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Authors: Lizzy Ford

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Theta

BOOK: Theta
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Theta

Book Two

Omega Series

 

 

By Lizzy Ford

www.LizzyFord.com

 

 

Smashwords Edition

Published by Captured Press

www.CapturedPress.com

 

 

Theta
copyright ©2016 by Lizzy Ford

www.LizzyFord.com

 

Cover Design ©2016 by Eden Crane Design

Cover Photograph ©2016 by K Keeton
Designs

 

 

All rights reserved.

 

 

No part of this book may be reproduced in any
form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information
storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from
the author. The only exception is by a reviewer, who may quote
short excerpts in a review.

 

 

This novel is a work of fiction. Any
references to historical events; to real people, living or dead; or
to real locales are intended only to give the fiction a sense of
reality and authenticity. Names, characters, places and incidents
either are products of the author’s imagination or are used
fictitiously and their resemblance, if any, to real-life
counterparts is entirely coincidental.

 

Chapter One: Alessandra

 

Two months later

 

If I were still enough, and concentrated
hard, I could feel the cool forest breeze tickle the back of my
neck and breathe in the scent of trees and wet earth after a summer
storm. Patches of sunlight warmed my skin, while the vibrant green
canopy of leaves overhead prevented the full heat of the sun from
reaching me. Nature possessed a rhythm, a gentle pulse of energy, I
first experienced when I left the boundaries of my forest home. The
gentle ebb and flow of the world rocked through me, teasing my own
internal rhythm, until we were synced and swaying together in a
peaceful, timeless dance.

The magic of the natural world reached me
here, in the heart of Washington DC. It surpassed the towering
walls and thick barricades established by the military, penetrated
kilometers of cement and manmade structures, and traveled unnoticed
by and through millions of people to join me underground in a dance
only the two of us could share.

This peace, this dance … it was wrong. I
didn’t deserve its attempt to comfort me, not after I’d twisted the
gentle thrum inside me into a weapon of incredible power that had
claimed the innocent lives of thousands.

You’re becoming so much
stronger.
A female voice said into my
mind.

My eyes opened. Seated cross-legged in the
dark cavern belonging to the Oracle of Delphi, I was swaying from
side to side with the rhythm of the world. The scent of sulfur and
other exotic spices transformed my mind into an open state less
burdened by the life I lived outside this cavern.


That’s not a good thing,”
I whispered in response, studying Cecelia, the current Oracle of
Delphi.

My passing is inevitable. You will need your
strength to harness absolute power, but you must subdue the full
emergence of your power a little longer, until you can handle it.
The mark on your arm is a warning to you and me.

I touched the birthmark
self-consciously. It resembled a double omega, and those around me
believed it represented my ability to annihilate the world.
“Nothing like absolute power when I can’t control my own mind,” I
said sarcastically. “I’m trying
not
to become stronger until Cleon is out of my
head.”

You are so much stronger than I was when I
experienced my first vision. If you haven’t glimpsed the future
yet, then we are on the right path to keep your power in check. We
cannot unleash the waters behind the dam all at once, or you will
finish off what the gods started five years ago. Be patient and
cautious.


You sound like Herakles,”
I replied. “If I don’t find a way to get rid of the parasite in my
head, my destiny won’t matter. Cleon is standing between where I am
and where I should be.”

You assume he’s not supposed to be
there.


Why would he … ah. Because
life sucks and is hard.”

Something like that. He is
in your life for a reason. Sometimes we don’t know why some events
occur until long after they happen. Perhaps his presence forces you
to restrain power that might otherwise be too much to
control.
Cecelia’s amusement was
transmitted telepathically and through the brightening of the
lights around her enclosure.


Maybe,” I said, not liking
the idea. “Have you figured out how I get him out of my life, or
what happens if I don’t detach him before my power fully
manifests?” For now, we were protected from the inevitable, because
I didn’t complete the third trial required for an Oracle to assume
her full power. The Silent Queen had challenged me to murder the
Oracle. I wasn’t about to murder the person who had the key to
helping me not accidentally end the world!

If only I had my full power
again. I might be able to pinpoint the correct sequence.
The Oracle grew serious again.
If I die soon, you will have the power you need, without the
control to use it. If the parasite dies first, part of you may be
lost as well, and you will not have the power you need to
survive.


Then you can’t die until
we know the right sequence,” I told her firmly. If a woman who saw
the future didn’t know what to do, how was I supposed to figure it
out?

I swallowed hard and touched the scar at the
back of my head. Whatever the Supreme Magistrate did to my brain
connected us on a level that could destroy us both if severed
carelessly. Without me, humanity would never be safe. No one else
could send the gods back to their domain – permanently.

Over the past few weeks, the Oracle had
warned me repeatedly against outright killing Cleon and helped me
learn to control my power so it didn’t grow until we had a feasible
option for expelling him from my mind.

This was not the first time I had heard the
truth, but it was never easier to acknowledge how bad my situation
really was. Did Cleon understand what he was doing, when he
connected our minds? How did I fight someone in my head?


The good news is he can’t
kill me either,” I said with some vindication.

There is no good news for those born into
our position.

It didn’t take a dismembered woman trapped
in a bubble to remind me of the curse it was to be born with the
power of a goddess.


There has to be a way,” I
said, unwilling to admit defeat. “I’m not giving up yet. We will
find the best sequence of events, or maybe, I’ll wake up with my
full power before he knows it’s there and snap this connection. I’m
not going down without doing what I was born to! I will crush the
gods for what they did to us.”

I applaud your eagerness, but tread
carefully. You have three thousand, two hundred and ninety four
reasons not to use your power. The more you use it, the greater it
grows, and the more danger you pose to humanity.

Her harsh reminder snuffed the fire behind
my anger immediately. I slumped. I didn’t intend to add to my body
count. I had been diligently following her lessons on how to
restrain my power, in case Cleon tried to force me to use it again.
If I played dumb, and acted as if my power wasn’t cooperating, I
would hopefully continue to prevent him from hurting others. I
didn’t want anyone else’s death on my conscious.

Although, at this point, I often thought it
was too late to save my soul. Was there a limit to how many people
someone could kill, before redemption was no longer an option? Had
I crossed that line already?

What exactly was redemption? Forgiveness
from those I had hurt or from the outside world? Or was it my own
acceptance of my actions and self-forgiveness? Or was it dedication
to committing more good than bad in the world? And if so, how was
that remotely possible, given what I’d already done?

These were the kinds of questions I used to
discuss with Herakles, my longtime guardian and protector, the man
who murdered my family, kidnapped me, and hid me from men like
Cleon for twelve years. He was the very incarnation of a man who
strove for redemption.

I forgave him, because he didn’t know what
he was doing when he hurt my parents. His mind had been controlled
and erased by the very man who was using my power to destroy. If I
were capable of loving Herakles despite what he did, would everyone
else one day decide the good I’d committed in the world weighed
heavier on the scales of justice than the bad?

How much good would it take to make up for
ending so many lives? Did the possibility of redemption even
matter, when I would never forgive myself or the man who forced my
hand?

As much as I wanted to find a happy ending
in Herakles’ life story, I was also reminded of his scars whenever
I thought of him. He had purposely burned and slashed his face
until it was unrecognizable. He did it out of shame for becoming a
monster and a tool of the Supreme Magistrate. I loved him despite
his involvement in the deaths of my parents, and he had raised me
with gentleness and fairness.

But he was a tortured soul and would
probably be one until his death. Was that the fate of everyone who
craved redemption?

This topic, and the subject of what good
could possibly come from my purpose and my life, left me thoroughly
confused. Herakles was gone from my world, and so was his earthy
logic. I was left alone to grapple with the knowledge of what I had
become and to stumble through the maze the Fates had created for
me.

On days such as this, revenge seemed a more
fitting use of my power and frustrated anger. I could destroy
Cleon, even if that meant I died with him, and left the fate of the
world in the hands of Cecelia. Except … she wasn’t strong enough to
stop the gods from finishing off humanity.

Alessandra, I don’t know if
I can outlast Cleon’s influence on you, or if I could survive long
enough to make a difference, if you did take down Cleon now,
Cecelia said, reading my thoughts. Her desperation
crossed our telepathic link.

Fear trickled through me. “You have to.
You’ve been protecting DC from the gods and helping me learn about
my powers. Without you, no one will survive the gods’ wrath.”

DC will need a new protector when I’m gone.
You can’t become this protector with Cleon working against you.


That settles it. You can’t
die.”

There might be a way to help me. Would you
consider it, if so?


Anything,” I
breathed.

It’s a transfer of power, similar to a blood
transfusion, but performed telepathically. You’ll need to touch me,
though, so we can connect. I would siphon off enough of your power
to help me survive long enough for us to understand what needs to
happen.

I was on my feet before she finished and
went to the control panel at the side of her bubble. “Okay. How do
I lower your glass bubble shield thing?”

It’s simple. You -


You’ve been ignoring me,”
interjected a soft, male voice.

I tensed. Even the effects of the Oracle
catnip – the scents of the chamber – were unable to soften my anger
towards the individual intruding upon my quiet time with Cecelia.
“Then why don’t you take the hint and leave me alone?” I snapped.
My eyes went to the Oracle. “Why do you let him in here?”


I move through shadows.
She has no dominion over me there,” Lantos, the Supreme Priest and
member of the Sacred Triumvirate, replied with amusement. He was a
man of great persistence and power, the gods’ representative to
humanity, and universally distrusted after he betrayed the two
people closest to him. “It’s one of the very few benefits of being
the son of a Titan.”

I hated Cleon – the Supreme Magistrate – for
what he forced me to do. But with Lantos, my anger burned brighter,
not because of his actions towards me, but because he callously
betrayed someone I cared about to the depths of my soul. It hurt
worse that I noticed the absence of Mismatch-Adonis every time I
saw Lantos.


I’m in the middle of
something,” I told him and returned to the screen before me. This
wasn’t the first time Lantos had interrupted an important
discussion with Cecelia, and I suspected it wouldn’t be the last,
unless I did whatever it was he wanted me to.


You need an ally like me,
Alessandra,” said Lantos. “I have powerful friends who have been
trying to talk to you.”


By
friends
, you mean enemies you tricked
into trusting you. The gods are my enemies, too, Lantos, except I
don’t try to pretend to be something I’m not!”

BOOK: Theta
9.24Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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