Category: <span>Ta-Ami</span>

Ta-Ami part 15

Entering the river

Slowly now the boat and trailer inched its way towards the waters edge. Kevin was in the wheelhouse directing the operation with Harris beside him assisting though not quite sure what he was doing but relaying all commands. Commander Soste had put out patrols both up and down the river watching for any sign of Asov himself taking the downriver side, which he judged to be the more likely, the main threat.
A cloud passed in front of the moon eliminating all light.
Kevin called a halt; the trucks plastic gears creaked as it attempted to hold the heavy load on the incline into the river being a model normally it had no braking system relying solely the nylock gears and friction to stop its forward or rearward motion. Mumbling to himself Kevin muttered “what am I at; I can’t do this in broad daylight when I’m full size.
Surely to God I am going wake up and find this all a bad dream”. Harris strained to hear what orders Kevin had issued, Kevin just waved an assuring hand towards him and a slight nod of his head , suggesting he was doing well.
A few moments later the cloud passed and moonlight returned to the riverbank allowing them to continue. The truck lurched the plastic gears in the truck gearbox had failed, Ami’s holding guide ropes were pulled off there feet as the truck, trailer and boat gained momentum on the incline and rushed headlong towards the dark water at the bottom of the concrete slope.
Harris was first to recognise the danger and screamed to the Ami’s to abandon the ropes in fear that they would be dragged to their deaths in the river. The truck and load picked up speed racing towards the water edge with a fearsome splash the whole lot entered the river backwards. Not for the first time that night all aboard were dashed about the decks.
Two Ami’s being unlucky enough to be to close to the small decorative railing along the side of the boat, and were cast overboard as the boat rocked and then slowed with the increased friction of meeting the water. Kevin Harris and the other Ami’s dragged themselves up to the windows. “By all the Gods we are afloat and topside up”. Shouted Kevin; Harris turned to look at Kevin. ”Kevin by your tone you imply there was some doubts as to the success of the boat launching in correctly”.
Kevin grimaced and shrugged his shoulders “there is always some small danger involved, but why worry we are here on the river afloat and ready to embark the rest of our company. Can you recall Soste and the rest now please and see if you can find those two Ami that were knocked overboard please”? Harris shook his head and looked forward towards the bank of the river. Turning back to Kevin and shaking his head “The two that fell overboard are lost Kevin no Ami is able to float and none willingly enter the water to swim.”
A commotion on the embankment turned all their heads as Soste and the downriver group arrived at a run. Being only a short distance downriver they had heard the noise of the truck breaking its drive train and running away into the river.
Kevin waved and then set about manoeuvring the boat alongside a deeper part of the river embankment, making it easier for the returning Ami’s to climb aboard now that he was aware of their inability to swim. Soste advised Kevin to move upriver and take on the other patrol, as it would save time waiting for them to be recalled and return to the boat and not leave them as vulnerable tied up alongside the embankment. Kevin gave the orders to the Ami he had trained to operate the systems on the boat. A small vibration began in the bottom of the boat as it shuddered a little and began to move off upriver after the scouting group of Ami’s. Soste was standing beside Harris and gave him a pat on the back “well done Harris we will make an engineer of you yet” several nearby Ami laughed at Harris’s discomfort.


Ta-Ami part 14

Breakaway

Deep within the hill known as Ta-Amihome sits a group of lords and ladies enjoying the delights of a party hosted by Lord Gil of the pathfinders. With a slight nod of his head a selected few lords are singled out for a more private meeting, the doors a to lord Gils inner sanctum are opened by a matched pair of tall warriors chosen for their loyalty to the clan lord. When all have entered the doors swing closed and Lord Gil places his hand on a small metal globe and a spell of privacy is activated, seeing the globe give off a blue aura lord Gil announces. ”Now lords and ladies we are free to talk without fear anything we discuss may be overheard”. Now seated in a full circle all lords equal, each lord views the other. A regal Ami sitting to the right hand of lord Gill stands to address his fellows. “Are we to meekly follow this last order from Corta? And slaughter the returning survey, should we not first seek to find out what information they carry can what they know be so dangerous. Are we children to be kept in the dark“? The regal Ami surveyed the group of peers, knowing his position as lord of the Elad that clan most related to the vacant throne. Made him socially superior to the other lords gathered here. “Lord Aeladin are we here for one of your speeches to garner support for to have you and your clan enthroned, yet again”. The speaker was a blue skinned female of the Lukra clan. Called Kan-an-Lukri chieftain of the Lukra clan had little time for the self-important lord Aeladin. “Are we here to discuss some plan of action or just listen to another clan hierarchy lecture? I say we go to Corta and have him explain his actions, his right to surpass our laws have little credence nowadays the time for unaccountable rule is over”. With this the lady Kan-An swung round in her seat to face Lord Gil. The steady and unwavering gaze left lord Gill uncomfortable in his position as host. Another lord DaeDann larger built than the rest rose from his seat bowed politely to all. “If the good lord Aeladin will relinquish the floor and my lady Kan-An has finished I have news that may interest you all. As you know we of the warrior caste have priority in the safekeeping and security of Ta-Amihome, at Corta’s request I through Kek his mage. I have been instructed to advance the training of all my new recruits and to cut short the apprentice program and promote all that are capable or any that have reached journeyman status. In fact all trades pertaining to war and the waging of it have suffered likewise instruction. My fears are that the Asov are upon us or have at the least landed in this isle, and that Corta and his Cortacrek are aware of this. Why else slaughter the survey party on their return if not for the fact that they have first hand knowledge”. With this a Babel of voices broke out, several of the lords confirming the orders given by Corta to their own clans, and affirming that the Ami’s were indeed arming for war.
All of them knew that if the Asov had indeed landed on this island then they were looking at Armageddon for there was nowhere else to run. This would be the last stand for the Ta-Ami.
The Lady Ka-an gently nodded in the direction of lord DaeDann. “Then the die is cast my lords and ladies mage or no mage Corta’s rule is not insurable. I propose we elect a group to confront him and his Cortacrek and explain all that is afoot here for there are surely many things to explain”. Having spoke for the last time Lord Gil pointed to young newly appointed lord in the time-honoured fashion of a proposal. Lord Ahel of the minor Sunne clan outstretched his hands palm upwards and bowed in acceptance of the position offered to him, knowing there was really little else he could do. As one the rest of the assembled lords With the exception of lord DaeDann and the lady Ka-an, banged the table with their fists confirming his appointment. “Now we shall return to our feast”. Lord Gil removed the ward protecting the room from eavesdropping; the blue glow from the gem died and he led the party in their exit to the main hall.


Ta-Ami part 13

Escape

At the site of the near disastrous crash the last of the Ami’s pathfinders was just about to mount the side of the truck when an arrow took him in the back. Six heavily armed Asov charged from the old bridge. They hadn’t been a patrol just a few Asov that had wandered off from the main camp looking for game rats mice anything they could get. Crossing the bridge they had witnessed the headlong flight and ungainly stop of the truck. Then spying the Ami’s and not stopping for a moment to think to alarm the camp they charged.
Soste spotted the Asov in instant-calling archers to return fire, before the last Asov could even reach the truck all were slain. Soste ordered warriors to move the dead bodies and hide them as best as time would allow others were to backtrack and see if any Asov had escaped to warn the main camp. The job completed the warriors returned and made their report that there appeared to be no more Asov in the vicinity. With careful manoeuvring the truck was turned onto the path to the river again, each manoeuvre improving the skill of the Ami operators. The truck skipped along at a fair speed under the moonlight for commander Soste would not allow Kevin to turn the torch light on again perchance an Asov patrol should see it and come to investigate it and discover them.
“How far up river must we go until we can put the boat in the water Kevin”? Asked Harris, Kevin thought for a moment and said. “About half way between the bridge and the pipe is a ramp into the water, it’s a flat area of concrete and will allow us to reverse the truck in to the river and float it free then it is just a matter of sailing up the river home”. “What of the truck and the flatbed that carries the boat what shall we do with them, I don’t want the Asov having any idea what we do”. Kevin thought for a moment and replied “A little further up the path is an old river bed; we will drive the truck there and let it roll into the gully and disperse the tracks as we make our way back to our boat”. Rounding a bend Kevin spotted what he thought was a large stone nearly the size of the truck in the middle of the path,
Suddenly it began to move across the path and down to the river, just as it was about to disappear into the undergrowth he recognized it as a hedgehog as much frightened of the truck as he of it.
At last they reached the ramp down into the river and the serious task of getting the truck into the water began. What Kevin had failed to mention was that the only two occasions he had attempted this with his son he had capsized the boat and had to lift it out to pour all the water out again and dry out the electrical components. He was sure of a successful launch this time.
Slowly inch-by-inch the truck crept down to the waters edge, the slings and tie downs had all been released as soon as the boat was far enough into the water it would float, Kevin hoped.


Ta-Ami part 12

Thalis was not the first but only one of a very few Asov of either sex that had shown an increase in abilities since the arrival of the Asov on this planet. The old order of Asov that had built and launched the Arcs that had flown them here had long ago died killed in battle or just aged. There had been many casualties after the near disaster in space when the Asov had ambushed the Ami Arc from behind a nearby planet. Unbeknown to the Asov the Ami’s had been ready for the attack and had improved shielding also the sensor net aboard had given the warning of the ambush. The Asov faced total oblivion, in a final mad rush the captain of the Asov Arc had crashed headlong into the side of the Ami Arc. Mortally wounding it and causing it to crash land in the Northern Hemisphere on this planet and in doing so many lifeboats had vacated the Ami Arc prior to landing. The lifeboats all had different trajectories and had landed on several landmasses thousands of miles apart. Meanwhile the Asov not having the luxury of lifeboats stayed with their stricken craft and lost many thousands in the great crash. Tethus knew all this for he was one among a few allowed to read the old tomes hidden away by his order a journal and record of what had befallen the Asov. Most Asov believed this was their home planet knowing no different. Even the reason for the Asov undying hatred of the Ami’s and how the Arc had crashed on the hot southern continental landmass, the familiar conditions aiding the Asov to repopulate quickly, the hot climate and desert so like their own home world before the exodus. Of those that left the home world to continue the struggle not one in five survived the landing. Tethus felt proud of the fact his people had at first recovered and then began to repopulate. But the loss of so many of the original technicians as poor as they had been had never been recouped and the most of the surviving Asov had been strong in body rather than mind. Tethus himself had been born on the great trek following the surviving Ami’s and the story of Corta the ever-living mage. Tethus with the aid of others before him had been able to translate many of the old tomes but not all some spoke of things he didn’t fully understand but he knew Corta held the secrets he longed for. He was a key to the door of knowledge and with his help he could raise the Asov nation to a position in which even the bigger folk of this world they had colonised would eventually fear them. Raising from his bath his attendants dried and dressed him. Remembering the report about the strange metal the scout had found Tethus ordered Thalis to take him to the site it was stored at so he might inspect it. This was something Thalis had come to realise of Tethus he wasn’t afraid of new ideas and would try any new thing that might give advantage to him. Asking the scout where he had found the metal sheet and looking at the size of it Tethus was surprised that the scout had reported so few were able to carry it back to the camp. Had Kevin been with the group he would have told Tethus the metal sheet was aluminium a lightweight metal used in the fabrication of many items by humans. The scout took Tethus to an area previously prepared an Asov was there with an Ami bow and arrow standing just a few yards away from a piece of the metal worked free from the main sheet and set up on a piece of wood. The scout took aim and pulled the bow back with all the might he had then let the arrow fly at the bit of metal. The metal tip of the Ami arrow never penetrated the sheet instead bouncing off and skimming into the forest. Tethus eyes lit up with glee “How hard is it to cut out a piece of metal from the sheet about the height and width of an Asov” he asked. “Not too hard my Lord” replied the scout. “Then cut as many as you can with the dimensions I have given you and fit hand grips as best you can. I think I may have something for Lord Arinis that may for a change please him.”


Ta-Ami part 11

“If we hadn’t stopped,” muttered Kevin.
Harris, Soste and the other bridge crew regained their collective feet and peered out the window at where Kevin looked. “Barra God of luck” muttered several of the Ami Soste

9. Picking up the trail

Arinis lay on the floor of his hut his favourite females around him waiting on his every need; cuts of meat from a rat found killed at the water edge were hand fed to him, as were fruits found on the bushes nearby. An Asov trailblazer stood giving an account of the search for the Ami party and concluded “lord the Ami’s are as skilled as any at concealing their tracks. No sign has been seen of them since your crèche brother was found at the outlet of the pipe, many tracks lead away but all disappear after a short distance in to the undergrowth. But one report disturbs me.
The rat found dead at the waters edge showed no sign of what attacked it. Signs are that it exited the burrow hole and died where it stood perhaps a bird but I don’t think so. My conclusion is that the Ami’s have slipped back towards the beach and if they have, then there they will die”. Arinis thought for a moment then shooed his servant girls away. “Have you sent patrols out to cover the beach area”? The tall warrior wavered for an instant “yes lord” Arinis moved and in an instant had a blade at the warrior’s throat. “Now tell me. The but”? Arinis stared into the warrior’s eyes. Sweat ran down his forehead and entered the corner of his eyes the warrior blinked and closed his eyes. “I have just returned to camp and been given the information about the rat lord. I was on the other side of the forest leading the hunt there. No patrol has yet been assigned the river or back to the waterfront”. Feeling an easing of the pressure the Asov opened his eyes in time to see Arinis blade slice towards his neck and sever his throat. A few seconds was all it took for him to die. Calling for the patrol leaders second in command Arinis stepped back and wiped his blade. “This fool forgot his duty, I hope you won’t. Cover the beach area and both sides of the river find these Ami’s or report back to me that you have not. As of now you are patrol leader take this husk away and throw it in the river out of my sight”.
Tethus sat in his bath eyes closed using his mage sight to witness all that had just happened within Arinis’s hut. “It would seem the lord Arinis grows frustrated at his inability to find the Ami’s”. He mused to himself aloud as none were nearby that could either understand his speech or enter his hut. That Arinis had cut the throat of a loyal captain did not surprise Tethus in the least he was well aware of Arinis’s excess’s and would continue to indulge him as long as the lord could bring success. Tethus smiled again to himself at the thought of capturing Corta intact if possible still functioning. Both he and his inner circle were well aware of his status as an Android. Tethus relished the thoughts of being able to access the memory of one who had lived on the home world Aeldarod. The technology and the knowledge all would be his. Since leaving the home world in pursuit of the Ami’s both Asov and Ami’s had regressed. A falling population and constant pursuit by the Asov plus the strange rulings by Corta all combined with a failure to stay in any one place for any great length of time all added up to help the Ami’s decline. The Asov on the other hand never had that many technicians and rarely had they time to train replacements any that died were a greater loss to the Asov than to the Ami’s. The mages had come to ascendancy at this point with their strong ability in magic they were able to hold off and eventually undo the Ami’s, giving the Asov time to breed new warriors and vastly outnumber the Ami’s. Tethus knew all this and sat contemplating his handiwork


Ta-Ami part 10

Kevin watched from above, when all was in place Soste signalled to Kevin. The top of the frame started to turn towards the front of the garage and a cable started to lower from the front end of the mast with a hook at the bottom of it. An Ami climbed the boat mast to reach up and attach the slings from the body of the boat. When at last the Ami had jumped clear the cable started its ascent lifting the boat clear. Then slowly it began to swing out towards the position the trailer was parked in. More Ami threw guide ropes to those still upon the deck of the boat, and once tied off the load was lowered to the bed of the trailer. Ami’s grouped to front and rear of the boat guiding it carefully onto the cradle with the newly tied ropes. Once free of the boat slings, the heavy packs manhandled from under the table were lifted into the body of the boat. All cheered at the sight of the boat upon the trailer bed. Kevin and his group reached the ground commander Soste greeted him. “Well-done Kevin, but I get the feeling that was the easy part”.
Kevin’s job as an engineer had made it easy to rewire the battery and control packs in the yellow crane, and by shorting the control wires had manoeuvred the crane into position for the lift. Now he had the harder job of controlling the model heavy lifting truck to pick up the trailer. Easy when you are six foot high and have positive control of the remote control, but after several attempts he managed to link the trailer and truck together. Now all that remains is to rewire the controls inside the boat. Under his supervision Ami began slicing wires then insulating the joins and extending them up to the model wheelhouse here Kevin rewired the remote controls for the boat and using micro switches in place of the remote sending control box. Kevin had directed another group of Ami to enter the main house through yet another cat flap, these were to forage in the kitchen and bring any stores they could. They had turned out to be quite resourceful in entering the cupboards and brought a good supply of foodstuffs.
Having completed the rewiring of the boat Kevin set about securing a small torch to the roof of the truck cab. Finally Kevin reviewed his work all that was left was to bring the truck remote aboard, warriors set off to switch off the main lights in the garage and the remote for the doors was placed near the truck. Kevin nodded to Soste who signalled the warriors at the light switch the room fell to darkness. A few minutes later the doors started to open and the last two warriors clambered up ropes laid over the boat rail and on to the deck.
The truck remote control had been lashed to the fore deck of the boat, Kevin was going to control this by word of mouth relay from the bridge shouting orders to the Ami and several Ami working together via commands from Kevin would push on the remote control levers. With a sudden lurch the truck started off leaving several Ami lying on their backs as they were thrown to the boat deck, Harris among them. At Kevin’s command the truck stopped and the fallen picked up. Kevin was amazed as strange as the technology was to them the Ami had adapted quickly and had mastered most tasks with ease.
Once clear of the garage Kevin directed a Left turn on to the path towards the road, at the current speed it was no problem for the Ami to accomplish but the difficult part was to come manoeuvring the vehicle at a higher speed along the river path. Here it was more likely that Asov might wait in ambush and the quicker the Ami and the boat could pass the less likely of injury or of attack.
Luckily the postman had left the gate open that morning and Kevin had left the house by the rear pathway. The truck lurched to a stop several pathfinders climbed down to cross the road ahead, both checking for traffic and signs of ambush, These warriors would have the difficult task of remounting the truck while still on the move and making the right turn on to the river path.
Having received the all clear Kevin gave instructions to turn on the small torchlight mounted on the roof of the cab. Once on it lit the whole road in front of the truck, again the truck lurched forward the Ami not yet used to moving off smoothly, too fast thought Kevin and signalled for less speed the truck settled down. Then to Kevin’s horror the whole area turned to daylight, looking to his right Kevin could see what appeared to be twin suns moving towards them. It was just bad luck that the car happened to come at this point just when everything was going so smoothly. Trying to judge whether or not the truck would make the safety of the path Kevin floundered, Soste pushed past. “Full speed push on the levers hard”. Those not already lying on the deck were swiftly put there with the greatly increased acceleration. Kevin, Soste, Harris and the bridge crew were no exception.
The car shot past missing them by just a few feet and carried on the driver and his companions oblivious to the fact they had nearly ended all the Ami’s and Kevin’s lives.
Kevin scrambled to the bridge window over the top of prone and dazed Ami’s and screamed, “STOP”. Immediately the truck began to slow but still carried on by the momentum of the acceleration burst they passed through the stone wall gap and entrance to the river path. Kevin could see the grass at the far side of the path getting closer as the truck rumbled forward towards it, not remembering what was there before they reached the embankment. All the Ami working the controls were lying around dazed but otherwise unhurt. As luck would have it a small stone stopped all forward movement and Kevin sighed, relief plainly clear on his face for all to see. Just a few feet ahead of where they had stopped, there was a deep narrow ditch with a little water at the bottom.


Ta-Ami part 9

Soste broke into a high-pitched laugh Harris standing beside him couldn’t help but join in. When they had calmed down Harris explained. “When the door began to move upwards in the first instant, we were leaning against it resting. It frightened the life out of us our natural reaction was to run for cover. Many things about your society we don’t understand and your technology is alien to us Kevin”. Kevin laughed and shook his head. “Wait till you see what I have in store for you next then”.
With the two Ami still on top of the wooden bench, Kevin directed them to the wall switch for the main lights for the garage. Warning the group what was to happen Kevin had the Ami through the switch. The garage was flooded with light from the overhead panels. Many Ami stood looking around in awe of the equipment about them, Kevin new none of them understood what any of it did. Located at the rear of the garage was an area where Kevin had stored many of his eldest son’s toys. Among them on a low bench near the floor was the three-foot long fibreglass model boat that Kevin and his son had spent the whole summer building. Now in his present size it looked enormous. Kevin led the way towards the rear of the garage and began to explain to Harris Soste and the others his method and plan of escape from the Asov. “One moment Kevin the commander and I need to go and discuss something” with that Harris and Soste moved off a little from the main group.
There seemed to be a heated discussion going on between them, both Soste and Harris returned Soste was first to speak. “Kevin we are at an impasse, we are governed by a group of elders the Cortacrek. Many of them are mages led by our lord Corta and one of our laws decree that we should have little or no contact with humans. Moreover, we must never interact with human technology. What we have already done is unforgivable, and Harris points out that what you propose is incompatible with our laws.
But my own clan leader lord Gil leads a faction calling for the repeal of this law citing that much of your technology may aid and assist us we live as many of our forefathers did before us and my lord feels we stagnate”. Many others nodded in agreement with statement Soste had made, and an argument broke out among the warriors. Soste called for quiet and when all had settled he spoke. “I understand why Harris pointed out what we are about to undertake and how we breach our law by doing so, but in our present predicament I can see no other way to proceed. Moreover, since this is a question of law I will ask for no vote. I command here the decision is mine alone to make Kevin will you explain all that needs to be done“. Kevin immediately started to organise work parties and assign them different positions and jobs. With everyone in position, they started the work of moving the boat. Kevin explained he had done this before with his son when he was full size using the remote equipment. But a few changes would have to be made. A group pulled out large heavy packs from under a table; strange writings and bright colours adorned the packs, One Ami reached up to assist his brothers in moving the pack when he touched one of the shining metal ends he collapsed. Harris ran to the stricken Ami Kevin watched as Harris made a few passes in the air over the fallen Ami then instructed a few of them to make him more comfortable. Concern showed on Kevin’s face, Harris asked if the package the Ami was assisting with carried power Kevin nodded that it had. “Our kind is very vulnerable to this type of power Kevin it seems to suck the life energy out of us”. Harris and Soste watched in fascination as Kevin pulled out an enormous pair of old rubber gardening gloves left under the workbench on the floor then set about cutting off the finger ends with the blade of a craft knife. “Have the work party’s moving the power cells wear these, and then they will have some protection from the power packs as the rubber will insulate them”. Others manhandled other pieces of equipment. Harris watched as Kevin and a couple of Ami started climbing a large yellow framework with a crosspiece mounted at the top then they disappeared inside a cabin mounted at the top. Another group led by Soste pulled out a model big truck trailer with a boat cradle sitting on its flatbed back. Others were attaching slings around and under the boat itself.


Ta-Ami part 8

Many of his old and worn parts damaged beyond the ability of the remaining Cortacrek to repair, indeed the knowledge of how to repair his malfunctioning parts or even how to replace them now lost with time. Corta summoned his co conspirators. ”As each of you know this will be my final resting chamber so delicate are my circuits that I fear to move at all now without damage, that the Asov are close now there is no doubt.
Each of you knows my memory cells must never fall into their hands. Nor indeed any part of me for in that lies a danger beyond your comprehension for Ami kind, it is suffice to tell you that I must be totally destroyed should this refuge be invaded. But I think as great a danger approaches with our brother Harris. Yet he has no knowledge of what he brings, perhaps it is no more than a concept a thought or an object. But be assured it brings a fundamental change to all we know Ta-Amikind would never be the same again if Harris and his party were allowed to reach Ta-Amihome. Now leave me when you are finished my servicing and see that my orders are carried out. Obliterate the survey party it must never reach these halls”. As one the three chorused “your will mighty Corta”. With that they departed resealing the portal after them that none could enter without their leave.
Alone now in his chamber was once again glad he never had the upgrade chip for emotions fitted, emotions would surely be a hindrance to the orders he had just issued. But still his logic software was aware that he had just condemned the survey party, and in some strange way he regretted it, if only he could have foreknowledge of what was returning with Harris, perhaps he could better prepare for it and deal with in some more logical manner. Was this regret were androids capable of building their own emotions, surely not. His semi organic brain could not cope with such a complex equation.

8. Getting the boat

K
evin woke from another fitful doze to the sounds of the camp breaking up with darkness now fully upon them the group prepared to move out.
As silently as they could they crossed the bridge Kevin could feel every fibre of his body screaming at him, those dammed Asov could be out there just waiting in ambush.
Kevin moved up to the head of the Column beside Soste and indicated the wall beside the path. “Tell the pathfinders to go along the wall till they come to an opening then we cross obstacle number two the main road from Larne to Ballygally”.
It took nearly an hour as Kevin thought before they reached the breach in the wall; Kevin smiled in the darkness he had often thought of the wall, as low, now it was an immense mountain of stone. This would be the most dangerous part of the journey, crossing this road even late at night had caught many a small animal out. But with the aid of the pathfinders going on ahead and checking around Kevin’s property they made it safely across. Kevin directed the group towards the garage at the side of the main house. “I fitted a cat flap here recently so this will be our way in, let me go inside with a few men that we can open the main door it will be easier for the wounded”. With that and a heave up Kevin entered the cat flap. Moving cautiously across the garage floor Kevin and his group made their way towards an impossibly high looking wooden workbench. “Anyone good at climbing”? Asked Kevin, Two Ami stepped forward; Kevin showed them where he had anchored some power cables to the side of the bench. He explained to them where on the bench to look for the string they would need to tie to the remote control he had left there for the garage doors. Once that was lowered, Kevin would operate the door and let the rest of the group in. After a few mistakes with similar pieces of equipment, the remote was lowered to the floor. Kevin opened the door a little enough to admit the group outside, but to his amazement and horror, they were gone. Another from his group cautiously crept up to the door and looked about Kevin saw him signal in the moonlight night. Then a few minutes later the rest of the group appeared with Soste at the head of it staring around as he entered. “Where did you go to and why?”


Ta-Ami part 7

Back to the bridge

Progress had been quick for the Ami party, most of the way along the riverbank was unhindered. The only real problem had been a rat scavenging along the bank. It had emerged from its hole in the bank just after the pathfinders had passed and before the main body of the group. A brief struggle later and the rat lay dead with no injuries incurred to the Ami warriors though Kevin had tried to avoid taking any part as the creature fought for its very life. Apart from that, the pathfinders gave early warning in good time there were no Asov patrols encountered. They now approached what Kevin viewed as one of the two danger spots on the journey, the old wooden bridge.
Darkness was at last beginning to overtake the party and in this there was some comfort, Soste had the pathfinders sweep the area and then cross the bridge in ones and twos in the twilight to do the same on the other side then stand guard and await further orders.
Kevin agreed with Soste that it would be best not to wait for dark before moving the main party across as they were slowed by the wounded, all settled down for a short rest.
Kevin spoke to Harris “this may seem crazy to you but I swear the sun isn’t moving as fast as it should”. Harris chuckled “Yes you are right Kevin from your prospective and your present state you are privy to our laws and we live at a different rate to you humans. As a rule of thumb one human day would be the equivalent to seven of our days that is why the sun seems slower. We have about a half-day yet to wait before darkness so get some rest”.

Ta-Ami home

In a grand chamber deep in a hill near the village of Glenoe what appeared to be an old man sat upon a throne atop a dais.
A master of ceremonies Cried “Let all of the Cortacrek attend, the high lord Corta holds court”. All in attendance immediately turned towards the dais where the high mage sat.
“We have omens brought to us by our brethren that we cannot dismiss reports of visions from the highest of our order to the lowest. Many of them regarding the survey we sent out to the coastline several weeks ago, we feel they will return safe but with the loss of troops and that they bring a prize. But this prize will have a price and after much thought I have decided the price will be too much to pay.
To this end I have ordered Lord Gil to mount his best force of pathfinders and seek out the returning survey party and kill them to an Ami. My greatest fear is they bring back with them an end to Ta-Amikind. So is my word law let it be done, this court is at an end”. With that the assembled mages began to leave the great hall, but all were discussing the command of Corta many broke into smaller groups and left to confer with each other.
Kek Tase and Wiydif were the only mages to remain behind, when the great doors to the room were closed Kek sealed them with a spell, Tase cast another spell of cloaking, while Wiydif set about servicing the throne that supported Corta. Checking power cells and fluid reservoirs and connections
Being over one thousand years old he had been unable to move from the throne for three hundred of those years.


Ta-Ami part 6

Tethus sat in his makeshift hut erected by his servant Asov oblivious to the sounds of industry coming from the main camp.
Unknown to all Tethus was still able to contact the rest of his Asov magicians in mainland Scotland by mind speech, a strange mixture of thought words and feelings. Safe in the knowledge that no one including Arinis could or would enter this abode unbidden, Tethus continued his contact, when all was completed he called for servant’s loyal only to him. By a strange magic he and his group of magicians were the only ones the servants were able to communicate with though they understood all Asov speech they could respond to no other. Unusually they were drawn from any clan at a young age they were included in the passage a rite, which showed the level of magic each potentate was able to achieve. A higher score meant training as a magician and the lower ones servants.
Tethus called his favourite a female Thalis he himself had found her, older than most potentates as her gifts had only started to show at a later stage in her development, Tethus had still hopes she would flourish and there was still the added fact she was female. With her ritual bow to Tethus she entered the hut. “Your will my lord a scout returns with news of the Ami group sighted on the beach and of a strange metal found nearby, I have told him to await your orders and report it to no one else”. Tethus nodded in agreement with Thalis’s arrangements “Our conclave of brothers has scried the signs. We are convinced this is where our old enemy Corta abides with the last of the true Cortacrek. And not to far away I think, soon there will be a final accounting, blood will pay for blood, and our people will be avenged. Keep a watch on the wily Paduk he could cause some mischief. If it were not for the patronage of Arinis I would have withered the bones of his body ages past. Bring me food and have a bath prepared I must regain my strength tell the scout that I will speak with him shortly”. Making a playful pat at Thalis he dismissed her while thinking of the pleasures she might bring later.
Lying in his bath Tethus began considering the last few weeks, the hazardous crossing from the mainland of Scotland, at the whims and mercy of the tide and currents he along with the rest had to stay confined within the wooden pallet that had been constructed to ferry them all. He shuddered to think what might have happened if one of the human vessels that regularly frequented the narrow channel had collided with the pallet, perhaps even forced it under the salt water sea, not only would all aboard have drowned, but as he well knew the salt water would have reacted like acid stripping his skin and burning him to the bone, either way drowning or burning it would have been a painful slow death. But all had gone to plan all the pallets had arrived safely on the shores of Ireland, all be it separated by some distance between the pallets.