I think confusion is Eliyawe’s middle name. As angry as she was, even Zoe got caught up in the play, it being Eliyawe’s time period and all. But Alexis is safe and restored to Lincoln’s arms. Where Mingus is, no one knows.
Back at the camp, Eliyawe first turned on the midget in their midst. She shook her finger to scold the poor former giant. “Gorman, you lived a good long time being bigger than everyone and making people afraid. Crush their bones, indeed. Now you can live the rest of your days smaller than everyone. And you will like it.”
“I won’t like it,” Gorman grumped, but he knew he had no choice in the matter and nowhere else to go.
“All the same, you better stick with Atonas the fisherman. If you follow me, the gods will find you for sure and then you won’t live at all, I reckon.” Eliyawe looked over at Marduk and Assur.
“I want a horse,” Assur said.
“Can’t be a real cowboy without a horse,” Marduk agreed.
“Sit and be good for now. It is supper time.” The boys grumbled, but complied. Katie did not mind cooking. Eliyawe got up to help and together they made a pass at the remaining deer and some bread crackers.
“A bit lean on vegetables,” Katie said and Eliyawe shrugged and wiggled to some unheard music.
Most of the spices they used to make the local venison more palatable had been in Alexis’ bag. They retrieved the bag and all the vitamin jars which mysteriously refilled themselves. They also got the pouch in which Alexis carried her portion of the bread crackers. That also refilled itself, but the spices, though they found the containers thanks to Elder Stow, they remained mostly empty. Fortunately, Eliyawe found some local grasses that cooked up something like lemongrass.
“Better on chicken,” She said, but it would do to cut the gamey flavor.
No one bothered Alexis as she cried on Lincoln’s shoulder and whispered softly to him. He whispered in return and she had his full attention. Lockhart did what he could to help with the cooking, but he and Katie, with Boston chiming in now and then wanted to know the whole story of Eliyawe’s adventures. Elias told most of it, with Jonas showing his wit now and then.
“But what about these two?” Katie asked at last. “Young gods, very young I am guessing. How is it they are willing to go along?” She wanted to say obey Eliyawe’s commands, but she imagined that might be rude, and being rude to even young gods was never advisable.
“About one hundred and fifty,” Eliyawe said and sat down so she would not have to cook anymore. “More than old enough to start acting mature.” She gave the boys a sharp look and they pretended not to notice. “You remember Beltain and that great migration from Caana to the land of Sumer. You were there I think when she got called off at the end. Doctor Mishka was needed. You see, without the good Doctor, they would never have survived, even being gods. Their mother gave me a special dispensation so I could check on them from time to time and make sure all the extraordinary measures it took to save their lives were still in order and without complications. They kind of have to obey. Personally, I think I grew too much skull and made them into hardheaded knuckleheads. But I love them dearly as if they were my own.”
Marduk and Assur looked up at her when she said that. They looked surprised, and pleased, and Assur appeared to form a little tear in his eye. Eliyawe did not see because she turned to Elias. “Husband. I think I am going to be a strict mother. I hope you don’t mind.” She pecked at his lips and his hand came up to touch his lips, but his eyes went out of focus and looked up at the darkening sky.
“Lost,” Jonas said. “Now he’ll be dreaming all night about being a father. How about you people. Do you have any children?”
Katie found Jonas looking at her. She pointed at Lockhart. “Oh, we’re not married.”
“Us neither,” Boston looked at Roland. “Not yet anyway.”
“I haven’t asked her yet,” Roland admitted in front of everyone.
“We have three so far,” Alexis sat up. Lincoln kept his arm around her to protect and support her. “I would like another.” Lincoln said nothing.
Clearly Jonas wanted to ask more, but once Alexis was out of her weeping, Roland could no longer contain himself. “What about father?” he asked. “Alexis, where is he?”
“I don’t know.” Alexis’ voice was soft and she shook her head. “When Atonas left in the morning, Father woke and said I should rest. He said I had been on watch all night by myself and needed my sleep. He seemed perfectly normal. But when I woke, he had packed up his tent and things, saddled up and left. And he left the camp in disarray, so I wondered if perhaps he swallowed some of the poison he pulled out of me.
“LSD,” Lincoln told her.
“But in a day or two it will work out of the system and in the lake and the sea it will sink and not be a hazard. The streams will be clean again and people will be normal soon enough.”
“Father has the prototype.” Alexis looked at Boston first before she returned her eyes to her brother Roland.
“The what?” Lockhart asked.
“He has the prototype amulet that leads him to the next time gate. He took it from the history department on Avalon. He worked on it. That is how he took me into the past when he first kidnapped me.”
“You mean I don’t have the only one?” Boston pulled hers out from beneath her shirt and looked at it carefully before she also looked at Roland.
“So when he sobers up, he should be able to follow us well enough.” Captain Decker spoke and Alexis nodded. “So no need to mount a search and rescue mission,” he concluded.
People paused to think and eventually looked at Lockhart. Lockhart looked at Roland and Alexis because it was their father.
“Father can take care of himself,” Roland said and Alexis nodded her agreement with that assessment.
“Good,” Eliyawe jumped up. “Because it would probably be best if you were gone by the time the gods wake up.” She began to wiggle. “I’m hungry.” Then she began to sing and dance while she waited. “Something, something runnin’. Da-da-da-da-da-da. Head out on the highway. Da-da-da-da-da-da. Lookin’ for adventure. Da-da-da-da-da-da. And whatever comes my way. Hey! Lincoln. Get out the database. I am sure I loaded Steppenwolf in there.”
Everyone’s eyes shifter to Lincoln. “There is an extensive music library in here,” he said, but he did not look up at the others. He had not exactly been forthcoming with that information. It took a second, and the music started plenty loud. Boston jumped up and joined in the dance. Katie looked at Lockhart and he shook his head.
“Not on a bet.”
Captain Decker added his own thoughts, unasked. “Not even under torture.”
But after a moment, Assur and Marduk joined the girls and then the nymphs joined the dance as well. And they all danced in the campfire light in 3366 BC as the sound echoed across the plains of Meggido and bounced off the mountains and Eliyawe, her hands over her head to show off her long legs and her skinny butt wiggling away sang, “Born to be wild … “
The travelers have no control over the time gates, like what period it will be in the life of the Kairos when they enter a new time zone. The Kairos might be old, middle aged, young as Eliyawe, or as in the next zone, a child. Somehow, though, even childhood does not prevent the Kairos from being at the center of a swirl of trouble.
Avalon 2.11: Scorpion … Next Time