The Girl and the Guardian


THE BOOK BEGINS:

The Narrator’s Preamble
This book tells of a remarkable girl named Shelley Arkle; how she came to be swept up into the latest, perhaps the final, struggle against an ancient foe. Thanks to her we are on the verge of a new Golden Age in this part of the galaxy – if we win, that is.
And if we lose? – Unthinkable horror.
What you are about to hear has to do with the true history of Earth and its part in the Alliance of Nine Worlds, now spoken of openly for the first time in thousands of years. Great things are afoot! For this is, in a sense, the story of Paradise lost and – we hope – Paradise regained.
Who am I, and how do I come to know these things? I am just a student of ancient history, turned storyteller (and fugitive) due to certain stupendous discoveries, which led to my meeting the Girl and becoming caught up in her quest.
And who is the Guardian? You must read the book to find that out.
Now, let my story be its own witness. Only remember, as the saying goes: ‘Truth is where we find it.’ So we must try to keep an open heart and mind. As I have been learning, things here on Earth are not quite as they seem...
If you do keep an open heart and mind, and believe what I am about to tell you, then you will be important, by your thoughts and actions, perhaps vitally important, in the Unfolding of the Events that are to come. And that is why Shelley has asked me to write this book.
A word on the presentation of this account: I cannot claim to be a rigorous historian, still less a novelist, but in the spirit of Aeden I have taken on the mantle of Narrator, and I hope that you will be at least entertained, and more importantly, inspired and stirred into action by thought and deed to affect the Unfolding on behalf of all you hold dear.
I have compiled short relevant extracts from the Enneads (the books of the chronicles, prophecies and epic poems of Aeden, divided in honour of the Nine Worlds into nine books or sections) and inserted these at hopefully appropriate places in the narrative. There are more in the appendix.
It was very hard to know what to include and what to leave out. We have, of course, an enormous new field of knowledge both ‘scientific’ and ‘magical’ to explore and come to terms with, but for present purposes I hope to give you an inkling of the vast – in fact interstellar and perhaps even intergalactic – territories, huge time-spans, and new realms of the mind and spirit, opened up by this contact. If at any point (such as in the Cave of Barachthad, where Shelley learns much about Aeden in a short time) the factual details overwhelm, you may safely skip that point; there is a lexicon and glossary at the back for quick reference later.
For the sake of clarity, I have taken some liberties with Shelley’s diary, which was entrusted to me in tragic circumstances.
Finally, with the help of a certain ‘Mindstone’ also entrusted to me, I have had experiences of many things written in the Ennead. It was as if I were present at the very events described. This has helped in the comprehension of some very deep matters, otherwise far beyond my limited capacities.

C. H.

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