Planet of Dragons

 

 

 

Chapter Nine-

Captivity

 

She stared at him in shock.  Brashiin grabbed her by the arm, but she shook him off. 

'Go, now! Maureen, get back to the kids. GO!'  Finally, she turned and saying a couple of words to Garroween, ran into the forest, the other captives following.  John had been keeping himself between the guards with rifles and the prince, who was shouting at them not to shoot.

When he realized that Maureen had finally left the clearing, John almost sighed in relief, but his attackers gave him no time for celebration.  Two guards with mace-like weapons attacked from each side simultaneously.  At the last minute John jumped backwards, bringing the rod down on the head of one of the soldiers and then immediately knocking the other one to the ground with a blow to his midsection.  Hearing someone behind him, John leaped forward in a rolling somersault that brought him near another assailant.  The last thing that soldier was conscious of was an elbow in his face. 

"Stop him, you fools!  He's just one man.  I'll have all your heads!!  Stop him, but don't kill him!" Mizel kept screaming. 

He felt Maureen's presence and realized that she was still waiting nearby.  'Maureen, I ordered you to go!  Do it!!  Silverado, go with Maureen.  Go back to the ship. I will come later.'

'John, I love you,' her thoughts floated softly and sadly in his mind.

Changing his balance to his left foot, John hit another soldier in the chest with his right foot, but was caught glancingly in the ribs with the butt of a rifle before he could regain total balance.  The pain was sharp, but brief, and the professor swung his whole body around, catching his attacker in the jaw with his fist.  Another soldier behind him was the recipient of the sole of John's foot in his stomach.  The Krimlon fell to the ground gasping.

John felt himself tiring, but knew that Maureen and the others needed more time.  He realized that if he could get to the prince and hold him hostage, he could not only give the escapees the time they needed, but perhaps provide for his own escape as well.  Two guards stood in his way. One was quickly taken care of with several quick blows from the rod.  The other soldier, a relatively tall one, had a staff similar in size to the one that he held.  Planting the end of his rod into the ground, John placed his hands up high and holding on tightly, used it as a lever to spring high enough to hit the soldier in the chest with both feet.  His opponent grunted in surprise and pain as he fell to the ground. 

John then raced toward Mizel, who, realizing his danger, started shouting for help.  The professor had almost reached him when something hit his ankles, causing him to fall.  Immediately, a soldier threw a muscular arm around his neck, choking him.  Before he could throw him off, several other Krimlon grabbed his arms and legs.

 

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Will wiped the sweat from his eyes.  In just the two hours that he had been under the linear drive control panel, he had developed a new appreciation for all of the work that his dad and Don had done on the various systems in the Jupiter II. 

Earlier in the day, even as Don had driven the chariot into the clearing, Will was already strapping on his jet pack.  "Whoa, are you in a hurry?  We can go back together in the chariot and bring the Jupiter II here in the morning," Don had told him.

"No, Don.  For some reason I think we need to bring the Jupiter II here as soon as possible and get started on the modifications.  And besides, Penny promised the ssReelen that she would stay with them, so she can't go back in the chariot," Will explained quickly.  "I can go in the jet pack, and Judy and I can pilot the ship here before dark."

"ssReelen?" the pilot asked.  Will hastily explained.  "Oh, you're right.  We can't very well leave Penny here with that gate still operating.  Except you and the Robot are going to stay here, and I'll take a jet pack and get the Jupiter II."  Will nodded and then had spent the next six hours discussing his dad's equations with the Robot.  They continued even after the Jupiter II landed in the clearing.

"Will Robinson, we will need to go to the teleportation device to take readings and set up a frequency modulation schematic," the Robot interrupted his reverie.  Nova was sitting on top of his plasticene dome top, squeaking encouragement. 

"Oh, sure, but can you do that in the dark?"

"I can take the readings in the dark.  And you can take a flashlight," the Robot explained.  "Unless you would rather stop for today and resume the work tomorrow."

"No, let's go ahead and do that tonight.  We can check on Penny on the way back," Will said. 

"Very well," the Robot agreed.  Nova flew from his perch on the Robot to a position on the boy's shoulder. 

"Be careful, Will," Don said from under a different console. 

"We will, Don," he said as they walked down the ramp.

 

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As he tightened his chokehold on the Guardian, Dar couldn't help but be incredulous at this alien's fighting ability.  Glancing around, he saw eight men, either unconscious or incapacitated on the ground.  He wished that he could have the Guardian show him how to fight with his feet like that.

Prince Mizel composed himself, picked up his staff and walked over to the prisoner.  Prodding him with it, he commanded, "Get up, monster."  Dar had to release his hold on the captive as he stood up, but still, he brought the man's arms behind him and tied them tightly.  Snatching his short staff from the ground where he had thrown it at the alien's feet, the guard held it ready to trip the Guardian again if he tried to escape. The captive stood quietly, dignified, seemingly well composed, gazing down at Mizel with total comtempt.   Dar’s estimation of this man grew several more degrees.

"Is your translating device still working, Abomination?"  Mizel demanded.

"Yes, and my name is John Robinson," came the response.  Dar was astonished to see a slight smile cross the prisoner's face. 

"Good, because I want you to know that your puny victory in helping your friends escape is only temporary.  Eventually, my father and I will hunt down and destroy all abominations, including that freak that I assume is your beloved," Mizel sneered.  Dar laid his staff across the Guardian's chest when he saw the alien's eyes blaze with fury. 

"You will regret this attack against us, and you will doubly regret those words, Mizel," the Guardian hissed through clenched teeth.  Glancing down at the staff held tightly against his chest, the prisoner looked directly into Dar's eyes.  Dar shuddered as he felt emotions flow from the mind of his prisoner into his own, but he felt a sense of empathy as well.

"Bring the restraining device," Mizel ordered.  One of the soldiers brought out what appeared to be a decorated headband.  "Hold him down." Two soldiers tried to jerk the prisoner to his knees, but the alien struggled and Dar had to hit him behind the knees with his staff.  When that caused the Guardian's legs to buckle, he slid his arm back around the tall man's neck and restrained him while Mizel snapped the headband on.  Dar felt a deep sense of revulsion as he watched the device constrict slightly to fit the Guardian's head.  A small amount of blood trickled down each side of the Guardian’s face, attesting to the success of the device.   Mizel laughed evilly.  "Release him.  Untie his bonds."

As he followed the prince’s orders, Dar noticed a look of confusion in the Guardian's eyes, and then a spasm of pain crossed his features.  There was shock and some fear, along with anger.  As the Guardian reached up to take the headband off, another, more intense spasm crossed his face and he jerked his hands away.   He shook his head and then looked up into Mizel’s eyes.  The fear was suppressed, determination seemingly holding sway for the moment.  

Mizel held up a small box with dials and buttons.  "Yes, I was told that you were intelligent.  Now understand that this box controls the band around your head.  As you have already found out, it also prevents you from practicing your abominable arts.  The people will get their Guardian, but not the one they were expecting."  He reached over and unhooked the translator from the Guardian's belt.  The captive tried to grab the prince, but Mizel was ready for such a move and pushed a button on the box.  With a scream attesting to the intense power of the device, the Guardian slid to the ground, unconscious.  Dar’s stomach churned to see the prisoner’s muscles jump and twitch. 

 

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Garroween tugged at her shirt, but still Maureen resisted, hoping that John would escape and join them.  Only when he ordered her away again did she realize that he would not be coming with them now.  Brashiin gestured for her to hurry, but it was hard to see through her tears.  Hard to leave John behind.  With that maniac.  Alone.  Silverado flew beside her, chirping mournfully.  A distant scream elicited a moan and more tears from her.  John had been hurt.  She turned to go back.

“Guardian’s beloved.  Be assured that the Guardian is still alive.  The prince will not kill him.”  Garroween tugged at her again.  “We must do what the Guardian instructed.”  With a sigh, Maureen complied.

They finally reached a stream and she caught her breath while the ssHreana tried to rejuvenate themselves in the meager flow of water.   "We can't stay long," Garroween pointed out the obvious.  "We have to find a place to hide where the princes' men won't find us."

"John said for all of us to go through the gate.  Once through, we'll be safe," she told the Krimlon, who looked at her fearfully.   "It will be safe.  There is no one on Karturm who will hurt you."

Mreelon looked at her beloved and nodded.  "I don't believe that we have a choice."  Garroween and Bralin finally agreed.

Brashiin and Oanir finally emerged from the stream, the water running in sheets down their smooth skins.  Maureen could see improvement, but they would need much more.  "Bralin, is this the same stream that ran near the gate?"

"Yes, Guardian's beloved, it is," the young man answered.

"Then we should follow it.  That way, Brashiin and Oanir can replenish themselves whenever they need to.  It's already a hot day and will probably get hotter."  The ssHreana looked at her gratefully as they started on their journey once again. 

During another rest period, Maureen sat staring into the trees, in actuality seeing John fighting off the princes' men.  "Garroween, what did John mean when he told me that Mizel wanted him alive and us dead?"

"Mizel may be fanatic, but he's not stupid.  The Prince recognizes in your beloved the same thing that we did, that he is the Guardian," Garroween replied. 

"What is this thing about the Guardian?" she asked.

"It is a legend.  When our first ancestors settled this area, they systematically hunted down and destroyed all abominations in the region.  After several hundred years of this hunting, there began a movement among some of our people to reconcile with the others, those having the abomination.  There was one named Borkrox who was the leader of the movement.  He went to the Land of the Abominations and talked with the zanlings and their relatives.  The king of the zanlings, a large silvery creature agreed to a meeting between his kind and the Krimlon. 

"Unfortunately the sovereign then was just as fanatical as the ones we have now.  When Borkrox, the zanling leader and several others sympathetic to the cause showed up for the meeting, they were ambushed and killed with no mercy.  It was reported by one of the assassins that the zanling leader made a prophecy before he died.  It was said that there would come a Guardian in later years, someone from another place. This Guardian would be one different from us, tall, accompanied by a silver zanling and possessed of the abomination. And he would bring about a time of reconciliation.  That has been passed down for the past six hundred years.  Your beloved fits the description."  The ssHreana approached from the stream.  "Mizel is afraid of that, but will not kill the Guardian, because he is more afraid that a martyr would be even more dangerous."

We must go.  The zanling reports seeing some of the soldiers following,' Brashiin reported. 

Several hours before sunset, the hot and tired group approached the gate.  As the ssHreana went through, Maureen hesitated.  When she went through, she would be leaving John on another world, in the hands of enemies.  Looking back, she resolved that she would be back, soon.  Then she and the Krimlon walked through and into the night of Karturm where they met an astonished Will and the Robot. 

"Mom!" Will shouted and gave her a fierce hug.  "We saw the two ssHreana come through and figured that you had to be close behind.  Shining the flashlight behind her, he only saw strangers.  "Mom, where's Dad?"

"Your dad was captured, Will.  We had to leave without him, but I'm going back.  Soon,” she said softly, but with a determined edge in her voice. 

"I'm going with you, Mom."

"No, Will, you and the Robot have to continue working on your father's equations.  That's imperative now. We have to have the Jupiter II on the other side of the gate to not only find the other ssHreana, but also your father," she stated.  Will nodded glumly.

 

 

 

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