Read Chosen Online

Authors: Lisa Mears

Tags: #fantasy, #magic, #gods, #portal

Chosen

 

CHOSEN
By Lisa Mears
Published by Lisa Mears at
Smashwords
Copyright 2013 by Lisa
Mears

 

Prologue
Finally, the time is near. I
can’t believe we’re actually going to do this. I cannot begin to
explain the feelings I have about our forth-coming adventure. All
is in readiness for our departure. I wish we could leave right now,
waiting has never been something I suffer gladly. But before I get
too carried away, perhaps I should tell a little of how it all
began; after all, I am to be the chronicler for my world, of this,
our greatest adventure, so it only seems right to start at the
beginning.
We are a species who inhabit
the cold, dark reaches of space; although we are known by many
different names throughout the universe – some have even called us
gods -- we call ourselves Uthians. We communicate mind to mind and
have the ability to change our appearance if necessary, but mostly
we remain in a pure energy form for ease of travel. Once, Uthians
populated the universe but now only nine of us remain. We believed
we were immortal and free to do as we pleased, but sadly this
proved not to be true. We cannot reproduce and it took a long time
before we realised our destruction was caused by the taking of a
life. ‘One for One’ we call it; when an Uthian takes a life, any
sentient life, their own is forfeit and they cease to exist.
The nine that remain are:
Freya, Epona, Isis, Janus, Apollo, Ragnar, Anubis, Helios and
lastly me, my name is Minerva; we are all that is left of the once
mighty race of Uthians. So long have the nine of us been together
we have become like family, and like any family we have our
differences. One of our greatest problems is Anubis, he found a way
around ‘One for One’ by getting others to do his killing for him.
Anubis has caused wars on many worlds and some of the others have
said they would like to see him banished but Janus and I explained
it would be a much better idea to keep Anubis with us and thus keep
him under some control; luckily, our wisdom prevailed and Anubis
remains.
But for once, we have all
agreed on something, our ‘Great Adventure’. It wasn’t easy, we had
to come up with rules we were all willing to abide by, but finally
we reached a consensus and our journey will soon begin.
I suppose I should explain how
the idea of our ‘Great Adventure’ started and what it is we are
actually intending to do.
It all began with a feeling of
discontent, none of us remembers who felt it first but it wasn’t
long before we were all affected. Discontent soon escalated into
bickering and before long outright hostility. Epona, who is the
most sensitive of us, came to speak with me. I must admit, I was
not the most accommodating.
‘Something must be done about
our constant arguing,’ she said. ‘It is ripping our family
apart.’
‘What do you want me to do
about it?’ I snapped at her. I saw her cringe and it made me feel
bad. But that didn’t stop me from saying, ‘stop your whining Epona,
you’ll just have to learn to live with it like the rest of us.’ To
her credit she stayed and explained to me her solution and even
asked my opinion. This is what she said.
‘We have lived long lives,
longer than any other race in all the universes but what have we
really accomplished, nothing.’ I couldn’t argue with her, she was
right. ‘Perhaps if we had a reason for our existence, a purpose, we
would feel more fulfilled.’
‘Do you have something in
mind?’ I asked, intrigued by what she had said.
‘As a matter-of-fact I do.
Would you like to hear my plan?’ She was so excited.
What I said next was
unforgivable and I did eventually apologise, but I know it hurt
Epona at the time.
‘Stop being so damn
melodramatic, if you’ve got something to say, just say it and be on
your way.’ She continued, but I had killed her enthusiasm.
‘I have found four planets
which are interconnected by worm-holes, she said. The worm-holes
are closed at the moment but that shouldn’t be a problem for us.’
(Helios later explained it as four worlds that occupy the same
space in four separate universes). ‘We could become the guardians
of these planets and nurture them to maturity. Not forever of
course,’ she added hastily. ‘We could make a challenge of it;
something like, whose ever planet turns out the best in a given
time-frame is the winner.’
I was hooked. ‘What a brilliant
concept Epona, how did you ever come up with it?’ Her smile and her
enthusiasm returned.
‘You like my idea then, do you
think it will work?’
‘Most definitely’, I said,
‘let’s go tell the others.’
It turned out it was not as
simple as explained by Epona, but eventually we thrashed out a
working plan which was agreed to by all. The following are the
basics of that plan.
All of us would contribute some
of our energy to form a cloak over the four worlds, thus stopping
any outside interference. With all our energies combined we would
not be able to drop the cloak unless we all agreed -- which was
never likely to happen – so a failsafe was needed. It was decided
one of us would remain outside the cloak (Helios volunteered). We
would set a challenge whereby the worm-holes must be opened by a
certain time by the inhabitants of our respective worlds; if this
was not accomplished in the given time-frame it would mean
something had gone wrong and Helios would be required to open a
worm-hole from outside the cloak. Unfortunately, this would cause
the destruction of the four planets inside the cloak, but it was
unavoidable if we were ever to escape the cloak.
Two of us were assigned to each
planet which we could name as we saw fit. We would have no contact
other than with our partner and we could interact with the
inhabitants of our own worlds any way we chose. Apollo and I have
named our planet Elaxier, Janus and Freya have Earth, Ragnar and
Isis have called their planet Naturine and Epona and Anubis have
Chaos. I don’t think poor Epona had much say in the naming but she
seems happy enough.
We have finally arrived at what
is to be our first permanent homes and I couldn’t be more happy. We
have said our farewells and it is time to initiate the cloak.
For one fleeting moment a
shimmer surrounded the planets and then they vanished from
sight.

 

Chapter One: ELAXIER
Daria awoke gasping for breath.
Her heart racing, her body wet with sweat. ‘It’s that dream again’,
she thought as she lay panting in the dark, ‘what is it trying to
tell me?’ Daria had been in an almost constant state of agitation
for the past month. Each night was identical to the last; she would
fall asleep only to be woken a few hours later by the same
frightening dream, filling her with a sense of dread and
foreboding.
She lay still in her bed,
trying to pull the scattering threads of the dream back, in the
hopes of remembering enough to finally interpret the message.
Daria lived on Elaxier, a
planet called ‘The Jewel’ by its people. And it truly was a jewel.
A peaceful world dedicated to learning and the betterment of its
society. The Elaxi were a beautiful race, tall and strong and
gentle natured, each with an ability that was nurtured by the
Elders working in the temples of Minerva and Apollo. Most Elaxi
abilities were mild and so, after a few years of training they
returned to their homes and continued on with their everyday lives.
Occasionally an Elaxi would demonstrate extraordinary power these
were the ones who remained in the temples sometimes for centuries,
learning to wield and control the power, eventually becoming the
next Elders. Daria was one of these people.
As the sun finally began to
send fingers of pale morning light through the branches of Daria’s
home, she came to a decision. ‘I will speak to High Elder Timus of
this dream, perhaps he can help me with its interpretation,’ she
thought as she left her bed to ready herself for the day
ahead.
Today would be a long day; it
was the ‘Festival of the Guardians’ and people would be coming from
miles around to celebrate at the sacred temple of Minerva and
Apollo. Daria had promised High Elder Timus she would be there to
help and to offer dream interpretations for the populace. She had
also promised to spend some time with her friends Gilster and
Haven, but that would have to wait for later, more likely when the
festival was over. But it was vital she speak with them soon, this
morning her dream had seemed to indicate they were somehow
involved.
Daria dragged herself out of
bed; tired from the lack of sleep she shuffled around the room like
an old woman. ‘Pull yourself together,’ she thought, rubbing her
hands briskly across her face, ‘High Elder Timus is counting on
your help today.’ Splashing water on her face to try and wake up,
she caught sight of herself in the mirror. Dark circles marred the
skin under her eyes and her hair was a tangled mess. She looked a
wreck. Brushing her fingers through the coppery mass that hung down
to her waist, she thought of her mother.
‘Daria, I despair,’ she had
laughed, ‘your hair has a mind of its own, it’s uncontrollable just
like you.’ It made her sad to think of her mother, dead these many
years.
Still trying to wake herself,
she yawned and rubbed her knuckles in her eyes. Everyone always
told her what beautiful eyes she had; large and hazel with golden
flecks that reflected the sun, fringed with long, black lashes;
they were very expressive eyes, slightly upturned at the corners
giving her an almost feline appearance.
Looking out the window Daria
realised the sun was much higher than she’d expected. ‘If I don’t
get a move on I’m going to be late and I’m sure that will please
High Elder Timus no end.’ Looking around her room for the temple
robes Timus had given her to wear she soon found them in a heap on
the floor at the end of her bed.
Her home was only a single room
but it contained everything she needed. If she wasn’t sleeping or
studying at the temple she spent all her spare time with her
friends Haven and Gilster, so her tiny room suited her just
fine.
Shaking the wrinkles out of the
robe, she dressed as quickly as possible. ‘I hate these stupid
things,’ she thought as she lifted the robe over her head. ‘I
always trip over the hem, it’s way too long.’ High Elder Timus had
insisted she wear them today because she would be representing the
temple. He promised her she would soon have her own robes when he
could find the time to have some made, but until then she must wear
borrowed ones.
High Elder Timus believed Daria
would stay at the temple when she finished her training but
unbeknown to him she had other ideas. She wanted to travel the
world and see and experience everything it had to offer, using her
skills as a dream interpreter to help others along the way. Her
friends Gilster and Haven would be coming with her, they had made a
pact together many years ago.
Racing down the spiral
staircase encircling the trunk of her tree- home, Daria raced for
the temple, robes scrunched tightly in her hands to keep from
tripping. She needed to get there fast, the feeling of dread she
felt on waking from her dream had not left. She must speak to High
Elder Timus soon.
Running along the pathways
startling people as she raced by, Daria was oblivious to the
wonderful day around her. The weather was warm and sunny with just
enough of a breeze to keep it comfortable. Spring was fast
approaching; already sensed by some of the trees, they had begun to
blossom; small flowers were poking their heads up through the
ground, grateful for the warmth of the sun after their long winter
sleep.
Crowds of people dressed in
their finery strolled along, laughing and chatting amiably;
children skipped ahead of their parents, glad for a day away from
their tutors. Daria saw none of this, the feeling of dread growing
the closer she got to the temple. Fighting the sense of panic
threatening to engulf her Daria pushed even harder. Running around
a group of small children she failed to see a fallen branch hidden
in the long grass at the side of the path. Her foot caught and she
flew through the air, crashing to the ground on her knees. Momentum
slid her forward ripping the robe and skinning her knees badly.
Coming to a sudden stop she fell forward, gashing her cheek and
bumping her head on a rock. People came rushing from everywhere to
help her.
‘Are you alright? You took a
bit of a tumble.’
‘Nasty cut on your face, you’d
better get that seen to.’
‘Yes, yes,’ she said,
impatiently brushing away the helping hands, ‘I will get help at
the temple, thank you.’
She was on her feet and running
for the temple again. Not much further. The dread was so strong it
felt like her heart was being crushed by massive hands, squeezing .
. . squeezing the life out of her. Nearly there, one more bend in
the path to go.
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