The horses stayed in the cargo area while the people got carried into the inner halls, disappearing behind the doors. Both Elder Stow and Mingus stopped Boston from following.
“We need to keep track of the horses so we can be ready to go when we help the others escape,” Mingus said.
“I’m picking up strong sub-light capability and good gravometric balance, but I doubt this little transport will be headed off world,” Eder Stow said. When he saw that the elder elf was not interested in his techno-babble, he added, “I doubt the others will be harmed before we reach the main ship, wherever that may be.”
Boston shouted from the small window. “I just like flying. All those trees down below. Look, a herd of animals. They look like ants.”
Elder Stow looked at Mingus as he spoke. “She keeps things in perspective.”
Mingus nodded. “She focuses on the important things.”
Katie was the first to wake, but Lockhart and Decker were not far behind. Lockhart at least had the good sense to groan as he sat up. Alexis and Lincoln took a little longer, and Lincoln stayed dizzy for a bit.
“Just lie still and relax,” Alexis told him. “It doesn’t look like we will be going anywhere soon.”
They were locked in an inner room with several small cots and a small table with two small chairs. Their guns, knives, belts, and Alexis’ medical bag had all been taken from them.
“Not giants,” Decker nudged a little chair and spoke the obvious.
“The ones I saw in Etana’s day were four or five feet tall,” Lincoln said as he sat up and put one hand to his head. “Flesh eaters, as I said. They had developed a taste for human flesh.”
“We all saw them in Hadj’s day,” Alexis reminded everyone.
“With the Pendratti,” Katie remembered. “That was two or three time zones ago, maybe a hundred and fifty years or so. Do you think they are still fighting each other?”
Lockhart shrugged and everyone looked at Lincoln who patted his pockets. Lincoln’s eyes got big and he sat up suddenly wide awake and said, “It’s gone. The database.” He stood to more thoroughly check his pockets. “I was reading it when we were struck. I must have dropped it.” He hoped the sevarese did not take it. The information in the database could change the whole course of history.
“Maybe Elder Stow picked it up,” Katie suggested, before she explained to everyone. “I saw him go invisible right before I passed out.” Katie pulled out the amulet they needed to point to the next time gate, and also the necklace she never took off. That necklace was a camera, matched to the one on Decker’s ring. They transmitted to a part alien digital device she carried in her pack. She imagined the recorder would hold several years of recording, twenty-four hours a day, before it ran out of room. Last she checked it was not a quarter full. She quickly put her things away, but Alexis noticed.
“At least they did not strip us when they took us prisoner,” Alexis said.
“That Neanderthal is quick when his skin is on the line,” Decker interrupted. He was checking the walls to see if there was a crack in the construction.
“I hope Boston, Mingus and Elder Stow are all right,” Katie said.
Alexis sighed some unexplained unhappiness. “Me too.” Then she added, “And Misty Gray, wherever the horses are.”
“I imagine the horses may be supper,” Decker said as he turned from the wall and took a seat on one of the small chairs. “I instructed Weber to give indigestion to whoever eats him.” Decker fidgeted a little, like he felt half naked not having a gun and knife at his side.
Lincoln sat back on the cot, leaned his head to the wall, and put a hand back to his forehead. “What do you imagine they will do with us?” he asked.
“The ones we saw in Hadj’s day seemed pretty military,” Lockhart said. “I imagine they will go by the book and interview us first.” He looked at the Major and the Captain. Katie nodded as if to say that was right. Decker quipped with a look at Lincoln.
“Maybe they like to play with their food first.”
The five travelers stood quietly and waited while the sevarese at the table looked at what might have doubled for a computer tablet. Decker looked around the inside of the small cave and counted the sevarese that surrounded them with guns drawn. Lincoln looked for cracks and openings in the back wall of the cave, a habit he had picked up on their journey since he did not like to be surprised by whatever goblins, trolls or dwarfs might be hiding back there. Lockhart, Katie and Alexis examined their host, his small stature, beak-like nose, and feather-like hair. and they waited politely until he spoke.
“Oh, this is telling me nothing but mythology and the delusions of my ancients,” the sevarese at the table spoke with a clear sound of frustration in his voice. He set the tablet on the table rather roughly and looked up at the humans. “I am Glory Cata, and my claw trailed a Blueblood ship to this world, and you appeared. We know the bluebloods have gotten into our historical records and corrupted many things. Your appearance is too much for coincidence, but the bluebloods missed one key point. Your species does not live that long.”
“I don’t know what record you are looking at that mentions us, but if it does, it probably notes that we are time travelers,” Lockhart tried to be helpful, and friendly.
“Yes,” Glory Cata made a face that they all guessed was a smirky little smile. He showed no teeth, but he had three tongues that looked like they could tear things up pretty well. “But we know that time travel is impossible, so the obvious conclusion is you are blueblood spies.”
“To what end?” Lockhart asked.
“I don’t know,” Glory Cata went back to sounding frustrated. “To draw us out. To discover our base of operations. To detonate yourselves. Who knows?”
“Excuse me,” Lincoln interrupted. “If you have any record at all of this world, then it should show that this word is off limits. You should not even be here.”
“The bluebloods came here, so we came here. Once we have wiped them out then we will leave and neither of us will be here.”
“That’s another thing,” Glory Cata yelled as he picked up the tablet. “This fantasy of my ancestors speaks of spirits in the earth and the sky and some with powers like gods. Who can believe such tales? Look here, what is a ghu-ail?”
“Ghoul,” Lockhart corrected, quietly.
“And who is this Kay-ro … ros?”
“Kairos,” Lockhart continued. “He is one who will be seriously unhappy that you have prevented us from continuing our journey.”
“He makes the Kairos sound like syrup,” Katie whispered.
“And I suppose this imaginary Kay-ros and his imaginary gods will come and enforce the off limits for this planet.”
“I don’t know about that,” Lockhart said, “But I suggest you figure out why this planet is marked off limits before you do something drastic that you may regret.”
Glory Cata paused with his mouth open. His tongues clicked against his nose-beak like he was fishing out some string of food that got caught up in there, like a person might pick their teeth. Suddenly, the severese raised his feather-covered hands and returned to his bad attitude. “It is a blueblood trick. It must be.” Glory Cata gave the travelers his best, mean stare. “Where are the blueblood located? Where is their battleship?”
Glory Cata picked up a stick and touched Alexis with the other end of it. Alexis gasped and shook, She squeezed her eyes tight while everyone jumped. Lincoln pulled her away and felt the electrical charge, like a shot with a taser. Gory Cata spoke again while Alexis caught her breath.
“Speak up. I will not ask so nicely again.” When the travelers said they had no idea where the bluebloods were located, Glory Cata added one more word. “Lock them with the others until I decide what to do with them.”
“Our horses?” Katie asked while they were escorted out of the room.
“Father Mingus,” Alexis smiled and whispered to the others while Lincoln helped her move. “He must have convinced the sevarese the horses could not be eaten. He is pretty good with mind magic.”
“Not as good as a ghu-ail,” Lincoln joked, and Decker and Lockhart both gave Lincoln a look that said how dare he steal their line.