A standalone figure watched above, away from the frantics of the busy street. He turned his hooded head over, to where his shadowy face was finally visible. His red pupils shifted from one crowd to another, his mouth twitching, in the ice cold rain. His sleek hand rubbed off the hood, as his he concentrated, on the ocean of commotion, brought on by the humans.
"Taxi! I'd like to go to seattle please," one of the humans said.
The figure slowly carried his hood and slipped it on his brown haired head, while he got up. He examined the taxi, whilst putting on white trench coat. At the sound of the taxi he took off, jumping roofs, until it could get close enough to the taxi. With one jump, the figure bent the rules of gravity and safely landed on the taxi, unharmed. The taxi driver increased speed, still unknowing as what was on his vehicle. It rode the taxi, as other humans, continued down the road, not taking notice. As a few hours passed, the taxi reached its destination. The figure, took off once again, in pursuit of someone, maybe something. It bounded off and disappeared at amazing speed.
"Creak" as the page turned. Voices could be heard from a small room, which was enclosed in a large hall. A faint scribbling sound could be heard, which seemed to try and follow the path of voices. Inside the room, a large television was on, screening a movie. A young boy sat at the side of a king-sized bed, scratching out some words on his small notepad. His tan skin glimmered in the flashes of colors, which radiated from the television. Small Glasses encircled his eyes, as he was watching, scribbling, watching, scribbling in a seemingly endless pattern.
"Ah, Challenge of Change, my favorite movie," the boy mumbled, still scribbling.
"Excuse me, Master Tanaka," said a voice.
It was his butler, Amos. Tanaka acknowledged the voice with a quick cough, and just as soon returned to his work.
"Tomorrow is your big day. Please get a good night’s rest, so you can get up in the morning and reach your plane," Amos said.
"Alright," Tanaka answered.
"Good night, sir," Amos said, closing the door.
Tanaka switched on the light reviewing his notes, quickly.
"Truth is a pathless land. Man cannot come to it through any organization, through any creed, through any dogma, priest or ritual, nor through any philosophic technique. He has to find it through the mirror of relationship, through the understanding of the contents of his own mind, through observation and not through intellectual analysis or introspective
dissection. Man has built in himself images as a fence of security - religious, political, personal. These manifest as symbols, ideas, and beliefs. The burden of these images dominates man’s thinking, his relationships and his daily life. These images are the cause of our problems, for they divide man from man," Tanaka recited.
He was pleased with himself and put away the supplies and switched off the television. His short black hair, was no longer visible, as the light faded from the screen. His eyes glimmered through the glasses, as he took them, off. Tomorrow was his birthday; the age of manhood was reached and celebrated with a special vacation. A trip to a far away city. A trip fit for a king, or at least a fourteen-year old. A trip to the city of Babylon.
The next day, Tanaka hurried to the airport. He boarded the plane after giving his tickets, and getting his passes. The trip was sixteen hours long, and was excruciatingly slow. He arrived near the eastern side of Persia, or Present-Day Iran. He got a guide to drive him to Babylon.
"Hey! Where can I find the tower of Babel?" Tanaka asked.
"Sorry kid, you are about three thousand years too late," a tourist answered, mysteriously.
“Do you really know that, or are you just lazy?” Tanaka replied.
“All I see here is a very immature boy.” The tourist replied, smirking darkly.
“I’m not immature!” Tanaka answered.
“Maturity doesn’t come with age, wisdom, or understanding. Instead, it comes with a sense of right and wrong and how to fix the problems that you may have caused earlier or later in your life. If you follow this, then you won’t search for maturity because it shall come to you” the tourist replied, again in a mysterious tone.
Tanaka took off searching for the tower, as well as, pondering about the wise words of the grey haired tourist.
Unbeknownst to him, the tourist backed up, into an alley, his smile wider than ever.
"So, this is the new Creator? So clueless is he; I shall see to it that he fails his tests."
The man blended in with the shadows and disappeared.
The end result was failure, in which Tanaka gave up and decided to view the Hanging Gardens. He walked slowly to the tourist zone. He had heard that there were terrorists still around in Babylon, who still lived since the bombing in America. As the thought came to mind, he felt a little pang of fear. He was unsure about whether to go or not, he happened to already reach the tourist attraction point. He decided then, that he might as well see the gardens, for he was already too close. He examined and took shots of the wondrous flowers located in magnificent positions. There was one specific flower that caught his eye, more so than the others. It was a beautiful rose, with petals that folded in the shape of a lotus.
However, Tanaka's camera had no zoom button on it, and the only way to get to it, was to reach over the safety railing, which was against the rules. Tanaka decided he could take the chance because he was still a young kid, and his bones would not be able to break so easily.
"Just a two story drop," he thought.
He got over the railing, and suddenly realized that he would have to let go of the railing in order to take a quick snapshot. He thought it was crazy, but he went against his logic and he let go of the rail.
In a moment, the small, slanted platform he stood on, cracked a bit. Tanaka lost his balance, tried to grab for the stone railing, but missed and fell onto a weak platform just one story below him.
The tiny piece of land split apart and Tanaka was tossed in an underground abyss. Tanaka had already landed on the platform headfirst, and was losing consciousness, very quickly. When Tanaka landed, a couple of rocks landed beside him thrusting itself into the ground with unimaginable force.
Only a Pico-second later, a stalactite marked Tanaka's stomach as a target. For a couple of moments, Tanaka remained in complete shock, and pain was inflicted only two seconds later.
He lost full consciousness and was no longer mobile. His crumpled body was left in the sandy area, crushed into the ground.
A faint hum came from the ceiling. The hum was just loud enough to wake Tanaka up. He heard whispers, but could not tell where they came from. It took him a minute to get his vision back to normal. He tried standing but was a little wobbly. He took a few minutes to look around. He was in an expanding white area. As he looked to his right, he found three glass boxes beside him. He opened the first box with ease, but when he did black darts flew out, almost hitting him.
"A Trap," he breathed.
He waited some time before opening another box, cautiously this time, awaiting a second trap. The area suddenly closed in on him, cutting off all exits. He realized he had been holding his breath and exhaled as he turned to the third box. A shiver ran through his spine, making him think twice about opening the box. He decided not to open it, however, the box hissed open by itself. Inside lay two gauntlets, laced with a beautiful green spectrum.
"These are pretty cool," Tanaka thought, as he tried on the left gauntlet.
It fit him perfectly. He wore the other one. Suddenly two locks clicked open on the side of the left gauntlet. Inside was a small video screen, which slowly flickered to life. A movie appeared, on the screen. It showed a small dog tied to a pole, which was tied to a small plant. A boy stood at the side of the screen, waving a small piece of meat, which he threw near to the little pup. The dog worked hard to pull itself closer to the meat, as the boy ran away. The small pole was suddenly released from the ground pulling a small baby shaped plant with it.
"A mandrake plant..." Tanaka managed to say, just before he was interrupted by a sharp piercing scream.
"AHHHHHH!" Tanaka screamed, falling to his knees and throwing up blood.
He completely fell to the ground, after losing consciousness. The video still went on, showing a young boy on the ground next to the dog, which pulled the mandrake out. Blood slowly rattled out of them. On top of the dog was the baby mandrake plant...
"Hey, wake up!" A voice yelled, several hours later.
Tanaka tried to get up, but was too tired and too weak.
"You’re going to have to wake up. You wore the gauntlets, kid," yelled a man.
"What are you talking about?" Tanaka asked.
"Whoever wears these gauntlets becomes the next Creator," another voice said, softly.
"What's a Creator," said Tanaka, thinking about the mandrake plant.
"I'll tell you later," Said the man, impatiently.
"Why can't you tell me now? Also, What about these gloves? What are they For? Tanaka asked, as many questions rattled through his mind.
"It doesn’t matter," another man replied politely.
"Klaus, prepare the trial," the impatient man ordered.
Tanaka slowly started to get up when he saw a black vortex.
"What is that?" Ravane asked, sounding a bit frightened.
"It's our new movement vortex. It allows to be transported anywhere at less-than-light speed." The impatient man said, grinning widely.
The vortex slowly expanded and sucked Tanaka in. He fell into a bright room, where a thick-haired man opened a door for him. He railed at Tanaka to get in.
"What do I do?" Tanaka asked.
"To become the next Creator, you must pass this trial. Just face your fears. Remember the darts?" the man explained.
"Well, prepare for them," the man said.
Tanaka was pushed into an almost white room. One wall was gray and was full of holes. All of a sudden, the wall turned black. Tanaka heard a high-pitched whistle and hundreds of darts came flying at him. They seemed to be changing speeds. Some went fast, others slow, but they all defied the laws of gravity.
Tanaka turned around and broke out into a run. As he screamed, a voice seemed to come out of nowhere, and gave him instructions.
Face your fears!
Tanaka thought about what it meant. He came to a conclusion that the darts were his fears, but he had no intention of turning around and being pierced by a hundred three-inch darts. He knew he couldn’t keep a constant pace, and was therefore pierced by the first dart.
"GAH! I’m going to die anyway, so I might as well face it now!" Tanaka yelled.
Waiting is wasting.
Tanaka turned without stopping.
"GAH!!!" Tanaka screamed.
Wounds and gashes covered his body, yet Tanaka made it out alive. He limped out the glass door. As he walked through the door, the wounds merely disappeared. He left the room unscathed.
"Congratulations," the thick haired man said,
"You made it through the first trial."
"Uh-oh," Tanaka thought, "There was more than one trial?" Tanaka glanced at the right.
White stairs led up to a bright area.
"Those stairs weren’t there before," Tanaka said.
The man said nothing, but led Tanaka up the stairs.
"Hold on, I need more information about these trials and stuff," Tanaka said, stopping.
"We chose your soul as the next Creator. When your previous life ended, the trials for you began. If you fail, even one trial, you activate the Mandrake Curse. I won't tell you all the details, now, however. So, Be patient," the man said, ironically.
Tanaka continued up the stairs until he saw another man, whom he knew to be the patient man.
"Trials there are more, but do not worry, for you shall open the door. Tanaka is present and Romulus is ahead." The Patient man rhymed.
"Behind you, is your friend Amos," He, pointing behind him.
"Amos?" Tanaka asked, in worry as he turned around.
Amos’s body image appeared, but it was an empty case; no soul included. It was sucked into a black vortex.
"Amos?" Tanaka said, softer.
"Time for the next trial." The polite man said, cheerfully.
Tanaka was too shocked to reply. He felt like a helpless child.
"I don't want leave...