A Snippet From The Alexander Legacy Part Four: The Art of War by Mary Findley

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Fun See sails into danger with his family and friends. A clue to the identity of the Desert Prophet takes them down the twisting pathways of Chinese caverns that may connect them with the Algerian underground stronghold in The Alexander Legacy 4: The Art of War
“Honored father, do you not think we should see where the others are?”
I frowned at my eldest son. I held my lantern a little higher and stared down the subtly-tinted tunnel washed by centuries of seawater. Reluctantly I turned back from the beckoning passageway.
“Of course, you are right, my son,” I replied. “I did so hope that we would find a trace of the Shadow Dragon submarine’s passing through here with its slave cargo.”
“Sue and Mowgli may find traces we missed,” my son said deferentially. “After all, they are the trackers.”
I refrained from reminding my son that I was the one who had tracked the steam-powered submarine’s path into these caverns by plotting disturbances in the shipping lanes that normally flowed uninhibited around Hong Kong and Shanghai.
“Father,” my son said, putting a hand up on my shoulder, “you saw the empty spaces where tracks should be. Everyone understands that, and honors you. But it is time to let those who see the marks the prey leaves in passing have a turn.”
“Oh, no,” a voice echoed in the tunnel. “I don’t think you’ll be seeing your comrades soon, Fun See. We have a score to settle first. Pity you had to bring your innocent son along into my den. I wished to spare your family. I simply seek justice, not more suffering.”
I turned wildly this way and that, unable to tell in the echoing stone cavern where the voice came from. Unfortunately, there was no doubt in my mind about who was speaking. My eyes slid around to my son. “Run,” I whispered. But the sound magnified exponentially and it sounded as if I screamed it for all the world to hear.
“There is nowhere to run,” the voice said, seemingly with a tone of genuine sadness as well as finality.
Water roared to life alongside of us. Our little sampan heaved upward and smashed against the ceiling of the chamber as the Shadow Dragon reared its head beneath the doomed boat.
“Father, what is he talking about?” my son asked as, instead of running, he wrapped his arms around me. “How can anyone think it justice to cause you suffering?”
I pulled him back against the cave wall but seawater fouled by the oily slick spread by the Shadow Dragon still soaked us both. The dragon’s head fell hard and fast and showered us again as the jaw began to winch open with an echoing clockwork ticking. A figure appeared between the fangs in the lower jaw, walking toward us.
“Many years ago, I captained a ship that went down with all souls lost except two,” I said softly to my son. “A court absolved me of blame, but the father of eight children who lost his whole family did not agree. He swore to take my life in payment. Now he has come to collect that payment.”
“That’s not justice,” my son cried. “That’s just vengeance. He’s wrong.” He turned to stare at the emerging figure, dressed in bronze undersea gear, including a helmet that cloaked his features. “You’re wrong!” he screamed at the man.
“No,” I said. “He’s right. I wanted to die instead of those innocents. I should have died. It’s time to pay the debt.”
“Father?” I could scarcely endure the quiver in my son’s voice. The triumphant, booming laugh that erupted from the helmet, however, gave me courage. I only hoped that my son was as obedient as I had tried to teach him to be. Otherwise, there would indeed be needless suffering.
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Dig into the Christian Steampulp series The Alexander Legacy. http://www.amazon.com/Alexander-Legacy-3-Book/dp/B015TCAW9C


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