Monday, May 7, 2018

Anti-Grav Suits

What if you discovered a way to control all forms of matter surrounding you? How powerful would that be, and what would be the best way to interface with such a device? More importantly, how would you protect that technology from your enemies?

In Harmonic Wars, the Science Guild rediscovered a lost technology and protected the device from their enemies, the Warrior Guild, by making it accessible only to those of genetic descent from the Balsarius who made up the bulk of the Science Guild. The Anti-Grav Suits they created bonded with the wearer through a neural connection embedded in the suit.

Imagine being able to sense, feel, and control all forms of matter (solid, gas, and liquid) surrounding you! In Harmonic Wars, the first thing a new person noticed was the tremendous sound of the vibrations around them. If you were out in nature, the sound would be the most beautiful sound imagined, in perfect harmony as nature intended. But if you were in a large city, you would almost be overcome by the harshness and dissonance screaming all around you. This is why the Guardians taught their descendants in the peaceful mountains of Peru.

I want to share with you an excerpt from book two, Children of the Guardians, where teenaged character Ricky Chambers is bonded to an Anti-Grav Suit. Enjoy!


   Ana placed her hands on the top of the chest and hummed softly. The chest glowed momentarily, almost like a scanner before it opened to reveal several dark multicolored suits in the bottom.
   “Here, Ricky. They’re self-fitting,” Ana said as she handed him one.
   “Okay, what do you mean by bonding? Is this going to hurt?” Ricky asked.
   “You may experience some discomfort,” Ana replied. “The suit must connect to your nervous system through your spinal cord.”
   “You sound like a doctor. ‘Discomfort’ is code for ‘hurts like hell,’ isn't it?” Ricky asked.
   “It ain't that bad!” replied Manny.
   “Fine. Should I put it on now?” asked Ricky.
   “No time like the present!” Ana said with a smile.
   “Pun intended?” Ricky asked.
   Ana smiled and replied, “Guilty. Oh, you’ll have to take your clothes off. The suit needs contact with your skin. I’ll turn around.”
   Ricky quickly stripped then put on the suit. It was warm like it had just been taken out of the dryer. The suit was like a giant pair of baby PJs, complete with built-in areas for your feet and hands that left your fingers exposed. Ricky felt bumps all along the back and feet. To get his hands and feet in place, he bunched the suit up at his ankles and wrists like an oversized set of coveralls.
   “Okay, you can turn around, I guess,” Ricky said uncertainly. “How does this thing work?”
   Ana looked at Ricky and said, “Just relax and don’t fight the bonding process. Clear your mind and I’ll help to calm you. The more you fight it, the more it’ll hurt.”
    “Okay, that doesn’t sound fun, but whatever. What’s next?” Ricky asked.
   “Just relax, and do what I say.”
   “Okay. Let’s do this!”
   Ana projected calmness to Ricky. “Close your eyes and clear your mind. Concentrate on the suit and let it take over.”
   Ricky cleared his mind as he closed his eyes. He felt the warm suit against his skin. Then he felt the suit tighten up around his arms and legs and continue upwards until it touched every part of his body. Ricky became acutely aware now of all the bumps that now pressed against his spinal chord, feet, and hands. Then all at once, Ricky felt needle pricks enter his skin on every one of those bumps.
Relax and accept. The thought entered his mind, and a wave of calmness fell over Ricky. Ricky concentrated on the peace Ana projected as the suit united with him. He was aware of his muscles going into spasms, and great pain flashed for just a moment in his mind, and then it was gone. Now the only thing left was a kind of awareness unlike anything he had known before. It overwhelmed him as the sound rushed in all at once.
   Everything resonated on its own pitch. At first, the sound was deafening, but then Ricky learned how to control the volume, and it soon became a dull noise in the background. The most amazing thing was the sense of balance and oneness he felt in his mind. He was more aware of his surroundings. Ricky felt the earth beneath his feet at the molecular level. He felt the water in the lake off to the side and the caverns below. Ricky sensed the minerals, dirt and rocks, the trees and every living thing that surrounded him. There were so many more living things around him than he had ever realized.
   Ricky opened his eyes and saw everything looked so crystal clear now. It was as if he had been watching an old black-and-white television and had just been given a high-definition big screen. Ricky saw details that he never dreamed were possible before – things like the tiniest veins on the leaves on the trees and the definition of the sand crystals that rested on the rocks below them beside the lake. Everything was much more colorful and beautiful than he ever imagined. Ricky had never been a very religious person before now, but this was different. He didn’t feel like God, but he could sense that there was a higher purpose to the order of things and that there was a kind of “rightness” to things when they were in balance with the natural order of the universe. Ricky felt the simplicity and complexity of the universe all rolled up together, and he knew from that point that all living things were connected in some way. He felt powerful and insignificant all at the same time. It was very confusing.
   Ricky heard Ana speak to him in the background.
   “Are you okay, young man?”
   “Yeah,” Ricky replied as tears streamed down his face. “If everyone could feel this, things would be different.”
   “I think you are right, my young friend,” Ana replied as she put her arm around him and led him to his bunk. “Go lay down and rest. You have much to absorb.”
   Ricky laid down in wonder, like a child who has viewed the world for the first time.

Harmonic Wars: Children of the Guardians is now available on Kindle, Nook, and iBooks. I am excited that there has been a big enough request for the printed versions found only at 3LPublishing.flyingcart.com that we had to place them on back order while they are being printed! Get your copy today!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

What is the Premise for Harmonic Wars?

Harmonic Wars is based on the premise that this is not Biblical Earth, but a colony. It was the best way that I could explain many of the mysteries that we see around us in history. Our art through the ages show many strange visions of flying craft, battles high above us, Vimana in India, the use of a pyramid in the Gates of Paradise to represent Noah's Ark. What if thousands of years ago, human settlers came to this solar system to start a new life? What if they suffered a cataclysmic event that nearly wiped them out? Do you think that any would have survived? I think back on our own society, and I can't believe that the elite would suffer at all. In fact, they would be slightly inconvenienced as they bunkered down in safety while the typical person would be forced to fend for themselves.

Anyone left out, would quickly return to a hunter-gatherer society focused only on survival. In just two generations, people would be sitting around a campfire talking about how their all-knowing god Google had been so wise. I believe this has happened before and could happen again. Could humanity have advanced farther than us today in our past? In just 100 years we went from a horse and buggy
society to landing ships on the moon and other planets. In 50 years we had computers shrink from the size of a house to fit into the palm of your hand. Is it really so hard to believe that we only did this once in 6,000 years? How about 12,000 or more? How many time could we have risen and fallen? Our history becomes very fuzzy as we move past 4,000 years ago, so I find it very likely. For me in Harmonic Wars, the cataclysmic event was clearly a war of greed. In our history, that event could have been an asteroid, a super-massive solar flare, an epidemic, or any number of things.


This is a great day for many reasons. First, today is the culmination of seven years of hard work, resulting in the publishing of Children of the Guardians, the SECOND book in the Harmonic Wars series. This may seem strange, but let me quickly explain for those who don't normally see this blog...
In 2011, I retired from the IT industry and started to research ancient sites like the Great Pyramid, Stonehenge, Puma Punku, Machu Picchu, and many others. I found enough similarities in the building materials and techniques used that I could piece together a convincing argument of an ancient civilization that lived on a global scale, but what happened to them? I was sure this was the beginnings of a great story, and soon my fingers were flying over the keyboard.

The average time for a new author to get published is eight years. In December 2012, I had enough of a manuscript completed that I attracted the attention of Michelle Gamble at 3L Publishing, and it was off to the races. After page 845, she asked me to consider if anyone would be likely to even buy a book this big by an unknown author. She convinced me to take a different approach, so I put the project on the shelf while I worked on a prequel that was supposed to be a short story of 60-80 pages to introduce Harmonic Wars. The story that continued to unfold demanded more, and 272 pages later, Guardians of the Crystal Skulls was published August 2015.  I decided to use the name Harmonic Wars as a series title, then figure out what to name my 845-page manuscript that was still on the shelf.

In fours years I had written and published a respectfully sized book of 115,000 words, and still had book two in draft form with 845 pages. Now, April 10, 2018, we finally get to see Children of the Guardians published and ready to sell. It is over 270,000 words long, but through the magic of margins and font sizing we came in at 612 pages. The ebook version is available now is closer to 660 pages with the Glossary and Cast of Characters added.

The second reason this is a great day: I get to be on Coast to Coast AM to launch book two! Join me tonight as I talk about all these things that motivated me to write Harmonic Wars. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and Goodreads. Here are some visuals for the show tonight:

The Gates of Paradise, Florence, Italy. Each panel on this 500 year old door represents a different scene in the Bible.  This panel represents Noah's Ark.

Alternate tuning standards for a guitar.
Cattle Kraal formations in Africa.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Glossary and Cast of Characters for Children of the Guardians

I started writing my SciFi series Harmonic Wars in 2011. Two years later, I had a huge manuscript ready for the first review by Michelle Gamble, an interested publisher that I had met. Over the next 8 months, we worked my very rough draft. She told me that I needed to rethink publishing that manuscript from a business standpoint. She cautioned me that a 1,000 book would be expensive to market. Who besides family and friends would want to invest the time to read such a book from a new and unproven author? So I shelved the project with the idea that I would release a prequel, to introduce the storyline.

In 2014 I began writing Guardians of the Crystal Skulls, and the name Harmonic Wars became the name of the series. It was the best decision I have made so far. I used the extra time to build an audience as I set up the new project. I already had 800 pages of manuscript on book two on the shelf, and the prequel had written itself from dream sequences that I had already embedded in my first attempt.

I had attracted several fans with my postings on social media. One of them suggested that I go on the radio talk show Caravan to Midnight with John B. Wells. On August 20, 2015, I released Guardians of the Crystal Skulls on his show. It was a fantastic experience which led to many other shows.

Now, I sit poised to finally launch book two, now named Children of the Guardians tomorrow, April 10, 2018, on Coast to Coast AM. The completed book came out to over 660 pages for this first edition. So to save on print costs, we took out the Glossary and Cast of Characters to save 30 pages, which we can add back if we are able to move to a second edition. I'm sure that doesn't seem like much to many of you, but independent authors have to consider every cost. Printing is paid up front, as are editing and publishing costs. So now, I have added both the Glossary and Cast of Characters for you below. The ebook conversions include both of those products since the cost was negligible. Enjoy!

Children of the Guardians

Glossary


Artifacts, Events and Special Locations
Anti-Grav Suit – one-piece suits genetically designed specifically for Balsarius descendants and select others. These suits are nearly black in color with swirls of dark colors throughout the suit. Made of a biological substance, which converts hydrogen into power and is located only in low gravity planets. The suits are easily recharged by soaking in water. The suit automatically adjusts to the individual, is skin-tight and joins neurologically with the wearer. The wearer becomes aware of all forms of matter at the subatomic level and is allowed to manipulate matter as needed. The effective range is dependent on the strength of the wearer.

Anti-Grav Unit - the predecessor to the Anti-Grav Suit, this first run of equipment allowed users to manipulate matter at the subatomic level. It was a large box-shaped piece of equipment that had a control platform to allow two operators through the use of a control rod. Unlike the Anti-Grav Suits, anyone with access to a control rod could use it. Infinitely more powerful, with a hydrogen-based power supply the range was only limited by the amount of water it could access. Was used to help terraform planets, build or level mountains, and construct long-lasting structures out of the hardest stone. In the wrong hands it could be used with devastating effect, though none are thought to exist in any of the colonies due to the ongoing war. (See “Harmonic War”)

Ashandaria - See Land of Dreams

Crystal Altar - This is a chamber at the heart of the Pyraportal that powers the entire structure. It acts also as the gateway to other Pyraportals and can transport people and supplies from planet to planet when fully operational.

Crystal Skulls - 13 artifacts given to the Mayan Grand Council by the Light to help balance the war between Light and Dark.

Crystalline War - ancient war that lasted for many centuries that happened thousands of years before humans settled in this solar system. It was waged against the alien Kaldori and Klah races over mineral rights at the edge of human outposts. Humans decimated both societies and discovered a number of Klah weapons that provided great power to the wielder, but absolutely corrupted them.

Deep Space Exploration ships (DSE) - Human society built and commissioned a fleet of 20 ships to search for habitable planets to support the home world that had all but depleted its own natural resources. These ships were built in huge space docks that orbited the home world. The DSE’s were protected by four large laser cannons mounted on each side. The Command Module was located on top center of the ship. The Command Crew operated in a Virtual Reality Environment (VRE) that was supported by an array of holographic displays fed by multiple wide-angle cameras installed on top and bottom of the DSE. The VRE provided full spectrum view permitted the Command Crew the sensation of being in the middle with nothing but space around them. These nuclear-powered ships used four electric/magnetic drives that spun a dense solid (iron) and liquid metals (mercury) in concentric circles around a crystallized core of radioactive material, which provided artificial gravity for the central fuselage of the ship. A full compliment of crew and settlers was limited to 5,200 with 500 of those reserved for crew. Settlers were placed in self-contained stasis pods until they arrived at a habitable planet. Each stasis pod had its own power source and could serve as an escape pod under emergency conditions, to ensure the safety of its precious cargo for hundreds of years. When ejected, the stasis pod would deploy solar panels and transmit a homing beacon for the eventual rescue party.

Deep-Space Attack Carrier (DSAC) - retrofitted DSEs with a massive weapons platform. Completed at beginning of the Crystalline War, humans converted ten DSEs into heavily armored weapons platforms and converted one of the Space Docks into a mobile command post. Both the Command Post and the D-SACs were retrofitted with Force Field Tech and a thousand Smart Drones operated remotely. The Smart Drones were disposable drones six feet long and weighed 800 pounds. They fired lasers, and guns until depleted then crashed into the final targets or return to be recycled. Smart Drones were easily and affordably replicated. Each DSAC carried ten MARCs and 100 MARs units.

Dreamscape - alternate parallel reality where the Klah weapons and it’s wielders can commune. See also “Land of Dreams”

Great Circle - This is the heart of the altar for the Holy Warrior. It is a symbol made of wood that floats freely from the surface of the table in between the two solitary candles. The “Great Circle” symbol was a carved wooden circle with a twisted metal triangle in the center. The circle was carved with dark flames that spun off the outside in a counter-clockwise motion, while the inside of the circle had very light-colored flames that spun clockwise toward the crystal triangle in the center as if drawn to it. This represented the “Circle of Life” that surrounded the “Creator” and served as a reminder that people lived in the circle of life and served the Creator at the center. Those who reject the Creator are cast out, but all are welcome. The Qatas or Qatassendor rest in stands on either side of the table with the blades up. When the Qatassendor is first placed into the altar the metal triangle at the center transforms into the same color crystal as the blades and the medallion.

Great Circle Medallion - a golden medallion worn around the neck of the Holy Warriors and the initiatives. The center triangle is transformed into crystal to match the Qatassendor when the initiative receives the Blessing of Light. See “Qatassendor” and “Great Circle”.

Harmonic War - Started by the G`Alad filled Warrior Guild in the newly established colony. The G`Alad’s greed for power and control resulted in the attack against the other guilds’ colonies for control of the solar systems resources being funneled back to the home worlds through the space portal. The destruction of the space portal cut off the main ties to the home worlds and marked the beginning of the war. The G`Alad sabotaged known Pyraportals throughout the solar system and raided weapons caches and put the other colonists at a huge disadvantage.

Healing - a secondary talent of the Guardians. All Guardians can do this to some minor degree, but some can do great feats of healing.

Hija/Hijo - Spanish term of endearment meaning “Daughter” or “Son”

Holy Warriors - ancient sect of select soldiers who became known for their prowess and invincibility during the Crystalline War. Thought to be only on the home world in dwindling numbers since they were no longer needed with the growing popularity of the G`Alad filled Warrior Guild.

J’Anx - (Ja, aynks) Klah weapon belonging to Apollon. The golden-bladed kukri glowed and the blue stone in the hilt pulsed. Runes circled the base of the hilt and continually changed.

Klah Weapons - beautiful knives and swords claimed as spoils of war by the G`Alad led Warrior Guild. All are sentient weapons with a golden glow to them, and all have a large stone that acts like a mood ring to show if the wielder has accepted the bonding to it. The weapon speaks telepathically with its wielder to soothe them with music unique to each weapon. By killing a person with the blade the wielder receives the life force that would have remained with the victim had they lived. This gives the wielder great longevity and superhuman strength, but requires continual “feeding” to maintain their strength. All Klah weapons are capable of firing black demon fire. The weapon can also fire a plasma type projectile that devastates opponents, but only if they take and maintain over 1,000 life forces. The strongest can even determine how many life forces a wielder has taken. The strongest and most trusted are bonded with a matching set, which includes a bracelet with connected rings and a silver pendant. These were given to “Political Officers” who became part of a symbiotic relationship with the wielder.

Klaxon - Klah sword belonging to Admiral Ares. A small golden-bladed scimitar. Runes circled a band of gold just above the hilt of the scimitar where a large blue stone shown brilliantly when held by the evil and corrupt Ares.

Kairos - Klah weapon, this golden short sword, had a gently flowing 36-inch blade curved elegantly back at the point. The blade itself glowed through the elegant scrollwork along the top edge. The double handed handle ended with a large diamond which changed to a brilliant blue that pulsed when it possessed someone willing to submit to evil, and it always corrupted the bearer. Bonded to Hafs

Kreel - Klah weapon bonded to Ben Anderson. This large, golden hunting knife had a stone in the hilt shone a brilliant blue as it pulsed in Ben’s hand. Just below the polished brass tang was a gold band with several runes that rotated counter clockwise around the handle. Hundreds of layers of metal made microscopic thin edges along the blade that flashed from the inner glow of the blade.

Land of Dreams - an alternate reality that Dream Walkers access.  It has two sides that are normally entered during a trance-like state between sleep and awake. They can go directly to a dreaming person by concentrating on a specific individual who is represented by a light. The lights are all different colors against a pillow gray background. Dream Walkers can also choose to travel the planet in a hazy, dream-like state. This allows the strongest Dream Walkers to visit areas all over the planet. Some are able to eaves drop on individuals as they go about their daily activities. Referred to as “Dreamscape” by wielders of the Klah weapons and “Ashandaria” by angels and demons.

Laxle - Klah weapon with a blade that never needed to be sharpened. In many ways, it resembled a small samurai sword about 16-inches long, except the blade glowed a warm golden color. The many layers of folded metal created tiny ridges in the blade itself like a Damascus blade. The knife was always warm to the touch, with a bone handle that had darkened from the years of handling. Like all Klah weapons, the hilt had a large jewel in it that always shown a brilliant dark blue once it was bonded to Arturo.

Mobile Attack Robots (MARs) developed for the G`Alad during the Crystalline War against the Klah. The original units were thirty feet tall manned heavy artillery weapons could extend its force field out 80 feet to protect its troops during battle. The newer Olympian Class MARs were 50 feet tall. Its torso was the size of a van and the round head sat upon its shoulders like a small command module for the squad leader. It’s nuclear powered with a diverse weapons platform complete with machine guns, rocket launchers, shoulder-mounted lasers, and sonic pulse cannons. Maneuverability was hampered only by the operator’s limitations. The suit was designed to respond to the operator to run, walk and jump as if it is an extension of the operator. With the rocket boosters in its legs and arms it can fly though air and space, and special ramjets in the power pack on the back allow for under water operations. The torso held a squad of 10 soldiers for very short distances. Operated by each Squad Leader and stored in the study legs of the much larger MARCs, each squad deployed from the same leg as the respective MARs leader, but troops were housed in the giant torso of the MARC until ready for actual deployment.

Mobile Attack Robotic Carriers (MARCs) like the smaller MARs unit, it too was developed for the G`Alad during the Crystalline War. Each MARC towered over 100 feet tall, carried 80 troops in addition to its 20-person Command Crew. It was the mobile hospital and heavy artillery support for the four Squads of 20 infantry soldiers. Launched safely from orbit, each of the heavily armored MARCs could drop into hot landing zones (LZ) and clear the LZ with a combination of rockets, flame throwers, lasers, sonic bombs and other particle weapons for up to 250-miles circumference. Its force-field technology established a perimeter of 1,000 feet to provide safety for troops and equipment during battle.

Portal - traveling system created by the Balsarius to hide the movements of the Guardians and other Balsarius agents from the eyes of the G`Alad spies. The Portal created a series of stable wormholes across the planet along Ley Lines. Portal access points were disguised as various megalithic stone structures or grave markers across the planet. Mostly made of granite or other stones of high crystal content, natural power from the Earth was channeled through the stones and accessed with specifically tuned “bell stones” and harmonic notes sung when the two stones were rang like a chime.

Pyraportal - Used in ancient times to create a worldwide power grid to provide wireless energy. It also acted as a planetary weapon of tremendous power. The altar at the center opened a transport portal across space and time to other planets and dimensions, though very few people know it can stretch across dimensions.

Qatas - (KAH tas) practice weapons for initiates to the Holy Warrior Order. Made of simple wood and blades of layered metal similar to a Damascus blade. The wooden handles are four feet long, which end with a one-foot-long metal blade. The handles can connect together to create a ten-foot long staff for use on an outdoor battlefield.

Qatassendor - (ka TAH sen DOR) the preferred weapon of the Holy Warrior. It is a set of Qatas used during a battle that received the Blessing of Light, which is the hallmark of the Holy Warrior. This turns the metal blades to crystal, which emit an impenetrable light that can cut through anything, and create a shield to protect the Holy Warrior. The crystal blades are different color for each Holy Warrior. When the Holy Warrior receives the Blessing of Light, the medallion they wear around their neck also transforms to the same color crystal at the center. The Qatassendor provides protection, healing and longevity to the Holy Warrior. See “Great Circle”.

Transgate - ancient worldwide portal system that was severely damaged at the beginning of the Harmonic Wars.

Races
Balsarius - (bel SAH rius) second human colony established from dissidents in Masu`ri due to religious conservatives dissatisfied with the political corruption. Named after the Reverend Malcolm Balsarius who took 10,000 of his followers to start a new society on “Planet B” which orbits the star Mintaka in Orion’s belt. While Basarius did not have the vast rainforests of Masu`ri, it did have large deposits of uranium in its deserts and could grow grains in the large grasslands that was lacking on Masu`ri. The two societies quickly developed a symbiotic relationship and trade was established making the two societies independent of Mother Earth. The Balsarius society focused on enlightenment through religion. While a somewhat balanced society with religious tolerance, the Church provides the moral fiber and is fully in control of the justice system. The society is based on conservative Democratic principles that focused on respect for all life. Governing is done through consensus in a utopian manner. This makes decision making a laborious time-intensive task, but once a decision is made they are quick to implement. Their understanding of the paranormal and focus on enlightenment has enabled them to develop higher brain functions improving their ESP and empathic abilities. They are strategic thinkers, and are extremely patient, making them great facilitators. Strengths include longevity, high intelligence

Colonists - refers to the average human settlers who are unaware of their origins.

G’Alad - (GAH A lawd) third human colony established. Located in the Sirius solar system. Named after the heroic General Muulaantani Al G’Alad (pronounced: `moo oo la an `tani) who commanded the Defense Network during the First Klah Invasion at the start of the Crystalline War. His heroics in battle and theories on war helped to mold the society into a Warrior Caste. G’Alad was a diverse planet with high desserts, vast grasslands, thick forests, and the surface was covered 65 percent with deep oceans. Rich in minerals and the purest quartz crystals in the galaxy. Trade agreements were set up quickly amongst the other colonies to take advantage of the superior quality quartz being mined on G’Alad. These quartz crystals became the cornerstone to the Human technology, provided tools, power sources, and memory for its vast computers. G’Alad focused their efforts on the Warrior Guild and eventually became a Warrior Society with a Caste System governed in a more socialist manner.  Their advancement in weaponry was only hampered by the lack of focus on developing sciences. Their space and air warfare tactics were however limited to convention projection or laser technologies due to the Orion Colonies’ distrust of G’Alad after the Crystalline Wars. They compensated for their lack of high tech weapons with greater numbers on weaponry at a lower cost.

Klah - an alien race defeated by the G`Alad during the Crystalline Wars. (See “Crystalline Wars”)

Masu`ri - (MAH soo, REE) The first human colony established outside of the home world. Established on “Planet C” that orbited the star Mintaka in Orion’s belt. Renamed after Capt Wilfred Masu`ri, the revered Commander of the DSE “Platheus”. They developed a great understanding of Quantum Physics and manipulation of matter, and eventually perfected Anti-Gravity technology. This technology was never shared with the Warrior Guild established on G’Alad as the Masu`ri feared they would weaponize it. A balanced society that operated a Republic style of government in minimalist fashion. While predominately a scientific community, their roots in the old religion was still firm and they respected the paranormal. Due to the Republic style of government they’re prone to corrupt politicians. They maintain a vastly technically superior armed force. Strong allies with Planet Balsarius.

Talents - Each of the Guardians had secondary talents that surfaced after they were bonded to the Crystal Skulls.

“Compulsion” or “Pushed” - a secondary talent of the Guardians. They can force their will on others and make them do, as they want. The person being Pushed doesn’t know it’s happening, but can become surprised after they complete the task. A suggestion is given and they obey. After the task is completed they are released back to themselves, often wondering what happened and why.

Dream Walker - very rare secondary talent of the Guardians. The Dream Walker can enter the Land of Dreams and control the dreams of others. Can also be used to spy on others to some degree. (See “Land of Dreams”)

Empathic Blocker - a secondary talent of the Guardians. Can shield others from empathic projections and manipulations. Blockers are known to be the strongest empaths.

Manipulating Memories - a secondary talent of the Guardians. Can reach into a person’s mind and plant new memories or change old memories. Very close to reading another person’s thoughts especially when added to their innate empathic abilities to Project.

Mind Bonding - a secondary talent of the Guardians. The ability to share the life memories between two people. This must be done through the Crystal Skull. Some have a degree of control that allows them to share only select memories. Unlike Manipulating Memories, the Mind Bonding is a very intimate sharing where memories are shared to both participants.

Possession - a secondary talent of the Guardians. Can control other’s actions and bend the “puppet” to her will. Only worked on weak willed people. Different from Compulsion because Possession requires the user to stay focused and concentrate on the task to maintain complete control. The puppet is aware of the intrusion but cannot prevent anything. Stronger willed people can sometimes overcome the user, but it takes a great deal of energy and force. The user can see, feel, hear everything that the puppet experiences. The most feared of all talents

Project or Projecting - All Balsarius descendants can project their emotions to others around them to some degree during intensely emotional moments. The Guardians can Project at all times, which is useful during battle to throw the enemy off guard. This also refers to Projecting thoughts, which is a side effect of being linked to the Crystal Skulls. Everyone linked to a Crystal Skull can Project their thoughts to each other and have a general sense of direction where they are located.


Cast of Characters

Forces of the Light
Joseph and Vicini Salvatore. These twin brothers are the most accomplished quantum physicists in the Ark. They are both 5’5” tall with gray peppered hair and goatees and prominent Sicilian features. They continually start and finish each other’s sentences and thoughts, yet the seem transfixed on the opposite sex. With their strong sex drives it is a wonder they can get anything accomplished, yet they are focused when needed. However, they cannot make eye contact with any woman, as they are always staring at their breasts.

Johan Maker - Spatial Theorist, and Propulsion Engineer, is the foremost expert on Time/Space travel. A 6’2” slightly balding blond hair, brown eyes with strong prominent features, and trim but slight build. Main studies include Space Gate theories used to transport the Arks to this Solar System.

Kirsten “Kiki” Renke. An accomplished Medical Doctor, this stunning dirty blonde hair blue eyed beauty is singularly focused on her field and has no interest in relationships, much to the dismay of many men. She is 5 feet 11 inches tall with perfect complexion, fair skin, beautiful smile and stunning figure with long beautiful legs. Her beauty betrays her genius. She has a frigid approach to men, because of her dealings with the Salvatore twins.

Children of the Guardians
April Walker - Twin sister to Judd. April is 5’9” slender built with light brown hair falling softly down to the middle of her back. Her large soft brown eyes, cleft chin and light olive colored skin marks her as a female version of Judd. April seldom talks in her brother’s presence, preferring to communicate through him using the telepathic link they share. Not only can they feel each other’s emotions, but they can read each other’s thoughts.

Ignacio Manuel “Manny” Alvarez - a good-looking 14 year old nerd. His tall frame and slender build gave him a decided advantage during his long hikes in the great outdoors of his homeland in the Arizona countryside. He had an outdoors look with his dark brown tousled hair and his customary blue jeans and flannel shirts that he preferred. His astonishing green eyes inherited from his mother, slightly betrayed his obvious Hispanic heritage.

Judd Walker - Twin brother to April. Judd is 5’11”, medium build with short light brown hair, large light brown eyes, cleft chin, light olive colored skin sixteen year old. Ever protective of April, Judd had long been her source of strength as they lived in the poorer side of Los Angeles. Judd was hot tempered and quick to act due to years of physical abuse from their step-father who raised them since their mother died in a car accident when they were both four years old. Ana tried unsuccessfully to take them, but since they could not determine Ana was a blood relative, the courts favored their step father. After the court mandate Ana became estranged from them due to the step father.

Lynell Skyhawk - Older sister of Raven.  This quiet, reserved but shapely American Native beauty was the more mature and cautious of the two sisters. Very athletic, this 14 year old was known for being the fastest sprinter, and a 2nd degree black belt in Kempo Jitsu. Lynell was 5‘5“ tall, long wavy dark brown hair, big startling green eyes.

Raven Skyhawk - Younger sister to Lynell, longs to experience life at its fullest. While Raven had a deep respect for her family, she also had a mischievous streak and was not afraid to try anything. She was adventurous where Lynell acted cautiously. Standing at 5’7” this very shapely 13 year old American Native had beautiful green eyes, long dark brown hair, but much straighter than Lynell’s hair. She also holds a 2nd degree black belt in Kempo Jitsu.

Richard “Ricky” Chambers - Always the instigator, Ricky was usually the person that got Manny into trouble as a kid, but he is a very loyal friend. Since they lived next door virtually all their lives, they were inseparable. Ricky’s short and stocky frame made him a very powerful ally if you ever got in a tight spot. Unfortunately, Ricky was usually the cause of that tight spot. His piercing blue eyes and smooth talking were always a hit with the girls, but not so much with other guys. Once they became teenagers, it was apparent that Ricky was girl-crazy. Manny always thought that Ricky looked like a “Neanderthal thug” with his dark hair and strong features, but he always seemed to be able to charm his way with his piercing blue eyes. Ricky was a skilled hunter and outdoorsman. From a personality standpoint, Ricky’s quick thinking and smart-ass attitude got him out of nearly as many tight spots as it got him into … nearly.

Other
Dr. Khalid Abbas - an archeologist that had studied the ancient ruins in Egypt, specifically: the Great Pyramid of Giza. Khalid was 5 foot 5 inches tall, with grey peppered hair that stood out against his darkened Mediterranean skin. He had a large crooked nose and crooked teeth that made him look almost like a caricature.

Kailea O’Keef - an empath strong enough to extend her influence out to influence others beyond the normal bounds. This stunning red haired woman had alabaster skin with perfect complexion. Her voluptuous figure was accentuated by her low cut shirt that showed off her ample cleavage. Her long shapely legs gave her a large measure of elegance as she sauntered into any room. But her most stunning feature was her large piercing blue eyes and impish smile. A man could get lost in those blue pools, and that was their first mistake. This 25 yr old woman is a fierce warrior, fully trained with the Anti-Grav Suit by Ana. Her desire to work as a public servant fell in perfectly with Ana and Shihan’s plans to thwart Arturo.

Rachel West, Senator from Wisconsin - She was once considered a beautiful woman, this seventy year old Senator is now one of the most Senior Senators. Her long brunette hair had long since turned mostly grey, and her hairdresser was kept busy to keep her looking young yet distinguished. Rachel’s green eyes are a startling contrast.

Sam Nimo – Filipino immigrant worker desk clerk at Egyptian hotel who was kidnapped by the Masu`ri agent Mahmoud Nasser for the use of his ID in order to get close enough to Khalid Abbas. A simple and sensitive man who was thrust into servitude in Egypt out of necessity.

Challenger Crew Members
Captain Thomas Jasper - Ship Commander - Tom was a middle aged man with a touch of grey in his dark brown hair. A handsome man by all accounts his strong features and cleft chin were accented by his big dark brown eyes. His commanding presence and easy going nature earned respect of all.

Lieutenant Diane Kerr - Pilot - this dark brown haired pretty young Captain is 5’3” tall, athletic build with blue eyes is full of spunk and energy, yet calm and cool under pressure.

Lieutenant Absalom “Abe” Jackson - Navigation Officer - this 6’1” tall, heavily muscled South African man has an intimidating presence.  He looks as though he has a permanent scowl on his face, yet is loyal and kind hearted. He excelled in mixed martial arts before joining the Masu`ri in Egypt under Commandant Florian Hertzog

Major Tony Smith - Communications officer - Tony was an intellectual and the perfect example of computer nerd.  His thin frame, unkempt but short dark brown hair, and boyish features made this 30 year old look much younger than he was.

Lieutenant Sarah Levesque - Tactical Officer - Sarah Levesque - This 5’ 7” curvy beauty was fair skinned with perfect complexion, full dark brown shoulder length hair, and dark brown eyes.  Her athletic figure, full lips and wide smile dazzles most men. She was the source of much jealousy amongst other women who pale at her inner and outer beauty.

Atlantis Crew Members
Colonel Tanya Standeford – Ship Commander - a buxom blonde, this slender southern colonist used her beauty to act as a mask for the genius hiding beneath. Her soft gentle features, blue eyes, flawless complexion, and stunning figure could easily place her as a runway model. However, Tanya has a very high IQ, and was an expert on Shihan’s battle tactics. Tanya was a fierce warrior and skilled empathy trained by Ana with the Anti-Grav Suits. She was Ana’s first student to graduate from Flight School on the Ark, becoming an accomplished pilot before her recent promotion to Ship Commander of the Atlantis. The assignment of the Atlantis by Pressler Anias to protect the Pyraportal was a disappointment. Tanya believes it amounts to little more than a supply ship and taxi. She longs for some excitement, but would rather be bored than risk having the Pyraportal discovered.

Captain Jeff Wright – Pilot – Jeff was 6’ 1” with short light brown hair, brown eyes, and gentle features that make him look young and innocent, but he was anything but that. Jeff enjoys the thrill of life and prefers to live on the edge, taking every chance he can. A thrill seeker to a fault, Jeff found a great partner in crime with Carmen, the Navigator of the Atlantis. They were a great team as both were fearless and love to push each other.

Captain Carmen Smith - Navigation Officer – Carmen was 5’2” a flirtatious, curvy and heavily tanned, blonde beauty.  She was an adventure seeker, and a great teammate for Jeff. She thrived on pushing things to the limit, and excelled at all extreme sports.

Major Gene Bostic - Communications officer – This trim and extremely athletic dark haired man, has sharp features and blue eyes. This computer engineer and communications expert was the heart beat of the operations and key in the success of any mission.

Major Geoff Radcliff - Tactical Officer - Geoff looked like someone who belonged on a farm more than behind a computer Hololink monitoring transmissions from Earth to the Ark. Geoff’s red face and light brown hair and eyes, made people think of one thing: Redneck!

Masu`ri agents
Commandant Florian Hertzog – Masu`ri Commandant in Germany. Blue eyed and blond hair, this strong man has a cleft chin and strong features. He was 6’4” and physically fit.

Mahmoud Nasser – Spy for the Masu`ri, stationed in Cairo, Egypt. Nasser was a modern Egyptian who was recruited by the Masu`ri early in his career in the Intelligence Community. His ability to gather valuable facts undercover had helped the Egyptians discover several political plots by terrorist organizations to gain control of key public offices. He had long sense retired from the Egyptian government and was now fully employed by the Masu`ri, and they paid much better. Nasser was in his early 40’s, with thick wavy dark brown hair, brown eyes, and naturally tanned skin. To the average citizen he was pretty much nondescript, making him perfectly suited to intelligence gathering.

Council of Guild Elders - The Elders were the head of each of the Five Guilds that made up Balsarius society: Artisan, Craftsman (formerly Worker) Religion, Science, and Warrior. The Elders made up the ruling class of the Society. Each wore white robes with a four-inch-colored cloth sash worn as a belt around their waists and embroidered with the symbol of their guild.

Artisan Guild Elder Jimiq Williams - She was a tall slender woman with dark skin, black hair and dark brown eyes. She had flawless complexion, and large dimples. The Artisan Guild sash was purple with an inkwell and quill crossed over an artist’s paintbrush and palette in full color.

Craftsman Guild Elder Charlie Baker - a former carpenter, this burly man had shaggy dark hair with streaks of gray throughout. His weathered skin and large frame made for an impressive looking man. The “Worker Guild” name was changed to be more politically correct. The sash around his waist green with a hammer and wood saw crossed over an anvil all in gun metal gray.

Religious Guild Elder Eric Danshe - thick gray hair, a portly older gentleman with small dark brown eyes. Blue cloth sash, with silver triangles embroidered the length of the sash.

Science Guild Elder Pressler Anias - a chubby man with curly dark hair that was always well groomed, and a smile that lit up his whole face. His blue eyes twinkled mischievously as he talked. He refused to take the eye treatments that would have fixed his bad vision, and instead opted for the old fashion wire framed glasses. If he had white hair and a beard, he would have embodied the persona of Santa Claus himself. Everybody loved this man, as his personality naturally drew people to him

Warrior Guild Elder Shihan Marcus Kahn - red cloth sash, with golden swords crossed. He was a Weapons Master with the rank of “Shihan” and Warrior Guild Elder on the Ark. Slender in build this man’s movements flowed effortlessly. He was 6’ 7” tall with long arms and legs. He had an ageless look with his well-trimmed beard and long brown hair was now peppered gray. He kept his hair neatly pulled back into a thick braid that hung down to the middle of his back. The lean muscles in his arms and chest rippled with his movements, and he commanded attention whenever he entered a room. His piercing blue eyes ever vigilant, he looked like a cobra ready to strike.

Guardians of the Crystal Skulls - the original Guardians were mostly of Balsarius descent, and had become the ruling class in Mayan society because of their wisdom, advanced society and extended mental capacities. All are empathic and are experts at projecting emotions as well as reading them. Just as some people have blue eyes and others have brown, their mental capabilities developed differently giving each a varied set of secondary talents. There were originally 13 Guardians, one for each Crystal Skull. The Guardians listed below are the only one referenced in this book. For the complete list of Guardians, refer to Book One: Guardians of the Crystal Skulls.

Abuela Ana Acevedo de Garcia - formerly known as Ana’ka Tua’agar de Took - She was once very short at just under five-foot tall. She had delicate features, olive skin, large slightly slanted green eyes, auburn-colored hair, full lips, and the telltale somewhat elongated head of the Balsarius descendants. After she was bonded to all of the Guardians’ through the Crystal Skulls, her features changed dramatically. Ana’s almond-shaped green eyes now sparkled radiantly against her fair skin. Her hair changed to silvery-white and flowed down the length of her back. Large dimples and a cleft chin showed prominently in her beautiful face. Long, strong legs supported her new six-foot warrior’s frame. She was perfectly proportioned and the embodiment of beauty in every sense of the word. She was known as a strong empath and had strong, yet varying levels of all secondary talents.

Alana Akholay - a warrior at heart, and the strongest in battle. She was a short exotic woman with brown almond shaped eyes and waist long flowing brown hair. If her figure didn’t make most women jealous, then her creamy clear complexion would. Second talent: Dream Walker

MeNana Took de Batan - Princess (sister to Ukit Took) and best friend to Ana. Was one of the original Guardians, but also was the first murdered by Arturo Dominguez who stole her Crystal Skull and Anti-Grav Suit. She was 5’2” tall with her slightly oblong head. A dark-haired beauty, MeNana had large almond-shaped brown eyes that complimented her dark hair, dark skin, and athletic build. Second talent: Dream Walker.

Marta Skyhawk - Council Member who identified Arturo as the Shea’s killer. Marta was a kind-hearted woman with a round face and long straight dark-brown hair that a she wore it in a braid that hung so low she had to move it before she sat down. Her dark-tanned skin, and high cheekbones set her far apart from the rest of the Balsarius. Her head was not elongated as the others were since she favored her mother’s side of the family who were Masu`ri. She wore rabbit and deerskin clothes to cover her round figure. She spent most of her time with the primitive Wa She Shu in the As-Sin-Wati mountains. She became a very powerful Medicine Woman as she used her talents and the Anti-Grav Suit to protect her people. Second talent: Healing.

Shea Ashandra - second council member murdered by Arturo. The Science Guild is not certain if Arturo took her Anti-Grav Suit as her body was charred beyond recognition, but he did take her Crystal Skull. Shea was Ana’s childhood friend. Her light complexion and soft brown hair stood out in contrast to Ana. She had a bubbly personality, big beautiful blue eyes, lightly freckled cheeks and large dimples. Second talent: Manipulating memories

The Forces of Dark
G`Alad Agents
Admiral Ares - resides on the luxury ship Argus which is a D-SAC. Ares was an elderly man who was tough as nails, and that reputation far preceded him. His somewhat lopsided head was large for his slender body, and his nose was huge and had obviously been broken long ago. What was left of his hair was snow white and ringed his balding head. To most people the permanent scowl on his face would lead them to believe he was always in a bad mood. He stayed in suspended animation for the most part, so that he could live to see the successful end to this mission. See “Klaxon” and “Deep-Space Attack Carrier.”

Commander General Menelaos - the political officer on Admiral Ares’ ship the Argus. Like most political officers, he was a dangerous man. Commander Menelaos had greasy dark hair combed to the side in typical military fashion. His short dark mustache and goatee was neatly trimmed, and was equally greasy looking as his hair. His slender build and pasty white skin reminded Ares of a funeral parlor director. He wore the matching set of the Klah weapon Klaxon, which consisted of a bracelet and rings on his left hand and the silver pendant that looked like a lightening bolt pinned to his lapel on his dark blue military uniform. The stones shown in a deep dark blue to match the stone in the hilt of the small golden bladed Klaxon.

Vice Admiral Linos,(LEE nohs) Captain of the Hyperion - a tall muscularly-built black man with a barrel chest.

Sub-Commander Orestes, Political Officer of the Hyperion

Vice Admiral Hektor, Captain of the Theia (THEE ah) - a ruggedly handsome deeply tanned man, with dark, curly hair and dark brown eyes with a prominent chin. A powerfully built man just over six feet tall with broad shoulders.

Sub-Commander Patroklus, Political Officer of the Theia

Vice Admiral Artemis, Captain of the Kronus which is the main warship of the fleet. Her reddish-brown hair, large dimples, brown eyes and athletic build reminded many of her twin brother Apollon. Her skin was much paler than Apollon’s due to the years aboard the Kronus, but like her brother, she had an athletic build.

Sub-Commander Sarpedon, Political Officer of the Kronus

Vice Admiral McGregor, Captain of the Rhea.  A large powerfully built Caucasian male with red hair and neatly trimmed beard appeared before him.  His face had countless age spots betraying his age.  This skin covering his strong cleft chin and high cheekbones showed little signs of wrinkling, except around his eyes.  He had an elegant look about him, but there was no doubt that he would not be a person to tangle with.

Sub-Commander Piers O’Hancy, Political Officer of the Rhea. Piers is 5’10”, reddish hair, fair skinned with green eyes.  He wore a dark blue suit with a silver lightening bolt on the left lapel. Piers had a dangerous look in his narrowed green eyes. He wears a ring on his index finger and one on his ring finger of his left hand. Both rings have a deep blue stone in the center that almost seemed to glow. Further up on his wrist was a beautiful gold and silver chain bracelet with a large blue stone in the center.

Doctor Oliver “Ollie” Pierce - head medical doctor aboard the Argus. Ollie was a man of medium height, slim-build. He had beady little brown eyes that were hid by small round glasses.

Vice Admiral Apollon - former Captain of the Kronus. Ares ordered Apollon to go deep undercover to infiltrate the Balsarius, so his twin sister Artemis took command of the Kronus once the G`Alad were exiled to Titan. This changed his military status from Vice Admiral to Commander since he was no longer a fleet officer. He was a professional soldier with thick, brownish-red hair. He was highly groomed with large dimples and brown eyes. His tanned skin marked him as one who spent a great deal of time on the colony. His lean muscular body moved confidently as he walked. A.K.A “Alan Spatz” the personal servant for Elder Galen of the Artisan Guild when he infiltrated the Balsarius space station as a spy. His Klah weapon was the unstable J’Anx, which was hidden by Shihan after Apollon’s death to prevent the Science Guild from attempting to study the evil-tainted blade.

G`Alad Agents on Earth
Sub-Commander Abdul-Wahid Abu Hafs, he was a good-looking, middle-aged man with dark skin, dark brown eyes and a well-trimmed beard that showed enough gray to identify him as distinguished and experienced, but not old and out of touch. High up on his left cheek a large mole stood out as an unmistakable feature. He lost much of his memories in battle with Alana prompting him to take on a new identity. His Klah sword’s name is Kairos.

Sub Commander Ben Anderson, a tall slightly overweight Caucasian man with blue eyes, light brown and grey peppered hair and a cleft chin.  He is almost always dressed in island casual clothes of khaki colored shorts, sandals, and a loose fitting colorful island shirt.

Arturo Dominguez - son of a Spaniard and Hopi Indian squaw, and direct descendant of Ana Garcia. Arturo was born on the Summer solstice at Tuuwanasavi, in the territory now know as Arizona. It was a Hopi sacred place southwest of Third Mesa. He was six-foot eight-inches tall, with shaggy shoulder-length brown hair and beard. Arturo lost a fight to Ana and earned a pink scar that ran from the bottom of his jaw to just above his left eye which was dead and hazy-blue in color which was in stark contrast to his beautiful green right eye. His Klah sword’s name is Laxle.

Donald Frey - With his slicked back hair covering his balding head, his mousey features and small round wired framed glasses completed the illusion of a mild mannerly accountant scared of his own shadow. But on the political arena this man was more pit bull than anything else. The term “ruthless” was most widely used by anyone that had dealings with the diminutive middle-aged man.

Colonel Jessup Brinkman - This United States Army Colonel is on temporary assignment to the Department of Homeland Defense under the expressed will of Arturo as his role as a Senator and Director of Homeland Defense, where he was assigned as the head of Cyber Warfare Counter Intelligence Division. Jessup was 6’4”, with a crew cut and thick mustache trimmed to the point that it reminded people of Hitler. The perfect example of a military leader who dutifully followed orders without question. He was greatly admired by his troops as a stern, but fair commander. No Klah sword.

Commander Abdul-Wahid Abu Hafs (Egypt) - a good-looking, middle-aged man with dark skin, dark brown eyes and a well-trimmed beard that showed enough gray to identify him as distinguished and experienced, but not old and out of touch. High up on his left cheek a large mole stood out as an unmistakable feature. He could have had it removed it anytime, but it became his distinguishing trademark. His Klah sword’s name is Kairos.


Spiritual Forces

Androdika - a favored pet of Legion. This succubus preferred to look human donning a skin-tight black leather pants with a red bustier over her petite body. Her dark hair was shaved on the right side and cropped close on top while the left side was braided and hung down over her left breast. Streaks of purple, white, and red in her black hair added exotic color to the fair complected beauty. During battle, she could split into four different bodies that were represented by the four colors of her hair. Agent of the Dark.

Cherubim - Warriors of the Light dressed in white cloaks over their silver and gold armor. These are the main force of the army for the Light. Four wings layered with silver and gold feathers that resembled their armor protruded through the backs of their cloaks. Each feather was razor sharp and glistened in the light. A beautiful aura emanated from them. There were no blemishes or scars on any of them. The only hair that could be seen was on their heads and fell loosely about their shoulders. Their faces were not clean-shaven, they were devoid of facial hair as was the rest of their bodies. Cherubim normally had limited communication abilities with humans, unless the Light specifically wills it. Cherubim only appear in their warrior form for battle, otherwise they appear as a wolf, jaguar, or as a light that floats. During battle their faces continually changed appearance from that of a man to an ox, then to a lion before changing to an eagle. Their skin colors varied from angel to angel, but their eyes all sparkled a deep blue. Weapons hung from their belts and were as diversified as the angels themselves. Whether it was a sword, cudgel, war hammer, staff, ax or bow each glowed and radiated warmth as the angels prepared for battle. Agent of the Light.

Dark Lord - Lucifer, Father of Lies, Evil Incarnate and former Archangel for the Light. Also referred to as Dark.

Gabriel - Archangel, his dark curly hair and dark tanned skin was set off by large blue eyes that sparkled and cleft chin. He was heavily muscled and dressed in magnificent gold and silver armor. His four strong wings extended out 12 feet and resembled the armor with rows of alternating gold and silver feathers each edge razor sharp. In his right hand he carried a brilliant gold and silver sword that glowed and shot beams of light during battle. In his left hand he held a small buckler that grew into a full shield during battle. Agent of the Light.

Guardian Angels - The Dream Walkers identified several guardian angels through the Land of Dreams. Their names are Jeremiel, Nerrifiti, and Sarath. Agents of the Light. (See Cherubim).

Inshae - a beautiful succubus with jet-black hair that flowed down her back and framed her pale skin and black eyes. Twisted black horns grew from either side of her head several inches up. Two more twisted white horns curled out forward of her face as part of a bone structure that surrounded her head. Two long pointed ears grew out from the bone structure. She wore shear black clothes that highly accentuated her womanly figure and left very little to the imagination. She was very strong inside the Land of Dreams. Agent of the Dark.

Katalyne Lightbringer - large black jaguar with beautiful lavender colored eyes from the Land of Dreams. Suspected agent of the Light. The loyalty of animals is uncertain.

Legion - a collective of demons that had banded together and had become of one purpose. They were nearly as powerful as the Dark Lord himself. Legion had seduced many lower ranking demons to join the collective with the promise of strength in numbers. It can take on any form, but preferred the form of a huge black dragon. Agent of the Dark, who answers directly to the Dark Lord himself.

Light - the Creator, God.

Michael - Archangel, his golden hair fell in soft curls on his shoulders. He had large dimples on his cheeks, cleft chin and large glittering blue eyes stood out against his fair skin. He was heavily muscled and dressed in gold and silver armor. His four strong wings extended out 12 feet and resembled the armor with rows of alternating gold and silver feathers each edge razor sharp. His strong hands held twin scimitars that glowed and shot beams of light when in battle. Agent of the Light.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Virtual Worlds in Harmonic Wars

What would technology look like in a highly advanced human civilization? What things would they do for entertainment? Star Trek, the Next Generation, had the Holodeck, and I always thought that was cool. Today there are virtual reality programs that people can visit through the use of an avatar, but it looks like a cartoon character. I think the next obvious evolution of that technology would be holographic, and we are not too far from that today.

In my SciFi series Harmonic Wars, Ana had to protect the descendants of the original thirteen Guardians from Arturo, who was cut off from the Balsarius technologies. His mission in life was to bring the Anti-Grav Suits to the G`Alad-based Warrior Guild. Arturo knew that his own Anti-Grav Suit would someday wear out, and he would be powerless against Ana. In Children of the Guardians, Arturo is hot on the trail of several of the children, so Ana must hide them and train them to survive against Arturo and the Warrior Guild, which is no small task. The soldiers in the Warrior Guild are bred and raised as the ultimate human weapon. They are a fighting force equaled by none.

Ana and her mentor, the Shihan Marcus Kahn, begin a 5-year plan to train six teens in the art of war. They emerse Manny, Ricky, Lynell, Raven, April, and Judd in war tactics. They are joined by Sam and Nasser who have become the apprentices of Shihan. Together, they will use the Mobile Attack Robots (MARs) to fight off the coming assault by the Warrior Guild, but the Science Guild quickly discovers that the teens can destroy their robotic opponents faster than they can be put back together. So they move to the virtual reality of Dimensions.  

In Guardians of the Crystal Skulls, Shihan meets a very embarrassed Pressler Anias in a fantasy world. As Shihan navigates through Dimensions, he is awestruck by its beauty. Now several hundred years have passed, and Dimensions is a much different place than it once was. There is still beauty, but there is now an ugly decadence of sexual promiscuity added, that Ana must protect the Children from. Please enjoy this scene from Chapter 18:

   The next morning, Johan led the youth along with Nasser and Sam to the stasis pods aboard the Atlantis for their first foray into Dimensions. “Now, if you’ll just walk this way?”
   Ricky walked closely behind Johan and tried to mimic his odd shuffle which caused Lynell to giggle and the others to smile.
   Johan turned around to see what was so funny, but only found Ricky with an innocent look on his face. Johan took a deep breath and tried to remember they were just kids after all.
   Moments later they arrived at the stasis pods where Johan addressed them. “These stasis pods are just like the pods in the MARs units, once the door closes it will fill up with the stasis gel, and you must breathe it in to make the neuro-connection. Once there, go through the Dimensions icon on the lower left. It will be a large, blue-colored ‘D’ icon with the swirling world at the center. That’ll take you to the loading room where you’ll see me waiting for you to explain general operations and navigation throughout the Dimensions vWorld. Then we’ll go back to the loading room, and you can customize your look. Then you have a couple of hours of play time.”
   “Fricken awesome!” Ricky exclaimed as he jumped into the closest pod. “Last one to the loading room does my chores this week!”
   The race was on as everyone rushed to the pods. Johan had to hurry and establish his link since he wanted to be there before them. He arrived in the loading room just behind Ricky, Manny, and Raven. Johan called them over to him, as they waited for the others to navigate through the Dimensions portal and into the loading room.
   Raven looked down at the silvery robe that covered her body with distaste, “This is ugly. I wish I was wearing … ,” Raven saw the silver, loose-fitting garment immediately replaced by a pink, short skirt and matching jacket that covered a low-cut, white shirt with small, red roses plunging down across her breasts in the shape of a ‘V’. The streaks of pink in her hair that had long faded out had suddenly returned as her hair fell loosely around her shoulders in soft curls. She wore knee-high, black leather platform boots with fishnet stockings tucked inside.
   Manny looked at the transformation of Raven before him in amazement. “Wow! You really look nice Raven. How’d you do that?”
   Johan interrupted, “Well, it looks as though Raven has already discovered that your thoughts can transform your appearance. Okay then, you have five minutes to think about what you would like to wear, and then we have to finish the orientation. Clear your mind, then visualize how you would like to be seen by others.”
   Manny changed into a blue polo shirt with khaki-colored shorts and brown sandals. Ricky, however, went all out. He wore a pinstriped suit, with a coral-colored shirt complete with a dark gray tie with coral stripes.
   “No shoes?” Manny asked as he looked at Ricky's feet.
   “Oh shit, forgot about shoes,” he replied as a nice pair of country-style boots appeared on his feet.
   Lynell walked over beside Ricky wearing a yellow sundress with red roses that climbed all over the bodice and red sandals. Her hair was pulled back into a thick braid down her back, as it always was these days. Lynell looked at her sister’s hair and was suddenly aware that she had done nothing with hers. Lynell made her hair curl and pin up with tiny red flowers throughout it that held her dark brown curls up.
  “You look beautiful, Lynell,” Ricky said with a smile.
   Lynell looked over at Ricky and smiled approvingly. “Thank you, Ricky. I think you look very handsome in that suit!”
   Ricky winked at Lynell, “Thanks! Nice hair, by the way!”
   “Yes, Lynell. The flowers are a nice touch,” noted Sam with a kind smile on his face.
   Lynell blushed since she was not used to all the attention. “Thanks and you both look very nice as well.”
   Sam wore a very simple pair of blue jeans with a yellow shirt, but Nasser was dressed all in black with a black overcoat and dark shades.
   “Hey there! It’s the man in black!” Ricky said as he smiled at Nasser, who just nodded slyly back. “But that’s taking it to a whole new level!”
   Everyone turned and looked as April appeared in black leather pants and matching shirt, knee-high leather boots, her hair slicked back, and dark shades over her eyes. Then a large, black lion appeared beside her.
   Johan interrupted, “Okay, let’s stay with the human race, Judd.”
   Judd-lion roared loudly before he reappeared with a smile in clothes similar to April’s.
   “Gather round,” Johan signaled to them. “Each time you come into the loading room, you need to check what you're wearing, or in Judd’s case what animal you might become. Thoughts in here can take form, so visualize a mirror, and one will appear in front of you.”
Just then several different mirrors appeared in front of the initiates. The girls all had full-length mirrors, while the boys had what looked like vanity mirrors one would see over a bathroom sink.
   “Wow, that's cool!” Judd said as a well-trimmed goatee appeared on his face. “Oh yeah, I look great!”
   “Yep, nearly as good as me,” Ricky commented.
   “That sounded so conceited,” Manny replied.
   “I’m not conceited. Conceited people have faults, so clearly I’m not conceited!” Ricky replied with a grin.
   “Oh geez,” exclaimed Lynell as she rolled her eyes.
   Johan shook his head and smiled. “Okay, put the mirrors away now, and let’s go into the virtual world of Dimensions. Follow me through the icon and wait for me on the sidewalk!”
Then Johan disappeared through the large, blue-colored “D” icon with the world that spun at the center.
   They all arrived and saw that Johan met them in a cloud that surrounded the whole group. “Now, there’s much to distract you, so I have shielded you till we get through the orientation. Otherwise, you’ll not be able to pay attention. At the lower left of your vision, you can see a door. It leads back to the loading room, and to the right is the Dimensions Icon. Both will always be there so you can easily return to the loading room and save your changes. The Dimensions icon will take you to all the other vWorlds. This is the default, but there are thousands of Dimensions you can visit. Fantasy worlds, water worlds, space adventures, whatever you can imagine, and it’s here. All types of extreme sports, mountain climbing, biking, racing, flying … anything. Flip through the menu with your hand and open the door to a new world. Some dimensions are restricted because they are for adults only. If you attempt to access one, we’ll bring you back to the loading room. If you try doing something you shouldn’t be doing, like stealing or fighting with other people in here, we’ll bring you back to the loading room immediately. If you talk with anyone here about any of our missions ... again, back to the loading room. Any contact of a sexual nature on your part or by someone else will likewise bring you back to the loading room. Once we bring you back for one of these reasons, we’ll review a complete download of the transcript and a full report given to your Abuela and Shihan. This won't be a good thing, at all. Everybody understand?”
   All the students nodded solemnly.
   “Very well. I suggest for now you just check out the default world. Now, check this out,” Johan said as he waved his hand and the cloud disappeared.
   The first thing that became apparent was that they stood on a sidewalk that floated in midair. Musical chimes softly filled the air and the gentle, cool breeze that blew across their faces. The cloudless, blue sky revealed a stunning view of a planet with multiple sets of rings and two darkened and cratered moons that orbited the dark-orange-striped world. They floated high above a sprawling city. Sidewalks floated in-between buildings and moved people through the metropolis. Sleek vehicles of every color and shape floated on beams of light at multiple levels throughout the city. Each level was a different color and represented different speeds, some of which seemed limitless as the vehicles flashed overhead in a blur. Buildings were in all shapes and sizes. Some looked like rose bushes with each flower opening a balcony to a new apartment. Others resembled pinecones. The buildings were all works of art, and none of them sat still. Movement and music filled the air in a symphony of light and music. The effect was breathtaking.
   Several buildings clustered together and rose to great heights. Johan pointed to them and said, “The business district is a good place to go to find a job. You earn credits that you can use to pay for your decorations, apartments, transit vehicles, and other activities. You can choose any job that you want, and there are no limits. The financial district to the left is the way you can become wealthy if you invest your credits.”
   Johan pointed to a fantastic building that looked like a huge, shining silver, muscular man wearing a loincloth. He held a spinning golden globe over his head. The globe had multiple bands of heavy-looking silver and jade support beams sculpted upwards from the man’s hands and spread out halfway up the spinning golden globe nestled inside.
   Nasser nudged Sam who stared in awe. “Overwhelming, huh?”
   Sam nodded, “It’s beautiful!”
   “The amusement park is on the other side of the financial district, or the man with the globe right there,” Johan said as he pointed. “You have each been loaded with 20,000 credits to start. Enjoy yourselves at the amusement park for now. We’ll get you in a couple of hours. Go have fun!”
   With that, the students ran off toward the amusement park with Nasser and Sam trying to keep up with the youngsters. The sights and sounds of civilization filled their senses. Children played with their parents, and adults walked around, and people talked and conversed just like any real city. But, there were stark differences. The clothes and hairstyles were some of the first things noticeable. Some people passed before them as a blur from the neck down and appeared as nothing more than a smudge to the students. Others were bathed in bright colors of light that shimmered and masked themselves modestly. A large gathering of people made their way through the crowd costumed in Renaissance-appropriate dresses and knights in shining armor complete with swords and lances. A group that looked very much like dwarfs found in fantasy stories gathered beside a group of Forest Elves to the right, who suddenly winked out of existence before their eyes.
   “Whoa, that’s cool!” Ricky said.
   “They must be going to fight a dragon!” Manny said.
   Lynell’s eyes widened as an Ogre approached them.
   In a gravelly voice, the Ogre said, “Excuse me! Coming through!”
   “I guess so!” Nasser exclaimed as the group made room for the Ogre who walked another 10 feet then disappeared as the other group had done.
   “Wonder what Dimension they're going to?” Ricky asked as a harem of beautiful women gathered in front of them. They wore flowing, thin veils that clung to their curvaceous bodies and left very little to the imagination.
   Nasser turned to note that Lynell was not amused that Ricky was taking notice of the scantily clad beauties, so he slapped Ricky in the back of the head as he stared. “Come on, put your tongue back in your mouth!”
   Manny stared as well and quickly turned around to see Raven with her head cocked, eyes narrowed and hands on her hips. “Get an eyeful yet, Farm Boy? You’re gawking about, acting as though you had never seen a woman before.”
   “I can't say I’ve never seen one dressed like that,” Manny said as he watched two women walking on the other sidewalk. They too appeared as a smudge from the neck down. One waved and blew a kiss to Manny.
   “Well, if you think the women of that harem were beautiful, wait till you can see past the age inhibitors!” said a gruff voice from behind them.
Manny turned around to see Tanya with another couple beside them. The man had a wry grin on his face, and the short, blonde woman looked irritated at him for his comment.
   Tanya spoke up, “Hi, everybody. Pay no attention to Carsten. He’s got a different sense of humor.”
   Lynell asked, “Hi Tanya. Who are your friends?”
   “These are my crew members from the Atlantis. This is our pilot, Jeff Wright, and our navigator, Carmen Smith.”
   Jeff was 6’ 1” tall with short, light brown hair, brown eyes, and gentle features that made him look young and innocent. His voice had a very manly quality to it that Raven and Lynell both found attractive as they smiled up at him. Carmen was much shorter at 5’2”, curvy and darkly tanned. Her blonde hair fell loosely just at the top of her shoulders. She had a flirtatious quality to her pretty brown eyes.
   Jeff still watched the two women that smiled and waved at Manny. To Manny, they appeared as a smudge, but Jeff saw they wore the latest spray fashion that some young adults had adopted. In reality, they walked around naked with a light coat of plastic paint. He sighed and waved back, “So much for that. Mind if we join you?”
   “Uh, sure thing,” Manny replied. “We’re not really sure where we’re going, much less what to try first.”
   “Try the Space Coaster, trust me!” Jeff said with a grin.
   “Oh, yeah,” chimed in Carmen as she pulled her blonde hair up into a ponytail and beckoned them to follow. “You’ll love that. Come on.”
   The group finally made it to the amusement park without too much harassment by the girls for gawking at the women they passed.
   For the next couple of hours, they rode as many space coasters, and other rides at the amusement park that they could. Much like a roller coaster, the Space Coaster took them into the weightlessness of space, and then plummeted them beneath the ground at tremendous speeds before they continued under water in small shuttles. After they had ridden the first one, they looked for bigger and bigger rides, anything to increase the thrill factor.
   As with all amusement parks and carnivals, they could smell the rich and fatty foods as they walked through the park. They eagerly tried candies, fried meats, and pastries that reminded them of donuts. The drinks were sweet and tasty as well.
   “Kirsten would scream right now if she saw us with all this junk food!” Sam said as he took a big bite out of a dark chocolate cake.
   Carmen shook her head and smiled, “Oh, not at all! This is one of her favorite places. There are no worries here because you're not really eating anything. All the pleasure with none of the guilt!”
   “Here, take a bowl, but wait to try this,” Tanya said as she handed each of them a bowl of a nondescript paste.
   “What’s this? Looks like bad oatmeal,” Judd said with a frown.
   Tanya smiled, “It’s called Goop. Now, I want you to all think about one thing that you have not had since you left home. What’s the one food that you miss the most?”
   Lynell and Ricky yelled out together, “Pizza!”
   “Oh, yeah! Pizza would be so awesome! Deep-dish pepperoni and mushroom,” Manny said as Raven and Lynell both stared up dreamily and sighed as they remembered pizza.
   “Great, sounds like we have a winner,” Carmen said. “Now I want each of you to take a spoonful of Goop, but don’t taste it yet. Now close your eyes and concentrate on the best pizza that you ever ate. Remember the flavor, the heat, the texture of the crust, the spice in the sauce. The cheese melted on top. Hold on to those thoughts and put the spoon in your mouth.”
   “Oh man! That tastes just like pizza!” Ricky exclaimed.
   “You have to really concentrate to do it this way, but this is really how all of the food works here,” Tanya explained. “The candies and cakes all use the power of suggestion, and your mind provides the rest. If you really have control of your thoughts, then you can make this cake taste like a pizza. But that’ll take some practice. This is a good lesson and something you should each try every time you come here. Control your thoughts and experiences inside the vWorld. It’ll be critical in the MARs units later. We can talk more about that later.”
   “It’s about time to be getting back now,” Jeff said. “I think we have time for one last Space Coaster ride if anyone is up for it?”
   “Damn straight!” Ricky said as he ran ahead.

   After they had ridden the Space Coaster one last time, they returned to the loading room together. Excitement filled the air, as they talked eagerly about all the sights, sounds, and things they had been able to do. It was the best day that Manny could remember since they had gotten there. Johan greeted them as they all appeared back in the loading room.
   “So, did you have a good time?” Johan could do nothing more than smile as the eager young adults all talked at once. He let them go for a couple of minutes and waited for them to settle down a bit.
   “Okay, let’s save your settings and return,” Johan said as he turned to the Atlantis crew. “Can you help show them how to save?”
   Everyone saved their settings and then exited Dimensions back to the stasis pods. Manny discovered that every time he exited a stasis pod was easier than the last time. At first, it was painful trying to expel the thick pink fluid from his lungs, but now it was getting easier. The girls, however, still had some difficulties with the process.
   Kirsten rubbed Raven’s back as she violently coughed out the last of the pink fluid. “Don’t worry, Honey. It takes some time, but it gets easier the more you do this.”
   “So, did you have fun?” Ana asked as she and Shihan entered the chamber.
   “Abuela, that was incredible!” Manny said as he hugged her. “Thanks so much.”
   “You’re most welcome,” Ana said as she hugged him back. “Did the rest of you enjoy that as well?”
   Ana was overwhelmed with the sudden rush of excited adolescents who recounted what they saw and did while in Dimensions. Ana listened as they shifted the conversation from the excitement of the amusement park, then they described the different buildings and how there was so much movement and music.
   “The default world in Dimensions is modeled after Jannity Junction, the capital city of New Hope. It was a famous tourist and vacation location on Mother Earth when the original colonists came here,” Johan explained. “It’s said that the music permeated everything there. The natural music calmed people and helped promote clarity. We think it was key to help humans advance in harmonic resonance technology, which is why we have Anti-Grav Suits today.”
   “Well, it’s getting late, so let’s get settled in for the night,” Ana said. It took a long time for the youth to settle in with so much excitement from the visit to Dimensions. Ana watched as the kids talked about all they had seen. Si, it was a good idea! Ana smiled to herself as she settled into bed. It took a long time for them to get to sleep, but finally the sleeping chamber was quiet.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Introducing New Characters in Children of the Guardians

As many of you know, Children of the Guardians is the second book in my SciFi series Harmonic
Wars. I wanted to share one of my favorite scenes with you to introduce some new characters: Florian Hertzog, Donald Frey, Mahmoud Nasser, Dr. Khalid Abbas, and Sam Nimo.

Donald Frey is the personal assistant for Arturo Dominquez, who you remember from Guardians of the Crystal Skulls. Frey is a man of low morals that saw his ticket to power through Arturo, who is now a powerful Senator in the U.S. Congress. The year is 2027, and the G`Alad based Warrior Guild has positioned themselves strategically, physically and politically for their final move against the rest of humanity.

Dr. Khalid Abbas is an archeologist who has discovered the secrets of the Great Pyramid of Giza and has attracted the attention of the Warrior Guild. They sent Frey to meet with Abbas to learn what he may know since the Warrior Guild has a limited number of scientists. But the Balsarius based Science Guild has also sent an agent to check on Abbas, and his name is Mahmoud Nasser. Nasser (an Egyptian) has been trained by the Masu`ri with the help of the Science Guild. During his surveillance, Nasser discovered that the American Donald Frey had beat them to Abbas, so Nasser's handler Florian Hertzog instructed him to kidnap Abbas. But poor Sam Nimo got caught up in the attempt.

Sam Nimo was a Filippino worker in Egypt. He worked long hours at a very minimal pay. Sam's boss gave him food, lodging, and a little over $500 US, half of which he sent home every month to help support his family. His boss confiscated Sam's passport upon arrival, and now he was an indentured servant, who Nasser used to get close to Abbas. Sometimes in life, an innocent bystander gets caught up in the horrific events surrounding them. This is one of those times. I had only intended for Sam to play a very small role, but by the end of this scene, I had decided to expand his character into a major role.

All of these characters play important roles throughout the rest of the series. Please enjoy the following scene from Chapter 6:


Aug 14, 2027
   Mahmoud Nasser watched Donald Frey as he talked to Dr. Khalid Abbas over dinner. Most people took little notice of a waiter, but the American was always diligent in his efforts to hide his purpose. It even appeared that he had an electronic scrambler that interfered with the bug he had planted on Khalid. It was hard to maintain the appearance of busing tables while trying to determine what a G`Alad agent wanted with this innocent man. Nasser was the best spy that the Masu`ri had, and he was going to find out the intent. For many years, the G`Alad had focused on the search for the lost Pyraportal and its inhabitants, while they ignored the most obvious organization that the Egyptian Government protected. The Masu`ri identified what Arturo and the G`Alad were up to in the United States and were quick to block any attempts inside their country.
   Nasser was a modern Egyptian recruited by the Masu`ri early in his career in the Intelligence Community. His ability to gather valuable facts undercover had helped the Egyptians discover several political plots by terrorist organizations to gain control of the main public offices. He had long since left the Egyptian government and was now fully employed by the Masu`ri, who paid much better. Nasser was in his early 30’s, with thick, wavy, dark brown hair, brown eyes, and naturally tanned skin. To the average citizen, he was pretty much nondescript, making him ideally suited to intelligence gathering. He intently listened as he cleared the dishes away from the table across the room.
   Don was a good listener to Khalid who eagerly talked about his findings on the Great Pyramid of Giza and other notable relics around the world that might be somehow connected. As the hours passed by through dinner and followed by strong Turkish coffee, Don finally came around to turning the tide of the conversation.
   “Khalid, we like your research. It’s remarkable, but we feel that the Egyptian government won’t let any additional experiments resume on the Great Pyramid itself. Wouldn’t you agree?” Don asked.
   “I have asked several times in the past, but my requests were all rejected almost immediately,” Khalid said. “This time, I have proof that linkages exist to other locations around the world and can prove it without having to alter the pyramid dramatically. I have developed a working model of a hydrogen power plant that is 1/100th the size of the Great Pyramid. If we can temporarily rebuild the capstone, I believe it’s possible to restart the world power grid from the Great Pyramid. If we’re not permitted to do this, then I believe we can access one of the magnetic conjunction points and send energy to the Great Pyramid.”
   “Did you have an alternate location in mind?” Don asked.
   “Yes,” Khalid replied, “The Sand Sea, near the Gilf Kebir Plateau, in Libya. It’s the location of what I believe to be an ancient nuclear blast site as is evident by the vast quantities of so-called ‘dessert glass’. An alternative site would be the Indus River Valley, but reportedly that location still has high radioactive levels.”
   Don smiled and said, “We’ll gladly fund your research giving you full credit for your discoveries, but we’ll control of the findings.”
   “Do you represent the United States in this matter, or is this a private organization?” Khalid asked.
   “My benefactors wish to remain anonymous at this time,” Don answered. “Why? Does it really matter to you?”
   “Actually, it does to some extent,” Khalid replied. “The costs associated with this research may be prohibitive for a private organization. Unless you can put up $500 million per year for the next five years, I’m afraid we’re wasting each other’s time.”
   “I understand that. Will you accept a check?” Don asked with a straight face.
Nasser had enough to report now as Khalid’s eyes lit up with anticipation. He hated to set things into motion that would dash the hopes of an otherwise brilliant man, but it was all for the greater good. Nasser walked back to the kitchen with the tub full of dirty dishes and walked out of the kitchen. He heard the owner yell for him to return or be fired, but Nasser just continued. Nasser drove back to his villa and entered through the garage. As he walked to his hidden office in the basement, he immediately approached the Hololink to report.
   As the gray mists faded away in the dark basement office, the face of Commandant Florian Hertzog came into focus. The blonde-haired-blue-eyed man looked intently at Nasser.
   “Ah, Agent Nasser. How’re things in Egypt?” Florian asked.
   “Commandant, Donald Frey has made direct contact with Dr. Khalid Abbas,” Nasser reported in his thick Egyptian accent. “Frey offered to fund all of his research.”
   “Do you have any indication that our dear Mr. Frey has contacted the G`Alad in Egypt?” Florian asked.
   “No, sir. He came from the airport directly to Dr. Abbas’ lecture and was able to sit down and have dinner with him. They talked at length about his plans to prove that a World Power Grid once existed with the Great Pyramid of Giza providing energy.”
   “Interesting,” Florian frowned. “The Director of Antiquities won’t permit it, of that I’m certain.”
   “They plan to run the test either in the Libyan Desert or the Indus River Valley,” Nasser explained.
   “They said any involvement at the pyramid would be minimal.”
   “Okay, that’s significant,” Florian said rather urgently. “Find a way to delay them until I can get there with some help. I’ll contact you there tomorrow.”
   “What would you have me do?” Nasser asked. “Kidnap him?”
   “Not a bad idea,” Florian smiled. “I like the way you think! I have a couple of calls to make to update my colleagues on your findings. You kidnap him, and then we’ll come in to rescue him!”
   “Sir? I’m not an agent; I just gather information,” Nasser said. “Kidnapping seems extreme … I thought we were the good guys here?”
   “Oh, we are,” Florian said. “But if we don’t do something decisive like this, what the G`Alad will do will be much worse. This is an emergency, and you’re the only one I trust with this. I’ll triple your regular fees. Stay with him and make sure you update me the second anything changes. You have no boundaries on this, do you understand?”
   “I understand triple my fees and no boundaries, but does that also mean no retribution? And can I get that in writing?” Nasser asked.
   “Yes, I’ll send you something. Get back there and don’t let anything happen to Abbas!”
The gray mist faded as the Commandant severed the link. Nasser was glad that he had the forethought to put a tracer on Khalid as well as the bug. As long as Khalid was not right beside the American, he would be able to track his movements. Nasser retrieved his Uplink and initiated the tracking software. Khalid was alone in his hotel suite as far as Nasser could tell. Khalid was very unsuccessfully singing along with the music station on the TV. Nasser thought, Nobody who sings that bad would do it in front of someone else! Something was not right about Khalid trying to sing Country and Western music with his thick Egyptian accent.
Nasser loaded a black duffle bag into his car and hurried back to the hotel. He would have to sneak back in and had to wait until he could take someone’s place, which could mean another kidnapping. This was getting more expensive. Nasser typically just gathered information, but that didn’t mean he lacked the skills for other things.

                                                                 *     *     *

   Sam Nimo, the desk clerk, walked and grumbled about having to dump out the trash for the office manager. He was happy to have a job, but he hated his station in life. He worked and lived in a foreign country that looked down on people like him. His family in the Philippines was destitute, and there were no jobs there. Sam worked as slave labor at the whim of his boss, who kept him and the others under his thumb at all times. The company drove them to and from work, and he shared the small two-room apartment with six other guys in his same status.
   Sam was 5’5” tall, with short, dark hair and a warm smile. He was very fit and worked out every day. He was so proud of his washboard abs and enjoyed the Kempo classes he took. It was his one and only luxury that he was permitted, and it helped him to make it through the long days at work.
Like his roommates, Sam sent the majority of his money home to take care of his parents, brothers, and sisters. He was not married, but he had several girlfriends back home. Oh, how he missed them! Sam thought about how much he missed his family and friends when he felt a strong hand cover his mouth, and a needle stick him in the neck. Sam woke up some time later in the trunk of a car: scared, naked, and tied up. Sam thought to himself, This is not going to be a good day!

                                                                 *     *     *

   Nasser smiled as he walked through the halls. He pushed a cart with a bottle of wine and glasses and wore the newly acquired desk clerk’s uniform. His badge and clothes enabled him to get back in past security. He had waited for nearly an hour before someone came close enough to him to grab. Nasser was sure that the maid’s clothes would not work, so he passed on the first four people who came to the dumpster. He didn't want to kill the young man, so Nasser secured him in the trunk and decided to deal with him later.
   As Nasser continued down the hall, he could tell that Khalid was still alone as every so often a song would come on that prompted him to start his blood-curdling singing that was about to drive Nasser insane. Nasser walked the entire floor to sweep for planted devices or loitering people.
   As Nasser approached Khalid’s doorway, he used his notebook to identify two devices that transmitted video and sound back to a live agent. This meant someone was actively monitoring. Nasser knocked on a door down the hall from Khalid’s room and delivered the wine from room service. Now that he had the layout of the floor, he stepped away to the service elevator and stopped at the next floor down. There Nasser found the entrance to the service corridors and climbed his way back up to the previous floor and up into the crawl space in the ceiling. After a few minutes, he found the cameras that obviously watched the hallway and door to Khalid’s room. Nasser recorded a loop to send information and re-programed it to run by a remote that he controlled. He would have three minutes once activated, which would be plenty of time.
   Nasser exited the crawl space and made his way out of the service corridor on the floor below. The return to the kitchen was uneventful, and he explained to the supervisor that the couple in room 1643 also wanted a bottle of Chardonnay and two more glasses, as they would be entertaining guests that evening. Nasser picked up another tray with glasses and a decanter of Chardonnay and placed them on a cart with a large tablecloth that covered it and made his way up the service elevator to the 16th floor. Just before the 15th floor, he activated the remote and the loop. Nasser walked down to room 1658, activated his electronic jammer and knocked on the door.
   “Who is it?” Khalid asked through the closed door.
   “Room service,” replied Nasser.
Khalid opened the door and said, “I didn’t order room service.”
   “Yes, one of the patrons from this afternoon sent it to you,” lied Nasser. “She said to tell you she loved your presentation and would be up to see you shortly if you like. I’m to wait for an answer.”
Khalid smiled, “She? Oh, I am the lucky one today!”
   “May I wheel this inside please?” Nasser asked.
   “Oh yes, please do be coming inside,” Khalid said excitedly.
   Nasser pushed the cart inside the room, placed the wine on the table, and poured a glass. Khalid fumbled around for his wallet about to give a tip when Nasser shot him with the tranquilizer gun. Almost immediately, Khalid slumped to the ground. Nasser helped Khalid gently down to the floor and scanned him for any stray electronics that the opposition may have placed on him during dinner. The first thing he found was his own tracking device. Nasser removed it and continued the scan and found two more, which he placed on the bed. Nasser put Khalid on the bottom of the cart with the tablecloth to cover him up so that nobody could see him and exited the room with Khalid. He pushed the cart to the service entrance and picked up some dishes from someone else’s room service that was lying in the hall. Everything worked very smoothly and before long, he drove away down the road with two hostages in his trunk – issue totally under control.
   Nasser smiled until he pulled up to his villa and noticed a black van parked across the street.

                                                                      *     *     *

   Khalid woke up cramped up in the dark. The second thing he noticed was that his head ached as if he had a bad hangover. Khalid tried to rise and banged his head on something over him. He was confused and scared when he realized that his hands were tied behind his back.
   “Where the hell am I?” Khalid said.
   “You’re in the trunk,” a voice close by replied.
   “Who’s that?” Khalid asked.
   “I’m Sam Nimo, the desk clerk at your hotel.”
   “Are you all right?” Khalid replied.
   “Not really. I’m stuck in a trunk with you!” Sam replied.
   “I meant, are you injured?” Khalid asked.
   “No, I’m okay except for one small problem,” Sam answered. “Somebody took my clothes.”
   Khalid thought about that for a moment then remembered that room service delivered a bottle of white wine to his room. Khalid’s eyes were starting to adjust to the darkness of the trunk, and he could now make out details of his surroundings. They were indeed in the trunk of a car, and they were driving somewhere. As his head continued to clear from the grogginess, he could make out the small Filipino man that had greeted him at the front desk this morning. Sam was completely naked and lying uncomfortably close beside him.
   “Great God Almighty!” Khalid exclaimed. “Have these dogs no shame? They stripped you of your clothes and even your underwear?”
   “No, I didn’t wear any today,” Sam replied. “I woke up this morning in a hurry and couldn’t find any, so I just left them off. Talk about bad timing!”
   Khalid laughed. “Incredibly, my friend! Incredibly!”
   “So you see, you don’t really have it so bad after all. At least you’re dressed!”
   “No, you have just proven that it can be worse,” said Khalid who was thinking now about how to get out of this. “Are you tied up?”
   “Yes. Why?”  Sam said
   “Maybe if we turn around back to back we can get each other’s hands free before we stop,” said Khalid.
   “Okay, let’s try,” Sam said.
   Both men struggled for a few minutes as they tried to turn around inside of the cramped and dark trunk. Finally, they maneuvered back to back; Khalid began to feel around for Sam’s arms.
   “Where are your hands?” Khalid said.
   “At the end of my arms. Hey, that’s my ass you’re grabbing,” Sam exclaimed as he moved his arms around to where Khalid was feeling.
   “Sorry,” Khalid was sure he was blushing terribly, but there was nothing else he could do. “Okay, I can feel your hands now. Seems like they used duct tape. Give me a second. There we go!” Khalid unwrapped Sam’s hands. He, in turn, unwrapped Khalid’s hands and they worked themselves down so they could untie their feet as well.
   “Now, see if you can find anything that we can use as a weapon,” Khalid said. They felt around for a few minutes and felt the car leave the pavement and start to drive on dirt.
   “Oh, that’s not good,” Sam said. “They’re going to stop, and that can’t be a good thing.”
   “It’s going to be okay, Sam,” said Khalid in as calm a voice as he could muster. “We just have to jump out together and attack them as soon as they open the trunk. We’ll have the element of surprise on our side. Did you find anything we can use as a weapon?”
   “I’m still feeling around. Wait, I think I have something!” Sam pulled up a roadside emergency kit from behind him.
   “Perfect! See if there are any flares inside,” Khalid exclaimed. They opened the kit and found three flares and a tire iron, as the car slowed.
   “Yes! You take two flares, and I’ll take the tire iron and the last flare,” said Khalid as the car ground to a halt. Then he continued in a whisper, “Remember, we have the element of surprise. Jump up, scream and start the flares as soon as the trunk opens, but don’t burn me!”
They heard the car door opened, and a person slowly walked to the back of the car. The seconds passed until they heard a voice.
   “You know your element of surprise works better when you’re not screaming your intentions in the trunk.”
   “Damn!” said Khalid. “What do you want with us?”
   “Actually, I’m helping you escape – you’re being hunted by some very bad people. I’ll let you out to sit in the front on two conditions.”
   “Okay, we’re listening!” Khalid answered.
   “First, drop the tire iron and all three flares. Second, the freaky, little desk clerk has to put his clothes back on.”
   Khalid winced as he realized that their captor had indeed heard everything. In the excitement, they were much louder than he thought.
   “We’ll do as you ask. Now, will you please let us out?” Khalid asked.
   “See that large, white latch beside you that says TRUNK RELEASE?”
   Khalid certainly felt like a fool now. Tentatively he pulled the latch directly in front of his face and the trunk opened immediately. Khalid recognized the smiling face of the man who had delivered the wine to his room. He stood about 10 feet away from the end of the car with Sam’s clothes in one hand and a gun pointed at them in the other, and patiently waited for them to get out. The sun had begun to set in the desert, and the temperature had dropped. They were clearly miles away from anything and were completely at his mercy.
   “I’m Mahmoud Nasser,” he said as he threw the clothes to Sam. “But my friends call me Nasser.”



I hope you enjoyed the scene above as much as I enjoyed writing it. We have bundled books one
and two together for $8 off the regular price through http://3lpublishing.flyingcart.com/?p=detail&pid=87&cat_id=0

The official release of Children of the Guardians will be April 10th for all ebook formats. We will celebrate it on the radio on Coast to Coast AM with George Noory.