This is being posted July 29, 2022. I released this book the way I will be all new work for a time. The way I have previously. I submitted it to KDP Select for 90 days. So around the end of October 2022, it will be available on all other retailers. It helps me to boost my work to take advantage of the Amazon program. It’s not a thumb my nose move to other readers. Simply a way to market and help boost stuff. Even by a little. I’d recommend trying similar if you’re new to publishing, or want to in general. I wouldn’t limit work from other readers. Most of my readers have always been loyal to apple and B&N. Kinda cool.
I sent off for the paperback proof last night. So I should have that up within a month or two, depending on how the book interior and cover turns out. If I don’t need to change things up, I’ll approve the proof and it will release wide.
| One |
In 2346 the world fell, but Prism Sanctity was already on her way out.
Prism grabbed for Nathaniel’s arm. They’d fought, but she wanted to apologize for what she said. She hadn’t meant it. Didn’t want him to go. Nathaniel wasn’t as easily appeased. He avoided the grip with ease. Alarms were blaring around them, they were upset, both of them were saying things they didn’t mean from all the stress.
Truthfully, she didn’t fully remember all she said. The words came in a rush. People scrambled around them. Amaranthines, humans, it didn’t matter. All would face death. A man slammed into her shoulder and she stumbled to the side. When she turned back, Nathanial disappeared. Down the hill in front of her he went, where he headed, she didn’t know.
“Nathaniel!” she screamed.
The vast grassy landscape in front of her was empty as far as she could tell, but there were bursts of steam popping up here and there. Steam vents surging, warning of what was to come. Whatever existed below came online, came to life, who knew. But it was activating and their small part of Earth was about to find themselves wiped out.
Everything had been going so well. Everyone was moving happily along through life. Long ago she’d heard things had been really bad to the point even children being born was rare, but that was hundreds of years ago. Unless the timelines were messy. Could’ve been less for all she knew. The government had proven plenty that they liked to fudge records and change history. It wasn’t much easier to have children these days, as they were pretty rare, and schools pretty bare, but it happened.
Prism and others learned in school about the world coming undone and a man named Darrok coming about to “fix” things, but he didn’t. He kept the world in a virtual prison until he was taken out. Nobody knew from where he came, of who he was. That was wiped. History books weren’t told how he was removed from his position. Just one day he was gone, and slowly Earth replenished itself.
Life began again.
Then the other day all across the globe, world news suddenly spread far and wide. Things were appearing underground. Enormous machines with cannons. For whatever crazy reason, their government went on and on about never having known about them. Prism wanted to believe them. Wanted to believe that was the truth, considering they too were about to face extinction, but who knew? Who really knew at this point what was fact, what was fiction? Maybe those in the government had a way out, or a place underground to survive it all.
Few made it off their continent alive. Most perished. The central world government sent word everywhere. Get. Out. Get out now. The zones were crumbling. A few migrated quickly to other continents, but by then it was too late. Earth seemed to be facing a mass extinction that nobody knew about. The people of Earth only just found out about something in space causing planets to suffer from a disease. A microbe floating through space, destroying all life with some sort of black fungus that burned from the inside out. Scourge or something? Plague.
All Prism wanted in the end was to be with Nathaniel. And to top it off, they were fighting. Again. They always fought lately. Always seemed to struggle to understand one another. Him being Amaranthine and her human didn’t help a thing. Two different creatures, struggling to relate in life.
As fast as her legs could carry her, she was moving, trying to find where he went, trying to locate Tristan who promised to meet her at the park. She was insane. Running after Nathaniel like a lost little puppy. She wasn’t that type of woman! She was acting like a child, but then so was he.
Didn’t know where it came from. Suddenly emotions poured through her; a vibrational energy awakening, and it was tumbling end over end through her. She needed to get to Nathaniel to at least say goodbye.
Narrowly avoiding collision with a woman dragging her two children after her, Prism diverted at the last second to round them. She used the momentum and chance to check behind her. A honey golden mane of hair flashed through two men and her arm rose in the air, waving back and forth.
Prism screeched to a halt, checked behind her, but didn’t see Nathaniel anywhere. Prism leapt into the air, wildly waving her arms back and forth, yelling at the top of her lungs. “Over here!”
From almost a block away, it was near pointless to expect her best friend to hear her, but again the arm came up. A deep vibration shimmered through the ground beneath Prism, making her stumble. The hair on the back of her neck stood on end. She turned as a massive crack grew in the pavement nearby. Her heart skipped a beat.
It was coming out here. There was one here.
Still no sign of Nathaniel! Her ears grew numb from the roar deep in the earth, rising in power. The sounds from everyone around her were drowned out. Everything grew silent, still. Shaking beneath her feet grew. There was no way to get out of here.
The crack in the pavement grew. Dirt fell into the hole as it spread. Two large eyes peered out at the world from below, breaking through the ground. Dust billowed. Alarms blared from vehicles parked in nearby lots. Across the street a fast food restaurant’s sign sparked and blew, tumbling sideways as the large thing from below birthed from the Earth.
Two massive cannons, if they could be called that, appeared out of the dusty gloom below. Like some alien on legs the things grew from a cavern as deep as nobody dared traverse. Up, up, up it came, slowly rising toward the sky as though they would shoot straight up into space, but no. These things were like an alien entity with intelligence and legs.
It was always the same. The earth broke apart, then from below came the demonic shapes straight up before coming downward and a steady blast of lightning, energy, nobody knew. Because most of the reports ended at that point. There were no intelligence reports on what happened next. As if programmed to hit. On certain days at certain times. Programmed at least to take down everything that lived, including the Earth itself.
Satellites malfunctioned in space around the time they showed. The satellites were cut off from the rest of the world, and all systems. The government either couldn’t figure it out, or did it themselves to make sure the world didn’t know what was going on, hoping to avoid panic. Unless this was a dark plan of the government. A plan set in place long ago, perhaps?
It bubbled from deep within her. From her toes to her head, a shakiness, a shiveriness, a massive wave of fear boiled. Out through her mouth it came unbidden, a scream that tore apart her very soul. A fear so alien and so raw that the sound, even to her own ears, seemed near animalistic. As though a hawk seeking prey. Robotic, alien, insane.
As if summoning.
A body bumped into hers, wrapping their arms around her, then there was Tristan, bright red-faced from having run, but petrified because she knew as well as Prism. This was it. This was the end. There was no running from this thing. No saying goodbye to friends they’d known for years. No waving goodbye to delivery folks. No stopping in and wishing neighbors in the apartment next to them a nice farewell.
It was simply this.
In the blink of an eye, life was being taken from all.
Hands grasped hold of her and she nearly leapt from her skin. The scream lodged in her throat. Nathaniel! He grabbed her and tightened her to him. A roar split the ear numbing silence as though a great ancient waking from slumber. It wasn’t a roar. It was the two large tubes rotating downward, lowering to the area it was to target and eliminate.
Part of the view disappeared. Prism’s hands felt different than before, tingly, chilled. Her head ached with the rotations of those weapons. Awareness sent a live wire through her body.
The landscape shimmered. In front of them a line of white spread out of thin air, before rotating as if an invisible hand were drawing in glowing chalk. A door was being drawn in front of them.
The line moved, as did the landscape, until in front of them was what appeared to be none other than a freaking oblong thing. Her brain screamed, don’t say ship. That is no ship.
But . . . it was.
Ship. A space . . . ship. They must already be dead.
Her forehead scrunched and she made sure she was still there, still alive, by looking to Tristan, then Nathaniel. They were there. Both were looking at the same thing she was.
What? What was it?
Once the door opened, two individuals moved out of the murkiness beyond. Then a large form to the side. They weren’t human. None of them were. The two in front of her were distinctly male and female. One feminine in features. One distinctly masculine. Not. Human. Definitely not human. They appeared somewhat human, but she knew they were anything but.
Also . . . ship.
“Come,” said the older male-ish figure. “Come,” he repeated.
The view she still held of the weapons, they were coming, coming, coming down, but weren’t there yet. Did this thing actually think, being directly beneath those weapons, they’d survive?
Prism half-swallowed, half-spoke, “Wha—?”
“Inside,” he said. “We go.”
Tristan’s eyes widened and her face lost all color. “You . . . understand that?” her finger wiggled toward the male figure.
Tristan stepped back when what stood in the shadows of the door emerged. A small squeak burst from her best friend’s mouth. He was taller than Nathaniel and much wider, but though very distinctly male, he was definitely not human. Human-ish? With a grunt, he rounded them, and Prism gathered before he got near them, his intention was to separate her. To remove her from her friends, and take only her. She strung her arm through Tristan’s, and grabbed Nathaniel’s arm.
“Don’t even think about it. Who are you people?”
“People?” Tristan croaked. In a barely audible breath, she mumbled under her breath in a rush, “Not people. Definitely not people.”
Prism squared her shoulders, ensuring whoever, and whatever the thing was, he understood, they weren’t being separated. He grunted at her. “We go. Save.”
That he formed words made her almost fumble for her own. Prism’s mind whirled and the world spun in and out. Two large oversized canines overlapped his upper lip when his lips pressed closed. And they were. Forming a very tight line which screamed irritation from her digging in of heels. Despite the slight bit of a snout-ish nose like some half man, half reptile creature, he wore those emotions well.
“Who are you?” Prism pressed.
His eyes bore a slit, dragon-like, and turned toward Nathaniel. He snorted in disgust at him. “Mate.” His eyes flicked back to hers. Why he wouldn’t answer her was beyond Prism. “Go.” A large hand came up to point to the doorway. “Now,” came out in a growl.
“Please,” the female figure pleaded gently, but with a harshness that kept Prism from moving. “There is no time.” She glanced at the gargantuan thing rising from the ground. “Cannot leave without you.” After a good long pause, the word, “daughter,” filtered out of her mouth.
“I’m not leaving without my friends,” she persisted, trying to make clear Nathaniel wasn’t her mate, but her friend. Prism registered the ‘daughter’ word the female entity used, but her brain wasn’t connecting any dots to what it meant. And she wasn’t going anywhere without him or Tristan. Time was of the essence. She’d die with them, but wouldn’t leave them. “You take them also, or I don’t go.”
The female figure sighed. Her eyes swept over to the large guard by their side, man, lizard, reptile, dragon. His nose and mouth were slightly extended animal like, plus there were horns near the back of his head. But there was far too much intelligence behind his eyes to be nothing but an unthinking thing.
“Gaarn,” she pleaded. “All.”
Gaarn, it apparently was, took that to be his order. His large corded arms splayed out to the side and he stepped forward to encase Prism and her friends. There was no getting around them, but for whatever strange reason and crazed reality she just entered, Prism had a hunch if she told him something different, he’d obey her. Obey. No. Listen, yes. Obey? She wasn’t about that. And he definitely didn’t seem easily ordered about.
The blue eyes that cast a quick glance to her may take the order the female figure gave, but in general? She doubted he was as easily swayed as it seemed. That wasn’t a slave. He chose to cooperate. A shiver tickled down Prism’s spine. No. She doubted this was a male to easily step on. He listened because he wanted to listen, no more. Push too far, they’d find he did not bend.
“Fine,” she muttered, seeing the weapons were almost down. They didn’t have a choice. Stay and die, or leave as these individuals promised may be able to happen. Prism shoved her two best friends ahead of her, ensuring they made it on the ship before her.
“Humans,” came a grunt behind her in revulsion. “Wear much cover, hide inside. Gaarn wear outside.”
Prism’s forehead scrunched. Was that his version of an insult? Just before she stepped into the door, she stopped on the step and turned about.
That comment wasn’t appreciated or even really understood. She wanted to frown and be sure he saw it. When she stopped, he ended up directly in front, almost touching, and was still taller. Almost so tall he couldn’t fit through the doorway without ducking, and the doorway wasn’t tiny. He captured her eyes, but the frown didn’t faze him. He definitely understood what she meant by it.
Admonishing anyone wasn’t right, least of all for being something they couldn’t change. For being raised as something they didn’t know better from. One would think something like him would know better.
Gaarn only stood there, his skin appearing scaled up close like a snake . . . or dragon. Prism wondered what it felt like. A tannish tint, maybe a little darker. He was well built and only wore pants, so maybe his remark was around his choice of lack of clothes. Didn’t seem as if the pants fit him well anyway.
The random thoughts going through her head blasted away when she realized she was staring and having weird thoughts for a moment like this. Okay, gawking. She clamped her jaw and shook her head. Half in admonishment at herself being creepy when they were about to die, and half to him about his comments. Still didn’t seem to bother him to be chastised by her.
He kept coming so she backed in and to the side as he entered. A massive sound similar to a scream pierced the area.
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Creations of the Galaxy is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, stories, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2022 Kimberly Sue Iverson
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