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Paul Butters Paul Butters
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Wormhole Chapter Two

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She had a friend.

In Chapter One I went through a wormhole into a tropical paradise on a world with two suns. I made my way along the beach and spotted a small medieval port ahead. Then I met some beach volleyball players, who offered to escort me to that port.

I was beginning to get stage fright. The group of “volleyball” players led me between alleyway after alleyway of market stalls, backed by Medieval-looking dwellings. We had entered the “citadel” that I’d spotted from afar. It was not a vast city. Just about all of it was protected by a modest wall. As we strolled by, everyone stopped and stared. Some even waved excitedly at us.

Up a small hill, however, we soon encountered a royal-looking castle cum palace. The place was evidently surrounded by spacious gardens. Inevitably they led me through a courtyard and along some palace corridors. Now we were surrounded by soldiers. No guns in view, just spears and swords.

The main hall.

We passed through a crowd of courtiers towards a line of six thrones.

King and Queen in the centre, three princesses and a prince to either side. Better bow when we reach them.

Here we are. Better bow n…

To my astonishment all six royals stood from their thrones and prostrated themselves before me. I was shocked. Okay, so ordinary beach revellers had behaved like this, but royalty? All the courtiers supplicated themselves before me too, which made some sense.

As soon as I had composed myself I half-coughed, “As you were please. At ease!”

They obeyed without question. The king made the introductions. He was called Sandron IV and his Queen was Eredria. Their children were Prince Heddron and Princesses Beaurra, Angellogan and Chloema. Their nation was named “Erradia”. The King wished me a good stay with them. My accommodations were already prepared. Then he paused and looked around.

King: “As you probably know My Lord, your arrival here is most timely. Isn’t that right my love?”

He turned to his wife with a prompting nod.

Queen: “Yes My Lord. It certainly is. Only today our long range scouts informed us that our mortal enemies, The Putoffs have a vast army encamped just beyond our borders, ready to invade. But now we can send them a messenger, who will tell them that if they dare cross our border, you will smite them.”

I gulped.

You’re in it way over your head now Paul. Could outbox about three of these weedy people, but an army? No way. Better not admit my limitations though: things could be much worse if I do. Let’s play along for now and see if I can wangle my way out of this.

I nodded firmly at The Queen. That way I didn’t say anything that I might regret.

The King said something about me being one of a long line of “gods” who had visited and helped these people for hundreds of years. He said some other things too but my mind was elsewhere. Escape was top of my agenda now, at least before that army turned up.

Presently The King declared the meeting closed. He then announced that the young prince was to be my “Companion” throughout my stay. (Heddron looked about eighteen years old).

King: “Heddron, if you would please escort His Lordship to his quarters.”

Well, when he said “Heddron” he meant Heddron and about twenty guards, but sure enough they showed me to my rooms. The Prince was lodged in an adjacent suite at my convenience.

No complaints here. My rooms were luxurious. Ironic considering the pickle I was in.

The prince offered to eat with me once I’d freshened up. Needless to say I took a bath in the most beautiful surroundings. Had to get rid of the servants, but they’d soon get used to my quaint customs.

If I can somehow distance myself from this pending invasion, perhaps I might stay here for a while. This prince looks a bright lad. Maybe I can glean some clues from him about whatever’s going on. Mustn’t show my ignorance though. Wonder what he knows about these “gods”.

After my bath I sent for the prince and he directed me to a small table where we could eat in comfort. Food was served, and it was sumptuous. We got to talking.

Me: “Heddron, I must confess I have had little contact with my fellow gods recently, what can you tell me about the visits you’ve witnessed?”

The prince was eager to please and make his mark: information poured from him. He’d met a succession of gods and their characters had varied a great deal.

Me: “Did any one of them not wear one of these crystals?”

Heddron: “Is this a test my Lord?”

Me: “How do you mean?”

Heddron: “Well, everyone knows you always wear a universal translator. How else would you communicate with us?”

Surely that shows we are NOT gods. Better not argue though. This is difficult enough already.

Heddron again: “…and you always carry a Power Ring with you.”

Power Ring? All I’ve got is my mobile, watch and keys. The mobile and watch should impress these people. But hang on…

I plunged my hands into my pockets and unceremoniously emptied the contents  out on some table-space.

A big gold ring. OMG.

Me: “Okay, Heddron, could you send your servants away please. I want strict privacy.”

The prince nodded and made the appropriate gestures. We were now alone.

Me: “Thank you. Now then. Can I rely on you to keep this confidential? Between you and me?”

Heddron: “Of course, My Lord.”

Me: “Good. I have a confession to make…”

Heddron: “Is this your first mission My Lord?”


Me: “How do you know?”

Heddron: “You are the third god I’ve met who was on his first mission. One was a lady actually…”

Me: “I…see.”

Heddron: “None of you knew how to use the Ring. Unless…”

Me: “No, I haven’t a bloody clue. Can you tell me?”

Heddron: “Gladly Sir. First you must place it on your right forefinger. But you must keep your left hand over that finger.”

Me: “Why?”

Heddron: “Come with me and I’ll show you. But you must keep that finger covered.”

Me: “Okay.”

So, I pushed on the ring (it was a tight fit) and followed him onto a patio overlooking those spacious royal gardens. Before them was an expansive lawn, on which some courtiers were practicing archery.

Heddron: “Right, clench your right fist so that your forefinger is covered by your hand. Good. (He had assumed an air of authority by now). Now flick your ring-finger open so that it points at that target there, the first one on the left.”

I did as he instructed. Flick. Boom! That target disintegrated in the midst of a bright explosion. An explosion caused by a lightning bolt that flashed from my own forefinger.


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