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Second Chance Series 9: Endgame
Second Chance Series 9: Endgame
Second Chance Series 9: Endgame
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Second Chance Series 9: Endgame

Автор Paul Green

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Series Finale!

The final battle. It's the ultimate showdown between good and evil and the end of everything as we know it.

Don't miss the final chapter in the world of the Second Chance!

ИздательPaul Green
Дата выпуска22 янв. 2013 г.
Second Chance Series 9: Endgame
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Paul Green

Winner of the 1927 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Paul Green (1894-1981) taught philosophy and drama at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was a native of Harnett County, North Carolina.

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    Second Chance Series 9 - Paul Green

    Second Chance Series • Book Nine


    paul green

    Table of Contents

    Cover Page

    Title Page

    Copyright Notice

    Second Chance Series Information

    Reader Recommendation



    Cover Page

    From the author ...

    ~ Prelude ~

    Chapter 2

    ~ Hawk ~

    Chapter 4

    Chapter 5

    Chapter 6

    Chapter 7

    ~ Unified ~

    Chapter 9

    Chapter 10

    Chapter 11

    Chapter 12

    Chapter 13

    Chapter 14

    Chapter 15

    Chapter 16

    Chapter 17

    Chapter 18

    Chapter 19

    ~ Memories ~

    Chapter 21

    Chapter 22

    Chapter 23

    Chapter 24

    Chapter 25

    Chapter 26

    Chapter 27

    ~ Synergy ~

    Chapter 29

    ~ Titans ~

    Chapter 31

    Chapter 32

    Chapter 33

    Chapter 34

    Chapter 35

    ~ Truth ~

    Chapter 37

    ~ Slayer ~

    Chapter 39

    Chapter 40

    Chapter 41

    Chapter 42

    Chapter 43

    Chapter 44

    Chapter 45

    Chapter 46

    Chapter 47

    Chapter 48

    Chapter 49

    ~ Living Waters ~

    Chapter 51

    Chapter 52

    Chapter 53

    Chapter 54

    Chapter 55

    Chapter 56

    Chapter 57

    Chapter 58

    Chapter 59

    ~ A New Dawn ~

    Chapter 61

    Chapter 62

    Chapter 63

    Chapter 64

    Chapter 65

    Chapter 66

    Chapter 67

    Chapter 68

    Closing words from the author ...

    Tales From Camelot Novels

    Tales From Camelot Series

    Second Chance Series

    About the Author . . .

    Copyright Notice

    Second Chance Series

    Book Nine: ENDGAME

    Copyright © 2012 by Paul Green. All Rights Reserved.

    First Printing: February 2012

    This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer's imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locales or organizations is entirely coincidental.

    All Rights Are Reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the author.

    For further information, contact info@paulgreenauthor.com


    Second Chance Series Information

    Part One

    Book 1: BEGINNINGS

    Book 2: AWAKENING

    Book 3: PROPHET

    Part Two

    Book 4: REVENANT

    Book 5: PRODIGAL

    Book 6: AVALON - Part 1

    Book 6: AVALON - Part 2

    Part Three

    Book 7: TRIBE

    Book 8: SEED

    Book 9: ENDGAME



    Beginning 2013

    Prophet Chronicles series

    For further information contact info@paulgreenauthor.com

    Reader Recommendation

    Due to the unique subject matter, this series will appeal to a very broad audience: teen to elderly, male and female alike.

    Although some parts may be considered to be too intense for pre-teen or younger readers. Ages 13 and up recommended.


    Special thanks to all my reviewers. Your input has been invaluable.

    Thank you to my son Christopher for his help in designing the covers.

    And extra special thanks to the One who gave me the desire to write.


    Dedicated to . . .

    The One

    From the author ...

    Well, here it is (sniffle, sniffle). The last one and the Grand Finale.

    You know how they save the best for the last? Well, that has always been the plan for this one. It was supposed to be the biggest and the best.

    I think I pulled it off; at least that was my intention. Hopefully you will agree.

    There is virtually nothing I can tell you up front about this last one; for to say anything risks giving something away. All I can say is - without giving away any spoilers or details - that this will be the biggest and excitingest and amazingest adventure of them all. After all, you have read all this way, so you deserve a big finish. There will be heroes and battles, delightful twists and turns, powerful moments and tender moments, heartbreaking moments and moments of victory. And of course, my all time favorite - wonder.

    You will also finally meet someone you have known about, almost from the beginning, but have never met. Someone who will change everything.

    Just for fun, in this last book, there will also be a few nods and references and quotes from each of the previous books in this series. See how many you can find.

    We'll chat more after the credits roll at the end. See you then!


    P.S. As Book 8:SEED and Book 9:ENDGAME are essentially a two-parter, if any length of time has passed since you read Book 8, I would suggest re-reading the last 3 chapters, beginning with ch. 73 as a refresher. Book 9 will be coming back to some of those things.

    ~ Prelude ~

    Chapter 1


    The home of Arthur & Jean Davison

    How can it get any worse!? exclaimed Ben. Everybody and everything is splitting apart! Even the beach house split apart! How can it get any freakin'...

    Suddenly, a freezing cold chill blasted through the house, extinguishing all the lights, leaving them in pitch darkness.


    And then they heard the spine-tingling sound like fingernails scraping against a chalkboard. Or bone scraping against bone.

    Sara looked at Ben, trembling in horror. No! she whispered in terror. Dear God, no! Daddy, no! It can't be! Not again!

    Everybody stay calm. Kemuel warned.

    How can you say that!? Sara snapped at Kemuel. Do you know what that is!? I was there, Grandfather; you weren't! Except THIS time I don't have Excalibur!

    The spine-tingling sound of bone scraping against bone seemed to be coming from the kitchen.

    Oh, that's just Boots. smiled Jean, rising to her feet. He's gotten into the trash, again. I better go get him before he makes a mess.

    WHAT!? exclaimed everybody.

    Arthur chuckled. We had chicken for dinner. I think Boots just found the bones. Always makes an awful grating sound when he pulls those chicken bones out of that tin trash bin.


    Must have blown a fuse. Arthur mused as he rose to his feet in the darkness. That blasted furnace always backfires whenever it shuts down like that. It always sends a cold blast of air through the ventilation shafts; nothing to be alarmed out.


    Calm down, kids. Kemuel grinned. It's not a Revenant. Arthur? Need any help with that fuse?

    Nah, Ben and I can handle it; can't we son?

    Uh ... uh ... uh ... sure, Dad.

    And Ben followed Arthur out to the back patio where the fuse panel was located.

    Adrien looked at Sara who looked to be in shock. So ... not going to die?

    Sara looked at him with her eyes still wide and still trembling. I ... guess not.

    Excuse me... said Zagnut. I think I need to go change my pants.

    Stuart nodded in agreement and quickly followed Zagnut out of the room.

    *** *** ***

    Sorry for snapping at you Grandfather. Sara apologized, after the lights came back on.

    Kemuel nodded at her with a smile. No apology needed. Eddi thought you might occasionally be haunted with some of those memories.

    Eddi nodded at her, tenderly.

    I didn't think I was. Not until ... now. But, maybe I guess so. Maybe a little bit. Kinda, sorta, maybe.

    Kemuel then looked at her with pride. And yet ... the first thing you thought of was the sword; and how to take out the Revenant.

    No, the first thing I thought of ... was that I DIDN'T have the sword! And that I COULDN'T take out the Revenant!

    Same thing.

    No it's not.

    Yes it is.

    No it's not.

    Yes it is.

    No it's not.

    Yes it is.

    No it's not.

    QUICK, SARA! exclaimed Kemuel. LOOK OUT BEHIND YOU! IT'S A LION!!

    Sara crossed her arms and gave Kemuel a smirk. You have GOT to be kidding me.

    What? Kemuel asked in surprise. You're not afraid of lions?

    Why should I be afraid of lions? she laughed. It's not like they're roaming around out here in the suburbs of Grandpa's neighborhood.


    What's wrong, Kemuel? Susan grinned. Afraid of cats, are ya?

    What!? Who me!? Oh, pish posh.



    Boots, get down from there! scolded Jean, coming into the room.

    Susan and Sara both laughed as Kemuel crossed his arms in a scowl. Okay, so maybe I am a little jumpy.

    Hey, don't be picking on Grandfather. said Ben. I can kinda relate to his non-favorance for cats. Especially big ones.

    Right you are, my boy. replied Kemuel. Yet another trait which seems to run prevalent in our family. George and Frances were no exceptions.

    Really? Ben asked. I never heard about George having a run-in with big cats. Or Frances, for that matter.

    Small ones, actually. Nothing says 'ouch' like tripping over one of those furballs when you least expect it; trust me, I know. And those two girls were never particularly fond of unexpected surprises, let me tell you.

    Ben grinned. Yeah, I guess I can see that.

    Susan looked over at Daniel. What about you, sweetie? she teased. Ever have a run-in with a cat?

    Daniel shook his head, sorrowfully. Nah. Cats have never really bothered me. Jenny kinda likes them.

    Susan sighed. You're still worried about Jenny, aren't you?

    Of course I am! Jenny means more to me than anything! How can I not be worried about her!?

    Sweetie, I'm sure that wherever she is, that she is safe; at least for the time being.

    You don't know that. We don't know where she is! How could you know that she's safe!?

    You're right, Daniel. I don't know where she is. None of us do. We're just going to have to wait and see what happens. There's nothing more we can do.

    I love her, Mom! She's my wife! I don't know what I would do if anything ever happened to her.

    I know, Daniel. Welcome to the club.

    Michael snorted. Your mother is right, nephew. We've all had to go through this before. This isn't exactly the first time for us. I'm just as worried for my wife and my daughter as you are.

    And Kiyoko. added Susan, putting her arm around Daniel. And ... apparently ... Shira, also.

    And Kemuel? Ben asked. You said that Shira wasn't with the other girls?

    Kemuel shook his head. No. I do not know what has happened to Shira. Nor do I have any idea where Kal has gone.

    Or Jenny. Or Alana.

    They could be anywhere, anyplace, or any-when. Trying to guess would be pointless.

    So what do we do, Kemuel?

    We wait.

    *** *** ***

    It was nearly sunrise. Sara was sitting outside on her grandfather's back porch while Adrien and Daniel were inside helping Susan prepare breakfast.

    Ben poked his head out the back door. Mind some company?

    Sure, Dad; I'm not doing anything.

    Aren't you? Ben smiled as he came outside and sat beside his daughter.

    Huh? What do you mean?

    You know what I mean, Sara.

    I have no idea what you are talking about.

    Sara? It's me. Your father. We have been through this before.

    You think I'm up to something?

    Of course! You and I are a lot alike, little girl.

    What do you think I'm up to?

    Ben put his arm around Sara. Well ... let me think. If it was me ... and I was back on the ranch ... and Jenny had just told me what she was up to...

    Sara smiled. You mean like how she had first told me last week?

    Yup. And I had known what she was going to try and do ... and that she had the sword hidden underneath her house...

    You think I took the sword without her knowing about it.

    It's what I would do.

    Sara sighed. You're right. We are a lot alike.

    So? Where did you hide it?

    Sara snorted. Like I'm going to tell you?

    Sara? Fortunately we are not dealing with a Revenant this time.

    I know.

    The 'shedding of innocent blood' is NOT required.

    I know, Dad.

    We're in this one together, baby girl. This time, it's you and me.


    No 'buts' this time, Sara. This time ... it's not meant to be all on your shoulders, alone.


    Sara? This battle ... is for all of us.

    How do you know?

    I know.

    Sara looked at her father inquisitively. What do you know, Dad?

    Actually ... not much. Only, that I think we're all supposed to be in this together. The Conflux has brought the two families together. What that means is, the two families ... are supposed to be together.

    But ... my baby!

    Ben smiled tenderly at Sara. Yeah, it's pretty tough, isn't it? Being a protective parent and all.

    Someone has to do something! I can't let anything happen to Noëlle!

    Someone is going to do something. All of us. Together.

    Does Mom know?

    I think ... she figured out that you have the sword, right about the same time I did.

    What about Daniel?

    Honestly? His mind is in other places. He's more worried about Jenny at the moment.

    Sara shook her head. Poor Daniel.

    Although, I'm sure he was planning on somehow getting his hands on that sword, after we got back home.

    Uh huh. That's another reason why I took it and hid it.

    I take it that Jenny doesn't know it's missing, yet?

    Oh, I think she knows by now. That was probably her first stop on the way to ... wherever it is that she's gone.

    Any idea where she's gone?

    Nope. I honestly have no idea where Jenny is.

    Chapter 2

    Back at the ranch in Hawaii

    Alana, where is Jenny!?

    I don't know, Mother! I thought she was with us!

    She left the hospital with us! She walked in Dream with us! Is it ... possible she can arrive in a different destination!?

    I don't know, Mother. But apparently so.

    Do you think she did it on purpose?

    That's sure what it looks like to me.

    Why would she do that?

    I have no idea, Mother! All I know is, Jenny is now completely alone and by herself!

    That was not a part of the plan.

    It was not a part of OUR plan, Mother. But obviously, Jenny has had a plan of her own.

    This is not good, Alana.

    No, Mother; it really isn't.

    ~ Hawk ~

    Chapter 3


    London, England

    A thick midnight fog was rolling through the cobblestone streets lined with gaslights. On the outskirts of Londontown a woman had been walking alone along the moors not far from a local pub. The woman had been looking for 'customers'. But the customer she had found - had ended up being the costliest and deadliest mistake of her life.

    Her 'customer' was kneeling down in the dark beside her dead body with a long, curved sharp knife, slowly dissecting his latest murder victim in order to remove her heart.

    She was not his first murder victim - as all the newspapers could attest to; and the name Jack the Ripper was a name which struck fear into the hearts of every man, woman and child in Londontown.

    But something very unexpected happened next. For in the midst of the dark alleyway, another woman suddenly appeared out of thin air completely surrounded by a shimmering bright blue glow.

    The light emanating from the woman lit up the entire alleyway revealing the ghastly and gruesome doings of the macabre scene.

    The Ripper spun around in terror as his evil deeds were suddenly exposed to the light. But he was terrified even further to see that he had been discovered - not by a policeman or by Scotland Yard - but by an angel! With long waist-length jet-black hair; hair that was so black it almost seemed blue.

    But as fearful as Jack the Ripper was at being discovered by an 'heavenly angel', it was the angel herself who was horrified at the grisly scene which she had accidentally stumbled upon. Jenny's first instinct was to vomit as she gazed at the dead woman who was carved open only a few feet away. Then ... she looked down at the Ripper holding his bloody knife in hand.

    And in the next instant, Jenny was filled with rage. YOU!!! Jenny screamed in accusation.

    Dropping the knife, the Ripper began scrambling backwards, desperately trying to back away from the terrifying and 'holy' apparition.

    It was one thing to be accused by a London policeman. It was another thing altogether, to be accused by a heavenly being. And Jack the Ripper had turned white as a ghost.

    WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!!? screamed Jenny in fury.

    The Ripper held up his hands trying to ward her away, but was unable to speak.

    At that moment, Jenny suddenly realized who he was. YOU'RE JACK THE RIPPER!

    Please! the murderous man whined, fearfully. Have mercy upon me, spirit!


    But ... they deserved to die! the Ripper pleaded.

    It was the wrong thing for the killer to say. Jenny whipped out a Samurai sword from its sheath and held its gleaming point inches away from the murderer's face. YOU ARE AN EVIL, EVIL MAN!

    Yes! I am! I am evil! Have mercy upon me, spirit!

    Jenny sneered at him in contempt. Have MERCY!? On YOU!? For what you have done!? I DON'T THINK SO!!!

    Please, spirit...

    SHUT UP!!!

    The Ripper clapped his trembling hand over his mouth.

    I am not going to kill you. Jenny replied, coldly.

    The Ripper's eyes widened even further.

    I'm going to let you take care of that, yourself.


    I am taking you where you can never hurt anyone, again. And where you are going... Jenny then looked down at his knife. ...you better pick up that knife. Because where I am taking you, you're going to wish you had it.

    The Ripper looked down at the bloody knife on the ground, afraid to touch it.

    PICK IT UP! NOW!!!

    With a trembling hand, Jack the Ripper reached down and picked up the weapon with which he had killed countless women. Then ... Jenny reached down and grabbed his wrist holding the knife. And the Ripper looked up at her angry face in stark terror.

    You and I are going for a little trip. Jenny said, as they both began to dissolve into mist.

    The Ripper found himself in the endless void of Dream. Floating in nothingness, he couldn't see anything. There was neither light nor darkness. It was impossible to speak or communicate. He tried to scream but there was no sound.

    He couldn't feel or touch anything, for there was nothing around him to feel or touch - not even the ground. Although he couldn't feel it, he could, however, sense an invisible hand holding firmly onto his wrist.

    Then ... the hand let go.


    Moments later ... in the midst of the dark alleyway back in the Londontown moors, the angel of reckoning once more appeared out of thin air completely surrounded by a shimmering bright blue glow.

    And she was alone.

    Chapter 4


    Frances opened her eyes and looked over at Running Star who was sitting up in bed still reading.

    Did you just hear a knocking at the front door? she asked.


    What in the Sam Hill ... it's after midnight!


    Is that all you can say? 'Yes'?

    Running Star looked at her with a smile. You do not allow me to answer the door. What would you have me say or do?

    I don't know. Act surprised or something!

    Would it bring you peace if I were to act surprised?


    Then what purpose would it serve ... to 'act' surprised?

    Oh, never mind. Has anyone ever told you that you're too golldarn mellow for a 'redskin'?

    Other than you? he grinned. Besides, Ahote, it is good for you, to have me be this way. It helps you to relax.


    Frances sighed. I guess they're not going away.

    May I answer the door?

    NO! Frances replied, as she rose up out of bed and put on a robe. I've told you before, until the people here in 'mansion-ville' get used having an Indian for a neighbor, I am the one who answers the door.

    I know, Ahote. You are Headman.

    Frances laughed as she pulled on a robe. When it comes to things like answering the door, yes Running Star, I am Headman.

    Running Star closed his book and climbed out of bed. But I will be close by to keep watch. You said it is not common for visitors to come this late.

    No, it's not. Frances said. People around here keep regular hours. It's not like it was back in the tribe.

    Nothing here is as it was in the tribe. I still cannot get used to ... beds.

    Frances grinned as she grabbed his hand to follow after her. We've only been here a couple months. Are you homesick already?

    I am with you, Ahote. How can I be sick for home?

    Good answer, lover. Frances smiled as she gave him a kiss. Now let's go see who is knocking on our door at this ungodly hour.

    Running Star raised his eyebrow. Does ... God keep regular hours such as the white man? I do not recall reading of this in my Bible.

    No, don't be silly. Frances laughed. Wait ... were you just making a joke?

    I thought it was funny.

    Yes, well ... perhaps you have spent too much time with Kemuel.

    He is the funny one, is he not?

    Please don't tell me you're going to start taking after him. I think one funny man is about all I can handle in life.

    I think I will turn out as I am.

    Frances chuckled. Good. Because I love you, just as you are.

    That makes two of us.

    Uh ... you know what, Running Star? I think ... I need to think about that one for a minute.

    Running Star chuckled.


    Frances groaned as they began descending the long staircase of the mansion. I hope this isn't some London Bobby popping over to ask me to join them on some case.

    I thought you wanted to work with them?

    Yeah, you know me. she grinned. Once a lawman, always a lawman. Just ... not in the middle of the night!

    Did you not first send an inquiry to Scotland Yard? Was it not your idea in the first place?

    Hey, I figured it wouldn't hurt to let them know a U.S. Marshal was in town. Just in case ... you know ... if they needed me for something.

    As long as it is during 'regular white man's hours'?

    Alright, alright; you've made your point. I shouldn't complain if they need my help during odd hours. I guess it goes with the job.

    You do not have a job with them.

    Not yet. But they seemed to be willing to at least talk to me about the possibilities. Even though...

    Even though you are American?

    Actually ... they called me a 'cowboy'. I am NOT a cowboy! I just think they were concerned I might be a little too ... uh...


    Frances laughed. Yeah, that works. As in 'wild west' wild. But at least they were still willing to discuss the possibilities.

    After you demonstrated your shooting skills.

    Yeah, that helped. she chuckled.

    But you still believe they were...

    Prejudiced? I am afraid so, Running Star. I don't think we'll be able to escape from prejudice, no matter where we go.

    The people in Japan did not seem prejudiced. I thought they were welcoming.

    Actually ... they really were, weren't they? Of course, being Dyani's wedding and us being her parents and all...

    Hiro seemed genuinely gracious; as did his family.

    Frances smiled. Yes. They did. I like Hiro. I have a good feeling about him.

    He has a good heart. He will be good to Dyani.

    Nori, now. We need to start getting used to calling her 'Nori'.

    She will always be Dyani to you. Running Star smiled.

    Oh? You think you know me that well, do you?

    I know you miss her greatly. Even though it has only been four mooncycles since the wedding.

    Frances sighed. Fine. You're right. I miss her a lot. How could I NOT miss her!? She's a big part of me!

    You wish to return to Japan, already?

    No! I mean ... I do, but ... we need to give her room to ... you know ... grow into her own. Become her own woman. With her own man.

    Is this where you start crying, again?


    Ouch! Ahote! What did you do that for!?

    When it comes to missing Dyani, I'm allowed to cry all I want, mister. And don't you forget it.

    Ahote, you should not be getting yourself worked up. Remember what the doctor said.

    Eh, what do doctors know? Besides, I think I've seen a tear of your own a time or two since we left.

    Of course. I love her as my only daughter. I always will. We hold our children above all things. It is not easy for me to see her live in a different tribe.

    Frances smiled. You're just a mellow old softy, you know that?

    I am not old. I can still run faster than you.

    Yes, and the way you and Hawk slid down that banister last week!? Don't you boys EVER grow up!?

    The white man obviously designed the banister to be ... slidden upon. It beckoned to us. How could we refuse its call?

    Frances rolled her eyes. Men. Idiots, every one.

    At least you are finally calling him 'Hawk' now, instead of 'little George'.

    Frances smiled. Okay, so maybe one of you is growing up. He's twelve years old; I guess it's about time I stop calling him 'little George'.

    Running Star grinned. I know you want to try it.


    You wish to try it sometime when we are not around.

    I DO NOT!

    I have the gift of reading hearts, Ahote. You do not speak the truth.

    Have I ever told you how annoying that gift is?

    As they reached the bottom of the staircase, Frances signaled Running Star to stay around the corner behind a wall. And don't come out unless I give the say so.

    Or if you are in danger, Ahote.

    I can handle myself, Running Star. You know that.

    I am your husband.

    Frances smiled at him. Okay, Running Star. If you think I need a big strong man to come to my rescue, then I can't think of a bigger or stronger man than you.

    Running Star grinned broadly and stepped behind a wall.

    Oh, but before you come out and rescue me? Could you at least put some pants on, first?

    Running Star chuckled as Frances reached over to open the door.

    When the door opened, Frances gasped. And Running Star poked his head around the corner.

    DYANI!!? Frances exclaimed with her hand over her mouth. Wait ... you're not Dyani!

    Jenny looked at Frances with tears in her eyes. I'm so sorry to bother you, but something terrible has just happened!


    I am Jenny; Alana's daughter.


    Then Jenny burst into tears.

    Instantly, Frances leaped to Jenny's side on the porch and put her arm around her. Is anyone else with you!?

    Jenny shook her head.

    Come inside, dear.

    Jenny nodded and allowed Frances to walk her into Croft Manor. Running Star's eyes widened when he saw Jenny, for she did indeed look very much like Dyani.

    But when he stepped out from concealment, it was Jenny's turn to gasp. Oh my gosh! she exclaimed as she quickly covered her eyes.

    Frances shook her head at Running Star. What part of 'put some pants on' did you not understand?


    Running Star! Pants! Now!

    Running Star grumbled as he walked back to the staircase to head upstairs. And he grumbled all the way up to their bedroom.

    Frances smiled at Jenny. Sorry, he's still trying to get used to the white man's world.

    Is he gone?

    Yes, Jenny; you can open your eyes, now.

    Jenny peeked between her fingers and saw that it was safe.

    Now, sweetie ... would you mind telling me ... WHAT IN THE SAM HILL ARE YOU DOING HERE!?

    Chapter 5

    While Running Star was pouring tea, Frances was sitting beside Jenny with her arm around her shoulder.

    So let me get this straight, sweetie. You just met ... Jack the Ripper?

    Jenny nodded, as she took another tissue and wiped her eyes. It was so awful! What he did to that poor girl!

    "And you ... yourself ... ahem ... took out ... Jack the Ripper? By yourself?"

    Uh huh. Jenny sniffled.

    You ... 'interned' him ... in Dream?

    Uh huh. Trust me, he'll never be able to hurt anyone, again.

    Let's go over that, again. You ... 'interned' him?

    Uh huh. That's what we call it.

    And neither you ... nor anyone else ... will ever be able to find him, again?


    And he can't escape?


    Will he ... uh ... survive?


    So he will die there!?

    Uh huh.

    How long will he last?

    A week, at most.


    There's no food or water. There's no ... anything. No ground ... no sky ... no light or sound ... nothing at all. My Grandfather once told me that someone would probably go insane from being there, long before they died of thirst or hunger. I ... I made sure he took his knife with him.

    Frances looked at Running Star, who was now sitting down at he table with them. This is ... new.

    Running Star shook his head. I cannot imagine Dyani doing something like this.

    She can't. said Jenny. Only my mom and I can walk in Dream.

    That's not what we meant, sweetie. Pardon me for saying so, Jenny, but ... isn't that a little ... uh ... ruthless? For you, I mean? After all, you're one of Shira's daughters and...

    I HAD to do it! If you saw what he was doing to that girl ... I'm going to have so many nightmares. It was horrid.

    Sweetie, I don't fault you for doing it. Me? I would've done a whole lot worse to that monster.

    I would have scalped him. said Running Star, matter-of-factly.

    Jenny looked at him in horror.

    But only after I first removed his skin.


    He was a very evil man, Jenny. said Frances. Many innocent women have died horrifically at that monster's hands. Scotland Yard has been trying to catch him for years. Frankly, I was kind of hoping they might put me on the case. I'm pretty good at tracking criminals and I've never particularly cared for what I've been reading about 'The Ripper'. Someone needed to stop him. I guess ... that someone was you.

    I just ... I just feel so terrible, though. I've never ... done anything like that, before.

    A lot of young girls will end up owing you their lives, Jenny. I just didn't think ... I never imagined ... I never dreamed ... that the person who would finally catch him and ... take him out ... would be a daughter of Shira. THAT ... is what is so surprising to me.


    You're not exactly ... typical ... of Shira's daughters, are you?

    Jenny sighed. I've been training as a warrior for many years.

    So I gathered from your story. Not to mention that sword that you're carrying on your back. We just came from Japan. I recognize that as a Samurai sword. Dyani ... I mean Nori ... was given one as a wedding present. Apparently, it's common for the girls over there to learn the way of the sword, just as the men. Nori had already started her training a month after the wedding, right before we left.

    I know. Jenny smiled. I once spent six months with Nori and Hiro. But she was much older, of course. They were really nice to us.

    Yes, I've heard about that. Frances smiled. Your parents told us all about it when they visited us in the tribe.

    Jenny wiped her eye one more time and then looked at Running Star, who was calmly drinking a cup of Earl Grey tea.

    Frances chuckled. He's trying to be 'mellow' for me; he thinks it helps to keep me calm. I guess it works. Then ever since we got here, he's been trying really hard to learn British customs. I think Earl Grey tea is one of his more favorite customs.

    Running Star smiled as he set his cup down. This is a good thing. You should try it.

    I ... prefer herbal tea. Caffeine makes me nervous.

    Ah. We understand. Running Star nodded, looking at Frances. I am the only one. It is best for Ahote to also stay away from caffeine. Nor will we permit Hawk to drink tea until he is older.


    That's our nickname for little George. Frances smiled. Running Star first started calling him that years ago. He has really good eyesight; better than either of us. And ... he's really ... fast.


    He can now run faster than me. Running Star grinned, proudly.

    Frances laughed. And that's saying something. He's definitely a fast runner. But he's fast at a lot of other things, too. In fact, just about everything he does is fast.


    "Extremely fast. Sometimes he's so quick you think your eyes are playing tricks on you. He's also ... ahem ... very strong."

    Is he ... uh ... you know...

    You want to know if he is a Protector.

    Uh huh.

    Lemme guess. That's why you're here.

    How did you know!?

    Please. I didn't get to where I am by being stupid.

    Jenny smiled. You sound a lot like George.

    Running Star and Frances both laughed. Oh, yes. Frances replied. We learned that very quick. Our granddaughter George ... or Georgina as we call her ... once spent a week with us, you know.

    I know. And little George ... is her father.

    Yes, Jenny. Frances said, knowingly. I am a Protector. My granddaughter Georgina is a Protector. And just like us, so also is Hawk. This is why his abilities are so ... unusual.

    May I ask how old he is?

    Frances arched an eyebrow. May I ask why you want to know?

    I think ... I probably came a little early. I know he's still probably too young. But I wanted to come early, just in case. There is something important I need to tell you.

    And you're going to tell us this information because ... you want his help for something.

    You're really good at figuring things out, aren't you?

    Frances winked. I'm a U.S. Marshal, honey. I better be good at figuring things out.

    Is little George...

    Hawk. corrected Running Star with a smile.

    Sorry. I mean, Hawk ... is he ... smart, too? Like you?

    Frances smiled and looked at Running Star. Oh, I think he takes after both of us in that department. Hawk is quick ... not just in body, but also in mind.

    Good. Jenny replied. That's what I need.

    Do you mind telling me ... what you need him for?

    I'm still not sure if I should tell you.

    Sweetie, if you think I am going to let you take my twelve year old son...

    No! I don't mean now! I mean ... I'll come back. When Hawk is older.

    Frances raised an eyebrow. Really?

    Uh huh. Maybe in about ten years or so.

    Because ... you need Hawk when he's at his full capacity and strength.

    Uh huh.

    I see. Are you going to tell me everything, first?

    I will tell you some of it ... if you promise not to tell Grandfather.

    Once again Frances raised an eyebrow. Oh?

    But I can't tell you all of it. Grandfather can't know! Or Kemuel! Neither of them can know! And if I don't tell you...

    Oh, I understand your point. What you don't tell us, we can't tell them. You're up to something that Elias and Kemuel wouldn't approve of, I take it?

    Uh huh.

    And you expect us to go along with this?

    I'm trying to save their lives!


    That's what I'm doing. That's why I'm here. That's why I need Hawk. I think ... with his help ... I can do ... what I need to do.

    Why Hawk?

    Grandfather has told me a little about him, and what he can do. I think ... he's the one I need.

    Why not me?

    I need a Protector; but I need someone with Hawk's special abilities. Besides, I'm not sure if you, yourself, would ever agree to this; you're way too close to us.


    But it's for the best! I think ... with Hawk's help ... we can save the world. And ... I think ... I can even save Hawk.


    I'm not supposed to be telling you this; it's kinda against the rules. But I'm going to tell you, anyway. Something ... bad is going to happen to your son, little George.

    I KNEW IT! Frances exclaimed. The way everyone was always so hush-hush every time the subject of little George came up ... I knew something bad happened!

    He met this girl from Spain.

    Spain!? Frances said, looking at Running Star. That ... was one of the countries we were planning on visiting! In about five years! Running Star has it all mapped out...

    DON'T! Jenny objected. Whatever you do, don't go to Spain! Her name was Selena! Whatever you do, don't ever allow little George to be around a girl named Selena!


    I'm telling you the truth, Frances! Ask Running Star, if you don't believe me.

    Running Star nodded. She speaks the truth.

    Oh, I believe you, sweetie. said Frances. I just ... I never imagined ... why wouldn't Elias or Kemuel warn me about this!?

    Because, Frances! You already know they aren't allowed to intervene!

    And you are?

    Uh ... not really, no.

    So ... you're definitely breaking the rules, then.

    Yes, I am. Things change. Times change. Rules change.

    You're saying that our son George died ... as a result of meeting some girl named Selena?

    Selena ... was his wife. All I know about her is that she was from Spain and had brown hair. And ... well ... she murdered your son.


    It was really, really bad. She was corrupted by a demon named Fallow. Before that, I guess she was a nice girl. She ... she was Georgina's mother. And ... Jakes' mother.

    Jake!? Who is Jake!?

    Your son Hawk, had two children, not just one. Jake ... was Georgina's brother.

    Georgina never mentioned anything about a brother!

    That's because she never knew about Jake. He was a surprise to all of us. We just found out about him, ourselves.

    Frances' eyes began to tear up. So ... I also have a grandson as well as a granddaughter? And his name is Jake?

    Uh huh.

    Frances looked at Running Star, sadly. Hawk must have named him after Jacob.

    Running Star nodded, solemnly.

    Jacob Samuel Croft, right? Jenny asked.

    Yes, sweetie. Jacob Croft was the sea captain who gave his life for both Running Star and I. It's because of Jacob that we have this beautiful mansion to live in.

    And that's why you named little George ... George Croft. After Jacob Croft.

    Yes, Jenny. My own father's name was George Miller. And when I married Running Star, in honor of Jacob Croft, our family now carries the Croft surname.

    I sort of thought that that's where Jake got his name. Although ... I'm not sure if little George ... I mean Hawk ... was the one who actually named him. I think Selena killed your son before Jake was born. My best friend Sara thinks that Selena knew what your son wanted to name him, and that somehow ... deep inside ... she still loved Hawk ... even though she was corrupted by Fallow. That's why she let Jake live. And that's why ... somehow ... she saw to it that Jake ... was named Jake.

    Frances closed her eyes struggling against tears. I can't believe this. My little boy...

    Like I said, Frances... continued Jenny, ...I think Hawk's special abilities can help me with what I need to do. And ... I think I can end up saving Hawk, as well. Georgina's father ... doesn't have to die. Not if I can convince him to come with me. I need you ... both of you ... to convince Hawk to go with me, when I return in about ten years.

    Before he meets this ... Selena.

    Yes. He didn't end up marrying Selena until he was in his thirties. I think.

    Frances looked at Running Star. We are NOT ... going to Spain.

    No. he replied. We are not. And do not fear, Jenny, daughter of Alana. We will make certain Hawk is prepared to go with you, upon your return.

    Good. Jenny replied. Thank you. Then she began looking closer at Running Star. You know ... Jake is a pretty big guy. Now I can see where he gets it from; because you're really big, too. I hope Hawk...

    Frances smiled. Hawk already is larger than most other twelve year old boys. And I don't just mean in height. And as I mentioned earlier, he is also... Frances paused and winked at Running Star. ...strong. We'll just leave it at that, for now. I am sure he will be the warrior protector you are looking for.

    Yes. I will.

    The voice came from the doorway. He was wearing pajama bottoms and no shirt.

    HAWK! exclaimed Frances. You're supposed to be asleep!

    After all the loud talking you have all been making? I could hear you from my room all the ways on the second floor!

    How long have you been standing there!?

    Long enough. Hawk answered.

    Jenny marveled that even though he was only twelve years old, he was already beginning to take after his father, Running Star. He was unusually tall for his age, had long brown hair tied back in a pony tail, and already had broad shoulders with a surprisingly muscular physique, for a twelve year old. Jenny then turned and smiled at Running Star. Yup. He definitely takes after his father.

    Running Star grinned, proudly.

    It is amazing. Hawk smiled. You look just like my sister, Dyani.

    Then Jenny looked back at Hawk. You will help me?

    Hawk grinned. You are asking if I will help you save the world. You are kidding, right?

    Thank you, Hawk. By the way, my name is...

    Jenny. Yes, I heard. And I will be ready to go with you in ten years.

    Thank you again, Hawk. I knew I could count on you.

    I am a Protector. It is what I was born to do.

    You heard that, did you? Frances smiled.

    Mother, you have all but implied it over the years. Now I finally know my purpose.

    What else did you hear, son? Running Star asked.

    If I ever meet a girl named Selena, I should run.

    Running Star chuckled. And run fast.

    Husband? Frances said, You and I need to work on getting him ready. Georgina once told us that our son would save the world. I guess ... now we finally know how.

    I understand, Ahote. You and I, both, will need to be training him. He will need your skills as much as mine.

    Hey, I'm ready, now! Hawk grinned.

    Frances gave him the look. No, you are not. It's 3:00 in the morning and you, young man, need to get back to bed.

    WHAT!? MOM!

    Don't start arguing with me, George.

    I'M HAWK!

    Running Star held up a hand to intervene. Ahote, you cannot expect him to sleep after learning all of this.

    Frances sighed. I suppose you're right. Alright, you can stay up and join us. I guess we'll be having breakfast early, today.

    Hawk quickly ran to the table and sat down beside his father with a grin. Can I have Earl Grey tea, too!?

    Frances snorted. "I don't think so!

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