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Monday, August 22, 2011

Book Two Preview

About a week and change away from me putting Book Two: Descent up for everyone's enjoyment.  If Book One was the slow burn introduction to the world, then Book Two is the roller coaster that ramps everything up.  You get to see the emotional beginnings of the Lords' reign over Kobol, what Prometheus did and there's action galore.

If you've read Book One (and if you haven't, what are you waiting for?), you've already had a taste of a bunch of these things.

Like emotion and Prometheus:

"You must listen …" Leto's voice trailed off as she looked around the room.  She glanced toward the acolytes, pursed her mouth in disgust and then looked back at the bleary-eyed deity, "… to Prometheus."

"Prometheus?!"  Zeus angrily leapt to his feet and kicked a large pillow across the room.  Immediately, he stumbled, catching himself on the back of a chair.  "Prometheus is a traitor and a … Whatever fate awaits him, he deserves worse!"

Leto was nonplussed, "Zeus, please."

Somewhere on the table, a communications device began to beep.  He reached over to the table and picked up the earpiece, holding it aloft.  "You want me to tell Ares to stop?  You want me to listen to Prometheus?"

Leto's face became loving and calm.  She nodded slowly.  "Yes.  Please."  She knelt before him and took his hand in hers.  "Do it for me."

Zeus regarded her for a moment.  Her eyes were moist and wide.  Her skin was familiar and alluring.  She rubbed his fingers gently and pressed her chest against his legs and looked even more deeply into his eyes.  He felt warm inside.  A warmth unlike anything he had felt in almost ten years. 

He blinked once and then he pressed the 'off' button on the device.  He felt a gastrointestinal burning that welled into the back of his throat.  He swallowed it back and glared at Leto.  "Have you lost your mind?"

"No," she said, shaking her head as she stood.

"Have you somehow forgotten what he did?"

And action:

Smoke rose from emerald green grass.  Gleaming armor merged with dark soil and darker blood in craters.  Ares' soldiers lay about the field missing limbs.  Arrows dotted the shields of those still standing.  To the south, Zeus looked and he saw tens of thousands of men clad in armor and red cloth.  Their banners bore dragons and their faces wore rage. 

The Aetos hovered lower still and a few arrows whispered past.  Zeus pulled his sword, leapt from the wing and landed on the ground meters below.  His armor crunched and slowly he stood.  The enemy crowded around and he lunged at the first few who foolishly dared to challenge him.  His glinting steel sword tore through their armor like paper and their blood sprayed into the air.  More came toward him and he threw his blade into the chest of a large berserker.  As that warrior fell, Zeus pulled his staff from his shield and jabbed it toward three swordsmen.  Electricity arced from its tip and shook them into unconsciousness.

How about some more action?  Fresh stuff from Book Two:

“Let’s see if we can kill another one of their gods,” Kaladen said.  “Light it.”  He looked behind him and watched as a torch was brought to the tar-covered rope winding about the outside of the sphere.  Once he saw the flame take hold, he stepped back, holding the rope trigger.  “Fire!” 

With a quick jerk, the basket lifted up and tossed the smoldering shot into the air.  Two hundred meters away, he saw it land very near Artemis, where it exploded.  Kaladen and his sappers cheered as the smoke engulfed her form.  Moments later, a breeze came and blew the cloud away from her and Kaladen saw an arrow leaving her bow aimed right at him.

He froze.  A moment later, a white and golden dart tore through the meat where his shoulder met his neck.  He toppled onto the ground and he clasped the wound, looking around for help. 

“You’ve been shot by a god!” his companion said.  

And some pathos:

“You should come,” his wife said.

Polykures shook his head.  “No.  The messenger was clear.  Some should evacuate and the rest should stay behind.  We can’t allow the heathens to think any substantial portion of our people has escaped.”

She hugged him and pulled their young child toward his father’s leg.  “You’re not coming, daddy?”

Polykures bent down and hugged the boy.  “No, son.  You’re going with your mother.  And … you must remember to speak the new words we taught you, right?”  The boy nodded.  He kissed the child’s forehead and bit the inside of his lip.  He didn’t want to cry and upset his son any further.

He stood and looked at his wife.  She, too, was struggling to maintain her composure.  “May the One bless you.”

Polykures smiled and hugged her tightly.  “You, as well.  Bless your long journey.” 

She turned and climbed into the cart.  After she positioned herself against the wall, Polykures hoisted the boy with a cartoonish grunt and a tickling pinch.  He cackled and smiled.  The mother took the child and held him tightly.  Polykures stepped back from the cart and watched other families endure the same painful sundering.

The cart left a few minutes later.  He and several dozen residents of Gortyn trudged absent-mindedly through the brambles toward the town.  They all had sent some of their families away.  Many were staying behind to maintain an illusion for the invaders.  They knew it was suicide.

More answers will be provided, a few more questions posed, but, more importantly, the stage is set for The Final Exodus in Book Three.

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