Chapter 1:

From the Nexus

Primal Saga Vol 1: The Queen of Silence


That feeling a person gets just as they are about to drift off into the endless void of sleep only to be pulled back into consciousness by a quick jolt.

I felt a similar sensation the day my world was torn away from me in a flash of light. My senses were assaulted with an array of bright colors and space itself felt as though it was being folded over and over again like an origami crane. It went on for what seemed like an eternity. In reality, though, this experience lasted mere seconds before I was plunged into complete darkness. I was then met with a peaceful feeling - like a dream. A dream that began after I stepped off the edge of reality. A dream that eventually turned into - a nightmare. Because nothing could have ever prepared me for what I would face the day I woke up on a different Earth.


"Donovan? Are you with me?" A voice that sounded like it was in an echo chamber rang in my head. Everything went silent for a brief moment then there was that voice again. "He is starting to wake up. Keep the lights dim. Let his senses adjust. Listen to me, Donovan. You came through the Nexus and we have had you in stasis for twenty-four hours. Your body is going to feel a bit tense and you could also feel—."

My stomach heaved. My vision adjusted and I realized someone was holding a plastic bin in front of me - catching the sour bile my body had just rejected.

"Don't worry. It doesn't last very long,” said the voice “Give it a few more minutes and your body will gain a sense of balance."

Through the grogginess, I saw who was speaking to me. It was a man roughly in his forties wearing a lab coat. His bald head was flanked by greying hair on both sides. He had a kind gentle face underneath his bushy eyebrows.

"I'd shake your hand, but we are not supposed to touch you until you have had your vaccinations. We kept you under for about a day to monitor your condition and make sure you were disease-free. You’re a bit malnourished but healthy as far as we can tell," said the man. "Doctor Edward Cutter by the way. My friends call me Eddie," he said as he disposed of the plastic bin. "Uhhh… Bonjour, Guten Tag, hmm, jó napot, hello, I am going to keep saying greetings in different languages until I get a response from you," Eddie said with a smile.

"My friends called me Donnie," I replied in a weak voice. My throat still burned.

I looked down and noticed I was wearing a skin-tight blue jumper. Then, in a flash, it all came back to me. They loaded me in a pod. Then the pod was shot through a cannon and into a tear in reality. The pod was nowhere to be found. Instead, I was lying on what seemed like an exam room bed in a dimly lit room. My head began to spin again.

"I can get another bin if you need it," Eddie asked as he received a tray of needle-tipped syringes from a nurse.

"No. I'll be fine," I said - waving my hand dismissively.

"Well ok if you insist," Eddie said, sliding on a pair of latex gloves. He handed me a cup of water and two pills. "Here, take two of these. It will help rehydrate you and should clear your head.”

I took the pills from him and downed them with the water with one gulp.

“I need to expose your arm,” Eddie said. “These stupid jumpsuits always got in the way." He touched a dial on the inside of my wrist causing my jumpsuit to loosen. "If you could sit up please?"

I sat up and the jumpsuit fell away from the upper part of my body exposing my skin to the air causing me to shiver.

"Yeah. Sorry about that. We have the air conditioner on high. We are in the middle of the dry season. Don't worry though, give it a few more weeks and it will be so rainy that you will need to start wearing scuba gear," Eddie said as he began to clean a spot on my shoulder with a small cloth. I'm not sure if he is joking or not.

"Dry season. Rain." I mouthed the words quietly.

"Excuse me?"

"Oh, I am just really not used to hearing those words."

"Still a bitter, cold wasteland on the other side, huh? Well, in that case, you will really enjoy the change of season," Eddie said, pinching my upper arm with his gloved hands. "Sorry, but you will feel a slight bit of discomfort."

I winced.

"I know. I know. It hurts," Eddie said. "But one of the major things we have been battling here on Termina is diseases." He placed the first syringe down and retrieved another one from the tray. "We lose more people to illness than we do animal attacks. The world here is simply out to get us. The best thing we can do is be prepared and part of being prepared is conditioning our bodies to these nasty pathogens." He injected my other arm. "There are some diseases that we still haven't even been able to remedy let alone cure - particularly ones involving parasites.” He cleared his throat before he continued on to what he said next. “Because of that, one of our settlements was completely depopulated by an outbreak that struck years ago. Awful isn't it? Out of all the dangers in this world, the worst is the one we can't even see."

A third needle was pressed into my forearm causing me to let out a whimper. "What do you mean by dangers?” I asked. “When they sent me here they didn't give me any information besides that I would be able to start a new life."

"It's hard to explain," Eddie said. "Your guardians will fill you in better than I could." A nurse took the needle tray from Eddie and handed him a clipboard. His look shifted to one of surprise as he read over the contents. "Says here that your guardians are Felicia and Victor Morrison, your aunt and uncle. Your aunt, in particular, is extremely famous. She is head of Laurentia's Prefectural Guard and chief of Laurentia’s Sentinel Tribe. Seems to me that you will be in good hands."

"Uuuuhhh… yeah... one problem," I said. "I don't have an aunt and uncle. At least my father and mother never mentioned them when they were alive." I was beginning to grow impatient. After my father was killed in a bombing less than a month ago a man from an organization called TOSR said that these guardians of mine were taking custody of me. It wasn't until I arrived at the research station at this place called the Nexus they told me I would be traveling to a different dimension. Something just seemed off to me. Who are you, people? And why have I really been called here?"

"We have the luggage they sent with you," Eddie said. He seemed to have detected my frustration but still dodged my questions. "We also have a package from your guardians. How about we help you get to your new home and your guardians will explain the rest?"

I slowly nodded, but I still didn’t buy all this other dimension crap. Something just feels… off. I’m not sure what.

"By the way," Eddie said. "Welcome to Termina."


I exhaled a long sigh as I stared at myself in the mirror in the changing room. I looked completely worn out, my brown hair was a mess and my olive eyes were heavy with fatigue. Despite this, I was the same as I was before my little trip through time and space. At least I have that.

The package I received from my aunt and uncle was a school uniform with a letter containing instructions.

Dear Donovan,

Your uncle and I are sorry that we were unable to greet you when you woke up. Both of us have been tied down for the past few days and I had something urgent. Your room has been set up for you and we can't wait to see you. In this package, there is a data file with the school map as well as a uniform. Today should be a school day so you will need to wear this even though you are still in the process of being registered. Dumb I know. On your way here I am going to need you to do a few things for me. First, you will be taking the monorail to Ordovician Station. From there you will change trains and take the B line to the end of the line - you will arrive at Laurentia Academy. Once you are here you will need to go to the security office and pick up a school ID. Bernie the security chief knows you are coming and will get everything straightened out for you. After that, you are to head to the dormitories. Our house is the one to the right of the girl’s dorm. Victor should be home by then. I will be home around 4:30ish. Do not. I repeat do not do anything else. Your Uncle and I will fill you in once we are home.


Aunt Felicia and Uncle Victor

"I see we are off to a great start. They couldn't even bother to meet me here," I said, letting out an even longer sigh. "It's going to be juuust like it was back at home isn't it?"

Burying my disappointment, I put on the school uniform which consisted of a white button-down shirt, dark blue khakis, and blue tie, as well as a pair of brown boots. I struggled with the tie for well over five minutes before I finally got a decent-looking knot. Once I was dressed. I grabbed the data file and went outside to meet Eddie.


A wall of sticky, humid air hit me like a truck when I took my first steps outside the Nexus building into this alien world. I was in awe. From the monorail station platform, I could see out across the town. The buildings surrounding the Nexus were five-story complexes with shops on the lowest floor. Off in the distance, there were much smaller buildings with Spanish-style roofs surrounded by groves of tropical vegetation. The amount of greenery was like nothing I have ever seen. Not only that, but the sun was actually shining in the sky. In all my life I have never seen anything like it outside of old photos, movies, or even video games.

"Fantastic isn't it," Eddie said. "From the data we have gathered we have determined that a majority of this version of Earth has a tropical climate, although, toward the more mountainous areas, the climate is more temperate. Most of the data had to be gathered by probes. We have discovered that—"

Eddie's communicator pinged. He looked down to read the message and looked back at me. "It would seem your traveling companion has been causing problems for the shipping company. They could not convince him to ride with the rest of your luggage. So they are sending him here to join you on your trip to the academy."

"Oh crap! I must have forgotten to put Ace in sleep mode before I packed him. He must be terrified not knowing where I am."

"I hope they get here soon," Eddie said. "Your train will be arriving any minute now."

Behind us, the glass, automatic doors slid open, and out stepped a young woman followed by a little, humanoid robot about as high as her knee - my Artificial Companion Entity - Ace for short. Sunlight gleaned off his silver and blue body. His pair of small backward angled antennas on either side of his head twitched and his large glowing, blue eyes gleamed when he saw me. The little robot made a mad dash across the platform to my leg, latching onto it with a tight embrace like a child would to their parent’s.

"I missed you too buddy," I said. "Although it only feels like an hour since I last saw you. I think. I am not sure how time translates cross dimensionally."

"From what we know the time you left is not the same as the time you arrived here," Eddie said. "It's hard to explain, but let's just say you have indeed aged a few extra hours despite the journey only being a few seconds for you. But I digress." Eddie then thanked the woman who brought Ace here, who then silently nodded and returned through the glass doors.

Ace released my leg and presented me with something.

"My wallet," I exclaimed. I took the piece of folded leather from Ace and rotated it in my hands. "So it's not that I forgot to put you into sleep mode. You saw this amongst my packed things and thought I needed it." Ace beeped and nodded his head in response. In reality, I don't think I needed it, but how could I say no to those eyes. It was obvious he was too frightened to travel alone and in all honesty, so am I. Having him along for the ride will no doubt bring me at least some peace of mind.

I heard the whir of the approaching monorail.

"Well, that looks like your train. Feel free to contact us if you need anything," Eddie said. "You should feel very drowsy today from the interdimensional travel as well as from the vaccines. So please, take it easy for the next few days. Doctors orders."

"Thank you," I replied as I boarded the train.


The transit system in Laurentia was a suspended monorail system - a three carriage train that hangs underneath a series of track sections running between pylons. The train glided out of the dense part of the city and into the suburbs. Below, people were going about their afternoon business. What surprised me is that there was a noticeable lack of cars on the streets. Out of the small number of vehicles, there were only commercial vehicles, the occasional law enforcement off-road rovers, and bicycles.

I stared out the window as trees and tropical-style bungalows zipped past my field of vision. In the seat next to me, Ace had already gotten into the reading material that was inside the pouch behind the seat in front of us. The map pamphlet he was reading was almost the same size as him. It struck me as funny but it was not an unfamiliar sight to me. Part of Ace's programing is information gathering, his data core takes in what he can find and achieves it in a large data bank. As a result of this, he has taken up a hobby of reading, which he does a lot. He seems to even get enjoyment out of reading stories and classic literature. I made a mental note to pick something up for him at the academy library once I get there.

It was then I remembered the data file I received from my aunt. I took the file out of my pocket hitting the display button. A hologram of a map materialized over the file. I presented it to Ace. "Can you download this please," I asked. Ace chirped in confirmation and put his pamphlet down. He began to scan the file with his eyes.

While he was busy with that, I pulled out my wallet and took out a small case from a hidden compartment. I slipped my wallet back into my back pocket and opened the case. Inside were two contact lenses and a small earpiece. I put the earpiece into my left ear and carefully put the contacts in each eye.

Immediately, my vision was filled with data collected from Ace. The data projected through the contacts created a virtual heads-up display. "Ace, can you show me the map data you collected from that pamphlet and from the disk I gave you?" Ace beeped and a new layer of data was added to my vision. A map which showed the whole city as well as a second layer which included the school. To my surprise, the school was outside of the city limits. The monorail line I currently am on travels in a loop around the city. At the very center of the city was the Nexus Building which was surrounded by a ring of government buildings and large businesses. On the outside of that was a sparse collection of suburbs and smaller businesses with large sections of forested areas and small farms. I waved my hand causing the map to pan over a little bit. Laurentia Academy looked like an outpost that was a little over two miles away from the city. I could see one rail line that connected the Academy to the city.

'Bing-bong' the intercom chimed followed by a woman's voice — "Now arriving at Ordovician station. Be sure to stand clear of the doors until the train has come to a complete stop."

I stepped out onto the station platform with Ace harnessed to my back. I designed him to be able to latch onto me like a backpack to make traveling with him easier. On the platform, I noticed there were other students wearing the same uniform I was. Considering it was the afternoon, I assumed these students were returning to campus after eating in town. The conversations around me varied between relationship drama and classes — neither of which I was very interested in.

The female announcer from the train behind me made another announcement before the doors closed and the train left the station. Shortly, a second train pulled in on the opposite side of the platform. Once the doors opened, I stepped on board giving one last look at the Nexus Building in the distance. A large blue beam stretched up into the sky from the spire of the building. A pillar of light that, to me, stood as a monument to the life I left behind.