Blueblood and sevarese fighters moved in a pattern impossible to follow. Obviously they were computer controlled for random, evasive maneuvers while gunners fired at every chance target, but to anticipate and guess a move in that dogfight appeared impossible. Shots went everywhere, and the land below took a beating. The travelers were protected behind elder Stow’s screen, but the seals suffered. They appeared to be abandoning the beach where there were explosions here and there as random shots hit the dirt.
“But the sea there is presently full of sharks,” Cletus objected right along with Alexis and Boston.
“Between the rock and the hard place,” Mikos mumbled.
“From the frying pan to the fire,” Lincoln added his own mumble.
Two sevarese fighters went down fairly quickly, but two blueblood fighters followed when they broke off to attack the transport ship and found the transport heavily armed. The transport looked ready to enter the fray, but a blueblood transport came in from the north and landed just over a small rise in the ground where the two transports would be hidden from each others weapons.
The fighters hardly had time to worry about the ships beneath them. At the same time, though, it was beginning to look like the various computers were adjusting for the work and speed of the gunners. No one was making close to a good shot. And all this while, Mikos stood with Elder Stow’s scanner in his hand, until at last he yelled now and threw a switch.
Everyone felt the wind, like the sudden inrush of air to fill a vacuum. Two sevarese and one blueblood fighter crashed into a wall of force that sprang up suddenly between the combatants. The fighters backed off, each on their own side. Several shots were fired, but they reflected back and endangered the shooter, so that quickly stopped.
“What did you do?” Alexis asked.
“A wall to separate the combatants,” Lockhart responded as he waited on Eder Stow.
“Sevarese coming out of the transport,” Katie shouted from behind the rock where she had an eye on the combatants.
“Bluebloods on the hill,” Decker added from his position. Renglar tapped Decker’s shoulder and pointed. One of the blueblood fighters landed.
“Here.” Elder Stow handed his communicator to Lockhart and Lockhart spoke into it like he was speaking into a police megaphone.
“Bring all your ships to the ground. The battle is over for now, and anyone who tries to continue the fight will be shot,” he spoke in sevarese. “I want commanders from both sides to come here and we will discuss a mutual withdrawal from hostilities.” Lockhart nudged Elder Stow and pointed up as he switched to the blueblood frequencies to repeat his message in the blueblood tongue.
One of the sevarese fighters began to gain altitude, like he wanted to try and go over the wall of force. Elder Stow aimed carefully with his hand weapon and clipped the fighter wing. It came down a bit hard, but at least it did not explode.
“Let us hope that is it,” Elder Stow said. “I admit it was a lucky shot.”
“They are discussing it,” Boston reported. “I can’t hear either side very well.”
“I can,” Mingus stood. “They will come to hear what you have to say.”
Mikos readjusted the scanner so the protective screen once again covered the group. He stepped to the edge of the screen between Decker and Katie, and called Cletus to join him. Lockhart and Elder Stow came on their own.
“I love your red hair,” Cletus had to say it once more before he hurried.
Before the commanders arrived, Renglar interrupted everyone. “Lord Akos, your dad is here.” He pointed. Everyone dutifully looked where he pointed. A man had Katie bent back and his lips were locked to hers. She looked to be struggling, but maybe not too hard.
“Dad!” Mikos shouted.
The man let go and stepped back with a smile on his face. Katie named him.
“Katherine,” Ares bowed slightly. “You Amazons make my blood boil.”
“Dad, you were told to stay away from my Amazons.”
“I’m not technically an Amazon,” Katie said.
Mikos stepped over to grab Ares by the arm. “You are by adoption,” he told Katie. “Zoe says that is the way all of the first Amazons joined the Amazon nation.”
“What?” Ares asked, but he was not moving from his spot.
“I could use your help to get these morons to stop fighting on this planet, and to help me send their war back out into space where it belongs,” Mikos spoke frankly.
“What?” Ares repeated himself, but he allowed Mikos to drag him over to the meeting with the sevarese and blueblood commanders. “I was just getting into the fight when you stopped it. Good trick, putting up that wall of force, by the way. I’m tempted to follow them into space so I can watch them blast each other.” He looked up at Decker. “Major, do you realize my son here invented naval warfare. I’m so proud of him. Okay, Nalishayas started the whole pirate thing, but my son made the first marine boarding party. He put rams on the front of his ships, and all sorts of things. I used to think the sea was just a big waste of space, but now I see it has a warfare unique to itself. It is fascinating.” Ares eventually ran down.
“God of war?” Decker was just checking.
Yes, that’s right.” Ares said
“Dad.” Mikos finally got his attention. The sevarese and blueblood commanders were waiting as patiently as they could. Ares turned to the aliens and spoke suddenly like his words were on fire. The visage of the god alone was enough to make everyone cover their eyes and tremble.
“Much as I would enjoy it, there will be no more fighting on this planet. Not now. Not ever. We will be sending you back into space, either on your ships or as space dust. The choice is yours.” Ares took a step back and grinned.
Three of the four sevarese fainted, and one looked like he might be dead. One blueblood was screaming and running for his life. the other three buebloods appeared to have soiled themselves. Lockhart, Decker, Katie and Elder Stow were no strangers to the anger of the gods, but they all felt glad that was not directed at them. They trembled, and Elder Stow seemed to have a bit of trouble closing his mouth.
Mikos spoke quickly. “Renglar, watch the ship. Lockhart, stay here. The time gate should come to you. Goran and crew, you can return to your ship on the transport. Cletus, you are with me and get your eyes off Boston. She is married. Dad, keep your hands off Captain Harper.” Ares glanced at Katie and smiled. “Sevarese first,” Mikos finished, and all the sevarese, their ships and equipment vanished along with Ares, Mikos and Cletus. They would no doubt reappear far in the east beside the sevarese main ship.
“My. People do come and go so quickly around here,” Alexis said, and she and Lincoln put their hands to their ears as if listening for something
“What?” Boston asked as she got the amulet out to see exactly where the gate was and how far away.
“We are waiting for the munchkins to giggle.”
“Wizard of Oz, right?” Katie guessed.
“Yes, of course,” Lockhart said. He turned with a word for Alexis and Lincoln. “We are still working on generational differences.” He lifted his hand to wave to Goran, Clomb and Lulu who were returning to their ship on the transport parked over the rise. He noticed a cut on the back of his hand, and felt the need to scratch it. Katie saw, grabbed the hand and growled.
“What?” Lockhart said, sounding very much like Ares.
“As long as she is not near any human women to transfer the pregnancy, I figure nine months from now there will be a half-blueblood, half-Lockhart baby born somewhere in space.”
“What? I think I banged it on Decker’s rock over there,” Lockhart said.
“That Lulu better not come back here. I may have to kill her.”
“Oh, yeah. I’m sure Ares would be glad to teach you any number of ways to do that.”
Lockhart and Katie turned away from each other, and Lockhart checked Boston’s amulet. The time gate was just down the narrow rocky beach down from the seal beach. She imagined it the edge of the water, but it might have been out in the surf.
“Pack up,” Lockhart agreed. He looked at Katie, but Katie ignored him. Boston smiled for Alexis and wanted to say that Wizard of Oz comment was great, but Alexis ignored her. Meanwhile, Elder Stow talked to Decker, but he did not appear to be talking to anyone else.
Father Mingus, an empathetic elf with mind magic no less, caught all of the confusion and upset. He decided they might as well head into an ice time zone. It would not be any colder that the feelings he was getting right there.
There is no place like home, but without ruby slippers, getting there can take a while.
Next Monday, Avalon episode 4.2, The Storm Overhead begins. Something comes with the rain. See you then, and Happy Reading…