Strange Days Indeed!
(A Land of the Lost round robin fan fiction story by members of The
Lost e-mail forum)
Strange Days Indeed!
1. Robert Porter <sleestak2 - at - juno-com>
2. Matthew Brenner <mbrenner - at - hotmail-com>
3. John Speelman <jspeel - at - pangea-com>
4. Clayton Barr <enik1138 - at - linline-com>
Strange Days Indeed! Part I
By Robert Porter
Rick Marshall lifted the plastic
water jugs and notated their near empty state. It was time for another trip to
the fresh water spring. He silently
presented them to his daughter, Holly, as she sat near her sleeping area sewing
on her latest garment creation.
Noticing her father, Holly looked
at the jugs and rolled her eyes.
"Oh, no," she cried.
"I'm afraid so," Rick
Suddenly Holly's expression changed from
irritation to excitement.
"Oh, okay! I don't mind."
She threw down her sewing, grabbed at the jugs and headed for the opening of
Holly's brother, Will, looked up from his
whittling. "Wait a second! A second ago you were upset about going for
water. Now you're all excited. What gives?"
Stopping at the cave mouth, Holly turned
and smiled. "I'm gonna look for Dopey."
"Dopey? Well, you'd better watch
out. First he ate all our strawberries, now he's gonna drink all of our
"Oh, you just don't like him. You
say something mean about him every chance you get."
"Well, Dopey's so dopey."
Interceding with the warring siblings,
Rick said, "Holly, if you're going to be going down by the swamp, I want
you to be careful."
Holly smiled brightly at her father.
"I will, Daddy"
"And Will, I want you to go with
Will looked horrified. "Aw,
"No, I mean that Will. See if you
can bring back some turnips and other vegetables for dinner tonight. And keep
an eye on your sister."
"I can take care of
myself!" Holly cried. Rick gave her a silent, withering stare and she
backed down from her defiance. "Oh, all right."
"C'mon," Will commanded
as he picked up a small bag to carry the vegatables and headed toward his
sister at the cave opening. "Let's get this over with."
"You two be careful and watch
out for Grumpy!" Rick called after them. Already halfway down the cliff
face, Holly shouted back at him, "We will, Daddy!"
Down on the jungle floor, Will and
Holly moved through the underbrush. Suddenly, Holly bolted off in a different
direction. "Where are you going?" Will called to her and pointed in
front of himself. "The fresh water spring is this way."
She stopped and turned to him.
"I want to see Dopey. Remember?"
Without further explanation, she turned and ran off.
Sighing, Will moved to follow.
"Wait up!" he shouted. I don't want to lose sight of you!"
He was startled by a heavy hand on
his shoulder, stopping him from following his sister. He turned and saw...
Strange Days Indeed! Part II
...his father standing in front of
him. "Where's Holly? I thought I told you to--"
"But Dad, Holly ran off,"
Will protested. "Dad? What are you doing
"I came to give you this"
his father said, extending his hand with the mirror in it. "If you would
keep it around your neck, I wouldn't have to
remind you so often. C'mon, let's go after Holly. She couldnt have gotten very
far. Which way did she go--Wait, let me guess. The swamp. Dopey." They
both nodded. And headed off in the direction of the swamp together.
As they left, the bushes stirred
and revealed the eyes of a little Pakuni who was hiding there. Chaka! He had
been listening to the conversation the whole time, though admittedly he
couldn't understand much of what was being said. Holly...Something to do with
Holly. Was Holly in trouble? His curiosity peaked, Chaka scampered after them.
The mid-morning sun was already
warm as the remnants of the third moon settled onto the horizon. It was going
to be a hot one! Unfortunately, the local fauna knew it to, and were making
provision by drinking extra water at the swamp. Spike was there, and on another
bank Alice the Allosaurus lapped up the water and stood to burp. Why can't they
be soft and cute and cuddly, like dopey, thought Holly. Okay, so Dopey wasn't
soft, and he wasn't very cuddly either. One out of three aint' bad.
"Hi Dopey. Hi Dopey."
Holly stood waving ten feet away from the baby Bront, hoping he would remember
her clothes, or at least her scent.
Familiarity registered on Dopey's
face. "Bwaaa--Bwaaaa" he bellowed. "How are you today?"
Holly asked. "Bwaaaaaa." Dopey put his head down and shoved some dirt
towards Holly. She thought this was extremely funny.
"What are doing?" she
chuckled. "Want to play? You know you're my best friend in the Land of the
Lost, don't you? And one day, when you're big and strong, we're gonna ride
together outta this place. I'm taking you back to earth! And don't worry, I
won't let them put you in a zoo, or do experiments on you. You'll be mine. And
I'll get a house with a huge swamp in the back, and all the kids in the
neighborhood will want to come over. And I'll let them."
By now Dopey had turned away to
munch on some young leaves by the water's edge. Holly kept on talking, mostly
to herself. "I'll have so many friends. All the kids on the block will
come over. And we won't have to go
to school either, because we'll study dinosaurs. We'll all be dinosaur-ollo-ologists."
She stumbled on this last word, and it made her laugh. Despite feeling her
loneliness keenly, Holly had ways of making herself feel cheerful.
By now she wanted to sit down after
the long walk, but she knew Will would be along soon. And those water bottles
had to be filled.
The day was clear and warm, getting
warmer. Nothing could go wrong on a day like this, Holly thought. Not a cloud
in the sky, purple or any other color. It almost looked...normal. Maybe this
would be the day they got to go home. Home. The word had an almost mystical
quality to it by now, and it launched Holly on another day dream. This time she
thought of her mother. Her thoughts were interrupted however, when the high
reeds started to part, and standing there with his hair slightly matted and
dirt on his face, was Chaka. "Chaka! Where have you been? We haven't seen
you in," she thought for a moment, "days." Chaka smiled,
exposing teeth that were badly in need of dentist.
Will and his father looked across
the clearing at the mouth of the swamp. Sure enough, there they were, all three
of them: Dopey, Chaka, and Holly. Unfortunately, Alice was there too. She had
been moving closer toward them in the course of her morning drink. Will and
Rick's shouts were drowned out by the sound of her roar...
Strange Days Indeed! Part III
Holly might have laughed at the
comical expression of surprise on Chaka's face if her heart weren't stuck in
her throat. An instant later she cleared her throat with a piercing scream that
sounded above Alice's bellow. She
turned and ran full speed along the water's edge, looking for an entrance to
the thick trees that she could elude Alice into. Chaka disappeared in another
Dopey followed millions of years'
worth of instinct: he turned and headed for deeper water, where his four feet
would give him an advantage over Alice's two. His course angled from the shore,
and Alice, bellowing in rage, pounded along the shoreline beside him. Directly
in the same path Holly was running. Alice was more focused on Dopey - her small
remembering that tiny prey moves very fast and is hard to catch, but baby bronto's
were just the right size for a decent meal, or two, or three. She pounded into
the shallows now to intercept Dopey.
Holly suddenly found her path
blocked by a thick tangle of undergrowth too dense to get through. Not daring
to stand still, she dove into the water and struck out for deeper water.
Rick and Will, racing around the
shoreline, were horrified to see that all of sudden the originally diverging
courses of Holly and Dopey were now converging- with Alice hot on their heels.
Her hugely muscled legs carried her ever closer to Dopey, but the water was
starting to slow her down. Alice
shrieked in triumph, anticipating a juicy kill. Her cry was cut short by a
large pasty fruit that flew from the trees and plastered her eye, covering it
in pulp and juice. Eye stinging, she whipped her head to
the side to find her attacker at the same time as her foot hit a depression in
the soft lake bottom. She lurched to the side, trying to swing her tail for
balance, but the water's drag slowed it just enough. Alice started to fall.
Rick and Will were about to leap
into the water when they saw Alice start to fall. They froze in shock and
horror. From their view, Alice's head would fall right on top of Holly,
swimming for all her might!
Alice's head and upper torso struck
the water with a huge splash. The wave
it created swept Holly away, and under the water. The allosaur's thrashing
churned the water to a boiling froth. Holly was now disoriented, panicking. She
flailed around, and her arm hit a moving body...
Chaka's triumph at his fruit bomb
was short-lived as Holy disappeared from view. He jumped down to join Rick and
Will, and the three of them called out frantically to where Holly had vanished
in the water.
"Where is she?" Will said
aloud. "Why doesn't she come up?"
Rick had no answer. He stared hard
at the water boiling around Alice, dreading
the thought of maybe seeing it start to turn red...
Days Indeed! Part IV
Holly writhed about madly, losing
her remaining oxygen in a burst of bubbles from her drowned scream, as
something gripped her powerfully around the torso. Perhaps it was a morbid sense of curiosity about her own death
that caused her to crane her head around to get a look at her attacker,
expecting to see Alice's huge, yellow eye glaring in triumph. Instead she saw the red-multi-faceted eyes
of the Altrusian called Enik. His was
the moving body she'd hit while trying to swim frantically away from the
Just before she passed out, Holly felt
Enik kicking powerfully, skillfully through the water, away from the dinosaur.
But the voracious carnosaur was
unperturbed by her embarrassing spill, seeing now not one, but two tasty
tidbits to be had. She stretched her
prone body to its limit, mouth open wide and enveloped the fleeing quarry
between her jaws. Enik, acutely aware
of his danger, put on a burst of speed with a mighty kick of his legs and shot
from Alice's grim, toothy jaws.
As Alice at last righted herself and
stood tall in the steaming swamp, Rick, Will and Cha-ka saw Enik dangling from
the carnivore's mouth, clutching Holly to his chest. One of the Altrusian's humongous
feet had been caught between the blades of two of Alice's teeth. Enik twisted about in a struggle to free
himself...to no avail. Alice chomped
down, severing Enik's foot from his leg and sending him and Holly plummeting
back into the water. Swallowing the
small bite, Alice snapped at the water where the two had fallen, but Enik
allowed himself to sink into the cool depths, hitting the squishy bottom with
his remaining foot and with one hand grabbed ahold of the stalk of a water weed
to keep from floating back up, still clutching Holly with the other. But he knew that if she didn't get air immediately,
she could die or suffer irreparable brain damage.
On the surface, the two humans and Paku
watched in horror. Feeling guilty over
his fouled up rescue, Cha-ka suddenly dashed forward, yelling and waving his
arms at the towering allosaur. Attracting
her attention, he ran towards a copse of trees as Alice gave chase.
Concern for his daughter overriding all
else, Rick Marshall dashed ahead and dove into the swamp. Will, remembering the signal mirror his
father had just given him, used it to flash sunlight into Alice's eye as she
lunged after the Paku. The distraction
afforded Cha-ka the opportunity to take refuge among some boulders. Irritated about the continually eluding
dinner, Alice stomped off into the jungle, to return to the Lost City.
Will and Cha-ka ran back to the water's
edge just in time to find Rick carrying a coughing, sputtering Holly to
shore. Enik dragged himself through the
sticky mud, his left leg trailing a darkish blood. Will helped him up and they stumbled to a reasonably secure patch
of ground near the trees.
"Holly, are you all right?"
her father asked, concern crawling across his features.
"I think so," she said between
Rick turned to see that his son had
helped Enik to sit up against a boulder and was cleaning sand from the
Altrusian's wound with water from his canteen.
Rick knelt down and examined the wound while he spoke. "Enik, my daughter owes her life to
you. Thank you..."
Enik said nothing, but nodded once.
"If there's anything I can ever do
to repay you..."
"You could apply a dressing to my
wound to stop the bleeding. That will be sufficient for now."
Rick pulled out a handkerchief and began
to wrap the wound. "Will, give me
yours, too." While he worked, he
looked the Altrusian in the eye.
"You lost a foot saving Holly.
Nothing I do can ever repay you for that. I can't imagine the Sleestak being very caring of a disabled
"I will be all right. It will grow back."
Will looked up, shocked. "What?!"
"Actually, it makes a sort of
sense," Rick said with relief.
"Many reptiles on Earth are capable of regenerating lost
limbs. Since the Sleestak or, in this
case, an Altrusian, are, apparently, reptilian, it stands to reason that they
have the ability as well."
"Thank you for saving my life,"
Holly said, her gaze fixed on the bloodied bandage of Enik's stump. "Does it hurt?"
"Well, of course it hurts,
Holly!" Will responded for Enik in exasperation.
"With meditation, I will be able to
bring the pain to a tolerable level. There is one more thing you can do for
"What's that?" Rick asked.
"Help me back to the Lost
City. There I will be able to better
care for the injury and expedite the healing and regrowth process."
"Of course." Rick helped him up while Will found a long,
relatively straight branch the Altrusian could use as a sort of crutch.
As they began to hobble their way toward
the Lost City, Rick asked, "Why is it you happened to be here in the
Enik clearly hesitated before answering...
Days Indeed! Part V
..."I do not know, Rick
Will was rather incredulous. "You don't know? What?
Did you just wake up and find yourself standing in the swamp?"
Enik stopped and fixed the teenager
with a blank expression. "That is precisely
what happened, Will Marshall. One
moment I was in my cave, attempting to manipulate the time doorway to find the
way home, and the next, I was standing near the swamp."
Holly, walking with Cha-ka slightly
behind the other three, spoke up. "Well,
however it happened, you saved my life.
I'm sure glad you came along when you did."
Rick looked back and her and smiled. "Me too. But I'm not
sure I fully understand," he continued, turning back to Enik as they
started moving again. "Did you
black out or something? What happened
between the time you were in the cave and the time you were in the swamp?"
"I am most puzzled," Enik
answered. "I do not think I
blacked out. I simply was in the
cave... then I was at the swamp. I do
not recall anything happening between the two events. It was most disconcerting."
"It almost sounds like you went
through a time doorway!" exclaimed Will.
"That is a good observation, Will
Marshall. However, I clearly did not go through a time doorway, because I am
still here in the Land of the Lost with you."
Will's face turned down at having his
"Wait a minute, Enik." Rick
said. "Maybe he's right. Maybe you *did* go through a time
doorway. Only you went a little bit
into the past or the future. That's why
we're still here with you and things don't look any different."
Enik considered his comments. They were logical. "Rick Marshall? We
encountered each other just four days ago outside the lost temple. I was
searching for a large blue crystal for my experiments and you were foraging for
vines to make a sturdy rope. Do you
They were on to something and Rick got
both excited and agitated. "No, Enik,
I don't? The last time we met was two weeks
ago, when I'd hurt myself by improperly using the crystals near the Lost
"That was not two weeks ago, Rick
Marshall. For me, that was over two months
ago. The mystery is solved. I *did* go through a dimensional doorway. I am from your future. If we go to my cave in the Lost City, we
will encounter my previous self." Enik stopped walking as he considered
"Ooh, yuck!" Holly
exclaimed. "You mean there's two
Eniks running around here?"
"Only one of us is running, Holly
Marshall." he answered and pointed to his bloody ankle.
"But how did it happen?"
Rick asked. Why would you suddenly fall
through a time doorway that only took you a few weeks into the past and into
"I do not know." Enik moved to sit on a large nearby
boulder. "I must rest, Rick
Marshall. This exertion is tiring
me. It is making it difficult to
concentrate." He pulled his leg up
and examined the area where his foot used to be. Finding it to his satisfaction, he put it down and continued. "I believe the time doorway somehow
malfuctioned. Maybe it was something I
did in the cave that triggered it. Or
maybe they are malfunctioning all over the Land of the Lost and I simply was
in the wrong place at the wrong time."
"If that's the case, then none of
us are safe and we have to fix it."
"Indeed." Enik stared at him
with nothing more to offer.
Turning to Cha-ka, Rick squatted close
to him. "Cha-ka. It's not safe. You must return to your people."
Cha-ka simply looked at him with a dumbfounded
expression. "Huh? Cha-ka no fa
"Go, Cha-ka. Ku Ta and Sa. It's not safe. Tusa
The last statement, which translated
to "bad magic", Cha-ka understood.
He jumped up and down excitedly, then cowered from the unseen "bad
"Ku Ta and Sa, Cha-ka,"
Holly told him. "It's not safe for
you here." Cha-ka continued to cower and Holly gently pushed at him,
trying to get him to go. "Goodbye,
Cha-ka. Tobi no."
Finally, Cha-ka relaxed. At Holly's gentle urging, he stood tall and almost
hugged her. "Tobi no,
Ah-Ree." He started to turn to
Rick when something caught his eye.
Suddenly his eyes grew very wide and
he crouched and cowered again. "Tusa oganza!" he cried out. "Wi-ra Ku no! Tusa oganza! Tusa
Rick and Holly looked up toward
Enik. Will was gone. "Will!" Rick called out. But there was no answer. He had simply vanished.
One moment, Will had been watching his
sister urging Cha-ka to leave. In the blink of an eye, the world shifted and he
found himself in...
Days Indeed! Part VI
By Matthew Brenner
darkness that seemed to envelop him.
Somewhere in the darkness he heard a voice.
It sounded like his own voice.
It was barely audible at first, then gradually it came in clear and the
words repeated themselves in a low monotone:
"Time doorways have affinity for living beings.
Time doorways have affinity for living beings.
Living beings have affinity for time doorways.
Living beings are time."
The words reverberated inside of Will's--head?
Will spun around and the words stopped in time with his spinning.
He was standing right where he had been, only now he was alone. No
They must have gone ahead, to the Lost City, Will thought.
Why did they go on without me?
And then the events of the day slowly unraveled in Will's memory:
the chase with Alice, the rescue, the violent end to Enik's, er, foot.
Enik was injured.
Oh no, Enik was hurt!
But why did they leave me here?
Just in case his father and Holly had returned home to High Bluff, Will
reached into his pants pocket for the mirror to signal them.
As he sighted a line through the trees to the distant cave beyond, Will
made ready to catch the Sun's rays with his mirror.
He would flash a signal in the direction of home and if he received no
reply, he would continue on to the Lost City.
Will angled the mirror deftly as he had done so many times before.
"The past is the future...The future the past."
The words floated through him like a subtle breeze.
Will swallowed hard, but it didn't dislodge the lump in his throat.
No, it couldn't be:
But he couldn't deny it.
was there, plain as day, plain as the sunlight glinting across...both mirrors:
the one he held in his hands was identical to another mirror which
dangled from the cord around his neck.
Back at the cave, Rick Marshall stood up to admire his work.
He stretched and let out a loud yawn.
Those kids left an hour ago, he thought.
He was starting to worry, as he always did.
It never fails, he thought, send one of them for water and I fear for
their safety; send both of them and they're liable to stumble into all manner of
mischief, you can bet on it.
Couldn't there be just one, just one please God, normal day in the Land
of the Lost?
"Can you hear me God?"
Rick Marshall asked out loud.
"Or is this Godforsaken place lost to you as well?"
Rick remembered studying comparative religion as a college student in the
One religion in particular--Hinduism--had made a deep impression on him.
Not deep enough to change his beliefs:
he was a Catholic and had tried to raise his children to be good
But he couldn't deny that Hinduism held some attractive alternatives to
Or at least some interesting ones: the
idea, for example, that everything one could imagine, and even the stuff one
couldn't imagine, was the home of God.
That left Rick with cool comfort as he mopped the sweat off his brow from
the afternoon heat. Maybe God's plan included even us, and those Pakuni, and
Enik and the other Sleestak, or Altrusians.
The thought offered him some consolation. Although if he ever got home he
knew he could never tell his story to the congregation at St. Francis Church.
He wasn't sure whether they'd politely ask him to leave, or attempt an
exorcism on the spot.
The thought made him chuckle.
Rick had been working for more than a week on his daughter's small
Thank God (yes, him again!) that my father was a
dedicated ham radio operator, Rick thought.
Better still, he passed on his knowledge to me, knowledge that may yet
come in handy.
He remembered the Sunday evenings spent together with his father in the
basement of their brick house, broadcasting messages to the far corners of the
earth and waiting patiently for a response, any response.
"This is Marshmallow One, Marshmallow One here, come in."
And then a reply, barely audible at first, but growing louder:
"Is that what you said?
Where'd ou get a name like that?
This is Avery, Avery 23, copy, coming at you from the sunny shores of
Corpus Christi, Texas."
"Copy that, Avery, this is Ricky Marshall.
My friends call me Marshmallow, after my favorite food.
I'm reading you loud and clear.
How is everything in Texas?"
And on and on.
Once he'd talked to a sergeant in the Army who was stationed in Korea.
Rick was only 12 at the time.
The year was 1950.
By Rick's calculations it was December 14, 1974 on Earth, give or take a
day or two.
Though with three moons in the sky, who could be sure that a day here was
the same duration as a day back home?
Rick was trying to marshall the skills of his childhood in order to
transform Holly's little radio into a low-powered transmitter.
For what is was worth, his suspicion was that the effort was futile.
He was certain, however, to remove the two AA batteries after each test
of the device. Those two little alkaline power cells were all the juice he would
ever have when the time came...for what?
What in truth could he expect to accomplish with a small transistor
radio, which only covered a small band of the vast spectrum of available
frequencies, and not the best ones for sending a distress call either.
He knew he could rule out the FM frequencies right away.
And besides, their relatively longer waves would not penetrate solid
objects or the atmosphere as well as the AM frequencies.
But who was he kidding?
If this was a "closed universe" then what was there to
Maybe the Marshalls could entertain themselves by broadcasting their own
radio show: "Good
Morning Land of the Lost!
It's an especially purple day out there this morning, folks, so watch out
for those wayward lightning bolts!
Today's dinosaur report:
Grumpy is, well, grumpy this morning, and Alice has wandered over to the
crevasse to look for some dinosaur nip. Spike's whereabouts are unknown.
Any listeners with information on Spike's whereabouts should call this
Now let's check in with those roving reporters in the air, the Skylons!"
Rick's little entertainment was interrupted by the appearance of Will at
the cave door.
He appeared to be in a trance, his eyes fixed on his father yet also on
some far away object.
Rick had the strangest sensation that his son was looking through him.
"Son, what happened?
"Dad, you shouldn't be here, this is all wrong."
"What are you talking about Will:
I shouldn't be here.
Where else would I be?"
"Dad, something's happened, something to do with the time doorways.
Dad, there's more than one Enik.
There may be more than one of me.
Do you remember giving me this, this morning?"
Will held out the mirror for his father to see.
Plainly, his words made little or no sense to his father, who was about
to speak when Will challenged him:
"Tell me one thing Dad, have you left the cave since Holly and I
went for water this morning?"
Seeing the mirror in Will's hand and a matching mirror around his neck
sent a chill through Rick Marshall.
His voice was shaky as he let out the words:
I haven't been anywhere but here."
Will's worst fears were confirmed.
"Dad, there's a dimensional doorway loose out there.
It picked me up and put me back, but I didn't seem to go anywhere, or any
But you, Dad, you're with Holly right now, and with Enik.
And Enik saved Holly from Alice, but he lost his foot.
And you, I mean, they, are going to the Lost City."
Rick couldn't believe what he was hearing.
If what Will was saying were true, then there was a stray time doorway
out there, roaming unchecked.
It could strike at any time, any place, leaving havoc in its path.
And then there was the question of meeting one's self from a short period
into the future or the past.
Rick shuddered at the thought of a Land of the Lost where multiple
versions of himself and his children had to compete for the limited resources of
Strange Days Indeed! Part VII
By John Speelman
"All right then," Rick
dusted his kness as he arose. "If I'm still here, then this business with Enik getting injured hasn't happened yet."
He frowned. "I think. Maybe if we hurry..."
Will broke in excitedly.
"We can change what happened in the chase! Maybe we can save Enik's foot!"
They ran down the path towards
where Will said the Big Alice chase had taken place.
"Look, I don't really
understand this time -travel stuff any more than the next guy-"
"Well, yeah, Dad, I'm the
"Quit talking while I'm
interrupting! I mean, oh, never mind. What I'm trying to say is that I'm not crazy about a future you meeting
face-to-face with a past you. The whole idea feels wrong, so when we get
close, I want you to stay out of sight of yourself. Um, that is..."
"Yeah, I get it."
Leaping over a low branch,
Rick's foot scraped the branch and he sprawled headlong.
"Dad, get up! We're almost
Rick scrambled to his feet.
"Okay. If we go around the other shore here, maybe we can draw Alice away from Holly and Chaka. If there's no
chase, maybe Enik's foot stays attached and Holly doesn't age ten years from fright."
From where they ran along the shoreline they could see across the water to
where Alice was starting to edge closer to Holly and Chaka. She'd begin her charge at any moment, Will knew. "So how do we distract Alice?"
"Perhaps I have a
Rick and Will stopped short at
the voice from behind them. Turning slowly, they saw a powerful reptilian visage regarding them from the bushes.
"No time. Alice is hunting
now that she has drunk her fill. I suggest you try to frighten the long-neck there and create a distraction. If
Alice gets confused, she is easily eluded." He stepped to the water's
"I will be more effective in the water." Enik paused, then stretched
a long arm towards Rick. "Here. I believe these are important to you." Rick
held out his hand and Enik dropped a pair of AA batteries into his palm.
"Uh, thanks. I guess when I
fell-" A splash cut his words short. Enik was in the water, swimming powerfully towards the other shore. Rick
dropped the batteries into his pocket and turned to Will. "C'mon, let's
get that long-neck moving."
Will stared at Enik in the water
for another moment. I could have sworn that when he jumped in, he only had one foot, he thought. I didn't see
it that clearly, but...
Moments later, an annoyed
long-neck was bellowing it's ire as it headed to deeper water. It was clearly not impressed at puny two legged
creatures that pelted its head and neck with sharp stones and big sticks.
Big Alice cranked her head
around at the new noise. A big long-neck was moving swiftly through the water towards her. Ah! A BIG meal! She leapt
forward to the attack- or tried to. The water's drag held her prodigious leg strength at bay for a moment. Just long enough for the bow wave and the
shoulder of a full grown, frightened, enraged brachiosaur to smash into her.
Poor Alice never had a chance.
The impact bowled her over into the water, where she thrashed about in rage and confusion.
Rick and Will stared across the
water to the commotion. Their counterparts hadn't noticed them, so they remained behind some huge
palm-like fronds to watch. To Rick's eyes, Alice fell awfully close to where Holly was swimming, but he couldn't see more without leaving concealment.
Blast! Did it work or not? He leaned forward with his elbows on his upper thighs and agonized. Holly survived the previous
attack, Will says. But we've changed things. For better or worse? His elbows were digging something
in his pockets into his legs, so he reached into his pockets to adjust their contents. He froze, then withdrew both hands to stare at what they were
Will came to his decision.
"Dad," he said. "When Enik dove into the water a moment ago," he turned to his father "I'm sure that he
only-" his voice faltered as he "had just-" his voice faltered as he saw Rick
staring in confusion at his hands "one...
foot.." and stopped completely as he in turn stared at the TWO pairs of AA batteries his father held in his hands...
Days Indeed! Part VIII
"Holly!" Will heard his own voice yell as he looked
up to see himself and Cha-ka running towards the swamp. Rick shoved the batteries back into his
pocket. They would have to worry about
"Will, stay here out of sight of
your other self," Rick said, charging off through the sand. He caught up his other son who started
trying to explain what was happening, but Rick interrupted. "I know! Let's try to lure Alice out of the water!" The three proceeded to shout and throw rocks
at the allosaur as she thrashed around in the swamp attempting to regain her
footing. She rose up, but ignored the
figures on the shore. Blood dripped
from her jaws as she bit through and forced down her hard-earned meal. The three stood in shock at the tableau
before them. Alice then turned and
splashed back through the water towards them.
They ran towards the rocks to hide but found that Alice, after a
moment's indecision, was stalking off into the jungle, apparently satisfied
with the food she'd already had and ready to return home.
The future Will watched in silent horror
at what had just occurred. Almost
sobbing, he whispered, "Holly..." wishing he could take back all the
mean things he'd ever said to her.
Foliage rustled behind him. He
spun, only to find a dripping wet figure limping towards him. "Enik!
What just happened out there?!"
The Altrusian actually appeared
sympathetic as he rested a hand on the boy's shoulder while gesturing ahead
with the other. "Do not mourn for
your sister. Observe."
He looked and saw the other Will along
with his father and Cha-ka running back to the water's edge as another Enik
carried Holly to shore. It must have
been some swamp dwelling creature that Big Alice had gulped down! Will immediately noticed that that Enik
walked on both feet. He glanced down
and saw that the Enik currently with him was, as he had thought, missing the
foot he'd seen the Altrusian lose in another time.
At the water's edge, Enik set the girl
down on the sand as Rick checked her over.
"Is she all right, Dad?"
Holly started coughing up water and
gasping for air. "I think she's
going to be fine," he smiled.
"Enik, what are you doing
"I happened to be in the right place
at the right...time...to save your sister." He spoke to Rick. "I
must speak to you alone."
Rick nodded and told Will to help Holly
back to High Bluff. Perplexed at the
seeming collusion between Enik and his father, Will nevertheless did as he was
"Do not tell your children of what
you know of today's events. Go back to
your cave and resume your life as normal.
This timeline has now been restored to as close to the original events
as can be managed. Return the two items
you call batteries to me now."
"Why? Why forget? And why
return the batteries? Why did you give
them to me?"
"It was not I who gave them
you. It was a version of me from an
alternate future. He was given the
batteries by a future version of you.
It was necessary to make you quickly understand that that other Enik was
from the future so you would do what was asked to not question his advice in
saving your daughter. That is all I can
say. The future is not meant to be
known before its time. Not even an
alternate future. So I ask you not to
tell your children about what little you do know."
Rick was unsure, but after a few moments
of trying to judge Enik's honesty he relented.
"Well, all right," he said pulling two of the four batteries
from his pocket and handing them to the Altrusian. "But how do you know about your other self?"
"He has been in telepathic communication with
me, instructing me on what to do."
"Wait, what about the other version of
Will? He's still hiding in the
jungle!" Rick ran to the place he
had left the other Will. No one was
"That version of Will Marshall was from the
same alternate future as the other Enik.
They have both returned there.
They still have work to do. Now,
I must go as well."
Rick turned back.
"Wait, are you from the present time or anoth--"
But Enik had vanished.
Rick spun in a slow circle looking through the
cracks in the jungle for any sign of Enik...or anyone else. Was there another version of himself even
now watching him? He could see no signs.
Rick jumped when a forgotten voice spoke beside him.
"Cha-ka not understand."
Chuckling, Rick ruffled the fur atop the pakuni's
head. "Join the club, Cha-ka. Join the club." He began to trudge off into the jungle
towards High Bluff. "C'mon, I'll
by you a cup of coffee."
Days Indeed! Part IX
laughed lightly. "I guess you don't have coffee in the Land of the
Lost. At least not the same coffee I'm used to."
Cha-ka simply stared with a blank, confused look.
"Nevermind, Cha-ka. Let's go back to High Bluff and see if
Will and Holly have returned yet."
As they walked, Rick rolled over in his mind what had happened and what
Enik had told him. Apparently Will and Holly were supposed to be safe, but
where were they? And what had happened to Enik's foot? And what was
the business with the malfunctioning time doorways and the alternate versions of
themselves? The whole thing made him uneasy, but he could do nothing but
trust what Enik had told him. Right now, he wanted to be sure his family
Then he remembered the batteries. Reaching into his pocket--
Something wasn't right. He pulled out not two, but six small AA
batteries. "What the heck is going on here?" he said out loud.
As if to answer the question, Cha-ka started babbling in Pakuni about
things unknown. He clearly was speaking to himself, so Rick ignored him
and they continued to High Bluff.
Walking into the clearing at High Bluff, Rick and Cha-ka looked around to
be sure it was safe to walk in the open. There was no Grumpy in sight, so
they walked freely out.
Anticipating someone being home, Rick called out "Will!
Cha-ka imitated him. "Wi-ra! Ah-ry!"
As they reached the first step, they began to climb up when a head looked
over the cave lip at them. Rick looked up in astonishment--at himself.
"Thank God you're here!" the alternate Rick Marshall said.
"What!?" He paused in astonishment. "I don't
"There's no time to explain. Do you have the batteries."
"Yes. I have six of them. But Enik said--"
"Six? That's not supposed to..." he paused in thought.
The original Rick Marshall, the one who had just arrived at High Bluff,
climbed the rest of the way up with Cha-ka close behind. At the top,
Cha-ka hugged his leg in fear. "What's going on?" he asked his
Desperately, the alternate self talked quickly. "We have to
hurry. There's a time doorway wandering loose through the Land of the Lost. It's
scooping people up and depositing them in other times and places within the Land
of the Lost."
"What's causing it?"
"Enik says he thinks he knows. He's in the Lost City right now
trying to get it all sorted out." The alternate Rick grabbed the
original Rick by the arm and squeezed hard. "He needs those
batteries!" He started pulling him into the cave.
"Wait a minute! You said he was in the Lost City! Why
are you taking me this way?" Rick pointed to the cave interior.
"Because Enik has a time doorway open for us. He opened one up
in the cave interior so I could come back and get more batteries. C'mon!
We must hurry before another time doorway scoops us up and sends one of us away
Rick and Cha-ka followed the alternate Rick into the cave. On the
side of one wall was a smoky, shimmering time doorway. Rick held back,
unsure if he could trust what he was being told. Then he realized that if
he couldn't trust himself-- even an alternate self...
The three of them stepped through-- stepped through-- stepped through--
stepped through-- through. through. through. through.
After a few nauseating moments of disorientation, they were in Enik's
cave. Rick noted Enik's missing foot and a odd, prosthetic device in its
"You have returned!" Enik told them. "Quickly!
Rick removed the six-- make that eight-- batteries and handed them to
Enik. He took them and delicately placed them in rows on the matrix table.
Astonished, Rick realized that there were probably three dozen of the
little AA batteries laid neatly out on the table. On one edge was Holly's
little transistor radio, opened with wires and crystals arranged inside and
somehow hooked up to the matrix table.
Something was seriously happening here! His fear for his children
was foremost on his mind. He turned to his alternate self.
"Where are Will and Holly?" he asked.
His alternate self answered, "Will is off in the lower Sleestak
caves collecting blue crystals. Unfortunately, Holly...
Days Indeed! Part X
" ...has been
snagged by the malfunctioning doorway. As near as we can tell, it's dropped her
in some kind of self-sustaining loop. Because the door appeared close to some
dormsnt "station" of some time, it triggered a sympathetic vibration
in the crystals' dimensional matrix. She entered a passageway just as the rogue
gate grabbed her. She continues to walk down the passage, and enters the gate
again as it sweeps towards her. Then she enters the passage again, and gets
grabbed by the gate, and over and over."
The alternate looked at Rick.
"At this point the rogue gate has moved again, but left her in this
feedback loop. We know exactly which passage she's in, but can't get to
"Yet, Rick Marshall," Enik
replied as he worked on the contraption laid out before him. "I believe we
can get to her by reversing the input signal of this, er, "tran-sister ray-dio
device." He looked up at the
others, momentarily puzzled. "Why would such a device be named for a
non-specific sibling rather than a specific inventor? Are there also tran-brother
or uncle devices?"
The two Ricks stared at him for a
second or two, blinking slowly. The alternate Rick strangled something in his
throat and turned away for a moment to regain composure. The other Rick gravely
answered Enik. "A great deal of our science is based on the teachings of a
great physicist, Albert Einstein, and his Theory of, well, Relativit, wherein he
states that everything is, well, um, relative..."
Enik blinked, nodded gravely, and
returned to his work. He didn't see or hear the alternate Rick kick his
counterpart in the ankle and threaten him with a big meaty fist.
"It is my hope that this
circuitry, when connected to a pylon, will enable us to set up a temporal
harmonic vibration slightly out of phase with the one keeping Holly a prisoner.
It will either collapse the sequence she is in and allow her to just walk out,
or it will cause a catastrophic explosion or implosion and throw her out with
some force. We have not much time to waste. I suggest that due to the nature of
the loop starting her back at the beginning with no significant elapsed time,
she could conceivably starve to death in the space of a few of our hours."
"So how long before you can try
"Soon. However, I would be
grateful if one of you would go down that passage to my quarters and retrieve
the pot of salve I made for my foot. "The reptilian eyes glanced up.
"Mental discipline can block some of the pain, but I haven't been able to
do anything about the fact that while this foot is regenerating, it itches.
Badly. And it is very distracting. It's very difficult to scratch an itch on a
foot that isn't there. The salve will temporarily deaden the nerve endings and
give me some ease. I obviously don't wish to deaden the nerves more permanently
while the healing process is continuing."
Slightly shaken at his daughter's
plight, Rick One nodded and set off down the passage.
Enik paused to stretch slightly. Rick
Two looked at the incomprehensible conglomeration of transistors and crystals
and what-not. "Enik, is that part of the circuit board supposed to be
glowing like that?"
"Like what, Rick Marshall?"
The reptilian eyes gazed down. "I see nothing."
"I guess our eyes see in
slightly different portions of the visiblle light spectrum. That portion,
there." He pointed. "It's got a faint glow"
Enik frowned. "That should only
be active in the presence of a temporal harmonic field. But there aren't any in
the area..." He broke off and turned to the passageway where Rick One had
just gone down in search of the itch salve. His voice bellowed down the passage.
"Rick Marshall! Stop! Come
Rick One was partly down the passage
when he heard Enik's bellow behind him.
"Rick Marsh-" The voice cut
off. Uh-oh, he thought. Someone's been grabbed. But who? Me or them? He turned
and retraced his route back to the cave where Enik and Rick Two were working on
There was no one there. "Hello!
Enik? Rick? Hello!"
"Hello!" the sound behind
him made him jump. He turned to face the source of the unfamiliar voice. A
stranger! And human! Medium height, with curly black hair and rugged hands.
"What the heck is this place?
Where the heck am I? One moment I'm picking fruit, the next moment something
picked me, and I'm here. How do I get back to my kids?" He paused a moment,
then shook his head. "I'm sorry. I'm a little confused" He stuck out a
hand. "It's good to see a new face. My name's Porter. Tom Porter."
Days Indeed! Part XI
"I, I'm Rick Marshall.
Welcome to the Land of the Lost."
"You're lost? I thought *I* was lost.
This is great, just great. The lost leading the lost..."
"C'mon, we've gotta find a friend of mine, he'll
know what to do," said Rick Marshall Number One. He made ready to
turn in the direction he believed Enik to be in, when his campanion put a hand
on his shoulder.
"Wait a second," Tom said. "I know
where it is." He pointed. "It's this way."
"But how do you--"
"Don't ask me how, or why I know--I just
know." Wearily, Rick began to follow his new guide down a side
tunnel, which he hadn't noticed before. He could have sworn it wasn't even
there a second ago. But then, neither was Tom, or he for that matter.
He felt a strange sense of displacement, far more than he usually did. As
he watched his companion press ahead confidently he had a flash of deju vu.
"Fat rats!" I knew I shouldn't
have run off this morning, Holly thought to herself as she trudged along.
She was walking down a featureless corridor. She felt hungry, tired, and
dejected. I'm sure gonna get it from Dad, but he's probably too worried
about me to punish me. How did I get myself into this mess? The day
was perfect, the first truly "normal" day in the Land of the Lost.
At least it started out that way. I played that trick on Will, gave him
the slip. I was talkin' to Dopey, and then Big Alice came. If it
wasn't for everyone on the shore I would've never gotten away. I sure do
owe them a lot. They probably think I was eaten by big Alice! But it
was something else that swallowed me up. If it wasn't Alice, what was it?
Whatever it was, I've been walking here for hours. I can't turn back after
going this far. Besides, there's that light off in the distance. The
Her stomach growled, and the gnawing feeling left her
"Fat rats!" she exclaimed. "I'm so
hungry I could just about eat a rat..!"
Rick Marshall Number One followed behind his new
companion as they traversed the winding tunnels of the Lost City. They
were in a completely new part of the City and he was feeling uneasy. As if
sensing it, Tom Porter stopped and said "let's rest for a moment."
"I've been meaning to ask you, how did you
get here? I mean, how did you wind up in the Land of the Lost--was it a
cataclysmic event like an earthquake?"
"Yes and no. There was an earthquake,
but we were rafting, and got in the rapids. There was no escape, the
current pulled us right down to the waterfall and I was sure we were dead.
I even saw my life flash before my eyes, the whole thing..."
"I've been meaning to ask you," Tom
Porter said, "how did you get here? I mean, how did you wind up in
the Land of the Lost--was it a cataclysmic event like an earthquake?"
"Yes and no. There was an
earthquake--" Rick stopped. That's strange, he thought.
"...but we were rafting, and got into the rapids. There was no
escaping it, the current pulled us right down the waterfall and I was sure we
were dead. I even saw my life flash before my eyes." As he
talked, he noticed that his companion's eyes barely registered anything--neither
surprise nor boredom. It was as if he was talking to a statue. The
"And Will and Holly, where are they
"Oh, well that's just it. They--how do
you know the names of my kids!" Rick demanded.
SSSsssssssssssssssssssssss. The Sleestak
lunged at Rick, knocking him against the wall of the tunnel. He tried to
flee but the creature's claws had him in a vice-grip. He blacked out.
The next thing he knew...
Days Indeed! Part XII
...an acrid smelling fog was
rolling around him. Rick shook his head to clear it. Have I been
asleep? Unconscious? His vision cleared enough for him to recognize
that he was in the Sleestaks' Library of Skulls. Or, rather a Library of
As he took in the surroundings, he
saw that while the general layout appeared similar, some of the skulls sitting
atop the pedestals were not Sleestak but from a creature he did not
recognize. These skulls had much smaller eye sockets and short spines
projecting out from protruding brows and on ridges on top of the head. One
of the skulls suddenly lifted up from its pedestal and floated in the air.
Two tall, green Sleestak
approached him. One was clearly the Sleestak leader, wearing the
ceremonial pendant. The other figure was a typical Sleestak drone and wore an
"I'm With Stupid" t-shirt.
I'm hallucinating again, just like
the last time the Sleestak brought me here! Could this entire strange day
have been part of a drug-induced vision? But then how did I get
here? The last thing I remember is walking down the corridor with another
human! Tom Porter, that was his name! But then Tom had seemed to
turn into a Sleestak. So, it was a trick just like when they tricked Will
and Holly into seeing their mother!
Rick's thoughts grew thick and his
head felt heavy as his vision wavered and the drone Sleestak transformed into
his beautiful wife. The figure still wore that ridiculous t-shirt though
on her it looked good. "Sarah?" Rick mumbled through his dry,
"Yes, Rick, it's me."
"Why are you
here?" This isn't real, Rick reminded himself, but maybe if I play
along I can escape somehow...or at least learn something.
"I don't understand how I got
here. Enik tried to explain but it went over my head. I know we have
to rescue Holly and help Enik close the malfunctioning time doorways. Then
we can all go back to where we belong." She touched his face, her hand like
like a warm spring breeze and Rick suddenly felt as if she were real. But
that couldn't be! Could it? Hard to tell how realistic a
hallucination could be when actual reality in the Land of the Lost was warped
enough as it is!
"He should be with Will now,
helping him to gather crystals." She pointed him toward an exit in
the stone wall. "Holly is wandering those corridors, lost. Find her
and bring her back here quickly. It's almost time for Enik to complete his
work and seal off the time-doorways. And be careful. I have control of
most of the Sleestak so they won't harm you right now, but there is an offshoot
race...the ones that look like these strange skulls you see...and they are still
independent of my will. They're bigger, stronger, faster than the Sleestak
you're familiar with and they'll kill any human they see."
She pushed him gently out the
opening. "Control the Sleestak? How--"
But the stone had somehow sealed
shut behind him. She was nowhere in sight. All just another
illusion? It was too hard to think straight.
A simple wave of her hand had
sealed the door shut behind Rick. Concentrating, her features changed
subtly, her face grew just slightly thinner, her height just a bit
shorter. She wore now an emerald green gown. The illusion was gone.
She pulled a small white crystal
from a pocket in her gown and concentrating her will through it, an image of
A portly gentleman walked up to
her side pushing aside the Sleestak leader who stood unmoving. "Can
he possibly get everyone back where they belong in time...and space...and
reverse the Sleestaks' meddling across the dimensions?"
The image of Rick began to walk
steadily down the stone corridor. "Holly!" he shouted.
"I know my dad, Blandings.
He'll get it accomplished," Rani replied.
Days Indeed! Part XIII
bland expression blanched. Under his breath, he said, "I'm not so
sure I share your confidence."
Rick Marshall Two pleaded to Enik. "My other self has been
picked up by another time doorway, hasn't he." A frightened Cha-ka
held on tight to his leg while Rick kept a protecting hand on his shoulder.
Looking up from the matrix table, Enik said, "I believe so, Rick
"Is there any way we can help him?"
"We do not know where or when he has gone. It would be foolish
to wander out of the protection of this cave and risk *you* being taken yet
"What about the itching of your severed foot. Don't you need
"We cannot take the risk. I can use my superior Altrusian
intellect to mask the itching distraction. The disappearance of the other
Rick Marshall so close to this cave is proof that the time doorway malfunction
has gotten worse. We must stay protected if we are to save your daughter.
We must remain here until Will Marshall returns with the necessary blue
crystals. Only then will I have a chance of completing my task."
*Meanwhile, there's also the risk that Will can be taken by the runaway
time doorway before he can get back with the crystals,* Rick thought. He
had to know zwhat was going on and couldn't stand the not knowing.
"Can we use the matrix table to see if Will is all right and if
Staring at him for a moment, Enik finally replied. "That is
most logical. It can be accomplished." He bent over the strange
contraption on the matrix table and began manipulating it.
"Fat rats!" Holly exclaimed. "I'm so hungry I could
just about eat a rat...!" She paused with yet another strange sense
of deja vu. Why did that keep happening?
The light of the exit was just in front of her. She headed toward
it again, but stumbled. She was getting weak, unsure if she could go on.
The hunger gnawed at her. She needed something to eat and soon. Struggling
against the weakness, she righted herself and headed toward the tantilizing exit
"Is this what you're looking for?" Tom Porter asked as he
pointed to a cluster of faintly glowing blue crystals nestled in a crook of the
Will Marshall backed up and looked at where Tom pointed.
"Yes!" he said excitedly. He opened his bag and took his knife
to the crystals, trying to free them from the wall. "You only just
got here and you seem to have better eyes that *I* do."
"Well, I think it's just blind luck." Tom backed out of
the way to give Will the room to work. "I want to get back to Annie
and Kevin and make sure they're okay, so maybe that's my inspiration."
"Whatever it is," Will grunted, "I sure am grateful
because you just saved us a whole lot of time and trouble."
Tom Porter had reason to be concerned. He had been out in the
jungle checking their fire-water retainers when he'd run into a very angry and
agitated Scarface. He had attempted to hide in the jungle, when he'd
suddenly found himself engulfed in a smoky, blue time doorway and transported to
this cave. He wandered around trying to find the way out and back to his
While wandering, he encountered another person trapped in the Land of the
Lost, named Will Marshall. Will explained to him about his own family, so
similar to his own, being trapped in the land and how an errant time doorway was
running loose and unexpectedly transporting them to places and times all over
the land. This latter phenomenon explained how Tom Porter had gotten here.
Will had said that a smart Sleestak, known as an Altrusian, knew how to
fix the problem and they needed to gather the blue crystals to help him.
Not knowing what else to do, Tom helped him search for the crystals. He
was willing to do anything to get back to his kids.
"So this Sleestak knows how to use these crystals to control the
time doorways?" Tom asked his new companion.
"Yeah, he has them arranged on a matrix table, like a computer and
manipulates the time doorways."
At this, Tom started getting excited. "Hey! Do you think
he could open a time doorway to our world and we all could go home?"
Satisfied with his collection of crystals, Will stepped back, closed the
bag and looked symathetically at Tom. "Well, it can be done, but it
apparently involves some very complex calculations. He hasn't been able to
figure it out yet. If it were that easy, don't you think we'd have gone
home ourselves by now?"
Tom's face fell. "You have a point."
Will slapped him on the shoulder and indicated that they head back.
"C'mon, let's see if maybe Enik *can* do something about this runaway time
doorway, save my sister, get you back to your kids and maybe, just maybe, get us
all back home."
They turned to find the way blocked by a huge creature. It's hands
and feet were huge claws, it's head large with spiked, bony ridges across the
top and a row of needle-sharp teeth in its mouth. And it wore thick,
leathery, spiked body armor. It growled menacingly at them and stepped
Tom jumped in alarm. "Sleestak!" he yelled.
Grabbing at Will Marshall's arm, he pulled them the other way down the corridor.
However, Will hesitated. "Sleestak!? That's like no
The strange looking Sleestak hissed at them. "You will not
stop me, hu-mans! Shung wants power!"
Terrified, Tom and Will turned and ran.
Staring transfixed into the misty doorway that Enik had opened, Rick
could only see his son and another man he didn't recognize. For unknown
reasons, there was no sound being transmitted through with the image, but they
were carrying a silent conversation while Will dug the needed blue crystals out
of a niche in the cave wall.
"Sa-ree-sa-ta-ka! Sa-ree-sa-ta-ka!" Cha-ka jumped
excitedly and backed up against the wall.
Rick turned to Cha-ka. "Cha-ka! What's the matter?
That's not a Sleestak, that's a human, like us."
"No, Sa-ree-sa-ta-ka! Meni me! Ku! Ku!"
"Calm down, Cha-ka. It's only--" Suddenly Will and
the other man froze, fear playing across their silent faces as they stared
horrified at something that Rick and Enik couldn't see.
Enik adjusted the time doorway image to take in what they were seeing. It
was a armored, bony, barrel-chested creature that moved menacingly toward the
"What is *that*!?" Rick shouted as he pointed toward the image.
"Sa-ree-sa-ta-ka!" Cha-ka shouted.
Enik sighed. "It is much worse than I feared, Rick
Days Indeed! Part XIV
"Continue to watch," Enik said. "But I warn you, what you
will see will be unpleasant. It may even be intolerable." Before their eyes, the
armored creature pierced Will's body with a opened claw. Will crumpled to the
floor, bleeding. Tom didn't stand a chance. He was slashed across
the face by the creature, and fell helplessly to the ground. Then the
"thing" did something very strange indeed. It simply sat down. It sat down on
top of Tom Porter's limp body, put it's head in it's hand, and assumed "The
Occasionally, it muttered: "Got to get you into my heart--babe--got
you into my world--babe." It hummed along, very poorly and
Enik broke the silence: "My worst fears are consumed. We
Altrusians have a legend, of a sinister one called Sl'ive. To you he is simply "The
Singing Sleestak": c'mon we must go. Otherwise, he will continue to
torture your friends and family. Their last dying breaths will have to sustain the
horribly out-of-tune ramblings of Sl'ive."
"What do you propose we do?" said Rick Marshall number six.
"We don't even know where they are. All we have as a reference is this rather fuzzy
"Do not criticize the reception of my dimensional doorway, Rick
Marshall," said Enik, rather angrily. "Yes, it is true I bought it at Radio
Shack and I'm powering it with those batteries you provided. As you can see"
said, pointing to the image "those were not energizer batteries but were Dinosaur-blood batteries. They make a poor substitute for fourth
"Look Enik, this is no time for humor" said Rick, as Chaka gripped his
leg ever tighter, continuing to jump up and down and saying "Sa-ree-sa-ta-ka! Sa-ree-sa-taka!!" over and over again. Pretty soon Chaka had both
arms and both legs wrapped around Rick's left leg. It was all he could do to shake
him off and calm him down, but it was rather too briskly for Chaka and he bit his lip. "Fat-Rip Fat-Rip!!" Chaka now exclaimed.
Holly had composed a poem about hunger, but she couldn't remember it just
now. She swore she'd always remember all of the starving children in every
universe ever, just as long as she could eat something and go to sleep. Sweet sleep. Ahhhh. The light grew blinding, and then *POOF!* Holly
found herself lying in the tall grass by the edge of the swamp.
Some clarinet music started to play, and then all of a sudden Dopey's head
took a bite out of the grass by her head. The next bite would have been
her head! "Dopey!" Holly exclaimed. "You look good enough
to eat," but your probably not kosher. "Boy I'm sure glad to see you." And
with that, Holly raised herself and stretched in the mid-afternoon sun. She didn't care
where her brother was, or her father, or Chaka or anybody. She just wanted
to get home to the cave, eat a strawberry or two, and stretch out in that sleeping bag of hers.
Perhaps if she did that, she reasoned, she'd wake up and all of it -- the
whole thing -- would have been a dream. And she'd go get water the next morning after being reprimanded by her Dad, and Will would tag along, and
she'd ditch him. And the whole thing started to play itself out in her
head again. It's a circle, she thought. A closed universe! That's
it. Not only is this physically a closed universe, but psychologically, and *gulp*
historically, this was a closed circle of a place. We were destined to
have our adventures, to live our lives, to plan our escapes, to cheat disaster, and maybe get lucky. But it was all going to repeat, eventually. No
matter how far we got, we were destined to live it again.
The thought sent a wave a depression through Holly's normally sunny
disposition. We're trapped in more ways than one, Holly thought.
And then along came a voice: "Dopey, Dopey!! It's
Days Indeed! Part XV
Oh no, Holly thought. Dad once said
that he was afraid of what might happen if we met ourselves. She frantically looked around, then dove for
concealment in a thick brush. Dopey, ever loyal (or maybe attracted to juicy greenery) plodded along to the bush and began to crop it.
"No!" she whispered to him.
"Stop it! Go away, you dopey thing!" She dared to reach out and smack him on the nose. Dopey's dim mind couldn't
comprehend how or why a bush could smack him on the nose, and he retreated a step in surprise. That bush also smells funny. It smells sort of like the
little two-legs that feeds me...
"Dopey! There you are!" The
little two-legs stepped out of the bush over there. Dopey's head swiveled around. How can she be there when I
smelled her over...there... Over there is some some nice bushes, too, and
water. The dino trundled to the water's edge with the little two-legs following.
Holly watched wide-eyed from her
concealment as Dopey lumbered away, followed by herself. This is too freaky! she thought. Her face brightened.
But if this is now early today, maybe I can help break the loop! She dashed out of cover and away from where Dopey and Holly Two were going. If I can
catch up to Enik, maybe I can warn him about his foot! He's smart, he'll think of something...
Tom regained consciousness slowly.
Painfully. His limbs were like lead, he could hardly move, and he was having trouble
breathing. He attempted to shift his position, and realized he was pinned down by
something heavy. He opened his eyes and saw that he was face down on the ground, and out of the corner of his eye he saw what appeared to be a large
Sleestak sitting on his back. The sleestak was muttering something. Tom held what little breath he had and listened.
"Strange words...music in my
head... can't get it out..." The low gutterals changed slightly in pitch and tone. "And at three forty-five on a
sunny Monday afternoon, we warn you that northbound Henderson Highway is
backed up from Redwood to Disraeli because of a stalled Miata at the lights. Better take Main to Redwood if you can, then north. Otherwise the freeway
will get ya! Now comin' up is the fast rising hit from Justin Hayward and the Moody Blues, I know You're Out There Somewhere..."
Porter groaned as the creature on his
back rocked back and forth, moaning and singing off key. "I know you're out there somewhere, somewhere,
somewhere. I know you're out there somewhere, and somehow I'll return again to you..."
He waited until the beast rocked to
his left, then quickly rolled his body to the left. The Sleestak slid off with a mild thump and didn't
seem to notice him as he scrambled to his feet. Off to Tom's left was the crumpled form of the young lad -Will, was it? Yes, Will. He wasn't moving
aside from minor twitching and shallow breathing. Tom staggered over to him,
and knelt next to the young man as a wave of dizziness washed over him. He put his head down for a moment, then shook Will's shoulder. "Will? Will,
c'mon now son, wake up." He whispered. Will came to slowly.
"Dad? No. Mr. Porter?"
"Call me Tom, okay? Can you get
"I dunno. Dizzy-"
"Yeah, you're bleeding a little
where Maestro over there struck you."
"Maestro? Oh, him. A singing
lizard man? Hey, you're bleeding a little, too! Are those things poisonous, you think?"
"I don't know that Sleestaks are
poisonous, at least Shung and his cronies didn't seem to be when we fought."
"He's not like any Sleestak I've
ever seen. Oh, man, will you listen to that awful noise he's making? Sounds like a chicken strangler at a
Tom laughed out loud. "Oh,
that's good! Say, we ought to-"
Creatures! Your voices!" They turned to see the monstrous creature advancing on them, one hand held to it's head while
the other pointed at them. "Your voices! Like the ones in my head! Make it stoooppp!" It lunged at them, claws outstretched! Tom and Will ducked under
its arms. Tom snapped his leg out in a side thrust kick and caught the monster in the back of the knee. It stumbled, but so did Tom. The impact
felt like he'd kicked a stone wall!
"RRaaarrrrggghhh!" It spun
to it's feet, facing them again, singing! "Everybody was Kung-Fu fighting (Hoo! Hah!) Those fists were fast as
"This is ridiculous!" Will
shouted. "He's insane! We can't fight him!"
"And he smells just
horrible!" Tom yelled as he ducked a wild swing.
Enik and Rick watched in horror as
the two humans in their viewer were forced to try to avoid the raging Sleestak. Chaka was still muttering
in the corner about his "fat rip".
"Rick" said Enik. "I
fear we can do nothing. The creature's rage is all consuming, and its insanity is sustaining its strength."
Rick pounded his clenched fists on
the console in frustration. "We must be able to do something! I can't just watch my son get killed like
this!" A wisp of smoke trailed up from beneath his fists where a thin
crystal had been pulverized. Bits of powdered crystal sifted over to other parts of the makeshift circuitry.
"We have to do something!"
The two humans in the screen looked up. "Dad?" Will called. "Is
Tom Porter backed away from the
raging Sleestak. Rick's voice came out of thin air! "Hey! Rick! Can you help us?"
Enik grabbed Rick's hands away from
the circuitry. "Fool! What have you done? You cannot deny the creature's feeding or its wrath will destroy
many of my people!"
"That's my son! I won't stand
idly by if I can help!" Rick turned back to the screen. "Will! Stay down out of sight! Tom, keep it chasing
you, maybe you can wear it out!"
The three combatants staggered and
lurched around as if drunk, trying to hit or avoid each other without much success either way. Will
ducked down behind the beast and Rick yelled over its horrid singing. "Tom!
Musical clue! C sharp!"
Tom, perplexed for a moment, almost
got his head ripped from his shoulders, and ducked just in time. C sharp? What?-oh. I C it. "Okay,
Sleestak, improve the tune! Time" he sprang forward and planted his
in the thing's chest.
"To" he continued as the Sleestak staggered back and tripped over
Will's body. It crashed to the ground, slamming the back of its head to the stone
floor with a horrendous KLONK!
The creature moaned once and lay
still. Will scrambled back to his feet. "Is it over? Is he done? Yuck, he smells even worse now!"
The creature lay on its back,
muttering and gasping for breath. Tom held Will upright. "You know, listening to it earlier, I got the notion
that somehow its mind could pick up radio signals somehow, from Earth. The
foreign language and concepts probably drove it insane. Over the years, it probably became deathly ill and was outcast. Judging from its actions and
weakened state, it probably won't survive much longer." He peered at the
body on the floor. "Look at it. Cancerous looking growths all over it. No wonder its in pain. Probably being eaten alive."
Will and Tom knelt a little closer to
listen to the creature's mumblings as its eyes stared off into space.
"It smells even worse, now, and
An almost-familiar tune drifted from
the Sleestak, but the words were strange. "Mine isn't and is what know to got I've and. Time my done
I've home comin' I'm"
Tom thought for a moment, then his
shoulders slumped. "Come on, Will, let's find a way out of here. This poor creature is done for and he
"How can you tell? Why does it
sound like he's singing backwards? "
"That's how I know he knows he's
dying. That and the smell." He led Will away from the body, little gasps stuttering out its last life.
Days Indeed! Part XVI
They stood and watched the morbid sight of the Sleestak as he died.
In a strange sort of way, Tom felt compassion for it.
"Will Marshall!" Enik's voice cried out from the air.
"We need those
blue crystals. Please hurry."
Will looked around himself in confusion. "Where are you?
I hear you,
but I can't *see* you."
"I have a temporal portal open such that I and your father can see
and have just witnessed your encounter with the singing Sleestak. Thank
you for ridding the valley of the threat, but the more immediate threat
is the runaway time doorway. We need those crystals!"
Will and Tom exchanged a worried glance. "We're on our
Tom. They turned and hurried away.
"If we have the dimensional time doorway open to them," asked
Rick of Enik, "how come they couldn't just step through and come directly here
to your cave?"
"Because, Rick Marshall," answered Enik in a slightly
tone, "we witnessed your son and the other human through a temporal
portal, which is *not* the same as a dimensional time doorway. A
temporal portal is less likely to disrupt the space/time continuum of
the Land of the Lost. The less disruption there is to the space/time
continuum, the less likely that this errant time doorway is to do more
damage to the Land of the Lost."
"Right," said Rick, not really understanding at all.
"Sa-ree-sa-ta-ka!" Cha-ka shouted, still frightened of the
looking singing Sleestak.
After a few moments of navigating the tunnels, Tom turned a corner in
the cave and encountered something from a nightmare. It was a tall,
thin creature with green scales, clawed hands, crystaline eyes, a thin,
wide mouth, and a single protruding horn. It hissed menacingly at him.
"Sleestak!" Will shouted. He turned and dragged Tom back
they'd came. Tom followed, horrified at the creature.
After a few twists and turns, the Sleestak was obviously not following
them and Will stopped at a small niche of the cave wall. Catching his
breath, Tom looked at him incredulously. "Did you say Sleestak?"
"Yeah, they live down in these caves of the lost city."
Realization dawned on his face. "Our Sleestak look *nothing*
The ones from my world look like the singing Sleestak back there. Your
Sleestak look like those." Tom pointed a thumb in the direction of
"Really?" said Will. "I wonder if they behave
anything alike? Maybe
if we compare notes, we could get some insight into them."
Tom was curious, but he was also aware that they were under a time
crunch-- and he was anxious to locate his children and ensure they were
safe. "Maybe, but hopefully we'll have time to talk about that
we've gotten these blue crystals back to your friend and fix whatever's
"Agreed." Will sighed and looked back the way they'd
came. "I think
I might know another way to get there and avoid the Sleestak. C'mon."
As Holly dashed out to meet Enik in the swamp and try to stop this
whole mess from starting in the first place, her father stepped out from
amongst the nearby tall grass and intercepted her. "Holly
cried in a half hushed voice.
Holly ground to a halt and looked at her father quizically. "I
understand, Daddy. Where'd you come from?"
Rick pulled her into the grass to hide from view and explain.
what's happening. I understand it all now. I'm from your future,
Holly. The events that happen here in the swamp, you being chased by
Big Alice and Enik losing his foot, they *must* happen for everything to
be set right. We can't interfere anymore."
"You're from the future!"
"That's right, Holly."
"Then where's *my* Daddy?"
"I *am* your Daddy, Holly. I'm from just a little bit in the
I've had a chance to meet some interesting people and they've helped me
figure out what's going on here. We must get back to High Bluff and
wait for Enik and the others to show up. We have something they
Rick pulled a large clear crystal out of his pocket and showed it to
her. Inside the crystal could be seen what looked like a thousand
Her eyes grew wide. "Oh, it's beautiful. I think I
"Good." Rick put the crystal back in his pocket.
"Let's get out of
here and make sure they don't see us-- no matter what you hear."
They walked silently away to the sound of a roaring Big Alice and the
distant sound of the other Holly's cries for help.
Will ducked his head inside Enik's cave and was relieve to find his
father, Enik and Cha-ka still there. He and Tom stepped inside.
"Will!" his father shouted upon seeing him.
"Will Marshall!" commanded Enik. "The blue crystals!
Will obediently handed over the crystals and turned to his father.
"Dad. This is Tom Porter. We met in the lower Sleestak
Rick reached out to shake his hand. "I saw what you did back
with that strange-looking, singing Sleestak. I want to thank you for
helping my son."
With an expression of stunned dismay, Tom responded. "Heh.
can't say I understand it all, but I'm glad to help."
"Dad," Will interrupted, "Tom's from a world similar to
from another Land of the Lost... like ours, but different." While
worked at the matrix table, Will and Tom explained what they had learned
about their respective worlds: the dinosaurs, the Pakuni, the Sleestak,
the pylons, etc.
Their full explanation was cut short by Enik. "Something is
The blue crystals should have equalized the matrix table. Instead, it
seems to still have a missing piece. I cannot stop the runaway time
Alarmed, Rick asked, "What do you need? What is the missing
Enik sighed. "It *should* work as it is currently constructed.
not know what the problem is."
On their way back to High Bluff, the future Rick and Holly heard a
rustling in the brush. Rick grabbed Holly and shoved her out of the way
and they crouched to secretly watch what was making the noise.
Abruptly, the Paku named Ta bolted out of the brush. He had a wild
look in his eye as he ran by them shouting in Pakuni gibberish. No
sooner had he appeared, then he vanished.
Rick and Holly stood and looked after him. "What do you
wrong with him?" Holly asked.
"We have no idea of knowing." Rick answered.
They once again headed off to High Bluff. After threading their was
through the trees, they discovered what Ta was afraid of. There across
the clearing was the Land of the Lost's resident triceratops... and he
looked angry and ready to charge. Holly screamed.
"Oh, no, it's Spike!" Rick lamented.
Days Indeed! Part XVII
Spike charged across the clearing at them.
"C'mon, Holly!" shouted Rick. "Let's go!"
He pulled Holly back into
the brush. The ground rumbled with Spike's massive steps as they wound
there way away from the clearing and the protection of several bulky
They both stopped and listened. They could hear the dinosaur
thrashing about amongst the ferns at the clearing's edge, but it stopped
when he was apparently satisfied that they were gone.
Holly breathed a sigh of relief. "That was close."
Rick looked toward the clearing. "Spike sure doesn't like
else in his territory, does he?"
"No, he doesn't. If he's going to act like that everytime we
walk by, he can have it!"
Rick smiled at his daughter's reaction. His expression turned
serious when he put his hand in his pocket and fingered the mysterious
crystal. "We'll have to go around. We need to get back to High
as soon as possible."
They took off for the cave, being sure to skirt Spike's territory.
Enik and Rick fretted over the problem with Enik's attempt to stop the
errant time doorway, while Tom and Will stood by helplessly.
Then something, or someone, caught Tom's eye. He squatted down and
eyeballed Cha-ka. "I see you have Pakuni in your world as well."
Timid, but curious, Cha-ka stepped up to him and examined him back,
while still keeping out of arms length.
"That's right," Will told him. "This is
Cha-ka." Will directed his
next comment at the little Paku. "Cha-ka. This is Tom Porter.
Encouraged by Will's words, but still not fully trusting, Cha-ka
inched forward. "Fa-rend-a?" he asked.
"Friend." Tom answered. He extended his hand to show he
"He's human." Will told him. "Just like us. He
won't hurt you. Go
ahead and shake his hand."
At that, Cha-ka seemed to easily accept Tom Porter. He grabbed his
extended hand and shook vigorously... a little *too* vigorously.
"Cha-ka *like* shake!" he shouted excitedly.
"Whoa!" Tom shouted, after finally recovering his hand.
nice to meet you, Cha-ka."
Cha-ka answered him. "Me dobi ra tusa tu. Tusa tu roma
A look of confusion crossed Tom's face. "Um... what?"
He looked at
Will in confusion.
"What's the matter?" Will asked. "Don't the Pakuni
on your world
"Well, it's not perfect, but they speak English... sort of a broken
English. We have a friend, much like Cha-ka, and he can at least carry
a conversation. Stink."
Will sniffed. The Paku had a certain odor, but they didn't really
smell all that bad. "Careful." Will told him. "Cha-ka
may not speak
very good English, but he *can* understand some of it. I wouldn't go
insulting him in front of his face."
"Huh?" Tom wasn't sure what he meant by that, but after a
two, realization dawned on him. "Oh! You thought I was saying
Cha-ka stinks. Not at all. That's the name of my Paku friend in my
world. He--" Tom stopped speaking and stood up as Rick Marshall
"It doesn't look good," Rick told them. "Enik says
he's still missing
something from the matrix table. The missing piece is throwing the
"What is it, Dad?" Will pleaded. "What does he need?
Just let us
know and we'll go find it."
"What we *need* is a magetti. Otherwise, we need something
powerful to make up for it."
"What about more crystals?" Tom asked. "Would they
"And where can we find something as strong as the magetti?"
Then a voice from the cave entrance interrupted their thoughts.
know what we need. And I know where to get it." They all turned
a duplicate Will Marshall standing at the cave's entrance.
Holly and her father from the future approached the rocks leading up
to High Bluff. As they began their ascent, a sense of deja vu washed
over Rick Marshall and he looked upwards, half expecting to see himself
already inside the cave. He climbed the rest of the way up to meet his
daughter and was somewhat relieved to find the cave empty.
"Now what?" Holly asked expectantly.
"Wait for what?"
"We wait for someone to meet us." He pulled the
out of his pocket. "And then we give them this."
"How long will it take them to get here, Daddy? And who are we
Rick wished he had a good answer to give her, but he really wasn't
sure he believed it himself.
The duplicate Will Marshall looked haggard and tired as he stepped
into Enik's cave and confronted them. "I'm from your future," he
He looked at his slightly younger self standing beside Tom Porter.
you. I was standing right where you are and doing the same things
you're doing just a few days ago, before that crazy, runaway time
doorway picked me up and took me for a ride through time."
"Are you all right, son?" asked Rick of his doppelganger son.
"Yeah, Dad. I'll be all right. I was with you in another
you had a crystal. It was big and all sparkly, like it was full of a
bunch of tiny lights. *That's* what we need to fix this time
"But I don't have a crystal like that."
"But you do, Dad. Or you will. Or... Oh! There's
another one of you
in the Land of the Lost who has the crystal. When we last met, you told
me you were going to High Bluff, where it was safe. I was to come here
and tell Enik to open a portal there so he could find you and get the
crystal he needed to fix the problem with the runaway time doorway."
Tom Porter interjected. "Well how do we know this crystal will
Enik stepped up and answered him. "Because he--" Enik
pointed to the
Will Marshall from the future-- "is him." He turned his clawed
at the original Will Marshall who had arrived with Tom Porter. "They
are the same person, but at different points in time."
"That's right!" answered the future Will. "I've
already been here and
seen myself come in here. I've seen Enik put the crystal in the matrix
table and stop the runaway time doorway."
"In that case," said Rick, "let's get that crystal."
Enik and Rick
turned away to hover over the hodge podge of crystals and batteries on
the matrix table and attempt to find the Rick Marshall with the needed
crystal. The future Will Marshall noticed Enik's bandaged foot and
wondered what had happened to him...
It had only been a few minutes when the wall of the cave a High Bluff
shimmered with smoke and distorted light. Holly had been slicing some
vegetables for dinner and was the first to notice it. "Daddy!"
Rick looked up. "That's it! That's what we've been
"What is it?"
"It's a time doorway. And it should lead to Enik's cave."
"Enik's cave? Why can't it lead home?"
But Rick ignored the rhetorical question, grabbed Holly by the hand
and stepped toward the doorway. "Hello?" he called out.
There was no
answer. "Can you hear me?"
The light distortion of the doorway diminished and they could see
indistinct shapes on the other side, but the boiling smoke made it
impossible to tell what was there. "Maybe we should just step
He held Holly close to his side and they walked forward into the smoke.
the smoke. the smoke. the smoke. the smoke. smoke.
The darkness of Enik's cave greeted them.
"Rick Marshall!" Enik cried out before Rick was even able to
bearings from the transfer. "The crystal! I need it!"
fished it out of his pocket and passed it over. Enik hungrily took it
and started arranging it on the matrix table.
"Ah-ree?" Cha-ka stepped up to them and looked
quizzically at Holly.
Holly smiled and hugged her Paku friend. "Cha-ka! I'm
okay. Boy, what an adventure *I've* had."
The two Ricks gathered around Enik and watched him work. "Enik,
this solve the problem of the runaway time doorway?" one of them asked.
"Yes, Rick Marshall. The matrix table is already drawing the
necessary power and I can now detect the disturbance in the dimensions
of the Land of the Lost." He tweeked and twisted some of the
"I have located the runaway time doorway and am now slowing it's rate of
travel through time. As soon as I can stop it in one time and
He shifted more of the crystals. "...I can deactivate it and all will
be right in the Land of the Lost."
Everyone stared transfixed on the smoky wall where the image from the
time doorway slowly settled. It eventually stopped in the middle of the
jungle, where Spot could be seen digging at the ground, attempting to
locate an easy meal. "I will now shut down this time doorway,"
formally announced. He touched the large crystal on the matrix table
and turned it slightly...
ZZZZZZAP! And explosion of light and sound came from the matrix
table, causing Enik to topple backward into the wall. The image through
the time doorway turned into a hazy blur as the doorway once again ran
"Enik!" Rick Marshall shouted as he ran after Enik and righted
once more. "What happened?"
"The time doorway did not stop," he answered. "The
crystal you have
brought me, did not work."
The future Will Marshall stepped up to him. "I don't
was here just a day or so ago and saw all this happening. I saw my past,
the crystal stopped the time doorway just fine. Why didn't it this
Catching his breath, Enik patiently answered him. "Time is
What one experiences now, may not necessarily be so tomorrow. Added to
that, the existance of time in this land is in a state of constant flux.
That is what caused the 'runaway' doorway in the first place. There is
no guarantee that events in the past will occur as you remember them."
"I think what he's saying, Will, is that just because we've seen
something happen once, it doesn't mean they can't be different if we
"Well, then now what?" asked Will, clearly exasperated.
have the runaway time doorway that's tearing this place apart!"
Enik answered him gravely. "I do not know."
A dark, somber mood settled over them as they realized their world was
literally falling apart. Tom Porter felt the pain most of all, when he
considered that he would never see his children again. Would they be
okay on their own? They had Christa and Stink to help guide them.
Kevin was smart enough to know how to take care of himself. But they
were still so young and so immature. They surely did not know how to
handle all that life could throw at them. He wanted so much to return
to them. Why did the runaway time doorway have to pick *him* up, of all
"Hey guys," Tom said, breaking the silence. "Why am
The original Will who had met him looked up darkly. "Because
doorway picked you up."
"No." Tom was getting excited, thinking he was on to
"Think about it. This time doorway has been running around picking up
people and things from different times and places and depositing them
all over your world. But that's just it. It's been confined to just
your world. Why did it come into *my* world and pick *me* up?"
They all stared at him dumbfounded. "That is a good
"There must be something about *me* that your world needs to set
things right-- to stop this runaway doorway."
One of the Rick Marshall's looked at him sideways.
think you might be on to something." He turned to Enik.
there something else you need for the matrix table that will help you
stop the doorway?"
Enik picked up the shattered remains of the crystal that Rick had
brought to him from High Bluff. "I need another crystal. This
damaged beyond repair."
Rick turned back to Tom. "Do you have a crystal from your
"No, but..." Tom reached into his pocket and pulled out
size "D" batteries. "Will these do?" A smile
burst across his face.
"YES!" shouted Enik. He hungrily took the batteries from
quite willingly gave them up. He cleared out room on the matrix table
and arranged the crystals around the large batteries.
The non-future Will moved protectively near his sister and Cha-ka and
said, "I sure hope that battery still has enough power in it. What
is it? I've never seen a brand like that."
"It's an Energizer," Tom answered him. "It should
have plenty of
power left as it's the kind that keeps going and going and going..."
The distance sound of a steady drumbeat could be heard as Enik once
again focused the time doorway. The smoky image settled from a blur to
colorful, moving panaramic view of the swamp and Emily before settling
on a baby brontosaurus munching on the plants there.
"It's Dopey!" Holly shouted.
They could see Holly walking into the scene, then Enik off on the edge
of the swamp. Suddenly Big Alice stomped into view and disturbed
The image vanished and was replaced by darkness. "I have
stopped the runaway time doorway." Enik announced. They all let out a
collective sigh at the news.
"Now what?" Tom asked. "Can we locate my world and
find my kids?"
Enik stared at him, his gaze unreadable. "That is possible.
I intend to use this device to find the way to *my* world. I must warn
Confusion, then anger boiled up inside Tom. "Now, wait just a
"Yeah, Enik!" Will added in his defense. "It was his
fixed the time doorway. He deserves first shot at getting back home!"
"He does deserves nothing. It was merely chance that the Land
the Lost found him in his world and brought him here to fix its problem.
It was neither his nor my doing. Therefore, logically, he has no
Tom was outraged. "I thought you said this guy was
"Well," Rick answered with a bitter edge in his voice,
"when it comes
to the Altrusians, 'friendly' is a subjective term." Enik ignored the
taunt and began manipulating the crystals and the battery. "Enik is
friendly only when it's in *his* best interest."
Tom couldn't let this go on. He *had* to get back to his children,
matter the consequences. He charged forward to take the necessary
battery from the matrix table. Enik lifted a clawed hand at him before
he even got close and pain pierced his skull. The image of his dead
wife's mangled, torn body-- the most horrifying moment of his life--
crystalized behind his eyes. He toppled over in physical and emotional
pain. "You do not know the power of the Altrusian mind, human!
read your mind and know your intentions! You *will not* stop me from
returning to my people!"
Holly cried out in fear at the angry Altrusian. Both Ricks shouted
the top of their lungs, "Enik, STOP IT!" One of them continued
"The man just saved all our lives. He just wants to get back to his
children. He wants to return to them as badly as you want to return to
Enik turned his attention to the Rick Marshall that had spoken to him.
"The fate of him and his children are in danger. What is that
to the danger of an entire civilization-- my civilization?" As he
to Rick, his attentions lessened on Tom, causing the pain to lessen.
"It is not logical."
"Maybe so, but that's no reason to torture the man." Rick
help Tom to his feet. "He just wants to go home."
"You cannot persuade me Rick Marshall." Enik turned to
the matrix table's crystals. "As I said, logic tell me that the needs
of the many, outweigh the needs of--" He stopped the crystal
manipulation as the crystals began glowing brightly and the time doorway
image began to settle once again. He stepped away from the matrix table
and folded his arms defiantly.
In a quiet voice, Enik continued. "I seem to have little
the matter. Tom Porter. It appears that the time doorway will not be
manipulated until the Land of the Lost corrects an imbalance. It is
fixating on a specific time and place. It is fixating on your world and
will not let me do otherwise."
Under his breath, Will Marshall stated, "even the Land of the Lost
a better sense of justice than the Altrusians."
"Go, Tom Porter," Enik commanded. "Return to your
children and your
Incredulous, but not looking a gift horse the mouth, Tom turned to
Will Marshall-- both of them-- and thanked them for all they had done.
He turned to Holly and Cha-ka. "Holly? I don't think we had a
to actually meet. I wished we could have gotten to talk more. I have
a daughter about your age and I'm sure she'd love to meet you... under
"Thank you, Mr. Porter," she answered. "Maybe some
day we *can* meet
Tom turned to Cha-ka and extended his hand. "Goodbye,
Cha-ka took his hand and shook vigorously. "Cha-ka *like*
Lastly, Tom turned to each of the Rick Marshalls and shook their
hands and wished them luck getting home someday. They smiled back and
urged him to hurry home.
"Go, Tom Porter!" Enik agreed.
Tom turned and waved goodbye to them all before stepping through the
doorway and back to his world.
As soon as he was gone, the doorway collapsed and the matrix table
glow ceased... and Holly screamed. Will Marshall saw his father simply
vanish before his eyes and shouted after him, "Daddy!"
Rick Marshall, the original one, grabbed him by the arm. He looked
around the room. "Wait a minute, Will," he reassured.
here." He looked around the room and took in the situation.
that when Tom went back to his world, the duplicates of ourselves were
pulled back to where ever they came from."
"And," said Enik sadly, "the items that were brought with
vanished as well." He pointed at the matrix table and only the
crystals and two AA batteries remained. The other AA batteries, the D
batteries and the large broken crystal had vanished. "I cannot return
home with this device. The Land of the Lost has corrected whatever
error had occurred." He began rearranging the scattered remains of
matrix table. "Please leave, that I might continue my work I require solitude."
Holly sighed. "At least we're all safe now."
Rick looked sideways at her and grinned mischieviously. "Now
started when you went for water..."
After sending Cha-ka back to the Pakuni compound, the Marshall's
returned to High Bluff, and settled down for the rest of the day. After
dinner, they considered the days events.
"What I don't understand," said Will, "is the other Will
he was me, then how come I don't remember talking to you about the big
crystal and coming into the cave?"
Rick popped the last of his smilax cake into his mouth and thought for
a moment before responding. "Well, remember, the other Will said that
the crystal *did* stop the runaway time doorway. But for us, it
"Yeah, why is that, Daddy?" asked Holly.
"I think it means that the other Will Marshall really wasn't the
Will Marshall as you. He was someone else."
Will was alarmed at this. "Well then who is he?"
"I don't know, son. Maybe he was from an alternate universe,
like ours, but different... like Tom Porter's. Or maybe when Tom went
back to his world, it set everything back to normal and the other Will
and Rick went away, as if they'd never existed."
"Ooh!" said Holly, a chill running down her spine.
"That's scary to
think that there's a whole bunch of different 'me's running around out
there. Do you really think it's true, Daddy?"
"We may never know, Holly."