The Halo Breed
THE HALO BREED
A WEEKEND STORY
Once in the main court of the palace, Kobby Obeng paused and looked at the tough, elderly woman.
“I’m sorry about what happened in there, Representative Mavis,” he said gently.
The woman smiled sadly.
“I expected worse, yes, I expected far worse,” she said. “But I’m glad I was able to say what I had to say.”
“That was a very brave act you put on there, ma’am. I don’t know many people who could’ve stood in the face of the king and made him listen to all that.”
“I’ll go through hell to make sure Densua is safe, Commander,” the woman said bleakly.
“Did you come by coach?” Kobby said quickly in a bid to divert the conversation from the direction he knew it was going to take. “If not, I’ll get you a royal coach to take you home.”
She shook her head sadly.
“Today, I want to walk,” she said. “I want to enjoy this late afternoon breeze, and enjoy the sights and sounds of this land I love so much. Perhaps, it is going to be my last, free walk on earth.”
Kobby scowled and looked at her bleakly.
“You make it sound like an apocalypse!” he said tightly. “Densua has always survived the worst that has been thrown at her! This Armageddon, whatever it is, will be no different.”
The woman’s eyes were filled with scorn and fury at the same time.
“Then you’re a fool, Kobby Obeng!” she hissed furiously. “Go and read the Holy Scrolls and garner knowledge! What is coming is bad, very bad, and alas, I do believe you’re already too late! But I want you to remember one thing, my dear friend! From now on, I want you to know that you’re responsible for anything that happens to Densua!”
“Oh, be reasonable, woman!” Kobby exploded sharply as pain crossed his face. “Gus Kukah committed –”
“Don’t give me that shit, Kobby Obeng!” Mavis exploded angrily and pointed a finger at the Commander’s face. “You sold your soul the day you betrayed the only man that you could call a friend! You knew Gus was innocent, and you knew the old king was slain by his son! Yet, because of prestige and honour, you hounded an innocent man to a grim fate inside the Pale Lands! You’re guilty, Kobby Obeng, and you should face your crime when the inevitable happens!”
She spun on her heels and walked away from the Commander.
Kobby Obeng was rooted to the spot as he watched her go, and there was great agony on his face as his soul was stung by her cruel words. He sighed deeply and walked towards his horse.
Grace Klubi sat up with a groan!
She was wearing a long, white dress and was in bed.
She knew that something had disturbed her, something that was not quite nice, something that was quite frightening! The lamp in the room was turned low so she could barely see her room well, but she knew that whatever had woken her up was here, waiting for her!
The air was heavy around her, the atmosphere thick and sinister, but instead of being afraid she found herself gripped by a strange sense of exhilaration and purpose, of destiny in the making!
And then it came again, a strange hissing sound, close and filled with urgency, and then she heard a slithering sound around her, and when she looked down she saw the shiny, glittering body of a huge snake on the bed!
She gasped, feeling a pang of fear for the first time, and then she bounded off the bed and stood in the middle of the room trembling as her gaze followed the sinister body of the huge snake on her bed!
It slithered off the bed and moved rapidly towards the door, paused, and raised its head, turning it around so that Grace saw the fierceness of its yellow eyes!
The door suddenly swung open, and then Grace noticed three strange figures gliding towards her from the corridor. They were in long, hooded cloaks that hid their faces, leaving only green glowing eyes within the folds of the hoodie.
These were the same three entities that had appeared to her in the marshland when she dealt with those rapists.
They paused in the doorway, and once again the one in the middle spoke in that harsh, raspy voice.
“Come, Grace of the Skits! The time has come!”
Grace did not know what time it was, really, but she knew these were her people and this was destiny!
Slowly, she moved towards them.
The huge snake hissed furiously and began to slither out of the room and down the corridor. Grace stopped walking when he faced the three evil entities.
“Follow the serpent, Grace of the Skits!” they said. “It will lead you to the tenements! Open the doors of Hades because only you, of royal blood, can open the gate! This is the call of destiny! Go!”
Grace, throat dry but filled with anticipation, walked like one in a trance and followed the tail of the gigantic serpent down the corridor and finally out of the top portion of the great palace!
As she descended the staircase, she noticed something horrible!
All the warriors on guard were lying inertly on the floor snoring deeply!
A spell of deep sleep had been cast on everybody in the palace!
She smiled ruefully!
This was power, real power!
Soon, she knew she would wield a lot of power in this town!
The huge serpent turned swiftly towards the Scroll Chamber when they got to the gigantic living room of the palace, and Grace scowled slightly. The Scroll Room was a gigantic, oval edifice that housed official scrolls, documents, historical files and other secret writings that only the king was supposed to be privy to.
Here too, the four warriors guarding it were lying on the floor snoring loudly. The double doors swung open mysteriously, and the anaconda slithered through at speed. Grace smiled as she entered the room and noticed that all the glass cases that held the secret scrolls were glittering with a strange glow.
At first, she thought it was all on fire, but on closer inspection, she noticed that indeed it seemed to be fire, but it was not really burning anything, just blazing like some sort of unreal fire.
The serpent moved rapidly towards the end of the gigantic room where two huge pillars were standing next to each other. It slithered quickly to the pillars and moved around them, curling rapidly upwards until its body was evenly distributed around the pillars.
It seemed to be straining now, crushing the pillars, pulling its body close together in the most violent contracting effort the beautiful young girl had ever seen! Its body thinned out with the massive strain it was exerting, straining fiercely until, suddenly, the pillars broke through their middle!
Grace screamed when the body of the serpent tore at several places, shattering through with explosions of blood flesh, and the pieces fell limply to the floor!
The animal writhed in weak jerks!
This serpent had just sacrificed itself to break the pillars!
Why this extreme and torturous sacrifice that had led to its death?
And then she saw it!
The great pillars had been hiding a great, golden door behind them!
Grace moved forward slowly, averting her eyes from the shattered body of the gigantic snake, and then the door opened slowly outwards! A steep metallic staircase led downwards, and without thinking Grace followed the staircase, knowing that this was what she was supposed to do.
The winding staircase finally ended on a wide, bridge-like platform! Its sides were a sort of wrought-iron railing with a brownish tinge. Beyond this bridge was a series of wide, concrete arches. The platform itsle was lit by a pale-yellow light.
Grace moved along slowly, the platform taking her deeper into the belly of the palace. She noticed that the view above her was not that of concrete, as she had expected, but it depicted a sort of angry sky! She saw lightning and fire-like energies sizzling above with no sounds! There were five huge globules ahead, like planets, moving silently along with her.
And then, just as the descent stopped and she saw a huge golden door in front of her, something absolutely incredible happened!
The door in front of her was simply the biggest door she had ever seen! It was gigantic, its height so dizzying that it disappeared into the maze of wonderful sky above her! This sky was burning along its edges, and trembled with agony, as if unsteady on its hinges!
And as Grace moved towards it, she felt a fluttering behind her, and suddenly, she developed two huge, white wings that ballooned out majestically behind her!
Her beautiful face split into a glorious smile!
She had wings now!
Yes, she had always believed she was an angel! Her beauty was too exquisite, too amazing, absolutely incredible to be mere human!
And she knew she was in the tenements of the palace!
Something funky was about to happen to the people of Densua!
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