The following is the 2nd chapter (draft) from Book II of the Prophecy Trilogy, “The Dark Queen”:
Sarah’s gaze danced upon the white clouds in the morning sky as she stared out the window of Dr. Nemitz’ private jet. Her thoughts had been drifting in and out since they’d boarded the plane in San Francisco en route to their next destination, Washington D.C. Doran had encouraged everyone to get some rest during the flight, but Sarah was much too alert for sleep.
Turning her head back toward the jet’s interior, she observed Sadeana sleeping soundly in the cushy, leather seat facing her. Sarah still couldn’t get used to the idea that this young woman, who appeared to be barely twenty years old, was actually her older sister. For a brief moment, Sarah imagined what it would have been like had her mother decided to stay in Hallows End rather than move to Portland; to have shared a childhood with her sister and grown up around immortals.
Sarah glanced over at Brittany and Mason sitting across the aisle way, both of them appearing to be sleeping as well. She thought about Brittany having lost her mother recently and how tough an experience that was when she’d gone through it. For so many years, Sarah had harbored a substantial amount of anger toward her mother for disappearing. Now that she knew the truth, she was finally experiencing some much needed closure on the subject.
“If you’re planning to stare at me next…don’t.”
Mason’s deep voice startled Sarah. She hadn’t noticed it previously, but was fairly certain that she was detecting an English accent. He was wearing dark sunglasses making it difficult for Sarah to see his eyes, though clearly he was now awake. If not for having saved her life when she was younger, Sarah would have thought Mason to be one of the most intimidating individuals she had ever met. He was well over six feet tall, wore a long black overcoat with leather boots, and had a scar on the top of his shaved head the size of an ax blade. He also had several tattoos of lions on his arms and neck that were only slightly darker than his ebony colored skin.
“Do you remember me?” Sarah felt herself hold her breath as Mason shifted in his seat.
“Of course I do, Ms. Chase.”
Silence filled the small interior of the jet as Sarah contemplated what to ask him next. She had spent less than 24 hours with the Guardians and already she could tell that Mason wasn’t exactly the warmest of personalities. She studied him for a moment, taking notice of his unkempt goatee and the scar atop his bald head.
“So, what was the deal?” Sarah continued, her eyes fixed upon him. “Did Dr. Nemitz send you to be my bodyguard or something?”
“Dr. Nemitz wanted me to keep you safe,” he replied. “After that night, however, I told him that you needed to learn how to protect yourself. That’s why I left you Kayman’s card.”
Sarah’s mind quickly flashed back to the night she was attacked in front of her apartment building in Eastern Los Angeles. She had already sustained a couple of broken ribs and a concussion when Mason suddenly appeared out of the shadows to take down her attackers. He left only a few moments after having dropped her off at the hospital, but the next day she woke up to a vase of blue orchids sitting next to her bed along with the card of a local mixed martial arts master.
“Why didn’t you train me instead?”
“Kayman is a much better teacher than I am,” he responded gruffly. “Besides, I’m not fond of teenagers.”
“Don’t let him fool you,” Sarah turned around to see Angelique sitting in the next row of seats, her head buried in a harlequin romance novel. “Mason’s not very fond of anything.”
“That’s not true,” he retorted, “I’m fond of being alone.”
“Were you born a vampire?” Sarah asked him. She was determined to learn more about the man who had saved her life. All these years she had held on to the fantasy that he was her ‘knight in shining armor’, as silly as she knew that sounded. The reality, however, was not matching up with her illusion.
“Vampires are the only immortal species that aren’t born into what we are, with the exception of the occasional werewolf,” Mason replied, annoyed. “We’re a cursed species; a blasphemized version of the Dark Queen’s treasured Lamiai race.”
“How did they…”
“Listen,” Mason interrupted. “I’m not really the story telling type. All you need to know is that I’m angry at the world for what I am and that translates into someone pretty good to have on your side.”
“Most immortals,” Angelique spoke up as she placed her book on her lap, “are very proud of our heritage and history. Sarah, my dear; why don’t you come sit next to me and leave ‘Mr. Mason’ to his brooding.”
Sarah was disappointed with the results of her attempted interview of Mason and decided that a fresh start with a more willing participant was in order. She sat down in the chair facing Angelique while Josh and Marie remained sleeping on the other side of the small aisle way.
“So, my dear, how are you holding up?” Angelique’s eyes were soft and kind. She had long black hair and light brown skin that was aptly displayed thanks to her low cut, aqua marine dress. The dress matched her eyes which Sarah could have sworn reflected the ocean within them.
“Me? Fine…I guess.” Sarah didn’t necessarily believe that, but it sounded good. She didn’t feel like being the one interviewed, however, so she quickly shifted the conversation to Angelique.
“You’re a siren, correct?”
“Yes. The ‘Siren of Destruction’ as Doran likes to put it.”
“What are your ‘special abilities’?” Sarah asked, slightly embarrassed to hear her question spoken out loud; she imagined she sounded like some teenage boy talking about superheroes in a comic book.
“Sirens are able to transform our bodies into a liquid state for short amounts of time. We also have extremely powerful vocal abilities, in song, persuasion and, when necessary, destruction.”
“Are you from…around here?”
“Most of my family lives in Chile, though our line originates from the island of Crete. Sirens were actually the first species Poseidon created, his initial intent being that our race would populate his beloved kingdom of Atlantis. Unfortunately, he was unsuccessful at creating a male version of our species that could survive after the mating process.” Angelique paused for a moment to allow for a slightly devious effect.
“As a result, we became a failure in his eyes. That’s when Poseidon created the Valkryie or ‘Angel’ race, if you will, in the image of both him and his Queen, Nike. The Siren race was then cast aside, forever cursed to see the male members of our species sacrifice themselves in order to continue our existence.”
“Yikes,” Sarah responded with widened eyes, “that’s a bit rough.”
“Makes love a tricky thing amongst our race,” Angelique continued, “though at least our men can say they die happily.” Sarah couldn’t help but laugh at Angelique’s comment.
“How did all of you, the Guardians I mean, come together?” Sarah curled her legs underneath herself as she rearranged her position in her chair. There was something about Angelique that she found incredibly absorbing.
“In the mood for a story are we?” Angelique’s voice sounded as if it had the ring of the ocean within it every time she spoke. “Well, first of all, I must tell you that only the good doctor and Doran really call us ‘The Guardians’. I know it sounds very noble and all, but a few of us, myself included, probably aren’t worthy of such grand titles.”
Sarah got a confused look on her face, but made no attempt to interrupt.
“I’m actually a professional thief, my dear, though I like to think of myself as the female version of Robin Hood. I’ve stolen from some of the most corrupt men on this planet and redistributed their wealth, if you will, to those less fortunate. Of course, I do keep a piece for myself so I’m hardly a Saint. Dr. Nemitz heard about me through his friend at the FBI, Agent Rose. He knew I was a siren and he came to me with an offer I couldn’t refuse.”
“Which was?” Sarah asked with intrigue.
“Ha, look at the Police Detective getting all excited about hearing more about your law breaking ways.” Josh had woken up and was now sitting upright, amused by Sarah’s interest in Angelique’s back story.
“I…was just asking Angelique about how all of you came together.”
“Oh, I heard.” Josh grinned. “Do continue with your story, Angie.”
“Anyway,” Angelique glared at Josh, “Dr. Nemitz offered me a large sum of money if I would come to Hallows End for the weekend to hear about a special cause that he was recruiting for. I told him I wasn’t the ‘cause joining’ type, but I’m also not a girl who can resist an easy score. By the end of the weekend, for reasons I still can’t completely explain, I gave the good doctor his money back and became one of the first members of the Guardians.”
“I remember that weekend,” Josh chimed in. “Marie and I were there along with Doran, Mason, William, a few others and…your father” he paused momentarily, allowing for Sarah to process the fact that her father had been a member of the Guardians. She regretted not having asked Dr. Nemitz more about her father when she had the chance. After she learned that Elise had killed the good doctor, she worried that no one else would be able to fill her in on who her father was and what had happened to him. Now that Josh had informed her that he had been a member of the Guardians her hope returned.
“There were more of us back then,” he continued. “about fifteen, actually. Everyone who came that weekend joined the cause…except for one.” Josh’s demeanor suddenly changed, his smile fading. Marie, who had also woken up, reached over to comfort him as her hand touched his.
“Who didn’t join?” Sarah asked.
Josh swallowed hard before answering.
“My brother, Jacob. I had convinced him to come with Marie and me to Hallows End. I told him that it was a chance for us to make up for Lucifer’s poor decisions of the past and the many mistakes our race has made since; that it was an opportunity to restore the nobility once prominent among the Lemurian bloodline that Hades himself brought into this world.”
Josh paused for a second as he took a deep breath and scratched his eyebrow.
“Well, half way through the conference Jacob got upset when our mission was revealed. He shouted at me that no Lemurian should ever take up arms against the mother of our race. I tried to explain to him that Odessa had given up on the Lemurian race eons ago, but he wouldn’t listen. Instead he called me a traitor and…I haven’t heard from him since.”
“Lemuria was the Kingdom of your ancestors, correct?” Sarah asked, remembering the stories that Dr. Nemitz and Tom had told to her.
“Yes; unfortunately, Lemuria is simply spoken of now as if it were a myth; an excusable offense by the human race, but not one that should be accepted by Lemurians. Instead, my race now refers to themselves as the ‘demon race’, a term first coined by none other than Poseidon himself. It was not complimentary back then and it certainly shouldn’t be used to refer to our race now.”
Sarah’s face suddenly turned red. “I’m so sorry; when I first met you at the cabin; I didn’t mean to.”
“Ah, no worries,” Josh replied. “As I said, for a human to use the term is understandable; you don’t know any different. All your life I’m sure that you believed Lemuria to be a fairy tale, just like Atlantis.
Sarah thought to herself that she had actually never even heard of Lemuria before her arrival to Hallows End.
“Still,” she insisted, “I shall be sure to refer to you and your kind as Lemurians from this moment forward. I may be human, but I can no longer claim ignorance as an excuse.”
“Oh, you might still meet a few of us you’d prefer to call demons,” Josh teased. “Those gentlemen we ran into at the cabin, for instance. It’s taken thousands of years for their particular denomination to breed themselves into a bunch of hulking, raging warriors. As you can tell by my appearance, however, not all Lemurians are of that sort.”
Sarah admitted that Josh looked nothing like the demons they had encountered at the cabin, nor the ones that she had read about in the journals of Artair. Josh was well under six foot with handsome features, a head full of hair and a much slighter build. The way he moved in combat, as Sarah had observed, was more reminiscent of a ninja than a barbarian.
“What about you, Marie?” Sarah looked in Josh’s wife’s direction. “I heard Doran refer to you as the ‘resident Angel’; are you truly an angel?”
Unlike Angelique’s long flowing locks, Marie’s dark blonde hair was pulled back in a pony tail, giving her a ‘girl-next-door’ kind of look. She had an extremely kind face with light features and hazel eyes that made Sarah feel as though she could instantly trust her.
“My race has been called that, yes. Unlike the term ‘demon’, angel is actually quite complimentary. Those of my ancestors who survived the destruction of our home, Atlantis, populated much of what civilization now refers to as Europe. Though our roots were rather war-like, we eventually became a very peaceful race.”
“Can you fly?” Sarah asked.
“Indeed I can. My wings appear as tattoos on my back that emerge when I call upon them to do so. I’ll have to show you some time.”
“Have any of you met this Agent Rose that we’re on our way to meet up with?” Sarah was very curious about him considering that Sadeana had mentioned to her just before they had reached the cabin that he was on standby to take her place on the Guardians if she declined the ‘opportunity’.
“Rose is an FBI Agent who Dr. Nemitz befriended several years ago,” Angelique responded, “Handsome fellow. Might be your type, although I doubt we’ll stay in D.C long enough for you to get to know him very well.” Sarah looked at Angelique like she was crazy.
“Oh I’m terribly sorry dear. Are you shy? Or, are boys not your thing? I certainly didn’t mean to offend you if…”
“No,” Sarah laughed, “I like boys just fine. It’s just, I’m a little focused on the mission, that’s all.”
“Ah, my dear,” Angelique leaned over and placed both her hands on Sarah’s knees. “If we can’t take time to have a little fun once in a while then what’s the point, right?”
“Perhaps some of us don’t like playing as much as you Angelique.”
Angelique rolled her eyes at Mason’s sarcasm coming from the next aisle over.
“I have to admit,” Sarah interjected as she tried to change the topic, “it’s a little intimidating being among so many of you who have these incredible gifts.”
“Now, dear,” Angelique squeezed Sarah’s knees, “surely the granddaughter of a great sorcerer has some rather impressive gifts as well?”
Sarah suddenly got an extremely confused look on her face and withdrew from Angelique. “Granddaughter of a sorcerer?”
“And this is why I pretend to sleep.” Mason stated dryly.
“Oh,” Angelique looked extremely sheepish. “Oh my goodness, I had no idea Sarah. I’m so sorry. It was not my place to disclose…”
“Disclose what???” Sarah questioned rather aggressively.
Angelique leaned forward and answered Sarah in a near whisper.
“Dr. Nemitz was your grandfather.”