Somewhere inside Lucas head a small miner was trying to dig his way out with a pickaxe. Slowly he opened his eyes and blinked rapidly as the bright sunshine stabbed directly into his brain. Lucas felt the warm hand on his shoulder but it was as if were somebody elses shoulder. His brain told him that it was Karas hand and somewhere he knew that she was speaking to him. He concentrated on the voice and it became clearer.
"Are you alright?" Kara asked again.
Lucas swallowed hard and said, "Except for a splitting headache Im fine." Lucas closed his eyes and willed himself to heal and within moments he felt much improved. "Thats better," he said opening his eyes once more. "How about you?"
"Im dizzy and have a bit of a headache but other than that Im fine."
Lucas sat up and looked closely at Kara. Her brilliant blue eyes appeared to be unfocused and there was sweat across her forehead. Lucas took her beautiful face in his hands and said, "Here let me try and help."
Lucas hands began to glow with the navy blue light that Kara was now familiar with and a warm glow spread through her temples to her entire head. Her eyes now focused on the man in front of her as the last vestiges of her headache disappeared. When he took his hands away Lucas saw that Karas well known smile was back.
"Better?" he asked.
"Yes much better, thank you. How did you do that?"
"You know that I can heal myself. Well, it appears that I can pass that gift on to others in some small fashion."
"Like fixing my headache."
"Precisely. Do you have any idea where we are?" Lucas asked looking beyond the blond Velorian in front of him to the area around them. It was definitely not the Rocky Mountains.
Kara looked around her. She and Lucas sat on a white sand beach next to a wine dark sea. Away from the beach the land rose sharply into rocky hills dotted by weathered olive trees. She shook her head in wonder and disbelief. Whatever had happened to her and Lucas it had clearly transported them a great distance.
"No, I havent got a clue," she replied.
"Damn," cursed Lucas, "I thought youd might recognize where the hell we are because I sure dont."
As he spoke Kara looked closely at Lucas and listened carefully to his words. The realization struck her like a thunderbolt. He was speaking Velorian.
"Verlorian?" Lucas said after she told him of her observation. "Im speaking plain old English Kara not Velorian."
"But you are, I swear."
Lucas rubbed his chin and thought carefully. He snapped his fingers suddenly and said, "Im not speaking English and youre not speaking Velorian. Were talking in some other language but what language? Any ideas?"
"No not a clue," Kara replied listening closely to the strange words emanating from her moist red lips.
"Well, why dont you have a look around with those bright blues of yours." Kara was confused by this request and seeing her confusion Lucas quickly explained, "I may have good eyesight but I still cant see through rock, remember."
"Oh right," Kara said turning her sparkling eyes on the tree lined hills and what lay beyond them. "Well, beyond the hill are more hills with goats on them and a really cute girl in a cotton dress. After that is . . . whoa. Theres a city not ten miles from where we are and what a city. There a large stone houses and some huts all clustered around a large open air square lined with marble columns. All the roads lead to the square. There are five, no six, large marble buildings, temples I think. Each one is covered with friezes of different scenes and theyre painted the most shocking colors. Ooh, the one with the naked woman surrounded by half a dozen naked men all kneeling at her feet in adoration is really interesting. Why dont you ever act like that Lucas?" she asked with a impish grin.
"Kara, in my heart Im on my belly kissing you pretty little feet," Lucas answered with an absolutely straight face.
"Ill tell you what Kara. When we get home Ill do anything you want me to for an entire day."
"What do mean anything?" asked Kara already contemplating the possibilities.
"Just what I said, anything. I doubt youre going to ask me to kill someone or rob a bank. So, from sunrise to sunrise Ill be your complete and willing slave."
"Oh, I cant wait," she said clapping her hands in delight.
"Okay, okay. There are men and women walking along the streets wearing flowing gowns and things that are very short. There are peddlers walking from the square and moving along the streets and some are leaving the city. Theres a large harbor with about fifty wooden sailing ships of all sizes lining the wharfs. Oh my God, at the mouth of the harbor is a huge bronze statue of a naked man holding a golden torch in his right hand and a spear in his left."
"But the Colossus of Rhodes was destroyed hundreds of years ago. Could we have been taken back in time by the Arions? I didnt think that they had the technology but what other explanation could there be."
"I dont think weve gone back in time," said Lucas in a strange voice. "Look!"
Kara eyes followed Lucas pointing finger into the blue sky. What she saw simply defied logic and belief but her Velorian eyes had never been wrong before. A gold and ivory chariot pulled by two pure white horses with shining golden manes was flying overhead. In the chariot stood a man in a tight fitting yellow tunic which fell half way down his magnificent thighs. Her sparkling blue eyes traveled up his well muscled torso to an inhumanly beautiful face wreathed by cascading gold curls which fell loosely around his broad shoulders. Kara was so entranced by his appearance that she barely noted the large golden bow and quiver of silver arrows which were fastened to side of the chariot.
"Do you see what I see?"
"If you mean the guy in the flying chariot," answered Kara, "then yes I do. Who is he? Hes not Velorian or Arion."
"Well, from the way he looks Id say hes the Greek god Apollo."
"Yup, the bow and arrows are a dead give away. Pheobus Apollo is almost always described as an archer."
"But its just not possible. Isnt it?"
"I dont know. Ive got an idea that might explain this."
"What is it?"
"Not yet. Id like you to work your own theory out. I may be wrong and I dont want to influence you."
"Okay," Kara said noticing that Lucas had taken off his habitual black pants to expose his plain white briefs. "What are you doing?"
"Going to get us some clothes," Lucas replied leaping into the air. He flew about a mile out into what Kara now knew was the Aegean and then dived into the dark sea water.
Kara sat down in the warm white sand and tried to think. She wormed her naked buttocks into the soft sand reveling in the feel against her naked skin. She shook her head her long honey blond hair flying about her face. Now was the time to think not soak up the sensuality of the scenery. Kara could think of no technology that she knew of that would allow a chariot to fly and then it hit her, magic. Magic could explain it all. That black cube that the Arions had thrown at her had somehow transported Lucas and her to a dimension where magic was common. By the time she had come to this discovery she could hear Lucas returning. He was flying back from the direction of Rhodes a bundle in arms.
"Whered you get those?" she asked pointing at the bundle of cloth.
"I bought them off a peddler."
"Bought them! With what?"
"I went pearl diving."
"Great idea. I wish Id thought of it. Ive always wanted a pearl necklace."
"Well, what have you decided?" he asked handing her a small linen tunic and woven cloth belt.
Kara slipped into clothing and said, "The only thing that I can think of is that magic is dominant here. Its the only explanation for a guy in a flying chariot."
"I think its a bit more complicated than that," said Lucas putting on the clothes he had bought for himself, a white linen kilt which hung half way down his thighs and was held up by a broad leather belt. "I think that magic may be the only thing that functions here. Its the perfect trap. Use high technology to take us some place where high technology wont work."
Kara shuddered at the possibility. "Youre right. Were trapped."
"I dont think so. The Arions overlooked something."
"Magic, of course! It should be able to get us back home."
"Yup, thats the way I see it. It might even be easier to get back than it was to get here. After all magic is all about doing the impossible."
"Alright then, lets get out of here," Kara said steely determination in her voice. "If Apollo is here then Zeus should be here as well. So, lets go to Mt. Olympus and ask him to send us back home."
Lucas thought that there was something, some little thing, wrong with Karas plan but couldnt think what it might be. He nodded. "Alright lets go. Mt. Olympus should be to the north east."
As one Kara and Lucas sprang into the air and flew off toward mainland Greece at less than the speed of sound, any faster and their clothing would soon begin to disintegrate. Karas remarkable Velorian eyesight soon found the home of the gods and Lucas less powerful but no less remarkable eyes quickly found it as well. The dozen immense marble palaces resting atop a puffy white cloud could be nothing else but the legendary Mt. Olympus. They increased their speed to just beyond Mach 1. Both of them wanted to leave this strange dimension and get back to the one they called home, the one where they were needed.
The pair landed in front of a huge pair of polished bronze gates which marked the entrance to Olympus. Kara pushed the gates aside. She was frustrated and angry at being caught so easily by the Arions. As a result she put most of her amazing strength into the push and the bronze gates swung open with a gust of wind and slammed into their marble supports with a resounding crash. Lucas was glad to see that Kara hadnt completely smashed the gates. It wouldnt have been the best way to ask for help. Not waiting to see if Lucas was following Kara strode purposefully toward the largest palace.
Lucas caught up to the determined Protector just as she reached the bottom of the large marble staircase. Side by side they mounted the stairs to the large bronze doors at the top of the stairs. Lucas jumped forward and opened the doors before Kara could do it. She looked at him angrily but the wink he gave her dissipated her irritation. Lucas offered Kara his arm and taking it they entered the polished marble palace.
Lucas could feel the tenseness in Karas muscles. He placed a hand upon her shoulder but it did little good. The beautiful Velorian wanted to go home now and nothing not even a god was going to stop her. He was about to council caution but by that time they had reached their destination.
They entered a huge throne room with a raised dais opposite where they stood. Two marble thrones sat upon the dais and each was cover by gold, ivory, and a rainbow of precious stones. On the larger of the two thrones sat a man who was easily seven feet tall. He was dressed in flowing white robes edged in blue. Long silver hair fell over his broad shoulders and the chin of his chiseled face was covered by a short beard of the same shade. Both Kara and Lucas knew without having to be told that they had found Zeus.
The king of the Greek pantheon stared with rapt attention at a small pool of water set into the polished marble floor next to his throne. Zeus was stroking his beard slowly and every so often a low rumbling chuckle that sounded exactly like distant thunder would come from him. Kara had no idea what he found so amusing in a pool and didnt really care. She took her hand from Lucas arm and marched over to the seated god. It all happened so fast that Lucas didnt have time to raise any objections even if he could have thought of any. Standing so close to a god had done strange things to his thought processes.
When Kara reached the bottom of the dais she squared her shoulder. She had come to far now to turn and leave. Kara coughed and when there was no response coughed even louder. She was about to call out to the king of the gods when his head rose from studying the pool and Zeus looked directly at her. Eyes of storm cloud grey locked on Karas brilliant blue. Zeus smiled, a lecherous greedy possessive smile.
"Well," said Zeus his voice booming throughout the throne room, "who has brought me this dainty gift. Hephaestus, Ares, Dionysus, Hermes speak up, you shall find your king receptive. Ask your boon but quickly. No matter, time enough for favors later. Now to enjoy this tasty morsel set before your king. Come wench show me your charms."
"What?" Kara shouted realizing that Zeus was speaking to her. "Look jerk, Im nobodys wench. My name is Kara and my friend and I . . ."
"Enough talk! You have tantalized me for too long, show us your charms."
"Like hell I will."
Lucas started to take a step toward the dais. He knew that there was major trouble brewing but it was too late. Zeus hand grabbed an angry Kara and ripped the top of her tunic. The Velorian slapped the offending hand and received a backhanded slap from the king of the gods in return. The blow sounded like a bomb had gone off in the room. Kara flew across the room, hit a huge marble column and slumped to the floor. Zeus rose from his throne his body alive with electrical energy.
"Refuse the attentions of Zeus the Thunderer will you," he shouted so that the walls shook. "Then, if you will not feel my love then you shall feel my wrath."
Zeus fist began to glow brighter and brighter and just as he raised it over his head a navy blue blur struck him in the chest. Lucas and the king of the Olympians fell to the floor. Lucas was delivering blow after blow as the two fell. He heard Zeus grunt in pain and surprise but did not know if his fists would be enough. How, he asked himself, do you defeat an immortal. Lucas drove his immortal opponent into the polished floor with all his strength. The whole palace shook and Zeus was dazed. Lucas head butted him. He tried to knee him in the groin but Zeus was squirming too much. He felt the electrical energy build up around Zeus but his own shield kept him safe. What Lucas did not count on was the explosive discharge the electricity created. It threw him off Zeus chest and into the air. Lucas head slammed into the ceiling with an almighty crack. His deep green eyes glazed over as he saw the floor rushing up to meet him. Lucas bounced once and then stopped.
Lucas was groggy but his mind screamed at him to get up fight back. His body glowed as he healed himself. There was a hand on his shoulder and he was turned on his back. Lucas looked into the eyes of an enraged god. Zeus was alive with electricity. In his right hand he clutched a strange looking golden scepter shaped like a lightning bolt. Small bolts of electricity sparked along its edge. The scepter was poised over his chest and Lucas knew that death was hand. Before it could land a perfectly tanned leg shot out of nowhere and hit Zeus in the ribs. The king of the Olympians flew across the room and crashed into his throne.
Slender fingers reached down to him and Lucas grasped them. Kara lifted him to his feet and off the floor. She pulled him into a bone jarring hug and said, "Are you alright?"
"Considering Ive just gone toe to toe with Zeus Im just peachy. You?"
"I fine but I wouldnt have been if you hadnt stepped in when you did."
"Thats what friends are for Kara."
Kara was about to say something but the crash from the thrones came first. They turned to see Zeus rise slowly to his feet. His body was still sheathed in lighting and thunder could be heard coming from outside of the palace.
"Uh oh," said Kara. "I dont think this is over."
"Looks that way."
"What are we going to do?"
"Honestly Kara I have no idea."