Avalon 4.1: part 5 of 6, Seal People

The travelers ended up camped on the small rise they were already on, the one that looked down on the seal covered beach.  The ship they had seen came into the bay, but opted to anchor there and apparently the captain had in mind to come to shore in the morning.  Lockhart borrowed Decker’s binoculars before sundown, and fired his shotgun twice into the air, thus telling whoever was aboard the ship that there were people on the ridge.  He and Katie watched, and saw someone wave a flag from the deck of the ship.  It was clearly a signal of some kind.  Whether it was the Kairos, or just someone attracted to the loud, cracking sound, who maybe spotted them, or their horses, or their smoky campfires, they could not say.

“We will find out who it is in the morning,” Lockhart said, and everyone settled in for another nightseals 3 in the wilderness.

When he morning came, the travelers and their blueblood companions watched a boat come ashore, and spoke quietly while they waited.

“Those horses are no doubt marvelous creatures,” Goran said, as he shifted in his seat to find a more comfortable position.  Clomb and Lulu nodded and looked to be fairly uncomfortable as well.

“Feeling stiff this morning?” Alexis asked, with a broad smile.

“How well I remember,” Elder Stow nodded.

“Yes, well, we are not used to such physical exercise, you understand.”

“Trying to live in the wilderness like this would kill many of our people,” Clomb spoke up, and finally stood up to get off his butt completely.

“Too much time at a desk, sitting in a comfortable chair,” Alexis said, and gently punched at her hips, expecting her butt to get smaller now that she was no longer doing that very thing.  “The spread,” she called it, and Boston giggled

“Coming ashore,” Katie said.  Everyone looked, and a few stood to get a better eye on the event.  Alexis borrowed Katie’s binoculars and Lincoln borrowed Decker’s, and then shared them with Goran.

The crew from the ship that was anchored off shore consisted of seven people, two of whom Boston, with her good eyes and elf senses insisted were female.  It was impossible to tell which was the captain until the seals did something no one expected.  They backed away to make plenty of room for the humans, and then two dozen of the big ones transformed into men.

seals 1“Seal people,” Mingus named them.  “I thought there was something different about them.”

One member of the boat crew stepped forward and spoke to the seal men.  It was not a long conversation before the crew turned and headed toward the rise, flanked by the seal men.  Obviously, the seal men did not want the humans to get into the colony where they could interfere with the females and children.  The seals stayed down below when the crew climbed the rise.  Many of them returned to where they were before they transformed back into seals.  When they were finished, it was hard to tell exactly which seals had temporarily been men, but by then the ship’s crew arrived and there were introductions.

There were two couples, young and curious, that looked like they were out on an adventure, and an older man, Renglar, the sail master, who sounded and acted a lot like Decker.  The Kairos was Mikos, of course, who was billed as the emperor of Minos, called Akos, which was Crete, and Mycenae, which was mainland Greece.

“And most of the islands in between,” Renglar added as an aside.

There was also an elf names Cletus who was traveling along with the Akos, no doubt to serve as interpreter when they came across a people whose language Mikos did not know.  Cletus acknowledged his elder elf, MIngus, but kept his eyes glued to Boston.  “It’s the red hair.  It’s just the red hair,” Cletus kept saying.  “I have never seen such a beautiful elf with red hair before.”

Mingus got overprotective, Alexis got jealous.  Lincoln tried to stay out of it.  And Mikos pulled Lockhart, Elder Stow, and the three bluebloods aside.  Katie thought it was safer to follow them.

“You didn’t look like a stranger to the seal people,” Katie noticed.

“You are right.  Katie, please translate for the bluebloods.”

“What?” Katie had to think a minute to separate Mikos’ language from the blueblood language.  “Okay,” she said, and she translated word for word.Mikos 1

“An Akoshian merchant used to come here and started clubbing the baby seals for their skins. As soon as I found out, I ordered him to stop, but like most of the Akoshian nobility, he thought the rules did not apply to him.  Perverts is what Nalishayas used to call them.  So I gave him to the seal men and I think they fed him to the sharks.”  Mikos shrugged and looked at the blueblood Goran.  “Just remember, you are not above the rules.”

“Sire,” Goran said with lowered eyes.  It was the blueblood way of saying yes sir.

“Clomb and Lulu,” Katie introduced the other two.

“And I bet she is,” Mikos said as he watched Lulu and Lockhart glance at each other and saw the growl form on Katie’s face.  “Eder Stow, can I see you communication device?”

“Of course, but it is tied to Gott-Druk frequencies not yet discovered by these, er, other people.”  They all saw Elder Stow choke on the word primitives.

Mikos nodded and took the back off the communication device as Boston came up and stuck her nose in.  Cletus was making her uncomfortable.  Mingus got the young male elf to sit with his other daughter, Alexis, and her husband.  They were sitting with the young couples from the crew and talking about the weather.

“So here is the rule,” Mikos said, and gestured to Katie so she translated.  “I have told my people you have blue skin and are cold to the touch because you are walking dead people.  They did not doubt what I said.  I said they would be all right as long as they did not touch you.  You are not allowed to so much as touch them.  Got it?”

“Oh,” young Clomb spouted.  “We were told that this world is off limits and we are strictly not to blueblood 4breed.  Breeding is a death offense.”

“I’m not interested in any of your people,” Lulu said with a long look at Lockhart.

Katie translated and then added her growl in Lulu’s face.  Mikos looked up and grinned, but Boston got his attention back.

“What are you doing?”

“Lunch, Boston dear,” Mikos said. “What say we do lunch.”

“Lunch,” Lockhart announced with more volume.

“I’m going to adjust this communicator, if I can, to pick up the blueblood frequencies.”  He stuck his hand out to Eder Stow.  “Scanner,” he said.

“Careful,” Eder Stow said.  “The scanner is set to put up a screen in case the sevarese attack.”

Mikos paused.  “I guessed it was bluebloods and sevarese, you know.  Hebat came and told me there was fighting going on over here, but she says she can’t tell one alien from another.”

“What did you tell her?” Boston asked.

“I told her I am married so forget it.  It is about time for her to get a husband anyway.”  Mikos sat on a log by the fire and Boston and Elder Stow sat on either side of him.  Mikos traded places through time with Martok the Bospori, but continued speaking like he was the same person, which he was.  “I miss my wife, or rather Mikos misses his wife.  Sasha is his or my soul mate, if you know what I mean.”blueblood 6

It did not take long before everyone heard the blueblood radio chatter clearly over Elder Stow’s equipment.  Goran got up to speak.  He gave a reasonable telling of their story, fudging only a few details of their escape, figuring his commander would not believe the tale about earth spirits coming to their rescue.  He pinpointed his position as well as they could, and then Martok turned it off.  He showed Elder Stow how he adjusted the communicator to pick up the alternate blueblood and sevarese frequencies, and handed it back.  He held on to the scanner and said he had more work to do with it.

It was hardly two hours later.  People finished eating, and got packing to travel.  Lockhart had explained to Mikos how the time gate appeared to be somewhere out at sea, and Mikos just finished explaining that his ship was not big enough for all the horses, and he would have to arrange something, when the sevarese attacked.

Six fighters came roaring out of the noon-day sun.  They attacked the group, but Mikos put Elder Stow’s screen up and it easily deflected the sevarese weapons.  Elder Stow only had a small device, what he called a child’s toy, but it was of a sophistication and power more than 4,000 years beyond anything the sevarese or bluebloods imagined.

seals 2Several Sevarese shots went into the seal colony and both Boston and Alexis objected.  “Couldn’t you have extended it to cover the seals.  They are people, you know.”

“Not exactly,” Mikos confessed.  “History never quite decides where the seal people fit on the scale of people-hood, if I can use that word.”

A big sevarese transport came moments later, and parked not far from the camp.  Decker and Renglar both agreed the sevarese probably had ground troops in there, and they prepared themselves to repel an attack.

One sevarese fighter took aim at Mikos’ ship, and cracked the mast while setting a small fire, but moments later, a half-dozen blueblood fighters showed up and it looked like the battle was going to be on.

Avalon 4.1: part 3 of 6, Bluebloods

The travelers left the interview and got escorted under a wing of the sevarese mother ship to a different place on the mountainside where the sevarese had parked and camouflaged their presence.

“By the book means the next visit, they will probably take one or two for more thorough questioning,” Decker said as they walked.

“Torture,” Katie nodded and agreed.

“I wonder if they waterboard,” Lockhart joked.

“Not funny,” Lincoln, the former CIA operative who went to work for the Men in Black in the early seventies did not laugh.cave entrance

They came to a cave that was not a natural cave.  It looked like it had been carved out of the cliff, or maybe blasted out by a careful use of the sevarese main gun.  It had a wooden door attached, made out of a whole tree, and while it was locked with a simple outside latch, there would be no breakout.  The sevarese needed something like an earth mover to open and close the door.

Inside the small cell-cave, the travelers found three blueblood prisoners, one old man, one young man, and one woman.  The bluebloods stared at them and backed away to a corner to give these strangers plenty of room.

“Will they feed us this time?” Alexis quietly asked her husband.

Lincoln shrugged.  “The ones in Etana’s time said they liked their flesh raw.  I wouldn’t expect them to cook anything.”

Lockhart stared at the bluebloods and listened in to their whispers before he decided it was rude to eavesdrop.  “You don’t look like three witches to me,” he said in reference to the defensive robots typically used by a crashed blueblood ship to secure the area.

“Witches?” one of the blueblood men looked up, and the bluebloods all looked surprised that this human understood their language.

“The three robots you people send out to drive back whatever local people might interfere with repairs or rescue operations,” Katie explained.  She had turned from trying to find a way out of the cell.  Decker was still looking when Katie turned to Alexis and Lincoln and added, “Like we found in Iddin-Addad’s day.”  Lincoln and Alexis nodded.  They remembered.

“How long ago was that?” Alexis asked.

Lincoln patted his shirt.  “How should I know?  The database is gone, remember?” He sounded blueblood 6frustrated.

The bluebloods looked at each other before the older one of the men appeared to figure it out.  “The Hammashine,” he said and smiled, like he was pleased to remember the name.  “We haven’t outfitted ships with Hammashine in four or five hundred years.”

“The ones we had to destroy seemed pretty effective,” Katie said, with a nod from Lockhart.

The old man agreed.  “But the Pendratti in the old war found a way to remotely reprogram them and turn them against us.”

“A good reason to drop the technology,” Decker said, having finally given up trying to find a way out of the cave.

“So why haven’t you tried to impregnate us?” Alexis spoke up rather rudely and pointed at herself and Katie.  “I thought the blueblood way was to secretly impregnate the local population until the locals died out and were replaced with blueblood children.”

“Oh, no,” the young blueblood male looked at the ground, raised his hands and shook them.  “We were warned that this world is off limits.  We were strictly told that any attempt to impregnate the local humans was a death offense.”

The female looked directly at Lockhart as she spoke.  “You even look like us, and your warm blood is immensely attractive. It is a compulsion, but we can fight it.”

“I am Goran,” the old man interrupted.  “My companions are Clomb and Lulu.”  Lulu was the female.  “We piloted a three man scout craft sent to search out the sevarese, and we found them.”blueblood 4

“You are humans?” Lulu asked Lockhart as they locked eyes.

“Three man craft,” Katie said with a touch on Lockhart’s arm to get his attention, and a hard glance at the blueblood.  “Probably based on the old Balok design.”

“Probably,” Lockhart said as he looked away.  He chose to look at Decker.

“No way out I can find,” Decker reported.  “We might as well relax for now.”

“I’m sorry, but they took our weapons,” Goran admitted.  “We might have basted our way out if we had our weapons.”

“They took our weapons as well,” Decker said, flatly, and tapped his hip as if feeling for something that was not there.

“But our weapons couldn’t blast us out,” Lockhart admitted.

“No good if they could,” Katie said.  “That much noise would just attract the sevarese.”

“Alexis?” Lockhart looked at her.  She shook her head.

“My magic is not strong enough to budge that tree,” she said.  “I might as well try to move the blueblood 2mountain.”

“Magic?” young Clomb sounded surprised and a little afraid at the thought.

“It would take some magic to repair our battle cruiser,” Goran said.  “We took a risk coming here because it was close and because it is well known to be off limits.  We hoped the sevarese would not follow us.”

“Glory Cata sounded determined to get you, and he is not convinced as to why this world is off limits to all space races,” Katie said.

“So, you met the sevarese commander,” Goran responded.

“He doesn’t believe in the gods or the Kairos,” Lockhart nodded.  “He probably doesn’t believe in magic, either.”

“The Kairos,” Goran knew the name.  “We came here in part hoping we could find this one and he or she might help us repair our ship.  Some of us thought that was like walking into the Pragodda mouth.  Our records show in the past she was not kind to those who broke the rules.”

“Weret,” Katie remembered that time zone.

“Like walking into a lion’s mouth,” Alexis interpreted.lincoln 9

“He in this age, I think,” Lincoln said and shrugged.  “How should I know?”

Everyone paused at the dim sound of picks and hammers.

“Hush,” Decker said it out loud, but everyone was quiet.  Someone was behind the back wall.  “They are coming for Lincoln,” Decker said as everyone moved away from that wall.  It took a few  minutes before a rock fell from the wall.  There was a small hole.  Then a big section of the back wall collapsed, and the travelers and bluebloods shivered from the sound of a voice hidden somewhere in the dark.

“Is that okay?”  It was a troll voice.

“Look out, Shredder.”  That was Boston’s voice, and a second later she appeared in the cave, or more accurately, she became visible as she spoke.  “Look, Alexis.  I learned how to do invisible.”  She confided to Lockhart who was inching behind Katie and Lulu who stood on either side of him.  “I was motivated, but it is so draining.  I can’t keep it up for long.”

Mingus came into the room and walked straight to Lincoln.  “Here.  You lost this.”  He handed over the database.  “At least this time you didn’t lose your wife.”

“I never lost her,” Lincoln yelled.  “You stole her.”

Alexis took Lincoln’s arm to calm him.

Elder Stow stuck his head in and reported.  “The horses and all of our equipment is safe.  We will gather the horses at sundown and escape.  I have arranged to cover us with a screen to protect us as we move, assuming my equipment works correctly.  We will have to stay together, though, and Dwarf 1not spread out too far—”

“Got to get moving,” a dwarf head poked into the room and interrupted.  “It takes time to back fill, and we want to leave a good mystery for the birdmen when they show up.”

“Coming?” Lockhart said to Lulu as the other started into the tunnel.  Katie butted between the two.

“You can ride behind me,” Katie told the blueblood female.

************************

Only three posts this week, and three next week to conclude Avalon 4.1 A Time for War

Don’t miss it… Happy Reading

a a happy reading 3

 

 

Avalon 3.2: part 6 of 6, Human Babies?

Ptah looked at Weret. “I noticed, but I was being polite not saying it.” He looked at Wadjt, but she ignored his look.

Wadjt stepped over to the trembling Captain in the middle and spoke softly to him. “I am keeping my word. I am staying out of it, but I would leave Weret alone if I were you. She has too many friends in high places, if you know what I mean.” Wadjt vanished, but Weret was ready to explode. She looked at the Bluebloods beside her, and this time her angry face had some teeth in it before she vanished. Amun Junior came to stand there with the same angry expression, but his was truly a frightening, teeth filled expression. Sakhmet roared again with the appearance of her younger-older brother.

“You explained the rules to your Captain like I asked?” Junior squeezed the words between his teeth.

“Absolutely,” the Blueblood female swore. “Of course. Just like you asked. In great detail.”

“Liar!” Junior yelled, waved his hand and the female no longer had a tongue. “I want every male responsible for impregnating a female and every female who has planted her egg in a human to be in the cafeteria. He jumped to the cafeteria, and so did Ptah, Bast Sakhmet and Boston. There were twelve males and seven females together in that room, and three of the females still carried their egg, not yet having found a carrier.Egyptian banquet

Junior yelled a second time. “The Captain and any senior officers not already here, be here, now.” Four males and two females appeared. Junior double-checked. They were clean. “Stand and watch,” he said, and that group had no choice.

Junior extracted the embryos from the three females by making them disappear and reappear in the woman’s hands. He explained, though for the most part the embryos were too small to be seen.”You are now holding your children in your hand, children that will never be born. If you have trouble washing your hand clean after today, too bad.”

Then he went one by one through the others. He found in their minds the one they had touched and he brought that woman or girl to the room in a state of suspension. He extracted each embryo the same way and placed it in the offending hand. Then he sent the woman back to the place she came from with her never knowing that anything untoward happened.

Last of all was the man from Abydos who implanted his seed in Boston. Boston froze and was released again when the deed was done. She later said she did not feel a thing. The man had his hand out like the others. He wanted to protest but was not allowed to speak.

Junior reached out to his home on Avalon and called for his armor and weapons. They fit themselves around him perfectly, and he immediately drew his sword.   “You were told the rules and have no excuse,” he said and in one sweep of his sword he cut the man’s head off. There would be a blue blood stain on the floor that would not easily come out. Then he turned to the Captain and his officers.

“Go home,” he said. “Go home and tell all of your people this world is off limits. There will be no breeding here, not now, not ever. I was merciful this time. Next time you can expect no mercy.” He waved his hand once more and he and Boston were back outside, well away from the ship. Ptah, Bast and Sakhmet followed.place of the lion

Bast, in human form, came up to Amun with a tear in her eye. She kissed his cheek gently and went home. Boston sat down beside the lioness and did not think twice about putting her arms around Sakhmet’s neck. Sakhmet gave Boston a great big lick, a lion kiss that made Boston go “Ew!” and laugh.

Ptah, as was his way, said something. “That was merciful indeed. Not many of the gods would have shown such restraint, considering.”

“I thought getting the message out was more important in the long run than giving vent to my anger. One killing was enough.”

“And one tongue from a liar.” Junior nodded while Ptah stepped over to his lioness daughter who seemed to be licking a poor giggling Boston to death. “Daughter, you will drown that poor girl. Get dressed. I believe Weret will need her Sakhmetet soon.” Ptah sighed and vanished.

Junior made a tent appear in the wilderness next to the Place of the Lion. “We stay until the ship leaves.” He looked up at the stone lion for the first time since his arrival at the place of the lion, and he saw the human face there. “I see they finally re-carved the face into the image of Osiris. And just in time for Horus to become King of the gods.”egyptian beauty

“No.” Sakhmet said as she made circles with her thumb and fingers and put them to her eyes. “Horus wears glasses,” she said. She went into the tent. Boston followed. Junior sighed and left that place so Weret could come home Junior took the armor so Weret could have her dress back. When she went into the tent, she ignored the roast cooking on the smokeless fire in the center. She waddled to a cot and laid down. In fact, she continued to lie there the whole time they camped.

The Bluebloods did not actually leave the planet until just after lunch on the next day. Weret reluctantly got up and Sakhmet had the honor of reducing their tent to a hand-sized package. Then she took the three of them to where the rest of the travelers were moving lazily down the river. There were a number of riverboats alongside and several thousand soldiers moving across the land and trying not to tromp down any newly planted fields they came to.

“Boston!” Alexis noticed first.

“Boston!” Lockhart tried to sound like the Kairos.

Boston went straight for her horse, Honey, who was trailing behind Roland’s horse. Roland complained. “Your horse got the first kiss.”

Boston leapt up on Honey’s back and leaned over to Roland. “You get the rest,” then she paused and said, “Did I tell you I got pregnant?”

Weret went straight to Lockhart, made him and Katie dismount and follow her to a quiet spot. “You have to be more careful,” she scolded. “You were right not to show them weapons and to discourage the horse idea. But you gave them clean water for the journey. Now Narmer will show up with six or seven thousand men ready for battle instead of the usual four thousand men and three thousand doubled over with diarrhea. In this case, history tells us that Narmer succeeds, but you could change the outcome of an entire war with such a simple thing.” She wagged her finger at them and made a concerned face which was just as cute as the rest of her faces.

“I understand,” Lockhart said.egyptian soldiers

“We discussed that very thing earlier,” Katie confessed and lowered her eyes.

“No harm,” Weret said and she smiled her beautiful smile, and then she moaned and doubled over.

“Drinking the water?” Lockhart kidded.

“Not funny,” Katie pushed him back as Alexis came rushing over.

“My water broke,” Weret said.

“Her water broke,” Alexis shouted for the others.

“Don’t tell Narmer.” She grabbed Lockhart’s arm. “Don’t tell Narmer,” she shouted.

Sakhmet came rushing over. “Is it time?” She turned to the others. “We are going to have a baby boy.”

“What are you going to name him?” Boston shouted.

“Menes,” Sakhmet answered.

Avalon 3.2 part 5 of 6, Prisoners

“Let me get this straight.” Sakhmet was being coy. “You want me to transport you and me and Boston and this shuttle with the five Bluebloods and all of this material to the Place of the Lion in a heartbeat?”

“Please.” Weret was tired and feeling exceptionally heavy. She was beginning to think what Alexis said might be true, that she was off in her calculations and the baby might come any day.

“Okay,” Sakhmet said, and they were there. “I wouldn’t want you to go into labor on my account.”

Weret simply stepped up and gave her older-younger sister a kiss and a hug. Boston, who was no stranger to being transported by the gods, allowed a bit of time for the Bluebloods to get over their dizziness, confusion and total sense of disorientation before she spoke.

“Now, you need to call your Captain and your workers to pick up this material. Then you need to dock your shuttle and prepare it to be dismantled if necessary, as agreed.” She wanted to go outside and scope the landscape, but she knew she needed to eavesdrop on exactly what these Bluebloods told their Captain. She did not trust the man or the woman, the ones who did the talking the night before. She couldn’t say about the other three. They never said anything.

“Orders failed. Commander dead.” It was the woman who talked on the communication device. “Results. Three prisoners who claim they can fix the navigation system. One prisoner is the concubine of the White King and carries his heir. Recommendation. See what they can do with the equipment before selling them to the Red King. Work scow needed to pick up—”

“Ouch!” Boston felt a drop of blood and put her finger in her mouth. Somehow, the Blueblood male got behind her and scratched her. Boston already had reason not to like the guy. As Weret would say, he was not helping his case, and of course he said nothing to apologize, no excuse me or nothing.

Boston turned back to the woman on the communicator, but she had already signed off and was coming to the shuttle door. “Captain said ride in on the shuttle. It will get us through the ship’s screens and we can better guide you to the array from the inside.”

“I smell rats,” Weret said. “You going to visit Wadjt while Boston and I spend the day doing boring things?”

Sakhmet shook her head. “I owe father a visit. I think he is about ready to surrender Memphis, but the King in Buto is fighting.”

“Don’t be out of ear shot,” Weret said, and then she chided herself in her cheekiness for telling a goddess what to do.

As Boston helped Weret up into the shuttle, she whispered in High Elf, what she knew of the language. Roland was teaching her. It came out, “they make us captive,” rather than “they are calling us prisoners” but Weret got the gist of it.

They sat in the back of the shuttle so when they landed, Weret made the Bluebloods wait while she traded paces through time with Martok, the Bospori, the mathematical engineer, a life she would live impossibly far in the future. Martok simply said, “now we go,” and he let the Bluebloods off before he and Boston followed.

By two in the afternoon, they had everything repaired but one circuit, and neither could see any reason why that circuit should not work. Boston was very upset and frustrated with the whole convoluted thing by then, and the fact that they were not offered lunch irked her terribly.

“Wait!” Martok roared. “Let me get out first. Let me get out.” He had his head and tools inside the cabinet and Boston was getting out her wand. Boston waited, but barely. She waved her wand and shouted at the machine, and suddenly it sprang to life.

“It is a wonder you didn’t blow the whole thing to smithereens,” Martok said.

“I know,” Boston admitted, but she was glad that it worked.

“We’re done!” Martok shouted and Boston held her ears. A Bospori shout could be uncomfortably loud. Several Bluebloods came over to begin testing the equipment. Both the man and the woman who did the talking in Abydos came to escort them out.

“Bad feeling about this,” Boston said. Martok simply took and patted her hand like a kindly old grandfather, though currently he was no older than thirty.

When they reached the ramp to exit the ship, they saw three groups of men, each having twenty or more warriors, and three captains standing at the bottom of the ramp, arguing.

“Time for Weret to come home,” Martok said, and he gave Boston’s hand one more pat before Weret was there to let go of Boston’s hand and take her arm instead for support. “Let’s see what we have here.”

Weret and Boston barely reached the bottom of the ramp before Ptah appeared. While a third of the men fell to their knees before their god, he stepped up and gave Weret a kiss on the cheek. “Sakhmet has told me all about you,” he said. “And you must be the irrepressible Boston. I recognized the red hair.”

“Sir.” Boston did not know what else to say.

“So I take it these are locals, from Memphis,” Weret pointed to the men on their knees with their eyes turned to the ground.

“Indeed,” Ptah said with a sharp look at the Blueblood male and female. “And they have no intention of turning you over to the Red King.”

As he finished speaking, a woman appeared and a second third of the soldiers fell to the ground.

‘Mother Bast,” Weret hugged the woman. “So these are yours, from Bubastis.”

The woman simply kissed Weret’s other cheek and transformed into a house cat. She went straight for Boston and wanted to be picked up. Boston loved cats. She was delighted and a bit scared as well. This was one cat she did not want to rub the wrong way.

The captain of the center group called out, and there was plenty of fear in his voice. “Set! Set!” He did not know that Horus was given the whole of the Nile back in Junior’s day and Set was driven out. Set could not come, so the man tried another name. “Wadjt.”

Wadjt came, and Sakhmet was with her. Sakhmet immediately transformed to a lioness and roared at the frightened men in the middle. They had gone to their knees before Wadjt, but fell to their trembling faces before Sakhmet.

“We were playing a game, and I was winning,” Wadjt complained. “Hello Weret, Blueblood trouble? Why look, your friend is pregnant too.” She reached for Boston as Bast got down from her arms. “Just pregnant I would say.”

“No,” Boston looked confused. “I’m still a virgin.”

Avalon 3.2: part 3 of 6, Negotiations

Supper put the six Bluebloods on one side of the long table with several of the king’s generals, the other side was taken up with the travelers beside Weret and Sakhmet who was masquerading as Sakhmetet, Weret’s good friend and something like a lady in waiting. There were other dignitaries, and guards stationed around the room, but to be sure, the king’s table could hardly accommodate thirty.

Narmer sat at the head of the table, Weret to one side and a chief among the priests to the other. Narmer was a middle aged man, but looked to be in excellent shape and health. He was content at first to eat his beef, grain and onion quietly and sip his beer while he watched his guests. The chief Blueblood showed right from the start that rude was to be expected.

“I see the Gott-Druk still has his equipment, and weapons I presume. Special privilege for the one not so bright?”

Weret put her hand on Narmer’s hand and repeated what the Blueblood said, then she turned to the Egyptian banquetBlueblood and answered, calmly, in the local tongue. “Elder Stow and his people are native to this planet. He is a trusted and welcomed guest at this table. You are not of this world and thus far have not proved yourself a friend. You are a guest here, and would do well to remember that.”

Narmer pulled his big hand from beneath Weret’s little one to capture her hand with his warmth. He smiled for the young beauty. Every man did, but clearly Narmer and Weret has shared on a most intimate basis. “She is my reason,” he called her. “She knows things no other person knows and she has resources no other person has. Isn’t that so, master elf?” He looked briefly at Roland who nodded graciously. “Every man in the army is in love with her and no doubt would die for her if she asked them to, but diplomacy is not her strong suit. These blue people are strangers to us, as may be their ways. What we consider proper, they might not understand. They might consider very different things proper.” He shrugged a very human shrug. “But I have said they are welcome at my table. Let it be so for now.”

“But tell me,” Katie spoke up casually. “Weret mentioned your ship is parked down by the Place of the Lion and in need of repair. What brought you all the way up here?”

The second male brought a small translator from his belt that would translate his words to the local words, then he spoke since the chief looked put-off by Weret’s comment. “We heard there was a king in these lands and we thought we might ask his help. There are certain things we need for our repairs, the chief thing being copper.” It was not the whole truth, and many of the people there, travelers and Egyptians alike were not fooled.

“Yes.”   Lincoln took up the question as he imagined he was wondering the same thing as Katie. “But how did you know to come here, to Abydos? There are real cities you passed over on the way, and the Narmerbig cities are all upstream from here. We passed through two, Hekhen, which is the capitol and where I would expect to find the king, and the big city, Thebes.”

A blueblood female leaned over to speak into the translation device. “There are a small number of men outside a town in the north. They told us of the king of the south.”

The travelers looked at Narmer and he took his smiling eyes from Weret to give an answer. “I have three thousand men holding a wall just outside Memphis. I came here a year ago and have raised and trained five thousand more. We hope to pick up another two thousand as we move on the Land of the Bee. That will be an army the Red King cannot counter. We already have Bubastis, Heliopolis and Merimde pledged to switch sides. If we can take Buto, the delta will fall and the two lands can finally be at peace.”

“But we were in Thebes until a week ago.” Weret interjected. “We only came here to see how five thousand men might be moved. We learned a few things, but I am sure word has not yet gotten to the three thousand so there is no way they could have told you we were in Abydos.”

The other Bluebloods looked at their chief. “We saw the army here.” He said the words, but it truly came out as a question. Weret shook her head.temple at abydos

“The impressive building here, the one any stranger would take for a palace is the Temple of Osiris, but you came straight here.”

The Blueblood nodded like he knew he was trapped in the lie. He appeared to think it was time for some honesty. “The king in the north has already promised us all the copper and other things we need. He has required only one price.” The Blueblood took something from his pocket. It looked like a spray bottle of some kind. “He said we must kill the White King.”

Even as the translation box was rendering those last words, the Blueblood raised the bottle and sprayed its contents at the king. He did not know that Sakhmet, the warrior goddess whose job it is to defend the upper lands, had already put up an invisible wall against treachery. The spray only went as far as the wall where it bounced back in the face of the one who sprayed it. They did not get a chance to see what affect that spray might have, though, because Sakhmet’s wall was not put up to stop Decker’s bullet.

Decker had pulled his pistol to his lap, and used it without hesitation. The Blueblood chief got a hole right through is head and he fell to the ground. Several spear toting guards rushed up and stabbed the body several times, but the Blueblood was already dead.

egyptian soldiers“Wait!” Weret yelled and stood, and Sakhmet stood with her, her hand of concern on Weret’s belly. The guards were ready to slaughter all of the Bluebloods present, but with a glance at their king, they were willing to wait for Weret.

“I want to send them home, get them off this planet, and I would rather not see them all killed if we can help it,” Weret said as she sat again, slowly, with Sakhmet’s help. “Let’s start again. What is wrong with your ship and how can we help you repair it?”

The five remaining Bluebloods watched as men came and took the body away. Then the man on the end grabbed the translation box and spoke rapidly. “The wires burned out in the navigation system. We brought extra, but lost it in battle. The hole in the hull is sealed off. It should not be a problem, but without navigation we won’t be going anywhere.”

The woman leaned over again. “Navigation is the system that shows us what path we need to take through the stars—“

“We know what navigation means,” Lincoln interrupted.

“Did you try replacing the wire?” Katie asked.

The man spoke again, more slowly this time. “We had enough to try and replace it once, but it just burned out again.”

Several people looked at Boston. She held the doctorate in electrical engineering, after all. She considered her words. “It sounds like the trouble is deeper in the system, like whatever you are using as capacitors are malfunctioning, maybe shorting out. It sounds like the electricity is being stalled at some point and then suddenly surging out like a mini-lightning strike, frying any little wires in the way. Something like that. But I can’t really know what the real trouble is until I get a look at it.”

“You would look at it?” The woman sounded surprised.

“I will if you want me to fix it, and maybe if Martok helps.”

Weret did her best to lean over to look at Boston. “He says he would be delighted.” She sat back down . “But now you five that used to be six. You have two strikes against you. One more incident and I won’t be able to save you from destruction. Remember the rules. You are not to kill the locals, king or commoner alike. There will be no Blueblood babies. This planet is off limits for breeding. And you will respect the rightful authority here. Again, is that clear?” Weret saw that at least a couple of the Bluebloods were willing. “Then for your own safety, I suggest you sleep tonight in your shuttle. We will see about going to your ship in the morning, after we have all had some rest.”

“But our ship is gone,” the Blueblood woman protested.egyptian beauty

“No,” Weret countered. “It is back where you parked it. But your weapons and engines have been temporarily disabled so you won’t be able to hurt anyone or go anywhere tonight.”

Narmer waved for guards. “Escort these back to their ship for the night. It is in the courtyard?” He had to look at Weret who nodded.

As the Bluebloods marched out, Sakhmet helped Weret stand again. Narmer wanted to help, but Weret waved him off. “I am fine. You have to wait at least another thirty days before you can see your, um, grandson. Right now, I just want to show my friends to their rooms. Ugh. I sat too long.”

************

This ends the first half of Avalon, episode 3.2.  Be sure to return next week (Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday) to see if Weret and Boston can repair the Blueblood ship and how far the Bluebloods may go to test the patience of these two trusting young women.

Avalon 3.2: Bluebloods and Babies, part 1 of 6

After 3089 BC in Abydos, Egypt. Kairos Lifetime 35: Weret

Recording …                                                                                

Roland came riding back from out front and made the motion that people should hide. Everyone looked around. The land was exceptionally flat. There was grass and one tree by the bank of the Nile. There were a couple of grass covered dunes away from the river, but there was honestly nowhere to hide.

“Play ostrich?” Boston teased.

Roland took another look around and shrugged. When he arrived beside Boston at the head of the column, he gave her a quick kiss.

“What is coming?” Lockhart asked as he and Katie rode up from the rear. Decker came in from the flank and got his rifle ready. Elder Stow floated in from where he had been hovering over the river, and he pointed.nie river

Thirty men in plain white tunics and long spears were jogging through the heat in a military-like formation. They halted a hundred yards off, spread out and approached the travelers carefully. When they got close, they asked a very strange question.

“Are you the ones who fell from the sky?”

“No?” Lockhart said with a quick look at Elder Stow.

Lincoln had the Database out and was reading when he spoke up. “We are looking for Weret.”

The Egyptian who spoke glanced at the men beside him before he answered. “She is looking for you. Come.” He turned his troop, and they escorted the travelers two miles downriver to a small city. It was not clear if it was a honor escort or if they were being guarded. Katie and Decker suggested it was probably both, but at least they were headed in the right direction.

When they got close, Lincoln decided it was Abydos.

“I thought it looked familiar,” Katie agreed, but she wondered what happened to the villages that used to be upriver from the little city. This was their second day of travel since Dendera and they had only passed a lone hut here and there, and no real villages.nile hippo

Once arrived, the travelers were told to leave the horses in a barn and assured the animals would be fed and guarded. The travelers hesitated, but felt they had no choice. There were certainly plenty of guards around. In fact, it looked like the city was preparing for war.

The travelers took enough time to unsaddle the horses and give them a brush down against the heat. They gathered small packs and they were careful to take their weapons with them before they were marched to a multi-columned building. All along the way, the military minded Katie and Decker, pointed out the signs of soldiers in training, marching in formation, the gathering of food and supplies, and on the river, the gathering of ships. The conclusion was these people were preparing to invade.

A chubby young woman met them on the steps of the building that Lincoln guessed was the palace.. She kept her eyes lowered the whole time they approached. When they got close enough, the Egyptian still beside them and his troop still surrounding them, the woman spoke.

abydos temple 2“The King is pleased to greet you and requests your presence in the hall of the gods.” The young woman looked pleased that she remembered to say everything just right, and then she looked up to better judge the response, but when she did she shouted one more word, “Boston!” The young woman reached out and hugged Boston, but carefully and Alexis stated the obvious reason.

“You are pregnant.”

“Weret?” Lincoln always had to ask.

“Yes,” Weret said, and she smiled for them, a lovely smile. Even the Egyptian smiled in response to her beauty as she turned to him shook her little finger at him and tried to put on a serious face. “Captain, these are not the ones I was looking for, but they will do.” She hugged Alexis and then hugged Katie and told Katie she arrived at an auspicious time. “You too, Decker. You too, Elder Stow,” and she hugged the Neanderthal which surprised and frightened everyone, Elder Stow most of all. “Now stay close. I may need you.” In all, Weret came across as a precious and lovely young woman.

“Why are you the one greeting in the gate?” Lincoln asked. He understood that was a job for servants.

Weret understood exactly. “We have servants, well, slaves actually.” Weret switched to English, a strangely accented English, but it was so her Captain and his soldiers would not understand. “I was once a slave as the Queen is fond to remind me, but the King selected me to marry his son and then … let me say the King was involved in this, intimately,” She smiled at that thought and put her hands to her belly. “The Queen tolerates me for the baby. She can’t have any more children.   And she tolerates me for the sake of her son who won’t produce an heir under torture. I mean, he is really, seriously gay.”

The women all hovered around Weret and made cooing noises for the baby so the men could hardly get close. Eventually, Lockhart interrupted. “Different question,” he said rather loudly in the native tongue. “Who are the ones you are looking for, the ones who fell from the sky?”

“Bluebloods.” Weret looked up in his face and then back down at her baby.

“You mean, Bluebloods, like rich people with old money?” Boston asked. The others also showed that they did not understand, so Weret sighed and gave the ten second explanation.

“They have the ability to alter their body chemistry and mate with whatever species dominates the planet. They don’t invade, they breed until the non-blueblood children die out. That is not going to happen here. They sneak a couple by me in the future, but never enough to impact human development, long term. They die out eventually, but by then the reputation takes hold, that the Bluebloods are somehow smarter and better than ordinary people.”

“I know a few people around Boston who think they qualify,” Boston said.

“Also, they are naturally cold blooded,” Weret added.

Boston nodded. “That too.”abydos temple

“But come in,” Weret said. “I am sure the King would like to meet you. He really is very nice.” She put her hands out to welcome them and spoke to the Egyptian. “Captain, you need to keep your men here and guard the entrance—or not.” She looked up toward the sky and the travelers all turned around and looked with her.

A shuttle of some sort was working its way in for a landing. As soon as they looked, they also heard the whine of the engines slowing down. It was headed straight for the open courtyard in front of the palace, and Weret, and Elder Stow saw the scorch marks along the side of the ship. That shuttle had been in battle, and Weret wanted to know with whom and where.

************

As with the last episode, Avalon episode 3.2 will be posted over two weeks, with the first half posted this week (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday) and the second half posted next week on the same schedule (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday). Once again, let me say reading only selected parts may be confusing. I urge you to read the whole episode, and enjoy.