Chronicles of Han Storm - Book 1
Han Starts working with his abilities, confirms his destiny and comes face to face with his previous life on Creata.
*** Twenty ***
After breakfast, we went for a walk around the town. For such a small town it had a lot of interesting avenues to follow.
Panam stopped at a gift shop and found a painted picture of the town. Julie apparently collected these portraits and this would make a great addition to her collection.
“Is this to be a gift, young man?” the shop assistant wanted to know.
“No, not really” Panam replied, “but I do need to post it from here, if you can wrap it up ready for postage, that would be super, thank you.”
I directed Panam’s attention to some other portraits in the shop and as he looked away, I inserted the disk Hack had provided me with into the protective covering of the portrait going to Julie.
I had already included a letter asking for safekeeping and privacy, and was waiting for the correct opportunity to get it to her.
The assistant finished securing the portrait.
“May I include the postage details as well?” she wanted to know.
“Yes, please” Panam replied, giving Julie’s address to her. The assistant then directed us towards the Postal service.
As we waited outside the Postal building for Panam to send off his package, I brought up a tender subject that had been bothering me since leaving Prosia. I asked Racewater about the titles he had used in the ‘interview’ at Headquarters.
“I see that you and Panam were promoted, but why did you refer to me as ‘Mr’?”
“It is actually Sergeant, with the appropriate increase in salary. It seems to go down better with most people if you are not associated directly with the Security Forces. It makes them feel safe to deal with one of their own, rather than with another Agent.”
I saw his point and kept quiet.
As we explored the town further, I felt drawn to the buildings at the waterfront and Racewater and Panam dutifully followed my every whim as to where I wanted to go next.
Most of the people here had very pale skins and dark hair, like my own. Their eyes were either very dark purple or emerald green in colour. Some had flaming red hair.
This made me think about my mother and the description one of my foster mother’s gave me when I had asked her how my mother looked. I was wondering whether she came from these islands.
We passed more shops and Panam suggested we stop for coffee. We all agreed that it was a good idea and went into a refreshment house.
Racewater ordered while Panam and I made ourselves comfortable at a table near the window. He joined us and we were discussing the unique architecture when the waitress brought our drinks.
She placed mugs in front of everyone, not committing to eye contact.
As she turned to leave, she looked up and saw me.
I could only stare at her.
Her thoughts raced and I could see a face with pale skin, framed with wavy red hair and the largest, greenest green eyes you could ever imagine.
In that image I saw another image.
One of myself. Similar facial structure, similar hair, similar eyes, just the colour differed and I was more masculine.
I did want to cut my hair, but had not had an opportunity. At the moment it was loose and hanging to my shoulders.
Time froze for a second.
And then rushed on.
“Please. Where can I find her?” I asked the waitress.
Everyone at the table, including the waitress was astonished.
“I am sorry, I thought I recognized you for a second, but I must have been mistaken” the waitress replied.
The image of a very tiny bundle wrapped in a blanket was foremost in her mind.
I followed the thoughts.
The child was given to a fisherman to take far away. They never saw him again.
“Please” I begged again. “I need to find out what happened to my mother.” It came out a husky whisper.
The waitress bent over and took my coffee from me. Out loud she said “I am sorry, I will just replace this for you.” Quickly she whispered “I will see you out back when you are finished.”
She left and I sat there staring at the table, my hands in my lap.
Racewater sipped his coffee. Panam stared at me. None of us spoke.
Another waitress brought me a replacement mug and left.
It was delicate timing. All of us knew that. We had been loafing around the whole morning and knew the Agent would be looking for us shortly.
We finished as soon as we could and went around the building to the back.
The waitress was waiting for us. She only had her attention on me. She wiped my hair from my forehead to have a clearer look at me in the daylight.
“Aye, it is you. There is only one that could have Annie’s features. You do remember me, do you not?”
“You are the one that gave me to the boatsman that took me to the new worlds.”
“Well, I’ll be. Annie said you would know things.”
“Where can I find her, what happened to her?”
“I am afraid she passed on years ago. She always insisted you had no father and was conceived through Source.”
As she spoke, I could not get a picture of any funeral or cremation. All I saw was a picture of a deserted area with a tiny house on it.
I probed a little deeper, receiving an image of a woman with graying hair.
My mother was very much alive and well!
“You always were her best friend” I agreed, holding out my hand in the formal greeting style.
She placed her hand in mine and I forced my body to act upon the gesture while my senses read her mind.
By the time I brought her hand to my lips and kissed it, I had all the information I ever wanted on my mother.
“Thank you” I told her.
I turned and she let me go, a deep sigh following my still expanded hearing.
We were around the corner, heading back towards the boarding house, when my strength failed. It was not so much the mental depletion, but the hard travel the previous night.
Panam caught me and set me down on the pavement. Racewater called one of the Agent’s assistants on his comm to arrange for a vehicle to pick us up.
Panam produced a chocolate bar from somewhere. It was a bit melted, but heaven sent. By the time the vehicle arrived I was feeling well enough to continue the adventure.
“Do you know a place called The Yew?” I asked the assistant.
“Yes, it is a small cottage on the northern side of the island. Why?”
“Would it take a terribly long time to get there?”
“No, do you wish to go there now?”
“If we could, I would appreciate it.”
“I will call it in, and then we can be on our way.”
There was a pronounced silence in the vehicle. It was as if this place made everyone quiet and turned into themselves.
Panam made a soft comment, more to himself than to anyone in particular “I now know why Han does not converse so much.”
It started raining hard, with a slanting wind driving the rain. The assistant drove carefully down the slippery track towards another little cottage. It had a low wall around it, matching the cottage rock. There was no gate and we drove right up to the door.
A light was shining out of one of the windows. I kept my senses closed. I did not want to have advance knowledge of this meeting.
I was thoroughly drenched by the time I reached the door.
It opened before I could knock. The woman I saw in the mind of the waitress stepped back, admitting me entrance into her home.
She closed the door behind me and wordlessly handed me a towel. I felt a familiar pressure in my mind as a request for permission to communicate telepathically.
I opened the link.
*I knew you would find me some day* my mother told me.
We moved to stand in front of a blazing fire in the one corner of the room. Steam was already rising from my clothes.
*Who am I really?* I asked her.
*You know the answer to that question already. I just helped provide a suitable body for you. You must embrace your own destiny, the mission you were sent here to complete.*
This was not as I imagined it should be between a mother and a son.
Her eyes widened slightly in sudden understanding.
*You have yet to come to terms with yourself. I only agreed to carry you in my womb. It was your own choice to make things easier not to be attached to one person.*
Mara and Moira’s memory surfaced painfully. She was right. I could not afford the luxury of attachment to individual entities.
*You never married or had other children* I pushed her. I wanted her to at least acknowledge that I was wanted.
*I never wished for more after your birth. It was just too painful to let you go. I did not wish to go through that again.*
*Yet, now I am here and you will have to let me go again.*
*Now it will be bearable. You know who you are. You know what you must do. My life was worth living because of you. Take this.*
She took a silver chain from around her neck. It had a charm attached to it. She carefully placed it around my neck, being extremely careful not to touch me with any part of her body.
*You have visions too?* I asked, surprised.
She smiled sadly. *Yes, but unlike you, I only see things in the future-possibilities.*
Now I understood another reason why we could not be together.
*I keep universal things to myself* she continued. *Individuals come here for ‘readings’ and that is how I make my living. It also brings great revenue to Atlantica. That is why my gifts are revered here. No-one would dare interfere.
But you, born from me. They would have taken you away early, and ruined you to your purpose.*
*They found me.*
*Yet you are mostly free. There are great, powerful people backing you up. Looking out for you.*
That was an eye-opener.
Director Thornton’s father’s face came up.
*Where do I go from here?* I wanted to know from her.
*You carry on with what you need to do. Everything is being readied in preparation for a new beginning for this Planet.*
*May I ask about timelines?*
She nodded. *Which ones?*
*When will this momentous happening occur?*
She was quiet for a few moments.
*I only see you busy for some time yet. Then a green season passes and an event of great proportions occurs. Everyone on Creata would know about it. There you will step into your path and proceed. If I interpret the vision correctly, I would say another half year or so.*
Like Mara, she was a total professional.
There was no more to say between us. We were, literally, living worlds apart.
She was already closing the telepathic link.
I let her go, escaping into the rain.
Racewater kept the vehicle’s door open for me.
As I jumped in, I made him wet also. He was not impressed.
The assistant drove us carefully back to the housing facility.
Safely back in my own room, I took the opportunity to have a closer look at the charm. It turned out to be a miniature version of the medallion, now a scar on my chest.
I was actually scared that it might dissolve as well and carefully tucked it away inside one of the boots Mara had materialized for me. I kept the boots in the bottom of my travel bag. It was a very special reminder for me and I did not want to wear my treasures again.
A hot shower and meal later, Racewater asked us to go to his room once more. We were to discuss the happenings of that morning and what we were supposed to reveal to the Agent.
I tried to explain what happened, to tell them about my discovery of a working, controllable worm-hole, but the words were not allowed to flow.
It felt as if someone had placed an iron shackle around my throat and I could not utter a word. Racewater and Panam were waiting expectantly for an answer.
I could just stare at them. I was aware that Racewater was raising a hand at Panam so as not to disturb me.
*Sensaii!* I shouted. *My body does not want to respond.*
*It is a safeguard. You are not yet to discuss these things.*
*Then what explanation do I give?*
*The elders request an audience. Relinquish all control and just go.*
One second I was still struggling to get my voice going, the next I was standing in the ancient place, in front of the same entities I had visited once before.
“Why can I not speak to the people I am supposed to trust most?” I asked them, being quite upset.
As before, the entity looking like a druid, answered “As you know, preparations are being made to reopen the physical portal on Creata. As yet, we cannot allow free-willed entities to have knowledge regarding these things. Our plans are too fragile to be placed in jeopardy. You will not be allowed to speak of these things until the time on your Planet is right, everything is prepared and in place.”
“So what do I tell these people? They want answers from me.”
“Nothing! We will send messengers to intervene on your behalf.”
“What about the disk?”
“Keep it safe, as you have done. We will provide the right people to decipher it. You will know when you meet them.”
I felt sure that I would indeed know. I had a question I wanted to ask Sensaii, yet I was here now, and I thought that the panel would be the ideal time to bring it up.
“I travelled in spirit form from this world to a parallel. The portal was closing here. Was I in any danger of losing my way and my body?”
“Inter-dimensional and parallel travel is froth with danger and risk. You are well trained to follow particle trails and to travel between dimensions. Parallel travel is similar. The risk is just so much greater because you need to know your exact location at starting point in order to return.”
I did not even pretend that I understood anything he was saying to me.
“You wish to download the information regarding this?”
“Yes, I wish it” I confirmed.
“Then go to the Education Halls, receive your downloads and return to your body.”
It was a dismissal.
I never liked the taste of alcohol. I have never been drunk or had an alcohol induced hangover. But this morning I thought I had the worst hangover anyone could get.
A pounding headache was raging in my ears. I could barely see out of my eyes and the diffused light in the room was like a dagger.
For a moment I lay there groaning, trying hard to get my bearings.
I was trying to tell Racewater and Panam about the girls.
Okay . . . so I was back on Atlantica . . . in a boarding house . . . in Racewater’s room . . . in a bed, probably Racewater’s.
That seemed logical.
My chest felt as if a herd of buffalo had stampeded over it. It ached almost as bad as my head.
Was the infection back?
I hoped not.
I felt my head. It felt cool to my hand.
I sat up, throwing the blankets off me.
I only had pants on. My shirt was over the chair.
Panam was sleeping on the floor in front of the bed. I could not see Racewater. I tried to wake Panam, but my voice still did not work, so I slipped out the other side of the bed, careful not to disturb him.
There was a jug with water and glasses on a table. I dug in Panam’s bag until I found the headache tablets and helped myself to a double dose.
After a few attempts, I managed to force my voice to work again. I went back to the bed. Lying down, I prayed silently that the tablets would do their job quickly.
Sensaii was asking to be heard. Even if I wanted to, I could not gather my concentration to be involved in telepathy.
He was insistent.
Eventually the headache was pushed to the back in order to let him proceed.
*Yes!* I answered in exasperation.
*You need to pick up on Racewater right now. He is on his way to the Agent. You need to hear this.*
*I cannot even get my body to concentrate. How must I get my senses to expand to incorporate him?*
I tried, but my energy was so depleted that I could barely pick up on my own aura in the room. It would take time and special application to get myself fully back to normal.
*You are going to have to do better than this* Sensaii advised. *Your recuperation time will have to become very quick in order for you to do what you eventually must. Find a way that would work for you even under the worst of physical conditions.*
I was not impressed with this lecture. I felt like excrement at the bottom of a pit, and then I get told by a bodiless entity what is expected of me.
*Thank you, now just go away and leave me in peace for a while.*
I tried to go back to sleep, but sleep avoided me.
So I stood up, dressed and went hunting for food.
The friendly hostess was busy in the kitchen. She looked surprised to see me, but smiled a greeting and asked me to sit down at the overgrown kitchen table.
She brought a can of coffee and I helped myself to a mug, adding a lot of sugar and some cream. Then she provided me with some steaming porridge, a kind I have never had before. It tasted like chocolate and was absolutely delicious.
I was finishing the last few bites when Racewater came in.
He looked at me for a while, as if making a decision, and then asked me to join him in his room.
Panam was still sleeping and Racewater woke him unceremoniously by kicking his foot. It was becoming a habit with him.
“Get up, I want to talk to both of you.”
As soon as Panam was back in the land of the living, Racewater continued.
“The Agent explained to me what had happened. His daughter fell in love with a man from the seafaring crowd. She left with this man and has decided to stay with him.
She had some friends over to visit the islands at the other side of the ocean, but they were not happy with the lifestyle and wanted to return. The sea people brought them to the cottage.
That is where you found them. Is this the correct story?” He was staring hard at me.
Great, a story was already made up. I did not need to tell them anything.
“Yes” was all I managed before the infuriating collar prevented me from saying anything more.
“Then, if the return of the girls was a ‘natural’ event, where did you go when you were away so long?”
I could not answer that either.
I felt a small pressure in my head and suddenly knew what to answer.
“I found them and influenced the sea people to have the girls back in the morning. They agreed.” It came out with such a sound of relief, I thought they would not buy it.
Racewater did not seem convinced at all.
“And just what happened last night? You were going to tell us what happened and then you collapsed.”
“We almost lost you Han. I had to bring your spirit back twice. You probably noticed your sore chest.” Panam commented.
At least now I knew the pain in my chest came from resuscitation.
“I am so sorry. It happened once before. I am physically exhausted and mentally depleted at the moment. I think this is what they call an overload at the facility.”
“Let me get this straight” Racewater continued, as much to me as to Panam. “If Han does too much, he can die?”
“Yes” we both answered at the same time.
“So how do we know when you do too much?“ Racewater wanted to know. “I would hate a repeat of last night.”
They both waited expectantly for an answer. I had no idea how to tell them this. I, myself did not know when I did too much. How can we co-ordinate this?
“Tucker used a timing system. Thirty to ninety second visions were average and did not deplete my energies too much. Anything more than that became a stretch, although I could cope fairly well with three minute visions. With what I do now, one cannot really put a time-limit on. This is as new to me as it is to you.”
“We are thus in a grey area, breaking new ground and you do not have a clue where you will end up next?” Racewater looked concerned.
“No, I do not.”
“Are there techniques that you can use to recuperate sooner after depletion?” Panam wanted to know.
“Yes, there are, but silence and solitude are needed for successful recuperation.”
“Would it help if we leave you in peace and do not interfere for a while after you have gone away and did whatever you had to do?” Racewater seemed to start to understand the situation.
“Yes, I definitely think it would. Tucker always tried not to pry until I was ready to commit myself to answering questions.”
“You know we are bound by time and we do not always have that luxury” Racewater reminded me.
“Okay. You two get ready to leave. I will meet you at the vehicle in ten. They are flying us to the next assignment.”
Copyright © H Gibson Chronicles of Han Storm. All rights reserved. 2009-2015