Star Gods

by JT Adeline

Star Gods by JT Adeline Zeke Cartwright wants what other sixteen-year-old boys want; summer break and another date with beautiful Adrianna Jackson. Unfortunately, he’s half-alien—a direct descendent of the Star Gods, sworn protectors of the Earth from the Planet Eos, and his superiors have a message for him;

Go against code, and save a girl without assistance from his brothers or any other Star God, and he might discover why his parents have been missing for the past eight months.

After nearly dying from an attack of an unexpected adversary, Zeke discovers the truth about his family. Will he prevail over this fight for his survival, or will he be defeated by the evil lurking in the darkness?






Amazon Kindle





Tuesday, April 12, 2039


I’m pushed, shoved, and elbowed as I make my way out of Prescott High in Old St. Paul, Minnesota. The bright sun hits me in the face moments before the assistant principal steps in front of me, blocking the warm rays I only had seconds to enjoy. I swear under my breath, and he raises both eyebrows. This normally isn’t a problem, but Mr. Hansen is also my history teacher. Apparently, writing “The war referred to as Desert Storm caused many deaths and heartaches,” wasn’t appropriate for my report. I now have to write what it’s like having an older brother raise me. I could just write the same thing; it’s really not that different. It might give him satisfaction to give me detention. You think?

“Mr. Cartwright.”

“I’m sorry, Mr. Hansen. I’m running late. Excuse me.”

He doesn’t move. In fact, he’s blocking my path of escape.

“I trust you have the paper your brother needs to sign?”

I gnash my teeth to keep from swearing again. “Yes, sir.”

“Zeke, you may want to choose your words on paper, and in conversation, more carefully in the future.”

I desperately try not to roll my eyes. “Mr. Hansen, I really need to get going. Ashe is expecting me, and I missed my ride with Tyce.”

“Does either of your brothers allow you to speak inappropriately?”

I give in and roll my eyes. “No, sir.” I shift my backpack on my shoulder and rock back on my heels while looking over Mr. Hansen’s shoulder for my best way out. My eyes settle on the mural of what this school looked like twenty years ago when this was Harding High. Time has really changed this place, and I wonder why we aren’t writing about that; after all, it’s more current.

In 2020, the World Wide Web crashed. The internet was completely shut down by the governments, and telephones you plug into your wall became the highest selling item. Cellphones were banned up until three years ago and aren’t so smart anymore. As of now, they are very basic, resembling those used in 2005 according to some of the teachers—phone calls and texting only. Schools had to go back to paper, pens, and old textbooks—which explains my report about Desert Storm instead of something more current—with holographic boards sitting dark and unused. Merchants returned to carbon paper for credit card transactions, and as for the internet, it’s still banned. This generation knows nothing about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or any other popular social media of that era, except for what we have learned about in class.

My mind gives a warning tingle, and I rub the back of my neck while Mr. Hansen continues with his tirade. If he doesn’t stop soon, he’s going to get his first real alien encounter when my eyes start glowing. Yes, I’m half-alien, my dad’s from outer space, and the Star Gods have a message for me that I really need to answer—soon.

Let me explain.

My dad is what astronomers would deem an alien. He has the same physical appearance of a human, making it easy to blend in, except he has abilities and violet eyes—the genetic stamp of a Star God that he passed down to his sons.

Dad grew up on Planet Eos, located in the center of the Milky Way and undiscoverable from human detection. He came to Earth after becoming a Luminary—just a fancy word for a more powerful Star God—to protect humans from outside and unknown threats. He met my mom here on Earth, fell in love, had a family and remains here with occasional visits to his planet, which for him is only a blink away. That is what happened—my parents went to Planet Eos for a meeting and never returned. That was eight months ago, and I’m missing them like crazy.

One of my abilities is receiving messages from any Luminary on the Star God Planet, showing me who my brothers and I need to help here on Earth. That’s what’s currently happening in my head while Mr. Hansen lectures me. I hope he’s almost done.

“Consider this a warning, Zeke. Next time it will be after-school detention and a call home.”

Kevin Nelson snorts and looks back as he passes. I really can’t stand him. I make an inappropriate gesture out of Mr. Hansen’s view, and Kevin returns it.

“Thank you, Mr. Hansen,” I mutter as I quickly walk around him, glance at my watch, and without thinking, swear. Mr. Hansen clears his throat, and I jog down the sidewalk, my mind a constant tingle. I might as well inform Ashe and Tyce I’ll be late tomorrow.

My cellphone in my pocket chimes with a text message, making me groan. The only person it could possibly be is Ashe; I’m officially a dead man. I couldn’t just ignore Adrianna Jackson, I mean, she’s hot—I can’t finish making second date plans without talking to her—and of course, Mr. Hansen, who’s not so hot, and I cringe at the thought of thinking of them at the same time. I shove my hand in my pocket, and my mind gives me a warning buzz. I need to answer their call—now.

“Hold on,” I mutter, gritting my teeth and yanking out my sunglasses. “Ashe is already going to kill me. Can’t you wait until later?”

The wind kicks up as I weave between parked cars, blowing leaves and debris into my face before pushing me, hard. I swallow nervously. This message must be important to risk in front of humans. I quicken my steps and shove by a cluster of kids with a quick apology. I set my eyes on the building with the concession stand and bathrooms on the football field to receive my message. I dart through the opening of the fence and get to the other side of the building. Suddenly, an unfamiliar red haze fills my sight, and a searing pain blasts the inside of my skull. I cry out, falling to my knees, my hands pushing on the sides of my head. The Star Gods have never caused me pain before. It’s against their rules. What the hell is going on? A bright light sears the back of my closed lids, making me pitch forward. I hit my head hard on the pavement, and I swear I lose consciousness for a second.

“Hey, you okay?” Someone shakes me. “C’mon, man, are you okay?”

The only thing leaving my lips is another cry of pain.

“Hey! I need help over here! I think this kid’s been attacked!”

Well, there’s my explanation for what happened.

Running footsteps stop next to me, and many voices start talking at once.

“Someone better call for help. I think he has a head injury.”

“Does someone know where Tyce is? I think this is his kid brother.”

“I saw him leave,” a girl answers. “Tisha, get Claire, I just saw her by the main door.”

I try to get to my feet but end up still on my knees when someone pushes me back down. It’s too late now anyway, the message is coming through, and I can’t stop it. I shut out the voices around me and watch the scene take place.

A girl runs toward me through an alley, her oversized jean jacket billowing behind her, revealing a light blue t-shirt underneath. Dirty water splashes up, soaking her from the waist down. She keeps looking back, her long, honey-brown hair getting in her face. She stumbles over crushed boxes and slips in muddy debris, as she hurriedly tries to regain her footing. Dumpsters and discarded garbage sweep by, while shadows grow thick and menacing on the brick walls on either side of her, keeping her identity in eerie blackness. I can’t help her if I don’t know who to find. Just as her face is about to be revealed, the scene stops, a red haze fills my sight, and another blinding pain shakes me. I force myself to my knees when the vision snaps out.

“Zeke, I need you to stay down,” Mr. Hansen says. “Help is on the way.”

“Anyone have any Kleenex or something?” a familiar voice says. “He’s bleeding pretty badly.”

“Claire?” The sunlight feels like someone’s jabbing my eyes with a pin. Claire Appleton, Tyce’s girlfriend, kneels in front of me; blocking the sun and making me want to shout out in joy.

“Zeke, are you all right?” She places something onto my forehead, her face full of concern.

“I...I think...”

“Stay put, Zeke,” Mr. Hansen says, his voice now sounding far away even though he’s crouching right next to me. “The ambulance is on its way.”

Ambulance? Who needs an ambulance?

Sirens wail, fluctuating in loudness. The last thing I hear is the closeness of where the sirens stop, and I absently hope that whomever the sirens are for, they’ll be okay.

* * *

“Thanks, Mr. Hansen, for everything you did for Zeke.”

I gaze toward the closed hospital curtain obstructing my view, knowing my brothers are standing on the other side in the hallway.

“Ashe, these policemen are here to talk to Zeke. I didn’t see what happened, and this did occur on school grounds, so they need to question him.”

Wonderful. At least I know what I’m going to say. I can’t exactly tell them my brothers and I are descendants of the Star Gods from Planet Eos, sworn protectors of the Earth, and the Luminaries contacted me about someone I need to help here on Earth.

“We need to see our brother first if you don’t mind.”

“Now, Ashe, you and Tyce can’t take matters into your own hands and go after whoever may have done this,” Mr. Hansen warns. “I think your parents would agree with me.” He’s been the assistant principal for a long time and knows us Cartwright brothers probably better than we would like.

“Why would we do that when the police are already here?” Ashe answers sarcastically, and I hear the shuffle of feet and the door to my room close.

I lean my head back onto the mattress while the curtain parts and my brothers step into the room. We really draw attention to ourselves with our sandy blonde hair and violet eyes. It’s amazing no one has experimented on us yet to find our genetic stamp. A girl at school wanted to paint me once, saying I looked like a Norse God with my perfect nose, high cheekbones, and chiseled-like chin. I never knew what she meant by that until now.

My brothers stop at the foot of my bed, Ashe’s work clothes greasy from the cars in the shop. The current look on his face I haven’t seen since our parents disappeared.

He inhales and speaks on the exhale. “You okay?”

“Yeah, I’m okay.”

“You don’t look okay.” Tyce sits on the corner of my bed and runs a hand through his unruly hair we each inherited. “Who did this?”

“I don’t think we should discuss that here.”

Ashe’s eyes flash a brighter violet with specks of silver—he’s training to become a first-level Luminary, and the silver will be more noticeable once he becomes one. Tyce lifts a hand, and I feel the momentary pressurization in the air that only we can feel, as he places a ward up across the door. It’s an ability both of my brothers have; it’s like a personal security system. It also prevents anyone on the other side from hearing us.

“Are you crazy?” I demand through gritted teeth making my head pulsate in my ears. “What if someone tries to walk in and they can’t?”

“I’m listening,” Tyce responds with a shrug.

Ashe looks peeved. “Tell us. Now.”

I shake my head and hiss through my teeth. The pounding inside my skull is like a jackhammer, and my stomach churns. “You’re going to get us caught.”

“No, we’re not.” Ashe crosses his arms over his chest, his concerned face gone. “Tell us now, and no one will know.”

“I was sent a message.”

Ashe squints at me. “What does getting assaulted have to do with receiving a message?”

“ defied them a month ago.” I point to the ceiling.

“How exactly did you defy them?”

“Remember when Kevin Nelson got beat up?” I explain and Ashe’s eyebrows lift. “I didn’t stop it from happening.”

“You...” Ashe drops his arms and Tyce stands. “Why?”

“I...I had a date with Adrianna Jackson.”

“Kevin Nelson probably deserved it anyway. He’s an ass,” Tyce remarks with a smirk.

Ashe elbows him in the side. “The Star Gods don’t promote violence.”

I shrug. “Like Tyce said, Kevin’s an ass.”

“And they can keep you from becoming a Luminary,” Ashe points out.

I shrug again. “I can live with that.”

He draws his hand down his face and breathes out slowly before speaking. “So, you’re saying the Star Gods did this to you?”

“Yeah,” I answer sarcastically. “Maybe they’ve changed their rules.”

Ashe swears, Tyce lifts his hand, and I feel the ward drop.

“Maybe they thought they’d teach me a lesson by throwing me down and giving me nine stitches and a concussion.”

Ashe looks at me in disbelief as the curtain draws back, and two police officers, along with Mr. Hansen, walk in.

“They threw you down?” one asks, pulling a small notebook and pen from his breast pocket. “So there’s more than one?”

I glance at Ashe, and he returns it with a glare. “No, I never saw them.”

A nurse skirts around everyone and pushes a button, the blood pressure cuff on my left arm begins to squeeze. Why do they have to make it so tight?

“Did you hear anything? Did either of them say anything?” the other officer asks, and Mr. Hansen looks concerned.

I sigh. I hate lying. “I’m not sure. Everything happened too fast.” The nurse places two fingers on my wrist, and I look up at the ceiling when my stomach churns. “I don’t know who they were.” I swallow bile as it creeps into my throat. “Can we talk about this later, please?” I really don’t want to throw up in front of everybody.

“Zeke?” Ashe says just before I gag.

There’s a lot of movement around me, and someone bumps into the gurney sending shooting pain through my skull. The nurse shoves a throw-up pan under my chin just as my stomach decides to let loose.

“Oh, man. Give a guy some warning next time,” Tyce complains.

“Your questioning will have to wait,” the nurse states, and the blood pressure cuff tightens again. “I need to ask all of you to step out.”

“No,” Ashe disagrees. “We’re his guardians, and we’re not going anywhere.”

“Speak for yourself.” Tyce hooks a thumb behind him, his face a little green. “I’ll be in the hall.”

Mr. Hansen places a hand on Ashe’s shoulder, and my oldest brother’s eyes flash more silver than they should. Thankfully, no one but me saw it. “Ashe, let’s step out for a minute and let your brother get taken care of. I’m sure you can come right back in.”

The nurse pushes a button on her mini two-way radio she wears around her neck, requesting a doctor. She places a hand on my arm and smiles at me. “Feeling any better?”


She hands me a different throw-up pan. I close my eyes, inhaling through my nose in hopes of settling my stomach. This day officially sucks.

“How’s it going in here, Ann?”

I peek to see an Asian doctor rubbing sanitizer into his hands. He smiles at me and comes to stand on the other side of my bed.

“He vomited, and his pulse and blood pressure are elevated.”

“Hi, Zeke.” He pats my arm with a warm hand. “I’m Doctor Xiong. I assessed you when you first came in and stitched you up.”

“Couldn’t make it an even ten?”

He smiles. “There wasn’t room for another stitch.” The blood pressure cuff tightens again, and his attention goes toward the machine. “Are your parents here, Zeke?”

I swallow hard. “My brother Ashe is my guardian. He’s out in the hall.”

“Ann, we’re going to need him back in here.”

She hands him the clipboard, and he scans it, returning his attention to me. “Is there anything you need to share with me while your brother is out in the hall?”

“No, why?”

“Anything happen between the two of you?”

I glare at him as his question hits home. “My brothers didn’t do this. I was walking home from school, and someone came from behind, pushing me down. I hit my head on the pavement.” I inhale through my nose as my stomach painfully clenches.

“Still nauseous?”

“Mm-hmm,” I mumble, too afraid to open my mouth.

“Here’s the thing, Zeke. Concussions are complicated. Aside from my earlier question, with the symptoms you are currently displaying, and the fact that you were unconscious when you arrived, I’m going to request you spend the night.”

I shake my head, and pain shoots through. “No, I’m not staying here.” The stupid blood pressure cuff tightens again. “Can you turn that off please, it hurts.”

Dr. Xiong pats my arm again. “Let’s get this last reading, and then we’ll take it off automatic.” He looks at the reading then back to me, making me more uncomfortable. “Your blood pressure is still higher than I would like.”

“What does my blood pressure have to do with my head?” My voice rises, and my head beats its own staccato.

“That’s why I asked about your brothers. Sometimes hidden stressors can cause a rise in blood pressure.”

“I told you,” I nearly shout, and I wince in pain. “Neither of my brothers did this. I don’t like hospitals, and I want to go home.”

I hear a commotion in the hall, and suddenly my brothers are in the room, and I sigh in relief. “I don’t want to spend the night, Ashe. Please, tell him I don’t have to spend the night.”

“Calm down, Zeke.” Ashe pushes in beside the nurse and clamps a hand down on my arm. I feel warmth spread with his power of healing—another ability he and Tyce both have. Ashe looks to the doc. “Are you requesting he spends the night because he got sick, or because you think Tyce and I are threats to him?”

“Ashe and I were both at work. Martin and Sons Garage on the corner of Third and Johnson Parkway,” Tyce says before Dr. Xiong can answer. “You can speak to Mr. Juan Gonzales as Ashe was under his car and me under the hood when the call came from my girlfriend about Zeke.”

“We’ll make sure he has low lighting and quiet at home,” Ashe says. “I had a concussion once and know the drill. We’ll bring him back in if he gets worse, or we think he needs to be here.”

Dr. Xiong nods and glances between us, before grabbing my chart and writing on it. “He’ll need to remain home until next Tuesday and come in here, or your doctor’s office, to have his stitches removed and be reassessed.”

“All we need is a doctor’s note for school,” Ashe answers.

“I’ll get that for you once I complete my exam and feel he’s safe to go home. If you two will please step aside, that will be helpful.”

* * *

“Sit down, Zeke. We need to go over a few things.”

I slowly drop onto the couch, slouching into the cushions and wishing I could just close my eyes. It feels much better than the hard hospital bed, and I almost sigh. Dr. Xiong wouldn’t release me until after a second assessment. Since I didn’t get sick again, he let me go home with the promise someone would be with me for the next forty-eight hours. It feels good to be home, except for Ashe’s bad mood.

“Head still hurt?” Tyce asks, falling into the recliner and pulling the release for the footrest.

“No.” It feels like constant pressure is being pushed onto my forehead, and Ashe being irritated doesn’t help any.

“You shouldn’t lie, you’re bad at it,” Tyce says, grabbing for the TV remote. Ashe snatches it from his hand as he sits on the coffee table. He places his foot on Tyce’s footrest and shoves it back into the chair.

“Dude, chill, he’s fine. Nothing a little healing power won’t fix.” Tyce leans toward me extending his hand.

Ashe smacks it away. “Knock it off, Tyce, neither one of us can heal him. Cesar will be stopping by to check on him. What are we supposed to say when he asks how he healed so fast?”

“How about the truth,” I answer, slouching more into the cushions as Ashe’s head snaps my way, and Tyce laughs.

“Really?” Ashe places one hand on one of his thighs looking a lot like Dad. “Who’s going to take you two knuckleheads in when I get put into a psych ward?”

“You never know,” I respond because, for some reason, I like to put my unwanted opinion in. “He may believe us.”

Ashe closes his eyes and shakes his head while Tyce laughs harder. “You’re lucky the cops believed your story,” Ashe reminds me. “Now they’re going to be looking for two guys that don’t exist to arrest for your assault.”

“What was I supposed to say?” I ask, my anger rising, and my head pulsates. “The Star Gods interrupted my walk home, and because I defied them, they beat me up a little?”

“How about you tripped and fell on your head?” Tyce snorts and Ashe punches him. “Oh, come on, that would be believable!”

“Shut up, Tyce,” Ashe warns. He brings his attention back to me. “Have the Luminaries ever hurt you before?”


“Then why now?”

“I told you, I defied them.”

“It goes against our code of hurting no one. It’s the very first thing we’re taught.”

I shrug.

“What did they show you?” Tyce asks, changing the subject.

“Not much.” I drag my fingers through my hair. “After seeing a red haze and getting slammed, all I saw was a girl with long brown hair running toward me—I never saw her face.”

“This red haze”—Tyce releases the footrest and leans back—“ever experience it before?”

I rub my sore forehead. “No, never.”

“Maybe it’s not the Luminaries,” Tyce says more to Ashe than to me. “Maybe it’s a Star God who has something out for Dad.”

“Is that possible?” I ask.

“Anything’s possible,” Ashe responds.

I rub above my eyebrows where my head is throbbing. “Who would be able to attack me through a message?”

“I don’t know.” Ashe leans forward, placing his hand on my forehead, and I pull away. “Zeke, your head is pounding.”

I release myself from the comfort of the cushions. “Can’t heal me, remember?” I go into the kitchen, yank open the fridge, and grab a citrus soda, popping the top.

Ashe follows and leans on the counter while Tyce swivels the recliner, placing his hands behind his head. “Zeke, let me help.”

“You’re the one who doesn’t want to lie about how I’d heal so fast.” I take a sip of my soda, trying not to choke on it as it fizzes in my throat. I place it back in the fridge and skirt around him. “We lie every time we talk about Mom and Dad. No one questions us about it. I can’t tell anyone what really happened to me or even that I’m half-alien.” I turn down the hallway suddenly remembering I was supposed to vacuum today. “I’m tired, I need to change my clothes, and my head hurts. I’m going to lie down and take a nap. You two can argue for a while.” I walk into my room and close my door harder than I intended.

↑ Return to Top ↑