Fifteen years ago
“And here we have the infamous nameless deity suspended in a state of Inanimation.”
A hand shot up from the group of bored-looking nine year olds.
“Yes, Tam?” the teacher acknowledge, turning slightly away from the giant glass column that housed the nameless deity. Her hair would’ve been the color of fresh blood flowing from a cut artery as they floated about her, and her eyes would’ve been the bright silver of a fork, polished to a high shine as they stared unseeingly at the kids, but the color was muted, her skin, so pale and blemish-free shone with a marble-like sheen.
The bright, green-eyed kid frowned in confusion. “But why is she like that, Len-teacher?”
Len-teacher smiled at the rareness of the question. Usually, no one’s interested in any of the artifacts displayed in the Pre-Crisis Collection—and definitely no nine-year-old cared enough to. Gesturing widely to the glass column he said, “I’m glad you asked, Tam,” he replied, much to the annoyance of the other kids, they can feel a century-lng dissertation coming. “You see, history shows that this particular deity was once very powerful and dangerous. It was because of her that the whole world almost came to the brink of destruction—”
“But why?” asked little Tam. “What did she do? She looks so nice.”
Len-teacher sent out a derisive laugh. “She does, doesn’t she? I tell you, though, she is the embodiment of the very thing that drive humans almost crazy.”
Now Tam’s curiosity is piqued. “What’s that, Len-teacher?”
Len-teacher sighed. “No one knows, kid. All records related to such had been eradicated after the Crisis.”
“What’s erad… eradacatid?” an adorable blonde little girl spoke up with a serious face. Len-teacher recognized her as Constance, the class’s walking dictionary—who couldn’t abide not knowing a word.
“Eradicated? It means totally destroyed or erased from existence.”
At this point, another new voice was heard. It was such a rarely-heard one so all heads turned to the direction of the speaker who stood beside the teacher. “Then why didn’t our old people eradicate this nameless deity?”
Len-teacher frowned and clamped a hand on the kid’s mouth. “Careful of your questions, Zash,” he cautioned. “You don’t want to be Taken Away.”
Everyone gasped. They all know that those who were Taken Away have never EVER returned to their family.
Turning back to the rest of the class, Len-teacher resumed his lecture, “After a specific period of time, seven people were chosen to become this nameless deity’s Guardians. They will undertake training and guidance from the retiring Guardians where they will learn everything there is to know about this nameless deity—which isn’t much—and they will spend the rest of their lives researching about her. Now, everyone follow me and I will show you the Pre-Crisis recreation room where they have cool low technology toys.”
The class gave a loud cheer and pushed against each other in their haste to be the one to enter the recreation room first.
Tam stood in front of the glass holding the nameless deity. He looked at her thoughtfully and, apparently making up his mind, he took a deep breath and whispered, “I will be a Guardian and I will work hard so other people will know you too. I know you’re not the evil thing they make you out to be.”
With that said, he turned and followed his classmates out of the room.
Constance stepped from behind a marble column where she had slipped to hide when she saw that Tam opted to stay, and stared at the retreating figure of her dreams. Hugging her books to her chest, she heaved a deep sigh. He looks adorable, she thought.Even his back is adorable. Sighing again, she shook her head to collect herself and walked towards the door at the other side of the room. Halfway there, something caught her eye. Frowning, she turned to the glass that held the nameless being her Tam had been so fascinated with.
Had it been her imagination or did the being’s lips move?
Moving closer, she stood in front of the glass with her nose almost touching it. She stared at the being closely, but after a few seconds, she felt foolish for doing so. As she was about to turn and join the others when the lips moved again, just a slight movement. This time, though, one word escaped those perfect lips; one little word that sent chills down Constance’s spine and sent her running from the room.
Drake “Tam” Tamulous stood in front of the containment unit housed in a remote warehouse in which the Inanimated body of the nameless being had been transferred to after the Community’s Head decided that her display is terribly “boring” and “such an eyesore”.
Tam clenched his fist in anger as he remembered the day when that happened, just right before his own Bestowing. Whereas the Bestowing is usually a joyous celebration wherein every person in their Community joins in and food and drinks abound, it has now been reduced to a measly pronouncement over the Network and the handing out of unframed certificates. The Head reasoned that it’s a necessity that the Community’s resources are dwindling and, thus, they need to limit extravagant celebrations. Quite ironic really, since the Head insists on grand feasts during his Natal Day.
It never did help when the Head was once your classmate who—much to everyone’s surprise—turned out to be the former Head’s son (it’s a traditional practice for reigning Heads to keep the secret of his son’s identity from the people of the Community).
Laying his palm flat on the glass, he bent his head respectfully to the nameless being and whispered, “I am now a Guardian and I shall do everything in my power to shed light to your mystery.”
Executing a formal bow worthy of a high ranking official, Tam swept out of the room, his dark-blue Guardian robes billowing behind him. A much-awaited delivery of ancient bound books had just arrived and he’s looking forward to perusing it. Stepping into the artifact room, he was greeted by raucous laughter of his fellow Guardians.
“Hey, newbie! Come and join us. Your girlfriend brought some fresh fruits. We decided you wouldn’t mind if we dug in before you,” the cheerful blonde guy spoke up, waving a big red apple in the air.
Tam looked confused. “Girlfriend? I don’t have a girlfriend, Jess.”
“Yes you do,” Jess replied in an amused tone. “She brought these fruits while you were back there playing the devoted disciple to our forgotten goddess.”
Tam opened his mouth to defend himself from that slightly sarcastic remark but Jess beat him to it. “Don’t bother denying it, newbie,” he chided. “She was here, she mentioned your name, and handed over a basket of fruits. That spells girlfriend to me.”
“But I really don’t have –”
“Oh, come on! Brunette, large, green eyes? Likes to cart around giant tomes?” Jess hinted, wagging his eyebrows.
“You mean Constance?” Tam asked after five full minutes of deep thinking. “She’s a family friend. We’ve known each other since kindergarten.”
Jess snorted disbelievingly and was about to say something mean to Tam when a new voice intruded.
Everyone turned to the Senior Guardian, Micah, and the room fell silent at her softly spoken command. Although, calling her ‘senior’ would be too much of an overstatement. Unlike the other Guardians who were in their twenties, Micah was only eighteen years old. She was chosen at the young age of ten due to ‘special’ circumstances. What those ‘special circumstances’ are, no one knows for sure. Standing at four feet, ten inches with pale blonde hair with full bangs, she was the very epitome of fresh innocence, and yet, her turbulent grey eyes held an ancient knowledge of things that were far beyond the reach of ordinary creatures.
“The new delivery of ancient scrolls has arrived,” she said, moving restlessly around the hovering platform that goes wherever she wanted it to and never seemed to run out of battery.
“Tam will do it,” Jess spoke without preamble.
Micah looked thoughtfully at Tam.
Tam fidgeted, resisting the urge to rush to the Senior Guardian and beg her on bended knees to let him touch even just the edge of the scrolls. That fact that it would be his first ever major project as Guardian adds to his excitement.
Micah finally sighed and shrugged. “Okay, Tam will do it.”
Tam let out an uncontrolled, almost girlish squeal causing the whole room to fall silent in mortification.
At this point, Jamie, who had been quiet for a while now, spoke up in a matter-of-fact tone, “Well, that was awkward.”
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