DISCLAIMER: Some of the dialogue used was taken from the episodes and I am not claiming credit for having written it but used it simply to set up the tone of a scene or show parallels between lives and realities.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: The preface briefly shows the last days on Antar before the pods were sent to Earth. It introduces some of the characters and sets the tone for Book 1. The story of what happened on Antar will be told in its entirety in Book 11.
Obviously Antarians do not speak English but since most of us cannot read Antarian I have translated everything into standard English.
Each change of date is marked. There are 10 months in the Antarian year with 38 days each, giving the Antarian year 380 days. The dates are in the form (month.day.year)
List of Characters on Antar
Tageions (tauj'-ee-ons) - people inhabiting the north lands
Tageonon (tauj'-o-non) - the capitol city of Antar, where the Royal palace is located
King Zantor Tageonant (Zan) - Max
Queen Avalynd Telnada Tageonant (Ava) - Zan's young bride
Princess Vilondra Tageonant (Vil) - Isabel
Queen Nedra Tageonant - Zan & Vilondra's mother
Sodan (so-dan) - Nasedo - aka Ed Harding - Zan's most trusted protector
Jensto (jens-toe) - a scientist in Zan's employ
General Alarath Varros (Rath) - Michael - Zan's head General and second in command
Kaldar - Rath's most trusted protector
Lady Chanya Santas (shawn'-ya) - Vilondra's friend
Udac (oo-dac) - Chanya's handmaid
Harcions (Har-see-ons) - people inhabiting the south lands
Duke Khivar Roistar - the man who ursurped Zan's throne
General Calles Nicaron (kal-ees) (ni-ca'-ron) - Nicholas - Khivar's right hand and head general
Major Grester - T. Greer - Head of the Vilondra Project
Shape Shifters sent to Earth with the Pods
Sodan - Nasedo - aka Ed Harding - expert in hand-to-hand and weapons combat and a pilot - special ability energy blasts
Letras - (le-tras) - Zan's former tutor, expert in philosophy, history and military tactics
Cuerena (soor'-ren-ya)- scientist and Granolith expert - special ability astral projection and illusion
Kaldar - expert in hand-to-hand and weapons combat - special ability empath
(Antar - The Royal Palace in the Capitol City of Tageonon)
(Antar Date 2.20.23628)
Khivar strode down the hall with General Nicaron and Major Grester. The day he had waited for was finally here and in just a few moments he would secure the throne. He smiled as he entered the cell that held the boy King Zan and his child bride Ava. Very soon he would have everything he wanted.
"Zan Tageonant," Khivar said commandingly, "you will bow before me as your new King."
"I will never bow before a traitor," Zan growled.
"You should not anger me," Khivar said softly, "you do not know the extent of my wrath."
Zan quickly glanced at Ava. "I will bow to you if you give me your oath that you will spare Ava."
"No Zan," Ava said, taking his face in her hands and forcing him to look at her. "Do not debase yourself for my sake. I would rather die at your side."
"I could not give you my oath anyway," Khivar admitted. "I have already struck a bargain with the traitor in your midst for the life of the Queen. Both of your lives are forfeit. After all," he said glancing at Ava, "I could not take the chance that the young Queen is carrying your heir."
Khivar motioned to Nicaron and Grester and they raised their hands to fire.
Sodan, Zan’s most trusted protector, arrived at the camouflaged entrance to the palace just after dark. He raised a hand to activate the locking device but the door cracked open and he quickly threw himself aside to avoid discovery.
A lone figure emerged from the passageway and looked around as if to ascertain the correct direction.
The figure changed shape before him and Sodan immediately recognized her. She was Lady Chanya's handmaid, Udac.
Sodan stepped forward to make his presence known. "Udac."
She whirled toward him and he knocked aside her outstretched hand just before she fired. He held her tightly but saw recognition cross her features and released his grip as she spoke.
"Sodan, I thought you were dead."
He smiled, "I thought the same of you. What are you doing here?"
"When the camp was taken we were all brought here,” Udac explained. “Khivar has killed the King and Queen and my mistress Chanya." Udac held up a pair of tissue harvesting devices. "But before she died, my mistress was able to collect the essence of the King and Queen."
"Then there is still hope for the future,” Sodan said softly. “We must get this to the lab as quickly as possible."
The next day, Duke Khivar Roistar presided at the state funeral for the King and Queen and they were buried in the Tageonant crypt alongside the Princess Vilondra.
That evening, in a large, spectacular ceremony, Khivar was crowned King.
The next evening, Udac and Sodan arrived at the secret lab and the final preparations were made to send the transport to Earth.
Sodan and Kaldar, Rath’s most trusted protector, had eagerly volunteered to be sent with their fallen masters. Both were experts in hand-to-hand and weapons combat and Sodan was also an excellent pilot. Two other shape shifters had also been chosen for the mission; Letras, Zan's former tutor and an expert in history, philosophy and military tactics, and Cuerena a scientist and Granolith specialist.
The Granolith and the two sets of pods, the real ones and the decoys, were carefully loaded onto the ship along with the communication orbs, memory retrieval devices, healing stones and the book written in the royal code. Queen Nedra, Zan and Vilondra’s mother, gave the travelers final instructions and said her last goodbyes to her children.
Udac removed the pendant from around her neck and turned with it to Sodan. "Here is a symbol of our planet, wear it proudly and bring them back to us."
Khivar was woken early the next morning by General Nicaron. "Your Majesty, the air command has reported sighting a uncleared transport leaving the atmosphere."
"Why didn't they shoot it down?" Khivar asked groggily.
"It was too far out of range,” Nicaron explained. “It launched from an area that we had thought deserted."
Khivar's attention focused immediately. "Were they able to trace its origin?"
"Yes and there are troops on the way even as we speak."
Nicaron struck Zan’s head scientist, Jensto, once again, knocking him to the floor.
"Please," Jensto begged as he huddled on the opulent carpet. "I cannot tell you what I don't know."
Khivar spoke up, "General this is getting us nowhere. Use your powers to pry the information out of his mind."
Jensto tried to crawl away from Nicaron, but at a gesture from their commander, Khivar’s soldiers grabbed the scientist on either side and held him tightly. Nicaron placed his hand on the Jensto’s head, and after a moment, a surprised look crossed Nicaron’s features.
"Your Majesty,” Nicaron reported, “it seems that the scientist here is a specialist in cloning, and has recently discovered a new technique that allows for the transfer of memories into a clone."
Khivar stood up. "Vilondra, we can bring her back."
"I am sorry your Majesty but she has been dead too long for the transfer to work. It must be done within a couple of days apparently. But the good scientist here, working with Zan, Ava and Nedra have already done it for us."
"They have cloned Vilondra?"
"Yes,” Nicaron confirmed, “and General Varros, Zan and Ava. It seems they had a back-up plan in case things went against them. They were cloned and sent to a planet they thought would be out of our reach, to prepare to take back Antar."
"How clever of them," Khivar sneered. "Which planet?"
"I have never heard of it,” Nicaron shrugged. “It is called Erth."
"Erth?" Khivar asked. "Where is this planet?"
Nicaron indicated the scientist huddling on the floor. "He does not know, but Sir there is a more urgent issue. The Granolith."
"What about it?" Khivar asked dismissively.
"It was sent to Erth with Zan."
A transport loaded with two hundred of Khivar's most loyal followers, led by General Nicaron, prepared for departure. Their orders were to eliminate Zan, Rath and Ava, by any means possible, and bring to Vilondra back to Antar.
A secret directive was given to General Nicaron - retrieve the Granolith.
The End of The Preface