Welcome back to part two of two from author Andre Alan. For today’s piece, Andre has graciously provided an excerpt from his upcoming (hardcover and Ebook available everywhere on June 26, 2012) sci-fi/fantasy novel, Heaven’s Fate. Last Thursday, Andre gave us some insight into his writing process and the sources of his inspiration – today you can start to see how they’ve played out! Thanks again for the sneak-peek Andre, and best of luck with the book!
First, the hook:
Thame Elliot is Winter’s Legacy. On the planet Threa, in the human continent of Eioda, Thame is the one man everyone believes is prophesied to overthrow evil. Starting his journey to re-forge the Tundra Sword, a powerful relic from a time when demi-gods walked the planet, he is launched down a path that will either see him victorious as the hero or as the destroyer and the bringer of darkness. With the powerful ancient artifacts recovered from the Consummate of the Trust, events have been set in motion that will determine the fate of the heavens. All the while, secret societies and government agencies politic with elf and Orc diplomats that seek to control the world. Will Thame get revenge for his father’s murder? Will he live to fulfill the prophecy? The answers are written in Heaven’s Fate.
Now, without further ado:
Excerpt from Heaven’s Fate
By Andre Alan
Chapter One – The Information to What End
Thame Elliot let the right side of the heavy wooden double door slam shut behind him. The sound of squealing hinges was drowned out by the commotion in the dimly lit bar. A scantily clad young lady danced around the bar singing a ballad; seductively teasing patrons as she brushed past. Thame took a seat at the bar and ordered a glass of water which prompted several people sitting next to him, including the bartender to look at him with their eyebrows raised, not sure what to make of him. He was a few minutes late thanks to his confrontation in the Ura Forest, but his contact should not have left; it was common courtesy to wait at least fifteen minutes. Besides, Thame was paying good money for this information.
“Most people would pick a booth,” remarked a man with a high pitched, nasally voice, taking a seat at the bar. He wore a forest green cloak, hood pulled over his head.
“The snow falls heavenly on the tundra,” said Thame, using the pre-designated passphrase.
“All white,” said the man, pulling a bundle of paperwork stuffed inside a manila from his sleeve and covertly handing it to Thame. The informant’s face was covered in shadows and he wore black leather gloves. “I can save you some time if you like.”
Thame sipped at his water and gave the man an impatient look.
“He was a traitor.”
The singer was back on stage. As her song neared completion she wailed at the top of her lungs, striking a high note.
“It’s time for me to leave,” said Thame, his dark brown eyes simmering as he tried to keep his anger in check. He tried to get up and walk away from the stool but the hooded informant grabbed Thame by the wrist.
“I can understand how this information must make you feel,” the informant kept speaking. “Based on the data I gathered, your poppa, the great war hero, Alexander ‘Winter’ Elliot betrayed a secret to a society. Had him offed, made it look like a suicide and spread a false story about his death. Face it mate, he was a traitor to his count…”
The messenger didn’t get the opportunity to complete his sentence. He was unconscious on the floor. Thame stood over him trying to shake the pain out of his fist. The band and singer on the upraised stage abruptly stopped their soulful tune. Unfortunately, the informant that Thame struck into unconsciousness had knocked over the drink of the nearest patron sitting at the bar, who stepped back. The man hurriedly kicked over his chair in the process of avoiding drinks being spilled on him. This in turn tripped a waitress who spilt a pitcher of ice cold spirits on a group of rough looking men sitting at a nearby table.
Needless to say, when Thame looked up, he realized that he had set off a chain reaction which concluded with bottles smashing over innocent heads and bar stools breaking over people’s back. Someone caught hold of his shoulder, trying to spin him around and received a broken wrist for their effort. After avoiding getting caught in several larger brawls still breaking out throughout the bar, Thame found a dark corner. This gave him the time needed to cast an invisibility spell. He closed his eyes and began chanting in the ancient Elven language of curses and magic while his hands were clasped together, fingers intertwined in an intricate an ancient seal that made his index and middle finger resemble snakes fighting. With the spell cast in a matter of seconds, Thame snuck out the back door. Trudging through the city of Ardile with its skyscrapers and stone monoliths lining nearly every street, Thame’s invisibility spell began to wear off. His image fluctuated between a dim and fuzzy outline. The few people still in the streets at this ungodly hour scratched their heads in confusion, unable to believe what they were witnessing; the legendary invisible spell from a popular children’s novel. Most people shook the sight from their mind and kept walking, deciding to blame the unexplainable image on excessive alcohol consumed during an Ardile party. Once Thame was a safe distance from the bar and crowded streets of downtown, he let the weakening spell dissipate as a wave of nausea swept past his stomach and lodged in his throat. He grimaced forcing the bile back down.
After what seemed like an eternity traveling, Thame limped through the front door of his home, located on the outskirts of the Ardile suburbs and abandoned areas to the west. He was sweating and breathing heavily as he stumbled through the front hallway.
“What happened to you?” asked Autumn Augustus, running to support her nephew. She was tall with glowing caramel colored skin. It was easy for her to support his weight as they moved to the kitchen where she laid him on the polished marble table.
“Too… much… m-magic,” said Thame.
“Brace yourself,” said Autumn, furrowing her eyebrows as a deep sigh escaped her full lips. She shook her head, looking down at her nephew, stroking his dark hair as he writhed in pain. Her long, dirty blonde hair fell to the middle of her back which she let hang loose. Autumn began chanting softly, eyes closed in deep concentration. Her hands glowed with a warm blue light. She placed each hand over Thame’s feet and slowly let the light soak into his body as she traversed up to his head.
“Your manna reserves are completely empty,” said Autumn in the tone of a stern yet caring mother; the anger was clear in her voice. “Give me a minute and I will fix a potion. You know performing magic without manna can kill you. What were you doing? What were you thinking Thame!”
“I was out getting answers,” he responded more harshly than intended. He knew that she was only trying to help but her rapid fire questions were annoying.
“This is ridiculous. You’re going to get yourself killed. Here, drink this,” she said, forcing a bright, lime green liquid into his hand.
The sweet smelling mixture filled his nostrils as he gulped down the drink. “They said he was a traitor,” said Thame, springing from the table with renewed vigor and wiping his mouth. “I have some reading to do.” He walked away waving the manila folder. In the den, Thame took a seat at the dark oak table next to the window. The twin moons of the planet Threa provided enough reading light for Thame’s keen eyes. He could also cast a Hidari spell to create a palmed size ball of light to illuminate the small corner he occupied but figured his aunt would be watching closely and reprimand him.
Autumn looked at her nephew and apprentice, despite the warning in her heart she knew it was time to reopen old wounds and give Thame the answers he so desperately craved.
Later that night, Thame lay in the bed fully clothed and contemplating the disturbing reports the informant had provided. Autumn walked in and turned on the lights.
“You should put the things you have read out of your mind,” said Autumn taking a seat at the desk situated in the corner of the room. She folded her arms on her lap as she crossed her legs.
“How do you suppose I do that?” replied Thame.
“Easy, focus on the good things that you remember and leave this quest for vengeance alone. I know where this path will take you.”
“How would you know?”
Autumn let out a deep sigh. Her shoulders sunk as if carrying five hundred pound weights. She stared into her nephews rage-filled brown eyes, keeping them glued to her bright grey pupils as she spoke. “Your father, Alex, made me promise to never tell you this, but…”
Thame sprang up in his bed, body rigid. Holding his aunt’s gaze for several minutes as he tried desperately not to believe what he was hearing. In that moment, he realized that she knew everything. His eyes narrowed menacingly and his fists clenched by his sides. Slowly the anger and resentment seeped away and he asked, “After all this time?”
“We did it to protect you. You must be able to understand our concerns. Telling you this will open your world to an immense power that you have no hope of overcoming.”
“Who is it?” asked Thame, firing burning in his eyes.
“After that day he disappeared. I have exhausted every resource available to try and locate him.”
“Give me a name!” yelled Thame, slamming his fist into the wall next to his bed.
“You must understand that all three of us were best friends growing up. We were all trained at the same dojo.” Autumn took a deep, calming breath. “His name is Merle Keegan; tag-name Stratus… he betrayed the trust and friendship of Alex and murdered him with his own weapon.”
“Mark my words,” said Thame with conviction and fire burning in his brown eyes as he rose from the bed. “Once I have recreated the Tundra Sword, I will carve Merle Keegan’s heart from his chest.”
“Don’t you see Thame, the Tundra Sword was why your father was murdered. It only brings death and destruction. You cannot rebuild it.”
Chapter Two – The Evils
Miles Xavier could not help but think about his long silky smooth black hair brushing along the floor. He tried to ignore the hair tickling his bare feet as he sat in meditation. Directly in front of him, up a small flight of stairs, his teacher, Merle Keegan sat on the elevated dais. Miles did not have to open his eyes to know that his sensei sat motionless with legs crossed, quiet within his black, loose fitting hakama that was not cumbersome to his leg movements. The man tag-named Stratus had mostly jet black hair except for the diamond patch of white in the middle of his hair, like a white patch of fur on the head of a black cat.
At the back of the dais, seeming to surround Merle, loomed a large statue of a humanoid female. She reached out with four arms on each side of her body; including legs, the deity had ten limbs in total. The statue balanced her weight on one leg while the other folded at the knee and rested on top of the other leg like a man sitting cross legged in a chair; the stone likeness of Merle’s god of war, Sedjat. Several large candles lit the room which contained a plethora of items. Statues placed against the wall, shoulder to shoulder like a line of soldiers standing guard, all rare objects obtained by Merle over the years. The sparse lighting cast the room in perpetual darkness. The figures took on the aura of monsters waiting in the shadow to taste human blood. When Miles was younger and forced to enter this room on the heels of his sensei, he thought the stone creature’s eyes were drawn to the elaborate ritual carving on his left cheek.
“In the coming days an old friend of mine will be promoted to the highest office available. Empress of Eioda, ruler of the free world,” said Merle Keegan, eyes closed, breathing steady. He must have sensed Miles’ trepidation.
Miles did not respond.
“She has a nephew, Thame Elliot. I want you to shadow him,” said Merle.
Miles could not help but open his right eye just a little. He was shocked at the fact that Stratus would discuss such important business during meditation.
“Master,” said Miles. “What makes him so important? Mercenaries could be hired for this task.”
“No,” responded Merle hurriedly. “This issue is very sensitive and must be kept in a small circle. The risk is too great.”
“He can always be dealt with swiftly and quietly in order to save time.”
“He still has a few more steps on his journey before he can be allowed to re-enter the Circle of Life.”
Merle returned to his trance like state, reliving the ancient memories in his current consciousness. Somehow Alex Elliot had kept the birth of his son a secret from the world; no doubt envisioning that his offspring would be a target. But they were best friends back then and Alex had never kept a secret from his classmates when they were younger. Merle knew the Tundra Sword was meant to be his weapon. Their master betrayed his trust after promising him the weapon. Therefore, he would do what needed to be done in order to reclaim his birth right.
Andre Alan is from Hartford, CT and attended college in New Haven, CT. After graduating with a degree in international business and a brief career as an IT data analyst, Andre Alan decided to follow his lifelong passion of creating fiction entertainment. With a small amount of artistic talent, some of his first memories are of drawing. After a brief stint at poetry and comics, the timing seemed ripe to pursue fantasy novel writing. An avid video gamer, when there is time and an addict for cup noodles. Andre is a sports fanatic and a lifelong student of business.