The Eons of Elijah
The Resuoh Family has been scattered through time. While Jade was torn from this reality and trapped in time and space in the Void, Elijah and B.J escaped the flaming inferno by passing through a portal, hurtling them centuries into the past.
Now, trapped on the very island that would become the base of operations for the evil corporation ExTek Labs, they are forced to hide in plain site. Can they alter the flow of time to prevent the catastrophe that will consume humanity, or has history already been written in stone?
Series: The Anthology of Resuoh (Book 4)
Paperback: 144 pages (estimated)
Publisher: Houser Books - KDP (Sep, 2019)
Category: Fiction, Young Adult
Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Chapter 1 – Heat of Flames
Elijah – 2019
I’ve always had a fascination with fire. I remember sitting with my dad by the fire pit in our back yard, watching the flames consume the logs as if they knew the second they stopped eating would be the second they died.
Flames had a single purpose: to eat, to destroy, to turn to ash everything that they possibly could. If they succeeded, they would grow mighty and fearsome, consuming more and more until there is nothing left, or they are finally forced into submission. If they failed, they died.
Life was easy for a flame. For humans, however, life was very complicated. We all have base urges and needs, just like a flame. I’m hungry-feed me. I need to tinkle-where’s the toilet? I’m tired-play video games until I pass out. That’s where our similarity to flames seem to end.
We also are saturated with emotions. Deep, overpowering emotions that without asking can take over our entire thought processes, motivations, and desires.
For example, I think back to the last time I did homework. It seems like it has been ages.
As I sat looking at my math homework, boredom stroke. I knew how to do it; I understood the concept. Math is like a form of written alchemy. You take things that are set and solid, like the number 42. You then place it in strategic positions on the page and it is transformed into something else entirely.
Toss it under a 2 and a horizontal line, and it becomes a 21. Put it next to an x and a 2, however, and it becomes 84. I get it, but it’s boring. Yes, I know full well how important math is.
“Everything in life is based on math,” Mom tells me constantly. But it’s boring. Right then, sitting at the dining room table and staring at that sheet of paper, it’s just boring.
So, back to emotions. An hour prior to that, when I was thinking of playing a video game, I breezed through my homework, the reward dancing just out of reach.
Average: Five problems per minute.
Status: Engines at max, full speed ahead!
Three sheets in, and everything changes.
Emotion: Bored and mildly grumpy.
Average: 1 problem every 10 minutes.
Status: My eyeballs are literally about to fall out of my head, and I am going to die. My tombstone will read: “Here lies Elijah-math killed him. Should have played more video games.”
Emotions can take a perfectly clear head and drive you to act rashly, to act in passion, or to freeze up in fear. Emotions were a dangerous thing. This is why God gave us adrenaline.
When there is a threat of danger, the mind tells you to react rationally. Go hide! Get away! Run for your life! The neurotic self-preservationist nerd hiding deep inside all of us.
Adrenaline is like the weight trained, danger loving, thrill seeking older brother who steps in and says, “No, don’t run. Fear not, you can handle this situation!”
Realization is like the nagging mother that comes around after the fact and says, “What on Earth did you do? Why didn’t you just run away? You could have killed yourself!”
These are the steps that my mind went through that evening as I stood staring Taitum in the eye. His face was creased from his cocky grin, eyes full of confidence and victory. Every time that we came up against this man, he defeated us. He captured us, imprisoned us. It was disheartening, to say the least. My mind told me to give up, give in, crinkle into a little ball and accept whatever future Taitum stood ready to dish out from his penthouse high in the sky.
That’s when I remembered the first time that we ran into each other, that cool Nebraska evening. Our family car sat smoldering in the front yard, the beloved peach tree charred black from the explosion and assault of lightning, and there he stood with his thug Bruce, the same cocky grin on his face.
He was there for me, and the device fused into my wrist. How things would have been different if Dad had just handed me over. The family would all have been safe.
Taitum did not win that night. He had sicked Bruce on my dad, and adrenaline had fueled me with energy that made me react. I quickly disabled Bruce, and disposed of him and Taitum, banishing them to California.
My mind then wandered to when I was captured in Texas. My Uncle B.J. and I had been tossing bombs through portals to draw out Taitum’s goons, and it had worked, a little too well. He was able to track us to the warehouse. Before we tried to flee, I tucked away the last few explosives through a portal to my garage back in Nebraska. I had hoped they sat there still.
This is an example of a rash reaction. I threw open portals and dropped the bombs into Taitum’s office, causing it to become a flaming inferno that traveled down the elevator shafts, endangering everyone in the entire building. I don’t know how many people had been working there: hundreds, maybe thousands. But I prayed that they were all able to escape.
The girl who rescued me…what was her name? Ellie? Yeah, Ellie. Anyway, Ellie and I had taken the rear elevator, and the front ones had broken. I don’t know how Taitum and his goons could have escaped from the fiery death trap that I had created.
As the elevator dropped toward the basement, guilt clawed at the back of my mind. I tried to push the thoughts down. Surely, he had a way out; they would be safe. He was a nefarious super villain. Of course he would be safe. I couldn’t help but succumb to a shiver as it ran down my spine, picturing the shattering glass and the all-consuming flames, and the look in his eye as the elevator doors slid shut, trapping him in the penthouse.
I closed my eyes and shook my head vigorously. The elevator shaft rocked as another explosion ripped through the building. There were loud sounds as debris showered down on top of the elevator car, followed by the groaning sound of metal bending and giving way to a great force.
A twanging snap echoed through the chamber, and for a moment I felt weightless as if gravity itself had decided to give up and throw in the towel. Then we were flying, crashing into the ceiling of the car. I connected with a plastic grid work that protected my head as it was shoved up into florescent lightbulbs, shattering them.
Then the car landed against the ground, crumpling into a metallic heap and the two of us were hurled back down to Earth, and then tossed from the wreckage onto the cold ground outside the shaft. As I struck the ruined, twisted floor, I felt heavier then I ever had before, like the weight of the universe was riding on my shoulders and finished its ride by belly-flopping on my back.
My…everything hurt, and my brain felt scrambled like a hard drive desperately in need of defragging. I saw Ellie, but she had a ghost-like clone spiraling around her. Wait, no, everything had a ghost like clone, doubles spinning drunkenly around my vision.
All I could hear was ringing, a deafeningly high-pitched squeal resonating in the center of my brain like the core of a supernova as it prepares to explode.
My muscles felt exhausted and spent, and I couldn’t lift even a single finger as I lay there, trying to get my system to reboot. It would have been better if I was a computer. A quick button press would have been all that I needed.
I heard voices and saw people running over to us, but I couldn’t make out who they were. The voices sounded distant and the words foreign; I couldn’t understand what was being said.
Strong hands lifted me up to my feet, and I tried to steady myself so that I could stand of my own strength. The figure of Ellie was being helped up, too. I blinked and shook my head again, trying to clear things up a bit, and realized it was my mom in front of me, saying something. Probably asking if I was okay.
I nodded, hoping that was the correct response, and jumped as someone touched me from behind. I looked back and saw my dad, wrapping his black leather coat around my shoulders. I watched as he looked at the group around us, his mouth opened wide as he talked and I could see the veins pulsing in his neck and over his temple. He must have been screaming.
The ground shook underneath me, and I lost my footing, stumbling to the side. My Uncle B.J. caught me and helped me back to my feet. He was saying something, too. This was maddening!
I looked back at my dad as he pointed to the far end of the massive room that we were in where a small doorway could be seen. Flames were pouring out of the elevator shaft like molten lava and eating their way over shelves packed full of construction supplies.
I looked around quickly at the room. It had rows and rows of shelves, and each stored something entirely different. Some construction supplies, other food, and…were those chickens? Yeah, chickens. It was like a startup box for an entire city. Just add water!
I looked back again as the group started running toward the distant door, and I started to follow, Uncle B.J. holding my arm to steady me. A burst of flames shot across a rack of shelves containing crates of paper supplies and reached the end where large barrels of fuel were sitting peacefully, minding their own business.
B.J. saw the calamity, and he kicked into super uncle mode. He wrapped his arms around me and lifted me into the air like a rag doll, then leapt into the air. He cleared the upper railing of a platform, and we rolled to the ground. How had he jumped that high?
Another explosion, and all I could see were tendrils of white, orange, and blue as the flames leapt in all directions, greedily seeking a food source so it could survive. B.J. rolled over and shielded my body until the blast faded.
It was nearly too much for me. My body weakened, my eyes fluttered, and my mind reverted to a rudimentary need for nothing at all but sleep.
I felt myself being lifted into the air, and my dad’s jacket being pulled over me, shielding me from the heat of the flames that were rapidly filling the room. I looked up at the majestic expression on my uncle’s face, the flames whipping around us pulsing with heat, making his hair wave and blow like it was facing the wind. He squinted his eyes, protecting them from the searing heat, and looked out over the inferno.
I followed his gaze, and my heart ached as I realized our situation. We were cut off from the rest of the family. My mom and dad were on the other side of the flames, slowly being pushed back by the advancing, all consuming blaze. Ellie and Claudia were escaping through a portal, being held open by Haji. He and my dad’s eyes were locked, unspoken words flying between the two of them, and anger that was burning with more heat than the flames between them.
Then we turned and faced the only other thing on this platform with us; a large, metal, curved archway that was holding open a glowing portal. On the other side was a dark metal room.
I felt B.J’s chest tighten and lift as he breathed in deeply, and then we stepped through the portal.
In the very short history of portal travel, I was pretty sure that I had passed through more of them than almost anyone else. Haji obviously took the crown, but I was fairly certain that I was in second place.
This portal was something new, something different. The sensation of passing through is unique. The air is thick, warm, and cold all at the same time, and in the brief second that it takes to step from one side to the other, you feel like you’re falling. It’s disjointing, as if your body becomes static, out of focus for the blink of an eye, and then you’re back.
I had thought that traveling this way was like having a fine sports car. Something slick, sleek and fast. But if my portals were a Camaro, this one was a Lamborghini.
As B.J. stepped through, my body was filled with energy and electricity. My eyes saw flashes and clips of lands unknown. There were deep deserts, tall mountain ranges and canyons that stretched down forever. Massive forests and pulsing energy. My brain raced and reeled as it tried to take in the massive amounts of data being forced upon it, and then like a gasp of fresh air after a week of being sick in your bedroom, we stepped free on the other side.
B.J. stood still, his body quivering and his eyes were opened wide. His mouth hung agape and he turned back to look through the hole into the building that was crumbling behind us.
“Whoa,” he breathed out, obviously having experienced the same rush that I had. I rolled out of his arms and landed on my feet. I felt wonderful, full of energy and ready to take on the world!
“What just happened?” B.J. asked, looking down at me as if I were the expert on portals. I guess, to a degree, I was.
“I have no idea. That portal seemed more…pure?” I said, trying to put my thoughts into words. B.J. just nodded in agreement, and looked around the room that we were in.
“Where are we now?” He asked. I took in our surroundings. We were in a room made of metal and rubber. It was very industrial and looked like it was put together quickly. One long window spanned each side wall, and on the other side large lights illuminated the sandy surface of the ocean floor. In the distance, a box sat partially buried and water spiraled in a vortex around it. Streaks of electricity flickered from the underwater storm, sparks shooting as they struck sand. Where are we, indeed?
The edges and corners of the room were lined with dust, but the center remained clear. Black marks scuffed the floor where heavy carts had come and gone many times from the portal chamber.
“Should we follow the marks?” I asked B.J., and pointed at the tracks running around the ground.
“Sounds reasonable to me,” he replied, and took a step forward and down a ramp. I looked back, scared that the flames would spread through the open portal, and realized that the hole was hovering in the air. There was no gate holding it in place like there was on the other side.
There was a hiss, and I spun to face B.J. He had pressed a solitary button on the wall and a door panel slid open. Beyond the door was a hallway, completely obscured in darkness and shadow, but that quickly changed as strips of blue came to life along the corners of the floor and ceiling, lighting the space up with dull light.
“I guess we go that way,” I said as I trotted down the ramp to join him. We walked together through the dim corridor, looking out the long windows into the watery depths beyond. As my eyes adjusted to the bright spotlights outside, I started to make out shapes that were buried in the sand. There were pieces of broken ships, tall masts speared into the ground, and many a tattered sail fluttering in the water like a flag in the wind. This was a ship graveyard, and I shuddered to think of the tragic ends that befell the voyages of these ships and their crews.
We pushed forward down the hallway. The strips of light must have been attached to sensors, as they only lit up a distance of about ten feet in front and behind us. As we walked forward, the light seemed to move forward with us. Soon, in front of and behind us was nothing but a black gaping maw, and fear started to creep in.
Finally, we reached an end, and B.J. hit another button causing a hiss like the first as a heavy, metal door panel slid away from us, opening out into the next chamber.
As we stepped into the room beyond, my mind spun in confusion. We had come full circle and were now standing in the same room that we had been in a few minutes ago, but on the far side.
The large warehouse was not on fire though, it was as if the explosions had never happened. The elevator doors that had hurled me and Ellie forth remained firmly attached.
“What is going on?” I gasped.
“I don’t know, but this is crazy. Are we dreaming?” He asked, running a hand along one shelf. They were all fully stocked, supplies to fuel a whole civilization. “Wait. There is something different,” he stated, and pointed to the opposite end of the room where the raised platform sat. He was right; the platform was there, and the railings intact, but the portal and gateway were not.
“Where is the portal?” I asked. He just shrugged as we started walking through the enormous room.
There was a loud groaning and we ducked quickly into one of the aisles. A bright light appeared in a long line between the elevator and platform as a wide overhead door began opening, spilling in the light of day from a ramp behind it.
“We need to get out of here,” B.J. hissed, pointing at the truck that was rolling toward us. The only way out was a portal. I knew it was dangerous, but I had to get us somewhere safe where we could regroup.
I closed my eyes and pictured the last place that I remembered feeling safe, the cabin in Texas. I made the image real in my mind, and opened my left hand, urging the energy inside of me to tear open a doorway. Nothing happened. I tried again. Still nothing.
A pickup truck rolled slowly down the ramp and into the main aisle. It creeped to a stop and two men jumped out, walking down a distant aisle. They wore dark, navy blue outfits, the ExTek logo emblazoned in large white letters across the back.
One walked past our aisle and stopped, turning quickly toward us and jumping backward.
“Whoa!” He shouted, gripping his chest. “You guys scared me!” A large grin spread across his face and he walked a few steps into the aisle. “What are ya’ll doing skulkin’ around back here?” He asked, shoving his hands into his pockets.
Thinking quickly, B.J. grabbed a box off the shelf and hefted it up.
“Just grabbing some supplies,” he said, exuding confidence. The man nodded but his eyes remained skeptical.
“Are you guys supposed to be here?” he asked.
“Is anyone, really?” I asked, trying to sound clever. The man’s eyes looked from B.J. to me and back again.
“I think you guys better come with me,” he said as he extend one arm toward us, and the other to his truck. I looked up at B.J. and he nodded as he put the box back from where he took it.
We walked to the pickup and he opened the back door, ushered us in, then closed it behind us. The truck looked new, but the interior was not very well maintained. The seats were worn thin and I could tell that the back was primarily used as tool storage, as the floor was covered in wrenches, screws, and other assorted work items.
The man helped his companion load up several boxes in the bed of the truck and got in the front seat. As they backed into as aisle to turn around, I sighed to myself. Out of the frying pan, and into the fire. Literally.