- Richard Redmond – Revelation Part One
- Richard Redmond – Revelation Part Two
- Richard Redmond – Revelation Part Three
- Richard Redmond – Revelation Part Four
- Richard Redmond – Revelation Part Five
- Richard Redmond – Revelation Part Six
- Richard Redmond – Revelation Part Eight
- Richard Redmond – Revelation Part Seven
- Richard Redmond – Revelation Part Nine
When Richard regained consciousness, he was a bit surprised to find himself still alive. Then he tried to sit up and discovered two things; that he was pinned under the overturned wreck of the jeep; and that his left arm was broken. At least, the direction it was pointing seemed to indicate that it was broken. So did the end of bone sticking out halfway between his shoulder and elbow. But there was no pain. Not from the arm, not from the weight of the jeep pinning him down. Shock?
“As if,” came the woman’s voice. What had the man’s voice called her? Alea Chantal.
“Give the man a gold star. Now that we’ve been introduced, I suppose you’ll be asking for my phone number.”
The man’s voice broke in. “We do not have time for your sarcasm, Alea Chantal. The danger is far from over. Carlos and the f’pa’tahm will not be delayed long by our misdirection.”
“There’s always time for sarcasm, Sarsoneth.” Then she sighed. “Oh, all right. Richard, the reason you aren’t feeling any pain is because we’re blocking it. The reason you aren’t dead is because we were able, just barely, to cushion the impact of the crash. The reason that Carlos and the boys aren’t here already is because we were able to plant an idea in their heads that you’re actually still careening down the trail ahead of them. Surprised that last worked actually. Carlos isn’t nearly as powerful as he thinks he is. But they’ll be back.”
“Richard,” said the voice Alea Chantal had identified as Sarsoneth, “it would be of assistance if you would concentrate on your arm for a moment. We have never before attempted to manipulate your physical form this directly or on such a macroscopic level.”
Richard, who felt like he’d been on a runaway train since he’d spoken to Jaimie in the temple, didn’t even try to argue. He looked at the unnatural angle his arm made with his shoulder and had to make a real effort to keep from being sick to his stomach. That feeling increased as he watched the ragged end of protruding bone slowly recede back into his flesh. The arm inched around until it was back in what looked like a normal position. The wound made by the broken bone closed over and disappeared except for the dried blood that covered the adjoining skin.
Sarsoneth spoke again. “Now the jeep Richard.”
“You can fix the jeep too?”
“Oh God,” from Alea Chantal. Her tone made it clear that, if Richard could have seen her, she would have been rolling her eyes. “No Richard, we can’t fix the jeep. But we can get you out from under it. Would that be good enough?”
When Richard grunted assent, she added “Okay, so focus on where it’s laying on you. Same deal as the arm, it helps us manipulate the g’ru’tnok.”
Richard didn’t ask what g’ru’tnok was. At this point he’d have been willing to call it magic and be done with it. Except that he kept getting that odd sense of familiarity. As if the answers were all in a book he’d read years ago, if he could just remember what it was. Instead of trying, he looked at the jeep where it rested on his legs. He was slightly surprised that his legs weren’t crushed. He wasn’t at all surprised when the jeep began to lift into the air. After all, he’d just seen a floating truck.
“Alright, Richard, slide out from underneath. We don’t want to attract any more attention to your abilities than we already have by hurling a two ton jeep into the jungle.”
My abilities? Richard wondered vaguely what abilities she was talking about, but he pulled himself out from under jeep as directed just the same. It immediately crashed back to the ground.
Richard got unsteadily to his feet. He examined himself all over, especially the no-longer-broken arm. There was no trace of the wound, no pain; the arm worked fine, as did his legs. It made no sense. And yet…
“Bear with us for yet a little longer, Richard. I realize how difficult this is to comprehend. However, the danger remains grave. We must ensure your safety before we indulge in idle conversation.” Idle conversation? Sarsoneth, whoever and wherever he was, appeared to have a penchant for understatement.
That, as inconsequential as it was, seemed to be the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. Richard shook his head. He’d had enough. “This is ridiculous. No, scratch that. It’s insane.” He looked up the steep embankment where the jeep had torn a ragged path down from the trail. Obviously, he told himself, it was the jungle that had broken his fall. The drop here wasn’t nearly as precipitous as it was where he’d hoped to send the truck over. And his arm, and being trapped under the jeep, he rationalized, were hallucinations. He’d been delirious when he came to and only imagined them. As to the voices …
“Yeah, what about those voices, Richard?” Alea Chantal’s voice sounded amused. In a sarcastic way.
“Shut up!” Richard hissed. “You’re a hallucination too, damn it.” He started to climb back up to the trail.
“Richard, you must avoid the road. As we told you, Carlos and the f’pa’tahm will not be long deceived. They will return to find you.”
Richard clamped his jaws shut and continued to grimly work his way up the embankment without answering. Alea Chantal added, “Listen to Sarsoneth, you lunkhead. We worked like hell to keep you out of their hands, broke a dozen taboos the Twelve put on us. You’re going to ruin everything.”
“I said shut up,” Richard grated out between clenched teeth. He completed the climb without further interruption. He looked around cautiously from the edge of the jungle and, seeing nothing, emerged onto the trail.
Peering down the rutted track in the direction of the landing, Richard didn’t see any activity at all. Maybe whoever had been after him had decided to keep going. After all, they had the artefact. Damn treasure hunters. Richard had just about convinced himself that there was nothing more to it than that – treasure hunters after the loot from a new archaeological dig. They were always dangerous. Add delirium from his luckily non-fatal crash and you had a perfectly logical explanation for everything from floating trucks to disembodied voices. He turned back up the trail to return to the camp to try to help the dig team.
And ran smack dab back into insanity.
Standing about a hundred yards up the trail was a woman, studying him. Richard stared. He could see no vehicle. She was alone , and she wasn’t dressed for the jungle. In fact, Richard wasn’t sure what she was dressed for. Some sort of close fitting evening gown by the look of it. Another damn hallucination. Then she smiled.
Richard heard Alea Chantal mutter “Aww, crap.”
And then he passed out.
OBSERVATION PAUSED BY REQUEST
Enquiry Response: Denial is a common coping mechanism among developing sentient species and is in no way peculiar to humanity nor is it indicative of substandard development. For Members desiring further corroboration, a search of the Universal Repository will yield ample similar references.