Alice was the first to pick up the point. “So what you are saying is Madam Goldman is like the Vordan and what you are really concerned about is finding out who the power is behind the throne, so to speak.
Glen nodded. “But the disobedient son of Lyr and Pendaron won’t be around to help with this one.”
“That is not what I was thinking,” Boston said. “I was thinking the Vordan were like the sea worm, able to do some small damage but it is the Mama we really have to watch out for.”
“I was trying not to think at all,” Pumpkin said.
“She is afraid of Sea Serpents. Most fairies are, though a big lumbering beast like that could not hurt a fairy in a billion years.” Glen Patted Pumpkin’s hand to reassure her. “So what do you think, Sergeant?”
The Marine looked around at the faces in the limo before he answered. “I think you are right. I’m in over my head.”
“Aren’t we all?” Lockhart laughed, but by then they had arrived.
The two limos were passed right through the White House front gate to drive up to the front door. The flatbed had to wait on the street. Once everyone was out of the cars, they had to pause at the front door while the secret service checked them for weapons. Glen dragged his feet and came last in line, after Alice, but of course he had nothing on him, not even his car keys.
As soon as he got the all clear, the party started to follow the guide, flanked by two more Secret Service agents. Glen only took two steps before he went away and the Princess showed up, dressed in the Traveler’s armor and bristling with all sorts of sharp weapons.
“Hey! Wait a minute!” The man at the front door shouted even though the rest of the agents appeared shocked into silence.
The Princess turned, but as she did, all of the hardware went away to be replaced by a mini skirt and a top that was cut low and fit tight around that perfect figure. Her face wore the saddest, cutest little pout and she put her finger to her lips. “Did I do something wrong?” Her hair was a very light golden brown, but a true blond could not have done it better. The agent at the door visibly melted.
“No, that’s fine. Everything’s fine.”
The Princess slowly let out her smile and the poor man at the door was helpless. She turned again, the armor and weapons immediately came back, and she walked toward the front stairs. Alice walked beside her.
“You are a wicked girl.”
“Sometimes.” The Princess grinned.
“I like you.”
“I like you too.” The Princess went away and Glen came back in his own clothes. ‘But right now we have to be good.” Alice grinned like the Princess.
They stopped at the top of the stairs. There was a man who waited until they all caught up and bunched up like a tourist group at a museum.
“My name is Mister Johnson, special advisor to the President. To get to the Lincoln bedroom we will be at the residence, so please be quiet and respectful of the family.”
“Roberta Brooks, Director.” Bobbi shook the man’s hand. Lockhart and Boston followed suit and introduced themselves before Glen stepped forward.
“Hi, I’m Glen. This is Alice Summers my lawyer, Sergeant Thomas my bodyguard, Fyodor is my pilot, Darth Vader over there is the one in the Colonel suit and Pumpkin is my personal fairy. Now, can we get on. This won’t take long and I have a Google Galaxy report waiting in the limo.” Glen started to walk. He remembered the location.
“Hold on.” The man caught up and paced him. “I assume you are the one.”
“The Kairos. The Watcher over time. The experiment in time. The Traveler in time. The poor soul who isn’t allowed to die and go to heaven? Yeah, that would be me. But I am guessing you have something to tell me. Spit it out, man. God, I sound like Althea.”
The man said nothing. How could he? But he indicated he might have something to say in a little bit. First they reached the Lincoln bedroom and Glen went immediately to a corner.
“The room has been renovated since Lincoln’s day,” Mister Johnson said. “Nothing has been found here. I cannot imagine what you think you will find.”
“A temporal and spatial pocket,” Glen responded. “You wouldn’t find it without equipment that won’t be invented for a long, long time.” He banged the wall a bit hard. Mister Johnson jumped, afraid Glen might damage the room, but he did nothing to stop him.
“Pumpkin. How many miles to Avalon?”
“Three score miles and ten.”
“Can I get there by candle light?”
“Yes and back again.” Pumpkin clapped her hands and let out her best smile even as a white light settled temporarily in the corner. She loved that poem; but Glen was busy, now having turned the lock. He banged twice more on the wall and kicked it once at the base and a section of the wall disappeared to leave a space that should not have been there.
“A-ha!” Glen bent down and everyone else inched forward to look. When he pulled his head back out of the hole, Glen had something in his hands. It was metal with a box on one end and a stick on the other. He handed it to Fyodor. “This is compressed in time and space. It should be preserved from the time compression, but the spatial differential will reassert itself after a couple of hours of exposure to normal space-time. You need to put this on the flatbed, two-thirds toward the cab with the stick pointing out the back. Got it?”
“It’s heavy.” Fyodor took it.
“It will get much heavier.”
“Now wait.” Mister Johnson started to speak but Glen had his head back in the hole.
“Oh, look! Casidy’s badge. I was wondering what happened to that.” He came back out with a badge that said Federal Marshall. He blew off some dust and rubbed it on his jeans to polish it. “Go on, Fyodor. Sergeant, do you mind helping? You really don’t want that thing decompressing indoors.”
“Now wait.” Mister Johnson got in the way. “Whatever is here is the property of the United States. The President insists that you go to the afternoon meeting of the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. We have several National Guard units ready to roll. You are to supply the coordinates of the enemy and that is all.” The secret service blocked the door.
“Uh-oh.” Lockhart said the word softly. “I recommend everyone cover their eyes.” Everyone did, except the White House staff. Even Pumpkin played the game. Glen might have covered his eyes too, only he was no longer there. There was a woman standing in his place. Her eyes were like fire, arcane power crackled all around her, and she was ticked. She spoke in words that penetrated into the soul, far deeper than the ears.
“This is my property. The Vordan are my business. As tempting as it may be, I don’t tell the President how to do his job. DON’T tell me how to do mine.” She snapped her fingers in Mister Johnson’s face and the company vanished from that room. They appeared beside the flatbed and found their limos and drivers there, too. The box and stick was already in place on the truck bed, but the woman was not finished.
First, the words “Stand Down” appeared over and over on every fax machine, copy machine, computer and even personal cell phones available to certain National Guard units. At the same time, a black cloud appeared over the White house. The earth trembled with a slight earthquake and a stroke of lightening made a big hole in the White House driveway. Then the woman spoke again in a more normal voice.
“And I would have spanked him, too,” she said as she went away so Glen could come home and apologize. “Sorry.” Glen spoke generally to everyone. “Sorry!” Glen shouted back at the White House. “Maybe we better go,” he suggested, and no one objected. As they got into the limos there seemed only one more thing to say. “Okay, Pumpkin. You can uncover your eyes now.”