Avalon 5.8 Making a New Nest, part 3 of 6

The women removed their helmets when they arrived, and the lead woman turned out to be a startlingly beautiful blue-eyed blonde; not at all what they expected in Gaza.  She spoke in a voice that made them pay attention.

“I am Hildr.  My companions are Kara and Hirst.”  Kara had more of the brown hair, brown-eyed look they expected this close to the Saini, but her hair came out wild, and full of curls.  Hirst had black hair, witch’s hair, hair the color of midnight; and she had the black eyes to match.  Hildr continued.  “Lady Eir sent us to fetch you.  Lord Valdir is expecting you.”

“Valdir?” Lockhart asked.

“Nameless,” Lincoln clarified.  Lockhart went to introduce his companions, but Hildr interrupted.

“We know who you are.”  She turned her horse and began to walk out front, while Kara and Hirst flanked the procession.

“Gee,” Lincoln joked.  “You might as well have been Harriet Jones, Prime Minister.”

“Who is that?” Lockhart asked.

“Just a character from a science fiction television show.”

“I wouldn’t know,” Lockhart said.  “I don’t watch science fiction and fantasy.  I much prefer realistic shows.”

Behind him, Katie had to ask.  “You are Valkyrie?”

“That is what we have been called,” Hirst said.  “We collect the valiant that have fallen in battle.  Those who belong to Vanheim go to the warrior’s field of Lady Frya.  Those who belong to Aesgard, we take to Lord Odin’s hall of Valhalla.  Thus, has our Lord Valdir instructed us.”

“I thought you worked for Odin,” Boston interrupted.

“All work for Odin,” Kara said, as if that should have been obvious.  “But the Alfadur himself decreed that the Nameless god is for us.  Nameless says we are to watch him as much as he watches us, though I do not know exactly what that means.”

“That sounds like the Kairos,” Alexis said, and smiled.

“Yes,” Kara continued.  “We are pledged to the Kairos-Nameless, called by the Alfadur Lord Valdir, which means Prince.  We are pledged by every sacred vow there is.”

“We are pledged to the Kairos, as well,” Boston said, happily.  She meant herself and Alexis, but in truth, that included all the travelers.

“Yes, I know, little one,” Kara said, and she smiled at Boston in a way that said they might be friends.  Boston looked at Kara’s wild hair, and thought that might be possible, if one could be said to be friends with a goddess.

Katie looked again at Hirst, and Hirst did not wait for her to ask her question.

“In ancient days, Nameless called our first, Brynhildr, out of the snow and ice of the Urals.  He called from a village on a river not far from the Black Sea.  Many good men died in a battle defending the village from ghouls.  He said he was reluctant to leave good men in the hands of Hellas.  He asked Brynhildr to take the spirits to Odin’s hall or Frya’s field, depending on the disposition of their heart, and Brynhildr said it was like scales falling from her eyes.  She said, this was the reason she was born and the purpose for her life.  When she knelt before Odin, he accepted her good service and caused Valhalla to begin, and since that time, many have come to join Brynhildr in this work.  We all work for the Alfadur, but in this life, and whenever or wherever the Time Traveler called the Nameless one appears, we are pledged to him with all of our grateful hearts.”

They did not ride very far before they came to a large group of tents and found a woman out front who looked worn and frazzled.  Hirst spoke again without waiting to be asked.

“Lady Eir has stayed with us often in the past, when she has not gone east to be with her children.  I am sure she will stay with us again in the future, after the lifetime of the Nameless one has passed.  She also goes with us, often, to battle.  There, she saves some and not others.”

Kara said, “I do not know why she chooses some to save and not others.”

“Probably case by case,” Alexis said.  “Only she would know who she is or is not authorized to help.”  Kara and Hirst both agreed that was likely.

“Hello friends,” the young woman spoke.  When they got close, they all noticed she was pregnant, and she answered the thought in several minds without being asked.  “Yes,” she said with a big smile and a pat on her belly.  “My husband and I have been very busy.”

“He will be along?” Lockhart asked.

“Shortly,” Eir said.  “For now, I want to invite the women to come into the tent, and I want to hug Artie, who I have not seen in a long time.  And how you have changed.”  Artie got down and hugged the woman, then she turned to Katie, Alexis and Boston.

“This is Eir, who I met in the cave of Yu-Huang.  She is mother of Tien and Yin, Yang, and Tuti.”  Artie wanted to show her off.

The women joined her and they went into the tent.  The men stayed outside and watched some gnomes come and take their horses away.  Lockhart finally spoke.

“These people don’t look Celtic.”

“No,” Lincoln said.  “According to the database, they are more like early Germans, or maybe early Scandinavians.”

“Vikings,” Decker agreed.

“But they have or had contact with Celts,” Lincoln added.  “They picked up some things from them, like some tartan checks.”

“And Nameless is going to take them all the way up the Silk Road to where other, early Celts settled and already introduced some tartan weave,” Lockhart said, and that caused everyone to look at him.  “I may be an historical moron, but that doesn’t mean I don’t pay attention when Katie talks.”  He thought about that and added.  “If Sekhmet can come here, Katie and I will be married in this time zone, though I would not know how to behave at a Viking wedding.”

Elder Stow sounded ecstatic.  “Wonderful.  And may you grow fat and have many children.”

Lincoln said, “Congratulations,” and it was sincere, though one could hear the touch of sorrow in missing his own wife.

Decker took a third tack.  “My condolences,” he said.

Not much after that, Nameless appeared, and Sekhmet came with him.  She came right up to Lockhart and hugged him and kissed him like a good daughter.  It made him smile, and as she headed toward the tent she shouted, “Yes!”  The word echoed off the distant hills.

“So,” Nameless said.  “Any idea who you want to get to perform the ceremony?”

‘Nameless?” Lincoln asked.

“Yes,” both Decker and Elder Stow answered for the man.

“I suppose we are out of range for Isis, not that I would ask her.  I am sure whoever I ask will be busy,” Lockhart hedged.  “Do you have a priest among your people?”

Nameless nodded.  “But that would not do.  You know you folks have affected more lives than maybe you realize.  You know this land belongs to Astarte and her on again, off again relationship with El.”

“Have we met her?”

Nameless nodded.  “Briefly, once or twice.  But there is no serious choice, unless she turns down the idea, which I suspect she won’t.  You see, Hathor, and my mother, Frya, and many others wish to come, and might even want to perform the ceremony, but it would not be right to pass up the local mistress of marriage and the home.  I am certain Astarte will do it, to maintain peace among the gods, and she will be glad to do it besides.”

“And I will,” a woman said as she appeared out of thin air.  “And I am happy to bless the couple.  But, you should not be so quick to assume.  The couple have not asked me yet.”

“Will you?” Lockhart thought to ask.

Astarte smiled.  “I said I would,” and she went into the tent to join the women.  The men all stared, and could not seem to help it.

“So,” Nameless clapped his hands to regain their attention.  “The story of my life has been straightening out messes.  Lucky, you missed Ragnarok.  Maybe the storyteller will write about it some day.  Anyway, I figure we have three messes to fix.  Maybe messes is too strong a word.”

“What are you talking about?” Lockhart wondered.  Nameless merely pointed up.  An Anazi space ship came in for a landing.  He pointed over to where a Gott-Druk sat on a log near a fire, and she looked miserable.  He moved his pointer finger to where Boston and Alexis came out of the tent.  Boston came complaining.

“I know how it works, now.  I understand all about that.  You have to stop treating me like a fairy still wet behind the wings, okay?”

“Fine.”  Alexis threw her hands up.

“I don’t understand,” Lincoln said.

“We have two young women ready to leave the nest.”

The men nodded, until Lockhart asked.  “Who is the other one?”


MONDAY (Tuesday and Wednesday)

Don’t mis the second half of Avalon, Episode 5.8

Katie and Lockhart get ready to form a new nest, but Boston and Artie do not appear happy, and Basilisk statues in the wilderness may come to haunt them…

Happy Reading


Avalon 5.8 Making a New Nest, part 2 of 6

Elder Stow saw the anomaly on his scanner.  He and Decker had moved out to the front in the desert.  They were not worried about people sneaking up on the group from the sides when the group could see anyone coming for miles.  From the front, they could ride back and warn the group if they were about to run into trouble.

“Normally, they are fairly-good about watching where they are going,” Decker said in the morning.

“Yes,” Elder Stow agreed.  “But right now, they all seem so preoccupied for one reason or another.”

Decker understood.  He moved out on the flank, but then pushed up to the front and kept his eyes open.

Now, Elder Stow stopped to look, and Decker came over to see why.  A stone statue of a man stood there in the middle of nowhere, and it was not just any man.  It appeared to be a Gott-Druk, one of Elder Stow’s people, and it looked like he had on a space suit of some sort.

“Friend of yours?” Decker asked.

Elder Stow tapped the statue before he spoke.  “No.  Yes.  Maybe.”

“Do I get to pick which one I like?”

“No.”  Elder Stow almost smiled.  “I have seen this face before in temporal reconstructive imaging—in pictures.  He looks like Burrgh, the Mighty, or, what the genetic reconstructionists think he might have looked like.”


“Burrgh the Mighty.  He was one of the original colonists on the new world.”  Elder Stow paused and realized he would have to explain.  “At the time of the flood, we were taken into space on Agdaline slower-than-light sleeper ships.  That was what they were called.  Sleeper ships, because the people went into a primitive form of cryogenic suspension, and it seemed like they slept and only woke up when they neared their destination.  Burrgh the Mighty was one who objected.  He said we should go back to the earth, our native planet, and take possession.  He said the flood waters surely receded, and the earth was ripe for the taking.  He almost made it a religion.”

“And he made it here?”  Decker asked, as the others came up to stop and listen.

“You must understand. At that time, while you people were still living in caves and using stone tools, we were beginning to use copper, tin, and other soft metals—perhaps learning about bronze.  We began farming, and taming some of the animals.  Much of your earliest learning came from us, or from the Elenar.  But we were nowhere near space technology.  This was well before we had any idea how the Agdaline ships worked, or what forces they used.”

“That is quite a jump, from the coper age to the space age overnight,” Katie said as she and Artie got down to look at the statue.

“Indeed,” Elder Stow said.  “But Burrgh was determined, and he gathered his followers, took one of the Agdaline ships, and managed to get it into space without blowing up.  He was never heard from again, and no trace of him was ever found.”

“And you think this is that guy?” Lockhart asked.

“Genetic imaging is accurate to a very fine degree.  The imaging I have experienced, assuming the sample was indeed Burrgh, this is the man I saw.  Wait…”  Elder stow took out his equipment, calculated, and mumbled.  “Ten thousand, minus twelve hundred… Distance at near-light-speed… convert to years…”

“Hey, Elder Stow,” Lincoln shouted.  “There are more of them over here, and what looks like a bunch of pieces.

Elder Stow walked in that direction as he shook his head.  “I suppose he could have run into trouble and drifted for a few millennia.  Those sleeper units were not designed with Gott-Druk in mind.  The Agdaline built them specific for themselves.”

“I was in one for about five hundred years,” Decker said.

“I am more concerned about five thousand years.  The automatic safety is set to wake the sleepers at a thousand years.  After a thousand years, the suspension material can begin to break down, not to mention the monitoring systems.  Everyone wakes.  Systems are rebuilt. Fresh material is injected, and the process can begin again.  The further one sleeps beyond a thousand years, the more likely a system will breakdown.  At two thousand years, even if the system is still functioning properly, the life support begins to degrade.  The man might still be alive, but he might be revived as a mental vegetable.”  Elder Stow stopped at the second statue, and exclaimed, “Tughat.  That settles my mind on the matter.  These are the lost expedition of Burrgh the Mighty.”

“Did they come out of suspension like this?” Lincoln asked.

“No.  Something must have happened,” Elder Stow said.

“Medusa turns people to stone,” Boston suggested.

“So does a basilisk,” Katie said.  “But I did not think they meant literal stone.”

“A holding technique,” Alexis spoke out of her learning.  “It’s like a spider web that holds the flies until the spider is ready to feast.  These pieces on the ground used to be Gott-Druk as well, but they have had their insides drained, and the remainder has been smashed to look like random rocks, so others don’t know there is a basilisk near, and thus avoid the area.”

“I think that is what we should do,” Lincoln said.  “Avoid the area.”  Lockhart and Decker were already looking for some sign of the creature.  Katie and Artie got ready to ride, and that spurred the others.  They rode at a good pace, and did not stop until they came to a grassy meadow where the wildlife suggested the basilisk had not hunted.

Only Elder Stow showed any unhappiness about being out of the area.  “There are so many questions, so many unanswered questions.”

“You can’t get blood from a stone,” Decker said.

“Apparently, a basilisk can.” Lincoln countered


Mid-afternoon, the travelers came upon the smoking ruins of what looked like a city in the distance.  Lincoln kept reading, but looked up briefly.  “Gaza,” he said.  “And things have not changed much in our day.”

“These people don’t have missiles, so no Israeli aircraft,” Decker countered.

“Cut it out,” Lockhart ordered.  He did not want those two started again on a new tit-for-tat.  He wanted to know who attacked the city, and who won.  He did not want them mistaken for a new threat to the city, or for reinforcements coming to the city’s aid.

Lincoln got serious.  “The sea peoples, so-called, landed here all up and down the coast at some point, depending on what point in Nameless’ life we arrived.  Some, were determined to try Egypt.  They probably heard the streets of Memphis were paved with gold.  You know, the usual motivations.  They were driven back at sea, and later they got or get driven back again over the land route.  Some stay here and form a ruling class over the locals.”

“Like the Indo-Aryans over the Dravidian people in Padrama’s day,” Katie suggested.

“Like the Normans over the Anglo-Saxons, who were already over the British Celtic people.,” Lincoln gave his own understanding.

“Some?” Alexis asked.

“The rest follow Nameless to the Euphrates, down Mesopotamia, across the Iranian Plateau, and up to the Tien Shan where Nameless’ children watch over the eastern end of the Silk Road.”

“Quite a journey,” Artie said, now having been to a number of places and seen first-hand how difficult and dangerous travel could be.

“You’ll like this part,” Lincoln said and turned his head back to look at Katie.  “When the Indo-Aryans and Indo-Europeans began their great migrations, a distinctive Celtic culture went out front, like the vanguard of the invasion.  Most moved, or were pushed west as we know—to France and the British Isles.  But a line of Celts followed the Danube south like a buffer zone between Aesgard and Olympus.  They pushed other people groups into Greece; Aeolians, Corinthians, Dorians and so on.  Eventually, some crossed the sea and settled in Anatolia, the place the Romans called Galatea.”

“I think I figured that much out already,” Katie responded.

“But wait,” Lincoln was not finished.  “What you don’t know is some Celts initially went east about 3000 to 2000 BC, and settled on the north and east end of the Silk Road.”

“Which makes perfect sense,” Katie grinned.  “They found caucasian people and tartans on mummies in that region dated back to around 2000 BC.  Makes sense.”

“Yes.  Nameless is quoted in the record as saying his journey was like one big circle.  It seems that Celtic group followed Nameless’ son, Tien, and his brothers and sisters into that region.”

“Hold up,” Lockhart called a halt.  “We got company.”  Decker and Elder Stow came in to join them.

The company looked like three people in leather and fine bronze armor, riding on good horses with saddles, no less.  The horses and saddles, and armor and weapons they carried looked one or two thousand years ahead of themselves, at least.  Katie assumed the soldiers would be driving chariots, or if they were on horseback, they would be riding with only a blanket thrown over some Black Sea ponies like they had seen in the past.

The three riders had to get close before the travelers realized that these three were women.  Katie’s only comment was they were not Amazons.  Alexis said they were Valkyra, and since they were looking for the Nameless god, they did not discount that possibility.