Read The World Keys (The Syker Key Book 2) Online
Authors: Aaron Martin Fransen
The World Keys
The Syker Key Part II
by Aaron Martin Fransen
Text copyright © 2013 Aaron Fransen
All Rights Reserved
To my wife, who puts up with my delusions of grandeur.
Thanks to my good friend @ChrisAFriesen for another amazing cover.
Thanks to my good friend Duncan Scott for acting as my editor, again.
Thanks for the science goes to the folks at
and especially Wallace Thornhill for his theories on solar dynamics.
Lastly, but certainly not least, thanks to author Laura Knight-Jadczyk for her inspiration.
Visit the world of The Syker Key online at
The Key of Knowledge
Daggers of the Sky
The Singsong Rhythm of Liars
The Final Frontier
Minor Acts of Rebellion
No Fog, Just When You Need It
Disturbing the Cosmos
Dangers Best Not Forgotten
Atlantis was not the first civilization on Earth. It fell to the judgement of the bearer what constituted civilization, but it seemed to revolve around the development of technology, whether the Key would have agreed with that or not.
Atlantis was a transplanted race, removed from a dying planet and transported to Earth. They were given what would become known as the Americas, but their ambition didn’t stop there. They were offered a home in peace, but would offer violence instead. It would be their downfall.
An invading planet had thrown the solar system into chaos. It came in like a fireball, at high speed and with a massive electrical potential. It ripped and tore at every planet it came near, turning Uranus on it’s site and ripping Pluto from the orbit of Neptune.
Eventually it approached Saturn and it’s many moons. One of those moons harbored life. The imbalance caused by the intruder was enough to drive one of Saturn’s other moons to smash into this life bearing planet, destroying all save some bacteria. The planet would be forever scarred, and it’s reddish surface would bear the marks of that attack.
The collision created the asteroid belt, and pushed the larger, now lifeless moon into a lower orbit on it’s own, to become a planet. It would be millennia before Mars would see life again.
But the Atlanteans were saved. A technological race to be sure, they however had not quite mastered the technology required to transport themselves to a new home. For that they required the help of the Draconians, who were eager to assist.
Had Earth known the price, things may have been different.
History was a funny thing.
John realized this more and more as he studied all that the Key had made available to him. In fact very little of history actually matched what the textbooks had offered. More often than not it was simply romanticized versions of some little event, and all too often it was outright lies on the part of those writing the books.
It was enlightening, but disheartening too. To think that little of what the world knew was the truth? Religion in particular had been most heavily doctored it seemed, not that John had ever had much time for it.
And now he had no reason for it. He knew all of the events that had led to the creation of the various religions, and none of them involved a guy with a white beard looking down from the clouds. But he also knew how dangerous religion could be. It was not something to be trifled with.
Time, it appeared, was fluid, variable. There were creatures and powers out there capable of traveling through time to adjust things to their liking, like dominoes. The Key would not show him the future, it was not permitted to, but he could now see the adjustments being made in the past. It was very disconcerting, and he was determined to learn more about it.
Sitting on a mountain ridge overlooking the plains below, John marveled at the difference. Two years earlier he had hiked here, seen the same sight, but this time he held the Key. He looked at the crystalline jewel in his hand, it's thousands of facets reflecting and refracting the sunlight in brilliant colors.
In two years it had taught him much, but he had also remembered much. With the Keys help he had remembered another life, one where he had been the bearer of the Key for over half a century. In Atlantis.
He laughed. Atlantis. He was never one for fairy tales and legends, and certainly this fell into that category.
With the Key's help he remembered everything though, and knew exactly how long ago it was. Even, surprisingly, where it was.
Washington, DC, it had turned out, was less than 10 miles from where the Capitol of Atlantis had been. The designers of the city had known this, and would have built the city on the exact spot, were it not for the fact that it was 10 miles out to sea.
The calamity that had wiped out the 600 million inhabitants of Atlantis, what John knew to be North America, had had repercussions around the world. Europe was nearly wiped off the map, and in fact the land bridge that had connected Britain to Europe had been washed away.
Greece, the other world Capitol, had been mostly spared of the massive waves that swept over Europe, but even it could not evade the pieces of the comet that struck the planet.
John watched in horror, remembering, as billions of lives were lost. The fragments were mostly concentrated over North America, but some snaked their way around the planet. In a matter of hours, large swaths of the Earth were wiped clean.
The first of several Dark Ages had begun.
He also knew what kind of person he was when last he bore the Key, and he wasn’t terribly impressed. Initially he’d had a romanticized view of his previous life, that he was almost like a holy man with a mission to protect his home. It was a hard lesson to realize that was not the truth.
He was in the past a violent man. Not vicious in person, perhaps, but he certainly had no qualms about using the Key to attack the Greeks. It was not encouraging, and he was determined to never become that man.
But he didn’t know if the Key would help or hinder that decision.
For two years it had been like this, Jessica realized. John would go off for days at a time into the wilderness, exploring everything the Key had to teach him. After he had taken in as much as he could, he would sit there and absorb it all in, sometimes even forgetting to eat.
Of course, it hadn't really been all that different for her when she first became bearer, but certainly she didn't spend two years figuring it out. She spent thirty.
In a way she was jealous. John was far more powerful than she had ever been, but of course he was also calling on long lost memories of a time when he was actually trained on how to use the damned thing; she'd had to learn it the hard way.
At least the investigation was over.
The police apparently don't take too kindly to when one of their own goes missing, but there was a mountain of evidence pointing to John's late partner Will not being a very nice guy. That at least kept the pressure off of John, mostly anyways, though the Walkers came under far more scrutiny than they were comfortable with. It had been a very long time since they had had to defend themselves with the authorities, and they were tempted several times to simply disappear, as they had so often in the past.
The difference now was that Zack and John would have had to disappear as well, and all the complications that would entail.
But they chose to stay, not least of all for Jessica's benefit. There would never be a wedding ceremony, she knew that, it was too dangerous to have those kinds of records sitting around. It was apparent to everyone though that she and John were, almost literally, made for each other.
However, John did quit the police force, and worked with them in the restaurant, helping Arthur in the kitchen. She was glad to be near him, but these days there was a sadness in him, like something else was tugging at him. But he wouldn’t, or couldn’t, say what it was.
Jessica had been in love twice before, and with one of those men she had actually begun the process of introducing him to the Key, of the possibility of immortality. Only Pan had saved them that time as he had, unbeknownst to them, dug into his past to find the truth. He had been planted to allow Jessica to fall in love with him, for the express purpose of getting his hands on the Key.
In the end, Pan had been forced to destroy him. It was the last time Jessica had allowed herself to feel that way. That was three centuries ago.
In many ways loving John was easy; he had taken the responsibility of bearer on his own, without any coercion on her part, and he truly was the good man she had sensed early on. As much as she had wept at being deceived all those centuries ago, she wept now, on occasion, at the relief of being able to share the burden.
Zack was another problem. Jessica loved him dearly, and had in many ways become the son she was never able to bear. But, just as with any child becoming a teen, it was a struggle sometimes. They knew it would be hardest on him. He was privy to secrets that no child should ever have to shoulder.
They had discussed possibly wiping his memory of the event to make it easier on him, but decided ultimately to simply let Zack grow into the problem, hopeful that he would not suffer any permanent problem. It was dangerous either way.
At times she was glad to be busy in the restaurant.
In the middle of pouring two drinks for customers, she felt it, that recognition, the pressure she always felt when John returned. He was back, using his little teleportation trick he always used when he went out to the mountains.
She couldn’t stop a small grin from lighting her face. Sadness or not, problems or not, she was always happier when he was near, and he always had a loving smile ready for her.
Trying to do something without attracting attention was more than a little difficult. This was something Pan had come to appreciate more than most. Which didn’t lessen the stress of getting to the second Key.
Years, centuries he had looked for it. And when does he finally sense it? When he visits John and Jessica on their would-be honeymoon in Key West, of all places. It still took him another year to locate the damned thing.
Deep in the Florida Keys was a wreck from 1733 called the Angustias, “Our Anguished Lady”. A more appropriate name for a wreck there never was. Pan knew the second Key was buried under this ship. To take centuries to locate the second Key, only to find out that an old galleon lay on top of it? That would make removal more difficult. It wasn’t a popular dive site, but since it was in barely fifteen feet of water. However, it was near civilization. He had to be sure that nobody watched. He was thankful that the strong current was what made it unpopular with the dive crowd.
And he had finally found a ship and a captain he could trust.
The Scallywag’s captain, a fellow by the name of Gerry Donovan, didn’t know his customer very well, and certainly would not have guessed him to be older than 40 or 45, nothing like the 1100 odd years he was. Pan had even shaved his beard for the first time in centuries. He doubted his own family would recognize him.
Anything to keep hidden.
He was finally ready. This was going to be an interesting dive.
With a splash he was in the water, equalizing, and a moment later he was descending. Lord knows he had practiced diving enough, this should be a proverbial walk in the park.
A few feet down he found the wreck. It was situated at the bottom of a channel, he’d just have to try to compensate for the current.
Under the aft section, just to port, sat his goal. He dreaded using his powers, but there was no way around it since the wreck was well surrounding the Key.
Pan felt the water around him, and started to focus the energy present. Within a few seconds he watched as a wedge of solid water split the wreck, gently pushing the rotted planks aside to expose the silted ocean bottom underneath.
Another wave of his hands and the silt started to pull away from the ground in a solid, organized column, carefully not dispersing into the water and reducing visibility to zero. The water was murky enough with all the churning water.
Down to rock. This part would be a little tougher.
Pan focused again, reaching down to the stone itself. Less than a foot down lay the prize, but the stone would have to be split to fetch it. He had to try to do this as quietly as possible; there were any number of interested parties that would hear him breaking the stones if he wasn’t careful. What the public knew about the Navy’s hearing prowess underwater was trivial to what they were actually capable of, but the worst part was that the Navy weren’t the ones with the best equipment. And the ones with the best equipment were infinitely more dangerous.
This took more concentration than Pan was used to, and he was starting to sweat under his gear.
But slowly he made progress. Bit by bit the rock was being carved out by minute electrical charges, just enough to break the bonds of the granite at the microscopic level. He tried not to make the incision look perfect, just in case someone else came along after the fact and saw the damage. A jagged edge would look less peculiar, attract less attention.
It took him over half an hour. He would soon run out of air and have to surface. Eventually the rock was freed. He was sure to cut around the Key itself, leave a significantly larger impression than the crystal required, again to leave a false trail. The only problem was it meant he was carrying 15 kilograms of stone to the boat, about 100 yards away.
Pan had never been afraid of physical labour, but carrying that stone, swimming 100 yards, underwater with a nearly empty tank and a strong current working against him, well, he was understandably exhausted by the time he reached the deck of the boat.
Gerry helped him up, thankfully.
“Find what you needed?”
Pan simply nodded, too tired to say anything.
“Well, get your ass up here then and we’ll get out of here before anybody gets the idea you might have taken something from that wreck.”
With a grin Pan gathered up the strength to finish hauling himself into the boat, illegally obtained artifact in tow.
He had to admit he liked this captain.