PfG Science Fantasy Series
Playground for the Gods
The Series Which Starts Before Time Began
Solve the mysteries of the ancients by learning the real history behind all the worlds religions and mythologies. The gods exist, but they are not what they seem, as is revealed in the tale of their arrival on Earth and their compulsions to mix in with human affairs.
Inanna and her Atlan friends wreck havoc on the Earth, when they select it for their new home, after their own planet is accidentally destroyed. For all their good intentions, they are unable to prevent some from using the Earth as their own personal playground when they pose as dieties and interfere with humans on a monolithic scale.
Book 1 (Coming Soon)
Playground for the Gods: The Great Primordial Battle is a science fantasy novel about an alien race, the Atlans, who take over Earth when their own planet is destroyed. As a result, they incite a primordial battle which threatens to destroy the whole planet. Inanna fights to protect the old ways and preserve her species, but when her adversaries enrage the Oldest of Old Ones, she must fight against what she believes and join forces with those who would make Earth their own personal “Playground for the Gods”.
Cover Design by Starrts Creative
Excerpt from The Great Primordial Battle (Chapter Seventeen):
“Damuzi, damn it!” Geshtinanna cursed her brother as she fought her way through gigantic foliage of the jungle. The tropical plants, shredded by the gale force winds, extended huge frayed leaves which grasped at her clothing as she passed near them. “Tell me again whose idea this was?”
“Relax, Sis. Stay behind me and follow the path I’m cutting,” Damuzi replied, wiping his face, although as long as these rains continued, it wasn’t of much use. He sliced his way through the thick undergrowth with a long, thin blade, forging ahead. “You could’ve gotten us closer to the action by landing the shuttlecraft nearer to the shore. We can’t aid the others if we aren’t where they are.”
Geshtinanna tromped through the jungle vegetation, pushing aside foliage that blocked the way, ducking those that threatened to slap against her arms and face, pulling away from the tattered leaves which threatened to hold her in place, a splotch of yellow in motion on a canvas of forest greens.
“Oh sure, blame me! We’re supposed to be collecting specimens, not jumping in on ‘the action’. I’m only fourteen millennia, for goodness sake. I just got my pilot-in-training permit,” she said. “Besides, I didn’t do so badly. You saw what I was dealing with on our approach. You think it isn’t tricky dodging lightning bolts?”
“I could have piloted that shuttle craft through this storm with one hand tied behind my back,” he replied. He regretted the words almost before they had left his mouth. His little sister was sensitive and his sharp tone made him sound like their mother, Ninhursag, always so critical of her for her timidity. She was different around him, though. Damuzi always protected her and she had never feared opening up with him.
Geshtinanna stuck her tongue out at him. “I think we’d be safer near the shuttlecraft,” she said. “We may need its shelter.”
“Mother didn’t send us down here to hide in the shuttlecraft,” Damuzi replied, forging ahead. “Besides the shuttlecraft will be useless to us. We can’t take off in this storm. Now, quit acting like an infant and come on.”
A flash of black fur descended from the trees. Damuzi barely caught the movement from the corner of his eye. The black blur swooped down, snatching a handful of yellow hair from Geshtinanna’s head.
“Ahhh!” she cried out.
“Gesh, you okay?” Damuzi asked, spinning around and rushing to her side.
“Yeah,” she said, rubbing her head. “I think it startled me more than anything. It yanked out a patch of hair. What in all of Atlan was that?”
“We’re not on Atlan anymore, Gesh. I think it may have been one of the candidates for compatibility,” Damuzi replied, his gaze following the creature’s path through the forest. “It disappeared amid the tree canopy before I could get a good look at it. Just be glad it wasn’t one of the larger genus. Those big boys are downright brutes. All brawn, no brain though.”
“Hardly what you’d call compatible, if you ask me. It stank,” she said, smoothing her hair. “Did you see that nasty beast rip the hair right from my head?”
Damuzi pushed his way through the gigantic leaves at the edge of the tree line. The smooth green surface of the leaves were shaped similar to the big, floppy ears of mammoths back home.
“It’s not as nasty as the beast Tiamat just loosed,” Damuzi said, as an odd looking mutation landed out on the beach, drawing his attention. “Come take a look.” He held back the huge leaves, so that his sister could see what he was seeing. One glance at that thing and she’d understand why they had to fight. With beasts such as that one on the loose, the others would need them to join in the fray.
Before him loomed a scaly dragon whose hind legs bore resemblance to the talons of a bird of prey, but its forelegs were shorter and thicker, with the claws of a feline. A curved horn rose from its reptilian face and a fiery orange mane ran the length of its long, thin neck, matching the tuft of orange which adorned the tip of its feline tail.
The voice of Tiamat boomed over the storm. “Enki come out. Mushy is looking for you.” The dragon-beast scanned the area, searching for its designated prey, its horned head pivoting on its long neck, a snakelike tongue flicking out as if testing the air for his pop’s scent… or taste.
“Stay down,” Geshtinanna said, whispering over Damuzi’s shoulder from behind. She tugged back on his arm with urgency. “Fall back into the jungle. We’ll get our specimens and go.”
He wondered what his pop had done to piss off the old woman as Tiamat’s voice roared once more, “Enki! Where are you? You would let others pay the price for your actions? Show yourself, coward!” The rage in her voice shook the ground with a threatening rumble.
He ducked behind the foliage, letting the mammoth-eared leaves fall back into place. His sister’s hand left his shoulder as she turned, heading back into the forest.
“Enki, show yourself!” Tiamat’s voice roared.
He had to take action. Who else was there to stand in for Pop? He needed some sort of plan. “I need an advantage,” he said aloud, but Gesh had already disappeared into the foliage.
The imaging projector prototype Inanna had supplied him with to mix in with the natives for specimen collection might be exactly what was called for here. He’d been dying for a chance to try the device out.
The small microchip conductor adhered to his temple. With it, he could call up any of the programmed features to change his appearance and adapt to the situation. The prototype was limited, of course, but all he had to do was think of the image he wanted from among the six choices available. Once perfected, the devices would be programmed with a much wider selection, each uniquely designed to the needs of the individual. He went over the selections Inanna had provided for this one, counting them off on his fingers.
“Let’s see… night vision… super-strength… fire… water… I know!” he cried, snapping his fingers, his face brightening. “Wings!”
Before the words parted his lips, an enormous pair of transparent black insectile wings appeared on Damuzi’s back, sprouting through his red and black checkered leotard as if fused to his spinal column. They fluttered in sporadic flurries as he worked to get the hang of controlling them, taking care to stay behind the cover of the jungle. It took a few minutes for him to accustom himself and synchronize his movements. Once he got used to them, he was able to fly smooth, directing his course with accuracy. He did a couple of quick circles in the air, moving sporadically through the rain. Then he broke through the foliage, emerging upon the beach, in front of the fierce reptilian headed dragon-beast which Tiamat called Mushy.
“Damuzi, no!” Geshtinanna cried, lunging for him. He slipped through her grasp, his new wings carrying him up, out of her reach.
“Relax, Gesh. I’ll fly circles around that dragon-thing,” Damuzi said, calling back over his shoulder with a chuckle. “Got to do it for Pop.” The fun was about to begin. He fluttered out onto the open shore. “Hey, big and ugly!” he said to the beast. “Come and get it!”
Tiamat’s head swiveled in Damuzi’s direction as she loomed from the sea, her eyes blazing orange, as if a fire burning within was trying to escape. There was nothing wrong with the Old One’s hearing. “I know you. You are Enki’s brat,” she said, raising an arm to point at Damuzi. “You dare challenge my Mushy?” I doubt the one who sired you is worth your life, but so be it, fool!” She nodded to the ferocious serpent, as if giving a silent psychic command.
Permission granted for attack, the horned dragon-beast swung its head back around to fix one huge yellowish eye on the winged Damuzi, as it crouched in an attack position. In the next instant, the beast sprang up, like a cat intent on swiping its prey from mid-air, toppling the dual-pointed cap from the top of Damuzi’s head, making the bells attached to each tip jingle-jangle as it tumbled to the jungle floor.
The beast was lightning fast, but Damuzi reacted faster, rolling up and to the side. The dragon-creature made another swipe with razor-sharp claws. The feline paw sliced through the air, coming up empty as it landed on the sand with a thud. Damuzi flipped around and dived down onto the creature’s neck, enmeshing his fingers in the beast’s thick, orange mane.
Mushy whipped his head back and forth, trying to throw the unwanted rider, but Damuzi held tight, even as the creature reared up on its hind legs.
“Wa-hooo!” Damuzi raised one hand in the air, moving his wrist in a circle, like the bison riders back home. He’d always wanted to try this. “Come on big boy. You can do better than that.”
The beast whipped its orange tufted tail around, as if Damuzi were an insect it wanted to swish off its back. Damuzi grabbed the beast’s horn with his free hand, yanking the creature’s head backward. The hairy tip of the dragon-beast’s tail caught his arm, ripping him from its back and sending him sailing through the air.
Damuzi landed in a heap on the sandy shore. The impact knocked the breath from his lungs. When he lifted his head, he was assaulted by an intense ringing in his ears and his vision swam before him.
As his vision cleared, his sister appeared from the jungle foliage, running to his aide. The monster whipped its tail in Geshtinanna’s direction, catching her just below the knees and knocking her back into the trees. Gesh slumped over and didn’t get up.
He tried again to rise to his feet, increasing his efforts as the beast’s focus turned to Gesh. The dragon-creature crouched, preparing to pounce on its newly selected prey. There was little time to act.
Damuzi recalled fire being one of the features programmed on his prototype. He summoned it in his mind now and a fireball appeared in each hand as the wings on his back vanished. The holo-imagery device that Inanna had developed worked like magic, creating fire real enough to fry whatever it came into contact with, but leaving not even a trace of heat on his palms.
Hooking up with Inanna had its benefits, even if she was a pain in his butt most of the time. She came up with some of the best technologies.
The first fireball he launched hit the beast in the neck, just above the shoulder blade. The beast let out an earsplitting shriek, swinging an enormous reptilian-head in his direction with a flash of razor sharp teeth in a hideous smile. If this guy was just a baby, Damuzi didn’t want to imagine what it would look like when it was grown.
The second fireball hit its mark, smashing the dragon-beast right between the eyes. It reared back in pain, giving out a horrendous scream. The birds in the surrounding trees scattered in a flurry of squawks and wet feathers. Damuzi saw his chance and took the opportunity. He slammed his shoulder into the belly of the beast with all the force he could muster, knocking the creature off balance and sending it sprawling on its back in the sand, legs flailing in the air.
Damuzi summoned a third fireball in his mind, drawing his arm back over his head, preparing to slam the fiery orb into the belly of the beast just as the skies opened up above him with a huge thunderclap, releasing a torrent of water with enough force to drive Damuzi onto his back, extinguishing the flame before he could finish off the enormous beast. The torrent rained down upon him, forcing him to crawl away from the shoreline and the wounded dragon-beast. He struggled against the raging winds to reach the edge of the trees, where Geshtinanna lay unconscious in the foliage.
When the rains lightened, Damuzi regained his feet and dragged his sister back into cover. The jungle foliage was thick with slick, wet over-growth, which became tangled around Gesh’s legs, tearing the delicate chiffon fabric of her gown. He lay her down, turning to the task of freeing her ankles from the vines that clung to them.
As he pulled the last tendril loose, he looked up to see a gigantic tidal wave washing over the beach. When the wave receded, Mushy was no longer there. The tide had carried the dragon-beast out to sea.
Damuzi was torn between chasing after the creature, or allowing it to escape while he tended his wounded sister. In the end, he opted to help Gesh. It was what any good brother would do.