After it dies down, Roland finally asks......
"That was a.....wondrous tale indeed," the Gunslinger manages, "But you say you have obtained keys AND a map. How you come by them?"
He had a gut feeling he knew already. Not all those mysterious Powers involved with the Dark Tower were arrayed against him.
"I was given them by Rule 1.....a personification of Order," Astra said.
"Pardon?" Roland asked, surprised.
"Gee, and here I have to go through a long song and dance to get a key and THEN go on what was almost Herculean task of finding the door between Earth and Mid-world," Jake mutters, "Okay, now I'm jealous."
"But then again, be it time for a run of good luck?" Susan asks Jake over the communicator, "‘Tis true that thee had hardship, but......"
"Heh, yeah," Jake agreed, "Why have hard feelings over a good break?"
God knows that it was about time! After the trouble with Blaine threatening their lives, why not?!
And so the adventurers ride through the day inside the train. The train's batteries are recharged at the Fall of the Hounds (a waterfall that makes Niagra Falls look like a leaky faucet). The walls of the train are make transparent to allow a view outside, but the riders are warned NOT to look at the recharging station....for the light that'll come from it will blind a man.
"We could also treat you to the sounds of the waterfall, but why?" Probe 2 says in a friendly conversation, "The blasted noise is deafening! Blaine would have done it, but as stated earlier, Blaine's pretty much a vegetable right now."
After the recharge and the AI people in charge of the train doing much rerouting around the damage intentionally done by Blaine the tracks ahead are sound enough for travel, they discuss what next is to be done and what they'll find in Topeka.
Thus they slide into the come safely and quietly into the quiet dead town of Topek, Kansas, in the world of The Stand by Stephen King.
"They call that a germ weapon?" one AI controlling the train mutters, looking at the readings he's getting from the train's sensors, "Geeze, Captain Trip's is a joke compared t what we've faced during the War! I've already found a cure for it after twenty seconds of examination!"
"Lordy, I gotta wonder what ya faced during this war of yours!" Susannah whispers.
They exit the train and the AI known as Probe 2 shuts down the train's systems....and all of the sudden the train seems like it's been abandoned for years. A relic of a time long gone from a world that has....."moved on."
11/24/2000 7:09:10 PM
The Never Ending Quest Home
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