There was definitely someone down there.

I stared through the field glasses for quite some minutes. I panned around Selenitica as it was the first time I had used these glasses. They’d been sent to me by an inventor, a Mr. Daubresse, who apparently was looking for an endorsement of some sort…probably so he could use it to acquire further funding for the development of the glasses. Hmmm. The jury is still out on that.

I returned to focus on the person or being that I’d been watching from my makeshift study in the castle.

He – I’m not sure why I was assuming it was a he – was across the way on Arrival Island, just sitting there, looking east. I didn’t notice when he arrived but I’d been watching him for about twenty minutes.

We get all kinds here in Evergreen. Explorers, scientists, historians, educators, all sorts of researchers, the occasional industrialist who leaves a business card and a note asking about mining rights, photographers, painters, tourists…and, apparently, aliens.

Well “he” definitely wasn’t from anywhere around here.

When I’m here, I try to walk a fine line between assisting visitors and leaving them be and letting them explore and wander.

But this one was different. Oh yes, he was obviously from some other planet and time and race but that was all secondary. It was what he was doing that intrigued me.

As I say, he’d been sitting there since I first saw him, looking east. More specifically, staring in the direction of the towers in the waters of Satori.

No one had done that before.

No one except me.

I descended the stairs to the castle door. I paused a moment to consider my options should there be any trouble. I reached into my pocket to activate the Flash Time Device given me by Professor Wagstaff long ago in Caledon. Should I need to move quickly, the FTD would transport me in a flash to a pre-determined distance and time from wherever and whenever I was at the moment. I usually keep it set to 400 paces, two minutes to the past. I gave a thought to doubling the numbers in this case but left it as it was.

Through the door and out along the bridge from Castle Island to Arrival Island. I walked as quietly as I could until I arrived on the other side. Then, wishing to make myself known, I stepped closer, cleared my throat and said, “Good evening, Sir? May I be of any assistance?”

The being jumped to his feet and turned toward me in one swift move, “What?” His hands were raised slightly in front of him. “Where did you come from?” He said quickly in a voice unlike any I had heard before. Hard to describe it. Thinner rather than deeper. A couple times during our conversation, I thought I heard a slight clicking sound…but that may or may not have been from his voice.

I could see he wasn’t sure of my intentions so I quickly introduced myself, “Welcome to Evergreen. I am Danko Whitfield. I look after these Ages.”

“Ages?” he repeated. Pause. “Ages,” he said again.

“Yes, sir. Four Ages to be precise.”

He stared at me a moment, looking me over. He grunted.

He was green from head to foot. All green. With tentacles, I guess. And scales. Some kind of dragon maybe.

“You are the one I am to talk with,” said the visitor.

“Yes?”

“Yes,” he said, “I am Daniel. Where is this place?”

Hmmm. How to answer that directly?

I told him about Evergreen. About the Ages: Selenitica, Kamar, Tao and Satori. And when I was done, I smiled at the visitor and waited for him to respond.

“Where is this place?” he said again.

Hmmm.

I offered that the complete answer to that question would be much longer than all I had just told him and that I wasn’t fully sure I could explain it anyway.

“That would be a better question for Mr. Oddenfen,” I said.

“He is here?”

“No, not at this time.”

Daniel nodded.

“There is food here?” he asked.

“Oh yes. We have all — well, I’m not sure what kind of food you like…but I’m sure we can find something. Walk with me over to the house across the way, sir.”

I turned and gestured toward Quin’s house but heard the visitor ask, “What have you learned about those?” He was pointing to the towers in the distance.

“As a matter of fact, I have been doing some research, sir. I have a theory.”

I told him about the radio signal and my monitoring of it and about the towers in other Ages. He seemed to understand the concepts. In fact, I got the impression he understood it better than I do.

“From where does this signal emanate? Who sends it?”

I told him I was just about to begin my research on the first question. “The answer to the second question, might never be known,” I said.

(My own belief is that the D’ni put these towers here but Dot Matrix has cautioned me about sharing that opinion publicly. Until there is proof. “We must have solid evidence, Mr. Whitfield,” she has told me several times. She is right, of course.)

“The signal brought me to this place,” Daniel said.

That was unexpected.

“You picked up this signal? Where?” I asked, almost involuntarily.

“That would be difficult to explain” said Daniel. “It would definitely be elsewhere. Very much elsewhere.

“Merely elsewhere?” I asked. “…or probably elsewhen as well?”

Daniel mulled that one over, looking around.

“Probably,” he said.

“And you picked up this signal and followed it?”

“It was not anything I had planned,” said Daniel. “We were trying to get the AI back online..…and the invasive life had run wild and gotten into everything……We were trying to hone in on the signal of the transmitting tower our team set up when we arrived…..we had lost contact with Control and were trying to reestablish it….then everything went black….then we were in this world…..”

It was quite a story. Not that I got all of it but I got the gist.

“– And you found yourself here in Evergreen,” I sort of cut him off as the details were getting more intricate and I was having trouble following along.

“No, sir. I found myself at your Devokan Trust.”

“Oh. I was about to explain about The Trust…”

“Dot Macchi has explained it to me,” said Daniel.

“Oh. She was there…at The Trust headquarters when you arrived?”

“Yes. Dot Macchi explained The Trust and sent me here. Dot Macchi told me you could explain the towers.”

“Dot Matrrix,” I ventured to correct him.

“No, Dot Macchi.”

“I understand, yes. But it’s Dot Matrix now.”

Daniel looked at me, puzzled.

I shrugged. “I dunno. There’s a memo about it. I haven’t read through the mail yet, I just returned here this morning.”

“Dot Mat – rix?” Daniel said slowly.

“Yes.”

He grunted.

“There is coffee here?” Daniel asked.

“Yes. Let’s go over to Mr. Oddenfen’s quarters…”

Daniel interrupted, “Dot Mac…Dot Ma-trix had good coffee. Strong.”

“Yes, Dot makes a good pot of coffee,” I said, as I thought back to her days in Winterfell when I would stop by on my way up to Ebonshire and share coffee with Dot. “…and none of that weak English stuff either,” I continued, “She has it shipped in from elsewhere.”

“And probably elsewhen,” Daniel added. Then he smiled.

“Probably,” I said. I smiled as well.

We walked across the bridge to Garden Island and then over the next bridge to Quin’s Island. Daniel commented on the plants and trees along the way. As he spoke, I casually reached into my pocket and turned off the Flash Time Device. It was clear I would have no need for it.

Inside Quin’s study-retreat, Daniel looked through Quin’s library while I prepared the coffee.

Daniel in Quin's study at Selenitica, Evergreen

Daniel in Quin’s study at Selenitica, Evergreen

He told me a bit about himself and his homeworld, Transgenia. He wasn’t sure exactly how he got to the Devokan Ages and so he wasn’t sure how to get back. But since the radio signal had somehow delivered him here, all he could do was to find out everything he could about that signal, in hopes it would lead him back.

I offered him use of one of the pods in Tao and told him to make himself at home there. Dot had already shown Daniel the towers at Waysmeet. We made plans for me to take him to the tower site in Tao Lia the next day.

It has been quite some weeks since I submitted to The Trust offices, a detailed report of my summer research on the towers and the signal. I also left a copy here in Quin’s study. I had waited for his thoughts on my findings and some direction about how he would like me to continue.

But all I received was a brief note by messenger…

 

Dear Mr. Whitfield, 

Thank you for your extensive efforts on behalf of The Trust regarding the towers. Although, I appreciate your methodology and the considerable time and thought you have given this important matter to arrive at your most interesting theory, I believe it is much too early to draw any conclusions at this time.

Very best wishes,

Quin

 

Well, yeah. But now what?

Without any direction from The Director, I had put my research aside for awhile to tend to business in Winterfell, Dankoville and elsewhere. And elsewhen.

Now I guess it was up to me to decide how to proceed from here. I guess I must go it alone. Well, not exactly alone. At least for the moment, I would be accompanied by little green men. Well, one little green…err…..…dragon maybe?

 

photo credit: Daniel Hoffman

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