Chapter 97:     Warming Up

ART reports events of Monday, 8 September---

9:15 AM

Today's the day, tonight's the night.  Full Moon. 
Which means that Nokhontli the world over will celebrate their Kha-rat, 
and one such ceremony will be taking place right here in our back yard.

We have until sundown to decide whether to not to attend.

That really shouldn't be such a difficult decision: we are being offered 
access to a unique cultural experience that few Nokhsos have ever known, 
as well a way to bond with the Nokhon Nation we are already deeply 
involved with--of COURSE we should accept, it would be foolish and 
cowardly not to. 

But our good old Puritan-American moral ethic becomes problematical when 
dealing with the Nokhontli. So our little group of friends has been 
vacillating all week long as to whether or not we dare to partake.  

Oh, we certainly all WANT to join in on the fun, but also fear the moral 
and physical consequences.  Pokey and Maki have moral reservations--or 
at least, she does.  Lissandra is intimidated by the aspect of an all-
out orgy with "humongous Wookies", especially after she happened to see 
Adam making vigorously-pounding-half-ton love with his two squatch girl 
friends.  Both Elaine and I are afraid of damaging our relationships with 
Adam, the girls--and each other.  As of this moment, Doug and Melly 
are the only ones absolutely determined to attend the Kha-rat tonight.

Well, it's a lovely day and should be a perfect night.  Especially nice 
and warm for September, clear blue sky with no sign of any clouds coming 
in to hide the Full Moon later on tonight.  Just right for hairless 
humans at their first Kha-rat, since they'll probably end up naked under 
the open sky all night long.

10:20 AM Adam and his friends had been planning a simple little Kha-rat, only six Nokhons and the few humans who dared join them. But visitors have arrived. About an hour ago four Nokhons came down from the hills to join Adam and his five friends, coming here for the Kha-rat tonight. Half an hour later three more showed up. Apparently the word is out. Adam called me on his cell phone to let me know what was happening. I walked out to our local branch of "the Nokhon Nation" to meet the new batch. They were an awe-inspiring sight: Thirteen Sasquatches is a big crowd and one of the two new males was really gigantic. I was trying to be polite as Adam introduced me to them, since I recognized all of their names from his narrations, but I was distracted by raging shyøma-desire for the five new women. Good thing Magga and Masnia had supplied me with a fresh batch of those little blue flowers to eat, otherwise their shyøma would have knocked me out now that there were eight women flowing. As it was, I thought the girls smelled nice now. Very nice. And it was amazing how extremely beautiful they had all become. The shyøma effect was intense even through the antidote, making it suddenly clear that I MUST come to the Kha-rat tonight just to have sex with them all! (Married, who me? Oh, you mean to what's-her-name?) But nobody was offended by my horny drunk guy act, since everyone there was just as aroused as I, male or female. A party mood was under way. The biggest Nokhon, at least nine feet tall and heavily built, was also the oldest. He had patches of white in his fur and wore a shoulder bag. He behaved quite formally, far too dignified to smile. I assumed he was the Sha-haka Dannat, that dour healer who had saved Adam's life when he'd been shot and it was so. The two females with him had to be Malla and Mawa (sister to Adam's dead mother Mayala). I could see that Masnia was happily embracing a younger couple, whom I correctly guessed to be Dabronat and Malasna, her parents. They were a rather good-looking family, much less intimidating than old Dannat and very much quicker to smile. I remembered that Dabronat was Dagrolyt's brother, which gave us something in common to talk about. I couldn't guess the identities of the last two women, Misma and Myrøla, but once introduced by name knew that they were Dagrolyt's two wives. I asked where Dagrolyt was and they told me he'd be along. They were all surprised that a Nokhso like me could speak comprehensible Nokhontli, greeting them and even answering questions, so I gave my well- rehearsed speech about the language school Adam (oops, Dadamet) and we were establishing. When I asked how they had found us, Adam's aunt Mawa answered: "Magga sent me a dream. But I have always known where my sister Mayala died," nodding her head toward The Mother Meadow with sad respect. While we were trading social amenities Melly and Lissandra came into camp. Melly was still somewhat stiff and sore from her "honeymoon pounding" two days before, but she had heard that we had new guests so had bravely limped all the way out to us. Lissandra came along to support her if necessary, this being her first time out to the Camp since the shyøma-smell had begun three days before. Lissandra had eaten some blue flower antidote, but it hit her hard anyway, she had to sit down. Adam went to comfort her. Melly was being the perfect hostess, except for an occasional groan or two, welcoming our new friends. She too knew all their names and was excited about meeting them all for the first time. She surprised us all with her suddenly improved command of Nokhontli, now seeming to be almost fluent. Gigantic old Dannat, being a shaman healer, took a special interest in Melly's limping and groaning and asked if she would like to be healed. "Considering that I'm probably going to get pounded even flatter later on tonight, yeah, that would be nice," she answered, remembering how Dagrolyt had relieved similar aches and pains by massage. Dannat told her take off the skesk she was wearing. Melly's never been shy about nudity so she shed her shorts and t-shirt in the middle of the crowd without blinking. Well, I blinked, abruptly reminded how affected I was by all these aphrodisiac fumes and how badly I wanted to be at the Kha-rat tonight and now doubly so because Melly would also be there. It's terrible, I know, but not my fault. Actually, I was just as aroused by the Nokhon girls, but Melly is someone I've loved for years--almost as a daughter and yet, not quite. Dannat took Melly's entire body in his huge hands, getting firm grips on back and front, gave a tiniest wrenching that seemed to pop her skeleton everywhere at once. Then she was fixed, as simple as that. Melly was astounded, jumped around happily, wiggled wonderfully, totally mobile again. Like a puppy, she enthusiastically climbed up old Dannat's front to give him a kiss on the cheek and said, "Yabenne-wah!". The dour old man was surprised, then told her that she could just give him a sweet little yøramma later at the Kha-rat. Melly just nodded happily--then realized what he had said, saw how large the old Nokhon was, looked down to ascertain just how large his dakh had to be and discovered that she'd been bracing her foot on it to reach his cheek. "Oh My God!" she said. Then old Dannat finally smiled, a nice smile, not a leer and told her not to fear, that he would be gentle as if she were the most delicate and rare golden flower. So Melly shrugged, "Okay, good, looking forward to it." I'm sure she meant it, she was primed for an orgy. Then she hopped onto Adam and Lissandra and they all rolled around giggling. Lissandra's clothes also fell away in the process and neither of the girls bothered to get dressed again that day.
NOON About noon Melly and Lissandra came back to the house to get something to eat. They were laughing and happy and still naked, their skimpy shorts and t-shirts abandoned for today. In respect to the Nokhon culture they had resolved not to wear any skesk until the Kha-rat was over. (But it was really because they were having so much fun being lusted after.) "So now you're both going to the Kha-rat?" Elaine asked. "Oh my God, yes," Lissandra answered, "I wouldn't miss it! I was scared, but we've just spent two hours playing sexy games with everyone. No real sex until tonight, mind you, but unlimited foreplay!" "I thought you were afraid of the humongous Wookies," I mentioned, "too big, too heavy, too hairy." Lissandra laughed and looked quite smug, "Well, a humongous Wookie worked me over a couple of nights ago and that didn't hurt a bit." She was obviously no longer embarrassed about it. Elaine and I rolled our eyes, these kids have no shame. But then, our little society's concept of sexual morality was under heavy reconstruction. We were getting used to it too. "So our innocent little Adam didn't give you a POUNDING too?" I was so cheeky as to ask. "No, I wasn't into that, so he was very gentle. We made long sweet love." "That pounding was something I demanded of Addy," Melly explained, "I needed it. But I think one of those sessions was sufficient, I might just go for long sweet and gentle proddings from now on too. But it WAS pretty fantastic." "Except for the part where you hurt all over your body afterwards," Lissandra reminded her. "No, that was as it should be. Therapeutic. That was nine years of erotic pain waiting for Addy and me Arrive." "Isn't that just another way to say COME?" Lissandra questioned. "Whatever," Melly clarified. "I'm not sure if I should even ask," Elaine said, "but I've GOT to know: neither of you is the least bit jealous of the other?" Both girls looked surprised by the question. "No way, both of us are in Addy's Vision!" "Then what about Magga and Masnia? It seems you'd both be jealous of them." "Are you kidding? Addy needs to screw like a Bigfoot sometimes, so we need them to take the pounding instead of us!" Both girls laughed, but they seemed to mean what they said. "Elaine," Lissandra asked, "were you jealous of me the other day when Art and I just about to have each other on the floor?" "Almost, but then the shyøma hit me too and I understood that no one could resist it. Besides I took it out on Art." "Yes, she did," I added cheerfully, "with a vengeance." "What's to be jealous of anyway?" Melly asked, "If we all go to the Kha- rat together we'll be having everybody every which way. I mean, me and Art, Liss and Art, you and my dad, maybe even you and Addy--" "I can't do that!" Elaine snapped, her deepest dread revealed, but then calmly, "Sure, I've tried my share of experimental sex--as you've been eyewitness to--" a nod to Melly "but I still think a Kha-rat is too extreme." Lissandra asked the lethal question I had always left unasked, "But what if Art wants to go? I mean, he DOES! If nobody else, he wants to have sex with Mel at least once in his life. Are you going to be jealous afterwards?" "Oh, don't sell yourself short, Lissy dear, he wants you too," my dear wife said, "But I don't know-- what do you think, Art Darling?" the "darling" sounding just short of a threat. "Unfair question," I insisted, hoping to creep out of the room unnoticed. "So DO you WANT to go to the Kha-rat or not? It's going to happen in about four hours, we're going to have to decide pretty soon if..." "Yes," I admitted. "I do want to go. This will be an experience I don't want to miss. And please don't ask if it's only because I want to have sex with these two deliciously nubile young beauties, what man wouldn't? But it's also the whole package: the khos, the telepathic vision, I mean this will be COSMIC. But I'd really prefer to share it with YOU, Elaine. Okay?" Elaine looked dubious but not upset. "I don't know yet, Art, it's just too scary. You can go without me. And NO, I won't be jealous, any more than Liss and Mell are of each other." "I was scared too at first," Lissandra admitted, "but once you get into that smell you're fearless, believe me! Come with us, Elaine!" "Yeah," Melly countered, "we don't want to come back here and tell you about how fun it was." "This hardly sounds like FUN to me, from what Adam described it sounds like becoming an animal and howling at the moon." "What's not fun about that?" Lissandra asked wonderingly.
1:30 PM I was writing in this very document, sitting with my laptop on the porch, when Pokey and Maki finally returned. We hadn't seen them for three days. Last seen, Maki was tugging Pokey away from all the dangerous group-sex immoralists--us. She had said they were leaving, but nothing about where they were going. Pokey looked ruffled, soiled, needing a shower, but I could see that it had nothing to do with drinking, he looked far too good for that. He also looked tired, but happy. Even Maki, who was always so immaculately neat, was wearing dirty rumpled clothes, her hair in tangles and shot with grass and leaves. She looked as if she had been rolling in dirt. Melly and Lissandra were sitting on the porch reading magazines. They had taken showers after lunch, but still beautifying the scene with their nakedness, as Pokey saw to his pleasant surprise. Not that he hadn't been with them at Naked Lake hundreds of times, but the cultural context was different enough to make it fresh and titillating. "Damn! You girls always look good that way," he had to admit, "don't they, Maki-babe?" Maki was also surprised to see the girls naked and I assumed that she would react in her usual judgmental and disapproving manner, our own little Yoko Ono. But she did not, seemed to accept it as normal and sat at the table with them. "Sure, they've both got really nice bodies," she admitted, then to Lissandra she said, "You know, I've never been with a girl, but looking at you two, it might be nice." Now we were surprised. "So where have you guys been?" Lissandra asked. "Uh, not so far away," Pokey told us, "camping in my teepee." "All this time? It's been days!" "Yeah, three days and nights and we're starving to prove it. there anything to eat?" "You've been camping without food?" Lissandra asked, amazed. "Oh no, we had some peanut butter and crackers," Maki informed us, "and a little cheese." She did look thinner. "Oh, we've got a pan of Elaine's suddenly-famous Squatch Lasagna left over from yesterday, I can microwave some for you," Melly offered and went into the kitchen. "If you were just over there in your teepee, why didn't you guys just come back to the house and eat?" I wondered. Pokey laughed. "You tell them, Maki-babe." Maki looked uncomfortable, as if embarrassed to tell, then shrugged and said, "We've been stuck together." We all waited for a clarification, Pokey just kept smiling, then nodded his happy head. "You know how I was going to pack up my teepee to give the squatches the whole Mother Meadow? Well, I set it up again deeper in the woods. The plan was to just leave it standing there while we visited my uncle on the reservation near Spokane. "But we never got that far. As we were closing it up Magga and Mazaha came by to say hi and they were ripe with that sexy smell..." Pokey signaled for Maki to finish the story. "It made me want sex like never before," she explained with a shrug, "and the teepee was right there so we hopped in and began to do it. The smell never went away, so we never stopped." "Pokey," I had to ask, "is Maki really saying that you two have been copulating non-stop in a tent for three days, constantly high on shyøma?" "Yup. It was really cool." He smiled again, a frazzled and dazzled man. "Oh yeah, it was," Maki confirmed, "although I guess it's good that we stopped for a while. At least until the Kha-rat tonight." "But the squatches had to know you guys were there," Lissandra mentioned, "they would have heard...or most likely, smelled you." "Oh sure, they knew. We had a thing going with them: I got them to smear little dabs of their shyøma-juice onto our cheeks couple times a day." "They kind of liked us having so much fun," Maki said, "even though they had to wait three days themselves." Melly came out of the kitchen with two plates of steaming food, "Prego: Lasagna delle Bigfoot! All organic, vegetarian and a taste treat hit for every squatch who's tried it. You're lucky there's some leftovers at all, they just scarf it up!" "Cool, I'll bet it's a hit with us too!" Sure enough, Pokey and Maki both began to scarf it up. "Oh yeah, almofft forgodd," Pokey tried to say around a mouthful of hot lasagna, "ah talgged to Adam on our (gulp) way up here and...(scarf)...he wandds us to bblay musigg tonight, (gulp) since we'll all be there anyway. (whew!)" "Oh, that means you'll be coming with us to the Kha-rat tonight?" Lissandra gave a happy squeal. "Think I'd miss out on my big chance to be COMING With You Girls?" Pokey dared to say with Maki right there. Three days of sex had evidently turned him into a macho dude. "Oh, he's just so horny all the time," Maki said, which did not sound like a complaint at all. "What about you, Maki?" I asked her, "You were so against all this." "I've always been afraid of sex. I'm not any more. Now I want to try everything." "Even me?" I had to ask with a wicked leer, just to tease her for always being so proper. "You're a nice man," she said, "it might be okay." Pokey said they needed to take showers and get some sleep away from the smell of sex for a few hours. Maki said she needed some clean clothes. "What for?" Melly asked, "we're sure not wearing skesk to a Kha-rat." "Oh," said Maki, "of course not, how silly of me. That wouldn't be proper." With one graceful move she whisked her blouse off. Pokey was right, she did have a nice rack.
2:35 PM Adam came to the house along with most of the males, all laughing in that quiet Nokhon way and evidently having a good time. Seems they had been sharing some kosh, which to us Good Ol' American Boys would be like having a few beers or joints. None of them were anything like drunk but the air around them was electric with eroticism, even though we could smell no shyøma so far from camp. It was probably psychological, everyone hyped about this new Nokhon-Nokhso version of a Kha-rat. When Melly and Lissandra heard Adam coming up on the porch steps they came running out of the kitchen to jump all over him and smother him with kisses. He'd been out of their sight for half an hour, after all. Then they kissed the other squatch guys too, so that no one was left out. After all, they'd be having sex with all of them later on, so that's the kind of atmosphere we were all living in. Even Maki came running out of the house, now just as naked as the other girls and jumped on Adam as well. He was surprised, but accepted her affection and laughed and nuzzled and nibbled her just as he had with his "own women". She must have whispered a risqué proposition into his ear because he answered, "Can't do that until the Kha-rat begins, Maki, but later on tonight, I'd love to." To the rest of us he announced, "We're going to set up for the band to play music on the Mother Meadow later on tonight. But first: any of that lasagna left?" Dabababet and Daworget came out of the house with our big old upright piano between them. Daworget took it alone over his shoulder and headed back to camp, not seeming to notice the weight. Adam collected other instruments and handed some to Dabababet to take along: Lissandra's bass-box, Pokey's drums, his old beat-up classical guitar. Adam had only his customized Mexican guitar, having left his cherished El- Excalibur behind when escaping Aket. He had not yet gotten around to having a new guitar built, although he'd been offered many hand-made squatch-sized guitars for free by manufacturers who wanted the publicity of Adam Leroy Forest Himself playing their guitar. Elaine came out to the porch calling, "We've got all this food to take out there too, send more slaves!" Elaine had gone shopping for some "light snacks" that squatches might like and the girls had helped her make veggy tapas and big tubs of fruit. It is not a Nokhon tradition to serve food at a Kha-rat, but since she considered herself the hostess, it was a party and there HAD TO BE snacks. Elaine was still on her proper squatch diet bandwagon, so it had been discussed to the point of metal-fatigue just what we dared to offer our pure thistle-eating Nokhon guests. Nothing with sugar (yuk!), no junk food (fearing that they would LIKE it!), nothing salted, no meat--only the most sacredly organic fruit and vegetables would be acceptable. Nor should there be too much food--nor too little. We were 6 humans and 13 squatches, so she ended making enough food for twice as many. Adam went into the kitchen to see what needed transporting out to the camp. He and Elaine ended up having a significant conversation: "Art said you might not be coming," he started. "I'm still not decided. There are some...issues." "Look, Mom, I understand. The idea of you and me being together at a Kha- rat is pretty weird for me too. But I've gotten used to the shyøma and can actually control myself if I need to. So we don't really HAVE to have sex together." "I thought it was unacceptable to reject anyone's advances at a Kha-rat." "Usually considered bad manners, yeah, but I have explained to my friends that Nokhso sexual morality is drastically different than theirs. Since this is a Kha-rat for both races, we can make an exception. Besides, if we agree in advance there won't even BE a rejection. Unless..." "Unless it's me who can't control myself and beg you to take me." "Well, yeah. Which could well happen," he shrugged, "But..." "But would that be so bad? We do love each other, so what if we have to burn in Hell for incest, right?" "Come on, Elaine, it wouldn't really be incest and you don't even believe in Hell." "No and I'm not even sure I believe in this MORALITY that's bugging me. Oh, I know that human sexual morality is based upon some very sound reasons, like pregnancy and disease, but none of those reasons apply to the Nokhontli, so they have another set of rules. I appreciate all that, but I'm still stuck with the old set." "According to the Atli there is only one basic rule to cover everything: Be Nice." "And it's so nice to have sex, right. Oh Adam, do you WANT us to do this? Because if you do..." "Look Mom, I really don't feel any kind of sexual desire for you here and now, but when the shyøma hits, I'll want every woman I can get, even you. That's just the way it works." "So I'd better stay away. Isn't that what you want, Adam?" Adam winced, uncomfortable with the question. He finally said, "No, Mom, I'd rather you do come. "A Kha-rat is not only about sex, but about what intense bodily contact causes to happen: the Communion. This is the only way into the Nokhon society and you happen to be one of the functioning mothers of the Nokhon- Nokhso Alliance. At some point you're going to have to go through this anyway and I'd rather be there to help you." There was a pause, then he unwillingly started to say, "You know, I could just promise not to..." "Oh NO," Elaine stopped him, "No, I feel the same way Melly does about that: I'd rather have incestuous sex with my son than be cursed by that promise." "Thanks, Mom, I didn't really want to make it." "All right," she sighed, "I'll decide what to do when the time comes. Now, about those tapas..."
3:45 PM "Art, come out here," Elaine called to me, "we've got company!" I was in the office working on this very Document, writing the last section you have just read, so I had to write a few last notes and save the page before I went outside at a leisurely pace. "Khara, Dagrolyt," I heard her call out and then she shrieked, "Uncle Wallace? Oh my goodness, what are YOU doing here?" "Howdy 'Laine," I heard a crackled old voice say, "I see you's still doin a good job of takin' care o' this old place! Hee hee hee!" Old Wallace was speaking funny as always, but then I heard him speaking to someone else in fluent Nokhontli. I ran out to the porch, in front of which there stood an odd group of extremely varied shapes and sizes, but I recognized two of them and could guess who the other two were. The wrinkled little old Nokhso man was, of course, my very own uncle, old Wallace Forest, whom I hadn't seen in about ten years and who had been over 100 years old back then. He was obviously still going strong, keeping up with three sasquatches on the go, his ragged clothes awarding him the honor of being by far the most shaggy of them all. Dagrolyt and I exchanged our usual messy blend of Nokhontli and English until he realized that I had become reasonably fluent at his language at last, in which he introduced me to the others. The big fat Nokhon could be no one other than the Great Dambaraggan Himself, Adam's teacher and fellow Orator. He was oversized and theatrical in every gesture, as Adam had once mentioned, one could easily imagine him playing the part of Shakespeare's Falstaff. Encouraged by my half-fluent Nokhontli he said something that must have been very witty, because the others laughed, but was too far beyond my vocabulary to catch. I bobbed my head and smiled: standard answer for everything. I also guessed the correct identity of the fourth Nokhon, although he looked nothing like I had imagined him. A very handsome and impressive Nokhon man, Daklakht the Alutna-Jii Himself. This was supposed to be Adam's wicked Adversary, once considered the Bad Guy. Perhaps even Adam's biological father, although there is still some confusion about that. He looked much nicer than I imagined. And yet, clearly dangerous. I noticed Elaine staring at him with her eyes and mouth open, so he was probably also very sexy. All of them had Sha-haka pouches, even Uncle Wallace, but Daklakht had one more especially interesting item hanging off his shoulder: Adam's guitar bag. El-Excalibur had come home again. "Ah, Dadamet will be happy to have that back," I said. "I thought he might. And he's welcome to it, it only makes noise for me," Daklakht said with a wry smile. I took out my cell phone and called Adam out at the Mother Meadow, telling him in English who had just arrived, a short conversation. "Dadamet's on his way down here now," I explained to our new guests in Nokhontli, then noticed that except for Dagrolyt, who had seen telephones before, they were all staring at my tiny telephone with wide eyes. "Oh yeah," I shrugged, "we use skesk here. It's not all bad, you know." Daklakht bobbed his head, "We may have to get used to it. There are changes coming." "Yes, for Nokhon and Nokhso alike," I agreed. It felt odd to be having a reasonable conversation with the Nokhon who, until quite recently, I had considered Adam's worst enemy. He who had been the strict and cruel enforcer of Shamballa's corrupt government, but was now one of the good guys. Maybe I even felt a twinge of envy about this man perhaps being Adam's actual father, I couldn't help noticing some similarities of face and build. Then Adam arrived and there were greetings all around. Of course he was delighted to get his guitar back and thanked Daklakht profusely for bringing it. He hugged both Dagrolyt and Dambaraggan, words flying too fast for me to catch except in general. But when he turned to greet Uncle Wallace, whom he had barely noticed behind all the oversized squatches, he looked bewildered, perhaps not recognizing this little old man. Adam had been ten years old the only time they met and Wallace had been a very old human, it was a stretch of logic to believe that he might still be alive, much less traveling with a group of Sha-hakas. Then he saw Wallace's shoulder bag and it all made sense. "You're Uncle Wallace...right? And Sha-haka? And, I'll bet, the infamous Nokhso trader called Dawalasat? You've been with the Nokhontli all along!" "Aye, laddie," Wallace started in English, then shifted to Nokhontli, "and I've been keeping an eye on you since before you were born, back when the Negotiator Project was first conceived. Your mother Mayala was supposed to meet me here to introduce her and you to Art and Elaine. But everything went wrong because I was detained at the time and she perished." I could not understand everything being said at the time, but was filled in later. I was then reminded that Adam's mother had seemed to be asking me a question: "Da wa la sat?" Dawalasat? She'd been asking me if I knew where Da-Wallace was! Adam frowned and asked, "Was her death part of some plan?" "Not hers, but your death was. Or at least, so we suspect. I had been arrested and held prisoner, so I could neither intervene nor investigate for years." "Held prisoner?" Adam asked, "By whom?" Daklakht spoke: "Dastardat. Who else?" "Him again!" Adam growled, "He stirs up shit everywhere he goes. Somebody should stop him!" "That's exactly why we are passing by this way," Dagrolyt announced, "we're on our way to Shamballah right now." "We're going to make a strike against The Ultimate Nine," Daklakht announced. "Then I'm going with you!" Adam proclaimed. "No, you're not," old Wallace commanded, "we need you to continue with the Nokhon-Nokhso Alliance and the legal establishment of the Nokhon Nation. That is your part in all this, the Negotiator project is still in the works." "The three of us," Daklakht indicated Dagrolyt, Wallace and himself, "will handle Dastardat and his subordinates." Adam looked questioningly at big fat Dambaraggan, who could only slow the others down. "Ah, no, not I," he said, "being hardly built for such heroics. I am instead here to assist you with the work you are doing. I've heard you now have a language school?" "Khara, Dambaraggan! We can use a man of your talents." "Of course, I must first learn the Nokhso language myself, but then being the Greatest Orator alive, that should present no hindrance." "Yeah? Well, we'll see," Adam said in English, then in Nokhontli asked the others, “What is the situation in Aket?” “The immediate crisis is over,” Daklakht announced, “Da-nama-hat has overcome Da-starda-hat’s psychic domination and is reinstated as one of the Three Elders. Ma-ralla-hata remains yet loyal to the Starda Faction and is under arrest, so Sha-haka-ma Mastinta has taken her place among The Three, who are ignoring all orders from Shamballah at present. I have commissioned young Daset to command the Alutna in my absence.” “Daset, why him? He’s your newest recuit,” Adam wondered. “There was fighting in Aket, at which he excelled. He was not only heroic but also level-headed. Besides, the older Alutna agents tend to feel loyalties to Ma-ralla-hata, which he certainly does not.” To the three crusaders Adam said, "You know, I can help you get to the Himalayas very quickly, if you are willing to fly with a skesk-bird." "Way ahead of you," old Wallace announced, "I've already booked a flight with a military transport plane." "How the hell did you do that? You're dressed in rags, have had no access to telephones and are probably penniless..." "We sent a dream to some agents in the US Air Force, money will never be involved," Wallace said, "Although if it does, I am a multi-millionaire (and have quite a bit of stock invested in Squatch & Friends, by the way), so that's no problem. But you are right about the rags, we'll all need some clothes, something in Extra-extra Large for them." "When do you travel?" "We have three days before the flight can take place." "Then you have time to join our Kha-rat!" Adam said with a big smile." "Of course, that's why we hurried to get here," Dagrolyt admitted.

Chapter 98

Adam out of Eden