After 939 BC, La Venta Island. Kairos lifetime 72: Ozmatlan (Ozma)
Boston and Sukki appeared in the village, having gone first through the time gate. The little people that lived in the village called for their friends and neighbors. Some applauded for the visitors. Some cheered.
Lincoln and Alexis followed, and little children ran up with flowers for Alexis.
Katie and Lockhart came next through the time gate, and the little people began to dance in their joy.
By the time Major Decker and Elder Stow came through, the others were getting down to follow Boston and Sukki. Boston and Sukki walked across what appeared to be a village square. They went surrounded by cheering, happy little people, who led them to a platform where the village elders looked ready to welcome them all.
Decker cradled his rifle for the moment and Elder Stow put his things away before they followed. Lockhart whispered a comment to Katie.
“If they start singing about lollypop kids, I’m leaving as fast as I can.”
Katie grinned. It did sort of look that way.
Boston recognized most of the dwarfs, gnomes, and elves among the little people, though they dressed strangely and looked more tanned than she was accustomed to seeing. She also felt unaccustomed to seeing them living together, side by side. “This is the new world,” she mumbled, and looked at Sukki. Poor Sukki looked distressed, not the least from having so much attention focused on her. Boston took the girl’s hand both to offer comfort and keep Sukki quiet.
“Welcome travelers from Avalon.” One exceptionally small little person on the platform stepped in front of the others. “Welcome friends of the Kairos. We have waited for you through these long five years. Welcome.”
“Five years?” Sukki softly wondered.
“How do you know we are the ones you are waiting for?” Boston asked, nice and loud.
The small one spoke. “Well, you are the elf with the flaming red hair. A very unusual color, you know.”
A tall man stepped up. “And Quetzalcoatl the giant stands with his wife, the blonde elect, the one-in-a-million warrior woman.” Katie touched Lockhart’s arm and they shared a smile.
One that looked to be all beard spoke next, sounding surprisingly like a woman. “And the man who carries the future in a box stands with his dark haired former elf wife.” Alexis took Lincoln’s arm, but Lincoln looked surprised. He carried the database that held all of the vital historical information they depended on, but he wondered how these people knew that.
Then the bearded one beside the bearded woman, who might have been her twin, except he sounded male, spoke. “And you travel with two elders of the earth, one female and one male.” Sukki smiled, and Elder Stow raised his hand to identify himself, though he wore a glamour intended to make him appear human.
Finally, a brown-haired woman who might have passed for human, but for the bulbous nose, pointed at Major Decker. “And the great warrior with skin as dark as a Shemsu watches over you all, and never lets go of his weapon.”
“Not to mention the horses were a bit of a giveaway,” the tall one added.
“Besides,” Lockhart smiled as he spoke to Katie and to all. “How many people have come through the time gate to appear in the middle of this village, like out of nowhere.”
“Um…” the small man hedged.
“What?” Lincoln caught it, and he looked like he did not want to hear the answer.
“The witch came through…” the small man admitted, and thought.
“A real wicked witch.”
“Bad news all around.”
“He says there are plenty of dead people around, what with the fever and all.”
“But they rise-up still infected, so that is no good.”
“Then we had three men, outlaws, I believe,” the small man rubbed his chin, though he had no beard. “They rode horses like yours and had six-shooters, but claimed to be saving their bullets, whatever bullets might be…”
“They came through about a month ago and said they are looking for a place where they can make gunpowder and take over.”
“Some place worth taking over, they said.”
The bearded lady spoke up. “Don’t forget the wraith.”
“They said people,” the small man insisted.
“The wraith counts,” one of the elders said.
“But they didn’t ask about the creatures,” the tall man said.
“Can we eat now?” the bearded man asked, totally changing the subject.
“Yeah,” the woman with the big nose interjected. “We are supposed to feast the travelers.”
“Yeah,” the little people liked the idea of eating, and they all cheered.
Someone started the bonfire which had already been set up in the middle of the town square. It waited there for five years, as far as the travelers could tell. In mere moments, corn and deer began to roast, while several little people started frying cornmeal bread. Alexis, Sukki, and Boston got out some elf bread crackers. They heated some water, and the crackers became hot, steaming loaves of the best fresh baked bread, which they promptly shared.
Lockhart, Decker, Katie and Elder Stow set up the tents where they were shown. They took some time with the horses, but found some of the little people knew horses well and volunteered to watch them and care for them.
Lincoln went to ask about the creatures that came through the time gate, if he could get a straight answer. He reminded Lockhart that the Kairos said if they could follow the travelers through the time gates, they had to treat them as a potential threat. Lockhart did not argue with that idea.
Alexis turned to acknowledge two dwarf wives as Sukki finally spoke her thoughts. “These people all belong to the Kairos,” Sukki decided, but it came out like a question.
“I think it is just Ozma,” Alexis said, over her shoulder. To answer Boston’s curious look, she added, “Think Wizard of Oz.”
“But that makes us…” Boston thought for a minute. “Hey! We’re not munchkins.”
“What are munchkins?” Sukki asked.
Alexis shrugged, but smiled, as Elder Stow interrupted them. He came over with his glamour removed, so he looked like the Neanderthal he was, or as they call themselves in their own language, Gott-Druk.
“You might as well remove your glamour,” he said to Sukki. “No point in going disguised when they see right through you.”
Sukki looked at him and said, “Yes, father. I forget that I have it on.”
Elder Stow came into the past from a distant future where the Gott-Druk had long since mastered space flight and all sorts of technological wonders. Elder Stow and the travelers were all making their way slowly back toward the future. Sukki came from the deep past, and her thoughts and knowledge remained primitive. She slept in suspension for more than eight-thousand-years on an Agdaline slower-than-light ship before she made it back to earth. Elder Stow kindly adopted her as a daughter, and he started teaching her about modern Gott-Druk things. They were all teaching her things about life in the twenty-first century. She came across as a sweet but shy girl, especially in front of the humans, who she still thought of as stealing the Earth from her people. But she seemed to be slowly adjusting.
Sukki removed her glamour, and Boston raised her eyebrows before she smiled. With the glamour on, Sukki looked like a big girl. Without it, the squat, muscular shape, brow ridges and sloped forehead of the Gott-Druk gave her quite a different appearance.
“It is always a surprise. You look so different,” Boston admitted. “Besides, you do the same thing.”
“I do not,” Sukki insisted, and Boston removed her own glamour to show her skinny elf figure, pointed ears and all. Sukki’s eyebrows went up. Sukki paused to touch her own forehead. “Yes, I do,” she confessed, and they both laughed.