Isaac Comett: My Life as a Shard Knight
by R.T. Driver Genre: YA SciFi Fantasy
It's 2003, and the coldest of seasons has arrived, filled with monsters, robots and dead beat dads.
Isaac believed his only job was to blow off homework, play video games and get a date with his crush, the cunning local delinquent June Farnell; not defend his hometown from vicious space pirates!
On one Fall afternoon, he and his friends are attacked by aliens seeking the Memorite Shards; crystals that grant the user superpowers. His comfortable life with his mom and younger brother is gone, and he's forced to fight a secret war against the merciless Cyborg, Straum. Even when they gain the shard's protection, more questions about their unyielding attackers arise, and their only source for answers is another shady alien, and fellow Memorite user, Chenzo.
Lying to his mom and swinging a sword become Isaac's new life as he, June and the others train to become Shard Knights; defenders of the Memorite. Unfortunately for him, he's the team's weakest link, and surviving the one year bonding period to the crystal seems less likely with each battle. And what's worse, his estranged father Zack is back in town after a year long hiatus, ready to "set things right"...again.
Will Isaac defeat Straum's army of mechanical warriors, save his family and live long enough to put on his graduation cap, or will Comett burn out like so many others before him?
Join Isaac, June, the slick talking Austin, his brainy beauty girlfriend Emma, and the comic-book obsessed Fiora in this epic sci-fi rumble and see what being a hero is REALLY all about!
-Realistic characters of different races and backgrounds that deal with true to life issues, such as school drama, dating, divorced parents and neglect.
-No lengthy, needless descriptions make for a satisfying read.
-Immersive, over-the-top action influenced by video games, anime, and science fiction movies while seasoned with emotional encounters throughout. Feel like a part of a super hero team!
-Edited for quality and easy navigation!
First Release Testimonials "A Good Mashup of Anime and Sci-Fi Story Telling" - Flipino Fuego
"Looking Forward to More!" - Ms. Chea
"The pace is perfect, the reading is very comfortable, and the material is appropriate for all ages. Although this book is geared towards...young adults, I...couldn't put it down! I definitely recommend this suspenseful book to everyone who enjoys a good read." -Mrs. Wygant
Scene: After visiting the art fair and buying matching crystal necklaces, Isaac and his are at home in their apartment complex, when they are interrupted by a loud sound.
A loud smash like a someone tossing a bowling ball from a fifty story window grabbed our ears. We turned to the apartment to our right to see a cloud of dust escape through the broken windows. After it settled, I could have sworn that I heard something that sounded like a cross between a cat and a snake release a gurgling hiss.
Emma yelped at the interruption and had to hold onto her sister so she didn't fall off the wooden planks. "What was that?"
"I guess those stories about this place being ghetto are true." said Austin. "Sounds like someone did a real nice job on these new houses."
They laughed off the scare, but I turned my head back and peered into the unlit home. Things fell apart all the time there, but nothing as earth shattering as that. "You guys don't think that was a little too weird?" I asked. "Didn't you hear that strange sound?"
Austin and Emma looked at each other. "I didn't hear anything, dude."
Fiora crawled off her stoop. "Was it like an animal?"
"I don't know what it was. If it was an animal, it was a dying one."
She went to mush. "What if it's a poor stray kitty pinned under a broken board?"
"If it is it's probably dead now, dude."
Emma socked him in the arm. "Don't be so heartless!"
"Austin, what if something really did get hurt in there? I think we should take a look." I said.
Fiora put her hands on her hips and nodded in approval. "Very good, Fuzzy! You're staying in character even outside the game to preserve the story's flow. I'm proud of you."
Austin and I lead the way through the freshly painted door and onto the unit's back porch. The wood we stood on still smelled like a home improvement store; stuffy and metallic. There were even price tags still on the boards.
"Watch out for nails." said Emma.
"Yes Mom." said Austin.
The girls were behind us as we put our faces against the saw-dust ridden glass door and looked inside. The unfurnished space had nothing but tarps and tools laying around everywhere. A few replacement windows had fallen from against the wall, but most unsettling was the pile of spilled white paint. The small milky river flowed along the smooth hard wood, then disappeared into a massive hole in the dining room floor.
"What the heck made that?" I asked.
Fiora pushed me aside and looked in. "Awesome."
"Not awesome." said Emma. "If something was stuck down there, it's probably too buried for us to grab it."
Austin looked at the sad sisters, then back to me. "Is it unlocked?" he asked.
I grabbed the handle of the sliding door and pulled it.
"Darn." he said.
I was met with the acrid smell of paint when I stepped inside. It was so strong that it made me feel a little queasy, and the bits of dust still in the air from the destruction didn't do my lungs any favors. I toughed it out though as I led the group to the edge of the hole. Below us looked like a black abyss that went on for eternity.
"Anyone got a light?" I asked.
Emma tried the switch on the wall, but noticed the cheap electric chandelier, a staple of every apartment unit, hadn't been installed yet. Fiora squinted through her glasses as Austin hunched over close to the hole, then backed off at the first creek the boards made. Through it all, I could feel the stone on my neck grow warmer.
"Someone throw something down there." said Austin.
"What if you hurt the kitty?" said Fiora.
I sighed and picked up a paintbrush. "We don't even know if there's really anything down there. Maybe we can get a reaction if it's still alive."
"Just don't hurt the kitty."
Sure I talked a good game, but I was reluctant to throw the brush down there. The stone pulsed more and more as I wound up, as if it were telling me to stop. If I had brought it up with my friends I figured they would have thought I was crazy. My eyes looked over to Emma though, and noticed her hand over her chest, in the same spot where my shard hung. A little bit of sweat was over her brow, too.
"Just do it." said Austin. He took the brush from my hand and threw it.
After a silent pause that felt like an eternity, we heard a gentle thud. Austin seemed satisfied, but if I knew anything from chucking things at my younger brother, it wasn't the sound of an object landing on something, but someone. A slow gurgle sounded that filled the empty apartment and sent tingles down my spine.
"I heard it that time, dude."
Fiora knelt down closer, but Emma had tugged at my shoulder. Her other hand hadn't left her chest. "Isaac, I think we need to go. Right away."
I looked back at the pit. The stone on my chest burned. "Yeah, I think you're right."
Another gurgle, this one more human-like in sound echoed from under us. I only had the guts to turn around for a second, but when I did I saw two big white ovals looking back at me. They weren't a dog's, cat's or anything I had ever seen before.
"Go guys, go!" I shouted.
We quickly moved to the back door, but I tripped when a fist shot up through the hardwood. It fished around for my ankle, but the shoveled-sized hand gave up and forced its way through another spot. Everything was a nightmarish blur as Fiora and Austin helped me up and we darted out the door.
An otherworldly cry came from the apartment, like the tortured voices of a man and woman yelling in unison. We looked from outside as the mirrors shook and wooden planks broke through the glass door. The thing that pulled itself out of the floor and jumped into the backyard was freaky beyond all reason.
Its wide white eyes, in contrast against its black and purple rubbery skin, had just as much stopping power in the sun as they did in the dark. It's elongated, football shaped head zipped its focus from the trees, to the woodpile, then to each of us. Its sharp movements made the long black, tubular tendrils on its back bounce around. It's search eventually settled on Emma and I. It straightened its back and became taller than anyone I'd ever seen.
"What is that thing?!" yelled Austin.
Emma trembled and hid behind Austin. I could see Fiora shake as she stood by my side, but her jaw was locked tight and her teeth were barred more like a cornered animal than helpless prey. I wanted to grab a stick or call for help, but I couldn't get my muscles to move.
The mouthless face let out a heavy exhale before it's invisible mouth spoke. "Memorite. Give to me."
Isaac Comett: Interstellar Warrior
Isaac, June, Austin and the others are halfway through their bonding period with the powerful Memorite Crystals, but their adventure is far from over.
Fighting Androids and Seekers has become second nature to the team, but their unity is put to the test when personal feelings from a bad breakup get in the way of being heroes. With graduation only weeks away, their parents growing suspicious of their activities, and two of the warriors ready to rip each other's heads off, it seems like things couldn't get worse...
But they do.
Isaac and the others depart for the world of Rudesia to Recall the remaining Shards. There's no rest for the tired friends, as not only do they have a rich, stuck-up Count on their tails, but complications from a new, less welcome addition to their group.
The chance for an early freedom and end to the Memorite War has come! Will Isaac's emotional wounds heal in time, or will they lead to a deathblow for the Shard Knights?
-Picks up after My Life as a Shard Knight
-Inspired by Video Games, Anime and Manga
-Crazy sci-fi action throughout!
-Addresses issues of change, what makes a healthy relationship, and the consequences of greed and violence
-Includes pages of concept art and character designs!
On the planet Rudesia, the team's plans fail, and they are locked in a stalemate with the wicked narcissist Count Ausger. They plead for Delrune not to surrender the Memorite, but hope fades.
The Gintare flew low to the ground then stopped, hovering by a wide stone bridge. At the end were two large, rusted metal doors; Epicus Point's entrance.
It was a struggle for the overtaxed craft to stay afloat after the mess we made. The engines groaned and smoke billowed from stray laser blasts. The most obvious stress though was the heavy beast pinning Chenzo.
We stood on the far side of the deck as Ausger, Nerro, and his remaining bodyguards stood by the plank that linked the ship to the wall. Del was in the middle, shaking nervously.
"Isn't there some other way?" asked Del. "You don't know what you're asking for, Ausger."
"Do not stall, fair lady. I doubt Chenzo's shield will last much longer."
Count Dirt Bag was right. Chenzo was on his knees with his head down. Both of his hands were above his head as he panted heavily in an effort to keep the barrier up.
Delrune looked at me once more. Her wet irises were full of sadness and apologies. Chenzo was her father. If it had been my old man I'd...well, I don't really know. But I could see how one would feel that way.
"What's gonna happen now, dude?" Austin asked me.
"I don't know. If Del does this, we're doomed."
"With that monster around we're pretty much screwed anyway." said June.
I looked down at her. Fiora was still senseless except some slight groans to let us know she was alive. June protectively had her hands on her friend's head and shoulders.
"Is she okay?" I asked.
"No more bleeding and her burns are gone." she said. "She better come around soon, we'll need every bit of power we can get with Chenzo down."
Looking at the yellow and blue sky, Del took a deep breath and exhaled. She closed her eyes as all of the shards on her body went black. Tiny white lights sparkled in each one, mimicking the stars of space.
"What the heck?!" Trevor held his stone as it reacted the same way as Del's. "What's going on?"
"The Recall." I said.
All around us, the storm surrounding the Gallapool intensified. Wind rushed in, parting the clouds even more as the Memorite's energy joined forces with the power from space itself. It looked like the upper atmosphere peeled away as the stars came out and the sky went black. We stayed close to each other, not knowing what to expect as Zellion dust blew upward into the air.
"Delrune!" I called to the girl who was just a silhouette of blue and white, but she didn't respond. Even Nerro looked on in wonder as her feet slowly lifted off the ground while a cyclone of light engulfed her.
"Lotus...Glast..." I heard Delrune say. Her echoing voice sounded spaced out.
"Delrune!" I called.
"My masters. Is this why I was made? My...purpose...?"
"Stop it! Tell her to stop, Chenzo!" shouted June over the noisy gale.
"It is him...he is here...the one..." Del wasn't making any sense.
"Delrune! Who's here?" called Austin.
"...The Bane of the Universe..."
We watched as hundreds of flickering shards from every direction; up, down, left, right, diagonal, and any other way you could think of gathered on top of the castle like metal to a magnet.
The sky and the clouds only returned to normal after a massive clear stone hung in the air. The light of the sun laid out a rainbow on the land as it travelled through the crystal and exited below. Inside the perfect diamond were swirling white fragments, just like a replica of the solar system. It served as a sign of the unimaginable power locked inside the completed Memorite Core.
Austin and I caught Del as she fell back to the planet. Her face was flushed and her skin was clammy.
"Del! Can you hear us?!" we both cried out. She only managed a slight moans between shallow breaths.
" Very good, my little Maiden." The Count whispered. The black marbles that made up Ausger's eyes locked onto his prize.
He raised his sword and tapped into its power. The Count's monstrous Mind Gear vanished from sight. Chenzo's shield faded and he fell to the ground, the only movement from his body was his chest raising and falling.
Trev rushed to Chenzo's side as Austin and I lifted Delrune up. She was fading in and out of consciousness as she breathlessly repeated "Papa...sorry... " over and over.
"You might not see it from your stand point," began Ausger, "but I intend to use this power for the welfare of all in my coming Kingdom." He confidently brushed back his silky hair. A confident toothy smile crawled on his flawless face.
"Your kingdom?" said Trevor, unimpressed.
June's face turned red with helpless anger. "You and Straum are nothing but saps that follow Illius's or whoever's orders. You think he'll just let you use the Core?"
Ausger laughed at her. "You do not yet understand, do you young Knight? I no longer have to answer to that mighty half-brother of mine. It will be Illius that bows to me, as will all of your kind."
"Dude you guys are related, after the same goal, but you plan on taking him down? Are you nuts?" asked Austin.
"Some army." started June. "First Straum talks about his secret plans for improving the galaxy, and now you with your backstabbing ideas! What's the matter with you guys?"
"Ha! Girl of Cunning, your comprehend so little that it is maddening!" Ausger was more animated than before. His eyes were wide and veins formed around his temples. "No one wants to see Illius diced into Krednaught fodder more than myself, Straum or anyone else in the Planetary Council more than I do; not even the Shard Knights!"
"But why?" I said. "If he's so horrible and you want him gone, then why not just help us? You have a whole army. You can help us fight."
"Is Earth really so sheltered of a planet? How I envy you..." There was a sudden touch of longing in his tone, but only for a moment. "Illius's power was unchallengeable until today. Although it would appear to the commoner that every detestable organization across the stars willingly aligned with him, in truth his highness forced Nova Nemesis and the Fullon to join his ranks. Captain Straum was indeed powerful as you well know, but not nearly enough to stand against Illius himself and live. The same applies to me."
"Cry me a river." shot Trevor. "All you buttholes do is make life miserable for whoever is in your way!"
"Do not misunderstand, boy!" Ausger quickly spun around and pointed an accusing finger. "I do approve of Illius's methods; what is the point of having power if you cannot wield it? However, I am not one to be used as a pawn by some false alien king from a backwater West Planet."
My mind did the math. For Ausger, a Solski to call someone an alien, and from the west of the universe, it could only mean one thing.
"Illius is...a human." I whispered.
"We're fighting someone from our planet?" asked June.
I looked to Chenzo. He didn't say anything, but I saw his hands form into fists and tremble.
"Illius cares to none what I say or do as long as my treasury door remains open to him. That has proven to be the fatal flaw in his reasoning, for you see, money to the haughty can be blinding. He looked at my wallet in one hand, while the other reached for a dagger."
Delrune stirred in our arms. She slowly opened her eyes. "Y-you can't use the Core. You'll die."
"Die?" laughed Ausger. "I now know more about the Memorite more than anyone, possibly more than him." he said while motioning towards Chenzo. He waved for Nerro to retrieve his fallen glasses.
"Then you should know people can only use one or two Shards. Are you really that big of an idiot to try to use the whole Core all at once?" I said.
"You speak as if we only learned of the Memorite yesterday." Nerro commented. He had been silent since learning of Ursa's demise.
"That would apply under normal circumstances, yes...but not to Uforians." smiled Ausger.
R.T. (Robert Treat) Driver was born in New Haven, CT in 1990, and grew up in the city of Milford with his hard-working mother and "too smart for his own good" brother. Throughout his teenage years he researched and flip flopped between dozens of ideal jobs. He eventually went to a Porter & Chester Institute for Electronics in 2009 where he learned the wonders of debt. After working as a Program Manager in a circuit board plant for years, he chose self employment to have more time for his wife and personal pursuits.
Ever since his exposure to Japanese Animation and author Christopher Wooding's Broken Sky, R.T. created many unused manuscripts that were better off not seeing the light of day. The first project he released was Isaac Comett: My Life as a Shard Knight in 2014, then re-released the series after heavy edits in 2017.
R.T. Currently lives in Branford, CT with his supportive wife and her army of stuffed animals.