Chapter 10 ~ Istanna and Shadow Mage


Dee is followed into the QETS by two black cloaked hooded figures. While they are being questioned, Istanna comes into the room and a quick trip is made to the land of Ice & Fog, Niflheim.


Dee observes the Gothic style street clothes; boots, tattoo parlors, and shops while people walking the streets are wearing Gothic clothes. Her thoughts are interrupted by the phone howling.

[ ~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...

[Sidrat]         'Dead thing!'

Sidrat announces as Dee and two new figures enter the room. The portal closes behind them. Dee turns around and acts a bit off,

[ ~Dee~ ]      Holy Ice Fire!  I did not feel you behind me...

[SpaceDog]    Wipe your feet and put your weapons and magic items on the table beside you.

SpaceDog demands as a section of the floor ascends next to the two figures. SpaceDog raises himself up from his sitting position on the couch with the dogs. He says in a sweet voice to the human-cat hidden in the corner who is playing with Timothy Little,

[SpaceDog]    Kitti, fire up your tail and scan these two.

[Panda Kitti]  Meow, what am I looking for, Meow?

[SpaceDog]    Good or evil intentions, Panda Kitti. Bravo Oscar X-ray NOW!

He motions towards the hounds to surround the newcomers. The dogs jump down and encompass the two faster then a cat can lick its ass.

The smaller one slowly leaves several large knives, a hammer, a small bag tied with a gold string and a black and white wand on the table. Removing the hooded cloak she reveals herself to be Asian with silver hair that has bright red highlights at the ends. LeeZee reenters the room,

[LeeZee]        Well, what do we have here?

Panda Kitti points to the larger figure.

[Panda Kitti]  Meow! Methinks they are neither good nor evil, but that's a dead thing, meow.

[Sidrat]        'Commander, I concur. We have a half-dead male shadow mage in captivity.'

The taller figures raises his hand and looks like he is trying to cast a spell.

[SpaceDog]    That spell won't work in here. All magic spells are nullified except in creatures like me and the dragon that's entering the room now. You might want to lower your heads.

The doors next to the couch burst open and Istanna, now a two-meter tall red dragon, comes through. A puff of smoke resembling a miniature fireball erupts from her nostrils and explodes over the table. The shadow mage duck and cover just in time not to be incinerated.

[SpaceDog]    Okay, who are you and why did you follow Dee? After all, this is not the Abenobashi shopping arcade.

SpaceDog gets impatient after the two remain silent.

[SpaceDog]    LeeZee, persuade them to tell us everything if they don't talk.

When LeeZee moves close by, the male drops his wand on the table and puts up his hands. He slowly removes a large sickle out from behind his back and sets it upon the table along with an expandable staff embellished with a large gem. From his belt and arms, he recovers several hidden daggers. He lastly removes both gauntlets from his arms before speaking.

[Notakill]       I need to keep the ring on my finger if you don't mind.

SpaceDog glances at the ring Notakill is holding up, then shakes his head in the affirmative.

[SpaceDog]    I don't mind if that's keeping you from becoming a full-dead thing.

[Notakill]       My name is Notakill and my counterpart is Sasshi. We are both Shadow Mages and I am considered half-dead, so, as long as I keep the ring on my finger, I will not turn into a, what you call it, a dead thing.

Sasshi opens her steampunk trench coat which exposes her slim waist. She is wearing black leather slacks, a silver bustier, and knee-high spiky leather boots. She coldly says,

[Sasshi]        I'm just here to support this one while he still lives. We followed that one... 

She points to Dee

[Sasshi]        ... because she's an elf magic-user and we have not seen one of her kind in at least 20 years.

[SpaceDog]   That explains a lot. My name is Star Lord SpaceDog. I am commander of this Quantum Entanglement Time Ship. The dogs standing around you are cyborg hybrids and I will reveal their names later if they don't consume you first. The cat's name is Panda Kitti and the mysterious one here is LeeZee. Istanna? Growth spurt?

The dragon nods her head just as she emits another magic energy pulse which dims the room lighting. The dragon grows larger.

[SpaceDog]    Sidrat, take us to Niflheim. No, wait.

[Sidrat]        'I shall wait, commander'

[Sasshi]         Quantum Enhancement Time Ship?

She looks up into the ceiling covered with stars. The room is bright enough to see almost everything by starlight with four long dimly lit tubes highlighting the four sets of double doors.

[ ~Dee~ ]     Quantum physics taken to a whole new level love. I'm Dee.

Smirking, she continues her explanation.

[ ~Dee~ ]     You're here. But then you're not here, but someplace completely on the other side of the world, star system, galaxy or realm, if you can make the calculation through the paradox matrix. That is what Sidrat does. Isn't that right?

[Sidrat]         'Yes Dee'

[SpaceDog]    But the calculations take more than just a computer or even a quantum computer brain. It takes the brain of a God to link to the paradox matrix and a sun to power something as large as the quasi-dimensional space we travel and live in.

SpaceDog glances over at them to see if they are still following what he's saying.

[Notakill]        You say it's a Time Ship? How and why would you want to travel or change time? If you do, it creates a paradox and...

[SpaceDog]     Hold that thought for a moment Notakill. Dee! 25 or 6 24? 

~long wait~

[ ~Dee~ ]       Goddess, how could I have been so blind to that one. So the answer is 42.

[SpaceDog]    Yes! In the 200 known dimensions, you can only entangle after the first 41 because you encounter the Time Paradox on the first 41 sub-atomic levels.

[ ~Dee~ ]      Is that in any of the books you have me reading?

SpaceDog smiles and shakes his head NO,

[SpaceDog]     But it is in the book I was going to give you when you finish those.

[Notakill]        Okay, you two have lost me.

Notakill scratches his head and Dee continues...

[ ~Dee~ ]      It has taken me almost 10 cycles to figure out the Time Paradox problem and solution, so hush. You will not learn that part of the equation in any book I have read. However, we can travel in time because this ship is powered not by a sun, but by a singularity which exists in the past and the future simultaneously. See those four sets of double doors? Those are event-horizon portals powered by a black hole and this ship has six control rooms with four portals each making 24 of them. In other words, 6 ~ 24... and the 25 x 8 is the 200 known dimensions.

Sasshi unexpectedly adds.

[Sasshi]          So you can use the first 41 dimensions to entangle to any point in time or space in the future, but you have to entangle in one of the dimensions 42 or higher to go into the past so the subatomic Time Paradox is nullified. Isn't that at the end of chapter 42 in the book Rainbow Bridge Mechanics??

[SpaceDog]     Congratulations, Sasshi. How do you know about my book? Dee! Dee, you are promoted to captain. You can now run the QETS yourself once you have decrypted the password into the Minds Eye.

SpaceDog looks away from Dee with the same smirk she had on earlier.

[ ~Dee~ ]       What? WHAT? That's not fair...

[SpaceDog]     Tsrif eulc is time - captain. 

Dee sheep grins.

[ ~Dee~ ]       Sidrat, take us to Niflheim at the base of glacial ice pack 14. Entangle NOW! 

[Sidrat]         'Yes Captain'

[Sasshi]          I read Latin and read that book when I was in the Atlantean archives, if, I remember correctly.

Sasshi surprises SpaceDog... 

Niflheim, Realm of Ice and Fog

The pattern of stars in the ceiling suddenly changes and a distant blue sun appears in the sky above.

[ ~Dee~ ]      Yes!!!

Dee says, ecstatically dancing around the room.

[SpaceDog]     Not so fast Dee. You just became captain by default, but you are not commander yet. Sidrat, expand the event-horizon on portal nine so Istanna can get through. Everyone else, you will need warm clothes, except for the half-dead thing. You might like this place.

[LeeZee]         Come with me if you need warmer clothes or spikes for walking on ice. I believe Niflheim has a sub-zero climate covered in ice and snow and Dee did say glacial ice pack.

The dogs look at SpaceDog who nods his head.

[SpaceDog telepath]    'Trixie, follow our guests and make sure they don't touch anything they shouldn't.'

Trixie only nods and follows the group to the lift.

A few moments later everyone returns with thick fur coats and hats except LeeZee and Notakill who are wearing flexible thermal suits that cover their entire bodies.

[Sidrat]        'You two made a great choice for going into space. Don't forget to press the button on your left sleeve to activate the heating elements and right sleeve for face shield if you need oxygen.'

[Notakill]      What is that voice I keep hearing in my head? 

[Sidrat]         'I am Sidrat, the artificial intelligence being who will soon join you as one of the crew. I am telepathic as are several others here. Commander, the portal is ready and we are on Niflheim. Istanna, go have some fun but don't fly too far.'

[Panda Kitti]  Meow senses another growth spurt coming on, meow! We better get her out the doors, meow. 

When the portal doors opens, the crouching red dragon jumps through pouncing after prey.  The backlash of cold air enters the normally isolated room.

SpaceDog removes a long staff off one of the walls and picks up a large sack from the chest next to it. Ounce outside, SpaceDog looks back at the QETS portal and views a gigantic ice dinosaur skull with its mouth open.

[SpaceDog]     Now that's, NOT, what I was expecting. Sidrat, you are getting more creative than ever.

[Sidrat]         'Thank you, Commander.'

SpaceDog looks at the group of furballs being coughed up out of the dinosaur's mouth as they emerge.

[SpaceDog]     Istanna!

The red dragon returns to where the group is assembled. She puts her head down, level with SpaceDog.

[SpaceDog]     Make this next growth cycle count. I bet you will be able to morph again soon, so go have some fun, blow things up with fireballs and melt some ice, or whatever.

A huge grin forms on the dragons face as Istanna turns around, takes a deep breath and exhales a hot stream of magic fire at the glacial ice pack on the hill in front of her. The ice hill melts as does the rock, creating a hole in the hill beyond. A successive pulse of magic growth now puts the dragon at six meters tall. She breathes in deeply and releases yet another fireball that explodes in the middle of the glacier valley between two mountains. She shakes her head, looks back at the group, and up at the sky. Gazing back at the group again, she seems to be inviting someone to ride with her into the heavens. LeeZee senses her thoughts and grabs onto Notakill's arm.

[LeeZee]    Let's go ride the dragon!

They look back for volunteers within the group. Everyone shakes their head NO except Notakill. He jumps on the dragon's back and finds a curved spikes he can hold onto.  LeeZee climbs up grabbing Notakill from behind, her arms tightly around his waist.

Istanna crouches down, retracts her wings back and kicks off the ground with her powerful back legs. The ground shakes creating an avalanche on a nearby mountain. After launching into the air, she unfolds her wings and sweeps them back, pushing her faster into the air at breakneck speed. Soon she is high up in the clouds and ice starts to form on the tips of her wings. Istanna stops and for a moment hovers, taking in a deep breath. When she exhales, 'wind' comes out making all the clouds in front of her disappear. Still hovering, she turns 90 degrees and takes in another deep breath. This time she exhales 'water' which turns into snow and begins to fall to the ground near the group below. She turns yet another 90 degrees still breathing in deeply. She exhales 'pure fire' this time. LeeZee screams out,

[LeeZee]       Oh My Goddess! Istanna is creating the 4 elements; wind, water, fire and next will be earth! I sense she's going to morph after her next breath. 

Sure enough, she turns another 90 degrees while still breathing in deep. But this time, when she exhales, her body gets smaller exhaling the stardust her body is made from. Her altitude plummets as she is now much lighter with two passengers. For the first time since becoming a dragon again,

[Istanna]    Hope Spacey is down below or that you can fly.

On the ground watching Istanna expel the elements, SpaceDog begins to grin and telepathically tells LeeZee & Notakill,

[SpaceDog telepath]    'Don't worry about the fall. All is going to according to plan.'

Addressing the group on the ground while unwrapping the package.

[SpaceDog]     Sasshi, spread this blanket with handles and put it over there. Panda Kitti, put this on the tiger when she drops out of the sky.

He pulls a large thermal blanket from the package handing it to Sasshi. SpaceDog hands Panda Kitti the thin red stabilizing blanket he used when Istanna turned into a baby dragon.

[Sasshi]          What is this thing made from? It's so light...

[SpaceDog]     Spider webbing, and the four elements expelled the first time Istanna's mother did this, with a bit of binding sorcery. 

50 meters from the ground, SpaceDog creates a magic fall-softening barrier with his staff and then guides LeeZee and Notakill gently to the ground. The dragon, now only two meters long from head to tail, begins to shed her scaly skin. A full-sized tiger slowly emerges on the blanket and begins to snore.

[LeeZee-Sasshi-Notakill-Kitti]       Now that is something we never expected.

[Panda Kitti]   Meow!

[SpaceDog]     Kitti, grab the shell and put it alongside Istanna. I will turn it into her shell sack for next time this happens in 600 cycles.

From the package, SpaceDog takes out; a necklace he puts it around the sleeping tiger's neck; a gold loop he places in the hole on the left ear, along with another loop with a gem in her right. He then attaches gauntlets on her upper legs and lastly affixes a red ribbon bow to the end of her tail. Panda Kitti removes the dragon scale skin and covers the tiger with the thin red blanket. She smiles while saying to SpaceDog,

[Panda Kitti]    Meow, well-done sir. Meow thinks I've seen more wonderful things than anything I've ever imagined in meows entire life, Meow!

Patty Smith comes out of the ice skulls mouth and trots over to help.

[SpaceDog]     Okay everyone, grab a handle and help me take Istanna to the recovery room. Thanks for helping out Patty. I take it Trixie is busy helping Dee. 

The largest of the cyborg dachshunds gives a clawed paw of support to one of the handles.

[Patty Smith]   It's always my pleasure to help, but can we please hurry. My metal parts are getting cold and about to get frostbite out herrrre.

With snow falling all around them, they carry Istanna into the QETS through the ice skulls open mouth just as the land around them becomes covered in fog...

Inside the QETS is a curvaceous tall woman. She is standing there with long white hair, glowing black opal eyes, and elf ears. She is wearing a silver bodysuit waiting for them.

[SpaceDog]     Sidrat! Good to see you standing. What is your power level?

[Sidrat]          Holding at 1505%, Commander. I will take Istanna to the recovery room.

Suddenly, Istanna floats off the blanket and follows behind Sidrat through the door of the lift...

 Sidrat, the Artificial Intelligence

LeeZee is struck by the woman's beauty and holds both hands against her heart.

[LeeZee]       Wait one moment here Star Lord! That, is Sidrat? She looks like a goddess if ever I saw one. Where have you been hiding her? I think I'm in love...

[SpaceDog]     Could not have been helped. Yes, that is SIDRAT, the Sentient Intelligent Dynamic Remote Artificial Timekeeper was designed and built to operate this time ship. Sidrat looks like a goddess because I made her look like one. Design her after my former wife, Gerd, a petite giant Goddess with long golden hair from Jotunheim. But, I changed the hair and added ears so I wouldn't get struck by wonderlust again.

Dee wanders over from the information monitor she was studying.

[ ~Dee~ ]      Papa, I'm going to get some food and drink. Want anything? Sasshi? I want to talk to you later about that book.

Dee walks over to the lift and SpaceDog shakes his head, NO. He then opens the chest next to the couch and gets out one of his special blue bottled brews. Notakill speaks, looking a little dead on his feet.

[Notakill]      I was hoping you have some food inside this place. I didn't eat anything earlier and... I need to change clothes as well. This suit is too hot, even for a dead-thing like me.

[ ~Dee~ ]      Come on. You too, Kitti! Put Timothy Little down; or better yet, bring him back to the galley where he belongs.

Panda Kitti puts the mouse on her shoulder and walks over to the lift.

Sasshi observing LeeZee issues a challenge.

[Sasshi]         You seem to like women. Care to spar with me? 

LeeZee tries to take Sasshi's hand to see if she has some fighting skills. Sasshi pulls away from LeeZee.

[Sasshi]         That's cheating.

[LeeZee]        How can you tell?  

Sasshi touching LeeZee with her mind, telepathically.

[Sasshi telepath] 'I know ways to cheat as well.'

[LeeZee]       Not if I do this. 

LeeZee puts on a metal hairnet that molds to her head then disappears.

[Sasshi]       I like that, wits and cunning skills but still very young. I'm not going to let you get close enough to use your succubus powers. By the way, I'm neutral Fay. Surprise! I refuse to take sides, good or evil. 

They take the lift down, to the sparing room.  ;

[SpaceDog telepath] 'Sidrat. How is the Morris Stone working out and how is Istanna doing?'

SpaceDog keeping tabs on the brains of the QETS.

[Sidrat telepath]     'Both are doing fine but I still cannot understand just why you wanted me to put it on my...'

[SpaceDog telepath] 'STOP! I had my reasons. Why are you only at 1500%?

[Sidrat telepath]      'Commander, I can go to at 15,000% but then you would not need the QETS, only me. I stopped at 1505% for a reason.'

[SpaceDog telepath] 'Okay, tell me later and if anything destabilizes, inform me straight away. I'm going to join you and sit with Istanna until she awakens.'   

All Books Chapter 9 - Return to the QETS Book 1 Chapter 11 - Recovery and Time
All Books Chapter 9 Chapters Chapter 11