wasn't a promising way to begin a conversation. Lyo took a breath.
"When I say I am the Nightmare, I mean just that: I am every fear you've ever had in life. I am the Abyss. I control every aspect of the Nightmare, of fear, and of IT. I live in complete darkness when I am able and my pleasant dreams would be torture for you to see. Ask your question."
"Okay, but the Mist Beasts, the things created from people's fears and nightmares feel pain and fear when they die. Doesn't that mean they have some form of intelligence and can be controlled?" Adam asked.
"No." Lyo said.
Adam stared. There was no forthcoming explanation and he scowled. Lyo seemed to sense Adam's annoyance and lifted one shoulder in a shrug...
"...All it (Mist Beasts) knows is scaring you or anyone else. It cannot be made to understand the concept of loyalty or obedience. It is fear. It is a nightmare. It will kill you if you do no kill it."
"The problem with fear and nightmares is everyone has them. Most people have the same ones. Worse than that: you can never get rid of them. Ever."
"Everything you do in life takes time," Mrs. McKinley-Lafrance said. "You can't become the best pianist or runner or painter or whatever without putting in the practice or the training, and without persevering even when it seems like everything is against you."
"It's the worse feeling in the world to fail, especially when it's at things you're normally good at."
"You can't let something like failure hold you back. You can't look to the past but you can look to the future and change your future. You can get past failure as long as you remember no matter what: tomorrow is a new day."
A swirling mass of blue, purple, and black magic appeared beside Tyo and Adam watched as Lyo stepped out of the mass. The magic disappeared a moment later but Lyo said nothing.
"He hears what I hear, mental connect and all." Tyo said.
"It's difficult to deliver books when the person meant to catch them isn't there." Lyo said.
"We're breaking into her office later?" Lyo asked.
It was said in the same monotone Lyo used for everything else, as if they weren't thinking about breaking into a Keeper's office to read her books. Not just any Keeper either, one who could control flames and was a good friend of Mr. McKinley-Lafrance. Tyo was grinning at his twin.
"Sure." Tyo said.
"Teach him dodging too. The best way to pass is not to get hit in the first place." Tyo said.
"You're agreeing with him?" Adam asked.
"Of course," Zallahia said. "Dodging is half a battle. Now, let's find an empty training room so I can kick your ass."
"Not bad." Zallahia said.
"Thanks. Maybe one of these days I'll pass the "don't get crushed under your shield" test." Adam said. (Ha.)
Adam made a chair and sat down as the Keepers, the Watchers, and Zallahia argued in various languages. Alaya cleared her throat but no one was paying attention to the petite woman.
The gust of wind that came from Alaya's tiny form knocked Adam's chair over and blew everyone else a few feet back. A few stumbled but all of them were trained warriors in some sense of the word. Adam was the only one who had fallen. Alaya was smiling.
"Good, I have your attention," (Hehe)
"See, Lance is as much a Battle Demon as Vixen," Tyo began "*Continues huge rant about his Uncle Lance with Lance IN the room*...But he's good at calming a person down and is one of the few who could get (bad guy) to come here willingly without resorting to mind control."
Adam wished he could find the humor Prince Lance seemed to see in all this. The hilarity was there when Prince Lance spoke:
"I also like long walks through the garden in the moonlight, the color dark blue, and my favorite way to pass time other than beating the crap out of Vixen is playing the violin or painting with watercolors. I hate eggplant."
After being discovered by Xander and Drew coming back from the Mists:
And a bit later:
Adam supposed it was difficult to deal with a jaguar (the feline) sitting in the middle of the living room as if nothing was wrong.
Adam could see the magic flowing on Lylina's (Tyo and Lyo's womb-mate, they're triplets) breath. It look as if she was exhaling a stream of tiny diamonds and everywhere the diamonds landed turned into a thin sheet of ice. The ice didn't last long, ten seconds, and Lylina began stitching the wound closed.
"He used to be an elemental mage. It's probably the only reason he can force his (time) magic to do something else." Tyo said.
"Probably?" Lylina asked. "I'm surprised at you two. Normally there's a huge explanation."
"So, can you take us there some other time?" Mac asked. (Adam's friend and about the Mists)
"Are you crazy?" Helen questioned. "Those creatures will attack us unless we get to the Tower right away and Adam almost fell over doing it this time. Do you have a death wish?"
"No," Mac said. "Think of all the studying we could do. I mean, we could be there a week and only a minute or two would pass here. Seriously." (Yeah, that's totally what I'd do if I could get to a world where time stopped. *snorts* Actually...)
"Hi. I'm going to grab a bottle of water then go to the Mists." Adam said.
"Be careful." Mom said.
"I will." Adam told her. (Famous last words. Muwahaha)
So, Blair and Adam are in the Mists hiding underneath in the fog fighting a bad guy and this happens:
Adam felt a hand on his ass but kept his yelp down.
"Er, that's not, sorry." Mr. McKinley-Lafrance said.
When Blair finds out said enemy can use fire:
"Is it sad I want to summon something like a Blastoise?" Mr. McKinley-Lafrance questioned.
"Vaporeon is more cat-like. Suicune would probably be more your style though plus it's bigger but yeah, size doesn't mean anything here." Adam said.
Adam wasn't about to leave without Mr. McKinley-Lafrance. If he did then he would never see Mrs. McKinley-Lafrance again.
Adam needed a creature as fast as Kiara (cheetah) and as large as Tucker (Elephant) with fangs and claws. He couldn't think of anything remotely similar and his vast knowledge of game creatures suddenly left him. He thought back over everything he had read and wished he could ask Tyo. Adam wished he had mentioned needing such a creature to Tyo. Hell, if he had Lylina's water powers he could...Lylina. Rayleigh.
The dragon's roar shook the Mists when he appeared. (There you go. ;) )
...And after the fight:
"Tower Adam, think about the Tower and stop thinking about me." *snickers*
"Is Princess Lylina around? Can I see Zallahia?" Adam asked.
"I can answer both those questions and more."
The room became colder and Adam watched as Lylina strode in with Rayleigh behind her.
"The problem is we have to do what destiny tells us to do. We have to use whatever gifts we're given even if they're curses and try to make the best of it....No, you don't have to like it but you do have to deal with it and move on. It's all anyone can do."