Who am I? That's a tough question.
It was just another mission. I've been on too many to count. It should've gone smoothly. Yet here I was, standing in front of my father, reporting on my failure. Trying to figure out myself what went wrong.
It was just another mission. The first mission I've ever failed. What went wrong?!
*** *** ***
It started out like any other mission. I was just relaxing, waiting for something to happen. That's when someone walked in.
"Shouldn't you knock before coming into someone's room?" I asked this intruder.
"So it's okay when you do it, but not when I do?" he asked like his smartass self. "Is that what you're saying?"
"That's exactly what I'm saying," I replied sarcastically. I put the book I was reading down on my nightstand and sat up.
The man who stood in front of me, this man who I call brother, his appearance definitely fit his name. "What did you need Evil?" I asked of him. He looked at me with those pitch black eyes. The only part of them that weren't filled with that darkness was his pupils. They glowed with a goldish color and turned red when he got angry or lost control. His hair was also black. It looked more like pure darkness was growing from his scalp, the way it just flowed on it's own without the aid of any wind.
He had a very noticeable scar going from his right ear down to his left clavicle. No one but Evil seems to know where that came from. He just seemed to wake up one day and have that scar, pretending that it had always been there. He wore a blue undershirt that had red stripes on the back that wrapped around to the sides. Over that he wears a black jacket. The jacket had short, red sleeves that he rolled up to his shoulders. The back of his jacket seemed to act like a cape. It went down to his knees and had that same darkness effect that his hair had, only more pronounced. On the back it had a blood red pattern that looked like a dragon of sorts. The inside of the jacket was made of a gold colored fabric, almost matching the gold in his eyes.
His arms from the elbow down looked like they originally belonged to some sort of beast. They were as black as his eyes and had small red stripes here and there. The stripes almost looked like veins. His hands were slightly larger than a normal human's hands and were also shaped slightly differently. His fingers were more like claws than fingers. Then going up to his elbow they start gradually changing to normal arms.
His pants were a grey color with black in the seams. They also had three black stripes on either side starting from the top of the seams then wrapping around to the back and going down each leg. He also rolled up his pant legs showing that they had a purple fabric on the inside.
He smiled at me, showing his teeth to be the fangs they were. You strangely couldn't tell they were fangs unless he was smiling. "Can't I just come to see my baby brother?" he asked with that same smartass tone he used before.
"Of course you can," I answered. "But I know that's not the reason you're here."
That seemed to take the smile right off his face for a second. "Fine, you win," he said, smiling again. "Dad wanted to see you. I think you might be getting another mission."
"Good, I was getting really bored," I replied as I swung my feet over the side of my bed. "Was that the only reason you came to see me?"
He looked confused at that question, "Of course it was. Do I need another reason?"
"There's no way you'd come see me if all you wanted to tell me is that Dad wanted to see me," I responded. "So what else did you need?"
"I'm afraid that's all I needed," he said with a slightly annoyed look on his face. After that we just stared at each other for a minute or two. Then Evil turned around and said, "I've said all I have to say. So just go see what Dad wants. You know how impatient he can get." After finishing his statement, Evil walked out of the room.
I stared at the spot Evil had been standing for another minute and said, "He's hiding something from me." I thought about it for another minute then stood up and said, "Well, I don't have time to worry about what this secret is. Dad has been known to get rather impatient. I guess I should just see what's going on." After that I started towards my father's room.
*** *** ***
As I approached the door to my father's room, I could feel myself getting anxious over my new mission. I haven't been on a mission in some time, so I was excited to finally get one. But all that excitement seemed to vanish once I saw that overly decorated door. I knew what was behind it, but I couldn't help feeling intimidated by that black and gold door. After a minute of just staring at it, I built up the courage to knock. A few seconds later, the door opened seemingly on its own.
"Hey Dad," I said as I stepped into his room, "you wanted to see me?"
"Neutral, come in. I'm sure you're excited about this mission," he said while turning to look at me. He seemed to be working on something, like he always is when you came to see him. He was smiling as he said that, it was a smile that let you know you were safe from anything that could be worrying you. He was a great dad.
My excitement really stared to show as I started to get impatient. "So, what's the mission this time? Am I gonna be retrieving a super-rare item, or maybe gathering intelligence on an enemy group, or "
Dad put up his hand telling me to calm down and said, "Why don't you just let me explain the mission before you get your hopes too high?" He laughed and motioned for me to sit down in the chair on the side of his desk. I did as he told me, still impatient, as he started collecting files that must've been related to my latest mission.
"Now, this mission is tougher than the ones I've given you before. But I know you can handle it. You've proven yourself to be a great asset to the team," he started to explain.
That's right, we were a family, but we were also a team. One that fights those that threaten the world. This world that we protect is one that is separated into many dimensions. We are the protectors of those dimensions. We help maintain the balance of all existence. If this balance is lost, the world would begin to destroy itself. So, to keep a balance, our family was created.
Our father was brought in to act as the leader and our protector. He then created his daughter that would represent time. She keeps the flow of time from becoming distorted. She is the oldest and probably most important part of the balance. Dad then made twin boys that would each represent light and darkness. They are the main part of the balance, and get along as well as light and dark normally would. He then created me, the youngest, to represent neutrality. My role is to pretty much keep the others in check when things get out of hand. But since my powers are that of neutrality, I'm in the most danger of being attacked by enemies.
Most importantly, we are a family before we're a team. That's how it's always been, and how it always will be. "So?" Dad said as he stood up. "Are you ready?"
He definitely showed off his superiority with the way he dresses. His outfit has many colors: white, black, gold, red, and blue along with a few colors that are more accents than anything. His shirt was white with gold shoulders and a few black stripes that start from the bottom and go up then curve down to mirror the front. He also has two pockets on each side of the front, though there's never anything in them. It also has gold buttons. His sleeves go down to his wrists and have one red stripe going down the side of each leading to a gold wrist.
His belt was black with a gold buckle and the only thing about his outfit that wasn't way over the top. His pants were black and had gold stitching in the seams. The inside of his pants pockets were blue. They also had some blue patterns that seemed to represent each of his children: a clock, an angel, a dragon, and a heart. Though you'd have to stare at it for awhile to see what they were.
His hair was a golden color that definitely sealed his show-off style. It was medium length, coming down a little past his shoulders. And it had a single braid on the left side that had a black and white threading at the end. His face was always calm as long as you didn't make him mad. He really was a great dad.
"Yes, I'm ready." I responded. I was really anxious after hearing it was a more difficult mission than my previous endeavors.
"That's good to hear," he said with a laugh. He then started walking toward his bed. He grabbed something that was sitting on his nightstand and walked back over to his desk. After handing me the item he just picked up, he said, "Evil found that on his last mission. He says there are most likely more of these in the worlds. And I want you to try and find some."
The thing he was talking about didn't seem that special. It was just a small, wooden statue that seemed to resemble some kind of bird. There seemed to be engravings on it and it also had some faded paint. It must've been pretty old.
I was confused. "How is this supposed to be difficult? Collecting a few trinkets shouldn't even be considered a mission," I stated.
Dad just laughed and started sifting through the papers he had gathered earlier. He found one he liked and gave it to me. "I think this will explain things a bit better," he said still laughing a bit.
I looked at the paper and it seemed to be some kind of report on some ancient tribe that had quite a bit of importance at the time. It said how they had been given a great power by an unknown force to protect. They apparently put this power into a number of small statues. And that power could only be unleashed once you brought all of the statues together. I was starting to understand it a bit. "So, this statue has some great power sealed inside it?" I asked trying to understand my mission better.
"Only part of that power," Dad responded. "The rest is sealed in an unknown amount of similar statues."
"And I want to know more about this power," he started to explain. "But to do that, I need more of the statues."
"Why do you want to learn about this power?" I inquired. "What benefit could it possibly be to us?"
He turned away preparing to give a decently long speech. "That's what I want to find out. It could be a great aid later on, or it could be a tremendous threat. There's no way to know until we find more pieces." He pointed to the statue in my hand to emphasize that I was looking for more of these things.
"So, how many am I supposed to find?" I asked worrying that this mission may take a good amount of time.
"I'm not sure," he answered. "Perhaps four more would be enough. If not, I'll send someone else to search for more, since I'm sure you'd be tired of the mission by then." I looked away embarrassed that he was absolutely right.
"Alright, I'm sure there's more to this than what you've told so far," I said hoping I was wrong.
Dad smiled and said, "Of course." I couldn't help but get annoyed at that. Dad laughed and replied, "Don't worry, I'll try to make this quick." That made it seem a little better. Just a little though. He started looking through his papers again. This time he started explaining things himself instead of letting me read it. "About one thousand years after the tribe was given this power, they were attacked by a mysterious and powerful group of people. The statues were scattered across the world. This was before the world was separated, mind you."
They told me about that. Apparently the worlds were once one giant planet. But since it was so massive, many different races with many different beliefs came to be. The people of the world often fought over trivial things. And these trivial things lead to great wars a number of times. The world couldn't take the damage of these wars forever. So my family stepped in and separated the world into the dimensions that exist today.
After that, it seemed to be easier to protect the world. Most dimensions don't even know about the others, and that's for the best. But there are a number of people that either learn of them by chance or are part of a family line that still passes down the stories from generation to generation. And some of those people wish to damage the delicate balance that we try so hard to maintain. So we intervene and make sure the balance is kept.
"And, since the world was separated," Dad continued, "the statues are now scattered between the many dimensions."
"So," I inquired, "I just have to hope and get lucky in finding these?"
Dad looked at me disappointed. "You think I'm that cruel?" he asked with obvious sarcasm. He opened a drawer on his desk and pulled out some sort of radar device. He gave it to me and said, "This will be able to track the power sealed inside the statues. The more you have, the easier they'll be to find." He flipped a switch on the side and the radar was activated.
I just stared at it for a bit, then something occurred to me. "Wait, you said Evil found this statue?"
"That's right," Dad answered a little confused.
"Was he wanting to try and find the others, or does he know something about them?" I asked recalling the strange visit earlier.
Dad thought about the question for a while then answered, "I suppose he would know more about these than the rest of us." He looked worried when he said that.
"What do you mean?" I asked.
He seemed to take a few seconds to hear the question. "Well," he said after a brief pause, "he was apparently somehow involved with this tribe. That's how we know this much about them." That answer really surprised me. It also kind of cleared up a few things.
"Do you think this is personal for him?" I asked, starting to worry about how this would affect Evil.
"I know it is," Dad responded. "Which is why I didn't want to send him on this mission."
I was a bit reluctant to even consider going on this mission now. I didn't want to do something that might upset Evil. But it didn't seem I had a choice, and I'd rather not let Light or Time get the mission. I'm the only one that Evil would ever allow to handle this, so I had to do my best not to mess it up. "Alright, should I get going now or is there still more?" I asked before I got ahead of myself.
"That's all I can think of right now," Dad said with a smile returning to his face. "But be careful, Neutral. I'm sure there are others searching for these statues as well."
"I will Dad," I said with great confidence.
As I started to walk out of the room, Dad said, "Neutral, don't worry about what Evil will think. Just do the job I'm sending you to do, and let me handle him." He had a serious tone while saying that.
"Yes sir," I responded. You don't argue with Dad when he's that serious.
*** *** ***
I got my things packed and started heading for the door. I found Evil waiting for me in the living room.
He stood up when he saw me. "I just thought I should tell you something before you go," he said.
"What is it?" I asked.
"I just wanted to say, don't worry about my feelings," he started. "You don't need anything getting in the way of your job. Understand?"
I was really surprised when he said that. I had known him long enough that I knew firsthand how rare a conversation like this is for him to start. "I I understand," I said still a little surprised.
"Alright," he responded. "Well, good luck out there."
"Thanks," I said knowing I now had his blessing to handle this mission.
This is going to be an interesting mission. I wonder what will happen once this is done.
This could be the start of a great adventure!
TO BE CONTINUED