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Avalon, Season One Travelers (Pilot Episode Included)

Avalon, Season One Travelers (Pilot Episode Included)

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Avalon, Season One Travelers (Pilot Episode Included)

465 pagine
6 ore
Jun 30, 2020


Avalon, the Prequel: Invasion of Memories
The trouble begins when the alien Vordan park three battleships on the far side of the moon and prepare an invasion. The Kairos, a mysterious and complex person, needs to remember as many of his previous and future lifetimes as possible, and act quickly to avoid a catastrophe. It gets complicated when, in all the struggle, Lincoln’s wife turns up missing.

Avalon, The Pilot Episode
Alexis, born an elf, turned human to marry Lincoln, but her elf father fears she will age too rapidly and he will soon lose her. He kidnaps her, and through the Heart of Time on Avalon, hides her at the beginning of time. Lincoln, Lincoln’s boss Lockhart, his assistant Boston, two elves they hope will talk sense to the kidnapper, and two marines for protection are carried by the Kairos to the beginning of history. They capture the kidnapper and save Lincoln’s wife, but there is a complication. The Kairos disappears.

Avalon, Season One Travelers
The only way home is through the time gates that surround the many lives of the Kairos. They must move through the centuries, face new struggles in each time zone, and keep one eye turned behind where other things have fallen through the cracks in time and are now hunting them.

Season One finds the travelers from Avalon struggling through time gates and across time zones in Neolithic days, where they confront things they never imagined. A whole company of ghouls begins to hunt them, a bogy man and his bogy beast attack their minds, a bokarus – a green man, defender of the pristine wilderness, finds these modern intruders worthy only of destruction.

There are troubles thrown back from the future, like the werewolf they innocently feed when he is a poor, mindless, naked man. Now he has their scent. There is a Gott-Druk (Neanderthal), a space farer from the future that carries all sorts of advanced technology and who has no love for homo sapiens. They have to fight the Balok, a Serpentine race of space travelers who believe the Balok should be the only intelligent species in the universe, and all others must die. The Neolithic world is one where ogres and imps still play, where gods like Tiamut (Chaos) and Pan (Lord of the Dance) think nothing of using and abusing people.

Boston clings to Lockhart for a time until she finds a defender in Roland, their elf companion. Roland’s sister, Alexis, an elf made human, and her human husband Lincoln struggle with being young again, much to the delight of her father Mingus who would just as soon see them separated. Lockhart and the two Marines, Katie Harper and Captain Decker, cling to their guns and hope only to get everyone back to the twenty-first century, alive.

People are kidnapped, herds stampeded and demons await them down the trail in a world where man, nature and Hell itself seem arrayed against them. Season One includes 13 episodes, where the travelers journey through 13 lifetimes of the Kairos, a person who never manages to live a quiet life.

I hope you enjoy reading the Avalon series as much as I have enjoyed writing it. Happy Reading.
-- Michael

Look for Avalon, the prequel: Invasion of Memories, where the Kairos comes out of a time of deep memory loss, and in order to keep his mind from being overwhelmed by the sudden influx of memories, he tells stories from his past, from when he remembered who he was: the Kairos, the Traveler in Time, the Watcher over History. He knows he cannot afford to become incapacitated. There are three Vordan battleships on the dark side of the moon, and they are preparing to invade.

Look Also for Avalon, Season Two Bokarus, and Avalon, Season Three Werewolf available from this same bookseller.

Jun 30, 2020

Informazioni sull'autore

I live, work, and dream in the southeast United States, where I occasionally wipe the dust from my shoes.My stories stretch back to the beginning of history and forward to the horizon of the future. They stretch out to other dimensions, other universes, other earths. They stretch up to the heights of human potential, and down to the depths of human depravity. And I always tell stories.Give me a cave, a bonfire in the night, the distant howl of a wolf under a full moon, and a listening, attentive ear, and I will tell you a story.Other than storytelling, I continue to walk with my family and friends, day by day, and only now and then wonder how long this road may be. I can't wait to see what happens next.--MichaelM. G. Kizzia

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Avalon, Season One Travelers (Pilot Episode Included) - M. G. Kizzia


Season One


Pilot Episode Included

M. G. Kizzia

Copyright 2012, 2020

MGK Books

(version 2.3)

Smashwords Edition License Notes

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The Pilot Episode

Season One

Table of Contents


1.0 Neverland

After 4492 B.C. in the Pacific Northwest

Kairos 7: Pan of the Jephatha

1.1 Hunters in the Dark

After 4480 B.C. on the Sahara Grasslands

Kairos 8: Iris of the Anamites

1.2 Beasts in the Night

After 4465 B.C. in Southern China

Kairos 9: Keng

1.3 The Way of Dreams

After 4447 B.C. in the Sinai Peninsula

Kairos 10: Ranear of the Ophir

1.4 Sticks and Stones

After 4400 B.C. the Dead Sea Wilderness

Kairos 11: Saphira the Huntress

1.5 Little Packages

After 4364 B.C. on the Plains of Thera

Kairos 12: Dallah

1.6 Freedom

After 4320 B.C. the Mountains of Southern China

Kairos 13: Xiang

1.7 Peace and Prosperity

After 4289 B.C. in the Foothills of Kashmir

Kairos 14: Vanu

1.8 The First City

After 4233 B.C. Eridu, along the Euphrates River

Kairos 15: Anenki

1.9 The Elders

After 4176 B.C. on Malta

Kairos 16: Odelion

1.10 Kidnapped

After 4146 B.C. near the Transylvania Plateau

Kairos 17: Faya (Beauty)

1.11 Dance the Night Away

After 4086 B.C. in the Italian Peninsula

Kairos 18: Kartesh of the Shemsu

1.12 The Name of the Game

After 4026 B.C. near Modern Day Moscow

Kairos 19: Wlvn, god of the horses



The Pilot Episode

Table of Contents


Part I Various Nefarious

Present day, Between Avalon and Earth

Kairos 121: Glen, the Storyteller

Thief, Kidnapper, Father.

Meanwhile, Back on Earth

The Tower of Bricks


Part II Missing Person

Present day outside Washington D.C.

Kairos 121: Glen, the Storyteller

Mission Team


The Heart of Time

The Middle of the Night

Before the Beginning

Part III The Beginning of History

Around 4500 B.C. on the Plains of Shinar

Kairos 1-6: The Twins 1, 2 and 3

Myths and Legends


The Plains of Shinar





Avalon, Moving into the Future

Season One

Avalon Season 1 Introduction

Thrown back to the beginning of history, the travelers from Avalon must get home the hard way—through the time gates that surround the many lives of the Kairos, the Traveler in time, the Watcher over history. The time zones are dangerous. The Kairos never lives a quiet life. And the travelers understand that they are not the only ones lost in time. Other people, beings, and creatures are surviving around the edges of the time zones, and some have picked up their scent. Some are following them, and some are hunting them. The travelers face a long, hard road to get everyone back to the twenty-first century, alive.

The Avalon adventures are written like a television show in story form. A reader should be able to peruse a couple of episodes in the middle of the series and easily grasp the characters, understand how this impossible journey through time works, and get a good story, with plenty of entertainment action. Of course, starting at the beginning is recommended, but there is nothing to prevent a person from binge reading.

Avalon, the Pilot Episode is available at your favorite on-line e-book retailer, or here at the back of season one. It tells how the travelers went into the past on a rescue mission and became trapped at the beginning of history with no easy way home. The revised and expanded second edition is a quick and easy read, and the best introduction to the characters, the conflict, and the impossible journey to come.

Each season after the pilot contains 13 episodes of monsters and mayhem, and hearts trying to hold on to hope and courage in the face of terrible odds.

In Avalon, Seasons One, Two, and Three, the travelers move through ancient days of myth and legend, when the gods and demons, all sort of spirit, aliens, and nightmare creatures stand in their way.

In Avalon, Seasons Four, Five, and Six, the travelers enter more fully into the human world, from the first days of civilization, to the rise and fall of empires.

In Avalon, Seasons Seven, Eight, and Nine, the travelers move into the common era, where the human capacity for terror and destruction increases exponentially, and the spirits, aliens, creatures and horrors have not really gone away.

To find these and other books by the same author, visit your favorite e-retailer and look under my author name: M G Kizzia. Also, feel free to visit my website at

I hope you enjoy reading these episodes as much as I have enjoyed writing them. Happy Reading.



Robert Lockhart, a former policeman, now assistant director of the Men in Black, the one organization on earth in the twenty-first century that deals with strange and impossible things. He is charged with leading this expedition through time though he has no idea how he is going to get everyone home—alive.

Boston (Mary Riley), a Massachusetts redneck, rodeo rider and technological genius who finished her PhD at age 23. A Man in Black, she loves all the adventure, and all the spiritual creatures they encounter, which suggests she may be a bit strange. She gets the amulet, a sophisticated combination electronic GPS and magic device that shows the way from one time gate to the next.

Benjamin Lincoln, a former C. I. A. office geek, now working for the Men in Black, he gets the database and keeps a record of their journey. He tends to worry, and is not the bravest soul, but sometimes that is an asset.

Alexis Lincoln, an elf who became human to marry Benjamin. She retained her healing magic when she became human, but magic has its limits. For example, it can’t make her father happy with her choices.

Roland, Alexis' younger brother, a full blood elf and gifted hunter. He came to keep his father Mingus under control and out of his sister's face. He discovers there is something in humanity worth saving and protecting. He knows many of the creatures in the spirit world that they face, including the nasty ones inclined to rise-up out of the dark.

Mingus, father of Alexis and Roland, an elder elf. He ran the history department in Avalon for over 300 years. He kidnapped Alexis and took her to the beginning of history, which prompted the rescue party and got everyone stuck in the past. He knows the time zones and the lives of the Kairos but tends to keep his opinions to himself. And he believes his children are being ruined by so much human interaction.

Doctor Procter, a half-human, half-elf who worked with Mingus in the Avalon history department for years. The old man, with the long, white beard, also knows the many lives of the Kairos, but at first, he speaks in half-sentence, and soon, the others can hardly get a word out of him.

Lieutenant Katie Harper, a marine whose specialty is ancient and medieval cultures and technologies. She is torn between her duty to the marines and her desire to be part of this larger universe she is discovering.

Captain Decker, a seal-trained marine special operations officer who will do all he can to keep everyone alive, even if it means shooting his way back to the twenty-first century. He is a skeptic who does not believe half of what they experience—even if he does not know what else to believe.

The Kairos. But that is a different person in each time zone.

1.0 Neverland

After 4492 B.C. in the Pacific Northwest

Kairos 7: Pan of the Jephatha

Recording …

The travelers found themselves on the shore of a salty sea. It smelled of brine and fish. The shore looked filled with dark sand and rocks, and the waves crashed strong against the beach. Though not exactly a swimmer’s beach, it looked unspoiled and beautiful.

Boston pointed out over the waves. The Endless Sea of the Second Heavens, do you think? She turned her toe in the sand, chilly as it was.

The Pacific Ocean, Lincoln countered. I would guess the Pacific Northwest. He also stood on the beach, but he looked inland.

How do you figure? Lieutenant Harper asked.

Redwood. Lincoln pointed, and everyone’s eyes turned from the beauty of the sea to the majestic tree whose top rose out of sight above all the other trees.

Good call. Lockhart craned his neck then lowered his head to look at Mingus.

Mingus shrugged. It seems you don’t need my guidance.

Ash. Alexis knelt and touched the sand. There was probably some volcanic activity nearby not too long ago.

Mount Saint Helens? Lincoln went over to see for himself, while Boston shivered.

A bit late in the year. Boston finally admitted.

Here. Roland stepped up with a piece of fairy weave, which he made into a shawl.

Boston looked up at him with a smile and a frown. Thanks, but a shawl makes me feel as old as Lockhart. A sweater would be just fine. She changed the shawl to a sweater and colored it to match her red hair.

Well. Doctor Procter got everyone’s attention. If you are finished playing with the scenery, our way points south and slightly inland. No one moved. Despite Doctor Procter’s protests, the group chose to stay the afternoon and night in that bit of sheltered bay. Boston particularly liked the idea. It left her time to look for shells and walk beneath the cry of seagulls. With the sun out on that sandy beach, she also had time to wade in the water, even if it was freezing cold. She started down the beach and Lockhart and Lieutenant Harper followed.

I grew up in Oregon, Lincoln shared. This all reminds me of home except the people and the distant sound of cars are missing. He dropped his firewood collection where Mingus built a stone circle and they looked up at Captain Decker.

The captain shook his head. Charlotte, North Carolina.

I like it here, Alexis said, as she watched her father lay hands on the wood to start the fire.

Shall I hunt? Roland asked. He sat cross-legged on a big rock that looked out over the water. He was meditating so his eyes were closed.

No hurry, Lincoln said, as he slipped his arm around his wife and watched his father-in-law grimace.

Lockhart, Boston and Lieutenant Harper walked leisurely down the beach and spoke quietly. With Boston focusing on the shells and with Lockhart and Lieutenant Harper hitting it off, it was hard to say who noticed first. Three men rode on the waves in a dugout log built like an outrigger canoe with two poles to the sides attached to another, smaller log. That gave the craft enough stability to keep the hollowed log from rolling in the water.

Hello! The man in the center of the canoe called out and waved.

They look friendly, Lieutenant Harper suggested.

But ugly, Boston decided, though it may have been, Butt ugly.

Lockhart said nothing. He simply helped the men bring their craft up on to the beach.

You are Jephatha? The man in the middle asked. He did not exit the craft until he could step out on dry ground. I am Hog, he introduced himself, and Boston hid her smile. This is Chodo and this is Shmee. They looked Asian, but Lockhart and the others figured they were a very early version of the people that would one day be called Native American. Lieutenant Harper confirmed as much.

Part of my studies at the university, she said, and when Lockhart gave her a second look, she added, Human culture and technology. Mostly history and archeology, though plenty of anthropology as well. Your boss asked for someone with my background, which is why I was surprised at first when he said we could not come.

I see. Lockhart nodded that he understood.

Jephatha? Clearly, Hog understood none of it.

Lockhart. He stuck his hand out but the man did not reciprocate. He probably did not understand handshakes. This is Boston and this is Katie Harper,

You have a fire? We have some fish. Hog reached into the canoe and picked up a wicked looking bone hook with a wooden handle. He stepped between the poles where a net hung in the edge of the water. He hooked a fish by the gills and lifted it to show. It was a big fish, and there were more. He grinned, then dropped the grin when he yelled. Chodo! Shmee!

Shmee touched Boston’s hair and Chodo touched her sweater and marveled at it. These fur-clad men never saw real clothes before. Boston grimaced, but she did not know how to react. She did not want to offend any local customs.

Shmee excused himself as he withdrew his hand. But her hair is on fire.

Not on fire, Lockhart said, as he and Lieutenant Harper stepped between Boston and the men. Lockhart tried not to growl. Lieutenant Harper tried to smile.

Please, be our guests. She pointed the way.

When they arrived at the fire, Captain Decker stood with his weapon ready. Roland had an arrow on the string of his bow. Hog must have recognized the air of guarded hostility because he smiled and held up his catch.

Fish, Hog said, and Lockhart gave the signal to stand down.

We have bread-crackers, Alexis offered in return. She had water in a pot, ready to boil. She took three crackers out of the pack in her medical bag, crackers she insisted on carrying after the incident on the plains of Shinar, and she laid them out on a rock. A few drops of hot water was all it took to turn the crackers into three hot loaves of bread. They smelled delicious, like the best fresh baked.

The eyes of the visitors got big, but not much bigger than the eyes of Captain Decker, Lieutenant Harper and Boston who saw the effect for the first time in daylight. Lincoln was not surprised by any witchery his wife performed. Lockhart stayed busy watching their guests. Mingus, Roland and Doctor Procter, of course, knew all about the elf magic.

May I prepare the fish? Roland offered, and the locals handed over their catch without argument. Roland expertly filleted them and not long before they sizzled in a pan. Meanwhile, Chodo marveled at their tents, and said so, while Shmee still worried about the fire on Boston’s head.

You are Jephatha? Hog tried again, but when he looked at Mingus, he shook his head. I do not know your tribe.

I am an elf from Mirroway on the Long March from Elfenheim. Mingus responded with a sly grin. Hog shook his head in utter incomprehension.

Hog turned to Lockhart whom he perceived to be the chief. But you—

We are travelers, Lockhart interrupted. We are not planning on staying.

But we are glad to make friends wherever we are, Alexis added.

I don’t imagine this area is overpopulated, Doctor Procter interjected. They probably don’t care if we stay or go.

Not the issue, Captain Decker said.

Migrations? Hog asked. This is a good place. Plenty of fish.

Thank you for the offer, Lieutenant Harper spoke up because no one else said it. But we are looking for something and cannot stop until we find it.

Ah, Spirit guide? Shmee asked. Lockhart and several others just shook their heads. Lockhart imagined no way to explain their quest in the limits of the language. Mingus confirmed that perception in Lockhart’s mind, as they stepped over to check on the tents and their three visitors hunkered down by the fire. The language had limits.

Lieutenant. Captain Decker waved Harper away from the others and then whispered. Are you getting all of this?

Lieutenant Harper nodded. As far as I know the recording equipment is working fine, but I don’t think anything is transmitting. To Decker’s curious look, she explained. No GPS. No satellites. I don’t even know where we are.

Pacific Northwest.

I know that much, but when? Boston’s database suggests between 4492 and 4480 BC.

Captain Decker shook his head, like he did not believe that. You just work on getting that transmitter working. That’s an order.

Lieutenant Harper arched her back. I know my duty.

Fish is ready, Roland and Boston spoke together in a welcomed interruption.

Do you got more breat? Chodo asked.

Bread, Alexis corrected, and she made several more loaves. Then their visitors marveled at the lack of bones in the fish.


Lincoln got up in the middle of the night. The fish did not agree with him. Doctor Procter sat on the rock by the fire and examined something in his hand in the moonlight. He stared at the hand that touched the wall full of demons, though Lincoln did not pay close attention. The Doctor could have been looking at his empty hand for all Lincoln knew.

Alexis stirred at Lincoln’s absence, but did not entirely wake. She easily got taken by three pairs of hands. One bound her legs in leather strips, one bound her hands and one gagged her with a wad of fur stuffed in her mouth and held tight by more leather. Finally, a bag got pulled down over her head to cover her cold stare.

Alexis thought, if these three were in a rodeo they might win the hog tying contest. That unexpected stray thought made her smile on the inside since her lips on the outside could not quite manage it. But really, how far could they take her in a hollowed-out log?

Quiet, Hog insisted while Chodo and Shmee did the carrying. Now she will make breat for the village.

Careful, Shmee whispered. We do not want to make the witch angry.

Alexis thought, at least they got that much right.


Once Lincoln returned from the bushes, it did not take long to raise the alarm. The problem was there was nothing they could do before dawn. No one could figure out how to track someone across the water.

You stupid, Mingus yelled at Lincoln. You don’t have her back for three days and you lose her again!

I didn’t lose her the first time, Lincoln yelled right back. You stole her.

Hey! Boston butted between the two, and they held their tongues well enough, but chose to glare at each other.

Honestly, I did not see anything, Doctor Procter told Lieutenant Harper. Lockhart raised one brow at the speech, but he could not follow-up, because Captain Decker and Roland came trotting back down the beach.

They headed north. Captain Decker spoke while he returned the night binoculars to his pack. Roland nodded his head in agreement.

I can’t imagine they can go far or stray much from shore in that thing, Lieutenant Harper added.

No, but our path goes south and just a bit east, Doctor Procter started to protest, but when he pulled out his amulet he made a face, like he was not sure what he was seeing. No, mostly east. Almost entirely east. Not south at all. The direction has changed. How is that possible?

Hello! A young voice came down from a tree branch. They could just make out the figure, and though it did not sound hostile, Decker, Harper and Roland were ready when the boy shouted, Welcome to Neverland.

Boston could not make out the figure in the tree. The bokarus? She looked up at Roland.

No, missy. Mingus answered for his son. This one’s human, though why he is up a tree... Mingus shrugged.

I was worried about Boston so I came ahead. Are you all right?

Glen? Boston squinted in the dim light.

No. The young boy responded as a light with a slightly blue tint fluttered up to one side of him and another light with a slightly yellow tint fluttered up to the other. The boys are following but I flew on ahead. The boys don’t know about my fairy friends, but I told my fairy friends you were okay so they could show themselves. This is Bluebell and this is Honeysuckle. My name is Pan.

Pan floated down to the fire to warm his hands in the dark chill before dawn. Boston took note of the furs he wore. She expected a green suit.

Kairos, Roland put his hand on the barrel of Captain Decker’s rifle to encourage the man to lower his weapon.

Honeysuckle flew up to Mingus’ face and smiled. Hello elf, she said.

Elder elf, Doctor Procter corrected the fairy.

And you’re a breed, Honeysuckle said with disapproval in her voice.

Bluebell, lovely to meet you, Boston said. We girls need to stick together in the middle of all these boys.

Bluebell hovered a foot from Boston’s face and looked serious. Oh, I know.

Would you like to sit on my shoulder? Boston asked. Missus Pumpkin used to sit on my shoulder so we could talk in private.

Bluebell’s little expression turned from serious to concerned. She never considered such a thing before. She flitted back and forth gently and thought hard.

I think that would be a good idea. Pan said, and apparently, Bluebell decided the same thing as she zipped to Boston’s shoulder and made herself comfortable.

Us girls need to stick together, Bluebell said, and turned slightly to look at Lieutenant Harper. She quickly turned back to Boston’s ear. But why is your friend crying?

Where is Alexis? Pan interrupted.

Lincoln lost her again, Mingus complained.

I did not, Lincoln yelled.

Hog and his two chums stole her in the night. Lockhart looked around at the dark sky. The sun would not be up for a while yet.

And the medical kit, Captain Decker added.

Hog and Shmee. Pan nodded. Who was the other?


Pan nodded again. So, you met Captain Hook. He made a motion, like he had the bone and wood hook in his hands and picked something off the ground.

Not your tribe, I take it, Lockhart said.

Pan shook his head this time. Shemashi tribe. We are Jephatha.

We? Mingus asked.

Me and my boys. They will be here soon. He called. Honeysuckle, Bluebell. The fairies fluttered up from where they were commiserating with the girls. When they boys get here; you can stick around if you want as long as you pretend to be with the gang here. The fairies looked at each other as if they were not sure about that. Meanwhile, Honeysuckle, would you please fly to the Shemashi camp and see if Hog is going there? Honeysuckle fretted for a second and looked once back at the girls before she flew off over the sea. Bluebell waited. Sure. You can go back to Boston and the Lieutenant.

Katie. Bluebell said the lieutenant’s name sternly before she grinned. Thanks, and she zoomed to Boston’s shoulder faster than the eye could follow. She whispered, though it was loud enough so the elves caught it. I’m going to marry Pan when he gets old enough. I love him with all my heart.

That’s great, Katie said, but Boston shook her head.

I don’t think it works that way. Don’t you know who Pan is?

Hey now, Roland interrupted. He heard with his good elf ears and stepped toward the girls. No revealing the future. That is still the law. You know who the Kairos is, but the world does not know yet. That won’t be official for a dozen lifetimes. Shhh! He ended with his finger to his lips.

So. Captain Decker squatted by the fire. Are we just going to sit here and wait for the lost boys to show up?

That and the morning, Lockhart confirmed. Hurry up and wait.

That’s the army, Captain Decker complained, but it turned out they did not have to wait long.

Pan! A young boy burst from the trees, all out of breath. He could not have been more than ten, and he looked all American, or rather Anglo-American, complete with freckles. Pan had the same European look about him.

Tomma, what is it?

Ramina, the boy said. We couldn’t stop her. With that, Tomma put his hands on his knees; but he let his eyes wander around to see this strange group of people Pan had mentioned. Pan called them friends, but Tomma did not look too sure.

Pan. A girl’s voice called out, and as she ran up, she showed no sign of being at all tired. Bluebell fluttered up into the girl’s face and turned her nose up. Oh, a Fee, Ramina shouted, and reached up to grab the fairy, but Bluebell made a dash for the safety of Boston’s shoulder.

Ramina. An exasperated sounding Pan did not have to say more.

You don’t think I am going to let you go off adventuring without me, do you? Ramina responded. The girl had to be Pan’s age or maybe closer to twelve or thirteen. She was beginning to show signs that she was developing little bumps and curves.

It’s a wonder your father lets you go out so far from home at your age, or are we talking real lost boys? Captain Decker stood up by the fire and checked his weapons in anticipation of a future fight.

No, Pan responded. Our village is that way. He pointed. But in this age, children need to grow up fast. I’m eleven. Ramina is only ten, Tomma’s twin. Everyone looked again and saw Ramina staring at Pan, wiggling her hips ever so slightly, like she was listening to some music no one else could hear. She also looked like she was thinking thoughts for which she was way too young.

Three boys came in and huddled around Tomma, uncertain of what to make of the strangers. Where’s the Duba? Pan asked.

Where do you think? One of the boys answered and pointed behind with his thumb. Sure enough, in the growing light they saw a boy significantly fatter than the others. He worked his arms like a true runner, but his legs staggered. When he arrived, he fell to his face, and smiled.

Okay. Pan clapped his hands like Alice to get everyone’s attention. Here’s the story. Captain Hook has kidnapped a great lady. Are you ready to go and get her back?

Yeah. Okay. The boys did not sound too sure. They sounded tired.

Honeysuckle chose that moment to come rushing back. They are still at sea, she said to Pan. They won’t get to the village until the sun is high. She pointed straight up.

Well then, do we need to hurry? Lincoln came out of his funk to ask.

No, Pan said flatly. They are not cannibals and they don’t practice human sacrifice. I imagine she will be all right until we get there.

And how far overland to the village? Mingus asked.

Half a day at most. Pan shrugged. Quicker than by sea in that canoe.

Then we stand down and let the boys get some rest. Four hours if Lincoln and Mingus can hold out, Lockhart decided. And Ramina can rest. He smiled for the girl.

Fairy. The girl stared at Honeysuckle. Honeysuckle hid behind Pan, but he had a suggestion.

Go sit on Lieutenant Harper, er, Katie’s shoulder and Ramina, you can visit but do not touch the fairies. Is that clear?

Ramina’s face lit up. She rushed forward and kissed Pan on the cheek. Yes. Thank you, shaman. Yes, oh yes. She skipped over toward the women while Pan wiped the kiss off his cheek with the back of his sleeve.

Shaman? Lockhart asked.

I get that a lot over the years—centuries. Pan lay down by the fire and in a moment, he fell fast asleep. The other boys followed his example, though they bunched up for protection and warmth. and did not sleep quite so quickly, apart from Duba who began to snore.

But my wife. Lincoln spoke and Mingus spoke at the same time.

But Alexis.

So, strike the camp, Lockhart said. Roland, would you mind finding us something for an early bite? Doctor Procter, you’ve been very quiet.

Eh? Doctor Procter looked up at the man. I was just wondering what the poor woman must be going through, he said, and went to help take down the tents.


At that moment, Alexis was being tossed by the waves and trying hard not to throw up. She had a bag over her head. Throwing up would not have been pretty.

But Hog, they will come for her, Chodo whined.

And they can have her, Hog responded, with a smug sound in his voice. By then we will have the secret of the breat.

But what if she won’t tell us the secret? Shmee asked.

Then we will make her tell, Hog insisted, and he slapped his fist into his open palm.

But what if they arrive before we can make her tell? Chodo asked.

A few people are not stronger than the whole village, Hog responded.

But she is a witch. The truth of what bothered Shmee came out in the sound of his voice.

Bah! Our Shaman can disarm a simple witch. You worry too much.

But what if Pan and the boys find out? Chodo asked.

Hmm. A moment of silence followed, apart from the paddles and the sounds of the sea. I will think. You paddle. Hog sounded like Pan and the boys might be a problem.

When they arrived in the camp, Alexis had her hood removed. After stern warnings, her gag also got removed and her feet untied so she could walk to the central fire. They sat her down, untied her hands, but retied her feet so she would not be able to escape easily.

Stay and watch her, Hog told his companions, though to be sure, it did not take long before the whole village watched. I will fetch the Shaman.

Hog walked off and the people pressed in. Some thought to touch this strangely dressed woman. Shmee had to defend her. Back away. She is a witch.

You will not hurt our people, Chodo threatened her, but the people heard, backed up, and left her untouched.

If you want me to make bread, the first thing I need is a bone. It should be a bone from a deer, as thick as your thumb and as long as your forearm.

How did you know we wanted breat? Shmee asked.

I know many things, Alexis said, coyly. And if you have no such bone, a stick might do, but it must be from an oak, the oldest, biggest tree you can find. It will take longer to make it the way I need it, but it will do.

I do not remember you using a bone or stick to make breat. Chodo shook his head. What do you need this bone-stick for?

Alexis just looked at the man until he got uncomfortable. I must have a new wand, she said at last, though neither man appeared to know what a wand was. They thought about it as Hog came back.

I have brought the shaman, Hog said, and pointed at the man who followed him. Now you make breat for my village.

Alexis looked up as the shaman sat beside the fire. He looked ordinary enough apart from the red streak painted down each cheek. Well? She turned on Chodo and Shmee and they got up to fetch her a wand. I need to be alone with your shaman for a few minutes, she told Hog, and he looked willing, in order to find out what Chodo and Shmee were up to.

The elderly shaman just looked at her at first and tried to see what was inside of her. Alexis did not get ruffled or seemed bothered by the look, and that bothered the shaman. Alexis had seen such looks before, though not from one dressed in a loincloth in such chilly weather. The man only had a bearskin draped over his shoulders like a cape to keep him warm. He wore a necklace of trinkets, and he jangled it before her. She remained unmoved.

Go. The shaman finally spoke and waved his arm. All of the villagers that had gathered around the stranger separated, though to be sure, they only backed up a few feet and continued to stare.

Do not be afraid. Alexis remembered the words of the angel. I will make bread for the village.

Will I be able to make more? The shaman shot straight to the point.

Alexis shook her head. Not unless you have the secret of the elves and can make the crackers. She saw no reason to lie to the man. The man frowned.

The goblins? he asked.

They would not like the name, but I suppose that is how you know them.

The man’s face twisted as he thought hard. There may be some advantage in that, knowing that it is enchanted. Call it a one-time gift of the gods. he concluded his thoughts.

Oh, I am always glad to help another person of magic, Alexis said, to test a thought of her own. She judged by the look on the man’s face that he had no real magic of his own.

The man shook

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