Touched by Fire (Atlantis Unearthed Series)

BOOK: Touched by Fire (Atlantis Unearthed Series)
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Prologue

There comes a time in everyone’s life where they make a decision that changes the very fabric of their existence. For some it is an obvious life changing decision, such as getting marrie
d, having children, or some other choice of that nature. For others, the decision is disguised as an unassuming event such as choosing to have coffee with breakfast, or in my case, deciding so go to sleep.  A little unfair if you ask me.

What I had thought would happen
when I went to bed that night was what happened almost every night of my life. I would go to sleep and have sweet dreams of winning the lottery, being famous, and of course meeting Mr. Perfect. Afterwards I would wake up, drink coffee, and go to work.

That is not what happened.

I went to sleep alright, but I dreamed of the end of the world, horrific, bloody, and not at all peaceful. And what I woke up to was the mark of the chosen on my forehead. Not that I knew exactly what the mark meant when I woke up with it. Just that I was late for work and no amount of makeup was able to cover the markings that looked like a five year old discovered how to finger paint, on my forehead. My only thought was that I was going to kill my roommate for drawing on my forehead, a practical joke was one thing but this was beyond the pale, except he wasn’t the one who had marked me. 

At the time I had no clue but the vague recollection of a dream over what was about to happen. The path that I was destined to walk was still hiding in my subconscious chilling with the lottery dreams and the mythical Mr. Perfect.

But Let me back up and start at the beginning by explaining the events prior to being marked, and everything that led to me sitting in the middle of a pile of corpses waiting for the sun to come up.

 

Chapter 1

I was
your typical twenty four year old. I went to college, got my own place, and proceeded to gain an entry level job making barely enough for me to eke out a living and pay my student loans back.  I was living the modern version of the American dream complete with pumpkin spiced lattes with a side of debt, go me.

I lived in Tulsa, Ok. Yeah, I know, not the coolest place to live but hey, it’s not quite the backwards cowboy and Indian place people make it out to be. With over
300,000 within city limits it gave a fair imitation of being a big city with all the bells and whistles.  My apartment was in a neighborhood known as Cherry Street. Cherry Street is an area of Tulsa full of locally owned shops, artsy things, and hipsters in skinny jeans. While I was not a hipster, seeing how my job was to promote locally owned businesses it was a great location for me.

As far as looks go I am nothing special. I know
, I’m the heroine of the book. I have to look like Angelina Jolie or Jessica Alba or some other Hollywood hottie, but alas my genes hate me and I do not look anything like either of them, even after one has had a few shots of vodka.  I do have some charms though; I’m not a goblin after all. I have a dark red hair, not the coppery ginger hair, but a deep red that looks like fire in the sunlight.  Green eyes framed with thick lashes are I think my best feature, and I have curves, lots of them in fact. But overall when it’s all smashed together and added with some self-depreciating humor and above average intellect it makes me, Siria Zander.

I grew up in a typical family for the most part. My parents are divorced; my biological sperm donor wasn’t in the picture for the most part having bailed out before I was two. However, I did end up with the best step dad in the whole world so it probably was a blessing
. My mother is a lot like me and I get my tenacity from her.  I have an older brother and sister as well, both married with a passel of kids who would likely give Rosemary’s baby a run for its money over being the true spawns of Satan. But I love them all nonetheless. 

I
also live with a roommate. His name is Keane, and he is the life of the party. He was in the military, did a couple of tours overseas, but now he is home and back to playing his old jokes. He is around six foot tall, dark brown hair and very good looking judging by the number of girls trailing after him. We have known each other for years and decided to bunk up to save money, that, and I don’t think anyone else could put up with his practical jokes. 

Well that gives a decent picture about who I was, just another young adult living just like thousands of others, nothing special or out of the ordinary, or so I thought.

So what makes me special enough to keep you here listening to me ramble on about my life? It’s what came next, after all hell broke loose on earth… literally.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 2

So it all began two years ago
. No, not hell breaking loose, that comes later. But the warning of what was to come. It all happened in a dream, which I normally would have discounted as being the side effect of Mexican food if not for the fact it left proof behind like a one night stand without the benefits of protection.  No, I didn’t get knocked up in my dream, but that would probably have been preferable.

I got a warning.  Out of the billions of people on earth I received one of the select few warnings that the end was near. This warning wasn’t in an email or a little heads up; it was a
n in-depth look into what was to come.  Hell pretty much sums it up. The dream started out normal as far as dreams go. I was sitting in my living room watching a live broadcast of some archeological dig happening halfway across the world. I’m a nerd even in my dreams, what can I say.

The narrator was explaining that the dig team was unearthing a relic from
what was believed to be Atlantis, finally solid proof that the civilization actually existed.  He went on to describe the story of Atlantis, how this once great civilization disappeared seemingly overnight leaving no trace behind until now, somewhere in the dessert in what used to be Mesopotamia. Apparently the receding sea levels had something to do with it finally being discovered. As I watched the team cleared off a huge metal circle inscribed with runes and pictures I couldn’t make out, and hell I don’t think the dig team could either. It was then that I started to get a bad feeling even in my dream.

It’s looked like a vault of some sort, and all I kept thinking is that you never open something that you can’t read.
Period. Every scary movie in history tells you the same thing, but no one ever listens. It sure didn’t stop the archeologist anyway as they began to turn what looked to be combination locks on the vault.  Then suddenly there was roar so loud that it sent the camera man to his knees and took out the sound, but not the live feed. You could see people running and screaming trying to figure out what was going on like some modern day silent movie. The cameraman however, a true believer in the statement the show must go on apparently, continued to film.

As the vault slowly opened, the top sliding into a hidden compartment, heat poured out into the archeological dig. Even on the TV one could see the heat waves radiating out from the opening, what one could not see, or hear were the screams also coming from the vault. The look of terror on the crews face could be plainly seen though as they ran from what was inside. Maybe they finally realized the wisdom of not opening things if you do not know what they contain, either way it was too late.  About that time I returned my focus to where the steadfast camera man was still filming, and saw what looked like a hand reach out of the vault, just as the screen went black.

The next part of my dream took me into the dessert surrounding the dig. A virus had broken out in the surrounding towns, hundreds
had already succumbed to this new illness, and chaos ensued. Buildings were on fire, the wailing of those filled with grief filled the air mixing with the smoke and smell of decay. Death and destruction was everywhere. There was an undercurrent that I couldn’t understand at first, beneath the fear, grief and desolation, murmurings here and there that the death was not the worst part of the virus. That the life it brought was. I still didn’t fully understand until my dream lead me to an open grave filled with dead bodies. Hundreds of them in a horrific scene of death piled on top of each other however they fell. It looked like the pictures of concentration camps back in Nazi Germany that I had seen in history class. Men, women, children, babies, all thrown into this mass grave, even in my dream it was enough to make me sick. That’s when I saw it.

I started screaming, there was a live child in the grave,
I had seen it move. I kept screaming for someone to save it, it was just a child, I tried to make my way toward the little girl. She was under a couple of other bodies, maybe she had been thrown in by accident. I saw her big brown eyes begging me to come closer but somehow I couldn’t get near the grave. Tears streamed down my face as I realized I was unable to help this little girl. I just wanted to save this once innocent life within all this hellish turmoil.

Then something began to make me look closer at the little girl, to take in t
he details. That’s when notice something that even to this day haunts me, her neck was broken in such a way she couldn’t possibly be alive, and her eyes were changing, taking on a luminescent quality I didn’t understand. As I watched the child’s neck began to heal, to pop back into place with sickening cracks of bone.  When she once again looked my way there was no trace of innocence left her expression or eyes, just a rabid wolf in human form. 

That’s when the others around the pit noticed the girl, they started
yelling and pointing at her. Abruptly she jumped out of the pit straight onto a passing man neatly ripping out his neck as she did so. She proceeded to drink the blood from the man’s gushing jugular as if it were the finest wine.  Her face covered in blood, those unnerving eyes glowing like a cats, she turned, looked straight at me and laughed. Her child’s laugh contrasted against the pure evil radiating from her eyes. Hell had found a new home.

My dream took me across the world to view
similar situations. No place was safe. Destruction, death, and despair everywhere one looked, the dead coming back to life in such a manner that they could only be called vampires.  Paris, London, Madrid, New York, L.A., all the biggest cities were hit first. Then the Atlantis Virus, as they called it in my dream, spread into the heartland of the United States. It spread by coming to each person who came into contact with any blood from the infected. It didn’t have to be a bite or even get into your eyes or mouth. Just a single drop of blood on your arm and you were infected.  At first the newly infected would show flu like symptoms, but they would be dead within twenty four hours.  That is when the real trouble began, upon coming back from the dead; they were stronger and faster than we were. The world was in anarchy, there was no hope.

Then my dream changed once again. It showed a group of people fighting back forming a resistance lead by people with a mark on their forehead I couldn’t make out.  They too were faster and stronger than normal, but distinctly still human. I saw one of
these fighters, a female; behead a vampire, the blood spraying all over her. I cried out in alarm thinking that we lost one of our few soldiers good enough to kill these things, that she would now become one of them. As I waited for her to feel the effects of being contaminated she continued to fight, laughing at the vampires as they attacked her, bit her, doing everything to infect her. That’s when I realized all of these warriors were acting the same way, killing the vampires with no sense of avoiding contamination. Suicidal I thought at first, but then I realized they were immune. 

They were j
ust as fast as the vampires, just as strong, and not susceptible to the virus. They were our hope.  As I watched the scene of carnage unfold the sun began to creep over the horizon painting the sky with brilliant pinks and gold’s. Turning back once more to the mêlée below me I noticed the warriors had piled the corpses of the vampires they had killed into the center of the courtyard where they had fought. They had either killed all of the vampires who had attacked them, or else they remain vampires had fled. The warriors were now looking toward the sun seemingly greeting it. Covered in blood and grime, barely a patch of skin not stained red, they all knelt as the sun finally crested the horizon and touched their foreheads. 

The mark began to glow with a warm radiance that spread throughout their bodies. Suddenly each of them
turned into a living inferno. I shriek in panic and covered my eyes not wanting to see these people who fought so hard be burned alive. But then I heard laughter. Startled, I looked up and while the fire danced along the warriors skin and all the way to the tips of their hair making it float as if caught in a whirlwind, it did not burned them. Instead it cleansed away all the blood, grime, and contamination from the vampires. It purified them, as the fire lessened it seem to soak into their skin. Even in my dream I thought maybe this was the key to their immunity, being touched by this fire.

When the sun had finished its work the warriors stood and watched as the sun crept along the ground to where the
vampire’s bodies lay. As the line of the sun washed across the ground it burnt away all the blood and filth leaving ashes in its wake. Finally it reached the pile of corpses and set it ablaze.  Some of the warriors stayed and watched as the sun did its work, but a few others were walking around hanging amulets around the area which turned out to be a small rural town.

BOOK: Touched by Fire (Atlantis Unearthed Series)
3.03Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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