Jimi Twelvetrees (Part 3)

Jimi Twelvetrees (Part 3)

A Story by Wez Hardyn

science fiction / western adventure

Chapter Nine

  American Horse was not impressed by the planet Makossa. It loomed before him on the screen looking cold and grey. So this was the home of the time travelers and the legendary Twelvetrees. He had heard the stories as a child, never imagining that he was the warrior who would discover the truth, or otherwise, of the legend. Nearly 200 years ago, the story said, the great medicine man had given his people the means and the heart to fight the white invaders. A treaty was finally agreed, and enforced by the Lakota, that restricted the Europeans to the land east of the Mississippi. But the border was always tense; the whites were a restless race, always living in the future and not the present. The United Tribes had made alliances with other indigenous peoples in South America, Africa and Australia. Everywhere the European expansion had been controlled - but war was threatening once again. The Lakota knew their enemy had a source of great power that was destabilizing the power balance. It was believed by some that the Makossans had betrayed Twelvetrees and given the Crystal Skull of Thoka to the Europeans. Why had this happened? If he had to, he would destroy this meddling race of aliens and their time travelling technology.
‘We cannot find any military installations on the planet, Sir. It looks as if they’re completely defenseless. What are your orders?’
‘Get into close formation and go down into the atmosphere above the main population centre. We’ll make a show of force before we attempt to communicate. Be on your guard, this culture is far in advance of us so we do not know what to expect - but then, of course, neither do they’


  Jimi and Susan sat in his father’s travel pod waiting for the engines to come online. This thing had not been used for 20 years and would need coaxing back to life. He had promised to return as soon as he could but he feared the alarm call might have something to do with his activities - he had, after all, broken almost every law of time travel! He didn't know if there were any prisons on Makossa, but if there wasn't they’d probably build one just for him!
‘So who was the pretty little Indian who couldn't take her eyes off you?’ Susan inquired.
‘Oh you mean Looks Far - I think I’ll come back and marry her’
Susan spluttered until she saw the wicked smile on his face.
‘Well I think your mother would approve’ she said sniffley.
‘Check the levels of charge will you. We better get back quickly because they might shut down the programme and you, me, mother and Looks Far would be stuck in that cabin for god knows how long’
This thought stimulated Susan into activity. He turned to her:
‘How come, after all your excitement, that you haven’t even glanced at the skull?’
‘I’m a bit nervous of it. Look what it did to Al’
‘Looks Far has looked into its eyes and been OK - she says it only magnifies what is already in your heart. Like mother says, it can turn you into a monster if there’s only darkness in your soul’
‘Well that’s great for little Miss Looks Far, but what might it do to a Makossan?’
‘Tell you what, I’ll drop you off at the museum first so you can deliver it into the safe hands of the boffins. Then I’ll go and face the music at the Programme’
‘You think its all about you then?’
‘Everything’s about me, didn't you know’
He dropped Susan at the museum and hit the ‘auto return switch’. Within moments he was surrounded by personnel, all of whom looked at him like he had two heads. Dr. Sprokane made his way through the small crowd.
‘Hey, Doc how’s it hanging?’ said Jimi trying to break the obvious tension.
‘You mean you don’t know?’
‘Know what?’
‘Look to your left’ said the doctor pointing to the window.
Hanging in the air outside were three massive spaceships. Jimi swallowed hard.
‘Who are those guys?’
‘Aliens, hundreds of them, and they're asking for you’

Chapter Ten

  Jimi sat with the cream of the elite of Makossa. They were waiting for the aliens to begin negotiations. He was still dressed in his Lakota buckskins which represented a startling contrast to his grey suited colleagues. They had no idea why he was there and ignored him as much as they could. Jimi had no idea why he was there either; greeting aliens was always done by a specialist team with many years of experience. Although they had never been confronted with such a menacing presence on the home planet before. Why had they demanded his presence? As soon as they entered he knew why. Unmistakably Lakota they walked into the conference room with the swagger of their race.  Jimi’s stomach churned - what had he done? Immediately they focused on Jimi, whose anachronistic costume would have provoked amusement in any other context. The leader of the assembly arose to greet them but was ignored.
‘So it is true, Twelvetrees is an alien time traveler’ said American Horse.
Jimi got up nervously: ‘I’m Twelvetrees - I’m only half alien from either way you look at it. Who are you and why are you here?’
‘I am American Horse, I believe you met my great, great grandfather’
There was mumbling from the other members of the greeting committee. 
‘I had that honour, I welcome you American Horse’
‘200 years ago you helped our people when our need was greatest, now we come to find out why you have betrayed us’
Jimi was shocked by the accusation: ‘How have I done this?’
‘We have made peace with the white man for many moons, but now they reach for their weapons of war once again. They have the power of the Skull of Thoka which we gave to you on the promise it would never return. I did not believe these stories but your presence here confirms the legends which have been told by our camp fires for generations’
Suddenly, without a shadow of doubt, Jimi knew what had happened.
‘I have not betrayed you, and I can prove it if you give me just a few hours’
‘We owe you that much, Twelvetrees, but if you do not return with your proof within twelve Earth hours we will destroy this place, even though it gave you the means to help our people all those years ago, that is all I have to say’
Jimi began to leave but paused and turned: ‘Just one thing, have you heard of Jimi Hendrix?’
There was a confused silence as they looked at each other. Then one of the braves raised his hand: ‘I, I have, great one - he rocks’

  The chevy’s tyres squealed in protest as Jimi floored the accelerator. 
‘Damn you to hell, Al Swearengen!’ He shouted above the roar of the rat motor.
He knew it must have been Al that had stolen Susan’s pod, and at this very moment he might be taking the skull from the museum. He probably had hidden it somewhere on Earth and then got himself killed leaving the skull to be discovered by some archaeologist many years later. He must get there soon before he lost him back in time in the old west. And what was happening to Susan?
The Chevelle roared through the quiet streets of the Makossan capital, startling the residents who peered through their windows at the strange sight.
He came to an abrupt halt in a cloud of dust outside the museum entrance. There were two pods parked there! He had Jimi’s pod as well - that meant Al had three of his goons with him. He might be able to deal with Al, but four of them? In his haste he had left his rifle in the Programme’s dressing room. He only had the colt. Suddenly there was a tap on his window. Jimi jumped out of his skin.
‘Hiya Chief, what’s up?’
It was Gradski.
‘How the hell did you get here?’ he asked with relief.
‘Heard that roaring hunk of metal you use for travelling explode past the café where I was having a quiet cup of coffee and figured if you was in that much of a hurry something was really going down. Can I help?’
‘It’ll be dangerous, you got a weapon?’
Gradski raised a Thompson sub machine gun out from under his coat: ‘You didn't think I could resist the opportunity offered by your fabricator, did you?’
‘There are probably four armed and very dangerous men in the museum and I have to stop them stealing something - our planet depends on it’
‘Something to do with those spaceships parked in our faces?’
‘You got it Gradski, let’s go and winkle them out of there, but watch where you’re pointing that thing’
‘Just like old times then’

Chapter Eleven

  A Lakota warrior and a mafia gangster walked under the arched legend that read: ‘Museum of Humankind’. The other visitors didn't know whether to be amused or scared as they walked down through the main entrance hall. Scanning the corners and alcoves they cautiously proceeded.
‘They haven’t acted yet - there’s no panic’ said Gradski
‘There’s gonna be - let’s set off the fire alarm so no bystanders get injured’
‘Good idea, but won’t that warn the bad guys that something’s up?’
‘Better than having to live with the death of a child in the cross fire’
‘You’re expecting a real fire fight ain't ya - wish I’d put on a clean shirt’ said Gradski nervously. 
Jimi smashed the glass on the alarm. People immediately started to calmly walk out. 
Then they heard a scream. 
‘It came from up there’ said Jimi pointing at the stairway.
Quickly and silently the two friends mounted the staircase - one each side.
A gun shot ricocheted on the wall just ahead of them. They both crouched instinctively. 
‘Is that you, you murderin’ Indian’ Al’s voice boomed.
‘Yeah, I come to get educated here regularly’ said Jimi with a snarl.
‘We've got your little girl friend - so don’t be doing anything stupid. We’re just gonna head out like regular people and leave this goddamned planet’
‘Come on down - we won’t shoot’
‘You got someone with you then, Jimi?’
‘Just another culture lover like me’
They backed away as Susan appeared just ahead of Al who was holding a gun to her head. Two of his henchmen followed - but where was the other one?
Suddenly Susan kicked Al in the shin and lept forward. Al collapsed but the two other men raised their pistols. The rat-a-tat-tat of the machine gun rang out, taking down one of the men in a blizzard of blood red mist. Jimi heard the bullet from the other man’s gun whiz past his ear. He fired, hitting him in the groin. He howled pitifully before Gradski finished him off with another hail of bullets. He was smiling in triumph at Jimi when a fountain of blood erupted from the side of his head. As Gradski fell Jimi turned and saw the missing member of Al’s gang taking aim at him from the bottom of the staircase! Fanning the hammer, he emptied the colt. As the smoke cleared he saw his adversary holding his neck and desperately trying to breathe. Coughing up his soul he died in a sprawled heap. Quickly Jimi ducked into an alcove, expecting to be killed by one of Al’s bullets. It was quiet, he peered around the corner - Al was gone! Susan’s body lay just above Gradski’s on the stairs. Jimi was overcome with rage: ’I’m gonna kill you Al Swearengen’ he shouted, reloading clumsily.
‘Come and get me then, you red skinned heathen - you started this little fracas. I tried to get that damned machine to take me back so I could wait for you when you arrived with the guns for your murderin’ people. I coulda' killed you right there and none of this would’ve happened. But it must be programmed to just one time of arrival - and Susan arrived two hours after you did! Two measly hours, otherwise those Injuns would all be dead instead of the brave 7th cavalry’
Al was right, thought Jimi, the pods were dialed in to just two points in time - destination and return. Thank the god’s that Susan arrived after he had delivered the guns. Susan!
‘Listen you b*****d, how about settling this thing - man to man’ he shouted.
‘You mean for us to face off?’
‘How about it, unless you’re scared of a redskin?’
‘Move back down to the foot of the stairs, I’ll meet you down there’
Jimi backed down carefully. He backed up about 20 feet and waited for Al.
Suddenly Al came running down the stairs firing wildly.
Jimi dived into a roll and fired from the floor. His bullets found their mark, crumpling Al’s waistcoat. He looked at Jimi, eyes wide with hatred as he fell, head first, to the shiny floor. As he did so a transparent spherical object tumbled from a bag strapped to Al’s back. The skull rolled towards Jimi and rested, glowing, with it’s eye sockets looking directly into Jimi’s.
Chapter Twelve

  ‘Oh, you’ve brought me shrubs!’ said Susan from her hospital bed.
‘These are called flowers and on Earth it’s traditional to bring them when visiting someone in hospital’ Jimi said, smiling. ‘How are you?’
‘I’m the only patient they’ve got so I’m an object of curiosity - they never leave me alone! They’re looking through the history books to find out how to treat a bullet wound. It’s close to my spine so they’re being extra careful before committing themselves to surgery’
‘Does it hurt much?’
‘Only when I laugh - you get into any trouble with the programme?’
‘Nope, after I brought you here I went back and it was as if nothing had ever happened! They ignored me, just asking if I wanted to go back in the next few days or not - it was spooky.’
‘Guess the space ships were never sent because the skull is still here?’
‘Must be - I’ll go back and check it out when you’re out of surgery. I’ve got a lot of questions, but at least I know Jimi Hendrix still existed’
‘That’s typical, your first thought is about a musician!’
‘Not just a musician, he’s…’ Jimi trailed off, knowing she was just messing with him.
‘I’m so sorry about Gradski’
‘Yeah, he was something wasn’t he? Blasting away with his Tommy gun, I’m gonna miss that madman’ 
‘Jimi, do you know what a McGuffin is?
‘A what?’ he said sitting down next to the bed.
‘A McGuffin is an object used in stories as a focus for a quest or at the centre of a mystery - like the crystal skull in our little adventure’
‘Like we were characters in a story?’
So what are you saying?’ he said quizzically
‘Well, I don‘t know really - but suppose we‘re not the only people who are entertained by that beautiful, terrifying place we call Earth?’
‘You mean another race from another planet?’
Yes, and suppose we were being manipulated by them the same way we use Earth as entertainment?’
‘That‘s too fantastical for me - have you started reading science fiction now?’
‘Think about it, wasn‘t it a hell of a coincidence that the Lakota arrived here just after we were given the skull on Earth two hundred years earlier?’
‘That‘s the trouble with time travel - it does your head in. But there‘s no way I‘m gonna believe my life is being manipulated by little green men on a far away planet in another galaxy etc, etc.’
‘OK, have it your own way. You done with time travel after you’ve seen your mother one more time?’
Jimi contemplated and said after a pause: ‘I was wonderin’ what Spartacus could do with 100 medieval long bows against that monster Crassus?’
‘Jimi - NO, I mean it, N, O.’

So, here he was, in a waiting room again. They were confident that the bullet would be removed from Susan’s back without complications - but he had to be sure. Then he would return to see the consequences of what he had done - what kind of world had the Lakota made? And then he heard her voice. He was sure it was Looks Far. She said: ‘They’re watching you’. Jimi turned slowly.

Shamshi shot back in his seat.
‘What’s the matter?’ said his companion.
‘Didn’t you see that? He looked right at me, like he could see me!’
‘Don’t be ridiculous, that’s impossible - unless there really is something supernatural about the crystal skull’
Tiglath did his impression of a spooky howl.
‘Very funny, but I tell you he saw me’
‘But how? The skull is just a piece of crystal that we left on Earth as a joke. Earthmen will believe anything!’
‘We better keep a close watch on those two - with her intelligence and his courage if they ever suspect something they’ll never give up until they find the truth’
‘You expecting a knock on your door one dark winter’s night?’ said Tiglath laughing.


© 2013 Wez Hardyn

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It’s all a “dream...” not the satisfaction I was looking for. I believe that history can turn on the smallest detail, the slightest breeze and create an unexpected arc and I wanted that. The idea of a technological native would truly be Sci-Fi. The value is their connection to nature... mother earth is part of their DNA and then be flying Spaceships ??? Now that is wild I think you’ve done yourself a disservice.. The first 2/3s moved in a totally different speed and direction.... You’re a good writer... definitely interesting but this ending I’ve read it a 100 times... I expected more from you.

Posted 10 Years Ago

Wez Hardyn

10 Years Ago

Hey, man, I've been a political activist for most of my adult life - I've got a thick skin! You were.. read more
Tegon Maus

10 Years Ago

I will be happy to read it. I will try not to jump down your throat. Again... I'm Sorry for being .. read more

6 Years Ago

Hi Wez - finally got round to reading this one sp here's my thoughts. I liked the premis, style and .. read more

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Added on June 1, 2013
Last Updated on June 4, 2013
Tags: science fiction, western, lakota souix, time travel


Wez Hardyn
Wez Hardyn

Cambridge, United Kingdom

I've had some success publishing my essays on politics and I want to try my hand at fiction. Having already started my first novel I am very interested in what others are writing - especially novices .. more..