Prologue

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After Death, there was Reincarnation.

The pair of jet black stallions huffed and snorted as the smooth leather reigns around their massive snouts jerked them to an immediate halt. Their boisterous grunts echoed off the dilapidated buildings the Razorback District had become so notorious for.

Despite paying no attention to the obvious landmarks along the way, Leslie knew exactly where he was. He also knew what was taking place behind the grimy, mold-covered walls of the nearby warehouse.

Gleaming through the diminutive carriage window, he locked eyes with the horse’s glowing crimson gaze reflecting back at him via a nearby puddle; he uncomfortably shifted in the plush satin seat as the vicious and threatening glare was something he was still not quite used to. He sighed as an eerie feeling slowly slithered across his skin like a smattering of creepy crawling bugs.

Pulling his attention from the stallion’s hypnotizing stare, Leslie focused on the shadowy figure across from him. Even though he couldn’t see them, he knew there was a pair of haunting eyes fixated on him.

“This is the place,” he said more as a statement than a question.

He was met with silence.

“They’ll no longer be a problem for us. I’ll make sure of it.” Leslie bobbed his old head as if agreeing with his own statement.

“There is no ‘us’.”

The mysterious man’s stern response was simple, but Leslie knew the full meaning behind it.

“Yes sir. There’s you…and then everyone else.” After an uncomfortable moment, he slowly leaned forward, lowering his voice as if worried about wily ears magically listening in. “The Race Relations Bureau should be convening at any moment to discuss tonight’s events. I’m sure they’ll be looking to pin it on some poor fool already being devoured by the merciless SoulBleeders roaming the bastilles of Niimskarah. But I assume you’ll be there to—”

The man raised his hand and stopped Leslie mid-sentence.

“I’m sorry, sir. I meant no disrespect.”

“As I’ve previously instructed, do your part, nothing more. Your job is not to assume anything. Everyone will eventually play a role for me…in time.”

Leslie forced a half smile. “Yes sir.”

He felt the sinister man’s eyes scanning him, taking note of every movement, every breath, every emotional tell.

“Has the cipher been located?”

“It’s right where it’s supposed to be,” Leslie replied, straightening up to a more confident pose. “He’s had it all this time…locked away in the box just as you said. I made sure of it myself.”

“And the Chamber?”

“Being prepared as we speak.”

He quietly sat there in the chilling silence, feeling like utterly alone. His glare fixated on the derelict building just outside the stagecoach’s hardened panels.

“Sir, the Reincarnation is approaching.”

“Death was only the beginning,” the deep voice pierced the silence. “Reincarnation will be the key.”

“And Orion? He’ll be next?”

The carriage door magically flung open. Understanding the gesture was his signal to perform the next step of his plan, Leslie moved to exit the carriage; a firm grasp on his arm stopped him short of making the jump.

“Leslie…the question is not when he’ll die…but how.”

 

The city had long forgotten about the ancient evil trapped beneath its streets…but it was about to receive a brutal reminder.

 

Continue on to Chapter One: Your Game Is Far From Over

Jeremy Shory
@JeremyShory
Jeremy@TheOrionChronicles.com

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