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Thursday, 7 November 2013

Book Spotlight: Peter Simmons and the Sovereign by Ramz Artso


Peter Simmons and the Sovereign
by Ramz Artso
YA/Paranoraml/Fantasy/Sci-fi
Buy Links: Amazon


Peter Simmons thinks he is an ordinary boy, before he is abducted by a man with certain special abilities, learns of his inescapable destiny, befriends immortals and becomes famous wordlwide. Why? Because Peter Simmons is mankind's last hope for survival.

It's nearly 216,000 words long, and the story is told from sevent different perspectives - namely, Michael, a thirty year old who has the ability to glimpse the future a few minutes before it happens, Daniel, who can sort of read minds, Peter, who is the main protagonist and who has the unique ability to travel in time, Dominias and Sebastian who are really good-looking guys that are indestructible and immortal, Jessica who is a teenage model with a strong, fierce character and the ability to dream future events, and Zacarius Zmuk who is a representative of an enslaved alien race called drudans.

Together, this fellowship makes and loses friends, overcomes obstacles, fights battles and travels the globe in search of the Sovereign, all the while trying to defeat Field Marshal Nazar Luminiere, his brother Albinus Luminiere and the latters servants, the Sarpian Triplets in order to stave off the nigilian invasion. Peter is the last hope for humanity's survival.

Excerpt:


Dominias – Chapter  7

London, England
October 23rd
Late Morning Hours

There was a deep, distant rumble. I looked out of the window of my Aston Martin. The sky was a grey canopy filled with leaden thunderclouds, sailing slothfully across the bustling city.

'The weather doesn't look too promising, mate,' said Sebastian Boyd, lounging comfortably on the rich brown leather of the only available passenger seat. The two lozenge baby-seats at the back were piled with overstuffed bags.

'What do we care? We're leaving for good, aren't we? And besides, after having resided in the UK for well over a century, I think it's high time we relocated,' I replied, with an Estuary English accent.

'That's why we're on our way to the airport,' he said matter-of-factly, in that soft Irish brogue of his. 'And get your numbers right. We've been living here for eight decades now, not a century, and certainly not more than that.'

I withdrew my crimson eyes, which were currently disguised behind brown contact lenses, from the stormy empyrean.

'Same difference.'

I was very aware of Sebastian's heavy stare, but pretended otherwise.

'Had a fitful night's sleep?'

'Your humor is beginning to pall,' I told him vapidly. I sounded vapid very often lately, almost all of the time, really. Nothing seemed to be able to draw my attention, or pique my interest. My jejune, lackluster life was redolent of a massive black hole, all but lacking emotion and color. 'It’s been one hundred and thirty-two years since I've last managed to get some kip.'

'Right. Looks like you can get your numbers right when you wish to, after all.' He sighed wistfully, as if remembering back on the days of old. 'And the last time I slept was eighty-three years ago.'

'Precisely,' I said absentmindedly, focusing on the road.

Sebastian was much younger, jocund and callow than I. He still showed a lot of vim and vigor for the whole concept of virtual invincibility and living forever. But, as I’d already told him, time and again, the elation, at length, was bound to wear off. Mine exhausted itself when I passed the mark of one-hundred years. I was a senior citizen in comparison to even the nonagenarian population, for I was an immortal, pretty much indestructible creature roaming the endless path of my prosaic life in search of a meaning.

You see, I was cursed by something approximate to an insidious disease. It was overpowering, and at times maddening. This ailment seemed innocuous in its nascent stages, slowly creeping into one's unsuspecting heart, taking over their soul, poisoning their body and mind, discontinuing all reason and will to keep existing. For that's what I did. I existed. My life was taken from me by this malady, which was an accomplice of time. And that ugly intruders name was boredom. I was bored out of my mind, and that was my inescapable curse. Nothing seemed to be able to spark my curiosity. I had no desire to live. And the worst part of it all was that I no longer had any hope, whatsoever, of reestablishing the light at the end of the tunnel, which had once been a radiant presence in my distant past.

Once upon a time–one-hundred and thirty-two years ago to be precise–I had shared uncontrollable fits of laughter, exhilarating happiness, unconditional love, scalding tears and other aspects of human emotion with the people whom I, to this day, held dear to my heart. But now, after an elapse of decades, all of those people had bought the farm. They had all passed away into a universe far beyond mine, or anyone else’s comprehension. With all that, came the mental lassitude that I was subject to on a daily basis. I became awfully anhedonic, and if I was to ever seek professional help for a psychiatric evaluation, then the doctors, in their ignorance, would probably diagnose me with misanthropy or some form of autism, as well as manic-depression due to abuse of anabolic steroids, even though I had never seen the stuff, let alone touched it. My insensitivity to pain would most definitely mislead specialists to believe that I suffered from congenital analgesia, for immortality, in the annals of history, was not documented as a medical condition.  

In the last couple of years, I had all too often found myself being indefatigably jealous of those who fell victim to Death's noxious scythe. Mortals were blessed, unlike me...and Sebastian, who simply did not realize it yet, but was nonetheless already experiencing the first symptoms of ennui. The brevity of mortal life augmented human emotions and filled their frail hearts with a sense of appreciation and gratitude...and I envied them for it. God knew what I was willing to give in order to feel a jolt of fear race through my chest. But that simply never happened for me anymore, as both Sebastian and I were impervious to fear. I could, for the most part, only harbor jealousy, envy, anger, and animosity. Rarely was there any room for remorse, compassion or kindness. Thus, I was incessantly tortured by a devastating sense of solitude. In order to survive, I secluded myself from everyone and everything. I had to admit that I detested myself for it. I felt like a pariah and a moribund plant. Consequently, I hated this inhuman part of me as much as a man could hate any one thing!

Not however, near as much as I hated my appearance, which was drastically altered during my abduction–we'll get there. I had to live with it every day. It was a bloody nightmare. My irises turned into a crimson halo with a barely perceptible hint of pink–that was the reason Sebastian and I wore contact lenses whenever we were out in public. I had to dye my hair constantly, for it had turned colorless; white locks with a tinge of silver that made them reminiscent of silk. My skin had turned ghastly white, making me look like an albino and therefore leaving me no other choice but to attend the solarium on a weekly basis. I had also learned to conceal my emotions behind an imperturbable fa├žade of indifference, by markedly improving my acting skills, which were of course, crucial for survival. I had schooled myself in the art by watching a myriad of motion pictures–even though I wasn't much of a cineaste–and poring over thousands of books. I mastered the art of false pretense to its fundamental core. Ladies and gentlemen, I was undoubtedly the world's number one liar. I’d become so good at telling lies, that at times, I found myself to be a victim of confabulation.

And that was me: an emotionless wreck, an extremely high-functioning, sophisticated prevaricator, with the most coveted ability of all: Athanasia. And what devastated me beyond measure was that mankind would most likely never get rid of me. Trust me, I had tried to do the world a favor...Attempting to drown myself hadn't helped, shooting myself in the head and heart hadn't exactly gone according to plan. Leaping off of a building had been met with complete and utter failure, and getting hit by a truck hadn't done the job either.

I had always believed that there was only one efficient way to do away with me, and that was to have me nuked. All right, in all fairness, maybe I was over exaggerating the degree of my indestructability–I however was not entirely sure of it–but I was willing to wager a ridiculously large sum of money that only a very powerful and effective explosion would help me find the eternal peace I was craving for. I jonesed for death, and sought the great oblivion of infinite sleep.

This, naturally, takes us to the next phase. Who or what exactly was I? Axiomatically, my self-portrait might have misled you to believe that I was a vampire, a werewolf, or even a magician of sorts. I'm afraid I'll have to disappoint you some. I was none of the aforementioned things. What was I, then?

Well there was a perfectly sane and simple explanation for that. I was a so called razetri. And a razetri, as far as I was concerned, was an individual that had been abducted by aliens, and as they had put it, overhauled and upgraded physically, as well as intellectually. They had operated on my body while I had been wide awake, but I couldn't remember having felt a single thing. They must have drugged me, and for that, I had always been thankful. Despite my countless efforts, I could never flash on what they looked like, but I was, however, able to bring to mind their deep, hollow voices, as well as the ubiquitous darkness that had engulfed me like a starless night.

Once they’d completed the operation and achieved the desired effect, they then ventured to explain to me that from there on out I was a razetri–the word was forever embossed onto my memory–and my body performance had been enhanced to the nth degree. I would now be able to run incredibly fast, jump in gigantic leaps, hold my breath eternally, crush steel into dust, lift humongous objects and do many other incredible, superhuman things, which were an impossibility for any other human being.

I had no idea what they had done to me, and why they had done it, for that matter, but when I awoke the following morning, I found that my muscles had quadrupled in size, which gave me the appearance of a professional bodybuilder...I no longer had the urge, nor the need to eat and visit the restroom. I later found out that my body had stopped producing sweat, tears and any other foul smells or liquids. My teeth became incredibly white and healthy, as if they had been bleached by a dentist; all the scars I had accrued throughout my life had vanished without leaving a single trace of their former presence. My hair, although still malleable, stopped growing and falling out. And last but not least, I could no longer experience neither pain, nor fear. In short, I felt equipollent to a tank, or a revamped sports car.

At first I was euphoric about it all, and developed a myopic attitude to my superhuman strength. I was even so careless as to accidentally expose myself and my preternatural abilities to the public on two occasions. To some extent, that was how legends of superheroes came about. Thank goodness the media hadn't been as industrious and resourceful at the time as it was nowadays. If that had been the case, news of my existence would have spread faster than a wildfire. But with time the air of gaiety vanished into thin air. My sense of excitement abated and returned back to normal. Everyone I knew had died; the love of my life, Elizabeth, whom I had been amorous of since the moment I'd set my eyes on her, along with my beloved parents, two siblings and sole nephew were gone. All of a sudden, life became tedious and insufferably lonesome. In order to make my time on Earth more or less bearable, I devoted myself body and soul to becoming an avid traveler, and thus had taken to voyaging the globe, sometimes earning pennies and, at rarer times, astronomical amounts of money, which was the reason why I, at present, was worth a mint. I had sedulously studied all manner of things, devouring alien culture, arts and literature with great gusto, always expanding my knowledge of the world, its occupants and endless wonders. I had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of all kinds of pundits, such as great writers, poets, composers, politicians, businessmen, visionaries and many other extraordinary people during my life. People who had helped shape the world and make it a better place for all living things. I had a rare old time doing it all, and not before long, had metamorphosed into a schmoozer, a connoisseur of fine wines and something of an arts maven, who enjoyed the gala life of the ultra-wealthy. But none of it made me feel good, none of it compared to my dulled, fading emotions and former experiences. It was tough, and still is to this date, but that is simply the way the cookie crumbles. I was heartsick and missed my old mortal days. I could deny it until the cows came home, but the truth would not be distorted. How dearly I wished to ablate this condition from my organism, like a tumor or necrotic tissue.

As time went by, I learned to embrace the yoke of immortality, and my existence was downright miserable until I met Sebastian, who, as it turned out, had also been abducted and transformed into a razetri. This left us wondering if there were others like us. The aliens had whisked him away and fiddled with his innards at the age of seventeen, and since then, he hadn't aged a single second. Not unlike me...I don't know what those voices from the dark had done to us, but whatever it was, they paused our aging mechanisms once and for all. I was now forevermore stuck in my mid-thirties...I was thirty five years old on the day of my abduction. The day when I ceased being the real me, and became a monstrosity, a razetri…

'Dominias? Dominias?'

Sebastian's voice brought me back to the here and now.

'Yes?'

'You haven't heard a single word I've said, have you? I've just been blabbering on to myself again, for minutes.'

'Sorry, I sort of just drifted away. What were you saying, anyway? Please go on. You have my ear.'

He waved me off discontentedly.

'Oh forget it, you bloody idiot. Take a right here, it leads to the airport.'

I nodded, being familiar with the route myself, and turned right as instructed, all the time hoping for a miracle which would put an abrupt end to my life.

***

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