AN: This is a sequel to my original story The First Generation. I suggest reading it first… I have changed a few of the names so it won't be exactly like the previous story, but I'm sure you'll all be able to keep up. As always I appreciate comments and critiques of any kind!
The Prologue is short so that you can decide if you want to read the longer chapters...if not, you haven't wasted too much time!
I do not own these characters.
I am still looking for a beta to take on this story, and edit the entire thing. If you are looking to improve your editing skills and push around a complete stranger, I would be forever in your debt.
Prologue: And in the Darkness…
Sweat dripped down her lithe body as she ran. It felt like her heart was beating out of her chest. She was running not only for her life, but for the lives of her friends and for her country. She had only the briefest glimmer of hope that she would be able to carry this mission through. Suddenly, Duchess Mia of Ginzuberg came to a sudden stop. Her legs felt as though they could not carry her one step further. Her lungs felt ragged. As her blue eyes darted around the near darkness, she was sure she had been followed.
Then, just as suddenly as she stopped, she sprinted off again and kept running as the day gave into night. Hours later, when her slippered foot gave way on a stray tree root, she slumped over.
Need to rest, she thought as she passed out, exhausted from the day's events.
She awoke when the sun was in the middle of the sky. The blonde sensed something above her and immediately froze. Her life quickly flashed through her head, fearing her it was all was at an end. When nothing happened a few seconds later, Mia slowly opened her eyes seeing that above her stood her prized mare, Morning Star.
"How did she found me?" Mia whispered as she remembered how she got to this point in her life.
The Royal Guard had been expecting an attack. The small country of Ginzuberg, tucked neatly away in a small corner in Europe, had been fending off Nazi pressure as long as possible, but they had far fewer troops than the German forces. Her Royal Highness Selena II had refused to join the vicious regime and had secretly provided as much aid as could be smuggled to the Allies and growing Resistance as was possible. Everyone knew it was a matter of time until German soldiers occupied the tiny country. The Queen had everything to lose and she knew Hitler would stop at nothing to see her daughter, Crown Princess Serena, made part of his evil plan. To Hitler, Serena was the perfect female - with her glorious long blond hair and blue eyes, she was a dramatic specimen of the Aryan race. She feared he planned to marry her to one of his highest-ranking officials to enforce his Nazi government in the nation.
The attack had come in the early morning giving the Queen no time to prepare.
"I know you would willingly die and fight for your country," Queen Selena II had told her people. "Please do as I tell you."
The crowd had looked at their Queen expectantly.
"Lay down your weapons. There is no need to die for a cause we cannot win. The Nazi army was far superior when it came to sheer numbers and weapons." There was murmuring within the crowd. "When the time comes that we are finally invaded, I hope by going peacefully that the number of lives lost will be small although not insignificant," she concluded as tears rolled down her stoic face.
A few nights later, the Queen awoke to loud banging on the doors of the Palace. She threw a robe over her nightgown and flew to Duchess Mia's room, who was a member of Serena's court. While Hitler knew that the members of her daughter's court were nobility, they would not be as easily missed as the Crown Princess. Mia, like all the other girls, had been trained in weapons as well as all being accomplished horsewomen.
"Mia, you must leave quickly," the Queen said, as she shook the young noblewoman awake. "The Nazis are at our door!"
"My Queen, where should I go?" Mina asked wide awake realizing the situation. She knew that her training multiple foreign languages, map skills, history, politics and diplomacy would now come to use.
"You must find the Americans. There is an elite group of their military who have trained for this." The Queen pressed a letter bearing the official seal of the country into Mia's delicate hands. "I had hoped I would never have to use this, but I need you to take it to Captain Darien Shields. Use whatever measures necessary to see that only he reads this. Go to the nearest American Embassy and ask to speak with the highest ranking officer there."
Mia could only nod not knowing what else could be said at a time like this. "Yes, My Queen."
"Take the secret exit through the stables," Queen Selena II told her. "If you see a chance, mount one of the horses, however, do not put yourself in danger of being discovered."
Stirred from her thoughts as Morning Star snorted and stomped the ground in front of her, Mia looked at her horse and smiled - glad to have a friend with her. Mia vaguely remembered undoing the latch to Morning Star's stable but this was not the time to be thinking about the past. She stood and rubbed Star's nose before jumping on and headed on her journey.
The duchess considered her position. She was in the middle of a dense forest that was in the middle of the country. All countries surrounding Ginzuberg were either occupied by the Nazis or at war with them. Mia carefully plotted out her route as she had to stay off the roads to avoid being caught. Studying the map in front of her, she thought her best approach would be to try and get across the Channel to England. There had been rumors that American servicemen had been seen there.
"This is not going to be easy," Mia said looking at Morning Star, "But this is the only chance we have."
The beautiful mare answered her with a snort and a nod of her head.
Pausing at a small stream, Mia looked into the water at her reflection. Her gown was made of the best quality and her long blonde hair cascaded down her back - there was no way around it - she stuck out - and she wasn't alone; the well bred mare would also attract attention. Turning to Morning Star, she began rubbing mud into her mare's distinctive white coat.
"Don't worry, girl, when we get to safety, I'm going to give you the best rub-down you've ever had."
Three hours later, Mia passed by a small farmhouse and she could not approach the house itself for fear of it being under Nazi control. She saw a cloak and a peasant dress drying outside and even though she hated doing it, Mia knew her yellow silk dress was only going to make her stand out more. The cloak was made for someone much bigger than she, but it covered her completely.
In the cover of the bushes she took off her silk dress and put on the peasant dress which was closer to her size than the cloak. With sadness, she took out a small knife and began cutting off her hair. Mia wept silently, but knew this was the best way so that no one would give her a second look. She also smudged some dirt on her face and safely tucked her red ribbon in her bag. Finally comfortable with her outward appearance, Mia urged Morning Star on. It had been hours since she left the capital and any number of things could've happened. She could rest when her letter was safely delivered.
News of the fall of Ginzuberg quickly spread across the world. The country had not seen violence like this in centuries, as Ginzuberg was known as a peace-loving nation that was excellent at diplomacy. Many important treaties had been arranged on it's soil and many around the world admired the current Queen of Ginzuberg. Queen Selena II was a strong woman who led her country surely and steadily in a time of men.
Across the Atlantic Ocean, the United States heard the news of the fall of Ginzuberg to Adolf Hitler and the Nazis; they remained silent.