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Aetherion

By FMG

Adventure / Action

Prologue

The room was dark -- the kind of dark reserved for the deepest of caves and the blackest of minds, the kind that might drive lesser men insane if left too long within its clutches. It was nearly a living thing, this darkness: swallowing, devouring, greedy in its reach… but not for her. She commanded it with a grace and indifference that was otherworldly, a grace that led some to believe that she had given life itself to the thick blackness that cloaked her regal form like an ermine cape of royalty. The mother of shades, they whispered. The mother of night, of gloom, of creeping things that slunk between shadows in the witching hour. 

He knew better than those who spread the rumors. Knew better, but still felt the hairs on his neck prick up every time he was summoned. Facing her was no easy task, even for the most fearless of men.

A metallic clicking punctured the heavy atmosphere surrounding him, and though he had heard the sound countless times before, it remained as sinister and spine-tingling as ever. Spindly legs skittered along the floor, daring him to search out the source. His gaze did not waver, for he already knew what he would find near his feet. She liked to play these games with those in her employ, liked to weed out the weak and the unworthy. He was not unworthy.

“Have you found it?” Her voice was like a lover’s whisper.

“No, my lady,” he answered. He was not apologetic, did not make excuses. Those who did were often never found.

“I am counting on you,” she reminded him. “They are counting on you.”

“Yes, my lady.”

“You will not fail me.” Her words were bitten off, though her voice did not lose its husky timbre. Unspoken was the promise of what would happen if he did.

“No, my lady.” His jaw was set in determination. He had not failed her in the years he had served her; his record would not be tarnished for a task as important as this.

“Go.” The shadows shuddered with her final command.

As the door clicked shut, she extended her hand. A soft weight lowered itself into her palm and rested there, delicate metal pulsing faintly with heat. She stroked it gently, running her fingers across wickedly sharp mandibles.

“Soon, my dears,” she breathed. “It is almost time.”

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Further Recommendations

Prasino45: Hi! I happen to see your updated chapter on FF.NET!It happened to be about you coming onto Inkitt with this story! I've been a fan for a while! I'm a scqualphie writer myself. I ship them HARD! Love this story! I'm gonna do a reread as you said you changed some things! Glad we both made the switc...

263Adder: Okay so I adore this story. I only knocked one star off plot for historical inaccuracies because I'm a bit of a stickler for that. The ending broke my heart though, considering you already changed history couldn't you (SPOILER) change it a bit more and have them together!!!! I want an alternative...

Catherine Kopf: This novel is a very interesting piece of young adult fiction, with a lot going behind it. At first glance, one appears to get a "Twilight" feel from hearing it's about werewolves and vampires, but this story is unique and isn't like that. One thing that I really enjoyed was the fact that it to...

DennisT: This is an excellent story by an author who writes very well. the only problem areas that I see relate to proofreading and editing. All of the stories by Vanessa are excellent, and I have read them all more than once. I had hoped that they would be better edited and proofread on this site, but it...

Tiffany Thomson: This story is not something I would normally pick up and read but I'm so glad I did, I wasn't able to put it down and my husband was yelling at me at 3am to put it down and go to bed (just waited for him to doze back off before picking it back up) I really hope Natalie brings out another book eit...

JWalker: I loved this story from start to finish! It flows at a really nice pace and the story world feels so real. The fight sequences are a treat especially when Isanfyre is training to become a warrior. I found the names really cool and thankfully easy to pronounce. Personally I have always struggled w...

John Smith: This is what Sci Fi is all about. Reads like early Heinlein. In the style of Space Cadets. No esoteric problems..but good ol blaster and space action with a host of relatable characters

Jean Tryon: As a beta, I found this story outstanding!! Plot, grammar, phraseology, etc Rachel gives us it all. She takes the story into the future from where due South ends. She is an exacting and thoughtful author.

Charlie_8472: Recommended to me by a friend, I thought I'd give this a read. As a hobbyist blacksmith, the blurb certainly caught my attention. I found the sentence about them drinking, dancing and fighting a strange combination of activities, perhaps a reflection of the writer’s personality and humour. Howeve...

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Dinzy: It was a great hook. I do not like reading scifi because they end up being like all the rest but this one kept me wanting more.

CookieMonster911: The story overall was an adventure that is appealing to any age. The way the characters develop adds a more human characteristic to the novel. The writing style itself is amazing because you can learn every character's thoughts and emotions. The awkward love triangle and jerk moments adds to the ...

themyronus: Vanessa has made 'amazing' the norme. I didn't want to read this as I am waiting for the finished and polished book to come out. But then I decided to read one chapter for kicks...well hours later I finished what was posted. Fortunately, my memory is not to good and I hope I will read the book wi...

dd1226: I love reading about other countries and I think this story about Cambodia after Polpot creates awareness of the tragedy that happened there and the actions of the U.N. to hold elections. The heroine of the story is easy to relate to, a modern, middleaged woman looking for an adventure, wanting t...

kathryncoard: I really enjoyed this book. It was a fast paced book, that kept me interested . Yes, it was political commentary, which I found to be relevant to many things happening in the world. The snippets from the journal show the " boiled frog " analogy that is clearly relevant . Interesting that peop...

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