“That is preposterous", Jonathon said. "They could not have produced a child without
the magic from the Council, and I highly doubt they would have provided it to
“That may be true in our colony, but where Daecon’s father came from, birth magic was always performed by royalty.”
"But what..." Jonathon was interrupted by a knock on the door.
Just then the cat in Owen’s lap disappeared into thin air. Nobody had noticed it happening except Owen. Jake went out and answered the door, and returned with two men who Owen knew. Just as their greetings started another knock was heard. For the next several minutes this repeated until there was a dozen people in the sitting room and the interruptions finally stopped.
“Ok, is this everyone?” Jonathon asked.
“That’s all that’s coming”, one of the newcomers said. “Not everyone could come on such short notice. What’s going on?”
“Owen has quite a yarn to spin for you”, Jonathon said with a wink and no small amount of malice.
“I have important information, yes”, Owen said, while shooting Jonathon a dirty look. “But we must stream this meeting. Everyone in the resistance needs to hear this.”
Jake immediately took his phone out and his thumbs started moving wildly. He was sending out a notice of the stream and a link to take part in it. As everyone started murmuring, Jake set up the camera and pointed it at the chair that Owen was sitting in. He gave Owen a thumb’s up, then returned to his husband’s side.
“Right, everyone”, Owen said loudly to quelch the murmurs. “We must start this meeting at once! I have important information, news that will overturn everything we thought we’ve known for the last 25 years, and we have no time to spare. Dangerous things are happening and we must be prepared for those things.”
Jonathon let out a sarcastic sounding cough, but the noise stopped. Owen repeated what he had just told Jonathon and Jake, stopping to answer questions and address skepticism, until he had got to the place he was before with Jonathon.
Owen looked directly at Jonathon and answered his previous question. “What I am saying, my dear friend, is that this other father of Daecon is also of royal descent. He hails from a clan known as the Erotes, in northern Greece, and is the last of his line.”
One of the others said, “But that would mean…”
“What that means is that young Daecon, the man who until yesterday was not even aware of our existence, is of pure royal blood from two different clans, the first such prince that we’ve had in generations. He has certainly shown it with his abilities, and I feel that we have only scratched the surface of his powers.”
Jonathon scoffed. “Ok, let’s consider that you are correct, and that this Daecon is the son of Darion and some other mythical Royal. That does not answer my original question, though, and brings about another one. First, what proof do you have of your accusation that Darion was the murderer, and second, where is this Daecon that you speak of? Why has he not accompanied you?”
“I shall answer your second question first. Daecon is not here because he disappeared in a fit of anger and frustration upon hearing about his heritage. It came as quite a shock to him, and I’m sure you will remember that royalty is famously hot-headed. He was very upset that this information had been withheld from him his entire life. Leander and Evander are searching for him as we speak.”
“Rather convenient though, isn’t it? You come here with ridiculous talk about a new prince and his foreign king of a father, but you can present neither for questioning. And you still haven’t told us how any of this relates to the murder of Dontarion.”
“If you would just let me speak, I will be glad to tell you”, Owen said, becoming irritated.
“That will not be necessary. I shall tell him myself”, came a voice out of nowhere.
The guests all started looking around at each other and the room, trying to place the strange voice.
“What, having trouble locating me? Have you tried looking… HERE?”
As this was said, the silver cat appeared out of nowhere, standing on the coffee table.
“What… Who are you? And how dare you enter my home uninvited?” Jonathon roared as he marched toward the cat.
Just as he reached it there was a flash of light and the cat was replaced by a huge silver wolf with the same ice-blue eyes. Standing on the table it dwarfed even Jonathon, and he jumped back.
“I am what you are, and you are what I am”, said the wolf in a low growl, his nose only inches from Jonathon's face. "These are words you would all do well to remember. Only I am a little bit more than that. My name is Dionysius Chrysanthis of the Erotes. I am husband of Darion, father of Daecon, and by the laws governing your people, I… AM… YOUR… KING!!!”
These last words echoed through the hallways in the house. As the echoes died down an eerie silence fell as nobody dared speak or move. The wolf stood above the table looking around at the crowd, all of whom, except for Owen, looked terrified.
The wolf was satisfied. Another flash of light, and it was replaced by the silver haired man that Owen had come to know.
“Now then”, Dion said. “You may call me Dion. And you will listen to me, because we are wasting time here arguing. Please.”
Nobody moved or said a word, so Dion gave a brief retelling of what he had told Owen, Leander, and Evander earlier, omitting the parts about the Hecate and Dunamis. After he finished, he looked around at the crowd. Still, nobody was moving.
Finally, some courage returned to Jonathon.
“How do we know any of this is true? What proof do you have that you’re even royalty, much less our king?”
As soon as the words were out of his mouth, Dion disappeared into thin air. A disembodied voice said, “You have already seen proof that I am royalty. None other could have compelled you all to silence as I had just done. You have witnessed my taking on two animal forms, a cat and a wolf, and now you are witnessing at this very moment my cloaking myself from you. Have you ever heard of anybody who isn’t royalty being able to cloak from other shifters? I could show you even more examples of my powers, but we are wasting precious time.”
A murmuring started up again, and Dion reappeared.
“Fine, you've proven that you’re royalty. That still doesn’t make your story true, nor does it make you our king”, Jonathon said.
“My friend, and believe me, if we are united in our desire to see this crisis through to safety, we are friends, I’m afraid that we do not have time for me to sit here to convince you of the details. Just know this: I am your king consort because I am married to Darion, who, after the death of his father, became your king. As long as Darion is missing as the king consort I am your ruler. Fear not, I have no interest in ruling your colony. However, young Daecon is in danger, as are all of us. Darion is set to return and will be feeling emboldened by the re-emergence of his son, and he harbours no good feelings toward this colony that drove him away. As I have explained, he is not the kind, benevolent soul that his father Dontarion was. He killed his father because he wanted to rule this colony in his own style, and as I got to know him I can tell you that his style is not kindness. Should he bend Daecon to his will there will be no hope for anybody.”
The murmuring grew louder, and Owen was looking at Jonathon.
“Please, Jon. You know me, we’ve been friends forever. You know I would not come to you with this if I wasn’t certain that it is true. I realize that it’s a shock to hear that we have been wrong about the Council all these years, but we were. We must put that behind us for the sake of the future of the colony.”
Jonathon closed his eyes and started rubbing his temples. “Fine. Have it your way. We will work with you, for now. What is our next step?”
Owen looked expectantly at Dion. Dion looked around at the crowd, then spoke.
“We must meet with the Council straight away.”
Jonathon was shocked. “Meet with them? My good man, we have been fighting against them and hiding from them for years! We can’t meet with them, they’d probably laugh us out of the palace! That’s if they didn’t arrest us on sight!”
“You will not be arrested. I have contacts within the Council. We will all be quite safe.”
“Wait, you have contacts among them?”, Jonathon asked incredulously. “You’re one of them! And you expect us to blindly follow you into their domain?!?”
Dion sighed. “Yes, I have contacts within the Council, as I’m certain that you do, too. You are also surely aware that your little group here is not illegal. It has been a thorn in the side of the council, but they have no authority or desire to arrest you for your dissent. Now listen to me. I am not from this colony and have no irons in this fire that is the fight between your two factions, but I do have a vested interest in the form of my son Daecon, so I do infiltrate and gather intelligence. I have been to some of your meetings as well, early on, but as you were dedicating your time to chasing ghosts I have found it to be far more valuable to stay on top of the Council and its movements. During my observations I have made acquaintances, and those acquaintances shall prove invaluable for our task at hand.”
“I’m sorry, but I cannot in good faith allow you to send our followers into the den of demons that is the Council.”, Jonathon said.
“We must meet with them and patch the differences between them and your group. I know that you have always fought against them, but the colony must be united for the fight that may be to come. We need strength, not division. We also need speed, because we do not have much time.”
Owen stepped forward and looked at Jonathon. “You don’t have to send anybody. I will go with Dion. My presence should be enough. The council knows me as the group leader so it will appear to be an act of good faith with them. All that I ask is for your allegiance, and barring that, if you are not going to fight with us, please do not fight against us.”
The murmuring started again, this time with a hint of urgency.
“I will go as well”, Jake said. Jonathon looked at him with disbelief.
“I’m sorry Jon”, Jake said, “but I trust Owen and I believe Dion. It all makes sense. We’ve been chasing our own tails for years and have never uncovered any new evidence supporting our claims. It’s about time that we put our differences aside and reunited this colony.”
The murmuring from the crowd grew very loud, and one of them stepped forward. “I will come as well.”
Then another: “Me too.”
And another: “I’m with Owen.”
Before long everybody in the room except Jonathon had volunteered to go to the Council. Jake’s phone had been buzzing as well, with messages from volunteers who had been watching the stream and wanted to help.
Finally, Jonathon relented. “Fine. We are with you, and we shall go and see the Council. But I warn you, if this backfires on us it will be on your head.”
Owen was beaming. “Thank you, my friend! Thank you all, for putting your trust in me! I’m certain that you will not regret it!”
“You’re welcome. Now, what shall we do?”
Dion spoke up. “While we appreciate all of your volunteering to visit the Council, it is neither necessary nor wise. The Council may take us showing up as a group as an act of aggression. Owen, perhaps Jake, and one other should suffice to show that we come in good faith.”
“Jake and one other? What about me?” Jonathon asked.
“We need some trusted, high ranking resistance members to go into the community and warn people. Details are not required, but people must be prepared that change is afoot so that they may take precautions to protect themselves and their families. I chose Jake because he was the first to volunteer. If you wish to take his place…”
Jonathon looked at Jake, then Owen, then Dion. “No, no, you’re right. Jake should go with you. We will inform the colony. But what shall we say?”
Dion thought about this for a minute. “You should tell them that the argument between the Council and yourselves has come to an end. You must let them know that a new King is coming. Whatever the outcome if this, that much will be true, whether that new king be Daecon, or perish the thought, Darion.”
“All right, I will do so”, Jonathon said.
Shortly afterward Owen, Jake, Dion, and a volunteer named Arthur were all standing on the step of the small house. “And now we must take our leave”, Dion said to Jonathon and the others. Wish us good luck, and may you have the same.”
Jonathon strode forward and hugged Jake. “Be careful. I love you.”
“I love you too”, Jake said.
Jonathon then faced Owen and put his hand out. Owen took it. “I hope you’re right”, Jonathon said. “I hope you’re right about everything, and I hope that this colony can finally have some peace and stability. Take care of my Jake."
“I have known you and Jake for a long time”, Owen said while shaking Jonathon’s hand, “And I am quite sure that Jake can take care of himself. Still, I will try to ensure that he faces no danger.”
Jonathon pulled Owen into a hug and said “I hope so. Thank you.”
The four men shifted into their respective birds (Owen’s Golden Eagle, Dion’s Silver Raven, Jake’s Blue Jay, and Arthur’s Red Tailed Hawk) and they took off toward the Royal Palace.