October 26, 2007

I purpose to put here a few excerpts from the final book of The Windfallow Chronicles. There are only two or three chapters finished so far and a preview of the end chapter. However, I would like comments upon the theme and how it should be implemented.

This book differs from the first five in that it seeks to enter the mind of Angari, central figure of those books. Here I will explore what it would be like for an angel to be tempted to ursurp power as did Lucifer before the worlds were made.

If you feel so inclined I would appreciate any comments and discussion about this book. Here is the first exceprt:
A RAGE OF ANGELS. This is the beginning of the final book in the double trilogy, The Windfallow Chronicles. Captain Coby Brasker has been sent on a new assignment…———————–
Captain Coby Brasker leaned back, stretched luxuriously and looked around his new office. Long gone were the drab grays, greens and beiges of the old style office.This room was decorated to resemble a forest glade. Holographic walls gave the illusion of depth and the sound of gently falling water lent an air of peace. Even the floors were covered with a resilient tile made to look like old stone blocks, “And all this in deep space! I guess promotions are worth something!”
Col. Brasker had been sent on a reconnaissance mission to track pirating in Quadrant Three. What was going on? Distances were too vast to make that kind of business profitable. By the time the expense of crew, fuel and equipment was counted, profits were slim to none. What could be that valuable…”Coby sat up with a jolt. Windfallow! He got on the comlink and confirmed what he suspected.It was Kiota they were after and a link to his backer in the United Americas.



October 23, 2007

The spacemen have, they believe, convinced the Fallowfolk that they wish to build homes on the planet and raise their families there.  Thinking their clever plan is proceeding apace, the three men, minus Lt. Brasker who has been kept safe,  come to the palace of Lower Windfallow…


As they approached the castle the men assumed they would be stopped and asked their business.  They were ready to give account of why they had come, but no one barred their way.  They walked up the wide steps and through the tall doorway into the reception hall.  Here they stopped and looked around for they appeared to be unobserved.  Smith stepped to a wall and ran his scanner over it.  Sure enough, the screen flashed emerald.  He knelt and did the same with the floor expecting to see a reading for amber.  But, to his amazement, it read out gold.  He grabbed Dobrowski’s arm.  “Look at that!” he whispered, “We’re walking on pure gold!”

          “May I help you, sirs?” They whirled around to find a tall fallowman standing just behind them.

          “Yes,” Smith regained his composure. “We’ve come to see the king about our house materials.  Can you take us to him?”

          “Of course,” B’delli motioned them to follow him and led the way to the King’s chambers.  He indicated a doorway and turned away.

          The men stepped into a room hung with rather dull tapestries and long curtains that billowed into the room through tall openings.  The King was seated at a large desk with papers upon it and appeared to be writing.  He stood up as they entered and motioned them to take seats.  The chairs were comfortable if a bit worn looking.  “You have come to talk of the materials for your homes?”

          Smith stood again.  “Yes.  We have the plans finished and just need your approval to order the stone.”

          “That will be taken care of after we have eaten supper if that suits you.  I’m sure you are tired from your long journey.”  The King clapped his hands and several fallowfolk came in bearing trays of food.  These were set on one of the tables in the room and the humans were invited to sit.

          “Where is your family, sir?” asked Kiota who knew they must have all the royal family here if a coup were to take place.

          “Why, they are visiting the royal family in Windemere,” the king answered.  They will be back in a few days.”

          “Well, then, I guess you will have to do.” Smith stood up and took his lasgun from its holster.  “I hereby declare this palace to be our headquarters on Windfallow and you to be our prisoner.”

          King Terah remained seated and asked, “What is it you mean by this, Captain Smith?”

          “I mean you are a prisoner and must do as we say.”

          “And what do you say?”  The King was calm and collected making the humans begin to doubt their superiority in spite of the deadly weapons they carried.

          “I say call all the people who are in this castle and have them gather in this room.”

          The King clapped his hands a second time and the room began to fill.  Smith and his men leaped up on the dais that held the throne so as not to be surrounded.  Smith demanded, “Is this everyone?”

          As the King nodded, Smith raised his voice so all could hear.  “Listen to me!  You are now taking orders from the three men you see here.  Do you understand me?’  No one moved or spoke.  “This castle belongs to us now.  All of you will leave quietly and go to your homes.  Tomorrow we will tell you what the new rules are.  Now, leave.”

          No one moved. “I said leave!” Smith waved the lasgun.  When he got no response, he yelled, “OK, I’ll show you what this can do to you!”  He pointed the gun at a fallowman.  But before he could pull the trigger, he was encircled by the arms of a seven-foot Alari.  His arms were held at his waist in an iron grip though he could see no one.  “Men, shoot to kill!” But Dobrowski and Kiota were in no position to follow orders.  They also were disabled.

          The king turned to Smith.  “Captain, you were a guest here and you were shown every courtesy.  Now, you will be sent away with nothing.  No gemstone, no gold and no memories.  Mr. Kiota, the demon whose domination you have been under is being destroyed at this moment.  Before we send you away, we will let you see what you could not see before.”  Suddenly the veil was lifted from the eyes of the humans.  Brilliant colors shone through the walls, the tapestries and chairs that had appeared dull were now rich and heavily embroidered with gold, silver and copper threads.  Then the King raised his hand. “Golden, you may take these men back to their own time.”



October 23, 2007

Another away team has been sent down to the planet.  This time the captain goes with them.  They discover the secret of the Curious Light, not knowing the Alari are discovering them as well…

“Well, I’ll be….” Smith knelt beside a dull blue stone.  “This would never have caught my eye, either.”  He directed his scancom at it.  “Sapphire.  This is pure sapphire!  And look at the size of it!  And there; that’s got to be ruby… and emerald over there.”  He rocked back on his heels.  “No samples yet, men.  Let’s explore a little.”


          The two Alari, sized down to the size of bees, watched from a nearby bush.  “Better call Angari.”  Almost instantaneously he was beside them.

          “Thanks, Dysis.”  Angari watched the humans walking through the meadow, pointing their instruments at the stones.  The ship had been observed flying low over both hemispheres and its resting place noted within the Barrier Wood.  “I’m afraid the nature of our stones has become apparent to the humans.”  Angari carefully sent a mind probe toward the aliens and picked up conversation as well as their inner thoughts.

 He saw the pile of gemstones on the captain’s table.  Seeing through the eyes of Dobrowski, who could not take his thoughts off the gems, he knew the secret of Windfallow was now revealed.  He settled into each of the other humans individually to see what their reactions were to the truth.

Captain Smith, also driven by greed, was the leader of the group.  Brasker alone was looking at the gemstone with pure astonishment not mixed with greed.  I was right, thought the alari; this one has the Maker’s Spirit within him.  I must not let him see one of us or he will give away our presence to the others.

Then, he probed the mind of Kiota.  Here was a very different aura. He saw great fear as well as greed and a faintly familiar mindset.  Where had he felt that before?  His mind ranged back over the centuries to that long-ago time when the Jackal… That’s it!  This human is under the influence of a demon!  I must call a council immediately!”


October 20, 2007

          The away team has returned to their ship and are reporting to the captain.  They begin to connect the glow from the planet with what has been found there…


Kiota dumped his bag of stone chips on the counter in front of Captain Smith expecting to see the dull pastel stones he’d put in the bag

          “What the…!  Where did those come from?” he stammered.  The other two men dumped their sacks in separate piles and stood mute before the dull shine of ruby, emerald and sapphire chips.

          “Where did you find these stones?” Smith demanded.

          “Right where we landed, Sir!” Brasker found his tongue and stepped back to the counter.  He picked up a fist-sized emerald.  Uncut, it still gave off a soft green glow in the brightly lit ship’s lab.  “These were common stones down there!  We chipped them off big outcroppings.  Do you suppose ALL those rocks are gems?  Why didn’t they shine like this on the planet!”

          Dobrowski looked from the stones to the observation window beside him.  The little planet below shimmered in the odd halo they’d wondered about before.  “That’s not common light,” Dobrowski whispered. “That’s the reflection of one damned big precious rock!”

          “But why couldn’t we see it down there?” Brasker scratched his head. “I gotta think about this, sir.  Could we discuss this after supper?”

          Smith motioned the men out of the lab while putting a stone under the microscope.  “To their backs he ordered, “Not one word of this, do you read me?”

          “Yes, sir!” came from all three as they headed for ship’s quarters.


          Kiota palmed his keypad and entered the small cabin he shared with three other junior officers.  He was still stunned as he turned over in his mind the events of the past few days.  Why couldn’t they see the gemstone?  What masked its real properties?  Alone in the quarters, he dropped down on the bunk, hands clasped behind his head.  In the corner on a small altar stood a statue of his family’s god, its sapphire eyes remote and mindless. 



October 19, 2007

Lt. Brasker is now ready to return to his starship.  Angari bids him goodbye and curiously….


“Very well, I shall bid you farewell,” said Angari, bowing. But before he turned away, he paused.  “May I ask you a question Lt. Brasker?”

“Of course,” the spaceman turned back.

“Do you believe in the One who made the universe through which you travel?”

The Lt., who was frequently razzed about his stubborn belief in a transcendent God, smiled.  “I certainly do, Angari.  I certainly do!” He raised his hand in a salute. “I almost hope we meet again, friend.”

Lt. Brasker walked on around the bend and the winged creature turned back toward Skye.  Just before Brasker disappeared from sight, he pointed the scancom once more at Angari.  Still no reading. Hmmm, the One who made the universe.  Wings…” He shrugged his shoulders and walked on, tapping the comlink. “Brasker to beam up!”

Angari saw the sparkling cylinder of light and, breathing a sigh of relief, sat back down on the moss-covered rock through which there now peeked the shine of Emerald.  Two tiger cubs appeared out of the bushes and rubbed against his legs while squirrels and rabbits hopped to the sparkling stone beside him.  Fragrant blossoms drifted in the air from the ever-blooming trees and several tiny creatures lit on his shoulders.  On closer inspection, however, one noticed that these were tiny winged people.  They laughed and sang in their chiming voices, pulling at Angari’s hair and coaxing him to come back to Skye with them.

“Ok, let’s go!” Angari laughed. “You were very cooperative and very careful!” Suddenly he was as tiny as they were and the whole retinue winked out and reappeared over Skye. Here, the castle was shining with a refracted light that, had he been allowed to see it, would have blinded Brasker as the sun caught the facets of amethyst, ruby and diamond.  They swooped inside where translucent walls allowed the rich sunlight to fall in tiny rainbows over the amber floors and strike fire from the rich, faceted crystal saucers and goblets.

The Queen was just coming into the main hall with a circlet of minuscule Alari ornamenting her snowy hair.  Angari assumed full stature, something short of seven feet, and bowed before her.  “Come, Angari, and let us discuss what you learned of the stranger.” The Queen smiled at him.

“And, what he did not learn of us!” Angari offered the Queen his arm as they walked into the garden. 


October 18, 2007

 This is the first excerpt from the sixth book of The Windfallow Chronicles.  A Curious Light takes place many centuries after the Thomas family’s adventures there.  All gates have been closed between the two worlds and no one from earth, good or bad, can use them.  However a light ship exploring the far galaxies has observed a small planet wreathed in a curious light.  They decide to investigate…

Angari smoothed his wing feathers, brushing his hands casually over their five-foot length. The rocky ledge on which he sat was a drab green with soft moss its only ornamentation. The man, unaware that Angari had watched him appear in a sparkle of light behind a stone outcropping, now stood before him. He was using his mouth to form words, though Angari could clearly understand his thoughts without physical expression. “Can you tell me the name of this place?” The sound was guttural and harsh.

“It is called Spring Hollow,” Angari answered, letting his words take the same form the stranger had used.

“Spring Hollow. Is that the name of the planet or a country?”

Angari crossed his feet and assumed a casual air. “The planet is Windfallow. Do you have a reason for asking? Do you not live nearby?”

“No, I come from a great distance. I am interested in learning about the people who live here.” The man – Angari assumed he was human- was a few hands taller than Angari, who had been caught in a slightly smaller version of himself. “Are all the people who live here, uh, winged, like yourself?” The stranger tried to appear unperturbed at the appearance of a humanoid dressed in silky, iridescent leggings and tunic with wings that surely had a span as wide as the creature was tall. A head of bright yellow curls topped a tanned,  well-proportioned body.

“No. Some of us have wings and some do not. You seem to know very little about us. Did you say you were from a far place?”

Brasker decided to trust his instincts and level with the native. “Yes, I do come from a far place and it is not this world. We fly through space in a big ship called Outrider, and explore any planet we find that might support life. Your world registered on our machines as one of those. Do you mind that we are visiting here?”

“No, as long as you come in peace and do not stay long. But why do you come here and what is your purpose?”

“As I said before, we explore planets that have the possibility of sustaining life. Yours registered as one of that type and so we chanced a landing.”

Angari noted the use of the pronoun, ‘we’, but did not comment on it. Instead, he tendered an invitation to the man. “While you are here, would you like to meet some of our people, perhaps the King and Queen of Lower Windfallow?”         “Yes, I’d like that. By the way, my name is Lieutenant Brasker. And your name is…?”

“Angari. Follow me, please.” The winged man turned to a path through the flower-studded meadow.


October 16, 2007

Having failed to corrupt the animals of Windfallow, the Jackal recruits and sends in a band of thugs with instructions to kidnap the Royal Family, thus supposedly bringing the world under his command.  We catch up with the thugs as they stealthily make their way through the darkened palace…


They walked carefully down the hallway keeping one hand on the wall and trying to be ready for whatever they bumped into.  Which came quickly enough.  The man in front gave an inadvertent grunt as he encountered a wall.  They all stopped and Butch suggested sotto voice, “Take out your contacts!  Maybe we can see better!”

           They could indeed see better after removing them and were able to distinguish interior walls.  With this problem solved they navigated to the interior of the building.  What they did not know and could not see were the Alari who had gathered in groups to walk with them observing their every move. 

           Cede, who’d come with Krill’s family, mindspoke across the miles to Angari.  “Better come to the Skye Palace and bring some friends.  Looks like the humans are trying something.”  She’d no sooner put the thought out than Angari was beside her.  The halls were now filled with Alari of all sizes being careful not to bump into the humans.

           “How did they get so far into Windfallow without our knowing?” puzzled Angari.

           “We didn’t watch at night,” offered Willow, “maybe they knew enough to travel then.”

           If David and Cory had seen the large group making their way through the palace, they could not have helped laughing.  Especially knowing the humans had no idea who or what was following so close.

           In good time the men came to the sleeping quarters.  The first room they happened upon was the one in which the cousins were sleeping  “Ok,” whispered Butch.  “There’s two of ‘em.  Vermit, you take Rail and get those two.  But don’t grab ‘em until we get the parents.”

           “How are just two of us gonna get the parents!” Vermit asked.  “That king ain’t gonna be no pushover!”

           “You got a knife on you, ain’t ya.  Use it to make ‘em do what you want.  We’ll do the same with the little princes here!  But don’t use no gun!  We’ll stand by the bed ‘til you come with the king and queen.”

           “Have you heard enough, Willow?” mindspoke Angari.

           “Yes, friend.  I think we’d better stop this now.”