.:Arcane Reality

Chapter 1: Curiosity

A young boy, no older than three, ran happily through the fields while being watched closely by his parents. He chased after a young man on a ref board as the man road the waves expertly. The little boy looked back at his father, who was walking casually hand in hand with a beautiful woman, and screamed excitedly as he pointed one of his short stubby fingers at the rider. His parents chuckled and nodded approvingly at their son who continued his clumsy dash.

"It's such a nice day out don't you think?" The woman asked, looking up at the fluffy white clouds and the lush green grass that they were currently walking on. "Yeah, it sure is." He replied. She wrapped her arms around his waste. "I'm glad you brought us here, Holland." She sighed and continued her nonchalant walk with her husband.

"I wasn't the only one who wanted to come out here," He reminded her. He pointed over to the man on the ref board. "Moondoggie was the one who wanted to try out his new board." She laughed quietly. "What?" he questioned with an odd look. She responded with, "You will always be Holland," and shrugged it off; enjoying the time she was having with her family, not noticing the small smile that tugged on Holland's lips. "And who says you're not the same, Talho?" Soft laughter floated amongst the trapar waves.

Moondoggie rode the waves with ease, making ever turn count and the wind seemed to dance with his hair, since he had disposed of his blue hat long ago. "Gidget! You should come join me! This is great!" he made a motion for her to join him but she shook her head and smiled. "I'm fine where I am, don't worry. The view is great by the way." She was sitting on a large blanket that was laid on a flat surface of grass.

"Are you sure?" he had a hint of disappointment on his features. Gidget didn't let that go unnoticed. She looked up at him. "I said the view was great. That includes everything; clouds, trees, hills, you." She looked innocent as she listed countless things about the scenery but Moondoggie's face began to shine with many different shades of red. Nonetheless, he had a proud smile on. "Whatever you say, Gidget! Don't say I didn't tell you. You're missing out!" and he flew off again, knowing full well that he was a performer who was determined to make that one of his best shows.

The little boy ran wildly to where Gidget was. Right beside Gidget was a ref board that was presumably hers. He admired the board with wide eyes. He then tried to pick up the device that was more than two times his size.

"Dalton!" Gidget looked back noticing that her board was missing only to find Dalton almost crushing himself with it. She grabbed hold of the toppling board and sighed with relief. "You know Dalton, one day you're going to get me killed."

Holland and Talho came up to them as leisurely as they were walking. "What's going on guys?" Talho asked in a rather cheery mood. Gidget looked at her position, her holding a board that was about to fall over on their precious son. "Well, you see, I guess Dal wanted to try out a ref board a bit too early on in his life."

Holland crouched down so he was eye level with his son. "You wanna try it, Dal?" He looked up at his father with round eyes filled with questions. Then a brilliant smile emitted and he jumped into Holland. Talho was at first going to yell at Holland for even thinking of sending their three year old son on a ride on the waves so soon but after what she saw, she couldn't help but let them go.

"How is it that whatever either one of you do, I always tend to say yes?" she crossed her arms playfully and looked down at the two with a smirk. "Like father, like son."

Holland gladly picked up his son and went over to grab the long board. "Here we go Dal, hang on tight to daddy." They raised into the air and they road together, time flying much too fast for their liking as the sunset indicated that the day was nearing its end. "Daddy, daddy, let's go again!" Dalton said enthusiastically as they landed. Holland grinned at him and places his hand on his head. "We will sometime, don't worry." Dalton looked up with sad eyes and a quivering bottom lip. "But-!" He was interrupted by his father. "Ah, no buts or there's no ice cream today." The mere mention of ice cream erased all evidence of sadness on the little boy's face, leaving only a happy and cheerful one.

"Holland!" Talho called into the purple and orange sky. She was helping pack up the stuff they had brought on their trip into the two jeeps. "Let's go! We're heading over to the Thurston's now!"

"Okay!" Holland looked down and picked up Dalton. "Did you hear that? We're going to your uncle Renton's." Dalton smiled happily, knowing that Maurice, Maeter and Linck were going to be there. He had known that family since he was born. "Your aunt Eureka will be making your favourite, so we'd better hurry." They treaded off towards the jeeps.

They parked before a beautiful house that could be easily set apart from all of the other houses on that street. It had a lovely front yard, flowers blooming from the early spring season, tended to by none other than Eureka no doubt, the colour of the house was quite a soft tone of blue which relaxed the eyes of whom ever saw the structure and the house itself was at least made up of four floors, not including the attic.

"Okay, we're here!" Talho said excitedly as she stepped out of the parked jeep. Everyone else stepped out as well from the two vehicles, Holland carrying his son on his shoulders. She went up to the two boys and fussed with their clothing, making them as straight and as clean as possible.

Holland stood there with a bored expression. "They already know what I look like when I walk around in my underwear, why fuss now?" Talho looked at him arrogantly. "We haven't seen them in a long time so why not make a good impression while we can?"

Talho then worked her way to her son who was about within he reach. "Dal, hold still," Dalton was squirming with anticipation. "Is everyone ready?" She questioned Moondoggie and Gidget who slowly walked towards them fixing themselves up as well. "Ready when you are." Moondoggie replied. "Yeah!" Dalton answered enthusiastically.

They stepped up to the door and knocked. Within seconds, it opened revealing a brightly lit room filled with all too familiar faces. "Hilda!" Talho screamed. "Talho!" They embraced each other like long lost sisters whom never spoke or had made contact with each other for years.

Axel was the one to open the door. He was still the same old, grumpy man that seemed to have the worst of tempers that could make his blood pressure rise to the highest. Even so, he had three grandchildren to care for; grandchildren of which he was proud to call family.

"Why did you lot have to be late? I was almost going to have a heart attack thinking you guys wouldn't be here on time." He smirked and looked up at Dalton. "Why hello there, nice to see you again Dalton." Dalton joyfully waved his hands in the air. "Pagetti! Pagetti!" Axel laughed. "Okay, alright! Your aunt Eureka made spaghetti don't worry." He welcomed them into their warm household.

Dalton saw many memorable faces within the living room. His eyes fell upon three kids, two boys and one girl, playing with a train that was placed on a trail of train tracks that ran all throughout the house. It was an amazing arrangement that Dalton found immediately alluring. "Dad, look!" Holland eyed the train set and was amazed by what the kids could do in their spare time.

He walked up to them with Dalton still on his shoulders. "Maurice, Maeter and Linck! Look at how you've all grown." Holland ruffled Maurice's hair. "Kid, you're a giant! How old are you now? You've gotta be at least fifteen." Maurice snickered, his voice much lower than what it had used to be. "I'm only eleven, Holland."

Bewilderment was evident. "So that means," he looked at Maeter and then at Linck. "You're ten and the squirt's nine?" They smiled and nodded, giggling in the process. "I think I'm getting a little too old for this."

"Hey, hey, shh! They're coming! Everyone hide! Stoner, pictures!" Matthieu screamed through the laughter and all conversations were cut short. "Where are they?" Hap's head popped up beside Matthieu's which was currently looking outside. He gave Matthieu a little bit of a shock, seen clearly, but was soon forgotten. "Hap, get out, go hide before they get here!" He shoved Hap away and gave a final order. "Lights off!"

The sound of the door clicking made everyone inhale sharply and hold it. They heard keys hit a table, echoing throughout the house. It was almost time.

When the lights flicked on, everyone in unison got up and screamed out with joy. "Surprise!" The young man, one of the two honoured guests, yelped and fell backward while the other stood, shocked nonetheless but also giggled at her companion's actions. "Renton, are you okay?"

The couple had grown quite exceptionally due to their mature physic and adult-like features. Eureka had beautiful shoulder length aqua blue hair which she still kept pinned with the hairclip that was given to her by Renton. Through out the years, she had honed her skills in using her wings. She was able to retract them at will and also learned how to fly with them. Renton, on the other hand, still had his mess of chestnut hair but his body was well toned by the four years that had passed. He was much taller now and his voice had a soft rumble deep within it. Though changes were detectable, they were still the same two who had once saved the world from sheer and utter chaos.

"Renton! Look at you! You're not that tiny wimp that used to clean the Gekko-Go anymore, eh?" Holland helped Renton up and hugged him like he was a long lost son. He ruffled his hair, but Renton couldn't help but smile. "You don't look so bad yourself, old timer." This ticked Holland off just a little bit and his face twitched at the most slightest of moments. Next thing Renton knew, he was in a head lock getting the hardest nuggy in his life. "Ah! Holland!" Everyone watched the touching reunion.

"Everyone's here!" Renton said after finally releasing himself from the death hold that Holland had had him in not too long ago. "Doggie! Gidget! Even Mathieu and Hilda." Eureka stepped in and wrapped her arms around Renton's waist. "Don't forget Hap and Stoner." Renton places his arm around Eureka's shoulder. "Woz, Job and Ken-goh are out getting some drinks." "Hap informed them. "Oh, right. Sorry guys." Both Renton and Eureka looked to Stoner who had his camera out and ready to take a picture. "Smile." Renton and Eureka smiled and the flash indicated that the shot was successful.

Dalton appeared and he saw a glimpse of Renton and Eureka whom he recognized very well. "Auntie!" He ran up to Eureka and gave her a warm hug. Eureka picked him up and smiled. "Hello, Dalton. Did you miss your uncle Renton and me?" Dalton smiled broadly and began to squeal. "Pagetti!" Eureka immediately knew what he was talking about and nodded. She addressed everyone else to go to the dining room for food.

The clashing of spoons and forks on plates, long drone out entertaining conversations, and laughter all meshed into one, resonated against the night sky. Dalton rested on the ledge of an open window, looking up at the stars. The light breeze blew through his already disheveled gray hair and crickets could be heard playing their soft lullaby.

Dalton noticed the moon that hung in the sky and looked carefully at its surface. Though he wasn't old enough to read, he was smart enough to know that having words on the moon wasn't normal. "Maurice," he questioned. Maurice came up beside him. "What's on your mind, Dal?" Dalton pointed up at the full moon. "What's that?" Mauriced followed his finger. He smiled to himself, "It says Renton and Eureka."

The little one instantly acknowledged the two names. They were the names of his aunt and uncle. "Why?" he put his hand down back onto his lap and waited patiently for an answer. Maurice knew that he had to tell him but it was very difficult to explain since four years had passed and he was so young then.

"Here, come with me." Maurice took Dalton by the hand and began to walk to his mother. "Mama, Dalton wants to know about the moon," Renton leaned in, overhearing the question. "And what's written on it." Eureka looked at Renton and they both smiled. "Sounds okay to me. We can tell the story now." Renton said. "It's alright with me." Eureka agreed.

Maurice smirked and went to round up the gang for the night's storytelling. Dalton made his way to Renton and nudged to be picked up. Renton went to the couch with Eureka and put Dalton on his lap. "Yay, Story time! Story time!" The same little guy that everyone knew and loved bounced excitedly, clapping his hands together. "Yes, it is, Dal." Renton chuckled. "Everyone set?" The audience found their own comfortable spots and nodded or answered; anyway to acknowledge that they were ready.

Renton at Eureka and they both nodded, agreeing to begin. "This is how it all goes, back to the time where I was still fourteen, back to the time where I first met Eureka."

"We're going that far?" Eureka asked.

"Why not? It's all about you and me right?" Renton joked, earning a playful irritated look from his wife.

"Okay, so not that far. We'll probably start," Renton began to think. "I actually don't know where to start. Any ideas?" he pointed the question more towards the audience than just to Eureka. "Why not start off at the part where Moondoggie began piloting?" a random shout out came from the audience, origin unknown. Moondoggie's face began to brighten up. Gidget just giggled and wrapped her arms around his arm.

"Maybe not, that's a bit too far from the actual event of the Second Summer of Love." Renton pointed out. "How about we start off when Holland tried to ref and made a complete fool of himself?" It was apparent that it was Matthieu who said it. Holland was about to whack him in the head for even making that statement clear, Talho restrained him as best she could but Hilda, who was sitting much closer to Matthieu than he was, made it obvious that she would do the honours. A light cry of pain could be heard from Matthieu soon afterwards.

"Did we even know about that? Cause I sure didn't know about it." Without a doubt, Renton and Eureka didn't know that that event had actually happened. "Now you do!" Those were the last words they heard from Matthieu for a long while.

"Let's start from when Maeter, Linck and I were sitting in front of the compact drive on the Gekko-Go." Maurice spoke up. Everyone turned their heads. "Yeah, that's when Nirvash changed and when you rescued mama, right papa?" Maeter said afterwards. Linck came out from under the coffee table and agreed with his two siblings. "I like the part when the compact drive turned pink." Linck stated. "It was purple!" Maeter argued. "Pink!"

"Okay, that's sounds like a good place to start." Eureka was the one to speak. "Alright, that's where we'll start." The room fell silent almost immediately. The only sound came from the crickets outside the window.

"At that time, I was prepared to leave and go get Eureka myself. I knew that the Nirvash would have to endure with only one pilot, I had to risk it. But the kid's here were geniuses." Renton pointed out his kids. "They gave me Eureka's hair pin. From that point on, I felt as if she was always with him. It may sound cheesy now, but I meant every word." This statement made Eureka blush faintly but didn't stop Renton from continuing.

"The weirdest thing happened. When I got onto the Nirvash, it transformed into this amazing sleek silver machine with green bits on it. Which ever way I moved, that was the way the Nirvash moved. It was an amazing experience." Dalton leaned his head back onto Renton's chest, his eyes showed bewilderment. His hands were holding onto Renton's hands, which he found intriguing because they were much bigger than his.

Renton soon remembered the rest of the story and his face went into a major frenzy of red shades. "And that was it, we saved the world and the Second Summer of Lover occurred; the end." He said it so fast that even if they recorded it and slowed it down, it would've still been out of focus.

Eureka looked at him and giggled. She knew what he was thinking about. To calm him down, she leaned forward and placed a peck on his cheek, reminding him that they were together now and he didn't have to be embarrassed. He sighed, "Do I have to tell them about that?" he whined like a little kid wanting a cookie. Everyone began to laugh, knowing full well what was coming next. They all chattered and whispered things about their last story and all of the conversations just made Renton go even redder. "Well you could skip that and go straight to the forest part." She suggested.

Both of Renton and Eureka's eyes locked with a worried and serious look. No one noticed but little Dalton who was sitting right before the scene. He didn't know what was going on but as he looked around at the happy faces and back to Eureka and Renton's, he knew there was something weird going on.

"Hey, Renton! Why don't you continue?" A playful, sly smirk emerged on the face of none other than Matthieu himself. This snapped both Renton and Eureka out of their trance. They both looked away and fidgeted with anything they could find, not with a blush on their face, but a scared blank face. What ever it was that happened in the forest, they didn't want to tell their friends.

Before anything got awkward, Renton spoke up with a shaky voice and a fake façade. "Right, in that orb thing, we well," Just then, there was a loud crack, like a branch falling. All eyes went to the open window. "What was that?" Moondoggie finally spoke up. They heard another crack but this time, he continued to crack, getting louder and louder each time. "What's going on?" Hap said over the noise. Stoner ran to the window, camera in hand, ready to use it as a weapon if he had to.

"What is this?" Stoner said slowly and silently. Stoner fumbled for his camera and began to take multiple shots outside of the open window. Everyone took this as a sign that they too could look outside to find out what caused the ruckus. Eureka and Renton looked at each other once more, hoping that it wasn't what they thought it was.

Each of them took up a space in front of the window. They grew wide-eyed. They saw mass destruction to the backyard. The ground spiked up to nearly twenty feet high and the trees were all blown over or at least slanting in one direction. They looked up at the sky seeing rock gray clouds and the rumble of thunder not too far away. The wind picked up from a light breeze to a tremendous wave of cold air that stuck hard to the face. The lights began to flicker on and off, making everyone gasp. Soon they were engulfed in darkness, the moon giving off the only light.

"What's going on," Hap stared at the chaos in the backyard. "Mommy!" Dalton cried and ran to Talho. She wrapped her arms protectively around her son. She looked up at Holland. "Holland, do you have any idea what's happening? It was fine when we got here."

They heard a click at the door. The wind came blasting in both the door and the window. Woz, Job and Ken-goh stepped into the house, hugging themselves for extra warmth. "You guys are alright!" Stoner said as he tended to the three. "We got ran here from just down the street. The town is a mess. A huge earthquake hit the town square. There was panic everywhere." Woz and Job informed. They were shivering from head to toe, teeth chattering as they spoke.

Renton took hold of Eureka's hand tightly. "We have to tell them," he whispered. "It might cause even more damage if we don't tell them." Eureka had a worried look on her face. "What if they get mad?" Renton gave a slight smile. "They won't hurt you, I'll take the hit don't worry." His words only made her worry more. "No, you can't—"

"Can I have everyone's attention," Renton spoke with a firm and projected voice. "Renton," his companion whispered. Every being in the room turned to face them. It was now or never. "I know this may come as a shock since we haven't told any of you yet," he began, a quivering evident in his movements by Eureka. She only tightened her grip to encourage him. "But we have to tell you for your safety." He gulped and prepared for the yelling and screaming. "During the year that Eureka and I had been gone, something happened."

The thunder rumbled and a flash of light stuck a tree in the backyard. Sparks flew in all directions, lighting the grass on fire. The tree blazed on fire; the crackling loud enough to rival that of the thunder. The red of the fire reflected off of Dalton's tear-stained face. He saw the flame grow and a woman made of flames came out. He looked up at his mother, hoping that she could see what he was seeing, but the woman seemed oblivious to her. He looked towards Linck and Maeter, the hope still lit inside, but no sign of acknowledgement. He knew he could trust Maurice, however, he was nowhere to be found amidst the catastrophe. He trembled with fear and embraced his mother as best he could. Still, the flame woman walked closer and closer. He closed his eyes firmly; afraid of what the woman was going to do. When he opened his eyes, she was gone.

"Everyone, front yard - now!" Holland ordered through the thunder and on coming rain. Everyone scrambled for the yard, holding each other to stay warm and as dry as they possibly could since it began to pour soon after the tree was struck. They watched the sky and the earth around them as it slowly began deformed. Some houses on the block were torn through by spikes of earth and some cars on the street were shattered by telephone poles and nearby trees.

Suddenly, to everyone's surprise, Renton was smashed up and pinned against one of the last standing trees by Holland. "What's the meaning of this? I know you have something to do with it." Holland tightened his grip on Renton's collar. Although he wasn't strong enough to lift him off the ground, the fact that he was still bigger made up for that.

"Renton!" Eureka went running towards the tree.

"Holland let go of him!" Talho carried Dalton with her, making sure that he was warm enough. "Stop it!" She used her unoccupied hand to clutch onto Holland's arm. The density of the leaves somewhat sheltered them from the rain. Everyone gathered under the tree to share the closest feeling to dryness. "What do you mean 'stop'? He said he was going to say something before, why not let him spit it out now?" Renton shakily pushed himself so that he was standing on his own accord. His head hung low and his voice slipped from his mouth. "He's right. I was going to tell you guys something and I didn't finish." Only the splashing of rain puddles and the hissing of dieing fire could be heard. He lifted his head up and took one more glance at Eureka.

"While we were in that forest, Eureka and I met with Mother Nature and Father Time."

A/N: i have no clue where this story is going to end up but i was just inspired after i watched the series. they left soo much open and i duno it was late, i guess the night was getting to my head. tell me what you think of it and i'll see if any more spirts of inspiration come up again. updating is going to be hard, just saying in advance. thanks!

- -writingzeaL