After 3617 BC around Paris, France. Kairos life 26: Tetamon, called the Theban.
“This forest is far spookier than the one we left,” Boston said. “And it is going to be dark soon besides.”
“Looks and feels like a war zone if you ask me,” Lockhart spoke up from the rear. He and Katie had discussed it and agreed.
“I can smell fires burning in the distance,” Roland added. “Wildfires, not campfires, though I suppose there are some of those as well if there are armies.”
“My guess would be we came out somewhere in the Ardennes,” Lincoln said. “We seem to be headed toward Paris, or where Paris will be at some point in the future.”
“How do you figure?” Boston was getting used to asking that.
“Tetamon’s childhood was traveling around the Mediterranean with his Greek merchant father. But when he began to show signs that he was his mother’s son, he was banished for a time by the gods of Olympus.”
“What?” Katie was not getting it. She was too busy scanning the neighborhood for hostiles. Her every instinct was on alert.
“His mother was the Egyptian goddess Nephthys. As a teenager he laid the foundation for the city of Thebes in Egypt before Set got him kicked out of that country, too.”
“His mother was a goddess?” Boston thought she heard that wrong.
“That actually happened several times, that the Kairos was born a half-god or half-goddess. The gods of old were not known for being chaste, you know,” Roland explained quietly.
“Anyway,” Lincoln continued. “He wandered up the coasts of the Middle East and Asia Minor and got tangled with Tiamut.”
“One of our all time favorites,” Lockhart said.
“And eventually got back to Greece, but he was still not welcomed there so he wandered into Germanic lands. Forced to move on by Aesgard, he eventually came West where he finally settled around what would one day be Paris, France.”
“Adventurous life,” Elder Stow offered a rare opinion.
“Yes, but anyway, I figure we must be headed through the forest toward Paris.”
“How do you figure?” Boston tried again.
“Snow,” Roland said.
“No snow in Egypt, the Middle East or normally Greece,” Lincoln finished the explanation.
Boston nodded as Katie fired her gun. The party stopped moving forward. “Something is coming through the trees,” she said.
“Shouldn’t we ask questions first and shoot later?” Boston wondered out loud even as an arrow came toward them in answer. It was followed by several more.
“To those rocks,” Lockhart pointed further West. It was a good defensive place that put the sun at their backs and allowed them to shoot toward the East or North as needed. Boston and Roland tied off the horses behind the protection of the rocks.
The rocks were slick with ice. Everyone had to be careful, but Katie and Lincoln quickly took the two best positions for their rifles. Lockhart had his shotgun and unsnapped the cover of his holster so his pistol could be quickly brought to bear.
“I say again, let me have my weapons,” Elder Stow tried.
Once again Lockhart shook his head. “Bullets are bad enough as historical disruptions go. We don’t need heat rays blasting the forest.”
“It isn’t a heat ray, as you call it,” Elder Stow complained.
“Go get Decker’s pistol. Can you shoot a pistol?”
The Gott-Druk stood and scrambled down to the horses. “It can’t be that complicated.”
Roland was best with the horses so Boston climbed up from behind when the attack came. The enemy was unseen and preferred to shoot from behind the bushes and trees, but they did have to stick out their heads and arms to fire, and that was when Lincoln, Katie and Lockhart could draw a bead. Several were hit, though none were necessarily killed.
“I think they are waiting for reinforcements,” Boston spoke up. She had not fired her weapon and was keeping her head down, but watched as well as she could. Elder Stow came up beside her so she missed what Katie and Lincoln planned.
“Roland,” Lockhart shouted in English as soon as he figured out how to be sure it was in English rather than the local tongue. “Get the horses ready for a quick ride.”
“What are you thinking?” Boston shouted back.
Katie was closer, so she answered. “This was a good temporary redoubt, but they appear only to be in that direction so we will ride in the opposite direction and our horses should be able to outrun them, even in the woods.” As she finished speaking she had to get busy. Some twenty men, or maybe they were something like animals came out from the trees to charge their position. Boston and Elder Stow added their fire to the three in the rocks and those five guns left nineteen on the ground in various forms of groaning and trying to crawl back to the trees.
“Now,” Lockhart said and he started to get up, but the answering fire came from the other side at that point, and it was one of what he called “heat rays.” The rocks in front exploded into slivers. Lockhart went down, his back shredded. Katie saved her face but got several bad cuts in her arms and one in her side. Lincoln escaped as did the ones further away who both reacted.
Elder Stow ran back down to the horses. Boston closed her eyes, thought of the Amazons and the wall she built against the magician in that valley. She was not sure if it would work, but the heat rays from the other side soon hit her wall and reflected off, straight up into the air. Someone must have seen, because in a moment three small ships came over their position and hovered briefly before they started firing into the woods at their enemy. That enemy must have moved, and quickly because the craft shot over top of the forest and disappeared, though they could continue to hear shots fired from the craft. It was like they were trying to get at the enemy down among the trees, and if they hit any, no one knew, but certainly a number of trees were set aflame.
Elder Stow returned from the horses with all his equipment back in his pockets, on his wrist and around his neck. He discarded Cophu’s bag which had just about disintegrated from age and came up first to Lockhart. “Forgive me father for overstepping my boundaries,” he said and moved a flat piece of equipment over Lockhart’s back. The slivers of stone vacated the flesh, though he remarked how many of the slivers were already being pushed out.
“Over here,” Boston yelled and the Elder did the same thing for Katie. The pieces of stone that cut into her were far less, in far less vital areas, but they were still deep, one cutting all the way to the bone. Then he passed the device over each cut and the flesh pulled together like it was stitched.
“The inside will still need to heal, but there should be no infection once the outside is sealed.”
“I’ll be fine,” Katie insisted and she crawled over to Lockhart. He was preparing to sit up.
“Gaian healing chits still active, I guess. I should be whole in a couple of hours.”
Roland came up from the horses now that Lincoln was down there. He went straight for Boston, but looked at Lockhart as he spoke. “Can you ride?” Lockhart nodded and he and Katie clambered down the far side of the rocks and crawled up on their mounts. The others were ready and they left that place a bit slower than they planned.
Avalon 2.6: Splinters … Next Time