As David Lumino opened his eyes to a new morning, an intense headache came upon him. It reverberated to the left and the right of his forehead, pounding like drums.
He tried to move his arms, but he felt frozen in place. The more David strained, the more the headache fought back.
Not this again, he thought. The headaches had been bothering him at least twice a week.
Finally, he felt a soft hand on his chest that snapped him back to normal.
The beautiful face of Monica Stellaris, the President of Delta Lux Sorority, filled David’s view. He reached out and ran his fingers along her long blonde hair, streaked with ruby and sapphire highlights. She had stayed the night again, as she had been doing every week for the last couple of months.
“Another headache. Sorry, Monica,” David said.
“You were shivering again,” Monica sighed. “Are you sure you’re getting better?”
It was the first day of the fall semester at Everstone University, David’s final term in school before earning both of his bachelor’s degrees. Even though his classes were all scheduled for the evening, the thought of it made David groan with disdain.
David forced himself up to put on a shirt and glasses. The strong Asian man looked at his burnt-out self in the mirror to look into his own silver-gray eyes, eyes that became this color because of supernatural powers.
Powers that he didn’t have anymore.
Monica’s warm hands touched David’s broad shoulders. As her eyes glowed with amber light, the locked tension in his shoulders alleviated for a second.
The Delta Lux sisters had the power to control heat and cold. They had their own Ritual, which was why Monica still had her powers.
Monica turned to David’s face and gave him a long kiss. “I’m heading for my chemistry class. I hope you feel better.” She put on her black leather jacket, grabbed her backpack, and left.
Without her warming presence, David fell back into his dark thoughts.
Micah Brettson, David’s fraternal Little Brother, died last semester after he sacrificed himself protecting the fraternity from an alumnus who had gone insane. It was the most challenging ordeal that David ever went through. As much as he tried to bury his feelings inside him, they would fester in waves and leave him in a low mood for hours.
David went into his medicine cabinet and popped several pills and supplements. His doctor had him try three different antidepressant medications, but none of them had any noticeable long-term effect. Still, he felt that it was better to be on them rather than not. He credited them for being able to survive the semester as Chapter President.
Just one more semester, David thought as he took a deep breath. One last semester.It should be easy.
The first thing David had to attend was a Chapter Officers meeting. David hoped for the medicines to kick in faster to at least fake being focused during it.
As David turned around to search the closet for a white jacket, his right foot tripped on a pair of his running shoes, sending his body to fall straight down the floor.
But before he could fall all the way down, David’s eyes flashed with white light, and he felt himself levitate in midair. It was only for a few seconds before he landed on his stomach.
What the hell? Could it be?
David looked around the room before his eyes landed on a football. Concentrating on it, he imagined it coming to him.
A surge of energy flowed through David’s hands. The football lifted off the floor. No freaking way!
Chapter 3 Councilmember Ever, Present Day
Sitting at a round table, Grand President Jax Honoramor smiled as he finished signing scholarship checks for the winners of “Boulder Chapter Awards.” The Council agreed to reward hundred and fifty students money for tuition, the ones who earned the highest grades.
High Councilmembers Ever Calavero and Preston Lupin looked pleased as Jax sealed the checks inside a secure envelope.
The Grand President was a tall, imposing man who had dark eyes and bronze skin. His dark hair was sprinkled with silver strands and styled as a faux hawk. Along with Ever and Preston, Jax wore Sol Alpha Fraternity’s signature white suit and golden tie. The only difference was that Jax’s tie was patterned with black playing card symbols: hearts, clubs, spades, and diamonds.
Ever, despite being the palest and shortest of the three middle-aged councilmembers, was the wealthiest. Half of the scholarship money came directly from him. The other half came mostly from alumni donations and profits from Jax’s casino.
Preston, the youngest of the three, was a well-groomed Asian man who grew up in the United States and France. Despite seeing the other two sign massive checks before, he couldn’t hide his shocked expression whenever they did.
“Well, gentlemen. It looks like we’ve hit our national goals yet again,” Jax said. “Seems like all your worrying was a waste of energy, Preston.”
“Excusez-Moi,” Preston laughed. “I wasn’t a tiny bit worried. You always bring this up.”
Ever scoffed. “What about those weekly reminder emails that you kept sending to all the chapters about keeping their grades up?”
“Touché,” Preston murmured.
“So that’s the last agenda item, am I right?” Jax asked. “Let’s head out for dinner. Or maybe I could cook.”
“Not yet, Jax,” Ever replied. “We still have to go over some more logistics for Grand Chapter.”
Jax groaned. “Yes, yes. I know, the one in Denver. Enlighten us then.”
“Denver? I thought we had decided on-,” Ever started to say. He was interrupted by a powerful white light coming from above.
The Councilmembers shielded their eyes from the light. Ever saw Jax reach for his concealed pistol.
The entire High Council’s jaws dropped when they saw who it was in front of them. The familiar light could only mean one thing. Someone was teleporting inside.
When the light faded, an old man stood in its place wearing Sol Alpha attire. He held the original fraternity Ritual in his hands.
“It’s you!” Jax exclaimed, putting away his pistol. “Sorry, I thought you were someone else. This is just for my safety, you know, after the Alpha Chapter incident.”
The Architect nodded. “No offense taken, Jax. Luck favors the prepared.”
As Ever looked closer at the Ritual, he noticed that it was heavily damaged, thinning with scratches, dust, and holes. He could barely recognize it.
“Architect, is that the Founders’ Ritual?” Ever asked.
The Architect nodded. “Yes. It is recovering from Dr. Lawson’s abuse. I’ve come to give you news regarding it.”
“By all means,” Jax said. “Please tell us.”
“It’s recovering very slowly, but its power is already starting to return to your brothers all over the world. The only thing is, it cannot grant powers to new Brothers right now. Not unless it’s restored fully.”
The Architect waved his hands in the air, creating a screen of light midair. In it was David Lumino’s face. “You will need the students at Everstone University to retrieve the three Founders’ Pages from the Astral World. It will allow the Ritual to be restored to its full power, and you can initiate more brothers.”
“Of course, the Astral World. Just what we need,” Jax scoffed, surprising Ever and Preston. “And Architect, you should know I don’t think David’s chapter can be trusted with the Ritual. Not after what happened last semester.”
Ever glared at Jax. “Excuse me? What did you just say? You know I’m their Chapter Advisor.”
“We’ll discuss this later, Calavero,” Jax replied, almost shouting.
“Still as explosive as before, Jax?” The Architect sighed. “As you know, it is only a suggestion. I cannot interfere with the actions of humanity. I can only hope that you three can work it out together. Until then, take the Ritual. Find the Pages before it’s too late.”
“Too late for what?” Jax asked.
“Brian De Chronos still roams the Earth.” The Architect said with a grim frown. “He’s weak, but he’s slowly recovering, hiding from the fraternity. He’ll want the Pages too. To realize his vision of what he calls Justice.” As the Architect finished speaking, Ever sensed a growing dread coming from Jax. “I thought this was all behind us, “ Jax whispered. “We have to stop De Chronos, whatever the cost.”
Alexander Lyonhart’s sharp knife sliced through the middle of the thick salmon’s body, splitting it into two pieces. It was beautifully marbled with a good amount of glistening fat. His stomach grumbled as he continued to cut it into smaller pieces.
The tall brown-haired young man’s dark eyes gleamed with determination as he sped up his food preparation.
There were only a couple of hours of sunlight left. Alex wanted to prepare dinner before total darkness took over. He and his friends, apprentice mapmakers at Stone Academy, were tasked to survey the mountain area to find acacia trees. So far, they had no luck.
“Alex, hurry up with that thing, will you?” Connor Goldsmith growled. “I’m about to die of famine here!”
Connor closed his green eyes as he made noises with his spoon.
"Don't be such a drama queen." Alex shot a half-angry look at Connor. “This is art, my friend. You can’t make me rush.”
“I reckon that I can.”
“Really? Is that a challenge?”
Alex stuck his knife on his cutting board and grinned at Connor. “All right then. I want you to remove its guts. Clean it out for us, will you?”
The shorter man let out a nervous laugh. “Or, you could let me see how you do it so I can evaluate.”
“I thought so, wimp,” Alex chuckled. He knew that Connor wasn’t the kind of guy who could handle seeing blood. “You may be good with school work, but this is where you fail.”
The crisp mountain air felt good on Alex’s face as he tossed salmon pieces onto the makeshift grill. The sizzling sound was like a food choir singing their praises.
A firm hand gripped Alex’s shoulder. Turning around, Alex saw that it was Jonathon Enduren, one of his classmates. They just called him Jon for short.
The burly Asian man rubbed his hands together hungrily. “That looks good. I’m so hungry, guys.”
Alex heard a scoff from behind Jon. It came from Brian De Chronos, his fourth friend on their area scouting trip.
Brian had long red hair that went down to his shoulders. He wore a black cowboy hat and a black jacket.
“Fish again, Alex?” Brian sighed. “Three days straight. I’m getting sick of the taste.”
Alex smirked. “Wait a minute. You were the one who forgot to pack extra bullets for hunting. Luckily, I know to catch these things, even without a fishing rod.”
“Luckily, I brought some real food.” Opening his leather bag, Brian pulled out a jar of honey flavored beef jerky.
Jon grabbed the jar and gobbled up a piece of jerky. “Hold on. You had this the whole time and didn’t let us know? Jesus.”
Brian reached for the jar, but Jon was just too quick. Much to Brian’s annoyance, he ate another strip of jerky before giving the jar back.
Laughing, Alex went back to the grill and divided the salmon among the four friends. “Listen, guys,” Alex said. “I know that we’ve been tracking down the acacia trees for almost a week now and that you’re all exhausted. But I think we’re close.”
Everyone else was quiet. Alex could only hear the chewing of fish in their mouths.
Brian sighed. “I doubt that there are any around here. Let’s just head back and tell Robert we couldn’t find any. It’s all just oak trees.”
Jon nodded in disapproval. “I don’t think the old man would appreciate hearing that.” “I’ve gotten perfect grades so far,” Connor said. “It’s going to be his fault if we don’t find them.”
Brian snapped at Connor. “Well, whatever. If we don’t find those trees tomorrow, I’m heading back to town to see my wife. I’m sure that one of the other teams will find it.” Alex got in between Brian and Connor and poured himself a glass of water. “Guys, calm down. I’m pretty sure that we’ll find those trees soon.” He climbed up on a rock and raised his glass. “You hear that, acacia trees! We will find you!”
Connor laughed. “Yeah, sure. There goes my grades.”
The four friends finished their dinner and cleaned up. As the sun disappeared from the horizon, they started to set up their tents. The full moon shone brightly in the sky, almost smiling at them.
As Alex unpacked his tent, he thought he heard a rustling sound in the forest. Almost like footsteps.
Connor, Jon, and Brian all stopped setting up. They must have heard it as well.
Alex reached into his pocket for his knife. The others did the same.
The rustling sound was heard again. Louder this time.
Then, to Alex’s surprise, a trail of light appeared in front of him. It led to the forest.
Not knowing why, Alex felt a warm magnetic pull toward the trail.
As Alex walked the trail, the other three followed him.
The trail’s light became brighter and brighter. It almost seemed like Alex was walking on a trail of gold.
The four friends stopped when they reached the end of the trail, which had a Boulder glowing with gold and silver light.
All around him, Alex saw that he was surrounded by acacia trees, blooming with glowing white roses.
Connor’s jaw dropped as he took in the sight. “My God. Am I dreaming?”
Alex thought the same question. He wondered if he was in a vivid dream. He heard a man’s voice coming from the Boulder. “I see that you’ve been led to the right place.” Gold and silver dust collected into the shape of a person, an old silver-haired man who was wearing a white suit and a golden tie. He reached into his jacket for a golden pocket watch and smiled. “Ah, yes, I’m right on time. I’ve been looking forward to our meeting.”
Brian shielded his eyes from the light. Alex stepped forward and shook the man’s hand. “My name is Alex. These are my classmates Connor, Jon, and Brian.”
The old man smiled. “Yes, I am aware.” He placed a hand on the Boulder and closed his eyes. “You may call me the Architect. You four have been chosen.”
“Chosen for what?” Alex asked.
“To be the keepers of a wonderful gift.”
“What kind of gift?”
The Architect reached into his bag and pulled out an old leather book with the symbol of the sun and the Greek letter Alpha etched in gold. He handed the book to Alex. “This Ritual book belongs with you now. Take it.”
As soon as he touched the book, Alex felt a warm feeling spread throughout his body. His hands glowed with white light and his eyes soon followed.
“Alex!” Connor shouted. “Your eyes are lighting up!”
Alex turned to Connor. “Yours too!”
The four friends looked at each other. Their eyes all glowed with white light.
A few moments later, the lights faded. The Architect smiled at them. He handed Alex an almost dead, wilting white rose. “Focus on your intentions, Alex. Heal this flower.”
Alex nodded. He imagined the flower blooming again. Light escaped from his fingertips and engulfed the rose. In mere seconds, the flower bloomed again.
Connor, Jon, and Brian looked stunned. Alex was speechless.
“The Ritual cannot be destroyed.” The Architect smiled. “With the power, you can do many wondrous miracles. I trust that you four can handle it.”
Alex stepped forward. “Architect, I have so many questions. Please, teach us more.” “I’m afraid that I must go now. Let the Ritual book strengthen your bonds.”
The Architect turned around, turning into gold and silver dust. His voice lingered as he disappeared. “Do not worry. I’ll see you again soon. I trust you all to keep this all a secret.”
Connor gulped and rubbed his eyes. “Uh, guys, did that just really happen?”
Jon and Brian nodded. “Yeah.”
Alex walked over to the glowing Boulder and placed the Ritual on it. He turned to the first page. It showed a moving image of a man lifting a rock by looking at it, something that astonished Alex. He’d never seen a picture in a book move on its own.
“What do you reckon it means?” Brian asked.
Alex turned around and looked upon a small rock. Focusing on the rock, Alex’s eyes flashed with white light. The rock levitated from the ground and floated midair, rotating ever so slowly. Alex broke his focus and the rock thumped on the ground.
Excited, Alex turned to the next page of the Ritual. On it, there was another moving picture. A man was appearing and reappearing on different areas of the page.
Alex was puzzled. What could it mean?
Alex showed the picture to Jon, who stared into the page. He seemed to understand what was going on.
Jon closed his eyes and he disappeared into light. He reappeared ten feet away from Alex.
“Woah,” Jon opened his eyes. “That was amazing!”
“That’s impossible,” Alex heard Connor’s voice in his head.
“What do you mean it’s impossible, Connor? You just saw it happen!” Alex told him.
Connor backed away from Alex. “Did you just read my mind?”
Alex imagined himself talking to Connor. “Yeah, I think so.”
“Unbelievable,” Connor’s mouth dropped. “You talked to me, but your mouth wasn’t moving.”
“It’s called telepathy, you guys.” Brian said. “I read about this at the library. I just didn’t think it was possibly real.”
Alex laughed and looked at Brian. “And yet, here I am, talking to you through your mind.”
Brian’s eyes narrowed as he chuckled. “This is beyond my wildest dreams.”
Alex turned to the Ritual. Without anyone touching it, the book turned itself to the next page. Sure enough, there was a moving picture of a man sending thoughts to other people.
“Hang on,” Connor scratched his chin. “If we have all those powers the book showed us, maybe we can go back to town by thinking about it.”
Alex laughed nervously. “That’s too far. I doubt it’ll work.”
“And I say that it will,” Brian said, putting his hands on his hips. “I’m not afraid like you.”
Without hesitation, Brian closed his eyes. “Wait, Brian! Hold on!” Alex tried to grab Brian’s shoulder to stop him, but he disappeared into white light. He had no other choice but to follow him.
What was the inspiration for the story? When I went to school at San Diego State, I joined Sigma Nu's Eta Kappa colony. Despite promising to myself that I would never join Greek Life again, I joined Sigma Nu because of their founding principles of Love, Honor, Truth, and No Hazing. Through my involvement, I met other like-minded men who were focused on achieving their goals in life. Unfortunately, after I graduated, idiotic and impulsive decisions were made and the consequence was suspension. It is now one of my life's goals to revive Sigma Nu at SDSU.
What is the key theme and/or message in the book? Being a fraternity brother means having to sacrifice important things at times in order to create something greater or to help your brothers. It could be time, talent, treasure, or some other intangible concept. Your fraternity is another family that you choose, rather than the one you've been assigned. There will be arguments and times of hardships, but there will also be unforgettable moments.
What is the significance of the title? The word "Sol" is a reference to the sun. I used it as a replacement for another Greek letter. Being that the brothers primarily have powers that involve light, I decided that it was an appropriate addition to "Alpha", the first of the Greek letters.
What is the future for the characters? Will there be a sequel? There will absolutely be a sequel. A dark force has been released from the Ritual and he intends to have revenge on the brothers. I will also be introducing a character that will be a pain in the neck to David.
If your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it? That is a tough one. For now let's go with: Nathan Kress as Micah Brettson Ki Kong Lee as David Lumino Rami Malek as Fadi Millenio Dennis Trillo as Eric De Chronos Paris Smith as Arianna Stellaris Michael Cristofer as Dr. Martin Lawson Enrique Iglesias as Ever Calavero
That's it for now. If you have more questions, send them to: email@example.com or on IG (@MrJacobVeritas)
Disclaimer: House of Sol Alpha is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.