The Plummeting Ascension

Ch.1 The End of One and The Beginning of Another

                                                             Section 1: Reverie

Through these footsteps made, these breaths taken, these moments lived, all the love lost, and times squandered I have been reborn.All my darkness, all my pain, all my self-destruction stems from these tender but agonizing moments; all these bittersweet memories within this dark reverie are what has shaped me. Now I am the truest self I can ever be, now I am completely… ME!

This all began ages ago, life time’s ago, but we shall start here at the beginning of this particular life time:

A hot summers day, sweat and dried grease permeated the burning viscid air, sweat rings were worn almost as a fashion statement and not quite as a detestable ‘faux pas’. A young boy of thirteen was riding hard and fast on his new hover board trying to keep ahead of two other, very angry boys.

“It doesn’t count as stolen if it is to replace something stolen from you right?” shouted the boy in the lead as he leaned harder and the boosters propelled him faster. The law of the Ghetto clearly stated that stealing from a thief was totally acceptable. ‘A thief that steels from a thief is justified and forgiven.’ So say’ith the hobos in their cheap reflective thermo-tarp tent fiefdoms. Very few things were certain but living in the ghetto of this domed mega city only one thing was, get caught and the punishments are usually worse than you imagined! Thankfully there were very few rules that really applied. The Police enforce and protected the cities upper levels with much more vigor, while the lower three levels were a vagabond’s playground! Drug runners and dealers usually working for the upper level elites generally ruled territories the police dared not tread into without clearance from very powerful individuals.

Streaks of black and gold blurred with incredible speed down the busy streets as Julius road like a mad man trying to keep away. Panting and afraid he still managed a smile. More out of defiance than out of anything else, he most certainly was not going to let these jerks ruin his day. Zigging and zagging in and out of people passing by the only thing that mattered was not getting caught by the two disheveled punks in tow. Business shoes were assaulted, and grocery bags relocated without remorse. Hologram images of advertisements in the streets shimmered as the boys flew through them. Though by unintentional contact it still meant a police officer was contacted to investigate. The alert was sent and metal sheets closed around the projection equipment to protect it by automatic artificial intelligence alert programs. Vandalizing city property, especially hologram projection equipment, was completely prohibited. Without those outlets at each end of every city block, how could the upper levels of the city push their propaganda and monitor everything? The images shimmered and continued speaking about their wonderful products once ‘danger’ had passed. The wind from the vented filtered atmosphere was blowing hot, the day was bright and the situation dire. City blocks passed by in blurs and as they entered the inner city, intense colors flickered to life with vibrant colored lighting. These artificial lights were the inner cities only means of light and vitamin D outside of supplement pills that is. In the great domed city, the poor never saw the light of day unless they were leaving the city entirely, and not many could afford the permits and fees to leave the city. The lights glimmered day or night and being that the bottom floor was nothing but a huge red-light district anyway it all worked out perfectly for business owners.

Curses and temperatures rose high and still the pursuit continued and the three unrelenting boys ramped one after another off a hovering tow truck ramp and over the edge of a small elevated sky walk. They weaved through traffic fearlessly surfing the streets knowing only military personnel could own a hover vehicle in the restricted streetways. It meant nothing to the boy of Golden eyes and ebony hair, as he cut military units off and sped away leaving cursing soldiers in his wake. Their hover boards may be contraband, but no one would care if they remained un-confiscated. People from higher elevated sky walks looked down on the crazed boys while hologram police stepped in their way holding up hands with red and blue lights flashing.

“Halt law breakers stay where you are, and an officer will be with you shortly!” they blasted past the fake hologram officer and kept going, launching down flights of stairs like derailed bullet trains the three cut a sharp corner like professional stunt men or urban suffers and finally came to a screeching halt at a dead-end alleyway. The two plaintives, one with sandy blonde shoulder length hair and the other with a bowl cut mop of dull brown hair leapt from their hover boards and were on the offensive pulling the black-haired boy from his board with little effort. It was clear that the two angry boys were much older, sixteen to the golden eyed boys thirteen years. They grabbed him by the hair and threw him to the ground kicking at him, the golden eyed boy rolled and popped backup on his feet. Fists swirling at him as he ducked and rolled behind the two with superior speed. But not fast enough as his teeth clanked together. A boney fist colliding with his jaw, and he heard bells ring in his ears. The two were mean but the golden eyed boy was even meaner as he leapt on the back of the sandy haired boy and dropped a flurry of fists and elbows onto the boy’s head and neck. Riding the sandy haired boy to the ground he was tackled by Mr. bowl cut. It didn’t take long for Bowl cut boy to leap off as he screamed,

“He bit me! You little bitch boy!”

Smiling he hopped to his feet like a spider monkey and reached out with an open hand to jab one of the boys in the eye with a thumb then the other with his index finger. When the older boys struck out in pain and rage a blur of black hair and golden glittering eyes flashed in the artificial sunlight as he sidestepped his opponents. He delivered two well-placed kicks, one to each of their heads. Spinning wildly to deliver another round of kicks he was all smiles and wrath. The two boys toppled over, feet to the sky and grunted as they hit the ground. Air ejecting from their lungs fast enough to leave them both stunned and silent. The black-haired boy had never been happier for the “discipline” his mother felt he needed. She had placed him in martial training camps every summer from a very early age hoping it would keep him out of trouble and maybe feed him into a good career in the army, not to mention teach him some much-needed self-control. Truly a gift he had never been more thankful for, the lessons never stuck but the fighting was handy!

“I told you, I don’t know who you guys are but if you really want to fight, I’ll take you both on outside of school grounds anytime anywhere. I wouldn’t want anyone stopping the fight early.” He winked at the two lying flat on their backs.

“you’re Julius, right?” asked one boy the other still lay dazed.

“yeah, that’s me. But why do you care?”

“you got in a fight last week with a kid named Filipe”

“so, what” growled Julius “he’s my little brother you jackass!” there was a long pause before Julius spoke again.”your little brother is a good for nothing bully, he tossed my board in a trash compactor! Besides, bullies are cowards and I hate them. You got a problem take it up with him not me.”

“well my dad is gunna sew your parents!” the sandy blond boy sneered and got to his feet. “well your dads a coward and your mom is a snob. They’ll be divorced before long.” Black and Gold and smiles beamed at the blonde boy.

“yeah, well I’ll still have both of my parents!” spat the blonde boy

“yeah, his mom may be a snob but yours is a slut!” spat the other boy who looked away from the scowl of his friend. There was a long silence as the three boys squared off. Then Julius began to turn red, rage building like he had never felt before as the two boys in front of him laughed.

“where’s your mommy, is the baby going to cry? Go get your mommy baby! Where’s your dad, huh? He didn’t want you either did he?” the boys cackled and spat those words over and over and OVER!

“do the world a favor, go ride your boards off a tall cliff you jerks!” Julius felt a strong venom come off those words and it seemed to shake the boys unexpectedly. They shriveled in on themselves, collapsing to their knees like a heavy invisible force had forced them down. The color in their irises drained to a light milky gray and they slowly began picking themselves up off the ground. They hopped on their boards and sputtered off without another word. Silent, pail, emotionless they drifted away and Julius shook, he felt a burning in his body that he could not explain, a weakness as if he had expended too much energy and was left exhausted.

Without really thinking about it Julius hopped on his board too and surfed hard. He just wanted to escape the pain. He would have to go home and take care of his mother. No one knew but when she was home she was always ill and moody. Where she would go when she disappeared was a mystery as well, but the lonely silence was almost better than nursing her. He hated not being able to play with his other friends. She always made sure he understood how obligated he was to take care of her and shirking off his duties was like taking part in mortal sins. Though he imagined the red-light district may almost be worth it. And he only had a few months to wait before the red-light district became open to him. Fourteen was after all the legal age for everything in this city! Unfortunately that also meant he could be drafted after his fourteenth birthday as well.

After what had just occured he just wanted to go somewhere pleasant, the park perhaps; its where he always went to when he needed to get away. It was always so pretty and so quiet. With seemingly endless fields of rolling grass and flowers of every color and thickets of giant old trees. Its great reinforced ballistic glass meant if you wanted to see the sun or stars you went to the park. If you wanted to spend time in nature you went to the park that was all there was to it. Hydroponics labs were allowed in the upper districts if they were desired, but in the lower levels it was forbidden. There was a beautiful silvery river running through the center of the park with a large stone bridge going across it. The bridge always made him nervous, as if while on it he was dizzy. It was an ominous sort of nausea. Setting aside the discomfort of that bridge, there were small stone structures built throughout the park. Little picnic reprieves all by themselves. Perfect for looking out into the park and getting lost in thought. On this side of the bridge was the ghetto, on the other side was the upper-class section of the park. As he rode he could hear sirens off in the distance, nothing out of the ordinary for a city of fourteen million. He couldn’t shake the idea that somehow, they were warning him of something and he cut his ride in the park short returning home to a frantic, rabid mother.

Seeing her always made him sad, when he closed his eyes and pictured her he always saw her long ebony hair blowing in the wind, her eyes full of life and her smile so kind and reassuring. Now he saw her as she was in the present, with two months of stubble hair growing out from a shaved head and odd mood swings all the time. Eyes dull and always dampened with some sort of ‘pain killer’ and a cigarette in her tiny hands smoking like a coal train. “look at this!” she screamed and pointed towards the holoprojector which was reporting on the tragic accident on the main street bridge an hour ago.”do you have any idea how worried I was, if anything happened to you id be all alone and then no one would be around to take care of me!” the reporter was saying something about potential suicide, but what was said next horrified him.

“two young men of Sixteen, local students of Central High, names cannot be given at this time by request of the families, have been confirmed dead on the scene. It is uncertain if the front thrusters were malfunctioning on their licensed thrust boards or if these young men simply sored over the ledge at will. Investigations into possible hover board recalls are being held. More information will be given with news at 10 p.m.” The rest of the report went silent as his ears popped and hummed with shock. The rest of the night was a blur, Julius remembered nothing other than the feeling of guilt and the feeling of dirty hands.

Magic was such a forbidden thing in this day and age. He thought, In the past it had been used to great effect, and in other times it had been used to commit some of the most heinous of atrocities. In the Consortium of United States (C.U.S.) magic was restricted and discouraged on good days. Laws regarding magic were extremely harsh and punishments for crimes committed with it were almost always a death sentence. The emperor of the C.U.S. was more than happy to make examples of mages when he could and often televised executions before and after every major sporting event. The territories around the C.U.S. were just as hesitant about mages in there populous as they feared the wrath of the C.U.S. army apart from the Twilight and Independence kingdoms to the east and far west. However, after the mages uprising some forty years ago some concessions were made such as providing safe places for young magic users to come and learn how to channel and use magic effectively. These ‘Universities’ have been and are very much a taboo place to be caught near and much like a sane person being seen walking out of an insane asylum with a jumpsuit and a pair of bolt cutters, always makes for an awkward day of explanation.

Julius truly had no idea about magic, but he knew enough to know this was no coincidence and thought he had better get help. Maybe there was a cure for magic users in the early stages? The sun came up 98 degrees out of the gate, the dome held the heat from the day before and it was a horrible day from the start. But Julius was more concerned with the prospect of being a murderer. Black hair and gold eyes darted out of the door before his mother could say or do anything, although he didn’t see the note on the kitchen table explaining that she had left that night on “business” and wouldn’t be back for a while… meaning at least four days. There was eight copper and one silver coins left on the table and instructions on what was expected of him before she returned. 260 credits worth to last him for the week was a nice allowance but only just enough in this tough economy.

Julius wore his backpack and rode his board like always taking the same path to school that he always did but instead of turning into the school grounds gated entry he road on swiftly. Riding hard and fast he kept his head down not wanting to be seen or recognized for any reason. The ride was miserable, hot and long with the hot air of the board jets heating up his legs even more. The massive ceiling lights blared, and the city roared with the bustling of fourteen million people. The ride was mostly uphill, and he found himself feeling dizzy before he reached the train station. No one seemed to notice him or cared as he staggered into a small convenient store to get a cold bottle of water. In a city this big, no one cares about the other which right now was a plus for Julius he really didn’t want to be caught going where he was going. A man entered the store frantic, saying he was just mugged and needed to call for help. Julius used the distraction to slip away so no one would see him going towards the school for freaks. He really wanted to help, but what could he really do? Julius groaned and went back in, he overheard the man crying because his paycheck had been stolen and he had a family to feed. The unmoved store clerk called the police but had the man stand outside for fear of this vagrant going mad and robbing his store. Julius bought a cold water for the destitute man and slid a copper coin in-between the label and the plastic of the bottle. The man thanked Julius, but his heart only broke more for this hopeless man.

Riding on Julius daydreamed of being as rich as those two jerks from yesterday. Thought about how he could have helped that man had he had the money to replace his paycheck with extra. The ride to the station was swift and before he knew it he was riding past the entrance. Leaning hard on his heals to flip around he managed to make it back without crashing! The board lockers near the front entrance were always crowded. Usually damaged so the bar scanners couldnt read the license numbers on the board registry papers which no one in the lower levels actually had. Julius inserted a few scrap cred coins and threw a scrap coin or two in some other lockers that were timed out and open for the public to steal from just to keep them safe a little longer.

The train station was an underground subway system that connected eight large super cities in the C.U.S. together and made it possible for mass transit between distant territories of the country. The train makers boasted the ability to break sound barrier with their new bullet train model. And with the thick insolation the train station had adopted in the past two years the rumors must be true. He wouldn’t be riding the line far enough to break sound barrier, or to see a new city but he often thought about how cool it would be to disappear like his mother and not come back. Run away and start a new life.

The train station and the trains themselves were filthy, millions of people going in and out constantly, made for some nasty condition. Graffiti was everywhere and blood stains from gang fights and robberies still stained some of the seats and floor panels. The smell of urine and vinit permeated the stale air. Lines were spray-painted on the interior of the cars saying ‘you are crossing into reaper territory you already have a foot in the grave’ or ‘this is CyberFreak Haven’ or ‘Times are tough so it aint nothing personal, Guiltless Grave Robbers’ A group of thugs with back lit eyes and cybernetic arms eyed Julius uncomfortably the whole way getting closer and closer with every stop the train made. Then the exit for the magic academy rang out and the train shuttered and came to a sudden halt. The doors opened, and no one moved, no one breathed, then everyone gasped as Julius’ head hung in shame. He stood quickly and walked off the train without making eye contact with anyone around him. Even the thug’s eyes went wide, and they diverted their eyes as if Julius was a leper.

The platform was empty, only a few military personnel stood watch to keep order on the railway exit. He emerged from the tunneled stairway into bright sunlight and enormous glass paneling. He was in a station that was squeaky clean and smelled of fresh ice and rose petals. It was almost empty but those few people that were here were all smiles and laughter. They were people between the ages of fifteen and thirty and all wore the same grey high collar uniform. The girls were beautiful and elegant, and the boys looked so tough in their strange dress code. He marveled at them all but couldn’t work up the courage to ask for help.

He stared at a map that had a red X saying you are here. He assumed he would need to find the administration building. When he enrolled himself in the school last time that’s where he had to go. Touching the glass to look out onto a campus that made his mind boggle he gasped at the freezing temperature of the glass. It should have been burning hot in the July heat. but instead it was cold and wet to the touch. The students laughed in the background and he realized he had gasped out loud and they were laughing at him. The panels were not glass but sheets of un-melting ice, clear and thick and without flaw or warping.

“wow, this is really amazing!” Julius whispered to himself while laughing because it felt so good against his skin. He knew he looked like an idiot pressing his body against the glass, but he didn’t care and perhaps if magic could do such wonderful things like this, maybe it wasn’t as bad as he had thought.

“What a total dork” cracked one young man off in the distance who found Julius to be quite a funny site.

“Oh, shut up Franky! I saw you do that on your first day here too!” retorted a stern voiced girl

“Nah he’s a loser though!” spat a different boy,

“yeah and you were doing the same thing he is yesterday.” The girl giggled, and the boys fell silent in the wake of the slap fest. They all went about their business laughing and chattering happily as if nothing else in the world mattered.

The administration building was a tall, more or less, giant building with a cloak tower showing three different times, one cloak face was spinning wildly with no discernable pattern or reason. The other was showing an accurate time at present. The third was stuck with a minute’s hand stopped just before the symbol for twelve at the climax of the cloak face. The rest of the campus had strange floating fountains with flowing… stuff… in them scattered here and there. The buildings were all the same grey stone, but the place had a magnificent and eligant beauty to it. A mystique that was somehow pleasing to the eye, being on camps somewhat put Julius at ease. Thinking about how many people he knew would call him a freak after finding out about this made him sick. He hated that he was always the outcast, never having anyone to turn to for fear of being condemned and judged was like a ten-ton brick on his shoulders.

“Well hello there, are you lost?” Julius looked around for someone talking to him but found nothing, no one was around. Then there was a chuckle and the same warm but stern voice came again,

“well speak up boy, how may I direct you?” with a squinting glance at everything he saw something flicker in front of his eyes just for a moment like a mirage. Julius gingerly reached out with an unsteady hand and felt the air for the unseen. To his surprise a chuckle rang out and his hand was slapped away,

“stop it boy, it’s rude to tickle the elderly!” Julius gasped and staggered back.

“well, you certainly have the sight.”


“yes, you see magic, or rather, you have clarity to see through it however weak it may be now you could become very much capable of seeing through even technological means of invisibility.” Julius’ jaw dropped. “you’re not here because you see monsters are you my boy?” Julius scowled for a moment then realized the man wasn’t joking.

“ah, no sir… I, just… do weird things and want…help?” Julius looked to the ground ashamed that he was a freak.

“oh good! Smart boy, you’re here because you wanted to know if you were broken or magical right?” the old man uncloaked so Julius could see a bald, slight man with an ear to ear grin. Big bushy furrowed eyebrows and a very stern hawk like set of grey ringed hazel eyes. The man was a walking contradiction happy and jolly yet gruff and intense. Very young and yet very old all at once.

“well, I can tell you, you aint broken! You’re magical and awakening to your element. This is all you’ll need to turn in to your school if you want to transfer over and learn what you really need.” He smiled again but his eyes burned holes through Julius like a magnifying glass in the summer sun hanging over ants. But just as he had appeared he vanished without a trace. Julius had never been so confused and yet so reassured all at once.

Julius juggled the heavy stack of papers the old man had pulled out of a small coin pouch. Feeling as though he had just ridden his board through a car wash he continued to walk aimlessly around the strange campus looking at every strange fountain on the school grounds. Then the silent air was broken by an angry shout and two ‘girls’ shrieking from behind the rose garden hedge walls.

“Mr. Blackforge! Miss Fanecloud! No promiscuous behavior on or around school grounds is permitted! This is unacceptable! I know the garden is beautiful and the day is too hot for clothing but if I must remain dressed so to must you! Detention for both of you, since your minds are in the gutter you may clean all the gutters on campus!”

“But sir!” protested a desperate male voice

“you will not be allowed to use magic for detention, is that clear?”

“yes Professor Morningstar…” the two spoke together disappointment riddled their voices.

“now if you will excuse me I have places to be and detentions to give out. The school needs its upkeep to look tip top.” A familiar laugh rang out from the old man he had just spoken to and then there was silence fallowed by the boy and girl giggling in the garden once again.

“I know what gutter to clean first!” said that male voice.

“stop Marcus, you’re terrible!” blonde hair flashed past gaps in the rose bush walls and the jingling of belt buckles was all he could hear. Outside of mischievous giggles from guilty parties caught. Julius couldnt bare the awkward encounter any longer attempting to remove himself quietly he turned only to walk straight into another student.

The disheveled looking older boy draped in wrinkled silk glared quietly down at Julious. Julious attempted a smile while staggering back and sheepishly he attempted a stammering apology wracked with nervous self doubt. The whirlwind, pigstye of a boy brushed silently past the plebeian without paying mind to the worthless stammering words of a fool. He headed for the entrance to the rose garden labyrinth and vanished. His cold voice calling out once out of site.

“Are you two idiots still in here? We have work to do remember and im not going to carry you both through another mystic group thesis project!” There was no reply other than giggles and groans of muffled complaint at yet another interruption.

Julious continued his search for the fountains on the school grounds. Leaving the busy rose garden lest he find himself in a fight with magic freaks this time. He gasped as he found one fountain. It was burning with a multi colored set of swirling flames, another was spitting thick black and brown glue-like mud. Another fountain crackled with electric bolts scarring Julius half to death when someone through a copper coin into it to make a wish and a rolling crack of thunder split the silence of the campus. Everyone within earshot screamed except for the wish maker who skipped off smiling.

Another was too bright to look at, there was a fountain of salt, one of ash, one of dust and the creepiest one was a shadow fountain that always seemed busy with a large crowd of shadowy figures dancing around it day or night. The prettiest was one that looked like it had been running water during a winter snow storm and froze in an icy crystalline wonderland. There were eighteen fountains in all. Julius spent all day in amazement looking at how beautiful magic could really be. He wondered the campus looking for all the fountains while thinking how all this time he had thought magic was ugly and evil.

There were a few students scattered about practicing weird things like hand gestures and chanting rhymes and tongue twisters while a book or scroll lay open facing them. Some people didn’t even carry their own belongings having their heavy bags and books float behind them. It was so amazing to see, six students playing with rocks which turned into a human form and danced a jig for them before setting back down with a swan like curtsy. Others bounced great fireballs between one another like an extreme game of hot potato, where the loser actually caught fire while everyone else laughed.

Getting back to the station he groaned as he spotted what was once his locker now wide open and his board now missing. He was too short on cash now after helping that man at the store, this would mean he couldn’t ride a bus or get a cab, so the long hot walk back would give him time to think on life. That very next morning he set out to withdraw himself from school and send his applications over to Consortium States Arcane University. With fake signatures the world goes around, he thought with a grim expression. He would explain everything to his mother once he was enrolled in C.S.A.U. and she was back home. He would have to live on campus like a boarding school until graduation, but he would have holidays to visit home and maybe the change would be good for the both of them? He truly hopped anyway but his stomach turned at the thought of having ‘the talk’ with her about leaving.

Tip: You can use left, right, A and D keyboard keys to browse between chapters.