BUT YOUR FRIENDS ARE FEW
by T. G. Taft: The first half of The Alliance.
original Ledic sighed as he stared at the original Ludit, sitting only a few
seats ahead of him. (Or was that the other way around?) "And I thought
this class would be boring," he murmured, intensifying his gaze even
more. Suddenly, the Ludit spun around in her seat, and startled the Ledic.
Adjusting brilliantly, he quickly shone a big, broad grin. The Ludit stared at
him a while, and then managed a courtious smile as she turned back around.
"What a jerk," she thought to herself, as the teacher began
discussing some 'gallant little country'...
the sun rose over the plain, meeting with the horizon in a beautiful and
picturesque picture that would cause most poets to shudder. Far off in the
distance the Mountains of Zubar rose above the brazen ground and softly
appeared more monstrous than they ever had before. Below all this, sitting
deep within the Taft Towers (Inc.), the great T. G. Taft sank back into his
famous custom-made chair. Suddenly the realization struck him: This would be
the last time he would be relaxing like that. "I'll miss you," he
thought to himself, as he squeezed his chair once again.
of a sudden he was brought back to reality. He shrank back in his chair and
shuddered as his mind wavered: Today, he remembered, was the day that he would
have two visitors from his past; a past that he had hoped to forget; a past
that happened eight long years ago.
**T. G. Taft**
all this, time seemed to pass quickly, and at approximately 12:00 noon Taft
had finished the final paperwork that had to be done before he left for Pluto.
Just as he put down his pen, for perhaps the last time, his intercom rang.
"Sir," came the sweet voice of Susan Smith IV, "there is a man
and his... er... pet here to see you."
them in." Taft called. But he knew something was wrong, for the words did
not roll off his mouth as they usually did; they came off almost in a
and sir? Can I board the 1:00 PM shuttle for the Susan Smith? I have
finished my work here and I would like to decorate my cabin."
got up from his chair, and turned to face the wall behind him. He was not sure
what his facial expression should be like when that man walked in, and,
perhaps it would be better if he just stood toward the wall. That way he would
let the other guy feel out of place first.
was then that the door to his office creaked open, and he heard a small,
squeaky voice reverberate. "Well, I'm here. You know, I think he knows
that. Well, I should anounce it anyhow. Politeness you know."
slowly turned around, not knowing what to say to this man; not knowing what to
look like or how to express himself. He decided, perhaps prematuraly, to act
very businesslike. His facial expression, as his motions, became as systematic
as possible; and he told Enad the Great, his long lost enemy, to sit in a
noncustom-made chair next to the desk.
Taft heard a hitherto unheard of voice. "Sir, my infrared sensors
indicate that this is indeed the T. G. Taft; this is the famous author. I
believe that it would be proper to give a cordial bow."
up, you moth-eaten transistor!"
gentlemen. Settle down. For the record, I intend to ignore all formalities and
get straight to the business at hand. Enad, as you know, you and I have been
the worst of enemies for years upon end. However, I for one would like to
forget all those bad times, and would like to make a business
T. G.? Do you remember Kakablik? He was such a pal. I remember..."
many spy devices that were set up inside of Camelot detected your presence
there and I..."
you remember how you shoved that cow into that..."
I said, I have a trade that I wish to make. I am now into what is turning into
a space race. I intend to help you join it too if only..."
know, I don't think he's paying any attention. No. Neither do I. I
**T. G. Taft**
that outburst the room fell quiet; and, almost ironically, the intercom
buzzed. Taft slammed his hand onto the button and screamed out, "Ms.
Smith, I thought you were gone!"
there's someone here to see you Sir...it's...Oh my gosssshhhhh..."
slowly sank back into his seat, for had been standing up after that
conversation with Enad. In a monotone, almost rhythmic sound, he mumbled:
"Send her in."
single door of the office slowly opened, as both men stared blankly facing it.
Taft, knowing who it was, closed his eyes. He thought about the day he had
found the small note. Now, almost a year later, he silently hoped that he
hadn't cleaned the attic and bumped across it. Enad, meanwhile, didn't know
who it was that was coming through the door; and he sat there, hanging in
suspense. Both men screamed out her name as she walked in, and their voices
echoed througout the near empty chamber that was the Taft Towers.
**T. G. Taft**
you see, was T. G. Taft's one and only wife. Married when they were only
eighteen, they had found what most people had not: True love. Their first
child was born two years after their honeymoon, and, when T. G. Taft II was
only two months old, the accident occured. Recorded here is the single reason
that T. G. Taft and Enad the Great have been enemies for eight years. Read now
so that you may know the truth.
cool autumn night, Enad had been driving Amanda home from a party: A party in
which T. G. was invited but could not attend. Amanda really wanted to go to
it, however, so she found a babysitter and asked Enad to drive her. Anyhow, as
he was driving her back to the Taft's home in downtown Taftville, Enad somehow
made a very bad misjudgement. Going slightly above the speed limit, he ran
smack into the back of a stalled car. Both Enad and Amanda together were
hurtled out of the car and on to the same hard pavement, but they did not
sustain the same injuries. Enad healed in a couple of months. Amanda died the
was the first to speak up. "I found your note. Only a year ago. I almost
was not a tall girl, about seven inches shorter than Taft, with curly black
hair tied up in the back. She was completely dressed in white clothes, as she
usually was, and she held her figure in a very girlish sort of way. Enad
stared at her hands, for in them was the Tiara of Phumos. He also noticed her
finger: It held the Ring of Ranet.
walked over to Enad, who, seeing her coming, buried his face in his hands.
"Enad, don't continue to blame it on yourself. What happened, happened.
But the future is yours. You see, what you see now, that is me, is from the
past. Nine years ago, I learned about the Power and about the Keys. And what
continued to fascinate me more and more was the power that we ourselves held:
Time travel. You see, I am not from this time; neither is this Tiara or this
Ring. We are all from the past."
turned her head toward T. G. "Darling, could you get your Tiara,
that, while still hiding his face, T. G. slowly reached into the desk drawer
and pulled out the fabulous Tiara of Phumos. He set it on the desk.
see," she set her Keys down and pointed to them, "this Tiara is from
the past. Nine years ago, I took that Tiara, and ventured across the sea to
see a man named Kirk Jameson. Once there, all it took was a little persuasion
by Susan Smith V, and I had the Ring of Ranet. Oh; don't worry; I will return
it, for if I didn't time would not be like it is now. But with the combined
powers of the Tiara and the Ring I was able to go into the future. What you
see here is really from the past: Nine years in the past to be exact.
I know all about your feuding; all about the Plimpkin plot, etc. And what I
had to come here to say is simple. I am dead. You cannot repair that. But you
guys are not dead; you people have the future to live for! You cannot let my
death destroy a perfectly good friendship!
got up and let out a tiny murmur. The tears poured out of his eyes as his next
few words trembled out. "Why should I forgive him. He killed you. My only
you not also kill Kakablik, his best friend?"
sat down after that, with his head buried in his hands.
the first time Enad lifted his head. "You... killed Kaka..."
stopped him. "Before I came, T. G. had a proposition to make to you. If I
am right it had to do with..."
slowly pushed himself up, and prepared to address Enad. "How did you get
within Camelot without Blue Ledic noticing?"
changed his glare to Taft and gave a curious stare. "KWAMKUT, here, has
the capability of what is known as atomic transfer."
Taft nodded. "One of the possibilities that I had thought of. My deal,
then, as I mentioned before, is simple. I will give you a tiny two-man
spaceship, one of those that are aboard the Susan Smith, complete with
an undisclosed fuel base, in exchange for the technology of atomic transfer. I
wish to use it on my starships in place of shuttlecraft. Oh, and I want one
other thing. A guarantee that no one else will ever obtain that technology
from you, for any price."
smiled. "I'm not exactly sure what a Susan Smith is, but it sounds
good. You got a deal." Enad straightened up and looked up at Taft.
shone a small smile, and picked up her Keys. "Well, I have completed what
I had to do; I must return to the past."
Taft screamed out, and he ran over to her. As they met, his lips touched hers,
and he held her closer than he ever had before. He knew that this would be the
last time that he would ever hold her, and he embraced her until they could
hold no more. They finally stopped, staring deeply into each others mutually
made no noise; she held her Tiara tightly, and began to concentrate. Finally a
soft shimmer began, and she gave Taft one last look: Taft met her stare with
one of his own, and a small smile began to form around the corners of his
lips. Then, just as she was almost totally gone, she said the last words that
he would ever heard her say:
in memoriam: Hostes tui multi sunt sed amici pauci." She closed her eyes.
"Et amo te."
| ||© 1984, ||L. Charles, D. Conrad, A. Duncan, Enad the Great, J. Pierce, B. C. Randolf, and T. G. Taft|