Apocolyse is a story, a trilogy I started working on years ago. It was a combination of dreams, predictions, history, truth and fantasy. It was a way for me to cope and deal with what I was dealing with in life and what I saw coming for the future. Circumstances happened, life happened and I had to put it away for many years. Now, with current events, never has there been a better time for me to revisit…Apocolyse
She rolled over and looked out of the window at the dark, looming skies outside. Groaning, she climbed out of bed, pulling on her clothes as she stood up. Her instincts warned her that the time she had been dreading was finally here. Not now, she thought. Why did it have to come now? “Because it is time”, responded the quiet voice inside her. As Shea left the rooms she shared with her husband, Cianán, she pulled her long dark hair back into a braid and walked toward Lord Patraik’s quarters. She knew he’d be up, even at the early hour that it was. Such was the storm that had arrived, that it could rouse a man who rarely woke up before noon.
DISRUPTION AND MEMORIES
As Shea walked through the long corridors, the few people she saw seemed full of nervous tension, shrinking into dark corners or huddling in small groups around what few sputtering lights there were. Her secrets were known only to a select few, and those she saw were not among them. Still, it was apparent that she was not the only one sensing the evil to come. She was just the one who, even among the few that knew her secrets, knew what the full impact was to be. Though in a hurry, she stopped long enough to say a few words of strength and comfort to those she passed.
As she turned one last corner, Shea paused once more before reaching her destination. She stopped before a heavy oak door, and pulled out a key. She took a deep breath as she unlocked the door, and paused for a moment before pushing it open. All these years, she thought, By all the Gods, I hope I’ve done enough. “You’ve done all you could have, and definitively better than others.” Shea gave a small, brief smile. Typhæ was being his usual cynical, yet comforting self. Shea opened the door and stepped into the darkened room.
After shutting the door and locking it behind her, Shea walked over to the bed and looked down at her daughter who was still sleeping soundly, as yet unaware of the turmoil that was slowly brewing in the world outside. “Pyrtone and I knew you’d be here as soon as you felt it,” said a deep rumbling voice beside her, “Here.” Patraik’s big hand thrust a large cup at Shea. She took a small sip, and was pleasantly surprised. Rather than her normal cup of coffee, Patraik had given her a mug of steaming honey mead. “This may be the best surprise I get for a long time. Thanks.”
“No thanks needed. I thought it might be a better wake up under the circumstances.”
They turned from the sleeping form and walked into Patraik’s adjoining chambers. As they settled in front of the fire, Patraik in his large lounge chair, and Shea in the leather couch, she said, “I suppose we’d better tell Shylah everything today. Now that it’s here, she needs to have her own joining, and she needs the full history. We can’t protect her from that knowledge any longer.”
Patraik nodded his shaggy head. “It would be better had the need never risen, but we both knew that was a futile wish. We might want to consider exactly how and what we’re going to tell her. There are still some issues she’s better not knowing for her protection.”
“I agree. This is one thing that the parenting handbooks don’t cover.” Shea allowed herself a small grin.
Patraik chuckled. “No, they don’t.” Both knew neither of them had ever picked up a parenting handbook in their lives.
They both sat in silence for a few moments, each lost in their own thoughts, their own memories of what had led the two of them to this point in time. For Shea, Patraik was the father her own had never been, the confidante she had always needed, and her inner strength when she was too tired to carry on. His daughter was the sister she wished her own had been able to be. For Patraik, Shea was his second daughter, the one who could read his emotions without even being in the room, and his protection against a world that was all too sane. Her only daughter, Shylah, was the granddaughter his blood-daughter had never given him. For both, they were each other’s best friend, and had a bond that nothing could break. They had been there for each other time and again, and knew that they would continue to be each other’s shield against all odds. There were others folded into that weave, and they were good friends, even great, but none had the type of unyielding bond that Shea and Patraik did. They understood each other without speaking, and often carried on complete conversations without speaking or moving a single muscle.
Shortly, there was a knock on the door. Patraik called out, “Door’s unlocked. Come on in.” As the door opened, Cyric walked in and sat down next to Shea. He was a handsome man, tall and slender, without being too thin, dark of hair and eye, and always moved quickly, but gracefully, seeming as though he was perpetually stalking an unknowing prey. “Somehow I didn’t think I’d be the only one up this morning, though you wouldn’t know it from walking through the halls, there are so few people moving about.”
Shea grunted. “We’re going to have to get busy soon. Muster the troops and all that. Think I’m going to have to give a few lessons in history today.”
As Cyric gave her a puzzled look, she clarified. “We were just discussing giving Shylah her Joining today.”
He sighed. “It’s amazing how things can change overnight. Was it really only yesterday that I was again thinking that this was all just a figment of our collective imaginations?” He paused for a second. “She will want me there, won’t she?”
Patraik and Shea burst into laughter. “She’d probably kick your ass if you weren’t there,” Patraik said with a grin. “Then fry you and cook you for breakfast,” added Shea with a wink.
“Of course she’s going to want you there,” said a voice from the doorway. “She’s known you longer than she’s known me. She just doesn’t remember the first several years.”
“Look who else was woken up early this morning. Not a pleasant way to wake up is it?” asked Patraik, lifting his hand slightly in greeting.
“Damn! I was hoping you’d be able to sleep in a little longer. That’s why I didn’t wake you up when I left, Ci,” said Shea blowing a kiss at her husband.
“Morning Cianán. Hope you don’t mind me stealing your wife while you were sleeping in!” said Cyric with a grin.
“She’s all yours when I’m gone,” Cianán said with a note of sobriety that reminded them all why they gathered together on the cold, dark morning. “Just make damn sure you take care of her…of both of them.”
Quickly, Shea stood up. “Come on. Let’s get this party started. We all know what to do. Cianán, I want a meeting with the main group in the large meeting room in one hour. Cyric, everyone else in two hours, same place. I don’t need to remind any of you how important this is. As you’ve seen, everyone else can feel it too. They need to focus now, and we are about to give them that focus.” She turned toward the scruffy man in the chair, “Patraik, take care of Shylah, and if Kaie and the other kids come in, keep them here as well. Tell them nothing as yet. I’ll be back as soon as I can. They need to hear this from me.” And with that final word, she turned and left the room.
Shea went back to her rooms, and settled down in her private meditation chamber. It was a peaceful room, decorated in shades of blue, with purple and green highlights. It was here that she often engaged in the stretching exercises that kept her body limber, here where she spent her few spare moments reading the many books she enjoyed, and here that she came when she needed to contemplate on the problems that life seemed to keep throwing at her. Problems such as what she was encountering now.
She lay down on the large sofa in the corner, and closed her eyes, trying to think of the best way she could tell her daughter what was in store for her during the rest of her life. How do you tell a child the history of a war that hasn’t happened yet, but that she’d grown up with her entire life? A war that she would have to fight. A war that could save humanity. . . or destroy it.
As Shea was contemplating the best way to explain to Shylah that they were now in the final, and what was sure to be the worst, stage of the conflict, images came to her mind. Memories from her past came flooding up to the forefront, knocking the questions out of mind. She knew that Typhæ, in his infinite wisdom, had given her the answer she needed.
She remembered her first recurrent nightmare – a nightmare that she later discovered was all too true. She was young when it began, 5 years old, or younger perhaps. In the dream she was standing on her parents’ front porch, and saw a plane coming in for a landing at the local airport. A few minutes before the plane would have landed, it suddenly burst into flames, and turned into a fireball that rolled across the runway, scattering debris and bodies along the way. In retrospect, she remembered seeing a streak across the horizon heading toward the plane, just seconds before the plane exploded making the incident no accident. The authorities claimed that it was a malfunction of some type or other. They never found any proof that it was anything other than that. She knew better of course, but what could she do? What scared her the most though, was what happened immediately after the plane crashed. It wasn’t that there wasn’t any proof that someone shot down the plane. It was that after the plane exploded, the clear blue sky began to rain blood.
Shea had a fairly normal childhood. Her name wasn’t Shea then. She began using that later in life. She had cynical, hypocritical, over-protective parents, but they did love her and her sister and raised them the best way they knew how. Their father made enough money so that their mother didn’t have to work, which was unusual. Most families had at least two incomes, and with most of the other kids she knew, even that wasn’t enough. Of course, of those, half the kids had only one parent. Her family wasn’t rich by any means, but they did well, and Shea had everything she needed, and often much of what she wanted.
That didn’t stop the dreams though. The recurrent nightmares had a strange sense to them, not like ordinary dreams. Shea didn’t realize at that point what the difference was. Not until her freshman year in high school. That year she had a dream, a real dream, not a nightmare. In the dream, she was having a normal day clearing out the garage with her mother. She sat down to take a break. Shea remembered everything about that dream. How clear the sky was, how she was sitting, even the exact words of the conversation she was having with her mom. In the dream she did recognize the same strange sense that seemed to permeate her nightmares. Exactly a week later, she found herself cleaning the garage with her mother. The weather was exactly the same as it was in the dream, even down to the cloud formations. She sat in the same exact spot to take her break, and it was in the middle of the conversation when Shea realized that everything was just like it had been in her dream the week before!
Over the years, Shea discovered she had more abilities than the prescient dreams, though that was the first talent to appear. Her most obvious talent though, was empathy. She could feel the emotions other people were giving off, and those of animals as well. She could see ghosts, sense energy, and mold it to her needs, particularly that of fire. After a few years she began to read Tarot as well. Shea discovered that the abilities ran through both of her parents, but as they didn’t use theirs, it had lain dormant in her until she had discovered it. As she used her talents, they began to grow and gain strength, as most talents do when used. She never used them for personal gain, hers or anyone else’s. As such, she didn’t use them often, but always gained experience quickly when she did. She told few people about her talents, as the vast majority of society tended to think of cults and black majik, and she had few enough friends. After all, most high schoolers were far more interested in sports and parties to think about anything else.
As she entered college, Shea discovered more people with interests and talents such as what she had. She also discovered two very important things. The first was that she could also see a person’s past lives, which gave her great insight into the individuality of the person she was reading. The second, and far more important discovery was what most people who don’t have the gift never understand – that psychic abilities tend to manifest themselves by personalizing the situation to the individual having the vision. That is, in most situations, the event presenting itself will not usually happen in the exact way the vision comes. The vision must be interpreted to determine the details of the event to occur. Not an exact science to say the least! Still she persevered in her endeavors, both educational and otherwise, and eventually graduated college with an Associates degree and an unofficial minor in psychic studies – not something offered by the college.
By that time, she was bored with education. She was now 21 years old, married and about to have her first child. She had been through a couple of bad relationships along the way, and her new marriage was not exactly turning out to be bliss either. Her husband seemed to think that as soon as he put the ring on her finger, she became his property to do with as he pleased. This did not sit well with her. He had also stated shortly after hearing that she was pregnant that he already hated the child for changing his life. Still, she had given her word in marriage, and she didn’t take that lightly. She had made a promise, and was going to do everything she could to keep it.
During this time period, her husband introduced her to a friend he had met on his way home from work. The man he introduced her to, was an older man, with shaggy gray hair, and his name was Patraik. Shea and Patraik became friends very quickly. He reveled in her pregnancy, and quickly became her one and only friend.
In due time, she gave birth to a baby girl, Shylah. And as Shylah grew, so did the temper of Shea’s husband. He became irate when Patraik took her out to the local pub for a night out which she had not had in several years. His idea was that it was fine for him to go, but not for her. Given that she was not raised to be meek, mild or give in easily, she told her husband to shove his problems up his ass and went out anyway. At the pub, Patraik introduced her to the man who later came to call himself Cyric. Cyric and Shea took to each other very quickly. About a half-second to be exact! Their personalities meshed perfectly. Shea had found a real man! Things were not perfect though. Though Patraik had a great time watching their relationship growing, Cyric objected to having any type of relationship other than friendship with a married woman, and he soon moved out-of-town to finish his own college degree. Still, the friendship grew, and they continued to talk as often as they could.
In the meantime, however, Shea’s husband was growing worse. He no longer had a steady job, and had begun abusing not only her, but also her daughter. Shea finally had enough and, regardless of the promise she had made when she married him, threw him out of her life. As she divorced her husband, her sister married and had a beautiful baby girl of her own, who she named Kaie. The two girls were inseparable.
The timing was perfect for shortly after she became single again, she met the man who would later change his name to Cianán. Though she still loved Cyric, she also loved Cianán. He in turn loved her, and her daughter, and decided he wanted to adopt the beautiful child. Cianán introduced her to many of his friends, and she loved hanging out with all of them. She still talked to Cyric, and when she and Cianán married a few years later, Cyric gave them their favorite wedding present.
Shea still worked on her talents, and was still having dreams. She was not the only one either. Shea and her close friends also started to notice a pattern between events on the news, and her intuitions coming true. She realized that soon, a war would break out, and there would be nothing she could do to stop it without a miracle of biblical proportions. Personal freedoms would be revoked, and the United States would become a tyrannical dictatorship. She knew there was no way to stop the impending doom, but they could at least prepare for it, and for the reconstruction that would be required after. She had already run a numerology program on herself and her daughter. The results were astonishing, and up to that time absolutely true! She spoke with Patraik, and he agreed with the plan she came up with. Rather than be outspoken and run the risk of being prosecuted on their beliefs as was already happening to others, they would appear to act as normal, and as the time drew closer for war to begin, they would stock up on supplies and lay plans for more direct action later. When the time for actual war came closer, they would build a retreat in the mountains on property they had purchased, and move there. Cianán agreed with them. And so it began.
As the plans progressed, nothing was put down on paper. No one wanted to take the risk of being caught, or of having evidence found. This turned out to be a good decision, as some time after the plans began, there was an attack of profound proportions on the United States. A terrorist organization hijacked a number of planes, and flew them into a series of high-rise buildings, burning them to the ground, killing everyone who was inside the buildings. Many of those who were trapped threw themselves out of windows, preferring to fall to their deaths rather than be burned alive. Shea’s first nightmare prophecy had come true, and immediately after that event, she stopped having that particular dream. Others still persisted though, and she knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that what she was doing was right. In response to the attacks, the government of the United States passed a series of Acts that enabled them to check any persons background, medical records, credit, and anything else they had or had done at any time in their life, just on a slight suspicion of illegal activity or because they knew someone suspicious. And it was all under the guise of securing the U.S. against further terrorist actions. The terrorist state had begun.
Shea slowly began to change the pattern of her life, and it was during this time that she began to use the name she had chosen for herself, Shea. She slowly began to withdraw from normal society, instead choosing to attend parties where she could meet with more influential people…actors, politicians, businessmen, etc. She gathered the more conservative of those for her friends, and from the more liberal she gained information. She made quite a name for herself, and no one suspected her of being anything other than what she chose to show herself as: a highly successful model with amazing business sense. She introduced Patraik as her bodyguard and Cyric as her agent. Cianán, of course, was her husband, and Shylah was kept well hidden. Roni, another friend, was her business manager. Together, the group purchased properties that were strategically located for their plans.
One of the properties purchased was a ranch in the Rocky Mountains. It was by far the largest piece of property that they owned, and the most important. The main property included a private lake fed by the river that gently rolled down from the natural spring that was also on the property, hunting grounds, several cabins, an archery range and a shooting range, several gardens – vegetable, herb and flower, stables and pasture for the many animals, a few private houses for the friends that lived there and a play area for the kids. The main house was comprised of a sub-basement, basement, two kitchens, two dining rooms (one also functioned as the meeting room), a dojo, a game room, a pool area, office and classroom space, and several spacious suites for Shea and the few friends that actually lived in the house. There were also a few hidden escape routes on the grounds that led to the one area on the property no one save a few highly trusted friends knew about – a secret set of caves hidden high in the mountains above them that was also fully stocked with all the provisions they would need to last through a war, no matter how long it lasted.
Shea remembered the events that finally drove the group to the mountains permanently. They were planning a vacation there during the height of summer a few years ago. Her sister was letting Kaie come along with, and would join them later, along with their parents. A couple of weeks after Shea, Cianán, Patraik and the girls arrived at the “fortress”, there was another terrorist attack, this time on a nuclear power plant. Not the one that their father worked at, but the threat was severe enough to cancel her parents’ trip. Almost immediately following that incident, Shea’s sister became severely ill, and due to the fact that she was allergic to almost every medication on the market, her vacation was spent in bed, and she never fully recovered. Though Kaie spoke with her mother often, she did move in with Shea permanently, and soon after it seemed like she had always been with them. Though Shea still did public speaking from time to time, the fortress became her permanent residence and she avoided cities whenever possible.
Shea opened her eyes to the present. Now that she knew what to say, and how to say it, it was time to go do so. She sat up, looked at her watch and smiled. Typhæ had impeccable timing as usual. He had brought her back from her memories with five minutes to get to her meeting.
MEETINGS AND QUESTIONS
Shylah woke up extremely groggy, sluggish and thoroughly cranky. She also had a monstrous headache. As she slowly sat up and groaned, she thought back to the night before, and couldn’t remember eating or drinking anything that would cause a headache this bad. Then her dreams slowly came back to her. Ahh, that’s it! With dreams that bad, even Satan would wake up with a headache, she grumbled to herself
As she tried to climb out of bed, she stumbled over the bedspread and sheets that she had tangled herself up in. A long, low chuckle came from the corner of the living room of her suite. She jumped, startled. “God damn you, Grandpap Patraik!” she yelled, then groaned again as her headache flared again. “What the hell are you doing here anyway?”
Patraik let out a long slow sigh. “It’s up to your mother to explain the full details, but I will tell you that you’re having your Joining today.”
“I take it that it’s not entirely good news this morning then, is it. Not to say that having my Joining is bad, but things can’t be good if we’re pushing it through this fast.” Shylah made the statement matter-of-factly as she pulled on her clothes. She was used to unusual, and not always pleasant surprises.
“No, it’s not. You, Kaie and the others are to wait here for your mom to come and talk to you. I’m waiting for the others now as well as keeping an eye on you.”
“You’ve been watching me all night then?”
“Most of it. I got a couple hours of sleep.”
Shylah didn’t take what he said as an insult. She knew her suite was situated next to Patraik’s so that if something happened he could protect her. It was common knowledge that there was something different about her. She just didn’t know what, but deduced correctly that she was about to find out part of it at least before the day was out. She reached for the cup of coffee Patraik handed her, and sat down to ponder the situation.
Patraik watched the young woman from his chair in the corner. Shylah was extremely mature for her age; she was in her upper teens, and with good reason. She had already had to deal with more than most people do in their entire lives. Her birth father had tried to kidnap her when she was still a baby. When that failed, he disappeared and deserted her. She had almost been molested before the age of 10, and had grown up in a world that was continually at war with itself, a world where what was acceptable one day, was almost punishable by death the next, a world he had tried to prevent from coming. Her mother was a popular public speaker, and though kept hidden from the general public whenever possible, Shylah had the classic good looks that always made both men and women stop and stare. She was tall, with height nearing five foot seven inches, with not an inch of fat on her slender body. Her weight was only about 115 pounds, all of it muscle. She knew how to dress to show it off as well. Her hair was a long, thick, luxurious, reddish brown, her brilliant blue eyes missed nothing that occurred around her, and she was quick to catch on in a situation she was unfamiliar with. Shylah was the type that never did anything slowly, or by halves, and though she was his granddaughter, Patraik sometimes swore he could hear angels sing when she walked by him.
As he sat studying Shylah, Patraik heard a noise coming from across the hall. As he stood up to check, the door opened and a tall, lithe man strolled in. “I gather things are about to get much more interesting around here,” Loc said as his way of saying good morning. Much like his father, her cousin had a way of talking about even the most with a sarcastic bent, which always brought a smile to her face. Their extended family had not been easy on Loc’s father in his youth, and he forever resented them for that. The only person he did respect in the family was her mother, Shea. She had bucked the family and found her cousin herself after not seeing him for over 20 years, and with almost no communication during that time.
As Loc made himself comfortable, Patraik glanced over at him. He carried the family stamp etched on his face. No doubt about who his ancestors were: penetrating blue eyes, brown hair and a squared off jaw. The family resemblance was remarkable. “Shea will be here as soon as she can, Loc,” Patraik said with a warning tone in his voice that told Loc not to say anything further. “Make yourself comfortable. I’ll grab some breakfast.”
“Don’t bother, Grandpap. I’ve got it,” came a voice from the other bedroom in Shylah’s suite. Her other cousin, Kaie, came in with a huge platter of fruit, yogurt and cereal in one hand, and a full coffee pot in the other. Kaie was shorter than her two cousins, but much stouter. Her father had played football in college, and it showed in her frame. Her blonde hair was the only other thing she had inherited from him, everything else was pure Scottish from the same lineage as Shea, Loc and Shylah. This was Shea’s niece, but Shea loved her like a daughter.
Kaie sat down in the chair that Patraik had vacated, and the four of them slowly drank their coffee and ate breakfast in silence as they waited for the last of their party to arrive. They didn’t have to wait long. Soon another two people entered the room. “Mom, said you wanted us in here,” said the older of the two, a blonde girl named Maris. Her younger brother, Mardin, didn’t say anything, but sat down in an available chair and began eating.
“Yep. Sit down and enjoy. My mom will be in as soon as she can,” responded Shylah.
Mardin looked up. “I have a feeling that whatever is up isn’t going to be good news.”
“Now you know about as much as the rest of us,” said Kaie.
The four friends looked around at each other, and at Patraik. If they were being called together, and Shea was going to come and talk to them, it had to be over something big. They quickly thrust past the idea that one of them had done something horribly wrong. There was too much tension in the fortress today for it to be that, and if Patraik wasn’t talking about it, then it was definitely bad news. All they could do was sit and wait.