Posted in Tending the Stones for the Lock

Tending the Stones for the Lock, XXXI

The conclusion of Tending the Stones for the Lock.  (1st Part)   The inspiration for this came from an off hand comment I made on Facebook, and since people seemed interested I decided to follow through.  Happy Reading. 

(1st Part) (2nd Part)  (3rd Part) (4th Part) (5th Part) (6th Part) (7th Part) (8th Part) (9th Part)(Part 10) (Part 11)(Part 12)(Part 13)(Part 14)(Part 15)(Part 16)(Part 17)(Part 18) (Part 19) (Part 20) (Part 21) (Part 22)  (Part 23) (Part 24) (Part 25) (Part 26) (Part 27) (Part 28) (Part 29) (Part 30)

Emily took a deep breath immediately after she triggered the device.  The device was magical in nature and developed centuries ago, she did not know it how it worked she just knew it did.  The device made a cloud of darkness, not smoke, not fog or something to block the light out, the device created darkness.  Emily did not like to use it, she felt her life was about preserving the light, but in this instance she understood the need.  Emily then found the zipper on the bottom of the bag and pulled it and she felt the contents of the bag spill out onto the ground of the compound.  She knew the darkness would only last a few more seconds so she heaved the bag as far as she could towards the Opposition hoping someone would trip over it, then she tipped the walker over and slowly began to shuffle backwards towards where the High Pilgrim was supposed to be.  The wind from the helicopters down wash disappeared a few seconds later and she knew that Meredith and Brodie were safe.  Emily stopped shuffling backwards and grounded herself where she stood and smiled she felt the pure green energy flow up from the ground, then she felt around her into the masonry work of the courtyard feeling the energy of all the people who had built this marvelous place and all the joy and solace it had brought the visitors here for centuries.  This was a good place to make a her stand.

 

Brodie felt the strap digging into his armpit as though it was twisted or biting into his skin as his feet left the ground  Brodie looked down and immediate regretted it.  Sally had told him the flight would only last a few minutes but it was beginning to be a long few minutes.  He looked at Meredith who he could tell was shouting at him but due to the engine and wind noise of the helicopter.  She also looked very angry.  Meredith continued to yell only inches away from his face and he just motioned with his hands that he could not hear her.  The sound of the helicopter changed and the ground  was starting to get closer.  A few seconds later Brodie looked down and saw they were crossing over the fence and entering the parking lot where the plan called for them to be let off.  The drop to the pavement was gentle and slow and the two of them touched down as if they were stepping off a curb.

Unfortunately the curb was into traffic and a little old Korean lady in a red Kia was driving slowly in the empty parking lot.  She honked at the two of them standing together and just as she let off the horn the connecting cable was detached from the helicopter and the heavy hook landed on the ladies hood creating a very impressive dent.

With the tension of the cable gone the straps surrounding the two of them lessen and the straps fell off them.  The helicopter moved a little way always and a rope dropped down and sliding down the rope was Sally in a green army nomex flight suit. Then the helicopter engine changed again and disappeared out of the valley.

“What is going on, where is my mother?”  Meredith said while arranging her hairs which gotten only slightly mussed it being a short sporty style.

“Your mother is still back in they courtyard but we have to get to the airport.”  Brodie said taking a few steps back and looking for the van they came in.

“I am not going anywhere until someone explains to me what is going on.”   Meredith said putting her hands on her hips.

Crack.

Up the valley blue lightning flashed in the sky followed by a green strobing glow flared on the mountainsides.

“You mother is a little busy right now and she is the only one who will explain things to you.”  Sally said as she came up and kissed Brodie on the cheek.  “You did great with the lift.”  Then she turned towards Meredith.  “Mrs. Wallace we need to move now.”   Another flash of blue light illuminated the sky centering a short way up the valley.

 

Emily stood her ground and unleashed the Blue Lightning of Mountains of Peace.  The Opposition leader was barely standing after hitting the wall but Emily was never one for playing nice when having to deal with the Opposition.

The man was wearing something that protected him the full extent of the lightning and he rose to his feet untangling himself from Howard once the lightning stopped he retaliated with a green wave of energy that emanated from his little fingers.  Luckily for Emily the High Pilgrim was putting a protection spell over her.

Emily was very impressed the man might have a concussion or a possibly some broken ribs but he was still able to produce this much energy and with just his pinky fingers.   Of course he had probably stored a lot up in preparation for this fight.

“My name is Tenvena and I want that book.”  He said standing up straight and unleashing a blue beam of hate towards Emily.

Emily held up her hand and blocked the blast and it was deflected into both the ground and skywards. She countered with the strongest thing she knew hoping to end this battle soon and get Meredith back to the U.S.  Blue light emerged from her hands and engulfed the area.   She heard metallic weapons hit the ground first and then and soft thuds as bodies hit the ground.

“You did really good Emily.”  The High Pilgrim said as he caught her before she hit the ground.

 

Hans pushed the wheelchair as Dante walked ahead of him and ensured that there were no left over opposition members lurking about.  The High Pilgrim struggled to keep up as he had sprained both his ankle avoiding a thrown axe.  Luckily right afterwards Emily had unleashed the last incantation he had seen her fall and caught her in time, but then he also sprained his knee, but his friend was not harmed while passing out from exhaustion.  The made their way down the winding path and then heard yelling behind them.

“We need to move a little quicker.”  Dante said looking back at his struggling comrades.

“Can we move this blade from my leg to yours and then I could move a little quicker .”  Hans said limping along while pushing the wheelchair.

“Younger travelers our emotions are high due to the battle, but remember be kind to one another.”

The two younger men responded in unison. “Of course High Pilgrim.”

Yells and shouts were getting louder and more violent but luckily they turned the corner and found themselves face to face with Sally who was leaning out of the window of the van.  “What took you guys so long?”

“Mom what happened to you?”

“She is fine just a little exhausted.”  The High Pilgrim said as Meredith exited the vehicle and ran to her mother.  Brodie ran to Mrs. Emily as well and immediate felt for a pulse and was relieved to determine it was only about seventy beats per minute.

“We must be going people.”  The High Pilgrim said leaning against the van.

Meredith turned towards the older man. “I am not going anywhere except with my mother to the Camp Casey Medical Clinic.” She said this while getting within a few feet of the High Pilgrim.  The older man looked very tired and casually reached out and a small blue spark leaped towards Meredith and she slumped down into the van.

“Forgive me Mrs. Wallace but we don’t have time to argue.”

 

 

24 Hours later

 

“Landing in San Francisco in twenty minutes.”  Sally’s voice came over the intercom.

“I still don’t see why we did not land in Los Angles it would be so much easier.”  Brodie said as he sat on the floor of the small galley next to Sally and handed her a cold can of Coca Cola.

“Sally can’t land in LA because of a problem with the Sheriff, if he finds her in LA.”

“Which Sheriff?”

“Sheriff Lamposa I think.”

“Lamposa that was two sheriff’s ago.”  Brodie said.

Sally thought about it for a second.  “You mean a Sheriff is not appointed for life?”

“Ah no.”  Brodie said.

 

“So our trip to Alaska, where you wandered out into the bear area?”  Meredith asked.

“Yeah that was me arranging some stones.”

Meredith nodded.  “That makes a lot of sense now.”  Meredith smiled at her mother.  “So this the book they wanted?”  She flipped thru the book casually.

“Yes that is what they wanted, luckily I was able to have a duplicate bowling ball bag made and fill it with some tricks and that is how we got you away from the Opposition.”

Meredith shook her head.  “I am still having a hard time believing all this.”

“You should talk to Brodie, he was where you are now a few weeks ago.”  Emily said patting her daughters hand.

 

(1st Part) (2nd Part)  (3rd Part) (4th Part) (5th Part) (6th Part) (7th Part) (8th Part) (9th Part)(Part 10) (Part 11)(Part 12)(Part 13)(Part 14)(Part 15)(Part 16)(Part 17)(Part 18) (Part 19) (Part 20) (Part 21) (Part 22)  (Part 23) (Part 24) (Part 25) (Part 26) (Part 27) (Part 28) (Part 29) (Part 30)

 

Hope you all enjoyed it.   I will probably rework this story someday into a full fledged book, add some details, revamp somethings and add some details.  I liked these characters and this world, it was fun writing this story and that is rewarding all by itself.  Now to kick into high gear and finish the fourth book in the Outfitters Universe Primary Collision.  

Posted in Tending the Stones for the Lock

Tending the Stones for the Lock, XXX

30th part of the new weekly story.  (1st Part)   The inspiration for this came from an off hand comment I made on Facebook, and since people seemed interested I decided to follow through.  Happy Reading. 

(1st Part) (2nd Part)  (3rd Part) (4th Part) (5th Part) (6th Part) (7th Part) (8th Part) (9th Part)(Part 10) (Part 11)(Part 12)(Part 13)(Part 14)(Part 15)(Part 16)(Part 17)(Part 18) (Part 19) (Part 20) (Part 21) (Part 22)  (Part 23) (Part 24) (Part 25) (Part 26) (Part 27) (Part 28) (Part 29) (Part 30)

“A beautiful morning.”

“The Land of the Morning Calm.”

The two of them stood for a few minutes waiting for the car to come around.  Meredith looked at Nutter he was dressed as always in a very expensive looking suit, today it was charcoal grey, with a very expensive looking white shirt and a black silk tie.  Meredith did not like this man,  and had found anything to like about him since she had met him in Russia.  She had to admit he was a sharp dresser.

“If all goes according to my plan you should be on a plane heading back to California tonight, maybe even late this afternoon.”

“Do your plans always go according to plan?”

“Usually.”  Nutter said.

“Are they usually in direct opposition to anyone else’s plans.”

Nutter turned towards her just as the limousine came into the courtyard. “Always.”  He smiled a reptilian smile when he said that word.  The car door was opened and he motioned for her to enter the car.

 

“Brodie will you carry my bag today?”

Brodie nodded and took the blue leather bowling ball bag.  He noted that the bag seemed to feel heavier than he remembered.  He was about to ask Mrs. Emily about it when the older lady started to walk briskly towards the elevator.  A few minutes later they were at the lobby and the large passenger van pulled up and they climbed aboard. The High Pilgrim smiled at his dear friend and then tapped on Han’s shoulder and the man began to drive.

Dante spoke. “Sally called she had to get a bigger craft then originally planned, if anything it works out better for us.”

This information was addressed towards everyone but Brodie knew he should ask some sort of question but he was not sure what so he did what everyone else did he simply nodded. The ride was uneventful but Brodie saw they were passing a US military base, and he realized that is why there were so many helicopter flying overhead.  Fifteen minutes later they turned off the main road towards the mountain park and the acid in his stomach made a noise.  Brodie looked back towards Mrs. Emily and the High Pilgrim who were sitting in the seat behind him.  The two of them had their foreheads touching and they were reciting some sort of prayer simultaneously;  or maybe it was a spell, incantation or maybe it was the lines from a Rocky movie.  Brodie smiled to himself, it was probably not a Rocky movie.  Not that Brodie had ever watched a Rocky movie of his own violation but Mrs. Emily was very fond of them and played them a lot a home.

“We are here.”   Hans announced pulling the vehicle into a handicapped parking spot.

Brodie exited the vehicle and again carried the bag for his boss.  Hans came around the vehicle and with a flourish opened a folding walker which Mrs. Emily position herself behind it.  Brodie checked to make sure that the device was locked into place properly and when he was satisfied he nodded up at her.  The High Pilgrim placed his hands into his robes and nodded towards Dante and Hans. The five of them made their way slowly into the park area.  The progress was slow with Mrs. Emily using the walker and Brodie had plenty of time to look out his surroundings, they were in a valley walking up hill into a steep mountain valley on paved paths, there were a few buildings along the walkway and occasionally out of the corner of his eye he would catch movement but it seemed more like shadows or tricks of the light.  Brodie had seen enough on this trip to be suspicious and the acid in his stomach rumbled and not just because of his lack of breakfast this morning.

The others might have seen the man before Brodie but he was the only one who reacted to his presence by motioning towards him with a head nod.

“Yes Brodie it is one of the Opposition.”  Mrs. Emily said pointedly ignoring the man who had come out from between two buildings and was now walking behind them.  Brodie tried to ignore the man but then another joined him from the opposite side of the sidewalk leading up the valley.  This one was dressed almost exactly like the first, military style shirt and pants all black with black leather lace up boots, they kept their distance just staying about ten meters behind the last person in the group.

Brodie caught a glint of metal and focused on the shadowy man who had just stepped from behind a building without thinking he blurted out.  “Why is that guy carrying an ax?”

Hans and Dante sighed at his statement but the group continued to walk with the two pulled from their robes a series of tube and started to screw them together as the group continued at the pace of Mrs. Emily with her walker.  While Brodie had been distracted by the two monks putting together their staffs two more darkly clothed men had added themselves to their tail.  Brodie was so distracted by everything going on around him he missed the fact that Mrs. Emily had stopped and Brodie took about ten steps when he relieved he was alone and halfway across a courtyard he looked back and the four in the group were staring across the space towards an arched doorway.  Two men dressed similarly to the others that had been following them took up positions flanking the doorway and then a tall man entered filling the doorway.  He was dressed in a perfectly tailored grey suit with black silk tie.

“Brodie could you come back here?”  Mrs. Emily said in a normal conversational tone.

Brodie felt his face turning red and backed slowly till he was between Mrs. Emily and the High Pilgrim.  Hans and Dante were on the flanks of the little group with their staffs fully assembled.

The tall man stepped away from the archway and nodded and thru the archway stepped Meredith, followed closely buy a hulking figure who was also dressed in a suit, and while his was black it was offset by a red shirt, a red tie and a red handkerchief in his pocket.

Mrs. Emily said very quietly.  “Told you he would bring Howard.”

“I thought he would leave Howard at home.”  The High Pilgrim replied.

“He thinks this is for the whole bag of marbles of course he brought Howard with him.”  Mrs. Emily countered.   “You owe me five dollars.”

“I will pay for your lunch.”  The High Pilgrim said.

“Oh no I want cold hard cash.”  Mrs. Emily stated.

“You know I can hear you.”  The Tall Man said across the courtyard.

Mrs. Emily turned toward the speaker.  “I am not cutting you in on my winning.”

“Hello Mother.”  Meredith’s voice sounded across the courtyard, the anger coming across as well.

“I am so sorry to drag you into all this my darling but you will be on your way home soon.”

“So you are going to give me the book.”

“Of course Mr.?”   Emily responded and inquired at the same time.

“I am surprised you do not know my name, I know all of yours, Mrs. Emily Bartloski, High Pilgrim Jon Orujov,  Hans Santiago, Dante Smith and last but defiantly not least Brodie Quint.  Brodie Quint a registered home health care worker, if I might make an observation Mr. Quint you are not anywhere near home.

When the tall man said the word ‘home’ Brodie felt a wave of emotion pass over him, the feeling was one of missing home, the kind of feeling you get when you are a long way from home and it is getting dark and cold and you don’t know how you are going to get home.  Brodie felt as though he was about to begin crying like a child when Mrs. Emily reached out and put her hand on Brodie and the feeling dissipated in the warm Korean sunshine.

Mrs. Emily shook her head towards the man.  “Yes very impressive you can research up and come up with our names but do you know why we don’t know your name?”

“I am curious about that, you people seem to care very little studying your enemies.”

Mrs. Emily waved her hand dismissively.  “That is because you are not our enemies you make yourselves enemies of the universe by promoting chaos, discord and hatred.  I was asking your name to be polite not to start a dossier on you.”

“I think you lie.”

Mrs. Emily chuckled. “Not at all.”

“Mother can you give this man whatever it is he wants I want to go home.”  Meredith said impatiently.

Mrs. Emily looked at her daughter. “Patience my dear, we will be on our way soon enough.”  She turned her attention back towards the tall man. “Now what is this nonsense about me lying.”

“The tall man chuckled.  “Your earlier conversation gave you away, you made a bet about weather or not my man Howard would be with me or at my home, and you Mrs. Emily deduced correctly that he would be here.”

Mrs. Emily and the High Pilgrim chuckled then looked at each other and then stifled their laughter a bit more.

“What is so funny, why are you two laughing?”

Mrs. Emily chuckled one last time.  “It is because we know Howard, we have run into him before, in fact we were there when he got his first dragon’s tooth.”  Mrs. Emily nodded towards the man.  “Howard how long did it take for the hearing to come back in your ear?”

The tall man turned towards the short man in black and red. “You know them?”  The short man nodded simply.  “We will have a long discussion when this is over.”

Mrs. Emily spoke up now getting the man’s attention again.  “Never mind we don’t really need to know you name.  Let us get this over with.  Myself and Brodie will meet you in the middle of the courtyard, you get to look into the bag and then you walk away with the bag and we walk away with Meredith.”

“Mother this man is crazy he thinks you can do magic.”  Meredith said.

“Meredith do you trust me.”  Mrs. Emily asked looking to make eye contact with her daughter.

Meredith looked back at her mother and their eyes met and at first she nodded then spoke.  “Yes Mom I trust you.”

“Well then trust me and know that I will explain everything in a little while.”

“Okay mom.”  Then she nodded back at her mother.

The tall man began walking towards the center of the courtyard and Meredith was motioned forward by the man she called Mrs. Red.  And she began to walk.  She noted that her mother was using a walker and her aid Brodie was shuffling along beside her with a blue leather bowling bag in his outside hand.  The three with Meredith reached the center of the courtyard first and they stood there waiting.

Mrs. Emily heard the helicopter but did not look up, this next part was all about surprise and she hoped Brodie remembered that as well.

A few steps more and the two met the three in the center of the courtyard.

The tall man spoke.  “How does it feel to be the last Chosen One?”

“Are you sure I am?”  Mrs. Emily said looking up at the tall man.

“Once I get that book the locks will be destroyed and my Master will be unleashed destroying all who opposed him.”

“Are you sure that is what will happen?”  Mrs. Emily asked.

“As it was prophesied so shall it be.”  The tall man said with surety.

Mrs. Emily motioned for Brodie to give her the bag and he brought it up and balanced it on the front bar of her walker.  She reached for the zipper but rested it Brodie’s hand which was steadying the bag.  Mrs. Emily looked past the tall man, and then past Meredith to Howard who was standing behind her daughter.  “Howard do you know that Brodie here talked to a dragon less than a fortnight ago?”

The shock on Howards face was so extreme it looked like it hurt then Meredith heard the first words out of his mouth.  “Oh No.”

Mrs. Emily smiled in response. “Oh Yes.”  When the words were out of her mouth she guided Brodie’s hand in a very specific pattern and then Howard suddenly levitated off the ground and covered the ground between him and the tall man, crashing into him, then they were both crashed into one of the interior walls of the courtyard.

As soon as Brodie felt Mrs. Emily let go of his hand he jumped to Meredith’s side.  “Sorry don’t mean to be so rude but hold on tight and with that he hugged the woman he barely tightly.  The courtyard was encased in darkness as soon as Mrs. Emily saw the two people embrace.  That  is when Brodie looked up and saw the helicopter overhead, he reached into the sleeve of his jacket and pulled the flare out and light it with one hand.  Three long seconds later something hit him in the head and then went around his body.  Now that the straps were around them he did not need to hold on so tight but adjusted the straps around both of them  Brodie then pulled twice on the straps signaling that there were in place and suddenly the two of them shot into the air.

(1st Part) (2nd Part)  (3rd Part) (4th Part) (5th Part) (6th Part) (7th Part) (8th Part) (9th Part)(Part 10) (Part 11)(Part 12)(Part 13)(Part 14)(Part 15)(Part 16)(Part 17)(Part 18) (Part 19) (Part 20) (Part 21) (Part 22)  (Part 23) (Part 24) (Part 25) (Part 26) (Part 27) (Part 28) (Part 29) (Part 30)

 

For anyone that saw this post earlier in the day it was posted I apologize it was meant to be filled in with the story but I did not get it completed till 8 hours after posting.   It is a long post, but if you read this then you know there are still a few things to wrap up, so tune in next week for the exciting conclusion Tending the Stones for the Lock.