Excerpt from Portals, Modern Magics, Book 2
by Maer Wilson
Aela returned first, with an entire flock of fairies. The tiny warriors spread throughout the rooms we were using. They dispersed too quickly for me to count, but I guessed there were two to three dozen, in addition to the ones already there.
Aurelia returned about an hour later, with eight more elves. In contrast to the fairies, the elves were around seven feet tall. A few seemed taller and there were two who were closer to Sloane’s six and a half feet. Most had golden hair, like Aurelia and Belus, but the two shorter ones were dark-haired, like Sloane.
As soon as they made their appearance, Dhavenbahtek asked everyone to get ready to move out. We shouldered our packs and he lost no time in opening a portal.
He turned to us and said, “We will proceed through this portal and hold on the other side until we can be sure that Neva is still uncompromised. The King sent extra guards to the Neva portal as soon as Satorah escaped. They report no activity, but we should be cautious during the transitions.”
In hindsight, someone should have seen the attack coming. We had seers, psychics, telepaths. Hell, we should have had common sense, too. But, of course, no one really expected Satorah to attack her own people. And the daemons didn’t count on the betrayal by some of the guards.
We were sitting ducks after we went through the portal, straight into the room that held the portal to Neva. Another gigantic room, similar to the other two portal rooms awaited us. It took several minutes to move the entire group in. Dhavenbahtek closed the portal behind us, and we began to drift toward the portal to Neva.
Part of the group had just reached the platform that held the portal when some of the guards attacked. The air filled with more daemons, led by a screaming Satorah. The sound of battle quickly became deafening, and the smell of blood and death hit my nostrils.
Dhavenbahtek yelled for us to go through the portal. He practically threw anyone close to him through the swirling colors. Thulu and I were still across the room and the attack had filled the space with too many people between the portal and us.
Daemon guards were fighting each other and Light Ones seemed uncertain who the good daemons were and who were the bad. I didn’t have any idea either. Everyone on our side was trying to get through the portal to what we assumed was safety. I wished I’d thought to pull my gun out.
One daemon started to grab Thulu, but was stopped by an arrow through the throat from another daemon’s bow. His body toppled heavily at our feet.
No way a human would survive a fight with a daemon. They were simply too strong for us. Our best bet was complete avoidance.
Thulu tried to maneuver us through. He held my hand so tightly, I thought he’d cut off my circulation, but I had no intention of saying so. We’d gotten separated from Reo and a few others and were alone in our area with teeming giants bent on destroying each other. With so many large bodies around, it was tough to see much of anything. All the unfurled wings didn’t help matters any, either. I got hit in the face more than once by feathered wings, but we ducked as much as possible and scurried through, backpacks clutched tightly in one hand, free hands clasped even tighter for fear of losing each other.
Bodies on the floor began to block our movement as we tried to get to the portal. I didn’t look too closely, but I saw at least two Light Ones and several daemons. We tried to keep our heads down and not attract any attention as we inched our way to the platform that held the portal. Since the daemons were more intent on slaughtering angels, we were literally beneath their notice. We hoped.
I was thankful Thulu was with me. I was already confused as to where the platform was and terrified of the battle around us. But Thulu went unerringly toward the portal.
It took a while to make our way through the chaos, doing our best to avoid the slashes from swords and daggers. I could barely breathe from fear. A daemon appeared before us, his sword raised to strike down at us. Thulu moved closer to me, doing his best to shield us with his backpack. The blow never came, as the tip of a sword grew from the daemon’s chest. His body crashed to the floor, and we skirted it on our way forward once more. Our heavy backpacks caused some issues as we traveled across the room, but after that episode neither of us was willing to drop them.
The screams of the injured and dying tore at my heart, but we finally saw glimpses of the portal. The portal was still ours. Dhavenbahtek and a few guards were fighting off the other daemons, as they tried to pull people closer and shove them through the portal.
As we made it to the platform, Dhavenbahtek saw us and immediately moved to pull us forward. I took a quick look around the room and saw that most of the fighting was now between daemons. I saw no Light Ones standing and hoped most had gotten through. A few elves were moving toward the portal. I caught sight of wings in their midst and realized they were guarding a Light One child.
More daemons appeared, but whose side they were on, I had no idea. Since the number of people had greatly thinned out as they’d gone through the portal, visibility became much easier.
I heard an unearthly scream again as Satorah saw she had a clear path to Dhavenbahtek. She held a dagger in her hand and flew toward him. He held a sword so big I couldn’t have lifted it. Her hatred blazed through her eyes. Dhavenbahtek spared a moment to sweep Thulu and me through the portal. My last glimpse was Dhavenbahtek blocking the portal, just as Satorah reached him.
Thulu and I tumbled out onto hot sand, our heavy backpacks dragging us off balance. Hands quickly reached to help us up, and we were still sorting ourselves out when the group of elves came through with the Light One child. They fell through the portal, and we scrambled to get out of the way. The heat was incredible, and the light from the sun was weird, but I didn’t have time to do more than note it.
We waited for several long moments. At last, Dhavenbahtek came through, bloody sword in one hand. My relief at his appearance was short-lived.
Two things happened almost simultaneously that cause me to cry out.
I stared in horror as I saw the dagger protruding from his chest, just as the portal behind him flickered several times and disappeared. Yeah, that same portal that supposedly never closed.
For supernatural detectives Thulu and La Fi, “normal” is a relative term. La Fi is a medium, Thulu is a finder, and their usual clients are already dead.
But when their friend Reo is shot, and a group of stranded angels show up at their house for help to find a missing child, things are striking too close to home.
And the portals that let the magical races return to Earth have started opening on their own.
With trips off-world, a kidnapped psychic and changes to their own abilities, Thulu and La Fi are hit with a lot more than they usually handle. Of course, their magical friends are there to help, but even they may not be enough to save an increasingly unstable Earth.
Portals is the cross genre (Sci Fi/Urban Fantasy) sequel to Relics and is Book 2 in the Modern Magics series.
About the Author:
After a successful career being other people, and later teaching others the many tricks of that trade, Maer Wilson has decided to be herself for a while. Turns out she's a writer. She's always loved stories, especially fantasy, mystery and sci fi. Maer was born in the Year of the Dragon and has a dragon-themed room in her home, but sadly no dragons in the back yard. When she's not writing, Maer plays online video games, teaches college and reads. Maer is a partner in Ellysian Press, a small publishing house. She also co-hosts the literary podcast MythBehaving. Maer lives in the high desert of Southern Nevada with her three dogs, a chihuahua and two poodles.
Her books include Relics and Portals, Books 1 and 2 in the Modern Magics series. The upcoming third book in the series is Magics. There are also four novelettes in the series - “Ghost Memory,” “Unwanted Ghost,” “Ghost Dancer” and “Wedding Ghost.”. You can find all books and novelettes in the Modern Magics series at Amazon.
Maer’s Website: http://maerwilson.com/
Maer’s Website: http://maerwilson.com/
Maer on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Maer-Wilson-Author/149085628472833
Maer on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MaerWilson
The Modern Magics Series
The books trace what happens when magic returns to Earth, as seen through the eyes of paranormal detectives, Thulu and La Fi.
The Modern Magics Stories are set prior to the main events in Relics, Book1 and involve some of the couple’s more interesting cases.
The complete series can be found at Maer’s author pages at the following retailers:
Maer’s Author Pages
Kobo - http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/search?Query=%22Maer+Wilson%22
iTunes - https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/maer-wilson/id796271541?mt=11
Smashwords - https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/maerwilsonEP
Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7040319.Maer_Wilson