ALTERNATE TALES OF THE STAR FORCE
STAR BLAZERS—THE ENTROPY WARS
By: Frederick P. Kopetz
With the Cooperation and Assistance of “Anonymous Reader”
CHAPTER FOURTEEN: THE CHALLENGE TO EKOGARU
I. A PLAYFUL INTERRUPTION AND A CEREMONY OF SEALING…
New Pellias: The High Queen’s Palace
Wednesday July 6, 2231
0432 Hours: Local Time
It was a warm evening on New Pellias as Dawn lurked in the night at the edges of the horizon.
In another room of the Palace on Beltane, Derek and Nova’s sweet, happy lovemaking and joy continued as the evening wound on. They had intended to take a bath together. Instead, they began to snuggle on the bed near the open window, and snuggling turned into kissing, and then teasing.
This all led to a long moment of dissolving happiness for Nova as she lay on the bed, legs unashamedly open, with her toes curling while her husband teased her down there with his tongue.
“Yes…yes…YESSS!” Nova cried in happiness and passion, as the Crown Imperishable appeared above her head in her joy to clothe her Oath-Bound nakedness in the Matrix’s Light.
Derek noticed in awe as he made love to her that her skin was again gleaming slightly, all the way down to her curling toes.
He noticed that even the juices of her joy that spilled from her body had a certain gleam to them, making her look even more lovely as she thrashed in her happiness as she climaxed…yet again…
Derek kissed her, and looked at her lovingly. “How many times have you done that since you’ve returned to life?”
“I don’t know, dear, but I don’t quite want it to end yet,” said Nova.
Then, a moment later, a banging came at the door.
“WHO IS IT?” Nova demanded. “You’ll pardon me, but right now, my husband and I are rather BUSY!”
“Lady Bellana, head of your Ladies-in-Waiting, Majesty. I come with Mother Miarahl and the Regent Astrena…”
“Okay…fine…give us a chance to wash up, first?” Nova said.
“Why?” purred Miarahl from the other side of the door.
“Mother, I’ve been rolling about in bed with my husband, that is why,” said Nova. “I’m really enjoying my resurrected, naked body, and I’m making mad love with him!”
Nova’s Ladies-in-Waiting giggled at that while Bellana whispered, “How sweet!”
“Give them some time,” Miarahl ordered.
FIFTEEN MINUTES LATER….
Nova opened the door and admitted the trio. She and Derek had washed up.
Derek now wore only a pair of yoga-like pajama pants.
Nova, of course, was clean but she still went naked.
How long have I been like this, now? Nova thought. Hard to believe…it’s been quite a while since Ekogaru captured me and used me. But now…even though I’m still naked, I’m no longer a dirty slave…but a Queen…
To Derek, her nudity still looked strangely innocent as she sat on the bed smiling at her visitors with the Crown Imperishable burning at her brow.
Miarahl said, “My Lady, you look beautiful. But, due to the warmth, and your vow, many of your Ladies-in-Waiting have on very little like the Lady Astrena or Bellana”, she said as she pointed at the two Pellian women, who had on only light ceremonial gowns and sandals, “or nothing at all, like myself and your daughter Teresa here,” she said as she indicated her own fur as Teresa came into the room naked except for a circlet at her brow, and she curtsied towards her parents. “Therefore, you will have to be anointed and marked lightly before you speak to your People at the balcony.”
Nova asked, “Isn’t my new Oath-Bound nudity a distinguishing mark in itself?”
“No,” said Lady Bellana gently. “You spent some time here on this planet, and you suckled your last daughter here, Majesty. You worked briefly as a combined pediatrician and wet nurse in the hospital when nursing your child, and since we remember that you went naked for several weeks doing so in accordance with our customs, you certainly remember that nudity was and still is the customary dress of that honorable profession here”
“Yes,” Nova said, smiling as she remembered her period of extended nudity, and how easy it had been for her and little Teresa to bond with the constant skin-to-skin contact.
“As you know, many young nursing mothers, pearl divers, fisherwomen, and those who work on boats, male and female, commonly go naked here. Her Majesty, when she took the Oath of Pellias, would customarily take a mark of her creation on her skin to distinguish her somewhat from the people, even though she goes naked in common with those people.”
Bellana then pointed out to Nova a portrait on the wall of High Queen Tellana, who bore some marks on her body, even though she was otherwise as bare as Nova was as she lay on her bed without shame with her legs up.
“Therefore, we would like to see you anointed and to see you take some marks on your skin like your predecessors,” said Astrena. “Do you have any idea of markings for your skin?”
“I do,” Nova said. “I have one already,” she said as she turned on her side, showing the rose on her hip.
“Very well,” said Miarahl. “Derek, take this oil, and begin to anoint your Queen in accordance with our instructions..”
“Uhhh…sure,” he said. “Nova, where do we start?”
“Her shoulders and breasts,” said Miarahl, who said, “Majesty, the Realm and the battle against the Dark Lord are on your naked shoulders. May God Bless you are you bear this burden. We foresee you are now with child twice over, and when you suckle them, your breasts and body will be suitably benuded,” said Miarahl as Derek gently worked the oil into her breasts, making her shiver and sigh as he caressed her breasts and nipples while Teresa blushed at her mother’s barely concealed passion as Nova entwined fingers with Derek’s over her right breast as she drew a pattern there in Light; the pattern of the Eight-Pointed Star of the High Queen that would be gently burned into her breast for the rest of her days.
“Next, her womb,” Miarahl said as Derek anointed Nova’s still-flat stomach and navel with the warm oil, as Miarahl said, “Son of Man, King of Kings, Redeemer of All of Life, Bless and guide the children in her Majesty’s womb so they can eventually rule and serve.”
Nova shivered as some of the oil ran down between her thighs. Derek said, “Do…do I just go and touch her…there?”
“Yes, dear…it’s a prayer for a good birth when the war is over,” said Miarahl.
Derek kissed Nova’s lower stomach, and then he tenderly kissed her glistening womanhood before anointing it with oil while Nova arched her back and moaned. Teresa smiled and she really blushed at that, watching and then trying not to watch her parents as their fingers intertwined over her mother’s most delicate parts while Miarahl intoned, “Lord, giver of life, bless Her Majesty’s very loins, and give her an easy and quick birth when the time comes, and grant her love and joy inexpressible with her husband in her naked skin until her day comes.”
Then, as they touched, Nova rolled over, clasping her hand with Derek’s over her nude left hip where the mark of her rose had appeared several weeks ago. Then, Derek kissed her there, his kiss extending to her buttock before Nova put her legs and feet up again, as her legs were anointed down to her ankles by Derek as Miarahl said, “We now anoint her legs to walk in the path of righteousness, and her feet to walk in the way of Life,” she said as Derek finished the anointing job by anointing Nova’s bare feet, top and soles, finishing up by tickling the bottoms of her toes as she laughed, happy at the freedom of going barefoot as Derek kissed her.
Nova then kissed Derek and everyone else present, while more Ladies-in-Waiting appeared, carrying several chests.
“Uh…I thought she didn’t have any clothes on this planet,” Derek said as one of the ladies-in-waiting drew out a gossamer silken cloak that she put over Nova’s shoulders.
“No, but she does have regalia,” said Miarahl as she said, “You’ll need your uniform, sir. Follow us…”
Nova blew Derek a kiss as they were temporarily separated.
AN HOUR LATER….
Derek, clad in his Star Force whites, peacoat, cap, and sword, stood with a barely-dressed Teresa on a palace balcony as a trumpet blew in the sunrise.
A huge crowd below cheered as the green and gold banner of Astrena went down a mast near the palace tower, followed by the black banner of the High Queen, with its silver star, that had not flown over the Pellian Commonwealth for forty years as of today.
Miarahl came out on the balcony and said, “I now present you with your new High Queen, who has triumphed over Ekogaru, Passed Through the Fire, been brought back to us by the Grace of God, clad as Queen Pellas was on her First Day, in only a veil and her own Light, our People, I introduce Queen Nova Gloriana of Terra, our new Lady and Bulwark against Ekogaru!”
Nova strode out, with a light diamante veil flowing behind her back in the morning breeze, her skin glistening with her oil and her own Light as she stood with sparks of light reflecting off the jewels in her cloak she wore as the only adornment on her nude body, with sparks of light shining at her brow, her stomach, and even at her heels and toes as she walked barefoot across the warm stone to the railing, where she said, “I greet you today. To life!”
“TO LIFE!” roared back the crowd.
“As you can see, and as we intend for the people of Terra to see, I, your High Queen, and Earth’s President, have died and now live again by God’s Grace. I have nothing of the Machine on me or in me, as you see from the top of my head down to my toes. Ekogaru believes we are about to surrender. We are doing nothing of the sort!”
Cheering and applause surrounded Nova as she smiled at the crowd and extended her arms. “If Ekogaru would truly desire peace, I would invite him to make peace with us. But I have been granted the ability to read the mind and thoughts of the Dark Lord from afar off, and he cannot hide that he does not desire peace. In fact, he desires that we would be his slaves, surrendering our very humanity into his collective. I have no shame whatsoever about my God-Given humanity, as I am sure you can all see. In the name of humanity, we will fight on until his movement of evil, of the desecration of human life, is brought low and becomes like beach sand we can walk barefoot on without fear.”
The crowd cheered at that, and then Nova added, “There shall be a Ball tonight, but, first, Derek and I must go to Earth.”
“Why?” cried Bellana. “Why would you return to that place of slavery and terror?”
“To reassure our fellow men and women there, and because I have this,” Nova said as she held up a small ring. “I took this ring from our Enemy years ago in battle, face-to-face. He intended to use to spread power and fear. I intend to remake this Ring in the fires of Mount Fuji on Earth in order to turn it into a object to spread and focus the Power I have been given from Heaven. This was part of the Commission I was given from on High. My mission is to end the evil of Ekogaru by instead spreading goodness, grace, and hope. I have been appointed as your High Queen by the Most High and the Council, but, I have also been appointed by the Most High, in the ancient tongue, a Malahak ha’ Yahushua, or, a “Messenger or Angel of the LORD, our Savior, my commission coming directly from the mouth of He who has been, yet died and Rose, and behold, Reigns Forever.”
Loud cheers rang from the crowd as some chanted “Messenger of the LORD!” and, as Derek and Nova saw, some actually fell on their faces before her and began to worship.
Nova glanced at Derek, who whispered, “Remember, Majesty, thou art mortal.”
Nova nodded back and raised her hand and yelled in her most commanding voice, “STOP THAT NOW! I AM NOT WORTHY OF ANY WORSHIP!” Nova threw off her cloak and stood completely naked on her toes and said, “Behold, I am a naked redeemed sinner born of woman like the rest of you! I have been raised from death and have been given more abilities and a slightly longer span of life by the LORD, to live and reign and fight until the evil of Ekogaru is finished, but like all of you, someday, I will again die and this body shall return to the dust of whatever world my bones are laid to rest on. Someday, my visible form will only be bones and dust in a grave like the rest of you as my spirit files back home to its Redeemer to do His Will. I am only a Messenger of the Lord, but I am not the Lord! I am not like Ekogaru, and I shall not receive the unhallowed worship of anyone! Worship only the Most High alone!”
Nova waited for the cheers to subside and said, “I will travel to Earth today and return. I will see you tonight, and we shall celebrate our first victory of this war.”
Nova picked up her cloak, without putting it back on, and she and Derek held hands.
He asked her, “When are we going to Earth?”
“Now,” she said. “Only you and Miarahl shall come with me.”
Nova looked at both of them, and nodded.
At that, they left New Pellias.
II. CREATING THE HEART OF THE MOUNTAIN…
Planet Earth: Japan, The Slopes of Fujiyama
Wednesday July 6, 2231
0500 Hours: Local Time
It was just barely sunrise when Derek, Nova, and Miarahl reappeared on Earth.
Derek looked at the rugged path going up before him, and he immediately recognized where he was; the very slopes of Fujiyama.
“Mount Fuji,” he whispered. “The air is thin up here…it’s cold…”
Nova saw even Miarahl was shivering. “The cold no longer affects me,” she said as she walked barefoot into a coverlet of snow. Snowflakes and wind blew about her naked form but did not concern her. “I would give you two some warmth, but I must me quick in what I do. We need to find a spot where I can create a cave straight into the caldera…the Queen’s Chamber, as it were.”
“What you do today, dear, will be remembered for millennia, by the people of Earth, New Pellias, all of the galaxies, by the Rahlkens, their children’s children yet unborn, and by the sages of Thundera,” said Miarahl.
“What is Thundera?” Nova said.
“A world that does not yet exist,” said Miarahl. “But in further ages on…it shall,” she said as she sent images to Nova’s mind.
“Now, I see. This world does not now exist. But it shall, long after I am dead and long after you and I are spirits, Derek, my love,” Nova said. “Follow me.”
Derek shivered against the cold. They went up about another two hundred meters, stopping as the path wound around Fuji to look down at the embattled, burning Tokyo Megalopolis. The smoke of its burning went high into the heavens, and could be seen clearly from this lofty perch, even as the Sun barely struggled to rise into a dark, reeking, defiled sky. Derek saw Nova pausing to blink back tears as she said, “Derek, our people. Oh, how they suffer down there. You cannot see the naked children drawing sledges like cattle under the whip, the crosses where their parents hang dying, the streetlights where people hang dead as food for flies. I CAN. And the rage and fire in me grows.”
“Where do we stop?” Derek said.
“Here,” Nova said.
Derek saw she was shivering in her nakedness. “Nova, do you want my coat?”
“I am not shivering with cold. Wielding this Thing is a terrible mortal struggle for me,” she said as she opened her hand, which held a dull-metal ring of polished iron, which held a jewel of anthracite which burned with an angry orange/blue flame from inside. “He has captured the very flame of Hell itself in this jewel. Without it, he could not fight the loss of His Fortress, With it, he could rebuild it in a moment. Yet, I must wield it to change its character from the fire of Hell to the flames of grace which burn forever on the Altar of the Most High.”
“Nova, you have the Matrix. You need not wield this power,” said Miarahl.
With a trembling hand, Nova put on Ekogaru’s Ring.
“Don’t!” Derek cried.
“It wants to change me, corrupt me,” Nova gasped. “And, behold, it
is giving me great POWER!”
Nova stood on her toes, which were still visible as sandals like those of some dread Samurai appeared on her feet.
Her nakedness was clothed in a blast of thunder with heavy black and grey armor and a helmet and greaves decorated with skulls.
Black demonic wings burst from her back as she said out loud, as her eyes burned terrifyingly red in her helmet, “Craft of Ekogaru, behold! I was charged to change your energy about! But what? YOU do not fight me, but you clothe me in Power? What sort of Power! The Power of the Dark Lord Himself!”
“TAKE IT OFF!” cried Miarahl. “Cast it away, Nova! It’s corrupting your soul!”
“Why fight poor and naked and squeaking like some baby animal?” hissed a deep parody of Nova’s voice from her lips as Derek drew his weapon and shot at her with tears running from his eyes. “Husband, I could clothe Thee with Power and Godhood! I could claim this Power now, and turn Ekogaru’s weapons and Empire against him! I need this armor at any despite, to protect my naked flesh from THIS!”
Nova turned towards the mountain cliff and screamed, “Rock, bones of the Earth, burst to my will! I am tempted now to become a God, but there is none like Him above all! Behold, I must only wield this for a moment! Rock, cleave! Make me a Queen’s Chamber!”
Then, lightning came from Nova as she screamed.
The lightning blasted into the rock of Fujiyama, boring down until the Rahlken and the humans felt a terrifying heat. “I have made the Queen’s Chamber, the Heart of the Mountain!” roared Nova as she squeezed the Ring hard after taking it off.
She squeezed as she gritted her teeth. Fire came from her helmet and in a moment of terror, it consumed it, along with her dark raiment. She reverted back to her bare skin, as she was clothed in fire.
Nova then held up Ekogaru’s Ring…the anthracite squeezed into a diamond again.
She looked angelic as she stood naked and shaking, the Light of the Crown Imperishable coming back up as she prayed a silent prayer of forgiveness for almost giving in to the Power of Ekogaru’s Ring.
“Please forgive me, both of you,” she sobbed as she hugged Derek and Miarahl. “Given a choice between that terrible armor and this, I feel cleaner by far going naked.”
“The Most High has forgiven you,” said Miarahl softly. “He understands this burden was almost too heavy for you, so newly reborn…and I saw Pellas almost fall like this, once, too, after she died and was reborn fighting Ekogaru. It is all too easy to give in to these terrors, and He knows we are but flesh.”
“I am a very weak and shaky guardian of the Matrix now,” Nova said. “Do you desire it…either of you?”
“No,” said Derek. ”I sense He has given you this battle. I share it with you in spirit, as does Invidia…”
“She needs to be set free from prison after I return to New Pellias, Derek,” Nova said.
“We have much to do here,” said Miarahl. “You have to reforge that Thing, Nova. The ancient spirits of Evil are regrouping to possess it…and you, again…”
“I have to take it from his grasp,” said Nova as she kissed Derek. “Touch me, darling,” she whispered shakily as she tore his peacoat off him. “Touch my breasts…touch me between my legs…help me remember why I do this….make my toes curl with your touch, Love…”
Derek kissed her, grasped her breasts, and then let a hand slide down her tummy to the heart of her, between her legs.
My heart of fire, Nova thought as Derek smiled at her thought. The heart of the volcano that burns in me. Derek, it seems a good part of my power is based upon…Love…agape love…but especially…erotic love…are you ashamed of me?
Not at all, Derek whispered in her ear and her spirit. I love you, my living miracle…life from Death, a fertile belly back from barrenness…breasts that will soon again nourish our newest children…a womanhood that will soon open to deliver children as you lie naked in labor…I adore you, my beautiful, naked, barefoot Angel….
Miarahl turned her head in respect while her eyes misted to give the lovers privacy as Derek, empowered by the Matrix, touched Nova as she gently melted into his arms while they eased bit by bit, into the fire of Nova’s passage into the Mountain
“I can’t take this anymore,” whispered Derek after a few moments of touching her. “My pants…it feels as if they will burst…”
“Please go inside me to finish this…I want you inside my cave, my Dear,” whispered Nova softly as she gently opened Derek’s fly, eased his manhood out, stroked it affectionately, and then eased him into the waiting pink petals of her rose (which she knew now would be bare for the rest of her life, since she would always be naked in some form) as she gasped out loud and her toes curled with pleasure as the fire of Fujiyama began to burn all around them, leaving them supernally untouched with their love.
“I want these rags off you, Darling,” Nova said as she pulled at Derek’s uniform with the joy of a bride on her wedding night.
“We don’t have time, Nova,” said Derek as he sped up. “I’ll go naked for you later, back on New Pellias….”
“I love you, my Admiral,” Nova whispered.
“I love you, my Angel!” yelled Derek as she embraced him hard.
The pants and gasps of their erotic joy melded with the fire of the Mountain.
Derek was awed to see that below their feet, his, booted, hers, bare, the rock of the passage was plastic with heat, like wet cement. Forever, their footprints would be memorialized in the living stone of this chamber as Nova cried and screamed against her husband as her climax hit her like a wave, and Derek cried out like mad as his loins spurted their own hot lava without shame into Nova’s body, and then onto her stomach and down her legs as he withdrew his body from her, and let her weep against him.
When she was done weeping, Nova said, “I have to finish this task, my Darling. You and Miarahl can watch, but go no further. I have to make an anvil, and use the lava to reforge that iron into pure silver. When I do that, I can begin to heal the Earth and its people…and I can begin to undo what Ekogaru has done…Stay, now. I will be safe. I love you.”
“I love you, too,” said Derek as he kissed her and watched as Nova took him unexpectedly into her mouth, and wiped him clean with her kisses and licks, like a cat. Then, she tenderly put his manhood back into his trousers and said, “Let him rest for a while, dear. I know you’re so tempted, but please don’t play with yourself as you watch me in those flames. Normally, I’d be flattered, but we don’t have time…”
“Sure,” said Derek as he kissed Nova and watched her walk into the flames and smoke of the volcano.
Miarahl smiled at him and said, “She is a lucky woman, Derek Wildstar.”
“Were you looking?” he said.
Miarahl laughed and said, “You have the manhood of a teenage Rahlken youngling….it’s a work of art! No wonder she loves to lie with you so much….you’re a young god, dear one! When we get back to New Pellias, please take off that uniform and go naked and let us all see how the Most High made you! Where did you make love to her in the past, you randy youngling?”
“A car…the bridge of my ship once…a bus on New Pellias on the upper level….” Derek admitted as he blushed. “Yes, I watch her all the time in the Palace. I love to see her running around naked.”
“She loves seeing you like that, too,” said Miarahl as she touched his chest. “Indulge her soon…she has so much to endure, yet….you will see her fight wild beasts, and to free R’Khell’eva in the next few weeks, you will see her like this…”
“Must I see this vision?” said Derek.
She raised her hands, and a terrible vision of Nova came to his eyes.
She was hanging in her nakedness on a wooden cross, nailed there with spikes in her wrists and in her feet above her toes, on a strange world with two stars, sweating and visibly gasping with thirst and pain as her Matrix power strove with a dark power contained in a cruel psychic damper collar at her throat. Blood streamed from the nail wounds and several places on her body where it was clear she had been whipped.
Derek’s mouth worked as he saw his wife, plainly showing a small amount of pregnancy at her stomach, with the darkness of her nipples that even now could not be hidden, hanging with their daughter Anastasia and their son Stephen crucified naked on each side of her.
“I will tell you that Nova will survive that ordeal, but that when you come to rescue her and take her down from that cross, you will both weep as you see one of those children die. Nova will look like a Pieta, screaming and crying her heart out before you both lower one of your own children into an unhallowed, shallow grave. Yet this act will liberate billions, since Ekogaru will lose the worship of those billions in an instant, since they will see that he honors nothing and no one. It is a crime in their legal code to execute a woman about to bear child, and it is an unspeakable blasphemy to them yes, even to their Orcs, to condemn a pregnant woman to sacrifice or to the Cross.”
“That BASTARD!” yelled Derek as tears came from his eyes.
Miarahl felt the pain from Derek, which was to such an extent that she kept from him one terrible fact…that as Nova was being nailed to her cross…Ekogaru would again rape her, visibly with child, before his followers…and it would shame her so that when Derek rescued her, she would plead that he make love to her in public after they buried their child, to wipe away the defilement of the Dark Lord upon her body.
“Which one of our children will die?’ sobbed Derek.
“That, I am not permitted to say,” said Miarahl.
Derek only nodded hard at that.
Nova, in the meantime, walked into the Mountain, on fire herself, so that the flames, smoke, ash, lava, and fire did not affect her.
She knelt on the floor of the cave near the edge of a cliff that hung over the very fire of Fujiyama.
“Anvil,” she whispered as she formed some of the elemental iron in the cave floor into an anvil. “Hammer,” she said as she picked up a glob of molten metal, and with her very mind and Matrix Power, formed it into a hammer, remembering the look and feel of Derek’s heaviest workshop sledge, which was home in his workshop in the Megalopolis…if it still survived, that is. Nova did not know the answer to that question and did not care to ponder it as she pondered her lot on Earth, a naked, homeless, wandering, poor President appearing in secret as an exile on her homeworld, hidden from Ekogaru by the stone of Fujiyama and the shields she had put up around herself.
“Lava,” she said, drawing some of the lava into her bare hands. It hissed and smoked as she dripped it onto the anvil.
Then, she cast Ekogaru’s Ring into the puddle of lava and watched it melt and reform as her thought locked upon it.
Far away, she felt Ekogaru screaming as her power and a small piece of her might bled off into the glob of molten metal on the anvil, which she had reformed from iron into true-silver….a form of silver only found in the crusts of a few worlds and called mithril by the Pellians. It was a metal meet for magic, for sorcery, for absorbing a piece of an essence of life.
Nova shaped and melted the mithril with her bare fingers and then began to bang mightily upon the anvil as she finished turning the work of Ekogaru, a black sorcerer of the worst sort, into the handiwork of a Wizard doing magic with the very permission and commission of Heaven.
Nova, as a Queen, a sorcerer, a Priestess, and a Prophet, thus hammered and sweated in the fire as she turned the mithril ring into a circle of purity and perfection. The diamond she shaped was light blue, flaming from the inside with Love and Life encapsulated with the Light of Heaven, a bit of the very Light of the Presence forever captured, a spark of the flame of her Crown Imperishable forever preserved in this great artifact as the lava and the pressure of her supernaturally mighty hands burned Ekogaru’s essence from the carbon, putting a small bit of him to Death now in a womb of fire as the energy was resurrected by Nova as a bit of the Matrix, a very bit of the Glory in her flesh, a bit of the love in her own soul. The light burned pink deep at its heart, a reflection of the power of the Matrix, shaded pink with the purity and gentleness of Nova’s love for Derek and hers for him.
Far away, Ekogaru screamed in rage as he felt a piece of his power crushed into purity under Nova’s hands.
For the first time, he thought. I can see my defeat. I should stop this… he said to himself. I have gone further than I should have. By God…she wields more power in her infancy than Pellas wielded in her maturity and wisdom. How….how…can I pull back from this war?
The Dark Lord roared and shivered in fear as the spirits around him roared, You cannot give up! YOU WILL NOT GIVE UP!!!
Why can I not give up? Ekogaru thought in torment.
Your will is no longer your own, human-mechanical hybrid…you Thing that is now less than Human! The demonic voices roared. YOU HAVE NO MORE FREE WILL. YOU ARE NOW OUR TOOL!
Then, Ekogaru heard another Voice, from afar, in his tormented mind and spirit.
He knew this Voice, and feared and hated it, even as he admired its purity, as she said, “Ekogaru, this is Nova. You know me.”
“You are here to laugh at me?” said Ekogaru.
“No, to aid you. I was just through the same struggle you were. Do you need help?”
“HELP?” roared Ekogaru. “How can you help me?”
“I cannot. But He who aided me can also aid you. He commands me to tell you this.”
“What is it?” said Ekogaru.
“You fear death? He saves beyond death. He that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live,” Nova quoted. “They overcame him by the Blood of the Lamb, and the word of their testimony…and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. Believest thou this? I know you know what this means, Ekogaru…”
“I….I…believe…..” he gasped. Through their link, Nova heard the demonic voices screaming in terror.
“By His Grace, you have just changed your destiny,” Nova said. “Be of good cheer. Put a stop to this!”
“I shall…or die trying….” Ekogaru gasped as he wept in bitter repentance, his eyes opened. “St. Germain!” he roared. “Stop the invasion of New Pellias! I COMMAND IT!”
Nova heard only cold laughter as the link with Ekogaru broke.
St. Germain leered at Ekogaru and said, “You did something extremely foolish, O Dark Lord!”
“I am no longer suffused with Darkness,” snapped Ekogaru. “By the Name of He whose Spirit is in me, I command you to leave me and my Empire alone, and to take all of your little friends with you! I know I’m doomed to die now, but before I die, I have to break and undo at least some of the evil I have done!”
“And you’d give up Godhood?” sneered St. Germain.
“That was a delusion and now I know it,” Ekogaru hissed. “All forces! PULL BACK! I….”
St Germain struck him in the face.
Ekogaru swung back, smashing the demon as hard as he could.
St Germain roared and shot flame and fire at Ekogaru.
Ekogaru was burned, but not destroyed. He screamed and shot lightning back at St. Germain.
St. Germain was struck and burned, but he roared and grabbed a massive metal candelabra. He smashed Ekogaru in the head with it.
Ekogaru’s head split open, and dark blood sprayed from his torn scalp. Panting with the effort, he smashed St Germain in the face, breaking his demonic nose.
But the demon kicked Ekogaru in the chest as hard as he could.
Ekogaru flew up and smashed into the floor of the audience chamber of his own flagship. He was knocked out when he hit the floor, and knew and saw no more as other demons laughed, tore off his clothing, put him in chains, and dragged him off to the ship’s brig.
“I am in command now,” hissed St. Germain. “And, Ekogaru, you traitor, I have quite a few plans ahead for you! But first, I have to deal with your bitch Queen friend. Listening to her simpering little voice? What an idiot!”
Nova caught her breath and rested the heavy hammer at her heels, concentrating upon her Ring as she refined it with flame as her mind made it float above the anvil.
Finished at last as the lava thundered behind her, Nova smiled at her new handiwork and smiled as she put it on. She stepped back, and used its power to form heavy metallic gates, impervious to the heat of the lava, an act of wizardry that would awe generations of humans and Rahlkens and their descendants who would call themselves Thunderians as the beautiful vision in her mind of vines, white orchids, red roses, and stars was made manifest in imperishable metal gates, on hinges drilled into the living rock, devices filled with a Power that would endure long after she died, that would absorb all of the rage and weapons of a fallen Cat known as Tygra and take no hurt nor harm.
Nova then stepped back and raised her hand. “Close, you gates, Remain forever safe, guarding the Power I left here from all except kindly folk. Never let anything evil breach this room, O Lord above. This I pray, in Thy Name...Amen…and so mote it be.”
The gates them closed with an incredible ring and the lock Nova made with her mind clicked to. As long as she lived, she made no key for the lock, for she herself was the lock’s Key. In answer to her prayer, as the ages passed, nothing would open those gates except the whispered words of her spirit in her dulcet voice. Unknown to her, Heaven commissioned her at that moment to serve as the invisible guardian to that Gate.
Anyone seeking entrance and access to the Power she left behind would face Her herself as the final defence of the Gate, as long as the Earth endured, even as its name changed in ages to come as humanity would abandon it for a time, before the terrible events of the End.
Satisfied with her effort, Nova said, “Gates, open. Anvil, hammer, rest herein in my Queen’s Chamber, until the day when I shall need you again.”
Nova stepped forth, and she closed the Gates with a final bell-like ring behind her.
The single note of the bell-like ring of the Gates resounded out of the cave, out over Mount Fuji, and far, far over the Kanto Plain to the Tokyo Megalopolis and other enslaved cities as Nova focused the beautiful, yet ominous note of the bell and caused it to spread worldwide in an instant.
It awoke Wendy Singleton as she fought in rags in a trench in the underground city, deep beneath the Tokyo Megalopolis. The strange yet compelling peal of the bell-like gates raised a strange hope in her heart, like a summons. “TO ARMS, TO ARMS, all of you!” she yelled in the loudest voice she had ever managed. “Nova, our President, our High Queen, she lives! Fight on! ALL OF YOU!”
Wendy’s soldiers came over the top of the trench in the underground city, roaring like banshees as they fired at the Technomugar troops shooting at them. “Fall back, FALL BACK!” yelled their Commander.
“Why do you scum fall back?” roared St Germain as he appeared in their midst…with the blood of his recent fight with Ekogaru on his mind. He has gone mad, the demonic underling of Ekogaru thought. He has gone crazy…talking about God? God is dead. WE LIVE.
“They have no fear anymore, M’Lord! They have no fear of us! Your power and HIS power is waning!” yelled a Technomugar commander as he was hit by a number of laser bolts.
St. Germain was hit once with a laser bolt fired by Wendy herself. “FALL BACK!” he roared as the troops advanced.
The advancing Free Terran troops ran up a ramp out of the underground city into a ruined distant suburb of the Megalopolis not far from the mountains and foothill near Fujiyama.
It made Darmus, once an administrative assistant of Pastor Spector’s but now a cyborg who had sold out his race scream and cry as his knife wavered over the naked chest of a victim in what had once been a church but was now a temple to Ekogaru.
“What is this?” he roared as the ground shook beneath him as Nova raised her hand and she, Derek, and Miarahl disappeared from the cave in Mount Fuji as the ground shook and the mountain erupted in flame due to the power that Nova had called up from the Mountain’s heart.
“I can fight you!” said the naked boy on the altar, who sat up and tore his bonds with an unimaginable strength, glaring at Darmus with a deadly light in his eyes as the child grabbed an abandoned candelabra to attack Darmus with it.
“Rise, Shmalnir!” roared Darmus as he called up a black ghost-like being.
The being turned into a ball of fire, from which came a hideous demon with a sword.
The boy, who was named Hiroshi Kiiyama, screamed as the monster came right at him, and he screamed, “Kamisama, please help me!”
There was a flash of light, and a trio appeared in the church, about fifteen kilometers away from Fujiyama’s cone.
The demon roared and caused fire to come from his blade.
Hiroshi squealed as a small being, maybe less than a meter high, appeared on the altar beside him. Her tail swung fiercely, and she was furry, and looked to the boy like a cross between a cat, a gnome, and Yoda from the Star Wars movies.
The little creature held up a staff with a cats’ head on it, and a blue glow came from it and surrounded Hiroshi and the altar in a bubble of blue light. The demon’s fire bounced off the blue globe without doing them any harm and hit a group of Technomugar soldiers in a deadly carom, blowing them apart quite neatly.
Hiroshi watched as a young man with wild hair in the now-forbidden uniform of the Star Force picked up a fallen Technomugar weapon and fired again and again at Darmus, blowing him apart with a terrible, deadly aim as he yelled.
“Nova, watch out!” yelled the young man as Hiroshi cried, “Is that Derek Wildstar? Isn’t he dead?”
“No, he’s quite alive,” purred the cat creature.
“What or who are you?” said the boy.
“Miarahl, and I’m a wizard, shall we say?” she said.
“A girl wizard! A girl cat wizard? Is that an angel over there with that sword?”
“After a manner of speaking, yes,” said Miarahl.
The demon roared and faced down Nova, whom he sensed to be his greatest foe.
Nova raised her hand and a flaming blue crystalline sword appeared in her hand as she leaped off her naked toes, her body burning in several spots with the power of the Matrix like stars coming from her flesh. “I know of you!” Nova roared in a terrible command voice that even made Miarahl tremble. “I know about you, O, Shmalnir, the toady of Satan, and his nasty little errand dog! How dare you attempt to destroy the free will of that poor dying man you hold in thrall?”
“Who told you about me, you dissssssguussssssting naked human being?” roared the demon in a hideous voice that actually made Derek want to vomit. “Are you readdddy to piss yourself, bitch? Just as Ekogaru is now?”
Nova held up her ring with one hand and aimed its energy at Derek, giving him great courage as he turned his weapon upon this Thing that once existed before the known Cosmos was made.
Nova glared at the demon and said, “I know your history, you piece of garbage! You raped woman after woman before the Great Flood to force them to give birth to monstrous things! You were with Nimrod whispering in his ear as he built the Tower of Babel! You helped Ekogaru and his devil priest of Set who became a living Mummy oppress the Children of Israel and oppose Moses! You whispered evil in the ear of Queen Jezebel! You were with Judas Iscariot and gave him the idea to steal from the Disciples’ money bag before your Master took over that sad, vile man as a personal project! The Man you caused the Romans to kill at last knows you well and told me all about you, you rotten scum! He told me how you hissed evil in the ears of the Borgias, laughed at the entranceways to the gas chambers of Auschwitz, and caused a vile family of hippies to kill in the summer of 1969 in Los Angeles! You have been with General Stone and have been quite a special snowflake of Ekogaru’s! And I’m going to slay you and send you back to Tartarus where you BELONG!”
“You’re an angry little bitch! Why don’t we sit down and have some tea? After you let me eat this little boy…..? Oh…he looks so tasty!”
Nova roared and ran at him as fast as she could.
Shmalnir laughed and raised his sword.
Nova fearlessly fought off the fire that came from it, and she swung her own blade at the demon’s blade.
The swords rang and clashed and sparked as the monstrous demon’s strength did not slow Nova one bit.
“You have an angel’s blade!” roared Shmalnir. “God DAMN YOU! Where did you steal that immortal blade?”
“God gifted me with this in His Presence!” Nova roared back. “I’m told Michael the Archangel was commanded to make it for me from the remains of my soul-sword, which passed into Heaven with me and the Matrix!”
“I’ll KILL YOU!” roared Shmalnir. “Are you not afraid to die?”
“Negative,” Nova barked back as she and the demon parried and slashed and rang blades over and over again. “I’ve already died once, and I have been assured I will not die again until my task is completed!”
Shmalnir roared and stabbed at Nova.
She leaped back, more nimble than a cat, and she spun and slashed at the demon again and again.
To Derek and Miarahl, who watched in awe, it was evident that the much smaller Guardian of the Matrix had the initiative, even as Shmalnir roared and tried to cut off one of Nova’s feet.
The blade bounced off Nova’s gleaming form and was notched.
“This is the beginning of the end of Ekogaru!” cried Miarahl. “Behold, no blade will bite upon her! Her own flesh and skin are her armor!”
The demon swung at Nova again and his blade clashed against hers and broke in half with a hideous clang.
Nova then leaped, flew, and planted her blade straight into the demon-being’s temporary flesh, into his heart.
Shmalnir fell twitching and died and dissolved into smoke in a hideous yell.
The remaining Technomugar turned tail and ran as Nova, Derek, and Miarahl roared and ran at them as one.
The evil cyborgs ran out the door of the desecrated church into the street and right into the arms of Wendy and her troops, who fired like crazy at them.
Not one survived.
“Weapons down!” barked Wendy as Derek came out looking at them. “Wendy? General Alexander?”
“Are we ever glad to see you!” cried Wendy as she ran up. Derek noticed her uniform skirt and jacket were tattered, her ascot was filthy and that she was barefoot. “I’m sorry that I couldn’t stand inspection, sir.”
“Do you think we mind?” said Derek as he and Wendy hugged.
Miarahl came out and said, “Derek, the boy is safe. He wants to come to New Pellias with you.”
“What’s this?” said General Alexander.
“I’m a Rahlken, far older than you,” said Miarahl with a note of pique in her voice.
“Sounds like something like a demon was yelling in there,” said Wendy.
“Oh, it was,” said Nova as she came out, carefully, wiping off her blade. “I took care of him.”
“You…you’re really alive?” gasped Wendy as she gazed at awe at Nova. “You’re not…dead? Or a ghost? And…well…where’s your clothes?”
“Do I feel like a ghost?” said Nova as she gently took Wendy by the hands and kissed her. “As for my new uniform or rather, a lack of one, I shall explain that later…it has to do with a vow I took as High Queen of the Pellians.”
“Ma….majesty,” said Wendy as she shook and went to one knee before Nova. Derek and the others followed. Some of the Free Terran underground warriors, in their tattered uniforms, bowed their heads.
“Stand up, Wendy,” said Nova in a clear voice. “Homer is alive, and he would love to see you again.”
“I would love to see him again,” whispered Wendy. “Why we separated, what we fought over…it seems so silly, now.”
“Madame President…with all respect, when did Earth become a monarchy?” said General Alexander.
“Since the Emergency Parliament on New Pellias voted to temporarily join the Commonwealth,” said Nova. “I am still your President, and when we rebuild Earth, I would ask for free elections, since we have been and always shall be free and independent. But for now, Free Terra barely has a Government. What there is recognizes me as President and swears fealty unto me as Queen of a vast Commonwealth. Indeed, even Desslok has kissed my hand today in fealty.”
“How the hell did you manage THAT?” said Alexander.
“Since we have observed that we must fight together or hang separately,” said Nova. “As for my…royal attire…it’s common for Pellian High Queens. Some you don’t have anything on, either. Why is that?”
“Because we escaped from his slave farms,” said a trooper who knelt holding a gun. Like some of the others, he was indeed naked.
“You have my sympathy,” Nova said as she walked over to the shamed, naked former slave and kissed him on the cheek. “Stand up and fight like a man, Mister Nagorski. You are not a naked slave. You are a Lieutenant in the Defense Forces who is short a uniform right now. “I go naked like this in sympathy for those of you who cannot help their exposure. Our enemies…they are machines. Your uniform now is the skin you were born in. Have courage. For we shall overcome.”
The group cheered and stood.
“Stand back,” Nova said. “Away from that former church, while I cleanse the ground.”
The group stood back.
Nova screamed, and raised her sword.
To the awe of everyone, even Derek, Nova called lightning and fire down from the clouds. It smashed into her sword, and she pointed her sword at the ruined church.
The fire and lightning blasted from her sword and smashed into the church like a fireball, thus cleansing the ground where it had stood, along with destroying the desecrated church, and the bodies of their enemies.
“As I have destroyed this desecrated church so we can build a new one here, so shall I destroy Ekogaru’s works!” Nova cried.
The group cheered lustily.
TWO HOURS LATER…..
After some food and a bit of a hike, the group followed Nova, Derek, and Miarahl on what seemed like a horridly long walk up a mountain path with Fujiyama looming in the distance as smoke and flame came from the volcano’s heart every now and then.
There was a lava flow, but it was on the other side of the mountain, where it overwhelmed and buried what had been an EDF base now infested with Technomugar ships and Terran vessels who had defected to the enemy. Nova had cunningly aimed the lava flow at that base.
As the group hiked over a hill into the sunset, they were pleased to see a very unexpected sight sitting on Earth in the setting sun; the Yamato herself, vibrating with power and ready to lift off.
“How did you arrange this?” asked Wendy in awe.”
“Nova called to Venture and told him to leave New Pellias and told him where to land,” Derek replied.
“We’ll have to hurry, because the enemy will soon find us. We’ll have a battle to fight before we get off of Occupied Earth,” Nova said. “We will not be here for long. Then, we have another battle to fight. We shall have to find and free Ekogaru.”
Derek looked at her as if she had gone mad. “Did…did you just say we have to free Ekogaru?”
“I did,” Nova said. “No….I would not have said that before the past three hours elapsed. I have been in touch with his mind. His plots overcame him at last. He wanted to repent. I could not set him free from his demons…but I led Ekogaru to He has the Power to do that…just as He freed me from temptation, He freed him.”
“Did you get Ekogaru’s cooperation?” Derek barked.
“I felt his grief and his desire to repent, and backed away as he wept in grief at his many sins, even as that demon St. German began to torment him. I do not know how much charge Ekogaru still has now over his own forces, but he gave them an order to stop the invasion of New Pellias. They laughed at him, and now, he’s in torment at tha hands of his own demons and his own generals!”
“That means….” Derek said.
“They’ll be going after New Pellias next, and leaving Earth alone,” Nova said.
She watched Homer running to Wendy. They embraced, and stood weeping in each other’s arms.
“Do you wish to remain here?” said Derek to Homer.
“Then, I’ll assign Ariel to communications for now,” said Derek. “Let’s get aboard the Yamato.”
“Good idea,” said Nova. “Especially since they’re coming…”
Aboard the Yamato, Derek arrived first, taking his station right before Anya did.
Ariel took her post at Communications and said, “Admiral, we are being joined by the 14th Escort Fleet of five destroyers and four battle cruisers.”
“Do they have a report on the enemy fleet yet?” Derek asked.
“No; they said that their sensors are jammed and they’re having a hard time picking up anything but a lot of static.”
“Let me figure this out,” Nova said as she ran to her post and sat down, still in only her skin as per her oath.
Dash, who had joined the ship in his ragged uniform with some of the other surviving rebels, looked at Nova and only raised his eyebrows.
“Wasn’t your mother dead?” whispered Dash to Ariel.
Ariel nodded once, tensely.
“Where’s…where’s her uniform?” Dash whispered. “And why is she gleaming all over?”
“My light is my uniform now, Dash,” Nova said in an almost gentle tone of voice. “I have finally come through the Fire like Queen Pellas. For the life I have left, neither heat nor cold affects me, and I have no need to hide what I am. As for the radar, Derek, I am making out they are using a jamming field. A massive Goraizu Fortress is in the area; I think it’s about a thousand megameters away. They want to smash us before we can get out of orbit.”
“And I’m picking up another warp signature,” said Sandor from his post. “There’s one behind us, too.”
“Confirmed, and he’s getting; even closer than the other one!” Eager yelled.
“We’re fucked!” snapped Anya.
“Not yet,” said Miarahl beside her at Analysis, in gentle but firm tones.
“We’ll have to fight our way out of this mess,” Derek snapped. “Anya, order the gunners to load wave motion cartridges for each of the main guns; Ariel, order the cruisers to do the same. I’m not going to launch the Black Tigers, since we’re going to hit them and warp out before they can regroup.”
“I have a better fix on the enemy fleet,” Nova said. “Two Fortresses, twenty Technomugar battleships, ten Bolar battleships, eighty cruisers, sixty destroyers. We have our ship, and our nine escorts. We’re outnumbered over seventeen to one.”
“Be nice if we had better odds,” muttered Anya. “Sir, why can’t we use the wave motion gun?”
“It’s going to be hard to get them all in our sights at once,” said Derek. “You can see the formation they’re locking us into. Get those guns loaded!”
“Yessir,” said Anya.
Before them, the Free EDF Destroyers Hamakaze, Kashi, Higbee, and Sutherland laid down a withering barrage of gunfire and torpedoes into the enemy fleet.
Their fire scored several hits, and the bridge crew on the Yamato whooped as they saw three enemy vessels blow apart.
“Main guns locked on and ready on nine targets,” said Anya.
“Cruisers ready to execute,” Ariel reported.
“Open fire!” Derek snapped.
The Yamato’s guns spoke a moment later, followed by the guns of the two EDF battlecruisers at their stern and two at their bow.
Trails of fire roared into the Goraizu Fortresses, blowing them apart as the captured wave motion energy exploded in their innards as the shells from the EDF vessels hit.
The holocaust blew apart many of the enemy space battleships before they could even bring their guns to bear.
The only Terran casualty was the EDF destroyer Knox, which slammed into a Bolar space battleship even as she was being blown apart, taking her tormentor to the next world with her.
“Opening at 192 Mark Four!” Nova snapped.
“Venture, warp us out of here!” Derek snapped.
“Powering up…WAAAARP!” Mark snapped.
The Yamato slammed into warp, followed by all of her escorts.
The Matrix flashed to life on Nova’s forehead as its light and the eerie light of warp space mixed beautifully on Nova’s nude form as she opened her eyes, and stared at New Pellias taking shape before them.
She looked around a little and giggled slightly at Dash.
The effect of this warp had momentarily benuded him, as well…along with the rest of the Bridge crew.
Ariel looked sidelong at Dash and said, “C’mon, now…we all know you’ve got one…no need trying to hide it from us, Dash!”
Nova looked at Eager and said, “I told you to work on that weight, Eager. More exercise and less gyoza and jelly donuts!”
“I saw you eatin’ three of ‘em the other day, ma’am. It ain’t fair you stay as thin as a rail!”
“Well, you know I’m eating for three,” Nova said primly.
At that, the Yamato landed on New Pellias.
A FEW HOURS LATER…
The Gamilon carrier Endarphas hovered in the sky on New Pellias as its patrol planes hung near her.
After a major battle near Gamilon, Desslok had transferred his command to this vessel after the Gamilstadt had taken major damage.
Now, with that battle won, he had returned to New Pellias with his fleet in order to confront a challenge from St. Germain that had arrived recently.
Desslok bowed his head as he asked Talan to replay the message from the demonic commander.
Desslok said, “Admiral Wildstar, we have analyzed this message and have determined it is authentic. Have you heard it?”
“Yes. Nova and I received it two hours after landing on New Pellias,” Derek said across the Yamato’s main screen to Desslok.
“Shall we review it?” Desslok asked.
Nova nodded her head.
“As you request, my dear Ally,” said Desslok. “Talan, play the message.”
The message from St. Germain began to play.
“I send my greetings to the so-called Pellian Commonwealth, so-called Free Terran Forces, and so-called Gamilon Empire, as well as to the damned rebel Rikashans and anyone else deluded enough to be on your side,” sneered St. Germain.
“Ekogaru has gone quite mad. He’s talking about repentance and serving God and that sort of rot. He’s as insane as a shithouse rat, my friends. It’s a most pitiable thing. His father was a hamster and his mother smelt of elderberries. He’s foaming at the mouth and pissing himself, the poor lunatic. We have had to chain him up here on my flagship, and he is no longer in command of the Technomugar Empire. The day is coming when I shall torture and crucify him, but, first, I shall capture, torture, and crucify the deluded High Queen Nova whatever she calls herself now, and she will see Ekogaru crucified in her sight as she dies. To that end, we are going to take New Pellias like we have taken Terra, and we shall conquer it, crush it, and enslave everyone there. I am coming in four of your days. Are you scared? If you are, we will await your surrender!”
Desslok switched off the video and said. “The rest of the video is unimportant. That monster just spent two minutes laughing like a maniac and exuding threats and special effects, including a skull on the screen. How gauche. Really!”
“Yes, Desslok, just like you used to do years ago?” Derek said with a grin.
“Really, Admiral, I wish you wouldn’t have brought that up. I was a different man, then. I was walking a path I do not intend to return to now.”
“That’s nice, dear,” Nova said with a winning smile.
“Hmmm?” Desslok said. “I’m not one of your children, my dear Majesty, but your ally.”
“We shall remember that,” Nova said.
“I stand at your side in the coming battle,” Desslok replied. “Now, please pardon me while we land my vessel at the docks. My dockhands have to repaint her a shocking shade of scarlet so she shall stand out in the battle. Farewell, my friends.”
The Star Force saluted as Desslok’s image faded out.
“We’ve got a bit of work to do,” said Derek.
“So do I,” Nova said. “That madman demon-thing St. Germain demands an answer, so I’ll give him one. I’ll be returning to my Palace to write one and deliver it to him later this evening.”
“Try not to be too rash?” said Miarahl. “That thing has been in existence since before Lucifer fell, eons and eons ago. He was one of the first angels to spit on the Almighty and turn to serve Lucifer in his mad rebellion. You’re very young, dear…”
“And, by God’s grace, wise,” Nova said.
At that, she vanished.
III. NOVA’S PRONOUNCEMENT
Planet New Pellias
Beltane: The High Queen’s Palace
Thursday July 7, 2231
0937 Hours: Local Time
Nova had taken care of the minor issue of transporting the slightly battered chair she called “Her Presidential Chair” from her Medical Office on the Yamato to the High Queen’s Palace in Beltane. Then, she was up all night writing and then memorizing her reply to the demon St. Germain.
As she worked, Promecium of Larmetal came to advise her and Derek.
Nova was mildly suspicious, but she accepted the counsel of Promecium, and her daughter Maetel, as they assisted her, along with Astrena, Trelaina, and Sasha, now Queen of Iscandar, who appeared one by one. Nova noticed that Sasha was in a black dress of mourning for her mother.
“Iscandar is devastated,” she told what there was of the Council as Desslok came in last of all. “St. Germain sent raiders to us. Before they withdrew, Deke and my father had me fall back to the shelters in Mother Town. But I could not look away. I watched from down the hall as that monster St. Germain attacked Deke first.”
“What happened to him?” said Derek, whose heart grew cold as he thought of his old comrade and friend.
Sasha began to weep bitter tears. “I am wearing black now…but not just for my mother. Nova, I can feel her in your womb, and have the promise she will rise again anew soon, as a child. Deke….”
“What happened?” said Maetel gently.
“St. Germain came closer and closer,” said Sasha. “He burned off Deke’s blaster-hand, and then his sword hand as he tried to fight him off with an antique sword as my father came to his defense,” sobbed Sasha. “My father was in a total rage. But St. Germain just laughed at him as he burned him with fire, and then, so did I. Derek, I have very sad news to share with you and with Nova.”
“What is it?” Nova said, but the coldness that hit her heart told her she knew the answer.
“That monster said he had taken over for Ekogaru. That he was the head of the Technomugar Empire now. He said we were not even human, and he ripped out Deke’s heart…and threw it against the wall. As I held him, there was nothing I could do for him. Deke…passed on. I cried over his body. No. I wailed over him. But, then, St. Germain made it worse. Derek…he picked up your brother…my father, and he shook him like a rag. Then, he shot fire through his heart. Father died…trying to defend me. Bravely, as he always did. St. Germain told me not to come here…because he said, “If you go to New Pellias, Queen Sasha, I will send you to Hell with your bondmate and your father!”
Derek gritted his teeth and bowed his head.
Then, he howled. His big brother…was finally, and truly dead.
Nova and Sasha held him, weeping with him as Desslok ground his teeth and snarled. Astrena and Trelaina bowed their heads and wept with Sasha.
Only Promecium kept dry-eyed.
She looked hard at Nova and said, “High Queen, you had better draw together a defense. Or this planet will be as devastated as Mother Town was!”
Then, to the anger of all, she pulled Nova away from Derek, slapped her across the face, and threw her to the ground.
“SEE TO YOUR SPEECH!” she yelled.
Then, she vanished.
“Never let that bitch in here again!” yelled Astrena.
“For once,” said Nova. “I am inclined to agree,” she said in a cold voice.
If only she knew what Promecium was up to…
…if only…she knew….
…then, she would have seen to it that Promecium never left New Pellias alive.
Promecium appeared on R’Khell’eva a short time later, in the very chambers of St. Germain.
“I know who you are,” the demon lord intoned coldly. “Tell me, whore. What the fuck do you want?”
“The freedom of Ekogaru, my lover,” she said. She stood before the demon and ripped her dress open. “He has given me this.”
St. Germain looked at Promecium’s naked chest and breasts with disgust.
Where her heart should have been, there was a now softly glowing dial surrounded by something that looked like a gear. The dial had multiple readouts, and a red light pulsed gently in the dial, usually hidden by her garments.
Promecium now literally had no heart. The organ had been replaced with an artificial system some weeks ago by the Dark Lord himself. The being also now had no nipples, St.Germain noticed. Where her nipples should have been, there were now two dials.
“What has he given you?” said the demon.
“The beginning of eternal life,” said Promecium. “At his hands, I have a heart that can never break. I have a nervous system and feminine impulses I can now program at will. Tell me, demon. In that body, have you ever had THIS?”
Promecium then tore away her crown, kicked out of her slippers, and tore off her dress.
Naked, the cold semi-mechanical woman grabbed St. Germain and hugged him. “I will give you what Ekogaru gave me, if you free him.”
“I will not and cannot do that,” said the demon. “He has gone mad and said he repents his actions. He’s screaming down below in a cell; quite mad, poor thing. I intend to crucify him soon. Preferably near that witch the Pellian High Queen.”
“Good. Let me tell you what she is planning. I ask only one thing in return.”
“What?” hissed St. Germain.
“Ekogaru’s Rank and Throne,” said Promecium.
“I’ll do that,” hissed St. Germain. “I prefer being the Power Behind the Throne, anyhow,” he said as he returned her embrace.
Then, he let her undress him.
And then, they rutted.
They rutted like animals….
A while later, Nova was ready to send her message to St. Germain.
She had decided to eschew the ancient Crystal Throne for this planned appearance, and she had the chair set up in the old Hall of Judgments, a room whose walls were painted blue, not far from the Grand Throne Room.
Then, she had asked the cameramen from the appropriate Pellian, Gamilon, Iscandarian, and Free Terran networks to set up their equipment and microphones before the chair.
Derek waited with her in a side room where they talked and prayed for a few minutes, until she told him, “Please go to the Hall of Judgments and announce me, darling?”
Derek kissed her hand and left her to pray in the darkened room, kneeling in her nude skin on a white rug, her own Light the only light in the room.
Derek and Hegen then came into the room, and a number of reporters asked them, “Is she ready yet?”
“Is she well? What will her next strategy be in this War?”
Hegen raised his hands and said, “I have spoken with her Majesty. She is well, and quite strong and healthy, given that a week ago, she was lying in state dead on the Yamato.”
Derek then spoke up loudly and said, “She asks for no questions, but she tells me she will have a statement she will go over with for all of you that will answer them. She also desires that The Lord St. Germain and Ekogaru the Great is to know the content of her pronouncement. And now, ready to speak to you, Nova Wildstar Pellas the Third, High Queen and Acting Ruling Queen of the Pellian Confederacy, and the legitimate President and Prime Minister in Exile of the Earth Federation.”
Nova, having heard the announcement from Derek through their bond, smiled and came through the door into the room, smiling slightly at the gasps from some of the Terrans and even the Iscandarians as her bare feet whispered softly across the rug, and she, completely naked, clothed in nothing but her own Light, sat down quietly in her chair. The posture of her slender form showed no shame whatsoever of her vow-bound lack of clothing as the Crown Imperishable blazed at her brow.
Nova smiled at the reporters and said, “I have heard from Ekogaru and from his lackey, St. Germain. Ekogaru has attempted to repent of his evil deeds, and in return, St. Germain has placed him in prison. This being, St. Germain, is a being not of this world. I have heard he slew one of my best friends, Deke Wakefield, and as we saw from the announcement earlier, we know he also slew Alex Wildstar, Lord Admiral of Iscandar, and my kin. But with the reply we’ve received, even though he threatens to invade and kill us in our turn, I sense that the Lord St. Germain is obviously filled with fear. He speaks to us from a dark chamber inside an armored, vile, starship of death, protected by hundreds of guards, and his ugly body is clothed in heavy armor and a cloak of darkness he has drawn around himself. He barely allows himself to be seen, and trusts no one, and he fears Death.”
“On the other hand, I do not fear Death. Thanks to Ekogaru, I have passed through Death, seen the glory and beauty of the Celestial City and He who sits as King there, as He received me and commissioned me in grace, and He who is, in the words of the ancient Creed, “Light from Light, True God from True God, Begotten, Not Made”, embraced me and sent me back to you for a time from Death, filled with the Living Water of the Spirit. I am come, reborn as I died, naked, with no fear and no need to grasp at anything. Because of His Grace Only, I bear the full Pellian Matrix, the energy form held by the High Queens of Old, and I have taken an Oath to renounce all and live simply. Yet, by His Grace, neither cold, nor heat, nor the vacuum of space can hurt me now, and unlike our Enemy, who is clad in armor and fear, I have nothing to hide. I live again, granted the Grace by God to breathe again and walk until the Power of Ekogaru has been reduced to naught and the damage he causes to the Cosmos to be healed, and in token of this, in my Realm, I now go naked, and by the Grace of God,” she said as she looked down at her darkened nipples on her breasts, “I am also pregnant with twins, thanks to Derek.”
Ariel, in the room, smiled at her mother, who smiled back. Ariel had stripped down for the beach, and now she herself went naked except for a Pellian chapeau and sandals. Jordy tenderly stroked his fiancé’s bare stomach, as Ariel stood there pregnant with the life he had put into her. Then, she smiled as Jordy took her picture of her in her own lovely nakedness before a painting of stars in the Palace room. Later on, Ariel and her mother, both only in their skin, would be photographed together outside on the lawn.
Nova paused and said, “The cursed St. Germain challenged me to surrender and to kneel before him and kiss his boots. Despite my now apparent poverty, I will never do so. His servant Ekogaru, who has now, I understand, repented of his evil, has already taken from me once the only thing I had left to give, which was my very life. I have that life restored, with the love of my husband and people intact, and the love of my husband has given me another gift as I cleaved to him several joyful times on the day and night of my Return, as we have reconsecrated our marriage, and that act of love has again placed twins in my belly; new life, and for those of you from Iscandar, Starsha, your Queen, who was dead, asked to be returned to life as a child in my womb.” Nova rested her hands on her stomach and softly said, “She is here now, and soon, when approximately nine months pass, I anticipate that she shall be born from my loins in the normal manner without shame,” Nova said as she gently laid her hands over her clean, exposed womanhood between her legs.
“St. Germain and his men demand that we surrender so that he can crucify me beside Ekogaru. I tell him now we shall not surrender, and neither shall I hide from him. If he wishes to come here to New Pellias, he is welcome, even if he wishes to invade, but his rage will be met with our light and power and will to survive. I have also been to Earth, and I have seen the suffering of so many of our people, many of whom have been reduced to my own state, of possessing nothing at all, not even clothes to put on their backs. For them, therefore, I will go naked wherever I go, and barefoot on whichever world my feet trod upon, until this war is over and they are healed, freed from slavery, clothed, and restored.”
Nova paused again, and said, “I will win this war, but I do not desire to crush our enemies. I offer Thee peace and pardon, Ekogaru if you can break free from the bonds St. Germain has you under, and I offer you an opportunity to heal the damage you have caused.” Nova said. “St. Germain, I offer the same to you, if you would see reason! But if you wish to invade, we will stop your invasion. If you choose continued aggression, your darkness shall be met with our light. And should you choose to destroy again with your weapons of destruction aboard your bloated flagship, I will bring down your Flagship even though it be six hundred miles long, accompanied by many allies. Ekogaru, if you repent, I am commanded to receive you. If you fight, I am charged to fight you. And should you attack me again, I shall cross swords with you and force you to give up your rage and recognize your mortality as a son of Adam, just as I recognize my mortality as a daughter of Eve, and a Redeemed Daughter of the Anointed One Himself. So, Ekogaru, you command me to surrender? I refuse that command. I beseech YOU to surrender to me and my allies, to be allowed to live, before it is too late to live. Come in peace, and you are welcome. Come with war, and you will be opposed and brought low. May God bless Pellias, Terra, and her allies. That is enough. Have a good day.”
Nova smiled and sat silently. Then, she stood, took Derek’s hand, and then they walked out of the room.
Five days had passed since Nova had made her announcement to St. Germain on the morning of the eighth of July.
Seven had passed since she had wrought her Ring on Occupied Earth in the fires of Fujiyama, and defeated the demon Shmalnir.
Indeed, just ten days ago, Nova had been lying dead on the Yamato.
Now on this day, July the 13th, Ekogaru had sent the great bulk of his forces to New Pellias, to attempt to destroy the New Kingdom in its cradle, before it could raise a hand to him.
Thousands, yes, thousands, of Technomugar and R’Khell and Bolar vessels had warped in around the small blue world to destroy it, accompanied by a landing force of almost eight hundred thousand Technomugar, some in tanks, others mounted on robotic horses, some on foot, and all led by a snarling incarnated demon known as St. Clair, he who had once been known as Flagg, as Ekogaru’s Grand Marshal.
These ground forces had a simple set of orders; decimate the army of Terrans, Pellians, Gamilons, Rahlkens, and even, to the surprise of the Federation forces, Cometines under the personal command of Princess Invidia, who opposed their effort to move south down the coast twenty miles to take and destroy the capital city of Beltane, and to kill the Gamilon Commander General Talan, who was present with just under one hundred thousand Gamilons in a tri-gunned space tank, and to burn alive Invidia, who was in a Cometine command tank of similar design leading a bit under two hundred thousand Cometine troops sent by the command of her father, Emperor Zordar, led by now-Duke Radnar, who was in the tank with Invidia.
On the ground, Wendy Glitchman, now reconciled with Homer, sat in an armored personnel carrier leading the Free Earth Ground Forces. The only Terrans there were under her flag, since to her surprise, Derek’s surprise, and even Nova’s surprise, the Terrans that would have made Ekogaru’s Army a million strong had defected back to the flag of the Free Earth Forces and had been accepted back on Nova’s specific orders. Just under one hundred thousand Terrans prepared to fight that day, under the command of Wendy, and the High command of Admiral Derek Wildstar, who was prepared to overfly the battlefield in his altered Superstar fighter, followed by the Black Tigers and squadrons of other Terran, Pellian, Gamilon, and even Cometine planes.
Finally, a company of a thousand Iscandarians and only ten thousand Rikashans, under the Command of Lord President Anton Cha’rif prepared to go into combat with two hundred thousand Pellians and a hundred thousand Rahlkens. Some of the Rahlkens were mounted; others rode speeder bikes, and some were on foot, including the dreaded Border Legion.
The Border Legion howled once and then went silent in salute as a single slender rider on horseback came through their ranks, accompanied by a Terran who walked on foot in the white and red uniform of the Star Force, carrying a red flight helmet, the wind flying through his hair.
The Rahlkens snapped as one to salute as Hegen whispered to Felicia, “So…she came to lead us in person and did not send Astrena?”
“The High Queen would not send another to ride in her place; not in a battle such as this,” said Felicia.
“By the Most High…she’s still totally naked,” whispered Hegen.
Felicia nodded. “As we all are. She was offered a helm, mail coat, cloak, and sandal-boots. I am told she refused them, saying, “my armor today is the Light the Most High clothed me in. I need nothing more, and need my body free to move in battle, and feet bare to run in the grass….”
Derek came up to Nova and kissed her hand and her thigh.
She bent down to kiss her husband on the lips, and said, “I have taken a count. We go into battle with seven hundred thousand to their nearly nine hundred thousand. It’s going to cost us, but we are going to win. You be careful in your fighter, Derek.”
“I should tell you that, Nova,” said Derek with a smile. “My God, you are on a horse, naked and barefoot, ready to lead our forces. Ekogaru said he’ll behead me and capture you alive and nail you up to a cross on R’Khell’eva. Aren’t you…scared?”
Nova, with the Light of the Crown Imperishable at her brow, laughed. “No, I am not. Trelaina is with us, too, even though your eyes cannot see her. With Trelaina and I here, and you, and Invidia, and our friend Cha’rif, they are outnumbered.”
Lord Cha’rif appeared in the midst of the small group, tall and clad in black bearing a huge scimitar. “A long time ago, when we were still mortal enemies, I had dreams about this day. I thought, Nova, you would be a Rikashan Princess risen to the High Queen’s Rank and clothed in her skin only like an avenging angel of old. I never conceived until now that those dreams were about you, risen from the grave. Are you beyond mortality now?”
“Yes and no,” Nova said. “Yes, in that the True Most High assured me I am ordered to live, perhaps for centuries, until Ekogaru’s evil is destroyed from the universe. No, in the fact that I am still bonded to Derek and in fact, without shame, I go into to battle pregnant with our two newest children, one of whom is Queen Starsha again clad in flesh, so Starsha, who was dead, lives again…in my body,” Nova said as she sat back and stroked her own stomach, completely oblivious to the fact that a little of her womanhood was now bared. “She cannot express words yet, nor is there enough of her body in my womb yet for her to kick, but her spirit tells me she cannot wait now to go into battle…she is not a pacifist now, not when her own death has to be avenged!”
A horn blew in the distance.
Hegen the Rahlken galloped up on a steed near Nova’s.
“Yes?” Nova said.
“They are coming,” he said.
Nova nodded to Derek and the others. “So it begins. Implement the plan we decided upon.”
Derek saluted Nova, and then he kissed her hand. “Your wish,” he said. “Is my command.”
TO BE CONTINUED…