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Avalon, the Pilot Episode is now up on Amazon for a whopping 99 cents.
When Lincoln’s wife Alexis goes missing, he begs the mysterious Kairos for help to get her back. The Kairos determines her father has kidnapped her and dragged her unwillingly into the deep past. He brings Lincoln and his whole mission team to his home on Avalon, a place normally hidden from the human race, and to the chamber of the great crystal called the Heart of Time. This crystal has recorded all of human history, and it can be used for time travel if one knows how.
Through the Heart, the Kairos transports the entire mission team to the beginning of history; but there are complications. In order to save Alexis, the Kairos is required to sacrifice himself. That leaves the mission team with only one option. To return to their proper time in the future, they will have to travel the hard way, through the time gates and across the time zones. This will bring them through all of recorded history, many unexpected and unknown historical details, and some nasty surprises.
Written in episodic form, each time zone centers around a different lifetime of the Kairos, a person who has lived 121 times since the beginning of history. Each time zone presents unique difficulties. The travelers have to try not to disturb history, which is hard to do when they are fighting for their lives. But the Kairos, you understand, never lives a quiet life. And then, not too many years ago, certain … things where driven into the past. Some of those things may be content to follow the travelers back into the future. Most have picked up their scent, but some are hunting them.
Avalon, the Pilot Episode is all you need to begin the journey.
Don’t miss Avalon, Season One COMING SOON. Same E-read, same E-channel.
Also, look for Avalon, the prequel. Invasion of Memories, where the Kairos in our day comes out of a time of deep memory loss too quickly. In order to keep his mind from becoming overwhelmed and incapacitated he tells stories from his past, stories from when he remembered who he was, the Kairos, the Traveler in Time, the Watcher over History. He knows he cannot afford to become incapacitated, because there are three Vordan battleships on the dark side of the moon, and they are preparing to invade.
WORKING: Coming to this blog in the Fall
Avalon Season 3: Life in the twenty-first century was never like this! In the third season, Civilization begins to show its true colors with piracy, slavery and human sacrifice.. Roland and Boston heat up. Roland may ask Boston to marry him, and his father Mingus will have to do some serious adjusting, again. All of the “unsavories” presently following the travelers begin to get anxious for fear the travelers may be slipping away. And they find some new shadow beneath the full moons where Bob, the insane man they once showed kindness to … Well, they say werewolves always kill the ones they love. Technological and alien wonders, magic and mayhem, and the struggle to race with the human race and stay alive.
AVALON SEASON 3 … DON’T MISS IT …
The bokarus tried a third time to attack the travelers, but this time he looks to have vanished, the travelers hope permanently. Riding off the end of a cliff and into the sea would not have been a good thing, but after that encounter it appears someone showed some wisdom. The goddess Galatea, the one Grubby the dwarf call the Greek is escorting them the rest of the way to Danna.
The travelers came to the top of a small rise in the landscape and stopped. Tents and people of all sorts along with thousands of primitive boats stretched out for miles along the coastline in front of them. They looked like an invading army preparing to cross the channel, and they were. They were simply awaiting the order to go from the one oversized tent that was set up facing the sea, well apart from all the others.
Galatea vanished at the top of the rise with the words, “My baby is hungry and probably needs to be changed.”
“Bye,” Boston and Alexis voiced the word. The others were too taken in by the view to speak.
When they started down the backside of the rise, Katie had an observation. “I was not aware the gods were ever in such close proximity to the mortal world.”
“New jurisdiction, new rules,” Lockhart suggested.
Lincoln had the database out and was reading carefully, not paying attention to where his horse was taking him. “Aesgard, Olympus, a bit from Karnak and who knows what others are contributing to building a new house. Those children will marry Danna’s children and Western Europe will become its own world. The Children of Danna.”
“The Celtic world, before the days of Julius Caesar,’ Alexis said.
“Eventually, but not for a couple of thousand years,” Lincoln explained. “The Celts will move slowly out of Central Europe as the Germanic tribes move in.”
They came to the big tent, stopped and dismounted. After a bit of a wait, they hobbled the horses to let them graze and waited some more.
Danna was just standing there, staring out across the water to what would one day be called England. She had a cat cradled like a baby in her arms. The only movement she made was to gently pet the cat now and then. They all thought the cat was terribly patient for a cat, but eventually it wanted down.
“All right Mother,” Danna said. She set the beast down, but without moving her eyes from the water. She called, also without looking. “Lockhart.” He stepped up as the others kept back and watched the cat move to a rug at the entrance of the oversized ten where she gave herself a bath. They knew Mother was keeping an eye on the visitors. “I know you can’t see England from here, but she is out there, plotting and scheming with her children to wrest control of all these lands.”
“Domnu,” Danna said. “I have issued a challenge to single combat, but I don’t know if she will accept. I would guess her answer will not come today, but it may come in the night.”
“One of you must die?” Lockhart asked.
“Yes.” Danna said softly. She took a deep breath and turned with a smile for the rest of the group. “Welcome. There are some things you need to know right from the start.” She had everyone’s attention, but paused to look around at faces. “Goddess though I be, I cannot send you five thousand years back into the future. Three or four days is the normal limit for stretching time that even the gods must keep. Besides, Lady Alice remains unsteady as long as the Storyteller remains missing.”
“Understood,” Lockhart said.
“And as for all the ones that are following you and mean you harm, there is little I can do there. I see it foremost in Captain Decker’s mind, and Lincoln of course. The Djin following you is not in this time zone, and neither are the ghouls. The ghouls are gathering somewhere in your future so you must keep alert. Alexis and Katie, as for Bob, your werewolf, there is nothing I can do if he remains distant and in human form. My authority is not over humans.”
“Father?” Alexis had to ask. He was an elf so he was one of hers.
“Not in this time zone yet. I am sorry. Sorry Roland. But I am sure he is following, not far behind. I will hurry him when he gets here.
“What about the bokarus?” Lincoln asked.
“It made three attempts on our lives just since we have been in your time,” Katie explained and Alexis looked at the ground, embarrassed by one of those attempts.
“Mother, do you mind?” Danna asked the cat, and the cat appeared to blink. “Thank you,” Danna said as she held out her arm, and they all saw something like a dwarf materialize, upside-down, with one foot grasped in her hand.
“A dwarf?” Boston asked.
“Not even.” Grubby was still standing next to Roland and Boston, though no one much noticed. “This one’s got greenish skin, and green hair with no beard at all, and it is all as skinny as a one lunch, salad eating elf, er, no offense.” Grubby tipped his hat at Roland.
“My daughter-in-law, Morrigu snatched him just off the coast up in the direction from whence you came. No telling what torment she had in mind, but she brought it to me because she thought it might be one of my little sprites.”
“Not even,” Grubby repeated.
“Lady Alice has made an island of pristine wilderness in the archipelago of Avalon. This bokarus will live out its days there, and in time others of its kind will join him, but he will not be able to return here.”
Danna looked briefly at the bokarus and its mouth opened. “Help me. Get me out of here. This isn’t fair. This isn’t right. I’m getting dizzy. Help.”
“We had an agreement,” Danna said and she went away from that time and Faya, that was Beauty from long ago came to fill her time and place.
The eyes of the bokarus got far bigger than humanly possible. “No. No. I didn’t know it was you.” Danna came back to her own time and place and the bokarus faded like the mist until it vanished, echoing the sound of Darth Vader on a bad day, “NOooooo.”
Danna smiled again for everyone and waved her arm. Their tents were all set up for the night. The horses were gathered in, with plenty of oats to eat and a clean trough to drink from. The little dwarf lady from the first day was there cooking, except at the moment she appeared to be giving an elder dwarf a few pieces of her mind. They all guessed it was Gorman. There was spritely music in the distance, and plenty of chairs around a long oak table filed with all sorts of food. Mathonwy’s tent was there and Ahnyani and Kimkeri came out to get the festivities started. But Danna had one more thing to do.
“Boston,” she called, and Boston was obliged to appear in front of her. “Let’s step over here for a minute.” There were two chairs by the big tent placed conveniently to look out over the feast. “Do you love him?” Danna wasted no time.
“You know I do,” Boston said. Her eyes shot straight to Roland while Danna took her hand. Boston was nervous about holding the hand of an actual goddess, even if it was simply one of the lifetimes of the Kairos.
“Will you marry him?”
“I will if he ever asks me. He’s kind of slow.”
‘Boys are slow,” Danna said and she shouted toward the table. “Mathy!”
Mathonwy looked over and Danna stuck her tongue out at him. Mathy grinned. “That is what I admire most about my big sister. Her maturity.” He returned the raspberries to her and went back to his feasting. Boston covered her giggles.
“But I sense you will not ask Roland to become human and share your life with you,” Danna let go of Boston’s hand and stood, so Boston stood beside her.
Boston looked at the ground and spoke quietly. “Alexis made that choice to be with Lincoln. That almost killed her father Mingus. This whole thing started because he could not stand the thought of losing his only daughter to old age. I couldn’t do that to him again, to lose his son as well.”
“You like Mingus, don’t you?”
Boston nodded. “I do, despite everything.”
“But I am not always easy to get along with,” Danna said without explanation as she put both hands gently on Boston’s head. Boston felt a tingling sensation that went all the way to her feet.
“What did you do?”
“Nothing yet,” Danna admitted. “You have a long way to go to get back to the twenty-first century. Now we can see what your future may hold.”
Grubby the dwarf ran up suddeny, tipped his hat to Danna and grabbed Boston by the hand. He dragged her out to the makeshift dance area where Roland was waiting. Roland planted a kiss smack on Boston’s lips and she returned the kiss with a willing heart before the dance began.
Danna nodded and spoke to herself. “A long way to go is sometimes not very far.”
END of SEASON 2
Forever, On the Road: What happened to the Kairos, Glen, called the Storyteller when the travelers from Avalon began their journey? He sacrificed himself by leaping into the primeval chaos at the beginning of history. Now he is lost in the Second Heavens, that infinite space between Earth and the Throne of God, and he is trying to find his way back to the archipelago of Avalon, when he remembers who he is. The Second Heavens is the realm where memories are easily broken and distorted. It is the place where dreams come true – not just daydreams. It defies all of the laws of physics as time and space bend and fold back on themselves, and a life relived is twisted beyond recognition. It is the place of shadow images of living people and disembodied spirits of the dead, where Angels and Demons struggle for eternity, where myth and legend impact reality and it is a very dangerous place for someone who isn’t dead yet.
Avalon Season 3: Life in the twenty-first century was never like this! In the third season, Civilization begins to show its true colors with piracy, slavery and human sacrifice.. Roland and Boston heat up. Roland may ask Boston to marry him, and his father Mingus will have to do some serious adjusting, again. All of the “unsavories” presently following the travelers begin to get anxious for fear the travelers may be slipping away. And they find some new shadow beneath the full moons where Bob, the insane man they showed kindness to – well, they say werewolves always kill the ones they love. Technological and alien wonders, magic and mayhem, and the struggle to race with the human race and stay alive.
AVALON SEASON 3 … DON’T MISS IT …
There appear to be plenty of people in the path of the travelers, and the archetype berserker is not one that anyone might want. Also, the bokarus is still on the loose, so maybe the travelers need to proceed with caution.
The mist rolled gently over the meadow and Elder Stow confirmed that they were nearing the Channel. Roland slowed the party to a walk when the mist gathered around their feet. He urged extra caution when it was two feet deep, thick at the ground and could be seen creeping around the tree branches. Soon enough the mist rose and turned to a genuine fog, and they had to line up and keep a sharp eye on the horse in front of them.
Alexis rode up front behind Boston. She looked back now and then, but she was not looking at Lincoln. “Don’t tell me,” he said. “You’re looking for the werewolf.”
“Ghouls,” Decker suggested up from behind Lincoln. “It seems to me this is the kind of weather they would love.”
“No.” Alexis frowned. “I’m worried about Father.”
“He can take care of himself,” Roland spoke up from the front. There was silence for a moment before Elder Stow spoke.
“We are very close to the sea,” he said, and then the silence settled in with the fog.
After a short while, Roland brought the party to a stop. He heard something. He described it as a low moan but made no judgment about what it might be. Elder Stow tinkered with his equipment. It crackled for a bit, like a bad radio reception before it came in clear.
Boston commented first. “It sounds like someone in pain.” The group began to move again, but carefully.
“More like a hangover,” Decker said.
“Or someone with a bad stomach ache,” Alexis said.
“I’m not sure it is human,” Roland said and he spurred across the meadow and came back to the head of the line without explanation.
“I cannot say,” Elder Stow admitted. “I cannot get a scan lock on whatever it is.”
“Why not human?” Boston asked.
“We are getting closer but the sound is not getting louder.”
“I can confirm that,” Elder Stow said as he shook his instrument to be sure it was working properly. They rode in silence for a bit before Lincoln voiced his thought.
“Maybe it is a wraith or a ghost.” When Alexis looked back at him, he felt the need to defend his idea. “What? I only said what we were all thinking.”
“I wasn’t thinking that,” Decker said.
“Nor was I,” Elder Stow agreed. “But given some of the things we have seen, it would not surprise me.” Elder Stow’s instrument crackled again like he was losing the radio station. He shook it and twisted some dial when at once a voice came clearly from the speaker.
“Alexis! Help me! I need you. Alexis! Help me!”
Alexis kicked her horse to the front of the line before anyone could stop her. “It’s Father. He needs me.” She yelled back as she raced off into the fog. Roland and Boston rushed after her, but everyone else stopped when Lockhart shouted from the back of the line.
“Hold it right there.” Decker butted up in front of Lincoln’s horse in case he was thinking of following the runners. “Elder Stow,” Lockhart still shouted. “Can you track and follow them?”
“Yes, of course,” the Elder said and he floated to the very front. His pace was a bit quicker than the one Roland set, but it was safer in the fog than riding flat out.
Katie looked back at Lockhart several times with worry on her face, Lockhart looked worried, too. It was dark, like evening, though it was only the middle of the afternoon. The fog covered the ground especially like a blanket. A horse at speed could easily step into a snake hole or some such thing and break a leg, and injure or maybe kill the rider. Or maybe they could ride right into a pit.
Alexis thought nothing of that. She was in a complete panic and raced through the nearby woods. Roland, her elf brother and Boston, the rodeo rider could hardly keep up. They could not seem to catch up.
They could hear the voice now even without the aid of Elder Stow’s equipment. “Alexis, I need you! Alexis, Help me!”
Alexis broke out of the trees and on to rocks where her horse slowed imperceptibly out of self-preservation. The horse stopped suddenly and all at once when a figure of a person rose up in front, waving his arms. The horse bucked and Alexis held on by sheer force of will. Boston arrived and grabbed Alexis’ reigns, Roland grabbed his sister while Boston looked down at the shadow and spoke.
“Thank you Grubby.”
Grubby doffed his hat. “I say, you was getting too close to the cliff here.” The cliff was several yards in front of them and dropped a long way to where the sea crashed up against crumbling boulders. Riding over the edge at full speed would have been certain death.
“What was I doing?” Alexis asked her brother in a voice that suggested she was enchanted. They heard the voice again from twenty yards beyond the cliff, only this time the words were different.
“Roland, help me. I need you. Help me.”
Alexis quickly grabbed her brother, but he appeared to have enough of their father’s mind magic to shake it off.
“Fire!” Grubby yelled and waved his hat. Six fireballs went out from the cliff top and disappeared in the fog.
A wind came in answer and it temporarily pushed back the fog in the immediate area. A face appeared floating over the water. It screamed anger and rushed at them. It was the Bokarus. Boston felt Alexis grab her hand, and giving their magic to Roland, Roland let out a far bigger and more powerful fireball. The bokarus quickly retreated before it burned.
“Fire!” Grubby waved his hat again. Six more dwarf fireballs sprang from the ledge. They look puny, barely warm, and Boston was not sure any made it as far as the bokarus before they fizzled out. It was hard to tell as the fog closed in again.
Lockhart and the others caught up in time to see the bokarus. Elder Stow was fiddling with a different piece of his equipment when they heard the bokarus speak. It was not what they expected.
“No! Wait! That’s not right. That’s not fair.” It ended in a few mumbles before there was silence. Immediately the fog began to dissipate. The sun was out. It was just after three in the afternoon. Their spirits lifted as they saw a young women floating over the sea. She shouted as she came near.
“Hello. Are you Lockhart? I’m supposed to find Lockhart.”
“It’s the Greek,” Grubby said and made a funny face without explaining.
“A young goddess,” Katie guessed.
“I’m Lockhart,” he said when she got close enough so he did not have to shout.
“Goody,” the goddess said as her feet touched the ground. “I’m supposed to take you to Danna. I’m sorry. She told me all of your names but that was too hard to remember.”
“Thank you for your help,” Alexis said, assuming she did something with the bokarus.
“I haven’t helped you yet,” the goddess said.
“Do you have a name?” Lockhart was curious. She was a lovely person, as all goddesses should be.
“I’m Galatea. I have a baby.”
“Really?” Alexis stole a glance at Lincoln who opted not to return her glance.
Boston pointed. Roland and Lockhart started moving so the group started out and Galatea floated along, like Elder Stow but without the need for equipment.
“Yes,” Galatea continued to talk to Alexis and Boston. “I have a husband, well, temporarily. Njord is a bit of an old man, but nice.”
“He is your old man,” Boston said, and Galatea clearly thought about it for a minute before she smiled.
“Yes he is, and I have a baby.”
“So you said,” Alexis agreed.
Someone had prepared a spooky nightmare reception, but the bokarus interrupted. Boston was being drowned, but the group managed to pull her out and singe the bokarus at the same time. The bokarus did not flee, though, until the goddess came up from downstream, and she was not happy having her nightmare surprise ruined. All the travelers could think was good, if the bokarus made a goddess mad, maybe he would be prevented from following them. They could hope.
After a careful river crossing the travelers found the land changed. There was more sand and stone, more tuffs of grass and less meadow grass. The gentle up and down of the landscape continued to lead them toward the sea, though it was still at an angle that would not reveal the water soon. Boston was winded from her encounter with the bokarus, but not injured. Roland looked relieved.
“I’m worried,” Alexis said, but she revealed no details of her thoughts. Lincoln sought to comfort her, believing that the father spoken of was likely her and Roland’s father. Mingus was still lost somewhere behind them, and he was nowhere near a place where they could protect him from a bokarus or anything else. All Alexis could do was keep looking back for some sign of him and hope.
Captain Decker and Elder Stow had a different take on the matter. They spoke little as they continued to keep an eye on their flanks while they traveled, but in their few words the message was clear. For Elder Stow, the mother and father of the group was Katie and Lockhart. It was a standard designation among the Gott-Druk, and Decker was inclined to agree with him. They kept a sharp watch for trouble along the path, but kept one eye on Lockhart as well.
Katie and Lockhart were the least concerned of the group. They had traveled side by side, protecting the rear guard for some time now. They were not inattentive, but maybe less focused on potential trouble and more focused on each other. Lockhart was feeling comfortable and content to wait for things to develop in good time. Katie was content to wait until Robert was ready. She was ready, but he had the responsibility of navigating several thousand years to get everyone home safe. Robert had also been married before, she reminded herself, and maybe she could give him a little more patience and breathing space because of it.
The travelers came to a halt just before lunch. There was a man blocking the way.
“And who are you? Do I know you? Why are you blocking the way? Nice horses.” The man was not exactly talking to himself, but he night have been.
People answered him, but he did not seem to be listening until Lincoln said, “We’re looking for Danna.”
“Ah!” The man stared at Lincoln and it looked something between a curious stare and a half-mad, frightening kind of stare. “Do you know the Don?”
“We know the Kairos,” Lockhart spoke softly as he stepped up to join the crowd,
“The Kairos! What does that word mean? Silly Greek words. The Greeks are full of silly words. My grandfather knows how words work.” The man sighed and shrugged. “You know my grandfather only has one eye? He says he sees twice as good out of one as he ever saw out of two. There’s a riddle for you.”
“Your grandfather only has one eye?” Katie wondered and risked the man’s stare falling on her.
“Yeah, but Danna’s got two eyes. Pretty eyes too. She is going to be my aunt or cousin or something – sister – something or other.”
“Sister-in-law?” Boston guessed.
“That’s it!” The man was pleased like he figured it out himself. “She can’t marry my brother yet because she has to kill the bugger across the channel first. I call her the bugger because every time I say her real name I get mad. You know what I mean, mad?”
“But Danna is nice, isn’t she?” Alexis tried to make sense of the conversation.
“Yeah, but – hey, are you trying to distract me? I know what you are doing. You don’t want me to get mad. I’m frightening when I get mad, you know.”
“I thought we were just having a nice conversation,” Lincoln said and looked quickly around the group.
“You were telling us about Danna,” Alexis prompted.
“Yeah, but – hey. We’re having a pleasant conversation here. Who invited you?”
Everyone looked to the back of the group and screamed. A dragon came in for a landing and there was the bokarus riding on the dragon’s back. The horses scattered. The people ran for cover. The man started to protest, but the dragon fire hit the man dead center and for a moment all the others could do was see the flames and feel the heat. When the dragon took a breath, the man got really mad.
“That was rude,” the man said, jumped up to the dragon’s face and punched the dragon hard enough to kill the beast with that one blow. Blood splattered across the ground, the sight of which made the man turn red angry. More punches followed, as the bokarus fled for its life.
“Rude, rude, rude,” The man flailed away on the dead beast until the whole top portion of the dragon became like pulp in the dirt. Then came the dangerous point as the man started to look around for the bokarus. He did not seem able to focus very well. There was the look of murder and the wildness of death in his eyes. Lincoln bit his finger to keep still and quiet. The man started toward one of the horses, like maybe it was another dragon of some kind when a man, a very big and well muscled man appeared behind the first and grabbed him around the middle, pinning the man’s arms to his side.
The man gone mad began to twist in the air in the attempt to break free all while the big one who had him trapped whispered in the man’s ear. They rose up in the air and slammed to the ground. They blew across the way and slammed into a tree which snapped the tree in two. They continued the struggle, disappearing in the distance, suddenly drawing close again, breaking several bigger boulders with the big man’s back until at last the whispered words began to have an effect. The berserker started to breathe and the madness drained slowly from his face. The big one looked a bit banged up, but the travelers then caught glimpses of what he was saying.
“It’s alright, Modi. These are friends. Friends. The danger is over. It’s okay.” It went on, until at last the madman could breathe normally, and he looked down as if he was ashamed of what he did or might have done.
“Forgive my brother,” the big one said as he let the madman go. “You are strangers to him. He really is gentle when you get to know him, and loyal and good.” He turned to his brother and took his hand. “I think we may have a little nap time,” he said, and as the madman sighed and nodded, the two of them vanished.
No one said anything at first outside of gathering the horses. Boston spoke when they mounted. “That was weird.” No one contradicted her.
As they got in line and started out again, Lincoln added a thought. “I did not know a bokarus could control a dragon to ride it. I thought they were nature spirits and dragons are not natural to earth, are they?” No one commented on his thought, either.
It is a strange and varied group of people preparing to invade the land across the sea. War is in the air, but the various groups appear to be unconcerned with the travelers. This is good, if the people let them journey unmolested. Unfortunately, the people through whose territory they are traveling are not the problem. It is the ones following.
It was not long into the morning before they began to smell the sea. Lincoln decided they were definitely headed out the peninsula of Brittany, but at an angle that would eventually bring them to the shore. Boston looked back several times to see if Grubby and his crew were following, but she never saw anything. Alexis also looked back several times.
“I hope Father has come to his senses and is following.” What she meant was she hoped her father was safe. Lincoln looked.
“I hope the Djin and the ghouls have lost the trail,” he said. That triggered Katie to look.
“I hope Bob is okay.”
“I’m not looking,” Lockhart said. “Whatever is following, I don’t want to know.”
“This be dragon country,” Roland spoke up from the front where he heard everything with his good ears. To Boston’s curious look, Roland pointed at the sky. An Agdaline scout ship passed overhead, and Boston remembered the Agdaline kept dragons as pets when they were young and small and ejected them from their ships when they got big, lost their feathers and would no longer obey simple commands.
“Thanks,” Lincoln looked at the sky without further comment,
By mid-morning they came to a small river that was swift but not too deep. Sometimes, the party had to go miles out of the way to find a safe ford, but in this case if they were careful, Roland imagined they could navigate the crossing well enough.
Roland and Boston dismounted while the others caught up, and Boston paused to spy the woman downstream. She appeared to be washing her clothes on a boulder that split the stream. She used a rock to pound a tunic which had some sort of red stain, but it was some distance so it was hard to tell exactly what she was doing.
“The water here is cold, I bet.” Roland got Boston’s attention.
“Let me see,” Boston said, and put the washer-woman out of her mind. She bent down to touch the water and yelped. Something grabbed her hand and pulled her in.
“Roland!” Boston managed his name before whatever it was pulled her under.
“Boston!” Roland grabbed for her but she was already too deep.
The others came up quickly to the shore and spread out and tried to grab her when she bobbed up and down, gasping for air They were yelling things like “grab her” and “there she is.” She appeared to be swirling around a jetty and luckily not rushing downstream.
“Roland!” Alexis grabbed her brother’s hand and had her wand out. Roland was in a bit of a panic, but her touch steadied him and she drew on her power and his as she caught Boston by the shoulder. Boston lifted and grabbed several breaths of fresh air before they heard the sound, It was a wailing with which they were familiar. It was the bokarus, and it was fighting to drag Boston back under.
Elder Stow tuned a piece of equipment and he managed to stop her spinning. She was ready to throw up. Then the elder caught her in an anti-gravity bubble which would have shot her a hundred feet into the air, but the bokarus was still dragging her down.
Roland suddenly took over the action from his sister as soon as he realized Elder Stow had Boston stabilized. Roland was not feeling kind when he borrowed a play from his father’s playbook. It was a shock of lightning, and while it shocked Boston slightly where she was still hanging with her boots in the water, not able to rise higher but no longer in danger of being dragged under, it fried the bokarus, and fried a few fish as well.
The bokarus let out a monstrous howl and let go. Elder Stow almost lost Boston when she skyrocketed up, but he quickly got her back down into the arms of Katie and Lockhart where she claimed she felt like pulled taffy. The bokarus looked ready to attack, and Roland was ready to go toe to toe with the beast when the bokarus suddenly rushed off. Lincoln noticed.
The washer-woman from downstream had somehow crossed over the river without getting wet. She walked up the riverbank with a shirt that looked full of blood in her hand and she had a cross expression on her face. When she got close, the bokarus fled for his life, and Lincoln asked.
“Can we help you?”
The woman looked steaming mad. “And I had my scary voice on, too,” the woman said. “Guaranteed to scare your spine.”
“But no. That stupid green man had to cut in line. What has he got against you folks anyway?”
“We haven’t been able to figure that out yet.” Lockhart shook his head.
The woman paused, now that she had everyone’s attention. She slowly scanned the group ending with Elder Stow and Alexis. She lifted the shirt and shook it which sent red droplets of blood to the grass. “The blood of the father. Not too long from now. That’s all you get.”
The woman faded until she disappeared altogether, but she spoke while she vanished. “I may go hunt that little bugger. Ruin my surprise and everything.”
There was a moment of silence before Roland broke the spell by going to see to Boston.
“Morrigu?” Lincoln asked out loud.
“One of the future Irish,” Katie said. “Or Welsh gods.”
“But what did she mean the blood of the father?” Alexis looked concerned. Elder stow looked at Lockhart and wondered the same thing.
The travelers found armed dwarfs guarding the forest, fighter-like ships patrolling the skies and armed men by the thousands in the wilderness. It looks like war is on the horizon and the travelers, having already participated in such killing in the last time zone, don’t want to get mixed up in another one. For the moment, they are in a friendly camp where they find a couple of old friends in Ahn-Yani and Kim-Keri. They only hope the camp stays friendly.
Kim-Keri was the perfect hostess and Ahn-Yani was good all night. There were gnomes to groom and care for the horses, and an elderly dwarf woman who did the cooking. There was a keg of wine for supper, and a great kettle of brew.
“Silenus himself got Saturn’s leave to bring this wine to the Don.” Kim-Keri explained. “He traveled over the mountains with a train of donkey’s following behind.”
“Mathonwy buggered some of it,” Ahn-Yani added and took a great gulp.
“The ale is good too,” Lincoln added. “But no matter how much we drink, this kettle never seems to have less.” He looked hard at the kettle and rapped the outside with his knuckle.
“The Don brought many such treasures up from the south.”
“S-good,” Elder Stow slurred. “S-very good, I shay.”
“How much has he had?” Lockhart wondered.
“Just the one bowl, I think,” Katie responded. Lockhart and Katie sat side by side and while not inclined to touch each other, they appeared to have given up pretending they wanted to be anywhere else. Ahn-Yani was good, but not perfect. She giggled.
When Lincoln sat again by Alexis, they heard a snap! And all eyes were drawn to the cooking fire. “You had enough firsts and seconds. We need to save some for our guests.” The dwarf cook slapped the dwarf male’s hand with her cooking spoon and no one knew what to say since they never noticed the dwarf having any firsts or seconds. Roland might have noticed, and the two lesser goddesses certainly knew, but they did not say anything about it. Suddenly, Boston had a thought.
“I’m guessing you are Grubby.”
The dwarf looked ready to split, but his desire for thirds got the better of him and he responded, “Yes, mam.”
“Gorman with you?”
Grubby shook his head. “Taking the night watch.”
The cook frowned and added another surprise. “Next time you see that husband of mine, you tell him I got a parcel of children that would like to see their dad once in a while.”
“Yes, mam. I will. Yes man.” He grinned and stuck out his oversized plate. The cook filled it before she rapped him on his head with her spoon
“The end,” she said and went back to fiddling with the roast.
“More company,” Decker said from his perch up on a boulder beside the big tent. Thirty Little Ones came marching into the light, one out front. The tallest might have been just over a foot tall. The smallest was nine or ten inches, which was about fairy height, but these did not have wings.
“Where is Lord Mathonwy?” the leader asked sharply.
“He is not here at the moment,” Kim-Keri said. “But you are welcome to stay and have your fill of meat and bread and mead.”
“Well, we’ve come to join the fight against Domnu and her ilk. We’ve a camp just beyond foot stomping range. If he comes looking for us, tell him not to blink. If he blinks, he might miss us and walk right past.”
“A wee little camp?” Boston asked. Roland wiped the smile off her face and explained.
“Leprechauns. Have their eye on the emerald isle, no doubt. Sensitive about their height, and they can be vindictive with some of the strongest magic among the Little Ones.”
“I am sure Mathonwy will be glad to have your help,” Alexis said.
“S-goog. S-verry goog.”
In the morning, Elder Stow only held his head a dozen times. Mostly he seemed normal, if quiet. Lincoln and Alexis woke in each other’s arms. They were very close and intimate since their reunion, but they were married so it was expected. Roland and Boston were also in each other’s arms, but they were young and in love, so that was also expected. The unexpected was finding Lockhart and Katie holding tight to each other and finding each other very comfortable
Lockhart was married long ago, and divorced. He had grown children, but that was before his youth was restored. He imagined there was not a woman in the world for him and had long since given up looking, yet here she was. Katie had devoted herself to the military and to her studies. She was a beautiful blond who had long since decided there would never be a man who could appreciate her for who she was. She believed no man could get over seeing her as a dumb blond. Yet here he was. They were awkward about it for their own reasons, but those with eyes knew what was inevitable.
Captain Decker came out of his tent, stretching and smiling. They never saw him smile much. But he said he could not help it that morning. It seemed in the night, Ahn-Yani proved to be perfect after all.
“Hey!” Boston was the one who noticed, or at least the one who said something even if her shout of surprise sent Elder Stow’s hand back to his head. “Where did everybody go?” The camp of a thousand men plus women and children had packed up in the night and moved off before dawn. No one heard them. No one woke to any sound. Indeed, everyone of the travelers, including Roland the elf slept soundly through the night. They were well rested. What is more, their horses looked rested, groomed and fed and ready to go as well.
Mathonwy’s big tent was gone. Ahn-Yani and Kim-Keri were nowhere to be found. The dwarf woman was there cooking up enough food for an army, but the army had left. There was a small band of dwarfs where Grubby had brought in his little group, but they were sitting quiet and patient, waiting for the food to be ready. “Huh!” Boston concluded, and they all set about striking their camp for travel while they anticipated a mighty fine breakfast.
After 3266 BC, Near Coasts of Brittany Kairos life 32: Danna
“Hush.” Roland’s ears picked up something. He and Boston dismounted and tied off their horses. They snuck forward to the back of a boulder and climbed up to look down on a strange scene. Two groups of dwarfs with spears and shields were separated by a few trees so they could not see each other, but Roland and Boston could see them both.
“When I said who goes there I meant are you friend or foe?”
“How would I know? Who am I talking to?”
“Who am I talking to?”
“I asked you first.”
A little, well bearded dwarf stepped up and nudged the leader of his group. The leader spoke again.
“Fair enough, I’m Grubby McDirk.”
“I’m Goram Flocker. And I would not say friend. You owe me a meat pie with all the trimmings.”
“I do not, Goram, and you’re no friend of mine either.”
“Oh, that’s worser.”
“Come here so I can punch your nose.”
“You’re not getting my nose all dirty, McDirt. Maybe I should punch your nose.”
“Flocker, why don’t you just flock off.”
“I gotta keep the woods clear of foes.”
“I gotta do that. Where did you get your orders?”
“Direct from the Lady.”
“You don’t know any ladies.”
“That does it.” The dwarf threw down his spear and finally stepped forward, his fists up and ready to fly.
“Right.” The other threw down his spear, spit on the palms of his hands and rubbed them together.
“Ahem.” Boston stood and Roland stood beside her “Can you help us?” she asked, but got no more out.
“Cheeze it,” Grubby said.
“Human mortal lady.” Gorman said, though it sounded like swear words.
“And she’s got an elf with her,” Grubby added.
In a heartbeat, both groups of dwarfs vanished into thin air. Boston blinked. Roland helped her back down the back of the boulder. “We will lead the group by another route,” he said.
“Why? The woods are empty now, aren’t they?”
Roland shook his head. “The dwarfs are still there, just hidden by glamours or maybe invisible. We best go around.” They paused at the sound of a high pitched wail. They knew that was the sound of the bokarus, the one that had been on their trail since the beginning.
“I just hated to see them with bloody noses,” Boston said, but Roland said no more.
“Well?” Lockhart asked when Roland and Boston came back to the group.
“This way,” Roland said and picked a path that would take them well around the group.
“I don’t like the smell in the air,” Lincoln said to Alexis. “Smells like more than fires. It smells like war.”
“Do you think?” Captain Decker asked, but it was hard to tell if he was being serious or sarcastic. Alexis took it as serious.
“Oh yes,” she said. “I trust Benjamin’s smeller.”
“Better be ready,” Lockhart said as he checked his pistol. “But don’t shoot anything until we know if they are friend or foe.” Boston started to laugh out loud, but she could not explain why.
It was not much further along when Elder Stow pulled the group back beneath the darkness of the trees. There was a flying ship moving slowly overhead. They looked up from the dark, but it was impossible to identify the ship. The majority thought it looked like an Agdaline ship, but the evidence was inconclusive.
“This is beginning to look more and more like Tetamon’s world,” Katie said. “Aliens hunting overhead, armed little ones guarding the forest ways.” Roland had told them that much. “Are you sure we did not take a wrong turn somewhere?”
“No snow,” Elder Stow pointed out.
“And no snow storm.” Boston gave a big nod. She had gotten separated from the others in that snow storm.
“Soil is all wrong for the Ardennes. This is sandy, rocky soil good for apple trees, maybe. This has to be Brittany, or at least Normandy on the edge of Brittany.”
“So what is with the aliens and armed Little Ones?” Alexis asked.
“And the armed men,” Lockhart said, and all eyes shot to the front where some thirty men with bows and spears blocked their path. Lockhart and Katie pushed up to the front and dismounted to see what these men wanted.
“Lockhart,” Lockhart introduced himself and stuck out his hand and introduced Katie. “Katie Harper. How can we help you.”
The man shook Lockhart’s wrist and then appeared to change his mind and shook just the hand instead. “We are creating a whole new world, after all. Name’s Mathonwy, but my sister just calls me Math, unless I am being bad. Then she calls me Mathy, like a child.” Mathonwy laughed at some memory before he looked again at the two in front of him. I think you better follow us. I will explain what I can on the way.”
Lockhart waved to the rest and people dismounted to walk their horses. Boston had to shout.
“Grubby, you might as well come, too.” She was surprised to hear Math shout from the front.
“You too, Gorman.”
“Oh, we’re coming … ouch!” came the response.
“The one you are looking for came up from the south. The gods kind of pressured her. Thus far she has claimed Iberia, France and the lowlands, as she says. She has been given the key to the old Vanheim claim since it was getting to be a big muddle. Aesgard claimed the whole thing, but realistically they could only hold the north. They are too spread out as it is over Germany, Scandinavia and nominally over Russia. Egypt, that is North Africa wants Iberia. Olympus wants the coasts to as far inland as they can get away with. Before hostilities really broke out, though, they all knew they had to deal with Domnu across the sea. She is the sister of the old Queen Nerthus of the Vanheim and she and her Formor children claim it all, and she holds the islands. So the gods decided to make a new house and give it to Danna and her children as a relatively safe bet.
“Yes, what about Danna?” Lockhart asked.
“Oh, she is fertile enough to have bunches of children. Bile raped her when she was really a child, yet she had children. She was married to Apollo for some years. You know Apollo?”
“Not formally,” Katie responded.
“Well, they had children. Their eldest married Morrigu, the nasty offspring of war and battle; but I suppose they are happy. Now Danna is hanging out with Mangi, son of Thor. Of course it won’t mean anything if she can’t figure out how to defeat Domnu.”
“What’s with the aliens and armed Little Ones?” Lockhart asked. “And the armed humans?” They arrived on the edge of a sea of tents. There were easily a thousand men, all armed and prepared for war, though certainly there were plenty of women and children running around as well.
“These men have suffered for generations from incursions by the people of the islands lead by the Formors. They can’t wait for the opportunity for pay-backs. We will invade the islands, once, as I said, Danna figures out how to overcome Domnu.”
“But the –“ he looked up as a small ship flew overhead.
“Complications. An Agdaline fleet returned at a bad time and Domnu captured half of them and has them brainwashed. Danna is also concerned to set them free and send them to their rightful new home.” Math pointed to the sky. “Her job, you know. There are also Shemsu setting up standing stones along the coast. I have no idea what they signify, but man those people have OCD really bad.”
They came to a very big tent and stopped out front.
“And Domnu?” Katie wondered.
“Yeah. She figures if she can defeat and kill Danna, she can hold on to the islands by treaty and let the gods fight over the continent. The thing is, the real people, the humans that belong to Vanheim are mostly the urnfeld people – the Celts, and they will be moving west over the next couple of thousand years.
“Wait a minute,” Katie looked squarely at Mathonwy and felt like a veil was suddenly lifted from her eyes. “How do you know all these things like Scandinavia and Russia and Egypt?”
“You know full well how the young and immature gods leak all over those close to them. My big sister leaked all over me when we were growing up. Some of it was from just inside the BC, but much of it was from the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.” He shrugged and stepped to the tent door where two women came out to greet him. He kissed both in turn like a lover.
“But that means you are –“ Lockhart started.
“Yes, I am one of them,” Math interrupted, “and I believe these are old friends of yours.” He stepped into the tent and disappeared.
Boston ran to give Ahn-Yani a great hug. Lincoln grabbed Alexis by the hand to introduce her to Kim-Keri.