“I will love him forever. I know that.” Bob said. “I cannot be apart from him.”
Batresh chewed a small bite of Caesar salad. “I am glad to hear that, he will need your help,” she responded, reaching for a glass of iced tea.
“Why?” he asked.
“Until we figure out how to remove the beast without hurting him, he will be unpredictable. It will be hard to live with him. You must be patient.”
Bob put his fork down and looked through the window towards the east. Less than a block away was the illuminated sign for Llewellyn’s restaurant.
“He will be here in St. Louis until 1986, then he will move to New York City,” she continued.
“How do you know that?”
“The Jovian Portal,” she responded, crunching on a crouton.
“I am sorry, there are details you have to learn. But you cannot tell him. He cannot know his Ka is Tayamni, or that he was Matriarch in his former life.” She lay down her fork as well.
“His core being. In our natural form, we consist of organized light and radiation. When we take on a physical body, everything changes. The Tayamni core of energy, you might call a spirit or a soul. It’s nothing magical, just scientific fact,” she responded. “It is our Ka.”
“Why will he move to New York? What is the Jovian Portal?” Bob asked.
Batresh sighed, embarrassed that she had not filled him in as she planned. She tossed her hair behind her left shoulder, looking through the window facing east as if she were talking to the Llewellyn sign. “We have two Temporal-Portals in this system. The Solar Portal is used to move people and objects, the Jovian Portal is used to send messages. We receive newspaper clippings, notices from the web, any news that may concern us in our missions.”
“Oh,” Batresh laughed, “Your world will enter a new age in about 20 years, but never mind. You’ll find out.”
“Sorry, I am not being good at keeping things simple, please forgive me,” she responded. “Is he coming?”
“He’ll be here,” Bob responded, looking at his watch.
“I don’t know why he will move to New York,” Batresh continued, “…but I think it might have something to do with his career in music.”
“But he is studying math and computer science,” he said.
“On July 1st, 1988, he will receive a glowing review in the New York Times for singing in an opera called, La Calisto.”
Bob looked at her with confusion.
“Later that year, on tour in Sicily, he will be murdered by the mafia near Palermo. A case of mistaken identity,” she said, taking another bite of Caesar salad.
Bob inhaled deeply and looked at her.
“Don’t worry, we’ll find a way to stop it. In the meantime, be kind to him. Give him love, build his confidence. He must be encouraged and find a way to heal from his childhood,” she explained.
She continued, “His murder won’t happen at the hands of the mafia. It will be the Tlalocs or the Potacas. You can bet on that. He is too important to our mission. They know that.”
“I don’t know what to think,” Bob responded. He looked at the empty table across the narrow isle from them, then back at Batresh. “What happened to the hybrids that tried to kill him at the park?”
“They have been taken to a detention center,” she responded.
Bob looked at her with concern.
“We don’t like to use the term prison, but, it’s a prison, or rather a brig,” she smiled. “They will be there until we can figure out what to do with them.”
Reaching over to him, she placed her hand over his. “We also know from the Jovian Portal, that his partner will kill him in 1998, in San Francisco. But, again, I am certain it will be at the hand of our enemies.”
“How can he die twice?”
“Seeing conflicting dates for his death, shows us that his future is not set. If we did nothing and allowed our enemies to do what they would, Denny would have died at the age of 5. His father would have accidentally dropped him in the spillway at Pickwick Dam in Tennessee.”
“So far,” she kept on, “It looks like he will die from a botched surgical operation in 2011, and from a temple bombing in 2033, at the age of 75.”
“A temple bombing?”
“That’s what the message said. Near Portland, Oregon, no less.” She took another sip of iced tea.
“Why does he move so much?” Bob asked.
“He is searching, Bob,” she responded. Seeing the waitress at the other end of the café, she signaled her.
Bob tilted his head, as if to ask a question.
“He is searching for his mission. He feels he must do something, so he is looking for that,” she paused, “that vocation.”
“It’s hard to believe,” he responded.
“As you see what I have told you unfold, you will understand.” She saw someone walking towards the door of the restaurant. “Ah, he is here.”
“Hi there,” the waitress said, standing next to their table. She reached down and took their empty salad bowls. “Can I get you some desert?”
“What’s the desert Balaban’s is famous for? Oh yes, the Napoleon,” Bob said. “The young lady and I will have a Napoleon and a cappuccino, each.”
“Be right back,” the waitress responded.
Batresh lowered her voice. “Denny will form a new religion, Bob. The new religion will move humanity to the next level. The Tlalocs and Potacas want to stop that at all costs.”
Bob drew his brows together.
“Humanity will join a galactic alliance to help fight these enemies. That is all I can tell you now.”
Bob’s face was pale. He looked nauseated. “Will I be around?”
Batresh nodded. “You will have a very long life, my dear friend. You’ll be around.”
At that point, Denny walked to the table to join them. He walked to Batresh and leaned over, kissing her on the cheek.
“Sorry, my test took longer than I thought,” he said.
“What test?” Bob asked, moving his chair closer to the window. Denny sat down beside him.
“College Algebra,” Denny responded, rolling his eyes.
“Did you have a good time spelunking?” Batresh asked.
Denny looked at Bob knowingly. “Not really?” he responded.
The waitress arrived with cappuccino and the Napoleons. “Can I get you something Ma’am?” she asked, looking at Denny.
“Um,” he looked at Bob with embarrassment. “I am a man.”
The waitress looked surprized. She looked at his chest then, back into his face. “I am so sorry,” she said. “I am sorry.” She looked at Batresh for help. “I didn’t even look at you. I apologize, Sir.”
“That’s OK,” Denny responded. “It’s not the first time.”
“Would you like a cappuccino and Napoleon too? It will be on the house,” she said, looking at Denny’s face carefully, wondering how this creature could be male.
“That would be perfect,” Denny responded.
“What happened?” Batresh asked, after the waitress left.
Denny sighed, “I,” he stopped. He looked at Bob hopelessly, “We,” he stopped again, looking down at his hands.
“Some red necks tried to beat them up in the park,” Bob responded for him.
“Oh no!” Batresh acted surprised. “Were you hurt?”
Denny shook his head. “A ranger, or a policeman or somebody showed up. It was awful. I don’t know what happened to Buzzy.”
“Has he not been at school?” Bob asked, knowing exactly where Buzzy was.
Denny shook his head. “Nobody knows where he is.”
Batresh gave Bob a knowing look.
“I’ve counted at least five people who disappeared. They’re just gone,” Denny continued.
“Is the college worried about them? Have the police been there?” Batresh asked.
Denny shook his head.
“Maybe they dropped out, or maybe they moved,” Bob suggested.
“The thing is, they were all kind-of alike,” Denny continued.
Batresh looked at him concerned.
“It’s weird,” Denny kept on. “They were all blonde and skinny, like they were in the same family or something.”
Batresh sent Bob a telepathic message, We cannot allow him to suspect.
Bob took Denny’s hand, “See there, they probably are in the same family. If they were missing, the police would be swarming all over.”
“I don’t know,” Denny said, “It’s just weird.”
“I’m glad you are OK,” Batresh added.
“Just shook up a little,” Bob interjected.
“Do they know who threatened you?” Batresh asked.
Denny shook his head.
Bob sighed, shifting in his seat, uncomfortable with subterfuge. He looked at Batresh with anxiety.