The following is the 3rd chapter (draft) from Book II of the Prophecy Trilogy, “The Dark Queen”:
“Doran, we need to talk now!” Sarah stated vehemently as she pressed the intercom button to the cockpit.
“Judging by the unpleasant tone in your voice, I’m not sure that’s a good idea seeing as to how I’m flying the plane and all,” Doran replied back sarcastically.
“Just open the door!”
Doran complied reluctantly as Sarah entered the cockpit and sat down in the co-pilot’s chair.
“Do tell. What is the emergency?” he asked, keeping his eyes fixed on the sky in front of him.
“Dr. Nemitz is…was,” she corrected herself, “my grandfather???”
“Yes,” Doran responded in his thick Scottish accent.
“When were you planning to tell me?”
Doran took a deep breath and sighed. “Well, I suppose now seems like a good time.”
“You think?” Sarah retorted. “I’m tired of being kept in the dark, Doran. If I’m going to be a part of this team then I want to know everything; about Nemitz, the Guardians, our mission…”
There was a long silence in the cockpit as Sarah waited impatiently for a response. Doran had actually hoped Dr. Nemitz would have filled her in better, but that’s the way it had always been with him. The good doctor gave out ‘pieces’ of information, but the only one who ever had the privilege of knowing the entire plan was himself. Doran decided he owed the daughter of Alyssa Walker more than that.
“You’re right,” he conceded. “No more secrets or half-truths. Ask me anything.”
Sarah was surprised by Doran’s quick surrender. After her first impression of him at the cabin, she expected the great grandson of Artair to be more stubborn.
“How exactly am I related to Nemitz?” she asked, feeling slightly more at ease.
“He’s your grandfather, on your father’s side. I’m sure you’re aware that Albert, Dr. Nemitz that is, sent someone to protect your mother when Sadeana was born?”
“He mentioned it,” Sarah replied, thinking back to their conversation the night she met Sadeana. “Dr. Nemitz told me that my mother fell in love with a man while she was living in Hallows End and that he was my father.”
“That’s correct. I take it the good doctor didn’t mention that this man also happened to be his son, Tobias?”
“No,” Sarah responded, the frustration in her voice apparent. “He neglected to tell me that.”
“Aye, no surprise there. After Tobias’s disappearance, Albert rarely spoke of him. He was too devastated; Tobias was his only child.”
“Tobias Nemitz.” Sarah spoke the words out loud so that she could hear her father’s full name for the first time. In truth, she didn’t harbor any strong feelings over not knowing him; her step-father was all the father figure she’d ever needed growing up. Still, she couldn’t help but be curious about the man who’d contributed to half of her genetics.
“What was he like?” she asked.
“He was a good friend; probably my best friend. Loyal; Always good for a laugh; Dashing, I suppose,” Doran chuckled. He turned his head toward Sarah so that his eyes could make contact with hers.
“You look like him, ya’ know? Sure, you have your mother’s dark hair, her green eyes…but I can tell Tobias’s ‘fire’, his passion, burns within you. I saw that the moment you walked into the cabin.”
Sarah half-smiled, thinking that ‘fire’ was just a nice way to say she had his temper.
“What happened to him?”
“A few days before your mother found out she was pregnant, your father and I had to leave on a small mission outside of the U.S. There was a rumor spreading that a dragon had been spotted in the Pir Panjal Mountain Range near the border of India and Pakistan. We also had, on good authority, that there were Lemurian forces gathering in that same general area; so Tobias and I went to investigate.”
We spent weeks in those mountains and found nothing, not a dragon nor even a single Lemurian. Tobias still wanted to check out one more lead in Northern Pakistan and I had to check in with the Order so, we agreed to rendezvous back in the States afterward…only, he never made it back.”
Sarah stared out the window and imagined what her father might look like if he was still alive. She started to picture a man in his early 60’s, but realized that might not be accurate given he was the son of a sorcerer.
“How old was Dr. Nemitz, er, my grandfather?” The word ‘grandfather’ didn’t exactly roll off Sarah’s tongue. Her brief relationship with him had mostly consisted of him keeping secrets and deceiving her.
“Hmmm…I don’t really know,” Doran replied. “Several hundred years old, I imagine. I know my father, Doran II, met him back when they were young rebels infiltrating the Holy Roman Empire during the early 1500’s.”
“Does that mean that my father or I, for that matter, will age slower?”
“I’m afraid not. I don’t know a great deal about sorcerers, but here’s what Albert told me. The only way a sorcerer can live longer than the average human is by surrounding themselves with immortal beings. Somehow, a sorcerer can tap into an immortal’s life energy without actually draining it from them.”
Sarah imagined that had to play a part in Dr. Nemitz’ motivation for founding a town for immortals.
“As the legend goes,” Doran continued, “it was one of the last living Gods, an Atlantian by the name of Paeon, who engineered the sorcerer ‘gene’ into a handful of humans. It was an attempt to create a more symbiotic relationship between humankind and immortals. However, the gene turned out to be recessive, and only presents itself in every third generation. Good to know should you decide to have children someday.”
The thought of having children wasn’t anywhere close on Sarah’s radar. She was about to switch gears and ask about their mission, but there was one more question burning in the back of her mind.
“Did you love my mother?” Sarah remembered Tom mentioning the two of them possibly being romantically involved.
“That I did,” Doran affirmed. “I always did. Even when Tobias was still around I loved her, though of course, I didn’t say anything. Your father and I were close friends and I didn’t want to risk our friendship over what I imagined was just a bad case of ‘puppy love’ at the time.”
“Puppy love, huh?” Sarah wasn’t buying it.
“Well…after Tobias disappeared and your mother left Hallows End with you, I realized just how much I did truly love her. I never told anyone else, but I remember promising myself that should I ever get a chance to see your mother again, that I would tell her how I really felt.”
“And when she returned to Hallows End?”
“Those were the happiest years of my life.” Doran’s eyes glazed over as he replayed the memories of him and Alyssa together in his mind.
After another long period of silence, Sarah began feeling uncomfortable and decided she was ready to move on to current events.
“So, now that I know all that, let’s talk about the mission.” Sarah leaned forward in her chair and looked out the front windshield, realizing she had never been in the cockpit of a jet before. It was actually quite exciting. “Angelique mentioned that we’re heading to D.C. to meet up with this Agent Rose guy. Is he arranging for our flight to Romania?”
“Sort of,” Doran replied. “We’ll actually be flying to London from D.C., where we’ll be splitting up into groups.”
“I see.” Sarah’s gaze moved over to Doran. She could definitely see how it was that her mother fell for him. He had a rather ‘rugged’ appearance with his beard and unkempt hair, but underneath that it was obvious he was a very handsome man. “Why are we splitting up?”
“Before we go knocking on the Dark Queen’s doorstep, there are a few things we need to get in place. I’ll be travelling with Brittany to St. Andrews in Scotland. She’ll be disguised as Sadeana just long enough for me to pay one last visit to the Order in hopes of discovering their true intentions for the child of prophecy.”
“I thought their plan was to kill her?”
“Aye, that’s the popular theory. However, we don’t know that for sure and we need to find out if they have any alternative motives for wanting your sister. Odessa has her claws deep within many powerful organizations; it’s entirely possible that she’s pulling the Order’s strings as well.”
“That seems like a big risk to take.”
“It is. But I have close friends on the inside; friends that have helped me avoid being found out about for the last hundred years. The only reason the Order accepted me into their cult was because they believed I might be able to find the child of prophecy. Should I not return, anyone who was close to me will surely be killed. By going back one more time I can get the information we need and escape with those who have been loyal to our cause.”
“And the rest of us?” Sarah could feel her protective instincts kicking in as she waited for Doran to explain what his plans for Sadeana were.
“You’ll be visiting the high councils of the immortal races to let them know that we’ve secured the child of prophecy. In the past, we’ve simply asked them to send representation to our headquarters in Vienna, but if war is coming that won’t be enough. We must have an audience with every member of their respective councils, and the only way that will happen is for us to go to them.
Mason will be staying in London to speak with the High Council of Vampyres. They’ve never been very supportive, but we must try, given the circumstances. Josh and Marie are heading to Cairo to meet with the Lycan Council. I would normally join them, but they should do fine on their own; we have many friends within the Lycan community. You, Angelique and Sadeana will be traveling to the Island of Crete to visit the Siren Council. I realize it’s not ideal to send Sadeana anywhere right now, but she’ll be safest with you.”
Sarah didn’t like the idea of splitting up, though she understood the reasoning behind it. Time was not a luxury the Guardians had any longer. Odessa had surely received word by now that the ‘demon’ army had failed at the cabin, and now Sadeana was out in the open where she would be easier to catch.
“And after we’ve secured what support we can from the councils, then do we travel to Romania?” she asked. “Will it just be us or are we expecting the immortal councils to lend us soldiers for our mission to the Black Peak?”
“First we’ll rendezvous at our headquarters in Vienna. The Atlantean Council is located there and can protect Sadeana while the rest of us head to the Black Peak. It will just be the six of us, for now; the war will have to wait until we know better what the Dark Queen’s agenda is and whether or not we’re successful in killing Keara.”
“What exactly do we hope to gain if I take Keara’s place in the prophecy?”
“Our fundamental strategy has always been to stop Odessa from getting the children of prophecy. She already has half of what she perceives she needs in Keara and that’s dangerously close to her accomplishing her goal. If we can take that away from her then it’s a step in the right direction.”
“I get that, but it seems like we’re setting ourselves up for an eternal game of ‘cat and mouse’. At some point we’re going to have to take Odessa down, right?”
“Aye. Eventually we will have to put an end to Odessa and her Lamiai. Accomplishing that feat, however, brings its own unfathomable challenges. It could easily cost every Guardian his or her life. Not to mention that while the immortal councils have been somewhat supportive of our cause in keeping the children of prophecy from her, an assassination of the only living Titan on Earth might not be so easily approved. The Guardians are not our own military task force; they are meant to serve the best interests of both immortals and humans.”
Sarah could understand the politics that were at play, though she had never had much patience for them. “I’m surprised Odessa hasn’t risen up previously.”
“She’s tried a couple of times over the Millennia. The only thing that’s stopped her is the Atlantians. You see, after the fall of Lemuria and Atlantis, the remaining Atlantians abandoned the views of their creator, Poseidon, and instead followed more in the footsteps of Zeus. They became the protectors, if you will, of the human race. That’s the reason “Angels” have been depicted with such favorable imagery among human religion.”
“And Odessa really believes that having the children of prophecy is what’s going to make the difference for her this time around?” Sarah questioned. “Tom mentioned something about the weapon of Atlantis and that Odessa might have it in her possession. Is there anything that connects the children of prophecy to it?”
“None that we’re aware of, but you’re right to be questioning the Dark Queen’s motives. Even though we’ve never been able to confirm it, we suspect she has both dragons and a formidable Lemurian army at her disposal. The only logical explanation for her stalling then is if she believes she needs something more to guarantee her victory. Regardless of the power that Sadeana might have, it’s hard to believe that she would make enough of a difference to sway the outcome of such an epic conflict.”
“Unless Odessa has recovered the weapon of Atlantis and for some reason needs Sadeana to power it?”
“Indeed. That’s the real question, isn’t it?”