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King Paul Frelon…ruthless dictator or flawed leader?
President Grant Lexus…idealistic reformer or jealous traitor?
Two men…one nation divided…pick a side.
Set in an America where the future merges with the past, The king is betrayed by his closest friend, plunging the nation into a bloody civil war, spiralling to rival even the Great War itself…the war that ended the civilizations of the 21st Century.
As the two sides collide, the king is cast into a desperate chase across America as Lexus dedicates every resource to the hunt. In the ensuing revolution friends and families are torn apart. And yet, amidst the devastation and bloodshed, old flames are rekindled.
With a selfish, drug-addicted smuggler caught in the middle and a mysterious stranger with a hidden agenda lurking in the shadows, a divided nation must choose a side as the fate of America hangs in the balance.
A woman swept along the marble corridor, her ceremonial jade carama robe billowing up around her. The only sounds were the soft padding of her feet.
Dark, ornately carved oak panelling clad the walls floor to ceiling within the White Palace. Adorning them were countless finely painted portrait and landscape oil paintings, each one depicting a moment captured in time; a frowning, worldly wise face with a trim white beard, a prairie with galloping mustangs, the Washington, DC skyline at night. Each image was fleeting as she quickened her pace.
Despite the gown, the woman moved with speed and lithe grace. In her early thirties, she was tall and in peak physical condition; a must for the commander of the Queen’s Royal Bodyguard. Her red hair was functionally short, but still unmistakably feminine.
Reaching the end of the corridor, she swung the two heavy oak doors open with ease and strode into the queen’s chamber.
“Your Majesty, my apologies for the intrusion, but we must leave right away.” Her voice was commanding but remained calm, despite the situation.
Queen Jennifer du Lac had been combing her long hazel hair at an imposing gilded dressing table set in a bay window over-looking the inner gardens. At forty-five, Jennifer was radiant with slender features and frame. Her usually warm, confident expression was startled by the sudden interruption. “Michelle, what’s happening, my dear?” Confusion mixed with a suggestion of fear.
Closing the door behind her, Michelle swiftly crossed the room. “There’s no time to explain. Please dress quickly.”
Without the time for calling upon such luxuries as her Lady in Waiting, Michelle herself hurriedly assisted the queen as she dressed in a simple day suit. As they finished, stomping footsteps could be heard approaching.
Michelle swung to face the door and drew an automatic pistol from a concealed pocket within her robe as the doors burst open.
A startled cry caught on Jennifer’s lips as six armoured clad Palace Guards marched into the room, assault rifles already brought to bear. It took her a moment to recover as an officer followed the men in.
“What is the meaning of this intrusion, Captain?” Jennifer demanded as Michelle positioned herself between the queen and the intruders. Her expression showed defiance, but there was a slight tremble to her hands as she clasped them in front of her.
“You are under arrest,” the captain said. His tone was cold, but there was flicker of discomfort in his grey eyes.
“Over my dead body,” Michelle growled and took aim at his head.
“Don’t be stupid, Michelle; you don’t stand a chance.” Sighing, he added apologetically, “We have our orders.”
Michelle maintained her guarded stance. “Turn around and get out. Her Majesty is leaving with me.” Her outstretched arm remained steady with the pistol aimed at the head of the officer.
“You know I can’t allow that,” he replied sternly. “This is your last chance.”
“Michelle, do as–” Jennifer began, raising her arms in submission.
The bodyguard did not let her Queen finish. To the officer, she spat, “Go to Hell.”
“So be it.” The officer nimbly side-stepped behind one of his men as Michelle opened fire. A neat hole appeared in the forehead of the captain’s shield.
As the dead guard began to topple, the remaining five soldiers opened fire as one, tearing open Michelle’s green robes and dousing them with crimson. The gun dropped from her hand and she fell to the floor lifeless.
A horrified grimace etched into Queen Jennifer’s features as she staggered back against her dressing table. The jolt caused several perfume bottles to clatter noisily together. She caught her reflection in the mirror and saw specks of blood covering her cheeks and forehead. A trembling hand closed over her mouth to stifle a scream.
The black surface skimmer limousine swung into the loading zone and came to a sudden halt with a whoosh of reverse thrusters. The rear of the monolithic Home Office building at 2201 C Street NW, Washington, DC was a hive of activity. With arms laden with boxes of files, dozens of suits and blue collar workers were dashing in and out of the service entrance over the watchful eyes of several security guards.
An elderly man with silver hair and a monocle stepped out of the building into the mid morning sunshine as the limo arrived, flanked by two hefty bodyguards. Walking awkwardly with the aid of a plain silver topped cane, he made his way past a young office worker arguing with a delivery man over a collision that had scattered a box of papers across the sidewalk.
Carlton Brewster was a man who had spent most of his sixty-eight years of life perfecting the art of conflict resolution, but today he limped on without a glance. His skimmer had arrived in the nick of time with Republican soldiers already sweeping through the building.
His normally pallid skin was rosy through exertion and he was wheezing noisily as they reached the revving hover vehicle. On their approach, the rear passenger door slid open to reveal a plush leather interior.
“Please hurry, sir,” one of his escorts said with one hand inside his suit jacket and gesturing to the idling vehicle with the other. His colleague kept throwing furtive glances behind them.
“Stop rushing me, David; I am not as sprightly as I used to be,” the Home Office Minister replied, casting an irritated look at him.
Brewster eased himself onto the back seat as quickly as his old bones allowed him and his two bodyguards piled in behind. As soon as the door started to slide shut, the driver gunned the engine and headed back towards Virginia Avenue.
Relaxing slightly, David pressed the intercom button next to the partition to speak to the driver. “Take it slow, buddy. We don’t want to attract any attention.” Turning back to his charge, he said, “We’ve got a helicopter waiting in Georgetown to get you out of the city, sir. So far, Loyalist forces remain in control at Langley, so we are to await further instructions there.”
The limo pulled into heavy traffic onto Virginia with the sleek, ivory curves of the Royal Plaza Hotel to their right.
Brewster allowed himself a sigh of relief and adjusted his black overcoat. “Has General Somms rallied the remaining higher echelon at Detroit?”
“I’ll check, sir.” David spoke into his lapel mike, but then stopped abruptly.
Carlton was settling back into his seat when he heard the distinctive metallic click that had caught his bodyguard’s attention. His eyes met those of David’s and both men’s expressions turned to horror.
The limo exploded in a dazzling fireball, scattering burning debris across all six lanes of traffic. Several hovering cars, vans and a coach in front and behind were battered by the blast, throwing them into more veering traffic.