The Final Chapter

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Chapter Twenty-six

Dawn of the Seventh Age

In the failing light of early evening, Nick and Hakan divided the group into two teams. Nick would take Victor and Thomaso with him through the Incan temple’s main entrance, down to the ancient monument below, while Hakan aided by Miles, Cristo, Kolya and David, would carefully search the exterior of the building, looking for alternative entrances. Ricardo joined Ithis some distance away on the old shoreline. She now firmly believed that should she even attempt to enter the temple above the other building, all would be lost. She would see everything she needed to see through her beloved surface-dweller’s eyes and his unconscious thoughts, as she tuned into his mind while he carefully began to explore the labyrinth of tunnels. Nick had chosen Victor for his immense strength, and Thomaso, for his unparalleled knowledge of his Incan forbears’ glyph style writing, learned at his grandfather’s knee, when they came across any obstacle in their way. “Ready my friends? Let’s finish this thing,” Nick said, relieved to be at the beginning of the end of the long journey, and yet clearly on edge, weighed down by concerns about what may still lay ahead as their final subterranean search began. The pair nodded their heads in unison in unspoken agreement to Nick’s command as they followed him, descending deep within the bowels of the temple searching for the tell-tale signs of an entrance to the hidden chamber below.

Each new doorway, each turn of the next narrow conical shaped passage within the Incan temple, each set of slippery steps, led them further down into the eerie stone underworld. The deeper they journeyed, the more worried Thomaso became by the dire warnings written in stone by his forbears about the ‘green eyed devils’, a fact which he informed his friends of repeatedly. The Incan people had purposely built the temple above the Crypto-terrestrial’s construction, in an attempt to seal it off forever.

More than once despite the powerful beam of his own torch illuminating his surroundings, Victor bumped his head on low slung, solid stone lintels much to Thomaso’s amusement. Until Victor had arrived here with Nick, he had never met such a giant of a man in his entire life. For Nick and his two companions, time now seemed to stand still as their search intensified for that hidden entrance. Seconds, minutes and hours melded together into a meaningless nothing within the claustrophobic shadowy subterranean world they carefully made their way through, descending ever deeper into its gloom. After a couple of hours of slow and nervous descent, their winding path finally ended.

~~~

At the end of a short passage at the bottom of a long stairwell, the construction method surrounding them changed abruptly. Nick saw a wall ahead of him built from an entirely different kind of stone from the Incan temple complex above. The wall was completely covered in a number of precisely carved reliefs, showing various scenes from the time long ago when Ithis’ people first encountered our earliest ancestors. Among the many scenes of long forgotten battles between both races, were a few depicting a relatively peaceful time. Nick stared in utter disbelief at one scene in particular, situated directly at the centre of the wall, clearly designed to stand out from the rest. Before him he saw two figures he knew only too well, sitting on some kind of dais above a sea of prostrate people, who worshipped them as gods. One of the figures was his beloved Ithis. The other, dressed in the clothing of a Sumerian god, was Asima. Nick’s angry outburst echoed within the confines of the stone passage. “Ithis what the hell is going on? I thought Asima was your nemesis, not your damned ally and consort!”

Through his eyes, Ithis tearfully stared in shocked disbelief at the scene. “He was my enemy my love. Even though he is now finally silenced, he always will be. The scene before you was carved by my people before they left this planet and the Solar System forever. When I chose to stay behind, most of my kind deeply resented my love for humanity. I can only think they carved this relief back then, believing that if one day this place was once more discovered, whoever found it would consider me to be as evil as Asima.” Hurt by Nick’s angry outburst, and deeply saddened by her own kind’s hatred of her and mankind, she sat in tearful silence. Deep inside his soul, Nick felt her overwhelming feeling of grief. Instantly wishing he had not leapt like a stupid jealous fool to the wrong conclusion, he turned once more to concentrate, cursing himself for his rage, trying to make amends by focusing his attention in silence on the carved wall. From where she sat a few dozen metres above where Nick, Victor and Thomaso were, concentrating on his thoughts and seeing the wall through his eyes, Ithis slowly studied it for a possible opening mechanism to the room beyond, containing their goal.

~~~

As the sun finally set in the world above, Nick entered through the last hidden doorway, into the vast underground chamber that housed the Solar Defence System’s failsafe device – the mechanism he would need to reset. Hopefully it would also restart its sister systems on the other formerly inhabited planets of Mars and Venus, together with the solar system’s cloaking shield.

He cautiously entered the room checking the floor, walls and ceiling, looking for any sign of possible hidden hazards, designed to kill intruders, bearing in mind Thomaso’s concerns about the dire warnings written on the walls in the Incan temple above the complex. Victor stood at the doorway totally spellbound by the alien technology before him. The room bore many similarities to the other chambers Nick had found across the planet. Banks of the now familiar capacitors lined the outer walls with the equally familiar mica shielded power conduits leading from them to a central construction. Nick made his way to the centre of the room. “Do you see it my darling?” he asked, as his eyes took in every detail of the failsafe device. Through him she studied the familiar bank of controls before beginning to instruct him on its use. Following her instructions to the letter, he went through the process of disarming the countdown. According to what she told him much later, it clearly showed its target date of December the twenty-first, 2012. After the countdown was stopped, for a few brief minutes nothing happened. The Solar System’s planets continued on their new paths. The violent destruction across the planet by the tornadoes, tsunamis, encroaching ice shelves and volcanoes, still went on. But once Nick had reset the Solar Defence System, things slowly began to change for the better. The planets stopped their journey towards destruction, and began to revert back to their original orbits around the sun as the solar system entered a new beginning. Now the countdown was stopped, and the whole system had been reset, it was time to return to the surface.

With Thomaso leading the way, they began ascending the stairwell back to the Incan temple above. As he was about to step through the doorway into the lower level of the temple, a massive geological upheaval deep beneath their feet, sent one last earthquake their way, shaking the very foundations of the two ancient stone complexes. Temporarily sheltering in the massive connecting doorway between the two structures, they watched aghast as the tunnel system within the Incan temple, reset itself into an entirely different configuration. All of this was designed centuries earlier to be triggered by anyone re-entering from below, preventing the green eyed devils from returning to the world outside. Thomaso’s foreboding about the warnings he had read earlier vividly returned to mind as the dust clogged air finally settled. Ricardo jumped out of his skin with fright when Ithis with her mood enhanced pupils now shining pure white, screamed in sheer terror from where she sat beside him. A rescue mission was immediately put into effect directed by her, once she had quickly regained her composure. She was not going to lose the man she loved now after all they had been through together.

While the dust cleared slowly around them, Nick and Thomaso did their level best to free Victor’s badly crushed leg from beneath a fallen block of stone, in the first of the new stone passages. Mercifully, he felt no pain as he was pulled free, unconscious but still breathing. After a great struggle they managed to drag him clear on a makeshift carpet made from their outer clothing. While Nick sat exhausted beside Victor, Thomaso continued on ahead exploring the new maze of passageways, looking for a way out. Nick knew it was now up to his beloved Ithis and the rest to rescue them from their enforced entombment.

By the early morning light of the new age’s first dawn, Nick, Thomaso and the now fully conscious Victor where once again surrounded by their friends. Hakan and his team, following Ithis’ directions, eventually found a new entrance. Within a couple of hours they triumphantly returned to the surface with the weary trio, moments before an aftershock collapsed the temple complex, sealing the entrance to the Solar Defence System’s control room forever.

Free from any more concerns over the defence system detecting her DNA, Ithis ran to Nick. For the very first time in her long life, she experienced the wonderfully electric sensation of a tender kiss. Both of them were oblivious to everything around them as they passionately embraced, allowing their pent up physical and emotional longing for each other to consume them. The sound of clapping and laughter brought them back to reality, as the world, almost imperceptibly at first, ceased trying to destroy itself along with the rest of the Solar System. The dawn of a new seventh age for the Solar System and mankind, had finally begun.

Epilogue

Nick watched in helpless anguish as Ithis took the conscious decision to endure the irreversible and painful transformation from an immortal crystal based life form, to that of a carbon based mortal human hybrid. After her painful ordeal was over, they spent their first night together in Thomaso’s home, making love. True to his word, Nick saw to it that David was returned to the waiting arms of Katya. He was his best man at the lavish wedding provided by Nicolai, with Kolya and Victor standing at the doors to the church to prevent David trying to escape, should he once again lose his nerve.

After Nick had reset the device, the world watched spellbound while the solar system once again reformed behind a reinvigorated cloaking system, shielding us from inquisitive eyes deep in space, never knowing of Nick’s involvement or indeed the existence of Ithis. Cardinal Ricardo Spinoza, David and Miles made sure of it, to protect the lovers from the world. He finally returned home to the Forest of Dean in the county of Gloucestershire with Ithis to the welcome sight of his cottage and his wily old cat Dragon. Like all males who encounter her, Dragon was totally captivated. He ignored Nick completely, rubbing his old body against Ithis’ legs, purring loudly, giving the impression of smiling with his eyes closed tight when she gently picked him up to cradle him in her arms and stroke his scarred ears, much to Nick’s surprise. He told her later that until now no one had ever been able to do what she had done without being scarred for life by his razor sharp claws.

The first months of the new seventh age rolled on almost unnoticed by the lovers. They took pleasure in discovering each other over and over again, reaching unimaginable levels of ecstasy, before finally falling into an exhausted sleep in each other’s arms. When Nick woke each morning to find Ithis lying in his arms – her former androgynous body nothing but a memory, he took delight in feeling the softness of her skin against his. Despite the transformation she had undergone, she still retained some of her former Crypto-terrestrial traits. Nick smiled as he lay there listening to his lover’s almost imperceptible purring. Her eyes, though human in appearance, still retained those mesmerizingly beautiful, mood enhanced light green pupils, which at the height of their passion, turned an even deeper shade of emerald green, whenever she looked into his eyes.

Dragon lay in his new customary position on the window sill of the bedroom, purring in unison with Ithis, sensing the new life that lay safe within her womb, while keeping an eye on the world outside, looking for the next addition to the larder. No one apart from the few who had contributed to Nick’s successful reactivation of the Solar Defence System would ever know that the young, seldom seen couple living in their sixteenth century cottage with a half wild cat, were responsible for humanity’s ultimate salvation.

Beyond Earth in the darkness of space, almost imperceptibly as first, changes began on Venus and Mars as they slowly entered the revitalised ‘life zone’ to take their place alongside the Earth once more. Reawakened volcanic activity across both planets heralded the first stages of a new proto-atmosphere, and the growth of bacteria, which inevitably will lead to life re-establishing itself, occupying these former dead planets where mankind’s ancestors first appeared countless millennia ago. In the darkness of the cosmos, the oncoming fleets of ships changed course as the solar system disappeared once more, when our tiny corner of the Milky Way vanished from view once again, behind the renewed Solar Defence System’s impenetrable cloak…

~~~

That’s your lot folks. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it.

😉

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10 thoughts on “The Final Chapter

  1. It`s the end of a fantastic journey across the globe and back again to save the galaxy. At times I wondered if they would ever make it, so many obstacles in their way but they did it. A wonderful adventure Jack thanks for sharing it with us.

    Liked by 1 person

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