Snippet 01: The Betrayer ~ Deception

Discovery

“Ishbi! Do not touch him!”

“Look, Shu. It’s just a statue.” Ishbi poked the prostrate figure.

“No statue looks like that. It’s got hair even.” Shu looked out the entrance of the cave nervously.

“It’s so realistic.” Ishbi got on his hands and knees to look at the face. “Someone must have tipped it over.”

“We need to leave. Tell Master.”

“And she’ll beat us for neglecting our chores,” Ishbi chided as he sat on his haunches.

“We are neglecting our chores!” Shu threw his hands up.

“Look at this. It’s like an injury.” Ishbi traced a long scar across the bare back of the figure.

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Chapter 1: Crow ~ The Exile

Chapter 1

“Steven! This is a dream!” Asherah screamed as she ducked a flying chunk of floor. She beheld the ongoing destruction they were in the midst of with stunned bewilderment. The building they were in was being decimated at an alarming rate of attrition. But Steven’s nonchalant attitude about it disturbed her even more.

The exterior wall of the apartment complex was missing entirely and energy weapons were chipping away at what was left, showering them with rubble and dust. Another explosion made her flinch and she looked at Steven, terrified. Would this violence send him over the edge again?

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Chapter 2: Crow ~ The Exile

Chapter 2

“I think she’s beginning to wig out,” Steven said quietly as Lorei made herself comfortable on the large boulder where they had been training. His aunt glanced at him, then looked at Moringa, confused.

Moringa shrugged. “I know what it means but have no clue about the wig.” The Selkie smiled innocently at Steven who rolled his eyes and looked at Lorei.

“Really? You’re in my head. You know what I’m saying.”

“Steven, wig?”

“She’s obsessing over this Blessing. Like everything has to be perfect. The stress is…” Steven sighed and looked at Moringa. “You know. Right?”

“I know she wants you to see a better side of the Cooperative than what you have,” Moringa said solemnly.

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Chapter 3: Crow ~ The Exile

Chapter 3

He had captured a golem three thousand years ago, and encased it in a block of condensing rock vapor. Over the millennia he and a partner drilled the data-banks trying to extract data on the enemy’s plans. It had been largely futile. Golems were exceedingly sophisticated. However, when the deviant from Terra entered the scene, and the gate opened, things changed. He was able to connect the golem to its network to bring in fresh information. Sadly, that information included updated self-destruct code. The golem did not survive.

However, Orin was able to capture a sliver of video of the last thing the golem said before it detonated.

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Chapter 1: Crow ~ The Betrayal

Chapter 1

“Asherah, I broke it. I broke the Earth.” Steven fumbled with something as Asherah approached him from behind. He looked over his shoulder at her, his expression full of fear. “Help me, please! I can’t keep it together.”

Something fell to the floor as Asherah reached him. It wasn’t big, but the whole room seemed to shake when it landed.

“Steven, it’s a dream. This is a dream.” She put her hand on Steven’s shoulder and knelt down beside him. “You’re having a nightmare.”

“Pick that up.” Steven pointed. Asherah looked down and saw what looked like a chunk of a sphere.

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Chapter 2: Crow ~ The Betrayal

Chapter 2

“Yeah, I caused the earthquake. But I didn’t do it on purpose!” Steven insisted, trying his best to convince the Elvin Gatekeeper that he wasn’t dangerous. The instant he said that he realized just how bad it sounded. He grimaced and looked down at his hands. “I didn’t know. You’ve got to believe me.”

The interview wasn’t going very well. Accidentally causing earthquakes was frowned upon. He was still having trouble wrapping his head around the actual cause of the global tremor and how it was related to him. He was just a kid. A bit of an odd kid, but still just a teenager.

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