Katie stayed between the blueblood female, Lulu, and Lockhart. She laid down beside Lockhart in the night and sat up with him when he was on watch.
“I thought the sevarese might try something as soon as they found us back around midnight, last night. At least I thought they might try to take us after the sun came up,” she said.
Lockhart just looked at her briefly before he turned his eyes out again toward the dark.
“They seem to be keeping back for some reason,” she continued. “Do you think they expected us to escape, since they did not bother to strip us in the first place?”
“I am sure they did not expect a group of dwarfs to tunnel into our cell and bring us out the back of the mountain. That probably confused them for a while. Still, the found us fairly quick in the night once we retrieved the horses and started out, but then they have kept out of visual range and probably think that we don’t know they are there. What do you think they are doing?”
Lockhart looked at Katie with a straight face as he spoke. “I have no interest in Lulu.”
Katie looked away and tried to answer in kind. “I know that.” They sat in silence for a few minutes before Katie continued. “Anyway, I am sure they don’t know that we have Elder Stow’s scanner so we know exactly where they are, and Eder Stow’s screen device to block their green knock-out ray, whatever it is, or any other heat ray they might have, as you call them. Heat rays.”
“Uh-huh,” Lockhart agreed like he was half-listening, but his attention was all hers.
“I think they are following us with the hope that we take the bluebloods back to their mother ship. Once they have the location pinpointed, they will be able to launch a strike. They have no way of knowing that the blueblood honestly don’t know where their mother ship is. All Lulu knows is they went south, and a little east so the ship should be north and a little west.”
“Bluebloods lie like elves, but they aren’t as good at it,” Lockhart said, to suggest the bluebloods might know exactly where their ship was. “Not that I am saying Lulu is lying to you.”
Katie nodded. “You know, all she needs is a touch, or a scratch, just a piece of your skin to get your DNA, and she can fertilize her egg. Then she can plant the egg in the first innocent human woman we meet, and nine months later we have a half-blueblood, half-human child to deal with.”
“Half-blueblood, half-Lockhart child.” Lockhart grinned, and watched Katie look up at him with big blue eyes. “Don’t worry,” he said quickly. “I’ll let you know if I ever get interested in any woman other than you, but I don’t expect that I will.”
Katie sat beside him in silence again for a while before she slipped her arm around his and held his hand.
Several hours later, Lockhart and Mingus went back to bed and Boston got up to sit with Katie and take the morning watch. They built up the fire before they sat side by side, facing east so they could watch the sun rise. The sevaree were hiding in the east, out of sight.
“According to Lincoln, we are somewhere in Turkey,” Boston began.
“Anatolia, Asia Minor,” Katie nodded. “But near the coast.”
Boston returned the nod and got out her amulet, so Katie got hers out as well. They compared them again, and Boston pointed out several improvements in hers as compared to the prototype Katie carried.
“I’ve gotten pretty good at seeing where the Kairos is at the center of the time zone,” Boston said. “In this case, he appears to be moving, somewhere out in that direction, but toward us, I think.”
Katie nodded. Her prototype was not that sophisticated. All she could tell was the distance between them and the next gate was slowly shrinking. “You realize the sevarese main ship is right near the time gate where we came into this time zone. It was like they took us all the way back to the beginning and we had to start over.”
Boston nodded and looked back into the camp, her good elf ears having picked up a sound of movement. It was just one of the bluebloods turning in his sleep. “The sevarese probably saw us enter this time zone and tracked us to where they picked us up,” Boston nodded, before she looked back again at the sleepers.
“What’s wrong?” Katie asked.
“Nothing. Nothing,” Boston repeated herself.
“Father Mingus giving you a hard time about something?”
“No. He is sweet. I don’t understand why Roland and Alexis sometimes think he is not.”
“They grew up under his watchful eye,” Katie suggested. “I think all fathers treat their children different from the way they treat everybody else.”
“Yes, but you are full grown,” Kate smiled. “It is different when you are a child and growing up. I know my father treats me different.”
Boston said nothing, so Katie tried again.
“So if it isn’t Father Mingus, then what is it?” She reached for Boston’s hand, but Boston did not give it. She looked up, but chose to worry her hands in her lap instead.
“Alexis,” she said. “It is like ever since I became an elf she had been giving me the cold shoulder. No, I mean ever since Roland got pulled back into the future.”
“Did you think maybe she is jealous? Father Mingus is spending a lot of time with you,” Katie said. When Boston shook her head and shrugged, Katie added, “Did you talk to her?”
“I don’t know what to say,” Boston said. “I know, me, not knowing what to say, ha, ha. But I don’t know what to say.”
“Well, I can say Alexis does not dislike you, so maybe you just need to ask her what is the matter and what you can do to make it better.”
Boston shook her head and shrugged again as the sun came up.
Shortly after noon, the travelers with their blueblood passengers reached the southwestern shore of the Aegean Sea where Boston and Katie both affirmed the time gate was somewhere out to sea. That brought everyone together for a brief meeting. This circumstance had come up a couple of times, but this time the Kairos did not appear to have made an easy way, and there was no convenient village where they might arrange a ship for passage.
“Great,” Decker spouted. “I don’t suppose Elder Stow has a gadget for that.”
“No,” Elder Stow admitted with a frown. “But there seems to be many life forms not far up the shore. Maybe it is people who can help us construct a proper boat.”
“Ship,” Decker corrected.
“Our battleship should be north, up along the shoreline,” Goran spoke around Lockhart’s shoulder where he was riding behind. “Maybe we can help you reach your destination.”
“I’ll take it under advisement,” Lockhart said, and turned the group up the beach. It was not far before they climbed a small rise and found the many life forms down the other side. There were thousands of seals, they covered the sand, and they were active and noisy.
“Your scanner can’t tell the difference between people and seals?” Alexis griped. Everyone knew she was in a bad mood, but all the same, Elder Stow was beginning to feel picked on.
“Wait for it,” Boston said, as her eyes darted back and forth between her amulet and a single mast ship that appeared on the horizon. It looked to be headed toward the seal bay.
“Pirates?” Katie asked as she pulled out her binoculars.
“Mikos.” Lincoln read from the database. “It is either a bunch of young kids looking for help to find their way to Crete, or the ruler of Crete come to settle things between … a bunch of things.” Lincoln looked and nodded at the bluebloods, but he did not explain. Lockhart caught the look, but knew they would have a wait, so he said something unrelated.
Lockhart dismounted right away and helped Goren get down, stiff and worn as he was. Lincoln also dismounted right away, and came right up to Lockhart to let him read what was written in the database. That left Clomb to awkwardly climb down off the horse by himself.