The Story of Jace - Sanctuary

Bloodlines of Atmos book 1

by J. P. Edgar

Being the only survivor in a tragic car accident that claimed his entire family, 6-year-old Jace starts a new life in the Sanctuary for Orphaned Children – a place that seems like a comfortable and luxurious dream to those on the outside, but with a world so drastically different for those on the inside.

After a painful first day, Jace discovers he is surrounded by violence and torment, and isolates himself from the world around him, only to later embrace the combative lifestyle he would grow up in. But when his simple life gets disrupted by a kid with strange abilities, Jace is forced to put his trust in others, and wage a personal war against those who possess unnatural powers.

He will discover strange magic and technology.

He will discover plots and oddities about the establishment.

He will discover that he is the savior for all humanity.




It was the last week of August and the sun rose high into the sky to beam its last days of warmth over the lands before the cold grips of autumn took over. Trees turned from their summer greens to oranges and yellows. The shed of vegetation that littered the country road parted as Nolan drove his SUV away from the city on the yearly vacation to give his family a break from the cramped and bustling city life.

He looked to his side and at his beautiful wife, Audry, who sat in the passenger seat. He smiled as she ran the tips of her fingers in loops at the ends of her shoulder-length brown hair. She stared out the window, as if to watch the world go by.

She turned to look at him with her deep green eyes, apparently sensing his gaze on her. Audry gave her usual half-smile. “What?”

Her voice was always so sweet and soft, even when she cursed like a sailor.

“Nothing,” he replied, and he returned his gaze to the road. He joked in his thoughts about Audry having ESP, or some other power like The Evolved did. How else did she know he was looking at her so quickly?

“Did you see that holo-ad about the Sector 50 beach resorts?” Audry asked. “Carol said something like a kid kicked the side of a fire hydrant last month and the fucking thing blew apart.”

“Language. And besides, I don’t think your sister can think for herself. She believes everything she reads.”

“It’s not those stupid fucking tabloids. This was on the news and everything.”

Nolan smiled and shook his head. “Didn’t that one company make something to detect people who had the disease?”

From the corner of his eye, he saw Audry shrug. “What was that company’s name again? ‘The Order’? Anyways, they have some sort of mist that makes them glow, but that is all sorts of stupid. I can just imagine a big time suit keeping a spray bottle and a black light on him. They even named it after some religion, or some stupid shit like that.”

That hardly made any sense to him. Then he had a thought. “Like a black light?”

“Yeah. You know, that thing that makes your bleached teeth glow in the dark?”

He reached up to adjust the rear-view mirror. The reflection of his son, Jace, hunched over with his head resting and eyes closed on his new brown backpack. His sleeping gave him relief, as his son was known to take after his mother more than him.

Audry turned to look at the back and started to make some adjustments to his seatbelt. “That kid wasn’t much older than Jace, but they’re apparently trying to charge him with some felony.” She reached behind him and started to play with the booster seat that sat his daughter.

He made some more adjustments to his mirror to look at his little girl. “Is Sarah okay?”

“Yeah, she’s fine.” Audry unbuckled her belt to better reach to the back. “She’s sleeping too. Stupid fucking seat can’t stay in one place.”

“Language,” he warned again.

“Yeah, yeah.” She grunted, her butt sticking in the air. Finally, she finished whatever task she worked on and plopped hard back in her seat. She ran her fingers over her loose strands of hair to put them behind her ear. Even after ten years together, she was still so pretty.

“You want to get a different seat? I saw a holo-ad about—”

“You know those things are to trick everyone? Buy buy buy. Those ass holes are brain washing everyone to give them their money.”

“If you’re not happy with what you have, we might as well get another.”

“See?” Audry turned around to look in the back once more. “I just hope our kids can see through their advertising propaganda.”

“Daddy,” he heard Jace say sleepily from behind.

He looked in the rear-view mirror as Jace yawned and stretched, rubbing his brown eyes with the back of his hand.

“Can we please hear music?”

“Sure, son.” He tapped the glass on the dashboard to light up the controls. With a swipe of his finger, he turned the radio on. Static.

“Stupid piece of crap,” Audry mumbled. “It’s not like the satellites can’t get to us on this side of the hill.”

“Over the hills and into...” an announcer said before cutting to static.

“Why do we pay for this crap when it doesn’t work?” Audry fiddled with the glass screen.

“Breaths of fire…” Again, the radio turned to static. “... in extreme danger... are trying to stop...” The radio went to continuous static.

Audry recoiled her hand, then looked out the window.

“What do you think that was about?” When Nolan heard no reply, he looked over to his wife, who leaned forward and stared out the windshield.


When he leaned in, he saw a plume of smoke from the distance. “It looks new.” He pushed down on the accelerator. The engine hummed loudly after a downshift.

Audry’s body went back into her seat. “What are you doing?”

“I don’t know. Investigating?”

“Investigating? Investigating what?”

“People may need our help.”

Audry leaned in to look toward the smoke once more. “You think people are in trouble?”

“I don’t know. If they do, we will be there to help.”

“You’re a car salesman. I’m a database designer. How can we do anything?”

He shrugged. “I don’t know. Even with their new hovertrucks, we will get there before the police.”

“Are we there yet?” Jace asked from the back seat.

“No, honey,” Audry replied with her gaze still on the growing smoke cloud. “Try to go back to sleep.”

“But I’m hungry... Mommy, I’m hungry!”

Audry turned to look into the back. “Remember what I said about respect and manners? Give everyone the utmost respect, no matter what.”

The radio finally cleared up enough for the announcer to continue. “A large demon is attacking the farm... Appeared out of nowhere... law enforcement is trying to contain the monster but...”

He lifted his foot, allowing the SUV to come coast down the road. “A demon?”

Audry gazed at him. “Sounds like police are already there. Do you think...” She looked back toward the smoke.

He pulled the vehicle over to the side of the road, then leaned forward to take a better look at the smoke.

Audry sighed and sat back in her seat. “I can’t believe this is the world we’re living in now. Everything is so unreal. Like living in a dream or something.”

He relaxed in his seat thinking about how things had changed so quickly. He looked into the rear-view mirror at his son, wondering how a five year old would cope with the monsters and magic that had appeared two years back. Would his son have this strange… affliction? What about Sarah? She was born near the time these creatures appeared. Would The Order take him away? Where did they even come from? He shook his head, having no real idea on what to do next. It was all so uncertain.

“Jace, honey. Do you want to go to the park instead?”

He smiled, feeling thankful that his wife knew when to take control. “Yeah, how about we have a nice day at the park. Then we can go to that carnival by the lake.”

“YAY!” Jace clapped his hands excitedly and bounced back and forth. “I and Sarah can... I and Sarah can ride the rollercoaster!”

Nolan and Audry met each other's gaze and they smiled, then they both turned to face the back. Jace was wide-eyed, and his eyes went back and forth between him and his wife.

Audry reached out and grabbed Jace’s backpack. “Are you going to push your sister’s wagon into the wall this time?”

He smiled, remembering his little girl crying after such a small bump.

Jace forcefully shook his head. “Nu-uh. I’ll make sure she’s safe. Will there be ducks? I want to feed the ducks again.”

He sat back into his seat, smiling, and shaking his head. Just as he reached to shift the gear in the SUV, the sun was covered by a large and ominous shadow. Just as he looked to see what the shadow was, a massive red shape smacked the side of the car. Pain shot through his head and the world gave a flash of light. After the flash, darkness, then nothing.

* * *

When Jace woke up, he found himself lying on a soft surface, looking up at a white ceiling with rectangular lights. He was confused, and strangely groggy. The last thing he remembered was his mother reaching for him, then the strange ride. He closed his eyes, thinking about when he woke up after the ride in the dark and being stuck in the car seat. He cried out for his mom and dad, but they never answered. His arm and chest hurt when he woke up. Where were his parents? Why didn’t they help him and comfort him through the pain? And where was Sarah? She was always making noise in the middle of the night.

Panic formed in his chest.

When he tried to rub his eyes to get the sleep out, sharp pain ran down his arm. Reflexively, he tried to sit up, but an ache in his side stopped him. His body tensed, and he couldn’t take it anymore. Tears formed and fell down his cheeks.


Shortly after he started crying, a woman in a white coat rushed to the side of the bed.

“Where’s my mom and dad? Where’s my sister?”

“Aww, poor thing,” she said as she looked down at him. She reached over to a strange device with cables hanging loosely and fiddled with some knobs.

His eyes followed where the cabled ran, and gasped when he saw them in his arm. “Who are you? Where’s my mom?”

“Now, now.” The woman in the white coat took a step back. “The doctor said you need to rest. He will talk with you in a—”

“No! I want... I want my...” Drowsiness overtook him, and he fell asleep.

* * *

A man in a white coat sat on a stool next to the bed when Jace opened his eyes up once more. His chest ached, and his arm and shoulder were painfully stiff. The room was silent with only the sound of his own hard breathing. Learning his lesson from the last time he tried to move, Jace just scanned the area to try to figure out what was going on.

He was in a very plain space. Besides his brown backpack hanging on a wall next to a door, no colors were anywhere to cover up the whites, blacks, and grays of the furnishings and equipment. Even the man wore colorless clothes.

“Hello there,” the man in the white coat said. “I’m Dr. Si. How are you feeling?”

“I feel strange,” Jace replied in a slow and mumbled tone.

“We had to make you go to sleep because your injuries were still untreated.”

That sparked alarm in Jace’s mind, slightly having him recover from his numbness. “Where is my mom and dad? Where is Sarah?”

Dr. Si stood up and put his hand on top of his. “I’m afraid I have to tell you something sad. There was an accident.”

Deep down, Jace knew what he was going to say.

“You and your family were in a terrible car accident... Your parents and your sister are dead.”

A tingle ran from his neck down to his legs, and his heart felt like it skipped a beat. “Oh. So... When will I see them again? We’re going to the park.”

Dr. Si patted Jace’s hand, then sat back down in the stool. “Please try to understand what happened.”

“No!” Jace shouted and he recoiled his hand. “We are supposed to go to the park! I was going to take my sister on the slide!”

Dr. Si stood up and inspected some equipment.

“Where is my sister?” Jace shouted as the grogginess started to kick in once more. “Where is my mom and dad?”

Dr. Si turned and left, leaving Jace alone to shout his confusion and frustration. Then he fell asleep once more.

* * *

The next couple of days were spent bedridden and mostly sleeping, not by his choice either. He would dream of a dizzying ride filled with glass and screams, and those feelings always made him feel sick. He couldn’t make out many of the details, but it was always the same. From time to time, he would awaken with someone sticking a needle in his arm to draw blood, to inspect the equipment around him, or to change the water next to his bed.

He discovered his arm and shoulder were in a sling, and his chest was wrapped in a white cloth, preventing him from really twisting or bending. Every attempt at movement was rewarded with pain.

Finally, he awoke without that strange grogginess. Dr. Si stood next to him, inspecting the equipment. He looked down at Jace, his eyebrows furrowing.

“Oh, Jace. Did I wake you?”

Jace shook his head.

Dr. Si sat on his stool. “Listen, we’re having some problems locating your next of kin. Do you have any grandparents, or an uncle or aunt?”

“Maybe. I don’t know,” he replied with another shake of his head.

“Really?” The man slightly nodded, as if thinking about something unrelated.

Jace couldn’t be sure, but he thought he saw a smile appear on the man’s lips.

“How old are you?”


“Do you know when your birthday is?”

Jace nodded. “March 22nd.”

“Five and a half,” Dr. Si said, still nodding. “Well, I’ll keep looking for your family.” He stood up and left Jace in his bed.

After he was left alone, Jace slowly rolled over, moving carefully to avoid the unusual grinding in his shoulder. When he leapt down, he cringed at the painful sting in his chest. A few moments later, the ache left him, replaced by the chill on the hard floor.

When he left his room, he looked to see where Dr. Si went. All he saw was a blank hallway. He walked down the hallway, briefly looking through some of the open doors. There were a lot of people in beds. Some of them even had flowers, balloons, and teddy bears, and visiting people. Every room but his.

As he made his way down the hall, he heard the familiar voice of Dr. Si come from the far room. Jace walked up and paused when he heard the man talk.

“Hi, Amanda. It’s Dr. Si... I’m well. Listen, I have a candidate for you... No, he’ll be old enough in six months... No, his entire family was killed in an accident last week. No one is looking for him... Correct. Six months... I will make arrangements with accounting... The usual... Okay, thanks.” He hung up the phone.

Jace put his back against the wall, thinking about what he had just heard. Was Dr. Si talking about him?

The phone rang in Dr. Si’s office once more, but Jace wasn’t paying attention to what he was saying. He started to make his way back to the room. It was like he was grounded, and the people who put him there were out to get him. They did something to his family. They couldn’t be trusted. No one could be trusted.

"Bloodlines of Atmos: The Story of Jace" - J. P. Edgar


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