Authors: Aral Bereux
THE JULIANNA RAE
First published in 2013 by Amazon.
This edition published by Aral Bereux Indie Publishing
355 Linton Naringhil Rd, Linton, VIC. Aust.
Copyright © Aral Bereux, 2013
The moral right of the author has been assured
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted by any person or entity (including Google, Amazon or similar organizations), in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, scanning or by any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher.
To my family and friends –
No room for regrets.
So once again, I finish my writing in the middle of the night. This time, I’ve been writing without the music on – the rest of the house is sleeping and I’d hate to wake them up. I never thought for a moment that I could ever accomplish not just one, but two books, with the third well under way – and within a twelve month timeframe. It’s an incredible feeling to experience, and quiet probably, I could liken it to shock.
Again, I’d like to thank my family and friends at the risk of boring you. They put up with my manic behavior as I placed my words down, and become absent to their real world. I thank my beta reader, Teagan, again, for her patience, as I dumped more manuscript in front of her to read. All my companions who have offered me words of encouragement and wisdom during this expedition into the New World Order: Brian Rathbone, Nat Russo, Rob Pruneda, Ian Anderson, Pete Hanson, Belle, Vishaka, my family, my sis-in-law Renee, Lauren, Fred (for advice on my book cover design), and so many more. You are what family means to me – for true family are those who offer wisdom, encouragement, and worthwhile criticism.
It’s 0155 in the morning, April 17
2013. It’s the night following the terrorism in Boston for which my heart still weighs heavy, and the earthquake in the Middle East. Yet, while this all happens, the world sleeps soundly in part, while others wake to join another day in the suit and tie rat race.
The world is a mysterious place to me.
It is my bedtime too, I’m tired, and I have another book to write in the morning.
I hope you enjoy reading this, as much as I have in writing it.
2nd May 2018, 2000 hours.
Camp 2.2.1, 15 miles west of the Sectors
To be mistaken as a fool was not his style.
Taris sat behind his desk with his feet up, watching the smoke curl above his head from the cigarette hanging loosely between his lips. The events from the night before, still lingered.
His bruised eye throbbed from the car accident but it served his temper. He poked at the fresh swelling, studying his reflection in the comms screen. His eye was slowly closing over.
Pulling away from the sting of his pressing fingers, a hiss escaped his parted lips. No healing himself tonight, he thought. Though his sight blurred a little, he leaned back from his reflection again, to consider if blurry vision was the wisest choice for the evening.
Elizbeth’s caress had dulled the pain, for the time she was with him. While they rested in his bed, she had tried to heal his face until he swatted her away. Instead, they listened to the radio, propped between them as they lay naked, waiting and hoping, for his men to announce the location of their missing target.
‘We need to find her,’ she said.
‘We’ll find her,’ he replied.
‘They killed Doug Cathan?’ she had asked again.
’d nodded as he stared at the ceiling.
One bullet hole to the head. They’d saved him the trouble, and for that alone he wanted to thank Caden personally.
Senate swings in your favor now that he’s dead,’ she said.
he thought made his smile turn sour under the sting of his eye. Then, he turned his attention to the radio, ignoring the soft caress from Julianna’s mother for its empty static.
Now he listen
ed to it again in his office.
The radio traffic was turned low. He monitored his men tracking his escapee, waiting patiently for her Identification Marker location to be announced.
It was a long shot. Her company was cautious. They were clever, cunning, always one step ahead. Knowing this, the IDM would have been ripped from her side, the moment she let her guard down. They wouldn’t risk being found, not after the night they’d been through. They’d be relentless with her.
The comms bleeped from the platform
that held it. He slid his finger lazily along the bottom of the rectangular, glass screen to answer the incoming call. The desk behind it disappeared, the general’s image inside the plate, stared at him with dark watcher’s eyes and a furrowed brow.
Taris leaned into his chair, waiting for the face to commence its tirade of abuse. The general continued his seething stare, but not aimed at the commander, or his men. Catching the Seer, who continually out-ran the entire Militia, was becoming a very, personal issue.
Taris reached for the glass beside the comms. The ice rattled against its sides as he lifted it to his lips, and the scotch rolled down into the back of his throat, with a brisk grab. He waited for the blast. Nothing came.
‘They tell me Cathan is dead. True?’
ver cared for the man.’ The general’s eyes darted over the room behind Taris. ‘And the girl?’
‘We’re searching for her. She’s joined at the hip with the Councilor, and his brother. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say Caden Madison is Julianna’s watcher.’
‘You say it as though it were a joke Tarisos. The intelligence that we have, suggests a new Council is establishing itself underground. A new faction is rumored, and I’m none to impressed, if it’s true. I want them brought in commander.
All of them.
Taris swirled the ice-cubes around in the glass, watching the amber liquid flow roughly over them. They clinked at the glass sides as he took another mouthful. If only it wer
e so simple, General. The thought annoyed him, as much as his black eye. He’d gotten away from Caden and Daniel with sheer luck. His soldiers weren’t so lucky, and Cathan – well the hole in his head ended that long life.
He smiled, not a forced one like most days, this one was real. Julianna was badly injured; the general didn’t have that informative piece. He’d left that one from his final report.
‘I’ve been chasing Caden Madison for a year, and I’m no closer. The Council, if the rumors are true, explain why he continues to elude our capture. He’s stronger than me, has more abilities – he has a hell of a lot of support.’
You’re a shitty general, with all due respect, asshole.
But he was careful to keep himself quiet in his thoughts; his whisper was
The general furrowed his brow. From behind his own desk, he had a look of disbelief in his lined face. His grey eyes narrowed.
‘He’s also three centuries wiser than you.’
Taris smirked behind his drink. ‘If the Senate were to part with their wisdom a little more generously, maybe,
I could fulfill your request, and bring them all in, on their bended knees of course.’
‘And also us.’ The general said curtly. ‘You have more ability than most your age, Tarisos. More than what Caden and Bastiaan ever had.’
Taris remained cool at the use of his ancient name. ‘It’s not enough. The rules have changed. You want them alive; you need to give me more.’
He was playing the odds; the general’s crumpled expression suggested such an ambitious option had already been considered. Taris was his predecessor, and without him, the Senate would be shot to hell, and so would the Old Council. There’d be no Militia
, too. The moment of crisis was upon them, he had them by the proverbial balls.
‘Don’t bullshit me, G
eneral. I’m a little past that tonight.’ He poked at his eye again – damn it was hurting like a hot day in hell.
The general didn’t doubt him. ‘We’ll discuss it further at the meeting.’
‘Discuss away. They have Daniel Rae with them too…’
yeah, that got your interest.
‘That’s some heavy duty watchering going on in that there group of misfits.’ He leaned into the comms, ‘While y’all waste your time talking—’
‘All right, all right, Tarisos!’ The general’s hand clamp
ed down over the edge of his desk. Paperwork and files scattered in front of him his tired, bloodshot eyes. His four hundred-and-twenty-two years were telling his age. The grey hair was becoming more prevalent; Taris thought he could see a vein pumping in the side of his neck.
But, they were communicating now. Their page was almost on the same number. The general’s eyes flickered, and Taris humored in the stirring of the old man’s Tulpas. If he pushed hard enough, he wondered if
he could induce the old man into a brain hemorrhage.
tried to remember the day he had changed, when he turned from being the quiet one, to being the leader.
‘You’re a dark horse
His lips curled into an arrogant smile for the general.
he thought. He nodded.
‘Why don’t you pay old Hal a visit? Hear what he has to say about the New World Order these days, and his grandson.’
Taris drained the last remnants of his drink, and stumped out his cigarette on the spent comms, which doubled as a paperweight on his desk. Taking Hal on alone was suicide. The old man was old, but he wasn’t redundant.
He shook his head. ‘Not without the Senate’s help.’
The radio that usually hung on his belt was propped beside the comms. It spoke to him, and the general listened. Even in the small comms plate Taris noted the curiosity written across the general’s face. He pressed in the receiver button without raising it, keeping his eyes fixed on the general, absorbing the expression his cool manners created.
‘Go for Delta.’
‘We have the location of Julianna Rae’s IDM chip traced, Sir.’
Taris smiled. ‘See G
eneral, give me something to work with and I give you results.’
‘Tarisos, I said—
raised his hand; certain it was being viewed in the general’s own comms screen in Central Command Head Quarters. Others were watching and listening in from the corners the comms couldn’t reach.
‘You talk in your meeting, G
eneral. I have a Seer to hunt down.’
He gave the general a wink, and closed down the comms with a slide of his finger.
Taris reached over the desk to press his radio receiver again. He’d just shut the general down. The peculiar rush it gave him in the center of his being, lingered.
‘Delta to base…
.ready the drones, and have two squads meet me at the gates.’
Ten minutes is all he would give them.
He waited for the ‘yes Sir,’ and the crackle to end the private, radio frequency. For now, the Senate was where he wanted them – in the palm of his large, sweaty hand, and it was enough to satisfy his frustrations.
Tonight’s hunt was for his vanity, but they were close. He could sense her confusion, and feel her pain. He rubbed his chin, and closed his hazel eyes, reveling in Julianna’s chaos. She was close, very close. Their bind between them betrayed her. IDM or not, she would be found, and the Senate would finally have their Seer. In turn, they would finally have their war raged against the Rebellion.
His lips parted into a toothy smile, at the thought.
Elizbeth returned to his side to run her fingers along the nape of his neck.
‘You have a beautiful touch, Beth.’
She leaned in with her swollen belly, touching his arm with it gently. ‘As do you,’ she whispered. ‘
His grin widened.
Yes, soon he supposed, he would be.