After 2395 BC around the Aegean. Kairos 47: Mikos, Akos of Akoshia
Katie checked the amulet that had been placed in her hands, and pointed a little to their left. It was the prototype, not as sophisticated as the one Boston wore around her neck, but it pointed well enough to the next time gate, and that was all that mattered. To be honest, she hardly gave it a thought as her mind was occupied with another matter.
“I’m worried about Elder Stow,” she said out loud. “He is being so quiet. I remember Lincoln read from the database that Neanderthals, I mean, the Gott-Druk are naturally gregarious and very family oriented people. I thought he was finally starting to open up and accept us as family, but suddenly he has gone back to being all stiff and formal.”
“I don’t know,” Lockhart said. “He isn’t human. I don’t think we can judge him in human ways.”
Katie nodded. “If he was human, I would say he is acting like a petulant teenager.”
Lockhart nodded. “But he isn’t.”
“Yes, but Boston was human,” Lockhart responded. “Besides, I have come to accept that elves, dwarfs, and even dark elves and the rest are still native to this planet. The Gott-Druk are no longer welcome here, at least not since the flood.”
“Do you think there really was a flood?”
“We saw the boat on the mountain. That is some pretty hard evidence.”
“And the tower of Shinar, we saw with our own eyes.” Katie nodded with glee, but one eye went to look at Eder Stow who was dutifully riding out on the flank.
“Speaking of Mingus and Boston,” Lockhart said to distract Katie’s attention. “Are they keeping up?
Katie looked back. Father Mingus was instructing his new daughter.
“Now Miss Riley, invisibility is hard, it takes some real concentration, but I am sure you can do it,” Mingus encouraged her. “Let the end of your wand be the focal point for your magic. That is what wands are good for.”
“It’s hard,” Boston complained, sounding like a young child. “Besides, I’m afraid I’m going to set myself or Honey on fire.”
“Now, I know the Amazons called you Little Fire,” Mingus spoke kindly. “But you should not fear the spark inside you. I have looked with the mind magic, and you have a fine roaring flame, but invisibility comes from a different section of your brain, and I have seen that you can do it. You must trust, and not me. You must trust yourself.”
Boston nodded, but she did not look too sure.
Alexis, riding in front of Mingus and Boston, spurred her horse to catch up to where Katie and Lockhart were watching out ahead. She left Lincoln to read whatever he was reading in the database, and made a face of disgust that Katie noticed.
“He is treating her like a porcelain doll,” Alexis groused.
Alexis shook her head. “Okay, it was the eighteenth century, but I got whippings with a switch when I got something wrong or didn’t do what I was told.”
“Whippings?” Katie sounded shocked. She could not imagine light elves doing anything of the kind. She still thought they were all peaceful, loving vegetarians, despite her experience of watching them in battle.
“Maybe not whippings, but near enough. People don’t realize that the little spirits of the earth parallel human behavior much more than any want to admit. The magic and all seems like such a great divide, but we all think and feel the same. We marry after a fashion, and have families. We all raise our children to do what is right, more or less. And we share emotions like love, hate and fear.”
“I suppose that is true,” Lockhart said.
“I really hadn’t thought of it that way,” Katie admitted, and one eye went again to Elder Stow.
“I am not downplaying the differences, which in some ways are profound and eternal, but we share more in common than most know or admit.”
“And right now you are jealous of Boston?” Lockhart was seeking clarification.
Alexis lowered her eyes to think, but everyone else lifted their eyes to look overhead. Decker rode in from the flank and pointed up. It was a good sized ship of uncertain markings, and unfortunately, there was no cover to which they could run and hide, only a few small trees over where Elder Stow stopped in the shadows to watch.
The ship flew in a big arc before it circled back toward the travelers, who dismounted but did not move from where they were. What was the point? They were obviously seen.
“I don’t recognize the markings,” Decker said.
“I don’t either,” Lockhart confessed
“Just coming to it.” Lincoln had the database out.
“What do you suppose they want with us?” Decker asked.
“We are an unusual sight in this day and environment. They may have scanners that picked up the worked metal content of our weapons, for example. I’m guessing they are just interested in a good look.”
“They might have as much interest in the horses as us,” Mingus suggested as he rode up and got down to join the group. Boston stood in her stirrups and waved before she got down.
“Not Marzalotipan, I hope,” Katie frowned at the thought of another visit by those interstellar used car salesmen.
“No. The marking match sevarese markings,” Lincoln said. “They are bird men, too, but very different. The last ones I met, in Etana’s day, were flesh eaters, human flesh.” Before he could explain further, a green light came from the ship and bathed the travelers. All of the people, fell unconscious. The horses were stunned, but remained on their feet.
“Quick as you can,” Mingus said and grabbed a groggy Boston’s hand. They ran at super speed to the trees and bushes where Eder Stow was just then turning himself invisible. “Now, girl, get invisible,” he ordered, and Boston was motivated. She succeeded as Elder Stow’s horse wandered over to join the others.
When the ship landed, the sevarese rounded up the horses and people to bring them aboard. “Follow me,” Elder Stow said, and he snuck, invisible, into the ship. Mingus and Boston, who could still see him and hear him, followed. Elder Stow could not see the elves until Mingus made a window so just the Elder could see him.
“An advanced lesson,” he told Boston. Boston nodded. She had enough to do to keep herself from suddenly appearing and being seen by everyone.