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Universal Warrior Atherean Defenders Excerpt: Red Morning Begins

(In the prologue, Angelic siblings Jayce, Darryl, and Bethany Zeneca have gotten together over the Atherean, Heaven's largest body of water, to renew a daring family tradition. In the middle of their game, Jayce disappears. After briefly searching underwater for her brother, Bethany surfaces to a chilling revelation).

Bethany surfaced, taking a breath and glad to be able to see again. She was about to ask what the urgency was, but upon looking around and acknowledging that growing put of dread in her stomach, she realized why Darryl had called to her.

He was a few feet away from her, a worried expression on his face as he tread water. He was the only other living being in the water.

An eerie breeze blew as Bethany turned, looking out over the water. Everyone else, every single Angel who that had been frolicking moments ago, was gone. The Atherean was completely bare. They were alone.

Trying to keep from panicking, Bethany shook her head and looked at Darryl. "We should get out of here."
Darryl immediately shook his head. "Not without Jayce."

Bethany scoffed. "That's not what I meant. I mean get out of the water--"
She gasped, grunting as she tried to leave the water.

Darryl frowned. "What is it?"

Bethany was on the verge of a panic attack, shaking her head quickly as she desperately fought to keep her growing temper in check. "I can't burst my wings!"

Darryl tried, grunting. Once the first effort failed, he tried again to no avail.

He then looked at Bethany. "Change." He instructed.

Bethany looked at him, surprised. "What?"

"Change, Bethany." He reiterated.
So he did know.

She was about to comply when Darryl's mouth fell open, and he pointed behind her. Bethany turned, her mouth falling open.

Jayce had silently resurfaced. He was pale, unmoving. His eyes were rolling back, up into his head, his mouth was open and quivering, and his arms dangled at his sides.

"Jayce?" Bethany asked hesitantly.

He moaned feebly as his body began to quake. Then, he slowly began bobbing unsteadily towards his brother and sister.


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