It’s a facebook link. I am looking for the webpage.
The magic this woman does with leather, makes me boggle. Contact her! Get your gear and join the ranks of the super-archers. Be the envy of the teams on the range while you shoot the x ring.
It’s a facebook link. I am looking for the webpage.
The magic this woman does with leather, makes me boggle. Contact her! Get your gear and join the ranks of the super-archers. Be the envy of the teams on the range while you shoot the x ring.
Chapter 2. The Assault Begins
He watched the sign in front of the police department headquarters count down to midnight. He watched a slight change how the clock looked when radio control added seconds and synchronized the clock to internet time. Then it clicked over to the next hour.
A small tone sounded in the earphone, it was an electronically generated tone of 2600 hz sound and now everyone knew that they were now on the clock. It was the “eighteen-hundred” tone.
It was time to begin.
The Grizzly Adams lookalike walked through the doors of the foyer that remained unlocked twenty-four hours a day to deal with business that always seemed to find its way to the clerk’s window. Fix-it tickets signed off, complaints filed, young reporters sometimes read the register right up to midnight, attempting to get a scoop and be the first to pick up on something interesting.
The clerk looked up and was briefly startled by the view of the mountain man walking through the doors, she started to smile. It was not uncommon to see dressed up people this time of year, even if he early in the Halloween season.
Mountain Man walked up towards the window, as thick as an index finger is long, of bullet resistant polycarbonate wall bolted a massive polycarbonate base and required the use of speakers and microphones to communicate.
She had just drawn a breath to ask if she could help him when he stopped and smiled. “Sorry for this.”
Then he aimed the long rifle— it was as long as she was tall— and he said in a conversational tone. The twin barrels of the firearm looked cavernous only inches from the middle of the bullet resistant wall.
“But… Please, duck.”
Kirsten Kloster screamed as she hit an alarm button and did what he requested. The report of both barrels of the black-powder long gun rocked even the floor of the room.
Something fell on Kirsten, she screamed in shock, it felt like a wall fell over on her.
It had, the impact of twin chunks of lead with a collective kinetic energy greater than the window mounts could withstand. The bullet resistant barrier fell in, followed by a dense noxious cloud that smelled of sulfur choked and blinded everyone. Bob Adkins, the other clerk was screaming into a radio for help.
Alarms sounded and magnetic plates locked the doors, normally left unlocked around the clock, they became solid and immovable. Radio traffic said that back-up was two-minutes away, everyone was responding from all points to the scene of the shooting.
Footsteps pounded up stairs, seven police officers ran from the armory in the sub-levels towards the foyer up the steps. A half-dozen SWAT team members burst through the hallway door near the clerk window that prevented anyone from going into the back offices unchecked and began choking on the smoke that had not dissipated in the large room.
Looking about, the officers covered the room with multiple layers of crisscrossed laser sights.
“Where is the shooter?” Shouted the watch commander.
“He was there!” Adkins yelled and pointed to the middle of the room.
“Sweep the area. Check the restrooms.” The watch commander Sergeant Leslie Murrie said as she surveyed the destroyed window, torn from the mountings of the three-clerk wall.
“Miss Kloster, what window were you standing at?”
“I don’t know, the left one. He said to duck before he pulled the trigger.”
“He said … Duck?” Leslie blinked in disbelief. “If he was shooting, why did he give a warning and why did he aim at a window that no one was at?”
“Sergeant! He has blocked the men’s room door.”
“Call him out.” Standing on either side, an officer banged on the door. “
Sir! Come out now. You have no exit, there is no window in there. Sir! Come out with your hands empty, arms up and walk backwards out of the door!”
There was no sound other than footsteps coming down the hallway of the rest of the swat team who had geared up rapidly with forced entry tools and stun “flashbang” grenades. And a favorite tool for forced entry, someone brought the two-man ram to force a door.
Four officers pushed on the steel restroom door, it did not give, refused to flex even a little. He had thrown the emergency dead-bolt. A twin-cylinder lock with a key required on either side to throw the bolts without setting off the alarm. Without a key , he had to have picked it from the inside to activate the lock.
“Kirsten, key please.” It was Jake, a ten-year patrolman that enjoyed driving. Even if his history had a long record of destroyed patrol cars, to his credit, he had never hit any moving object. Always trees, fences, one mailbox, ditches and only one “fatality” of running over Marty MacBean, the cast concrete statue at the MacBean’s chili house.
The painted and wired head of Marty MacBean still adorned the squad room after two years.
The key refused to slide into the lock, on close inspection, the unknown subject had jammed toothpicks into the keyhole.
“Fuck it, use the ram.”
“Sir!” Jake pounded on the door.”Sir come out, if we have to come in it will not go well for you.”
Sirens sounded outside, approaching patrol cars were responding code-3 on a call for an emergency.
“Cancel them, Kirsten.” Leslie said. “We have him contained.”
“Sir,” Jake repeated with pounding. “That was a good trick with the toothpicks, you need to unlock the door and come out or we are coming in.”
“Ram it.” Jake nodded. “Toss in one of your party poppers when you get it open.”
Two of the biggest officers rushed up and swung the thirty-kilo battering ram. The door barely rattled in the hinges and failed to open, twice— three times. Four. Five! The fire-rated steel door did not give easily.
With redoubled effort, the two big men hit the steel-clad and core fire-rated door time and again. The door designed to resist an assault and be a panic room shelter refused to be dominated easily. Twenty strokes, thirty, at fifty impacts by the sweating officers and their massive ram the door bowed in as they forced an opening.
A gap opened half the width of a hand and something rolled out, it was a cylinder about as thick as a flashlight and just wide enough to bounce end over end, until it reached the end of a short cord that pulled a pin out of the cylinder.
“GRENADE!” Leslie yelled. The detonation was not half has loud as the whistle, but it was as bright as if one would to look directly into the sun for a blink of an eye.
And again! The whistling sound it produced was painful.
And again! The light made bones visible in one of the officers hands that he covered his eyes with, visible as shadows for a moment. Five times in all the cylinder puffed out a cloud of dust and ignited it with deafening booms.
The shock could be felt in the very core of their chests, cups fell from desks, papers ruffled and fell to the floor.
And another cylinder wedged against the wall behind a plastic waiting-room chair jarred loose from the explosions and fell to the floor and popped off it’s spoon on impact with the tile.
And deafened them with another five blinding explosions with whistles that exceeded pain levels.
“Throw one in!” Leslie yelled.
“WHAT?” The SWAT team member yelled.
“I will throw in now.”
“I had said that.” Leslie yelled back. The officer looked at her oddly as he pulled the pin on a flash-bang and tossed it into the opening.
But dizzy and dazzled, mostly deaf by the ten flash-bangs that had been left for them. His hands shook, his eyes were slightly unfocused and for the first time he had done something not done since his academy days.
The proximity and concussive force of the entry explosive shredded his pant-leg.
For the eleventh time the police endured the concussion and flash of a flash-bang grenade in an enclosed space.
Blind, deaf, choking on smoke and gas from the various reactions and smoke incapacitated the trained and skilled team of law enforcement officers.
Chapter 37. Return of Kolo
His fourth straight ace on the written tests, Eva also had begun to dance in the shadows of the library, making Summer laugh against her will.
The evening rides were more complex as Eva and Jona prepared for the upcoming spring race. Long rides, through the mountain canyons of the volcanic places in the world.
One morning, after they had studied in the library, Summer smiled and acted as if she wanted to ask something while they studied, debated and joked with each other while they studied human and dragon art history.
Finally, Summer asked the question that burned in her heart.
“Can I ride with you sometime?” She asked while looking down.
Jona and Eva exchanged looks and nodded.
“Yes! We’d be happy to do it.” Eva smiled. “I owe you a lot of rides for the help you have given us to put us back on the team.”
Summer laughed nervously.
The three of the friends walked down to the meadow, chatting as they walked. Summer Set told a joke with a pun in the twisted end. `
Laughing, they stopped by the cave of riders and fliers. Jona and Summer put on goggles and flight helmet. She laughed at herself when she looked in a mirror.
“You really wear these?”
“Yeah, we do. Imagine being hit in the face with a bug at the speeds that Eva uses when she flies around trees and such.”
“Oh.” She backed up a step when Jona clipped on his armor and leather vest.
“Not to worry, I always wear this, it is team colors and shows my awards.”
“I want to know what all these rivets are for.” She smiled and ran her fingers over the decorated, embossed metal studs.
“Training, Distance. Personal best” He went down the different leather panels and studs. “I don’t have any of the good ones of gold or gems. I have only raced house races, first-year students don’t race between schools. Only houses. So far, we have won as a team, lost a few individual competitions. Eva has not lost anything.” Jona smiled as he walked up to Summer and laced the leather strap under her chin. “Keep this snug. If it blows off, you won’t be able to look around.
They walked out of the rider’s ready room where Eva sat with her own helmet.
Even Jona laughed.
“Feeling cautious?” He said to the other half of his race team.
“Yes,” Eva said. “We have some rides that like to get physical flying around today. I’m not worried, but if we get a little bumpy, I want to be ready.”
“Um…” Summer looked alarmed. “Should I be worried?”
“No, we will stay slow and close.” Eva answered. “You will have a good time. Have you ever seen the ocean beach from above?”
“But that is so far!” Summer gasped, her eyes wide behind the goggles.
“Eva can make it to the beach and back in less time than it takes you to look up books and sit down for a read.” Jona grinned.
“Wow. Even my brother doesn’t go that fast, and he is a skimmer.” Summer boggled.
“Skimmer?” Jona asked.
“Skimmers are between swimmers and fliers.” Eva answered, Summer nodding. “They barely touch the water, leaping across and gliding on a cushion of air. It is a rare talent.”
“Climb up!” Jona showed Summer where she could hold on to Eva’s scales.
“Hold on to something tight!” Eva said, looking around.
A push-off and her wings extended, with two flaps they were airborne.
Summer squealed with glee that Jona first took as alarm.
Banking around the canyons slowly, Summer looked down and held on so tight, Jona saw her knuckles blanch.
Out over the canyon, the three friends flew, ride and rider with a guest.
Swiftly they descended from the high mountain range to the lowlands.
Summer gasped when Eva flew over a cliff and the white-capped waters of the breaking waves filled her view of white sand beaches as far as she could see.
Slow enough for a walk, Eva smiled and used the wind coming off the ocean for lift, barely twitching a wingtip.
The great wings of the dragon lifted them up while she took them back to the meadow. Snow showed below them and Summer turned to Jona, complaining her nose was getting cold when Eva settled and landed.
“Hello Jona.” A familiar voice sounded behind him when he helped Summer off Eva’s saddle.
Holding out a dark and sweetened confection, her favorite treat, the sparkling eyes that made Jona laugh like he was a child during the weeks of bonfire lit up his life.
Kolo had returned.
21. A Life Left Behind
Over the next few months, Kane met with other clan leaders who said that the other island across the channel had more raw materials that could be traded for and they needed a metal worker to replace one that had moved south with a daughter of a king. Kane thought it a good move, they could go across the water and then be lost in the mill of people of the age.
Bronwyn wept as she packed. This time was leaving for good. They had tried it once on the mainland, but the violence was testing both their tempers, highwaymen appeared time and again, attempting to take what they had traded for.
Kane carefully bundled his tools together in fine, waxed linen and placed them on the chariot that he had built to transport when he heard a small, familiar voice behind him.
“Uncle Kane, are you leaving?” It was Daigh, still carrying his favorite sculpted toy bird.
“Yes. Bronwyn and I are moving closer to where they mine for metals. We can trade much more cheaply there and make our useful wares and pretty things to sell.”
“Will you come back?” the eleven-year-old asked. His curly brown hair framing his sapphire-blue eyes.
“Only if you be good. You will know I have been here on that one night, when you have waited all year for new toys. I’ll sneak in and leave you and your friends something.” Kane winked.
“You ever break a promise.” The bright eyes of the young man who believed in the demon-in-hiding.
“Have I yet failed you?” Kane kneeled to look in the boy’s eye on his level.
Daigh softly laughed and shook his head, cheeks blushing as Kane found him out in doubting the hero of the village. Kane was one to keep promises. If Kane said it, gave his word. It would be so. If he did not give his word, he would do his best, but in the words of Kane “No promises.” which meant that there was a chance that he would not be able to do what he had hoped to do.
Kane stood up, checked and tightened down a braided leather rope, immensely strong, Daigh once saw Kane use what he called a pulley to lift a log on to a chariot to move it into the village where he made a huge dugout canoe, for the bonfire that year, with the death of a nearby King, they placed the body into the hollowed out log and then floated out on the sea. An arrow was lit and shot into the oil-soaked pile of branches upon which the King’s body lay. A funeral to which there was no equal that day.
But now, Kane and Bronwyn, the creator of such tasty treats in the kitchens and on holidays would go with Kane and live a life in another part of the world.
One woman who had whispered to Daigh’s mother one evening when they thought that there was something wrong with Kane and Bronwyn.
“They are not with children and are not getting old. It is strange I say.” She whispered one night.
“They could be tricksters among us.” She was one that was always having babies, so Daigh did not understand how they had tricked her into having another one. But Daigh told Kane who had pulled on his ear with an amused look.
“Well, the best trick is to teach you to keep your word. Never make a promise that you cannot keep or do not want to keep. If you give your word, you keep it even if you do not want to.”
Daigh and the other kids, Aed, Muirne, Cuinn all nodded. Always they kept their words to each other and told their parents the truth. Even if it would cost them some trouble, they knew that Kane would know, and then he would be mad at them.
THEN, he would be too busy to make new toys or mend old ones.
But today, he was leaving, many people would leave and some would return, others would move from other villages or change where they lived after gathering cattle at the end of the summer to bring the livestock in for protection of the cold and feed them. Calves were often born during these months and would often need feeding by hand. Older kids milked cows and goats, next year, it would be Daigh’s start to care for some of the beasts.
“Okay,” Kane said as he finished the knot and all the items were tight in the covered wagon. “We are good if it rains, we will have a sleeping area if we get stuck and we can get to the trade goods easily.”
Daigh stood there for a long moment as Kane tied the ponies to the draw bar of the wagons. The leather harnesses were something that Kane had put together with Daigh’s help and suggestions.
Kane again knelt, closer to the level with the pre-teen boy.
“This is what we have to do, Bronwyn and I. We came here the year after you were born. I have helped you learn things and you have learned well. You have a great mind, be a poet, tell the history of your people. Sing of the great things that will be. Kings will come, brave heroes. Even creatures that have come before people and now live in the forests and underground. I will be around,I will sneak in at harvest time.” Kane winked. “Think of me as a gnome or some other small spirit that will sneak around one night of the year and leave you something nice.”
Then Kane held up his index finger in admonishment.
“BUT! If you do not do your chores or do wrong to someone? I will leave you nothing, or worse, you will find a gift of twigs and rocks.”
With that, Daigh’s eyes got big.
“I will not forget! You will see Uncle Kane! I will be the best poet that history will ever know. I will sing songs about you that the world will think you were a great Brehon.”
“Thought I already was.” Kane said with a wink.
Bronwyn’s voice echoed slightly in the now-empty shop. She was ready to leave. All things that families were to take were so placed in order. Things remaining she had marked with strips of cloth in different colors that indicated different families.
“Hello Daigh. Come to see us off?” Bronwyn’s copper-colored hair hung down around her shoulders like a waterfall. She bent down so she was as tall as the eleven year old. “Kane has favored you. You do make him proud when you grow up?”
“Yes ma’am! He will hear about my stories and songs all over the world.” Daigh smiled. “I promise I will never stop telling stories about you and him.”
“Daigh, you are a wonderful young man.” Bronwyn kissed him on the cheek.
A gasp, Daigh was without words as, first his ears, then his entire face turned red.
Bronwyn laughed softly and hugged him.
“That is our little secret. You make me feel pretty.”
“Time to go, Bronwyn, climb up.” Kane said.
Daigh was still blushing as their wagon trundled out the gates and disappeared. Feeling a little sad as he turned to walk away. His heart was hurting and, in a small way, lonely, until he remembered, they would be back in a few months at harvest time!
Daigh skipped back to the center of the village where the other kids were. His embarrassment forgotten as his attention span was that of any child.
End Of Book One? (who wants more?)
18. A New Life
After finishing his education of the different laws of the different Celt tribes, Kane had made friends with the Parisii tribe, but the growing land that would be one of the largest metropolitan areas in the future, for now it was a small place to trade.
Still, raw materials from the inland areas were good for trade. Kane and Bronwyn had a good name as tinkerers and artisans of the crafts. Anything from a copper pot to bronze and gold torcs for the neck and upper arm.
Kane had figured out how to tie knots in the metals, gold being the easiest to braid into popular shapes. Still, he knew how to work the metals carefully.
Bronwyn had patience to inlay gold wire after both she and Kane had carved a pattern that they had worked out.
Often in intricate patterns, it was the High Priests of the different religions that spoke of how life was that inspired them. However bringing the Celtic knot to life was a trick. Not many of the High Priests agreed on the beauty.
But the concept of the tree of life, this intrigued Kane and discussed in many nights with Bronwyn as they carved, first in clay, then wood and finally in bronze and gold, an inlaying of gold in bronze or copper in bronze was often highly sought after. In trade, the artisans that they were, received different items in trade.
Often they took ingots of raw metals, frequent was a trade for meats and grains.
Coins were always accepted, of course, but when a young man wanted to buy something to woo a beautiful young woman or impress her family, a cow or other farm animal would be taken in trade.
Bronwyn, more romantic than Kane, would not be above making a beautiful ring out of bronze or brass in a moment’s notice, with the promise to work with the boy to create something even more beautiful out of anything he might like and torcs were common.
The occasional master of captured slaves would take a shine to one and buy gold collars with a certain gem he possessed.
Those owners of slaves tended to get charged fully without breaks on value for the trinkets. Bronwyn had a particular distaste for slavery any kind.
“Slavery will exist for several thousand more years in many shapes, my angel.” Kane would say softly to Bronwyn in the nights where they lay in each other’s arms. “They will have not achieved complete eradication of it until well into the twenty-fifth century.”
“It’s not right, still. No matter the age.” She said dangerously.
“Do not make history, we have to avoid being too well-known.” He said softly.
“Still, it doesn’t make it right.”
“No, it doesn’t, but there exists a great many flaws that humankind must overcome. One thing at a time.”
“I can’t wait.”
The day wore on until they arrived at home. Kane again began packing trinkets, but this time were more for children. Dolls, wheeled pull toys that looked like animals.
Stroking his head as he bent over yet another bag, she smiled at his loading.
“Who do you pack for?”
“Well, we are moving in a fortnight, aren’t we? Back to where we started for a few more years. Plus, I pass out gifts at this time of year, and it is fast approaching. Harvest will begin in a fortnight in most areas. I have a boy who is nine-summers old now and I have a promise to fulfill.”
“And you don’t want to break a promise to a child.”
“No, never. A grownup gives a promise to a child, as sure as your hair grows, you better keep it. They have the souls are most accepting and will make this world a place far better than it could be.”
“And you say not to make history.”
“Oh hush. There are other ways to affect for the positive.” Her husband said. “I will wage war my way. Let others try to figure out how to undo a child’s smile when I finish.”
“Kane, you have to stop this life in time and we have to move away.” Bronwyn stroked his ear and kissed her mate carefully.
Time. He cursed it and welcomed it. They were closing a decade together on the blue planet and he regretted not one moment with her.
Although, time to time, he watched her look at children with a faraway look that women get. She had all the drives of a young human woman, with no chance to produce something that was part of their union. They were a team, forever and always, but by command, they were not allowed to have children.
Her voice brought him out of his thoughts.
“Where do you think we should restart our lives as artists and young couple?” She was looking at herself in a silvered bronze-backed mirror.
Unlike other women everywhere, she strove to make herself look older, but vanity prevented her from striving too hard. Using hardwood ash now and again, she would put in white streak that would look like she had hair of an older woman.
He was finally packed and stood up.
“I am thinking of the middle-sea where Egypt is building pyramids for about another three-hundred years.” Kane pulled at his chin. “Perhaps Athens. I hate to leave this area, the best copper is on the island of our first home.”
“Let us live there on the other side of the island, towards the east. In time, there will rise an empire that will overwhelm this area of Celtica and rename it. They will invade the islands and the Emperor Hadrian will build a wall. If we stay on the island, they will not invade.”
Sitting down in a chair of finely crafted leather and polished wood, he rubbed his forehead thinking.
“Perhaps. Or…maybe… before the empire arises, we move close and disappear in the crowds and be artisans. Or we can move to Athens as I said, and get the trading in there first. Then we can join that fellow that turns water into wine goes about teaching.”
Kane winked and held up his forefinger. “Now there is a person to invite to parties!”
“KANE! Is that all you think of?”
“No, most times I try to think of you, naked.” He winked at his wife.
“KANE!” Bronwyn laughed as she sat in his lap. “You are so bad.”
That night, they slept together, skin to skin after hours of their bodies joining in as many positions as they could think of. Kane dreamed a recurring dream. This night was different, his old name came to the fore of his mind. Worries of having to end this life and start a new one brought on the dreams that a change of place to live in secret once again would be opposed by the one that put him in this world of humans.