I met John Doby right as I was beginning to put together the first season of “The Rise of King Asilas.” He had answered an ad I placed looking for voice actors. I asked him a lot of questions. Not because I was oblivious to the acting world, but because I wanted to find the perfect role for him to play on the show. As we talked, it became clear his natural personality could fit “Quintin Capone,” the king’s best friend and confidant. Later on, John and I became friends in real life. We often talked on the phone because he lived in New Jersey and I live in Baltimore. In time, we came up with the idea that he could put his filmmaking skills to good use by filming a short movie based on the audio drama. It was John who actually gave me the idea that I could make a short movie, and this basically changed my life.
My wife and I made a trip to New Jersey a couple of years ago. John and I had collaborated on a short script titled “The Ordo” and we would spend a few days filming it in Keyport. It’s a neat little town and my wife and I took a few extra days to go just up the road to NYC. It was great to spend some time with John (and Lynn Spencer). I felt we bonded a little more and we became better friends as a result. But the film “The Ordo” never actually made it to the final edit stage. John was working on, as he put it, “his life’s work.” He had been putting together a feature film titled “Again.” It’s a sci-fi thriller about a man who brings his dead daughter back to life. The project was years in the making and remains unfinished.
I believe John rather enjoyed playing the role of Quintin Capone because it allowed him to indulge in his crazy fantasies of power and excess. In that regard, John and I found many commonalities. We both had fun portraying the characters we played on the show, and were both amused by people who took the story way too seriously. Sometimes people went after us on Twitter and Reddit, criticizing us–as if we really were like the characters we played. We were two peas in a pod when it came to those who took the storyline of the show a little too far. In the end, I can honestly say there are many things we agreed on and things we didn’t agree on. But where we thought differently, we found reason to pause.
When I heard the news of John Doby’s passing, I was in total shock. My first reaction was to call Steve Fisher (Lord Jeremy Oreb). We both sat on the phone, struggling to process the news. It was a sobering moment for us both: realizing our own mortality, reliving the fun moments in the show, thinking about the years ahead. We both agreed we should never take a day for granted and promised we would speak more often. You never know when someone is snatched from your life. I never got a chance to say good bye to my friend, John. I just took it for granted that I would call him when I finished writing the scripts. But I didn’t get to.
My last communications with John was a text message. I was trying to get him to sign on to our Patreon so he could see my first short movie. I knew he had been busy filming his own movie. I knew this because I saw his postings on Facebook. He texted me back. His final words to me were “Awesome. Congrats! I’ll check it out.” But he wouldn’t get that chance. He was dead two days later.
If I could say one final thing to John, I would say, “I love you, brother.” But something inside me says he knew this. He knew this because whenever he needed a favor, whenever he was feelings down, whenever he was lost in his chaotic life, he would call me. I would be there for him. He knew he could count on me. He knew I was a true friend who never judged him, who never criticized him for his faults or flaws. I accepted him as he was. And I pray God will accept him in Heaven. “Goodbye, my brother. Until we meet again on the other side.”
Like his king, the military was the only life Jeremy Oreb ever wanted. Long before he became a Lord on the High Council and one of King Asilas’s closest confidants, he was an officer in the United States Army. Oreb would eventually become a General and even strategized with General Asilas during the Civil War. However, much of his personal life remained enigmatic until the king inquired about his past. To his surprise, it was revealed Oreb’s personal life was devoid of passionate love. Little information surfaced in terms of personal relationships. So, the king met with Oreb at the Grand Terrace late one evening to press him on details of his personal life. Finally, some juice trickled from the hardened Oreb.
“Sir, the truth is I did love a young woman once—when I was a captain stationed in Iraq during the recon missions throughout the Middle East, years before the Civil War. I met someone during that time. She was much younger than me.” Oreb spoke hesitantly, as if reliving the lost love. He sighed deeply saying, “Her name was Yasmine.”
“That’s a pretty name,” Asilas replied. “What became of Yasmine?”
Oreb paced a few steps and reached for the bottle of whiskey on the outdoor bar on the Grand Terrace. Sunset was approaching and he could feel Asilas’s mind tugging for specifics of his relationship with Yasmine. The king leaned back, relaxed, and puffed on his cigar. His eyes were like slits as he focused on every word Oreb spoke.
“It was a forbidden love affair, sir,” Oreb said nervously, taking a long swig of his whiskey. “Yasmine was arranged to be married to a second cousin. But I couldn’t help myself, and apparently she couldn’t either, so we fell in love. I wanted to be with her every chance I got. But I knew the more I was with her, the more dangerous the situation became. For her. For me.”
The king sat up straight, put his cigar down on his ash tray and folded his arms. “I take it Yasmine eventually married her second cousin?”
“Well, yes. Eventually she did.” Oreb said as he looked down at his feet.
“But that’s not half the story, is it Jeremy?” The king replied with a giant grin, tightening his folded arms.
“Well, no. At the same time I was seeing Yasmine, I was also seeing another woman named Hamida. She was a widow and lived on the other side of the city. I thought them being so far apart, there was literally no chance they would ever know each other.”
“And yet, they did.” The king said with a slight chuckle.
Oreb finished his drink and walked back over to the bar and poured himself some more. He stood at the bar with his back to the king for a few moments, looked up into the sky and sighed loudly. “My king, I was a fool. A fool in love. And fools do stupid things.”
“How did they find out about each other?” The king pressed, standing up to walk over to his friend, who appeared on the edge of lamenting.
“That will always be a mystery to me, sir. All I know is I really thought having Hamida would help me with the pain of letting Yasmine go. It wasn’t like I wanted to play two women. But I couldn’t have Yasmine. Her parents, the culture—they would never allow it. So, I had Hamida, who was a widow with two children, to crutch my eventual heartbreak. But it didn’t play out like I hoped.”
The king stepped closer to Oreb, who still had his back to him at the bar. Finally, standing next to Oreb, he took a glass and poured himself some whiskey. “A love triangle never ends well, Jeremy. Especially when the parties involved get caught off guard.”
“Hamida went to Yasmine’s house. It turned out she was the sister of the woman in charge of organizing Yasmine’s wedding. They were friends of the family somehow.”
“Now, that is a stroke of some serious bad luck.” The king acknowledged and poured more for himself and Oreb.
Oreb gulped a big shot and slammed the glass on the bar. He turned around and gazed into the murky gardens below. A deep, dark, red hue hung over the shadows covering the grounds of the garden. “Hamida went to the house and managed to get Yasmine alone. They told each other what they knew about me and Hamida confronted me about everything the next day when I went to see her.”
The king chuckled loudly, which made Oreb uncomfortable. “What exactly did she say to you?”
“She called me a pig. A lying, filthy American with no morals.” Oreb paused and sighed loudly again, placing his hands over his face. “I never felt so small in my life. She was right. I was a pig. A selfish pig—only concerned with my own feelings.”
The king stopped chuckling. “And a woman in an arranged marriage in that culture, risking her life to be with you, her sneaking around isn’t worth criticizing? Or a woman whose husband’s body was barely cold and buried running around with an American captain—none of that is selfish, right?”
“Sir, I know you want to spin this so I feel less dirty about what I did, but believe me I learned my lesson. That’s why I stayed single all this time since then. I don’t deserve love. I am a selfish pig!”
“You punish yourself for an indiscretion and those other women moved on with their lives? How is that remotely fair? You should have moved on with your life, Jeremy. You should have married someone and had a family. Instead, you carry around this giant stone tied around your neck. You are a human being. You made mistakes, but you move on. You grow from them and you learn to love again.” The king said as he put his hand on Oreb’s shoulder in an affectionate manner.
“I learned later that Yasmine’s virginity came into question. Her husband wanted to annul the marriage, but she got pregnant right away. I think the husband always suspected something wasn’t right and I heard he mistreated her long after. Then, her husband was murdered. I am not sure why he was killed.”
“So, that’s why you carry so much guilt around. You feel responsible for Yasmine’s misfortune.”
“Hamida, too. She was mostly an outcast and no man would marry her. She became bitter and mistreated her two sons until they were old enough to run away from her and join a terrorist group. Both were killed in subsequent battles with American and Iraqi troops.”
The king finally let go of Oreb’s shoulder. “You sure kept detailed tabs on these women.”
“There is so much pain I caused and so much guilt I carry inside me, sir. I could never let myself poison another person again. I feel I am cursed. That’s why I am such a devout Christian now. That’s why I will follow you to the end of the earth, sir. I believe in our cause with all my might. This is how I can repay my debt and undo the ills of my past.” Oreb lamented with tears in his eyes, which glistened in the brightening moon at the fall of night.
The king replied in a very solemn tone, “Jeremy, everyone has a destiny. Those women met their fate as it was written for them. You are not responsible for their fate. It would have happened even if you never met them.”
Oreb, barely able to speak, replied shakily, “But it was me, sir. I was the one in their lives. Their fate was triggered by my actions. And I accept that. I also accept what you say about destiny. Perhaps at the end of the day, their misfortunes were what triggered my fate as well.”
“It seems like it all is connected somehow, Jeremy. Everything happens for a reason. And the reason is likely not something we are meant to understand.” The king answered, walking back to his chair and sitting back down. He picked his cigar back up and lit it anew.
Oreb paused and walked to the edge of the terrace, placing his hands on its thick rails. “Well, sir, of this I think we are in total agreement—because there is so much I think we are incapable of remotely understanding. Except for one thing.”
“What’s that?” The king said as he puffed the cigar until a plume of smoke covered his face in the dark, which engulfed them both by that point.
Oreb watched Asilas puff his cigar. The orange cinder smoldered in front of the shadowy figure of his king. “These events in our lives compel us to do things we otherwise would never naturally do. We have been nudged by the universe to go the path we are on—whether we like it or not.”
“Asilas was involved in black ops government projects that crossbred humans with the alien Drax race to produce hybrid humanoids that could survive in the realm of the Drax and essentially be blood factories.”
Abigail Sierra was on track to become the most powerful Spartan in Asilas’s army. So powerful, in fact, that she could have been the one to overthrow Asilas himself. He figured this out through a series of dreams, omens, and probing the young girl’s mind over the course of her training as a Spartan soldier. He forgo his plans to make her the premier Knight Spartan and savior of humanity –even as he held out hope she would change her perspectives and align herself with spiritual philosophies he subscribed to. However, she never showed any interest in religion and was too headstrong to be convinced there was a divine being, a God, a creator, and overseer of humankind, and thus she limited herself in particular areas of training that involved heightened consciousness and awareness in the universe. Abigail never wanted to be a “believer” in God or divine creation, and no amount of discourse with the king would or could change her mind.
Asilas’s plans for Abigail began from her birth. Her conception was part of a secret hybrid project that began long before Asilas became king. As a General in the army and a high ranking member of the Ordo, a very secret and powerful group of elitists that participated in occult rituals, Asilas stood with members of the Ordo as representatives of mankind as they hashed out alliances with alien races and manipulated governments around the world. Asilas was involved in black ops government projects that crossbred humans with the alien Drax race to produce hybrid humanoids that could survive in the realm of the Drax and essentially be “blood factories.” The Drax never paid much mind to Asilas, as he was seen as merely a human slave. However, some in the hierarchy of the Ordo were not immune to his abilities or persuasion and, over time, he was able to use his secret abilities to smuggle hybrid babies out of underground laboratories dotted around the United States. Each hybrid baby had human and Drax DNA, but were essentially human. The hybrids would later become his Spartan army because they were immensely more powerful both physically and mentally than pure humans. Asilas had a partner in this scheme –his former army comrade Quintin Capone, who had become a high ranking administrator in the New York City Public School System and eventually became its Chancellor. Capone used his position in the school system to place these hybrid children in schools with foster parents who were paid a monthly stipend to care for them and raise them as their own children.
The Lemuria Connection
Abigail was different than any other Spartan soldier. Her Drax DNA did not come from a Drax warrior; it came from Lemuria, a princess of the Drax High Order. Lemuria was the most powerful Drax on planet earth. Her Drax Lords seldom ventured to earth and preferred to reside in other interdimensional domains –leaving Lemuria as the sole ruler in the human domain. Lemuria used her own DNA to create clones of a special Drax warrior named “Russel” and created an elite guard to protect her while she dwelled on earth after the death of the Drax prince who proceeded her. With her DNA in the Russel clones, she could not only control each one, she could sense everything they sensed –so long she was within 99 miles of any of them.
Fortunately for Asilas and Abigail, Lemuria and the Drax tended to stay in cold regions, such as the northern and southern poles ,and remained as far from human activity as possible. Asilas was assigned to oversee the Drax elite guard cloning project out of sheer chance and had access to Lemuria’s DNA samples. He smuggled one sample out and created one hybrid baby from it. That baby was Abigail.
This was one of the reasons Abigail’s limitations frustrated Asilas to the point of exhaustion. Although he knew she held the key to become the greatest Spartan warrior on the entire planet, he also knew her unwillingness to receive God into her heart made her vulnerable to corruption and essentially make her a danger to his reign. In his original plans, Abigail would have lead the American Alliance to battle with the Drax after all nations on earth aligned with America for the Great Revolution and ultimately free humanity from the grip of the Monster Group. The only way Abigail would be able to remain strong enough to resist all temptations was to have a strong faith in God. This was how Asilas figured she could combat Lemuria’s control once she met the Drax on the battlefield. However, since she never accepted the notion of God, she would have eventually been commandeered by Lemuria and turn against America.
Abigail was merely a teenager when she began her training as a Spartan. From the onset, she demonstrated superior power over all other cadets. Asilas and Capone kept a very close eye on her development and determined Abigail would mature to become powerful enough to defeat whole platoons of Drax warriors. Her lack of spiritual enlightenment, however, sealed her doom and Asilas used his Ace card to destroy the Canadian government instead. She would naturally become too dangerous to him. The king mourned Abigail when she died in Ottawa, not so much because of his love for the girl, but because a major play in his master plan had to be scrapped. He reluctantly sent Abigail to her death prematurely simply because he had no other choice. This disruption in his plans presented a significant challenge and left a major void for the king and America’s Great Revolution that would come to an explosive eventuality in mankind’s greatest test in Antarctica.
Listen to Abigail’s final moments in season one’s finale.
The Drax were the most dangerous entities on earth and had been the secret human masters for thousands of years. Although Asilas was well aware of the Drax long before he was chosen by them to be King of America, there was much about them and their hierarchical system he simply did not know. As a member of The Ordo, Asilas had access to some of the most incredibly fascinating and horrifying realities about a system designed to keep human beings occupied with trivial matters and never seek to heighten their awareness or consciousness. If humans ever realized the true power of their minds, the Drax would never have been able to control them. Asilas knew this and was able to mask his true heart and intentions as he raised to the highest levels of The Ordo.
Lemuria was a Princess of the Drax High Order. Her role was to oversee and manage the affairs of people and delegate their human surrogates to create chaos, engage in senseless wars, use the military complex to develop high-tech machines of various types as disruptive apparatuses to manipulate mankind –even using weather modification technologies to keep humans in a constant state of fear. Lemuria, for all her thorough inclinations, was not a military strategist. It was never necessary for her to be this. However, when facing King Asilas and the encroaching American Allied forces, Lemuria would not heed any warnings from her advisors –not even from the Devil himself. She wanted to resolve the matter of ridding the world of Asilas on her own and take her victory back to the Drax High Order and stake her rightful claim to the line of succession and realize her ultimate goal of becoming the Queen of the Drax.
In King Asilas’s Revolution, there was one thing that was not quite clear: Why were the Drax not attacking humans out in the open? Asilas had hoped the taking of Europe, England and Africa would surely make the Drax face the American military in an open battlefield. He needed this to happen so the entire world would finally align with him and America. However, Lemuria continued to order the Drax to stay out of sight, as she was also aware of Asilas’s goal of uniting the world in his campaign to fight them. She did not want to make that unification happen easily for Asilas and decided to wait until he would have no choice but to fight them on their terms. This would ultimately lead Asilas’s Revolution to the ends of the earth –to the ultimate showdown between man and beast in the most inhospitable place on the face of the planet…Antarctica.
Lemuria believed if she stood her ground, the Drax warriors would destroy the human army. If successful, she would be hailed as the greatest Drax Princess in modern times and would surely be in line to be the next ruler of the Drax race. Her Drax warriors were the most insidious and powerful creatures this world had ever known, and it would take all of Asilas’s best military strategies to have a chance to win his Revolution and free humanity from their ultimate masters. Lemuria would defy even her most trusted and battle tested generals in her desire to defeat the American King in an epic war that would change the course of humanity for a thousand years. However, Asilas would lead his army into the belly of the beast and orchestrate the most dramatic assault the Drax had ever encountered.
Perhaps two of the most compelling aspects of King Asilas’s power structure were his two Houses of Lords. Traditionally, Lords have always been men. However, in Asilas’s circle, the greatness and influence a person possessed was never based on their gender. The king’s two most influential and powerful people in the New Kingdom of America were Lords Jeremy Oreb and Ana Patricia Shelley. Asilas never made the distinction between a person’s gender in determining their overall abilities, and thus gave both men and women the title of “Lord.” The king was also not persuaded to overlook any person based on religion or lack thereof. He merely looked at a person’s character, their trustworthiness and, above all, their loyalty to his cause.
In old styled monarchies, Lords were essentially owners and overseers of land and territory. The Lords of Asilas’s High Council, however, had very specific functions in addition to territories they were responsible for. Generally, Lords allocated the duties of keeping checks and balances to their subordinates, who in turn allocated responsibilities to their appointees. Asilas did not want to meddle in the affairs and decisions his Lords made, as they pertained to overseeing the mechanisms of the kingdom and its governing apparatus. The king only intervened if reports revealed irregularities that undermined his goals and standards –of which his most trusted friend, Lord Quintin Capone was very hawkish about. This freed the king to focus on larger objectives while simultaneously granting enormous power to the Lords of his High Council.
The Lords of the High Council consisted of two Houses: The House of Morale and the House of Terra. The number of Lords (originally 8) of the two houses had to be increased (which happens in season 2), as some dramatic changes occurred in the Great War Asilas referred to as the “Revolution.” Lord Hannah Samuel was traveling from Bermuda to an American base in Northern Africa when the military plane she was traveling on was shot down by unknown forces. Her death enraged the king, who then sought to learn the country of origin of those responsible for her death. Lord Capone reminded the king that vengeance was God’s and that avenging Lord Samuel was not part of his ultimate plan. But soon, in another turn of events, Lord Jackson was kidnapped in Moscow, where he was meeting with his team designated to oversee the restructuring of Russia. Jackson was being held by members of the Monster Group in an undisclosed location and the king was regularly sent videos of Jackson being tortured in an attempt to exploit any sentiments he may have had –and to weaken his state of mind. Ultimately, the king reacted to these two tragedies (and the exponential expansion of the kingdom) by expanding his High Council. He replaced Lords Samuel and Jackson and added four more to the council, making it 12 Lords. They were:
House of Morale
Quintin Capone (the king’s most trusted friend, but a womanizer and alcoholic)
Jeremy Oreb (the king’s most trusted military mind and commander in the king’s absence, but had sadistic tendencies)
Mary Ruth (a widowed attorney, who was obedient, strong, and totally devoted to the king)
Mark Desta (an Evangelical Leader whose knowledge in spiritual matters made him a favored Lord and the king often visited him and his family at their home -until Asilas learned he had a secret love child)
Peter Hemingway (a fisherman for most of his life, Hemingway later earned a degree in philosophy and wrote many books -some of which were the king’s favorites)
Simon Kananaios (Asilas admired Simon’s zealous nature against the Monster Group, and helped the king taper his blood-thirst)
House of Terra
Ana Patricia Shelley (3rd in line for command in the king’s absence and Asilas’s trusted confidant -her bisexual lifestyle was never a factor for the king –in fact, the king lusted for her)
Traci Roberts (Oversaw advancement in science and technology from a medical perspective –and was overly fanatical in her work)
Vanessa Banks (Oversaw the financial state of the kingdom and was the mother of Asilas’s future daughter-in-law, Monica Banks)
Alberto Vargas (Oversaw Mexico and the entire Latin American region and was deeply trusted by Asilas -even though Vargas was a staunch atheist)
Andrew Richards (A very ambitious African-American lawyer who was once believed to be linked to the Chicago Underground Network terrorist group, but had since disavowed any relations with people having an anti-government agenda. He was also the half-brother of Peter Hemingway of the House of Morale)
Isabella Jones (Oversaw social media and communication affairs related to the king and the entire Kingdom -she was also the youngest member of the High Council at only 35 years old, and fiercely devoted to the king)
With the death of Lord Hannah Samuel, the gender balance was tipped in favor of men with a 7-5 tally. However, King Asilas was not one to look at such things and purposefully even the gap simply for the sake of doing so. It had to matter and it had to be for the betterment of the kingdom. As it was, the 5 women on the High Council were undoubtedly the most powerful women in the entire world during King Asilas’s reign –especially during the “Revolution.” It was believed by many that the war was being won largely because of Lord Ana Patricia Shelley and her brilliant, but ruthless strategies. The king loved her and often struggled with his desire to possess her romantically. She was his equal in more ways than anyone else on earth. Shelley was a true warrior, a military strategist, a deeply rational and philosophical thinker –which made Asilas long for private moments when they could explore each other’s minds. They were so much alike, Dr. Ezekiel warned Asilas of the explosiveness of their chemistry, but Asilas could hardly stand the notion.
All of the Lords of the High Council could express their own views on any matters pertaining to the upkeep of the kingdom and the success of the king’s mission. The High Council was never an echo chamber and often the Lords would disagree with each other and the king –and were often overruled. The point of the High Council was never to hold the king accountable or to override his decisions, but rather to give the greatest people (in the king’s opinion) in the kingdom a place to voice their ideas, concerns and objections to the king’s plans in order to make any adjustments when needed. They also were crucial in keeping the business of the kingdom in running order so the king could concentrate on other things –mainly destroying the Monster Group and preparing the world for the inevitable war with the reptilian race known as the “Drax.” The ultimate showdown with the true enemy of mankind would undoubtedly take all the best minds working together to achieve victory. And the best minds were never determined by gender or anything else. In fact, the more King Asilas contemplated the rules of traditional monarchies, the more he wanted to do things completely opposite of how they functioned. Asilas hated the royals of the world and probably enjoyed having women “Lords” to further jab at their traditions, protocols and history. For all of the king’s faults in his demeanor and tyrannical methods, the people of the kingdom loved him –and the Lords of his High Council were loyal to him to the death.