Halo: The Unchained

Going to summer camp was just about the worst decision Ryan Winters had ever made. Spending three months around a bunch of idiots who thought "tru dat" was correct grammar was certainly not his idea of a good time. But, according to his adoptive mother, he wasn't good enough at pretending to not be a mutant. So, there he was, trying to spend more time with the human persons so he could learn how to be a human person. There was only one problem:

Jared Hall.

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**This story is currently undergoing some editing, all unedited chapters have been unpublished :)**

***This is a Seven Realms Novel. For More Seven Realms fun, please read The Forest of Eyes and Shadows and The Marked Series***


18. So Apparently I'm Basically An Angel

So Apparently I'm Basically An Angel

"Ok, I’m going to have to have you run that by me again, because there was water in my ear and I think I just heard you call me some weird name that sounded like a YA fantasy novel threw it up.” Yeah, maybe I was being a little slow to fully grasp the situation. But could you really blame me? It had only been a couple of days since I was totally convinced I was the only mutant with weird magical powers in the entire world. Now there are three. Coincidence? Yeah, not really. But I didn’t want to think about what that could mean.

October stood, allowing huge, off-white wings with brown speckles extend from his back. Really?! More?! Just how many of us were there? It was starting to get a little ridiculous. “I did. Because that is your name—was your name, I mean. Before you died. But more on that later. Why don’t we go through this as quickly as possible: Neither of you is human—and neither of you is a mutant. You are something far more powerful than either.”

I rolled my eyes. “Ok, I’m gonna stop you right there.” I pulled myself up onto the dock and shook out my wings so they were a little less soaking wet. “This is beyond my realm of sanity. Clearly, we are not humans. Clearly, we are mutants. And I don’t have the time to listen to your ramblings today.”

October frowned. “Just listen to me for one minute!” He begged, stepping in front of me and blocking my path out and back into the forest. “I promise, everything will be explained. The fate of our world—of every world—depends on this.”

I couldn’t hold back my laughter. “Oh, I’m sorry for the poor sap who decided that the fate of the world was in my hands. Trust me, everyone would be a lot better off if I had nothing to do with their lives—or their fate, or whatever the hell it was you were saying.” I waved my hand in the air dismissively. Of course, I didn’t believe him. That would be silly. I had never thought that I was put here for any purpose—that wasn’t how the world works.

“Then you would be sorry for yourself,” October said in a rather snippy voice that I did not appreciate. I must admit, I was too shocked by that statement to move. “It was you who took this task upon yourself—whether you remember it or not. And it was you who asked me to deliver this message to you, all those years ago. And so, I am here to complete my task—a task I have waited seventeen years to complete, so just humor me for the next five minutes. That’s all I ask.”

Gigi put her hand on my shoulder. I hadn’t even noticed her get out of the water. “Let’s just listen to him, Ryan. The worst we can lose is time.” She said pointedly, looking to October and giving a nod to signal him to continue before I could possibly protest.

October let out a breath. “Very well.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out an old, crumbled piece of paper that looked decades old. On it was a strange language, written in red ink. He looked at the paper with a strange sadness in his eyes before looking back up at us. “You see, we are not of this world. You, Gigi, and I are all from a place known as—”

I cut him off. “Wait, so… You’re trying to tell me that we are aliens? As in take me to your leader?” I put my hands up to my head, pointing my index finger to the sky to mimic antennas as I said take me to your leader in a silly, 1950s black-and-white alien movie voice. “Yeah, sure. I believe that.” I crossed my arms over my chest and scoffed.

October pinched the bridge of his nose in annoyance, letting out a heavy sigh. “Gods, what I would give to have Jaq with me right now,” he mumbled under his breath, but I still caught that. Rude. “No, we are not aliens. We’re from another dimension. What we are is a lot closer to what humans call the angels—although, where we are from, we are called the Lumora, or “Light Being” in your tongue.” October said that so confidently I almost believed him.

But I’m also not completely off my rocker. “Look, October, this is a nice story and all, but I have no fucking idea what you are talking about. And I can’t say I believe you, either, so… I’m just gonna leave and you can tell the rest of your fantasy story to Gigi here.” Man, did I miss the days where I was just a “mutant freak.” It was way more self-explanatory. And to think 5 minutes ago, I didn’t think my life could get any stranger.

“I had a feeling you were going to say that. You always were the stubborn one—although I must say, it’s good to know that some things never change. Although I’m afraid, I can’t tell my story to just Gigi. You are supposed to lead us.”

I let out a loud scoff. “Ha! Me? A leader? Yeah, good luck with that. Glad to know you want to watch the world burn.” I waved my hand at him dismissively.

“Well, to use a phrase you people are familiar with, tough shit. You may not have asked to be the reincarnation of our leader—but you are. As Gigi is our healer. And I am the messenger. This is our reality. Whether you remember it or not.”

Gigi stepped forward. “How do you know that we are the ones you are looking for? There are hundreds—if not thousands—of mutants on Earth. Why us?”

“You are not creatures of Science—but of magic. That is the only difference between you and the other mutants and humans on this planet. They do not have the capacity for magic—but you do. I can find you by searching for your magic auras—but I can only sense them when your wings are out, like they are now. The Creator went through great length to keep you hidden from our enemies.”

“Yeah, I’m like 95% sure we are just high school kids, and I’m 96% sure that magic doesn’t exist.” Gigi gave me a skeptical look—probably in response to the fact that I didn’t say I was 100% sure of those things. But, in all fairness to myself, with all the weirdness going on… I couldn’t really be 100% sure about anything. Up until a few minutes ago, I was 100% sure I was at least a little bit human. A few days ago, I was 100% sure I was the only one of my kind.

Now I know why commercials advertise their products as “99.99% effective!”

October shook his head. “In these bodies, we may be only high schoolers—by human standards. However, in your true forms—your old forms—we are much older. You and the others lived through the entirety of the Great War—and that lasted nearly a thousand years.”

“Oh, that’s such bull shi—”

“No, Ryan. He’s telling the truth.” Gigi cut me off, walking up to stand next to me. Our feathers brushed together slightly.

Damn it. If she said he was telling the truth, I should probably listen—no matter how much I hated it. “Alright, fine. Say this is true. Say Gigi and I are over a thousand years old or whatever and from another dimension. Why are we here? And why can’t I remember any of these things you claim to be true?”

October sighed and folded his wings into a resting position—like a bird sitting in a nest. “That’s what I’m here for. To make it simple, there was a war—The Great War, that I mentioned earlier. It happened many years ago—long before I came into existence. In fact, there are very few of us alive today who still remember the war, many souls were ripped apart, or trapped in the beyond, or—”

I held up my hand to stop him. “Footnote version, October. Footnote version. None of what you’re saying is processing in my brain.”

October cleared his throat awkwardly. “Right. Sorry. I have a tendency to be long-winded. Long story short, it was a long and terrible war. Ryan, you were one of the greatest generals of your time—and the leader of a powerful group known across the universe as the Legendary Four. The Legendary four were—and are—the four most powerful beings in all of the Seven Realms. They were practically unstoppable when they were together! Each had a specific and special talent, gifted unto them by the Creator. Jaquillian was the Grim Reaper—in charge of all movement of souls through the Seven Realms. Dai’gianna was the head healer—with the ability to heal any wound of flesh and bone through touch. Trysianna was our military strategist and could form impenetrable barriers with only her own aura. And finally, there was Leonaunin, who was gifted extraordinary agility, stealth, and speed—admittedly, not the strongest of our warriors, but by far the best.

I took a breath. “Ok, so I got a lot of names, Jaq-whatever, something that sounded like a World of Warcraft character, some super basic bitch name, and a lion. And I’m expected to, what, remember all that? Or, God-forbid, pronounce them?”

“Well, I suppose if it’s easier in your human tongue, the current Grim gave the Four nicknames that sort of stuck over the years: Jaq, Gina, Trys, and Leo.”

“You just made this 100 times more complicated.”

“Apologies, that was not my intention.”

I groaned and pinched the bridge of my nose, my other hand rested on my hip. I wasn’t expecting this to be so infuriating. “Ok, so, now we got: Guy Who’s Probably a Hard Ass, Disney Character #1, Disney Character #2, and Still a Lion. Why is all this relevant?”

“Jaq, Gina, Trys, and Leo. The Legendary Four. They were your past lives—you, Gigi, and the two others who came to Earth with you, who I have yet to locate. Although, I did feel Leo’s presence here just a few nights ago,” October explained.

I bit my lip a little, thinking back to a few minutes ago when October said he could only feel the presence of the other warriors or whatever when their wings were out. Which brought me to a certain moment a few nights ago involving wings and the woods and other shenanigans... So, clearly, Leo was Josh. Great. More time I get to spend with public-jock-enemy #1. Just because we had gone the last few days without screaming at each other didn’t mean we were friends, and it definitely didn’t mean I wanted to save the universe with him or whatever it was October wanted us to do. It was still semi-unclear. “Okay… So, what does that make you? Are you one of the Legendary Whatever-the-Fucks?”

“The Legendary Four. And, to answer your question: no. I’m afraid that honor was not bestowed on me. I am Octarian—although I have no qualms with you continuing to refer to me by my human name, October. I am the messenger for the Creator—the leader of all our worlds. It is my duty to track down the Legendary Four on Earth and remind you of your task—why you are in the Realm of Earth, what sort of powers you have, and—if need be—retrain you in our ways of combat. Thankfully, your soul bindings should have kept all four of you close together. Makes my job easier, to say the least.”

“What the fuck is a soul binding?”

“More on that later.” October—or, Octarian, apparently—completely ignored my question, choosing instead to move right on to the next almost certainly made up bull shit he planned on spewing. “Right now, we should focus on locating Leo’s reincarnation. He must be close—he wouldn’t stray far from his…” October’s voice trailed off, and he looked like he was choosing his next words carefully. “…what do you humans call it…? Partner? Significant other? In any case, he should be here.”

I didn’t even try to understand what that meant. Josh? Dating anyone? Seemed unlikely. Josh didn’t care for romance or intimacy or any of it—not unless he knew the other person really, really well. I took a breath. Well, if I had to listen to this craziness, it was only fair that Josh would have to listen to it too. “Yeah, about that… I think I know who you are looking for. We may or may not have accidentally stumbled upon each other the other night.”

October suddenly lit up, his face looking less grim. “Perfect! Go get them! There is no time to waste! And when you return…” October took something out of his pocket. It looked like a memory card or something—well, it looked more like one of those ancient floppy disk things. Who the hell still used those, anyway? It took me a moment to realize he had something else in his hands—a key. It was small, silver, and had a crest engraved on the top that was in the shape of a halo, and a pair of wings—one painted white, the other, black. “I’ll have to show you the rest.”

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