After 1312 A.D. The Alps
Kairos lifetime 111: Prudenza Doria D’Amalfi de Genoa
Nanette stepped up to the porch out in front of the inn. She paused to look on the streets of Lyon. She came a long way from Rome—she and Tony. He was Professor Fleming’s graduate student. She was the Professor’s administrative assistant, but that was in 1905. Decker insisted on the title of administrative assistant, though in truth, she was simply the professor’s darkie in 1905. The professor taught antiquities and classics, but his special love was Rome. He taught about the fall of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. In fact, he was speaking on that very subject when the whole house they were staying in got picked up from 1905 Rome and sent back to the days of Julius Caesar. She lived in those days for seven years—she and Tony. They would still be living there if the travelers had not come along.
Nanette sat down on a chair to watch the soldiers and the strange looking man that the soldiers talked to. She pulled her fairy weave shawl tight around her shoulders against the chill. She even told the shawl to thicken a little and marveled at the material. She could change the size, shape, texture, color, and all with a word. It was not any magic on her part. The magic was in the material itself, and she understood in this way the travelers could dress like the locals no matter what time zone they entered. Presently, they were somewhere in the fourteenth century.
Nanette paused in her thoughts. She thought the man in the street looked familiar, but they had traveled a long way over the last year and a half, from 44 B. C., time zone by time zone, to the present. Since this was now the fourteenth century A. D., of course the man could not be familiar.
Nanette shrugged it off and thought about Decker. Lieutenant Colonel Milton Decker was now her husband. Milton, with the other travelers, came from 2010, not 1905. As a couple, they had things to work out, to say the least, but she had no complaints. Of course, he dd not like the name Milton. Everyone called him Decker, or Colonel. She thought Milton was a fine name for 1905. Nanette sighed. They had things to work through, not to mention both being black Americans from what sometimes seemed like two different worlds. Nanette’s grandmother was a plantation slave freed by the Republicans and that wonderful Mister Lincoln; God rest his soul. Decker’s grandmother lived in the segregated south, and he grew up in the hood, whatever that was. And he claimed to be a Democrat, the very ones who forced segregation, wore hoods, and lynched negroes at every opportunity. A Democrat? Nanette steamed before she changed it from “lynched negroes” to “lynched blacks”, and then “lynched African Americans”. It was like learning a whole new language, but she was learning.
Wait… She remembered Elder Stow and Sukki were not even human, originally. Well, she was assured they were human, just not homo sapiens. They were Neanderthals who got taken off the Earth at the time of the flood. She never heard of Neanderthals before. Elder Stow was the result of thousands of years of learning, or evolution, as Decker said. He had devices he carried around—Lockhart called them gadgets—which seemed miraculous. He had a screen device which could make an invisible barrier that nothing could break through. He had a scanner that could far-see and tell him what was over the horizon. He had other things, including a sonic device, and a weapon—a powerful handgun that could melt metal or set whole buildings on fire. And he could fly and go invisible. She often forgot he was a Gott-Druk, as the Neanderthals called themselves. He wore a glamour that made him look like an elderly human, well, a homo sapiens, and he seemed such a nice man.
Sukki was also a Gott-Druk, at first. She actually got taken off the Earth at the time of the flood with Elder Stow’s ancestors and slept in a chamber of some sort where she did not age at all. When she arrived on her new home world, she joined a small group of Gott-Druk determined to return to Earth and repopulate their ancient territory. By the time they got back to Earth, it was thousands of years later, and she was the only survivor of that fateful trip. The travelers took her with them knowing she would never survive in that day and age on her own. Elder Stow adopted her as his daughter. But then things changed.
Sukki said she never felt comfortable as a Gott-Druk traveling with humans through a human world. When the travelers arrived in Rome and Nanette and Tony joined the group as the only relatively safe way to make it back to their own time, Suki begged to be changed, before the gods went away, she said. Nanette saw the goddesses appear in her living room in that Roman house. They transformed Sukki from Neanderthal to homo sapiens and gifted her with all sorts of special things. She could fly, and produce her own heat ray, as Lockhart called it, and more. Decker said the goddesses empowered the poor girl like a superhero. Nanette was not sure what a superhero was, but she got the idea. Sukki was sweet, shy, and a good girl, and Nanette imagined that was why the goddesses did not mind gifting her with so much power.
More curious from Nanette’s point of view, was the fact that she was not without some power of her own. She reached in the side sack Alexis used to carry and touched her wand. She understood her ability to do magic would come and go as they traveled though time, depending on the position of the Other Earth, whatever the Other Earth was. But basically, she would be empowered for three hundred years, and then be without her magic for three hundred years.
Nanette’s hand touched something else. It was Boston’s Beretta, gifted to her when Boston and Alexis made the jump through the Heart of Time back into the future. They had to be elves to do that, but Alexis’ father, Boston’s father-in-law was dying. They had to go. The rest of them, the humans still had to get back to the future the slow way, time gate by time gate.
Nanette was not happy carrying around a handgun, but she understood that sadly it might come in handy during those years when she was without her magic.
Nanette paused when the man in the street pointed at her, or at the inn. The soldiers all looked in her direction before one of them said something and they once again faced each other. What was that about? Nanette wondered, before she thought again about Decker and her companions.
Come to think of it, of the eight people traveling through time, only four remained from the original group. Colonel Decker was her husband. Lockhart, the leader of this expedition through time, was the Assistant Director of something called the Men in Black. He, and Major Katherine Lockhart, or Katie, an elect, which is a one-in-a-million warrior woman, were the other married couple in the group. And then there was Lincoln, a former spy who carried the database. The database had all the relevant historical information about the time zones they went though, including information about whatever life the Kairos was living where he or she stood at the center of the time zone, equidistant from both time gates.
Nanette considered the time jumps. When they came through a time gate, they traveled usually between six and sixty years into the future in one step. Then they crossed the time zone, about two to three hundred miles to the Kairos and another two to three hundred miles to the next time gate. If only it was that simple, Nanette thought and rolled her eyes. They inevitably ran into trouble in every time zone.
Lockhart came out to the porch. “Are you coming in?” he asked. “Katie and Sukki are comparing their amulets to figure out where we are going, and they are comparing it to the map in Lincoln’s database.”
Nanette glanced at the street. The street conference broke up. The soldiers marched away, and that strange man was not to be seen. She glanced at the barn and stables just down from the inn. Decker and Elder Stow had the horse duty for the day, and apparently, they were taking their time.
“Might as well,” she said. “But I am more curious about who the Kairos is in this time zone.”
“Prudencia, no Prudenza,” Lockhart said.
“Prudence,” Nanette responded as she stood, and Lockhart held the door. “Seven years of living in ancient Rome and speaking Latin every day has to be worth something.”
“I wouldn’t know,” Lockhart responded with a smile. “One of the gifts of the Kairos when we started this journey was to be able to hear and respond in English to everything, and sound to the other person like we are speaking their native language. Even the written word automatically translates to English in my head.”
Nanette frowned. “I know. I was kind of hoping we could get to a point where I could practice my French. Now, that is not going to happen.” Nanette stopped in the doorway and glanced once more at the street.
“What?” Lockhart asked.
Nanette shook her head as she spoke. “I saw someone in the street talking to some soldiers and pointing at the inn. I don’t know if it means anything, but I thought he looked familiar.”
“The Masters have repeat people,” Lockhart responded. “It may have been one. The Kairos told us if we see any repeat people and they are not one of the good guys, we need to consider them the enemy.”
Nanette nodded. “But it might not have been someone I saw before. Maybe I was just picking up a bad sense about him.”
“A bad vibe.” Lockhart rubbed his chin. “Alexis told me before she left us that apart from Katie and her elect senses, where she can detect danger and enemies in the distance, you know. Apart from her, you are the only one we have to count on when you have your magic. She said you have something near telepathy, not that you can read minds, exactly, but you can sense intentions, like what a person might be thinking about and how they feel about that. I’m not sure what Alexis was saying, but do you understand?”
Nanette stared at the door before she nodded. “That was it. It was us, not the inn that he was pointing at. I sensed he wants to hurt us in some way. I wish I had thought of that. Alexis taught me how to focus and concentrate. I’m sorry I didn’t do that. I just picked up the bad feelings—bad vibes with a casual glance.”
“It’s okay,” Lockhart said and smiled. “Next time.” Nanette agreed and went inside. Lockhart followed.