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Riders From The Storm
by Richard B. Sampson

A Story And Addendum For Memoirs Of The Heroes. (Previously "Memoirs Of An Adventure's Child."))
(All Characters Are Ficticious And bare no resemblence to living people.
Any resemblence to fictional characters is only by chance. Special Thanks to Howard Phillips Lovecraft)

As I ventured to the surface with two of my friends, I started to wonder what it would look like. Years ago, my mother told me that everyone had to move underground. I even remember my mother telling me "Hope, never go to the surface. Only the Guardians should go up there." Those words only made me want to find out more. Now that I am thirteen, I thought it would be best to sneak up with a few of my friends. We had grown up together. I always thought it was odd that no one was younger than me, but my mom said my name had a meaning.

As we neared the surface, Ken, my one friend said, "You ok, Hope. Not getting cold feet, are you?"

I gave him a wry smile and said, "No, sorry to disappoint you." I knew Ken had a crush on me. I even think this is why he agreed to this forbidden trip to the surface. I knew it was risky with all the Crystoid attacks. My grandmother once told me that the Crystoids were very secretive in their attacks and abductions. Very rarely had they found their way into the underground complexes.

Jack, my other friend, said, "I bet he is disappointed." Jack is the kind of friend I could kid around with. He was the one who told me that Ken had a crush on me. Jack was like a brother to me. He was 16, and my mother always trusted him to keep me safe.

When we finally reached the door that lead to the surface, I felt nervous. I wondered if there were Crystoids just waiting for us. After I took a moment to calm down, I said, "Alright, let's hope all is quiet out there." I started to push on the door and soon it openned.

As we stepped out into a blind that was set up near the door, I saw Ken look out and say, "I think this was a bad idea. Look." Both Jack and I looked out and noticed that half of what we saw had become an extention of the Crystoid's world. It was not a sight I wanted to see.

I knew my mother had said that this use to be a beautiful world. My grandmother had even grown up in this world. Now, it was almost a mix of robotics and crystal with the organic. As I looked out, I noticed that one structure could be recongnize. I pointed at it and said, "That was the temple of the Ancients. My mother said that that was where the whole deal with the Route and St. Marius began."

Jack then said, "Yea, and it looks like the Crystoids are preparing for something to happen." I notice how they moved, and he was right. They were preparing for something, or someone.

I was almost in shock when Ken said, "Well, I'm going to go for a closer look." Before either Jack and I could stop him, Ken had left the blind and working his way down for a closer look.

I looked over at Jack and said, "He's going to get us killed. We better keep an eye on him." He nodded and we made our way slowly down the hill to where he was. As we approached, I noticed a small procession, like guards guarding someone. I realized it had to be the Crystoid leader, or leaders.

We stopped and hid at that point and listen when the leader just said, "Is everything ready for their arrival?" As the other Crystoids nodded, she said, "Good. Our sacred one has the runes and when they arrive, they shall receive the runes to power them."

I turned to Jack and said, "The Crystoids have a sacred one?"

Jack turned to me and said, "Yea, some of what I heard was that their sacred one was the one who killed Isis. Not many people know much more about it, but I think your mother and grandmother can answer that one."

This puzzled me even more. I had heard that Isis was dead, and I wasn't born until shortly after the time of her death. My mother had said she had prevented my birth until after my grandmother was found. I didn't know much more than that. At that time Ken said, "Looks like their sacred one is coming. Look."

As we all looked, we saw about ten Crystoids walking around one lone Crystoid. When they had finally reached the area the leader was, the lone one walked up to them, carring a case. I noticed that there were about six different crystals part of that Crystoid. Soon, it spoke. "How soon until they arrive?"

I heard the leader say, "Soon, Portal, soon. Then you can give them the signs." I then noticed that the sky had turned darker that it had been, and I heard the leader say, "It looks like they have arrived."

I saw Ken point up at the dark clouds that had arrived and I saw something that scared me. Coming from the clouds were four horse riders. They came riding down in a straight line. One following another, and I wondered if the one in the lead was their leader, or if it was the one in the back. As the descended to the temple, I could make out the color of their horses. The first one rode a white horse. I could not tell much it looked like because it wore an odd armor. The second one's horse was blood red. The third horse was black, so black that light seemed to be absorbed into it. The last horse was pale, so pale that I could see inside it. As they reached the temple and landed, I noticed strange impressions on their armor. I said to both Ken and Jack, "What are they? They look evil."

Ken looked at me and said, "I don't know, but let's slowly get away. Last thing we want is for those things to realize we're here."

As we started to back away, I saw that the leader and the one named Portal stepped up to the four horsemen and said, "Horsemen, we have awaited your arrival, and have the items you need to fulfill your tasks." I watched as the leader approached the one on the white horse and it removed it's helmet. It's face looked like it terribly diseased. "Pestilence, I give you the Rune Of Black Magic. Inflict those with your terminal plague to energize the rune."

I heard the rider speak in a sickly voice, "I shall do so." I watched as the leader handed the rider the rune from the box Portal was carrying.

I watched as the leader moved to the one on the red horse. That rider did not remove it's helmet. It looked as if it was truely ready for the battle. The leader then said, "War, I give you the Rune Of Earth Magic. May you slay many in battle, and wound many in near fatal ways to energize that rune." All the rider did was grunt, and held up a sword. The leader then turned to the rider on the black horse. It removed it's helmet, and it looked like the skin was just clinging to the bones. "Famine, I give you the Rune Of Hell Magic. Starve the people and fuel it with their famish souls."

I listened as the rider spoke in an almost hollowed voice, "I hear and it will be done."

I almost froze when the leader of the Crystoids spoke again. "Last, but not least, is their leader. They will fuel your rune as you follow your name sake." I watched as the rider on the pale horse finally removed his helmet. It was nothing but a skull. I then heard the leader say, "Death, fuel the Rune Of Elder Magic."

We were halfway to the blind when Ken's foot snapped a twig. I saw as everyone looked our direction. I felt my blood run cold, espescially as the last rider looked at us and with a gastly voice said, "I will start with those three." With that, each of the horseman started towards us.

I heard Jack shout, "Run for the blind." He didn't have to shout it. I was already running up to the bind. I hoped that we all could make it.

Just as we were near the blind, I heard a fall. I turned to see that Ken had stumbled and started rolling down toward the riders. I looked down and shouted, "Ken!!"

As he rolled, he shouted, "Never mind me, tell the Guardians. Warn them!"

I wanted to go back for him, but Jack pulled me into the blind and shut the door. "He's right. We need to tell the guardians, and hurry out of here before those things break in." He was right. I took a quick glance out the blind window, and saw the rider know as Death touched Ken. I saw him die right there. I wanted to cry, but I saw how the rune in the armor started to glow.

I ran to the path and door that lead to the underground and said, "You're right, Jack. We need to warn the Guardians, and I hope they know a way to kill these beings." As we entered and closed the door, we activated the security lock downs that were on the doors special protective layers. I hope it would keep the riders out as we made our long treck back down to the base.


It had been two hours since we returned from the surface. I was grounded for doing what I had done. My mother had not been thrilled, and I don't think the Guardians were too thrilled either. I didn't think it was fair. Personally, knowing that I was responsable for Ken's death felt like punishment. Why did he have to die? Why couldn't it have been me? I started to wonder if I cared for Ken the same way he had cared for me. I was almost lost in that thought when I heard my door open, and both my grandmother and mother came in. I watched as my mother walked over and said, "Hope, I'm sorry about punishing you. I forgot what it was like to be a headstrong child. I did the same thing when I was younger."

I looked at my mother and said, "You did something dangerous like I did."

My grandmother just nodded and said, "Yes, Hope, your mother JaNa did do something foolish." I saw my mother blush. I had never really heard my grandmother refer to my mother by her real name. She then said, "Your mother thought that she could do some good, but her good intentions lead your uncle to where Isis had hid your mother and I from the evil Route of Rigge."

I was almost shocked, and then my mother said, "And what we had to do to rescue your grandmother, I think, had costed us alot. It cost my friend her freedom, and Isis her life."

I looked at my mother and said, "You mean the Crystoid the others called Portal?"

My mother looked at me and said, "You saw Lena." It was as if she knew what I was talking about. She then turned to my grandmother and said, "Mom, could Lena be responsable for these riders?"

My grandmother just bit her lip and then said, "I think I'll go talk to Joel and Radr. Maybe they can answer that." She walked out of the room, but something in her actions told me she was worried. That had me worried as well.

The beginning of the end?

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