Echoes Of A Gloried Past (Book 2)

BOOK: Echoes Of A Gloried Past (Book 2)
9.23Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub



ISBN: 978-0-9899319-3-9


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are a product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, businesses, events, or locales is purely coincidental. Reproduction in whole or part of this publication without express written consent is strictly prohibited. 

Copyright © 2014 by Acoustical Books, LLC. All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review. 

The author greatly appreciates you taking the time to read his work. Please consider leaving a review wherever you bought the book, or telling your friends about it, to help us spread the word. Thank you.

Published by Acoustical Books, LLC


Edited by: Jason Whited


Cover Design: Donna Harriman Murillo


Discover other books by Ken Lozito


Safanarion Order Series:

Road to Shandara (Book 1)


Echoes of a Gloried Past (Book 2)





To my sons, Tristan and Brendan, for listening to me read the early drafts of this story and for never ceasing to ask questions. All of these stories are for you.







TIME passed as Aaron slipped in and out of consciousness, occasionally awakening to the muttering of voices, both familiar and not. The steady rise and fall of the airship as it rode the winds were gone, replaced by a soft bed. He forced his eyes open again, ignoring their determination to remain shut. Sunlight and a gentle breeze oozed their way in through the balcony doors on the far side of the room. The harsh burning on his back where the Ryakul had clawed him faded to a dull ache. Stretching his neck, he slowly turned his head, trying to wake up. Stiff limbs quickly yielded to movement as he sat up in bed, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. He was almost naked except where his wounds had been cleaned and dressed. The skin of his arms and legs was dotted with the remnants of faded bruises. A brown robe hung near a metallic chest across the room. The rune-carved staff rested on the wall near the chest along with his medallion, which sparkled in the sunlight, sending hazy dragon emblems upon the smooth walls. He swung his feet to the floor and bit his lower lip, wincing at the burning pain along his back that flared at his movement. The tiled floor warmed beneath his feet. He took a steadying breath and slowly rose. The more he moved, the less his body seemed to protest. 

Aaron crossed the room and pulled the robe on, tying it off at his waist. Its silky fabric felt cool on his skin. His mind still felt muddled as if he were still waking up. He stepped out onto the balcony into the warm sunlight, allowing it to caress his face. He slowly stretched his arms out to either side, feeling the tender skin protest at first and then give way to the slow movements of his arms. Birds chirped nearby, and a few hawks circled high above him. As he glanced to the side, he saw the outlines of white buildings, which appeared more like pods joined together than the grandeur of the architecture of Shandara. He reached out and ran his fingers along the outer wall, and the place where his fingers met the surface turned black. Aaron removed his hand, and the color returned to white. He ran his fingers along the outer door frame, watching as the surface went from white to dark and back again. 

More technology,
Aaron thought to himself, and with it his thoughts turned to Sarah. She was out there somewhere, under the influence of the Drake. Images of the battle flashed in his mind like lightning. He closed his eyes and tried to draw the energy into himself, but felt as if he were trying to grasp something made of smoke. He couldn’t reach out to her. How could the Drake control her so easily? He suppressed a shiver, remembering her baleful yellow eyes looking back at him. With a gasp, he held onto the balcony railing and opened his eyes, filling his vision with the clear skies to keep from seeing her that way, but this last image of Sarah was burned into his mind. He hadn’t anticipated the Drake taking a prisoner, foolishly believing that its only aim was to kill him. His pulse quickened while his hands clutched at the railings. 

“You’re awake!” Verona said, coming into the room through a metallic door that slid silently into the wall. “They said it would be another day.” He poured some water and handed the cup to Aaron.

“Thank you,” Aaron said, taking a sip of water, “How long have I been out?”

“Three days. It was touch and go there for a while, my friend. The Ryakul’s claws are quite poisonous,” said Verona.

“Sarah?” Aaron asked, fearing the answer in his friend’s eyes.

“I’m sorry, but we haven’t seen her or the Drake since Shandara.” Verona said.

Aaron nodded slowly, expecting as much. He sipped the water, tasting the faint hints of cinnamon and felt his stomach tighten for a moment.

“It’s medicine that will help purge the remaining poison from your body.”

Aaron remained standing and allowed the queasiness to pass. “Where are we?" he asked.

“We’re with the Hythariam north of Shandara in a place called Hathenwood,” answered Verona. 

“Is everyone … Did everyone else make it?” Aaron asked.

“Yes,” Verona smiled. “Some bumps and bruises and a few shallow cuts, but the Hythariam helped with those as well. The repairs to the Raven will be complete in the next day or so, and the Hythariam are installing some extra things that will help against the Ryakuls.” Verona said.

Aaron sighed and felt his shoulders slump in relief. He stretched his neck and rolled his shoulders, still feeling the effects of the medicine. He needed a clear head, and the medicine didn’t appear to be helping with that. “I’d like to take a walk.”

Verona frowned for a second before giving a small nod. “There is clothing in there,” he said pointing to the chest. “I’ll give you a few minutes to change, and then we should get some food in you.”

 Verona left the room by placing his hand on a pad near the door, and the door slid silently into the adjoining wall.
More technology,
Aaron thought. He came to the chest, which didn’t have any handles. He placed his palm on top of a pad similar to the one on the door, and a drawer extended from the bottom. The clothes were loose fitting and, like the robe, felt good on his skin. He pulled on black boots that molded themselves to the contours of his feet. He stood up and noted how comfortable they felt while being both sturdy yet almost weightless at the same time. They were a clear improvement over the hiking boots he had brought with him from Earth. He hung the medallion around his neck and grabbed the rune-carved staff. It was a good walking stick after all.

Aaron exited the room into a quiet hallway where Verona waited. His stomach rumbled noisily, giving Verona the audible clue he needed to lead the way. As they made their way down the hall, a Hythariam appeared, heading in their direction. His golden eyes flashed briefly in surprise, then with a nod to each of them he turned back the way he had come.

“We’ve had you on constant watch since we arrived the other day,” Verona said. “Eric and Braden had only just left your door earlier at my insistence.” After Aaron nodded he continued, “I know you want answers, and you’ll get them, but I must tell you that it’s really good to see you awake, my friend.”

“Was it that bad? The poison I mean,” Aaron asked.

“Lethal to most people almost immediately. Even the Hythariam will die if they don’t get help in time.” 

“Colind?” Aaron asked.

“Will be anxious to see you. He’s been all but locked in a room with Iranus, Vaughn, and several other Hythariam. I haven’t seen much of them since I kept Eric and Braden company.”

“Thanks,” Aaron said and swallowed a lump down his throat as the image of Sarah’s smiling face flashed in his mind. They walked in silence, and the more he moved, the better he felt. Aaron could tell that Verona was holding something back and guessed he didn’t want to overburden him. The rune-carved staff proved to be a good walking stick, even on the smooth metallic gray floors. The farther they ventured from his room, the more Hythariam they came across. Most nodded in friendly greeting, but some looked at him with worry in their golden eyes. Those eyes were so similar to the Drake, it was disconcerting. 

“Is it much farther?” Aaron asked.

“Not much. We can rest if you need.” Verona answered, gesturing toward one of the benches along the wall.

“I’ll be fine,” Aaron said, waving him on.

The corridors echoed of people walking, and muffled conversations could be heard throughout this place. Wherever they were, was a bustle of activity. They turned down another corridor, and Aaron could smell food, making his mouth water. He just needed to eat, then he wanted answers.

Verona took him to an open courtyard filled with tables and benches, which was a cross between a garden and an outdoor cafeteria. People took plates of food from several buffet stations strategically placed throughout. Aaron selected food by Verona giving either a nod of approval for some or a vigorous shake of his head for things to avoid. He stuck mostly with vegetables and meat, preferring not to experiment with things he couldn’t readily identify. 

The Hythariam still glanced in their direction, with some whispering to their companions, and others nodding in friendly greeting. Aaron had never seen so many golden eyes and was surprised to see green ones as well. They were very similar to humans except that their eyes were just a bit bigger with an almost feline quality to them. They wore clothing of the same quality as he had been given, which Aaron found quite comfortable. Nothing too colorful, and all could have blended easily in a forest if needed. The occasional cyan-colored scarf adorned some of the women, and similarly colored cords were tied around the arms of some men. 

They ate in silence, or more like Verona watched as Aaron devoured his meal. The moment the first bite passed his lips he was filled with an overwhelming need to eat. He was starving. They washed down their meal with water, and Aaron felt his mind clear and more of his strength return.

“You’re looking more human now,” Verona said.

“Feeling like it, too.” Aaron answered. 

They were approached by a tall Hythariam with raven hair and green eyes. He had the bearing of a soldier though he was out of uniform. He gave a slight bow to them both and said, “Hello, I am Gavril. Iranus sends his greetings and asks for you to join him and Colind, if you are able.”

Aaron shot to his feet, ready to follow Gavril, and Verona rose as well. 

“It’s not far,” Gavril said and led them down a short corridor lined with glass doors. Behind each of the doors appeared to be oval-shaped rooms that hung suspended over tracks heading in different directions. They stepped into one of the rooms, and a panel opened on its far side. Gavril keyed in some of the buttons on the holographic touch screen. “The tram will get us there much faster than on foot.” Gavril said, and the door quietly shut behind them. 

The tram shot forth, following one of the tracks leading outside. Verona looked delighted, and Aaron reached immediately for something to hold onto before he realized that while they were moving quite fast, he hardly felt as if they were moving at all. Aaron figured the trams must have some type of dampeners to suppress the forces that would put them off balance. Gavril studied their reactions and nodded to himself. 

The tram took them outside, and Aaron looked out the window at the complex of buildings from which they left. Some were similar to the style he had seen in Shandara but more modern by comparison. Where Shandara had buildings and gardens complementing each other in their design, the complex of the Hythariam buildings seemed to be more sparse and functional rather than built for appearances. After a few minutes, they approached another set of buildings mostly hidden by the trees, but Aaron could see a few metallic towers strategically placed around a central octagonal dome that peaked over the tree line. The tram entered one of the tunnels near the dome, and Aaron watched the track disappear behind them into darkness. They exited the tram, and Gavril led them away from the platform. 

BOOK: Echoes Of A Gloried Past (Book 2)
9.23Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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