........................................~We Come In Peace~..................................
"Don't you tell me how to drive a Cruiser!" Squibs barked at Skinny and ignoring the
Tumbler correcting the 'Trash-Can' Droid with a loud "I AM NOT A CRUISER!" Squibs
pulled on the steering-stick to clear the dark-bruised thundercloud.
"All I'm saying is..." Skinny attempted to explain, but the squat Maintenance-Droid
interrupted. "Tumbler is still under trials... So it's looks like ol' Squibby is the Test-Pilot"
he stated and his recently-rebuilt friend knew there was no use arguing any further.
Chumley checked with a disinterested eye that the Auto-Pilot was still active and said
The yellow-coated craft slipped below the dirty cloud-cover and began it's scanning of
the terrain. The rain was coming down heavy and the Tumbler saw the lush foliage and
rolling hills through the slanted downpour.
"Readings on-screen now" Tumbler reported and Chumley leaned forward and looked
at the figures scolling down the small computer display.
Squibs also leaned forward and tipped noisily into the well of the cockpit, the warbling
of his alarm sounded ridiculous in the small space.
"Give yer' mate a hand?" Squibs' asked from the rubber-matted area below the panel of
switches and dials. Skinny slid quietly over from the Navigation area and assisted the Droid
back into the seat, this time the harness was fastened. "Cheers-me-Pal" was Squibs' upbeat
With slowing speed, the Tumbler brought itself down to tree-top hieght and Chumley noted
the levels of radiation were negligible in the area where running water was abundant.
The big Regalian screwed his green-rubbery lips together and thought about what Silo would
do in his situation. The answer came to him almost at once -when he used that scenario and
reaching a flipper out to the Commm-Switch, Chumley spoke to Ship.
"Chumley reporting in... we're abou..." but Squibs butted into the announcement.
"This is Commander Squibs here... I can see a cave entrance behind the waterfall, please
advise" the Droid rasped and turned his grit-embedded neck to look at the shocked Chumley.
The Yydryl hung in the upper atmosphere and read the Tumbler's transmitted information, the
cave entrance was true and the gases that leaked from it showed industry and lifeforms.
Ship pondered over what to do next -when the annoying Maintenance Droid shouted again.
"Ship...? we're waiting for instructions here" came the grating voice, obviously -She thought,
Chumley was only moments away from pulling Squibs' motherboard.
If the Yydryl was capable of smiling, she would have, the three would-be rescuers would
become a team -she was certain of it.
So, Ship answered 'Commander' Squibs.
"There are three essential-pieces of data I wish the Commander to take notice of" she said
softly from the Tumbler's intercom. The rain spattered and ran across the windscreen as the
self-important Droid waited for the information.
"First - as Commander, you will assign all communications to your Co-Pilot Chumley, you're
position as Commander requires you to focus on the rescue at-hand"
Squibs looked up from the Control Panel and saw the Regalian was smiling, it was a little
confusing to the small robot -but he answered "er, Roger that"
"Two -Skinny will lead any expeditions from the Tumbler and when faced with moving in
single-file, as Commander you will be at the rear" The Yydryl's tone told that discussion
wasn't an option.
Skinny turned away and pretended he was interested in the Nav-console, he contained his
mirth well -he thought.
Squibs glanced over at his friend and presumed that as Commander, he would be protected
by being at the back of his two friends. "Yep" he called towards the microphone jutting from
the ceiling console above Chumley.
Ship waited a few moments before relaying the third piece of data to the Droid from the
"Three.... and this is very serious -Squibs, so don't forget it" her voice was soothing and
yet indicated concern, Squibs tested the harness carefully and leaned closer to the speaker.
"STOP SHOUTING INTO THE MICROPHONE OR I WILL REMOVE YOUR GYRO-SPHERES!"
the voice boomed and realising what Ship was up to, The Tumbler amplified the sound.
"Do you understand?" Ship asked softly and the rattled and wide-eyed Squibs responded
with a meek "Yes Ship"
The newly-built Tumbler turned to follow the trace-readings of metal hidden somewhere
underground, chances were -that it was man-made.
edit on 29-11-2011 by A boy in a dress because: Left Edit Room keys in Edit Room.
The rain fell away and the sun poked it's drying rays through the westward-flowing
clouds as the Tumbler scoured the woodland and meadows below. Squibs had become
quiet after Ship's 'aggressive' instructions and beside him in the Co-Pilot's seat -Chumley
busied himself checking the search data.
"Tha' metal that runs under the ground seems to be iron... mmm, tracks me-thinks" he
said to nobody and rubbed his smooth flabby cheek.
Skinny scanned the Nav-console and pondered Chumley's possible solution, it was heading
west and the two straight lines certainly seemed man-made "What do you think, Squibs?" he
asked the small droid gazing out of the window.
"Squibs thinks he should be quiet" the scraped and scratched Maintenance-Droid said softly
and glanced back at his friend.
"Aw, come on now..." said Chumley slowly "... Ship doesn't like shouting, that's all" the
Regalian offered and waggled his eye-stalks amiably, Squibs seemed to be deliberating
whether to inject himself back into the rescue mission and looked at the big green alien
for a few seconds.
Skinny took Chumley's lead and added enthusiastically "nobody said you're not part of this
team, it's just we have to work as-one... BE a team" he emphasised and patted Squibs'
Squibs turned his head to look at both of the Tumbler's occupants and the sound of metal-on
-metal during the function was worrying. "Ah' just want to succeed on this mission..." he said
with a slight warble in his voice "... this could be the first of many" he clanged his head down
in a nod-fashion to show conviction.
Chumley sat back on the seat and eyed the scruffy Refuse-Hold Droid.
"You're right... Ship might let us do more solo-stuff" he confirmed and looked to Skinny for
The orange light that indicated that something of foreign-material had been located pulsed
next to Skinny's arm as the Droid agreed. "That's right... we could be the Rescue Team" he
urged encouragingly and with open arms, he said "so what do you think?"
Squibs clicked the safety harness loose and clambered from the Pilot seat, it was tough-
going, but he landed on his buckled tractors without a hitch.
"I think you should check that out" Squibs said pointed to the flashing bulb next to Skinny.
The Tumbler lowered it's Landing-struts and swung closer to where the object had been
located, Grav-thrusters brought the craft down quietly and without any disturbance.
"Tumbler suggests that due to analysis of enviroment, Regalian should occupy a disguise
outfit" the calm-confident voice announced from the speaker near the hatchway, Skinny and
Squibs were already waiting to see what the planet held.
Chumley squinted his eyes at the gauze-covered speaker-plate and asked "why?"
The craft broadcasted an image onto the smooth wall beside the hatchway and after moving
Squibs out of the way, Chumley peered at the coloured picture.
"The Yydryl computes that this planet is Earth in an unknown time. We do know that the
indigenous people looked like this" Tumbler stated and layered on the wall, a human being
walked from a Space Port Rampway and entered a long-grey rectangular vehicle with
'Greyhound' emblazoned on it's side.
"We know what human look like" Chumley sneered and showed a face that implied
The new craft continued. "Sensors show us that no buildings, towns or communities of
the human-being exist nearby, The Yydryl believes that we may be experiencing the
post-nuclear age of the Earth... the 'End' Times"
Tumbler brought a second image to lay beside the first and swiftly enlarged the human-
being, beside the man a chubby-green Regalian stood with a shocked expression on his
face. "Heh!... dat's me!" Chumley shrieked and looked towards the two robots in glee.
It was skinny who explained further.
"Chumley, if a human sees you looking... like that..." Skinny waved a hand from the puzzled
-looking eyes on green stalks down to the splayed three-toed feet "...they may think you're
a monster from the fall-out" he said and glanced at the squat Droid beside him.
Squibs nodded in agreement.
edit on 29-11-2011 by A boy in a dress because: Left Edit Room keys in Edit Room again!
Tumbler's tone changed and became more sensitive to Chumley's down-turned ears.
"So, I have a surprise for you -my Regalian friend. Please check the compartment to
your left" he said with a hint of humour.
With a small 'hiss' -the wall-panel slipped open and there, folded neatly was a suit...
a human-skin suit.
Everyone waited for the Regalian's wrath.
Chumley showed a mile-long grin and grabbed the weird-looking material, after struggling
with the opening, he slid the pinkish 'skin' over his body and buried his head into the
Squibs and Skinny looked on at the spectacle as Chumley pushed the wrinkles out and
grunted in his stretching. "There's a hat too" Tumbler advised as Chumley wiggled his
fingers into place.
The Tumbler's ceiling slid open and a holo-mirror dropped between the robots and the
now -tall humanoid, Chumley looked out of the eye-holes at his 'new-self'
"Me -Nenothtu!" he said in a awed whisper and without looking, reached for the wide
-rimmed hat, it was the headwear that made him gasp.
"Oh wow, me Neno" he repeated and ignoring the two Droids' stares, he stroked the
gunbelt on his hips as the Tumbler opened the Exit hatchway.
"Be careful out there" Tumbler said fatherly and the two robot/one-disguised Regailian
rescue-crew stepped forth into unknown territory.
edit on 29-11-2011 by A boy in a dress because: Left 'my other disguise' in Edit
"You've broken your vow," Dag observed matter-of-factly before turning back to Brittle, who was now looking at the floor.
Brittle wagged his head 'no'. His silken black hair slid forward over his shoulders as they slumped in defeat. He spoke again, in a low tone. "It
was only until I achieved my goal, and today I did that."
"And who assigned you this 'goal'?" asked Dag. "How long ago?"
"There is a way for you to remember," Brittle answered cryptically. "To call up the stored memories of your entire maternal line."
"If that is so, why do I not do that without you telling me I can?"
"The need has not come up before. Darling,--" he started.
"That's DAG to you, mister!" she interrupted him. She hoped he could not see how shaken she was by his suggestions and the manner in
which he had revealed things to her that felt too real to be ignored. "And if you know so much, why don't you just tap into those memories yourself,
'Half-Brother-of-the-Lady-of-the-Lake." Now she hoped her sarcasm masked her discomfort. "Why are you not at Avalon? Were you banished? Did you do
something to cause its loss?"
"You will have to recall, I am not going to tell you," said Brittle. "You clearly suspect that I am somehow deceptive, so my telling you would be
Dag stood with her hands on her hips now. "Fine. Good. We understand each other."
Brittle looked at her with pity, and hope, but knew there was nothing more he could say or do if she was not going to willingly help him. "In this
chamber is everything you need to tap into the ancestral memories. You know what to do, if you will only allow yourself to concentrate. I will leave
you here, and return tomorrow to hear your decision. Should you choose not to assist, I will honor that, and take you back to your friends."
"How will I know when it's tomorrow?" asked Dag, and her lovely violet eyes smoldered and narrowed.
"You won't," answered Brittle. "Until I get here. You have twenty-four hours," he finished. "If at the end of that time you have not seen the
truth, I will know that you are flawed, nothing more than a poor husk who resembles the half-sister I knew so long ago."
"You've already broken your vow," Dag pointed out. "You can't take that decision back."
"Correct," said Brittle as he walked toward the pocket doors so cunningly hidden in the chamber's wall. "And so, if tomorrow proves me a failure,
I will end my life, right here, and you will be free of me." He exited without looking to see the widening of Dag's eyes.
Alone in the chamber, Dag swallowed hard. She looked about her and took a long, deep breath. Aside from the cushions against the wall, there were few
furnishings. Everything I need, eh? she thought. Standing in the center, she slowly pivoted, sweeping her vision through the room, concentrating, to see if
there were objects so small she had missed them before. But there were none. She flapped her hands out and let them slap her thighs in frustration.
Wondering then if she was truly alone, she looked at the murals and mosaics, scanning for surveillance holes, cameras, recording devices, anything
that looked like it might be more than simple art. Nothing.
She closed her eyes and concentrated then on her hearing. No breathing, no distant footfalls, or muffled voices, or knocking about sounds such as
chairs scraping the floor or furniture being moved. Not even a ventilation system. She stuck her tongue-tip out of her mouth and felt for a draft;
tasted for a flavor of food cooking or disease or poisons. No movement.
Still in the center of the chamber, she dropped to the floor, crossing her long legs in front of her once again, and putting her elbows on her knees.
She lowered her face into her hands and fought away the fear, the anger, the frustration.
If I am who he says, or have the memories and ancestral knowledge required to restore Avalon from the mists, to ensure it is once again accessible
to the living, I am bound to do so, she thought. She knew that her programming, from the time of her creation, had been to help in all situations
that arose. To learn exquisitely quickly, to require no practice -- the skills were latent, and once awakened were perfect. Ergo, if --
if -- this...Lancelot...was telling her the truth, she would find the knowledge.
And if he is wrong, he dies, she thought,.right here, in front of me, and then I am stuck in a strange place with a corpse and no idea where
my friends are. She rocked forward and back, slowly, and said aloud, "Super. Gwarking fantastic."
..................................~The Alleyway And Adam's Way~................................
The noises and smells of Temple Market spoke of stranges races and odd cultures as
Boy In A Dress and Adam followed Captain Cholla and his ward -Gerald to hopefully
locate Dag, Adam was looking more-and-more pensive as they moved among the
many stalls and browsing Elves.
They were still underground, yet this cavern seemed long -but not as high as the
the one that housed Cholla's city, this one showed a lower ceiling and stalactites hung
like ancient chandeliers.
The marketplace buzzed with buying-and-selling and as Cholla wove his way towards
the high Victorian buildings that surrounded the Square, BIAD ran a red-nailed finger
around the collar holding his bow-tie... he didn't like crowds.
"I have a feeling that we're being delayed" the Doctor whispered as he closed on
the black-wigged BIAD, they were passing a striped canvas-covered stall with a display
of many-shaped earthenware.
BIAD showed no indication that heard the comment, but as he stopped to pick up a
two-handled urn, Adam felt that the Man/girl was creating some distance between
themselves and the two leading-Elves.
"I too..." BIAD whispered and held the container to a better light "...there's something
Mr. Cholla isn't telling us" and shaking his head at the old Elf-woman behind the counter,
he slipped on through the passing crowd.
Adam searched across the smaller beings and saw the familar goggle-strapped head of
the Walker-Driver, Gerald was close behind him.
Red sashes and blue silk ribbons hung down from the cave ceiling as they turned into an
alleyway between two stores, The Candlesmiths and 'Henry's Hats' loomed either side of
the hurrying Captain Cholla and the younger Elf.
BIAD took off his top hat and clicked his neck to the left as he entered the narrow corridor,
Adam glanced at his reflection in the dirty window of Henry's as he passed.
The two Fay-Men stood waiting near a stack of empty crates and watched the two outsiders
arrive with vacant faces.
Captain Cholla opened his arm to indicate that he had delivered the two strangers and with
a haunted glance back at BIAD, he grabbed the stunned-Gerald and stepped behind the two
'They look like twins' Adam thought as he stepped into the small yard-like area, both white
-haired that hung straight to their shoulders. The two solemn-looking Fays had almost snow
-white skin and the rain-cloud grey eyes -though piercing, seemed to give them a ghost-like
The white robes hung over the same-coloured leggings and grey boots added to the 'phantom'
"We are Sleagh Maith, the Good people... and it reaches our ears that you seek someone dear
to us" the Fay with his arms folded said in a low voice. Boy In A Dress showed a grin that he
also shared with the bewildered Doctor.
"I am Boy In A Dress and this is my friend -Adam" the Man/Girl said and imagining his dress
was not hidden beneath the tight-black pants, he curtsied "I have had the honour of meeting
your kind before" he added.
The Fay... or FairyMen bowed slightly and during the action, the one with folded arms said
"I am Orin and my friend is known as Foster" as the one know as Foster bowed, BIAD saw the
Green Man amulet dangle from his blanched-neck.
Adam stepped up beside Boy In A Dress and snapped "these two Elves were supposed to take
us to one of our own who had been kidnapped..." he poked a thumb at the wide-eyed Cholla
and Gerald "... and you're in our way" The young man who spent most of his career working
for LAB stood in such a way that there was no doubt in the FairyMen's eyes, that Adam was
ready for a fight.
"We intervene in your journey to ask a favour, and for that favour, we will permit you to
talk to your friend" Orin stated and eyed Adam's clenched fists. Foster took one step forward
and added "no amount of rage will help you, if you decide to take matters into your own
hands" a hand flicked the robe open for a few seconds and a ornate dagger was glimpsed.
"You have us over a barrel" Boy In A Dress said easily and then it happened.
The pitch-black hair was suddenly upon the Fay called Foster and before he had chance to
unsheath the dagger, BIAD's tresses wrapped itself tightly around Foster's throat.
Orin stepped back on for the first time in BIAD's and Adam's encounter with these strange
beings, emotion showed on their faces.
edit on 2-12-2011 by A boy in a dress because: (no reason given)
For Foster, it was a strangling look of shock and for Orin, resolute features of someone who
wishes to save his companion,Adam saw the look and acted at once.
It most yarns, the hero of the story produces a way of saving the day that is seen by the
reader as not just noble -but indicates a concern for the parties around him.
Adam kicked Orin in the genitals.
As the white-haired Foster balanced on tip-toes and gasped at the threatening tightening
of BIAD's hair and while Orin gasped -whilst holding his 'family-jewels' Captain Cholla
stood holding onto Gerald like a two lost babes in a wood.
Then the hermaphrodite leaned close to the doubled-up Orin and hissed "nobody gets
in our way..." BIAD moved his head to indicate to the Doctor that they were partners.
"... We seek our friend and you will assist in that seeking, for that we will help you with
your problem" the Man/Girl whispered into the Fay's pointed ear.
Foster fell on his behind into the dirt of the alleyway as BIAD's hair released the FayMan
and Orin grimaced as he stood to his full hieght.
"We... we wish that you would help... yes" Orin grunted and felt the weakness that the
good-Doctor had brought, leave him slowly.
Adam waited with a fist ready -just incase of any treachory and BIAD admired the usually
-peaceful U-man, he wasn't Nenothtu, but he'll have to do -he thought.
Minutes later, and after Captain Cholla and Gerald had bleated their apologies for the
poor attempt of disuading BIAD and Adam, they all entered the small rivoted door near the
edit on 2-12-2011 by A boy in a dress because: (no reason given)
...............*~^~A Room with A Bunch of Views~^~*..............
Dag got to her feet again and went back to the cushions, looking at the depiction of Boudicca – tattooed, hair swirling as though she had suddenly
whirled to make eye contact, clad in a toga and fur, a torque round her neck. The torque appeared to be made of actual gold, and protruded from the
image of the mighty Queen's graceful but muscular neck.
Dag reached out and touched the torque. It felt warm. So she touched the base of the throat on the image for comparison. Yes, it was definitely
cooler. Dag then looked up into the eyes of the Warrior Queen's image, and discovered the method for obtaining the knowledge she needed. In the
Queen's eyes Dag could see a mighty battle taking place, as though she were peering through a pair of binoculars or… a View-Master…a
three-dimensional image, lit from within. Dag's memory pulled up an image of it that had been circulated across the globe, an image made by
"ThePassenger" back in the very early 21st century (using the Gregorian calendar that was standard at the time):
Dag's history files thusly stimulated, she recalled that the device was developed in the early 20th century, as a state-of-the-art imagery tool for
marketing postcards, and was even used in military training leading up to the Second World War.
Some years later it became known as a child's toy -- in the time of the so-called "Cold War" following the Second World War, when the mightiest of
nations on Earth knew they could annihilate one another, and had the means ready to do so. It was only the knowledge of the devastation that would
take place that had prevented either side from pushing the red button. Sadly, a few hundred years later, someone would, she reflected. But that
was not the point of her task at hand.
View-Masters had come with cardboard discs about the same size as the later digital laser discs which had been developed for recording music, images,
data files, and computer programs. The View-Master discs were called "reels". A schematic popped into Dag's awareness.
View-Masters were simple, clever, and still popular 100 years after they had been invented. They required none of the peripheral sophisticated and
complex accessories, nor intensive study and practice. They did not become more complicated every passing day, and remained popular for many years.
Each cardboard disc contained film frames. To hold one up and peer at the film squares one at a time with the naked eye resulted only in seeing a
semi-transparent rendering of the object depicted. One had to slip the disc into the Viewmaster and look into the eyepieces to get the full effect.
Each reel held seven stereoscopic images. To advance the reel, the plastic lever had to be manually activated.
Dag thought about these things now. "ThePassenger" -- who was he? What was his interest in "View-Masters" a century after their invention? Was he
someone still alive now? Had he been an Earthling U-Man?
No further data emerged, indicating to Dag that the knowledge she had was sufficient. Fine, she thought. Good, there's no need to mess
around with a new mysterious participant. Now, on with my discoveries.
It would not prove to be excessively complicated. In fact, within half an hour she had viewed all of the reels of Avalon that were stored in Queen
Clever, that, thought Dag. One would have expected the files to be embedded in an image of the Lady of the Lake. No wonder he couldn't find
them! She grinned to herself.
Aloud she muttered: "Mmm hmmm. Women know how to hide things much more effectively than men."
It was true, of course. And only women could calculate where other women would have stored things, and why. In the Warrior Queen's head, of course
that's the best place! The Ladies of Avalon were averse to violence. But Queen Boudicca, their cousin, was a Banshee warrior of the Icene tribe. They
would have entrusted her with their secrets.
Dag, relieved that she had passed the "test", lowered herself to the floor to rest on the cushions again and think about things -- to process her
newly awakened memories. She was unaware that the cushion she chose as a pillow for her head was stuffed with Mugwort...that Dreaming herb that could
take visitors through the veil in either direction...into the Mists; or out of them.
As she drifted off to sleep she did not know she would awaken with exactly the sequence of pitch and tone used to summon the barge's oarsmen. But in
such a condition indeed, she would awaken.
And then she would have to decide whether Brittle was genuine, or a charlatan. She thought about Adam, and her heart swelled a bit. He wasn't perfect.
But neither was she. And likewise, neither of them were ready to betray the other. In her heart, she knew that very well.
edit on 2-12-2011 by wildtimes because: Press the reset button on Boudicca's torque
edit on 2-12-2011 by wildtimes because:
(no reason given)
.......................................~Sometimes, They Come Back~....................................
The Fairy-folk led Boy In A Dress, Adam and the two Elves into a room that belonged
to another time, wooden beams above and oak panels covered the walls. Four gaslights
glowed illumination into the study and five shadows lay towards the large cluttered desk
that waited in the centre of the room.
"Temple Town enjoys a peace due to the Earth Goddess protecting the Elves and other
races that inhabit the ground" Orin said, his groin still throbbed from Adam's assault.
The room reaked of peace and solitude, the rows of bound-books on the wall shelves told
BIAD that a scholar resided here, possibly a writer.
Orin continued his explanation "But recently, a shadow has entered the tranquility of
this Underworld, a shadow that preys on our people" The white-haired FairyMan's tone
was stern and his eyes showed the seriousness of what he was saying.
Adam sighed impatiently and perused the untidy desk, a large book lay opened next to
a flameless candlestick and a scruffy feathered quill waited across it's pages. A scuffed
wooden tray held sheaves of paper and a dusty crystal ball sat on a metal tripod.
The embossed surface of the desk held faded renderings of knights and hill-sitting castles.
"Dag has been kidnapped... by your 'people' and as my friend says..." the Doctor nodded
towards the eyeless being in the dapper-suit "... we will help you with your problem, but
no tricks, agreed?" Adam seemed to have let the room draw his anger from him.
Foster moved towards the desk and leaned to touch the glass sphere "our world is in peril
and Gia is the only one who can save us..." he said softly "... or you can?"
Orin faced Adam and whispered "agreed" and held out a palid-skinned hand towards the
They shook the contract into being.
The Man/Girl realised that once again, he was being drawn into a problem that people
would look to him -to solve and so, he tugged the bow-tie loose and began unbuttoning
his white waistcoat.
"Please explain what lies ahead" BIAD asked and ignoring the wide-eyes of the two Fairy
males and the smaller Elves, he pulled down the tight black trousers.
"After the Great War above, Elves, Fairies, Gnomes and Fauns decided to accept any of
the remaining humans that ventured down here to escape the Ghost-Mist. There were
only a few... some succumb to the effects of the poison from above, the remaining ones
intergated with our people and found peace here..." Orin waved a hand around the room
"... in our world"
A few moments of quiet entered the study as the FayMan collected his thoughts and
Boy In A Dress straightend the said-dress, folded and laid the clothes on a spindled-chair
near a battered bureau.
"Then our people began to go missing. At first, we believed they may have travelled to
Hobbs End and out into the desert, but reports surfaced that strange entities were being
Captain Cholla raised a hand and was rewarded with a frown from the taller being "please
speak" Orin said in a resigned tone. Peeling the black goggles from his forehead and after
scratching his ears, Cholla offered "a friend of mine actually saw one of these so-called
spectres" The small Elf searched the faces of the others in the room.
"Giles... that's the Gnome who works at the Aeroport, he told me he saw a tall monster
in a long black robe waiting in a back alley back in the city" and the hermaphrodite whirled
on the little man.
"Describe this being... tell me everything" BIAD growled and closed the space on Cholla.
The goggles hung limply in his hand -along with his hanging jaw as the Captain recalled the
raven-coloured hair coiling on it's own and the evil smile of the Man/Girl.
Cholla gulped and stammered his words "Er, like Orin said, we-Elves thought it was the
humans making our kind disappear, but then humans began to go missing and then Giles told
me about the tall ghost in the black hood"
BIAD showed a tight pair of lips and sighed to himself. It seemed his brother had either
found a way of following him or was 'gardening' Underworld folk for some unknown deed.
The Man/Girl wagered the deed would be sinister.
"Adam...? we have a problem" BIAD hissed and straightened his dress hem.
edit on 3-12-2011 by A boy in a dress because: (no reason
"I have a question..." Adam said as Boy In A Dress mulled over the report from Cholla
that Death -BIAD's brother, may be visiting this time and place. The two Fairy beings
looked up from their musings and it was Foster who muttered "please ask"
The Doctor from The Yydryl cleared his throat and though he had agreed a pact to
assist Foster's people, he was still unsure about the situation.
"Why are we here...? in this room?" he asked and looked around the quaint-dusty room,
the gaslights stuttered in their illumination as Adam waited for a reply.
"This is where the great author -Gilmore Bundy lived, his writings are known across
the Underworld and his grasp of our history made him a stalwart of his community"
The wig-wearing Boy In A Dress touched the open book on the desk and turned it around
to read it.
...For in the place called Amerika, the people saw that their leaders had lost their way and
as civilisation began to break down, the nation looked to another way and another leader.
Jack Carpenter was that way and leader.
With a steady hand, he brought peace and confidence back to the people and as other
countries looked to emulate Mr. Carpenter's skills at easing troubled waters, the savior of
the most-affluent country on this planet stepped into a position where ALL nations
requested his assistance.
Like Arthur of the Olde Times, he held sway in his court and it was said that great wonders
took place in his presence. Many human-scholars wrote of the similarity in the aspirations
of this Camelot-like Government and the teachings of Pendragon.
The world rolled towards exinction under the eye of Jack Carpenter and there are some who
believe the fate of the humans was planned and another -more sinister plot was afoot.
The Great War resulted in over-half of the human inhabitants of Earth being destroyed and
vast areas of land becoming desolate and poisonous. For the indigenous races of the
Underworld, they could only wait and hope that Gia would heal the terrible wounds inflicted
on her body.
The infamous speech that began The Great War, Jack Carpenter indicated that he took
instructions from another, a God -maybe, but this is purely conjecture.
'Darty' Grimwold once wrote: 'We walk in the footsteps of the humans above and it seems...
The Man/Girl looked up from the elegant handwriting and peered at the two blanche-faced
Fay folk. He knew that Nenothtu had held the surname 'Carpenter' in his youth and also knew
not to jump to conclusions, the hermaphrodite sighed to himself and recalled his friend's
habit of constantly checking his surroundings.
"This Jack Carpenter-character... what do you know about him?" BIAD asked and stepped back
towards the small closed door.
Orin took up the question and said " the human you speak of is why we are here, Gilmore
believed that Jack Carpenter survived the terrible events of the surface and now dwells
somewhere in the bowels of the Earth and awaits his time again"
Foster squinted his grey eyes in puzzlement at the Man/Girl's antic of checking the alleyway
outside, he assured BIAD with "there is nothing to fear here"
Boy In A Dress showed a small smile and nodded, although Adam had no doubt that his new
friend wasn't convinced.
"Our next stop is the Temple and I have serious concerns about whether the Elders will allow
us in" Orin said and brushed his shoulder of a hair. Foster nodded in agreement and added
"the one you know as 'Dag' is there and as Gia, she may be reluctant to see you"
Adam hissed through his teeth as he followed the two Fay males from Bundy's office and
hissed "well, we'll see about that"
Captain Cholla looked at his younger companion -Gerald and followed the taller beings from
the dusty place.
............................................~Elvis Has Left The Building~......................................
The Marketplace dropped away as Orin and Foster led the way to the Temple and as
they passed the huge 'beetle-shaped' Station, Boy In A Dress heard another locomotive
pull in to one of it's platforms.
Again, Elves scuttled here and there to get a place on the monster train.
"Where are they all going?" Adam asked Captain Cholla beside him, it seemed like they
were the only ones not going to Temple Station.
"The city you saw, holds thousands of my people and many other races... of course, other
towns lay to the far-end of the line too" Cholla said loudly above the noise of the rushing
BIAD scanned the oncoming alleyways and slim roads that spread away from the Market
like spokes on a wheel and Adam noticed the Man/Girl was uneasy of being out in the open.
Then Boy In A Dress stopped as they closed on a sign announcing the street was called
'Threadneedle' the narrow cobbleway held red-bricked houses with high rooftops.
"I've seen this before..." BAID said to the back of the FayMen and pointed to a peeling
poster half-hidden with gummed-Flyers and leaflets about missing Elves.
The rendering was from the same artist that had produced the one the hermaphrodite had
seen in the Station tunnel and the image was the same... Elvis Presley.
Orin stepped beside the taller black-haired being and peered at the water-stained drawing.
"Yes... some of the Elves put these up after the tenth anniversary of the Great War ending,
there's a wit and warning to the Elves' display" the Fairy being said.
BIAD's lack of features could sometimes be a benefit, but Orin assumed the lack of a toothy
grin indicated the Man/Girl didn't understand.
"That's Jack Carpenter..." he hissed and turned to meet up with his companion -Foster.
The five moved off towards a hulking building that's facade ran with iron ladders and meshed
platforms, BIAD recognised the equipment as a way of fleeing a fire, he commented to Adam
"It seems these people took many ideas from the surface and used them down here... that's
a fire-escape" he said and pointed with a red-nailed finger.
Adam looked back towards Threadneedle Street and and said in a low voice "so that is the
man who burned the world?" and Boy In A Dress moved closer to the Yydryl's Doctor.
"A long time ago... and presumably on a different 'Earth' that guy in the poster was an
entertainer... he was known as the king of Rock and Roll"
Adam's brow creased at the statement and BIAD continued. "In that time, the masses
enjoyed songs from entertainers -such as this guy... he was famous all around the world"
The Doctor nodded and asked "did he become a leader of men?" and turned with BIAD
into a paved road leading to a gaping tunnel of darkness.
The Man/Girl shook his shaggy head and said "no, time moved on and trends changed.
The one I knew as 'Elvis Presley' died at his home in the south of his country"
The faint sound of a Station Master's whistle could be heard as the five quiet beings
entered the darkness of the tunnel.
edit on 3-12-2011 by A boy in a dress because: Image Addition
Nenothtu covered the mile or so of mountain ridge between the rock he had slept on and Inscription Rock slowly, and with some trepidation. He wasn't
at all sure he wanted to find out when he was. It would be a cruel joke to have his world taken away again a second time as would be the case
if he had merely been thrown back in time rather than having repaired the Big Rip.
Waking up in a pile of leaves on a wind-swept rock atop a mountain was his idea of living. Oddly, he didn't feel as much stiffness, as many aches and
pains as he expected he should have given his sleeping circumstances, and that gave him an odd sensation of being trapped in a dream. Maybe none of
this was real.
Minutes later, the copperhead that tried to bite him demonstrated just how real this world was. The snake turned out to be delicious, all things
On the journey, the world looked as it always had. There seemed so far to be nothing out of place. The same birds sang, the same insects buzzed, the
same animals skittered away, and there seemed to be not a soul around for miles, just as it had always been. Of all the worlds he had walked, this was
the only one where he could recharge, restore himself, find his center and remember who and what he was. In this one place, the destination was never
the goal, the journey was.
It took the better part of an hour to cover the mere mile or so of ridgeline, moving at a leisurely pace, but before he knew it, there it was. The
Rock. Neno stood and stared at it for the longest time, trying to decide if he really wanted to know. Finally, curiousity got the better of him, and
he was compelled to see. Walking around the rock to the far side, he encountered goat droppings in the path. That was a good sign. It meant at least
that he had been dropped into a time some time after white people had entered the land, bringing the goats with them. As long as he could recall,
goats had lived on this mountain in a feral state, right along with the deer and the other denizens of the forest, naturalized citizens of this
But they weren't here before white people were, so that constrained the timeline to a more hopeful section.
On the far side of Inscription rock, neno searched the inscriptions. Thre were hundreds of them to sift through, some going all the way back to the
days before white men walked the land, Thunderbirds, strange swirls and crosses, a turtle etched by an ancient red artist to mark his passing.
Finally, he found the one he sought. "F. Carpenter, Aug. 7, 2285". He had etched that one with his own hand, scratching it into the limestone block
with a quartz crystal many years ago, when he was 14 years old, long before he was the "who" that he was today. The weathering and lichens growing
certainly gave it the appearance of enough age. By his reckoning, it should be around 35 or 40 years old if he had been dropped back into the
"present", onto a restored Earth.
It sure looked that old. Either he was back in "real time", or he was about to be obliterated right along with the rest of the world, and that was
fine by him. Who wants to live forever, anyhow? Whatever happens will be.
Nenothtu clambered the 20 feet or so to the top of the rock, built a small fire to cook the copperhead over, and surveyed his domain while eating
edit on 2011/12/3 by nenothtu because: (no reason given)
Nenothtu eventually climbed down from the rock, and reluctantly set off down the mountain. Lovely place up here, he thought, but there's folks to be
found - and he didn't have the first clue on where or "when" he might find them. All he knew is that he had to start looking.
Twenty minutes later, he arrived at a part of the path that had always scared - and thrilled - him as a kid. The path was perhaps two feet wide over
an exposed rock, and something on the order of a 400 foot drop either side of the path, continuing like that for 20 feet or so before widening back
out to a mountain side. Looking over the edge as he walked along it, neno was shocked at the fact that it just didn't look as scary as he'd remembered
it. The path itself, of course, had not changed over the years - but neno had. He'd seen far scarier things in the interim, things that he had never
even imagined back then. Now, the Devil's Drop just didn't have the same pucker-factor for him.
Six or seven hundred yards beyond the Devil's Drop, the woods opened into a clearing, a high meadow on the mountainside. Running around the edge of
the meadow was an ancient rock wall. There was no telling how old it was or who had built it, but old it was, and time-encrusted. Just east of where
the path ran through the meadow was a forested spur of the mountain, where Old Gert had lived. An old "witcher woman", Gert was feared and shunned by
most Vandals most of the time, but that's who they'd go a-running to when a remedy was needed, or a hex needed flinging.
Gert had looked to be probably 60 or 70 years old when he had last seen her as a teenager, and he was sure she must be dead by now. Time catches us
all. Her old cabin was not far off of the track leading from here to Old Ben's cabin, and nenothtu decided that it wouldn't take much time to detour
and see if the old place still stood, and what sort of shape it was in.
A few minutes of walking revealed that the cabin still stood, and was in remarkably good shape for an abandoned structure. The surrounding yard and
small patch of garden were even being kept up, and as he got nearer, he saw why. An old woman was down on her knees in the garden, doing upkeep to the
herbs planted there. Nenothtu decided that it must be one of Gert's daughters - the old woman would be near a hundred years old herself, and it wasn't
likely that she was still alive. Everyone else gave the place a wide berth, so it must be a relative. Neno cleared his throat as he approached, to
give the old woman warning so as not to give her a heart attack - he had that effect on people, sneaking up on them without meaning to.
Her head snapped up at his cough, and to his amazement it WAS Old Gert. Impossibly, she still appeared to be about the same age as she'd been when
last he saw her, 30 or 40 odd years before. "What is it?" she snapped."What brings you up here to disturb an old wo - " her voice trailed off as her
eybrows shot upward and her mouth dropped open. When she recovered, she said "Well I'll be! As I live and breathe, if it ain't little Freddy Carpenter
all growed up! I figgered you for dead by now!"
neno gave up a lopsided grin, and replied "I could say the same for you, Gert. You've got to be nigh on to a hundred years old by now, and here you
are looking just the same as the last time I saw ye!"
"Good genes" Gert replied. " I'm a lot older than you think, but I tend to age pretty well. What brings you back here? How come you ain't out chasin'
skirts and whatnot like normal youngsters?"
Being called a "youngster" brought a grin to neno's face. "Girls don't like me, Gert. They run away squealin' about how I can't dance or
Gert's eyes twinkled. "I kin work a hex for ye. Have to beat 'em off with a stick when I get done iffen I do..."
nenothtu laughed. "No, Gert. I got enough troubles I have to beat away often enough already. 'Sides, you know yer the only girl fer me!" and he
snatched her up by her scrawny old shoulders and planted a kiss on her cheek as an exclamtion point.
It was Old Gerts turn to blush at being called a "girl" - why, at her age! "You put me down this instant you upstart! You know all my power leaves
iffen I ain't in contact with the Earth!" To emphasise the point she kicked him in the shin with a bare foot that felt an awful lot like a kick from a
steel toed boot. Nenothtu complied by gently setting her back on the ground.
Gert stepped back a step and said "Lemme look at ye. I'd never have believed it. I told them sperits they wuz goddamned liars when they was talkin'
all that crazy buzz about you." She pronounced 'liars' as 'lahrs', but was just as plain spoken as she'd ever been.
"Still talkin' to spooks then, are you Gert?" neno asked, amused.
Gert snorted at him. "'Course I do. What good is a witch that can't commune with the sperits? That and flingin' hexes it what keeps these folks scared
of me an' in their proper place! You know, I b'lieve you are the only one that never wuz scared of me. It's like you never had the good sense to be
scared or sumpin'." Gert paused, and then said "I b'lieve you are the very first god whose ass I busted when he was a child."
Neno started a reply before what she said struck him. "Hell, Gert. Even back then I'd already seen scarier things than a grouchy old wo-... the first
WHAT?". Gert had always been a strange one, but neno feared that living out here alone all these years had pushed her right over the edge.
"God, of course. Surely you already know about it. The 'tween is all abuzz with it. Seems you done some thing some where and some time that bumped yer
status a mite. They wuz sayin' YOU are the 'Neo', the god of war. 'Course I told 'em what lahrs they are - that you wuz most likely dead by now, yet
here you are, all alive and kickin' - and pickin' innocent old ladies up by their scruffs - so I reckon they was right, an' now I'll have to apologize
to 'em." Gert seemed displeased at the prospect of having to apologize to mere spooks.
Nenothtu nearly exploded. "That's the craziest thing I ever heard, Gert! You've been out in the sun too much. I'm just as real, just as human, just as
mortal as you are! Poke a hole in me, I bleed, jus' like anyone. Here - I got scars to prove it... " and he started peeling his shirt off to
prove his humanity to Gert.
"Put yer clothes back on, boy!" Gert snapped. "Scars that you got afore don't mean a damn thing. They're just 'character' now."
Exasperated, neno nearly whined when he spoke. "Gert! I'm a man, a mortal, I'll get old and die same as anyone else. Gods are, well, gods. They
don't do stuff us mere mortals do. That's why we're mortals. We die. We have mortality. I'm just as real and human as you are!"
Gert cackled like a hen who had just laid an egg. "I 'spect you're righter than you know there, boy. There's some things you need to know. Yer gonna
want to be sittin' down fer this. Come on in the house an' have a set down. we'll drink some of my 'special' tea and yak a spell."
edit on 2011/12/4 by nenothtu because: (no reason given)
Inside the cabin, nenothtu sat down at the plank-built table in the corner of the room that passed for a 'kitchen' as Gert bustled around putting
water in the wood stove to heat and preparing the tea.
"Now that yer sittin' down" Gert started, "as I wuz sayin' you're a god of war now. Nuthin' ye can do about it but live it."
"That's crazy, Gert. I'm as human as anyone. I was born, and I'll grow old and die, same as any other person."
"Born, were ye? As I recall, the story wuz that you was found wandering in the woods as a babe. You're a foundling, and there ain't a soul here what
can point out a date, time, and place fer yer birth. For all practical purposes, ye just rose up outta ther ground, and started 'being'."
"No, Gert" neno replied "I was born, same as anyone. I just happen to have been born... ". At that point, he realized that what he was about to say ,
which was 'a long time ago and a long way from here', would probably only feed Gert's odd fantasy of his 'godhood'. "... to have been born... in the
wilderness." he finished lamely.
"The perticulars of your birth ain't the important factores here, Neo."
"Don't call me that, Gert. it ain't funny no more."
"Makes no difference whether it's funny or not, it's what you are. Git used to it. It's what ye done, not how ye was born that counts. The Sperits
said something about 'savin' the universe' or some sech nonsense." Gert looked confused by the whole thing, but continued her report. "They 'low as
how you got bumped up a few notches on account of that. Even gods can't exist iffen a universe don't exist fer 'em to be in. In recognition of
yer savin' their bacon, too, they gave you a new status beyond mere mortal. Now, besides that, there's a story going 'round about you beatin' the
ever-lovin' crap outta Death himself, an' now he won't have ye. Face it boy. Yer stuck with immortality. It's either a gift from the gods, or a curse
from 'em, but either way, it IS. Whatever happens will be, and that's what's happened to you."
"I don't want it, Gert. take it back. Who the hell wants to live forever, anyhow?"
"I can't. I didn't give it, and it ain't mine to take back. Yer stuck with it."
Neno found the whole tale to be ridiculous, and for the moment conveniently forgot that Gert had no other way of knowing about his dealings with the
Dark Lord concerning the Big Rip. "Nobody lives forever, Gert. You've been consuming too much of this 'special' tea of yours. Makes you see spooks and
dream up wild tales."
"Oh, it's real enough, Freddy." She paused before plunging in. "How old d'you 'spect I am, Freddy?"
"I dunno" he replied. "You look to be around 60 or 70, but I already know you've got to be near a hundred, since you was 60 or 70 as far back as 30 or
40 years ago." He shrugged.
"That's the thing. I ain't aged a bit in 30 or 40 years that YOU know about. Who does that, good genes or no?" Nenothtu only shrugged in reply. "What
would you say if I was to tell you I'm near 3500 years old?"
"I'd say that's plenty old enough for senility to have set in" neno responded dryily.
Gert slapped the table hard enough for the china to rattle and cackled again. "You jus' can't wrap yer noggin around it, can ye? I was born near 3500
years ago in the middle of Europe. 'Transylvania' they call it now. we had another name fer it back then."
Nenothtu looked at her out of the corner of his eye. "You're gonna tell me yer a vampire?"
Gert cackled so hard she nearly fell out of her chair. "No, boy. Ain't no sech thing, just crazy folk who THINK they're vampires! I was born a Celt
afore there even were Celts. I travelled to Erin with the Tuatha De, lived to see all the rest of the invasions there, too. Don't look at me
like that! Yes, the Tuatha were a real people, legends notwithstanding. I've been here, in this quiet little place, since..."she paused here to think
"... since about 1630 or so."
Considering the yarn Gert was spinning, neno was vaguely bemused at her prononcement that there wasn't any such thing as vampires. Neno heaved a sigh.
"Alrighty, Gert, I'll play yer silly little game. You're immortal, and you work magic - work the roots, throw hexes, all that sort of mess - wouldn't
that make you a goddess?"
"Now yer catchin' on!" Gert exclaimed. "I don't meddle around in mortal lives like some of the rest do, fer sport, but yer gettin' the idea now. I
'spect you've heard or read about me under other names, but you'll learn as time goes on that gods don't die, they just change names and move on. How
many names have you already had, Neo?" She asked pointedly.
"I'm gonna be sick, Gert."
"No you ain't. It'll pass."
"Why would I be made a 'god of war'? I don't even like fighting - it's just what I'm good at. I'd rather be farming or something if folks would just
leave other folks be."
"That's just the thing, Freddy. None of the best killers like it. they don't get emotionally attached to it thataway. they have a function to
protect folks, and do it the most efficient way they can, that's all. You got elected fer that, based on performance, I reckon."
"No Freddy - wrong God. that one ain't the killin' kind. At least he WAS born - you were there, I hear..." and she trailed off cackling again as
nenothtu went pale.
"It ain't fair, Gert. I don't WANT to be a god - of any sort. I don't WANNA live forever!"
"Too bad. You're stuck with it. Life ain't fair - Frank should have told you that years ago - it just IS, and that's all there is to it." She paused
before adding "There's strange things afoot here, Neo" Gert intentionally addressed him by the 'god-name' to underscore her meaning here. "I dunno
what it is, but it's to do with Jack Carpenter - yer great great great grandpappy. I expect that's why you've wound up here."
"He wasn't MY grandpappy! You pointed out yerself that I was a foundling. Ain't no blood relation atall" neno said with some venom. "He was a lowlife
that near blowed the whole damned world up. Who'd claim kin to THAT? I just got done tryin' to make sure the world DIDN'T get all blowed up! I ain't
nothin' like old Jack!"
"Genetics ain't the only way to transfer spirit, young Jedi." Gert said cryptically.
"Young what?" neno replied. He's had enough new titles for one day.
"Nevermind" Gert said. "It's just a saying from a couple of centuries ago". She pushed her chair back from the table and stood. "It's dark now, and
the moon's out. I do my best dancin' in the moon light. C'mon, I'll teach ye how to dance. Then the girls might not run away from ye squealin' " she
said with a twinkle in her eye once again, then added "look at the bright side - I'm immortal - ye can't break me!"
edit on 2011/12/4 by nenothtu because: (no reason given)
........................................~The Air Up There~..........................................
"It's not much, but it's home" Tibbs said and placed the smooth rock back into
the cracked-leather bag on his hip. The shingle was fixed and it looked like the
ancient cabin had held up well considering what mountain weather can do.
Below, Mucklebones flapped out the dust from the faded mat and standing at the
door of their new home, she soaked in the scenery around her.
The Vithian on the roof looked at the same vista and wondered where is friends
were. Time had a strange way of dealing it's cards and he wondered if Boy In A Dress,
silo13 and the others were actually on this particular planet. Neno was out there
-somewhere, he was sure of that.
Climbing carefully down the homemade-ladders, Tibbs thought about the strange
noises from the night before.
The cot-bed had seen better days and though it sagged in the middle, the Witch and
her small lover slept with their arms around each other. The night outside serenaded
the couple with it's lulling sounds.
Muckles was snoring softly as Tibbs pondered what had happened recently, the dark
and the quiet brought him a good drawing-board to sketch the events upon.
Just how much had The Splitter interacted with the seperation of the crew of The
Yydryl? Reaching for his spectacles, the bearded-old man eyed the cracked shingle
The handset indicated that Nenothtu was here on this world and after inspecting the
foliage, Tibbs believed that he might be on the Vandal's planet -and for that, he was
happy for the tall man with the rare lop-sided grin.
Boy In A Dress...? scratching his balding head, Tibbs smiled into the darkness at the
past memories of the eyeless being. Most of the histories and futures of his two friends
-he had kept from them, it was the disciplines of moving around in time.
BIAD would become disillusioned, he would see that most sentient-beings will spend their
existences destroying the universe around them. Unknown to Tibbs, the Vithian was
agreeing with BIAD's brother -Death, they acted like a virus.
The Man/Girl would take on the mantle of Leader and somewhere far from here, he would
begin to build his world.
Nenothtu would follow a similar track, in fact -Tibbs thought as he rose and slipped on his
freshly-washed robe, the Vandal was already stomping that trail and worrying frown touched
the Vithian lined-brow.
Back on his home-world Tibbs and the Committee had discussed what it would mean to
actually have a 'King Of The Universe' and though many of Tibbs' fellow multi-beings doubted
the role would come to fruition, the small figure with the full-bladder shuffling towards the
cabin door had no doubt that it would occur.
The others, the crew of The Yyrdyl...? he grimaced at his failing of not noting Ship's diverse
members histories, he knew now that it was crucial due to BIAD's and Neno's futures.
The rumbling began as Tibbs relieved himself in the leaning-outhouse at the rear of the
Whatever the sound was, it came from beneath his bare-feet and during the plank-rattling
episode, Tibbs thought it prudent to get out of the poorly-built structure.
It was man-made, the Vithian was certain of that and mechanical too, this meant Muckles'
yearning of a happy home would not be forever, Tibbs sighed for the poor Gray's wants.
He went back to bed and slept a dreamless sleep.
"We live in a paradise" Mucklebones said as she folded the colour-bled mat onto her
forearm and on the moss-covered roof -her lover was thinking the same thing.
The sun shone with a Spring-like quality and Tibbs mused to himself 'As Above - So Below'
his easy smile from beneath his beard rivalled the early-sun.
edit on 4-12-2011 by A boy in a dress because: (no reason given)
The fell into a routine, up every morning early to do chores, see to the animals, take care of the crops until noon. At midday when the sun was high
Pip insisted they rest. Lunch was a festive affair Pip teaching Maggie one meal after another. It went unsaid they started with all Gep’s
favorites. Hash and eggs. Greens with winter garlic. Roasted squirrel stuffed with pine nuts and old bread sopped in pork fat.
Pip taught Maggie to check the corn bin for snakes, how to snatch eggs from under grumpy hens and the best way to lay rabbit traps. While ‘fish
were biting’ late in the day and Maggie cooled her ankle and leg in the bitter cold stream of the crick where Pip even showered her how to fish.
Their favorite times were in the evening after the cows were in, the smell of the shed warm and fecund with the lantern casting deep shadows. Pip
shook his head and grinned when Maggie ready to milk remarked how quickly the cow ‘filled up’ since morning their laughter ringing over the hiss
and stream of milk filling the bucket. Pip never lost a chance to remind her the cow liked Maggie better and gave more milk for her than for him.
Maggie cocked an eyebrow giving him a knowing look until he colored. Pip hated milking and made no bones to hide it.
Whatever they did they did together and found some peace there. What they didn’t do was talk about anything but the moment. Pip didn’t ask where
Maggie came from, Maggie didn’t ask any of the millions of questions she had about Gep, Pip and his mother she presumed was dead. Equally they both
avoided the topic of Pip’s father. No, no talk of Gep, how long he’d been gone or when he’d return and definitely not what may have happened at
the Macalister's to call Gep out so late at night. At least it was this way until the fifth evening after Gep had left home. Pip wanting to try their
hand again at making biscuits found all but the last dregs of flour gone and very little salt.
‘Maggie?’ He called across the room where she sat in the rocker before the fire her leg up to relieve the swelling more pronounced at the end of
a long day. In her hands romped a pair of twice mended socks. She was sure they were live the way the continually slipped in her grip and shrugged
from around the smooth worn darning egg.
‘Yes Pip?’ Maggie didn’t lift her head from her work, the end of her tongue stuck out the corner of her mouth switched to the other side in her
‘We’re going to have to go into town soon.’ Pip kept his voice level and the lack of emotion spoke volumes.
‘How far’s the walk’? She kept at the sock she didn’t want him to see the tears quickly forming in her eyes.
‘Too far for you.’ Pip’s voice trembled. He didn’t want to leave Maggie alone but there were things he had to do. Taking a sack of wheat to
the miller was only one of them.
Trying to brighten she replied she‘d stay then and take care of the cow and calf...the piglets. ‘I’ll even weed some.’ She could milk the
cow and feed the stock, it was the choosing which was the right greenery to wrench from the earth that got her nearly every time.
‘Leave the weeding.’ Pip sounded too grown up his voice hoarse.
‘Oh Pip...’ Maggie tucked the darning beside her in the crotch of the rocker and held open her arms. Pip filled them in a heart beat his knees
on the ground his head buried half in her lap and against her chest. Her fingers buried in his hair automatically stroking away the last of the pain
he’d ever suffer as a boy. ‘Little Man’ had no time to be ‘little’ anymore.
‘I don’t want to leave you.’ He snuffled against the gown he’d given her of his mother’s. A light blue with little flowers printed in
clusters Pip had remarked it was his Pa’s favorite. It was the only time he’d mentioned his ‘Pa’ since he’d left.
‘I’ll be waiting right here for you, I promise. I’ll even share my milk with those greedy little piglets of yours. They’ll like that.’
She crooned working out the details.
‘But you’ll save some for you, promise?’ He turned his face to look up at her, she wiped his eyes with the apron that paired her frock.
‘Of course I will. And I’ll make some custard with the eggs and last of the sugar.’ She smiled.
Wiping his nose with the back of his arm Pip brought himself up to his feet. Even though Maggie was still sitting he seemed taller already.
I’ll go clean the old pistol and leave you the newer one.’ Pip genuinely envious of her marksmanship figured she was even better than his Pa but
he hadn’t told her that. He hadn’t told her a lot of things. Like how his father was never coming home.
‘Pip, you want to sleep up here tonight?’ She called across the room and pat the empty side of the bed. It was the night before the morning he
would leave for provisions. Neither of them wanted to be alone.
‘I’ll read to you!’ The boy-man didn’t need to be asked twice. Making a nice round bundle of his bedroll and leaving it by the front door
where he’d collect it in the morning Pip skipped to the corner cabinet for his favorite book and not having lost all his boyish enthusiasm bounced
across the bed and under the covers. Adjusting the lantern hook above the bed Maggie swiveled it into center so the golden glow lit the pages in a
‘Serendipity’? Maggie asked the book making her as uneasy as it did the first time she saw it.
‘Yes.’ Pip didn’t open the pages only looked at the cover of the book, to Maggie and back again.
‘What is it?’ She asked, her hand going to her hair.
‘We got something to do before I...go.’ He hesitated, ‘Something I forgot until just now.’
‘It’s my hair isn’t it?’ Maggie caught his glance and read the meaning.
‘My Pa liked it a lot.’ Pip’s shoulders hunched painfully.
‘Your Pa liked it a lot?’ His use of the past-tense of a sudden filled her senses with agony making her skin prickle and the hair at the
base of her neck rise.
‘I wasn’t gonna tell you. I didn’t want to. But, I have to.’ His voice choked but she waved him into silence the shadows of her hands
before the lintern sent dark spirits flying about the cabin.
Jumping from the bed Maggie landed on her bad leg and let out a moan, but not from the pressure on her foot. ‘No, don’t tell me. Please. I
don’t want to hear it.’ She spun in place her eyes imploring him to say no more.
‘But I’m not lying!’ Pip’s voiced the concern he’d had all along, that she wouldn’t believe him.
‘Nooo Pip, you don’t understand.’ Maggie cursed and ran her fingers through her hair, ‘It’s because I do believe you. I just
don’t - want - to - hear - he’s gone!’ Suddenly loosing her patience for the fist time since she’d known the boy Maggie dropped to the side
of the bed in regret for yelling at him. Taking the book from his hands she faced her demons for the first time. The face looking back from the page
was her, in all respects but the hair.
“No. I don‘t want to hear it.’ She whispered thumbing the picture on the front page and deftly changing the subject back, ‘And before you go
tomorrow you want my hair to be more like hers, That Maggie‘s!’ She pointed to the cover of the book punching the picture with her
‘Yes.’ He answered more composed than she.
‘So. How do we do it?’ She was used to him having all the answers and anything at this point was better than thinking about Gep. Even changing
the color of her hair.
‘Harness dye. We make it with walnut hulls. My Pa used it to...’ Without finishing Pip was up and making for the door, ‘I’ll go get it from
‘Take your coat’. Maggie called after him, the first words she’d heard Gep say when she’d ‘come to’ after her injury. Laughing a watery
smile Maggie watched the boy-man grab his coat and run out into the night on bare feet.
edit on 4-12-2011 by silo13 because: pic and spelling
................**~~Mugwort and Mist~~**...................
The place to which Dag's spirit traveled that night was the one which she had viewed within the eyes of Boudicca, but it was not in Avalon. Well,
parts of it were not in Avalon. As was usual for her dreams, she was herself, interacting with her environment. She never saw "herself" in her dreams,
as some did. Some humanoids did not dream at all, but those who were bio-droids with the dream-scape programming did. And the few times she had
discussed dreams with them they invariably told her "I was watching myself do such and such."
Not so, Dag. Never saw herself, but "lived" herself in these phantom places, which frequently re-appeared. Several times she had tried to draw a map
of the dreamland, its structures, bodies of water, streets, alleyways, the harbor, the trainyard, the neighborhoods around the school campus and the
one in which she lived. A wide variety of homes, neighbors, ritzy areas and ghettos, most were static, though occasionally the town/county would grow
larger and more spread out. Other times it was smaller and she knew her way around perfectly.
But in her waking times, trying to draw the maps out, she would become disoriented. Once asleep, she knew exactly where she was. That happened now,
while she rested her head on the Mugwort-stuffed pillow.
She was in the mountains. It was winter, and the road on which her home stood had been cleared of snow, but the mountain tops visible from there were
pristine with a blanket of fresh, glittering permafrost. She rose and left the room, wondering when the walls would finally be properly repaired and
why her Creator had still not finished the job. But this episode would not answer that question any more than any of the others had done, and so she
went out to the paddock and called her horses up from the pasture below.
She had been wanting her friend Sigler to come by so they could ride together. She was still unsure if her colt would behave properly without a more
mature, experienced example, and Sigler's Tennessee Walker was the perfect "teacher". Rodney could be unpredictable, and more than once she had been
tossed when he "spooked" at a "dragon" only he could see (usually when it was windy, but not only then); yanked off of her feet while leading him,
dropped, and then landed upon by a hoof; been backed into against walls and fences; had to spin him to keep him from running in front of trains or
into roadways; or keeping him focused enough not to turn and run back to the barn to his friend Ara Fair.
But Sigler had become so busy with his horse shows and work, and hard-pressed to find time for leisurely rides, especially since he had acquired the
new place some miles away. So today Dag would venture out on Rodney and take her chances. He had to learn eventually to be out alone with her, and
practice was the only way to get there.
She thoroughly groomed him, cleaned out his hooves, and gently tacked him up (the latter activity awakening him from his customary standing "nap"
during grooming). The sun was warm on his hide, but their breath was visible in the cold air, so Dag had put on her winter riding gear. He stood
quietly while she cinched up the saddle, and she rewarded him with a handful of sweet feed, breathed into his nostrils from her own, and inhaled his
exchanged breath in return.
"You ready?" she asked and scratched his ear. In her mind she envisioned him walking calmly, knowing that horses were telepathic, and if their
humanoid partners would picture them doing a thing, they would "see" it and respond. Many humanoids did NOT understand this, but Dag had a knack for
animals. "Cause we're going alone today. Just you and I. And you'll do fine, just remember to relax, I won't ask you to do anything stupid."
She smiled to herself. Horses would not do stupid things even if they WERE asked, and she knew that very well. She mounted, patted his withers, and
let the reins go slack. "You tell me," she said aloud to his ears, which had swiveled toward her, indicating he was watching and listening for her
direction. "I know I can trust you."
Not all humanoids realized it, but Dag knew that any horse or mule would always know its way home. In fact, the miners and mountaineers in Vandalia
DID know it, and Sigler, having grown up there, had taught her that "trick". Often they would ride out into the mountains hunting or setting traps,
not paying much attention to the route. Once their activities were done, it did not matter if they knew the way back, they would simply let go the
reins, and the animal would go back home. It never failed.
Somehow Dag knew that Rodney was going to take her to where she needed to be. He headed west along the road, up the hill, and when they reached the
gravel wagon-path he turned off onto it. He was headed up to the summit of the peak, where the deadliest roads were.
As they climbed, she put her complete trust in him and summoned all of her calm. Nervousness was acutely contagious between horses and riders. He
would not take her onto the treacherous pass, where so often vehicles plunged over the edge. She was glad as they got nearer the switchback that she
was not in a vehicle this time, where she had so often gone sailing off the edge herself, and jolted back to her waking reality immediately before
Rodney picked his path very carefully, almost mule-like in his precision, and avoided the icy patches, sticking to the gravel and turf shoulders. They
reached the turn, where the maneuver got trickiest. "Careful," Dag muttered. But rather than rounding the switchback, Rodney walked off of the track
and headed down the steep embankment into the canyon. Below them all Dag could see was a thick wall of mist, a fog so dense that she knew she would
have trouble seeing Rodney's ears, let alone her surroundings. She took a deep breath and relaxed.
No point in panicking, she thought. No point at all.
edit on 4-12-2011 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)
edit on 4-12-2011 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)
As they descended into the mist, Dag noticed a change in the air. She smelled apple blossoms, and sweet alfalfa, and the marshy scent of a peat bog.
Rodney continued on, sinking in the bog almost to his knees, and Dag marvelled at this: he must feel safe, or he would not be going there.
And on he trudged, for what seemed hours. Of a sudden, his head perked up, an eagerness in his ears, and snorted under his breath, then lifted his
nose into the air and curled his lip up. He smelled something. Then a noise reached Dag's ears, like a tinkling of bells, and a high-pitched
giggling. She could not see more than a few feet in front of her, and Rodney stood still, listening intently.
The mist began to clear, and what Dag saw and heard then answered all of her questions:
When she awoke, a strange sense of well-being seasoned with foreboding surged through her veins.
The song, the celtic tonality with the Vandalian First Tribes chant...it was that chant that would enable Brittle to return through the mists, to get
him from here to Avalon once more.
She lifted her head, and the door opened. Brittle stood there, amazed to see the transformation that had come over her. What he saw was what she had
become after her dream; her Return to Innonence.
She stood. He looked at her expectantly, but said nothing, nor did he move. She blinked twice, and nodded. Together, they left the room, not by way
of the pocket door through which they had entered 24 hours earlier, but via what appeared to be merely a painting of mist.
They vanished as they passed through it, just as Adam and Boy in a Dress entered the door at the passageway to the temple where the FayMen had led
edit on 4-12-2011 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)
................................................~The Way To The Heart~...........................................
The room was vacant of anyone, but Boy In A Dress sensed Dag had been here very recently,
his eyeless head scanned the scant-furniture for any clues, whilst Adam tore a strip off Orin
"YOU THINK THIS IS FUNNY?" he shouted at the slender white-haired being with the shocked
expression "...YOU THINK YOU CAN..." and struck the fair-skinned Orin in the face. The punch
was pulled at the last minute, but Orin still tumbled backwards and struck the doorframe
with his shoulder.
BIAD continued his search and smiled to himself at the Doctor's renewed anger, Adam loved
Dag -that was for sure and his emotions were tearing him apart, the Man/Girl felt a pang of
pity for him and silently vowed again, that he would never love.
Orin scrambled to his feet and held his hands out to Adam "No-no, she was here, the Elders
told of The Pas..." he halted in mid-sentence and glanced back at Foster in the doorway.
Boy In A Dress was about to touch the cushions when he suddenly whirled around and glared
at the white-clothed Orin "You were about to say...?" he hissed and beckoned the words
from the FayMan with a long sharp-looking fingernail.
"I... er, I was told that Gia would be in prayer, would be in deep meditation" Orin stuttered
and saw the grin that showed he wasn't being believed.
"Hit him again" BIAD hissed and turned back to his investigations, the FayMen fled at the
request and Adam watched them run down the tiled-corridor with Captain Cholla on their
Gerald remained at the door.
"I think that I can help you" the young Elf whimpered and Adam's features relaxed from his
anger and now showed interest, BIAD came and stood beside the Doctor to listen.
Gerald looked to the mosiac tiles under his feet and cleared his throat.
"My Mother told me of a tale, a tale that she swore was true and those here at The Temple
believe it too"
Adam placed a friendly arm around the small narrow-shouldered Elf-boy and moved him
into the room, BIAD closed the door as he entered. The atmosphere was serious and though,
the Man/Girl was still picking up traces of something... something from his past, something
that he'd felt before -he focused on the small Gerald before him.
"My Mother said that the Elders here know of a place, a place where apples grow all year-
round and where the rain is fresh and tastes of wine" Gerald said and his eyes shone with an
honesty that the youth rarely have the opportunity to show.
"It's a vale with a high-hill looking out across green fields and marshes, a castle of the hardest
stone stands to the East and there, the King that brought Jack Carpenter to his knees awaits"
The youngster glanced from Adam to Boy In A Dress , his eyes shone with the wonder of the
Gerald continued. "They say there's a well there, The Chalice Well -that bleeds with Gia's
own blood and once-every thousand years, Gia will taken fay-form and walk amongst us...
she bleeds so we can live"
The Elf's voice was wavered with emotion as he related the information and BIAD was sure
the lad was telling the truth.
"And where is this paradise?" Adam said in a low tone, he would not give-up Dag, not to
some half-baked religeon -he promised himself.
Gerald's face twisted in disappointment and his shoulders saged slightly "that I do not
know. It is said to be over-the-hills-and-faraway... that is all I know" The Elf looked all
-but done in by his trek with the two outsiders and his Captain, the story of a wonderous
land had seemed to have sapped the last of his mettle.
Boy In A Dress produced a smile and placed his fingers to lips as if to stifle a giggle, the Doctor
showed puzzlement at the odd behavior "What?" Adam snapped and without an answer, the
hermaphrodite left the room.
Adam looked around once more at the place where his love had once been and then steered
Gerald out to see what the crazy eyeless freak was up to, the click of high-heels on stone told
him that BIAD had gone towards the small garden that decorated the centre of the Temple.
Without any concern of what he was displaying, Boy In A Dress was leaning into a stone
surrounded fountain that struggled to show a water-jet, the splashes were soothing in the
quite of the grove.
"Ah... there you are my beauties" BIAD said and yanking the rear of his dress down with one
hand, he turned with his prize in the other.
"You say this magical kingdom lies faraway, huh?" the Man/Girl asked Gerald -who was still
looking alarmed at the recent view of this weird being.
"Faraway and where the rain tastes sweet..." he recited and peered at the smooth rocks in
the calloused-palm of BIAD "...rocks?" he snorted and leaned closer.
Boy In A Dress showed his best grin and whispered "not just a rocks -my boy, but tickets-to
-ride... billetes para cabalgar convertir!" he tittered. The wet stones were of different
minerals, Calcite, blue Malachite, Quartz and even shards of Galena waited in the tiny puddle
forming in BIAD's hand.
Adam showed the same confused expression as Gerald and as he reached out to touch the
shiny aggregates, the hermaphrodite snatched them away.
"Adam... put your arms around me, and hold on tight" BIAD snapped and the Doctor from The
Yydryl folded his arms and showed a bemused face.
"Well, I never took you for a..." but a long-nailed set of fingers stemmed the words coming
from the younger-man's lips and BIAD injected "Humour is for later, now hold onto to my ass
if you want to see your girl again" the tone indicated it was a serious instruction.
Boy In A Dress held out the handful of stones and placed a red-painted nail just above them,
he had done it before and this time he would focus on where they wanted to go.
"I have a talent... something I stumbled on when I was here-on-Earth a long time ago..."
BIAD said slowly and softly "... I can get us to where Dag is" he stated and showed a
paitient look and pursed lips to his friend.
Adam shook his head and stepped behind the raven-haired being, he placed his arms loosely
around his chest -then quickly lowered them to BIAD's waist.
Gerald looked around to see if any of the Elders -or even Captain Cholla was watching, these
two were crazy -he thought and then his mouth moved on it's own accord.
"Can I come too?" he rushed and again, earnest eyes glittered towards the smiling-Adam and
the serious-looking Man/Girl.
"Climb aboard -my friend for, we hunt in-the-name of love" BIAD announced dramatically
and wiggled his finger above the stones.
Gerald grabbed Adam's waist and held on tight as the Man/Girl scratched the different
-coloured pebbles in his hand.
"Where?" mumbled the Doctor into BIAD's night-coloured hair and the grinning Devil
edit on 5-12-2011 by A boy in a dress because: To Add Image
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