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Rook E. Hotshot was making his way over to the city square. It was Nexus Day, a holiday celebrated on the day the Nexus Force was founded. He waved at some of his neighbors, and joined the crowd filling the square. It was almost time for the Nexus Force leaders to give their speeches regarding the progress of the war against the forces of Destruction.
Duke Exeter stepped onto the podium first, as per the usual. He pulled out a sheet of paper and began to read from it. "Seven years ago to the day, I and my fellow Faction leaders drafted plans for an organization devoted to pushing back the Nihilum and-"
Suddenly he looked up, dove off the podium and started gesturing wildly at the crowd. "Get back! Get back!" he yelled frantically, and not a moment too soon. A few seconds after everyone was safely away from the stage, a massive black spike of metal punched into the ground.
No one dared breathe. After a few moments, a hatch opened and a figure stepped out. He wore jet-black armor and had a massive sword slung over one shoulder. The figure retrieved a scroll from a hidden pocket and began to recite from it
"People of Crux. We are not here to kill you. All we want are your Imaginix crystals. Give us these and we will leave your world in peace."
A man stepped forward from the crowd. "And why should we give them to you? We know nothing of you or your intentions."
The armored figure did not move, but Rook could tell he was smirking under his helmet. "Because if you do not relinquish the Imaginix, we will destroy your pitiful world and all its people."
The crowd was in uproar. Minifigs were shouting their indignance at the stranger. How dare he? They exclaimed. How dare this man proclaim dominance over them? A few minifigs broke off and charged the armored man. He drew the massive blade out of its sheath and slashed at his assailants almost effortlessly, smashing several instantly. Then he retrieved a small device from his pack and pressed some buttons, and retreated into the great spike.
Abrubtly, another, smaller one fell from the sky. Then another. Soon the air was thick with razor sharp metal shards, big and small. And with all but the smallest, hatches opened to reveal more shadow-armored warriors. They swept through the crowd, smashing indiscriminately. Rook raced away, only to come face to face with a massive warrior. The fiend raised a vicious-looking axe, then froze. He toppled over to reveal a mousy little girl with a shiny dagger in one hand, and a smoking gun in the other.
"Come on, we need to get out of here!" she insisted, grabbing his arm and dragging him away. "What's going on?!" Rook demanded. She looked pained, then she kept walking and said, "I'll explain on the way. Just come on!"
They walked for a time, in the shadows of the deserted roads. Without warning, the mousy girl dragged Rook into an alley and drew her shiny knife, a look of alarm on her face. Several of the large warriors from the ships stomped past. After they passed, Rook demanded, "What was that all about? You just pulled me out of there for no reason! Not that I don't appreciate your saving my life, but you owe me an explanation."
The girl sighed. "You're right. I need to tell you about those people, and why I took you away from the square. There's also the warp holes to explain, so I'll get to that first.
"You know about the Tsrif'Reldu, right? How they created the temple that originally housed the Imagination Nexus? Well, they also created a series of portals called "warp holes". When you jump into a warp hole, it shoots you around a series of tunnels until you pop out of another one. It's possible to steer yourself in a certain direction by visualizing the destination in your mind. You can also follow someone through the tunnels by visualizing them.
"Now to the warriors who attacked the square. Those people are called the Maru. They are the opposite of the Ethereans, and are descended from a race called the Tsrif'Maldor, just as the Ethereans are descended from the Tsrif'Reldu. They are bloodthirsty and vicious, and seek nothing but war and destruction. That leads to why I took you away.
"I am a member of an organization called the ImagiKnights. This group seeks to defend Imagination, just as the Nexus Force does. In fact, we sometimes work in concert with them. My master requested that I keep track of you, and bring you to our sanctum if necessary. I figured that a Maru blitz raid counts as "necessary"."
Rook stood there, speechless. There was so much he had never known about his home. She would definitely fill him in more when they got to the sanctum. Speaking of which-
"Hey! Where are we going?" he asked. She pointed at a pile of bricks. "That's a hidden Warp Hole. We'll use it to get back to base." She began shoveling the bricks aside to reveal a gaping wound in the earth. She leaped into it, pulling Rook with her.
He tumbled through an endless tunnel, loops and twists around every corner. He felt his lunch rise, but just before he emptied his stomach, they shot out of the tunnel into the air. The girl landed on a large cushionlike object, but Rook slammed into hard tiles. He felt his nose crack sideways, and a flash of pain seared through him.
"Owww!" he exclaimed. The girl ran over to him and grabbed his nose, cracking it back into place. He felt a surge of energy flow through him, similar to that which occured when using one's Imagination powers. The pain resided, and his eyes cleared. "Thanks," he said, sitting up. "I never did get your name."
"I'm Stella Sunburst," she said, smiling, and extended her hand. He grasped and shook it, and then pulled himself off the floor. He peered around at the place they had arrived in. It was like a temple to some forgotten god. In fact, there was a man with glowing, transparent blue skin kneeling in front of an altar-like object a few meters away.
"Who's that?" he asked, pointing.