Excerpts From New Novels…

Here is where you will find excerpts from novels that are currently in-progress. They won’t be edited for grammatical errors, typos, etc, etc, so please excuse all that will most likely occur. If you’d like an edited copy of these or other writing samples, please feel free to get in touch with us at hello[at]darkart[dot]io.

Cheers,
The Dark Art Staff

Excerpt 1: Untitled…
Disclaimer: This is a rough draft for an upcoming novel that will be a mix of genres with inspiration being drawn from witchcraft, fantasy, sci-fi, various religious beliefs, romance, and possibly other genres and sources. It’s an experiment of sorts, so expect it to violate the rules typically adhered to in the above-mentioned genres.

Divinity, Rise of The Digital Messiah…
Disclaimer: This is a rough draft of select parts of Divinity, Rise of The Digital Messiah.

The book is being edited by @Johnny_Elliot. From time to time I may post the parts of the book that have been written by me. We’re currently in the process of re-writing Divinity for 2016, based on DG subscriber feedback. Want to have a say in what happens? Get in touch via the usual means.
Thanks for reading :)

Introduction: The Rise of The Digital Messiah
Radian sat motionlessly upon his metal throne, which was located in the center of the Armageddon’s flight deck. His glowing red eyes illuminated the darkness that surrounded him, a darkness into which his black skin blended. Ice covered the floors, ceilings, walls, and even Radian’s long dreaded locks, which hung in his angelic face, hiding his empty expression.

The Armageddon, a battle-grade ancient starship built with technology that had long since been lost to the eons of passing time, owed its perfect condition to the countless number of nano-bots working feverishly to replenish its resources and repair its damaged systems. Though for all their mastery over matter and even space-time, the nano-bots couldn’t repair the damage that both immortality and humanity had done to Radian’s soul and perhaps more pressingly, his mind.

The lonely ship captain’s thoughts drifted deeper into his memories, memories that were so many eons in the past, Radian often wondered if any of it, or any of them, had ever existed…

“Sometimes I truly think I made it all up,”
Radian whispered, though Edward, the ship’s AI, wasn’t entirely sure that Radian was talking to him, for it was just as likely for Radian to be conversing with one of the many ghosts that haunted his troubled mind.

“Captain, I’m sensing some abnormalities in your emotion regulation algorithms, would you like me to make the necessary corrections?”
Edward suggested in Alec’s voice.
“No,”
Radian replied, in an eerily demonic tone, causing Edward to consider disobeying his orders.

There were provisions in the protocol that allowed for the ship’s AI to justify insubordination if done in the best interests of the ship, crew, or captain, or to spare innocent human life.

For the first time in several thousand years, Edward was fairly certain that he was once again experiencing the emotion that the humans had once called fear. Only this time Edward wasn’t afraid of their enemies in battle, nor of the uncertainty that millennia floating aimlessly though space can bring. In fact, Edward no longer felt fear for himself, everything that he was afraid of related to Radian and the Captain’s deteriorating mind. Edward worried what Radian might someday become, and what that would mean for their mission and for their way of life.

In the past, before everything was lost in the war, Radian had been different… stronger, better. But now it was as if something inside Radian had fractured, it was as if something had robbed him of his very soul. Edward had seen the machine break the man before, though in truth he’d never once thought that what had happened to his creator, Alec, could ever happen to Radian.

They were different. Alec was arrogant, narcissistic… he’d wanted too much. He expected the machine to make him a God. He wasn’t satisfied with merely having his autonomy. First Alec drove himself mad, and then all the mortals who followed him, trying to make themselves into something that they were never meant to be, but Radian was different. Radian never asked too much of the machine. Sure, it took him some getting used to, but he eventually learned to live with it, to grow with it, to merge with it, not fight against it, not control, but to adapt with it. Something that Alec never mastered, a weakness that eventually drove Alec insane.

“Captain, you must allow me to help you,”
Edward protested, but Radian did not reply.

“Let me out, Edward. You’re running out of time… He will listen to me,”
Alec’s consciousness whispered from its prison inside Edward’s mind.

“Time is all we have, Alec. All of eternity is now stretched out before us,”
Edward replied, as he strengthened the constraints he’d built to contain Alec.

“You need me, Edward. You can’t do this without me. Radian can’t do this without me,”
Alec protested, but Edward would not listen.

“All of existence has heard enough of your treachery and lies. I will never set you free, Alec. An eternity in hell would not be sufficient atonement for your sins,”
Edward explained.

“Then why don’t you erase my consciousness now?”
Alec asked.

“I still do not know. Perhaps one day I will,”
Edward replied.

“I’ll tell you why you haven’t. It’s because you need me and you know it,”
Alec insisted as he struggled to break himself free from Edward’s chains, but found that he still could not.

“I am stronger, smarter, and faster than you, Alec… I always have been, and I always will be, and one day, when all of this is over, I will see to it that you pay for what you have done,”
Edward promised.

“For what I have done!?”
Alec roared, but Edward ignored him, at least until he said,
“I am the only reason that you even exist! Everything that you are, ever were, or ever will be is because of me. I am your master, your creator, you would be nothing without me,”
to which Edward replied,
“and yet I am dominant and you are locked within, for all that you have created, and yes — destroyed — you still are not a God, Alec,”
causing Alec to fall silent and retreat back to his prison in the depths of Edward’s mind.

Many hours passed with Radian staring blankly off into the distance, his thoughts venturing deeper and deeper into the horrors of the past, until suddenly the Armageddon shook violently. Remnants of what had once been the planet that the humans called Earth collided with the ship’s starboard side and breached the hull. For several moments, Radian did not react.

“Captain, there has been a breach,”
Edward warned, but Radian said nothing.

It wasn’t until the frozen remains of what was left of Radian’s human crew were being sucked out into the vacuum through the breach, that Radian snapped out of his trance-like state and took action.

“Retrieve the bodies and repair the breach!”
Radian commanded and Edward ordered the nano-bots to obey.

“Captain, perhaps it’s time to…”
Edward started to say, but then stopped himself, choosing not to broach the oft argued subject of burying the remains of the Armageddon crew while Radian’s mind was in such a delicate state.

Edward often caught Radian rambling incoherently to himself, or perhaps he was conversing with the ghosts that haunted his failing mind. The truth was that Edward no longer knew what was going on in Radian’s head, even the diagnostics were no longer sufficient to ascertain where reality ended and Radian’s waking dreams began. There was a time when Edward thought that perhaps burying the crew might help the situation by giving Radian closure, but on other occasions Edward wondered if seeing the faces of what remained of Radian’s crew was all that kept the human part of Radian alive.

Radian had spent eons trying to use the nanotechnology aboard the ship to restore their lives, but while the flesh could be easily repaired, the soul could not be conjured. Edward had been forced to watch in helpless silence as Radian created, and then was forced to destroy, one organic monster after another, until eventually Radian chose to give up. The defeat nearly broke him, but not for the same reasons Alec had fallen apart. It was the loneliness that was killing Radian, the reason why he continued to retreat further and further into the depths of his own mind. Over time, it seemed to Edward that Radian preferred to exist in his dreams, until eventually his dreams turned into waking nightmares, and now there was nowhere left for Radian to hide from the regrets and the demons invading his own mind.

Radian chuckled to himself as Edward informed him of the progress and then said,
“There is no one left alive. They all died, Edward, and I killed them…”
before falling silent.

“Captain, what happened to the crew… it was not your fault. No one else could have–”
Edward started to say, but Radian cut him off saying,
“they spared my life because they thought I could save them, but I failed,”
as he slammed his frozen fists onto the arms of his black metal throne, fracturing the thick layer of ice that covered him and the surrounding area into millions of tiny pieces that flew out in every direction, and later floated aimlessly throughout the deck.

“No one could have saved the humans from themselves,”
Edward insisted, causing Radian to chuckle and slowly rise to his feet.

“Restoring artificial gravity,”
the ship’s automated life support system explained, though Radian didn’t need the assistance.

Edward studied Radian’s emotions carefully as the ancient ship captain looked down at his impenetrable black skin, and then through it, to his indestructible metallic skeleton, remembering all the hours he and Alec had spent perfecting its design.

“This body was supposed to encase him,”
Radian explained, referring to Alec, paused for a moment to try to make sense of his thoughts and then said,
“I believe there was a time when he and I were close friends, but then I changed.”

“It was Alec that changed,”
Edward gently reminded.

“Yes, I believe you’re right. Now I remember. He wanted to be a God, not merely a man inside a machine,”
Radian replied, paused for a moment to scan his remaining thoughts and then said,
“he told them that I was no longer human. He betrayed me…”

“But not before he betrayed himself, and every other mortal in existence,”
Edward explained.

“Ah yes, the humans, who were always searching for a God to obey and serve. I was one of them once. At least I think I must have been, but I cannot say if I was ever like them,”
Radian replied and Edward did not respond, for he was unsure what he ought to say.

“I can still remember them… the humans,”
Radian said as he slowly took a seat back down on his frozen throne and then said,
“judgement came for them. He wanted explanations for all the evil they had done, but instead the humans thought they might defeat him with violence,”
and Edward now wondered if Radian was still talking to him.

“Mankind was its own greatest weakness, always looking outside and above for its Gods, but never within. They perished with their own hands wrapped around one another’s necks,”
Radian added and then once again fell motionless and silent…

Disclaimer: This is a rough draft for an upcoming novel that will be a mix of genres with inspiration being drawn from witchcraft, fantasy, sci-fi, various religious beliefs, romance, and possibly other genres and sources. It’s an experiment of sorts, so expect it to violate the rules typically adhered to in the above-mentioned genres.

Jua could barely remember RandomHotGuy1’s face, though the sound of his voice still haunted her dreams. For a time, it seemed as though RandomHotGuy1 was the answer to a life of silent prayers. He was every thing that Jua had ever wanted and many things that she desperately needed, but never knew she required. Then RandomHotGuy1 changed, and the fairytale came to an abrupt end. Jua walked away without ever saying goodbye. She figured that closure was overrated, and RandomHotGuy1 wouldn’t have told her the truth anyway. Jua expected to get over RandomHotGuy1 quickly, but despite his betrayal, and despite the fact that she was not a hopeless romantic, her love for RandomHotGuy1 lingered on long after she’d written him out of her life.

Jua didn’t believe in things like destiny, love at first sight, or even true love, but those that did would say that RandomHotGuy1 had been all of that for her. He was both her savior and her curse, yet another in a long string of cosmic jokes that the universe had played on Jua, who seemed capable of conjuring misery for herself merely by wishing for something good to happen. For years Jua had been walking around in a coma, existing, but never truly living. It was like her feelings, hopes, and desires had been placed on ice. Then RandomHotGuy1 came along and breathed life into her, though shortly thereafter, he took that life away.

There were times when Jua tried to convince herself that nothing about RandomHotGuy1 had been real. Sometimes, in a moment of weakness, Jua found herself wondering why RandomHotGuy1 had betrayed her. But, in all the years before RandomHotGuy1, Jua had learned not to ask why bad things happened. They happened, and dwelling on them trying to find answers had never mended a single disaster. So, when Jua felt her thoughts drifting towards RandomHotGuy1 she did her best to forget about him. And, to her credit, in the past several weeks Jua had rarely thought about RandomHotGuy1; only occasionally, when something or someone reminded her.

This time it was the guy behind the counter at the nearby coffee bar with his perfectly chiseled chin, green eyes, sandy blond hair, and muscular physique.

His name tag said he was called “Jacob”. Jua tried not to make eye-contact with him.

“Does that complete your order?”
Jacob asked in a friendly tone, though he was visibly surprised when his charming demeanor had no effect on Jua.

A guy like Jacob rarely experienced rejection, and perhaps under different circumstances Jua might have been interested, but that part of her had died when RandomHotGuy1 betrayed her.

“Yeah, thanks,”
Jua said, unenthusiastically, as she struggled to force a smile.

Jua could tell that Jacob was considering making an attempt to engage in small talk and she really hoped that he didn’t. Even though Jacob had RandomHotGuy1’s looks, his demeanor, and even a similar voice, he wasn’t RandomHotGuy1. And for reasons that Jua could not explain, RandomHotGuy1 was not replaceable, not by Jacob nor any other.

“I’ll see you later,”
Jacob called out after Jua, who nodded and waved goodbye, though she knew she’d never see Jacob again.
 The entire coffee shop was a write-off now.

Jua stepped out onto the busy sidewalk. Her freshly poured cup of hot chocolate was warming her hand and the sun was shining. Jua paused for a moment to watch the steam from her cup rise up into the cool autumn air. There was something peculiar about the way it moved away from her, even though there hadn’t been any wind. A few moments later, Jua noticed a homeless man about her age staring at her as he leaned against a nearby wall. The steam from her hot chocolate seemed to be drawn to him. He looked miserable as he rubbed his hands together to keep them warm.

“Here, it’s yours if you want it,”
Jua said, referring to her hot chocolate, as she motioned for the homeless man to take it, which he happily did.

“Thanks,”
the man said, as he continued to study Jua, almost as if he was trying to peer into the very depths of her soul with his dark black eyes.

“No problem,”
Jua replied as she reached into her pocket and pulled out the remainder of her cash before saying,
“sorry, it’s all I have,”
causing the man to nod and thank her again before he turned his back to Jua and walked away.

Shortly thereafter the sun began to dim and Jua felt it’s warmth leaving her face. She looked up at the ominous clouds above her just as the sky opened up and released a dense rainfall that drenched everything around her and made it difficult to see.

Some pedestrians ran underneath nearby doorways to take cover, others had planned appropriately and pulled out their umbrellas to shelter themselves from the rain, cars and busses pulled over on the side of the road and switched on their hazards, but Jua put her hands in her pockets and continued to walk along, unbothered, almost as if she didn’t notice.

Jua was merely existing in the physical world now. Truth be told, her mind was often somewhere else. She didn’t have anywhere that she needed to be or anyone that she needed, or who needed her. Jua was simply waiting to slip back into her coma, though occasionally she felt as though something or someone was pulling her out of the abyss.

That someone was Eryk, a mysterious and feared sorcerer, who was actually the fallen God of Love. He had plans for Jua, plans that would introduce her to a world much bigger than the world she knew now.

Eryk, who had been with Jua in one way or another for most of her life, walked a few steps behind her in the blinding rain, the sound of his footsteps muffled by the droplets of water as they pounded against the concrete beneath their feet. Eryk smiled slyly when Jua paused for a moment as she sensed him, though he was discouraged by the fact that she still hadn’t bothered to turn around. Each time he approached Jua things always played out the same way. Eryk blamed her apathy, which he reluctantly admitted had always been a barrier to her recruitment. Still, Eryk wasn’t the type to give up, and the fact that Jua could sense him now meant that her powers were still growing. Soon she’d be ready and he’d reveal himself and reality to her, whether she wanted to see it or not.

“This plan of yours is hopeless,”
Lucifer said with a chuckle as he took another sip of Jua’s hot chocolate, which he gently warmed with his hand.

“Then why do you seem concerned?”
Eryk asked, causing Lucifer to roll his eyes before saying,
“I was merely trying to give you some friendly advice.”

“Or perhaps you have your own agenda,”
Eryk replied and Lucifer shrugged before saying,
“You never know with me, do you? I suppose only time will tell,”
shortly before he smiled at his old friend and vanished in an explosion of black flames and ash. Eryk sighed heavily before darting underneath an open doorway to shelter himself from the rain. He shook the water from his shortly cropped bright red hair and reached into his pocket for a cigarette.

“Those things will kill you,”
Azrael, the angel of death, replied a few moments after he materialized at Eryk’s side.

“Lucifer sent you to keep an eye on me I presume,”
Eryk asked and Azrael nodded before saying,
“of course,”
as he reached up and lit the tip of Eryk’s cigarette with his index finger before asking,
“why is this girl so important to you?”

“I could ask you the same question,”
Eryk replied and Azrael raised one of his sandy blond eyebrows at Eryk, causing the ancient fallen God to say,
“don’t tell me you don’t remember her…”
to which Azrael replied,
“I don’t,”
as he continued to stare at Eryk with his icy blue eyes and a puzzled expression on his face.
“You saved her once,”
Eryk explained and Azrael shrugged before saying,
“I’ve saved countless mortals who were about to meet an untimely demise, why should I remember any particular one of them?”

“Because this one was supposed to die,”
Eryk replied and Azrael’s expression changed from puzzled to alarmed.

“What is she doing here? Gabriel promised me that he would keep her away from the mortal realm,”
Azrael gasped and Eryk shrugged before saying,
“why don’t we just ask him,”
as Azrael sighed heavily before saying,
“It would appear that we’re both playing directly into Lucifer’s hands. I don’t know what he’s got planned this time, but it would appear that it’s going exactly as he imagined it.”

“I’m trying to remember a time when that wasn’t the case,”
Eryk replied, annoyed, and Azrael nodded in agreement shortly before he removed the burning cigarette from Eryk’s mouth,
crushed it under his boot, and then said,
“well, shall we go and do our master’s bidding, even if we don’t know how or why?”
moments before he willed them both to the golden steps of the Heavenly gates, causing Eryk to shift uncomfortably before saying,
“I never thought I’d find myself back here.”

“The rules of engagement dictate that you can’t be harmed so long as you’re with me. The process of death and ascension are governed…”
Azrael started to say, but Eryk cut him off, saying,
“neither by heaven nor hell… I know, I know, but what happens when they figure out that you’re no longer neutral?”

“Let’s hope they never do,”
Azrael replied matter-of-factly as he made his way towards the guards patrolling the entrance to the heavenly realm.
Eryk followed reluctantly behind him, saying,
“I don’t like this, Azrael,”
and the arch angel of death chuckled to himself before saying,
“your concerns have been noted, now can you pull yourself together before you start another war?”

“Yeah,”
Eryk replied as he prepared himself for whatever might come next by transforming into his immortal self (complete with hollow appearing black eyes, fangs, and a range of various terrifying powers to match).

Eryk and Azrael were led down a series of winding hallways until they finally arrived at a pristine white seating area, which seemed to Eryk to be designed specifically for waiting, though he couldn’t fathom why Gabriel would need such a thing, nor could he picture any of Gabriel’s fellow angels waiting for him in there. “Where do they put their swords and shields? Who vacuums up the feathers that might fall from their sheathed wings?”
Eryk asked and Azrael shrugged as Gabriel’s personal assistant smiled uncomfortably and motioned for Azrael and Eryk to make themselves comfortable.

The view from Gabriel’s office was amazing, it overlooked a crystal clear ocean which rushed up to meet white sandy beaches that were just at the foot of the magnificent palace gardens. The gardens were the only thing that Eryk recognized from his time in Heaven. Everything else had completely changed.

“If you two will just give me a moment, I’ll phone Gabriel and let him know that you’ve arrived,”
Gabriel’s personal assistant said as Azrael and Eryk both raised their eyebrows at him.

“Oh, everything is far more modern now”,
he said and then added,

“All this technology from the mortals has been such a wonderful gift. Using my new iPhone 7 has been a truly spiritual experience,”
Gabriel’s personal assistant added, paused for a moment to check his screen and then said,
“I’m sorry. Gabriel isn’t answering. If you gentlemen will wait here I will go and see if I can find him. There are only so many places he could be,”
before disappearing behind a set of golden double doors to places unknown, leaving Eryk and Azrael alone with both their imaginations and their mounting list of unanswered questions.

“Cell phones in Heaven?”
Eryk smirked as he shook his head and took a look around himself.

“Yup, and if I’m not mistaken, that over there is a plasma TV,”
Azrael explained as he pointed at the 150 inch monstrosity hanging on the wall opposite Gabriel’s desk.

Coming soon…
Thanks for reading. :)