Chapter 7 ~ Family


Cain points a small device around the room. Everything he points at shows him what it is, what it's purpose including a map of the grounds so he can find his way around. The device looks like a 21st-century smartphone. SpaceDog puts out his hand and Cain hands it to him. Several icons show up including an identity scanner. When he points it at Istanna, his jaw drops.

Ruthr comes out of one of the many doors along with another couple while holding a similar scanning device. Rah is a meter tall redhead with curly hair and Pete is a two meters tall Vanir.

[Citizen Ruthr]  Cain, I'm not sure this one is working properly. I am detecting one A.I., one  Fay and nine Gods in this room, but I only see Sidrat, our two new friends Pete and Rah, you, me, Luke, Rosemary, Freyr, Istanna and... are you with twins?

[Istanna]      Well... Yes! I am married, have a loving mate, have been making love every night since I became a Vanir and he planted his seed in me so, YES! I'm Pregnant! Should I broadcast this to everyone or... 

Istanna bounces up and down having told everyone in the room about her pregnancy. SpaceDog hands the scanner back to Cain and hugs his wife.

[Istanna]      I wanted to keep it a surprise until everyone was settled. Guess the cat's out of the bag.

[SpaceDog]   You best keep those kittens in there till they mature. We can let everyone know when there is a meeting of all Vanir. I never imagined this would happen so soon or I could be this happy. Cain, Ruthr, I have a job for you two if you are going to keep being the librarians. 

Cain and Ruthr step in front of SpaceDog and Istanna. Ruthr raises a finger and places it on the tip of her nose and closes her eyes.

[Citizen Ruthr]  I already know what you are looking for and we will start a detailed search right away. As a truth seer, my dreams never lie to me, but I would like to confirm everything first, and not everything had unfolded yet. We will have the answer you seek before the next full moon. May the Gods and Goddesses bless all our families.

Cain starts to bow his head when Ruthr pulls him up by the ear.

[Citizen Cain]  Sorry, I almost forgot you two don't want to be treated special even though you are special. If you like, there is a refreshment bar in the next room with comfortable chairs but not sure who the owners are.

[Sidrat]         I believe you are the owners since you are the library caretaker and chief librarian. Please excuse me. I need to bring the next group of Vanir home along with a surprise that's stowed away in the QETS.

Sidrat, with a twinkle in her eyes looking at Ruthr vanishes.

[Rosemary]    Luke, come join me in the main library? I would like to look at the layout of this place and see what I can find to spark my imagination. I remember this place as a youngling, but it always seemed so big and disorganized.

Luke and Rosemary both give Istanna a hug before they exit the room in search of information and hidden inspiration. As they enter the main hall, they each pick up scanning devices from the reception desk.

Library Surprise

[ ~Luke~ ]    What exactly are you looking for? 

[Rosemary]   Trouble, but I think it will find us first. Something is not right here. Look at the scanner. There is part of the building missing beyond this wall.

Rosemary points the scanner all around the hall noting the different areas beyond each door, but the wall in front of them is blank. The scanner shows a room with no doors or openings and the room is not marked except for an L.

[ ~Luke~ ]    What is L?

{scanner}      The Lab is currently out of bounds with 16 un-named exceptions.

Rosemary and Luke look at each other and smile.

[ ~Luke~ ]    If I was to guess, I'd say, father, Lady Istanna, grandfather, his apprentice Jeff, Sidrat, but I don't know who the rest might be. We can figure that out later.

Rosemary keeps walking, pointing the scanner at other areas as they venture down the long hallway and finds something else unusual.

[Rosemary]   What do you think this might be?

On the scanner, beyond an arched doorway with fish, coral, and other aquatic creatures made from crystals, glass, pumas, and obsidian is a large empty room marked AA. Luke fingers the carved glass and pockets the scanner. He holds both hands out with his palms up sensing an energy pulse.

[ ~Luke~ ]    This I suspect is the future home of the Atlantis Archives.

[Rosemary]   How could you know that?

Luke raises both hands up followed by Rosemary's gaze up towards the very tall ceiling. High above their heads suspended in mid-air are two Atlantean airships, The Osiris and Obsidian.

[ ~Luke~ ]    Never thought I would see those ships together and I suspect they are in working order. Last time I saw The Osiris, it malfunctioned and crashed after being hit by lightning just as it left the ground on Sink Day. I was on Obsidian and helped rescued grandfather posing as Poseidon, along with Princess Atlántida and 25 other Atlantis citizens.

SpaceDog comes running into the archway followed by Istanna.

[SpaceDog]   Excuse me, did I just hear you say you helped rescue Princess Atlántida on Sink Day?

[ ~Luke~ ]    Yes! What's the matter, dad?

[SpaceDog]   I missed you by only an arn that time.

[ ~Luke~ ]     No way! How?

SpaceDog sits on the floor and then lies on his back remembering The Osiris as it lifted after the repairs were completed.

[SpaceDog]   First distress call I ever got in my newly acquired QETS, was a call from Prince Harri on Sink Day. The Nubius coil cracked on his airship and I helped him bypass it to the cold flame coil to get The Osiris operational. He then helped rescue two dozen Vanir along with two Atlantean time capsules and took them to Alfheim where he caught up with his wife, Princess Atlántida.

[Istanna]     Didn't you tell me he was your best friend?

SpaceDog still looking up at The Osiris, points his finger at the crack in the frame.

[SpaceDog]   At that point, he was my only friend. We used to sneak off in the middle of the night when Atlántida was sleeping until one day when she caught us. After she gave birth and tending the twins, she would let us go off on adventures together because we would get back a few moments after we left in the QETS. I'm hungry. Are you three hungry or do you plan to look around some more?

SpaceDog gets up off the clean floor but brushes himself off out of habit. On his way out the arched doorway, he reaches out and takes Istanna by the hand.

[Rosemary]   Maybe we should try that coffee shop by the entrance. I'm sure Ruthr and Cain will be waiting for us. In fact, I know they will be. They have questions and I know who has the answers.

[ ~Luke~ ]     Without a doubt, you are catching on quickly. But first, I want to test out a theory.

Both Rosemary and Luke look straight at Lady Istanna.

[Istanna]      And what theory would that be?

[~Luke~ & Rosemary]   The theory of L.

SpaceDog and Istanna have puzzled looks on their faces. Rosemary takes SpaceDog's other hand and Luke takes Istanna's as they press against the wall with an unmarked  L behind it. All 4 pass through the wall at the same time and stop.

Sitting around a glass table, Njord, Cain, Ruthr, Pete, and Rah are being served coffee and pastries' by Toot and Soot.  

[ ~Luke~ & Rosemary]  YES!  

[SpaceDog & Istanna]  First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is!

Istanna and SpaceDog bow to one another.

[Citizen Ruthr]   Would you four like coffee or tea?

[All in unison]   Yes please!

Family Coffee & Tea


[Njord]    Okay, how did you get into the lab. Who told you? Was it Chepi, Zenko, Sidrat, Jeff or his new pet sister Okami?

All four look at each other and shrug.

[Istanna]   Who is Okami? I would like some Lady Grey please.

[SpaceDog]  Pet sister? Black coffee with honey if it's not a bother.

[ ~Luke~ & Rosemary]  Chi tea hot and straight up. We let ourselves in.

The newcomers look around the lab while Toot and Soot fetch the drinks going through the wall they just came through. SpaceDog walks up to the far wall with the hole for a Valknut and looks at his dad shaking his head from side to side. He walks up to the blank wall and waves his hand and inspects the power plants along with the location of ten new arrivals as they appear outside in the courtyard on the display. He waves his hand again and inspects the ester power converter between the binary stars of Polaris. He draws a rune on the map and it reveals all the hidden text and places. SpaceDog raises his eyebrows and nods in approval.

[ Rosemary]   The library information scanner labeled this area as L and then told us, 'The Lab is currently out of bounds with 16 un-named exceptions', so we forced our way in using the best candidates for the job, dad and Istanna.

[SpaceDog]   I suspect the power generated by the other two power plants and ester collectors is enough to operate the BiFrost behind that wall. Is it now capable of sending and receiving across time?

[ ~Luke~ ]    And I remember the BiFrost used to be close to the outside of this library, so the building has moved?!?!

[Njord]      That answers my questions. As for yours, the BiFrost is now a TriFrost and capable of creating a wormhole through time. Sidrat moved the library and created Okami. She's an A.I. built as Jeff's protector, playmate, and tutor. She first appeared as a female humanoid, a lot like Sidrat but smaller and almost looks human. She first morphed into wolf girl after being given the name Okami, but I suspect she can also change into a Vanir, therefore, pet sister. She is telepathic, can use telekinesis and non-linear time quantum entanglement like Sidrat. But, I'm not sure of all her capabilities since they have not yet been demonstrated and most of my scanners didn't register with her.

[SpaceDog]   Can she be equipped with Morris stones in her sensory array?

[Njord]       That is not an option. Okami currently has a cobalt core in her Chi receptor conduit and you know what cobalt can do when used on the subatomic levels. Fortunately, there are more then a few safeguards for backup I could not decipher. We can discuss them later and I have not seen Okami in her Vanir form yet. 

[Citizen Cain]   Njord has invited our two friends, Pete and Rah, to be his lab assistants. They are a bit more knowledgeable then Toot or Soot, and can have assumed to like helping with the coffee/tea shop next door.

Toot and Soot walk through the invisible barrier wall with coffee, tea, and more pastries. SpaceDog recognizes Pete and Rah because of their brightly colored clothes when he addressed the Vanir at Machu Picchu, Pete stood out standing tall with his hair looking like a mop. Rah being half Pete's height was holding his hand, her glowing pink eyes and short curly red/orange hair makes her look like an Irish pixie.

[Citizen Ruthr]  They don't talk much and use telepathy because their voices are all wrong. Pete chirps like a bird and Rah squeaks like she's breathing Helium.

[Rah squeaks]    We, are Dullahan and Vanir. We both died in the Ćsir/Vanir war but saved by the last of the fallen when she lost her head and cast her split s-t&a to save us. We know not her name nor do we remember anything before that fateful day.

[Pete chirps]      We tend the soil and make things grow. Our coffee-growing skills are not from us, but came as a gift from the fallen Dullahan. 

[Citizen Ruthr]   I can not see a clear picture of what happened that day. My seer abilities are just not strong enough.

Istanna and SpaceDog look at each other knowing exactly what the other is thinking.

[Istanna]      What type of magic is more powerful then Vanir sorcery?

[SpaceDog]   And who do you know that has dragon blood running through her veins?

[Njord]       Hold on a tic. Are you planning on raising the dead and returning these.... that just might work. Everyone, come with me. 

Njord takes the chain from around his neck and places the Valknut in the slot on the wall. A door opens and everyone enters the room. The ten meter cubical room seems to be the same size as the lab with four obelisk receivers glowing at the top, one in each corner, red, blue, green and gold. In the center of the room is an obsidian stage five meters in diameter and five centimeters high raised from the floor. A set of orbs are located on a table near the wall on the opposite side of the room. Njord steps behind the table and puts the Valknut in the slot under the largest orb. SpaceDog recognizes it as a Null Orb.

[Njord]     Pete, Rah, come here and put your hand on this orb. Now think about the last time you saw the Dullahan just before she lost her head when you got resurrected.

Both Rah and Pete place their hands on the orb and the black platform begins to glow purple.

[Njord]      Istanna, Dragon Goddess of Alfheim, use your blood magic to return what needs be returned, bind the souls and breath life back into the fallen. May the Gods and Goddesses be with us on this day. 'Nigeb won dna esrever emit'.

Istanna places both hands on the large center orb when Sidrat suddenly appears in the middle of the platform. She runs over to the control panel, makes a minor adjustment and grins before returning to the platform.

[Sidrat]   That should do it. 

The platform turns pure white, shimmers all colors of the rainbow and the room goes black. Sparks fly from the center of the platform and connect with the orb Pete and Rah are holding. When the room begins to get light again, Sidrat is standing beside a short red-haired woman with a scar around her neck.

In a deep manly voice,

[Pete]     May the Goddess of life be praised. I know you. You're Aos Sí, the one who saved us. I remember everything now. Look Rah Sí, it's your sister, our wife!

Sidrat turns around, steps off the platform, slowly walks past SpaceDog, Ruthr, and Cain before walking up to Njord, glares at him, winks at Istanna and takes Rah Sí and Pete by the hand.

[Njord]    What did you do Sidrat?

[Sidrat]   Research, what else. You had this contraption set looking for a Dullahan. They are spirit creatures. However, Rah Sí and Aos Sí are Fay ground fairies and you would have missed the target. Aos Sí sacrificed herself to save her sister and their husband. I gleamed who they are from the Atlantis Archives.

She walks Pete and Rah Sí over to Aos Sí reuniting the two Fay sisters and their husband. Sidrat then walks up to Ruthr and Cain, bends down and says to both,

[Sidrat]   The room marked AA has been updated on the library scanners and contains a complete indistinguishable 'copy' of the Atlantis Archives. I didn't get to search the entire catalog so I'm still looking for index 25.624 for the commander... and my son. Let me know when you find it. I believe it's hidden in an ancient language.

Sidrat walks back onto the center of the TriFrost platform and motions the three still standing there holding onto each other to step off.

[Sidrat]   Maker, commanders, reunited families, and friends, I have returned all the Vanir from Midgard to their home on Vanaheim. Shortly I will collect those on Alfheim who wish to return. Any last requests before I perform? No? In two moments I will take my leave, but first, Welcome Home everyone!

Before anyone can speak, violin music starts in the background as Sidrat shrinks into a meter tall light elf fairy with pink hair, translucent light blue wings, a red bustier, black Tootoo with black and pink ballet slippers. She bows and begins to dance around the platform to Tchaikovsky's  'Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.' Several times during the dance, she flaps her wings and flies around the room, stopping in front of each and everyone sending a wink, blowing a kiss, or sprinkling glowing fairy dust on them. After a stunning two moment performance, she again bows and fades away leaving everyone speechless.

 Family Vote

When the entire group exits the library mesmerized by Sidrat's performance, they find themselves standing before a crowd of 2339 Vanir. Everyone begins to clap their hands together looking around for the star of the show.

[Njord whispers]       I think that performance was broadcast using telepathy except for us in the TriFrost room. 

[Istanna whispers]     Oh, she is good.

SpaceDog raises his hands and the crowd calms down. Suddenly the crowd parts as Jeff rides in on the back of Okami followed by Buffi, Ruffi, Jenni, and Gessi. Jeff jumps off Okami, stands along with their family members and all hold hands. Okami gives out a loud Howl that echoes across the valley.

[SpaceDog]   For one of the few times in my life, I'm almost speechless.  My dream to return all the Vanir home to Vanaheim is nearly complete. My little pixie of an A.I., Sidrat, is still working on the task at hand. But what an exceptional performer, mother, and guardian she has turned out to be.

[Istanna]      There are still family members of yours and ours on Alfheim. Tomorrow, they will be joining us for a day to remember all those who have made sacrifices so we may live together in peace.

[Njord]         Many cycles ago, I removed you from your homes and took you across space and time so we could not only survive, but live. My family has you all in our hearts and hope you have found everything as you left it. On this day, I would like to rename the library. It has an outstanding librarian, Citizen Ruthr, and a new custodian, Citizen Cain. Joining us today is the last fallen and the first risen from the Ćsir/Vanir war, Aos Sí. She sacrificed her life so her sister and best friend husband, a Vanir, could live. Aos Sí, could you please step forward with your family.

Aos Sí, Pete, and Rah Sí step forward holding hands looking a bit puzzled.

[Njord whispersFour... three... two... one...

Bonnie Jean Vanadis, Sister Sister, Cyn, Dee, Ruu, CeFuu, Skadi, Gertrude, and Thor suddenly appear behind Aos Sí, Pete, and Rah Sí.

[Njord]       I know that neither of you sisters are Vanir, but that doesn't matter. Wait, where is Sidrat?

Over the group, Sidrat fly's around in circles above them and flutters like a large hummingbird and finally settles down on Okami's back before she folds her wings and bows towards the crowd. The crowd once again begins to clap their hands until Njord raises his.

[Njord]       If I may continue?

Sidrat turns to the newcomers.

[Sidrat]      Oh I love these wings. Everyone, please do as I requested.

Bonnie Jean Vanadis, Sister Sister, Cyn, Dee, Ruu, CeFuu, Skadi, Gertrude, and Thor stay silent, hold hands behind Aos Sí, Pete, and Rah Sí. SpaceDog, Istanna, Rosemary, and Luke also join hands.

[Njord]      As I was saying, now that my entire known family is here, I would like your vote, first as family, and then everyone on Vanaheim. I propose a new name for the library to be... Aos Sí Sidrat Atlantis Library. All in favor please raise your... 

Before he can complete his sentence, everyone has both their arms up while a banner unfurls on the Library behind them with the new name and fireworks go off around the building.

Njord turns around and sees the banner already created.

[Citizen Ruthr]   My dreams never lie and you are so predictable Father Time.

Everyone begins to clap, cheer, dance and get rowdy as tables appear filled with food and drink.

Cyn, Dee, Ruu, and CeFuu walk over to SpaceDog and look at him curiously noting he is holding the hand of a gorgeous Vanir.

[ Cyn ]           Daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy ?!?!?!

Cyn grabs SpaceDog around the middle and gives him a twisting hug. Looks over to Istanna, not realizing who she is, squints, makes a rune in mid-air. After it changes and fades, she grabs Istanna's arm, lightly bites her ear then gives her a huge hug.

[Istanna]    Settle down Cyn. You didn't recognize me, did you?

[ Cyn ]         You are now Vanir but I tasted your dragon blood so maybe you changed again? Why all lovey-dovey with daddy?

[SpaceDog]   Short story, she's now my mate, your stepmother, and you are on Vanaheim where......

~~~long pause~~~

Dee, Bonnie Jean Vanadis, Sister Sister, Ruu, CeFuu, Skadi, Gertrude, and Thor all gather around waiting for the answer.

[Istanna]      We can influence everyone on, from, or who has ever visited Vanaheim. In other words, our word is the law you can not disobey.

[ Thor ]        Prove it!

[Njord]         Odin once said those exact same words to me when I ruled here before he became your king.

[SpaceDog]   Who do you think is the youngest here? Pick an opponent and you will lose to arm wrestling with he, she or it.

[ Jeff ]         That would be Okami or myself unless you want to count the cycles I was stuck in a time capsule. Okami is my pet sister Lu'C-Ana. You chose.

The black and blue wolf stands on her back paws beside Jeff. Okami then morphs into a voluptuous black and blue-haired Vanir in a shining armor dress. Thor looks from one to the other and laughs.

[ Thor ]        She's no God, however, I believe that's magic armor, and suspect it's very powerful, so, just for shits and giggles, I will arm wrestle you, boy.

Dee and SpaceDog shake their heads from side to side.

[ Dee & SpaceDog whispers Thor, you're going to lose.

[Bonnie Jean]   I have got to see this. Will my son, the God of Thunder lose to a boy less than half his weight? What's your name, boy?

Jeff bows to Bonnie Jean before he sits down at one of the nearest tables and invites Thor to sit across from him. Thor sits, puts his arm on the table raised waiting for the challenge to begin.

[ Jeff ]          My name's Jeff, Jeff the dip, Sidrat's adopted son.. I'm also known as the lad from the Atlantean time capsule index 25.624. So... will I need my whole hand or should I take the God of Thunder down with only two fingers?  

Jeff holds up two fingers, looks over to SpaceDog, then Istanna.

[Istanna]       You could do it with only one finger Jeff, but...

[SpaceDog]   Use your whole hand and don't embarrass his mother, my sister, Freyja.

Skadi steps up to the table.

[Skadi]       You need a judge or umpire for this one-sided contest?

Thor and Jeff both look into the eyes of the Frost Giant nodding their heads YES, then clasp hands.

[Skadi]      Begin!

Jeff pulls the God of Thunders arm down to the table effortlessly. Everyone not knowing SpaceDog and Istanna's ruling power is stunned. Those who met the rulers at Machu Picchu, Cusco or Lake Titicaca shake their heads and walk away knowing true power.

[SpaceDog]   Everyone will forget Thor was beaten today. except for Sidrat, Istanna, Jeff, Lu'C-Ana, Freyja, Aos Sí, Citizen Cain and Citizen Ruthr. Let the party continue.

More fireworks go off as Thor gets up from the table looking around for food and drink. The party continues as if nothing happened.

[SpaceDog]   Sidrat?

[Sidrat]        Yes commander.

[SpaceDog]   When did you learn to dance and fly like that?

Sidrat spreads her wings, begins to hover and just before she flies off says,

[Sidrat]        In my mistresses dream...

Istanna looks at SpaceDog, flutters her eyes at him and holds his arm tightly.

[Istanna]      You know, I'd like to visit Alfheim for a hot soak, a good night's sleep and visit some friends of mine. We can take the twin twins back to The Gallant Tree Inn and I want to visit a magical place I don't think you've ever seen. What do you say my agape?

SpaceDog looks into Istanna's eyes and shakes his head YES just before he looks around noticing they have a captive audience with the new family arrivals: Cyn, Dee, Bonnie Jean Vanadis, Sister Sister, Ruu, CeFuu, Skadi and Gertrude. Cyn grabs onto SpaceDog's other arm and begins to purr.

[ Dee ]         How did I  get here? I just got the Atlantis Archives sorted out on the QETS. How did you get a copy? Was that the work of our Fairy friend Sidrat?

[Bonnie Jean]  Brother, I appreciate you bringing us all together, but Cyn, Dee, Ruu, CeFuu, Sister Sister and I still have obligations in the City of Elder. Could you please take us back?

[Gertrude]    Mission accomplished on Midgard. Think I'll stay here and open the school again. Bye!

Gertrude walks off as Skadi walks up to SpaceDog. He puts his finger to her lips so she can't talk.

[SpaceDog]   I will send you back to your Yeti as soon as Sidrat returns. Dee, chapter three of Rainbow Bridge Mechanics.  Sidrat made a copy for the library here and to answer your last question, she no longer needs the QETS to travel through space or time.  Elder Bonnie Jean Vanadis, sister Freyja, Hoider, Phoenix or whatever you are calling yourself these days, I can not take you back. But, your fairy guardian can as soon as she finishes whatever she's doing. So...

[Istanna]    You are all welcome to stay at our house as long as you want. Or, you can stay in one of the many tree houses on the canopy overlooking Kveyka forest and watch the suns rise in the morning.

Everyone agrees to stay overnight.

House of Christmas Gifts

After Sidrat returned from her mission, she entangled Skadi back to Midgard and Thor back to his gathered Asgard. The party ends when the twin moons are down, the remaining family members walk back to the tree home of SpaceDog and Istanna. Inside the tree home, everything is polished and shining. There are glowing ornament balls hanging from the walls and the miniature World Tree that was in SpaceDog's room at The Gallant Tree Inn and Bathhouse now sits 3 meters high in the middle of the room decorated with a multitude of glass ornaments. Root is standing next to the tree holding the door open.

[Root]          Welcome. Moved it.   

SpaceDog and Istanna both look at Root.

[SpaceDog]   You now speak proper common?

[Istanna]      How?

[Root]           Dee gave Root magic spirits. Root still fast. Root can learn from the master and mistress. Today winter solstice, day to celebrate.

All the Family members enter the main door followed by a few new friends. Toot and Soot come through the kitchen doors with food and drinks, sets them on the large wooden table already with an assortment of bite-sized cured meat, cheese, briskets, fruits, and vegetables. The last in the large group of Vanir to come through the door was Njord dressed in a red suit with fluffy white trim carrying a large sack.

[Njord]        Father Christmas is here for all the good people of Vanaheim, Alfheim, and Midgard. On Earth, I would give both presents and coal to children until they became adults. It got to the point I just could not handle it anymore and let the mothers and fathers take over the task 200 cycles ago. In those days, the coal would keep the homes of the underprivileged warm. Somehow the rumor got started that coal was given to naughty children. That was nonsense made up by thieves and bandits who would come in the wee hours and steal all the presents I left.

[ ~Luke~ ]    So what you are saying is you are Saint Nicholas?

[Njord]        No, he was a human named Christopher Cringle who started to give children presents on Christmas day. Because of his generosity, he was named as a saint by the Pope for his selfless actions. After 75 years of making toys, he passed away and I took his place. How else could a person give out so many toys and gifts on one night all around Earth? It became quite a challenge but with the help of quantum entanglement it was all possible. 

[Istanna]      And who made all the toys, snooped around for all the naughty children?

[Bonnie Jean]  That was a group of light elves dad had me employ back then.

[Njord]        In other words, using telepathy, I knew when they were sleeping, I knew when they were awake, I knew when they were bad or good... Oh for crying out loud. Yes, I was later called a peeping Tom. How that rumor about me going down chimneys is beyond me. I finally had to give it up.

[Rosemary]   And all the traditions of Christmas have at least some facts around them.

[SpaceDog]   No wonder I could never find you. You were too busy trying to keep the humans on Midgard happy.

[Njord]         There was always a method behind my madness. Now, who's first. Son, don't open this till you are alone with Istanna. The Valknut for the QETS should open it.

Njord pulls out a large red box with a slot for a Valknut and hands it to SpaceDog. He pulls out another box the same size and hands it to Istanna.

[Istanna]    And can I open this now? 

[Njord whispersOnly if you want to embarrass yourself.

[Njord]     Freyja, I have something special for you, daughter. Don't eat it all at once.

Knowing Freyja developed a sweet tooth after removing her lust for gold, she immediately opens the present knowing it's homemade marzipan and takes a big bite sending her into a state of ecstasy.  Njord pulls out two more boxes and hands them to Luke and Rosemary.

[Bonnie Jean]  Dad, where do you get this stuff. It's delicious. What's it called, Marzipan?

[Njord]            In this case, Toot made it from almonds and sugar. Both grow on one side of the valley. Luke, you have mud on your face from the last time you encountered one of these, but I miniaturized it and made it more stable so if you ever need to stop time around you.

Luke opens the box and pulls out a null orb on a platinum chain. As soon as Rosemary open her present, the room begins to smell sweet and very refreshing like walking in the forest after a rain.

[Rosemary]   Frankincense and Myrrh? Oh if the wise men only knew where this stuff comes from... Thanks, grandfather.

Father Christmas hand Genni and Jessi books. Genni open her book and looks like she's about to go into shock, her jaw drops and she immediately sits on the book keeping it closed. Both Jeff and Ruffi begin to giggle.

[ Ruffi ]        If you want to see the first edition of those books, ask Jeff. That's what I gave him for his birthday.

Jessi opens the book given to him a bit cautiously and then notices it's a moving picture book called 100 cycles of Guardians. He flips through the pages and looks for the authors name.

[ Jessi ]        Who put this book together? It looks old and I've not seen this technology used in a long time.

[Njord]         You wrote it! Or should I say, you will be recording the events for the next 100 cycles with the Third Eye found inside the back cover? Remove the Third Eye when you are ready to start the project and the book will build itself. I have one warning about that book. Nothing in it has happened yet, and don't assume it will.

Njord tosses two small packages to Ruffi and Buffi. When they open the packages, there are Valknuts, one with a raven on one side, and the other a dolphin.

[ Buffi ]       Are we supposed to guess what these go to?

[ Ruffi ]       My guess is one's water-based the other is airborne. Am I right?

[Njord]       Correct on both accounts. However, you will still need some instructional training and there are limitations as to where you can go with them. I know you both like to explore so these should get you home in time so Rosemary and Luke can stop worrying.

Njord looks around the room seeing who he missed and beckons over the two sets of twins. He hands a large package to Cyn, a 1/2 meter long one to Dee, a slightly larger one to CeFuu and about to give very small one to Ruu but tosses it over his shoulder and hands him a black sack instead. He sees Sister Sister in the corner and waves for her to come over and whispers something in her ear. She runs out the front door and a milliarn later something flies past the windows making the entire home shake and rattle.

[Njord]       New broom, with an inertia dampening field! At least from where she's sitting on it.

After Cyn begins to open her package, she closes it and heads into another room. She comes back a moment later in a very tight red and white sleeved party dress accenting all her curves with fluffy white fur. Cyn sits on Njord's lap, winks at Istanna sitting on SpaceDog's lap and gives him a big kiss on the forehead causing Father Christmas to blush.

[ ~Cyn~ ]     Thank you, thank you, thank, you and thank you Grandfather Christmas.

At about the same time, both Dee and CeFuu have opened their packages. Dee pulls a very deep blue crystal short sword out of its scabbard and is about to test the sharpness when...

[Njord SHOUTS]    DON'T, do that!!!

Everyone stops what they are doing and looks at Dee, who looks a bit perplexed wondering why he shouted.

[Njord]        Sorry. That sword is a lot like Thor's hammer except it's not heavy. Throw it and it will come back to your hand after it cuts through anything, including a dying sun. It's quasi-dimensional so exists but does not exist at the same time. Show some restraint using it because it will not stop until it's cut through what you want it too. You and I need to have a lesson on restraints and you need to take ownership. That will take a full day, okay? That goes for the ax too CeFuu.  

CeFuu removes the restraints and holds up the bright blue ax.

[CeFuu]        So this is offensive and not a defensive tool and will cut anything?

Njord shakes his head YES. He then passes out packages to all the remaining guests, mostly exotic bottles with liquors in them and finely sits back looking around the room. Ruu finally reaches into his black sack and pulls out several bags of gold coins, a platinum bar, a roll of papyrus, a bottle of invisible ink, and 3 scrolls, one wrapped with a Valknut on a chain.

[ Ruu ]        Are these leftovers or is there something I need to know?

[Njord]       There are instructions on one of the scrolls on how to use the alchemy kit. What you can build with it is fun and a good teaching tool if you are going to keep tutoring the light elves. I have something for both Jeff and Okami?

Ruu  ]       Always madness around your methods. Thanks, uncle.

Njord hand a small box to both Jeff and another to Okami.

[Njord]       Inside each box is a part of a map. The map will take you to a safe place where you will never be disturbed. You each have a key that will take you to that place.

[ Jeff ]       I think my pet sister would like to know the meaning of giving presents.

Njord sits back and begins his storytelling mode. Everyone listens.

[Njord]        Okami, the first son of God who tried to teach the humans of Earth what is right and what is wrong was given gifts by wise men when he was born. The men followed a beacon in the sky and followed it till they came on a very special baby. The baby grew up, never lied, did nothing wrong and preached what is good and how to be good men and believe he was the son of God. When he got older, he was killed and later rose from the dead. Since then, the day of his birth is celebrated all over Earth and called Christmas or the Mass of Christ because his name was Jesus Christ of Nazareth and when teaching, was always followed by a mass of people. We give gifts to others willingly and unselfishly even if the person does not deserve it because that's what he did, he gave his teachings and his words of wisdom...  I hope what I said about giving gifts earlier helps you understand why I give them away now and will always give gifts.  

Okami thinks about it for a time and finally understands.

[Okami]       I understand the story and the reason why you give. Thank you for the lesson.

[Njord]       SpaceDog or Istanna, could you call Sidrat here so I can give out the last present I have.

[Istanna]     Sidrat, here now. 

Sidrat appears full-sized in her fairy outfit complete with snow on her wings, head, and shoulders. Njord puts out his hand. In it is a very small piece of papyrus.

[Njord]        Over the ages, the Vanir have used many names. My gift to you is the ability to choose your own name. If you need, talk to your family and find something that you would like to be called...

[Sidrat]      Angel... I am a spiritual being with unimaginable powers who acts as an attendant, agent, messenger of the Gods and Goddesses, a guardian, a protector, a mother represented in a Goddess form, now with wings. By definition, I am an angel, and wish to be called Angel.

[ Jeff ]       My mother is an angel.

Jeff runs up to Sidrat and gives her a huge hug.

[Sidrat]      I may not be a real angel, but you can call me Angel, or Mum, or Sidrat or...

Sidrat leans down and whispers something in his ear. Jeff turns beet red and steps a few paces back next to Okami. Sidrat accepts the parchment.

[Njord]      Angel, before you push the limits in your emotional circuits, here is my last gift on this day; the key to unlock all the good emotions you will ever need or want. With this code, I hope you can also put this into Jeff's pet sister as well. 

Sidrat opens the parchment, reads the contents and consumes it. One-quarter moment later she puts her hands over her cheeks, looks around the room and says with liquid coming from her sensory array,

[Sidrat]     Deep affection, love, fondness, tenderness, warmth, intimacy, attachment, endearment, devotion, adoration, doting, idolization, worship, passion, ardor, desire, lust, yearning, infatuation, compassion, care, caring, regard, solicitude, concern, friendliness, friendship, kindness, charity, goodwill, sympathy, kindliness, altruism, unselfishness, philanthropy, benevolence, fellow feeling and agape.... oh my beloved Gods and Goddesses... This is the best gift ever. Thank you very much, creator. Okami, come here.

Okami who has been standing upright by Jeff's side as a black and blue wolf girl in a plaid skirt, black sleeveless shirt, takes off her fake glasses. She adjusts the bow on one ear before she meets Sidrat face to face, and they put their heads together. Okami begins to morph and goes through 8 different transitions; blue/black wolf, black fox, fluffy fennec fox, tigress, she-bear, dragoness and a mermaid before she finally becomes Lu'C-Ana with a huge grin on her face as she looks over to Jeff while grinning from ear to ear. Both vanish when she touches him...

[Istanna]   We can only guess where those two ran off to, now can we?

The winter solstice celebration continues throughout the night as snow begins to accumulate on the ground outside. By morning snow cover the ground everywhere except where the crops continue to grow, along with heated walkways from geothermal vents..

All Books Chapter 6 Book 1 Index Chapter 8
Books Chapter 6 Book 2 Index Chapter 8