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The Wrong Era Chapter 3: The Forgotten Hero.

by Moalex

Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language, violence, and mature content.

“Woooaaah!” Cecilia jumped up and down trampling the chair she stood on top. She was watching a martial artist demonstrate strength and inhuman stunts on the hologen. A watch with the holographic capabilities to act as a computer and a phone all in one. Truly, it was one of the first devices that paved the way towards their technological world.

“Shh! We’re in a hospital.” said Ren. Startled, she gave Ren a guilty look and quietly sat back down in her chair.

The police arrived at the parking lot shortly after Ren had his slip of mortal coil to inspect the commotion and gunfire. They were taken to a hospital as soon as the officer on site saw the blood.

Dr. Walmsley (The orphanage’s child doctor) chuckled as he finished his check-up with Ren. “She’s such a cutie pie. Make sure you take good care of her, you hear me?” The nurse wrapped his stethoscope around his neck, and inputted some final notes into his hologen. “Y'all be good kids now, you hear? I don’t want to hear no complaints from the other patients. I’ll be back in a bit.”

“Daigo! Look!’ Cecilia pointed at the holographic video. On the screen was a blonde martial artist in a step-by-step tutorial on boxing.

“I see,” said Ren. “Do you like martial arts?”

“Yeah!” Cecilia stood up and mimic’d the stance in the video.

Ren smirked at how terrible and funny she looked. Her arms and legs were all over the place. A single kick and she’d fall over.

“You know, you can learn it too. You just have to practice a lot.”

Cecilia immediately turned her head towards Ren and let out an invigorating gasp. “Yeah! I want to learn it! I’ll practice a lot! Then I can become a hero like you!” She squealed.

“Shh!” Ren hushed again. Cecilia slapped her hands over her mouth. “Well…” he said, loathingly. “Why become a hero like me, when you can become even better?”

Air escaped Cecilia as her mouth slowly opened, and stared at her brother with longing eyes. “I want to learn from her!” She pointed at the screen across the room.

“Well, with any luck, we can find a dojo here.” Ren raised his hand in the air and pointed at the holographic screen. With a beep, and a green light, the screen zoomed in front of him, and ejected a holographic keyboard onto his lap. In this day and age, everything was created by holograms thanks to the discovery of solid photons. The examination bed that Ren rested on, the soft television in the corner of the room, the chair Cecilia sat on and the screen she was playing with- all holograms created from a solidified light. This technology however was only limited to an enclosed space. For the most part, rooms and housings usually remained blank and empty unless otherwise set by the user. Not only was this cost-effective, but the resident or guest can freely customize their stay to their style. Not only did this maximize space since you can simply delete your settings, but it meant no physical labor when moving or decorating the place.

Cecilia’s smile could not grow any larger. She jumped up and down impatiently at Ren’s bedside then climbed up to lay her head on his lap.

While Ren scoured the world wide web for a dojo in Honolulu, he asked Cecilia some questions regarding the time he was knocked out after he was shot. As he suspected, she had no idea what to do. He could not help but feel a wave of guilt flow over him. Since he never told Cecilia how to use her magic, he nearly made her suffer the death of family just like he did. It was for good reason though. He wanted to keep it a secret to prevent kidnappings like the attempt earlier. If people found out two orphans had magic, there were sure to be people to adopt them then sell them for money. Moving forward, apparently a boy appeared afterwards. Whether or not it was the boy that caused the blizzard, fingers were pointed at him. After all, Cecilia said it was only after the boy appeared that there was snow. The only physical feature that Cecilia described about him was that he had winter blue hair. He was the one that instructed Cecilia about her regeneration magic.

This put Ren on edge. Apparently this kid that magically appeared out of nowhere knew Cecilia had regeneration magic and how to use it. On top of that, he made the weather in Honolulu snow. As quickly as he appeared and taught Cecilia she could heal people, he also disappeared just as fast.

Under normal circumstances, Ren would dismiss Cecilia’s story as an accident. Chances were, her tears fell over his wound and healed him. However, the snow was more than enough proof that Cecilia didn’t simply make things up. Even then, what reason did Cecilia have to make up a story or lie?

He thought about taking extra precaution and lay down the decision to run away, but if the child had any intentions of harming them, he would have done so already. He had no idea how long that child knew about Cecilia’s magic, which was just regeneration. It was the same as just healing from a wound, except it was a thousand times faster. Her magic is possibly the most incognito magic possible, yet this child knew immediately what she was capable of.

Ren came to the conclusion that there was no need to do anything. If anything, it only gave him more things to think about.

In the meantime, he finally finished his search for a dojo in town. After scouring the world wide web, to his surprise, there was none. Articles after articles, link after link, his only successful searches were old and forgotten websites from hundreds of years ago.

His efforts weren’t entirely in vain though. Something caught his interest. All of the articles and websites that he searched all had one thing in common. A single variable that appeared no matter how specific or different he altered his search tags. A female martial artist, the one Cecilia watched earlier. Her name appeared in every single link that he clicked on. He tried to ignore it, but the amount of information on her was so overwhelming, he was able to learn about her career through quick skims.

Jennifer Reese.

No matter what, whether it was body exercise, martial arts, dojos, any physical activity his search results all some form of information on her.

Deemed the strongest human ever to exist, as well as the only person to harness the internal energy of sentient beings, Ki. Aside from her video tutorials, there were recordings of her one-sided victories in martial art tournaments. Videos of her accomplishments that were impossible for a single human. She has lifted boulders the size of an apartment, moved too quickly for human reaction to keep up, and even ended a war at the age of sixteen.

From all her success, she was bestowed the title, “Legion.”

Her fixation on martial arts and exercise was beyond anything history had to offer. She accumulated fame and wealth during her time. The wealthy paid to see her techniques up close. Scientists conducted experiments on her body in an attempt to duplicate her efforts. Fans praised and sung her achievements throughout the streets.

But at the peak of her success, she retired-at thirty nonetheless.

Ren failed to understand why she would decide to retire at such an early age. Not with the amount of sponsors that supported her hobby.

What caught his attention most was not the fact that she retired at thirty, but that she disappeared shortly after. Right after the perfection of full-dive technology too. She didn’t just disappear from the media, or moved to some unknown location, she had disappeared from the face of the Earth. No matter how long and far everyone searched, she was nowhere to be found. Satellites, infrared, DNA trackers, scent tracers- no amount of search and technology was able to locate her.

Her disappearance occurred fifteen years ago. Ten years before the Bloody Holiday calamity, the beginning of virtual reality’s dominance. Possible coincidence? Thanks to virtual reality, nobody cared for the real world anymore. WIthout a doubt, Jennifer Reese must have loved the real world the most. After all, she spent all her life pushing herself to be the strongest and acquired her social status. She climbed her way to the top of the pecking order, only for all of it to crumble into dust. Then she attempted to destroy the world that had forgotten about her that is the Bloody Holiday. Certainly a poetic tale of a hero turned villain.

Ren shook his head and clapped his cheeks. It was probably nothing more than a coincidence. Just his imagination running wild. The only thing that lined up was the dates, nothing more. After all, Jennifer was only one person. There was no way she could cause genocide at such a global scale.

“Cecilia,” Ren finally spoke.

She perked up, and rushed to Ren’s side in a crawl.

“You found one?!”

“ retired,” he said lightly.

“What’s retired?”

Ren pet Cecilia on the head, “It means she stopped practicing.”

The room fell silent, so silent, you could hear the holographic TV in the corner of the room that played the news all day at the lowest volume.

“Top story tonight, young orphaned child shot in the chest miraculously survives. Then, snowfall in Honolulu for the first time in history!”

Cecilia stood up over Ren’s legs, “I can do it !” She said all pumped up. She jabbed the air and threw a wobbly kick. “See?!”

Ren snorted amusedly.

“Then one day, when I become good enough, I can look for her and show her how good I am!”

The bed shook and bounced as Cecilia pretended to be in a fight.

The door slid open, Dr. Walmsley had returned.

“Okay little one,” Dr. Walmsley said gaily. “A few more check-ups and Ren will be free to go. Why don’t you wait outside?”

“His name--is Daigo!” Cecilia snapped with a stomp as she eyed the doctor with a sharp glare.

“She’s very assertive isn't she?” asked Dr. Walmsley as his eyes followed Cecilia out the door.

Ren smiled nervously at the doctor’s remark; he wasn’t wrong,

“I couldn’t help but overhear Cecilia get all excited about Jennifer Reese. You think she’ll become the next prodigy?” Dr. Walmsley asked with a soft chuckle at the end.

“If she does, I might just have to step up my game a little, ” said Ren. “I’m the big brother, I have to be the one protecting her, not the other way around.”

Once Dr. Walmsley finished the remaining check up, Ren hopped out of bed and rushed to the door.

“Ren!” Dr. Walmsley called to him right before he exited “I think it’s amazing how you’re taking care of your little sister. You’re much smarter, and much more mature than any other ten-year-old I’ve ever seen. But don’t forget that you, yourself, are still only a child. You should have some fun too.”

Ren smirked and left the hospital room.

Dr. Walmsley wasn’t wrong. He’s about to enter his teens in a couple years. If he didn’t enjoy his childhood now, he might not ever get the chance again. In his opinion, a small price to pay in exchange for a brighter future; for Cecilia.

That said, it didn’t mean he had no intention of having fun. He already had plans in mind. Plans in which he considered fun. It was simple. Cecilia had found someone she admired, a goal to strive towards. All he had to do was coach her, train her, yell at her, push her, and give her some juice.

Outside, Cecilia kicked her feet back and forth on a bench while watching her shoelace jerk up and down. As soon as she saw Ren, she leapt off the bench and ran up to him.

“All done?” Cecilia asked.

“All done.”

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641 Reviews

Points: 46598
Reviews: 641

Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:42 am
Panikos wrote a review...

Hiya, Moalex! Just dropping in for a quick critique. I've not read the earlier chapters of this, but I'll try and make this review as helpful as I can.

I'll tackle the criticisms first so I can end on the positives. Probably my biggest problem with this piece is that the sense of setting is really loose, and the characters' actions don't feel anchored enough. The whole scene takes place in a hospital, but you don't really give us any sensory detail to place us there. Think about how hospitals smell, and about how they're both quiet and loud all at once - you can always hear machines ticking and beeping, even when everything else is silent. Because you had so little description, I didn't really know where to place the characters. Is Ren in a bed? Sitting on some kind of examination table? Cecilia is in the room with him, but where's she sitting?

Your dialogue was also a little unclear, especially at the beginning. Here, for example:

“She’s such a cutie pie. Make sure you take good care of her, you hear me?” The nurse wrapped his stethoscope around his neck, and inputted some final notes into his hologen.

“Ya’ll be good kids now, you hear? I don’t want to hear no complaints from the other patients. I’ll be back in a bit.”

Who is saying the second bit of dialogue? Is it the nurse? If it is, you don't need to start a new line. If it's someone else speaking, tell us who.

The whole passage where you talk about Ren searching for the dojo also confused me. The discussion of the dojo and then Jennifer Reese is so extensive and detailed, I assumed that he had found this information over a long-ish period after leaving the hospital. But when the exposition finishes, he's still there. Maybe it was just a misreading on my part, but I think this comes down to the lack of setting and character description again. Does Ren find this information through his phone? Then describe it a little more. At the moment, the exposition passage feels like just that - an excuse to dump information on the reader. Try and make it feel a little more integrated with the story. Describe Ren clicking on this link, or maybe checking out different news articles, piercing information together while he waits for the doctor to come back. It's not clear enough exactly where he's getting the information from.

I definitely agree with Dreamy that it's very strange that Ren could be treated without a legal guardian present. I can tell that this story isn't set in our current society, but it seems similar enough and advanced enough that they'd have rules about this sort of thing. I don't know what situation Ren and Cecilia are in, whether they live at an orphanage or on the street, but I'm fairly certain that the hospital staff would contact the authorities in some capacity. I don't know a lot about medical laws surrounding children, but I'm fairly certain that a child's legal guardian has to consent to treatment in a lot of cases. It's something that might be worth researching. I certainly can't believe that any doctor would let a ten-year-old kid just leave the hospital on his own, especially while knowing that he's acting as a caregiver to his sister. If Dr Walmsley is as kind as he seemed, he'd be far more worried for Ren's wellbeing, not complimenting his maturity.

With regards to Ren, I was pretty surprised to learn that he was only ten. I get the sense that he's grown up very fast, but he still feels a bit too old for his years. Maybe make him seem a little more out of his depth, even if he is still stubborn and quite streetwise. Even the most mature ten-year-olds are still children, prone to naivety and misunderstandings.

That's it for my main critiques, but I do have a few little nitpicks for you:

Cecilia stood up and mimic’d the stance in the video.

The correct spelling would be 'mimicked'.

he had snow blue straight hair

But...snow isn't blue. Do you mean ice blue, by any chance?

Okie-dokie, so let's move onto the more positive side of this review. For one, I think you've got a very interesting concept on your hands. I'm intrigued by Cecilia and Ren's situation, as well as the nature of the world they live in. Judging by how you described Jennifer Reese, I'm assuming that magic is an understood part of this universe, but that it's still rare enough that Ren and Cecilia could be targeted for it. It's interesting that you mentioned virtual reality, as well - not nearly enough stories blend fantasy and sci-fi elements together, so I like that you're exploring that combination. It marks this story out from the crowd.

I also love sibling bond stories, so Ren and Cecilia's relationship intrigues me. Having a really young protagonist is an interesting move, too. I love writing from the POV of children, personally, because they come up against so much opposition to their autonomy. Children don't have their own income or residence, they're limited with regards to transport, and their rights are often deferred to whoever has custody of them. That means they come up against a lot of opposition when they try to achieve their goals. I think you should utilise that a little more. The fact that Ren was taken to hospital could be a much bigger point of tension for him, provided he doesn't want people digging into his past or alerting the authorities. At the moment, this chapter feels more transitional and expository than anything, even though the circumstances Ren has found himself in - as far as I can infer - seems like they should be pretty troublesome.

So perhaps you could make more of the whole hospital thing, to add both realism and drama to the story. Definitely focus on fleshing out the setting, too. The story seems interesting, the blend of genres unique, and the characters are in a fairly complex situation, but the story will shine if you give a little more thought to the fine details.

Keep writing! :D

Moalex says...

Hi Paniko! Thanks for the Review, will definitely go over the description of the hospital to flesh out the scenery, and work on those nitpicks.

As for everything else though, the setting and explanation are covered in previous and future explanation. Some requires just a tad of thought and theory crafting to understand, but I personally believe it's fine the way it is. As writers, our job is to provide a story, and each chapter delivers a particular message across. As I mentioned in my reply with Dreamy, there's a reason why the hospital treated the orphan siblings, and why their guardian is not there. Perhaps it isn't clear with the amount of information provided with the current or previous chapters, but not all the answers should be handed over to the reader with a golden plate and dome, right? Some things require readers to dive deeper into the story to understand, some things are revealed in future chapters, and some requires you to piece information from every chapter. All of your questions are natural and expected. After all, you came across a single chapter in the middle section of a story.

Moalex says...

Ah right, as to your question about the hair color. I was thinking something like a winter or aurora blue? I searched up "snow blue" to see if there was an actual color like that, and there was so I settled on snow blue.

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381 Reviews

Points: 17598
Reviews: 381

Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:38 am
Dreamy wrote a review...

Hey, Moalex! Dreamy here for another short review.

I had mentioned in my last review how much the transition from one chapter to another suits the narration, i.e. each chapter has it's own beginning, not picking up exactly where we left off previously, like an episode of a TV series, ya? See, here, it doesn't work very well.

The siblings are really young so as a reader I would like to see how they checked themselves into a hospital. I understand that they are living in different "era" but I do believe there would be certain aspects that will remain the same. Like, if two underage kids come and check themselves in a hospital, wouldn't the hospital staffs or officials notify the adoption centre. I know I'm nitpicking a very technical aspect of a fiction world but I believe it's important.

Dr. Walmsley seems like a good person and it appears that the Doctor knows the siblings but I don't know how they know each other or from where so I think it'd be a good reason and a place to freshen up the memory with regards to Doctor to the readers. And even if the Doctor was just nice as a protocol or something, it wouldn't hurt to mention that either.

Those are the only two things I had trouble with. And Jennifer and Blue haired boy, ohhh, new characters. I can't wait to see what they do.

And there were some really simple nitpicks:

There wasone thing that his search all had in common though

"was one" For a second there, I thought it was a word and was wondering what it meant. LOL

No matter what, whether it was body exercise, martial arts, dojos, any physical activity to be honest, his search results all lead to her.

I believe it's " led to her"

Just his imagination run wild.

Running wild.

That's all. Can't wait to read more of this. Keep up the good work.


Moalex says...

Hi Dreamy! Thanks for pointing out some nitpicks. Definitely going back to fix them up. In this case, would you suggest that this chapter be merged with the previous chapter since the timeskip is short? Or a brief introduction to how they end up in the hospital?

Dreamy says...

Hey, Moalex! I wouldn%u2019t change anything about the previous chapter, it%u2019s perfect the way it is. It had a good ending. So I%u2019d suggest you to include a brief introduction of how they end up in the hospital, like%u2014 did they walk or hitchhiked, the conversation they have with the receptionist and the doctor. And how they explain their injury. Might seem like a bit too much to keep it brief but we have to work around it.

Moalex says...

Understood. However, brief descriptions means keeping it as simple as possible. I've already included a single paragraph of a "simple" and brief description of what happened between the hospital and the incident, so hopefully that makes things flow a bit.

Dreamy says...

Yes, I was wondering how you will fit all in but this works as well. But! Since you have introduced the police you cannot keep it that simple! What about the nanny? One thing I%u2019m know about her is that she IS not a big fan of the siblings. So it%u2019s obvious she will make an appearance in the hospital and make a scene.

Moalex says...

Indeed, Nanny is not a big fan of them. She couldn't care less about what happened to the siblings. If she actually appeared to make a scene, it's showing that she cares enough about them to make see that they're still alive.

This and the previous chapter is to not only introduce Cecilia's and Ren's future ambitions and what drives them, but to show that they are alone in this world, and that they have to fend for themselves. Nanny may be their guardian in name, but the fact that she starves them for fighting with the bullies, and permits small children to leave at night to scrounge the streets shows that she couldn't care less if they got kidnapped, killed, or worse.

The reason why she doesn't make an appearance even though the police became involved, is because (as you can guess) she refuses to take responsibility for them. Should she be fired as the matron? Absolutely. Why hasn't she been replaced yet? Well, that's a puzzle left for the reader to piece together when trying to understand the condition of society in this era.

Man is by nature a political animal.
— Aristotle