Thy Kingdom Come
A war like none other, against an enemy like none imagined ......
For over ten thousand years, the Lyarran Empire kept the peace in the galaxy. It stood as civilizations rose and fell, gained strength from new species joining the fold, and even bore witness to the rise of Aen. The long fabled Harbinger took his place in the history books as he successfully stopped the Guild -once founding members of the Empire – from usurping the throne for themselves.
But now as the dust settles from the failed revolution, the winds of change push back the veil of shadow to reveal the driving force behind it all. Am Na’Ka-ur has unleashed his legions of Husk and Valkyrie upon the entire galaxy to reshape all that he believes should never have been; the once Blue King of Dalanth is filled with vengeance from his betrayal.
With an enemy of unheralded power, Aen leads the charge to pit the Ifierin and the Fleet against this growing darkness in the face of overwhelming odds. The war has begun; Aen, the Lyarran Empire, and the entire galaxy will never be the same again.
March 16th, 2016
I am a day late in my promise, but did not forget to deliver. Here as promised, is a sneak peak of the pivotal part of the series. I am working closely with FriesenPress to get the book completed as soon as possible, and will post updates on its progress when I have them. Until then, I hope this little snippet wets your appetite for the time being. Enjoy:
Lake District Billa; Pax; Lyarran System
“You should talk to her,” Lyxia scolded him. “If a great war is truly upon us and many of us may perish, then you should give the woman some closure.”
It had been almost six months since Iana had retaken her throne and the Guild had been exposed as traitors to the very Empire they had helped create. Much had been lost in the brief civil war; and the Empress was choosing the replacement Council members carefully. The Guild infection had spread dee within the Imperial organism, and the theatrics at the coronation weren’t enough to purge the sickness in its entirety. Many still held loyalty to the Guild despite the failed coup; staying hidden in plain sight, as the hunt for them raged on, was the only way to stay alive.
Fleet Command was gone; the Admiralty blown away when the Dark Light had done the unthinkable under the command of Sara Foster and fired the PA Cannons to turn the tide in the conflict on Thsin. Instead of reforming this long standing command structure, Iana chose her guardian Bryx to command the fleet himself. His first orders were to ramp up ship production by three hundred percent and the immediate repairs of any ships damaged in the conflict. War was on the horizon, and an arsenal was needed to be built on an unprecedented scale.
There it was, the looming darkness; the war no one wanted, but was coming none-the-less. The entire treachery of the Guild was due to a new allegiance with this darkness in a ploy to keep the mighty Imperial Fleet from going head to head with the enemy’s forces. From a forgotten time emerged a familiar name; Am-Na’Ka-ur had survived his betrayers and the fires of the dying giant star Dalanth to rebuild an armada in the shadows that threatened the entire galaxy. After Aen had defeated the Guild, the Dark Lord himself had stepped forward to lay down the gauntlet.
It was that meeting that haunted Aen now – and every day since the meeting – as he tried to enjoy some time off with his lover Lyxia at her estate home in the picturesque lake villa on Pax. Finally, the two star-crossed lovers had time for themselves to let their relationship grow in what may be the last bit of down time remaining to them. And as she chided him now for ignoring his past, Aen couldn’t help but look fondly at his companion; admiring her beauty from where he stood on the balcony.
Lyxia was a picture of beauty and power; standing six foot seven inches, the Paxyn woman was strong willed and stubborn when it came to putting her mind to something. Her bright blue hair – tied back in a ponytail and exposing her elf-like pointed ears - was slightly less lustrous then her dazzling all-blue eyes; Paxyns didn’t have pupils like humans. Skin of bronze made her look like a living statue, and right now as she sat on the bed covered only by a sheet she looked less like the warrior Amazon and more like a dream than ever. Aen looked at her seriousness and simply smiled.
“What the hell are you grinning at?” Lyxia shot at him. “I’m trying to be serious here. Sara has called three times since she returned to Terra Sol for you with messages to call her back. Her mother wants to speak to you, yet you leave the calls unanswered.”
“And what would I say to Krista that hadn’t been relayed in the message I left for them years ago?” Aen replied at long last. “Can you not ask your friend what this is all about?”
“You want me to call your daughter and see what it is that compels your wife to reach out to you now? Not only would it be awkward, but it would be completely inappropriate,” she snapped at him.
Lyxia gathered up the sheet around her and approached him with a sad look in her eyes. She reached up with her three fingered right hand and placed it lovingly on his cheek. Aen had suffered much since being turned into what he was now, and above all others Lyxia knew how much pain he held on to behind his stoic exterior.
“I know you aren’t the same man she was coupled with, but she obviously needs to close a part of her life that had you in it; seeing you rise from the dead must have opened old wounds that took her years to heal, along with a million questions that had gone unanswered,” she continued. “Maybe this is something you don’t want to do, but it is most definitely something you must do.”
Aen wrapped his arms around her and pulled her tight. He was the mightiest being in the galaxy, yet it was her that was stronger than him when push came to shove. The past few months had done much to heal him emotionally; picking up the shattered remains of his psyche was a slow and very painful process made easier by her love and support. He almost wished he never found the memories that had eluded him for so long, for with their return came all the suffering and trauma that had been endured in his rebirth. Aen closed his eyes and kissed her forehead.
“If that is what you wish, then it is what I will do,” he replied. “But for the moment, let me just enjoy you in my arms for a little while longer.”
“Fine,” Lyxia smiled back at him, “But we do have somewhere to be soon. And if we are late for this, I will never let you forget it.”
Lyxia buried herself deep within his arms in agreement as the two held their embrace on the balcony that overlooked the lake; not caring if anyone around them could see the display of affection. It had taken years to be together, and the two treasured each moment they were given with each other. In the calm before the storm, it was the only place either wanted to be.
Project Olympus; Venus Orbital Range; Sol System
Sara’s shuttle docked at the Venus Solar Array as she readied for what she hoped to be the final inspection of the Zeus before it was launched. One year ago, she and Aen had left a fragment of the Lyarran AI – Caretaker – to help get this mammoth project back on track and completed before the onset of war. Results had been impressive as not only was the Zeus nearly ready, but the rest of the five warships had been launched and stood ready to defend Earth.
She had returned two months ago; Sara had hitched a ride on the Lyarran warship Paruz which had been assigned by Iana herself to shore up the lines of the human forces. Sara protested at first – knowing that the Zeus was more than enough firepower to match a hundred enemy attackers – but with the uncertainty of its readiness she finally agreed at the offer. Now, it patrolled the entry jump point to the solar system with Aries to screen any and all incoming traffic. It gave a much needed sense of relief; one Sara was thankful for.
But her mind was preoccupied with family matters which clouded her sense of duty at the moment, for when she arrived home in Geneva she had been met by her mother who had been waiting for her patiently. After an embrace of relief that her daughter was alive and well came a request that troubled her; her mother wished to contact Aen.
Krista went on to explain that as she watched the events unfold like the rest of the galaxy, seeing Aen alive and well shook her to the core. Immediately she had reverted to the emotional state she had suffered through when she had lost her husband so suddenly. Not even her new love interest could soothe her; she needed to see and talk with Aen as soon as possible to try and free herself from the demons that haunted her at night once and for all.
So three times they had tried to reach him, and three times Aen did not answer. Sara’s duty finally won out from waiting for a reply, so she left her mother back in Switzerland as she went about briefing a planet still reeling from the Husk attack seven years ago that war was on the horizon. It was news that was not received well, but yet understood completely that it was a conflict that could not be avoided. Now she readied to board the greatest effort humanity had ever been involved in hopes that it would be completed to stand guard when needed. She was greeted by a familiar – and much personally hated – General Patterson.
“Welcome home.” He exclaimed with a wry smile on his elderly face.
“Tell me it is ready.” She replied abruptly.
“To be honest,” the old General began. “I don’t know. That blasted AI you gave us has made so many changes to the ship in the past year, I no longer know if we are on track anymore or not.”
“This blasted AI has corrected a multitude of failures – both technical and structural – that would have torn the ship apart shortly after her first journey.” Caretaker interrupted. “Perhaps if I did not have to waste time constantly battling your attempts to break into my core matrix, I would have finished what I was assigned to do.”
Sara looked angrily at Patterson, but the older man refused to let on that he had done any wrong. He was from the old school military way of thinking; if it was your weapon you would safeguard it at all costs, and if it wasn’t yours you would figure out how it worked and try and make a better one. But all the military intelligence at his disposal combined was not as smart as this computer program, and it seemed to be two steps ahead of their efforts the whole time.
For a man in his late seventies, Marcus Patterson was in remarkable shape. A lifetime man of action, his routine of exercise and proper rest kept him going long past his peers. His hair – what remained of it – was cut short in the old style crew cut, his eyebrows were a bit bushy, and his face showed the years of stressful management of black-ops projects such as Olympus. At five foot, nine inches, Patterson wasn’t tall by any means, but he carried an air of recognition and respect that no one could ignore.
“You were told to not screw with it.” She said sternly.
“With all due respect, Council, if we didn’t try and figure out how it worked we would be doing our race a great disservice,” he countered.
“My family has seen more than its fair share of soldiers doing what is right for the human race,” she leaned in and snarled at him. “And if you keep hiding behind that bullshit line any more, I will personally see you fired from one of the PA cannons off Jupiter. So when I tell you ‘DO NOT FUCK WITH THE AI’, you do exactly what your superior officer has ordered you to do; or have I made myself unclear?”
There was an uneasy silence between the two that even the accompanying security officers found uncomfortable. But Sara refused to budge, and stared impatiently just inches away from the General’s face waiting for an answer.
“You have made yourself perfectly clear, Council Foster.” Patterson gritted his teeth as he answered her.
“Good,” she remarked as she leaned back away from him and strode past him. “So seeing that you do not have an answer on the progress, I wonder if Caretaker can let me know how close the Zeus is from completion.”
“All systems have been checked and errors corrected,” the AI piped up. “The ship is ninety-eight point six percent complete at this juncture; the lone variable is the stability of the trio of jumpspace reactors.”
The group climbed on one of the military ‘golf carts’ – electric transports to better travel the large distances in such a massive vessel – and began the trip towards the reactor room to better understand what the AI was telling them.
“I have performed a multitude of high energy tests on the reactors individually,” it continued. “And I am unconvinced at the containment abilities when all three would be powered simultaneously. So at this point, I have minimized the staff aboard the Zeus and will commence tests powering two reactors randomly at a time before working up to the inevitable three at once.”
“Your precious computer has not only moved most of my crew off the ship, but has reassigned the majority of them to other posts throughout the fleet or back on Earth,” Patterson murmured.
“Rather than having such strong resources standing idle, I have chosen to use their abilities elsewhere to better prepare for the battle looming ahead,” Caretaker snapped back at the snide comment.
“Ah yes,” Patterson perked up. “The great war that your father has stuck his nose in against a foe no one but he has seen.”
Again, Sara could feel the disdain from the General through his words; and this time the blatant disrespect he was showing her had pushed her too far........