Chapter Three

                  The following day was Monday and Mia’s mother had woken early to call the school and explain that Mia would not be back until after the memorial service.  The police had explained that they would not be able to release Mia’s father’s body until after the investigation into the plane crash so Mia sat on her bed, staring into thin air, wondering what she was meant to do now?

                     Mia desperately needed something to do, something to take her mind everything, she had text a friend of hers, a local boy named Danny, and asked him to bring her some school work back for her, till then she would have to try and distract herself.  She thumbed through the teen magazines her mother had brought her back from the shops, it was strange how the celebrity gossip and fashion pages she usually loved reading, seemed unimportant and fruitless now.

                     Skipping page by page, Mia flicked the centre pages, some advert, then, stopped, she flicked back something had caught her eye, something familiar.  As she looked at the advert, she recognised the name of the product, a computer game called, Battle Lore.  Mia looked down at the picture, a small boy standing in front of a giant castle and draw bridge.  She scanned the image carefully, trying to take in more detail, she was sure she had seen that castle before, and she was fairly sure she knew where.

                      Mia climbed off her bed and went to her desk, switched on her computer and waited for the modem to connect to the internet.  As soon as she was on, Mia searched Battle Lore, there thousands of results, Latest Game News, New Downloadable Content, Wikipedia Definition, and then, at the very bottom of the first screen of results, Download and play now, free trial for 30 days.  Mia clicked the link and waited, a few seconds passed, then, a new screen appeared, it was the same image as the advert in the magazine.

                            Several options were listed down on side of the screen, New Game, Continue, Options, Bastian’s Quest, Free Trial, Mia felt her heart beat quicken slightly at the name, Bastian.  She clicked the option and waited again, a black screen loaded but nothing else so she checked the loading time display at the bottom of her screen, ‘Done’,

“That can’t be right, there’s nothing there? Mia sighed as she stared at the blank screen,

“Hello Mia”

Mia jumped so high, she nearly fell off her chair.  The screen remained blank,

“Hello?” she asked the screen, feeling very foolish,

“Mia?” asked the voice again,

“Yes, I’m here?” she replied,

“Mia, listen to me for we do not have much time, I’m sorry about your father, we all are, but we need your help” the male voice sounded rushed and nervous,

“Who are you?” she asked the disembodied voice,

“It is I, Bastian, we have met, you are having trouble remembering me, I expect, that is the effect of the dream magic, but I cannot explain now, Mia, I must be quick before I am discovered using this gateway to you”

“Discovered by whom?”

“Mia please, I really must hurry, just please listen to what I have to say, you must find a way back here, the powers I and the rest of the fair have used to bring you to us in your sleep is too weak to work again, if you are to reach us you must find another gateway, and reach us you must, there is only one way back we know of”

“What is it?”

“Someone is coming, Mia listen to me, play the game, find the gate and come back to us please, before it is too late for my kind.....and yours and remember, beware the keepers”

“But I don’t understand.....Bastian.....Bastian?”   he was gone, there was no more voice and the screen had reloaded itself onto the games home page again,  Mia stared at the ‘Free Trial’’ icon, and clicked it.

                                 The games trial had taken several long minutes to download, when it was finally finished, Mia selected the ‘New Game’ option and waited expectedly, a narrative voice came over her computers speakers as an image of a lush, colourful country and an enormous castle built high upon a hill side appeared on her monitor,

                          “The kingdom of Adriel, once a bright and beautiful land, ruled over by a great king and his kin from the castle and village of Lore.  For centuries, this has been a place of light and wisdom, but now it has fallen into darkness, the lands are filled with creatures of the night, Vampires, Warlocks, Were-wolves, Demons and Wraiths, these nightmare beasts dominate our world, feeding on and draining the magic’s from those of us who still survive

                           Together they draw their power from The Ghouls Fair, a meeting place for the evil of our world where they trade and barter for more power, orchestrated by the fiendish Lord Bastian Wetherby-Price, supreme master of the Ghouls Fair and the dark creatures, he seeks to consume all power from our world, in order to conquer others.

                      The fair has taken Lore, the castle and its keepers have fallen to the ghouls and none alive has the power to stop them........

...until now.

                      A hero will rise, unknown to the ghouls, they will use their unique abilities to take back the world, free our people and bring light back to the land, this is their fight, this is their destiny..........................this is Battle Lore.

 The image was now bleak and dark, the grasses wilted, the trees dead and dark shapes moved across the landscape, Mia actually felt a small chill move down her spine.  She watched as the pictured panned about, then shot forwards, taking her view across the dead country-side, over mountains and cities and lakes until finally, it slowed and stopped, over-looking a small village, about ten small houses and a windmill, all made from straw and wood, then, very slowly, panned in on one of the houses, the smallest of all.

                                      The screen changed to an inside view of the hut, then darkened and the image of two small children appeared, a boy and girl,

“Select the chosen one” the narrator told her.

Mia clicked across to the girl and selected her, the children vanished and the image brightened again, it revealed a small fire place, two wooden beds with straw as mattresses and small rickety table and chairs.  The blanket on one of the beds began to shift, then, a character representing the girl she had selected appeared from under the blanket, yawned, and jumped out of bed.

                           Mia was about to try and make her character move when,

“MIA, COME DOWN FOR DINER, PLEASE!” her mother called from downstairs,

“Oh great timing, mum” she sighed and stood up, “guess I’ll get back to you later” she told the character on the monitor and walked out of her room, closing the door behind her.  The computers keyboard suddenly shook violently, bouncing on the desk top a bright electric blue charge ran across the keys, several being pushed at once and very quickly.  The screen began to change, strands of numbers appeared in blocks, the games lines of code, numbers began switching and changing, altering the image and the character, the little girl was suddenly a young woman, dressed in red and grey leathers and tights, she had a short sword hanging from her belt and now she stood in a decaying city.

The End

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