Chapter 9 ~ Return to the QETS

Having returned the necklace, thus completing the assigned task by king of the Ćsir, Odin, SpaceDog and his companions offer Gax and her immediate family a new home after offering them several choices.


On returning to the QETS, Lady Robin, Panda Kitti, and LeeZee find themselves wondering about what is next? Will they continue to travel with Star Lord SpaceDog, or return home to Midgard (Earth)?  Not wanting to make a rash decision, they find suitable clothing and venture into the Olympic-size pool on level 14. Gax and her family decide that clothes seem unnecessary and jump in the water naked. Gax questions aloud.

Gax  ]         Why does the water taste like brine, yet it is so clear?

Her siblings and husband keep swimming circles around her but are all suspiciously quiet for most of the journey.  LeeZee sporting a one-piece swimsuit dives off the platform in a perfect back-flip. When her head pops out of the water she says,

[LeeZee]       Wow! This is unlike the hot tub at The Gallant Tree Inn, but it sure feels great! Gax, in answer to your question, where I come from, Earth, you may know of it as Midgard, over 70 percent of the planet is covered by saltwater oceans. It feels and tastes just like this pool. 

Lady Robin enters the room and rinses in the shower at the side of the pool before entering the water and floats on her back. A small door opens on the other side of the room and six hybrid dogs emerge. They run and jump into the water disappearing under the surface. For almost four minutes, the dogs remain underwater. Lady Robin and LeeZee begin panicking when all six dogs surface simultaneously with apparatus resembling SCUBA respirators. They continue dog-paddling around the pool several times before disappearing from view.  A few minutes pass and the dogs' bailout of an opening at the edge of the pool. They shake off in unison and reenter the small dog door.

[Lady Robin]  Must be pool maintenance day. Gax, any idea where you want to live? SpaceDog was talking about Svartalfheim. Is that the home of the Dwarves as well as Dark Elves? How did you and your Family find yourselves living in the underworld of Hel?

Gax  ]         My family and I were about to be sent to Hel as slaves when my dad found himself in debt from gambling. When I found out about the power of the necklace, I assumed it would help us out of that situation and volunteered to steal it, if my family could come with me. I'm sure the Gate Keeper will send someone after us when we don't return.

Gax turns towards the door that opens watching SpaceDog enter the room.

[SpaceDog]   Gax, I've come up with a few options.

  1. I can go to Hel and pay off your father's debt to the GateKeeper. That would set you and your family free.

  2. I can take you someplace the GateKeeper couldn't track you, like Fornax Prime or Fornax Santé, but you might never see any of your kind again.

  3. I can return you to Alfheim, the land of fairies and home of the Unicorns, let you and your family live in the Village of Elders, work at The Water Works or The Gallant Tree Inn, while you decide what is best for them.

  4. I can take you to Svartalfheim and the GateKeeper would never find you amongst the many dwarves and dark elves who live there.

[SpaceDog]   Take your pick from those options, or come up with your own plan. 

He drops his robe and jumps into the pool naked.

For a long while, Gax and her husband Todd,  talk together, look at their children and talk some more. The children at one point, stare down at SpaceDog and then talk with their parents, turning back looking at SpaceDog with smiles. They continue swimming around enjoying the cool salty water but stop when they see mother Gax shake her head NO. The Gax family finally decides to get out of the pool and rinse off in the warm shower before they shake dry, put on some clothes and return to their assigned rooms.

Lady Robin swims closer to SpaceDog but turns away when she realizes he is still naked in the water.

[SpaceDog]   Girl, do you have something to say?

Lady Robin swims around his back and puts her arms around his chest.

[Lady Robin]  Will you take me home? I miss my old job, friends, Minx cat, and two Yorkies.

[SpaceDog]   Hmmm... not what I was expecting to hear, but I will honor your request. Thy will be done. Going to Earth as we are now in the heavens... Sidrat? You heard the request, but I will let Gax and her family decide where they want to do first. I can set 'The Way Back Machine' to return you to the exact spot you were picked up from. The time will just be a moment after you first entered the QETS.

[Sidrat]    'I will make that request our nest priority, Commander. You will need to make several Realm adjustments if... Wait, no you won't. Calculations and updates are complete since I've had that new power source linked to the Minds Eye. We can now jump between realms and time without any delay.'

[SpaceDog]   I thought you might be able to use that Morris Stone, but, never expected it to be this quickly. I will visit you soon.

He swims over to the side of the pool while Robin is still hanging onto him.

[Lady Robin]  Visit Sidrat? Is Sidrat a computer, machine, robot, android or something else?

[SpaceDog]   All the above and then some...

With a sheepish grin on his face, Robin tries to poke and prod him. LeeZee makes a big splashing cannonball in the water right next to SpaceDog and Robin before getting out of the pool and seeing the look on SpaceDog's wet face. 

Going Home

SpaceDog is sitting on the couch in control room two when Gax and her family enter the room. All four dark elves kneel down in front of him and bow prostrate.

Gax  ]         Star Lord... SpaceDog? We have made a decision. We choose option three with one modification.

Gax states this matter of importance while lifting her head.

[SpaceDog]   Okay... If it's within my power, thy will be done.

SpaceDog waits for the decision.

Gax  ]         As a family, we would like to live at The Gallant Tree. Todd, my husband, said he could help with night duty, cleaning and guarding the front entrance allowing Dee the chance to travel with you. I overheard her saying she wanted to visit all the Realms. We all took this into consideration while discussing various options. My children think it would be nice to stay and learn the ways of the light elves and receive guidance and schooling from one of the scholars.

SpaceDog thinks about this for a bit.

[SpaceDog]   Sounds reasonable. Anything else? What will you do?

Gax sighs with relief and continues.

Gax  ]         I've spent some time at The Water Works and want to help there, giving the new owner, Jon Morris, a helping hand for whatever he needs... be it cleaning, bartending, bouncing or...

[SpaceDog]   You've really thought this one through. I was expecting nothing less from someone crafty enough to steal from King Odin.

Everyone begins laughing.

[SpaceDog]   Okay. Is that your final decision? Going once... going twice... sold to the family of dark elves. It's a new home!

The family jumps up and begins dancing around the room while SpaceDog sits grinning at the decision he already knew would happen.

[SpaceDog]   Sidrat!

[Sidrat]         Yes commander.

[SpaceDog]   Are we there yet?

[Sidrat]        The portal is the tapestry in room six, commander.

[SpaceDog]   Gax, children, Todd. Welcome to your new home.

The portal opens to the inside of a room.

Room six is the second-largest guest room of The Gallant Tree Inn. It is long and spans half of the building which is closest to the world tree. It has one large bed and two small carts, each just the right size for a child fifteen cycles or younger.  There is a room divider that splits 2/3 of the room leaving an open side next to the windows facing the world tree. The children quickly claim a cart and Todd looks over the room from top to bottom, noting the warm floor and running hot tap water in the sunken basin on the opposite side of the room. A wardrobe fit for two adults sits next to the ample bed and two standard ones beside the carts. A door opens onto the landing at the top of the stairs and another passageway leads to the outside balcony.

A knock at the door startles the family momentarily. SpaceDog comes out of the portal and slowly opens the door a fraction. It remains ajar. In a high pitch voice, he answers.

[SpaceDog]   Who is it?

Cyn squeals with delight.

[ ~Cyn~ ]     Daddy, daddy, daddy! What are you doing here?

[SpaceDog]   We have a new family living with us and they will be helping with the chores. I'm taking Dee for a trip to the QETS. Is there any objection? No? Good girl! Now go wake Dee and tell her to pack her bag for a short trip. The trip will last at least a full moons cycle.

Cyn opens the door widely and spots Gax. Her family silently bow,

[ ~Cyn~ ]     If there is anything you need, just ask. I will be tending the front desk and will have your keys ready when you come down. Good seeing you again Gax and welcome to The Gallant Tree Inn.

Cyn then grabs SpaceDog, does a spin and hugs him with all her might almost knocking the wind out of him before closing the door heading down the stairs. She stops, runs back up the stairs to Dee's room and says in a loud voice at the door,

[ ~Cyn~ ]     Delta Alpha Delta ~ Tango Romeo Indigo Possum ~ Moon One Charlie.

Immediately, Dee opens the door, pokes her head out and looking around sees Cyn pointing to room six.

[ ~Dee~ ]      Really? Really really?

Dee disappears into her room and a moment later returns with SpaceDog's spiky space-bag on her back. While walking into room six, Dee says, looking at Gax,

[ ~Dee~ ]      Are you going to be my replacement?

Gax  ]         No, my husband Todd will be your replacement for at least the next full moons.

Dee takes Gax by the hands and then Todd and kisses them both before running into the portal. SpaceDog steps back through the portal and it disappears.

Lady Robin Goes Home

When Dee enters through the event-horizon, the hybrid dachshunds are waiting.

[Cyborg DogsGreetings mistress!

[ ~Dee~ ]       Greetings back at you, my furry mechanical friends.

SpaceDog throws a device in her direction. Dee catches the device, scans it and turns it on noting the green, blue, red, maroon and fuchsia dots on the map of the QETS.

[SpaceDog]   I see you remember how to use that thing.

[ ~Dee~ ]     Yes, but where is Sidrat?

[Sidrat]        I'm right here but not on your map because I'm on level thirty Two and out of bounds for a bit longer.

[ ~Dee~ ]     Why?

[SpaceDog]   Only Minds Eye, AC/DC, and I are allowed on level thirty two until the Morris Stone stabilizes or you become captain, young lady. Now please take your things back to your room and return here tout suit.

[ ~Dee~ ]      Yes Papa Spacey Commander Star Lord.

Dee enters the lift and goes to level thirteen where her room and collection of clothes, armor, weapons, and toys wait. What she unloads from the space-pack is small and she quickly changes into something dark andGothic. She toys with the idea of putting on a masquerade mask but instead puts on a hat of unusual design that offsets her pointed ears. She finally pulls up a pair of striped leggings and black laced platform boots that make her taller. She notes the knife trigger in the toe still functions perfectly.

[ ~Dee~ whispers]  One can never be too cautious...

She heads back to the control room. Lady Robin, LeeZee and then Dee enter the room.

[SpaceDog]   Where is Panda Kitti? Sidrat are you ready?

[Lady Robin]  She fell asleep crying her eyes out when she heard I was going home. She also thought about going home, but decided she could do that at any time. She thinks there are more wonderful things she can explore with you, commander.

[Sidrat]     Yes commander. Time and date set for 1 moment past the point when Lady Robin came on board.

Realm:     5
System:   Sol
Planet:     Midgard/Earth
Country:  United Kingdom
City:        London
District:  Camden-sub, market
Elevation: 101 ft
Location:  North 51°32'28.71" x West 0°08'37.94"
Date:       September 1, 2014 EAD
Time:       07:46:17  hrs

SpaceDog asks for the last time.

[SpaceDog]   Are you quite sure you want to return milady?

[Lady Robin]  Yes. This has been one hell of an adventure I will never forget. But I have things I must do before I go on another adventure. I recorded the events the best I could remember in your Journal. Please read it and see if I omitted anything. I might even write a book called, SpaceDog and the Stolen Necklace.

Lady Robin, wearing the same business suit she had on for work, weeks ago, goes over to SpaceDog and gives him a hug and a peck on his bald forehead. She then hugs LeeZee who takes away some of the sorrow she is feeling for leaving the group.

[LeeZee]       Be safe and remember you can call us at any time to come pick you up, or just pick on you.

Panda Kitti runs into the room and wraps her tail around Lady Robin's neck one last time so the cat can feel all the good emotional vibrations even though she is leaving.

[Panda Kitti]  Meow will miss you, meow!

The catwoman gives Robin a big cat hug. When Robin goes over to give Dee her hug, Dee puts her arm around Robin's waist and pulls her through the portal onto the London street beyond the red British phone booth.

[ ~Dee~ ]      Will you look at this place... what's that smell? Do you live and work here? May the Gods and Goddesses forgive you.

[Lady Robin]   Look, it's really not that bad. It reeks of fish and chips and automobile smog, but once you live here for a while, it grows on you and you don't notice it so much.

Dee looks around, surreptitiously, with her elf ears extended under her hat

[ ~Dee~ ]      Just look at these people. I've never seen so many different humans forms scurrying around.

[Lady Robin]   Yes, they do resemble termites running from an aardvarks tongue. I best be going or I'll be late for work.

Robin hugs Dee again and takes a last look goodbye as she rounds the street corner. She is confronted by two thieves who demand she give up her belongings. Robin remembers the choker she has on her neck and touches it. Her command word activates the protecting device. When the men grab her, they instantly drop to the ground on their hands and knees. She touches both men on the head and plants a suggestion in their minds:

[Lady Robin]  'In one minute, you will both bark like dogs for a full minute not moving from this spot. You will forget who you are and never remember me or try to rob anyone again.'

Robin takes her hand away, looks back around the corner and sees Dee looking at some of the clothes for sale; boots, tattoo parlors, shops and Gothic style clothes on people walking the streets. She is about to say something to her when Dee's phone howls. Lady Robin turns back towards work looking for donuts and coffee and half a moment later hears dogs barking... she smiles remembering everything that happened to her.

[ ~Dee~ ]      Damn, I've got to come back here and cause some mischief...

[SpaceDog]    We need to leave before Istanna explodes in a new growth spurt. She is almost two meters tall now.

Dee re-enters the event-horizon portal. She is followed by two figures...     

All Books Chapter 8 - We Have Dragons Book 1 Chapter 10 - Istanna and Shadow Mage
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