Splinter Of The Minds Eye by Alan Dean Foster

Splinter Of The Minds Eye by Alan Dean Foster

Author:Alan Dean Foster [Foster, Alan Dean]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Published: 2011-04-04T23:00:00+00:00

The Princess nodded. "I'm hungry myself. Luke?"

"In a minute." While she moved to excavate something for them to eat, Luke turned to Halla.

"How far do you estimate we have to go before we reach the temple where the crystal's supposed to be?"

"According to what the native told me? Oh, here, it makes more sense if you can see it." She reached inside the top of her suit, brought out a small slipcase. It bulged with papers. Hunting through it, she finally selected one and unfolded it before Luke.

He studied the drawing in the dim light of the crawler's console illumination. "I can't make anything out of this."

"I'm no artist," she grumbled, "and the native wasn't either."

"No, you're not." Luke stared at this enigmatic old woman in the mist.

"What are you, Halla?"

She broke into a wide, toothy smile. "I'm ambitious, boy. That's enough for you to know." Picking up the map, she checked some instrumentation on the console, then pointed into the darkness.

"A week to ten days' travel, local time, in the crawler."

"That's all?" Luke exclaimed in surprise. "So close to the mine? I'd think a ship coming down would be able to spot it easily."

"Even if it could, through this soup," Halla told him, "it wouldn't inspire a rush to the site. There are probably a hundred temples in the immediate vicinity of the mine towns, and more scattered through the jungle nearby.

Why bother with it? Also, a thousand men could march within five meters of a temple here and miss it entirely."

"I see." Luke sat back, considering. "What kind of place is it? Is it anything like the temple building that Grammel's people used for a headquarters?"

"That, nobody knows, not even the native. No human's ever seen the temple of Pomojema. Remember, the natives who built the temples had thousands of gods and deities. Each had its own sanctuary.

"According to the records I managed to get a look at?they're not classified or anything?this Pomojema was a minor god, but one who was supposed to be able to give his priests the ability to perform miraculous feats. Healing the sick and stuff like that. Of course, half the Mimbanian gods were supposed to be capable of miracles. Nobody wants his neighbor's god to have a bigger reputation than his own. But with this Pomojema, those legends could hold some truth. The Kaiburr crystal could be the basis for those stories."

"If Grammel's Essada gets hold of it," Luke muttered disconsolately,

"it'll become a force for destruction, not healing."

Halla frowned. "Essada? Who's this Essada?" Her gaze went from Luke back to the Princess. "Is there something you two aren't telling me?"

"Governor Essada," the Princess told her, shifting uncomfortably at the mention of the name.

"A Governor? An Imperial Governor?" Halla was becoming visibly upset.

Luke nodded. "An Imperial Governor's after you two?" Another nod.

She spun in her seat, started the crawler's engine. "This expedition is canceled, boy! Off! I've heard rumors of what the Governors can order done to ordinary citizens. I don't want any part of it.


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