Quest Eight -- Heretic -- Part Two

Suddenly a woman came racing up. "Marauders!" she gasped. "Over the ridge!"

It was Peter who answered. "Let's go, Monkees!"

Mistress grabbed his arm. "What are you doing?"

Peter replied, "We're going to protect you."

"Why? You barely know us!"

Davy smiled at her. "We use our gifts to protect and help."

Mistress nodded. "Then take Bretanya's blessings." She raised a hand.

And Peter raised his. "No, Mistress. We have our own beliefs, our own God."

Mistress frowned as she lowered her hand. "Others with a different God seek only our destruction. You know a different God, and still you help us?"

Mike smiled. "It's the right thing to do, Mistress." Then the smile faded. "Is there somewhere Davy can be safe?"

Mistress nodded. "The palace. Come, David."

Mistress and Arianna rushed Davy to the palace. Two other women picked up the tarp-covered statue and followed them. The other six Amazons stood in a line, waiting. Peter and Mike stood at either end of the line.

One of the women leaned over to Mike. "Where is the curly-haired one?"

Mike smiled at her. "Around. His gift is invisibility."

The woman beside Peter whispered, "Do not tell Mistress, but I am afraid."

"What's your name?" Peter whispered back.


"I'll tell you a secret, Tamera. I'm afraid, too." She peered dubiously at him and Peter nodded. "I lead this group. Each time we get in a new adventure, I'm afraid I'll let them down."

Tamera smiled again, squeezing his arm. Then she looked ahead of them and the smile faded. "They come."


Mistress and Davy stood side by side on the porch of the palace, watching what was happening in the clearing far below. Mistress whispered, "They come."

Davy did a quick count of the soldiers that came over the ridge. "Seventy versus nine. Hardly seems fair."

Mistress nodded. "Those are typical odds. The marauders seek to overwhelm us by sheer numbers." She blinked. "Nine? I count eight."

Suddenly two marauders tripped over nothing and fell. Two behind them did the same.

Davy smiled. "No, Mistress. Nine. Micky's invisible."

The battle was quickly joined. Laser beams and magic, telekinesis and force fields versus guns and swords. For a time, their powers gave the nine the upper hand.

Then Davy watched in horror as two women fell.

Sensing the tide was turning, the marauders surged forward. Mike, busy with a cluster of marauders, didn't notice the one that eased up behind him. The marauder raised his gun and brought the butt of it down on Mike's head.

"No!" Davy screamed as Mike's eyes rolled back in his head. His whole body began to glow slightly as he slid into unconsciousness.

The marauder smiled, raised his gun, and cocked it.

"NO!" Davy screamed again. Both hands flew to his temples, which suddenly throbbed.

The marauder pulled the trigger.

However, instead of the gun firing, the barrel exploded, knocking the marauder down. He shook his head and looked up.

Peter stood over him, eyes glowing. His telekinesis had frozen the bullet in the chamber. He telekinetically wrenched the gun from the marauder's hand and struck him over the head with it.

Davy screamed as something exploded in his head. He sagged to his knees and tears of pain welled up in his eyes.

"David?" Mistress helped him to his feet. "David?" she repeated. "Are you all right?"

Davy shook his head violently, trying to dispel the pain. Another shake, and the pain was gone. He looked at Mistress. "I... I will be...." He frowned. "Mistress?"

"Yes, David?"

"I'm having to look down to see your eyes." He shook his head again, then opened his eyes and looked at Mistress. "Yeah," he gasped, "you're definitely smaller." Davy realized what he was saying and a grin spread across his face. "How tall are you?"

Mistress frowned. "Five foot three. Why?"

"So am I. So why am I having to look down to see you?" He didn't give her a chance to answer. "Because I'm five feet five!" Davy reached over and touched the wall of the palace. He pushed slightly and his hand sank into the solid stone wall.

"Your power!" Mistress gasped. "It has returned!"

Davy turned to her. "Mistress, what is the least important roof in this palace?"

"The one over the baths. Why?"

"Show me!"

Mistress did. Davy took her hands and led her a safe distance away, then went back to the baths. Mistress couldn't stifle the gasp as Davy grew before her eyes. Six feet... seven... ten... fifteen... At twenty feet, the growth stopped.

Davy lifted off the roof with no more effort than one would lift a small table. He balanced it in his hands and very carefully headed toward the battle.


Five of the Amazons and Mike were down. Peter, Micky and Tamera stood back-to-back-to-back, fighting with all their strength. The twenty remaining marauders circled them, pressing in.

Suddenly a shadow passed over them. A huge piece of stone crashed down behind them, trapping the marauders between it and the standing warriors.

In the frozen silence, Tamera gasped, "That's the roof from the baths!"

Davy came racing up. "I'm here to help!"

Micky yelled, "Davy, get back to the palace!"

"No." Davy grew to match Micky's six-foot-one. "I'm here to help!"

There was no time to celebrate. Arianna joined the battle and with the surprise reinforcements, all the remaining marauders were overcome in minutes.

Arianna put her arms around a sagging Tamera and led her to the palace. Peter lay his hands on his knees for a second, gasping for breath, then slapped Davy on the back. "Welcome back," he grinned.

Davy grinned up at him as he resumed normal height, then called, "Hey, Micky? What're you doing?"

Micky was bent over a marauder, removing the unconscious man's clothes. He looked at Davy and grinned. "Pete's dressed about normal. So are these marauders. But the three of us are still in 1500s style clothes! These three look about our sizes, so..."

After a quick exchange of clothes, eight foot tall Davy carried Mike to the palace while Peter and Micky helped the Amazons move the unconscious marauders back to their own borders.

None of the men were dead. The Amazons and Monkees had fought only to disable.


Mistress met them at the palace doorway on their return. "A fine battle," she told them. "Only one life lost--" Peter blanched --- Michael? "No, Peter, it was one of my own. Michael is well."

"Yeah," Mike said, coming out of the palace leaning on six-foot-tall Davy, "'cept I've got a headache and a half!"

Davy grinned at them as he helped Mike sit down, and shrank back to normal size. "He'll be all right once the pain killers Mistress gave him kick in."

Micky blinked at her. "No magic spell for pain?"

"Yes, we have one. But it will not work on Michael. He is the wrong gender." Mistress ignored Mike's scowl and Davy's laughter and held her hands out to Peter. A brilliant sapphire rested in them.

"No," Peter said. "We can't accept--"

"Pete," Davy interrupted, "it's the last jewel."

"What was it?" Micky asked softly.

Mistress's eyes dropped. She answered in a whisper. "Bretanya."

Peter took the jewel. "I'm sorry, Mistress." He bit his lip as if warring with himself, then went on, "Mistress, why don't you ask the true God to reveal Himself to you?"

Mistress met his eyes. "What is His Name?"

Peter smiled slightly. "Ask Him that as well. He'll tell you."

She returned his smile. "I shall. Thank you."

"And thank you, Mistress," Davy said. "I don't know who lifted that last spell, but..."

Mistress turned the smile on him. "You lifted it, David."

Micky had extended the wand on his tracer when Mistress's words impacted him. He froze. "Davy lifted it? I thought only the one who cast it could lift it!"

Peter raised his hand and touched the jewel to the tracer. The jewel vanished from his palm. Micky retracted the wand and stuck the tracer in his jeans pocket.

Mistress nodded. "Usually, that is true. Only the one who cast it is the one who can lift it. But in a life or death situation, the victim of the spell can lift it." She lay a hand on Davy's shoulder. "The bonds of true friendship are as strong as those of family. When you saw your friend's life endangered, you had to help."

Mike smiled. "Wow..."

Mistress looked at the Monkees. "Your quest is over," she said. "You are leaving now?"

"I'm afraid so, Mistress," Peter said.

"Will I see you again?"

"I don't know. Maybe." Peter drew her into a hug. "Good-bye, Mistress." Mistress hugged each Monkee, then they walked into the woods.

As they emerged into the clearing they had arrived in, Mike said, "You know, I just noticed something. This is the first dimension that we didn't meet our own doubles!" The rest of the Monkees were musing on that as Mike triggered his watch and they vanished.

At long last, the Monkees were headed home.


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