Zanzibar – Part 47
Zanzibar – Part 47
by Lori Carlson
“Don’t you think we should tell Miss Simone about all of this?” Comet asked the Architect.
They were still inside the Temple. Hemi had just explained everything to Rodney and Ruth’s essence had joined them once more.
“I have other plans for her. She is unwell, thanks to me, but she can be cured.” The Architect’s voice echoed in the chamber.
Hemi’s eyes grew wide. “She can? How?”
“There is a healer in the Settlement. Nellie has already been cured. Ethan and Miss Simone will undergo the same healing. I need everyone to be strong for what lies ahead.”
“What about me and the others who dwell disembodied in your Temple?” Ruth asked.
“I’m sorry, Ruth. I never wanted anyone to die here, but even I cannot bring back a life,” The Architect said with regret in his voice. “But your presence is needed during the meeting with the Motorhead gang.”
Ruth murmured an agreement, but there was sorrow in her voice.
“Tracey,” the Architect said, turning his attention to her, “will you please go find Miss Simone and bring her to me?”
Comet nodded her head and walked over to the doorway. She placed a hand on the markings and the door swung open. She glanced back at Hemi and smiled. It felt good to be with him again. She walked through the doorway and closed the door behind her. She wandered through the twisting corridors until she came to the large common room. It was empty except for a few children playing chess at one of the tables. She made her way to the First Ones’ chamber and knocked on the stone door. It slid opened, but Miss Simone wasn’t at the table like usual. Comet pushed on the door to the First Ones’ sleeping quarters. Miss Simone laid upon her cot.
Miss Simone groaned and tried to sit up. “Yes, child?” she whispered.
Comet rushed to her side and squatted down by her cot. She noticed that the First One’s hair was in disarray and her white gown was soaked. “Oh Miss… are you so ill? The Architect requests your presence.”
“I am… fine, child. Tell the Architect I will be along soon.” Miss Simone didn’t wish to divulge that she was more bereft over the separation between her and Ethan than ill.
Comet grasped the First One’s hand and squeezed it. With a wrinkled brow, she stood up and returned to the Temple. Hemi noticed the dismayed look on her face immediately.
“Is Miss Simone okay?”
Commet shook her head. “She looks horrid. I am worried, Hemi, but she said she will come along soon.”
Hemi pulled Comet into an embrace, holding her tightly until the door once again opened with a whoosh of warm air. Miss Simone entered, having braided her silvery hair once more and changed into a clean white gown. She went to the large green stone and stretched her arms out.
“I am here,” she said in a soft voice.
The room shimmied and there was a loud crack of thunder. Suddenly, a tall, yellow-skinned alien with large black eyes stood before them. Hemi and Comet gasped, but Miss Simone smiled.
“It’s good to see you again, Nigel.”
Nigel stretched out a hand and took one of Miss Simone’s hands in his. “A pleasure to see you again too, Simone.” He kissed her hand and released it.
“Wait? Are you The Nigel? As in the Architect Nigel?” Comet questioned.
“Yes, Tracey. I am one in the same. It’s been decades since I visited this place in the flesh.”
Comet flinched at the use of her real name again, but she let it go. “So you can come and go at will?”
“No, not like that. It takes…”
“He expends a lot of energy to show up here. He will be weakened for several days for just this short visit,” Miss Simone explained. She knew that even speaking weakened Nigel.
“Great, so now you won’t be able to come to the meeting in the morning,” Hemi scowled.
“I never intended to be there in the flesh. You will all hear my voice though, just as you are now,” Nigel said telepathically.
“Why show up at all?” Comet inquired.
Nigel looked over at Miss Simone. “I owed it to her. This may be the last time we meet.”
Hemi and Comet both glanced at Miss Simone. She stood there, with a graceful smile on her face, staring at Nigel.
“You two aren’t…,” Hemi could barely say the words, “lovers, are you?”
Nigel laughed. “Oh no, Chad, but we do have a great deal of respect for one another. Which brings me to the reason I summoned you, Simone.”
Miss Simone’s brows crossed. “I don’t understand?”
“I did that,” he said, pointing at the black lines running up her arms, “to you and now I must rectify it. Take my hand, Simone.”
Miss Simone took Nigel’s hand. A whirlwind spun, sucking both of them into it. Within seconds, Miss Simone, Nigel and the whirlwind were gone.
The whirlwind spat Miss Simone and Nigel out onto the mesa, just a few meters from the Settlement dwellings. Miss Simone blinked a few times to get the dust from her eyes. She stared around. She’d been here before, but at night. In the light, the place had an entirely different feel to it.
“Why did you bring me here?”
“To heal you. Come, there is someone you must meet.”
Nigel led her into the Settlement, through one of the large stone houses and out into a courtyard. Montage sat leaning against a large boulder, sleeping. Nigel patted her on the shoulder.
Montage sat upright with a start and cupped a hand over eyes as she stared up at him. “Nigel? Is that you?”
“Yes, old friend. It is me.”
Montage rose from her seat and embraced the alien. “I thought I’d never see you again.”
“It has been far too long. Allow me to introduce you to Miss Simone. She is a Cavener, like Nellie.”
Miss Simone smiled at the woman, but crinkled up her face at Nigel.
“I know you are confused, Simone, but just like I came to you, Nellie and Ethan long ago, I also came to Montage. I needed someone who could some day heal the three of you,” Nigel explained. “You were never meant to be Temple workers.”
Miss Simone nodded. “I understand.”
“Good. And now I will leave you with Montage and she can wield her magic.” He turned to Montage. “Please heal Ethan as well. I need everyone at full strength. I am sure Billy has informed you of our plan.”
“He has. Don’t worry. I will have Miss Simone and Ethan at peak health in no time.”
“Excellent! I must return to the Temple. I am weakening.” Nigel hugged Miss Simone and Montage. “Stay safe, my faithful friends.”
With that, a whirlwind twisted and sucked Nigel up and away.
This is now a round-robin between Keith Channing and I.
If you missed a chapter, click to read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6,Part 7, Part 8, Part 9,Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16,Part 17, Part 18,Part 19,Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23, Part 24, Part 25, Part 26, Part 27, Part 28, Part 29, Part 30, Part 31, Part 32, Part 33, Part 34, Part 35, Part 36, Part 37, Part 38, Part 39, Part 40, Part 41, Part 42, Part 43, Part 44, Part 45, Part 46
or Jump ahead to Part 48