Heritronians are a human-like race from the world of Heritron. They appeared in the 1998 Look and Read series "Legend of the Lost Keys".
Heritron is another world, separate from Earth, but whose people are similar to Earth humans - being genetically compatible with them. Their world is described as 'beautiful but menacing', with stories stating that Heritron's rulers (known as 'The Takers') used to live in luxury in great castles with fine clothes and servants. However, their world is now in decline with decay and ruin everywhere. To support the way they live, they need a constant supply of slaves to operate their machines, they plunder other worlds to get those slaves. Among these worlds was Earth in the past. To access the other worlds, Heritron must be within a suitable range before a Heritronian device known as 'The Box of Destiny' would be used to open a doorway to that world and allow Heritronians known as 'The Catchers' to infiltrate and steal their inhabitants to be taken back to Heritron for slavery.
Throughout the series, it is revealed that the Heritronians have a 'class' system:
- At the top are the Takers, who are the equivalent of high ranking/aristocratic families. They are led by a Supreme Taker (referred to as 'The Supreme One'), who acts as Emperor/Empress of Heritron.
- Below the Takers are the Catchers, who are the equivalent of a military and are sent to pillage other worlds to bring back people to be used as slaves.
- Next are the normal families, although very little is revealed about them in the series.
- Finally, there are the slaves, who have little to no rights and are forced to work Heritron's machines until they are too weak to carry on.
All Heritronians are shown to possess something they call 'The Power' - an umbrella term for a number of abilities they have, with the most notable being telekinesis. Humans of Heritronian heritage have also shown themselves capable of using 'The Power' themselves. Examples of 'the power' in use include levitating objects, unlocking doors/locks, disabling technology (such as cameras and vehicles), enhancing a person's senses, slowing down time and creating storms. Everyone is shown to have varying amounts of ability when using 'the power' - some only having basic ability while others are able to use it in more advanced ways.
As well as their powers, Heritronians have access to a variety of different technologies which use crystals for various purposes. Examples include the following:
- Dowsing Crystal: A device that is used for locating objects and/or people. Upon holding it, the person may get an image flash in their mind of where the object is. Depending on the device, it will either flash when close to the object the holder is searching for, or will glow increasingly brighter as the holder moves closer to their target.
- 'Crystal' Communicator: A device that acts like a holographic projector, enabling two people to talk to each other across large distances - including between worlds. It has been shown that Crystal Communicators can be altered to trace 'calls' between other communicators. However, the call must run for at least 30 seconds before a trace can be made.
- Disarming Amulet: When attached to a Heritronian or anyone of Heritronian descent, the amulet neutralizes that person's power - preventing them from using it while the amulet is attached. It can be removed, however, by anyone else who has 'The Power', as long as they have control over it.
- The Crystal Capsule: A one-off creation used to escape to Earth from Heritron. Like with the Box of Destiny, however, the Crystal Capsule can only be used when the worlds are within suitable range of each other. The full size of the inside of the capsule is not revealed, but it is hidden in a closed down bookshop and has a large library within it - containing information from Earth and Heritron.
- Crystal Bomb: It's not known if this device is a true Heritronian device or something that has been made from a mix of Heritronian and Earth items. The bomb is shown to be made from crystals, with an hourglass for the timing mechanism. The crystals are used to stop and start the flow of sand. It's not known how powerful the bomb is, but considering that it would be strong enough to destroy the Crystal Capsule, it's assumed that it would be quite a powerful explosive. Only those with the power can arm or disarm it.
Other less notable devices include a 'Crystal Wand' used by the Supreme Taker to create a soundproof crystal prison. It's also believed that - due to prisoners who are brought to Heritron quickly forgetting where they came from - the crystals or Heritronian powers are used to wipe the captives' memories in preparation for their lifetime of slavery.
For the Heritronians, however, their most important piece of technology is 'The Box of Destiny'. Upon being opened using three keys, the box materializes an interdimensional doorway to one end of a tunnel/portal between Heritron and any world they plan to pillage. However, almost 2000 years ago, one of the Takers - presumably having seen visions of the future and/or having grown disillusioned with Heritron's reliance on slavery - rebelled and stole the box before fleeing to Earth with it. The rebel Taker ended up in Britain, during the time when the Romans were ruling. Determined to stop the rebel, several takers followed him through but the rebel went into hiding - closing the box and stranding the takers who had followed him from Heritron on Earth.
These stranded takers became known as 'The Watchers' - their task was to find the box and the keys and open the doorway back to Heritron when the time was right. The Watchers would all have children with Earth women (as all the catchers were men) and their children would have children and so on, with all being charged with the same task of finding what had been stolen and returning home. They will use anyone or anything to accomplish their task.
The rebel taker, meanwhile, became 'The First Guardian', and he too would have children with Earth women, with each descendant been charged with guarding the box and preventing the Watchers from stealing it. The First Guardian hid all three keys in separate locations before writing up a book of poems/riddles - based on the prophecy he had foreseen - so that when the time came, those who opposed the Watchers would be able to find the three keys and - with the aid of the 'Two Children of Heritron' - would be able to decide Heritron's fate. The first part of the prophecy reads as follows:
"If the Box of Destiny is ever found,
then whoever finds the three keys,
can lock the doorway open,
or lock the doorway shut.
But above all, they must have the two children of Heritron,
then the fate of Heritron will be sealed,
In the near 2000 years since the box was stolen, the current guardian is a man called George - who still lives in the UK and maintains his protective watch over the box and the Book of the First Guardian, especially as the time approaches when Earth and Heritron will come close enough for a short period of time to reconnect if the box and keys are found by the Watchers.
However, another major event has occurred in Heritron: A group of freedom fighting Heritronians - led by a woman called Countess Anna and her daughter Ariana - has risen up and began rebelling against the Takers, with the mission of stopping Heritron's age of slavery and gaining equal rights for all. Their rebellion begins to fail, however, so Anna and Ariana use the opportunity to escape to Earth in the Crystal Capsule - hiding in an abandoned bookshop, out of sight. (It's assumed they have talked to George before, as when he later goes to them they recognize each other as friends). For the Watchers, however, they have formulated a plan. Using a human archaeologist called Professor Humphrey Waters as their pawn (pretending to fund his research into the box, which they lie and claim to him that it's an ancient roman artifact) and getting the law on their side, their leader Sir Derek Janus approaches George with the intention of legally breaking into his property and retrieving the box. As the prophecies foretold, the 'final struggle' begins.
Legend of the Lost KeysEdit
Twins Mark and Lisa go to spend their annual holiday with their Uncle George and his housekeeper Erica Turner - due to their mother having to look after their Grandfather as he recovers from an operation. Not long after arriving, they are disturbed by tycoon Sir Derek Janus of the Janus Foundation along with archaeologist Professor Waters and his assistant Dr. Stephanie Burns, who've got a court order to break into an ancient building on George's land and rob off with an old box that they find there, on the basis that it's an 'ancient roman artifact' - with Professor Waters and Dr. Burns taking it back to the Professor's Lab. George realizes both Janus and Burns are Watchers after seeing Janus subtly use his power to break into the building where the box is hidden. Going to visit the Heritronian Rebel leader Countess Anna and her daughter Arianna in the hidden Crystal Capsule, George takes with him the Book of the First Guardian, which contains riddle-style poems regarding the prophecy. Deciphering the first poem, they learn that the 'Two Children of Heritron' are Mark and Lisa - they are from the same family tree as George and were descended from the original Guardian, despite been born on Earth.
Later, whilst talking to Mark and Lisa, George reveals himself to be descended from Heritron, explaining a little about Heritron's history, the box, the Guardian, the three lost keys and that if the box is opened, the Catchers will come through to kidnap Earth children to use as slaves on Heritron. He also reveals the importance of finding the keys before Janus does. They later sneak into the Professor's lab and manage to obtain photos of the box, which help them to work out what the keys will look like. While trying to find the first key after following the second poem's clues to the museum, they find it is not where it should be due to a robbery that took place months back. When Professor Waters and Dr. Burns follow them to the museum, they think George has stolen it due to the key being missing from its display case.
Later that evening, two men break into George's house. When George confronts them (watched by Mark and Lisa), the men are forced to flee after objects in the house fly around and attack them. Revealing more information to the twins, George says he and both Mark and Lisa have something called 'the power', which all Heritronians and Heritronian descendants have - although Mark and Lisa's powers are stronger then anyone elses but are currently uncontrolled. He tells them not to reveal their secret. He also reveals that Janus and the burglars are called the Watchers, saying they were Takers who followed the First Guardian through to Earth before the gateway was closed, with their mission being to find the box and the keys and re-open the doorway. When Janus reports his failure to the Supreme Taker using a Crystal Communication device, she reminds him that time is running out; Earth and Heritron will become too far apart for the plan to work. She tells him to have his Watchers follow George - with the hope that George will lead them to the keys. While searching for the key, George gives Lisa a dowsing crystal - which she successfully uses to find the first key at Kingston Antiques Market.
Whilst on his way to visit Anna and Ariana about the third poem, he realises that he is being followed by two Watchers and is able to lose them. Looking at the third poem, they learn the next key is buried at the site where the last great battle between the Britons and the Romans took place, which is now a field near Fenn Street Children's Farm. Janus, meanwhile, explains his plan to the Supreme One to kidnap Mark and Lisa and bargain with George for the keys - sending the two Watchers who lost George earlier to kidnap them in an attempt to redeem themselves for their failure. On Anna's instructions, George reveals to Mark and Lisa about her and Ariana and what they are doing to try and change Heritron for the better. He then sends the children to the farm to find the second key. Despite telling them to go with Erica, Mark and Lisa go off on their own and are able to get into the farm - finding the second key. They are chased by the two Watchers who were waiting to kidnap them, but escape thanks to George's timely arrival. Upon going to see Anna and Ariana again, George narrowly loses two Watchers who were following him.
Reading the fourth poem, they learn that the key is hidden in a former Roman Bath. Exploring, they are able to find the key on display and sneak back later that night - with George using his powers to evade the security and recover it. However, the trio are ambushed at the baths by a group of Watchers - led by Dr. Burns. Mark manages to set off the alarms while George uses his powers to allow him and the children to escape with all three keys. On Heritron, the Supreme Taker orders all of Heritron's children to be locked up as she believed the two 'Children of Heritron' from the prophecy with be Heritronians, while Janus and Burns decide to set a trap to capture George and gain the keys. George, meanwhile, has decided to talk to Anna and Ariana using a Crystal Communicator to reduce the risk of the capsule been discovered (despite the watchers having a similar device), with both himself and the children learning, after the fifth poem is deciphered, how the box is to be closed. Upon going to see Professor Waters, however, they find that the Janus Foundation has taken it - with Dr. Burns now revealing herself to Professor Waters that she had been working for Janus the whole time, gloating to George and the children that she, Janus and the Watchers have the box now.
As the Professor tries to use legal force to re-obtain the box, George decides to sneak into the Janus Foundation and seal the box there and then - stating he will be back by midnight. However, midnight passes and George hasn't returned home. Talking to Anna and Ariana using the Crystal Communicator, they learn after the sixth poem has been solved that the whole thing is a trap to get the keys. Ignoring Anna's advice to stay put, Mark and Lisa go to the Janus Foundation to try and help George, but are quickly captured along with George. George is forced to hand over the keys before the Watchers put a 'Disarming Amulet' on his wrist to cut off his powers and lock both him and the children up. Using the keys, the watchers are able to open the gateway - with Janus reporting his success to the Supreme Taker, who orders that he come through the tunnel to Heritron and bring George with him. However, George has managed to help Mark and Lisa learn to use their own powers and the three escape to the Crystal Capsule to meet with Anna and Ariana. Anna removes the amulet before the group deciphers the seventh poem - realizing Professor Waters will be needed in helping them get the box back. On Heritron, the Supreme One is angered when Burns reports via the Crystal Communicator that George has escaped, while also refusing Burn's belief that Mark and Lisa are the two children from the legend - sending Janus back to Earth with instructions to find the Crystal Capsule as soon as possible. George and the children return home, but unbeknownst to them, Erica is revealed to be a Watcher and informs Janus of their whereabouts.
As the poem correctly stated, Professor Waters uses the law to get the box and keys back from the Janus Foundation and returns with it to his lab - ringing George up when he cannot open the box. George shows him how but his statement about the box being a doorway to another world is refused by Waters. Overpowering the Professor and locking him in a room in his lab, George tries to seal the box but it fails - remaining open. Going back home and consulting Anna and Ariana over the Crystal Communicator, they learn from the eighth poem that Mark and Lisa must go into the tunnel and lock the door from Heritron's side, which has been opened. When Professor Waters is let out by his security staff, he explores the tunnel himself - learning what George said was true and fleeing out of the tunnel before going to George's house. George goes back with Waters to the tunnel - having decided to close the box himself for worry of Mark and Lisa's safety. Leaving instructions with the Professor to look after Mark and Lisa if he is captured, George goes through and tries to lock the door at Heritron's end. Upon reaching the door, he is quickly captured and imprisoned - due to Erica revealing to Janus that he was on his way to close it, which Janus in turn relayed to the Supreme One.
The children's attempt to contact Anna after George doesn't return is foiled, due to Erica deliberately damaging the Crystal Communicator. With no other option, they are forced to take her to the Crystal Capsule where the children and Anna try to decipher the ninth poem - learning they must now go into the tunnel to rescue George. To aid them, Anna gives them a different dowsing crystal. However, during the car journey, Erica reveals she is a Watcher and that she is taking them to Janus after learning that Mark and Lisa were the two children from the prophecy. However, Mark and Lisa use their powers to disable Erica's car and escape - been rescued by Professor Waters (who had been following them as George had told him to keep an eye on them both). Taken back to the Professor's lab, Mark and Lisa enter the tunnel and manage to slip into Heritron - finding George imprisoned in a soundproof crystal cage that the Supreme One locked him in.
Erica, meanwhile, reaches Janus and explains all that she has found out and done, with Janus revealing to the Supreme One that Mark and Lisa are indeed the two children and to be aware of them trying to enter Heritron - as well as revealing that the Crystal Capsule will soon be destroyed. Contacting Anna and Arianna directly, Janus reveals himself and explains that during her short time in the capsule, Erica planted a bomb inside with only five minutes left, before gloating that the Watchers have won and bidding farewell. Looking to the final poem for answers, Anna realizes the timing mechanism of the bomb is an hourglass. Focusing their powers to enhance their hearing in order to hear the trickling sand of the hourglass, Anna and Ariana find and disable the bomb.On Heritron, Mark and Lisa are able to break George free of the cage using their powers, before causing a storm to distract the Catchers - who are preparing for their invasion of Earth. With the Catchers blown back by the wind, the trio escape into the tunnel and hold the door shut as they lock the door. Upon locking it, the tunnel turns red and begins to collapse, with the group narrowly escaping its destruction. With the tunnel gone, the box itself also disintegrates - with the doorway now sealed shut for good. Although Professor Waters is upset about what he could have achieved in historical and scientific circles worldwide, the children and George assure him that sealing the box was the best thing to do. Meeting Anna and Ariana for the last time, they explain they have to return to Heritron as soon as possible as the two worlds are beginning to move further apart. With the doorway now permanently shut, the age of slavery will finally come to an end and the Supreme Taker's power will be no more, meaning that Anna, Ariana and the rebels will be able to build a better and brighter future for Heritron. Although they offer George the chance to go with them and help rebuild Heritron, George politely states his home is on Earth now. Taking the book of the First Guardian with him, George and the children leave as Anna and Arianna head off in the Crystal Capsule.
When Mark and Lisa ask about what they will do about Janus and the Watchers, George replies that with the doorway to Heritron closed for good, the Watchers can't get back and are 'finished' - saying that with them unable to get back and the knowledge that they've failed will be punishment enough for them. Although Lisa worries that the Watchers will come after them, George points out that now the Watchers know Mark and Lisa are the two children and the great powers they possess, the Watchers will be more frightened of Mark and Lisa going after them. Leaving the shop, the group head back to George's house - the prophecy complete and their journey over.
Legend of the Lost Keys (1998)