I’ve known Jake Harris for a long time. And I mean the Jake Harris. The one who survived It before It disappeared off to who-knows-where. Trust me, you don’t want to know what It is.
So now, Jake and I are off on a quest to save the world. Again. I know it seems fascinating to you, but it gets really boring after a while. Because I’m one of the best of the ancient Invincible Ones and Jake is, well, Jake, we’re always being chosen to go on missions like these. Even though we’re both only twelve years old, we can do much more than the average adult.
Let me tell you about the Invincible Ones. The name explains it all – we’re invincible in battle. When I say “battle”, you probably think of guns. But, as I said, we’re ancient. Most of the Invincible Ones are skilled swordsmen, and some are archers with deadly accuracy. I’m the only one ever who is both.
Jake glances at me. “Ready, Zack?” he calls.
“Yep,” I reply. This time, a rebellious group called the Hallions has invaded Markaroff, a city to the west. Our job is to defeat them – simple enough. I climb into the specially enlarged helicopter where the pilot is waiting. Jake gets in beside me and we take off.
An hour later, I’m getting sleepy, irritated, and bored. For a trip to save people, this really is very uninteresting. I shift restlessly and glance at the pilot. He reads my expression and assures me that we will arrive in the next few minutes. I sigh and slouch down.
Finally, we’re at Markaroff. Jake and I get off the copter, which stays there in case we have to make a quick getaway. Jake leads the way into a forest nearby. We’ll watch from there in the darkness for the next few hours, and decide what to do then. I crouch down and try to make myself comfortable.
After the city staying still for a long, long time, Markaroff finally awakens from its sleep. I grit my teeth as I see those hated orange-clothed Hallions moving in the streets. I tell Jake, “We’ll make this simple. I’ll try to pick them off one by one. If they see us, we get out of the forest and fight with swords.”
Jake nods his approval and I nock an arrow. Aiming carefully, I draw and release. The arrow shoots through the air and lands right in the chest of a Hallion. I shoot six more arrows that also find their marks. Seven down, eight to go.
A few Hallions have seen us by now. I nod to Jake and we charge out of the forest, drawing our razor-sharp swords. It is a hard battle, but eventually we cut down the last of the Hallions. I pump my fist, ignoring my cuts. “Yes!”
Suddenly, a weird shrieking cry echoes in the air. My body stiffens and I grip my weapons more tightly at the all-too-familiar call. Jake and I exchange frightened looks. There is no mistaking that cry. It is back.