The rip in space opened eighteen feet above the ground and the Monkees plummeted out. Peter and Micky recovered and stopped their fall, then bore Davy and Mike safely to the ground. The two fliers landed softly beside them.
"Thanks," Davy gasped, smiling at Peter. "That would have hurt!"
"Tell me about it," Micky said, touching his still-healing shoulder. "The one time I forgot to use my force-field for flight I wrecked my shoulder!"
"All right," Peter said a bit impatiently. "This is the last dimension. The sooner we find that jewel, the sooner we can go home! Each one of us goes in a different direction, and each one of us uses his tracer! The first one to locate the jewel, report back here!"
Micky rose into the air and headed north, vanishing as he did so. Mike moved to the south, Davy to the west. Peter headed due east, then went airborne to cover more ground.
Fifteen minutes passed. Then came a cacophony of voices raised in rage. Above the din suddenly rose a distinctive yell.
Then all the voices ended as if a switch had been thrown.
One minute later, Micky and Peter touched down in the same clearing they had left.
"Did you hear that?" Micky gasped.
Peter nodded. "Where's Mike?"
Mike broke into the clearing, panting. "Guys... I heard..."
"We know," Micky said. "We heard it too."
"He went west," Peter said. "Come on!"
"Here he is!" Micky yelled. "I found him!" Peter and Mike rushed to Micky's side.
Peter then knelt before Davy, who sat motionless on a boulder. "Davy?" he asked.
Davy's head snapped toward the sound. His lips formed Peter's name, but no sound emerged.
Peter and Mike looked at each other, then Mike raised a hand and shot a beam of light past Davy's eyes.
"Davy," Mike said very softly, "can you see?" Davy shook his head.
"Who did this to you?" Peter demanded. Davy's hands suddenly began flailing. Peter grabbed his wrists, stilling their wild movements. "Davy," he ordered, "tell us who did this!"
Tears welled up in Davy's huge, sightless brown eyes. "You can't, can you?" Peter asked. Davy shook his head.
"Blind and mute?" Micky gasped.
Mike ordered, "Open your mouth, Davy." Davy did and Mike shone a beam down his throat. "Well," he reported, "all the necessary equipment's there, just like his eyes. There's absolutely no damage."
"They just don't work," Peter finished. He released Davy's wrists and asked, "Is there anything else?" Davy nodded. "Tell us as best you can," Peter ordered.
Davy pointed to his chest. "You," Peter said. Davy nodded. Davy moved a hand up and down and flexed his muscles. "Your power," Peter said. Davy nodded. Then Davy shook his head. "No," Peter said. Davy nodded. "You have no powers," Peter said. Davy nodded.
"Davy," Mike said gently, "show us who did this to you. And why."
Davy took a deep breath and pointed to himself. "You," Peter said. Davy pointed two fingers down and made a walking motion. Then he mimed using a tracer.
"You were scanning," Micky said. "You were trying to find the last jewel?" Davy nodded. He pointed to his eyes. "You saw something," Micky said.
Davy patted the ground, then made a rough circle in the dirt. "You saw a ring?" Micky asked, confused. Davy shook his head. He touched the ground with a fingertip and made a rough circle around it. Then he made a clumsy attempt at a cross in the dirt.
Peter got it. "You saw a religious ceremony." Davy nodded. He made the finger-circle combination several more times.
Mike frowned. "The ceremony was worshipping something in the middle of the ring?" Davy nodded. "What?" Mike asked.
Davy frowned, thinking hard. Then he traced a female shape in the air, and petted the rock he sat on.
"Woman-rock?" Peter said, frowning. Davy made a motion that one made in Charades when the guesser was on the right track, but had a ways to go. Peter tried again. "Woman... rock. Rock... woman... They were worshipping a statue of a woman?" Davy nodded.
"Hey, I saw that ceremony," Micky said. "I flew over it, but stayed invisible."
Davy mimed walking into the clearing where the ceremony was held.
"Uh-oh," Mike said. "I think I know where this is heading. They were ticked off, to say the least, and did this to you as punishment?" Davy nodded.
So did Micky. "They would. All the participants were chicks."
Peter nodded slowly. "An exclusively female religious ceremony. A man walks into the middle of it, and they punish him. But how could they do it so quickly and with no visible effect?"
Davy held up a hand and pointed to his mouth. He began to mouth a single word over and over.
Mike read his lips. "Magic?" Davy nodded.
"Come on!" Micky said. "There's no such thing!"
Peter turned to look at him. "Before our encounter with that radioactive cloud, there was no such thing as super-powers on our world."
Micky sighed. "So magic does exist here?"
Peter answered verbally, as Davy could not see a nod. "That's right. The big question is, how do we: number one, find these women?"
"Number two," Mike continued, "fight their magic..."
"And number three," Micky finished, "get them to return Davy to normal?"
Davy nodded. He held up four fingers and made a motion of taking something, then held up his hand with thumb and forefinger forming a small circle.
"That's right, Davy," Peter said. "Number four, retrieve the jewel." Peter looked around. "All right, guys. Conference. I need ideas."
Davy suddenly brightened, then his face fell and he shook his head. "What?" Peter asked. "Do you have an idea?" Davy nodded. "Well?" Davy shook his head and spread his hands.
Mike said, "You have no idea how to tell us." Davy nodded. "Try."
Davy sighed. He turned his head back and forth, finding the angle of the sun he could no longer see. He reached a hand behind him and pointed. Then he made a female shape and pointed in the general direction of his friends. Then he pointed behind him again.
Peter smiled. "I think I get it. You were brought from that direction after you were... transformed." A look of pain crossed Davy's face. "So you think if we go in that direction, we'll find the women who did this to you." Davy nodded.
"Pete," Micky pointed out, "they might do that to us!"
Mike said, "I agree. That's why I think one of us has to go alone. We'll have a better chance of persuading those women this was all just a huge misunderstanding if we don't suddenly descend upon them."
"I think you're right," Peter said. "Good luck."
Mike blinked. "Me?"
Peter shrugged, smiling. "Your idea."
Mike glared at him, then lay a hand on Davy's shoulder. Davy started at the unexpected touch. "Sorry, man," Mike said. "We'll get you back to normal." Then he grinned, and it showed in his voice. "Or as normal as a Monkee can ever be."
Davy grinned and took Mike's arm in his hands. He removed it from his shoulder and squeezed Mike's hand, nodded, then let him go. He then held up his hands.
All of the fingers were crossed. Even the thumbs. Three Monkees laughed, and Mike walked out of the clearing in the direction Davy had indicated.
After ten minutes of walking, Mike found himself at the edge of another clearing. Seven women were reverently covering a statue with a tarp. Three others were standing in a group, talking. They were all in regular miniskirts save for one, who wore a long black dress. A pile of folded robes lay at the foot of the statue.
Mike stepped forward and cleared his throat. Ten pairs of eyes whirled to face him and instantly blazed with anger.
"Heretic!" one screamed. "Another heretic!"
Mike raised both hands. "No... wait! Please! I don't know what you're talking about! I just need help for my friend!"
The older woman in the black dress frowned. "You don't know what we're... Arianna! Truth spell!"
Mike thought he understood that. He forced himself to stand perfectly still and let the light beam the woman threw at him hit him square in the chest. He felt a curious sort of sensation pass through him -- cold and hot at the same time.
The older woman stepped forward. "State your name."
"Robert Michael Nesmith."
"Lie to me, Robert. State your name."
Pudden tane, Mike thought. But he surprised himself when he heard himself say, "Robert Michael Nesmith."
"He is enspelled," the older woman said. "He can state naught but the truth. Question him."
The one that had been called Arianna stepped forward. "Why are you here, Robert?"
"Mike, Please. I'm called Mike. I'm here to help my friend and to retrieve a jewel left here long ago."
"We know of no jewel," another woman said. "Of what friend do you speak?"
"He stumbled onto your ceremony by mistake. When we found him he was blind, mute, and..." He fought not to spill their secret, but heard it come from him anyhow. "Powerless."
"Yes," the older woman said. "We know him. Do you mean to say you are ignorant of who we are and of our rites?"
"Yes. We are..." Again he fought to conceal the secret, and again it was wrenched from him. "We are not from this world. We are from another dimension."
The older woman stepped forward. "I am called Mistress. Explain this... power you refer to."
"I am a member of a quartet called the Monkees. The man you attacked is one, too. We each have a special gift -- a power -- that we use for good."
Mistress nodded. "And what is your gift, Michael? Show me."
Mike raised his hands. Fireworks shot from them and exploded above the women. He raised his left hand above Mistress's head and she was bathed in a cone of light. He pointed his right hand toward the woods. A laser beam shot from it and leveled a tree.
Mistress nodded as Mike cut off the light and lowered his hands. "A dangerous ability. The one we punished ... what was his?"
"He can... could... alter his size. With the shift came tremendous strength."
"And the two others you mentioned?"
"George Michael Dolenz... Micky... He can turn invisible and project protective force-fields. Those fields also let him fly. Peter Halsten Thorkelson... Peter Tork... He's our leader. He's telekinetic, also a flier. You can tell when he's using his power because his eyes glow blue."
Arianna moved to Mistress's side. "And the one we punished? What was his name?"
"David Armstrong Jones... Davy, we call him."
Arianna looked at Mistress. "Mistress, did we punish him unjustly?"
Mistress thought, then spoke slowly. "It would seem we did. This one is still enspelled and can speak nothing but the truth. They are indeed ignorant of our customs and thus, exempt from the punitive laws." She turned to Mike. "Where is your group?"
"In a clearing about a half-mile east of here."
"I'll go," Arianna said. "I caused the darkness."
"He's mute and powerless, too," Mike pointed out.
Mistress nodded. "We shall recreate the attack and ascertain which of us caused the other two spells." She smiled sheepishly. "You see, Michael, Arianna attacked first. Then we all struck him with our magics. And without a life-threatening situation, only the one who created the spells can break it."
Mike nodded. "Thank you, Mistress. I am grateful." He turned to Arianna. "This way."
They ran out of the clearing and Mistress smiled. "I know you are, child," she said to herself. "You can still speak nothing but the truth. I hope Arianna remembers to lift the spell from you."
"Here he comes," Micky said. Peter rose to his feet as Mike burst into the clearing, Arianna behind him.
"Guys," he panted, "this is Arianna."
Arianna scanned the trio. She looked straight at Peter. "This must be the Peter you told me about. He has the aura of a leader."
Peter nodded. "Arianna."
Her eyes moved to Micky. "And that would mean you are Micky. The vanishing one."
Micky glared at Mike. "You told her?"
Mike shook his head. "I couldn't help it! She put a truth spell on me!"
Arianna knelt and took Davy's hands. "And you are the one we punished. Please accept our regrets. We assumed you were a marauder heretic."
Davy nodded and smiled at her voice.
Peter took a step forward. "Arianna, I'm sorry, but all the regrets in the world won't make him see or speak again."
Arianna released Davy's hands and stood up. "No. But perhaps this will help. Stand, David."
Davy raised a hand over his head to make sure he didn't hit it on anything, and stood up. Arianna raised her hands. A bolt of light soared from her and struck Davy in the chest.
Davy swayed. His eyes widened and lost their brown color. They became white from corner to corner, with only a thin black line marking the iris. Then a black band was visible across his eyes. This band severed and vanished, leaving brown eyes blinking in confusion. The confusion turned to a threefold cheer of elation as Davy's eyes focused on Mike.
Davy turned to Arianna, eyes widening as he took in her beauty. He said, "Thank you." Only no sound came out. Davy's hands flew to his throat. His eyes widened in horror and panic as he screamed wordlessly I can't talk! I still can't talk!
Mike held up a hand. "Now just calm down, Davy. Arianna is the one who made you blind, and that was the only spell she could lift. Mistress and the others are recreating the attack to see which ones made you mute and powerless."
Peter addressed Arianna. "And when they know?"
She smiled. "The spells will be lifted. We have no desire to see an innocent suffer."
"Then why'd you do this in the first place?" Micky exploded.
Mike answered, "She told me on the way here. These women are what we would call Amazons. They live here and hone their mystic skills. But there's a group of men over the ridge about five miles away that hate them and keep trying to wipe them out."
Arianna nodded. "They hate all that we stand for. All that Bretanya stands for. They are committed to our destruction."
Micky frowned. "Bretanya?"
Mike nodded. "That's the statue Davy saw."
Arianna finished, "So you see, David, we thought you were one of the marauders. Our laws state we must punish each marauder we find in our encampment as a warning to others. But you were ignorant of our situation and did not deserve what happened. We are truly sorry."
Davy nodded. He believed her.
"What about me?" Mike asked.
Arianna turned, puzzled. "What about you?"
"I'm still enspelled, remember? I can't tell anything but the truth!"
Arianna laughed. "Ah, yes. The male propensity for delusion. Remove it and they eventually go mad. Stand still, Michael." Mike did and another bolt of light hit him. Arianna said, "Lie to me, Michael. Tell me what your gift is."
"I have no gifts," Mike said. "I lost my powers." He grinned. "Thanks, Arianna."
Arianna smiled at the Monkees. "Come to our city. You are all welcome, now that we know you mean us no harm. Mistress and the others will be able to help David more readily there."
As they emerged into the clearing, Davy grasped Peter's arm. Peter smiled at him. "Scared?" Davy nodded. Peter turned to face him. "Don't worry. They've pledged our safety. If there's trouble, we'll protect you." A look of aggravation crossed Davy's face, and he stuck out his tongue. Peter laughed. "I know -- you hate being protected." Then he sobered. "All joking aside, till you get your powers back..." Davy sighed and nodded. They walked into the clearing.
Mistress held out her arms to Davy. Davy took her hands. "Please, David, accept our regrets." Davy squeezed her hands, smiled at her, and nodded. Mistress smiled. "We have isolated the one responsible for your silence." Davy brightened. "I am. When you are ready, I shall lift it."
Davy dropped her hands and took five steps backward. He spread his hands and nodded. Mistress closed her eyes. A shaft of light erupted from her body and struck Davy.
Davy arched backward. His mouth opened in a silent scream. Suddenly a black band was visible around his Adam's apple. The band severed and vanished. Mistress ended the spell and Davy fell to his hands and knees, gasping.
Peter took a step forward, and Davy raised a hand. Still taking deep breaths, Davy climbed to his feet. He locked eyes with Mistress, challenging her with his eyes. Mistress smiled at him. Davy nodded and took a deep breath.
"Thank you, Mistress."
The four cheered. Davy's voice was back!
Mistress, however, frowned. "I apologize, David. It would seem there was an unexpected side-effect of my spell. Let me try again."
"Side-effect?" Davy gasped. "What side-effect? Mistress, what are you..." Then Mistress's spell hit him. There was no pain this time. Davy gingerly touched his throat. "Mistress," he said softly, "what did you do?" His eyes widened as he heard the results of her second attempt and he clamped a hand over his mouth.
"Davy?" Peter asked. "We didn't quite hear that."
Davy dropped his hands. He looked from one friend to the other. His brown eyes were huge.
"What side-effect?" Micky asked. "His voice sounded fine!"
"No... not to her, it didn't," Davy said. Three pairs of eyes widened and locked onto him. The voice had been his, but the way it had sounded when Micky had been inside him. Davy smiled a shaky smile. "So she removed what she heard as a side-effect of her spell and..."
Peter cut him off. "Oh, no."
Mike and Micky locked eyes. "She removed his accent," Mike gasped.
Micky looked at Mistress. "Mistress, I'm afraid you don't understand."
Mistress tilted her head. "Then, please. Make me understand."
Davy took a step forward. "You see, Mistress, there was no side-effect. I'm supposed to have that accent. I'm British, they're American."
Mistress shook her head. "Those titles mean nothing to me."
Peter tried. "Mistress, he's from a different land than we are. All from his land speak with that accent."
"Oh," Mistress said, eyes filling with horror. "Oh! David, I'm so sorry!"
Davy smiled. "It's all right, Mistress. You were as ignorant of our customs as we were of yours."
"I would like to set it right," Mistress said.
"I don't know," Micky grinned. "I kind of like having him sound this way. It makes us uniform."
"It makes us boring!" Davy snapped. "I like my accent! It's part of who I am!" He turned to Mistress. "Give it back to me. Please."
Mistress zapped Davy again. Davy cleared his throat. "The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain..." He grinned. "I sound like myself again!"
Mistress smiled, then sobered. "Sadly, David, we cannot yet find the one who crippled you. And without a life-or-death situation, only she can lift the spell."
Continue on to Part Two