Character Profile 3: Ash Xaiden

Every story I write always contains multiple protagonists and antagonists. However in this series, the character of Ash Xaiden should be considered the main “Hero.” In the current format I have set up with the first book, Ash is introduced after the first part of the book (the first 7 chapters tells a short story of special events that took place 15 years in the past of the main story). On a quick side note, I am mulling over ideas in my head to possibly change the current set up of the book. I will go into that another time.

Ash grew up in a small home with his Uncle Hal in a rather large forest on the planet Tornah. There he learned the trade of the Hunters. On Tornah, technology was used only as a necessity. Consequently, the people there lived relatively simple lives. Although most of the indiginous life on the world was docile, there existed many fierce creatures that (if left unchecked) would threaten the safety of the citizens. The Hunters protected the people from these threats while at the same time provided the towns food from the game they hunted. It required a great degree of skill if the Hunter was to defeat these creatures.

Early on, Ash demonstrated a skill for tracking, survival, and swordsmanship. While many hunters would set traps or kill from a distance, Ash lured his prey out and usually fought them head on with a sword clutched in his hand. His patience was unmatched and his strength a site to behold.

While hunting brought a certain degree of fulfillment to his life, Ash had dreams that could not come to fruition on Tornah. Ash’s one desire was to travel to Niceria (the planet capital of the United Nicerian Republic of which Tornah was a part) and join the Nicerian Elite Force. This mercenary/protection group fought as a private entity to protect Niceria, the UNR, and her allies. Ever since he was a boy, Ash had dreamed of traveling the galaxy and becoming a hero.

At the start of the book, Ash is finally getting ready to leave Tornah for the NEF Academy. Timing, however, will prove to be a hindrance as the galaxy inches ever closer to a conflict that will threaten to engulf all life in utter darkness. Many heroes will be called upon to help stem the tide. Only one can bring an end to the destruction. Where will Ash Xaiden, the Hunter from Tornah, find his place? What role will he play?

Are you interested to learn more about Ash Xaiden? Well, I am mulling some things over that may allow me to give out a lot more information on this character in the near future. I hope you are as excited about this as I am! Thanks for reading! I know these are kind of short, but I don’t want to give too much away. If you are interested in the book, let me know! I want to hear lots of feedback!

Until next time!

Making Dramatic Changes: My Subconscious Cure All

I want to back things up a bit. Before I started evaluating the premise and setting of the story and posting the chapter and character profiles, I had been talking about my life as I took time to write this story. I would like to pick back up where I had left off. On my post “A Dark Place in Life” I mentioned how I got a job right after I had completed the first full draft of Katsukami.

During the rest of that year, things got a little better. I was making money and life was not being too harsh to me anymore. My life wasn’t taking any leaps forward, but I wasn’t necessarily losing ground either. I became content, complacent, stagnant. It’s been said that there is no such thing as “standing still” in life. You are either moving forward or you are moving backward. Allowing one self to stay comfortable without making any effort to better themselves only brings about negative habits of laziness and complacency.

Lucky for me, I realized this was happening before it got too carried away.

For more than six months, I worked and made money. I tried to work on my second book as well. On a roll after completing my first book, I immediately jumped into the first part of book 2. Within a matter of weeks, I finished a quarter of the story and had all but completed a very specific outline of the rest. I had the feeling that I was on fire.

New Years 2008

I don’t know why. I was fine. I was doing ok and my story was well on its way. So, why did a sudden depression overcome my mind and force me to rethink my place in life? For whatever reason, every new year I always automatically review everything that has happened to me – not just over the previous year either. On every January 1, I look over my life as a whole. I step out of my little bubble and ponder the places I have been, the people I have met, the actions I have taken, the roads I have walked, and (most importantly) the direction I am going. If, for whatever reason, the evaluation of myself is in anyway NOT good, I change directions. The change is not small in any way. Once I come to this conclusion, I begin taking steps that lead me to a dramatic change before the end of that year.

For example:

January 1, 2005 – I was in college and things were happening all around me that made me rethink the direction my life was going. During this time, I was spending my time at college pretty much year round. I would sometimes visit home on holidays, but typically I stayed at my dorm room, even when school was out. I just worked for the school doing whatever they needed and paid rent. New Years 2005 was the first time my New Years Evaluation occurred and I attempted to ignore it. The issues I was struggling with ate at me until I could not deal with it anymore. My mind became clouded. My attitude became irritable. The people I looked up to started appearing useless to me. Still, I fought against my mind. I wanted to complete my degree and nothing was going to stop me. Eight months later, I left. Literally, I made the decision to give in and was gone in 24 hours. Back to Michigan to start over.

It was happening again.

This time, I didn’t fight. The conclusion I came to after the evaluation of my life was one that shocked not only the people around me, but myself as well. I was joining the military. No one who knew me well believed a word I said when I told them of my decision. The girl I was seeing left shortly thereafter but, I really didn’t mind. Let me rephrase that, I cared for sure. I just could not stop the path I had decided to follow. I knew there would be drastic consequences. So I allowed them to happen without much struggle. My friends and family all said things like “Oh, that’s great!” but, deep down, none of them believed I would do it.

“You’re just not a military type of guy.”

In July 2008, I officially swore in to the Air Force and would leave for basic training in November. Just before I left, I mean literally the day before, I remembered something I had put on the back burner for the last (very) quick months. My story…

I let it slip. I would read it every now and then between January and when I left for Texas in November, but I really didn’t write much that entire year. It was too late now. The free time I would have (or lack thereof) over then next several months would hinder me from moving forward on my writing. It was something with which I just had to come to terms. However, the moment I stepped on that plane that would take me to San Antonio, I vowed that my story was not over. I would not just let it slip through the cracks. One day, I would pick up the pen again and keep writing. Even if it was years later…

Turns out that would not be too far from the truth. My life was changing drastically and I would soon find out how little time I had. Would I ever make the time to pick the pen up again and press forward with my story? Would the changes I made to my life prove successful or did I just waste my time? Those are questions we can look into another day. Thanks for reading! I will be back here soon!

Until next time!

Character Profile 2: Steen

In the chapter I posted earlier, we saw two main characters introduced. The first, Katsukami, already was given a character profile so I thought it best to give the second post on Character Profiles to Steen. This character is one of my favorites and I hope my readers will see the greatness in him as well.

A little background on Steen will not provide much information at all about his personality. As a member of the Vasteen Royal Guard, Steen gave up his past life in order to fully serve King Belfrus Efrendiel – the ruler of the Kingdom of Vastar. Members who make the choice to join the Royal Guard go through a memory wiping process that completely erases family, childhood, friends, and any other previous attachment from their mind. Steen’s first memory was of waking up on an operating table, being rushed into a small room with others like him, and beginning the year long, strenuous Royal Guard training.

Very shortly after completing the training, Steen and his comrades are immediately issued an assignment to bring a stop to the murderous actions of the deranged Katsukami. When the menace strikes a tourist city one of Vastar’s moons, Langrin, Steen was immediately summoned to a briefing with Major Starg, the highest ranking official in the Royal Guards. During the brief, Steen along with other members were presented with an interesting development. Katsukami wanted a meeting. After wiping out the city of life, Katsukami left behind a voice recording requesting a meeting with one individual to discuss terms on how to save the galaxy. The major sought to use the opportunity to set a trap for the beast, but Steen saw truth behind the words on the recording. After an argument with the major, the King himself stepped in and granted Steen his request. Steen alone would go to Langrin and meet with Katsukami. His mission: to gather the necessary information in order to bring an end to Katsukami’s wave of destruction.

The chapter I presented in my last post picks up where this leaves off. I encourage you to read the chapter if you are interested in what happens next!

I would like to take this opportunity to reveal a little something about the books in this series. Katsukami and all sequals will be split into 3 parts each. Parts 2 and 3 cover what is happening in the “present day” of the story. Part 1, on the other hand, covers a portion of the past that allows the reader to gather clues as to how everything in this supernatural fantasy began. The chapter I revealed before as well as the information I gave in this post occurs in the first part of book 1: Katsukami. I have been thinking greatly on releasing the entire first part of my book on my blog if I can gather enough interest!

Are you interested? Well spread the word! Direct your friends to my blog and (more importantly) my Facebook page! The Facebook page will have links to all posts on my blog as well as other information about the book that you will not see here!

Thank you all for reading! I am extremely grateful to all the support I have seen thus far.

Until next time!

As Promised: A Chapter from Katsukami!

Well, everyone, we did it! My Facebook page was able to make the 25 like goal before the end of Friday! Awesome! So, as promised, I am releasing a chapter from the first book in the Nicerian Chronicles series “Katsukami!” I hope you all enjoy it! This chapter follows one of the protagonists of the story, Steen, as he comes face to face with Katsukami. For some reason, the psychotic superhuman Katsukami has requested a meeting with one man from the elite Royal Guard of Vastar in order to discuss a way to “save the galaxy.” Enjoy!

____________________________

Langrin, third moon of Vastar, was not necessarily a place that most people wanted to live. Visiting, however, was a different story. Children and adults alike would come to Langrin for vacation, to get away from life, or just for fun and relaxation. The attractions of Langrin were famous throughout the entire galaxy. In one short moment, however, their reputation changed. An estimated 18% of the population of Langrin, including tourists, was slaughtered for no reason. This was enough to drive even the most devout customers away. No one wanted to be there – except Steen.

Ironic, Steen thought.

The evening before he was scheduled to head into the site of the last massacre, Steen stayed in a small town on the other side of the moon. To his surprise, many of the people did not even know much about the recent tragedy. There was no hiding in fear, no worrying about a possible strike. In fact, there were more people who had not even heard about the travesty than those that had.

It is amazing how little people care about the world around them, Steen thought sadly. So many people caught up in their own little worlds, completely oblivious to the events going on around them.

The major had told him it would be best to accomplish the mission at night, so Steen decided to leave for the meeting site early in the day – when the sun was nearing its highest. He timed it so that, when he arrived on the other side, he would still have several hours of darkness. By air transport, Steen could make it to the other side of the planet in two standard hours.

When Steen woke up early the day of the meeting, he began his preparations. All during that time, he could not stop kicking himself for the way he stood up to the major. He knew he was lucky that the king came in when he did; but that did not take away the displeasure he knew the major felt toward him.

I know I would not be pleased if one of my subordinates questioned me so blatantly in front of the king, he thought. Oh well. Nothing I can do about it now save to make the best of the situation.

After a couple of hours preparing mentally for what he was about to do, he called the major. “Sir, Lieutenant Steen reports as ordered,” Steen said once Starg answered his transmission.

“Are you set to go, Steen?” the major asked.

“Yes, sir,” he answered, pouring as much confidence into his voice as he could muster.

“Good. Now, don’t do anything stupid. If the situation changes for the worst, at the very least, do your best to escape with your life. Understand?”

“Yes, sir,” Steen answered.

“Report to me as soon as the mission is accomplished.”

“I will, sir,” Steen said, then ended the call.

Major Starg seemed to be in a better mood, Steen observed. It’s good to see that he’s come around. I really didn’t like the idea of being alone in this.

Steen looked at the time and stood to his feet. Time to go.

 

_________________________

 

As soon as the transmission with Steen had ended, Major Starg turned to Captain Griffon. “Activate imaging.”

Griffon pressed a few buttons on his computer. An image of the meeting site came up on the display. “Images are now online.”

Starg nodded. “Good. You are sure these recorders can’t be seen.”

Griffon nodded. “Yes, sir. They are too small to be seen with the naked eye and can be completely controlled from here. You just tell me a place, and I’ll give you any view you want.”

“Very good. Let me know the second Steen’s ship arrives in the area,” Starg commanded.

“Absolutely. If you don’t mind me asking, though, why? What are we watching for?”

The major smiled. “There is no way I’m going to let an opportunity to kill that bastard slip out of my hands. I have men waiting just miles from the city. I will be ordering them to converge on the meeting point as soon as Steen arrives.”

The captain frowned. “Are you saying that you are still sticking with your original plan? You’re using Steen as bait.”

“Yes,” Starg confirmed. “Steen will go in thinking he’s completely alone. Who knows? Maybe he’ll get some information before my men pump that Katsukami full of metal.”

“With all due respect,” Griffon began, “this is not a good idea.”

Starg looked Griffon in the eye. “Your opinion has been noted.”

As the major turned to leave, Griffon stood and followed. “Sir, you are going against the king’s orders. You should call your men off completely.”

Starg turned around. “Captain, if this works, the galaxy will be rid of that demon and you will have helped to accomplish that task. I’m sure you may be looking at a promotion.”

Griffon could not mask the look of disgust on his face. “Bribery does not become you, sir. As for the promotion, I will be more than happy to take your job when I inform the king of your disobedience.”

As Griffon turned to leave, the major pulled out a small stun baton and buried it into Griffon’s back. The captain let out a small yelp and then fell to the ground – out cold.

“I’m sorry, Griffon, I can’t let you do that. You don’t understand my position. That beast killed my wife and child. For that, he will pay.”

The general sat down at Griffon’s desk and looked over the controls. “Now, how do you work this thing?”

 

_________________________

 

“This is Steen of the Royal Guard. I am requesting access into the Restricted Zone by order of the king. Pass code is 77-bravo-68-golf-0-niner. Over,” Steen said as he flew his transport ever closer to the city. Due to the severity of the situation, the entire area around the city had been put under restriction. Electrical fences had been erected and an all day – all night guard had been put in place. As far as Steen knew, everything had been left exactly the way it was when it was found.

“Permission granted, Lieutenant Steen. Advise you proceed with caution.”

“Will do,” Steen said back. “Over and out.”

After a few passes above the city, Steen set the craft down in the center of town. Leaving the ship on standby, he exited the craft and stepped out into the night. All the city lights had been turned off and it was quite a bit darker than he had imagined it would be. Good thing I brought a light. He reached into his pocket, pulled out a small flashlight, and turned it on.

What he saw nearly dropped him to his knees.

The sight was horrific to say the very least. Bodies, some intact – some in pieces, were strewn all over the ground for as far as Steen could see. Looks of terror covered the faces of the dead. He saw mothers holding their dead babies, husbands reaching for their wives. It was reminiscent of a horrid nightmare.

“Not exactly a pretty sight is it?” a voice said from behind him.

Steen quickly turned, hand on his sidearm. “Who’s there?” Steen saw a silhouette of a man standing not five meters in front of him. Due to the darkness, Steen could not make out his face, and he decided it was best not to shine his light at him either.

“That is really a stupid question seeing as you know exactly who I am. Why do people always ask so many questions of which they know the answers?” Katsukami said.

Steen took a deep breath. “You’re right. I do know who you are and no, this is not a ‘pretty sight’.”

Katsukami stepped closer so Steen was able to see with whom he was speaking. He was more than two meters tall, had long dark hair, and had a strength that was not so much shown physically but was like an aura of power that seeped out of his being. His eyes carried a crimson look that Steen had never seen before. A small, out of place smile lingered on his lips. “Imagine having to wake up every morning and see this knowing you are the one who did it. It kind of makes a man wish he were dead.”

Steen was slightly confused. “I’m assuming you are talking about yourself.”

Katsukami nodded. “Very perceptive of you. I don’t expect you to believe me but, yes, I am referring to myself.”

Steen gave him a sideways look. “So what you’re telling me is that you black out?”

The man chuckled. “To put it crudely, yes. I am assuming you want to know why I asked you to come.”

Steen nodded. “Very perceptive of you.”

“I want to die,” Katsukami said plainly. This, of course, took Steen of guard.

“Die?”

“It is the only way to save the galaxy,” Katsukami said matter-of-factly. “As long as I am alive, Kyosora is in grave danger.

“Why don’t you just…um…?” Steen was not sure if he should ask.

“Kill myself?” Steen nodded and Katsukami shrugged. “Do not think I have not tried. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to accomplish that one small task. Every time I’ve tried to commit suicide, I ‘black out’ as you say. If I was to ask you to kill me now, I would slip into a completely instinctive mode. Most likely, you would wind up dead.”

Steen shuddered. “I would really like us to avoid that if at all possible. I don’t exactly share your thoughts on the whole death thing.”

A smile crossed Katsukami’s face. “I would not expect you to share my suicidal sentiments. The reason I have requested your presence here is because I believe there may be a way to outsmart me.”

Steen thought for a moment. “You mean make it so that every possible situation that you find yourself in would end in death.”

Katsukami nodded. “Exactly. I want to tell you all of my abilities and thought processes. With all the information I give you, along with as much firepower this galaxy can muster, there is a chance you could bring me down. Even when I am no longer myself, I know that is my goal – to end it all.”

If this guy’s telling the truth, Steen thought, he could go off at any moment. Steen decided to try to gather some information. “Why the Kondors? What is your reason for killing Markus, his son and grandson?”

Katsukami paused for a moment and then nodded. “That almost requires a history lesson. Seeing as we have some time, though, I do not see the harm in telling you.”

Finally, Steen thought. This might be exactly what the galaxy needs to know. “Please, tell me. I’m sure this will add light to our situation.”

Katsukami opened his mouth to speak and then stopped as if something distracted him. He shook his head and began to laugh. His laughter grew and Steen’s confusion began to grow along with it. Katsukami bowed his head as he continued to chuckle to himself.

“What’s wrong?” Steen asked.

Sharply, Katsukami raised his head and looked into Steen’s eyes. Steen was surprised when he saw that, now, Katsukami’s eyes were completely black. The red color his eyes previously shown was no more. When he spoke, his voice carried a much darker, more eerie tone. “It appears you are not alone.” Then he was gone. He just vanished.

Not a few seconds later, Steen heard what sounded like screams of pain coming from all directions. Sounds of rifle fire sounded for a few seconds and then silence. What the heck is going on? Steen wondered.

Just as suddenly as he had vanished, Katsukami reappeared with his sword drawn, pointing it at Steen’s face. Steen was completely dumbfounded.

“Katsukami, what happened?” he asked, mustering all the calmness he could find within himself.

“As I said earlier, you were not alone,” the man said through clenched teeth.

Steen caught Katsukami’s past tense verbiage. That was when Steen noticed the blood dripping off the man’s sword. Steen closed his eyes and shook his head. Starg. “I swear to you,” Steen told the swordsman. “I knew nothing about treachery.”

Katsukami nodded. “I am fully aware of this fact, human. You are quite lucky that you still live. Tell me your name.”

Steen swallowed hard. “My name is Steen, soldier of the Royal Guard of Vastar.”

A sinister smile crossed Katsukami’s face. “We are still going to want to die, Steen, soldier of the Royal Guard of Vastar. We will meet again.” Katsukami sheathed his sword and Steen began to breathe again. “When we do, you had best kill us. Else wise, you will suffer the consequences.”

“I will,” Steen promised. Katsukami was gone before Steen finished speaking, leaving the Vasteen guard standing in the city square alone.

Steen closed his eyes, and tried to process what had just happened. What did he mean by ‘we’ and ‘us’? When he changed, it was almost as if he became a totally different person. He reached into his pocket, pulled out a small, metal cylinder, and ended the recording. Everything that had occurred was now on audio record. I must get this information to the king immediately.

Making sure not to step on any of the numerous dead bodies, Steen made his way back to his ship and on toward Vastar.

 

_________________________

 

Major Starg stared at the monitor in utter disbelief. He had never even considered the possibility of failure. Under pretence of peace, the monster that had killed his family was set up for the same fate. It was a flawless plan. “How?” was all he could keep asking out loud. Now, he knew he stood to lose everything.

Twenty-one men he had sent in to kill Katsukami. Not one of them would come home ever again. It was too much of a burden to bear. “How did he…?”

The major turned around in his chair to see that Captain Griffon no longer lay where he had stunned him. He has probably already made it to the king’s chambers by now. It will only be a matter of time, he thought in dismay.

Starg reached down at his belt and pulled out his sidearm. In less than ten seconds, that thing made it to every one of my men’s positions, which were hundreds of meters apart. How? What are we dealing with? He smiled as he put the gun to the side of his head. No. I’m not dealing with this anymore.

Good luck, Vastar. Good luck, Kyosora. He pulled the trigger.

 

Character Profile Number 1: Katsukami

Who better to begin my character profiles on than the one who’s name is also the title of the first book? The primary antagonist of the story, Katsukami is complicated and full of mystery. When the reader first opens the book, they see a man of unimaginable power with sanity long ago broken. Seemingly driven by an unquenchable desire for vengeance, the once “Savior of Kyosora” is first shown as a killer on rampage. Superhuman strength, speed that renders him invisible to the naked eye, and other assorted supernatural powers make this man/demon a formidable foe indeed.

Leading up to this story, Katsukami was once known as Katsuro. He first made his public appearance when he joined the Nicerian Elite Force (an organization of mercenaries whose sole purpose is to protect their homeworld Niceria and her allies). During a difficult conflict with the Nicerians long time enemies, the Vorax, Katsuro took charge and showed the galaxy a power they had not seen since ancient times when Angels and Demons roamed amongst the humans. Successfully driving back the Vorax onslaught with naught but a sword, Katsuro became the Savior of the galaxy.

His victory saved billions of lives and brought a quick end to the conflict. Numerous government officials from worlds great and small sought to meet him and plead for his protection. He was an icon; or, probably better put, he was an idol. Yes, there were even people that thought he was a messenger from heaven or even a god himself. He single handedly brought peace to humanity.

Then, he disappeared.

No one knew what happened. Some said he went back to heaven. Others said he desired to be alone to relieve himself from all the attention. Others still claimed he had hid himself and would only appear again when the galaxy needed him.

No one ever could have expected the suffering and agony that befell him. What could have possibly happened that could cause the “Savior of Kyosora” to become such a ruthless psychopath? What changed him?

That answer and so much more is found in the Nicerian Chronicles. Book 1, Katsukami, will show the reader who he is: an insane, ruthless killer who seeks vengeance against the one who made him. So many innocent people who lie in his path are cut down. No one is safe.

Suffering has a name. Katsukami. And he is coming.

Only 4 more days to go!

Hello, everyone! It’s almost Friday and we are getting closer to our goal of 25 likes on my Facebook page! I know I have more than 25 people reading my blog, but I wanted to build popularity and have a large enough audience when I release the chapter I have chosen to let all of you read!

I have spent the last several days trying to choose the best chapter to use as a sample for my book, and I have almost made my final decision!

Last Friday, I started pushing for likes to my Facebook page in order to raise awareness of my two blogs and also to get an idea of people who were interested to read my book. I know my audience is kinda low right now, but that’s ok! In just a few days, my page went from 15  to 21 likes so it is very possible to reach this easy goal!

I know there are many of you that read my blog that are not active on Facebook and I am keeping that in mind. However, if any of you can help me out, go ahead and click like on the widget on the right! Let’s reach this goal!

Thanks so much!

Who’s Interested to Catch a Glimpse of My Book?

This one will be short, but sweet.
I started an event on my Facebook page to try and boost a little popularity! If my Facebook page (not my personal one, but the one created to promote my blogs) can surpass 25 likes by October 19 then I will post on here an entire chapter of my book for your viewing pleasure!
Feel free to jump on board! Click like on the Facebook widget to the right or head on over to my page and like it there! All of my followers have been very supportive so far and I really appreciate it.

Again, 25 likes on my Facebook page and I will post up a chapter of “Katsukami”!