¶ … grand cycle is never ending. The series of creation, existence, and destruction, from the first moments of the big bang, to the empty, icy death of the universe never stops. Just like a circle with no end or beginning, the universe spreads and collapses, condenses and ignites repeatedly. How many universes exist and whether or not they interact or fuel each other is unknown. What is known is a universe exists as one single drop in a sea of many. Your thoughts, your actions, they all have potential to birth a TW world, a dream, an existence.
Such a being created this universe and its name is Luma. The god Luma, born during the process of cycles, came to create light in its TW world and took the form of a young woman, colorless, with eyes of stars and hair of comet trails. She used the light of fire and gas, to ignite inside it, a planet she called Luma. The planet was young, but full of life. Mammals, reptiles, bird, insects, trees, flowers of every shape and size existed peacefully within it. There was goodness; there was stability, there was everything.
One-day god Luma decided to fashion a people much like herself, with forward facing eyes, and upright, standing bodies. She grabbed all of the beauty in the world and turned it into ash and dust. She built thousands of figures by mixing the substance with water and letting the winds breathe life into them. As they moved, appearing stuck in the mud, the god Luma called upon the rain to wash away their prison. The heat of the sun woke them and the lightning bestowed upon them the energy to think and feel. The god Luma gave them the name Daenites and they lived happily as TW souls for one thousand years.
As time passed, the people felt sick. They did not die nor age; however, they were growing restless with the stability Luma offered. They became sad, angry, depressed, and slowly forgot how to be as they once were. Some lost their vitality and perished into the hands of time. Others still, holding on to the memories and image of god Luma, decided to transcribe some of their knowledge for the future, in case something happened, death or forgetfulness. These books remain locked away with only a couple of pages found by those with the most power.
When the people started dying, god Luma saw how their souls came back to her and the universe, existing for a time within her realm. While there, she cared for them. She infused instructions should they find their way back to the planet. When the people lost their immortality and saw their time slipping, they began breeding, generating TW souls as a result, and sometimes giving chances for old souls to come back.
Some of these souls failed however, to gain any knowledge from their experiences and even after experiencing several rebirths, went to the darkness of the universe, the quiet, destructive chaos to be shattered. The life that was once filled with light began to harbor shadows that twist and brought suffering and devastation to all. It grTW in power, gaining strength from every soul dragged and stolen from Luma.
Within its depths, a being formed. Grown from the greed, malice, and selfishness of the disseminated spirit energy, it fashioned its own physical beings into existence. The spirit energy fueling a force that matched god Luma in creation and power. Beings not of ash and dust, but of blood and stone, with parts of souls to feed them. Therefore, the Puppeteers were born and with them, the Pollies.
This is the universe of the story. The universe that Madeline and the other heroes dwell in, fed by rebirth, resurrection, and children, and TW souls are born as well, eventually becoming old ones that, if perpetually ignorant, transform into the energy that strengthens the darkness.
The world is growing darker as time continues and only through a great act will the world find its way again.
Water rippled in the pool. A pair of long legs lingered above. The lights blinded her. Suspended by will she held on. Her arms shook from the straps.
"Five hundred more pull ups and then you can go do one thousand pushups. I want you to be ready when they arrive. Do not forget our mantra. "
"Yes m'aam, as you say."
Her sweat dripped down to the pool in small and steady drops.
"I want to hear the mantra."
The girl started reciting the words as she pulled herself up and down over and under the bar.
"A glass surface seems clear, until the truth of it appears. Transparent, my eyes are to you. Death is the only truth. Mighty strength erupt forth, from the earth of the north. Devour all from the east, now the lands can eat."
"Good girl. How proud I am of my student. You are turning out lovelier than I had imagined. I think you're ready for the selection ceremony. You've exceeded the country's standards for a hero."
The coach walked away and left the girl to train.
The girl dropped into the pool, slithering underneath the water like a sea snake, to the far right end. She lifted herself up onto the platform and began to do pushups. Her dark hair fell down her shoulders. 17 minutes passed. She stood up and looked at the television screen above. The coach's program wanted her to do sit-ups next. She walked down to the sub-platform and put on a weighted vest from a rack of body weights and dumbbells.
"300 lbs. should do just fine." The voice from the speakers said.
She strapped her ankles onto a metal bar and proceeded to do one thousand sit-ups. She followed this by taking the elevator to the 2nd level and running 100 miles on the track, prompted again by the doctor and the speakers. Her legs were quick and graceful, a trail of sweat along the ground. When she finished she moved over to her locker on the 1st level. A locket was attached to the door. It read: "Madeline."
"Today is the day I become the Terra hero!" said Madeline, putting on her emerald colored vest set with tank top and khaki capris.
"Do I look the part Mom? I need them to see I'm the right person for the job. I'm wearing the country colors mom, look. I was gonna wear green pants too but I thought no that's trying too hard…Mom? Mom?!...are you listening to me?"
"Yes dear I am. Go get your sister and meet me outside. The taxi will pick us up in five minutes."
"I don't want to check on her. Can't I just call out her name?" asked Madeline.
"You know she won't be able to hear you. She has her headphones on. She always does in the morning."
"Why does it have to be done in the morning…I didn't even get to eat breakfast."
"You shouldn't have slept late then.," said Mom.
"I'm excited. What do you want me to do? It's not like I can will myself to sleep on time. You try saving the world. It's hard work."
"You haven't done anything honey."
"I will…," said Madeline.
Madeline glanced over to the stone clock above the kitchen window. The beige spiraled time piece had coins for numbers each with its respective numerical symbol. She saw her mom running to the bedroom and went to her sister's room to knock on the door. Two loud knocks and the door flTW open. Her sister, with her blaring headphones on, shoved past Madeline and went straight into the kitchen to grab her jacket from the dining chair and headed out the front door.
"That was easy." Madeline thought to herself and proceeded to go out the front door as well with Mom right behind, keys in hand. While Mom locked the door, Madeline and her sister went inside the cab. Madeline called out to Mom to hurry and within 15 minutes, they were in the heart of the province, the capital city named Mudaya.
The city was bustling with banker masons and clay artists click clanking their way into creating everyday items like clay pots, bowls, and beautiful, complex geometric shapes from stones cut the day before by the sawyers of Emerald Mountain. Everyone was busy. Everyone waited for the announcement of the TW Terra hero, except the ones that received a special invitation in the mail to attend a gathering October 12th, 1114 at 11am.
Madeline, along with anyone in Mudaya aged 16-17 who passed the fitness test, was elected to participate. When Madeline and family arrived, they went inside the building. It was a simple, adobe building. It housed no windows and a large glass dome roof with several panels opened above for ventilation. They went in…
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