In King by Right of Blood and Might, the book starts with a prologue describing the destruction of our way of life. An asteroid runs into the moon and the two heavenly bodies blow apart and come raining down on the world.
In book 2, To Become Whole (the first five pages is here), I felt it only proper to keep with the format, but I needed a different point of view on the tragedy.
The year was 2012 and the world was coming apart. An asteroid had collided with the moon and both bodies were breaking apart with the impact. Unable to continue their experiments, the scientists had ordered them destroyed and then fled.
Brian was supposed to destroy them and burn all the records, but he couldn’t bring himself to kill them. They were good kids, and so fascinating. They were so beautiful, so innocent and far more intelligent than anyone cared to know.
A meteor crashed into the ground somewhere close. Half the complex had already been smashed by another such impact. A beam supporting the ceiling came crashing down, knocking him to the ground and pinning him to the floor. The pain robbed him of breath. He couldn’t leave them in those cells. They deserved better than that. He threw the keys towards them, hoping they made it close enough for them to reach.
Another impact shook the place and more of the ceiling came crashing down. He didn’t hear the jangling of the keys. He didn’t feel the hand that brushed his eyes closed.
She sat on a rock, holding her knees close to her chest, feeling cold in the night air. Tears ran down her cheeks. Her daddy wasn’t coming home. In her heart, she knew this was true. The rain of burning destruction told her she would never see him again. Behind her was the crater that used to be her house. Her mother and her baby brother had been in there. She had been playing in the barn. It was the best playhouse in the world. It had been shoved all sideways when the meteor hit the house and a flying piece of wood had cut her cheek.
Movement on the road caught her attention. It was almost completely dark now, and everywhere she looked was glittering with thousands of fires. Something white caught her eye down on what was left of the road, the road that should have brought her father home. Those white spots almost glowed in the shadow that surrounded them. They just kept moving; they didn’t seem to notice the fire falling from the sky. Once she spotted the movement, she could pick out quite a few of them. But something else was there too; she couldn’t make out what from this distance. They were all moving up the road towards her.
They gathered around her, the noses of the . . . well, she’d seen pictures of wolves, but these were way too big, though they seemed nice enough. Person or giant wolf, they mingled together like they were all one group, all the same family. None of the people looked older than twelve or so. Some of the older ones leaned heavily on others, some carried infants and toddlers, and others carried puppies.
The boy with the white hair - she was sure he was the one she had spotted first, knelt directly in front of her. He had a brown blotch on his right temple and pale blue eyes just like his ‘wolf’ had. His ‘wolf’ was probably the prettiest one in the bunch - all silver and bluish.
The boy pushed a lock of copper-red hair out of her cut. The blood had dried in the cool breeze and it pulled a bit. “She is his,” he said, in a calm rumble of a voice that didn’t fit his age.
“Leave her, she is one of them, she will slow us down,” said someone behind him in a similar deep voice.
“She is Brian’s. He was always kind to us. He set us free. We owe him our lives, our freedom. The least we can do for him is try to protect his young.” With his thumb, he brushed at the smudge between her eyebrows, but it did not come away, and then he brushed her tears away with a dry palm.
There was some grumbling at his words, but no real dissension, so the boy with the white hair picked up the little girl and they were off again, heading deeper into the mountains. Massive rocks fell all around them, spraying fire everywhere. They ran on. They had no choice.
The girl with the copper-red hair could not run with them, so she was passed among the strongest of them, as were the youngest of their own. Some seemed to be ill, and some were injured, but they struggled on between others. All they could do was keep moving and hope to avoid the falling sky . . . some didn’t.
The clan never knew the years were counted and they never thought to start. Their concern was preparing for the next hunt, or the next birth. Only by preparing, could they survive the winter that never went away.
Young as she was, Brian’s daughter provided them with the foundation that carried them through.
And one small child must carve a place for himself in his world.