Last Hero: Age of Shadow

Introduction

This is an early preview of the second book in the series Last Hero. This book will take place immediately following the events of Last Hero. A different approach will be taken in this second story of Good vs Evil; most notably being a change in perspectives as we transition from character to character, sometimes within the same scene. The second book will follow up on Lyla, the shadowarriors abandoned by Thunder, who the mysterious 'Walker among Shadows' is, and the surprising truth of Thunder's origin! Of course there are many more things in store, but I hope you enjoy this preview and please comment your thoughts below!

Chapter: Fearful Tyrant


The room was blackened, not even the window let any light come in. But how could the window let light in? It faced the endless expanse of space. Stars offered their light, but it was not enough. The only thing visible with the stars was the close proximity of Saturn's rings.

Then a light burst forth into the room, blazon with glory. The light shone from Thunder's robes and he went for a peculiar device. The device was cylindrical and bulged around the middle. Across the top and bottom were insignias, similar to the writing upon his robes. He touched the top of it and the writing glowed a dark and eerie purple. The top lifted up, hoisted by four small bars. A field appeared about the bars as the energy was sucked from Thunder's robes into the container. The transfer went relatively fast, until the energy appeared as a miniature star. The container immediately closed up. The glowing insignia turned from purple to blue and Thunder discarded his robes.

They landed on a chair next to a stand. His only furniture in an otherwise mundane and undecorated room. He walked to the window and stared out at the lonely expanse. He was confused now, more than ever. Yet confusion was not something he ever experienced before, but he was able to aptly call it what it was.

Anger burned in him with great intensity. Anger was likewise a relatively new emotion for him, which contributed to his confusion. He was not supposed to be able to feel these things, yet he did. Even more troublesome was that he was familiar with the feelings.

He ran his hand along the glass, then pressed his fist into it, saying, "What are you?" Thunder smacked the glass with his fist, causing it to crack just so, "No one ever challenged me before. I beat you. I killed you. Somehow you came back as my equal-" He let his hand slide to his side, "No, you came back as my better."

Thunder's eyes went wide as he stumbled back from the window. He gripped at his head with one hand and tried to ease his fear. He would not go back to earth, not yet.

Thunder walked to a wall in his room, which vaporized as he walked through it. Just as quickly as it had vanished, the wall reformed barring the room. Thunder walked down the long halls of the ship, trying desperately to keep his emotions under control. The purple lighting, the shadow-metal than rippled with light under his feet and the highly decorative paneling was all enough to make Thunder lose it. He never considered the pulsating rhythms before. The metal was alive and interactive and for reasons Thunder was unsure of, it drove a small spike into his fragile sanity.

Aside from restructuring and repairing his body after his bout with Azur, Thunder had not stepped foot on the ship in nearly forty-six years. He had become accustomed to Earth and his plain white mansion. He would come to miss the planet.

"Azur. . ." Thunder let slip from his lips.

Before he could continue his thoughts however, he had reached his destination. The command center was a large triangular room. Every inch of the room was a giant viewing screen, offering a view around the ship with no blind spots. Controls were holographic projections that several shadow-operators worked with.

The commander sat at the tip of the room, donned not only in basic shadowarrior covering, but also in golden shadow-armor. It was the same material Thunder's door was made of. Highly concentrated and nearly impregnable; one could pass through the center of a star and not gain so much as a burn. For Thunder though, it was inferior to even his own skin.

The commander stood from his seat and called out, "Thunder on board!"

Every operator, including the commander, saluted Thunder. Thunder did not flinch nor respond. He knew he could not show any emotion. He did worry what might become of him should the Shadow know of his change. He had been told that he was found that way - emotionless. Yet something in him now signaled that his emotion programming may have been severely altered.

"Set course for. . ." Thunder paused. He knew where they were suppose to go, but he had a sudden thought to change course, "Sector 2, 5, 7 Gamma."

The commander and operators looked at each other in surprise, "Is the mission completed?" He asked.

"Yes. Now follow my orders, commander." Thunder replied coolly.

The operators broke out into cheers and the commander brought his hands together, "Excellent! We should wake him up then and start the next phase."

The commanded headed for the door, but ran into Thunder who blurred into view, "We shall wake him when I say."

The commander looked skeptically at Thunder and questioned him, "Sir! If I may be so bold. We have lost communication with all shadowarriors. In fact, we can no longer detect shadow on that planet. I believe it be advisable to wake him and let him decide. Besides, correct me if I'm wrong, but those are not coordinates for our destination."

Thunder did not even glance down at the commander, who stepped back from Thunder as he talked, "He shall not be wakened until his cycle is complete. What has happened is of none of your concern. The mission is complete and I gave you orders."

"I cannot follow thos-" The commander's voice was cut off as Thunder scooped him up.

"Treachery." Was all Thunder replied with.

Thunder's palm split open, rays and wisps of shimmering light shone forth. The commander began to scream for mercy, and beg. Even as he did, his armor cracked from under the pressure. Bones snapped and the commander's pleads turned to screams as he was sucked into Thunder's palm. The operators stood silently, unsure of what to do.

Thunder pointed at the highest ranking operator and queried, "Will you defy me?" The operator shook his head fervently and Thunder said to him, "You will be the new commander. Follow my orders or die."

Shadow began to collect upon the chosen operator and form about his entire frame. As it did, the shadow turned from black and purple to gold as it coalesced into golden armor. The armor was similar to the previous commander and the operator smiled wickedly as he took his place as the new commander.

The vacant position was quickly filled with a plume of smoke and in its wake was a new operator to work the holographic controls.

"Be advised commander. I will not tolerate delays. We will go to those coordinates. However, we will not be late to our final destination." Thunder said as he walked from the room.

By J. L. Tracey

About the Author

J. L. Tracey is a published author of the book Last Hero, with 5 collective years of creative writing. While most of his writing is private, J. L. Tracey does have some small published works on the hubpages and works to bring more. He is a family man and loves being out doors disc golfing or playing just about any game. When not spending time with his family or pursuing hobbies, Tracey enjoys day dreaming too much; developing ideas and characters for fictional works.

Last Hero Book

Also, be sure to check out the first edition book of Last Hero. A free preview and where to buy the book can be found at this location:

www.LastHeroPreview.com

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