Here are a few excerpts from the book:
The Saint: The Saint had traveled the rest of the day peacefully. The path grew more lush and thicker with every step until it was as if The Saint was walking in a verdant tunnel. The night air smelled fresh and cool. The overhanging tree branches blocked out most of the moonlight, making it difficult to see the path. He heard a rustle behind him and spun, withdrawing his sword from its sheath. The little moonlight that seeped through the trees seemed to gather on the blade of his sword and reflect onto the path, illuminating just enough for him to make out the way in the dense brush. Seeing no threat, he continued his journey down the narrow path using his sword’s reflection for light. Again, there was a noise, and he froze. Slowly, he turned, scanning the brush around him with his sword. After deciding there was no apparent danger, he apprehensively took a few more steps. Again he heard movement; this time, it seemed to be above him. Something lashed out at him, and he ducked. As quickly as the creature had appeared, it was gone.
The Saint held himself ready for another attack with senses alert and sword raised. The creature struck again, this time at The Saint’s feet. He tumbled to the ground, and his sword fell to the side of the path. This time, the attacker did not retreat back into the forest, but taunted him from just a few feet away. The Saint sat frozen as he glimpsed his attacker in the scant moonlight. Terror filled his heart as he looked upon this gigantic serpent. The sight of its leathery skin, the glowing, fiery-red eyes, and deadly teeth pierced into the depth of his soul. The serpent, sensing the fear of his prey, slithered closer until it and The Saint were nose to nose. Horrified, The Saint peered into his tormentor’s eyes, eyes that reflected his worn, terror-stricken face. Still paralyzed, The Saint barely noticed the snake coil its giant, leathery body around him. He could think of nothing else but the ferociousness of this massive serpent. The Saint struggled to breathe and felt the crushing pain of the coiled creature as it began squeezing the life out of him.
Trin: The next morning, Trin arrived on the front defensive lines of the battleground early as a blurry apparition. Lord Trin, Prince Trin, and the weapons master appeared as one, yet individually at the same time. Lord Trin’s form appeared in the center of their ethereal formation with both the weapons master and Prince Trin’s bodies seemingly to phase in and out as they walked with both appearing in one instant before or behind Lord Trin as the other appeared opposite, then switching positions, and then back again with each passing step.
He called his two best captains to him, Gabriel and Michael, who fell in step behind their Lord. Gabriel and Michael were both young in appearance with pure blond hair, Gabriel’s long and Michael’s a clean, short cut. Both had bright blue eyes, and though they were battle-hardened, they had soft, fair skin. The three made their way to a large tent in the center of the camp, and Trin led them to a table inside. His ghostly form split into three: the weapons master to his left, and Prince Trin to Lord Trin’s right. The trio stood at the edge of the centered table facing their captains. Having witnessed it many times, Gabriel and Michael paid no attention to the sudden division of Trin. Lord Trin then began to tell his two commanders of their plan. The two stood speechless as they listened.
“My Lord,” Gabriel replied, “forgive my forwardness, but what you are proposing is madness!”
Lord Trin locked gazes with his commander.
“I am not asking your opinion nor your permission, Gabriel. We will do this, and you will help,” Lord Trin chastised.
Gabriel immediately bowed his head slightly.
“Forgive me, my Lord,” he replied, knowing he had overstepped his bounds in challenging the wisdom of his Lord.
“Is there any other way, my Lord?” Michael asked.
“I have searched my heart and we have agreed there is no other way,” replied Lord Trin.
“And if they discover you?” Michael asked.
“That is inevitable,” Prince Trin replied. “However, we have decided it must be done so that one day this war will finally end.”
“We will begin preparations immediately, my Lords,” Gabriel replied.
Two hours later, Michael led a massive strike to the enemy’s furthest and weakest flank in an attempt to distract the enemy army as Gabriel led Prince Trin in a wide arc around the battle grounds, keeping to the ditches and lower portions of the hills. Finally, they passed outside the military district and into the housing section of the city where they neared the enemy’s encampment. No sentries or protective walls guarded the borders which were marked by shelters of various shapes and sizes with small breaks in the outer wall.
Omega Station: The boy frantically reported that his sister was gone. Darting from the pod, she scanned the area. The boy’s sister had somehow made her way up onto the balcony. Alyssa rushed up the spiral stairs and across the walkway. The instant she grabbed the girl, an alien creature leapt from the shadows directly in front of her. Alyssa stumbled and flipped over the rail. She grabbed onto the underside of the walkway, still awkwardly holding onto the little girl while she tried to evade the creature as it leaned over the railing. Suddenly it fell overboard, and she heard a voice.
“Give me the girl.”
With relief, Alyssa looked up to see Gabriel’s arms outstretched and she gladly handed the little girl to him before pulling herself up.
“What happened?” she asked when she regained her composure.
“Remember me telling you about my archery trophies?”
“Well, I always knew that stuff would come in handy.”
Gabriel pointed to the dying creature, an arrow protruding from its eye.
“Come on, let’s get out of here before more of these creatures come.”
Alyssa escorted the little girl into the pod and secured her into the seat before launching the pod out into space where it joined the parade of departing civilians. Finally, the security officers started strapping themselves in just before they shut the doors; however, the power flickered and partially returned.
“Looks like they attacked the generator. Let’s get out of here,” Alyssa said as she pressed a switch. But just as the door began to shut, everything went completely black. A fearful murmuring spread through the cabin.
“Everybody, stay calm!” Jack yelled. “This is just like all those exercises, remember? Get the flashlights from the survival kits under the seat.”
Seconds later, the darkness was pierced by several dozen flashlight beams all trained on Jack who brought up a hand to block the blinding light. The lights quickly lowered as the handlers realized they had blinded him.
“Okay. Listen up. We all know that the life support is on a separate system from the regular and the backup systems. Now the aliens couldn’t have done this, which means either we still have someone on board sabotaging the station, or more likely, someone downloaded a virus into the station’s systems. We have got to reboot the system from the bridge.
“Alpha and Beta, follow Silas and guard the pad. Alyssa, take Gamma and Delta teams. Go to engineering and see if you can find a way to get the life support back on. Omega and Theta teams, we’re headed to the bridge. When the power comes back on, everybody makes their way back. Nobody leaves until we’re all accounted for, dead or alive, understood?”
The entire force simultaneously responded, “Yes, sir!”
Immediately, the selected teams divided and left. Jack turned to Courtney and Gabriel.
“You guys wait here, find a weapon in case those things come looking for food.”
“Don’t worry about us, Jack.” Gabriel smiled. “We can take care of ourselves.”
“Well, the same old Gabe.” Jack patted him on the shoulder and spun around.