The Shaman

EXTRACT FOR
The Shaman's Genesis

(Norman W. Wilson)


CHAPTER ONE

She’d been sent by the Network to cover something ordinarily done by a film crew. She resented being told to take this assignment—an assignment for an underling. It was painfully clear they had found her replacement. She would show them! She was not through by a long shot.
A crowd had gathered at the Union, a massive Ecole des Beaux-Arts style complex. They had come to get a look at the panoplied behemoth with its underbelly illuminated with glowing blue lights. Those who came to see this mystery train viewed it with whispered awe. Those on the train did not see the Union’s huge pillared front entrance nor its Great Hall with its high vaulted ceiling and two-toned marble floors. Nor did they stare at the city names carved around the perimeter of the upper walls that provided the throngs of visitors a Canadian geography lesson. The CN Tower that surpasses the Seattle Space Needle in height did not reflect down upon any personage from the train.
Some of those present speculated about the meaning of the seal of the great bald eagle on each car. They spoke in hushed whispers, afraid that someone on board would hear them. She directed her cameraman to pan the crowd. She quizzed some of those there, asking them what they thought. Giving them their few minutes of fame. Some thought the blue-white moon through which the eagle was flying held the key to the meaning. Several expressed concern that it was an evil thing especially since all the windows were blackened. Many thought it was a doom’s day weapon. They waited. Finally tiring, the crowd and the media dispersed. However, the ever-persistent darling of Toronto TV, anchor, and reporter, Patricia Livingston did not. The darling of the nightly news? Ha! She had heard the rumors. The station had hired a much younger woman—a kid really, just out of college—a blond with big breasts and a toothy smile. The word that the Station was grooming this kid as an anchor was a warning. Not so subtle either. The evening news was her slot. “Well, girl! Get your butt in motion. The evening news still belongs to me.”
Her presence had nearly created a story. She was the only anchor there. Knowingly, probably more by instinct, she had her cameraman drop her off around a corner of the massive railroad station. No need to tip the others that she thought there might be a story here. She cut through the Union and ducked out a side door to the loading area.
She dismissed the idea that this left-over relic of the Cold War was a prop for a movie. There would have been a media promo for that and that she would have known. She discounted the idea that it was a doom’s day weapon because someone in government always leaked such things. And yesterday hadn’t she lunched with the Under Secretary? Surely he would have said something, at least hinted that something was going on. The notion that the train belonged to a rock star didn’t equate either. With all the blogs available someone would have written about it and that would have brought out a different crowd. There was someone who could generate this much mystery—the shaman. He’d made all the papers and news broadcasts a few months back. She had done a piece on him for the evening news. She would wait. And see!
The train had departed from Montreal. All tracks had been cleared for its speedy trip to Toronto. That much she knew. That meant the Canadian Railroad and most likely someone high up in government had to be involved. Patricia Livingston knew the when and the where. What she wanted to know was the who and the why. She intended to find out the answer to both.
She told her cameraman to bring back some food, a small digital camcorder, and a camera with a good telephoto lens. She hoped he did what he was told. He could be such a dip at times. It was going to be a long night. Once he had returned she dismissed him for the night. Nestled among some shipping crates, she settled in for the duration, grateful that she had remembered to bring her backpack from the van. A cough a couple of crates away reminded her that she was not in the safest of places. Quietly she opened her backpack and retrieved the Taser she always carried, a leftover memento from an affair with a private investigator. She watched as several large eighteen wheelers pulled up along the loading dock. She was impressed by the men’s ant-like precision as they unloaded the trucks. This went on most of the night. Several times she caught herself dozing. The thought of the blond bimbo giving the nightly news brought her into sharp focus. They didn’t fool her with their “Patricia is on assignment” crap.
Morning sunlight was welcome. Quickly leaving her hiding place, Patricia Livingston went into the Union, found a restroom, relieved herself, freshened her makeup, wiped her teeth with a tissue, popped a mint, and returned to her watch. The cameraman had returned with a Danish and hot coffee. She dismissed him without even saying thank you. “What a bitch,” he thought as he walked away. “Maybe the rumors are true. Might not be so bad working with someone else.”
Sipping black coffee from a Styrofoam, she watched as a stretch limo rolled up to the loading dock. Like the train, it had a bald eagle flying through a bluish moon painted on its side. “Now I’ll see who’s who,” Patricia Livingston thought as she nibbled the Danish.
A large man, dressed in a light blue chauffeur’s uniform stepped out of the limo and opened its side doors. She thought she recognized him. His name was Samuel, a member of a group called The Brothers. If her hunch was correct she now knew who was involved. Nine men, all dressed in light blue blazers and gray slacks, and a woman emerged. Samuel slid back in behind the wheel and drove off. “Something’s not quite right. Maybe I’m wrong,” Patricia Livingston thought. “The woman seems so out of place. I don’t remember seeing her at Karuna House.”
The woman’s long blond hair was disheveled. Piled on top of her head, it appeared to be ready to tumble down at any minute. Her décolletage revealed the absence of a bra. She took her time walking across the cement dock to the train. Her stiletto heels clicked a syncopated rhythmic beat with the sway of her hips. She wasn’t old. But even from where Patricia Livingston watched, you could tell she had been around the block more than a few times. The nine men walked a respectful distance, behind her, their hands folded in front of them, and their head slightly bowed, monk-like. “Wonder if they keep their heads lowered so they get a better view of the woman’s swaying hips,” Patricia Livingston thought, “Wonder where the limo went? Maybe to pick him up.”
Totally alert. Tense! She waited. And waited. “I sure could use a scotch and soda.” She’d taken to having a drink during the day, and especially before show time. It seemed to ease her pain, calm her. The coffee and Danish hadn’t agreed with her. She fished around in her purse, found a package of Tums. Ate three. “Where is he? I’m sure those men are The Brothers and where they are he is not far behind.” She knew that two of their number was in prison for murder. Her heart raced as she waited for the stretch limo to return. “Shit! Maybe he’s already on that damn train,” she muttered. “Need to get —,”
She stopped her thought. She spotted it, moving slowly toward the loading dock. Seeing the limo brought her to rapt attention. It eased to a stop. “Ha! There’s the Indian. He must be in the limo. You don’t see one without the other,” Patricia Livingston mused. She caught the flash of light reflected from the guns he always wore. He leaned into an open window of the limo. “Always the protector,” she thought as she snapped more pictures.
Isha stepped out of the limo, briefly spoke to the Indian, and waited. Her long blue-black hair is radiant. Patricia Livingston recognized her as the mystery woman at a lecture she had attended at Karuna House. Then he came out.
“My god!” Patricia Livingston exhaled. She hadn’t realized she had been holding her breath. “He’s more handsome than ever. Hmm. What I wouldn’t give to—,” Their movement cut her thought short.
Because they were in the open, Running-water hurriedly ushered the woman and man onto the train. At the top step, Running-water turned. Looked out over the area, slowly surveying the shadows along the large crates. He thought he had caught a glimpse of something shiny. He boarded the train. His hesitation did not escape the ever watchful and curious Patricia Livingston. “Man! He is so good. Nearly caught me. Must remember to use a non-reflective lens.”
She watched the stretch limo drive off. Since she wasn’t sure how she would get on that train, she waited. She was good at waiting. An armed guard stepped from around the corner of the dock. She needed a diversion to get by him.

CHAPTER TWO

Once he had Adam settled in his private car, Running-water took Isha to their compartment. It took up a full third of the next car. Space was left for an open sitting area, and then another large compartment which had been assigned to Samuel and Julie. The next two cars were Pullmans and that’s where he assigned the remaining nine men of the group called The Brothers. Next came the dining car and lounge. In front of that was the cook's car and passenger only car. It was there that he met Jarrod, a Canadian Railroad official.
Jarrod had boarded the train at Montreal and he was to assist in facilitating the inspection of the freight cars. Because he was in uniform, Running-water didn’t request identification. Jarrod, a stocky man in his early fifties, was provided a copy of the lading and manifest. He noted that car seven was located at the end of Adam’s private car. There were hundreds of pages listing thousands of items. Each page was identified by car number, and each contained a numbered list of the contents and a diagram of where each box was placed on any given car. He had to hand it to them for their efficiency. Made his job easier, much easier to locate what he was looking for. The contents of car seven held his attention. Quickly he scanned down the list. His hands quivered causing the manifest to shake. “Shit!” he thought, “nearly a thousand boxes.” He looked for numbered boxes marked family and personal. He was told there would be a hundred such boxes. He was to find out exactly where in car seven they were stacked.
Sensing Running-water looking at him, Jarrod quickly shuffled the ream of papers. Several pages fell to the floor. As he scooped them up he cleared his throat. “Looks like you’ve really got everything in great shape. The inspection boys should be happy the way you got things set up. Good job.” He placed the manifest on the seat next to him. His hands felt clammy. Consciously he wiped his sweaty palms down his sides trousers before extending a handshake to Running-water. He hoped his close attention to the contents of car seven hadn’t aroused Running-water’s suspicions. “ZZ would be really pissed. Damn! Got to be more careful,” Jarrod thought.
Patricia Livingston watched Running-water and Jarrod exit the train. The security guard joined them. Within minutes an official-looking government car drove up. Three men exited the federal vehicle. Recognizing their uniforms she wondered why they would be boarding the train. One man was dressed in the standard railroad black jacket, matching slacks, and cap. One was from Canadian Customs, and the third was a US Customs and Border Protection Agent. “Why here at Toronto? Why is the American involved? What is on the train that requires this amount of attention? The murder of Esaugetuh, Adam’s father? That would involve the RCMP? Oh, hell! Just walk over there and begin asking questions,” Patricia Livingston thought.
She didn’t. Once again her wait and see instinct kicked in. More than once her patience had paid off in a getting a story.
The thought of Esaugetuh brought back a flood of memories. As hard-boiled and tough as she thought she was, she nearly lost it when she photographed what was left of him. Even now the visual memory made her queasy. Adam had discovered his father’s decaying body behind a bricked-up wall in the basement garage of Karuna House, the Toronto Victorian mansion that housed The Brothers. They were a disparate group of twelve men, randomly picked up from the streets of Toronto. Broken, homeless derelicts. It had been a benevolent gesture on the part of Esaugetuh— A gesture that cost him his life. There wasn’t much left but some decayed flesh and bones but the coroner’s report had indicated he had been drugged. Using a telescopic lens she’d gotten a look into the three by three-foot room. She had also taken some photos of The Brother, Thomas, as he sat handcuffed in the back seat of a police cruiser. “What a whimpering, sniveling bastard!” she thought. The arrival of the stretch limo caught her attention. “Wonder who’s arriving?” She readied her camera.
Unlike before, Samuel did not get out and open the door. Running-water had bolted from the train at a fast run toward the limo; its motor remained running. The back window rolled down. Bending his six-foot frame down to the open window, his long hair, the color of a raven’s blue-black feathers tumbled down around his handsome face. Before speaking to whoever was inside, he turned his head. Patricia Livingston caught the ever-present sensual pout on his lips. He spoke to those inside. The door opened and light flashed off his gun as he stepped back. A man, medium build, and sporting short-cropped sandy hair stepped out. “Hmm. Not bad in the looks department. Wonder who he is?” Patricia Livingston thought. Unlike the Indian, he was dressed in whites and didn’t seem to be armed. He extended his hand to someone still inside. A woman slowly emerged. Her face and head were covered with a long black scarf.
From her hiding place, Patricia Livingston couldn’t tell who it was. Whoever she was, she was very pregnant. The man in white reached back into the limo and extracted a leather satchel. Patricia Livingston with her Jobian patience waited and watched. Even with the help of the two men, it took a while for the woman to negotiate the steps of the train. Patricia Livingston busied herself with taking more photos. She ran her tongue along her painted lips seeking an imaginary taste of scotch. Her preference was a thirty year Glenfiddich Single Malt. She could almost taste its seductively woody flavor. She reminded herself to tuck a bottle into her backpack next time.
Finally, the three of them were on board. The chauffeur turned the limo around and began to drive it on to a flatbed. The armed guard remained on the platform. Now was the time for a much-needed diversion. She remembered hearing someone a few boxes from where she was hiding. She found a street bum inside. He smelled badly of booze and urine. She offered him fifty if he’d go over to the guard and urinate on him. He did. The guard decked him. Once the guard had left his post to clean up, Patricia Livingston, backpack slung over her shoulder, camera in hand, ran for the train, and in a single leap landed on the top step. She grabbed the handrail and pulled herself into the vestibule.
The excitement brought a rush. She felt energized by the possibility of a scoop. She needed a good story; a story to boost her image as well as her ratings. Both had been doing poorly. “Well, I’ll show them. This broad ain’t done yet. What a girl’s gotta do; a girl’s gotta do. Right now I need a place to hide.”
She knew the important persons would be housed toward the rear of the train. Security would dictate that in the event of a derailment. Others would be closer to the front of the train. Turning to the right and toward the front of the train, she was surprised to find that she was in a Pullman. Quickly she ducked into a restroom. Using her cell phone she called her office, rattled off a whispered report, told her cameraman where he could find the flash card from her camera, and then settled herself until she could make her next move. “What’s on this train that has attracted the attention of the authorities?” That question nagged her.
While she waited, others on the train waited for their evening meal. The chefs had prepared a gourmet dinner of vodka pea soup, spiced pear salad with creamy Saga cheese, herb-infused pheasants, wild rice seasoned with just a touch of Garam Masala, and garlic green legumes. The wine of choice was Côtes du Rhone. Dessert was a mound of chocolate mousse floated on a sea of imported Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur. The tantalizing smells nourished her own growing hunger. As she fished around in her backpack, she wished she had a drink. “Damn! I’ve missed the cocktail hour at Chartreuse.” She found a high protein bar and nibbled on that, chewing each bite slowly. It lasted longer that way. She didn’t know she was not the only one who waited.

CHAPTER THREE

As Adam waited for the train to pull out, he smelled the food; yet it held no interest to him. He was glad to be on board, away from Karuna House, and headed to the United States. He’d been gone too long. He wanted to go home. Home? He didn’t have a home! Neither the 20,000 acre Quebec ranch nor Karuna House in Toronto was home. The mansion, where his father had been betrayed and brutally murdered, offended his senses. The ranch and its spring-fed lake reeked with lingering memories of death; the result of a shoot-out with a group of would-be terrorists. He couldn’t stay at either one. Sitting at his desk, Adam fiddled with the obsidian that hung around his neck. It had been given to him by Howakhan, the Wisdom Keeper. At times he was sure it burned into his soul, a stark reminder of the powers from the Other Side. Even though he wanted to return to the States, a dark foreboding hung over him, sullying his disposition. He worried about Daphne and their unborn child. He felt she was safer in New Mexico with her mother.
He wondered if he dared to hope to be free of the ogre that hunted him. He’d lost count of the number of attempts upon his life and upon the life of his soul-mate, Running-water. Their life’s ink had been scrawled upon the same page much in the same manner as letters are connected to form words. Remove a letter, and the word is no longer the same. That’s the way they were. Remove one and the other changed.
He had the train retrofitted in Montreal; had it loaded with the ranch’s furnishings; paintings by the great Romantic artists, rare books, objects des art in marble and brass, a vast treasure in precious gems, rare coins, millions in American dollars. And then there was the ancient deerskin with its strange markings. When the shaman had this panoplied behemoth brought to Toronto it had caused a national sensation as it sped across the Canadian countryside. And now he waited for it to move out. And it would as soon as Running-water and those agents had everything ironed out.
Adam’s phone vibrated. It was Running-water. He had reached an agreement with the Customs’ agents. The train would stop at Blaine, Washington. Be side-tracked there and be inspected. Since it carried passengers as well as freight other legal issues had to be addressed. He would be coming back shortly.
Hearing a light tap on his door, Adam, thinking it was his dinner being brought to him, said, “Come in,” and continued his occupation with papers on his desk. He wasn’t sure if he smelled her first or felt her presence. Whichever it was, it caused a flush to come over him, a warmth he had not felt in a long time.
As he turned, she was in his arms, kissing him, hugging him with her whole being. Too much time apart had passed between them. Something she would never allow again. In their hungered embrace they forgot she was in her ninth month and she let out a yelp. A loud knock and the door opening stopped Adam’s concerned response.
“Glad to see you found him,” Running-water said to his sister. Daphne was glowing in her pregnancy and he took delight in his twin’s radiance. She got up from Adam’s lap and embraced him. Her long blue-black hair hung down over full breasts and stopped at the top of her very large abdomen. Her eyes, reflecting endless happiness, spilled their joy in tears, something she had always done when she was very happy. Even as a child she would cry when she was especially happy. As with many twins they seemed to communicate without words. Adam tuned into this but said nothing.
“The agents seemed satisfied with the way we have things set up. I don’t think we’ll have any problems crossing the border,” Running-water said.
“Why was it necessary for these additional agents to board my train, especially here?” Adam said. “Did you receive any communication from the Canadian government or from the railroad that additional people were coming on board?”
“No. I thought you had,” Running-water replied.
“And the guy, what’s his name, who was on the train when it arrived?”
“Jarrod. He’s an agent of the railroad. I went over the manifests with him. He seemed to think we had everything we’d need for the Border crossing. What’s bothering you, Adam?”
“I just think it's odd that they are on board now. We’ve got several hours before we reach the border. They could have boarded us there. Are you sure we have no one else on board?”
Had he but known. And he should have known; he was the shaman. News anchor and reporter Patricia Livingston was on board. Death, sequestered on board, waited hungrily with his scythe. But then, Adam was only tuned into the vibrations going on in front of him. He noticed Daphne look at her brother. He was now sure that they were communicating.
“How long have you two telecommunicated?” Adam asked.
“Forever, I guess. Thought you knew that,” Running-water said.
“Is that important Adam? We only seem to know what each other is thinking when we are close,” Daphne said.
“It seems to run in the family,” Adam said.
“What does that mean? Goodness Adam, you are acting strange,” Daphne said. She was holding her stomach. A slight frown crossed her brow. “I need to sit down. My feet and back are killing me.”
They moved into the parlor the private car. Daphne eased herself down into a red leather chair; one Adam had brought from the ranch. It supported her back and felt good. “Better. Now, what about this business of knowing what each other says? About it running in the family?”
“Just before we learned the truth about my father, I had sent a telepathic message to Running-water. His twin sons answered me. At first, I thought it was Running-water playing head games with me. In visualization, I saw that the twins were indeed talking to me. Remarkable and so young.”
“You hadn’t mentioned that before. You sure it was my sons?” Running-water asked.
“Did I hear you say you were talking to my sons? That’s not possible, Adam. They are just now beginning to talk. I’m sure my mother-in-law didn’t put them on the phone,” Isha said as she closed the door to Adam’s private car. After giving her sister-in-law a hung, Isha again asked, “How is that possible? Explain.”
“Telepathically. It surprised me. Obviously, you have no idea that they can telecommunicate.”
“You're positive?” Isha said.
“Absolutely. You ought to tune into them. I can help you with that. In fact, now is as good a time as any to begin their training,” Adam said.
“Training? For what?” Running-water said.
“Come. Sit down. You can start now,” Adam said, ignoring Running-water’s question.
“Wait one minute. Before you start training my babies, I have a question,” Isha said.
“Which is?” Running-water said. He was taken back by his wife’s sudden possessiveness.
“The boys have a pale blue colorization about them,” Isha replied. The worry showed in her dark eyes.
“An aura?” Adam asked.
“No. Not really. It’s more of a skin tone, a bluish undertone. [1] A couple of times I thought they actually glowed, especially after I turned off their bedroom light,” Isha replied.
“And so it has begun. The prophecy rings true.” Adam said. He seemed to be elsewhere.
“Prophecy? What in the world are you talking about?” Isha said.
The train jerked, nearly toppling the red leather chair in which Daphne was sitting. She gasped. A contraction? She had hoped to make it to the United States before giving birth. Now she wasn’t so sure! It would take them three days to get to Blaine. The train moved on to the main tracks and began its push northward toward Sudbury and then it would travel west to then turn south to the US Border. No stops were planned.

[1] Persons who ingest colloidal silver have a blue skin color. This condition is called argyra. That is not the case with Running-water and Isha’s twins.





The Shaman

EXTRACT FOR
The Shaman's Genesis

(Norman W. Wilson)


CHAPTER ONE

She’d been sent by the Network to cover something ordinarily done by a film crew. She resented being told to take this assignment—an assignment for an underling. It was painfully clear they had found her replacement. She would show them! She was not through by a long shot.
A crowd had gathered at the Union, a massive Ecole des Beaux-Arts style complex. They had come to get a look at the panoplied behemoth with its underbelly illuminated with glowing blue lights. Those who came to see this mystery train viewed it with whispered awe. Those on the train did not see the Union’s huge pillared front entrance nor its Great Hall with its high vaulted ceiling and two-toned marble floors. Nor did they stare at the city names carved around the perimeter of the upper walls that provided the throngs of visitors a Canadian geography lesson. The CN Tower that surpasses the Seattle Space Needle in height did not reflect down upon any personage from the train.
Some of those present speculated about the meaning of the seal of the great bald eagle on each car. They spoke in hushed whispers, afraid that someone on board would hear them. She directed her cameraman to pan the crowd. She quizzed some of those there, asking them what they thought. Giving them their few minutes of fame. Some thought the blue-white moon through which the eagle was flying held the key to the meaning. Several expressed concern that it was an evil thing especially since all the windows were blackened. Many thought it was a doom’s day weapon. They waited. Finally tiring, the crowd and the media dispersed. However, the ever-persistent darling of Toronto TV, anchor, and reporter, Patricia Livingston did not. The darling of the nightly news? Ha! She had heard the rumors. The station had hired a much younger woman—a kid really, just out of college—a blond with big breasts and a toothy smile. The word that the Station was grooming this kid as an anchor was a warning. Not so subtle either. The evening news was her slot. “Well, girl! Get your butt in motion. The evening news still belongs to me.”
Her presence had nearly created a story. She was the only anchor there. Knowingly, probably more by instinct, she had her cameraman drop her off around a corner of the massive railroad station. No need to tip the others that she thought there might be a story here. She cut through the Union and ducked out a side door to the loading area.
She dismissed the idea that this left-over relic of the Cold War was a prop for a movie. There would have been a media promo for that and that she would have known. She discounted the idea that it was a doom’s day weapon because someone in government always leaked such things. And yesterday hadn’t she lunched with the Under Secretary? Surely he would have said something, at least hinted that something was going on. The notion that the train belonged to a rock star didn’t equate either. With all the blogs available someone would have written about it and that would have brought out a different crowd. There was someone who could generate this much mystery—the shaman. He’d made all the papers and news broadcasts a few months back. She had done a piece on him for the evening news. She would wait. And see!
The train had departed from Montreal. All tracks had been cleared for its speedy trip to Toronto. That much she knew. That meant the Canadian Railroad and most likely someone high up in government had to be involved. Patricia Livingston knew the when and the where. What she wanted to know was the who and the why. She intended to find out the answer to both.
She told her cameraman to bring back some food, a small digital camcorder, and a camera with a good telephoto lens. She hoped he did what he was told. He could be such a dip at times. It was going to be a long night. Once he had returned she dismissed him for the night. Nestled among some shipping crates, she settled in for the duration, grateful that she had remembered to bring her backpack from the van. A cough a couple of crates away reminded her that she was not in the safest of places. Quietly she opened her backpack and retrieved the Taser she always carried, a leftover memento from an affair with a private investigator. She watched as several large eighteen wheelers pulled up along the loading dock. She was impressed by the men’s ant-like precision as they unloaded the trucks. This went on most of the night. Several times she caught herself dozing. The thought of the blond bimbo giving the nightly news brought her into sharp focus. They didn’t fool her with their “Patricia is on assignment” crap.
Morning sunlight was welcome. Quickly leaving her hiding place, Patricia Livingston went into the Union, found a restroom, relieved herself, freshened her makeup, wiped her teeth with a tissue, popped a mint, and returned to her watch. The cameraman had returned with a Danish and hot coffee. She dismissed him without even saying thank you. “What a bitch,” he thought as he walked away. “Maybe the rumors are true. Might not be so bad working with someone else.”
Sipping black coffee from a Styrofoam, she watched as a stretch limo rolled up to the loading dock. Like the train, it had a bald eagle flying through a bluish moon painted on its side. “Now I’ll see who’s who,” Patricia Livingston thought as she nibbled the Danish.
A large man, dressed in a light blue chauffeur’s uniform stepped out of the limo and opened its side doors. She thought she recognized him. His name was Samuel, a member of a group called The Brothers. If her hunch was correct she now knew who was involved. Nine men, all dressed in light blue blazers and gray slacks, and a woman emerged. Samuel slid back in behind the wheel and drove off. “Something’s not quite right. Maybe I’m wrong,” Patricia Livingston thought. “The woman seems so out of place. I don’t remember seeing her at Karuna House.”
The woman’s long blond hair was disheveled. Piled on top of her head, it appeared to be ready to tumble down at any minute. Her décolletage revealed the absence of a bra. She took her time walking across the cement dock to the train. Her stiletto heels clicked a syncopated rhythmic beat with the sway of her hips. She wasn’t old. But even from where Patricia Livingston watched, you could tell she had been around the block more than a few times. The nine men walked a respectful distance, behind her, their hands folded in front of them, and their head slightly bowed, monk-like. “Wonder if they keep their heads lowered so they get a better view of the woman’s swaying hips,” Patricia Livingston thought, “Wonder where the limo went? Maybe to pick him up.”
Totally alert. Tense! She waited. And waited. “I sure could use a scotch and soda.” She’d taken to having a drink during the day, and especially before show time. It seemed to ease her pain, calm her. The coffee and Danish hadn’t agreed with her. She fished around in her purse, found a package of Tums. Ate three. “Where is he? I’m sure those men are The Brothers and where they are he is not far behind.” She knew that two of their number was in prison for murder. Her heart raced as she waited for the stretch limo to return. “Shit! Maybe he’s already on that damn train,” she muttered. “Need to get —,”
She stopped her thought. She spotted it, moving slowly toward the loading dock. Seeing the limo brought her to rapt attention. It eased to a stop. “Ha! There’s the Indian. He must be in the limo. You don’t see one without the other,” Patricia Livingston mused. She caught the flash of light reflected from the guns he always wore. He leaned into an open window of the limo. “Always the protector,” she thought as she snapped more pictures.
Isha stepped out of the limo, briefly spoke to the Indian, and waited. Her long blue-black hair is radiant. Patricia Livingston recognized her as the mystery woman at a lecture she had attended at Karuna House. Then he came out.
“My god!” Patricia Livingston exhaled. She hadn’t realized she had been holding her breath. “He’s more handsome than ever. Hmm. What I wouldn’t give to—,” Their movement cut her thought short.
Because they were in the open, Running-water hurriedly ushered the woman and man onto the train. At the top step, Running-water turned. Looked out over the area, slowly surveying the shadows along the large crates. He thought he had caught a glimpse of something shiny. He boarded the train. His hesitation did not escape the ever watchful and curious Patricia Livingston. “Man! He is so good. Nearly caught me. Must remember to use a non-reflective lens.”
She watched the stretch limo drive off. Since she wasn’t sure how she would get on that train, she waited. She was good at waiting. An armed guard stepped from around the corner of the dock. She needed a diversion to get by him.

CHAPTER TWO

Once he had Adam settled in his private car, Running-water took Isha to their compartment. It took up a full third of the next car. Space was left for an open sitting area, and then another large compartment which had been assigned to Samuel and Julie. The next two cars were Pullmans and that’s where he assigned the remaining nine men of the group called The Brothers. Next came the dining car and lounge. In front of that was the cook's car and passenger only car. It was there that he met Jarrod, a Canadian Railroad official.
Jarrod had boarded the train at Montreal and he was to assist in facilitating the inspection of the freight cars. Because he was in uniform, Running-water didn’t request identification. Jarrod, a stocky man in his early fifties, was provided a copy of the lading and manifest. He noted that car seven was located at the end of Adam’s private car. There were hundreds of pages listing thousands of items. Each page was identified by car number, and each contained a numbered list of the contents and a diagram of where each box was placed on any given car. He had to hand it to them for their efficiency. Made his job easier, much easier to locate what he was looking for. The contents of car seven held his attention. Quickly he scanned down the list. His hands quivered causing the manifest to shake. “Shit!” he thought, “nearly a thousand boxes.” He looked for numbered boxes marked family and personal. He was told there would be a hundred such boxes. He was to find out exactly where in car seven they were stacked.
Sensing Running-water looking at him, Jarrod quickly shuffled the ream of papers. Several pages fell to the floor. As he scooped them up he cleared his throat. “Looks like you’ve really got everything in great shape. The inspection boys should be happy the way you got things set up. Good job.” He placed the manifest on the seat next to him. His hands felt clammy. Consciously he wiped his sweaty palms down his sides trousers before extending a handshake to Running-water. He hoped his close attention to the contents of car seven hadn’t aroused Running-water’s suspicions. “ZZ would be really pissed. Damn! Got to be more careful,” Jarrod thought.
Patricia Livingston watched Running-water and Jarrod exit the train. The security guard joined them. Within minutes an official-looking government car drove up. Three men exited the federal vehicle. Recognizing their uniforms she wondered why they would be boarding the train. One man was dressed in the standard railroad black jacket, matching slacks, and cap. One was from Canadian Customs, and the third was a US Customs and Border Protection Agent. “Why here at Toronto? Why is the American involved? What is on the train that requires this amount of attention? The murder of Esaugetuh, Adam’s father? That would involve the RCMP? Oh, hell! Just walk over there and begin asking questions,” Patricia Livingston thought.
She didn’t. Once again her wait and see instinct kicked in. More than once her patience had paid off in a getting a story.
The thought of Esaugetuh brought back a flood of memories. As hard-boiled and tough as she thought she was, she nearly lost it when she photographed what was left of him. Even now the visual memory made her queasy. Adam had discovered his father’s decaying body behind a bricked-up wall in the basement garage of Karuna House, the Toronto Victorian mansion that housed The Brothers. They were a disparate group of twelve men, randomly picked up from the streets of Toronto. Broken, homeless derelicts. It had been a benevolent gesture on the part of Esaugetuh— A gesture that cost him his life. There wasn’t much left but some decayed flesh and bones but the coroner’s report had indicated he had been drugged. Using a telescopic lens she’d gotten a look into the three by three-foot room. She had also taken some photos of The Brother, Thomas, as he sat handcuffed in the back seat of a police cruiser. “What a whimpering, sniveling bastard!” she thought. The arrival of the stretch limo caught her attention. “Wonder who’s arriving?” She readied her camera.
Unlike before, Samuel did not get out and open the door. Running-water had bolted from the train at a fast run toward the limo; its motor remained running. The back window rolled down. Bending his six-foot frame down to the open window, his long hair, the color of a raven’s blue-black feathers tumbled down around his handsome face. Before speaking to whoever was inside, he turned his head. Patricia Livingston caught the ever-present sensual pout on his lips. He spoke to those inside. The door opened and light flashed off his gun as he stepped back. A man, medium build, and sporting short-cropped sandy hair stepped out. “Hmm. Not bad in the looks department. Wonder who he is?” Patricia Livingston thought. Unlike the Indian, he was dressed in whites and didn’t seem to be armed. He extended his hand to someone still inside. A woman slowly emerged. Her face and head were covered with a long black scarf.
From her hiding place, Patricia Livingston couldn’t tell who it was. Whoever she was, she was very pregnant. The man in white reached back into the limo and extracted a leather satchel. Patricia Livingston with her Jobian patience waited and watched. Even with the help of the two men, it took a while for the woman to negotiate the steps of the train. Patricia Livingston busied herself with taking more photos. She ran her tongue along her painted lips seeking an imaginary taste of scotch. Her preference was a thirty year Glenfiddich Single Malt. She could almost taste its seductively woody flavor. She reminded herself to tuck a bottle into her backpack next time.
Finally, the three of them were on board. The chauffeur turned the limo around and began to drive it on to a flatbed. The armed guard remained on the platform. Now was the time for a much-needed diversion. She remembered hearing someone a few boxes from where she was hiding. She found a street bum inside. He smelled badly of booze and urine. She offered him fifty if he’d go over to the guard and urinate on him. He did. The guard decked him. Once the guard had left his post to clean up, Patricia Livingston, backpack slung over her shoulder, camera in hand, ran for the train, and in a single leap landed on the top step. She grabbed the handrail and pulled herself into the vestibule.
The excitement brought a rush. She felt energized by the possibility of a scoop. She needed a good story; a story to boost her image as well as her ratings. Both had been doing poorly. “Well, I’ll show them. This broad ain’t done yet. What a girl’s gotta do; a girl’s gotta do. Right now I need a place to hide.”
She knew the important persons would be housed toward the rear of the train. Security would dictate that in the event of a derailment. Others would be closer to the front of the train. Turning to the right and toward the front of the train, she was surprised to find that she was in a Pullman. Quickly she ducked into a restroom. Using her cell phone she called her office, rattled off a whispered report, told her cameraman where he could find the flash card from her camera, and then settled herself until she could make her next move. “What’s on this train that has attracted the attention of the authorities?” That question nagged her.
While she waited, others on the train waited for their evening meal. The chefs had prepared a gourmet dinner of vodka pea soup, spiced pear salad with creamy Saga cheese, herb-infused pheasants, wild rice seasoned with just a touch of Garam Masala, and garlic green legumes. The wine of choice was Côtes du Rhone. Dessert was a mound of chocolate mousse floated on a sea of imported Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur. The tantalizing smells nourished her own growing hunger. As she fished around in her backpack, she wished she had a drink. “Damn! I’ve missed the cocktail hour at Chartreuse.” She found a high protein bar and nibbled on that, chewing each bite slowly. It lasted longer that way. She didn’t know she was not the only one who waited.

CHAPTER THREE

As Adam waited for the train to pull out, he smelled the food; yet it held no interest to him. He was glad to be on board, away from Karuna House, and headed to the United States. He’d been gone too long. He wanted to go home. Home? He didn’t have a home! Neither the 20,000 acre Quebec ranch nor Karuna House in Toronto was home. The mansion, where his father had been betrayed and brutally murdered, offended his senses. The ranch and its spring-fed lake reeked with lingering memories of death; the result of a shoot-out with a group of would-be terrorists. He couldn’t stay at either one. Sitting at his desk, Adam fiddled with the obsidian that hung around his neck. It had been given to him by Howakhan, the Wisdom Keeper. At times he was sure it burned into his soul, a stark reminder of the powers from the Other Side. Even though he wanted to return to the States, a dark foreboding hung over him, sullying his disposition. He worried about Daphne and their unborn child. He felt she was safer in New Mexico with her mother.
He wondered if he dared to hope to be free of the ogre that hunted him. He’d lost count of the number of attempts upon his life and upon the life of his soul-mate, Running-water. Their life’s ink had been scrawled upon the same page much in the same manner as letters are connected to form words. Remove a letter, and the word is no longer the same. That’s the way they were. Remove one and the other changed.
He had the train retrofitted in Montreal; had it loaded with the ranch’s furnishings; paintings by the great Romantic artists, rare books, objects des art in marble and brass, a vast treasure in precious gems, rare coins, millions in American dollars. And then there was the ancient deerskin with its strange markings. When the shaman had this panoplied behemoth brought to Toronto it had caused a national sensation as it sped across the Canadian countryside. And now he waited for it to move out. And it would as soon as Running-water and those agents had everything ironed out.
Adam’s phone vibrated. It was Running-water. He had reached an agreement with the Customs’ agents. The train would stop at Blaine, Washington. Be side-tracked there and be inspected. Since it carried passengers as well as freight other legal issues had to be addressed. He would be coming back shortly.
Hearing a light tap on his door, Adam, thinking it was his dinner being brought to him, said, “Come in,” and continued his occupation with papers on his desk. He wasn’t sure if he smelled her first or felt her presence. Whichever it was, it caused a flush to come over him, a warmth he had not felt in a long time.
As he turned, she was in his arms, kissing him, hugging him with her whole being. Too much time apart had passed between them. Something she would never allow again. In their hungered embrace they forgot she was in her ninth month and she let out a yelp. A loud knock and the door opening stopped Adam’s concerned response.
“Glad to see you found him,” Running-water said to his sister. Daphne was glowing in her pregnancy and he took delight in his twin’s radiance. She got up from Adam’s lap and embraced him. Her long blue-black hair hung down over full breasts and stopped at the top of her very large abdomen. Her eyes, reflecting endless happiness, spilled their joy in tears, something she had always done when she was very happy. Even as a child she would cry when she was especially happy. As with many twins they seemed to communicate without words. Adam tuned into this but said nothing.
“The agents seemed satisfied with the way we have things set up. I don’t think we’ll have any problems crossing the border,” Running-water said.
“Why was it necessary for these additional agents to board my train, especially here?” Adam said. “Did you receive any communication from the Canadian government or from the railroad that additional people were coming on board?”
“No. I thought you had,” Running-water replied.
“And the guy, what’s his name, who was on the train when it arrived?”
“Jarrod. He’s an agent of the railroad. I went over the manifests with him. He seemed to think we had everything we’d need for the Border crossing. What’s bothering you, Adam?”
“I just think it's odd that they are on board now. We’ve got several hours before we reach the border. They could have boarded us there. Are you sure we have no one else on board?”
Had he but known. And he should have known; he was the shaman. News anchor and reporter Patricia Livingston was on board. Death, sequestered on board, waited hungrily with his scythe. But then, Adam was only tuned into the vibrations going on in front of him. He noticed Daphne look at her brother. He was now sure that they were communicating.
“How long have you two telecommunicated?” Adam asked.
“Forever, I guess. Thought you knew that,” Running-water said.
“Is that important Adam? We only seem to know what each other is thinking when we are close,” Daphne said.
“It seems to run in the family,” Adam said.
“What does that mean? Goodness Adam, you are acting strange,” Daphne said. She was holding her stomach. A slight frown crossed her brow. “I need to sit down. My feet and back are killing me.”
They moved into the parlor the private car. Daphne eased herself down into a red leather chair; one Adam had brought from the ranch. It supported her back and felt good. “Better. Now, what about this business of knowing what each other says? About it running in the family?”
“Just before we learned the truth about my father, I had sent a telepathic message to Running-water. His twin sons answered me. At first, I thought it was Running-water playing head games with me. In visualization, I saw that the twins were indeed talking to me. Remarkable and so young.”
“You hadn’t mentioned that before. You sure it was my sons?” Running-water asked.
“Did I hear you say you were talking to my sons? That’s not possible, Adam. They are just now beginning to talk. I’m sure my mother-in-law didn’t put them on the phone,” Isha said as she closed the door to Adam’s private car. After giving her sister-in-law a hung, Isha again asked, “How is that possible? Explain.”
“Telepathically. It surprised me. Obviously, you have no idea that they can telecommunicate.”
“You're positive?” Isha said.
“Absolutely. You ought to tune into them. I can help you with that. In fact, now is as good a time as any to begin their training,” Adam said.
“Training? For what?” Running-water said.
“Come. Sit down. You can start now,” Adam said, ignoring Running-water’s question.
“Wait one minute. Before you start training my babies, I have a question,” Isha said.
“Which is?” Running-water said. He was taken back by his wife’s sudden possessiveness.
“The boys have a pale blue colorization about them,” Isha replied. The worry showed in her dark eyes.
“An aura?” Adam asked.
“No. Not really. It’s more of a skin tone, a bluish undertone. [1] A couple of times I thought they actually glowed, especially after I turned off their bedroom light,” Isha replied.
“And so it has begun. The prophecy rings true.” Adam said. He seemed to be elsewhere.
“Prophecy? What in the world are you talking about?” Isha said.
The train jerked, nearly toppling the red leather chair in which Daphne was sitting. She gasped. A contraction? She had hoped to make it to the United States before giving birth. Now she wasn’t so sure! It would take them three days to get to Blaine. The train moved on to the main tracks and began its push northward toward Sudbury and then it would travel west to then turn south to the US Border. No stops were planned.

[1] Persons who ingest colloidal silver have a blue skin color. This condition is called argyra. That is not the case with Running-water and Isha’s twins.





EXTRACT FOR
The Shaman's Genesis

(Norman W. Wilson)


CHAPTER ONE

She’d been sent by the Network to cover something ordinarily done by a film crew. She resented being told to take this assignment—an assignment for an underling. It was painfully clear they had found her replacement. She would show them! She was not through by a long shot.
A crowd had gathered at the Union, a massive Ecole des Beaux-Arts style complex. They had come to get a look at the panoplied behemoth with its underbelly illuminated with glowing blue lights. Those who came to see this mystery train viewed it with whispered awe. Those on the train did not see the Union’s huge pillared front entrance nor its Great Hall with its high vaulted ceiling and two-toned marble floors. Nor did they stare at the city names carved around the perimeter of the upper walls that provided the throngs of visitors a Canadian geography lesson. The CN Tower that surpasses the Seattle Space Needle in height did not reflect down upon any personage from the train.
Some of those present speculated about the meaning of the seal of the great bald eagle on each car. They spoke in hushed whispers, afraid that someone on board would hear them. She directed her cameraman to pan the crowd. She quizzed some of those there, asking them what they thought. Giving them their few minutes of fame. Some thought the blue-white moon through which the eagle was flying held the key to the meaning. Several expressed concern that it was an evil thing especially since all the windows were blackened. Many thought it was a doom’s day weapon. They waited. Finally tiring, the crowd and the media dispersed. However, the ever-persistent darling of Toronto TV, anchor, and reporter, Patricia Livingston did not. The darling of the nightly news? Ha! She had heard the rumors. The station had hired a much younger woman—a kid really, just out of college—a blond with big breasts and a toothy smile. The word that the Station was grooming this kid as an anchor was a warning. Not so subtle either. The evening news was her slot. “Well, girl! Get your butt in motion. The evening news still belongs to me.”
Her presence had nearly created a story. She was the only anchor there. Knowingly, probably more by instinct, she had her cameraman drop her off around a corner of the massive railroad station. No need to tip the others that she thought there might be a story here. She cut through the Union and ducked out a side door to the loading area.
She dismissed the idea that this left-over relic of the Cold War was a prop for a movie. There would have been a media promo for that and that she would have known. She discounted the idea that it was a doom’s day weapon because someone in government always leaked such things. And yesterday hadn’t she lunched with the Under Secretary? Surely he would have said something, at least hinted that something was going on. The notion that the train belonged to a rock star didn’t equate either. With all the blogs available someone would have written about it and that would have brought out a different crowd. There was someone who could generate this much mystery—the shaman. He’d made all the papers and news broadcasts a few months back. She had done a piece on him for the evening news. She would wait. And see!
The train had departed from Montreal. All tracks had been cleared for its speedy trip to Toronto. That much she knew. That meant the Canadian Railroad and most likely someone high up in government had to be involved. Patricia Livingston knew the when and the where. What she wanted to know was the who and the why. She intended to find out the answer to both.
She told her cameraman to bring back some food, a small digital camcorder, and a camera with a good telephoto lens. She hoped he did what he was told. He could be such a dip at times. It was going to be a long night. Once he had returned she dismissed him for the night. Nestled among some shipping crates, she settled in for the duration, grateful that she had remembered to bring her backpack from the van. A cough a couple of crates away reminded her that she was not in the safest of places. Quietly she opened her backpack and retrieved the Taser she always carried, a leftover memento from an affair with a private investigator. She watched as several large eighteen wheelers pulled up along the loading dock. She was impressed by the men’s ant-like precision as they unloaded the trucks. This went on most of the night. Several times she caught herself dozing. The thought of the blond bimbo giving the nightly news brought her into sharp focus. They didn’t fool her with their “Patricia is on assignment” crap.
Morning sunlight was welcome. Quickly leaving her hiding place, Patricia Livingston went into the Union, found a restroom, relieved herself, freshened her makeup, wiped her teeth with a tissue, popped a mint, and returned to her watch. The cameraman had returned with a Danish and hot coffee. She dismissed him without even saying thank you. “What a bitch,” he thought as he walked away. “Maybe the rumors are true. Might not be so bad working with someone else.”
Sipping black coffee from a Styrofoam, she watched as a stretch limo rolled up to the loading dock. Like the train, it had a bald eagle flying through a bluish moon painted on its side. “Now I’ll see who’s who,” Patricia Livingston thought as she nibbled the Danish.
A large man, dressed in a light blue chauffeur’s uniform stepped out of the limo and opened its side doors. She thought she recognized him. His name was Samuel, a member of a group called The Brothers. If her hunch was correct she now knew who was involved. Nine men, all dressed in light blue blazers and gray slacks, and a woman emerged. Samuel slid back in behind the wheel and drove off. “Something’s not quite right. Maybe I’m wrong,” Patricia Livingston thought. “The woman seems so out of place. I don’t remember seeing her at Karuna House.”
The woman’s long blond hair was disheveled. Piled on top of her head, it appeared to be ready to tumble down at any minute. Her décolletage revealed the absence of a bra. She took her time walking across the cement dock to the train. Her stiletto heels clicked a syncopated rhythmic beat with the sway of her hips. She wasn’t old. But even from where Patricia Livingston watched, you could tell she had been around the block more than a few times. The nine men walked a respectful distance, behind her, their hands folded in front of them, and their head slightly bowed, monk-like. “Wonder if they keep their heads lowered so they get a better view of the woman’s swaying hips,” Patricia Livingston thought, “Wonder where the limo went? Maybe to pick him up.”
Totally alert. Tense! She waited. And waited. “I sure could use a scotch and soda.” She’d taken to having a drink during the day, and especially before show time. It seemed to ease her pain, calm her. The coffee and Danish hadn’t agreed with her. She fished around in her purse, found a package of Tums. Ate three. “Where is he? I’m sure those men are The Brothers and where they are he is not far behind.” She knew that two of their number was in prison for murder. Her heart raced as she waited for the stretch limo to return. “Shit! Maybe he’s already on that damn train,” she muttered. “Need to get —,”
She stopped her thought. She spotted it, moving slowly toward the loading dock. Seeing the limo brought her to rapt attention. It eased to a stop. “Ha! There’s the Indian. He must be in the limo. You don’t see one without the other,” Patricia Livingston mused. She caught the flash of light reflected from the guns he always wore. He leaned into an open window of the limo. “Always the protector,” she thought as she snapped more pictures.
Isha stepped out of the limo, briefly spoke to the Indian, and waited. Her long blue-black hair is radiant. Patricia Livingston recognized her as the mystery woman at a lecture she had attended at Karuna House. Then he came out.
“My god!” Patricia Livingston exhaled. She hadn’t realized she had been holding her breath. “He’s more handsome than ever. Hmm. What I wouldn’t give to—,” Their movement cut her thought short.
Because they were in the open, Running-water hurriedly ushered the woman and man onto the train. At the top step, Running-water turned. Looked out over the area, slowly surveying the shadows along the large crates. He thought he had caught a glimpse of something shiny. He boarded the train. His hesitation did not escape the ever watchful and curious Patricia Livingston. “Man! He is so good. Nearly caught me. Must remember to use a non-reflective lens.”
She watched the stretch limo drive off. Since she wasn’t sure how she would get on that train, she waited. She was good at waiting. An armed guard stepped from around the corner of the dock. She needed a diversion to get by him.

CHAPTER TWO

Once he had Adam settled in his private car, Running-water took Isha to their compartment. It took up a full third of the next car. Space was left for an open sitting area, and then another large compartment which had been assigned to Samuel and Julie. The next two cars were Pullmans and that’s where he assigned the remaining nine men of the group called The Brothers. Next came the dining car and lounge. In front of that was the cook's car and passenger only car. It was there that he met Jarrod, a Canadian Railroad official.
Jarrod had boarded the train at Montreal and he was to assist in facilitating the inspection of the freight cars. Because he was in uniform, Running-water didn’t request identification. Jarrod, a stocky man in his early fifties, was provided a copy of the lading and manifest. He noted that car seven was located at the end of Adam’s private car. There were hundreds of pages listing thousands of items. Each page was identified by car number, and each contained a numbered list of the contents and a diagram of where each box was placed on any given car. He had to hand it to them for their efficiency. Made his job easier, much easier to locate what he was looking for. The contents of car seven held his attention. Quickly he scanned down the list. His hands quivered causing the manifest to shake. “Shit!” he thought, “nearly a thousand boxes.” He looked for numbered boxes marked family and personal. He was told there would be a hundred such boxes. He was to find out exactly where in car seven they were stacked.
Sensing Running-water looking at him, Jarrod quickly shuffled the ream of papers. Several pages fell to the floor. As he scooped them up he cleared his throat. “Looks like you’ve really got everything in great shape. The inspection boys should be happy the way you got things set up. Good job.” He placed the manifest on the seat next to him. His hands felt clammy. Consciously he wiped his sweaty palms down his sides trousers before extending a handshake to Running-water. He hoped his close attention to the contents of car seven hadn’t aroused Running-water’s suspicions. “ZZ would be really pissed. Damn! Got to be more careful,” Jarrod thought.
Patricia Livingston watched Running-water and Jarrod exit the train. The security guard joined them. Within minutes an official-looking government car drove up. Three men exited the federal vehicle. Recognizing their uniforms she wondered why they would be boarding the train. One man was dressed in the standard railroad black jacket, matching slacks, and cap. One was from Canadian Customs, and the third was a US Customs and Border Protection Agent. “Why here at Toronto? Why is the American involved? What is on the train that requires this amount of attention? The murder of Esaugetuh, Adam’s father? That would involve the RCMP? Oh, hell! Just walk over there and begin asking questions,” Patricia Livingston thought.
She didn’t. Once again her wait and see instinct kicked in. More than once her patience had paid off in a getting a story.
The thought of Esaugetuh brought back a flood of memories. As hard-boiled and tough as she thought she was, she nearly lost it when she photographed what was left of him. Even now the visual memory made her queasy. Adam had discovered his father’s decaying body behind a bricked-up wall in the basement garage of Karuna House, the Toronto Victorian mansion that housed The Brothers. They were a disparate group of twelve men, randomly picked up from the streets of Toronto. Broken, homeless derelicts. It had been a benevolent gesture on the part of Esaugetuh— A gesture that cost him his life. There wasn’t much left but some decayed flesh and bones but the coroner’s report had indicated he had been drugged. Using a telescopic lens she’d gotten a look into the three by three-foot room. She had also taken some photos of The Brother, Thomas, as he sat handcuffed in the back seat of a police cruiser. “What a whimpering, sniveling bastard!” she thought. The arrival of the stretch limo caught her attention. “Wonder who’s arriving?” She readied her camera.
Unlike before, Samuel did not get out and open the door. Running-water had bolted from the train at a fast run toward the limo; its motor remained running. The back window rolled down. Bending his six-foot frame down to the open window, his long hair, the color of a raven’s blue-black feathers tumbled down around his handsome face. Before speaking to whoever was inside, he turned his head. Patricia Livingston caught the ever-present sensual pout on his lips. He spoke to those inside. The door opened and light flashed off his gun as he stepped back. A man, medium build, and sporting short-cropped sandy hair stepped out. “Hmm. Not bad in the looks department. Wonder who he is?” Patricia Livingston thought. Unlike the Indian, he was dressed in whites and didn’t seem to be armed. He extended his hand to someone still inside. A woman slowly emerged. Her face and head were covered with a long black scarf.
From her hiding place, Patricia Livingston couldn’t tell who it was. Whoever she was, she was very pregnant. The man in white reached back into the limo and extracted a leather satchel. Patricia Livingston with her Jobian patience waited and watched. Even with the help of the two men, it took a while for the woman to negotiate the steps of the train. Patricia Livingston busied herself with taking more photos. She ran her tongue along her painted lips seeking an imaginary taste of scotch. Her preference was a thirty year Glenfiddich Single Malt. She could almost taste its seductively woody flavor. She reminded herself to tuck a bottle into her backpack next time.
Finally, the three of them were on board. The chauffeur turned the limo around and began to drive it on to a flatbed. The armed guard remained on the platform. Now was the time for a much-needed diversion. She remembered hearing someone a few boxes from where she was hiding. She found a street bum inside. He smelled badly of booze and urine. She offered him fifty if he’d go over to the guard and urinate on him. He did. The guard decked him. Once the guard had left his post to clean up, Patricia Livingston, backpack slung over her shoulder, camera in hand, ran for the train, and in a single leap landed on the top step. She grabbed the handrail and pulled herself into the vestibule.
The excitement brought a rush. She felt energized by the possibility of a scoop. She needed a good story; a story to boost her image as well as her ratings. Both had been doing poorly. “Well, I’ll show them. This broad ain’t done yet. What a girl’s gotta do; a girl’s gotta do. Right now I need a place to hide.”
She knew the important persons would be housed toward the rear of the train. Security would dictate that in the event of a derailment. Others would be closer to the front of the train. Turning to the right and toward the front of the train, she was surprised to find that she was in a Pullman. Quickly she ducked into a restroom. Using her cell phone she called her office, rattled off a whispered report, told her cameraman where he could find the flash card from her camera, and then settled herself until she could make her next move. “What’s on this train that has attracted the attention of the authorities?” That question nagged her.
While she waited, others on the train waited for their evening meal. The chefs had prepared a gourmet dinner of vodka pea soup, spiced pear salad with creamy Saga cheese, herb-infused pheasants, wild rice seasoned with just a touch of Garam Masala, and garlic green legumes. The wine of choice was Côtes du Rhone. Dessert was a mound of chocolate mousse floated on a sea of imported Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur. The tantalizing smells nourished her own growing hunger. As she fished around in her backpack, she wished she had a drink. “Damn! I’ve missed the cocktail hour at Chartreuse.” She found a high protein bar and nibbled on that, chewing each bite slowly. It lasted longer that way. She didn’t know she was not the only one who waited.

CHAPTER THREE

As Adam waited for the train to pull out, he smelled the food; yet it held no interest to him. He was glad to be on board, away from Karuna House, and headed to the United States. He’d been gone too long. He wanted to go home. Home? He didn’t have a home! Neither the 20,000 acre Quebec ranch nor Karuna House in Toronto was home. The mansion, where his father had been betrayed and brutally murdered, offended his senses. The ranch and its spring-fed lake reeked with lingering memories of death; the result of a shoot-out with a group of would-be terrorists. He couldn’t stay at either one. Sitting at his desk, Adam fiddled with the obsidian that hung around his neck. It had been given to him by Howakhan, the Wisdom Keeper. At times he was sure it burned into his soul, a stark reminder of the powers from the Other Side. Even though he wanted to return to the States, a dark foreboding hung over him, sullying his disposition. He worried about Daphne and their unborn child. He felt she was safer in New Mexico with her mother.
He wondered if he dared to hope to be free of the ogre that hunted him. He’d lost count of the number of attempts upon his life and upon the life of his soul-mate, Running-water. Their life’s ink had been scrawled upon the same page much in the same manner as letters are connected to form words. Remove a letter, and the word is no longer the same. That’s the way they were. Remove one and the other changed.
He had the train retrofitted in Montreal; had it loaded with the ranch’s furnishings; paintings by the great Romantic artists, rare books, objects des art in marble and brass, a vast treasure in precious gems, rare coins, millions in American dollars. And then there was the ancient deerskin with its strange markings. When the shaman had this panoplied behemoth brought to Toronto it had caused a national sensation as it sped across the Canadian countryside. And now he waited for it to move out. And it would as soon as Running-water and those agents had everything ironed out.
Adam’s phone vibrated. It was Running-water. He had reached an agreement with the Customs’ agents. The train would stop at Blaine, Washington. Be side-tracked there and be inspected. Since it carried passengers as well as freight other legal issues had to be addressed. He would be coming back shortly.
Hearing a light tap on his door, Adam, thinking it was his dinner being brought to him, said, “Come in,” and continued his occupation with papers on his desk. He wasn’t sure if he smelled her first or felt her presence. Whichever it was, it caused a flush to come over him, a warmth he had not felt in a long time.
As he turned, she was in his arms, kissing him, hugging him with her whole being. Too much time apart had passed between them. Something she would never allow again. In their hungered embrace they forgot she was in her ninth month and she let out a yelp. A loud knock and the door opening stopped Adam’s concerned response.
“Glad to see you found him,” Running-water said to his sister. Daphne was glowing in her pregnancy and he took delight in his twin’s radiance. She got up from Adam’s lap and embraced him. Her long blue-black hair hung down over full breasts and stopped at the top of her very large abdomen. Her eyes, reflecting endless happiness, spilled their joy in tears, something she had always done when she was very happy. Even as a child she would cry when she was especially happy. As with many twins they seemed to communicate without words. Adam tuned into this but said nothing.
“The agents seemed satisfied with the way we have things set up. I don’t think we’ll have any problems crossing the border,” Running-water said.
“Why was it necessary for these additional agents to board my train, especially here?” Adam said. “Did you receive any communication from the Canadian government or from the railroad that additional people were coming on board?”
“No. I thought you had,” Running-water replied.
“And the guy, what’s his name, who was on the train when it arrived?”
“Jarrod. He’s an agent of the railroad. I went over the manifests with him. He seemed to think we had everything we’d need for the Border crossing. What’s bothering you, Adam?”
“I just think it's odd that they are on board now. We’ve got several hours before we reach the border. They could have boarded us there. Are you sure we have no one else on board?”
Had he but known. And he should have known; he was the shaman. News anchor and reporter Patricia Livingston was on board. Death, sequestered on board, waited hungrily with his scythe. But then, Adam was only tuned into the vibrations going on in front of him. He noticed Daphne look at her brother. He was now sure that they were communicating.
“How long have you two telecommunicated?” Adam asked.
“Forever, I guess. Thought you knew that,” Running-water said.
“Is that important Adam? We only seem to know what each other is thinking when we are close,” Daphne said.
“It seems to run in the family,” Adam said.
“What does that mean? Goodness Adam, you are acting strange,” Daphne said. She was holding her stomach. A slight frown crossed her brow. “I need to sit down. My feet and back are killing me.”
They moved into the parlor the private car. Daphne eased herself down into a red leather chair; one Adam had brought from the ranch. It supported her back and felt good. “Better. Now, what about this business of knowing what each other says? About it running in the family?”
“Just before we learned the truth about my father, I had sent a telepathic message to Running-water. His twin sons answered me. At first, I thought it was Running-water playing head games with me. In visualization, I saw that the twins were indeed talking to me. Remarkable and so young.”
“You hadn’t mentioned that before. You sure it was my sons?” Running-water asked.
“Did I hear you say you were talking to my sons? That’s not possible, Adam. They are just now beginning to talk. I’m sure my mother-in-law didn’t put them on the phone,” Isha said as she closed the door to Adam’s private car. After giving her sister-in-law a hung, Isha again asked, “How is that possible? Explain.”
“Telepathically. It surprised me. Obviously, you have no idea that they can telecommunicate.”
“You're positive?” Isha said.
“Absolutely. You ought to tune into them. I can help you with that. In fact, now is as good a time as any to begin their training,” Adam said.
“Training? For what?” Running-water said.
“Come. Sit down. You can start now,” Adam said, ignoring Running-water’s question.
“Wait one minute. Before you start training my babies, I have a question,” Isha said.
“Which is?” Running-water said. He was taken back by his wife’s sudden possessiveness.
“The boys have a pale blue colorization about them,” Isha replied. The worry showed in her dark eyes.
“An aura?” Adam asked.
“No. Not really. It’s more of a skin tone, a bluish undertone. [1] A couple of times I thought they actually glowed, especially after I turned off their bedroom light,” Isha replied.
“And so it has begun. The prophecy rings true.” Adam said. He seemed to be elsewhere.
“Prophecy? What in the world are you talking about?” Isha said.
The train jerked, nearly toppling the red leather chair in which Daphne was sitting. She gasped. A contraction? She had hoped to make it to the United States before giving birth. Now she wasn’t so sure! It would take them three days to get to Blaine. The train moved on to the main tracks and began its push northward toward Sudbury and then it would travel west to then turn south to the US Border. No stops were planned.

[1] Persons who ingest colloidal silver have a blue skin color. This condition is called argyra. That is not the case with Running-water and Isha’s twins.