Kian, relieved to have an excuse to get away from the dead body, headed upstairs and found Lucky napping on her bed. “Sorry, buddy, but we are going to have to leave soon.” She tossed her backpack next to him. After emptying it, she held it against Lucky. He would fit inside.
She rummaged through her drawers and found some drab khakis and an olive tee shirt. She pulled these on and kissed Lucky on the head. The pack slung over her shoulder, she left to find her favorite hiking boots. They were in the attic. She brought them down to the living room sofa and pushed her feet into them while Owen paced at the front window.
“Will you sit down? You are making me nervous. How’s your head, anyway?”
“I have a headache if that’s what you are asking.”
“Is that Kian the nurse asking, or Kian my friend?” Owen scowled at the sun’s glare off Jimbo’s monster truck.
“What’s eating you?”
“Those two guys. I don’t like them, and I don’t trust them. We know nothing about them.”
“Aidan saved my life, not once but a few times.”
“Well, I say it’s a ploy. He and that buddy of his are up to no good.”
“Who? Jimbo? He’s a Cameron and you said the Camerons were Guardians.”
“Were, Kian. Were! Not are. The Camerons were driven out. They joined the wrong side. They tried to steal the Ark. That was why your great-great grandmother had to leave here. The Camerons betrayed her. You want to know who led that little coup? A guy by the name of Power. Power, Kian, Power. Like Aidan’s boss–that dead guy over there. Why can’t you get that? They are both on Power’s side.” Owen turned to stare out the window again.
Kian walked over and put her hand on his shoulder. “No, Owen. You are wrong. Both Aidan and Jimbo are okay. I know they are. Owen, I’d feel it if they weren’t. Listen, we have to work together.”
“Okay, I have to accept that. It is part of the code.” He turned away again. “But I don’t have to trust them.”
Owen scowled at the body on the floor. Damn that Aidan. He’s made this mess; he should be the one to clean it up. He looked out the front window. Exposed, that’s what they were. Exposed. He should have removed Kian days ago, taken her to his place. Damn the FBI and their falsified reports. He should have known better. If his father was still alive…. But his father wasn’t, and now he alone shouldered the burden.
“I don’t like standing here,” he told her as he led the way through the pantry to the basement steps, the only place they could not be seen from a window. There he motioned for her to sit, but remained standing with his arms folded and his back rigid against the old doorframe.
The cool air drifting up from the cellar tasted of damp dirt, but it felt good.
Kian broke the icy silence. “I want to know more about our family history. Could our ancestors really have settled here ten thousand years ago?”
Owen remained rigid, staring ahead toward the living room. He had a duty to call in the murder of Power, he knew that. But he also had a duty to Kian, to keep her safe. She’d be questioned, and how in the world would she ever explain an FBI Director tied and shot in the head without being implicated?
“Owen, I need you to tell me what you know.”
“We came here during the last great earth upheaval. That was twelve thousand years ago. Not ten.” Owen was silent again. Damn FBI anyway.
“Last? How many were there?”
Instead of answering, Owen studied his fingernails–worn and dirty.
“Owen, don’t be like this. I need to know, now tell me, please.” She looked up. He found her startlingly green eyes both sad and imploring. Since they had been young children, Owen had not been able resist her. I wonder if she knows that?
After a long moment, he sat down beside her. “Well, there have been many catastrophic events on this planet. One wiped out the dinosaurs like everyone says, but there were others, too.” Kian laid her head on his shoulder. He wanted to put his arm around her, but was afraid she’d move away.
“I read this guy Creighton. He says cosmic waves from exploding stars cause them. I’m not sure about that, but I do know there were three major upheavals in the last 100,000 years.”
“Yes. The first was about 70,000 years ago, a second maybe 30 or 40,000 years ago, and then a third 12,000 years ago. Kian, our families always knew when ‘The Times of Tribulations’ were coming. That’s what we call them when the earth goes into upheaval. During the first Tribulation, 70,000 years ago, people dug tunnels and sheltered in caves. When they emerged, they had to rebuild and start again, but the knowledge was kept. I don’t just mean how to plant and harvest, I also mean the spiritual knowledge, the real spiritual knowledge. So when it happened again, the second time 40,000 years ago, people were prepared, and they moved back into the tunnels and caves. When this had subsided, they came out again and rebuilt making it even better. This would be the time of Atlantis, Shambala, and the Golden Age.
“When the third Tribulation came, we knew we had to leave our cities again. But first we buried our Temples so the earth changes would not destroy them. Gobekli Tepe, Nabta Playa, that’s when those sites were buried. And other cities, too, ones nobody has discovered yet.”
“Dad used to talk about them.”
Owen could feel her warmth, and he again wondered if he should put his arm around her, like he did when they were kids. But he let the moment pass. “It’s all recorded in the Book of Knowings,” he finally said.
“So, tell me how Uncle Jacob got the wings. I know there was a storm and the wings got lost, but how did Uncle Jacob find them?”
“Jacob’s family had them all along. One of his ancestors found them on the beach after the storm and kept them. That’s how Jacob inherited them. Then he found us. Or actually he met your father and, well, I think you know the rest.”
Lucky jumped into Kian’s lap. He cuddled in as, absent minded, she scratched his ears eliciting a loud purr. “So who do you think killed Power?”
There was a loud thump at the door. Owen jumped up, grabbed his weapon, and pointed it toward the noise.
The door burst open. “Kian, we are out of here now,” Aidan shouted. “Let’s go!”
Owen watched Kian grab Lucky and shove him into her backpack. She tied it securely, then mounted the pack on her shoulders and took Aidan’s arm. “Okay, let’s go. I have had about enough of this place anyway.” Turning, she motioned to Owen. “Come on.”
“No,” he replied. “I got to call this in.” He was still wearing his orange tee shirt.
The “earth changes,” the catastrophes, as Owen relates them are accurate. His accounting of human history during those changes is theoretical. However, there is mounting evidence to support the contention that humans have been on the planet a lot longer than previously suspected and that more advanced civilizations have thrived and then been wiped out by natural disasters.
By Ben Crowder (Flickr: Comet Crash) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons