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Written by AdrienMae27 in portal Poetry & Free Verse

Question Everything

Consume! Obey!

...................Enslaved?

Sit back, Relax, Watch T.V.

Still believe you're not asleep?

Work, Work, Work,

For what you owe..........

While the name you claim

Is not your own.

Flat or globe?

Space or dome?

We should know............

It is our home.

Carbon copied,

...............simply cloned.

Playing God,

............creating drones.

Against the lies,

Take a stand.

Start spreading truth,

To fellow man.

With war and fear so

Out of hand,

We must start to love

…........and understand.

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Written by AdrienMae27 in portal Poetry & Free Verse
Question Everything
Consume! Obey!
...................Enslaved?
Sit back, Relax, Watch T.V.
Still believe you're not asleep?
Work, Work, Work,
For what you owe..........
While the name you claim
Is not your own.
Flat or globe?
Space or dome?
We should know............
It is our home.
Carbon copied,
...............simply cloned.
Playing God,
............creating drones.
Against the lies,
Take a stand.
Start spreading truth,
To fellow man.
With war and fear so
Out of hand,
We must start to love
…........and understand.
#scifi  #nonfiction  #horror  #education  #poetry  #science  #politics  #spirituality  #news  #culture  #opinion 
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You kill yourself...what happens next to your essential being?
Written by AlSalehi

After, Life

There is this strange sense I feel,

outside of myself.

I see the plates of the earth moving,

leaves aging and falling,

winds blowing fast and dry.

I hear sounds like hawks screaming,

and somehow,

as this world is turning,

I,

am nowhere.

Copyright © 1986-2017

Al Salehi

All Rights Reserved

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You kill yourself...what happens next to your essential being?
Written by AlSalehi
After, Life
There is this strange sense I feel,
outside of myself.
I see the plates of the earth moving,
leaves aging and falling,
winds blowing fast and dry.

I hear sounds like hawks screaming,
and somehow,
as this world is turning,
I,
am nowhere.


Copyright © 1986-2017
Al Salehi
All Rights Reserved
#fantasy  #scifi  #fiction  #nonfiction  #horror  #adventure  #poetry  #science  #philosophy  #mystery  #spirituality  #culture  #opinion 
18
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Juice
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Juice
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Trident Media Group is the leading U.S. literary agency and we are looking to discover and represent the next bestsellers. Share a sample of your work. If it shows promise, we will be in touch with you.
Written by BrittneySowards in portal Trident Media Group

AURORA

AWAKENING

         I dreamt I was flying - high up into the clouds. I felt free and alive, more than I ever have before. I just kept going up, up, up - until there were no more clouds. I was in wide, open Space. I suddenly felt exposed and alone. I looked down at the Earth and became afraid. I wanted to go back down, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t. I just kept going farther and farther away.

         “Aurora… Aurora…”

         Aurora opened her eyes and grimaced at the bright room. Alfred was standing next to her. She sat up on her bed.

         “Aurora, I was just checking on you. You’ve been asleep for a long time,” Alfred said.

         “How long have I been asleep?”

         “It’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon.”

         “I don’t even remember falling asleep…”

         “It’ll be alright. You needed your rest. Want me to cook you something? Or get you anything at all? You must be hungry.”

         “Yes, I am,” Aurora admitted.

         “Alright, if there’s nothing in particular that you would like, I’ll whip you something up.”

         “Okay sounds great, Alfred.”

         He smiled and left the room.

         Aurora stood up. She was still wearing her clothes from yesterday. Yesterday. It felt like just a dream. What had happened after dinner? Did I just fall asleep? She checked her cell phone. 4 missed calls and 3 new text messages. All from Lucille.

        ‘Lucille, I’m fine. Just needed some rest. Will talk to you soon.’ she texted back.

        Later that evening, Lucille came over. There was no way that Aurora could keep the information from Lucille for long or cover up the truth. She was very demanding and could spot a lie a mile away. Plus she was her best friend and Aurora knew she could trust her. She just didn’t exactly know where to begin with the story or if Lucille would even believe her.

         “So what happened yesterday evening? I need to know,” Lucille said.

         Aurora told Lucille everything and when she was finished Lucille just stared at her. Aurora stared back waiting for a response.

         “Well that is the craziest thing I have ever heard,” Lucille said. “I can’t believe that’s why you’re parents died… People were trying to get you?”

         “I guess… I’m not sure if I believe all of it or not. Especially the special abilities part,” Aurora started. “I guess I just don’t know what to believe. It feels like my entire world has been turned upside down. I mean, I’m glad I have answers now, but the answers are just... too crazy, you know?”

         “Yeah,” Lucille agreed, eyes wide. “Did your Godfather say anything about what was going to happen in New York?”

         “No," Aurora shook her head. I actually forgot to ask him. Things just got too overwhelming...”

         “You should ask him next time you see him.”

         “Yeah I should,” Aurora agreed.

          "We have to figure this out...” Lucille said with a sigh.

GONE

         “Lyra is a small constellation. Its principle star is Vega, one of the brightest stars in the sky. Lyra is visible high in the northern hemisphere from spring through autumn. In the winter months, it is visible low in the northern sky.” Mr. Lopez stated. “Take a look at the board to see what the constellation of Lyra looks like.”

         Mr. Lopez hit a button on his presentation pointer to show the next slide of the PowerPoint presentation – a photo of the constellation of Lyra. Lucille was hardly paying attention to what he was saying. She was picking at her cuticles thinking about Keenan.

She looked over at Aurora. She was staring at the board, eyes wide open. I don’t see how she can be so interested in this pointless stuff.

         Mr. Lopez clicked to reveal the next slide. “Lyra is bordered by Hercules, Vulpecula, Cygnus, and Draco,” he said.

         Suddenly there was a loud thudding sound. What was that? Lucille and the other students looked around the room. All except for Aurora. Her head was down on her desk.   

        What the- ?

         Mr. Lopez noticed and flipped on the lights. Lucille got up from her desk and walked over to Aurora. She tapped on her shoulder.

         “Aurora, are you alright?” she asked with fear in her voice.

         Aurora didn’t respond.

         Mr. Lopez made his way over to Aurora’s desk.

         “Oh my gosh, is she dead?” a student named Laura gasped.

         Other than that, the room was silent. All of the students were watching in horror to see what would happen next.

         Mr. Lopez tapped on Aurora’s shoulder. “Aurora? Aurora! Are you okay? Wake up hunny!”

         “Is she breathing?” Lucille asked.

         Mr. Lopez lifted Aurora’s head. Her eyes were closed. He held his hand up to her mouth and felt her warm breath.

         “Yes, she’s breathing,” he replied. He lifted her up from her desk and held her in his arms. “Class, I want you to turn to page two hundred and sixty four in your science books and start reading. I’m taking Aurora to the nurse.”

         “But she’s my best friend! Let me go with you,” Lucille said.

         Mr. Lopez was about to object, but realized he didn’t have time to waste arguing with her. “Alright, let’s go,” he said.

         Mr. Lopez, carrying Aurora, and Lucille left the classroom leaving the worried students whispering behind. There wasn’t going to be any reading getting done in there.

         Mrs. Jenkins, the school secretary, gasped when they all came into the school office. “What on Earth happened?” she asked.

         “Aurora passed out at her desk. She hasn’t woken up. I need you to call an ambulance,” Mr. Lopez said.

         Mrs. Jenkins got on the phone immediately.

         Mr. Lopez carried her past Mrs. Jenkins desk and down the small hallway to the nurse’s office. Lucille followed. The door was already opened, but the room was empty. He walked in and laid her down on the small cot.

         “Lucille, go find Mrs. Williams. I want her to take a look at Aurora before the ambulance gets here,” Mr. Lopez said.

         Lucille quickly left the room to find the school nurse.

         Mr. Lopez bent down in a squatting position beside the cot that Aurora was laying on. “Aurora? Wake up please,” he demanded. “Aurora, wake up.”

         Suddenly Aurora’s eyes opened wide and she gasped, filling her lungs full of air.

        She whispered, “I- I- I remem-“

         “You what?” Mr. Lopez asked.

         Then she closed her eyes again and she was gone. Not dead, but clearly not here.

FLASHBACK

         “Kira, you need to listen to me. I don’t know how much longer we can stay. Most everybody has gone. We should too. We are not safe. Our baby is not safe.” Adonis glanced over at his daughter sleeping snug in her cradle. He took Kira’s face in his hands and looked deep into her purple sparkling eyes. The look of worry was all over his face.

        Kira placed her hands on Adonis’ hands. “Adonis, my love,” she said softly. “I understand your concern for I feel the same as you. I will speak to the other members of the Lyran Federation, but this is our home and as a fellow member of the federation, it is my duty to help our citizens that have remained here. You know what will happen. They will let you and her go, and I will have to stay. I know in my heart that is the right thing to do, but you don’t agree.”

         Adonis grabbed onto Kira's arms. “No, Kira. You must come with me. I cannot leave you."

         “One day soon you may have to. To save our baby.”

         Supreme Commander Deonor Korrik stood at his crystal white podium in the center of room. He faced the group of fellow Lyran Federation members and spoke. “Members of the Lyran Federation, we meet here today to discuss our current situation with the Alpha Draconians. To sum up the recent events – one thousand of our Vegan citizens left on V.S.S. Storm for safe passage to Orion. Five thousand of our Vegan citizens left on The Alrosa for safe passage to Sirius. Currently Arcturus, the Pleiades, and planet Earth are being considered as options. Possibly Venus and Mars. Forty-five million Vegan citizens have been murdered and the numbers are increasing every day. I believe it is our duty to get as many of our citizens to safety as we possibly can and as soon as we possibly can. V.S.S. Coventry One is being prepared as we speak for five thousand more of our citizens. We have three thousand citizens aboard our ship and around ten thousand more on the ground. These citizens are cowering in fear in their homes, being turned into slaves, or into dinner. We need to act and we need to act now!”

         S.C. Korrik slammed his fist onto the podium. Although he was trying to keep his composure, Kira could see how visibly angry he was, and was also easily able to see how deep down he was starting to feel hopeless. She could see shimmers of sweat appearing on his dark skin. Usually he was a very unemotional being trying to appear as a strong leader, but all of the negativity on their home planet was causing everyone to get shook up.

         Ronaya, a red-headed, pale-skinned Federation member and good friend of Kira spoke. “Sir,” she said. “When will V.S.S. Coventry One be ready to leave? I’ve had many citizens ask me, and I promised them I would return with an answer.”

         “I have been informed that it will be ready to leave by the end of today or at the latest, tomorrow morning,” S.C. Korrik said.

         “Thank you sir,” Ronaya said.

         “Anybody else have any questions?” S.C. Korrik asked.

         “I do,” Kira replied.

         “Go ahead.”

         “As you know, I am very concerned about our citizens and getting them to safety, but also with the increasing destruction all around us every day, I am concerned with our safety as well as our families and other citizens aboard our own ship. With two of our ships already destroyed, who is to say that our ship will not be next? I do not want to abandon our dear home and give it up to the Alpha Draconians, but how far are we willing to go? How long will we wait and what needs to occur before we leave as well to find safety for ourselves?”

         “Kira, I think about this every day and I’m sure other members of our Federation have thought the same thing,” S.C. Korrik sympathized. “I believe that there will be a time when we will need to go, but right now we need to try to save as many as our people as possible. We need to focus now on V.S.S. Coventry’s departure. I am employing seven thousand more Giants to go to the ground and rescue as many citizens as possible, as well as to destroy as many Draconians as possible. Captain Berenk is working now to get into contact with our allies to arrange more safe passages for our citizens. I will get into contact with you all again at this evenings meeting to discuss whether V.S.S. Coventry is ready for departure and to where it is departing to.”

         “What if we send our families and the citizens aboard this ship to safety and only we stay behind?” Kira asked.

         “We will have to vote,” S.C. Korrik answered. “All in favor of sending our families and citizens to safety while we stay behind raise your hand.”

Kira raised her hand. She knew this way was the only way Adonis and Aurora would be safe. Even if she had to stay behind, she was willing to do whatever it took to save her family. She had to act quickly before their ship was targeted and wiped out by the Draconians.

         She looked around the room. Two male Federation members, Reynar and Eusto, raised their hands. Ronaya looked like she was about to cry. She had three children whom she would have to leave if the vote was passed, but she perked up in her chair and strength poured over her face. She raised her hand. Five more Federation members raised their hands. There were three more who sat with hands unraised.

         “We all need to agree if we are going to do this,” S.C. Korrik said.

         That was a part of their code. If not every member of the Federation agreed to a decision, the decision did not occur. Two more Federation members raised their hands. The member who was left with her hand unraised was a Cat Person like Kira and Adonis. She sat beside of Kira. Her name was Greeta and she had just given birth to a baby boy not even a month ago. Kira put her hand on her shoulder and felt Greeta’s sadness rush into her own body. Greeta sat looking down at her hands deep in thought, searching for a solution other than this one. She knew there were none. She slowly raised her hand.

         “The decision has been made,” S.C. Korrik said. “I will speak with Captain Tanin of The Explorer to prepare transferring the citizens aboard this ship to his. I will also advise Captain Berenk to find a safe place for them to go to as well. If no one has any more questions, let’s get back to our families and start our goodbyes, until we congregate again at this evenings meeting.”

COINCIDENCE

         Aurora opened her eyes. It was too blurry to make out anything. She rubbed them and saw Lucille sitting in the corner of the room in a wooden chair. She was in it sideways with her legs dangling over the arm of one side of the chair and her head resting on the back of it with her arms folded on her stomach. Her long strawberry blonde hair was held back with a red headband. She was barefoot. Her pink flip flops had fallen to the white-gray tiled floor.

         Aurora slowly sat up in bed. She had an IV stuck in her arm and was under a white cotton blanket in a hospital gown. Her body ached.

         “Lucille,” she said.

         Lucille didn’t move.

         “Lucille!” Aurora said, louder this time.

        Lucille jolted awake.

         “Aurora!” she exclaimed, happy to see that she had woken up. She sat up in her chair. “Are you alright?”

         “What happened?” Aurora asked, confused.

         “You passed out in Mr. Lopez’s science class. Don’t you remember?”

         “No,” she answered. “The last thing I remember was sitting in his classroom. He was talking about Lyra.”

         Lyra…

         She looked off into some unknown in the distance.

         “Aurora, snap out of it. What is wrong with you?”

         “I don’t know.”

         “I’m going to go tell the nurse you are awake.”

         Lucille got up from her chair and left the room.

         What happened? she asked herself searching the far corners of her mind. Lyra…

         Lucille and a young woman walked into the room. She hand brown hair up in a ponytail and long bangs. She was wearing teal scrubs and white tennis shoes.

         “Hello Aurora,” she said. “I am your nurse, Marjorie. How are you feeling?”

         “I am a little sore," she admitted. "but other than that I am alright.”

         Marjorie walked up to Aurora. “Let me check your vitals.”

         She took off the stethoscope that was wrapped around her neck and held it to Aurora’s chest and listened for a minute.

         “72. Great,” Marjorie said. “Now breathe in deep... Good.” She moved the stethoscope to Aurora’s back. “Breathe deep again... Good. Now breathe normally… Good.”

         Marjorie put her stethoscope back around her neck. She took off a blood pressure cuff that was hanging on the wall behind Aurora’s bed and wrapped the cuff off her arm.

“You’re just going to feel a little bit of pressure,” she said, as if Aurora had never had her blood pressure taken before. After a moment she said, “It’s a little on the high end, but nothing to be alarmed about.” She put an understanding hand on her shoulder. “You’re in high school. High school is stressful, especially these days. I’d say the cause of your fainting was stress related. Let’s check your temperature, and then I am done here.”

         She took off the blood pressure cuff.

         “Is that alright, Aurora? Do you feel okay to go home?” Marjorie asked.

         “Yes, of course,” Aurora answered with a grin to try to mask her sad confusion.

         Marjorie placed a thermometer in Aurora’s mouth. It didn’t take long to beep to let the nurse know it had found it. Marjorie removed the thermometer from Aurora’s mouth and looked down to read it.

         “97.9. Yep you are going to be fine,” she said with a smile. “Just relax. We contacted your Godfather, and your butler Alfred is on his way to get you.” She left the room.

         “I knew you would be fine,” Lucille said. She sat down on the edge of the bed. “So what should we do until Alfred gets here?”

         “What’s there to do in a hospital room?” Aurora asked.

         Lucille laughed. “Well we could watch TV. Hand me the remote.”

         It was sitting on an overbed metal table wheeled onto the other side of the hospital bed. Aurora reached over and grabbed the remote then handed it to Lucille.

         “Here you go. Good luck finding something on that,” Aurora joked motioning towards the small TV hanging from the ceiling in the corner of the room.

         Lucille pressed the on button on the remote.

         “…we have reporters at the scene now. Police are outside of the school directing students to safety, while the rest are inside trying to capture the shooter. Edge-”

         Lucille turned the channel. “The style channel… perfect.”

         “Wait! What was that?” Aurora asked.

         “Just some woman on the news,” Lucille replied.

         “Turn it back.”

         Lucille turned the channel back to the news.

         “…we have a hotline ready for parents whose children are at Edgemont High School. Please do not try to call the school. The number to call is at the bottom of the screen. Stay home and stay indoors. Let the police handle this. Moving on to Chris with the weather and then we’ll be back for more updates.”

         “Let the police handle what? What happened at our school?” Aurora asked. Her stomach churned.

         “I’m going to call my Mom,” Lucille said. “I haven’t told her I’m here anyway. Someone’s got to take me home.”

         Lucille took out her cell and dialed. “She’s at work, but she’ll answer.”

          "Mom!” Aurora heard Lucille say into the phone. “What happened at our school? …I’m at the hospital... No I’m not hurt… I didn’t get shot! What are you talking- …Aurora passed out in class and I rode with her to the hospital… No Mom she didn’t get shot. Why do you keep asking us if we got shot? …A shooter! What do you mean? …Oh my gosh…”

         Lucille looked over at Aurora with horror.

         “What?” Aurora whispered, concerned.

         “There’s a shooter at our school right now,” Lucille replied.

         “What are you talking about?”

         “Okay. Okay,” Lucille said into the phone. “I love you too. Bye.”

         She pushed the end button on her cell phone and put it back in her purse. “Mom’s leaving work right now. She’s coming to pick me up. Oh my gosh! I need to call Keenan! I- I can’t believe there’s a shooter at our school right now. We could be there right now. If I wouldn’t have came with you to the hospital… If you wouldn’t have passed out in your desk… How random is it that you passed out anyway?”

         “I guess it’s pretty random,” Aurora admitted.

         “This is crazy…” Lucille said as she dialed Keenan’s cell number.

         Tell me about it.

HIDDEN

         Keenan kept as quiet as he could hiding there in the darkness. His phone vibrated in his pocket. He looked at the bright screen. It was a call from Lucille. He had to ignore it. A rush of worry washed over him, though he was promised she would be alright.

         At 11:10 a.m. he had raised his hand and asked to go to the restroom. Instead of going there, he went straight to the Janitor’s closet and closed the door behind him. He didn’t know why he was supposed to, but he did it because his father had told him to, and he knew from experience to do exactly what he said.

        11:11

        11:12

        At 11.13 a.m. he heard the first gun shot. Then the screams.

Title: Aurora

Classification: Fiction

Genre(s): Science Fiction, Young Adult

Word Count: 11,295 (and counting...)

Type of Work: Novel

Target Age Range: 16-18 Young Adult, 18+ Adult

Hook: As a child, Aurora Spencer was taken in and hidden by her parent’s best friend after they were mysteriously murdered. Now that she is a teenager, she, along with her best friend Lucille, is trying to uncover the secrets of her past. Some even out of this world. She finds that being aware of those secrets is unlocking abilities within her that she will need to use to stop the corruption the world is headed towards. Will she find out who she really is? Can she save the world?

Synopsis: Aurora has always known that she was not a typical teenager. Her parents were murdered when she was a child, her sister mysteriously disappeared, and she was taken in by her parent's best friend whom she calls "Godfather". Little did she know, on the night her parents were murdered, the murderer was actually after her. Knowing that Aurora has secret abilities, someone or some group is out to get her. Godfather is aware of all of this. He protected Aurora and her sister on the night of their parent's death by sending Aurora's sister to live with their Aunt and Uncle, and by faking Aurora's death, changing her identity, and bringing her to live with him in his mansion full of antiques and mystery.

        Godfather is a very mysterious man who seems to be always working away from home. Aurora is starting to question what is keeping him away. One day Aurora questions their family butler, Alfred, by asking him why Godfather is going to so many meetings. He seems nervous and ends up mentioning that Godfather doesn't want anyone knowing what he is up to. Alfred refuses to tell Aurora the truth, so she decides to enlist the help of her red-haired best friend Lucille. They sneak into Godfather's office and find a secret email containing details about a mysterious meeting he is having with someone in New York City. While snooping through his file cabinet, Aurora and Lucille find the photos of the crime scene of Aurora's parents murder.

        That evening Aurora further questions Alfred trying to get more information about her Godfather. He tells her that it is up to him to tell her the truth, so Aurora confronts Godfather at dinner. Godfather tells her he wasn't planning on telling her until she was eighteen years old. Aurora rebuttals the argument by stating that she is almost eighteen, so he should just go ahead and tell her. Godfather ends up telling her the truth. He tells her that when she was a child, she had precognitive psychic abilities and she was extremely intelligent. Her parents had to end up taking her out of school, because her teachers were asking too many questions. They ended up calling Child Protective Services and the police and even F.B.I. got involved. They offered millions of dollars to Aurora's parents, so they could do tests on her. Her parents refused, and they moved away trying to hide. That's when Aurora's parent's murder occurred. After that, Aurora no longer used her abilities and they were eventually forgotten. Godfather warns her that if she continues on the path of learning the truth about her life, that it is going to awaken those abilities again. Aurora, filled with rage over the news of the truth of her parent's death, says she is ready.

        Aurora starts having dreams and visions about an extraterrestrial humanoid couple named Adonis and Kira and their baby. They are in a space ship flying over the planet Vega located in the Lyran constellation. The Draconians are destroying their planet and killing the civilians. Kira, part of the Lyran Federation, is working with her team members to rescue the civilians and escape to a nearby safe and hospitable planet. The problem is that Adonis and their baby will not be able to stay with Kira. Adonis is a civilian, so he has to escape to safety while Kira has to stay on the ship and continue the work of the Federation until the Draconians are defeated.

        These dreams and visions affect Aurora mentally and physically causing her to sleep more and even pass out. During a hospital visit, Aurora and Lucille, who is staying in the hospital with her, find out that there was a shooting at their high school. The school ends up implementing stricter rules for their "safety" and the rest of the country follows. This causes riots and chaos bringing the country to a more militarized police state.

One night, Aurora ends up stuck in the middle of one of the riots and is in danger. She gets saved by a boy named Luca. She ends up passing out and he carries her to safety.        

        While she is half-conscious, she begins having visions of Kira and Adonis and their baby, and all the truth comes out to her. SHE is the baby. She is an extraterrestrial. She was sent to Earth, the next planetary victim of the Draconians, to help destroy them once and for all. Her Earth parents adopted her. Godfather is one of the human's who know the truth about the extraterrestrials and their mission. So he has been her protector and followed her through her life even before she was adopted. When she comes to, Luca is still there with her, feeling this need to keep her safe and be connected with someone while the world around them is falling apart. They quickly fall in love.

        After Aurora tells Godfather that she knows who she really is, he tells her that the Draconians are who are after Aurora. They enlisted help from human's, in exchange for power and wealth, to gain power and control over the world while they hide behind the scenes. They found out the Lyran's sent one of their own to hide as a human to keep watch over the Earth and help destroy the Draconians. They are who are responsible for Aurora's parents death.

        "Aurora" exists at a time in the future where it's normal for people to have robots in their homes, self-driveable cars, and flying cars are even in the works. Lucille's boyfriend, Keenan, states that they already invented flying cars a long time ago, they just didn't think the civilians were smart enough to use them. Keenan lives in a "smart house" with robots for cooks and maids. His parents are rich and there are some rumors that they are in the C.I.A. or even some secret society. Lucille has never considered the rumors to be true, but once she overhears a conversation between Keenan's mother and father, she starts to question who they really are too. She asks Aurora and Luca for help feeling that Keenan's parent's are somehow connected to Aurora.

        Keenan finds out what they are up to and tells his parent's not knowing that it is going to lead to Lucille's death. Although he knew the truth about his parent's all along and was enlisted by them to spy on Aurora until they were ready to kidnap her, he honestly is in love with Lucille, and horribly regrets his decision. After Keenan's parents murder Lucille and dump her body, they come after Aurora ready to kidnap her and finish what they started a long time ago. They kidnap Aurora and lock her up. They laugh at Aurora and tell her the truth about them working for the Draconians, because they are sure that it is the end of her.

        The Lyran's wish to save Aurora, but the Earth is surrounded by weaponized satellites that would wipe them out when they got into it's atmosphere with their ship. The Supreme Commander says there is nothing they can do. Kira, desperate to save her daughter and filled with guilt from sending her to Earth, ends up discovering a way to block the satellites.

        Keenan, who is extremely angry over the death of his girlfriend, finds out where his parent's are keeping Aurora. He tells Luca where she is and they go to rescue her. Keenan's parents try to stop them and Keenan ends up killing his mother and then taking his own life. Luca fights Keenan's father, but is not even close to being as skilled in fighting as he is, and gets severely injured. That's when the Lyran's step in and save the day.

        They take Aurora and Luca aboard their ship. Aurora meets her real parents. Adonis and Kira go against the Supreme Commander's orders and refuse to let her stay on Earth and continue the mission. They plan to take Aurora to safety. Aurora refuses to leave Luca and planet Earth. She states she is going to continue the mission and save Earth and it's people from the Draconians. Kira and Adonis can't stop her and have to let her do what she wishes. They fly her and Luca back to Earth and this is when the story ends.

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Trident Media Group is the leading U.S. literary agency and we are looking to discover and represent the next bestsellers. Share a sample of your work. If it shows promise, we will be in touch with you.
Written by BrittneySowards in portal Trident Media Group
AURORA
AWAKENING
         I dreamt I was flying - high up into the clouds. I felt free and alive, more than I ever have before. I just kept going up, up, up - until there were no more clouds. I was in wide, open Space. I suddenly felt exposed and alone. I looked down at the Earth and became afraid. I wanted to go back down, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t. I just kept going farther and farther away.


         “Aurora… Aurora…”
         Aurora opened her eyes and grimaced at the bright room. Alfred was standing next to her. She sat up on her bed.
         “Aurora, I was just checking on you. You’ve been asleep for a long time,” Alfred said.
         “How long have I been asleep?”
         “It’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon.”
         “I don’t even remember falling asleep…”
         “It’ll be alright. You needed your rest. Want me to cook you something? Or get you anything at all? You must be hungry.”
         “Yes, I am,” Aurora admitted.
         “Alright, if there’s nothing in particular that you would like, I’ll whip you something up.”
         “Okay sounds great, Alfred.”
         He smiled and left the room.
         Aurora stood up. She was still wearing her clothes from yesterday. Yesterday. It felt like just a dream. What had happened after dinner? Did I just fall asleep? She checked her cell phone. 4 missed calls and 3 new text messages. All from Lucille.
        ‘Lucille, I’m fine. Just needed some rest. Will talk to you soon.’ she texted back.


        Later that evening, Lucille came over. There was no way that Aurora could keep the information from Lucille for long or cover up the truth. She was very demanding and could spot a lie a mile away. Plus she was her best friend and Aurora knew she could trust her. She just didn’t exactly know where to begin with the story or if Lucille would even believe her.
         “So what happened yesterday evening? I need to know,” Lucille said.
         Aurora told Lucille everything and when she was finished Lucille just stared at her. Aurora stared back waiting for a response.
         “Well that is the craziest thing I have ever heard,” Lucille said. “I can’t believe that’s why you’re parents died… People were trying to get you?”
         “I guess… I’m not sure if I believe all of it or not. Especially the special abilities part,” Aurora started. “I guess I just don’t know what to believe. It feels like my entire world has been turned upside down. I mean, I’m glad I have answers now, but the answers are just... too crazy, you know?”
         “Yeah,” Lucille agreed, eyes wide. “Did your Godfather say anything about what was going to happen in New York?”
         “No," Aurora shook her head. I actually forgot to ask him. Things just got too overwhelming...”
         “You should ask him next time you see him.”
         “Yeah I should,” Aurora agreed.
          "We have to figure this out...” Lucille said with a sigh.


GONE
         “Lyra is a small constellation. Its principle star is Vega, one of the brightest stars in the sky. Lyra is visible high in the northern hemisphere from spring through autumn. In the winter months, it is visible low in the northern sky.” Mr. Lopez stated. “Take a look at the board to see what the constellation of Lyra looks like.”
         Mr. Lopez hit a button on his presentation pointer to show the next slide of the PowerPoint presentation – a photo of the constellation of Lyra. Lucille was hardly paying attention to what he was saying. She was picking at her cuticles thinking about Keenan.
She looked over at Aurora. She was staring at the board, eyes wide open. I don’t see how she can be so interested in this pointless stuff.
         Mr. Lopez clicked to reveal the next slide. “Lyra is bordered by Hercules, Vulpecula, Cygnus, and Draco,” he said.
         Suddenly there was a loud thudding sound. What was that? Lucille and the other students looked around the room. All except for Aurora. Her head was down on her desk.   
        What the- ?
         Mr. Lopez noticed and flipped on the lights. Lucille got up from her desk and walked over to Aurora. She tapped on her shoulder.
         “Aurora, are you alright?” she asked with fear in her voice.
         Aurora didn’t respond.
         Mr. Lopez made his way over to Aurora’s desk.
         “Oh my gosh, is she dead?” a student named Laura gasped.
         Other than that, the room was silent. All of the students were watching in horror to see what would happen next.
         Mr. Lopez tapped on Aurora’s shoulder. “Aurora? Aurora! Are you okay? Wake up hunny!”
         “Is she breathing?” Lucille asked.
         Mr. Lopez lifted Aurora’s head. Her eyes were closed. He held his hand up to her mouth and felt her warm breath.
         “Yes, she’s breathing,” he replied. He lifted her up from her desk and held her in his arms. “Class, I want you to turn to page two hundred and sixty four in your science books and start reading. I’m taking Aurora to the nurse.”
         “But she’s my best friend! Let me go with you,” Lucille said.
         Mr. Lopez was about to object, but realized he didn’t have time to waste arguing with her. “Alright, let’s go,” he said.
         Mr. Lopez, carrying Aurora, and Lucille left the classroom leaving the worried students whispering behind. There wasn’t going to be any reading getting done in there.
         Mrs. Jenkins, the school secretary, gasped when they all came into the school office. “What on Earth happened?” she asked.
         “Aurora passed out at her desk. She hasn’t woken up. I need you to call an ambulance,” Mr. Lopez said.
         Mrs. Jenkins got on the phone immediately.
         Mr. Lopez carried her past Mrs. Jenkins desk and down the small hallway to the nurse’s office. Lucille followed. The door was already opened, but the room was empty. He walked in and laid her down on the small cot.
         “Lucille, go find Mrs. Williams. I want her to take a look at Aurora before the ambulance gets here,” Mr. Lopez said.
         Lucille quickly left the room to find the school nurse.
         Mr. Lopez bent down in a squatting position beside the cot that Aurora was laying on. “Aurora? Wake up please,” he demanded. “Aurora, wake up.”
         Suddenly Aurora’s eyes opened wide and she gasped, filling her lungs full of air.
        She whispered, “I- I- I remem-“
         “You what?” Mr. Lopez asked.
         Then she closed her eyes again and she was gone. Not dead, but clearly not here.


FLASHBACK
         “Kira, you need to listen to me. I don’t know how much longer we can stay. Most everybody has gone. We should too. We are not safe. Our baby is not safe.” Adonis glanced over at his daughter sleeping snug in her cradle. He took Kira’s face in his hands and looked deep into her purple sparkling eyes. The look of worry was all over his face.
        Kira placed her hands on Adonis’ hands. “Adonis, my love,” she said softly. “I understand your concern for I feel the same as you. I will speak to the other members of the Lyran Federation, but this is our home and as a fellow member of the federation, it is my duty to help our citizens that have remained here. You know what will happen. They will let you and her go, and I will have to stay. I know in my heart that is the right thing to do, but you don’t agree.”
         Adonis grabbed onto Kira's arms. “No, Kira. You must come with me. I cannot leave you."
         “One day soon you may have to. To save our baby.”


         Supreme Commander Deonor Korrik stood at his crystal white podium in the center of room. He faced the group of fellow Lyran Federation members and spoke. “Members of the Lyran Federation, we meet here today to discuss our current situation with the Alpha Draconians. To sum up the recent events – one thousand of our Vegan citizens left on V.S.S. Storm for safe passage to Orion. Five thousand of our Vegan citizens left on The Alrosa for safe passage to Sirius. Currently Arcturus, the Pleiades, and planet Earth are being considered as options. Possibly Venus and Mars. Forty-five million Vegan citizens have been murdered and the numbers are increasing every day. I believe it is our duty to get as many of our citizens to safety as we possibly can and as soon as we possibly can. V.S.S. Coventry One is being prepared as we speak for five thousand more of our citizens. We have three thousand citizens aboard our ship and around ten thousand more on the ground. These citizens are cowering in fear in their homes, being turned into slaves, or into dinner. We need to act and we need to act now!”
         S.C. Korrik slammed his fist onto the podium. Although he was trying to keep his composure, Kira could see how visibly angry he was, and was also easily able to see how deep down he was starting to feel hopeless. She could see shimmers of sweat appearing on his dark skin. Usually he was a very unemotional being trying to appear as a strong leader, but all of the negativity on their home planet was causing everyone to get shook up.
         Ronaya, a red-headed, pale-skinned Federation member and good friend of Kira spoke. “Sir,” she said. “When will V.S.S. Coventry One be ready to leave? I’ve had many citizens ask me, and I promised them I would return with an answer.”
         “I have been informed that it will be ready to leave by the end of today or at the latest, tomorrow morning,” S.C. Korrik said.
         “Thank you sir,” Ronaya said.
         “Anybody else have any questions?” S.C. Korrik asked.
         “I do,” Kira replied.
         “Go ahead.”
         “As you know, I am very concerned about our citizens and getting them to safety, but also with the increasing destruction all around us every day, I am concerned with our safety as well as our families and other citizens aboard our own ship. With two of our ships already destroyed, who is to say that our ship will not be next? I do not want to abandon our dear home and give it up to the Alpha Draconians, but how far are we willing to go? How long will we wait and what needs to occur before we leave as well to find safety for ourselves?”
         “Kira, I think about this every day and I’m sure other members of our Federation have thought the same thing,” S.C. Korrik sympathized. “I believe that there will be a time when we will need to go, but right now we need to try to save as many as our people as possible. We need to focus now on V.S.S. Coventry’s departure. I am employing seven thousand more Giants to go to the ground and rescue as many citizens as possible, as well as to destroy as many Draconians as possible. Captain Berenk is working now to get into contact with our allies to arrange more safe passages for our citizens. I will get into contact with you all again at this evenings meeting to discuss whether V.S.S. Coventry is ready for departure and to where it is departing to.”
         “What if we send our families and the citizens aboard this ship to safety and only we stay behind?” Kira asked.
         “We will have to vote,” S.C. Korrik answered. “All in favor of sending our families and citizens to safety while we stay behind raise your hand.”
Kira raised her hand. She knew this way was the only way Adonis and Aurora would be safe. Even if she had to stay behind, she was willing to do whatever it took to save her family. She had to act quickly before their ship was targeted and wiped out by the Draconians.
         She looked around the room. Two male Federation members, Reynar and Eusto, raised their hands. Ronaya looked like she was about to cry. She had three children whom she would have to leave if the vote was passed, but she perked up in her chair and strength poured over her face. She raised her hand. Five more Federation members raised their hands. There were three more who sat with hands unraised.
         “We all need to agree if we are going to do this,” S.C. Korrik said.
         That was a part of their code. If not every member of the Federation agreed to a decision, the decision did not occur. Two more Federation members raised their hands. The member who was left with her hand unraised was a Cat Person like Kira and Adonis. She sat beside of Kira. Her name was Greeta and she had just given birth to a baby boy not even a month ago. Kira put her hand on her shoulder and felt Greeta’s sadness rush into her own body. Greeta sat looking down at her hands deep in thought, searching for a solution other than this one. She knew there were none. She slowly raised her hand.
         “The decision has been made,” S.C. Korrik said. “I will speak with Captain Tanin of The Explorer to prepare transferring the citizens aboard this ship to his. I will also advise Captain Berenk to find a safe place for them to go to as well. If no one has any more questions, let’s get back to our families and start our goodbyes, until we congregate again at this evenings meeting.”


COINCIDENCE
         Aurora opened her eyes. It was too blurry to make out anything. She rubbed them and saw Lucille sitting in the corner of the room in a wooden chair. She was in it sideways with her legs dangling over the arm of one side of the chair and her head resting on the back of it with her arms folded on her stomach. Her long strawberry blonde hair was held back with a red headband. She was barefoot. Her pink flip flops had fallen to the white-gray tiled floor.
         Aurora slowly sat up in bed. She had an IV stuck in her arm and was under a white cotton blanket in a hospital gown. Her body ached.
         “Lucille,” she said.
         Lucille didn’t move.
         “Lucille!” Aurora said, louder this time.
        Lucille jolted awake.
         “Aurora!” she exclaimed, happy to see that she had woken up. She sat up in her chair. “Are you alright?”
         “What happened?” Aurora asked, confused.
         “You passed out in Mr. Lopez’s science class. Don’t you remember?”
         “No,” she answered. “The last thing I remember was sitting in his classroom. He was talking about Lyra.”
         Lyra…
         She looked off into some unknown in the distance.
         “Aurora, snap out of it. What is wrong with you?”
         “I don’t know.”
         “I’m going to go tell the nurse you are awake.”
         Lucille got up from her chair and left the room.
         What happened? she asked herself searching the far corners of her mind. Lyra…
         Lucille and a young woman walked into the room. She hand brown hair up in a ponytail and long bangs. She was wearing teal scrubs and white tennis shoes.
         “Hello Aurora,” she said. “I am your nurse, Marjorie. How are you feeling?”
         “I am a little sore," she admitted. "but other than that I am alright.”
         Marjorie walked up to Aurora. “Let me check your vitals.”
         She took off the stethoscope that was wrapped around her neck and held it to Aurora’s chest and listened for a minute.
         “72. Great,” Marjorie said. “Now breathe in deep... Good.” She moved the stethoscope to Aurora’s back. “Breathe deep again... Good. Now breathe normally… Good.”
         Marjorie put her stethoscope back around her neck. She took off a blood pressure cuff that was hanging on the wall behind Aurora’s bed and wrapped the cuff off her arm.
“You’re just going to feel a little bit of pressure,” she said, as if Aurora had never had her blood pressure taken before. After a moment she said, “It’s a little on the high end, but nothing to be alarmed about.” She put an understanding hand on her shoulder. “You’re in high school. High school is stressful, especially these days. I’d say the cause of your fainting was stress related. Let’s check your temperature, and then I am done here.”
         She took off the blood pressure cuff.
         “Is that alright, Aurora? Do you feel okay to go home?” Marjorie asked.
         “Yes, of course,” Aurora answered with a grin to try to mask her sad confusion.
         Marjorie placed a thermometer in Aurora’s mouth. It didn’t take long to beep to let the nurse know it had found it. Marjorie removed the thermometer from Aurora’s mouth and looked down to read it.
         “97.9. Yep you are going to be fine,” she said with a smile. “Just relax. We contacted your Godfather, and your butler Alfred is on his way to get you.” She left the room.
         “I knew you would be fine,” Lucille said. She sat down on the edge of the bed. “So what should we do until Alfred gets here?”
         “What’s there to do in a hospital room?” Aurora asked.
         Lucille laughed. “Well we could watch TV. Hand me the remote.”
         It was sitting on an overbed metal table wheeled onto the other side of the hospital bed. Aurora reached over and grabbed the remote then handed it to Lucille.
         “Here you go. Good luck finding something on that,” Aurora joked motioning towards the small TV hanging from the ceiling in the corner of the room.
         Lucille pressed the on button on the remote.
         “…we have reporters at the scene now. Police are outside of the school directing students to safety, while the rest are inside trying to capture the shooter. Edge-”
         Lucille turned the channel. “The style channel… perfect.”
         “Wait! What was that?” Aurora asked.
         “Just some woman on the news,” Lucille replied.
         “Turn it back.”
         Lucille turned the channel back to the news.
         “…we have a hotline ready for parents whose children are at Edgemont High School. Please do not try to call the school. The number to call is at the bottom of the screen. Stay home and stay indoors. Let the police handle this. Moving on to Chris with the weather and then we’ll be back for more updates.”
         “Let the police handle what? What happened at our school?” Aurora asked. Her stomach churned.
         “I’m going to call my Mom,” Lucille said. “I haven’t told her I’m here anyway. Someone’s got to take me home.”
         Lucille took out her cell and dialed. “She’s at work, but she’ll answer.”
          "Mom!” Aurora heard Lucille say into the phone. “What happened at our school? …I’m at the hospital... No I’m not hurt… I didn’t get shot! What are you talking- …Aurora passed out in class and I rode with her to the hospital… No Mom she didn’t get shot. Why do you keep asking us if we got shot? …A shooter! What do you mean? …Oh my gosh…”
         Lucille looked over at Aurora with horror.
         “What?” Aurora whispered, concerned.
         “There’s a shooter at our school right now,” Lucille replied.
         “What are you talking about?”
         “Okay. Okay,” Lucille said into the phone. “I love you too. Bye.”
         She pushed the end button on her cell phone and put it back in her purse. “Mom’s leaving work right now. She’s coming to pick me up. Oh my gosh! I need to call Keenan! I- I can’t believe there’s a shooter at our school right now. We could be there right now. If I wouldn’t have came with you to the hospital… If you wouldn’t have passed out in your desk… How random is it that you passed out anyway?”
         “I guess it’s pretty random,” Aurora admitted.
         “This is crazy…” Lucille said as she dialed Keenan’s cell number.
         Tell me about it.


HIDDEN
         Keenan kept as quiet as he could hiding there in the darkness. His phone vibrated in his pocket. He looked at the bright screen. It was a call from Lucille. He had to ignore it. A rush of worry washed over him, though he was promised she would be alright.
         At 11:10 a.m. he had raised his hand and asked to go to the restroom. Instead of going there, he went straight to the Janitor’s closet and closed the door behind him. He didn’t know why he was supposed to, but he did it because his father had told him to, and he knew from experience to do exactly what he said.
        11:11
        11:12
        At 11.13 a.m. he heard the first gun shot. Then the screams.




Title: Aurora
Classification: Fiction
Genre(s): Science Fiction, Young Adult
Word Count: 11,295 (and counting...)
Type of Work: Novel
Target Age Range: 16-18 Young Adult, 18+ Adult
Hook: As a child, Aurora Spencer was taken in and hidden by her parent’s best friend after they were mysteriously murdered. Now that she is a teenager, she, along with her best friend Lucille, is trying to uncover the secrets of her past. Some even out of this world. She finds that being aware of those secrets is unlocking abilities within her that she will need to use to stop the corruption the world is headed towards. Will she find out who she really is? Can she save the world?
Synopsis: Aurora has always known that she was not a typical teenager. Her parents were murdered when she was a child, her sister mysteriously disappeared, and she was taken in by her parent's best friend whom she calls "Godfather". Little did she know, on the night her parents were murdered, the murderer was actually after her. Knowing that Aurora has secret abilities, someone or some group is out to get her. Godfather is aware of all of this. He protected Aurora and her sister on the night of their parent's death by sending Aurora's sister to live with their Aunt and Uncle, and by faking Aurora's death, changing her identity, and bringing her to live with him in his mansion full of antiques and mystery.
        Godfather is a very mysterious man who seems to be always working away from home. Aurora is starting to question what is keeping him away. One day Aurora questions their family butler, Alfred, by asking him why Godfather is going to so many meetings. He seems nervous and ends up mentioning that Godfather doesn't want anyone knowing what he is up to. Alfred refuses to tell Aurora the truth, so she decides to enlist the help of her red-haired best friend Lucille. They sneak into Godfather's office and find a secret email containing details about a mysterious meeting he is having with someone in New York City. While snooping through his file cabinet, Aurora and Lucille find the photos of the crime scene of Aurora's parents murder.
        That evening Aurora further questions Alfred trying to get more information about her Godfather. He tells her that it is up to him to tell her the truth, so Aurora confronts Godfather at dinner. Godfather tells her he wasn't planning on telling her until she was eighteen years old. Aurora rebuttals the argument by stating that she is almost eighteen, so he should just go ahead and tell her. Godfather ends up telling her the truth. He tells her that when she was a child, she had precognitive psychic abilities and she was extremely intelligent. Her parents had to end up taking her out of school, because her teachers were asking too many questions. They ended up calling Child Protective Services and the police and even F.B.I. got involved. They offered millions of dollars to Aurora's parents, so they could do tests on her. Her parents refused, and they moved away trying to hide. That's when Aurora's parent's murder occurred. After that, Aurora no longer used her abilities and they were eventually forgotten. Godfather warns her that if she continues on the path of learning the truth about her life, that it is going to awaken those abilities again. Aurora, filled with rage over the news of the truth of her parent's death, says she is ready.
        Aurora starts having dreams and visions about an extraterrestrial humanoid couple named Adonis and Kira and their baby. They are in a space ship flying over the planet Vega located in the Lyran constellation. The Draconians are destroying their planet and killing the civilians. Kira, part of the Lyran Federation, is working with her team members to rescue the civilians and escape to a nearby safe and hospitable planet. The problem is that Adonis and their baby will not be able to stay with Kira. Adonis is a civilian, so he has to escape to safety while Kira has to stay on the ship and continue the work of the Federation until the Draconians are defeated.
        These dreams and visions affect Aurora mentally and physically causing her to sleep more and even pass out. During a hospital visit, Aurora and Lucille, who is staying in the hospital with her, find out that there was a shooting at their high school. The school ends up implementing stricter rules for their "safety" and the rest of the country follows. This causes riots and chaos bringing the country to a more militarized police state.
One night, Aurora ends up stuck in the middle of one of the riots and is in danger. She gets saved by a boy named Luca. She ends up passing out and he carries her to safety.        
        While she is half-conscious, she begins having visions of Kira and Adonis and their baby, and all the truth comes out to her. SHE is the baby. She is an extraterrestrial. She was sent to Earth, the next planetary victim of the Draconians, to help destroy them once and for all. Her Earth parents adopted her. Godfather is one of the human's who know the truth about the extraterrestrials and their mission. So he has been her protector and followed her through her life even before she was adopted. When she comes to, Luca is still there with her, feeling this need to keep her safe and be connected with someone while the world around them is falling apart. They quickly fall in love.
        After Aurora tells Godfather that she knows who she really is, he tells her that the Draconians are who are after Aurora. They enlisted help from human's, in exchange for power and wealth, to gain power and control over the world while they hide behind the scenes. They found out the Lyran's sent one of their own to hide as a human to keep watch over the Earth and help destroy the Draconians. They are who are responsible for Aurora's parents death.
        "Aurora" exists at a time in the future where it's normal for people to have robots in their homes, self-driveable cars, and flying cars are even in the works. Lucille's boyfriend, Keenan, states that they already invented flying cars a long time ago, they just didn't think the civilians were smart enough to use them. Keenan lives in a "smart house" with robots for cooks and maids. His parents are rich and there are some rumors that they are in the C.I.A. or even some secret society. Lucille has never considered the rumors to be true, but once she overhears a conversation between Keenan's mother and father, she starts to question who they really are too. She asks Aurora and Luca for help feeling that Keenan's parent's are somehow connected to Aurora.
        Keenan finds out what they are up to and tells his parent's not knowing that it is going to lead to Lucille's death. Although he knew the truth about his parent's all along and was enlisted by them to spy on Aurora until they were ready to kidnap her, he honestly is in love with Lucille, and horribly regrets his decision. After Keenan's parents murder Lucille and dump her body, they come after Aurora ready to kidnap her and finish what they started a long time ago. They kidnap Aurora and lock her up. They laugh at Aurora and tell her the truth about them working for the Draconians, because they are sure that it is the end of her.
        The Lyran's wish to save Aurora, but the Earth is surrounded by weaponized satellites that would wipe them out when they got into it's atmosphere with their ship. The Supreme Commander says there is nothing they can do. Kira, desperate to save her daughter and filled with guilt from sending her to Earth, ends up discovering a way to block the satellites.
        Keenan, who is extremely angry over the death of his girlfriend, finds out where his parent's are keeping Aurora. He tells Luca where she is and they go to rescue her. Keenan's parents try to stop them and Keenan ends up killing his mother and then taking his own life. Luca fights Keenan's father, but is not even close to being as skilled in fighting as he is, and gets severely injured. That's when the Lyran's step in and save the day.
        They take Aurora and Luca aboard their ship. Aurora meets her real parents. Adonis and Kira go against the Supreme Commander's orders and refuse to let her stay on Earth and continue the mission. They plan to take Aurora to safety. Aurora refuses to leave Luca and planet Earth. She states she is going to continue the mission and save Earth and it's people from the Draconians. Kira and Adonis can't stop her and have to let her do what she wishes. They fly her and Luca back to Earth and this is when the story ends.


#fantasy  #scifi  #fiction  #romance  #adventure 
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Sample "HAADIIKELLAAS: iiKlen"

50 years ago... the South West edge of Kariion territory.

      “Blame the Trehlaa for your every woe and feel their wrath, savage and slow.” He gruffed in mockery like the LaKariion had heard it all before. “Awfully big threat from such a tiny creature... what you go'n to do, pout me to death? You're bound to the ancient oak of my hilt, you're mine to command, kek.”

     “C o m m a n d  can call to ancient will, yet still the pulse of personal liberty flows throughout me, as sure as LaViiNera that spawned all of thee; soon you'll see the impossibility in trying to master my clock by the minute-- infinite choices abound as the hands of time go  r o u n d.” The projection of her voice was ethereal and as if produced from every direction, rather than the doll-sized Trehlaa whose wide, plush, sculpted mouth moved to talk through the breeze created by the trees. Her buxom little form was ankle-shackled to the stump by the dagger of the spellbound hilt he'd mentioned. It gave her a small circle of space to pace as she eyed the Kariions that walled off every exit, fascinated to find out Trehlaas were more than just stories; unawares they had the mother nymph herself, LaTrehlaa. The guardian, witness, and protector.

     “Y o u, Keeven, LaKariion of your pack, by back-wrote blood right, I cannot act against...” Her hard-to-see index finger pointed right at him, a distraction for the gracefully, ominously, risen dance of her other hand behind her and with it the roots of the trees, under his pack's feet, surface and coil them to shackle their ankles like snakes out to break bones, “... condensed truth in simple fact--

     Keeven didn't let her finish, he back handed her body so hard she whipped to end of her chain and slapped limp against the stump, out cold and no longer able to coax the aid of the trees; leaving the roots idle where they were in a circle around the stump, allowing some of the pack free with a simple shift and wiggle, while the others had to be cut loose.

     The LaKariion left them to it as he plucked the dagger up to sheath it and scooped the little green nymph into his palm to drop her in his breast pocket, “Get the Giilem to make shackles that'll disrupt whatever magical link this Trehlaa has to the trees, or that echnaGiilem gets sold to the highest bidder, and I want it before the containment cage.”

                                                                 ╫

Present Day - Between the Salt Flats and Mekro Territory, South of Kariion Territory

     Jardan was lumbering out of Elijaa's oversized bed, slowly standing in the narrow space between it and the wall of the wagon with a nude six-foot stretch whilst rubbing her buzz-cut head and turning an actively listening ear to her friend (read: occasional lover.)

     Elijaa was trying to sell a job Jardan had already accepted.

     “Want me gone that bad, eh?” Jardan commented with a sideways glance as she leaned down to grab her underpants with the sewn in urine-tube and connected vagina dock that allowed her to pee standing up. It had a realistically fleshy feel, albeit a little leathered, but it was just the piping she needed to piss anywhere without question-- to maintain her public facade as a man.

     “You distract and unsettle the locals, I want them relaxed and open minded..." Elijaa began, then drifted to a wayward thought she spoke out loud, "Ya'know, it's too bad you can't actually get an erection with that thing. I'd be disgusted by it's composition if it wasn't so brilliant.” Winking a smirk in open taunt from the lounging comfort of the pillows.

     “Throw some of that voodoo you do its way and I'll bone you before I go if that's what you want.” Jardan quipped back with a quirky smile and suggestive wag of the limp practical appendage.

     Elijaa was quick to roll forward and crawl across the bed to Jardan as she made an amused but sad sound, “Oh my darling teadybear, my voodoo doesn't work like that.. and even if it did,” she began, slinking up Jardan's half naked body to claim skin in the cup of her hand against Jardan's scarred face and a less endearing, much more smearing rub of her other hand down inside the underpants to the petals the pants were made to hide, “I couldn't allow you to cross that line... you might enjoy it too much, and I love your femininity enough...” only stroking just-so to make Jardan pause, Eli dropped back like a leaf trying to catch the wind, “ .. to humor your masculinity, Thick-Dick Jardan,” she concluded with a grin as she flopped back on the bed in full naked view.

     In Jardan's pause she stood there half-lulled and ready to fall back into bed with Eli but instead just soaked in the view of the petite female who'd given her the means for the magical rune that made her smell like a man, even to those who could smell beyond clothes. It killed Jardan a little to know Elijaa only looked innocent because she wanted to. Eli was as much a snake as her Edward persona, the noble boy with all the right words and sly hands. “You do know you're the only one who calls me that, right?”

     “Wag it at other women and it might catch on.”

     “Ha.” Jardan huffed a chuckled sound and snatched up her breast-wrap from the floor, “What women? The cut-your-tongue Warlasses? Or the Alura's in and of the pleasure dens because they have better perks than war?” Humor turned to a snarl of bubbling rage until Eli disrupted it when she toed the dangling appendage and veered the subject.

     “How about the damsel in distress you're going to save, hm? I wager you an hour of masculine erection to rail any woman you want if that Giilem woman isn't ripe enough to rouse you to think about seeing how she'd react to it, so deceptively promising...” Eli teased.

     Jardan had to clear her throat a little, looking up from the flacid-fake-prick to the one who taught her enough to get started in the world of being male, “You said your magic doesn't work like that..” asked skeptic but curiously interested. She couldn't help it.

     “It doesn't, but you know me, I know others … you want to make that wager Jardan?”

     Jardan thought about for a moment, then began wrapping her breasts and refusing the offer, “I'll pass. I do know you... well enough to know you don't make wagers you can't win.”

     “Unlike you, right? The cursed-grizzly-Jiir who wants to know how high the odds have to be stacked against her before she breaks...”

     “Die, Eli, before I die. I've been broken on a few occasions, but I've yet to die, so yeah, I accepted as soon as you said it could be suicide and it had nothing to do with wanting to do the impossible. I'm alive, that already feels pretty impossible.” Jardan was serious again, a little agitated and this time Eli didn't try to stop it.

     “Why not just put one of those bullets in your own head?”

     Jardan growled, tucking the wrap in and kicking her loose leather pants off the floor to grab them-- belt still in the loop, “I'm not a coward, if I'm alive I'm going to do something to help someone else.” She huffed as she stepped into her pants, yet not at the effort of doing so in a rush. She took her time to pull them up and stuff her pee-pipe to the left before man-handling the iron belt-buckle and excess leather length to coil and clasp.

     “Right, a savior complex, like hiding your woman form under masculine disguise isn't cowardice.”

     “You kettle'n me Eli? What in damnation do you call prancing around as Edward?”

     “Entertainment... you may be older than most of your kind but I'm older than that.” Eli said a bit flatly, tossing Jardan her vest and shirt from the other side of the bed as she rolled out herself, the petite polar opposite.

     Jardan caught them with a scoff just a second after getting her belt buckled tight enough to hold her pants up. “You're a piece of work you know that? Why do you always push me away?”

     “Because you always come back my teddybear, since the day I met you, you always find your way back to me.”

     Jardan snorted with a shake of her head, watching Eli walk to the washroom as if that was that. “You told that Tobias mook to send YOU payment for pickup, didn't you?” she asked loudly from the other side of the bed as she whisked on her linen shirt and the armored vest in stride to the washroom on the other side of the wall the headboard was against; leaving both shirt and vest temporarily open.

     “Of course I did, you said you don't like jobs from strangers so, I figured it applied to payment too.. besides, we both know you're not doing it for the money any more than the money will be why you come back to me...” Spoken from her pumping of water into the tub from a reservoir under the wagon, pausing to glance at the much taller Jardan dressing in the other doorway, “... even if you swear never to be in my bed again, you'll be back.”

     “You bewitch a spell on me, Eli?”

     “Only the one you asked for.”

     “What's that supposed to mean?”

     “You didn't think that rune wouldn't have side effects did you? Every time you activate it, it's my energy it draws from, so it's my energy you are drawn to. Stop using it, and stop feeling the need to be near me.” Elijaa replied oh-so gently as she stepped into the tub and lowered into the rising water.

     Jardan wasn't sure which pissed her off more, seeing how relaxed and nonchalant Eli was about all of it, or realizing what she felt for Eli was because of the rune she'd created to make Jardan's own scent of a masculine variation. She was buttoning her shirt between the open vest but paused mid-listen, wide-eyed and enraged so much she left without another word, fast-buttoning high enough to cover the breast wrap before buckling her vest closed and snatching her boots and socks from the floor on her way out the door of the large wagon-- letting it slam and rattle in the process.

     It was a hopping walk across the short porch as she put her socks and boots on in her leave of the only remaining living soul that knew Jardan was a woman. With a gruff clearing of the throat, Jardan spat over the rail and stepped to the ground to stand as a man.

     There were only two others close enough to hear and look up at Jardan's exit and one of them was the deadbrain stable hand bringing Jardan his yoip. The other right hand dope of "Edward's" was bringing Jardan his weaponry which had to be given up to see Eli's noble-boy persona in the first place. Jardan went for the weapons, setting contrasting brown eyes on the dolt like he'd be best to keep his thoughts to himself.

     The grizzly buckled the gun-belt around his hips first, then thigh, and snatched the blades last as he turned from the other man before he could get a word out, sheathing everything in its proper place. Jardan walked toward Hurk, his yoip, aptly big enough for his shoulders to match Jardan's, all four of them, and took a quick inventory of his back feet, counting claws to ensure none had been taken to sell. Satisfied, he took the reigns from the stable hand and flipped him a coin for taking care of Hurk through the night, presumably also not stealing anything in the saddle bags-- though considering Jardan had stolen half the contents anyway he didn't even check.

     Jardan shuffled beside Hurk and stepped into the stirrup with more grace and ease than he did much else, settling a bit heavily on the saddle. It made Hurk shift under his weight like he could tell the difference between Jardan and any other man his size; price of being a grizzly bear inside. Reaching back the Jiir realized the hat that had been there, was gone, and immediately turned those miss-match brown eyes to the stable-hand who was backing away to let Jardan leave. “Where's my hat boy?”

     “Oh, rright.. s-s-sorry.. I...” the stable hand stuttered before just running a short jog to his tent to get it and bring it back. When he did, handing it up to the scar-faced man, he asked just as nervously, “H-how.. how do you t-two get the.. get the girls out.. out of there .. w-without anyone.. noticing?”

     Jardan snatched the hat with a dead-smirk from the scarred right side of his face as he put the hat on his head to shade his eyes and fuzz covered skull. With a click of his tongue, Hurk started walking away for them both, leaving the question unanswered as they headed North along the edge of Mekro territory to take the few-hours-ride through an outer crop of forest cutting through Kariion Territory; the path to get to the designated market location where he was told he'd be meeting other freelancers, real men, to make a “team" and save a Giilem...

                                                                    ╫

          ____________________________________________________________

ETHRIIAN GLOSSSARY (this is a sample glossary relevant to the excerpt)

                                         ii is pronounced as "E"

                                        aa is pronounced as "ah"

                                        ch is pronounced as the "ch" in "choo-choo"

Alura = title for females of a pleasure house; typically of their own will

Echna = as a prefix "no-good" otherwise a term akin to "fuck"

Giilem = name for the witch variation; a human with magical abilities born to them

Haadiikellaas = Breedwars; the prolonged warring between different humanoid species

iiKlen = name for an outcast, rogue, and or loner

Jiir = name for the bear variation of humanoid species

Kariion = name for the wolf variation of the humanoid species

Kek = derogatory term for a servant or slave

La = as a prefix it indicates "the first" or "alpha" or "leader"

Mekro = short for Mekronekaa; a human made species engineered to hunt non-humans

Trehlaa = name for the "nymph" variation; nymph is a loose term of comparison

ViiNera = name for the creative power of the collective consciousness of the trees

Warlass = title for a female Warlord

Yoip = name for a rare semi-horse-like creature native to Ethrii

        ___________________________________________________________

                                 (SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT)                    

        ___________________________________________________________

TITLE:: (Working Title) HAADIIKELLAAS: iiKlen

GENRE:: Post-Apocalyptic Sci-Fi Fantasy

AGE RANGE:: 17+ for mature content and language

WORD COUNT:: To-be-determined (W.I.P.)

AUTHOR NAME:: Remmy Ar'emen (pronounced R'M-N)

WHY IT'S A GOOD FIT:: The part of me that knows you're looking for new talent insists, "You tell me" but the part that knows you want me to sell you on MY project over all the others, adds, "Progressively speaking this project isn't yet complete, so, there's more room for adaptability in the level and depth it's written. Creatively speaking this story has world building bits (dare I say) that'll be as shockingly imaginative as the Starwars world when it first came out; including imagined languages, creatures and cultures."

THE HOOK:: Humans are nearly extinct yet remain a technological and magical threat while the wars for dominant rule among the Haadiik still wage, ninety years after they began. On the continent of Ethrii, where most women lead  war clans or pleasure houses, one woman-- disguised as a man-- tests her own assumed immortality on a joint quest to save a Giilem and end the Haadiikellaas; too bad she didn't accurately account for the Trehlaas.

SYNOPSIS:: (Big-Picture Plot) Shortly after humans evolved into existing, the Trees collectively used their knowledge and power (magic) to change some of the human population into human-other hybrids referred to as Haadiik; this was an effort to counter balance "human nature" with the more symbiotic plant and animal natures. Humans beat back the Haadiik into hiding as myth and lore until another war breaks out millennia later and the Haadiik start fighting for dominant rule. Ninety years of these wars leads the Trehlaa collective to think the "human" element needs to be eliminated completely.

(Character Driven Plot) Story opens with a spot of history, where a Kariion and his pack are encircled around a Trehlaa who is shackled by the ankle to a stump. Not just any Trehlaa, but the first, LaTrehlaa, which the LaKariion, Keeven, is not yet aware of. He possesses a dagger with an ancient spelled oak hilt that bonds the Trehlaa to his commands. When he confronts the Trehlaa about his control, the Treehlaa demonstrates she still has some free will, by coaxing the trees to raise their roots and ankle-shackle the pack where they stand. In doing this, Keeven back-hands the Trehlaa unconscious and orders a Giilem to find a way to break the bond between Trehlaa and tree, before making a containment cage, or the Giilem will be sold to the highest bidder.

In present day, a Jiir named Jardan, has gone around disguising herself as a man since the wars began, ninety years ago, because she doesn't want to deal with social pressure for uncompanioned females to be a Warlass or an Alura. Jardan is hired through her lover, Elijaa (publicly a Noble Boy named Edward and the only living soul who knows Jardan is a female) who got the job from Tobias, a Giilem who has hired four more freelancers to save his companion in waiting from the Vaat (rogue clan of merchants determined to profit off all the warring.) Jardan accepted the job because she believes she's been cursed with can't-be-killed immortality. Despite already taking the job, Elijaa keeps selling it to Jardan as a passive aggressive way to get Jardan to leave her bed and wagon, so she can con the locals. In a conversation that begins with good humor, Jardan learns that the rune which makes her female scent smell like a man's, also makes her want to be around Elijaa (the creator of the rune) every time she activates it to refresh her masculine smell. This knowledge sends Jardan out of the wagon in quiet rage, where she immediately mounts her yoip, Hurk, and rides out to do the job as the grizzly, scar-faced man the rest of the world knows her as.

In her journey to the Daq Dim Markets where she's to meet with the rest of the freelancers, she crosses the aged Trehlaa ring, and sees it as a bad omen for this job because she'd never seen one so far East of a mountain range called Octan's Ridge. Despite this bad omen, Jardan treks onward and finds the other freelancers in a squable over species superiority; specifically the Eliinaas known as Bobeck, and the Kariion known as Kentario, who are both only a few insults away from trading blows when Jardan's arrival halts the conflict provoking a roll-call. Kentario the recon and information expert, Bobeck the muscle, Mekii their scavenger and improvisation specialist, a Skaa (vulcher,) while their leader and tactician, Edixson's species remains a mystery; one of a few qualities that first sparks Jardan's attraction to Edixson. Jardan doesn't need to introduce herself because the team already knows of “his” reputation as a lethal savage and destroyer of towns.

Before heading into the Daq Dim market area, the team goes over their plans to extract the Giilem, named Poejelu. It's in this discussion Kentario reveals he's heard rumors that Poejelu is more than a Giilem, she's a Haadiik able to spawn Haadiiks born with magical abilities beyond shifting to their plant and animal forms. It's unclear if the Vaat know of these rumors, or if they only have Poejelu to sell her as a Giilem-- the most valuable kind of human on the market. Kentario and Mekii get into a debate about whether or not they should ONLY save Poejelu, as hired, or free all the other captives waiting for auction, a debate which Edixson squashes unceremoniously by socking both men in the jaw simultaneously and reminding them they'd do as he said on this mission. Jardan remains the silent and lazily idle member of the group while inwardly realizing if they failed to save the Giilem and she was also a Haadiik, the Haadiikellaas could get a whole lot worse.

After affirming their strategy, the group splits to enter their respective places with Edixson and Jardan (finally getting off her yoip) playing the roles of buyers for Poejelu, as set up by Tobias. Jardan has to use a spell to change her appearance as to not be recognized. On Jardan and Edixson's way through the market, to the long-landlocked freight ship, they overhear a few different merchant tents sharing in gossip about a LaKariion with a caged Trehlaa to do his bidding. This prompts Jardan to cautiously advice Edixson about the Trehlaa ring she saw and her concerns about what it could mean for their quest to save Poejelu. Edixson doesn't seem worried and doesn't respond. Jardan decides to keep quiet and let Edixson do all the talking. Inside the ship, they find a handful of other buyers, all waiting to see the Giilem before bidding, one of which is a human in an armored exoskeleton with its own electrical shield bubble capable of incapacitating any Haadiik. Jardan observed that any other location, such a human would have been mass-attacked on sight, but at the Daq Dim markets, almost anything was possible and probable.

The buyers are soon escorted, by twice as many guards, to a viewing room within the fortified ship, where Poe is magically confined inside a rune enforced square (painted on the floor,) her own magic hindered by a spelled dress which reveals her feminine form while suppressing her powers (sex sells even on Ethrii.) Poejelu is unquestioningly frightened by all of it, yet stands defiant in the face of those who seek to purchase her, a quality a few buyers are quick to quip about. As the buyers are encouraged to go touch her and feel her power contained inside, Edixson determines the only way to get Poejelu out unharmed, is for Jardan to go-grizzly and be the destructive diversion for their escape.

Edixson doesn't hesitate to barrel through the other buyers, and around the human's electric shield, to be the first to touch Poejelu. In doing so, Jardan uses it as a cue to get-grizzly, instantly shredding all of her clothes in shifting to her scarred, haggard, nightmareishly snarled grizzly Jiir form. In that moment, all the guards turn their attention and weapons on Jardan, who's anamorphic rage occupies them. Edixon knocks Poejelu unconscious and carries her like a sack of rice, through the ship's hidden passages, as uncovered and cleared out by Bobeck who acts as an escort along the way. Outside the ship, Miikee flies in his Vulcher form, picking up heavy objects and dropping them on the small groupings of guards headed to the ship as backup. Kentario waits by the designated exit point beside their stolen getaway-wagon, stacking bodies of those who'd happened upon him.

By the time Bobeck and the Poejelu carrying Edixson meet up with Kentario, the whole market is in an uproar as Jardan's animal form takes the fight to the tented grid outside the ship. The men use the distraction to make their escape, picking up Mekii just outside the market perimeter, on the way to the agreed upon rendezvous inside Karion territory. As smoke plumes fill the horizon behind them, the men agree that Jardan must be cursed if he can survive that kind of an onslaught. Still, they stick to their plans to make camp in an abandoned tree-canopey-village to wait for Jardan's return. During their fireless wait, the team is confronted by an awaken Poejelu demanding answers non-too-quietly. Bobeck is the first to move and silence her and gets himself kicked out of the tree-hut, quite literately by Edixson. Kentario comforts Poejelu and explains who they are and who hired them, which immediately strikes ire in Poejelu, who voices disdain about the fact Tobias wasn't there, leading her to then question where the Jiir was.

When Edixson informs Poejelu that Jardan is on the way, Poejelu questions their moral integrity in leaving the Jiir behind, when he was the only reason they got out so clean in the first place. This strikes a chord in Edixson, though he calmly advises why it was the best decision, telling of the legend of Jardan the Jiir. As they share a meal in uncomfortable silence, Mekii starts looking out the windows of the hut for Bobeck who hasn't returned. Edixson starts handing out scarfs like he knows something's going to happen, the rest of them don't. Only Poejelu questions it. Edixson makes it clear it's her choice to use it, without explaining why or when.

Jardan does survive the consequential demolition, acquire new clothes, and make it to the rendezvous where she runs into a panting Bobeck approaching from the opposite direction. Confronting Bobeck attracts the attention of Edixson, who sends Kentario down to ensure there'll be no more grizzly-Jiir for the night. Before Kentario can get to the ground, Keevan shows up with his pack and captive Trehlaa who he's commanded to use her pollinating antenna to knock out the team. Jardan kills Bobeck before inhaling the pollen and sleeping. Kentario gets his scarf up in time enough to protect the Jiir.

Mekii, slowest to catch on, is the first in the hut to go down as Keeven, his Trehlaa, and a few pack mates ascend. Keeven commands the Trehlaa to use the tree to bind Edixson. Wrapped up in branches, Edixson is powerless to stop Keeven from taking Poejelu. Prior to Keeven putting the Trehlaa back in her containment cage, she urges the trees to save the lives of the team, forcing Keeven to take his prize and retreat. The pack doesn't get far, halted by a swarm of Trehlaas, who immediately begin devouring the pack like pixy piranha.

A freed Edixson transforms into his Zedixon (semi-griffin+centaur-like) form, swooping over the feeding frenzy to steal the caged Trehlaa and unconscious Poejelu before doubling back to revive his team. Leaving nothing but bones, the TrehlaaNera (collective of Trehlaas,) chase after the team, focusing on Edixson, despite obvious fear of him, because he still has the LaTrehlaa. Edixson uses their focus to let his team get a lead before making a deal to trade his life for the LaTrehlaa.

When Edixson catches up to the team, half way to the salt flats where they were set to meet Tobias, he's forced to explain what he is because none of them have seen or heard or anything like him; Jardan the most inquisitive of them all. Poejelu likewise divulges that she can't remove the magic-suppressing dress and asks Jardan to assist in a wardrobe change. Kentario distracts them from the Giilem's redressing by provoking discussion about the Trehlaa and how Edixson knew the pack was coming.

Edixson diverts the personal inquiry with a confession about knowing the captive Trehlaa personally, and that she was the LaTrehlaa, named Octaniichii, the most powerful and kind of them all. He further stops questions by stating she was the only reason they made it out of the forest alive, yet neither he nor she could ensure the TrehlaaNera wouldn't still come for them. A magically free and eager to get involved Poejelu dares to suggest she could take them all herself. Jardan pipes in to add that she knew she could, because she'd done it before.

A long contemplative silence is broken by the early arrival of Tobias, who claims he saw them on the horizon and couldn't wait. Poejelu, his soon-to-be companion, is less than thrilled to see him, and demonstrates this by using her magic to zap him back to his home. Stunned by her power, the team turn their attention to Poejelu who quickly pleads to make a deal for them to keep her away from Tobias. This leaves the team in conflict about whether or not to betray their employer or make a captive of the Giilem they just freed.

TARGET AUDIENCE:: (ideally) Mature Minds 17+ (realistically) Young Adults, LGBT, and TV/Movie Production personnel

AUTHOR BIO::  As a youth born and raised in Florida, Remmy thought she could never be a writer and then one day she realized she already was. Conceived to be born an Aries, she prematurely popped out, with a twin, as a Pisces and has been riding the waves of creativity through a roller coaster of life events and experiences which brought her to her current home in Virginia. There she seeks to inspire by imagining the unimagined and bringing it to life with words and art.

PLATFORM::  Mostly here on TheProse.com as another_proser

EDUCATION:: G.E.D.

EXPERIENCE:: 15+ years of writing interactive stories with other writers and my own stories as a solo author-- not yet published.

PERSONALITY/WRITING STYLE:: In two words-- Unconventionally Enthralling -- As for the more elaborate answer, personal narrative non-fictions range from whimsically witty to analytically assertive. My Poetry spans the spectrum of rage-rocker rhythms to making-sparse-sense semantics. As for the fictional fantasy I like to keep it edged with grit regardless but otherwise sway between eroticism and "there isn't a word for that yet."

LIKES/HOBBIES:: The observational and interactive study of Human Behavior, Writing, Art (Acrylic Paint, Mixed Media, Miniature & Graphics,) Driving, Camping, Canoeing, Photography, Helping My Community, and Cooking left-over meals that'll make eyes doubt what the palette enjoys.

HOMETOWN:: Melbourne/Palm Bay, Florida (I consider both, equally, my hometown)

AGE:: 31

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Sample "HAADIIKELLAAS: iiKlen"
50 years ago... the South West edge of Kariion territory.

      “Blame the Trehlaa for your every woe and feel their wrath, savage and slow.” He gruffed in mockery like the LaKariion had heard it all before. “Awfully big threat from such a tiny creature... what you go'n to do, pout me to death? You're bound to the ancient oak of my hilt, you're mine to command, kek.”

     “C o m m a n d  can call to ancient will, yet still the pulse of personal liberty flows throughout me, as sure as LaViiNera that spawned all of thee; soon you'll see the impossibility in trying to master my clock by the minute-- infinite choices abound as the hands of time go  r o u n d.” The projection of her voice was ethereal and as if produced from every direction, rather than the doll-sized Trehlaa whose wide, plush, sculpted mouth moved to talk through the breeze created by the trees. Her buxom little form was ankle-shackled to the stump by the dagger of the spellbound hilt he'd mentioned. It gave her a small circle of space to pace as she eyed the Kariions that walled off every exit, fascinated to find out Trehlaas were more than just stories; unawares they had the mother nymph herself, LaTrehlaa. The guardian, witness, and protector.

     “Y o u, Keeven, LaKariion of your pack, by back-wrote blood right, I cannot act against...” Her hard-to-see index finger pointed right at him, a distraction for the gracefully, ominously, risen dance of her other hand behind her and with it the roots of the trees, under his pack's feet, surface and coil them to shackle their ankles like snakes out to break bones, “... condensed truth in simple fact--

     Keeven didn't let her finish, he back handed her body so hard she whipped to end of her chain and slapped limp against the stump, out cold and no longer able to coax the aid of the trees; leaving the roots idle where they were in a circle around the stump, allowing some of the pack free with a simple shift and wiggle, while the others had to be cut loose.

     The LaKariion left them to it as he plucked the dagger up to sheath it and scooped the little green nymph into his palm to drop her in his breast pocket, “Get the Giilem to make shackles that'll disrupt whatever magical link this Trehlaa has to the trees, or that echnaGiilem gets sold to the highest bidder, and I want it before the containment cage.”


                                                                 ╫


Present Day - Between the Salt Flats and Mekro Territory, South of Kariion Territory

     Jardan was lumbering out of Elijaa's oversized bed, slowly standing in the narrow space between it and the wall of the wagon with a nude six-foot stretch whilst rubbing her buzz-cut head and turning an actively listening ear to her friend (read: occasional lover.)

     Elijaa was trying to sell a job Jardan had already accepted.

     “Want me gone that bad, eh?” Jardan commented with a sideways glance as she leaned down to grab her underpants with the sewn in urine-tube and connected vagina dock that allowed her to pee standing up. It had a realistically fleshy feel, albeit a little leathered, but it was just the piping she needed to piss anywhere without question-- to maintain her public facade as a man.

     “You distract and unsettle the locals, I want them relaxed and open minded..." Elijaa began, then drifted to a wayward thought she spoke out loud, "Ya'know, it's too bad you can't actually get an erection with that thing. I'd be disgusted by it's composition if it wasn't so brilliant.” Winking a smirk in open taunt from the lounging comfort of the pillows.

     “Throw some of that voodoo you do its way and I'll bone you before I go if that's what you want.” Jardan quipped back with a quirky smile and suggestive wag of the limp practical appendage.

     Elijaa was quick to roll forward and crawl across the bed to Jardan as she made an amused but sad sound, “Oh my darling teadybear, my voodoo doesn't work like that.. and even if it did,” she began, slinking up Jardan's half naked body to claim skin in the cup of her hand against Jardan's scarred face and a less endearing, much more smearing rub of her other hand down inside the underpants to the petals the pants were made to hide, “I couldn't allow you to cross that line... you might enjoy it too much, and I love your femininity enough...” only stroking just-so to make Jardan pause, Eli dropped back like a leaf trying to catch the wind, “ .. to humor your masculinity, Thick-Dick Jardan,” she concluded with a grin as she flopped back on the bed in full naked view.

     In Jardan's pause she stood there half-lulled and ready to fall back into bed with Eli but instead just soaked in the view of the petite female who'd given her the means for the magical rune that made her smell like a man, even to those who could smell beyond clothes. It killed Jardan a little to know Elijaa only looked innocent because she wanted to. Eli was as much a snake as her Edward persona, the noble boy with all the right words and sly hands. “You do know you're the only one who calls me that, right?”

     “Wag it at other women and it might catch on.”

     “Ha.” Jardan huffed a chuckled sound and snatched up her breast-wrap from the floor, “What women? The cut-your-tongue Warlasses? Or the Alura's in and of the pleasure dens because they have better perks than war?” Humor turned to a snarl of bubbling rage until Eli disrupted it when she toed the dangling appendage and veered the subject.

     “How about the damsel in distress you're going to save, hm? I wager you an hour of masculine erection to rail any woman you want if that Giilem woman isn't ripe enough to rouse you to think about seeing how she'd react to it, so deceptively promising...” Eli teased.

     Jardan had to clear her throat a little, looking up from the flacid-fake-prick to the one who taught her enough to get started in the world of being male, “You said your magic doesn't work like that..” asked skeptic but curiously interested. She couldn't help it.

     “It doesn't, but you know me, I know others … you want to make that wager Jardan?”

     Jardan thought about for a moment, then began wrapping her breasts and refusing the offer, “I'll pass. I do know you... well enough to know you don't make wagers you can't win.”

     “Unlike you, right? The cursed-grizzly-Jiir who wants to know how high the odds have to be stacked against her before she breaks...”

     “Die, Eli, before I die. I've been broken on a few occasions, but I've yet to die, so yeah, I accepted as soon as you said it could be suicide and it had nothing to do with wanting to do the impossible. I'm alive, that already feels pretty impossible.” Jardan was serious again, a little agitated and this time Eli didn't try to stop it.

     “Why not just put one of those bullets in your own head?”

     Jardan growled, tucking the wrap in and kicking her loose leather pants off the floor to grab them-- belt still in the loop, “I'm not a coward, if I'm alive I'm going to do something to help someone else.” She huffed as she stepped into her pants, yet not at the effort of doing so in a rush. She took her time to pull them up and stuff her pee-pipe to the left before man-handling the iron belt-buckle and excess leather length to coil and clasp.

     “Right, a savior complex, like hiding your woman form under masculine disguise isn't cowardice.”

     “You kettle'n me Eli? What in damnation do you call prancing around as Edward?”

     “Entertainment... you may be older than most of your kind but I'm older than that.” Eli said a bit flatly, tossing Jardan her vest and shirt from the other side of the bed as she rolled out herself, the petite polar opposite.

     Jardan caught them with a scoff just a second after getting her belt buckled tight enough to hold her pants up. “You're a piece of work you know that? Why do you always push me away?”

     “Because you always come back my teddybear, since the day I met you, you always find your way back to me.”

     Jardan snorted with a shake of her head, watching Eli walk to the washroom as if that was that. “You told that Tobias mook to send YOU payment for pickup, didn't you?” she asked loudly from the other side of the bed as she whisked on her linen shirt and the armored vest in stride to the washroom on the other side of the wall the headboard was against; leaving both shirt and vest temporarily open.

     “Of course I did, you said you don't like jobs from strangers so, I figured it applied to payment too.. besides, we both know you're not doing it for the money any more than the money will be why you come back to me...” Spoken from her pumping of water into the tub from a reservoir under the wagon, pausing to glance at the much taller Jardan dressing in the other doorway, “... even if you swear never to be in my bed again, you'll be back.”

     “You bewitch a spell on me, Eli?”

     “Only the one you asked for.”

     “What's that supposed to mean?”

     “You didn't think that rune wouldn't have side effects did you? Every time you activate it, it's my energy it draws from, so it's my energy you are drawn to. Stop using it, and stop feeling the need to be near me.” Elijaa replied oh-so gently as she stepped into the tub and lowered into the rising water.

     Jardan wasn't sure which pissed her off more, seeing how relaxed and nonchalant Eli was about all of it, or realizing what she felt for Eli was because of the rune she'd created to make Jardan's own scent of a masculine variation. She was buttoning her shirt between the open vest but paused mid-listen, wide-eyed and enraged so much she left without another word, fast-buttoning high enough to cover the breast wrap before buckling her vest closed and snatching her boots and socks from the floor on her way out the door of the large wagon-- letting it slam and rattle in the process.

     It was a hopping walk across the short porch as she put her socks and boots on in her leave of the only remaining living soul that knew Jardan was a woman. With a gruff clearing of the throat, Jardan spat over the rail and stepped to the ground to stand as a man.


     There were only two others close enough to hear and look up at Jardan's exit and one of them was the deadbrain stable hand bringing Jardan his yoip. The other right hand dope of "Edward's" was bringing Jardan his weaponry which had to be given up to see Eli's noble-boy persona in the first place. Jardan went for the weapons, setting contrasting brown eyes on the dolt like he'd be best to keep his thoughts to himself.

     The grizzly buckled the gun-belt around his hips first, then thigh, and snatched the blades last as he turned from the other man before he could get a word out, sheathing everything in its proper place. Jardan walked toward Hurk, his yoip, aptly big enough for his shoulders to match Jardan's, all four of them, and took a quick inventory of his back feet, counting claws to ensure none had been taken to sell. Satisfied, he took the reigns from the stable hand and flipped him a coin for taking care of Hurk through the night, presumably also not stealing anything in the saddle bags-- though considering Jardan had stolen half the contents anyway he didn't even check.

     Jardan shuffled beside Hurk and stepped into the stirrup with more grace and ease than he did much else, settling a bit heavily on the saddle. It made Hurk shift under his weight like he could tell the difference between Jardan and any other man his size; price of being a grizzly bear inside. Reaching back the Jiir realized the hat that had been there, was gone, and immediately turned those miss-match brown eyes to the stable-hand who was backing away to let Jardan leave. “Where's my hat boy?”

     “Oh, rright.. s-s-sorry.. I...” the stable hand stuttered before just running a short jog to his tent to get it and bring it back. When he did, handing it up to the scar-faced man, he asked just as nervously, “H-how.. how do you t-two get the.. get the girls out.. out of there .. w-without anyone.. noticing?”

     Jardan snatched the hat with a dead-smirk from the scarred right side of his face as he put the hat on his head to shade his eyes and fuzz covered skull. With a click of his tongue, Hurk started walking away for them both, leaving the question unanswered as they headed North along the edge of Mekro territory to take the few-hours-ride through an outer crop of forest cutting through Kariion Territory; the path to get to the designated market location where he was told he'd be meeting other freelancers, real men, to make a “team" and save a Giilem...

                                                                    ╫

          ____________________________________________________________


ETHRIIAN GLOSSSARY (this is a sample glossary relevant to the excerpt)

                                         ii is pronounced as "E"
                                        aa is pronounced as "ah"
                                        ch is pronounced as the "ch" in "choo-choo"

Alura = title for females of a pleasure house; typically of their own will
Echna = as a prefix "no-good" otherwise a term akin to "fuck"
Giilem = name for the witch variation; a human with magical abilities born to them
Haadiikellaas = Breedwars; the prolonged warring between different humanoid species
iiKlen = name for an outcast, rogue, and or loner
Jiir = name for the bear variation of humanoid species
Kariion = name for the wolf variation of the humanoid species
Kek = derogatory term for a servant or slave
La = as a prefix it indicates "the first" or "alpha" or "leader"
Mekro = short for Mekronekaa; a human made species engineered to hunt non-humans
Trehlaa = name for the "nymph" variation; nymph is a loose term of comparison
ViiNera = name for the creative power of the collective consciousness of the trees
Warlass = title for a female Warlord
Yoip = name for a rare semi-horse-like creature native to Ethrii

        ___________________________________________________________
                                 (SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT)                    
        ___________________________________________________________

TITLE:: (Working Title) HAADIIKELLAAS: iiKlen
GENRE:: Post-Apocalyptic Sci-Fi Fantasy
AGE RANGE:: 17+ for mature content and language
WORD COUNT:: To-be-determined (W.I.P.)

AUTHOR NAME:: Remmy Ar'emen (pronounced R'M-N)

WHY IT'S A GOOD FIT:: The part of me that knows you're looking for new talent insists, "You tell me" but the part that knows you want me to sell you on MY project over all the others, adds, "Progressively speaking this project isn't yet complete, so, there's more room for adaptability in the level and depth it's written. Creatively speaking this story has world building bits (dare I say) that'll be as shockingly imaginative as the Starwars world when it first came out; including imagined languages, creatures and cultures."


THE HOOK:: Humans are nearly extinct yet remain a technological and magical threat while the wars for dominant rule among the Haadiik still wage, ninety years after they began. On the continent of Ethrii, where most women lead  war clans or pleasure houses, one woman-- disguised as a man-- tests her own assumed immortality on a joint quest to save a Giilem and end the Haadiikellaas; too bad she didn't accurately account for the Trehlaas.


SYNOPSIS:: (Big-Picture Plot) Shortly after humans evolved into existing, the Trees collectively used their knowledge and power (magic) to change some of the human population into human-other hybrids referred to as Haadiik; this was an effort to counter balance "human nature" with the more symbiotic plant and animal natures. Humans beat back the Haadiik into hiding as myth and lore until another war breaks out millennia later and the Haadiik start fighting for dominant rule. Ninety years of these wars leads the Trehlaa collective to think the "human" element needs to be eliminated completely.

(Character Driven Plot) Story opens with a spot of history, where a Kariion and his pack are encircled around a Trehlaa who is shackled by the ankle to a stump. Not just any Trehlaa, but the first, LaTrehlaa, which the LaKariion, Keeven, is not yet aware of. He possesses a dagger with an ancient spelled oak hilt that bonds the Trehlaa to his commands. When he confronts the Trehlaa about his control, the Treehlaa demonstrates she still has some free will, by coaxing the trees to raise their roots and ankle-shackle the pack where they stand. In doing this, Keeven back-hands the Trehlaa unconscious and orders a Giilem to find a way to break the bond between Trehlaa and tree, before making a containment cage, or the Giilem will be sold to the highest bidder.

In present day, a Jiir named Jardan, has gone around disguising herself as a man since the wars began, ninety years ago, because she doesn't want to deal with social pressure for uncompanioned females to be a Warlass or an Alura. Jardan is hired through her lover, Elijaa (publicly a Noble Boy named Edward and the only living soul who knows Jardan is a female) who got the job from Tobias, a Giilem who has hired four more freelancers to save his companion in waiting from the Vaat (rogue clan of merchants determined to profit off all the warring.) Jardan accepted the job because she believes she's been cursed with can't-be-killed immortality. Despite already taking the job, Elijaa keeps selling it to Jardan as a passive aggressive way to get Jardan to leave her bed and wagon, so she can con the locals. In a conversation that begins with good humor, Jardan learns that the rune which makes her female scent smell like a man's, also makes her want to be around Elijaa (the creator of the rune) every time she activates it to refresh her masculine smell. This knowledge sends Jardan out of the wagon in quiet rage, where she immediately mounts her yoip, Hurk, and rides out to do the job as the grizzly, scar-faced man the rest of the world knows her as.

In her journey to the Daq Dim Markets where she's to meet with the rest of the freelancers, she crosses the aged Trehlaa ring, and sees it as a bad omen for this job because she'd never seen one so far East of a mountain range called Octan's Ridge. Despite this bad omen, Jardan treks onward and finds the other freelancers in a squable over species superiority; specifically the Eliinaas known as Bobeck, and the Kariion known as Kentario, who are both only a few insults away from trading blows when Jardan's arrival halts the conflict provoking a roll-call. Kentario the recon and information expert, Bobeck the muscle, Mekii their scavenger and improvisation specialist, a Skaa (vulcher,) while their leader and tactician, Edixson's species remains a mystery; one of a few qualities that first sparks Jardan's attraction to Edixson. Jardan doesn't need to introduce herself because the team already knows of “his” reputation as a lethal savage and destroyer of towns.

Before heading into the Daq Dim market area, the team goes over their plans to extract the Giilem, named Poejelu. It's in this discussion Kentario reveals he's heard rumors that Poejelu is more than a Giilem, she's a Haadiik able to spawn Haadiiks born with magical abilities beyond shifting to their plant and animal forms. It's unclear if the Vaat know of these rumors, or if they only have Poejelu to sell her as a Giilem-- the most valuable kind of human on the market. Kentario and Mekii get into a debate about whether or not they should ONLY save Poejelu, as hired, or free all the other captives waiting for auction, a debate which Edixson squashes unceremoniously by socking both men in the jaw simultaneously and reminding them they'd do as he said on this mission. Jardan remains the silent and lazily idle member of the group while inwardly realizing if they failed to save the Giilem and she was also a Haadiik, the Haadiikellaas could get a whole lot worse.

After affirming their strategy, the group splits to enter their respective places with Edixson and Jardan (finally getting off her yoip) playing the roles of buyers for Poejelu, as set up by Tobias. Jardan has to use a spell to change her appearance as to not be recognized. On Jardan and Edixson's way through the market, to the long-landlocked freight ship, they overhear a few different merchant tents sharing in gossip about a LaKariion with a caged Trehlaa to do his bidding. This prompts Jardan to cautiously advice Edixson about the Trehlaa ring she saw and her concerns about what it could mean for their quest to save Poejelu. Edixson doesn't seem worried and doesn't respond. Jardan decides to keep quiet and let Edixson do all the talking. Inside the ship, they find a handful of other buyers, all waiting to see the Giilem before bidding, one of which is a human in an armored exoskeleton with its own electrical shield bubble capable of incapacitating any Haadiik. Jardan observed that any other location, such a human would have been mass-attacked on sight, but at the Daq Dim markets, almost anything was possible and probable.

The buyers are soon escorted, by twice as many guards, to a viewing room within the fortified ship, where Poe is magically confined inside a rune enforced square (painted on the floor,) her own magic hindered by a spelled dress which reveals her feminine form while suppressing her powers (sex sells even on Ethrii.) Poejelu is unquestioningly frightened by all of it, yet stands defiant in the face of those who seek to purchase her, a quality a few buyers are quick to quip about. As the buyers are encouraged to go touch her and feel her power contained inside, Edixson determines the only way to get Poejelu out unharmed, is for Jardan to go-grizzly and be the destructive diversion for their escape.

Edixson doesn't hesitate to barrel through the other buyers, and around the human's electric shield, to be the first to touch Poejelu. In doing so, Jardan uses it as a cue to get-grizzly, instantly shredding all of her clothes in shifting to her scarred, haggard, nightmareishly snarled grizzly Jiir form. In that moment, all the guards turn their attention and weapons on Jardan, who's anamorphic rage occupies them. Edixon knocks Poejelu unconscious and carries her like a sack of rice, through the ship's hidden passages, as uncovered and cleared out by Bobeck who acts as an escort along the way. Outside the ship, Miikee flies in his Vulcher form, picking up heavy objects and dropping them on the small groupings of guards headed to the ship as backup. Kentario waits by the designated exit point beside their stolen getaway-wagon, stacking bodies of those who'd happened upon him.

By the time Bobeck and the Poejelu carrying Edixson meet up with Kentario, the whole market is in an uproar as Jardan's animal form takes the fight to the tented grid outside the ship. The men use the distraction to make their escape, picking up Mekii just outside the market perimeter, on the way to the agreed upon rendezvous inside Karion territory. As smoke plumes fill the horizon behind them, the men agree that Jardan must be cursed if he can survive that kind of an onslaught. Still, they stick to their plans to make camp in an abandoned tree-canopey-village to wait for Jardan's return. During their fireless wait, the team is confronted by an awaken Poejelu demanding answers non-too-quietly. Bobeck is the first to move and silence her and gets himself kicked out of the tree-hut, quite literately by Edixson. Kentario comforts Poejelu and explains who they are and who hired them, which immediately strikes ire in Poejelu, who voices disdain about the fact Tobias wasn't there, leading her to then question where the Jiir was.

When Edixson informs Poejelu that Jardan is on the way, Poejelu questions their moral integrity in leaving the Jiir behind, when he was the only reason they got out so clean in the first place. This strikes a chord in Edixson, though he calmly advises why it was the best decision, telling of the legend of Jardan the Jiir. As they share a meal in uncomfortable silence, Mekii starts looking out the windows of the hut for Bobeck who hasn't returned. Edixson starts handing out scarfs like he knows something's going to happen, the rest of them don't. Only Poejelu questions it. Edixson makes it clear it's her choice to use it, without explaining why or when.

Jardan does survive the consequential demolition, acquire new clothes, and make it to the rendezvous where she runs into a panting Bobeck approaching from the opposite direction. Confronting Bobeck attracts the attention of Edixson, who sends Kentario down to ensure there'll be no more grizzly-Jiir for the night. Before Kentario can get to the ground, Keevan shows up with his pack and captive Trehlaa who he's commanded to use her pollinating antenna to knock out the team. Jardan kills Bobeck before inhaling the pollen and sleeping. Kentario gets his scarf up in time enough to protect the Jiir.

Mekii, slowest to catch on, is the first in the hut to go down as Keeven, his Trehlaa, and a few pack mates ascend. Keeven commands the Trehlaa to use the tree to bind Edixson. Wrapped up in branches, Edixson is powerless to stop Keeven from taking Poejelu. Prior to Keeven putting the Trehlaa back in her containment cage, she urges the trees to save the lives of the team, forcing Keeven to take his prize and retreat. The pack doesn't get far, halted by a swarm of Trehlaas, who immediately begin devouring the pack like pixy piranha.

A freed Edixson transforms into his Zedixon (semi-griffin+centaur-like) form, swooping over the feeding frenzy to steal the caged Trehlaa and unconscious Poejelu before doubling back to revive his team. Leaving nothing but bones, the TrehlaaNera (collective of Trehlaas,) chase after the team, focusing on Edixson, despite obvious fear of him, because he still has the LaTrehlaa. Edixson uses their focus to let his team get a lead before making a deal to trade his life for the LaTrehlaa.

When Edixson catches up to the team, half way to the salt flats where they were set to meet Tobias, he's forced to explain what he is because none of them have seen or heard or anything like him; Jardan the most inquisitive of them all. Poejelu likewise divulges that she can't remove the magic-suppressing dress and asks Jardan to assist in a wardrobe change. Kentario distracts them from the Giilem's redressing by provoking discussion about the Trehlaa and how Edixson knew the pack was coming.

Edixson diverts the personal inquiry with a confession about knowing the captive Trehlaa personally, and that she was the LaTrehlaa, named Octaniichii, the most powerful and kind of them all. He further stops questions by stating she was the only reason they made it out of the forest alive, yet neither he nor she could ensure the TrehlaaNera wouldn't still come for them. A magically free and eager to get involved Poejelu dares to suggest she could take them all herself. Jardan pipes in to add that she knew she could, because she'd done it before.

A long contemplative silence is broken by the early arrival of Tobias, who claims he saw them on the horizon and couldn't wait. Poejelu, his soon-to-be companion, is less than thrilled to see him, and demonstrates this by using her magic to zap him back to his home. Stunned by her power, the team turn their attention to Poejelu who quickly pleads to make a deal for them to keep her away from Tobias. This leaves the team in conflict about whether or not to betray their employer or make a captive of the Giilem they just freed.

TARGET AUDIENCE:: (ideally) Mature Minds 17+ (realistically) Young Adults, LGBT, and TV/Movie Production personnel

AUTHOR BIO::  As a youth born and raised in Florida, Remmy thought she could never be a writer and then one day she realized she already was. Conceived to be born an Aries, she prematurely popped out, with a twin, as a Pisces and has been riding the waves of creativity through a roller coaster of life events and experiences which brought her to her current home in Virginia. There she seeks to inspire by imagining the unimagined and bringing it to life with words and art.

PLATFORM::  Mostly here on TheProse.com as another_proser
EDUCATION:: G.E.D.
EXPERIENCE:: 15+ years of writing interactive stories with other writers and my own stories as a solo author-- not yet published.


PERSONALITY/WRITING STYLE:: In two words-- Unconventionally Enthralling -- As for the more elaborate answer, personal narrative non-fictions range from whimsically witty to analytically assertive. My Poetry spans the spectrum of rage-rocker rhythms to making-sparse-sense semantics. As for the fictional fantasy I like to keep it edged with grit regardless but otherwise sway between eroticism and "there isn't a word for that yet."

LIKES/HOBBIES:: The observational and interactive study of Human Behavior, Writing, Art (Acrylic Paint, Mixed Media, Miniature & Graphics,) Driving, Camping, Canoeing, Photography, Helping My Community, and Cooking left-over meals that'll make eyes doubt what the palette enjoys.

HOMETOWN:: Melbourne/Palm Bay, Florida (I consider both, equally, my hometown)

AGE:: 31
#fantasy  #scifi  #adventure  #postapocalyptic  #worldbuilding 
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Written by EyesofArt in portal Trident Media Group

Daughter of a Preacher

Every other day was the same, I would walk into my least favorite bar and order my least favorite drink.

“The usual?” The bartender asks with a solemn look on his face.

He pities me every time. “Yeah.”  

A few seconds later a glass slides down the bar top and into my waiting hands. Good Ol’ Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey. Don’t get it twisted, it is not a bad drink, it’s just bad for me. My fingers tread carefully around the rim of the glass as I stare into the brown abyss begging me to devour it. After a few long, excruciating seconds, I grip the glass and toss it back. The heat with subtle notes of caramel and warm oak soothes the back of my throat. I drop some dollars on the bar top as I leave quickly and quietly out the door.

Apollo’s rays hit my brown eyes as I wince at the sudden intrusion of his light evading my sight. I throw on my ball cap and walk a few blocks over to the bay. The leaves dance as the wind whistles a lovely tune, it is Fall. The leaves are already turning to rustic colors, and the air is slightly chilled. Still, I feel like crap. I don’t hate life or loathe anyone for that matter, I just don’t understand individuals and people don’t get me. So, it’s mutual.

I find my way to my least favorite spot, leaning over the rail while peering into the still waters of the bay. It calms me more than a drink does, but it stirs something deep within me. I can’t place the feeling, but as I stare into deep waters, I become lost.

 Every day at 5 pm, like clockwork I would see her across the bay looking directly at me. I don’t know her, I am sure of it, but it is an annoyance. I pretend she doesn’t exist as always and she disappears. I look up to the sky and the clouds race in shifting Apollo’s light elsewhere, darkness steps in. Maybe rain? I don’t recall the forecast saying anything about rain but who am I kidding? I don’t watch much television these days, just the back of my eyelids. I look up to where she normally stands, but she’s gone, again.

Children and people chatting away, excited about Halloween. I couldn’t give a damn about any of it. I am not miserable, just indifferent.

“Do you mind if I stand here?” An unfamiliar voice asks me. I turn my head, and I’m faced with dark blue orbs, as turbulent as the black sea. I nod, giving her my permission to stand next to me. I turn back to look at the water.

I inhale, “Why do you stare at me from across the way?” I ask, cutting to the chase.

Her dirty blonde hair falls around her face as she fiddles with the camera strap around her neck. “I remember one afternoon, I was on the job, taking pictures for a magazine of random people around the bay and there you were all by yourself staring up at a dark gray sky.” Her cheeks turn a rosy pink as she looks at me. I connect my eyes to hers, searching for something familiar. Nothing.

“A young woman staring up at the sky made you come out here almost every day to catch a glimpse?” I ask quietly. Who is this stranger?

“No, it was late September of last year, and I have seen you before. The moment I saw you cry, I was changed.” She brings her camera to her face, points, and shoots at a random person. She continues, “Every day I would see you only in the Fall, and you seemed more broken than you were before. It seemed you held all your feelings deep inside you and in this place,” she looks around the bay.

I swallowed the lump that was forming in the back of my throat, and I turned to look at this stranger before me, speaking to me as if she knew me, knew my secrets. But she didn’t know anything but my vulnerability.

“Who are you and why do you feel that I am a project for you to figure out?” I ask harshly. I wanted to run, I wasn’t afraid of her, but more scared of what she sees when she looks at me. The mask falls when I am out here, just staring.

She steps back, “Seeing you carrying whatever deadweight you wear on your shoulders made me gravitate towards you. I wanted to hold you, I wanted to make it go away.”

I furrow my eyebrows, “You don’t know me.”

She tentatively places her hand on my arm. “But, I want to know you.” She brings her camera up again towards her eyes and snaps a picture of me, staring at her.

I walk closer to her and whisper. “Who are you? Please do not make me ask you again.”

She looks at her camera and frowns a bit, “I’m the daughter of a preacher. But do you know who you are?” She holds her camera tightly as she continues to stare at her camera screen. I scoff as I turn my back towards her.

“I know who I am.” I begin to walk away, and she grabs my arm turning me to face her. “Lady, you need to back off.”

“You may know who you are, but don’t have a clue as to what you are, do you?” She walks closer to me, the gold cross hanging from her neck shines a little too brightly. “Look.”

She turns the camera screen around so I can see it and what I saw was unbelievable. “What in the hell…That-that isn’t me. That…”

She cuts me off, “That thing is beautiful, that thing is hurting, that thing is you.” She looks to me with sympathy but not with disgust. “You’re beautiful.”

“I’m a damned demon!” I hiss at her. “This is not happening, I can’t deal with this.” I begin to panic, and the clouds are rolling in deeper, darker as the winds pick up. People are running to find shelter indoors as mother nature is showing slight aggression.

“You have to calm down. You are doing this. Your emotions are affecting the weather maybe among other things. But it looks like you are only half.” She seemed relieved for some reason.

“HALF OF WHAT?” I scream over the winds. When I grabbed her shoulders, my mind was transported to my earliest childhood for a split second, and then I had been forced away from her, twenty feet away. I felt the pain of my lower back as my body slammed against the ground. I stand up and there she was staring at me. She looked in pain.

“Please don’t ever touch me without my permission again. It hurts…it hurts too much.” She screams at me. I run up to her and notice her cross again, this time my hands shoots out to touch it, but she slaps my hand away. “Don’t, it can hurt you.”

“Half of what…?” I question her again.

“Half a demon,” she whispers. 

My heart stops for a split second as I fall to my knees. The wind stops, the dark clouds began to disappear, and Apollo’s Sun starts to shine. “I want to help you. But I can’t do that without your permission.”

Tears fall slowly down my cheeks, salting the earth. “Can you stand the tears of a demon?”

She kneels in front of me, “I can withstand anything, including you.”

“I have to go,” I stand up quickly wiping my tears away. “I just have to find them.”

“Find who?”

“My parents, I think I saw them when I touched you. I know I was adopted, but I never cared to look for my parents, until I saw them in my head when I felt you.” I push past her.

“No. You can’t! It’s forbidden. You were not supposed to see that.” She warns me, her eyes growing darker than before.

“Well, you are a stranger, and you will get out of my way.”

“I am begging you, please don’t look for them.”

“Why in the hell not?”

“Because you were not supposed to exist for another ten years…” She trails off. Her face is unreadable as I stare at her with disbelief and shock. “I can’t tell you too much, it’s not my place. I’ve already said too much.”

Her voice knocks me from being buried in my thoughts, “I-I don’t know you, and since you invaded my space you have flipped my world around. I don’t believe any of this, and I don’t want anything to do with you.” I brush past her and our shoulders connected, I quickly fall to my knees as visions disrupt my thoughts. She drops to one knee to comfort me as I press my fingers on my temples. “What the hell…” I trail off.

“You received another glimpse of your past, I am assuming.” She states. I shake my head in disagreement.

“No, this was something different. Like, frigid cold and disfigured demons gathered around this person or thing…I don’t know.” I stand up a little unnerved. “Please don’t follow me.” I walk away towards my destination. My ears begin to ring then I hear talking. “Who is that?”

“This isn’t good. She saw not only her past but our future. I don’t know what to do, now she has tapped into her powers, how will I get to her in time?” She asks the gentleman who approached her.

“Well, daughter, more reason to get close to her and get her on our side of this fight. Legion cannot know he has an offspring. Furthermore, he certainly cannot know she is able to walk in both worlds, maybe even more.” The 55-year-old man sighs as he puts his hand on her shoulders.

“Father, what can I do?”

“You are the Daughter of a Preacher, and you are the first of your kind, you can do anything.” He states.

It takes me a few seconds to realize I’ve stopped walking. How do I hear a conversation from so far away? Slowly I turn around to look in the direction I just came from, squinting to make out the fuzzy outlines of the woman I left behind and the man who joined her. I shake my head to try to sweep away their words from my memory. Who is Legion and what does he have to do with me?

With a sigh, I turn back around and keep walking away, determined to put this whole confusing incident behind me and forget I ever saw…whatever it was I saw when I touched her.

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Written by EyesofArt in portal Trident Media Group
Daughter of a Preacher
Every other day was the same, I would walk into my least favorite bar and order my least favorite drink.
“The usual?” The bartender asks with a solemn look on his face.
He pities me every time. “Yeah.”  
A few seconds later a glass slides down the bar top and into my waiting hands. Good Ol’ Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey. Don’t get it twisted, it is not a bad drink, it’s just bad for me. My fingers tread carefully around the rim of the glass as I stare into the brown abyss begging me to devour it. After a few long, excruciating seconds, I grip the glass and toss it back. The heat with subtle notes of caramel and warm oak soothes the back of my throat. I drop some dollars on the bar top as I leave quickly and quietly out the door.

Apollo’s rays hit my brown eyes as I wince at the sudden intrusion of his light evading my sight. I throw on my ball cap and walk a few blocks over to the bay. The leaves dance as the wind whistles a lovely tune, it is Fall. The leaves are already turning to rustic colors, and the air is slightly chilled. Still, I feel like crap. I don’t hate life or loathe anyone for that matter, I just don’t understand individuals and people don’t get me. So, it’s mutual.
I find my way to my least favorite spot, leaning over the rail while peering into the still waters of the bay. It calms me more than a drink does, but it stirs something deep within me. I can’t place the feeling, but as I stare into deep waters, I become lost.

 Every day at 5 pm, like clockwork I would see her across the bay looking directly at me. I don’t know her, I am sure of it, but it is an annoyance. I pretend she doesn’t exist as always and she disappears. I look up to the sky and the clouds race in shifting Apollo’s light elsewhere, darkness steps in. Maybe rain? I don’t recall the forecast saying anything about rain but who am I kidding? I don’t watch much television these days, just the back of my eyelids. I look up to where she normally stands, but she’s gone, again.
Children and people chatting away, excited about Halloween. I couldn’t give a damn about any of it. I am not miserable, just indifferent.

“Do you mind if I stand here?” An unfamiliar voice asks me. I turn my head, and I’m faced with dark blue orbs, as turbulent as the black sea. I nod, giving her my permission to stand next to me. I turn back to look at the water.
I inhale, “Why do you stare at me from across the way?” I ask, cutting to the chase.
Her dirty blonde hair falls around her face as she fiddles with the camera strap around her neck. “I remember one afternoon, I was on the job, taking pictures for a magazine of random people around the bay and there you were all by yourself staring up at a dark gray sky.” Her cheeks turn a rosy pink as she looks at me. I connect my eyes to hers, searching for something familiar. Nothing.

“A young woman staring up at the sky made you come out here almost every day to catch a glimpse?” I ask quietly. Who is this stranger?

“No, it was late September of last year, and I have seen you before. The moment I saw you cry, I was changed.” She brings her camera to her face, points, and shoots at a random person. She continues, “Every day I would see you only in the Fall, and you seemed more broken than you were before. It seemed you held all your feelings deep inside you and in this place,” she looks around the bay.

I swallowed the lump that was forming in the back of my throat, and I turned to look at this stranger before me, speaking to me as if she knew me, knew my secrets. But she didn’t know anything but my vulnerability.

“Who are you and why do you feel that I am a project for you to figure out?” I ask harshly. I wanted to run, I wasn’t afraid of her, but more scared of what she sees when she looks at me. The mask falls when I am out here, just staring.
She steps back, “Seeing you carrying whatever deadweight you wear on your shoulders made me gravitate towards you. I wanted to hold you, I wanted to make it go away.”

I furrow my eyebrows, “You don’t know me.”

She tentatively places her hand on my arm. “But, I want to know you.” She brings her camera up again towards her eyes and snaps a picture of me, staring at her.

I walk closer to her and whisper. “Who are you? Please do not make me ask you again.”
She looks at her camera and frowns a bit, “I’m the daughter of a preacher. But do you know who you are?” She holds her camera tightly as she continues to stare at her camera screen. I scoff as I turn my back towards her.
“I know who I am.” I begin to walk away, and she grabs my arm turning me to face her. “Lady, you need to back off.”
“You may know who you are, but don’t have a clue as to what you are, do you?” She walks closer to me, the gold cross hanging from her neck shines a little too brightly. “Look.”
She turns the camera screen around so I can see it and what I saw was unbelievable. “What in the hell…That-that isn’t me. That…”

She cuts me off, “That thing is beautiful, that thing is hurting, that thing is you.” She looks to me with sympathy but not with disgust. “You’re beautiful.”
“I’m a damned demon!” I hiss at her. “This is not happening, I can’t deal with this.” I begin to panic, and the clouds are rolling in deeper, darker as the winds pick up. People are running to find shelter indoors as mother nature is showing slight aggression.

“You have to calm down. You are doing this. Your emotions are affecting the weather maybe among other things. But it looks like you are only half.” She seemed relieved for some reason.

“HALF OF WHAT?” I scream over the winds. When I grabbed her shoulders, my mind was transported to my earliest childhood for a split second, and then I had been forced away from her, twenty feet away. I felt the pain of my lower back as my body slammed against the ground. I stand up and there she was staring at me. She looked in pain.
“Please don’t ever touch me without my permission again. It hurts…it hurts too much.” She screams at me. I run up to her and notice her cross again, this time my hands shoots out to touch it, but she slaps my hand away. “Don’t, it can hurt you.”
“Half of what…?” I question her again.
“Half a demon,” she whispers. 

My heart stops for a split second as I fall to my knees. The wind stops, the dark clouds began to disappear, and Apollo’s Sun starts to shine. “I want to help you. But I can’t do that without your permission.”
Tears fall slowly down my cheeks, salting the earth. “Can you stand the tears of a demon?”
She kneels in front of me, “I can withstand anything, including you.”
“I have to go,” I stand up quickly wiping my tears away. “I just have to find them.”
“Find who?”
“My parents, I think I saw them when I touched you. I know I was adopted, but I never cared to look for my parents, until I saw them in my head when I felt you.” I push past her.
“No. You can’t! It’s forbidden. You were not supposed to see that.” She warns me, her eyes growing darker than before.
“Well, you are a stranger, and you will get out of my way.”
“I am begging you, please don’t look for them.”
“Why in the hell not?”
“Because you were not supposed to exist for another ten years…” She trails off. Her face is unreadable as I stare at her with disbelief and shock. “I can’t tell you too much, it’s not my place. I’ve already said too much.”

Her voice knocks me from being buried in my thoughts, “I-I don’t know you, and since you invaded my space you have flipped my world around. I don’t believe any of this, and I don’t want anything to do with you.” I brush past her and our shoulders connected, I quickly fall to my knees as visions disrupt my thoughts. She drops to one knee to comfort me as I press my fingers on my temples. “What the hell…” I trail off.
“You received another glimpse of your past, I am assuming.” She states. I shake my head in disagreement.
“No, this was something different. Like, frigid cold and disfigured demons gathered around this person or thing…I don’t know.” I stand up a little unnerved. “Please don’t follow me.” I walk away towards my destination. My ears begin to ring then I hear talking. “Who is that?”

“This isn’t good. She saw not only her past but our future. I don’t know what to do, now she has tapped into her powers, how will I get to her in time?” She asks the gentleman who approached her.
“Well, daughter, more reason to get close to her and get her on our side of this fight. Legion cannot know he has an offspring. Furthermore, he certainly cannot know she is able to walk in both worlds, maybe even more.” The 55-year-old man sighs as he puts his hand on her shoulders.
“Father, what can I do?”
“You are the Daughter of a Preacher, and you are the first of your kind, you can do anything.” He states.

It takes me a few seconds to realize I’ve stopped walking. How do I hear a conversation from so far away? Slowly I turn around to look in the direction I just came from, squinting to make out the fuzzy outlines of the woman I left behind and the man who joined her. I shake my head to try to sweep away their words from my memory. Who is Legion and what does he have to do with me?

With a sigh, I turn back around and keep walking away, determined to put this whole confusing incident behind me and forget I ever saw…whatever it was I saw when I touched her.

#fantasy  #scifi  #fiction  #romance  #mystery 
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Simon & Schuster is one of the world’s leading publishers and we are always looking for fresh new voices. Write a story, chapter, or essay about whatever you like. The 50 best entries will be announced by Prose and read by our editorial staff for consideration.
Written by Syne in portal Simon & Schuster

The Fifth Dimension

If I placed the target in a faraway galaxy, do you think you could hit it?”



“That’s impossible mommy, I couldn’t hit that. I would have to practice a million years.”

“Well this project I’m working on, it’s a bit similar to that. We’re trying to aim very precisely, and the math for that is very complicated. Our spaceship has to be aimed perfectly, the man I’m working with, Dr. Keno, well, he thinks we can do it with the help of many teeny tiny robots with little boosters, so tiny you can’t even see them. They could push the ship using micro movements until they have the aim just right.”

“That’s crazy.”

She always remembered her little Sofi’s awestruck gaze suddenly turn into a face of worry and sadness.


“Mommy, you’re not leaving on that spaceship are you?”



“Of course not baby, you know I would never ever leave you. And anyways, even if we did build that ship, it would take many years to do it. But we would send someone else to explore, of course.”

“Good.” 

Sofi beamed as she grabbed the target and skipped out to the yard with her bow and suction cup arrows in hand.

—————————————————————————————————

It had been weeks since she had received the transmissions from Dr. Keno. Several hundred messages had been picked up by the QED (quantum entangled driven) radio all at once only a few minutes after the ship had departed:

-"Dr. Helsley, do you copy?”


-"Dr. Helsley, come in, are you receiving transmission?”

-"We hope you are alive and well Dr. Helsley, we assume you cannot send transmissions, but hope you are still able to receive ours.”


-"We will continue to update you and hope you are out there.  Oh and happy birthday.”

-"World war has been declared; they’re taking most of our group for weapons research. I will try to transmit as often as I can.”

-"It’s been so long, but in my mind you are still out there, exploring the unknown.”

-"They are evacuating Earth. They are taking our team with them on board one of their lifeboat ships, we are fortunate to be scientists. But I’m not sure where we’ll all go. I won’t be able to transmit anymore. I have to go. My thoughts will be with you.  If you're still out there, I hope you're in a better place.  May you be well Marie, Godspeed.”

She soon realized that decades had passed on Earth in those first few minutes she had been on the spaceship, and all of those messages had been sent many years apart. Now, after weeks of being on the ship, she could only imagine how much time had dilated. She felt truly alone.

Shortly after departing, in the span of a few minutes, she had watched Earth shrink down to a tiny speck right in front of her. Then the same had happened to the entire solar system, then the Milky Way. But she was not farther away exactly, she was more like “bigger away”, if that could even be said, and her known universe was now like a particle to her, tiny and unseen, somewhere within her or around her.

Through her research at LIGO, Dr. Helsely had first detected the abnormal gravitational wave patterns about ten of her years ago. Her research had led to more collaborative research with Dr. Keno, a man known as the greatest mind of the generation, whose greatness had been compared to the likes of Einstein himself, and an expert in a handful of fields including artificial intelligence, femto-technology, quantum mechanics, and M-theory, and together they eventually came to discover the source of the strange patterns: a previously undetected dimension.

Most physicists at the time who followed M-theory had believed that all of the other theorized dimensions were folded up at the string scale within a Calibi-Yau manifold, in other words, too small for humans to interact with.  Dr. Helsley and Dr. Keno’s research showed that their newly discovered dimension, though folded in an unknown way, coexisted with the other four known dimensions. Theoretically, they should be able to travel through this other spatial dimension. The reason why no one ever interacted with it (as far as anyone knew) was that in order to be properly oriented towards the “direction” of this special dimension, one would require angles of azimuth and elevation so precise that any deviation even ten hundred billion times smaller than the size of an atom would be enough to prevent any interaction with the dimension. Essentially, it would be easier to hit a target in another galaxy with a bow and arrow.

It was after this discovery that Dr. Keno had begun building his ship.

———————————————————————————————————

Dr. Helsley had been asleep.  She didn't remember opening the door or stepping out, but somehow she was outside of the ship, the ship stationary behind her.  Total darkness was around her.  And right in front of her was a little girl.

“Sofi? Who-

how can it-

are you real?”

The little girl gazed at Dr. Helsley, her smile was calm yet it seemed to project a sense of knowing much greater than any little girl could have.

“Yes, and no. I am everything, so I am also Sofi, and I am also you. I am also nothing. You are interpreting me and, therefore you, as Sofi, because in your life and your experiences, Sofi was the purest interpretation of the universe, of you.”

“I-how-I went away, as far as I could possibly manage, out here God knows where, running away from my grief, from losing you, only to find myself looking at your face again. I’m not sure I understand. I’m not sure what is real, what isn’t anymore.”

Sofi giggled and it seemed to echo from everywhere at once.

“Well, funny you say this, for the answer is both. You traveled far and eventually reached this point, where everything is and isn’t real at the same time. The singularity. Where all that was, is, and all that will be, always was. Both the largest and smallest point, where size, time, information, and everything else folds over and converges. You already know this, for there is no here or now, here, and yet it is peculiar that in your material form still, in order to process things, your mind creates the illusion of chronology in the form of asking me questions and me giving you answers, when you are in reality having this conversation with yourself.”

Dr. Helsley was too numb to be confused about what she was hearing or to ask Sofi why and how she was speaking the way she was. She was numb from the many other unbelievable things she had seen. The blue-green creatures about her own size that somehow fluctuated in and out of existence the way only quantum particles should be able to. The “school” of planets, dozens of gargantuan, Saturn-sized orbs wandering together and changing direction in unison the way she’d seen fish do. The room of the purest white she had ever seen containing only a chair and a desk that was covered by hundreds of what looked liked leather-bound journals.

But mostly, she was numb from seeing her little girl’s face again.

And yet, somehow, she felt like she was suddenly beginning to understand everything that Sofi was saying.

“You’re saying I am at the singularity of the universe? Of everything? Can I stay here? What about- what if I keep going the way I’ve been going?”

Too many thoughts and questions were racing through her mind.

Sofi answered, but this time, the words seemed to emanate from within Dr. Helsley’s own mind.


“Past this point is where the dimension you have been traveling along folds back on itself. Size, time, entropy, and information will loop. You will emerge at the other end, as a tiny elementary particle, with no control of your course. After an eternity you will form into an atom that becomes part of a molecule that will, after many more eternities, become a cell that will eventually form into the egg inside of a womb, the womb which will be your mother’s. You will be born and be unaware of where you’ve been and where you come from. You will live your life the way you have lived it before. You will then, yourself, give birth and watch your own baby grow, and again you will watch her die. From that point onward, due to the chaotic nature of the quantum effects of strong emotion, your path is more uncertain. You may make the same choices or you may make different ones. You may end up here again. But, alternatively, you can prevent all of this by choosing not to go further, by choosing to stay and know everything, be everything, be nothing.  Either way, whatever you choose will happen and has already happened.”


—————————————————————————————-

At some point in, at the beginning of existence, the universe had been faced with the same decision and had also chosen to forget everything, only to re-explore and gradually rediscover itself. That was what consciousness was.  That was what a human was.

And this is what Dr. Helsley would do. She would rather rediscover herself and relive her pure love for Sofi, even if it meant seeing her die again. If given the choice each time, she would choose to do it more times than Sisyphus ever pushed a boulder.

“Sofi-or... universe, this leather-bound book is my journal. I've kept it since the day Sofi-you, passed. I leave it here- or not here- with you, maybe you can keep it someplace safe for me, in case I return.”


It was a silly thing to do, Dr. Helsley realized afterward, right before she crossed the threshold. After all, if she did return, she would know everything once more.

"I love you, baby, I'll see you again soon."

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Simon & Schuster is one of the world’s leading publishers and we are always looking for fresh new voices. Write a story, chapter, or essay about whatever you like. The 50 best entries will be announced by Prose and read by our editorial staff for consideration.
Written by Syne in portal Simon & Schuster
The Fifth Dimension
If I placed the target in a faraway galaxy, do you think you could hit it?”



“That’s impossible mommy, I couldn’t hit that. I would have to practice a million years.”

“Well this project I’m working on, it’s a bit similar to that. We’re trying to aim very precisely, and the math for that is very complicated. Our spaceship has to be aimed perfectly, the man I’m working with, Dr. Keno, well, he thinks we can do it with the help of many teeny tiny robots with little boosters, so tiny you can’t even see them. They could push the ship using micro movements until they have the aim just right.”

“That’s crazy.”

She always remembered her little Sofi’s awestruck gaze suddenly turn into a face of worry and sadness.


“Mommy, you’re not leaving on that spaceship are you?”



“Of course not baby, you know I would never ever leave you. And anyways, even if we did build that ship, it would take many years to do it. But we would send someone else to explore, of course.”

“Good.” 

Sofi beamed as she grabbed the target and skipped out to the yard with her bow and suction cup arrows in hand.

—————————————————————————————————


It had been weeks since she had received the transmissions from Dr. Keno. Several hundred messages had been picked up by the QED (quantum entangled driven) radio all at once only a few minutes after the ship had departed:

-"Dr. Helsley, do you copy?”

-"Dr. Helsley, come in, are you receiving transmission?”
-"We hope you are alive and well Dr. Helsley, we assume you cannot send transmissions, but hope you are still able to receive ours.”

-"We will continue to update you and hope you are out there.  Oh and happy birthday.”
-"World war has been declared; they’re taking most of our group for weapons research. I will try to transmit as often as I can.”
-"It’s been so long, but in my mind you are still out there, exploring the unknown.”
-"They are evacuating Earth. They are taking our team with them on board one of their lifeboat ships, we are fortunate to be scientists. But I’m not sure where we’ll all go. I won’t be able to transmit anymore. I have to go. My thoughts will be with you.  If you're still out there, I hope you're in a better place.  May you be well Marie, Godspeed.”

She soon realized that decades had passed on Earth in those first few minutes she had been on the spaceship, and all of those messages had been sent many years apart. Now, after weeks of being on the ship, she could only imagine how much time had dilated. She felt truly alone.

Shortly after departing, in the span of a few minutes, she had watched Earth shrink down to a tiny speck right in front of her. Then the same had happened to the entire solar system, then the Milky Way. But she was not farther away exactly, she was more like “bigger away”, if that could even be said, and her known universe was now like a particle to her, tiny and unseen, somewhere within her or around her.

Through her research at LIGO, Dr. Helsely had first detected the abnormal gravitational wave patterns about ten of her years ago. Her research had led to more collaborative research with Dr. Keno, a man known as the greatest mind of the generation, whose greatness had been compared to the likes of Einstein himself, and an expert in a handful of fields including artificial intelligence, femto-technology, quantum mechanics, and M-theory, and together they eventually came to discover the source of the strange patterns: a previously undetected dimension.

Most physicists at the time who followed M-theory had believed that all of the other theorized dimensions were folded up at the string scale within a Calibi-Yau manifold, in other words, too small for humans to interact with.  Dr. Helsley and Dr. Keno’s research showed that their newly discovered dimension, though folded in an unknown way, coexisted with the other four known dimensions. Theoretically, they should be able to travel through this other spatial dimension. The reason why no one ever interacted with it (as far as anyone knew) was that in order to be properly oriented towards the “direction” of this special dimension, one would require angles of azimuth and elevation so precise that any deviation even ten hundred billion times smaller than the size of an atom would be enough to prevent any interaction with the dimension. Essentially, it would be easier to hit a target in another galaxy with a bow and arrow.
It was after this discovery that Dr. Keno had begun building his ship.

———————————————————————————————————

Dr. Helsley had been asleep.  She didn't remember opening the door or stepping out, but somehow she was outside of the ship, the ship stationary behind her.  Total darkness was around her.  And right in front of her was a little girl.

“Sofi? Who-
how can it-
are you real?”

The little girl gazed at Dr. Helsley, her smile was calm yet it seemed to project a sense of knowing much greater than any little girl could have.

“Yes, and no. I am everything, so I am also Sofi, and I am also you. I am also nothing. You are interpreting me and, therefore you, as Sofi, because in your life and your experiences, Sofi was the purest interpretation of the universe, of you.”

“I-how-I went away, as far as I could possibly manage, out here God knows where, running away from my grief, from losing you, only to find myself looking at your face again. I’m not sure I understand. I’m not sure what is real, what isn’t anymore.”

Sofi giggled and it seemed to echo from everywhere at once.

“Well, funny you say this, for the answer is both. You traveled far and eventually reached this point, where everything is and isn’t real at the same time. The singularity. Where all that was, is, and all that will be, always was. Both the largest and smallest point, where size, time, information, and everything else folds over and converges. You already know this, for there is no here or now, here, and yet it is peculiar that in your material form still, in order to process things, your mind creates the illusion of chronology in the form of asking me questions and me giving you answers, when you are in reality having this conversation with yourself.”

Dr. Helsley was too numb to be confused about what she was hearing or to ask Sofi why and how she was speaking the way she was. She was numb from the many other unbelievable things she had seen. The blue-green creatures about her own size that somehow fluctuated in and out of existence the way only quantum particles should be able to. The “school” of planets, dozens of gargantuan, Saturn-sized orbs wandering together and changing direction in unison the way she’d seen fish do. The room of the purest white she had ever seen containing only a chair and a desk that was covered by hundreds of what looked liked leather-bound journals.
But mostly, she was numb from seeing her little girl’s face again.
And yet, somehow, she felt like she was suddenly beginning to understand everything that Sofi was saying.

“You’re saying I am at the singularity of the universe? Of everything? Can I stay here? What about- what if I keep going the way I’ve been going?”
Too many thoughts and questions were racing through her mind.

Sofi answered, but this time, the words seemed to emanate from within Dr. Helsley’s own mind.

“Past this point is where the dimension you have been traveling along folds back on itself. Size, time, entropy, and information will loop. You will emerge at the other end, as a tiny elementary particle, with no control of your course. After an eternity you will form into an atom that becomes part of a molecule that will, after many more eternities, become a cell that will eventually form into the egg inside of a womb, the womb which will be your mother’s. You will be born and be unaware of where you’ve been and where you come from. You will live your life the way you have lived it before. You will then, yourself, give birth and watch your own baby grow, and again you will watch her die. From that point onward, due to the chaotic nature of the quantum effects of strong emotion, your path is more uncertain. You may make the same choices or you may make different ones. You may end up here again. But, alternatively, you can prevent all of this by choosing not to go further, by choosing to stay and know everything, be everything, be nothing.  Either way, whatever you choose will happen and has already happened.”

—————————————————————————————-

At some point in, at the beginning of existence, the universe had been faced with the same decision and had also chosen to forget everything, only to re-explore and gradually rediscover itself. That was what consciousness was.  That was what a human was.

And this is what Dr. Helsley would do. She would rather rediscover herself and relive her pure love for Sofi, even if it meant seeing her die again. If given the choice each time, she would choose to do it more times than Sisyphus ever pushed a boulder.

“Sofi-or... universe, this leather-bound book is my journal. I've kept it since the day Sofi-you, passed. I leave it here- or not here- with you, maybe you can keep it someplace safe for me, in case I return.”

It was a silly thing to do, Dr. Helsley realized afterward, right before she crossed the threshold. After all, if she did return, she would know everything once more.
"I love you, baby, I'll see you again soon."
#fantasy  #scifi  #fiction  #adventure  #science  #philosophy  #mystery  #death  #spirituality  #universe  #physics  #dimension 
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A fairy moves in the night. She comes to tell you your destiny. What is your journey going to be? Do you travel somewhere with her? Explore the world of fantasy. Narrate what happens next. Any form of write can be used: poetry, story, prose, etc. Have fun!
Written by jaymeh_moon in portal Fantasy

Lost but Now Found

 I watch the blue illuminating lights go up as time passes. Every time the numbers change on the clock face I think about the events of the previous day. Almost twenty-four hours ago my manager called me into his office. I knew what was coming, a termination discussion for the “odd” things that have happened while I was out on the job. Whenever a client made me angry, or even said something that drove me nuts something strange happened; like a bottle falling from a shelf and crashing onto the floor, or the lights in the room flickering on and off.

I never knew it was my fault until Mr. Dorsey called for a private meeting. He began his long speech about how I was a smart girl, but didn’t seem to fit well with the company. As he went on the lights began to flicker. He then proceeded to tell me that clients were frightened of me and specifically asked to not have me. When he informed me that I was being “let go” all of a sudden the lights went completely dark throughout the whole office. A spark came from one of the fixtures in the room where my termination was taking place and flew onto a stack of papers. Smoke began to rise, soon followed by a burning flame ready to engulf everything in its wake.

I left the building, leaving my things behind. I wanted them to burn down with the office, just like how my anger was burning inside me. As everyone filed out of the building I heard a roaring flame from behind and turned to see the building being quickly engulfed by the small fire.

“It’s like some sort of magic... some sort of magic that you caused,” yelled Mr. Dorsey in my direction. I walked away from the fire engines and people yelling, not even considering what the manager said.

It wasn’t until now that I thought about his comment earlier. Through past experiences, and my anger problems, I have seen a pattern of strange instances happen. The extent of my anger showed in the severity of the strange event. Today was the best example, I was angry at being fired for things I cannot control. My anger escalated to its highest point, and the flames reflected how I felt.

The blue lights staring back at me showed three in the morning. I sighed and turned away from the clock. I closed my eyes tightly; wishing sleep would take me away.

Tink, Tink, Tink.

I sighed to myself; the extent of my exhaustion was causing me to hear things.

Tink, Tink, Tink.

This time the taps were louder. I sat up quickly and studied the dark room. Nothing was there, and the television showed a black screen. I fixed my blanket and turned to look at the clock again, three fifteen.

Tink, Tink, Tink.

This time the sound came with the same intensity as the previous one. It took me a second but it mirrored the sound one would make tapping on glass. I turned my head to look at the only window in the room. My eyes squinted as I saw a little human figure in the bottom right corner.

“My God,” I said to myself, “I really am going crazy.” I sat still looking at the figure that was now waving its hand for me to come closer. I thought it best to stay in my bed and fall asleep; but I shrugged off that thought and decided that if I was crazy I might as well go out with having a good story to tell people in the hospital. I let my feet hit the cold wooden floor and walked slowly to the window. As I approached I saw that the small person had light yellow tinted skin, like a daffodil. It was wearing a little hat that looked to be made of an acorn shell. Its dress was made out of leaves, with a small stem wrapped around its waist for a belt. Wings extended out of the figure’s back. They were clear, with a white light illuminating each wing.

I opened the window and the figure bowed, “Hello fire starter, my name is Aurora and I am here to guide you home.”

I looked into the small catlike eyes that stared back at mine. They were twinkling like the stars in the sky. Clearing my throat I said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Her wings began to beat faster. They picked her up off of the windowsill and brought her into my home. I watched as sparkling dust fell from the wings onto the floor. She was coming closer to me, closer then I’d like to be, but for some reason I couldn’t move. She landed on my shoulder and crossed her tiny legs, “You know you are different from the other humans, and I am here to help with that.”

Without hesitation I replied, “How can you help? You are just a figment of my imagination.”

The small lady frowned, “I knew getting you to come home would be hard, but not this hard.” The wings brought her to hover in front of my face, when she was at eyelevel her squeaky voice began to explain, “You are not a human my dear, you only wear this form for protection. It has recently been brought to my attention as your watcher that you need help to control your emotions and powers. I am here now to take you home and to teach you the ways so that you might save us.” As she ended the explanation I could see her bright eyes turn dull, they now showed sorrow. Her high-pitched voice became monotone, “You are the last hope for the fairy world, we need your help princess.”

My mouth dropped, Princess? My mind was sure having fun going off the deep end, I couldn’t even write this in a book if I wanted to, my creativity was non existant. I began to shake my head, “No, this isn’t real. This is all just some game my mind is playing on me!”

The fairy now showed red in her eyes, anger. She placed her hands out in front of her and began to swirl them together. She spoke a language that I did not understand. As she chanted it sounded like an old song, every word stuck to a beat that she was playing in her head. Shimmering dust started to come towards me, I looked at my hands and noticed that my whole body was shining. When she stopped talking in her fairy language she nodded at her work with a smile. “Now,” she said, “you will believe me, we are going to the Violet Lands.”

With that my world went black and I felt myself hit the wooden floor with a thud.

My conscience awoke to the sound of voices. I kept eyes closed, not wanting the doctors to know I was awake. I knew where I was, in a hospital, about to be sealed off from the rest of the world. As I tried to act out my last moments of sobriety I listened closely to the doctor’s conversation.

“Hopefully she understands how important this is,” said a deep voice.

“I hope so too, she’s now in her true form, it should be easier.” The voice that spoke was high pitched and squeaky, just like the fairy from before.

“Well we must wait for her to wake up to fully explain,” the deep voice got closer. I sensed that someone was over me, looking down at my face. I kept my eyes closed, wishing they would go away and leave me alone.

“Emery, I think she is awake. The way she’s squinting her eyes is what she was doing earlier before I got her attention.”

Shit, I thought to myself, that bitch gave me away. I opened my eyes to see the fairy from earlier standing against the wall. She was now a normal size and I could see her face better. She was short and thin; her nose came out to a point right above her thin lips. Her eyes were still cat like but now their color had changed back to a liquid gold. Now I could see her hair, a dark pink shag that reached the bottom of pointed ears.

“I knew you weren’t sleeping,” she said. Her gaze broke away from me and went to the one she called Emery. I followed her eyes to look at the blue fairy that loomed over me. His skin was a cream colored blue and unlike Aurora he was muscular. He also wore clothes made out of leaves, and a jacket that seemed to be woven vines. The eyes that looked down at me were circular and purple. They did not sparkle like the other fairy’s, but they were highly captivating.

“Hello princess Luna,” Emery smiled, “I am very pleased to make your acquaintance.”

I sat up a bit faster then I should have and immediately felt dizzy, but this didn’t stop me from saying, “This isn’t real, you guys aren’t real.”

Aurora sighed and looked to the blue fairy, “See Em, I told you she was going to be stubborn.”

Emery moved back a couple steps. He did not have wings like the girl, in fact I couldn’t see any. His arms folded across his chest, “And why aren’t we real? You’re looking at us now, correct?”

Aurora was trying to conceal her laughter, but I could tell that this was all a big joke. “Fairies aren’t real. You are just something my mind made up to deal with all the bad shit that’s been happening. I’m going crazy.” With that Emery began to laugh. He doubled over and held his stomach.

After a minute of uncontrollable laughter he composed himself and spoke, “Yes, humans do not think we exist, but that is our doing. Human’s used to hunt and kill our kind, so we put the idea in their brain that we didn’t exist.” He walked over to a mirror and picked it up. “I don’t blame you for not knowing the truth, but you were concealed in a human’s body to be protected from the Rubies. A lost princess you are, but now you are found.” Now he was standing in front of me, the mirror against his chest. He grabbed my hand and put it around the wooden hilt of the handheld looking glass, “look for yourself.”

His grip released and I turned the reflective surface to my face. What I saw made me gasp. My skin went from a creamy white to a soft pink. Once brown eyes had turned into turquoise with a glimmer. My nose was still small and round and my cheeks remained full. I brought my hand up to my ears to feel the small points that now shot out of my long dark pink hair.

Now my hand was shaking, the mirror began to sway. I could now feel the nausea from before getting worse. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. Before I knew it the mirror was crashing to the floor. I felt strong hands on my back and the deep voice asking me if I was okay. The hands lowered me gently onto the bed. I lay there taking deep breaths for a few minutes and then opened my eyes. Earlier I found it so difficult to sleep, but now my body craved it. Emery was looking back at me, concern showing in his eyes. Even if this was all my imagination, I guess I could have fun and play along with it.

“So what is this about being a lost princess,” I asked, waiting for my journey to begin.

Image credit link:

https://songesoleil.tumblr.com/image/132500046859

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A fairy moves in the night. She comes to tell you your destiny. What is your journey going to be? Do you travel somewhere with her? Explore the world of fantasy. Narrate what happens next. Any form of write can be used: poetry, story, prose, etc. Have fun!
Written by jaymeh_moon in portal Fantasy
Lost but Now Found
 I watch the blue illuminating lights go up as time passes. Every time the numbers change on the clock face I think about the events of the previous day. Almost twenty-four hours ago my manager called me into his office. I knew what was coming, a termination discussion for the “odd” things that have happened while I was out on the job. Whenever a client made me angry, or even said something that drove me nuts something strange happened; like a bottle falling from a shelf and crashing onto the floor, or the lights in the room flickering on and off.
I never knew it was my fault until Mr. Dorsey called for a private meeting. He began his long speech about how I was a smart girl, but didn’t seem to fit well with the company. As he went on the lights began to flicker. He then proceeded to tell me that clients were frightened of me and specifically asked to not have me. When he informed me that I was being “let go” all of a sudden the lights went completely dark throughout the whole office. A spark came from one of the fixtures in the room where my termination was taking place and flew onto a stack of papers. Smoke began to rise, soon followed by a burning flame ready to engulf everything in its wake.
I left the building, leaving my things behind. I wanted them to burn down with the office, just like how my anger was burning inside me. As everyone filed out of the building I heard a roaring flame from behind and turned to see the building being quickly engulfed by the small fire.
“It’s like some sort of magic... some sort of magic that you caused,” yelled Mr. Dorsey in my direction. I walked away from the fire engines and people yelling, not even considering what the manager said.
It wasn’t until now that I thought about his comment earlier. Through past experiences, and my anger problems, I have seen a pattern of strange instances happen. The extent of my anger showed in the severity of the strange event. Today was the best example, I was angry at being fired for things I cannot control. My anger escalated to its highest point, and the flames reflected how I felt.
The blue lights staring back at me showed three in the morning. I sighed and turned away from the clock. I closed my eyes tightly; wishing sleep would take me away.
Tink, Tink, Tink.
I sighed to myself; the extent of my exhaustion was causing me to hear things.
Tink, Tink, Tink.
This time the taps were louder. I sat up quickly and studied the dark room. Nothing was there, and the television showed a black screen. I fixed my blanket and turned to look at the clock again, three fifteen.
Tink, Tink, Tink.
This time the sound came with the same intensity as the previous one. It took me a second but it mirrored the sound one would make tapping on glass. I turned my head to look at the only window in the room. My eyes squinted as I saw a little human figure in the bottom right corner.
“My God,” I said to myself, “I really am going crazy.” I sat still looking at the figure that was now waving its hand for me to come closer. I thought it best to stay in my bed and fall asleep; but I shrugged off that thought and decided that if I was crazy I might as well go out with having a good story to tell people in the hospital. I let my feet hit the cold wooden floor and walked slowly to the window. As I approached I saw that the small person had light yellow tinted skin, like a daffodil. It was wearing a little hat that looked to be made of an acorn shell. Its dress was made out of leaves, with a small stem wrapped around its waist for a belt. Wings extended out of the figure’s back. They were clear, with a white light illuminating each wing.
I opened the window and the figure bowed, “Hello fire starter, my name is Aurora and I am here to guide you home.”
I looked into the small catlike eyes that stared back at mine. They were twinkling like the stars in the sky. Clearing my throat I said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Her wings began to beat faster. They picked her up off of the windowsill and brought her into my home. I watched as sparkling dust fell from the wings onto the floor. She was coming closer to me, closer then I’d like to be, but for some reason I couldn’t move. She landed on my shoulder and crossed her tiny legs, “You know you are different from the other humans, and I am here to help with that.”
Without hesitation I replied, “How can you help? You are just a figment of my imagination.”
The small lady frowned, “I knew getting you to come home would be hard, but not this hard.” The wings brought her to hover in front of my face, when she was at eyelevel her squeaky voice began to explain, “You are not a human my dear, you only wear this form for protection. It has recently been brought to my attention as your watcher that you need help to control your emotions and powers. I am here now to take you home and to teach you the ways so that you might save us.” As she ended the explanation I could see her bright eyes turn dull, they now showed sorrow. Her high-pitched voice became monotone, “You are the last hope for the fairy world, we need your help princess.”
My mouth dropped, Princess? My mind was sure having fun going off the deep end, I couldn’t even write this in a book if I wanted to, my creativity was non existant. I began to shake my head, “No, this isn’t real. This is all just some game my mind is playing on me!”
The fairy now showed red in her eyes, anger. She placed her hands out in front of her and began to swirl them together. She spoke a language that I did not understand. As she chanted it sounded like an old song, every word stuck to a beat that she was playing in her head. Shimmering dust started to come towards me, I looked at my hands and noticed that my whole body was shining. When she stopped talking in her fairy language she nodded at her work with a smile. “Now,” she said, “you will believe me, we are going to the Violet Lands.”
With that my world went black and I felt myself hit the wooden floor with a thud.

My conscience awoke to the sound of voices. I kept eyes closed, not wanting the doctors to know I was awake. I knew where I was, in a hospital, about to be sealed off from the rest of the world. As I tried to act out my last moments of sobriety I listened closely to the doctor’s conversation.
“Hopefully she understands how important this is,” said a deep voice.
“I hope so too, she’s now in her true form, it should be easier.” The voice that spoke was high pitched and squeaky, just like the fairy from before.
“Well we must wait for her to wake up to fully explain,” the deep voice got closer. I sensed that someone was over me, looking down at my face. I kept my eyes closed, wishing they would go away and leave me alone.
“Emery, I think she is awake. The way she’s squinting her eyes is what she was doing earlier before I got her attention.”
Shit, I thought to myself, that bitch gave me away. I opened my eyes to see the fairy from earlier standing against the wall. She was now a normal size and I could see her face better. She was short and thin; her nose came out to a point right above her thin lips. Her eyes were still cat like but now their color had changed back to a liquid gold. Now I could see her hair, a dark pink shag that reached the bottom of pointed ears.
“I knew you weren’t sleeping,” she said. Her gaze broke away from me and went to the one she called Emery. I followed her eyes to look at the blue fairy that loomed over me. His skin was a cream colored blue and unlike Aurora he was muscular. He also wore clothes made out of leaves, and a jacket that seemed to be woven vines. The eyes that looked down at me were circular and purple. They did not sparkle like the other fairy’s, but they were highly captivating.
“Hello princess Luna,” Emery smiled, “I am very pleased to make your acquaintance.”
I sat up a bit faster then I should have and immediately felt dizzy, but this didn’t stop me from saying, “This isn’t real, you guys aren’t real.”
Aurora sighed and looked to the blue fairy, “See Em, I told you she was going to be stubborn.”
Emery moved back a couple steps. He did not have wings like the girl, in fact I couldn’t see any. His arms folded across his chest, “And why aren’t we real? You’re looking at us now, correct?”
Aurora was trying to conceal her laughter, but I could tell that this was all a big joke. “Fairies aren’t real. You are just something my mind made up to deal with all the bad shit that’s been happening. I’m going crazy.” With that Emery began to laugh. He doubled over and held his stomach.
After a minute of uncontrollable laughter he composed himself and spoke, “Yes, humans do not think we exist, but that is our doing. Human’s used to hunt and kill our kind, so we put the idea in their brain that we didn’t exist.” He walked over to a mirror and picked it up. “I don’t blame you for not knowing the truth, but you were concealed in a human’s body to be protected from the Rubies. A lost princess you are, but now you are found.” Now he was standing in front of me, the mirror against his chest. He grabbed my hand and put it around the wooden hilt of the handheld looking glass, “look for yourself.”
His grip released and I turned the reflective surface to my face. What I saw made me gasp. My skin went from a creamy white to a soft pink. Once brown eyes had turned into turquoise with a glimmer. My nose was still small and round and my cheeks remained full. I brought my hand up to my ears to feel the small points that now shot out of my long dark pink hair.
Now my hand was shaking, the mirror began to sway. I could now feel the nausea from before getting worse. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. Before I knew it the mirror was crashing to the floor. I felt strong hands on my back and the deep voice asking me if I was okay. The hands lowered me gently onto the bed. I lay there taking deep breaths for a few minutes and then opened my eyes. Earlier I found it so difficult to sleep, but now my body craved it. Emery was looking back at me, concern showing in his eyes. Even if this was all my imagination, I guess I could have fun and play along with it.
“So what is this about being a lost princess,” I asked, waiting for my journey to begin.

Image credit link:
https://songesoleil.tumblr.com/image/132500046859

#fantasy  #scifi  #fairy 
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Written by Deiticlast in portal Trident Media Group

Revenant Rising: Vessel (Details Added)

Chapter One

On this cold, autumn day in early October, there was a lot of cleaning to be done. The drafty castle’s bewildering warren of quiet, open passages and overgrown, ivy-choked plazas were bustling with courtiers and servants, whispering with excitement and nervousness. Kitchen wenches exchanged significant glances over washing basins under the still-brightening sky as muted exchanges seemed to take place in every passage and terrace of the great, towering metal citadel. Besides the weather as evidence to the contrary, one might have thought it was the first day of Thaw, judging from the air of breathless anticipation. However, the great twisting calendar set into the stonework of Temper Plaza declared a different reason for the bustle altogether: this day was the New Fire Ceremony Festival.

What made New Fire different from all the rest was the actual date—a date not many people actually understood the significance of. All they knew was what was about to happen: Quetzalcoatl was coming to the Coszcatl today. It had been sixteen long years since their godking had set foot in Coszcatl’s drafty halls, and now he was due at high noon. The cleaning girls hadn’t been allowed inside the Sacred—a warm, magically lit space on the top floor of the Coszcatl, free from the whistling wind that invaded every nook and cranny of the aging keep. However, with the dawning of light upon the Coszcatl’s glistening spire, the chambermaids descended upon the dust and unpolished surfaces like a whirlwind. Today, the godking would hold Court again, and every inhabitant of the palace bustled with purpose and rumor.

In all actuality, there was at least one resident of Coszcatl that didn’t care so much about the goings-on of godkings and hurried subjects. This solitary, simple girl was sitting cross-legged in a small alcove between the dull, warm copper glow of the bestial gargoyle Meridyn and the wall with missing panels that was open to all the glorious, rushing air, the rays of the newly risen sun giving her just enough light to see the words she burned into the wood block with her etcher.

Liza, named Xoco by the elder sisters of the Order of Chimalma, had never been anywhere except the Castle and the surrounding village of Sharlit. Coszcatl—meaning Jewel in the ancient language of the gods—was the central castle of the area, though legend said that there used to be more than the four that were scattered about the horizon. Coszcatl, from what Liza could gather, used to be the heart of Merricka, a place of great evil that the godking Quetzalcoatl conquered after a sixteen year war. She wasn’t sure on the exact details, because all of the history she knew came from Loko Grayse, the hedgewitch who came to town from her hermitage out in Gas Stone every other month for supplies. The old woman would hobble up the road on legs so unsteady Liza figured it had to be magic that kept her up and going. Her gap-toothed smile was as friendly as could be to the gaggle of youngsters who would gather around the hem of her tattered skirt as she entered town, but the scowl she bandied out to all else could make a man lose his bladder. Liza saw it happen once. It was awesome.

The surrounding buildings were of brick and metal make, though none reached even half the height of Coszcatl. Most of the servants lived in the great expanse of the Groj nearby, pallets and meager personal belongings separated by thick sheets of plastic that might have been white so many years ago, but this gift from the gods now was a light brown that tapered darker the closer it got to the cold concrete floor.

Coszcatl was older than anyone could remember, and only Loko Grayse ever talked about the ‘Tants, who inhabited the lands of Merricka before Quetzalcoatl and his brethren came and saved everybody. The remnants of that evil civilization lay decrepit all about them, and though they were said to be of the darkest nature, the godking had declared that it was safe to use those tools which were still of use to his subjects.

Liza never had learned what the ‘Tants called Coszcatl before they were wiped out, but in her heart of hearts, she knew it would have been something beautiful. Even though she wished with every fiber of her being that she could go out and have an adventure, exploring the Parishes beyond the Glen, she would always think of Coszcatl as her home.

However, even with her love of the place, it seemed as though she were the only one who hadn’t settled into the niche she had supposedly been born into. The hunters would bring in their game with huge smiles on their faces; the cobblers seemed to be content with making and fixing shoes; the cooks rushed around the kitchen patio, clucking like so many fat chickens. Liza, however, had a different lot in life…

Before she’d even learned to talk, she’d been made to understand the significance of her role in the society here in Sharlit. Indeed—even the whole of Quetzalcoatl's domain. Raised by the Chimalmist priestess’s sect, she was given every advantage in life one could ever hope for in the kingdom of Sharlit—except that one thing she most yearned for, and yet was so out of reach: freedom.

She’d dreamt of going out into the foothills and then beyond the ranges of the Smoked Sierras, having adventures and dashing to and fro, saving the hapless villages stashed away there in the foreign lands from the ravages of the ‘Tants. She, with her trusty sidekick, Zella, would charge off in the company of Sir Xiuhcoatl, Quetzalcoatl’s Right Hand, Head Eagle Knight of Carolina, and defeat the hordes of savages that doubtless lay just within a few day’s ride to the west, learning the bow even as Sir Xiuhcoatl cut down the vile ‘Tants with his mighty broadsword, backed by Zella’s spear…

Zella, known in the Sisterhood as Yoatlyotl because of her fierce demeanor and even deadlier skills with the tepoztopilli, could cut down eleven blooded warriors without batting an eye. The blade at the end of her six-and-a-half foot spear was almost a foot long, edged with the traditional obsidian that Quetzalcoatl’s warriors of the ancient past once placed upon their own weapons. The tepoztopilli had been a gift from High Priestess Quetzalxochitl herself, who is without a common name.

Zella… Yoatlyotl had been enlisted to fight the ‘Tant threat beyond the western border of Carolina, where the Badlands lay. She’d been gone a fortnight already, and Liza missed her milkmate sorely.

Looking down at the dressings that had been prepared for her by the castle servants, Liza frowned. What was meant to be elegant and stylish draped across her bloated figure like a tent. Any moment now, she expected to see a family of four crawl out from under her robes and head off to the fields to start their day’s work. She hated being fat. She hated what she saw in the polished silver of her room’s mirror when she peered into its reflection: her pudgy, plain face staring back at her in slight distortion, her own glare hateful and accusing. If only she could...

She knew she’d never be anything more than the stupid girl that she was, but she always wished that she could do something else—anything else. As it was, she was stuck in the archives of the basement floor, learning from the multitude of scrolls and reciting the litany of facts to her tutors’ satisfaction. Sometimes she thought that if she had to learn a single thing more, her head would burst! But, alas, it did not, and so she was forced to continue.

What she really enjoyed, however, was scribing. She’d been given an etcher at an early age, and ever since she’d learned the letters and the spelling, she’d been scribing her thoughts and dreams when no one was looking. She’d been careful to burn the long blocks of wood with her beautiful words on them, lest anyone find out her deepest desires… For it was not thought to be right or fit for the Revenant of the Godking to be scribbling nonsense like she most undoubtedly was. No, she was supposed to be in second line to be the next High Priestess, should Quetzalxochitl fail in her divine tests. But that would only happen if something happened to Zella, which was impossible. Yoatlyotl was mighty and brave. No ‘Tant could cut her down. Liza was safe from the inevitability of the final fate of the High Priestess, but it saddened her heart that Zella was destined for it.

Her thoughts had already started drifting to her stashed block and etcher, and the mean things she had to say about hateful ol’ Quetzalxochitl that no one else would ever read. She hoped. Probably. . . No, no one would ever see her private thoughts and dreams, her aspirations to get out of Coszcatl and travel past the Glen and see what the other Parishes looked like.

“Xoco! What the Haitia are you doing out here?”

Big Jon! She froze, her cold fingers numbly dropped the etcher onto the plated surface of the alcove, the metal-on-metal clatter jarring in the momentary lull of the howling wind. Slowly, she eased herself toward the lip of the alcove, doing her best to keep her block as inconspicuous as possible while trying not to get blown off the edge before she could make it through the hole in the plating.

“Nothing,” she wanted to say, but before she could get even a single syllable out, a strong, calloused hand reached out of the dark depths of the hole in the wall and pulled her in, accidentally scraping her calf against the rough metal surface.

She tried not to wince as she rubbed her scuffed calf with her right hand, careful to keep her eyes lowered and deferential. Big Jon was the Master Huntsman of the godking, and could be nasty when he was upset, and she’d sometimes be cuffed for even looking at him wrong. Every time she’d cried in the past, he would sit her down on his knee and tell her that she was too stupid a girl to know it, but the defiance in her eyes would get her killed someday, even if she was second in line to the High Priestess. She couldn’t really disagree with him about that. She knew she was stupid. Everybody said it.

And she’d learned a couple of years ago she couldn’t get him to show her any sympathy anymore. She’d grown too old to be able to wiggle into his heart with a well-placed sob, and now he would just hit her again, telling her to quit whining like a little shrishraka. She wasn’t exactly sure what that meant, but she knew it wasn’t nice. A man like Big Jon—a bastard son who’d risen through the ranks of the Huntsman by being the most savage and bloodthirsty hunter of infidels—wasn’t likely to care about being put to death for the slaying of a Revenant. He was already condemned to servitude in the higher levels of Haitia for rejecting his Nahuatl title.

“Nothing—“ she tried again, but a blow from out of nowhere connected with her temple and she was suddenly on the floor, interesting colors flashing before her swimming eyes. She didn’t have to ask herself what had happened. She already knew: she’d been stupid again.

“Don’t tell me you’ve been doing nothing, you stupid shrishraka! I know that’s what you’ve been doing! What else would you be doing the exact moment work needed to be done?!” He reached down and pulled Liza to her feet, idly brushing off the dust and debris that was stuck to her pudgy face. She looked up at Big Jon’s looming figure, and decided against reaching out a hand to steady herself against his huge bulk.

“Please, sir, I’m sorry,” she began, her soft voice lilting unsteadily. He liked being called “sir.” Maybe he wouldn’t hit her again if she—

The entire right side of her face stung and burned as he slapped her with enough force to cause a twinge in her neck. “Don’t you ‘sir’ me, you stupid bleshna,” he spat back at her, the venom almost palpable with that last. No, she thought idly as she swayed on her feet. He knows lots more words than shrishraka. “The entire castle is getting underway for The Inner Sacred to land, and you’re out here pining after the Outerlands.” The cold shock of horror blew past her defenses and the malevolent grin that was plastered on Big Jon’s grizzled face told her that he’d seen it. “Oh, yes, you stupid girl. I know about that bit of wood you keep out there. How do you think I knew to look for you here?”

He took her by the collar and led her away, pushing her in front of him as they passed through the cobweb-strewn spaces between sheetrock and metal studs. In her heart, Liza despaired at the intrusion into her privacy. She’d kept up the walls around her thoughts as best she could in this towering place, but she never guessed that anyone in the castle could read ‘Anish—or even ‘Lish, for that matter, and that was their native tongue. She’d known that Big Jon used to be Jaguar Knight of Carolina years before she was born, but she’d never suspected that he could read her etchings. She suddenly felt a crawling go down her spine, though she knew it had nothing to do with the cobwebs she normally ducked.

She was thus lost in her thoughts when a bright pain blossomed at the back of her head. Apparently Big Jon had been talking and had noticed she wasn’t listening. She obediently waited for the pain to subside as he scowled at her, demanding to know what lessons she’d been shirking. A doe-eyed look from her and he just spat, disgusted. Bustling her out of the Ruins, he shoved her toward the stairwell with warnings that she had better find something to do.

She had to dodge a gaggle of younger girls who were racing up the many flights of stairs wielding great big mops, their gray-tasseled heads swinging dangerously behind them. Their giggling defied reason, to Liza’s mind, because she knew they had come from the Lobby floor. Where did they get such boundless energy? Liza, at sixteen, wasn’t an old maid herself, but she was on the thicker side, and couldn’t seem to muster the energy to swipe a broom at a floor, much less run from one level to the other.

She was just contemplating the reasons behind her corpulence and lack of craziness that the other girls seemed to have when the very distinct sound of metal-soled boots came clacking up the steps below her. She knew those boots, that gait. It was Sir Xiuhcoatl, Quetzalcoatl’s Right Hand, Head Eagle Knight of Carolina.

She could feel her knees weaken and her cheeks flush as he came around the bend below her, his large, scarred hand grasping the delicate railing as he ascended, his attention focused on the papers—oh, gods, paper—in his other, a trail of attendants vying for attention as best they could without tripping him up or being so bold as to wave a hand before his face. Liza knew that anyone stupid enough to do that would get backhanded so hard they would fall down every flight before he made it to the Lobby Floor in a rag-doll heap. She hadn’t actually seen him do it, but she was sure she was right on the nose when it came to anything having to do with Sir Xiuhcoatl.

And oh, that jawline. She was sure Quetzalcoatl had crafted this one himself, he was such a perfect specimen. Those broad shoulders, his muscular arms, his strong hands. . . His strong forehead sloped back dramatically to further accent his sharp, pointed nose. His hair was arranged about his head in such a way that the only thing that Liza could compare it to was the majesty and bearing of an eagle.

She had to step out of the way in order to keep from being trampled, as he was too engrossed in what he was reading to even look where he was going. But that was okay. He was Sir Xiuhcoatl. She’d stopped and daydreamed in his way, hadn’t she? She was, after all, just a stupid Chimalmian acolyte. Well, the “acolyte” part of that appellation was debatable. . .

One of the aides, Joshya, called out to Liza as the entourage passed. “Hey, there. You! Xoco! Get yourself to the Mage’s chambers! He has need of a scribe!”

Liza stared at his retreating form, mouth agape. She’d actually been told to go to the Mage’s quarters? Almost everyone was forbidden from going down there! And she’d always wanted to go! A toothy grin split her face as she turned to dash down the stairs as fast as her squat little legs would take her.

———————————————————————————————————————

On the moon Io, orbiting the planet Jupiter, the interstellar craft Citlalmina sat twenty degrees north of the volatile moon’s equator, its landing gear clamped to the frigid chemical ice as the refueling drill hung just beneath the surface, rigid against the torrential currents raging unseen beneath.

Inside that incredibly vast vessel stood row upon row of force cages, invisible energies keeping in a menagerie of flora and fauna from a dozen different worlds, including a rather nasty carnivorous tuber-like vegetation from that very moon. One cage sported a Viriliyne lion-hawk, its mane-like tentacles bristling with stingers that somehow missed all three wings as they writhed about in Medusa-esque grace; whilst another held a genetically modified Blue Whale from Earth, shrunk to be a hundredth the size of the original extinct species. The largest cage in this impromptu zoo, however, held the most exotic creature of all: the godking Quetzalcoatl.

The medchair he reclined in was busy at work, rejuvenating the cells of his aging body even as it performed cosmetic surgery to change his face to the perfect image it had once been a millennium ago. Throughout the various iterations of clones he’d transferred his mind’s consciousness into, Quetzalcoatl’s. . . look had changed. The visage that made him appealing to his kind frightened his subjects on the backwater planet of Earth, and though he always changed his appearance to establish rapport with whatever race he was with, he always felt more comfortable in his own skin, so to speak.

That wasn’t to say that he felt comfortable around his own kind, however. His ancient race’s proclivity for destroying cultures that had the potential to challenge their own was barbaric to him, and even though he remained within the strict letter of the law, he’d done everything he could to prevent the total destruction of those cultures under his rule. Take Earth, for instance.

Not only had he let his subjects keep the names of their surviving regions and cities, such as Ostrella and Frankefurt, but he’d also established an Order that, while he did not supply them with his own technology, he allowed to keep remnants of the humans’ technology and knowledge—though not enough to threaten his rule over them. This Order, over time, became referred to as Mages of Tek, which was fascinating to the old immortal alien. Humanity’s proclivity toward the supernatural was something that interested Quetzalcoatl more than any other quirk of the broken civilization’s varied belief structures.

They were, by far, his favorite pet project—one which was looked down upon by the High Court. Recently advisors to the Grand Adjunct had been snooping around Quetzalcoatl’s datasphere, and though he had nothing (almost) to hide, he did not like the intrusion into his virtual space. The world he had created there was exclusively for him, and him alone. He felt. . . violated was the word that came to mind.

And then there was the problem of his brother, Xolotl, who had, after two thousand years of silence, reached out to him. Despite not having heard from his twin in such a long time, Quetzalcoatl loved him, even though he didn’t trust him. What his brother had done to him on Earth—

No, Quetzalcoatl did not trust his brother. But he missed him fiercely.

They were due to meet at the outpost in the system humans had once called Alpha Centauri, a quick jaunt from his present location, in four days time. However, the godking had an appointment to keep on Earth first. In a few hours, Quetzalcoatl was due to show up at the ersatz capital building on Earth. From there he would take care of any matters of state, squash any uprisings that had arisen within his sixteen years’ absence, and reinforce his image as a benevolent godking.

And then, after a dozen lifetimes, he could finally see his brother again. . .

And ask him why he’d betrayed him like he had. . .

Title:  Revenant Rising: Vessel

Genre:  Post-apocalyptic alien-ruled dystopia (mesh of different science fiction subgenres)

Age range:  16 - 99

Word count:  3,518

Name of the guy who wrote it: Jason Wallace

Pen name: Jason Lee

Why your project is a good fit:  Basically, there's something in here for everybody.  Want some action?  It's got that.  Romance?  Oh, yeah...  Good, old-fashioned sci-fi quirkiness?  You betcha.  Harrowing danger, thrilling adventures, and back-stabbing double-plots that'll make ya go, "Whut?!"  Definitely.

The hook:  The world seems different now, but some of it's the same... until you find out that it's being ruled by an alien, and everybody's worshiping him as a godking.  And there's some intrigue, because not only does the MC have a destiny--she's second-in-line to be the head priestess (who's probably gonna die soon)--but there's something going on with Q and his brother, and a troubled past.

Synopsis:  A thousand years removed from the invasion and subjugation of Earth by the Alkeni, Liza is a simple girl caught up in a millennia-long conspiracy in which she is the key to either the world's destruction at the hands of a vengeful alien--or its salvation.  Trained by a wizened old man who bucks at the strictures against old Earth tech, Liza must journey to find the mysterious 'Tants, in order to deliver something that could change the destiny of all men.  Chased by the relentless assassin droids sent by Xolotl, she must race against time in a harrowing dash for safety--only to find her ultimate fate awaiting her there.

Target Audience:  Anyone who likes a good story, really.  But since you're probably looking for a specific answer, I'm going to have to narrow it down to nerds and sci-fi geeks.

Your bio:  Jason Lee is a 31 year old writer from Charlotte, NC, who enjoys sitting in his basement apartment (definitely NOT his parents' basement, thank you very much) writing stories and movie scripts, generally avoiding the outdoors as much as possible whilst writing run-on sentence bios when asked to do so.  He is a Maker and hopeful inventor, with an eye for tech, though he enjoys building furniture and various woodworking projects.  He hopes to be the next Big Thing in the Literary World, the Silver Screen, and pretty much anything else.

Platform:  On my fanfiction (I know, the horror!) website, TTHFanfic.org, I've been reviewed by 124 users, recommended by 20 users, and tracked by 72 users.  This doesn't seem like much, but I don't post much there, or even frequently.  The same with theprose.com: I have 160 followers, but I've only posted 323 times since the beginning of the site, and that was mostly in the early days.  I've become a lot busier since then, but I still love that people like my work.  It keeps me plugging along...

Education:  An autodidact and impatient by nature, I'm high school educated, self-taught in writing by making all the mistakes and having much better, more experienced authors telling my why my work is garbage, and then how to fix it.  After a decade and a half of writing, I believe my work to be legible, to say the least.

Experience:  I've been writing fanfiction alongside some of the best writers I've ever read for years now, beta-reading their work and having them beta-read/tear apart my own stuff.  It's made me a better writer, and people seem to like what they've read.  I hear everyday, "Why haven't you published a novel yet?"  Well...

Personality:  I'm a bit crazy, but then I've always thought that in order to be a halfway decent writer, one must be at least a little bit insane.  We're gods creating and destroying worlds, dictating the lives and fates of those we pen onto blank canvas...  I'm also a little bit fun, if I can toot my own horn.  I've been known to have a good time, make a person laugh a little.  That's all one can ask for, right?

Writing style:  Ho-lee shmokes, is this a hard question...  My stuff just kind of happens organically, growing from a crazy idea I had until it becomes a full-blown world.  I'm serious when the story calls for it, and I'm light and happy-go-lucky when my characters are falling through clouds towards their inevitable doom, contemplating what it means to be a whale, and enjoying the fact they exis--and then they're a smear on the pavement.  My scenes happen by accident, and I either love them or I scrap them altogether, though since it's me writing it, I normally frickin' love them.  I sometimes write the ending first, though I haven't done that with this piece.

Likes/Hobbies:  I love reading, and of course writing.  I love to play video games, though I haven't had time for that in over a year.  I love building things.  I love women...  Yeah...  TMI?  Screw it, I'm leaving it.

Hometown:  Gastonia, NC (I normally just say Charlotte, because everybody knows that one)

Age:  31, going on 13

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Revenant Rising: Vessel (Details Added)
Chapter One
On this cold, autumn day in early October, there was a lot of cleaning to be done. The drafty castle’s bewildering warren of quiet, open passages and overgrown, ivy-choked plazas were bustling with courtiers and servants, whispering with excitement and nervousness. Kitchen wenches exchanged significant glances over washing basins under the still-brightening sky as muted exchanges seemed to take place in every passage and terrace of the great, towering metal citadel. Besides the weather as evidence to the contrary, one might have thought it was the first day of Thaw, judging from the air of breathless anticipation. However, the great twisting calendar set into the stonework of Temper Plaza declared a different reason for the bustle altogether: this day was the New Fire Ceremony Festival.
What made New Fire different from all the rest was the actual date—a date not many people actually understood the significance of. All they knew was what was about to happen: Quetzalcoatl was coming to the Coszcatl today. It had been sixteen long years since their godking had set foot in Coszcatl’s drafty halls, and now he was due at high noon. The cleaning girls hadn’t been allowed inside the Sacred—a warm, magically lit space on the top floor of the Coszcatl, free from the whistling wind that invaded every nook and cranny of the aging keep. However, with the dawning of light upon the Coszcatl’s glistening spire, the chambermaids descended upon the dust and unpolished surfaces like a whirlwind. Today, the godking would hold Court again, and every inhabitant of the palace bustled with purpose and rumor.
In all actuality, there was at least one resident of Coszcatl that didn’t care so much about the goings-on of godkings and hurried subjects. This solitary, simple girl was sitting cross-legged in a small alcove between the dull, warm copper glow of the bestial gargoyle Meridyn and the wall with missing panels that was open to all the glorious, rushing air, the rays of the newly risen sun giving her just enough light to see the words she burned into the wood block with her etcher.
Liza, named Xoco by the elder sisters of the Order of Chimalma, had never been anywhere except the Castle and the surrounding village of Sharlit. Coszcatl—meaning Jewel in the ancient language of the gods—was the central castle of the area, though legend said that there used to be more than the four that were scattered about the horizon. Coszcatl, from what Liza could gather, used to be the heart of Merricka, a place of great evil that the godking Quetzalcoatl conquered after a sixteen year war. She wasn’t sure on the exact details, because all of the history she knew came from Loko Grayse, the hedgewitch who came to town from her hermitage out in Gas Stone every other month for supplies. The old woman would hobble up the road on legs so unsteady Liza figured it had to be magic that kept her up and going. Her gap-toothed smile was as friendly as could be to the gaggle of youngsters who would gather around the hem of her tattered skirt as she entered town, but the scowl she bandied out to all else could make a man lose his bladder. Liza saw it happen once. It was awesome.
The surrounding buildings were of brick and metal make, though none reached even half the height of Coszcatl. Most of the servants lived in the great expanse of the Groj nearby, pallets and meager personal belongings separated by thick sheets of plastic that might have been white so many years ago, but this gift from the gods now was a light brown that tapered darker the closer it got to the cold concrete floor.
Coszcatl was older than anyone could remember, and only Loko Grayse ever talked about the ‘Tants, who inhabited the lands of Merricka before Quetzalcoatl and his brethren came and saved everybody. The remnants of that evil civilization lay decrepit all about them, and though they were said to be of the darkest nature, the godking had declared that it was safe to use those tools which were still of use to his subjects.
Liza never had learned what the ‘Tants called Coszcatl before they were wiped out, but in her heart of hearts, she knew it would have been something beautiful. Even though she wished with every fiber of her being that she could go out and have an adventure, exploring the Parishes beyond the Glen, she would always think of Coszcatl as her home.
However, even with her love of the place, it seemed as though she were the only one who hadn’t settled into the niche she had supposedly been born into. The hunters would bring in their game with huge smiles on their faces; the cobblers seemed to be content with making and fixing shoes; the cooks rushed around the kitchen patio, clucking like so many fat chickens. Liza, however, had a different lot in life…
Before she’d even learned to talk, she’d been made to understand the significance of her role in the society here in Sharlit. Indeed—even the whole of Quetzalcoatl's domain. Raised by the Chimalmist priestess’s sect, she was given every advantage in life one could ever hope for in the kingdom of Sharlit—except that one thing she most yearned for, and yet was so out of reach: freedom.
She’d dreamt of going out into the foothills and then beyond the ranges of the Smoked Sierras, having adventures and dashing to and fro, saving the hapless villages stashed away there in the foreign lands from the ravages of the ‘Tants. She, with her trusty sidekick, Zella, would charge off in the company of Sir Xiuhcoatl, Quetzalcoatl’s Right Hand, Head Eagle Knight of Carolina, and defeat the hordes of savages that doubtless lay just within a few day’s ride to the west, learning the bow even as Sir Xiuhcoatl cut down the vile ‘Tants with his mighty broadsword, backed by Zella’s spear…
Zella, known in the Sisterhood as Yoatlyotl because of her fierce demeanor and even deadlier skills with the tepoztopilli, could cut down eleven blooded warriors without batting an eye. The blade at the end of her six-and-a-half foot spear was almost a foot long, edged with the traditional obsidian that Quetzalcoatl’s warriors of the ancient past once placed upon their own weapons. The tepoztopilli had been a gift from High Priestess Quetzalxochitl herself, who is without a common name.
Zella… Yoatlyotl had been enlisted to fight the ‘Tant threat beyond the western border of Carolina, where the Badlands lay. She’d been gone a fortnight already, and Liza missed her milkmate sorely.
Looking down at the dressings that had been prepared for her by the castle servants, Liza frowned. What was meant to be elegant and stylish draped across her bloated figure like a tent. Any moment now, she expected to see a family of four crawl out from under her robes and head off to the fields to start their day’s work. She hated being fat. She hated what she saw in the polished silver of her room’s mirror when she peered into its reflection: her pudgy, plain face staring back at her in slight distortion, her own glare hateful and accusing. If only she could...
She knew she’d never be anything more than the stupid girl that she was, but she always wished that she could do something else—anything else. As it was, she was stuck in the archives of the basement floor, learning from the multitude of scrolls and reciting the litany of facts to her tutors’ satisfaction. Sometimes she thought that if she had to learn a single thing more, her head would burst! But, alas, it did not, and so she was forced to continue.
What she really enjoyed, however, was scribing. She’d been given an etcher at an early age, and ever since she’d learned the letters and the spelling, she’d been scribing her thoughts and dreams when no one was looking. She’d been careful to burn the long blocks of wood with her beautiful words on them, lest anyone find out her deepest desires… For it was not thought to be right or fit for the Revenant of the Godking to be scribbling nonsense like she most undoubtedly was. No, she was supposed to be in second line to be the next High Priestess, should Quetzalxochitl fail in her divine tests. But that would only happen if something happened to Zella, which was impossible. Yoatlyotl was mighty and brave. No ‘Tant could cut her down. Liza was safe from the inevitability of the final fate of the High Priestess, but it saddened her heart that Zella was destined for it.
Her thoughts had already started drifting to her stashed block and etcher, and the mean things she had to say about hateful ol’ Quetzalxochitl that no one else would ever read. She hoped. Probably. . . No, no one would ever see her private thoughts and dreams, her aspirations to get out of Coszcatl and travel past the Glen and see what the other Parishes looked like.
“Xoco! What the Haitia are you doing out here?”
Big Jon! She froze, her cold fingers numbly dropped the etcher onto the plated surface of the alcove, the metal-on-metal clatter jarring in the momentary lull of the howling wind. Slowly, she eased herself toward the lip of the alcove, doing her best to keep her block as inconspicuous as possible while trying not to get blown off the edge before she could make it through the hole in the plating.
“Nothing,” she wanted to say, but before she could get even a single syllable out, a strong, calloused hand reached out of the dark depths of the hole in the wall and pulled her in, accidentally scraping her calf against the rough metal surface.
She tried not to wince as she rubbed her scuffed calf with her right hand, careful to keep her eyes lowered and deferential. Big Jon was the Master Huntsman of the godking, and could be nasty when he was upset, and she’d sometimes be cuffed for even looking at him wrong. Every time she’d cried in the past, he would sit her down on his knee and tell her that she was too stupid a girl to know it, but the defiance in her eyes would get her killed someday, even if she was second in line to the High Priestess. She couldn’t really disagree with him about that. She knew she was stupid. Everybody said it.
And she’d learned a couple of years ago she couldn’t get him to show her any sympathy anymore. She’d grown too old to be able to wiggle into his heart with a well-placed sob, and now he would just hit her again, telling her to quit whining like a little shrishraka. She wasn’t exactly sure what that meant, but she knew it wasn’t nice. A man like Big Jon—a bastard son who’d risen through the ranks of the Huntsman by being the most savage and bloodthirsty hunter of infidels—wasn’t likely to care about being put to death for the slaying of a Revenant. He was already condemned to servitude in the higher levels of Haitia for rejecting his Nahuatl title.
“Nothing—“ she tried again, but a blow from out of nowhere connected with her temple and she was suddenly on the floor, interesting colors flashing before her swimming eyes. She didn’t have to ask herself what had happened. She already knew: she’d been stupid again.
“Don’t tell me you’ve been doing nothing, you stupid shrishraka! I know that’s what you’ve been doing! What else would you be doing the exact moment work needed to be done?!” He reached down and pulled Liza to her feet, idly brushing off the dust and debris that was stuck to her pudgy face. She looked up at Big Jon’s looming figure, and decided against reaching out a hand to steady herself against his huge bulk.
“Please, sir, I’m sorry,” she began, her soft voice lilting unsteadily. He liked being called “sir.” Maybe he wouldn’t hit her again if she—
The entire right side of her face stung and burned as he slapped her with enough force to cause a twinge in her neck. “Don’t you ‘sir’ me, you stupid bleshna,” he spat back at her, the venom almost palpable with that last. No, she thought idly as she swayed on her feet. He knows lots more words than shrishraka. “The entire castle is getting underway for The Inner Sacred to land, and you’re out here pining after the Outerlands.” The cold shock of horror blew past her defenses and the malevolent grin that was plastered on Big Jon’s grizzled face told her that he’d seen it. “Oh, yes, you stupid girl. I know about that bit of wood you keep out there. How do you think I knew to look for you here?”
He took her by the collar and led her away, pushing her in front of him as they passed through the cobweb-strewn spaces between sheetrock and metal studs. In her heart, Liza despaired at the intrusion into her privacy. She’d kept up the walls around her thoughts as best she could in this towering place, but she never guessed that anyone in the castle could read ‘Anish—or even ‘Lish, for that matter, and that was their native tongue. She’d known that Big Jon used to be Jaguar Knight of Carolina years before she was born, but she’d never suspected that he could read her etchings. She suddenly felt a crawling go down her spine, though she knew it had nothing to do with the cobwebs she normally ducked.
She was thus lost in her thoughts when a bright pain blossomed at the back of her head. Apparently Big Jon had been talking and had noticed she wasn’t listening. She obediently waited for the pain to subside as he scowled at her, demanding to know what lessons she’d been shirking. A doe-eyed look from her and he just spat, disgusted. Bustling her out of the Ruins, he shoved her toward the stairwell with warnings that she had better find something to do.
She had to dodge a gaggle of younger girls who were racing up the many flights of stairs wielding great big mops, their gray-tasseled heads swinging dangerously behind them. Their giggling defied reason, to Liza’s mind, because she knew they had come from the Lobby floor. Where did they get such boundless energy? Liza, at sixteen, wasn’t an old maid herself, but she was on the thicker side, and couldn’t seem to muster the energy to swipe a broom at a floor, much less run from one level to the other.
She was just contemplating the reasons behind her corpulence and lack of craziness that the other girls seemed to have when the very distinct sound of metal-soled boots came clacking up the steps below her. She knew those boots, that gait. It was Sir Xiuhcoatl, Quetzalcoatl’s Right Hand, Head Eagle Knight of Carolina.
She could feel her knees weaken and her cheeks flush as he came around the bend below her, his large, scarred hand grasping the delicate railing as he ascended, his attention focused on the papers—oh, gods, paper—in his other, a trail of attendants vying for attention as best they could without tripping him up or being so bold as to wave a hand before his face. Liza knew that anyone stupid enough to do that would get backhanded so hard they would fall down every flight before he made it to the Lobby Floor in a rag-doll heap. She hadn’t actually seen him do it, but she was sure she was right on the nose when it came to anything having to do with Sir Xiuhcoatl.
And oh, that jawline. She was sure Quetzalcoatl had crafted this one himself, he was such a perfect specimen. Those broad shoulders, his muscular arms, his strong hands. . . His strong forehead sloped back dramatically to further accent his sharp, pointed nose. His hair was arranged about his head in such a way that the only thing that Liza could compare it to was the majesty and bearing of an eagle.
She had to step out of the way in order to keep from being trampled, as he was too engrossed in what he was reading to even look where he was going. But that was okay. He was Sir Xiuhcoatl. She’d stopped and daydreamed in his way, hadn’t she? She was, after all, just a stupid Chimalmian acolyte. Well, the “acolyte” part of that appellation was debatable. . .
One of the aides, Joshya, called out to Liza as the entourage passed. “Hey, there. You! Xoco! Get yourself to the Mage’s chambers! He has need of a scribe!”
Liza stared at his retreating form, mouth agape. She’d actually been told to go to the Mage’s quarters? Almost everyone was forbidden from going down there! And she’d always wanted to go! A toothy grin split her face as she turned to dash down the stairs as fast as her squat little legs would take her.
———————————————————————————————————————
On the moon Io, orbiting the planet Jupiter, the interstellar craft Citlalmina sat twenty degrees north of the volatile moon’s equator, its landing gear clamped to the frigid chemical ice as the refueling drill hung just beneath the surface, rigid against the torrential currents raging unseen beneath.
Inside that incredibly vast vessel stood row upon row of force cages, invisible energies keeping in a menagerie of flora and fauna from a dozen different worlds, including a rather nasty carnivorous tuber-like vegetation from that very moon. One cage sported a Viriliyne lion-hawk, its mane-like tentacles bristling with stingers that somehow missed all three wings as they writhed about in Medusa-esque grace; whilst another held a genetically modified Blue Whale from Earth, shrunk to be a hundredth the size of the original extinct species. The largest cage in this impromptu zoo, however, held the most exotic creature of all: the godking Quetzalcoatl.
The medchair he reclined in was busy at work, rejuvenating the cells of his aging body even as it performed cosmetic surgery to change his face to the perfect image it had once been a millennium ago. Throughout the various iterations of clones he’d transferred his mind’s consciousness into, Quetzalcoatl’s. . . look had changed. The visage that made him appealing to his kind frightened his subjects on the backwater planet of Earth, and though he always changed his appearance to establish rapport with whatever race he was with, he always felt more comfortable in his own skin, so to speak.
That wasn’t to say that he felt comfortable around his own kind, however. His ancient race’s proclivity for destroying cultures that had the potential to challenge their own was barbaric to him, and even though he remained within the strict letter of the law, he’d done everything he could to prevent the total destruction of those cultures under his rule. Take Earth, for instance.
Not only had he let his subjects keep the names of their surviving regions and cities, such as Ostrella and Frankefurt, but he’d also established an Order that, while he did not supply them with his own technology, he allowed to keep remnants of the humans’ technology and knowledge—though not enough to threaten his rule over them. This Order, over time, became referred to as Mages of Tek, which was fascinating to the old immortal alien. Humanity’s proclivity toward the supernatural was something that interested Quetzalcoatl more than any other quirk of the broken civilization’s varied belief structures.
They were, by far, his favorite pet project—one which was looked down upon by the High Court. Recently advisors to the Grand Adjunct had been snooping around Quetzalcoatl’s datasphere, and though he had nothing (almost) to hide, he did not like the intrusion into his virtual space. The world he had created there was exclusively for him, and him alone. He felt. . . violated was the word that came to mind.
And then there was the problem of his brother, Xolotl, who had, after two thousand years of silence, reached out to him. Despite not having heard from his twin in such a long time, Quetzalcoatl loved him, even though he didn’t trust him. What his brother had done to him on Earth—
No, Quetzalcoatl did not trust his brother. But he missed him fiercely.
They were due to meet at the outpost in the system humans had once called Alpha Centauri, a quick jaunt from his present location, in four days time. However, the godking had an appointment to keep on Earth first. In a few hours, Quetzalcoatl was due to show up at the ersatz capital building on Earth. From there he would take care of any matters of state, squash any uprisings that had arisen within his sixteen years’ absence, and reinforce his image as a benevolent godking.
And then, after a dozen lifetimes, he could finally see his brother again. . .
And ask him why he’d betrayed him like he had. . .

Title:  Revenant Rising: Vessel
Genre:  Post-apocalyptic alien-ruled dystopia (mesh of different science fiction subgenres)
Age range:  16 - 99
Word count:  3,518
Name of the guy who wrote it: Jason Wallace
Pen name: Jason Lee
Why your project is a good fit:  Basically, there's something in here for everybody.  Want some action?  It's got that.  Romance?  Oh, yeah...  Good, old-fashioned sci-fi quirkiness?  You betcha.  Harrowing danger, thrilling adventures, and back-stabbing double-plots that'll make ya go, "Whut?!"  Definitely.
The hook:  The world seems different now, but some of it's the same... until you find out that it's being ruled by an alien, and everybody's worshiping him as a godking.  And there's some intrigue, because not only does the MC have a destiny--she's second-in-line to be the head priestess (who's probably gonna die soon)--but there's something going on with Q and his brother, and a troubled past.
Synopsis:  A thousand years removed from the invasion and subjugation of Earth by the Alkeni, Liza is a simple girl caught up in a millennia-long conspiracy in which she is the key to either the world's destruction at the hands of a vengeful alien--or its salvation.  Trained by a wizened old man who bucks at the strictures against old Earth tech, Liza must journey to find the mysterious 'Tants, in order to deliver something that could change the destiny of all men.  Chased by the relentless assassin droids sent by Xolotl, she must race against time in a harrowing dash for safety--only to find her ultimate fate awaiting her there.
Target Audience:  Anyone who likes a good story, really.  But since you're probably looking for a specific answer, I'm going to have to narrow it down to nerds and sci-fi geeks.
Your bio:  Jason Lee is a 31 year old writer from Charlotte, NC, who enjoys sitting in his basement apartment (definitely NOT his parents' basement, thank you very much) writing stories and movie scripts, generally avoiding the outdoors as much as possible whilst writing run-on sentence bios when asked to do so.  He is a Maker and hopeful inventor, with an eye for tech, though he enjoys building furniture and various woodworking projects.  He hopes to be the next Big Thing in the Literary World, the Silver Screen, and pretty much anything else.
Platform:  On my fanfiction (I know, the horror!) website, TTHFanfic.org, I've been reviewed by 124 users, recommended by 20 users, and tracked by 72 users.  This doesn't seem like much, but I don't post much there, or even frequently.  The same with theprose.com: I have 160 followers, but I've only posted 323 times since the beginning of the site, and that was mostly in the early days.  I've become a lot busier since then, but I still love that people like my work.  It keeps me plugging along...
Education:  An autodidact and impatient by nature, I'm high school educated, self-taught in writing by making all the mistakes and having much better, more experienced authors telling my why my work is garbage, and then how to fix it.  After a decade and a half of writing, I believe my work to be legible, to say the least.
Experience:  I've been writing fanfiction alongside some of the best writers I've ever read for years now, beta-reading their work and having them beta-read/tear apart my own stuff.  It's made me a better writer, and people seem to like what they've read.  I hear everyday, "Why haven't you published a novel yet?"  Well...
Personality:  I'm a bit crazy, but then I've always thought that in order to be a halfway decent writer, one must be at least a little bit insane.  We're gods creating and destroying worlds, dictating the lives and fates of those we pen onto blank canvas...  I'm also a little bit fun, if I can toot my own horn.  I've been known to have a good time, make a person laugh a little.  That's all one can ask for, right?
Writing style:  Ho-lee shmokes, is this a hard question...  My stuff just kind of happens organically, growing from a crazy idea I had until it becomes a full-blown world.  I'm serious when the story calls for it, and I'm light and happy-go-lucky when my characters are falling through clouds towards their inevitable doom, contemplating what it means to be a whale, and enjoying the fact they exis--and then they're a smear on the pavement.  My scenes happen by accident, and I either love them or I scrap them altogether, though since it's me writing it, I normally frickin' love them.  I sometimes write the ending first, though I haven't done that with this piece.
Likes/Hobbies:  I love reading, and of course writing.  I love to play video games, though I haven't had time for that in over a year.  I love building things.  I love women...  Yeah...  TMI?  Screw it, I'm leaving it.
Hometown:  Gastonia, NC (I normally just say Charlotte, because everybody knows that one)
Age:  31, going on 13
#scifi  #fiction  #novel  #postapocalyptic 
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Tell us some quotes from one of your characters. Some backstory or a link to a story written with that character in it would be a nice addiction. Tag me!
Written by KayeSwiss in portal Fiction

Quotes from Star Bound

1 - "Now I think you're going to Hell with gasoline boxers on, you arrogant, self-centered, son of -"

2 - "Surviving isn't about air entering and exiting your lungs. It's about being strong enough to take your next breath when it hurts so badly you don't actually want to anymore. Remember that. Breathe."

3 - Seriously, I couldn’t catch a break. We were basically trapped between aliens and monsters. All we needed was a talking Great Dane with the munchies and we could solve crime.

4 - “Human history is rife with stories of conquerors and oppressors, but do you know what other stories abound? The stories of the oppressed who rise up and overthrow those who dare look down on them. That’s what it means to be human. We persevere. We rebel. We may bide our time and choose our moments, but eventually the conquered become the conquerors. I am not nothing. None of us are. We are all something. Human. So be careful, Etruskan,” I spat at her, “our day is coming.”

5 - "Love is a promise. A choice. Made each day, each moment. I love you. Even if you have lost faith in everything else in this life, have faith in that. I choose you. With every beat of my heart."

The first draft of Star Bound can be found here: https://www.wattpad.com/story/71414880-star-bound

 

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Tell us some quotes from one of your characters. Some backstory or a link to a story written with that character in it would be a nice addiction. Tag me!
Written by KayeSwiss in portal Fiction
Quotes from Star Bound
1 - "Now I think you're going to Hell with gasoline boxers on, you arrogant, self-centered, son of -"
2 - "Surviving isn't about air entering and exiting your lungs. It's about being strong enough to take your next breath when it hurts so badly you don't actually want to anymore. Remember that. Breathe."
3 - Seriously, I couldn’t catch a break. We were basically trapped between aliens and monsters. All we needed was a talking Great Dane with the munchies and we could solve crime.
4 - “Human history is rife with stories of conquerors and oppressors, but do you know what other stories abound? The stories of the oppressed who rise up and overthrow those who dare look down on them. That’s what it means to be human. We persevere. We rebel. We may bide our time and choose our moments, but eventually the conquered become the conquerors. I am not nothing. None of us are. We are all something. Human. So be careful, Etruskan,” I spat at her, “our day is coming.”
5 - "Love is a promise. A choice. Made each day, each moment. I love you. Even if you have lost faith in everything else in this life, have faith in that. I choose you. With every beat of my heart."

The first draft of Star Bound can be found here: https://www.wattpad.com/story/71414880-star-bound
 
#scifi  #fiction  #romance  #adventure 
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Chapter 10 of Losing Troy
Written by chainedinshadow

Losing Troy, Part 10

"We have to get him back," Rachel replied immediately. She didn't know Troy very well, but she enjoyed his sense of humor and easy-go-lucky manner. Also, she'd seen so many deaths... She wasn't eager to add another name to the ever growing list.

     Audrey nodded mutely. The whole time she'd been onboard the ship, she hadn't had time to think about it much. But now, now she felt numb. And there was this emptiness inside of her.

     "Hey, don't worry," Rachel soothed. "We'll get him back. Unfortunately, I'm the only one available right now...but I should be enough."

     Audrey allowed a small smile to lift the corners of her mouth. "Trying to escape the paperwork?"

     "If only one could..." Rachel muttered.

Jolie drummed her fingers on the control panel. "They'll be here by tomorrow. That allows for Audrey to get back, get help, gear up, and return."

     Her ever constant companion, the captain of the ship (a.k.a the silent warrior), grunted. "Whatever it is you say."

     Jolie raised a perfectly shaped eyebrow. "You'll see. I haven't been wrong so far."

     "As long as I get what I need, I'll let you live. But if I don't get what I need..." He let it hang in the air.

     "You'll be stuck," Jolie interrupted.

     The creature blinked slowly and tolerantly. It didn't bother to point out that wasn't what he was going to say. What was the point? He was going to kill her eventually, anyway, whether he got what he needed or not.

Somewhere between consciousness and unconsciousness, Troy thought briefly about his mother. He wasn't sure what brought her to mind, but it was comforting.

     Wait, did that mean he was dying? After all, his mother was dead, and he was seeing her face very clearly.

     No, he couldn't be dying. Now the memories were going faster, as if someone was prying through them.

     And someone was.

     That someone was Jolie.

"We'll get a good night's rest, then head out early tomorrow. The ship is already fully equipped, so that won't be a problem. Negotiating might be an option, but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it," Rachel wrapped up. "Sound good?"

     "Anything that deals with getting Troy back sounds good," Audrey responded. She rubbed her temples to try and ease the pain that had taken up residence there. Rachel watched her keenly.

     "I think it's about time we went to bed."

     "Mm. Not opposed to that at all," Audrey responded, smiling slightly. "I'm looking forward to it very much."

     Rachel stretched and yawned before standing up. "C'mon; I'll show you your room."

Jolie finally grew bored of searching Troy's memories, so she called the technician of the ship into her quarters. Setting the mind-control orb down on her dresser, she turned to face him.

     "The core isn't a vital part of this ship, correct? There are back-ups in the hard drives."

     The technician nodded his reptilian head. "Yes, ma'am, that is correct. Our energy matrix collapsed, so we need something to power the ship."

     Jolie nodded. "So it doesn't matter if I recover the core or not?"

     The technician wasn't sure where this was going, but he shook his head. "No."

      "Alright. You may go now." She smiled now, but it wasn't a nice one; it was more like the leer of a wolf before it lunges for the killing stroke.

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Chapter 10 of Losing Troy
Written by chainedinshadow
Losing Troy, Part 10
"We have to get him back," Rachel replied immediately. She didn't know Troy very well, but she enjoyed his sense of humor and easy-go-lucky manner. Also, she'd seen so many deaths... She wasn't eager to add another name to the ever growing list.
     Audrey nodded mutely. The whole time she'd been onboard the ship, she hadn't had time to think about it much. But now, now she felt numb. And there was this emptiness inside of her.
     "Hey, don't worry," Rachel soothed. "We'll get him back. Unfortunately, I'm the only one available right now...but I should be enough."
     Audrey allowed a small smile to lift the corners of her mouth. "Trying to escape the paperwork?"
     "If only one could..." Rachel muttered.

Jolie drummed her fingers on the control panel. "They'll be here by tomorrow. That allows for Audrey to get back, get help, gear up, and return."
     Her ever constant companion, the captain of the ship (a.k.a the silent warrior), grunted. "Whatever it is you say."
     Jolie raised a perfectly shaped eyebrow. "You'll see. I haven't been wrong so far."
     "As long as I get what I need, I'll let you live. But if I don't get what I need..." He let it hang in the air.
     "You'll be stuck," Jolie interrupted.
     The creature blinked slowly and tolerantly. It didn't bother to point out that wasn't what he was going to say. What was the point? He was going to kill her eventually, anyway, whether he got what he needed or not.

Somewhere between consciousness and unconsciousness, Troy thought briefly about his mother. He wasn't sure what brought her to mind, but it was comforting.
     Wait, did that mean he was dying? After all, his mother was dead, and he was seeing her face very clearly.
     No, he couldn't be dying. Now the memories were going faster, as if someone was prying through them.
     And someone was.
     That someone was Jolie.

"We'll get a good night's rest, then head out early tomorrow. The ship is already fully equipped, so that won't be a problem. Negotiating might be an option, but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it," Rachel wrapped up. "Sound good?"
     "Anything that deals with getting Troy back sounds good," Audrey responded. She rubbed her temples to try and ease the pain that had taken up residence there. Rachel watched her keenly.
     "I think it's about time we went to bed."
     "Mm. Not opposed to that at all," Audrey responded, smiling slightly. "I'm looking forward to it very much."
     Rachel stretched and yawned before standing up. "C'mon; I'll show you your room."

Jolie finally grew bored of searching Troy's memories, so she called the technician of the ship into her quarters. Setting the mind-control orb down on her dresser, she turned to face him.
     "The core isn't a vital part of this ship, correct? There are back-ups in the hard drives."
     The technician nodded his reptilian head. "Yes, ma'am, that is correct. Our energy matrix collapsed, so we need something to power the ship."
     Jolie nodded. "So it doesn't matter if I recover the core or not?"
     The technician wasn't sure where this was going, but he shook his head. "No."
      "Alright. You may go now." She smiled now, but it wasn't a nice one; it was more like the leer of a wolf before it lunges for the killing stroke.
#scifi  #action  #teen  #epic  #legit 
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