For Aegis, Zodiak, Aether, and Talon, life should have returned to normal after they fulfilled their destiny. With history born anew, paranoia plagues this new time line, and tight-fisted governments mandate control through a pervasive military presence, DNA scans, and surveillance cameras. Strange occurrences all over the world give way to a new mission for Task Force: Gaea when an ancient cloudlike evil referred to in prophecy only as The Nebulous One emerges from Tartaros, with the intention of devouring the Olympeian gods.
But, before she can find them, all of the gods but Apollo have disappeared. Leaving chaos in her wake, this evil crosses the globe to satisfy her hunger. The race begins: can Apollo and Task Force: Gaea vanquish this primordial goddess without falling prey to her power before she finds the gods? This epic battle between good and evil leaves both immortal and mortal alike wondering whether memory can be a blessing… or a curse.
A churning blackness, Nyx shaped herself in ways that would stagger the mortal mind, collapsing into maelstroms of dark, living clouds, ready to bear her offspring implanted in her by Olympos’ adulterous king. With the catacombs of the dead for her nursery, Nyx wanted to bring forth her daughter in the company of the agonized, pitiable souls of those who had never made it beyond the gates of the underworld; they had a great deal to offer her child.
Sidetracked by her thoughts, she almost forgot her role in the cosmos and raced toward the exit of Tartaros, a cave entrance kissed by the air that mortals breathe. As she neared the opening, bright Hemera, her daughter—the Day itself, descended into the Hadean depths, and both Protogenoi, primordial gods, touched ever so briefly before Nyx bubbled forth into the air, becoming the blanket of obscurity shrouding part of the earth until Day would rise again—mother and daughter in a forever dance.
Taking her place in the sky, Nyx felt it was time: her newest daughter would enter the world in a way no other elder god had.
Two days later, in Megara, Greece, screams of torment and railing pain cut at the air like talons, ripping apart the peace of the healer’s tent in the cultist’s sanctuary, a humble place in the mortal world where those afflicted by madness came to embrace the darkness of Nyx. A woman, crazed with murderous thoughts and tortured dreams, reclined on a woven grass mat, her wrists and ankles bound with worn leather straps anchored to the ground to prevent her from hurting herself or others. Her eyes as black as Erebos, the darkness itself, she became the ideal choice for this birth, a living receptacle for Nyx. Her madness would mix well with the darkness. Ancient primordial entered her human host and the body took on the pregnant form, bloating the abdomen with life.
Soon, echoing cries interlaced with unintelligible mutterings escaped the woman’s lips while the healer, his white chiton stained from years of patient’s blood, knelt ready to extract the newborn, eager to come forth; he was certainly ignorant of what would come. He preferred the bloody patches on his garment to help him remember each forced amputation or sutured wound, usually brought about by a stony fragment or stick used during an arcane ritual to Nyx. Anarchy bound the cult, it would seem, and spontaneous fights were commonplace. Night incarnate had selected well, largely to reflect the chaos within, but also to see what it would feel like to push her progeny forth as a mortal would. That connection to humanity would prove so very useful.
Following a pain-induced shriek, a volcanic spray of blood and placenta erupted forth as the part human, part primordial being pushed her way into the world of Humankind without the benefit of the healer’s aid. Wiping the sanguine discharge from his face, the healer caught a glimpse of this child, and as he felt his psyche melt, he gouged out his own eyes with his fingers, mumbling as his intellect fragmented, foaming at the mouth like a rabid beast. A mortal mind could not comprehend such a primordial in her true form. Soon, he lay still, and the entity moved over to the lifeless body, draining it of its soul as a child takes sustenance from its mother. Not even Hades would want the sack of skin and bones, as it had no spirit to wander the underworld.
Nyx exited the woman’s spent body—now a lifeless, vacant, fleshy shell—and coalesced around her daughter, ready to take her back to Tartaros where the newborn would mature among the imprisoned Titans, Gaea’s children buried beneath stone and Zeus’ curse, and there she would feed off ancient energy originating from Khaos, the mother of the cosmos herself. In such a place of despair, this child would find solace near yet another tomb, a place no mortal could ever see, and no god would ever go. She would grow accustomed to the dead chill of one whose presence no one spoke, for fear even saying his name would rouse him—Kronos, the Titan king.
As the Moirae wove the fate of Humanity and the immortal gods, so too did they spin the threads of those who came before them. Part of this tapestry would form a path for the daughter of Nyx, who would be known by all as The Nebulous One, for uttering or knowing her true name would bring on madness. Bony fingers on the loom, bound by duty and a yearning, trembled with each pass, and the fabric it brought forth for Zeus’ daughter bore the color of blood.
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David grew up with privilege—the privilege of being immersed in reading from a very early age. A fan of fantasy, comics, and mythology, he eventually would become an English teacher where he could help foster a love of literature with his students. This love would bring about the Task Force: Gaea series, a Greek mythology fantasy set in the modern world. His first two books, Finding Balance and Memory’s Curse, are available now, and his third, The Liar’s Prophecy, is due out in late May 2015. The fourth book, The Archer’s Paradox as well as an anthology tied to Memory’s Curse are due out in 2016. He is living his dream, as it were, and resides in Land O’ Lakes, FL with his partner Gavi and their cat, Shayna.