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Prince Toreus Rhann and the Thuvian Rangers-original draft

  A Tale of Terra Prime

By

Carl E. Thompson

&

Joseph G. Thompson






Prolog:



Excerpt from Book of the Great Sphere. This Great Sphere of Terra Prime was created by an alliance of the Sidairian World Enginers and the Atlantean Time Sorcerors. On its many plates recide the descandants of eco systems and creatures taken from many alternate worlds and prreserved by the Sidairian Preservers.

***





Chapter 1: The Fountain



This chapter is headed off with a quaote from the Thuvian Chronicles relating to Prince Toreus II Rhann.



***



Prince Toreus Rhann is on a space bus that is taking him to Arcadia. He is dressed in a business suit and wearing a protomask that makes him appear as if he were an older man and not himself. As he sits in the shuttle liner’s couch, he confers with his Guider gem and which briefs on his mission. The shuttle docks at the Fountain Station and Toreus disembarks.

***



Prince Toreus Rhann is on the space fountain station waiting to enter a jump point down to Arcadia City, capital of the Arcadian Plate. . His father is the Emperor—also named Toreus Rhann—of Pangea.

While waiting in the crowded station for his jump point to be available, Toreus Rhann sits in an Apollo café-a interstellar franchise found almost everywhere and sips an Akaia beer (a local brew from the Easternmost province of Arcadia plate.) while looking out a window at Arcadia, which is a typical plate as far as structure goes. He can see the dome that covers the plate and maintains its atmosphere and the city far below. The fountain runs up from the center of the plate to space. Cargo is shuttled up and down the center of the shaft via a magnetic fountain. Elevator cars run along the outside of the fountain. Since they take time, tourists and honeymooners are the only people who use them. Toreus intends to take a jump point—a quantum entanglement transport—that will whisk him quickly to the surface, where his mission will begin.

Travelers awaiting their connections crowd the cafe. He spots two hulking Jovians mercenaries and many men and women from various plates, planets and worldlines who are clearly mercenaries bound for Arcadia where they hope to make profits in the civil unrest following the arrest of the popular Baron Nathaniel.

A mission to rescue the family of the Baron Nathanial Taylor, a cousin three times removed of Prince Toreus.

Accused of treason by the evil King Radu, Prince Nathanial was under arrest. His family, the Baroness Lois and his heirs, Nathan and Leo have gone into hiding.

Toreus volunteered his services to Imperial Marshal Kothar Khonn, his father’s chief military agent, whose son, Kothar Junior, is running this secret mission to rescue to Baron’s family. Even though Toreus would like nothing better than to bust his way into the Tower of Arcadia City and rescue Nathaniel, the mission calls for him to secure the two baronets and the Baroness only. Even though his father is the emperor, he must keep his involvement in this action secret from Chancellor , who opposes Pangaean involvement in all military adventures.

A Cold Plasma Shield in forearm guards shields Toreus. His only offensive armaments are a Short fighting knife and a small pistol. He will get the rest of his gear—including Shakorja, his lion and Ulysses, his falcon, when he reaches the ground. The Pangaean Secret Service has sent them ahead in a pre-positioning module.

He steps into what looks like an elevator and whisks to the surface where he emerges in what seems like a riot.

***







Chapter 2: The Imperial Court



In the capitol city of the Pangean Empire, XXXXXX, the Emperor Toreus holds court.

He sits on the throne in the huge courtroom. By his side is the Chancellor. People with business line up to present petitions to the Emperor or have their petitions read by lawyers.

The Emperor tries to concentrate on the mostly ceremonial business but his mind is far away on the events in Arcadia.

Eventually the court adjourns and the Emperor leaves to meet his Kotharr Khonn,Senior-who was also General Kothar Khonn,the Third-son of Kotharr Khonn,the First his chief military agent.Like his father before him,Kotharr Khonn was an allie and best freind tothe First Son of Thuvia.Kotharr Khonn,the Eldest was Old King Ulyseas Rhann's militatry cheif agent.They had help carve an empire,by helping win the Second Pangean World Wars,as did Ulyseas Rhann's father King Odyseus Rhann did in the First Pangean World Wars.

***

As the Emperor Toreus Rhann leaves the Court the Chancellor tries to button hole him and discuss the bill that he plans to put before the House of Princes--One of the two houses of the Pangean Parliament-- to prevent the use of Pangaean military forces off-plate for any operation that is not directly involved in the defense of the realm. The Emperor rudely tries to put him off because he is in a hurry to discuss his illegal operation in Arcadia with Kothar Khonn II. he tells the Chancellor that he will discuss the bill with him at the earliest opportunity but does not tell him that he intends to veto any such bill.

***

Emperor Toreus enters the War Room where Imperial Marshal Kotharr Khonn awaits him. With him are David Greystone-descendant to the legendary original General David Greystone-who fought in the Great Trongaroth Wars many centuries ago, the head of the Pangaean Secret Service and XXXXXX, the head of the Imperial Security Service as well as General XXXXX, the Chief of Pangaean Special Forces—himself a Thuvian Ranger—and Arenjun Sarkhon, the Ronin Time Sorcerer.The ancient temporal wizard was holding his Burmeses Atlantean Cat-Hecate in his arms-a Time Sorcerers familar -guide and spy,to help on their many missions through time and space.Sitting next the Emperor's seat,was his lovely wife the Empress Cassandra Rhann-not only his love,the mother of his four children,two sons Prince Toreus and Theaseus Rhann,plus the two daughter Princess Andromida and Castria Rhann.This is the Emperor’s Privy Council, the closest advisors to the ruler of Pangaea.

Kothar calls on the Secret Service chief to brief the Emperor on the operation’s progress.

Here there is an account of the events leading up to the arrest of Baron Nathanial Taylor and the Emperor’s decision to send in Special Forces to intervene.

The Emperor is concerned that his son Toreus has volunteered to participate in the action and he is not pleased. Kothar tires to assuage his anger and assure the Emperor that everything will be okay—even though Kothar himself is not sure of this. His own son convinced him that it would be all right. However, Kothar feels that the young Prince is too reckless and inexperienced for the subtleties of covert operations.

Nonetheless, the elder Toreus has strong misgivings about his son’s direct involvement in the covert action to rescue the Taylor family.

Despite his reservations, the Emperor signs off on the continuation of the mission. He feels that he can do nothing less due to his debt of honor to the Taylor clan.



****



Chapter 3: Unrest



Toreus is in the middle of a riot that began when Arcadian Police—mostly Kai’Vhan Mercenaries utilized force to break up a student demonstration at the Fountain Station. Toreus fights his way free of the crowd using his wrist shields. He focuses his violence on the cops preferring to avoid any injury to the civilians. Near the edge of the riot, a cab pulls up to him and opens its door. It is driven by XXXXX Vincenzo, part of the Vincenzo family who work as special operatives for the Sarkhon family of Atlantean Time Sorcerers.

Toreus rushes to the open cab door and jumps in. as they race away Vincenzo introduces himself to Toreus. Kothar Khonn sent him to watch out for him.

****



Chapter 4: Shakorja and Ulysses



Vincenzo drops Toreus off at a cargo depot not far from the space fountain.

The Prince enters the depot using a passcard and goes to a cargo module whose number he has memorized earlier. Using another passcard, he enters the module. Inside is a Mobile Special Forces center of the Pangaean Special Forces. Here there are weapons, small vehicles and a communications center. In addition, there is a stasis chamber containing a Thuvian saber cat and a Highlands Hawk. The saber cat is Shakorja and the hawk is Ulysses—friends of Toreus and key parts of his combat ensemble.

Toreus sends a confirmation message to the Mission Support Site aboard an orbiting spacecraft. The MSS acknowledges the message.

Toreus free the cat and bird from the stasis field. He greets both of them. The animals are augmented and are able to talk to Toreus via his Guider Gem—a device that links into the semi-mystic realm of holo-space which will fulfill a heavy role in our stories.

Toreus feeds himself and the animals. Shakorja complains about the canned rations since he prefers raw meat in his diet.

After the meal, Toreus suits up for his mission.



****



Chapter 5: Scarlet Shadow



The Mission Support Site is located aboard the starship Scarlet Shadow. The Shadow belongs to Thuvian Ranger Captain Colin O’Brien and his wife, Rachel. She is the ship's captain. The Shadow is in stationary orbit high above the Arcadia Plate. Rachel O’Brien receives the message from Toreus and forwards it to her husband Colin, who is already on the plate with his Special Ops team.

The couple has a bickering but loving relationship not unlike that of the Cramdens in the old Honeymooners series. Colin tends to be a little more reckless and a braggart. He has never met Prince Toreus though they both have served in the renowned Thuvian Rangers. Colin has certain misconceptions about the Prince, however.

Rachel informs her husband that Toreus heads for the meeting and that Colin and his Commandoes should be ready to help if needed.



****



Chapter 6: Recon



Toreus rides his spike (smart bike) to an alley not far from the meeting bar. The bar, called Makean’s Den, is one of the few places open during the curfew imposed by the government because it is a Fountain port watering hole for mercenaries, bounty hunters, privateers and spacer gangs.

The Prince dispatches Ulysses to scout from the air and sees that there are at least two vehicles that may be police surveillance units. Otherwise, there seems to be no signs of trouble. He instructs the hawk to continue surveillance and warn him of any changes via the Guider link.

He instructs the cat to watch from the alley’s street end and processed to the bar using a holo-cloak to disguise his military gear.



****



Chapter 7: The Den



Toreus enters the Den and looks around.

The joint is crowded with people, mostly bounty hunters here to collect the bounty on the Taylor family. At the bar, he spies two Jovians—big, hulking characters. These he recognizes as the hired bodyguards of Colonel Kothar Khonn.

In one corner of the room there are a group of Thulians—Neanderthals from a continent on the Pangaen Plate. Two of them are playing a game of choke. Two Thulians grasp each other’s necks and squeeze until one passes out. The others take bets on who will pass out first. Toreus frowns on the game considering it something that only morons do for entertainment.

His eyes scan past a group of spacers at on table and he catches the eye of a red haired, green-eyed female warrior. He smiles at her and she returns the smile, quickly averting her gaze. Toreus reminds himself that he is not here for romantic entanglements and conies to scan fro his contact.

In the far corner, he sees Kothar at a table with some other men.

Toreus heads for the table. Kothar looks up and nods to him, not wanting to address him by name. The Thuvian Prince sits down.

Kothar introduced the other man at the table. He is Joss Carpenter, the heads of House Taylor Security bearing the ancient title of Master of Assassins. Toreus is concerned that they are in the same place as Carpenter. The police want the MoA. Joss assures him that his contacts in the police will inform them of any possible raid. Toreus is not convinced.

Kothar and Joss inform him of the mission goals.

The Baron Nathaniel, held in the Royal Prison at the edge of town, cannot be freed without a large military operation. The Baron’s family is in hiding in a temple to the anti-spin ward side of town. This consists of the Baroness Lois Chandler Taylor and her two sons, Nathan, 14 and Lemonades (Leo) aged 10. They are the heirs to the family titles and it is their father’s wishes that they be taken out of Arcadia and into hiding. That way if Nathaniel is killed the Taylor family will not be wiped out and the sons and wife will be able to carry on the mission of freeing their homeland from the grasp of the evil King Radu Wallace.

Toreus’ job will be to retrieve the family and get them out of Arcadia

They discuss details of the mission.

It is at this point that Ulysses and Shakorja inform Toreus that there are Kai’Vhan police assembling outside the bar. Toreus receives a hawk eye view of the mercenary cops. It is clear that they are planning to raid the mercenary bar and that there could be only one reason for that. They want to get their hands on the conspirators.

Toreus starts a fight with the Thulian chokers in order to cause a diversion. The diversion blooms into a full-scale bar riot as the police storm in the door.

Kothar and Joss dodge out a side door and are stopped by police blocking that exit. Vincenzo tosses a stun bomb at the cops and the two officers escape in Vincenzo’s car.

Toreus shield battles the Kai’Vhan. However, he is cut off from any exit.

***







Chapter 8: Escape



The red headed female warrior, whose name is Antila Sojat, taps Toreus on the shoulder and leads him to a secret exit. The exit leads down to the underground of the plate.

Among the fleeing people are the two Jovians, some mercenaries and spacers and one of the Thulians—Paulo Torsi.

Toreus tries to find out Antila’s name but she is unwilling to tell him. They will meet again and eventually become lovers but for now she thinks that he is just a common warriors looking to get lucky and she’s not having nay of that.

Antila separates from Toreus, the Jovians and Paulo.



***







Chapter 9: Escape



Toreus and his companions wander through the Arcadian Underground, the upper infrastructure of the plate on which Arcadia is built. The Trongoroth and Plate Dwellers should be referred to here though a more detailed explanation of them will follow in the Chapter entitled Underworld (Chapter 19).

The Prince tries to put the images of the woman out of his mind, realizing that they will only distract him from the mission ahead. He also tries to ignore the annoying attentions of Paulo, who has a man crush on him.

He decides that he needs the help of Shakorja and contacts the beast via his Guider. The Guider calls up an ancient map of Arcadia City’s underground and the Prince instructs the cat to wait fro him at a nearby entrance. Toreus and his companions move off in that direction.



***

Chapter 10: Radu



King Radu Wallace of Arcadia is in his private office chamber with some of his henchmen. They are a motley crew.

Among them are his nephews Duke James Wallace (a tall thin, quiet man who carries a Tionka—a type of ape-like alien pet that produces an addictive venom.) and Prince Wesley Wallace (who wears his blond hair in dreadlocks, a style he learned on the far off Arcadian colony of Earth 3261. He is the heir designate to the throne because of the elder James’ lack of authority and courage). Also there are Sir Marc Hadron Phasier (a virt addict who wears a virt helmet that paints a virtual world of his own liking around him), Sir Leslie Tolbert (a loud mouthed moron and child molester.) and the James Irby, the Earl of Saratoga (who originated from Earth 3261 and is renowned for his meanness and sadism in dealing with the enemies of the Wallaces. He is the House Wallace Master of Assassins).

Saratoga outlines all of his forces efforts, so far, in the search fro the Taylor family. He has place a guard force on all exits from Arcadia and has put the Arcadian Army and Space Navy on alert to back up the Kai’Vhan mercenaries if the need arises.

Radu is concerned about the lack of progress in the search for the Taylor family. He does not feel that he can complete his bid to take over complete control of Arcadia until this rebel family is in prison of killed.

He is also concerned about the ultimatum that he has sent to the Emperor of Pangaea warning the Pangaea not too interfere in internal affairs of Arcadia. From long experience, he knows that the Emperor holds him in low contempt and it is only by the intercession of the Chancellor that he has managed to keep Pangaean troops off his front doorstep.

As is his habit Radu takes his worries out on his subordinates, all of whom are inveterate cowards and ring kissers. Radu demands that they increase their efforts to locate and arrest the Taylor family and that the guards on all exits from Arcadia are doubled.

***











Chapter 11: Alley Fighting



Now emerged from the underground Toreus makes his way down an alley headed toward where Shakorja awaits him with his spike. He has Ulysses scanning above and it appears as if the coast is clear. However, his combat honed senses nag him that this might not be so.

Kai’Vhan mercs with stealth costumes jump him. Toreus and the Saber cat go into battle mode, the Prince firing up his shield and drawing his knife. The big cat does not unnerve or frighten the drugged up cyborg Kai’Vhan. The animal’s claws claim several victims. Toreus fights the Vhan troops and breaks free to mount his spike.

***



Chapter 12: Colin



Before Toreus can exit the alley on his spike, he finds his way blocked by armed humans also riding spikes. He draws to a stop but the new soldiers raise their weapons and fire at the Vhan that are chasing the Prince.

These soldiers are the Rangers of Colin O’Brien’s team. They have raced to aid Toreus. Together they escape the Vhan ambush and head off to a rendezvous point under an overpass in the city.

***



Chapter 13: The Taylors



Duchess Lois Taylor and her two sons, Nathan and Leo, are hiding in a temple of the Arcadian Universal Church. With them is Father Philip Cho, the pastor of the church and an old friend of Duke Nathaniel Taylor.

Father Phil is concerned with the constant police canvassing of the neighborhood around the church. The long-standing custom of Church as Sanctuary in Arcadia will soon be broken by the eager off-worlders that King Radu has hired to supplement his police force. Already the police have placed a sniper lookout in the church tower.

The family is concealed in a hideaway in the basement of the church. There Lois prepares herself to fight off any incursions, as she is a Sister of the Holy Magdalene and a skilled hand-to-hand fighter. She trains her son Nathan in combat as a supplement to his hyper-mentation training. Young Leo watches the sparring with his robo-bear, Tim. Most well to do Arcadian children have such bears that serve as both governess and bodyguard. Tim, however, is no ordinary robo. He has been augmented with Atlantean and Mechan devices by Leo’s father, Nathaniel.

***















Chapter 14: The Garage



Toreus, Colin’s crew, Kothar and Joss gather in an old garage that has been turned into a mission hide site.

Toreus sends Ulysses to scout the area around the temple from the air. They spot the sniper nest in the bell tower and realize that it can watch all the approaches to the temple and kill anyone approaching.

The Prince has Ulysses scout out an approach to the temple that will give them the most cover from the sniper.

The team assembles and moves off toward their target mounted on spikes.

***



Chapter 15: Assault



Toreus, Colin and members of the team move through the alleys toward the church. Along the way, they take out Kai'Vhan police officers and enter the church.

Toreus moves up the tower to the balcony and dispatches the sniper and his scout with his bare hands. Then he rejoins Colin on the ground floor and together they move toward the Taylors’ hide.

Toreus enters the hide and is jumped…

***

It is Lois who has attacked the Prince. She battles him using techniques of hand-to-hand favored by her sisterhood. She moves too fast for even the hulking prince to get a blow in.

Toreus activates his shields and throws her off. It is then that father Phil enters and recognizes the Prince, introducing him to the Duchess and her two sons.

Toreus contacts Colin’s Rangers and they knock out the power, plunging the neighborhood into darkness. It is then that the Rangers and their charges leave the church and board the vehicles that are now waiting in front of the church.

Father Phil waves good-bye to the Duchess and her sons as they move away into the night.

***



Chapter 16: The Bridge



The team comes to a bridge that leads across the Arcadopolis River to the part of town from which the Space Fountain arises. They discover that the bridge is heavily guarded by units of the Arcadian Army and is mined. Apparently, the entire town has been alerted and heavy military and police units are surrounding the approach to the Fountain.

Toreus and Colin must decide whether to fight their way through or find another route out of Arcadia.

They decided that they must get to the space fountain and that the bridge is the only way.

***

They decide that half the team will cross the river on hover-mode positioning themselves behind the guard to draw their fire. The rest will cross the bridge under that cover. The family will be with this element.

The second section attacks the rear of the Arcadian unit guarding the bridge. Toreus, the Taylors and the first section charge across. They receive heavy fire. Toreus’ spike is hit and crippled. He abandons the vehicle and retrieves its AI brain, the only part of the vehicle that is irreplaceable. He jumps astride Colin’s spike and they charge forward to the other side of the bridge where the second section has already killed off most of the Arcadian troops.

The two sections regroup and head off toward the Fountain before the enemy can regroup.

***



Chapter 17: The Prisoner

Marc Hadron Phasier goes to visit the imprisoned Duke Nathaniel to taunt him about his wife and children. The Duke refuses to let the little man get his goat.

While Phasier is visiting the prisoner, the news that the family has been sighted in the city reaches him. He rushes away leaving the Duke with a little smile.



***









Chapter 18: No Easy Way Out

The team funds their way to the Fountain blocked by heavy military and police units. There is no easy way off the Arcadia plate. They hide in a storm drain and discuss alternative plans.

They decide that taking the underground might be the best choice and strike off toward the Fountain.



***



Chapter 19: The Underworld

Toreus and the team move through the underground labyrinth under Arcadopolis. Much of the complex has been abandoned since the long ago war with the Trongoroth—an insect like alien invader that once infests Terra Prime. The lower levels of the underground—those closest to space—still show unprepared signs of the devastation in places. There are rumors—perhaps urban legends—that Trongoroth have been seen in the lower levels of the Sphere. There is even a plate that is totally a Trongoroth eco-system. Terra Prime is a work in progress and is yet unfinished since the Sidairian builders have refused to do so under the Guild Treaty that they do not aggress with.

Also living in the underground are the Plate Dwellers, a species of humanoids, cultured by the Trongoroth genetic engineers, who live and work in the underground and maintain the systems of the Sphere in the absence of the Sidairian builders.

Colin suggests that they might go down to the outer shell of the plate and wait there for the Scarlet Shadow to pick them up. Toreus points out that it will take too long for the starship to make its way from the inner side of the plate to the outer. Their enemies might find them long before that.

It is then that they encounter a group of plate dwellers.

***



Chapter 20: Master of Assassins

Joss Carpenter is at one of his safe houses. He is concerned with the whereabouts of the rescue mission. Kothar has returned to the mission support site on a neighboring plate. Joss is still in touch with him via the grimoire—the holo-space unit that Carpenter possesses and holds in trust for the Taylor family.

Carpenter checks with, Niel, the codename for an informant that he has cultivated in the Arcadian Federal Police. He tells Joss that the fugitives are thought to have entered the underground. Carpenter gets in touch with his friends among the plate dwellers and has XXXX Vincenzo, take him to a meeting with them.



***













Chapter 21: Plate Dwellers



Toreus and h is team run into a group of plate dwellers. The Plate Dwellers are humanoid beings whose genome has been altered by the Trongoroth. The live in the underground of all the plate of Terra Prime and perform maintenance tasks that the Sidairian refuse to do in light of the Guild Treaty.

The PDs take the group to one of their dwellings and feed them. The main stay of PD food is based heavily on mushrooms and other fungoids that are grown in the Underground. The plate dweller leader, XXXX, informs them that his people are in contact with Lord Carpenter and that he is on his way to help them.



Chapter 22: The Genesis Bunker



Joss Carpenter enters the underground near the center of Arcadopolis, in a place that known as the location of the ancient Atlantean Genesis Bunker.

The GB is an ancient installation and there is at least one on every plate of Terra Prime. It is unlocked by a key that is entrusted only to Atlantean Time Sorcerers and their familiars. The Bunker is a repository of vital knowledge and machinery in case of a catastrophe and contains access to World Wells that allow the Sorcerers to access their network of wormholes directly.

Once Carpenter is underground, he sees that the GB has been opened and that trucks loaded with Kai’Vhan are coming through from one of the other Earths. It is clear that the Kai’Vhan mercenaries have hijacked the Genesis Bunker and are suing the World Well to send their troops into Arcadia.

Carpenter heads off to find Toreus and the Taylor family.

***



Chapter 23: Intervention

Emperor Toreus meets with his Privy Council again. He is concerned with the developments in Arcadia that have been reported to him by the agents of his personal intelligence service—the Talon. Things are not getting nay better and the policies of his plate that tie his hands are not helping.

He assigns Kothar Khonn to do something about the situation behind the Chancellor’s back.



***



Chapter 24: The Underground War

Joss Carpenter and Toreus have joined forces. They have decided to go to the Genesis Bunker and with the help of armed Plate Dwellers take it away from the Kai’Vhan. Joss also believes that he can use the Well of Worlds to help the Taylor family escape to a worldline of sanctuary.

Colin is not so sure of the situation. The Plate Dwellers are not professional soldiers and the Kai’Vhan are nothing but. He would much rather move up to the base of the Fountain and try to fight their way up to the station. Colin points out that the Fountain is 10,000 kilometers long and that they might have to fight every meter of its length. Colin finally agrees that the Bunker is a better choice.







Chapter 25: Dark Knights

Kothar Khonn Jr. and his commandoes prepare to raid the prison and rescue Duke Nathanial. With them is Arenjun Sarkhon. They are headed toward the prison in an airship.

All of the troops aboard are from the Thuvian Rangers Dark Knights Commando Group. All are highly trained Special Forces operatives. With them is Arenjun Sarkhon.

The plan involves Imperial intelligence agents disrupting the power of the area around the prison as the Commandoes move in and head for the Duke’s cell, neutralizing all resistance that they encounter. Timing will be important. They want to get in and out as quickly as possible and get the airship—that is holographically disguised as a cloud—away as quickly as possible. Once it is clear of Arcadopolis airspace, it will uncloak and will—disguised as a commercial airship—head for a jump gate on the edge of the Arcadia plate.

Kothar Khonn Jr. is concerned that if this mission goes awry then he will be responsible for defaming the Emperor and starting a war between Arcadia and Pangaea. He discusses his concerns with Arenjun Sarkhon, who is with him in the airship and will participate in the raid.

Arenjun knows that the Chancellor will use an elicit military action on the part of the Emperor as an excuse to make the role of the throne in ruling Pangaea smaller and increase the power of the Parliament. Not that that, in his estimation, would be a bad thing but not in the hands of the current Chancellor XXXXX and his ilk. Arenjun sees himself as the lone protector of Terra Prime from the Guild and its allies. He knows that the Chancellor is a stanch supporter of the Guild and a good friend of the current Guild President XXXX Satanis. He does not trust the Guild for this reason, among many others, and does not wish to be responsible for turning the Empire over to their hands.

He says a prayer to the Gods and prepares himself for the coming action.

***



Chapter 26: Armageddon



The Plate Dwellers explode a mine under a Kai’Vhan convoy in a tunnel that leads away from the Genesis Bunker. The little people attack the vehicles and a furious firefight ensues.

***

Toreus and his commandoes assault the open bunker and mange to kill the guards. Once inside they close the door trapping them in the Bunker and keeping the Vhan on the outside.

Lord Tolbert is inside and he makes an attempt on the life of Lady Lois. She turns his attack aside and Toreus breaks the man’s neck with his bare ands. Tolbert craps himself as he falls dead to the floor.

***

Kothar’s force hits the prison.

They fight their way to the Duke’s cell.

Arenjun’s detachment makes its way down into the bowls of the prison freeing inmates and fomenting a riot. They will continue down and exfiltrate via the underground where they will make their way to the outer skin of the plate. There they will be picked up by a starship that is owned by a privateer mate of Arenjun’s—Carter Tauran.

***

When the Dark Knights enter the VIP ward where Duke Nathaniel is held Lord Saratoga flees and Kothar gets into a fight with Phasier.

***

The Dark Knights evacuate the Duke to the roof and into the waiting airship. Kothar is separated from his force as he combats Phasier.

Kothar manages to kill Phasier and then follows his troops to the roof. When he arrives, the airship is gone and Wallace troops close in on him.

***

Toreus, Joss and the Taylors are trapped inside the Bunker. The Wallaces are trying to cut their way in using graser cannon. However, the ancient Atlantean material with which the bunker is made soaks up the energy and drains it off into the GB’s power system.

Toreus has taken the Key sword from Lord Tolbert and he uses it to open a time space portal in the Well of Worlds. Joss and the Taylors will use it to escape to one of the alternate Earths where they can go into hiding amongst its population of humans.

Joss urges Toreus to come with them. However, the Prince refuses. He cannot abandon Terra Prime while there is work to be done. He and Shakorja will stay behind in the bunker and try to find another way out.

***













Chapter 27: The Long Future



Kothar is lifted off the roof by a spider line from the airship. Arcadian troops fire at the ship and are mowed down by the gunners on board the ship. As the airship withdraws Arcadian robot fighters pursue them.

The captain of the airship throws a jump point in front of the ship and it heads through it to another plate—a friendly plate. The hole closes before the enemy can pursue them.

***

Arenjun and his crew have made it to the skin and use jump points to board Carter Tauran's ship. They head away for the Time Sorcerer’s Space Castle.

***

Colin and his men make it to the top of the fountain and board the Shadow. As his ship casts off Colin wonders how his friend Toreus is doing.

***

The airship arrives at a camp in Jurassica. There Kothar is greeted by his father who has flown there to prepare an Arcadian Resistance base that will be turned over to the command of Duke Nathaniel.

The Duke takes command of the Arcadian Rebel Alliance. He looks forward to a future in which Arcadia is free and he can be reunited with his family.

***
Toreus and Shakorja are alone in the cavern of the Genesis Bunker. The Prince thinks back on his adventures in the last few days and considers taking the Well as a means of escape. This is the end of this novel and sets the setting for the beginning of its sequel—Tentative Title: Toreus Rhann and the Stalkers of Time. http://

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