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Guardians of the Crystals : Herculobus









Guardians

of the

Crystals



Herculobus



Book 2



K.D. Martel





































Copyright © 2016 K.D. Martel

All Rights Reserved

ISBN-13: 978-1370815845

Table of Contents

Prologue

Chapters 1-5

Chapters 6-10

Chapters 11-15

Chapters 16-20

Chapters 21-25

Chapters 26-30

Chapters 31-35

Chapters 36-40

Chapters 41-45

Chapters 46-50

Chapters 51-56

Epilogue





Prologue

Two Osirion warships raced low over the Abzu, their thrusters glowing bright blue in the early hours before the dawn. The lead vessel bore the insignia of a golden serpent on its fuselage, deadly plasma cannons bristling across its metal skin. The second ship broke away, circled back a short distance and slowed down to hover in the low-lying cloud cover of the ancient mountain rising from the rocky plain. The first warship continued its path up the stony slope of the black peak, decelerating until it hovered in mid-air, a ship's length above the talus covered ground. The earth split open, bright white light shooting upwards into the sky as the immense metal doors of the subterranean landing bay slid apart to allow the hovering craft to descend.

The warship landed heavily onto the rock floor of the landing bay, its metal struts clanging loudly while its engines powered down. An Osirion soldier sporting a golden serpent emblazoned across his chest armour, walked up to the ship to escort the newcomers. The hatch opened, allowing a metal stairway to slide to the ground with a loud thud. Waves of heat from the ships cooling engines flowed about the ship saturating the air with a distinctive metallic odour. Three heavily armed Osirion soldiers descended from the ship, approaching the lone soldier who awaited them on the ground. The three men drew their plasma weapons and before the guard could react, the Osirion that had descended from the warship fired upon him simultaneously.

The three soldiers rapidly made their way over to one of the passageways that descended into the heart of the subterranean pyramid complex. Plasma weapons suddenly fired upon them as they entered the tunnel from across the landing area. The three men hugged the rock walls of the passage, firing their weapons in return at the four pursuing serpent faction Osirion soldiers that had followed them into the tunnel from the bay. Within moments, the three invading soldiers were dead. One of the complex’s guards advanced, verifying the armour of the immobile men. His cobalt eyes grew wide as he recognised the emblem of the golden eagle that decorated their metal chest plates.

“Igigi!” The soldier shouted to his men. “Get back to the landing bay!” He followed his men, running back to where they had come from. Bursting into the hangar, they fired upon a warship lifting off from the bay floor, its engines glowing hotly with blue fire. The unmistakable insignia of the golden-headed eagle painted across its fuselage. The vessel’s engines roared to full capacity as it shot into dawn’s first light. The soldiers watched helplessly as their own four warships burned in the hangar, including the ship that had landed earlier with the invaders. The engines destroyed by the plasma cannons of the ship that had just fled.

A young white-robed technician burst into the hangar, shouting at the soldiers, his large blue eyes wild with fear. “They took Jal’ara!”





One

Jal’ara regained consciousness, her head throbbing with pain while she tried to focus her blurry vision. She was in an Osirion warship, restrained by a bench harness. She did not move, her military training kicking in as she studied the armed Igigi soldiers that were seated on each side of her. There was another soldier across from her, but he appeared to be dozing off as the ship raced to wherever it was headed. All she could remember was having come face to face with three Igigi soldiers while ascending the passageway that led to the surface of the subterranean complex with the young Atlantean Guardian, T’ptal in tow. Their evening shift of having monitored the power grid was terminated and they had been heading back to the surface to retire for the remainder of the night.

Images of the confrontation surfaced, she recalled questioning the men on what they were doing in the tunnel, who was their commanding officer until the head soldier put his weapon to her and demanded that she take them to the Power Crystals.

She seized T’ptal, pulling him around her until he was standing at her back, protecting the teenager from the Igigi. T’ptal remained quiet, immobile. He understood enough Osirion to comprehend what was going on. Jal’ara reached for the crystal tablet on her belt but before she could complete the movement, one of the soldiers suddenly struck her across the head with a plasma weapon, felling her. That was all she remembered. She sincerely hoped that T’ptal had made a run for it. He was an intelligent boy and he knew the danger they were facing when they had come face to face with the trespassing Igigi.

She studied the situation carefully, her head throbbing painfully. If she moved, even slightly, the soldier facing her would knock her out without a moment’s hesitation. It would be safer to remain immobile and see where they would take her. The ship began decelerating; she could hear and feel the reverse thrusters kicking noisily into action. The warship came to a hovering standstill and began descending at an angle instead of vertically. Jal’ara instinctively knew that they were entering another subterranean area. Moments later, the ship landed, the engines powering down. The soldiers noisily removed their harnesses while Jal’ara remained with her eyes closed in her slumped position. Within moments, they were roughly removing her harness too.

She was carried off the ship, draped over one of the soldier’s burly shoulders, bouncing painfully off his armour as her head pulsed with sharp shooting stars at each footstep. She opened her eyes slightly, seeing one soldier behind her, his armoured boots clanking loudly on the rough-hewn stone floor of a tunnel. By the looks of the rock, she deduced that they were in an ancient gold mine. A short time later, they reached a large open room, blasted out of the ancient bedrock. Large rusting metal ore bins were stockpiled against the damp walls, covered in dust and cobwebs. The light panels were functional, everything was clearly illuminated. She was roughly seated onto a metal chair while one of the soldiers prepared to restrain her with metal cuffs that lay on the floor.

Jal’ara seized the opportunity to swiftly strike the soldier propping her up on the chair. She caught the surprised warrior in the face, her fist connecting squarely with his eye socket. Her military training was coming in handy after all! She lashed out at the second soldier who was picking the restraints up from the floor, striking him in the back of the head, stunning him. She turned and ran for the passageway only to be bowled over by the third soldier whom she had not seen until it was too late. He grabbed her, roughly pulling her to her feet, striking her across the face. Jal’ara, enraged, jumped at the heavily armoured man, her fists flying in all directions as the large warrior tried to unsuccessfully restrain her.

“My dear Jal’ara, you are quite a fighter for an engineer. You actually disabled two of my soldiers. How brave of you!” A familiar voice shot out acidly at her.

Jal’ara stopped struggling; rage flooding her pale cheeks scarlet as she angrily regarded the Igigi Commander, Tshrnau, who stood before her with a mocking smile playing across his thin lips.

“Why did you kidnap me for Commander?” She hissed at him, her blue eyes icy with disdain.

Commander Tshrnau was fully armoured, like his men, the gold eagle inscribed across the metal plates of his large chest. His dark piercing indigo eyes coldly flat studied the young blonde woman before him. “You must know why we are here Jal’ara. You are an intelligent woman, I am pretty sure you figured it out.”

“The Atlanteans will never allow you to leave this planet with a Power Crystal, never.” She retorted furiously. “Even if you did succeed in removing a Crystal from the Atlanteans, you need a humanoid guardian to control them.”

“Yes, we are aware of all that my dear. We have a plan and you are part of it I’m afraid.” Tshrnau stated as he nodded to the soldier holding the tall blonde woman. The soldier dragged her back to the chair, restraining and gagging her. She watched them furiously, her blue eyes dark with contempt.

“Now, I want you to send a message to the Atlanteans.”

Jal’ara managed to spit out the gag, laughing. “Send the message yourself Commander.”

Tshrnau leant over, grabbing her long blonde hair in his fist. Jerking her head back, he glared at her, his face almost touching hers. “You tell the Atlanteans that they have four days to bring a Power Crystal to Lahmu or we will kill you.” He growled at her, his voice filled with dangerous intent. Jal’ara struggled, trying to free her hair from his painful grasp.

“So kill me.” She spat at him, baring her teeth.

The Commander smiled icily at her. “I would have expected nothing less from you Jal’ara.” He withdrew a thin gold crystal device from his belt, touching the screen to allow an image of a small grey and gold marble stone home with lavish gardens to appear.

Jal’ara felt the stinging tears well up behind her eyelids when she recognised her parent’s home. “Please don’t harm them; they are all the family I have in this world.” She said shakily.

“Kraul, how are the targets?” Tshrnau inquired, holding the screen close to his face.

“They are sleeping in their beds. Awaiting your order to fire Commander.” A disembodied voice responded over the crystal device.

Jal’ara stared at Tshrnau, horror filling her widened eyes. “You wouldn’t kill an elderly couple sleeping in their beds?” she gasped, her voice choking with emotion.

“No worry, they won’t feel a thing. My soldier will fire an explosive into the house and it will all be over in a few moments.” Tshrnau stated, smiling coldly at her as he replaced the gag into her mouth.

“All right, I’ll send your message!” Jal’ara snapped heatedly, her words muffled through the gag. An Igigi soldier stepped forward, removing the gag from her mouth, he shoved her roughly.

Commander Tshrnau held his thin crystal screen before him to film Jal’ara. “Please go ahead.”

Jal’ara focused on the small crystal device. “If anyone is receiving this message, please heed the warning. These Igigi will kill me if a Crystal is not delivered to Lahmu within four days from now. Please contact Deanu, Crystal Guardian of the Atlantean civilisation, please relay this message to her.” She declared, tears welling up in her eyes again as she thought of her innocent parents sleeping in their bed with an armed Igigi soldier outside about to blow up their home.

Commander Tshrnau lifted a bushy eyebrow at her. “Why not address the Atlanteans directly?”

Jal’ara looked up at the Commander. “Bad blood between their Guardian of the Crystals and myself. Transmit the message to the Dragon High Council in Kemet, they will send it to the Atlanteans.” She replied listlessly.

Tshrnau smiled coldly at her. “Of course.” He handed the gold crystal device to one of the soldiers. “Take this to the ship, have the communications officer transmit the message to the Dragon High Council in Kemet. Tell him to make sure that our transmission beacon is cloaked so that the Council cannot track us here.” The soldier nodded, leaving for the tunnels.

Jal’ara hoped that Enkarath still considered her worth saving after all she had said to him about Deanu. They had not spoken since her return from Lahmu eight months ago when she had disclosed what had happened on the cargo ship between Deanu and E’jah. She had tried several times to reach out to him in Kemet, but he never returned her communications. She had recently discovered through T’ptal, that Enkarath had returned a few months earlier to Mayach and was now living with Deanu. He was travelling to and from Kemet to monitor the Power Crystals at the Pyramid complex.

“I shall be contacting the Atlanteans shortly Jal’ara. Let us hope that they will give us a Power Crystal to spare your life.” The Commander stated coldly, his intense gaze upon the young engineer. In the meantime, I will release your restraints and we will return to the ship. He removed her restraints, allowing her to stand; a guard on each side flanking her. The soldiers guided her towards the tunnel with Tshrnau following closely behind. Jal’ara rubbed her wrists to get the circulation back into them. She gingerly touched the side of her forehead, rubbing her painful bruise.

They made their way back through the dim passageway that opened onto the small subterranean hangar where the Igigi warship was stationed. Climbing the metal stairway, the small group entered the ship, making their way to the front of the vessel. The pilot and his communications officer were conversing with the soldier who had brought them the crystal device. The men abruptly ended their conversation when the Commander entered the cockpit.

“Has the message been transmitted?”

Yes, Commander.” The navigations officer replied.

“Good, in one hour, open a channel to Azh’Laakia. Make sure the transmission beacon is shielded. Advise me when we are ready to communicate.”

Yes, sir.”



Two

Deanu and Enkarath were atop the Power Complex in Azh’Laakia, discussing Jal’ara’s kidnapping by the Igigi rebels. Elders So’thn and V’leena were present, their faces filled with concern and worry.

“We all knew that the Igigi would return eventually to claim a Power Crystal since their first attempt failed.” Elder So’thn sighed, his wizened face tired from the stress that the Igigi had caused the Atlanteans eight months earlier. “It was just a matter of time before they concocted a plan to work us into a corner again.”

“If we refuse to send them a Crystal, do you really think they would kill one of their own?” V’leena queried, her sharp, yet soft brown eyes closely studying Enkarath for his reaction.

“Yes, they will kill Jal’ara without hesitation. The Igigi are ruthless and are not known for negotiating. They will simply find someone or something else to use as leverage against you.” Enkarath stated simply.

“I see,” V’leena whispered, glancing to elder So’thn for his precious counsel.

So’thn sighed, his normally intense blue eyes listless. Wearily, he walked slowly over to one of the high stone arches that surrounded the apex of the complex. Sliding his wrinkled hand over the wall console, the archway became transparent to reveal the delicate rainbow crystal spires of the city. Tall slender trees dotted the beautiful metropolis, stretching for the first rays of the rising sun. Pink sunbeams spread across the white granite and marble buildings of Azh’Laakia, creating a breathtaking show of light. The old man watched the scene unfolding before him as his city awoke to the life-giving rays of the morning sun. Turning away from the viewing panel, he silently faced the small group before him.

“We shall give them a Power Crystal. Let this be our last altercation with the Igigi. Enough of this conflict with the Osirion.” So’thn declared in a loud voice; eyes filled with determination.

Deanu glanced at Enkarath, her turquoise green eyes wide with surprise. The tall Osirion engineer sighed, his muscular frame relaxing as he closed his eyes in thankfulness to the Elder’s declaration.

“There will be conditions of course.” So’thn murmured exhaustion filling his voice once again. “If we hand over one of our Power Crystals to the Igigi, they must never set foot on this planet again, ever!” He stated, anger filling his normally gentle voice.

“That shouldn’t be a problem Elder So’thn,” Enkarath replied.

So’thn glanced over at Elder V’leena, obviously communicating telepathically to her. The red-haired middle-aged woman nodded her head in agreement. Taking a deep breath, she fixed her attention on the young Osirion before her. “How many years left before the transport window between Lahmu and Herculobus becomes too distant?”



Enkarath raised a dark eyebrow at the Elder, his golden eyes filled with curiosity at her strange question. “Barely eight years remain to transport the gold to Herculobus before the planet moves out of reach for the Igigi ships.”

Elder V’leena looked away from Enkarath, her deep brown eyes locking with the gaze of a young engineer who was seated a few lengths away at a console. The young man’s fingers flew across his crystal display as he entered complex calculations into the crystal device. Moments later, he looked up at Elder V’leena, silently communicating with her. The older woman turned back to Enkarath. “Once the Power Crystal arrives on Herculobus, we estimate that within three years, the engineering required to transform the existing power grid to complete the integration for the crystal to transmute its energy will be complete. Within a few months, the crystals will be able to provide a stable atmosphere around Herculobus.”

Enkarath’s eyes widened in disbelief. “Three years? Are you sure Elder V’leena? That seems to be a tight schedule for the size of the engineering project required to build a new power distribution network.”

“Our engineer confirmed the length of time, taking into account the level of engineering that the Osirion possess, this is a pretty precise calculation.”

“Why is this deadline so important Elder V’leena?” Deanu inquired, wondering why the Elder was concerned about the length of time that the Osirion would need to create a terra-forming system on the rogue planet.­­

“The conditions are that the Igigi never set foot upon Earth again. We will destroy their base on Lahmu once the three-year construction period is up. They will have no need to continue transporting gold from the Abzu once the Power Crystal on Herculobus has stabilised the atmosphere.” Elder So’thn declared firmly.

Uncertainty flickered across Enkarath’s face. He appeared unsure about the Elder’s declaration.

“Enkarath? Do you see a problem with this?” Elder V’leena queried softly.

“There are over seventeen thousand Igigi that live permanently on Lahmu. They were born and raised there; I don’t see them relocating to Herculobus that easily.”

Deanu gently grasped Enkarath’s forearm. “I’m sure they will have the option to come and live on the Earth amongst their own people.” She murmured reassuringly.

“No Igigi will be allowed to come to Earth Deanu.” Elder So’thn replied firmly. “No exception. They will have three years to prepare, which is a reasonable amount of time. Our decision is final.” He glanced to Elder V’leena who nodded in agreement.

“Elder So’thn.” One of the technicians monitoring the communications console spoke up. “We have an incoming cloaked Osirion transmission.”

Enkarath strode over to the console, studying the transmission that flashed across the technician’s console. “That is an Igigi signature.” He stated tersely, looking across the room to Elder So’thn.

“Open a channel please.” Elder So’thn requested, gesturing for the technician to display the incoming transmission onto one of the immense ceiling to floor viewing screens. Straightening to his full height, he pulled back his frail shoulders, smoothing down the front of his white robe as he turned to face the shimmering crystal screen before him.

An image flickered briefly, stabilising to reveal the greying shaved head and broad shoulders of the Igigi Commander, Tshrnau. The Osirion gazed upon the small group, his icy cerulean eyes unwavering, bearded face devoid of any emotion.

“Elders, we meet again. I understand that you have received the incoming message earlier today from engineer Jal’ara?” A cold half-smile played about his thin lips.

“Yes Commander, we have.” Elder So’thn replied with equal coolness.

One of the Commander’s pale eyebrows lifted ever so slightly, amusement filling his flat blue eyes. “Am I to understand that you have reached a consensus?” He smiled icily through the screen at the Elder.

“We have Commander.” So’thn smiled in return, his gaze firm.

“Please, enlighten me, Elder,” Tshrnau replied curtly, his voice tinged with annoyance at the older man who appeared to be toying with him.

Deanu heard the older man take a deep breath, steadying himself as not to appear frail beneath the intense scrutiny of the Igigi Commander.

“We have agreed to allow a Power Crystal to be transported to Lahmu and given to the Igigi faction for the Osirion of Herculobus.”

Commander Tshrnau appeared pleased, a slow smile spreading across his taciturn features. “Well, that is pleasing to hear Elder. The Igigi faction will be thrilled about the good news. We have four cargo ships loaded with gold, leaving in three hours time from the Abzu en route to Lahmu. I will have one of their patrol ships retrieve the crystal from your complex and ...”

“There are conditions Commander,” So’thn interjected firmly, halting the Igigi warrior in mid-sentence.

Tshrnau lifted a greying eyebrow, his blue eyes darkening at the Elder’s statement. “Elder, you seem to misunderstand. This isn’t a negotiation, but a demand. There will be no conditions. We will assure the safe return of engineer Jal’ara to her complex. That is all.” He growled in a low threatening tone at the Atlantean Elder.

“Commander.” So’thn shot back in a surprisingly dark tone of voice, almost matching that of the Igigi Commander. “We Atlanteans are not concerned with your kidnapping of an Osirion engineer, the threats to kill this woman, or with your politics. I can just as easily refuse to hand over one of our Power Crystals and allow you kill this young woman. You and I are both aware that the Osirion have no power over us. I can just as easily have our ships portal to Lahmu and destroy your base before you can even react to the situation. We can portal all your Igigi warships into an unknown deep part of space in the blink of an eye. Don’t push me, Commander. Either you accept our conditions before you reclaim ownership of the Power Crystal or return empty-handed to Lahmu. Do not underestimate the Atlanteans Commander, yes we are a peaceful civilisation, but we can easily remove a warring threat from this planet and our solar system without a moment’s hesitation.”

Commander Tshrnau was visibly taken aback, his indigo eyes widened ever so slightly from the old man’s harsh retort. Silence filled the complex as the Igigi soldier pondered the situation, his features unreadable. Taking a deep audible breath, he finally spoke.

“What are your conditions Elder?” He sighed, clearly exasperated.

Deanu recognised the slight smile that played about the lips of Elder So’thn. She could feel his power and leadership flowing into the room. They all sensed it as they stood at his side; Enkarath glanced over at the Elder, nodding his dark head ever so slightly at the Atlantean leader.

I have never seen an Igigi with a look of defeat on his face like that of Tshrnau now.” Enkarath communicated telepathically to Deanu.

About time someone deflates his high and mighty bubble of self-absorbed tyranny.” She replied, chuckling.

“We shall deliver the Power Crystal to Lahmu ourselves Commander. Once there, we will want a signed declaration that the Crystal will be used uniquely to terraform Herculobus and not to be used for any military applications. We know that you have your own head of state on Lahmu, so have them draw up the treaty. We also want proof that you will have a Pleiadian Guardian to oversee the symbiotic merging and activation of the Crystal. If you do not find a Guardian, the Crystal will be useless to you and it will eventually self-destruct even if you place an artificial Guardian disc upon it.” So’thn stated firmly to the Commander.

Tshrnau’s bearded jaw appeared to be grinding tensely as he listened to the Atlantean. His brows knitted ever so slightly over his piercing blue eyes. “I think we can deal with that Elder.”

“I’m not finished, Commander.” So’thn shot back curtly.

“Continue, please Elder.” The Commander growled back, anger flaming in his eyes.

“We have calculated the amount of time needed for your people to engineer the power network needed to terraform the atmosphere of Herculobus. Taking into consideration your level of technology, we have determined that in three years the atmosphere of Herculobus will be stable enough to forgo the use of all monatomic gold. Therefore, in three years time, you will shut down your base on Lahmu and never return to our solar system. The Igigi faction will be forced to leave Earth, along with your men and warships. From that moment on, no other Igigi will ever be allowed to ever set foot upon our world again.”

The Igigi Commander’s pale face reddened with anger, his eyes dark with unbridled fury. “Lahmu is a permanent stronghold and our home; we will never shut it down, Elder! How dare you decide the fate of the Igigi Osirion?” His voice thundered throughout the complex, his tone rising in infuriation.

“Those are our conditions Commander. Take it or leave it. If your faction refuses, we will immediately portal your warship as soon as we are able to monitor you leaving the Earth. We will also portal out your warships around Lahmu and destroy your base. I suggest you discuss the situation with your head of state. I will give you twenty-four hours to confirm your acceptance. Don’t try to leave for Lahmu Commander, even if your ship is cloaked, our Crystals can detect your Ion engines signature as soon as you power up.” So’thn replied calmly, gesturing for the communications technician to cut the transmission abruptly.

The immense crystal screen flickered off, the image disappearing suddenly. Elder So’thn wavered slightly, his breath short as Elder V’leena steadied him, grasping his frail shoulders.

“Now that was quite a show Elder So’thn!” V’leena murmured, a large smile appearing on her pale smooth face as she observed the old man proudly. “Quite a bluff you put on! The Commander fell for it!”

Deanu and Enkarath stared in amazement at the frail man, shock on their faces. Deanu eyes widened as she absorbed what had just transpired.

“You were bluffing Elder So’thn? Really?”

The Elder smiled wearily at her, his intense sky blue eyes dancing with glee.

“I would never have allowed him to kill that young woman in the Abzu; it would have gone against everything I hold dear to our people and to all life on this planet. I took a very dangerous chance and it worked out in our favour. I’ll keep up the act until we get their signed treaty in our hands. I do not want to deal with these Igigi Osirion ever again.” He headed for the entrance to the Power Complex, V’leena at his side. Halting, he turned about to face the team of engineers and technicians who watched him expectantly. “Now, I need some rest. I want the technicians to monitor with the Power Crystals, any sign of a cloaked ship or ships around the planet. We know they are hidden somewhere, most likely in the Abzu. If your scans detect something, contact me immediately for further action.” Turning to face the entrance once again, he walked wearily out of the complex with Elder V’leena at his side.

Deanu and Enkarath watched the Elders leave, then shortly afterwards, followed them out of the complex. They descended the steep white granite steps of the pyramid, lost deep in thought. Enkarath reached for Deanu’s small hand, grasping it tightly within his own. The sun was now shining brightly, the morning air already humid and sticky. Birds chattered and sang in the treetops as the delightful aromas of baking bread and simmering fruit sauces filled the air.

“How about we leave for home and sleep a bit, we’ve been up all night my love,” Enkarath asked her gently, his golden eyes filled with fatigue as he watched her from beneath his long black lashes.

“I was thinking the same thing.”

Reaching the bottom of the complex, they headed down the white stone path to the nearby landing platform where Enkarath’s small dragon ship awaited them.

Three

Deanu awoke abruptly from a deep slumber, her brain swimming with fog as she struggled to clear her head. Something was not right, the room was dark, yet the faint sounds of singing birds reached her ears. She looked over to her side where Enkarath’s soundly sleeping body lay, his bare chest rising gently with each breath. She slid closer to him, kissing his stubbled cheek, her hands running the length of his nude, powerfully built long body. Enkarath sighed, drawing her gently to him. Deanu breathed deeply of his warm scent, nuzzling his neck. She still woke every morning with the cold fear that he was not beside her. She occasionally dreamed of him disappearing once again into the black pit, the same nightmare that haunted her when she had been on the Osirion cargo ship to rescue him from the Igigi on Lahmu.

She realised that it was mid-afternoon for she could still see the sun’s position in the sky through the gently flowing linen drapes that covered the open windows of her bedchamber. The sea breeze caressed her nude body as she slipped out of bed and padded barefoot across the cool marble tiles over to the windows; drawing open the drapes to allow the sun to penetrate the room with its golden rays. The air was refreshing, warm without the humidity like that in Azh’Laakia. The turquoise sea waves rolled gently onto the white sandy beach below while dolphins played in the distance. Large aquatic birds glided upon the warm updrafts, their cries faint in the distance. Enkarath murmured something in Osirion, moving around as he hid his head beneath the silken pillows.

“What did you say there, my love? You know I don’t understand a word of Osirion.”

“Come back to bed.” He murmured from beneath a pillow. “I’ll show you how grateful I can be.” He removed his head to gaze at her, golden eyes sparkling in the sunlight while she stood in front of the open window with nothing but a sly smile upon her face. Getting up on one elbow, his darkly tanned chest rippled with dense muscle. “Now, come to bed or I’ll get up and make love to you right on the window sill.” He laughed out good-naturedly.

Deanu giggled, running back to the bed to jump into it. Enkarath rolled over her, kissing her deeply. Pulling away from her lips, he gazed lovingly into her turquoise green eyes, tracing her long dark lashes with a single finger.

“I never want to be away from you ever again.” He murmured, gazing deeply into her eyes.

Deanu smiled up at him, her heart bursting with love. “Never again, I promise.” She whispered as he made gentle love to her for the remainder of the afternoon.

***

Deanu was outside in the garden gathering fresh vegetables for their evening meal. The sun was a bright orange fireball low on the western horizon, turning the calm sea to burnished liquid gold. Enkarath was over at the small power-generating pyramid at the edge of their land, verifying the power grid distribution for the small coastal villages that now inhabited the Mayach coastline. A shrill alarm sounded from the communications system set up in her sitting room. Picking up her basket loaded with greens, she hurriedly walked the stone pathway that led to her home. Entering the coolness of the house, she set her basket down and entered the room where the crystal screen above the communication panel flashed urgently with a message written in Osirion. She noticed the small golden dragon emblem that accompanied the transmission; it was from the Osirion Dragon High Council of Kemet.

Enkarath, you better come home now.”

What’s going on my love?” he replied, worry in his telepathic communication. “Is everything all right?”

You have a message waiting from the Dragon High Council.”

I’ll be there shortly.”

Fifteen minutes later, Enkarath entered the house. Removing the damp strands of hair from his eyes, he wiped away the sweat from his brow with his bare shoulder as not to soil the crystal keyboard of the communications console. Deanu entered the sitting room behind him, handing a cool wet cloth for him to wipe his damp face.

Thank you, my love.” He murmured accepting the towel from her as he opened the flashing message. A short message in Osirion flashed urgently across the screen.

“What does it say?”

Enkarath’s dark brows knitted together as he read the short message, his face tense. “The High Council wants me to leave immediately for Kemet.”

“Now? Why?” Deanu felt panic grip her heart. “Does this have to do with the Igigi?”

“I don’t know, maybe.” He whispered; worry filling his golden eyes as he turned to face her. “I’ll take a shower, have our meal and leave.” Kissing her on the cheek, he stood and left for the upper level of the home to clean up.

Deanu returned to the kitchen to prepare the evening meal. Anxiety filled her heart now, she was so fearful of losing him again to the Igigi.

Elder So’thn?” She queried, probing for a mind link to join with the Elder.

Yes Deanu?” his gentle voice filled her mind.

Enkarath has been called to urgently meet with the Dragon High Council in Kemet. Can you have one of our patrol ships over the Atlantic accompany him safely to Kemet in the next hour or so?”

Yes, of course, I’ll contact one of the ships immediately.”

Thank-you Elder So’thn.” She whispered gratefully.

Enkarath entered the kitchen a short time later, joining her at the table where she had prepared a light meal of steamed vegetables and greens. A basket of warm, fresh baked bread was on the table accompanied by soft aromatic cheeses and honey butter. The young engineer was attired in his formal black tunic and breeches with the logo of the Dragon Power Corporation emblazoned in gold thread across his chest. His jet-black hair hung in damp tendrils to his shoulders as he seated his tall muscular frame on the mahogany bench next to Deanu. A few days worth of dark stubble covered his strong jaw, giving him a more serious look than usual. His hazel eyes were dark, filled with uncertainty. He could feel the worry emanating from Deanu, her fear of losing him again. Taking her small hand in his large one, he gently kissed her fingertips.

“When this is all over, I want us to marry, my love.” He whispered his golden eyes filled with loving emotion as he watched her sea green eyes widen.

“You realise that marriage is a strange concept to us Atlanteans, right?” Deanu responded as she leant in to kiss him on the lips. “When we bond with one another, we are bonded in the heart and eternal soul and that is that. We don’t have elaborate ceremonies like the Osirion.”

“Well, call me a traditional Osirion male when it comes to marriage.” Enkarath murmured, smiling shyly beneath the damp strands of hair that fell into his eyes. He pulled out a small silken silver pouch from his belt, opened the drawstrings, and removed two beautiful gold rings. Placing them on the table, he picked up the smaller of the two, holding it between his forefinger and thumb.

“This golden ring has been forged from the purest Abzu gold. It is a promise of marriage and eternal love.” Gently pulling on the ring with the forefinger of his opposite hand, the intricately carved circle split apart in two. Taking the smaller of the two, carved and scalloped finely in pure gold, he slid the delicate band onto the fourth finger of her left hand. He then took the other larger remaining half of the golden ring and placed it back into the pouch. “I promise to marry you, Deanu, and to live the remainder of my life with you, and only you until the day I die.” He leant over, kissing her softly on her full trembling lips. “Now, read the inscription inside the ring.”

Deanu removed the intricately carved golden band from her finger, peering at the delicate flowery Atlantean script etched into the ring. “Until the day we unite as one. Enkarath.” She wiped away the tears that brimmed over her eyelids and down her cheeks. She picked up the larger second ring that was still on the table, splitting the two rings apart as Enkarath had done to her ring. Taking the smaller of the two, twice as large as her own band, she slid the golden ring onto Enkarath’s fourth finger on his left hand.

“I promise to marry you, Enkarath, and to live the remainder of my life with you, and only you until the day I die.” She whispered, kissing him in return. She picked up the other half of Enkarath’s ring to place it back into the silver silk pouch, but he stopped her.

“You must keep the other half of my ring; it’s your responsibility now. You have to hold onto it for safe keeping until we make the marriage official my love.” He murmured, kissing her hand. “I’ll keep your half with me until the time is right.”

They ate their meal in silence as Deanu admired the beautiful golden ring upon her finger. She never cared for, nor wore rings; but this finely crafted piece of jewellery meant the world to her now for it was from the man she loved more than life itself, her eternal love throughout the ages of time. Smiling to herself, she glanced up, catching the sultry golden gaze of Enkarath who had been watching her in silence. A sudden wave of ancient memories hit her, causing her to gasp as images of her past lives with Enkarath flashed through her mind. It was so intense, the love so real, that she began to sob while reliving the vivid emotions that raced through her heart and body.

“Are you all right?” Enkarath grasped her arm, trying to calm her with his empathic connection. Worry flooded his features as he watched her helplessly. He felt the intense emotional turmoil flooding off her body, hitting his senses like a hammer.

“I’m Okay.” She whispered, breathing deeply as she tried to slow down her rapid heartbeat. “I had a vision of our past lives together when we were on Viraco thousands of years ago. It felt so real.” She murmured.

“It was real my love. It is the same vision I had when I initially touched the Power Crystals back in Azh’Laakia following our first meeting. That is why at the moment, I knew that we were destined to be together. I fell in love with you that very day because I had known you since the beginning of time.” He whispered, kissing her leisurely upon the lips.

A sudden breeze and sound of swirling seawater came through the open windows of the kitchen. Deanu jumped up, pulling away from Enkarath who watched her curiously. Peering outside, she caught sight of the large Atlantean cruiser hovering over the dark sea beneath the rising moon, churning the waters with its silent engines.

“Your escort is here.” She declared, smiling at him innocently.

“Escort?”

“I asked the Elders if they would have one of our cruisers accompany your ship to Kemet. I didn’t want to take the chance of having the Igigi kidnap you again.”

Enkarath chuckled as he stood to his feet, helping her clear the plates and mugs.

“I’ll be leaving then, my love. I should return by tomorrow morning. Keep our bed warm for me.” He murmured over her lips, giving her one last deep kiss before heading out the door to his ship.

Deanu watched the small golden dragon ship lift noisily over her fruit trees and head towards the open sea its lights flashing green and red. The Atlantean cruiser slowly ascended over the swirling waters, cool blue navigational lights illuminating the coastline as it accelerated to join the small Osirion warship ahead.







Four

Deanu awoke the following morning to a gentle sea breeze caressing her face from the open windows of her bedchamber. It was early, the sun having barely crested the horizon beneath the cloudless indigo skies. She was surprised not to find Enkarath sleeping beside her. Rubbing the sleep from her eyes, she rose from the bed and slipped on a thin linen robe before heading downstairs.

Enkarath?”

Yes, my love.”

Are you still in Kemet?”

No, I’m here, down on the beach. I didn’t want to wake you.” He replied softly, an undercurrent of sadness in his telepathic connection.

Deanu joined him on the large smooth rock at the water’s edge. The clear waves lapped gently at the ancient stone as the rising sun’s warm golden rays stretched across the expanse of the smooth sea. Enkarath was staring off into the distance, his eyes unfocused. His golden irises reflected the sun’s powerful rays, giving him an almost godlike appearance that made her catch her breath as she watched him. His long shoulder length hair curled slightly in the early breeze, the fine black strands lifting and exposing his dark eyebrows. His jaw line was tense, his features pensive with distraction.

“What’s wrong my love?” she inquired, seating herself down next to him. She took his hand, wrapping her small fingers through his large ones. She could sense he was putting up an emotional wall against her, yet sadness and disappointment were still seeping through. “Please tell me what’s going on!” She prodded him, her voice edgy as she watched his blank expression.

“The Dragon High Council has mandated me to engineer the Power Crystal grid for Herculobus.” He murmured, gazing into the rising sun.

Deanu felt the shock flow through her body. Her mind grew numb as she forgot to breathe. Catching her breath, she grabbed his arm, tears welling into her eyes.

“You can’t leave; the Kemet Power Crystals cannot function without your symbiotic meld. You can’t leave me again.” She whispered, turning his head so that he could look at her.

“Deanu, I consulted with the Power Crystals in Kemet before returning home. They communicated to me that I can stay in symbiotic connection by taking a small travelling Crystal off the largest of our own. This way, I will be in constant communication with the Crystals in Kemet and be able to still oversee the power grid. There is no distance, nor time or space for the Crystals.” He said softly, gazing into her tearing turquoise eyes. “I have no choice Deanu. I must respect my people’s wishes. It is for the greater good of our planet and the safety of our civilisations and our future children.” He murmured, taking her hand and raising it to his lips.

“So you’re going to leave me for three long years to work across the galaxy on a rogue planet?” She cried out, pulling her hand roughly from his lips. Anger flowed from her and onto him, sharply penetrating his consciousness. He winced at her sudden empathic transfer.

“I’ll return to Earth as often as my schedule will allow me to. I’m sure that E’jah will help me in that department with the use of his speedster. His ship travels at hyperspeed; the voyage between Herculobus and Earth is little more than a few hours in his craft.” He pleaded, taking her hand once again.

“That means putting off our marriage for three years?” She whispered, as fat tear sliding down her cheek.

Enkarath drew close to him, holding her trembling body tightly to his own. “Weren’t you the one that said that Atlanteans are married in the heart? We are already one.”

Deanu wiped away her tears, nodding her head in agreement. She stared across the vast expanse of the warm sky-blue sea, her long auburn locks fluttering gently in the breeze.

“When are you leaving?” She asked absently.

“As soon as the conditions are met and accepted by the Atlantean Elders. I’ll be accompanying the Power Crystal to Lahmu upon an Atlantean cruiser. Once there, I’ll be meeting up with a team of specialised engineers and we will be transported to Herculobus by an Igigi warship. I’ll be in charge of the engineering project to construct the Power Crystal grid network on Herculobus.”

“The Elders knew about this?”

“Yes, they were in communication with the Dragon High Council all the time I was there.”

Deanu?” The soft ancient voice of Elder So’thn intercepted her thoughts.

Yes, Elder So’thn?”

Has Enkarath spoken to you about his meeting in Kemet?”

Yes Elder, we were just discussing the situation.”

Elder So’thn could feel the emotional heaviness in her telepathic transfer, he hesitated slightly before continuing. “The Igigi have accepted all our conditions. We have received the digital contract signed by the Igigi of Lahmu. We need you to come to Azh’Laakia for the preparation of the Crystal and its removal as soon as possible.”

I will be there shortly.”

“They need you back in the city?” Enkarath inquired gently.

Deanu gazed up at him. “Yes.” She murmured, slipping off the sea rock. “I have to get ready.”

“I’ll pack my equipment and luggage. I’ll be leaving once the Crystal is ready.” Enkarath replied, following her back to the house.



Five

Deanu descended from the ramp of the large Atlantean cruiser and onto the stone landing platform. She was flanked by two Power Crystal technicians that had accompanied her onto the ship to assure the integrity of the large Crystal that was destined for Herculobus. She had confirmed with her technicians that the padded secured crate was properly locked and sealed. Only Enkarath’s biosignature would be able to open the precious cargo once it reached its destination. The Elders, So’thn, and V’leena, waited for her with Enkarath.

“The Crystal is secure.” She stated, her heart aching as she watched the man she loved about to depart in deep space for an undetermined amount of time.

Enkarath, we wish you a safe voyage to Lahmu.” Elder So’thn began. “Please make certain that you have proof of a Pleiadian Guardian to bond with this Crystal once you reach Lahmu. If they cannot provide one, you must return here immediately with the Power Crystal. We will not allow the senseless destruction of one of our Crystals.” The old man stated firmly.

Enkarath bowed his head in respect to the Elder. “Yes, of course, Elder So’thn.”

Elder V’leena gently grasped the elbow of Elder So’thn. “We shall leave you two to say your goodbyes.” She interjected, guiding the old man towards the stone steps of the landing platform.

Enkarath drew Deanu to him. He held her tight in his strong arms, his heart beating strongly against the thin material of her robe. “I’ll return soon, don’t worry.” He whispered into her hair. Pulling back, he gazed deeply into her green eyes brimming with tears. “I’m always with you Deanu, you know that don’t you?”

Deanu nodded silently, her throat too constricted to speak as she gazed into his golden eyes. He lowered his head, kissing her gently on her trembling lips, tasting her tears. She began sobbing, her body racked with overwhelming emotion that flowed from her small body and into his. Giving her one last hug, he stepped away and walked over to the ramp, turning back to look at her once more, his long black hair lifting gently in the warming breeze. She watched the ramp slide silently back into the fuselage of the cruiser once he had entered the ship. The engines glowed silently with an intense white light, ready for takeoff.

The large cylindrical silver ship ascended silently above the city of Azh’Laakia, the morning sun glinting brightly off its smooth silver fuselage. Moments later, it accelerated, disappearing from her sight as it headed for Kemet to collect the travelling Crystal from the Pyramid Power Plant.

Deanu descended the stone platform, heading for the Power Complex, deep in thought as she mentally prepared herself to be alone once again. Reaching the Complex, she ascended the white granite steps slowly, gazing out over the crystals and stone spires of her beautiful city. The Complex hummed with the immense power of the Power Crystals, the stone vibrating beneath her feet. The sun was intensifying its heat as it rose towards its zenith in the cloudless azure skies. Once atop the Complex, she could hear the voices of the technicians inside as they conversed in low tones amongst themselves.

Deanu entered the busy control centre, nodding to the technicians and engineers who greeted her as she walked across the room to the staircase that led down to the Power Crystals. She descended the curving stone stairway, entering the generating room where the Mother Lode Power Crystal glowed and pulsed with immense energy that was channelled through the stone of the floor, walls and ceiling to be distributed all over the city and surrounding outlying areas. Taking a deep breath, she placed her hands gently on the live Crystal.

Greetings Guardian, we are pleased to connect today.”

Greetings Crystals, I am honoured to be in your presence.”

Guardian, there is so much sadness in your touch today. We know you are in pain because of the departure of Guardian Enkarath for the wandering planet, Herculobus.” The Power Crystals stated delicately in her mind.

Yes, I feel that I am losing him once again.” She sighed.

You shall always be as one Guardian. It is written in the Crystals; you are meant to be together and will always find each other.”

Thank-you Crystals for the encouragement.” She lifted her hands off the glowing mass, making her way back up to the control centre. The Power Crystals had given her hope and encouragement, her heart felt lighter now as she made her way across to where a communication technician was seated, monitoring the Atlantean cruiser that was headed for Kemet with Enkarath onboard.

“How is the flight going so far?”

“Fine Guardian, no sign of Osirion rebels over the Atlantic.” The young female technician replied, fingers flying deftly over the crystal keyboard as she monitored the flight of the Atlantean ship. “I have the signature of an Osirion warship over the Abzu right now.” She declared, transferring her signal over to one of the larger crystal viewing screens in the middle of the Complex centre.

Deanu watched the technician mentally advising Elder So’thn about the Osirion ship which was most likely Commander Tshrnau’s Igigi vessel now leaving the Abzu.

“What are Elder So’thn’s instructions?” she inquired of the young woman.

“Elder So’thn wants us to monitor the Igigi ship closely.”

“All right.” Deanu murmured as she watched the larger screen where the electronic image of the Atlantean cruiser was midway across the Atlantic ocean. The small blip, down in the Abzu, was making its way slowly north towards Kemet. The Igigi warship was not cloaked, they obviously understood that the Atlanteans could track them easily enough and did not bother to shield their ship. The understanding between the Kemet High Council and the Igigi was for Jal’ara to be brought to the pyramid complex in Kemet and delivered to Enkarath before he boarded the Atlantean ship with the Crystal for Lahmu.

The Igigi ship is leaving the Abzu, headed for Kemet.” She relayed to Enkarath.

Good. I miss you, my love.” He whispered in her mind.

Me too.”

***

Deanu spent the next hour pacing the Complex, checking the Power Crystal grid with the technicians, conversing with the engineers as they worked on a new power distribution grid on the Mayach coastline that Enkarath had designed and constructed with E’jah’s aid.

We have arrived at the Pyramid Complex, my love.” Enkarath smooth voice entered her mind. “I’ll be preparing a travel Crystal for the flight to Herculobus. Jal’ara hasn’t arrived yet, but judging by their speed, the Igigi ship should be here within half an hour or so.

Well, keep me informed. I’ll be heading back home soon.” She replied, her heart aching for the man she loved.



Six

Enkarath was in the largest of the three pyramids, removing a small Crystal growth from the main Crystal lode in the granite-generating chamber. The small Crystal was inert as he placed it into a small padded crate that two of his technicians had brought him from the complex command centre. Locking the crate with his bio-signature, he nodded to his technicians who removed the crate and left the chamber for the Atlantean cruiser docked down below near the causeway.

Earlier when he had arrived at the pyramid complex, he had taken a small surveying ship to visit his parents in Iunu. His mother had cried in his arms, his father taciturn while he explained his new mandate on Herculobus. He promised his parents that when he returned to Earth to see Deanu, that he would visit them too.

With a heavy heart, he left the main pyramid, walking down the causeway while his thoughts flew to Deanu and how much he was aching in that moment to be with her. Ascending the steps to the landing platform, he thought back to yesterday when he had promised to her that they would never be apart again, well, he was off to a bad start now. The abrupt roaring deceleration of a ship’s engines captured his attention just as a large Igigi warship appeared over the pyramid complex; an eagle’s head emblazoned in gold tiles across its fuselage. The ship touched down with a clamour next to the immobile Atlantean cruiser. Enkarath waited patiently as eight heavily armed dragon soldiers who had been stationed at the complex centre below, joined him noisily on the platform, surrounding him in a protective stance with plasma weapons drawn. The warm evening air from the surrounding jungle blew across the brightly lit pyramid complex. Enkarath gazed up at the faint stars shimmering through the powerful blue lights surrounding the glowing white pyramids. He could just barely make out the belt of Orion, the home star system of his people. His eyes traced upwards and to the right of Orion until he could discern the seven stars that comprised the Pleiadian system. A twinge of homesickness burst from his heart as ancient memories of his past lives with Deanu resurfaced. The love, passion, and work they had shared for millennia on the beautiful blue planet Viraco that once orbited the now supernova star, Maya.

The hatch of the Igigi warship opened with a loud long hiss, a metal staircase sliding down to the black granite of the landing pad with a deep rattling clamour. Jal’ara, alone, descended the shaky stairs hurriedly, her eyes catching sight of Enkarath several lengths away waiting patiently. Walking hastily away from the ship, she broke into a run, jumping into Enkarath’s powerful arms. She pulled away, watching as the large vessel fired up its engines once again. In a roar of smoke and billowing heat, the heavy craft pulled away from the complex and rose quickly into the higher atmosphere. The Osirion soldiers watched in silence, sheathing their weapons as they awaited instructions from Enkarath.

Jal’ara hugged Enkarath once again, sobs racking her body as she tearfully explained what had happened to her in the Abzu. Her white robe was heavily soiled, her pale blond hair unkempt and loose about her shoulders. Dried blood was in her hair, her face streaked with dust and dirt. Her wide blue eyes were slightly bloodshot as she grasped Enkarath’s arm while he guided her carefully down the stone steps of the landing pad.

“I can’t thank you enough Enkarath.” She whispered in a hoarse voice as they descended the steps.

“It was the Atlantean Elders that saved you Jal’ara. They are the ones that resolved to send a Power Crystal to Lahmu. I had nothing to do with it.”

“I am grateful to them then. Why did you come to greet me here for?” she inquired, gazing up at him.

“I was mandated to bring the Power Crystal to Lahmu. This Atlantean cruiser will take me there.” He replied quietly.

Jal’ara noticed the strained tone of his voice. “You’re going to hand over the Crystal to them and return to Earth, right?”

Enkarath sighed. “No, I’m not returning to Earth; at least not right away. I’ll be engineering a power-generating complex on Herculobus for the next three years. Once I reach Lahmu, I’ll be leaving with on an Igigi warship for the rogue planet.”

Jal’ara halted in mid-step down the landing platform. She watched him incredulously; her cerulean eyes wide with disbelief. “What about Deanu?”

“She’s pissed at me.” He murmured, taking Jal’ara’s arm to guide her down the stairs. Reaching the bottom of the landing platform, he turned to her, taking her hands in his. “I’ll leave the guards to escort you to the main complex. I must leave for Lahmu now. I’m relieved that you are safe and sound.” His golden eyes crinkled as he smiled at her.

Jal’ara grasped his stubbled face in her hands, pulling his head slightly downwards; she kissed him lightly on the cheek. “Thank-you for being here Enkarath, it means the world to me. Be safe.” Pulling away, she made her way to the complex at the end of the white granite causeway, the eight dragon soldiers in tow.

Enkarath watched her walk away for a few minutes, relieved that she was safe and unharmed. He turned and headed back up the landing platform to where the Atlantean cruiser waited. Reaching the large smooth silver vessel, he ascended the clear crystal stairway that had extended silently from the ship. Once inside, he made his way up to the bridge where the Captain awaited his presence. Nodding to the Atlantean officer, he made his way over to one of the empty seats next to the crewmembers, strapping his harness on securely while the Captain engaged the crystal drive.

The Atlantean carrier lifted silently from the pyramid complex, its crystal drive engines glowing with sparkling white filaments of cold fire. Within mere seconds, the large ship abruptly sped up into the upper atmosphere and into the coldness of space.

I’m off to Lahmu my love, Enkarath whispered telepathically to Deanu.

Be careful over there. Let me know how it goes. I miss you.” She sobbed back in his mind.


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