“Roland? I’ve been thinking.” Boston kept her eyes on the trail. They were headed north toward the next time gate while the Kairos, his companions and the Amazons headed south toward the crashed Blueblood ship.
Roland took his attention from the trail and smiled at Boston. He enjoyed hearing what she was thinking about. He was thinking, too. He was going to ask her to marry him. He only hesitated for so long because he felt bad for his father. Roland’s sister, Alexis, became human to marry Lincoln and that just about killed his father. Roland did not want to put his father through that again, but at last his love for Boston finally outweighed his resistance. He would become human if that was the only way he and Boston could be together, and he thought, Father would just have to accept it. Roland’s decision was made.
“Roland?” Boston started again. “I understand the Kairos made it so we could understand whatever the local people were saying as if they were speaking English. And we can talk to the locals so they hear us in their native tongue. But I don’t understand how he could do that.”
“Simple,” Roland said. “It is a natural ability shared by all of us, his little ones as he calls us. All the sprites of the air, water, fire and earth can do it. We were here long before the human word was scattered and confused by many tongues and many languages. We hear in the primal language, you might say the language of creation. And when we respond in that same language, humans hear and understand our words as if we were speaking their tongue. I assume the Kairos simply shared this natural ability with you humans. You say you hear everything in English, but maybe you are really hearing and responding in the primal language as well, only you don’t know it.”
“We started this journey before the Tower of Babel fell,” Boston nodded. “We were there on Shinar.”
“We were.” Roland nodded. “And the first tongue might have seeped into your brain at that point.”
“But what I don’t understand is the Amazons.” Boston even looked puzzled. “I didn’t think of it at the time. We were kind of busy. But the Amazons came all the way from the Black Sea. I am sure they speak a language all their own. Then Andovar’s people by the Caspian Sea had to speak a completely different language. Yet they were able to talk to each other with no problem whatsoever.”
“I asked about that,” Lincoln said. He was eavesdropping and pushed his horse forward to get into the conversation. Boston and Roland both turned their heads to listen and Alexis looked up but followed from where she was. “Iddin explained that Serpentelle used to be a goblin and when he and Clicker were captured by the Gutians, Serpentelle and her people came to his rescue. Suddenly, Iddin could understand what the Gutians were saying. He said it took a while to figure it out, but when Serpentelle and Clicker were in range, they broadcasted a wave – that is what he called it – which broke down the language barriers in the human mind and let people communicate. He said that is why he made Serpentelle a hobgoblin, so he could take her along, though he also said that she and Clicker together were so annoying he almost regretted his decision.”
“I see,” Boston responded. “So when those two little ones are together, something gets into the head of anyone near and communication is suddenly possible.”
Alexis looked up and grinned before she said, “Stop.”
At the same time they heard a man yell, “Hold it right there.”
Roland and Boston faced front and reigned in their horses. Lincoln came up alongside Roland while Alexis moved up beside Boston. Katie and Lockhart were riding to the front. Katie had her rifle out and Lockhart pulled out the shotgun. There were twenty horsemen in front of them, blocking their way..
“Hold your fire!” Lockhart shouted as Decker came in from the flank. When Elder Stow hovered in from the other flank, a number of the horsemen dropped their jaws and looked uncertain as to why they were there.
“Can we help you?” Katie spoke up but Lockhart hushed her and went up to within a couple of meters. The contrast between his big, western mustang and the sea ponies the people were riding became evident, as did Lockhart’s over six feet of height which was intimidating in a five foot world. He spoke loud and clear.
“You are the Scaldi. We know this is your land. We are just passing through and would prefer to do it peacefully. By this time tomorrow we will be gone.” He paused, but no one moved or said anything in response, so he continued. “Look. We just killed three sea serpents, made the giant of Transvaak a prisoner, scared off a griffin and destroyed three witches. It has been a busy couple of days and I really don’t feel like killing right now. So if you don’t mind, we will pass through and mind our own business.” That got the men on horseback whispering sharply and a few tried to back up, hard as that was on ponies.
“Captain Harper.” Major Decker spoke up.
“Lay a pattern at their feet.” The rifles went up and so did Lockhart’s shotgun. Lockhart aimed at the man out front before he raised his gun to the tree branch above the man’s head. The rifle fire made the ponies jump. Lockhart’s shotgun blast got them to turn around, and by the time the branch fell, twenty men were riding for their lives.
“Hopefully that will be the end of it,” Lincoln said.
“Double watch in the night.” Lockhart said and turned to Katie.
Katie spoke as if she was finishing her conversation. “What I don’t understand is how the Amazons and Andovar’s people could understand each other.”
Be sure to check next Monday for the beginning for Avalon, Episode 3.4, Trader in Mischief which will be posted in 5 parts over the next two weeks. A new world episode, taking place in southeastern Brazil after 2972 BC, where the travelers find the natives restless, and one alien who sees the earth as a vast, untapped market for his space salvage and war surplus goods.