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The Antar Chronicles, Chapter 6: A Universal Force
Reply to Alex Parrish
Posted to the RoswellSlash mailing list June 24, 2004
Of all the things that have astounded me about the last several days, one of the most amazing is that "Murphy's Law" still applies, even world's away from Earth. It is apparently one of the unchanging forces holding the universe together. Or maybe I'm just one of the unluckiest S.O.B.'s in the universe. Whichever, what happened next proves my point.
It took about five seconds in all, but it seemed like five minutes to me. My distracting crash on the other side of the room worked on the third guy, who instantly turned away from the door as I burst through it. Kier, on the other hand, immediately turned to face me as I entered. I hit him with a wave of power strong enough to take down a wall, or so I thought. Instead, guy number 3 went flying smack into the opposite wall from the blast, but Kier seemed unaffected by it. Then, somehow the blast bounced off his body and back to me and knocked me flat on my ass. The women, who had been right behind me, stopped in their tracks not knowing what to do since their assigned target was now unconscious on the other side of the room. Kier was calmly strolling across the room as I tried to get up off the floor. I prepared another blast, but Kier shook his head and held up his hand towards me.
"Don't even think about it." He had a smirk on his face and I really, really wanted to blow him into smithereens. "I'm wearing a portable force field, and I have my finger on the switch that will turn your beloved King and his worthless right-hand man into powder faster than you can even think it."
Just then we saw them. I could only gasp. They were each in a glass-like tube about eight feet tall and three feet around. They were both naked, floating in a gelatinous substance, clear, but with a slight greenish tint which made their skin look sickly. Clamps secured each around the head, to hold the body upright in the tube. Each had his eyes closed and there were tubes inserted and wires attached everywhere imaginable. They looked dead, but a bunch of blinking lights and wavy lines on equipment in front of each seemed to suggest that life was being monitored and sustained.
Maria screamed out, 'What have you done?" as she moved menacingly towards Kier, then thought better of it and stopped where she was.
Liz and I just stood and stared, dumbfounded.
Kier laughed. "Don't worry little earth-insect, they aren't dead -- at least not yet. Kivar thinks they are worth more to him alive, and I suspect he wants the pleasure of killing them himself, no doubt ver--ry slowly and painfully. Now that you have arrived, I'm going to make a fortune on this. I hadn't really expected you quite yet. Of course, I knew you were coming, but I didn't think I would have time to wait for you to arrive. Your cleverness surprises me. I'm sure Kivar will pay well for Zan's little earth-queen and... Oh yes! Who is this? The pitifully ugly little earth-urchin who thinks he is the Avatar of the Sacred Granolith. What a joke! At least now, Kivar will have control of the Granolith. "
"Over my dead body," somebody said, and I realized that it was my voice saying it. Damn, why can't I ever keep my mouth shut?
"As you wish, vermin." Kier raised his hand, holding some kind of weapon and I braced myself with my own force field. He might kill me, but not without a fight.
"Stop it!" Liz screamed as she stepped between us. Nobody moved.
There was another voice. "They're in stasis -- they'll be all right as long as they are brought out and revived carefully." All eyes turned to Seed who had not moved at all since the start of this little fiasco.
Liz turned on him. "How could you do this? We trusted you. Ray and Kuhn trusted you. How could you?"
"I... I had no choice. He said they would kill Kier and my wife and his wife and all our kids. Nobody was supposed to get hurt. We were just supposed to bring them here to meet with Kivar, but when we got here..."
Maria interrupted, "What do you mean, "kill Kier?" He IS Kier."
"No... he isn't." Liz turned to our antagonist. "Are you?"
"Oh my!" dripping with sarcasm, "The little pretender has discovered my secret. Observe what an advanced race can do and languish in your pitiful existence." With that, the man began to flash and sparkle, there was a brilliant flash of light, and Kier was gone. In his place was a shape-shifter in his natural form -- a rare sight. Five feet tall and with skin glowing a pale greenish-blue, huge dark almond-eyes, and a bulbous bald smooth head. Yes, there really is a creature that looks like this -- the shape-shifter in his natural form. That's why there are all those reports of little green men, and it supports the reports from Roswell in 1948. This was the natural form of Nasedo and of Langley and who ever else came with them to oversee the pods.
"And you..." he turned to Seed, "You must have told them. How else could they find us so quickly? You can forget about seeing Kier or your pretty wives and babies ever again."
Seed slumped against the wall, then slid down until he was seated on the floor, quietly sobbing.
The sound of something clanking to the floor caused us to turn our attention back to the shape-shifter. A small device clattered to the floor as the belt he had worn as 'Kier" slipped over the much-more slender frame and hit the floor. There was a green flash outlining a wall in the shape of a cylinder around the shape-shifter, and then it disappeared.
Maria and I lunged at the same time, but she was closer, and laid-on a tackle worthy of the NFL. By the time I reached them, she was on top of the shape-shifter, pounding with both fists and screaming at the top of her lungs. She was definitely out for blood, but I wasn't really sure if it had any. In a moment, it became obvious that it did, and that Maria's assault on its head had the potential for serious damage. I pulled her off it. While Maria was working-over the shape-shifter, Liz sped over and grabbed the belt and its attached devices. We had control!
The shape-shifter lay motionless, unconscious on the floor as I sent Liz to get the bindings that had been used on Maria. I picked it up. It wasn't very heavy, even for his diminutive size. Good thing too, because my shoulder was throbbing with pain. I placed it on a nearby chair. Liz tied it up. I thought she drew the bindings a little too tight, but couldn't fault her for that. I probably would have done the same.
I had no idea whether our new prisoner could shape-shift out of the bindings, so I picked up his weapon and handed it to Maria, who accepted it and pointed it at him with a self-satisfied smirk.
About this time, the 'third man' began to come around. I got ready to blast him again, but when he saw me he shook his head and put his hands in the air. The moment I relaxed my stance he made a wild dash for the door and was gone.
"Damn! I hope he's not going for reinforcements." I was angry with myself for not stopping him.
"I wouldn't worry about it." It was Seed, who had regained some composure. "He was a mercenary, in it strictly for the money. We won't see him again, I'm sure of it. He just wants to get out of here and live to see another day."
Maria, still pointing the weapon at our unconscious prisoner with a look of distaste radiating from her face, directed a question over her shoulder to Seed, "Who is this scum?"
"His name is Gal'vign'nkorr. He said he was part of the rebellion working for Kivar, but it seems like he is more of a terrorist than a soldier. He was expecting a large payment from Kivar for delivering Zan, so I hardly think he qualifies as a patriot, even in Kivar's regime."
"So Kivar is on his way here to collect Ma... Zan and Rath?" (Note to self once again -- practice saying Zan or, the King, or Your Majesty so you don't get in deep doo-doo with the Antarians.)
"It wasn't supposed to be like this. Gal'vign'nkorr promised we were only delivering Zan for a face-to-face meeting with Kivar; a summit-meeting. He said they were going to try to end the war, or at least find some kind of truce. He said this was the only way; that Zan had refused Kivar's offer to negotiate a truce. Nothing mentioned about putting them in stasis, or taking them back to Kivar's stronghold at Usa'ar. I swear on the Sacred Granolith I never would have... I couldn't have..." He was sobbing again.
"Gal'vign'nkorr kidnapped your mate, Kier, and your wives and children to force you to help him?" It was Liz asking, and she was suddenly all about empathy.
"I don't know how he even got on the ship. I didn't even realize it until we had left Antar. Then he showed me a recording of Kier pleading with me to cooperate to at least save our children. I didn't know what to do, I had no choice."
"Kier is all right, and Gal'vign'nkorr never actually had your wives and children." It was an unfamiliar voice, that of a man coming through my newly created door in the wall of the adjacent room. I prepared to blast.
"Wait, Kyle, it's OK, they're on our side." It was Isabel, and I was genuinely grateful to hear her voice. She entered the room with Jesse, Ray, Kuhn, and eight Antarians in (I later learned) uniforms of the Antarian Security Force. The first two had weapons drawn, but not pointed at us. The other 6 had not drawn their weapons.
Isabel then told us how they had discovered that we were being followed, how she and Jesse had led the tail away from the target, and how she had finally ducked into hiding and waited for the vehicle to draw closer, then sealed the doors shut with the officers inside. Then she told about meeting up with Kuhn and Ray, and learning that they had discovered that they were being trailed by Antar's own security force when Ray confronted the vehicle. An officer well known to Kuhn stepped out of the vehicle and revealed that they had actually been monitoring us since our arrival and tailing us for our own protection. They didn't want to reveal their presence, because they weren't sure just yet exactly who was on which side. They suspected that Vilandra, or Isabel, might be working with the kidnappers.
Her eyes were on the floor as she said quietly, "It seems I have quite a lot to make-up for before anyone will trust me."
I realized that both Maria and Liz had moved away from the group. Each was standing in front of a tube that contained her husband's body in stasis. I stepped behind Liz and touched her shoulder. She turned and embraced me, crying quietly on my throbbing shoulder.
"It's gonna be OK. We'll just find somebody who knows how these things operate, and we'll get Max and Michael right back, just as good as new." I sounded more confident than I was. I turned to the officer who seemed to be in charge. "You guyz can get somebody in here to get them out of this, can't you?"
"You don't have to," it was Seed again, "The psuedo-scientist who put them in stasis is tied up behind that door (he motioned to a door behind the giant test-tubes). Gal'vign'nkorr took him prisoner after the procedure so that Kivar could take him back to his stronghold and get Zan and Rath out of stasis. I'm sure he'll be grateful to cooperate with you now."
Two of the Security Force carefully maneuvered to enter the room, weapons drawn. They liberated the additional hostage as the rest looked rather embarrassed by their failure to have done so upon arrival. While I half-expected a green dwarf in a lab-coat, instead the two soldiers emerged with a rather ordinary looking humanoid creature, about the size of the Antarians, but with a thick shock of striking blue hair, and no lab-coat. My mind immediately drifted back to Earth, our trip to Babylon, and my close encounter with the blue-haired Julian. I wondered if they were related. The creature spoke Antarian with a bit of an accent, and told us his name was Doctor Cur.
By this time Gal'vign'nkorr had come around and was making threatening noises -- growling and hissing -- but found he was securely trapped. I moved to where I could stare him right in the face and hissed right back at him. "So, you're not as smart or as powerful as you thought, huh? Actually this whole affair was pretty lame and all it took was an unarmed earth-girl to take you down. What d'ya say to that?" He hissed. I hissed right back at him.
The Security Force took both Gal'vign'nkorr and Seed into custody, confiscating the weapon from Maria as well. When Liz protested that Seed had acted under mitigating circumstances, they explained that, until an Antarian court said otherwise, he was still part of the plot to kidnap the King.
"Don't worry," Liz spoke quietly to Seed as they led him away, "I'm sure the King will grant you a pardon once I tell him what really happened."
Seed met her eyes with a hopeful gaze for a moment, then looked only at the floor as he was led away in handcuffs.
The Buddha has told us to "Overcome anger with freedom from anger. Overcome evil with good. Overcome meanness with generosity, and overcome a liar with truthfulness."
It seemed to me that Liz was much more generous than I ever could have been. I hoped I might learn generosity from her example, but for now, 'generous' was not at all how I felt.
Continue to Chapter 7
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