Nightmare Journey

 

 

 

 

Chapter Seventeen-

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 cabin. 

The flutter-dragons 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.

 

                                          ==========================

 

 

Frustration 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. 

“Please, Dr. 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.” 

“My husband...my 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 anot?”

“No, none of us have ever been to your planet before,” she responded, much more calmly.

“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.”

“Jupiter II, acknowledge,” the voice came over the communicator. 

“Yes?” Maureen asked hopefully.

“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. 

“Mrs. Robinson,” came the familiar voice.  Maureen and Don stared in shock at the communication speaker.

“Smith?” Don finally asked.

“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.

“Space-bound?”  Maureen asked stupidly.   She felt the presence of Judy and Mark behind her as well as Don.

“Yes, madam.  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 asked pointedly.

“Don, please, we need to find John and the children,” Maureen whispered over her shoulder.

“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.

“We?” Maureen asked, puzzled.  

“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 intoned. 

“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 sickness itself.”

 

                                              ============================

 

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 answered. 

‘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 together.’

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.

“With some 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.”

“Did your 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.

 

 

 

Chapter Eighteen
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