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Chapter 17
Building an Empire

     As dawn rose over the lagoon valley the warrior mages were descending from their homeland to begin building Figaro. Jake and Dave were in the caves that the mecha-warriors lived in behind the waterfall. The cave walls were made of brilliant blue crystal that emanated light during the day and a soft gleam during the night. In a small room, They sat at a table discussing plans, as Dustin still lay unconscious on the bed.
     "Itís good that he came it will give us another leader for our troops." Jake said leaning back in his chair.
     "We will see, but let us begin our plans. My men have begun digging and the warrior mages have already moved some of the stone to the construction site.
     *     *      *     *
     About a month past and the walls of the castle began the take shape. That morning Jake surveyed the walls of his new keep as Duncan came up to him.
     "So what next?" Duncan asked marveling at the gleaming stone.
     "Well the main layout is like this. Four towers will be built in the corners of the city that will be able to survey the landscape. These towers will then be sealed by our warrior mages for use by specified individuals. Finally my tower will be built in the center which will contain the throne room and my personal tower which I will seal myself. The rest of the buildings and guardhouses are up to you and the mecha warriors build them how you like."
     " Your really not joking about building this fortress are you?" Duncan questioned.
     " No... In this world exist two powerful evils which have killed millions of live, even if one is disguised itself as being good. I must fight for an end to it so we may all live in peace." Jake said as his voice trailed off.
     "But how can we defeat this army we are so few?" Duncan retorted.
     "There are more coming but they donít know it yet, now if youíll excuse me I have to check on Dave.

*     *     *     *

 Dave was waiting at the opening to the cave as Jake approached.
     "He is awake sir Jake." Dave said as they walked to the room where Dustin now lay.
     "Jake! Itís been so long, we thought you killed yourself back there." Dustin said leaping out of bed to meet his old friend.
     "Now you donít think I could die that easily" Jake said with pride.  "Well welcome to lagoon valley Dustin. You have arrived at a busy time here." Jake finished walking him out to the valley. Dustin peered out into the distance to see the large ominous walls gleaming in the afternoon sun.
     "Wow thatís bigger then the walls at Dragon keep." Dustin said.
     "Just as I expected Charles wasnít going to wait to build his power in this world. Everything is going according to my plan. Dave how goes the defensive?" Jake said turning to Dave.
     " Well the caves now extend to the boundaries of the great wasteland but we canít dig any further or will end up on the neutral plains where most of the fighting is raging. In the offensive department we have begun to melt and forge the rock with iron to caste the giant barrel as you commanded and the activation system techniques are being put in as we speak." Dave finished.
     "Sounds like youíve been busy. SO what do you have in plan?" Dustin said while a smile melted onto his face.
     "Now that's my secret and now itís your turn to start on my plan. You spent a good amount of time with Cloud. Teach me how to build the sky ships and other technologies that you have developed so we may integrate them into our armada." Jake said while a gleam flickered in his eye."
     Dustin began "Well itís like this...."
*     *     *     *
     A year of construction underway and all is moving according to plan for Jake and his friends. Figaro now has four magnificent towers that gleam in the valleyís sun. The main tower in the center is still covered with a white cloth and scaffolding. Dustin has had his share of adventures creating the first prototype flying machine modeled after Skycutter. Most of he work force has now been shifted into training. Dave and Duncan join in the training taking all who oppose the two.
     Dave and Duncan stand back to back surrounded by trainees as Dave beckons them forward. In an instant Dave reaches out to his side and pulls out a gun like weapon with a long square barrel. Lowering the weapon, Dave fires a shot sending lighting bolt out of the beam cannon frying several trainees.
     "Come on we taught you better than that." Dave said firing off a couple of more rounds.  Several trainees dash and jump on Dave in huge pile.  "All right you wimps" Dave muffles. With a cry of war Dave throws the trainees off of him. He grabs a hold of the first trainee and throws him into the air about five feet. When the trainee reaches his highest point Duncan kicks him in mid air with a whirl kick, sending him sprawling to the ground.
     "That was too easy 100 push-ups you wimps." Dave commands as the bruised recruits begin to do their push-ups.
     As the recruits walk over Dustin joins Dave with his sword in his hand.
     "So you want a challenge? Letís go both of you." Dustin commands as he begins to focus his thoughts. Dave immediately reaches for his lightening cannon. Dustin braces his feet and puts his arm across his chest revealing a bracer on his sword arm.  Dave cannon begins to crackle and fires. The shot hits the bracers and the bracers begin to glow. Dustin raises his sword in the air and you see the lightin discharge from his bracers into his sword. With a slice through the air, Dustin sends a wave of lighting back at the sending Dave to the ground. Duncan and Dave lie confused for a minute, but Dustin is now upon them.
     "Oh Earth here my plea" Dustin cries out.  The ground underneath Duncan and Dave's feet shakes and they begin to rise on a pillar of Earth about fifty feet into the air. Down below Dustin focuses his energy into his sword once more and with a swing of his sword sends the pillar, Duncan, and Dave plummeting to the ground. Duncan then taps the ground signaling the end of the fight.
     "I think someone's been training with Jake." Duncan says lifting himself off the shattered Earth. Dave just sits on the ground mumbling to himself.
     "If you think that's good wait to you see what Jake can do." Dustin said with a sly smirk on his face.
*     *     *     *
     Meanwhile on the top of Phantom hill Jake pears down in to the valley watching the fight bellow.
     "We have grown to m expectations in everyway but will it be enough. The time for our isolation grows slimmer by the day. Spirits show yourself to me." Jake commanded clenching his fist in the air. The water in the pool began to swirl and Leo emerged from it in his spiritual form.
     "We have seen what you have done and we know what you want. We know that the armies are advancing this way and that you need access to the neutral planes." Leoís spirit said in a calm voice.
     " I know that we could do it if we tried, but itís just that we need a symbol or a motivation to remind the people for what we are fighting for. They will follow me into battle but what will keep them following this path for peace when they could just join the light or Dark army, but I donít know what we need." Jake said pacing near the pool.
     "I believe I have he answer. Long ago when this plane was being formed there existed the Chaos Gem. Out of this gem the magic powers were created. This was the focal point of all atma on the planet. It was the source of Atma and final destination. When humans entered this plane, they began to use this magic for their own benefit. They began to assign names of good and evil to this magic. Humans began to fight for the gem and as a result the great cleave happened. The gem divided itself into three parts the white and the black for the humans to use. While the shell of the chaos gem remained unused for many generations. The gemís power waned because no one believed that good and evil was just a name assigned by humans. The gem was device that you could say thrived on unity. The separation of magic and the quarrels in their own ranks and their enemy left the gem powerless. But, in this day and age there are people who use both light and dark and the gem is regaining strength. Here!" Leo finishes raising his hand to reveal a ruby sphere. "This gem has the power to crush both light and Darkness. Right now it has only a little power but as people begin to join you and your people begin to have faith in your cause the power of Atma will once again begin to flow and renew into its original form. With this orb in your possession however there exists an even greater power. The ability to allow all of your warriors to use light and dark magic's. This is the power that both sides have been seeking but reject at the same time. Be warned though. That orb created this plane and has the ability to change it. Never let it fall into the wrong hands or we are all doomed...