The dull glow of the incandescent light bulb dimly illuminated the dragon’s lair. It was barely better than a torch, Countess Victoria von Baden thought as she paced the stone floor, impatiently waiting for her mentor. Hands clenching and unclenching, she wanted to hurt someone, to see blood. She let out a loud, guttural roar of frustration and threw her black, hooded cape onto the crushed red velvet sofa. Raka slipped in through his private entrance to find his protégé enraged. They had enlisted Werner von Wiesel to steal the compass and kill Einstein, but the boy had failed, despite the Countess’s implied rewards.
Raka’s presence did nothing to calm the woman. She glared at him.
“Don’t be angry at me, Victoria. It was not I who failed to get the compass.”
The Countess threw herself onto the plush sofa with a sigh. “I know. It’s just that...”
Raka raised his hands in a placating manner. “Oh, please, my pet, patience. I share your frustration. Let’s consider what happened.”
Though remaining petulant, the Countess nodded.
“So, do you think Werner was ready for the task?” asked Raka.
“I thought he was. Apparently, I was mistaken.” She rubbed her forehead, trying to massage away the tension. “We went over about the pistol and the need to kill Albert. He knew what to do and seemed... eager... to do it.” She paused and shook her head. “I was watching him from across the street with my long-lens telescope.” Her eyes narrowed. “Something... strange happened.”
That caught Raka’s attention. “Strange?” he said suspiciously.
“Yes. When Albert rode up, a... a bright cloud appeared. I have no other words to describe it. Werner seemed... I don’t know... freaked-out.”
Raka started pacing and became angrier with each step. “Then what happened?” he said through clenched teeth.
“Werner became very pale and distraught. He staggered, then threw up,” she said with a resigned sigh.
Raka shook his head. “You saw a bright cloud? What time did that happen?”
“Just before ten this morning. Why?” Victoria asked, looking up from the sofa.
“Because I felt the presence of the Light break the time continuum at that time,” he replied angrily.
“What do you mean ‘the Light’?” Victoria asked, surprised. Though she had been working with Raka for some time, he had not mentioned this Light before.
Raka clenched his jaw, then took a deep breath. He closed his eyes. “How do I explain a power that has vexed me for millennia?” Raka appeared to go deeply into his thoughts, then abruptly opened his eyes and pulled himself back to the present. “Never mind that for now,” he said, shaking his head as if to expel the troubling ideas. “Before I can even begin discussing the Light with you, we have more pressing work to do.”
The presence of the light of the Holy of Holies reminded the fallen dark angel of his twin brother Arka who had become a high priest in Atlantis. Instead of learning how to become responsible like his brother, Raka chose to rebel and turn from the light of the Holy of Holies and walk the path of darkness. He was on the warpath to show the world his power. Revenge filled his heart and mind, not just on his youthful nemesis Albert Einstein, but also on Arka, his brother.
Victoria began to protest, but at the sight of his narrowing eyes, she thought better of it. “You’re right. We need to focus on getting the compass—at any cost.”
Raka hissed his agreement and beckoned her closer to formulate a plan.
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