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.”
Disclaimer: House of Sol Alpha is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living, dead, or resurrected, or actual events is purely coincidental.
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