Crystal Throne

                                                                                 By Bert McKenzie 

                                                                                  Copyright 2010

 

 

Disclaimer: This story is a work of fiction.  Any resemblance to any real
person alive or dead is coincidental and unintentional.

CHAPTER X

     Jennifer was not expecting company.  She had put a tape of Casablanca
in the VCR, made a big bowl of popcorn, and decided to curl up on the couch
for a good cry.  When the doorbell rang she answered it in her housecoat
and fuzzy slippers, the same ensemble Scott had seen her wearing the night
before.  "Scott, what are you doing here?" she asked with a sour expression
on her normally pleasant face.  Obviously entertaining her rather bizarrely
acting friend was not her idea of a fun evening.

     "Have the police been here?" Scott asked her as he barged into her
apartment, not even waiting to be asked.

     "Police?" Jennifer questioned as she began to shut the door.

     "Get in here," he ordered to someone in the hallway.  As Jennifer
opened the door again and looked out, Scott's 'spacey' friend joined them.

     She looked out into the hall again to make sure no one else was
following.  "Alright, I want answers," she demanded as she firmly closed
the door.  "What gives?"

     "No one gave so we had to take," Robin said by way of explanation.

     "We had to steal the statue that Troy sold this morning," Scott told
her, filling in the details.

     "You did what?!"  Jennifer couldn't believe her ears.  In her opinion
Scott had always been rational, to the point of boredom.  Now he was
telling her that he had committed a robbery and was being pursued by the
police.  It was more than she could bear.  Protectively, she wheeled on
Robin.  "I suppose you're responsible for this."

     "Yes, I am," Robin admitted casually, further inflaming her anger.  He
unbuttoned the loose shirt he was wearing and removed the antique figurine
from inside.  The small statuette was a particularly unremarkable piece of
workmanship, a wooden carving about 18 inches in length, of a nubile young
girl holding aloft what appeared to be a magic wand.

     "What do we have to do now?" Scott asked his friend.

     "I must return to your dwelling to seek the door," Robin replied.

     "But the police will be waiting for us," Scott told him.  Just as he
said it, a pounding on the door made all three of them jump.  Jennifer
looked out the peep hole, and then swung the door open to admit Troy.

     "Jen, I was listening to my scanner and Scott . . ."  He stopped in
mid sentence, seeing the two men standing in the middle of the room.

     "Hi, Troy.  Nice of you to drop by," Scott joked.

     "Great, now what did I get myself into this time?" Troy asked, looking
from one individual to the other.

     Scott tried to explain.  "That statue you sold the old lady this
morning.  Well, we needed it back but she wasn't home so we kind of
borrowed it."

     "The cops are looking for you," Troy told him.  "It was on my police
scanner."

     "Look, I can't explain it all, but we've got to get back to my place
right away.  What time is it?"

     "Jennifer, will you talk to him?" Troy appealed to her.  "He isn't
making any sense.  He broke into a rich old lady's house and stole a
statue, then escaped from the cops.  And now he just wants to go home?!"

     "Troy's right, you can't go home," Jennifer added.

     "You've got to turn yourself in.  Give back the statue and say you
were influence by the bad drugs this guy made you take," Troy pointed at
Robin.

     "We must leave soon," Robin said as he picked up the statue.  Everyone
in the room lapsed into a stunned silence.  As Robin stood, holding the
figurine, the tip of what looked like a magic wand began to glow with a
bright blue gleam.

     "Hey, how did you get it to do that?" Troy asked coming forward and
taking the statue from him.  As soon as it came into contact with Troy's
hand, the strange glow disappeared.  "Make it come back," he whined.

     "It is from my world," Robin explained in amazement.  "That is the
only explanation.  It glows because of its contact with me.  It is a sign."

     "Your world . . .  Are you like an alien from another planet?" Troy
asked taking a step back.

     "Scott, we must return to your dwelling.  This is the key and it will
point the way to the door," Robin told him.

     "I don't understand any of this," Jennifer whispered to Troy.

     "He's an alien and that must be the key to his spaceship," he
whispered in return.

     "We've got to go," Scott said abruptly. He headed for the door.

     "Okay, let me throw on some clothes and we'll go," Jennifer answered,
heading into her bedroom.

     "No," Scott protested.  "Just let me borrow your car.  They won't be
looking for that."

     "I'm going with you," she insisted coming back into the room as she
pulled a sweat shirt over her head.  "You coming, Troy?" she asked.

          * * *

     Ten minutes later, her Mustang was heading into Scott's neighborhood.
As they drove down Promenade Street they saw two squad cars parked in front
of his house.  The police had obviously arrived first.  The group had no
choice but to wait and see what developed.  Jennifer drove on past and
pulled the car into the small lot by the little park that separated Scott's
street from the river.  She turned off the engine and killed the lights.
While they sat in the dark automobile they talked.

     "Robin, what did you do back at the old lady's house to distract the
cops," Scott asked.  He had been wondering about the big crash for quite
some time.

     "There was a large glass structure hanging from the ceiling, emitting
light," Robin explained.  "I caused it to fall."

     "You destroyed that beautiful crystal chandelier?" Scott asked in
shock.  "It was probably worth a couple of thousand dollars."

     "It's only money," Jennifer volunteered from the front seat.

     "You're a Vulcan, aren't you?" Troy said to Robin after a short lull
in the conversation.  He was turned around in his seat and staring intently
at Scott's companion.

     "Get real, Troy," Jennifer admonished him.

     "I am real, and so is he," he defended himself.  "I saw them when the
wind blew his hair.  Look."  He reached out and pulled back Robin's hair,
revealing the unusually shaped ears.

     "Oh my God!" Jennifer exclaimed.

     Robin pulled back and brushed away Troy's hand.  "That's natural for
his race," Scott explained.

     "I told you he was a Vulcan," Troy said smugly.

     "Grow up, Troy," Scott snapped.

     "Well what is he then?" Troy retorted.

     "I am a person," Robin answered.  "In many ways I am just like you.  I
have a right to the dignity accorded to any living being."

     His comment stung.  "We're sorry," Jennifer apologized.  "You have to
understand, he's a jerk," she said punching Troy in the arm.  "But you
talked about your world.  Do you really come from another planet?"

     "I know not, but I think this is not so," Robin answered her.  "My
land is much the same as yours, only not so buried as your world has
become.  We still touch the spirit of the earth and rejoice in the rock and
the tree.  You have lost the spirit of your world in the subjugation of the
earth, rock and tree."

     "If it isn't another planet, where is this world of yours?" Troy asked
him.

     "I cannot explain it more than to say it is right here.  As a child I
was taught that many worlds exist in the same place.  They are only
separated by what we call 'gleekah.'  That is, the spirit of each world
travels through time differently."

     "You mean it's like another dimension," Troy suggested.

     Robin shook his head.  "I understand not that reference."

     "You mentioned a key and a door," Jennifer continued.  "You can just
open up a door and step from one world to another?"

     "At special times a person may be fortunate enough to travel from one
world to another, but only if he has the key.  It was not always so.  There
was a time when our two lands were much closer than they now are.  People
traveled freely between our worlds.  But that was before the great plague
and the closing of our borders.  Now such movement is rare."

     "So what," she asked, "are you doing here?"

     "He was trapped," Scott answered.  "He's just trying to go home."

     "Like E.T.," Troy added.  He received another punch from Jennifer.

     "And this statue is the key that will open the door between our world
and his," Scott said, holding the carving up.  They lapsed again into
silence and waited.

     After a few minutes Scott asked about the communication.  "How were
you able to talk to me without being heard by anyone else?"

     "That is the wind whisper," Robin replied.  "I direct my voice in such
a way that the sound travels only to the one intended."

     "That ought to come in handy," Jennifer said.

     "He can also become invisible," Scott told her.

     "I cannot," Robin corrected him.

     "But at that lady's house . . ."

     "I simply hid.  It was a game I played as a child with my woodmates
called 'Search for Who is Hidden.'"

     "Hide and Seek," Troy volunteered.

     "The best way to hide is to be overlooked," Robin continued.  "I was
always very good at it."

     "What time is it?" Scott asked after a pause.

     "Going on twelve," Troy answered.

     "Scott, give me the key," Robin said, asking for the statue.  Scott
had carried the figurine since they left Jennifer's apartment.  "I can get
in without being seen.  I will have the key and if I find the door, I will
be able to leave."

     "You aren't going in there alone," Scott insisted.

     "No, wait.  They're leaving," Jennifer said.  The two patrol cars had
turned on their lights and pulled away from the curb.  The four of them in
Jennifer's car ducked down as the police headlights slowly passed.  In a
few moments they were gone from view.

     "It may be a trick," Troy suggested.

     "Why don't you go up and see," Scott returned.

     "Me?" Troy squeaked.  "What if I get arrested?"

     "Go on, Troy," Jennifer agreed.  "Just go up and ring the bell like
you were looking for Scott.  That way, if it is a trap maybe you can
distract them while we sneak around back."

     After a little more persuasion, Troy opened the car door and crossed
the street.  He headed up the walk, onto the porch and rang the bell.
Meanwhile, the group in the car quietly slipped out of the vehicle and
headed for the bushes running down the sidewalk.  A few short minutes later
they were next to the fence, just behind the carriage house.

     "Let's go," Scott said, boosting Jennifer up and over.

     "Can't we use the gate?" she whined as she tried to climb over the top
of the fence.

     "Too visible from the house," he explained.  "You ready?"

     Robin stood to one side looking skeptical.  "I cannot," he said.

     "What's wrong?" Jennifer whispered from inside the yard.

     "It is iron," Robin explained.  "I cannot climb it."

     "How'd you get in before?" Scott asked, remembering seeing the white
apparition in his back yard a life time ago just the previous night.

     "I was already inside," Robin answered.  "I had been living in your
outbuilding for some time."

     "Robin, we don't have time for this," Scott admonished.  "You said
midnight was the in-between time we needed.  It must be almost that
already.  Now come on."

     "Yeah, come on," a strange voice said as the three of them were
spotlighted by several heavy duty flashlights.  Four policemen were
positioned around them, guns drawn.  "Inside, both of you," the first cop
said, opening the gate, just a few feet down the fence.

     "Can you disappear?" Scott breathed as quietly as possible.

     He didn't dare look at Robin, but he heard the voice in his ear.  "Not
while they are watching me.  And you have the key with you.  I cannot
believe I heard them not."

     Just as he said this, a second policeman reached out and took the
statue from Scott.  "Looks like we caught the thief red handed, Sarge," he
called to another officer.  "Get moving you," he directed his comment back
to Scott and shoved him forward, toward the house.  The three criminals
slowly walked across the yard.

     "Look at the key," the voice in his ear said.  Scott looked over at
the policeman carrying the statue.  The end of the carving was glowing
brightly.  "For it to shine in another's hands we must be very close to the
door," the voice said.


     "So we rounded up the whole gang," the plain clothes detective said as
he made notes on a clipboard.  He was standing on Scott's back porch.  Troy
had made the mistake of using his emergency key Scott had given him months
ago, and once he entered the house, the police magically appeared out of
nowhere.  The back yard lights were now on, and the four lawbreakers were
standing at the base of the steps to the back porch, each one wearing
handcuffs.

     "We're going to take a little trip downtown gentlemen, and lady," the
detective was saying in his most sarcastic tone.  "It looks like you all
have quite a bit of explaining to do."

     "Hey look at this thing," one of the policemen called.  He had just
noticed the blue light that was being emitted by the end of the statue.
"It's glowing."

     "You think it's radioactive or something," another of the cops asked.

     "Suppose you explain it, pretty boy," the detective said, grabbing the
hair at the back of Robin's head and yanking firmly, causing him to look
up.

     "Leave him alone," Scott yelled.

     "Oh, so we have a problem here.  You feel sorry for the pretty boy, do
you?" the man said turning his attention to Scott.

     "He's the one I was telling you about," one of the cops said to the
detective.  Scott recognized him as the cop from the previous night.  "You
know, the fag."

     "Is that why you don't want me messing with your girlfriend here?" the
detective asked Scott as he again reached out, this time to gently pat
Robin on the buttocks.  "You're in deep trouble fella.  Breaking and
entering, burglary, vandalism, resisting arrest, just to name a few of the
charges.  And now maybe smuggling.  Maybe this here statue is made out of
uranium or something."

     The detective walked over and took the statue from the officer who was
holding it.  He headed back toward the porch.  "Now, Princess Grace here
sold this statue to some rich dame, and then you break in and steal it
back.  What's the scam?"

     "I don't know what you mean," Scott bluffed.

     "What's the scam, pretty boy?" the detective asked, yanking on Robin's
hair again.  This time, Robin did react.  Scott had seen the officer place
the handcuffs on his friend, but somehow they weren't there now.  With
lightning reflexes, Robin grabbed the detective and spun him around into
the strangle hold that he had used on Scott early that morning.  The other
officers jumped forward to assist, but Robin merely gave the detective a
shove and he went sprawling into them, knocking them down like bowling pins
before a strike.

     Robin scooped up the statue and bolted out into the yard before the
police could untangle themselves and recover.  "The ring, it must be the
door," Robin said heading directly for the circle of mushrooms under the
tree.

     "Wait," Scott called after him and ran for the tree as well.

     "Halt or I'll fire," a voice shouted from behind.  One of the
policemen had obviously recovered.

     Scott could see Robin make a dive for the center of the mushroom
circle at the base of the old oak tree.  Scott was almost there himself
when he heard the shot ring out.  This was the second time in the same
evening he had tried to run while his hands were cuffed behind his back,
and it was no easy task.  The gunshot so startled him that he lost his
balance and sprawled headlong into the long grass.  Robin had already
entered the circle and was holding the statue up into the air in much the
same pose as the carved figure assumed while holding the glowing wand.

     "I shall not forget you, Scott David Quartermain," he called as the
entire circular area was bathed in a bright blue glow.

     "Robin, don't leave me," Scott cried as he tried to get up.  Suddenly
he felt himself lifted from behind.  One of the policemen had caught up
with him and jerked him to his feet.

     There was a loud crackling roar and the earth shook violently.  Scott
suddenly felt himself being pushed by the force of the policeman's body,
and he tumbled forward into the glowing circular area.

          * * *

     "Detective Smith, are you alright, sir?"

     One of the cops was trying to get his attention.  He must have been
knocked senseless for a short time by the proximity of the blast.  "They're
gone, sir," the policeman answered his inquiry as he stood up.  "We don't
know what exactly happened.  They must have blown up in that explosion."
The one that the detective had called Pretty Boy held the stolen statue up
and it somehow attracted a bolt of lightning.  When the lightning hit it
there was a tremendous explosion, the shock wave knocking everyone off of
their feet.

     Two of the policemen testified that the girl had broken free and had
followed after the two men.  She ran into the back of Officer Bukowski who
had just apprehended one of the fugitives.  Evidently her collision had
pushed the fugitive into the path of the striking lightning bolt, causing
the death of the two criminals.  The theory that the statue was made of
some kind of plastic explosive was the only explanation.  When the dust
cleared there was no evidence of it or the two bodies.  All that was left
was a smoldering, charred spot on the ground, a group of dazed police, and
two very frightened suspects.

 

 

 

 

 

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