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Star Chaser: The Traveler

By G Russell Gaynor All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy / Scifi

Blurb

As a member of a high-ranking family, Dungias lived a life in-between... not truly an outcast, but never fully embraced. Often discounted and forgotten, he was left to grow and learn primarily on his own. Yet the advantages of his family's name did not entirely protect him against those who considered him anathema. Through strength, daring, and unexpected cunning, Dungias created himself out of nothing - and worked toward the day when he could make changes... Little did he know just how far-reaching those changes would be!

Prologue (I)

Somehow… the game continues!

There were so many memories etched in the Light; painful memories, because defeat and near destruction seldom conveyed any measure of joy. Life, as he wanted to call it, continued for him, even in his diminishing form.

So close! He had come so close and the human adage regarding proximities and when they count seemed now only to gnaw at the last of his sensibilities. What he had composed and orchestrated had been neither a horseshoe nor a hand grenade, and while many of his targets had perished, the overall symphony had fallen resoundingly flat. Humanity still existed! Such had been the saga of Old Earth and the Elders, when he had been called Baron Nomed.

The Binadamu had always been so scattered; indifferent to one another over appearance… hostile to one another for any variation of culture… often hiding from one another in order to circumvent involvement as such could lead to indifference or hostility. Regardless, they should have been easier targets to obliterate, but they were not alone.

Elders!

Gods, Angels, the Maior Nathu, it did not matter the name; problematic was something they were good at being despite what title they had taken for themselves. At one time, Nomed had been counted among them; the one everyone considered to be Sere’s replacement – for when the old one would finally cycle to the Next Light. It became clear the Old Master would not take that step, not while Nomed was his successor. That was when war had been declared, when the cards were dealt and the game started. Nomed had looked at his cards and felt, with just a little strategy, he could easily win. He was wrong, and in the aftermath of his defeat, Nomed had to contend with his own destruction; a destruction at the hands of the very things he had intended to destroy. In the end, an improper term at best, but a definition to which the mortals of Earth subscribed. In his form’s final moment, Nomed found he had only one card left to play, and as he started to merge with the universe, Nomed smiled and played it.

His will abandoned his dying form and hurled itself into the cosmos, with absolutely no consideration of destination, acting out of a growing sense of desperation and futility. All that remained of Nomed was now a pocket of nearly invisible gas, floating through the vacuum of space, spinning about itself. It slowly degraded, losing more and more of the impressions that so many lifetimes had logged within the seemingly countless folds of its mind and soul. “Who am I?” became a question he could no longer answer as he slipped into to a mode of existence that could not choose between he and she.

It clung only to its perspective and its pair of ambitions: self-preservation and the eradication of the Binadamu! Without its casing, however, it was truly dying, and Death yearned to taste this morsel once more.

Contact!

An unsuspecting touch and the near-lifeless form was quick to react and reach out, taking hold of whatever it could find. The first touch was cold and dead, possessing only enough matter to be felt by the diminishing dark-willed thing. Still, within that cold shell there was warmth, multitudes of warmth. It was a nearly forgotten feeling, registering on what was left of its senses. It was enough! And though the living shadow did not have a mind with which to remember, the sensation was still familiar somehow.

It surged! At the end of its reach there was a form, unaware of the shadow which now crept inside its body. The dying form found life, and the means to sustain itself. There was very little conflict; the resistance the object put forward was negligible. Hard to fight, after all, a malefactor one does not perceive. The body was indeed weak, but Death had been turned away from her barely cursory hunt. It could hear the White Maiden laugh ever so softly as she took her leave from it… for now. Only for now!

It could not move. It felt the form of life all around it, but motion was not one of its capabilities. Still, it did not dare to leave the form; Death would only return and with the drain it would take to break free of the oblivious preserve that had been encountered, it would not have the strength to return should a more suitable form not be found within the time given. So it chose instead to explore the form, starting of course, with the mind.

Though Nomed’s form was gone, his will… his dark essence, like so much energy, had not died. It had simply changed form, finding haven inside one of the breeds it had endeavored to destroy: the Human Race.

Much had changed! While the will to conquer and destroy remained, the mind to fathom such methodologies had been lost. The force of darkness barely remained intact. It could not remember its history; it could not recollect its origin. It did not know why it was, it simply knew that it was and for some reason it must continue to be. Thus it was left to mix with the thoughts, drives, and emotions of the one it had chosen to possess. The translation of immortality to the mortal mindset had taken generations, but the dark force had evolved, and though it could not substantiate why it wished to take such a destructive action, it would not hesitate to resume its objective to destroy this small speck of life.

The dark form chose to wait! Time to it was not the same as what it was to the Binadamu, and it would enjoy the luxury of immortality… if only for the moment.

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