The Paradox Series
Two worlds. One Ancient – One New
…The Mystical World of Altair Awaits…
A Fantasy Fiction novel by Patti Roberts
Copyright © 2011 by Patti Roberts
Other publications By Patti Roberts
Paradox – The Angels Are Here (Book1)
Published November 2011
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The Definition Of Progeny:
One born of, begotten by, or derived from another; an offspring or a descendant.
This book is dedicated to a work colleague and friend.
Dave. In our hearts you rest. In our memories, you are ours to keep. Save a seat for us, your friends, because this is not the end. Until then, my friend, we shall smile, raise a glass and celebrate a life well lived. With love, Patti X
1953 – 2011
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Every time your heart is broken, a doorway cracks open to a world full of new beginnings, new opportunities.
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Sometimes, the only soul that can mend a broken heart is the one that broke it.
For they are the ones holding all the pieces.
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My name is Juliette. A very long time ago, during a war that tore my world apart, I died.
It was 1080 AD and the Grigorians, under the Rule of Lord Cerberus, had conquered the Bulguardians and seized the Imperial City of Altair. Today, toward the mountainous lands further south, the battle continues.
And although victorious in battle, the Grigorians had failed to secure the one prize that mattered most. Mortal Souls. Altair, all but deserted had left the favored Gregorian food source all but depleted. And those souls that had remained following the siege during the March Equinox had since fled to the south to join the resistance fighters high in the Mountains of An-nasr, the home of the majestic wedge-tailed eagle; the Aquila audux and the natural enemy of the Grigorian race. The Grigorians, that fear naught, feared this massive winged bird that ruled all the skies in the vast southern lands.
The Bulguardians, however, had been triumphant in the ways that did matter.
The three remaining Royal Guardians, with the strength and numbers of the Royal Guard had been triumphant in safely spiriting away the Seven Pinnacles and their prized possessions of mortal souls.
The four Natural Pinnacles, the Wafe’s - Water, Air, Fire, Earth and the three Supreme Pinnacles - Birth, Death and Emotion, under escort of the Royal Guard had taken human form and had fallen first. Then, in the safe confines of the Golden Ark, the mortal souls began their return journey to Earth under the watchful eye of Lukita, the most powerful High Priestess in the Realm.
There was, however, a complication that the Royal Guardians had not foreseen. Several of The Seven Pinnacles, including members of the Royal guard, had been scattered far across the Earth for hundreds of years with little or no recollection of who or what they were.
Some were sent to find and protect. Others were sent to track and destroy.
Today, my soul lives on in the heart of a young girl. I faithfully continue to play my part in this war between good and evil. But nine hundred years can pass so slowly, when all you want to do is go home.
Chapter 1 – Deliver Us From Evil
For as a lamb is brought to slaughter, so She stands, this innocent, before the king.
Geoffery Chaucer: Man of Law's Tale, 1386
The Imperial City Of Altair – The Royal Palace
Year – 1081 AD
The beast, nothing more than a frail lamb, lay paralyzed and trembling on the glistening silver platter. It lay there, exposed with nothing to accompany or protect.
“Really, you expect me to feed on this, this pathetic animal?” Abaddon snorted standing with his arms folded tight across his puffed up chest. He stared down at the animal that had been placed before him. The tiny beady eye of the beast reflected the flames blazing hungrily in the massive stone fireplace. Black eyes rolled to-and-fro frantically in their orbit, searching Abaddon’s private dining chamber in an eager bid to procure a swift path to freedom. Regardless of the desperate animals resolve for escaping this predicament, the scales of justice did not offer mercy to this quandary. This creature was surely a lamb to the slaughter.
The young Mongol girl with her black inked forehead backed slowly away from the table with her hands in tight fists clasped behind her back. Her satiny skin glistened in the muted glow from the blazing torches hanging on the high stone wall behind her. Her head remained bowed in a show of fearful respect.
“Apologies Master.” She offered in an effort to pacify Abaddon’s mounting anger.
He flung an ornate dining chair effortlessly across the room and into the crackling fireplace with a quick flick of his wrist. Flames and a blast of glowing embers exploded across the room.
“This is outrageous; this is a meal fit for a peasant, and yet still you dare place it before me!” Abaddon’s fist smashed down hard on the surface of the mahogany dining table, shattering a lead crystal decanter and a single goblet. The blood red liquid, freed from its crystal constraints, made a slow passage down the deep grooves in the timber tabletop before congealed droplets pooled on the marble floor below.
The girl flinched. “Shall I remove the animal Master?” She asked, and then quickly continued. “Perhaps you would prefer the taste of my flesh?” She pushed her long black flowing hair away from her shoulders, exposing her throat and barely covered breasts.
“Hmmm,” Abaddon murmured, considering her proposal. “What is your name?” He asked the girl, almost interested.
The blood vessel on her throat pulsated steadily beneath her flawless skin, summoning him closer. It was certainly an offer worthy of his consideration. And one that he thought about now with great consideration considering the alternative.
He glanced at the animal. A fresh spasm of fear bent the animal’s head back at a grotesque angle. White froth foamed and dripped from the beast’s twisted mouth. Abaddon scowled. The girl certainly was offering him a worthier choice. The scales tipped…
“Temulun,” she answered softly but with a hint of something resembling pride.
He studied her as one would a bug on a sliver of glass under a microscope, waiting for dissection.
“This would indeed be an honor for your family, if I were to accept this offer, would it not?” Abaddon said circling Temulun, tracing his finger slowly down her slender throat, then further, beneath the meager brown fabric that only just managed to conceal her child-like breasts. He felt her heartbeat quicken beneath his fingertips and smiled. “Lead us not into temptation dear girl, but deliver us from evil....” He murmured the words softly in her ear. “Are you evil, Temulun?” He asked circling her tiny frame.
“No Master,” she replied. “Your father honored our family once, many years ago by taking my sister Cheren during the last Great War, when food had also become scarce. My family has been grateful for the opportunities that your father bestowed upon us.”
“Ahh yes, my father, the mighty Lord Grig. Before my beloved father’s unfortunate journey into the afterlife. Perhaps your sister was a curse dear Temulun? She was, after all, the last one to see my father alive. Was she not?” Abaddon feigned a remorseful sigh. Bitter memories still toyed with his memories, burdening him with disappointment and resentment. He was acutely aware that his father had only ever had real affection for his brother Cerberus, and Theria, his sister. The Gods would certainly not help him if anyone was ever to gain knowledge that it had been by his hand, Abaddon’s hand, that his father had died and not by the hand of a subordinate half-breed bastard son of his father’s.
“I do believe that your brother…,” Temulun began.
Abaddon’s hand snapped up and squeezed Temulun’s mouth shut. “Do not ever speak of that half-breed bastard as being my brother. He is not worthy of that title. Do you understand me?” He said shoving her away forcibly.
Temulun stumbled and fell backward hard against the massive dining table but did not fall. The second goblet teetered precariously for a moment then smashed to the floor at her feet.
“Apologies Master. I will not make the mistake again.” She said wiping a trickle of warm blood from her lips.
He eyed her through narrowed yellowy slits but inwardly he was pleased. Pleased that she too thought that it had been the bastard son that had taken his father’s life. The truth about his murderous deed was indeed still safe.
“See that you don’t, otherwise I will have your head on a stick for the eagle,” he said stalking away.
He swiped his hand through the air and watched as splintered pieces of timber from the shattered chair and broken shards of glass flew effortlessly into the massive fireplace forcing a plume of flames and grey smoke to spew out into the room. “Yes, yes, yes, I remember your sister only too well. My father was most pleased with Cheren’s offering. She was a beauty, your sister, as indeed you are.” He glided toward her and lifted her chin abruptly with his finger then leaned in and slowly snaked his tongue along the side of her face. Tasting her. He had other plans for this girl named Temulun he decided. Death would not be her fate on this day. “Go now,” he said waving her off suddenly with his hand, dismissing her. “And the beast, Master? Shall I-”
“Leave it,” he demanded. “Doors,” he commanded.
Two black clad Mongols with massive arms heaved the heavy timber doors open wide. Their long thin beards twisted and braided with ivory coloured beads made from human bones dangled below their chins.
Temulun hesitated for a moment then scurried quickly from the room, past the leering guards and praying that they had not overheard Abaddon’s rejection of her. She would not tell her family that she had been undesired by the Master. That he had preferred the flesh of the beast over her own. That humiliation, she would keep to herself. Perhaps he would allow her to please him in other ways. His unquenchable desires were far from a secret in the Realm. She would have another opportunity, as her sister had to complete her task. She was determined to fulfill her destiny and make her people proud.
Abaddon waited until the doors had completely closed behind the girl before he returned his gaze to the trembling beast in front of him. He studied the frenzied unblinking eyes as they watched him, then further down to where a beating heart pounded hard against a soft woolen chest. Snow white and pure as the driven snow on the peaks on mount An-nasr. He ran his hand along the beast, petting it, quieting it, soothing it. Then he swiftly pulled his hand away and crushed his taloned fist deep into the ribcage of the animal. He twisted his hand through broken bone and sinew effortlessly and separated thumping heart from beast. He watched it for a moment with morbid curiosity as it pulsated spasmodically in the palm of his bloodied hand. Then he curled his lips back and lunged into it hungrily, savoring it as one would a perfectly ripe blood plum. The animal’s blood was warm and bittersweet on his tongue; it would suffice, ward off his appetite, for now. However, it would not be long until his uncontrollable thirst for human blood and the gratification obtained from the mortal soul returned. The mortal soul, the forbidden fruit, the personification of immortality for his kind.
He swiped his bloodied hand across his chin. Droplets of blood marked the front of his white ruffled shirt. He tilted his head back and let a guttural howl burst forth from his lips. Far below in the darkness outside he heard others respond in like.
It was time, he decided, as he let the limp heart fall away from his yellowy, taloned fingers. The animal’s blood drenched woolly chest was still now. Only the flickering flames from the crackling fireplace was mirrored in the black bead of the eye, relaxed now by death. A pink tongue dripping with crimson, bloodied foam hung flaccidly from its open mouth.
Abaddon heaved himself at the massive timber doors and pushed them open wide, startling the two guards standing rigidly at the doorway outside. He saw no reason to delay any longer. It had been centuries since he had left the Realm.
Pandora sashayed up the arched hall toward him, she was eager to resume their earlier encounter - before Theria’s unexpected interruption.
“Abaddon I-” she began, eyeing the bloodied fabric sticking to his chest.
“Not now,” he said cutting her off and walking past her without concern. His actions solely driven by his unyielding desire for human blood and of course the incredible high attained from the mortal soul. The blood of the beast had only quickened his craving for more.
“Then I will-” Pandora continued.
“Go find someone else to entertain you,” Abaddon replied, irritated by the conversation. “I am sure there is somebody else floating around here somewhere that will pander to your incessant needs. Your husband perhaps? That would be a change now wouldn’t it.” He smiled, amused by his words. Then he began chanting as he strode away. “My dear beloved Father, which art now in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Yes, on earth indeed,” he chuckled. “For ever and ever…” Then Abaddon descended the curving staircase, five stairs at a time until he reached the bottom only seconds later.
Pandora turned away and snorted, “Idiot...” She walked swiftly toward the two men standing on either side of the massive doors and stood for a moment to appraise them. To the larger, taller man she said, “come, I have something for you to do.” She ran his twisted beard across the palm of her hand, rolling the beads between her fingers then she tightened her grip on the man’s long black braid and led him away.
From - Paradox – Progeny Of Innocence (November 2011 release)
Book 2 in the Paradox Series
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