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The Magma Chambers


Book 2



Faye Carlisle



Illustrations

Sunil Kalbandi





Prologue


Holographic phone message September 2314

Subject: Betrayal

To Raydon

I trusted your Kodo soldiers but three of them have betrayed me by stealing keys which give the holder special powers. I do not have sylins in my blood like your kind and I rely on the keys to keep control of Nargassus. I worry your rogue soldiers will take over if we don’t stop them. You need to send some trustworthy soldiers immediately to seek them out.

King Henry of Nargassus





Holographic phone message March 2315 (six months later)

Subject: Prophecy

To King Henry of Nargassus

So far, we have been unsuccessful in tracking down the three rogue soldiers who we have named the Sinisters. The soldiers we sent to find them have not returned. We fear they have been captured or killed. Ancient scripts tell of a rise in evil during our time but also prophesise that a boy with the ability to control the all four elements of earth, fire, water and air will restore peace to the Kingdom. We are monitoring our students to see if any have such powers. I will send a message when we have news.

Raydon, Leader of the Kodo School





Chapter 1: Homecoming


The door to Uncle Peter’s house was flung open before the children even got up the drive and Mary rushed out to the porch. She clasped her hands to her chest as she watched the four children approach. They all walked a little taller than they had before. Their looks stood in contrast to each other: Cameron with his dark hair, olive skin and serious expression; Sam with blond hair and a permanent grin; Anna with bright, intelligent eyes and her precious red-headed Jenny.

‘Thank goodness you’re all safe,’ Mary said, hugging Jenny and the other children in turn as they stepped onto the porch. ‘I’ve been so worried.’

‘Don’t fuss Mum,’ Jenny replied. ‘We’re fine.’

‘What happened?’ she asked.

‘We got Electro, one of the Sinisters,’ Cameron replied.

‘I heard that much,’ Mary said. ‘Zedric is here waiting for you.’

‘Where is he?’ Cameron asked.

‘In the drawing room,’ Mary replied as they walked into the house.

‘So what exactly happened?’

‘We found the fortress and the key. It was guarded by robots but we fought them off and then we had to fight Electro too,’ Sam replied.

Mary’s posture stiffened. ‘What did you do Jenny?’

‘Don’t worry mum, I kept a safe distance from the fighting.’

‘Thank goodness. I’ve been questioning my judgement about letting you go ever since you left.’ She sighed.

‘You didn’t find Peter then?’

‘No,’ Sam replied in a subdued tone.

Mary put her arm around Sam’s shoulder. ‘You did your best.’

‘It doesn’t stop here,’ Sam said fiercely. ‘I’m going to find him.’

‘You should speak to Zedric first,’ Mary suggested. ‘Jenny come with me.’

‘Yes mum,’ Jenny replied.


Cameron, Sam and Anna entered the drawing room and saw a tray with a jug of homemade lemonade on the table and some glasses.

Zedric looked up. ‘You must be tired. Sit down and have a drink.’

The children sat down wearily while Zedric poured them some lemonade.

Cameron took a gulp of his drink. It cooled his throat and he felt the bubbles gurgle in his stomach. He leaned back on the sofa. Zedric looked just the same as before. His hair was greying at the sides but other than that he looked very young.

Zedric leaned forwards, with his arms folded across his knees. ‘I’m glad you’re safe. Raydon told me you’d defeated Electro. You should be proud of yourselves.’

‘I think we were lucky,’ Cameron replied.

‘Not lucky,’ Raydon contradicted. ‘I think you used your powers well but why did Jenny join you?’

‘She’d seen a map of the fortress and we thought she’d be useful.’

‘You put her in danger,’ Zedric said sternly.

‘Yes, it was a stupid idea.’

‘At least there’s no harm done and she’s returned safely.’

Cameron cringed as he remembered the danger they’d been in at the fortress but pushed the memory aside. He watched Zedric hang the gold key with the red jewel onto a chain.

‘What does this key do?’ Cameron asked.

‘It allows a person to withstand extreme temperatures for a short amount of time when they press the red jewel. The King has agreed that while you are tracking down the other keys, you can hold onto it as you will need it more than him.’ Zedric placed the chain holding the key around Cameron’s neck. ‘Remember, your ability to take extreme temperatures will only last for a short time so use it wisely.’

Cameron touched the chain hanging from his neck. He paused to examine it. The red jewel sparkled as it caught the sunlight. He would make sure that he didn’t waste it powers. ‘Why did Electro say the King was weak?’

‘The King does not have natural abilities like us Kodo soldiers. Electro and the other Sinisters saw this as a weakness. What matters is he’s a good King,’ Zedric said.

‘The Sinisters are cruel,’ Cameron replied.

Zedric nodded. ‘It is essential that we stop them but you will need extra training before your next mission. I suggest we start with battle skills tomorrow when you’re all rested.’

‘So soon?’ Sam asked

‘Yes, there’s no time to waste,’ Zedric replied.

‘I’m ready,’ Anna said. ‘We can’t let these Sinisters get away. We’ve got them on the back foot now.’

Sam ruffled his hair. ‘I guess I’m ready too.’


That afternoon, Cameron and Sam took a walk in the garden while the girls were getting ready. They wound their way slowly past the lawns and sculptures through an archway that led to a rose garden. Cameron drunk in the smell of the roses and then sat down on a swinging bench.

‘Your uncle’s gardens are kind of grand,’ Cameron said.

Sam eyes flitted around the garden and sat down next to Cameron. ‘Yes, he always liked to be a bit showy.’

Cameron pushed his legs forwards on the swing. ‘You didn’t seem too keen on the idea of extra training earlier.’

‘I just thought we’d be able to relax for a while.’

‘You don’t have to come you know,’ Cameron replied.

Sam pressed his lips together. ‘As if I’d leave you to fend for yourself. You wouldn’t be able to cope for five seconds.’

‘Seriously, Sam.’

‘Look, tomorrow when I’ve had some sleep, I’ll be totally up for it.’

‘As long as you’re sure. I feel it’s my fault you’re here at all.’

‘Yes, you’re a Quadria but don’t feel guilty about me being here. It’s what we’re trained to do after all.’

Cameron rubbed the back of his neck. ‘But not this early in our training.’

Sam clapped Cameron on the shoulder. ‘Listen, if I hadn’t come I wouldn’t have had a chance of finding my uncle.’

‘True.’ Cameron sighed.






Chapter 2: Training


The next morning, Cameron gathered with Sam and Anna on the main lawn at the back of the house. A fountain with nymphs and cupids spouting sprays of water lay between them and the large imposing house. Cameron had never stayed in a house like this before and he concluded that Sam’s family was obviously rich or at least his Uncle Peter was.

Zedric’s deep voice brought him back to what he was there for. ‘Good morning!’

‘Good morning!’ the children chimed back.

Zedric extended his sword. ‘We have lots to do today. But first I want you to watch this!’

The children observed Zedric throw an apple into the air and peel it swiftly with his sword so that a spiral of the peel landed in his other hand in one piece.

Sam whistled. ‘Pretty cool.’

‘I’m not doing it to be cool. I want to show you how precise you can be with a sword. Now I want you all to have a go.’ Zedric gave each child an apple.

Cameron flung his apple into the air but his sword barely touched it before it fell to the floor. He tried again but he still only managed to nick the skin of the fruit.

An hour later, with Zedric’s encouragement, he could strip a small piece of the skin off.

‘You’re getting better,’ Zedric said.

‘I don’t know how long I’d have to do this before I could completely peel it.’

Zedric smiled. ‘It just takes practise but perhaps that’s enough for today. Gather around, I’ve got something else planned.’

The children put their apples down and made a circle round Zedric.

‘How quick are you with a sword?’ Zedric asked.

‘I don’t think I’m too bad as long as it’s not peeling an apple,’ Sam said.

‘Well let’s see,’ Zedric replied. ‘You can go first.’

Sam extended his sword again, while Anna and Cameron stood back to watch.

Sam dodged out of the way several times as Zedric’s sword cut the air around him until finally the sword knocked him gently on the side of the head.

Sam rubbed his head ‘How do you do that?’ he asked.

‘You need to duck, when I swipe at you from above!’ Zedric laughed. ‘Next time, you need to be faster.’







Cameron stepped forward for his turn. As Zedric lunged at him from below with his sword, he jumped back missing the blow. Zedric leapt towards him, aiming his sword at his chest but he darted sideways narrowly avoiding the blade. Somersaulting over Zedric’s head, Cameron brought his sword to Zedric’s neck from behind. Zedric nodded in defeat and Cameron slowly removed his sword and bowed to him.

‘Good footwork!’ Zedric smiled. ‘I like to see my students beat me. Then I know I’ve trained them well. But later, I want to see how good you are at making shields.’

Cameron stepped back, allowing Anna her turn. Cameron watched while Anna practised ducking and diving out of the way of Zedric’s fast swipes. Sam had another go too but Zedric did not ask Cameron again. He had already proved his sword-fighting skills although he knew that it would take more than that to defeat the other two Sinisters.

Zedric put down his sword. ‘Your footwork is improving but now we need to work on making shields.’ He gestured to Cameron to come over. ‘I want you to concentrate hard on forming a strong shield around your body.’

Cameron knew he had done this when Electro, one of the Sinisters, had struck him down. He focused on creating a yellow bubble around him. That wasn’t so hard, he thought.

Zedric’s firm voice challenged him. ‘Now push the shield outwards using your mind. Try to extend it towards Anna.’ Cameron concentrated on moving the clear yellow bubble towards Anna but the shield kept snapping back towards him.

‘I can’t do it.’ He sighed.

‘Let’s try again after the meditation session,’ Zedric said. ‘Our powers are always stronger then.’

The children sat down on the lawn outside Sam’s uncle’s house and crossed their legs. Closing his eyes, Cameron put his hands on his stomach. He felt it move outwards as he took a deep breath and then inwards as he breathed out. Paying attention to his breath, he let his worries float away. At the same time, he could feel his energy returning. The connection he’d felt with Sam and Anna in the swamp when their minds had joined and they had soared over the trees didn’t happen again. Time passed and Zedric rang a bell to bring the children’s attention back.










Cameron stretched his arms out. ‘That was good.’

‘But not as good as the swamp,’ Anna said.

‘What happened at the swamp?’ Zedric asked.

‘It was as if our minds were one,’ Anna replied.

‘Yeah, it was kind of awesome,’ Sam added.

‘Do you think it was something to do with Jenny being there?’ Cameron asked.

Zedric frowned. ‘Some people do have the power to act as a harmonising influence. Do you know whether Jenny’s been tested for Sylins?’

‘Isn’t everyone?’ Cameron asked.

Not everyone,’ Zedric said. ‘Jenny may have missed the tests. I’ll ask Mary. Anyway, let’s see whether you’re ready to create a shield now.’ Cameron stood one metre away from Anna and Sam and quickly formed a shield around himself. He pressed his lips together and standing solidly, forced the shield out from his body. As he focused, he could see the yellow bubble around him move outwards forming a protective layer around Anna and then finally Sam.

‘Good,’ Zedric said. ‘But your work is not done. You need to be able to move and do other things within the shield. I want you to practise moving towards each other.’

Cameron walked slowly towards Anna and Sam, keeping his focus on the shield. It was easier than he thought it would be.

‘Now try and doing something else within the shield,’ Zedric said.

Extending his sword, Cameron found he could move it whilst still holding the shield in place.

‘You’re getting the hang of it now,’ Zedric said. ‘But you need to practise your Quadria abilities too.’

While Anna and Sam practised creating a shield around each other, Cameron and Zedric walked towards the large pond. ‘You’re able to move water but can you change its form?’ Zedric asked.

‘Are you asking whether I can change water into ice or steam? If so, I don’t think I can.’

‘I want you to try,’ Zedric replied. ‘You may have abilities you are unaware of.’

Cameron gave a hesitating nod. ‘I can give it a try.’ He stared at the water on the pond until he could see the particles in the water moving within it. Can I make them move closer to form ice? He tried, but the water only swirled around forming a whirlpool in the pond.

He shook his head at Zedric, ‘I can’t do it.’

‘That’s a pity,’ Zedric replied. ‘The books suggest that Quadrias do have such abilities. But never mind, it was just a theory. It would have given you an advantage on your next mission.’

‘Why do you think that?’ Cameron asked.

‘I have intelligence that one of the Sinisters, Izotz, is in Iglay.’

‘Iglay, the ice land?’

‘Yes and Izotz has the power to freeze people.’

‘Oh!’ Cameron shuddered.

‘Let’s join the others and I will tell you more,’ Zedric said.


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