by Samuel Orona
A man from 5150 and two young adults from our era are shrunk and travel through time!
Chapter Six: Viking Era
The time cruiser emerged from temporal space above a rural area during the late morning, during summer. The blue sky was punctuated by few clouds, and the weather was neither hot nor cold, but mild.
“We’re in the Ninth Century,” said Professor Cannoli. “Below us is Scandinavia, home to the Vikings. Our mission involves befriending a girl named Astrid, and convincing her family to allow her to compete in a tournament along with her two older sisters, Sigrid and Gudrun. The tournament is this afternoon.”
“Is that the whole mission?” Tad asked.
“No,” the professor responded, “there’s more. Tad, you must allow yourself to get swallowed by Astrid, and we’re not allowed to use technology to make her vomit you up.”
“I hope she’s cute!” said Tad. Tiffany scowled at him. “I was just kidding, Tiff!”
“It’s summer time here right now,” said the professor, “but this winter will be the harshest in ten years, so it’s imperative that Astrid and her sisters win this tournament so they will have enough silver to buy food to last through the winter.”
“How do you know what the weather will be like this far in the past?” Tiffany asked.
“Time travelers traveled to prehistoric times and launched satellites into geosynchronous orbit to monitor Earth’s weather. The satellites are intangible and invisible, they exist on another dimensional plane. The results of that data were downloaded into the time cruiser mainframe before I left the year 5150.”
The professor piloted the time cruiser so it landed in front of a house where three teenage girls were practicing fencing. The oldest girl was about 17, and the youngest was about 15.
“I’m turning off the cloaking device so we can get their attention,” the professor announced.
The time cruiser became visible, and the youngest girl was the first to notice it. She dropped her sword and came closer. The professor manipulated the control console and opened the door and lowered the gangplank.
“That is Astrid,” said the professor, “the youngest of the three sisters.”
Tad exited the time cruiser and introduced himself. “I’m Tad, I’m here to help you and your family.”
The other two girls came closer to see what their sister had found.
“Are you practicing for a tournament?” Tad asked.
“My sisters are entering the tournament,” said Astrid, “But father won’t let me, because I’m too young.”
“There’s going to be a really harsh winter this year,” said Tad, “so you need to enter the tournament and win, so your family will have enough silver to buy food during the winter.”
The three girls started laughing. “You must be wrong,” said Sigrid, the oldest. “This has been the mildest summer in my memory! The winter will probably be mild, too.”
“No,” said Tad, “you must listen to me!”
“Astrid, take that thing and the tiny man in and show father.” said Sigrid. “Let him decide what to do.”
Astrid grabbed the time cruiser and Tad, and carried them inside. She placed the time cruiser on the dining room table, and held Tad in her hand. “Father, look what I found!”
Astrid’s father entered the room. He was astonished at what he saw.
“Hi there!” Tad waved at him. “I’m Tad Polaris!”
“I’m Thorsten, what manner of wizardry is this?”
“He says he knows the future,” said Astrid. “He says it will be a harsh winter, and I need to enter the tournament so we will win enough silver to buy food for the winter.”
“Can you guarantee that Astrid will be safe?” Thorsten asked.
Professor Cannoli popped out of the time cruiser and said, “Our vessel has teaching machines that can instantly make her an adept sword fighter!”
“What do you think, Astrid?” Thorsten asked his daughter. “Do you want the tiny people to teach you how to use the sword?”
“Yes, father!” said Astrid.
“Please,” said Thorsten, “do whatever you need to in order to teach Astrid how to be a better sword fighter.”
Professor Cannoli entered the time cruiser.
“What martial art are you going to teach her?” Tiffany asked.
“The Japanese art of Kendo,” said the professor. “I can re-wire her brain so she has the equivalent level of skill as someone who has practiced Kendo for ten years!” Professor Cannoli manipulated the control console, and a beam of energy shot into Astrid’s head.
“Professor,” Tiffany asked, “do you think that’s ethical?”
“I’m only concerned with completing this mission,” said the professor. “The normal rules of ethics don’t apply when you’re in survival mode.”
“How long will the process take?” Tiffany asked.
“Just a few more moments,” said the professor. “There! That should do it! She now has the skills of a master swordsman!”
Professor Cannoli exited the time cruiser and stood on the table. “Let Astrid spar with her sisters,” said the professor. “I’m sure you’ll be pleased with the results!”
Thorsten ushered Astrid outside while carrying Professor Cannoli, and told her to pick up her sword. Astrid did as she was told. Thorsten ordered her to spar with her older sisters, Sigrid and Gudrun. Astrid used Kendo maneuvers that were unknown to her sisters, and easily defeated both of them during the sparring session.
“Can you use your wizardry on my other two daughters?” Thorsten asked. “Give them the same skills Astrid now has!”
“I can do that,” the professor replied. “Bring them back in the house, and I’ll use my technology on them.”
The three girls followed their father inside, while Thorsten carried the professor. Thorsten placed the professor on the gangplank, and he went inside the time cruiser and used the teaching tool to shoot a beam of energy into Sigrid’s head to re-wire her brain. Within a few moments, she had the same skills as Astrid. The professor then aimed the beam at Gudrun, the middle sister. Soon, she too had the abilities the other two had.
They went back outside to spar, and they their skill levels were equal; they could not defeat one another.
“We’ll win the tournament for sure!” said Thorsten. “Let’s go inside and have some mead to celebrate, and give you strength for the competition.”
They returned inside to the dining room table, and all three girls grabbed horns to drink from. Sigrid’s was the biggest, and Astrid’s was the smallest horn. Thorsten returned with a flagon of mead, and filled each of their horns.
“Astrid,” said Thorsten, “since you found the tiny people, maybe you should swallow one of them with your mead for good luck!”
“That’s a good idea, Astrid!” said Sigrid. “You’ll have the power of the gods helping you during the tournament!”
Astrid grabbed Tad, and shoved him into her mouth, then drank a huge amount of mead from her horn. When her horn was empty, the triumphant teenager threw it on the table and opened her empty mouth to show that Tad was swallowed.
“Let’s go to the tournament!” said Astrid. “It will be a good victory!”
“We must leave you and your vessel here in our home,” said Thorsten to the professor. “We don’t want anyone accusing us of using magic to win!”
Thorsten left with his daughters on a cart pulled by two horses, and the time cruiser was left on the dining room table. Tiffany and the professor stood on the gangplank.
“Can we watch the tournament?” Tiffany asked.
“I can launch a drone high enough so it can film the competition, and transmit it back to the time cruiser, where we can watch it on the main monitor.” said Professor Cannoli.
“Through the walls of the house?” Tiffany asked.
“I forget you’re not from my century,” the professor replied. “The drone will exist on another dimensional plane, so it will be intangible. Only we will be aware of it’s existence.”
The professor keyed in the necessary information and the drone was launched. Within moments, they could see Thorsten, Sigrid, Gudrun and Astrid riding in their horse drawn cart toward the tournament.
“Tad?” Tiffany asked, into her communicator ring. “We can see Astrid, the professor launched an invisible drone. We’ll keep our eyes on you.”
Within Astrid’s stomach, Tad was treading chyme that smelled like mead.
“I can hear you, Tiffany!” Tad replied. “I’ve actually wondered what it would be like to get swallowed by a Viking chick, so now I know!”
“That’s what you get for reading those online giantess stories!” Tiffany replied.
Before long, Thorsten and his daughters arrived at the tournament. There were very few female competitors, but Sigrid and Gudrun defeated the few females who competed. As the day progressed, they challenged male competitors and won against them, too.
Astrid fought against boys her age, defeating them easily, and moving up to compete against older male competitors.
“They’ve beaten everyone they’ve competed against,” said Tiffany to the professor.
“If Astrid doesn’t vomit Tad up,” said the professor, “then we’ll be stuck here, regardless of whether Astrid and her sisters win the tournament. Remember, there are two aspects to this mission, and we can’t use our technology to have Astrid vomit Tad up.”
“If we can get Astrid to drink more mead,” said Tiffany, “maybe we can get her to puke!”
“Puke?” Professor Cannoli asked. “I’m unfamiliar with that term.”
“Puke is slang for vomiting,” said Tiffany. “Maybe you can use mind control to get Thorsten to buy more mead. That wouldn’t be against the rules, would it?”
“I’ll see what I can do,” the professor replied.
Meanwhile, at the tournament, the final competition was in full swing. Astrid, Gudrun and Sigrid each were sword fighting opponents. Within ten minutes, their opponents were defeated. The three sisters were given large amounts of silver.
They presented the silver to their father, and he said, “This is enough silver to get us through two winters!” He purchased cheese, mead, and grain. They loaded the supplies onto the cart that was pulled by horses, and headed back home. When they got home, Thorsten and his daughters carried the supplies into the house.
When everything was put away, Thorsten said, “Now we can celebrate! Let’s drink some mead.”
Thorsten filled the horns of his daughters, and they drank their fill. Astrid had her horn filled three times, and started to get sick. She went outside, and vomited. Tad came barreling out onto the ground. Astrid picked him up and brought him inside, and set him near the time cruiser. Professor Cannoli was on the gangplank, while Tiffany was inside the time cruiser.
“Professor!” Tiffany said ad she peaked out at the door of the time cruiser. “The lock has been lifted! We can leave now!”
“Tad!” said the professor, “Let’s leave before Astrid swallows you permanently!”
Tad rushed inside without saying goodbye to Astrid and her family, and the professor activated the door, closing it and raising the gangplank.
“Where to now, Cash?” Tad asked.
“Imperial Russia, the summer of 1918! Strap yourselves in!”
The time cruiser disappeared from the dining room table, and into temporal space.
To Be Continued!