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The Guardians of Embrellon – Prologue

Good afternoon, evening, and morning. Thank you for visiting my page today. Starting today, I will be bringing you sections of the first book I got into print, The Guardians of Embrellon. This is a fascinating and exciting story taking place beyond the Orion Constellation and Bellatrix. I hope you enjoy reading the story.

Prologue: Earth year, 2487
It was cold, bone chilling, mind numbingly cold. All he could think about was how everything he had believed in, was shattered in the blink of an eye. He was alone for the first time that he could remember. Everyone he had known, every associate, fellow crewmen, gone. How could this have happened. Everything seemed to be going according to plan, then, out of nowhere, his ship was destroyed in low orbit, as he helplessly watched from the surface of this hostile alien world.
James Whitlaw, Captain of the Rapier, Earth Forces Elite, marooned on a planet that his ship was sent to survey for possible colonization. His mission was to collect mineral samples, catalog biology, record specimens, survey land masses, cartography, oceanography, weather charts, everything colonists would need to know to begin colonization.
They were in a new sector of space, and hadn’t found any spacefaring civilizations so far, no contact or communications, then, like a lightning bolt, that unusual ship came out of hyper-space, and all hands were lost in seconds. He was on the surface, taking the final readings needed before sending a dispatch to fleet headquarters, and putting into orbit a navigational beacon for future ships. His only hope was that the transmitter would notify fleet of the destruction of the Rapier with the crew manifest and alert them that he was stranded, planet side.
First thing he needed to do was to find shelter, water, and food. The survey of the planet was thorough, and he had all of the scans and information. He was in the northern part of the largest continent. 500 kilometers south, he would be in a more temperate area, but right now, he needed to find shelter before nightfall. The planetary day was 22 hours, Earth standard, which meant he had about 14 hours to go as far south as he could, find shelter, and sustenance.
He set for himself the need to travel at least twenty kilometers each day, barring any unforeseen complications. He had a standard pulse rifle, two days’ rations, about 3 liters of water, a phase pistol, and emergency transmitter. Unfortunately, with the ship being destroyed, the positioning beacon that would transmit the emergency beacon and would also notify him once an Earth Forces ship came into proximity of this sector was gone. He just needed to survive.
As he was marching south, he took time to review the records of the flora and fauna of this world, NC14335, now his home unless help arrived. The planet hosted some of most amazing wildlife he had ever recorded. One animal in particular intrigued him and he hoped he was able to see one. One of the crewmen had jokingly called it a Griffin, it somewhat resembled the mythical beast from earth, with some differences. But a Griffin no less, is what it resembled most. From head to tail, it was covered in a smooth fur, resembling a lion’s, mane and all, with a tiger’s stripes, and its face had very large, owl-like eyes, it’s neck was longer than that of a lion, more like a horse, with a lion’s head and the horns of an Ibex. The most incredible feature was its wings, spanning 5 meters each, and covered with feathers, and was about the size of a horse.
His charts showed a series of caves in the direction he was travelling, and was the place he was attempting to reach. Shelter, a fire, and there was a small river on the way there. One thing the crew had noted, was that of all the wildlife recorded, the griffin was the only predator. The other peculiarity of this world was that there were no sentient beings, and no ruins of civilization of any kind.
He still wondered about that ship, and why it attacked without warning. The ship had three torpedo shaped hulls connected by a structure resembling wings. There were no visible markings on the hull, and it dropped out of hyperspace, destroyed his ship, and left as quickly as it appeared.
There was someone out there who had achieved interstellar travel, and had chosen to destroy his ship, rather than introducing themselves first. Now, what was he going to do if he came face to face with them and wasn’t able to speak to them. He may never be found in that case, and how could he warn his rescuers of the hostile forces awaiting them.
After a grueling day of trekking across the frozen tundra, crossing the river, and trying to stay dry, he came to the cave system on his chart. He gathered a fuel source, set about securing the mouth of the cave and investigating the back of the cave for danger. Now, he needed to review the data and figure out what was here to fortify his meager rations. It took a bit of coaxing, but he got a fire lit, ate, and began the study of the flora and fauna in his database.
He must’ve been incredibly tired from the day’s exertion because he nodded off, and waking with a start, standing in the mouth of his cave, was the griffin. Looking at him with what seemed to be intelligence. Not knowing the intent of the griffin, and definitely not wanting to get attacked, he sat as still as possible and tried talking in quiet voice, reassuring the creature that he meant it no harm. Then, in what felt like an electric shock running down his spine and an explosion of fireworks in his brain, he got a steady stream of visions of his ship being destroyed and him being stranded, from the point of view very high up in the atmosphere. It was incredible, the creature was communicating with him, and was reassuring him that he would be safe, for the time being.
0Then the creature sat down, reminding him of the pictures of the sphinx he had seen on earth. Facing him, wings folded, but staring unblinkingly at him. He wasn’t sure if he was on the menu or just being observed when he heard, not with his ears, but in his mind, the creature asking his name, and saying his name was Regulus. James Whitlaw, he said in his mind, and the creature said it back. As strange as this meeting was, this was his one means of finding out information about who had attacked and destroyed his ship and crew.
As they were sitting there, looking at each other across his fire, Regulus kept trying to urge him to leave and head south towards his destination. It was very agitated, and he could only guess that there was some kind of danger and he needed to go. Whitlaw told him that he couldn’t leave until daylight because he couldn’t see in the dark. With what sounded like a laugh, Regulus told him that they needed to fly through the night to reach safety.
Fly, how could he explain to this creature that he couldn’t fly without a ship. After what seemed a moment of frustration, Regulus said that he could ride on his back, but that they needed to leave now. Whitlaw, not wanting to lose the opportunity, agreed, and the creature rose, strode out of the cave and said let’s go.
Whitlaw gathered his gear, and looking a bit anxious, climbed on his back. Regulus vaulted into the sky and the greatest adventure in Whitlaw’s life began.
Flying blind was eerie, not being able to see anything, the planet had no moon, and knowing that with one wrong move he would plummet to his death, he hung on with all his strength and prayed that they would arrive at their destination safely.
As the morning sun began to rise, he saw the most magnificent sight he had ever seen. Flying with them were at least a hundred more griffin’s, male and female, young and adult, all trying to speak to him and flooding his mind with names that he was trying to attach to individuals. Regulus landed and Whitlaw slid to the ground, legs shaking with the effort to stand. He was in the home of the griffin’s and Whitlaw realized that they had flown the whole 500 kilometers during the night.
Whitlaw asked Regulus if he knew who had attacked his ship, and Regulus’ response was the destroyers of his people. He showed him the hatching grounds, the place where the young were born, and that the attackers would come when they had hatchlings and would take all that couldn’t fly. Whitlaw asked him what they looked like, and what he saw was a humanoid about the size of a man, but with feline features. They captured all that couldn’t escape, and took the dead with them, Whitlaw assumed to eat. Then, Regulus told him that his people were known as Skrees, and the attackers were called Marns. Regulus wanted to know what his people were called. Whitlaw said that he was a human, from a planet called Earth.
Then Regulus took him to a place inside the cliff face where they had landed and to Whitlaw’s surprise, was a woman who he didn’t recognize. She said her name was Lara and that she came from a planet in the next system, and on one of the Marn raids, escaped and had been here ever since. When Regulus had told her that he had seen others like her, she thought they were from her planet, but she could see that Whitlaw wasn’t. Her people had violet eyes and blue hair, and Whitlaw’s hair was black and he had blue eyes. Other than that they seemed to be of the same race, she was about 168 centimeters tall and he would estimate her weight at 60 kilos. Whitlaw stood 192 centimeters and weighed about 100 kilos.
The hardest thing for them was that they had to talk through one of skrees, and that they began to earnestly try to learn to communicate with one another. Lara told him that her people had developed space flight centuries ago and that they discovered the Marn as they explored the systems. The Marn were scavengers, and stole whatever technology they could from all that they met, and until they met her people, the Vela, they had no hyperspace technology.
The Marn had raided and destroyed most of the Vela outposts, and stole as many ships as they could, and other than her homeworld, the Vela outposts had all but ceased to exist. Her planet was raided continually and trying to find a place to live was hard. She had stowed away on one of the ships and escaped on the first inhabitable planet she arrived on.
Whitlaw told them about his planet and people, and that hopefully, there would be a rescue soon, but as he was to find out later, one of the things that the weapons the Marn had, destroyed everything and no one would know he was here unless it happened by accident.
Lara and Regulus told Whitlaw that the planet was called Embrellon. As Whitlaw learned more about Embrellon, he discovered that he and Lara weren’t the only humanoids on the planet. There were refugees from many worlds and the Skree protected them from the Marn. The reason they weren’t discovered on the scans from Whitlaw’s expedition was due to a special mineral that blocked the scans. This mineral he would soon discover had other properties and was the secret of Embrellon. The Skree were the guardians of tanzite, and this mineral, with properties of crystal, was the reason that the inhabitants of Embrellon were able to communicate telepathically.
With this knowledge, and his experience as an expeditionary marine, Whitlaw created the Guardians, humanoids paired with Skree, linked psychically by the tanzite crystals they wore upon their brow, to protect his new home from the Marn, and all others who would come to this world with any reason other than peace.

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