Jerome Brooke has published many books, and today he has kindly shared the first One Thousand Words of The City of the Mirage with One Thousand Worlds.
The City of the Mirage-
The City of the Mirage is ruled by the Divine Astarte. She has called the man who comes to be called the Conqueror to her service. Astarte was born on our own world.
Astarte rules a vast empire of the multiverse. Her race seeded many worlds with life over the eons. The Conqueror leads her legions to victory in a war against forces led by her brother.
Jerome Brooke lives in the Kingdom of Siam. He is the consort of Jira, a princess of the lost Kingdom of Nan. He has written The City of the Mirage (BtGN), The Virgin Queen (Amazon), Swords of Iron (Amazon) and many other books.
Books by Jerome Brooke
The Rainbow Bridge (Amazon)
Victory of the Divine Queen (Amazon)
The Chariots of Galbu (Amazon)
Oracle of the Coast (Amazon)
The Shield Maidens (Amazon)
Artemis the Huntress (Amazon)
Eaters of the Lotus (Amazon)
Astarte the Great Queen (Amazon)
Secrets of the Queen of Death (Amazon)
The Dark Empire (Amazon)
The Lost City of Ophir (Amazon)
Maiden of the Sun (Amazon)
The Lance of Power (Amazon)
Swords of Iron (Amazon)
The Hive Folk (Amazon)
Priestess of the Stone Circle (Amazon)
Morals of the Youth (Amazon)
We Call Thee (Amazon)
The Sins of the Sisterhood of the Lost Isles (Amazon)
The Sins of Sister Severs (Amazon)
Morgana the Queen (Amazon)
Evil and Desire (Amazon)
Queen of Wolves (Amazon)
Apis the Baboon God (Amazon)
Did Feast the Pack (Amazon)
The Dark Cult of Cybele (Amazon)
Apion the Beast Man (Amazon)
Love and Darkness (Amazon)
Mother Superior (Amazon)
The Sins of the Inspector of Morals (Amazon)
The Imperial Legions of Luxor (Amazon)
The muse stood at the side of the blind bard. She whispered in his ear, telling him the history of the
demigod, of the Conqueror.
Myth of the Lady of the Myst, II, vii.
* * *
The mirage appeared very close. I could see the white towers of the city, as they shimmered on the
horizon. I wiped the sweat from my brow with my sleeve, and took a sip of water from my canteen.
I looked over my shoulder. I could no longer see the enemy chase cars. They had been in pursuit since last night, when my plane went down. I had parachuted from my wounded craft, and landed in the desert. After I landed, I fled into the empty waste, hoping that my beacon would be heard by our rescue.
I resumed walking. Perhaps I had come all this way only to die of thirst in this wasteland. I checked my canteen. Almost empty.
Trying my radio once more I got nothing -- not even static.
I continued walking in the light breeze. I soon came to a boulder field. I walked amongst the rocks for a few minutes, until I came to the edge of a ravine. I glanced over the edge, and saw a fast moving stream below.
As I climbed down the steep slope to the floor of the ravine. I filled my canteen, and pulled off my flight suit. I plunged into the water, and rinsed off the dust. I sat upon a rock near the edge of the stream, to rest for a time. I soon pulled on my flight suit, and began to follow the stream. As I walked, a strange blue mist began to form, near the ground. The mist persisted, even though a breeze began to stir the air.
I came to a large bolder jutting out into the stream. I walked around it, and saw movement out of the corner of my eye. I turned, and saw a middle-aged woman stepping out of the stream. “Hello,” she said with a smile. She spoke with a heavy accent.
“Hello,” I replied, and smiled. She had black hair, and dark, olive skin. She did not seem to mind that she had nothing on, in the strong breeze.
“I am the Lady of the Myst. Are you lost, Warrior?”
“Well, yes. I am heading west,” I managed to collect myself and say.
She pointed down the ravine. “Follow the stream. It leads to the plain. If you see anyone else, they may help you.” I nodded. “I must leave you now. But you will see me soon, when you are ready.” She came up to me, and wrapped her arms around me.
She kissed, and gently bit my neck. I felt a little dizzy, and also felt a strong attraction to her.
Am I enthralled by the Lady, the beautiful Lady Without Mercy? I asked myself. I put my hand on her hip, and stroked her smooth skin. She was very cool to my touch, from the water of the stream.
“I must go now, Warrior.” She picked up her robe from the surface of a rock, and slowly walked behind the bolder. I watched her go, and decided not to call out to her.
I continued to follow the stream. After an hour of this, the stream passed into a barren plain.
I stopped to rest, sitting upon a rock. I scanned the horizon, hoping to see some sign of human life. As I searched the horizon, I saw movement. Soon, I could make out dim figures, moving in my direction. At first, I assumed that they were men on foot. Then, I realized that they were mounted. I counted eight figures.
I checked my revolver, and continued to move forward. As the men approached, I could see them more clearly. The men wore long, white robes, with hoods. The riders had seen me, and headed in my direction. As
they drew closer, they formed a semicircle, and stopped, about thirty feet from me. Their animals were like nothing I had ever seen. They were large, stocky beasts.
The animals each had a single horn rising from the center of their foreheads. I was a ‘stranger in a strange land,’ a land becoming more alien as the sun rose higher in the sky.
One of the men dismounted, and walked toward me. His hair was dark, and his skin a light brown. He stopped a few paces from me, and spoke a few words in a language I did not recognize. He went back to his mount, and returned with a water skin. He gave it to me. I took a drink, and returned it to the man. “Thanks, pal.” The man smiled, and looked puzzled.
He pointed to the north, and said a few words in his language. Perhaps he wanted me to go with him. I nodded.
One of the men dismounted, and helped me onto his mount. The man climbed onto the spare mount. My steed followed the others. I experimented with the reins as we went. The animal had a gentle temperament, to my good fortune.
I noticed that the men wore short swords about their waists. Water skins were tied to their saddles, along with other bags. We rode north for an hour. We rode up a large dune, and stopped at the summit. In the distance I could still see the mirage. I looked more closely. I could make out high city walls. White towers rose behind them.
The walls did not shimmer. “The real thing,” I said to myself. Perhaps the mirage was produced by the city we approached. In time, I learned the city was called the City of the Mirage.
We continued to ride towards the city. We came to a dusty road, and began to follow it. We passed a number of carts on the road, drawn by more of the saddle animals we rode. The carts had only two large wheels, not four.
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