Authors: Christopher De Sousa
“In memory of my father.”
- Christopher De Sousa
Copyright Â© 2015 by Christopher M. Villar, Christopher De Sousa, and Michael T. Cammarata
All rights reserved. Published by Random Occurrence.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Hard cover: 9780996912310
Summary: Katherine Munroe, a not so typical teenager, finds herself pitted between humans and celestial demons in an ancient battle for planet earth.
Cover art: Ashtyn Jane Smith
Editorial: Gill Knight
Special thanks: Kyle Smithson
Random Occurrence (Notices & Mail Only)
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The days had grown dark; spectral beams of light burned brightly through a blackened sky to usher in the age of chaos. This light, absorbed by an ancient array of entrenched glass monuments, pulsated unstable waves of energy throughout the world. These structures, condensed prisms of sheeted crystal, shattered and pierced the surface green of the continent below.
Amidst the anarchy and ruin, hysteria had engulfed the citizens of a once great and powerful civilization. With nowhere left to run or hide, and many living directly beneath the declining monuments, these citizens were left with little choice but to shield themselves as best they could from the falling debris. Many screamed out with abject horror, instantly torn and skewered upon the ensuing collapse of their ancient citadel. For those who had found safe haven, they soon learned there was no solace; the solid ground beneath them had seethed and crumbled away. The luscious and green continent of Lumeria had begun to sink within a treacherous ocean, and would never again see the sun's light.
Just when it seemed their situation could not have become any more dire, spectral beings descended through inter-dimensional tears forged from these laid to waste shattered monuments. These spirits proceeded to soar through the atmosphere, searching for living organisms which they intended to claim as their own.
Fortunately for the citizens of Lumeria, they too had a source of salvation. High above and floating within mid-air, albeit surrounded by the spectral horde, three deified figures fought to repel the unstable elements. Thoth, Ra, and Anu: sought to banish left and right many of these unwelcome spirits before they were able to embrace of earthen hosts.
“My brothers, lend me your arms! We must persevere and dispose of these foul apparitions,” Ra cried, charging toward an incoming array of alien entities.
The deity of the sun flashed his golden stave amidst the flurry of spectral shadows, vanquishing his foes with refined precision. As Ra peered out from behind the eyes of his falcon complexion, his keen senses spotted a lone figure enshrouded within thick grey clouds then materialize.
“That spiritâ¦such power,” said Anu, gazing up and through the spectral horde.
Donning a majestic crown, and a garb of fine silk, Anu ruled over the skies of Lumeria. He saw himself as a sentry of heaven â his task: to survey over the lands and seas in protection of his people. And from his home amongst the clouds, he was the first to notice that something had gone awry.
“He has finally surfacedâ¦just as I had foreseen,” said Thoth, between incantations read from his prestigious tome.
Dressed in regal robes and with a cowl the shape of an Ibis, Thoth, the God of Wisdom, would often serve as the voice of reason amongst his kindred. For it was Thoth who had earlier experienced visions of such destruction to their homeland, and had immediately moved to warn the sun god of what he'd seen, and of what might yet come to pass.
“We must aid our people and bring them safe passage,” Ra had decided, albeit conflicted over what needed to take his priority.
“No; we must remain here and fight,” said Thoth, as he persisted to smite many an enemy shadow with his magic. “If we do not, this villainous spirit will destroy all that remains of our realm.”
Ra glanced down to where many a Lumerian native resided utterly exposed to the perils of this invading horde.
How could one powered by the very sun feel so utterly helpless?
He thought, as the city of Atlantis: his own creation with which he'd vowed to protect against such hardships, had all but succumbed within the first wave of these ghoulish spectres advances
I, and the rest of my kin, had founded this land, and unto this point we had secured an age of prosperity for all our subjects
, he thought to himself, his eyes fixed upon the ruination of his homeland.
But now, in face of such atrocity, and when my people need me most, I am incapable of bringing them the salvation to which they so desperately desire
What further plagued his conscience, was how he'd been so naÃ¯ve and careless not to heed Thoth's foresight.
I should have sought out this evil, and quashed it
, he ruminated.
Before it could fully manifest itself and bring forth such suffering
Thankfully, and when all hope had seemed lost, it appeared as though Ra received the assurance of Ma'at herself: where both order and justice shall be restored. For it was when Ra's keen sight caught the timely emergence of their most needed kin, that his self-confidence had quickly returned. For these new figures had arrived to help the citizens below, and called upon their divine gifts to mitigate the unstable elements that cursed the land. An ancient earthen deity, Geb, clutched at the fissured ground, resolved to hold the very continent in one piece. Enki, a deity of water, calmed the seas to assist the stone-skinned form of Geb in his struggle. Deities of protection, Bastet and Isis, swooped down on the backs of a flock of giant eagles, shielding and healing all those innocent and afflicted.
“Our brothers and sisters have finally arrived to reinforce Ma'at's will,” said Anu, rejoicing as the tide looked to have turned in their favour. “Let us ride this change in our fortunes and strike down this evil abomination.”
“Curious that there is yet no sign of Setekh or Anubis,” Thoth mentioned, as he scanned those who'd arrived to aid them in their struggle.
Thoth's words of suspicion were most concerning to the sun god's ears; suspicions that troubled him deeply with respect to this new foe: a Corrupted creature who revelled in Setekh's own element.
For Seth, or Setekh: a deity of disorder, violence, and darkness was once Ra's chief protector. That is, until one fateful day when he disposed of the treasonous Osiris. Many years had passed since Osiris, once lord of the underworld, had plotted to usurp power over the realm from the rest of his Naacal brethren. When Setekh learned of such intent, he'd pursued Osiris through the underworld's murky depths, and deposed him of his title and thus claimed his title as his own. Nevertheless, even with his new duties to oversee the rites of passage for those subjects who pass on from the living world and into the next, Setekh was often the first to arrive and confront anything that bore a threat to the surface realm. His son Anubis, a most powerful deity of the afterlife, was also never far from his father's side and had sworn fealty to Lord Ra.
It was for these notable absences that Ra couldn't help but dwell upon what the moon god Thoth had earlier prophesized;
Atlantis, and the bright world that once firmly stood for all, would be snuffed out within the blink of an eye and banished in darkness
The fault lay with those who sought after more power, Thoth had proclaimed. Those so naÃ¯ve and with pure hearts were also to blame; for they'd failed to deny these select few their insatiable impulses. Ra couldn't keep from casting himself within the latter category. But was it even possible that Setekh had become dissatisfied with his current position and been left wanting more?
Upon interpretation of my own visions, one Lumerian has gone too far in pursuit of his own greed
, Thoth had told him.
This Lumerian has made use of an ancient and forbidden technology; one of which it was inevitable he'd soon lose control over, and all others would be left to pay the ultimate price
Regardless of his fears, and with his brothers and sisters now at Ra's side and threatening with their collective might, the sun god experienced a reinvigorating resurgence on seein their courageous acts, and sought not to dwell upon negative thoughts. For it pained him enough to even think that his brother Setekh was in some way involved. But right now it was essential to focus his thoughts upon his divine purpose; to draw upon his powers and preserve Lumeria's wellbeing, and to guide his children from darkness and lead them into the light.
“Ma'at has never, and never will forsake us. My people, those of you that I've failed in this life, I swear you shall all be avenged,” Ra roared, charging upward and amidst the clouds.
But alas, and although his self-belief had returned and his intent was now clear, this act of bravery proved only to be in vain. For within an instant, almost as quickly as he'd ascended, the sun god was shot from out of the sky.
The lone figure, cloaked in a tattered black hood, descended from the grey cluster of clouds that surrounded him. Through pitiless black eyes, he glared down at both Thoth and Anu who remained to float and block his path. A horde of spectres swiftly emerged and encircled his cloak, hissing and howling at the pair of Naacal through forked tongues.
“My brothersâ¦ for too long have I gone unsatisfied. Since the time I beheaded that serpent aboard lord Ra's barque, not once has another surfaced to provide me with a fitting challenge,” scathed the cloaked figure from beneath his cowl. “I pray that you too do not disappoint me.”
“Impossibleâ¦ how could one of our own wilfully forfeit his oath?” Anu questioned. “I once called you my brother, when all others sought to denounce you for your crimes, and this is how you choose to repay me.”
“Lord Anu. Lord Thoth. You all cling so tightly to the past, turning a blind eye to the will of Ma'at. It is I alone who shall bring forth a new era. But I must first carve a new landscape for cultivation,” the figure coldly replied, before developing within his palm a vortex forged of shadow. “Anything my shadow touches shall perish and wither away from this world. Forget of who I once was, and relinquish me from these ties of brotherhood. Know me henceforth by but one name, and incur the wrath of Namtar.”
The ball of shadow within this corrupted spirit's palm slowly widened, blanketing the entire sky. With all his might, he hurled this stratum of shadow downward upon the beleaguered duo. Both the Naacal attempted to withstand its relentless force and stifle of its momentum. But strong as the Naacal might be, this new foe's powers had overwhelmed them and left them wrestling for their very survival. But when they felt their bodies start to give way, and the void of darkness to close in upon them, a flash of light from above unveiled the return of lord Ra amidst the skies. Ra thrashed at Namtar with all his being, and the tyrant of shadows buckled and fell backward into the construct of his own attack.