Abigail’s Destiny

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King Asilas was admired and adored by more Americans than any leader before him. Some attributed this to the legend of being one of the strongest men that ever lived. He was also very handsome, well dressed, dark and tall with a touch of gray. His eyes would set people’s souls ablaze with a stare that engulfed even the most formidable of his enemies. This was not hyperbole. Asilas’s tenacity coalescing with his somatic fortitude was intoxicating. His grip was said to have been so strong, he broke the hands of a dozen men, most of them hardened soldiers. Others credited his military and political genius on the world stage for his widespread popularity. He had an uncanny ability to read his allies and foes with such precision, he gained the reputation of being a mind reader. Thus, many world leaders were reluctant to meet with him in person. Rumors abound that Asilas was able to control other monarchs just shortly after meeting with them. For this and many other reasons, Asilas was never invited to global summits, even though America was the most powerful nation on the face of the planet. It was no secret, and most people agreed, Asilas was immensely feared by the world at large.

So then, how could it be that a small-framed, young Puerto Rican girl named Abigail Sierra would have so much influence over the most powerful man alive? The initial and primitive speculations irresistibly point to lustful obsession. But Asilas and Abigail’s relationship had strictly been platonic. In examining how this very young girl could possibly hold so much relevance to a powerful king, one needs to listen attentively to the show for clues. Scattered throughout several episodes, we are given some traces as to the origins of this most unusual pair and explore the fragments to piece together a picture of what they were and what they weren’t. Our first indication that there was a history comes in episode 2, where Quintin Capone and Asilas discuss Abigail outside the Grand Terrace of the Grand Castle in New Eden. Capone tried to convince Asilas to be honest with the queen about Abigail, stating there would be nothing to worry about because “it isn’t anything dirty.” Asilas dropped another clue later in that same conversation insisting, other than himself and Capone, the only other person that “knows the truth” was Abigail’s mother, who had already passed away. Asilas insinuated the “others” that know the truth might not even be human. Which begs the question: If the others that “know the truth about Abigail” aren’t human, then what are they? And why would non-humans have any interest in Abigail and her connection to Asilas? These details are not revealed until episode 10 in season 1.

Up until episode 8, Abigail is portrayed as an innocent, naïve young woman, oblivious to anything the king is doing. At least, that is how she carried herself in her conversations with the king. However, in episode 2, both Dr. Ezekiel and Queen Rebekah allude to Abigail presenting a danger to the king. The queen even says blatantly to Asilas, “She will be your downfall.” But why? And how? It isn’t until episode 8 that we begin to see the other side of Abigail. In a twisted, bizarre chain of events, Abigail tells the king she was assaulted by a fellow Spartan named Nabal. Asilas isolated this young man, tortured him and then shot him (supposedly). But before shooting Nabal, he told the king he and Abigail were role playing and his roughness was at her request. When pressed about why she would do this, Nabal said while begging for his life, “I swear this was all part of Abigail’s plan!” Before Nabal could elaborate on the details of her “plan,” Asilas allegedly shot him.

We are certain about a few things. King Asilas was clearly interested in Abigail’s military progress and her role as a Spartan. Her development was clearly a part of Asilas’s master plan because Capone said in episode 7, much to the delight of the king, that Abigail was named First Captain and was “maturing right on schedule.” Right on schedule for what exactly? Capone does not say anything more about it after that. Later in episode 7, Abigail asked Asilas if he was in love with her, but he did not answer her. However, in episode 10, Asilas finally admitted he did love Abigail, but “in the way a father loves his children.” Hearing this, Abigail was crushed and shaken to her core as Asilas told her the truth about who she really was and why she was important -not just to Asilas, but evidently to the entire human race.

Abigail Sierra became the most powerful Spartan of all, even though it is revealed all Spartans were offspring of a ghoulish crossbreeding experiment between humans and a race of reptilians known as the Drax. Asilas told Abigail the Drax were from another world and essentially enslaved humans and created hybrids to keep as livestock for their purposes. However, there were limitations to their hybrids and they have to keep crossbreeding with humans continuously to restock their supply. Asilas and a group of humans were given the responsibility to oversee this ongoing project and managed to smuggle some of the “children” out and placed them with people to be raised as normal human children.

It isn’t mentioned in the audio drama show, but rather in the novel that Abigail’s true mother was a queen Drax, known as the “White Queen.” Of the White Queen’s offspring, Asilas only managed to smuggle one baby out of an underground base. Asilas entrusted his friend Quintin Capone, who served with Asilas in the Army until he was discharged after suffering an injury to his eyes. At the time, Capone had just become an administrator for New York City Public Schools. Capone brought the baby to a Puerto Rican woman named Carmen Sierra, who was one of Capone’s lovers at the time, and asked her to raise the child as her own. Carmen took the baby to Puerto Rico, as instructed by Capone, and was given a monthly stipend to help her financially to raise the child. Carmen Sierra was once an Army officer under Asilas Roman and Asilas visited her once in Puerto Rico to see the baby. At their only visit, Carmen told Asilas she named the baby Abigail Sierra. Every year after that, Capone was entrusted to check on Abigail’s  progress, and he was responsible for making sure no harm ever came to her.

Then, America was entangled in its civil war, and Puerto Rico became overrun by ruthless gangs. Carmen made a desperate call to Quintin Capone as the island plunged into chaos and told him she was vulnerable and afraid someone who kidnap Abigail, who was only 12 at the time. Capone notified Asilas of the situation, even though the country was in the middle of an epic separation of states. Asilas sent Capone with a special ops team to Puerto Rico to find and secure Abigail. By the time Capone arrived on the island, Carmen had been murdered. He discovered Abigail was somehow able to fend off the assailants and hide until help arrived. She was sent to an Army base where she stayed until the end of the war. After Asilas became king, one of his first decrees was to make Puerto Rico a state of the New Kingdom of America. Abigail was placed with a foster family and later began high school. The next time Asilas saw Abigail was in a choreographed visit to her school. Abigail believed it was a chance meeting, but Asilas had anticipated their interaction, which was the moment he was waiting for. Abigail astounded him with her fierce words and heightened awareness. Those who witnessed their exchange watched in astonishment as young Abigail played a mind code game with the king that, unbeknownst to anyone but Asilas and Capone, set her fiery destiny into motion in a single moment.

 

The Importance of Quintin Capone

King Asilas is not a man who needs reassurances about the decisions he makes. He is the quintessential leader and does not rest until he completes his mission, and reflects on the costs once his objective is achieved. Which has mustered curiosity by some as to why Quintin Capone is such an important figure in Asilas’s inner circle. The easiest analogy to use when evaluating the situation and the people surrounding the king is the classic game of chess. The king has two bishops, two knights, two rooks, a queen, and two lines of pawns. By episode 4, we already know his queen and who his two bishops are: Quintin Capone and Dr. Ezekiel. These men give the king guidance and he trusts their points of view. Minister Jeremy Oreb falls into the category of a knight because Asilas sends him to meet combatants, terrorists, domestic rebels and other threats with the might of his guns.  President Jackson is a rook because he proves to be valuable to the king in terms of public opinion. He also maintains ties to the monster group. We also know who some of his pawns are: Abigail Sierra and Rachel Canaan, but Rachel was likely sacrificed in episode 4. When you look at the characters in the show through this lens, you begin to see how their maneuvering is determined. Each move is calculated with another anticipated by the king.

But how did Quintin Capone, a school chancellor for New York City Public Schools during the second civil war, become the most powerful “right-hand man” of the New Kingdom? The show does not give any clues as to how Capone became so trusted by Asilas. The novel does explain this in detail. Capone was once in the Army and served alongside of Asilas in their early years. Asilas ascended in rank and Capone left the Army due to an injury. They remained friends and stayed in touch over the years. To sum it up, during the war, the United States was in utter chaos -with battlefronts scattered across the entire country. The one place where the civil war was not felt so disruptively was New York City. School children continued to go to school and life was as normal as it could have been during such a tumultuous time. The establishment of Marshall Law at the conclusion of the war by General Asilas enabled school systems to be community hubs for dissemination of information, instructions, basic first aid, and a plethora of social services so people would not have to venture far from their homes during the transitionary period. In a large city like New York, this emergency system kept the enormous population from plunging into utter turmoil. Capone, along with the mayor, reassured everyone life can continue as normal as long as they followed the instructions given by Washington and General Asilas. While cities like Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles experienced great upheaval by a restless and paranoid population, New York was largely controlled and managed to stay peaceful during the government transition period. This decorum by New Yorkers on such a vast scale did not go unnoticed by Capone’s old friend, General Asilas.

When Asilas became king, the first person he asked to join his circle was Quintin Capone. For most, he was an enigmatic figure, but New Yorkers and people in the education field on the east coast knew Capone quite well. He was feared and despised by some, but respected by all. No one wished to cross him professionally or personally. So, to those who knew Capone, they were not nearly surprised to learn he would sit at the right hand of the king. The two men were very like-minded and always seemed to accomplish whatever they put their minds to. Their love and admiration for one another is evident in the way they converse. Capone, a brilliant man in his own right, was too smart to question the king when he knew his mind was made up. And whenever he spoke in contrast to the king’s ideas, he knew it to be wise to bow figuratively and literally. However, Asilas had no siblings and was not very close to many in his family since his days in the Army and Capone became his surrogate brother. He loved Capone for the figurative “brother” he was to him. But in the game of chess, Capone was his bishop and would sacrifice him only if absolutely necessary and only if he knew it would help him win the game.

The Homeland Defender’s Program

In Episode 7, Lord Joshua Jackson (the last president of the United States) enters King Asilas’s inner circle as a trusted member of the High Council. Lord Jackson references The Homeland Defenders Program when it is surmised people who’ve had the “fog lifted” from them engage in violent behavior and exhibit super human strengths. Jackson states certain measures should be limited to only those who need to have their “blood-thirst” quenched. But why exactly do people become “bloodthirsty” in the first place? No information or details about this program is discussed or revealed on the show, but it is clearly important enough to be a consideration as a counteraction of one of the most dangerous exploitations of human inhibitors on the planet.

What is alluded to by King Asilas and others is that the poison filter (code name Trishul -not mentioned in episode 7) removes inhibitors of the human brain and allows the brain’s capacity to be utilized to a much higher degree than normal. This increase in brain capacity results in humans becoming more powerful and seemingly more intelligent -drawing from some ancient knowledge source one struggles to interpret and apply in the modern world. Details of this reaction is discussed further in episode 8. Subjects acquire the ability to move objects with their minds and can communicate telepathically. These incredibly potent capabilities cause people to react violently when ancient knowledge surfaces and they realize their existence has essentially amounted to servitude.

In the early, experimental stages of the poison filter, Minister Oreb and his team of military scientists devised a contingency plan in case subjects became too powerful and violent to be contained. They discovered by turning their machine on and off at strategic times, they could tell who in their population of subjects would be prone to uncontrollable violence and super human strength, especially levitation and moving heavy objects with their minds. They called these individuals “Destroyers.” The Destroyers could be isolated and placed in special quarantine, where they could be studied further.

By sheer chance, one of their test subjects was a Satanist. Oreb and his team witnessed a group of Destroyers corner the Satanist and collectively decimated him by levitating him high up in the air and ripping his body apart while suspended in the air and then causing the pieces to go ablaze, incinerating him in midair. Then, they all levitated, encircling the ashes in a whirlwind. Later on, Oreb interviewed some of the subjects who remembered what they had done and asked them why they chose to kill one in their group the way they did. They all had the same answer; citing they just knew that individual was evil and partly responsible for their enslavement. They also revealed they simply could not stop themselves in this blood-thirst to eradicate anything touched by Satan.

Oreb and his team attempted to train these Destroyers as black op soldiers, but all endeavors to do so ended in failure. Oreb first took his wild ideas to turn these Destroyers into extensions of the military to the king, but Asilas understood the stark danger in releasing these people into the general public . There was simply no way of hindering them if they were out in the open. King Asilas instructed Oreb and his team to report only to him and not give details of their observations to anyone, not even other members of the High Council. Asilas wanted only a limited number of people in his inner circle to know the details of the Destroyers -still suspicious of a possible mole in his midst. So, they created the “Homeland Defender’s Program” as a means to code what they plan to do when they lift the fog on Americans.

King Asilas, Minister Oreb and Lord Roberts were the only members of the High Council who knew all the details of the Homeland Defender’s Program. Jackson mentioning it and Capone commenting on it was merely a way for King Asilas to make sure they were not the moles. After this test was completed, Asilas knew he could trust Jackson and Capone wholeheartedly. Originally, they wanted to test the poison filter on places like Las Vegas, a place surrounded by a desert in order to control the masses in case they needed to quarantine an entire city. But this idea was too risky. Instead, they used large underground bases and secret underground cities (Asilas only learned about these “cities” once he became king) to place and test the groups of Destroyers. Then, they would use the poison filter in increments in order to locate those individuals who could not be easily controlled and who would exhibit super human strength. What essentially amounted to private citizens suddenly being placed under arrest without breaking any laws would have created a public relations nightmare for the king. So, instead, he found creative ways to have these individuals register in the Homeland Defender’s Program. They received great benefits for their registration, but only under the stipulation they would have to report to undisclosed locations in times of a national emergency. This is how King Asilas was able to safeguard the quarantine of millions of Americans in the event the fog is lifted on citizens of the New Kingdom of America. The underground cities dotted across the kingdom were enormous and intricately connected through an elaborate tunnel system. Entire underground metropolitans (some as large as Houston) with hundred of thousands of people existed under everyone’s feet without ever even knowing it. So, Asilas realized it would be simpler to test people who were already underground and gave Lords Oreb and Roberts complete authority to carry out the tests on populations of people who were miles underground before trying it on people on the surface. Asilas also gave Lord Capone authority in this regard, as he relieved Oreb of is obligations with testing alongside Lord Roberts to complete the orchestrated actions pertaining to the occupation of Mexico.

The High Council was well aware of the program and knew eventually there would be millions of names on the list. They also knew the only thing that would keep them controlled long enough for their effects to wear off was the collective objective of destroying Satanists. King Asilas felt it was safe to let the High Council know the nuts and bolts of the program, but kept most of the minute details with Oreb and Roberts. The poison filter (Trishul) was such a powerful and useful weapon, King Asilas would one day became the most powerful man in the entire world because of it. The Monster Group became increasingly aware of Asilas’s weapon, but were not able to have someone close enough to the king to learn all the intricate details. For this reason, they had no choice but to keep a certain distance and hope Asilas would not send one of his own Destroyer infiltrators into their midst. However, their corner was shrinking and Asilas continued to close in on the Monster Group both on the surface and underground. Both the Monsters and Asilas proceeded with their respective plans and counter plans knowing the only resolve would be the complete annihilation of their opposition. Each were certain they would prevail.

Season 1 Wrap-Up

While the show went through many twists and turns in the writing process, fans might be surprised to learn that some of those twists had a lot to do with variables in the real world. For example, many of the cast members are public school teachers in Baltimore City. We (meaning myself as the writer and main actor and my colleagues) have tried very hard to make our schedules flexible so we could record after a long day of dealing with middle school students. Sometimes, these schedules wouldn’t work and the availability (or lack thereof) of some of the actors forced me to re-write parts of the storyline all together -sometimes midway in the production of an episode. But, of course, I’m a well seasoned writer and these bumps actually made me think of more creative ways to make the story stay in rhythm.

But now that Season 1 is complete, I can honestly say much was learned from both the writing aspect and the production. Season 1 was way over budget and I blame my lack of experience in the production side of things for this. Next season, there will be less of a need to spend so much money on things I can do myself. Plus the publishing company that finances this show has put a cap on the budget for next season. Anyway, as the season progressed, there was more of a conscientious effort to streamline the production for a finer quality sound. The equipment wasn’t any different; the finesse in the production improved.

I’m certain Season 2 will be much more action packed and intense because there is so much conflict that needs to be resolved. Plus, I will spend a great deal of time over the summer planning the next two seasons and get a jump start on the production long before the next school year begins. You see, we can’t do Season 2 right now because the school year is about to end and we (meaning most of the cast) won’t have access to everything needed to produce the show. We want to preserve the environment as much as possible so when September rolls around, it’ll be like Season 1 -only we’ll be better prepared and more experienced. But like every school year, teachers move around and I am praying everyone stays at the same school when the fall session begins. If not, that would present a little problem in accessibility to some of the characters and thus I’ll have to work around that. Not to mention there will be more students who will want to be part of the show (as many have expressed great interest) and that will also be something to consider. The more staff and students participate, the cheaper the production because it’s essentially an after school project and there’s less money involved -just what’s spent on pizza and sound effects.

I don’t want fans to think I’m being cheap. On the contrary, the less money spent on actors, the more can be spent on the production -and that’s really what’s at the heart of this project. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be paid actors in the show -of course there will be. In spite of having a company finance the show, the truth is it isn’t a very large company and money is tight. Professionals and semi-professionals will likely join our cast because let’s face it -when you pay for an actor, you generally get good stuff. I literally had to shelve characters on the show because the (free) actors were so bad. Anyway, the storyline for Season 2 is quite ambitious, so there will be many late nights editing and fine-tuning every second and every sound effect. That’s really where my focus will be on. Oh yeah, and I’ll be finishing the novel while all of this is going on.

~JV Torres

Nabal: Wanted Dead or Alive

It tingled warm and strange, causing a sudden, faint shock down his spine which made the Spartan open his eyes and gasp. He realized a finger had been probing his brain and his body jerked to the pulse of his heart as a bloody hand pulled away and into view. It was King Asilas and he was looking closely at something. The Spartan slowed his rhythmic convulsions to a still.

Holding the small, pebble-like object between his index finger and thumb, the king asked the Spartan, “Do you know what this is?”

“I-I’m not sure.” He replied.

He held the tiny object up to the lights overhead and examined it closer as streams of blood ran down the backside of the king’s forearm. “It’s a bullet.” Asilas lowered it close to the Spartan’s face. “Do you see that it’s a bullet?”

“Yes. I see now, my king. It is indeed a bullet.” The Spartan spoke lucidly to the king’s delight. He was still breathing heavily, but otherwise appeared to be aware of everything around him. The Spartan moved his eyes throughout the room and back towards the king’s drilling stare.

“And do you know your name, Spartan?” The king leaned to the side of the Spartan’s head, evidently studying his wound.

“Yes, Your Majesty. I am Nabal…”

The Trishul: King Asilas’s Super Weapon

 

King Asilas named his most powerful weapon the Trishul after the trident once believed to be wielded by the Hindu god Shiva. Asilas and Lord Oreb originally called this weapon  the “poison filter,” which was used to simply block mysterious frequencies that contained Satanic, subliminal messages from various forms of media. These frequencies manipulated the population into accepting evil and corruption as normal and acceptable behavior. Oreb and a team of scientists discovered with tweaking the machine and making some modifications, they could not only block certain frequencies, but also reverse the effects of long term exposure to many other previously unknown frequencies which inhibited the human brain from working at full capacity. The poison filter’s original design had changed from a one-prong device to a much larger three-prong machine about the size of a small car. It could be fitted on a stealth chinook, which was Asilas’s vehicle of choice, tanks, stealth bombers, off-road vehicles and ships. However, there was only one main Trishul, and it was made to be mounted on a variety of vehicles and be deployed at a moment’s notice.

 

The Trishul’s range was limited to an area over land or sea and could only affect people within the radius of its transmissions. It worked much like a radio transmitter, emitting frequencies which countered other specific frequencies, allowing only natural emissions to penetrate into the human body. The Trishul worked within a 40 mile radius, like any normal radio station transmission. People could only escape this range of the Trishul in large, fortified buildings or even underground bunkers. Even if some of the wealthy and powerful managed to shield themselves from the Trishul’s emissions, millions of people in the general population could not. Therefore, when people had their “fog lifted,” they gained a heightened awareness of everything around them and used a peculiar telepathic ability to locate Satanists, who emit a specific frequency unique to only worshippers of the devil. For inexplicable reasons, people who had their fog lifted, conjured an innate urge to destroy Satanists completely.

 

The most frightening effects of the Trishul occurred days after the fog was lifted. People initially engaged in irresistible celebrations, dancing, singing and overall elation at their newfound understanding of the world around them. Lords Oreb and Roberts discovered in this initial “happy stage” people’s production of natural endorphins spiked, as well as other biological chemicals which caused people to literally whirl in endless carousing. However, once the elations subsided, the sinister phase of the Trishul’s effects came to light. The people changed their focus to finding those who emitted frequencies of Satanists. Some scientists on Oreb’s team discovered these subtle frequencies hidden within other body frequencies which were later isolated to further single out those with evil intentions. Once the people with these frequencies were found, even amongst themselves, they murdered them in the most horrific ways imaginable. From levitating them in the air and making them drop to their deaths, to physically ripping their arms and legs off, decapitation, hacking them to pieces, tearing their skin off with their bare hands and throwing them against walls, and smashing them to a pulp.

 

King Asilas instructed Lords Oreb and Roberts to manufacture smaller versions of the Trishul that could be carried in a Spartan’s backpack. These smaller units were used when Spartans secretly entered the capitals of small countries in Latin America like Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Ecuador, Suriname, French Guiana, Paraguay, Uruguay, and the Caribbean Islands. The larger countries were places for Oreb and the main Trishul unit. Strategically placing themselves at the center of the capitals, the elite Spartan teams changed their physical appearances to mimic the local people. Once in a secured location, they began transmitting the frequencies from their small Trishuls. Spartans were not effected by the Trishul themselves because they were implanted with nano devices which counteracted the frequencies. Every person within a 5 mile radius of the capital were effected and the Spartans remained in their places for three days before moving on to other capitals in other countries. What resulted were catastrophic revolts within every country in Central and South America until no governments were stable enough to contain the social unrest that ensued. America’s military forces arrived at these strategic times, commandeering the nation’s armies and reestablished order and announcing to all of its citizens that they were now a part of the New Kingdom of America.

 

While the Trishul’s main function had been blocking frequencies and unleashing long dormant brain capacity, there was one final facet: the effects of suggestibility. Once the effects of exposure to the Trishul’s direct transmissions subsided, for a short period of time, people became easily swayed to the king’s commands. Of course, the only person who truly knew the code on how to circumvent and exploit this consequence of the Trishul was King Asilas himself, and he told absolutely no one about it. In fact, when Oreb and the others discovered the anomaly that would ultimately lead them to this property of the Trishul, King Asilas told them all to ignore it and concentrate on other matters, squashing further investigation into it and protecting its secret.

 

However, when the Chinese leader, President Wei, and his team of scientists, discovered an antidote for the effects of the Trishul, this presented an enormous problem for the king. It meant he would have to allow Lords Oreb and Roberts to learn of the mysterious suggestibility effects of the Trishul’s use. In order to keep the Chines from completely derailing King Asilas’s plans of world conquest, he allowed Lords Oreb and Roberts, and a very select team of the New Kingdom’s top scientists, Dr. Paul Gentile and Dr. Miriam Moses, to counteract the effects of the Chinese antidote. To do this, the Americans would first need to capture a Chinese soldier or someone who had been injected with the antidote, since it was unlikely the Chinese would ever sell it -in spite of President Wei’s threats to do so. For this, King Asilas and his High Council devised a plan to corner the Chinese and trick them to inject their soldiers with the antidote -in anticipation of an attack using the Trishul- and capturing one of them to study. Only Lords Oreb and Roberts knew the truth about why this plan would be put into motion, keeping all of the other members of the High Council in the dark about the mock attack. America had to deliberately pick a fight with its only significant ally.