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Chapter 25

Alto Shrine

Above Atalen ya Doaka

May 2008

Davic enjoyed the solitude on the cliffs above the busy school. Often he would walk the trails, find a quiet spot and sit, particularly if he had something troubling him. He had more than just a little bit today.

There was an ancient lookout point, a shrine nearly straight above his dorm room, that he favored. A small wall maybe two feet tall surrounded a smoothened area, complete with fire pit. Ian had mentioned that the Anasazi used to do their astronomical observations up here. And they probably sent messages across the nearly two-mile distance between them and the neighboring Great House.

Davic sat and soaked in the view of the canyon below, the rugged but barren mountains and the majestic ruins. The seclusion recharged him. Just as he finally began to relax, his wrist crystal pinged.

It was another message from Retta on that fan site:


Lady Morgaine



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Re: Big Disappointments

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Davic, I am worried for Khym and the crew of the Pride. Akkhtimakt is pressuring Pyanfar. I am at the scene where she must hold in her sneezes so that he will think she agrees with him. But her nose is sore from the smell of his ammonia. She’d much rather be back with Khym and the crew. Akkhtimakt has confided that he will speed up an asteroid and slam it into Hoas point to trap the Han in Anuurn and so he can become the mekt-hakkikt . I am so worried for them.

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He had to adjust the brightness setting several times before he could read it.

“Hoas Point?” Ian said aloud, having just set his bathroom to clean itself.

Davic laughed. “I said the very same thing up on the Alta Shrine,” He tapped his wrist-crystal a few times and swiped a few times at the window that opened to a square image covered in squiggly lines and stars of various shapes. “This is a map of the space the Khym and Pyanfar live in. Here are the stars that the Hani own and their allies own these places and over here are the Kiffish territories. Look at this one right here,” he pointed his finger at a star that seemed to be in the center of everything. “All the territories and traffic lanes meet here. It’s called Meetpoint. If you’re going to be a player in interstellar trade you have to have access to Meetpoint. But the Hani ships aren’t strong enough to take this short cut.” He pointed to a double line, “So they were given this planetless, dwarf star to take a longer, gentler low road as it were.”

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” asked Ian.

“I think it’s the Motu.”

“That’s a major stretch, don’t you think?”

“What else could it be?” Davic asked. “I mean both are useless, lifeless lumps not worth anything at all except one major thing, vital to both groups. What else could it be?”

“OK, what about the Motu? They’re going to destroy it? ”

“In the actual story, and Retta knows that I would catch her on this, the asteroid was headed for the Hani Homeworld, Anuurn. But she twists the Roman à clef for me to understand it. Hoas Point is vital to the Han. That’s the Motu. It has to be.”

“What this Mek... word with all the Ks in it?”

“The mekt-hakkikt is the highest overlord of all. One who controls everything. This is why I think LeDuc is not going to destroy the Motu but control it.”

“No, Davic,” said Ian. “I think we’ve missed something. I think Retta is telling us that LeDuc knows about the rongorongo tablet you just translated. I think they know about moving the moon.”

The shorter of the mages was taken aback. His mouth hung open and he stood stock still. “How could they know?” He collapsed onto a cushion with a loud whoofing sound. “How could they know so fast? We only discovered it yesterday.”

“Who did you talk to about it?” It was not a mere question, It had hard edges in it.

“Johnson, Locminé, you...”

“I only talked to you and Locminé.”

“No,” started Davic. “We were in the cafeteria 3C when we were talking. Who was there, too?”

Both sat and stared at each other, then said at the same time: “Candie.”

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