Skycat and Sword : Jadan's Rise and Revenge

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-03-27
  • Publisher: Textstream
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It is 2020 when a mountain of rock weighing millions of tons hits the planet's atmosphere. As the rigid crust of the planet gives away, a massive chain reaction of earthquakes, tidal waves, and volcanic eruptions follows. The catastrophic event known as the Great Crash is deadly and swift. Life on the planet will never be the same. Four thousand years later, nine-year-old Prince Jadan studies the disastrous effects of the Great Crash with his tutor. As he learns about the characteristics of Mutants and the differences between Fusors and Cabals, he has no idea that he will soon be putting his newfound knowledge to work. After he escapes the marauding Mutant army that kills his father and steals his birthright, Jadan is forced to hide in the forest where he is taught lessons of survival from a Cabal, half-man, half-spider. Thought dead by the rest of the world, Jadan returns as a teenager to unite his kingdom against Mutant warlords and half-humans. But first, he must prove himself worthy. In this adventurous tale, not everyone believes Jadan is the Chosen One. Left with no other options, Jadan must embark on a dangerous quest to fulfill his destiny and claim a fabled sword-before it is too late.


An awful smell, sickly sweet, was Jadan's first warning that he was no longer alone. He heard a faint scrabbling sound in the leaves below him and tried to twist his head to the side to see the ground. From his cramped position, he could only see a limited view of the forest's edge. Jadan panted nervously as he waited for his captor to do something. His muscles tensed up, getting ready for a last-stand battle. He pushed down panicked giggles. Sure. Like I can really put up a good fight with my heels stuck in my ears! He told himself to get serious, to wait for a chance to get out of this mess. Long minutes ticked by, but Jadan just continued to hang in the sling of the trap. Finally, the lack of sleep and the stress of the past day overwhelmed Jadan. He was ready to end it now, one way or the other, and he was tired of the game his captor was playing. "Coward!" Jadan screamed. "Are you going to let me hang here forever? Are you too scared to fight me? What kind of weak warrior are you?" Jadan thrashed in the net, growling with frustration. "Give me a fair fight! Cut me down now! I'll even let you have the first strike!" The barking laugh so near to him made Jadan jump in surprise. He swiveled his head toward the sound and sucked in his breath. D-daaaggone—what is that thing? his brain stuttered, unable to process what his eyes were seeing. The Cabal clung to the branches of a nearby tree. Its eyes—all five of them—studied him as a wide grin split its black, shiny face. Sparse, wiry hairs sprouted from all over its head, growing thicker on its narrow neck before spreading out in a mat across its muscular chest. Jadan's cramped position prevented him from seeing the rest of the creature. His eyes locked in gruesome fascination on the Cabal's thick, blue-black tongue as it licked its narrow lips. "The puny one talks a big game!" the Cabal croaked. "Me afraid to let you down. Might hurt me!" Despite his fear, Jadan gritted his teeth and gave the creature a dirty look. The flyder-man let out another hoarse cackle and reached for the knots holding the trap aloft. It gave a tug on the line, and the trap dropped several meters as one knot came free. "Hey, watch it!" cried Jadan as the creature worked at the remaining knots. Another knot loosened, and the trap dropped another few meters. The jolt stole Jadan's breath, and he wheezed as the last knot gave way. The trap fell the remaining distance to the ground, knocking any remaining air from Jadan's lungs. He curled his knees to his chest, trying to drag in air but certain that he was dying. He could hear the Cabal's barking laughter. I'm going to make him stop laughing—if I live! he swore silently. Finally, Jadan was able to fill his lungs with sweet air again. He struggled to his feet, which were on fire with pins and needles as blood returned to them. Furious, he turned and faced his captor. The Cabal stood with its brawny fists on its hips, if that's what one could call the area below its waist. While the creature faintly resembled a Fusor from its head to its navel, that's where the resemblance ended. The rest of it looked like the lower half of a—a flyder! Jadan's eyes grew big at the sight of its grotesquely large abdomen and eight long, fragile-looking legs. Two bright-yellow triangles, their points touching to make an hourglass shape, stood out against its black abdomen. A row of white dots outlined its sides. The entire creature was shiny, as if its skin had a protective shell of lacquer. Jadan was terrified. He hated flyders! His first thought—after ugh!—was, I wonder what it eats? Then he remembered, It caught me in its trap! Does that mean ...? "S-So now what? Are you going to e-eat me?" Jadan nervously asked the flyder-man. The Cabal grimaced and stuck out its blue tongue. "Pfft! You think I eat dirty little boys?" It shook its round head and blinked its eyes—at least, some of them. Not quite so scared now that his worst fear was put to rest, Jadan studied the Cabal. His father had never allowed him to mingle with people at Nye Castle, so he hadn't seen many Cabals. But this one ... This has got to be the ugliest, scariest Cabal alive! he thought. But he hasn't really done anything to hurt you, his mind told him reasonably. However, his unreasonable nine-year-old legs screamed, Run! Jadan thought seriously about obeying his legs but doubted that he would get far. Despite the Cabal's flyder-like appearance, Jadan didn't see any wings sprouting from its shoulders or back. All the same, Jadan was sure that eight legs would beat two legs in a foot race. I guess I'll have to fight, he groaned silently. Daggone—I wish that I hadn't said he could have the first strike. That thing only needs one strike to kill me! Even though he shook with fear, Jadan balled his hands into fists. "All r-right," he said to the Cabal, "I said you could have the first st-strike. Go ahead, h-hit me!" Jadan dropped into a battle-ready posture, with his knees bent and his weight resting on the balls of his feet. Forget letting him hit me, get ready to dodge, he told himself. Then I'll maybe have one chance to take him. Yes, that's right ... I can do this .... The Cabal's many eyes looked Jadan over, and then he grunted. "I respect a man who keeps his word. Even if that man is puny boy." It reached one huge hand toward Jadan, who tensed for a blow. But the creature was trying to shake his hand. Cautiously Jadan extended his own hand. The creature's massive grip engulfed Jadan's small hand, and he fought not to cry out as the creature began to squeeze. This test was one that Jadan knew—one of the few things that Jadan's father had taught him. Jadan knew that he must squeeze back as hard as he could and not show his own pain. Squeeze ... don't cry ... don't let go .... The test was finally over, and the Cabal must have been satisfied with Jadan's performance. It said, "My name is Arick," and then looked at Jadan expectantly. Jadan resisted shaking the feeling back into his hand. Instead he stuck it into his pocket as he replied, "My name is Jadan." "Why you alone in forest, Jadan?" asked Arick. "Young boy like you should be home with family." A flash of pain washed over Jadan's expressive face before he could hide it. "I have no family," he replied. "I have no home." Arick considered Jadan and then said, "You come live with me. I could use help." Without waiting for Jadan's response, Arick gathered up his net and moved off into the forest. Jadan, with nowhere else to go, followed him.

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