The Inspector Dalton Files: Transition | Otherworld | Lightville | Greekland

Greekland Image

Title: Greekland

Series: The Inspector Dalton Files

Book #: 3

Publisher: Quantum Edge Publishing

Published: October 2, 2021

Formats:

eBook

GREEKLAND

Book 3 of The Inspector Dalton Files

Even the gods need help sometimes.

Zeus, a high-ranking member of the Imperium, has asked Inspector Dalton Kingston, Earth Ward, for help. As the Imperium, a group of legendary characters and old gods from many pantheons, is a member of the Earth Ward, Dalton and team agree.

The problem is Ares, who is on probation, has skipped out to a parallel Earth. No one knows where he is over there. An Earth Ward response team that was sent over never returned. Another issue is that the parallel Earth is similar to the 1950s era. The team will need to be careful not to cause any changes.

If Ares is not returned, it will set a dangerous precedent that jumping to a parallel Earth is a valid option to escape Earth Ward justice. Dalton will show why he has been successful in tracking down fugitives by utilizing one of his strongest attributes—persistence.


Read the sample below!


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Series Note

This book covers a different type of case than the one the team normally takes. The Greek pantheon, and the Imperium by extension, are covered in some detail. Hercules joins the team for this one. This book also introduces some upgrades to the team's equipment.

SAMPLE

Chapter One

Trekking through a forest at night to find a cult was not how Inspector Dalton Kingston, Earth Ward, expected to spend his Saturday evening. When his good friend Dr. Albert Snowden requested his help, it was given without hesitation. It was September 9, 2013, 11:00 p.m., just twenty days after the Lightville case.

The current short mission involved extracting one of Dr. Snowden’s colleagues, Dwayne Maddington, a cultist. Dwayne and his cult had recently become wisened—humans who knew of the existence of nonhumans. Normally that would not be an issue, but there was a protocol for that if the conversion was detected.

It did not help that a nonhuman had been killed in the cult’s pursuit of knowledge. A local band of Blooded vampires had encircled the cult’s camp and would have descended on it had Dalton not brought several Earth Ward response teams to keep them at bay. All that was left was to talk to the cult.

A dirt path with tire tracks led to the camp. Dalton had considered dropping in from the air via a stealthed ship or using his camouflage mode to sneak in, but he did not want them to scatter and be harder to track down. Instead, he had placed the Earth Ward response teams in a large circular perimeter to prevent escape. They also served as a barrier against the Blooded vampires, who were eager to exact revenge.

Dr. Snowden wore his powerful white-and-blue advanced survival suit, courtesy of Evaran. With his Personal Support Device, or PSD, in the shape of a thick pen that could shoot stun, mist, heat, and repulsion beams, he could easily handle himself. His fair skin, balding head with two gray tufts, and glasses gave him a scholarly appearance.

Like Dalton, Dr. Snowden had cosmic energy, but he also had cosmic-energy-infused nanobots in him. Emily Snowden, his niece, had accompanied Dalton on a previous case with a necromancer, but she was currently visiting her boyfriend in another timeline. It had been two weeks since Dr. Snowden and Emily returned after dealing with some horrific beings from outside the universe.

Dalton had brought the team. This would be a good learning experience for them. Rick Westmoreland had on his executioner suit, but it probably would not be needed. Valerie Simmons was on high alert, mainly due to the Blooded vampire presence. Although she was a vampire too, her strain had issues with the Blooded over the last century. At the time, her strain was stronger, but now she was the last one alive. The tables had been turned.

Todd Armani walked next to Dalton and Dr. Snowden. Todd was Dalton’s right-hand man and also a deputy inspector. This would be good for him to learn the diplomatic side of things and how to approach a situation. It had been his idea to bring light rods that could be stuck into the ground. When the team entered the gathering area, they could plant the rods to show the cultists they were surrounded.

Brad Washington carried Gizmo in his backpack and had his stickbots on his belt. Although his ability to talk to technology was powerful, it was less so in a forest. It did help when the group had run into two cult guards in red robes. Brad had disabled their phones, so it was an easy stun-and-remove situation. Evot walked next to him in her human form while her other servbot was a crow providing aerial surveillance.

“I really appreciate you helping me out,” said Dr. Snowden, glancing at Dalton.

Dalton nodded. “Not a problem. Let’s hope Dwayne and the cult members are in a good state of mind.”

After fifteen minutes, they approached a clearing that had been used as a parking lot.

Dalton circled a finger in the air. “All right. Just like we planned. Form a perimeter outside the group’s line of sight, and Dr. Snowden and I will approach. After we begin talking, advance so you’re seen, and place your light rod into the ground.”

“I have detected weapons on the cultists,” said Evot.

Dr. Snowden smiled. “I think we got that covered.”

She high-fived him.

Dalton chuckled. That was something V, an AI whom Dr. Snowden traveled with and who also was Evot’s mentor, usually did.

The team dispersed.

“You ready?” asked Dalton.

“As always,” said Dr. Snowden.

Dalton could sense Dr. Snowden’s calm cosmic energy. Given all he had seen while traveling with Evaran, this did not rank as a serious threat. However, Dr. Snowden had Evaran, Emily, and V on those trips. With Emily in another timeline and Evaran and V out and about somewhere in space and time, Dalton was the natural choice to assist. He had no problem with that, and he had a strong bond with Dr. Snowden. He was one of the first faces Dalton had seen when being rescued long ago.

They weaved through trucks and approached a large bonfire. Foldable chairs were spread around the fire, and a table with refreshments sat to the right.

Dalton counted twenty-two cultists, and Evot had not detected anyone outside the bonfire. It seemed the cult was having a discussion about next steps.

He advanced on the group with his badge wallet out. “I’m Inspector Dalton Kingston, Earth Ward. You all need to listen to me.”

The cultists fell silent. Some reached for their weapons resting nearby.

Dalton wagged a finger. “I wouldn’t do that. This area is surrounded. I only want to talk. Will Dwayne Maddington please stand?”

The rest of the team stepped forward and planted their light rods into the ground, forming a square perimeter. The cultists murmured among themselves.

Dwayne stood. “What’s this about?” He paused. “Albert? What’s going on?”

“I’m saving you,” said Dr. Snowden. He pointed around the group. “You’re all wisened now. That means you know of nonhumans.”

“So you believe they exist as well!” said Dwayne.

Dr. Snowden pointed at Valerie. “Of course I do. She’s a vampire.”

Valerie hissed and bared her fangs.

Some of the cultists fell out of their chairs but got back in them.

Dr. Snowden sighed. “I followed this group’s website, your blogging in particular, Dwayne. You were right about a lot of it, but you crossed a line. Killing a vampire and draining its blood to acquire its abilities…that’s a problem.”

“You know about that? But I didn’t kill her. I merely hypothesized that the blood of a vampire could grant abilities and long life,” said Dwayne.

Dr. Snowden shook his head. “And this group followed through with that. Therein lies the problem.”

Dalton raised a finger. “The vampire you killed was known as Sherry. She was a valued member of the Red Dawn, the local Blooded vampire clan. They’re about…oh, two hundred strong or so. There are about one hundred of them surrounding this camp.”

“What?” asked Dwayne.

“Don’t worry. I’ve established a perimeter to keep them out. Otherwise…you’d all be feasted upon by now. Even if we left now, they’d hunt you all down and not only kill you but also your families.”

“What can we do?” asked one of the cultists.

“I’ve already made an agreement with the Red Dawn,” said Dalton. “Sherry’s killers will serve time in an Earth Ward prison. Everyone else will be taken to the WildHaven Institute to learn about the nonhuman world and the protocols you need to observe. If you decide to try to shirk that responsibility, the Earth Ward can’t protect you, and you’ll be at the mercy of the Red Dawn.”

Dwayne frowned. “Why do they hide in the shadows? This could have all been avoided if they made themselves known.”

“No,” said Dr. Snowden. “Humans as a group don’t handle change exceptionally well. Learning that vampires, werewolves, aliens, and witches are real would cause a worldwide panic.”

“Wait…werewolves are real? Aliens too? What?”

“Oh, and so much more.”

Dalton contacted the Earth Ward extraction team. “You’re a go.” He motioned around the group. “An Earth Ward extraction team is on its way. Everyone will go to the WildHaven Institute for now. You can contact your loved ones there, and if you want them to come, they can. We’ll help with that. As for those who actually killed Sherry—and, yes, we know who you are—you will face justice. Your vehicles will be impounded, and they will be sent to WildHaven. That’ll be your new home for the next six months. Okay, relax until then.”

Two cultists tried to run.

Dr. Snowden pulled out his PSD and hit both with stun beams.

Another man pulled his weapon and fired at Dalton, who blocked the shot with his kinetic energy shielding.

Todd stunned the attacker.

“Anyone else not want to relax?” asked Dalton.

The cultists looked around, then stood and tore off their robes. Some went to talk to Valerie, while a small group encircled Todd and Rick. A few talked with Brad and Evot.

Dwayne approached Dalton and Dr. Snowden. “I…I can’t believe this is happening. You’ve known about this all along, Albert?”

“I have, and I’m an evolved human, like Dalton,” said Dr. Snowden.

“Evolved how? And what was that beam thing?”

“I have nanobots inside me and wield advanced technology. The stun beam came from my Personal Support Device, or PSD as I call it. Dalton has super cells and an advanced suit.”

Dwayne examined Dalton. “Looks like a different type of suit, but what’s so advanced about it other than it has some type of shielding?”

Dalton changed to Scoutspectre mode.

“Whoa! That’s impressive.”

Dalton shifted back to his official outfit. He pointed at Rick, then Brad. “He’s an enhanced human, and Brad is Wildborn. He can talk to technology, which is why your phones don’t work right now.” He gestured at Evot. “She’s an AI who can control two nanoswarms, with one in human form now.”

Dwayne took a deep breath. “There is so much to learn.”

Dr. Snowden slapped him on the back. “The WildHaven Institute will answer all your questions. Who knows…you may even teach there. Just don’t publicly post ideas like that anymore.”

“Yeah, I got it. All this right under humanity’s noses…”

“I would suggest Selene come up and learn with you. Accommodations are free, and now that you’re wisened, you’ll need to be careful about letting any knowledge out. Breaking that is a serious issue. Just don’t do it.”

Dwayne extended a hand to Dr. Snowden, who returned the shake. “If you hadn’t come, we’d all be dead now.”

“Definitely. The Red Dawn wanted blood tonight, and they came armed,” said Dr. Snowden.

“I’ll try to make up for this,” said Dwayne, raising his head. “I didn’t know the group would actually go and try what I wrote. I was just thinking out loud and was here to explain it to those who had drunk the blood.”

“We’ve already scrubbed your site, but let’s hope no one else is inspired,” said Dalton.

He was glad the situation had been resolved. Like many factions since the Earth Ward’s rise to power, the Red Dawn had a shaky agreement with the Earth Ward. This event was a potential powder keg. Although it was great to see Dr. Snowden, Dalton wished it was under better circumstances.

It was late, and Dalton longed for a good night’s rest. Thankfully, there was no pressing case the team needed to attend to, so it would be relatively quiet tomorrow, and he was okay with that.

Scene Break

Ares sneered at the Earth Ward guards in the portal room. This would hopefully be the last time he would ever have to do Earth Ward anything. He was accompanying Professor Stanley Wilmington and a few students from the WildHaven Institute. The portal he faced was one of two in the world. The Ollikrin nation, a group of Outsiders mainly, had one, and this one was owned by the ancient vampires. By agreement, the Earth Ward could use the portals, and Ares took advantage of that.

It had taken him months to find a world to his liking that was technologically inferior to the one he was on now and, more importantly, had no nonhumans. Over there, vampires and their ilk were myths, just as they should be. He had already set up a network of informants and agents to prepare for his arrival. They had also begun creating necessary technology. Once he stepped through, all he had to do was secure the portal, and then he would have free rein to be what he truly was: a god.

He scowled as he thought of his past encounter with Evaran. Earth had been infiltrated by a powerful dimensional being known as Caltorus. Ares had joined his side, but, of course, Evaran interfered and beat back Caltorus, then punished Ares. He had to give up his off-world contacts and was forced to rejoin the Imperium, a group comprised of ancient gods that spanned from Odin to Zeus. Ares hated being under the thumb of either while having to report his status like a servant. No more.

The solution was simple: move to another Earth. Evaran would not interfere since there were no timeline impacts, and he was a hero type who followed the rules, even if they were his own. That left the Earth Ward. They might send someone to investigate, but if the portal was sealed on his side, they would probably just write it off. If not, he had contingency plans in case the Earth Ward sent Inspector Dalton Kingston, one of the few Ares did not want to deal with, or even worse, Hercules.

Ares gazed down the hallway as Professor Wilmington and three doctoral candidates approached. Humans. At one time they had worshiped Ares as the god of war, but they had now forgotten him. They were advanced enough that they posed a threat.

On his new Earth, he would ensure he held the technological advantage and was the only nonhuman on the planet. Humans would worship him again, and being an immortal, he would enjoy a long and prosperous future. Although he disliked most humans, he would show leniency toward those who followed him. The thought of ruling a world made him giddy.

Professor Wilmington and his students reached the portal room. He extended a hand. “Ares! Glad you’re joining us.”

“Of course,” said Ares with a big smile as he returned the handshake.

He eyed Melissa Crout, one of the students. She would make a good concubine, but the others would need to go. All in due time.

“My first time there. You’ve been a few times already, right?” asked Professor Wilmington.

“Yes, and you’re in for a treat,” said Ares.

Melissa smiled. “I can’t wait. My first parallel Earth.”

“I think you’ll enjoy it,” said Ares.

One of the technicians in the room motioned at them. “The portal is opening now.”

“We’re right on time, then,” said Professor Wilmington.

Ares studied the solid golden surface that appeared between two crystal rods fifteen feet apart. He was no stranger to visiting other places via the portal and had been to dimensions, parallel Earths, and even remote places within this reality. Although he was not allowed to go on his own after the Caltorus incident, it was not hard to find a group going somewhere. He would just tag along as he was doing now.

“You’re clear to go through,” said the technician.

Professor Wilmington gestured at the portal. “After you.”

“Thank you,” said Ares.

He took one last look around. If everything he had planned worked, this would be the last time he saw this Earth. He smirked at a ceiling camera, then walked through the portal into a cave that had been a staging area set up by an Earth Ward informant team. Platform lights illuminated the environment, and a makeshift ramp led to the ground. The smell of damp vegetation assaulted his nose.

He smiled at the nearest agent. “Agent Mendoza. How are things?”

“Proceeding as expected, sir.”

“Excellent,” said Ares as he reached the bottom of the ramp.

Professor Wilmington and his three students appeared, and the portal closed.

“We’re here!” said Professor Wilmington, eagerly shaking Agent Mendoza’s hand.

Agent Mendoza pointed at the cave entrance. “We have transportation ready to take you to a secure location.”

“Let’s go!” said Professor Wilmington, taking off.

His students followed him.

Ares watched them run. They were excited, but that would not last for long. This was his world now, and they chose the wrong one to visit.

He faced Agent Mendoza. “After we leave, you can begin filling the cave. Make sure to rig explosives in case we ever need to get back, but I doubt we will. How are the monitoring preparations going?”

“Good,” said Agent Mendoza. “We have a small camp outside that will secure entry to this cave. All paperwork has been filed, so we’re legal.”

“Excellent. And what of the other agents who didn’t like my plan?”

Agent Mendoza grinned. “All but one have been dealt with, but we’ll catch him sooner or later.”

“Assuming everything goes to plan, you’ll be richly rewarded at my side.”

Agent Mendoza stood at attention, then crossed his arms over his chest and bowed his head. “All hail the true god, Ares!”

The other agents in the cave performed a similar action.

Ares smiled big. This was what he loved. He now had a rogue Earth Ward faction that swore fealty to him. Although one agent was out there somewhere, Areas was not worried. Gaining the rogue group’s loyalty had been easy. Promises of money, harems, and areas to govern were more than enough to sway them. Compared to the measly paycheck they earned from the Earth Ward, his offer was life changing. That would do until he got his androids in place. Then the agents would die.

He raised a hand. “You’ve all done well. Continue with your good work.”

Agent Mendoza pointed at a nearby agent. “You heard him. I want hourly updates until this cave is sealed.”

“Yes, sir.”

Ares walked to the cave entrance with Agent Mendoza in tow.

The sound of three gunshots filled the air.

Ares walked over to the corpses of Professor Wilmington and two of his students. Melissa had been cuffed with her hands behind her back, and she was on her knees crying over Professor Wilmington’s body.

“No!” she said.

Ares squatted before her. He brushed a strand of her black hair away from her face. “Ah…the spoils of war.” He stood. “Take her to the compound.”

Two agents picked her up despite her fighting them, then carried her over to a covered truck.

Agent Mendoza grinned. “Excellent choice. We have others awaiting your arrival.”

Ares pointed at Agent Mendoza’s Earth Ward patch, then the other agent’s. “You don’t need those anymore.”

The agents pulled off their Velcro patches and put on ones that spelled out “A.D.”

Ares tilted his head back and stretched his arms out to the side. “And so begins the Ares Dominion!”