Avalon 7.4 People in the Middle, part 1 of 6

After 14 A.D. Bactria on the Silk Road

Kairos 89: Lydia, the Prophetess

Recording …

The travelers came through the time gate early in the morning.  The sun just hit the horizon at their backs.  Anyone watching might have thought they came right out of the light.  And there were about two hundred people watching; at least the ones that were awake.

“Company for breakfast,” Boston announced, seeming more her affable self, now having forgiven herself for getting carried away in the last time zone.  Boston and Sukki came through first and stopped to stare at the people watching at them.

“What do you think they want?” Sukki wondered, as people came to the other side of a rough road, to stare.

“That is probably what they are wondering about us,” Katie said, as she and Lockhart came through next, followed by Elder Stow and Decker.

“No guns,” Elder Stow reported, looking at his scanner.  He looked up at Lockhart.  “Unless the Masters changed the composition of their metal.”

 Decker spit.  To Lockhart’s disgusted look, he said.  “Last piece.”

Lockhart and Katie got down to face the people, some of whom found weapons of some sort or other.  At the same time, a fat and sleepy looking middle-aged man, still slipping into his jacket, came to the other side of a road.  People made room for him.  A young man of about twenty years came with him, to help him dress and present himself properly.  The fat man whispered in the young man’s ear, and the young man nodded and turned to face the travelers.

“My master, the great lord Zhang She of Xi’an, servant of the Great Emperor Guangwu of Han asks, who are you to disturb his rest at such an early hour?”

“Hold that thought,” Lockhart said.  “Decker and Elder Stow.  You need to step back to let the wagon through.”

“Of course,” Elder Stow said.  Boston and Sukki also stepped back on the other side as Ghost the mule crossed the threshold of the time gate.  The wagon followed, driven by Tony, his horse tied to the back.   Lincoln, Alexis and Nanette all came through on horseback, but stopped short when they saw the men across the way.  Some of those men now looked like soldiers.

The fat man, Zhang She appeared to open his mouth and stare as the wagon and riders came out of nowhere.  His young servant stayed more composed, even when Lockhart, the giant man, and Katie, the woman with yellow hair, stepped across the road to talk to him.

“Do you have a name?” Katie asked.

“I am Gan Ao, your humble servant.”  He bowed, but he smiled for some reason, almost like he might have been expecting them.

“Zhang She?” Lockhart asked and pointed at the fat man.  Gan Ao nodded.  “Tell Zhang She we come in friendship.  We humbly apologize for disturbing his slumber.  Where are we headed?”  He directed the last to Katie, but Gan Ao answered while Katie pulled her amulet from beneath her dress.

“To Lanshi, home of the Daxia people.”

Katie pointed while Lincoln and Boston came to add their two cents.  Lincoln had his face in the database, and Boston had hers in her amulet.  Lincoln spoke first.

“Lanshi is Bactra, and the Daxia people are the Bactrian people.”

“Boss,” Boston said.  “We are about ten days, maybe two hundred miles from a small city. The thing is, maybe we can take our time.  It looks like the Kairos is moving, except he is coming toward us instead of away from us this time.”

“She,” Lincoln said.  “Lydia of Tarsus.”

Boston confirmed Katie’s direction.  Lockhart turned to Gan Ao.  “We thank you for your kindness.  It was good meeting you, but if you will excuse us, we will be moving on and out of your hair shortly.”

Gan Ao put his hand to his head to feel his hair.  Zhang She shouted. “No.  Wait.  We are headed in the same direction and there is safety in numbers on this miserable excuse for a road.  Please stay with me and break your fast.  I have many questions.”  He turned to the people, many of whom still stared in awe.  “These strangers are “Hands off.”  If you have something you must say or ask, come and tell me or my faithful servant, Gan Ao.”  He turned to Lockhart.  “Come.”

“Free breakfast,” Boston said.

Lockhart shrugged when Lincoln said they appeared to be on the Silk Road, and Katie said, “Safety in numbers.”

They came to a big fire outside a semi-circle of tents with one extra big tent in the middle of the group.  “Come, come,” Zhang She said, as he went into the big tent.  Eight people could stand comfortably there around a table covered in paper.  Someone appeared to be making a map of their travels.  Lockhart, Katie, Boston, and Lincoln all pushed inside.  Besides Zhang She and Gan Ao, a fat, one might say, blubbery old man by the name of Djo-Djo sat by the table with ink and brushes.  Evidently, the map maker.  A Han soldier, the commander of the soldiers, came in to keep a wary eye on the strangers.  He got introduced as Captain Ban.

“Paper,” Katie noticed right away.  “Real paper.”  She said no more.

Outside, Elder Stow and Sukki helped Alexis and Tony get the wagon off the road and into a position where they could ride as soon as they were ready.  Decker dismounted by the fire outside the tents where he could keep one eye on the tent and one eye on the wagon.  Nanette came to join him, sent by Alexis to see what might be cooking for breakfast.  There appeared to be several men running around in a panic, trying to figure out how to cook enough and stretch the food to feed so many strangers.

When Nanette tied her horse with the other horses, and she came near the fire, Decker stared at her and said something unexpected.  “I heard you could have married anyone in Rome you wanted.  Why didn’t you?”

“I was something strange and different, like a toy.  I never would have been accepted. and they never would have understood the experience of my people.”

“They have slaves.  They had plenty of people uprooted from their homes and carted off to Rome as slaves.”  Decker spit.  “On this journey, I have come to realize that back home we have some people that make such a big deal out of an historical no big deal.”

“Is that what you think?  It has nothing to do with slavery.  I know nothing about that beyond stories from my grandmother.  I am talking about being dark skinned in a light skinned world.”

Decker nodded.  “We got rid of segregation in the sixties, though we are far from a perfect world on that score.”

Nanette affirmed what he said. “When I marry, it will be to a dark-skinned man, like myself.”

Decker and Nanette stared at each other until Decker spit.  “I’m thirty-six.  Maybe old enough to be your father.”

“I’m twenty-six.  You could not be my father unless you had a child when you were ten.”

“At ten, I wouldn’t have known where to stick it.”  He spit again.

Nanette looked shocked and disgusted.  “Where were you born?  In a barn?”

“In the hood.  Low-income housing in Charlotte, North Carolina,” he said.  “Besides, I was married for five years.  It didn’t work out.”  He turned and Nanette watched him walk away to help with the wagon, and he mumbled. “Aphrodite is as cruel as I always imagined her to be.”

Nanette shivered at her thoughts, but she could not take her eyes off the man as he walked away.

Avalon 3.8: Pirate Cove, part 1 of 5

After 2737 BC, Rhodes in the Aegean. Kairos lifetime 41: Nalishayas, pirate beauty

Recording …

Roland and Boston came through the time gate, laughing, and found themselves up to their horses necks in sea water. They had to turn around to get to the beach, and found the rest of the crew stopped part way there. The beach was being guarded by a group of mermen and mermaids. Lincoln was arguing, Decker was arming himself, Katie was trying to sound reasonable, and Elder Stow was floating above the waves, trying to keep his feet dry.

“Hey!” Boston yelled. “Leave my friends alone.” She kicked Honey, her horse, to get closer. The horse moved sluggishly forward, but Roland came right with her. When they came up beside the others, Boston stared. There merpeople were clearly people, like flesh and blood. They were not spirits and certainly did not belong to the Kairos.Nal mermaids

The mermen acknowledged the elves, and the mermen looked twice at the elf maid, much to the chagrin of several mermaids, but they were not inclined to move, and their spears looked sharp.

“Quiet a minute,” Lockhart spoke loud enough for everyone to stop speaking. “We are looking for the Kairos. Perhaps you could direct us.”

One merman pulled in front of the others. “Nalishayas is our friend more than enemy. We have allowed her use of the secret grotto and bay of tranquility for her ships to satisfy the goddess, but her sailors are not friends. They filth the seas with their stink.”

“We have come into the future to find her,” Lockhart continued. “It would be a kindness for all to let us get to shore before our horses filth the sea with their stink.”

“What are horses?”

Katie patted her horses neck. “These are horses. They are plain animals.”

Two mermen startled the travelers when they broke the surface of the water practically from under their feet. They went and whispered to the merman out front, and he eyed them carefully before he spoke. Boston and Roland both heard what was whispered, but Roland prevented Boston from speaking.

“You are not some deformed centaurs trying to invade this land of peace?” the merman asked.

“No, we are human,” Lockhart said.

“Hey, I’m not human,” Boston said sharply, and then she grinned her elfish best.nal mermaids 2

“That is what made us stop and see. Even deformed centaurs would not grow into elf shape. We see you have feet, but do you walk on them? I do not know these horses you speak of.”

“Let one go to shore and they will show you. The rest of us will wait here until you are satisfied,” Lockhart offered.

“We pose you no threat,” Alexis added, and the merman pointed to her. She did not hesitate to take Misty Gray to the shore where she got down and stepped away. The merpeople could all see she was an ordinary human and the horse was a separate animal. Then Misty came from behind and nudged Alexis’ shoulder.

“They are like the dolphins of Amphitrite, but not made to go underwater,” Alexis said.

“They are helpful creatures, but shy and sometimes frightened of strangers,” Lincoln added as one of the mermaids swam up beside the merman in front.

nal mermaid 1“Can I sit on a horse?” she asked.

“That may be hard without legs,” Katie said.

“I can make legs,” the mermaid said.

“Melsaiahsh,” the merman sounded like he was scolding the mermaid.

“But Papa,” the mermaid responded. “They seem so nice.” The merman swam aside and waved the people to go up on shore. Melsaiahsh did not wait for permission. She raced to shore and walked out on the beach as her fish tail went away. Several other maids followed, and two of the younger mermen as well.

“Make camp,” Lockhart called out, since it was already late in the day when they came through the gate. “This fairy weave clothing is amazing.” It was already dry. “But some of the equipment should be checked, including the weapons.” He turned to whisper to Katie. “Not that I’m expecting trouble.”

“But you should be,” Boston interrupted with a grin. “Trouble is the Kairos’ middle name.”

That evening was spent giving rides to all the boys and girls and cooking a fine fish dinner. The merpeople preferred their fish raw, but Lockhart said that he never went for Sushi. Decker shrugged. He was trained to eat whatever was available.

They said good-bye in the morning and headed inland. After a short distance, though, Boston had to pull out the amulet and give it a good shake. She explained.

“I’ve learned to read this thing so I know about where the Kairos is and where the next time gate is. But we are on an island here, and it seems to be acting up. It looks like the Kairos is down along the shore, but we could cut the shore, like go across country and reach the next gate without visiting the Kairos.”

“We can’t do that,” Alexis said.

“I know. I want to see her,” Boston agreed. “I have so much to tell her and to thank her and everything. I’m glad she is a woman again.”

“Why can’t we do that?” Decker asked. “The Kairos knows we are just trying to get home, and if there is a quick route to the next gate, I say we take it.”nal rhodes

Lockhart thought a minute before he spoke. “A visit with the Kairos is nice, but not required. We have never had this problem before. It may be the Kairos herself made the route so we could avoid trouble. Roland, we take the direct route.”

Roland peeked over Boston’s shoulder and nodded. He rode out front, and Boston rode with him.

“But—“ Boston started to speak. Roland interrupted.

“I am just as drawn to the Kairos as you are,” Roland said. “The idea of missing the opportunity to see her is breaking my heart, too. But Nuwa said I had a job, working for Lockhart, and last I looked, you still work for him, too. He is the boss and that is that.”

Boston had tears in her eyes. “Why do I care so much for her. I have not even met Nalishayas.”

“You know why,” Roland said. “You are pledged now to the Kairos, as we all are.” Boston cried, but just a little.


Be sure and return tomorrow and Wednesday for the first half of episode 3.8.  The second half, pirates and all, will be posted next Monday and Tuesday, free to read.  Enjoy.


Avalon 3.3 part 6 of 6, Scaldi

“Roland? I’ve been thinking.” Boston kept her eyes on the trail. They were headed north toward the next time gate while the Kairos, his companions and the Amazons headed south toward the crashed Blueblood ship.

Roland took his attention from the trail and smiled at Boston. He enjoyed hearing what she was thinking about. He was thinking, too. He was going to ask her to marry him. He only hesitated for so long because he felt bad for his father. Roland’s sister, Alexis, became human to marry Lincoln and that just about killed his father. Roland did not want to put his father through that again, but at last his love for Boston finally outweighed his resistance. He would become human if that was the only way he and Boston could be together, and he thought, Father would just have to accept it. Roland’s decision was made.

“Roland?” Boston started again. “I understand the Kairos made it so we could understand whatever the local people were saying as if they were speaking English. And we can talk to the locals so they hear us in their native tongue. But I don’t understand how he could do that.”

“Simple,” Roland said. “It is a natural ability shared by all of us, his little ones as he calls us. All the sprites of the air, water, fire and earth can do it. We were here long before the human word was scattered and confused by many tongues and many languages. We hear in the primal language, you might say the language of creation. And when we respond in that same language, humans hear and understand our words as if we were speaking their tongue. I assume the Kairos simply shared this natural ability with you humans. You say you hear everything in English, but maybe you are really hearing and responding in the primal language as well, only you don’t know it.”tower of babble

“We started this journey before the Tower of Babel fell,” Boston nodded. “We were there on Shinar.”

“We were.” Roland nodded. “And the first tongue might have seeped into your brain at that point.”

“But what I don’t understand is the Amazons.” Boston even looked puzzled. “I didn’t think of it at the time. We were kind of busy. But the Amazons came all the way from the Black Sea. I am sure they speak a language all their own. Then Andovar’s people by the Caspian Sea had to speak a completely different language. Yet they were able to talk to each other with no problem whatsoever.”

“I asked about that,” Lincoln said. He was eavesdropping and pushed his horse forward to get into the conversation. Boston and Roland both turned their heads to listen and Alexis looked up but followed from where she was.   “Iddin explained that Serpentelle used to be a goblin and when he and Clicker were captured by the Gutians, Serpentelle and her people came to his rescue. Suddenly, Iddin could understand what the Gutians were saying. He said it took a while to figure it out, but when Serpentelle and Clicker were in range, they broadcasted a wave – that is what he called it – which broke down the language barriers in the human mind and let people communicate. He said that is why he made Serpentelle a hobgoblin, so he could take her along, though he also said that she and Clicker together were so annoying he almost regretted his decision.”

“I see,” Boston responded. “So when those two little ones are together, something gets into the head of anyone near and communication is suddenly possible.”

Tow Warrior group“Like magic,” Roland said with a smile.

Alexis looked up and grinned before she said, “Stop.”

At the same time they heard a man yell, “Hold it right there.”

Roland and Boston faced front and reigned in their horses. Lincoln came up alongside Roland while Alexis moved up beside Boston. Katie and Lockhart were riding to the front. Katie had her rifle out and Lockhart pulled out the shotgun. There were twenty horsemen in front of them, blocking their way..

“Hold your fire!” Lockhart shouted as Decker came in from the flank. When Elder Stow hovered in from the other flank, a number of the horsemen dropped their jaws and looked uncertain as to why they were there.

“Can we help you?” Katie spoke up but Lockhart hushed her and went up to within a couple of meters. The contrast between his big, western mustang and the sea ponies the people were riding became evident, as did Lockhart’s over six feet of height which was intimidating in a five foot world. He spoke loud and clear.

“You are the Scaldi. We know this is your land. We are just passing through and would prefer to do it peacefully. By this time tomorrow we will be gone.” He paused, but no one moved or said anything in response, so he continued. “Look. We just killed three sea serpents, made the giant of Transvaak a prisoner, scared off a griffin and destroyed three witches. It has been a busy couple of days and I really don’t feel like killing right now. So if you don’t mind, we will pass through and mind our own business.” That got the men on horseback whispering sharply and a few tried to back up, hard as that was on ponies.

“Captain Harper.” Major Decker spoke up.

“Sir.” Katie responded.Tree branch

“Lay a pattern at their feet.” The rifles went up and so did Lockhart’s shotgun. Lockhart aimed at the man out front before he raised his gun to the tree branch above the man’s head. The rifle fire made the ponies jump. Lockhart’s shotgun blast got them to turn around, and by the time the branch fell, twenty men were riding for their lives.

“Hopefully that will be the end of it,” Lincoln said.

“Double watch in the night.” Lockhart said and turned to Katie.

Katie spoke as if she was finishing her conversation. “What I don’t understand is how the Amazons and Andovar’s people could understand each other.”


Be sure to check next Monday for the beginning for Avalon, Episode 3.4, Trader in Mischief which will be posted in 5 parts over the next two weeks.  A new world episode, taking place in southeastern Brazil after 2972 BC, where the travelers find the natives restless, and one alien who sees the earth as a vast, untapped market for his space salvage and war surplus goods.

Avalon 2.10: Loose Ends

            I think confusion is Eliyawe’s middle name.  As angry as she was, even Zoe got caught up in the play, it being Eliyawe’s time period and all.  But Alexis is safe and restored to Lincoln’s arms.  Where Mingus is, no one knows.


            Back at the camp, Eliyawe first turned on the midget in their midst.  She shook her finger to scold the poor former giant.  “Gorman, you lived a good long time being bigger than everyone and making people afraid.  Crush their bones, indeed.  Now you can live the rest of your days smaller than everyone.  And you will like it.”

            “I won’t like it,” Gorman grumped, but he knew he had no choice in the matter and nowhere else to go.

            “All the same, you better stick with Atonas the fisherman.  If you follow me, the gods will find you for sure and then you won’t live at all, I reckon.”  Eliyawe looked over at Marduk and Assur.

            “I want a horse,” Assur said.

            “Can’t be a real cowboy without a horse,” Marduk agreed.

            “Sit and be good for now.  It is supper time.”  The boys grumbled, but complied.  Katie did not mind cooking.  Eliyawe got up to help and together they made a pass at the remaining deer and some bread crackers. 

            “A bit lean on vegetables,” Katie said and Eliyawe shrugged and wiggled to some unheard music.

            Most of the spices they used to make the local venison more palatable had been in Alexis’ bag.  They retrieved the bag and all the vitamin jars which mysteriously refilled themselves.  They also got the pouch in which Alexis carried her portion of the bread crackers.  That also refilled itself, but the spices, though they found the containers thanks to Elder Stow, they remained mostly empty.  Fortunately, Eliyawe found some local grasses that cooked up something like lemongrass.

            “Better on chicken,” She said, but it would do to cut the gamey flavor.  

            No one bothered Alexis as she cried on Lincoln’s shoulder and whispered softly to him.  He whispered in return and she had his full attention.  Lockhart did what he could to help with the cooking, but he and Katie, with Boston chiming in now and then wanted to know the whole story of Eliyawe’s adventures.  Elias told most of it, with Jonas showing his wit now and then.

            “But what about these two?”  Katie asked at last.  “Young gods, very young I am guessing.  How is it they are willing to go along?”  She wanted to say obey Eliyawe’s commands, but she imagined that might be rude, and being rude to even young gods was never advisable.

             “About one hundred and fifty,” Eliyawe said and sat down so she would not have to cook anymore.  “More than old enough to start acting mature.”  She gave the boys a sharp look and they pretended not to notice.  “You remember Beltain and that great migration from Caana to the land of Sumer.  You were there I think when she got called off at the end.  Doctor Mishka was needed.  You see, without the good Doctor, they would never have survived, even being gods.  Their mother gave me a special dispensation so I could check on them from time to time and make sure all the extraordinary measures it took to save their lives were still in order and without complications.  They kind of have to obey.  Personally, I think I grew too much skull and made them into hardheaded knuckleheads.  But I love them dearly as if they were my own.”

            Marduk and Assur looked up at her when she said that.  They looked surprised, and pleased, and Assur appeared to form a little tear in his eye.  Eliyawe did not see because she turned to Elias.  “Husband.  I think I am going to be a strict mother.  I hope you don’t mind.”  She pecked at his lips and his hand came up to touch his lips, but his eyes went out of focus and looked up at the darkening sky.

            “Lost,” Jonas said.  “Now he’ll be dreaming all night about being a father.  How about you people.  Do you have any children?”

            Katie found Jonas looking at her.  She pointed at Lockhart.  “Oh, we’re not married.”

            “Us neither,” Boston looked at Roland.  “Not yet anyway.”

            “I haven’t asked her yet,” Roland admitted in front of everyone.

            “We have three so far,” Alexis sat up.  Lincoln kept his arm around her to protect and support her.  “I would like another.”  Lincoln said nothing.

            Clearly Jonas wanted to ask more, but once Alexis was out of her weeping, Roland could no longer contain himself.  “What about father?”  he asked.  “Alexis, where is he?”

            “I don’t know.”  Alexis’ voice was soft and she shook her head.  “When Atonas left in the morning, Father woke and said I should rest.  He said I had been on watch all night by myself and needed my sleep.  He seemed perfectly normal.  But when I woke, he had packed up his tent and things, saddled up and left.  And he left the camp in disarray, so I wondered if perhaps he swallowed some of the poison he pulled out of me. 

            “LSD,” Lincoln told her.

            “But in a day or two it will work out of the system and in the lake and the sea it will sink and not be a hazard.  The streams will be clean again and people will be normal soon enough.”

            “Father has the prototype.”  Alexis looked at Boston first before she returned her eyes to her brother Roland.

            “The what?”  Lockhart asked.

            “He has the prototype amulet that leads him to the next time gate.  He took it from the history department on Avalon.  He worked on it.  That is how he took me into the past when he first kidnapped me.”

            “You mean I don’t have the only one?”  Boston pulled hers out from beneath her shirt and looked at it carefully before she also looked at Roland.

            “So when he sobers up, he should be able to follow us well enough.”  Captain Decker spoke and Alexis nodded.  “So no need to mount a search and rescue mission,” he concluded.

            People paused to think and eventually looked at Lockhart.  Lockhart looked at Roland and Alexis because it was their father.

            “Father can take care of himself,” Roland said and Alexis nodded her agreement with that assessment.

            “Good,” Eliyawe jumped up.  “Because it would probably be best if you were gone by the time the gods wake up.”  She began to wiggle.  “I’m hungry.”  Then she began to sing and dance while she waited.  “Something, something runnin’.  Da-da-da-da-da-da.  Head out on the highway.  Da-da-da-da-da-da.  Lookin’ for adventure.  Da-da-da-da-da-da.  And whatever comes my way.  Hey!  Lincoln.  Get out the database.  I am sure I loaded Steppenwolf in there.”

            Everyone’s eyes shifter to Lincoln.  “There is an extensive music library in here,” he said, but he did not look up at the others.  He had not exactly been forthcoming with that information.  It took a second, and the music started plenty loud.  Boston jumped up and joined in the dance.  Katie looked at Lockhart and he shook his head.

            “Not on a bet.” 

            Captain Decker added his own thoughts, unasked.  “Not even under torture.”

            But after a moment, Assur and Marduk joined the girls and then the nymphs joined the dance as well.  And they all danced in the campfire light in 3366 BC as the sound echoed across the plains of Meggido and bounced off the mountains and Eliyawe, her hands over her head to show off her long legs and her skinny butt wiggling away sang, “Born to be wild … “


            The travelers have no control over the time gates, like what period it will be in the life of the Kairos when they enter a new time zone.  The Kairos might be old, middle aged, young as Eliyawe, or as in the next zone, a child.  Somehow, though, even childhood does not prevent the Kairos from being at the center of a swirl of trouble. 

Avalon 2.11:  Scorpion … Next Time