Secrets of the new world (infini calendar) (volume 2)

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Secrets of the New WorldAlso by Scott Kinkade

 

Mirai: a Promise to Tomorrow

The Game Called Revolution (Infini Calendar #1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Secrets of the New World

Scott Kinkade

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a work of fiction. While it involves historical figures, the author has taken great liberties with the story. Any resemblances to living people are coincidental.

 

No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced without the expressed written consent of the copyright holder.

 

Secrets of the New World

 

Copyright © 2012 by Scott Kinkade

 

Cover by Char Marie Adles ([email protected])

 

ISBN-13: 978-1478140733

ISBN-10: 1478140739

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This world is ugly.

It wants only to drag me down.

I can’t even look at it.

 

“So don’t look at the world,” she says.

“Look at me instead.”

So I look at her.

 

 

 

 

 

And I don’t think about the world anymore.

Chapter I: Pack Your Bags

 

 

 

 

The Potomac River, May 31, 1431 (First day of the Infini Calendar), 1:03 p.m.

The Piscataway hunter stalked his prey through the tall grasses that grew up along the river.

The land was in abundance, and there was no shortage of food to hunt. The bronzed warrior carried both a crude knife and bow and arrow to do just that. Though still young, he had done this many times before. The rhythm of the hunt beat throughout his body, and he knew exactly what he was doing. He could see his quarry—in this case, a deer—up ahead, and he needed only to make the kill.

Without warning, though, the deer looked up into the sky and immediately bounded away at a speed the hunter had rarely seen their kind reach.

Had he somehow betrayed his presence to the animal? No—he had done everything right. There must be some other explanation.

He suddenly felt a tingling in his body. Remembering that the deer had looked into the sky before running off, he did the same.

Hundreds of feet above the ground, a multitude of bright orange lights spun in a circle. They became increasingly more luminous as they formed one large ring which continued to spin at high speeds. He marveled at this.

Soon the space inside the ring was filled with the orange glow. That did not last long, however, as the newly-formed disk abruptly collapsed into itself. The hunter’s ears were rocked by a thunderous explosion, and his eyes burned by an overwhelming luminosity. When his senses returned, there was no longer anything amiss in the sky. However, when the explosion occurred, he could have sworn he had seen something…

Several bright figures falling to the ground.

 

***

 

Vienna, Austria, November 1, 1792 (Infini Calendar), 10:00 a.m.

One leg was under the covers, while another leg and arm dangled off the bed. This was how she usually slept, face-down and in a manner most others would find awkward or just plain uncomfortable.

The rattling of her wind-up alarm clock on the table next to her bed was just enough to rouse her from sleep. She turned over onto her back and took in the warm sunlight beaming down from the window above her. She then sat up in bed, her eyes still closed. She sluggishly felt for the alarm clock, and after a few moments managed to find it. She shut it off and rubbed her eyes. For a few more moments she just sat there staring forward and sending mental commands to her brain to wake up, damn it.

Like the rest of her family, her room in the Hofburg imperial palace was lavish with priceless paintings on the walls, a crystal chandelier hanging from the ceiling, massive curtains hanging from the windows, an armoire big enough to be its own room, and a solid oak table in the center.

Once she was sufficiently aware of her surroundings, she got up out of bed. Naked, she picked up the clothes she had thoughtlessly tossed onto the fine red carpet upon going to bed last night (even though there was a leather receptacle just a few feet away). Again, this was just how she was, and she thought little of it.

Her lithe figure was the result of daily exercise. Even though she no longer had a career in the military, she was determined to stay in shape. One never knew when Austria would go to war again, and she wanted to be ready when that happened. As a result, she sported a well-toned body which she had no reservations about showing off to her enemies.

Her name was Farahilde Johanna.

At the age of twenty-six, she was the youngest (and most unruly) member of the Austrian royal family. No one would ever describe her as elegant or high-class, but neither could they deny what she had done for her country. She had been an accomplished general in the Austrian army, but even more than that, she had fought to save Vienna during the French Revolution.

OK, some could argue she went too far with the latter because, even after it was over, she—technically—had ended up killing that murderous bastard Maximilien Robespierre, an incident which had not gone over well with her older brother and emperor of Austria, Leopold II. Despite the fact that Robespierre had arranged the execution of their sister Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna (or as the French worms called her, their queen Marie Antoinette), Leopold had forbidden her from going to France for fear she would jeopardize Austria’s fragile peace with that country. Farahilde argued that Antonia should be avenged, but Leopold was in a purely political mindset, and didn’t want to risk going to war again so soon, particularly since their airship fleet had been destroyed by those French knights of the Ordre de la Tradition.

But, of course, she went anyway; saved two countries and avenged Antonia. And what was her reward? A month of house arrest and being dismissed from military duty until further notice. At this point in time, she still had not been allowed to return to duty. Leopold said he would have done even more to her if her actions had not been sanctioned by France’s new self-proclaimed emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte. Robespierre had been sentenced to death anyway for his Reign of Terror, and when the guillotine just happened to fail to drop, she stepped in and offered her “assistance.” Napoleon simply wanted to get it over with, so he allowed her to kill Robespierre herself. She would never forget the look on Robespierre’s face when he realized just how much she was going to enjoy ending his miserable existence. One couldn’t put a price on that.

She walked into her exquisitely furnished bathroom and spent a few moments turning a crank to the wall a few inches to the right of the doorway, causing the globes on either side of the large mirror to light up. This gave her enough illumination to see herself in the mirror. She frowned as she examined her unkempt black hair which fell to her shoulders, although she was honestly sometimes tempted to wear it like that. It made her twin cowlicks (once referred to as “cat ears”) not stand out as much.

She applied tooth cleaning paste to her wooden brush and proceeded to rub her teeth with it. The paste was an invention she felt she could do without (it tasted terrible), but it kept her from having to go to the local tooth doctor so often.

When she was done in the bathroom, she went to her armoire to pick out her clothes for the day. The top shelf was filled with bladed gauntlets of various colors. Below that was her selection of everyday clothing. She chose a brown corset and matching leather jacket and black leggings. She got dressed and made for the door of her room.

She paused momentarily to look at a pair of framed color renditions sitting on a table next to the door. One was of her beloved sister, Antonia, smiling. Farahilde examined the photo with a mixture of nostalgia and melancholy. She would never see Antonia again, and that pained her.

The other was that of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a Vienna citizen who had made a name for himself as a brilliant composer. During a concert for the Austrian royal family, he had signed the picture for Farahilde. She held a great deal of respect for the man; he had achieved much in his short life. It was too bad he had died the previous year of illness. Who knew what else he could have accomplished.

As she made her way through the lavish central hallway of the palace, she looked upon the giant portraits of her ancestors which hung from both walls. One of them was of her mother, Maria Theresa, the first (and thus far only) female head of the Hapsburg family. The queen may have died twelve years earlier, but Farahilde still remembered her as a woman who was both strong and kind. When Farahilde thought of herself and Antonia, it was obvious which of them had taken after their mother.

She eventually arrived at the emperor’s audience chamber, where she vaguely recalled she was scheduled to have a meeting with her brother. At least, she thought she was; the brandy from last night made it somewhat hard to remember.

Leopold was wrapping up a meeting with his advisors. He wore one of his usual outfits, a black coat embroidered in red over a yellow shirt, with beige leggings. In between the shirt and the coat was a sash with a white bar amid two red bars, the colors of the Vienna flag. He also wore the traditional white wig of their kind. Farahilde hated those things; they were so damn ugly.

When the advisors left, he said with slight annoyance, “You are late, my sister.”

She scoffed. “A minute at most. Anyway, I’m here now. What do you want?”

His annoyance increased. “I am nineteen years older than you. You will show me the proper respect.”

She sighed. If she continued to try his patience, she knew he would lecture her all day. “Point taken, I’ll try to keep that in mind,” she said half-apologetically. “What did you want to talk about?”

He seemed to forget about his minor grievances with her as he recalled more important matters. “It’s about the relatively new country of America. You are familiar with it, are you not?”

She shrugged. “A little. It’s pretty much a babe at this point. Why should we be concerned with it?”

“Because,” he said as he raised a finger (an action which occurred whenever he wanted to both enlighten her and emphasize a point), “in the past few years they have made great technological progress. They were the ones who originally developed the electricity we used in our airship fleet.”

She had to fight to stifle a laugh. “And didn’t we steal that from them?”

“Technically, it was the Prussians who stole it. Although they did share it with us when we organized a coalition against France.”