The following is the first draft chapter from the 2nd book in the Prophecy Trilogy, “The Dark Queen”:
250,000 B.C. (Age of Titans)
“Of this I am certain. Our race is slowly being diminished by the effects of the planet we call Earth. Therefore, from this day forward, I forbid all who have been born on Earth to contribute to our society’s population. The only lawful procreation will be that which originates between the one thousand born of our home planet, Titanus. Furthermore, all those who are Earth-born will henceforth be referred to as ‘Gods’ and will be recognized as a lesser race among us. This I proclaim as law in order to preserve, as best I can, the integrity of our genetic breed. The Titan race was chosen to pioneer new planets because of its superiority. We cannot jeopardize the mission that was bestowed upon us by infecting Earth with lesser-beings.” – Cronus, King of the Titans
55,000 B.C. (Age of Gods)
Queen Odessa looked out at the volcano laden mountains from the balcony of her palace, admiring the kingdom that she and Hades had built together. Rivers of lava flowed gently below bridges of obsidian that connected more than a hundred magnificent stone castles. Perched upon each castle roof was one of Odessa’s dragons, the ‘Guardians of Lemuria’, with dozens more nesting within the mountainside. The view reminded her of what seemed an impossible dream back when she and Hades had first fallen in love.
All they had ever wanted was to marry one another and start a family. However, Hades’ father, Cronus, forbid it, believing that those born on Earth were weaker than those born on their home planet. While Odessa was a member of the Titan race, Hades was a God and therefore deemed ‘unworthy’ by Cronus of fathering a child. In order to help ensure that his son wouldn’t disobey his laws, Cronus forced himself upon Odessa, claiming that it was her obligation as a Titan woman to carry his child (much to her relief, Odessa later discovered that Cronus failed in his attempt to impregnate her).
Filled with rage from his father’s horrible act, Hades soon convinced his brothers, Zeus and Poseidon, to overthrow their father and free the world from his tyranny. Each of his brothers had their own agenda: Zeus’ being his desire to procreate freely and Poseidon’s to rule the world; regardless of their individual motivations, their united cause ultimately proved successful.
Upon Cronus’ death, the three brothers swore an oath to one another to share power equally. Zeus, in his typical overzealous nature, neglected to consult with his brothers and took it upon himself to grant amnesty to the entire Titan race. Poseidon was outraged, believing the Titans should be punished for having followed Cronus blindly in his beliefs. Ignoring Zeus’ proclamation, Poseidon immediately ordered the castration of every male Titan. He claimed his actions were to prevent a re-occurrence of ‘Titan superiority’, but Hades suspected it was due to Poseidon wanting to remove the possibility of a direct Titan descendant ever challenging for power.
Poseidon’s harsh treatment of the Titans led to 150,000 years of turmoil between their two races, resulting in the extinction of every Titan (with the exception of Odessa) and the death of Poseidon’s Goddess wife, Nike. Upon Nike’s death, Poseidon publicly disowned Hades, claiming his brother had betrayed him and his fellow Gods by choosing an ‘enemy whore’ over his own people. Though Hades’ was sympathetic to his brother’s loss, he no longer deemed it wise to maintain ties.
Over the last thousand years, the tension between Lemuria and Atlantis had grown. Hades feared that Poseidon would attack Lemuria in an effort to murder Odessa, thus he continued to build his kingdom’s forces. Poseidon interpreted Hades’ actions as a challenge for power and grew his own army accordingly. Though Zeus had long ago given up on the affairs of Earth and retreated to his home in Olympus to drink and womanize, he couldn’t bare the news of a potential war between his brothers. Zeus decided that a treaty was in order and arranged for a meeting between the three brothers in Atlantis.
Odessa had advised Hades to let Zeus make the trip without him, telling her husband that she feared for his life. Hades, however, refused to believe that his own brother would ever do him harm. He insisted that “Zeus was right” and that the only way to ensure that peace remained between the kingdoms was to meet with Poseidon in person. Hades and Zeus had now been gone for over a week without any news.
Odessa stood in silence, still taking in the scenery while her advisors shared their theories on what might have happened to their King. She was growing weary of some of the more sinister plots that were being imagined when suddenly, the doors to the advisory chamber burst open. Four Lemurian guards proceeded to file into the room, two of them holding what appeared to be an Atlantian dressed in a bright blue cloak that covered nearly everything but his forearms.
“Your Majesty!” called out the lead guard, a handsome young Lemurian with thick black hair and dark, storm cloud-gray skin. His rank as a lead guard was made apparent by the single ruby implanted just above the chest plate of his armor.
Odessa looked up from her self-induced trance to see what the chaotic scene was about. “Zeiruit,” she responded upon recognizing him, “tell me the meaning of this interruption.” Odessa knew the young guard to be the son of Captain Myko, the head of security for all of Lemuria.
“My Queen, this Atlantian was found leaving a box at the entrance of your palace gates. Our guards apprehended him before he could escape.”
Another of the Lemurian guards took his cue and moved toward Odessa, holding a small ivory box that measured only slightly larger than the guard’s hand. He opened the box to reveal that it was empty.
“What was in the box?” Odessa’s gaze moved from the empty box back to Zeirut.
“Nothing, your Majesty. We searched both the Atlantian and the area around where he left the object, but we weren’t able to find anything.”
Odessa turned her attention to the Atlantian. He was staring at the floor, his wrists bound with titanium shackles. One of the guards holding him pulled back the hood on his bright blue cloak so that the Queen could see the Atlantian’s face. He had long white hair and blue tattoos of the trident, the symbol of Atlantis, on each of his cheeks.
“What is your name, Atlantian?” Odessa’s voice rang smoothly through the chamber as her twelve advisors, each clothed in a dark crimson robe, remained seated nervously around the large obsidian table in the middle of the room.
“My name is Lin, Queen Odessa.”
“Welcome to Lemuria, Lin of Atlantis. I see you are a member of Poseidon’s Royal Guard,” Odessa reached out and softly touched the tattoos on Lin’s face. His skin tone was so light that it almost appeared translucent. “Tell me,” she tipped her head slightly to try and make eye contact while he continued to stare toward the chamber floor, “why have you risked imprisonment on this day to bring an empty box to the doorsteps of my palace?
“My humble apologies,” he responded. Lin raised his head so that his bright blue eyes stared directly into Odessa’s. “King Poseidon ordered me to bring the box to the palace of the great King Hades and his Queen, Odessa.”
“Yes, I realize you are no doubt following the orders of your Lord, but why an empty box? Do you bring me news from King Hades?”
Lin maintained eye contact with the Queen, but remained speechless as his eyes glossed over in an apparent daze. Odessa’s eyebrows furrowed as she grew impatient waiting for a response.
“Our Queen asked you a question!” Zeirut took a step toward Lin, his skin turning crimson, as he struck the Atlantian across the face with the back of his hand.
“Forgive me,” Lin replied, the right side of his mouth turning upward into an insincere smile. “Your Queen’s presence has left me speechless. I have heard rumors of her intoxicating beauty, but now I am able to see for myself what a marvel she is to behold…no doubt the result of her Titan bloodline.”
Queen Odessa could smell the insult hidden within Lin’s tainted words. It was no secret that Poseidon had passed his hatred of her and the Titan race on to his followers in Atlantis.
“Enough with your paralyzed tongue!” Odessa’s temper began to rise. “Why did you come to Lemuria? Surely you did not believe that your presence would go unnoticed?”
“No, I surely didn’t,” he snarled back. Lin threw off his cloak to reveal a pair of wings made of a shiny metallic material. The guards stepped back, as did the Queen.
“What kind of wings are those?” Zeirut questioned as he and the other guards quickly drew their weapons.
“None, I’m sure, that you’ve ever seen before.” Lin used the edge of one of his wings to cut the chain in between the shackles on his hands. The Lemurian guards responded by attacking him.
“You see, your Majesty” Lin continued talking as he engaged the Lemurians in battle, “my mission it to return that box to my Lord with your pretty little heart in it!”
Lin began spinning himself like a tornado, his wings becoming swift blades that proceeded to decapitate two of the Lemurian soldiers and injure a third. Zeirut, the only soldier who wasn’t harmed during Lin’s attack, immediately placed himself between the Atlantian and his Queen.
“Security!” Zeirut shouted, hoping that the guards standing in the hallway outside of the chamber room would rush in to assist.
Lin picked up a spear off the reddish stone floor and rammed it into the mid-section of the injured Lemurian guard. He then flung it through the air to smash the security keypad. The thick stone door to the chamber closed, leaving the guards outside helpless to come to the Queen’s aide.
“You’re security won’t get here in time,” Lin grinned as he removed a short sword from one of the dead guards and attacked Zeirut. It didn’t take long for him to defeat the noble guardsman.
Odessa’s advisors moved in front of their Queen to protect her, but their bravery proved of little consequence. Lin quickly sent their souls to the underworld, their blood now staining the floor an even darker shade of crimson.
“So, Queen of Demons,” he smirked as he stepped toward Odessa. “It appears that I will have the honor of dispatching the last living Titan on Earth.”
Odessa could hear the pounding on the other side of the chamber door as her guards tried to break it down. She glanced over to the balcony, but the blast doors had been triggered due to the smashing of the security keypad.
“Those doors won’t hold for long, Atlantian.” Odessa slowly stepped backward. “We have dragons, you know.”
“I don’t need long.” Lin retorted.
“You will not find me as defenseless as you might believe.” Odessa removed her long black robe to reveal a Lemurian saber attached to her belt. It was the only piece of clothing on her otherwise naked, olive-toned body.
“I see you are more prepared than your husband was.” Lin’s eyes filled with malevolence as he shifted his sword back and forth between his hands.
“What do you know of Hades?” She growled, her right hand gripping her saber.
“I know only of your husband and his fool brother Zeus’ rotting carcasses being pitched over the Falls of Nike. Don’t worry though; their heads still remain in Atlantis…on spears in front of the great gates of Poseidon’s castle.”
Odessa’s heart broke at the word that her husband had fallen, yet she refused to allow herself to die at the hands of an Atlantian. She leapt through the air at the exact same time as Lin lunged toward her, their weapons clashing in a meeting of metal.
Lin rallied blow upon blow at the Queen, yet her resilience with her own weapon left the would-be-assassin unsuccessful. The temperature of the room now grew warmer as small flickers of fire began sneaking their way through the cracks of the chamber door. The Lemurian guards were no doubt using one of the Queen’s dragons to break through.
“You have skills in battle, Queen Odessa, but even if I am unable to kill you on this day, your kingdom will fall!” Lin became more aggressive with his attacks, but to no avail. Odessa continued to counter his strikes until the chamber room door finally exploded from the heat of the dragon’s flame.
Lin turned his back toward the opening, using his metal wings to shield him against the flurry of arrows now being unleashed by the Lemurian guards. He watched Odessa quickly moving away from him and knew that his time had run out.
“Atlantis will be victorious on this day!” he cried out as he lunged toward Odessa in one final attempt to slay the Queen.
Before Lin could reach her, several Lemurian guards grabbed him, removing the sword from his hands and cutting the wings from his body. The guards continued pummeling Lin with their fists until Odessa was certain he had been disabled.
“Enough,” she said, her jade eyes filled with fury. Odessa took a few steps and stood over Lin who lay sprawled out on the floor. “Tell me, why did Poseidon have Hades and Zeus murdered?”
“Because they were weak,” Lin answered, his blue-tinted blood oozing from his mouth. “Atlantis is the only kingdom worthy of power on this planet…and Poseidon must be the only King left standing!”
The palace floors suddenly began shaking and several loud “booms” could be heard beyond the blast doors.
“Open those doors!” Odessa commanded.
One of the Lemurian guards quickly removed the damaged security keypad and began tying off the mangled wires. After a few moments he was successful in opening the blast doors, revealing the war that had now begun.
“The army of Poseidon is at your doorstep!” Lin began laughing maniacally until one of the guards knocked him out with the blunt side of a sword.
Odessa stepped on to the balcony and watched as her dragon riders headed out to meet their Atlantian foes. The winged soldiers of Atlantis, though much smaller than the dragons, outnumbered her army one hundred to one. In addition, many of the Atlantian soldiers rode on the backs of armored Pegasus.
Tears formed in Odessa’s eyes as she witnessed the war unfolding that her husband and Zeus had tried so hard to avoid.
“It has begun,” she whispered to herself.