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Continue To The Next Chapter - Chapter 3

Return To The Previous Chapter - Chapter 1

QUINTAR

By ... Steve Lucky

CHAPTER TWO

The little girl reached out to him and shook his hand glad to see he wanted to be her friend. Unfortunately, she didn't have time for small talk. She had come to warn him.

"You're friends are in danger," she said at last.

"My friends are always in danger," Peter replied pointing to his M.W.G.D. badge. "It comes with the territory."

"I mean they are in even more danger than usual," she insisted. "You must come with me at once."

To Peter's relief, Hank and Mac came came running up to them. They had received Peter's message and came as quickly as they could. They looked at the little girl in amazement and wonder. She was obviously out of place.

"What's going on, Peter?" asked Hank still not completely sure of what he was seeing.

"Perhaps I can explain," the little girl began. "I am called the Bamboo Princess. I was the one that intercepted the Ruler's conversation and I need one of you to come with me to my castle where we can talk."

Peter turned to Hank and Mac to talk things over, but they had already decided things for him.

"You were the one that found her," Hank reminded him.

Peter knew that he was going to be the one chosen to go. He had a habit of volunteering for things. He just didn't expect them to volunteer him so quickly.

Peter turned his attention back to the Bamboo Princess.

"I'll come with you," Peter declared sounding more confident than he really was.

"Step into my cloud and I will take you to my castle," the Bamboo Princess explained.

Peter looked hesitantly at the cloud. He wasn't sure what was inside it and even less sure of how going through it would take him to her castle.

"Relax!" she commanded. "This is how I travel from place to place."

She walked into the cloud and disappeared. Peter gave one last wave to Hank and Mac and followed her inside. It was hard to see where he was going so he put his hands out in front of him and felt his way through the darkness.

At last he felt something hard at what he guessed was the center of the cloud. It was some kind of vehicle.

"So this is how you get from place to place!" he exclaimed to his unseen companion. "It's well camouflaged."

"Thank you," she answered from inside the vehicle. "It keeps away unwanted guests that bother me from time to time."

As soon as he climbed inside, Peter felt the vehicle gently rise into the air. The pink cloud surrounding them slowly began to disperse leaving them with a good view of the ground below. At last Peter could see that he was in some sort of dome shaped air car. It was transparent except for a few controls at the front where the Bamboo Princess sat. She seemed quite comfortable driving the strange contraption so Peter decided to take it easy until they got to their destination.

Down below him, Peter could see the village he had been in. He watched it as it slowly disappeared from sight. He was on his own. Up ahead Peter could see the city of Atlica which made him wonder how Lisa, Linda, and Detrina were doing. They began to accelerate to near the speed of sound leaving both the city and the village far behind him.

Peter remembered taking similar trips on small, jet propelled planes back on Earth. The only difference, other than the fact that they were traveling much faster, was that the ride was much smoother than he had been accustomed to. It was even smoother than most jet plane rides he had taken in the past. The air car was a remarkable device and Peter wondered how lone it would be before they were used on Earth.

"How much longer will it be?" he inquired though he really didn't mind the trip.

"That's it, straight ahead," she told him pointing to a distant object.

Peter tried to see what she was pointing to, but he couldn't quite see it. About a minute later he saw a small object that looked something like a castle. It wasn't as big as the one he had seen on Triax, but a castle never the less. As they got closer, he could see some of the details. The castle was completely surrounded by desert giving it a sense of isolation. It had an old fashioned look to it that made it look rather appealing. Large blocks of stone had been used to put it together and the doors and windows were simply open spaces in the walls allowing the air to circulate.

However, a closer look revealed that it was not completely old fashioned. It had some of the latest technological advances. To either side of the castle was a highly sophisticate antenna. Peter knew they were powerful because she had intercepted the Ruler's signal which was not exactly an easy thing to do.

They began to slow down as they approached the castle. The Bamboo Princess pressed a few controls and the air car slowly descended through a small opening directly in the center of the castle. Everything grew dark for a few seconds until the castle's automatic lighting system was activated lighting the landing area so they could land safely.

Peter got out of the air car and looked around. The room was filled with computers which hummed, flashed, and buzzed as they carried out their complex activities. The Bamboo Princess led him into another room. The new room was also filled with computers, but they carried out their functions quietly allowing them to talk.

Peter quickly introduced himself and gave a brief account of his previous conflicts with the Ruler. The Bamboo Princess explained that she had once been a princess in the lands to the south before her parents were killed in a vicious attack from a small band of rebels. They left her alive only because she was two years old and figured she would die anyway. Fortunately, she was found resting in a field of bamboo which was how she got her name.

She was adopted by none other than council leader Mistica herself who raised her as her own child. However, their ways did not suit her so she returned to castle that use to belong to her parents. She kept in touch with the people in Atlica and visited the frequently. They had learned to respect the Bamboo Princess and her mysterious powers thinking she had even greater powers than she fully realized.

It was easy for Peter to see why they suspected her of having hidden powers. A six year old with a vocabulary like hers was not a common occurrence. The fact that she lived alone in such a large castle was even more amazing. Her parents were definitely powerful before they were killed to have accumulated so much computer equipment.

The Bamboo put on a pair of headphones and gave a second pair to Peter. Both headphones were connected to one of the computers.

"This is what I used to pick up the Ruler," she explained. "Maybe they'll try to communicate again."

"I think they're on to us by now," responded Peter trying not to make her feel too disappointed. (Even though she was quite powerful and had an extensive vocabulary, she was still only six years old.) "If they try to communicate again, they'll probably use a different frequency and there is no way that we can check them all."

"Oh yes there is," the Bamboo Princess argued.

She walked over to one of the other computers and turned a few dials.

"The computer is familiar with the Ruler's voice print, so I have programmed it to scan all possible frequencies for that voice print," she began. "If it finds the Ruler, it will automatically record the conversation and play it back for us so we can hear it."

Peter still had his doubts, but the Bamboo Princess had more than enough confidence to make up for it. They continued to listen hoping that somehow they would be able to pick up the Ruler again and stop him from invading.

TIME : 4:30 P.M.
PLACE : Outside the Council's Chamber in the city of Atlica

Lisa, Linda, and Detrina talked with the council members for nearly two hours. The threat of invasion hung over them like a led balloon. Quintar did not want to get involved in the war against the Ruler, but it looked like they were going to be forced to get involved whether they liked it or not.

After the meeting was over, Mistica stayed with them replacing Yazzle as their guide. Since Yazzle was not a council member, she was not allowed to stay for the meeting. She left shortly after they had arrived in the Council's Chamber when Mistica dismissed her to attend to other duties.

"If there is anything you need, just let me know," insisted Mistica.

She was all for fighting the Ruler even if he didn't attack Quintar. After all, she was a friend of Shawn' s who was the leader of M.W.G.D. The other members of the council still remained undecided.

In their system of government, each council member had an equal vote. In the case of a tie, the council leader would decide the issue. With only four council members, the other three would all have to be in agreement to overrule the council leader. Mistica was hoping to win the support of one other council member which was all she needed to win the vote to aid M.W.G.D. in their efforts.

"I cannot guarantee anything," Mistica sighed. "but I am pretty sure the vote will be in your favor. We will vote first thing tomorrow morning so be sure and say everything you need to say before then."

"We've already said just about everything we needed to in there," replied Lisa. "All we can do is hope that the other council members see the urgency of the situation."

"Before the Ruler strikes," Linda added gravely.

Mistica led them to their own private quarters that had been prepared for them to spend the night in. Detrina once again began to sense that something was wrong. She couldn't see anything out of the ordinary, yet she knew the spy was already at work carrying out the Ruler's evil plans.

TIME : 4:31 P.M. (16:31)
PLACE : The Council's Chamber

Detrina' s instincts were doing a far better job than the Bamboo Princess's computer equipment as far as tracking down the spy was concerned. The spy had been watching them and slipped into the Council's Chamber as soon as they had left. She knew the others had been alerted of her presence so she planned her movements more cautiously than before.

After making sure there was no one around her, she began to broadcast her message to the Ruler not only changing the frequency as Peter had predicted, but also scrambling the message and sending it in code.

"Our plans are in jeopardy," she warned. "M.W.G.D. knows of your invasion plans and has sent some people over here. They might persuade the council join the opposition."

"By then it will be too late," the Ruler bellowed confidently. "Tell me, who has M.W.G.D. sent."

"Two of them come from Earth. Their names are Lisa and Linda," she reported. "A third named Detrina comes from Terni. All three of them are worthy adversaries. I don't think I can beat all three of them by myself."

"You won't have to," the Ruler stated smugly. "Carry out the assassination of Mistica as planned only be sure to make it look like one of our guests in responsible. Without her leadership, the council will be divided and will not be able to set up a strong defense. I will have Quintar under my control before they even know what happened."

"But what about M.W.G.D.?" the spy demanded.

"If you can make them think that one of them killed Mistica, their trust in M.W.G.D. will diminish rapidly," explained the Ruler. "Letting Detrina join M.W.G.D. was the biggest mistake they could have possibly made. A mistake I plan to use against them."

The Ruler began to explain the details of his plan to the spy. She was to wait until nighttime and then strike before they had a chance to react. The others would be sound asleep.

TIME : 4:32 P.M. (16:32)
PLACE : The Bamboo Princess's castle

Peter and the Bamboo Princess were still listening for the Ruler when the computer picked something up. Unfortunately, the message was garbled beyond recognition but the computer clearly indentified one of the speakers as the Ruler.

"I can't understand what they're saying," complained the Bamboo Princess. "Can you?"

Peter did his best to try and understand a few simple words, but even that was too difficult with the message scrambled the way it was.

"No," Peter confessed. "They must have realized how powerful your equipment is and accommodated for it."

The Bamboo Princess sprung to her feet. "We must warn them at once."

Peter agreed. Even though they couldn't understand what was being said, the fact that the Ruler had reestablished contact with someone in Atlica meant that something was going to happen there sometime soon.

"Drop me off back at the village," ordered Peter. what's going on."

"I'll have you there in no time," the Bamboo Princess assured him.

TIME : 5:30 P.M.
PLACE : In between Atlica and the neighboring village

A few small desert animals were gathered together at what they thought was a safe place. Suddenly, a large cloud of pink smoke appeared close by causing the animals to scatter. They wanted nothing to do with whatever lurked inside it.

A few seconds later, Peter and the Bamboo Princess emerged from the cloud finding no trace of the animals that had been there only seconds before. In one direction they could see the city of Atlica in all its splendor and in the other they could see the village that Hank and Mac were in.

The Bamboo Princess handed Peter a small bottle filled with a clear, sticky liquid.

"Drink this," she commanded. "It will protect you from the desert heat."

Peter drank the liquid. It tasted like some of the soft drinks he was familiar with back on Earth and made him wonder how things were back on his home planet. Unfortunately, there was no time for him to stop and think about such things. He had to get back to Hank and Mac. Peter and the Bamboo Princess parted company each wishing the other a successful journey. Peter had the easier job. All he had to do was return to the village, find Hank and Mac, and tell them what had happened while he was with the Bamboo Princess. The Bamboo Princess, on the other hand, had a very dangerous journey ahead of her.

She had to warn the people of Atlica without knowing who the spy was. There were very few people she could trust.

However, she knew that if she didn't try, the Ruler would invade Quintar without any serious resistance. The Ruler was out there waiting for the right opportunity. An opportunity she hoped would never come.

Copyright MCMXC, MCMXCIX

Quintar: Chapter 2

Continue To The Next Chapter - Chapter 3

Return To The Previous Chapter - Chapter 1

QUINTAR

By ... Steve Lucky

CHAPTER TWO

The little girl reached out to him and shook his hand glad to see he wanted to be her friend. Unfortunately, she didn't have time for small talk. She had come to warn him.

"You're friends are in danger," she said at last.

"My friends are always in danger," Peter replied pointing to his M.W.G.D. badge. "It comes with the territory."

"I mean they are in even more danger than usual," she insisted. "You must come with me at once."

To Peter's relief, Hank and Mac came came running up to them. They had received Peter's message and came as quickly as they could. They looked at the little girl in amazement and wonder. She was obviously out of place.

"What's going on, Peter?" asked Hank still not completely sure of what he was seeing.

"Perhaps I can explain," the little girl began. "I am called the Bamboo Princess. I was the one that intercepted the Ruler's conversation and I need one of you to come with me to my castle where we can talk."

Peter turned to Hank and Mac to talk things over, but they had already decided things for him.

"You were the one that found her," Hank reminded him.

Peter knew that he was going to be the one chosen to go. He had a habit of volunteering for things. He just didn't expect them to volunteer him so quickly.

Peter turned his attention back to the Bamboo Princess.

"I'll come with you," Peter declared sounding more confident than he really was.

"Step into my cloud and I will take you to my castle," the Bamboo Princess explained.

Peter looked hesitantly at the cloud. He wasn't sure what was inside it and even less sure of how going through it would take him to her castle.

"Relax!" she commanded. "This is how I travel from place to place."

She walked into the cloud and disappeared. Peter gave one last wave to Hank and Mac and followed her inside. It was hard to see where he was going so he put his hands out in front of him and felt his way through the darkness.

At last he felt something hard at what he guessed was the center of the cloud. It was some kind of vehicle.

"So this is how you get from place to place!" he exclaimed to his unseen companion. "It's well camouflaged."

"Thank you," she answered from inside the vehicle. "It keeps away unwanted guests that bother me from time to time."

As soon as he climbed inside, Peter felt the vehicle gently rise into the air. The pink cloud surrounding them slowly began to disperse leaving them with a good view of the ground below. At last Peter could see that he was in some sort of dome shaped air car. It was transparent except for a few controls at the front where the Bamboo Princess sat. She seemed quite comfortable driving the strange contraption so Peter decided to take it easy until they got to their destination.

Down below him, Peter could see the village he had been in. He watched it as it slowly disappeared from sight. He was on his own. Up ahead Peter could see the city of Atlica which made him wonder how Lisa, Linda, and Detrina were doing. They began to accelerate to near the speed of sound leaving both the city and the village far behind him.

Peter remembered taking similar trips on small, jet propelled planes back on Earth. The only difference, other than the fact that they were traveling much faster, was that the ride was much smoother than he had been accustomed to. It was even smoother than most jet plane rides he had taken in the past. The air car was a remarkable device and Peter wondered how lone it would be before they were used on Earth.

"How much longer will it be?" he inquired though he really didn't mind the trip.

"That's it, straight ahead," she told him pointing to a distant object.

Peter tried to see what she was pointing to, but he couldn't quite see it. About a minute later he saw a small object that looked something like a castle. It wasn't as big as the one he had seen on Triax, but a castle never the less. As they got closer, he could see some of the details. The castle was completely surrounded by desert giving it a sense of isolation. It had an old fashioned look to it that made it look rather appealing. Large blocks of stone had been used to put it together and the doors and windows were simply open spaces in the walls allowing the air to circulate.

However, a closer look revealed that it was not completely old fashioned. It had some of the latest technological advances. To either side of the castle was a highly sophisticate antenna. Peter knew they were powerful because she had intercepted the Ruler's signal which was not exactly an easy thing to do.

They began to slow down as they approached the castle. The Bamboo Princess pressed a few controls and the air car slowly descended through a small opening directly in the center of the castle. Everything grew dark for a few seconds until the castle's automatic lighting system was activated lighting the landing area so they could land safely.

Peter got out of the air car and looked around. The room was filled with computers which hummed, flashed, and buzzed as they carried out their complex activities. The Bamboo Princess led him into another room. The new room was also filled with computers, but they carried out their functions quietly allowing them to talk.

Peter quickly introduced himself and gave a brief account of his previous conflicts with the Ruler. The Bamboo Princess explained that she had once been a princess in the lands to the south before her parents were killed in a vicious attack from a small band of rebels. They left her alive only because she was two years old and figured she would die anyway. Fortunately, she was found resting in a field of bamboo which was how she got her name.

She was adopted by none other than council leader Mistica herself who raised her as her own child. However, their ways did not suit her so she returned to castle that use to belong to her parents. She kept in touch with the people in Atlica and visited the frequently. They had learned to respect the Bamboo Princess and her mysterious powers thinking she had even greater powers than she fully realized.

It was easy for Peter to see why they suspected her of having hidden powers. A six year old with a vocabulary like hers was not a common occurrence. The fact that she lived alone in such a large castle was even more amazing. Her parents were definitely powerful before they were killed to have accumulated so much computer equipment.

The Bamboo put on a pair of headphones and gave a second pair to Peter. Both headphones were connected to one of the computers.

"This is what I used to pick up the Ruler," she explained. "Maybe they'll try to communicate again."

"I think they're on to us by now," responded Peter trying not to make her feel too disappointed. (Even though she was quite powerful and had an extensive vocabulary, she was still only six years old.) "If they try to communicate again, they'll probably use a different frequency and there is no way that we can check them all."

"Oh yes there is," the Bamboo Princess argued.

She walked over to one of the other computers and turned a few dials.

"The computer is familiar with the Ruler's voice print, so I have programmed it to scan all possible frequencies for that voice print," she began. "If it finds the Ruler, it will automatically record the conversation and play it back for us so we can hear it."

Peter still had his doubts, but the Bamboo Princess had more than enough confidence to make up for it. They continued to listen hoping that somehow they would be able to pick up the Ruler again and stop him from invading.

TIME : 4:30 P.M.
PLACE : Outside the Council's Chamber in the city of Atlica

Lisa, Linda, and Detrina talked with the council members for nearly two hours. The threat of invasion hung over them like a led balloon. Quintar did not want to get involved in the war against the Ruler, but it looked like they were going to be forced to get involved whether they liked it or not.

After the meeting was over, Mistica stayed with them replacing Yazzle as their guide. Since Yazzle was not a council member, she was not allowed to stay for the meeting. She left shortly after they had arrived in the Council's Chamber when Mistica dismissed her to attend to other duties.

"If there is anything you need, just let me know," insisted Mistica.

She was all for fighting the Ruler even if he didn't attack Quintar. After all, she was a friend of Shawn' s who was the leader of M.W.G.D. The other members of the council still remained undecided.

In their system of government, each council member had an equal vote. In the case of a tie, the council leader would decide the issue. With only four council members, the other three would all have to be in agreement to overrule the council leader. Mistica was hoping to win the support of one other council member which was all she needed to win the vote to aid M.W.G.D. in their efforts.

"I cannot guarantee anything," Mistica sighed. "but I am pretty sure the vote will be in your favor. We will vote first thing tomorrow morning so be sure and say everything you need to say before then."

"We've already said just about everything we needed to in there," replied Lisa. "All we can do is hope that the other council members see the urgency of the situation."

"Before the Ruler strikes," Linda added gravely.

Mistica led them to their own private quarters that had been prepared for them to spend the night in. Detrina once again began to sense that something was wrong. She couldn't see anything out of the ordinary, yet she knew the spy was already at work carrying out the Ruler's evil plans.

TIME : 4:31 P.M. (16:31)
PLACE : The Council's Chamber

Detrina' s instincts were doing a far better job than the Bamboo Princess's computer equipment as far as tracking down the spy was concerned. The spy had been watching them and slipped into the Council's Chamber as soon as they had left. She knew the others had been alerted of her presence so she planned her movements more cautiously than before.

After making sure there was no one around her, she began to broadcast her message to the Ruler not only changing the frequency as Peter had predicted, but also scrambling the message and sending it in code.

"Our plans are in jeopardy," she warned. "M.W.G.D. knows of your invasion plans and has sent some people over here. They might persuade the council join the opposition."

"By then it will be too late," the Ruler bellowed confidently. "Tell me, who has M.W.G.D. sent."

"Two of them come from Earth. Their names are Lisa and Linda," she reported. "A third named Detrina comes from Terni. All three of them are worthy adversaries. I don't think I can beat all three of them by myself."

"You won't have to," the Ruler stated smugly. "Carry out the assassination of Mistica as planned only be sure to make it look like one of our guests in responsible. Without her leadership, the council will be divided and will not be able to set up a strong defense. I will have Quintar under my control before they even know what happened."

"But what about M.W.G.D.?" the spy demanded.

"If you can make them think that one of them killed Mistica, their trust in M.W.G.D. will diminish rapidly," explained the Ruler. "Letting Detrina join M.W.G.D. was the biggest mistake they could have possibly made. A mistake I plan to use against them."

The Ruler began to explain the details of his plan to the spy. She was to wait until nighttime and then strike before they had a chance to react. The others would be sound asleep.

TIME : 4:32 P.M. (16:32)
PLACE : The Bamboo Princess's castle

Peter and the Bamboo Princess were still listening for the Ruler when the computer picked something up. Unfortunately, the message was garbled beyond recognition but the computer clearly indentified one of the speakers as the Ruler.

"I can't understand what they're saying," complained the Bamboo Princess. "Can you?"

Peter did his best to try and understand a few simple words, but even that was too difficult with the message scrambled the way it was.

"No," Peter confessed. "They must have realized how powerful your equipment is and accommodated for it."

The Bamboo Princess sprung to her feet. "We must warn them at once."

Peter agreed. Even though they couldn't understand what was being said, the fact that the Ruler had reestablished contact with someone in Atlica meant that something was going to happen there sometime soon.

"Drop me off back at the village," ordered Peter. what's going on."

"I'll have you there in no time," the Bamboo Princess assured him.

TIME : 5:30 P.M.
PLACE : In between Atlica and the neighboring village

A few small desert animals were gathered together at what they thought was a safe place. Suddenly, a large cloud of pink smoke appeared close by causing the animals to scatter. They wanted nothing to do with whatever lurked inside it.

A few seconds later, Peter and the Bamboo Princess emerged from the cloud finding no trace of the animals that had been there only seconds before. In one direction they could see the city of Atlica in all its splendor and in the other they could see the village that Hank and Mac were in.

The Bamboo Princess handed Peter a small bottle filled with a clear, sticky liquid.

"Drink this," she commanded. "It will protect you from the desert heat."

Peter drank the liquid. It tasted like some of the soft drinks he was familiar with back on Earth and made him wonder how things were back on his home planet. Unfortunately, there was no time for him to stop and think about such things. He had to get back to Hank and Mac. Peter and the Bamboo Princess parted company each wishing the other a successful journey. Peter had the easier job. All he had to do was return to the village, find Hank and Mac, and tell them what had happened while he was with the Bamboo Princess. The Bamboo Princess, on the other hand, had a very dangerous journey ahead of her.

She had to warn the people of Atlica without knowing who the spy was. There were very few people she could trust.

However, she knew that if she didn't try, the Ruler would invade Quintar without any serious resistance. The Ruler was out there waiting for the right opportunity. An opportunity she hoped would never come.

Copyright MCMXC, MCMXCIX