Chapter 1 can be found HERE.
By E. J. D’Alise (Disperser)
Copyright June 2013
Ed awoke in a daze, and he did not recognize his surroundings. He vaguely remembered collapsing after his burst of action, but not much else.
He was in a strange room, with two guards standing by the door, and Lynd sitting on the floor, her back to the wall. Her eyes were closed, and remained so as she spoke.
“Are you back with us?”
“Where am I?” Ed stood, and floated halfway to the ceiling.
Lynd was faster than the guards, grabbing his foot, and stopping his spin before he hit the ceiling.
“We’re on the moon,” Lynd answered, lowering him to where he could grab the cot he had just left, “be careful how you move.”
“The moon? You mean our moon?” Ed slowly sat, his hands keeping a grip on the edge of the cot.
“Earth’s moon; not your moon.” Lynd sat back down as she answered.
“What does . . . “ Ed did not finish. The door opened, and the female, or whatever it was, that had tended his wounds walked in, along with two more guards.
“Good, you’re awake.” Then she smiled. “Well, not awake awake, but getting there.”
“Where’s Evilyn?” Ed slowly stood, keeping a foot hooked to the leg of the cot. It was anchored to the floor, thus allowing him to stand and face the female.
“She is in the holding cell. You interceded in her behalf, but she must still face the consequences of her failure . . . once you are yourself again.” The female came to stand in front of Ed, and unceremoniously lifted his shirt, poking places Ed remembered sporting open wounds. There was no indication of any scar, or damage to the skin.
“I am Kamo,” the female stepped back, giving a curt bow as she spoke.
“I’m Ed, and what failure are you referring to?” Then he looked around, taking a moment to register and process everything he had just heard, and what he could remember.
“Who are you people, and what do you want with us?” The pitch of his voice rose a bit, and he tried to control his mounting anger. His life had been thrown into chaos, and he was quickly losing patience with these beings.
“You are not ‘Ed’; you are Ledonair Aredin Venlor, chosen Lord of the Fifty Fifth Alliance. We call you Ledo, for short.” As she spoke, Kamo gave another curt bow, as did the four guards.
It was all a blur after that. Lynd was also moved to the holding cell, and Ed was fitted with clothing similar to Kamo’s and the guards, but with additional decorations. He now wore shoes which adhered to the floor, but did not stick to it when he walked.
He has listened to Kamo as she brought him up to speed.
Apparently, the Fifty Fifth Alliance was not yet official, and until such time as it was formerly recognized by the various Systems, he was fair game. Any of the races unhappy with the alliance could try to eliminate him before the Alliance was ratified. Once ratified, his position would be secure, as any action against him would result in immediate and grave consequences for the responsible System.
That did not mean they would stop trying; only that they would not be as open about it.
Meanwhile, the FARs, the muscular caped guards, were charged with his protection. They had helped hide him in a remote and little known world; Earth. The FAR, as far as he could tell, were the equivalent of the U. S. Secret Service. The acronym stood for something he could not remember, but the description of what they did matched the mission of the Secret Service.
All that was something he could wrap his head around. The part he was having trouble with, was his identity. The other part was his speech; he found himself switching to languages he did not know, but his brain obviously remembered. Just saying a word usually brought back memory of both its meaning and origins.
Annoying at first, he soon found speaking a language composed of words from multiple other languages held the advantage of word choices that, because of their native meanings, were better at conveying ideas, intent, and feelings.
Those around him adjusted as well, as they were already versed in this aggregate language.
He learned that memory of who he was had been suppressed while in hiding on Earth. The Awakening was bringing some of the memories back, but the total so far eluded his consciousness.
The was also having trouble adjusting to the changes to his body. He’d always kept somewhat fit, but in the span of two days his body had hardened, his physical appearance that of a sculpted athlete; a taller and heavier athlete. It messed with his balance and sense of his physical boundary; he bumped into things, and was prone to stumbling.
All of the races in The Alliance were the byproduct of the marriage of genetic modifications and technology. Everything he had witnessed and attributed to magic was, in fact, very advanced technology, including the beasts who attacked him in his home. The Fluoride in the water was what had kept them at bay, and he had a passing thought the conspiracy theorists would have a field day with this.
His own body was being returned to its normal augmented state, and to help it along he sparred with a few of the FAR. He was faster and stronger than they. This was a surprise to Ed; the FAR were part flesh, and part machines. He learned his body was being modified at the molecular level, and aggregate traits from various races were being woven into his DNA. He never felt better in his life, or at least the life he could remember, and as he trained, he began to regain his muscle memory.
Eventually he settled on two young members of the FAR as his permanent sparring partners. They were not high ranking, but they were among the most skilled. That they were brother and sister further appealed to Ed. Loretu and Morean came from a long line of FARs, and the closeness of the training helped form a bond between the three.
Then he started to remember in earnest. Ledo was not a nice guy. Well, he wasn’t technically a human; regardless, whatever he was, he was not nice. In fact, few people around him were nice. All belonged to one ruling class or another, and all were nasty pieces of work, and Ledo was their leader by consensus . . . or fear.
It was Ledo who had come up with the plan to hide himself among the humans, and had personally contracted with Evelyn and her people for the local protection detail. In part, it was to minimize the risk of one of his followers suddenly having a change of heart. To ensure the best effort from Evelyn and Lynd, he held their sisters as hostages.
While Lynd was her given name, Evelyn’s real name was Ereynd. Specifically, Queen Ereynd. A race composed of mostly warriors, and mostly female, they lived on Evanor, were not technically part of The Alliance, but were under its rule. Ledo had used his influence, and the capture of the Queen’s sister, to enlist her services. Lynd had been a bonus, as she was fiercely loyal to her Queen.
Once he remembered enough, he gave the order, and preparations were made to depart the Moon. The thirty-seven hours journey made use of the “tunnels” in between time and space; tunnels one could use as shortcuts to any of the known universes.
As he continued to remember, Ledo’s tone of voice changed to match his impatience with his underlings, and few traces of Ed remained in the being who would soon rule the known universes.