Castle Roland

The Shimmering Ship

by Darryl-Radio Rancher


Chapter 14

Published: 25 Jun 15

The Shimmering Ship

The Radio Rancher
Edited by The Radio Rancher

Timmy awoke in a strange room and he was very frightened.A tall dark haired man with a scruffy beard was sitting in a chair eyeing Timmy with an angry scowl on his face.

Timmy couldn't tell if the man was scowling at him or at the situation in general.

The man was thinking that it had been a big mistake to kidnap Timmy.

He was sure that no good would come of this insane plan.Timmy's father had hatched a plan to kidnap Timmy and get the meddling Arphoans to pay handsomely for his return. He felt that all the trouble that they had gone through to rescue the six prisoners from death made them prime targets for the extortion game. Timmy stirred and the man looked at him. "If you want to live, you will do as you are told," the man said, in the typical mind speech of the planet.

Timmy had no doubt that the man would kill him, if he got the chance. Timmy had no intention of giving him that chance.

The man slowly began to smile at Timmy.

Timmy wasn't sure what that meant, but he thought he probably should try to find out. Timmy gently and carefully probed the mind of his guard. He used tiny tendrils of telepathy to determine if the man noticed his questing mind.

Once Timmy was sure that this mind had no ability to sense his presence in it, he probed deeply and discovered what the kidnappers had in mind for him. He wasn't happy. He was scared nearly to death, and so was the man guarding him, death is what the men had decided would be his fate if they didn't get their way, and, maybe even if they did get what they wanted. Timmy was not sure how long he had been held here.

Time seemed to be a little fuzzy to him at the moment. He decided to call Del, and maybe get some help.

He sent a tight, powerful beam of telepathic energy, directly toward Del."Help! I have been kidnapped, and I am being held hostage!" The mood of the people on the Dawntreader was dismal. Everyone was trying to come up with a plan to rescue Timmy, which of course involved trying to locate him, precisely. The ship erupted in chaos when Del leapt to his feet shouting, "I have him located, to within a centimeter."

Of course, no one but Del and Jamie had heard Timmy's distress call. But Del gave everyone the good news as Jamie was a little uneasy about letting people know how complete his and Del's link was. It had been extremely strong, especially considering that it had come from the underground room on the planet with some of the strongest dampening material known in the universe.

Timmy's mind energy was extremely powerful, possibly rivaling that of Del himself.

Del sent his comforting reply directly to Timmy, and told him to keep sending out images of fear and anger. Now all they had to do was figure out how to rescue Timmy and put an end to all the hateful plotting.

Bish spoke first, saying, "The most important thing is to rescue Timmy, but once we have him back, I think we need to make sure that nothing like this happens again. After all, if this had happened to someone else, that we didn't know, the victim would still be in danger.

"We need to let these people know, in no uncertain terms, that the council will not tolerate this type of action. We need to put the spotlight on it, so there will be no reason to worry about the safety of children, anywhere."

"Let's get Timmy out of there, now!" said Del.

"Good Idea." said Bish.

Del opened a link between himself and Timmy.

"Pay close attention, Timmy. I am going to put some information into your mind. Don't worry; it's going to be alright." Del told Timmy gently.

"Once I show you this, together we will transport you out of there to the Dawntreader."

As his guard watched, in total disbelief, Timmy faded from the room, and reappeared in front of all his friends on the Dawntreader. He was even more shocked when he realized he was, himself, being transported to a detention cell on the Dawntreader.

Chaos reigned then, as everyone rushed to hug and embrace Timmy.

He knew that he had friends that really cared for him, and, for the first time in his short life, he knew he was loved.

Ellen and Dorn were surrounding Timmy in a huge hug. They looked down at him and said, together, as one, "Would you like to be our son?"

"Oh yes!" said Timmy, "That would be wonderful."

Jamie ran over and joined in the hug, he said, "My brother, I love you."

The two boys stood there holding each other for several minutes.

"Now we need to work out our strategy for dealing with these people and how to prevent something like this from happening again."

They all looked at the man who had been guarding Timmy."What in the world were you planning to do with Timmy?" Asked, Bish in a tone that no one had heard him use before. You could feel the anger and contempt that Bish felt toward the man. It hung in the room like a dirty gray fog.

"You have been caught kidnapping and holding a citizen of Earth, and soon to be a citizen by adoption, of Arphoa. This is a grave offence, on both of our worlds, and subject to some very heavy penalties, among them, a long term in prison. Since we caught you with our young friend here, and you were holding him against his will, you will be considered guilty of the crime of kidnapping and illegal restraint. If, however, you wish to cooperate with our investigation, we may consider alternatives for your punishment." Bish told him, smiling at him contemptuously.

"You see, we don't believe you acted alone in this situation, and we would very much like to put an end to this, once and for all. If you will help us bring the men who planned this to justice, we will make things go a lot easier on you. Will you help us?" asked Bish.

"What can I do?" asked the man. "If they find out Timmy escaped from me, I am as good as dead anyway."

"Believe it or not, we won’t let them harm you. I know you will find this hard to believe, but we know that you did this, under threat of you own life. We realize that you are a victim, too, and that is what we are going to change if we can, and, with your help, I think we can put an end to this situation forever. Timmy told us that you were not mean to him, and that you seemed to be upset with the whole kidnapping scheme. We are monitoring the room where you and Timmy were, and no one has bothered to look in there since you left. With your help, we can stop this, now."

"I will do anything to make up for hurting Timmy. Timmy, I am so sorry, I caused you any harm," said the man.

"What's your name?" asked Timmy.

"John, John Ashley." he said.

"Well," said Bish, "I would like to have one of our people scan your mind, to see if we can determine how best to proceed, with stopping those people from repeating this type of behavior."

"Go ahead! Will it hurt?" John was a little scared.

"No! You won't feel a thing." Said Bish."If I wouldn't feel it, then why did you ask me first?" asked John

"We never invade someone's mind without asking." Bish replied. "We made that decision after we rescued six people sentenced to death on your world, and they tried to hijack our ship and take it goodness knows where. We stopped them with our own mind power, which it turned out was much stronger than theirs, but they didn't know that before hand."

"Not only will I help you, but if you will have me, I want to go with you, when you leave here. This is a very strict and heavy handed place to live, and I am very tired of playing the game of politics," said John.

Bish introduced John to Del, and Del asked if he could enter John's mind.

"When we rescued six people from your planet a while back, I entered the minds of those people after they had tried to kidnap us and possibly do other harm. After thinking about what I had done to them, I realized that I should have given them a choice.

"John reassured Del that he had no problem letting him scan his mind.

Del scanned John's mind and found that he was indeed telling the truth. Del asked John if he wanted to have his mind cleansed of the pain that was so heavily deposited there.

John looked into Del's beautiful deep blue eyes and realized he had no reason to fear Del.

"If you can do that, I would be very grateful." John answered with a touch of hope in his voice that hadn't been heard from him in many years.

Del managed to soothe and restore balance to John's mind, giving him a greater potential for learning and increasing his mental capacity several fold.

Del asked John if he wanted to have the ability to read thoughts, as this talent is quite useful to most human species.

John told Del that he really didn't want to have that talent right now, but he thought he might want to try it sometime later.

John was impressed that Del had all the talents and capabilities and yet was so young. Of course Del didn't tell John how old he actually was and that a part of his being was orbiting serious. Maybe sometime later if it seemed important, he might tell him, but that could wait.

"Bish has been communicating with the leader of your planetary council to negotiate a rescue of Timmy." Dorn told John. "We don't want them to know that we have already rescued him, just yet. That is where you come in, John. If your people arrive at the room where Timmy was held, we need to have you there to tell them that Timmy is being watched.

"Of course that wasn't a lie. No one said who was watching Timmy.

"If they insist on seeing Timmy, we can project an image that should be pretty convincing. We will do our best to get you out of there quickly, but I think we will need to have you there in person, to react directly with the people there. You may have to shoot Timmy, or rather his image, and that would not be a safe situation for the real Timmy to be in. We are going to give these people enough opportunity to do the crime that they have planned, and then we will show our hand, so to speak."

"Once we can prove that Timmy was indeed being held by men of your world and that a ransom was being demanded, we can take the incident to the galactic council for action against at least the group of people responsible and possibly sanctions against your planet's government. Of course, the amount of cooperation we get from your government will help determine how much trouble we will cause them." Dorn frowned and looked at John. "It has started, John. We are sending you to the room again. We will watch and react as quickly as possible. Try not to worry."

John soon found himself back in the room where he had been guarding Timmy. It was amazing to John that Timmy seemed to be laying there sleeping on his cot.

John sat in his position holding the disintegrator pistol and keeping his eyes fixed on Timmy.The thugs burst through the door and one of them began to shout."Kill the little bastard, they are after us and we can't have that little brat alive to identify us."

John fired the disintegrator gun at the boy on the cot and the entire area dissolved into smoke and flames.

"There," said John, I hope you are satisfied. How can you snuff out the life of one so young like he was a rat in an alley?" asked John.

He was holding the gun pointed at the floor at the moment.

One of the men answered him.

"We were supposed to be paid ten million credits to finish him off or get that in ransom from his friends on earth. Our contacts there seemed to think that there was a very generous party who would do anything to get him back."

"Now what are you going to do since you no longer have him as a hostage?" asked John.

"They don't know that yet, so we go on as before and then when they pay us we give them a story where to find him and then we go on our way with the money and split." the man replied.

"Who came up with the idea in the first place?" asked John, figuring he might as well find out as much as he could.

"Oh, it was Timmy's father William Vardon's idea. He thought it was wrong to send Timmy to earth to live and he wanted to get him back here where he thought Timmy belonged, but I guess the government stuck their noses into it and wanted Timmy released. Since Vardon couldn't have Timmy here with him, he figured no one else should have him either, so we were ordered to have him shot. Vardon was shot to death by the police a few minutes ago so we are free of him now, too."

"I can't believe you would have someone killed just because Vardon couldn't have his son held here against his will," said John.

"Well its too late now, isn't it?" said the man.

"I guess that depends on whether you care what happened to Timmy, whether it is too late." said John. "Did you ever think that Timmy didn't die just then?"

"What do you mean?" asked the man.

As an answer, John thought "Del, bring us to the Dawntreader, please."

Instantly, the entire group vanished from the room and reappeared in the same positions aboard the Dawntreader.

There was only one difference the men were now unarmed and the entire group was surrounded by armed Arphoans and Earthmen.

That was nothing compared to the expressions on their faces when they saw Timmy, unharmed, surrounded by his friends, and receiving affection all around.

It seemed that this was not a successful day for the kidnappers.

Bish showed the video to the council of governors and demanded that the government take full responsibility for the actions of the kidnappers.

The council tried to deny that they had any responsibility. The argument continued for several hours. Finally it was decided that the kidnappers would be given over to the custody of the Arphoans.

The men were put into a room where they met with Del. It seemed that Del would talk to them and determine just what each man's punishment would be. He was completely fair, and open with them.

They first had some choices to make, namely would they allow Del to enter their minds. Also would they allow him to alter their brain patterns to remove the tendency to commit criminal activity?

If the answer to either or both of those questions was no, then the men would be tried, in a court of law, where they would be judged by a jury, and if found guilty, they would be sentenced accordingly.

If any of them allowed Del to check and modify their mind, they would be allowed to return to their world and no further action would be taken toward them.

Their criminal records would be wiped clean and they would be given full citizenship rights.

If they didn't want to return home, they were given a choice of emigrating to Earth or Arphoa, where they would receive full citizenship and the privileges that come with such citizenship.

Of the five men caught, only one refused to have Del examine him.

He was tried and sentenced to death in a similar ship to the one that Del discovered and helped save six passengers' lives. After the ship was set adrift in space, the occupants were contacted by Del.

He told them, "You have some options here, and at least one of them is going to be very unpleasant. This ship has not been given much fuel or air. It will take you several days to discover the tampered readings on the gauges. You will not survive long enough to reach any other planet or star system. I am telling you this because my people value life above all else. We cannot, in good conscience, allow you to be set adrift, floating in space to die.

"He gave each of the passengers the same choice he had given the kidnappers, with the same results, with the exception, that he could not offer them the ability to return to their home world.

Those that said he could enter and modify their minds would be allowed to emigrate to Earth or Arphoa.

Those that refused were allowed to remain on the ship to end their lives alone.

There were thirty people on the death ship the same number as were on the other ship.

Of that thirty, only five people refused Del's offer.

Del teleported the twenty-five people when agreed to his offer and allowed the ship to drift away without any further contact.

Interestingly enough, the man who refused to allow Del to modify his mind and was sentenced to death was not among the five who refused the second time. This caused the question to arise; namely, is there a reason that things happen, the example being if that man had not refused to let Del change his mind, he would not have been sentenced to the death ship and all the other people on that ship might have perished, but such things happen so who is to say whether it was fate of just very good luck on the part of the other sentenced people.

Del gave each of the twenty-nine people a clean bill of health, so to speak. He told them that he would help them any way he could and that he knew they would make their new lives very successful.

The trip to Arphoa was uneventful, but crowded, what with the extra people aboard.

The red tape which, normally accompanies the arrival of new people to the planet, was lessoned considerably by the intervention of Bish, who seemed to know just how to get what he wanted.

Of course, Bish's being the son of the leader of the council didn't hurt anything either.

Everyone was processed quickly, and given temporary housing.

It is best not to argue with Bish if you know what is good for you.

It was decided early on to make the trip to Arphoa first, to give Timmy a chance to meet his mother, and get to know her.

They would be given the opportunity to live on Arphoa or Earth, depending on their choice.

Of course, all the boys tried to convince Timmy to choose Earth.

Only time would tell, as there were advantages to each of those two wonderful planets. Each group seemed to want the newcomers and Timmy to choose their world, and each gave numerous reasons that "proved" theirs was the best place to live.

Timmy wanted very much to live on Earth because he now had friends and a new family there. He hardly knew his mother, after all, he hadn't seen her since he was an infant.

She was glad that Timmy was safe, and that Ellen and Dorn wanted to adopt Timmy. She gladly gave up her parental rights, and all future direct connections with Timmy in the hope that he would have a much happier life with his new family and friends.

Ellen and Dorn told Timmy's mom that she could visit them any time she wished.

They realized that she had allowed Timmy to be taken to Earth for his own protection, and she only wanted the best for him.

Timmy, being young had his own ideas as to his mother's motives, but he decided to keep them to himself and not cause a scene. At least she didn't try to keep him from staying with the people that he knew loved him, and would take good care of him.

There was one man who wanted to have a closer relationship with Timmy.

It was John Ashley. He had really taken a liking to Timmy and was very glad that he had not been forced to kill him. He knew there had to be a reason that he had been involved with the rescue of Timmy, and he wanted very much to be close by, and involved with Timmy's life. He therefore decided to live on Earth.

He liked Timmy a great deal and he saw the potential in Timmy that he was sure that Timmy didn't see in himself yet. John was going to make sure, if he possibly could, that Timmy would reach his potential, and surpass it.

John had been a ruthless killer, but thanks to Del's restructuring of his mind, John was pointing his abilities in a different altogether positive direction, namely that of a guidance counselor.

He knew the streets from many different angles and he was sure that he could influence young people to change their activities toward a more positive direction.

End part 14

Wow how would you like to have a killer as your guidance councilor? But then, after all, Del had a nice talk with him, so to speak. Timmy got home and he is glad he is on earth. He now has a family that loves him and cares what happens to him, but will that be enough to overcome his emotional distress over being held against his will?

Stay tuned to find out.

In the next few chapters, we will be taking a closer look at some of the people we haven't seen much of so far. It is time to learn more about some of them.

We will do that, all in good time.

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