Note: 'Rex Partum' is the continuation of 'Misstep'
The entity that was now known as the stone, paused for a few nanoseconds and pondered. The latest phase of the experiment was behaving quite unexpectedly. It wasn’t that it was bad; it was just so different from what was projected. It started leaving the projected norms went the organic called “Tracker” arrived. It had studied the world that Tracker had come from using wormholes, what Tracker called veils. Using the data collected, it made its projections and prepared the environment in which he was to arrive.
The stone reflected for a nanosecond or two, what would have happened if they had snared someone who fit the projections. Upon arrival, the stone was shocked to find that Tracker was not only familiar with theory, but was well versed in practice. Needless to say, Tracker’s actions threw everything off. By the end of the first day, he had already taken control of a third of the town. Not by force, but by compassion and mercy. The only possible conclusion that it could draw was that Tracker didn’t fit in the society that he was drawn from. The question which presented itself was how does someone develop in a society without adopting their mores? The stone had no answer.
Tracker had adopted the new society quite readily, however. It had been prepared to alter the construct known as Elerith the morning after they had mated. To its surprise, there was no need. Elerith’s loyalty index was in perfect alignment. No further adjustments were necessary with any of the other constructs either. Most unusual. Tracker had seduced the seducers. They were roughly programmed to adapt to the master of each castle, yet Tracker met them halfway, sometimes adapting to their practices rather than introducing his own.
Then the first anomaly presented itself. Tracker had no desire to rule. Between the mythical constructs and the elven constructs, they had almost forced him onto the throne. But he had deftly sidestepped. He was going to place his son there instead. And that left him uncontrolled.
Then came the next anomaly. He started to teach the elven constructs, not only tradecraft, but also learning skills such as math and reading. He had also shown the sister constructs the use of the power. None of the previous masters, not even the creators, had been so secure in their positions as to do that.
It had followed the activities of Tracker quite closely, but had yet to intervene on his behalf. The only real mistake that the stone had detected, was when Tracker underestimated the enemy constructs. The battle itself was most unexpected. Tracker bypassed the safety limitations on the power by combining the sisters’ with his own. The battle was one sided, as were the other two that he intervened in, but the Tracker entity was damaged. However, he had managed to protect the subjects from three different locations.
The net effect was that the elven constructs almost worshiped him now.
The stone had linked with Tracker while he recovered and was confronted on the details of the experiment. He had deduced that he was there as a breeder and that the enemy constructs were made rather than coming from the outside. He also grasped that they were there to solidify his position in the society and that though they were created, they were not controlled.
The stone now faced a major problem. It was probably only a matter of time before Tracker solved the rest of the parameters of the experiment. There was no data available to profile his reaction. To act against him would throw the constructs into rebellion; to allow him to continue might result in the stone’s destruction. It would seem that the creators had not taken everything into consideration as they had thought.
The stone analyzed several scenarios, a few thousand, before giving the equivalent of a mental sigh. It probably didn’t matter what it introduced into each simulation, Tracker would probably still react unexpectedly.
The stone wondered fleetingly what his son was like...
In The Beginning
Elerith was whimpering continually now. She gasped as I ran my tongue under the delicate globe of her left tit. The gasp was repeated as I gave the right one equal time. She was dangling by her wrists from a rope, suspended from the ceiling of our room. Her legs parted with a spreader bar. I had been giving her a tongue bath for at least an hour, licking her entire body... without touching her triggers. She had gone past where she was trying to thrust herself at me and was just hanging there quivering. She had on a blindfold, so there was no idea where I was going to lick next. Which happened to be on her neck just under her ear. A cross between a whimper, a cry and a groan.
“Well, are you going to tell me?”
“Milord... please…” she panted.
I feathered my tongue over one of her nipples. She shrieked.
“Sire, please, it is to be a surprise.”
I stared at her. Ah, well, she had earned it.
I sighed. “Very well then.”
She had no warning as I shoved up inside of her, lifting her from the floor slightly. I ran my hands over her taunt body and slowly slid out. She whimpered.
“Since you are remaining true to your fellow conspirators...”
I pumped back into her.
“Mi... milord... it is... a surprise... your day... your birthday... please... don’t... stop.”
I had to chuckle. They had picked up from my mind about traditional parties and my birthday. All of a sudden there were whispers and sisters sneaking about. I don’t think I was supposed to notice. But hey, fun is where you make it, so I figured that I would try to “torture” the details out of Elerith. I would have stopped her from telling me... I was just looking for an excuse to have a little fun. But she had held up to the time I had set as a limit and I was not going to push her past it. She was, after all, doing this for me. “Elerith?” I slowly slid out.
“Y..” A gasp. “Yes... mil... milord.”
“I love you.”
With that I started to fuck her with a will. Her reply, if she had one, was drowned out by her own screams. I held back and let her orgasms sweep her away. Enjoying the looks of passion as they chased one another across her face. God, she was beautiful. I kept her in ecstasy till she was on the edge of fainting then shot deep inside of her, driving her over the edge.
I released her and carried her to the bed. I looked down at her, so peaceful and fragile looking. I reflected that these were the same thoughts as a month ago, when all hell had broken loose. I half expected a repeat. But nothing happened. So I sat next to her and covered her, tucking in the covers and straightening her head on the pillow. I heard a knock on the door and cursed quietly under my breath, but Elerith didn’t stir. I got up and answered it before they knocked again. Eschele was there on her knees. As she started to speak I held a finger to my lips and stepped out to close the door.
“Milord, Kisselia is here to speak with Elerith.”
I chuckled. “Well, She will have to wait till El recovers.”
Eschele stifled a grin. “Yes, milord.”
I caught her staring at me out of the corner of my eye. "Is there something wrong?"
She jumped. "No milord!"
She looked as if she wanted to run, but I hadn't dismissed her yet.
"Eschele?" I stared her down.
"It is your... your..."
"Hair sir." She looked at me half fearfully.
I chuckled. It had been burnt away in the flash when the fighters died. It was coming back slowly, but I know that I had to look strange. They were used to seeing my hair past my shoulders. I had lost most of it in the flash, and then shaved the rest later so it would grow out evenly.
"You will get used to it and it will grow back."
The flash had burnt away not only my clothes but all of my skin that was not protected by the wall. I was rather glad that this world had no cameras as I really did not want to know. What had grown back was not scar tissue, but healthy skin. Hair follicles and all. It would seem that I was better integrated here than I was back on earth. I really wondered about my eyes... I shook myself.
"Well, go ask Lady Kisselia if there is anything that I can do for her... within reason."
Eschele smirked then caught herself. "Yes Milord."
I returned to the room and sat down so I could watch Elerith. She looked so peaceful. I sighed, replaying all that had happened since I had arrived against what the stone had revealed to me. Everything fit... but... somehow it just didn’t feel right. I tried looking at it from every angle I could think of. Then went in for some more bizarre scenarios. What the stone had revealed fit the facts but it was like there was something more that it hadn’t revealed. I wondered down that track for a few more laps, but got nowhere. What was I missing? Was I just being paranoid? I did find something interesting – the stone couldn’t actually read my mind. It did not know that I had pieced the parts of the puzzle together until I questioned it on them. So, the major question was, if it did have another agenda, and couldn’t know if I knew about it or not, what would it do to protect its goals?
I heard a light tapping at the door this time. I smiled. Upon opening it, I found Eschele and Kisselia on their knees. I sighed and shook my head.
I think she was trying for a meek seductive look, but the fire in her eyes betrayed that. She licked her lips and I had a flashback to feeling like prey. I did have to hand it to her, she was persistent. I had Elerith send her home while I was recovering because she wanted to check the health of one particular part of me. Almost from the time my eyes opened. The words horny bitch came to mind.
"Milord, master, might I invite you to Camelot three days hence?"
Well at least I knew where the party was to be held now.
"I would be honored. Should I know why?"
She gave me a lazy smile and her eyes wandered my body – part of which started to respond. I put a damper on that reaction as soon as it became apparent. I kept reminding myself that she was for Sean. I almost pitied him; he was going to have his hands full with this one.
"We are to have a celebration. There are to be festivities all over the isles, a special day."
I chuckled to myself; she would have held her own with any politician back on earth. Rather than dance around the issue, I just let it go.
"When should I arrive?"
"After morn... breakfast would be ideal."
I thought about it for a second. Then an idea struck me.
"Might I bring a guest?"
I saw the confusion on her face. I was the lord of the castle, a step away from lord of the isle and I wanted to bring a guest? The diplomat in her won out over her curiosity... barely.
"But of course, my lord master."
"Thank you milady, is there anything else I can do for you?" Other than nail you right here on the floor?
"If you would be so kind as to send Elerith to me when she... awakens." The smirk said that she was well aware of why Elerith was resting.
"I would be happy to, milady." I chuckled. "Anything else?"
"I am rather tense from the trip..." She batted her eyes.
I laughed. "Say no more, a nice relaxing massage would help, don't you think?"
Her eyes lit up and she purred. "Yes, milord. That sounds heavenly."
"Good then, we can't have you tense." I could almost feel the heat radiating from her. "Eschele, show lady Kisselia to her room and give her a massage please."
I turned to go back in the room, catching her stunned look out of the corner of my eye. After the door closed, I breathed a sigh of relief then started to chuckle. Which quickly degenerated to a full-scale laugh. Well, I might as well kill two birds with one stone. I would bring my son over for my birthday party and give Kisselia her king.
The Man Who Would(n't) Be King
I was getting royally punked on, playing Gears of War with some buds online, when I heard dad’s old scoot putt down the driveway. Strange, it was the middle of the week. Dad didn't usually come out of his cave till the weekend. The old chop was sounding good though. It wasn't my style, but it was still a sweet bike. A bitch to control though, I got to take it out after he got it running, never again. That thing was too damn long. He found it on some website and dropped two grand for it. A sixty-nine frame with a seventy-eight Harley Sportster motor. Once he finally fought his way through the red tape and got a title for it, we spent about two months tearing it down and redoing it. Hell, we made more parts than we bought. But it turned into a rolling flashback to the seventies. All black and chrome, eight and a half feet long. It fit him: an old hippy on an old hippy bike.
I signed off the game. If dad was here during the week, there was weirdness happening. He draws weirdness. He and Bruce. When those two get together strangeness follows. I had a chill play down my spine for a second. I should have known then... There was a rap on the basement window. I guess dad isn't the only one who likes dark places. I got a lot from my old man, problem was I couldn't control half of it. The light sensitive eyes, the hearing... the feelings and dreams.
He spent a lot of my growing up years trying to make me keep my eyes open. That doesn't make you fit in real well with the in crowd. I met his science teacher back in ninth grade. I was forced out of the class when he found out whose son I was. After he found out, there were a lot of strange looks from the older teachers there. Dad always had a way of making impressions. After that, his legacy followed me through out the rest of my years in school and it rubbed off on some of the other kids too.
I pulled on some pants and went upstairs to open the back door. That was when I got my first major shock... no hair. I must have stood there for a while staring down at his head. Guess I should explain. I am about five or six inches taller than him. Something, at least, that I got from my mother's side. He is only five nine. We are both scrawny. Something from him. He weighs in about one twenty five or so and I only have about fifteen pounds on him. I have seen a few people make the mistake of taking him for a weakling, though. That was ugly.
"Gonna invite me in?"
His voice even sounded strange. I looked down and he was dressed the way he usually does... but he looked different. Healthier maybe. More solid? Weird.
"Sure old man. Come on down, I was just playing G.O.W."
"You’re going to turn into one of those games."
"Not like I have anything else to do."
"You need to get laid."
We wandered down the stairs to my bedroom/den/living room. He cleared off a seat and kicked back. What the hell was so damn different about him? I caught myself staring at him. He just looked back.
"What's up old man?"
"I got your old..."
Mostly bluff, I knew better. He could tie me in a knot blindfolded. I made the mistake once of jumping out at him when I was younger. My ears didn't stop ringing for a week. He caught a lot of hell for that from mom. They hadn't divorced yet. It took a while for me to get her to calm down and explain that I had done it.
"Wanna go to a birthday party?"
"Do what?" Dad doesn't do social at all. Period.
"I have some people throwing me a party, I thought you might want to come."
I stared at him some more. Something was up. That cold chill came up again.
"Dad, what is going on?" My voice wavered I noticed.
"Son, I have met some people and they want to throw a party in my honor. Oh, and they want to meet you too."
Dad? Meet people? Honor? Something was up and in a big way. I wondered if Lily and Angel had come back. That would explain a lot. But he would have said... If he was dealing with whoever these people were, they weren't mundane. I will be the first to admit that my old man scares me. Not that he would hurt me; he just knows things... and does things.
"Dad, what's up?" Hell, I even sounded scared to me.
"Sean, I have been away visiting for a while. I have made a few friends and want you to meet them."
Now I was really getting spooked. Dad never talks around anything.
"Who are these people?"
He sighed. What the hell? "Elves"
I sat down. From anyone else... elves?
"Do what?" My voice was sounding a little strained. A little?
"Elves." He sighed again. "Sean, I haven't been here for a while. I have been elsewhere."
Oh god. Don't tell me he's got it back...
"Dad, what's going on?"
I didn't doubt him for a minute. Remember? I grew up with him. He has a sense of humor, but not like this. I could tell from his voice he wasn't joking. There were things that I really, really didn't want to know about him. I already knew enough to keep me awake some nights.
"Son, I really don't know how to explain it. I will have to take you there and show you."
Take me there???
"Um, dad? Where is there?"
He sighed again. This was really getting scary. "It isn't on this world."
I was glad that I had sat down. It is one thing to know the stories and to talk about some of the things he did, but to see them? I felt a cold dread. Some of the things that he had done since... hell, since I was born... I really didn't know about the old times. To hear about it is one thing...
"You aren't kidding, are you?"
"God, you're not kidding. Oh, shit."
"Calm down. I was just wanting you to go to a party. Oh, and consider a job offer when you get there."
"A job offer?"
"Yeah, a management position."
"You know I hate bosses."
"So, this is your chance to be one and not make the same mistakes."
"I get the feeling I am being sidetracked here."
"Not really. I am just trying to get you to come to my party, get laid and maybe take over a few things for me."
Get laid? What the hell?
"Yep, there is this cute little elf named Kisselia that can't wait to meet you."
I watched as everything that I had told my son sank in. I knew that his curiosity would get to him, but would it overcome his dread of what he called magic? I had watched over the years as he struggled to accept it. There were times it made him very bitter. I know that it didn't make him any friends.
"Sean, I will be honest with you. I need help."
"Ok?" His distrust shown in his eyes.
"I have a few projects going over there and I need you to watch things for me. I have my hands full."
"So this isn't just a little party then." His eyes narrowed.
"Well the party is going to be what you are going for, whether you stay or not will be up to you."
He stared at me. I could tell by his body language that he was tense and fearful.
"Sean, I will be with you. It isn't like I am taking you into a war zone." I hope.
He got up and paced. "Dad, how much have you got back?" He stopped and confronted me.
I looked him in the eye. "All of it."
It was like someone had cut the strings on a marionette. He collapsed backwards into his chair.
"Because I can't deny it now. I can't hide from it."
"It scares you that much?"
"More than you know, dad."
"Son, look at me, have I really changed any?"
"Yes, you have. Now I know what I was seeing when you walked in."
"Yes, but has it really changed me?"
"No... you always have been strange," He smiled.
That was a good sign at least.
"Sean, I really need to know if you are going to go back with me. I don't have that much time."
"I would hate to be late for our party."
He stared at me for a second, and then shook his head. "I must be crazy... how do we get there?"
A party, huh. "What type of party is it anyway?"
Dad's eyebrows raised. "You know, I have no idea. It's supposed to be a surprise."
Yeah, like much surprises dad.
"Well, what am I supposed to wear then?"
"Hell, just throw on some slacks and a shirt."
I rummaged around and dug out a clean pair of pants and a long sleeved shirt. I glanced at dad and he smiled his approval. I just grabbed my cues from how he was dressed. I let my mind wander for a minute as I dressed. Elves. Magic again. Shit. Part of me wanted to be "normal" and the rest of me hated what dad called mundanes. After dealing with them, I understood his attitude. What if this place was different? That would be a good thing. Maybe I could just look around, see how things were run and then decide. Get laid. I wonder if he is joking about that. It would be nice to find someone who wasn't a damned... mundane.
"Should I take anything?"
He hesitated for a minute. Strange. Then he shook his head. "No, we can pick it up if we need it."
Pick it up? What did he mean by that? I shook my head to stop that train.
"Are we taking your bike?"
"No, I thought that I would leave it in the garage for now, if you don't mind."
"Sure, we can dig out a hole for it."
Deal with the normal things... don't think about where this is leading. We walked out to the garage and opened it. The old Cavalier was still in its resting place. I never got around to doing what I wanted with it. All we needed to do was pick up a few tools and such. I never claimed to be neat. Something else I got from my old man.
"Think we can get it in right here?"
"Sean, it ain't that long, it just looks like it."
"Yeah, right, you forget, I rode that beast once."
"Well, want to take it out again before we go?"
He chuckled. I rode it, but it was the scariest ride that I had ever been on. That thing took up real estate when it turned. And it wanted to lay over. Way over. Thinking back to his Triumph, he would be used to that type of handling, but for the rest of us humans... Brrr. Dad had a fixation with power, well, so do I, but he was... creative about it. He built a Chevelle motor one time. It literally ripped the frame apart. We wound up pulling it and sticking it in a Chevy truck. The truck lasted a little bit longer, but you could see that the motor was twisting the frame on it too. Lord, and that Triumph motor. Dad was paying more for nitro to get it to idle than he was for gas. It made the prettiest blue flames when it ran though. We were going down sixty-five; mom was driving the truck and dad was on his bike he was riding next to us. Then he looked over and grinned. I watched as he twisted the throttle. The front end came up about a foot! We were doing seventy at the time and he just shot ahead like we were parked.
I glanced over at him. He had a deep knowledge of how things worked. I have learned a lot from him over the years. So why am I having my doubts about him now? He can be very... manipulative. Devious. I heard the bike rumble to life then he rolled it in and guided it to its spot. Black and chrome. The runes on it seemed to glow. I stared at them for a while.
I jumped. "I was just thinking on those designs."
did a hell on an airbrush job on them."
"Dad, why didn't you do them?"
"Because he wanted to. I am for giving him his chance."
"Like you used to do with me?"
"Yeah, you never learned until you really did something for yourself. I was all for it... most of the time."
"Like when I pulled that carburetor apart."
He chuckled. "Yeah, just like that. I could have shot you."
I laughed. "Well, I had to learn..."
He got a far away look in his eye. "I was proud of you, I still am. You have fucked up a few times, but you learned from it."
"Well, like you say, when you stop learning, you die."
He stared at me strangely for a minute. "Are you still willing to learn?"
"Of course." What was he getting at?
He looked at a point in front of him and there was a shimmer in the air. Every hair on my body stood straight up. I felt something against my back. I had backed into the door. He turned and stared at me. He looked a little sad.
"Are you ready?"
I breathed in. I hadn't realized that I had stopped. This was real... shit, now what do I do? I could feel my hands shaking. I closed my eyes and focused myself, could I do this? I finally let out the breath. Yes. I stepped forward and we walked through the hole in the air together.
Rex rgis Adventum
I put out a hand to steady my son as we arrived in the stone room. He swayed slightly and looked a little sick. I stood there with him till his color came back and he tugged away. I watched as he walked through one of the arches and looked over the parapet. He stood there for quite a while, just staring. I let him be. I figured that the last thing he needed was to be pressured at the moment. Finally he turned back.
"It's real." His voice was flat.
"My god." He shuddered.
"Well, what would you like to do?"
"What do you mean?"
"Go back or..."
He took a deep breath. "So going back is an option."
"Of course. I will take you back right now, if you wish."
He thought for a few moments then looked around the room. "I am really here." He was starting to sound a little more animated.
I smiled at him. "Yes."
"Well, if we are going to your party, what do we do next?" He grinned.
Inwardly, I breathed a sigh of relief. "Well, first you need to learn the language."
"Uh, do we have time, I mean, how are..." He sputtered to a stop.
"Go put your hands on the stone."
"Um, what is it going to do?" He looked at it like it was a snake he found under his pillow.
"It will teach you."
"Is it... is it safe?"
I grinned. "Well, it didn't kill me."
"Dad, nothing can kill you."
"You would be surprised." I sighed. "It is nothing more than an interface. Think of it as a modem that connects to the power of this world."
He walked to the stone and stared at it then looked up at me. "You're sure?"
"Son, I am linked to it. I no longer have to physically touch it to use it. So far it has done nothing except teach." And create an invasion force and possibly manipulate a whole race. Nothing major.
He looked me dead in the eye, then raised his hands and placed them on the stone.
So this is Sean. He does not have the defenses in place that his parent/father has. He is scattered in his thoughts. I must give him focus. He is in excellent health. Enhancing tactile senses. Enhancing stamina. Enhancing language skills. Enhancing motor coordination. Creating power interface. Creating link interface.
~Do you understand?~
~This form of communication.~
~Yes. How do I learn?~
~You have learned much already. What else do you wish to know?~
~Why am I here?~
~To rule this world.~
~To rule this world, to be the leader of the people.~
It would seem that Sean was no more interested in leading than his "old man". Interesting concept. In his stunned condition I scanned his memories. No wonder his "old man" is so well defended. I looked deeper into relevant memories...
Iratus Rex rgis
"Ok, dad, what is this king shit?"
"Well, I told you it was a management position."
"You lied... strike that, no you didn't. You devious son of a bitch!"
"You can still go home if you wish."
That stopped me cold. He was giving me the choice. Just like him.
"How long is that offer good for?"
"As long as you wish."
He was leaving the door open, anyway. Question is, what else was going on here?
"What else should I know?"
~That we can link now with our minds.~
~I thought that just worked with the stone.~
~No, you can do more if you are willing to learn.~
He sighed. ~Son, it isn't magic. It is direct mental manipulation of your surroundings.~
My turn to sigh. "Ok, how do I learn?"
Dad walked up to me and reached out like he was going to shake hands. Without thinking I took his hand. Then I felt him in my mind. It felt like my head was expanding. He was explaining as he went. The shields, the inner and outer ones. The channeled force that he learned from Leah. The veil. The time stop. It went on and on. And I understood. Then came the shocker, he showed me how he made Memneth. Memneth, my brother. God, no wonder he is half crazy. Check that, no wonder he doesn't care about "normal" things. He carefully placed the controls that I would need to master these new skills. Then he broke the link.
"There is no going back now, is there?" I finally understood him. God help me.
"You can go back whenever you wish now, just open a veil and leave."
I laughed, a little hysterically. "Right, you know that there is no back now. Not with what I know."
"Then I suggest that we move forward."
I understood. Always move forward. Don't stop, don't go back. Therein lies insanity. We had gained the ability to do whatever we wish, and lost the reasons for wishing. Think on it this way. You have always wanted this fancy sports car or whatever. Suddenly you find yourself with the ability to veil to any location in the world. In any world. Why get the car? Simplistic, but that is the general idea. Man is driven by want. A better job, a newer car, a bigger house. Dad understood this and found that he didn't need such things, such drives. They meant nothing to him. He played with the world because that was all he could do. He could do anything that he wanted and it meant nothing. So what was driving him here? There must be some reason that he had found such focus. Well, he had brought me out of my world and into this one. There had to be a reason why. From my new viewpoint, it must be one hell of a reason.
I took Sean to one of the sub levels of the castles and had him wait for me. Then I went back to my room. Elerith was there, along with Tinimia and Veraina.
Elerith jumped. "Where have you been, milord?"
She rushed over and hugged me.
"I had to go get something. It took a little longer than I thought it would."
They stared at me. I could see the questions, but they knew that it would be useless to ask.
"Elerith, I want you to head to Camelot tonight and help Kisselia with whatever she needs. Take all of the sisters with you."
"That way we don't all pop in at once. I will be bringing something with me and that will be shock enough."
I smiled to myself. Her curiosity was going to drive her nuts now.
"As you wish, milord."
She looked decidedly disappointed. No bouncing tonight.
"Oh, and take anyone else that has to do with this celebration."
"Oh, just a moment El."
I opened a veil to a sword maker that I knew of. He did replicas and fantasy swords with one major exception, they were excellent quality. Usable. I chose the one I wanted, an Excalibur replica. I figured that it fit. I left five of the gold coins for payment. Turning to Elerith, I handed her the sword.
"Give this to Kisselia when you see her. Tell her that she will know what to do with it when the time comes."
"Don't worry, she will figure it out."
After about an hour, I felt them leave. I scanned the castle and found that there was no more than a skeleton crew in place. Good. Celeste was still here. I wanted her at the party, damn it. Worry about that later. I called Sean up from the basement.
"Sorry that took so long, but I didn't want to spoil our end of the surprise."
"What are you planning old man?"
"Well, you know how I hate to be the center of attention."
"So you are setting up a surprise of your own. Devious old fart."
I veiled to the hall outside of the dining hall. It took him a second, but he followed.
"I'm starting to get the hang of that."
"You will get better with practice."
"Some place you have here."
"It came as part of a package deal."
"I will in time. A lot will be self explanatory."
We walked through the dining hall and into the kitchen. Celeste turned and spotted us as we entered. She dropped to her knees as the color left her face.
"Mi... milord?" She was staring at Sean.
"Can you prepare us an evening meal, Celeste?"
"I would be honored milord."
Sean stared at her as she rose and went to prepare our meal. "Elves." He said with wonder.
"Hearing is one thing..."
"Celeste is one of the villagers. She has pretty much adopted me." I chuckled. "Wait till you meet the sisters."
"They were the caretakers of this castle. I inherited them with my position here."
"And what is that?"
"Oh, the position? I am in charge of defense."
"The defense of what?"
"You will get to meet your sisters tomorrow."
"We are going to Camelot to my party. Kisselia and the rest of her group will be there waiting."
"Camelot? As in King Arthur?"
"The same." I smiled. "Care to guess who the old owner of this castle was?"
"Oh, come now."
"Lancelot? This is all too surreal for me."
"Shit, you're joking, right?"
"No. As near as I can figure, the greatest of the magicians formed this world and fled the mundanes back on earth."
"What all is here?"
"To be truthful, I have no idea. I haven't had a chance to fully explore this world yet. I have had my hands full."
Celeste came out and served us. I had her kneel next to me.
"Celeste, this is Sean, my son. Sean, this is Celeste."
Her face registered shock. "Milord, I am honored." With that she touched her head to the floor.
Sean looked at me curiously. "Ok, what's up with that?"
I smiled. "Celeste, please attend."
"Yes milord." She rose back to kneeling position, but couldn't take her eyes from my son.
"You are a bit of a celebrity now."
"I gathered as much..."
"They will ease up a little when they get used to you."
I heard the sound of breaking pottery. I turned in time to watch two elves that had came in from the kitchen drop to their faces. My son looked at them, then back at me.
"Do the all look like that?"
I laughed. "Most of them. These were selected by the villagers, however. In case of found favor with one of them."
"All you need do is touch one."
"You're shitting me. What if I knock one up?"
"She will be treated like a princess, from what I understand."
He just stared at me.
"I have already gone through this. Trust me, the last thing you will be looking for here, is a date."
"I would suggest sticking with the sisters at first. They will take quite good care of you and you can learn from them. I don't doubt that there is much that is not understood by me, but hey, how do you know what questions to ask? I stumbled onto this..." I nodded at Celeste, "Quite by accident. I was asking for wine and got the girl with it."
Celeste blushed. I patted her on the head.
"Actually, I owe her one, we were interrupted."
"So, I get a couple of sisters and any villager that I want?" My son looked bemused.
I laughed. "You get thirteen sisters, and anyone you want, any time you want... save me of course."
I was reminded of the old credit card commercial. The look on my son's face... Priceless.
Meus Novus Universitas
I must have stared at dad for a few minutes. He was joking... wasn't he? He sure didn't look like it. I looked down at the little elf by dad's side. She blushed.
"Um, dad? What if I wanted..." I nodded my head at Celeste.
"That would be up to you, but I wouldn't recommend it, yet."
"You need to get acquainted with your sisters first. Besides, she would be separated from her family if you took her."
Which means that she would be mine if I took her. Wow. Dad was, as usual, thinking a little farther down the road than I was. It also gave me something else to chew over. Dad cared about these people. They must really be something special then. While dad would help anyone who asked, he never really worried about the outcomes, figuring that they made their decisions, they could live with them.
"Dad, what is so special about these people?"
"They are innocent. They haven't been corrupted by greed or religion."
That set me back. Those were the two most deadly words in my father's vocabulary. He believed in god, but hated organized religion because of they way that they screwed with peoples free will. Greed... well that was a whole nother can of worms.
"So you have found Eden."
He laughed. "Quite perceptive, but there is a snake in the garden here also."
What? "Besides us?"
"Besides us. We can guide these people, teach them, if we are careful about it. But there is a snake. Actually a cross between a spider and a lizard, from the looks of them."
What the hell was he talking about now? I asked him as much.
"There was an invasion. That is the reason that I am here. They wanted to make me king. That is the reason that you are here."
I thought for a moment. "So I can pull them off your ass and let you get down to some serious destruction." I grinned.
"Something like that. I am also teaching them. You can govern from a throne, but it is difficult to teach and listen from one."
"So I would be handling the rules and you would be doing the guiding."
"Damn, I must have raised you right."
I looked in his face and saw something I didn't at first recognize. Pride. Wow.
"So we work together. What is the long term goal?"
"To bring them out of the dark ages, without getting caught up in the petty bullshit."
I stared at him for a while. He was serious.
"Sean, we are going to try to build a civilization that is civil. That doesn't force everyone to conform to what they think is right. That accepts that their neighbor might have different desires than they do. And... one that doesn't kill them for thinking differently than they do."
A civilization of tolerance. Got to hand it to him, he thought big.
"There is only one major law that I want you to put in place... Thou shalt not kill."
"And what should I do if someone breaks that law?" I wasn't going to start building prisons.
"Give them to me."
I felt another chill go down my spine.
End of part 1