Ultimate Choices
Threads of Time

Chapter Three: Earth—California

-"A true friend thrown aside—why, life itself is not so precious."-

Seth Lane found his eye-lids slowly falling. The drone of the loud classroom air conditioner raged on, and the "class discussion" was as biased as ever. No one ever wanted to debate issues about literary works. Not in his class. Why did he get this class? Oh, yeah, he slept through too many lessons to be moved to an Honors class.

It wasn't hard to see why he slept though his classes, though. There just wasn't enough intelligence running around the room. Everyone was saying the same thing in the discussion, only using different words or phrases to say it. Even the teacher looked so bored he could fall asleep.

With one quiet sigh, Seth dumped his head in his arms, closed his eyes, and let the joys of sleep take him away…or try to.

The moment his head fell, someone knocked on the door. The class froze, relieved to be interrupted. The teacher even seemed to skip joyfully across the room to answer the door. "Yes, how can I help…you?"

Seth found his curiosity paying attention to the odd phrasing of the question, and with good reason too. The teacher never got an answer. The guest at the door walked right in without seeming to notice the confused teacher before him. Seth found his eyebrows rise quite high when he saw the figure, and a couple of kids in the back began to chuckle.

The newcomer's skin was covered up with a black cloak that hung all the way to the bottom of the floor, and his black clothes made him look strangely like he had popped right out of a spy novel. Seth's curiosity continued to grow when the man looked his way, oddly seeming to look right into his eyes. A chill ran up his back, but Seth met the stare, though he was only looking at a pair of sunglasses that hid the eyes of his challenger.

The stranger raised a finger and pointed at Seth. "That one."

The words seemed muffled when they finally reached his ears. In fact, the moment he was pointed at, he began to feel light headed and his vision began to black out. Blinking, curious, confused, Seth fainted, landing in a small heap at the side of his desk, and only slightly feeling a pain in his side where he knew he cut something.

He awoke slowly, a pain crushing into the back of his head and stinging in his side. He groaned and sat up, trying to hold his head but finding his arms tied behind his back.

Oh that's lovely. I've been kidnapped, but by who? Who would kidnap me in the middle of class? On second thought, who could get away with kidnapping me in the middle of class?

He opened his eyes, but saw nothing, except a blinding darkness save for where light would leak through the blindfold.

Well, that makes sense.

He moved his mouth around with the intention of asking who had kidnapped him, but found that he had been gagged as well.

Isn't this nice? I can't move, I can't see, and I can't talk. Why do I have to get the one smart kidnapper in California?

"So you're awake now," a voice whispered in his ear. Seth froze. "Good."

Who the hell are you? What do you want with me? How did you do that? WHY CAN'T I ASK YOU THESE QUESTIONS!

"No need for a voice to ask me questions, Friendship."

Seth blinked. What did he just call me? And what does he mean by that?

"I can read your thoughts, Friendship, and since I do not know you by name but by what the Prophecy refers to you as, I shall call you by your Pure Virtue."

He blinked again.

"Having trouble understanding?"

Just a little…He could feel himself growling behind the gag.

"No need to get upset. I have time to explain. It will take a few days to reach the X-Xeryn where you will be in good hands."

Seth was trying desperately to take this all in but failing miserably, and he found himself wondering why he wasn't freaking out over the whole "kidnapping" aspect of his day. Maybe he had seen too much in his lifetime to care anymore. Maybe he had just made himself numb to his situation, but one feeling had stayed if that were the case: curiosity.

So…what's the big idea taking me out of class like that? I mean, I appreciate the change from boredom, but it is a little strange to walk in and kidnap someone right in the middle of class. And why did I faint like that? What did you do to me?

The person let out a breath of air, like a sigh. "That wasn't me. The person that took you out of class and made you…faint…was my youngest son, who has turned to the ways of Evil and rejected those of Good, the opposite of his twin brother. Shun is no longer an Elf and follows Dai'tin's every orders. Don't say that name aloud, by the way. If someone besides me were to call Dai'tin by name…bad things would follow in their footsteps."

Eh…What? Now I'm really confused. Elf? Yeah right…they only exist in stories. Start telling me the truth, or I'm about to get very upset.

"There is nothing you can do to me if you get upset. What misfortunes were supposed to befall me, already have. Nothing else can happen to me now. I am the one controlling the balance in the universe. "

Well all right then, Mr. High and Mighty, why won't you let me use my voice, or see where we're going?

The strange kidnapper sighed, "If I took the gag out of your mouth, I risk the chance of you screaming or shouting, and for the safety of our space journey, any loud vocals could skew with the technical mechanics of this rather unsafe traveling device we are in."

Seth found himself raise an eyebrow. What…the…

"As for not allowing you to see… Once we are in deep space, I shall take the blindfold off. Until then, it is quite dangerous for your eyesight in such bright light. I am wearing a blindfold as well. My son wears sunglasses. The Elf home, Etiroscus, does not have a sun like these galactic planets. Our eyes are made to create their own light, hence the glow, but too much added light is…well…blinding."

Seth frowned. Ok, ok, so even if I do believe you are an Elf, why the hell do we both have these blindfolds? I'm not an Elf! I'm Human!

"Human with a few new Elf senses, such as your eyesight and your…"


The kidnapper sighed again, but it seemed more or less to be hiding a chuckle behind it. "That is what Shun did to you in your class. He did not make you faint. He turned you half Elf, and your body was not prepared so it collapsed in order to rework through the new anatomy forced on you."

Who are you? To be honest, Seth was just a little perturbed, mainly at himself for believing all these lies. He obviously had been kidnapped by a psychopath, so he just had to play it cool until a good opportunity for escape arrived…If...

Before the stranger could answer or Seth could even finish his thoughts, the vehicle lurched forward and suddenly sped up, sounding way too much like a spaceship in the good ole' Star Fox and Star Wars video games. His heart sped up as the new possibilities ran through his head.

What if he's telling the truth? What if I really am a half Elf now? Or to back up a step, what if there really are such things as Elves? Does that mean dragons are real too, and gryphons and mermaids and…and…all those cat people from those typical fantasy stories? What will I do if it is true? If I really am in space? Wait…why me? Why now? Why this? What's going on? SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON!

The stranger answered, removing the blindfold as he did so. "Yes, all those things are real, on one planet or another, in one form or another. Draig has dragons and dragon-people, or more correctly, Draigonels. Gryphons can be found scattered through planets on the outer rim of the galaxy. Etiroscus has a few of the nobler breeds, but Zar and its children planetoids have some as well. Mermaids have been rumored to be on Earth, but their home planets are Zar and Draig. There are many, many more of what you call 'mystical' creatures, and yes, there is a race of 'cat people.' They are called Derisk, but they have no home because of a curse put on their people long ago." The stranger—the Elf's—voice lowered as if speaking an aside on stage, "Merlain should not have done that."

Seth blinked as his eyesight finally reached a normal stage, or what he supposed would be considered normal for the rest of his life. He saw colors very well, very sharp, and very bright. In fact, the shape seemed less important than the color. He could even see an aura around his kidnapper…the Elf…Seth admitted, was forced to admit, that yes, indeed, this stranger was an Elf. No one else could have such sharp, pointed ears, or such odd glowing eyes. However, contrary to what most fantasy movies told viewers, the Elf's skin was black…a true, dark black, even though his long thin hair that reached to his thighs was the whitest shade imaginable.

So, I really am Half-Elf. Everything you said…it was true.

"Yes. Every word. I am Treldioa, Keeper of the Balance, not to be confused with the Three Keepers, mind you." The Elf's voice was soft and quiet, yet Seth felt like he would have been able to hear the very thoughts in Treldioa's mind. At this, the Elf laughed, "Oh no, you may find yourself reading the thoughts of others if you aren't taught to control yourself, but you shall never read mine."

Seth smirked. If I have to live like this, then I'll find a way. One day, I will know what you're thinking, just like you keep reading my thoughts. I suppose it is an Elf trait?

Treldioa's mouth tipped upwards slightly, "It is, but only a few select Elves have the Talent."

Seth could hear the capital on that word, and when he did hear it, he questioned it. Talent? As a Half-Elf will I get one too?

"No. Only full blood, true bloods get the Talents from the Master."

The who?

The Elf sighed, "You shall understand in time, but not today."

Why not?

"I am the Balance, and I can only say so much to one who does not know."


"You shall learn more from the Elf Purities, and all your questions shall be answered, but not today and not from me."

I'm confused.

"I would be worried if you were not."

Well, you're very helpful.

"I am not here to help, I am here to make things line up in balance. Evil is in control of the galaxy because I have been away for far too long. Spending time…" Treldioa sighed, "Forgive me; that is not for you to hear. Trust me, Friendship, though I am not Trust."

You do know you are making absolutely no sense what so ever? And my name is Seth. Stop calling me Friendship. I don't even know what that means!

"It is your Pure Virtue."

My what?

"More shall be explained to you later, and in greater detail, but I cannot drop you off at the Three Keepers without you being at least slightly educated on the happenings of the galaxy."

Again…making no sense…

Treldioa grinned, "Patience my young friend. It is a new Era. Alandera has exploded, the closest star to Etiroscus, though she was too far to shed much light. The Elves have lost their immortality and are soon to lose their better judgment. Dai'tin—you shall find most refer to him as Evil—has control of the galaxy. He has found and captured his opposite, the Symbol of Good. Dai'tin's forces are searching for the memories of a girl from his past, the Symbol of Rhyme, or better known as the Girl Warrior.

"When she defeated Evil a thousand years ago, she asked my eldest son, Yeshiros, to mentally break her and send her memories to a time in the future when she would be needed again. My son did this, and we are now living in the time in which she was sent. One of Dai'tin's forces has located the Memory of Innocence, on this planet. Earth has been hidden from the wars of the galaxy for eons, and it is not the only one, but soon these planets shall not be able to hide any longer. The wars shall come to them. Even now, Dai'tin's forces are tearing through Earth searching for the Purities, who were said to arrive at the same time as the Memories.

"There are thirteen Purities located throughout the galaxy; they are prophesized to aid the Memories and the Symbol of Good in their fight to defeat Evil. You, my young friend, are one of these Purities. Your Pure Virtue…is Friendship. Shun found you first, but I have outsmarted him, for now. You shall be safe in the hands of the Three Keepers, but Shun knows your scent, and he shall hunt you down…along with the other twelve."


"I am the Balance. If either side kills me, the opposite side shall win. If either side breaks me…the balance will be broken, and the universe will collapse."

But…there is no balance in the universe.

"Not in the way it is run at the moment, no. Like I said, Evil is in control, but he has not broken the balance. He has not broken me. The galaxy is safe for now, but I have seen the end. Be careful, Friendship. I have seen the end, but it is not the end either side hopes for, and it is very close."