Watchers of the Red Tower
As Hannibal and Selina slept in their tent at Xavier Singh’s Watchtower, two very unusual people looked out to the east from the top of an enormous tower of red granite sitting on an island in the western sea of the Caverns of Amacia. The cyclopean tower stood on the southeastern tip of the island, rising nearly a mile in height. Both individuals stood as impressive as the tower. One appeared to be a giant man ten feet in height with the blood of ancient kings running through his veins. His ice-blue eyes stared out to sea as his long snow-white hair floated in the stiff sea breeze. A closely cropped beard covered his long, lean face that greatly resembled Hannibal in its structure. A dark gray cloak with the hood down shrouded his muscular frame down to his knees.
Next to him stood an exquisitely beautiful feline woman eight-and-a-half feet tall with large bluish-green eyes and waist length reddish-brown hair. Her long, oval face shined with a silky, silvery gray fur that caused her to favor Selina in her features. She too had a dark gray cloak that reached to her knees with the hood down. Her magnificent hair floated in the sea breeze. Both individuals emanated an aura of power and nobility, holding their heads high. They looked out to the northeast in silence for a few moments, and then at each other as the giant put his arm around her.
“He’s here, Enoch,” the feline woman told her companion in a sweet melodious voice.
“Your telepathy has sensed him, hasn’t it Kida?” Enoch replied, holding her close.
“Yes,” Kida replied. “I’ve sensed him closing in. His mind is so strong too, even at this range. But he’s an enigma, Enoch. I cannot figure out how a human can have such a powerful mind. Why is that?”
“I’m not sure,” Enoch answered. “But this man is definitely the One. I’ve seen him with the machines and he’s my mirror image, only half my size. He’s a Caverias. This I have no doubt of; but I’m not sure he knows or understands it yet. Is there anything else you can sense of this enigmatic man? What does he call himself?”
“Hannibal,” Kida reported. “I sense he goes by the name of Hannibal Smith, though he does use another name at times.”
“What’s this other name?” Enoch queried.
“Beowulf,” Kida answered. “For some strange reason, the name Beowulf has great meaning to him. I can feel it.”
“Interesting,” Enoch murmured. “Beowulf is the name of Thoth Caverias’ firstborn son. I wonder why this Hannibal is using that name.”
“I don’t know, Enoch,” Kida replied. “But he’s haunted by something terrible; something incredibly dark and malicious from his past. What it is I cannot see. One thing I can sense clearly is that the image of what appears to be a giant Lynxian woman troubling his dreams. She’s taller than I am and goes by the name of Leila Carie Karac. Why does that name sound so familiar, Enoch?”
Enoch sighed deeply as he looked out across the sea. “It sounds familiar because Leila Karac was the wife of Thoth Caverias’ best friend, Ezra Karac during the Days of Darkness and sister to Thoth’s wife, Ariel,” he reported. “But why her ghost haunts him I cannot answer. Her fall at the battle of Caveria is legendary. What else can you sense from this Hannibal Smith?”
“He has not come to the caverns alone,” Kida stated. “I can sense his attachment to his companions…ten of them. Moreover, he has an incredibly deep, mysterious connection with one of his team…a strange feline woman he sees as exceptionally beautiful with a powerful mind. I cannot lock on to what she looks like, but Hannibal is very protective of this woman, as if she were his wife or mate or something.”
“Indeed?” Enoch murmured. “That’s interesting. Can you sense anything else about this feline he is attached to?”
“It’s strange,” Kida replied softly. “I cannot see her clearly as if something is hindering me, but I’m getting an odd vibe from her; a feeling I have not sensed since I was a child. Even momma has sensed it. Our world is about to change drastically because of Hannibal and this mysterious feline woman he’s protecting. I know it deep down in my bones. Have you seen this strange feline with the machines?”
“Yes,” Enoch stated. “Whoever this feline is, she’s exceptionally beautiful in ways that I cannot comprehend. She reminds me of you and in some ways, looks like you in her facial and body structure. You should continue to try to identify this woman. I feel she may have some connection to you and your mother, but I cannot see how at this point. What’s even more intriguing is that this feline woman is accompanied by another male cat that seems to be just as protective of her as this Hannibal is. Have you sensed anything about the other cat?”
“Yes,” Kida replied. “But I don’t know who he is either. Hannibal has deep feelings for this other cat too, seeing him as a type of father figure. Beyond that, I’m being blocked by some power, just as I’m being hindered with the woman. It’s really strange. I get the same feeling about this other feline that I do from the woman. I can’t shake the feeling that I have a connection to these two mysterious cats. They feel so familiar, yet I can’t identify either of them. It’s driving me crazy.”
Enoch squeezed Kida gently with the arm he had around her. “Don’t let it get to you, Kida,” he murmured. “Your telepathy is strong, but maybe not that strong. I’m sure all will be revealed in the fullness of time. The Ancient of Days has proclaimed it. We’ll soon find out who these strange cats are and where this Hannibal fits into everything. It seems the prophecies are beginning to come true.”
“It appears so,” Kida stated. “But there are so many gaps left to fill. The only thing I’m sure of is that the appearance of this Hannibal with these cats is the watershed event we’ve been waiting for. His world and ours are about to change in ways we cannot comprehend. But will he be able to adapt to that change and prove he is the One?”
“I truly don’t know,” Enoch answered. “I guess we must be patient for a little longer. I’m sure this Hannibal has already experienced much in trying to find way into this cursed Amacian Underworld. But now his mettle will be tested to the breaking point. His trial has just begun.”
“When will he come to us?” Kida asked.
Enoch mused over the question for a moment. “Not yet,” he replied. “Assuming Hannibal is the One, which I’m confident he is, only when he knows the extent of what is going on here and finds his world turned upside down will he come to us. First, Hannibal must know who and what he’s dealing with on a first-hand basis. Only when he’s seen the Emperor up close and felt his vicious mutating wrath will we come into the equation. But until then, we must remain hidden and watch carefully to see if he fulfills what the ancients said about him.”
“Where is he now?” Kida asked.
“They came in via Stygian’s Way and now are taking shelter at Xavier Singh’s Watchtower at the base of Khmer Shek,” Enoch replied. “I’ve been monitoring them since they entered the Caverns. The rebels will take him and his people to Nicodemus in Arionath. This much is known. The writings have foretold it. Moreover, I’m sure the Emperor has sensed his arrival too and is not pleased by it.”
“That would be the understatement of the century,” Kida agreed. “Let’s pray for their safe arrival in Arionath.”
“That we will, my wife,” the giant Enoch stated. “The Emperor’s days are numbered.”
“And not a day too soon,” the feline Kida replied.