21 "What are you talking about?" I asked.
22 "I will explain later," my wife answered. "Something terrible happened here, something horrible. It's a wonder this race survived! I'll tell you about it later. Right now, our hosts are coming!"
23 I turned to see the two kings hurriedly approaching. "Creos! Creos!" the smallest one was crying. "Oh, so good you have come! I know, you and The Gods have not sometimes got along. But do let Them visit with us! Leda is here, and, Helen! They will be delighted that you have come! Please, do not have discourse with our guests!"
24 "No," the other king put in, "we have offered them hospitality. It is not your place to say who we can and cannot give hospitality to." His eyes were already locked on Aphroditi and it was obvious he wanted to be very hospitable to her!
25 "Very well," Creos answered, "I will honor that they are your guests. But please, return to your tent and let me have a few more words with them in private. And then we will join you."
26 "As long as we have your word," the little king insisted, "that there will be no discourse."
27 "You have my word," Creos answered. The two kings bowed and hurried off. Creos looked back at us. "I must warn you," he continued, "I live for one purpose, I exist for that one purpose, to hunt and destroy evil. As long as you abide by your own rules and take no woman by force, or take nothing that belongs to the natives by force, we will have no problems. But do not become my prey! It is something that you do not want to be! Treat the natives with dignity and respect and all will be well. Start trying to abuse them, and I will fight you!"
28 "What?" Airs snapped, "First you call us children, and now you threaten us? Do you think yourself greater than us?"
29 Creos looked at him. "You are really beginning to annoy me!" he remarked.
30 My wife spoke up. "Airs, he means well. It's part of his people's culture. He cannot fight those who have not been warned. He has to let people know what the rules are, what can be done and what can't be done. He has to tell us that if we go outside the rules, he will attack us. It is part of his duty. Understand his duty! These are his children, his descendants. Like any parent he will fight for them."
31 "I still do not like his attitude!" Airs answered.
32 Creos shook his head. "Take out your weapon!" he snapped. "Point it at my chest and shoot me!"
33 "What?" Airs cried.
34 "Do it!" Creos snapped.
35 Airs drew his weapon and went to lower the setting. Creos said "No! Leave it on its full power!" Airs looked angry but leveled the weapon on his chest and fired. The beam went into him and disappeared!
36 "What?" Airs cried.
37 "I've already learned," Creos answered, "that your weapons discharge psychokenitic energy, the very energy of life. I AM psychokenitic energy! Your weapons only feed me, only make me stronger! If I chose to fight you, you would be powerless against me! I am an immortal. I can be hurt but I cannot be destroyed. I simply take a new form. I am a spiritual being."
38 Airs holstered his weapon and looked at me in bewilderment. "Let us proceed to the gathering," I insisted, "and in good will. I consider our new acquaintance a friend. Whenever he is among us he will be treated as such. Do I make myself clear?"
39 Everyone around me snapped "Yes sir!" Creos nodded to me and we headed off. I looked to my wife and went over to her.
40 "What is it?" I asked.
41 "How can anyone," she remarked, "live with so much pain, exist with so much agony, continue to believe, continue to function when he has seen so much horror, so much destruction, so much insanity? How could anyone endure that for so long?"
42 "Apparently he has done you harm," I told her.
43 "Oh, no no!" she answered. "It will fade in time. I will not notice it in time. But when it is fresh, when it is new, it is hard to ignore. I will be fine! I will be fine!"
44 We continued on to the gathering.
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