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The Voyages of the Penelope and the Yydryl

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posted on Dec, 4 2010 @ 05:45 AM

The aftereffects of teleporting knocked Silo flat, her head spinning, hands flung out before her like a supplicant.
Crawling to the edge of the platform she hung her head over the side of CindyMar’s deck and heaved until her nausea had passed.
Gasping, her lungs ached and burned filling with the frigid air and the shivers set in.
It was December in Mountains of Oregon, Earth, 2012.
And it was cold.

And white!
An alien landscape devoid of all the greens and colors she loved so much spread out before her when she could finally look up from where she lay on the hard wood planks cold and unforgiving as slabs of ice. Snow had painted a new picture of Cindymars’s cabin in bleak grays and browns she’d only heard speak of. And nothing her friend had told her of Winter could have prepared Silo for the cold.

‘Oh Creator! What’ave I done!’ Silo moaned as another pain turned her hands to claws and bowed her back, the contraction twisting her body in a macabre dance of pain and life’s renewal, a dance as old as time.

‘Talk about going from the frying pan into the fire!’ She grimaced remembering one of Cindymars’s ‘earth’ terms and gave a breathless laugh when the birth spasm finally let her go. What had she done indeed. Teleporting from the little cave in Ship’s Center, escaping death, to here where she’d only prolonged her fate.

Panting against the pain her breath had risen to coat her eyelashes in frost. The hair around her face was rigid as the icicles rimming the eave of the cabin like so many frozen teeth. Silo touched her bangs gingerly, her fingers stiff with cold and wondered absently if her hair would snap from her head if she should wrench it between her fingers and thumb. Puffing once or twice she marveled at the white plumes of frozen air that robbed her breath of it‘s invisibility. So this was winter. The time of year CindyMars visited her cabin only when she must. She hated the cold, the ice, the snow. Only now Silo could understand why.

Her teeth began to chatter in her head like old bones rattling in sack. Clambering to her feet she stepped off the deck to look for the key CidnyMars hid under the woodpile. She had to get out of the cold, and fast. Slipping and sliding on the ice covered grass Silo knew enough about snow to recognize someone had been to the cabin to clear the paths from around the Cabin doors and the cement drive where CindyMar’s parked her car. Maybe she was here after all!

A brief moment of joy and hope blazed through her heart and she began to yell for her friend again and again with only her own echoes answering her cries. No CindyMars came to the door with a cup of hot chocolate and a slice of her magic chocolate cake. No CindyMars to pull her inside and help her get warm, to help her with her birth.
The stark reality of her situation settled with a harsher bite than before when Silo finally faced the fact she was alone, freezing, and in labor.

Not sure what to do Silo was struck by another pain following hard on the last, this one leaving her weak from more than the cold.
Fear was setting in and it was getting dark. Fast.
Instinct and the numbing cold played morbid games with Silo’s psyche conjuring unwelcome images of her frozen form hidden deep under a new snow. It was survival’s way of goading her on, keeping her moving, forcing her to try all the while promising if she didn‘t find a way into the house both she and her child would surely die.

Crawling - it was easier than trying to walk on the traitorous ice - Silo made it to the corner of the woodpile under the deck and groped blindly under the corner of the woodpile for the key CindyMars kept hidden there. But frozen fingers were no match for the frozen ground. If the key was under the last few chunks of kindling she’d never be able to pry them free until Spring turned the ground soft, and Spring would be far too late.

Giving herself over to another pain Silo bit her lips to keep from crying out and tasted blood. Warm and salty in her mouth it made her gag and she wretched over and over leaving bright red drops of blood flecking the snow.

Head hanging low, panting and beyond tears Silo’s thoughts turned to death, of never seeing Cindymars again, never seeing Carpet and Ship or her beloved hulk of a Regalian Chumley.
But it wasn’t thoughts of her friends that filled her with the most sorrow, it was thoughts of never seeing her child.

Looking for help Silo’s eyes rose to the heaven’s and before a prayer to the Creator left her lips her eyes were drawn to the glow of the full moon just peaking over the tree line. Silo watched in awe as the great white orb climbed swiftly to it’s throne in the sky. Amazed at it‘s blinding white beauty and filled with an odd kind of peace Silo dropped her gaze from the moon’s promise and something else she couldn’t quite understand.
But then, in the last moments before the cold shut down her mind Silo knew.
She named her child Luna before teh child even left her womb.

Laying her head in the snow, her body collapsing, too weak to hold herself up any longer Silo’s stare dropped from the moon to the base of the tree line where smaller lights winked back at her from the dense frozen underbrush.
Curling her chin to her chest against a bitter wind blowing up snow and ice and with eyelashes nearly frozen shut Silo looked back at the tiny lights and could just make out twin pairs of yellow eyes peering back at her from the shadows of the woods.

‘Help...’ She tried to call, but her teeth wouldn’t stop chattering long enough to let the word out.

This time she fought the contraction. Fought it and curled herself tightly into a ball around her child in an effort to keep it inside. Silo didn’t want her baby born into the cold.
But nature won.
A final gush of water exploded from her body and formed a bloody pool under where she lay creating misty wafts of steam as the warm vapor hit the frigid night air. ‘Help!’ Silo screamed as another contraction hit, her cry of agony rising above the howl of the wind.

Watching eyes brightened and blinked at the sound of her pain and terror. Twin muzzles lifted to the sniff the air rich with the scent of sweet new blood. Long red tongues rolled over hungry lips leaving sharp ivory fangs glistening.

When Silo screamed for the second time two dark figures stepped out of the shadows and into the clearing.


edit on 4-12-2010 by silo13 because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 12 2010 @ 02:50 AM

Silo watched as twin pairs of disembodied eyes bobbed easily through the midnight woods like specters before leaping from the dark shadows to take shape in contrast against the glistening terrain. Two wolves stood still and alert, steaming breath their only movement as they wait at the lip of the valley where blankets of drifting snow piled high on sleeping underbrush sprouting tufts of dead brittle grass thin and silver. A round round moon lounging high on her black throne bore witness to the night, keeping it’s secrets, telling no tales, as stars bright as chipped diamonds formed her halo.

Trotting forward the larger of the two wolves, a male, followed close behind the smaller lither female so white only the black of her nose and deep coal rimmed eyes marked her progress across the clearing. Reaching the plowed area surrounding the cabin the male, reluctant to go on stopped short and stood anxiously cutting his gaze back and forth between his mate and something still hidden behind them in the shadows. Something far off Silo couldn’t see. She’d lost her second set of eyes, their long stalks snapping free from her skull like brittle twigs having fallen victim to the bitter cold.

Closer and closer the little white wolf approached but Silo felt no fear, the only thing she knew was pain. Unable to stifle her scream Silo’s cries rode the bitter winds down the valley and beyond as another contraction rippled through her. The female having come so close Silo could smell her musky breath against her face sat back on her haunches and gave full throat to a howl that mingled in a haunting due with Silo’s animal cry of pain.

‘Help...‘’ Silo panted, her lips cracked and bleeding. ‘Please... Find CindyMars...‘ The silver white wolf whined and dropped her head to lick Silo’s face, the warmth of her tongue stung and burned across the purple gray skin of her frozen cheeks.

‘Luna...’’ She whispered to the wolf between clenched teeth just as another contraction began in her center to boil it’s way up through her body on a tidal wave of pain.

And it was as if she were torn in two.

Screaming and writhing oblivious to anything but her agony Silo didn’t see the approach of two huge forms followed by the gray male and met by the little wolf who’s tail fanned the air in such welcome her whole back end swung from side to side, her nose turned up, her lips curled back in a toothy submissive grin.

Trapped in a nightmare of torture and fear, freezing near to death and unable to focus on anything now beyond the next contraction Silo barely felt the large hairy arms push their way under her body and lift her up, wrapping her neatly against a massive chest with a pelt so long it covered her completely, the radiant warmth of the beast doing nothing less than saving her life.

‘Carpet...It’s you...‘ She sobbed burying her face like a kitten into the warm fur laying soft under her cheek. ‘It’s you...’ She whimpered piteously before her body began jerking and convulsing so violently the large pair of arms holding her close almost lost their grip.

‘Shhhhh Silo...‘ A raspy sound hollow and low pitched hissed next to her ear.
‘Everything will be alright now,' crooned the voice that was CindyMar’s, and not CindyMar’s at all...

edit on 12-12-2010 by silo13 because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 11:00 AM

"Oops" said Tibbs and attempted to quickly crank the amulet's outer edging clock-wise.
But it was too late.
Nenothtu had time to turn his head and BIAD looked up from picking at his dress hem, Neno's Cat managed to get under the pilot's seat as the white-blue flash occurred, gone. The Sprint continued it's course, but now without any human occupants... Sasquatch's green fur rippled from under the seat with confused fear at the sudden disappearance.
What now?

"It's snowing" said BIAD and looked around in the cold darkness, Nenothtu panned the barrel of the pistol around and during the scanning of surrounding gloom, his hand grabbed Tibbs's shoulder and jerked him close.
"Okay little man, what did you do?" Neno hissed and lifted the Vithian up onto his tip-toes, the gunman's eyes flitting from right to left. The 'Boy In A Dress' moved to cover his compadre's rear and the unusual group faced North-South-East and awaited their fate.

Tibbs struggled with the robe's collar digging into his throat, so it was only a choking rasp that answered Nenothtu. "Amulet... damaged tracer... time-slip" Tibbs coughed out and Neno saw the cheeks above the snow-flecked beard turn bright red. Looking back into the darkness, Neno dropped Tibbs into the foot-deep whiteness.

BIAD shook his head dog-like and stuck his tongue out to catch an icy flake and wondered what to do next, Tibbs straightened his robes and tried to do it with dignity, Nenothtu pondered the faint glow that winked from far off.
"It was an anomaly with the Tracer Ring..." Tibbs snipped and moaned softly as he got to his feet. "... your bauble must have taken some damage during your trek" Tibbs fished about in his pocket and brought the shiny object out into the frosty air. The man/girl leaned slightly forward as he also noticed the faint light and as Tibbs explained that the trio had probably had passed through a 'time-mesh' BIAD whispered to Neno "You think it's a torch?"

The hunter-eyes of Nenothtu slitted against the wind-driven flurry of snow and his lips became thin lines as he responded with "a lantern... maybe" The small bearded man sighed and squinted down at the amulet, he produced a small object from his pocket and shone a tight beam of light onto the face of the broach.

"You can put the gun away -Mr. Nenothtu... you have nothing to fear tonight" Tibbs offered. Putting the jewellery away, he suddenly turned to shuffle off towards the blinking light. BIAD looked up at his taller friend and tilted his head to show his confusion. Neno showed a toothy grin and shrugged his shoulders. "Come on Boy, let's see what craziness lies ahead!" he whispered.

Three sets of tracks showed their passage, a small shoe with a dragging coat, a large footprint with a long stride and odd-looking high-heel mark that occasionally indicated that the owner was hopping and possibly being silly in the snow.

Joseph looked at Mary and the tired donkey, the snowstorm was taking it's toll. Eight miles to Bethlehem and the journey had taken them most of the day. The snow had started in the afternoon and as the evening settled in, the anxious looks from his wife became more and more of a concern.

"We can't stay out much longer" Mary said, the wind snatching the words away, Joseph nodded and pulled the donkey on through a large drift. The lantern in his other hand spluttered and struggled in the blasts. The white downpour showed no indication of slowing up and he could only hope they were still on the road to Bethlehem.
They had passed a half-hidden sign earlier, so Joseph guessed he wasn't too far off track. He was just wondering if a building could be found close by to wait out the snowstorm, when he saw the three figures emerging from the darkness.

At first, Joseph thought it was a man and his family, the little figure would be a son and the long haired person struggling to keep up -would be the taller one's wife. Joseph and the son-of-God's mother were about to meet Nenothtu, Boy In A Dress and Tibbs the Vithian and we can only hope the baby will have mercy on their souls!
With a relieved wave, Joseph felt the chances of surviving this night improve greatly and he could see on Mary's face that she was thinking the same. The donkey gave out a small bray to greet the newcomers as they stepped up to meet in the maelstrom.

"Greetings strangers, we seek shelter from this snow storm..." called Joseph as the wind increased, "... my wife is about to give issue and we seem to be lost" Joseph attempted a smile, but he could only manage a grimace. Mary's face changed also from a meak grin into a look of horror as she saw The Boy In A Dress in the the lantern light.
Tibbs took command of the situation.

"Fear not sweet lady, the person you see is a harmless creature, an accident at birth left him with this cursed disfigurement" Tibbs announced. The little man winked back at BIAD and glanced at Neno who had neared the donkey. Joseph watched the tall man with the strange clothes and the large bag, the carpenter pondered if this was a possible robbery.

"You're in luck Missus, I spied a building about a few hundred feet of here" Nenothtu said and patted Mary's ass. Joseph looked out into the blackness and wondered how the stranger could see anything out there, this tall man would certainly need watching.

The dwarf seemed to be a sage or wise man, possibly the leader of the trio and Joseph turned to him and leaned close to the bearded figure. "We are here to give birth to the Son of God and we are in fear of our lives from Herod's men" Joseph's voice was low and yet firm.

Tibbs nodded and said "We are here to assist good Sir" and with that, the group moved off into the night. Nenothtu took point with the reins in one hand and the other resting on the jutting butt of the pistol in his belt.
edit on 20-12-2010 by A boy in a dress because: Left Mistletoe in Edit Room.

posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 11:27 PM

As nenothtu led the donkey along, the entire unlikely crew in tow, he pondered the situation. Sure, he was aware of the legends, but never had much thought about a basis in reality.

If this WAS, in fact, a reality.

These little magic trinkets had dropped him into some unusual situations of late. On top of being some sort of cross-dimensional, or cross-time, or cross something geegaws, they seemed as well to somehow translate languages with a certain flair. Not wanting to get too deeply into an over-analysis of things (Margo always said he had a tendency to over-analyze) nenothtu decided it was sufficient to agree with whichever 20th century writer had said that any technology sufficiently advanced would be indistinguishable from magic. That settled it - it was all magic, and magic was real. No need for further explanations in neno's mind. He could move on to other things.

This Joseph fellow had insinuated that there might be trouble brewing with some petty tyrant's military muscle. Nenothtu strained, but couldn't quite recall the specifics of the legends. Something about a whole lot of kids being killed, and here he was in party with a woman about to give birth. To a kid. Eyeing the raging snowstorm, he figured that an imminent attack was the least of their worries. Soldiers were soldiers, and they'd be loathe to get out into a mess like this when they could just as easily slay young-'uns when the storm slacked up. That left shelter to be found.

Nenothtu had noticed, from the top of a hillock as they had trekked through the snow to meet this couple, a farmstead in the distance, a bit further along the road. It was towards that goal that he led the tiny one-assed caravan. Most primitive societies had pretty stringent rules as to hospitality, and he was hoping this one was no different. Nearing the farmstead, he was surprised to note that the looks of it up close suggested that it was probably more of a way station, which brought him a bit of relief. No need to worry about hospitality when it could be had for a price.

Upon arrival, neno found a place in the lee of a building that would keep the worst of the wind and snow off of the travelers while accommodations were being negotiated. "Come on, Joe, let's go get some rooms. Once we get everyone settled, we can come back and look after your donkey".

The bearded man wearing a dishtowel on his head just blinked and said "Who?" evidently unaccustomed to being referred to as "Joe".

"Whaddaya think you are, an owl? YOU! Come on, let's get it done. Yer missus has been out in the cold long enough." With that he set off for the hostelry, not even looking back to see if Joseph was following. Joseph scrambled to catch up, and the two hit the door simultaneously.

Inside it was a seething mass of humanity, packed wall to wall with travelers. Forcing a way through the crowd, neno found the proprietor, with Joseph right on his heels to take advantage of the holes in the crowd neno made. "Sir! Sir! We need a couple of rooms. Got two separate parties traveling together, but two rooms ought to do it - one apiece". He hefted the coin bag that he had "liberated" from the bounty hunter for emphasis.

The Inn Keeper eyed the bag. He was loathe to turn away hard coin, but he just didn't have any rooms left. This tall lunatic ought to have been able to figure that out just by looking around. "I'm sorry, sir, but I've got nothing left. As you can see by looking around, I'm packed full. It this damnable census. Every man and his brother - and wife, and kids, and stock - well, everyone - is converging on Jerusalem. I've been slammed by it." The man looked haggard, and sincerely apologetic, but it appeared there was nothing he could do.

"Well, I might not have made myself clear. There's a pregnant woman in the party, and she's nigh on to bustin'. Looks like she's about to deliver at any moment. We really NEED at least one room."

The Inn Keeper looked even more morose, but simply shifted from foot to foot, and shrugged. "Sorry, sir, but I REALLY have nothing to spare." He gave his best helpless look along with the shrug.

Nenothtu shifted gears. Maybe if this fellow saw a sale leaving... "Aiight, boss. How far to the next Inn? We might be able to make it in this... storm..." he left the thought trailing.

The Inn Keeper looked even more helpless, if that were possible, "You're not likely to find much of anything. The whole area is slammed with outlanders in for the Census, as I said before. The storm, well, it's got ALL of them looking for lodging. I daresay that everywhere is booked solid. This is not even Jerusalem - this is Bethlehem, and you've still got a few miles to go to Jerusalem. It'll only get worse closer in." He shrugged, again. That was getting annoying to neno. He bit down on a response, considering the number of bodies between himself and the exit, and simply turned toward the door. "Let's go, Joesph. This cat ain't no help at all." and started toward the exit.

"Cat?" Joseph echoed, and started off with nenothtu. He really couldn't see any feline qualities to the Inn Keeper at all. Seeing a sale about to walk out into the storm, the Inn Keeper had a sudden epiphany. "Wait!" he shouted, gaining the attention of the pair. Nenothtu abruptly turned at the hail, and Joseph, preoccupied with the imminent birth, nearly ran into him, then turned back to the Inn Keeper himself.

"Speak" neno commanded the innkeep. "I've not got all night to find lodgings."

"Well" stated the innkeep, "that's why I stopped you. Now, it's not much, but it could be at least shelter from the storm. I've got a stable out back, a cave where we shelter the livestock when the weather is inclement. You might be able to work out a place in there, to at least stay out of the snow." Neno's gaze darkened, and the Inn Keeper hurriedly added "Of course I'd not charge you the full price for an actual room..."

Neno cut him off right there by leaning toward him and stating, just above a whisper, "If you shrug again, I'm gonna break both of your shoulders." Somewhat more loudly, in a conversational tone, he continued "We've got one donkey. I'll pay you shelter and board for two donkeys to let us stay there, not a damned dime more."

The innkeep, not sure what a 'dime' was, started haggling immediately. "Well, now, I'm not sure I could go that low..." and neno cut him off again by leaning towards him and adopting the whisper again.

"I'll bet you by God you CAN go that low!" and he grinned that disturbing grin of his.

The Inn Keeper blanched. "Well, yes, of course. I see just what you mean. After all, it's not exactly world class accommodation... I can probably accept that deal..."

Nenothtu leaned back, and put on his lopsided grin, which was only slightly less disturbing. "Alright, it's agreed then. We'll pay full price for meals, and what we've agreed to for 'lodgings'." He dropped a couple of the strange, off world coins into the innkeepers hand. The innkeeper looked at them, didn't recognize them, but was well aware of the many strange and foreign sorts of coin that came his way in this business, in this place. He started to shrug, looked at neno, and thought better of it, merely pocketing the coins. "They'll do" he said, with an obsequious smile. "Stables are out back. I'll send someone round later to see that you've settled in, and find out if there's anything else you'll be needing."

Nenothtu turned on his heel, and made for the door, Joseph in tow.

Just before they rounded the corner to where the others waited, a group of four soldiers marched somewhat wearily from the opposite direction to that from which they had come, making for the inn. "Joseph eyed them, and nervously said "Herod's men. They're certain trouble."

Nenothtu looked at the soldiers and snorted. "Not so much. there's only four of 'em. Leave 'em to me if they get problematic." Joseph just stared at the stranger like he was a crazy man, but said nothing. Obviously, this fellow had no idea when it came to trained soldiers. Joseph figured that maybe the cold had gotten to the tall, skinny man's brain, but said nothing.


In the stable, Joseph started unpacking the donkey and setting up accommodations for Mary as far to the back as practicable, after they had lit a couple of lamps for light. The rest set out clearing straw from the floor to build a fire. "This'll have to be watched close. All this straw makes this place a tinder box, but we gotta have it fer the lady over there." After the straw and detrius had been sufficiently cleared away, nenothtu scooped out a pit in the floor to help contain the fire and lit it, using a bit of straw to kindle it and some broken sticks laying around to build it which BIAD and Tibbs had gathered up..

Not long after everything was set up, Mary went into labor in earnest. Joseph was lost, and somewhat frantic. He'd never attended to a birthing, and the realization suddenly hit home. In common with first-time fathers throughout the ages, he had not a clue what to do. Neno didn't, either. He wasn't any sort of a doctor, beyond patching up battlefield wounds long enough to get the victim to a real medic. BIAD came to the rescue, sidling up to neno and whispering "all those folks in the inn - there's bound to be someone there who can help. A midwife or doctor or something. You might want to check into that. Soon."

It was as if a light bulb had lit up above his head - 2000 years before there even was such a thing. "Grand idea, BIAD! Maybe you ought to comfort Mary - you'd be better at it, I think, than anyone here." Raising his voice a bit more, he spoke to the dwarf. " Tibbs,.keep a eye on that fire - don't let it get out of hand," Then to Joseph "JOSEPH! Yer makin' the critters restless with your bad nerves. Come with me. We got to find a doctor or something. Let's go." and started for the inn. Joseph, not knowing just what to do, automatically fell in with the command. At least here was SOMETHING he could do.

After making a few inquiries inside the bustling inn, Joseph finally found a real live midwife. Not a resident there, but a guest, just passing through for the census. She said she's be out directly, after she'd gathered a few things up that would be necessary. Joseph and nenothtu headed back to the stables. As they cleared the door of the inn, the soldiers - all four of them - followed and stopped them outside. "You there! Did I hear you right, saying a birth was about to happen?" Neno and Joseph stopped dead in their tracks, and neno turned around.

"Why sure! what of it?" he grinned - the toothsome grin, not the happy one. It looked as if his estimate of what these soldiers would do had been a bit off.

"Show us where. We've a job to do." the soldier replied.

"And what sort of 'job' have you got involving an infant?" nenothtu responded as the soldiers approached closer.

"That's not your concern, you idiot! Who are you to question the kings men? Lead us to it - NOW - or life is about to get hard for you, mister."

Joseph was near frantic, but neno's grin got even wider, showing more tooth. "Idiot, am I? Well cap, with a winning personality like you've got, how can I refuse? And I SURE don't want MY life getting rough!" He looked back to Joseph, who gave all appearances of being prepared to strangle neno with his bare hands. "Joe, you go on and check on yer ass, whilst I show these gents to the birthing room" and he threw Joseph a wink. "It's right THIS way, gentlemen" neno said, turning back to the soldiers and indicating a direction that went between two nearby buildings, rather than the path to the stables. "We've got 'em all snugged up in a storage shed over here.... follow me" and he set off for the alleyway. The soldiers followed, and Joseph skittered back to the stable with a warning - they'd have to pack up and get out of there, before the soldiers finished flaying nenothtu. He had to wonder at the tall man's apparent willingness to sacrifice himself for strangers.

A few minutes later, Joseph was standing in the mouth of the stable with a pole in his hand, watching, as the rest were pretending to pack up at his warning. Pretending, because BIAD had realized that, no matter what, Mary was in no condition to travel now. Joseph saw a tall, lean figure approaching, appearing to coalesce out of the snow storm itself.

Just one.

He breathed a sigh of relief when he recognized neno, but he kept peering into the storm behind neno, his knuckles whitening with his death-grip on the pole, looking for the soldiers. "Where'd they go?" he asked neno when the other had approached close enough for hearing.

"They recalled another engagement" neno responded simply.

Joseph's eyes narrowed. "Another engagement? In this?" he peered at neno more closely. "Where are they REALLY? We've got to get out of here before they come." he said. "You can only misdirect them so far... but they'll be back..."

Nenothtu pulled Joseph aside and whispered "they're not gonna be a problem - unless we're still here when this snow melts." Joseph stared at him, without comprehension, so nenothtu added "They're in a snowbank out there. I don't want to still be here when it melts off of them." he stated simply.

Joseph wasn't believing that, not for an instant. "Four armed and trained soldiers of the king, against only you, and you're telling me that they've been vanquished? By just YOU?"

Neno gave him a lopsided grin, and said "Yeah, I know. They were outnumbered from the start. Didn't have a chance."

Joseph studied nenothtu for a moment, looking for any sign of guile. Finally, he said "So you're a soldier, too?"

"Used to be" neno responded. "Don't know if I am now or not. I don't really know WHAT I am now. Traveling guardsman, I reckon, but whatever I am, those soldiers ain't gonna bother any one any more." Then, nenothtu abruptly switched the subject, to cut off any further questioning. "So what is it YOU do fer a living, Joseph?"

Joseph, still not sure of whether they were really safe or not, simply said "I'm a carpenter" in a distracted sort of way.

"Izzat so? My name used to be Carpenter." nenothtu commented, staring into the swirling snows, and noting the approach of the midwife, finally.

Joseph, having a sudden thought, said with widened eyes "Tell me the truth, mister. Are you folk angels? Did God send you?"

That question took neno by surprise. "Angels? Why hell no, I sure ain't no 'angel'! I reckon it's like Tibbs told you - we're just here to help." As the midwife entered the cave, and set about her business, neno stared at the swirling, nearly hypnotic snow, and suddenly realized he was back on Earth - a home that no longer existed in his time. A place he thought he'd never see again. After a moment, he cleared his throat and wiped an eye, and said in a subdued voice. "As far as who sent me, I can't be rightly sure of that. All I can say for certain is that it's good to be back home for Christmas."

Joseph looked perplexed. "For what?" This tall scrawny fellow sure had an odd way of expressing himself with strange foreign phrases.

edit on 2010/12/21 by nenothtu because: I ate an errant bit of mistletoe I found laying around in the Edit Room. Thought it was parsley.

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 04:33 AM

The snow eased slightly with just the occasional flurry passing the stable doorway. Nenothtu contemplated Joseph's comment on Angels and a half-smile played on his lips as he watched the stars begin to poke through the storm. BIAD busied himself heating water in a ancient bucket over the fire and Tibbs made Mary comfortable near the rickety manger at the rear of the building.

Angels... guardians that held sway at the gates of Heaven? Winged beings that carried a message of good or noble soldiers of God that were sometimes wrestled to the ground...? Nenothu, leaning on the doorframe, sighed to himself and scanned the darkness for any more trouble.

Joseph had finished rubbing the donkey down and now the animal dozed in the glow of the home-made fire. The Carpenter folded the rough blanket that had doubled as a saddle and ambled over to the tall man.
"May I ask if taking the lives of those soldiers makes you melancholy?" Joseph asked softly. He was still wary of the figure at the doorway, but he counted himself lucky to have such a fierce warrior on his side. Neno shook his head as if ridding himself of useless thoughts and turned to the man in the dull-green robes.

"I have no worries on that part, fella" Neno muttered and glanced over at Mary who was smiling at the midwife's advice. "I go along-to get along unless someone doesn't like it..." he said at the weary-looking man "... then I make that problem go away" Nenothtu treated Joseph to a smile that rivalled the frosty temperature outside.
The Boy In A Dress carried the bucket over to the large bowl that had been 'borrowed' from the Inkeeper and the two men at the door smiled to each other as the man/girl manouvered around some stone-hard dung with a serious look on his eyeless face in his high heels.

The midwife bathed Mary's forehead as the contractions started and asked Tibbs to bring the lantern nearer to the situation, Tibbs wasn't used to having to take orders, but did as asked without response.

Then the light in the stable improved as if a spotlight had been lit from the sky, Neno's hand slid to the knife in his belt and Joseph sucked in air as the tall man in the home-made garb changed his stance to move low and fast towards the small window in the stable's left wall.
BIAD put the bucket down and suddely leapt in the air, grabbing the gnarled beam above the hermaphrodite. In one movement, BIAD swung away into the light-pricked darkness of the eaves. Joseph, Mary, Tibbs and the Midwife looked on in awe at the parry of a possible attack.

Then a chuckle rose from where Nenothtu leaned at the window looking up into the night sky.
"It's the star... I don't believe it... it's the star" Neno exclaimed and glanced back into the stable. Joseph nodded and kneeled down to speak to Mary, "the message is coming to pass my love... you truly are the mother of God" The tone was serious and the Vithian at her side looked on with watery eyes.
The woman who had delivered many babies in her time ran then... this was all too much and as she fled, the coins Neno had given her, clinked and spun on the hay-strewn table floor.

The Boy In A Dress moved from across the room using the roof supports as stepping stones. Neno requested BIAD to come down quickly and stop showing unnecessary underwear, this brought a levity to the situation and the electricity in the air dissipated.

Tibbs got to his feet and leaving the couple talking quietly to each other, the small man ambled over to Neno and the descended man/girl. "As you may know, Sages and Theologians have debated on your planet for centuries on whether this event actually happened... and here we are in a reality... a 'time-pocket' that may or may not be an actual reality" Tibbs placed his lined hand on the doorframe and looked out into the star-lit snow that laid around the stable.

"So if the tale is true, we will be having visitors... Mary is about to give birth and it may be a good idea if Joseph is out of the way of that time" Tibbs nodded to himself and then looked into Nenothtu's eyes. "You're an Angel... whether you like it or not. Take Joseph and and find these visitors... there'll be Kings, Wisemen and the sheep-herders" he continued.

Nenothtu again smiled out into the darkness as Tibbs laid it all out and BIAD wondered if his friend would accept the instructions or possibly toss the little Vithian into the dark night without another thought.
Tibbs waited as he looked at the gunman's pose at the door or 'Gates of Heaven' as Neno had pondered on earlier. The man who had been dragged unwillingly across the universe and had killed without remorse nodded his agreement and BIAD heard the hiss of air from Tibbs's relieved lips.

"You..." Tibbs snapped with more authority "... you will assist in getting the kid into this world" The Boy In A Dress gulped and the familiar finger-raking through the permo-wig began... BIAD's grin faltered and Neno guffawed at the man/girl's concerns.

"You got the easy part BIAD" Neno quipped at stood to his full height "Heh... Joseph..." he called "... we've got VIPS's to see to, come on... vamoose!" Nenothtu stepped out into the light.
edit on 22-12-2010 by A boy in a dress because: Left Carol-Singing book in Edit Room.

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 08:02 AM

Nenothtu and Joseph passed by the noisy Inn without anyone noticing them and made their way along the snow-covered road to the East. The once-Security Chief of a space travelling Federation, now trudged the highways and byways of Bethlemen on a cold Christmas Eve and to most folk, the acceptence of such a world-changing event would humble them to tears.
Neothtu simply accepted it as part of his life.

Sometime back -in a firefight with a group of mercenaries, the tall man with the lop-sided grin had pondered his existence and had wondered why the many responsiblities heaped on those broad scarred shoulders had only ever brought misery to others around him and left himself with a feeling of accepted emptiness. That feeling had become an old friend and folk like Joseph would only ever fear him and never know that once he had a family... a home where he could rest. Nenothu sighed to himself and checked the bullets in his pistol.

There were no Roman soldiers roaming the road and Neno wagered that the weather may be making them stay indoors tonight.

"Up ahead... about half-a-mile... incoming" Nenothtu rasped and glanced back at the shivering Joseph. The shapes in the night were tall, probably people on horseback and Neno corrected his thoughts with 'camel-back' The dark-haired Carpenter nodded and straightend his head-dress, he couldn't see what Neno had seen but accepted that this 'guardian Angel' had seen something.

The stable glowed behind them from the down-coming light and Nenothtu had to squint to see the burning star high above. He realised that the building could be seen from miles around and that may not be a good idea. That's when the star stopped shining it's beam.

Nenothtu chuckled to himself and guessed that the powers-that-be may well of been a good soldier in the past... the lop-sided grin prompted Joseph to ask what was humourous.
Neno showed a row of even teeth and said "Our chances of surviving this night may have just improved" He raised his eyebrows to show that even he could be surprised.

The Kings came into view ten minutes later and the group following on foot carried enough baggage to fill the stable to the gills. Neno made a mental note to check the bundles later for any goods they'll need to keep himself, The Boy In A Dress and the annoying Tibbs going. There was no indication that they would be getting back to the Sprint any time soon and it was prudent to look after the 'now' and not dwell too much on the future.

"Good evening Sir... does the boy-King reside yonder?" the white-bearded man riding the steam-blowing camel asked and the tone implied an answer. Nenothtu steeled himself from drawing the gun and taking the old guy's crown off with a bullet and called "yep... the stable is waiting your mightiness" Neno didn't like the taste of those last words.

The thin-faced Royal in the fur coat on the left of 'white-beard' bowed slightly from his mount and said "we thank you Angel and now we go to give tributes" Neno nodded and scanned the slipping and sliding servants with their bulky burdens. The other King said nothing, but as he passed the two men standing in the cold, he leaned over and offered a handful of gold coins, Nenothtu ignored the money, but Joseph took them and thanked the crowned man with the jewelled sceptre.

As the final part of the entourage passed by, Neno spotted the long swords hanging from the well-muscled guards's belts. Nenothtu slid one from the guard's scabbard in one fluid motion. The guard whirled to attempt to reclaim his weapon, but Neno slipped the blade under the chin of the guard and any ideas of retrieval left the guard's mind.

"Let him be soldier!..." The bearded King called from the front of the group, "... he is the Emissary Of The Lord and will smite thee without thought" The guard's eyes widened and Neno said softly "You'd better listen to yer' boss there fella... or bad things could happen unto you"

The guard hurried to catch up with group and left Joseph and Neno alone at the roadside. The cold was enough to make Joseph shiver, but Neno wondered if the Carpenter was shivering out of fear. "Come on Joe, we've others to meet..." he said amiably and clapped the shaking man on the shoulder "... I've got wings to earn before this night's through!"

The two trudged on.

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 12:36 PM

BIAD delivered the child with Tibbs assisting until the little man passed out at the end. Mary now laid on the blankets that the man/girl had acquired from the Inn and due to the baby's future exploits, he forgave the men who wolf-whistled as he left the establishment.

The baby now slept in his mother's arms and as The Boy In A Dress stood up to bring some more kindling for the fire, Mary reached up and took the eyeless creature's long finger nailed-hand. "You've been kind beyond kindness good Sir, for whatever reasons the Lord as made you this way, I am sure you will be rewarded in Heaven" Mary's voice was soft and easy on BIAD's ears and the wig-wearing man/girl nodded and ignored the sudden lump in his throat.

Tibbs came out of his faint a few minutes later and apologised for his weakness, BIAD merely patted the little man on the head, smiled and went about his chores. Mary sat up and watched the two men tidying the stable ready for the visitors and a serene feeling fell over her... things were going to be okay.

BIAD heard the crunching of snow first and went to the stable door to greet the strangers. The sight of camels and glinting crowns told the hermaphrodite that the Kings were the first of the trio of visitors.

"Is it my husband?" Mary asked and it was Tibbs who answered. "My Lady, your husband is helping our friend to find the people that were told of in the Scriptures..." Tibbs announced "... there are certain things that must come to pass"

Mary looked down at the swaddled boy in her arms and whispered "I fear for my husband's safety, there are many who seek to thwart my child's growth" The Boy In A Dress looked over from the doorway and offered "He's with Nenothtu, I doubt any harm will befall him in his company"
Tibbs patted the donkey's nose as he passed the holding pen and muttered to himself "yes, but I'll wager Neno will find ways of harming others... it's his gift" the last words almost spat out.

The Magi stepped up to the stable door and in unison dropped to their knees in prayer, BIAD eyed the silk in their coats and wondered if one of them would barter... he'd ask later.

"I am Melichior and I seek audience with the holy child" said the white-bearded man in the golden robes, his face showed authority and demanded respect, the display of humbleness sat foreign on him.
"I am Jaspar, King of all south of this land, I offer all to the Son Of God" -this from the thin-faced gent with the kind eyes, in his arms he held the white-fur coat out to the sitting Mary.
The third man held a chest and though the lid partly was down Tibbs and BIAD both, could see the pile of jewels heaped inside. " I am Balthassar and give homage to the Light Of The World" The crowned man seemed to be weeping as he spoke.

Tibbs stepped forward and asked the three Kings to stand up, waving away assistance from their servants, the aged men got to their feet and followed the little man inside. Boy In A Dress stood meekly to one side and all three Royals gawped with mouths open at the sight of the male in a red dress and high heels, yet it was Melichior who winked at BIAD.

"My... you're a fine woman, are you the midwife?" he asked and BIAD stood to attention and nodded. The hermaphrodite had never been in the company of Royalty before and he had always wanted to try on one of those tiaras. Tibbs hurried the three Kings on towards where Mary and the baby were laid and the old men sat down in near the nativity scene.

As everything settled down and the Kings sat in awe of the snoozing baby, BIAD went back to the stable doorway and hummed 'Running On Empty' by Jackson Browne as he peered out into the cold night. Ignoring the group of tent-pitching servants and guards, BIAD looked beyond and wondered how his friend was faring. Tibbs accompanied the man/girl at the entrance and guessed the thoughts trapped in the permo-wig.

"Don't worry yourself Mr. Devil, our gun-happy friend will find the wise men... our only concern is whether it'll be down the sights of a gun barrel!"

BIAD pursed his lips in disapproval.
edit on 22-12-2010 by A boy in a dress because.
edit on 22-12-2010 by A boy in a dress because: Left Carol-Singing book in Edit Room... again!
extra DIV

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 02:34 PM

The pair trudged along, searching for the next group of travelers who would need to be guided in, each lost in his own thoughts. For his part, nenothtu was preoccupied with the odd realization that he wasn't as cold as he thought he ought to be, given the circumstances. A soldiers life was often harsh, having to deal with whatever conditions that the weather saw fit to throw at him, learning how to sleep, eat, and act in mud, rain, cold, or oppressive heat. Whatever was there, that was the soldiers lot to deal with, and one learned to adjust. Still, neno had never been overly fond of the cold, and had always been susceptible to it's constant gnawing.

Strangely, the cold that ought to be gnawing at him and soaking in, seemed to be held at bay. He'd learned long ago that one could imagine a spark of heat, internal to oneself, radiating outward to mitigate some of the cold, just a bit of mind over matter, but this was somehow different. It seemed more external, as if the cold weren't really there at all - which neno could plainly see just by looking around WAS there.

Joseph broke the silence, and nenothtu's thoughts. "The Little Man - Tibbs - he said that you ARE an angel, yet you've denied that." it was more of a question than a statement.

"Can't take too much of what Tibbs says as Gospel, Joe." was nenothtu's reply.

"As what?" Joseph asked.

"Never mind. All I'm saying is that just because some little guy that looks like one of Santa's elves tries to give me a promotion doesn't necessarily make it so."

"One of who's whats?" Joseph asked, a confused look on his face.

Nenothtu sighed. "Never mind again. Just a local legend from my home country" he responded. "I just am who I am."

Josephs eyes widened, fear causing the whites to show. "You are 'I Am'?" and he started to drop to his face, right there in the snow, as nenothtu realized his mistake.

"NO! Get up Joe, you'll freeze to death wallering around in that snow! That's not what I meant at all." As he picked the scared man back up and dusted the snow from him, neno continued. "I'm just me. A man, just like you or any one of those fellas that just left us, bound for the stable. Just me." he finished.

Joseph eyed him, not entirely convinced. "The foreign king - he told his man that you were 'a Emissary of the Lord'. That spells 'angel' around here. Pretty much just as Tibbs had said - yet he couldn't have heard Tibbs. And the way you made FOUR of Herod's men just vanish - no mere man could do that against four trained soldiers... and the cold. You're not at all dressed for it, yet I've not seen so much as a single shiver from you. No, sir, there's something about your claim that just don't add up against what I see" he finished.

Nenothtu's jaw clenched. "Let's reach an understanding, Joe. I'm not a 'sir' to anyone. I work fer a living. Moreover, I'm a nobody. Nobody at all - just a pretty highly trained and somewhat experienced nobody. That's all I a... all I claim to be. Nothing more."

The pair trudged on a bit further in silence, Joseph still not convinced by nenothtu's words in the face of evidence to the contrary. At length, Joseph spoke up again. "All you claim to be. I understand how your kind tends to try moving around unnoticed. Your secret is safe with me, then."

nenothtu released a long, exasperated sigh, stopped, hung his head, and shook it vigorously. When he raised his head again, neno noticed, in the distance, yet another group of travelers which gained his immediate attention. Folks won't be out and about on a night like this without cause. That must be the next bunch.

"Over there, Joseph. Looks like we've got more visitors. Let's go round 'em up - but this time YOU get to roll out the welcome mat. I'm just along for the ride."

Joseph stared at him, puzzled. "Roll out the what? You sure seem to have trouble with plain Hebrew, for a celestial emissary."

Neno resisted the urge to slap some sense into Joseph, and merely remarked "I ain't from around here." He was going to have to have a little word with Tibbs over this.

"I thought not." was all Joseph said.

The pair headed towards the next group of visitors, nenothtu shaking his head in frustration.

edit on 2010/12/22 by nenothtu because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 02:00 PM

The Wisemen were just over a slight rise of the road and they were arguing. Nenothtu and Joseph heard them before seeing them and the theme for this evening was God's plants being used as medicine without calling it 'Devil's work'

The nearest wiseman to Neno held a nobbled staff and a dirty-grey sack and he seemed to be the loudest. The other two walked backwards and forwards across the snow-speckled track and threw different points of view at the man with the stick.

Calisto, the ancient men would introduce themselves later -was debating the moral aspect of saving lives against breaking certain dogma.

Neno's newly-acquired sword swung in the night and the top of the Wiseman's staff flew off into the darkness. "Enough!" Neno shouted and the trio of supposed knowledge-holders became silent.

Joseph stepped past the gunman with the broad-blade sword and spoke to Calisto with a weakened pose. "My name is Joseph and my wife is to be the mother of the Son Of God... you are here to pay tribute?" Joseph leaned low and took the grey bag from the claw-like hands of the Wise man.

"Thank you kind Sir, it is true that I Calisto and my two cohoots are here to seek the Light of World" the toothless man with the staff whispered with a smile and Joseph thought he could smell cheap wine on his breath. Neno counted backwards from fifty and let his breathe plume out slowly in the evening air.

"I apologise for our behaviour -young fellow..." Calisto called over Joseph's shoulder to Neno "... our discussions can become quite heated" An icy smile shone across Neno's face and he held the sword close to his face. "Yer' can talk until the cows come home -later, but if you and your pals don't get along soon, we're gonna debate whether I twist this in your guts or just take your damned head off!"
There were intakes of breaths all round.

The three old men continued along the road and Joseph approached Nenothtu with an earnest look on his face. "My wife will be needing me and these aged folk may need help to get to the stable. I suppose what I'm saying is... can you find the others tonight?"

Neno knew he could travel faster alone and nodded at the simple Carpenter. Joseph placed a hand on Neno's forearm and said softly "thank you... you're a good man. Neno wondered if the woodworker knew what the expression 'silver-tongued' meant.

As the group wandered off towards the glow of the town, Neno called to the back of Calisto's balding pate. "By the way fella, it's pronounced 'cohorts' not cohoots" The old man with the yellowing beard turned and smiled sagely. "At this time of year -son, threads tend to leak into each other!" he snapped and his smile broadened at the surprised look on the face of the angry young man with the sword.

Nenothtu glanced at the reader, turned and slipped away into the dark.
edit on 23-12-2010 by A boy in a dress because: Left Santa Sack in Edit Room.

posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 02:37 PM

Nenothtu held the squirming shepherd by the heavily-repaired smock and hissed that if the simple man didn't lower his screaming, this 'Angel of The Lord' would toss him into the campfire.
The shepherd went silent Immediatly.

The other two sheep herders sat cowering at the cliff face and held each other's hands in dread.
The camp was quiet except for the crackling of burning sticks and smoldering dried sheep dung.
Neno gritted his teeth and pushed the mewling man over to where his friends shivered in fear.

The herd of sheep in their pen of broken brush and rocks watched with black doll's eyes as the tall man in the buckskin-like clothes stood over the three shepherds and collected his thoughts.

Nenothtu didn't like this play-acting, his nature demanded straight facts and unflowered prose, he was going against his 'grain' The worlds that he'd visited held no mysteries, no magic... just a different perspective on reality and the man once called Carpenter knew that his existence had continued because of his steel disciplines.
Oh, to hell with it!

"I am an Angel, You have been sought out to visit the town to the West of here and there you will find a stable. In this stable is the Son Of God and you WILL pay homage"

The backdrop of flames from the campfire made the figure before the shepherds look like a creature from the opposite of heaven. The glinting sword that slowly moved from side-to-side added to the stranger's menacing voice.

Nenothtu had come across the far-too-large campfire about thirty minutes after leaving the Wise men, and the flitting thought of how wise one can be to be out on a night like this -passed and Neno's eyes gleamed with humour.

The Shepherd that Neno had snatched first, gulped and nodded his head so vigourously that the tall man wondered if the shaggy-bearded skull would just fly off and bounce into the sheep pen.

The other two just clutched each other closer and with wide eyes watched the slowly-swinging blade.
So that was it, a few minutes later, the shepherds had gathered their baggage and released the skidding and sliding sheep onto the road. Neno watched from the camp and secretly enjoyed the warmth from the raging fire.

Neno was alone again and moved away from the flames, the light would make him an easy target, although he doubted the soldiers would be out this far. Just to make sure, Neno chose a supple length of wood from the pile of unused firewood. Fishing in his large sack, the bowstring that he'd manufactured back on Tibbs's world was found and a make-shift bow was held aloft to examine.

One of the shepherds -under instructions from Nenothtu, had left a canvas satchel and the man who had survived alone most of his life - fashioned a back-scabbard for the sword.

After a couple of shrugs and an adjustment of sword-sheaf on his back, Nenothtu set off after the simple shepherds.

"Let's get this over with" Neno spoke to the stars.
edit on 23-12-2010 by A boy in a dress because: Left Santa Hat in Edit Room.

posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 10:10 PM

Having gathered up everyone that the legends said had gathered for the birth, nenothtu started the trek back to the stable. As he walked along through the snow, he pondered how very different the reality of a situation was from the legends that grew around that reality. Neno had a strong suspicion that nothing ever happened precisely as it was recorded, but contained just enough of the facts to keep the legends on track. Further, he had a sneaking suspicion that very few of the people present at world changing events ever realized the import of what was going on right before their eyes - at least not until years later. That led him to still further thoughts of what events he had been present at in his own time that would be seen as history-making events in the future of his own time.

Of course the future of his own time was the future of this time as well, once removed. Thinking too deeply on THAT cycle caused his head to throb, so he backed off of such thoughts for the time being. As he came withing sight of the stable, he realized that the glow coming from therein was far too bright to be accounted for by the feeble, primitive oil lamps that had been lit before he and Joseph set out on this night's labors. Of course! The fire! It must have gotten out! The stable was on fire! "Holy Mother of God!" escaped from his lips as he stood horrified at the thought of having bungled the job that badly.

A voice whispered into his ear from mere millimeters away, a stage whisper that gave him a start. "You got THAT right! So you've finally seen the Light, eh?" Nenothtu jumped at the shock of having someone sneak that closely up on him undetected. The jump flowed smoothly into a spin, as he turned and grabbed for the voicebox attached to the whisper with a claw-like hand.

His hand closed around nothingness. Looking frantically around, he saw that there was no one there. He was completely alone on the hillock in the cold night. Not even any footprints other than his own. His apparent solitude notwithstanding, there was no doubt his mind that he HAD heard a voice. Standing momentarily stunned and perplexed, he heard a chuckle drift off into the night air.

Nenothtu was shaken to the core by that experience, more so than he had been in the past SEVERAL years. Still, he had a job to do. He had to help put that fire out! Taking off at a dead run towards the stables, he covered as much ground as quickly as he could, long, fast, loping strides carrying him onward. Nearing the stable, neno was even more perplexed to see that none of those gathered outside the door was making any effort at all to help with the fire. They all seemed to be frozen, transfixed by the sight of the scene in the stable.

It was beyond neno how anyone could just stand paralyzed and watch an occupied building burn. Huffing and puffing from the exertion of the run, he shoved his way through the crowd to the doorway and saw - that there was no fire other than the normal fire they had lit earlier, Tibbs standing a distracted guard near it. Instead, what he had thought was a blaze was a bright glow, emanating from a manger in the back of the stable, a strangely familiar tableaux situated around it. Taking a single faltering step towards the scene as if hypnotically drawn to it, nenothtu thought better of it. "I ain't got no business in there, nossir, no business at all" and he turned and wedged his way back out into the night air.

Back outside, neno recalled the trouble with Herod's men that Joseph had spoken of, and his own miscalculation of what Herod's soldiers would be up to on a night such as this. "Still need a guard" he mumbled to himself. Nenothtu owned the night - he had always had excellent night vision, and the snow reflecting the starlight assisted that greatly. To neno, it was nearly as bright as day. Still, there was only so much a man could see from ground level. Looking around for a higher vantage point to observe from, he realized that the only one available was on the roof of the stable itself. Sighing, neno checked his equipment to make sure it was secure for a climb, jumped and grabbed the eave and hoisted himself up to the roof. He walked up the roof to the ridge, then along the crest of it, and situated himself at the front, right on the gable peak, to stand his sentry duty. Standing there, observing the surrounding countryside looking for motion, nenothtu wiped sweat from his brow - yes, he was actually sweating in this cold - and mumbled to no one in particular "Jesus Christ! That scared the livin' hell outta me!"

Immediately, he heard the same disembodied stage whisper, this time from directly in front of him, say "I suppose you must have read the program at some point, because you seem to have all the characters listed now - but remember, fear can be a GOOD thing..." then it chuckled and drifted off into the air again. Neno was certain it turned into a guffaw just before it trailed out altogether. At that precise instant, the bright star, which had up until now been co-operating with him, blinked back on, adding it's brilliance to the roaring glow emanating from the stable. "Oh, great, I'm skylighted again!" neno exclaimed, raising his hands in exasperation.

He didn't even consider the appearance he projected to the crowd below, which included the shepherds he had motivated into coming here by telling them that he was "an Angel".

edit on 2010/12/23 by nenothtu because: Dropped a feather on the cutting room floor.

posted on Dec, 26 2010 @ 01:45 PM

BIAD hopped on his high-heels and clapped with glee as Nenothtu stood red-faced on the stable roof and 'glowed' with the supernatural aura. Tibbs held his head in his hands and muttered under his breathe, he was certain this wouldn't be omitted from future records.

Neno waved weakly at the man/girl and the Vithian, the Holy star's rays sparkled with a fine dust that alighted in the tall man's unruly hair. Two of the Kings had also come outside to see what the commotion was and even Joseph popped his head outside of the stable door to see the 'Angel's accension'!

Neno attempted to focus on his task of watching for any intruders, but after twenty seconds he knew he was a sitting-duck with the 'Bethlehem Beam' proclaiming his whereabouts to everyone in a mile radius.

Climbing back down and keeping his dignity with a well-footed landing, Nenothtu adjusted his satchel and checked his sword-sheath. "We are delighted you decided to stay with us..." Joseph offered and dared to touch the tall man's forearm, "... my wife and I are about to name our child"

Neno grunted and tossed a weather-eye out into the gloom, his mind ran with questions about all this and for the first time in a long time, he felt vunerable. "Sure Joe, let's get the kid tagged, huh?" Neno offered a lop-sided grin. Joseph beamed back and with his arm, invited Neno, Tibbs and BIAD to re-enter the stable.

Inside, the kings, Wise Men and Shepherds were all milling around talking to each other and the smell of the stable had altered, the sheep were all crammed into the pens and Tibbs remarked that at the very best, the heat had improved.
Joseph pushed his way through the crowd and placed an arm around Mary's shoulder, his wife was now standing and rocking the baby in her arms. Boy In A Dress seemed distracted with something close to the ground and Neno spotted a lamb rubbing it's head against the man/girl's shin.

Joseph asked for quiet and waved his arms to request the group to sit down. Murmurs and groans followed as the old men bent creaking joints and sore muscles.
BIAD knelt down and lifted the small animal up, the lamb bleated with fear, but the soft stroking of the hermaphrodite's long-nailed hand calmed it's concerns. Neno watched the scene from near the door with only the occasional glance at the outside surroundings.

"My..." Joseph began and looked at Neno for confirmation, "... Missus?..." Neno nodded with a confident look in his eyes - "... and I would like to thank you all for making the journey here and we give thanks to the Lord for sending his... " again the glance at the tall man, "young 'un to save us"

Even though Tibbs stood only two-and-a-half feet tall, the feeling of fury came off him as if he were a giant. Over the again-misted up spectacles, the dwarf stared at Nenothtu and as he waded through the sitting crowd, Neno pondered punting him into one of the animal stalls.

The little man's voice remained low as Joseph went on with his speech and yet every word dripped with anger. "You taught him this? don't you understand that your history will now be corrupted with your slang words?" Tibbs stood like many of men who had thought themselves superior to Nenothtu and it looked as if Tibbs was going to end up making the same mistake. Neno's steely gaze drifted from the softly ranting Tibbs, up to the joyous Joseph and over to lost-to-the-world BIAD -who had climbed into the sheep pen and was attempting to reunite the lamb with it's mother.

With a smile that showed content happiness, Neno whispered "Yeah, yer' right... I stand corrected" and Tibbs stepped back in shock at the tall man's response. Neno's smile widened as he watched the eyeless wig-wearing creature place the small animal down beside a wary-looking mother. Tibbs gulped and whether he thought Neno was bluffing and was about to swing him around by his beard or whether he was genuinly speechless and left the shadow of Neno in confusion, we'll never know because what happened next stole the show.

Joseph had spoken of the scriptures and of Herod's fear of the arrival of a Messiah, he had thanked the people for their gifts and assured them that one day, the Lord will reward them for the kindness. Then with a slight pause and a dramatic intake of breath, Joseph came to the child's naming.

"As you know, the Lord was good enough to send us his Angels and as you can see we have the most formidable of them" Joseph pointed at Nenothtu stood tall and mysterious at the doorway to the outside. The Carpenter went on, "He sent us wisdom..." the crowd looked at the bewildered Tibbs "... and he sent us someone to deliver the child into this world" Joseph looked over into the shadow of the pens and presented a weak smile as he pointed to the Boy In Dress with his back to the Nativity.

Joseph's voice lowered as if confiding in the surrounding group and Neno and Tibbs had to lean forward to hear the words. "The Lord has sent his only son to us and my wife Mary has agreed with me that we shall name him after one of his holy guards"

Tibbs dropped to his knees and moaned in dispair, Neno turned to hide the sudden surge of laughter that began to wrack his frame in shudders, BIAD carefully made his way back to the pen gate.

"And so it my honour... and with the agreement from my wife, that we name the child after the Angel that delivered him unto the world!" The crowd stood and roared with approval, the baby cried out with the sudden uproar and several of the sheep panicked and pushed the man/girl quickly to the gate.

Neno was now also on his knees, the braying of laughter was lost in the cacophony of sound and for the first time in a very long time, tears rolled down the gunman's face. Tibbs moaned louder and shook his head, in another country and another time, he'd have rubbed gravel into his hair in pennance.

BIAD clapped and shouted two 'hurray's' although he had no idea what the applause was for.
When the crowd became quieter and Mary had moved to stand beside Joseph, the proud father called for BIAD's first name. Of course, the hermaphrodite had lost interest by then and focused on making sure the stall gate was secure.

The whole stable awaited the name of the next Messiah and the air was electric with excitement. Nenothtu still struggled to breathe through his unusual bout of mirth and the bearded dwarf was still lost in his concerns of history-changing.

In those few seconds, The Boy In A Dress looked down at his high heels and saw what he had stood in. There was quite a lot of it and he guessed he'd need a good stick to get most of it off.

"Jesus!" the man/girl muttered and again, the crowd went wild. The shepherds hooted and clapped, the Wise Men nodded with approval and the three Kings threw their crowns in the air in unison and cheered. Joseph leaned and kissed Mary's cheek, whilst the boy-child squirmed with the loud noise.

Nenothtu was laid on the floor and gurgling strangely, Tibbs was wailing and banging his fists onto the straw-strewn floor and the now-fabled BIAD was trying to scrape his shoe against one of the barn uprights. That's when he noticed the amulet on the floor.

BIAD ignored the foul-smelling stuff on his high-heel and picked up the shiny trinket. Also ignoring the pats on the the back and the attempts to shake his hands, the man/girl suddenly knew what to do.

Tibbs must have dropped it during the organising of the crowd -BIAD guessed and he snatched it from the dust with his red claws. The Kings hugged BIAD as he passed on his way to the manger, later BIAD was sure it was Melichior who had patted him on the rear and the Wise Men all put there thumps up in the air, to confirm their agreement with the name-decision.

"I... er, I need the baby to help us" BIAD said to Joseph, the long fringe and the large grin showing nothing but assumed madness. Joseph's eyes showed his fear and distain in such a strange-looking creature, but produced a smile to accompany his nod of approval.

Neno's breathing still hitched, but the pain in his chest had eased, he rose on his elbows and watched between the nobbly knees of the Wise Man called Calisto. Tibbs rubbed his eyes and mouthed his first-ever prayer for forgiveness.
The Boy In A Dress held the dangling amulet over the swaddled baby and the leaned his face close. Mary heard the words from the man/girl and kept them to herself for the rest of her life. "Can you 'un-oops' us lickle Jesus?" BIAD whispered and noticed the movement from under the small blanket.

Creeping out from the baby-smelling warmth of the cover, a small pudgy hand reached for the dangling bauble and as the child's soft fingers touched the small sphere in the centre, BIAD said "thank you" and the familiar white-blue flash happened.
edit on 26-12-2010 by A boy in a dress because: Left Neno's wings in Edit Room.

posted on Dec, 28 2010 @ 03:37 PM

The low throb of the engines and the steady purr of the sleeping Sasquatch were the only sounds as BIAD looked around the Sprint Flyer. They were back and the strange events of the last day in the snow flapped away from the man/girl's mind like an afterthought.

"Neno?" the Boy In A Dress whispered and slowly got to his feet, Tibbs was laid face-down near the ship's door and from the steady rise and fall of his robed back, BIAD guessed he had arrived back sleeping. Someone sat in the Pilot's seat, but it wasn't Nenothtu.

"Your friend is fine and I see you have been enjoying yourself" Death said and uncurled himself from the chair. As the Bell That Calls Time stepped away from the seat, BIAD noticed Neno's relaxed body sprawled across the leather in a deep slumber.

BIAD swallowed and stepped to make sure he wasn't... "Dead? is that what you think I wish of him?" Death hissed and the dark robes and hood became smoke and colours that ran like blood in veins.
A young Keifer Sutherland stood glancing behind himself at the controls, a white T-shirt, pegged jeans and scuffed engineer boots were his attire. BIAD scanned the frame of his older brother and noticed a pack of cigarettes rolled under the left-hand sleeve of the T-shirt.

"Who are you today?" the man/girl asked and glanced again at Neno, the large bag hung from the chair and his sword sheath was on his lap. Death moved a dirty fingernailed hand towards the consoles and plucked the pack of smokes from his shoulder at the same time.

"Can't have the detectors wakin' everyone up now, can we?" Death said in a soft husky voice. BIAD tilted his head and waited for this kid-from-the-wrong-side-of-the-tracks to finish igniting his cigarette.

"Ah gotta problem BIAD... can you believe that?" Death said and blew a plume of blue smoke towards the Flyer's ceiling. "Your man here..." Death hooked a thumb in Neno's direction, "...can be quite an asset to a guy like me" Boy In A Dress noticed the soft blonde hair on Death's chin and smiled as he recalled the movie 'Stand By Me'

"You're playing Ace Merrill!" BIAD said and relaxed his stance, any tension Death was trying to play on dissapated like the cigarette smoke into the ship's air filters. BIAD drove the levity dagger home by clapping and hopping for two seconds.

'Ace' shrugged and leaned on the Pilot's chair "Stay with the programme BIAD... okay?" he growled and the hermaphrodite straightened his body to a mock attention. "What is it you wish of me now?" BAID said lightly and opened his legs slightly to indicate he was 'at ease'

Death sighed and pulled on the cigarette, the glow of the embers making his face an Halloween mask. "As I was saying, my dilemma involves your companion and the possible unravelling of existence" The punk kid ran his fingers through his greased hair... not unlike BIAD's finger combing. "Of course, demise is based on probability and outcome... a formula that I created back in the day" Death smirked and wondered if his younger brother was keeping up.

"Your friend Nenothtu here, bucked the trend back in Bethlehem and added figures to the wrong column of my calculations" The cigarette winked out as Death crushed it's embers under a cleated boot. "It shouldn't have happened BIAD" Death said and looked up from his task with serious eyes.

The Boy In A Dress shrugged and responded with "If your idea is to change things, then you can forget it. I've got to get him back to his ship and eventually, to his son. I don't know why this as to occur, but I feel drawn to it and as you can testify, nothing will get in my way" The man/girl's posture had become predator-like and he had stepped slightly forward. Death could feel latent power swirling about BIAD's body, he pondered the information about BIAD's eventual role in halting total existence, he had kept this from his brother.

Ace/Death stepped backwards and held his hands up to quieten BIAD. "Okay, okay... I have a plan to fix this, if you'll let me" Tibbs muttered in his sleep and both brothers looked at the prone body until a steady breathing resumed.

"What is it?" BIAD snapped and placed his hands on his hips, his face had flushed slightly and Death guessed that if the man/girl had a nose, the nostrils would have been flared.
"BIAD...? as your brother, I'm asking you to get your friend to kill someone that should have died in a gunfight" Death hissed and followed the request with: "...and you can't tell him who it is"

BIAD walked back to the place near the ship's hull where he had been sat earlier and whispered "tell me all about it, dear brother" Ace/Death sighed and lit another cigarette. this was going to take some time.

posted on Dec, 28 2010 @ 04:37 PM

Death hunkered down beside the seated Boy In A Dress and although the other occupants of the Sprint Flyer would only awake when Death commanded it, he kept his voice low.
"Have you ever heard of a place called Tombstone, BIAD?" Death asked and rubbed the blonde stubble on his 'bad-boy' chin. The man/girl ran his hand over his thighs, ironing out any creases in his red dress and looked deep in thought.

A whole minute passed before BIAD shook his head and said "nope!" Death rolled his eyes and slumped beside the hermaphrodite, this was really going to take some time. "It's a place on Earth in a time when a certain type of human existed that tended to let their pistols do the talking" Death offered a grin and simulated firing a gun with his thumb and index finger.

"These guys were called 'Cowboys' and herded cattle from one place to another to sell for money" BIAD's familiar head-tilt was shown and Death guessed the man/girl was formulating questions.
Death pressed on.

"Towns grew up where these Cowboys travelled and the people who lived there would eventually need a form of policing and guarding from some of 'bad' folk that occasionally visited these towns"
"Of course, the policing of these towns needs tough men and in the the town of Tombstone there was such a person... his name was Wyatt Earp" Death pulled the pack of cigarettes from his rolled T-shirt sleeve and scratched a match on the ship's hull.

The smoke curled upwards and Death noticed that BAID was watching it rise. The sitting copy of Keifer Sutherland stifled his annoyance. "This Earp character had assistance from his brothers... not unlike us -BIAD!" Death said and this brought the man/girl's attention back to the story.

Death gambled and ran towards the end of his information. "Wyatt Earp, his brothers and a friend had a stand-up gunfight with some Cowboys and one of the men who didn't die, will do something later on, that has a profound effect on future events"

BIAD nibbled on his lower lip and remained quiet, the information is being processed -Death guessed. "I need your friend to kill this man and in such a way that, doing it so it becomes part of the town's legend... do you think you can help me brother?"

Death stood up and clicked his boots across the ship's floor back towards the cockpit, BIAD remained sat against the hull. The shoulders of Death hunched and the 'duck's -ass' haircut gleamed in the soft lighting of the ship. Death mentioned that they would have to dress in the same attire as Cowboys -to fit in. BIAD's face bloomed into a huge grin.

"Will I get to wear Cowboy clothes?" the man/girl asked and stood up quickly, Death sighed and looked at the floor. "I don't know who-will-be-who in all of this -brother, but I'm sure whatever happens, you'll carry it off with the same aplomb as you always do" Death awarded and felt easier as he saw BIAD's grin broaden.
Death-dressed-as-a-Dimestore-hood clicked his fingers and our three heroes disappeared again.
edit on 28-12-2010 by A boy in a dress because: Left Stetson in Edit Room.

posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 05:02 AM

"I'm telling you he's dead, BIAD" Tibbs moaned and Nenothtu smiled inside as he lay on the hot sand. The heat was a welcoming change, although it was a little intense and a rock dug in his back just above his butt.
"Oh lawks-a-mercy... this shouldn't have happened" BIAD wailed and again, Neno enjoyed the new feeling of concern and wondered if he should just awake slowly or jump up and frighten the two idiots that had become his companions.

The next words cleared any fun-connected thoughts from Nenothtu's mind.
"Is she dead too?" Tibbs asked and Neno's eyes snapped open to gather further information.
'She...? there's another?' the tall gunman thought as he climbed to his feet. Somewhere, a hawk called it's lonely cry as Neno stood to his full height. The desert watched like a snake on the road as Nenothtu scanned the surroundings.

The shimmer of the heat made the Arizona desert seem surreal, the grey of the struggling sage brush and the dried grass told of the lack of water. The cacti seemed to stand like sentinels of the arid area and warned of hard times ahead, Neno looked on dispassionately at the scene.

Tibbs and The Boy In A Dress stood together at the foot of the butte and waited for the man picking up the bag to start his tirade of insults, Neno remained quiet as he looked at the sad-looking buckboard.
The carriage had seen better days and the canvas cover at the rear, attempted to flap in the rare hot breeze, the bullet holes and tears hinted of hidden crates and baggage. The two horses that waited in a doze seemed unruffled by the sight of the three strangers, their left back legs told of a tolerated wait.
The two figures slumped on the front seat of the wagon did look dead, they looked like they had just keeled over in unison... and unknown to Neno, they had.

"Er... we didn't do this" Tibbs offered and glanced at the wig-wearing figure stood to his right, BIAD glanced back with a weak smile on his ruby-red lips. Neno rubbed the stubble on his chin and stepped towards the bodies, there may be valuable supplies to be had.

Death stepped out from behind a boulder and metal scraped leather as Neno drew the pistol from the hidden side-holster of the man on the buckboard, the movement was a blur. Death stood in the body of 'Sam Elliott', slowly raised his hands in surrender and croaked "now hold on fella, I'm here to help"

Neno tracked the slow amble of the rangy figure and allowed Sam Elliott to move to give him a larger target. The salt-and-pepper moustache hid any smiles or sneers of the newcomer and Neno noticed Tibbs stepped backwards at the approaching figure.

BIAD looked over the shoulder of Sam Elliott and seemed to be checking for others, Neno guessed this person was alone.

"Like I said, I'm on your side and 'ah think you're gonna need me" Death said in low tones and seemed to ooze an easy way. Nenothtu still kept on alert as he held the comfortable-feeling nickle-plated Colt Thunderer steady.

The sun looked down from it's mid-day position and the group of figures waited for the next part of the story.
edit on 1-1-2011 by A boy in a dress because: Left Steston in Edit Room!

posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 12:59 PM

"You have a lot of explaining to do..." Nenothtu tossed at the dwarf with the long-white beard, but his eyes never left the guy with the heavily lined face "... where and WHEN -the hell are we?" Tibbs gulped and stroked that beard nervously.

The two people slumped on the buckboard did look dead and yet, Neno had felt a heart beat from the male when he'd grabbed the gun. Sam Elliott stood quiet and with his hands raised just enough to show he wasn't armed and Nenothtu knew this ploy was from someone who was used to commanding a situation.

"Tell us your tale before I plug you" Neno muttered and stepped close to the stranger in the dark jeans and black low-crowned hat, the mid-day shadows hid his eyes for a second.

It was within that second that Death showed his true self and as Nenothtu emptied the pistol into the growing darkening shape and as Tibbs clutched his privates to stop his bladder emptying itself, the temperature dropped from an initially-welcoming coolness to a snow-bringing coldness.

"Sorry" said the seven-foot robed creature to nobody in particular and Neno sent the last bullet into the shadows of the giant's hood, he wouldn't go down without resistance. Death seemed to nod at the tall gunman in tribute and then turned to The Boy In A Dress and that was enough for the Vithian, the multi-bodied dwarf passed out in fear.

BIAD placed his hands behind his back, raised himself on his tip-toes nervously and awaited his cue from Death on how to explain all this to his friend. The desert drank the snowflakes with relish.

Nenothtu pulled the sword from his back-scabbard and set his stance for a defensive attack, if the big guy in the cloak takes one step forward, then we'll be be whittling someone down to a reasonable size -Neno thought and showed a menacing smile.

Death leaned close to the man/girl and softly uttered "he's the real-deal isn't he brother?... the last of the Desperados?" and BIAD's lips split into a kind grin. "He's a good man and you're treating him poorly... I'm sorry Neno" BIAD offered and stepped away from Death to stand beside the tall man with the home-made clothes. Nenothtu glanced at the hermaphrodite at his side and whispered "what's going on?" from the corner of his mouth. The sword never wavered in Neno's sweating hand as BIAD whispered back "he's a bugger this one!"

The tall shape of Death ran taffy-like again and the bushy-moustached Sam Elliott stood again under the hot desert sun. "It's a boon I seek Mr. Carpenter..." the gravelled-voice asked "... I need your assistance"
The trio watched each other at the foot of the butte and time watched with them.

Death went on to explain himself and the relationship with The Boy In A Dress, Death's report brought quite a lot of headshaking and gritted teeth from Nenothtu and it was only by looking at BIAD's guilt-ridden posture that the tall man saw that his friend had been duped into a situation out of his control, but now the facts were out in the open.

Neno waited until Death had finished his confession and as the hawk called again from somewhere above, Nenothtu hissed "forget it" and put the sword back out of sight. The play was a dangerous one considering the players, but Neno had lived this long by being able to read where the pitfalls were and since this so-called brother of BIAD needed him, he gambled that no harm lay immediately in the future.

Sam Elliott spat into the dust and wiped his moustache, the Winter had fled with Death's morphing and the sun seemed to attempt to make up for the chilly intrusion. "Can we come to some sort of deal... Mr. Carpenter?" Sam croaked and leaned on the buckboard, the two occupants were still slumped in the same position.

"Ah tell yer Mr. Death, I want one thing only from you and then I don't want to see you again" Neno hissed. "Put us back on the Flyer and we'll say this..." Nenothtu waved a hand towards the desert floor "... never happened. Deal?"

The hot breeze ruffled the robes of Tibbs's prone body as now Sam shook his head and Neno noticed the long greying hair hanging from beneath the hat. "That's a no-can-do... but I'll up my anti - if you'll allow?" the old man said with an easy tone and pulled a thinly-rolled cigarette from the pocket of his denim shirt. Smoke blossomed from Death's cupped hands and as he drew deeply on the dried strands of tobacco, Death/Sam hissed "I'll drop you and your friends off to save Silo and her baby... now that's a deal-and-a-half, nuh?"

BIAD watched Nenothtu's face and made a silent wager that his friend wouldn't go for the deal, he had become used to Neno's idea that he made his own way through life.
Nenothtu breathed in the hot desert air and pondered the whole situation. The two bodies on the wagon seemed to wait with the others for a verdict.

"What do you want me to do?" Neno asked and the tone of resignation was obvious.
edit on 1-1-2011 by A boy in a dress because: Left Stetson in Edit Room... again!

posted on Jan, 4 2011 @ 02:44 PM

Death leaned his long frame against the wagon and laid it all out to Nenothtu and the Boy In A Dress.
The two slumped figures in the buckboard and the fainted Tibbs seemed uninterested.
"The year is eighteen-eighty one and the place is a mile or so from a boomtown called Tombstone"
Death looked around to see if there were any questions.

"The guy here on the seat..." Death said in his gravel-sounding 'Sam Elliott' voice "... is the famous
Doc Holliday and the young lady acquiring sunburn on her neck -beside him is 'Big-Nose Kate Haroney"
Death patted Doc's forearm and squinted amiably at the unconcious lady in the long red dress.

"Mr. Holliday and his friend are on their way to the town to seek their fortune and meet up with their
friends... the notorious Wyatt Earp and his brothers" Nenothtu looked out across the desert and
found a distant memory of what had happened here.

There was a gunfight at the town and due to the media of the times called 'Penny Dreadfuls' in the
East of the country, the pocket-newspapers made sure the event was rivotted into early American

Death went on with his monologue and Neno listened with one ear as he reloaded the pistol from
Doc's gunbelt, a small sigh escaped Neno's lips as he looked closer at the gambler's sleeping face.
The man in the dark suit and frill-fronted shirt owned a neat clipped moustache and Nenothtu
realised that without the facial hair, he could pass himself off as Doc Holiday's brother.
As the thought swam through Nenothtu's mind, Death spoke up.

"So you see my plan Mr. Carpenter?" the thin man with the lined face asked and though Neno didn't
look towards Death, he guessed the monster was smiling. Tibbs moaned and came out of his forced
sleep, the little man shook his head to clear it and BIAD saw dust plume from Tibbs's long beard.

The Vithian's face looked drawn and haggard and as he struggled to get to his feet, BIAD grabbed
his arm and patted the dirt from his robes. "Thank you Mr. Devil" Tibbs croaked and surveyed the
Death grinned again and glanced from the small man to BIAD. "He knows huh?" Sam Elliott said in
his easy tones.

Nenothtu brought everyone's attention back with a grunt as he lifted Doc Holliday from the wagon.
Boy In A Dress stepped forward and helped to carry the man into the shade. Death/Sam Elliott
stroked his salt-and-pepper moustache, sighed and went to take the woman into the shade also.
A minute later, Nenothtu, the man/girl, Tibbs and Death looked down at the sleeping couple in the
shadow of the butte.

"I'm to take his place... arent I?" Neno said softly and eyed the fancy threads. BIAD heard the
unhappiness in his tone and patted Neno once and lightly on the back. The hermaphrodite watched
as his friend breathed in deeply and stood to his full height, the task had been accepted.

"It won't be too bad..." BIAD said cheerily "... you'll get to do what you're good at and also get to
wear some nice duds!" Nenothtu's gloomy resignation lightened as he eyed at the sleeping woman
drooling next to the gunslinger.
Neno looked back over his shoulder at BIAD and whispered an icy "you too, I guess" A lop-side
grin accompanied the comment and Neno enjoyed the man/girl's puzzled expression.

"If I'm to be an assassin, you may want to make sure I know my target" Neno said to Death as he
removed the sword scabbard from his back, the big bag had already been dumped under the tarpaulin
of the buckboard.
Sam Elliott was preoccupied with BIAD's struggling thoughts being painted across his eyeless face.
"Er... yeah, this guy's demise will make a difference in time that you'll never believe" Death offered
and stepped close to the taller man.

"Tom McLaury is the 'target' -as you put it, a young dark-haired man with heavy eyebrows" Death
said quietly. The two men looked at each other and no words were needed to show the dislike
Nenothtu had for this being.
"There'll be controversy on whether he was armed during the gunfight... ignore it all and you'll do fine"
Death said patronisingly and Neno spat in the dust to show his response.

Nenothtu stripped Doc Holliday of his clothes and showed no embarrassment in his nakedness
as he changed his attire. He even kneeled to allow Tibbs to fasten his neck-tie.
One of the horses whinnied to request leaving the hot area as Nenothtu placed the wide-brimmed
low-crowned hat on his head, and the tall man in his new clothes went to see what goods lay
beneath the wagon's sheet.

As Neno climbed aboard and rummaged through the crates, a wide smile blossomed on his face.
"Daylights wastin' BIAD... you should get dressed too" he called towards the man/girl.
Boy In A Dress showed again his puzzled look and offered it to Death and Tibbs as well.
But it was Nenothtu who answered his question, "I'm gonna need a Big-Nosed Kate and I guess you're it!"
edit on 4-1-2011 by A boy in a dress because: Left Bodice in Edit Room.

posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 03:56 AM

A pinpoint of white light grew in the darkness and like a cosmic burst exploded in Adam’s brain. His thoughts began to take form as that tiny spark of awareness came to life from the terrifying void and empty limbo where he’d been lost.

Then came the cold. A cold so bitter it burned like fire while in contrast icy sweat ran in rivulets coursing from every pore. The cold and pain became his focus, the lifeboat he needed to regain consciousness and he embraced them. Anything was better than nothingness and if it was possible to come from nothingness, that’s where Adam had been.

Questions became mountains he couldn’t climb, half formed thoughts scattered like leaves before a wind leaving him grasping at their meaning, rivers of confusion ran through him nearly drowning the wave of memories so desperate to surface. Then, when his memories finally broke free to burst into consciousness above the murky waters of the void they did so with mind shattering clarity leaving him gasping for breath like a swimmer come up for air.

LAB. The little red flyer. The shattering explosion of attack. Strange faces moving in and out of his vision. Dag.

In remembering Adam tried to scream, the sound echoing through his mind but never reaching his lips. Blinking open his eyes caused a crisscross of lightening to ricochet through his head his vision fracturing into thousands of sharp glassy pieces, rainbows of startled birds in a frenzied explosion.

Adam tried to raise his hands to shield his eyes. He couldn’t find his hands. He tried to scream again, this time a faint moan creased his lips, a foreign sound flowing to Adam’s ears like a sigh escaping from the bottom of a deep well.

‘He's coming around Sir... I mean Mam...’ A squeaky voice corrected itself but not quickly enough. A resounding crack of skin against skin in of an awful slap followed by a muffled thud of a body hitting the floor.

‘I thee.’ Came a disturbingly familiar voice. But the lisp was new, turning words soft as the speakers tongue slipped forward through a gape where two huge square front teeth had been. ‘I thee he‘s warming up juth fine.’

Dear Creator it was Bransom! Adam instinctively recoiled as President Bransom loomed above him like something that crawled up from a sewer in his worst nightmare, her grotesque features made even worse by the doubling of his distorted vision.

The behemoth smiled a oily smile quickly covered with one meaty hand as it’s twin reached out to touch Adam’s cheek.
Stomach pitching in a nauseous wave Adam turned his head a fraction of an inch narrowly avoiding her touch. Bransom uttering a foul expletive, jerked back as if she’d been scalded, and swore again. Always sensitive about her appearance before this particular man she became triply so. Adam’s snub stung her female heart deeply. And it wasn’t the first time the gorgeous humanoid had done so. Something she’d carelessly forgotten but would never forget again.

Eyes narrowing, her face folding in on itself like a vision from hell Bransom bellowed over her shoulder for more solution. ‘Puth the heat! I want thith one up, and fath!’ Bransom stomped from Adam’s side the floor under her feet shaking as she went.

Momentarily freed from the President’s Adam used the time to take in his surroundings.
His guess? He was in an infirmary of sorts, his suspicions set when his peripheral vision confirmed he was strapped down in a half open climate-bubble, it’s rounded sides sprouting from under where he lay like a strange translucent flower cupping his body. Warm moist air hissed up from the device in misty wafts the steam collected and crying down it’s rounded sides attesting to it having only recently been opened.

Reality hit Adam hard and he shuddered in revulsion. He was thawing! He’d been cryo-frozen! And now, naked, bound and helpless he lay at the mercy of President Bransom, a fate he couldn’t have imagined had he been bitten by a ‘Dante’ spider, its venom known for inducing hellish visions of indescribably horror before plunging it’s victim into irreversible despair followed by madness then death.

That’s it. I’m mad! He thought then blinked and blinked again not able to believe what he saw, an angel to Bransom’s demon.
Leaning over him a familiar face sporting a bright red welt from a recent slap came into focus, a blond headed youth with a lopsided grin smiled down at Adam, even shot him a small wink.

‘Aggg!’ Adam tried to say his name, the word distorted into a stifled groan as heated IV solution rushed through his veins and like live fire the formula leached into his extremities causing Adam to seize and buck against his bonds. He cried out in agony once more this time tasting blood on his lips.

‘Sir?’ Dag used the formal salutation but now it took on new meaning, as if the lad had never known Adam, but Dag‘s eyes told another story one of urgency and anonymity.

‘Are you in pain Sir?’ The youth’s voice feigned disinterest while his gaze flicked from Adam then away and back again in silent warning. They were not alone - someone was listening to their exchange.

‘ I?’ Adam’s mouth made little sound as Dag placed a curved straw like tube to his lips inviting him to drink.

‘You're in the recovery bay on a Federation Star Ship Sir, The Iliad, under the command of President Bransom. You were rescued from a wrecked personal flyer exiting LAB during an invasion and attack.

‘Survivors?’ Adam whispered while trying to make sense of the situation that was beyond believable but obviously real and not some venom induced dream.

‘You were alone Sir, your little vessel a total loss.’ He replied loudly, then turned to walk away, the slight hitch in his voice reminding Adam how much the youth had loved the little red flyer.

Left alone and filled with questions he couldn’t ask Adam lay back and gave himself up to the warming fluids bringing him slowly out of a cryo-state.

Fortunately, or maybe not, he hadn’t been deep-iced. Logically this meant he must not have suffered grave injury. Had the injuries been life threatening he’d of been core-frozen, repaired, then sedated and filled with muscle relaxants piggybacked with narcotics to ease the pain of transition. Coming out of an extremity-freeze he suffered minimally, a deep thirst, sore throat and the horrific numbness and tingling in his limbs, the warming fluids increasing his paresthesia sending every nerve in his body singing in pain with even the tiniest movement.

‘How’th our pathient coming along?’ Asked Bransom from across the room her mock cheerfulness the mark of an especially dangerous predator.

‘Mam, he’s, I mean Sir, he’s...’’ Another slap followed Dag’s stutter. Adam’s thoughts turned black and he vowed to make Bransom pay for her ill treatment of his friend.

‘He’th talking. Yeth, I heardddd.’’ Bransom’s rubbery lips flapped as she crowded Adam’s view leaning forward to stare deep into his eyes searching for something Adam knew she wouldn’t find but his curiosity was aroused to why she‘d even be looking.

‘Please... What happened?’ Adam hated the weakness in his voice. He knew how she’d feed on it.

You’re aboard my thip.’ She lisped and Adam saw the deep stain of blush splashed across her thick set jowls before she heaved herself up upright to hide her embarrassment. He was right. The injury to her mouth was something new.

’You were thot down thwying to ethcape from LAB.’ She paused building up steam. ‘Thwying to ethcape from Me!’ Bransom roared slamming her great fist against the climate-bubble. The jar sent Adam’s over sensitized nerves into a seizure of agony like lava had been shot through his every fiber.

Over his hurt Adam heard Dag’s squeak of protest and prayed the boy wouldn’t get involved. Bransom would probably kill him. But Dag was safe. The sadists attention was caught in witnessing every facet of Adam’s distress and the President smiled with hideous glee when realizing the pain she‘d caused. In new habit her hand crept back to her mouth to hide the gap in her teeth but not before Adam witnessed her taking such joy in from his pain.

‘Stop! Please!’ Adam moaned and choked on fresh blood pooling in his mouth where he’d bit his tongue. ‘I wasn’t escaping.’ He lied, and badly, they both knew it, but he was cast as captive, Bransom as captor.

‘You were, you naugthy man.’ She stated almost flirtatiously causing Adam wonder at her sanity.
‘Anddd, I know you were ethcaping to meeth up with thoth athathinth thoo.’ Bransom said in sing-song, her lips thick slabs twitching and glistening with saliva causing Adam’s stomach to roll once more.

‘Athathinth?’ Adam whispered innocently, thinking how funny this would be if he wasn’t at the mercy of a murderous pig.

Rearing back on her rotund legs Bransom bellowed from deep in her belly as if her last meal had grown a fetid fruit that needed disgorging. ‘DAGGGG!’ His name boomed from her chest like the report of a cannon.

‘Assassins Sir. She ‘knows you were escaping to meet up with those assassins too.’ Dag repaired her words as he replied from well behind the President.

The President continued as if Dag hadn’t spoken. ‘And thu know whath happend thu thoth athathinth? She sighed, collected herself, then exploded with a force that shook the room. ‘THEAD! They‘re THEAD!‘

Adam didn’t need Dag to know her meaning, it was all too clear.

‘Their thip? DETHROYED! She crowed and swayed in place stabbing her finger into the air above her head.
‘Thath thniveling crew thwying to thave you in tha woodth? THEAD!’ She stabbed the air again.
’Their capthain THEAD!’ Her maniacal laughter rang like a death knoll through Adam’s head and at once he pitied the men he’d never known who’d come to his aid. No doubt they did not die easy deaths.

Panting heavily with flecks of froth collected at the corners of her mouth Bransom reached forward. This time Adam couldn’t avoid her touch as she gripped his face in her sweaty hand, forcing him to meet her eyes.

‘Tho Adam,’ her snarl lost some of it’s bite due to her lisp, ‘Thu’re on thur own.’ Her fingers squeezed his jaw painfully. ‘No ethcape, no resthcue, no athathinth coming thu thave tha day.’ Turning his head this way and that, seemingly content with what she saw, or didn't see, Bransom’s hand sprung free of his face, her action accompanied by a dismissive bark.

‘No Thir.’ She said, cocking her head to the side enjoying the anticipation of her next words.
’No, ith juth thu and ith juth me.‘ She leered at him - once more the cheery predator. ‘And from tha lookth of thingth thu don’t even have thor lithle defenth thythtem do thu?‘ Arms folded over her massive chest Bransom waited.
When Adam didn’t respond Dag spoke up without being asked.
‘Your defense system Sir...’ Dag translated, his voice loosing hope with each syllable. ‘Your eyes Sir...‘ the youth hesitated, ‘She knows.

Adam’s gaze rocketed to Bransom who’s eyes shown bright with triumph, then back to Dag who’d crept up behind the President. Under Adam’s perusal Dag tucked his chin to his shoulder causing a shock of white blond hair to fall over his face hiding his features.

Adam held his breath, the only outward sign of his inward anguish. Then, never in his life having been laid so low, Adam did the only thing left worth doing. Looking her straight in the eye Adam smiled his own predator’s smile, paused, then asked sweetly how she lost her two front teeth.

The thud of her mammoth fist meeting his chin was the last thing he knew before falling back into oblivion.

edit on 6-1-2011 by silo13 because: bbc

posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 11:08 AM

"You look ridiculous Mr. Devil... I can't watch" Tibbs sobbed and turned to peer out
at the sun-scorched landscape. The Boy In A Dress turned also and said to his ominous
brother who had finished fastening the back-buttons of the dusty red dress "thank you"

Nenothtu kept his head down as he searched the two crates and the large bags and grinned
under the shade of his hat. He had put on the gunbelt and tried the Colt Single Action
pistol in his hand and welcomed the feel of the gun.

The Colt Thunderer hung in it's side-holster under his jacket and the feel of wearing this
kind of outfit was surprisingly comfortable, Neno had also found a knife in Doc's clothes and
that now sat snugly at the back of his pants belt.

BIAD twirled once and grinned at the waiting group, Tibbs forced himself to pat away the
desert dust from the brown-frilled hip area and muttered "this is all so wrong"
The man/girl pursed his lips in disapproval and swished dramatically towards the wagon,
Death stood with his arms folded and chuckled to himself.

"Mr. Death...?" Tibbs said softly and squinted from the sun hanging over the 'Sam Elliott'
look-alike's shoulder "... is this really necessary?" The small Vithian pondered how this
chaotic episode was missed during his time travels. Death had already guessed at the little
man's oncoming questions and hissed from under the bushy moustache " Remember Fooks?"

Death pushed himself forward from the butte face he was leaning on and left Tibbs standing
with his mouth agape. Neno clambered into the front seat of the buckboard and as he
reached for the reins, he glanced at BIAD sitting next to him.
"That get-up doesn't look the kinda kit you can fight in... you sure you wanna do this?" Nenothtu
asked from the side of his mouth. BIAD's grin broadened as he produced a wicked-looking
cut-throat razor from the narrow cleavage and the hermaphrodite whispered "there's a billy-club
too... wanna see where it's stashed?"

Neno showed wide eyes at the wig-shrouded creature, muttered "noooo" and then snapped the
reins to urge the horses onwards. Tibbs glanced once more at the thin man in the dark hat
standing with a look of staisfaction on his stubbled face and then set off after the wagon.

Nenothtu felt an itch on his upper lip and as his fingers touched the irrated area, he felt the
prickly hair of a thin moustache. "Bastard!" the gunman hissed and forced himself not to look

The trio trundled on into the afternoon desert and apart from the small dust devils cavorting
infront of the wagon, nothing moved. BIAD seemed fascinated with the dirvishes of the desert
and Tibbs seemed to had settled down in the back of the wagon and was attempting a nap.

Nenothtu mulled over the talk he'd had with BIAD's so-called brother and sighed when he
thought of Silo out there somehwere struggling with a new-born baby. The Flyer was out
there too with a green-furred predator going hungry... 'Tibbs was right' he thought, this is all
so wrong.

The buckboard wound it's way along the sandy track towards Tombstone.

edit on 6-1-2011 by A boy in a dress because: Left Sun-Shade in Edit Room.

posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 05:22 PM

‘I have to go to her, it‘s time.’

The Elder Female disgusted with the nights work and the Others in their midst wanted a clean conclusion to the events and the sooner the better.

‘Do what you must. But I warn you. Don’t use any language she might recognize. Stick to your native speech. And if you value your lives don’t telepath to her either!’

‘Threats do not work here.’ The Elder reminded The Other and left her standing alone by the fire.

‘And no names either!’ She called at the retreating Rootak knowing how ridiculous she sounded but Silo's screaming was getting to her, making it hard for her to think, to reason. For hours now it was either the Rootaks in her head or that abominable screaming.

With a sigh of impatience The Other burrowed around in her pocket and smiled as her hand closed around a small square disc.
Pulling the object free from the folds of her coat, untangling trailing wires before plugging her ears with ear-buds The Other rotated the touch pad under her finger, chose a collection from Earths ‘acid rock’ era, tapped the play arrow and rotated the dial under the pad of her finger full circle to the right hoping she could drown out the sounds around her.

She was at the end of her endurance. If Silo’s screaming and the voices in her head were not enough the Rootak’s ‘old’ language, spoken aloud, was the finally straw. Their incomprehensible clicks and grunts, whistles and tongue wagging made her want to scratch their big brown eyes out.

‘DAMNNNNNN!’ She screamed half way through the first tune. Her battery was dead.


‘Cindy?’ Silo’s eyes popped open wide sure she heard her friends voice. ‘Please Cindy, I‘m here! Help me.’ She sobbed. And waited.

When CindyMars didn’t answer Silo gave up and leaned forward to rest her forehead on the cool earth taking her weight on the palms of her hands and flat of her knees scraped raw from sharp rocks and small stones. She wanted to lay down but the Rootak wouldn’t let her rest on her back instead forcing her to either walk between them, or back to the earth on all fours. Tears trickled down her face and plopped between her fingers fanned out under her on the cave floor.

She wanted to run. She wanted OUT! She wanted to be left alone from their gentle prying eyes and tender touches. In transition, her emotions her enemy, she’d quickly forgotten these were the same creatures who saved her from freezing to death.

‘Leave me ALONE!’ She screamed as a contraction began and two sets of hairy arms gripped her from each side, brought her to her feet forcing her to walk through the pain.

‘Oh Creator I’m so cold...’ She thought, her lips chattered. As much as she hated being forced to walk between the Rootak the closeness of the their bodies and shaggy clean hair warmed her. But they also reminded her of the friend she loved and left behind. Reminded her of Carpet.

Emotions already peaking under stress were magnified by the hormones of imminent birth coursing through her - but Silo knew none of this. All she knew was she missed Carpet. She was scared. She needed her friends and didn’t understand why CindyMars didn’t come and take her back home. Silo began to cry great wracking sobs of despair. The Rootak crooned and whistled in sympathy but made her walk on.

Another contraction caused her to stiffen and before it became too great the Rootak helped her down to her hands and knees offering her comfort in the soft grumbling purr rumbling from their chests and gentle strokes from leathery fingers across her arms ad back.

Hot. Oh Creator now she was hot, soooo hot. Sweat matted her hair, dripped in her eyes, made the downy fuzz sprinkled over her body slick. Another contraction building up from her center sent Silo into a frenzy of writhing.

‘Leave me ALONE!‘ She screamed again in fury trying to scuttle away from the Rootak, the sudden movement causing a great gushing of blood to come coursing down the inside of her thighs to pool around her knees in steaming puddles.

Silo began to shake. Terrorized she stared pleadingly at her two companions and for the first time reached out for their help. With smiles of relief the two females moved to Silo and held her in their embrace.

Leaned back against the chest of the lighter colored female Silo half sat, half crouched in the beasts lap with the arms of the female thrust out from under Silo’s own for leverage so the Rootak could support her weight, helping her to save her strength. The female began panting in short quick staccato breaths and instinctively Silo copied her example but if it helped she didn’t know. All she knew was pain, and that she had to push.

The larger Rootak grimaced and moved away from the birthing area. Silo didn’t see her go.


‘It’s been too long. If we don’t do something soon she’ll die.’ The Elder whispered using heavily pronounced English in hopes the spoken word would placate The Other who paced restlessly sending shadows flickering up the wall each time she passed the fire burning brightly in the center of the cave.

‘No matter. It’s the child we want, the mother is expendable.’ The Other replied waving her hand dismissively before turning to retrace her path.

‘If we don’t do something soon we’ll loose the child.’ This time the Rootak spoke in The Other's mind.

‘Stop that!‘ She’d had enough of their voices in her head, ‘And can’t you stop that screaming! Gag her if you must, I can’t THINK!’ She yelled herself, her hands gone to each side of her head.

‘If we wait much longer she will scream no more.’ The Elder insisted.

With eyes as cold as ice The Other walked to the Elder, looked up into her face and snarled. ‘Then cut her! Take the child out and let the mother die!’

Never having imagined such sacrilege against Life the Elder shuddered moving between The Other and the path to where the girl struggled to bring her child into the world. ‘You will not kill the mother! This is not your world!’

‘You don’t understand! How could you! She’s nothing! She’s only a vessel for...’

‘She’s alive and she’s about to birth her child!’ The Elder insisted and would not be moved.

‘And I’ll kill them both before that babe suckles her even once! That child will never know it’s mother!‘ Loosing control she shrieked at the Elder. ‘Now go and get it over with! Don’t you understand time running out! I can feel the ’Others’ coming and I will NOT have it! I will NOT! Thrusting her hands away from her head she slipped past the Elder Rootak but before she realized she’d gone the wrong way the stench of blood and sweat slammed into her like she’d walked into the side of the mountain. The scene before her hit her doubly hard.

Silo, eyes closed and barely breathing lay like a doll in the arms of a smaller Rootak. Blood was everywhere. It pooled under Silo and thickened as it cooled, the dirt floor had had enough and refused to soak up another drop. It ran steaming down the Rootak's blond fur staining it black and red as it dried. It was a bloodbath. Eyes wide with horror The Other didn’t need the Elder to tell her Silo was near death. Spinning back on her heals she nearly collided with the Elder Rootak. ‘Help her!’ The two words trembled off her lips.

‘We can’t. Our hands are too big. Yours, are small...’ The pity in the Rootak's voice was real.

Pail and shaking The Other ran her hands through her hair making up her mind. ‘No.‘ She said flatly moving away from the scene of carnage. ‘Never mind. The child’s brain is already compromised. No infant could live unspoiled after that kind of blood loss.’ The matter closed she pulled her coat closer. ‘Let her die.’

Searching her pocket for a small disc only as large as her thumb The Other took one last look at Silo‘s blue lips, still chest and limp body before she shook her head once in disgust, pinched the disc between her fingers and sent herself away.

Not even the firelight flickered as she faded from sight - and was gone.


Hours later as night hunters made their was back to their dens and the moon, full and round, hung heavy in the sky waiting for sleep a thin wail echoed across the canyon, then stopped abruptly startling night birds just settled to their perch.

A pair of wolves trotted across a snowy clearing back over the tracks they’d made from two nights before. The smaller of the two whined loudly and took a nip on her haunch from her mate before she went silent.

Following the pair a massive upright figure carrying something small and light sprinted quietly across the field to join them.

Bound tightly in thick pelts Silo’s eyes didn’t open when the young male Rootak gazed sadly down at her snow white face before pushing her up over his head and sliding her across the icy wooden decking of The Others dwelling.

Neither the Rootak or the wolves looked back as they moved swiftly away to melt silently into the blue white shadows of the morning.

edit on 7-1-2011 by silo13 because: (no reason given)

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