What happens when you take a couple of ordinary 14 year olds, Phoenix and Jade, out of their ordinary, miserable lives and throw them into a computer game - 80AD - AND into their avatar's bodies? Action, adventure, chaos and magic, that's what. Phoenix and Jade aren't kids any longer. They are warriors who must fight to even survive in Roman Britain 1000 years ago. To get home, they have to win Level 1 of the game - but that means going up against the Legions of Rome an all the other nasties the game programmers threw into the mix.
Phoenix glanced at his watch and groaned. 5:30pm. Late. Rising up on the bike pedals, he pushed harder, speeding down the sleepy suburban street. Driveways and front yards flashed past. Neighbours hallooed. He ignored them. If he was late again and Jacob found out….
He pedalled harder.
His own driveway came up abruptly. He slammed on the brakes, turning to slide expertly into it with a spray of gravel. The adrenalin rush brought a smile of fierce joy to his face. A few more quick pushes brought him up the slight incline and around the back of the mansion he now called home. Well, the house where he lived, anyway. Peering into the garage, he heaved a sigh of relief. His mother wasn’t home and neither was Jacob.
Leaning his bike against the house, Phoenix pulled out a key and let himself in through the kitchen door. Pausing for a moment, he listened hard. The big, cold house was echoingly empty. Some of the tension went out of his shoulders. He dropped his aikido bag on the kitchen floor before slouching over to the fridge to inspect its contents. Since turning thirteen, six months before, he always seemed to be hungry. His mother teased him about it – and, unfortunately, it also gave Jacob another reason to be annoyed with him.
After staring vaguely into the full fridge for awhile, Phoenix grabbed container of cold pizza from dinner the night before. He shut the door, then immediately opened it again and picked out a can of Coke.
Car tyres crunched up the drive. Startled, he stared over his shoulder as though trying to see through the stone walls. Hearing the distinctive thrum of a big engine, he bolted for the stairs. At the last second, he remembered his aikido bag and skidded to a stop. A car door slammed. Swearing under his breath, Phoenix dashed back and snatched up the bag, shoving the pizza and drink into it as he turned again for the stairs. Seven long jumps brought him safely to the top where he stopped, leaning against a wall around the corner to catch his breath.
The kitchen door opened. Heavy footsteps rapped sharply across marble tiles. Phoenix didn’t wait any longer. Jacob was home. Stepping softly along the pile-carpeted hallway, Phoenix reached his own room. He eased the door open, let himself in and closed it again; carefully. Only once it was fully closed did he put his bag gently down and finally breathe out. Dropping into the chair in front of his study desk, he opened the drink, sucked up the bubbles and switched on his computer. Running stiff fingers through an unruly mop of brown hair, he swivelled to stare out the window.
Now, if he just kept his head low for an hour or so, his mother would come home and he could avoid any sort of run-in with his stepfather at all. Jacob would know Phoenix was home by the fact his bike was there, but they had an unspoken agreement to avoid each other whenever humanly possible. Really, the only time they crossed paths was at dinner and Jacob Smithson never made any sort of fuss about his stepson in front of Gwen.
Free Books in the Series:
Book 1: 80AD - The Jewel of Asgard
Book 2: 80AD - The Hammer of Thor
Book 3: 80AD - The Tekhen of Anuket
Book 4: 80AD - The Sudarshana
Book 5: 80AD - The Yu Dragon