Almost fifty percent of Wyoming’s land belonged to the United States Government. More than thirty million acres. That was a lot of land. And in 1853 a secret deal was struck between Dervinius and Andrew Jackson, giving The Order access to over 100,000 acres. That document, shuffled amongst the treaties and formal requests to have land swindled from the American Indians, allowed Dervinias complete and private dominion. Not that he needed their permission. It also helped that Wyoming had little more than 500,000 citizens—the least populated state in America.

The perfect place to host The Order’s secret. The perfect place to create his new race.

There were those within the governments who understood him. They allowed his tests, looked the other way when a human died. Of course, they had no idea what his true intentions were. World domination. It sounded cliché, but he didn’t care.

In some circles, the humans considered him a scientific genius. Those who knew he existed respected his knowledge and devoured the scraps of technological advances he bestowed upon them. He couldn’t help but find the humor in the workings within the U.S. Government—in every government on the planet, really. On one hand, he had a secret alliance with them. On the other, they tried to kill him. One group never knew what the other group did. They called it classified. He called it riotous.

When he arrived at The Order’s compound, he slid to a stop. If a human had been tracking him (as he figured at least one government used their satellites for), they’d see him stop in front of . . . nothing.

To the untrained eye, even to an infrared scanner, the compound would be invisible. He’d allowed government officials inside, as a courtesy. He was good a playing nice, but no human knew the full extent of the compound or had seen the outside of the buildings. And they never would. With his immortal eyes, he could see the whole compound extending out in front of him. The tall metallic, cigar-shaped buildings were magnificent, built with materials from other planets.

Dervinias touched seemingly thin air. Its surface rippled under his fingers, almost a caress. He pressed an access code into a concealed panel and the metal door whooshed open.

After he’d closed it and made it disappear, he walked through the sitting area. It’d been created to put the humans at ease. ‘Breezy’ and ‘Comfortable’ were words many of the humans had used. That had been the point because once inside the facility, it was as though they’d never existed.

He chose those who were homeless or without family, and looking for a quick buck. When one died no one would miss them. No one could hear them scream. The probes, drones and various other instruments he used were considered invasive, but no more so than what alien hunters around the globe intended to do to him, if they could.

His work mattered. It was imperative he study them. The more he knew the better. Understanding their psyche, the way different DNA functioned when combined with kelvieri DNA, meant the difference between a mutt and masterpiece.

The sitting area’s walls were painted a calming shade of light blue, and the floor was covered in a plush light green carpet. Assorted couches and chairs, each covered with lots and lots of decorative pillows, had been placed around the room.

Potted ferns and exotic lilies sat atop oak tables of different sizes. Framed pictures of the ocean and warm sandy beaches adorned the walls. Directly across from the entrance was a three-hundred-gallon saltwater fish tank, loaded with several species of fish:  a dog-faced puffer, several yellow tangs, clown fish or ‘Nemo,’ as he’d heard hundreds of times, and many others. 

To the right sat the receptionist, an American Indian girl by the name of Liseli. She’d become part of The Order recently and he’d put her to work right away.

“Hello Dervinias. I’ll let you in.” Her bright doe eyes and dimpled smile communicated much more than a greeting.

“Good.”

Next to the fish tank stood a door. He waited momentarily until he heard a buzz and click. The door shimmered. Dervinias hurried through, anxious to check on a particular subject. Since Zaren had arrived it’d been difficult to get away. But he’d gone to contact the Gods. The fool! 

His pants rang. Probably Seth, his informant in A.L.T.. “What is it?”

“Michael and Frank have Venus.”

“I’m aware.”

“What do you want me to do?”

“Your job, man.”

“Where are you?”

“None of your business.” He clicked the phone shut.

Now that A.L.T. had Venus, he could almost hear their evil laughter; almost see them rubbing their hands together in wicked glee. Sure A.L.T. might learn something of an alien species, but the knowledge would be worthless. A complete waste of time. Venus didn’t truly represent kelarians—at least not the ones in power. Still he had a feeling dissecting, studying and ultimately killing her would keep Frank and his allies happy for a long time—at least until it was too late.

He needed her death to be sooner rather than later. His father had given him two more days. A.L.T. would kill her.  

It surprised him Michael had come for Venus so quickly. After the death of his mother, Dervinias knew it’d be easy for Michael to make the leap and assume Venus did it. The jump happened faster than anticipated.

Quickly, he checked on a woman who’d been injected with kelarian DNA. She looked sick, which was expected. As their bodies changed, the Earth’s atmosphere became poisonous.

Again, he thought of Michael. How had they done it? And who were they?

 “Michael!” He wondered if he should tell his father about the other prophecy, the one that talked about a child from two worlds. It went something like: 

A child of two worlds

Forsaken by one

Heir to another . . .

It could be talking about Michael. Perhaps the Gods thought he was the one. If Michael was the child spoken of in the prophecy, he could cause him a lot of trouble. Michael could ruin everything! It wouldn’t do. He needed a plan and he needed Michael. Alone. 

“Damn them. Damn them all.” 

Leaving the facility, he used Britorent to travel home. The rushing wind and lyrical colors did nothing to soothe his rage. 

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