Avalon 9.2 The Called, part 6 of 6

Four days later, the travelers came across an odd caravan headed out from Valladolid, about a quarter day on the road.  The travelers gave up the idea of reaching the city by dark in order to camp and talk to the people.  As long as Catherine continued to move east, the next time gate moved closer.  Sukki said they might reach it in a day and skip the city altogether.

The caravan included Gypsies and a large number of Jews that traveled with them.  The travelers built a big campfire and heard the stories the people told.  They all claimed to have come from Portugal.  “The Portuguese Inquisition is relentless,” one man said. “We have no interest in converting to Catholicism.”

Only Lincoln mumbled something about no one expecting the Spanish Inquisition.

“And we have no intention of being domesticated,” The gypsie chief added.

“You are Romani people?” Katie asked.

The gypsie chief raised his eyebrows.  “We may be,” he said in a voice where he did not have to lie but did not exactly tell the truth.

Katie nodded.  “And where are you headed?”  Katie felt suspicious and the man’s half-confession made it worse.  She needed to hear the man talk.

“Navarre,” the first man said.  “I hear there is still room for Sephardim in that land.”

“Where we are needed,” the gypsie chief said and glanced at Elder Stow. Elder Stow kept shaking his scanner.

“I am getting the strangest readings from these people,” he said.  “They are human, but something is odd. I don’t know…”  He shook the device again.

“I will explain,” the gypsie chief said, and somehow Katie, Lockhart, Elder Stow, and the man became isolated from the rest of the people around the fire.  “The Watchers have determined that you are displaced in time and are headed into the future, though I do not know how that is possible, it appears to be true.”

“True enough,” Lockhart said as he, Katie, and Elder Stow sat up and listened intently to what the man had to say.  The others talked with the Jews and gypsies that sat around the big bonfire telling jokes.  Lockhart, Katie, Elder Stow, and the man seemed to be in their own little bubble.  Even the outside noise got diminished.

“We have been sent here by the Watchers, the most ancient and wise, who see through time itself, and who began in the fourth age, the age of time.  We are the guardians, born at the end of the fifth age.  When the Watchers looked through time and saw that the material life born in the sixth age would be fragile, we were selected to guard that life.  We have served the Watchers for nearly five billion of your years, since this earth first formed, not to guide the life that grew, but to protect it so it could grow and reach its full potential.  The Watchers pay close attention to those few planets scattered throughout the universe where intelligent material life arises.  They are watching this world even now, and we were called in this crisis.  But they know where the demons come, life ends.  Material life is presently broken by what some call sin.  Not our fault, nor anything we could do about that.  It appears to be part of a deeper plan that even the Watchers do not fully understand, but in the meantime, this creative planet is fulfilling its promise. All of that will end if the corruption comes here in force. We have blocked the broadcast into deep space, but some have heard.  We will travel to where we need to go to end any invasion that comes.”

“Your people made the light scope that Ali Baba found,” Katie interjected.

The man smiled a very human smile.  “More than likely,” he said.

“Good to know the Kairos has help,” Lockhart said.

“The Kairos is a child, an infant in eternity.  The Kairos does not know we are here and need not know.  We will guard this world and remove ourselves, and the Watchers will watch, and you will finish your journey through time, only beware of the demons that will assail you.”

The Gypsie chief disappeared, and Lockhart and Elder Stow chuckled.  It was a good joke.  Lockhart imagined the Jewish elder might have made a living in the Catskills.  Katie said nothing.  She felt uncomfortable, like she just missed something.


In the morning, the travelers skipped the city and headed straight toward the time gate.  It moved in the night.  Lockhart started the complaints.  “It is difficult not knowing how things turn out.  The Kairos Catherine—La Halcon has her hands full and could use our help, maybe.”

Katie did not sound concerned.  “I am sure the Falcon will work it out.  She is another brilliant and capable woman of the Kairos.”

“And the men,” Lockhart said.  “They all seem pretty capable to me.”

Katie just smiled.  “Anyway, I wouldn’t worry.  After all, I don’t recall in the history book where it says the earth came under some form of alien domination in the fifteenth century.”

 “I suppose,” Lockhart did not disagree, but he had another question and turned back to Lincoln to ask it.  “Lincoln.  Who are the Honogon?  We probably should know in case they show up again.”

Lincoln put away the database and talked.  “New Exterminators is how the database refers to them.  Think Balok.  Except, these are willing to make slaves of species that are not smart enough to challenge them.”

“But what are they?  Do they look like us?” Katie asked.

Lincoln shook his head.  “Avian-type dinosaurs, the kind that became birds, but they look more like Hyenas, with the jaws and teeth.  They walk upright.  Elder Stow can show you the hologram out of his database.”

Lockhart nodded. “Later,” he said as Sukki rode up.

“The time gate is just ahead across a farm field, but there are men there working in the field.”

Lockhart looked at the sky.  The morning sun looked extra bright after all those cloudy and rainy days.  At least it stopped raining.  It was not exactly the first thing in the morning, but the Kairos was moving so the time gate kept moving as well.  They overshot it.  When they got up a couple of hours ago, they had to backtrack to catch it.

“March first, maybe,” Katie said.  “Aragon and Portugal will fight today.  The battle of Toro.  History calls it a draw, but both sides claim victory.  It would be nice to see what really happens.”

“Not our job,” Lockhart said, as Decker and Elder Stow rode in from the wings.  We go through this morning.  Elder Stow, you will have to set your screens behind us until the gate deactivates, to keep the farm workers from stumbling through.

“Of course,” Elder Stow said.  “It will take a few minutes to set it up.”

They rode to the edge of the farm field, and Sukki confirmed the location of the time gate while Elder Stow worked on his screen device.  The gate did not appear to be moving at the moment, and Katie commented.

“I’ve noticed the gates remain stable when the Kairos is walking around, even if she is walking around a city.  I don’t know how far she needs to go before the gate starts moving.  I would guess a few miles or so.  Maybe more.”

“Good thing,” Lockhart said.  “This would be much more difficult if the gate slipped left and right with each step the Kairos took.  Imagine if she started pacing.”

Katie nodded.  “Of course, in this case she could leap onto her horse and ride all-out ten miles down the road at any moment.  Then we would be chasing the time gate.”

“Are we ready?” Lockhart asked Elder Stow.

“Ready,” he responded.

“After you,” Lockhart waved Sukki to go ahead.

“Father and Mother,” Sukki acknowledged Lockhart and Katie before she led the group across the field.  Naturally, the farm workers yelled about them tromping across their newly plowed field, but they quieted when the travelers vanished one by one through the time gate.



The travelers ride through the Black forest and into Bavaria where they find trouble worthy of the Brothers Grimm. Episode 9.3 Bewitches. Until then, Happy Reading


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