Shadows of Fate – Excerpt 3

Excerpt from book 2 of Oracle’s Legacy


Heart of Gold, Atlantic Ocean

Ellis read the ancient tomes that Arjun kept in his study. Though most of the information was not new to Ellis, it was still fascinating to learn about enlightenment from a different perspective. He noticed that each individual who pursued enlightenment, even the ones who did not write about it, had very different experiences. There were few wrong ways to advance in enlightenment. As long as balance and responsibility were the primary foci, the rest was ingenuity and persistence.

Though most people chose paths of seclusion or elaborate journeys, those who reached enlightenment the fastest, like Granger, remained in the world, working with it hands-on, learning from it, and growing with their connection from their surroundings.

Ellis loved to learn, so it was easy for him to reach Level Three because of that open mindedness. But the past two days with Arjun whetted his appetite, fueling his eagerness to learn. Arjun was a superb teacher.

Having worked at the Temple of Enlightenment, Arjun knew a lot about different paths to enlightenment. As long as Ellis had questions, the man had answers, and if he didn’t he found a way to get them.

“Are you finished?” Arjun poked his head in the room to check up on Ellis.

Ellis closed his book and slid it back into the shelf. “For now,” he said.

“Good, because we’ll dock in New York in fifty minutes, if you want to get your stuff upstairs. Granger wanted me to ask if you had any idea how much longer it would be before Creed contacted–”

The boat swayed, hard, knocking Ellis off balance. “What’s—”

We’re being attacked. Granger’s voice entered his mind as Arjun nodded, confirming the message. They went out to the main deck as the boat rocked again, shaking their footing.

What could cause the swaying without making a sound? The only noises he heard were the creaking of the boat and the rolling and dropping of various furnishings.

When they finally staggered to the main deck, clinging to the stairwell, they were hit with a spray of water. Wiping his face, Ellis caught sight of Granger at the stern of the ship, hands up, shielding the boat, as large explosions bursts against his energy like a tide of fire.

Blade were trying to sink the yacht from a long distance from gun turrets. They knew they couldn’t attack Granger at close range, so they were adapting.

“He can’t keep this up.” Arjun sounded worried. “We must do something.”

No one on the yacht had the power to help Granger. No one had a power close to being of any help. But Ellis had a gift from his brother-in-law.

Stumbling through the living room to the stairwell, he headed to the guest quarters. His hands slapped the walls as he swayed his way down the rocking staircase.

Reaching his room, he went to the large duffle bag that Wolfe had given him to help on his quest to find Bones. Thank you, Wolfe.

Unzipping the bag, Ellis began assembling the high-powered rifle. More than a rifle, it was specially modified with Ellis in mind. He did well in long distance marksmanship, preferring not to get up close and personal like his sister did. You just don’t like getting your hands dirty, Ollie used to tease him, and she was right. He didn’t have the stomach she did.

After piecing the gun together, Ellis grabbed it in one hand and took the duffle in the other. The bag contained ammunition magazines with nine extraordinarily effective piercing rounds in each clip. The bullets were crafted to project farther than a sniper’s rifle and bore through on impact. Staying close to the walls, he headed back up to the deck. At the top of one passageway, he met Arjun, whose eyes popped out of his head.

“Ellis?”

Ellis continued upward, trying to remain focused. He wouldn’t let them sink the boat. He had promised to bring Bones back. And after Ollie’s sacrifice, Bones had to come back safely.

Reaching the helicopter pad, Ellis set the rifle in the cradle of the mounted stabilizer Granger had allowed him to install immediately after the first attack, over a week ago. He tried to ignore the explosions overhead as he slid the main barrel into place and locked it. Finishing the setup, Ellis paused and shook his head. The monster gun looked more like a cannon than a rifle. He slid in close, putting his right eye to the scope. Surveying the water, Ellis searched for his target using the electronic zoom to narrow the view.

A ship and three helicopters were five miles out, according to the scope readings. Ellis loaded the first magazine. He had three ammunition magazines, a total of twenty-seven rounds, and he wanted each shot to count. Waste not, want not, right, Mama?

One of the helicopters fired a missile. Ellis took the shot. His bullet blew the missile up in midair upon impact with the bullet. He followed with two more shots, using the trail of the missile’s smoke as his path. If his aim was accurate, the rounds would follow to a critical point of the helicopter and disable it.

Smoke escaped from the black aerial as it began to descend. He moved his sights to the next helicopter and zoomed in closer. He jerked his head back, not believing the incredible zoom on the scope. He grinned and moved back into position.

The scope showed the helicopter’s pilot just as clearly as if he were in arms reach. Taking the shot, it went right into the glass and through the man’s flight helmet. Ellis even glimpsed the splatter. Shaking his disgust off, he aimed for the next helicopter pilot and took him and his copilot out. He then aimed for the ship, picking off the crew one by one. He loaded his next magazine. Refocusing his eye to the scope, he saw something coming up behind the ship. He zoomed again and cursed.

Granger, approaching fighter jets. Ellis alerted him. Elite Blade Enforcer, Sebastian, was playing to win.

Get down from there. Go below deck, now!

Ellis couldn’t agree more. He left his setup and ran, tripping over his feet, jumping down stairs, trying to get under cover as the jets rocketed thought the air.

As he was about to join Arjun, he peeked over his shoulder. Granger wasn’t following.

What are you doing? You can’t possibly stand up against something like that.

But there was no reply. When Ellis began to charge back for Granger, he saw silver light radiating from the man. Ellis stepped back in disbelief.

“What is he, is he…is he?” Arjun looked as perplexed as Ellis.

Four rockets headed straight for Granger as two fighter jets passed over head. The silver energy around Granger poured from his hands, creating a translucent wall of silver light between his body and the rockets.

They exploded the moment they touched the wall, but the yacht didn’t even rock.

The fighter jets circled back. Granger jerked his arm back and then swung it forward. The energy shot forth like long, sharp metallic whips. The whips sailed through the air with a sizzle, slicing through his own shield, reaching out to the jets, disappearing through the metal nose of the planes.

The jets kept coming.

Closing his eyes, preparing for death, he heard the roar of the planes’ engines as they flew over head, followed by a loud explosion. The ship rocketed violently. Ellis dropped to the floor, shaking.

Prying his eyes open, he saw Granger had fallen back onto the deck. Fire and smoke shot up from the port side of the boat. Sucking up his fear, he got up and ran toward Granger. He looked around and noticed the attack had stopped. But the yacht was on fire. He continued toward Granger, with Arjun close behind him. He checked the Soul Possessor’s vitals; his pulse was racing, his skin on fire. “He needs a doctor,” Ellis shouted. Arjun ran off to fetch one.

Ellis used his power of calm mind to reach out to Granger and try to mentally calm the man’s pulse as he looked up. Flames shot up from the ocean. He backed off when Granger’s medical staff arrived.

Making his way to the flaming parts of the ship, where other crewmen were working to put it out, Ellis studied the disarray. The destruction was not caused by flames from a rocket. the top deck was sliced in half, not blown apart. It couldn’t have been done by a missile.

Looking out onto the ocean, he spied one of the fighter jets in the distance. It was on fire, sinking into the water. And the other plane was nowhere in sight. Gawking, Ellis glanced back at Granger, then up at the top decks, and then back down at the sinking jet.

Had Granger possessed the pilot at such high speeds? If so, the force of energy used would have killed the pilot. That silver energy … had it killed the pilot? If so, the plane could easily have veered off course, hit the top of the ship, and crashed.

Or was Granger’s energy so substantial that he destroyed the plane on the inside, making it crash?

Either way, such a potent attack could exhaust or harm someone who wasn’t used to the strain.

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