Chronicles of Han Storm - Book 1
*** Ten ***
We took Mountain Drive out of New Haven.
Racewater did not interrupt my thoughts and I gave my full attention to the scenery. I have never been further than the look-out areas on top of the mountain and this drive definitely gave my mind a reprieve from Tucker’s invasive memories.
After passing through the slums, we drove northwest into one of the passes that gave New Haven access to the outside world. It was an incredible climb with a beautiful view of New Haven spread out from just below the rim of the mountains to the sea.
Crossing the ridge of the mountain, we came to a forest of majestically tall trees, seemingly holding up the sky.
Winding our way through the forest, we drove deeper into the mountain range.
The monotonous view quickly became boring, allowing Tucker’s memories to enter my otherwise idle brain again. I allowed the memories to come without any resistance, actively concentrating on the visions it brought forth.
Tucker had accumulated an incredible amount of knowledge about Creata, its people, history, moments of despair or triumph, the things that only experience can teach.
There were sections on psychic phenomena too, allowing me to finally understand why Tucker could accept so many things without scepticism.
The trees were flitting by like ethereal ghosts before I realized that it was becoming dark. My body was stiff and I stretched my legs as best I could in the cramped space of the vehicle.
Racewater slowed down and guided the vehicle onto the shoulder of the road.
We exited stiffly. I walked to the edge of the forest while Racewater retrieved the refreshments from the back seat.
Stretching my arms towards the darkening sky, I expanded my senses and, literally, breathed in the environment.
It had a familiar earthy smell. New growth and old decay combined to guarantee the on-going cycle of life on this Planet. Hearing the tiny creatures of the forest rushing around in their endless worlds of survival, I expanded my aura to incorporate more of it, to experience this part of the forest with every cell of my body.
I became the small trees pushing their way through the soil, the large giants crashing down, their roots decayed by fungus.
One wild creature killed another. The satisfaction of a successful hunt enthralled me. The knowledge that I was now part of the food chain filled me with joy.
I was fascinated and captured within this experience. I was part of a living, breathing organism that was much bigger than myself.
The sensory input was threatening to overwhelm me.
Racewater grabbed my arm and twisted me around to face him.
Crashing back into myself, breathing hard, I felt sweat running down my temples and back.
I sat down heavily on the grassy verge.
“Can you just, for once, stay with me for a little while!” Racewater snapped.
He pushed a cup of coffee into my hands.
“Drink!” he ordered.
It was very good. And very sweet.
I kept Racewater under close surveillance while he handed me a sandwich, missing the fatherly consideration Tucker would have shown in this instance.
He squatted next to me.
“I want you to drive now“ he told me. “It will keep your attention on this plane.”
He took out a map, spread it on the ground between us and switched on a flashlight. Pointing to a place on the map he continued.
“From here you stay on this road until you leave the forests. We will be starting to go down the side of the mountains soon, so mind how and where you drive. I need some sleep. Wake me when you reach the first crossroads. It should not take more than four hours to reach.”
After replacing the map and our gear, he handed me the keys and settled into the passenger seat. I dutifully slipped behind the wheel.
Driving had the required effect of keeping my attention on this physical plane. I had to concentrate intensely on the narrow, steep and winding road. Luckily, Racewater’s vehicle responded splendidly to everything I asked it to do, turning out to be a real pleasure to drive.
Approximately four hours later, I pulled over and woke Racewater. He was sleeping deeply and only woke after the third prod.
“Follow this road to the second intersection. Turn East and head for a town called Breakheads. Wake me when we get there” he mumbled, before drifting back to sleep.
The trees were replaced by dry, ground-hugging bushes, sand and rocks. It was a long, dusty, dark drive through the desert.
I was becoming sleepy and had to correct the vehicle several times before I became aware of a soft, familiar pulsing in my head. Finally recognizing that Sensaii was trying to communicate with me, I gave him my attention.
*You need someone to drive for you* he told me.
*How?* I queried.
*I have someone here that is an excellent driver. If you allow him to overlap and temporarily take over your body, you could rest while he drives.*
Feeling apprehensive at this suggestion, I did not agree right away. This called for a total relinquishing of control.
*I would not be in control any longer* I raised my concern.
*When have you ever been in control anyway?* Sensaii remarked.
*Okay, let us try this* I gave my permission.
I was still very nervous but calmed myself and relaxed my body.
A presence came upon my body that was not me. I did not have to step out or leave my body.
The entity introduced himself as Carlo and I had a brief flash of the life of a race-driver.
Feeling strength return to my tired limbs, my eyes sharpened on the dark road ahead of me. My jaw slackened somewhat and the features of my face altered slightly.
Relaxing the active, mental part of myself, I could enjoy the new sensations of freedom and heightened control Carlo brought to my body.
We picked up speed in a frighteningly short period of time and raced across the desert as fast as Racewater's vehicle could go without sliding off the road. It turned out to become a most exhilarating drive.
We flashed past an intersecting road and did not slow down much when we came to the next crossing, making the right-hand turn in a well controlled drift of gravel and squealing tires that woke Racewater.
“Just what are you trying to do?” he yelled. “Kill us? Stop this car!”
Darn, just when I was really starting to enjoy myself!
We pulled over and Carlo started to fade.
*Thank you for giving me this cherished opportunity* he told me. *Few people will relinquish total control and trust me with their bodies. Call upon my services again when needed.*
By the time the vehicle came to a complete stop Carlo was gone and I was suddenly dead tired.
Racewater came around the car looking surprised to see us past the turnoff.
Sliding over to the passenger side, I secured the restrainer straps in place and was sound asleep before Racewater started driving again.
Racewater poked me awake. The sun was already pushing its head over the peaks of the mountains and the desert bloomed in shades of purple, red and orange.
We were at a small airstrip. I assumed it was Breakheads’ airstrip but could not see any sign of a town nearby. A small twin propeller aircraft was standing ready for take-off.
Racewater seemed to be in a hurry and we quickly retrieved our bags from the vehicle before walking over to the tiny aircraft.
The pilot was finishing his final checks while we climbed into the plane. Racewater took the seat beside the pilot. I settled on the jump seat next to our bags after the door was secured.
The take-off went smooth and we were flying in a Northerly direction when I suddenly realized that my premonition of physical flying had come true.
This was quite exciting and I busied myself with the scenery below. The desert ended abruptly in small gullies filled with brush. Then the ground shot up into tree-covered mountains again.
I was unable to follow the conversation between Racewater and the similarly dark-skinned pilot. They were conversing in a language I did not understand and had never heard before.
Intrigued, I wondered why they should want to exclude me from their conversation.
*Is there any way in which I could gain knowledge about the language they are speaking?* I asked Sensaii, counting on him to come up with a solution to the language barrier.
*Yes, request a Download.*
He made it sound so logical.
*How do I do that?* I wanted to know, encouraging him to explain.
*Connect to Creata’s information files and dip into the knowledge of the language section.*
Relaxing my cramped body, I allowed everything to go limp and sagging. I felt myself leave, as if in deep meditation, but was still well aware of my body. I sensed, more than experienced, the connection with Creata’s recordings.
A tingle, similar to a mild electric shock, rushed through my body. Golden light poured into the top of my head, followed by a sudden sensation of saturation.
My body felt heavy.
As my physical senses returned to normal, I expectantly listened to the two men in the front of the aircraft.
At first, I only heard the same strange language, but then, gradually, I caught the meaning of a word here and there. And in a very short period I could understand them.
This was so great!
The Pilot was speaking.
“You said you are taking him to Ma-Mara. Do you think she will be able to help him?”
“She is the oldest and wisest of the Clan. If there is anyone that knows what to do, it would be her” Racewater answered.
“Dan, do you think he would be safe amongst our people? You do not think that those scum from New Haven would follow all the way out to the Northern Territories?”
“No. I am positive Han was only a local threat“ Racewater replied. “My greatest concern is that, through the involvement of the underworld, he was noticed by the Government.”
“You also mentioned that the young doctor had never come across anyone like him.”
“Yes, Panam is of the conviction that Han is destined for great things. Not just to do what he has done so far for one single city.”
“I have the same feeling about him“ the pilot confirmed. “Do you think he is the one we have all been waiting for?”
“I honestly do not know. Everything points to it, exactly as the teachings say; that his body would be mature before he would receive his powers. And get this, he opened up completely within two days!”
The Pilot whistled softly, then continued “And you are the Clans-man that found him, as foretold at your coming of age.
I am sorry to say, but everything does point in that direction.
Look at it.
You, the chosen one, are returning him to the Elders in order for him to receive his physical memories. Is that not exactly what is happening now, just as in the Legend?”
“It is too obvious a co-incidence” Racewater answered.
“And now, circumstance is forcing you to take him home, to the only person we know that can help him overcome his Handler’s death. Are you not glad it is out of your hands?” the pilot wanted to know from Racewater.
“Yes, I am extremely relieved that it is not for me to determine if he really is the One in the Legend.”
They were quiet for a while.
I was feeling upset with what they had discussed. I knew I was different, but so are all psychics. It is not that I was much different from other psychics. As far as I knew, I basically experienced the same sort of things they did.
*Not so* intruded Sensaii.
*You have chosen a different path for yourself and entities are picking up on it. That is why you receive help and concern and loyalty. Everyone wants to be part of something.
You are something!
Although your path is yet to be revealed to you, entities are attracted to you for that very reason.*
*Destiny? I am where I am supposed to be. . . . Nothing is co-incidence, and all that nonsense, is it?* I could sense my thoughts dripping with sarcasm.
*It takes careful pushing and prodding and sometimes the Universe still does not manage to get everyone to play along* Sensaii responded.
*Consequently, our lives are but a game for you on the Other Side?* I asked, knowing that I was being stubborn.
*Far from it* Sensaii answered.
There was no disappointment coming through the communication. *The ‘game’ as you put it, was decided before you came here* he explained. *We must remind you of the rules you created for yourselves.*
*I thought I was not in control?! So am I, or aren’t I?* I was getting irritated.
*Neither* Sensaii answered patiently. *Day to day decisions are yours to make. The bigger picture was decided and planned beforehand. The Stage is set, you are part of the plan and have volunteered for this particular part.*
*Great!* It was meant to ooze with sarcasm. *It does not feel as though I am very successful at playing my ‘part’.*
*Actually, you are progressing exceptionally well* Sensaii told me, a hint of pride noticeable through our telepathic link. *You take a lot of things for granted, knowing what to do, and not worrying about the why’s and how’s as long as the outcome is satisfactory.*
I decided to change the subject. This was confusing me greatly. I needed time to assimilate all these things.
*Who is this Ma-Mara?* I wanted to know from him.
*She is, what her Clan calls, their local medicine woman and healer. She works mainly with herbal remedies and energy healing, but is extremely connected to the Other Side. She will help you open up to many more things.*
The Other Side.
I thought upon this.
This was the place were our spirits resided when not connected to a body. This was the place were we really existed.
The Other Side consisted of many planes of existence and dimensions. I was familiar with quite a few places there and could find my way around successfully, while still being connected to my body.
Racewater was trying to speak to me so I focused my thoughts and gave him my attention. He spoke in the usual Creatan language.
“We are going to refuel in a little while. We will freshen up and have some food before the last stretch home.”
We were flying over high, sinister looking mountains devoid of vegetation on the summits. As we started down into a narrow canyon, I could see a few buildings nestled between the trees at one end of a strip of open ground and assumed that this was where we were to land.
The pilot was highly skilled and made the landing seem effortless. He taxied over to a huge metal structure that looked as if it could house other aircraft.
As we all excited, I thought it interesting that I had never heard Racewater called by his first name until now.
“We will see you at the diner then?” Racewater asked the Pilot.
“Yes, I am refuelling quickly and will join you shortly” he replied.
Racewater led me to a log building with a sign informing us that we would now be entering the Lone Wolf Diner. It was past the breakfast hour and there were only a few people inside.
A wrinkled old lady with very dark skin looked up as we came in. A huge smile spread across her face as she rushed around the corner of the serving counter and into Racewater’s arms.
She spoke the same Clan language that Racewater and the Pilot used.
“I am so glad you came to visit. It has been too long. We missed you so much.”
Racewater gave her a huge hug before releasing her.
She led us to a bunk seat near the entrance to the kitchen and continued through to the back.
Racewater sat down and indicated to me to sit opposite him. There were no menus on this table so it was probably reserved for friends and family members.
An old man stuck his head around the entrance, flashed a set of teeth at Racewater and disappeared again.
The lady returned with three mugs of scalding hot coffee. Racewater passed one to me and placed the other directly opposite him.
“Food’s coming soon” the old lady said to both of us in Creatan.
Sipping some coffee, I unobtrusively expanded my senses to take things in on a different level. Racewater’s uppermost thoughts were betraying him. This was his aunt and uncle’s place.
I moved my concentration outside.
There were about forty of so entities living and working in this little town of Lone Wolf. Most of the people were from Racewater's Clan.
Breakfast was smelling great and coming through the kitchen door, making me return my expanded senses quickly to the immediate surroundings.
The old man brought the plates out himself. He and the Pilot reached the table at the same time.
“Good day to you, Peetra” Ray greeted.
“And good fortune to you too, Ray” replied the old man.
Peetra placed thick pancakes, covered with molasses, honey and butter in front of us.
Racewater’s uncle took a seat next to Racewater and I moved over to give Ray space next to me. The old man stared unashamedly at me and I felt so uncomfortable that I almost dropped my fork.
Addressing Racewater in the Clan language he asked “Is this the boy you are taking to see Ma-Mara?”
Racewater nodded in the affirmative, his jaws occupied with his food.
“He does not look like someone who is going to change the world” Peetra told Racewater.
It was a statement.
Flat. Serious. An honest opinion.
Racewater stared at his Uncle.
The old man stood up. “I am glad you are back, even if it is only for a short time.”
He returned to the kitchen with me staring at his retreating back in shock.
My appetite was lost as nausea assaulted me. I pushed the food away from me and politely asked Ray to excuse me from the booth, which he promptly did.
It must have looked as if I was going to be sick on him.
I made my way to the refreshment room and locked myself in one of the cubicles.
My body was shaking all over, feeling hot and ice-cold all at the same time. Closing my eyes, I tried to get a grip on myself. Sweat was pouring from me, damp spots appearing on my clothes.
Suddenly, a woman appeared in front of me.
My body was forgotten as realization of being within a vision set in.
The woman was beautiful, with long, black hair shimmering like a crow’s feathers.
I followed her to a cave deep in the mountains where she asked me to sit by her fire. Here she changed into a very old woman that smiled reassuringly at me.
*I am waiting Han. I have been waiting for a very long time. You are finally here. Come to me. You have seen the way.*
I returned from the short vision, cold and still nauseous.
At least the shakes had stopped. My body and hair was soaked with my own sweat. I washed my face at the sink and dunked my head under the tap to try and manage my unruly mop.
It was only after starting to look for a towel that I realized there was none, so I had to settle for what was available.
Racewater came in while I was drying myself with my jacket.
“What happened?” he demanded.
“I was hot” I replied harshly.
I wished for Tucker’s instinctive understanding. Boy, did I miss him. It made my heart ache all over again.
Racewater placed his hand on my forehead.
“You are cool now” he commented.
He touched my wrists, carefully avoiding my hands.
“Han. Please? What happened?” he asked more gently.
“I had a vision, that is all. I will be okay now.”
I could not yet share my visions with him in the same way I could with Tucker. Turning to the mirror, combed my wet hair with my fingers and put on my damp jacket.
Racewater led the way back to the booth. Ray stood up to make space for me, looking over at Racewater who shrugged his shoulders and sat down. I started picking at my food.
“What happened?” Ray asked, again excluding me from the conversation by using the Clan language.
Rage suddenly enveloped me.
“Please tell me which language you prefer so I can try and keep my head straight!” I blurted out in Clan.
Suddenly, I could see a light going up for Racewater.
“You understand us. You understood what Peetra said about you.” He wiped his hand over his face.
“I am so sorry.” Racewater really sounded sincere. “I did not know you could speak our Clan. When did you know?”
“About your language? In the aircraft. Not at first. It took a while, but I opened up and I was not aware that it included being able to talk it too.”
Racewater stared incredulously at me. Somehow we were not on the same wavelength.
“Han, do you understand the last comment Peetra made?” he asked.
“Oh! Of that I do not know. You all seem to know more than I do, please explain?” Most embarrassing and confusing for me.
“It is only legends and teachings passed on through the ages. Ma-Mara will tell you herself” Ray commented.
“I am sure you will receive a full explanation from her” Racewater concluded.
I sat thinking about it for a few seconds, allowing the information to be absorbed by my mind. They were not going to tell me anything more, no matter what I did, or so it seemed from the finality of their words.
Staring at the food on my plate, I realized I was still not hungry, nor would I be able to stomach the food if I was. I did manage to finish the coffee.
We all left in an uncomfortable silence that continued during and after take-off.
It seemed that there were things the two older men wanted to discuss without me overhearing them.
“Racewater, would it be alright if I sleep a while?” I finally broke the prolonging silence.
Dan looked at Ray who nodded his approval.
“If you want to try lying down that would be okay too” Ray replied.
I took the communication set off my ears. The droning of the engines was overwhelmingly loud. Lying down, I curled up like a dog and made as if I had fallen asleep by deepening my breathing.
A few minutes elapsed before I heard Racewater turning in his seat.
“He looks asleep” he told Ray before turning forward, settling himself into a more comfortable position.
“I really, really do not know how to deal with this situation” Racewater confessed to Ray. “I did not even have siblings. I have no experience with someone needing special care and attention. I do not even like Storm. Now I am asked to handle him around the clock. To be frank, he scares me.”
Wow! What a revelation. Small wonder Racewater treated me so coldly.
For his information, the feeling was mutual.
“It does not matter whether you like him or not” Ray replied. “Not all people are compatible, yet they make things work out.
Do you believe him to be the one spoken about in the Legend? The one that will change everything we know? That is what you need to ask yourself.”
“And what difference would that make in my feelings towards him?” Racewater demanded stubbornly.
“If he is the one we are hoping for, then you should have respect for him. You shall be partners. Sometimes even partners cannot stand each other, but they still compliment each other in their respective fields.”
Each person retired to their own thoughts.
I did not know what to think about this Destiny thing. Tucker said I should follow it. Sensaii and the Universe were herding me in the direction and position they wanted me. Somewhere, an old/young woman was waiting for me in a cave.
The engines’ humming and the vibration of the aircraft were so soothing that I actually did drop off into sleep.
Copyright © H Gibson Chronicles of Han Storm. All rights reserved. 2009-2014
A full excerpt of Chronicles of Han Storm, Part 2 is available on Wattpad