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-two ***
We carefully walked to the origin of the light at the end of the tunnel.
Hearing voices, we looked at Hamish.
“Desert people“ he warned. “We must be very quiet and very careful. They will show us no mercy if they find us here.”
The tunnel led us to a wide cavern. Glow-globes were everywhere, lighting the whole place. It was obviously lived in by many people from the beginning of time, resembling a town.
As far as the eye could see, the cavern walls were covered with what looked like separate cave entrances. Ladders led up to these and people were clambering up and down, just getting on with their business.
Our position was precarious. Between us and the entrance to the cave was a whole colony of wild Desert People.
Our position looked hopeless. We backed up into the tunnel.
“There is no way we will pass through there unnoticed. Any suggestions?” Hamish whispered, glaring at me, the person responsible for plunging us into this mess.
Fate chose for us.
A small catlike animal was entering the cave inquisitively. It came up to us with gleaming fluorescent green eyes. Sniffing the air, it opened its mouth and uttered a scream that ripped through our bodies, and through my psychic senses, leaving me dazed and disoriented.
People stormed into the cave. My colleagues raised their hands in surrender.
I pushed the hands away that were shoving at me.
I caught Panam’s eye for a second. He was scared out of his wits.
Someone was going through my pockets, taking my crystal.
I tried getting it back.
A fist made contact with my stomach.
All the air went out of me.
As the bile slipped up my throat, I swallowed hard, struggling to breathe.
*Take small gasps. Talk to them.*
Sensaii was welcome in my head.
I did as he advised, starting to get some physical control back. I was not making it easy for the people dragging me after my friends.
We were manhandled to an open area in the middle of the indoor cave-city. People were shouting to each other. Orders were given. I did not understand.
We were held in a line. Someone was coming from the other side of the cavern. It looked like a leader of some sort.
He stopped in front of Hamish and asked a question. Hamish shook his head in the negative. They did not understand each other.
Our belongings were placed in front of this man on the ground. He took Hamish’s firearm and placed it in his belt, pocketing the extra clips. He also pocketed Racewater’s knife and pen.
He looked at Hamish’s security card and laughed. He knew who he had here. He shouted something at the watching crowd. A cheer went up.
He asked Hamish the same question as previous. Again Hamish indicated that he did not understand.
The leader looked at the other articles on the ground. Panam’s empty syringe, still sealed. Two needles, still sealed. A few plasters. A small roll of cotton-wool and bandages. Some antiseptic. Some ampoules of drugs I might need and a bottle of bitter-herbs.
He asked a question. A man pointed at Panam.
He asked Panam a question. Panam answered that he did not understand the language.
The man ignored the pieces of paper and Racewater’s notebook. He picked up my crystal.
I struggled against the two men holding me.
I warned him in the ancient language. “Leave it. It does not serve you.”
Everyone that heard me went quiet.
The leader stared at me. He quietly asked a question to someone in the crowd behind him.
He placed the crystal in the centre of his open palm.
I needed to understand what they said and asked silently for an instant download. I closed my eyes for a second, searching desperately for this language. I felt the slight drifting sensation and then one of saturation. It was done.
By the time I opened my eyes, comprehension was there. I was in time to catch the guarded answer from the person in the crowd.
“It may be that he is the one we have always been waiting for. The legends did say he would be the one to hold the keys to the old structures. Did they not come from out the tunnel leading there? Were you able to open the doors?”
The leader looked at one of the men. “Well, did you try to open the doors?”
“They could not be opened, sir.”
The leader turned to me. He was looking at the oblong, one-inch crystal on his palm.
“It is said that these crystals cast a glow when the owner embraces them. It apparently lights up the whole hand.”
He was speaking loud enough so that the people in the vicinity could also hear. He held the crystal in the air for all to see. “Let this be a test of ownership then.”
Agreement came from every mouth that could hear him speak.
He held the crystal out to me. “Release him.”
The men released me. I pulled myself to my full height, trying to look as regal as I thought I was supposed to. I stepped forward to the leader, carefully taking the crystal from his hand.
I brought it to my chest, cradling it in both hands, feeling the heat starting from the scar on my chest, working down my arms to my hands. I closed my eyes and felt the images rising to the surface.
I was not ready for this. I wanted to do this in private, not in front of a whole crowd of people. I knew that every scene I was about to see, would be relayed in hologram format by the crystal. Racewater, Panam and Hamish would also see this.
I tried to keep emotion out of it. It did not quite work out so well . . .
My beautiful wife rushed after me with my crystal, recording all the way.
I was a spitting image of my current body, right down to the shoulder length hair.
She followed me to the portal hall.
I saw myself repeating the scene I had lived through just hours ago.
I saw people falling everywhere.
I saw myself stepping through the portal.
My wife backed up to the entrance. The priests were not happy that she had the recording crystal there. They ordered her away from the hall.
She aimed the crystal back at the hall. Everyone was lying on the ground. Not one person remained standing. The priest lay still on the platform. The portal started to crumble and fall. This was a sacrifice for survival, of love.
The crystal was placed on the table. My wife’s beautiful face was presented. She left a message for me. One of eternal love . . .
The recording ended.
The glow dissipated around my hands.
My chest burnt.
I really did not want to open my eyes and face this world.
I was torn and bleeding inside. Tears escaped from under my eyelids and rolled down my cheeks.
I could hear sobbing in the crowd.
I did not think they would kill us any longer. I replaced the crystal in my pocket.
The leader cleared his throat.
Someone touched my shoulder.
I looked around.
Panam indicated that my attention was needed. I turned back to the leader.
“What is the name they call you by?” he was talking flawlessly in the ancient language.
“Han” I answered.
“A Favour from God!” Another murmur went up from the crowd. The leader stepped back, again listening into the crowd.
“Find out what he is doing here.”
I was intrigued now and quickly pinpointed the old man, hiding behind some men. This was a high ranking person, if not the real leader of this Clan.
“We need to request the reason for your appearance in this unorthodox way?” the current leader requested.
Careful with this answer.
*Trust yourself. The answer is ready on your lips.* Sensaii again.
I allowed the words to flow out of my mouth in the ancient language.
“It is time for all my children to return to their rightful homes. The only price we once again have to pay, is the black fuel, stored inside our ancient palace. And peace with all the peoples of this Planet.
I cannot stay long. There is much work for me to do. I came here for the other keys.” I took a step forward, pointing to the old man in the crowd. “And you have it.”
The ball was in their court. They were stunned.
A small signal from the leader and dozens of firearms were trained on us. “Keep them here.”
He followed the old man through the crowd towards one of the cave entrances. They disappeared inside.
I sat down. My colleagues followed. Facing inwards, we made a tiny circle.
“Just what the hell happened?” Racewater demanded in a barely audible whisper. “It was you in that recording. You!”
“I know. Is that not weird?” I tried to look mystified too.
“Cut the crap!” Hamish interrupted a bit louder than a whisper. “You know more than we do and you speak a language their leader understands.”
“I am working to save our necks here. . . and get you your fuel without having to fight for it all the time. So be quiet before they shut us up.”
“How do you know the language?” Hamish insisted.
“Be quiet! They are coming back” Racewater cautioned.
They were indeed returning this way. They stopped briefly before another entrance. The leader nodded to one of the men near us. “Come” the guard beckoned to me.
“Stay right here. Be very quiet and do not move” I whispered before getting up. The guard escorted me to the entrance where the two leaders were now standing. They went into this cave. The guard motioned me to follow, taking a stance in front of the entrance.
It was dark inside. I heard the shaking of a glow-globe and a soft golden light washed over everything. We were in a miniature cave cut from rock. Clumps of rock were left to serve as chairs and tables. The ‘chairs’ were covered with rough material and equally dull cushions.
The old man had a box in his hands. He placed it on the table.
It looked familiar.
The leader beckoned me nearer.
I stopped in front of the table, inches from the box. It was made of a substance not from this Planet, that much I could see. It was sealed on all sides. The side facing the top had an engraving on it.
I took a closer look. It was the same seal I had on my chest. I could feel the scar starting to burn again.
All these things were somehow connected to my ultimate goal.
I took a step back. The burning subsided.
I took a deep breath.
“It is yours if you can open it” the old man said.
I noticed he was talking in the regular Clan language. So he already figured out I can understand it too.
I knew I was in for a wild ride the moment my scar started burning. I had figured out by now that all these things had to do with unlocking the physical portal, wherever it might be.
I stepped back up to the box. Looking from the old man to the leader, I closed my eyes and pressed my left hand onto the box, making sure I covered as much area as possible.
It felt as if my arm was going to be ripped out of my socket.
It took all my physical energy to keep holding onto the box.
I was forced to my knees.
I felt myself grinding my teeth.
There was a sudden release of white-hot energy from the box to my chest . . .
I was floating in thick, black fuel. A beautiful golden-haired woman was standing at my shoulder, looking down at me. I found her holding my torso, preventing me from drifting away.
The woman looked familiar. I could not place her at first. Then the memory surfaced.
It was my lovely Illia.
“Am I dead?”
“No, far from it” she smiled.
I tried to move.
“No, just lie still with me for a little while. I have waited for you for such a long time, but you only returned now. After this, I can go in peace and live my own life again.”
“Why am I in this space?”
“Your body needs the chance to integrate the second key. You are the keybearer. You must collect all the keys in order to unlock the portal.”
I gave myself some time to let that sink in.
“Am I to take all the keys into my body?”
“No. Some will be carried by people like yourself. You must find all the keys and bearers. That is your first task.”
I groaned inwardly.
“So what is the second task?”
“I am only to lay the first task on you. I am not knowledgeable regarding the others.”
“So how many other keys and bearers are there?”
“This knowledge was locked within the box.”
“And the box is now part of me” I finished for her.
How do I open a locked box within myself?
Illia was talking to me again. She touched my face with her gentle fingers.
“You must wake up from this place now Han. It is time for you to go. Wake up Han. Wake up.” She faded. I did not want to let her go . . .
“Wake up Han. Wake up.”
It was Panam.
All three were squatting around me.
Hamish looked flustered.
Racewater and Panam looked relieved.
While struggling up into a sitting position, I glimpsed the old man and the leader in the background.
Panam was placing an empty syringe back in his pocket.
So they had to bring me back. I will be weak for days again.
I looked at the table. The box was gone.
I felt my chest. It was sore and the scar was swollen. It had not been a vision.
“Well, help a man up please” I asked a surprised Racewater. He helped me to my feet.
“Hamish. This is one of the leaders you need to speak to regarding permission to get to their fuel” I introduced the two opposing parties. “I would suggest you find someone that can speak the language and start negotiating.
All these fuel deposits belong to them, so I guess your company is in for a huge law-suit that will stretch back many decades.”
Hamish was not impressed, but knew that I was stating a simple fact.
I turned my attention to the old man and the leader. Changing to their language I asked “I have no recollection of what happened after I touched the box. Would you please inform me of this.”
They looked at each other. The old man sighed and took a seat. He indicated to me to do the same. I did not mind, my legs feeling like rubber anyway.
He continued in the old language. “You placed your left hand over the seal of the box. The next thing we saw was that you were standing on your knees. The box was dissolving, spilling over your hand and rushing up your arm to your chest.
There the energy passed into your body with such a bright light that it shone through your clothes and lit up your face. You were thrown onto your back.
Ka-Desh felt your life-throb. There was none. He called for your medicine man who administered the medicine with the needle. He massaged your chest too.
When he opened your shirt, we all saw the mark of the Portal. It was still glowing.
Whatever your medicine man gave you worked. Your friends were very relieved to have you back.
They have lots of love for you.
That man you call Hamish. He is the one we need to speak to. I do not understand all you said to him. My outsider language skills are poor, but Ka-Desh can read and speak it well. He will arrange for your return to your base-camp. I have the assurance that the Holy Place would not be disturbed further?”
“I give you my word.”
“One more thing before you return to the world where you must go. We need you to show us how to unlock the entrance to the ancient palace.”
“It is not as easy as it seems. Do you have ones with special mind-gifts?”
“Yes, we have a girl. She is descendent from your line. She has the mind-gift. I will let her come here.
Bring Kyira” he ordered.
A man at the entrance departed to go find her.
“How must we handle this new period in our lives?” the leader asked.
We spent another half an hour discussing how they should proceed to integrate the current with the ancient.
My team lounged around, bored with not being able to follow the conversation. Panam came up twice to take my vitals. I could not blame him and allowed him to do so. He was very concerned for me.
Eventually the arrival of the girl was announced. I stood up and turned to the door when I heard a lighter tread.
There was no doubt that she was one of my descendents. She was the spitting image of my wife. She was about my age, and could definitely not be called a girl any more.
I swallowed hard as I wondered if a direct download would work with her. What training did she have?
*I can read thoughts?* It was a request for me to open the link. I did.
*Can you read mine now?* I thought about how the pilot and I exchanged information.
*Yes. We can do that. When?*
*Right now? I do not have a lot of time. I need to get back to my own space to rest.*
*Let us then make ourselves comfortable.* She looked around for a space to sit. The cave was becoming crowded.
*Take my seat. I will settle on the floor* I offered.
She smiled up at me. She was shorter than Illia used to be.
*No. You sit and I will settle on the floor* she countered.
*You are letting me feel old.*
*You are old.*
*Thanks for the reminder.*
It was meant to be sarcastic.
She giggled while settling on the floor in front of my chair. Everyone stared at her. She did not seem to notice.
I settled down, fighting to get my mind and emotions under control, taking the few seconds I needed to bring all the information regarding the underground facility to the front of my memory.
I needed to download all the information as quickly as possible, without giving unwanted information through. She only needed to know about the facility and how it worked.
I was amazed at the volumes of information suddenly retrieved. I would go through it at a later stage, having to deal with too much lately.
I desperately needed time out. All this would take me weeks of Creata time to sort through. Let her sort through it herself.
It was going to take time from both sides to learn to co-operate in any case, time enough to get things running like they should have run a long time ago.
I held out my hands. She placed hers in mine. I enfolded them softly.
She opened her mind to me.
I did not pry into her private life, starting the download immediately. Her eyes bore into mine, intense concentration on her lovely face.
I had to remind the emotional part of myself that this was a professional download.
I scanned softly along the link. I could not find any emotions being downloaded to her.
Good. I was getting better at this.
It was done.
We broke the connection at the same time.
It was a clean cut. We could not have done better.
We were exhausted.
Panam was at my side in a flash, checking my vitals, then my eyes. I knew my body was not responding as it should.
“We need to get him to the base as quick as possible. He is in bad shape” he told Racewater.
I could almost laugh at that observation, if I just was not so tired.
My eyes kept on drooping and my mind was sluggish. I knew I had once again done too much, too soon.
I was sure I was hearing the buzz of a vehicle.
Supported between Racewater and Hamish, I was taken out of the house cave into the cavern.
My hearing did not mislead me. One of Hamish’s own vehicles was waiting for us. I could feel his anger at the sight of one of his hijacked vehicles.
The Clans-people laughed at his anger. I smiled at their rude remarks aimed at him as we entered the vehicle. It was not going to be an easy task to integrate these two Clans.
I was glad it was not my job.
I allowed myself to fall into slumber as they dragged me into the vehicle.
My body was cold.
I felt for the blanket.
It was at my feet.
I pulled it right over me, sighing as the heat from my breath warmed my hands and face. I took a huge gulp of hot air, releasing it back over my cold hands.
Only my left hand was cold. I could not figure out why I could not close my right hand. I pulled the blanket off my head to have a look at it.
It was bandaged. My left thumb had a new plaster on it too.
For a moment I could not figure out where I was.
I lay back, thinking desperately while staring at the strange ceiling.
As my functions started to kick in, I became aware that I was not alone in the room. I turned my head slightly and could see the end of my bed.
Panam was watching me with amusement. I could see he was glad to have me back. He was also amused by my obvious confusion.
I felt ashamed for a split second and then forgave myself. I had the fullest right to be confused by all that had happened the last twenty-four hours, or was it more?
I sat bolt upright.
My head spun so badly that I had to lie down again.
“Give yourself some time to get back here. I gave you a double knock-out when we returned. The effects should be worked out in a few hours. Just take it easy for a while and you will be as good as new.”
It took some time to absorb the information. I still had tunnel-hearing.
So I have been out for at least 24 hours.
I lay quietly on the bed.
*What is happening out there?*
No response from Panam.
*Use your voice.*
*That might help, thank you Sensaii.*
Fuzzy brain. I hated those drugs.
“What is happening out there?” It was more a croak than a voice. Panam brought a glass of water over. He helped me take a sip while answering.
“It is actually progressing quite well. The Desert people’s driver turned out to be an excellent interpreter. He is helping with negotiations regarding land and fuel rights.
As far as I know, the Desert people do not want any compensation for fuel taken off their land, thus far. They are only going to charge for fuel taken from the storage facility. They also agreed on peace to live their lives in a better way, of course.”
“And the sacred place and internal dwellings? Were they able to open it?”
“Yes. Whatever information you gave that girl had spectacular end-results. They have opened it up and almost everything is already working. There is a lot of technology there that the rest of the Planet can also use.
That girl must have received economics from you too. She is already negotiating to have everything lawfully patented to the Clan. All profits are to go to them.”
I smiled. “Good.”
Panam took something out of his pocket. “Give me your hand.”
I presented my unbandaged hand, palm up.
He placed my crystal, now attached to a golden chain, on my palm. I closed my hand around it. It did not give off any glow. Its holographic recording was already spent.
“To keep your family near your heart.” He turned and went out the door.
End of Part 3
Copyright © H Gibson Chronicles of Han Storm. All rights reserved. 2009-2015
This is the end of Part 3 and the last of the Free sections of the book that will be released for the time being. To Purchase the rest of the book, please visit the Shopping Page.