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THE MAKING OF A PALADIN by James Terry Action short story

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A Paladin needs a very high level of stamina to perform at an optimal operational level.
In later years Remington's workouts consisted of targeting every single muscle. Taking two muscle groups, such as chest and back or biceps and triceps and working them hard for over two hour intervals. Then cool down with core and abs.

As often as possible very fast walking for an hour at a time with a forty pound weighted vest and next walking lunges with a one hundred and thirty-five pound pack on his back. This training will provide the Paladin with the explosive power necessary for hand to hand combat or sprinting for cover. This could mean the difference between life and death.

Next is circuit or anaerobic type training for instance sled pushes and pulls, barbell complexes, bodyweight circuits, sandbag complexes, sledgehammer strikes or a combination of these types of training methods.
Strength and agility training as well as martial arts must become a lifestyle.

Finally but by no means of any less importance is the mental fitness training for which a top secret programme has been designed and evolved over time. The human brain has an astonishing ability to adapt and change. This ability is known as neuroplasticity. Physical exercise increases oxygen to your brain and also enhances the levels of BDNF1 signalling brainstem cells to convert into new neurons.

Remington had developed his five senses of hearing, smell, taste, touch and vision to extraordinary levels.
His ear could pick up even the most minute sound and decipher layer upon layer of noise. In fact, he had developed the ability of echolocation. This is the ability to see nearby objects by creating a series of high frequency clicks and listening to the echoes to sense their size, distance and density.
His enhanced sense of smell allowed him to detect specific smells and locate their origin. He could even detect if someone was

lying by which hormones they excrete. Accompanying his heightened sense of smell is the ability to detect even subtle poisons by taste.
His acute sense of touch make him highly sensitive to vibration and changes in pressure. He is able to notice intricate details of whatever he touches even read words from print.
His enhanced sense of vision meant he could see with amazing clarity detail at distances beyond that of the average human. He could also see in low light conditions, even total darkness. The training consisted of regularly training his eyes to spot contrast through the use of a Gabor patch2 strongly stimulating his brain cells responsible for visual perception.

Beyond these five senses Remington possessed a photographic memory and many other highly advanced gifts that will become evident in his exploits to come.
Remington would need all of his special attributes and then some as he does battle with history's most unique and formidable villains in The Paladin Project Chronicles.

Remington Johnstone was now ready to embark on a life changing journey, his graduation into the life of a Paladin. It was time for Remington to make his pilgrimage to Stroma.

He would ride his Triumph Bonneville to Gills Harbour and from there he would take a small local boat to Stroma Island where he would spend the next three days. He was not forewarned of what he would experience and, at the same time, he was sworn to secrecy about the entire pilgrimage.

The weather was violent. Rain pelted down like tiny, stinging bullets whipped by a raging, bitter wind. Immense black thunder clouds tumbled across the sky. The tiny boat was mercilessly buffeted as it climbed mountainous waves. Remington was at last put ashore at the deserted harbour Stroma Island. The Captain reminded Remington, “Dinna forget I'll be back fur ye in three days mind”
Bent against the fierce wind as he trudged, hat pulled low over his eyes for protection against the blast.

Suddenly the tempest stilled. The fierce gale became a gentle breeze. The warm, golden sun broke through the clouds and began to dry the puddles.

Following instructions he had been given it wasn't long before he met a soldier traversing the same track. After a brief greeting they each decided that it would be mutually beneficial, if not enjoyable, to travel together.

Rounding a bend in the road they were set upon by thieves. The soldier fled while Remington stood his ground, soundly defeating the brigand. It was then the soldier returned, brandishing his weapon and shouting, “Let me at them. I'll teach them a lesson”
At this Remington replied, “I only wish you had helped me when I needed it, even if it had only been words of encouragement. Now put your weapon away and your equally pointless words. Your words may deceive some but I've witnessed your cowardice. I will travel on alone for it is better to travel with those you know you can depend on”

With that the thug and the soldier vanished. Bewildered, Remington trudged on. Night began to fall as he began to climb a steep and rocky mountain path and as he did so he heard the yowl of a large cat somewhere above him. Climbing a particularly steep section he came face to face with a black panther. The big cat didn't attack but rather reached out its great paw and groaned. Astonished, Remington examined the beast's paw only to discover a razor sharp piece of stone embedded in its pad. Removing the shard the great beast calmed and ceased its moaning. The pair went their separate ways.

That night Remington was set upon, as he slept, by tribesmen fearful of strangers. He was unceremoniously thrown into a dark pit. He could just make out two gleaming yellow eyes watching him from the darkness. Immediately he heard the creaking and scraping of the cage door as they opened it releasing whatever horrible fate awaited him.

But when the creature recognized the Paladin as the man that had removed the source of the excruciating pain in his paw instead of attacking him the panther approached placing a paw in the Paladin's lap.
The Chieftain, witnessing this amazing scene, gave orders to set the puma free. Furthermore, he ordered the release of the stranger and to give him a sumptuous meal and a comfortable place to sleep before sending him on his way refreshed.

Bidding his captors farewell the Paladin rose early to resume his journey. Just outside the village he encountered a large boulder blocking the mountain trail. He watched as high ranking villagers struggled with great effort to clamber around it. Unbeknownst to everyone the Chieftain had had it placed on the pathway. Then hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock.

Many loudly blamed the Chieftain for not keeping the roads clear but not one offered to do anything to remove the road block.

Stepping up to the massive stone Remington solidly positioned his feet and putting his shoulder to it, heaved with all his great strength. The enormous stone began to move and at last tumbled down the slope making way for unfettered travel to and from the village.

Bending down to pick up his pack Remington noticed a purse lying in the path where the boulder had been. Opening the purse he found it filled with several large and brilliantly sparkling diamonds.
Every obstacle presents an opportunity.

The Paladin continued his climb without further incident. The sun transformed from gold to crimson as it set behind the peaks. Remington selected a level spot to make camp for the night. After eating some jerky and drinking fresh stream water he settled into his sleeping bag and fell quickly into a deep sleep.

When he awoke he discovered he had slept on the door step of the mystical monastery he was seeking. The great stone door stood open and a hooded monk stood within silently bidding the Paladin enter.
Several monks knelt in prayer around an ancient wooden cross that stood prominently on a stone platform while Gregorian chanting could be heard emanating from a small chapel.

A deep disembodied voice filled the enclosure and echoed off of the stone walls and mountainside, “Well done, you have been tested and met the three challenges of courage, compassion and wisdom; therefore, you have proven worthy to partake in the ultimate Paladin preparation”

Remington dwelt there three months immersing himself in mystical martial arts, extraordinary covert mesmerisation and voice modulation control techniques unknown to any other human beings on earth.
Three months passed quickly and the day came for Remington to go forth into the world as a true Paladin to carry on the fight for truth and justice in an unrelenting world.

He woke that final morning to find himself in his sleeping bag lying next to a small camp fire that gone out hours before. He looked around but could find no trace of the huge stone door nor any sign of where he had spent the last three months.

The Paladin arose and made his way back down the mountain and back to the harbour where the small boat with its familiar captain awaited him.

Noticing the day's newspaper laying at the Captain's elbow he was taken aback when he saw the date. “Is this today's newspaper” he asked.
“Why, yes... yes it is. Why do you ask” replied the Captain.
“This can't be, surely. I've been on the island for three months, not three days”

1 Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
2 A circle made out of a grating with light and dark colours named after Nobel Prize recipient, Dennis Gabor. The contrast in the grating gets fainter and the task harder.

To see more of James Terry, click the link to his Facebook fan page or scroll down to the bottom of the page to view his member details Visit James Terry Fanpage.

Images used for the story are
Visit Pixabay Monastery.

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Copyright © 2015 James D. A. Terry All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other non-commercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at the address below. James D. A. Terry 110 North Front Street, Suite 346 Belleville, Ontario K8P 0A6 CANADA / ISBN: 1514397277 ISBN-13: 978-1514397275 Library of Congress Control Number: [LCCN] [Imprint Name, City, State]

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Short Story written by James D. A. Terry

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Remington had developed his five senses of hearing, smell, taste, touch and vision to extraordinary levels. His ear could pick up even the most minute sound and decipher layer upon layer of noise. In fact, he had...

The Paladin by James Terry

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