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The Taylor Brothers Saga: A Prayer for the Future
Carl E. and Joe G. Thompson
c. 2008 Maveric Lion Productions
Post Office Box 22505.
Philadelphia, PA 19110
Part 1: The Exiles
Prolog: Earth 3261
I was ten Terra Prime Standard Years old when we relocated from '''''Arcadia''''' to Earth 3261. My brother Leo was six. As it turns out TPSYs and Earth 3261 years are the same. Why not? The builders intended every plate of the great Dyson sphere to be a duplicate Earth.
Prince Nathan Taylor, 3261 Hyper- mentation Journal
The IPS Gypsy Queen came out of a space fold just beyond the orbit of the Moon of Earth 3261.
Captain Carter Tauron ordered the ship’s Space Fold systems secured and ordered his pilot to take her into a standard orbit of the Terra class planet. He then sounded the ship wide alert that the Queen had come out of fold. They had arrived at their destination.
A tall man with long, white hair, pale skin, and ice blue eyes stood up from his observer’s couch and looked at the blue planet on the main display as he stood beside the Privateer skipper’s couch.
“What do you think, Goliath, my Delkhon friend?”
“Just another alternate Earth like so many others I’ve seen,” said the tall warrior. He glanced at the Science Officer’s display. The Delkhon could see it from across the compartment, so keen was his vision. “Though this one seems to be special to the Taylor Family.”
Carter Tauron stood and nodded, crossing the bridge to the Science Officer and looking over her shoulder.
“The Taylor’s ancestor, Leonidus I, came here ages ago local time to opened it up, along with Joshua Sarkhon. Sarkhon made 3261’s Earth a Taylor protectorate.”
Goliath nodded curtly, as was his habit. “Which shows just how much the old Sorcerer regards the Taylor family.”
Carter nodded. But now this planet was in the midst of its Postindustrial age, leaking enough radio into space to quality as a small star. This was the place where the young princes and the Royal Family of Arcadia would live out their exile until things changed back home. Until the bastards who’d overthrown the government got what was coming to them.
As soon as the All Clear alert sounded members of the royal court of House Taylor gathered in the starship’s great salon where they too could see the planet on the big screen.
Queen Lois entered with her bodyguard detail, all Sisters of the Holy Order of Magdalene, as was she herself. They wore the gowns that bespoke their order and their position at court. All had been selected long ago by Mother Superior Murosaki for their resemblance to Lois as well as their height. Bodyguards must be tall enough to screen their primary and Lois was tall herself. They had been selected from the elite Amazon Brigade of the Order—its warrior sisters.
Long ago Lois had trained with the Amazons and knew well their warrior ways but as Queen of the Realm, she was required to stand behind a bodyguard detail.
Also with Lois were her sons, the two princes—Nathan who was nine standard years of age and Leonidus, who was five. Leo held the hand of Timmy his meter tall robot bear. The bear supplemented the four Royal Marines who guarded the brothers. It was a well-armed and smart little machine whose plush animal cosmetic appearance was but a disguise for a sophisticated piece of Mechan machinery that had been built by the robot masters of Valeria Province.
Lois looked at the blue orb in the main salon screen and tiled her chin in its directions. “That’s our new home, Leo—Nathan.”
“It’s very blue, ma’am,” said young Nathan.
“I like blue,” said Leo. “But why can’t we go home to Arcadia?”
Lois looked down at her youngest son, a sad look on her beautiful face.
“It’s not safe there, my little lion. The war has made it so.”
Leo looked up at his mother, and pointed at his older brother.
“Nathan says there are lots of wars on this planet. They fight over oil, politics, religion, and stuff like that. Stuff that’s just as silly as whose house gets to run the world.”
Lois looked sternly at her older son. Nathan was a boy of strong opinions and sometimes she showed much wisdom. Some of it too much for his years.
Nathan squared his shoulders and did not meet his mother’s gaze. “Leo has to learn about our new home, ma.
Lois put her hands on Nathan’s shoulders.
“Yes, he should. But not just the cynical side. Remember what I told you—balance. Two sides to everything. Besides, you’ll scare him.”
Nathan nodded. His loyalty to his younger bother was beyond question. Nathan had been a lonely child before Leo came along and he treasured him like no other in his family. He did not mean to frighten Leo he just wanted him to be prepared.
But at his young age, Leo already had a strong sense of self and resented being regarded as a child.
“I’m not scared of this world, Mommy,” said the younger prince. “This is where Dad got those Superman vids from. If there’s danger there then Superman will help us.
Still Young Leo Taylor tended to look at life in black and white. He also tended to believe in larger than life heroes and heroines. Nathan opened his mouth to tell Leo the bad news but Lois intervened.
“Yes, Leo. But on this world their heroes may, occasionally need our help.”
“Superman is not like Sarkhon,” said Nathan as gently as he could. “He needs our help from time to time. Besides, remember the story. Kal-el was sent to his Earth from Krypton, a far off planet in another galaxy—maybe even another universe. Sound familiar.”
Leo smiled a smile. “Will we have powers on Earth?”
Nathan laughed ands tussled his brother's long, dark hair. “We already do kid. We already do.”
Royal Marines in battle dress moved back and forth in the hall of the ship, forcing the two men to move to the side to avoid collision with the heavily armored soldiers. Ordinarily such men would move aside and show respect for an Atlantean Time Sorcerer. But these men were preparing for a possible military operation and they just did not have time to notice. Joshua Sarkhon and his namesake, Joshua Carpenter, were just two more civilians blocking the corridor that leads to the Combat Acclimation Room and the Drop Hangars.
Joshua Carpenter smiled a small smile as two crewmen carrying a cargo pallet moved by, nearly stepping on his feet.
Joshua Sarkhon had raised him from boyhood after having rescued the orphan in Pangaea. He had been an apt student and might well have made a Time Sorcerer—had he been of Atlantean blood and been allowed. At least that’s how things worked with the Time-Sorcerers Academy upon the Atlantean Homeworld –a huge Atlantean World Ship, that was a remnant of the Old Universe-as Atlanteans knew it. After the Great Titan Wars, other Atlantean Worlds-colonies of the Original Atlantis might have things differently. The Legion of Time Sorcerers saw only Atlantean Pure Bloods as worthy members of the Legion. Anyone else, would to settle other options, like the Temporal Guard or Temporal Knights-if they wish to serve as a Time Agent of the Lords of Light-the Elder Races of the Multiverse. Some would choose still other options and serve as other occupations like mercenary soldier, temporal secret agent or Master of Assassin.
So when Joshua Carpenter had come of age the Time Sorcerer had secured for him a job with the Arcadian Security and Intelligence Department—MI-20—and the boy had risen up though the ranks to become the Master of Assassins, an ancient name that applied to the King’s Chief Intelligence and Security Officer. That’s not as evil as it sounds—or maybe it is.
Sarkhon and Carpenter stopped just outside the salon door. Carpenter looked up at the Time Sorcerer who was at least a head taller than he was.
“Well, it looks like we are here, Lord Sarkhon,” he said.
Sarkhon nodded. “And I will be leaving you to head back with Captain Tauron and King Nathan to join the Resistance forces at Genesis Prime.”
“Do you still intend to try and get the Guild to release the Temporal Guard Legion to intervene in the Arcadian Civil War?”
Sarkhon frowned. “There’s not much chance of that as long as House Shaitanis has veto power. But I will try to convince them that the Guard can be used as peacekeepers rather than as instruments of punishment. Maybe the Shaitanis fools will be embarrassed into accepting that rather than lose face—and profit—if this boils up into another Terra Prime War.
Captain Carter Tauron, the Corvaillian privateer captain came toward them down the corridor. With him is his Delkhon cohort, Goliath Khann--a Delkhonean Prince in exile. Also the Captain’s First Mate, aboard his starship the SS Gypsy Queen.
“We’re in orbit,” said the Captain. “Now about what I just heard you say, milord. You know the turds in the Guild fear the Shaitanis’s more than they fear you. And that’s why they sit on their hands while injustice is being waged on Arcadia and all across the Cosmos. Afraid of another big fight over Terra Prime rather than a thousand little fights everywhere else. They make me sick.”
Joshua Carpenter knew the history well. Most educated people on the Great Sphere did. Long ago, the Atlanteans fought a war for control of Terra Prime. A long, bloody conflict nearly destroyed their society. However, not all members of the Great House Clans believed in the wars upon Terra-Prime. Supreme Lord Adam Sarkhon and wife Supreme Lady Castria Sarkhon,a relative of the House Shaitanus, co-rules of Atlantis Prime believed as their other Imperial Houses, that the insignificant events of one world-even a Great Dysonsphere was not as primary to safeguarding the Laws of Time and Space, as other Cosmic matters were. Things that involved the ancient Temporal Cold Wars, between various fractions of the so called Lords of Light-the Elder Races, who believed in upholding the Laws of Temporal Space and the Lords of Darkness-those Elder Races, who did not believe upholding anything, but what wanted and desired beyond the Laws of Time, and twist those laws to suite their dark purposes. Adam Sarkhon, fear an ancient enemy, such as the Titans or the Metrone-who the Atlanteans once fought in a bloody war, in the Old Universe, was more of a threat to Temporal Space. His father Elder Supreme Lord Ghalmeath Sarkhon, fearing ancient rivalries of certain Atlantean Houses, would lead to other more dangerous turn of events believed otherwise. He felt the Great Titan threat destroyed and the safety of the Sphere more important. Therefore, Supreme Lord Adam Sarkhon pulled his forces out and left for home space, where Atlantis Prime and its colonies were under threat by possible other forces of the Lords of Darkness. Supreme Lord Ghalmeath Sarkhon and his forces fought alone, with help his First Sons Atlantean Realm. This war wages on for decades –with neither side winning until a Great Pact was drawn up between the two sides. Eventually a treaty was signed by all members of that pact. It created the Guild –a kind of Council of Supreme Time Sorcerers, who would decide over the matters of the Legion –it actions, it is politics and so forth, and gave the seven most powerful houses veto power over those matters. It also meant that no single Atlantean House could exert control over the Dysons Sphere without approval of all seven.
Of course, the Atlanteans had not built the Sphere. But it was their wormholes that gave the most direct access to it. Having access to alternate worlds and far away galaxies made the Time Sorcerers of Atlantis powerful indeed and much feared by all the junior races. And even by some of the elder races of their own generation.
Like the Sidarians, the Cosmic Engineering species that actually built Terra Prime. They did not approve of the Guild and the Atlantean domination of Terra Prime that it represented and so they have not completed the sphere. Sidairians like the other Elder Races or Ancient Ones of the Multiverse, often had matters else to become involved among the infinite realms of Temporal Space. Therefore, Terra Prime remains, to this day incomplete, the Sidairians only functioning, along with their Mechan partners as maintenance crews for it.
Joshua shook his head ruefully. “This only makes out mission here all the more crucial.
Sarkhon did not nod but Carpenter had known him long enough to know that this silence meant agreement. This superman was as close as he had ever had to a father.
“The Wallaces need to dominate Earth 3261 if they are to dominate Arcadia and its neighboring plates. This is a wealthy universe and this region of it is much unexploited—save by the locals and the trading colonies at Rigil Kentaurus.”
Carter Tauron smiled a bitter smile. “And using the mineral mined in this worldline they can pay off their Trongorath allies who have infested much of Terra Prime. Bugs! Hate ‘em.”
The big Delkhonean spoke for the first time. His voice was deep and mater of fact—somehow very icy. Delkhons were warriors who prided themselves in logic. A very strange combination. But an effective one.
“Those bugs are a dishonor to half the known galaxy. My people fought them upon a thousand worlds. Slaughtered hundreds of their Ki’Vhan slave troopers. The Delkhonean Warrior Logic and tactics of war would dictate we wipe their kind from infinite time and space.”
Joshua Sarkhon looked at the Delkhon. “There are worldlines where they were whipped out. Believe it or not, things got worse and talents that the Trongoroths posses turned out to be necessary for survival of whole worlds. The pathways of time are not so easily managed and tamed by violence as one might tend to think.”
Goliath nodded. “Violence is a solution, Time Wizard.”
Sarkhon nodded. “When applied cautiously—yes. But extermination is never a good plan. Trust me, warrior. I know of what I speak.”
“I meant no disrespect, Sir,” said the Delkhon, bowling his head to honor the Atlantean.
“I know you didn’t warrior,” said the Sorcerer. “But a Time Sorcerer is, if nothing else, a teacher of history’s lessons. Lesson taught in fire and paid for in blood.”
“I am honored, milord.”
Joshua Sarkhon smiled and turned to Tauron.
“The wealth of 3261 will buy Radu Wallace the cooperation of the Sidarians and the Mechans. They long have wanted a peaceful dissolution of the Guild. They would like to finish the sphere and they have sworn not to as long as the treaty is in place and un-amended. But once the Wallaces are in power in Arcadia, their allies on the Guild will have an excuse to amend the treaty. One can count on that.”
“Politics,” spat Tauron. “It turns even decent dukes like the Sids into Ace-Holes.”
“And yet it remains one of the best ways to manage the affairs of sentient beings,” Said Sarkhon. “Much preferable to war.”
Tauron glanced at his Delkhon friend and said: “Thanks for clearing that up. I thought that causing war was the thing that politicians were best at.”
Gathered in the Ground Forces Ready Room of the Gypsy Queen were United Kingdom of Arcadia Royal Marines of the Taylor House Guard Regiment. Colonel Benjamin Coyote entered and Master Gunnery Sergeant George Lucas spotted him, jumping to attention.
“Skipper on the deck. Atten-chut!”
The marines stood at attention. Gunny Lucas addressed Colonel Coyote. “Company Echo, 1 Regiment, Royal Marine Commandoes all present or accounted for, sir.”
Coyote nodded. “At ease, gents. Be seated.”
Coyote nodded to the young female major that stood to one side of the stage. “
Major Yoko Takei stepped forward and activated a holo display. A hologram of Earth 3261 and its moon appeared.
She began her briefing. “Earth 3261. Part of a worldline that was first discovered in the Terra Prime Year 3261, hence its designation in accordance with the no longer used Sigmund-Kasab method of Worldline designation.”
The view zoomed in on Earth at her command.
“The first trading post in this WL was opened near the wormhole entrance in the nearby star system of Rigil Kentaurus. It is the closest point of Cosmic Civilization to this primitive planet. Local timeline is April 2, 2010. Set your chronometers accordingly. We will be living in the early 21st Century of local time.”
The picture zoomed out.
“The current world population is seven billion hominids of species Homo sapiens sapiens. Similar to us, save that they have only just begun to use genetic engineering and Atlantean bloodlines have not been introduced to any significant degree. One nation, the People’s Republic of China, has a space station and a Moon colony. Of the other nations only the European Union, the Russian Federation and India have any space faring capabilities.
Major Takei back off and Ben Coyote took the stage. “Thank you, Major Takei.
“Well, people, that it our objective. We will take possession of a pre-positioned base in the province known as Alberta, Canada. The base was set up by loyal agents of the MI-20 who have infiltrated this society and its culture over the last several centuries.”
Coyote leaned casually on the podium.
“Those of you who did not sleep through history class will know that Arcadia and Earth 3261 have had a long and peaceful relationship—though most 3261ers probably are unaware of it. This worldline was first explored by Prince Leonidus Taylor before he assumed the throne as Leonidus I. With him was Joshua Sarkhon and the great, great granddaddy—Jonathan Flagg of our Chief of Black Operations—Marshal Flagg. Mr. Flagg your brief please.”
Flagg, a tall man wearing a monocular eye display, took the stage. He wore the black uniform of the Special Operations Service—the SOS.
“As has been said we’ve had a long relationship with this Earth. Its history parallels the history of our own world of origin, up to the point where a Solar flare wiped out all life there, save that of survivors rescued by the Sidarians and Atlanteans and relocated to Terra Prime. Upon his return to Arcadia Leonidus, I asked Joshua Sarkhon to declare Earth 3261 declared a protectorate of the United Kingdom. Meaning hands off to anyone who wasn’t fixing to fight us. Our government has maintained secret contacts with this Earth as well as a covert trade partnership. So we have friends here. Friends who are loyal to House Taylor and hostile to House Wallace. And we will use these assets to accomplish our mission.”
Flagg gestured to the hologram of Earth.
“Until recently our Royal Space Navy maintained a base in the nearby Proxima System. This base was the headquarters of a squadron whose mission was the protection of our friends and representatives on 3261. That base was captured by Ki’Vhan raiders in the service of House Wallace. This can only mean that they have designs on Earth 3261. We are certain that the Wallaces and the Ki’Vhan are using that base to infiltrate Earth 3261. Our agents have passed us word that Wallace operatives are already working on Earth in concert with Wallace allies there.”
It was then that a tall man, with a neatly trimmed gray beard entered. Colonel Flagg looked at him and jumped to attention.
Lucas had not seen the King since their departure from Arcadia. He almost had not recognized the monarch. He looked so much older. The trials of the last few years had taken their toll on Nathan III, King of the United Kingdom of Arcadia, Tennyson, and Valaria.
“Hail to the King,” said Coyote as Flagg stepped aside so that Nathan Taylor could take the podium. Taylor was, like his ancestors, a hands on leader. It was no surprise that the wished to address the people who would be going down to this primitive world to protect and serve his family in exile. While he himself returned to Terra Prime to lead the fight for freedom with what remained of the Royal Forces.
King Nathan spoke in a clear, deep voice.
“We cannot let 3261 fall to House Wallace. And not merely out of humanitarian concerns—though those concerns are there.
“If we are ever to take Arcadia back from the usurpers then we need to resources of 3261 to do it. These people are primitive but if we can pull them together, and keep them out from under Wallace and Ki’Vhan dominion, then they can help us build the fleet and army that we need to liberate the homeworld.
“Also, this will be the world where my sons grow up, as well as the sons and daughters of you who were able to get their families out before Arcadia fell. If you thought that you and were families were going on holiday when we loaded you aboard at Arcadia, you were wrong. And those of you who lost families back home, or were separated from them, your road back to them or revenge for them won’t be a short one. But rest assured, victory will come. Freedom will be restored.
King raises a clasped hand above his head.
The marines do likewise.
Leo and Nathan walked down the corridor of the ship. With them was a tall man with leonine features. He was a fixture at Taylor Keep going back to their great, great grandfather's time and perhaps earlier. His origin was clouded in mystery but one thing was certain. Every generation of Taylor had been able to count on the loyalty of Arma, their bodyguard and retainer.
A big Thulean came in the other direction along the corridor. Arma glared at him with undisguised contempt. The Thulean, a descendant of Neanderthal stock moved, long ago to Terra Prime stopped and looked at the Princes.
Hey, your highnesses. Good to see you. I’m the cook, Paulus Jerome Torso—of Thule. You wanna see how much fun I am?”
Arma morphed into a lion growling at Torso, who recoiled against the wall.
“Keep away from the princes, caveman. You are never to speak to them or touch them.”
“Wha-wha-wha-I didn’t mean no harm. I’m the cook. Honest. The Taylors saved my life from the Wallaces. Took me and other cons away before the Ki’Vhans could turn us into them.”
Arma reverted to his human form but his attitude was nonetheless fierce.
“I know your criminal record, Thulean.”
Torso pointed to his smoothly shaven head. “I’m cured. There’s a pukka in my head.
Arma looked directly into the Neanderthal’s eyes.
Torso turned and ran off down the corridor. The boys look up at their bodyguard.
What’s wrong with Paulus, Arma?” asked Nathan.
“Why?” asked Leo.
“I am not permitted to tell you.”
Leo looked at Timmy his robo-bear.
“Timmy is. He’s on the net. Timmy, what was Paulus Jerome Torso’s crime?”
The bear turned its big, round head toward the boy and a cultured voice came out. The bear was an expensive model, custom made for the young Prince by hand artisans in Valaria. It was not merely a toy.
“Working, sir. Global search engaged. Torso, Paulus Jerome: Thulean name: Pavilus Jerume Torso. Convicted by United Kingdom Royal Criminal Court of deviant sex with underage individuals, two counts, carnal knowledge of livestock, six counts. Remanded to servitude, United Kingdom for no less than ten years with holo-pukka monitoring.”
Leo wrinkled his brow and interrupted the droid. “What is Dev…?
Arma covers the bear’s speaker.
“Enough. You do not need to know that, your young lordship. Suffice it to say that he is a very bad man who hurts children and animals.”
They continued down the corridor at Arma’s urging.
Nathan knew better than to argue with the bodyguard. The big creature took his job very seriously. Sometimes to the point of being boring and excessive.
Arma was not a man who changed into a lion. Nor is he a lion who changed into a man. He was what is called a Jinn. A servant created by a species called Seraphians. In a way he was just as much an AI as Timmy though he did not look in the slightest machinelike.
Paulus peeked out of a doorway, his gaze following the princes and their servant as they moved away.
Creepy lion man, he thought. I hate cats.
Suddenly the Pukka was there in his mind’s eye. It resembled a young man with blue eyes and long, blond hair worn in long, matted ropes. It spoke to him.
You must get close to the brothers, Paul. Otherwise, your mission will be incomplete.
“Leave me alone, Mr. Squid-boy. Leave me alone.”
My masters altered me so that you would find more incentive to work for us. You have freedom from the 'Taylors' reading your true thoughts but not such freedom from us. We can turn my image back to the other one and we know that you do not wish that.
The Pukka image flickered. It changed to what appears to be an older version of Paulus. Ringo Torso, Paulus’ father. And now it spoke in Ringo’s voice, a voice that still filled Paulus with dread, even after all of these years.
Ha, ha, ha, ha, you little freaky pig. Dog lover, boy lover, woof, woof, ha, ha, ha.
Paulus, cringed, covered his eyes with his chef’s hat. However, the image was in his mind and could not be closed out, anymore than covering his ears would filter out the voice.
“No, no, no, turn it back. He’s no fun. He made me what I am. He’s the real monster.
The Pukka returned to its earlier form.
Do your job and you will never see Ringo again. Fail and you will see him forever.
“Okay, okay, I’ll do as you say. Just don’t let him get me.”
The Royal Family were strapped into their couches aboard the space yacht Arcadia' Star.
King Nathan appeared on a holoscreen that hovered before Lois’ couch.
“Just wanted to wish you all well.”
“I miss you already, my love.”
“And I you, my queen.”
“May the hand of Sarkhon move you and his will guide you.”
“As Sarkhon is fond of saying: Pray for the Future. It’s the only great unknown.”
“Pray for the future, Nathan. The Gods love and luck be with you until that future in which we can be tighter as a family again.”
King Nathan nods.
“Until that blessed day.”
END OF PROLOG
=Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely yours= =JOSEPH G THOMPSON PO BOX 22505 Landtitle Station Philadelphia, PA 19110 = 1320 south 32nd street ,apt 229.
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From: galaxybe...@hotmail.com To: josephgilb...@hotmail.com; mavericlion...@hotmail.com; galaxybe...@hotmail.com Subject: Taylor Novel Prolog Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2008 13:28:13 -0500
This is the novel version of the prolog--Carl.
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