The Legacy of Atlantis - The Awakening of Evil

Magic.

Is it real? Is it a myth? There are people all over who will argue both cases. Some people will even tell you that magic is science we are unable to comprehend. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what other people tell you. All that matters is what I tell you right now.

I come from a world thought long gone by you and your people. It's better that way. For hundreds of years, the planet of New Atlantis has prospered in peace and, well...prosperity. That all changed when I ventured into a whole new world of forces that were beyond both my control and understanding, and now chaos lurks around every corner.

Believe it or not, I'm the only one who can stop it.

My name is Jason Wolf and in order for me to succeed, I need you to believe in the impossible. Trust me when I say that the fate of both our worlds hang in the balance.

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17. Perfect Symbiote

 

Base 21, seven leagues underneath the Odysseun Ocean

The Planet of New Atlantis

The Training Dome

1st August 2017, 21:30 pm…

 

 

The Training Dome was similar to the Control Dome, except for the fact that it was completely empty. The walls were made of special silver, reflective panelling, and the floor was some kind of squashy, beanbag-like stuff.

The six teenagers were inside and the door had been firmly shut when an ominous humming began to arise.

 

"What's going on?" Jason asked warily.

Ami's voice was suddenly relayed, loud as you please through minute speakers embedded in the dome. "It's nothing to worry about, it's just the Training Dome systems firing up. First we're going to assess your PEL’s.”

“PEL’s?” Ivan asked.

 

“Potential Energy Levels,” Ami said. “It’s a fancy term for power rating. Ivan, you’re up first. Give yourself some space, please.”

 

Everybody scooted away from Ivan immediately, leaving him standing foolishly in the centre of the Training Dome. Thirty paces away, in the wall of the dome, an emitter issued a flat, wide beam of turquoise light, which swept over Ivan’s entire body from head to foot. 

"Just collecting data," Kessler said reassuringly as Ivan started.

 

"It tickles," Ivan said stiffly.

"Okay, Ivan, your PEL is in," Kessler said brightly. "Like to know how strong you are?"

"Yeah!" Ivan grinned. “Why not?”

 

"Okay, you measured in at a staggering…Positive Thirteen," Ami said.

"Oh," Ivan said, disappointed. "That's not very high."

"On the contrary, my young friend," Crenshaw's voice suddenly sounded. "The strongest level that can be used safely is Positive One, and considering that even the most accomplished witches and wizards are usually somewhere in the thousands, that's extremely powerful."

 

"Oh!" Ivan said, surprised. "That's good then, right?"

“Very,” Crenshaw said reassuringly.

 

Dimitri went next - the same turquoise beam gave him the once over and then his power rating was in. "Positive Eleven.”

Dimitri grinned at his brother. "I'm more powerful than Ivan?"

"Statistically speaking, yes," Kessler laughed. “Remember…you’ve all just been through the mill, so I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re all at your Symbiotic Minimums.”

“Our-?” Jason began.

 

“It’s another term for weakest power level that you can reach by naturally consuming energy,” Ami said.

 

"Score!" Dimitri grinned, pumping his fist. "I'm so going to get a t-shirt with 'eleven' on it. Lest we forget that I'm infinitely more powerful than Ivan is."

"It's only two points," Ivan grumbled.

"I bet you wish you had those two points, though," Dimitri cackled. "Sam, you go next."

 

Sam gingerly stepped into the middle of the room. Moments later, her reading came in. "Positive Seventeen."

 

"Weakling," Dimitri hissed, at which point Sam swatted his head with her open palm.

 

Bastian also received seventeen, making Dimitri, so far, the most powerful one present. That was until Alex stepped into the centre of the room and his reading came up as Positive Ten.

 

"No way you got ten!!" Dimitri squealed.

 

Alex just smiled and laughed. "Read it and weep, Romanoff. Just call me Perfect Ten Cassidy."

 

"That's everyone?" Kessler checked.

 

 

"No," Bastian said at once. "Jason hasn't had a go."

Jason had completely forgotten that it was his turn - suddenly all the pressure was on him. He stepped confidently into the centre of the Training Dome and felt a slight warmth on his crown as the beams of beam of light swept over him.  

There was a pause, and a moment of silence as the laser scanned Jason’s anatomy, retrieved the data and assessed the readings before feeding it to Ami’s console. "No way," Kessler said in a hushed voice.

 

"What?" Alex asked. "What did he get?"

Kessler took a moment to answer, but when she did, everybody heard her. "Positive Three."

 

 

There was even bigger and more awkward pause, and then there was an explosion of noise and mutiny. "Three?!!! How the hell did he get three?!" Sam and Dimitri screeched.

Jason smiled innocently. "Search me," he shrugged.
"I take it three's good?"

 

"All of you have impressive power levels," Kessler insisted. "I think the bar was set at 100...am I right Holly?"

 

Suddenly, Holly's voice came over the intercom system that boomed throughout the Training Dome. "Exactly right, Ami."

"Sorry, did I miss something?" Alex frowned. "The bar for what?"

 

"Your training," Holly explained. "After all the physical exertion you've literally just been through, the original plan was to give you a rest period. But these, ladies and gentleman, are your power levels at their lowest and you're still a hell of a lot stronger than any of us. Your training will be very interesting indeed.”

 

Jason grinned and rubbed his hands together. "Excellent!! I've been looking forward to this."

 

"Exactly what kind of training will this involve?" Bastian asked sharply.

 

"Well we'll be focusing primarily on your Symbiotic Abilities," Holly said. "Pushing them to their limits, and, of course, forging your combat styles to fit them.”

"I thought you said that our abilities let us use certain parts of Magic to their fullest?" Sam asked.

 

"We did," Kessler agreed.

 

"So do we even need to-?" Sam began.

 

"Aren't you curious as to how far your gifts go?" Holly interrupted. "You don't have a burning desire to push them to their limits? Break down the boundaries of Magical Training and go above and beyond the call of duty?"

As she said these words, Jason had a hungry glint in his eyes. "That sounds perfect. When do we get started?"

 

"Hold your horses," Holly laughed. "You've forgotten the big question."

"Which is?" Dimitri raised his eyebrows.

 

"There's a second aspect to your training," Kessler prompted. "It's quite a big part too. A very useful, versatile and powerful skill that, in my opinion, you will need to learn in order to avoid being outclassed against your enemies. Can anyone guess what that is?"

 

"The Art of Ch'i," Alex blurted.

"Right you are, boy-o," said a jubilant voice. It seems that Adam had recovered from his ice bath and had joined Holly and Ami in the small booth on the Training Dome's exterior.

"Adam," Alex growled.

 

"What's Ch'i?" Dimitri asked.

 

"It's the ability to use small sparks of pure Magic to supercharge physical movements and feats," Adam explained swiftly. "Using Ch'i during a fight can enormously boost one's strength, speed, agility, intelligence, perception, endurance and the potency of your Magical attacks."

 

"I've already studied Ch'i," Alex said stiffly.

 

"At it's most basic level," Adam scoffed. "You're not to be blamed for that, but still. You've yet to be introduced to the most advanced forms of Ch'i usage, Cassidy."

"And you have?" Alex snarled.

 

"Well, yes, actually," Adam said. "During the years that all of you kiddies were growing up, I knew that my powers would be no match for yours. Despite my being just like all of you, I have a maximum power level of only Positive 87, which is high, but nowhere near any of yours. I knew that my only chance to overpower you all was to increase my skill level. I studied Warping, being able to teleport from place to place accurately. I studied several forms of Martial Arts and I trained without rest until I had reached Perfect Symbiote.”

"What?" Alex asked irritably.

 

 

Although he couldn't see his face, Alex knew that Adam was smirking. "I could tell you kid, that's a pretty sweet deal. But I'll do you one better. How about I show you?"

Alex recognized a challenge when he heard one. "Anytime you're ready, Adam. I'll take you on anytime, any place."

 

 

"How about right here, right now?" Adam countered.

 

"I don't think this is a good i-" Holly began, but Adam cut across her.

"Don't worry, Crenshaw," Adam said, a smirk in his voice. "This won't take long."

 

A rectangle in the Training Dome interior was suddenly highlighted by glowing white light and the entire panel disappeared, revealing the passageway beyond. Adam stepped through confidently. He'd changed out of his black Kevlar and now wore a black t-shirt that was slightly small for him and desert cam trousers. Alex was pleased to see that his skin had a slight blue tinge to it, and smirked smugly as Ivan led the others out of the Training Dome.

 

The panel reappeared once they were clear, sealing Alex inside the dome with the man who'd killed his best friend.

 

"I won’t kill you," Alex said. "Not yet. But that doesn't mean I can't beat the tar out of you, Adam."

"You already tried that, remember?" Adam laughed. "I challenged you on your home turf, Cassidy, and I tore you a new backside. And that was in my Imperfect State.”

 

Alex frowned. "Explain. What is this all about?”

 

Adam smiled. "I'll be happy too. A Symbiotic Maximum is not the highest a sorcerer’s power level can grow. It is the highest it can grow without the absorption of additional power. While using the Art of Ch’i, however, you gain the ability to draw in power and deplete it at the same time.

“So it’s easy enough for you or me to reach Positive One in the midst of combat,” Adam went on. “But there’s an extra ability that only we possess. Once we surpass Positive One, we hit Negative Energy Levels. These are much more powerful than the usual, but much more unstable too.”

 

“Right,” Crenshaw said.

 

“The sudden surge of unstable energy forces the body to undergo a drastic change to compensate,” Adam explained.  “This change will adhere to one of three different classes. Titan Class, Wolf Class or Serpent Class. Once you’ve ascended, however, you become known as a Perfect Symbiote.”

 

“How come only Symbiotes can do it?” Jason’s voice rang through the dome.

 

“Because this Negative Energy thing is on the government blacklist,” Adam said. “Inhibiting it is one of the many things they do to new born babies, but since none of us were ever given that vaccine, we still have the gift.”

 

"Guys," said a voice. It was Sam. "You could've done this talking without squaring off against each other, you know?"

 

Alex grinned widely. "Where's the fun in that?"

 

"Agreed," Adam grinned also.

 

 

Each thought they had the advantage over the other, and they were about to find out who was right.

 

 

As Alex looked on, Adam closed his eyes and focused his energy, beginning to harness the Ch'i. Alex closed his eyes and concentrated a small spark of his power into his core, where it was supercharged and pumped around his body.

Adam wasn’t the only one who could use the art.

It was like being electrified - Alex's eyes flew open as he felt his power skyrocket. "Bring. It. On. Bitch," he said fiercely.

 

As his eyelids flew open, Adam was already streaking toward him, fist drawn back. Before Alex knew what was happening, he was springing up and over Adam's head agilely, something he would not have been able to do had he not been suping up all of his movements with Magic.

This left Adam in a compromising position, with his back to Alex, who darted forward and landed several rapid-fire punches into his adversary's spine. His enhanced strength sent Adam sprawling forward onto his face several feet away.

 

Alex straightened up, grinning, but immediately regretted it. Adam spun over as he crashed down and aimed a burst of lightning directly at Alex's chest. Alex managed to conjure a force field at the last second but the resulting explosion had enough kinetic energy to force him backward several feet. By the time Alex dropped his force field, Adam had already got to his feet and was aiming a second burst of electricity at him.

 

Alex dodged narrowly and threw both his arms up high above his head. With his index fingers, he sketched triangles in the air, points downward. The symbols were left burning on the air with a neon blue glow and without warning, there was a rushing sound. Adam glanced upward in time to see twin waterfalls open above his head, seemingly from mid-air.

 

Gallons of saltwater gushed down atop his head, swamping him before he could try another electrical attack, but Alex didn't let the water flood the Training Dome. Instead, he summoned every ounce of focus he possessed to keep the water in a tight, tubular funnel, completely submerging his opponent. Adam was rapidly losing air and began to claw the water around him.

"Freeze!!" Alex cried out loud, such was his will to transform the gallons and gallons of water into ice.

 

His wish was granted. The Training Dome was filled with cracking as the water solidified, freezing Adam solid for a second time. Adam, however, was not about to be trapped the same way twice. A small burst of lightning in the right place was all it took and the entire icy structure shattered spectacularly, freeing Adam before Alex gained the advantage.

 

Adam collapsed to his knees, coughing, spluttering and choking. Several ounces of water was forced from his lungs and onto the squashy floor and Adam glared up at Alex through bloodshot eyes. "You sly son of a...do that to me again and I'll kill you!"

Alex smiled. "You can try."

 

 

"You're wrong about that," Adam smiled. "Because the advantage is mine now."

"How so?" Alex asked, prepared to call Adam's bluff.

 

"Because," Adam said, pausing for effect. "Thanks to the Ch’i, I've reached the maximum. At any minute now, I can Shift. I can make the transition into Perfect Symbiote, and once that happens, you’re done for.”

 

"Adam! Alex! Stop this!" Jason called through the intercom. The five of them, plus Ami and Holly, were standing in the crowded booth. It was dimly-lit with humming equipment, a holographic screen that projected what was happening inside the Training Dome and came equipped with a built-in communication system so they could hear everything. "This is pointless!"

"Fat chance, Wolf!" Adam shouted. "I'm about to show this little punk some real power!"

"Don't make me come in there," Jason warned. "I bet I'm so powerful that I can outclass both of you. I bet...I bet that my maximum is Positive One."

"Don't talk rubbish," Holly scoffed. "It's impossible to have a Symbiotic Maximum of Positive One. The power itself cannot exist within a body made of flesh and bone for long. It would tear you apart."

"It nearly did," Jason admitted. "Two years ago I nearly killed...a lot of people...So unless you want me to add you two to the list," Jason added threateningly. "I suggest you put an end to this!!"

 

"You talk a big game, Wolf, but you're just a puppy," Adam laughed. "I took your ability, remember? I may only be able to retain the abilities I take for a short time, but...it's enough to take you on."

"Now who's talking rubbish?" Jason asked indignantly. "You may have my powers, but never my power. Are we clear on that, Adam?"

Adam chose not to answer for inside the Training Dome, the situation was escalating.

 

"You may have hit the max power level, Adam," Alex growled. "But I've still got you outclassed!"

 

“Don’t kid yourself!” Adam boomed.

 

Adam pressed his palms flat against each other, and his hands began to vibrate heavily. Alex hit the deck just in time as Adam wrenched his hands apart and let off a blast like a gun. A large, green sphere of energy exploded from his hands and rocketed across the room, over Alex's head, before hitting the wall of the Training Dome with a thunderous explosion.

"That was just a small taste of what I can do!" Adam crowed. "If you were smart, you'd give up now! Before I hurt you too badly!"

"No chance!!" Alex shouted, springing to his feet. Before Adam could make a move, Alex was shooting forward with phenomenal speed and momentum.

Hand to hand combat was initiated. In the booth, even Jason had trouble keeping up with the speed that Adam and Alex were moving at, thanks to their Ch'i skills. The two warriors moved all around the Training Dome floor, punching, kicking and using bursts of energy to floor their opponent.

Jason watched the action hungrily. I need to learn how to do this, he said. I just...need to.

Alex had blocked out the rest of the world. All that mattered to him was what was going on inside the dome. Everything else could wait.

Alex's Ch'i skills were pushing his physical abilities to their very limits. His fists swung at incredible, eye-fooling speeds, yet Alex knew he could push himself further. Alex quickly parried two of Adam's punches, knocking his arms out to the sides. For the split second that Adam's chest was exposed, Alex slammed his flattened palms into Adam's upper torso, focusing a charge of Magic into a small burst of lightning.

While using his Ch'i, Alex's focus was increased, allowing him to fight at his maximum power and use complicated spells and enchantments simultaneously. Seconds before charging the electrical charge, he'd shielded himself from the burning effect of lightning by Bewitching his body with a skin-tight shield. A Bewitchment was like an Enchantment (an ever-lasting type of Magic), except that a Bewitchment was compatible with living beings, whereas Enchantments were not.

Thus, Alex felt nothing except a slight tickle in his palms while Adam went flying before crashing into the mirrored Dome interior with a bang. Seconds later, Adam picked himself up, wiping blood from his jaw with a demented smile. "Nice shot, Cassidy," he growled, slightly out of breath. "But now...it's over. Watch closely, kid."

As Adam straightened his back, his skin began to glow even brighter. Alex recoiled half a step, ready for anything. Adam began to rise off the ground as his skin intensified in glow. Suddenly, as Adam reached around four feet off the ground, there was a colossal BANG and he erupted in a blaze of white and silver.

Alex covered his eyes as the intense light scalded his eyelids, and felt the ground vibrate...almost like something heavy had touched down. Seconds later, Alex felt his eyes cool off as the light faded. There was a sharp intake of breath - somebody in the booth had gasped.

Alex's eyes flew open and almost gasped at the sight before him. Adam had grown in size by at least three feet. He was wider too - Adam sported a torso bulked out with muscles, and biceps and thighs that looked like tree trunks. And his skin. It was grey and furry, like a wolf, until Adam's throat and wrists where it fused back to normal.

 

Swishing behind him, Alex caught sight of a long, dark, furry tail.

Adam threw his arms apart invitingly. "This, Alex, is what it means to be a Perfect Symbiote!!! You can't win, now! I have you where I want you!!"

"Guess again!" Alex shouted back. He flew forward, fists and teeth bared, prepared to pummel Adam to smithereens if he had to.

Adam smiled as Alex rocketed toward him and raised his palm flat. Too late, Alex saw Adam’s palm glow a deep blue. The bolt of energy burst from his hand and hit Alex squarely in the chest, throwing him onto his back several feet away.

 

As soon as Alex had hit the ground, he’d been knocked out for the second time that day.

 

 

 

 

 

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