The Time Stone: Let God’s Will Be Done
By: Jeffrey Estrella
THE TIME STONE: LET GOD’S WILL BE DONE
Time Period Date: October 26, 2315 AD
Place: Chronix Bay, Confederated States of the Oligarchy (CSO) Formerly Known As (FKA) United States of America (USA)
The sun rises brightly over the pristine skies laid out over the city of Chronix Bay on the east coast of the North American continent. As the pinkish hue mixes in beautifully with the darkened blue, the two colors kiss in the air above like lovers at the dawn. The light peaks behind two structures, their domed apex exceeded only by a small thin citadel above them. They resemble the ancient temples once revered in the Eastern cultures and Middle Eastern sands. They are new to the city as monuments of a new order symbolic of virtue, wisdom, piety, and control. They are the homes of “The Oligarchy!”
“Sometimes we think we are so busy in life we lose sight of what is most important and fail to see what we were seeking and truly wanted in life was right there in front of us the entire time. Time sometimes stands still for those willing to hear its cry” thinks Robin Matthews, a struggling news reporter searching the streets for a good story. She has the soul of an Elizabethan poet and the wisdom of the oracle at Delphi matched with the beauty of Helen of Troy. Despite all her gifts as she was told all her life by her mother, she fails to see her true potential and has moved around from job to job, apartment to apartment, failed relationship to next failed relationship, never content with herself or her life, trying to find herself as if on the never ending pursuit for something that is always beyond her grasp. She walks along the sidewalk on this hot autumn day blaming the world of her past for the global warming that has virtually devastated parts of the world into desert wastelands or jungle forests with immense heat completely subduing the cornerstones of civilization. She feels like a failure. She is poor but never wants to acquire vast wealth, only to help people and to make a difference in the world.
The mighty city of Chronix Bay is still alive based on the new invention, holographic aquifers towers that shines like beacons on the far corners of town and are stretched to the heavens each glowing of its own force field brightly penetrating the community creating an artificial bubble made of pure energy around the town. The sun beams through it extra brightly but the field glistened as it absorbs the excessive ultra violet rays and spread it about to power everything with solar energy from basic home appliances to the various power distribution plants spread about the city and coalescing at the center of the town near a megalithic structure of stone bearing the double arch serpent logo of the once Temporo, Inc., a mighty organization, subdued by the wrath of the Oligarchy who has taken control of everything. The company remains the source of the Oligarchy and connected to its mysterious origin. Water flows from each holographic aquifer created by harnessing the hydrogen and oxygen particles in the air above them concentrating in the stratosphere and ionosphere and mixing them in a carefully mechanical formula that causes a bright starry light to appear at each apex of the sun-powered structures sending down cool water as if appearing out of nowhere, down into the reservoirs below the town to exist as a never stopping supply for the town’s inhabitants, all seven hundred thousand in the vast growing town spanning almost half of the continent. Robin walks into her home away from home, having spent most of her time here, the Daily Chronometer News Building. She enters the front portal, a glowing yellow light and instantly is teleported, her body evaporated to the molecular level and she is reintegrated in her office, sitting at her desk covered in paperwork and a picture of her Labrador Ronan. She smiles and then frowns, feeling the loneliness she chooses to ignore and drown herself in her work ethic. Suddenly a holographic screen window appears on her wall. A man’s image appears, his graying hair and thick mustache bring thoughts of fear and dread to Robin’s heart. He wears a white top with metal wires surrounding it like orbiting atoms and a raised collar with a string of five neckties each with a different letter spelling out the name “Baise”, typical attire for a professional male for the era yet with advanced egomania in mind.
“Hello Mr. Baise” says Robin profoundly with a heavy sigh.
“Good morning… this is the day that the Oligarchy has made for us… we should rejoice and be glad in it” Baise speaks hoarsely and philosophically.
“Indeed” she rolls her eyes in response, “what else is new?”
“You tell me, ace newshound reporter…. Well, actually, I have an assignment for you….”
Robin’s eyes perk up with sudden enthusiasm “an assignment for me? What about the others?”
“The others are busy… I need you” he retorts. “I need you to infiltrate the local resistance uprising, ‘Against the Wind’. They have been responsible for significant terrorist attacks of downtown monuments and political events. They are a threat and a thorn in the Oligarchy’s side and must be stopped. I have been in contact with chief constable of the CSO’s Bureaucratic Investigation Council and he assures me everything is being done to stop this horrific effort, including shutting off the Comm. Net to stifle their communications somewhat. They will rue the day they messed with the Confederated States of the Oligarchy” he shouts with his fist pumping the air proudly.
“Sounds like you are pretty angry” she says resting her face on her hands. “What is the big deal? These guys aren’t violent… they have attacked but never where anyone was and no one was hurt.”
“Oh no… you’re forgetting the attack on the Holy Shrine where two members were killed? These people are a menace and I better not hear any more of that negative talk from you missy” he points angrily with a stern warning. “This organization has no room for sympathizers.”
“Yes Sir” she rose up shocked and forced a smile across her face.
“Good… The CSO’s BIC will provide you with all the training you need. They will have your back and protect you from any danger. Trust their professionalism. Leroy Stocky will be your contact and assistant as well as liaison to this office and the BIC. He will prepare you for your undercover assignment. Good luck and may the Oligarchy’s speed be with you.”
“Great” she says as the screen flickers off. “What craziness?”
Downstairs in a room filled with empty chairs and double-sided desks and tall tables with various items resting on them, clothes, weapons, items of bizarre and fantastic technological innovation, Robin appears in the room via the whirl of teleportation technology she has grown accustomed to. She has put on a suit similar to Baise’s suit through the office computers’ screening unit that uses the teleportation device to screen incoming personnel to make sure their identities have not been compromised or they had items in violation of their employment and that would otherwise result in a breach of the building’s security and can also reintegrate the subject with any new items of clothing, equipment, or weaponry as programmed. Robin approaches the tables and benches with items resting on top of them; a man suddenly appears via the teleportation device and walks over to her. He has a boy-like face and personality with red hair and freckles, along with dark-rimmed glasses. He has a scar across his face, long and scabbed, hideously stretching from his left ear to the corner of his mouth. “Hello” he welcomes her, his suit similar to hers but longer like a scientists’ white lab coat over his clothes.
“Hey, I’m Robin…” says Robin smirking and thinking of her desire to help people above all.
“I know who you are … Mr. Baise said to expect you. I am Leroy Stocky, CSO BIC, please call me Leroy Stocky” he utters with a sincere and stern facial expression. “We have a great deal of equipment and items for you for your assignment. Am I to believe this is your first on the field work?”
“Yes, it’s kind of nerve-wracking.”
“Don’t worry. You’re in good hands. I’ll be monitoring you as your eyes and ears in here so if any danger strikes you, you just have to give the word and I will extract you. It’s cool. The magic phrase is ‘patience is a virtue’ and should only be uttered in the event of a life or death emergency.”
“OK…” she utters partly at ease but partly fearful.
“I will give you four items of equipment for your first assignment… please sign here” he moves his hand across the table and a clear screen appears in holographic mode that she rubs her finger against signing her name before it fizzles out to a hard top table again. “Thanks. Now, item number one.” He holds out a small black bud with small speakers, the size of his thumb. “It is a subdural microscopic implant listening and tracking device module and it will help us track you and hear everything that you hear and see via holographic modules emitted here. It will also have the effect of galvanizing your own hearing by a factor of one thousand.”
“Wow” she replies as he places the device in a tube and holds it to her.
“Please push up your sleeve” he utters and she does so holding out her right arm letting him place the tube on it and slowly removing it without leaving a mark. “Module implanted. Next, item number two, a cloak that you must never remove, it has the ability to render you invisible to the naked eye by bending both light and heat waves to form a clear stealth barrier around you. It will also protect you from teleport scanners and heat seeking mechanisms.” He hands her the blue and black cloak with sparkles like glitter on and she slips it on. “Be care and only use it for an emergency by pressing this” Leroy Stocky holds a part of the cloth with a button underneath.
“It is comfortable… won’t people get suspicious of me?”
“I am sure you’re going to come up with something.” He smiles. “Next, item number three: this is a weapon” he holds a long metallic sleeve with grasping parts and tightening fasteners leading to a small hole attached. “It will slip on your right arm and camouflage to match your unique particular skin tone. It will be permanently grafted on and cannot be removed. Like your tattoo on your derrière, you are stuck with it for life. It will save your life in a crunch by emitting hot plasma energy particle blasts to stun or even kill an opponent depending on how you set the severity levels. No one can detect it and know you’re packing this not even with the most sensitive computer scanners in current existence. This is called the Armon.”
“Wow” she takes it, pushes up her sleeves as high as possible, slips the device on her right arm, and pulls it to the top of her elbow then the grafter fasters cling tightly to her flesh and tighten. She screams as the fasteners penetrate her skin and tighten to her internal musculature and then changes color to match her skin, the end point with the small hole extends inward revealed in the palm of her hand and closed until needed. “That hurt.”
“That is your new best friend… for life. Next and finally is item number four” he pulls out a hat resembling an old baseball hat.
“Is that the old New York Mets logo?” Robin asks.
“Yes… from the olden days of baseball fanaticism when there were people lining up to watch grown men swing sticks for a living. This is no ordinary cap but a built in self-sustaining solar powered portable teleportation device unit, the only one of its kind… wear it and it plugs into your cerebral cortex and your thoughts of a place really concentrating on it will instantly teleport you there.”
“Unreal… I feel like a super hero, are you sure this is cleared?”
“Oh it’s cleared” he nodded.
Robin takes the cap and puts it on but before she could think of any particular place for destination, Leroy Stocky snatches the cap off Robin’s head. “You’re not going anywhere yet.”
“Well, that is everything except… there is this” he walks over to the other side of the room where she follows him and sees him uncover an even larger item bigger than him by removing a large blanket covering it. He reveals a small vehicle that looks like a golf cart and has a set of foreign-looking controls that Robin admires as she approaches but fails to recognize it. She sees metal plating with long protruding objects and mechanisms and a set of small ones sticking up out of the platting in large number near one another. The seat is made for one and from a strange shiny substance like the exterior, soft and squishy.
“What is it? It looks like a transport but oddly built.”
“It is a transport built in the style used over three hundred years ago with buttons, keyboards, and joysticks instead of the holographic view screens of today.”
“What will this do for me?”
“I’d rather not say as its full potential is not completely known to us… they don’t tell us everything, you know. But just know it works in tandem with the teleportation cap should you need it. It is powered by this…” he removes a small door cap on the rear that reveals a glass casing with something inside fizzling with hot white miniature electric lightning bolts permeating it, a small green five-sided emerald with five spots at its center.
Robin stares in awe and wonder as she tries to approach and grab it. “What is it?” she asks.
“This is a rare gem of an item… found by our scientists and archeologists in a remote corner of central China, near the mountains of Tibet. They have identified it as a source of great power fueled by the sun. We don’t know anything else.” He shuts the small door.
“Wow, so that’s it?”
“That’s it. The company transport will be on the roof in thirty minutes ready to take you and your equipment to your new assignment. You will be placed in the center of the ‘Rough Road’ part of the city and you will be left alone but not be alone because we are with you watching and listening. You will need to rely on your wits and training to survive and befriend people, especially one Alkoy Bernarzo who is one of the prime sub lieutenants to the gang leader of ‘Against the Wind’, Ezekiel Thomas. We want as much information on their activities as possible, remember that. Find out what you can, what they are planning to do, and where so you can report the news and notify BIC and the proper authorities in the agencies. You will be our investigative journalist secret agent, Robin Matthews. Good luck.”
“OK… I’ll do my best” she nods.
From the roof of the Daily Chronometer building’s shining presence, a silver aerial acceleration transport unit speeds across the sky hovering and zooming by the pale blue air as it rapidly approaches its destination. The vehicle is an elliptical-shaped vehicle with protrusions around it and indentations on either end long and underneath. Robin is inside and talks to the senior and aging pilot in the craft with her. He is an elderly gentleman with a long grey beard. “I still don’t know what they expect of me” says Robin as she lowers her head in sorrow as she faces the elderly man who carefully eyes his holographic view window.
“I hear you’re going to change the world” he replies. “Don’t worry, just be yourself and remember no one can stop you from achieving and being what God has meant for you and set in store for you.
“Right” she sheds a tear as she wipes her face thinking how big those words are and how they create visions in her head, those words rung clear as day in a surreal light as the car stops and hovers lowering her down to her drop off spot.
Time Period Date: October 26, 2315 AD
Place: Rough Road Alley, Confederated States of the Oligarchy (CSO) Formerly Known As (FKA) United States of America (USA)
Robin watches as the transport that dropped her off flew away, the old pilot waving to her as long as she was in distance and then flew off at blinding speeds. Robin looks around finding herself in a community of bad neighbors, common criminals, hooligans, and miscreants as it was known and reputed to be, the place she was always warned about and dreaded passionately, the notorious ‘Rough Road’ alley. She tightens her cap and cloak and got into the go cart vehicle that the transport left beside her. She feels silly at first maneuvering awkwardly in what had been described to her as an antique vehicle but she decides to confide in her handlers and in her assignment. She drives forward down the pedestrian walkway; no one was present but a homeless woman yelling into the empty air in the distance. Robin shakes her head wishing that she could somehow help but feels powerless and she was on a mission and had to stay focused.
Robin rides her small vehicle getting used to the strange controls after a few moments and as she approaches a burning trash can, flames spewing high with black smoke into the air, a large muscular man jumps out and surprises her, he has a mask with large eyes and a sharp grin of painted teeth, fangs, and curved lips on the mask and wears a skin tight black suit. He moves his hands up and down, legs spread, and makes repeated loud yells as he approaches her. Robin jumps out of her vehicle and raises her arms “who are you?” The man continues yelling and four others jump out from behind a set of dumpsters in the alley in the distance. The other men are similarly dressed. They jump up and down. Robin tries to get back into her vehicle with worry on her heart but one of the men grabs her and pulls her to him. She resists his grasp but his muscular physique overpowers her. Soon another man grabs her other arm and pulls her to them. She screams as they drag her into the alleyway behind the dumpsters.
The night feels deafly quiet as the snow slightly drifts slowly to the ground on unpredictable summer weather affected by global warming. Some parts of the city are super hot and some are super cold with snow fall due to the combination of the new aquifers mixed with centuries of environmental abuse. An elderly couple smile together as they walk past a well-decorated and unlit but dust-covered Christmas tree, as if having been there unrevoked for ages, in the field outside of Star House in the far corner of ‘Rough Road’ alley. This mansion-sized home was a brilliantly-decorated but unlit display of colorful bulbs and formerly motioned and now still animatronics snowmen and Santa’s elves long ago singing the holiday praises of Christmas time melodies akin across countless generations. Inside a lonely aged man sits in a velvet-lined recliner set in the center of the living room near an open fire place burning with ember brightness, the old man’s eyes glisten with fearless joy as he sips his brandy, his robe of satin bears the initial monogram “ISE”. He stares at the fire and the mantel above the fireplace where a single snow globe rests, the snow falling inside it from fresh movement and a small house with a little boy resting inside in an open field before a house similar to Star House. The boy appears almost life like and holds something within his gloved hands, a green five-sided crystalline form in his hands, a jewel shining ever so brightly in the snow.
In the alleyway near a pair of dumpsters, Robin is pulled by the large masked men into the back area from where they came. She tries to move her arm up to fire her Armon weapon but her arms remain pinned down at her sides by the goons as they pick her up and carry her away kicking and screaming. She silently prays for a quick relief or salvation but none came and she feels herself pulled into the alley and lifted off the ground as the five masked men surround her and pull her in. Then two come back out and pull the vehicle into the alley with her. Robin feels the strong grip of the men on her, resistance by her being useless. She feels her mouth scream endlessly until her mouth is covered by a big gloved hand and then her eyes shut and darkness as a prick of a needle penetrates her arm.
Robin’s eyes blink open suddenly awakening in the darkness “Huh uh” she breathes deeply questioning her surroundings… darkness. She is lying on a bed and rises looking around. She avers her eyes and trying to see past the darkness. She feels as if she was blind for a moment then a bright white light appears in the distance before her, and a voice echoes from the light radiating in the distance. “Choices… we are defined by our choices… not by what we leave behind….” A soft woman’s voice echoes from the distant light. “Hello… who is this?” Robin yells. “What is going on? Why have I been taken and brought here? What do you plan to do with me?” Robin yells and the voice responds softly, calmly, and mercilessly full of a joy as feeling endearing in the endless void. The light vibrates in waves like ripples in a pond. “Time… voyages beyond new horizons await if ready to accept it… more than once, a history conceived from destiny… to fix what must be, restore… trust… hope….” The voice faded and the light dies down. Robin rushes out of bed and falls on her face before she gets far. She looks up as a door opens with a slight light outside of the room down a narrow dimly-lit hallway and a man with a graying hair style enters with his face partially obscure and a concerned look on his face as he looked at Robin on the floor. She notices he wears a satin robe with the monogram “IHS”. “We should talk” he utters softly, “get dressed, please.” Robin turns to the bed as the door slams and the man is gone. She sees in the light from the hallway before it closed a pair of clothing lying on her bed.
Robin walks into a room with a large wooden conference table in the center. She wears a black skintight suit with metal wires protruding around the sleeves up and down in a helix pattern and continuing down her legs and around her waist and torso each wire colored red, purple, and other rainbow colors. Her hair was let down in to a big dark mane behind her and she had black gloves and boots. She was called over by a voice on the other end of the table, an elderly man with a satin and velvet robe, the same man she saw in the doorway, and he calls to her waving his hand.
“OK” she thinks and sits at the far end of the table with her hands clasped before her.
“OK stay there… I thought we could chat face to face not halfway across the room” the man utters standing and slowly clutching a silver cane with a skull top and diamond eyes he rises and walks slowly clutching and leaning on his cane until he stands before Robin and takes a seat before her. “There, that’s better.”
“Why am I here?” she asks sternly.
“I am First Major General Maxwell Maximilian-Cornwall Rosenberg, self-made entrepreneur, philanthropist, genius scientist, activist…and secondary leader here.” says the man.
“I’m Robin” Robin says.
“Where are you from?” asks Maxwell.
“Chronix Bay” she utters.
“What do you do there?” asks Maxwell.
“I’m kind of unemployed right now” she uttered. “Who are you and what do you do?”
“I own and operate an organization that I founded quite by accident to change the world.”
“Really?” asks Robin rhetorically.
“We are the challenges to the status quo…. We seek to bring about changes to bring about a better future free from tyranny and oppression.”
“So why have I been brought here?” asks Robin.
“You may be our last hope” says Maxwell.
“Huh? What do you mean? So why have I been brought here, really? And why have I been manhandled, mistreated, kidnapped off the street by these muscle-bound goons, drugged, subdued, kept in darkness, fooled with white lights and philosophical voices…” she speaks viciously and frightened in a loud abrasive manner.
Maxwell’s eyes veer back as if he was not sure what she was talking about. “Listen, you have the right to be concerned and angry” he replies.
“I know I do and I don’t… know…” she stumbles frustrated and cries.
Maxwell looks at Robin with an angelic and caring grandfatherly set of eyes and utters calmly, “Have you ever heard of the legendary story of the biblical tale of Exodus?”
Robin furrows her brow with a perplexing manner and asks rhetorically, “the story of Moses leading the Jewish slaves to freedom from the Egyptian pharaoh?”
“It was a story of revolution against the status quo that wrought religious superiority and governmental disorder under one corrupt official, just as the CSO conducts their affairs over us today.”
“But that is not the same…” Robin begins.
“It is a complete and utter battle against never-ending tyranny” interrupts Maxwell with a loud chagrin and stammer of his feet and cane on the carpeted floor.
“I don’t think you understand its meaning” she says in response.
“I understand everything … and I know in my heart it is true to the core… we shall be the modern day deliverers, the justice servers, the harbingers of an awful era against a true totalitarian giant and evil scourge of our time.”
“You don’t say” she humors him with a grimacing glare.
“Yes, indeed my dear” he smirks shockingly.
“That’s great but you are focusing on using means that are beyond crazy, this ends justifies the means mentality is going to lead to more bloodshed and violence.”
“We must do what is necessary, by any means necessary” he utters. “A great leader of the old past fought for the rights of men who were disadvantaged by society merely by the color of their skin… Malcolm X was his pseudonym. We fight for our right to not be disadvantaged by society simply because we choose to believe our own way and not give into the majority religion of the Oligarchy.”
“That is deep… I apologize… I think your actions are indeed commendable” Robin nodded trying to choose her words carefully to sound supportive.
“There is a reason in everything and in that is why I requested to see you in person. I don’t do that for all of our new recruits.”
“Yes, you passed the test. Sorry we had to be so rough but we have to make sure you were tough both physically and mentally and you didn’t see how to get to our secret lair here. Star House is well known but the base is secretly hidden. Rough Road Alley was not always so rough but now we must be careful.”
“Well, are you satisfied?”
“I wouldn’t be offering you this if I wasn’t” he handed her a small leather black box and she took it with a smile and opened it revealing a gold badge with a logo of lines symbolizing a current and weathered rough storm conditions. The name of the organization was written on it and she let her jaw drop as she looked at him. “You mean… wait you guys are…?”
“Yes, we are them, the legendary… we are ‘Against the Wind’…” he utters slowly.
Robin’s eyes widen and she turns looking about back at him. “I can’t believe this” she feigns a smile and knows she was accepted into their ranks so quickly, from the boss’s primary underling himself. She is fulfilling her mission here to break into this organization and she was gaining their trust already to be the mole to manufacture their inevitable demise. She feels bad almost for a moment thinking they seem too nice to take down but then she remembers their actions and how her own upbringing rivaled everything they stand for and are trying to accomplish, even if she was partially convinced by Maxwell’s words. She looks at the badge and smiles thinking she may be wise to be suspicious for being given this much trust and faith too soon by so-called “terrorists” but she forgets that, smiles and keeps herself composed and looks back up at Maxwell and nods, “thank you.”
“Come… there is much to show you” Maxwell begins to rise. Robin rises and helps him up to stand on his cane and they walk together towards the door.
“I would love to meet the boss sometime…” Robin utters.
“In time, my dear… all will happen in time.”
Moments later, Maxwell and Robin stand in a garage overlooking a window with a large hangar base below filled with various vehicles, transports, and other items of technological sophistication both large and small. Robin recognizes her little golf cart in the corner but doesn’t say anything. Maxwell points out a larger transport painted metallic blue and with an open top, seating for five, and a pair of rocket boosters strapped to the back of the vehicle as it hovers off of the ground wobbling, a group of white-coat scientists wander around hopping from computer console to computer console trying to conduct tests and experiments on the various items of equipment below.
“This is our research and development team… that is a very special item, many do not know about it because it hasn’t been released to the public…”
“Is that a deluxe aerial speedster 3000?” asks Robin.
“Of course…” Maxwell smiles looking at her with shock, “how did you know that?”
“I have been around here and there” she shakes it off with a nod.
“Well, I am impressed by your knowledge and expertise… we call it the DAS three. This is our pride and joy” says Maxwell smiling.”
“You guys don’t do anything cheap.”
“We are very blessed to get what we have but we have to fight for what we need like a free society… free from the CSO….”
“Let’s take her up” she looks at him with a friendly childlike smile.
“Alright… when the time is right, come we have a lot of work to do.” He says leading her out of the garage as the lights shut off automatically.
Moments later, they arrive at a window overlooking a larger hangar with a gigantic metal Boeing plane. Maxwell takes her to this other room next door and they look out the other window to the other large hangar where the larger craft rests, a giant airplane, silvery metal in color, with enormous pontoons and thrusters behind it. “This is not an ordinary plane but a state of the art wing deployment transport. It will carry up to a hundred men. But we won’t need that many where you are going?”
“Where I am going?” Robin inquires.
“We need you now that you are officially joined to our team to do a mission for us… to prove your loyalty.”
“Oh, I am used to that” Robin replies.
“This will be your ride out. We will send you with a group of our highly-trained rebels to infiltrate a breach we discovered in the Hyper Comm. Net and aquifer system.”
“I didn’t know the system could be penetrated” Robin says.
“We have our ways… our system is delicate and detects these microscopic breaches… they open for a fraction at a time to let water vapor leave so it doesn’t contaminate the town… this is our window of opportunity where we can use the teleportation unit we have on site in conjunction with a special amplification anti-detector grid we devised to avoid being seen. This allows anything; even as big as the plane you just saw to slip through unnoticed. Then once we are on the outside of the security wall, we can go anywhere.”
“And where is it exactly that we are going?”
“You must go to the far end of the wasteland, beyond the deserts of the lost Americas… the jungle-forests on the west coast where a great civilization once blossomed. You must be quick as you and your group will be charged with the task of finding the legendary artifact of an ancient civilization rumored to hold great power. I cannot say more. Follow Major Roscoe Compound, who will be your team leader. Once you arrive over the jungle-forests, the only way to get to the site where the artifact is believed to exist is to jump as the plane cannot land in such terrain.”
“Where’s my equipment… my cloak and hat… my vehicle.”
“Don’t worry my dear, all is safe.” Maxwell walks away with a nod.
“I can’t believe it was that easy” Robin says smiling, “Destiny!” Robin thinks to herself how this was going to turn out to be easier than she thought. She regrets losing three of her items but she will get them back she reminds herself and she will succeed in her overall mission, no matter how long it takes. She wonders why Leroy Stocky didn’t send the Calvary when she was taken but then she remembers the code word and how only when true danger strikes should it be uttered.
Time Period Date: October 26, 2315 AD
Place: Over Jungle-Forests, West Coast, Confederated States of the Oligarchy (CSO) Formerly Known As (FKA) United States of America (USA)
Hours later on the plane, Robin sits in a cramped room in the rear compartment of the large airplane with twenty-five other silent individuals staring at the closed hangar door waiting for anything. They each wear black tight-fitting clothes with ski masks and each carry a large black backpack and a black metal automatic destabilizing rifle, having received short-term training in handling it and aware that even the slightest exposure to the electromagnetic and positron impulse waves emitted by the rifle would be enough to vaporize every molecule in your body. The others seem to feel secure and confident as they were told “expect the unexpected”, “believe the truth”, and “dream the impossible” during their orientation training but Robin sits there thinking she was not sure she was ready to embody those slogans as much as her peers were. She gulps thinking to herself, “what did I get myself into?” She looks around with her eyes momentarily spotting the two dozen-odd rebels with her, a combination of male and female, all nationalities and creeds, young and old, all with the bitter and utter hatred for the Oligarchy that has been engrained and indoctrinated into them. She feels she was amongst a nutty brainwashed cult than a revolutionary coup d’état. Then she remembers her true mission, “get the truth no matter what the cost” and “report the facts accordingly.” She squints hard trying not to let tears fall down her masked face as the plane rear compartment begins to open, the door slowly turning outward slowly with unending suspense to her. As the door finally clicks ajar on either end, Robin sees the night sky, clear and full of starlight beyond the horizons. She stares and thinks of the possibility of the endless universe for a brief moment and then the others begin to jump out one by one shouting swearwords and cheers of joy into the calm blue air, others behind her pile forward jumping one by one until one remains ahead of Robin and she realizes she has to go, it is now or never or she will be busted as a fraud. Robin swallows her pride and fear, uttering a silent prayer, as the rebel jumps out before Robin. Robin then takes a last heavy sigh and runs after the last rebel jumping and yelling loudly with an obscenity that could be heard by those falling with them to the depths of the Earth below.
While falling at amazing speeds, Robin feels her heart pounding rapidly and her mind racing with the curiosity of a whirlwind as she tried to put aside the fear and count as she was told during orientation. “5 Mississippi… 4 Mississippi… 3…” she continued and without thinking she lost count but seeing the tops of parachutes below her as other of her comrades continues to plummet towards the ground without parachutes opening, she pulls the ripcord on her backpack and unleashes her parachute pulling her up into the winds above. She feels herself hurled around like a tornado and swinging back and forth quickly rocking. She grabs two handles swinging by her head with amazing speeds almost knocking her senseless and she pulls them and evens herself out to glide across the sky with a sensible virtue amongst her. She smiles looking at the treetops rapidly approaching and the lakes and rivers around the landscape below. “Wow, this is really a wonderful world” she thinks to herself remembering the words of one of her favorite jazz musicians from the classics age. She closes her eyes as she steers her parachute gracefully with her controls and she pictures the beauty around her change to a transcendent escape of sandy beaches and blue skies overhead, a heavily-intoxicating margarita in one hand and her still-unknown true love’s hand in the other, she thinks to herself as she has fantasized many times before as her proverbial happy place, “paradise”. She then feels the tree tops tickle the legs of her skintight outfit and she opens her eyes and shocked as she approaches a group of tall sequoias. She steers herself away from them and towards an open field where other of her purported comrades had gathered and were beginning to land one by one and slowly. She remembers her instructions to rendezvous together under the circled X mark. She sees a giant X with a circle around it on a sign hovering above a tree trunk near the landing spot where the group was making camp and she sets her eye towards that location. Slowly, her parachute begins to drop her down and she approaches the ground, thanking God when she lands and her feet touch the grassy ground and running along for a moment before stopping, the massive weight of her parachute dragging behind her like a giant rag toy doll. Robin stops running and drops to her knees as she approaches the camp where the others began to wrap up their parachutes and remove their masks, removing their equipment, and making a small encampment. Robin kisses the grassy ground yelling “lands… thank God its land” as the other stare at her oddly. Robin gets up noticing this and removes her mask also and approaches them with a sincere grin.
As the night becomes suddenly darker, the stars are covered by treetops, and the moon only shines half as much, Robin sits in the middle of a makeshift bench from a hollow log surrounded by the other rebels scattered around a campfire burning brightly into the night. She holds a stick with meat on the other end slowly overcooking as she looks at it with disgust. “This is not exactly my cup of tea” she utters.
“You have to eat… to keep up your strength” says a rebel, seated beside her, speaking in a Russian accent.
“Right, you’re name is Gretchen… right?”
“Yes… I am originally from far… I was banished from my land when the Oligarchy invaded. Like many of the people here, we are people without nations and seek our own independent sovereign state free of the Oligarchy’s reign.”
“Right” Robin replies with a sarcastic inflexion.
“Some of us are just trying to do right” says a tall muscular man with a mustache and goatee, his buzz cut hairstyle makes him seem like a military drill sergeant. “I’m from the former American states but the whole thing went to hell with the Oligarchy. I fight for individual freedom. Ain’t nobody got no right to tell others how to live or worship.”
“Hey, Robin” screams another female rebel in a thick African accent, her dark complexion and long wavy hair glisten before the roaring fire. “I am from the parts known as Africa… the dark continent where humanity first came from… My countries were the first to be assimilated by the Oligarchy. They came and showed no mercy to my people. Six hundred thousand of us were killed in a number of days because we refused to abandon our beliefs. Don’t let anyone tell you there are no God, one true God who is above all and rules all with an iron fist. He will send his emissary to bring light, peace, and justice to the world on the Day of Judgment. He will avenge us once and for all.” She lifts her fist towards Robin with a solemn grin.
Robin raises her fist in a solidarity response. “I believe in God. I always have.” Robin nods. “I just look to science to further an explanation for the universe and all the wonders in it. I think maybe God and science go hand in hand and his will is to create the scientific venues for us to learn and understand his creations.”
“That’s what they want us to think. God doesn’t need explanation or scientific venues, missy” says the militaristic rebel. “Faith should be enough. But the Oligarchy wants us to worship them… thinking they are the path to true salvation. They are wrong and we can’t let them punish us and kill us for not going their way. That’s wrong!”
The others consisting of Latin American, Arabic, Asian, and African backgrounds applauded in response and some shouted out swearwords and other words of encouragement.
“Yeah Roscoe… You tell it like it is” screams one rebel with an Australian accent.
“True” Robin nods looking down at her burnt meat and thanking God she didn’t have to eat it. She turned and dismounted the log she was on and excused herself to the group before retreating into one of the tents set up in the grounds nearby.
The following morning, Robin’s eyes open to the sight of six other female rebels packed into the same tent she was in and she struggles to move about without waking anyone. She slowly steps out barely tipping anyone over as their loud snores penetrate the air about them. Robin exits the tent and exits to the network of five tents pitched before the extinguished fire that roared brightly last night. Robin feels the pain of hunger in her stomach but remembers the charred meat on a stick and suddenly loses her appetite again. She approaches the woods near the tents and reaches for what she thinks is her backpack and rummages through it for her morning kit. She pulls out a small container, sits against a tree, and opens the container on her lap revealing a small platform with a mirror on the propped up portion and a series of buttons. She presses the buttons and up pops an arm that extends to her open mouth and brushes her teeth, extinguishing toothpaste onto her teeth and gums and mouthwash into her mouth. She gargles and spits it out onto the natural floor. She then presses another button and another arm comes out and extends towards her face suddenly opening up like an umbrella and spreading around her face, covering it, washing it, exfoliating her dead skin, and cleansing every fiber of her face and spreading down throughout her body, absorbing with the skintight suit that glistening for a moment then stops as the device comes off her face and recedes back into the box. She seals it smiling and puts it away. She grabs another bag, seeing she had the wrong one and looks inside her own seeing her cloak, cap, and the keys to her vehicle that she had procured back from Max. She grabs her rifle and sits waiting for the others who slowly begin to rise and within moments, they eat breakfast from a small device near the camp fire that glows and emits plates of food, bacon, eggs, sausage, and fresh milk and juice. With a full stomach the troop of twenty-five marches on leaving their fire behind and each carrying their backpack full of supplies and holding their rifles at the behest of their troop leader, Roscoe Compound, with his muscular build and military background feels like a natural commanding their attention.
Hours in during the dense patrol through the jungles, Robin begins to feel the intense heat of the baking sun above and the natural cooling of her skintight uniform was not enough to prevent her from sweating profusely. She saw the others begin to suffer exhaustion from the enormous heat bearing down on them.
“What the hell is this?” says Gretchen. “It wasn’t supposed to be this hot.”
“Things have changed since time immemorial… the ecological system and atmosphere is not what it used to be” says Roscoe “march on troops. We are almost there.”
“Where is there supposed to be?” asked Robin. “We were never given clear instructions.”
“You were given instructions to follow me. I know where we are going and that is all you need to know, understood?” Roscoe barks inquisitively.
“Yes Sir” Robin replies sheepishly.
Gretchen looks at Robin with a hint of concern “I don’t think we are going to make it.”
Robin looks back nervously but doesn’t say a word as she walks with her troop during the former coastal cities and location of the redwoods forest, the giant sequoia trees the last evidence of life. They all see the remains of buildings in the distance, torn with destruction, ripped and worn with age, and covered with natural growth as mother nature slowly begins redeeming the artificial monuments and roads of man as man’s days on this Earth grew lower and lower.
“I heard this used to be a city… lots of cities actually, an entire coastal population of over fifty-million people” says the African lady who identifies herself as Zenaida.
“It was a big population of a metropolis… California … part of the old United States… now a wasteland waiting for redevelopment and infiltration of resources by the Oligarchy’s technological departments” says Oscar, an Australian native with a heavy cockney accent.
“It has to do with why there are only so many people left. Humans once reached over ten billion on this planet in the middle twenty-first century and with dreams of colonizing other worlds in our solar system and beyond and now there are less than one million; the Oligarchy’s plan of population control” another rebel, an Asian gentleman with a soft-spoken tone calling himself Ikedo utters softly.
“This is the wilderness” says a Latin-American woman named Rotcha “outside of the hyper comm. net bubble, there are few people and few societies that can survive independently.”
“Yes” continues Zenaida “the Oligarchy has enslaved us to that damn system.”
“Why are we here?” asks Robin to herself. “What could ‘Against the Wind’ want?” She holds her rifle tightly as the troop moves on, Roscoe leading the way with a rifle in one hand and machete in the other cutting the leaves and bushes in their way. She eyes shifted as she wondered “how this was all going to end. What is God’s ultimate plan for us and whether regardless of who was right in this struggle, would it be worth it in the end?” “It seems that we might just be cannon fodder for a greater cause” she utters.
“If that is our fate, so be it. We stand for the truth. We are the champions against evil” Oscar proclaims proudly.
“Yes, we bring our destinies together to fight for what is right” says Zenaida.
“Justice brings us together” says Gretchen.
The remainder follows them and nod as they whisper amongst one another so their fearless leader doesn’t hear from his vantage point far ahead of them.
They come to a clearing and Roscoe cuts way of a large hanging vine that reveals a large stone structure in the middle of the woods. Robin looks up with awe as she sees a series of metal workings in the stone and high-relief images of faces and animals carved into the stone. The structure looks like a step pyramid with metal finishes and what appears to be glowing lights, electronic display mechanisms, permeating the structure from the bottom to the top.
“Was this here for entertainment purposes or some ritual worship or something far more ominous?” Zenaida asks.
“This is why we are here” says Roscoe as the group surrounds him in awe at the spectacle reaching high into the skies above to the clouds like smoke puffing out of the chimney of a large fossil burning plant.
“What is it?” Robin asks.
“Our mission… we have to go up there and get something… something that will change the world” he smiles. “Let’s take a break and move out at dusk. We could use the cloak of darkness inside this thing.” He sits down and breaks out water and food rations for everyone. The group enjoys their respite and snacks on water and freeze dried items as their food materializing apparatus would take too much time to set up. Hours pass and Robin feels a sense of camaraderie that she hasn’t felt in a long time as she talks to the others and bonds with them, especially Gretchen, as they share stories of their childhoods and life so far, what drew them to this organization and what they expect from their lives in the future. Robin sticks to her cover story that she was an orphan-turned-convict from the high religious provinces of Canada and escaped the clutches of the Oligarchy’s prison complexes up north making her way down to freedom and desiring to make a difference against them. Gretchen confides in Robin that her former life as a spy for her country’s government ended badly when her organization became subverted once the Oligarchy took power and swept like a cancer across the globe. “The former KGB was secretly in place for decades after the cold war ended and continued to engage in espionage around the world. We knew something was coming that would turn civilization as we knew it on its head but we didn’t expect the outcome to be so drastic. When little factions began populating Europe, we didn’t focus too heavily on it thinking these miniature ‘cults’ were harmless creations and small time bandits with miniscule effect on the grander scheme of things but what we failed to realize was the immense growth of a previously-unknown super power forming in the Caribbean. This growth soon became unstoppable and with an army of lethal followers trained since birth to fight in the name of the Oligarchy, these cults soon dominated the western world and we were powerless to stop them when they came to our borders. There were rumors that the super power was a Machination that began many centuries ago and each generation grew wiser and more powerful with more arms and capabilities intent on someday commanding the world’s stage. The more obscene and farfetched rumors involved magic and extraterrestrials… stuff that the Nazis tried to find during the second Great War. Some even believed that there was one leader who tried to evade death and live forever. But that is not possible things.”
“Wow” Robin looked at her with awe. “That seems crazy but I guess the strangest things in life are with mystery and there is always the possibility could be true.” Robin nodded as she knew the history of the Oligarchy and how they came to power well, it was engrained in her since childhood going to the schools that taught it as their primary curriculum, “praise the Oligarchy for the chosen three are supreme and guided to rule forever.” That was the mantra she was taught as all were, though she often put it aside as Sunday school dogma and never truly embraced it as much as her contemporaries. Now she was amongst those who are so heavily opposed to it that they are willing to remain persecuted and lay down their lives and liberties if necessary to fight against them. She couldn’t help but feel admiring towards that revolutionary poise like those of her forefathers who fought for a free country from tyranny and oppression of the British crown. She felt some pull towards their kindness but knew they were against her upbringing and she was here for a reason, to expose them and provide reported information and facts that could eventually bring them down and send these people, who were so kind and nurturing to her, to their inevitable demise. She knew the price for betraying the Oligarchy was death and she feared becoming too attached to them for they may eventually have to perish at the hands of those they choose to fight against. She rises to her feet under the rising moon at night as do they all as Roscoe gave the word for them to begin heading into the structure. Robin swallows her fear again as she grips her rifle and walks with her troop in formation towards the structure’s mysterious form.
The structure rises up like a step pyramid and formed an apex that appears to hold an artificial precipice used for a high purpose long ago. The structure bears an entrance at the base of the pyramid and pure darkness permeates inside. Roscoe leads the group with flashlight beacons on their wrists, each lighting up the interior as they walk into it slowly. Robin follows behind the group of twenty five with her beacon shining ahead of her, having the additional advantage of everyone else’s beacon shining ahead of her. She sees stone formations inside painted with hieroglyphics and drawings, high-relief markings. She looks about curiously as they proceed into the chambers, heading up a spiral stairwell made of metal.
“This has got to be recent or at least from the old world, not as ancient as it was made to appear” Robin whispers to Gretchen.
“It is new but I cannot place it. It is obvious inside and outside” Gretchen responds quietly.
Their boots clang as they walk up the stairs single file and Robin tailing behind. The stairs ascend into a quiet and small reliquary where the twenty five rebels are cramped in. Robin looks up seeing more drawings and statuettes mount the wall and ceilings and an alter rest on the far end of the room. The troop members moved around swearing and pushing to have room to see it. Robin looks at it and smiles as she has never seen anything so amazing, it looks like it is made of stone, pink marble-like material placed on top of it, and it has buttons and dials made of the same material. The designs on the altar seem to match the drawings on the walls and ceilings. Robin wonders if this is tied to the legendary artifact she was told by about by Maxwell.
“This is it” says Roscoe. “Our mission is complete… now we wait” he smiles.
“What are we waiting for exactly?” asks Robin.
“That’s not your concern” replies Roscoe harshly. “Our orders are to secure this device.”
“What is this?” Gretchen asks.
“Come on” says Oscar “we got a right to know what we risked our necks for.”
“Yeah” says Rotcha.
“What is this about?” asks Zenaida.
The others began to shout out as well in questioned anger.
“Enough” yells Roscoe “everyone become quiet … we are going to wait until our backup arrives” he presses a button on his wrist device.
“Why do we need backup? Why didn’t we just come with them?” Robin yells.
“Shut up” says Roscoe.
“What is really going on?” Robin yells dropping her weapon as she throws her hands up in the air in the cramped compartment. “Don’t you see guys… something fishy are going on… we have to do something or we don’t do something, we are done for well” she finishes.
“She’s right” yells Gretchen.
“OK, that’s it… come here lady” Roscoe proclaims as he drops his rifle, pushes his way through the troop, and grabs Robin by the scuff of her neck. She squirms and twitches in his large muscular hand.
“Let me go… I thought you were for personal freedom” she utters.
“I don’t like those who don’t follow order” he utters and slaps her hard across her face with his other hand. “Anybody else want some?” The troop stood in shock with their mouths open. Gretchen swallows her fear and holds out her rifle.
“Let her go” says Gretchen holding her rifle aiming it at Roscoe.
“This is how it is… we turn on each other in a tight spot huh?” Roscoe utters tightening his grip on Robin’s neck. She screams and continues to squirm in his grasp.
“You may be in charge but what you are doing is wrong. This is the type of tyrannical punishment we are fighting against. I won’t stand for it in my presence” Gretchen speaks reverently.
“She’s right” says Oscar holding his rifle with one hand from his large frame and muscular grip “drop her now.”
“Do it” says Zenaida holding hers. Rotcha and Ikedo follow and soon the entire troop are pointing their rifles at Roscoe.
“You are alone, bastard” Robin utters in Roscoe’s grip.
Roscoe looks about confused and frightful. “Come on guys, we are on the same side here. We can’t stand for disorder or we’ll all perish” he releases Robin and she picks up her rifle and runs over to Gretchen.
“We follow orders from command” says Gretchen lowering her rifle as the others did.
“Wait” says Robin listening with her hearing implant and she hears suddenly a loud noise in the distance from above like the sound of massive vehicles roaming through the air at rapid speeds approaching them. The sound gets louder and louder.
“What is it?” asks Gretchen.
“I can hear someone coming” says Robin.
“Whom?” asks Gretchen.
“How?” asks Ikedo.
“They’re hear” screams Robin as soon the others hear it too, loud vehicles hovering over their location as they approach, mechanical engines roaring in the skies above, rotary mechanics spinning, electronic components fizzing, and blades spinning on all sides of the vehicles.
“I hear it” says Gretchen.
“Me too” says Rotcha.
“That’s our backup” screams Roscoe. “They will lift us out of here with that thing for further analysis” he points to the altar.
“Great” says Robin then suddenly the room shakes followed by a loud boom and they feel an electrical tingle throughout their bodies. The room shakes again followed by another loud boom. “What’s going on?”
“They are shooting at us” says Gretchen.
“This can’t be” says Roscoe.
The others looked about nervously.
“Looks like we have been suckered” says Robin. “Let’s get out of here” she turns to the group and waves to them to head down the stairs from where they entered as the room shakes again followed by another loud boom and rocks begin to crumble as the ceiling falls apart and begins to cave in slightly. The troop leaves the room single file down the spiral staircase. Gretchen and Robin are the last remaining in the structure as Roscoe yells to them to leave first.
“Come on, ladies first… let’s go before this collapses.”
“Go” Robin yells back as she turns to the altar feeling a compulsion she has never felt before.
“You’re crazy” says Roscoe looking at Gretchen and running out and down the stairs.
“Let’s go” screams Gretchen over the roar of the vehicles over head and the shaking of the room and loud boom over head. The ceiling continues to drop chards of rock and dust onto them. “This won’t hold for long.”
“OK … but” Robin says looking back at the altar.
“No buts, come now” Gretchen grabs Robin by the hand and runs out the door as another loud shake and boom causes the ceiling to collapse between them and the door crushing Gretchen and killing her instantly but blocking the entrance entirely for Robin. Robin cries out in a shrieking shock of empathy and shame as she covers her mouth but then she hears the continued loud boom and feels the room continuing to shake. Robin cries out in shock. She hears the loud boom and feels the room continuing to shake.
Robin then tries to move the rocks and tries to squeeze through but cannot fit. She looks around frustrated as the room shakes again and a loud boom causes another cave in behind her. “Damn” she turns and jumps over the debris on the ground and runs towards the altar and hides behind it. She stands over the button display panel and studies the designs quickly. She sees three buttons standing in unison with different creatures that look like animals, a monkey, a tortoise, and a bird. She remembers the same formation below and then looks up quickly at the high relief section above the blocked door way and they are the same showing the formation in order of “Bird- Monkey – Tortoise” she whispers to herself. As the room shakes again and a loud boom begins to crumble the remainder of the ceiling, she quickly presses the buttons in order while speaking “Bird – Monkey – Tortoise” and instantly becomes immersed in a whirl of blue and white light, electrical energy stimulating her body and encompassing her entire form with the altar until both vanish, the remainder of the ceiling caves in on the floor they once occupied.
Time Period Date: Middle Harvest Year, 900 CE
Place: Saksaywaman, Peru, South America
The skies were pale blue and clean, clear as the endless ocean, over the small straw and clay mud huts and grassy prairies of the village. In the center of the village, a string of huts combined to form a large central one with a shining apex made of some unearthly metal alloy, inside there were numerous rooms filled with arms, lances, arrows, darts, clubs, bucklers, and large oblong shields, as well as morions and stretchers. The rooms spread out into narrow hallways and led to more storage rooms that were within the complex and filled with military equipment. From the vantage point of the central apex surrounded by railings to form a balcony looking up into the hills in the distance, one could see large stone forts forming a perimeter around the various hilltops and surrounded by campsites armed with equipment and weaponry.
Robin sits in one of the smaller huts, not so nearby on the far end of the village near the wilderness, immersed in silent contemplation and prayer. She was still confused over what happened and what caused her to be here. She prays kneeling on a rug in the center of the room. Her caretakers had gone for the day for their ritual hunt and gather exercise. Robin had been in this village for two weeks now with no sign of any hope. She last remembers being in the stone pyramid under attack, the roof caving in, and watching her friend Gretchen getting squished like a bug, then figuring out the riddle of the altar and vanishing in a whirl of light. She felt an unearthly sensation and appeared in a field in the village. She was found wandering by Marco and Margarita, a young couple who felt sorry for her and thinking she was a lost wanderer from another village took her in, fed her, and gave her clean clothing, the ragged sheepskin she has worn and re-worn for the past two weeks. They obviously did not have much and were apparently poor in the scheme of things in the village but they were willing to share what they had with this humble stranger with strange tongue and attire. Robin thinks about the altar and how it remains in the field unmovable except when activated. Robin remembers desperately pressing the three buttons again in numerous combinations but she could not get it to vanish again. She felt lucky she was successful the first time but now feels she is trapped here in this foreign and unknown land forever. She hid her bag with the equipment she had. She considered herself lucky to have her items back, except for the golf cart, still on the plane that she convinced Maxwell to allow her to regain. She is afraid of being in this lost land for the rest of her days. She doesn’t even speak their language but managed to get by through the unfettered sympathy of her new friends.
Suddenly the door to the small hut opens and a small man runs in frantically moving around the small hut in a panic. He was a typically-dressed resident of the village almost naked except for a small loincloth around his groin. Robin rises to her feet and tries to communicate, “What’s going on?” But the man, not understanding Robin, runs around yelling and screaming in his native language. Robin hears a loud commotion from outside and runs out of the hut to see villagers scurry about in a panic grabbing whatever items they could from their homes, small children clinging to their mothers, desperate women with infants clutched to their backs run with jugs of water, food, clothing, medicine tubs, and other bare necessities in a panic. They abandon their huts and head for the woods. Robin wonders what is going on then she sees the reason for their fear and running. A giant creature approaches the village with an enormous and hideous roar. Like a figure straight out of legend, a blue reptilian beast, with enormous fangs dripping saliva from its mouth, the beast being the size of a building approaches, marching with a slow stalking pattern with four legs on each side for a total of eight, crushing bushes, trees, and natural growths. The beast wanders towards the village nonchalantly, roaring incredibly, the spikes on its back colored purple spiking up with every movement and breath the large creature inhales, and moving its long tail behind it and turning its giant head on its enormous body. This legendary reptile or “king of serpents” as the local folk have revered and used to scare their children to go to bed walks forward eyeing the villagers and feeling the need to approach, its intense power causes death and destruction as villagers in their panicking state begin to get crushed under the enormous feet of this giant lizard. The lizard’s glance from its giant round reddish eyes causes villagers to freeze in their tracks and then get crushed in the wake of the lizard’s path. Robin’s eyes freeze as she sees the creature approach thinking to herself she remembers studying creatures like this in school, something called a basilisk, a mythical snake-like giant lizard that was revered for terrorizing people in ancient cultures… but she remembers it being without legs in some versions of the myth. “Could this be a throwback from the age of the dinosaurs?” she wonders.
The man in the hut runs out and joins the people who run towards the woods leaving the village vacant except for Robin who begins to run also but then sees a small toddler of a child who was inadvertently left behind in the center of the village. The basilisk walks forward towards the center of the village where the central hut complex is and the basilisk has to make its way past the poorer and smaller huts. Unknowingly to the basilisk, the child remains in the basilisk’s path ready to be crushed upon its arrival. Robin sees the child and runs back into the hut and grabs her backpack, recovers her cloak and puts it on. She then runs out of the hut and over to the child standing over her as the basilisk is quickly approaching and within meters away. Robin reaches down for the child, holds her in her arms, and as the basilisk is almost right on top of them, its heavy breath sailing down on top of them, Robin presses the button on the cloak and disappears as the light around her bends rendering her and the child invisible. The basilisk that surreally and suddenly saw them vanish freezes in its tracks and looks about curiously. Robin takes the child and moves around the basilisk running and feeling like it takes a long time given the length of the great creature, Robin’s eyes peering through a blue sepia-toned vision while in her invisible state.
The creature begins to slowly turn its head on its sluggish neck and then smelling the air around it, begins to turn around, its heavy body moving slowly with its eight legs one after the other moving its great head and nose as it smells the presence of human flesh. Robin continues to run around as the creature lifts its front legs as if sensing the presence of Robin and the child and drops its giant clawed feet onto the air and ground below it as the creature let out a hideous bellow. Robin falls to the ground with the child, her cloak fizzling with electrical sparks as she finds herself visible again and lying on the ground. “Oh no” she yells as she grabs the child and runs as the basilisk starts after them like a charging bull. Robin runs and yells “patience is a virtue… patience is a virtue” but nothing happens and there is no help around. The basilisk’s nostrils flare as smoke emits from them and a glance of deathly determination strikes on his face as it continues to charge them as Robin runs, the child crying in her arms, and suddenly as Robin approaches the forest she turns and drops back tripping on her own feet and falls on her bottom, the child cushioned in her bosom. Robin holds her right hand up towards the rapidly approaching basilisk right on top of them and concentrates, then the small energy projectile launcher from her hand opens like an eye awakening for the first time and fires an instant blast of hot white plasma energy in a straight narrow line directly at the basilisk right when it was almost on top of them rearing up on its hind legs with a hideous roar, the energy blast strikes the basilisk and rips a hole right through its head and large body, sending interior blood, organs, and entrails flying back and knocking the remaining body of the beast back several meters off the ground and away from Robin and the child. The basilisk lands on its side on the dirt floor of the village square meters away and shuts its eyes for the final time as it took its last breath. Robin catches her breath and sighs in relief with a heavy heart as she holds her arm up in amazement at what she just accomplished and then slowly puts her hand down and looks at the child who stops crying and stares up at Robin in amazement. Robin looks about and sees the villagers beginning to come back to the village, their eyes stunned at what happened and they begin to surround Robin as she rises to her feet. They touch her head and arm, her hand and begin to repeat…. They yell “Atahensic” over and over again. Many of them dropped to their knees in recognition.
Robin hands the child to a sobbing woman who calls to her grateful she was alright. Robin then looks around at the smiling faces speaking in their native language that she does not understand but recognizing the word they repeated in reference to her, “Atahensic”, and wondering what it means. Robin hears footsteps in the distance with her superior hearing and turns her head. She fears it is another beast but sees four men on horseback approaching; each wearing metal armor and helmets, their faces neatly bearded and otherwise clean as they approach and dismount. The people run into their village huts in fear as they scream in horror. “This can’t be good” Robin whispers to herself wanting to run too but remaining as the men approach her. The leader approaches and speaks in another language she doesn’t understand. She nods in response and shrugs her shoulders “I don’t know what you’re saying. I am sorry.” The men look at one another confused and the leader reaches out his hand, a heavy metal glove around it. Robin looks at his eyes, twinkling with a sense of wonder and curiosity matching hers. She takes his hand and he lifts her up onto his horse and joins her. The other men mount their horses and they all ride off in the direction they came from, one of the hills in the distance where one of the stone forts keeps watch on the village below. Robin sees the remaining carcass of the basilisk as she rides with her new escort and wonders what else is in store for her. The men take her up the hillside past rolling green parts of the countryside, beautiful trees, flora, and natural growth shrubs occupy the lining of the landscape. They ride up the hill to the stone turret-like monuments, metal cannons and other weapons occupy the building around and around in circular forms. The horseback riders enter single file into the stone monument and down a long hallway seeing the open air above them. Robin is amazed by this seeing lavishly decorated interior, red velvet rugs, golden tapestries hanging, and brilliant goblets of gold decorating the sidelines. She sees a big difference in how these people live compared to the villagers below. The horses stop and the men dismount, Robin is helped off by her escort. The men stand at attention behind a red-velvet lined throne at the end of the hall under banners with crests and symbols that Robin doesn’t recognize. She walks forward humbly towards the throne with a man with a grey mustache and beard who sees her and approaches. The man is dressed in a lavish robe or red velvet and satin mixture, a grey partially-armored suit of metal under his robe with chainmail and a small gold crown on his head, his eyes peering at her underneath. The lead horseback rider spoke in his language to the man. The man replied and held out his hand in a dismissive manner. “Who are you?” he asks.
“You speak English… thank goodness. I’m Robin… Robin Matthews. I haven’t had anyone who could understand me since I got here. Please help. I don’t know where I am or what I am to do….”
The man sneers at Robin and holds out his hand to silence her. “Where is your place you hail from, Robin Matthews?”
“It’s complicated. It’s called Chronix Bay… a long way from here. I think but like I said I don’t know where I … am.”
“This is the county of Saksaywaman… Peruvian countryside… you do not look like you belong here.” He spoke in a sinister manner with a sly tone and demeaning vernacular with an accent that compliments his facial features.
“I need help” she replies. “That monster down there… it’s a basilisk… I …”
“I saw everything. I suppose proper introductions are in order.” He turns around and takes his seat on his throne. “I am the Provenal Rolancinar, the Arch Duke of Nomadia, royal archetype to the Spanish crown….”
“Also, it is a long way from here. We have a lot in common, Robin Matthews.”
“I am so confused” Robin says.
“You defeated this… basilisk. How did you do it?”
“It is complicated” she replies.
“I have spent my life collecting the finest weapons from around the globe from cultures far, long forgotten, obliterated, and unknown to the modern world… I have never seen a weapon such as yours… fire from the hand… it is witchcraft and sorcery, black magic….” As Provenal spoke, Robin looks around at the weapons in his chambers and remembered the weapons on the outside of the stone structure.
“It’s called an Armon” Robin says as she holds out her hand. “It’s definitely not from around here. I can show you.”
“In time, my dear, I do desire to possess this weapon” says Provenal.
“It’s not possible. You see, it’s sort of stuck on me. I can’t take it out. I wish I could give it to you but… anyway there was this altar that I think brought me here but … it’s not working right now.” Robin looks down at the ground.
“An altar… what altar is this?” asks Provenal.
“It is right over there, down the hills and beyond the village… it can’t be moved unless you activate it by pushing these three buttons but in a certain order and you vanish someplace else. It happened to me.”
“Interesting… an altar that magically transports you to another place instantly, you will show me this” Provenal demands.
“Sure… I need to know do you speak the language of the locals down there.” Robin asks.
Provenal nods in recognition.
“What does ‘Atahensic’ mean?” Robin asks. The horseback riders dropped to their knees at hearing the word. Robin looks in shock. Provenal barks in their language and they rise to their feet.
“That is an old word in Quechua… a language spoken by the local people … it is a silly superstition of the old ways… a legend to entertain youth…” Provenal begins and sees that she is clueless so he continues. “The old Indian tales from both the North and South continents of the new world reflect the notion that an ancient Atahensic or Sky Woman comes to the people during an hour of great need. She is known as the mother goddess.”
Robin’s eyes widen with renewed anticipation. “Mother goddess….”
“There is a story, a fable, central to the creation of man, of one who descended to earth by falling through a hole in the sky, a celestial being having been cast out of the heavens either for violating a taboo or some other treachery. She was carried down to Earth by birds of the water that set her on the sea on the back of a great turtle, where she would live. She would eventually deliver children, twin culture heroes: Sky-Holder and Flint or Good Spirit and Bad Spirit. She has become the mother to all. But it is only a story and has no basis in our reality. The poor of the village below cling to it as hope that their struggles might go aided one day. It is nothing.”
“Right” Robin utters sarcastically.
“Now, you will take me to this altar” Provenal demands rising to his feet looking at Robin with a sinister glare.
Time Period Date: October 26, 2315 AD
Place: Star House, Rough Road Alley, Confederated States of the Oligarchy (CSO) Formerly Known As (FKA) United States of America (USA)
“What do you mean, she is gone?” Maxwell yells at the top of his lungs in his office as he is seated behind his desk and rises abruptly.
“Sir, she was not with us when we evacuated” says Roscoe. “We barely made it out alive… all of us accounted for except Robin Matthews and Gretchen Kowalski. We didn’t anticipate the attack. We were ambushed, Sir, and we barely made it out alive. The plane was destroyed along with everything in it. We stumbled around the woods and eventually found a local refugee camp and we used their Hyper Comm. Net to contact base for retrieval.”
“You failed and you better find out what happened!” Maxwell points at Roscoe and orders him abruptly.
“Sir, we do not know if she is dead or alive” Roscoe replied with fear in his throat. “Nothing could have survived that cave in. We have assumed both are lost.”
“That is not my concern. I want her found. And I want that artifact.”
“Yes Sir” Roscoe stands at attention.
“Sir” says a small man with dark-rimmed glasses and a boyhood face, a hideous scar running down his face, he smiles with distinction as he enters the room.
“Leroy Stocky… I was not expecting you yet” Maxwell utters.
“We have had a change of plan, Sir” Leroy Stocky replies, “it appears our common client, Miss Robin Matthews, the one identified in the prophecy I shared with you last time, she has vanished from our sensors. We had implanted her with a tracking device and now we have lost its signal.”
“Ah … what could that mean? Where could she be?”
“We don’t know. The micro scanner is strong enough to pick up her presence anywhere on the planet, including lunar, solar, and interplanetary orbits in the immediate spatial system. So unless she found the means to escape our local spatial system, she can only have disappeared into … the past. The future is not written and unavailable to us. Further, we would have been able to receive notice of such an event. We imagine she vanished into the distant past far away enough for us to have contacts or history with.”
“The past… time travel… that artifact… son of a gun” Maxwell whispers to himself. “The Time Stone was in that artifact” he utters.
“Exactly, we could have had it.”
“Someone misinformed us of its true potential” says Maxwell.
“We were misled. But it is not the end of the world. We have another.”
“Where is it?” snarls Maxwell questioningly and looking at Roscoe. “You are dismissed.” Roscoe nods and leaves the room.
“We had it all along, Sir. I have it on good and recent information that the little vehicle she was driving holds The Time Stone.”
“That little golf cart? It was on the plane that … was destroyed.”
“Disturbing… then we are at a loss” says Leroy Stocky.
“No, old friend… you are, you betrayed our vixen and failed me for the last time” says Maxwell lifting his silver cane and pointing it the diamond-eyed skull towards Leroy Stocky who flinches and before he could say anything was subjected to a beam of hot white plasma energy being emitted from the eyes of the skull opening and projecting the energy beam towards Leroy Stocky almost vaporizing him instantly as he yells out a horrific scream. Suddenly a yellow hazing light appears and roars open like a vortex in the spirit of dimension and time, this temporal wormhole roars loudly and absorbs Leroy Stocky in a ball of yellow light and sucks in him. Maxwell’s eyes grew in shock as the light soon fades as the vortex collapses.
“It cannot be… Roscoe…” yells Maxwell. Roscoe comes running in and looks around not seeing anyone else.
“I want you to take your team back to the forest-woods of the western coastline… you have a mission to find me a specific and rare little gem.”
Time Period Date: Middle Harvest Year, 900 CE
Place: Saksaywaman, Peru, South America
“So this is it” says Robin pointing to the altar lying in the field. Provenal and his horseback riders stand in amazement at the large device.
“How did it work again?” Provenal asks.
“You just push the buttons…” Robin gets behind it and presses the three buttons in the order she remembers from before but nothing happens.
“Why won’t it work?” Provenal asks angrily.
“Beats me” utters Robin, “I honestly just used this thing once and out of dumb luck found the combination…” she utters not realizing she was pressing the buttons still and then holds down the bird button and leans on it.
“You better try again” orders Provenal.
“I am trying. It’s stuck or out of order or something. It’s not my fault” says Robin still leaning on the button. Suddenly the entire altar lights up with a yellow-white haze of light energy and within seconds fades away, vanishing with Robin behind it. Robin looks around curiously still seeing Provenal and his men.
“Where did she go? What trickery is this?” Provenal yells as he and his men stare in shock and look around frantically. Provenal barks orders in Spanish and the men walk around as if looking for Robin and the altar in any location throughout the field. Provenal approaches the altar.
Robin sees him and notices that they can’t see her. “They can’t see me. I must have made the thing invisible. Cool!”
“Robin Matthews… where did you go…. If you are still here, please come out. I command it. I promise your death will be swift and painless.”
“Death…?” utters Robin frightened. She looks around at the buttons. “I wonder what else this thing can do” she holds down the monkey button and leans on it. Within seconds the altar lights up again, this time a pale blue color. Robin is fearful she will become visible again and killed. “Uh oh” she utters. Then the altar lights up its blue haze and the energy coalesces in front of it and fires towards Provenal striking him and sending him back falling on his behind.
“Uh” he groans. His men run up to him and help him up.
“You are dead, Robin Matthews. I swear it by the moon high above” Provenal threatens and then utters words in Spanish to his men. “I will get you” he remarks approaching and drawing his sword.
Suddenly a barrage of arrows come flying towards them. Provenal and his men turn and several men from the villagers are approaching, yelling in their native language, and firing arrows from their bows, swiftly striking the metal armor of the men. The men try to retaliate but are easily outnumbered and suffer serious wounds from the blows, blood gushes from underneath their armor. Provenal barks orders in Spanish and the men mount their horses and lazily ride away nursing their wounds as they galloped quickly back up the hill to the stone fort. Provenal yells “this isn’t over, Robin Matthews.”
The men from the village approached the empty field. Robin looks at them. “Yes… good work.” She pumps her fist into the air.
The men drop to their knees and pray in their language feeling that Robin was lost to them. Robin looks out. “What are they doing?” She pushes the bird button again, holds it down, and leans on it. The white and yellow haze of energy surrounds the altar again and it reappears in the field with Robin behind it. The village men rise to their feet. Other villagers, elders, women, and children approach from their huts. They stare at Robin and smile as all of them drop to their knees and cross their hands in front of them with their eyes posed on her and heads slightly lowered in reverence.
Robin comes from around the altar and stands before them, her hands clenched into fists and a solid grin of stern determination on her face. Seconds pass and the wind blows from the east as if welcoming a great triumph. Then Robin walks to the villagers. “Guys, you can get up. I am not anything special. I appreciate your prayers but you don’t have to do this.” She nods and tries to get them to rise up and helps lift one up but they remain on their knees in prayer. She shrugs and says “when in Rome.” She gets on her knees and crosses her arms, nods her head, and looks at them in return, engaging in prayer with them. One of the elders rises to his feet and yells, “Atahensic!” Robin looks at him and responds “Sky woman!” She realizes that she is in the past and she is stuck here with these people as friends and now has made a powerful enemy as Provenal vowed vengeance and will likely return but she also has great powers at her disposal as well. She nods to the elder and to the people knowing everything would be fine as even though they didn’t share the language still they have one another’s best interest at heart.
Saksaywaman, Peru, South America – 10 years later
The village has grown and the people have taken over the central hut and the stone forts with their arsenal of weaponry. The distinction where some lived in poverty and squalor has been obliterated and the people enjoy equality. Provenal and his men have tried attacking them many times over the years, each time Robin used the altar weapon and her Armon to stop them and the people have learned to defend themselves better. The people have thrived on the carcass meat of Basilisk remains as Robin was able to help them hunt more and grow more agricultural products. The small community has evolved into a miniature agrarian civilization where the people have plowed the land and developed live stock in small farms spanning the fields. They wear clothing now and have learned the art of stitching. Robin has used her knowledge and technology from her own time to help the people develop aquifers similar to those back in Chronix Bay but not as advanced and has guided their culture towards a fundamental foundation of self governance by the people where the tribal elders have retired in lieu of a village council made up of chosen leaders to provide rules regarding justice, food distribution, and other village affairs, of which Robin was elected chair. The people still refer to Robin as Atahensic or Sky woman and she has learned their culture, mannerisms, and language. She has found happiness in adapting to the simple existence here while helping to enrich the lives of her new people with capabilities they could only dream of before. Their population has nearly tripled as they no longer feel hunted or intimidated by the Spanish warriors.
Robin sits in the central hut with the council the shining metal object at its apex brings down sunlight into the entire rooms that spreads to the people inside. Robin has shortened her hair and braided it to match the females in the village. She has worn a caped outfit with colorful arrays of every spectra of the rainbow flowing down a pristine gown made of Basilisk skin. She has grown accustomed to the beads made of shells and animal bone that were made for her as gifts by the elders. Robin wears her cloak that she repaired to be able to turn invisible and her baseball cap that she uses to teleport. She regrets losing the golf cart that was still in the plane. Robin has gotten used to life with the people in the village. Once she learned their language, Robin and the elders had a lot to talk about and she spoke to them often about religion and the way the Oligarchy controlled things in her time and how they must never let it get so bad. Religion is a good thing in moderation. She convinces them that was not a goddess or sky person but a regular human being like them and just had advancements from another time. She finally was beginning to cope with being stuck in the past. She tries to become friends with all of the villagers and the Spanish horsemen who turned on Provenal in the end and joined them. Provenal never stopped trying to get revenge on Robin and the villagers and to learn the secrets of the alter and its weaponry but he was eventually defeated at a final battle on the highest hill and use of the altar’s “death ray” as she calls it resulted in his ultimate annihilation. She expects to live out her days here with these people helping their civilization flourish and hopefully lead to a better culture than the one she knew controlled by the Oligarchy. She sometimes looks up at the stars at night and wonders what life is like back in her own time for her colleagues at work. She wonders about Gretchen and how she was killed so suddenly. She wonders if the others made it to safety. She wonders if her actions here in the past are in some way changing things. She didn’t know anything about this time travel concept other than what she read in science fiction novels. She sometimes feels lonely. She tried once to take a mate amongst a villager close to her age, named Wondo, and they were become close but he was killed in one of the final battles with Provenal and she never loved again. She prays every night for hope, keeping her faith alive.
On one day in the clearing near the altar, Robin sits with two elders, Ongo and Manga. They are discussing the latest crop development in the native tongue when Manga mentions to Robin an old legend she once heard of as a child about a magical device that exists up in the mountain caverns. The device was believed to be able to multiply any material thing by a thousand fold instantly. Its power was rumored to be great enough to summon a thousand storms. Robin was amazed and decreed with them that they pursue this legend. She explained that they could travel with her teleportation cap in short bursts until they arrive at the caverns and explore them with her flashlights and gear inside her backpack. They would be kept safe from harm by the invisibility cloak and her Armon as well as her advanced hearing implant. She believes the device does exist because it closely resembles the technology in the altar which everyone believed was just legend until she was part of the team that found it. The device would yield greater harvests for the growing population. The three discuss it with the remaining council and it is agreed that Robin will lead a small band of five villagers to head to the mountain range and enter the ancient caverns. She selects the best warriors and hunters and leads them off, leaving Manga and Ongo in charge of the council until she returns. The villagers cheer them off as they wander off with sacks full of supplies for the long journey. They shout “Atahensic” repeatedly pumping their fists in the air. Robin takes the five warriors in a huddle and concentrates with her cap on and they vanish in a flash of yellow lightning heading towards the mountains stopping in various bursts along the way and continuing until they reach the mountain ranges.
Back in the village, the villagers hear a sudden loud eruption is heard and the villagers come out from everywhere in their homes and witness in awe a spark of yellow light erupt with a loud bang, a glowing light whirls in mid air just a few feet above the ground. Another light emerges from the energy void and becomes a figure before it fades away. The figure is a man who falls on the floor. Manga and Ongo lead the large group of villagers and elders towards the altar in shock at what they just witnessed. They have understanding now from Robin that what strange occurrences they witness are not magical or god-like but abilities from another time and place. They walk to where the man lies face down and slowly rises. He has strange clothes made of shiny material, white with black on it. He has a mustache and a balding hairline. He is a white man. The villagers arm their bows and arrows. The man looks at them and raises his arms with a shocked expression of fear across his face. “Don’t shoot” he yells. “I am not armed. I am a friend. My name is Milton… Milton Drax.” Then the villagers lower their weapons and speak out in their tongue. Manga and Ongo approach and greet the visitor saying Robin will be happy to see someone else like her. They help him to the central hut and he goes along smiling trying to comprehend their dialect and speaking in return. “I wish I knew what you were saying but you seem like friendly people.” He enters the central hut with them.
After teleporting past the vast desert terrain, Robin leads her small entourage walking into a cavern holding a flashlight. Still dazed from the many trips in teleportation mode, they walk slowly getting their bearings. Robin forgets how it felt to travel like that, what was a routine part of her existence is now new again because of the length of time she has lived with the people. The light flickers off the wall phasing with the solid rock, jagged and pointy, stalagmites hang overhead. They walk carefully as they begin to see writings on the wall, paintings and hieroglyphs, high relief work as the walls get smoother the deeper they penetrate into the cave. Robin thinks this looks familiar. She recognizes these symbols from the stone temple in the jungles of the west coast in her own time. “Could this be made by the same beings?” she utters aloud. The villagers begin to chatter. Robin responds in their language and puts them at ease. They move forward and Robin sees another high relief statuette of three animals, this time a lizard, a hawk with outstretched wings, and a lion. They continue forward and maneuver down a steep incline in the rocks. Robin warns to be careful as it gets slippery on this slope. They proceed down and one of the villagers slips and tumbles falling over his comrades in a domino effect knocking everyone and Robin down the slope rolling together like a human ball of wax down several yards and then dropping finally at a base landing. Robin shakes her head and rises, followed by her friends. She looks sternly at the villager who fell and then turns back to the walls. The floor, walls, and ceiling are smooth, not like the other rocks near the entrance of the cave. Robin thinks that this must be artificial in nature just like the stone temple. “Could this be a hidden chamber or hidden temple?” she wonders. She looks around and walks towards the back wall and shines her light and is shocked to see an altar similar to the one in the temple that she brought to this era and place. “Wow, these are pretty common” she smiles as the villagers jump up and down happily seeing the altar similar to the one in the field near the village. Robin sees the three buttons on this altar are similar to the markings above in a different order, a lion, a lizard, and a hawk with outstretched wings. “The correct permutation is lizard…hawk… lion” she wonders to herself as she remembers the way it was laid out above and she almost touches the buttons but then stops herself not know what to expect this time or otherwise and this time she was not alone but had the villagers to look after. She grinned as she looked at the villagers and spoke softly that they should go back and reports this to the elders and the council. The “magical” device of legend that could make things multiply was another altar by the same beings that created the first one she found in the future. Robin holds her flashlight over the buttons with astonishing amazement.
Time Period Date: December 31, 2315 AD
Place: Jungle-Forests of the West Coast, Confederated States of the Oligarchy (CSO) Formerly Known As (FKA) United States of America (USA)
Roscoe Compound led a new troop of the same group with two additional men to make up for those lost during his first mission. They marched through the jungles, being dropped again by a new plane. They were after an artifact that he did not know anything of but what else was new in his life? His superiors kept him in the dark often and he was used to following orders, sometimes blindly. He couldn’t believe a month had passed since that last mission and the first artifact was probably lost along with two of his troop. He felt down as he never lost a troop member in his career as team leader. Now he was going to try to find another artifact, a jewel emerald thing hidden in a golf cart vehicle. He didn’t understand it but he vowed he would succeed in finding it and this time not lose any members of his troop. “Stick together troops” he yells as he cuts the shrubs with his machete and leads them through the thick jungle bushes.
“I cannot believe we vanquished so many Oligarchy commanders in such a short time… one month” utters Ikedo. “It was a lot of good missions. We are blessed.”
“Yes, we defeated over 100” says Zenaida.
“We finally are taking them down” says Rocha. “Soon we will be ready to launch a full assault on the Oligarchy’s primary fortress … the secret lair.”
“Go us…” says Oscar “Against the Wind all the way.”
“We might as well be racing against the wind” says Arnold, a new troop member with a Middle Eastern accent, “that’s a popular Bob Segar Song.”
“Yeah, we know” says Roscoe yelling back to his troop. “More walking, less talking; we need our strength to make it up the next few miles. The tech device thing says there is a power surge reading fifty miles east of here” he points.
“That is correct” says Angela, a new troop member with a British accent, who holds a rectangular-shaped device out with lights on the screen and lines and a series of touch screen holographic dials underneath. “The RTTR indicates tachyon and chronometric particles and emissions in the distance. That must be the source of the artifact as it matches what was given to us back at base.”
“Great… let’s move and we will break at dusk” Roscoe orders cutting the brush in front of him with a swing of his arm and the machete in his hand.
Time Period Date: January 1, 0000
A darkness stills on the horizon of a vacant landscape where nothing grows or moves. Underneath the surface, there is a different story as a room rests, solid and smooth stone flooring made of hot red molten lava, the walls made of falling and oozing lava and fire covering the room and ceiling. Four individuals, obviously not human, stand in the center of the infernal blaze. This meeting shows the four individuals in some darkness, their faces and bodies partially obscured, even with the light of the flames around them. Each stands seven feet tall and has a reptile-like exterior, scales on their backs and long fingers and toes with claws, skinny legs and arms, graying and bluish skin tone, big black eyes, and mouths and noses that look like one giant snout bent downward and affixed to the face revealing a series of lined holes that emit phosphorous, sulfate, and other chemicals and sounds like gurgles emit from those holes. These four foot soldiers remain imprisoned and wait to control all. They stand, barely moving, and emit noises amongst themselves as if immersed in a great conversation. A holographic screen appears suddenly on the west wall of fire and lava. Three men appear on the screen, each dressed in earthly religious clothes and headgear similar to many common religions but with glowing patches on their chests and sinister grins on their faces. “Good morning children of the fire of time… We are the Oligarchy.” They appear to speak as one without moving their moves, their thoughts projecting outward. “Your punishment and banishment will soon be at an end. The deliverer is upon you and will set you free. The attacks on those who banished you will begin and the truth will be known to all. You will be free and you will bring us the unga tangu once and for all. We will claim our rightful place and control the source item of our destiny from ages ago. Do not fail us!” The screen fades and the four beings rejoice in a new sense of excitement as their noises grow louder and fiercer as such as they clapped their long arms and clawed limbs with eager anticipation.
Time Period Date: Middle Harvest Year, 910 CE
Place: Saksaywaman, Peru, South America
Robin and her small company teleport all the way back to the village. The villagers run ahead and explain the news of the second altar to Manga and Ongo and the council. They are very happy to hear the news. Robin is introduced to their visitor who arrived only shortly after she left, Milton Drax who had been given clothing made of the same animal skin that they all wear. They stare at one another for seconds that seem like eternities, their eyes matching, locking glares across the room, their wonders frozen for a moment in time, and approach one another like water droplets joined together, oppositely charged particles compelled together, and ships in the night passing and drawn together as if meant to be.
“It’s nice to meet you” says Robin. “Where did you come from?”
“I think the same place as you” says Drax. “These people were being very hospitable. I hadn’t had a chance to shower, eat, or change clothes in a while. It feels good.”
“They are great” Robin replies emphatically, “did you come from the future, too?”
“I came here through a temporal wormhole, an interspatial flexure in time that allows for instantaneous travel between two eras or epochs. I am from the year 2050 AD.”
“I am from 2315 AD… I came here from that altar in the field. It vanished here with me after my team discovered it in an old stone temple.”
“Fascinating, I have encountered altars like that as well. They were made by an ancient alien race called the Pregivers. They created the Time Stone, the device I use to open the temporal wormhole to travel in time but I seem to have lost mine during my last trip. I was escaping some really bad men, The Culto de las Piedra Tiempo. They see themselves as guardians of the Time Stone throughout history and try to prevent others from using it.” Drax takes Robins hands without thinking.
“Sounds like you know a lot about this, a lot more than me.”
“I have been around” Drax smirks.
“We found another altar in the caverns to the east. I can take you there. I know this altar that brought me here about ten years ago has been broken for a while. It can do other stuff but it seems to have lost its time travel capabilities.”
“You were really here for ten years?” asks Drax.
Robin nods repeatedly.
“I am sorry. I was never in any particular time period for so long. The Time Stone is what activates the altars and charges them. The Time Stone receives its power from solar nuclear energy, the stars themselves. There has got to be one in there if it brought you back in time but it must need to recharge.”
“I wish I knew that… I wish I had you back then” she utters.
Drax smiles as Robin shares his moment and Ongo and Manga stare at them curiously. Robin nods and explains what was said in their language. They nod in agreement.
“You speak their tongue” Drax asks.
“I had a long time to learn” Robin replies.
“Let’s go to the altars” says Drax.
Time Period Date: January 4, 2315 AD
Place: Jungle-Forests of the West Coast, Confederated States of the Oligarchy (CSO) Formerly Known As (FKA) United States of America (USA)
Days have passed and Roscoe and company make their way through the jungles and arrive at the site of the signal in broad daylight.
“This is it” says Angela holding her RTTR over a small device submerged in plane debris, wreckage, and shrubs.
“Help me move this stuff” orders Roscoe and the team begin to remove the debris and Roscoe cuts away the remaining shrubs. They see a small golf-cart like vehicle and Roscoe fiddles with the compartments “what strange transport is this?”
“It is a vehicle from hundreds of years ago” says Rocha. “I remember studying it.”
“Try that last compartment, Sir” yells Oscar.
“OK” Roscoe’s muscular physique rips the back panel completely off revealing a green five-sided emerald with five hearts, a slight electrical fizz and hum continue to emit from it but it quickly fades.
“That’s it, Sir” says Angela, “that’s the artifact, the readings are off the charts but it is losing power.”
“Great” Roscoe snatches the emerald in his hand. “Mission complete, let’s go.” He turns to his troop when suddenly a loud sound and strong wind appears behind them and nearly blows them off their feet. They hear loud flapping like a bird and within seconds, they look up at a monstrous-sized bird. A bird of enormous size, with a bulky body, wide wings, and colorful feathers mixed of brown, red, and purple, along with a red leathery complexion underneath covering most of the creature’s width hovers above them. Its wingspan is the size of a football field. Its shadow covers the greater part of the jungles. It flies through the air and its wind under its wings is like waves of pure energy that knock down the troop each time they get up. It goes back and forth several times. Its claws are huge and stretch out reaching for anything large enough to fit into them, significantly larger than a man.
“Where did that come from?” yells Roscoe over the roaring winds.
“Marco Polo’s book of travels and Arabian Nights tells of a bird like that known as the Roc” says Ikedo.
“It’s a myth” says Rocha. “It is from Arabian legend and Madagascar, from great Khan of Cathay.”
The Roc flies past them again and again. The troop stays down to avoid being knocked over and hide behind a large part of the fallen plane’s hull.
“The gigantic bird Aepyornis maximus or ‘elephant bird’” replies Ikedo.
“I don’t need the history lesson” yells Roscoe “how do we stop it?”
“We don’t” yells Ikedo “it was a myth but some accounts say it was extinct since the 16th century.”
“It looks alive and well to me” yells Oscar.
“It’s odd, it wasn’t supposed to be able to fly” yells Rocha.
“It is flying” yells Zenaida.
“Like the Phoenix or Thunderbird legends of my people” says Awinda, a young female Native American troop member.
“According to tradition it never lands on Earth, only the mountain Qaf, and the mythical center of the world” Ikedo finishes.
“Where is our plane?” yells Zenaida.
“Good question” says Roscoe fiddling with his wrist communication device trying to summon them. Then suddenly they look up as the plane is approaching and the Roc flies up and rips right through the underbelly of the plane causing it to explode and send bits and pieces of debris and wreckage flying in every direction as the Roc flies up unhindered. “Wow” says Roscoe in shock and horror as are the rest of the troop seeing human flesh incinerated with the metal when the plane was struck with the Roc’s mighty beak and wings.
“How do we stop it?” Rocha asks rhetorically.
“There are four stories” says Ikedo.
“We don’t have time… just skip to the end” says Roscoe.
“Yes Sir… well, in Arabian Nights, the great hero Sinbad fights the Roc by grabbing to its talon and claw and being unknowingly carries to safety but he became stranded in Roc’s nest on top of the mountain.”
“That’s not good” yells Oscar.
“He then lashed himself to the Roc’s leg again and without the bird even noticing him flew with it so high into the sky that he lost sight of earth and escaped to another island” Ikedo finished.
The Roc soars overhead causing more wind and blowing the debris and brush throughout the jungles, the frightened troop unable to move from their tight vantage point.
“This spot won’t hold for long… we got to do something” says Rocha.
“That’s going to suck” says Roscoe looking at the emerald in his hand and its power was fading.
Time Period Date: Middle Harvest Year, 910 CE
Place: Saksaywaman, Peru, South America
“This is it” says Drax standing behind the altar in the field with Robin, Manga, and Ongo. He lifts a small compartment on the end of the altar and releases a latch. Then a small door slides open on top of the altar behind the buttons and a pedestal rises up with a green five-sided emerald with five spots at its heart.
Manga and Ongo look in awe and cross their arms in prayer.
“Hey, I know that thing. It is supposed to be something of great power” says Robin pointing.
“It is the Time Stone” says Drax.
“Really” Robin inquires shocked. “I had one in my little golf cart back home in the future but I lost it ….”
“My union in the future has tried to figure it out. We only have begun to scratch the surface basically. It is a very tough cookie to crack” says Drax.
“So it needs to charge to take us home, right?” Robin asks.
“Right… I am curious if you discovered a second altar nearby; we should check it out to see if it has one. The Time Stone integrates with itself when in close contact so not to cause any confusion or unnecessary time paradoxes.” Drax reaches for and holds the Time Stone in his hands.
“Let’s go…” Robin smirks.
Moments later, Robin, Drax, and their five strongest village warriors are ready to head out again to the caverns. Manga and Ongo remain with the council and wish them well. Robin bids them farewell and huddles with her group and concentrates hard with her cap on. “Hold on tight, Milton. This is going to tingle.” They vanish in a flash of yellow lightning. They travel again in short bursts and after two bursts across the desert terrain again, the hat ignites and electric sparks fly in every direction causing it to catch fire. Robin screams and tosses the cap off her head. “Huh” she moves back with the others who all kick sand onto the cap and put the fire out. “That was close” says Robin.
“Yeah, that wasn’t supposed to happen” says Drax. The villagers mumble in their language frustrated.
Robin speaks and calms them down. “Yeah…I guess the portable teleportation device wasn’t built to last, it seems we are stuck far from the village but we still have a ways to go on foot until we get to the cavern.”
“That technology doesn’t exist for me. I envy your era.”
“It has its problems” Robin uttered. “Let’s start walking.” Robin explains to the villagers and they all proceed to the cavern. “It might take several days so good thing we got plenty of food and water in our sacks and can stop and make camp for the night when we have to.”
After a couple of days of travelling, the nightfall begins to come soon and the baking sun was a menace by day. Drax and Robin speak to each other and get to know one another during that time and lock eyes like star crossed lovers. They smile at one another in a way that engenders feelings that they knew all their lives, a connection and closeness beyond the flow of space or time, beyond the universe, of perfection, true love. “It’s weird” says Robin. “I just met you but I feel like we have been together forever.”
“You’re telling me” says Drax.
Then suddenly a loud wind summons from the north that almost knocks them down. They hear loud flapping like a bird and within seconds, they look up at a monstrous-sized bird appears in the sand dunes before them, a bird of enormous size, with a bulky body, wide wings, and colorful feathers mixed of brown, red, and purple, along with a red leathery complexion underneath covering most of the creature’s width hovers above them.
“Oh my goodness” says Drax “it’s the Roc.”
The Roc flies through the air and its wind under its wings send waves of pure energy that knock down the small group. It goes back and forth several times with its huge outstretched claws reaching for anything large enough to fit into them. Drax holds Robin as if protecting himself and the villagers cling to her as well. Robin looks up, “I got this” and aims her Armon at the creature but each time she thinks she has a clear shot and tries to aim and fire, the creature moves again and again swishing back and forth with the wind over them like a megalith. “Damn, thing won’t sit still” says Robin. The Roc swoops down and grabs three villagers in one of its claws and flies up, their scream pierce the air above the rest. Robin and the others cry in agony at the sight of the villagers being crushed to death by the powerful set of gigantic claws their blood and bones crumble through the claws to the sands below, the Roc crows with a loud thunderous roar in the process. The Roc swoops down and grabs the other two villagers in its other claw and climbs up again in large swooshes, crushing them and sending their remains in an almost liquefied state to the sands below. Each time the Roc passes overhead, it crows with another thunderous cowl. Drax and Robin fear and take off running together as fast as they could, the Roc swooshing down to grab them with its wings outstretched and claws before it as it attempts to land and subdue them. As the mighty razor sharp claws were inches away, Robin grabs Drax and rolls to the ground, pressing the button on her cloak and turning invisible. The Roc swooshes up and seeing nothing flies away into the distance beyond the mountain ranges.
Drax and Robin remain in their invisible cloak huddled together until nightfall and the full moon rises overhead. Robin releases the invisibility shield around them and they rise to their feet, still weeping at the loss of their friends and looking at one another with fear. Drax holds Robin’s hands and then consoles her without saying a word. Both of them know everything will be fine as long as they are together. They make camp by a large rock and series of smaller ones nearby, setting up their tent, lantern, camp fire kit, and sleeping bag they must share from Robin’s backpack. The camp fire roars loudly as Drax and Robin sit around it eating barely-cooked preserves and enjoying a moment of silence for their fallen friends.
“We will move out by dawn” says Drax, “before the sun comes out too much and is baking again. I honestly have never gotten so tan.” He looks at his reddening skin.
“I am such a fool” cries Robin. “Why didn’t I activate that cloak sooner? I could have saved them.”
“You did your best. There was no way … I mean… it’s a tragic loss but we must move on. We must fight on.”
“I really don’t know if I have it in me anymore” she utters.
“That’s fine… I do. You will find it too.”
“Those people have been my family for the last decade. Some of those warriors I watched being born, growing up, I named a couple of them.” Robin laughs sadly. Drax nods in solace. “You know what else is so weird, I never got to tell any of them … I love them….”
“I am sure they knew” Drax nods.
“Regret is the world’s biggest motivator…” she chuckles “I never got to do a lot. I had a mission back home and I failed just like everything else in my life. How many people have died… how many more must?” asks Robin.
“Listen, you can’t control what happens sometimes. Fate and destiny can be messed up things but you got to roll with the punches and know God has something spectacular in store for you” says Drax.
“You believe in God?” asks Robin.
“Roman Catholic all the way” says Drax.
“I was raised in the way of the Oligarchy…” says Robin.
“What’s that?” asks Drax.
“Fear mongering and control… from my time, they rule everything. They use religion to control people’s minds, make them brainwashed slaves. Some groups were fighting against them in the name of freedom. I was sent to stop them. I messed that plan up royally.”
“You don’t like freedom?”
“I don’t know what I like. I am a messed up person, really.” Suddenly a blank and dark space appears in Robin’s mind as her eyes lock still facing the sands before her and roll behind her leaving the white of her eyes blankly. Her minds races and colors from all spectrum of the rainbow form lines moving really fast before her. Then an image forms, Roscoe and the people in her troop. She is glad to see them alive as if they are right in front of her but she cannot interfere. She calls out to them but no one listens. She sees the Roc above flying in the air swooping down in bursts trying to grab them. The troop hides behind a set of debris in fear for their lives. Roscoe has the Time Stone in his hands. “They must have got it from my vehicle” says Robin thinking to herself in her mind. She sees the Roc swoop down and knock the debris away and grab two of the troop and lift them up crushing them in its powerful claws. Everyone below screams in agony. Robin’s heart sinks. The Roc is coming down again and grabs another set. Roscoe runs out as the Roc flies up crushing the next set of troops in its claws crowing with a mighty cry into the heavens above. Roscoe holds up the Time Stone as he runs and trips on a rock letting the Time Stone fly out of his hand as he struggles to grab it and turns the knob below before it slips away completely. The Roc swoops down as the Time Stone emits a bright yellow stream of energy ripping open the temporal wormhole in mid air absorbing the Roc into a glowing ball of light as it swooped down and sucking it into the hole. Roscoe and the remaining group sigh in disbelief as the Time Stone falls to the ground and the temporal wormhole fades.
“Whoa” says Robin popping out of her trance, her eyes returning to normal.
“What happened?” says Drax worried. “Your eyes turned into your head like you were having a seizure.”
“I saw something… a vision from my own time… I never had anything like that before… I had a psychic vision I think… not a memory but something that happened or will happen or was happening now. I cannot explain it. My friends from back home… they faced the Roc and then the Time Stone was used and the Roc disappeared into a glowing portal of energy.”
Drax’s eyes widened, “that was the temporal wormhole. The Roc probably originated there and was sent here.”
“Oh no” says Robin.
“Well, it’s gone for now” says Drax.
“But those men, they didn’t have to die. None of them did.” Robin cries.
“I knew a man, a good friend of mine, who had psychic visions like that.”
“Really, who was that?” asks Robin.
“He left long ago… we don’t know where… his name was James Timewalker. He had a very powerful destiny of his own to fulfill as I imagine you do as well and these powers, your psychic visions are only the beginning of something extraordinary.”
“I didn’t think I was meant for anything extraordinary. I am … I have been through so much craziness I think I am a lost cause… nothing special.”
“That’s where it begins” says Drax “but the power grows inside you and prepares to change you and the world.”
“I feel so bad … I feel like I killed those people because of my ignorance.”
“It wasn’t your fault, sometimes things happen… but life goes on… it’s part of the circle.” Drax says.
“How will I tell the parents of those dead villagers… their families?” Robin rhetorically asks crying.
“I’m sure they’ll understand … they must have known it… it wasn’t your fault and you did all you could … and they were likely to be not returned.”
“This sucks, Drax. I always wanted to live happily ever after like in the fairy tales but life isn’t a fairytale is it? We’re just pieces of a greater puzzle, aren’t we?”
“We then should give it our all to succeed. You’ll find your one ‘happily ever after’” Drax says. “There are great things ahead for you… don’t ever underestimate yourself and what you are capable of?”
“Are you a psychic?” says Robin wondering how he knew so much and what he meant by that.
“I’ve been around” he nods. “You just got to keep trying.”
“Yeah” she wipes her tears.
“We just have to know when love and life complete or are meant to continue.”
“How do we know?” asks Robin.
“We just know when we feel it, it’s a unique sense in our hearts and souls, that is when completeness, fullness, happiness, consumes us and we don’t need anything else. It’s when we have found home… love eternal… something that will always be in your heart. You know, happiness is not a destination, nor is true love; it’s a journey forever being taken in time. You just know when you meet that someone who is so special you cannot imagine taking the journey without him or her.”
“Thanks for the true meaning of Christmas speech, Drax” says Robin sarcastically, “I do believe in fate and true love. I just haven’t had the best luck with it lately… or ever.”
“You will soon. I think you have a great spirit inside you, Robin Matthews… I envy the man who helps you someday tap into it… you will accomplish great things.”
“Hmm… thanks” she smiles and they stare into one another’s eyes briefly besides the roar of the glowing flames before them as the night goes on darkening under the bright moon and stars above.
Later in the following morning as the day progresses and the sun beats down overhead, Robin and Drax had walked for hours in the early morning before the sun came out and now arrive at the precipice surrounding the cavern. Overlooking the entire deserted valley below makes Robin feel sick.
“Are you OK?” Drax asks.
“I am just a little queasy. I don’t remember it being this high” Robin replies.
“Don’t worry, we made it. Let’s go inside” Drax says flicking on a flashlight. As they head in, the darkened interior illuminated by the flashlight beam glows with its own vibrant luminosity, the rocky walls glistening somewhat.
“This is beautiful, the walls seem to shine like glitter” Robin utters.
“It’s the mineral deposits in the Earth, small remnants of various precious metals stemming from the molten core at the center of the planet… they have become engrained in there over thousands of years. It is quite a pretty thing to see… almost as pretty as you” Drax remarks.
“Stop, you’re making me blush” Robin utters. “Thanks.”
“No problem” Drax responds as the pair continues into the cavern and begin to step onto solid and smooth stone flooring and see hieroglyphs and high relief statues appear to be coming out of the walls. The monuments resemble beasts. “That one looks familiar” says Drax holding the light to a statue coming out of the side wall that looks a lot like the Roc they faced outside.
“It’s creepy alright. I think the altar is downstairs if my memory serves me correctly” Robin says. They creep along the stone floor slowly and walk down a slippery incline heading down into the depths of the stone structure embedded in the cavern. The light reveals a large drop. “This is where it got hectic. We almost fell on top of one another maneuvering down the last time.”
“OK” responds Drax removing his back pack and taking Robin’s hand. “Just hold on to me… let’s take it slowly.”
“OK… I’m trusting you” she grabs his hand with both of hers and they maneuver down the rock face slowly that inclines steeper and steeper as they get down.
“Don’t worry, we are doing fine. This must have been an artificial stairwell at some point built by the ancient Pregivers… but it has fallen into disrepair over the eons” Drax started. “These Pregivers sure love caves … we seem to run into them one too frequently.”
“Who are these Pregivers? You mentioned them before.”
“They are the creators of various relics… we don’t know too much about them but only that they were thirteen alien races that banded together to form a coalition of sorts to travel the universe and use their relics and technology for the betterment of all life. They were destroyed by an unknown source.”
“Sounds horrific” Robin shrieks. “But they created this ‘Time Stone’?”
“Yeah” says Drax sadly, “it has saved my life on many occasions.”
“I can tell you’re kind of sad, are there any bad feelings and memories?” Robin asks.
“Just stuff from long ago… I lost three very good friends that went their own way. Time takes a toll on you” he replies. “We are here” says Drax as he releases Robin’s hands and drops down the final step, a four-foot jump down. He turns and reaches out to her “come on, it’s not so bad” he lifts her up and carries her down.
“My hero” she utters.
“Come on” says Drax as he leads the way with the flashlight. They approach the altar, similar to the other one, pinkish marble-like material on top of a stone rectangular framework. Drax and Robin get behind it. “It has been a while since I have seen one of these” says Drax “uh besides the one you found and used back in the village” he remembers.
“Wow” says Robin looking at the display controls more carefully, besides the three buttons she know was aware of several small ones almost like a keyboard meshed into the top’s framework and each having strange carvings like an old language that she did not understand. Now that she knew about the Time Stone and where it is kept, she reaches for the back and tries to open the compartment but can’t. “How did you do it last time, honey?” says Robin.
“Like this” says Drax rubbing his hands against the front of the back compartment and striking a latch. The small door on the back compartment opens revealing another version of the Time Stone. Drax reaches for it and places it near his backpack where the other one was stored. The bag lit up with a bright white light as the one in his bag vanished instantly.
“Wow” screams Robin “that was incredible “what just happened?”
“They joined together as one.” Drax says as he checks his bag and sees the Time Stone inside the bag is gone. “The Time Stone has some kind of built-in fail safe to combine two or more that come into close proximity. The Pregivers must have built it that way to control paradoxes in the time stream. It’s their way of limiting one per time period.”
“Cool… so we got one Time Stone and two altars, what now?” asks Robin.
“This Time Stone still has charge unlike the one in your altar. Maybe that is why they combined into this one because the more powerful-actively-charged one remains and the other doesn’t or maybe first in time wins… who knows? The bottom line is we can use it to get out of this time period.”
“I can’t leave yet, Drax. I owe it to the villagers to make sure they are protected and to let them know of the losses to our five companions.”
“The people there really admire you because you are indeed so admirable” Drax smiles.
“I’m their Sky Woman” Robin utters empathetically and shyly with a smile.
“I understand… honey; I won’t leave either until you’re ready.” They smile at one another and as they look into one another’s eyes gazing for a second that seems like an eternity, for a moment, they feel the compulsion of an intense energetic attraction to each other. Drax puts the Time Stone on the altar and reaches for Robin and embraces her. The two kiss in a deeply passionate moment, their souls combined as their bodies connected physically. The passion of love permeates the couple as they hold each other during the majestic kiss in a magnanimous embrace. Drax doesn’t notice but he accidentally drops his elbow on one of the buttons in the center and holds it down. Suddenly a flash of purple light covers the altar and a beam emerges striking the rock wall before them. Drax and Robin look up as Drax removes his elbow and the light fades from the altar.
“What was that?” screams Robin.
“I think we weren’t supposed to do that” says Drax.
Then suddenly a loud roar comes from the rock wall opposite the stone platform they occupy. Drax and Robin look up and see the rock wall begin to move as if come towards them but only partially. They soon see a figure emerges from the wall, a creature made entirely of rock birthed from the walls, large standing over nine feet tall and muscular, the creature having a solidified grin on his rock face and opening his eyes as if for the first time like a newborn. The creature roars with intense furiousness and raises his arms approaching the couple.
“What’s that?” asks Robin in a shrieking panic.
“Looks like trouble” says Drax grabbing the Time Stone, stuffing it into his backpack, and taking Robin by the hand as they head back to the stairwell. The creature roars as he rips right through the altar smashing it in half with a strike by his mighty rock hands and then smashing each half with each hand into thousands of little pieces. “We’ll never know what that did now” says Drax trying to lift Robin up and placing her on the higher step and then jumping up himself.
“I guess we won’t know what the other buttons on the altar do” screams Drax.
“Hurry” says Robin reaching out her hand for his and helping him up. The couple look in an awful panic as the creature comes towards them again. They run up the stairs jumping each other step and accelerating their escape until they get to the top of the stone platform, the creature following in pursuit ducking under rocks and stone formations and crushing other parts of the low ceiling to accommodate his immense height. As his mighty hands strike the rocks and stone, it causes a major cave in on the hidden quarry below. Robin and Drax run out of the cave the way they came. The creature runs and maneuvers through the tight fitting rocks, crushing everything in his path and sending another cave in on the interior of the cavern as he makes his way out, piling through the rocks, suddenly then another cave in of rocks falls on him as Drax and Robin rush outside to the precipice. They look back as the dust settles over the fallen rocks on top of the rock creature.
“That was close” says Drax. “What do you suppose caused that rock guy?” Then suddenly the rocks began to move again and a series of rocks flung out into the open air. Drax and Robin drop to the ground almost simultaneously as if reading one another’s thoughts and barely avoid being struck by the massive flying rocks. They slowly get up and see the creature standing there raising and flailing his arms and roaring excessively loud.
“It’s not over yet… I got this” says Robin as she stands in front of Drax and holds out her Armon with a fierce stare of determination on her face. As the rock creature lunges for her, she concentrates and she let loose a stream of hot white plasma energy that strikes the rock creature in the center blowing him up from the middle causing his parts and limbs to fly out in every direction. Drax drops his bag and grabs Robin then ducks to the ground again and avoids being hit.
“That’s an amazing device” Drax utters.
“It’s a gift and a curse” utters Robin in response.
They get up and Drax looks around “well since no one else is trying to kills us, what say we head back to the altar? It’s a long walk back.”
“Sounds like a plan sweetheart of mine” Robin utters as she smiles with a schoolgirl crush. Drax returns the smile with a cocky grin. Then suddenly as Robin heads to the pathway down from the precipice, a loose rock from above the cavern begins to topple over and fall, set free when the rock creature exploded.
The rock falls as Drax looks up and screams “watch out” and pushes Robin out of the way but doesn’t have time to move himself. Drax blocks his head with his arms as he looks up with a panic of fear that suddenly strikes his heart and the massive rock falls on him killing him instantly. Drax’s bones crush as his blood smears and spatters all over the cave exterior walls, precipice, and valley below.
“No” screams Robin in agonizing shock. She drops to her knees and weeps uncontrollably seeing her lover’s corpse crushed underneath a massive rock, his body unrecognizable and splattered permanently pinned to the precipice floor. The tears fall down Robin’s face in an endless stream of worry, fear, sorrow, loneliness, and panic. “No, no… why? God, why?” she yells up at the sky angrily shaking her fists and shedding her tears. “Why are you doing this to me?” she bows her head in sudden silence mourning and grieving the loss. “I didn’t ask for anything… I’ve tried to do good things… why can’t I be happy?” Robin then looks up with a look on her face representative of an epiphany striking her mind and she thinks suddenly realizing the Time Stone, if it really could allow one to traverse the time stream, could restore things and she could save Drax. She jumps up and grabs the black bag and reaches into it. She pulls out the Time Stone. “OK, how does this work?” she wonders eyeing the gem curiously. She is mesmerized by the internal structure of the device, five dots in sync like a quincunx, and the outside shines in the sun’s presence with magnificent and radiant beauty. She looks about and underneath it turning it every way possible in her hands. “I see odd lettering or something on the bottom of it looking like a dial mechanism, it looks like it turns. There must be a way to activate it if Drax was right and it was fully charged.”
She begins to touch the dial and is about to turn it when suddenly a voice shrieks out to her, “don’t touch that dial.” Then Robin looks up with shock as suddenly a white light floods the precipice, dwarfing the sun’s light, and then fades away revealing a man on the precipice behind her. He is wearing ragged clothing, a ripped rain coat that looks like it was burnt in a fire and underneath a dirty white shirt and black tie and pants and matching loafers. His hair is shaggy and spiked as if unkempt for eons and his beard stubble reflected light from the sun off his twinkling brown eyes.
“Ah” Robin screams dropping the Time Stone that rolls by the cavern wall. “Who are you and where do you come from, what do you want?” she runs towards the pathway thinking the worst based on her experience with unexpected visitors.
“You have nothing to fear from me” says the man. “I am here to help you.”
“Like hell” she turns to the man and holds out her Armon preparing to fire. She concentrates and she let loose a stream of hot white electrical plasma energy that strikes the air before the man as he holds out his right hand. The stream stops in mid air being repelled by an unseen and unknown force.
“We could keep this up all day” the man yawns. Robin puts her hand down and the stream cuts off as she stares at the man with a sorrowed sullen grin. “Thanks” says the man. “If I wanted to destroy you, you wouldn’t be here right now” he adds.
“Who are you, man?” Robin asks.
“Call me ‘H’, I am someone who comes from the heavens … of sorts” he gestures as if pointing up to the sky. He approaches Robin casually. “My ‘race’ if you can call it that believes we don’t normally get involved in the affairs of mortals… but sometimes we make an exception.”
“What?” Robin shakes her head inquisitively. “A race of immortal beings from heaven… What are you, an angel or something?”
“We have been called that and we have been called many things by humans throughout history. We exist outside the laws of known physics, time, space, and dimension, what have you” he rambled on twirling his hand.
“Why are you here?” Robin asks.
“Like I said, I am here to help you” H replied.
“Why?” Robin asks.
“You need it. I know everything about your mission, your battles against the quote on quote tyrannical group Against the Wind, the Oligarchy, and everything that you have been through in your quest through time and by gosh since the day of your birth. I know it all. I know your mission is dead and your destiny has changed… it has already been written for you. I just need to place you on the proper path to embrace it.”
“But why me, I am not anyone important” says Robin walking away from H with her head lowered and then raising it looking over the desert valley below.
“Those people in the village seem to think different. You’re the Sky Woman… Atahensic. But everyone is important in their own right, every life matters, and everyone makes a difference even if it doesn’t seem so obvious to the naked eye.”
“Yeah” Robin turns faintly smiling curiously; “I love him” she looks at the floor and Drax’s crushed remains “and now he is gone. I can’t live without him.” She grabs her face and begins to sob and cry again.
“You are capable of a lot more than you now realize Robin Matthews. Come with me. I will show you.” H reaches out his hand to Robin with a smile on his face. “It’s OK, I won’t bite.”
Robin smiles faintly and takes his hand. “What have I got to lose?”
“That’s the spirit” says H as he waves his other hand and the Time Stone moves flying from the floor where it landed into his waiting hand.
“That’s amazing” says Robin.
“You ain’t seen nothing yet” says H as he looks up to the sky and raises both hands still holding onto Robin and the Time Stone and they instantly vanish in a whirl of white light.
Time Period Date: UNKNOWN
Place: Far out into a distant part of the universe.
Darkness… an empty vacuum where nothing can live for too long without suffering problems and succumbing to an inevitable slow and painful death… almost nothing as a glow of purple emits itself from the dark shadowy realm, clanks of metal footsteps permeate the darkness and silver metal forms shine in the distance coming closer. They are an army of metal warriors with a symbol on their bodies and heads, an upside down spider, and their eyes turning like rotating mechanisms inside a clock glow a bright devastating purple that fills the room with their collective lighting covering them and the darkness in utter and pure horror.
Time Period Date: November 10, 2115 AD
Place: Village Ronox Midwestern Province, Free Territories of America
Amongst the rows of homes in the small village of Ronox, all covered with snow on top as their roves lit up with twilight of the Christmas lights burning brightly underneath, that is true for all except one completely devoid of all Christmas spirit and blackened with subtle darkness was the entire house no different than the heart of the owner. His home a large colonial, a mansion, filled with numerous rooms all empty but one for he lived alone. He had no family as he had alienated them all, some died, some remained and lived far away from him on purpose. He was a bitter old miser akin to some character out of a Charles Dickens novel but far worse in personality and anger deep inside. He never married nor had a child but accumulated his fortune of vast wealth being known as the wealthiest man in the state, one of the wealthiest and richest worldwide but he didn’t care to share it with anyone keeping is billions of dollars in money just like his heart, to himself. He was aging quickly and his grey moustache and beard and long side burns under his black hat matched the age in him contrary to the ageless wisdom. “I work hard all year round for my fortune” he yells to the carolers who appear at his doorstep singing a famous holiday folksong and then asking for spare change. Many in the neighborhood know to stay away from the large house at the end of the road, isolated like the miser within, but sometimes a group venture out in curiosity and learn the hard way that they should have known better and shouldn’t have interfered. “I am a tyrant of industry, inventor of the solar ionic power electrical water-wind generator (the SIPEWWG). I don’t have to give anything to you” he sneers slamming the door in their small and young faces leaving them in tears crying and running home sadly. Indeed the SIPEWWG was an innovative and novel invention that has changed the world and provides free clean energy from the elements to homes and businesses in a matter of seconds without the need for large power plants burning fossil fuels into the atmosphere or removing raw materials from the Earth. He changes the world with his invention and was praised as a genius by the corporate world and whole governments but his desire for wealth priced out a great percentage of the population who couldn’t afford his high prices so the idea of a clean energy society was a luxury for the haves and not the have-nots. The small village of Ronox was known as the town that time forgot because it indeed appears to be frozen in time. It seems to the average observer to be a 19th century English village in the Midwestern former united states of the 22nd century. The streets were old world cobblestone and the homes old colonials, the people walk with a pep in their step and a smile on their face doing their last minute shopping only five days before Christmas and listening to the latest tunes on their hyper phone, the small and ultra thin technological marvel and innovative communication of the day. They pass by a pair of travelers standing out somewhat but looking curiously from their seats on a small bus stop bench near the town shopping district.
“H, why did you bring us here? Where or when is this?” Robin asks.
“Things will be revealed in time. You are hear for a reason and you will soon figure it out.”
“Can you be any more cryptic?” Robin utters rhetorically.
“It’s what we do best” H smirks sarcastically with his arms out and a flash of white light vanishes him into thin air instantly.
“Interesting” says Robin, “now what do I do?” She gets up and walks down the street with the happy go lucky pedestrians entrenched in their Christmas joy holding their holiday shopping bags as they ignore Robin still in her dirty and ashen faced appearance. “I need some new clothes and a bath… not to mention some food” she thinks. “I figure I am somewhere in the past still, definitely not my own time.”
Robin spots an inn and decides to go there and hope that she gain garner sympathy from the proprietors for her situation being an apparently broke stranger in town. She walks towards the inn when she was not looking where she was going and bumps into a young man who spills his cup of coffee and stops abruptly.
“Oh my God… I’m sorry” Robin says looking down.
“It’s alright” he responds quietly suddenly looking at her and feeling an intense attraction to her. He has chestnut blonde hair and a schoolboy smile, wearing a leather bomber jacket and sunglasses. “You’re beautiful” he says.
“Thanks” she smiles in response. “I am so sorry I spilled your drink.”
“It’s OK… I drink too much coffee anyway” he laughs.
“Ha, you sure are funny… can I get you anything?”
“I think I can think of something” he replies coyly. “What’s your name or should I just call you bumpy?”
“Oh good one… it’s Robin, but I’ve been called other things.”
“I hope none have been later to a Sunday dinner” he jokes.
“Do you make jokes all the time, Mr.….?”
“I’m a want to-be standup comedian” he removes his glasses.
“I got ya.”
“Well, nice to know you.”
“Are you someone who’s been working in a coal mine or something?” asks David commenting on her appearance.
“No, um… I’m new in town, just caught a transport… um a ride from somewhere out of town… far out of town… way over… very, very far and I have seen better days I guess.” Robin rambles on.
“You mean the eastern province?” David asks.
“Yes, the eastern province… if that’s over there, definitely yes” she nods pointing to her right.
“Why don’t you let me help you get settled?”
“Oh, I don’t want to impose.”
“Really, you are new in town travelled all the way from the eastern province and you look like you took a bath in a mud pit” he speaks reverently and Robin blushes. “Or spelunking through caves” says David and Robin blushes more with a chagrin of almost psychic renditions.
“Actually, I could use some help. I’m kind of broke and under hard times. I couldn’t pay you but I could work it off. I am a hard worker. I was going to bum a room m in the inn there or trade for some work.”
“That inn?” asks David pointing behind him and Robin nods. “I think that I can definitely help you there….”
“Yeah, I kind of know the owners… I’ll even buy you a cup of coffee.”
“I thought you drink too much” she says.
“I’m a glutton for many things” he says with a smile.
“Thank you” she replies smiling back.
“Let’s go inside” he walks with her to the inn with her arm in his arm. They approach a counter inside in the small wooden interior as a woman with red hair and a compassionate smile stands behind it.
“Hello, Mr. Nacirema, how are you? I thought you were gone for the day” says the woman.
“Just another bit of business here, Margaret” he responds. “This is my friend Robin… we’re going to put her up for the night, give her the Emperor Suite… on me.” He winks.
“Of Course” Margaret responds handing a key to Robin who takes it and looks at David with a sudden curious grin.
“Go upstairs and shower, change, relax… I’ll meet you in the lobby afterwards for that coffee.”
“Sure” she heads up the long spiral staircase to her suite and slams the door shut thinking this was turning out to be a good place.
After bathing and changing to a pair of new clothes, a pair of blue jeans and a black button down collar shirt, her sleeves rolled up to her elbows, Robin lets her hair air dry by letting it hang down as she sits on a king-sized bed in the room she was sent to entitled “the emperor’s suite”. “The room lives up to its name” thinks Robin eyeing the lavish decorations with various tapestries and golden statuettes as well as a velvet red rug underneath her feet and a large crystal chandelier decorating the room adorning from above. “This room seems more elegant than the lobby” she thinks to herself wondering who it was designed for. She then ponders the memory of Drax sadly, thinking of his remains left crushed under a rock on that precipice and she shed a tear. As she thinks about it, she also finds herself thinking about her old friends at the village and how the people reacted when she and their loved ones never came back “but it was ancient history now… literally.”
Robin then thinks of her new allies in this time and how for a moment she whispers silently, “thank god for this guy, David and this inn” she thinks of him who apparently has connections to get her a room here. She smiles thinking that a fresh shower feels good and couldn’t wait to get some food inside her. Then suddenly a knock at the door followed by a slow entry startles Robin slightly. “Oh.”
“Hey” says David entering with two cups of coffee. “I won’t spill this time” he jokes.
“That’s funny” says Robin reaching for a cup as David hands it to her. She takes a sip and sighs. “That’s very good… it has been a while since I had coffee.”
“Were you living under a rock or something?” David asks sitting beside her on the bed.
“You could say that. It’s kind of a long story. So tell me how did you pull the strings to get me in here without paying?” she asks curiously.
“That’s easy” he replies. “I own it. I own most of the town. I am a wealthy entrepreneur, philanthropist, billionaire, genius… and not a bad dancer” he utters. “I won a lot of cases in holdings I have all over regarding foreclosure and debts.”
“Awful, you won’t do anything regarding using your wealth and this inn to help those under foreclosure?”
“I help them save face and I want to help you” he says.
“Shameless and modest too” Robin responds laughingly. “Why would you display such extraordinary acts of kindness to someone you just met?”
“I don’t normally, it’s weird… something about you struck me as … “ he squinted and the shook his head for a moment “maybe it’s some intense internal emotion or common universal significance or the fact that you spilled my coffee all over me…” he laughs and she smiles at him. “I just feel there is something about you that called out to me from a higher plane… a different place… beyond time and space.”
Robin sat in sudden shock, her eyebrows rise and smile continues somewhat, “that is so profoundly comforting yet strange” she beckons. “I have been through a lot of difficult and upsetting stuff lately, stuff I couldn’t even mention because it seems so outrageous.”
“Maybe I’m the guy you can trust” he responds putting his hand on hers.
“I don’t want you to get hurt. You seem so perfect in your world here.… All I ever wanted was to find my one true love but … I don’t except you to believe that, or any of it… I am just really messed up ….”
“You seem alright to me” he adds.
“You are too kind” she smirks.
“I think I can help out. I can help you get a job here, find a permanent place, build a life… you know…”
“I couldn’t ask you to impose more than what you have already done.”
“It’s no imposition at all. I tell you what; we usually have a town waltz function every year for the holidays and its coming up soon. Not too much else going on for local town folks with environmental degradation surrounding the entire area. I am the Grand Marshall this year…” he says almost proudly then smirks with chagrin “again. I would love to have you there with me.”
“That would be great… it’s just all too much to believe.”
“Seeing is believing… believing is seeing” he smiles again in response. “I will tell you what, I got a few meetings to do then we can go someplace to talk more. In the meantime feel free to stay here if you like, does that sound good?”
“Yeah… if it was always so easy” she smiles sipping her coffee.
Later in the day, Robin walks down the street wearing a black wool overcoat. She holds her hands in her pocket tightly smiling in the snow fall. She thinks about everything that was happening and how destiny sometimes makes things happen when you least expect it. She thinks about looking up Drax to see if he somehow exists in this era given his far travels with the Time Stone but she remembered H’s warning about trying to meddle too much; “you must never abscond from the mission, do not enter into voyages that are too limited or detoured from your understanding; focus on the problem at hand and let your heart and mind be your guides.”She wonders how complex it was but she knew it was probably too dangerous to lift up old wounds despite her heart still aching for losing Drax. She then thinks about everything that she has been through and the adventures on the horizon. She walks with an extra bounce in her step as she heads into a small hut with a sign out friend labeled “Fortunes and Fives”. She looks around at the colorful Christmas schemes and festive decorations of candy cane striped and tinsel topped wooden veneers, floors, and rafters of the small cabin. The eager smiling face of a middle-aged woman with short red hair pops up from under the counter. “Hello, what can we do you for?” “You seem chipper” says Robin. “It always seems that way round the holiday time. We are blessed to be in a spirit of Christmas here.” “Sure” she shrugs in response. “What do you need, young lady?” “I just was curious. I saw the sign… sounds like a fun place.” “It was in my family for five generations… sign that time is forever a gift to be cherished with each passing year.” “You have no idea.., um well I am looking for something to wear for the town festival tonight.” “Oh yes there will be a lot of great things coming and we will find the right one just for you, follow me.” The woman heads around the corner of the counter and turns at the end as Robin shrugs her shoulders and follows.
“Where are we going?” Robin follows the lady towards the back. She follows maneuvering through the path of wooden hardwood floors zigzagging across counter to counter and down a set of rickety wooden steps heading down into a lower level covered in dust and cobwebs, unkempt for a long time. Robin coughs and bats the air before her as she walks down carefully and follows her host wondering to herself aloud, “what is going on?” “Follow me, dear. I want to show you something. Just keep going forward, always.” The woman’s voice echoes in the distance as Robin approaches looking through a whiff of smoke coming from somewhere below, an elderly man yelling at the top of his lungs crying out in agony. “Gosh darn it” he yells. Robin runs in, “are you alright? Who is there? Ouch.” She approaches and bumps into a wooden table where she sees a plump overweight man in white lab coat and graying hair puffed up at all sides. “Who are you?” he asks looking at her cockeyed and bushytailed, his bifocals hanging off his face covered in ash. He presses a button on the wall nearby and a series of mechanisms emerge from the walls and ceilings spraying extinguishing fumes into the smoke and then sucking up the remaining smoke in a matter of seconds leaving the poorly-lit dull and drab basement with clean air. “Where did that woman go?” asks Robin. “What woman, you crazy woman?” asks the man rhetorically. “Why are you here and where did you come from?” “Huh?” Robin asks. “I’m Robin Matthews and I was following a red-headed woman who was coming down here.” “I don’t know what you’re talking about but since you’re here you can give me your input on something.” “What’s that?” “An experiment of mine, I am a scientist.” “Hopefully a better experiment than the one you just finished” she coughs pretending to bat away smoke with her hands. “Oh don’t worry about that… that was just my …uh … my lunch” he bellows. “This is something far more extraordinary… it is going to literally change the world.” “Really, that’s incredible.” Robin says following the scientist to the far end of his room where he presses another button on the wall revealing a large clear window that opens when a metal sheath on the other side rolls up. On the other side of the window below them at a hangar base several yards long about the size of three and a half football fields in what was obvious to Robin as a deep underground construct, rested a very large vehicle about more than half the length of the base, a straight egg shaped pod with a fiberglass tinted canopy and two large elliptical rings over and underneath it each with three long pylons parallel to the craft the tips glowing bright red and blue with pivoting protracting thrusters turning on a full 360 degree axis and coalescing near four fixed wings on the sides of an indentation on each side of the craft. The entire crafted rested on stilts set up below it and being further hung from two rods protruding from the base above it. The central front of the vehicle was a series of super tiny aqueducts in the formulation of a long curved rod throughout the front hull literally glowing and moving back and forth with feverish rendition of the height of the front part, “Wow, that’s incredible… did you build it?”
“That I did, my dear” says the scientist. “You can do it, just have faith in yourself.”
“Thanks. What’s your name by the way?” asks Robin.
“Kowalski” the man turns with a grin on his face, “Dr. Harold J. Kowalski.”
Robin stood in shock as her jaw drops and brow furrows. “I remember my troop mate Gretchen had that last name … perhaps a descendant of this man?”
Miles down the road in the old dark house at the end of town, the old miser sits in his study, a dust-infested room once the presence of luxury and privilege decayed with time, unkemptness, and neglect. He hums by the fireplace, the raging flames within it lighting the wrinkles on his face and the red velvet lining and faded gold highlights of the room’s careful and delicate finishes. Suddenly a visitor appears in a dark wind of shadowy force that penetrates the air before him coming from nowhere in particular, emerging and transforming slowly like a mist into the form of a man. The man wears a dark black garment with matching hard helmet and facemask that shines in the fire and glistens. He has a pair of swords crossed behind his back hanging from a hook and protruding miniature cannons on each arm extending down past his hands clenched into fists as he stood before the miser with an ominous presence and stands ready to deliver his message. “The light has nowhere to run but to succumb to the darkness.” He speaks with a dark and crinkled voice, hoarse, and demeaning. The miser looks up in curiosity speechless.
“The day of the one who will destroy us is at hand, a simple woman with power beyond … we must silence her to preserve our legacy rite.” The man puts out his right hand and in a similar dark windy mist there appears a small black box in his hand. “Unleash the forces ancient to stop the one who will undo what has begun long ago. The vast knowledge of the oracle bequeathed from the warrior shadow within. Be the deliverer and fulfill your destiny. Do not let us down, David Nacirema.” With that he vanishes dematerializing into the dark windy mist again leaving the small black box that drops down falling into the sitting lap of the old miser who picks it up and nods with a curious grin knowing it would be his greatest accomplishment. Without hesitation, he lifts his remaining feeble elderly hand and lifts the top of the small black box slowly, a dark windy mist pouring out of the box in massive amounts spraying into the room filling it completely and extinguishing the flames before him as it grew and grew, continuing to emit itself throughout the entire house and out into the air above it.
Down the street, a young woman lays amongst a pile of garbage bags. She looks up hearing a slight buzzing sound in the distance. She lifts her youthful face covered in ash and dark brown lice-infested hair scraggily hanging behind her underneath a dirty wool hat matches her dirty brown raincoat as she squints her eyes and carefully looks over the horizon at a black cloud rapidly approaching, sounding like the hoard of a million bees roaring towards her, the dark windy mist continues forward coming from the old miser’s house at the far end of town. The young woman shakes her head in frustration and rushes back down to her makeshift bed on the pile of garbage bags hiding as she squeals in agony.
Back at the platform overseeing the hangar and the massive ship below, Robin talks to Dr. Kowalski. “So why did you create this?”
“Well, I have a lot of interests’ here especially involving space and time travel…”
“Really” Robin says as her eyes perk up and she then freezes suddenly as her mind races forward in a spiraling rainbow circle and accelerates through a tunnel of darkness and then rainbow light again before stopping abruptly and seeing as clear as day an image of a young woman with dirty and tattered clothing and long dark brown hair obviously unkempt with poverty-infused neglect. Robin sees the young woman running with fear in her eyes as if her life were threatened but her pursuit is futile as a dark black cloud of mist overtakes her and devours her form eating away at every fiber of her being tearing her molecules apart, disintegrating her, and absorbing her tiny remains into the mist itself as the young woman screams in agony. The dark mist then continues forward as if the young woman never existed. Then Robin snaps back, her eyes wide and her brow perspiring heavily, as she sees Dr. Kowalski before her looking at her perplexed.
“Are you alright, my dear? You seemed to turn your pupils inside out and were shaking erratically murmuring in some strange tongue.”
“I am fine now but that was another vision… I think I am psychic. This happens a lot.”
“Hogwash, what happened may have been a synaptic bypass or memory recall affecting your physical outward appearance. There is no such thing as a psychic my dear. I can examine you to find the source.”
“That’s OK, doc. I think I have taken enough of your time. I should go.”
“Wait…there’s something else I need to give you” Dr. Kowalski runs after her awkwardly as she began to hurry back the way she came. “Wait… wait” he yells continuing to chase her but having trouble moving his large frame as quickly as she was darting out of the room and about the labyrinth of corridors as she made her way back to the primary level above in the store she initially entered.
“I have to go” yells Robin “why is that guy persistent?”she wonders as she darts out the store door finding herself wondering what happened to that woman who was here before. Robin runs out into the street towards commotion and anarchy as people run around fearfully in all directions. Robin looks up and sees a large black mist hovering above like the one in her vision. She runs into the crowd and darts across the street of stuck vehicles and people moving about frantically trying to get away. Dr. Kowalski runs out of the store catching his breath and seeing Robin running across the street. He slowly starts after her huffing as he walks into the sea of people running about.
Robin runs and turns seeing the black mist absorb several people in its wake disintegrating them. She stands in shock thinking this is what she saw in her vision and she was too late to stop it. She feels low and then sees Dr. Kowalski running in a slow movement towards her catching his breath as the dark mist twirls around absorbing the people behind him. Robin figures he will not make it and runs back and grabs Dr. Kowalski by the arm and pulls him forward just as the black mist was going to strike him. Robin drops to the ground and pulls Dr. Kowalski with her and they roll under a vehicle stuck and unoccupied in the middle of the road. The black mist passes them and continues on its rampage throughout the town absorbing and disintegrating the masses that cross its path. Robin aims her Armon out and fires a blast of energy from the opening in her hand sending it towards the black mist that disperses momentarily then quickly reassembles. Robin is shocked at the quick response from this wind and ducks down with Dr. Kowalski. The black mist rises up into the air and stops its rampage of destruction limping away slowly as if injured and needing time to recover.
“Phew that was close” says Robin.
“Yes” replies the doctor, “what was that?”
“I wish I knew.”
“I meant that blast of yours. You truly are a great warrior” says Dr. Kowalski.
“It’s a device I picked up a while back. It’s stuck on me. That black wind was in my vision, some kind of disintegrating cloud killing everyone in sight I There could have been no vision” the doctor replies with a sigh. “In any event, thank you for your assistance but I needed to give you something regarding my invention. It is very important back at the lab” he crawls out from underneath the vehicle and Robin follows.
“What is it?” she asks.
“There is a story I heard in my youth about one who will undertake a great and perilous quest for an artifact, a remnant of an ancient civilization.”
“Really, tell me more.”
“Have you ever heard of the Chintamani Stone?”
“No, what’s that?”
“A gift from the heavens… a treasure of an ancient world and fulfillment of a grand destiny, it is a powerful relic.”
“Are you being intentionally cryptic?”
“I am trying to tell you…it’s theorized to be the Philosopher’s Stone, the Holy Grail, the ultimate prize in creation….”
“OK, sorry, go ahead.”
“The Chintamani Stone or Chintamani Stone is a legendary artifact of Buddhist and Hindu mythology and of extraordinary power, labeled a wish-fulfilling gem. According to legend, it fell from the stars and landed in ancient China, where the ancients revered it as a spiritual jewel. But its power was considered so great, and so potentially dangerous, that it was ultimately sent o the mystical and hidden city of Shambhala. The legend of the Chintamani Stone continues with modern day treasure hunters claiming it exists and can be used to grant its possessor anything his or her heart desires. It is believed to be connected to alien beings from the binary star system of Sirius.”
“I don’t get it … what does some star have to do with it?”
“Well, we commonly see one very bright star in our night sky, actually the brightest, but it is actually two, a binary star system called Sirius with two unique stars. It was first discovered by an ancestor of mine, Friedrich Bessel in the nineteenth century. Sirius A is visible with the naked eye but Sirius B couldn’t be seen without the most sophisticated instruments, telescopes. The curious part is that the knowledge of both stars was known to the Dogon people of Mali, Africa a primitive tribe with unbelievable knowledge of astronomy rivaling modern science. Some see this as proof of extraterrestrial intervention in human history. Some have claimed extraterrestrials ambassadors from the Sirius star system brought the Chintamani Stone to Earth seeking to establish their own unified order on our planet and the mystical city of Shambhala is somewhere in Asia. It was never found of course.”
“So, what does this have to do with me?” Robin asks.
“This mere myth is in fact reality…” Dr. Kowalski’s eyes widen with enthusiasm, “it has sparked enlightenment across many cultures… the Egyptians based their calendar on it, the Greeks incorporated it into superstitions such as the foretelling of ‘star sickness’, the Freemasons called it the ‘Blazing Star’, and many, many others as well imagined it and theorized of its power and incredible true potential.”
“You want me to find it?” Robin asks.
“The mystical city of Shambhala awaits you to find it. I sense something strong in you, a powerful force that awakens as if anew. You have been through many struggles awaiting the journey your soul and spirit were always destined to take. You are the chosen champion, a hero, meant to find the Chintamani itself… the word is translated normally as ‘thought-gem’ or ‘wishing stone.’ Words have power as do actions. The world needs this one now more than ever. The legend tells it will be bestowed to humanity at a time of great upheaval and disaster.”
“Wow, this stone sounds like another one I learned about recently.”
“There are many stories of legends… such as the holy grail, stones of amazing power used to enslave entire cultures and described as being descended from the stars and heavens and people who came down from there from an ancient world long extinct. Scientifically, if such stones exist, they are probably highly isotopic and radioactive, destructive for the genome but capable of enhancing matter and possibly raising consciousness to new levels in time and space consistent with the stories of those who have been to ‘other worlds’ or ‘dimensions’ and even possibly raise the dead or live forever, be immortal.”
“Unreal” Robin replies ghastly.
“The Chintamani Stone is what men of science and religion have sought for eons. Possession of the Chintamani stone elevates its holder to a higher state of existence and allows access to instantaneous wealth of knowledge in all time and space and, frankly therefore it goes without saying, the potential for evil is strong. Many have sought it and continue to seek it to procure world domination. Whoever controls the Chintamani stone may potentially control the world.”
“This Chintamani stone is probably the one that ties to the Time Stone”
“It is a powerful unearthly relic… some says it can even control weather, the elements, making it rain and sorts at whim. Its physical properties are probably ordinary described as blue-green and trapezoidal in shape. It greater powers lie in a higher dimension invisible to our normal five senses.”
“What may look like an ordinary rock is actually a powerful, pan-dimensional artifact? So where in Asia or Africa do we search to find it?”
“When it arrived on Earth, the Chintamani Stone was hidden away in an esthetic plane, another realm of existence that the ancients referred to as the city of Shambhala and it was held there by the supposed ‘King of the World.’”
“You sure know a lot, Doctor” Robin nods.
“I know quite a bit about it. I will help you and provide my inventions and resources to your disposal, as you have demonstrated to me you have the gifts and are the one, chosen from heaven to fight for what’s right and find the relic to save the future of our world. There is an old legend from ancient meso America about a sky woman… atahensic… great warrior who can perform miraculous abilities.”
“Oh…” Robin shrugs with a shy smile.
“I believe that is you.”
“Well, you’re not far off. But from what does the world need saving from now… oh” Robin looks around curiously wondering when the black cloud might return and she turns nodding to Doctor Kowalski who follows her. They walk back heading to the lab again in the Fives and Fortunes shop when a young woman who has been listening to them all along comes forward approaching them slowly and quietly.
“So” Doctor Kowalski continues, “Chintamani stone fragments were supposedly made from the alien realm and transported back into our world. They may have been the cause and focus of empires and secret societies for hundreds of years.”
“There were many great empires in the world history, Doctor. Are you saying each has a fragment from the Chintamani stone?”
“I just know what I have researched in rumors. I think some might but I have no way of knowing how many fragments there are but there is implicit evidence that the stone fragments were directly responsible for the successes of these groups. But of course, it’s just a legend yet entirely possible that such fragments of the Chintamani stone could very well exist and therefore justify the existence of its possessing mystical powers.”
They walk into the shop and passed the rows of shelves into the back lower level of the lab followed by their unknown pursuer. Robin hears the footsteps of the pursuer with her implant and stops beckoning to the Doctor who stands aside and becomes quiet. Robin turns and hides and when the young woman approaches quietly, Robin jumps out and aims her Armon at the young woman. “Who the hell are you and why are you following us?” Robin squints recognizing the woman from her vision who was killed but now was alive.
“Wait” says the young woman frightened raising her arms nervously. “I don’t mean you any harm. I just wanted a place to stay. I have nowhere to go.”
“Oh dear, you look almost smitten with frost and fear” says Dr. Kowalski coming out from hiding. “She is barely a child” he adds.
“That’s not true. I am eighteen and I can fend for myself. I just… I don’t …” she started out tough but soon began to weep.
“Hey, don’t cry kid” says Robin lowering her Armon and the young woman nods dropping her hands to her sides. “What’s your name?”
“Ophelia Gomez” she utters shyly in response.
“Nice to meet you… I’m called Robin and this is Dr. Kowalski. There is no reason we can’t be friends.”
“I never had friends before” says Ophelia.
“Well, there is a first time for everything” says Dr. Kowalski, “you must be famished…” he looks at the confused grin on Ophelia’s face. “I mean hungry, no?”
“I am very hungry” Ophelia responds happily trying to hide her unkempt appearance.
“Let’s go get lunch” says Robin. “We can diagram your research on the Chintamani Stone, Doctor. I think that is why I am here. I want to find out as much as possible about where it could exist.”
“We surmised some parts of Africa and Asia and some say even the Philippines.”
“That is interesting, I heard you guys talking about that” says Ophelia. “I want to help… my friends… any way that I can.”
“Let’s go get lunch, first” nods Robin and the three head to the back lab.
A couple of hours later, Robin and her two new friends sit around a backroom wooden table finishing off cartons of local takeout. Robin sips a canned drink and puts it down.
“That was delicious” says Ophelia. “I don’t remember the last time I had good food like that. I spent most of my time digging for scraps in the dumpsters.”
“Wow, that is truly contemptible that our society allows for such mediocrity” says Dr. Kowalski.
Robin shakes her head as she thinks that if her vision was accurate then this young woman should have died in the black cloud but she didn’t because Robin intervened and injured it with her Armon. She wonders how much else she has changed by being in this time. She remembers her studying the butterfly effect. “Doctor, is it possible to travel forward or backwards in time in large distances.”
“What a random question? We travel in time all the time. We are doing it right now but in answer to your query, there is nothing in modern relativity or string theory that prevents or allows for such travel. Certainly an advanced alien civilization might disagree with me but I don’t think it can be entirely possible in and of itself.”
“But you heard of the Time Stone, right?”
“Yes, I have had run-ins with it. I don’t there is any living human being who understands fully how the Time Stone operates but it clearly does.”
“Wow… I like hanging out with you guys” comments Ophelia. “When will we begin our quest hunt for the Chintamani Stone?”
“First things first, young lady” warns Doctor Kowalski, “the Chintamani Stone is often described as a green gem or a jewel that fell from the stars.”
“Sounds like the Time Stone” says Robin.
“It could be but it could also be moldavite, a tektite formed after meteorite crater impacts and such an impact could have in ancient times occurred and been viewed as a mystical event and revered as a heavenly or starry artifact.” Doctor Kowalski speaks as he rises and walks over to a shelf and grabs a stack of folders and loose papers with a disorganized stack of papers stuffed in between them. He drops them on the table before Robin as he approaches.
“That’s great” says Robin sorting through the paperwork. “What’s this about a Kintamani mountain range?”
“It’s in Bali, Indonesia just south of the Philippines and purportedly named after the Chintamani Stone.”
“Pretty far from Asia or Africa” Robin utters.
“Nevertheless, it is an ideal match for the paradisiacal city of Shambhala.”
“So let’s go and find it” says Robin wiping her mouth with a napkin.
“The you-know-what still needs some preparation” says Dr. Kowalski,
“The ship in there?” utters Robin confused.
“What ship?” asks Ophelia.
“I know someone who might be able to help us” says Robin nodding.
“Dr. Kowalski, will you help me learn about this more and how to study science?” Ophelia asks.
“Why I would be delighted to mentor you child?” he responds.
“Great, you guys have fun. I am going to get some additional help” Robin says nodding. Miles down the road in front of the inn; Robin walks around the spot by the bench where she remembers appearing not too long ago. “It was weird” she thinks as she sat back on the bench thinking she felt strange being transported from the Cliffside she was on to this bench. She sees fear in the eyes of the people who survived the black cloud attack as they walk around in an aimless fashion. She feels bad for them and frowns as she then realizes she was grateful to help the town by scaring away the bad force but feels bad for not being able to save everyone. She sees the darkness of their hearts permeate and unfold before them. Robin remembers she has the time stone from her previous trip here stored back in her inn room. She wonders if she should use it now or if that would interfere with the purpose why she was here. “I really need to learn more about this time ripping stuff” she utters. “H… where the hell are you? H….H…” she whispers and begins to speak louder and louder. A familiar voice echoes behind her, “you always speak to yourself?” asks David. “Oh hey” she turns and rises to see him there. “I was just thinking aloud… that’s a lie… I know it sounds unbelievable but I was kind of talking to someone … trying to get a friend….” “Oh, a believer, I sometimes has been caught chalking up a prayer to the man upstairs. It’s a comfort to help you feel better you know?” he smiles. “Yeah” she responds smiling. “Want to talk to me about it? Maybe I can help” he adds sitting on the bench and she retakes her seat next to him. “I pray for a miracle” Robin says. “Miracles are nice to believe in but not very practical” David says. “I think they are… there are stranger things on heaven and earth than we can dream and all you have to do is believe.” “Sounds profound but I never was big on the whole spirit of Christmas thing.” “I love it even though I was raised against it. My family believed in the Oligarch… uh … it’s not important… but despite the focus on a single group of ‘all powerful’ people and other world beings, and seeing the other people in my community who were less fortunate celebrating a different holiday, a Christmas holiday and finding joy in each other even though they didn’t have much, I wanted the place to go where family worshipped together under a steeple, I tended to wanted to believe in my heart and soul that there was more to life, some force or power in the universe that allows for at least that one time of year where the world can transcend and permeate hope and faith and love in a collective whole voluntarily and inadvertently uniting in a common theme for the betterment of everyone without selfish drives towards money or power, people coming together in the spirit of goodwill and fellowship, and then anything is possible and that is where true miracles can happen. I had so many failed relationships, even a proposal, and I never had that miracle.” “That sounds deep… I pray you find your miracle”; “thanks.” “Anyway, my home life was religious but never really spiritual… went to church… did the good book thing and charity but never felt compelled to believe in anything, just business and making money. I know it sounds selfish.” “If that works for you then its fine; it’s what you choose to do with your time on this earth that really matters, not what you leave behind or what you possess. Sometimes I wonder what it’s all about, life, the great mystery after all we are only mortal and can never really see or experience everything so what is it all for?” “I guess that’s the challenge we should undertake… but at the same time take the time to cherish and appreciate what we have… because its moment may not come back.” “Sounds like a dream” she responds. “Life is a dream, life is short so we have to live it… and maybe if you get the chance, love” David says sincerely. “I have had many chances with love… every time it ends in disaster. I think I am not meant for love, it’s not possible.” Robin frowns shaking her head. David leans over and she looks up and they kiss passionately. He looks up again and smiles, “anything is possible.” “I don’t want you to get hurt” she says sadly and looks about at the people still walking around in a daze and fearful, people leaving in taxi cabs with rapidly-packed luggage with sleeves sticking out. “Everyone in town is worried it appears” Robin responds. “They are all still upset and shaken over the whole black cloud attack that came out of nowhere. It’s weird. No one can explain how it happened but people are fleeing in case it returns.” “I think I have to blame myself.” “Why?” he asks and then they both veer up and hear a loud noise, chanting and preaching loudly, hoarse voice echoes over the large congregation spread in a large church building nearby. “I just have been through so much, I travelled through time… I faced a powerful beast, unearthed ancient alien relics, and now this crazy mission…” she stops herself seeing the confused look on David’s face and smiles. “I love science fiction!” “That’s interesting” he nods continuously mesmerized by her beauty and personality. “What’s that?’ asks Robin looking up towards continued noise from the church. “You’re steeple” David replies smiling. They walk up to the church and enter to the loud chanting and hymned vibrations of the choir and congregation immersed in song before the Porter at the head of the room before a large altar. Christmas songs begin to play. “Miracles do happen and this is a season of “miracles, of sharing, of giving… the Christmas spirit moves us… it compels us….” “Wow…” Robin smiles as she enters follows by David with a shy smirk on his face. “This is what I always imagined it would be” she clasps her hands as she joins the crowds raising their hands and voices jubilantly over their heads. David follows and takes his place besides her in the rear pew pretending to mimic the enthusiasm surrounding the spectators. The smiling faces revere their personas before the front altar and preacher with joy as they heavily bestow themselves with passion and enthusiasm. Robin smiles brighter in their company forgetting as they did the black cloud, the death and destruction, and the threat of further annihilation. She joins in on their fun and feels a spirit take hold of her as she claps along with the congregation and chanting and Christmas singing in line with the spirit and joy of the holiday season. The songs end and the chanting continue into the next spirited song. Robin bellows loudly like never before in utter joy and triumph. The joyous smile of the chubby bearded preacher up front lead his flock with arms wide and loud voice. “Well” the gingerly hoarse voice of the elderly preacher with a colorful satin gown lit up the room as he bellowed loudly to his group. “The story of Noah was a serious adventure to save the world and the future of mankind… but it was no different than what we face every day as we live in fear of being annihilated… like most of ours, his life did turn out pretty well but not as he had expected … though he did marry and have kids and many generations down the road, current ones look back with those yet to come thinking, ‘that is something to be proud of and worth remembering.’”
“That’s something deep” says Robin nodding.
“The key is a symbol of love” continues the preacher teaching his knowledge endlessly, “eternity is where true love exists and time stops so true love can blossom. Love is about the right time not the end of time. Believing is seeing and seeing is believing and finding the power within your heart.” His boyish smile and charismatic face lit up the room.
Robin looks around and sees a man with a dark leather coat over a white button up shirt tightened up to his collar. The man has a strange complexion that glistens and his face is smooth and has curved extensions forming a second skin above his face and eyebrows and forehead stretching downward like silly putty to the corners of his lips. He scratches his head and spiked brown hair pointed in various directions like a punk rocker. He sees Robin and nods before retreating into the back as the preacher finished his sermon and dismissed his flock.
“Remember, always be kind to one another and carry the spirit of the good lord in your hearts and minds.” The preacher finished and the crowd began to leave in organized rows towards the exterior doors.
“What time do you have?” asks Robin whispering to David.
“A couple of minutes to midnight… why?” he asks looking at his wristwatch.
“Just got to go check something” she utters in response walking against the outgoing crowd towards the back where she saw the weird-looking man enter. There is something about him she couldn’t place just yet but she is determined to find out.
“I got to get to a late business meeting, I’ll see you later… I got a surprise for you back at the hotel” he whispers in response and plants a peck on her cheek before leaving. She smiles in response and then looks forward past the exiting hordes of people as she makes her way towards the back room where the strange man entered not too long ago. She makes her way pushing through the people and goes to the back and enters the dark corridor silently ignoring the voices of the exiting masses long behind her and seeming like white noise at this point. She walks passed a lit office and looks inside seeing the strange man behind a desk holding a smart telephone receiver. “Who are you?” he scolds and yells, “security… don’t make me call for help.” “Calm down” says Robin, “I’m not here to hurt you. I’m Robin Matthews. Who are you?” “I am called Raymere” he utters dropping the phone on the desk and walking around to Robin extending his hand. Robin takes his hand and smiles. “It’s a pleasure to meet you… you seem different than the others.” “I am different but so is everyone. No two snowflakes are alike” he laughs. “That’s true” says Robin smirking. “Tell me…” Robin starts but before she could finish Raymere utters softly, “I was born like this” he points to the deformities obviously making up his face. “I was told I could see images… movements in time….” “Do you mean psychic visions?” Robin asks. Raymere nods and utters, “I sometimes see things. I saw the black cloud before it came and killed those people but I could not do anything about it. No one believed me. They think I’m crazy.” Raymere looks down in depression. Robin could tell he is kind of slow. “I believe you” Robin responds. “Hello” says the priest entering after his flock had left the building. He looks at Robin curiously. “How may we help you?” he wanders over towards Raymere. “This is my new friend… Robin Matthews” says Raymere. “What did I tell you about talking to strangers, Raymere?” “That it’s a bad thing.” Raymere looks up with a scolded sense of defeat. “I am sorry Miss Matthews. I am Father Porter… I am glad you were able to come out and worship with us but we are closed now. Perhaps you can come back later when…” the priests starts then stops himself and his jaw drops as he sees a mark on Robin’s neck. “You have the image” he gasps and holds his throat. “The what?” she utters. The priest approaches and points to her neck and a birthmark symbol that looks like a pair of angelic wings. “That is the image.” “That old thing… I was born with it. It’s nothing.” “It is said that he who bears the sacred image will be the winged messenger of time, the chosen one… it was wrong, it is a she… it is you.” “Me? What does that mean?” “It means simply you must recognize the destiny you were meant to fulfill, the challenges you were meant to undertake, the voyage your soul, mind, katra, spirit, were always meant to endure. You need to find the solution fight for what’s right be the hero the symbol that is needed to protect the people that everyone can get behind and in turn of making that difference and you finally define your true destiny and become the champion you were meant to be. Never give up on that.” “That sounds like a lot Father, what if I can’t do it?” “You already have begun it and don’t realize it… there is a lot to do in little time. But it is no accident you are here. Come with me to the rectory. I have something for you. It is very old, far older than me” Father Porter speaks with a joke. “Creating a city of justice and peace for all under God for all of time is not something we take in lightly. Come with me.” He leads Robin and Raymere into the back rectory further down the hall passing other employees of the church and leading back into a room with a desk similar to the other room but darker. The priest turns on a desk lamp and pulls out a file cabinet behind the desk removing all the old folders within it a bunch at a time. Robin looks at him wondering what he is doing. Father Porter talks as he works “I am sure you are acquainted with the legend of the maṇi-jewel; a magical jewel, which manifests whatever one, wishes for.” “I have heard of it… the Chimtamani Stone” says Robin. Raymere looks around confused. “Well,” continues Father Porter “it is revered in texts and treatises involving the legendary guardians of the Holy Grail, The Knights Templar, John the Baptist, Joseph of Arimithea, and the source of Water of Life … Mani Stone, the Chimtamani Stone is the Treasure of the World, the very first holy grail on Earth, the fabled holy grail, and according to one’s desires, treasures, clothing and food can be manifested, while sickness and suffering can be removed, water can be purified, anything even miracles can happen. It is seen in the teachings and writings of Christ and other religious figures from other cultures like King David, Mohammed, Ganesh, Krishna, and Buddha. No wonder it is referred to promptly and often as the stone of heaven but it is only one piece of a far greater legend.” The old man finally removes the false bottom on the draw and reveals a box he pulls out. He holds it on the desk then before Robin. “What is it?” Robin asks curiously. “Your destiny” Father Porter Replies. “I have kept this all my life pretty much and it has been passed down in my family for thirty generations going back almost a millennia waiting for your arrival, the chosen one, atahensic.” “What?” Robin’s jaw drops as she hears that word, “Atahensic?” “Yes, Sky…,” “woman” Robin finishes. “How did you know?” Father Porter asks. “I met some people who knew me by that name, a long time ago.” “I have no doubt that you were well known in your travels and have seen a lot but it is nothing compared to what you have yet to experience in your travels.” Father Porter utters as he opens the small box and removes a faded piece of parchment rolled up and cracking at the edges. He unravels a piece of string around it and slowly unrolls the parchment careful not to let it crack too much. Some pieces fall off due to age and poor oxidation Robin wonders. She looks at it with awe-inspiring wonder. “It’s a map?” “It leads to the greatest treasure ever imagined. The mani stone is actually something far greater. What you seek from this map is the legendary wings of time that will allow you to soar with the eagles, beyond any heights, even beyond our planet’s atmosphere. This will be necessary to stop a scourge of evil that will threaten the world and has already done so; it is history and destiny, if you will.” “What language is this written in?” The parchment unfolded had words all over it and around it with a circular diagram in the center and a border seeming like ancient tapestries. The circular diagram had words and pictures of various forms of people and animals. It protruded around in a spiral and culminated in the center and then in reverse. “Time is immortal… It is the language of the ancients… pregivers….” “I heard of them” she responds. “When the time is right you will know all you need to… the map is clear as day to me as my family has had time to study it for a long time… the greatest scholars spent their lifetimes deciphering it and unraveling it for you to possess now at this point in time… ‘Fly over African mountains and plains… then Asiatic winds… through unstoppable terrains… follow the wisdom of the ages past… open the doorway in hidden tombs… follow the map to where it leads for the water stone rests at long last.’” Father Porter looks at her with a sincere grin after reading it and remembering the story his mother told him as a child and how it matches the verse perfectly. “Wow… very cryptic but surreal” smiles Robin “I am honored and will try not to disappoint.” “I know you will… I am without children being a man of God… I was to leave this to my ward Raymere… as you can tell he is special. But now there is no need. You must take this.” He rolls up the parchment and binds it again placing it carefully back in the box, sealing it carefully and handing it to her. Robin takes it and nods sadly. “Phew” says Father Porter. “I had never thought I would be the one in my family to release that to the Atahensic. That parchment has been here as long as this building and we have been its caretakers all these generations. Now, it feels … liberating… like a weight lifted after almost a thousand years of waiting but also sad to see it go. What will we do now?” “I think you are doing everything right” she smiles beckoning to the building they occupied and reminding him of his mission at preaching and spreading the good word of the gospel. “Thank you, my child.”
Robin walks out of the church with a renewed sense of pride and vigor. As she heads down the steps and onto the street, she begins to walk towards the hotel smelling the night air and thinking of David and that special surprise he mentioned. She walks several meters away and feels a bump, turns, and sees Raymere who followed her all the way there. People still run around with suitcases fleeing their apartments and rooms some stopping to look at the odd deformities on Raymere’s face they were unfamiliar with and look in disgust as they run off.
“What are you doing here, Raymere?” Robin asks.
“I want to come too” he says. “Father says OK… I was never out of church. I want to come.” He beckons to her to go. Then suddenly a loud explosion fills the air and they turn to see the church going up in a fiery ball of orange flames and black smoke spewing overhead. They stood in shocked horror as did the people running about stopping to stare at the immense destruction before their eyes. Robin’s heart sank at the thought of Father Porter and the others not having enough time realize their fates. A solitary tear falls down Robin’s cheek as she gazes up at the infernal abyss before her.
At the hotel restaurant near the lobby, Robin looks into a half-drunk glass of Scotch Whiskey on the rocks and weeps endlessly. “Two disasters in a short period of time and I failed to stop it… some hero I turned out to be” she cries to herself. She looks up at a cardboard cutout of a crescent moon hanging off the bar’s back wall and Raymere sits on the stool beside Robin with his elbows on the bar and his chin in his hands, Raymere looks down at a half-finished glass of milk. Robin doesn’t hear David approaching behind her who smiles as he grabs her with a big bear hug from behind but then stops when he sees her crying. “What’s wrong?” he sits down besides her and beckons to the bartender, “I’ll have what she’s having.” “Didn’t you hear about the church?” she whispers response. “I did… it was a major tragedy. That old building was there as long as I have been a live and then some. I am glad you made it out alright.” “I killed those people. I should have seen something.” “You’re not psychic, are you?” “Huh” she shrugs with a cavalier whimsical grin. “I see things” says Raymere looking up happily and then sadly. “Who is this?” asks David. “Raymere, this is my friend David” says Robin. “Nice to meet you” says Raymere with a childlike grin as he rises and extends his hand and David shakes it returning the smile. “You guys couldn’t have known about the explosion. I have friends with the local constable. They are still investigating the source. Looks like it might have been preplanned by the radical religious groups we had problem with recently.” “Really?” asks Robin contemplating as she sips her drink. “You know… life goes on… we just have to be grateful for ourselves.” “That’s selfish, David” says Robin. “I know… I am just trying to be supportive. Come on, I did have that surprise for you, dinner in the main penthouse upstairs with me tomorrow night. What do you say?” he grabs his glass delivered to him by the bartender and sips it. “I don’t feel like celebrating because of so much death and I feel like a failure; so many powers at my disposal and nothing.” “You mentioned weird stuff like that before, what of it?” David asks putting down his drink. “I got abilities. I am the Atahensic.” “The what?” David asks. “Sky Woman” says Raymere finishing his glass of milk and wiping away his milk mustache. “That sounds like magic or conspiracy nut logic on extraterrestrials.” “Chalk one up for the nuts. There are a lot of them and apparently they are right” she grabs her collar and lowers her blouse. David looks away shyly then turns back seeing the image of the wings-shaped birthmark on her neck. “Is that a pair of angel wings?” “Apparently, I had this all my life and didn’t know I was the ‘chosen one’.” Robin slurs her speech as she takes another drink. “Hey go easy on that stuff” cautions David. “I am not drunk” she moans. “Well, that Sky Woman stuff reminds of a mystical Catholic priest in the 16th century named Pedro Ruiz Calderón. He was accused of all sorts of nasty witchcraft claiming he could turn invisible and even teleport through time and space, weird huh?” “Been there and done that” says Robin drunkenly finishing her glass and slamming it on the counter beckoning to the bartender to bring her another one. “Well, notwithstanding any evil religion institutions out there threatening the end of the world, there is a lot to be said of God, peace, love, hope, faith, and forgiveness… antecedents to war, pestilence and plague, famine, strife, and death” David follows through. “So then super power the legend and rocket it up” Robin says slurring and grabs her refill drink delivered to her and guzzles it down. David shakes his head sadly, grabs his drink and sips it, looks at Raymere, and utters “looks like it’s going to be a long night, Kid.”
The next morning, Robin awakens in her bed not remembering a thing about how she got there or what happened. She rises and pushes off the covers getting to her feet and walking over to the mirror. She holds her head and moans. “What the hell?” “Hey sleepy head” says David coming into the room with a pot of coffee and a basket of muffins. “I am glad you’re up. I was beginning to worry about you.” “What happened last night, David?” Robin asks turning holding her head. “I feel like I got hit with a ton of bricks.” “You had half a fifth of Jack Daniels. That would do it for anyone but here take this, my specialty.” David pours a cup of coffee and hands it to her. “Strong and black… best way to overcome a hangover. Believe me, I know from experience.” Robin grabs it in both hands and carefully sips it as she takes a seat at the foot of the bed. “I still have those reservations for dinner tonight if you want” David says. “Considering you own the place, I don’t think it’s hard to avoid that” she smirks. “I heard that” David starts, “I found this box you had last night and you said some pretty weird stuff… something Atahensic.” “Oh” Robin nods dropping the cup and spilling the coffee all over the rug. “I’m so sorry.” “It’s alright” David responds. “We’ll get that cleaned up soon. It’s only a $500,000.00 Persian rug.” Robin’s eyes widen with disbelief. “Just kidding… a joke” says David. “I guess I was out of it last night. That explosion really got to me. But that Atahensic stuff is kind of ‘top secret’.” “I hear you… that remind me of my ex-girlfriend who just disappeared one morning, no conversation or warning of any kind but a simple letter she left me, a last clue post-marked on other side of world that arrived a few days later. I don’t understand it. She never mentioned connections to the African continent but maybe she was kidnapped or something. I don’t know. It just seemed odd.” “Africa… funny you should mention that. This box…” she grabs it from him. “I guess I can trust you and tell you.” She looks at him with sinister inflection in her eyes. He gulps in retrospect. “I’ll let you change and meet you downstairs” he smiles with a stare reminiscent of a schoolboy crush thinking love does conquer all. He walks out. Robin walks over to the drawer and pulls out a sweatshirt. She reaches in the back of the draw and pulls out the time stone she had hidden there. She eyes it curiously and puts it in the pocket of the hooded sweatshirt she will put on.
Later in the morning, Robin and David walk downstairs. “I still can’t believe this. You really got some crazy destiny with this ‘water stone’ or ‘mani’….” “Chimatamani Stone” Robin corrects him. “There are strange things in the universe indeed, even with all the technological marvels we know of today, we still feel so inferior to our own past. Imagine an alien civilization so powerful to create these stones to … do what… communicate… battle… travel and explore… or something else we cannot even comprehend?” “Anything is possible or none of it is” responds Robin. “Like you and that girl of yours, you just weren’t compatible?” “We tried the home and family life … had a couple of attempts to have children… stillborn each time. But it wasn’t good enough. We were better off apart. Destiny has much more in store sometimes is what I like to believe. We needed to keep life interesting.” “Like in that ‘Ferris Bueller’ movie ‘life moves pretty quick if you don’t stop and take a look every once and a while you could miss it…” Robin adds. “Sometimes you need a reminder” David indicates. Raymere approaches them as they approach the lobby. “We should go” says Raymere. “What’s the hurry?” Robin asks. “Ship is coming… big… big … wooden ship” he responds uttering. “We must go… my ‘psychic… vision’” he utters slowly. “Really, you saw a ship in a vision… well done” she remarks patronizingly. “There are no ships around here, not even a dock or a pier.” David shakes his head and frowns at Raymere. “Big ship is coming…” Raymere continues to insist. “Sounds intriguing but I should check on my other friends, I have something cooking. I will see you guys later.” Robin nods leaving David and Raymere and walks across the lobby and out of the hotel towards the shop where Dr. Kowalski’s lab was. Robin notices the town is a lot more vacant as many of the people have left town in fear of the multiple attacks brought upon them recently.
Robin enters the shop when suddenly a loud roar can be heard from down the street. Robin’s heart sinks as she turns and wonders what else could happen now. She sees a whirl of yellow light. “The temporal wormhole” she utters to herself and then out of the mouth emerges a wooden brigadier ship materializing before her eyes. Her mouth drops in awe as she sees what Raymere had predicted, a bit wooden ship with its sails set high and anchor raised as it rested on the empty streets of town and the wormhole shut behind it. There doesn’t appear to be life on board the vessel. Robin shut and quickly opens her eyes reading the side of the hull “USS Syrun”. “This is getting really weird” she remarks.
She runs over to the ship and sees David and Raymere run up to it from the hotel. “See… big wooden ship” says Raymere jumping up and down joyfully. “Yes, very good” says Robin. “Where did it come from?” asks David. “You wouldn’t believe it” says Robin.
“What’s all the commotion?” Dr. Kowalski comes out of the shop followed by Ophelia. They stand in shock at the great vessel before them. “Great Caesar’s Ghost” says Dr. Kowalski. “Wowee” says Ophelia, “that’s real or something?” Dr. Kowalski and Ophelia approach Robin, David, and Raymere and the five veer up at the great craft. “Syrun, huh?” says Dr. Kowalski. “Familiar with it?” asks Robin. “No” he replies. “I am” says David. “Let’s go inside and compare notes shall we?” asks Robin politely.
Inside Dr. Kowalski’s lab, Robin and her four friends sit around after having become acquainted and introduced, each sipping glasses of lemonade. “So the USS Syrun is … some kind of warship from back in the day” summarizes Robin. “Yes technically” says David. “It was a revolutionary ship, rare and one of its kind, super powerful.” “A big wooden ship” utters Raymere. “So what does this have to do with us and the wormhole?” asks Robin. “It could bear a number of scientifically-explainable astronomical events and phenomenon” says Dr. Kowalski. “Or it could be fate” says Ophelia. “We might be destined to do something with it.” “Fate and subjugated belief structures are always subject to scientific inquiry” replies Dr. Kowalski. “We have discovered that Ophelia and Robin’s DNA is a perfect match.” “Huh?” says Robin. “It’s true” nods Ophelia. “I couldn’t believe it either.” “DNA doesn’t lie. I used the blood sample you provided me with, Robin, and analyzed it with a cross-genetic demodulating sequencer and found that … well, Robin” he points to Ophelia. “We did a complete mitochondrial DNA workup and discovered… well, meet your great, great, great, great grandmother ….” “Great… you don’t look bad for … how old are you again?” asks Robin dumbfounded. “Eighteen” smiles Ophelia. “Oh great, my ancestor is way younger than me” she grimaces. “Wow, so it’s true” says David looking at Robin. “You really did travel through time.” “I am from a farther future from here but I had visited the ancient past too. I guess I am special.” “Atahensic” Raymere screams clapping and jumping up and down. “You are special.” “You are here for a reason” says Ophelia. “I feel the call of God on you. There is a great destiny that awaits you.” “That’s what I am told” she responds. “I guess social ostracism and poverty runs in the family huh?” Robin asks rhetorically. “We are here for the purpose of our creator. Only he knows when we shall be and fulfill the destiny we are meant to hold” Ophelia continues philosophically, “scientifically explainable of course” she looks at Dr. Kowalski. “I taught her well” he replies. “So maybe you need to use this ship to go to Africa… isn’t that what you said was on the map?” asks David. “We can’t use a ship without a sea” says Robin. “But we could use my ship; the vessel I have invented is ready for launch at any time. I think now is the best time.” “I remember something weird about the Syrun” says David, “it had been foretold it gathered artifacts from the farthest reaches of the world, it had inscribing on the inside of the hull depicting them and the journey to find them. Maybe it might be used with your map to find the Chintamani Stone.” “The water stone is the source of life … the Chintamani Stone is the water stone” says Ophelia almost clairvoyantly. “So whoever sent the ship to us could have meant for you to use it that way.” “So we need the ship” says Robin, “that is to take it along for the ride.” “We can beam spot it to my space ship. I have made the adaptive technology for the job and can make modifications for a vessel that size” says Dr. Kowalski. “Then let’s do it” says Robin. “Yes” says Ophelia. “Cool” says David. “We are going on great adventures” claps Raymere jumping up and down. Dr. Kowalski smiles as he grabs a silver rectangular remote device with dials, switches, and a green radar screen from his draw. “Let’s go to the hangar. We haven’t a moment to lose.” “That’s what I like to hear” a voice echoes throughout the room followed by a flash of white light and when it fades, H stands there with his hands raised above his head. “H… Oh my God, where were you? I was looking for you before” Robin screams as her friends look on in horror. “You know this guy?” asks David. “Of course she does” says H. “I couldn’t let you go forward until you had all the right pieces of the puzzle, Madam Sky Woman and now you are ready to bring light to the darkness of your divine destiny” he utters. “You and your trusted friends will travel far and must make a difference in solving riddles, fighting monsters, and believing in faith and science as means to finding the relic you will need to become the one you are meant to be and stop the evil that has already unfolded.” “this is peculiar” says Dr. Kowalski. “What a sign from heaven” says Ophelia crossing herself. “Why can’t you just take us there directly?” whispers Robin. “I can only do so much because you need to make things happen and learn what must be taught. You know what you have to do. Good luck.” He raises his hands and vanishes again in a whirl of white light. Robin turns and grabs a backpack with supplies from the corner where she drops the boxed map in and seals. She then smiles, “you heard the man. Let’s go!”
BOOM! The ground shakes underneath them sending vibrations throughout the room under everyone’s feet. BOOM… BOOM… the vibrations continue and pieces of debris drop from the metal-laden cement ceiling and items topple off of the benches and worktables throughout the room, chairs fall over, and desks tilt on their axis and drop to the side sending messes of paperwork and computerized equipment to the floor crashing upon impact. “What the hell is going on?” screams Dr. Kowalski. “There is some great evil amongst us” says Ophelia clasping her hands in prayer. “I see bad robot people coming” says Raymere. “I see them in my … psychic vision… bad robot people … flying boats… purple lights… scary.” “I don’t understand” says David struggling to regain his balance. The loud noises and ground-shaking activity continues and continues… BOOM… BOOM. Everyone drops to the ground as the various items continue to fall behind them. “We got to get to the ship” screams Robin over the roaring and booming sounds above them. “H… please come back for us” Robin prays but nothing happens. She slips the backpack onto her back and grabs onto a fallen metal workbench and struggles to rise to her feet, hopping over the bench and then skipping over several others putting her hands first to leverage herself and twirling while simultaneously steadying her footing on each landing as the ground shakes continued and the loud booming sound continued accompanied by its incessant roaring counterpart. “Wow” blinks David looking at Robin move. “She is impressive” says Dr. Kowalski. “A chip off the old ancestral block” says Ophelia. “Go… Go…” applauds Raymere. Robin makes it to the far end of the lab and down the steps. She turns her head slightly as she runs down the steps and sees Dr. Kowalski and company moving slowly on the ground approaching the back room. Robin knows it’s up to her to get the ship moving so they can escape before it’s too late. She remembers the brief tutorial Dr. Kowalski lectured her on when he first escorted her to the window overlooking the hangar base. “It’s up to me. What was that limerick Dr. Kowalski uttered? Six T minus zero nine engines on – 90 degree vectors, forward throttle stick, movement trajectory sixty seconds gone. He didn’t have much for prose but it will do.” Robin runs across the window overlooking the ship below and out a nearby door heading down a dark stairwell and narrow shaft leading to another door down below where she sees the open hangar. She looks up at the window she was just running across and then down to the ship, just as it was when she first saw it, a gigantic megalithic vehicle propelled by nuclear-based ions and quanto-benzinite molecular propulsion fuel technology, if she recalls correctly from Dr. Kowalski’s dissertation to her. “I can’t believe he designed this and built it here. It must have taken decades and a hundred thousand men” she thinks as she acknowledges and takes time to think back at the many days of hardship spent in this lab so this vessel can be ready for her at this moment, “it’s funny how time works out things sometimes.” Her moment of silence is cut off as the booming continues and she looks up fearing her friends will not last long if the roof gives way on them before they can get out. She runs up a makeshift staircase leading up to the cockpit of the massive craft. She sits at the front-end primary control station and begins to flick switches, knobs, and buttons with her fingers moving fast along the control panel. “How do I do this? Damn controls might as well be written in Greek” she utters to herself. She tries repeatedly at the controls and finally curses under her breath as she slams her hands down and yells “Damn Kowalski!” Suddenly the interior lights turn on, a set of roaring, whirling, and clinking sounds accompany the lights as the console lights up before her in various shades and hues. She sees in shock as a massive screen appears before her hovering and fizzling like a hologram. The screen lights up from black to various shades and hues before turning to project the hangar and everything in front of the craft. Robin presses a button before her and holds a stick and moves it at a 360 degree angle in all directions and feels the craft rotate in the hangar and then releases the button and turns the stick leaving the craft stationary but the screen reflects the surrounding environment of the craft from beginning to end full circle. “Far out” cries Robin as she smiles having figured it out. “That Dr. Kowalski sure has an ego on him. His name started this baby up. Now I got to set the ship’s systems based on the lyrics to his little poem.” As Robin thinks and focuses on the poem in her mind, she tries to figure out which controls to trigger but has trouble doing so. Suddenly a series of consoles and similar screens pop up all around the main cockpit extending to the size of small apartment revealing a lit circular structure surrounding her. She looks around confused. “I don’t know what I am supposed to do. I can’t do this on my own.” She then remembers Dr. Kowalski can fly his own ship and she needs to get to him and the rest of her friends fast. She presses a series of buttons at random on her console and then lifts the stick forward, the craft doesn’t budge. “What’s the problem?” asks Robin frustrated. The remainder of the lights and consoles flicker on throughout the craft. Suddenly a faint female voice echoes throughout the entire ship and fluctuates in Robin’s ears picking up the vibration of her voice through her super-sensitive hearing implant. “Welcome, Dr. Kowalski!” “Who is this?” Robin asks. “You are not authorized, where Dr. Kowalski is?” the female voice asks. “I’m Robin, a friend of his. It’s an emergency. They are in… he is in danger now. Please help me.” “Good day Robin,” says the voice, “I am S.I.S.T.E.R., the Self-sustaining Implementation System Terabyte Electron Robot aboard the Redeemer.” “The Redeemer? That must be what Kowalski calls this thing, interesting. ” “I will navigate” says S.I.S.T.E.R. “I am scanning and picked up Dr. Kowalski’s biological marker approximately four-hundred-and-forty-two meters from here along with three other life signs.” “Let’s go” screams Robin holding on to her seats.
The straight egg shaped pod lifts itself as it begins to levitate off the ground and stilts where it sits. The fiberglass tinted canopy and two large elliptical rings over and underneath it glow with a bright yellow hue accompanied by bright red and blue tip and a slight hum as the craft floats above the hangar and towards an opening set of bay doors. The pivoting protracting thrusters of the craft turn on a full 360 degree axis and coalesce near its four fixed wings on either side. The stilts fall to the ground. The craft floats as the central front of the vehicle rises and the series of super tiny aqueducts in the formulation of a long curved rod throughout the front hull literally glow in conjunction with the sides and underbelly of the craft as they move back and forth with feverish rendition of the height of the front. “This is extraordinary” remarks Robin to herself. The craft accelerates suddenly through the open doors in to the darkness and rapidly approaches a light on the other end. Robin looks through the holographic screen and sees lines of pure light moving rapidly towards her as the craft propels itself up a narrow dark shaft. Suddenly a loud hissing sound accompanied by a bright light nearby Robin reveals Dr. Kowalski, Ophelia, David, and Raymere appearing in the compartment Robin occupies. Robin jumps up with excitement at the dumbfounded group. “What was that?” Robin screams. “The beam spot technology allowing for instantaneous matter transport. Like the ancient belief in Shambhala as a magical mystical link between heaven and earth in the secret valley somewhere in Himalayas, Tibet, my technological marvel instantaneously creates a light bridge to transport anyone anywhere from anywhere on this ship but mostly the platform in the back. I see you found the Redeemer and met the voice-activated artificial intelligence” says Dr. Kowalski. “Indeed, Doctor” says S.I.S.T.E.R. “We bonded” jokes Robin. “That was incredible” says David hugging Robin. “We did it” says Raymere excited. “It’s an act of God we survived” says Ophelia looking around at the marvels of technological wonder around her. “I only saw this ship from the outside before. It truly is a blessing, Doctor.” The small crew suddenly turns to look at the screen and the dark tunnel erupts into a daylight sky and they are hovering in the Redeemer outside of the hangar’s building high in the air above. The blue skies glisten amongst the lit-up hull of the Redeemer as it is flung across the air around the building and forward. Robin sees the wooden ship, the Syrun, “Doctor, can we use the beam spot technology on the Syrun like you suggested before?” “Sure my dear” Dr. Kowalski says as he approaches the controls and speaks loudly. “The Redeemer’s AI component is programmed to protect human life at all cost. S.I.S.T.E.R….” Then suddenly a small flying orb of purple light appears in the screen and approaches. The orb comes closer and they see it is a mechanic ship like theirs but much smaller and bearing pieces of circuitry and alloy protruding from all sides, the purple light vibrates around it like an energy barrier. The small ship emits bright rays of similar light in all directions targeting the building causing it to shake… BOOM… BOOM. “That’s what was causing the building to shake” says Robin. “Looks like it can’t take much longer.” David mentions. The small ship keeps targeting the building already decaying and weakening from the stress of so many firings and finally the entire structure collapses. The screen moves slightly to the right towards the building and they see it crumble before their eyes. “Dead lord” says Ophelia. “I hope no one was left inside” says Doctor Kowalski. “I think most people fled the town already including the governments” says David. “Can we do anything?” Robin asks. “What?” responds Dr. Kowalski. The small ship turns and faces the Redeemer firing similar blasts at it causing it to shake wildly tossing the small crew to the ground within it. “We can fight back… does this thing have any weapons?” Robin screams. “This isn’t a warship. It was meant for peaceful excursions. We won’t survive another blast like that” screams Dr. Kowalski. “Then let’s get out of here” screams David. Robin’s eyes flashes suddenly as she saw a vision in her mind’s eye, a premonition of things to come as clear as day she was in a room with several other people, “Drax” she cries out with her mind happy to see him alive but a lot younger than she remembers but she cannot be heard and she sees David and a man with a scar across his face, Leroy Stocky, she recognized his sinister grin and school-boy appearance, notwithstanding the horrendous scar across his face, her original contact from her own era. Leroy Stocky holds a gun at David and the others. There is a tense moment and Robin wants to intervene but feels powerless to interlude in her own persona. Leroy Stocky fires his weapon emitting a red laser beam that disintegrates David killing him instantly as his screams pierce the air before his demise. “Oh no” screams Robin before flashing back into her present state staring at Dr. Kowalski and David before her. “What happened?” asks David. “A psychic vision” says Raymere. Robin nods. “Let’s go S.I.S.T.E.R.” she yells ordering for a swift evacuation as she sees the small ship fires another blast and the Redeemer turns and maneuvers quickly out of the way and straight forward and around the small ship narrowly avoiding getting struck by the sinister impending blast. Robin then remembers the Syrun below and looks at Dr. Kowalski. “Doctor, get the Syrun up here now and let’s get out of here quickly” says Robin. The Redeemer approaches the Syrun and the crew sees it approaching on the screen. “S.I.S.T.E.R, lock on to the ancient vessel below and execute” says Dr. Kowalski emphatically. “Acknowledged Doctor” the Robot’s voice replies and they see the Syrun vanish before their eyes in a hissing and glowing whirl of light. “Amazing” says David. “The ancient vessel is in floater bay deck one” says S.I.S.T.E.R. “Excellent” shouts Dr. Kowalski clapping his hands. “Set course for northern African continent, these coordinates” he reaches over and types a set of numbers into the computer console before him. The Redeemer hovers away. The small ship in pursuit of the Redeemer zooms forward after it preparing to fire another blast. “Acknowledged” says S.I.S.T.E.R. “Where is that exactly?” asks Robin. “The first step where your ‘water stone’ would be” he replies. Robin nods in recognition. “Execute Advanced Rapid Speed” says Dr. Kowalski. “Acknowledged, Doctor” says S.I.S.T.E.R. The Redeemer soars through the air looping around and heading in the opposite direction across the great Atlantic Ocean at blinding speeds leaving the small ship behind firing its energy blast into empty air.
The arrival of the intrepid vessel is almost instantaneous taking but less than one hour before it approaches the great African continent from the north. “The sharpness of the sword is not in the edge of the blade, but in the hand of the warrior … Martin Aquino” says David as he sits on the far end of the enlarged cockpit area with Robin staring at him inquisitively. “It’s an old story I learned long ago.” “You sure have a lot of them” Robin replies thinking how to tell him she saw him die in a vision without sounding pernicious. “David… I have something to…” Robin starts then suddenly a siren blasts through the public address system on the Redeemer and red lights flood the compartment. S.I.S.T.E.R’s voice echoes after it “violent encounter alert below. We have arrived at the North African area. I am detecting violent encounter, subject not of human origin and not within specified parameters.”
“We should go down there… or someone should… Miss Atahensic” laughs Dr. Kowalski as he chuckles over at the primary console. “So I am the cannon fodder hero for this mission” says Robin approaching. “You are the chosen one” says Ophelia. “I will go… I will go” says Raymere clapping. “I won’t let you go alone” says David standing beside Robin who looks back at him frustratingly. “I can beam spot you all if you like” Dr. Kowalski says “but someone should stay here with the ship.” “I will” says Ophelia. “I abhor violence… so pointless sometimes.” “Most times” reminds Robin. “Why don’t we just see what is the problem on the screen?” “We’d love to” starts Dr. Kowalski. “That blast from that small little ship did more damage than I initially anticipated. The screen is out. The external cameras and sensors are out. So are many of the primary and backup systems. We are lucky we made it to AR speed to escape. It will take some time to repair” he continues noticing the look of despair on their faces “but no worries, the beam spot technology still functions… thank God for small favors.” “Thank God indeed” says Ophelia. “While you guys are gone, I and Ophelia will have this ship in ship shape by the time you return.” “OK. We will suit up. We have to be prepared.” “There are small hand-held weapons on deck C” says Dr. Kowalski. “It’s all we got.” “And all we got is what we will have to use” says Robin.
Over an hour later near the back end of the ship Robin, David, and Raymere having changed into black militaristic tactical gear walk down a winding narrow corridor to the weapons room Dr. Kowalski mentioned. Robin pushes up her sleeves and approaches David closer. Robin and David walk and speak as Raymere lags behind them looking about mesmerized by the level of sophistication of the hallways before them, the rubber-looking walls that spring to the touch, the hard metal floors that feel warm but look cold and the glistening orange and neon red lights above that seem to vibrate with their own energies.
“This is surely great” says Raymere looking up while walking.
“Yeah…” says Robin but turning her attention to David, “I feel I have to tell you something, David. I don’t think you should come with us to the surface.”
“Why not?” David asks.
“I don’t feel it is safe.”
“I can handle myself. I am concerned about you.”
“Don’t be concerned. I mean I am grateful to you but I can handle myself too. I saw … I think you will… what I mean is….”
“Here we are” screams Raymere running into the weapons room and grabbing guns off the shelf.
“Hold it, Raymere” says Robin grabbing them back from him. “Why don’t you let us handle these? You can use this” she grabs a Bo Staff from the corner and hands it to him.
“Cool” Raymere screams holding his new weapon of choice and moving his hands around with it.
“I was saying I think it would be bad for you to go…” Robin stops herself handing David one of the pistols without thinking and bagging the others in her backpack and grabbing a longer rifle-like assault weapon.
“I think we will be alright” David looks at her and smiles walking out followed by Raymere.
“I saw you die” Robin whispers but they were long ahead of her and didn’t hear her.
The trio walks to the designated spot where they were told to go by Dr. Kowalski near a room with a glowing white bulb the size of the entire room shooting down a hallow white field of energy. The trio steps into it and Robin speaks into her hand microphone device on her index finger that Dr. Kowalski provided to her. “We’re ready, Doc.” Within seconds the trio vanishes in a whiff of white light as hallow white field of energy grows and encompasses them all instantly. Robin feels a sense of discernment as she was teleported out of the room.
Appearing on the surface before a vast deserted landscape surrounded by rocks and mountains in the distance, Robin sees a monstrous foe assaulting an old man. A large mechanical beast shaped like a dinosaur of the species allosaurus with black and yellow colored trimming surrounding its ferocious fanged head and large muscular body moving with mechanical robotic movements as it snared, roared, and growled before an elderly man shivering in the desert. The old man wore a blue gown and long hat; he bore white whiskers and a long bearded mane approaching down towards his abdomen. The great dinosaur robot beast fought the old man as it circled like a vulture finishing its prey. The old man desperately clung to a wooden staff and tried to reach for a small jewel-like object meters away but could not reach it and stood frightened as the dinosaur robot beast continued to snap at him with its powerful jaws every time he made a move to retrieve the jewel.
“We have to do something” says Robin shocked. She runs over pulling out one of the pistols from her bag and drops the bag while them aiming the pistol firing and emitting several red laser beams towards the beast knocking it back several meters crashing down on the dirt ground hard sending sparks flying into the air upon impact. Robin runs over shocked at the red lasers and remembering David’s death in her vision to similar beams from a similar weapon, perhaps that one. She runs over to the old man and helps him up escorting him away from the beast as it began to rise up and approach, slowed down by the damage to its exoskeleton sparking and lighting up but determined more than ever. David and Raymere approach and help Robin with the old man.
“Thank you my dear but I need my amulet” says the old man clutching to his staff.
“Stay here with them” Robin mentions to the old man.
“You don’t have to tell me twice” the old man laughs.
Robin runs over to the jewel lying on the floor as the beast approaches and strikes her knocking her back. David runs over and tries to kick at the beast but misses and falls on the ground hard feeling the pain in his arm. He reaches for his pistol with his free hand as Robin laying on the floor fires her pistol towards the beast. A second set of beams comes from David’s pistol towards the beast and the dinosaur beast explodes before them, debris from his exoskeleton remains fly off in every direction. Robin and David shield themselves and then look at one another with a look of relief on their faces. “Good work” says Robin. “You too… that is some unique firepower” David replies rising to his feet holding his sore arm and then walking over to Robin as she gets up. “It’s going to take some time. We better put some ice on that.” “It’ll heal… just a flesh wound” jokes David. “Thank you so much for everything” the old man approaches walking with his staff slowly aided by Raymere. Robin walks over a few feet and grabs the jewel that sparkles in the daylight. She then walks over and hands it to the old man. “This is much appreciated” he says. “I think this belongs to you” she mentions. “I thought I was finished for sure” he says putting the amulet on his staff’s hilt lighting up the jewel and entire staff that glistens like crystal. The jewel glistens making the staff become as crystalline clear as the jewel. “I am Madelekior, the wise.” “Robin and this is David and Raymere. We are glad we arrived in the nick of time.” The trio each nods to their new friend. “As true heroes do and I was impressed with your manner of entrance. Truly you are an advanced people.” “We try” replies Robin. “What is that thing and why were you under attack?” if we may ask. “There are many beasts like that around from the old wars and I was unfortunate enough to encounter one but fortunate enough to have angels like you come to my aid. I was on a very dangerous mission, searching for the relic of an ancient civilization, the mighty Chintamani Stone… a powerful legend bearing truly wondrous abilities. I was told on good information that this was the last home before it vanished without a trace.” “The Chintamani Stone?” Robin’s eyes widen at the shocking coincidence. “We are after the same thing.” “Really” Madelekior’s eyes glisten with hope. “I believe I have found my benefactor. It is no coincidence we met. I see…” he suddenly reaches for Robin’s collar and pulls it down. She backs away slightly but hesitates letting the old man see the birthmark on her neck. His eyes widen further. “Well, oh, as I live and breathe” says the old man, “I am in the presence of greatness… ironic but fated and blessed being that the one who would save my life would be the legendary Atahansic, Sky Woman, hero of time.” “I have been told that” she replies. “We are all proud of you” says David. “Yes, yes” Raymere jumps up and down. “This is meant for you. I have neither purpose nor intervening with the chosen one” he reaches for the jewel-like device on his staff so he could hand it to her. “This will guide you on your quest.” “I think you should hold on to it. You will need it if you are to accompany us on this quest.” “Why I would be honored. I didn’t think you would need an old fool of my limited skills and abilities. I was only coming because I didn’t know you were already on this path.” “I think there are a lot of skills you can contribute.” Robin smiles to the old man.
“We should go back to the ship so we can figure out where to go from here. Maybe your amulet and my map will guide us right to the prize of legend we are seeking.” “And I can tend to my injury” says David. “I thought you said it was just a flesh wound” Robin jokes back. “Ha ha” says David. Robin calls on her hand microphone. “Dr. Kowalski, we need beam spot energy retraction for four people.” “Contact” says Dr. Kowalski and within seconds the four vanish in a whiff of white light.
Back on board the Redeemer, Dr. Kowalski studies the jewel Robin handed him when they returned. He looks at it with a huge magnifying glass and a curious stare as he speaks, “looks like this is some really advanced science, well beyond my level of understanding but I think it comes close to a concept I myself theorized once in a paper but never really discovered, electro-gravity luminescence, a revolutionary energy source that could technologically change the world.” Madelekior stands behind him leaning on his staff with an odd grin. Raymere sits in the corner playing with a portable computer game. Robin sits on the other end of the cockpit with her elbow leaning on the nearest console and her hand cupping her face with a sorrowful grin. She thinks about David and how her vision might soon come true and they have no real leads now on getting where they need to go.
In the side quarters of the Redeemer resides a medical facility fully equipped with necessary tools and equipment to cure almost any ailment. Ophelia wraps David’s arm in a bandage and pads him up with iodine and other medicines to heal his wounds. “This should do it. You need to take it easy for a while” Ophelia says. “I know, I had to do what I had to do. Robin needed me” says David with a sincere solace. “Yes but you won’t be of any use to her if you are dead next time” Ophelia responds. “Thanks” says David “you’re good at this.” “Yes, Dr. Kowalski says I have what it takes to be a junior nurse. He has been training me. It turns out I have a gift, a knack for absorbing information quickly. It’s a blessing from God so I want to study science and medicine. It’s funny… I was always raised religiously and believing in God and veered away from science and technology.” “What changed?” “All of you and Robin and Dr. Kowalski, this ship… it seems that my life has not gotten me anywhere but poverty and homelessness on the street. I always believed it was part of God’s plan. I know this that we are going through now is his plan. I believe now that all this science and technology is connected to religious beliefs because it must be part of his plan or he must have wanted it to happen this way. It must be God’s will for us to be here now.” “That’s good thinking” David nods. “I hope we all find what we desire most in this planned road the almighty has set us on but whatever it brings will be because he willed it… a glory unto itself” she finishes. Then suddenly the room rocks and a loud noise erupts, BOOM… BOOM that then continues over and over again. “What the hell?” says David. “We might be under attack again. God help us” says Ophelia crossing herself and grasping her hands together in prayer.
In the cockpit, Robin rises to her feet with her friends and approaches the screen at the primary console. “What is it?” she asks. “Some kind of electromagnetic interference similar to the one we encountered back with that small purple neon ship” says Dr. Kowalski. “It’s of the same design but a lot bigger and it’s focused itself on us with some low-level-tardyon-based emission pulse not as strong as the laser emitted from its counterpart back then.” “Great, what do these people want?” Robin asks flabbergasted. “It seems they are capable of a lot more harm. They must be aware of our limited defensive and offensive capabilities. If they wanted to destroy us, they would easily have done so now.” David and Ophelia run onto the cockpit area with the others. “What’s the situation?” asks David. “Same type of ship as before only bigger” says Robin. “Great spirits” says Ophelia shocked. “The alien robot people… purple mass… large” Raymere utters. “Raymere” says Robin turning to him “you said you saw it in a vision… I have them to” she holds his arms. “What exactly did you see?” she looks into his eyes carefully speaking slowly and condescendingly. “I saw lights… robotic men… alien people… walking… big rocks … pretty rocks like diamonds in middle… they were putting their fingers into it.” “What does that mean?” David asks. “Well, any intelligent enough civilization may have mastered crystalline-derivation technology… like the pregivers with the time stone relic” says Dr. Kowalski. “You know about that?” asks Robin looking back. Dr. Kowalski nods repeatedly. The ship rocks again and the loud rumbling continues BOOM… BOOM. “Time is relative….” “How is that?” “Well not that we have a lot of time but in the early twentieth century renowned physicist Albert Einstein proposed a theory that unified mass, energy, motion through space, the relativity of time, and formed a new mathematical concept called space time where all objects in the universe move in relation to one another. This self-consistency principle is often controversial due to the implications that the time traveler has no free will while traveling in the past, yet does have free will when in the present and future.” “That explains a lot” says Robin. “Even at this level, it is only a matter of time before we fall apart
says Dr. Kowalski. “We are sitting ducks” says Madelekior. “Can we try to retaliate?” Robin asks. “With what?” asks Dr. Kowalski. There are no larger scale implements of destruction. I didn’t even want to have the smaller hand-held ones but for that damn ‘safe-rights law.’” “Wait… David…” Robin looks at him perplexed. “I…” he starts. “Come on… we can use the time stone” Robin utters and Robin and David run off from the cockpit to the hallways around the perimeter of the ship. “I have the answer” adds Madelekior retrieving his jewel from the pedestal that Dr. Kowalski was studying it on and putting it back on his staff. “What are you doing, Madelekior?” asks Ophelia. “Saving us” he responds as the cockpit shakes again with more rumbling… BOOM… BOOM, BOOM. Madelekior holds up his staff with the jewel clear as crystal joined together and utters an incantation at the top of his lungs, “virtute tueri posse spei vires jam saecula saeculorum.” The jewel glistens brighter and extends its own force field that grows and spreads out beyond the cockpit and covers the entire ship. Soon the shakes and rumblings stop and the screen comes on revealing the large purple-lit ship similar to the small one before but a dozen times the size and it continues firing and firing, emitting larger rays of energy and radiation endlessly and tirelessly but failing to cause any damage to the Redeemer. Dr. Kowalski nods in shock “it’s amazing, we have an energy barrier around us. “The bad people are planning to leave” says Raymere and after he utters those words the crew sees the ship turn about and vanish from the screen as it speeds ahead in the blink of an eye. “We did it… thank you Madelekior… thank God for you and that device” says Ophelia. “It was simply an old saying.” “What did it mean?” asks Dr. Kowalski. “Power of time power of hope power protect us now forever and ever, I think you have a new gift to your vessel here. This energy shield should protect you indefinitely.” “I would love to study that jewel more to understand its workings.” “Faith is the only understanding necessary, Doctor.” “Where did Robin and David go?” asks Ophelia looking about the room.
In the back area near the beam spot technology room Robin reaches into her backpack and pulls out the time stone. “I don’t want you to get hurt David.” “I don’t understand. Looks like the problem has been solved, the rumbling stopped. We are alive. They must have figured out a way.” “Yes but even if it wasn’t now it will be later, I saw something….” “What did you see? Was it a psychic vision like Raymere gets?” “I saw you die and I can’t let that happen, not again. I lost too many loved ones” Robin cries and begins to weep. “It won’t happen to us. I want to protect you and help you.” “There is no us, David. There never was.” “I can make it so we can be happy together.” “You can’t make someone happy; they need to find it in themselves.” “Let me try” David says as he approaches and tries to console Robin but she pushes him away. “No, stay away from me, I am bad luck. I always have been, that’s why I can’t hold down a job or keep a man. I am not meant to be happy anywhere.” “You can’t blame yourself, you are special and we can make things happen. We have a common destiny, don’t you see. We have this mission.” “No, I have this crazy mission and you need to go back home so you won’t be hurt, your home.” “I can’t, I don’t want to leave you.” “You must.” “I love you.” “Don’t love me… it cannot happen.” Robin bears a sudden angry look on her face as David approaches and she raises her fists and kicks him back into the wall. “You are passing on joining to build an empire” he says. “I don’t need an empire… I need a family.” “What are you doing?” David asks. “What I have to do to save your life. You’ll thank me later.” She runs to the console nearby, presses a few commands while holding the time stone unknowingly turning its bottom portion emitting a hazy yellow light from it that pops into the center of the platform where David stands. The temporal wormhole opens up for a second before the beam spot technology activates and Robin stares in shock realizing what she has done and tries to undo it by dropping the time stone and inputting more commands onto the console before her but the wormhole absorbs the beam spot activation sequence as David dematerializes into a white blur before her and then vanishes into the wormhole forming a yellow ball of light and instantly being sucked into it before it collapses. Robin sees the last look on David’s face as a one of a sudden mixture of confusion, sorrow, anger, humility, and stern betrayal. Robin’s eyes weep as she cries and drops to her knees sobbing into her hands. “Dear God, what have I done?”
Ophelia walks back to the medical facility on the other side of the ship and nods as she enters and looks around feeling at home, thinking of her religious upbringing and how her life of poverty and poor education was now leading her to a noble calling. “God’s plan is for me to become a doctor like Dr. Kowalski to heal and help the less fortunate.” “That is a good idea” says Raymere appearing behind her entering the facility. “Oh, I didn’t know you were there. Hello, now” she utters. “You are very pretty” says Raymere. “Thanks” responds Ophelia blushing feeling honored as she was never referred to as attractive by anyone. “I think you are handsome” says Ophelia and Raymere looks at her in shock that she would refer to him as handsome being that he was born physically deformed and was kept away from people all his life for a reason contributing to his social awkwardness. “I hope we can become good friends” he adds. “I think so” she responds reaching for his hand and smiling as they hold hands and stare into one another’s eyes deeply.
In the main cockpit, Dr. Kowalski and Madelekior continue discussing the jewel. “Doctor… you don’t suppose the jewel can be figured out in scientific terms. It is a teardrop from the gods and alone they can wield its power. It was never for mortal men.” “You seem to control it fine.” “I am a servant of their infinite wisdom and know a lot more than you think I do” Madelekior utters profoundly venal. “I will not let you pervert it with pointless theories and distractions from its true purpose.” “I just want to learn about it, Madelekior… what’s wrong with that?” “If you only knew the great powers that wait out there you would fear it and be loathe and hesitant to interfere.” “That is why we are here. We exist to learn and explore, coexist with others….” “Too bad for you, we do not share your ideals” says Madelekior he holds up the staff with the jewel on top. “What are you doing? Wait” says Dr. Kowalski approaching, “you fool.” “Die dolorum fuga odio fata desperationem et in vos mortem in sempiternum et ultra hanc vitam, cum adsint et superent maledictus qui sequuntur aeternaliter et semper mutans loca tempus … Die painful hatred doom despair and death upon you forever in this life and beyond, cursed are yours and those who follow eternally and gone from time.” Madelekior’s words ring harsh and dark as the jewel vibrates and focuses a wide energy blast towards Dr. Kowalski striking him in the heart as he scream in agony and drops to his knees holding his chest and then falling down on the ground face down lifeless and still. Madelekior looks upon the corpse of Dr. Kowalski with a sneer and virtue-less chagrin before he wanders over to the primary console, closes his eyes, and focuses the energy of the jewel that emits another blast towards the console inputting commands as the buttons move on their own and cause the ship to turn about and head towards the south, deeper into the African continent. Madelekior opens his eyes with dark sincerity inside and smiles.
Robin sits in the back room crying endlessly until her eyes dry out. “I can’t believe I did that… what did I do? Why? I sent him to God knows where or when? The temporal wormhole must have mixed with the beam spot mechanism, he could be back towards his hotel where I set the coordinates or anywhere in time or space. Damn it H, where are you?” She looks up sadly. “Why is this happening? What kind of God would allow this? I made this choice but I feel like… I was used. I don’t know.” She picks up the time stone. “It’s all this things fault… no it’s mine and I have to own up to my responsibility. Maybe that is what being alive is, to recognize that… God help me” Robin turns the time stone’s bottom piece again as if moved by forces beyond her control. She looks at the green jewel mesmerized by it as the yellow stream of energy emits from it again forming the temporal wormhole but it fades out seconds later.
In the medical facility, Raymere and Ophelia are locked in a passionate embrace kissing wildly as they rub their hands all over one another. They bounce around the room enthralled in the passion of their love and active display of affection jumping on and off of tables and medical beds and knocking down items inadvertently both making up for lost time having never experienced such an attraction before. As they move to a medical bed in the back not paying attention because of their rapid embrace, the temporal wormhole erupts over the bed and as they move closer to it, they transform into yellow balls of energy joined as one and absorb into the vortex before it collapses leaving the mess in the room alone and silent.
“Ego… sometimes we let our egos get in the way” says Robin sitting in the back feeling sorry for herself. “I tried to set things right with this thing” she holds the time stone as it darkens and five spots at its heart become lightless. She tosses the time stone to the far wall, its body dry and lifeless, unlit, having lost its energy and not functioning anymore. “I failed to make things right. I really am a failure.” She lowers her head.
The Redeemer approaches a set of caves in the distant mountain range and stops short of reaching a tall precipice. Robin feels the ship’s movement and deceleration and wonders how her friends are doing and wonders how she will explain David’s disappearance. She rises to her feet realizing she has to tell the truth and face the music. She walks over to the wall where the time stone lay and is about to reach for it when suddenly, Madelekior walks back to her room. She turns and greets him, “hey, what are you doing here? How are the others?” “I don’t have time for this… Die dolorum fuga…” he utters as he holds the staff and jewel combination out towards her firing a blast of energy. Robin quickly ducks, grabs the time stone, and rolls out of the room, time stone in hand. “What are you doing?” she yells and sees he is going to the controls and closes his eyes holding his staff as the jewel lights up and buttons on the control panel move on their own entering coordinates. “Where is he going?” Robin whispers as she sees Madelekior walk to the platform. “No…” she runs and tackles him to the ground. He resists her angrily and they struggle as she grabs his staff moving back and forth between them as he lay under her. Suddenly the white blur of the beam spot technology activation sequences erupts and they both dematerialize and vanish from the room.
In the interior of the cave, darkness fills the moist and hot humid desert air disrupted only by a bright white blur of light that faded in seconds revealing Robin and Madelekior battling on the ground rolling around until Madelekior was on top and held his staff down summoning greater power and strength because of his exposure to the jewel that glistened brightly on its own. Robin struggles with the weight of his pressure pushing down on her, her hands gripping the staff and the time stone. Then suddenly the time stone lit up brightly, its five orbs lit up at the center. Robin could see its exposure to Madelekior’s jewel revived the time stone’s energy. Robin feeling the pressure from Madelekior’s strength and obliviousness struggles then to turn the bottom part of the time stone with one hand as she holds up the staff from crushing her windpipe and as the roar of the temporal wormhole opens again emitted from a stream of yellow energy into the open air, Robin kicks Madelekior in the groin causing him to lose his grip and keep over in pain. Robin drops the time stone and bumps the jewel off of Madelekior’s staff with her elbow and the jewel flies through the air into the temporal wormhole, becoming a ball of yellow light absorbed into it. She then grabs the staff and cracks it in half over her knee tossing the two pieces aside and angrily grabs Madelekior by the collar. “Where are they? What did you do?” As Robin holds him, Madelekior coughs and gags with a sudden smile of insanity, “et dissolutio geniculorum, quid oporteat fieri coepta est; you will fail, what must be has become begun” he laughs looking back as the temporal wormhole roars behind them and collapses. Robin swings back her right arm and punches Madelekior in the face knocking him unconscious, his teeth fly out of his mouth spewing blood and his eyes turn inward as his body shakes into despair and lifelessness. Robin gawked dropping his form to the ground. She stands over him looking up at her surroundings, a cave just like the one she was in before, this time in Africa. She knew her quest must continue to find the water stone to stop the evil she was meant to prevent. She stares ahead into the cave with a determined grin. She lifts her hand and speaks into the hand microphone. “Guys, anyone… respond please.” There is no answer and Robin’s heart sinks in sorrow. “I am alone” she utters. A voice echoes behind her; “Who are you? What do you want?” Robin then turns to see the source of the voice a small and abnormally thin man about five foot tall with a bald head and jet black complexion and wears a set of dirty and ragged clothes. He speaks perfect English. “I’m Robin. Who are you?” “I am called Podge. Why did you kill that man?” He looks down at Madelekior’s unconscious form. “I didn’t kill anyone. I uh guess I did.” “That man is dead.” “He is just out cold… maybe he is dead, I don’t know I am not a doctor. But anyway he attacked m.… It’s a complicated story. Do you live here?” “I live in the caverns. You are from the gods.” “What?” “The massive chariot of heaven outside, it is yours.” “That is a ship, a space ship… I guess it’s mine. I am all alone now.” “I can see that. What do you seek?” “I was supposed to find this thing… water… uh Chintamani Stone.” “That is interesting” his eyes widen curiously, “I have heard of the legend beginning… but it is rumor only.” “Well, it is more than that” she walks over and bends down to pick up the time stone and shoves it in her pocket. She walks to the end of the cave and sees a dead end. “I should get going” she utters. “Alone will not get you far; let me be your guide for a nominal fee. I have been without good food for a while. I know the area all too well.” “Sure, you seem harmless” she utters. “I am and I am alone as well. So as you say in the western world, ‘misery loves company.’” Robin smiles and walks out of the cave with Podge leaving Madelekior behind them. Robin turns back after looking up at the sky and Redeemer floating above shadowing their position from the baking sun. “Madelekior was searching for the Chintamani stone and he set course for this location for a reason. He must have known it was here or at least the first step of the riddle.” Robin rubs her chin as she turns back to the cave. “Father Porter’s riddle on his map…what was it? Oh yes, fly over African mountains and plains… then Asiatic winds… through unstoppable terrains… follow the wisdom of the ages past… open the doorway in hidden tombs… follow the map to where it leads for the water stone rests at long last.” “What does that mean?” says Podge curiously. “African mountains are here… we had to fly… and plains… then Asia-based winds. Before we could go to Asia, there has to be something here… plains.” “There are no plains here madam, only lots of desert.” “Plains… Planes… Plane..ts…” Robin runs to the back of the cave and touches the dead end wall. “I thought it was pointless” says Podge. “Wait” Robin rubs the wall with her hands and then takes out the time stone still lit up and holds it to the wall. The light glistens against the rock. “There is some kind of metal in this rock… mineral deposits. If I recall correctly from school, bauxite, cobalt, diamonds, phosphate rocks, platinum-group metals, vermiculite, and zirconium. But there something else… they seem to be in a pattern.” Robin feels the wall and Podge’s little beady eyes light up with enthusiasm as he gleans in closer. “What is it?” he asks. “I see a set of landscapes… they form a land terrain… plains… grassy, it’s got some green color and other colors painted on the wall but faded lost over thousands of years of environmental decay. But it is still here… this is the ‘plains’ the riddle mentions.” “So what do we do now?” “There seems to be indentation” Robin pushes the diagram on the wall and the rock cave pushes inward like a button built into it. Suddenly a spark of light fills the cavern and an object materializes in the empty crevice in the cave wall. A small orb smooth and dark blue with marble-like exterior and swirls within it appears. The light fades. Robin pockets the time stone and holds the orb in both hands studying it curiously. She looks at it and sees a tiny area of brown resembling land. She realizes she is holding a model of the Earth in her hands but an Earth with only one landmass, a combined mass in a giant blue sea. She realizes then what needs to be done and turns to Podge and smiles remembering suddenly her education regarding ancient Earth history and the formation of land mass continents, global shifting, and plate tectonics. “What is it Miss Robin?” “We are too late. The water stone is in Asia alright but several millions of years in the past. Let’s go friend, we got a long voyage to do.” Robin smiles and Podge nods in retrospect.
On board the Redeemer, Robin had uses the recall button to beam spot sequence back to the cockpit with Podge. Robin drops to her knees in horror at the lifeless form of Dr. Kowalski. “Oh no… Madelekior did this” she cries grabbing her old friend. “Damn….” She gets up. “He is another dead one. It seems death follows you.” “You don’t know the half of it” she responds. She then walks over to the primary control panel and sets the computer console for another place trying to move the stick in the middle but nothing happens. “S.I.S.T.E.R. …” Robin looks up, “we need to set course for the Asian continent”; “acknowledged Robin… time of arrival fourteen minutes at maximum velocity… however fuel supply needed.” “Uh what?” “Fuel supply needed to complete voyage at stated velocity.” “Where are we supposed to get fuel?” Robin looks up. “Quanto-luthate sillium deposits will form the basis for the nuclear-ionic propulsion drive needed for advanced rapid threshold breach.” “I don’t understand… English please….” “I am speaking in English.” “Sigh, can we get to Asia without the extra fuel?” “Given current supply and reserves, normal travel speed estimates fourteen days travel time before arrival at set destination.” “Oh my goodness, two weeks… well, get started please” Robin barks. “Acknowledged, we are in route.” “When we get to Asia, I will try to use the time stone to send us back to where we need to be?” She takes out the time stone and holds it one hand and the blue orb in the other. “There may be problems as your ‘riddle’ warns of strong winds and unstoppable terrains.” “We will cross that bridge when we come to it. It appeared Madelekior gave us a gift before he left a new energy barrier for the Redeemer that stopped that attack. Those purple light aliens haven’t returned.” She looks at the screen and presses a button revealing the ship with a glowing orb of energy surrounding it. “We got two weeks ourselves.”
The Redeemer glides across the night skies as day becomes night and night becomes day and day become night again. Robin sits at the primary console with the time stone and blue orb before her. She wonders what era that Madelekior’s jewel vanished into and how foolish she was for letting it happen. “I should have prevented that as he did say it will help me find the water stone but I guess it doesn’t make sense to cry over spilled milk and if it is really meant for me to have it, it will be obtained again.” Podge sits near her meditating as he has done consecutively for days now. “He sure likes to sit quietly. Luckily there is enough food in this ship to feed an army. Robin feels glad that she had some company with her. Robin remembers when Podge first saw the Redeemer, its equipment and food delivery dispensers and was having more than his fill to make up for a virtual lifetime of malnutrition and poor eating habits. She feels glad he was no longer suffering hunger and was able to eat well aboard the Redeemer. I wish he was more conversational. I miss David and the others. I miss Drax most of all” she weeps into her hands.
Time Period Date: 2015 CE
Place: Chronix Bay
The temporal wormhole roars open in the middle of a deep underground facility surrounded by metal floors, walls, ceilings, and corridors stretching out for miles. The jewel of Madelekior flies out before the vortex collapses and the jewel lands in the hands of Milton Drax standing in the hallway dumbfounded over the sudden experience. “Interesting” the young man says. He eyes the jewel and smirks as he walks down the hall yelling into his walkie talkie, “security alert.”
“What is it Corporal?” says a loud and boisterous military man in full dress uniform adorned with numerous medals of honor, his hair white matching his mustache and beard. “You said this was important.” He stands in the conference room at the head of a table where he takes his seat viewing Drax and two young women, Tina Prescott and Mercedes Gonzalez.
“Yes, General Stormy, Sir, it appears we had another visitor. This popped out of a sudden temporal wormhole in the corridors.” Drax drops the jewel on the table.
“Not again” says Tina, “it seems we always get drawn into these misadventures.”
“Things happen for a reason” says Mercedes, “we haven’t had any temporal wormhole activity in over six months since our last Christmas secret mission, what do you suppose this means. Could Maggie be behind it?”
“I don’t know but it looks like it means something. This looks like the time stone but it’s clear” says Drax.
“It’s got some kind of energy reading coming from it… very powerful… not unlike the time stone but it seems to be fluctuating independently without need for recharge like the time stone does.” Mercedes scans her TTR device over the jewel.
“Whatever it is, it was destined for us to find it, obviously” Drax continues. “We should find out where it came from to reunite it to where it is supposed to be.”
“I agree, Corporal” says General Stormy, “keep me posted as needed.” He rises and the trio before him rises as well. He walks out.
“So you think we got another adventure” says Mercedes rhetorically.
“Let’s suit up” says Tina.
“That’s my line” jokes Drax, “suit up.”
“Funny guy” says Tina.
Hours later in the lab, Mercedes wearing a white lab coat drops a liquid substance from a dropper over the jewel and the jewel remains undamaged but lights up brightly. “Well, it is impervious to the strongest acid we have.”
“What else is new?” Tina walks into the room behind her startling Mercedes.
“Oh hey, I was just testing this jewel. It is very powerful indeed. It is obviously Pregiver technology but may be more powerful than anything we have encountered before.”
“So another alien group came along after the Pregivers and rivaled them trying to mimic their tech?”
“Or they themselves mastered greater crystallizing.”
“So we need to go to the past this time, to the future… what exactly?
“We need to do some more tests. I cannot trace the time it originated from, almost as if it is clean of any temporal signature. I know it sounds weird.”
“Yeah” says Tina. “The waiting is definitely the hardest part.”
“Guys” Drax’s voice comes in over the communications system.
“Yeah” says Mercedes looking at the jewel.
“Suit up… we got a lead on the research database and there is a solid lead mention of this jewel existing somewhere in the past. We are going back.”
“Where exactly, Drax as we couldn’t get a temporal signature?” says Tina eyeing Mercedes curiously.
“We know it has ties to the ancient Asian region where China and Tibet are today but we followed an old legend where it dates back far longer… long, long ago… to the ancient primordial continent of Pangaea.”
“Interesting” says Mercedes.
“Let’s go” says Tina.
Tina and Mercedes walk into the hangar base and meet Drax who is standing near a silver truck-sized vehicle. “This is the latest ride” says Tina, “a chump-looking SUV.”
“Considering we didn’t return the last two vehicles the department lent us, we are lucky to get anything” says Mercedes.
“We will not need to keep as low a profile given where we are going but this is a serious bullet-proof, water-proof, fire-proof, and stain-resistant vehicle sustaining itself with the latest shielding, armor mechanisms, and high-tech laser-quality weapons capable of cutting through diamond and breaking in and out of Fort Knox” Drax utters.
“Cool” says Tina.
“What’s this legend about regarding this?” Mercedes asks holding up the jewel.
“Well, it began with an old mystic named Nicholas Reardon in the late nineteenth century who discovered a relic capable of changing life and matter, altering reality. He claimed it to be the forever-sough alchemist jewel, the philosopher’s stone. This had manifested itself for thousands of years before the birth of Christ and was believed by Reardon to be part of the Cup taken to the holy land for fear of persecution and to hide it in a ‘heartland’ or far eastern temple to reunite it someday to its ‘mother stone’ that was originally part of it. This supposedly never happened and many have died trying to follow in Reardon’s footsteps to find the relic and reunite it with its bigger version, a massive jewel in ‘Shambhala’ the land of the immortals. Before there were others including infamous types, like Adolf Hitler, King Solomon, Genghis Khan, Akbar the Great, and lots more. This is where conspiracy theorists, ancient astronaut theorists, and controversial belief depict the stone to be of extraterrestrial origin brought to earth by emissaries from a distant planet orbiting a primary star in the constellation Sirius.”
“Wow, always so isn’t it” says Tina.
“The Pregivers” says Mercedes.
“That’s what we think” says Drax. “According to myth and legend, the ‘stone of heaven’ or ‘Chintamani Stone’ was to be handed over to the world monarch or king of Shambhala in the east. This was the true holy grail manifestation in Wolfram Von Eschenbach’s rendition of Parzival, a stone that fell from the sky and possesses great power to make reality change, matter different, and even in theory turn a normal human being into an immortal god-like being.”
“Unbelievable” says Mercedes. “I remember reading something about beings that came to Earth from heaven in an old Sanskrit text, ‘through the stars I come. I bring the chalice or grail covered with the shield.’”
“So we find the big stone… to match this little one and save the day as usual. Easy peasy” says Tina shrugging her shoulders.
“It’s funny how you can make any task sound easy” says Drax.
“It usually is” shrugs Tina. “Let’s get into this ride. I assume it has the time stone and your modulator thingy like before.”
“Always… never leave home without it” says Drax.
“Now we got double the trouble” says Mercedes.
“Onward” says Tina as the trio board the vehicle.
Drax speaks into the command module, “we are ready to launch in seconds, T-60.” The computer onboard begins to countdown from sixty seconds backwards. “We should be grateful that we don’t have any unexpected problems here.”
“I’ll say” says Tina. “Let’s hope it stays that way. Oh my God, now that I said it something bad is going to happen” she laughs.
“Let’s go” says Mercedes as the computer reaches one. The car’s exterior lights up neon green as the motor roars and within seconds the temporal wormhole pops over the vehicle’s roof open and loudly emitting its incandescent glow raising the vehicle up and transcending it into a ball of light and absorbing it into the void.
Time Period Date: November 10, 2115 AD
Place: Near Asia
Robin sits in the Redeemer thinking about Father Pastor’s riddle again as she has done for the past thirteen days while floating over the massive landscape to their Asian destination. “… Follow the wisdom of the ages past… open the doorway in hidden tombs… follow the map to where it leads for the water stone rests at long last. This is some trek.” Then suddenly the screen comes on and Robin sees the massive purple-lit neon vessel approaching them at blinding speeds and stop on top of them. She saw the screen shift to look at the glowing underbelly of the great craft bigger than the previous one and nearly twice as big as the Redeemer. There appears to be a large mechanical orb under the craft above them. “Not these guys again.” Robin feels the cockpit shake as the orb under the craft above them emits a large glowing blue beam of energy surrounding the Redeemer and enveloping it. Slowly thereafter, a large crackling sound is heard as the Redeemer’s hull is being drilled into by a set of tendrils crawling slowly from the other craft. Robin fear stricken rises up and calls out, “S.I.S.T.E.R. what is going on?” “Hull is being compromised, perimeter breach, security alert.” “Who is doing this?” “Vessel of unknown origin, unidentifiable”; “and what can we do?” “We have limited defensive and offensive capabilities.” “So we are dead?” Robin screams. “What is going on?” says Podge awakening from his nap. “We are being attacked by some unknown ship.” “That is most unfortunate.” “Damn right it is. We can’t defend ourselves.” “Time holds the greatest variables. Sometimes what is meant to be must simply be. We are powerless to control the course of fate.” “That’s not true. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. S.I.S.T.E.R. how soon before our destination” says Robin reaching for the time stone. “Approaching in 12 hours, 34 minutes, 43 seconds….” “We came too far to be stopped now. Podge old buddy, brace yourself because we are going into history.” Robin sits down and sees Podge take his seat beside her. “I hope this works and take us where we need to go and be. Sometimes you just need a leap of faith.” Robin turns the time stone’s bottom portion and aims it up, the yellow stream of energy erupts into the temporal wormhole above them, and she pushes the bottom portion of the time stone sending the roaring temporal wormhole up and expanding it to cover the entire ship and its attacker above them. Podge’s eyes widen with disbelief. Robin stares up with determination holding the time stone. Both the Redeemer and its alien counterpart nemesis transform into balls of light and absorb them into the roaring vortex above.
Time Period Date: Millions of years BCE
The temporal wormhole erupts in its massive shape over a large overbearing supercontinent that existed during the late Paleozoic era approximately 300 million years ago, Pangaea surrounded by a super ocean. The dual vessels of the Redeemer and its purple nemesis fell out into the open air as the vortex collapses. Robin holds the stick on the control panel to keep the Redeemer steady and it breaks free of the grip of the energy beam from the alien ship above that lost its grip in temporal transit. Robin moves the stick forward piloting the Redeemer far away from the alien ship before they have a chance to react. The alien ship quickly pursues the Redeemer over the massive super continental landscape. The Redeemer flies speedily trying to avoid the grasp of its double-sized massive foe.
Down on the surface, the silver truck emerges from the roaring temporal wormhole that evaporates into its collapse. Drax opens the canopy. “We are here, Pangaea.” “What is that anyway?” asks Tina. “It’s from ancient Greek” says Mercedes, “a concept first proposed by Mr. Alfred Wegener in 1912 regarding the theory of continental drift.” “Interesting” says Tina. “We got a lot of ground to cover. Imagine there being no separation” says Drax, “just one land mass for the whole world in a giant ocean.” “Sounds like it would be neater and less territorial or prejudice involved” says Tina. “Especially since there are no people; people create prejudice and hate, they don’t exist in and of themselves. Too bad we can’t learn to love and be civil to one another, even in our time period.” They exit the car. “We can discuss the politics of facts of life later. Where do we go to bring the jewel back?” “We should drive for a while” says Mercedes. “I set the TTR to pick up the unique endo-thermion-quanta-dynamic radiation signature of the jewel so we should pinpoint if a larger twin version of it is around here somewhere.” “Are we ever going to move to a point in time when we aren’t just putting out fires relating to the time stone but actually exploring freely?” asks Tina nonchalantly. “Anything is possible” says Mercedes. “Let’s get moving” says Drax and the trio board the vehicle and Drax drives it forward along the rugged ancient landscape. “It’s interesting being back this far” says Mercedes. “One… we never travelled so far and Two… it gives a unique perspective on life. We really have nothing to fear as all we are is a blip and a glimpse on the cosmic radar.” “And Three” says Tina. “Look at that…” she points up looking out the window seeing two massive ships zooming above them at fast speeds. “Definitely do not belong here” says Mercedes. “Let’s go stay with them” says Tina. “I was planning to” says Drax as he drives forward accelerating and moving fast enough to keep up with the ships. Drax sees that the larger one with purple neon lights was preparing and then firing a blue beam towards the other ship and striking it causing it to stop and pull it towards the larger one. Drax stops the truck and halts below them. “We got to do something” says Tina. “We can fire weapons” says Drax, “but at which one.” “We don’t know who is what, we shouldn’t be getting involved” says Mercedes. “We can’t let this happen, shoot the purple one” says Tina. “And what if they are the good ones just apprehending a violent group?” asks Mercedes, “We could be stopping someone from doing their job.” The trip look up as the smaller ship draws closer to the bigger one and the bigger one emits tendrils that begin to tear into the hull of the smaller ship. “I don’t think that is doing a job” yells Tina. “We got to stop them. I got a bad feeling they are the bully in this situation.” “Well, she is right” says Drax pressing the buttons on his control panel and a small missile silo retracts from the back of the truck aiming up pointing four small ICBM’s towards the ships. “OK, I protested for the record but it does look bad” says Mercedes looking up. “Do it now” says Tina as the tendrils of the larger craft spread deeper into the smaller one that began to shake wildly. Drax maneuvers the silo and aims it while then he presses a button on his panel and one of the missiles launches up striking the purple ship and causing a massive explosion in its underbelly terminating the blue light and releasing its grip. Drax then presses the button again and fires the second missile that flies through the air and strikes the purple ship again sending it back away from the Redeemer in another massive explosion, its tendrils ripped right off it and partially remaining stuck in the Redeemer but with the purple ship far away whirling in empty air meters away from the Redeemer. Drax aims the silo with his control and presses the button twice in rapid succession firing the two remaining missiles one after the other towards the purple ship and they fly through the air striking it and causing a massive explosion that completely destroys the ship and sends extremely tiny pieces of debris in every direction barely avoiding the Redeemer. “Yes” yells Tina pumping the air. “Good job” says Mercedes. “Yeah” sighs Drax.
“Who did that?” asks Robin rhetorically as she sees from the screen that someone blew up the purple ship from the surface. “Who in this time has that kind of firepower? I thought we were in the distant past.” “It appears we have a guardian angel” says Podge. “S.I.S.T.E.R.” says Robin, “zoom in on the source of those missiles or whatever it was we heard that blew away the purple alien ship.” “Acknowledged Robin” says the robot as the screen shifts to the surface and zooms in rapidly to the ground level showing the silver truck with three occupants. Robin sighs in relief accompanied by a huge smile on her face as she jumps out of her seat and claps her hand with excitement reminiscent of puppy school-girl love crush she once had and was reminded of, “While I live and breathe, Milton Drax!!”
Robin and Podge stand in the beam spot technology room and Robin presses the controls on the panel scanning and holding their signals onto the silver truck below. “This should work” she says as she pulls the final lever and the white blur materializes in the room and expands then contracts and what dematerializes in the room on the platform before her is the entire silver truck and its occupants. Robin runs around to the platform and stands eagerly before the truck as the canopy opens and she throws her arms around Drax hugging him and planting kisses on his cheek. “Oh my, hey, hey, take it easy miss” says Drax. “Awfully friendly” says Tina, “anyone there for me?” she asks. “How did we get transported up here?” asks Mercedes curiously. “Milton honey, I missed you so much. I thought you were dead” Robin says hugging Drax tightly. “I am afraid you got me confused with someone else.” “Yes, you might be confusing him for another Milton Drax” says Mercedes. “What?” says Robin rising out of the car, “who are you guys?” She looks at the trio as they exit the car. “I am Milton Drax” says Drax “and these are my colleagues… uh friends Mercedes Gonzalez and Tina Prescott” he beckons to them. “We came from the year 2015 A.D.” “Oh my” says Robin gasping with her hands over her mouth. “I am Robin Matthews from the year 2315 A.D. This is uh… Podge from an earlier century” she beckons back to him who waves at them. “Greetings” he says. “I met a Milton Drax before… he was different from you… you are a lot younger. I see that now. I thought you were him. I wanted desperately to believe that somehow you were him. I couldn’t bear to be….” Robin begins to weep tearfully. “Oh hey honey, come here” says Tina rushing to console her. “Thanks, you are nice” she hugs her back, “Tonya…?” “Tina” she corrected. “Right, thanks Tina.” “How did you get here?” asks Mercedes. “The time stone” says Robin looking up. “Us to” says Tina. “We are here to find an ancient relic that is part of a legend… the Chintamani Stone”; “no way” says Robin, “it seems everyone I meet is after that. I was searching for a long time. It has been a crazy trip.” “Tell us about it over tea?” says Tina jokingly. Robin laughs. “Come on, let’s go” she says, “we have a lot to discuss I imagine.” Robin leads the small entourage out of the room. Mercedes lags behind curiously admiring the room and pointing up with a furrowed brow, “How did we get transported in here?”
An hour later in the front cockpit, Robin sits with Podge, Drax, Mercedes, and Tina. “So that’s everything? It seems we really are kindred spirits alike, having been through so much craziness over one little green rock.” “That is true” says Drax holding a cup and sipping it. “Thanks for saving us” says Robin. “I thought we were goners for sure.” “No problem” says Tina. “Why were they after you?” asks Mercedes. “Beats me” says Robin “but they have tried many times to kill us. “Sounds like your friend ‘H’ might be the prime candidate to inquire about that” says Drax. “We had a friend like that… sorry I mean have a friend… James Timewalker who ‘uplifted’ to another plane of existence, I sure wish he was here right now but he only comes at a certain time of the year.” Tina says. Podge’s eyebrows lift at the mention of the term ‘uplifted.’ “We still have a lot left to go as we find the Chintamani Stone and restore order to what was once chaos” says Drax. “It was definitely fate you three found the jewel that was lost by Robin” says Podge. “Yeah, what are the odds” says Tina. “Very astronomically high” says Mercedes. “Well, we do have our work cut out for us” says Robin. “True” says Drax. “We have seen this ‘supercontinent’ is massive and has possibly millions of small and large caverns or areas, it would take a dozen lifetimes to search them all.” “And we definitely do not have that” says Tina. “We could narrow it down by using my TTR with the technological scanners aboard the Redeemer,” says Mercedes. “It seems a remarkable piece of equipment way more advanced than anything we have, Milton.” “Have at it” says Robin, “I am clueless. The original creator is gone” she points to his lifeless corpse on the floor. “I couldn’t lift him alone” she weeps with her hand to her mouth. “And I just figured out the basic piloting maneuvers. Feel free to access S.I.S.T.E.R., the only artificial intelligence to help with anything.” “We can try tapping the new sensors on the Redeemer to the jewel of Madelekior itself and see if it can retrieve vital information as these ancient Pregiver relics usually turn out to be more than meets the eye like info-storage devices.” Tina utters and everyone looks at her curiously stunned. “What, I can be smart from time to time too and I saw a discovery channel special on the Mayan Crystal Skulls that talked about that.” “OK, so let’s get to work and see what we can find together” says Drax putting his cup down. “Let’s go.”
The Redeemer flies through the empty air as day began to fade to night beneath the twinkling stars. Mercedes, Podge, and Tina meet in the observation deck on the lower level of the Redeemer and work with S.I.S.T.E.R. to scan for the Chintamani Stone. Drax and Robin walk along the narrow corridors around the circular rotunda of the ship’s inner hull and talk. “I sure missed seeing your face” says Robin, “sorry, I know it wasn’t you but it seems like that to me.” “I know and don’t worry. I can see why I would be attracted to you, another older me that is” says Drax laughing and they laugh together. “I am sorry that I died too. I hope that is not a future I have to relive but I would want to live it if only to be with you …” he looks at her with sincerity as they stop in the hallway. “But then again I am sure you had your fair share of gents, Madam Sky Woman, Atahensic.” Drax jokes and Robin laughs with him but then turns serious again. “Did you ever feel you believe in love at first sight?” Robin asks. “I like to” says Drax. “There was a case from Roman Egypt in which two wax figurines were found in an erotic embrace and contained an inscription which read in part ‘seize Euphemia and lead her to me Theon, loving me with mad desire, and bind her with unlovable shackles, strong ones of adamantine, for the love of me….’ He leans in and she leans in further where they meet and kiss passionately, their arms become wrapped around one another like tendrils and move up and down as they embrace fully physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. They pull back from their kills still in one another’s deep embrace. “I think this is destiny” says Robin. “You are my soul mate, the miracle I was looking for. I fell in love with you twice; I desperately want this one to last forever.” “Me too… if it is God’s will let it be.”
“We got it” says Mercedes running into the room and stopping when she sees Drax and Robin embracing. “Oh… sorry guys… carry on.” She begins to back away.
“It’s OK Mercedes, what is it?” asks Drax.
“Well, after many scans we got the right configuration. We found the signature of the jewel. It’s not far from here but not close. Drax, the sensors aboard this ship are extraordinary. They can do so much we can only dream of. I think I could spend my life studying the design of this ship.” She bounces up and down with excitement.
“Wow, I am glad you’re enjoying it” says Robin.
“We should set a course there, shouldn’t we” says Drax looking at Robin and they kiss.
Mercedes looks away. “I’ll make the arrangements” she says as she walks off.
The Redeemer flies across the continuous and apparently endless landscape zooming forward proudly.
“Danger, danger” says the robot voice “fuel dangerously low… system failure imminent.”
“Crap” says Robin. “That’s not good. I forgot given everything that happened.”
“We need fuel…?” Drax inquires. “Where can we go?”
“Let’s get to the main cockpit” she screams and they head down the corridor running fast.
“What the hex?” Tina utters running into the cockpit followed by Mercedes and Podge when Robin and Drax run in also.
“We need fuel” says Robin. “Any leads?”
“This is a true emergency” says Mercedes. “We will not make it to our destination without getting more fuel. I found out this ship operates on a nuclear ionic quantum-mechanical dynamic. Basically, its fuel cells are still functional but need to be recharged with isotopic radiation.”
“God bless you, Mercedes” says Robin.
“Where do we get that?” asks Tina looking up shocked.
“We can’t be sure but luckily there are plenty of natural sources of energy, gas, fossil fuels, and ionic pathways… I think we can modulate the TTR-induced Redeemer scanners to find it and Gerry Rig a device to infuse the particles channeled directly into the fuel cells. We got to act quick as some of us must go down to the surface to dig the well and then we will raise it up.”
“We can use the silver truck… what are we calling it anyway?” Tina says.
“The no name truck” says Mercedes.
“Really, I was wondering through the desert on a truck with no name” says Tina, “really?”
“We just will take the no name truck, Robin and I…” says Drax. “Are we really calling it that?”
“What else?” says Tina.
“We will go down … and get the particles. Please prepare what we need to set up Mercedes.” Robin adds.
Mercedes nods. “I will try to squeeze every last ion from the exhaust filters to manage us until you return” she continues viewing her TTR device.
“Excellent” says Podge managing a slight smile.
Down on the surface, Robin and Drax maneuver the silver truck towards their destination leaving the Redeemer in decaying orbit above.
“We better step on it” says Robin, “the ship won’t last much longer.”
“OK” says Drax pressing his foot down on the accelerator moving the vehicle faster.
“Mercedes said we need to get to coordinates zeta 12 beta 36.3” says Robin reading a TTR she was given. “This is supposedly the strongest mineral ion deposits within range and then we set up the equipment… I still don’t understand how it works… hopefully its plug and play” she laughs.
“It should be fine” says Drax. “The device she created from your tech on board the Redeemer works on a quantum remote modulation frequency. We just need to dig a hole deep enough to retract the ionic pathways from the mineral deposits and stick that sucker in there” he continues gesturing to the long pole and box behind them. “And viola we will let the remote sensor unit in conjunction with the Redeemer’s sensors do the rest to fill the fuel cells with enough power to accomplish our mission and then some.”
“Awesome, sounds simple enough… like fishing for ions” she laughs.
“Yeah” he smiles in response. A moment of silence passes as they smile and stare forward at the road of empty plains and countryside ahead free of the touch of human influence. “This is peaceful.”
“Hmm… time does go by so fast so we have to cherish the time we have together. We can see every century in our journeys but it still won’t be enough time together… so we should….”
“Cherish every moment” Drax finishes.
“Honey, what if what you are in life … one’s current station in life is not what you are meant to be and what you do is not what you are meant to be doing. There has got to be more to life… more than these experiences in life we have or aspire to have to need… time goes by and we experience so much. I just want to find out what purpose or destiny is for us or each of us.”
“Sometimes you can change your fate if you know the right time by challenging it… compared to a real spiritual awakening. It can be what we make it not necessarily the whim of a higher being or creator.”
“You don’t believe in God?”
“I do but I have had time to give it a lot of thought and maybe he meant for us to find our own fates, define ourselves, fulfill the true challenge of living… that is a greater destiny but we have travelled to the past and future and have seen the future is predefined but that doesn’t mean it cannot change. If an advanced alien race like the Pregivers can create the time stone to traverse the time stream then anything is possible to try to tempt fate when it is needed.”
“That sounds noble” says Robin.
“There is a little bit of a hero in all of us, you just need to find that in yourself.”
Robin looks up with sincere eyes.
“But in answer to your question, yes we can tempt our destinies.”
“I love you, Milton” says Robin looking at him sincerely.
“I love you, too Robin” says Drax returning the sincerity as he briefly glances to his side with a smile.
The vehicle approaches a spot and the TTR begins to beep suddenly. “We are here” says Robin looking at the handheld device.
“Great” says Drax stopping the car “let’s set up the equipment” he gets out of the car followed by Robin as they lift the long rod with coils and cords wrapped around it and connected to a somewhat large black box that takes the two of them to carry to the spot identified by the TTR and they pull out a pair of shovels and start digging deep into the topsoil and hit the deposits several feet below. Drax lifts the pole and sticks into the ground and instantly it lights up as the cords wrapped around it illuminate and the TTR reads the ions begin to speed up remotely in a bright beam straight to the Redeemer’s core engine fuel cells. “It’s working” says Drax. “Great” screams Robin enthusiastically clasping her hands before her. They wait patiently for the fuel cells to be fully charged eyeing the TTR carefully when suddenly a strange robotic jerking noise draws their attention. Robin walks over to a bank near a small river and sees a coffin-shaped box. “What are you doing?” asks Drax. “I think there is something in here. This box shouldn’t be here right? There aren’t any people here yet.” “None but us” says Drax. Robin shrugs and opens the casket as a body pops out and awakens dancing about, a metallic figure, balding and with red bright eyes, a robotic man with muscles and light diodes primed and set all over his body. “Who is this?” screams Robin. “Who is this?” the robotic man screams. “Wow, it’s an android” says Drax walking over. “A what?” Robin asks. “I am Prometheseus, Android Prospective Congratulations and Salutations” the robotic man utters in a western European accented vernacular as he waves his hands and arms while dancing around aimlessly. “So weird” says Drax. “Can you talk to us?” asks Robin. “Yes” Prometheseus says turning his head. “I am buried because I was feared by those with smaller minds.” “How did you get to this point in the past?” “I was banished long ago by those who fear and hate.” “He obviously was sent here with the time stone” says Drax. “Let’s get him back to the ship. The TTR shows the cells are full. We are good to go.” “OK, come with us Prometheseus. You have friends now.” “Friends…” says Prometheseus crawling out of the casket and being led by Robin and Drax to the silver truck as they left the equipment stuck in the ground.
The silver truck moves along the ground in the reverse direction before vanishing in a white blur teleporting back to the ship in an instant.
In the back room of the Redeemer, Drax and company circles near the parked truck resting on the beam spot technology platform as they each look at the new addition to their group as he moves around mechanically in a circular formation. “So you were created in the future?” asks Robin slyly stroking her chin. “I was the last of the Replication Service Controllers created in the year two thousand four hundred and fifteen anno domini… I was made in the image of scientists loyal to the Confederated Inter-dimensional Crossover Regime of the Oligarchy.”
“What is the Oligarchy?” asks Tina.
“A religious cult” says Mercedes.
“It’s a ruling governmental body from my time” says Robin shocked. “They were heavily opposed… seen as corrupt but adored by many.”
“Sounds rough” says Tina.
“2415 A.D., a hundred years after my time” says Robin.
“So he is pretty advanced” says Drax.
“I am a source of the great power and seeker of the great connection.”
“What connection?” asks Mercedes.
“There is a legend derived from the most ancient scourge where sinister forces control the fates and bring about the restorative destruction of this material plane.”
“Ancient bad guys bringing about the end of the world” says Tina, “nothing we haven’t been used to already.”
Podge raises his eyebrows curiously, “there are many sources of such legend. Perhaps a look through the Redeemer’s historical database for sub theological myth and legends will prove fruitful.”
“What can we do?” asks Robin.
“Ask the android” says Drax.
“I am only the messenger… but I am aware the scourge of evil that manifests itself into the darkness substance that flutters through the air on a destructive path and permeated into the universe and connected to the damning neon light hybrid of machine and man.”
“Dark cloud… I know what that is…” says Robin.
“Man and machine…” says Drax.
“Neon lights sounds like that purple ship we fought before” says Mercedes.
“It wasn’t the first time I saw them. Back in my time, they attacked me three times on this ship” says Robin.
“We have hunted the progenitors of the destruction but have failed. I was sent to this era with the hope of finding the ones to help me prevent their wrath” the android’s eyes extend like telescopic lenses and his ears extend like miniature satellites. Both set of extended extremities light up in a bright yellow energy aura.
“What else should we know, Prometheseus?” asks Tina jovially.
“There will be further darkness and reckoning… the end of the world is upon you… not for millions of years in the future from here and now but the era of the last time will soon come, all this chaos and enigmatic course originates from the green-eyed monster of humanity… greed” Prometheseus spoke reverently in his mechanical tone.
“Sounds spooky… the last time?” Robin inquires.
“We dealt with that” says Drax crossing his arms. “It’s a belief by a group in our time we fought called the Machination… a secret conspiracy that has existed for eons and plots in each generation to bring about the supposed ‘last time’ of the future to accelerate their own agenda for dominance of a new world. It has led to a lot of weird spiritual and odd phenomenon. Green-eyed monster of greed is a problem in our time.”
“Mine too” says Robin.
“We know most the western world has been a hotbed for unusual activity for thousands of years, especially spiritual phenomenon” says Mercedes.
“That’s true, wasn’t there something in revelation or something about dark clouds or something to do with possible alien invasion or abduction?” asks Drax.
“At least that is what the conspiracy nuts say… every culture has its own belief about the end of days or the end of the world” says Tina.
“I remember Ezekiel 1:4,” starts Mercedes, “as I looked, behold, a storm wind was coming from the north, a great cloud with fire flashing forth continually and a bright light around it, and in its midst something like glowing metal in the midst of the fire. Within it there were figures resembling four living beings. And this was their appearance: they had human form.…”
“Interesting… that could easily reference a ship or something like the purple neon one that attacked us” Robin says.
“Then there is the “Dark Star” theorem” says Mercedes, “next appeared a great portent in heaven, a woman robed with the sun, beneath her feet the moon, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant, and in the anguish of her labor she cried out to be delivered. Then a second portent appeared in heaven: a great red dragon with seven heads and ten horns; on his heads were seven diadems, and with his tail he swept down a third of the stars in the sky and flung them to the earth.”
“Interesting recollection” says Prometheseus.
“We might want to thoroughly analyze this to discover all our potential courses of action” says Podge.
“I can run more scans and check on the data we got so far. Tina, want to lend a hand?” asks Mercedes.
“Sure, got nothing else going” Tina replies.
“We got this vessel, the Syrun in the below decks” says Robin. “It appeared out of the wormhole in my time on dry land. We brought it up with the beam spot technology because there were writings inside we couldn’t decipher.”
“We should take a look at that” says Drax.
“Great, we can meet back here when we have concluded our research” says Mercedes leading Tina to the observation decks.
“Done” says Drax nodding following Robin to the lower decks.
“You coming, Podge?” says Robin yelling back.
“I will remain here with our new friend in case anything happens. Feel free to reach me using the ship’s internal communications array.”
“OK” she responds leaving Podge and Prometheseus alone.
“Now, my friend, you will do as I say” Podge stares into Prometheseus with beady eyes and a dark sinister glare. Prometheseus stares back in a silent ambience.
Hours later, Mercedes and Tina pace the small room on the east end of the ship and view a massive screen made of holographic energy taking up an entire wall above a small console and displaying images of equations and numbers. “I still don’t make heads or tails of this and I don’t think I ever will” says Tina “but what you are saying is that trace entropy radiation is emitted from the illuminated underbelly of the purple alien ship we saw?” “Right, I think it’s an exposed weakness … which explains how the missiles destroyed it.” “Yeah, using up our entire compliment… and Robin said this barge is defenseless because the creator of it was a pacifist, if we come across any more of those bad guys here, we are screwed.” “Not necessarily, if we can replicate a thermo-nuclear explosion using the beam spot technology’s energy and exert it with a makeshift proto-cannon device we can create our own weapon.” “That’s why we love you, always thinking ahead to the next big bloodbath” Tina laughs. Mercedes smiles and turns to the screen. “What about the water stone?” “I got nothing.” “I hope Drax and Robin have luck deciphering the Syrun’s hieroglyphs.” “Milton Drax is second to none in knowledge of old languages and interpretation. I am confident that he can do it” says Mercedes.
“This is interesting” says Drax holding a small magnifying glass lit up with a circular halo of holographic energy as he examines the wall of the lower decks of the Syrun.
“What is it?” asks Robin.
“This seems to be a story, another reference to the Pregivers legend and the holder of stones but also a special story about one stone in particular… elemental strengths and courageous bonds of matter overcoming great obstacles and travelling far… the course of life’s purpose is its source and greatest endeavor.”
“Is that a direct translation, honey?”
“More or less… it’s a reference to your ‘water stone’ or Chintamani device. I think we are supposed to follow this. It’s like a path or guideline… a map. But it’s missing a piece.”
Robin’s eyes widened. “Oh my God, I have the map” she thinks remembering Father Pastor’s box that she had. She reaches into her pocket and pulls out the crumpled, dirty, and torn piece of parchment and slowly opens it.
“Where did you get that?”
“An old friend… would this work?” asks Robin.
“I think so” says Drax as he takes it carefully and applies it to the wall. “Unbelievable it sticks like it belongs there and look, it connected the missing spots. It is still worn with age but I think I know where we are going. It’s no coincidence we are here. This is it just like your globe predicted as well.”
“Mercedes” yells Robin into her hand microphone happily, “we got the location of the water stone, come and bring your scanner to input this data into the computer system.”
“Acknowledged” says Mercedes heading down to the lower decks with Tina.
“You think this ship was kept in better condition. Smells like old sweat socks” Robin utters.
“Who knows how long it must have been abandoned or buried before it was found and portaled to you in your era?” asks Drax rhetorically. “Don’t worry; our olfactory senses should grow accustomed shortly.”
“I hope so” Robin replies.
“It is an awesome find and whoever sent it must have known you would need it for your mission. You definitely have a guardian angel on your side, Robin Matthews.”
“I have had seen that many times.”
Mercedes and Tina run down to their location in the lower deck of the Syrun. “Unbelievable” says Mercedes.
“We finally got the lead we need” says Tina.
“I can definitely generate a star chart report on this for the Redeemer to follow and lead the way” says Mercedes rubbing her hand and TTR against the wall.
“Good work everyone” says Drax.
“What about that young lad, Podge?” asks Tina.
“What’s that noise?” asks Robin. “I hear chanting… loudly….”
“I don’t hear anything” says Mercedes.
“I have superior hearing” says Robin. “It’s coming from the back room.”
“Let’s go” says Drax.
In the upper decks, Podge sits cross-legged with his eyes closed before Prometheseus and Podge continues chanting incantations in another language. His voice is dark and hoarse and then spills over to English as Drax and company come up to the back room again, “high spiritual power of the great beyond, summon forth the beast of a thousand eons, I urge the transgression within, eternal boundaries hidden in sin” he finishes and opens his eyes seeing everyone arriving.
“What is going on Podge? What are you doing?” asks Robin.
Then suddenly a dark rift of energy surrounds the room forming a huge black cloud that fills the room and chokes the life slowly out of Robin and her friends who begin to fall to their knees in panic with fear and dread in their eyes as they cough, trying to cover their mouths and noses from inhaling the toxic dark dust that comes from the air itself. Podge remains unaffected; his eyes slowly vibrating and changing color to a dark red. The dark mass begins concentrating itself in the corner and emits a stream of energy pointing towards the other corner as the small crew collapses to their faces. The stream erupts into a portal of pure dark black energy that roars of its own power. “That’s like the temporal wormhole” says Tina choking and trying to get up but she keeps falling. “You are too late” says Podge. “It is done. The door is open. It is from the tribes of the foregone past and future and will bring forth plagues and pestilences to annihilate this world and fulfill the destiny of the last time in this ancient era.” The void roars wildly and dark colors within it fluctuate as a form emerges, a large hairy beast standing seven feet and nine inches, large bat-like wings stretched out behind it, brown fur throughout its muscular body, and long horns and a snout in its grotesque and bump-laden face snarling with ferocious fangs, a hideous snarl, drooling large lips, and a notorious growl bellowed at the top of his lungs as he lifts his arms and head up to the air, the vortex of darkness collapsing behind him.
“That’s Satyr” says Drax dropping to his face choking.
“He is much younger than we remember” says Mercedes. “He probably doesn’t know us.” She falls and the four heroes are incapacitated as Podge rises to his feet and stands before the beast looking up with a smile and his fingers arched before him. Prometheseus rises to his feet and stands seven foot tall as well.
“Now, you will do as I say as well.” The short Podge stands between the two enormous creatures beside him.
At the cockpit area, Podge sits in the front pilot seat before the large holographic screen. Podge wears a long dark black robe and pointed hat while carrying a large black wand with a starry point sagging in multiple directions. Prometheseus and Satyr sit beside him. Mercedes sits restrained with metallic shackles in one of the chairs in front of Robin, Drax, and Tina similarly restrained in chairs behind them. Podge rises and places a jar of solution before Mercedes nose and she awakens with a shock. “What the hell is going on here?” she utters. “Podge, what are you doing? Why?” She struggles to break free but cannot. Podge nods as he beckons to her friends unconscious and restrained behind her. “Are they dead?” she asks. Podge shakes his head. “You will not be harmed as long as you do as I say.” “Why are you doing this man?” “I need you to program the ship’s coordinates based on what you discovered below to find the Chintamani Stone.” “Why do you want it?” “I need it … to destroy it. It is my mission. I am now called by my true name as the Dark Wizard, Mortanvoitiuous. I was sent here from the distant future beyond Robin’s time to find the Chintamani Stone because she is the chosen one and the only one who would be destined to find it. I knew if I stayed with her long enough, I would find it and fulfill my destiny… destroy it before she can use it to destroy the Tron.”
“The what?” asks Mercedes.
“That’s right” says Mortanvoitiuous “you do not even know.” He laughs as he waves his wand around and slowly levitates off the ground. “The Tron are the warriors in the purple ships you were seeing. You temporarily set them back but they retaliate with forces stronger than you can imagine. They are destined to rule the universe only by eliminating the scourge of your mankind from existence. With my allies of the ultimate evil source and my psychogenetic abilities we will ensure that this ultimate fate of the last time and birth of the new order comes to pass.” He beckons to Satyr and Prometheseus behind him.
“Aren’t you human? You will destroy yourself.”
“Those who aide the Tron are blessed with super longevity of life, health, and stamina in their superhuman abilities. I have already been given psychogenetic powers as you can see” he floats around and his eyes glow bright red. “And I worship their cause and the mortal Machination, the shadow cabal that exhumes it in all of time. When the time is right, I will be allowed to uplift myself to energy.”
“You are with the Machination” says Mercedes rolling her eyes and turning her head, “go figure.”
“You must input the coordinates from your handheld device into the computer of the Redeemer for me to find the Chintamani Stone.”
“I won’t help you, loser” she responds spitting up at him fiercely with a grin of determination and animosity.
“Unfortunate” says the dark wizard hovering about wiping his cheek. “You leave me no choice.” He aims his wand at the trio behind Mercedes and chants in his other language when suddenly a flashing swirl of sparkling white light grows and coalesces at the top of the wand and then spirals from the tip towards Tina and vaporizes her instantly.
Mercedes sat in shock and horror as she looks back and screams mercifully as tears fall down the sides of her face. “You’re an animal, you’re a monster.”
The dark wizard then turns and aims the wand at the lifeless corpse of Dr. Kowalski still on the ground and chants again letting loose a similar swirl towards the corpse vaporizing it instantly. The dark wizard turns and points the wand towards Drax. Satyr roars with courage and hatred in ferocious applause.
“No, No, No stop please” yells Mercedes crying repeating her words.
“I will not hesitate to take the lives of your friends. They are meaningless pawns to me. Do as I say or this one will be the next to go.” He points the wand at Drax.
“OK, OK, please just stop….” She cries apparently endlessly in mourning.
“I will definitely end the life of the atahensic one, Robin Matthews, as well.”
“I will do… as you say… please unbind me” says Mercedes.
“I will kill you as well if you attempt insurrection of any kind” he floats down to her and waves his wand over her metal shackling restraints and they fall off to the ground.
“I won’t” Mercedes gets up and grabs her TTR from her belt. “I’ll do as you say just promise me you won’t hurt them.”
“You have my word that if they do fall harm it will not be because of me” he responds.
Mercedes frowns as she walks over to the main console looking at her friends and then their captors and still grieving the loss of Tina inside. Satyr and Prometheseus move back and keep an eye on Mercedes inputting commands into the console.
The Redeemer flies through the air quickly and slowly shifts course to a new arena heading to and beyond a receding part of the land mass that pours out into open an apparently endless Super Ocean.
Mercedes sits at the main console weeping silently as she monitors the controls and slowly adjusts the ship based on the oncoming weather changes over the vast expanse of Super Ocean. She looks back at her unconscious friends and then at Satyr and Prometheseus who monitor her fiercely as Dark Wizard has retreated to the back in silent mediation. “You guys sure are taking this work seriously” she mentions, “especially you Satyr. We knew you or will know you. You weren’t such a bad guy.” “Silence human, you are diseased and disgusting.” Satyr barks. “Continue the voyage or perish at my wrath” he further strikes the empty air before him with his large sharp clawed and hairy hand. “OK, relax” she utters looking forward with an eye towards Drax and Robin and wondering how she was going to free them. She reaches for her pants thigh where a hidden pocket lay and remembers she hid a laser pistol there. She slowly tries to remove it when Prometheseus erupts in a loud mechanical tone, “weapon alert, perimeter breach” and reaches for her hand quickly grabbing it and squeezing her flesh and pulling her hand behind her back and pushing her down to the console. She screams and drops the weapon that Satyr quickly picks up. “Nice try” says Satyr as Prometheseus releases the pressure on Mercedes and let’s her go. “But this is only going to make the boss angry” Satyr continues. “No doubt one of your friends will pay the ultimate price for your deceit and treachery.” “No don’t please” she rises. “Sit down” says Prometheseus. “Why do we have to be like this?” she begs raising her hands. Then suddenly a flash of yellow whirling light fills the cockpit and the temporal wormhole erupts in mid air, a dashing figure emerges leaping up above them as the vortex vanishes and a brave warrior lands on the ground bearing a long black cape and hood, his face barely visible underneath reflecting a square and chiseled jaw line with beard stubble and long silk-flowing brown and light blonde hair flowing from underneath the hood around his face and muscular torso. He holds a pair of long sais in his hands and moves around the room in a battalion dance as he approaches Drax and Robin and swings his sais cutting the metal restraints on them and then approaching Prometheseus who swings a series of rapid android-reflexive punches and kicks but the strategic awareness and agile defensive nature of this unknown hero block and dodge each one just as rapidly and with a dual swing of the butt-end of his sais he strikes the android knocking his head off his body and dropping his remains to the ground. Satyr angrily lunges at the warrior who jumps up and with an impressive array of multiple kicks one after the other in a circular formation drops over the hairy beast’s form falling to the ground. Mercedes looks in awe at this impressive display of heroics and acrobatics as the warrior flips in mid air each time. She moves back towards her friends. Satyr rises even more angrily and tries to grab the warrior as he turns but the warrior spins around and with a roundhouse kick knocks Satyr back into the wall and as Satyr bounces back quickly and retaliates, the sais-man extends his weapons of choice out together with their pointed tips before him instantly impaling the beast who grunts with a ferocious whim of fear and humility as the warrior kicks his torso back towards the wall and onto the ground away from the bloody blades that he then wipes against his cloak and subsequently sheathes. The warrior stands with his arms crossed and legs astride as if proudly cocking into the air above.
“Who are you?” asks Mercedes.
The warrior looks at her under his hooded cloak still not displaying the top half of his face. He utters slowly as he sees Robin unconscious, “I am to be called Spy Ram.” He runs over to Robin and holds her. “Please awaken” he removes a glove from his right hand and touches Robin pressing a spot on the birthmark on her neck. Robin’s eyes open slowly. “What happened?” “We got knocked out, Robin” says Mercedes. “Podge is a bad dude… he is calling himself the Dark Wizard and he killed Tina and summoned a beast. He said he would kill you all if I didn’t program the ship to find the Chintamani Stone.” Spy Ram looks at Mercedes curiously then back to Robin while on one knee. “Oh my” she responds. “I am glad you are well, highness” says Spy Ram. “Who is this?” asks Robin. “He appeared through the wormhole and saved us from that beast Satyr and Prometheseus.” “You are the atahensic and I am here to assist in your destiny to become the one to defeat the evil Tron.”
“Tron?” asks Robin.
“Dark Wizard Podge mentioned them when he woke me up” says Mercedes. He said they are the ones in the purple ships we were fighting and they are destined to take over the universe in the ‘last time’ as part of the Machination.”
“Oh dear” says Robin. “What about Milton?” she touches him.
“Allow me, highness” says Spy Ram who touches Drax in his neck and he slowly awakens.
“How do you do that?” asks Robin.
“It is my gift” says Spy Ram.
“That’s an incredible gift” says Mercedes.
“What’s going on?” asks Drax.
“Long story” says Mercedes.
“Where’s Tina?” asks Drax.
“Longer sadder story” says Mercedes.
The Redeemer flies through the air over the vast and apparently endless Super Ocean as everyone gets caught up on recent events. Drax, Robin, Mercedes, and Spy Ram stand in the observation deck by the large walled holographic screen.
“Dark Wizard Podge can come wake up at any minute” says Drax as he looks down and paces the floor with his hands clasped behind him.
“So I know I am destined as the chosen one” starts Robin “and I was told of my destiny to fight the Tron who we know now was the one we have been fighting and being chased by, to find the water stone also known as the Chintamani Stone, also to find the relic wings of time based on this birthmark, and to be the atahensic or sky woman who is more than a hero but some type of queen in the future to these people… what did you say your kind is, Spy Ram?”
“I am of the Star Searcher Syndicate, a group that believes in combining the best of both science and religion to obtain proof of the great power of time in a monolithic array at the heart of the known universes. Robin Matthews was chosen from the beginning and the secret meeting between individuals of power in your own time was preordained by higher powers of a spiritual significance.”
“Spiritual as in God” asks Robin.
“It is our imperiled destiny to find it and to utilize for the advancement of all life and it was begun by you to counter the reign of the Oligarchy and those against it, highness, and formed from your discovery of the Chintamani Stone. You will find it as for me it is already history.”
“Wow, that’s definitely good to know and any idea where we should go?”
“I do not have that knowledge. I was sent solely to protect you.” He stands with his hands clasped behind his back and legs astride.
“Who sent you? Do you have the time stone with you?” asks Drax.
“I was sent from the progenitors of my day who have the necessary items with which to accomplish the task. That is all I am knowledgeable of.”
“The ship is on route to a small inlet of islands about a dozen hours away from our last location” says Mercedes kneeling down on the ground. “I was able to figure out the location based on the data from the map in the Syrun and the star charts I reconfigured. They are called the forgotten islands according to the map. The weather conditions are going to get a lot worse as we approach as we are far from the great landmass now and in the midst of the Super Ocean.”
“Good, so now that Podge’s goons are gone we will have a better chance to stop him since we outnumber him and we can get the Chintamani Stone” says Robin.
“We should speed up know that we have fuel, perhaps the Advanced Rapid Drive will get us there quicker” says Drax.
“For sure” says Mercedes. “But with the chaotic winds and turbulence, we don’t want to be torn apart.”
“What if we reinforce the energy barrier Madelekior put on us?” asks Robin.
“That might overcome the instability” says Mercedes getting up and rubbing her TTR and then the holographic mega wall screen with her fingers. “I think we can make the necessary calibrations.”
“Can we accelerate from here?” asks Drax.
“Controls already routed to this console. I am activating the ARD and accelerating.” Suddenly the ship appears to rock forward as they feel a jolt. “We are in ARD and accelerating, the shielding in conjunction with the scanners based on my computations is anticipating and compensating based on advanced weather patterns. We can overcome the turbulence to get us there, estimate time of arrival, forty-two minutes.”
“That’s the way we do it” says Drax. Robin smiles grabbing his hand and Spy Ram stares at them coyly.
“That’s right, the next line of Father Pastor’s riddle or poem or whatever” says Robin, ‘then Asiatic winds… through unstoppable terrains…’ sounds like we are on the right track and doing fine.”
“What comes next, dear?” asks Drax.
“Um… ‘follow the wisdom of the ages past’…”
“The reliquary hieroglyphs on the Syrun must be ‘the wisdom of the ages past’ as I estimated some of those writings to be thousands of years old” says Drax.
“Awesome” says Robin, “then… uh… ‘Open the doorway in hidden tombs… follow the map to where it leads for the water stone rests at long last.’”
“Sounds like we are almost there” says Mercedes.
“What could be the doorway to hidden tombs?” asks Drax.
“I guess we’ll find out when we get to the ‘forgotten islands’” says Robin clasping her hands merrily.
“Too bad you will not live to see it” says Dark Wizard Podge standing in the doorway looking at them as he hovers himself off of the ground.
“Oh no” says Mercedes, “he found us.”
“Why are you doing this Podge?” asks Robin crying out.
“Watch out” says Drax trying to protect Robin.
Spy Ram removes his Sais from their sheaths and stands in his battle stance holding the Sais up as he moves around between Podge and Robin.
“You fools” says Dark Wizard Podge as he points his wand and fires a sparkling swirl of white light towards the group. Spy Ram lifts his Sais and together blocks it and deflects it back to Podge who instantly vaporizes with a hideous scream and grotesque look of anguish.
“Phew, that was easy” says Mercedes.
“Are you alright, Robin?” asks Drax.
“I’m fine … thanking God for you Spy Ram. Those weapons are superior metallurgy from a distant future indeed.”
“I stand as your eternal protectorate, my liege” says Spy Ram standing and sheathing his Sais again as he walks over to his original space and stands at attention with his hands clasped behind him.
“A proud and loyal follower without question” says Drax.
“Well, Podge is gone so his mission to get the water stone for the Machination and the ‘last time’ is done. Hopefully we won’t encounter others or the Tron” says Mercedes.
“I just want a break from all this” says Robin. “I wish we could take it easy for a while” she looks into Drax’s eyes as they stare into one another and plant a simple kiss on one another’s lips.
“In time my dear… all things will come in time” says Drax.
The Redeemer flutters through the air at blinding speed in the void of Advanced Rapid Drive over the Super Ocean. The Redeemer’s engines light up red, blue, and green around the craft and swirl around like masses of light beneath massive lines of movement rushing towards it. Time passes and the Redeemer approaches a set of islands in the distance, an inlet of lands separated from the great landmass and existing on their own lifeless and still but dangerous in and of themselves as the roaring waves and turbulent winds blow throughout the vast mass of small islands and network of caves permeating the inlet. The rocks form curves and archways around the small islands and move about over the body of water stretching out across each island connecting it to the next one. The rocks glisten and shimmer made of a strong crystalline substance that makes the inlet seem to vibrate in the distance like a jewel in the Super Ocean as the Redeemer approaches the inlet.
“This can’t be natural” says Robin.
“I think it looks like someone designed the rocks to form this way” says Drax.
“In theory crystalline structures grow naturally so the shimmering substance that looks like cave walls could be artificially produced crystals but why build it in this fashion?” asks Mercedes.
“Could be Pregivers origin” says Drax, “we only saw their caves much later after many eons had passed and the world was touched by life. Here there is nothing and this could be the original form or at least a form earlier from what we know.”
“These are the forgotten islands” says Mercedes. “I scanned the perimeter… it’s got the same quanta-electro-ion signature as the Time Stone… it must be the water stone or Chintamani Stone.”
“So how do we get down there” asks Robin. “Do we beam spot down or risk landing the ship?”
“I am afraid neither is possible” says Mercedes. “The turbulence is too great to use the beam spot mechanism or we will risk the winds scattering your molecules throughout the archipelago. Also, landing a ship this size is impossible on those small islands.”
“What about the silver truck?” asks Drax.
“It would get you past the terrain but not the water levels” adds Mercedes.
“There has got to be a way” says Drax.
“The Syrun” adds Robin.
“My thinking exactly” says Mercedes. “We cannot beam spot it down but we can lower the Redeemer enough to drop the boat with you on board below deck and let it sail you into the inlet.”
“That’s probably what it was originally for” says Drax “and we have access to the hieroglyphs and maps with us on the quest.”
“Won’t the winds or turbulence affect the Syrun far greater than it would have the Redeemer?” asks Robin.
“I already thought of that” Mercedes grabs a small box from the desk, “I already took the liberty of adjusting the shielding capacity Madelekior put on the Redeemer, scanned it, reproduced it using the Redeemer’s configuration and holographic material production matrix, and installed it on the Syrun so it should take effect upon my command with this once you hit the waves. I also put a portable one Gerry rigged for your individual backpacks so you can survive the winds once you dock and leave the ship.”
“Mercedes, you are a true genius” says Robin. “You thought of everything.”
“Thanks” Mercedes blushes. “I made the third for Tina but… anyway” she sobs, “Spy Ram must use it now.”
“Don’t worry, Mercedes” says Drax. “She is in a better place… and time has proven to us anything is possible. It isn’t over.”
“I know” says Mercedes wiping tears away.
“And Mercedes that was genius of you to figure out to use the beam spot tech as a weapon in case the Tron show up again” says Robin.
“It was elementary” jokes Mercedes. “Also, since we don’t know what we will find down there, I was able to create these” she walks over to a desk and pulls out two long rods with two handle bars and the rod has a light at the end of it.
“What is it, Mercedes?” asks Drax.
“My latest invention, I call them drone seekers. Since the weapons locker has been depleted, you need hand weapons down there. They should be enough to get three or four shots of energy plasma before they fire off but it should come in handy on the surface. I used the android light eyes tech ability I scanned from Prometheseus and using his corpse along with conjunction with the Redeemer’s configuration and holographic material production matrix and my scans of the Tron vessel to create these. They can also see and scan through solid walls by rotating the end of the handle bars like so” she demonstrates and the light tip rotates and changes color to every color of the rainbow spectrum until back to white “and finding the certain frequencies. White is weapons mode so keep it on that if you fear there is something down there that might pose a threat.” Robin and Drax nod each taking one.
The Redeemer slowly lowers down to the crashing waves and opens its lower doors, a large retracting set of compartments that unfold like lotus petals. The Redeemer tips slightly forward as the Syrun then falls from the hold in the Redeemer and drops onto the blue abyss of the Super Ocean’s watery depths and waves. Drax, Robin, and Spy Ram rest in the lower decks as the Syrun moves forward on the rapidly moving waves before highly turbulent winds almost falling on its side but being resurrected by the waves on the other side and floating onward towards the rocky shores of inlets and caverns on the many small islands in the ongoing archipelago of the forgotten islands. The shielding pale blue bubble materializes over the Syrun surrounding and encapsulating the crafty barge as it maneuvers through the waves sailing forth straight and steady without any problems from the roaring winds around it. The blue bubble glistens around the ship as the winds touch it and send it on its way towards the inlet of landscapes, the forgotten islands. The Redeemer’s doors close as it slowly rises to its original high-altitude position and posits itself waiting. Mercedes sits in the observation deck watching the movements of the Syrun in the waves on her large wall screen and monitoring the biological signs of the three on board as well as the winds below as well as the shielding on the Syrun to ensure it holds and carries them well safely.
The roaring winds over the riptide of waves and turbulent angry sea before the small ship, the Syrun, beckons like an omen of transcended effects as its valiant crew climb to the main deck and overlook the archipelago and its ominous yet glistening crystal caves.
“How do you find you destiny?” asks Robin.
“I think it just feels right” says Drax.
“Do you think there are soul mates and purpose equals God’s providing us with help for happiness?” asks Robin. “Like a little kid’s snow globe sending down joy and goodness within.”
“I think we make our own happiness. This is where it gets interesting” says Drax.
“We only have one chance. I pray to God we make it” says Robin.
“Let God’s will be done” replies Drax.
The Syrun rips through the waves pouring into the inlet and around the watery canyon of islands zigzagging past each narrow corridor and under the arched crystal caves and artificial rock-bridges. The small ship creeps through eagerly focusing on arrival at its intended destination. “I got the TTR Mercedes set for me and recalibrated. It will pick up the energy signal for the Chintamani Stone similar to the particle waves generated by the Time Stone” says Robin. “Excellent” copies Drax as he holds the wheel at the bow of the ship keeping it steady. They ride the waves carefully mounting each pinnacle apex before sliding down into the waters again. “This is kind of fun” adds Drax. “We are approaching the source of the signal breach” says Robin holding out the device in her hand. “There” says Robin pointing to a small cavern amidst a land bridge across a pair of small islands not dissimilar from the many that they passed. “Land ho” says Drax turning the ship and pressing her hard docking against the beached landscape. “Get the backpacks with the supplies and let’s go” says Robin as she, Drax, and Spy Ram each wear a backpack with their portal shields and Drax and Robin hold their weapons as the small troop head off the boat and onto the beached perimeter of the small island where the entrance to the cave rests. “We need to get up there” says Drax looking up at the cave entrance above the land bridge multiple stories up. “Do we have any ideas?” And with that Spy Ram leaps and grabs Drax and Robin in each hand by the arm and lifts them with him exceeding heights and bounds beyond normal men scaling the land bridge as high as it was and landing together on the land bridge. “Wow, I am never ceased amazed by your talents, Spy Ram” says Robin. “Impressive indeed old boy” says Drax. Spy Ram silently nods. Drax pulls out his flashlight and lights the way as the darkened sky brings on the dusk and they enter the darkened cave walk on and into crystalline surfaces that shone reflecting the light from Drax’s flashlight. The trio enters the cave seeing the shining of beautiful crystalline structures off the beam of the flashlight in the interior of the cave. As they continue to walk, they see the light reflect off of every corner of the cave including the floors free of dirt or debris. They are mesmerized. Robin stares at the TTR scanning the room and indicates with her finger, “the signal is further down but not directly, almost as if it is hidden.” “Hidden in a tomb perhaps like your poem or riddle said” says Drax. “True” says Robin as they walk and begin to see hieroglyphic style drawings on the wall. “Looks like we are meant to be reliving the same battles” says Drax. “What do you think they say?” asks Robin. “There seem to be references to a guardian of the stones and some warning to stay away” he reads while looking up and around shining his light. “Something like this about a scientist, notably one of the Pregivers who was conducting experiments with life and developed a creature that became evil and destroyed everything so as a last hope she created the guardian but with one flaw it only comes when it storms of any kind. This legend seems to prove there were people before our prehistoric civilization, these Pregivers did occupy Pangaea once upon a time.” “Awesome” says Robin looking up and Spy Ram looks up silently. “There is mention to the ‘Sky Woman’ stories akin to the Native American population you told me about who worshiped you and called Atahensic, I remember there being North American Indian stories like the Huron and Iroquois regarding a mother goddess not just the South American peoples in old Peru. I also remember Nubian Amazon stories of foot soldiers called the Blaemayee with their heads and faces buried in their chests. There are numerous references to weird type things in our history that might be not natural but artificial experiments.” “These might help us find out the origin of the Pregivers one day. What else does it say?” asks Robin. “There is talk of a way in, an ancient tomb… more on the bad guys and human greed leading to a black cloud of evil going out into the universe and what I think is the Tron we learned about. There is something about a great weapon of virtually limitless power, the ultimate source in the universe like a bomb or some kind of ultra light force. I don’t get it. Then more on the puzzle, a puzzle of time in the cave and a temple” they continue walking and reach a wall glistening with crystal like the others. “This is the dead end” says Robin. “It can’t be.” “We usually hit this in Pregiver caves. There has got to be a puzzle to unlock the door. The wall writing referenced a puzzle. Something about…” “a puzzle of time” Robin finishes. “Yes, what could that be?” “Maybe a clock” says Robin. “Interesting” says Drax. “I don’t see a clock but maybe we aren’t supposed to see it.” “It could be in plain sight like that Edgar Allen Poe story, the purloined letter” says Robin. “She looks around.” “Let me take a crack at this” says Drax approaching the rock dead end wall and rubbing his fingers against the fine and smooth crystalline surface making a circle and trying to draw hands for the minute and hour and numbers but nothing happens. “Damn, I thought that would work.” “Why would it?” Robin asks. “Look sweetie” she points up and around and Drax and Spy Ram join her looking up and are startled to see a group of dots Robin counted as twelve dots representing “twelve” followed by a pair of dots together representing “two” and then next to it three dots representing “three” followed by dots in various formations, “four”, “five”, and progressing around and down the wall to their right and to the floor showing six dots representing “six” and then up the wall to their left showing nine dots representing “nine” and finally up to where they started to the twelve again. “Well I’ll be damned” says Drax. “Drax honey, we are not supposed to draw the clock because… we are in the clock” says Robin. “That’s why you are the chosen one darling … but what’s missing?” asks Drax. “Number one” says Robin who approaches the wall where Drax stood and standing next to him rubs her finger against the crystalline surface drawing a number one. Within seconds, the ground begins to shake and rumble and the walls collapse inward and drop to the floor as if dissolving from crystal to dust. There appear metal pistons on either end pumping up and down rapidly shining of bright silver and gold. The wall before them soon comes forward and collapses to dust revealing more pistons of silver and gold pumping up and down and finally spreading apart to the side with their companions leaving an empty road ahead and a pedestal in the brightness of the crystal cave shining from Drax’s flashlight. A small purple jewel appears to rest on the pedestal. Robin’s eyes light up as she runs over followed immediately by Drax and Spy Ram. They approach the pedestal when a large creature ferociously jumps in their path. The creature stood upright over nine feet tall, had broad brown shoulders, hair and fur all over, and growled like a grizzly bear, portraying a snout that stunk with a fowl odor and emitted drool from its dripping incredibly large fangs and claws on its large hands and feet. Its torso was large and rippled. It had long ears and fur draped down its back and around its head like a lion’s mane. It called out to them with a continuous roar. “Guardian” was the only word emitted from its roar that they understood and Robin and Drax stepped back in horror as the creature lunges at them and with a mighty blow from his powerful claws breaks the flashlight in Drax’s hands into pieces that fall on the cave floor but Spy Ram stepped forward and took out his Sais as he engaged the creature in his usual fighting pose. The bear creature lunges at Spy Ram who dodges repeated blows and kicks and flips back sending the creature into the pedestal that fizzles with a touch. Drax and Robin look on in awe at the illusion noting that the item on it cannot be real. Spy Ram kicks the creature again and tosses it to the side with one set of footwork up in the air and he stands on his hands and lips up kicking the creature to the other side. Spy Ram regains his stance and lunges at the creature with both Sais impaling the beast. The beast let out a hideous roar and begins to topple over. Spy Ram lets go of his Sais and moves back and runs forward again drop kicking the Sais further inserting them into the beast’s bowels causing blood and entrails to spill onto the ground and the creature falls back with lifeless eyes and without a cry over the pedestal that completely fizzles out of existence upon contact and the creature falls onto the ground dead. Spy Ram stands over the creature in proud accomplishment. Robin smiles again. Before Spy Ram can bend down to claim his weapons, a whirl of yellow light fills the air and the temporal wormhole erupts in the tombs before them roaring loudly and sucking everything in. The dead creature gets pulled into the vortex and vanishes in a ball of light. Robin and Drax look at one another “this is new” says Drax and they hold onto one another and a crystal stalagmite as the vortex tries to suck them in. Spy Ram tries to grab on to something but finds it too late and is quickly absorbed into the vortex vanishing in a haze of light. The wormhole soon fades leaving Robin and Drax in silence and darkness. “We are repeating old battles on a whole different level” says Drax. “Now what?” asks Robin “we are in pitch black with no muscle to protect us and no hope of finding the water stone.” “We have each other” Drax replies; “that’s sweet” says Robin “but… wait look” she points and sees a light in the distance. “What is it, honey?” asks Drax. “A light path… you don’t see it?” she asks. “No” says Drax. “I know that light. I have to go to it. I don’t understand it…” says Robin when she vanishes in a white light and reappears in a different area surrounded by a pattern of moving lights of all different colors of the rainbow around her.
“Sometimes you get one chance in a lifetime to find your place in time. It’s a shame you don’t see it.” “H?” asks Robin rhetorically after she recognized his voice. “It has been some time since you came back. What am I supposed to do?” “Your quest against ‘Against The Wind’ and ‘The Confederated Oligarchy’ was only the beginning.” “Why did you come to me?” “You still are missing a big piece of the puzzle.” “I need to find the Chintamani Stone. That is what this is all about. But why is that?” “I will give you a gift” H appears before her smiling. “Hold out your hand” he says and she does. “There” he snaps his fingers. “Your Armon is now galvanized with a hundred times the power. You don’t need mortal men to protect you or even futuristic advanced ones. You will protect yourself. You have the ultra power to stop the Tron.” “Who are they? The aliens in that purple ship, but I don’t fully understand.” “Let’s check it out” says H snapping his fingers and he and Robin vanish in a whirl of white light reappearing in a room with purple neon lights on every corner and metallic underpinnings surrounding the room spinning around and walking amongst them humanoid robotic beings with purple neon light surrounding them. They had bulging eyes and a tube around their mouths and under a smooth helmet surface and their torsos and extremities metallic and presenting armaments and projectile weapon launchers on their muscular extremities.
“What are they?” says Robin frightened. “They’re known as the Tron. No one knows what they are really called or where they originated, not even me.” “I thought you knew everything.” “Get real, only God knows everything.” “So what does this have to do with me?” “There are some mysteries of the universe still unknown. The Tron have been responsible for rampant destruction and devastation. Everywhere they go, ruin follows. They have annihilated countless generations and civilizations. They are individualistic and electro-magnetic form beings. They have been the scourge of entire galactic clusters for eons. They are really bad dudes who attack as shadow drones. They don’t have life purposes like humans do. They kill themselves in the name of the whole when needed. So far you were lucky the times you encountered them already.” Two of the robotic men appear to move towards them and extend their muscular arms that tilted weapons on their axis and pointed it at them. “Oh no” says Robin. “They can’t see us” says H. “I don’t care, take me out of here please and send me back to Drax” says Robin demandingly. H snaps his fingers with a look of disappointment on his face and in a whirl of white light they are standing back in the dark tombs and Drax runs to Robin. “Where did you go? What happened? I was worried.” “I’m fine, this is H… where did he go?” she turns around looking. “Damn, he does that.” “I am sure” says Drax. “While you were gone, I used our portable light beacon” he holds up his wrist. “I was able to read more writings on the walls of this tomb. “What?” “There are references to what sounds like the story of the four beasts in the book of revelations but a similar prophecy involving an ally to help fight a grave threat from above, robotic alien warriors with a neon glow.” “The Tron” says Robin, “I was just taken for a ghost tour inside one of their ships. H took me there.” “Interesting… everyone wants to be the beast until it’s time to do what is necessary! I see a story about a hawk warrior. I see another story about what looks like the story of King Midas or Brahmana….” “You mean the guy who could turn things to gold?” “Yeah” starts Drax. “Drax, I have a feeling that’s a hero’s journey destined to be taken.” “Listen, supposedly it’s a story of another stone which could turn anything into gold found by a poor man when a powerful god-like being sent him on a quest to obtain it to be richer than he ever imagined. It is a sweet story of benediction and knowing the true value of things, how the gold finder was merely trash and the true treasure was in himself so he eventually threw the stone away into a great sea.” “Sounds tragic but happy” says Robin. “Maybe someone in our family many generations from now is looking back on us and will find our own message”; “then we should leave a good message” nods Drax smiling. He reaches out his hand and she slips hers into his as they stare into one another and walk forward smiling at one another. “I love you, Milton”; “I love you too, Robin.” Then suddenly the darkness before them illuminated and began to make loud noises like pistons pumping up and down. “What is that?” asks Robin as they move forward and in the midst of a barely lit corridor stood a familiar sight to both of them that made a shocked look spawn across their faces, a stone altar with a marble-like pink substance on top and buttons deeply indented and raised above the top. “That looks familiar” says Robin. “That is a Pregiver altar” says Drax smiling as they approach it and stand behind it. Drax eyes it seeing three primary buttons around a series of little ones, a panel, and small screens littered throughout the top. The three primary buttons were of a hawk, a sword, and a clock. On either side, there is a crystal globe lighting up bright blue. “This is Pregiver technology?” asks Robin and Drax nods. “This must mean something” says Drax. “We got to be careful which ones to press because we don’t know what they will do and one could ruin us from knowing the others.” “You don’t have to tell me twice. I have been through a couple of them before” Robin smiles in response. Then suddenly she freezes, lowers head, and her mind’s eyes accelerates and pupils dilate showing her mind racing and stop when darkness become light and an image shows an elderly Robin Matthews, dressed in a stranger armor she never saw before as she wore a black and silver cape with gold highlights, a single black band around her eyes, her hair straight and smooth brown and yellow, lighter than her natural black hair color, and a metallic breastplate of gold and silver spreading to her arms and legs and around her back with a pair of tall alabaster wings with vermillion and gilded coverings stretching out as she held a long sword with an illumination finish in her hand. The elderly hero walks to the altar of the Pregivers, removes her outfit and places it down and presses the hawk button and then in a flash of light it is gone. Robin snaps out and stars at the altar and turns to Drax. “Did you have another psychic vision?” Drax asks. Robin nods rapidly with a discerned look on her face. “I saw myself or at least I think it was me. I looked great but very old and great … wearing a suit with wings… tall wings. Oh crap. I was told I am destined to find these ancient Pregiver wings of time. They coincide with this old birthmark” she pulls down her collar. “I know. So what happened?” “I put the suit back and pressed” she looks down on the altar and pointed to the hawk button. “Well, I think we know which to press” says Drax. “Do the honors?” Robin asks with a coy smile. “Do it” he responds. Robin smiles “here goes nothing” and presses the button but nothing happens. “Damn, I was so sure it would work” she says and then remembers from her vision something else on the altar, a jewel. “There is something missing here” she says seeing an empty slot at the end of the altar. “What?” “Wait” she says as she removes and reaches into her backpack. She pulls out the jewel of Maledekior. “This should fit just right”; “try it” adds Drax. Robin places it in the slot and it plugs in lighting up the altar top and the three buttons brightly with red and yellow. Robin then presses the hawk button down, “now it should work.” Suddenly the altar buttons presses down with a stone creaking sound and a large section of the darkened wall to their right disappears revealing the suit and wings Robin saw her older self wear in the psychic vision. The armor rests on a small block in the dark interior with a small white strobe light overhead. Robin approaches in awe walking away from the altar in front of it and touching the display. “I feel a strange compulsion to this place” she utters. “Sometimes the smallest little thing is all you need to find your place in time” whispers Drax smiling at her from behind the altar. “I guess we found the hidden tomb” yells Drax as he sees Robin mesmerized by the outfit before her and slowly stroking it. “But there is still no sign of finding the water stone at long last… Robin…” Drax yells out and then Drax looks down at the altar and sees the same formation of dots they saw in the cavern outside of this hidden tomb. “Wait a minute” he says “it’s a clock puzzle on the altar like the one outside, only this time….” He looks at the number of dots forming a circle and sees them as he counts in his mind while rubbing his finger on the altar in a circle 1, 2, 3, 4, 5… 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. “It’s missing number 6” he says and slowly rubs his finger on the center dial making a number 6 and within seconds the back wall behind the altar fades as the sound of pistons pumping is heard again. Robin runs back to where she was with Drax. “What is it?” “I solved the second clock puzzle” says Drax as he and Robin turn and see the wall disappear and behind them lay a pedestal with a purple jewel in the middle. They approach it. “I hope it’s not another hologram this time” says Robin as she approaches it and touches it. “It’s real.” “The first one was a decoy when we were attacked by the Guardian. Now we can claim it.” “Not yet” says Robin. “I hear loud footsteps.” “I don’t hear anything” says Drax. Then suddenly they both hear loud footsteps and see a large dragon creature with multiple heads approach. “It’s a mythical lernea hydra from ancient Greek legend” says Drax. Robin moves forward as the hydra approaches and emits a foul odor and fire from its nostrils, smoke from its breath, and whips a scaly leathery reptilian body and tail around its massive heads. Robin looks up as the creature prepares to inhale and then spits flames at them. Robin drops to the floor and rolls as does Drax. The beast yells out a single word in a dark crinkled voice, “Guardian”. Robin then rises to her feet and confronts the beast again. “My turn” she says and raises her Armon hand and fires a set of white plasma balls towards the hydra and rips through its torso and knocks of multiple heads causing the great creature to fall behind them and drop to the floor in a titanic ground shake. “Excellent work” says Drax. “Ally in a day work for Ultra… Sky Woman” says Robin jokingly lowering her hand and turning back to the pedestal. “Do the honors, sweetie, you earned it” says Drax gesturing to the pedestal. “Hopefully that is the end of the Guardians” says Robin smiling and approaching the pedestal. She tries to grab it but it will not move off the table. “It’s stuck… give me a hand” she yells and Drax approaches and tries to help her lift it but they cannot budge it. “Great, now what?” she says. “There has got to be away” says Drax. “Maybe the last line of the riddle is a clue… maybe only the Atahensic can claim it but not by touching it directly.” “Then how?” “Easy, follow the map to where it leads for the water stone rests at long last” says Drax. “We followed the map and it lead us here… that is the water stone supposedly but it rests at long last apparently eternal” says Robin flailing her arms. “Think” says Drax. “I am thinking… wait, ‘where it rests’ and ‘last’, could it mean the last button on the altar, the symbol of the clock, the last puzzle before we can claim it?” Robin approaches the altar followed by Drax and she presses the clock button but nothing happens and then remembers Drax saying maybe only she can claim it. “I don’t know why but I feel compelled to do this” she utters and grabs the end of the altar top and lifts causing the top to rise up like a desktop and revealing a hollow blue pale light shining on her. “Unreal, the Chintamani Stone is real and we are learning new things about the altars” says Drax. Robin looks onto it with awe as she sees mechanical workings under the light and machine-like movements in a strange other-worldly format, metal parts moving rapidly like pistons and small gold and silver pieces mixed in with no apparent source of the light that shines on top of it. She looks in the center and sees a spot with an indentation capable of fitting a hand print. She sees her mind race again and hit a spot after multiple lines on the sides of her mind and a psychic vision hits her this time of three pyramids in Egypt under a night sky, the pyramids at Giza and three stars above them, the Orion’s belt constellation she remembers from school. “They look so beautiful” she thinks and she sees it change to an image of the entire universe a large spiral mass of multiple galaxies and stars, one of many universes, and one galaxy in particular, our own, the Milky Way galaxy. She looks in awe at this amazing large and infinite puzzle shown to her in a single moment in time. Suddenly she opens her eyes before the altar open top glowing blue again and knows instantly what is necessary after this moment of total clarity and universal harmony with no fear or worry. She places her right hand down towards the light while holding the top with her left hand and Drax yells out, “wait” but Robin already having made up her mind sets her hand down on the indentation and it glows along with her entire body and the altar with Robin’s eyes closed as if in a trance. Suddenly a piston sound erupts from behind them and Drax looks back seeing the purple stone drop from its pedestal. “I think you dislodged it” he says. Robin removes her hand and drops the top back in place. Robin and Drax walk back to the pedestal and Robin reaches for the stone and grabs it in her hands. “It worked” she says smiling, “the water stone.” “Good work, Sky Woman” says Drax. “Mission accomplished. Now, let’s get out of here” he says. “Right” says Robin hands the water stone to Drax and she runs over to the suit in front of the altar. Drax lifts his back on top of the altar to put the water stone into it and he accidentally presses and triggers the second button with the sword image and the altar lights up bright blue. “Oh no” says Drax with his eyes widening with concern. Robin turns in shock as the altar fires a bright blue beam of energy striking Robin and covering her entire body with the light. She moves slowly and mechanically as she drops to the ground. Drax removes the bag and presses the button again shutting off the altar’s glow and runs over to Robin holding her and helping her up. “Are you OK? Oh my God, I am so sorry.” “I think I will be OK” the glow fades and she holds her head. “What’s that noise?” says Robin. “I don’t hear anything” says Drax. Robin realizes her hearing implant is picking up disturbances from outside, loud machines and engines hovering above. “I think we got company” says Robin. Suddenly the room starts shaking and loud noises are heard from above. “How did you know?” “Lucky guess, let’s get this stuff and get out of here” she says as she and Drax grab the suit and put it in their backpacks. Robin straps on the armor with wings, covering her arms and legs and torso. “Looks good on you” says Drax as the room shakes again and again. “Come on” says Robin, “we don’t have a lot of time.” They hold hands and run in the opposite way they came up and out of the cavern. They run out into the dawning daylight outside of the cavern and see the Syrun erupting in a ball of flames as yellow balls of plasma fall from the sky raining down like torment and the source, a large purple neon ship ten thousand times larger than the previous ones dwarfing the Redeemer hovering in the air trying to outrun each blast. This ship was shaped like a giant pyramid. “It’s the Tron ship” says Robin, “bigger than ever.” She holds her hand up pointing her Armon at the massive vehicle that darkens the dawning daylight with its giant mass. “We got to get out of here” says Drax. Robin looks up and fires up a whiff of white plasma as she remembers H’s words that her Armon was galvanized. The whirl of plasma strikes through the air and hits the Tron ship ripping a hole through it and coming out on the other side. The Tron ship continues turning for Robin and Drax. “I can take them out” says Robin as Drax pulls her by the arm. “But what if it takes us out first?” The Tron large pyramid ship bears multiple lines of light on either side and a giant ball of light humming and glowing at its center. From this center, the Tron ship fires yellow balls of plasma down to their location striking the beached area and finishing off the Syrun in one enormous blast causing an infernal explosion on the beach below. Robin and Drax look at one another and run back into the cave. The Tron ship fires a set of plasma blasts from behind it and strike the Redeemer. Robin and Drax look up from inside the cave in horror as their spaceship blew up before their eyes in a horrific blast of fire, smoke, and burning chemical reaction. The blue and red lights from the ship fizzle as the fire consumes the entire mass and sends any remaining charred debris crashing into the super ocean with sending an amazing surge of water into the air. The Tron ship continues firing on the beach. Suddenly then a whirl of white light appears on the beach below the land bridge and the silver car rides along the beach and up the rocky cliffs trying to scale it but turning back down. Drax yells out “there’s the car… Mercedes must have beam spotted down.” He points. “Let’s go” yells Robin as they stand on the land bridge as the Tron vessel continues firing balls of yellow plasma from its wake and striking their location. Robin and Drax run about dodging them. Robin aims and fires her Armon up and strikes the Tron ship ripping a hole through the other side of the ship but it pursues and persists continuously. Drax sees the car below and realizes they have one shot. Drax puts on the two backpacks with the water stone and the rest of the suit. “We got to jump” he says and counts to three as he holds Robin’s hand who nods in response. Together they leap off the land bridge and Robin sees two hand-held items come out of the winged pack Robin wears. She yells to Drax as they fall “hold onto me” and he grabs her so her hands are free and she presses the button on both devices and the wings begin to operate and flutter as a stream of energy erupts from underneath. They hover and cease falling and begin to propel forward. “This is awesome” says Robin. “Yes, but let’s get to the ground” says Drax. Robin maneuvers them towards the silver vehicle riding away and catches up with it as the Tron ship continues firing at their location missing them and striking the beach behind them. The duo approaches and soon lands on top of the silver vehicle. Mercedes looks up in shock at the thud on top of the vehicle. “What the hell?” “She looks at the rear view mirror outside and sees Drax and Robin. “Oh my God” she stops the vehicle and opens the hatch quickly letting them in. “Thanks” says Robin. “Don’t stop now” says Drax as they see the Tron ship in pursuit firing at the beach aiming for them. “Oh no” says Mercedes getting back in and stepping on the accelerating barely missing being hit by a shot from above. “Nice wings…” says Mercedes. “I take it mission was successful.” “Totally” says Robin “Spy Ram is gone.” “We need to vanish now” says Drax. “I am setting time coordinates and activating CPM” says Mercedes using her free hand to input commands onto the computer console before her. “We should set it to be as close to home as possible” says Drax. “I am trying” says Mercedes. “Open the hatch” says Robin angrily and Mercedes turns with a perplexing look but complies and the hatch comes off leaving an open vehicle. Robin rides and rises to her feet with the wind in her hair as the vehicle accelerates. The vehicle drives from land bridge to land bridge on the small island network and leaping over small waterways maneuvering gracefully as it dodges each attack from above. Robin points up her Armon with thunder in her heart and raises her head, her wings perched up with her. She fires three consecutive shots of plasma, two missing and one striking the Tron ship on the side causing a slight explosion. Drax gets in the front seat and helps Mercedes set the controls. The silver vehicle begins to glow brightly as it escapes its unholy pursuer. The Tron ship continues maneuvering and firing the balls of plasma missing as the car dodges each one as Mercedes swerves to avoid being hit. The Tron ship fires several hot yellow balls of plasma simultaneously in a barrage that strikes the beach in miniature explosions behind and in front of the car causing fiery infernal torments throughout the landscape of the small islands and one strike in the driver seat of the car causing Mercedes to burn in a fiery haze with agonizing screams. Drax looks on in horror and turns to Robin. “We got to bail” as he sees the fiery explosions up ahead. Robin grabs the backpacks and fires up from her Armon again several times and glowing ball in the Tron ship ripping a hole through it and then yells to Drax “hold on” as she jumps up holding her wings controls fluttering with her wings up in the air but Drax misses and remains in the vehicle as it hits the fiery infernal blaze before it. He shields his eyes as he burns in the massive fire and forms from a horrific explosion as the silver vehicle all lit up ready for time jump suddenly hits the fiery mess ahead exploding on impact, the time stone pops out of the compartment in the CPM device on the vehicle as if expelled by forces beyond anyone’s control and launches into the air. Robin catches it and looks down in sorrow and horror as she watches her beloved perish in the flames below. Robin puts the time stone in one of the back packs and ties them to her waist. Robin then looks up at the Tron ship and angrily fluttering up to the ship’s level lets go of the controls and begins to drop and grabs onto the Tron ship with one hand and with her Armon hand fires projectile plasma bullets into the fuselage and angrily continues firing as she hangs onto the massive ship like a bug on a windshield. Feeling nothing but pure rage and feeling she has nothing to lose at this point she fires instantly and insistently continuously feeling the death and destruction inside to fuel her rage and provide satisfaction. Suddenly the interior of the massive pyramid ship begins to explode and spread in a cataclysmic chain reaction that disrupts and annihilates every living creature inside and spreads to the exterior hull of the large ship lighting it up bright orange and as Robin let go and flutters away pressing her buttons causing energy to rip from under her wings zooming away at massive speeds, the massive Tron pyramid ship erupts in a massive fiery halo explosion behind her spreading out for miles. Robin’s wings carried her far from the explosion at fantastic speeds with a happy grin on her face. Robin flies forward forgetting the past and present and looking towards the future but knowing she has no future without Drax. She weeps to herself inside and finally lands on a distant island in the vast network setting down at the end of the beach of the island. “This area could go on for miles and likely holds numerous treasures of the Pregivers from ages of glory and adventure beyond imagination. “I can’t believe Drax is gone again, taken from me again” she turns her hair wildly swinging behind her. She looks up about to curse the heavens. “Why do this to me again God?” she yells. But then she stops herself. I am on this adventure whether I like it or not and have been chosen. I didn’t ask for this but here I am. And these Tron will never stop coming after me. I know that now. She removes the suit from the bags and ties the mask around her face and drapes her hair with the colored streams of brown, blonde, red, and various similar lighter and darker shades and hues. She tightens the wings and body armor, and she places a silver head piece on her head with wings similar to the ones on her back. She dons the white pants and shirt with silver and gold linings that match the armor. She feels like a new woman, a new hero, a new adventurer. She holds both the water stone and the time stone in both hands and looks at them eagerly. She looks down at the water and sees her reflection seeing the woman in her vision, the elderly woman who abandoned the suit so she, her younger counterpart could find it, the hero she was destined to become. She figures to herself that that elderly version of her must have seen and been through a lot of adventures with this suit and these wings that fulfilled and defined her overall destiny and now it was just beginning for her. She smiles thinking this could be worthwhile, a destiny to be a super hero and help people to make the world a better place and she would have access to all time. She regrets losing her friends and her one true love, Drax. She thinks of him and weeps as her mind suddenly accelerates and stops in a moment seeing a psychic vision before her of a wedding in a chapel and she is walking with Drax holding hands in memory down a park, both elderly and both happy together after a long life, smiling and laughing together. Then she is in the chapel wearing a beautiful white wedding gown and walking down the aisle seeing friends long gone throughout her adventures and at the end before a priest near a stone and marble-laden altar with buttons and a glowing blue light stands her groom to be Milton Drax wearing a dashing tuxedo. They join hands, smile at one another, and laugh for a moment to an inside joke before finishing their sacred vows before the altar and kissing in the embrace of true love forming a bonded and unrivaled connection that would last for all of time. She snaps out of her vision and back looking at her reflection in the water. She feels the joy of the moment marrying Drax and wishes to God that could be a real life for her but deep down knows destiny carries a far greater mission for her life and it saddens her for the moment. She thinks of reincarnation and how sometimes each life brings us joy and sorrow and if we are lucky we find that one other half that makes us complete and makes us feel the lure of true love but the curse of choosing a forlorn destiny to save the world makes one think it will be impossible to give into that basic emotional pull. Robin thinks of the bad guys that exist to threaten the world from the dark shadow cloud, the religious oligarchy of her own time that she was raised in, the cult connection, and the Tron. The world needs my need to use the water stone to stop the Tron and any drought and to eventually battle the human greed and the Oligarchy from existing in her own time. Time is her oyster, she imagines. She thinks about
the Pregivers who invented this stuff and how many crazy adventures they must have had and evils they faced before their inevitable fated demise and the Oligarchy leaders from her own time confronted by those who set her up and tried to kill her and her group at Against The Wind recruits. She thinks about it all and mostly she searches the depths of her soul for Drax and how the enemies they fought together and vanquished, against the dark shadow blob and fire servants and how some she met weren’t the real foe but powerful allies for the future and past. She mourns her colleagues and foes in her own time because she knew she would never return to that life but would fight always against the injustices presented in time and space. She wishes she could go to a ceremony or cemetery plot to pray but prays their instead in the best place possible, the present day at the moment to her in this past. These are all connected and she owes it to the world to fight them using her gifts for good even if it means not giving in at least not right now to the pull of true love between her, Robin Matthews, and Drax because Atahensic or Sky Woman was needed first and foremost. She feels the pull of living and maintaining this double identity, this double life, a true secret identity within her to make her stronger than ever to do what is needed and what is right. “I do want to be that miracle I need!”
Without another hesitation, Robin holds up the time stone and turns it emitting the temporal wormhole above her and letting it suck her in as a ball of light absorbed into it.
Time Period Date: 100 CE
Place: Saksaywaman, Peru, South America
Robin appears over the plains of Peru. She looks around and sees empty fields, a few scattered tents and homes made of straw and clay litter about. “I am back here” she says. Suddenly a green aura appears before her slowly materializing and forms the image of a man from the torso up. He has long hair colored emerald as is face with an oriental look. He wears clothing of the same neon emerald color with long open sleeves hanging from his arms and a necklace of jade and gold heightened with emerald neon color. He held in his hand a green glowing ball of light and behind him the stars of the infinite universe.
“Who are you?” she asks.
“I am time… virtue… wisdom… you have been chosen to carry the destiny of the ages and fight for the innocent and weak. Atahensic…”
“That is what I have been told” she says.
“Your greatest battle is yet to come. Use the stones of hope, faith, and love to find the answer and overcome the evil that exists.” His voice echoes through a great chasm as if calling from a long distance away.
“What must I do?” she asks sincerely.
“Time is the answer” he speaks reverently with a hollow inflection. The ball in his hands that Robin sees represents the Earth changes to a green emerald like the time stone but with a longer bottom half. Robin’s eyes widen with belief and wonder as the man and the images around him fade into the empty air.
Suddenly a loud eruption bursts from the plain blue sky above and the temporal wormhole roars in a huge form as another massive and gigantic pyramid-shaped Tron ship hovers out before the vortex collapses.
“Not again” she utters. “They won’t stop following me. It’s time to end this once and for all.”
Robin sees the Tron ship firing its usual array of plasma-based energy projectiles and she moves around pocketing the time stone in her back pack under her wings and then holding out the water stone with one hand and her Armon aiming at the Tron ship. She flutters about with her wings and dodges the shots they fired at her. While in mid air, she fires several shots from the Armon that strike the Tron ship ripping numerous holes in it but the ship continues to fire down and turns in various directions, the glowing orb in the center continuing to fire down on her and all over the landscape burning the small homes with impact. Robin’s heart sinks and she continues firing her Armon up striking the Tron ship and ripping holes through it but it persistently continues. She fires at the orb in the center but the ship turns fast and she strikes the other end of the ship ripping a hole through it but not damaging it enough. She lands and flutters and lands again in repeat maneuvers as a hovering butterfly or angelic dancer. The Tron ship lets out a barrage of blasts that strike the ground and the concussive explosive effect sends Robin back to the ground. She gets up struggling and seeing the Tron ship preparing to send another round of blasts to the village and her as the lighted central orb of the Tron ship glistens like the sun and beckons like an omen. Robin then attaches the water stone to her Armon and as she rises fluttering off the ground until she is high enough even with the Tron ship and facing it with a grit of determination in her grin and then after a heroic pause she slowly lifts her hand and fires her Armon with a single continuous blast that pierces the skin of the water stone and sends it up into the central orb of the Tron ship striking it directly burying it into the core of the great vessel. Lightning strikes, thunder sounds, and rain pours from the sky. Within seconds, the interior erupts in a horrific implosion and what seems like liquid pours out from the sides of the vessel causing an electro-magnetic cascading effect throughout the Tron ship. The Tron ship slowly ascends in a futile attempt to escape and with a final infernal explosion erupts in a fiery ball of smoke and flames causing a mushroom cloud in the air with a shockwave that spreads out above the airspace of the remaining village for miles ahead blocking out the sun in darkness for a short time before subsiding. Robin looks up with a smile of satisfaction and gasps as she claps her hands together. She notices something fall from the remains of the destroyed vessel, the water stone and she runs over and catches it with one hand and puts it in her back pack. The rain begins to subside and stops. Robin turns and sees a light materialize in the distance suddenly. It was one of the Tron warriors who she saw when she had been brought inside by H. He is injured and fallen. She figures he must have used some kind of beam spot technology to leave his ship before it blew up. She runs over and drops to his side. “Are you OK?” “I am near death. Why did you destroy us?” “You guys attacked me, you stalked me, and you wanted to kill me and these innocent people. I had to stop you.” “Initially we mean you no harm.” “I don’t understand.” “I am one of the leaders… we were caused by them….” “Who are them?” “Of another realm… a shadow race … we became infected … you killed us… the real foe remains.” “Oh my goodness, so it isn’t over” she says. “We in this time come through the conduit of the gods to communicate with our past … buried under long ago … we arrived and battle in the past … temporal conveyance… we tried to prevent our demise but your arrival was unforeseen. Fate has forsaken us. We sought peace once but now our corrupted cells seek annihilation of those who doom us from the beginning and in all of time and reality… Pregivers.” His eyes close and the life drains from his body. “Oh no” Robin sighs putting him down on the ground and standing above him. “All this because we let things get too bad… the oligarchy resulted in excessive human greed and the dark shadow cloud and when we took that level of corruption out into the galaxy it caused this poor group of peaceful space faring travelers to be corrupted. The Tron were pawns in the game of some temporal warlords. “What have we done? All this to find the Pregiver legends and technology, so much bloodshed and loss and time doesn’t have an answer.” “Time is the answer” she remembers the voice of the green neon man who appeared to her. She reaches behind her to her backpack and pulls out the time stone and holds it up, turning it and the temporal wormhole roars open. She knew what she had to do. She reaches behind her to the water stone and held it up to the wormhole letting loose an array of watery projectiles into the void. She combines both stones together and closes her eyes and prays “let God’s will be done” she sheds a tear for all who were lost. The combined energy from the stones fluctuates throughout time and erupts in a white light bubble that consumes the entire area and Robin too. Robin soon awakens on the floor of the village. She opens her eyes and rises to her feet. She holds both stones and puts them away in her backpack. The void is gone. The deceased Tron warrior and the trailing smoke from the obliterated Tron ship are gone. The village is completely intact. “Complete temporal reversal” she utters. “But why am I still here?” she wonders. “I undid it all with my faith and these two ancient relics. That was awesome” she says.
“Indeed it is” says H appearing before her.
“Hey, where have you been?”
“I have been around as I always am. Congratulations on this, you figured out the water stone was the key to stopping the Tron once and for all. You always had that power, courage, and wisdom inside of you and knew when to use it when it was right.”
“Yeah, but it was undone.”
“It was in a sense. Time is relative and fungible. You used the time stone to undo everything but you existed outside of time when you did it so you remember everything. You learned the Tron weren’t the real enemy.”
“Yeah, it was us… our own arrogance, corruption, and human greed” she says angrily.
“Don’t be so hard on yourselves. You are only mortal.”
“H, are you a Pregiver?” asks Robin.
“I know them but I am not of them … the crystal healing powers are different from H and it is who you are that in the end defines you not by what you can do but by what you do. Some people just learned that lesson a little too late. The dark shadows were the Pregivers greatest foe and they didn’t know it until it was too late and then no one could have saved them, least of all you.”
“I can try” she says cockily.
“You can do anything you set your mind to if you want but time and destiny hold all the cards.”
“Who are you, really?” asks Robin.
“Let’s just say we have family in common.”
“Huh?” asks Robin.
“Who knows how far or what you will accomplish on what you don’t know? Ignorance is bliss for the humans unless you’re H and then bliss is ignorance.” He smiles speaking philosophically and winks. “I wonder though, you wanted to find the water stone to save the future of humanity but ended up finding a way to have romantic adventure quests, I guess you have solved a true worldwide mystery. You can’t have it all in life.”
“Am I still able to see Drax?” asks Robin.
“You remain out of time as Atahensic and in the end can use the time stone to go anywhere in time you wish and with the water stone you can revert time as you have done. Your life remains frozen in time unaffected for future awakenings and possibilities. Anything is possible around this time. You stopped a threat and learned a valuable lesson and set things in motion to be better as the threat doesn’t exist so the future you came from will be different from what you knew but may have some similarities. The bottom line is you remember things as they occurred but what occurs from herein on is not what you remember. The Machination, the Oligarchy, new evil plot groups, foes and friends, history is an oyster and changes with the passage of new things like throwing stones in a pond creating ripples and annihilating their existence. Your time jumper friends live as does your true love Draxy-boy but things change for a reason and nothing is without consequences.”
“You are a cryptic bastard.”
“That’s what I am here for” he smiles.
“So I changed history and stopped the Oligarchy?”
“They might be stopped or might be replaced by some similar thing. I wish I could give you my unlimited understanding of the universe and time but your human brain wouldn’t fit it all. Try me in a million years of evolution.”
“I saw a psychic vision where I married Drax. Can that be real?”
“The future has many versions and like I said before time is an oyster so what happens is up to you but you must remember that there are ripples and consequences for each action. If you pursue one, you negate another.”
Robin thinks about that hard and sees herself settling down with the man she loves and raising a family but ‘to pursue one, you negate another’ and to do so would mean sacrificing what good she has done and will do, “what if another threat to the world emerges, I can’t be a full time house mom and save the world at the same time putting my family in jeopardy. That would be selfish.”
“But you can be in two places at once. What’s done is done? There is another.”
“You heard me?” She sees H nod and then she feels her body and her stomach abdominal area. “I feel as if I am not alone. Could I be pregnant? I will be expecting Drax’s baby who will grow up in time as well.”
“The answer is yes… the child will grow to be someone important for all of time.”
“So, now what do I do?” Robin asks H.
“Well” he says gesturing to the local people ascending from their huts to the hero who is there to help them. “The local people you know, they want to know who destroyed the … what they call it… oh yes, ‘the devil from the stars.’ From their perspective, the Tron ship never came but was threatened from above.”
“I interfered with these primal past tribes enough. I am no legend” she utters.
“Oh on contraire” says H, “you are the Atahensic, the Sky Woman, and the one who is legend for them.”
“I was thinking of a better name easier on the ears and pleasant but symbolic of heroic deeds and doing good, championing the cause, and righteously and justly making a difference in the name of good and God.”
“What name?” asks H.
“As if you didn’t already know, Mr. Immortal, I like the Greek mythos and I always liked one of their goddesses in particular who I feel serves justice to this whole Sky Woman thing about knowing and being wise to use our gifts for the right reasons and it is close to Atahensic … its Athena.”
“You will do well, Athena. Now go, you cannot disappoint your people.”
“They are my people?”
“As is the world that needs your services and will need saving in the future again, there is still a lot of work for you to do. It’s a big scary universe with lots of threats far worse than the Tron or your human greed that corrupted them.”
“So it’s going to get tougher and tougher huh?”
“Nothing I am confident that you cannot handle in various incarnations and destined connections. Good luck.”
“Will I see you again?”
“I am always with you” he snaps his fingers and vanishes in his whirl of light.
Robin sees the people approach and nods at them as they touch her and surround her excited and shocked by her angelic presence, mighty armor and wings, and heroic gaze and appearance. Robin nods as they utter “Atahensic” and she knew what it meant, “Sky Woman.” Robin’s eyes suddenly accelerate in her mind and stop seeing another psychic vision of a newspaper ad in the year 2315 A.D. where she came from and the headline read “Mystery Heroine Stops Council of the Oligarchy: Mocking Falcon!” and a stretch of her portrait in a fighting stance surrounded by water and bright yellow light in a circular vortex behind her. “I’ve been called a lot of things” she thinks to herself. Her mind races again in another psychic vision and she sees Drax, Tina, and Mercedes alive in their base in the year 2015 A.D. Drax tells Robin “your journey in time is over, Robin but your remaining journey with our union family is just beginning.” “Miracles do happen” says Robin staring into a child’s snow globe that resembles the one that she saw on the Pregiver altar and power pole controller device. Her mind races back and she is staring at the people touching her hair and outfit. She smiles at them and admires their peacefulness. She wonders about Drax. She vows to never forget him and to find him someday but now she is needed here to help these people find their way and to make sure the future was right on track without human greed but goodwill, kindness, generosity, humanity, love, faith, hope, and joy. She pulls out the time stone and water stone from her back pack and looks at them with a smile.
Time Period Date: December 27, 2015 A.D.
Place: Chronix Bay
Drax sits at a desk looking into a child’s snow globe sighing and thinking. Tina and Mercedes come in and Tina bends down and shakes him up. “Hey, Mr. Freeze, you want to join us for some post-Christmas cheer. This New Years I might let you kiss me at the stroke of midnight” she utters.
“I would take her up on that” says Mercedes. “You never know when she might give it away again” she laughs. “She will get you to use the time stone!”
“I don’t feel much like celebrating, guys. I feel I lost someone. I can’t explain it but I feel I knew someone, a mysterious stranger from another time, another place. I feel a connection to someone I never met, like true lovers, soul mates. I do not understand it.”
“Come on where’s your Christmas spirit, maybe you missed someone you forgot about but you need a few margaritas with your buddies” says Tina.
“Or a past life regression intruding on the present or perhaps some type of medical psychological ailment” says Mercedes, “or a temporal inversion or regression but that is very rare.”
“Thanks guys, go ahead for now. I will catch up with you soon. I just need a minute.”
“Sure” says Mercedes elbowing Tina and giving her an estranged look so the two women leave and Drax remains in the room.
“Who are you?” he says looking at the snow globe. “He remembers her physically as if he knew her all his life but he didn’t remember anything about her, the face that mysterious stranger, dark raven hair, crimson lips, and a face that could launch a million space ships. Drax sees his past, present, and future history changed with this mysterious stranger that he barely recalls and knows gives his life purpose, a new life with a wiped out love story for now. “Was she the best thing that never happened? What vision of new adventures am I missing out on? We were together in many moments of time but I don’t remember if this is the third time or the thirtieth. I just remember and look forward to the explanation someday and your beautiful and lovely kiss and warm embrace again. This isn’t goodbye because I know in my heart we will someday reunite as one cannot forget what matters to the heart and what time has changed by love, try… my dearest, try to come back to me someday as I will never stop trying to find you as long as there is life in me and time is on our side. I remember you wanted a miracle but nothing else. You are my miracle. I love you! Let God’s Will Be Done!” He rises to his feet, shakes the snow globe one more time, and nodded leaving it there as he turns and walks out of the room. He never forgets the mysterious stranger.
Time Period Date: December 27, 2015 A.D.
Place: Destructors Prison on the Pacific Island of Doom
The darkness outside of the gothic old building is illuminated by the occasional lightning strike. The gates make eerie noises out front as the trail of death leads up the steps of the old house to the row of jail cells within it, dirty and decaying iron and rotting flesh inside. At the end of the row of torment, skeletal remains in shackles and cobwebs and dust, sits a solitary man in a cell rocking him and eyeing the bars of his final resting place. He has a boy-like grin and a hideous jagged scar across his face, Leroy Stocky wearing a dirty black jumpsuit covered with filth as is his face. “By the ruling council of the world presidential order and the Confederated States of the Oligarchy, my promise will remain” his clumsy and nervous voice echoes down the hall falling onto only the ears of the departed. “Let it be known great spirits of time, I vow to plot revenge and attack. My espionage days and evil ways are over. I respond to a more destructive element, a force beyond reason or reckoning and hidden in shadow, Atahensic… the Sky Woman will face me! I will destroy her one of these days…” the sinister scare in his eyes burning in the darkness of the decaying prison reflecting the dark decay of his soul.
Athena will return in the Time Stone 2: the Curse of the Jade Dragon
This is a very special story and part of the Time Stone saga that involves a strong and serious social commentary on modern politics, science, religion, and true love. The story chronicles the life of Robin Matthews a woman in the 24th Century who grew up in a religious-organized construct of a society and finds herself thrust into circumstances beyond her control and embarks on a thrilling adventure surrounding the Time Stone and the Time Stone Team of Milton Drax, Mercedes Gonzales, and Tina Prescott as they search for another sister stone of the Time Stone, the legendary water stone and help Robin find the truth behind her destiny as the chosen one who will save the world from a threat that comes from above but soon learns the true threat was with us all along. But in this quest on how to help the future of humanity, Robin Matthews finds her own personal destiny in conflict as she battles the repeated emotional rollercoaster ride and ensuing struggle faced with her one true love, Milton Drax.