FAWCETTA BOOK TWO
VOICES AND ECHOES OF THE COLISEUM
The land stood very still as the morning sun peeked over the snow-covered mountains; the rivers and streams lit up with the early dawn. Two hovering sky-cycles with two men sitting on them were visible through the cool mist. Nizon, the lead Guardian, looked upon his digital pad for signs of any incoming enemy. As he observed carefully, at his side, General Arkanon gave orders on his Ear-Kalm to the rest of the Guardians, making sure everyone was ready. On the west side of the valley of Adorya, the young captain Dalian Artanian walked among his battalion of troops, all preparing their battle-cycles and checking their weapons to make sure everything was working properly. The last thing they needed was malfunctioning equipment in the middle of a battle.
At the palace in Adorya, the emperor stood outside his balcony fully dressed in his battle uniform. It had been many centuries since he last wore it. The petite Guardian, Kaina, slowly walked up behind him.
“You shouldn’t worry,” she said. “We have the whole Empire of Adorya and Artyrius covered from any unexpected surprises.”
Kalzein turned around and faced Kaina, yet she could see in his eyes that he had something more on his mind than the actual battle itself.
“What would you have me do, my Emperor?” asked the young Guardian, slowly bowing her head in respect. Kalzein turned and looked up at the rising sun behind the mountaintops, then turned back to face the Guardian.
“Do what you must. No matter what, do not recoil in the face of death. Meet it head-on with all your heart and soul. Fight proudly, and fight knowing you are doing what you were meant to do, even if it means handing my children their death.”
Kaina stood in silence as she heard the orders from her emperor. She was not yet able to believe what was happening. How could she hand such a fate to the only friend she had ever known, one to whom she had been close for years?
“Please excuse me.” Kaina ran out of the room and through the front door of the palace. There, she suddenly found herself crying, unable to control herself any longer. The Guardian’s moment was silenced when a loud explosion captured her full attention. At a distance, she could see escape drones flying off the flaming battle tower. Kaina looked around, and could hear a rumbling sound approaching them from behind the palace. She ran quickly back inside the palace to make sure the emperor would be well-protected. Running up the steps leading to the throne, she saw the emperor standing still out on the balcony.
“Kalzein, please get back in here before they see you!” Kaina exclaimed. No sooner had she told the emperor to get back inside when she saw an approaching flyer aiming straight at him. Kaina ran up to the emperor and grabbed him quickly as the battle flyer shot at them. The pulsar blasts ripped through the base of the balcony with such force that they threw both Kaina and the emperor on their backs. Stone and debris filled the inner throne chamber; the thick dust and smoke made it hard for them to see. Kaina grabbed the Emperor by the arm and dragged him out of the throne chamber into the next room.
“Let me go Kaina, I can take care of myself. Go now and help the Guardians. I’ll take care of these traders,” said the emperor as he stood up on his own two feet. “My job is to protect you at any cost. I’m not leaving you here alone no matter what you say to me.” The Emperor looked at Kaina and smiled. “Very well. You lead, I’ll follow.” The Guardian told the emperor to follow her outside to her sky-craft as the enemy continued to fire upon the palace.
Deep in the valley and not too far away, Arkanon and Nizon stood and watched the situation. “Arkanon, take the east side and I’ll come in from the west; Dalian will come in from the North.” Arkanon nodded and flew away. Nizon tapped on his ear-piece and Dalian answered, “Yes Nizon?” The leader of the Guardians instructed the captain on how they were to attack. Finishing their conversation, Dalian looked back at his waiting army and gave the word: “All right, we have our orders. Now the palace is under siege: our job is to make sure the emperor gets out safely, and to do whatever needs to be done so the palace doesn’t fall under enemy control.” One of Dalian’s officers asked, “How many battalions are we going up against?” The captain looked down at his digital pad and stayed silent for a few moments. “There’s a total of twelve. Nizon said the back of the palace is safe, but I’m very worried about the south end of the palace.”
The officer took out his own digital pad and looked at it for a second. “What would you like us to do, captain?” Dalian looked up and around the valley in deep thought, “I’ll take the sky-cycles to the south side of the palace to be sure everything is fine. If anything should happen, we will be there as a shield. You take charge of this end, and only move forward on Nizon’s command.”
On the north side of the palace, a mile from its front gates, Nerysta and her brother stood side by side reviewing their plans of attack, and discussing which battalion should move in first.
“We should have the Anthians come in from the south side; Father will never expect us attacking from the back end of the palace,” the princess said to her brother, lavishly dressed in his black, gold and purple military uniform. Nerysta herself was also dressed in her fine clothes, wearing her black and grey pants covered with a solid grey mini-skirt, and her matching grey and black striped jacket adorned in chainmail around the shoulders.
Denucian turned off the titanium oval digital pad and handed it to his sister. “Go with what’s in your heart, sister of mine. I am going to meet our enemies head-on.” “Always dramatic you are, brother. I do like the idea: while they are busy fighting you and your grand army, I’ll be busy coming in from the back.” The prince mounted his sky-cycle, grabbing his battle helmet off the right handle. “Let’s make a wager: whoever gets to father first is the winner.” Nerysta smiled, taking the purple and gold helmet from her brother’s hand and putting it on his head. “Sounds like a good bet, though I would make it a little harder. I say whoever gets to Father first and kills him is the winner.”
“Easy enough, what does the winner get for achieving such a task?” Nerysta walked over and mounted her own sky-cycle. “The winner gets father’s place for their own.” The princess put on her battle helmet with a smile, starting her cycle. Denucian nodded and hit his throttle, dashing off towards his army in waiting.
Kaina and the emperor reached the sky-craft and quickly boarded it. The young Guardian started her engines and put the sky-craft into flight, then turned the craft around and hovered above the palace’s main court. The emperor looked over at Kaina, wondering what she was thinking of doing. Kaina put her craft onto auto-pilot and opened her door. “What are you doing, Kaina?” asked the emperor as the Guardian looked back at him.
“You watch my back from the sky, I need to go down and help the guards at the palace. They’ll not be able to hold the front gates for long.” Before the emperor could even say a word the Guardian leapt off the sky-craft, falling twenty feet and landing in the middle of the palace court on her two feet. Quickly, she took out her boezein and looked around at the situation at hand.
A pulsar canon blew apart the front palace gates, knocking Kaina backward off her feet. The palace guards raced toward the blown gates with their weapons in hand. “Fire!” yelled one of the guards as they all began firing their pulsar guns towards the incoming enemy.
Back on her feet, Kaina ran to help the guards when a sky-cycle came over the walls and almost took her head off. Kaina spun around, throwing her boezein at the sky-cycle and knocking its rider off. The man slowly took off his helmet, revealing none other than the prince himself. “Denucian? You almost hit me with your cycle.”
“I meant to hit you Kaina, but I missed. A mistake on my part.” Kaina walked up slowly to Denucian, facing him as she slowly bent down and grabbed her weapon off the stone-colored marble floor of the palace court.
All was chaos outside the palace gates as the Guardians and Neroceffians battled. With pulsar guns firing and swords clashing and slashing, the big battle over the empire began at full force. Over on the east side of the palace wall, Nizon and Arkanon yelled at their battalions to push forward. General Bavaius’ battalions met Arkanon’s head-on, both armies hitting each other like the ocean’s waves crashing upon the face of a cliff.