Yay! New Living History.
For everything up to part 57, go here.
“Finished,” J’Nal announced as he wearily stepped back.
“Well, I definitely don’t want to go near that thing. Then again, I saw what it did to Willow, so I’m not too sure if that’s a good test,” Dawn said.
“Any ideas?” Catherine asked.
Dawn grinned, stuck two fingers in her mouth, and let out a piercing whistle. “Andrew? Can you come over here? I need your help.”
Andrew jogged over with a pleased grin on his face. “As my lady so orders, I will hack and slash…”
“No hacking and slashing required. I just need you to read something,” Dawn interrupted with an eye roll.
“I was, of course, talking metaphorically.” Andrew’s hands waved in bird-nervous movements. “I’ve been talking with Ruda…”
“Well, more like I’ve been bouncing ideas off her because, y’know, Ruda’s bound by the Temporal Prime Directive and can’t actually offer advice about…”
“I really wish someone would explain this ‘temporal prime directive’ to me,” Tikri complained. “For a civilization that doesn’t even have interstellar travel, I really don’t see how anyone came up with a rule with that kind of title.”
Andrew puffed up his chest. “Well the Great Bird of the Galaxy…”
“Andrew,” Dawn warned.
“Great Bird of the Galaxy?” Tikri asked. She nudged Catherine, “Do you remember anything from ancient mythology about a…”
“Nudge me again like that and I’ll remove your hand at the elbow,” Catherine growled.
Tikri raised both hands in the air. “Touchy.”
“Definitely grouchy,” J’Nal agreed.
“I’ll, unh, explain later then,” Andrew said. “So, like, what do you need me to translate?”
Dawn indicated the Grail’s pedestal with a wave of her hand. “It’s on the other side and I can’t read it, which means it’s probably demonic. If you could…”
“But of course! Happy to serve the empire!”
“Whatever.” Dawn gave him a painful smile. “Ummm, could you hurry? We’re on a schedule.”
“Right.” Andrew walked past her, but the closer he got to J’Nal, the more his steps slowed. He was still out of arms’ reach of the Grail when he stopped and began looking around the cavern. “Uuuunnnhhhhh, is it me, or do you have a feeling something’s watching us?”
“Why, no,” Catherine brightly replied. “But we’ll keep an eye out, so don’t worry. We really need the message translated.”
“Unh-hunh,” Andrew said absently. His head jerked around so that he was looking in another direction. “There’s definitely something watching us. I think…”
“Andrew, there’s nothing there,” Dawn assured him.
Andrew began to slowly back away from the Grail’s location. “My spider-sense tells me that there’s a definite very bad thing around. Maybe I should get Ruda.”
“Very impressive,” Tikri said.
“Look, I’m not making it up!” Andrew shouted as he spun around, ran a few steps, and then tripped over his own feet, landing on the ground with a thud.
“Andrew, are you okay?” Dawn asked.
Andrew sputtered and sneezed. “Just some gravel up my…” He paused. “Hunh. The feeling we’re being watched is presto-chango-gone-o.”
Dawn winced and held out a hand to him. “Sorry about that. We had to test the repel spell and since I watched J’Nal do it I wasn’t a really good candidate.”
Andrew blinked at her with hurt, watery eyes. The look was quickly replaced with gormless good cheer. “Oh, of course! No point in doing a Jedi mind trick unless you know it works.”
“And how,” Catherine agreed. “Put it on a little heavy, didn’t you?”
“Better too heavy than too light,” J’Nal sniffed.
“There wasn’t a message, was there?” Andrew asked
“I really am sorry, Andrew,” Dawn said as she helped him to his feet. “If there was anyone else, you know I would’ve used them.”
“It’s okay,” Andrew patted her arm. “Glad I could help.”
“Well, now that we know, we have to get going,” Catherine ordered. “Let’s everyone stick together. The sooner we reach the surface, the better I’ll feel.”
As everyone began making their way to the cavern exit, Catherine paused and touched J’Nal on the arm. When the witch turned to look at her, Catherine asked, “How are you holding up?”
“Tired,” J’Nal responded with a wan smile. “You’re right. I may have overdone it and put more energy into the spell than was strictly necessary.”
“Can’t blame you.” Catherine shivered. “Will you be able to work with Charlie?”
“As long as I hold off casting any spells until we get back to the household, I’m sure it won’t be a problem,” J’Nal nodded. He pinched the bridge of his nose. “It’s taking longer for me to recharge after spell casting than I like. I’m not used to working with the energy on this planet.”
“If it makes you feel any better, I think even the natives sometimes have a problem dealing with the energy on this planet,” Catherine chuckled as took the Grail and turned to follow Dawn, Andrew and Tikri.
Now I'm going to be offline most of the night. I need to get cracking on that Faith-Xander article for ship_manifesto . Sqeeee. I had an outline for the old I Need A Parrot Site that never was completed. I'll be dusting that puppy off and putting meat on it.