by Prudence Walker
(Continued from Part Two)
Driving away rapidly, they headed back to a spot that Gary had found which should give them an uninterrupted time away from the public view. Simon helped Angela out and led her to a shady spot under a tree. Gary had brought several chairs, and some cold cans of drink. Seated, the men waited, watching Angela as she gratefully drank the refreshing liquid.
"I guess you want to know what "we" found out in the vault." She said, pausing as she looked at the two men.
"I'll admit to a certain curiosity," admitted Gary, with a grin.
"Me too," agreed Simon.
"According to the message that was left for me, we need to find the 'Vanishing point.' Its where I need to be to start the initial process off."
"The vanishing point?" chorused the two men.
"Its where two intersecting arcs that touch the edges of both sides of the three pyramids meet at a point, a very precise mathematical point.
Angela drew a rough sketch, showing the two men what she meant.
"I need to be some distance south east from the Mycerinous (or Menkure) pyramid, and Giza the great pyramid becomes the last one to be activated."
"Anything else?" enquired Simon, looking intently at the diagram.
"The other thing I found out was that I can't do it alone. I do need to pull energy from a large number of people, not a lot, but the more there are, the more likely I'll succeed," she said grimly.
"Well, with the cloud clearly visible, and your demonstration today, I guess getting an audience will be the least of our worries," replied Gary wryly.
"My... I mean Aglsha's father, said that after they placed the resonators they were going to be headed for Alexandria to teach the people there. I don't know if they made it okay, there was no confirmation in the script."
"I think we can assume they made it. I know that Alexandria was known as the greatest centre of learning in the world at that time," Simon reassured her.
"Yes, Angela, what's the matter?" Simon asked, seeing her biting her lip in worry.
"We... I will be doing something that will need every ounce of my concentration tomorrow night. I will be vulnerable to anyone with a mind to sabotage things. I need your protection; to be by my side at all times. Nothing I do will harm you or me even if it looks dangerous. Will you be my guardian?"
"Angela, wild horses couldn't separate us tomorrow. I will guard you with my life if need be, count on it," he answered huskily.
"Thank you," she replied simply, feeling a lifting of her spirit at his words.
The rest of the day they spent resting, while Gary stayed on the radio to his superiors. While they talked sparingly due to the heat, they heard and saw a few helicopters flying nearby heading in the direction of Giza.
They speculated on the sort of reception that they would get when they returned to the pyramid plateau. Angela helped with the evening meal, learning Gary's secret recipe for the potluck stew (a pinch of garlic and a generous cup of red wine).
During the day, Simon had rigged up a solar heater bag for a shower and set up a three-sided enclosure for Angela under the tree. Suspending the bag from a branch, Simon told Angela her shower was ready. With a hug and a kiss, she hurriedly took advantage of the opportunity. She wet her hair and body, soaped and shampooed her hair with the water off, then rinsed everything off quickly. Drying herself, she called out to the men that there was plenty of water to spare for them to use.
Getting dressed in a flowing peasant dress that was gathered just under her bust, she felt so good in the simple act of just being clean again. She took over the cooking while the two men took a brief shower. She saw no sign of the escorts figuring that they were used to doing without the luxuries, probably eating k rations. She felt a little guilty at eating so well, when they were doing without.
She did get a surprise went Simon and Gary finished, and they walked out with only a towel around their waists. Gary had a covering of white hair over his chest as befit his age and there were signs of old battle wounds on his torso. Simon too, had a few scars, but the chest while muscular, was leaner, with no flab and only had a dusting of black hair on his chest.
They grinned at her and started acting like idiots, doing classic bodybuilder poses. Angela finally burst out laughing, to their chagrin, but soon they joined in, grabbed her arms, and started dancing in a circle. Unfortunately, for Simon it ended too soon as his towel fell down leaving him naked. He blushed and grabbed it, covering himself while muttering under his breath. Angela got a quick look and felt weak. It was huge!
(My god, he must be part horse,) Aglsha giggled.
'I hope this body can take it...oh what am I thinking,' Angela countered. 'Did I just think what I think I thought?' she continued, feeling strangely excited.
(Hey, don't confuse me with all the thinking,) Aglsha chuckled.
Dinner was strained, Angela kept seeing Simon's assets in her mind and Simon was looking embarrassed. Gary watched the two of them, a small smile on his lips. He finished first, and stood, saying,
"I'll just dick...duck off to the tent."
Suddenly both Simon and Angela choked, spluttering as they burst out laughing at Gary's unintentional? Slip of the tongue.
Gary grinned, which told them it was no slip. As one, both Simon and Angela threw the salt and pepper shakers at Gary's hurriedly retreating back, hearing him laughing inanely to himself as he ducked into the tent.
Turning to each other, they smiled, Simon reached out and took Angela's hand in his pulling her closer till their lips met. Having one's heart suddenly feel like it was about to leap out of one's chest cavity, startled Angela, but she didn't pull away. It was too nice. Simon's kiss was igniting her body in a strange, but an, oh so pleasurable way, that she didn't want it to end.
(Hon, we need to conserve your energies for tomorrow. Time enough for that later,) she heard Aglsha sigh.
Later that night, Angela lay in her bed (alone) thinking of Simon. She knew that the bond that had sprung up between them on the flight over was firmly cemented together now. It made her feel happy that she could share her intimate thoughts with another person regardless that it wasn't what she'd envisaged for herself when she had been Bob. With a shock, she realised that Bob now seemed like a dream. She had his memories, but trying to see herself in her old body while wearing this one was getting difficult, almost being over ridden, to the extent that it seemed odd to think she'd once had a penis.
Next morning, she was up and dressed before the men, chiding them, as they got up blurry eyed. Simon took a second look once his eyes focused properly, a low whistle escaping his lips as he viewed her attire. She had put on her best clothes, white satin underwear and an electric blue sheath dress that sparkled and shimmered with her every movement. It was almost ankle length and on her feet were soft kidskin boots (not exactly what she wanted to wear) but given the terrain, appropriate. Her hair was loose and flowing and had been brushed until it shone like a golden waterfall.
After breakfast, they drove slowly towards the plateau, each deep in their own world of thoughts. As the pyramids hove into view, they could see a multitude of vehicles and everywhere people stood waiting.
"Oh boy, I hope we can get though," muttered Simon.
Angela could see the faces turn towards them and seeing her inside started shouting and rushing forward, disregarding the danger from the moving vehicle. Finally, they could move no further. To do so would entail running over the crowd. With a command to her to stay inside, both Gary and Simon got out, made a plea for calm, and managed to make room for Angela to get out.
Angela gathered her courage and alighted from the vehicle with as much grace as was possible in the gown she was wearing. A roar of "that's the angel girl" and "she's here" flowed over her in a wave of languages, drowning out Simon's calls for quiet. On an inspiration, she took out the orb from its resting place on her hip. Holding it up above her head, its scintillating brilliance washing over the crowd seemed to stun everyone to silence. Moving forward, she stepped up on a nearby stone plinth that was half buried in the ground.
- -- - Image by Sara UK - -- -
"Please..." (The orb pulsed in concert with her single call). Magically the crowd hushed, trying to listen to the voice of this extraordinary young woman, who's demonstrated powers were all over the news services.
"I have a task to accomplish." She paused, gauging the effects of her words. "To save the world from that!" And she pointed straight up. Although it was barely discernible in the morning sky, the people knew what she meant, having also seen the cloud on the television or witnessed it personally. "I need your help, both in information and in a spiritual way."
A chorus of support greeted her words.
"I need to get to a certain spot to do so, a place called the vanishing point." As she looked at the blank or puzzled stares, her heart sank. Moving off the slab, she turned and bumped straight into a man with a rumpled and sweat stained suit.
"Oh, excuse me, I didn't see you there," she apologised.
"Don't come all manners with me, girl. I want a stop to all this nonsense," he blustered, waving his hands at the crowd.
Angela was puzzled; who was this pompous ass? A jumped up little official who didn't want anything disturbing his little niche in the world?
"Stopping something is exactly what I intend to do," she snapped back, imperiously.
Then holding her head high, she swept past him, leaving him gasping in her wake. Simon was close on her heels and 'accidentally' bumped into the official, knocking off balance to be shoved around by the milling crowd.
After walking to a point where she guessed was near the V.P. she stopped and cast about, looking on the ground for any sign of the correct position. Suddenly a barking command signalled the arrival of the military, about fifty UN troops headed by a no-nonsense-looking man. He barked out orders and the troops fanned out in a circle, creating a barrier that kept out the onlookers and left Simon and Angela alone in an empty circle, some fifty yards in diameter.
Looking around, Angela could see that the troops were now facing outwards, towards the crowd. While she was taking that in, a cough brought her attention back to the man who was standing at attention before her. He saluted, saying,
" Brigadier Johnson...retired, at your service, ma'am."
"Um...Angela Warner...recruited," she added, with a smile.
According to my orders ma'am, I'm to be at your disposal to do anything, short of starting a war."
"Well, I'm sure we can avoid that, and please call me Angela. Ma'am is so, not me," she said, with a grimace.
"Thank you...Angela. I'm like you; I prefer the use of my first name. It's Peter, but call me Pete. I have an aversion to all the peter jokes, let alone the Johnson ones. Now is there anything you require of us other than making a perimeter?"
"I'll let you know okay? For now that is sufficient unless you can help us find the V.P." At his blank look, she explained her dilemma.
"Sorry I can't help you there," was his rueful answer.
"By the way I was to inform you that the super powers have already taken steps against this threat. In fact..." looking at his watch, "it should happen right about now," he added.
As she wondered what sort of steps could be taken against the cloud, the answer came as a series of bright spots appeared in the skies. Immediately, all shadows were outlined in harsh contrast as the actinic light from the nuclear explosions flooded down from the heavens.
A sound of cheering from the people showed that they had obviously known in advance about the sky show.
'Do you think it will have any effect on the Pleolites?' Angela thought to Aglsha.
(Very little, most of them would just be influenced by the energy front and ride it like a surfer. Only those in the heart of the explosion would be destroyed. No, the only way to destroy them is by the use of the orb.)
"I have been briefed by your superior," Pete said, looking at Simon. If the barrage doesn't work then we have to use Angela's talent with the orb. I must admit I was rather sceptical when I heard about it, but now I'm not sure. I've seen some pretty weird things in my time, but if this works then I'll most likely be able to get free drinks whenever I recount this story." He grinned at them both and called for a man to bring the van closer. "I need my luxuries," he told them.
Soon a large van arrived, along with Gary in the Land Rover.
"Boy it was hard going until I called in the troops," he said, shaking hands with Pete. "It's a good job I called for them to be on standby," he added, looking around. He started pulling a table from the trailer and set up an umbrella and chairs for them all. Meanwhile, Pete had asked his man to set out cold refreshments. Angela was getting distracted with everything going on and just sat down next to Simon and held his hand.
Raised voices near the perimeter line, drew Angela's attention, there seemed to be an old man and a boy gesturing in their direction. Finally, a crackling on the radio of Pete's van preceded a conversation from the UN man nearest the heated scene. Pete listened for a moment, and then called Angela over.
"Apparently there's a man who claims to know what you're searching for, but he won't say anything unless it's to the prophesied one, the one with the sun in her palms was how he put it."
Both Simon and Angela looked at each other, puzzled as to how anyone knew of the message in the discovered text.
"Shall I let him in?" Pete asked.
"Yes," both Simon and Angela chorused.
Waiting for the man was agonising for Angela as he shuffled slowly forward, aided by the boy. His robes were clean and looked ceremonial with curious symbols on them.
(Angela, this man knew my father), came Aglsha's excited mental voice.
'Impossible, he's old, but not that old. No one could live that long.'
(Those symbols are of our world, nevertheless), she replied, barely containing her excitement.
'Oh my God, I think he's blind. Look at that staff he has and the way the boys are helping him. How is he going to help us locate the spot when we can't find it with normal sight?'
(Don't be so negative. That staff... its... special.)
Looking at the staff again, she saw it had a curious cup shape on one end and carvings along its length.
The old man walked up to Angela, peering into her eyes as if searching for a sign. Angela could see that, although cataracts clouded his eyes, he could see her well enough. His face underwent a transfiguration as a look of joy suffused his tired looking face.
"At last, the time has come," he said. "I will be the last guardian of the staff and my grandson won't need to take up the burden of the prophecy like his forebears," he added, sounding relieved.
Simon offered him a seat and a cool drink, which he accepted gratefully. He continued his narrative slowly, pausing every so often, as he told of how two families ancestors, were given the task of ensuring that the knowledge of the staff and its use were to be passed down though the ages, until the discoverer of the orb came along. The other line had died out, due to disease and famine, but his had survived and had heard the news of the discovery of the orb.
By the time he had finished, it was midday, and they decided to eat lunch before going and locating the point. Pete had supplied a refreshing salad with cold chicken and pita bread, washed down with chilled white wine. Although Angela saw with a grin, that both Gary and Pete were drinking cans of German lager. To Angela it seemed rather surreal that here they were, calmly sitting round eating, while the world lay on the brink of destruction. Shrugging, knowing it was pointless to get overly worked up, she tried to relax, so she be ready for the crisis ahead.
During lunch, Angela, on behalf of Aglsha, asked the old man about the symbols on his garment and what they represented.
He replied, that they were from the homeland of the wise one, who had written the prophecy, and had begged that the symbols be preserved exactly as they were given. They were to be a sign to the orb holder, that 'she' who resided within had not been forgotten.
Hearing this, Aglsha's emotions burst forth in a sob that was so forceful, Angela herself started to cry. Tears flowed freely, startling those close by, as the two minds meshed in a mixture of joy and sadness, at the news of what her father had done so very long ago.
Simon immediately had his arm around her, pulling her head against his chest as she sobbed. He knew there was reason for her outburst at the old mans words, even if he didn't fully understand it, not knowing that the person mentioned, was the father of Angela's guide.
(I'm sorry. I... I...miss him so much; I knew that he would be dead when I woke. I accepted that, as part of what I knew had to be done, but knowing it intellectually and dealing with the reality are two different things.)
'Hey, if anyone's got a right to let out these emotions, it has to be you.'
'Look what you gave up, a life and a loving father, and all for a people not your own. I'm surprised you lasted this long. I was beginning to worry. It seemed like you hadn't grieved properly. I know I'd have lost it ages ago,' Angela re-assured her.
The old man seemed the least surprised at the emotional outburst from Angela and as her tears subsided, he lifted her head to face and said, "Child, I see that the death of your father has hit you hard. Be at peace, for your father was gifted. He foretold this very moment, and gave us this message. --Daughter, remember our purpose. Only if you fail, will our lives been wasted. Succeed, and you can rejoice, knowing that what we did was not in vain. Now go and finish it, so I can truly rest. God willing, we'll be together in the life after this.--"
The old man got up, holding out his gnarled hand to Angela. "Lets go find the place you need, shall we?"
With a sudden resolve, born of determination to complete the task, Angela took his hand and stepped forward to find the all too crucial final set-up point.
'Aglsha, I wish we could do something about his eyes,' she said sadly.
(Maybe we can, but we must be alone with him,) she said.
Motioning to Simon, who had got up too, that she needed to be alone with the old man, she reluctantly left his company to walk some distance away so the two of them could be alone. Taking the orb from its velvet prison, Angela held it to the old mans head and started concentrating. As the energy from the orb coupled with the directing force of their combined minds, Angela/Aglsha sent a fine tendril of energy to burn away the obstructing cataracts. The man gasped as his vision returned in full. Tears of gratitude flowed freely, and he sank to his knees in supplication.
"Thank you Maiden of the orb, I will be forever in your debt."
"Nonsense, I am in yours and your ancestors, for serving so faithfully. Please get up and help me one last time," she urged, wiping a tear of her own away.
Waving to Simon to join them, she smiled at his astonishment at seeing the man with his sight restored.
"You did that with the orb?" he whispered, at her nod, he grinned and said, "We could set-up a practice and earn millions," he joked.
"I already have millions," was her only reply, grinning back.
'He said "WE!"' she rejoiced.
(He's yours--handle him gently.)
At the old mans urging, they walked further away than where they had been looking before. The man stopped and knelt, brushing away the sand from a hidden stone circle. It had a lump of something stuck in the centre. Producing a small knife, he worked on the lump until with a snap it popped out, leaving a small hole. Then, handing her the staff, he indicated for her to insert it into the opening.
As the staff went in, there was a click and Angela found that it wouldn't move any further in or out, it was stuck. The cup on the end of it was at chest level, and acting on a hunch, she placed the orb in the cup. A booming sound reverberated though the air and travelled out towards the three pyramids, startling everyone in the surrounding area.
(Angela, quick! We need to make sure the pyramids are empty of people. The energy released from the orb could kill someone.)
Relaying the message, Pete went into action sending men to ensure that the people stayed out. After being given the all clear, Angela placed her hands on the orb, suspended from the ground as it was. The orb brightened for a moment, then a curious beam leapt out heading for the pyramids. As it went, it split into several beams, two of which curved and touched the outside edges of the pyramids; similar to the sketch Angela had drawn. The third went to touch all three apexes.
What looked like St Elmo's fire flowed slowly down from the tips, and a low keening sound started to come from the pyramids. Even from where Angela stood, she could hear dull thumps as if slabs of the internal structure were being rearranged. A report from the men guarding the entrances said that huge stone slabs now sealed them all.
All the spectators had drawn back in a mixture of awe and fear from the area bordering the pyramids. The sound started to increase in pitch as the covering of St Elmo like fire slowly crept towards the ground. Everyone could sense that there was some sort of energy build-up. They moved nearer to Angela's position, seeming to find comfort in her stoic stance behind the orb.
Simon stood behind her, during the hours that it took to charge the pyramids. Only leaving to get some food and drink, which he hand feed to her, as her hands were otherwise occupied. To Angela it didn't seem as long, as her mind was intent on the task in hand. Food seemed to come from nowhere as she required it. Thirst too, was assuaged in the same fashion. She was only vaguely aware of people around her, only Simon's presence was noted. There seemed to be a link between them and she could sense his support like a warm glow.
Night fell and the evidence of the superpower's futile attempts at halting the cloud was clearly visible. The red glow was very bright and seemed even larger than before. The pitch of the sound emanating from the pyramids rose up into the ultrasonic and silence reigned as all the surfaces of the three pyramids glowed blue.
Angela knew it was time. If the effort to manipulate the orb was draining, she knew it was as nothing when compared to the task ahead. Everyone held his or her collective breath, knowing the moment was at hand.
Over the afternoon's effort, Angela's meld with Aglsha's mind had been completed. There was no me/you, anymore. There was now only "us" as they began the final steps. Aglsha's knowledge of the orb combined with Angela's now enhanced psychic powers was put to the test as they exerted their all on the forces within the orb.
Simon watched anxiously, as she drew on even more power from the orb. Her hair started to rise as the backwash of energy tried to separate every hair strand from each other, until it looked like a huge golden crown of hair.
CRAAACK!!... Simon saw the sides of the pyramids open as beams of coruscating energy soared to the heavens. Each pyramid sent a beam out at a slightly differently angle; making a triangular shaped funnel that enclosed the clouds boundaries. Immediately the cloud seemed to rush forward into the funnel, descending into the earth's atmosphere inside the narrowing funnel. As the cloud tried to burst out to invade the life it could sense on earth, the walls of the funnel flashed blue rebuffing any attempts to breach it.
Each time this happened Angela could feel a surge in the energy as it countered the Pleolites attempts. It took more energy and that was a finite source! Once Angela's energy was gone, the energy field would collapse and death would be swift. The cloud reached the tops of the pyramids and started to die. The people watching cheered, not knowing the toll it was taking of the slender girl with the orb.
The last remnants of the cloud seemed to sense their imminent destruction and were fighting against the energy. With only a few stragglers left, Angela felt her energy dwindle to the point where she was barely holding them within the field. There was not enough energy left, to force them into contact with the pyramids. In an act of desperation, she reached out with her mind to touch those gathered around her.
Simon felt Angela's mind reaching out, and knew something was wrong. He tried willing more energy into the woman who stood unresisting in his arms. Dimly, he could sense though the fragile link he had with Angela, that she was pulling energy from the others.
As the energy coming from the people grew, she again had the strength to force the last of the Pleolites to their destruction. Simon felt her collapse, bonelessly into his embrace as she removed her hands from the orb. The energy field winked out in a heartbeat and true silence descended as the pyramids went dark.
For a few seconds, silence reigned as the people digested the final demise of the cloud. Then, slowly a cheer went up, gathering volume as they realised they had survived. People started laughing and dancing in celebration, unmindful of the scene near the orb.
Simon was very scared; Angela was unresponsive to his attentions as he tried to rouse her. Pete, Gary and the old man gathered round, looking shocked that their saviour had fallen.
Angela was conscious but couldn't respond. Aglsha was dying; only Angela's mind that prevented her leaving.
(Hon let me go, it's my time.)
'NO! I need you.'
(You have Simon. I want to see my father.)
'Don't go. You can see him later. I need you now.'
Angela grabbed Aglsha with her mental hand, and held tight swearing never to let go. She could sense Aglsha being drawn out towards a light, and slowly Angela too, was being drawn along. She tried to hold onto her corporeal body, but her grip was slipping.
'If you're going, so am I.'
(No...It's not your time.)
As Angela felt herself sliding over the edge to oblivion, in near panic at either losing Aglsha or Simon, she flung a mental hand out to Simon. There she stopped, holding on to both with a grip Hercules couldn't break.
Simon felt Angela call him though the link. As he willed her to come back to him, he felt the link strengthen, becoming like a steel cable. He could sense her struggling to return, but she was being pulled away. Frightened that she might be dying, he gave her every ounce of his burgeoning love and willed her back with every fibre of his being.
To Angela, the love that Simon felt for her impacted like an avalanche, flooding her soul with power. Using that love, she literally snapped back into her body, still holding Aglsha. The rebound effect flung their two souls together and they merged, becoming one. The link with Simon broke as she fell unconscious from the shock.
Simon, still holding Angela's body wept, thinking she was gone as the link snapped. As his tears fell upon her face, she stirred, and her eyes fluttered open. Looking into the grief stricken face, she felt a wave of love for this man who had risked his own soul to save her.
"Simon, I'm back."
Simon's eyes snapped open. The joy of hearing her voice filled him again and sent the feelings of doom away.
"Simon, I love you," she said quietly.
"Angela, I love you too. I felt like the sun nearly went out of my life just then."
Lifting her up in his arms, he kissed her, and then set her on her feet. She hugged the others, getting a kiss from all of them.
Walking to Pete's van, Angela felt like she'd run several marathons even with her augmented body. Lying down inside she rested, as Simon made a hot chocolate drink for her. She could hear voices outside as Gary and Pete discussed the events of the day.
"Shit!" Gary exclaimed, "We forgot the orb! It's still out there," he shouted.
Angela smiled to herself.
"Hell it's gone! The staff too. Where's the old man?"
Angela knew the orb was in safe hands, hopefully, it would never be needed again. Anyway she knew how to find it if necessary.
When Simon came back with the drink, he asked her if she was okay.
"Yes we are," she said with a smile.
"Aglsha is now part of me I feel her in my heart and she is me as well. We are one. Now and forever, we both gained each other's experiences and knowledge. She can live out her life with me and I know all the things I need, to be the woman I now am."
"Hmmm, so I'll be marrying both of you? A bargain if ever I heard one," Simon said, looking at Angela, expectantly.
"Yes...SIMON! You're asking me to be your wife?"
"Yes, if you'll have me that is,"
"Have you? You had me at 'Hello'."
(c) 2001 by Prudence Walker. All Rights Reserved. These documents (including, without limitation, all articles, text, images, logos, compilation design) may printed for personal use only. No portion of these documents may be stored electronically, distributed electronically, or otherwise made available without express written consent of the copyright holder.
TG Magic Sci-Fi Story-With-Images
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