Harrah’s Casino, Las Vegas Nevada Earth Prime
The crowd roared in appreciation as the figure of a man appeared out of the smoke at the back of the auditorium,
“And that, damas y caballeros, concludes our show for tonight.” Said the man at the rear of the auditorium, “My name is Lupus Magus and I bid you all a good night.”
Lupus stepped out of the elevator and into his penthouse suite. He removed the band from his wrist and placed it into his wall safe, closing the door and spinning the dial.
“If they only knew that the band is the secret of your success.” Said a voice from behind him.
Lupus caught his breath and released it slowly before turning and dropping to his knee, head bowed in respect”.
“My lady,” he said, “To what do I owe the honor of this visit?”
“The portals have been compromised.” Said Contessa Maria Magdalena “I have been ensorcelled during my last passage thru a portal from the Nexus.”
Magus looked up at the Contessa. His face took on a stricken expression as he looked at, or rather thru her.
“My lady,” he gasped “you have come to me in spirit form only. This does not bode well.”
“Indeed,” she said “my body lies on a sick bed in the Nexus. I am unable to reanimate my body and it grows more lifeless with each passing moment. I have need of you and the pack, Lupus.”
“As ever, I am at your command great lady. But how may I, your humble servant, assist you in your hour of need?”
Maria Magdalena chuckled softly. “The great Lupus Magnus.” She said “Humility never did sit well on you, even before I entrusted the pack to you. But come, get off your knees. Time grows short and we have much to do. When did you last use the portal projector in yon safe?”
“About an hour ago during my act.” He said rising to his feet. “I experienced no problem with its function.”
“No.” she nodded “it would be difficult, but not impossible, to tamper with a personal portal. Still, it would serve you well to use extreme caution before returning to The Nexus.”
“Highness, what is the total picture. What can we expect?”
“I was able to return the Emperor to the Nexus, but I was unable to reintegrate his memories before I was stricken.” She said.
“So, he does not know who he is, or how important he is?”
“He does not. The Chancellor is doing his best to educate him, but you know how stubborn our Lord can be when he sets his mind to it. I fear he is extremely vulnerable with his memory in this state. She said. “Gather the pack quickly and return home before our enemies become aware of his present state. I fear I can stay no longer. I can project my spirit in the waking world for only a short time. Look for me in the dream world later.” She said as she began to fade from sight.
“As you command My Lady.” He said, and abruptly cut off his speech as he realized he was now speaking to an empty room.
So much for a restful night. It will take me half the night just to gather the pack.
With that thought he crossed back to the wall safe and retrieved his person portal projector. He then entered the rest room and opened the linen closet. With a touch to the side of his wrist band, a small portal opened before him revealing a storage space. He removed a knapsack from the space and closed the portal.
Indeed my lady, this band is the secret to my success along with the other gifts you have bestowed upon me. We shall not fail you.
Lupus touched another stud on his wrist band and walked thru the doorway that appeared in the air before him.
Where the hell am I? And more to the point, when the hell am I? Oh I get it, I am dreaming!
“Are you certain you are sleeping, lover?” said Dana West “Shall I pinch your delicious buttocks to make sure? Or would that just get a rise out of you as in the old days Lucian?”
“Who the hell is Lucian and what are you doing in that get up?” asked Randy.
“You tell me lover, it’s your dream. Would you like me to get rid of this get up as you call it?” said Dana.
Randy looked her over more carefully. She appeared to be wearing a fur dress with a chain mail vest and a skirt of metal strips. She wore a belt from which hung a sword and had a spear attached to her back with a thong of some sort. How could a woman wearing so much appear so undressed?
“No.” He said reluctantly “Keep your clothes on and tell me why you are calling me Lucian?”
“That was your name when first we met.” She said “Do you not remember? We met on the plains Thuria battling the trolls.””
Suddenly another figure appeared before them in the dress of a medieval ranger. She wore a bow across her shoulder and a quiver of arrows on her back. On her belt she wore a long dagger.
“My lady.” Exclaimed Dana with an exaggerated curtsy.
“Sonia, Lucian, well met.” Said the Contessa Maria Magdalena. “Put your hormones in check Sonia. This is his dream, not your erotic fantasy, although I must say the Roman battle gear does display his legs so fetchingly.”
“Maria!” exclaimed Randy with a blush “Perhaps you can tell me what the hell is going on here. If this is a dream, it is truly a weird one. How are the two of you here?”
“What lover?” said Dana “You never dreamed of two beautiful women before?”
“Of course” said Randy “it’s just that…. Could this get any weirder?”
As if in response to his query, a large wolf appeared from nowhere, Randy reached for the sword at his belt only to be stopped by Dana/Sonia.
“Relax lover, it’s only Lupus” said Sonia.
“Lup.. who?” he said “that is a wolf!”
As he watched, the wolf transformed into a heavily muscled man. A totally nude man! Not totally nude after all, he wore a black studded wrist band of some sort. As he watched, the man was suddenly clad in the uniform of a Roman centurion.
“My Liege!” Exclaimed Lupus slapping his fist to his chest in a Roman salute. “I, Lupus Magnus, am your humble servant and I am here at my ladies behest.”
“Bien!” Maria said “We have little time to waste. I have no idea how long Lucian will sleep and the world of dreams is the only place where I am sure that I will not fade away. I still have control over my presence in this world at least. Lucian, allow me to introduce the current head of your Imperial guard, Lupus Magnus, and It appears you have already met Sonia, though I believe she was introduced as Dana West. She lives to serve under you and I leave that open to your interpretation. Be that as it may, she is a capable warrior and I would and have fought by her side many times.”
“Lupus.” Said Randy with a short bow “A pleasure to meet you. I trust the name has some connection to your appearance. A werewolf. Will wonders never cease?”
“Ah, you don’t know the half of it my liege.” Said Magnus.
“Hold on” said Randy,” I take it you all hold me in some respect as a royal personage of some kind?”
All three nodded in unison.
“Good. Then I decree from this moment forward that you drop the honorifics and just address me by my name. “Said Randy “I know that one of you at least will have no problem with this.”
“A pleasure Lover” said Sonia with a wink.
“To business.” Said Maria “Randy, if you recall, I appeared at ‘your deathbed’ in order to retrieve your essence and return you to The Nexus. This was to be a routine transfer which was to end with your memory fully restored. Somehow, our enemies managed to bewitch the portal I used to place me in the state I am currently in. I can only assume their objective was to sabotage the restoration process. Why the spell did not work on you, I do not know. But our enemies did not take into account my abilities as a spirit walker nor did they recall my Lycanthropic abilities. In any case, with the help of Lupus and Sonia as your bodyguards, Albert as your instructor and a few of your close associates, we must begin an accelerated reeducation course before our enemies get the chance to regroup. With that, I will leave you to return to your sleep. We all need to marshal our strengths for the task ahead.”
“Just so you are aware, your true name is Lucian. You are the Lord Emperor or The Nexus and you have been absent for eight months during your sojourn on Earth Prime. Albert will fill you in on some of the other pertinent facts in the morning.”
Suddenly Randy found himself back in his bed.
That was intense. But was it real or just a dream of no substance.
This again Lover? The night is still young and there is some reeducation I need to give you on an important matter.
With that Sonia disappeared under his sheets and a very warm feeling began to envelop him.
Well, why not? When in Rome….
The Dark Realm
“Is she dead?”
“No great one.” Replied the messenger “She lies in a petrified state at the Center.”
“The Gorgon spell should have killed her by now.” Said Ayesha. “Bring her to me.”
“That would be most difficult, Highness. She is heavily guarded by her pack’ said the messenger.
“And how fares the Emperor?”
“It appears that he is at a loss on how to proceed. He does not seem himself. Almost as if he does not know the powers he can wield.”
“Ahhh” hissed Ayesha “He has not fully integrated. This may yet be used to my advantage. Go now, see what resources you can marshal to bring the Contessa to me.”
With an imperious wave she dismissed the messenger and took a seat on her couch to go over her options.
I had hoped that the Gorgon spell would negate her spirit walking abilities. Apparently she retained enough of her abilities to summon help. Perhaps if I move quickly enough I can gain his confidence, after all, it has been a long time indeed since last we set eyes on one another.
With a self-satisfied smile Ayesha, Empress of The Dark kingdom of Lemuria lay back on her couch and fell into a light sleep
Lucian woke to the sounds of shouting and metal clashing against metal.
“To arms” someone shouted “we are under attack! Protect The Empress!”
Lucian leapt out of bed and ran out of the door into the night.
“You’re gonna need this. Lover” shouted Sonja throwing something at Lucian.
Lucian caught the sheathed sword and looked at it in amazement. “What am I supposed to do with this?”
“It’s like riding a bicycle lover, it’ll come back to you real quick.” She yelled as she engaged two men with wicked looking scimitars. “Watch your back Lucian!”
Two men came out of nowhere and their intent was pretty clear. Lucian pulled the sword from the scabbard and parried a slash to his head. He countered with a thrust to his attacker’s abdomen quickly pulling his sword out he swung at the other attacker and sliced through his arm at the elbow.
A pack of wolves came around the corner toward him. Lucian raised his sword to defend himself.
“No!” Exclaimed Sonja “That’s Magda’s personal guard. We need to get into her chambers now.”
They ran into the building on the heels of the wolf guard. There were bodies sprawled by the entrance to the contessa’s chambers. They entered the chamber to the sight of six scantily clad men and women facing the Contessa’s bed. Leaning over the bed was a richly dressed woman with long black hair. She held a dagger in one hand. Contessa Magdalena Rosario held the woman’s wrist with one hand while gripping her throat with the other.
“So Lucrezia,” the countess hissed, “you have come to finish what you started. I thought I detected your machinations in this.”
“How?” gasped Lucrezia “You should have been dead long before now.”
The wolf guard stepped forward and disarmed Lucrezia. One of the men raised a hand, now transformed in to a wolf’s claw and prepared to strike.
“Hold!” commanded Magdalena “We need to question her. Take her to the cells.”
“As you command majesty.” Said Lupus.
As the guard left the room, the chancellor entered the room. With a nod to Lucian and Sonja he made his way to Magdalena’s side.
“Countess, it is good to have you back.” Said the chancellor
“Not for lack of trying on Lucrezia’s part, Emrys.” Said Magdalena “Lucian have you been brought up to speed my love?”
“Not sure what speed you are referring to Countess.” Said Lucian “I don’t even know who the players are at this point. Everyone keeps getting new names and bodies. It’s like a Homerian epic around here anymore. How is it that you are moving around again, you were doing a good impression of a mannequin when last I saw you?”
“Fortunately,” she said “our enemies mistake the recuperative abilities of members of the clan of the wolf. Apart from being a spirit walker, I am a lycanthrope, Therefore I heal at a vastly accelerated rate.”
“Are you telling me you can’t be killed?” Lucian asked in awe.
“None of us can be killed.” She replied “At least not in the permanent sense that you think of as death. We can be removed from this plane and be reborn elsewhere in the Multiverse. But eventually we return here to the Nexus. We have survived at least a hundred of these transitions in our lifetimes.”
“The Nexus,” Emrys said “was created as a result of the greatest cataclysm of the Thurian Age. The so called destruction of Atlantis. Atlantis was not destroyed, but slipped into this corner of the Multiverse. Much like the Homerian epic you referred to”
“This is all too incredible to believe.” Said Lucian.
“How do you explain your prowess with the sword? Have you had fencing lessons?”
“No, I have never held a sword in my life. Don’t you people have guns for defense here?”
“Firearms do not work in the Nexus. Most of the advances of science do not function here. Having used both science and magic, I can say I prefer it this way.”
“Majesties!” Lupus exclaimed as he reentered the chamber “The Borgia witch is safely locked away in the cells.”
Thank you Lupus,” said Magdalena “is the compound secure?”
“It is Highness, the guards are clearing the bodies as we speak.
“I fear the Dark Empress has begun her offensive against us.” Said Magdalena. “Sonja, call a meeting of the council for tomorrow morning, we must provide the Emperor with the information he needs to rule effectively.”
Atlantis – 900 BC
He woke to a blood red sky.
Is it today? Is the day of prophecy upon us? Nay, it is but another minor eruption of the volcano.
Emrys looked out of his window and observed the normal flow of traffic in the streets. He thought that the normal foot traffic supported his thoughts that it was a more or less normal day. He sighed in relief and turned back into his chamber and poured water from the pitcher on the table into the waiting basin and began his morning ablutions. Perhaps he would put off his studies with Apollo until later in the day. Maybe he would stop and visit Lucian and Magda before he went to resume his studies.
“Emrys!” called a strident female voice.
“Good morrow to you Sonja” replied Emrys as she appeared at his doorway. “To what do I owe this early morning visit?”
“I am experiencing premonitions of doom this morning. Do you sense something amiss?”
“Well, I must admit I felt some misgivings when I awakened but…..”
His words were cut short as the floor began to vibrate beneath their feet.
The Nexus – present day
Emrys entered the council chamber and stood to the left of his Emperor and Empress. The council of twelve stood around the table. To the right of Magda stood Lupus, head of the Imperial guard. To his right stood the warrior maiden Sonja.
“You may be seated.” Said Magda.
Everyone took their designated seats.
“Kherion, how do you propose restoring The Emperor’s memory in as little time as possible.” Asked Magda.
Kherion, the Imperial Sage cleared his throat before replying “Since we are in dire need of restoring the Emperors memory, I can only suggest that Emrys cast a spell of remembrance on him.”
“It can be done,” nodded Emrys “but it will require one, possibly two days to restore all of his memories.”
“Perhaps you only need to restore key memories.” Stated Sonja “After all, he recovered his prowess with a sword when it was needed.”
“Hmmmm,” said Emrys “That may indeed be the key to a swift return of his memory, but it will not guarantee his total recall.”
“Let it be done.” Commanded Magda.
“Hold on there.” Said Lucian, “Don’t I get a say in this procedure? I don’t really know any of you people.”
“I am hurt by your mistrust, lover” said Sonja with a wicked grin, “I thought I showed you all you needed to trust me the other night. I know I left nothing to your imagination.”
Lucian glanced at Magda and blushed.
“More the reason for restoring your memories,” Magda smiled “Sonja and I are not the only wives you have had in the last ten millennia my love.”
“Ten what?” gasped Lucian “I guess I have a lot of catching up to do.” He turned to Emrys “I know I have heard your name before, how well should I know you?”
“We have known each other since before The Sundering Sire.” Replied Emrys.
“Are we in agreement then?” asked Magda.
All around the table the council nodded their agreement.
“Sire,” said Emrys “I will meet you in your chambers when I have prepared my potions.”
As one the council rose from their seats and bowed to Lucian as he left the room with The Empress and the Warrior Maiden.
A few minutes later Emrys entered the bedchamber where Lucian sat of his bed. He handed a vial to Lucian and instructed him to drink it all. As Lucian downed the fluid in the vial, Emrys began to chant arcane phrases.
Suddenly, Lucian felt as though he was floating off the bed as the spell took effect.
(To be continued Georgetown GA Dec 26, 2013)