Hello hello hello! Welcome to The Return! I know that by now all of you are wondering what in the world is the return? Well let me tell you: The Return is the an official announcement of the SECOND book in the Elemental series: the sequel to 2015's Legend of the Orange Scepter. That's right people. We're heading back to Colorius in Return of A.G. to check in with all of our favorite teen heroes, and a few new faces as well! I've been working on the follow-up book for some time now, and I'm excited to finally be able to share a preview of it below. Read through chapter 3, where we see the new and improved team of Elementals battling a volcano in the Underground Kingdom!
Elementals vs. the Elements
“Kiara, wake up!”
“Huh? Wha…what’s going on?” Kiara rubbed her eyes to see Jay standing over her.
“We have a…situation,” was all he said to her.
Most of the Elementals were beyond excited to stay in the Palacio del Cielo for the night, but when Del mentioned it after dinner M had a fit. He explained (rather loudly) that he had more important things to do than continue De’s insane trip. To placate the raging teen, King Rodriguez himself offered to take him back home. After the King and M teleported back to Black City, Del and the rest of the Elementals began talking more in depth about the missing person reports for so long that many of them fell asleep during the conversation. Now, Jay (who was the first to go to sleep) waited outside the bedroom for Kiara to get dressed in her Skin Armor for whatever had happened.
“What’s happening? Why are up so early?” Kiara asked again as soon as she stepped outside. She had looked at the clock in the room before she walked outside; it was only 4 in the morning. Rather than answer, Jay adjusted his hat and took off running down the hallway with her in tow.
Jay opened the door to one of the sitting rooms in their wing and joined the other Elementals, all also in their Skin Armor.
“Has Del returned yet?” Jay asked.
“Not yet,” De answered. He paced around the floor with such ferocity that it seemed likely he would burn a hole in the rug.
“I ask again, what are we gonna do?” Alex said impatiently. She hadn’t looked up from the notepad on which she wrote most of her spells, but her tone said she was ready for whatever was to come.
“Whatever they need us to,” Mo answered. He wore an uncharacteristically brave expression that the others couldn’t figure out was genuine or not.
“WHAT IS HAPPENING?!” Kiara yelled. She was tired of being overlooked.
De stopped pacing and looked at her like the others. “I’m sorry, Kiara. I thought Jay would have told you,” Jay shrugged but said nothing in his defense. “Anyway, Del came to my room about an hour ago and said—”
At that exact moment Del himself reappeared in the room in his trademark green flash. He dusted himself off and looked around anxiously as he spoke. “Oreton is in trouble; that thing’s gonna blow.” Kiara started to get upset again but Jas grabbed her arm to stop her. “There’s a volcano down here that’s about two seconds from erupting.” Kiara’s jaw dropped.
“So what is going to happen? What can we do?” De asked.
“Well, my folks are already there evacuating people, and since Dad’s powers are a lot better than mine; he’s almost got the whole city out.”
“That’s good then, right?” Lucas asked.
“Not at all,” Del admitted. “Getting the people out is just one step. When a volcano erupts really bad stuff happens. The lava is one thing; the ash is something way worse. Nobody knows if the vents will be able to get all that stuff out, and if it doesn’t…”
“In an enclosed space like this that much toxic air could kill so many people!” Kiara began to fully grasp the sincerity of what was happening. “Redd help us,” she prayed.
“No one even knows how this happened!” Del moaned.
He sat on the couch beside Mo and put his head in his hands. “This volcano was supposed to have been sealed shut decades ago!” he sighed and looked up. “I hate to ask you guys this, but, you may be the help we need. If you guys can do something, anything, to help stop or at least slow down this thing we could use it. Please,” Del nearly begged, but of course it was unnecessary; De nodded before he could finish asking.
“Are we ready?” he asked the others. All of them nodded, but Del stopped them.
“Do you need me to teleport you? I can split you guys up and get you there pretty quickly.”
“No, I think we have a way,” De said. He looked over at Alex, and she grinned mischievously.
“YOU’RE GOING TO HIT A BUILDING!” Lucas screamed.
“You guys said get us there fast as I could and that’s what I’m doing!” Alex yelled back. Truthfully, she was flying the Travel Rover to Oreton faster than any of the thought she could, but the Elementals did want to arrive at their destination in one piece.
“Oh wow…” Mo said, peering out of one of the Travel Rover’s windows. As they neared Oreton they could see steam shooting upwards with particles flying out of the volcano with it. The sky was dark, even for the early morning here, and the flashes of red coming from the volcano made the scene look positively frightening.
Alex just shook her head as she landed the Travel Rover at the edge of the town. All six of the Elementals and Del filed outside of the Travel Rover, and all of them but De and Mo began fanning themselves from the heat. Even with the volcano not full-blown erupting yet, the heat and the earth quaking was enough to keep the Elementals off balance. Lucas planted his feet and turned his hands into fan blades to try to circulate some air around them as De split them up.
“Okay. We’re gonna have to move quick. Del, can you take Kiara and Jay with you to make sure everyone is out? Maybe their magic could help someway…” De suggested.
“Do either of you know healing magic?” Del asked.
Kiara raised her hand “I’m still practicing though; it’s probably not that good,” she admitted.
“Something’s better than nothing. Grab on!” Del urged them. Jay grabbed Del’s arm with one hand and used the other to keep his fitted cap on his head, and Kiara grabbed the other arm and all three were gone in a flash.
“Do you think there’s any lava already out?” De asked the ones left.
“Some may have slipped out towards the base, especially since this place uses the hot springs from the volcano,” Lucas answered.
De nodded. “Okay. Well Mo, you are gonna have to work to try to cool any lava. We gotta save as much of this town as we can. Alex?” When the Chaos Elemental looked up from her pad of spells again De continued, “You’re gonna have to help him create water.” The two nodded and ran as fast as they could deeper into the town.
“I wish Rod was here…” Jas said quietly. De nodded his agreement.
“The rest of us are gonna have to go try to divert some of this ash and stuff, so hop back in the Travel Rover and somebody call Don, I think we’re gonna need his help too,” De said, and he, Jas, and Lucas took off for the volcano’s crater.
“This is NUTS!” Don yelled from the screen in the center of the Travel Rover’s dashboard. The roar of the volcano nearly drowned out all the sounds inside the vehicle, and with the doors on both sides slid open and Jas concentrating harder than she ever had before to redirect the steam and ash from the vent below to the vents above them, he wasn’t wrong.
“Can’t argue with you right now, Don. I’m going for it!” De responded. He jumped out of one of the open doors and into the volcano. Though he wouldn’t be able to use his power to propel himself through the sky, he hoped it would be enough to slow his fall when he got inside.
“Just focus on steering the car,” Lucas suggested. He had transformed his messy brown hair into propeller blades, and then flew into the volcano after De.
Don, in his pajamas with a video game controller like remote in his lap, shook his head but continued to move the Travel Rover so Jas could redirect the ash with her abilities. Jas smiled apologetically at him as she continued to try to save the town (and Lucas and De) from the poisonous air.
Inside the volcano, De was testing the limits of his powers by trying to cool the magma. Lucas had clad himself in heatproof armor that made him look like the Silver Man again, and was using his now propeller hands to try to help De. The two stood on a solid platform, aiming their hands at the molten heat that surrounded them.
“It’s a little hot, huh?” De said cheerfully. The thousands of degree heat inside the volcano made even him sweat, and though Jas’ powers were pulling out most of the ash and some heat, things were still looking somewhat bleak for them.
“De, this might not work!” Lucas admitted. Even if they were able to cool a top layer of magma, there was no guarantee that it would be solid enough to keep it from fully erupting. Even now, as the magma bubbled and flowed around them, their situation looked hopeless.
“We have to keep trying!” De said. He was dropping the temperatures around them, but the extreme heat that they were facing was climbing much faster than De could lower it alone. Every time he seemed to cool the magma into solid rock in a single spot, another burst of the liquid washed over it.
Lucas put his hands down and looked around the inside of the volcano. Jagged rocks and a few platforms surrounded them. Since the volcano was usually used as a sort of tourist spot, there were some large bits of solid rock still towards the top of the volcano. He suddenly got an idea, and turned one of his hands into a grappling hook. He aimed it for as high up in the volcano as he could aim, and once the hook connected with the rock he pulled himself to throat of the volcano.
“Where are you going?!” De shrieked, but Lucas was already too far to hear him. De stopped trying to cool the magma and looked up at him. Lucas, hanging from the volcano’s throat, had turned his other hand into a laser hand (one of his favorite transformations) and was blasting through one of the huge platforms. Thankfully, it was on the opposite side of the volcano from De, so when the rock came crashing down it fell completely into the flowing magma rather than on top of De.
“You’re a genius!” De yelled, even though Lucas couldn’t hear him. De refocused his efforts on the magma, which was a lot easier to cool now that the giant platform was blocking most of it from bursting upwards.
Lucas repeated this twice more, taking care to leave a platform close enough to the top that they could escape from. The rumbling began to calm a bit, as the cooling magma soon turned back to a rock too solid to continue the eruptions. He dropped back down to De’s level to help him put the finishing touches on calming the volcano.
De almost didn’t need the help, however. He was standing confidently on the new, solid rock he and Lucas had created having to cool only a few bursts of magma. De’s success didn’t come without price, however, as the Fire Elemental was sweating profusely and had actually developed a nosebleed from the extreme effort he had put into the volcano.
“We’re doing it! I think we got it!” Lucas cheered. The volcano had calmed to a slow, steady growl low enough for them to talk normally. Lucas too, was exhausted however, and breathed heavily as he continued. “You were actually right De. De?” Lucas looked over at his leader just in time to see him collapse. He ran to De’s side and checked his pulse. He was alive; just unconscious. Lucas looked up at the crater of the volcano. He could grapple them to the top platform he left, but he would have to carry De with him. He also knew that he wouldn’t be able to maintain something strong enough to carry De and the tools needed to climb out of the volcano while keeping the heatproof armor around him. Though the magma had cooled it was still insanely hot, and without it he didn’t know if he could make it out before he passed out or worse.
“Okay De. Let’s hope you’re not that heavy,” Lucas said. He sat down on the ground, crossed his legs and stretched them out towards De, willing them to transform into a three pronged claw that closed around him. From the solid rock he aimed his hand towards the platform, and just as he thought it would, his grappling hook hand made the heatproof armor disappear.
Lucas sighed deeply and pulled himself and De to the platform, taking care to land so as not to hurt his teammate. Lucas pushed through the heat and his hazy vision to aim the hook again, this time at the crater of the volcano. His breathing got heavier and his vision got cloudier as he tried to climb out of the volcano with the unconscious De clutched in his claw feet.
“Don! I see someone! Get us closer to the volcano!” Jas yelled. She could see Lucas’ top half waving frantically.
“Got it!” Don said back, and as he moved his controls forward the Travel Rover did the same. Jas grabbed the side of the vehicle and hung out as far as she could to try to grab Lucas’ hand, but Lucas had had enough. He slipped out of consciousness and lost control of his transformations, sending him and De falling back into the volcano.
“NO!” Jas screamed, and out of instinct she whirled her arms in a quick circle. This sent a powerful current through the air that pushed Lucas and De not only out of the volcano but several feet into the air above the Travel Rover. Jas’ eyes widened as the bodies of her two friends flew upwards and stalled before they began to fall again.
“What? What’s happening?” Don asked. All he could see of the scene was the horror on Jas’ face.
“Take us up and turn this thing to the side!” Jas yelled at him. She lunged over the middle seats and closed the left door at the same time that Don followed her orders. She looked up again as De and Lucas fell and sat in the front seat to move the vehicle a little to the right. Silently, she hoped that her games of pickup Dribble had actually paid off, and that the doors were as strong as Don said they were.
The bodies of the two unconscious heroes fell from the sky quickly and dangerously, but with two loud thuds they landed against the closed door of the Travel Rover. Jas breathed a huge sigh of relief and thanked Redd that she could aim pretty well. She ignored the boys’ groans as they awoke, but still jumped when Don began screaming from the screen.
“THAT WAS AMAZING!!! WOW!!! Did you see that? It was just like, swish! Elementals in the net! WHOOOO! I swear I love you g uys! AHHH! Take that volcano! Elementals – 1, Elements –0!
So what do you think? As you can see the team has expanded greatly, with new personalities, new powers, and new adventures for them all. But that's not all that has changed: if you were to head over to the Elemental section of the site you would see that right now the four original Elementals have new bios, new info, and new pictures to get you caught up with the changes they've gone through in the past two years!
For the next three months on the 14th of each month I will release two new characters, so that by the time the book is released this summer you'll know all nine of the Elementals in this story, their villains, and their allies! So make sure that you return next month on the 14th to meet two new Elementals, and get yourself ready for the Return of A.G. this summer! I assure you it's something you WON'T want to miss!