Star Maker - Prince Hal and the Magic Firestone

Shooting star

Opening chapter

"Who – who are you?" the boy stammered, looking at Hal in fright. He noticed that Hal had the palest skin that he had ever seen. It was so translucent that he could see the blue blood vessels underneath.

"My name is Prince Hal."

"You’re a prince?" exclaimed the girl gazing at Hal’s angular features. She too noticed how pale Hal’s face was which contrasted with the dark navy tunic he was wearing, similar to a military uniform. He was one of the most handsome boys she had ever seen.

Hal nodded in turn observing how pretty the Earth girl was. She was tall, about the same age as the boy, with long straight blonde hair, strawberry colored lips and a pert nose. Her questioning green eyes sparkled with lively intelligence. A red converse top was pulled over a t-shirt, blue jeans and white sneakers.

"Who are you?" Hal asked.

"I’m Daisy," the girl replied. Then she added as an afterthought, "And this is Charlie. What were you doing hiding in that statue?"

Hal looked around trying to figure out his whereabouts. He was in some kind of gallery full of stuffed ancient things. Some primitive ceramic pots were stacked in a corner and to one side stood a very tall totem pole, on which perched the head of a bald headed eagle.

"I wasn’t hiding, I was being chased. I travelled through a wormhole to get here."

"Wormhole? You’re kidding right?" Daisy cracked a smile. "This has to be a joke."

"I have to get back home."

Hal brushed past Charlie and Daisy and started to move towards the gallery exit. There was a window nearby and he peered to take a look outside. What he saw amazed him; cars, people, trees, and tall buildings all of which were alien. For a moment he found it hard to believe - he really was on another planet.

"Where am I?" Hal turned back to Daisy and Charlie who had followed him over to the window.

"The Natural History Museum of course," said Daisy.

"What city?"

"Are you for real? New York City of course," said Charlie proudly. "Best city in the world." Charlie’s Dad was the Mayor of New York and sometimes he sounded like a walking billboard for the Big Apple. He couldn’t help it as Charlie loved New York and was born and raised here. Both he and Daisy went to the same school on the Upper West Side.

"What planet am I on?" Hal asked.

The two stared at him and then started to laugh. Now they knew that the boy was really kidding.

"You’re on planet Earth. Why did your space ship crash and you just happened to land in the natural history museum?" Daisy's voice was full of sarcasm.

Hal was stunned. Sagen was right. Stepping through the door of the Star Maker’s chamber had taken him into a wormhole through time and space. He really was on planet Earth. Now, in order for him to get home, he must solve the riddles, find the Firestone and get to the portal on time.

"I just didn’t land here on purpose," said Hal. "Sagen said that there must be a clue that’ll lead me home."

"Where’s home?" Daisy asked.

"A place far away from here on another planet."

"Another planet!" exclaimed Charlie, his eyes widening like saucers.

Hal ignored them and went back to the statue of Manitou. The fierce warrior head of the Native American God glared down at him, with large colorful feathers pointing out of his headdress.

"There’s gotta be a clue here," said Hal. He searched around the statue, examining the gleaming wood and its polished interiors.

Out of curiosity, Charlie and Daisy joined in the investigation too. They searched for a few minutes and then Daisy found something scribbled on the side that looked like some ancient writing.

"An inscription," she exclaimed.

"Hey, let me see that," said Charlie, his nose almost pressed up against the writing. He started to read the words out aloud.


Hal pondered over the meaning of the scrawled inscription on the side of the Manitou statue, but his mind drew a blank and he turned to look at his Earth companions for help, screwing up his forehead tightly. What could the riddle mean?

There was a tremendous rumbling as the statue of Manitou started to shake violently. For a moment it seemed like a miniature earthquake was taking place right inside the ancient gallery. The statue panel popped opened and a sinister figure stepped out.

On the outside he looked like an ordinary 15 year old boy, with a mass of unruly black hair, pale almost albino skin and small pink eyes. He wore a black combat suit and white sneakers. Around his waist he had a utility belt. Its many pouches carried an assortment of weapons. Wire-framed small rectangular glasses doubled as a heat-sensing device. His name was Elijah X and he was the deadliest bounty hunter in the galaxy.

Elijah walked through the darkened hall of the gallery with a determined stride and stopped at the tall window where only an hour before Hal himself had stood. He brought out a pair of infrared binoculars from his utility belt and started to scan the city. Indications suggested that the Prince had arrived here when he had travelled through the wormhole.

Although Elijah detected eight million human life forms in one of the most advanced cities on Earth, he could find no sign of the Prince who was probably in hiding or using some kind of cloaking device. No matter, he would find him. Undeterred, he put the binoculars back in his pouch and crashed through the museum window, instantly setting off the security alarm. He ignored the broken glass and carried on walking. His mission was to find and bring Hal back alive whatever the cost.