ZION: WAR OF THRONES Chapter Seventeen

Welcome to all my new followers! For the new ones who don’t know, Zion: War of Thrones is the last book in the Zion trilogy. If you want to start at the very beginning of the trilogy, read ZION Chapter One. Now, on with the chapter!

TIBET MOUNTAINS, CHINA

Anastasia stumbled and fell. She pushed herself out of the snow and saw something infront of her. What is it? She swiped her hand infront of her visor and used it to enhance the object infront of her. Oh, a tree. Panting, she leaned against it and unzipped her backpack, reached in and pulled out the bottle of water. She unscrewed the lid and drank some of the water. She then screwed on the lid and put it away, zipping up her backpack. She swiped her hand infront of the visor again which activated the infra-red vision.

There! The visor zoomed in. She had thought she caught a fleeting glimpse of something moving through the trees ahead of her. She saw it again as it flew away.

She craned her neck as she looked behind her, peering back up at the mountain. There was no heat signatures up there. She unzipped her backpack and pulled out the grey flat circular disc. She pressed a button on the side and it projected a holo-map of the Tibet Mountains. An orange circle kept flashing in one particular spot. That was where she was supposed to go. She was nearly there. Anastasia turned it off and put it away, zipping up the backpack and she slung it on her shoulders.

Anastasia turned right twenty-three degrees and continued walking.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA

Zipporah exited Anastasia’s bedroom and walked quickly down the corridor. What is Anastasia doing with batrachotoxin? And what is she doing with a gun? Batrachotoxin was a very potent toxin, which could be gleaned from the poison dart frog, melyrid beetles and certain species of birds. It was over 1,000 times more poisonous than cyanide. Once a person came in contact with batrachotoxin, the toxin would cause uncontrollable convulsions, heart failure and sometimes suffocation. What is she going to do with it? Who is she going to kill?

She stopped at the end of the corridor and looked to her left. She could not see Anastasia. Looking to her right, she saw Anastasia slowing down and stopping infront of a door. She watched as Anastasia opened it and ducked inside. The door shut. Then Zipporah realised what room Anastasia was in.

Alexei’s bedroom.

UNDERGROUND TUNNEL

“Ameratsu?”

Kyen stopped walking and turned on his comms on the cuff of his sleeve. “Yes, Ares?”

“How are we supposed to distract the League?”

“I hacked into the Peak’s main computer to try and find out something for your group to do before I gave that briefing. Venezuela has the biggest oil reserve, and therefore is the League’s biggest supplier of oil,” Kyen informed Zeke Collins. “And they will get pretty protective of their biggest oil reserve, should anything threaten it or happen to it, don’t you agree?”

Kyen heard Zeke chuckle on the other end. “Understood.” Then Zeke severed the connection. He turned around to check on the others. Amelia and Saul had had the others all stop and crouch down while he had stopped to answer the call. He raised his arm and flicked his wrist and they continued towards the Peak.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA

Anastasia’s clone poured some of the batrachotoxin into a syringe, then put the vial on the small table next to Alexei’s bed. She crossed over to Alexei’s bed and chose a blue vein on his neck. That will do. There was two good things about batrachotoxin – it killed in minutes, and there was no cure. And after he was taken care of, she would take care of Zipporah.

She put her thumb on the plunger and put it in position to inject the contents into Alexei’s neck.

TIBET MOUNTAINS, CHINA

Anastasia crouched down behind a boulder on the mountain side. She peered around it, noting she could not see anyone. She doubled checked the flat disc. They should be right here. She looked back up at the snow and ridges she had to climb up to. There was no sign that there was anything or anyone there. She turned on the infra-red vision.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA

Zipporah ran over and quickly opened the door. She saw Anastasia bending over Alexei. Am I too late? Anastasia whirled around, holding something in an outstretched hand.

Anastasia pulled the trigger.

UNDERNEATH ROME, ITALY

Tractatori watched as Anastasia turned on the infra-red vision again. She was at the location. Where are Petrus and the Owens?

On the holo-screen, everything turned into shades of orange and red. There were orange objects moving around. Ah. People. Around the people were light red objects against a dark red background. Huh? He typed a command using his second generation iPad Pro. Anastasia then turned off the infra-red vision. There was no-one there. He typed in another command. Anastasia turned it on again. He knew that the orange was people. They were moving around – most were hunched over something. He also knew that the dark red background was the mountain. But what’s the lighter red around the people? And where’s the fighter fleet that Petrus and the Owens stole?

He tapped the lighter red part, and it disconnected from the rest of the holo-screen and hovered in cyber space infront of him. Using his thumb and one of his fingers, he enlarged it, carefully studying it. He slapped his forehead as he realised what it was – the lighter red part was the fighter fleet.

Now, she just needs to get inside and to Petrus.

Tractatori typed in a string of commands. Now the tiny transparent camera he had taped onto Anastasia’s forehead streamed the footage to his iPad. He moved the footage off to the top right-hand corner and pressed an icon. The footage automatically enlarged again. But this time, his iPad would now scan each heat signature for each person to find Petrus Romanus.

UNDERGROUND TUNNEL

“What’s that?”

Amelia put a finger to her lips to silence Saul and everyone else and listened carefully. There was the sound of running feet, then silence, as if the person or people did not want to be heard. Too late for that, Amelia thought. The noise came from behind them. Then infront of them, Amelia caught a fleeting glimpse of a black trouser leg in the light from Kyen’s torch before it disappeared into the dark.

Who’s down here with us?

MOSCOW, RUSSIA

Zipporah dropped and rolled as silenced bullets pinged off the wall and the floor. “OOF!” Zipporah raised her head as she saw Anastasia scrambling off the floor. There was a blur and Zipporah saw Anastasia and someone else fighting for the gun Anastasia held.

“What do you think you are doing, Anastasia!?” The other person asked. It’s Alexei, Zipporah realized.

“My job!” grunted Anastasia. The gun flew out of her hand and skidded on the floor. It caused the trigger to go off.

“NO!”

UNDERGROUND TUNNEL

Kyen gripped his Shocker with one hand while flashing his torch around. “Who’s there?” he called out.

There was silence.

Kyen’s pulse was racing. He had a suspicion of who it was, but he was not sure. “You better come out. The RoboBees are around on guard. Their stinger electrocutes you and instead of wings, they have robotic arms with rotating blades that spin so fast that it propels them along. If the blades get to your body-”

“Ok, ok. Stop scaring me,” a male voice said and someone moved into his torch light, with his arms raised and a frightened expression on his face. Kyen shone the light just below his face. He chuckled. What he had said about the RoboBees was a test. No RoboBees actually came into the tunnels, though they did exist. Only people in the League knew that, so would not be frightened into coming out. So, he knew if the people were frightened into coming out, it was Jim, Chris, and the others.

“It’s payback, Chris,” Kyen told him. “Alright, you lot. Out. Now!”

There was a scrambling of feet getting closer all around them. Kyen flashed his torch around and saw Jim and the rest of the group. “I’m glad you could make it,” he commented. “Okay. Let’s continue.”

“Wait a minute, Kyen,” someone from the Collins group called out. Kyen searched around for the owner of the voice with his torch. Amelia stepped forward and Kyen shone the torch on her. “Who are these people?”

“You did not mention them to us,” Saul commented, also stepping forward.

“We could ask the same of ya’ all,” someone piped up. Kyen glanced in the direction of the voice. The voice belonged to a female next to Jim. She had curly ginger hair that looked like it had not been brushed in weeks and her cheeks were sullen and she looked like she had not eaten properly in ages.

Kyen motioned Amelia and Saul aside and they walked out of earshot of everyone else. “Listen, the people there with us are people I have hired to help us take over the Peak,” Kyen began.

“Mercenaries?” Saul asked. Kyen noted he had a strange tone in his voice that he could not quite place. Saul also had titled his head slightly to one side.

“Sort of. They’re indispensable until I’ve gained the throne,” and he paused to let it sink in.

“Where did you find them and when did you hire them?” Amelia questioned. “Are they any good?”

“They are very, very good, cousin,” Kyen informed her. “Among the best.”

“Where and when?” Saul enquired, referring to Amelia’s question.

Kyen stared hard at him. Saul stared back. Saul grew uncomfortable and broke eye contact first. “They are from Chittagong,” was all he said.

“Do they know who exactly you are and what you plan to do? Or have you lied to them?” Amelia asked at hearing the news. Kyen noticed Saul glance sharply at him when he heard where they were from.

“I’ve lied to them about it. Don’t worry. They are only indispensable while I am trying to get the throne. Once I’ve gotten it…” he trailed off and shrugged. They knew what he meant.

“Are you sure that they are trustworthy?” Saul asked. “I don’t quite agree with this.”

“I know what I am doing, Saul. And, I don’t care if you agree – I am the leader. I decide who comes. I can have anyone who disagrees with me killed. Just remember that.”

Saul fell silent and they went back to the others. “Alright. Let’s get going!” Kyen ordered.

As they continued, Kyen thought about Saul’s body language. What does he know? What is he suspicious of? Then he thought about when he came back to the Silver Dragon and how Mary was acting. She also seemed suspicious. Had Saul been watching me and reporting to Grandmother? Or someone else? That is, if Saul and Grandmother actually knew about my visit to Chittagong before.

THE SILVER DRAGON

Incoming message.”

Mary turned on the submarine’s computer and went to inbox. There was a new message in. She clicked on it.

HR83T9P.

Kyen hired people from CHITTAGONG to help him gain the throne. He   

claimed that they don’t know who he is and what he is doing, that he lied

to them. Here’s photos I took with my Google glasses.

Mary studied the photos. She ran them through a facial recognition program. They were members of Chittagong, which the Law Enforcers still had control of. Why is Kyen hiring them?

She sent a reply.

HR83T9P,

Proceed with extreme caution. Keep a closer eye on him.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA

A bright red spot suddenly appeared on Anastasia’s jacket over her heart and she dropped to the floor.

“NO!” Alexei cried out. He did not know why Anastasia had tried to kill him and Zipporah, but she was still his sister. “Why did you do it, sis?” he asked, kneeling beside her. The blood continued to soak through her jacket. He checked for her pulse.

There was nothing.

“Why was…” he took a deep breath “…was she trying to kill us? I’m her brother!”

And I just lost my sister.

“I’m not sure. She was going to poison you with batrachotoxin,” Zipporah replied.

He started to cry. Why would you do this, sis?

UNDERNEATH ROME, ITALY

Tractatori rubbed his hands together. He had just located Petrus Romanus. He checked on the status of Anastasia’s clone. But the video had stopped. He tried to regain the connection, but could not. Somehow, the connection had been severed.

TIBET MOUNTAINS, CHINA

Anastasia heard the sound of a door sliding open. She looked in the direction and saw someone stepping out of one of the aircraft. The person looked around and then headed away from the aircraft. The door was still open.

Crouching low, she ran towards the aircraft. At the doorway, she climbed inside. Anastasia was slammed against the wall as someone pinned her to the floor. She tried to fight back, but the person was rather heavy. She heard the door shut and lock and twisted her head around to have a look.

She saw the person who had exited before had re-entered. The person took off the helmet he or she had been wearing and turned to look at her. “So, there was someone outside,” the person remarked.

Petrus.

It was all a trap to get me inside, she realized.

“Let me go, bastard!” she yelled. Anastasia twisted slightly and managed to get an arm free. Someone else pinned her arm down.

“I would like to know how you knew where we were and how you got here,” Petrus remarked. “But, our scans only detected you.” He paused and regarded her warily. “On the other hand, it is a…blessing, you could say, that you came.” He turned on an earpiece he had on his ear. “Patrick, get my medical equipment.”

With a sudden burst of strength, she flipped the guy off of her and sent him crashing into the other one. Anastasia scrambled to her feet and tried to run. Someone slammed into her from behind and tackled her to the floor. “Keep her down!” Petrus shouted. Anastasia saw a youth run up to the Petrus and hand him two medical bags. “Right. Let’s get started.”

MOSCOW, RUSSIA

Zipporah exited the room and ran to Anastasia’s bedroom. She had just remembered that Anastasia had been typing on her holo-projector when she had walked in. It might contain a clue or something of why Anastasia had been trying to kill them. She opened the door. The holo-projector was lying on top of her quilt. Zipporah grabbed it and ran back to Alexei’s bedroom, where he was still crying.

“Alexei. I’ve got her holo-projector. It could help us work out why she was doing what she was doing,” Zipporah said. Alexei took a deep breath to steady himself and went over and sat down on his bed. Zipporah sat down next to him. “Do you want to look? I understand if you don’t,” Zipporah said quietly.

“No. Let’s look. I want to know why,” Alexei told her. Zipporah nodded and turned it on. The first thing that came up were holo-blueprint of the Peak and detailed plans of how to sneak in and bring them down. “That’s what I wanted her to do. I thought since she had grown up there…” he trailed off. Zipporah looked at him and saw he was frowning. “She was raised by them. She regarded them as family for a while. You don’t think that she had not actually escaped and was really sent here by them to try and kill me?” he looked at her with fear in his eyes at the thought.

“No!” Zipporah told him firmly. “Your sister really did escape. I remember when you sent me to go and get her while you were having that conference, I suddenly felt a check about her. Before that, I had not. I had felt peace. But after that and from then to now, I felt a check about her. Something had changed. But, don’t think that about your sister.”

“I don’t want to, but my mind keeps going that way,” Alexei replied, staring off into space. He suddenly reached over and took the holo-projector and studied the plans. “This doesn’t have any clues,” he declared. On the left side was a holo-arrow. He touched it and it went to the previous thing. It was another blueprint of the Peak with detailed instructions. He went to skip over it.

“Hang on!” Zipporah replied. She enlarged the holo-blueprint. Yep. Thought so.

“What is it?” Alexei asked.

“Don’t you see? There are differences between this blueprint and the other blueprint,” she pointed out. Zipporah flicked the detailed instructions for the two blueprints to infront of her, side by side. Alexei studied the blueprints. Zipporah carefully read each of the instructions. “There are differences here as well. In the second to last one, she writes that the most efficient way to bring down the Peak is to enter the Peak’s main computer building, where all the power of the Peak is controlled, and plant a virus. She says the computer building is located around the centre of the Peak. Then, in the second version, she changes the location of the computer building to inside the Emperor’s Palace.”

“Interesting,” Alexei said. “About that and the differences in the blueprints. In the latest one, the locations of buildings and streets are changed around from in the original one.”

Why is that? wondered Zipporah. “Is there anything else on her holo-projector?”

Alexei searched through it. “No. There’s nothing else.”

“Check her deleted records,” Zipporah suggested. When W.J. Einstein had created their holo-projectors, he had designed a secret ‘library’ where everything anyone did on their holo-projectors were recorded, and nothing could be deleted. If something was deleted in the holo-projector, it was always there in the ‘library’. Einstein had done that in case anyone accidentally deleted something off their holo-projector.

Alexei nodded and typed in a password to enter the ‘library’. Einstein had given Alexei a password that only he could use to enter the ‘libraries’ and only he and Einstein knew what the password was. That was done in case Alexei suspected any of the Zionists of foul play.

Anastasia’s ‘library’ records came up. It was not a long list. “Hey! Anastasia had started typing up plans to bring down the Peak just about half an hour to an hour before I had you, Zip, go and get her,” Alexei mentioned. “And she deleted it off the main records. “After that, there are records of messages and calls sent back and forth between Anastasia and some other unknown person. The number isn’t recorded, strangely.”

“Can you view the messages?” Zipporah leaned over.

“Yeah,” Alexei assured her and touched the message, bringing it up. Zipporah saw him frown. “Huh?”

“What is it?” Zipporah asked. Alexei flicked the message into cyberspace infront of Zipporah. She began reading it out loud. “False Aslan holding. Please approve detail changes.” She and Alexei looked at each other. “Detail changes. Is that referring to the blueprint and instructions changes?”

Alexei nodded. “Yep.” And he flicked another message over to her. Looking at it, Zipporah realized it was sending the latest version of the Peak blueprints and instructions with the words ‘Is this good enough?’ “Whoever she was messaging replied, approving the changes,” Alexei said.

“But why did she change the plans and blueprints?” Zipporah asked.

“I don’t know. And what does ‘False Aslan holding‘ mean?” Alexei replied.

Zipporah snapped her fingers. “I never read the books, but my parents did before the League of Nations was established. In the Chronicles of Narnia book series by C.S. Lewis, in this fictitious land called Narnia, is a lion called Aslan who represents YAHUSHUA,” she told Alexei.

“Never heard of it,” Alexei replied.

“Anyway, in the last book – The Last Battle, my mother’s personal favourite – which is basically a fantasy version of Revelation, this villainous ape forces a donkey to pretend to be Aslan to trick the Narnians into doing…something. I don’t remember what my parents said it was. Basically, they tried to replace Aslan with a false Aslan to trick the population,” Zipporah explained.

“So…when Anastasia said ‘False Aslan’, she was meaning something had been replaced with a false replica, or whatever you want to call the darn thing, to trick us into doing something?”

Zipporah nodded. “I think so. It might have been referring to the changed plans and blueprints. Or might not be. And saying that the False Aslan holding most probably means the replacement is holding up, holding out. The trick is working.”

“Wait a minute,” Alexei said. “There is something in small writing in the message where someone approves the changes she made. I’m just enlarging…Ah! Here is what it says ‘Proceed with attack on mothership. Independence Day 2 device in place.’ I have no idea what that means.”

“Attack on the mothership…” mused Zipporah. “Could that be referring to the attack on the Peak we want to do?”

“Whoever the person is, he or she is telling Anastasia to proceed with it. If that is correct, what does ‘Independence Day 2 device in place’ mean?” Alexei said. “Independence Day is a celebration on July 4th in America that no-one celebrates anymore. What device? Fireworks?”

Zipporah rolled her eyes at his attempt at humour. “Could Independence Day 2 be a title of something? Like a book or a movie, or a play?” Zipporah speculated.

“Yeah,” Alexei stood up and began pacing. “I remember that David…or was it Mum? telling me about this alien invasion movie called Independence Day: Resurgence. It was a sequel to another movie called Independence Day.”

“So, ‘2’ is referring to Resurgence?”

Alexei did not answer. He was busy pacing and thinking. He stopped and then sat down on the bed and looked back at the messages. Then he looked at the blueprints and the instructions on how to go in and bring down the Peak. “I know what it means,” Alexei said. “In Independence Day: Resurgence, according to what I’ve heard, the humans launch an attack on the alien mothership, and some of the fighter pilots enter the mothership, but it is a trap set up by the alien queen to try and kill them. Proceed with attack on mothership is referring to the humans plan to attack the mothership and is referring to our plan to attack the Peak and bring it down. Independence Day 2 device in place is referring to the plot device of a trap set by the alien queen. Meaning, a trap is in place. For us, if we go along with the latest version. Anastasia is the false Aslan sent to trick us into this trap to get killed. Anastasia has been replaced.”

Zipporah was stunned. Crazy, but made some sense. But, what were they to do? “So, where’s the real Anastasia?” she asked.

“I don’t know,” Alexei replied, worry on his face. “But, whoever Anastasia’s replacement was contacting expects us to go along with the tampered plans and blueprints and step into the trap. So, we’ll go with the actual blueprints and instructions. Get everybody together. Now.”

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23 thoughts on “ZION: WAR OF THRONES Chapter Seventeen

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