Realm of the Invader

Night Crusaders Series Episode 2: History of Draegahn, Part 1

by Eric B

 

Book Details

He is not from here. He is from far, far away. But while he’s here, his authority is ABSOLUTE!

Here is a story of devastation and anguish and slavery...and the ensuing triumph and celebration. Lord Draegahn descends upon Earth, under the guise of a friend, but with aspirations of total world domination. He brings havoc and despondency to an unsuspecting world from where he is a stranger. Yet somehow, out of this iniquity, a curious friendship emerges between Siris — one of the wrongly convicted aliens — and four likewise incarcerated Earthlings. Hopeless and discouraged, Siris does not realize that though he is a little guy, he has a big destiny. This story is Siris’s journey as a detainee of injustice, a fugitive, an abated former soldier, a military prisoner and a military commander. All the while, Siris finds himself a mentor to his four Earthling friends who are destined to rise from the ashes of the alien invasion to become Earth’s most famous third-millennium superheroes: the Night Crusaders. Yet Siris has his own personal demons against which to struggle; his own insecurities haunting him night and day. But the moment of truth seizes Siris when he finally comes face-to-face with Lord Draegahn. Can Siris stand against his greatest fears, advancing toward him all at once? Siris will have to master his morality, conquer his insecurities and rediscover his great determination and strength if he will have any hope of leading the campaign to end the alien invasion on Earth once and for all!

 

Book Excerpt

At the dawn of the 24th century, the prisons of Castle Draegahn were becoming too crowded to remain segregated. So in early January 2300, for the first time ever, Plaxia-born prisoners were being placed in cells with Earth-born prisoners. 

In one particular such setting, three Plaxian prisoners were transferred to their new dungeon cell, where they took a seat on the floor on the opposite side of the cell from the four human inmates with whom they were placed. 
 
The humans took note of how two of their new cellmates – a man and a woman – had forest-green skin. The male had long, straight brown hair and a stubble beard. The female had long, straight blue hair. The other cellmate was a bright-pink-skinned man with medium-dark- yellow hair that was frizzy. All three wore tank tops and long shorts. The green-skinned cellmates wore mid-calf woolen boots. The pink-skinned cellmate wore dark military shoe-boots.

The cell was lit fairly well, but was very cold and quite dank. The three Plaxians took notice of how their four human cellmates were forming circles around one another and holding one another close in a desperate attempt to get warm by sharing one another’s body heat. But the frigid air did not affect the Plaxian prisoners quite as much, because the skin of Plaxians is naturally thicker, and the blood of Plaxians is naturally warmer, than that of Earthlings.

The three Plaxians looked around, and one of them pointed to a tall stack of abandoned mattresses against the wall on the side of the cell the four humans were on. So they took action.

The two male Plaxian prisoners tore open the mattresses while the female Plaxian made coats out of the material. The humans became afraid, because they did not know what the Plaxians were doing. Plus, they were speaking to each other in a language not known anywhere on Earth. 

After about two hours, the green-skinned male Plaxian walked up to the humans and spoke to them in English. “Please, my Earthling friends, trust us. We have seen your suffering and would like to help you get warm.”

The four humans still did not trust the Plaxians, but by now they were so desperate for warmth that they were willing to try anything. 

So the two male Plaxians got down on their knees and each motioned for two of the humans to come and wrap their arms around him. The humans started to feel a little better after a few minutes of Plaxian body heat. Seeing that they were warming up a bit, the female Plaxian brought the coats over to the humans one at a time to put the coat on him or her. Once the coats were on all four humans, the human and Plaxian prisoners went back to their separate sides of the cell. Only this time, the human prisoners sat in a line-up position just like their Plaxian cellmates.

This was truly a remarkable moment, because before then, for a Plaxian to show kindness and charity to an Earthling was unheard of.

One of the male humans asked, “Who are you?”

The green-skinned male replied, “I am Siris. She is Kaeylah. We are Draegahrian, just like Lord Draegahn. And he is Payetham, that famous Cristilis warrior.”

Another of the male humans grinned and inquired, “He’s from a planet called Cristilis?”

Siris gave Kaeylah a puzzled look for a few seconds, but then said, “He is from a country called Cristilia on the planet Plaxia.”

The same male human laughed and said, “That’s nice…that’s nice.”The other male human asked, “How is it that the three of you…?”

But Siris interrupted, saying, “Excuse me, but before you continue, might I have the pleasure of your name?”

The male human paused, then said, “Yeah…sure, sorry…my name is Michael. The young lady seated beside me is Maria. I would tell you how we ended up in this hellhole, but it’s a long story. The blonde girl’s name is Layla. She and I met a year ago when she was newly imprisoned. And I’m sorry, but I’ve never been introduced to the young man seated next to Layla.”

“My name is Simeon,” the other male human said. “Layla and I have known each other for years. I met her through her younger sister, whom I dated for a couple of years.”

Siris and Kaeylah said in unison, “Pleased to meet the four of you.” Then Siris said, “Okay, now—Michael, is it? I apologize for interrupting you. Please continue.”

Michael then said, “Oh yeah, like I was saying, how it is that three Plaxians, two of whom are of Lord Draegahn’s race, managed to end up in his dungeon?”

Siris said, “My crime is treason.”

Stunned, Maria asked, “You mean you tried to kill Lord Draegahn?”

“Oh no, no, no…” Siris grinned in reply, then turned serious as he continued, “but I did betray him.”

Simeon inquired, “How did you do that?”

Siris paused for a few seconds, then said, “It’s a long story.”

Then Layla asked, “What about you, Kaeylah?”

“My crime was refusing to accept the hand of one of Lord Draegahn’s Generals in marriage.”

Confused, Michael said, “And…?”

“And nothing…that was my crime!”

Maria said, “He can’t imprison you for something like that!”

Simeon added, “Boy, that guy must’ve been jonesing for you to get locked up just for that!”

Then Layla said, “No offense, Kaeylah, but I would have rather just married him than to rot in this dungeon for refusing!”

But Kaeylah determinedly said, “Well, you shouldn’t. Being forced to marry against your will is a fate worse than prison!”

Layla agreed, “Good point.”

“Besides,” said Kaeylah, “I enlisted in the military to serve my country and my planet, not to be part of some depraved sexposition for the pleasures of powerful men!”

Siris smiled with pride in Kaeylah, and grabbed and kissed her hand.

Just then, Michael began to realize that one cellmate was not a participant in the conversation. “You know, I couldn’t help but notice your friend over there…what’s his name? Payetham? He doesn’t talk very much, does he?”

“Yeah,” added Simeon, “what did Lord Draegahn do, cut out his tongue or something?”

Siris and Kaeylah grinned for a brief couple of seconds, then Siris replied, “No, nothing like that. Payetham is not a regular intergalactic traveler like Kaeylah and me. He has not studied Earth languages as much as we have. He can understand some of your words, but not enough to hold a conversation.”

“But he helped you make these cushy little coats to help us get warm,” said Michael.“

Well,” said Kaeylah, “Genuine kindness is not usually a language that requires translation, is it?”

Curious, Simeon asked, “Why did you make these things for us, anyway? I thought you Plaxians didn’t think much of us Earthlings?”

“Because it is in our nature,” Kaeylah said.

“That’s a crock!” said Simeon.

“Is it?” Siris replied.

“Of course it is! The only nature I’ve ever seen from Plaxia is one to invade and plunder and destroy!”

Becoming noticeably irritated, Kaeylah said, “You judge us all by the actions of Lord Draegahn and his loyalists?”

Maria replied, “Well, no offense, Kaeylah, but who’s showing us differently? I mean, look at these prisons. Even they remained segregated until they became too crowded!”

“What about the kindness we have shown you?” inquired Kaeylah. “We saw your suffering and did what we could to help you!”

Simeon said, “Don’t take this the wrong way, but it’s going to take more than some coats made of mattress material to convince us of your cordiality!”

“So because of what Lord Draegahn has done, we’re all evil,” replied a disgruntled Kaeylah, “is that it?”

But Siris put his hand on her shoulder and said, “Kaeylah, please, do not pursue this course of conversation.”

Michael, seeing what Siris was doing, said, “What about you, Siris? What do you have to say? Huh? How do you defend your people’s ‘good name,’ given the evil they have committed against us?”

But Maria said, “Michael, stop it! You too, Simeon!”

Michael’s words definitely hit a sore spot with Siris, because he began to hold his head down like a man disgraced and embarrassed. Seeing this made Kaeylah stand up angrily at her human cellmates.

“How dare you! What gives you people the right to judge us? I think it demonstrates a serious lack of character, not to mention inexcusable unappreciativeness, to judge us after what we have done for you! Why don’t the four of you…!” But Siris grabbed Kaeylah’s hand and slowly pulled her down to sitting position before she could go any further; then he tried to comfort her.

Maria, noticing Siris’s uneasiness, inquired, “What’s wrong, Siris?” But Siris said nothing in reply. He just kept stroking Kaeylah’s hair as Maria continued, “Come on, Siris, I know something’s going on in that head of yours. Something besides what these guys were saying!”

But Siris chose not to discuss the matter. Instead, he stood up and said, “It’s been a long day and we’re all tired. Let’s all get some sleep,” as he walked over to the four humans and motioned for them to stand up. Then Siris communicated with Payetham to come to where he was. Siris said something else to Payetham, again, in a language foreign to all of Earth. Siris gave Michael a hug and kissed his cheek, and Paeytham did the same to Layla. Kaeylah, still a little upset said, “Siris, why are you…?”

But Siris interrupted her, saying sternly, “Because we’re not going to bed angry tonight! We’re all dealing with more than enough in this accursed prison without being enemies of one another!” Then Siris hugged Maria and saw a sparkle in her eye, leading him to kiss her on the lips. But in a friendly way, not a romantic way. And Payetham hugged and kissed Simeon.

Siris and Payetham prepared some mattresses that were not dampened by the dankness of the cell. They could only find two such mattresses, so the humans had to sleep in pairs: guys on one, girls on the other. Kaeylah stood up and took the remaining fabric, which she laid upon the humans to be their blankets. 

Then the Plaxians lay together on the musky floor and went to sleep.

The next day, the four humans were awakened by the sound of the cell door being opened steadily. As they slowly arose, they saw Siris sitting against the wall sleeping with his head buried in his knees, Kaeylah sitting with her back flat against the wall sleeping with her legs stretched out in front of her and her head turned to the left against the wall, and Paeytham sleeping lying flat on the floor.

Not long after the guards inadvertently woke up the humans, they purposely woke up Payetham, kicking him. The guards’ loud talking awakened Siris and Kaeylah as well. Aside from what they were seeing, the humans did not know what was going on, because the guards were speaking in a language unknown on Earth.

They observed the guards trying to force the disoriented Payetham to stand up. This upset Siris, and he stood up and got in the face of one of the guards. Again, the humans did not know what was being said, because Siris spoke his reply in the same strange foreign language. 

Kaeylah seemed concerned, and as though she were trying to calm Siris down, but he would not back off. Two of the guards forced Payetham to stand up while the third guard, with whom Siris had the verbal altercation, was now threatening Siris with the butt of his rifle. Kaeylah jumped in front of Siris and hugged him, as though to protect him from the guard.

Two guards energy-cuffed Payetham, while the third said something to Siris. The humans did not know what was said, but whatever was spoken resulted in Kaeylah pulling Siris slowly back to the sitting position. Yet Siris had what the humans believed to be harsh words for the guards as they made their exit with Payetham in their custody.

Once the door was shut, there was a long silence as Siris propped his knees back up to his chest, wrapped his arms around them and started rocking, with an angry look on his face.

Maria finally broke the silence by asking, “What just happened?” 

Siris was too upset to answer, so Kaeylah did. “Apparently Payetham is being returned to his former role as a slave. The guards said that he had served his time for his crime, which was looking too longingly at his former master’s wife. He is now to serve a different master: the Council of the Court of Draegahn.”

The silence resumed as all four humans were sad, looking back at Siris, seeing the injustice and understanding what a great friend Payetham was to Siris.

“Payetham’s only crime was admiring the beauty of his mistress,” Siris finally said after his long silence. “He never even touched her! These heartless, evil people deserve to go to hell for what they’re doing to him!”

The following two years were quite an interesting ride for Siris and Kaeylah, and for Michael, Maria, Layla, and Simeon. Siris and Kaeylah continued to go out of their way to increase the comfort of their shared cell with their Earth-born new friends. The six of them became close and began to care deeply for one another. 

The four humans quickly discovered that Siris had many friends among the prison guards. One of them got Siris, Kaeylah, and their four human friends moved to a far more comfortable cell.

After a few weeks of being gone, Payetham started showing up periodically to bring to the cell fine food and drink, which he secretly stole from his masters’ and mistresses’ kitchens and even their tables. At least four times every month, Payetham treated his two best Plaxian friends and his four new human friends to the fine dining of the Draegahnian elite. 

Usually Payetham delivered the food himself. But every now and then he had a fellow slave that he trusted bring the food and drinks to his friends. Over time, the four humans developed a deep admiration for Payetham. For them, it was not about the food. They hailed Payetham as a true rebel, one who was risking his life several times a month to give his friends fine dining while simultaneously “sticking it to The Man.”

After they had been cellmates for a whole year, Siris told his human friends he had a surprise coming for them. But he would not say exactly what was in store, though every now and then throughout the course of their second year together, Siris would drop little hints. A couple of times he told the surprise in the form of riddles. But for the most part, Siris’s Earth-born friends remained in suspense. 

Finally, in December of 2301, as a Christmas surprise, Siris came clean: he was going to help his Earth-born friends escape. He told them that he had known of a smooth escape route since before he met the four of them.

“Why didn’t you tell us about this earlier?” Simeon asked.

“Because I had to be sure,” Siris said.

“Sure of what?” Michael asked.

“That you trust me,” Siris replied.

“You mean that you trust us, right?” Maria inquired. “You had to be sure that you can trust us.”

“No,” Siris replied. “I have trusted you from the first day of our stay together. But it was necessary for me to delay until I was confident that the four of you sincerely trust me.”

The four humans were still not really sure they understood Siris’s reason, but they knew they trusted him.

Siris spent the next two months going over the plan with the four humans, bit by bit. He emphasized the vital importance of their following his instructions to the “T.”

Late morning Saturday, March 8, 2302, with the help of Payetham – that famous Cristilis warrior – Siris and Kaeylah took their human prison inmate friends and made their escape without being noticed. The Plaxians had been imprisoned for up to seventy Earth years at the time of the escape; the Earthlings up to five years. 

The Plaxian escapees plotted to capture their Lord’s Mother Ship. While still in prison, they had gone over the plan several times with their human friends: the four human escapees were to stand in the middle of Draegahr City and publicly brag about being the first Earthlings to escape a Draegahnian prison. 

And so they did. At about noon, the four of them were standing in a spot in downtown Draegahr City that was a short driving distance away from the castle, where every casually passing citizen could plainly see them. There the four of them started talking too loudly, and even screaming and shouting and laughing to one another about how easy was escaping Lord Draegahn’s prison. 

A few Plaxian citizens saw the humans and heard what they were saying, but they did not believe the humans. The Plaxians insisted that those humans had never been in Lord Draegahn’s prison because they refused to believe that “lowly” Earthlings had what it took to escape a prison of their Sovereign. 

But a few minutes later, a Plaxian child noticed Lord Draegahn’s dungeon symbol embedded in the skin of one of the braggers. The child shouted that the humans were not joking, that they really were escapees. Several casually passing Plaxian pedestrians wanted these humans seized and placed under arrest. 

Coincidentally, there were other humans who just happened to be in the area, who really didn’t know what was going on. So they assumed more of their fellow humans were about to be unjustly imprisoned. They reacted by yelling at the Plaxians seizing their fellow Earthlings. Then they picked up rocks and bricks and bottles and began to throw them at the Plaxians while shouting expletives demeaning Lord Draegahn. 

Soon there was total public disorder in the area, which was exactly the distraction Siris was hoping his human friends would create. 

Normally there were armed guards at all times around and within Lord Draegahn’s personal ship. But word spreaded fast in Draegahr City that day. When the guards saw some of the disorder passing by in the streets around the ship, a Plaxian prison escapee suddenly appeared out of nowhere and used her wireless handheld device to show the guards live video footage of humans all over town bragging that four of theirs had escaped the Plaxian tyrant’s prison. Guards that normally protected the Mother Ship instead decided to join the conspiracy against the human escapees.

Once the guards departed, Siris’s band of armed Plaxian escapees, which included Kaeylah and Payetham, stormed the ship, cocked their rifles, and ordered the entire crew to either abandon the ship or die. Siris knew Lord Draegahn’s crew better than anyone. So when some tried to get brave or sneaky, as per Siris’s pre-raid orders, the Plaxian escapees who noticed this opened fire, killing those particular crew members. Once the crew saw that Siris was serious, they became afraid of him and fled for their lives.

Siris seized control of the ship, closed the doors, and within minutes was in the sky.

Meanwhile, thanks partly to the aid of the soldiers who arrested the humans who were hurling contraband, the Plaxian citizens managed to get the four bragging humans into energy cuffs, courtesy of passing soldiers who joined the conspiracy. Some of the humans in the area managed to grab hold of Plaxian citizens and started beating them, but a small group of Plaxians spreaded out and began to taser the humans. Some angry Plaxians started beating immobilized humans.

Once the Mother Ship, which Siris had captured, hovered over his human friends, Siris saw the four of them energy cuffed. So he used a booming communication device to shout, “Get away from those Earthlings!” The Plaxians began to back away from the four humans, believing the order to have been given to them by Lord Draegahn.

With everyone moved away from them, Siris beamed his four human friends into the ship. The Plaxian citizens and soldiers were shocked. One of the soldiers shouted, “That’s not Lord Draegahn! Someone is stealing his ship! Attack that ship!” All of the Plaxian soldiers, and any armed Plaxian citizens in the area, opened fire on their Lord’s Mother Ship. But Siris moved skyward, and before long, he was outside the range of most of their firepower.  

Some royal guards who were in the area used their communication devices to inform Lord Draegahn of the breach. Like the Guard, Lord Draegahn knew that a Plaxian had to be in control of the ship, because no human could read their native language…the language written on the controls. He wasted no time in siccing ten dragons on the ship. 

At the same time, Siris used the ship’s technology to destroy the force fields that covered the state borders. Then Siris descended to hovering just above downtown one more time to warn the humans in the area, via the ship’s communication devices, to leave the state of Draegahn immediately, while they had a chance. 

Some of Siris’s crew warned him that dragons were approaching. Apparently even Siris’s own crew underestimated how well Siris knew his Sovereign, for he had clearly anticipated this attack.

Siris gave the order, and Kaeylah and Payetham, two master pilots, blasted the ship from its current position to the sky at an extraordinary speed. But the dragons in pursuit were very fast as well, and their fire breath was coming close to causing damage to the ship. Almost everyone onboard the ship was afraid, and Siris struggled to calm them. Kaeylah and Payetham were too busy and focused to spend time on fear, and were gradually increasing the speed of the ship. 

Before long, the ship had blasted straight out of Earth’s atmosphere and was clear into outer space, where the dragons could not pursue them further.
 

 

About the Author

Eric B

Eric B is an enthusiast of action, adventure and superhero drama, and considers himself observant of human nature. Aside from episode one of this series, he has published two books, about volunteerism and public transportation. Eric B lives in the Midwest, loves to travel and experiments with passions and hobbies.

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