Ascension: Book One of The Alliance Chronicles

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Summary

Zendista McKenna is Chief of the Alliance Marshals, the most elite police force in the Migichinan Alliance. His top concern is to serve and protect all of the Goddess' children, but forces beyond his control thrust him into an arena of politics, where his enemies will be far more dangerous than any common criminal. Will he take the position that he has been destined for? Or will a power-hungry warlord take him out of the game and plunge the Alliance into an age of darkness?

Genre:
Scifi / Fantasy
Author:
Jay M. Hurd
Status:
Ongoing
Chapters:
22
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
16+

Prologue

Destiny was as ancient as her name sounded. The mistress of the hall of records on Valeris, the Homeworld of the dragons, puttered around her massive caverns, going about her librarian tasks. Over the millennia, she had gathered a rather large collection of magical artifacts and other fascinating things. In one cavern, she even had a “space shuttle”, or at least that’s what it was called, with a flag full of stars with red and white stripes, a prize she’d come across when charting a stable wormhole in her younger years. But the most important feature of her home was the massive library that took up most of her caverns, and existed within multiple dimensions. The library, her primary concern, contained books on top of books that would serve to detail every life that had ever existed... in the past, present, and in the future. And she knew every book.

Destiny was of the race known as vacuum dragons (though they had a much longer and eloquent name that could rarely be pronounced outside Valerian space). She’d taken over the caverns when her mother had passed on, and with it she inherited the gift of omniscience. She could effectively see the past present and future all at the same time.

As she herself was advanced in her years, she thought it wise to take on an apprentice. As she had born no children of her own, she looked beyond her halls and caverns for the person who might someday succeed her, or at least help her in daily chores. However, she found a student of magic who needed a guide that no other scholarly dragon on Valeris could provide.

Destiny looked in on her pupil and smiled. Her apprentice was diligently going though her books and occasionally glancing at a magical mirror that had the ability to display places light years away, either here or in other dimensions. Destiny recognized the mirror as one given to her by a friend, a human mage named Merlin.

The student used the mirror to keep tabs on her brother, who was lost to her for many years. With hard work and even greater effort, she’d found him. Destiny walked to the student’s table to make her presence known.

“J’Laren, it is late, you must get some rest. Tomorrow is another day, and you shall be able to tend to your studies and chores, as well as look in on your brother.”

“But mistress...”

“But mistress nothing, young lady!” Destiny scolded. “Remember, while you are here in my caves, you live under my rules, and by my schedule of time. I assure you that you will not miss your brother’s activities by getting some rest. Now go. If anything does occur, I shall wake you.”

Sullen because of Destiny’s command, J’Laren collected her books and stuffed her notes into them before replacing them on her shelves. Destiny tucked her into bed and kissed her on the forehead. Her student J’Laren had become the daughter she’d never had, and she had become the mother figure J’Laren needed in her life. Over the years they had come to rely on each other for love and support. It had always been a fear of hers, to never have a child of her own, to carry on her duties when she passed on, or even to just carry on her blood line. J’Laren distracted her from those fears. She was only an infant by Draconic standards, but she was mature enough and intelligent enough that she would be called to duty by her birth mother soon enough.

She extinguished the candles and quietly left the room, taking one more look at J’Laren as she closed the door. When she turned to walk down the corridor, she saw the shadows melt and take a human shape.

“Greetings, daughter of Draconus.” The shadow hailed. After a moment, the darkness revealed a woman whom Destiny immediately recognized. With respect, the ancient dragon bowed. “Greetings to you, Migichina, mother Goddess of the Migichinan Alliance. To what do I owe this visit?”

Migichina finished taking form. She was adorned in her customary purple and black armor, which in vision had inspired many a poet and warrior. As impressive a sight as the Goddess was, it was a sight that Destiny had become quite familiar with when J’Laren came to be under her care. The shapes of Migichina’s armor was rounded and flowing, and very organic in design, unlike the battle-frames she had developed for the use of her children

“I come to look in on J’Laren, and inquire of her progress.” Migichina stated in her soft, musical voice. In Destiny’s caverns, visits from Gods and Goddesses were common, though J’Laren was kept from knowing that. They often used Destiny as a sounding board for their thoughts and ideas, both good and evil; Destiny was obliged by the nature of her duties to remain neutral to them all. It was neutrality that had come to be respected, even though she had taken to some scholarly duties. But to attack Destiny or invade her home with ill-intent was a severe breach of conduct amongst the children of Chrysara, and it would be an infraction that would be dealt with harshly.

“J’Laren is well, though she wishes to aid her brother in his future.” They walked to Destiny’s kitchen, where the elder dragon began to prepare a pot of tea. “He will, of course, require her aid, but as I told you before, the trials he is to face he must do so on his own, only aided and hindered by players already in the game. To do otherwise would introduced an unstable element to the course of things to come, causing possibly irreparable damage.”

Migichina nodded her agreement. Destiny was as wise as any of her fellow deities but was still only mortal, or was she? With an omniscient and super-magical being, one could never really tell. As Migichina took a seat at the kitchen table, her armor changed shape, reverting to a flowing, pearly gown. Her hair, previously held back by a form-fitting helmet and tied back into a ponytail, unraveled its self and flowed freely across her shoulders and down her back.

“I fear for his safety, Destiny. What can I do to keep him in the game? His people need him, or they risk an almost certain doom and a very bleak future.” Migichina asked the dragon.

Destiny sat down after brewing tea for her and her guest. The Goddess gratefully accepted the cup and sipped the hot tea with her advisor.

“His destiny is his own. I have no books on him, as I have nothing on you, your sister and brothers, your mother, or even J’Laren. What can happen will be anyone’s guess, but I have given you my advice, and what I can see may happen. Use it to your advantage. The fate of the galaxy will eventually come to depend on him. I have told you this before, and I will continue to tell you all this again and again until it is realized.”

Heavy words, coming from the mistress of time. Migichina, from past conversations with Destiny knew what was to happen, and what must happen. People would die, with certainty, but who would it be, and would their deaths be justified by the goal?

Could the ends justify the means?

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