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Authors: Kaitlyn O'Connor

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Alternate Worlds: The Fallen


Alternate Worlds:
The Fallen


Kaitlyn O’Connor

( c ) copyright by Kaitlyn O’Connor

Cover Art by Jenny Dixon

ISBN 978-1-60394-879-1

Smashwords Edition

New Concepts Publishing

Lake Park, GA 31636


In the beginning, when the star dust of an
exploding sun sprinkled the world with the seeds of life,
were among the first to crawl from the primordial soup,
emerging as chameleon-like creatures, able to change shape and
color at will to protect themselves from the predators that emerged
alongside them. Like the salamander, they could heal the most
grievous wounds with amazing speed and grow new appendages when
necessary. This gift for rapid cell regeneration, they used to give
themselves an even stronger advantage over the beasts that would
prey upon them, the development of wings to glide high above the
tangle of vegetation that had sprouted from the soil, where death
lay behind every frond and leaf. Eventually they developed the
ability for true flight.

These endowments gained them the right to
life when others perished and eventually, over time,
emerged as the Elumi, evolving into the dominant, intelligent
species of their world.

When the first, ape-like creatures that were
man’s ancestors emerged and began their struggle to cultivate and
dominate nature, the Elumi had already conquered the known world
and its skies, and their gifts had led them to see what no other
eyes could see--the gateway to a world that coexisted with the
primitive, violent Earth, beyond the destructive forces of nature,
beyond the reach of time, beyond the tedious struggles of mankind,
who were multiplying and polluting the world the Elumi had
dominated for ages.

For a time, the Elumi and mankind lived side
by side and the Elumi enjoyed the awe with which these weaker
creatures viewed them, calling them gods, angels, demons,
fairies--and endowing these God-like beings with many powers the
Elumi didn’t actually possess. For a time, the Elumi fought the
boredom of their existence with these intelligent beasts, amused
themselves with these savage, pseudo-intelligent creatures, but
there was little sport in it when all was said and done and in time
they grew more annoyed than amused and the Elumi passed beyond the
gate, away from the distraction of these lesser beings to pursue
their own course.

Their gifts had made them virtually
immortal, resulting in a notable lack of fear of death, which
encouraged their natural aggressiveness. With no reason to progress
beyond that stage they found most compatible with their warlike
dispositions, they simply did not. The strongest and most
aggressive carved out kingdoms for themselves, twelve in all.
Twelve kingdoms dwindled to four as the ages passed and one by one
they fell to a mightier foe.

Many ages of mankind passed in the world
below them while the remaining kingdoms contented themselves with
merely squabbling over boundaries and incursions into the other
kingdoms from time to time to count coup or to take a particularly
appealing prize, but the time came when they grew restless. The
time came when the petty disputes erupted once more into all out
war when King Braeden of Nardu threatened the balance of power by
seeking to ally himself to the kingdom of Marceena by marriage to
the Princess Leia.

Wily King Edric, father of Princess Leia,
did not oppose the match, but did not approve it either since he
was well aware that King Braeden wanted his kingdom far more than
his daughter. He allowed the courtship and bided his time while he
considered how he might turn the situation to his own advantage and
add the Kingdom of Nardu to his own holdings under his rule.

The threat was enough to alarm both King
Sorecet of Garyn and King Gozal of Tearra and although they were
fast enemies, they began to negotiate the possibility of joining
forces to oppose the army they feared would rise against them the
moment King Braeden and King Edic settled their differences.

And thus it came about that the wars in the
land of Pearthen, high Earth, spilled over into the lower world of
mankind once more.

Chapter One

I was on the most bizarre mission I had ever
undertaken in my life. Adrenaline pumped through my blood as I
cruised through the tiny southern town, searching for the sign that
would point the way to me.

Part of what was pumping my drug of choice
through my rapidly beating heart was fear. There was just no
getting around that, because I wasn’t stupid and I knew the risk I
was taking. Part of the rush was pure excitement because I was just
plain crazy that way and I couldn’t help it, but part of it was
also sexual.

I had a plan and if everything worked out
just as I wanted it to, I was going to get the ride of my life

I braked when I at last spotted the sign:
Holy Temple of the Warriors of God--15 miles.

My gut tightened. This was the place

Flipping on my blinker, I made the turn and
headed out of town, taking care to keep my lead foot from pressing
the gas pedal to the floor. A lot of these little towns were
notorious speed traps. It wasn’t part of my plan to get caught by
Goober and risk a night in jail because I had a serious problem
with my mouth and authority.

The only thing that actually worried me
about my plan was that I didn’t have a clear mental picture of the
layout of the Temple—hadn’t even been able to find a decent
exterior view for that matter, although the newspaper clipping had
shown a good view of the garish red doors that fronted the

It bothered me just a tiny bit that I hadn’t
actually used my training in years. I’d served in the military
fresh out of high school. Not that I was a zealous patriot, or a
glutton for punishment, or out for adventure, or even to escape my
fruitcake of a mother. I’d gone in thinking I could earn my college
money and party at the same time.

I’d come out four years later with the
certainty that I was not cut out for submission. I was a natural
dominatrix, but the military hadn’t seemed to care for that
particular talent since I was an enlisted stiff and supposed to
follow orders, not give them.

Taking my college money, I’d headed off for
my serving of education—no particular goal in mind. I just wanted
the degree in whatever. It turned out there was a career just for
me—management—and I’d enjoyed being the office bitch so well that I
was damned near thirty before it finally dawned on me that I’d
skipped something I didn’t want to skip.

In all honesty, I didn’t want to miss a
damned thing. I knew it was unreasonable. Having your cake and
eating it too just wasn’t done, but I suppose I inherited some of
my mother’s unreasonableness. I’d decided early on that I was going
to experience everything life had to offer, and taking half a slice
wasn’t acceptable.

I’d almost missed the kid and family
thing—actually, I didn’t particularly care whether I could rope a
ring for my finger or not. I did want the kid, though.

Anybody that knew me well would have flatly
vetoed the idea of me being a mom, but I figured dads didn’t have
to be pansies to be dads. Who was to say I couldn’t be a hard ass
and still be a good mom?

The trouble was, God—Fate—or Providence—was
against me. I was outraged when I discovered I couldn’t conceive
and the worst of it was that the moment I found out I couldn’t, I
became obsessed with doing it.

Then I discovered that there were just some
mountains that couldn’t be moved and I’d hit one like a bug at
ninety miles an hour.

Depression wasn’t something I’d had much
familiarity with before. I didn’t deal with it all that well.

It got me to thinking about my mother—the
fruitcake. As my uncle was fond of saying, she was a few cards shy
of a full deck—a total religious freak. I still couldn’t believe
she hadn’t been nominated as a saint after she died. Of course, she
hadn’t been Catholic, so I supposed that might have had something
to do with it.

One of her weird religious experiences in
particular popped into my head one day and since by that time I was
really depressed and seriously obsessing over the ‘problem’ I began
to wonder if there was anything to it. She’d always claimed she’d
been visited by an angel and blessed with a child when she had been
told she could never conceive.

Knowing my mother like I did, visited became
raped and blessed—well, that was me and even I knew I wasn’t a
blessing. I didn’t know who my father was, but I knew he wasn’t any
where around. Uncle Bill hadn’t been too helpful. He’d just
shrugged and said she’d gone off with some religious cult and came
back knocked up.

I took an extended leave—maybe I’ll be back,
maybe I won’t—from work. I’d been a workaholic for years and I
didn’t have expensive tastes. I figured I had plenty of money
stockpiled if I needed it and I could always go back to making
other people’s lives miserable by making them work for their money
if this didn’t pan out. I’d been tracking ‘sightings’ of angels for
months and I was just about ready to give up when I ran across an
article about the cult I was even now bearing down on.

They claimed they’d captured a demon from
hell and they were going to offer him up to God on the next full
moon. They wouldn’t let anyone see the demon—said it would get them
and carry them to hell—but they were so excited about it I figured
it was worth the drive down to Hicksville to check it out.

I didn’t believe in angels, mind you. I
believed in what I could see and hear, but something really freaky
had happened to my mother. I’d tracked her medical records down
and, sure enough, she
been diagnosed as ‘unable to
conceive’ which was why her husband had dumped her and she’d joined
the cult to start with.

I’m not sure exactly what I
had happened, but I think somewhere in the back of my mind I was
thinking aliens—which I had no problem believing in. I didn’t
particularly care if it was either as long as it could do the

Hell, at this point, I’d have taken a demon.
I was part ‘whatever’ myself, according to my mother, which might
explain why I was such a cream puff of a gal that I could wither a
strong man’s cock at twenty paces just by giving him the ‘look’ if
he annoyed me.

I drove by the Temple, slowing so that I
could get a look at it. Unfortunately, it was already starting to
get dark and it wasn’t easy to see since the building sat a good
distance from the road. I drove a half a mile without seeing a road
or driveway I could use to turn around and finally, after glancing
at the road ahead and behind me, whipped the SUV I was driving
around in a U turn and headed back.

It probably wasn’t the best part of my plan
to leave the vehicle so close to the Temple, but I wasn’t a spring
chicken anymore and I had no desire to try to outrun a pack of
religious maniacs on foot when I could use a vehicle and make
tracks faster. I’d had the foresight to rent a good all terrain
vehicle, though, and I pulled off the road and into the brush. The
brush was so thick I had a hell of a time getting out the driver’s
door. Making a mental note of ‘will take time to reenter vehicle’,
I went to the back and opened it, dragging out a utility belt that
I’d outfitted with every conceivable tool I might need to crash the
party. Almost as an afterthought, I grabbed the nylon rope I’d
brought and hooked it on the belt, hoping I wasn’t going to need

When I’d fastened the belt around my waist,
I debated whether I’d make more noise thrashing through the
underbrush or skirting it. I opted for skirting it, mostly because
I didn’t relish the idea of stumbling along through the woods.

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