The Darkness beyond the Light

By Frank W. Zammetti

©2012 Frank W. Zammetti

 

Foreplay

 

There were many things Andrew did not understand, but love was the one he just could not get any kind of grasp on whatsoever.  He had been seeing Cindy for almost 6 months.  In that short time, he knew that she was the girl he would spend the rest of his life with.  He didn't know how he knew that exactly, he just did, and he was content with not knowing the how or why of it.  He would have gladly given his life for her without the slightest hesitation.  He really did love her in a way the adults in his life had always said wasn’t possible for someone his age.  Despite his young age, 16 when he had first dating Cindy, he knew clearly his feelings for her.  The only problem was that he couldn't know for sure if her feelings for him were as true and deep as his.

She had dumped him only a night before a date they had planned for weeks, an utterly devastating blow to him.  It was the first time he had ever seriously considered suicide.  It was also the first time he had actually cried in years.

He just couldn't figure out what had happened.  Things were going so well, or so he thought, but there it was: a broken romance, and almost one less soul in the world.

*

Cindy awoke to the most beautifully-colored bird she had ever seen fluttering around outside her bedroom window.  She was surprised she even noticed it: she was very, very tired.  Just the night before she had broken off her relationship with Andrew.  She didn't want to do it, but she had no choice in her mind.  The relationship was moving far too fast for her and she was afraid.  Not afraid of where the relationship was heading per se, but of how deeply she felt about him.

The thought of the breakup and her exhaustion quickly left her mind though as she reached out the window to try and grab the bird.  "Oh, come on! All I want to do is hold you! I won't hurt you! Really!"  She didn't really expect to get the bird, and she was right.  "Oh, damn!"  The bird flew away.  

For the moment, she was safe, at home with her father downstairs, eating breakfast.  Oh, her father!  The 20-year army Special Forces veteran who had served extensively in Vietnam (The Big One, as he referred to it)  She was fond of informing him that World War II was really The Big One, but he never cared.  "All wars are The Big One if you serve in it", he would say.  "Any chance to give some fine young American boy the chance to fight for his country, that's big!", he would sometimes joke, to try and lighten the mood.  "Oh dad, you’re sick!"

Her mother was probably the only sane one in the family, she thought!  She always was watching out for Cindy's welfare, and the night before, when Cindy told Andrew it was over, her mother had been there to cope with Cindy's "emotional problems".  Her mother adored Andrew, and was sad to see him leave Cindy's life, but it wasn't up to her she knew.

So, Cindy started to do what all girls do in the morning: her hair.  It's a strange ritual, she thought, but something all girls had to do.  She sat at her vanity and began to blow her hair and tried to forget about Andrew, but the bird stuck in her mind for some odd reason.

"Cindy, are you eating breakfast here or at work?", her mother called up to her.  

"I guess I’ll get something at work.  No, on second thought, I hate food from that place so I’ll settle for your stuff".  

“Oh thanks for the vote of confidence.  Do you want that on a plate or in a radiation-proof container?"  

"Oh mother, go play with dad!  By the way, did you see a bird flying around this morning? It looked like some kind of exotic bird. It was the most beautiful thing though."  

"Nope, can't say that I did.  Just hurry up there, or you'll be late for school."  

"I will."  

The thought of that bird left Cindy's mind for the rest of the day, as most thoughts are known to do in 16-year olds.

Cindy began her "long" bike ride to Wendy’s.  It was the only place she could get a job at her age, so she took it.  "Why not", she had thought at the time, "I need some money, and I have nothing better to do."  That was before she was going out with Andrew.  She kept the job even then, even though it gave them almost no time together.  They lived almost 20 miles away and since neither of them could drive yet the only means of transportation for the most part was the train.  That didn't help much though because when Andrew had off, she usually had to work anyway.  So, that was their usual meetings.

Cindy was an intelligent person.  She wouldn't ride anywhere that was known to be a bad area and that meant going nowhere near the train station.  She went down back streets the entire way to work.  There was really no danger to anyone, least of all her.  Therefore, she took off, going to usual way.  She knew this place so well, she could almost feel the people around her.  Today was no exception.  She felt all the people watching her.  She knew she was in a friendly environment though so that fact didn’t make her uncomfortable.

That’s why the sudden jolt of fear startled her so badly.

"Hey, are you all right?".  That was the first thing Cindy recalled hearing when she regained consciousness.  

"I saw that fall", a man she didn’t recognize was saying to her, "and I figured I'd better get over here quick.  You took one hell of a fall.  What were you thinking about?"  

"I don't remember," Cindy replied.  “All I can remember is that I had this terrible feeling all of a sudden.  I don't know why."  

"Well, where were you headed?  I could throw your bike in the back seat and give you a lift".

"No, that's all right.  I'm just going to work, and it's only a few more blocks.  I'll be ok."

"Alight, if you think you’re in good enough shape."

"Yeah, I think I can make it. But thanks for all your help."

"Ok, just doing my duty as a good citizen."

Cindy laughed at that. She cleaned herself off, and rode away.  But all that day, all she could remember was that feeling.

That feeling…

*

Andrew was now into his 8th mile and he was going strong with no intentions of stopping.  He hated to run, but he had to do it.  To stay in shape, he had to run, and to stay alive he might have to run sometimes, so he did it plenty.  But that wasn't the main reasons he was running today.  He was so broken up about Cindy, he just had to get out of the house.  If he didn't, he knew he was going to eat a bullet sooner or later.

So there he was, running through the woods, fully aware of absolutely everything around him.  He knew every detail that surrounded him.  That's why he was so surprised when he tripped and fell!  He couldn't comprehend having missed the branch or whatever it was he had tripped over.  In fact, when he went to look for what he had actually stumbled over, he could find nothing.  It was strange.  It was during that fall that he had a feeling.  A feeling like nothing he had ever experienced before.  He didn't know what it was.  All he knew about it was that is scared him right to his very soul.  There was something terribly wrong, and he didn't know what it was.  He felt more helpless at that moment, during that fall, then he ever had before in his life and the fall seemed to go on forever as if time had slowed to a crawl.  It made the helplessness he felt when Cindy broke up with him feel like a walk in the park.  As soon as he picked himself up, and got over that eternal fall, he ran all the way home.  Not jogged, but ran as fast as he could.  All 8 miles home he did at a sprint, something he wouldn’t have even guessed he was capable of.  

All he could remember though was that feeling.

That feeling....

*

So there she was.  Cindy, sitting behind the counter at Wendy’s, taking orders.  "Two Cheeseburgers, one large Coke, and large fries.  That will be $5.25 please."  Cindy hated this job.  But, in a way she didn't.  It was just another conflicting feeling she couldn't quite make sense of.  

"Wow, that much for that little?  This stuff just keeps going up, doesn’t it?", said the customer.

"Yeah, I know what you mean.  Just step down that way, and your order will be ready on about 5 minutes.  Thanks.  John, hurry up those shakes, will ya?  There's a mob of angry, impatient individuals waiting out here!" Cindy yelled back to John, the head cook of the place.  

"I'll be there in a minute Cindy!  You know Cindy, you can leave early if you want.  It’s only 5 minutes until closing anyway, I can handle it."

"Alright, thanks John.  See ya tomorrow."

Cindy was riding home, when all of a sudden, the beautiful bird from that morning appeared out of nowhere.  Cindy was watching the bird, almost in a trance.  She didn't even notice the sounds around here fading to nothing.  Then, in a sudden flash, Cindy was alone.  There was nothing around her at all, just total blackness, and streaks of colors flying past at incredible speed overhead.  

She was alone, save for that bird right in front of her.  Cindy was now standing, her bike nowhere to be seen.  She felt as if she couldn't move, as if someone was holding her, but in the most gentle possible way.  The whole thing was so tranquil, but she still had that feeling she had experience earlier on her way to work.  

Now she understood what that feeling was: it was terror.  Not simple fear, but total, absolute terror.  At what who didn't know, because at the moment she felt so very good.  It was just her, the lights, and that bird.

She stood watching it, hovering about 6 feet in front of her, about head high.  All of a sudden, the bird began to change.  It began to literally change forms!  She was witnessing a metamorphosis of some kind.  

The bird was no longer a bird, but was now becoming a man.

There she stood, held in place by her terror.

And there he stood.  A huge, massively-built man.  They stood there, staring at each other for an eternity it seemed to Cindy.

Suddenly, he began to speak.

"My name is Xarvig.  Do not be alarmed.  I mean you no harm.  I am here because you can help me.  You are the only person that can."

"What do you mean?" Cindy asked, VERY apprehensively.

"You see, there is a certain person that you know.  A person you know quite well.  This person is VERY, VERY important to me.  You are the only person who can bring him to me."

"Who is it?" she asked, and this time, the terror was very apparent in her voice, because she somehow already knew who it was.

"The person I am searching for is Andrew, as you call him.  I have been long in finding him.  Too long.  It has been over 4,000 years since I last saw him.  I hunted him down through to portals of space and time, and finally found him.  I must have him, and you are the only person that can bring him to me."

"What do you mean by you must have him?"

"I mean, I must face him.  I must make my stand against him.  He must die."

"Why?  Why do you want to kill Andrew?"

The man’s expression now began to change, and did his tone of voice, and Cindy’s terror quickly deepened.

"That is of no consequence to you!  You WILL help me get him."

Suddenly, Cindy found a secret well of courage she didn’t know existed in her.

"No!  I won't help you kill Andrew!"  Cindy tried to turn and move but it was then that she realized it wasn’t just her and Xarvig there.  There were other creatures, unseen, part of the darkness it seemed.

She began to struggle with her invisible captives.  It was then she could see what was holding her: two huge, blood-drenched claws were wrapped around her, keeping her from moving.  She screamed.  

"Don't be alarmed Cindy.  I said I meant you no harm, and I meant that."  Xarvig gently placed his hand over her face and uttered some sort of words in a language Cindy could not understand at all.

She felt her will begin to slip.  She could feel her control fading out of existence.

"You will help me get Andrew, won't you Cindy?"

"Yes, I will Xarvig."

It was then that Xarvig changed again. This time, instead of being a man, he was something Cindy could not remember later, which was lucky for her.  If she had ever remembered that sight, just the thought of it would kill her.  She had seen Xarvig‘s true form, and that's what gave her the feeling of terror.  That last thing Cindy could remember of that first meeting with Xarvig was the lights above her gently fading, and his last words:

"Many things are not as they seem Cindy.  Seek truth above all else, and life will reward you."

She would never know what that meant, but it would be the most important thing in her life, at least, until the end of it.

*

Andrew felt it again.  The same feeling he felt in the woods.  It seemed to him that time stopped, and that feeling he couldn't explain came over him.  It was a feeling of fear, but more of disbelief.  This time, there was another feeling along with it though.  He also knew he'd felt this way before, but he could not for the life of him remember when or where.  He sat there, on his bed, shaking uncontrollably.  It was at that moment that he knew.

Cindy. She was in trouble.

He ran to the phone and dialed her number.  It rang, and rang, and rang.  Finally, Cindy's mother answered.

"Hello, Mrs. Jennings? Is Cindy home? This is Andrew."

"No Andrew, she's not home yet. She's about 40 minutes late, and I’m starting to get a little worried.  Why do you want to talk to her?"

Andrew was about to tell her, but decided it better not to.  "II just wanted to talk to her.  Please have her call me when she gets in?"

Reluctantly, Cindy’s mother replied, "Ok Andrew, I will.  Goodbye."

Andrew now knew for sure something was wrong with Cindy.  He ran outside and began running to the train station.  He now had another feeling.

The feeling he was too late.

*

Andrew's train arrived about 10 minutes late, which really wasn't too bad for this town's trains.  He got on, gave the conductor his ticket, and found an unoccupied seat near the back of the train in a car with no people.  He had nothing with him, except his survival knife that he always carried strapped to his leg.  It was in a perfect place for him to get to it in a hurry.  He sat on the train, speeding towards Brookville, feeling more helpless than ever before.

*

Cindy lay in bed, staring up at the ceiling.  She wanted to know what had happened in the 10 minutes that was missing from her life on the way home from work today.  She was just riding along, and the next thing she knew, she was standing there, outside her house, the rain just beginning to fall.  It would only have taken her about 10 minutes to get home, but she couldn't remember anything from her ride home, only that she was scared.  That's all she could recall, that one simple emotion.  She didn't know what to think, and she still felt scared now.  She lay there, wondering about this, slowly fading off to sleep.

Her mother never did tell her that Andrew had called, and she didn’t even remember the stern talking-to about being late her mother had given her as she drifted off.

Cindy did finally get to sleep and it was about a half hour before she started to dream.  In her dream, she heard Xarvig’s voice.

“Andrew is on his way Cindy. When he arrives, you will welcome him with open arms, and assure him everything is all right."

"Yes Xarvig."

Cindy was not aware of this conversation consciously, and she never would be.  She awoke to a loud pounding on the door.  She walked downstairs slowly, putting her robe on as she moved.  She peered through the peephole of the door, and saw it was Andrew.

"Oh Andrew! I'm so happy to see you!"

Cindy embraced Andrew, much to his surprise!

"Where were you all day?!? Your mother was worried, and I was too!”

"I was just visiting some friends on the way home from work and the time got away from me. Everything's all right."

"Well, I'm gonna be staying down the block in the Hollywood hotel anyway."

"Why, there's no reason for you to stay!"

"Something doesn’t seem right, and I'm not leaving you until I know what it is.  I don't like the idea of being as far as down the block, but that's the best I can do."

"Well, ok, but there's nothing to worry about.  I'm fine."

*

Andrew was in his hotel room when it happened.

A light flash of light, a high-pitched sound, and there he was.

Andrew all of a sudden was in a dense jungle, layered with an even denser fog.  

"What the hell?" Andrew didn't know what to think, least of all what to do.  He rose slowly, and began to walk about.  He couldn't see anything around him, but yet he somehow just KNEW everything that was near him. This was something he could not explain.  It was as if he was seeing without his eyes.  It was very strange.

Out of nowhere, a razor-sharp sharp blade slashed down towards Andrew.  He turned about in an instant, and caught the blade between his hands.  He throw a front kick in the direction of the blade at lightning speed, but made no contact.  The blade was gone in that instant, just vanished.  

Andrew began walking in a crouched position.  He was now aware of a presence around him.  Not in any one particular direction, but all around him.  It felt as if one thing was completely surrounding him.  Some sort of blade with 6 points was flying towards Andrew.  At the very last possible moment, he ducked out of the way of the projectile, while at the same time, throwing his hand in the air and grasping the object.  

Amazingly, it was something he could identify: a Shuriken, and Chinese Star.  It was a weapon he had seen many times in those martial arts movies, but never in real life.

Another blade slashed at his legs, but he jumped amazingly high in the air, somersaulted and twisted simultaneously, and landed with almost no sound at all.  He was now thoroughly convinced that this was no dream, but he knew it had to be: the things he had done in just the last few seconds were things he simply wasn’t capable of.  Sure, he was in great shape, and he had a gymnastics background, and his dad had taught him to fight pretty well, but catching swords and shurikens? No way!

He noticed a light area of distortion to his left, an area of the fog that seemed like it was there, but not real somehow.  He took the Shuriken and hurled it in the direction of the distortion, and with pinpoint accuracy he never knew he possessed, hit the area dead-center.  He heard a loud yelling sound, as if he had it someone.  

At that very moment he found himself back in the hotel room, in the same position as when he had left.  He had no idea what had just happened, although somehow he knew it wasn’t a dream.  

Strangely, he didn’t really even want to know what it was.  At that instant, a feeling arouse in him again, a feeling of fear, but this time, it was expanded tremendously.  It now touched his very soul, and something else he could not explain.  A feeling like a great weight had been lifted off him.  

He also felt something else, something he couldn't explain.  Suddenly, he realized what it was.

CINDY!  CINDY WAS IN DANGER!

*

Cindy was still trying to get to sleep, when he came again.  

Xarvig appeared, but as that beautiful bird.  Cindy sat up in bed, and just stared at it, stunned, and completely drawn into it . It did it's metamorphosis again, this time, changing into a man, draped in some sort of ceremonial black garment.  He began to speak.

"Cindy, Andrew has arrived.  He does not want to face me it seems.  I must therefore take something away from him to make him seek me out.  You must die."

Xarvig reached for Cindy, but as he extended his hand, he felt a sharp pain in his hand.  Something had stuck him!  He looked down, and saw a knife stuck in his hand, and there was Andrew, climbing through the window.

"No!  Trilon, you cannot stop my ceremony!"

Andrew, seemingly strong and clearly not himself, spoke.

"Xarvig, for years you have chased me through the corridors of time and space, and now you wish to kill me.  You cannot take the soul of an innocent, and I will not let you kill either of us."

Andrew then seemed to look shocked, as if he didn't know what he had just said!  

Xarvig pulled the knife from his hand and licked the blade clean of his blood.

"I shall return in time, and you will be destroyed!"

Xarvig was now the bird again.  Before Andrew could pick up the knife and stop Xarvig from escaping, Xarvig flew out the open window, and off into the night. Andrew walked over to Cindy.

"Are you all right? Did he do anything to you?"

"II think I’m okay.  Andrew, who is Trilon? And what was all that you were saying?"

"I don't know.  I don't know where any of that came from. It seemed as if someone was making me say those things.  I don't know what any of it meant.  All I know is that neither of us are safe here now.  We have to get far away."

"Andrew, I can't just leave!  My parents would never let us take a vacation together!"

Andrew was getting a little bit annoyed with her, but strangely, in a loving sort of way.

"First off, this isn't a vacation, and second, if we don't go NOW we won't be alive long enough to EVER take a vacation together!  I don't know who or what Xarvig is but I do know somehow know he’s not going to be as easy to get rid of next time!"

That convinced Cindy well enough.  "Alright, let’s go then.  Where are we going to go?"

"I don't know.  Just as far as we can.  I think we better go somewhere with a lot of people though.  New York City should be far enough.  There’s a train that runs right to there so we should arrive by morning.  Get some stuff together quickly in that brown suitcase of yours and I'll call and get our tickets reserved.  Don't be too long though.  I don't want to be around when Xarvig gets back."

 

In The City

 

Andrew and Cindy arrived shortly after dawn, on July 16th, 1989.  They were both fresh as can be, since they had slept as contently as they had in a long time.  They had no dreams, no restless thoughts, just pure, uninterrupted sleep.  As they stepped off the train, they were greeted by the sight of a massive city street, lined with hundreds upon hundreds of mile-high skyscrapers.  Both of them had been to New York many times before but neither of them really appreciated it as much as now.  It gave them a feeling of safety they had not known for the past few hours.  Even though they knew there were plenty of dangers from the city itself, it still felt good to be there.

"Well, first things first.  Let's rent a hotel room, and call your parents Cindy."

"Oh, yeah, right.  I'll tell them what's going on Andrew.  This bird-man named Xarvig is chasing us around, and we decided go to New York because we think it will be safest here.  Real good."

Andrew smiled.  He loved Cindy’s way with sarcasm.

"Well, we have to let them know you’re okay.  My parents too for that matter.  We have to tell them something.  How about that we are sleeping over your friends Amy's for a few days?"

"Well, that's not too bad, but what if they check the story? Then what?"

"Well, we'll call Amy and tell her to cover for us."

"Yeah, that’ll work, she owes me one anyway."

"Good.  You call, and I'll take care of our sleeping arrangements."

"Okay. Be back soon."

Cindy kissed Andrew.  They both stood looking at each other for a good 30 seconds.  It was Andrew who finally spoke.

"Be careful Cindy."

"I will Andrew."

Cindy left for the phone booths, and Andrew headed up the street to the nearest hotel.

 Cindy was talking to Amy for a few minutes when the call was suddenly interrupted by the sound of static on the line, and then silence.  Cindy dialed zero to reach an operator.

"Hello, operator?  My call was disconnected.  I was talking to my friend Amy and we were cut off."

"I'm sorry, there is some sort of interference over the line.  If you'll hold, I'll, see if I can..."

The operator's words trailed off as Cindy stood with the phone to her ear, waiting for the rest of the sentence.  "Hello, hello, operator?", she said into the phone, almost screaming it now.

"No Cindy, no operator.  Just me, Xarvig.  I have traveled through the barriers of time and space to get revenge on Trilon, and you think a matter of 30 miles to a city is going to stop me?  Stop running.  There is no escape.  No matter where you and Trilon go, I will follow."

"Why do you keep calling Andrew Trilon?  That's not his name!"

"It is the name of his true self.  Remember, seek truth above all else.  Tell Trilon.  Tell him.  He will know what it means.  And tell him to stop running.  All the people in the world could not save him, nor can you Cindy."

Xarvig began to laugh.

Cindy dropped the receiver and ran.  She ran as fast as she could, but she could not escape it.  That maniacal, evil laugh following her.  It was in her mind, but sounded as if it was all around her.

Andrew and Cindy met outside the hotel.  Cindy was hysterical crying.  Andrew spoke as he embraced and comforted her.

"What's wrong?  Cindy, talk to me!  What's wrong?"

"It's Xarvig!  He's here!  In New York!"

"No, I don't believe it!  Who the hell is this Xarvig guy?!"

Cindy began to calm down a little, as Andrew soothed her.

"Andrew, Xarvig kept calling you Trilon."

"Yeah, I noticed that when we confronted one another in your room."

"He also told me to seek truth above all else.  He said you would know what that meant.  Andrew, what does it mean?  What aren’t you telling me?"

"I don't know what it means Cindy.  I don't even know if I should.  I have an idea though.  I know a guy.  He lives a few blocks from here.  He’s a good friend of mine.  He knows hypnotism.  Maybe he can help us."

"I hope so.  Andrew, I'm so scared."

"Me too Cindy. Me too."

*

Andrew and Cindy arrived at Ben Dengalem's house about 20 minutes later.

"Andrew!  Good to see you!  What has it been, 6 years?  You were only 10 then!  My how you've grown!"

"Ben, it's good to see you too, but listen, I have a problem and I think you can help."

"Anything to help Tom's son.  What can I do for you?"

"I want you to hypnotize me, and ask me ask me about Xarvig and Trilon."

"What are those?"

"I don't know.  I'm hoping this will tell us."

"Well, sure, why not, I got nothin’ better to do today.  Come on in!"

*

"Watch the light Andrew.  Concentrate on only the light.  Feel your eyelids getting heavier.  Don't resist their weight.  Let them close.  When they close, you will be asleep."

Andrew began to feel drowsy.  His eyes were getting tired.  He let them close, and sure enough, he was under.

“Ok, he’s under.  Cindy, stand over by the door.  I want to be the only thing Andrew is concentrating on.”

Cindy nodded and moved out of Andrew’s line of sight.

“Andrew, can you hear me?"

"Yes."

"Andrew, when I snap my fingers I want you to open your eyes, but remain where you are.Ben snapped his fingers and Andrew’s eyes snapped open.

“Andrew, what does the word Xarvig mean to you?"

Andrew began to flinch.  A tear fell from his eye, and he began to speak, in what appeared to be a monumental struggle for him.

"Xarvig is evil."

"What do you mean evil?", Ben asked.

"Xarvig murdered my family."

Cindy's face suddenly turned a shade of white never before known to man.

"How can that be?  His family is fine!", Cindy exclaimed.

"Cindy, please, let me finish, you’ll only confuse him if he hears two voices."

Ben waited a few seconds and then began to speak to Andrew again.

"Andrew, how could Xarvig, the evil as you say, have murdered your family?  Your family is alive and well only 30 miles from here!"

Andrew was clearly struggling with his feelings, and it was apparent that what he had to say would not come easy to his mouth, but finally it did.

"He murdered my family.  I killed his father."

"He doesn’t know what he's saying", Ben told Cindy.  "Ask him about Trilon then", Cindy said in response.

"Andrew, this is Ben again.  What is Trilon?"

Andrew waited. He did not speak.  Ben asked again, "Andrew, what is Trilon?"

Andrew delayed longer, but finally replied, "Trilon is my true self.  Trilon is me."

*

"Well, that was interesting.  What did we find out?", Andrew asked, almost humorously.

Ben gave him an answer, however, without the slightest hint of humor in his voice.

"Andrew, you have just shown me something I never have encountered in my professional career as a psychologist.  You are… how can I put this, two people."

"You mean I'm schizophrenic?!", Andrew asked incredulously.

"No, I mean there is actually another person inside of you.  Another living entity within you."

"Well, that's not possible… is it?"

"I was taught it wasn't Andrew, but it sure looks like I was taught wrong."

Cindy interjected at that point, "AndrewTrilon, you said that's you.  You are Trilon.  As near as we can tell, your family was murdered by Xarvig, and you killed his father in retaliation.  Xarvig is now after you."

"No, my family is fine!"

"Andrew,", Cindy said, "think! Xarvig said he transcended space and time to find you.  Wouldn't it make sense that you did the same to escape him?"

"Sure, that's a great sci-fi story, but why am I not Trilon now then?  Why am I Andrew?"

"I don't know.  I just don't know."

"Well, it's all ridiculous if you ask me.  I think Xarvig is nothing more than some kind of crazy, psychopathic nutcase, who somehow or other is playing with our minds."

"I hope your right Andrew, I hope your right."

*

That night in the hotel Andrew could not get no sleep.  Something kept echoing in his head.  Something he could not find the origin of.

"Xarvig is evil."

The voice kept saying that, over and over.  Andrew recognized it as his voice, but he knew he had never said that.  He sat up in his bed, and sat in the same position he had in the Hollywood that night he had that flashback.  It took about 5 minutes, but it happened again.  Andrew was all of a sudden in a dense forest, covered with a dense layer of fog.  He felt that evil presence around him again, but this time, there was something else.  Something that felt incredibly warm.  Something incredibly good, but he could not identify it.  Andrew just sat there, waiting for whatever was going to happen to happen.  It finally did.

Out of the darkness approached a figure.  A tall, muscular figure, draped in a dark robe with symbols Andrew did not recognize.  The figure seemed to hover off the ground several feet, and Andrew was convinced he was seeing a ghost!  The specter floated there for a while, and then began to speak.

"Trilon… come forth Trilon."

Andrew felt himself giving way to something. It felt as if something from within himself was trying to break out.  He began to speak, unaware of what he was saying.

"I am here father.  Xarvig is as well.  He is here to kill me."

"He must not succeed, and he WILL NOT succeed.  You have mastered the art of the Ninja, and the art of the Kobiko.  You are a master of martial arts, as well as magic.  You have escaped Xarvig's revenge only by using this knowledge."

"Yes, you have taught me well.  I have assumed control of my far distant descendant Andrew.  Xarvig was unaware of this for many years, but he finally discovered me after our confrontation in Guimanik.  Now I fear I have endangered the life of an innocent and I cannot allow Xarvig to harm this girl Cindy who Andrew loves so dearly."

"You cannot allow him to harm the body and spirit of Andrew as well for you would die in the process."

"Yes.  I will allow neither.  After I entered the portal of time I discovered that my body would not transcend the portals.  Only my mind and spirit could.  That is why I had to enter Andrew."

"Yes, it was necessary for your survival.  Trilon, there is something about you that you do not yet know, and the time for the teachings are now."

"What is it father?"

"In the year 1342 a race of beings were in grave danger of being destroyed.  This race of beings lived on a planet known as Eurolidia.  This planet was quickly being pulled towards destruction by the gravitational pull of its dying sun.  In one last desperate attempt to wrest life from the jaws of death 1,250 of that race boarded a huge spacecraft, and journeyed into the stars in search of a planet on which they could live.  They were a peace-loving people, and they did not want any harm to come to the inhabitants of the planet on which they would live.”

“But, there was a terrible act perpetrated the day of the spacecraft's launch.  A canister was loaded on the spacecraft by an evil Eurolidian named Sexorta.  This canister contained something the people of Eurolidia had discovered in the center of the universe.  That canister contained an evil so great, a terror so horrifying, the people of Eurolidia believed it to be the life force of what the humans call the Devil himself.  The canister was created to keep the evil at bay and the plan was to leave it on that dying world and let the evil be consumed and destroyed by the star it orbited when it went supernova.”

“The spacecraft journeyed about the universe for 100 years before finally finding a planet suitable to sustain them.  That planet was Earth.  They landed on a large island in one of the planet's major oceans.  That ocean was the Pacific, and the island was called Japan.  The Eurolidians discovered the creatures that dominated the planet.  They were mankind.”

“They quickly adapted their own shape to mimic that of men.  They began to mingle with that species.  The Eurolidians lived always alone, always separated from the societies of the humans so as to not influence them.”

“However, the humans did not like the idea of a different group of people not with them, so they set out to kill the Eurolidians.  The Eurolidians had no choice but to fight the attacking humans.  The Eurolidians came to be known as Ninja to the humans, meaning a man who was capable of magic, as it would have appeared to them."

Andrew was spellbound by this story.  Trilon was as well.

"Most of the Eurolidians were killed by the humans, but a few survived the mass of death and destruction.  During all of this warring, no one realized the canister was still with them.  No one, that is, until it was stolen in a raid by the humans one night.  The humans took it back to their emperor, and it was opened.  Of the 300 people who witnessed that opening, none lived to tell of it.  From that canister was born a creature called Xarvig, which means Devil in the Eurolidian's language.  Xarvig quickly adapted his form to that of human and began to slaughter everyone that remained that had held him captive for so long.  All the Eurolidians.”

“Trilon, I was a Eurolidian, as are you.  You are the only surviving member of our species.  You are our last hope for survival.  Our souls cannot rest until Xarvig ceases to exist.  You are the only being capable of that now."

Trilon was in utter shock.

"Father, I cannot.  Not by myself!"

"You are not alone.  You did not pick Andrew by coincidence.  Andrew's spirit is the link from you to us."

"But I thought you had murdered Xarvig's father, and he was trying to get revenge on me!"

"That is what he was told.  Xarvig does not know his true nature any more than you did until a moment ago.  If he were to learn the truth it would unleash powers in him far greater than any he possesses now.”

“Trilon, Xarvig must be destroyed before we can be free.  He would not have paid you any mind if he didn’t believe you were the son of his father's murderer.  The lie had to be told to set him on a path towards you, and now you must face him.”

“You see Trilon, Xarvig IS the Devil's life force, but he was mortal at one time.  Early in the beginning of Eurolidian times, an evil man, named Sexorta, who as I told you was the one who put the canister aboard the spacecraft, had a son.  That son was Xarvig.  It was thought that Xarvig would be the bringer of destruction to Eurolidia, and so, he was killed, and his life force captured before it could escape to the here-after.  It was sent to the center of the universe, where it was kept for billions of years.  Sexorta was kept on Eurolidia, but in exile in a place there was no escape from.  Unfortunately, what his jailors didn’t realize is that the place would essentially freeze his aging.  So, after billions of years, he finally did escape, to the amazement of many, just in time to see the Eurolidians discover the canister which contained Xarvig's life force.”

“You see Trilon, Sexorta was the only Eurolidian still alive that could remember the origins of the canister.  As generations of Eurolidians died and forgot, he remained healthy in his exile and retained all memories of his pain and anger.  In exile, he swore to avenge the death of his son by the complete annihilation of every Eurolidian.  As the Eurolidians tried to figure the canister out, Sexorta plotted and eventually stole the canister.  

“He went back to his place of exile to extend his life further and waited for the sun of Eurolidia to begin to go supernova.  When that happened, he emerged, ready to release Xarvig to avenge his own death, only, most of the Eurolidians had already died, and the remaining few were prepared to escape their dying world.  Sexorta had himself become very ill quickly upon leaving his exile and knew his end was near.  That's when he loaded the canister onto the spacecraft, and the rest you know.

“So you see, I did not kill his father.  That is what he must believe though.  Now that he is after you, you must kill him, and free our souls, so that the Eurolidians can live again."

"I will do it father.  The Eurolidians will live again."

"We will rule the universe this time, making peace for all planets alike."

Trilon's father began to fade.

"No, don't go father!"

"You have the skills Trilon, and you now have the knowledge. The next time I see you, we will be together, on the mortal side."

Trilon's father vanished completely, and a brilliant flash of light blinded.                As fast as it happened, Andrew was sitting on his bed once more, in the same position he had left in.  Across the room from him, lying in her bed, lay Cindy, sleeping contently.  Andrew could remember only parts of the experience, really nothing more than feelings.  He decided it was nothing but a dream, and laid down to go to sleep.  It would not sleep for another couple of hours, and even then, it would not be a restful sleep.

*

"Wake up!  Andrew, wake up!  It's 2 o'clock in the afternoon!  Wake up already!"

Andrew slowly opened his eyes, to the most beautiful sight he had ever seen before in his life: Cindy.  He never realized it before, but she was incredibly beautiful.  He always knew she was pretty of course, but he never had truly seen her for the pure beauty she actually was

"We have to get moving.  We have to get some kind of weapons or something!  Andrew, what's that?"

Both Andrew and Cindy looked down at Andrew's chest.  There, hanging from his neck was a glowing sphere.  It had little bolts of lightning flashing around it's circumference.

"I don't know", Andrew said.  He tried to take it off but it wouldn’t budge.

"I can't get it off.  Well, it doesn’t seem to be doing any harm, so why not leave it?  It's kind of cool-looking anyway, don't you think?"

"Yeah, it’s kind of pretty.  But don't you wonder where a ball of electricity hanging around your neck came from?  Especially when you can't take it off?"

"Yeah, but what the hell.  I like it.  I'm gonna keep it."

"Ok. I just hope it's not radioactive or something!"

Andrew and Cindy quickly got dressed, and went downstairs to eat.  They seemed care-free as ever.  They both felt as if the world was aglow because of them.

Just then, Andrew decided to ruin the mood.

"Cindy, why did you dump me?"

"Oh, Andrew.  I never wanted to.  It’s just that I wasn't ready for a permanent commitment just yet.  But, I'll tell ya what.  I am now!  All I want it for us to be together forever."

"Well, that's all I've ever wanted.  Cindy, I love you more than anything on this earth, and I'm gonna protect you if it means dyeing myself."

They stared at each other, and began a long, passionate kiss.  When they finished, Andrew picked Cindy up, and carried her up to their room.  

That afternoon, they made love.  It was a feeling they had never experienced before.  A feeling of love towards one another, and even though they both knew they were too young to have sex, it didn't seem to matter to them.  It was SO right, and the things that may happen because of it seemed not important at all.  All that mattered to them was that they were together, and that they were in love.

When they were done, Andrew turned to Cindy, and said, "You know, breakfast at 2 in the afternoon wouldn't have been too cool anyway."

"Yeah, I see what you mean!" They both started to laugh.  They kissed each other once more, and as the clock struck 4, they just laid in bed, enjoying each other's company like they never had before.

*

Andrew now knew what he had to do, but he still did not know how he knew.  He walked into the weapons store, and bought about $600 worth of weapons.  Knives, explosives, and a small pistol.  He somehow knew how to use all of it, even though he had never been taught.

He thought to himself, "Xarvig, I'm ready.  Come and get me." He would never know it, but Xarvig was listening to his thoughts at that moment.

"I will Trilon, I will.", Xarvig said to himself.

At that moment, a chill came over Andrew's body, and he felt it again. Fear....

*

Andrew and Cindy walked down 35th street, heading for Central Park.  "Why are we going to central?"

"I have a feeling that's were Xarvig is."

Cindy was incredulous.

"Then why the hell are we going there?  Andrew, he'll kill us!"

"Cindy, there are things I don't know about myself, but last night I learned one thing: Xarvig cannot kill me.  I have skills which will keep us both alive.  I don't know how I know this, I just know."

"That's crazy!  Andrew, he's some kind of monster, and he'll kill us, even with all those weapons you have!"

"Cindy, do you love me?"

"Of course I do, but what does..."

Andrew covered her mouth with his hand and spoke gently to her.

"Then trust me.  Nothing is going to happen to us." He slowly uncovered her mouth so she could answer him.

"Ok.  I trust you.  I love you so much Andrew."

They embraced for a moment, and continued to Central Park, somehow knowing they were heading straight for a confrontation with Xarvig.

*

Xarvig knelt in front of some sort of pedestal.  It was gold and silver, with strange markings all over it.  Around it's edges was an eerie bluish glow.  Xarvig was wearing a black rob, with a symbol on it that resembled Japanese letters.  His hands were grasped together in some kind of hand sign.  He was uttering something, but no one would have understood it if they had heard it.  A voice suddenly began to speak to Xarvig.  It seemed to originate from the pedestal.  

"Xarvig, you have hunted Trilon to the very ends of the universe, and now he is here.  He is the last surviving Eurolidian, and he must die."

"Father, I will not let you down.  Trilon will die.  But he is powerful, and it will be very difficult."

"Xarvig, he is weaker now than ever before.  There is something keeping his powers down. That something is the love Andrew feels for Cindy.  Trilon feels it too.  It is weakening him."

"Then it will be that much easier to kill him."

"Xarvig, there is something you must know.  Trilon's father did not kill me.  I was killed in the destruction of Eurolidia."

"Then why did they tell me he had killed you before I killed his family?"

"He knew that you would go after his son.  You see, if Trilon kills you, their souls would be freed, and they could start a new life as the masters of the universe."

"Why was I not told this before?"

"I thought that you would abandon the hunt for Trilon.  Xarvig, you and Trilon are the last of a dead race of people.  Trilon is the combined life force of all that was good of the Eurolidians.  You are the combined life force of all that was evil of them.  So, you see, there is more at stake here than just your revenge on Trilon.  Whichever one of you lives will determine who will rule the universe for billions upon billions of years to come."

"Then I will not let you down father.  Trilon must die, and the darkness will rule."

"If that is your fate Xarvig."

The pedestal ceased to glow, and Xarvig rose, turned and walked away.

Andrew stayed in the darkness for the longest time, digesting the knowledge he had just gained.  He had discovered Xarvig in some sort of trance in front of the pedestal, and he also discovered that he could hear what Xarvig’s father was saying, even though Cindy could not.

Andrew could hardly believe it!  He was in the middle of a universal space-war between good and evil that would decide the fate of the universe!

"Oh great," he thought.  "Trilon, you'd better be as good as they say you are."

"You’re just going to have to trust me Andrew, just as you asked Cindy to trust you."

*

Andrew came out of the bush and rejoined Cindy on the park bench.

"Cindy", he said, "There are some things you have to know about me."

"Well, it's about time!  I've felt like I was in the dark for a long time!"

"Cindy, this is not going to be easy for you to hear, but you must."

Andrew told Cindy the story.  The story of a race of people of long ago, destroyed by their own sun.  He told her of their last grasp at life, escaping to earth on a giant spacecraft.  He told her of that canister of evil.  He told her of the human slaughter of his people, and the slaughter of his people by the evil in that canister.  

"Cindy, inside of me is another person.  His name is Trilon.  He is the last of the Eurolidians, the last of the Ninja."

"Andrew, this is all incredible."

"Do you believe me Cindy?"

"Yes, I do.  I trust you, and I love you."

They held one another, feeling like they were ready for anything.  They could never have been more wrong.

*

Andrew and Cindy walked down the path towards the other side of the park.  They were now walking through a forest down an open path.  The birds were chirping loudly around them, and the sun shone brightly directly overhead.  It seemed to them that they were the only two people on earth.

"Trilon, I am here.", a voice thundered from behind them.

Both Andrew and Cindy turned around and there he was.  Xarvig stood there, watching Andrew's every move.  

"So, Xarvig.  You know the truth about yourself, as do I."

"Then it was you in the darkness.  It was you who's presence I felt."

"Yes. Xarvig, it was me.  But that doesn’t matter now.  You know, there’s no reason for us to destroy each other.  We can leave now, go our separate ways, and no one will win, not the Eurolidians, not your father.  The world already has its share of good and evil, we’ll blend in and we can both go on living our lives as long as these mortal forms allow."

"No! I  must destroy you!  For the Eurolidians of evil to arise to power, you must die!"

At that, Xarvig lunged towards Andrew.  Andrew just stood there, not budging in the slightest.  As Xarvig rushed towards him, he lightly nudged Cindy out of the way, and placed his hands together in some sort of ancient hand sign.  Xarvig kept coming, and from the darkness of his clothing emerged a sword of unknown beauty, and unmistakable death.  Xarvig raised the sword above his head in readiness to strike Andrew down.  Andrew just stood there, his hands intertwined in a Ninja power sign.  

Just as the blade came down upon Andrew's head, he vanished!

Xarvig looked stunned as his sword clattered to the ground.  He turned, and faced Andrew, who had reappeared on the other side of him!

"So, you want to do it that way? Alright."

"Xarvig, I do not wish to fight you."

"Then you will die a fool!"

All around them, the trees began to wilt. The birds ceased there songs and began to scream in horrible pain.  The light of the sun turned black, and the surroundings melted away to darkness.  Above Andrew and Xarvig were streamers of colored lights, flying away at incredible speeds. Cindy was nowhere to be found.

"What have you done with Cindy!?!", Andrew exclaimed in terror.

"I have sent her to the time corridors.  She will not be a part of our struggle.  She will die in time, but long after you are gone, after suffering for an eternity, trapped in the rivers of time."

Andrew knew where she was.  His mind could see her, suspended in space and time.  Confined in the center of the universe.

"If any harm comes to her, I swear, your soul will never rest!"

"Come now Trilon.  You are in no position to make demands of me, as I stand her, poised to destroy you!"

Andrew backed away from Xarvig.  When he was a few feet back from his original position, the glowing sphere around his neck came to life, glowing very brightly in the darkness which surrounded him.  Xarvig was blinded by the light in front of him, and shielded his eyes, but he could still see what was going on.  Andrew was changing.  In front of Xarvig's very eyes, Andrew transformed into his true self.  

Before him now stood Trilon.

"So, you have decided to fight me as yourself, and not hide inside a weakling human!"

"It is not Andrew who you seek to destroy.  It is me.  Andrew is with Cindy.  There they will stay, until I free them."

"Trilon, you will be dead in a short time, and you will not have a chance to free them.  My fate is to destroy you, and there is no escaping fate."

Xarvig stood there, in a fighting stance.  Trilon stared at him for the longest time, and finally set himself in a fighting stance, prepared to wage battle with Xarvig.

*

Xarvig's sword, which was lying on the ground up until this point, suddenly flew into his hand.  As it arrived, he attacked Trilon in a flash of anger so great it would have destroyed a planet.  Trilon was just as quick, swinging around to his right, and kicking Xarvig in the back as he spun around.  Xarvig screamed in pain, and turned to face Trilon.  The two warriors of light and dark faced each other once more.  As Xarvig swung the sword towards Trilon's head, Trilon rolled towards Xarvig's legs, knocking him to the floor.  As he fell, Xarvig slashed the sword backwards, slashing Trilon's leg.  He stumbled, and regained his balance just in time to ward of Xarvig's next attack.  There seemed to be no winning for either of them.  Their skills were remarkably perfect and evenly-matched.  

As Xarvig again lunged towards Trilon, Trilon grabbed the hand in which the sword was grasped, twisted it around and jump -kicked the elbow of that arm.  The sword fell from Xarvig's hand.  As it did, Xarvig fell to the floor.  As he fell, he grabbed Trilon's arm and flipped him over his body.  As Trilon landed on the ground a few feet from Xarvig, Xarvig pulled from his garment a Shuriken and hurled it at Trilon.  Trilon quickly drew his sword from its sheath and knocked the Shuriken to the ground.  As he did that, Xarvig kicked the sword from his hand.  Both warriors again faced each other, poised for battle.

As Xarvig began to attack Trilon again, the necklace Trilon was wearing flashed a burst of light.  Xarvig fell to the floor in pain, holding his eyes.  Trilon picked the sword up from off the floor.  He stood over Xarvig, preparing to plunge it through his heart.  He raised the sword, held it above his head for a moment, and started it downward into Xarvig's chest.  

The instant before it would have pierced Xarvig's breastplate, Trilon was gone.  He was suddenly back in Central Park, and below him, with-a sword through her chest, lay Cindy.

*

"Cindy!", Trilon yelled as he knelt beside her. He held her in his arms.  She tried to say something.

"No, keep your strength Cindy."

"Were... Is... Andrew?", she said with great difficulty.

"He’s safe.  Don't worry.  You will soon be with him."

Before he could do or say anything else, Cindy died in his arms.

Trilon dropped his head to hers, and cried.  After a few minutes, he rose with her in his arms.  When he turned around, there was Xarvig, standing tall as ever, with a gruesome smile on his face.

"If I cannot kill you, I will kill everyone dear to you.  You have hide Andrew from me at the moment, but I will find him, and I will kill him, as I did Cindy!" Xarvig laughed.

Trilon was now filled with more rage than all the people of earth combined had ever felt.  He ran towards Xarvig.  Just before he would have reached him, he vanished, and his laugh faded to nothingness.

Trilon cried some more, and then carried Cindy's body to the woods.  He laid her body down, and knelt beside it.  He put his hands together in another Ninja sign of power.  A brilliant flash of light, and he was now on the top of a mountain.  Cindy's body lay there, pale as a ghost.  Trilon rose.  He carried her body to a cave near the field he was in.  He placed the body in the cave, ever so gently.

"Do not worry Cindy.  Andrew will not die.  You will be together with him in a place far better than this, away from the evil.  Away from Xarvig.  He will pay for this.  I will avenge you!"

"No Trilon, you cannot avenge her."

Trilon turned, and saw the glimmering image of his father standing there.

"He has killed Cindy, using my hand, and he will kill Andrew if I do not stop him.  He is powerful as much or more so than me.  I can’t do it alone!"

"Trilon, you are not alone.  You have Andrew.  You cannot avenge her because you would be killing for an evil purpose.  Your soul is pure now, only killing for defense.  You must let Xarvig attack you again.  YOU CANNOT HUNT HIM!"

"Father, you said that Cindy was the bridge between you and I.  She is dead now.  It no longer matters why I kill Xarvig."

"Trilon, you are the embodiment of good, of the light.  If you advance down the path of evil, you will never be able to turn back, and Cindy's soul will have been lost forever."

"Father, she's dead!", Trilon yelled in rage.  "Her soul is already lost forever!"

"No. She is here with us.  She is safe.  When Xarvig is dead, the evil will be destroyed, and she can come forth with us, back to the mortal world.  Now, you must get Andrew back before Xarvig finds him.  Only Together can you defeat Xarvig.  Teach him all you know.  Only then can our soul be brought back, and that of Cindy."

"I understand father.  Xarvig will be destroyed.  For the Eurolidians of the light, and for Cindy."

Trilon turned around, walked over to Cindy's body, and kissed her cheek.

"Father...", Trilon said as he turned around.  But it was too late.  His father had vanished already.  As he walked down the mountain, towards the Iga region of Japan, he felt more helpless and alone than any being had ever felt before.

*

                Trilon was now at the base of the mountain were Cindy's body would lay for all eternity if he failed in his task.  He knelt, facing a tree that stood above all the others in the forest around him.  He was drawn to this tree, for some strange reason he could not explain.  As he knelt there, he slowly closed his eyes, and thought of the task before him.  He must bring Andrew back, train him in the ancient art of the Ninja, and defeat the evil of Xarvig.  He knew it would be hard, but somehow he knew it would all work out.  

As he began to think of Andrew, something outside his body took place that he could not explain. The tree in front of him seemed to glow.  A bright bluish-color, and very intensely.  It was brighter than the sun, he could tell.  He opened his eyes, and to his utter surprise, the light did not hurt his eyes.  As he stared at the light, he was aware of a presence beside him.  It was Andrew, kneeling in the same position as he, looking into the light with him.  He didn't know how Andrew had gotten there, but he wasn't surprised at all.

All around them, a voice began to speak.

"Your lives has been built around a lie, and it is time the truth was known to both of you.  Trilon, you are indeed from a long-destroyed race of people called the Eurolidians.  There planet was in fact destroyed by their sun millions of years ago.  A handful of that race escaped death by leaving the planet on a giant asteroid converted to a spacecraft.  They arrived on the planet Earth in the year 1423.  They settled in this valley, the Iga valley of Japan.  There they became known as the Ninja because of their magical abilities.  Nearly all of them were killed by the human inhabitants of the country.  Only 5 survived after the rest were slaughtered. Y ou were one of those five.  Your father was another.  A Eurolidian by the name of Tarona was another, as was a girl by the name of Kareda.  There was also another survivor.  His name was Xarvig.  Xarvig is not a Eurolidian.  Trilon, the planet Eurolidia was not the only one destroyed by that dyeing sun millions of years ago.  A planet very close to Eurolidia called Simontra was also destroyed.  The beings of that planet were at war with the Eurolidians since the beginning of time.  Their war of the worlds had escalated to a new dimension at the time of the destruction of the two planets.  You see, both races had discovered how to utilize the time and space corridors.  They were traveling back in time, trying to destroy each other before they even existed.  As the planets were destroyed, the Simontras knew there would be no more war.  That, however, is not what they wanted.  You see, the Eurolidians were basically good beings.  They would only fight when provoked.  The Simontras on the other hand were war-mongering creatures constantly trying to take over planets around them.  They knew that the destruction of Eurolidia and Simontra would in effect end the war, and they could not stand to lose that way.  So, they devised a way to capture their dyeing life forces and preserve them.  Xarvig is the creature where their life forces reside.  Xarvig is all the evil of the Simontras."

Trilon was filled with questions in which to ask this light, but he could not speak.  He could not doubt the word of his father, but he somehow knew what this light was saying was true.  But why would his father lie to him?  That was one of  the questions he would never get to ask as the light spoke again.

"Trilon, you are the last of the Eurolidians.  All the others were killed by Xarvig.  If you die, the war will have been won by the Simontras.  But, it's not as simple as the winning of a war Trilon.  You see, you and Xarvig are the pawns in a huge game of universal conquest.  If you are killed, and the Simontras win, Xarvig will release the life forces of the millions of evil Simontras trapped within him, and they will take over the universe.  Not just the universe, but all that is.  They could control time and space.  Everything that is, ever was, or will be would be theirs.  Trilon, as you can see, more is at stake than just your life.  You must win.  The fate of the universe, and everything beyond is in your hands.  You are not alone however."

Trilon was shocked by this truth, but he had to know more.  He thought the light sensed that need, and it continued its story.

"Andrew is the other piece of the puzzle.  The Simontras did not anticipate that they had discovered the secret of capturing life forces in an organism.  Trilon, you are that creature with which the Eurolidians entrusted their souls to.  Andrew and Cindy are the keys to the release of those souls.  Trilon, Cindy is not dead.  Xarvig captured her soul before she died.  He now has half of the key needed to release the souls of his people.  You have the other key: Andrew.  If he is killed, all that is left is for Xarvig to destroy you.  Andrew must be given the knowledge you have.  The knowledge of the Eurolidians must be passed on to him.  Only then can you destroy Xarvig, together.  When Xarvig is finally destroyed, you will know how to regain Cindy's soul.  Only then, when the keys are together can the Eurolidians will be released, and the universe will be saved. Trilon, understand.  If Andrew is killed, you will have lost already.  He must be given the knowledge.  Trilon, remember: the balance of good and evil is in your hands.  If you lose, all is lost.  Good luck...."

The voice faded, as did the light.  In the next instant, all that remained was that tree, Trilon and Andrew, kneeling side by side, processing the knowledge they had just received.

*

"So, everything my father told me before was a lie!  Why?  Why couldn't he have told me the truth himself?"

"Maybe he didn't know it himself.", Andrew said, trying to comfort Trilon.

"Perhaps, I can concern myself with that later.  Now, the knowledge must be passed on."

"How can we do that?"

"When our soul were one, the knowledge was yours.  I believe I can transfer it to you, without losing it myself."

"Ok. What do I have to do?"

Trilon directed Andrew to kneel as he had done in front of the tree.  As night fell, Trilon placed his hand upon Andrews, and they entwined their hands, their, minds, their souls

*

As Andrew stood, Trilon stepped back.  They stood looking at one another.  With the speed of a bolt of lightning, Trilon threw a kick to the side of Andrew’s head.  Andrew ducked out of the way, effortlessly threw back a retaliatory blow to Trilon’s abdomen.  Trilon rolled back out of the way, and they stood facing one another again. 

“The knowledge is yours Andrew.  All that I am, all that I know, you are.  You know.” 

“Yes Trilon.  Everything is now me.  You are me.  Xarvig must be destroyed, and Cindy returned to the mortal realm”. 

“Yes, that is so.  We must enter the corridors of time and space and await the final confrontation with Xarvig.  He will look for us.” 

“It is so.  Let us begin the journey.” 

Trilon stepped in front of Andrew as Andrew followed.  They began walking into the forest.

*

A few hours later, Trilon and Andrew were still walking through the dense forest.  Neither of them said a word.  There was no need.  Their thoughts were the same.  They were perfectly focused on the same objective.  As the sun began to rise in the east, Trilon found it: an oblong shape, hovering in mid-air.  The shape seemed to be multi-dimensional, not 2D, not 3D, but somehow 4D or even 5D perhaps.  The shape began to move downward until it touched the ground.  

Andrew and Trilon stood side by side, watching the shape.  When it had stopped moving, the colors in it began to disappear, giving way to empty blackness.  

"After the spacecraft had landed,", Trilon began, "they transformed it into a permanent doorway to the space-time time corridors…"

"…now we must enter through it.", Andrew said, seemingly knowing everything Trilon would say already.  

Trilon walked through it first.  As he stepped through it, a light flash of light appeared and vanished just as fast from the object.  Trilon was nowhere to be seen.  Only the jet-black hole in space was there. A ndrew followed, fully aware of what was about to happen.

*

Andrew and Trilon walked along together.  They were in total darkness, with only streaks of color occasionally flashing above their heads.  They walked down the streaks for a length until they found what seemed to be a suitable place.  There they stood, for what seemed like an eternity.  After a long time, they both raised their hands.  They entwined their hands, and stuck them into the streaks of light.  In an instant, they seemed to be drawn into the streaks, and became a part of them.  As fast as that, they appeared to what seemed to be Earth’s history.  As they stood, they saw people on horses riding through what appeared to be an old-western town.  

"Andrew, this is not the place.  Our confrontation with Xarvig cannot be here."

"No, you are right Trilon.  We must pick a better place."

They walked toward the doorway back to the corridors of time and space, and re-entered.  They walked down the length of the streaks some more, and found another place which seemed to be perfect.  They entwined their hands again, and in an instant, were in the place where the fate of the universe of all times would be decided.

*

Andrew picked up the badly -weathered piece of paper under his feet.  It was the Daily News.  He read the date: August 6th, 1997.  The headline for that day read "Soviet Nuclear Rocket Accidentally Destroys American Luxury Liner - Retaliation Probable."

"Earth, after the nuclear holocaust of 1997. No survivors", Andrew said

"Only the remnants of the buildings remain.  A fitting place", Trilon said.

There they were, awaiting a life and death struggle in a place of ultimate death.  They walked off, headed for the only building that still stood standing: a church right smack in the middle of town.

They entered the church and went to the alter up front.  The knelt before, clamped their hands together in a praying position, and dropped their heads.  In front of them appeared a small arsenal of weapons.  They stayed in their positions, seemingly oblivious to the weapons in front of them.  In a few moments, they stood, weapons in hand.  They first put on the Ninja suits that were under the weapons.  They then loaded all the weapons onto themselves.  When they were done with that, they knelt again, and began their praying activities again.  After about an hour in that position, a wind began to blow outside.  As fast as it came, it went, and as it died down, their standing in the doorway of the church, clad in metallic war-dress, was Xarvig....

 

The Confrontation

 

Xarvig stood, about 60 feet from Andrew and Trilon.  Both of them rose, and faced the demon before them.

"Trilon, you will be destroyed.  Andrew's life force will be mine, and the Simontras will rule the universe, as they were meant to." Xarvig seemed very sure of himself.

"Beware Xarvig.  Things are not always as they seem." As Trilon spoke those words, both he and Andrew vanished instantly.

Xarvig stood there, not moving at all.  Behind him, from the ceiling fell Triton and Andrew.  As they fell to the earth, they tumbled and flipped like leaves falling in the wind.  Xarvig, still standing with his back to them, slowly drew a sword from his side.  He held it vertically and parallel to his body.  Andrew reached into his black garment, and with the speed of light threw a shuriken towards Xarvig's head.  Just before it would have hit him, Xarvig swung around, and with the sword he held knocked the star to the ground.  He reached for the star, but did not bend down for it.  Instead, it flew into his hand, and as fast as Andrew had done it, Xarvig threw the shuriken back at Andrew.  Andrew effortlessly reached into the air with his hand and caught the Shuriken.  Xarvig now seemed disturbed.  A look of absolute fear came over his face.

"Trilon, you have given the knowledge to Andrew!"

A short smile came over Trilon's face. "What's the matter Xarvig? A little too much for you?"

"It is of no concern to me. I will kill you anyway."

Xarvig lunged towards Trilon, his swords held high in the air.

                As he approached, he brought the sword down, headed straight for Trilon’s head.  Andrew was just in time: Xarvig’s sword was blocked with Andrew’s own, and they stood there, facing each other, swords locked together.  Trilon jumped over both of them, flipped around in the air, and landed on the other side of them, facing the combatants.  Andrew rolled away from Xarvig, who was stunned by the skill of Trilon.  It was at that moment that Xarvig turned around, drew a smaller knife from his leg side, and hurled it at Trilon.  Something completely unexpected occurred: the knife hit Trilon square in the heart, seemingly without the slightest movement on Trilon’s part to avoid it!

Trilon fell to the floor, blood beginning to flow from the wound in his chest.  Xarvig flew up in the air, and hovered above Trilon.  He began to laugh so loud the church began to rumble.

"Trilon„ you are nothing!  I have defeated you, and now the Simontras will rule the universe!"

He continued to laugh violently.  Andrew could take no more.  He hurled his sword at Xarvig.  It pierced his arm, and Xarvig's laugh was quickly turned to screams of agony.  As he pulled the sword from his arm, the raised his other hand toward the ceiling of the building.  A huge hole blew open in the ceiling, and Xarvig flew out through it.  All that was left was Trilon, lying on the floor, dyeing, and Andrew, kneeling next to Trilon.

"He has won Trilon.  You will die shortly, and he will have me."

"That is not so Andrew."

"What do you mean?", Andrew asked.

"There is... still....way to win..."

Trilon never finished.  He grasped for air, but could not continue.  Andrew squeezed his hand, trying to keep him alive, but it was no use.  Trilon died, and Andrew dropped his head.  He felt alone, and he felt as is the world was caving in on him.  How could he possibly defeat Xarvig alone?  Should he even try?  He felt terrible.  He rolled over onto his back, covered his eyes with his hands, and cried like he had never cried before in his life.

Xarvig stood over Cindy's body, hands entwined.  Next to her body was a small glass canister.  Inside was a circling, glowing gas-like substance.  It almost looked solid.  It had the prettiest colors in it.  Suddenly, without warning, the cap flew off of the canister and the gas-substance started to slowly diffuse through the opening.  It swarmed above Cindy's body for a moment, and then began to enter her through the mouth.  All of the gas was now inside of her, and her body began to convulse.  

The movement died down, and Cindy slowly opened her eyes.  

Xarvig stood over her, and he began to speak: "Cindy, I have brought you back to the mortal realm so that Andrew can be the one to destroy your life force."  Cindy did not understand what he had just said at all, but for some strange reason, she felt completely secure.  She knew she should be scared, but she wasn't.  Xarvig looked down at her, and all she could do, was smile!

*

Andrew was now roaming around the streets, and he felt better.  For no reason whatsoever, he felt good.  Trilon was dead, and he was now alone, but he felt very good.  He felt so good in fact, he looked up at the moon now glowing brightly overhead and smiled.  He did more than smile in fact.  He laughed for a good 5 minutes straight.  When he finally stopped laughing and looked in front of himself, there stood Xarvig, and something he did not expect: Cindy.

"Cindy!", Andrew exclaimed, "Your alive!  How?"

Before she could reply, Xarvig took her place: "I brought her back to the mortal plane.  Now, when I kill you, I will have both of you, and the Simontras will win."

Andrew stood there, facing Xarvig.

 Xarvig took a small sword out of his metallic gear, turned towards Cindy, and sent the sword through Cindy's throat.  "No!" Andrew screamed in horror. He began running toward Xarvig, and as he did, Xarvig took the sword from Cindy's throat, and simply held it straight out in front of him.  Andrew' ran right into it.  It cut threw Andrew's stomach like a hot knife cuts through butter.  Andrew fell next to Cindy, which he realized to his surprise was not dead yet.

Xarvig turned around, sword raised high in the air, blood dripping from it, and brought the sword down upon himself.  His body was cut in half by his own hand, and the two halves of him fell to the ground, blood and guts oozing from the remainder of him.  Andrew saw this, and sighed a sigh of relief, even though he didn't understand what had just happened.

Andrew grabbed Cindy's hand, and began to speak.

"Cindy, I love you." His mouth never moved, but she heard him.

She then said to him, "I love you too Andrew."

Neither of them other moved their mouths, yet they heard each other as clear as a bell.  Andrew then saw Trilon hovering above him.

Trilon spoke: "Andrew, all things are not as they seem."  Andrew, was unsure what he meant, but he realized it soon enough.

*

Andrew peered over at the two halves of Xarvig's body.  Not only were blood and guts pouring out, but millions of little glowing spheres of light were also coming out.  The spheres were floating over what was left of Xarvig.  They all were coming together over a point just above were Xarvig's naval was.  

Andrew was suddenly horribly aware of what was going on.  The Simontras were emerging! Andrew tried to get up, but it was no use.  He was near death, and he had no strength left.  

Trilon was still hovering above him, and he began to speak: "Andrew, did you ever wonder how the Eurolidians survived against the Simontras for so long?  Not because they were better warriors then them.  In fact, they were much worse fighters.  Not because they were more advanced than them.  The Simontras were about a million years more developed than they were.  But the Eurolidians had one thing that made them better: Love.  They were the first creatures to discover that emotion. Earth was the next and only other planet to have Love.  The Simontras could not feel Love, as you can.  Love is the most powerful force in the universe.  Andrew, it is not over yet.  I died for a reason: my soul is more powerful than Xarvig ever imagined I would become.  But that is still not enough.  You and Cindy are the only things that can defeat the Simontras once and for all.  Your love, combined with my powers, will defeat them.  Andrew, do what you must."

Andrew understood.  He held Cindy's hand, and began saying it over and over again to her:

"I love you." Cindy replied every time: "I love you too Andrew."

Above Xarvig's dead body, the Simontras began to take their form.  A horrible form, the likes of which have never been seen on earth before.  It was the same form Xarvig had revealed to Cindy so long ago in the time-space corridors when he had abducted her.  The only difference this time was that she was not frightened by it.  She knew she was safe.  Andrew was with her, and he loved her.

Andrew and Cindy rose to their feet, still holding hands.  Their wounds were now completely healed, another effect of their love combined with Trilon’s soul power.  They stood facing the beast before them.  A bright light flashed to the side of Andrew, and there appeared Trilon . The creature's attention was drawn to him.  

Trilon turned to Andrew and said: "The love you feel for Cindy, and the love she feels for you, together with my powers from this realm is the only thing capable of destroying this creature.  It is the combined life force of the Simontras."

Andrew nodded. He then turned to Cindy, and said "Cindy, I love you more than you can possibly imagine.  There are realms of this universe I do not understand, and that can destroy me without the slightest problem.  But with you by my side, all of that seems inconsequential.  I love you, and I would die for you."

A tear formed in Cindy's eye, and slowly rolled down her cheek. "Andrew, all the fear I have ever felt, all the pain I will ever know, is nothing when your with me.  You make me feel so good no matter how bad things are, and I know everything will be all right with you.  I love you."

Andrew and Cindy embraced each other, and began a long, passionate kiss.  As they did, Trilon raised his hands above his head.  He grasped them in a ball.  As he did a stream of light appeared over Andrew And Cindy's heads, and connected with Trilon's balled hands.  A bright light appeared there, and a beam of that light streaked toward the creature's chest, just above the naval.

Trilon spoke, to no one in particular: "It is said that the center of life is just above the naval.  The Japanese Xenduists knew this."  The creature screamed in pain.  A million faces of evil appeared in its head.  It began to glow different colors.  First blue, then, green, then red.  It turned a stunningly brilliant red.  It was at that moment that it's head exploded in a ball of blood and flesh.  Then it's body did the same.  Andrew and Cindy slowly let go their kiss, and turned to see this sight.

They had won.

 

Epilogue

 

Andrew and Cindy walked down the streets, looking at what would come in a few short years.  "Nuclear war.  This is horrible."  Andrew agreed.

"Cindy, there is a way we can be together for all eternity.  I can take us somewhere we will not be exposed to this war.  It’s another dimension.  Where the Eurolidians are now."

"Andrew, as long as we're together, I don't care where we are."

"Then we'll go.  it's simple enough.  All you have to do, is kiss me."

They looked at one another, and kissed.  As they did, a flash of light appeared all around them and they were suddenly in the park next door to Andrew's house!

As they broke apart from each other, Cindy said: "Andrew, yes, I'll marry you."

Andrew looked at her, wondering what had just happened.  Was it all a dream?  I couldn't have been.  All he knew was that he had just asked her to marry him, and she said yes!  But what about Trilon, the Eurolidians, Xarvig?  All that?  Was it real?  All he could think to do was hug Cindy as hard as

As he did, he said, "Cindy, I love you.  Promise me, you'll never leave me?  Stay with me forever?"

Cindy looked at him, and said, "You can count on it."

They held hands, and walked down the path to the end of the park.  Just before they left, Andrew stopped and turned.  There, a few feet from him, stood the shimmering figure of Trilon.

"Yes, Andrew.  It was real.  The Eurolidians have won.  Xarvig and the evil Simontras are gone.  The universe is saved.  We will reside in the dimension above your own.  When you die, you will be with us.  For now, you and Cindy will live together, loving one another.  The nuclear holocaust of 1997 will not happen thanks to your actions, and the love you share with Cindy.  Your planet will prosper, as will you and your wife-to-be.  We have made sure of that.  You will live, happily ever after, as the stories of your children say."

Andrew just stood there.  As Trilon slowly vanished, all he could say was: "Thank you Trilon."  Trilon vanished completely from sight.

Andrew turned back around, grabbed Cindy's hand again, and they walked out of the park, out into the world.

Together, forever.