Chapter 7 ~ The Water Works

 

The God of thunder, Thor, arrives at midnight and spends the night drinking with Dee. After a long evening, the elders of the village discuss what has happened and who might be to blame. SpaceDog tells of his quest to find the stolen necklace and new evidence turns up. That night, they explore the Water Works and find more than what they expected.


Twin Moons 

When the twin full moons light the sky at midnight, one of the windows of the dining hall of The Gallant Tree Inn opens and a unicorns' head pokes in.

[Shadowfax]  Did I miss anything interesting?

With a nod and a snort, he turns his attention back outside and says,

[Shadowfax]  Thor's here. It must be Thorsday.   

From the lounge, we all hear Thor boisterous voice,

[Thor]         Here's to Cheating, Stealing, Fighting and Drinking!  If you cheat, may you cheat death; If you steal, may you steal a woman's heart; If you fight, may you fight for a brother or sister; and if you drink, may you drink with me! Cheers!

[Jean Vanadis]  That's my son. Life is either a party or a fight for him.

[ ~Dee~ ]       It's Thorsday!!! Hoo Raa Raa! 

[Thor]           Where is that mangy mutt of a dad?

[ ~Dee~ ]       He's... about to pass out his blue bottle stock to the village elders in the dining hall. No need to bother them until later, if you know what I mean.

Dee drains a large mug of ale.

In the dining hall, the village elders sit around drinking the very cold blue bottled ginger beer SpaceDog provided. They listen to his story about the stolen necklace and how it once belonged to his sister when she was married to Odin. Shadowfax also listens in and Lullaby Halo begins to display keen interest since she has viewed the necklace many years ago.

[Lullaby Halo]  I remember seeing that necklace many, many moon cycles ago. It has embedded jewels that shine like the stars in the heavens. Was it not created by four dwarves?

[SpaceDog]   Yes, that's the one is a masterpiece. Its called Brísingamen. Odin gave it to his second wife and it resided in the family vault until it was stolen.

[Jean Vanadis poutingThat necklace was once given to me by our father, Njord, but I had to give it to Odin. He didn't want his ex-wife to have it, thinking it would look better on his current wife, Frigg, for reasons I'm still not happy about.

[SpaceDog]   I know you were all at The Water Works before arriving here. Does anybody remember anything unusual about the place?

All sit back, take a drink at the same time when Huli Lam (the mute) points to her nose and shakes her head no. In a flash, she starts to write a rune with her wand on the table and slaps it with her hand. From the rune, an image appears with a shadow figure placing something in one of the large clay pots that are famous at The Water Works for their stunning decorations. The shadow figure disappears into the female washroom and the rune disappears like smoke into thin air.

[SpaceDog]   You're saying something didn't smell right and that's what you saw?

SpaceDog points to where the rune was visible on the table.  Huli Lam shakes her head YES.

[Jon Morris]  They close before midnight (except Saturnday) ever since a black elf was killed there. Tonight we should pay them a visit.

[SpaceDog]    It would be best if my team does this; with your permission, elders. Do you mind? Odin did ask me to find the damn thing.

Bonnie Jean Vanadis looks at the remaining elders,

[Jean Vanadis]  I can say we are in agreement with finding the necklace. We will be waiting to hear from you later and bid you a good night. We shall finish our drinks, of course, then I will speak to my son.

Most of the elders of village Elder leave The Gallant Tree Inn a short time later. Shadowfax decides to get some sleep and makes his way to the stables behind the Inn where he lies down to rest in the soft hay. Bonnie Jean Vanadis sits with SpaceDog and waits while catching up on his life's adventures.

After many beers, Dee closes up the lounge, sets the security locks and takes her perch at the front desk with several books and a very tall glass of water and waves off Thor's attempt to swoon her. Thor walks over to where SpaceDog is sitting with his mother in the dining hall and chugs down the remaining ale before he notices his mother glaring at him.

[Jean Vanadis]  Aren't you going to hug your mother?

[Thor]         Mother, I was just here last week. Do you miss me already?

Thor sits down helping himself to the last of the Dodo curry and black rice.  He turns to SpaceDog, puts his hand on his shoulder and utters,

[Thor]         Is there anything to report or do I need to return tomorrow? Damn this is good. Did you make this or did Cyn?

[SpaceDog]   Cyn has almost got me beat with her cooking. She seasoned that just the way I like it.  We are very close to finding more than we bargained for. Please, stay the night, if you wish, but I've no companion to offer at this time, only a good place to rest.

[Thor]         I will take you up on that.

SpaceDog walks over to the supply closet, hands Thor a large towel and Dee hands Thor the key to room five. Dee whispers to SpaceDog,

[ ~Dee~ ]     Dad, you want me to wake him or...

[SpaceDog]   Have some fun with him when he wakes up, but remember, he will be much stronger after sleeping.

Dee hugs her dad and kisses his forehead before SpaceDog hands the key to Thor. Thor turns to his mother, Freya, and while embracing her, says,

[Thor]         You know I come here once a week to be with you, so don't look so sad.

Bonnie Jean puts her hand across his bottom spanking him really hard knowing he can't be hurt before she leaves and walks home...


Helper

After all, have gone to their rooms, SpaceDog sits alone after retrieving the basket with three seed pods. He begins to tap the table in a rhythm that sounds tribal when suddenly, all three seed pods crack open and roots begin to intertwine forming a head and torso with arms and legs. He uses his wand to etch a rune on the body and it turns into a Barker; a walking, thinking, primitive tree creature.  SpaceDog gets close to it and scratches its head. The Barker bows towards SpaceDog in recognition. The Vanir puts the tip of his finger on his tongue and then places it on the Barkers head.

[Root]           I.... am... a... Barker

The meter tree figure jumps off the table and runs out the front door. When Dee notices the Barker run out the door, she looks in on her adopted dad,

[ ~Dee~ ]      Errand? 29 or 6 to 4?

SpaceDog looks deep into Dee's eyes and motions her to sit.

[SpaceDog]    42 or 25 or 24?

Dee thinks about the question and it's required answer. She decides against cracking the Paradox code just yet.

[ ~Dee~ ]       Dad, you are one strange papa. One day I will figure out your paradox code and once I do, that QETS is mine, just like you said when father Harri was dying and you promised to look after the four of us.

[SpaceDog]    Yes, I remember that day, like all days in 'my minds eye'. He loved this place and when he handed it to me, I assured him you would be well cared for. I know you wish to travel with me and soon shall, but for the time being, I need you looking after this place at night while you continue to study the books I gave you. How far have you gotten?

[ ~Dee~ ]       Quantum Mechanics, I've got down 'tout suite' and am still reading, Theories of Time Travel, Conquering the Singularity and 42 Ways to Travel the Cosmos. But I have no clue why you would have me read Moby Dick, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, or Stranger in a Strange Land... Are they fiction? 

Questioning SpaceDog and his choice of light reading.

[SpaceDog]   The first four you must learn to operate the QETS. I'll give you one more when you've finished those four. The last are strictly for pleasure, but, once you comprehend the meaning behind the story, you will better understand others and yourself as an intrepid explorer.

[ ~Dee~ ]       Where did you get the Barker? Is it new from the seed pods that I 'felt' drop into the spa earlier? We have a visitor...

She asks and then says in a low voice as Shadowfax once again pops his head in the window.

[Shadowfax]  I know that it's late, but I feel the presence of the Morris Stone nearby. Someone is trying to use it, or, that it is being moved. I can feel the stones frightening power.

SpaceDog stands up and informs Dee,

[SpaceDog]   The Barker grew from those seeds and I sent it on an errand. Please get Robin, LeeZee, Panda Kitti, all male dogs and contact Angela. I'm sure we may require her powers. Shadowfax, can you point us in the appropriate direction?

[Shadowfax]  Yes, it's inside The Water Works.

Dee runs like the wind upstairs and shortly everyone is assembled.

[SpaceDog]   We are going hunting, not for adventure or beast, but for the most powerful objects in the known universe. It is a Morris Stone. It can control all the Vastu stones you carry. I hid it inside the Brísingamen necklace but it was discovered and stolen from Odin's vault. Its location was sensed by Shadowfax and we are about to retrieve it. Do not touch it under any condition because it will destroy you.  It's too powerful for mortal beings. Angela, can you cloak Lady Robin?

[Angela]        I can cloak the entire group if you want.

[SpaceDog]   Robin, wake up, you look sleepy. I need you to record the event into your memory and only witness as a bystander.

Lady Robin nods her head half asleep. She yawns.

[SpaceDog]   Panda Kitti, I would like for you to stay with LeeZee and if our thief gets hostile, let LeeZee know. You will stay together. LeeZee, you have awakened and it may be your first time utilizing your power to immobilize this thief. Remember, I believe the thief is female and very dark in nature, so please be careful. Just take what is needed and nothing else. The dogs will immobilize her, along with some of my magic if necessary.

[LeeZee]       How will I know when I've taken enough?

[SpaceDog]   You will just know. Recall what Istanna and Bonnie Jean passed on to you, OK? Dogs! Initiate pattern Sierra Alpha Delta if things get out of control, otherwise, use K9 defense mode.

All dogs bow, look at each other and their eyes change color to pitch black.

[Cyborg Dogs]  Ultra-vision and infra-vision locked in and ready, commander.

AC/DC responds and then barks some orders to Frank Zupar, Pink Flood and Lead Zip Line and they charge out the front door.


The Water Works

All four large male dogs run to The Water Works. Each takes a side of the building and howl in a very high pitch that only the other dogs and SpaceDog can hear. They are joined by the other team members and SpaceDog waves his staff whereby the front door opens. With staff still in hand, he fires up the gem and the inside of the building lights up startling the hooded figure in the corner of the room and the barkeep. After the party enters the room, the gem suddenly goes black and the front door slams shut.

[Bartender shoutsWhere in Hel are you going and who the Devil do you think I am? What are you doing in my place of business at this arn?

SpaceDog twists his staff and makes the gem reignite, this time a blinding cobalt blue that partially hypnotizes the barkeep and the dark elf hiding something in the corner of the room.

[SpaceDog]   Elf! You have a stolen object in your possession, taken from King Odin and he wants it returned! I have every right to proceed where I please in every realm and will do whatever it takes to retrieve the Brísingamen. Do I make myself clear?

SpaceDog states the obvious to the barkeep and walks over to the dark elf and says in an ancient dialect of elf,

[SpaceDog]   What is not yours shall be returned. The power you seek is not within the necklace itself, but in the heart of the person who can to use it for good and never evil. Just hand it over.

At this point, the dark elf removes the cloak on her hard but hisses her displeasure at being caught in the act,

Gax  ]         How did you find me and it?
Is there magic that only the Gods can use and see-through?
Why are we cursed to live on the border of Hel?
Why can't this thing work for us and why can I not open the seal? 

She then jumps up on the table with a dagger in hand and comes at SpaceDog fast grinding her teeth. LeeZee catches her off guard. She grips her upper arm which immobilizes the dark elf.

[LeeZee]       Commander?

[SpaceDog]   Remember your training, take only what will slow her down.

LeeZee sucks some life force out of the dark elf who finally stops struggling. LeeZee makes a suggestion to the elf to hand the necklace over to SpaceDog. The elf hands it, reluctantly at first, then surrenders it knowing she was caught red-handed. She has lost a lot of strength.

[SpaceDog]   LeeZee, isolation glove if you don't mind.

She takes them from her pocket and hands the red gloves to SpaceDog.

[SpaceDog]   First, we followed the magic in the stone (hidden within the Brísingamen necklace). It was sensed by another magical creature. Only a pure magical creature can use the stone hidden inside the necklace, which answers your second question. You do not need to live in Hel. Your true home is Svartalfheim. You can move to Svartalfheim and I would be happy to take you if you choose. Lastly, there is no seal to open the stone from it's hiding place, only a hidden Latch.

SpaceDog takes out a long thin needle and places it in a small hole next to one of the sparkling gems. Suddenly the gem opens and a black opal stone falls out into his gloved hand. With his other hand he touches the QE device on his arm, the black opal then disappears and the gem on the necklace seals shut after a spring pops out hitting the dark elf in the forehead.

 [SpaceDog]   AC/DC!

One of the male dogs stands beside him grinning and showing his sharp teeth.

[AC/DC]         Yes commander!

[SpaceDog]   Sixty silver to the barkeep and ten gold to the dark elf.

The dog hands over sixty-one silver coins from the pouch around his neck to the barkeep and eleven gold coins to the dark elf. Both have looks of disbelief on their faces.

Gax  ]         What is this for?

[SpaceDog]   This is Odin's reward for finding the necklace. I don't know where you recovered it, but now that it's back, the reward belongs to you. Barkeep, a round of drinks for my friends. plus you will need a new lock for your front door!

SpaceDog tosses a gold coin into the tips jar next to the barkeep. Suddenly Angela, Panda Kitti, and the other dogs appear at one of the tables where LeeZee parked herself after letting go of the dark elf. 

The dark elf looks up smiling, takes on a lighter shade and attempts to pet AC/DC.

Gax  ]         Can you really take me and my family to Svartalfheim?

SpaceDog nods YES,

[SpaceDog]   What is your name? I am called Star Lord SpaceDog and I'm a Vanir.

Gax  ]         Gax! My name is Gax, daughter of Miwax and Gli and I know you are a Vanir from the magic you command and from your aura. I too have magical powers like most elves.

[SpaceDog]   Panda Kitti, do you sense evil or any reason not to trust Gax at the moment?

Panda Kitti's tail stiffens and relaxes as the cat alien shakes her head no and says with a bit of sorrow in her voice,

[Panda Kitti]  Meow, Gax is telling the truth and only wants her family to be in a place of comfort and well being, meow. Although she is dark in nature, she is not black evil, meow!

After a bit of looking the dark elf over, SpaceDog approaches her and whispers something in her ear that makes her face glow and she says,

Gax  ]         Really? No lie?

[SpaceDog]   A Vanr is incapable of telling an untruth. We may twist the truth but we can never lie.

SpaceDog gets an unexpected hug from Gax.

[Panda Kitti]  Where is my hug, meow?

Panda Kitti says and Gax hugs her, then LeeZee, then Angela and kisses SpaceDog on his forehead and cheek. He steps back in disbelief shaking his head as everyone starts to laugh and giggle. 

After finishing the round of drinks, it becomes apparent they all need some well-needed sleep and so they head back to The Gallant Tree Inn. Panda Kitti takes Gax by the hand and says,

[Panda Kitti]  Meow, you are staying with us, yes? Meow?

Gax (a bit out of character) with a cat woman holding onto her hand rather tightly, feels relieved and ashamed for stealing the necklace thinking it would be the answer to her problems. It was not the answer, but was the answer she was looking for.

Gax  ]         Yes, I go with you.

Gax holds the cat as if her life depended on it. LeeZee comes behind them and places her hand upon her arm, a lot like she did earlier, but this time gives her life force back making the ties between them strong.

[LeeZee]       I promise you will feel better in the morning. You have a unique power I cannot describe, I sense you are destined to be a great leader of your tribe one day.

LeeZee then imprints a mark of leadership into her.


Breakfast

At dawn, Cyn relieves Dee at the main desk. SpaceDog and Patty Smith prepare a breakfast of Dodo eggs, bacon, venison sausage, black pudding, lightly seared cherry tomatoes, sautéed pear, Fornax brown rice, and sweet bread. For beverages, they have prepared herbal tea, coffee, and sluth (a fermented non-alcoholic sludge that tastes a bit like chocolate with allspice and pumpkin). Dee heads up the stairs and goes into Thor's room.

Fortana and Angela descend the staircase in a dreamlike state and holding onto each other, giggling uncontrollably,

[Fontana & Angle]  Morning Buffoons!  

They stumble into the dining room.

[ ~Cyn~ ]    I see you two found the giggle juice this morning. You're supposed to rinse your mouth with it, not drink it.  

[Fontana]     But, but, but... it is so much more fun to drink after a night of...

To Fontana as they make their way to the buffet table.

[Angela slursHushhhh Mushi!

Thor and Dee enter the dining room. Dee is hanging on Thor's back with her arm around his neck looking like she is trying to choke him. Thor begins to shovel food onto the largest platter he can find.

[Thor]          That's enough food for me. I take it you are cooking more provision for the rest of the group on the way down?

[ ~Dee~ ]      If you don't give that back I'm going to...

Dee pops Thor on the ears making him dizzy and turns him to the table like he was a pet on a leash.

[ ~Dee~ ]      Now SIT and be quiet.

Dee rolls off Thor's back and plops herself on the chair next to him and begins eating off his plate. She grabs the earring he took from her earlier.

Gax, LeeZee and Panda Kitti race each other to the table that is overflowing with food. Gax has a hard time deciding what she can eat as she points to the seared cherry tomatoes, sautéed pears, and sluth.

Gax  ]         What's this? What is that? Is this even edible?

[Panda Kitti]  Meow! What a feast, meow!!!

[LeeZee]       Wow! Did you make all this commander and Patty my Luv?

Patty Smith brings her a cup and sets it in front of LeeZee.

[Patty Smith]  It's all edible, Gax. Just for you, Captain Lindsey, from one Smith to another, enjoy.

When LeeZee smells what's in the cup, her eyes melt and she takes a swig of the beverage created from marzipan, cocoa, and coffee.

[LeeZee]       Oh My Goddess! This is to die for! How did you know?

[Patty Smith]  Trixie told me you dreamt of this last night.

Lady Robin emerges through the front entranceway followed by the remaining eleven dogs who she had taken for a long walk viewing the sun's rise. Trixie (telepathically) tells Lady Robin what each of the dogs like and she and Trixie begin serving the dogs with Venison sausage and black pudding at the top of the list. Trixie steps into the kitchen and returns with a covered dish that she sets in front of Lady Robin.

[Lady Robin]    Special, for me?

[Trixie]           Yes, my Lady. It's an omelet typical in Japan but I've made it with a Dodo egg and Fornax brown rice. I hope that you enjoy it.

When Lady Robin uncovers the plate, the omelet looks like a cat with ears; a big red smile and whiskers made from pureed tomato sugar and two halved cherry tomatoes as eyes. As the feast unfolds, several of the guests come into the dining room. Jon Morris and Bonnie Jean Vanadis come in last both saying in unison,

[Jon & Jean]     Coffee!

The feast continues.


 With the dining room finally cleared (except for the beverages), all sit around the big table where SpaceDog is presiding.

[SpaceDog]   For those who did not come on the raiding party last night at The Water Works, I present to you Gax, the retriever of the Brísingamen necklace.

SpaceDog holds up the necklace.

[Thor]          So hand it over and I will return it to father.

[SpaceDog]   Not so fast Thor. I was given the task of returning it and it will be I who hands it over. I would like for you to be with me when I give it to your father because there is more to the story. Hidden inside the necklace, was a piece of Vastu stone called a Morris Stone, because my friend Jon Morris and I found it. The necklace is intact but the stone hidden within is in my possession, and I have a favor to ask your king.

[Jean Vanadis]  So who was the thief?  

Gax stands a bit proud and ashamed at the same time.

Gax  ]         That would be me...I thought I could control the magic inside the necklace in order to help my family escape from Hel, but I was mistaken and shown the errors of my ways. Please forgive me for any problem I may have created.

Gax says as she lowers her head.

Suddenly the Barker appears at the door and in a squeaky voice,

[Root]          'I am BARker'

All look in his direction when SpaceDog says,

[SpaceDog]   You found them? 

Gax begins to cry as she sees her family in the door behind the Barker.

Gax  ]         How did you know? I mean we only met last night.

Gax looks at SpaceDog crying as she meets her family halfway to the door.

[SpaceDog]   Let's just say, I did my homework and Barker has been up all night searching for a family missing their mother. Thank you, Barker.

[Root]            I.. am Root!.. a Barker.

[SpaceDog]    Besides, I'm a Vanir and know things nobody else does before they happen, like the fact that Ruu and CeFuu are about to come through the back door in a panic chasing after 'Root the Barker' all morning. That information I get from talking to the World Tree.

At this point, the twin sons from different mothers come running from the kitchen coming to a screeching halt. Everyone looks at them.

[ ~Ruu~ ]       How did that Barker get here first, brother? 

[~CeFuu~]     Beats me, brother Ruu... I'm going back to the kitchen. You want me to bring you a plate? 

Ruu shakes his head, YES, and then collapses at one of the tables. LeeZee goes up to him and passes some of her Chi to him with a kiss on the head.

[ ~Ruu~ ]      Dad?

[SpaceDog]   Yes Ruu?

[ ~Ruu~ ]      We need to go back to The Water Works. When we passed by it this morning, the front door was open and something didn't seem right about the place.

 [SpaceDog]   Hounds! Are you ready for clean up duty? 

SpaceDog barks and all the dogs line up in a row and bow to their commander.


Return to The Water Works

Star Lord SpaceDog, the dogs, Ruu, CeFuu, Fontana and Jon Morris leave the Gallant Tree Inn shortly before noon and head towards The Water Works.

[Jon Morris]  You've got me curious Star Lord. What clean up duty are you talking about?

Wondering what the Vanir is up to, SpaceDog hands Jon five platinum coins.

[SpaceDog]   You always liked The Water Works, didn't you?

[Jon Morris]  Yes but... wait! Are you going to do what I think you're doing?

SpaceDog grins.

[SpaceDog]   Yup!

[Jon Morris]  I need to get the rest of the payment if the selling price is still the same.

Jon returns shortly with a coin purse in hand.

As the group enters the open door in front of The Water Works, the other elders are sitting at one of the tables along with an older elf who looks excited and fidgets with a piece of papyrus in his hands. Bonnie Jean Vanadis speaks without getting up from the table,

[Jean Vanadis]  SpaceDog. Are you willing to make this transaction 'real' as Star Lord of the third realm?

[SpaceDog]   Ready and willing to seal the deal.

SpaceDog pulls out a tube with a needle on one side. He jabs it into his thumb and passes it to the elf who is holding the document.

[Jean Vanadis]  Kesh, are you ready to seal the deal and sell The Water Works?

Kesh, (the older light elf) jabs his thumb with the needle SpaceDog passed to him.

[Jean Vanadis]  Lastly, Jon Morris, are you willing to take The Water Works as your property and give up your seat as an elder of Elder?

Jon Morris is now grinning from pointed ear to pointed ear,

[Jon Morris]  Yes! As Star Lord SpaceDog, Fontana, Ruu. CeFuu and the elders of Elder are my witnesses, I formally give up my post as village elder and take possession of The Water Works. I will run this establishment to the best of my abilities.

Kesh hands Jon Morris the needle. Jon jabs it into his thumb and all three place a blood print on the legal ownership transfer document before the Stamp of Elder Approval is placed on the document.  Jon Morris hands the payment of five pieces of platinum and a bag with 100 gold coins into the hands of Kesh.

[SpaceDog]   Dogs, the deal is done. Start cleaning up this place using Delta Bata Oscar. You've got six arns to finish the job. Leave the bartender alone, he still works here.

[Jon Morris]  So the plan is to retain all the staff, right?

[SpaceDog]   That is entirely up to you, my friend. You've wanted this place for a long time. The elders have been looking for a replacement for you for some time now, so... 

In a short period of time, The Water Works looked like a new place just opened and the smell of the dead black elf was gone. When Jon asked SpaceDog how he removed the smell, all SpaceDog would say is

[SpaceDog]   You believe in magic, but do you believe in sorcery? 

Just as he says that, Angela and Little Kitty appear out of nowhere.

[Angela]        We have two dragons about to hatch!

[SpaceDog]   Dragons? Two? How? 


All Books Chapter 6 - The Village Elders Book 1 Chapter 8 - We Have Dragons
All Books Chapter 6 Chapters Chapter 8