The response to the excerpts that I have been posting from my first book has been very encouraging indeed and I have been asked by a few readers to elaborate on some of the ideas in my novels.
The exploits of my two main characters is my way of elaborating on the idea that we as human beings are unique in every way. At the moment we are limited by what we can do and are not using our very substantial abilities.
The time will come when we will have the opportunity to become what we are supposed to be. One day in the not-too-distant future we will have access to all of the resources at our disposal, one of which is the power to work with and use universal energies for any number of reasons.
While the ideas in my books are a product of my imagination, there are two in particular which feature quite regularly.
One is the idea of using universal energies as a means of doing things we have never been able to do before…and the other is the idea that human beings not only have an energy system…but they also have an external energy field.
Something which I did not know until years after I had finished writing the Labyrinth of Fire was that the human body is surrounded by a complex web of universal energies. Addric and Dheago discover this for themselves and because of this, they get their first taste of what it means to have their energy system activated.
Our energy field apparently is a vast and beautiful construct, one which, if we could see it, extends up to eight feet beyond our physical bodies. Amongst other things, it acts as a means of connecting us at another level to the whispering ear of the cosmos.
This energy field is a powerhouse of potentials which serve a variety of purposes, but if it was ever to be given a turbo boost to the next level…as it is with Addric and Dheago…we would be very different indeed.
I will provide more information about this at a later date in a separate post, but for now…back to the story…
In Part Two of The Labyrinth of Fire, Addric and Dheago have become criminals on the run, accused of a crime they did not commit…but they are about to discover even more of what is going on in their lives…one of which is that they are a vital element in a campaign to save their world from extinction.
But before that happens however…it is essential that they meet Lezula.
Lezula is the woman that Addric knocked over at the transport terminal in Chapter One. She, as they very quickly discover is no ordinary woman…like everyone else…Lezula has her secrets…some of which are revealed in The Citadel of Fire, the second book in this series.
At this point in the story, it is her task to take them by the hand and transform them from what they are into what they will become. In the process, they get their first glimpse into the mind and power of a Yumi Master.
Addric and Dheago have just been through a baptism of fire and a series of excruciating but enlightening experiences. To their surprise, they end up in Yunara, which as they discover is a neighbouring realm in their world, but it is also the home of the fabled Yumi nation.
Once again, this excerpt from Chapter 23 is narrated by Addric.
We had survived a lot more than we remembered by this point and the least of our worries had been an encounter with a unique if somewhat unpredictable creature.
Our journey had taken on more than a few unexpected detours along the way and our holiday plans were now just a long lost dream.
We had had one too many encounters on the Silhouette, we had come perilously close to losing our lives on a number of occasions, but whether it was due to a strange twist of fate or simply sheer resourcefulness, we were still alive.
But now, another phase of our journey was about to unfold.
We were not sure where we had ended up or what was about to happen. The young men who had escorted us to the gateway had disappeared almost immediately and from what I could see, we were stranded, lost and alone, standing in the middle of an immense circular courtyard, one which was surrounded on all sides by enormous sculpted pylons.
The atmosphere was visible in every respect, an intangible golden haze, shimmering and flickering as if it was alive or perhaps even worse, it was inhabited.
I had the distinct feeling that we were not alone and my imagination was working overtime as it usually does in situations like this.
After what he had just been through, this was a situation that Dheago definitely did not like at all. When he saw the indistinct forms of thousands of semi-transparent beings emerging from the haze, he just wanted to get out of there, but there was little that we could do.
We were trapped. We had reached the tail end of a long journey, we were totally exhausted and there was nowhere else to go.
It was impossible to ignore the fact that we were surrounded, but by what, we had no idea. Whatever they were, they were there all the same and moving in closer with every passing second.
Several minutes later, the energy flickered once again and it was then that we saw a sight we had seen only once before, the atmosphere rippled back and forth and an energetic doorway suddenly opened before our very eyes.
Our anxiety levels had been escalating with every passing second. The tension was mounting and we had no idea what was about to happen. I had been half expecting the worst, an onslaught at the very least.
Within seconds, we could be devoured by a horde of remorseless, faceless monsters intent on doing the very worst thing that they could possibly do.
I for one had no interest in being their next nutritious meal.
It was then that one individual stepped through the glistening doorway which separated one world from another, we both heaved a sigh of relief when we realised that this was no ogre from the underworld.
To our surprise, it was a woman, a tall and stately woman dressed from head to toe in in long flowing veils. She was heading directly for us, not striding, but walking with both purpose and dignity and it was evident that she was no ordinary human being.
I couldn’t see her face, but I had a feeling that she was not someone to toy with. She radiated the quintessential image of stateliness, holding her head aloft in the manner of someone who knew exactly who she was and what she was about.
When she was less than a few metres away, she lifted the veil which had concealed her face and I stepped back immediately. I knew just who this woman was.
‘Oh no,’ I cried, ‘it’s not you again.’
My instincts were on high alert and my heart was pumping away like a jungle drum. Our journey really had come full circle. This was the Keeper, the woman I had knocked over at the transport terminal.
I was expecting the worst, that she would take her revenge as she had promised, but to my surprise, she did not. She bowed her head respectfully, held out her hand and said most unexpectedly, ‘Greetings Addric and Dheago and welcome to Yunara. We have been expecting you. In fact, we have been waiting for this opportunity for a very long time.’
‘You’re not going to turn us into anything,’ I blubbered, ‘are you?’
‘I am,’ she replied, somewhat mysteriously, ‘but what it will be, I have not yet decided.’
I did not like the sound of that at all.
‘I am Lezula, your advisor, not your executioner, Addric, and it is my great pleasure to welcome you back home, at least for a while.’
‘Home?’ said Dheago.
‘This is Yunara, the fabled home of the great Yumi nation and your ancestral home.’
There are times in your life when someone says something which you don’t quite understand. For a few necessary moments, you drift out of your body and into some other dimension and take a cosmic moment to think about it.
Lezula’s comment was subtle, perfectly timed and to the point.
As of this moment, she had us in the palm of her hands and this was the perfect opportunity to commence the knotty problem of our ongoing education.
Lezula was tall and elegant in appearance and adorned in white, rather than long black veils. She was much older than she looked, but this was a woman we would come to know and love and one who would play an important part in our lives.
In every respect, she was the perfect expression of regal simplicity, understated beauty and wisdom, but behind that serene but implacable mask, was a heritage older than time itself.
Lezula was a Yumi and an immortal, a member of an ancient and legendary race of days gone by and like any member of the celestial hierarchy; she could be a force to contend with.
‘All of this may come as a surprise,’ she said, ‘but you did not make your way here by accident, my friends.’
‘You could have fooled me Mam,’ Dheago said disdainfully; the hostility in his tone clearly evident.
‘Almost everything has been very carefully stage-managed, so far,’ she said as she shot Dheago a very obvious but very revealing glance.
Lezula was aware of what we had been through over the past few weeks and she was even more aware of the look in Dheago’s eyes. He was not just angry, he was teetering on the brink of yet another meltdown.
‘It seems that at least one of you will need to be convinced that your arrival on these hallowed shores was no accident. Perhaps you would care to escort me to my personal quarters, where we can discuss this is in a somewhat more cordial manner.’
We followed Lezula through one impressive courtyard after another, passing many palatial buildings as we did so, each of which was built in a style I had never before encountered.
Even though he would not admit it at the time, Dheago was equally intrigued by this situation. We had thought at first that we were trespassers in this realm and that our unexpected appearance on the outskirts of the city would have gone un-noticed, but as we were soon to discover, that was not the case at all.
As I looked around, I had a feeling that we had died and gone to heaven. If I did not know any better and I did not at the time, I would have said that this really was a heavenly realm. Over the next few years we would get to know Yunara as a second home.
It was a place of both beauty and mystery and one in which we would not only be welcomed, it was one in which we would encounter faces both old and new, many of whom we had not seen for a very long time.
We did eventually arrive at Lezula’s private residence and as I expected, it was equally as impressive on the inside as it was on the outside. When I stepped across the threshold, I thought that this was definitely a palace fit for a queen. It was not only spacious and beautifully decorated, I had the distinct feeling that there was a familiar energy in this room…I did not know what it meant at the time…but I would find out…eventually.
‘Please take a seat,’ Lezula said as she ushered us into a sumptuously decorated lounge room.
‘Dheago,’ Lezula informed him clearly and carefully, ‘I am not your enemy, even if I did look like it at the transport terminal,’
‘That’s a relief,’ he sighed.
‘More than a few strings have been pulled to get you two here, and I was only one of many who directed your path, but I can assure you, it has all been for a very good reason.’
‘You mean that there’s something else going on, apart from the sabotage of the new Council?’
‘There is Dheago, there’s a great deal more than that.’
‘To tell you the truth Lezula, I for one am more than a little peeved at what we’ve been through lately. If you would not mind, I’d like to know exactly what this is all about.’
This was the Dheago that I had come to love and admire, forthright and open and never afraid to speak his mind.
‘Considering your recent experiences Dheago, it must feel like a nightmare, and it has been, in a sense, but it is also a very complex situation.’
‘The truth would be good,’ said a very determined Dheago.
‘You did not make your way here by accident and there is a very good reason why you are here.’
‘And what might that be,’ he wondered.
‘For one thing, as I said, this is your ancestral home and for another, you are both part of a much bigger operation, one which has been planned in some detail, and an operation which has a very specific purpose.’
If that was a message of some importance, we were not really sure if we had heard it correctly. I was about to ask a question, but Lezula simply raised her hand as a signal that she was not yet finished.
‘As a consequence, we now face a threat on two fronts. What you have already encountered is just one of the problems we will have to contend with.’
‘But, there is yet another,’ she added ominously.
‘And what might that be?’ Dheago asked.
‘An even greater complication has arisen once again, unfortunately. It is a development we were not expecting and one which, if not contained could mean the destruction of Vela-Rishan or something even worse.’
‘But the sabotage thing,’ I said, ‘that part is real, isn’t it?’
‘It most certainly is Addric. That took us all by surprise. I am sure that you have a hundred questions of your own, but before we go into those, I would like to show you something of importance, to put things into perspective.’
‘However, perhaps a short rest and something to eat would do you both the world of good.’
‘It certainly would,’ I said. ‘I’m absolutely famished.’
‘This way gentleman, if you would both follow me, please. Your education is about to start…all over again.’