Saturday, July 1, 2017

When Worlds Collide - Chapter Six

Ky stumbled several feet into the room. When he turned around the only thing he saw was the professor and a blank wall. He pushed Nat to one side and started examining the wall. He knocked on it and then pounded. “Where is it? How do you access the gate from this side?” He turned with a frantic look to Nat. “It can’t be a one way gate, you came through it.”

“Please,” the professor reached out a hand to calm the young man, but he jerked away. “I just need some answers and then I will show you the way back.”

Ky almost growled, “Show me the gate?”

Nat took a deep breath. He removed the goggles and laid them on the workbench then settled onto a stool. “No. I need to know what I have stumbled into and you are going to tell me.” This was his chance to save his program, but even more importantly, it was a chance to be on the cutting edge of discovery, if he only knew what he had discovered.

Ky stood with his back against the wall. Telling someone about The Realms was not forbidden, but it was reckless to tell someone you didn’t know. What choice did he have? He could overpower the man who thought he had him trapped, escape, but he was not familiar with the gates to and from the mundane world. He had never had a reason to travel through them. He was content in the worlds of The Realms. Unless he could sniff out another magical creature roaming the mundane world, and follow them to a gate, he would be doomed to live out his life here.

He had no choice. He had to tell the man so he could go home. He would tell him as little as possible.

“I answer your questions and you let me go?” Ky asked, his arms folded over his chest in defiance.

“Yes,” the professor answered with a smile and a sense of hope.

“How many questions?” Ky folded his arms across his chest.

“I’m not sure.”

“Limit of 5.” He held up his hand with his fingers spread.

“That won’t be enough.”

“5,” Ky stood his ground.


Ky frowned. “I need to leave. I am going to be late for work.”

“You have a job?”

“Number one,” Ky held up a finger. “Yes, I have a job.”

“No fair,” Nat objected.

“No one said I had to play fair.”

Ky folded up and sat down cross-legged on the floor with his back against the wall. There was nothing between him and the professor on his stool.

Nat thought for a moment. “Where were we?”

“Number 2,” Ky raised another finger. “The land of Nayenezghani’s people.” He was going to limit the information he gave the professor to just what the man saw. No need to reveal all that existed in The Realms.

Nat got up and went to the other side of the workbench. He typed in a search on the computer. When responses to Nayenezghani started to appear on the screen, he saw it was the Native American God of the Hunt. The deity appeared as a man with a wolf’s head and clawed hands.

“The God of the Hunt.”

“Number three… yes.”

“That wasn’t a question. That was a statement,” Nat objected.

Ky just sat there holding up three fingers.

Nat frowned at him. He punched in some more information he already knew to find further detail. A Laurel, the little person Ky said rolled up his twine, was a Native American form of a pixie. A mischievous little fantasy creature who loved pulling practical jokes and making a person laugh. What had he stumbled into?

“Okay, now I am just talking out loud. These are not questions. The land is Native American soil and the people there believe in the God of the Hunt, Nayenezghani. There are Laurels, and if that is the case then there must be Rock people and Dogwood people too,” Nat said reading off the screen of his computer. All three were a form of little people the Cherokee tribe of Native Americans believed in.

“Yes,” Ky started to raise another finger.

“Oh no, you don’t! I told you that was not a question.

Ky gave Nat a look of distain, but lowered the finger back into his fist. The professor’s mind was churning. There was no way he was going to get the information he needed in just two more questions.

“Are there other people like you in the area?”

Ky thought about that one for a moment. Technically the answer was yes, because there were shaman shape-shifters in Nayenezghani’s land, but if he said yes, then the professor might go after them. He decided the best answer was no.

“No.” He raised another finger. One question left and he would be out of here.

“Then I am afraid I will have to detain you,” the professor announced quite calmly. “I need more information then what I can get with only one more question.” He shrugged and put his hand over the googles on the workbench. “And after all, I did not really agree to only five questions.”

Ky had the senses of a wolf and the observation skills of an eagle. It was the goggles that allowed the mundane human to see the gate. He had them around his neck and he was wearing them when he saw the gate and Ky couldn’t. He was protective of them as if they were precious.

Ky rose slowly from the floor. “I have to go home,” he stated calmly. “Give me the goggles.”

When the professor snatched them up and held them tightly to his chest, Ky knew he was right. He shifted into a wolf and leaped up on the workbench with a snarl. A mouthful of teeth snapped at the man’s face and he did exactly what Ky hoped he would do – he dropped the goggles as he fell back from the huge grey wolf on his desk.

Ky scooped them up in his mouth and hopped down. He shifted back into his human form as the man raced to the wall and pushed a button which set off an alarm with an almost ear piercing sound.

Ky placed the google over his eyes and looked toward the wall.

Nothing… Nothing but a big white wall. Where was it? Where was the gate?

The door flew open and two men rushed in. They were in uniform and had guns pointed at him.

“No! No!” the professor hollered. “Don’t shoot him. Subdue him. Be careful, he can change…”

At that moment, Ky fell forward and into this wolf form. He growled and snapped at the men. He caught one of them by the leg. He pulled him to the floor, before the other hit him with the butt of his rifle. He yelped and spun around to attack the man between him and the wall. That was when he saw it. The gate! It was there. He used the partially bent over man as a springboard to vault over his head and through the gate.

Once on the other side. He ran as fast as he could until he hit the forest. Finally, within the shelter of the dense woods he stopped and shifted back into his human form. He pulled the goggles from his head. Holding them from the headband he repeatedly smashed them into a nearby boulder until there was nothing left but the band with broken fragments of metal and glass hanging from it.

Art by Kasia of DA

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