O.M.N.I.

An online collaboration of ear candy. O.M.N.I. is Noah Peterson, Benjamin Hicock, and Zach Spiezer.  Join us for epic space music and the saga of Captain Funktion!

      Harry's Psychedelicatessen                                    Captain Funktion vs. the Brainwashed Hubron Elbards

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EPISODE 32 of the O.M.N.I Saga       “HARRY’S PSYCHEDELICATESSEN”

Where in which we find our hero, Caption Funktion, suffering from a fierce attack and ensuing scrimmage by the brainwashed Hubron Elbards of Planet RT10020212. During battle the Captain’s spaceship is badly damaged and so made a hasty retreat to a nearby planet outside the RT System. It's here that Captain Funktion stumbles upon Harry's Psychedellicatessen, an oasis of sorts in an area of heavy intergalactic trade activity.

Harry's Psycehdeleicatessen, located on Experimental Farm Road on the planet Pesci Carne Commercia, is a wonder to behold. It’s well stocked shelves have all the supplies needed for even the most discerning, funky beings.  Harry is very wise and has seen much in his many years. He rubs his large belly, makes a gut face, and suggests that Captain Funktion try to strike a deal with the Sextraterrestrials to help fix the ship and get the Captain back in action. The Sextraterrestirals reside 2 ports down from Harry’s and is only a short shuttle ride away.

On the shuttle our brave hero contemplates the seemingly endless series of wars that have been raging for many, many years. The Captain, clad in a white astronaut spacesuit and helmet, sits alone on the shuttle and reminisces about a time before the wars had escalated.

Funktion recalls a time, as a child, riding these shuttles to visit family back on planet Funk. All the Funktions have come from Funk. But before the wars reached this level of excess, not many Funktions had actually left. A deep frown comes across the Captain’s shielded face as sad thoughts creep in about the Psychedelic Mind Wars. The tragic loss of so much family by battle after battle, and an ever growing number of societies brainwashed by the Psychedelic Waves.

Nobody knows the origins of these psychedelic waves but the effect is terrible. The peoples’ belief in the power of Dark Currents becomes absolute. Dark Currents are used for acquisition of many things and are traded at outposts and planetary hubs. Funktion thinks with disdain about these ports where Harry has his business and where the Sextraterrestrials have set up their military bass. Trading in these parts can be pretty aggressive and, as such, have become hot beds for the kind of battle that has put the steadfast warrior in this position: a broken down ship docked at Harry’s and an unforeseen shuttle ride to try and strike deals with members of an uncaring society at best, and malicious enemies at worst. Although there have been some flimsy treaties established, these days you could never tell who was going to stick to them.

The Captain arrives safely, but impatient in the Sextraterrestrials territory. Not long after landing, before barely leaving the terminal, Funktion is accosted by several different mechanics that had caught wind of who was on the shuttle. The Captain realizes instantly what is driving this society and relaxes amid the relative safety. Treaty or no treaty between them the most important thing now were the Dark Currents that the Captain had hidden in his space suit. Our hero sighed as 186.91 Dark Currents were handed over to the most trustworthy looking mechanic. A fight soon ensues between the mechanic representing the shop Funktion picked and the other shop representatives. This was the way of the brainwashed and the Captain thought grimly that soon after this stage, the society would turn their violence and relentless competition outward. Without fail, this will spark numerous conflicts which will plunge the whole society of Sextraterrestrials headlong into the war.  

While waiting for the shuttle repairs, Captain Funktion watches the Mister Coffee steaming and orders some Cheery Yo’s for breakfast.  Looking down at the surreal breakfast, Funktion wonders about the rest of the troops and how the battle turned out. There has been no communication since our hero’s daring escape. The attack was too swift to call for reinforcements and the fleet was broken up. The Captain was all alone aboard ship and had to make aggressive maneuvers to get out of the way of the onslaught.

Suddenly, a stranger stands before our hero and demands the Captains’ attention. 

The stranger tells the reflective glass on the helmet that he knows many things. He says to call him Andar. He describes a place he knows that has the secret to end all the brainwashing that has made so many slaves to the Dark Currents. He speaks about a very distant planet that, when standing upon it’s surface on a sunny day, will emit a power that can be harnessed to cease the Psychedelic Waves. The Captain naturally asks if others are aware of this said planet, its name, and tells Andar there are enough problems already just trying to put the ship back together.  Andar scoffs and replies that the Captain clearly is being modest. He speaks of Funktions reputation and the chance that exists to end the war, if only the right person took it upon himself to make the sacrifice. Captain Funktion is moved but still uncertain. Again, the Captain asks the name of the planet. Andar glances around before replying quietly,
“Mercury”.  Andar’s face softens and manages a small grin.

The Captain looks around as well. “Alright, I’m in,” Funktion says, the gravelly voice emanating from the speaker attached to the helmet.

“Good. Eat your breakfast and meet me in the hanger where your ship is being repaired.”

Hurrying past a few brawls in the crowded streets and a seemingly ever increasing feeling of chaos, the Captain arrives at the hanger.  Andar greets our hero warmly and apologizes for all the commotion going on outside.

“It’s a sad day when the Waves start to really take hold,” he says, shaking Funktion’s hand and stroking his beard nervously.  “It appears you’re lucky. You will probably get out of here just in time. It was a smart move to send your ship ahead when you arrived at Harry’s.” He grins, ”That Harry!” he chortles, ”Why one time I had the craziest run in with…“

“Excuse me,”  the Captain blurts out suspiciously, ”but I find it odd that you seem immune to the Waves. You even seem unaffected by what is clearly the crumbling of your society. You ARE a Sextraterrestrial, are you not?”

Andar winces and his face falls. “My dear…uh, person.  Er, ah, Captain. I must tell you, it pains me to no end to see this happen to us. We were once a very fun, freaky, funk- based culture. Much like your own. Alas, that’s no more. It’s with great sorrow that I have to stand by and watch this happen. I have no explanation for my apparent immunity. Also,” his face easing, ”I could probably ask you the same thing.” The Captain’s head lowers, shoulders dropping. “But as fate would have it,” Andar says quickly, ”I have also been lucky enough to be in the possession of a tool with which to end all of this.” He points to a sizable crate being loaded onto Funktion’s ship.

“The Solar Plasma Blaster.” The Captain is frozen and speechless.  Andar probes, ”I see you have heard of it.”

“Rumors of it. Only rumors… Those over there loading it… Do they know?”

“No. Of course not.  They were told that it was a crate of my personal effects, but I have none. That is the only thing going.” He pauses.

Funktion, says slowly, ”Going…?”

“Oh come off it. You are going to need a Co-pilot.”

The Captain, head shaking, ” No. No no no…I fly alone. I must be…“

“You must be what?”  Andar smiles, ”Crazy? You are going to need my help. You have no idea what’s ahead of you. No knowledge of that star system and Galaxy and you have never used a weapon that can harness the power of a star!”

“Just gimme that thing, I’m gonna break it! I can break the Waves spell! How do YOU know whether I have used a weapon like that, anyway? You’re very presumptuous.”

“It is not presumption”, Andar says, matter of factly. ”I have been following your career. I have watched you for a long time and have been waiting for my chance. We are going to do this together. You’ll see. We’ll make a great team, you and I. Now let’s get on that funky ship and go blast some Waves.”

“How certain are you that there will be enough shielding to fire the weapon undetected and still hit the computational center of the Psychedelic Waves source?”

“Mostly certain.” Funktion wonders about that grin that crosses the man’s face, this time accompanied by a twinkle in his eye.  Our hero stiffens, relieved that looking into the helmet is like looking at a one way mirror.

They both jump and turn suddenly as the boosters are fired up for their launch test. Glancing back at each other, Captain Funktion realizes Andar is right. They need to act as a team if this is all going to work. Andar does not need to see the Captains face behind the helmet to know the decision has been made and heads swiftly toward the ship with Funktion close behind.

Our two heroes board the spacecraft, take their positions in the cockpit and commence the take-off sequence.

     To Be Continued….

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O.M.N.I. Presents: 
Episode 16 of the O.M.N.I. Saga

CAPTAIN FUNKTION VERSUS THE BRAINWASHED HUBRON ELBARDS

Oreh Elam ran up to the sand dune and crouched down, breathing hard. Laser blasts were coming from all over, and the beach was hot. Captain Funktion landed next to her with a thud. A body fell and almost hit Oreh, but she leaned into the Captain, grabbed ahold of the fallen soldier and used him as a shield. She heard their Major yelling orders from somewhere, but in all the commotion it was hard to tell what he was saying. Something about heading left to flank. 
“Flank what?” she thought as she tried to get back to her feet. 

She couldn’t quite remember where she was or what she was supposed to be doing. She started to rise to a standing position and was looking around when she suddenly had her legs kicked out from under her. Lying down with her face full of sand, she quickly tried to roll over, sputtering sand and 
wiping her face. Laser bursts and bodies were flying everywhere as she realized she was thrown to the ground by Captain Funktion, who went to crouch down behind the sand dune and was suddenly hit by laser fire. As the Captain hit the ground, the helmet smashed against the coarse sand and exposed a stunning woman’s face. Oreh turned, shocked, horrified, and suddenly woke up. 

Sweat poured off her as she shot up in bed. “This has to stop,” she thought. She rubbed her eyes and put a hand through her sandy blond hair. “The Captain was a woman,” she thought. She had dark brown hair, her blue eyes dead, but still shimmering. She shook her head, exhaled sharply and sat back slightly. “These BEACH DREAMS (03:35) have got to stop.”

She swung her strong legs over the side of the bed and felt the cool, flat comfort of the base floor. She had been having these dreams almost every night for a couple of weeks; they were always the same. It felt good for her bare feet to touch the concrete and remind her she was still on base and not on a beach of some unknown planet. Just as she started to relax, the blaring alarm siren sounded. Sharp tones and a voice over the intercom, “ATTACK IN SECTOR 013014!” (04:26) 

Oreh jumped into action, grabbed her flight suit from the closet, and headed for the door. As she pulled on her boots, she touched the interface screen in the entryway of her room. The computer voice in a calm tone as always said, ”Report to DOCKING STATION KB53 (03:22).

She saw commotion everywhere as she jogged down the long, grey hallways of the base, full of soldiers running to their ships. The chaos of the base jumping into defense mode should not have seemed overwhelming to Oreh. After all, there were almost daily drills for those so close to the front, and yet she was having trouble remaining calm. 

“I’ve got to focus. Breathe!” she thought as she headed for the ship. She turned down a hall and suddenly fell, hitting the ground hard, startled and confused. As her eyes adjusted, she saw that she was in a cave. A creature looking much like a small rodent was in front of her, digging at the dirt on the floor. She started to crawl towards it, but it scampered away. As it did, Oreh saw a pool of shallow water just beyond where the creature had been. The pool of water shimmered, and an image appeared. The words describing the image came to her lips before she knew what it was. “SOLAR PLASMA BLASTER,” (03:13) she said slowly. 

Still confused, she reached for the weapon, but the image dissolved into a planet. She felt as if she knew the planet’s name, but it escaped her. Lost, it seemed, deep in her memory. The image quickly dissolved into a man’s face; Andar’s face. She knew for certain she had never seen him, and her eyes narrowed as she tried to figure out what this man’s face was supposed to mean to her. She couldn’t complete the thought. She came to on the floor of the hallway. Had she fainted? She wasn’t sure. There was a tug on her arm, and she suddenly was dragged to her feet. Captain Funktion, who yanked 
her up from the floor, hollered, “We have to get to the ship! The Elbards are attacking the base because of the TARIFF BATTLE ON PESCA CARNE COMMERCIA(04:51)!” 

Oreh looked in disbelief at the Captain as she remembered the beach was only a dream. She shouldn’t be surprised that Captain Funktion would be standing alive in front of her. Without thinking, Oreh reached her hand towards the helmet but found it grabbed quickly by Funktion and held in the air. 
“I’m sorry, Captain. You’re right. Let’s get to the ship!” The Captain’s eyes stared at Oreh from behind the one way mirror of the helmets face sheild, but not for long. Soon they were racing down the hall amidst the people and blaring alarm.

Once on the ship, Funktion told Oreh to man the Bezel Hecktor Device. The BHD (03:28) is a targeting tool that helps its user identify beings who are brainwashed from the Dark Currents. An exceptional tool when in battle with a brainwashed society. Large concentrations of brainwashed readings emanating from a ship make it easier to target. “I am about to enter into battle,” said Funktion into the ship’s log. “Title this log entry as CAPTAIN FUNKTION VERSUS THE BRAINWASHED HUBRON ELBARDS (04:00).” 

From the back of the cockpit at the BHD, Oreh mulled over this most recent 
development. “I can’t believe how fast the Hubron Elbards have turned!” she said. “It seems to be faster and faster that a group will be swept up by The Currents. I feel like it used to take years, then months. Now a whole society will succumb in a matter of weeks,” the Captain commented from the helm. 

As they approached the enemy, Oreh focused the tracking on a nearby ship, which gave benign readings. Clad in a BLACK SPACE SUIT (03:31), Captain DeNoc stood on the bridge of his large vessel and knew he was being analyzed. It was only protocol. His copilot was already telling him he had confirmation that the adjacent ship carried Captain Funktion and crew.

“No anomalies to report, sir.”

“Very well,” said DeNoc with an air of calm superiority. “Bring us into formation, Ensign.” 

“Yessir. Sir, combatants approaching,” reported Ops with the flat tone and manner that extensive training allows. “They are ELITE SOLDIERS OF THE BERDAN ARMY (03:22), and they don’t rattle easily.” 

“Comm,” DeNoc barked. 

“Channel open. Go ahead, sir.” 

“Splendid pleasure of you scamps to join us today!” DeNoc bellowed.

In the other ship Funktion and Oreh were not amused. They were accustomed to this treatment though, having been independent soldiers for a while now. The Burdans are professional and have been a society at the very foundation of the resistance. Not having a history of being militaristic, their empire expanded with good trade practices, fairness, and a welcoming joviality. Once the Mind Wars started though, they quickly established intense military academies, tough enough to produce the best soldiers. DeNoc and his crew were the elite. The best of the best! 

“Are we going with the Stensen Counter Attack?” Funktion asked, and then through gritted teeth, “Sir.” 

“Precisely!” DeNoc smiled as he said this, much the way a professor would be pleased by a student choosing the correct answer. Despite being in many battles together and all the time the two Captains have known each other, DeNoc insists on Funktion calling him sir and being subservient. Funktion let it go, begrudgingly, mostly due to the fact that the Burdans are an army with rank and discipline. Captain Funktion is also part of a lost culture and society. With no army or culture left, it would make sense to bow to the stronger 
authority, if just by words or custom. Funktion knows that DeNoc can cut loose. They have done so more than once after a hard earned victory. 

Four more small craft enter formation, report, acknowledge the counterattack pattern, and proceed to engage the Elbards. The battle doesn’t last long. The Hubron Elbards are far outmatched, having only a small scouting party sent to test the defenses of the Maklaw Base. They did get lucky before their retreat and managed to destroy one of the small crafts from the formation. This frustrated DeNoc greatly, and he couldn’t help but show it as he yelled into the comm for the other ships to quickly fill the gap. Funktion, calling out for evasive maneuvers, successfully put them behind a particularly beefed up 
Elbards ship. Oreh signaled to fire on it, and the blast hit directly on their weapon energy storage containment. There was a fantastic implosion causing what remained of the attacking party to begin their retreat. DeNoc and company gave chase, but soon were far enough to be sure that Sector 013014 would be safe. They turned around to head back to Maklaw. 

Back at the base, the heroes stood around the mess hall and talked of the days’ events. DeNoc was pleased with himself as he slapped Oreh’s back and complimented her and the crew’s good shooting. Captain Funktion was not as jubilant. “You know damn well as long as there are Tariffs on Pesca, they will be back. They will not stop. EVER!” 

Oreh, not wanting any more battles for the day, spoke up. “A strange thing happened during the attack. Before we got to the ship…” 

She was cut off by DeNoc. “Now, Captain, there is no reason not to celebrate our efforts. We gained a lot of new information on the day as well.”
The Captain turned away slightly, and despite the face mask covering any expression, the other two knew exactly what was up. DeNoc sighed, looked toward Oreh, and made a small shrug. 

“So as I was saying...,” Oreh let out slowly, her head facing DeNoc with her eyes still fixed on the Captain, “I fell unconscious on my way to the ship.”

This had DeNoc’s attention, and his eyes bounced back and forth to Oreh and the Captain as Funktion turned around. “Was that what that was?” asked the Captain. “When I found you, it looked like you had dropped something on the floor, but, I don’t know, just out of reach? You were on your hands and knees.” 

Oreh stared at Funktion blankly. “I thought I was dreaming. I definitely saw something...” she trailed off. 

“A vision!?” cried DeNoc, looking completely out of character and clasping his hands together in a childlike, excited way. Oreh didn’t know what to say. She couldn’t be sure she even understood what he was talking about. The Captains hands were in the air, palms up. “What?” 

“She must have been visited by counter psychedelic waves from JENET SAIS, THE ORACLE (03:54),” he said matter-of-factly. “It’s quite obvious. Well go on then, woman. What did she show you? Did she show you the future?” 

The Captain waved a dismissive hand, turned again to face him, took a step closer and said, “Come on now, let’s not be silly. You don’t actually believe in all that stuff, do you? I wouldn’t pick you for someone who takes childish, silly fantasies to heart.” 

“You have no idea what you’re talking about, you mysterious little…”

“Stop it!” said Oreh, getting between them. 

That relaxed the room enough for Oreh to continue, “I had visions. I also keep having them in a dream where you get shot and killed in a battle.

She said this last part as she turned toward the Captain. DeNoc went from smiling to agitation as his face fell. “Now, don’t believe all that she sees is destined to happen!” he said quickly. “The future can be changed. Prophesy is not guaranteeing anything. It could be just a warning.” 

This did not help Funktion. Shoulders gone limp and head down, Oreh reached out a hand of comfort but didn’t know where to put it. “I’m sorry,” she said quietly. Then a little louder, “I saw a weapon I’ve never seen before, 
but I knew the name, ‘Solar Plasma Blaster. Then I saw a planet that turned into a man’s face.” She described the face a bit, but neither Funktion nor DeNoc could think of who it could be. Nor did they know the planet. 

DeNoc was still trying to comfort Funktion. ”Remember the prophesy a few years back? About the Birthray Peace Treaty? It was foretold that it would last decades. Many people had the same or similar visions. Then look! It only lasted nine days! There were only 9 DAYS OF THE BIRTHRAY PEACE TREATY (4:41).” 

Captain Funktion eased a little at this but was thinking more about the Solar Plasma Blaster. Even after Oreh described it, they could not think of its significance or purpose. Trying to interpret more from Oreh’s vision and failing, they decided there was nothing more to learn. 

“Only time will answer these questions. We must be attentive though. The visions might be all the clues we have to what lies in our future,” said DeNoc. 

To Be Continued... 

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O.M.N.I Presents:  

Episode 9 of the O.M.N.I saga: "LANIRU AND ANDAR: THE SHARED VISIONS OF THE SOLAR PLASMA BLASTER"

 

The child ambled lazily along the beach, poking and prodding the sand with a small stick. A

palm tree rustling breeze blew in from the 1) Emerald Caribbean Sea (03:17), and the child

looked up at the swaying fronds. Laniru was about nine, but the thoughtful young face had a

brow that hinted of a mind 2) Runnin' (03:05) processes far beyond the years of an ordinary

child.

 

 Jenet Sais' voice came into the child's mind from the wind over the sea, through the

atmosphere, rumbling from somewhere in the deep, 3) Dark Depths of Space (02:52). Despite

the distance, the call was clear. Dark skin baking in the sun, Laniru sat cross legged on the hot

sand. Eyes closed and 4) The Mind Focused on the Unfocused Mind (03:21), the child

entered meditation.

 

 Laniru looked up and saw a hole in the sand just out of reach. Hands on knees, palms up,

straight- backed and completely still, Laniru knew how to receive the vision and was not

confused. The mind’s eye floated over the shallow hole and revealed a sizable crate, crafted of

wood and mostly buried. The child accepted this crate without a wonder as to its contents. It

was realized in an instant that something was more important.

 

 A face came into focus of a person bending down to grasp the crate, the face of a stranger.

Laniru knew that Andar was important, and the crate was important to Andar. He looked at

Laniru pleadingly, and the child knew at once that he was supposed to be helped. Andar, the

crate and the hole dissolved from view, replaced by a vision of the small island which the child

called home. It was 5) The Island of Montserrat (03:55). From a bird’s-eye view, a spot beside

a road drew the mind’s eye’s attention. Laniru would remember this spot and knew instantly that

Andar needed to be shown to it. The mind’s eye dropped like a stone to the spot in a clearing by

a patch of jungle overgrowth. The child did not fear the falling, and as the ground rushed up to

the young face, Laniru's eyes slowly opened, blinking into the bright light of the afternoon sun.

 

 The boat rocked gently as it approached the dock. Andar leaned on the railing near the bow

and smiled as he looked at 6) The Port of Plymouth (02:52). Just a week before, Hurricane

Hugo had blown through and destroyed much of the island. The airport, miraculously, was still in

working order, mostly being used for supplies and international aid. Andar’s shoulder length hair

blew in the breeze, and beads of sweat gathered on his receding hairline. He had swapped out

his 7) Usual Flight Suit (03:13) for a light tan linen blazer and matching slacks. He was tired

from his travels but excited to have finally made it to Montserrat. It made sense to approach in

the common way so as to not attract attention.

 

 The vision he had seen had told him of a child he would have to meet, a local citizen of the

island. He knew he had to be discrete and take the ferry. Since the airport would have been too

suspect for a civilian, the only other way to go would be by helicopter or spacecraft, both of

which would certainly be noticed. The color of his skin was hard enough to hide. The

Sextraterrestrial grey was not easy to conceal, and he wasn't sure how long the make-up might

last in the sun’s heat. As soon as his feet were on solid ground, he headed off to find the child,

the grin still plastered on his face.

 

 Juan peeked under the lid of a pot of water heating on the stove in his tiny kitchen while his

only child sat at the table coloring. Laniru noted the impatience. The small house sat on a quiet

lane slightly inland from the water and was spared any serious damage from the hurricane. One

would not have noticed much of a change from before anyhow. The house had not been in good

shape for some time. The father and child shared one bedroom, and the other room, a glorified

hallway, contained only an old broken couch and 8) The Father's Tools (03:20). A few years

before, the child had slept in the hallway, and Juan and his wife had shared the bedroom.

 

 The wife had begun speaking of confusing visions and 9) Dreams of Destruction (03:39)

and tried to convince Juan to take her and their young child away from Montserrat. He was

dismissive of her and her visions. He accused her of losing her mind, and besides, they were

doing well. He had a good job at AIR Studios Montserrat doing groundskeeping. The star

musicians coming to the small island were intrigued by him and the island vibe, and he enjoyed

mingling with them. He felt good about his life and begged her to think of the young family and

their future.

 

 But 10) Juan Benavides (03:23) would party and drink. He would come home to an unhappy

wife, who would often try to tell him about her latest unsettling dream. One night, in the pouring

rain, she cowered at the door while he screamed and threatened her with a spoon he had

grabbed from the sink. He had chased her through the kitchen and it was the first thing within

reach. Laniru stood wide-eyed in the hallway as Mother looked from spoon to Father, to child,

back to spoon and suddenly disappeared out the doorway. Juan tried to follow after her but

tripped over his own drunken feet and smashed his head into the wall beside the door. Laniru

ran to help his father, who was lying on the floor moaning.

 

 It was a desperate, long night for a very young child, and in the morning Juan's wife was

nowhere to be found. After a search lasting for several days, she was presumed dead, and Juan

was devastated. He tried to pick up the 11) Pieces (03:51), but his drinking grew worse until he

was eventually let go from AIR Studios due to several absences and general tardiness.

 Since being fired he had found some work here and there, but it was sparse. Now with the

devastation wrought by the hurricane, his future seemed very uncertain. He wanted to be better

for Laniru, but felt himself growing resentful. Laniru was a family name from his wife’s side and

constantly reminded him of her. Thinking of her led him to the bottle, and the cycle of drink and

depression continued.

 

 Laniru informed Juan that they would soon be receiving a guest. He turned around from

checking the pot again and asked when. "He'll be 'ere for dinnah."

 "Chop'um vegetables dem, my yout and quit now wit de colorin'."

 

 He looked suspiciously at his child as Laniru picked up a knife from the counter. His child's

visions had started this year, but Juan noticed that, unlike his wife’s visions, Laniru seemed

more in control of them. At least he seemed to be more aware of their meaning and importance,

and so far no mention of disasters. Juan had wondered a lot about the relation between the

hurricane and his wife's visions. He tried to probe Laniru about it. At this point Laniru offered up

nothing that made sense to Juan, and he was forced to let it go. It was still in his mind, however,

if not in his mouth.

 

 Andar was sitting on a waterlogged, abandoned car in meditation when a man approached

him asking for help. Andar opened his eyes and smiled at the man. He loved the sound of 12)

The Man's Voice (03:06) and the accent that he used. He felt sad for a moment when he

thought of how quickly the Dark Currents would ravage this planet, but pushed it aside trying to

enjoy the moment. After all, there still was very little sign of brainwashing taking place here. In

fact, compared to most affected areas, Earth was relatively stable. 13) It's All Relative (05:58),

he reminded himself.

 The man was waiting patiently for an answer. Andar said two words. "Juan Benavides."

 "You wan' a fine 'im?"

 "Very much so."

 The price was negotiated, and the man told Andar to follow him. Andar, smiling, grabbed the

man by the shoulder and together they walked off toward the small house.

 

 As they approached the house, the man became hesitant. Andar knew why and handed him

the money. He thanked Andar and headed off. For a moment, Andar watched the man walk

away, then turned and started toward the door. As he approached, the door opened, and he was

greeted by the child. Laniru looked him up and down and recognized 14) The Beard and Smirk

(03:30) from his vision. The child smiled politely and stepped aside, indicating Andar should

enter. Laniru touched him gently and knowingly on the arm, like a wise old wizard instead of a

spindly little child.

 

 The father was transferring the boiled water to three cooling dishes when he looked over his

shoulder to nod at Andar. "Sit, please," said Juan.

 "Thank you."

 "Dis ya watah'll take a momen' ta cool, but dinnah soon come."

 "Again, thank you."

 "All right," Juan mumbled, a bit troubled and trying to size up Andar.

 Dinner was served while Andar explained how they must leave in the morning to go find what

he came for. The child mentioned 15) "The Treasure" (02:46) casually, and the father's

eyebrows raised. Juan suggested that he go along for safety, but was rebuffed immediately.

Andar told Juan that he would rather go alone with Laniru. The child spoke up and said not only

was it unnecessary for him to go, but a recent vision suggested it was better that he didn't. Juan

reluctantly agreed, but Andar noticed his unease.

 

 The next morning Andar and Laniru walked down the road toward their goal, discussing their

shared 16) Visions From Jenet Sais (03:57). Andar was studying the child closely as they

walked and talked. Not far behind, but just out of sight and earshot, Juan followed along, his

revolver tucked tightly in his waistband.

 

 The two reached the spot slightly off a side street, beyond thick overgrown foliage. Without a

word, they knelt to the ground and started digging with their hands. Soon they uncovered a

large crate, buried very shallow under the sand. They took a second to look at each other, then

back to the crate, when Juan suddenly jumped out from behind a tree. Neither Andar nor the

child were surprised to see him. He pulled out his gun and pointed it at Andar. "You shood'ave

stayed at 'ome!" the child wailed as his eyes welled up.

 

 "Shut it, likkle one!" and turning to Andar, he said, "Put up dem hands!"

 A flutter in his voice gave away a nervousness that he was desperately trying not to show.

 

There was a rustle from the other side of the foliage toward the road as a man and woman burst

into the clearing with weapons unlike Juan had ever seen. Undeterred, he turned to them,

swiveled his gun to face them and fired 17) Two quick shots (02:50) from his revolver.

Unharmed, the man and woman opened fire and gunned down Juan where he stood. Andar

rushed over to Juan as the child stood still, quietly sobbing. It was too late to do anything for

him, and Andar could already hear commotion in the distance. People had heard the gunfire and

were coming to investigate. 18) Andar (03:51) looked up at the woman and nodded as the man

next to her, still with weapon at the ready, was watching out to keep them safe.

She was already on her comm device,"Get us out of here."

 

 19) A Small Ship (03:05) landed on the road in seconds while Andar kept digging to uncover

the crate. A man in a flight suit exited the ship carrying a cart and a pry bar. The adults loaded

the crate onto the cart, and were pushing it onto the ship when Andar turned around. He

reached out his hand to Laniru, but the child dropped to the sand next to Juan, eyes closed.

Andar could see what the child was doing. He tried to fight back the emotion as he turned

toward the ship’s crew, who were shouting at him to hurry aboard. He looked back once more

before rushing toward the ship, which took off in a burst of light as a group of local concerned

citizens rounded the corner. All they saw was the child, kneeling 20) In Meditation (03:24), as

Lariru was often seen doing, only this time next to a dead father.