Olga Romanoff - George Griffiths - ebook

Olga Romanoff ebook

George Griffiths

0,0

Opis

The daughter of the Romanoff is trying to get on the right path. She wants to restore what her parents destroyed during the Second World War. We manage to learn about the miracles of science and the arts. However, the world is still on the verge of disaster.

Ebooka przeczytasz w aplikacjach Legimi na:

Androidzie
iOS
czytnikach certyfikowanych
przez Legimi
czytnikach Kindle™
(dla wybranych pakietów)
Windows
10
Windows
Phone

Liczba stron: 654

Odsłuch ebooka (TTS) dostepny w abonamencie „ebooki+audiobooki bez limitu” w aplikacjach Legimi na:

Androidzie
iOS
Oceny
0,0
0
0
0
0
0



Contents

PROLOGUE. THE PROPHECY OF NATAS

I. THE SURRENDER OF THE WORLD-THRONE

II. A CROWNLESS KING

III. TSARINA OLGA

IV. A SON OF THE GODS

V. A VISION FROM THE CLOUDS

VI. DEED AND DREAM

VII. THE SPELL OF CIRCE

VIII. THE NEW TERROR

IX. THE FLIGHT OF THE "REVENGE"

X. STRANGE TIDINGS TO AERIA

XI. THE SNAKE IN EDEN

XII. THE BATTLE OF KERGUELEN

XIII. THE SYREN'S STRONGHOLD

XIV. FROM THE SEA TO THE AIR

XV. OLGA IN COUNCIL

XVI. KHALID THE MAGNIFICENT

XVII. AN UNHOLY ALLIANCE

XVIII. A MOMENTOUS COMMISSION

XIX. FACE TO FACE AGAIN

XX. THE CALL TO ARMS

XXI. THE HOME-COMING

XXII. THE EVE OF BATTLE

XXIII. THE FIRST BLOW

XXIV. WAR AT ITS WORST

XXV. A MESSAGE FROM MARS

XXVI. SENTENCE OF DEATH

XXVII. ALMA SPEAKS

XXVIII. THE SIGN IN THE SKY

XXIX. THE TRUCE OF GOD

XXX. THE SHADOW OF DEATH

XXXI. THE LAST BATTLE

XXXII. THE SHE-WOLF TO HER LAIR

EPILOGUE. VENGEANCE IS MINE

PROLOGUE. THE PROPHECY OF NATAS

THESE are the last words of Israel di Murska, known in the days of strife as Natas, the Master of the Terror, given to the Children of Deliverance dwelling in the land of Aeria, in the twenty-fifth year of the Peace, which, in the reckoning of the West, is the year nineteen hundred and thirty.

MY life is lived, and the wings of the Angel of Death overshadow me as I write; but before the last summons comes, I must obey the spirit within me that bids me tell of the things that I have seen, in order that the story of them shall not die, nor be disguised by false reports, as the years multiply and the mists gather over the graves of those who, with me, have seen and wrought them.

For this reason the words that I write shall be read publicly in the ears of you and your children and your children’s children, until they shall see a sign in heaven to tell them that the end is at hand. No man among you shall take away from that which I have written, nor yet add anything to it; and every fifth year, at the Festival of Deliverance, which is held on the Anniversary of Victory,1 this writing of mine shall be read, that those who shall hear it with understanding may lay its warnings to heart, and that the lessons of the Great Deliverance may never be forgotten among you.

The 8th of December, on which day, in the year 1904, the armies of the Anglo Saxon Federation and the aerial navy of the Terrorists defeated and almost annihilated the hosts of the Franco-Slavonian League, then besieging London under the command of Alexander Romanoff, last of the Tsars of Russia, and so made possible the universal disarmament which took place the following year.–The Angel of the Revolution, chap. xlvi.

It was in the days before the beginning of peace that I, Natas the Jew, cast down and broken by the hand of the Tyrant, conceived and created that which was known as the Terror. The kings of the earth and their servants trembled before my invisible presence, for my arm was long and my hand was heavy; yet no man knew where or when I should strike–only that the blow would be death to him on whom it should fall, and that nowhere on earth should he find a safe refuge from it.

In those days the earth was ruled by force and cunning, and the nations were armed camps set one against the other. Millions of men, who had no quarrel with their neighbours, stood waiting for the word of their rulers to blast the fair fields of earth with the fires of war, and to make desolate the homes of those who had done them no wrong.

In the third year of the twentieth century, Richard Arnold, the Englishman, conquered the empire of the air, and made the first ship that flew as a bird does, of its own strength and motion. He joined the Brotherhood of Freedom, then known among men as the Terrorists, of whom I, Natas, was the Master, and then he built the aerial fleet which, in the day of Armageddon, gave us the victory over the tyrants of the earth.

At the same time, Alan Tremayne, a noble of the English people, into whose soul I had caused my spirit to enter in order that he might serve me and bring the day of deliverance nearer, caused all the nations of the Anglo-Saxon race to join hands, from the West unto the East, in a league of common blood and kindred; and they, in the appointed hour, stood between the sons and daughters of men and those who would have enslaved them afresh.

The chief of these was Alexander Romanoff, last of the Tsars, or Tyrants, of Russia, whose armies, leagued with those of France, Italy, Spain, and certain lesser Powers, and assisted by a great fleet of war-balloons that could fly, though slowly, wherever they were directed, swept like a destroying pestilence from the western frontiers of Russia to the eastern shores of Britain; and when they had gained the mastery of Europe, invaded England and laid siege to London.

But here their path of conquest was brought to an end, for Alan Tremayne and his brothers of the Terror called upon the men of Anglo-Saxondom to save their Motherland from her enemies, and they rose in their wrath, millions strong, and fell upon them by land and sea, and would have destroyed them utterly, as I had bidden them do, but that Natasha, who was my daughter and was known in those days as the Angel of the Revolution, pleaded for the remnant of them, and they were spared.

But the Russians we slew without mercy to the last man of those who had stood in arms against us, saving only the Tyrant and his princes and the leaders of his armies. These we took prisoners and sent, with their wives and their children to die in their own prison-land in Siberia, as they had sent thousands of innocent men and women to die before them.

This was my judgment upon them for the wrong that they had done to me and mine, for in the hour of victory I spared not those who had not known how to spare. Now they are dead, and their graves are nameless. Their name is a byword among men, for they were strong and they used their strength to do evil.

So we made an end of tyranny among the nations, and when the world-war was at length brought to an end, we disbanded all the armies that were upon land and sank the warships that were left upon the sea, that men might no more fight with each other. War, that had been called honourable since the world began, we made a crime of blood-guiltiness, for which the life of him who sought to commit it should pay; and as a crime, you, the children of those who have delivered the nations from it, shall for ever hold it to be.

We leave you the command of the air, and that is the command of the world; but should it come to pass–as in the progress of knowledge it may well do–that others in the world outside Aeria shall learn to navigate the air as you do, you shall go forth to battle with them and destroy them utterly, for we have made it known through all the earth that he who seeks to build a second navy of the air shall be accounted an enemy of peace, whose purpose it is to bring war upon the earth again.

Forget not that the blood-lust is but tamed, not quenched, in the souls of men, and that long years must pass before it is purged from the world for ever. We have given peace on earth, and to you, our children, we bequeath the sacred trust of keeping it. We have won our world-empire by force, and by force you must maintain it.

In the day of battle we shed the blood of millions without ruth to win it, and so far the end has justified the means we used. Since the sun set upon Armageddon, and the right to make war was taken from the rulers of the nations, we have governed a realm of peace and prosperity which every year has seen better and happier than that which went before.

No man has dared to draw the sword upon his brother, or by force or fraud to take that which was not his by right. The soil of earth has been given back to the use of her sons and their wealth has already multiplied a hundredfold on every hand. Kings have ruled with wisdom and justice, and senates have ceased their wranglings to soberly seek out and promote the welfare of their own countries, and to win the respect and friendship of others.

Yet many of these are the same men who, but a few years ago, rent each other like wild beasts in savage strife for the meanest ends; who betrayed their brothers and slaughtered their neighbours, that the rich might be richer, and the strong stronger, in the pitiless battle for wealth and power. They have become peaceful and honest with each other, because we have compelled them to be so, and because they know that the penalty of wrong-doing in high places is destruction swift and certain as the stroke of the hand of Fate itself.

They know that no man stands so high that our hand cannot cast him down to the dust, and that no spot of earth is so secret and so distant that the transgressor of our laws can find in it a refuge from our vengeance. We stand between the few strong and cunning who would oppress, and the many weak and simple who could not resist them; and when we are gone, you will hear the voice of duty calling you to take our places.

When you stand where we do now, remember who you are and the tremendous trust that is laid upon you. You are the children of the chosen out of many nations, masters of the world, and, under Heaven, the arbiters of human destiny. You shall rule the world as we have ruled it for a hundred years from now. If in that time men shall not have learnt the ways of wisdom and justice, you may be sure that they will never learn them, and deserve only to be left to their own foolishness. Since the world began, the path of life has never lain so fair and straight before the sons of men as it does now, and never was it so easy to do the right and so hard to do the wrong.

So, for a hundred years to come, you shall keep them in the path in which we have set them, and those that would wilfully turn aside from it you shall destroy without mercy, lest they lead others into misery and bring the evil days upon earth again.

At the twenty-fifth celebration of the Festival of Deliverance, you shall give back the sceptre of the world-empire into the hands of the children of those from whom we took it,–because they wielded it for oppression, and not for mercy. At that time you shall make it known throughout the earth that men are once more free to do good or evil, according to their choice, and that as they choose well or ill so shall they live or die.

And woe to them in those days if, knowing the good, they shall turn aside to do evil! Beyond the clouds that gather over the sunset of my earthly life, I see a sign in heaven as of a flaming sword, whose hilt is in the hand of the Master of Destiny, and whose blade is outstretched over the habitations of men.

As they shall choose to do good or evil, so shall that sword pass away from them or fall upon them, and consume them utterly in the midst of their pride. And if they, knowing the good, shall elect to do evil, it shall be with them as of old the Prophet said of the men of Babylon the Great: Their cities shall be a desolation, a dry land and a wilderness; a land wherein no man dwelleth, neither shall any son of man pass thereby.

For from among the stars of heaven, whose lore I have learned and whose voices I have heard, there shall come the messenger of Fate, and his shape shall be that of a flaming fire, and his breath as the breath of a pestilence that men shall feel and die in the hour that it breathes upon them.

Out of the depths beyond the light of the sun he shall come, and your children of the fifth generation shall behold his approach. The sister-worlds shall see him pass with fear and trembling, wondering which of them he shall smite, but if he be not restrained or turned aside by the Hand which guides the stars in their courses, it shall go hard with this world and the men of it in the hour of his passing.

Then shall the highways of the earth be waste, and the wayfaring of men cease. Earth shall languish and mourn for her children that are no more, and Death shall reign amidst the silence, sole sovereign of many lands!

But you, so long as you continue to walk in the way of wisdom, shall live in peace until the end, whether it shall come then or in the ages that shall follow. And if it shall come then, you shall await it with fortitude, knowing that this life is but a single link in the chain of existence which stretches through infinity; and that, if you shall be found worthy, you shall be taught how a chosen few among your sons and daughters shall survive the ruin of the world, to be the parents of the new race, and replenish the earth and possess it.

Out of the Valley of the Shadow of Death I stretch forth my hands in blessing to you, the children of the coming time, and pray that the peace which the men of the generation now passing away have won through strife and toil in the fiery days of the Terror, may be yours and endure unbroken unto the end.

I. THE SURRENDER OF THE WORLD-THRONE

A HUNDRED years had passed since Natas, the Master of the Terror, had given into the hands of Richard Arnold his charge to the future generations of the Aerians–as the descendants of the Terrorists who had colonised the mountain-walled valley of Aeria, in Central Africa, were now called; since the man, who had planned and accomplished the greatest revolution in the history of the world, had given his last blessing to his companions-in-arms and their children, and had “turned his face to the wall and died.”

It was midday, on the 8th of December 2030, and the rulers of all the civilised States of the world were gathered together in St. Paul’s Cathedral to receive, from the hands of a descendant of Natas in the fourth generation, the restoration of the right of independent national rule which, on the same spot a hundred and twenty-five years before, had been taken from the sovereigns of Europe and vested in the Supreme Council of the Anglo-Saxon Federation.

The period of tutelage had passed. Under the wise and firm rule of the Council and the domination of the Anglo-Saxon race, the Golden Age had seemed to return to the world. For a hundred and twenty-five years there had been peace on earth, broken only by the outbreak and speedy suppression of a few tribal wars among the more savage races of Africa and Malaysia. Now the descendants of those who had been victors and vanquished in the world-war of 1904, had met to give back and assume the freedom and the responsibility of national independence.

The vast cathedral was thronged, as it had been on the momentous day when Natas had pronounced his judgment on the last of the Tyrants of Russia, and ended the old order of things in Europe. But it was filled by a very different assembly to that which had stood within its walls on the morrow of Armageddon.

Then the stress and horror of a mighty conflict had set its stamp on every face. Hate had looked out of eyes in which the tears were scarcely dry, and hungered fiercely for the blood of the oppressor. The clash of arms, the stern command and the pitiless words of doom had sounded then in ears which but a few hours before had listened to the roar of artillery and the thunder of battle. That had been the dawn of the morrow of strife; this was the zenith of the noon of peace.

Now, in all the vast assembly, no hand held a weapon, no face was there which showed a sign of sorrow, fear, or anger and in no heart, save only two among the thousands, was there a thought of hate or bitterness.

For three days past the Festival of Deliverance had been celebrated all over the civilised world, and now, in the centre of the city which had come to be the capital, not only of the vast domains of Anglo-Saxondom, but of the whole world, a solemn act of renunciation was to be performed, upon the issues of which the fate of all humanity would hang; for the members of the Supreme Council had come through the skies from their seat of empire in Aeria to abdicate the world-throne in obedience to the command of the dead Master, from whom their ancestors had derived it.

At a table, drawn across the front of the chancel, sat the President and the twelve men who with him had up to this hour shared the empire of the human race. Below the steps on the floor of the cathedral, sat, in a wide semicircle, the rulers of the kingdoms and republics of the earth assembled to hear the last word of their over-lords, and to receive from them the power and responsibility of maintaining or forfeiting, as the event should prove, the blessings which had multiplied under the sovereignty of the Aerians.

The President of the Council was the direct descendant not only of Alan Tremayne, its first President, but also of Richard Arnold and Natasha; for their eldest son, born in the first year of the Peace, had married the only daughter of Tremayne, and their first-born son had been his father’s father.

Although the average physique of civilised man had immensely improved under the new order of things, the Aerians, descendants of the pick of the nations of Europe, were as far superior to the rest of the assembly as the latter would have been to the men and women of the nineteenth century; but even amongst the members of the Council, the splendid stature and regal dignity of Alan Arnold, the President, stamped him as a born ruler of men, whose title rested upon something higher than election or inheritance.

At the last stroke of twelve, the President rose in his place, and, in the midst of an almost breathless silence, read the message of Natas to the great congregation. This done, he laid the parchment down on the table and, beginning from the outbreak of the world-war, rapidly and lucidly sketched out the vast and beneficent changes in the government of society that its issues had made possible.

He traced the marvellous development of the new civilisation, which, in four generations, had raised men from a state of half-barbarous strife and brutality to one of universal peace and prosperity; from inhuman and unsparing competition to friendly co-operation in public, and generous rivalry in private concerns, from horrible contrasts of wealth and misery to a social state in which the removal of all unnatural disabilities in the race of life had made them impossible.

He showed how, in the evil times which, as all men hoped, had been left behind for ever, the strong and the unscrupulous ruthlessly oppressed the weak and swindled the honest and the straightforward. Now dishonesty was dishonourable in fact as well as in name; the game of life was played fairly, and its prizes fell to all who could win them, by native genius or earnest endeavour.

There were no inequalities, save those which Nature herself had imposed upon all men from the beginning of time. There were no tyrants and no slaves. That which a man’s labour of hand or brain had won was his, and no man might take toll of it. All useful work was held in honour, and there was no other road to fame or fortune save that of profitable service to humanity.

“This,” said the President in conclusion, “is the splendid heritage that we of the Supreme Council, which is now to cease to exist as such, have received from our forefathers, who won it for us and for you on the field of the world’s Armageddon. We have preserved their traditions intact, and obeyed their commands to the letter; and now the hour has come for us, in obedience to the last of those commands, to resign our authority and to hand over that heritage to you, the rulers of the civilised world, to hold in trust for the peoples over whom you have been appointed to reign.

“When I have done speaking I shall no longer be President of the Senate, which for a hundred and twenty-five years has ruled the world from pole to pole and east to west. You and your parliaments are henceforth free to rule as you will. We shall take no further part in the control of human affairs outside our domain, saving only in one concern.

“In the days when our command was established, the only possible basis of all rule was force, and our supremacy was based on the force that we could bring to bear upon those who might have ventured to oppose us or revolted against our rule. We commanded, and we will still command, the air, and I should not be doing my duty, either to my own people or to you, if I did not tell you that the Aerians not as the world-rulers that they have been, but as the citizens of an independent State, mean to keep that power in their own hands at all costs.

“The empire of earth and sea, saving only the valley of Aeria, is yours to do with as you will. The empire of the air is ours,–the heritage that we have received from the genius of that ancestor of mine who first conquered it.

“That we have not used it in the past to oppress you is the most perfect guarantee that we shall not do so in the future, but let all the nations of the earth clearly understand, that we shall accept any attempt to dispute it with us as a declaration of war upon us, and that those who make that attempt will either have to exterminate us or be exterminated themselves. This is not a threat, but a solemn warning; and the responsibility of once more bringing the curse of war and all its attendant desolation upon the earth, will lie heavily upon those who neglect it.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.