The Seeds of Insurrection
The doctor cleaned
and bound John’s arm. “Mmm,
it will be sore for a day or two, but you are very fortunate.
The orantis only made one strike on you. And, in case you’re wondering, the poison of the orantis is
not fatal. It’s the pain
that incapacitates until the creature can finish off the prey.”
John lay quietly on
the examination table, his mind trying to zero in on the doctor’s
words, but his body was too exhausted to allow him to.
“Fortunate,” he mumbled.
The doctor paused and
gazed meaningfully at his patient.
“You and your family boarded at Anoxis.
May I assume that you had a nice case of the anot?”
“Yes, we all came
down with it,” John answered.
“And I will assume
that you had it less than a week ago?”
John nodded. “It’s
just as I thought. I am
putting you on no duty for two days until you are fully recovered from
the anot and this wound.
I am giving you some of the pain blocker.
I admonish you to take it until the orantis’ poison is out of
your system. That will
probably take a day or two. Go
to your cabin and get some rest, I will tell Gilbrolen that you will be
in to see him after you have slept,” the doctor explained.
John nodded again and with Will’s help made his way to the
greeted them with agitated squeaks.
“I’m fine,” John snapped,
“But I won’t be if you don’t leave me alone and let me
sleep.” The lizards stopped their noise immediately.
“Dad, was that
creature telepathic?” Will asked.
“Yes, Will, it was.
That was why I knew what to do to confuse it,” he said as he
climbed into his bunk. Silverado
landed on his chest, but John was unresponsive. He only remembered
wondering if the doctor had given him something other than a painkiller
before sleep overtook him.
threatened to totally destroy whatever equanimity Maureen still had in
her possession. “I need to talk to someone on your planet who might
possibly be able to help me find my husband!” she repeated into the
communicator. Her voice had
risen until it almost became a shout.
Robinson, you have asked us to do something that is most difficult to
accomplish. We have
checked on passenger liners and that name does not appear.
We have checked inquiries to our information services and there
is no correlation. We have
even checked the data bases of our hospitals and enforcement offices in
the area of the spaceport and we have found nothing.”
beloved came to your planet, but he did not come by spaceship.
I told you this already, he and my children came through a
questing gate,” she told him tersely through clenched teeth. “If not for the anot
I would come and look for myself.”
She heard some muffled mumbling through the communicator.
“Dr. Robinson, if I
am correct, may I assume that your beloved and children have not had the
“No, none of us
have ever been to your planet before,” she responded, much more
“And they came
through a questing gate. Do
you know the name of the planet from which they came?”
“Yes, I believe the
name was Creon,” she answered, curious as to the direction that the
conversation was going, but grateful that someone seemed to be taking
some initiative in the search.
There was a pause, which Maureen assumed meant that the Anoxis
communication’s officer was checking out her information.
“Dr. Robinson, we
think we have pinpointed the general location where your beloved and
children may be. We are
locating someone who may have had contact with them, please stand by,”
the voice said. Maureen lay her head on her hands and sighed.
Her eyes felt hot and raw from too many sleepless nights.
She felt the tension of the past two weeks in the tight and
aching muscles in her neck and back.
Oh, God, help me find John.
I miss him so, she thought.
With a start, she realized that tomorrow would be his birthday.
She struggled to remain calm.
Don came up behind
her and began massaging her shoulders.
It felt good, but she couldn’t help but wish that it were
John’s fingers relaxing her muscles rather than Don’s.
As though reading her
thoughts Don said, “I know that you would prefer John doing this, but
I felt that you needed something to loosen you up.”
He continued for a short while.
“We will find them, Maureen.
I know we’ll find them.”
Raising her head, she
looked out at the stars sprinkled liberally in the vast ebony expanse.
Anoxis floated in stately grace below them.
“I know that, Don.”
acknowledge,” the voice came over the communicator.
“We have on line
the doctor who treated your beloved and children.”
“Wonderful, put him
on,” Maureen said, the tiny flame of hope burning a bit brighter.
came the familiar voice. Maureen
and Don stared in shock at the communication speaker.
“Yes, Major, it is
I, Dr. Smith.”
“How in the world
did you end up...?”
“Dr. Smith, where
is John?” Maureen asked, interrupting Don’s question.
“He and the
children are space-bound. When
they left Anoxis, the children were well and the professor had almost
recovered from the effects of the anot.”
Maureen asked stupidly.
She felt the presence of Judy and Mark behind her as well as Don.
At the time, not knowing the Jupiter II was coming here, your
husband thought it best to find transportation that would get him and
the children back to you,” Smith explained. “But I think it might be wise if you would allow me to come
on board. There is more to
this than I can say over a communicator.”
“By all means,”
Maureen told him.
“I must warn you,
however, the origin of the anot
is puzzling and mysterious. It
is possible I could be bringing it on board with me,” he said.
“But it’s imperative that I talk to you in person.”
“Are you trying to
weasel your way back on board?” Don
“Don, please, we
need to find John and the children,” Maureen whispered over her
“Sorry. Can you come up in a shuttle?” he asked.
“Yes, Major, we
can, and rest assured I am not trying to ‘weasel’ my way back on the
Jupiter II,” Smith said irritably.
“There will be two
of us, myself and my wife, Imothera.
We will contact you again on approach,” Smith said tersely, and
cut the connection.
“I can’t believe
that Smith found someone who could put up with him,” Don said quietly.
“For three years we
all did, therefore the probability of a humanoid in this universe being
able to ‘put up’ with Dr. Smith is perhaps 1000- 1,” the Robot
“He was lucky to
find the one and I’m glad for him. I would like to meet this woman. She must have the patience of Job,” Judy said with a smile,
which quickly faded. “I’m
concerned about this anot, though.
I wonder how sick Mark will be from it.”
“I was told that it
is similar to the flu,” Maureen assured her.
“We should be able to lay in the hyperspace coordinates and
then the Robot and Max can handle things if we get sick.
I’m worried more about what Dr. Smith didn’t tell us than the
Jeris sat in a
darkened corner of an unused stall at the end of a little used corridor. Near him sat an average-sized, golden-furred humanoid.
Its ears were large and tufted, its eyes luminous green and its
mouth small and, at the moment, down-turned in a frown of concentration.
‘Tell me about this Professor Sims.
Is he one of us?’ the golden creature asked.
‘Yes, I believe he is, but I can’t be certain. I was sure I felt him sending a telepathic signal, but
when I tried to pry into his mind, I couldn’t,’ Jeris said.
‘What about his child, the one you call Will?’
‘I don’t know. I
didn’t check, there was too much going on to be able to check.’
Jeris told the golden one.
‘There is another child, is there not?’ the creature inquired.
‘Yes, Marrin, a girl, about my age.
She came on board with several zanlings,’ Jeris
‘Worth investigating, perhaps you need to check her out,’ Marrin
suggested. ‘Now, tell me what
happened with the orantis and maybe we can figure out some things
Jeris complied and
detailed what he knew of the incident.
Marrin’s long fingers played with the tuft of hair that
normally hung in a silky strand from his jaw line.
‘I believe that this Professor Sims has
telepathic ability. How
extensive, that we will have to find out.
You will need to check this out.
And you say he is in trouble with Gilbrolen for speaking against
him? Let us do nothing about that right now, except to keep
an eye on the situation. This,
perhaps, may work for our good. Especially
since we are performing for the family of the Supreme Galactic
Commander. Yes, indeed, for
our good. Have all those
with the gift been informed of the Day of Insurrection?’
‘Yes, Marrin and all are ready and eager to get this done. While we wait, I will check out the Sims family. I will start with the girl. I think I heard Breal say that her name was Penny,’ Jeris said. He wished that he had the conviction that the creenx and the others with the gift had.
“Capt. clo Yondah,”
the aide said, standing at attention near the Brumyatta’s side.
“We have the information that you requested.”
“Good, relay it,”
clo Yondah ordered.
investigation and bribery it has been learned that the three we seek was
seen in the presence of the doctor and his beloved in the vicinity of
the carnival ship, The Great
Galactic Wonder. Further
investigation revealed that the Guardian and his family took passage on
the ship. The itinerary is incomplete, but a perusal of the Wonder’s
contract shows that in two weeks there is a show scheduled on Frilonx,
the vacation planet.”
investigation tell you where they are stopping in the meantime?
It doesn’t take that long to get to Frilonx and these carnival
ships aren’t going to just sit in orbit for that long when they can be
making money elsewhere,” the captain said.
“No, sir, we
haven’t been able to determine that,” the aide told him.
Sighing, clo Yondah
turned to the viewscreen and looked out at the stars.
He had been so close to catching this Guardian.
He must be patient, patience will allow him to obtain his
desires. “Very well, have
the navigator set a course for Frilonx.
At least we can get something back from our efforts.
Frilonx is a good market for the creenx pelts.”
“Yes, sir,” the aide said crisply, turning and leaving the room.