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Rise Of The Fallen
The Blue Sky Chronicles - Book 1
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ISBN-10: 1-77115-165-X
ISBN-13: 
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy/SF
eBook Length: 307 Pages
Published: March 2014

From inside the flap

A lone warrior falls from the sky into a post-apocalyptic world where chaos rules. Unable to return, he joins Gunwayne, the captain of a mysterious airship known as The Drake. In exchange for his services, he is given the opportunity to return to his former home among the clouds. But throughout his adventures with the crew, the psychic soldier begins to wonder if his fall from grace was actually a blessing in disguise. Are the shackles of the sky really worth his freedom? And did he really belong there to begin with? This is the first book of The Blue Sky Chronicles sci-fi action series.

Rise Of The Fallen (Excerpt)


Prologue

Kael was falling.

The world above him was as distant as the world below.

His body felt infinitely heavy, like it could not descend fast enough. The air tore at him and its cold teeth sank down into his hair. He felt its whips across the skin that his suit failed to cover. Though endlessly beautiful and calm, the Sky was truly vicious. The placid celestial ocean was brutally grinding him to nothingness. It was azure sandpaper that enveloped the heavens.

Why is this happening? the young man wondered. How could I be falling?

His thoughts were swirling, they felt as insubstantial as the clouds he was starting to pass through. Though they appeared dense enough to catch him, the residents of the cotton landscape did nothing to slow his plummeting form. Their ghosts provided him with only further obscurity.

Kael tried to look upwards but could not discern the conflict that raged far above him. Without the distant flashes of blue and golden light, he felt suddenly isolated. The endless sky formed an existence in which he alone inhabited. There was no end in sight anywhere. Kael felt as though he should fall asleep and close his eyes forever. Perhaps then it would all make sense. Perhaps then he would be less lonely.

Is this even real? Am I awake?

Sears of pain suddenly jolted Kael out of the lull. It felt like his right eye was trying to separate from his skull. A burning sensation was radiating from it like tributaries of lava. He was having trouble focusing his vision despite the fact that there wasn't anything around him to actually focus on. But the stinging sensations did make the reality of the situation very clear to him. This was no dream. He was falling. And even the endless Sky had an end.

The man shut his affected eye and focused instead upon his mind. It was difficult though as adrenaline began to charge freely through his system. Any other situation would likely not have caused him to panic; he was a warrior after all and trained to be professionally brave. But Kael Blau feared falling more than anything else. It was a cruel irony for one such as himself, but hardly something he could control.

Dammit! Why isn't this working?

The falling man glanced over at the silver disk strapped to his left arm. There were five cables that ran from the disk's steel body and into the fingerless glove on his hand. They were vibrating wildly in the wind like rebellious tentacles. Upon the device itself, there were three concentric rings that gave it the appearance of a small stereo. However, these rings framed a glowing green core at their center. Despite the intensity of the environment around him, Kael could still discern the tiny fingers of spectral energy that pressed against the transparent center. He had always likened them to the antennae of some deep-sea life form. The strange device was only about the size of an adult's fist but was remarkable beyond measure. The disk allowed him to do many things, even save himself from falling.

Unfortunately, it was currently bleeding emerald flames.

Kael could feel only a miniscule amount of energy respond to the call of his left hand. It was nowhere near enough to make a difference. The device's reactor was in the process of dying. Just like he was.

The air was growing much warmer. Though it felt wonderful and promised more oxygen, the implication was not a good one. Kael's trip was nearing its end. Panic began to recede from the falling soldier's mind as he realized that there was absolutely nothing more he could do. His fate had already been determined.

At least I'll be living long enough to meet the Surface, the young man realized. Too bad I won't actually get to stand on it though.

The clouds were growing thin and the rapid changes in pressure were like tornados in his ears. He would be seeing the ground very soon.

Kael took one last glance into the World above. It was the place of his birth, an endless sea populated by clouds and visited only by the moons and sun. A habitat in which location was irrelevant and transience was law. But now he was a deserter, an expatriate. He would die away from his home. And as a former resident of the heavens, he could not fathom an afterlife; it simply could not surpass what he knew already. It was no small wonder that it was the Empyreans who ruled both sky and earth. It was the rightful order of things. Even a child could understand such a profound truth.

Kael looked away. It was time to face the last thing he would ever see, savor the alien world below as it drew ever nearer. He had seen the Surface before, of course, on thousands of clear days. The soldier had wondered what it was like to walk upon Tellur's solid face rather than upon the shaky loans of circuits and machines. But there had never been much for him to see from so far away, just a plane with strange shapes and hints of struggling civilization. But the vast majority of the Surface reminded him of where he was already. The endless blue expanses of the oceans simply reflected the heavens. It was as though the surface of Tellur was trying to rival its celestial owner by attempting to emulate its master's grandeur. Such was the nature of his soon-to-be-coffin.

A wave of heat enveloped Kael just as the Surface burst out from the cloud cover in all directions.

At first the falling soldier thought it was a random spike in the temperature, but the air around him felt far too different, as though isolated from the rest. It was an invisible pillar of warmth. It was lofty and dry, not angry or moist. He actually felt very slightly lighter.

A thermal! he realized.

Kael spread his arms, despite the uselessness of the gesture. Not even the strength of a tornado would do him much good. His course was already set.

But suddenly an idea sprang into his mind. It was crazy, yet he had absolutely nothing to lose. It was a fighting chance. And Psychics were supposed to go down fighting after all.

I just hope the amp wasn't damaged, he grimaced. Otherwise this is going to look really stupid.

Tearing the oxygen mask from his face, the Fallen Soldier focused his mind once again, but this time reaching outwards. He pulled the atoms of the air around him closer together, making them crowded and dense. They became very nearly solid.

But Kael's commands were resisted. His minions were rebelling. Their vibrations were irregular and offbeat. It was like trying to hold the leashes of millions of wild dogs with one hand. The atoms were now starting to escape from his order and springing back into the entropy of the universe. He could perceive them doing so in mass quantities although it was impossible to discern any single mutinous member.

The Psychic realized that rings about the plasma core of his device were indeed damaged. Either that or the reactor itself could not provide sufficient power for the intended effect anymore. Kael looked back down just in time to make out the form of a large mountain of boulders below. Desperation then seized him.

Come on, you piece of shit! I'm not dying like this!

He struck at the device angrily with his right fist, missing it completely and falling into an endless roll instead. The impending Surface below suddenly appeared everywhere.

That's it, he mused, anger suddenly subsiding as quickly as it had arisen. Might as well die with some dignity at least. Just wish I could have made up with Allene before this though. But at least this way she'll have the chance to be paired with someone else. Perhaps then she can be happy.

The thought was as sad as it was strangely comical to him. The fact that his death might actually make someone else's life better was truly humiliating. But Kael knew Allene would cry for him. He knew her love was genuine even though he questioned his own. But he would rather embrace her forever now than the ground below. Even a passion born of falsehood could possibly be survivable. Acceleration due to gravity from this altitude sure wasn't.

A buzzing sound came forth unexpectedly. Kael became suddenly aware of everything around him acutely. Glancing over in shock, he saw that his device's rings were pulsing once again, their cadence restored although not perfectly in sync.

Looks like a little regret goes a long way.