ALONE NO MORE
BY: ALEXANDER DUNCAN
fastest way to Camelot would be for the Quische to carry us by air to the East
Gihon," Blue continued. "The dolphins can carry from there. The
Quische himself will have to travel by air since the slight salt content of
the river would dissolve his gelatin-based body. Or I could simply teleport
him to Camelot."
rather you didn't," Iffley replied. "I'd like to see him
then, it's decided."
don't trust him," Taft whispered to Iffley.
don't trust you, either," Iffley countered.
now," said Adena. "We began a truce and it's not over yet. Let it
end when we're all returned to our lands."
said Blue. Iffley nodded, and Taft grimaced but didn't argue.
Quische then turned into a giant helicopter and the group flew to the Gihon
where the six dolphins of the spectrum were waiting. The dolphins had no
trouble carrying the passengers up the slight incline past Tokyo and Atlanta
up to Dallas. At Dallas, the dolphins took the private canal directly to the
monarchial district of Camelot. The Quische was waiting, decked out in
medieval dress as were the rest of the royal guards and servants.
to my humble establishment," said Blue with a grin. "I hope you like
the nostalgia. I guess I'm a romantic at heart."
of us are," replied Adena. "I know Iffley is."
muttered Iffley. "Not me!"
led the way through the castle to the dinner room.
small salad lay at each place on the table. As they sat down, Pierce looked up
in suprise. "What is this?" he cried, flustered.
laughed. "It's lettuce. The coloring is due to the replacement of
chlorophyll by melanin. It tastes the same and it's not poisonous. It will
taste better with dressing, though. Take your pick of ranch style, Italian,
thousand island or the house specialty, bleu cheese." The bowls appeared
on the table as he mentioned them. The guests smiled at the repitition of the
color blue in all forms. They smiled less at the blue salad.
meal went quickly. It was a unique time for the monarchs to learn about each
others' personalties instead of their reputations and powers. The meal itself
was an eight course dinner, one course from each district of the island.
the meal, Blue led the group into the next room. The walls were made of
alternating blue and black marble and the floor was covered in obsidian
veneer. The only object in the room was a table containing five compartments
in a star formation
announced, "As a token of my hospitality, you are each to taka a gift
from one compartment. Go ahead. It won't kill you."
rulers were suspicious, but the mention of a "gift" convinced Taft.
He stepped up and opened a compartment. An onyx stone sat in a ring of gold
rose on a psychokinetic field and slipped itself on his finger. He stepped
back, nonplussed. He stammered, "Thank you. It's beautiful."
a gift from the Matterhorn region," Blue replied. "Next."
was delighted to oblige. His ring was also gold but with an emerald. It also
fit on his ring finger automatical1y.
emerald is from the Orient, north of the Matterhorn."
motioned for Adena to go ahead but she declined. Iffley and Pierce stepped
forward simultaneously. Pierce's ring contained a ruby, while Iffley's had a
diamond. "The diamond is from Safaria, west of here, and the ruby comes
from Vinland, as did the wine you all enjoyed earlier," said Blue.
"Only one left."
smiled and stepped forward to the last compartment. The ring which rose was
silver and contained a brilliant sapphire. Adena gasped in delight as the ring
slipped onto the finger of her left hand.
said wryly, "It seems this 'game of chance' has been fixed. The only ring
that would fit a woman was conveniently chosen by Adena."
said Iffley. "It seems we've been used to present Adena a gift an
ultimate worth to Blue."
guess you owe him something now, don't you?" asked Bronson. "Will
you repay him?" A mixture of envy and resentment crossed Bronson's face
as he looked at the Belt.
said Taft, "what are you giving him in return, Adena?"
timing is dreadful, but my gift is my troth," said Adena.
said Blue triumphantly, but with concern for the wizard. "Adena and I are
engaged to be married!"
| ||© 1984, ||L. Charles, D. Conrad, A. Duncan, Enad the Great, J. Pierce, B. C. Randolf, and T. G. Taft|