Chapter 08 – S
As the car drives by the road, my mind keeps on pondering about what exactly we are going to do when we get to our destination. I know I made everything we had to do sounds very simple last night. But when putting it into an action plan, I still have no idea how we are going achieve any of those goals.
We do not have a single clue on where to look for the other Zodiac Angels.
We don’t even know when the Ophiucus’s servants are going to strike or how severe the invasion is going to be. And more importantly, my mom and I won’t be able to destroy Nebula Corp just by ourselves.
So when you really think about, the most important thing we have to do right now is to look for other Zodiac Angels. But then that takes us back to our first problem: where and how are we going to look for them?
“Okay. We are now entering the boundaries of Grand Central,” mom spoke up as she drives the car passes the huge billboard saying ‘Welcome to Grand Central’. My mind snaps off from the daydream and embraces the views of the city’s grandeur.
Grand Central is the second largest city on Athenia, with the Great Constella located up north being the largest. The city is circle shaped, approximately 50 kilometers in radius, fenced with a seven meters high iron wall. The populace and vehicles fill the streets, making this a very busy city. From what I heard, this city has a strict area division much like Galaxia. Right now, we entered the city through the west gate, heading straight into the Recreational Area. The buildings on this area are not as tall as the ones in the business area, which can be seen from here even though it is on the completely opposite side.
Although this city is a lot bigger than Galaxia City, I’m not really that overwhelmed by the scenery to be honest. You can see a similar view of people walking all over the place in Galaxia City too. The only difference as far as I’ve seen now is bigger skywalk and pavement, making it easier for people to move around without bumping each other.
“Wanna walk around the city?” mom asked.
“Oh? I don’t know… Shouldn’t we hurry to our destination?”
“There are some data in the archives of the Grand Central University that I want to have a look – both for my class lectures and for our personal research,” mom explained, “I’ll be visiting the archives for a bit. You can walk around the city in the meanwhile. I don’t want to bore you out while waiting for me.”
“Hm…Okay then. I heard the Universal Mall is having its grand mid-year sales right now.”
“Shopping, huh? I thought we’re gonna do that together later on,” mom teased.
“Nah. You can come over to the mall after you’re done. I’ll scout out the price for you while waiting,” I laughed.
“Okay then. Don’t go on a spree before me.”
After that, mom pulls the car over to the side of the road, dropping me near the staircase leading up to the Nebula Sky Train. As the name suggests, it’s a public transportation system of this city, contributed by our good old Nebula Corporation. Since the Nebula Corp is deemed as an evil monopoly in the business world, they do many Corporate Social Responsibilities in order to clean up any possible stain on their company’s image. And it worked pretty well. Many of the cities’ technological advances on Athenia nowadays are possible thanks to Nebula Corp’s Architect and Engineering team.
I heard that almost all of the honor students who finished Architect and Engineering schools from all over Athenia join the Nebula Corp after they graduated. With all the top bright people working for the company, it is no surprise that the Nebula Corp has such a powerful team.
“I’ll be going to the university now. I’ll call you when I’m done,” mom told me as I got down from the car.
“Got it,” I said, hanging the Leonis Staff to the strap on my belt.
“It’s a big city with eyes of the public all over the place. Nebula Corp probably won’t do anything rash here. But even so, Sophia, take care of yourself. Don’t go into any isolated areas,” mom warned me with care.
“Haha. I’ve learned my lesson from the desolated railways at home.” I chuckled.
“Well then. See you later.”
“Bye.” I close the car’s door and let mom drives the car away.
After a couple of stretch ups, I jog up the station’s stairs leisurely, unlike late mornings when I am late for class. I buy a ticket and board the sky train that heads straight into the center of the recreational area.
The Universal Mall is well known for its wide selection of premium brand name items. Since Grand Central is a city located in the middle of the continent, it is only logical that its mall becomes a huge pool of products from all around the place. I’ve always wanted to come shopping here for the heck of it, but since the selection of items that I want is really not that different from what is offered in Galaxia City’s mall, my attitude towards the place is more along the lines of ‘I wouldn’t mind going if I have the chance’ rather than ‘I have to go there or I won’t die peacefully!!!’
About ten minutes later, the train finally reaches my destination. I hop down the staircase and exit the station into the big fountain square that connects the train station and the mall. The white limestone tiles spread across the square, leaving only the circular area of the fountain where water shoots up into the air unpaved. Many people, mostly teenagers, are walking all over the place. Some are hanging out with their friends, while some are waiting either for their friends or their dates.
Thankfully, this place is a lot wider and bigger than the malls in Galaxia City, so I don’t have to be afraid of bumping into other people.
While I am strolling around the square, I feel a slight vibration on my chest. I am pretty sure it is not the pulse of my heart because when I trained my powers with mom, it feels kind of different.
So what could be vibrating there?
After some examinations, I found that the source of the vibration is none other than the Connection Pendant hanging around my neck. Lifting it up in my hands, the vibration becomes apparent and I could see a pale light radiating from it.
“What’s going on?” I mumbled to myself while looking at the pendant.
All of the sudden, the skies darken and the whole city immediately becomes covered in darkness. The huge television screen hanging on top of the mall’s building suddenly shuts down and the fountain stops shooting water. Strangely enough, the streetlights are also not working even though they are supposed to light up the instant sunlight becomes absent. Normally, I’d freak out and immediately look at the sky. But with how the eclipse recently becomes so frequent, I am no longer surprised by the sudden darkness. However, I am more surprised by the fact that the electricity is cut off right at the same time as the eclipse.
With everything covered in darkness like this, the light glowing from the pendant becomes even more apparent.
Why is it glowing and vibrating now?
It has never react like this before, even when I initiated the Zodiac Link or when I was caught by those men.
I stand there wondering about it while waiting for the eclipse to pass. The pendant constantly vibrates, showing no sign of stopping at all.
After a while, a loud noise, presumably some kind of an explosion, was heard from the east side of this square, giving me a jump.
What was that?
Did the power generator explode or something?
The darkness soon fades away and the sun shines down onto the city again. However, something else appears in the middle of the blue sky on the same direction where the explosion earlier came from – a huge cluster of dark fog resembling an ominous dimensional hole.
“What in the world is that?”
I heard a teenager next to me uttering to his friends while pointing to the ominous cluster of dark fog in the sky.
Suddenly, the huge television screen hanging on the walls of the mall starts emitting static, attracting attention from everyone in the square. Intense anxiety covers the whole place and the chattering from the people around me becomes louder.
Ominous dark fog in the sky.
Lights going out.
And the huge television slowly emitting static.
With all of these things happening at the same time, I have to say that I am about to freak out really bad.
After a while, the static disappears, and instead, the television broadcasts a footage, showing a certain street intersection, presumably somewhere within this city. A huge hole with smoke floating up can be seen in the middle of the huge intersection. All cars in the area are stuck, unable to move since the road in front of them is completely thrashed.
The footage slowly zooms closer to the hole. As the smoke fades, a mysterious humanoid figure can be seen kneeling down in the middle of the hole. More people start gathering around that hole, curious about what is going on. The figure in the middle of the hole slowly stands up and looks around him. Despite standing on two legs like a normal person, this figure has pale blue skin and a pair of long pointy ears. He wears a golden chest plate, covering his long dark robe that stretches to the ground. His right hand tightly grips a long black metallic rod with a huge transparent diamond attached on the top.
Who is he…?
No…What is he?
“Heed my words, humans!” The figure announces with a loud threatening voice that echoes across the whole city. “My name is Rasalhague. I am the humbled servant of the great Zodiac Angel of Ophiucus. I bare an important message from my lady!”
Zodiac Angel of Ophiucus?!
“My lady has long observed your kind ever since the beginning of time. She, along with the other 12 angels, created the very fabrication all of you perceived. But your kinds are nothing but a bunch of fools! You waged war against each other, fighting for the very blessing my lady and her colleague had given to all of you!”
The crowd becomes restless and starts yelling back at the man in the middle of the hole.
“She had long waited and gave all of the time for you worthless fools to prove your worth. But time has passed and my lady has finally lost her patience. Your kinds are fools, blinded by insatiable greed. Your bottomless desires are disgusting and repulsive!! It has been decided once again: your kind shall be put to an extinction!”
Blood drains from my face as I listen to the cruel verdict.
Mom and I knew that all of this would happen.
But this is a lot sooner that we expected…
Is our world really coming to an end?