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Echoes of Memories Past is the powerful sequel to 'The Price.'
Cameron's return to the future becomes a horrible nightmare. He finds himself erased from time. Tamlyn, who had waited centuries for Cameron's return could only reveal that his soul in this divergent timeline had found its mate. As Cameron's world fades from reality, his body fades away with it, leaving his soul behind. Inexplicably it merges into Morgan Hamilton, the man who replaced him in this new timeline. The ...
Echoes of Memories Past is the powerful sequel to 'The Price.'
Cameron's return to the future becomes a horrible nightmare. He finds himself erased from time. Tamlyn, who had waited centuries for Cameron's return could only reveal that his soul in this divergent timeline had found its mate. As Cameron's world fades from reality, his body fades away with it, leaving his soul behind. Inexplicably it merges into Morgan Hamilton, the man who replaced him in this new timeline. The invasion of Cameron's soul causes chaos within Morgan's brain creating terrible life threatening seizures. Tamlyn discovers that this was all part of the Lavender eyed Goddess' wicked vengeance. Two souls locked in perpetual conflict. He strives to save Cameron and Morgan from the madness within as the Azael and their evil brethren thwart him at every turn. Ultimately, he learns that salvation may only exist in a journey back in time to Scotland's turbulent past, only there can Tamlyn hope to save both souls.
Cameron turned away, leaving everything behind him. The woman had her revenge—killing him would have been better than this existence. The pain he felt inside was more than he could truly bear. He had lost everything, all that he was had been taken from him. He was alone in a world in which he did not exist. Cameron walked away, turning into an alley that he had ventured into only a few days ago. He stopped, his mind reeled in confusion and despair, falling to his knees; his tears clouded his vision.
There was a noise behind him and he heard footsteps approach. The rank odor hit him before his vision cleared; he looked upwards to see the towering figure of Crazy Ted standing before him. The derelict's steel-gray eyes seemed somehow warm and caring. "You have lost what you once were." Cameron shook his head in confusion. He remembered it was in this very alley that Ted had warned him, "all gifts will carry a price that only time can reveal" Cameron looked hard at the man and noticed the odor had disappeared. The soiled rotting rags changed to rich silks and satins, his eyes changed from gray to amber, his face lost the scraggy beard and the hair turned almost silver.
"Tamlyn?" Cameron could not believe his eyes—the Elf Lord stood tall before him. "How ... how? What has happened to me?"
"I have searched for you a long time, my old friend. Your soul came into this world last night and I stretched forth my mind to summon you to meet me here," Tamlyn said empathically.
"How?" Cameron asked. He felt hope; the Elf could help where no one else could.
"Centuries ago when I first met you, you were so different from anyone else on your world. Two souls existed, both the same yet different, overlapping. Our 'mind-meld' allowed me to see into your soul and I saw your future self and the lives that you had not yet lived. I saw the recognition in your face at the sight of the Goddess on that dark world. I sensed her power in this. When I saw you still trapped on the other side of that portal, I knew then what was wrong. So in your world I stayed; I waited and I watched for you. Your souls are unique to each and every one of you, like a radio frequency; you just have to know how to tune it in. All these years I have been waiting for you, knowing something like this was going to happen. I owe you a debt Cameron for all that you have lost and for all those who know nothing of what you have done for your world and so many others."
"Can you get me back, back to my own time line?"
"I cannot, I do not know how. I am truly sorry. Through all these years I sought for a way to help. I sent you that warning from your old world; although that world, that dimension is fading, it is still visible to those who can see it: a world just like this one but slightly out of faze. This is the true time-line in your world now; Cameron MacLean does not exist," Tamlyn said. His eyes reflected the sorrow within.
Cameron knew then what he had done. "She egged me on, pushing me to get to Kerry faster. I was meant to save her from the Norseman, to save her life, but not before the rape. When I killed that man, I knew somehow it was wrong from the moment I did it."
Tamlyn laid a comforting hand upon his shoulder. "No, you did all that you were supposed to do. It was your arrival that was altered—originally you could have taken the long road, a different path. How could you know? You were meant to save her but the child of that rape seems to be the progenitor of your family line. You married Kerry quickly after, perhaps as much out of love as to protect her honor," the Elf's words made sense to his troubled soul.
Cameron nodded dumbly. "Did you stay with them, and were they happy?"
Tamlyn smiled thoughtfully. "Cailean and Kerry were very happy, with many children. Cailean knew nothing of you or the time you shared."
Cameron smiled, wishing so much to be back there. "So what is to become of me now?" he asked, holding out his hands. Yet as he did so he noticed that his flesh was fading—he could almost see completely through it.
"It is as I feared, your world of Cameron MacLean is fading out of existence, it takes you along with it. The life and world you knew only yesterday fades, as this the true world replaces it. I can feel that your world is almost gone now. But know you this; I followed your soul in this new time line. It lives on in this world, and I can tell you with all my heart that it is truly happy and it is where it should be, with Marina."
Tamlyn watched the fading face of Cameron smile with peaceful content, knowing that in this existence he and Marina had found each other again, the life he felt that was so out of sync was aligned as it should be. As Cameron Maclean faded completely out of existence, Tamlyn wept for the loss of his friend, for the sacrifice this man had made and for the price he had paid. Cameron had been induced to believe that he could live an entire year in the past with his soul-mate for a single night in the present. Tamlyn went over in his mind the mission he took up since the separating of Cailean and Cameron through the portal on that dying world over 750 years ago. He owed this man his life several times over and he spent all these centuries following the life and rebirth of this man's soul. The friendships they shared through the ages with him, the past lives of joy and sadness, of fortune and misfortune. Tamlyn had always been his friend who never knew the connection to the Elf, only recognizing that Tamlyn was one he could deeply trust. He had indeed sought for some way to save Cameron, knowing that perhaps this day would come, his reemergence into the world and the repercussions.
The Sharing of his mind in the distant past enabled Tamlyn to warn Cameron before he made his choice to go back in time through the derelict Ted. His message had to be cryptic, to seed enough doubt for Cameron to question and to resist; it was all Tamlyn could manage through the different dimensions between Cameron's time line and this new emerging one. The lavender eyed Goddess by then had fully engulfed his mind, creating the madness within, clouding his mind and his judgment. Had Tamlyn been any more forthcoming in his warning, there was no telling how the Goddess could have reacted and thus destroyed whatever advantage Tamlyn had in knowing her true intentions. With everything he had done or tried to do he knew in his heart he failed his friend and that had weighed heavily upon his soul.
He scanned the full length of the darkened alleyway. This world had moved on as it should, as it was meant too, humankind its dominant species and not the Azael and its dark brethren. Tamlyn took a deep breath and sat down, crossing his legs as he pulled out a red ruby like stone the size of a thumb. A traveling stone. He started to sing, casting his power to open a portal to his home in a far distant quadrant of space. He gathered in his power, attuning his mind for the complex patterns of space and time. He transfixed his destination within his thoughts, utilizing quantum mechanics to manipulate the power to open the portal. A minute window to his world started to grow before him, yet his attention wavered as a nearby door smashed open.
The door was the side emergency exit to the building where Cameron had worked. Immediately he felt a foul taint in the morning air as evil stepped into the alleyway before him; the black malevolent shape of an Azael moved with deadly grace. Tamlyn rose quickly to his feet, his swords held before him. He stood ready to engage his steel with this deadly creature. The headless demon was the size of a tall man; its black body armor glistened like the wet scales of a snake. It glided towards him; its own black scimitar gleamed with a malicious intensity ready to spill his blood. As silent as death they moved into battle then swords clashed in mind blurring speed, magnificent skill and ferocity, like Titans of war. Sparks filled the alleyway every time the blades connected like a showering display of fireworks. Fury and hate aligned with skill and speed, as centuries old enemies sought nothing less than the bloody death of their adversary.
Tamlyn believed that the Azael might have been drawn to the portal he just formed. Those of his kind were trapped here on this world. Cameron had destroyed the crystal matrix that allowed them to create portals of their own and travel across the stars to other worlds. They had enough power to create smaller portals-gateways to travel upon a world, but not for any great distance. The Azael lived here still and through the ages hid in the darkness, hunting humankind. Tamlyn had hunted them and others of their world relentlessly. They were a foreign infestation, not part of the natural order of this planet. The Azael were deadly creatures and finding and killing the Elf would grant them darker powers. If they could kill Tamlyn they would re-animate him into a Reaver; a soulless creature with all the skill and magic he possessed but with the mind in full control of the Azael.
Tamlyn's thrust tagged the creature upon its left shoulder, its black blood flowing through the wound, slowing the creature as the Elf scored another hit, this time upon its sword arm. The Azael danced out the next strike and smashed its mailed fist fully into his mid-section, staggering Tamlyn with the blow. The Demon moved back from its enemy as if weighing whether it had bitten off more than it could chew. The Elf had the greater skill and it hesitated briefly then ran into the shadows and disappeared, living to fight another day and on better terms.
Tamlyn set himself to track the creature, yet his keen hearing picked up the distant wail of sirens. The wail was building in its intensity, coming closer with each passing second. His battle here had lasted only a brief few moments and not likely to arouse the attention of those outside the alley. Its sound worried him; this was the building where Marina and Morgan worked. Morgan was Cameron's 'replacement' on this world; the path Cameron's soul had taken in this new plane of existence. The presence of the Azael and now the sirens getting closer to the building the Azael just vacated turned Tamlyn's worry to fear. He cast the outwards illusion of himself to that of a smartly dressed executive and raced towards the front of the building.
He was indeed correct as the ambulance had stopped in front of the building and the EMT's were busily pulling out the gurney and equipment through the growing crowds who were hoping to get a glimpse of the action. Tamlyn pushed his way further into the crowd, following behind the EMT's.
"Over here! Here!" He heard the voice of Morgan's large friend Jim calling them, concern mirrored in his voice.
"Come on people, back off! Give them some room!" That was Morgan's other friend Rob, who immediately went to the side of a woman kneeling on the floor beside the prostrate form of a man. Tamlyn knew the woman was Marina even before he saw her tear streaked face, desperately trying to keep hold of Morgan's hand.
"Come on Marina let the paramedics do what they have too," Rob said worriedly as he helped her to her feet. Tamlyn saw Marina's tawny haired friend Lynne Brodie comforting her.
"He will be ok, really he will," she said with encouragement yet her eyes mirrored the same fear as Marina. Morgan's friends Rob and Jim stared bleakly at the scene unfolding before them.
"Are you his wife, can you tell me what happened?" one of the EMT's asked as two police officers now entered the scene, one went to aid the EMT's, the other was moving people out of the way.
"Yes ... I don't know what happened. He was fine one moment, he said his head was hurting then he just collapsed and went into seizures," Marina said through her tears.
"Does he have a history of seizures? Is he taking any medications, drugs?" the EMT asked as he was taking Morgan's vitals, then Morgan started shaking as another seizure took hold of him. "OK, here he goes again, you got his head?" the EMT asked his partner, with a nod in acknowledgement, they comforted Morgan as best they could.
Horrified Marina watched on. "No he has never had them before, for as long as I have known him, no drugs or any medication," she finally got out.
The EMT nodded. "Any history of epilepsy in the family?" he asked as Marina just shook her head.
"No, no!" she replied.
The EMT nodded again. "Did he hit his head on the floor?" he inquired while waiting for the seizure to dissipate.
"No he didn't I caught hold of him and helped him to the floor," Marina said as they moved him on to the board then strapped him in on the gurney.
"Do you want to come with us to the hospital?" the EMT asked Marina and she nodded in reply.
"Marina I will be right behind you?" Lynne said anxiously.
It was then Tamlyn stepped up beside Marina taking her hand in his own. "Marina?"
"Tom, what are you doing here?"
"I had some business here today," Tamlyn replied in his guise as Morgan's old time friend from college. He sent her warm feelings of support through his hand to hers, her fears lessened in their intensity pushing the fear and panic to a calmer state. "Go with him, I will be there at the hospital soon as I can," he said releasing her hand as she followed the EMT's to the ambulance. Lynne's anxious look caught Rob's attention as he squeezed her hand. "C'mon with us," Rob said nodding, towards Jim as he waved at both of them to follow while he pulled out his cell phone. He was cancelling his meetings for the day as they rushed to the parking lot and piled into his jeep, speeding off after the ambulance.
Tamlyn watched them go, breathing a quick sigh, for he had feared something far worse after his battle with the Azael. When he saw Morgan on the floor, he thought the Azael had somehow taken its revenge and killed him. He scanned the area were Morgan went down. It was directly parallel to the alleyway where Cameron had dissipated. He was certain, almost to the inch that he could draw a straight line from where Cameron had last stood to where Morgan had fell in the foyer. He saw the emergency door the Azael had went through, it was by a darkened corner beside the stairwell going up to the mezzanine above. Tamlyn went over to the exit. From there, he looked back to the area where Morgan collapsed. The Azael would have a clear line of sight from here to the foyer of anyone waiting for the elevator. He stared at that exit, thinking it through and could not believe it as coincidence. Tamlyn could find no more answers here, he would need to get to Morgan and follow up through him. This situation troubled him deeply; he could not say what triggered this attack on Morgan. Was it the Azael, did it launch some sort of assault, biological or a psychic attack or was this something else? The proximity to Cameron's dissolving also seemed terribly disconcerting and the possible ramifications frightened him.
Tamlyn, still in his executive's guise, flagged a cab. He could have opened a portal, but he wanted to conserve his power for what lay before him. "University Hospital, please," he said to the cabbie, and jumped in the backseat of the cab. On the way, he wondered if it was the Azael, what type of attack had it launched upon Morgan? What would cause the seizures? How did it know who Morgan was to begin with? Even if it was at that battle outside of Achnashellach, and survived all these centuries, how could it have known that Morgan was Cailean reborn? So many questions kept coming at him, but knowing that only a thorough scan of Morgan's mind would provide sufficient answers, he would have to show patience and wait for his opportunity.
Tamlyn was still in deep thought when the cabbie interrupted him. "We are here my friend, it's twenty-one fifty," he said as Tamlyn gave him twenty-five. "Keep the change," he said as he left the cab and walked into the hospital. He did not need to inquire where Morgan was, Tamlyn could locate him with but a single thought. He walked into the emergency ward, and followed the path directly to Morgan's bedside. Rob and Jim both sat outside with Lynne still comforting Marina.
"Any word yet?"
Marina looked up towards him. "No ... nothing yet. The doctors are in with him now. He had another seizure while he was in the ambulance," she said as her tears began to flow again. "He's never been sick a day in his life, I just don't understand this."
Tamlyn knelt down in front of her, taking her hands in his own again. "Morgan will pull through this. He will. I promise," he said staring into her dark brown eyes, her beautiful face flooded with worry. Tamlyn smiled confidently at her and through his touch he was about to put her into a deeper state of calmness to stem her fears, but he recoiled slightly. He sensed a new spark within. Marina was newly pregnant, so he carefully put forth his power to ease her anxiety. The effect was immediate on the inside and gradual on the outside to avoid arousing suspicions. It was then that the curtain surrounding Morgan slid away as nurses rolled him through the hall and into another room.
Excerpted from Echoes of Memories Past by Mark Douglas Holborn. Copyright © 2014 Mark Douglas Holborn. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse.
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