My Amazoness from Pellucidar 6 of 6

My Amazoness from Pellucidar Part 6 of 6

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For the longest time. I was in darkness.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t the Mara kind of darkness. Nor was it much of anything really. It was neither hot nor cold. Wet or dry. Or any kind of extreme. It simply was.

‘Better than being dead.’ I thought after an interminable time. Then I realized, that I couldn’t recollect how’d I gotten to this situation.

Still though, the darkness continued a bit longer than I’d have cared for.  Inevitably I sensed a shifting in my circumstances.

I realized that I was starting to feel things. Just a little bit, Sensations mostly. The greatest one? 

The sensation that my head was being held in a cushiony vise. With that realization, the darkness began to recede and I started to see again. That was when I noticed what those cushions consisted of

Missy and Audrare’s boobies. I was imprisoned between both of my women’s breasts.

‘Heaven.’ I smiled.

Then, when I made the mistake of moving. I felt something else.

Pain.

A stabbing agony sprouted in the middle of my chest. From there, it radiated out to my furthest extremities. It burned along the way, leaving a feeling of a great weight weighing down on my chest.

‘Or not.’ I whimpered silently.

Then. I heard something strange in the background nearby.

It was rhythmic in nature. It started off quietly, but in the next few seconds it got louder. It sounded, both shrill and dull. The shrill was akin to that made by a car engine’s insufficiently tightened belts. The dull resembled an elephant grumbling in its throat.

I opened my eyes. That was when I saw Missy’s face above me. She was crying

“Sam.” She stammered, when she saw me looking back at her. “Please don’t die.” She begged. Then my awareness slipped away as the darkness returned.

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Then, after a timeless moment, the darkness receded.

This time, I felt better. I was still weak. But the heavy weight on my chest was nearly gone. I could breathe! When I took in a deep breath, I felt the numbness in my arms and legs begin to dissipate.

I was still in pain, but it was getting better. Almost tolerable. I also noticed that there was a mask being held over my nose, When I touched it with a hand, I detected a tube leading from it, to somewhere else.

After checking, I discovered I was lying on some sort of couch. Sitting on the floor next to me was Audrare. She was the one holding the mask against my face.

She smiled hesitantly when she saw me moving. But she didn’t say anything.

In between the sound of the screech/pant, I could hear the hiss of air flowing. It was from the mask. I was still weak, but stronger. Slowly I managed to struggle to a partially upright position. Then I looked around.

I appeared to be in some sort of room, artificial in nature. It had tarnished metal walls, and worn plastic adornments. There wasn’t any sign of any light sources, despite everything being in stark relief.

Overall, I got the impression that whatever this place was, it was well past its prime. Yet, I also got the queerest sense that this room was in motion.

I saw Missy then; she was hovering over another person. A human male. But he was an odd seeming one. Odd in a way I couldn’t identify at first. Both of them were in a heated conversation.

While Missy appeared to be agitated, and was barking questions at the stranger, she remained standing still, her arms crossed. While the stranger?

His actions reminded me of a chipmunk, I’d once fed out in the wilds of Oklahoma. Like that feisty animal, he was in constant motion. Even for those brief moments, when he was standing still. He vibrated tensely. Almost as if he were about to spontaneously dart away.

The strangest thing about him? His eyes. They never blinked. Nor did they focus on anything. Instead, I got the feeling he saw everything. That nothing passed unnoticed to him.

He seemed to ignore her, yet she wasn’t taking offense. Which was odd, since that was the one sure way to get her riled up.

Both of them were standing amongst several highly decorated columns. All of which looked like they’d been stolen from the Giger Museum. Black and gray, corrugated shafts that appeared vaguely organic. All were adorned with various, switches, knobs, levers, and other less identifiable protrusions.

In the center of the mass, one column thrust up and then fell down, in time with that squeal/rumble that echoed all around this room.

The Odd-looking male was standing before a ring that surrounded the central column. He was, twisting, turning, flipping switches, seemingly at random, all to no apparent effect.

That was when I began to hear them both.

“Thirn!” I head Missy complain, “Are you listening to me?

“Yes! Thirn replied in a clipped manner, not looking at her. “yes I am. What do you want?” he snapped, as he side-shifted her, and randomly flipped a switch.

Then he did something odd. He turned to me and spoke.

“It is not random!” he informed me, and then he resumed his previous nonsensical actions.

“Nor is it nonsensical!” he shouted over his shoulder.

“What?” I rasped, just barely audible. When I did, I felt a pair of arms draw me close. Since Missy was still next to the ‘Thirn’(?), person. It could only mean one thing.

Audrare. “it’s good to see you alive.” She breathed into my ear. “Stay that way.” She ordered me.

Missy saw me move, then she came over and held me tight, I did my best to return it. I opened my mouth to ask. ‘What was going on?’ But all I could manage was a vague croaking. Missy didn’t say anything at first, but she shifted herself down next to me on the couch

“I know you’ve got questions, and when the time is right. I’ll do my best to answer them.” She said to me. “Right now, I just need you to be patient.” She instructed, then she leaned over and gave me a bear hug. She sobbed once, and shuddered. I tried to reach up to hug her back, but I was too weak. When I tried anyways, I could see sparkles of light in my eyes.

“I thought I lost you.” She whispered hesitantly into my ear. 

“not yet.’ I croaked weakly; Missy clutched at me even tighter then. Through all of this, the rhythmic squeal/pant continued on like a metronome. Then suddenly, that slight squeal took on a shriller tone.

“Ah. Ah!” Thorn called out from across the room. “We’re not out of the woods yet!” He shouted. He paused and I heard the sound of a hammer impacting on something metallic.

When I turned my head to see what was happening. I saw that he had a claw hammer in one hand, and he was pounding it at the central column. At what I couldn’t tell.

“No!” he shouted then. “Behave yourself!” he continued. He sneered at something in front of him, as he gave one massive pounding at the column. Once he did, that shriller tone, ceased. And the previous squeal/pant resumed.

“That’s Better!” Thirn smiled. He took in a deep breath, and let it out. He then turned, came over, and sat himself down on the couch next to Missy, Audrare, and I.

There, he sat, beaming at us all, with a pleasant smile on his face. It got a much better look at him then.

If I had to hazard a guess, I’d have said he was in late 20’s, early 30’s. Long black hair that fell well past his shoulders. He was clean shaven, along with a light olive complexion that was at odds with Missy’s.

His clothing was anachronistic. I’ve come to expect the inhabitants of Pellucidar, and Lural-Az to be wearing either leather or linen garments. But this man?

He was wearing grey tweed, with a herringbone pattern. The kind of garment I’d have expected to see in the business district of OKC. Then he made eye contact.

His eyes! I wasn’t sure what color they were. As I stared back at him, they’d shift in hue and shade in between my blinking. Once or twice, I thought I saw his sclera meld from white to black, and then to other colors. Colors that didn’t exist. Colors from another space.

Then he smiled, not predatorially, not ironically, just good naturedly. Like a child would when seeing something delightful for the first time. He seemed to enjoy being in the moment.

Then that feeling passed, when he looked,…Beyond me.

“Sam Adams.” He stated then, then he tilted his head. When he did, his eyes shifted into a semi-normal.

“Introductions are in order. But they’ll have to wait! I’m afraid. Right now, we’re working on getting you to a sufficiently advanced technological friendly zone. Alas, such is proving difficult!”

‘Huh? I wanted to say, ‘What are you talking about?’ I wondered. He seemed to hear my thoughts.

“The spot we’re on course for? They have the capabilities to remove your Embolism. The very one.” He paused for emphasis. “That is close to killing you.” He smiled cheerfully. Then he reached out a hand and nearly touched me on my chest. Instead, he hovered it two inches away.

He closed his eyes, and concentrated. Then he began to speak.

“As it is now, you have a large pulmonary embolism that straddles the bifurcation of your pulmonary trunk.” Thirn said then. It was odd to hear so many technical words again.
“It is extending to the left and right pulmonary arteries, with approximately 50% blockage, each. If it is not removed within the next 2-3 hours, you will suffer a hemodynamic collapse.” He rattled on.

“Hemo,..what?” Audrare asked him then. Thirn snatched his hand back and turned to her.

“He’ll die.” He stated flatly, still not staring at anyone.

“Then,…let’s…” I began to say, “get moving.” I wanted to say, but once again. He seemed to anticipate my thought.

“We are moving, Mr. Adams. More or less.” He spoke over his shoulder as he turned and went back to the central column.

“Unfortunately, the passage of one of the Earth’s Interior-Moon’s has created a massive amount of turbulence! Despite my efforts to the contrary, we are currently caught in its wake!” He paused as he manipulated a number of objects.

“I’m attempting to navigate ourselves a way through the aerodynamic vortices. But with patience and some luck, we’ll be right as rain in no time.” He stated.

At that, Missy, Audrare, and I shared glances, then shrugged. I don’t think any one of us understood more than a fraction of his spiel.

“His craft.” Missy began to explain then. “We’re inside it.” She said as she pointed all around us.

‘This?’ I motioned to all around us, still unable to speak. Missy nodded.

“How, what?” I somehow managed to croak.

“I’ll explain as best I can.” Missy said then, looking both distressed and confused.

“Do you remember that object that my brother Amzi had? The one Adira gave to you to give to me?” She asked. I nodded.

“It’s a Talisman.” Missy blinked. “It’s been in our family for generations. I don’t how far back.”

“Errh?” I grunted. Then I swallowed. “Talis,…?” I began.

“Talismans are used to summon Entities.” She paused. Then she liked her lips.

“Mine? It apparently summoned him.” Missy stated, pointing to Thirn. Who, at some unknown cue, turned, smiled and waved back at all three of us. Missy tried to wave back. But he’d already turned away.

“I didn’t know what to expect, really.” Missy said, despondent. “All the stories said was. That it was only to be used in an emergency.” Missy frowned, and turned to me.

“When you collapsed, and wouldn’t wake up. My first thought was to use it.”

“H’long?” I managed to say in between pants.

“An hour ago.” She replied. And at that moment. The, whatever it was we were in? Gave a violent shudder, and that intermittent squeal? It screeched really loud, and then it sort of,…’snapped’.

“OH BOTHER!’ Thirn screamed then. “That is so not cricket!” he continued. I couldn’t see anything then, as the lights inside this thing began to flicker, as the shuddering continued. Missy and I clung to each other, and Audrare let out a whinny as she clutched desperately at us both. I didn’t know which one of us was more scared then.

Then suddenly, Thirn’s voice crackled overhead.

“Ladies and Gentleman!” he began, in what sounded a lot like an intercom, “I am afraid that we’re experiencing some technical difficulties!” he continued, as the ‘craft’ we were in continued to shake, rattle, and then it began to roll!

“BLAST IT!” Thirn shouted once more, and then somewhere I heard the sound of hammering begin again. After several loud ‘BANGS” the ‘craft’ stabilized.

“THAT’S BETTER!” Thorn’s voice called out in amongst the screeching. Then the intercom crackled overhead once more.

“Attention All Personnel. Please fasten your seatbelts, and return your tray table into its fully upright and uncomfortable position!”

“Due to foreseeable and avoidable circumstances, I am afraid that we are coming in for an unscheduled landing!” Thirn yelled delightedly, sounding almost orgasmic about it.

Then what he said next, made my heart tighten.

“TENNO HEIKA BANZAIIIIII!” He howled, his eyes gleaming maniacally.

I passed out.

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When I came to. All was quiet. I was still weak, but somehow, I felt a little better. The mask was still attached to my face, and I could still hear the air hissing inside of it.

Looking about, I was in what appeared to be the interior of a Lural-Az style, common room. The framing was of large wooden joists, and the walls were wattle and daub. The interior was illuminated with what at first I thought to be oil lamps But later, I was astonished to find that they were electric.

I tried to move my arms and legs, but I couldn’t. I soon found out why.

I was strapped down, spread-eagle style on what appeared to be some sort of medical table. I felt someone put their hand on my forehead. I turned to look. It was Missy.

“You’re awake? Good.” She looked relieved. Then she forced out a smile.

“Errr?” I asked.

“We,…” she paused. “We landed. Apparently.” She paused again and looked away. “Thirn’s craft? It was capable of flying.” She said, mostly to herself. “After a fashion. Though not now I’m afraid. I’ve never seen anything like it.” She said, incredulous.  She shook her head. Then she looked at me.

“The point of the matter is, we can’t get to Thirn’s intended destination. So, he had Audrare and me bring you out here.” Missy looked scared then. “He calls this his ‘safe-house’.”

“So?” I managed to breath, but then I noticed something. She wasn’t looking at me directly. She seemed,…scared about something. It made me nervous. I was about to try and ask her about why she was, but that was when Thirn came in.

He was carrying a washing bowl in his hands, a pitcher in the crook of one arm, and a towel over one shoulder.

“My apologies Mr. Adams.” He said then, as he set the bowl and pitcher onto a nearby table. “In my haste to answer your wife’s summons, I chose the fleetest craft available to me at the time. Unfortunately,” he said as he maneuvered the table close to the medical table and me.

“It was also in the direst need of repair.” He said. Then he stopped and huffed. “Doubly so now.” He said as he reached underneath the table I was lying on.

Then I heard a clanging sound underneath. After a few seconds, the head of the table rose a few inches. Which allowed me a better view of the room. What I saw there, frightened me. It looked just like one of the Lural-Az Chiurgeon’s offices. Which is what we in Oklahoma would’ve called, a Surgeon, only without anything approaching anesthesia. Thus, the leather straps.

“Also, unfortunately,” Thirn continued. “I never got the warranty for the craft in question. And since they don’t make parts for it anymore. I cannot repair it soon enough to do you any good.” He said as he took ahold of something out of reach of my eyes.

‘What is your craft?’ I thought then.

“A time-craft.” He answered then. It was almost as if he could hear what I was thinking.

“Yes, I can hear what you’re thinking.” He stated matter of fact. “I can hear lots of things.”

‘Are you a mind reader?’ I thought, testing him.

“Pah! Hardly!” Thirn chuffed, as he began to wash his hands in the waterbowl.

“it’s not my fault I can hear everyone’s overly loud thoughts!” He said as he stopped washing his hands, and got a thoughtful look on his face.

Just then, behind all of the medical saws and knives, I saw someone step in through the door. Literally, Through the door. It was still closed. I could see it through her. She was still translucent.

It was my Dullahan. Once more, she still looked just like my Samantha, just with bigger breasts. And the negligee. The kind Samantha refused to wear, ever.

‘Oh no!’ I whimpered, as I looked back at her. She peered back and pursed her mouth into a frustrated scrunch. Instinctively, I knew why she was there. She was there to finish the job.

But that was the moment in which Thirn did something I didn’t expect. He stopped. Turned around and spoke- directly to my Dullahan.

“You! Yes you!” he waved at her. She ignored him. Then Thirn got an annoyed look on his face and stepped directly in her path. She stopped and seethed at him.

“Who are you talking to?” Missy demanded then, sounding both angry and incredulous. Thirn turned in response and looked back at her. Then he raised his hand up above his head, and snapped his fingers.

As soon as he did, my Dullahan’s translucence? Ended. She became totally opaque.

“What?” Both Audrare and Missy gas[ed. “Who the hell is that? Audrare yelled first, as she clip-clopped her way around my table and tried to interpose herself between my Dullahan and I.

The Dullahan? Didn’t seem to notice her change in status. Instead, she tried to walk herself around both Thirn and Audrare.

Then she raised her scythe, while focusing her eyes on me.

Stop that!” he shouted forcefully, as he laid a restraining hand on my Dully’s bare shoulder, stopping her.

She froze in mid-lift and turned to look at Thirn in shock, her mouth falling open in surprise. Clearly, she had never experienced anyone managing to interfere with her before. Still holding onto her shoulder, Thirn swung her about, and stuck a finger in her face.

“You will leave these premises, Immediately!” He warned her, as he waggled a finger in her face. “Depart Now! Or suffer the consequences!” he continued.

In response, my Dully slapped his hand away from her shoulder and bared her teeth at him. Then, she did something I’d never heard about in any Dullahan lore I’d learned.

She spoke.

“Stand Aside Mortal!” she snarled, her yellow eyes flaring with an arcane glow. “None shall bar my way!” she said dismissively, she then turned away from him and resumed her approach. As she did, she began to raise her Scythe once more, preparing to strike.

Thirn, in response, simply grabbed ahold of her Scythe at the far end. Where the wood met metal. With a deft twist, he snatched it out of her hand.

With an artful twist of his hips, he swung both himself and the Scythe about, He then connected the butt end of the Scythe’s handle with my Dullahan’s knees. Before she knew it, she was lying prone on the floor.

Audrare, didn’t waste any time, as she laid a restraining hoof in the middle of my Dullahan’s chest and pressed herself down. My Dullahan tried to bat that hoof away, but for some reason all of her strength seemed to have left her.

She opened her mouth to snarl something, but that was when Thirn pressed the butt end of the Scythe to her throat. Silencing her.

“You are out of order.” He said quietly down at her. “This man, Samuel Adams, is under my protection.” He continued. “Attempt to reap him again within the next two and a half hours, and you shall join him in his nonexistence.” He finished, as he locked gazes with my Dullahan. She, silently snarled as she stared balefully back.

They seemed to be in some sort of optical battle. Then my Dullahan conceded the fight. She blinked, wilted and turned her head away.

“Leave.” Thirn said as he lifted the Scythe from her throat. In response, my Dullahan gave him one final glare, and turned her attention to me.

‘However long it takes.’ I heard her in my mind. ‘Know that someday, I WILL have you.’ She vowed. Then, she dissolved into nothingness. Which caused Audrare to stumble, as her hoof’s support disappeared.

“Well that settles that!” Thirn said cheerfully as he casually tossed the Scythe aside. It made a mighty clatter when it hit the floor. All there save Thirn, winced at the racket.

He came over to me and began to start washing his hands again. As he did, he nearly looked at me and gave me a half-smile.

‘thanks?’ I thought at him.

“I’d say, ‘You’re Welcome’, but you’re not out of the woods yet. No, not by far.”

“What do you mean?” Missy asked as she got near, and put a possessive hand on my arm. Thirn almost faced her then. He sighed.

“He needs that Embolism removed. If I don’t get it out of him in say,…” he paused and looked at his unadorned wrist. “Two hours, then not even I will be able to prevent his demise.” He smiled, as he began to shake his hands dry.

‘What do you mean to do?’ I thought nervously, as I looked around the room. I couldn’t help but notice all of the knives and saws, hanging and lying about.

“I shall do, what needs to be done.” He said cryptically as he wiped his hands with the towel.

“Now, Mr. Adams, are you familiar with the term, ‘Psychic Surgery’?” he asked. As chill went up my spine, he smiled knowingly. He then reached out and began to undo the buttons of my tunic. I began to sweat when I realized what he intended.

“Missy, Audrare. It would behoove you both to either assist, or leave the room. What I intend to do next is delicate. I cannot afford to have either of you interfering.”

“I will stay.” Missy said softly, looking at me as tears welled up in her eyes.

“As will I.” Audrare echoed., I saw that her eyes were moistening too.

‘Will it hurt?’ I wondered fearfully. Thirn nearly looked at me and smiled comfortingly.

“Not at all. I assure you that I won’t feel a thing.” He smirked. “Now you!” he paused, as he produced a thick strip of leather from nowhere.

 “On the other hand. Shall!” he finished as he held that leather against my mouth. I blinked in response.

“Bite.” He hissed. I swallowed and opened my mouth. Before I knew it, the leather was in my mouth. Automatically. I bit down on it. After a second, I noticed that it had a metallic taste.

Thirn then had Missy get a pan ready, and instructed Audrare to hold my head still. Both of them did.

“However, I can assure you with complete confidence.” he continued, his eyes gleaming as he rubbed his hands together, “Your ability to play the piano, will remain completely unaffected.” He whispered.

Then without further ado, he stuck a hand into my chest.

My entire existence transformed into one word: PAIN!

“EEEERRRR!” I screamed silently, as I bit down deeply on the leather between my teeth, and arched my back.

“Ah there we go.” I heard him say from someplace far away. “There you are!” he chuckled. “No, no, no! Not that, you will not go any further into those bronchial lobes. I forbid it!” He said quietly.

As he said all that, I could feel his hands moving in my chest, in places a human wasn’t supposed to feel! It was agony. I tried to fight Audrare off, but she managed to hold on, crying all the while.

“I’m sorry.” She said to me then. But I couldn’t reply. All I felt was the PAIN!

“Ah, there we go! Gotcha!” Thirn said at last. Simultaneously, the pain stopped suddenly, and I was left heaving on the table. After a second, I heard a semi-loud ‘plop’ hit a metallic surface.

Involuntarily, I turned my head to the source of that sound. It was the pan that Missy had been holding. Lying inside was a bloody, lumpy mess, surrounded by a small pool of blood. My blood.

“The operation was a success! But the patient survived anyways!” Thirn said cheerfully then. Panting, I lolled my head over to him. He was already washing his blood-stained hands. As he did, I could feel the urge to pant begin to die down. Also, that brain-fog I’d not quite noticed, began to recede.

“Let him go!” he said, as he waved at Missy. Who then began to unstrap my straps. After my arm was free, I tentatively explored my chest. There was no sign of any wounds or openings. It left me mystified.

“There’s a bedroom and a fully stocked kitchen at the other end of the house. You all need to rest and eat. I’ll stay here, and clean up.” Thirn smiled, then he turned himself away. Dismissing us.

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A couple of hours later, after Missy, Audrare, and I had eaten. All three of us made love.

Yes, I was feeling much better by then.

Yet, after the two women in my life fell asleep. I couldn’t. My mind was too awhirl. Carefully, I wormed my way out of their embraces and went in search of Thirn.

He was right where we’d left him. This time the room was dark. But I could see him. just barely. He was sitting at a table at the far end of the room. Just,…sitting and staring off into space.

‘Which space?’ I thought automatically.

“All of them.” I heard him say then. “You should be getting some rest, Mr. Adams.” He whispered. “You’ve been through a lot today.”

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to disturb you.”

“That’s all right. I heard you coming, and I also heard you walking this way. I can hear everything. But, you didn’t come out to apologize, did you?” he asked.

“No, I didn’t. I wanted to thank you. For saving my life.”

“Think nothing of it.” He waved me off. “All part and parcel of the service.”

“About that.” I began.

“Sit with me.” He interrupted. “Lean back, relax.” He continued. “Lights.” He invoked. And suddenly the dark room was awash in light, I winced, then blinked away my dazzlement. When I could see again. He was sitting at the far end of a large ornate table that hadn’t been there before.

In front of him were two tankards, already full of something. He had his hands folded, sitting in front of him, twiddling his thumbs. He swiveled his eyes over to me, and smiled.

“Here, have a drink. It’s good.” he said, offering me one of the tankards. I took ahold of it and when I was about to pull it away, I froze.

Even though he was holding the tankard, he was still twiddling his thumbs with the hands sitting in front of him on the table.

Fearfully, I shifted my eyes over to his. When I did, I saw yet another hand rise up from his side, and scratch his nose. Looking down, sure enough, he was still twiddling his thumbs. I swallowed nervously.

“Parlor tricks.” He muttered, as he let go of the tankard. He then moved himself backwards until he was leaning on the hind pair of chair legs. Once there, he crossed his hands across his chest. I couldn’t see any evidence of his extra arms.

“Sit.” He said. I did, but not at the far end of the table, alongside it. I was about to open my mouth, but he interrupted me.

“Why? All part and parcel of the service?” He didn’t quite ask.

“Yes.” I replied, nodding. “Tell me.”

“I owe Missy’s ancestress a great debt.” He began. “For when I first came into existence on the Plains of Pellucidar, I looked then, as I do now. An adult. But, like you mortals, I was born naked, and unaware of this world’s dangers. Her Ancestress found me, and took me into her Ring. She taught me, everything.” Thirn said, and then he stopped for a while and looked away.

“Do you know what she expected in return for all of her efforts?” He said, facing the wall.

“No.” I whispered. Thirn turned his head back to face me.

“Nothing.” He whispered back. “Absolutely nothing. She told me she was happy enough, that she was able to be there when I needed her.”

“Because I did. I may have been an innocent. But even then, I was well aware that if I’d fallen into the hands, or equivalent, of another. My upbringing wouldn’t have been quite so,…amicable.” He finished, and then he breathed deeply.

“So, I feel I owe her, everything. Everything I can do to assist, if need be. The problem is, I don’t know, what I don’t know. Or what I should know, to not be too much of a problem.”

“What are you?” I asked him then. He looked at me mischievously, and smiled.

“I don’t know.” He stated flatly. ‘Honestly. I don’t know who or what I am. Oh, they’ve given me names. Thirn is the one I like most. It’s unique. I don’t care for the first name.”

“What’s that?”

“Cindersson. Son of Cinders. It’s apt, yet descriptive of the way I came into existence. Her Ring had set up a watchfire during a prolonged eclipse. Then out of nowhere, a massive storm of multicolored fireflies coalesced into a vortice. It twisted down and formed a man shape. From that man shape, I awoke. Mana’ae, Missy’s antecedent, claimed me then.” Thirn finished, then he sighed, leaned back, and covered his face.

“And there I go again. Someone asks me a simple question, and I bend their ear off. My apologies.” He muttered from behind his hands.

“it’s all right. I was curious.” I replied. He dropped his hands and smiled his thanks.

“Well now you know. I know. I know a lot of things.”

“What do you know?”

“Well I do know, that Congratulations are in order.” He smiled widely.

“For what?”

“You and Missy. She’s pregnant now.”

“When?”

“An hour ago.”

“What? How can you know that?”

“Like I said before. I can hear everything. When I listen, I know that I can get a fairly good notion of what’s going to happen. Like I also know that if Audrare doesn’t get over her fascination with the taste of your semen. She’ll not drop your foal for at least another decade.” He paused. Then he added. “But I suspect she is well aware of that.”

That news took me aback. I found it weird, that he seemed to know so much. Then something that’d been nibbling at the back of mind came to the fore.

“You’ve been to earth.” I stated quietly. He tilted his head. “You keep using terms and phrases that people here don’t use.”

‘Correct.”

“Oh, my goodness.” I replied, as I began to shake with,… fear? Excitement? Something else?”

“What do you want?” Thirn asked me then. As a malicious gleam appeared in his eye. I opened my mouth to reply, then stopped. As I thought about it, I began to realize something.

‘What do I want?’ I asked myself.

“That,” Thirn said then, “is a question, everyone asks themselves. Myself included. You don’t have to answer me right now. Think about it for a while first. We have time.” He then got up to his feet and walked around behind me. When I looked back at him, he was just reaching for the door handle to exit the room.

“Where are you going.” I asked. He froze, and turned his head to look back at me.

“I’m off to work on my craft. To see if I can repair it.”

“I thought you said you couldn’t repair it.”

“That’s only part of what I said.” He replied. “What I did say, was that I cannot repair it soon enough to do you any good.”

“Oh yeah, that’s right.” I admitted. “Uhhhmm. Need a hand?”

“Well that depends. Do you know how to use an Oscilloscope? A Multimeter? Ground Penetrating Radar?”

“Uhhhmmmm, yeah.”

“Excellent!” he sighed. “Then the answer is yes. I could use your help. Come along.” He said as he gave me an inviting wave. I followed.

What happened in the next few hours, was,…interesting. For the first time in several years, I managed to return to my technical roots.

He and I worked together on repairing his,…craft. Despite the alieness of its technology, and its strange architecture. It was good to know that the laws of physic still applied to it.

We talked the entire time. Not that mystical mumbo-jumbo crap we had when I got up. No, we just talked like two guys would if they were working on repairing a vehicle together.

The usual. The Weather, sexual bragging claims. dirty jokes. Not to mention we razzed each other something fierce when we did something stupid. It was great. I realized then, it was something I missed. Some male to male comradery.

At one point, we took a break. I know I needed it. Strangely enough, I think he did too. As we were both wiping our hands clean of the strange solvent that coated the interior of one of those Giger-esque columns, I realized something.

“I want to go home.” When I said that, he stopped wiping his left hand, set the cloth down on a nearby surface and turned to me.

“Which one?” He asked, then before I could answer, he interrupted. “If I did send you to Oklahoma? What makes you think you’d be allowed to stay there?” he asked cryptically.

“What? What do you mean? Allowed?” I demanded. He leaned back against one of the columns, folded his arms, and spoke.

“While we worked together, I took the liberty of listening to your timeline.” He stated casually. I stopped and blinked, unable to speak, overwhelmed by the ramifications of his statement.

“You’ve been manipulated. Remember when you first got the call to go to that installation site?” he asked. I nodded.

“Who was it, that called you?”

“Carl, Carl Rogers. He was my dispatcher.”

“No, it wasn’t.” He shook his head and looked at me. “I know what you’re going to say. That, ‘it sounded and acted just like him’. Am I correct?” he asked. “Let me ask you this: Was the Carl you knew, sick?”

“Of course not,…” I began, then I stopped when I remembered a long-lost detail. I paused, then I continued. “Wait. Ayah, he was, I think. The last I heard; he was supposed to be in hospital with a bad case of Corona-virus.”

“And yet? Somehow he was also hale and hearty enough to sound normal on a phone call?”

“Uh, yeah.” I said quietly. “Who was it?”

“I don’t know.” Thirn answered fearfully. When I looked at him then, I saw that he was scared. “For all of my abilities, I cannot discern who ‘They’ are. All I do know, is that they manipulate us. To what end? I can only speculate.”

“Can you speculate why I was manipulated?”

“Yes.” He nodded, as his cheerful expression returned. “I did speculate. I listened to the backward-wave echo-oscillations of your future timelines.”

“Huh?” I squinted.

“I’m sorry, But I can’t make it anymore clearer than that.”

“All right, whatever. What’s your conclusion?”

“Your ‘Eclipse Prediction’ Talent?” he asked. I nodded. “Audrare’s desire will hold true. Every child you sire, will have that ability. Eventually, within a few hundred years. That ability of yours, will be as common on the Plains of Pellucidar; As blue eyes or red hair is on your originating world.”

“Damn.” I gasped, overwhelmed with the notion as I rocked back on my heels.

“Father of your country, indeed.” He quipped.

“Snrk!” I snorted, as I suppressed a laugh.

“BUT!” Thirn said as he lifted a finger into the air for emphasis. “None of that will come about, if we don’t work on getting my craft repaired.”

“What’s the big rush?”

“This safe house? It’s located in Sojar-Az.” He replied.

“It’s WHAT!” I almost screamed, as I began looking around madly. Suddenly afraid.

“Calm yourself Mr. Adams. We have a few days lee-way, before the neighbors start to suspect that things are amiss here.”

“Oh, all right.” I replied, after I managed to calm down.

“Is there anything else you’d care to enlighten me about?” I asked, feeling a bit annoyed and a little bit angrier.

“Yes.” He replied softly. “It concerns Spartan. Your erstwhile ‘nemesis’. He, from what I can gather. Is still looking for you. To seek revenge.”

“What an asshole.” I griped. Thirn smiled.

“Yes, he is. But that is not the only thing you need to know. The other part? If he ever finds you? Or attacks you? You’re on your own.”

“What? I don’t understand.”

“Know this, for all his faults, and he has many. He is also a descendent of She who came to my aid. Just like Missy is. I am letting you know now. That I will not raise a hand against him. All in memory of Her.”

I jerked my head over to him, ready to complain. But then I stopped, and thought about it. Finally.

“Yeah, I think I can see where you’re coming from on that.” I conceded, finally.

“Thank you.” He sighed and shrunk into himself. “That’s one thing I find interesting about you humans.”

“What’s that?”

“Your desire to seek revenge over a trifle. You mortals will throw away everything you’ve worked for, just to make a point. A point that, once made, the original problem has long since passed into obscurity.”

“Yeah. You’re correct.”

“Well, on that note. Would you please pass me the sonic screwdriver?” He pointed. I picked it up.

“This one?” I asked. He smiled.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>< 

So, in the end, we were able to get Thirn’s ‘craft’ fixed, without too much difficulty. Though at the end, just before we left his ‘safe-house’? The Prelate had come to notice us, and they were knocking politely at his front door just as we departed.

Thirn deposited all three of us just outside the encampment of Missy’s Ring. We’d been gone all of ten minutes.

As a parting gift, he gave me a large bottle of liquid and some advice. As I held up the bottle and looked at the viscous amber-like contents inside.  I asked him about it.

“So, what is this for?”

“Despite both Missy’s and Audrare’s efforts to corrupt you into a ‘proper’ Incubus. You will remain in danger of being negatively affected by your two remaining thrombi; For at least a Tun, two at the most. This pseudo Succubus Nostrum will stave it off until that time passes.”

“So how much should I take?” I asked.

“You don’t.” he smiled. “Both Audrare and Missy will need to take the equivalent of a teaspoon once every Clutch.”

“So how is that supposed to help me?”

“This medicine, needs to be metabolized by them first. After which, it will concentrate itself into their vaginal secretions.”

“Wait!” I grinned. “Are you telling me, that in order to keep myself from dying, I HAVE to eat my women out?”

“Yyyyesss. Wwwwilbur.” He deliberately stammered in a Mr. Ed voice. Which made me laugh. “Be sure to get yourself your recommended daily allowance.” He said as a parting shot, as he paused inside the entrance to his ‘craft’.

“Thirn! Before you go. I just realized what I wanted to ask. What I should’ve asked a long time ago.”  Thirn turned his head and raised a questioning eyebrow.

“What do you want?” I asked, knowing full well I was offering to help him. He didn’t say anything, he just stared back into my eyes, and gave me a smile. A smile that promised that someday, he’d give me an answer.

‘I look forward to it.’ I thought. He winked at me once, then he turned, entered his ‘craft’, and was lost to view.

Within a few seconds, I heard that strange squeal/panting again, and his ‘craft’ faded from view.

It was years before I saw him again.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>< 

As it turned out, what he predicted about my ‘Talent’ was true. It did run true in all of Missy’s, Audrare’s, and several other Mamono’s children.

But that’s another story. Several actually. All of which can wait for another time.

Right now, I just want to go back and enjoy the time I have within the arms of She.

She whose name is: Maseha’e.

There, I finally managed to pronounce it correctly. Yay.

She who is my Lover.

She who is my Woman.

She who is my Mistress.

Best of all, she is;

My Amazoness From Pellucidar.

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