Planet of Tranquility
of the Mind
Maureen woke slowly, breathing deeply, feeling the
warm, oxygen enriched water slide into her lungs. Opening her eyes, she saw John floating nearby,
apparently still asleep. There
was no sign of either Maggie or Silverado.
She started swimming in John’s direction, but not wanting to
disturb him, she turned to swim to the side of the tranquil pool.
Suddenly a hand clamped itself around her ankle pulling her down.
Turning, she looked into the mischievous eyes of her husband.
John pulled her to him and looked deeply into her eyes before
drawing her into a gentle embrace.
asked, puzzled. John’s
thoughts were bright and cheerful, almost boyish.
She smiled, catching his infectious good-humor.
you for putting up with me during these past few weeks.’ He said. His
finger traced the line of her jaw and then softly caressed her lips.
The water caused her normally neatly coifed hair to float free;
forming what he felt was a reddish-gold halo.
Leaning closer, he kissed her tenderly.
‘And for helping me get
argue with me, Mrs. Robinson. You
have stuck by me for over twenty years.
End of discussion,’ he
interrupted playfully, not wanting to return to the events of the past.
‘We are safe, and Silverado is in conference with Qurilis.
We have some time for serious play.’
You are getting to be a regular beach bum.
We did a great deal of that on ssMrillorrin.’
really. I was a bit
anti-social and when we were together, I clung to you more than enjoyed
your presence. The play was
not… I don’t even know how to explain it, Maureen.
Now I feel happy. Despite being separated from the kids, despite having a
bio-adaptive device attached to my skull, despite all that, I feel a
kind of peace.’
John pulled her to him again, this time for a fierce embrace, an
embrace that expressed his love, his gratitude, his feeling of
liberation from the nightmare weeks of the recent past.
They swam casually through the little pool,
noticing that it was part of an underground grotto, very similar to that
which he had been to several months earlier during the rescue of
Murreena and her people. He
wondered if this was just another part of the Greel Mountains.
But he dismissed the thought totally when they found a dimly lit
shelf of sparkling sand and Maureen playfully pulled him ashore.
Don ground his teeth in frustration.
Any weapons they had were on the Jupiter II, totally
inaccessible. Or were they?
Grabbing Will’s sleeve, he pointed toward the underwater
we’re going to the Jupiter II. I’ll
need your help.’
Doolittle squeaked loudly in his bubble.
Nova swam over, and easing his way through the membranous
material, joined his friend.
Keeping his thoughts closed, Don just nodded.
They reached the scooters. ‘Penny?’
he called out.
you to return to the Mirin Homeplace and wait there.’
think those ships are dangerous, Don?’ she asked.
Reaching down and activating the underwater
scooter, Don answered, ‘Yes, I
do. Go now, Penny. I think Judy is already there.’
He consulted with Jimmy.
‘Yes, she’s there with
Mark. Tell her to stay
there. It will be safer.’
you and Will going?’
and round up some help,’ he answered cryptically. Soon
they arrived at the upper shelf near the island where the Space Pod
rested and parked the scooters. Wading
out of the reef, they sprinted to the Pod.
Don brought the systems online even as Will was closing the
airlock door. Activating
the repulsors, Don gently lifted the small craft into the atmosphere.
“Hang on, Will, I’m going into full ignition.” Both felt the increase in gravity and let their bodies relax
into the cushioned seats.
“Robot, we’re coming on board,” Will called
over the communicator, quickly receiving an acknowledgement.
“Will Robinson, I have identified the incoming
ships,” the Robot intoned.
“So have I, Robot.
We’ll talk about it when we’re onboard,” Don called over
his shoulder tersely, not really wanting to discuss that on a
communications band that could be picked up by anybody, including the
“Acknowledged, Major West.”
Soon they were on board the Jupiter.
“Will, don’t deactivate the pod.
We’ll be returning as soon as we raid the weapons locker.”
“Right, Don,” the boy answered, feeling the
tension of the moment.
As Don pulled laser rifles and pistols from the
cabinet, he heard the soft metallic tread of Max approaching from behind
him. “May I help, sir?”
“Yes, Max, take these to the Space Pod,” Don
“I believe that these will be ineffectual,
“Maybe, but do it anyway,” Don growled.
“I was not being critical, sir.
I agree that some sort of protection must be afforded to your
family. I was just being
pragmatic, based on the information I have learned about the Zrilon,”
“I understand, Max, and if you have any
suggestions, I would certainly welcome them right now.”
This ship is not equipped with weaponry, nor are the ssMrillorrin
peoples. The Zrilon planned
well, and they are determined. I
wish that I had a solution, because this is a very dangerous situation.
Every bit as dangerous as the Graxod invasion.”
Max carried the weapons off.
Don took a moment to ponder the martial arts
robot’s words. This was a dangerous situation, and the implication of Zrilon possession
of the powerful crystals was not lost on him.
But there was nothing else he could think of to solve the
problem, he thought in frustration.
Dashing to the stairwell, he quickly climbed up to the
observation deck. “Robot,
give me a status report on those two ships.”
“The Zrilon vessels are in high orbit now…”
His report was interrupted by the activation of the communications
“Unidentified space craft. Acknowledge or be summarily destroyed.”
Sighing, Don reached for the communicator.
“This is the Jupiter II. We
are a scientific exploratory vessel.
Who are you?”
“This is Commander Lloris, leader of the Zrilon
expeditionary force. Our
sensors indicate that your ship has limited armaments.
You will remain on board your vessel until our ships have left
orbit and you will make no attempt to attack our ships or communicate
with anyone. To do so will
result in immediate annihilation.
Do you understand, Jupiter II?”
“Perfectly, Commander.” Don snapped off the communications controls and turned to see
Will staring at the screen showing the view from the port side of the
ship. His eyes were large.
The Zrilon vessels loomed huge and menacing, their bays disgorging
numerous smaller landing craft.
“Don, what are we going to do?”
“Not much of anything, Will.
There’s nothing we can do right now.
going to waltz down there, get those crystals and then dance around the
galaxy doing what they please, and there’s nothing I can do about
it.” Don slammed
his fist down on the console.
“We can’t get back to the water either,”
Will pointed out.
Don groaned and ran his hand through his almost
dry hair. “Will, tell me
something depressing. I’m
really in a happy mood right now,” he said morosely.
Maureen left John napping and went for a quick
swim. When she glided back
to him, she discovered him still asleep.
She kissed him tenderly and found her husband unresponsive. Alarmed, she took his hand.
His heart rate was good, but it was as though he was unable to
wake up. Maureen tried a to
reach him telepathically, but found herself unable to contact him that
way either. Fear began to
find hold in her heart. Maggie
swam up beside her and gazed at the professor with golden eyes.
‘John is in mind to mind
discussion with Qurilis,’ the lizard explained.
mind discussion?’ Maureen asked.
do you mean?’
is here, but the rest of him is linked with Qurilis.’
Maureen pondered her friend’s cryptic words
while gazing at John. It
sounded very much like an out of body experience, but she couldn’t
help but wonder what was so important that Qurilis had to consult with
John in such a manner.
going on?’ John queried. He
had been lounging near the pool one minute, and felt himself floating
away from his body another. Now
he seemed to be in the audience of a zanling the size of a small pony.
‘I am old
and there is little time. This
was the quickest way to teach you,’ the golden zanling told him.
‘In fact, I believe there
may not be time enough for a full teaching, but we will do our best.’
you mean we?’ John
asked. He began wondering
what was so important that it would cause this zanling to intrude on his
ignored the question. ‘You
will need to form the same kind of bond with your bondling as I have
formed with you right now,’ the zanling said.
Same bond? How and
why? And may I assume that
you are Qurilis?’
John asked in rapid succession, puzzled.
Robinson, this is more important than me, than Silverado, than you.
It is something that has to be done to save your galaxy and,
perhaps other galaxies as well. Look,
and watch my memories as I try to explain.
Then you will see the importance of what must be done; of what I
am asking of you and your bondling.’
John acquiesced and watched a history of the zanlings and their fellow
‘gifted.’ ‘John, I will not explain the entire Krilic history, nor
that of the gifted, only the part that the flame crystals played.
Long ago, some of the gifted used the crystals to enhance their
telepathic powers. For
some, it had other benefits as well. For my race, the zanlings, it made us physically larger,
along with enhancing our power of teleportation, bonding and symbiosis.
But there were some of the gifted that could not use the
felt the zanling years and events flow in rhythms of fast and slow. ‘The benefits sometimes
varied due to the slight differences in formations of the kenno flame
crystals. Some of the flame
crystals are much more pure and consequently, more powerful than others. These crystals are very selective and can only be used by
certain groups of the gifted. Then
there are the crystals that are the most pure.
They can only be safely be used by our people. Up until now, there has never been a truly pure specimen of
crystals on ssMrillorrin,’ John interjected.
they are as pure as any that have been discovered.
They had been kept a secret for several centuries, but now…’
there is the danger of an ambitious race acquiring them and using them
for conquest. I met the race, Zrilons, I believe they’re called,’
John finished for the zanling.
and Silverado, with your help, will have to destroy the crystals,’
is too young,’ John said simply, having seen from Qurilis’
thoughts just what this destruction entailed.
Silverado was his bondling and the professor felt the conviction
of his statement strongly, assuming that the silver zanling was in state
of growth equivalent to adolescence.
I realize he is too young, but there is no other.
And that is why you must be ready to bond symbiotically, to help
him cope and deal with this,’
Qurilis stated. ‘I have already had several teaching sessions with him and he is fearful,
but as ready as I can make him. Now
it is up to you to learn how to help him.’
still don’t like it. This
would be like making my younger daughter or son take up one of these
crystals and use it for destruction and possibly death….’ He
paused and pondered.
‘But I will do my best, if this is the only way,’
John finally said in resignation.
see your fears and concerns, especially those dealing with the
individuals to whom you are close.
I am afraid that this is the only way.
Silverado has to do this,’
Qurilis said. ‘And by the way, John,
his real designation is Koreelis, but he insisted that he was to be
called by the name you gave him.’
fleeting tendril of amusement was instantly felt by Qurilis, as were the
feelings of doubt and fear for his bondling.
The old zanling really wished there were some other way.
would go myself, but I am too old and weak.
I was unable to help Silverado bring you all the way here.
It drained me to teleport you to the caves, and what little
strength I have left, I must save to send you back to ssMrillorrin.’
Qurilis paused and felt John slowly come to a resignation of the
inevitable. He continued, ‘Feel,
listen, entwine yourself into my thoughts, my feelings, the teachings.
Immerse yourself in the task ahead, in the support of your