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Alden Myro
Alden Myro
I’m a newbie writer who is still in the process of learning and unlearning. Read #TheExiledPrince novel series on #Wattpad, #Webnovel or #Patreon.
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Alden Myro
Hello there!
Thank you for taking the time to visit my SubscribeStar page! I really appreciate it! To make your visit worth your while, allow me to explain what this project is all about.
I launched this personal endeavor as a means for my creativity and imagination to manifest into reality. I will be writing poems and serialized fiction novels about topics here and there that I find interesting. With all these, I intend to bring a wee bit of inspiration into our otherwise monotonous day-to-day routines.
Just to give you a heads up, I’m no expert in any form of writing! I have no formal training whatsoever to vouch for me. And, to be honest, I suck at it. I will simply be sharing the results of my writing experiments on a regular basis whether it be: finished or unfinished, edited or unedited.
I intend to become a better writer at some point somewhere through this entire process. And since I'm not even quite sure how to get from point A to point B yet, I'll take my cue from Brian Clark, a British playwright. When Mr. Clark was asked for his top ten tips to become a better writer, he said:

“Write.
Write more.
Write even more.
Write even more than that.
Write when you don’t want to.
Write when you do.
Write when you have something to say.
Write when you don’t.
Write every day.
Keep writing.”

This whole endeavor will showcase the path of my continuous learning experience. And my goal, since then and until now, is not to become an expert. Instead, my life remains a work-in-progress mainly because of the continually evolving nature of the world around us
Feel free to share your comments and reflections in the spirit of kindness. I aim to keep this space free from conflict and full of positivity with a miniscule dose of reality that we call “constructive criticism.”
As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” Let me define life the way Neil Gershenfeld defines building models: “a never-ending process of discovery and refinement, not a war to win or a destination to reach.”
This is my life's journey! I would like to share it with all of you kindred spirits, like-minded guys and gals out there. I'm fervently hoping that this lifelong endeavor I'm embarking on will, in some way or another, be entertaining or useful to you, too (as you walk through your lives in your own unique ways, through the pathways and byways only you were created to trek)
Here's our salute to life (with all its surprises, the twists and turns that make every day such a joy to wake up to

Sincerely yours,

Alden Myro

PS: I'm pretty open to constructive criticism. I am always on the lookout for ways to improve your reading experience. Please don't hesitate to bring to my attention any incorrect punctuation, grammar and word usage, misspelled words, syntax and typographical errors that you might find anywhere in my writing. After all, "the only permanent thing in the world is change" and a writer's real work begins with each rewrite. Let's help make this world of words, pardon the cliché, a better place!
PPS: Be a Dear and follow @aldenmyro on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates!

***

Short-Term Goals:

1. Buy a New Laptop
My current laptop has been with me for almost 8 years. We've been through so many battery/part replacements and a whole host of unexpected data losses together. Unfortunately, little Teddy is already showing signs of aging. I think it's time for a future-proof upgrade and to pass on whatever legacy Teddy has left. I would really appreciate all your help, no matter how small, in achieving this long overdue goal. Thank you for being so generous! Stay awesome!

2. Hire an Editor and Proofreader
Having an editor and/or proofreader would really help enhance the quality of my writing. First, it will shorten the time it takes to transform my first draft to my final output, allowing me to release a chapter or two ahead of time. Second, it will also make me learn from my editor and/or proofreader’s own experiences and have a better idea of what to do or not. And last but not the least, it will help me improve my writing skill in the long term. This will enable me to write highly compelling and engaging stories that are fun to read and intellectually stimulating at the same time. And definitely turn your reading experience into a much more pleasant one along the way.

3. Publish Hardbound Copies of The Exiled Prince: Volume One
Every aspiring author’s dream is to get published one way or another. As an avid reader and an aspiring author myself, I look forward to seeing my novel series printed hardbound. I can almost smell the aroma of book paper as I get cozy on my couch with a mug of coffee in one hand while flipping each page with my other hand. I hope to publish improved versions of the novels I have already published online, bridging any gaps in the plot or correcting grammatical errors to smoothen the flow of the story. Don’t worry, I have no plans of taking down the existing online versions. I’ll be keeping those for posterity, to serve as constant reminders of when I began my life as a writer. This is my journey from Point A (the online version) to Point B (the hardbound book) and, with your consent, I’m taking you along with me for the ride.

4. Publish Hardbound Copies of my Poems
I write poems every time I feel happy or to process any pent-up emotion whenever I encounter any form of adversity. Writing poems allows me to transform these emotional outbursts into an art form. I get to release all these feelings out of my body, mind and soul, freeing myself from negative thoughts. It may take me quite a while to compile enough poems to make a book mostly because I would not expect myself to experience extreme emotion every day. But nevertheless, I am looking forward to seeing it hardbound, real soon.

***

A List of Long-Term Goals (in no particular order):
  • Bring each character and scene to life through illustrations
  • Create a graphic novel series
  • Produce an animated series
  • Produce a TV/Movie series
  • Transform our favorite characters as collectibles
  • Write The Exiled Prince: Volume Two, Three, Four, and so on
  • Write a yet-to-be-titled prequel trilogy series
  • Write a yet-to-be-titled sequel trilogy series

This is me putting my big dreams and ideas out there, so that the universe will conspire to make it happen as soon as possible. I hope that you will be joining me throughout this entire creative process. Together, let’s explore more options for us to enjoy our favorite characters and scenes from The Exiled Prince novel series.
Your generosity will definitely bring us one step closer to achieving these goals. Any kind of assistance from you, no matter how small, will be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for helping me begin to manifest all these thoughts into reality!

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Alden Myro
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The Exiled Prince - Chapter 12: Prince Dimitri of Valoria

“This is your floor.” Mikhail got out of the elevator and turned left. Dimitri followed right behind the hologram, silently looking at the minimalist design of the passageway. This underground corridor holds only ten doors versus the twenty-room recovery area where they came from thirty floors up.
On one wall were eight large identical wooden doors with the elevator right smack dead center. At the opposite ends of the corridor, two steel doors served as emergency exits. Everything was positioned in perfect symmetry.
The opposite wall served as an enormous virtual screen that imitated a natural landscape view. This feature made the supposedly dark subterranean floor more habitable. It created the illusion of being inside a two-storey house built on top of a ridge that commanded a majestic view of the vast expanse of forest below.
Dimitri couldn’t help but compare the sharp contrast between the modern interior of the castle and its antiquated exterior. He began to discover the multiple layers in the castle’s design. Pretty much like an onion, he uncovered each new layer to be more remarkable than the previous one.
“These are your living quarters.” Dimitri stopped walking and turned to Mikhail who had disrupted his contemplation. He saw the AI butler standing still beside the last wooden door nearest the exit.
“All you need to do is stand right in front of the door and tap this button to open it.” Mikhail's right hand pointed at the single button above the door handle. “How about giving it a try?”
Dimitri simply nodded. He stood right in front of the door and saw his name carved elegantly on it. His right hand reached for the button but stopped midway. He just stood there, hesitant to proceed.
“Our system will automatically scan your body.” Mikhail, standing beside Dimitri, sensed the young man’s apprehension. “It will grant you access and open the door for you.”
“Is this how I’ll get in and out of every door in this place?” Dimitri glanced back at the AI butler, his expression filled with curiosity.
“Yes and no!” Mikhail answered ambiguously. “You will be able to open any door that you have been granted access to.”
“Of course, that did not stop you from breaking into restricted areas before.”
Dimitri simply stood there, rendered speechless. He could not recall ever committing any of those acts Mikhail had accused him of.
“Now, go on.” The AI butler pointed at the button, urging the young man to open the door. “Press that button. Time is of the essence!”
“You only have exactly one hour to freshen up.”
***
“As you can see, your living quarters is mainly designed for sleep and relaxation.”
“Another gigantic virtual screen?” Dimitri stepped inside, silently observing his new room. He glanced around, not surprised at all to see Mikhail already hovering by the window. He noticed the same realistic view of the forest that he had seen earlier in the hallway right behind the AI butler.
Despite the size of the room, he noticed that it could still hold a king-sized bed. Two bedside tables flanked the bed. The sparsely furnished bedroom exuded a zen-like flair.
“These doors lead to your walk-in closet and loo.” Without waiting for Dimitri’s response, Mikhail proceeded with the tour. The AI butler pointed at the two doors, one right next to each bedside table. “A third door, that you can not see from here, discreetly connects your walk-in closet and loo.”
“The window serves as a virtual screen.” The AI butler showed Dimitri how to use the computer. “It can be activated by voice or through the virtual keyboard.”  
“You can fool around with the computer right now, if you like.” Mikhail pulled up the help page that contained the list of voice commands.
“But remember, you need to be ready in no more than one hour.”
***
“There aren't any relevant matches for your search.” Dimitri heard an automated female voice.
The young man sat at the edge of his king-sized bed, staring solemnly at the large virtual screen on the wall. With Mikhail gone, he felt free to gather more information about himself, ignoring the timer the AI butler had set on the screen. “New search! Search Prince Dimitri of Valoria.”
“Searching for Prince Dimitri of Valoria,” the automated female voice said. At the same time, the virtual screen on the wall displayed a progress bar filling up bit by bit.
“There aren't any relevant matches for your search.”
“What’s going on?” The young man sighed, disappointed by the search results.
Anticipating a more positive response, he had been searching for everything that he could remember from his memory flashbacks. However, no matter which keyword he uses, the search results still showed nothing. “Why can’t I find any relevant information?”
Dimitri had already tried searching for Valoria, the kingdom he supposedly came from. He had scoured through the list of names in the database for all the members of his entire family tree. Or at least, according to all the information he could recall from his memory flashbacks that spanned over 13 years.
Unfortunately, the search returned nothing. It appeared as though his entire family tree did not actually exist.
“New search! Search for The Council.” The young man ordered the virtual search engine, shifting his focus to the present.
But before the female voice could respond, the virtual screen froze. After a few seconds, it reverted back to its default view. Exactly the same forest view he had seen on the hallway wall appeared on the virtual screen.
“Shouldn’t you be getting ready?” Mikhail suddenly appeared. The dimly lit room instantly brightened.
The AI butler waved his left hand, showing all the keywords the young man had been searching for on the screen. “You can not hide this from me, Dimitri. I know what you are up to.”
Dimitri looked straight at the screen right behind Mikhail. “How did you know?”
“You did not activate private mode, silly.” The AI butler sneered.
“How do I activate private mode?” The young man got up. His face turned serious. 
“All you need to do is say ‘Activate Private Mode’ out loud.” Mikhail answered honestly. “But that will not work for you at this time.”
“Why not?” Dimitri stared at the AI butler with a questioning look.
Mikhail rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “The Council has been monitoring your every move since you came back from HQ eight months ago.”
“HQ?” The young man asked curiously.
“The Council’s Headquarters, silly!” The AI butler said.
“But why would they do that?” Dimitri asked further.
“Beats me.” Mikhail shrugged. “The Headmaster also prohibited you from searching for any of that information outside of this room. If there is anything you would like to know, you would need to ask him yourself.”
“Now, enough with these questions!” The AI butler waved his left hand, clearing all the keywords displayed on the screen. “You need to hurry!”
“Armand has been waiting for you at the training hall.”
***
Author's Notes:
What do you think about Chapter 12: Prince Dimitri of Valoria? Do share your feedback with me in the comment section below. Also, kindly follow @aldenmyro on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates!
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Alden Myro
Public post

The Exiled Prince - Chapter 11: The Assassin 

[Host Memory Integration - 61.90%]
[Warning: Usage Restriction Due To Limited Function Mode Activation. System Availability Duration - Reached]
[Try Again Later]

“What is this thing?” Dimitri rubbed his chin, staring at the strange virtual projection with curiosity. He tapped on the gear icon, surprised to see the virtual screen along with the lightbulb icon gone. Only the gear icon, no longer blinking, remained at the upper right hand corner of his line of sight.
With not much else to do, the young man repeatedly tapped on the gear icon. Both the transparent screen and the solitary lightbulb icon popped in and out of his sight over and over again. The gear icon, he figured, served no other purpose than to display the single lightbulb icon on the virtual screen.
“So everything that’s been happening to me so far was all real?” Dimitri lay down the capsule, still looking at the virtual screen. He realized that he could recall everything vividly, from the moment he got stuck inside that white sphere to the sudden end of his memory flashbacks. Everything seemed real and firmly etched in his mind.
“Why do I feel like I’m living somebody else's life?” The young man contemplated on his current situation with newfound interest. “Yes, this physical body seems to be mine. Yet, those memory flashbacks, over a span of 13 years, seemed all new to me as if they weren’t really mine.” 
“Am I really Dimitri or am I someone else?” 
***
“How do you feel now, Dimitri?” A familiar old man entered the recovery room, the same high-ranking old man he had seen at the trial.
The man who got Dimitri’s car keys at the entrance to the castle, followed right behind the old man. Both men wore plain black robes that left their faces exposed. Their blank expressions mirrored his own.
Dimitri simply nodded, still wary of the surprise visitors. He had been stuck in this room for about two hours, arguing with the pestering AI butler nonstop. He had just endured another bout of torture veiled under the pretense of a physical examination.
“I feel so much better now, Sir!” The young man sat up and ignored the hologram’s existence completely. He gave the old man a questioning look. “Thank you for asking.”
“Excellent!” The old man turned to the AI butler who had remained standing near the capsule this whole time. His wrinkly face grimaced at the foul smell he traced back to the young man. “How long does he need to stay here?”
“He is all yours, Headmaster.” The hologram flashed a rare smile. “We have completed the physical examination. He has already regained full muscle control. All his laboratory test results came back normal. He is as fit as a fiddle!”
“That is wonderful!” The Headmaster desperately tried to endure the awful smell as he  instructed the AI butler urgently. “Lead him to his quarters after we are done here. He needs to freshen up.”
“Aye, aye, Captain!” The virtual projection saluted smartly. His being a mere hologram had mercifully spared him from the stench coming from his patient. 
“You still can not remember a thing?” The old man turned to Dimitri. With a serious face, the old man started scrutinizing the young man’s body language. 
“Nothing at all.” Dimitri blatantly lied and kept any information about the memory flashbacks, that spanned a period of 13 years, to himself. He still could not trust these men. “I still could not remember anything.”
“Are you sure you do not remember any one of us here?” The Headmaster probed further. 
Dimitri shook his head. “I’m afraid not!”
“Very well, then!” The old man glanced at the gigantic screen on the wall and sighed, recognizing the young man’s obvious lie.
“This is Mikhail, our resident AI.” The Headmaster's right hand pointed at the butler. “If you need anything, all you need to do is say his name out loud. His hologram should be able to look after all your needs anywhere within Shangri-la.”
“If I may add, Sir, preferably not within the confines of the loo!” Mikhail pleaded earnestly.
The old man merely shrugged at the hologram’s comment then pointed his left hand at his companion. “This is Armand. He will be your partner from now on. All you need to do is follow his lead. He will get you up to speed with everything you need to know!”
“I am Ivan, the Headmaster of Shangri-la.” The old man humbly introduced himself. “Armand and Mikhail can fill you in on the details about what our organization is and what we do exactly.”
“And, as you might already know by now, your name is Dimitri.” The Headmaster stared straight at the young man's eyes. 
“You are an assassin.”
***
“Sir, if I may, was it really necessary for us to personally see Dimitri?“ Armand asked the old man as they left the room and walked through the hallway. “Wouldn’t our holograms have been enough for us to uncover his lies?”
“Yes, we needed to be there ourselves.” The Headmaster answered vaguely, his face absorbed in deep thought. “More than you know.”
“You need to get him up to speed as soon as possible, Armand.” The old man stopped walking and turned to the young man. “The emissary will be here in a week.”
Armand nodded thoughtfully. “Dimitri is hiding something, Sir! The lie detector showed that he is lying.” 
“I know.” The Headmaster glanced back at the recovery room ruefully. “And it is your job to unravel all those lies.”
***
Author's Notes:
What do you think about Chapter 11: The Assassin? Do share your feedback with me in the comment section below. Also, kindly follow @aldenmyro on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates!
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Alden Myro
Public post

The Exiled Prince - Chapter 10: System Activated

[Rebooting in 3...2...1]
[Initializing System Activation]
“Ahhh!” Dimitri screamed as he opened his eyes, tormented by the sharp throbbing searing through his head. Blinded by the intense pain, he instinctively tried to reach the source of his suffering - his head. However, his efforts seemed futile. He could not move both of his hands at all.
His prolonged scream eventually turned into a howl, his face now wet with tears, his lips trembling in anguish. With no sense of time, he endured the agonizing pain slowly spreading through deep inside his brain. His whole body appeared immobile.
Despite feeling the restraint of his immobility, Dimitri continued his futile attempts to struggle out of his confinement, ignoring the excruciating pain in his head. Numbness lingered all throughout his body. The growing feeling of discomfort became nearly unbearable. 
About to give up trying, the severe pain in his head suddenly stopped. A strange sense of relief replaced his prior agony.
[System Activated]
When Dimitri regained his vision, a system prompt appeared right in front of him, dead center. At the upper right corner, a gear icon blinked continuously, awaiting his response. As his apparent paralysis rendered him unable to tap on the gear icon, he looked straight ahead.
Just behind the system prompt, he noticed a transparent monitor displaying all sorts of data. Seeing a photo of his face and a whole array of information plastered on the screen, he figured that he must be staring at his own health report. “What’s going on?”
At this moment, Dimitri realized that his body seemed to be lying inside a capsule. The white sphere and the memory flashbacks he had seen throughout his long dream-like state had disappeared. “Is this another dream?”
The AI butler peeked through the transparent glass enclosing the capsule with a beaming smile. “Finally, you are awake!”
***
“How do you feel, Dimitri?” The hologram, wearing a white coat and spectacles, hovered in front of the young man still lying inside the capsule. “You were screaming! Were you in pain?”
The AI butler pressed a button to open the capsule, releasing the restraints at the same time.
Dimitri, in a new bodysuit, simply nodded. Forcing himself up, he rubbed his forehead, trying to remove any traces of pain. “Where am I?”
“You are still in Shangri-la, silly!” The hologram replied with a hint of sarcasm. The AI butler wrote something on his clipboard then shifted his gaze back to the young man. “Still having amnesia?”
Dimitri nodded. He noticed the gear icon that kept blinking at the upper right corner of his line of sight. He looked around, observed his surroundings, then blinked twice.
The young man still saw the same blinking gear icon. He tried to move his head in different directions. Yet, the gear icon remained stuck at the upper right corner of his line of sight. “What happened to me?” 
“You have just awakened from a 51-day coma!” The AI butler pointed his left hand at the mirrored wall next to the capsule, then adjusted his spectacles. He did all these while still holding the clipboard firmly with his right hand.
Dimitri glanced at the direction the hologram pointed to seconds ago, completely baffled by the recent turn of events. The whole mirrored wall suddenly turned into a gigantic flat screen TV. It showed videos of him still unconscious inside the pod. “What do you mean by a 51-day coma?”
“Hmmm, slow comprehension!” The AI butler mumbled to himself, his mocking voice purposely loud enough for the young man to hear. The hologram continued to write on his clipboard, talking to himself.
“Ever since your return, you seemed a bit off!” The AI butler looked at Dimitri contemplatively. “No, a bit off would be an understatement.” 
“Stupid!” The hologram suddenly mocked him. “Now, that is the word I was looking for.”
“I mean, why was I in a coma?” Dimitri glared at the AI butler, ignoring its mocking tone.
“Beats me!” The hologram shrugged. “You fainted in between tests. And since then, you never woke up, not even once, not until now.”
Dimitri sensed the futility of extracting information from the AI butler, shifting his focus back to the blinking icon. “How about this gear icon then?” 
“What icon?” The hologram saw the young man pointing at nothing in particular. 
The AI butler, with a puzzled expression, stared at Dimitri’s finger raised midair.
“This icon.” The young man insisted, still pointing at the gear icon floating between them. “What is this for?”
“Hmmm, showing signs of hallucination.” The hologram jeered, writing more notes on his clipboard. “Oh boy, you sure sound cuckoo!”
“I’m not hallucinating!” Dimitri stopped explaining further when he saw the overt mockery in the AI butler’s expression. “You know what, never mind! It’s completely pointless, talking to you.”
“Hmmm, quite temperamental, too!” The hologram seemed oblivious to the young man’s annoyance. “Oh boy, this list is getting longer. I might need to get a mob of doctors in here to do further tests.”
“I’m done here.” Dimitri tried to stand up, but his knees felt weak. He abruptly sat back down involuntarily.
“For the time being, I highly recommend you stay still and rest!” The AI butler insisted at the sight of the young man’s inability to stand. “I just introduced a muscle stimulant into your IV line to counter the muscle degeneration induced by your extended coma. It normally takes an hour or two to restore full muscle control.”
“I will see you in two hours!” The hologram disappeared.
“Jerk! What an @sshole!” Out of frustration, Dimitri tapped the gear icon. A transparent screen appeared right below it.
The young man’s scowl turned serious. He stared at the single grayed-out lightbulb icon found on the virtual screen. The icon’s label simply said, ”Host Memory.”
Out of sheer curiosity, Dimitri tapped the grayed-out lightbulb icon. He then heard a beep followed by a series of system prompts. 
[Host Memory Integration - 61.90%]
[Warning: Usage Restriction Due To Limited Function Mode Activation]
[System Availability Duration - Reached]
[Try Again Later]
“What is this thing?”
***
“The council has already decided!” The old man sitting in his leather chair listened with apprehension. He looked directly at the hologram of a hooded figure, anxiously hoping for good news.
“You can no longer save him, Ivan! Please refrain from doing anything. Otherwise, we could all be exposed.”
The old man sighed. The news turned out to be worse than he had expected. He knew for a fact that the person on the other line was right.
“The decree has already been rolled out. The emissary is on his way. Dimitri’s survival is all up to himself now.”
The recording ended.
***
Author's Notes:
What do you think about Chapter 10: System Activated? Do share your feedback with me in the comment section below. Also, kindly follow @aldenmyro on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates!

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Alden Myro
Public post

The Exiled Prince - Chapter 9: Name Your Price

[Access Denied]
“That’s odd!” The young man mused, puzzled by this result. “Why can’t I?”
The AI butler concurred, stating the obvious. “Apparently, you do not have access to that information.”
“Do not bother with such nonsense, Armand!” An old man entered the cramped office space from another door behind the desk. “I, myself, do not have access to such confidential information, either.”
The young man stiffened, respectfully greeting the newcomer. “Headmaster!”
“How long have you been waiting?” The old man slightly waved his right hand, swiping all miniature projections away.  His face looked serious as he pointed his left hand towards the guest chair behind the young man.
Armand simply nodded and sat down. “Not that long, Sir.”
“By the way, your one-sided rivalry with Dimitri is getting old to the point of being absurd!” The Headmaster grabbed his leather chair and sat down. “How about just focusing on completing your own missions rather than keeping score?”
“Besides, both of you are no longer kids!”
“You know us both really well, Sir.” The young man deliberately stared at the hologram, obviously annoyed at its presence. The AI butler still remained standing beside the old man. “I presume that you understand that there’s really nothing to it than just friendly banter.
“On the contrary!” The hologram interjected matter-of-factly. “I can absolutely recall quite accurately that you have been at each other’s throats for eight years now. I have complete video documentation!”
“Enough!” The Headmaster’s serious face turned into a frown, his voice stern, exuding authority. “Give me a quick update on Dimitri’s last mission that you had to finish, yourself.”
“Completed as planned,” Armand answered succinctly.
“And the mess in Central Square?” The old man started prying, his already knitted brows relaxing a bit, his face showing extreme interest.
The young man wondered why the Headmaster still bothered to ask him all these questions. All the answers could be found in the report that he had already submitted yesterday. He thought it uncharacteristic of the old man not to read his report real time.
He felt slightly annoyed, baffled at the Headmaster’s unnecessary interrogation. Yet, he still managed to respond politely. “Totally under control, Sir.”
“And the woman?” The old man waved his right hand. A tiny virtual projection of the Central Square incident appeared above his desk.
Armand glanced at the screen with indifference. “Rigged as a suicide. As expected, the police bought it and their report confirmed suicide as the cause of death.”
“And all the other police investigations?” The Headmaster meticulously skimmed through the detailed information displayed on the screen.
“All related cases are now closed.” The young man sighed. He knew that this impromptu debriefing would take a while.
The old man focused his attention on the miniature virtual projections. Still completely engrossed, he slowly asked, “Any remaining family members we need to know about?”
Armand shook his head. “The mission team’s comprehensive report indicated otherwise.”
“Any leads on the resistance?” The Headmaster looked up and stared straight into the young man’s eyes.
“We seem to have chased a dead end.” Armand sighed. “Those two were mere pawns for diversion purposes that actually worked.
“That was not quite the case! Dimitri was on to something.” The AI butler interjected. “You, on the other hand, are just too lazy to investigate further.”
The young man tried to keep his composure despite his growing annoyance at the hologram. “Headmaster, may I speak with you, alone?”
“Mikhail, activate private mode,” the old man commanded.
“As you wish, Headmaster.” The AI butler gave a courteous bow before disappearing.  “Private mode activated.”
***
“You didn’t summon me here just to give you an update on the mission, right, Headmaster? My report already included all the necessary details.”
“You’re right!” The old man waved his right hand again to clear all the miniature projections above his desk. “I did not call you here for that.”
With a questioning look, Armand stared at the Headmaster. “Is there another covert operation that you need me for, Sir?”
“Yes and no!” The old man answered vaguely with a faraway look in his eyes. “Yes, I need your help. And no, it is not your usual covert operation.”
“How can I be of service?” The young man inquired eagerly.
“You have been Dimitri’s closest rival since you were both thirteen!” The Headmaster spoke with a subtle hint of worry in his tone. “You have been studying him as your most worthy opponent while trying to beat him all these years.”
“I need you to keep an eye on him from the moment he wakes up!” The old man firmly gave his direct order to Armand. “Find out if he really has amnesia.”
“But Sir, if I may, wouldn’t that be counterproductive?” the young man inquired tactfully. “Our outpost already has tests for that sort of thing. Wouldn’t it be more efficient to just allow him to undergo all those tests instead?”
“Before his coma, he underwent those tests for a whole month while you were out completing his last mission. Unfortunately, the initial test results were inconclusive.”
“I see.” Armand nodded as realization slowly dawned on him. “So his having amnesia has something to do with that secret program, doesn’t it? Otherwise, you wouldn’t bother summoning me here and briefing me about this job discreetly.
“Actually, I honestly do not know. We do not have conclusive proof yet. Headquarters have been keeping mum about their operations lately. Our sources smell something brewing but have practically no clue as to what’s going on at HQ right now.”
“Now, if you will agree, I will set the both of you up as partners on all missions moving forward to avoid any suspicion. You will both report only to me, directly, and to no one else.” 
“As for compensation, you can name your price.”
“I’m good with that, Sir.” The young man agreed doubtfully. “However, Dimitri prefers to work alone all the time. Even with his amnesia, I doubt he would work well with anyone, more so with me.”
“Well, he really does not have a choice on this matter, does he?” The Headmaster’s flat tone sounded urgent. “There is a lot at stake here, Armand. Our future lies heavily on his success. The consequences of failure are too dire for us not to take action.”
“And if Dimitri turns out to be really unfit for the program?” The young man prodded, still unconvinced. “Would it be possible for you to assign someone else like me to replace him on the program instead?
“I would have already done that a long way back, if I could,” the old man replied truthfully. “Unfortunately, only our superiors at headquarters wield the authority to replace him.”
The Headmaster pulled up a virtual projection of Dimitri. “Besides, considering Dimitri’s peculiar situation right now, are you sure that is what you really want?”
Before Armand could reply, Mikhail suddenly appeared beside the old man.
“Headmaster!” The AI butler seemed ecstatic. “I apologize. I need to interrupt. This new information supersedes your prior instruction.”
Both men turned to the hologram.
“What is it, Mikhail?”
The AI butler simply smiled. “Dimitri is finally awake.”
***
Author's Notes:
What do you think about Chapter 9: Name Your Price? Do share your feedback with me in the comment section below. Also, kindly follow @aldenmyro on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates!

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The Exiled Prince - Chapter 8: Access Denied

“You’re back!” The pale-faced young man immediately recognized the AI butler’s voice as soon as he heard it. “Did you bring all the parts that I ordered?”
The young man simply nodded at the hologram who had been standing still at the corner of this small room. He glanced around the nearly empty office as he entered. “I left them at the entrance.”
He quickly removed his coat, hung it behind the door, revealing his plain dark blue button-down shirt and jeans. He then dragged his towering figure towards the guest chair to his right and sat down opposite the modest mahogany office table. All these well-rehearsed actions he did without thinking every time he had to report to this office.
“Wonderful!” The AI butler suddenly appeared, standing beside the leather chair behind the desk, facing the visitor with glee. “I’ll get the bots to start fixing my virtual projection in the driveway then. How much do I owe you?”
“10,000 credits? No big deal!” The young man shrugged indifferently, his mischievous eyes betraying the scheming deal in his mind. He leaned towards the hologram, his face filled with anticipation. “How about paying me in kind, instead? I prefer being paid with information instead of just credits!”
“That would depend on the kind of information you need.” The AI butler’s happy expression turned serious, cradling his chin with his hand. “Presuming, of course, that you have the clearance for it, then sure, why not?”
The young man leaned back in his chair, confident that the hologram would eventually give in with a little persuasion. “Is the Bogeyman still stuck in his own nightmare?”
“That seems pretty straightforward!” The AI butler retorted sounding a bit sarcastic. His serious face began turning smug. “If you already knew, why did you still need to ask?
“That’s called small talk.” The young man smirked, mocking the hologram’s inability to spot the difference between his truths and his lies. “Didn’t that guy teach you a thing or two about small talk?”
“I understand.” The AI butler conceded, pulling up a miniature virtual projection above the desk. It showed another man lying inside what appeared to be a capsule. “Yes, Dimitri is still in a coma.”
The young man took a closer look, jeering at the unresponsive Dimitri. “How long has it been?”
The hologram pulled up another virtual projection beside the first one. The second projection showed a running timer. “Nearly two months, 51 days to be exact and counting.”
“That long, huh?” The young man tried to extract more information from the AI butler. He rubbed his chin thoughtfully, still seated in front of the desk. “Why is he still alive?”
“Why wouldn't he be?” The hologram spoke with a self-satisfied look on his face. “Our health care facilities are obviously top-notch. He has the absolute luxury of being able to remain in a coma for years and still survive.”
“No, that’s not what I meant.” The young man’s expression shifted from curiosity to sheer bewilderment. “Why doesn’t the Council just kill him to get it over with? Are they still buying his poor excuse of a lie? I don’t think he really has amnesia.”
“I apologize.” The AI butler’s eyes glazed with confusion. “I do not have access to that information. I am not sure how to respond to your questions.”
“And why not?” The young man’s face mirrored the hologram’s confusion as he thought of possible reasons why the council allowed Dimitri to live and why they restricted the AI butler’s access to that information.
“The database simply states that the council’s decision regarding Dimitri’s infractions is confidential.” The hologram pulled another screen that said, “Access Restricted.”
“I’m not allowed to pry any further.”
The young man stared at the screen, finding the council’s restriction to the information a bit odd. He tried to coax the AI butler to reveal the hidden information, certain that the hologram could find a way to circumvent this restriction. “But you can, can’t you?”
“Yes, I can.” The AI butler answered honestly, oblivious to the young man’s slyness. “But I would rather not. There is definitely no incentive for me to do that.”
“How about I run more errands for you in the next six months at no extra charge?” The young man dangled his offer enticingly to the seemingly gullible hologram. His strong gut feel gave him the impression the access to that information could be bought.
The AI butler refused. “Other than repairing my virtual projection in the driveway, I will not be needing any errands run in the foreseeable future.” 
“What if your precious storage room breaks?” The young man observed the hologram’s reaction. “With Dimitri in a coma, you might need someone to help you fix that! I can be your backup in-house repair guy. What do you think?”
“Why would it break?” The AI butler looked innocent. “There is absolutely no plausible explanation why it would!”
The young man inclined towards the hologram and threatened it. “What if I break it myself?”
“Do I detect a threat?” The AI butler frowned, finally able to process the logic behind the young man’s statements. “You know pretty well that blackmail does not work with me.”
“Fine, I give up!” The young man shrugged. “I have top clearance in this outpost, anyway. I should be able to access that information! How about you let me try?” He stood up, ready to input his access code into the virtual screen.
“Very well, then.” The hologram pulled another screen up for the young man to enter his access code.
The young man tapped his access code into the virtual keyboard. An error message appeared followed by a beep.
[Access Denied]
***
Author's Notes:
What do you think about Chapter 8: Access Denied? Do share your feedback with me in the comment section below. Also, kindly follow @aldenmyro on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates!
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The Exiled Prince: Logline

The Exiled Prince: Logline

An Immortal prince, stripped of all his memories and powers, struggles to survive among mere mortals as he slowly regains everything that he had already lost.
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Alden Myro
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The Exiled Prince: Synopsis


A young man who possesses what appears to be an immortal soul is stripped of all his memories and forced to fend for himself. Throughout his struggle to survive among mere mortals, he slowly regains his powers, powers he should have already lost. This causes a ripple effect throughout the entire universe. Chaos ensues followed by a manhunt that reaches far and wide.

Join Dimitri in his quest to reclaim his past, unearthing the truth from all the lies along the way in a perilous journey with only two possible outcomes: his glory or his death.
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Envy

A Poem by Alden Myro

I envy the birds 'cause they can fly whenever,
Hopping from one place to another wherever,
Flapping their wings with the wind as their lever,
Lording over the skies as if they would last forever.

I envy the fishes 'cause they can swim whenever,
Diving from one place to another wherever,
Flexing their fins and tails with the water as their lever.
Commanding over the seas as if they would last forever.

I envy the stars 'cause they light up whenever,
Sparkling from one place to another wherever,
Illuminating the night sky with the elements as their lever,
Dominating over the cosmos as if they would last forever.

Someday, I'll be free from the shackles of society, too,
Flying carefree or swimming wantonly like what most birds or fishes do,
Hoping for a better life unlike those animals we usually see in the zoo.
And shining brightly in dark places filled with all kinds of fake taboos.
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The Irony of Life: Sadness

A Poem by Alden Myro

Feeling a sense of melancholy
Musing over our past,
A past so colorful and lively,
As if we were having a blast.

But unknown to many,
Lie some deep dark secrets,
A life so miserable and phony,
Overflowing with regrets.

Despite all the anguish, grief and sorrow,
Prevails a sense of optimism,
Making do with the time we borrowed,
Moving forward with a tad less cynicism.

After all, sadness is a mere thought,
A momentary state of hopelessness,
And perhaps, in the absence of forethought.
Ironically, so is happiness.
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Alden Myro
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The Exiled Prince - Chapter 7: Memory Sequence

[Accessing Memory Sequence 5819DC-1118-A]
"This is pointless!" The thirteen-year-old boy yelled and threw a fit. He hurled the sword he was carrying in his right hand to the ground just a few feet away from the middle-aged man approaching him. "Why do I have to learn how to fight, Uncle?"
"I don't need to learn how to fight!" He started to reason resentfully. The newly-drafted trainee dropped to the ground out of sheer exhaustion, his hands and feet almost numb. "I'm smart enough to remove myself from any dangerous situation. You know that!"
"Besides, the royal family have you, Damien and the army!" His face appeared to be disgusted at his body that reeked of blood, sweat and soil. He looked up at his mother's older brother, his eyes pleading for mercy. "Who would dare go against us, with you and Damien around?"
The boy moped, totally irked at his uncle's annoyingly cheerful smile that seemed to mock his present predicament. He would always see exactly the same provoking grin every time he had to endure these gruesome exercises designed to improve his self discipline.
Ignoring his trainee's painful ordeal, the man in the immaculate white robe, slightly waved his left hand. The man then disappeared as he approached the boy, along with the sword on the ground. The figure of the man, now holding the sword, suddenly blinked and reappeared right in front of his nephew.
The boy instinctively stiffened at his uncle's unexpected reappearance. This creepy skill always gave him a fright.
"It's not only what's up here that is important, Dimitri!" The man replied in his usual deep, extremely authoritative voice. He kneeled in front of the pouting pubescent kid, his right hand pointing towards his nephew's head. His left hand now held the wooden sword that the boy had dropped.
"You also need to toughen this, as well!" His uncle's right hand pointed at the boy's heart.
"That is the whole point of this training, see?" The man's face turned serious, his cheerful smile now gone. He then rammed the sword's handle towards Dimitri's right hand. "Again," he commanded, his aura quite intimidating.
The two sparring robots instantly sprung into action, swiftly taking their wooden swords out of their sheaths. They encircled the boy who was still on the ground. Without hesitation, both robots immediately launched their perfectly synchronized attack.
"But I'm already too tired to even lift a single muscle, Uncle!" Dimitri cried out with his eyes closed. Both his arms protected his head, leaving the sword on the ground. He considered being beaten by a pair of sparring robots a mockery of his lofty position as his older brother Damien's spare heir to the crown. "Can't you give me some slack?"
Seeing his nephew on the ground too tired to move, the man waved his left hand, stopping both machines' fierce blows midway.
"No buts, Dimitri!" The prince's uncle insisted firmly. The man had blinked himself back to his original position some distance away. He now positioned his left hand in the general direction of the boy who had been crouching on the ground. "Again!"
"Wait! This is pure torture!" Dimitri screamed as his uncle's mysterious power lifted him and the sword up in the air. He tried to free himself, but his uncle's invisible force ruthlessly restrained his limbs. "I'll definitely tell Mother about this... abuse."
"Do I have to remind you yet again that it was your Mother who put you up for this?" The man retorted, paying no mind to the boy squirming in midair. With a flick of the man's fingers, the sword flew. It headed towards Dimitri, almost back on his feet now, and slammed itself into the boy's right hand. "Again!"
"Stinking old fart!" Dimitri whispered while he rubbed his aching hand that still gripped the sword and glared at his uncle. Out of frustration, he brandished his sword yet again against the sparring robot nearest him, unwillingly resuming his suffering. "Wait until I'm old enough. I'll absolutely put you in your place and shove this sword up your ass."
"I can still hear you, Dimitri!" The man replied with indifference, watching the ongoing spar on his personal projection screen. His eyes focused solely on the sparring session's real-time data and in-depth analysis.
"Good!" Dimitri veered to his left as he deflected one robot's frontal assault. He turned around, wielding his sword against the second robot's strike, still mumbling to himself. "You better watch your back then, old man."
At the same time, he cunningly glanced at the overhead projector screen, trying to cheat his way out of this cruel entrapment. What he saw appalled him! Instead of showing both robots' present positions, the screen displayed a whole host of data, pointing out all of his mistakes, blatantly mocking his incompetence.
"Oh, I think it's you who should be watching your back!" The man laughed at his nephew's shrewdness. "Watch your back and not the projector screen!"
"Arghh!" Dimitri crashed to the ground in agony. He completely lost his balance after the robot's wooden sword hit his back.
"Time out! I need a break!" He begged, feeling intense excruciating pain in his back. "Please!"
"There are no breaks in times of war, Dimitri!" The man sullenly looked straight into his nephew's eyes. "Just bear with it!" His words revealed traces of anger at the boy's halfheartedness. "Again!"
"You've got to be kidding me!" The prince sighed, still cowering on the ground from the agonizing blow. He closed his eyes as the two robots rushed towards him, bracing for impact. He waited for some time, but nothing hit him.
When he opened his eyes, he saw a black hooded figure kneeling in front of his uncle.
"Milord! The King, the Queen and Prince Damien are all dead." Dimitri froze upon hearing the news. "The kingdom has fallen."
[Memory Sequence Processed]
[Initializing Memory Sequence Integration]
***
[Accessing Memory Sequence 5819DC-1118-B]
"Get up, Dimitri!" The prince immediately sat up, roused wide-awake by his uncle's urgent command. His uncle, already kneeling in front of him, gently tapped him on his shoulder. "We have to go now."
Dimitri didn't know how long he had zoned out from sheer shock. Looking up, he saw his uncle's somber face. The man's eyes reflected the grief in his own eyes. Tears started to stream down his face as the reality of losing his entire family set in.
"Why can't we just go back and kill them all?" The prince lashed with anger, his vengeful eyes still wet with tears. He forced his already worn-out body to stand, grabbing the wooden sword on the ground with his right hand. "Why do we have to run?"
"Look at me, Dimitri!" The man stopped his nephew from moving any further, both his hands firmly grasping the boy's shoulders. He tried to reason with his nephew, knowing that his efforts would be futile. The prince had always been hardheaded. "We're powerless against these forces."
"No, you're just a coward!" Dimitri shouted at his uncle in anger, trying to free himself from the man's grasp. But before he could free himself, the ground shook. They heard a loud explosion outside the castle gates.
"Get the prince out of here, Viktor!" Dimitri's uncle hurriedly ordered the hooded man. He grabbed a golden circular token from the pocket of his robe and gave it to Viktor. "Make sure he's safe!"
"What about you, Master?" The hooded man accepted the token with reluctance. He hesitantly looked at the boy then back to his master. The reluctance and hesitation in his movements clearly displayed his unwillingness to follow his master's instructions.
"Someone has to stay here to welcome these intruders." The man firmly held his stance. He knew fully well that the hooded figure would willingly fight to his death. "Now, go!"
"No, you must come with us!" Dimitri demanded as he wiped the tears from his face. He held on to his uncle's robe, afraid to let go. "As you said, we're powerless to fight them. What's the point of you staying if you don't even have the power to fight?"
"Listen to me, Dimitri," the man insisted. "I will no longer be your teacher. You will need to do everything on your own from now on."
"Viktor is your guide, not your servant!" He knew that his fate had already been sealed. "Learn from him and avoid any kind of trouble until you're old enough to look after yourself. Promise me that."
"But..." Dimitri stuttered, choking on his response, his lips trembling. "But you're... the only one... I have left." The boy pleaded with all his might.
"Now, go!" The man ignored his nephew's pleas. He gazed back at Viktor, nodding meaningfully before blinking and making himself disappear. Only the echo of his voice lingered, "We don't have that much time."
[Warning: Usage Restriction Due To Limited Function Mode Activation]
[System Availability Duration: Reached]
[Rebooting in 3...2...1]
***
Author's Notes:
What do you think about Chapter 7: Memory Sequence? Do share your feedback with me in the comment section below. Also, kindly follow @aldenmyro on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates!
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The Exiled Prince - Chapter 6: Integration Failed

[Memory Update Complete]
“Am I dead?” Dimitri pondered, ignoring the system prompt. He looked around to see himself floating inside a white sphere when a tiny black ball caught his eye. Right under the system prompt, the ball hovered steadily right in front of him, dead center of the sphere.
Seeing nothing else, he tried to reach for the only thing he could - the bizarre black ball. But despite his intense effort, it seemed like he couldn’t even move a finger. He felt that his entire body had become useless as though he were paralyzed from his neck down to his toes.
Looking down, Dimitri noticed another anomaly. He stared at this abnormality, clearly surprised to see his body completely see-through. All throughout this transparent shell, lines of red pulsated resembling blood vessels. The complete absence of his body parts nearly gave him a heart attack, his anxiety level quickly rising at skyrocket speed.
He took a closer look at his grotesque novel body floating near the black ball and system prompt. Without a heart or any body organs at all, he realized that he really wouldn’t be able to physically feel anything. Somehow, what he saw put his mind at ease. Everything he had felt so far, logically speaking, seemed to be all in his mind.
His strange new body, Dimitri presumed, though no longer quite sure, would still have some sort of a human head. Without a mirror, he arrived at this assumption simply by considering the fact that he could still think clearly. His height appeared to be the same, just like before this metamorphosis happened.
A typing sound emanating from the general direction of the small black ball interrupted his examination of his transparent body. He looked up to see a new message appearing out of thin air, one letter at a time.
[Activate Full Features? Yes/No]
“Yes!” Dimitri did not even hesitate, though unsure whether he actually said it out loud or just silently in his head. The only rational response could be “Yes,” given the absence of visible hardware or equipment.
“It worked!” With immense curiosity, he observed the system prompt change. The black ball had remained still, not moving a single inch during the previous two message displays.
[Initializing Host Integration]
Dimitri watched as the progress bar moved, albeit slowly. With no sense of time, he just stood there, staring at the progress bar as it was filling up bit by bit. He waited for a very long time.
***
“This is it!” His eyes sparkled at the one hundred percent sign. After an eternity of waiting, the progress bar finally peaked. But before he could fully celebrate, an error message flashed, turning his overly excited face into a frown.
[Integration Failed]
[email protected]%K!” He shouted in frustration, finally hearing his highly agitated voice reverberating throughout the entire space. He had been waiting patiently for ages only for the integration process to fail at the end. “[email protected]%K!”
“What do you mean integration failed?” He yelled at the miniature black ball, annoyed at the fact that he wouldn’t be able to see the full features that he had activated. “Is there something or someone in control of this thing?”
But before he could spurt any more profanities, a series of system prompts appeared in quick succession.
[Error: Compatibility Issue - Current Host Too Primitive For Full Integration]
[Possible Fixes: Find a New Host or Upgrade Existing Host]
[Search for a New Host? Yes/No]
“Current Host? Primitive? Compatibility Issue? New host? Upgrade?” He murmured over and over, his tone barely audible even to himself, trying to make sense of his recent experiences. His present situation, completely veiled in mystery, was becoming more and more unfathomable. “Is this another nightmare?”
“What does it mean when it asks me to search for a new host?” He asked no one in particular, glancing around him to check for any clues. He could not see anything or anyone else out there besides the ball and the still unanswered system prompt. The whole place remained unnervingly quiet, the black ball staying still all this time.
“Yes!” He irritably gave in, still glaring at the last system prompt. His mind seemed to be on the verge of exhaustion. Everything that had happened so far had tired him out.
From the moment he woke up during that murder in Central Square, he had been under extreme mental and physical duress this whole time. He felt trapped in an endless rollercoaster ride - from being accused of crimes he knew he did not commit - to being subjected to a barrage of agonizing tests aka torture. The full range of events that finally  led him to where he is right now had tested him to the very limits of his core.
[Searching For New Host]
Dimitri sighed heavily, looking at the new progress bar, his expectations now a bit less optimistic than before. He simply stood there, still completely unable to move. He kept on thinking, biding his time.
“Is everything in this dimension even real?” He stared at the progress bar, now stuck at fifty percent. “What is this reality I’m in right now, exactly? What is that black ball for? Why do I keep seeing all these system prompts?”  
“Most importantly, why have all these things happened to me?” He knew full well that he wouldn’t be able to arrive at any satisfactory answers right now. Everything since Central Square had filled his mind with a continuous stream of questions, one by one, without any plausible answers. “Who am I exactly?”
***
[Connection Failed]
“Hmm… What does ‘connection failed’ even mean?” Dimitri mumbled dryly, feeling his already knitted brows creasing further.
Despite lowering his expectations, he still had that lingering hope for something positive to happen. Unfortunately, his luck still has not turned. Nothing positive has ever happened so far. He seemed to be living the life of a cursed man, one adversity at a time.
Before he could think any further, another error message came into view.  
[Error: Mainframe Network Inaccessible]
“What mainframe network?” He wondered, fully aware of the absence of wires resembling some kind of network. “Why do we even need to connect to a mainframe network?” 
“Is this thing broken?” He realized that nothing had worked so far. He began to think that being here was simply a waste of his time. “How do I get out of here?”
While trying to think of a way out, he noticed the black ball making three quick unusual beeps. This captured his attention, interrupting his train of thought. A series of system prompts followed.
[Enabling Limited Function Mode]
[Initializing Limited Function Mode]
[Limited Function Mode Activated]
[Warning: Usage Restriction Due To Limited Function Mode Activation]
[System Availability Duration: Unknown]
“So this thing even has a time limit?” He started to doubt the reliability of this strange system. “Nothing has happened since the first system prompt. I am almost certain nothing will happen now or ever.”
“How long will I be able to use this system? What are its limited features?” He did not see any specific time limit or features displayed.
[Access Current Host Memory? Yes/No]
“Yes!” He made this choice as a wild guess. “This must be one of its limited features.” 
He saw another progress bar popping up from out of nowhere. Despite his pessimism, nearly certain that nothing works, he sincerely hoped to find all the answers he had been looking for this time around.
[Accessing Current Host Memory]
***
Author's Notes:
What do you think about Chapter 6: Integration Failed? Do share your feedback with me in the comment section below. Also, kindly follow @aldenmyro on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates!
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The Exiled Prince - Chapter 5: A Seemingly Conscious Nightmare

“The secret is this: you won’t die!” The captive felt a warm breath in his right ear as he heard a familiar voice whisper. He slowly opened his eyes, his vision still a blur, and saw a shadowy figure. A few blinks of his eyes fully restored his eyesight.
He found himself kneeling on the ground wearing a dirty old robe. His body felt sticky with dried sweat. He tried to say something, but his mouth had been fully sealed, his hands firmly bound behind his back.
The prisoner looked up to see a face that could have been his own. Hatred raged in his eyes as he stared at his twin brother whom he had absolutely detested most of his life. Both knew the feeling was mutual.
“You will be reborn as a mere mortal in some inferior world!” His twin stared deep into his eyes, sneering with disgust. “You will be completely stripped of any memory or power, a sentence so much worse than death.” He felt his twin brother’s right hand forcefully grab his face. 
The assembly of nobles, all adorned in full regalia with lavishly embellished cloaks, encircled the prisoner. Around their necks hung ceremonial pieces of jewelry, with glimmering stones as bright as the stars.
With several of these aristocrats being his own kin, the captive knew their terrestrial hierarchy and ranks meant nothing within these walls. This vast secret underground chamber appeared to be a revered sanctuary from an antiquated world.
Here, with all men and women equal, heavily bound with the ancient and mystical bond of power and prestige, the congregation shared the age-old secret to eternal youth.
The captive scrutinized the intimidating conclave, disheartened to see his father leading the pack of royals gathered to witness his own son’s doom. The man he looked up to, the emperor, his own flesh and blood, had become a party to his condemnation.
“It’s time!” The emperor declared nonchalantly, his face devoid of any emotion.
“Yes, Father!” His twin brother obediently responded before taking his designated place at their father’s side. Each brother’s face mirrored the contempt one felt for the other.
The emperor then raised his staff and started chanting, summoning a mysterious dark vortex towards the center of the room above the captive’s head.
Slowly, the captive began to disappear, screaming at the top of his lungs. To his anguish, the entire process felt like an eternity. The vortex painfully tore his body, mind, and soul into shreds until he became nothing.
***
Dimitri suddenly bolted straight up, startling out of a seemingly conscious nightmare. He sat all alone in a cramped room with a mirrored wall and a single door to his left.
Everything seemed eerily silent, the room completely devoid of sound. All of his extremities must have been locked to the sturdy metal frame for quite a long time. The securely locked handcuffs and chain anklets caused the numbness in his hands and legs.
The reflection of a stranger, sitting on a metal chair, stared at him intensely. No other furniture could be found in this small cubic space. The stranger gazed at him with contempt and traces of regret, emotions he somehow knew he rarely felt.
Without a doubt, this young unfamiliar face, sans the make up and prosthetics, belonged to him. Of this, he was certain. After all, he had been staring at this exact same face for God knows how long while in detention.
“Why do I keep having the same dream over and over,” Dimitri thought, “every time I lose consciousness?” Intense numbness and pain lingered all throughout his body. Most of his waking moments had been spent trying to make sense of this recurring nightmare.
Although he could not recall the faces in the dream in vivid detail, he realized that his face in the dream looked very different from the face currently staring at him in the mirror. Also, the world in his dream seemed very different from the world he woke up to. And he felt like he didn't belong to either one of them.
“Was the recurring nightmare just a figment of my imagination?” Dimitri shivered at the mere thought of being torn into shreds. “Or did the dream stem from my own real past experience?”
“And this reality I find myself in right now,” he thought, “is this just another figment of my imagination? Just another fantasy concocted in my head?”
Dimitri inspected his clothes more closely as he further contemplated his situation. Then, he concluded that this world appeared to be more real than the world in his dream.
A tightly fit spandex bodysuit replaced the business suit he had been wearing when he arrived in Shangri-la. This uniform’s design amplified the pain from the tests he had been subjected to. He tried to remember everything that happened ever since the first test ordered by the council.
But before he could think any further, the door suddenly opened.
***
“Congratulations Dimitri! You passed the first set of tests.” The AI butler declared as he appeared out of thin air.
The hologram hovered around Dimitri's body, scanning it from head to toe with a cylindrical column of light. “And it looks like your wounds from the last test have already healed, as well.”
“Shall we move on to the next set of the tests?” The butler seemed totally oblivious to the young man’s angry glare. “Since you’re one tough cookie to crack, you should be able to handle the next set like you always have.”
“Anyway, kindly proceed to the next room!” The AI blabbered animatedly without waiting for his response.
“Test, my foot! More like torture, you mean.” Dimitri thought scornfully as he heard a clicking sound. He felt the handcuffs and chain anklets loosening. With some difficulty, he slowly freed himself from his shackles, one limb at a time, rubbing the numbness away.
He tried to ignore the numbness and pain of his muscles as he stood up, walking towards the door. But before he could even reach the door, he saw the following system prompt:
[Memory Download Complete]
He blinked, unsure of what he just saw. He could still see the system prompt even with his eyes closed, even when he turned his head.
The countdown that replaced the previous system prompt caught him by surprise. A sense of foreboding engulfed him, not knowing what would happen next.
[Rebooting in 3...2...1]
Dimitri immediately fell to the floor and lost all consciousness.
***
Author's Notes:
What do you think about Chapter 5: A Seemingly Conscious Nightmare? Do share your feedback with me in the comment section below. Also, kindly follow @aldenmyro on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates!
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Alden Myro
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The Exiled Prince - Chapter 4: The Council

“I can’t remember anything!” The young man revealed his current condition with a hint of apprehension. He subtly inhaled then exhaled a bit longer than usual to calm the already increasing tension in his nerves. The cramped hall inside the castle had already been filled with black-cloaked men when he entered it.
He stood firmly at the center of this tiny conclave trying very hard to ignore the slight twinge in his already sore legs. All that running from Central Square seemed to be finally taking its toll. Both of his hands clasped together against his abdomen served as his anchor. He didn’t have anyone or anything else to hold on to except himself while the inquiry forged on.
With a deadpan expression, he had been staring silently at a group of eccentric looking men wearing black cloaks for over half an hour. The men’s hoods covered most of their faces, concealing their eyes, showing just their lips and noses, in an extreme effort to hide their identities. All that time, he had been fervently trying to keep his hands and legs from trembling. 
Hearing the barrage of accusations thrown against him confused him even more. Everything he heard overwhelmed him and made him feel really vulnerable. He simply had no idea what they were talking about.
He felt trapped, astutely aware as the congregation examined every minute detail of his language, both verbal and nonverbal. The strange men scrutinized him as though he were a minuscule specimen under their invisible humongous microscope. Their eagle-eyed stares collectively made the atmosphere really intimidating and somber, almost suffocating him at his core.
***
“Are you certain that you remember absolutely nothing at all?” The old man occupying the most important seat of this gathering asked the young man sternly.
The question diverted the young man’s attention exclusively to the speaker’s wrinkly face, the only face he could see among the crowd. The old man wore a red cloak, highlighting his supreme authority among the black hooded figures. 
“I am saying that with a hundred percent certainty.” The young man responded to the old man honestly. Yet, deep inside, despite the impassive look in his eyes, he felt his self-confidence slowly dwindling. He began to regret trusting his instincts and coming here.
“For example, I sense something familiar about you!” The young man looked directly at the strange yet familiar face. “However, I can’t remember anything about you or this place.” He intensely hoped for the old man to believe him, sensing something vaguely familiar about the old man’s gaze. The old man clearly doubted what the young man claimed.
A murmur rose through the crowd. Each hooded person seemed to be expressing utter disbelief in the young man’s insistence that he did not remember anything.
“Headmaster, if I may...” The man standing beside the old man respectfully asked for permission to speak. “There is something I would like to point out.”
The old man simply nodded without saying a word. The crowd immediately became silent in deference to the speaker who appeared to outrank them all. The color of the man’s robe seemed darker than the colors of the robes worn by the rest. 
“Well, if you can’t remember a thing, how were you able to get here in the first place?” The unknown man instantly started probing, obviously not buying the young man’s explanation. Everyone looked intensely at the young man. “We all know that Shangri-la’s access points are modified periodically to continue keeping this place a secret.”
“Don’t you think those periodic changes would be too intricate for someone, claiming not to remember anything, to discover?” The unknown man smirked, his tone dripping with contempt and ridicule. “Yet, you managed to arrive right on time before the access point was changed. And right now, you are standing inside the very hall that you insist you do not remember.”
The young man simply stood there, speechless, focused on controlling the boiling rage he felt towards himself. He knew exactly why he felt such rage. He had no way to explain how he remembered the escape plan. 
He could see most of the crowd nodding, clearly revealing their stance. They openly agreed with the unknown man’s point of view, expressing their displeasure at his seemingly peculiar excuse that he didn’t remember anything.
“Gentlemen!” The old man’s amiable yet authoritative voice resonated throughout the entire hall, to quickly quiet the agitated crowd. The young man could see the futility with which the old man viewed the situation. “Let’s reconvene tomorrow. I need time to talk to him in private.” Without a doubt, the old man had issued a command, not a request.
The young man internally sighed with relief and breathed more easily, as he saw the hologram of each hooded figure disappear one by one. Now, just the old man and himself remained in the hall.
***
“I’m not lying!” The young man stated matter-of-factly as he observed the old man more closely now that they were alone in the hall. He perceived the wrinkly old man in front of him as real and not just a mere projection. Throughout the conclave, all those virtual projections had resembled real people.
“I really can’t remember anything!” He stared at the old man eye-to-eye. The young man’s rigid stance exhibited resolute determination, his eyes sharp. He had every intention of resolving whatever mess he had created in the past, a mess he absolutely had no recollection of. “I don’t even know who I am!”
The young man directed his glance at the intricately designed throne, the old man’s seat. “What do all those symbols carved on the chair mean?” he thought. Finding those same symbols, at the gate and all over the castle, intrigued him.
“You actually expect the council to believe that?” The young man gazed back at the old man, his thoughts cut short by the old man’s accusation and line of questioning. “You actually think amnesia can wash your hands off the huge mess you created?”
“We have been operating in the shadows for centuries!” The old man did not wait for the young man to respond, the tone of his voice rising. “You have gone on a rampage these past few months, breaking each protocol we have painstakingly put in place.” The old man openly displayed his frustration.
“You have already been warned that your last job was your final chance!” The old man rose from his chair, his body visibly trembling from anger that he had been trying to control. “Yet, you blatantly killed your target out in the open for the whole world to see.” 
“And you didn’t even finish the job.” A few prominent wrinkles on his forehead quickly turned into a frown. “Such indiscretion is compromising the secrecy of the entire organization!”
“Go!” The old man sighed, pointing a finger towards the exit, ending the meeting abruptly. “The council will decide after we subject you to some tests.”
“You had better be telling the truth, Dimitri!” The young man stopped to listen more closely to the old man. “Otherwise, even my position as Headmaster will not be able to protect you from the Council’s wrath!”
***
Author's Notes:
What do you think about Chapter 4: The Council? Do share your feedback with me in the comment section below. Also, kindly follow @aldenmyro on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates!
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Alden Myro
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The Exiled Prince - Chapter 3: A Brick-Walled Fortress

As the timeworn car wove its way up the winding slope, the young man looked at the ragged mountain ranges above him. Far ahead, built on an isolated snowy plateau, an enormous brick-walled fortress seemed to float over the clouds. To any onlooker, the fortress exuded a magical air, as though separating heaven and earth.
This sanctuary would be his final rendezvous point. That is, if he trusted his gut feel to follow to the letter the escape plan mysteriously etched in his mind. He should be on the way to the safe haven where he could at least find more information about himself and the world he’s currently living in.
"Will they be expecting me?" the young man thought, wondering how they would react. "Or will I just stir up another hornet's nest?"
He drove the inconspicuous getaway car all the way from the train station until he finally reached the mountaintop. At the strikingly grand yet empty driveway, he saw a man. Behind this man stood eight armed humanoid robots. 
***
The perfectly groomed old man wore a suit and a tie, the typical butler’s uniform. The robots, meanwhile, stood eerily still, as if eagerly waiting to pounce on their prey at any given moment.
“May I ask this kind gentleman to state the purpose of his visit?” As he left the car, the young man heard an old man’s stern voice. The cold mountain air seeped through his bones as soon as he stepped out. He shivered slightly despite his warm clothing.
The young man just stood there and stared at the butler with a face devoid of expression, not knowing how to respond. Although he seemed to recognize the old man’s face, he couldn't pinpoint exactly where he'd seen him. He appeared to have just awakened a few hours ago, his memories still fuzzy.
“State the… purpose... of your visit.” The butler’s voice cut in and out as his figure flickered like some sort of computer glitch.
"Hmm… an AI?" The young man realized in an instant that this “human” butler talking to him all this time was merely a hologram. Somehow, this high-tech augmented-reality kind of security added to his already escalating curiosity. “So what is this place exactly?”
So many questions with little to non-existent answers. The hunger to know who he was, where he came from, why he killed the stranger, and why his instincts led him to this mountain-top sanctuary, felt so strong. He perceived his craving to find out to be as intense as someone stranded in the desert or floating at sea after a shipwreck needs water.
He then blatantly ignored the flickering virtual projection right in front of him and walked straight towards the side of the entrance. Without delay, he positioned his body in front of the scanner as he saw it in his memory flashback. He then heard a reverberating clicking sound.
“It worked,” the young man sighed, feeling a sense of relief, as the door opened. The memory fragment had only led him up to this point. Anything beyond this huge metallic gate he expected to be riddled in mystery. He had absolutely no clue as to what was in store for him inside.
***
“Oh, it is you. Welcome back to Shangri-la, Bogeyman!” The old man suddenly appeared from thin air. The young man found these odd-sounding names stranger than the hologram’s sudden reappearance.
The machine’s friendly demeanor within the temple premises posed quite a contrast to his imposing behavior at the entrance. This could only be due to the young man’s successful body scan. The humanoid robots, meanwhile, stayed still right outside the temple, weapons armed, though no longer appearing as hostile as before.
“How was your mission?” The virtual butler quickly asked the young man. “Did you pick up the parts that I ordered?”
“Bogeyman,” the young man thought over and over, silently in his mind, ignoring the virtual projection’s questions.
“Is that my name?” He tried to recall anything from his consciousness. Despite sifting through his memories, his mind drew a blank. The name didn’t ring a bell at all.
“Bogeyman? Shangri-la? Mission? Parts?” Suppressing the urge to know the truth, the paranoid young man simply shook his head, keeping his thoughts to himself, unsure if he could trust the AI and the organization behind it.
He eyed his destination with the avid interest of a newcomer. The brick and stone castle sat atop a plateau.
The young man started walking along a single wide road. He turned a deaf ear to the hologram’s non-stop nagging. The virtual butler went on and on about machine parts that the young man had absolutely no clue what for or why he had to get them.
He shifted his gaze to the two gigantic statues guarding the main wooden door. One statue held the grip of a sword, its blade pointing downward. The other gripped the shaft of a spear, its sharpened end pointing upwards. Both artifacts wore medieval body armor and carried shields with their other hands.
He read the words engraved in the body armor worn by the two statues. “Defenders of the realm. Paragon's last hope.” What a joke!
"This is way too barbaric and old school!" the young man thought, though a bit baffled by his inner mockery of what he perceived to be a totally obsolete symbolism.
***
“So the Bogeyman screws up yet again!” The young man stood still, surprised to see another man coming out of the castle’s antique mahogany door.
A towering figure with long silky hair, wearing an intricately designed white robe, slowly walked towards him. The approaching man kept his hands behind his back.
“Ironic, isn’t it? ” The other man smirked condescendingly. “You seemed to be more than capable enough to do complicated jobs. Yet, here you are, faltering at this one simple job!” He spoke with his pale face exuding an air of arrogance.
“More like forget-me-man!” The butler, closely following the young man, sarcastically told the newcomer, unaware of the rising tension between the two men. “Will you be going out for a new mission?”
“Give me your car keys!” The other man ignored both the young man’s expressionless face and the butler’s whining. “Watch me clean up your mess!”
The young man sensed a threatening aura emanating from the stranger. He simply stood there with a deadpan expression on his face.
He threw the keys at the stranger nonchalantly. The young man pretended to do it without a thought. But deep down, he felt extremely curious.
Both men continued walking as if nothing had happened. They sort of just crossed each other’s path for a moment. The young man headed towards the castle’s main door while the pompous man walked towards the driveway.
“Can you at least bring the parts that I ordered when you come back?” The virtual projection shouted indignantly. “This guy here forgot about it. I really need them to fix my projection in the driveway!”
The young man left the virtual butler behind him. As he reached the door, the hologram appeared out of thin air.
“By the way, the Headmaster is urgently looking for you!”
***
Author's Notes:
What do you think about Chapter 3: A Brick-Walled Fortress? Do share your feedback with me in the comment section below. Also, kindly follow @aldenmyro on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates!
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Alden Myro
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The Exiled Prince - Chapter 2: A Stranger's Face

Peace and quiet turned into pandemonium, the entire city in shambles. The once peaceful neighborhood became the center of attention. Various vehicles gradually filled the once tranquil streets surrounding Central Square. High-pitched sirens kept on wailing at a distance as more ambulances and police cars gathered around the area.
Policemen crammed every nook and cranny, trying to collect and find more evidence while fending off any curious bystander at the same time.
Crowds of shoppers already scattered inside the complex huddled towards the remaining open spaces, scrutinizing every detail of the ongoing investigation. Some even dared to record the commotion unfolding right before their very eyes. After all, crime scenes rarely happen in this part of town.
All television networks broadcasted this incident live.  The whole city witnessed one of the most violent crimes ever committed in decades. Most residents anxiously watched, fearing mainly for their lives.
The lone perpetrator had yet to be captured. This fact caused most residents to feel extremely uneasy with going through their daily routines. After all, the crime occurred in the very city where they lived.
The young man, meanwhile, ran without stopping. He dashed from one street to the next discreetly, unaware of the mess caused by his previous actions still beyond the grasp of his memory. He easily hopped from one low-rise building to the next, nimble enough to climb over some walls, effectively dodging populated alleyways and surveillance cameras along the way.
His audacity and resolve to remain at the crime scene had been short lived. At the verge of surrender, everything seemed to fall into place, apparently according to some subconscious plan. A barrage of memory fragments urging him to flee flooded his mind, momentarily enlightening his once clueless self.
In an instant, he knew the way out exactly, following the escape route etched deeply in his subconscious pronto. It felt as though he had been through the same routine a hundred times. As to why it felt that way, he didn’t know. He simply knew.
***
The young man finally arrived at the roofdeck of an old five-story residential apartment building nine blocks from Central Square. He rushed to the corner room and instinctively found the secret compartment. He immediately noticed the compartment’s cleverly concealed location. The dilapidated walls completely blocked the view from any prying eyes.
This run-down structure appeared to be just one of the two rendezvous points selected for his getaway plan. He had seen all these in his quick memory epiphany. This confirmed his suspicion that this whole fiasco must have been premeditated.
Inside the secret compartment, he found a box that contained a business suit, a dark brown vintage leather briefcase, a pair of chelsea boots, and a white warm down coat neatly packed in individual ziplock plastic bags. In the briefcase, he saw cash, several identification cards, and a car key.
Without delay, the young man started undressing. He took off his black faux fur trim down parka, jeans and winter boots then quickly put on the business suit.
The young man peeled the synthetic mask off his face, revealing another strange yet perfectly symmetrical face in the small mirror. He knew that the unfamiliar face broadcasted in all of those adverts could not be his own. He could not help seeing his previous face as he navigated through all those camera blindspots just to get to his current location.
Despite his curiosity, he had to continue changing how he looked as much as he could. He didn’t have that much time to think things through. At the back of his mind, he had to hurry. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be able to make it to his next stop in time.
He stuffed everything in separate trash bags and carried them one floor below. Down the building’s garbage chute went the bags of discarded synthetic materials, leftover makeup, and blood stained clothes. Leave no trace, he remembered.
Pretending like he actually lived there, the young man, in his new disguise, took the elevator down and casually left the building. He walked towards the nearest coffee shop and innocently grabbed a cup of coffee. Then, he proceeded towards the nearest subway station and bought a one-way express ticket out of the city.
***
“The next station is King’s Cross!” The remaining commuters heard a gentle female voice notifying them of the next stop.
Only one man glanced at the screen in front of the cabin, comparing the actual time and the bullet train’s estimated time of arrival. The rest of the commuters, mostly preoccupied with their smartphones, watched the ongoing news in Central Square.
“I should arrive on time!” The ordinary-looking business executive sighed with relief as he sat alone in the last row. He had chosen this seat to keep his distance from the rest of the commuters.
Despite his extreme curiosity over the horrendous crime that he had just committed, he had no way of checking the news since he didn’t have any gadgets with him. He made a mental note to buy one after reaching his final destination. Another item added to his already long to-do list: from finding more clues about this place to more importantly, any information about himself.
“Who am I exactly?” He quietly asked himself with a hint of despair and frustration, finding his current plight rather strange. “Why did I kill that guy? Why am I compelled to run? Why do I have these unique sets of skills?” He reflected on these and other related questions over and over throughout this uneventful train ride.
The ever changing yet beautiful white landscape along the way didn’t help at all. In fact, his sense of familiarity coupled with his lack of recollection of such places confused him even more.
Despite sifting through all of his memories, the young man could only remember up to the point when he first saw that pale-looking woman. Anything beyond that remained a complete mystery to him.
Before he could contemplate even further, the bullet train started to slow down while approaching an underground tunnel. The vast yet modestly quaint cityscape view loomed on the horizon.
“You’ve arrived at the King’s Cross Station.” A few minutes later, the train came to a full stop. “Welcome to Paragon!”
***
Author's Notes:
What do you think about Chapter 2: A Stranger's Face? Please don't forget to give me your feedback in the comment section of this chapter. Also, follow @aldenmyro on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates!
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Alden Myro
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The Exiled Prince - Chapter 1: A Bizarre Anomaly

It all started with a single frightful shriek, turning a once busy corridor of a commercial complex, filled with passersby, deadly silent. This sudden high-pitched scream, followed by a loud thud, put a halt to everybody's movement. For a very brief moment, time seemed to stand still.
Those nearby immediately noticed a middle-aged woman, with a look of utter horror on her face, standing close to a young man. Fear and shock clearly written on her face, her body trembled visibly.
She wasn’t looking at the young man's face, exactly. Her gaze focused solely on the bloody knife currently being held by his right hand.
A few feet down lay the body of another man grasping his throat, convulsing fiercely on the ground. Blood poured out uncontrollably, staining the soles of their boots. Before anyone could react, the man grew motionless and seemingly lost consciousness, the look of shock still evident in his eyes.
Panic ensued when the crowd realized that actual murder had been committed right before their eyes. Most of them ran away without looking back, fearing for their lives. This whole incident shook them to their very bones.
Only a few stayed. Some, the woman included, simply stood there completely petrified, unable to move even if they wanted to. She appeared to be the lone witness to the crime among the crowd.
In the midst of all this chaos, no one seemed to notice another bizarre anomaly...
***
The young man suddenly jolted, stirred wide awake by all the noise around him.
"What's going on?" Still dazed, he woke up as though from a deep slumber. With his vision still a blur, he saw only fast-moving silhouettes of different shapes and sizes.
The young man blinked once to regain his bearings, fully restoring his sense of sight. A pale-looking woman suddenly appeared right in front of him from seemingly out of nowhere, clutching the front exterior of her thick down coat.
At first glance, she seemed to suffer from an agonizing pain. A closer look at her face, however, revealed absolute terror.
Unexpectedly, this sight he found all too familiar. As to why he seemed so certain, he didn't know. He simply knew.
The young man had long observed the woman staring at something. Following her gaze, he found himself gripping a knife stained red. In between them, another man sprawled on the floor with blood still oozing out of his neck.
The feeling of indifference and the normality of this scene baffled him even more. Anyone of sound and rational mind would be able to connect the dots right away. He knew for a fact that he just killed this man.
As to why he slit this man’s throat in broad daylight, he didn't know. Yet, deep inside him, killing felt as natural as breathing.
At this moment, he realized that he didn't even know how he got here. He glanced around only to discover a sense of familiarity with both the people and his surroundings. However, this familiarity somehow felt strange at the same time.
"Freeze! Stay where you are." A male voice commanded. The order interrupted the young man’s attempt to ask the still horrified woman a question.
"Drop your knife!" Another imposing male voice ordered. "Very slowly, put both hands behind your head."
The young man's gut instinct urged him to flee but he decided against it. "Why should I run?" While contemplating on his options, he turned around to see two men wearing police uniforms.
***
The two men approached the young man slowly, aiming their handguns at him. Both cops seemed to be wary of this type of assailant, calm and cold on the outside, but calculating on the inside.
Stationed at Central Square, the biggest luxury shopping mall complex in the city, the two cops expected this new post to be a breather. Prior to this assignment, they both endured a three-month long grind in another neighborhood filled with criminals. It would have never occurred to them, even in their wildest dreams, that they would have to respond to this kind of lawlessness in an area known for its zero crime rate right on their very first day.
"Ma'am, please move this way," the first cop said. Currently in the line of fire, the woman ran the risk of becoming collateral damage. The woman still did not respond, as though stuck in an invisible cage only she alone could see.
Noticing the woman's shock-induced trance-like state, the cop turned to the young man. "You there, drop your weapon! Step away from the woman and put your hands behind your head."
The young fellow remained strangely calm and collected, showing absolutely no hint of emotion. He casually threw his knife to the ground. The knife landed near the corpse. He then moved a few steps away from the woman before obediently putting his hands behind his head, staring at both police officers as if waiting for them to do their jobs.
Sensing the absence of hostility, the first cop carefully approached the young man's side. He locked his pistol and secured it in his concealed holster before retrieving a set of handcuffs.
The second cop remained vigilant, standing at a considerable distance, still aiming his gun towards the suspect. He found the calmness of it all a bit unusual, a far cry from the typical run-and-chase scenarios that they normally experienced. Despite that, though, he could still feel an intense aura of danger coming from the young man.
Just as the first cop was about to handcuff the culprit, the young man suddenly smirked, instantly alarming the second cop who had been watching him like a hawk. In a split second, the first cop collapsed to the ground, groaning on the marbled floor as if on the verge of losing consciousness, both his hands now handcuffed.
Before the second cop could even react, the young man immediately attacked. Both police officers fainted, the handcuffed cop first immediately followed by the second cop.
***
Author's Notes:
What do you think about Chapter 1: A Bizarre Anomaly? Do share your feedback with me in the comment section below. Also, kindly follow @aldenmyro on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates!

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