by TS Caladan
With the long-awaited 8th and final season of ‘Game of Thrones’ here, fans are outraged! 8 years invested in the HBO super-series and it boils down to this? Little Arya somehow gets thru armies of the dead and kills Night King only 3 episodes in? Not Jon Snow? Are you kidding me? Does the dead guy snap her neck? No. He lets her stab him thru armor and he disintegrates – HE’S DEAD! Did you know there’s no Night King in the books by George Martin? They just tossed them in from the ‘Walking Dead’ shows! Didn’t even leave them for big finale? Speaking of girl power, how about little Mormont? A Giant crashes thru huge doors, smashes her away like the child she is [what is she? 10!]. But instead of every bone in her tiny body broken, she stands and ROARS! We’re not done: Giant picks her up. Does he squish her like the broken bug she is? No. The dumb MAN puts her up to his eye; she stabs his eye and somehow the Giant is dead?? You can’t make this up, people. You just knew the Giant and the Devil were going down and could never defeat women…Girl Power! Please. Critics are blasting the show, like they should, and so are the cast. Emilia Clarke was filmed and sarcastically said: “Best season ever!” Then actors who played ‘Grey Worm’ and ‘Missandei’ laughed. I will say 1 good thing: the death of the dragon shot in the sky & falling in the sea was fantastic. Anyway. I present for you fans of “Game,” something BETTER. Might be a new book? I like it, so far. Tell me what you think? ~tsc.
~ I would enjoy hearing your thoughts of my story, so far. Below is 3 days work. Love the creating part: letting pictures come into my head. If I keep it exciting, for me…then it continues. I have no control. Send it around to people who have followed “Thrones.” thanks. — Tray Samuel Caladan.
THE NEW MEN AND THE NEW WORLD
ACT I: The Contest
“Sire?” One of the royal mystics spoke in a low, calm register that did not wake the King. The boy-magician stated the word again, a little louder: “Sire?”
Old King Nebo, with white beard and in official red/black attire as highest in command, woke. His weary eyes blinked a few times. He brushed aside a golden goblet from his Mead-stained lap. It fell to the smooth, shiny floor with a loud “clang” sound. King Nebo came to consciousness. He recognized the small visitor to the throne room and saw the usual guards behind the boy. “Why do you bother your King, child? You know I need my rest, eh? Especially now. In time of war! What is it, young wizard?”
Fair-haired Adrian was a thin, sweet boy, one of the most brilliant ‘mystics’ the King had ever assembled over his long reign as ultimate Sovereign. The boy always wore green robes. He controlled his excitement and knelt in front of the King. Adrian wasn’t a “mystic” or “wizard” as the King called him. The youth was a scientist and philosopher that specialized in biology, during a Feudal age or very primitive times. The boy dreamed of technology in a world without technology. He’d been given a laboratory and all the means available to do anything he could. The boy didn’t have much at his disposal, but maybe his “plan” would succeed (as odd as it was) and save the empire in future? And his own neck?
The royal court of the Joga Empire, through extraordinary means, discovered the most gifted youths in all the known lands. The universe fated three extremely special children who were destined to serve the Monarchy at its highest level. King Nebo Barronatta understood perfectly from levels above him: The three gifted “children” were not children. They were very rare ‘vessels,’ ancient souls that had powers and knowledge far beyond normal peasants of the empire.
Yet, because of recent events, recent visions of the young female child, the 3 little wizards were on notice…they must produce big results now…or be executed. Adrian, Myaa and young Silvereen were threatened with termination. Each must/had to devise a plan so the empire (the Barronattas) survived a thousand years into the future without being conquered by foreign enemies or collapse from within, such as revolution and anarchy by the masses. Even though the mystic children were invaluable to the empire and Monarchy, each child was promised a beheading if they failed to invent SOMETHING that would greatly insure stability and the complete rule of House Barronatta in tomorrow’s empire.
“Speak up, boy!”
Adrian was scared. He’d made it to the throne room of the great palace. As he knelt in front of his Lord and Master, he found that words were difficult to speak. From a pocket in his robe, he pulled out two vials. In one was a light-red solution and the other contained a blue liquid.
King Nebo smiled. He was fascinated.
The guards were curious, motionless, and looked on with interest.
“Obviously, this concerns the Contest. You think…this…will save your life? It better be good, boy. I’ll give you this, you’re the first one to come up with a final answer. You 3 wizards still have time, before the deadline. You know what I mean by: DEADline? Adrian?”
Adrian answered, nervously, “Yes, y-your grace. I…I have a plan. It should work…”
“Two chemicals? I don’t understand. Silvereen quickly offered his gunpowder invention, as well as guns and cannons, in order to win the Contest. My best advisors admitted and accepted the incredible military advancements over spears, bow, and lance, eh? Real weapons that go BOOM! Extraordinary. But as far as the Contest goes, it was still rejected by my council of priests. They, and I, thought…Silver could do much better. Greater Magic. Others will also have the powder in time, they tell me. Now what is this? This better be a much bigger Bomb than what he proposed?”
Adrian laughed. “Ha. It is. I assure you, it is. But not exactly what you imagine, sire. It is a different type of explosion that will absolutely insure you and your family’s dominance on the world of Joga for many generations to come. If, if executed properly. That is, according to my plan, my Lord.”
Both smiled. Each had a twinkle in their eyes with strange expectations, as if on the threshold of fantastic opportunities.
King Nebo was intrigued by the supremely intelligent boy. He felt Adrian’s confidence and believed him. He commanded: “Tell me more, boy of science. Rise. You may sit on the Queen’s throne. She’s away, as you all know. It’s still not as tall and elaborate as mine. Yes? Ha, ha. I want to know every detail of your plan, child. We’ll see if you’ve earned your keep, son?”
Adrian proudly marched over to the slightly inferior throne and sat down. [“Son?”] It felt soft. “I know you will enjoy my discovery, this, this, quite large discovery. You won’t believe it; I hardly believe it. But the tests on animals are certain, conclusive. It should work on people…”
“You’ve developed a potion, I see. Red and blue? Let me guess…”
“A thousand pardons, your grace.” Adrian used his hand and appeared to brush the guards away with it, as he sat comfortably. “…But my secrets are for your eyes and ears only,” he whispered. “They should leave, sire.”
“Ha, ha!” Nebo was impressed by the cheeky child. “As well they should. You guards. GO!”
Janus, head of the armed guards, had his hand on his sword and yelled: “But, your Majesty!”
“I think I’ll be fine alone with him. Leave me now, or I’ll have you killed?”
“As you wish, sire.” Captain Janus turned and took his seven men toward the room’s large exit.
“Faster!” the King ordered.
The eight guards ran. Their clanks and bangs were soon unheard.
“I was about to guess what the potion does…”
Adrian expressed, “I apologize…for, for, for assuming…”
“I don’t think…”
The King blurted out the first thing in his royal brain: “…When you mix the liquids…a powerful, purple drug is created that, ah, when delivered to subjects, causes total loyalty and obedience to their King. Yes? I’m right, aren’t I, dear boy? I thought you weren’t a wizard?” Nebo’s beard widened with a broad smile. “An alchemist?”
“You are close, sire. I am very impressed, especially since you are not acquainted with the arts of Science. In fact, you’ve just given me inspiration for another project. Yes, I see it now: a drug to add to the realm’s water supply. We, of the court, won’t drink it, of course. But…anyway, that’s another project for another time and I can I assure you, your grace: it will succeed. This is a different kind of magic, a different kind of spell cast over the masses. The vials here, their purpose, are something very few could ever imagine…”
“Lord Adrian, you should have a title, Lord Adrian…you said explosion, bigger than the black powder bombs that Silvereen offered?”
“May I ask you a personal question, my King?”
“Yes. If it helps explain your discovery to a man not of Science?”
“The Queen’s unborn baby. Your future, your future bloodlines. What has Myaa and the royal seers seen for the soon-born? I could possibly help the situation if you can confide in me and tell me if the rumors are true? Sire?”
“Then I’ll tell you, young Lord. Apparently, my secret is not a secret. Myaa and the prophets are in perfect agreement with their forecasts. The soon-born will not be the Prince I desire to take the throne, but a Princess. The Queen will be damaged during birth and never produce another child. Little Princess will marry my rival Black House for peace, rather than the Houses endure a terrible war and struggle for power. The Kingdom will be greatly divided, weakened. So will my family. This is why you mystics must clearly solve tomorrow’s dark problems for our House. How can you help, Adrian?”
“Ha, ha.” Adrian laughed at the next words he’d say: “I request your priests should gather all the rats they can collect in the city…”
“Rats?!” King Nebo echoed the boy’s word in disbelief. “Why? Wait. That does not sound like a job for my priests. Any scumbag can catch rats. Why, ah, why make the high priests do it, boy?”
Adrian stated: “That will put them in their place, cut them down to size. The priesthood believes they’re better than you, smarter than you, M’Lord…”
“Yes. I sense that. They do need a lesson. I have no idea of your rat-plan, but making the priests rat-catchers…I like it. So ordered. I will have guards see that they’ll do it. Ah, ha! Wonderful. I may commission a painting of the event. I’ll call it something regal. Now. What do you suggest?”
“Ha!” The boy was thrilled with more ideas that flowed into his head. “Make it a test. A test of their intelligence, aye? See if they can cage female rats in one cage and males in another? Sire. If your priests can’t tell the difference sexing rats, then how intelligent are they?”
Nebo was stunned and amazed and thought for a moment. “Just marvelous, ha. Lovely. So. You require female rats…”?
“…In one cage and males in another.”
“What should they do with the rodents?”
“Bring them to my lab.”
“It will be done, little Lord. You have not explained how this will help my family.”
The boy stood on his feet, faced the Sovereign and bowed to his King. “The future is extremely complicated. I saw the truth in a dream. It will be crystal clear to you in time. Have faith, sire. I know what I’m doing and I’ll win your Contest. I hesitate telling you my visions of the future, simply because it is beyond…extraordinary. No one would believe my discovery, what I’ve done and already proven. I would be considered quite mad, even demonic. A witch. You, and the priests, have to see the evi…er, proof, for yourself, my King.”
Nebo Barronatta poured more Mead into another golden goblet and drank. He understood this was no 10-year old child in front of him. His seers were very accurate that the boy had lived in the distant past and remembered it. Did he also know the future? Did the child see the future in dreams even sharper than the many psychic-magicians and astrologers he employed? The King asked, “What of the war, in the present? Do you know when the current war will end, and who will be victorious, Lord Adrian?” The King smirked.
The boy bowed slightly, smiled and declared: “Now. Who is testing whom? Surely you must know we sensitives are well aware of your plan: how your family has maintained its utter dominance over the population of the Joga Islands. Your brilliant idea of creating the war and controlling it. Creating and controlling your phony enemies in the GAME, actually, this theatre, given the masses. It’s a play. They believe your speeches, your propaganda, your posts, and think your armies are their saviors from the ruthless destruction of vile, wild barbarians in the north/south and invaders from foreign lands. Sire. No one’s actions and intentions can hide from true prophets, aye? We keep an unwritten oath. We keep your secrets, King Nebo, abide by your dictates, because, because…”
The Monarch finished the wonder-child’s sentence: “…Because you want to keep your heads…”
“I appreciate your honesty, son. And your devotion. If any of your, ah, inventions, from you special 3 succeed and really insures our family as ruling family…then all who are loyal to us will greatly profit, share in the success of our glorious empire.”
Adrian, Lord Adrian, smiled a large smile on his small face. He thought he had everything. He’d impressed the most powerful person in the known universe. Then. Suddenly. A twinge of fear struck the blonde boy. He asked his King: “If…Myaa, Silver and myself, oh, happen to fail, let’s say, and House Barronatta, your empire continues…you weren’t serious about the Contest losers, were you, sire? We have value, I mean…it was just INCENTIVE, was it not, my Lord?” the curious lad asked.
The little Lord was slapped with the hard truth:
“Oh, no, young one. Why would any of you brilliant children fail? If you fail, you die. That’s fair.” The King finished another goblet and callously tossed it as far as he could.
[Clang, clang, claaang!].
Adrian’s pleased and contented expression completely changed. “Oh.”
In Myaa’s cottage, on the royal grounds of Mire Castle in the Barronsland, she entertained the smallest of the child wizards: Silvereen. The boy with long, black hair was the youngest wizard of the court at 8 years old. He sounded like he possessed the wisdom of an 80-year old. They sat within the confines of a lovely room and around a table filled with flowers and fruit.
After her tea, the Kingdom’s most knowledgeable person (with the special “gift”) told the boy in no uncertain terms: “You’re going to win the Contest. I’ve seen it.”
Silvereen had just ate a peach and finished a light-ale, when he heard Myaa’s words. “Hilarious! Ha, ha, haaa!” he screamed a response. He then calmly said: “One day, I will learn your secret, girl. I know it. Did you know I also shine? My skills are not only viewing the past and understanding ancient events, like Adrian, but also reading faces. I read faces and thoughts come to me…”
Myaa had short, red hair. She usually wore yellow or purple. Her lips smiled. She was intrigued. “Oh, really? Maybe you should head the priesthood. What does my face tell you, sir?” She smiled more, directly at him.
“That you’re a fraud.”
“What?” The young girl was shocked by those words from the mouth of Silvereen. How did he know? Her expression became serious. Myaa ordered: “Explain.”
Silvereen pushed his long hair back from his face a few times. He thought he’d control her with: “I’ll explain later when I precisely discover what your secret is. I will expose you; keep that in mind, Myaa. Now. Back to the Contest. Of course, I’m going to win. I don’t need to see it to believe it. I just found my final answer. I’m smart. Ha. Do you know what that is, great seer? Why don’t you tell me what it is, exactly, that will make me win and you two lose your heads? Aye?”
The game between them or the “war of wizards” came to a standstill. Silence. Only birds were heard outside of cottage walls.
Myaa was lost in thoughts.
Silver smiled as if he was way out in front of the other contenders. “I see. I knew you didn’t know. Do you know this? We’ve all met in passed lives? We’ve done this dance before, My, when we were much older? Long ago. Huh.”
“That, I know. I may have seen the past clearer than any of you. Why do they declare me the highest of the prophets, and unofficial leader of the priesthood. Not old Pias. Me. I do not have all the answers. Yet. But I will. I’ve only seen pieces to the puzzle. In time, the full picture will be apparent. You think you’ll know my secrets? Well, I think I’ll know yours first. The race is on, Sil.”
The brilliant boy raised an empty goblet and toasted the game within the game. “You’re on.”
Days later, two high officials, one from the State and one from the Priesthood, met in secret. They were far from Mire Castle on top of the wooded escarpment. Pias and Janus were not in their usual uniforms and royal dress. They met in the lowlands of Denimar, inside a pub, the ‘Blue Boar.’ No one in the closest village to the palace would recognize them. In a candle-lit back room, the two spoke with 100% confidence that they would be unheard.
“Ha, ha, ha,” Captain Janus laughed at the priest. What went unspoken, now came to surface after a few bitter Meads. “It was simply marvelous to stand over you and your boys, in your robes, ha, ha! During, ah, all the…ha…rat-catching! What a brilliant idea. Didn’t know you old farts were so fast. HA. Tell me, Pias…” Janus joked, looked to the floor and yelled: “There’s one now! You missed one. Ha!”
For a half second, Pias believed the head of the guards. The old, bald man said, “Fuck off!”
“Then, then, then…wait. You had to sex them. My bloody God, it was sheer beauty. Ha, oh my, my. I think this should be a required practice for the priesthood. A ritual. What did the King say? If you cannot tell one rat-cock from a rat-twat, then, why the hell are you in royal robes?” Janus laughed and slobbered right onto the table. “Ugh. Ah, there is a God in heaven. I had my doubts. My, my…”
“Are you done?”
“Yeah. Sure. Ha. Ah.”
Pias confessed: “This is a major mystery. Our magicians are clueless. Kidding aside, do you know, Jan? What this is really about? The fucking rats.”
Janus replied, “I’m sure it involves the three little shits Nebo has been obsessed with. Do you realize what the priesthood looks like, appears to about everyone, with children now ruling the realm?”
“That’s not the case,” the priest insisted. He thought about it. In a moment, he asked, “What do the people think? What’s the word, Captain?”
Janus answered, “They believe the children have the King’s ear and you do not. They now believe the truth. Many see you for the fakes you are. Astrologers, alchemists, psychics who speak to the Great Beyond…all for power plays. Lies. You sway people with your lies, priest. You know it…”
“There are no lies of State? Hmm?” Pias asked a question he knew the answer to. The elder had a spontaneous thought: “Could you kill them? I should ask, could you be bribed to accidentally kill them?”
“Thought you knew?”
“You mean after the Contest, two will be eliminated?”
The Captain said, “You just proved how stupid and blind you priests are. Thought you’re supposed to know the future?”
Pias replied, “Visions aside. You have orders to kill the two losers? Correct, Janus?”
“Wrong. After final answers to the Barronatta’s problems are cleanly extracted from them…”
“…All three will be eliminated. You didn’t know?”
Pias, the worst of the priesthood, couldn’t believe his ears. “My God. What a total waste of, of…”
Janus gulped down the last of the drink. “I’m sure the King feels: even they can be replaced. We can all be replaced. They’ll find more wonder-children and destroy the ones who think they have power, right? It’s the way it’s always been. Aye?”
Pias had a glazed look. He concluded, “There’s a flaw in your logic, Jan. These children are very different than previous ones of the court. It’s Fate working its hand here…”
“They’ll see what’s coming for them. They’ll know what you plan. They’ll see it, far clearer than my boys ever could. They’ll be ready and defend themselves, naturally. The King and his guards should be aware of this fact. We don’t know much, in the real sense. It’s true. But we know power when we see and feel it. Power is not in the Monarchy. It’s in the hands of 3 little children who are not little children. I wouldn’t be surprised if Myaa knows every step the Family plans, eh? Maybe they’ll destroy each other in order to survive?”
Janus answered, “I’m sure that’s what the King has in mind for them. Was there anything else?”
“Only to say, tomorrow is the day. Deadline for the children. We few, the privileged of the court, will see their reckoning. What gods and monsters will the children produce for us?”
Janus touched a hidden sword under his cloak. With bright eyes, he said, “The future. The bloody future. Can’t wait to see it.”
“What future? That’s the question.”
Myaa’s magic Mirror, that no mystic knew existed, showed her every scene between Church and State in the Blue Boar:
“So you see, child? The Contest will have no winner. Do you understand?” stated a ghost-like wisp of smoke, seen in an ancient reflection.
The 9-year old, ginger girl was a fraud. She wasn’t psychic at all. She wasn’t a priestess and had no extreme or unusual abilities above the normal peasant child. She’d conned townsfolk, the high aristocrats of the court and the King. How did she know the future? No one else did. Not even the two special boys. How could she have predicted an earthquake when she did? Or the sickness that spread through Denimar, which killed many? How did Myaa arrive at the cure, know exactly what to do and save countless villagers from the epidemic? How did the girl predict an early snow where tons of vital crops were spared the frost? She spooked everyone in town. Superstitious people were going to burn her as a witch for her abilities. Janus saved her from execution and brought her into the court. King Nebo’s priests, as well as other methods, directed his Majesty to use the witch, instead of kill her.
But every bit of her magic came from a very old Mirror, now placed inside her cottage home. The sweet, colorful dwelling was given to the orphan as a protected residence within castle walls. She brought her precious Mirror. She understood, and was the only one who understood, that the entity of the Mirror was an “angel” and the true source of her information. Myaa trusted the 2D “visions” that the Glass presented to her. They were all correct, so far. This was her big secret. She told as many people as she could of her ideas and pretended the forecasts originated from her special mind. Now, as “top seer,” she never had to worry, ever again, of violent/superstitious villagers. She only had to worry about high class, violent/superstitious royals of the court that surrounded her.
The palace throne room was the setting and all the players were in place: Janus and 12 of his armed guards, Pias and two of the eldest priests, pregnant Queen Miranda, the King, of course, and three children with their final answers. Other Barronattas were not in attendance, nor were other spectators.
The drama upon the smooth, shiny throne room floor of the prime Kingdom called Barronsland will determine who lives and dies and which way the future will move…
King Nebo commanded, “The Contest concludes today! We will have resolution. Long live the Baronattas!”
All inside the ‘court’ room repeated: “Long live the Barronattas!”
After the small crowd quieted down to faint whispers…
The Queen spoke. From her softer, less ornate throne, she commanded: “I want to hear from the girl first, our very special orphan we have royally adopted as one of our own. Step forward, Myaa, dear girl.”
She did. She stepped directly in front of Queen Miranda and bowed to both majesties before she said: “Your grace. Your grace…”
The Queen was a bit confused and asked: “You have nothing with you, child. While the boys, they have, have…things with them. They brought things to court, real things, answers, to desperate problems my Family and daughter will face in future. You’ve brought nothing but your pretty self. As near leader of the priesthood, show us what you have, child. Your final answer?”
There was a hush. All eyes were upon the girl.
Myaa stood up, confident in her words. She stated: “Your Majesties. I present to the court, one more time, an accurate picture of tomorrow. Every prediction and prognostication I’ve uttered since I could first talk…has come true. I have saved crops and many souls because of the images that have come to me. And I declare, for certain, House Barronatta will maintain its supreme dominance and will never be defeated by any enemy, foreign or domestic, especially the empire’s real enemies. More than ten generations of the holy Family will rule, and rule for more than a thousand years…”
“Marvelous!” Queen Miranda exclaimed and clapped her hands. It was just what she wanted to hear.
Myaa added, “I have viewed that Silvereen’s plan will succeed. The future is known to me and clearer than crystal. All methods must be employed to insure your Family’s rule over the masses. Tomorrow’s problems are very real, as seen by your priests. Prime problem is a high growth in the number of subjects in the Kingdom. Not only nearby Denimar, but whole provinces of Elmar, Kaajine, Lemurwood and the uncharted north-lands of magic and mystery. Strange mongols inhabit the north we know little of. Also the great unknown, southeast. Populations everywhere have grown 20 or 30 times since earliest of records. The world itself is no longer a small, simple, farming community. Not anymore. The Kingdom is massive and getting bigger everyday. The future will have cities and unbelievable progress, beyond belief. Believe me, Lord and Lady, eventually, there must be governments. I’ve seen it! Earth will have millions and millions of people on its surface…”
The King interrupted with: “They’re breeding like rats. We know.” He looked at Adrian.
She continued: “New continents will be discovered, new lands, new people. There’s so much more than the Joga Islands on this planet. Much is undiscovered and fantastic. But. Something, certainly, must be done in near future so your Family can rule in the far future…”
“Specifically?” the Queen inquired.
“I think Silver, Silvereen, should take over the talk? Our projects, oddly coincide. His brilliant idea is key. Truth is…King Nebo and Lady-Mother Miranda, you need our help and we are happy to serve you.” Myaa turned to Silvereen, then turned to the highest royals for permission…
King and Queen nodded.
Myaa sat down and Silvereen took center stage in front of the royals…
The tiny boy in black was psychic. He saw the distant past and the roles he and his “friends” had performed during much earlier incarnations, when the Joga community had only a few hundred members. Along with Silvereen, was a “thing,” a rectangular object under a dark blanket and was considerably taller than the boy. It stood on 4 small wheels. He wheeled it closer to the thrones as Myaa, Adrian and the others watched on with great interest.
“Before I unveil what this is…” Silver glanced at Myaa. “…I want to say, it is a precious gift to you, sire. It is not a bribe; it is basically a tool. You will discover it an essential tool that will guarantee your Family’s survival as you navigate coming times and coming conflicts of forces, real forces, that actually want to usurp and steal your power, and that of the holy Queen.” The boy smiled as if he held all the cards and dominated everyone in the palace room.
King Nebo asked, “What are you saying, boy? The veiled window-contraption you’ve brought here is not your final answer? Explain?”
“Myaa, brilliant Myaa, is quite correct, I’m afraid. For total Barronatta success, you need each of our gifts to function in unison, sire. Together. As one force…dominating the future…”
“Go on…” Nebo was skeptical and rubbed his chin. To him, each groveled for their very lives. Who knows what was really the truth?
Silvereen expressed: “With my black powder and the new guns and larger guns called cannons, and even rockets and missiles! We will defeat any enemy, yes? That is a strong factor in your Family’s future. Armies will be transformed into extremely potent military-machines, then…”
Pias interrupted the wonder-child’s speech:
“Your grace! We know this! We know the black powder will be easily duplicated. Very soon our enemies, and your precise rival in the Black House of Tarsis, will achieve the very same blasting powder. With their larger population, Wild Lords of Tarsis and allies will eventually out-gun us, defeat our standing army. Sire…”
The King looked down, sadly. “Yes. We know the road in future leads to my daughter’s marriage with the dark Prince of Tarsis…”
Lord Adrian (sitting) smiled and spoke directly to his King. “Not necessarily, your Majesty.” He smiled at the Queen, as if he knew a lot that they did not.
“My Final Answer is…” Silvereen stated, confidently, loudly. “…A political plan. You will send agents deep into every camp of your enemies, into every House. Spies will flourish there, oppose you, rabble crowds against the Barronattas, severely. They will gain strength and grow in numbers. You will become your enemies, all of them. Control them, utterly. Bend them to your will because you will become your own opposition.” The boy smiled wider, very pleased with himself.
The mouth of Janis, under a golden helmet, was open and opened more. It said: “Fucking brilliant.”
The King smiled, turned to the Queen and then turned toward the others slightly lower than he was in the room. “I can safely say, my boy…the Silver Lord, you are front-runner in the Contest. We must hear from all candidates to be fair, of course. You…you all…are truly far ahead of your years. You have almost convinced me. I say I MAY HAVE to keep you around for awhile longer, yes? Ha, ha. maybe.” Nebo snickered with supreme authority. He loved putting the fear-of-God into people, because he was God.
“Your Majesties…there’s more.”
“Hmm? Continue, Silver Lord,” the King commanded.
“In my view of the future, and it’s an accurate one. Myaa agrees: It does not matter if the masses grow in size to vast numbers, incredible numbers, other provinces, counties, forests torn down to make way for cities, which will surely happen. Countries! No doubt. You could have millions or even a billion subjects under your rule and be the King of a global empire. The Sun will never set on your empire…because the Barronatta Family will rule the world!”
The Queen caressed her pregnant belly with one hand. “It’s a wonderful dream.” A tear came to her eye as she held the King’s hand.
Nebo asked, “How does my Family rule the world in a world where everyone, on all sides, wants to invade and take our power away?”
The other two children knew what Silver was going to say. He said:
“You give your power away, M’Lord. You give your enemies exactly what they seek. Exactly what they want, you control…”
“But, but…” The King was confused.
The Queen corrected and said, “Let the little Lord talk.”
“YOU. Your Family…are the real world power and will always be…with the establishment or vision I see, continuing. You control all from the shadows, secretly. Each smaller state is a franchise of the larger State, your Kingdom. You, your Joga Empire, in the time of numerous worldwide governments, will be a small but a powerful Secret Society. Behind cloaked curtains, you will rule in future by pitting your enemies against each other. The Barronattas will set the planet on fire with attacks of terrorism, destruction, WAR! You will also be the other side: You will be your own revolutionaries, controlled opposition. You will make war across your puppet-nations. Your empire will cause the seeds of war between other Houses to sprout and generate death and destruction, over and over again, throughout the ages and in all lands. Fear will rule the masses. While you, the real power and controllers in the world, will go unnoticed/unknown to the masses…”
When the boy took a breath, Pias added: “You mean establish a secret ruling council, a brotherhood, if you will? And that mighty, invisible republic will be the true Rulers? Future generations of filthy commoners will only have the illusion of freedom and democracy? If the populace believed that, then they’ll be content with our cake, bread and circuses, yes? We control anarchy. It’s a good plan, M’Lord.”
“Bloody hell,” The King was dazed at the tremendous, political ploys at his disposal by child geniuses. He was now hopeful in a long-lasting Monarchy. He wanted clarification. “Silver Lord. Go back to the war-business. You were saying, ah, we, er, create friction, yes friction between our enemies. Manipulate situations where the bloody barbarians are at each other’s throats! Warring amongst themselves? Houses fighting Houses. False chaos as distractions? Do I have that correct?”
“Yes, sire. We sit back and pick up pieces of the God-awful wars we create. We reconstruct; we build back up what we’ve torn down…so you and your House, become the saviors. What you’ve done in the present, on a small scale, can actually occur on a much larger scale. Globally. Tomorrow.”
Queen Miranda expressed, “Others will take the blame for our sins? Yes. Nothing new, eh? Sounds beautiful. Perfect.” She rubbed her soon-born once more. The Queen had a thought and asked, “We do not know what you are hiding under the cloth. Your window, there? Lord Silver?”
“Wait. Be fair. We have not heard from my green wizard…” the King said.
Adrian snapped to attention.
“We have not heard much at all from the other Master. This rat-business. Baffles me! I’m sure the three priests, and many others, would like to learn why they had to catch rats for two days? Adrian?”
The boy stood up and was about to relay his final answer. Adrian quickly dashed to right in front of his King, with the slightly larger and more elaborate throne. Lord Adrian asked, “May I approach and whisper the unbelievable truth in your ear, sire? I want everyone to see your face when I tell you my final solution. May I, your grace?”
“By all means, little Lord. Approach. Slowly…” Nebo looked to Captain Janus and then turned to Miranda. “I had a side bet that Adrian would come out on top. We shall see,” the King said, softly.
“So we shall,” she replied with a deadly smile.
Adrian said, “But first. I need the assistance of the priests. Please unveil the cloth that covers the box marked: ‘girls.’”
Three elder priests came closer and did what the boy asked. Two boxes were under the tarp, each had containers that the priests sealed and marked: one locked up the boy rats and one held the girls. Air holes permitted some of the rats survived. A priest whispered a complaint: “Must we be reminded?”
“It’s like a magic act…” The royals were excited.
“Can’t wait, boy. But what is this about? Whisper in my ear, like you said,” the King commanded.
“Of course, your Majesty.” The boy climbed up on the throne to reach the King’s ear. He whispered his big discovery of the red and blue chemicals.
The Queen leaned over to also hear.
Those in the throne room saw absolute elation form on the face of the Sovereign. Nebo jumped to his fat feet and roared: “You have won the Contest! If what you say is true?!”
Adrian beamed with pride and looked to his two special comrades. They weren’t smiling. Was it because they didn’t win? He told the main priest to: “Please inspect the ‘female’ box, carefully. It hasn’t been tampered with: sealed and locked, right? Now. Check to see if the rodents are males or females in the box. Kind sir? Ha, ha.” Here was the enormous finish and big pay-off to the final act. It wasn’t a magic trick. It was a trick of Science. Or so Adrian thought.
Pias yelled as he grabbed one of the stinking, dirty, half-dead rats: “Of course these are males! My wax seal was untouched when we opened it. Shit!”
The cocky boy declared one more time: “Look closer, priest.” Then he turned to King Nebo and casually said. “I suppose you guessed the outcome of the performance, M’Lord and Lady? The girl rats are now boy rats because of the colored solutions you saw. Scientifically. It is precisely what I will do to the Princess. Science, not magic, will change her into a Prince, exactly what you ordered, sire. Your Majesties.” The boy bowed one more time, so pleased at what he had accomplished. “There’s much more to my plan, what to do with this knowledge in future? Exactly how to use this ‘weapon.’”
The King was giddy with excitement. He held his pregnant Queen tightly. “It’s true, then. No matter what enemies unite forces against us, we will stay strong in blood. Long live the Barronattas!”
As soon as those in the court ceased the echoes of the very same loud chant…
Pias screamed: “But they remain males! Boy rats are still boy rats! What are you talking about?”
The little/green magician, the other children and everyone else surrounded the opened ‘female’ box.
“Look for yourself,” Pias stated, sure that he was correct.
Another priest said, “We know the sex of rats by now. What does your eyes tell you, Sir Adrian?”
The Green Lord didn’t believe his bright eyes. It didn’t work? Did they change back? What the fuck happened? In a moment, the answer was clear as a bell. That’s why Myaa and Silver had the strange look on their faces. His experiment was sabotaged. Damn!
Myaa and Silvereen laughed.
Like a mad boy possessed, Adrian examined all the rat genitalia, closely. He threw each one out and away that were female. Each rat was marked and each rat remained womanly. Adrian tried to salvage the smallest of victories. Did the males become females? He pulled apart the wax seal of Pias’ crest and furiously inspected the boys. They were boys. Nothing worked.
Adrian did not expect failure. It worked before. Why didn’t it work now? The smart child realized this was a very serious embarrassment to the court. Everything was supposed to lead to an ultimate climax. Why did his strong, vivid dream show a Green Wizard as the winner of the Contest? He felt compelled to make the discoveries in his lab. It was fate, he thought. Like an angelic hand or spirit had guided his every thought and action. Now this?
The King and Queen were not pleased. Almost at the same time, they declared: “Off with his head!”
Janus, and a few guards, took the child into custody. He was no longer a Lord and soon to be dead. They left the throne room.
The King appeared worried. His ‘horse’ in the Contest had collapsed and utterly failed in the race. Nebo regretted an early death for Adrian. He was going to kill him much later.
The Queen remarked: “We still do not know what is under your cloaked rectangle, Lord Silver?” She pointed for the wizard to remove it.
Silvereen did~ It was a Magic Mirror. It was Myaa’s Magic Mirror! He found her big secret.
“With this magic viewer, you will see what no Master Mystic could ever view: tomorrow’s truth, the real, fixed, unshakable truth to tomorrow’s events, what is to come. All your answers are here. I have much to tell you: how a strategist like myself conjured this Glass into being, all to serve your empire.”
Orphan Myaa acted with more intensity than she had ever acted (lied and deceived) before. The redhead was happy and expressed joyful glee.“Real surprise.” In truth, forced way back of her mind, she understood her power was gone. She could no longer fool anyone, anymore. She could no longer predict anything. She’d have to guess. Entity in the Mirror was not at her beckoned call anymore. No more answers. The Mirror had another Master. It would only be a matter of time before the truth was revealed. Her value to the empire was over.
“You’ve won the Contest, dear boy,” the King decreed.
Lord Silvereen smiled an evil smile. It was the game within the game that Silver was most proud of, beating Myaa. He certainly impressed the King. But it was the discovery of the old, “alien” Mirror, when he broke into the girl’s cottage, that completely changed his entire universe and how he’d play the Game. He turned to Myaa and said, “You knew I’d win. You told me, yourself…I’d win.”
She returned his smile with a fake smile. “Don’t you know? I’m always right.”
When only Pias and the King were left in the throne room…
Nebo handed the priest a fancy keg of the finest Mead. He was instructed to have the 12 guards and two priests that were present, celebrate the good news with the rare ale. Pias was ordered to make sure they’d drink it, but that he himself shouldn’t and also Captain Janus.
ACT II: The New Women
There were 6 minor kingdoms within the Joga Islands and one major Kingdom: The ruling House of Barronatta had dominated all other families for hundreds of years, before memory of anything else. Closest rival nation for power was House Tarsis and their descendants in the jungles of Froconis. They were dark-skinned and ruled southern lands closer to the planet’s equator. House Ir and House Abreden were twin Houses, bonded by marriage, of a light-brown-skinned tribe. They were known to be peaceful, resourceful people. House Avlon and the island nation of Indy with House Del were feuding tribes for many generations. One reason for all the Houses not combining forces against the Barronattas, was the longstanding Del/Avlon war. Northeastern territory was somewhat warmer than the strange, legendary lands in the northwest. House Mire (same name as Castle Mire) was the great northern empire’s station of operations. The (Asian) mongols of Mire and Lemaria opened their doors and helped anyone who’d survived the wild-lands of the cold and frigid north.
Seven kingdoms were ruled by one family, one family with a long history of horror and terror. It was how the Barronattas maintained control and order in the past and in present times.
Times were going to drastically change and magnify, intensify…
War against the ruling House was in the wind. Dissatisfaction. Suffering. The great many who were poor along with the few who were very rich. Plans were created, changed, recreated and executed. The “saviors” of the realm had a lot to answer, especially to intelligent people who saw through their lies and propaganda. Rebels slowly organized and gained in strength and numbers. The lesser Houses and their followers readied themselves and prepared for a violent rebellion against the old Family, Masters of the Empire.
The future was coming. War was coming. A new world was coming.
In a dark, dank dungeon, beneath the main floors of Mire Castle, the former Green Magician found himself alone, cold and hungry. He heard noises outside of the thick, wooden, locked door. Adrian saw nothing through a two-foot, square window with metal bars on the door above him.
“Who’s there? What are you doing?”
A response from the stone hallway was heard by the boy. It was Myaa’s voice. She said, “Keep your pants on, wizard.”
“Oh, you. You’ve come to get me out of here?”
“Not exactly. These crates are heavy…”
“What?” Adrian saw the girl’s redhead come into view through the opening.
“There. Ugh. Now I can see you…”
“Great. I see you, too. Now what?” Adrian asked the girl.
“You look fine. Treating you well, are they?”
“Just start gloating, or say whatever it is you’ve come to say, faker. All this time. Who knew you were such a salesman? Why didn’t I figure it out? Liar. Bitch. Wench. Shit-fuck…”
“Colorful language you’ve picked up, boy. Ha. Here. Take this.” She held a ceramic cup that contained a liquid and got it through the bars of the dungeon door.
“My. I hope it is poison,” Adrian declared with conviction. “That’s one way out.”
She dropped it and Adrian caught it. He drank, without a care of what it was.
“Augh. Terrible. What was it?”
“A mixture the Mirror told me how to prepare. It’ll help. I mean, back when I had my Mirror.” Myaa was sad and very worried of her position within the empire.
Adrian asked an important question: “How’d you switch the rats?”
She answered: “It was Silver’s idea. It wasn’t hard to duplicate Pias’ seal on the wax. Your sex-change idea, Green Lord. Sure did work! You’d have been the big winner, but it didn’t happen that way, huh? Yeah, I went along with Silver switching the vermin. I didn’t know he’d break into my home and steal the magic Glass. I don’t see the future, remember? God.”
The boy asked, “Where’d it come from? What is the Mirror?”
“It belonged to my parents, beyond any kind of antique. They told me it had magical powers and always spoke the truth. Been in our family for more than a thousand years. I was to take special care of it, never break it and always have it with me. When given the cottage, I insisted it come with me. No one ever knew the Glass spoke to me. Now it will speak to the King and Queen…and I’m fucked…”
“And you’re fucked. Ha, ha. You are so fucked. They can ask it anything and it’ll speak the truth, right? That means they’ll know all about you, your treachery, aye? They’ll know my plan was a success and I can really turn the soon-born Princess. Ah. Will they be aware of that in time to save my neck?”
“I don’t know, Ade. I can’t tell them. I’m worried about my own neck. It’s why I’m going on a long journey and get my ass as far away from Barronsland as I can, eh? As soon as I can. Logical.”
“North, I imagine? Maybe you’ll see a Snow Giant? Or eastern jungles? Froconis. You could be a tribal priestess. Not many redheads there, I hear. You should go over well. Charm the pants off all the natives? Heh.”
“Can I say something serious, that I mean very much?”
“I’m going to miss you and I’m very sorry this has happened to you, Ade.”
He smiled an innocent, sweet smile. “I’ll be fine.” He made sharp eye-contact with her.
“Silver was truthful when he said we’ve all met before.”
“I feel that, too.”
“I only saw small pieces of the truth, past and future. We go back to when the Mirror was brand new, to when it was first forged.”
“It’s not a sword.”
The girl simply smiled. She sincerely said, “Goodbye, my love.” Myaa pulled on a dark hood that covered most of her face. She jumped down and kicked the crates away from the door.
Adrian heard her footsteps as she left the stone hallway. “My love?”
Silky, luscious, soft, white clouds slowly floated through beautiful, clear, blue skies, above…
Below, stood a fledgling army: learning, conceiving, building, designing new technologies that seemed out of this world.
House Barronatta quickly discovered how to kill great numbers of enemy invader-soldiers with production of what was now called “gunpowder.” Infantries and other types of Barronsland armies used the blasting powder in metallic tubes that were carried by each soldier. Gunpowder was also utilized on a much larger scale in “cannons” that were bolted onto wooden, wheeled carts. The promised “missiles” and “rockets” remained in the ‘testing’ stage of development. Military “rifles” or tubes filled with black powder on one end, were successfully produced. Barronatta forces refined the long, metal tubes, welded closed on one end and open on the other. Bottoms of tubes, big or small, were ignited, which exploded any projectile out of the open end at incredible speeds. Various sizes and shapes of “guns” were tested on an enormous, flattened area of the royal escarpment, not far from Mire Castle. King and Queen enjoyed the sweet sounds as they heard many “booms,” one after another. Each distant blast helped them stay in power, they believed.
Captain of the King’s Guard, Janus, was promoted and presided over war-weapon tests and innovations, as well as the new army that used them. He was more scarred and wrinkled than previously, colder, harder. Rebels had often attacked and killed those who served the ruling House. He’d experienced vicious battles in the field and sword-fights in towns his soldiers patrolled. The warrior was now General Janus, the “King’s Fist.” The General was head of the “strongest army in the world.”
The General walked passed soldier after soldier on the firing range. Targets of hay and painted cloth were struck again and again by projectiles. Metal spheres tested as the best type of projectiles. They fit perfectly in the tubes. A short fuse was lit on the closed end. Metal handles welded onto the tube and a cushion prevented the “kick-back” effect from harming the shooter each time they fired. Ships could be sunk by gigantic cannons and also small, handheld versions could be created to kill individuals.
General Janus was no longer the good man with some sense of morality and compassion for people. Long gone were the days he wielded a Sword of Justice as a fair man. Today, he was only a mechanical man who obeyed the dictates of a tyrant-King.
The General saw one of his armed soldiers who fixed a torn target on the firing range. The man’s helmet was not on. Janus bent down and coldly commanded a shooter to see if he could hit the head of the infantry man. It took two shots and almost a half minute to reload. The shooter was able to carryout the order.
A metal ball tore through the soldier’s exposed head. Blood poured out of a hole. He jerked one way and then the other. The soldier fell. Dead.
The General only stated to the shooter who bent in front of him: “That will teach you to keep your helmet on. Wouldn’t you say, private?”
King Nebo prepared a very special place for a very special antique Mirror. The library room was a little brighter and warmer than the rest of Mire Castle. An extremely large fireplace was set ablaze every cold evening. More than 300 candles lit a stone room used for study. Walls were lined with old books the King never bothered to read.
The Queen had gone into labor. The Princess was coming.
But the Monarch only had one thing on his mind: The Magic Mirror. This was the first opportunity he had. “His” Priesthood demanded, and received, permission by Holy Writ, that…
Anything extra-worldly, or potentially demonic, must be exorcised by the Priesthood. They had to “bless” it or “cleanse” the Mirror of any negative spirits, before employed as a “talis” or “wonder-wand” by His Majesty. The ceremony was conducted in full-sight of the King and his guards. Nebo wasn’t about to let anyone talk to the Glass or ask it a question~
Only at this moment, was the King alone with the truthful Mirror. Now he could ask. What would he ask?
The Sovereign faced the Glass directly, and his image in it, for the first time. The reflection was not what he thought it would be. Nebo screamed: “NO! No! No!” The man was terrified with the appearance of his reflection. “Augh!! No! God, no.”
A trusted, loyal, personal guard was outside the door and was not supposed to enter. He ran in because of the loud screams of the King.
Nebo was outraged and shouted at the guard: “GO! Leave! Leave this instant or I’ll have your head!” The fat King rushed at the soldier, like a madman. “Aaugh!”
The guard turned around and ran out as fast as he could.
Nebo turned back and stared at the “thing” from across the room. Fireplace raged, hundreds of candles flickered. The King slowly crept closer to the Glass. When his image was reflected again, it showed the same image: an obese, bald, ugly, naked monster. It was extremely wrinkled, extremely old and misshapen. The reflection was a gross picture of the man’s soul. Barronatta knew it was. He was scared. He shook. He was horrified down to his evil bones. But he couldn’t take his eyes off the frightened monster in the Mirror, who also could not tear his eyes away from him.
“You wanted to see the truth, my Great and Powerful Master. Did you not? Here is the real you. What you are on the inside. It’s what they all do not see. But you know the truth and so do I,”a small, vertical wisp of smoke or mythic mist in the Glass expressed from its center.
The Monarch fell to the hard, cold floor. He was on his knees before the Mirror of Truth. “I…I only w-wanted to a-ask…” He saw the monster repeat his words, exactly when he spoke them. “…About the, the new Princess? I should be, be there. But, but as you see, Good Mirror…I am here, with you. I, I couldn’t resist, you know, the temptation? Please help me. Take that dreadful image away! You have the power, don’t you? That’s a female voice you have. S-Surely you understand?”
“I do understand. The answer is NO. If you want my answers, my truth…then you have to pay…”
“Pay? You mean…sacrifice?”
“Call it what you will. You want to know of your daughter? She will be born within hours. She will be healthy. She will be called ‘Elizabeth.’ Elizabeth the First.”
“That’s a WONDERFUL name, Elizabeth,” the shaken 3D King stated in awe, as well as the monster in 2D.
“You want to know her fate, I presume?”
“Yes! Exactly!” Nebo changed his attitude a bit. Maybe he had to suffer to discover what was real? He thought to cover his eyes. King’s hand covered his eyes.
“No. No. You’ll receive nothing from me,” the wisp said.
“…If you don’t stare directly at your true soul…”
“God.” He looked again at his fat, ugly, cruel spirit. “Ugh. Heh. Ah, maybe I can get used to it?”
The ghost in the Mirror declared, “You never know what madness you can get used to, if you don’t try?”
“Wot?” Nebo attempted to turn the tables and take control: “I AM staring at my shitty eternal soul, now tell me of my daughter! The road the prophets and missing girl foretold. Marriage with a black man of Tarsis to prevent total war?”
“You did not ask of the Queen? About your wife, Miranda? Does she survive childbirth?”
Tyrant of a King and his monster didn’t care about the Queen. She was of no importance; the only matter of importance was Elizabeth 1 and her future. “She’ll be fine.”
The King was desperate and almost breathless. “W-What happens to my daughter? Answer me!”
“Gladly. You do not have to worry of a far future war with the natives of Froconis. You will have a bloody war with the jungle lords within weeks. Newborn Princess will, sadly, not be a Princess for long…”
Nebo did love his daughter and only child. He was a broken man at the moment and misunderstood. “No. No! She’ll be killed? Attacked and killed in a battle with black men, soon? Mirror! Please, say…”
“You are wrong again, King. You will have her changed into a little boy. That is, if you hurry and stop the executioner from lopping the head off your favorite ‘horse’ in the race.”
Old, rotund, King Nebo froze after he heard the Mirror’s words. His mouth dropped. He stood there and thought about it. He connected the pieces together in a short time, then screamed: “Aaaaugh!!” The King turned and scampered out of the warm, bright library just as fast as his chubby feet carried him.
Adrian, little, tiny, sweet and brilliant Adrian, had his head and thin neck on a considerably larger and blood-stained chopping block. General Janus insisted on the honors. One other guard was present.
The King arrived at the perfect time, as fate decreed. King Nebo was so excited with the new truth. He walked right up to the Janus executioner from the rear.
The gifted child, in dirty/green robes, was seconds away from death.
Janus raised his mighty sword he called “Aleister” and was about to come down with it and strike the deathblow.
A happy, playful King tickled the General, gently, in an arm pit.
The creepy touch totally threw off the very serious and poised General. “Aleister” flew out of the soldier’s hands and in a direction no one expected. The guard who was behind the General, jumped for his life when the sharp sword quickly passed his head.
“No, no! Not today! Adrian! My bright boy! This has been a terrible, terrible mistake! You, guard, (other guard), untie the boy! This is the HERO of Barronsland!”
The nearly decapitated guard freed the Green Lord.
Adrian was speechless. He shouldn’t have felt so alone and afraid. He shouldn’t have cried. He should have had more faith. He wasn’t going to die. Not now. He knew that. He knew that before. This was not a good day to die. Ha, yes! Adrian got up and stared Janus in the eyes, sternly.
The General was confused.
“Janus. You listen good, General. You know I can kill you right now, don’t you? This man right here would do it if I told him to, correct?”
Gen Jan shook his head and replied, “Yes, sire.”
“New orders. You, and your men, are to protect little Green Lord here with your lives! Do you understand your King clearly, General? What is it you’re going to do?”
“Protect Green Lord! Your Majesty.”
“Good. I think you’ve got it, now. Remember it!” Nebo demanded.
“Aye, sire. I will see to it.”
“Go now. Leave us. I want to be alone with Sir Adrian. I have a few thousand questions for our hero, ha. Oh! General. Prepare for war. Real war. Defense on eastern borders and offense. We have to be ready in a week! Can you…”
“We will be ready, sire,” Janus assured his King.
In a minute, Nebo and Adrian were alone in the blood-stained room.
“Come this way. So. Your magic trick worked, Adrian?”
They walked toward a different exit and into one of the secret passageways in the castle.
The King stated, “I know. I know. You said it wasn’t. It’s this science-business, right, right?”
“You’ll have a full laboratory, better equipment this time, all the servants you need, anything you want, little Master.”
The little Master slipped up and showed that he was still a naive child. Because of a streak of honesty, Adrian said: “Hope the elixir works on people?”
The King was about to say: “You mean you haven’t tested it on humans?” But, instead, the positive King expressed: “Yes, yes. Hope the elixir works on people.” Nebo was suspicious. Was the Mirror not so magic? Did it lie? Could it lie? Would it lie to him? The King’s own fears got the better of him. Maybe the Contest was not over? the King wondered. The potion has to work and it hasn’t been successfully proven to succeed, as yet. Time will tell. Again. Results would have to be conclusively demonstrated. Can the green boy wonder really do it? An ocean of doubts swirled inside the madness of the King. He controlled his words, carefully. What left his lips was a repeat of words he stated a minute ago: “Hope the elixir works on people.”
Adrian understood, precisely. It better work. The King will go utterly mad if he kept getting disappointed, teased again by false hopes that were not true. Adrian played God.
Nebo really was God in the Earthly Kingdom.
The King was in his bedroom, surrounded by the proper royal physicians and mystics. He witnessed the birth of his daughter, Elizabeth the First, after a very long birth-process. The Monarch couldn’t control himself. He cried and cried again because of the events on this special day: the first day of May.
Queen Miranda, with her stomach torn open and blood everywhere, was dead.
Doctors, magicians, maidservants and other relatives in the Family crowded the big bed. Everyone present wept and was incredibly distraught over the passing of Queen Miranda. Some of the tears were for the new life, born pure and perfect, after a horribly bloody birth, filled with complications.
No one knew, not even a few relatives there, that all of the King’s tears, 100% of them, were for the miracle-birth, and safe birth, of baby Elizabeth. Also. Nebo’s real joy was a growing belief all will work out well for the Family: He was not lied to by Magic Mirror; Lord Adrian was a genius, his plan will work; he will maintain the purity of his Family’s bloodlines and war far in future will not occur.
One of the maidservants slowly carried little Liz and placed her in her father’s arms…
More tears flowed from the Monarch, which caused even more tears to leave eyes of everyone in the royal bedroom. The King brushed the tiny child’s cheek with the softest touch. He did it over and over again. He was very happy at the moment. He turned and deeply looked into everyone’s eyes, one at a time.
The emotional crowd believed the King thanked them with his gaze. What they didn’t know (even Lady Lilian Barronatta and grandmother, Countess Ele of Barronsland) was…
The King counted each person in the room and remembered exactly who was present. If it so happened, the Great Experiment transformed the little Princess into the little Prince, then those who witnessed the birth would be terminated.
They all cried.
The Kingdom of Froconis was as mountainous as any of the kingdoms. Its castles and high towers stood tall over the lowlands like in any province. The warm, southern nation contained the greatest area of jungle-lands. Southern coastal regions of Barronsland were also warm and filled with dense jungles. But they were sporadic and nothing like a thousand kilometers of jungle on the southeast section of Joga.
No one knew the population of the ruling House’s main rival. Barronattas feared the natives possessed high numbers of inhabitants, 5 or 6 times those who’d fight for them. Nebo’s advisors assured the King: His standing army, especially with new technology, could conquer any force that opposed them. They believed they possessed the “strongest army in the world.” They were far in advance of any known enemy. This belief held true for the present. Soon. Other kingdoms, other Houses, will increase their military might and match anything of the Barronattas.
The King’s prophets remote-viewed all parts of the Joga Islands in search of enemies. Hidden enemies, natural enemies, anything they should fear? From great distances, psychic-viewers observed numerous strange oddities in unknown parts of the Islands as well as made predictions for the future. Some of the gifted seers and viewers in the past were reasonably accurate. For example:
* No evidence had ever physically existed for other lands on Earth, other than the Joga Islands, or what would be regarded as alien/foreign races anywhere in the universe. Yet, telepathic-viewers had visited other distant continents on the planet, totally unknown. This only occurred in the minds of a few psychic-travelers. These records (stories) gave many encouragement that other lands and other people could really be discovered on Earth, someday.
* A number of psychic-viewers down through generations have confirmed or relayed the same picture that Earth was a hollow sphere. Viewers, independently, have seen a large hole at the planet’s north and south pole, which they claim were entrances to a hollow, inner Earth. Nothing had ever been viewed of what may exist within the planet’s interior. The idea fueled stories of aliens and also amazing things on the surface, in mysterious places, as yet unexplored.
* Legends of Snow Giants are prevalent in old tales, written accounts of sightings long ago, and even to the present day. A few brave inhabitants of “North Station” (House Mire) or Lemarian mongols have reported they had observed real Snow Giants. More than one remote-viewer had seen many Snow Giants, but they were frozen solid under the Frozen Sea?
* A psychic-viewer claimed that under the barren Easia Plain lived a colony of Giant Worms. The telepathic woman (Colling Shea) became a very famous seer in her time. Right after her prediction, the Joga Islands experienced the first earthquakes on record. A series of tremors happened and continued to occur. A strange fact: earthquakes have only happened directly under the sparsely-populated Easia Plain and nowhere else on the Islands. Many people have speculated, “Are Giant Worms causing the quakes?”
* Viewers had gone through time with consistent, fantastic “stories” that the Joga Islands had rotated! Long, long before kingdoms and any type of farming community, the lands turned 180 degrees so that the north was the south and the south was the north. Psychics saw the hot jungles freeze and the frigid north heat up. Stories aligned where the strange rotation occurred relatively quickly and a few times in Earth’s long history. Most of the extraordinary predictions have not been proven.
* The Barronattas were extremely fearful because of the predictions from viewers in its priesthood. Each envisioned a future where the ruling House did not survive its pledge to “Rule a Thousand Years.” In fact, the Fall of the House of Barronatta (supposedly) will happen in the year 1413, 20 years from this year, and on the special day of May First. The vision was viewed again and again. This, of course, angered the royals of the ruling House.
The one view of tomorrow the Barronattas feared nearly the most was a road to peace with House Tarsis by way of marriage between their Black Prince and the prime Family’s Princess. In 20 years, their Great and FIRST HOUSE will fall, lose the war, lose all power and control, as they have possessed since the beginning…
Or bloodlines mixed with a sworn enemy and nemesis to the Throne of Barronsland, thus, an ultimate war was avoided, which would have destroyed both sides.
How will history flow in 20 years?
If the King’s plan of a slight alteration in the sex of Elizabeth was successful, what will that do to the Houses, the future Great War and the Fall of his Family? Nebo and other high royals were set to change the course of history. They believed: If they could change one small part of a fixed future, then, possibly, they could change absolutely everything! Anything they desired. Possibilities tantalized the King. What power would be in his grasp, if he had ultimate control of everything? He’d defy God…by replacing God.
U’ru, a tactical officer for the Froconis fighting forces called “Wild Lords,” showed the young Prince C’mero of Tarsis exactly how to make a bomb. Once the right chemicals were gathered and mixed in the proper proportions, the powder was produced. The boy was told how fertile the southern lands were, high in natural resources. They had massive amounts of the explosive elements. Tons of the powder could be easily created due to vast mineral deposits in the rich soil all around them.
The boy, future King of Tarsis, was enthralled and learned a lot from a wise teacher.
U’ru told the small Prince about a special nectar that slowly flowed out of the bark of white willow trees. When added to the blasting powder, it formed a solid. The powder could be handled, shaped and sculpted safely. The tree sap even insured the bombs ignited and exploded, but only after violent contact. The army of Wild Lords invented the perfect “grenade” or delivery system for the explosives. They needed no guns, rifles, cannons or metallic tubes of any kind. Natives produced unique bombs and also various clothing designs to carry different-sized bombs on individual fighters.
The teacher presented the Prince with a finished grenade, just as the mixture had dried into a solid.
The “little king” was overjoyed. He carefully grabbed the ball. Immediately, he turned, found a target in a large white willow, aimed and threw the ball as hard as he could. BLAAMM!! The boy’s aim was perfect: a thick tree trunk exploded into shattered pieces.
House Tarsis was the highest House in altitude. The White Castle, was positioned at the base of Mount Tarsis (“Mt. Nebo” to Barronattas) at an elevation of 9000 feet. The peak of Mount Tarsis was the highest location in the known world and closest point to the heavens. Myths say this special tribe of survivors were blessed by God. Natives believed they were fated to rule all of the Joga Islands in the distant future.
Froconan jungle and mountain dwellers were large mysteries to the other six kingdoms. How did they travel from very high peaks to thick jungles in lowlands more than a mile below? How did natives move so fast through dense vegetation? Why were mysticism, spells, sorceresses, sorcerers, priests and priestesses such a large part of Froconan culture? Were stories true that powerful magic from ancient times played vital parts in the success of their mysterious tribe in the present?
There was a big difference in the two Houses of Barronatta and Tarsis: Magic of the Froconans was real. Priests were true priests, sorceresses were true sorceresses. Religious lies from men in robes did not exist in the priesthood of the southeastern empire. Politicians among the dark-skinned people were honorable. Principles by which Tarsis operated were diametrically counter to the ruling House. No one conned or murdered anyone in south jungles or high south peaks. It was a similar situation with the North Station.
…to be continued…
ACT III: The New Men
ACT IIII: The New World
Copyright 2019 by Tray Samuel Caladan
~ I would enjoy hearing your thoughts of my story, so far. Above is 3 days work. Love the creating part: letting pictures come into my head. If I keep it exciting, for me…then it continues. I have no control. Send it around to people who have followed “Thrones.” thanks. Tray Samuel Caladan.