uracill Kalverya Johansson

A DARK SECRET. A DESPERATE STRUGGLE. A HIDDEN POWER. After, the battle in the city of Darwin. The Xzandians stretch their focus to the rest of the world, searching for the remaining eleven fragments. Six months later, after Noel-Len’s near-death experience, he didn’t expect to don the uniform of the Centurions, and work alongside Dragon Core, in his quest to ascertain the fragments. While, Gothalia is reanimated as an Xzandian acolyte—she’ll stop at nothing to prevent Noel-Len from ascertaining the fragments even if she doesn’t know she’s their puppet. With, the Xzandians controlling the Fire Reserve’s secret weapon, the death of Argos and the kidnap of Arthur, precedes an event that’ll bring forth a global dogmatic government to the surface world, igniting the flames of segregation, chaos and destruction. Dragon Core’s mission: to gather the remaining fragments before the other surface countries. In amongst it all, Gothalia’s betrayal will warrant Noel-Len’s drive to ensure humanity’s survival, which will reveal the Order of the Rukh’s plans and the dark origins of the Alastorians.

Science fiction Opéra spatial Tout public. © Kalverya Johansson

#war #action #supernatural #military
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Prologue & Chapter 1

For the readers and fans,

thank you for continuing the journey,

may you love this one too.



Book Two, the Chronicles of Heaven's Curse

Copyright © 2021 by Kalverya Johansson.

This work is copyright protected.

The author reserves all rights.

This is a work of fiction. Names, places, characters, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or, if real, used factiously. All statements, activities, stunts, descriptions, information, and material of any other kind contained herein are included for entertainment purposes only and should not be relied on for accuracy or replicated as they may result in injury.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written permission from the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.


Important Terms:

Excelians: beings gifted with élanocytes, found in their blood. They are able with these élanocytes to manipulate the physical elements.

Élanocyte count: determines a person’s social or economical status among the Excelian society. As such, the higher the élanocyte count, the stronger the Excelian, the more influential they are.

Utilisers: Excelians with elemental abilities or unusual elemental abilities these are often found in two different blood types Délanocyte and Pélanocyte.

Xzandians: aliens from the planet Xzandia. In another galaxy not too far away. They have scales for skin that can be any unusual colour depending on the spectrum and radiation they absorb. They turn the absorbed energy into power which gives them their ability to multiply, excessive strength, speed, as well as other otherworldly abilities.

The Order of the Rukh: a congregation bodied by all types of Excelian: Regalis, Caligati and Daemones. They harbour a hatred and a dangerous ambition to destroy the United Nations of Excalia.

Foreseers: they see the future but within limitations. They can predict an oncoming war or if a natural disaster will occur. They aide the Grand Elders in protecting and safeguarding the Reserves.

Grand Elders: are the official leaders of the Excelian society, not the Royal Family. They are a form of government. That passes laws and ends them as well as protects their Reserves by holding up the wards.

Excelian Royalty: are the original rulers of the underground countries and still maintain power but on a more discrete level. They have the purest forms of élanocytes making their blood and their power unique. They are one of the twelve original Excelian families who founded Excalia and formed the United Nations of Excalia.

Reserves: are countries within the earth’s crust where the Excelians live. These have their own cities, towns, villages, and uninhabited land that the Excelians have turned into lush forests and deserts. Governed by the Grand Elders but managed by Colonial Lords who are like state ministers on the surface world.

Élanocytes: energy cells found in all Excelians, Humans and Alastorians. However, it is naturally much higher and practiced in Excelians than it is in Humans and not so much in Alastorians. Humans are known have high élanocyte count which can keep them extremely healthy for the rest of their lives and protect them from becoming Alastorians, but they are unable to activate the gene responsible for providing them with supernatural or elemental abilities. While other Excelians can have an average amount of élanocytes they can still manipulate the elements depending on their bloodline.

Pélanocytes: a sub-blood type, found in those commonly of non-daemone decent and are those whom of which don’t have unstable élanocytes. These are often those with no unusual abilities and are able to utilise and manipulate all four physical elements.

Délanocytes: a sub-blood type, found in those commonly of Daemones decent. These are Excelians who are naturally born with unstable élanocytes which is known be quite reactive and unpredictable. They have other abilities that not found in those with pure élanocytes who naturally manipulate the elements both internally and externally. Those of Daemones decent and Regalis are naturally able to manipulate both strengths of each bloodline but are normally rare in existence.

Nélanocytes: a sub-blood type, found in those of Caligati decent. These are Excelians who are born with élanocytes giving them supernatural, strength, speed, intellect, and heightened senses but they are unable to manipulate any elements and are usually skilled or talented workers. The count of their élanocytes determine how much physical, strength, speed, intellect, and heightened senses they possess. These are sometimes talented fighters with their own unique secret talents and skill sets unique to the individual or clan.

Alastorians: neither Human nor Excelian but are a variation of both. They have extraordinarily little élanocyte count and are often vulnerable to the Stylap virus that mutates the DNA thereby producing distinct types of proteins that are responsible for their fallen state such as: super strength, speed, and heightened senses.

Stylap: a parasitic infection that enters the nose, mouth, and eyes. It manifests and creates Alastorians—only Humans with low élanocyte count are vulnerable to this virus.

Regalis: these are Excelians with purer stable élanocytes whether high or low, who can manipulate the common elements.

Caligati: are those who have nélanocytes—or no elemental energy. Even if they are stronger and faster than the average Human. They are unable to manipulate the seven elements like those of the Regalis and those who possess délanocytes.

Daemones: live separately from the Regalis and the Caligati, away from the rule of any Excelian Royal Family or Grand Elder Congress. They are unaccepted by either Excelian classes due to their unpredictable and dangerous nature. As such, they’ve developed their own nation divided up into countries with towns, cities, governed by their own Royal families who protect and guard their lands.

Midnight Eclipse: a powerful weapon that has been divided up into twelve fragments spread throughout the world. A weapon, only able to be used by those with specific genes known as accommodators.


When Gothalia opened her eyes, confusion washed over her as she took in the bare white walls of the room, she was in. Then, she became conscious of the bandages against her skin, the smooth clean sheets against her bare legs and arms, and the pillow under her head along with the constant beeping of a nearby machine.

Her gaze narrowed on the sheets in contemplation, then she lifted it, regarding her injured body beneath. She was in her underwear. In that moment, she wasn’t too sure which to be more concerned about the fact that her memories were blank or the fact that someone had undressed her.

Her gaze drifted to the white wooden glossy nightstand beside her bed. She regarded the folded clothes on the bedside table, then the transparent jug of water, glass cups and devices she knew she was familiar with but didn’t completely recognise. She reached for it, then glanced at her arm. Puncture marks embedded exposed skin of her arm among the bandages.

A cord connected to a drip, slithered towards her, and she regarded the venous catheter on her arm. Her brows furrowed. “What happened?” She muttered to herself. Then, recalled the sound of explosions and bullets as a fragment of memories but nothing that could explain how she was in the bed.

She sat up slowly and scanned her tender body thoroughly. There were injuries, bruising, bandages that she recognised, and she had all her limbs, all her fingers and toes. Then, she tested the movement of her fingers, hands and feet then the rest of her limbs and anything she could think of or missed. Eventually, she concluded everything worked the way it should. “That’s a good sign,” she whispered, then frowned. Where was she?

Gothalia regarded the open door opposite her bed. It led into a hallway and beside the door was a dresser and a wardrobe with sliding doors. Then, she glanced at the mirror opposite her bed.

Her features stared back at her, but she didn’t recognise herself. Her skin appeared paler than usual, almost sickly, her hair looked dry, tattered and damaged. Her dry lips were marred in cuts along with her cheeks and forehead. She touched her head, feeling the closed wound there. Her fingers grazed along the stitches and an image of a man on top of her with a knife to her throat flashed across her eyes. Then as quickly as the memories appeared they vanished, and her hand trembled at the unsettling recollection.

Gothalia glanced at the curtain window beside her and pulled it open before regarding the tall unfamiliar buildings. She regarded the strange purple-blue colour of the sky even if she guessed it was mid-day from the position of the sun. Gothalia leaned towards the window, peered down, and saw a silent empty street below.

“Idiot! What are you doing!” A woman growled, from the door. Stunned, Gothalia regarded the fair skinned woman and watched her with confusion. The woman rushed over to the window as quickly as possible and closed the curtain. “It’s like I can’t leave you alone. You didn’t open the window too, did you?” Her blue eyes narrowed, on the white curtain.

“No,” Gothalia replied.

Then the woman watched her, steadily. “Good. That’s something. Try not to open the curtains again.”

“Why?” Gothalia asked, suspiciously.

The woman was silent for a moment before declaring, “Because they’ll find you. They’ll find us.”

“Who’s they?” Gothalia asked.

The woman regarded her, and her blue eyes filled with worry. “The Xzandians.”

Gothalia remained silent, waiting for her to continue and, when she didn’t, she asked. “You act like I should know what that is.” Gothalia crossed her arms and raised her brow.

A sudden gasp escaped the stranger’s lips. Then, before she could say anything, the dark-haired woman turned from her, and rushed out of the room calling unfamiliar names. By the time she returned, Gothalia stood before the mirror and stared at her black underwear, the various bandages and contemplated the type of injuries she had beneath.

“Gothalia?” A voice questioned. Gothalia glanced at the tanned man with brown haired man in the mirror behind her, his green eyes observed her carefully with equal concern. From beside him was a red-haired man with golden eyes and two other dark-haired individuals.

Without a word, Gothalia turned around and faced them, “Who’s Gothalia?” Shock embedded everyone’s features and Gothalia’s confusion merely grew at their reaction.

The red-haired man moved to her, and she turned to face him. Many emotions flickered across his eyes, and she could tell he tried to obscure the hurt on his face. Without thinking, her hand graced his cheek then gripped the ends of his blood-red hair. Neither of them said anything while everyone watched. “You have unusual hair. How did you dye it? I love the colour. Got any advice?” She smiled brightly at him.

In that moment, his heart broke. His arms wrapped around her, and he held her close. “Maybe,” he whispered in her ear, burying his face into her shoulder. His grip tightened around her, and she felt him tremble. Then, she glanced at the green-eyed man behind him. He watched her. His gaze filled with hurt, pain and loss. While the blue-eyed woman covered her mouth and glanced away.

Then the red-haired man pulled away. He gripped the sheet she had draped around her shoulders and pulled it over her until her injuries and figure were hidden. “Get dressed then we can talk about what hair products I use.” He forced a bright smile then stepped from her and walked out of the room.

Everyone vacated the room slowly until the only person that remained was the green-eyed man. He watched her with an unreadable expression, but she knew it was a mask to hide that pain she saw. Then before she could say anything. He left.

Staring after him, she pulled her eyes from the empty hall then she strode over to the clothes. Dropping the sheet, she dressed.

* * *

Silence filled the living room beyond the bedroom doors. Leviathan sat with Anaphora and Narelle on the sofa in deep contemplation. Then, at last, he asked, “What did they do to her?” Anaphora and Narelle shared a pained expression.

Anaphora muttered. “Physically we know based off the injuries but mentally and emotionally we have no idea.”

Asashin joined the group. “We barely got her out in time before they could do any real damage but maybe we didn’t move quick enough. Even if it has been few days since then.”

Noel-Len Ignatius entered the room with the groceries and winced when he closed the door behind him. “I tried to get what everyone wanted but—” He regarded Danteus’s pained expression as he strode to the door he’d just entered. Without a word, Noel-Len stepped aside and Danteus vacated the apartment.

“What happened?” Noel-Len asked, confused.

“It’s Gothalia. She’s awake . . . and, they were right, she has complete amnesia.”

Noel-Len dropped the bag of food at his feet. His gaze drifted to the ground for a moment, then leaned against the wall. Hoping he’d could adopt its strength, even if he didn’t know her well enough yet. He knew, she didn’t deserve the torture they put her through. “Is it trauma based or is it because of some phycological conditioning?”

“We don’t know. We can’t even ask Arthur or Kronos.” Anaphora remarked.

“Does L’Eiron know?” He asked.

Anaphora couldn’t meet his gaze. “Not yet I’m not too sure how to explain it to him.”

Then Gothalia entered the living room, dressed in casual surface world clothing, and everyone watched her. Confusion and uncertainty washed over her as she observed every face. A frown graced her lips while her brows furrowed in thought before she asked, “So, now what?”

Chapter 1

L’Eiron regarded the information before him. “Another recorded attack,” he said from where he sat behind an oak desk. Then questioned, “Was it her?”

Danteus stood with his hands behind his back, at ease, and regarded L’Eiron for a moment before answering, “It was. So, we’ve been informed.” His brows were taut, and his lips were pulled into a thin line and his jaw muscles tightened.

“What’s she doing now?” L’Eiron muttered, deep in thought.

“I’m not sure but she’s in her room.” Danteus answered, there was trickle malice in his words. L’Eiron regarded Danteus for a moment, conscious of his sudden hatred but never uttered a word.

“These attacks are not of her own doing.” L’Eiron replied, and Danteus didn’t answer. “Who else knows of this?”

“No one outside of us yet.” Danteus responded.

“Good, keep it that way for as long as you can,” L’Eiron urged then dismissed Danteus who vacated the room and returned to his prior duties. L’Eiron’s eyes lingered over Anaphora in the corner of the room as she leaned against the crème wall. Her dark eyes regarded him as he stared at the file on the desk and asked:

“And how do you propose he does that?”

“The same way I propose he does anything, I suppose,” L’Eiron answered.

“Gothalia isn’t just anything. She’s trained, dangerous and can’t remember anything. We can’t allow this to go on any further. We need the Cratians.” Anaphora declared, with such detachment L’Eiron could flinch. He regarded the woman with a levelled gaze and couldn’t help but contemplate what went on in her mind. It was Gothalia of all people.

“Has it ever occurred to you why she’s behaving the way she is?” L’Eiron questioned.

After some time, Anaphora responded, “It has occurred to me, and it may not be her fault. Besides these reports could be nothing but . . .”

“. . . But what?” L’Eiron pressed, his eyes on her. Then she replied after what felt like a lifetime.

“Fabrications,” Anaphora finished. “But I could be wrong.”

“Let’s say you’re not then what?”

“Then we need to find how the Xzandians made her betray us and then work from there with the Cratians help. Maybe we can even return home in the future,” Anaphora remarked.

“She’d be an outcast.” L’Eiron replied.

“She already was.” Anaphora declared, mournfully.

Then a knock occurred at the door.

“Come in,” L’Eiron said, after some time and returned his attention back to the papers before him. Without looking up, he knew who it was, and he wasn’t surprised. L’Eiron climbed to his feet and saluted with a hand over his heart.

“At ease Colonel,” the woman said.

“Ma’am.” L’Eiron greeted, before his gaze drifted to Anaphora once again this time, she no longer leaned against the wall instead, stood as rigidly as he once did with a fist over her heart. Her eyes were ahead when the woman glanced at Anaphora who smiled an almost wicked smile even if L’Eiron had believed it were kind.

“Lieutenant Colonel Reagan-Valdis so glad you could join us,” the woman said, with the same smile. “I hadn’t expected your return for a few more days. Why are you here?” The woman’s green eyes lingered over Anaphora who was cladded in casual surface world clothing.

“The mission was completed sooner than expected ma’am.” Anaphora replied, her eyes ahead as if she were staring at something behind the other woman. The woman strode into the centre of the large office and ran her slender fair hand over the back of a couch before walking towards L’Eiron and paused before his desk. She regarded him with an amused smile, and he never once looked at her. As such her smile grew.

The Excelian clothing the woman wore was of nobility and finesse, coloured in a deep blood red and black, her arms were covered in loose deep red sleeves and her legs were cladded in black tights and boots while a sword with family crest at her hip. She placed her hand on her sword and ran her fingers over the fine craftsmanship before placing her hands on her hips and frowning. “Why was I not informed?”

“I’m not sure ma’am.” Anaphora quickly replied. Then the woman sighed after a moment, at her formality.

“You’re forgiven but I will find out why I wasn’t informed. You had just managed to complete your objective had you not? I’ll be sure to read over your report.”


“You are dismissed Lieutenant Colonel.”

“Ma’am,” Anaphora declared, then exited the room though not with one last look at L’Eiron before closing the door quietly behind her.

“Now that’s a little better,” the woman uttered.

“How so, if you don’t mind me asking?” L’Eiron questioned, before adding her title, “Lady Servius-Ignatius.”

“Oh, my why such formality we’re friends, aren’t we?” she questioned. “I’m not a Centurion either there’s no need for ma’am,” she laughed gently. “Though I am Lord Michalis’s heir and the next Grand Elder, should I choose the position. Which I haven’t yet, so there’s no need for everyone to refer to me as ‘ma’am’ it reminds me of my mother.”

“I apologise,” L’Eiron declared. “I haven’t seen you for quite some time I had almost forgotten you were once my friend. Would you like a drink of some kind?” he asked her and moved from his desk and towards a small waist high table beside the window. There was a pot of coffalette ready and prepared with two clean teacups. Though he knew the coffalette wasn’t like anything found on the surface world it would be familiar enough to the surface-worlders if they were familiar with teas and coffees. Though this drink was more tea than coffee but packed a punch like any strong coffee and was often drunk without milk.

“Yes please,” Lady Servius-Ignatius declared, “But please L’Eiron call me by my first name like you use to. Unless you’ve forgotten.” L’Eiron smiled at her and poured the drinks after they brewed, then handed her a delicate porcelain teacup.

“I have not forgotten, Valeria but I have to ask, what brings you here?”

She picked up the teacup and enjoyed the warmth as it touched her fingers, though it was extremely hot the Excelians of the Fire Reserve had a higher tolerance for such temperatures due to their location above a lava chasm below. So, this was nothing. “That would be Gothalia.”

* * *

Later that day a few blocks from where the safety house was, Danteus ducked, an oncoming assault then stepped out of the way, avoiding another before deflecting the attack and blocking it with his forearm. He observed the men, with an indifferent gaze before Demetria declared from where she stood off to the side and out of harms’ way while Noel-Len continued to drink not caring for the fight, “Asashin do something!” she yelled, pointing at Danteus in the middle of a bar brawl while security guards laid in the heap with the men, he’d defeated.

“What do you expect me to do? He’s the one who started it,” Asashin declared, continuing to down his beer opposite Noel-Len as men fought. Some were punched in the face while others were kicked away. “Besides he’s fine.”

“Wh—?” Demetria began and ducked when Danteus threw a man into the wall behind her. Crashing into a glass cabinet than the brick wall. “You can’t be serious!”

“When am I not?” Asashin asked. “Here have some more,” he said to Noel-Len and handed him a jug of beer who eagerly took it and poured it into his glass before pausing and drinking from the jug itself.

Demetria frowned at their behaviour. “Just because you two aren’t getting along right now doesn’t mean you need to . . .”—Demetria ducked again in time to avoid a wooden chair that broke under impact. When she stood straight once again, a man stumbled into her and forced her against the wall. Shocked and surprised, Demetria squealed when she lost her footing, catching her off guard. He smiled at her with a blood-stained grin and missing teeth. Demetria punched him in the face before he was pulled from her and kicked away by Asashin.

“Surely you have more class than that,” Asashin remarked, glaring at the man he’d forced across the room.

Before Demetria could utter another word, she called, “Behind you!” When a man pulled out a short knife and ran at Asashin. Quickly, he ducked and disarmed the man before shifting his weight and throwing the man headfirst into the ground. Before Asashin’s attacker could get up Noel-Len smashed the glass jug over his head and moved to the bar avoiding Danteus fighting off the other men and women.

A man pulled himself from the floor and gripped the table for support. He regarded the spilled alcohol on the table and the blood covering his face, then his gaze captured Demetria at the other end of the bar in the reflection of the alcohol and picked up the chair beside the table then ran at Demetria who’d froze the man solid without looking at him. “Don’t attack me, I’m just an innocent bystander,” she muttered, exasperated.

“Filthy Regalis!” another man screamed and ran at Demetria with a dagger. Asashin stepped between her and quickly took him out.

“Regalis . . .” another said and stopped racing towards Danteus. Others paused and glared at Demetria. Noel-Len regarded the men with a raised brow before he shrugged and returned to drinking. Asashin kicked and punched the closet men while Demetria leaned against the wall, giving up reasoning with Danteus, who regarded his opponent’s sudden change in priority with a raised brow.

“What’s going on?” he muttered, once he realised all his opponents fought Asashin. “Hey! Quite monopolizing them!” Danteus yelled.

“I’m not trying to.” Asashin remarked, elbowing one man in the face. Then Danteus ran over to the last two and leapt, he kicked both men in the head before landing on his feet and rushing towards the others who attacked Asashin. Then after a few minutes, the brawl ended and Asashin glared at Danteus as he dropped the last man. “Next time, you want to blow off some steam, try going to the Arena or beating up an alien.”

“What makes you think, I’m trying to blow off steam?” Danteus remarked, a few octaves higher.

“Dude you started a pub brawl and we’re all going to jail because of it or we’ll be found by the Xzandians. If anything, I’d choose the police over the power-hungry aliens.” Noel-Len remarked sarcastically and climbed from where he hid behind the bar then reached for a bottle of Jack Daniels.

Demetria yanked the bottle from him. “Not me, I didn’t do anything for the police anyway, and haven’t you had enough already?” she remarked, annoyed.

“I did until I sobered up because of him!” Noel-Len growled pointing at Danteus then slamming a few hundred-dollar notes on the table, before turning to the shelves of untouched alcohol.

“Why are you drinking anyway?” Danteus asked, confused.

“Because we’re in a pub.” Noel-Len sarcastically replied.

Asashin pulled his attention from Noel-Len and to Danteus. “Ever since Gothalia . . . returned you’ve changed. It’s like you just don’t seem to care anymore and that’s a problem especially when you come here looking for a fight.” Asashin growled glaring at Danteus. Demetria observed the interaction with concern. She knew both men had been toe-to-toe with each other since Gothalia became an enemy and until they’d found her. Ever since then, there were no words that could cull the anger that brewed within Danteus. “These people didn’t do anything, and you forced them to fear for their lives as you fought,” he said gesturing to the witnesses hiding behind tables and booths. “But then again, you just don’t care, do you?”

“Whatever,” Danteus said after a thick silence passed between them before turning his heel and vacating the building. Asashin sighed and then exited the building with Demetria following and Noel-Len stumbling after them. Soon enough when the police arrived no one was present.

A few blocks away further down the street, boots thundered against the concrete footpaths. Asashin regarded Danteus in front of him and grabbed his shoulder. “Will you stop!” Asashin yelled.

“Why?” Danteus remarked, avoiding eye contact.

“Because we’re worried.” Asashin remarked. “It’s not like you to behave like this.”

“I don’t want to talk about it,” Danteus remarked and turned away.

“Danteus,” Demetria called, her voice gentle yet filled with concern. “You will be okay, won’t you?”

Danteus forced a bright smile that caught her by surprise. “I’ll be fine.”

Noel-Len watched the interaction before adding, “You say that now.”

The next day, after Gothalia completely healed from her injuries, she watched Demetria diligently sharpen her sword, as she had for the past forty-minutes. Neither woman said a word, and Demetria during that time pretended Gothalia wasn’t there until she demanded, “Okay, what?”

“Nothing.” Gothalia replied innocently, with a shrug and moved closer to Demetria, curious yet unaware of her irascibility. Gothalia’s attention drifted from Demetria to the other swords, rifles, guns, and additional weapons surrounding the connecting room, and to those saturating the dining table. “I’m just wondering whyand how you even have a sword. Aren’t they . . .? I don’t know . . . primitive?” Gothalia enquired deep in thought as she regarded the sword.

Demetria paused, then called, “Anaphora!”

Quickly, Anaphora poked out her head from behind the kitchen wall that divided the room followed by L’Eiron and Noel-Len who regarded Demetria with concern and puzzlement. “What’s wrong?” Anaphora questioned gradually, entering the living room with Noel-Len at her heel.

Frustrated, Demetria pointed at Gothalia. “She’s irritating me!”

Gothalia scoffed and crossed her arms, “Oh, I’m sorry. If you’re so annoyed by me, surely, you’re educated enough to use your words and tell me, like an adult.”

Demetria shot to her feet and pointed her sword at Gothalia who in returned glowered at the threat. “I’ve tried to use my words! Instead, you’ve done nothing but look at me as if you don’t know who I am, what I am, or even why I have a sword! It’s really starting to piss me off. Your lack of memory is what will get us killed.”

Immediately, L’Eiron vanished into a cloud of smoke and re-appeared between Demetria’s sword and Gothalia. “Easy now,” he assumed, between the women. “I know she’s a little unlike her usual self but that doesn’t mean she deserves to be run through.” Then, L’Eiron eyed the sharp end of Demetria’s sword and added, “And, neither do I. So, if you don’t mind?” Demetria groaned and sheathed her sword. Turning her back on them, she picked up the sharpener she used on her sword and the cloth, before exiting the room.

Gothalia peered around L’Eiron and watched her leave. “Why does she hate me so much?”

“Because you almost killed her.” Noel-Len remarked, casually from behind them. Both L’Eiron and Anaphora shot him a dark look from where he leaned against the wall behind them, amused. His amusement shifted to surprise when he recognised their expressions, and held up his hands, “What? It’s true? Isn’t it?”

Before Anaphora could reply, Gothalia eased into the sofa and muttered with her head in her hands, “First, Danteus, then Asashin and now her. I don’t even understand why I would try and kill her. She’s irritating yes but not even she’s worth it.”

L’Eiron laughed. “You sound like your old self.”

Gothalia smiled. “You think?”

“Of course, I mean I’m sure others have tried to kill her, considering her job and all, but I’ve never heard anyone say they wouldn’t bother.”

The apartment door opened catching everyone’s attention, and Leviathan entered the room, with Danteus following lugging bags and boxes. Gothalia giggled at the sight. “You know, Leviathan, just because I said I’d help you out with supplies. I didn’t mean, you could use me as your personal bell boy.”

Leviathan rolled his eyes, at the accusation. “Stop being so dramatic, princess. Bell boys are paid you’re not.”

Danteus raised his brow at the comment, then dropped the bags beside the coffee table, which sat between the sofas, and smiled at Leviathan’s shocked expression. “Oops. They slipped.”

Leviathan crossed his arms and glowered. “They did not! If those computers are broken, you’re replacing them.” Instead, Danteus ignored Leviathan’s remark.

Gothalia moved to the boxes on the ground and examined them, carefully. “You got computers, why? And, how?”

“With the Centurion emergency funds. Plus, I figured, since we’re all stuck here with no back up and no way home without a high chance of becoming war-prisoners, we might as well make ourselves useful, and get additional intel on the surface-world, the Xzandians, the fragments and anything else we can. I mean if, something does happen to us, which it may, we can always pass whatever we find, on to someone else. Hopefully, they can do something about it. Plus, we might be able to figure out what we should prioritise next.”

Anaphora and L’Eiron considered his words then L’Eiron understood, “That’s actually not a bad idea. Just make sure to put in a kill switch like last time, in the event of compromise. Since, we’ve only been here for four days, we haven’t had a chance to really analyse what we need to do aside from acquiring the fragments, searching for Arthur and discreetly dealing with the Xzandians.”

Then Anaphora added, “Then, our priority, should be to contact the others in New Icarus and connect with our unit’s server. Will it be secure enough to do that?”

Leviathan kneeled before the computers beside Gothalia and replied. “I’m sure with our AIs we can make it more than secure.”

Gothalia opened the box and declared. “Great. Let’s get started.”

* * *

Shrilling screams permeated the dark alleyway of Manhattan, in time with shattering glass, frightful pleas and unusual gunfire that lit the alley until silence replaced the clatter. Three male figures observed the fallen citizens. Blood pooled beneath their feet while eyes of the fallen stared at the night sky above. “I still can’t understand how the earthlings of this world can live the way they do.” Thorax muttered, disgusted.

“Why would you bother trying to understand.” Zarix commented, confused. “They’re behaviour is not complicated. They’re selfish. They react predictably because they deem their individual existence important even if it’s insignificant in terms of time and space itself.”

“Only, they would deem their existence important. Honestly, I’m surprised, they haven’t completely used up the entire planet’s resources yet.” Thorax remarked. “The way they’re going.”

“Give it another twenty years.” Zarix declared. “There’s already irreversible damage. We can use that to our advantage.”

“How would you do that?” Altair asked them, from where he stood off to the side.

The Xzandians shared a look, before Zarix said. “That’s none of your concern.”

Altair sighed. “Still don’t trust me I see.”

“Trust is earned. You haven’t proven that yet,” he uttered.

Altair watched him carefully. “Fair enough. It won’t do me any good to try and convince you. You’d see right through that.”

Thorax walked past Altair, “Look who’s learning.”

“I do have a brain you know,” Altair muttered.

“Could’ve fooled me.” Zarix responded following Thorax, their errand complete.


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