tagLoving WivesTug in King Arthur's Court

Tug in King Arthur's Court

bydtiverson©

A word of explanation: The Tug stories are special to me because they let me indulge my interest in history. A few of you share my hobby and I always want to entertain.

I just posted my Legends Day piece, and I usually don't post so close together. But, I've been working on this piece for some time (for another purpose) and it's finished. So, I thought I'd put it up for the few of you who read me.

This is the first of the Tug series I've posted in the fiery cauldron of LW. But given the story line it clearly belongs. It isn't Sir Thomas Mallory, or even Mark Twain. But I hope you find my little tale amusing.


*****

THE TUGBOAT MAN IN KING ARTHUR'S COURT

My wife was born 13,000 years ago in a place called "New Atlantis." Go ahead and say it, "Stop fucking with me!!" But it's true. Believe me. I've met her folks.

Maria's 335 years old. But, Atlanteans live for thousands of years. So, my wife's no crone. In fact, she has the freshest face and hardest body of any chiquita on the beach at Ipanema.

She is also the hottest female in two, star-systems. Yes, I said "star systems." Her people emigrated here from the beta planet of the star we call Rigel.

Maria is telepathic. She can also "cloak" things. And, she can knock people out with a thought. Hence, even though she is heart-stoppingly beautiful; my wife is not a woman to be messed with.

It also turns out that I have Atlantean genetics. Who'd have thought it. My old man owns a hardware store and throughout my teens and twenties I was a stoner with hackish tendencies. It just seems that I inherited enough genes from both parents to make me mostly Atlantean.

That is a good thing. Because, after my visit to the Fountain of Youth I'm more-or-less immortal too. Confused? No problem. This takes a little getting used to. Suffice it to say, we aren't the Partridges.

Together, we survived the Cuban Air Force, the Templar labyrinth and Jack the Ripper. And that was just the first couple of years of marriage.

Maria and I spent that period of time on my Natick class harbor tug. The tug is where I got my name. People on Bimini used to call me "The Tugboat Man." That got shortened to just Tug.

The wedding was at Our Lady of Peace on the south coast of the island of San Miguel. That's near the Atlantean Temple of the Sun; which is a mere two miles away; straight down on the ocean floor. All of Atlantis is down there, except for a few mountain tops, like Bermuda and the Azores.

Most of our adventures have involved me fleeing from the evilest creatures in the universe. I mean that literally. They call themselves "Athenians," but they don't run quaint restaurants and serve flaming cheese. They are from the alpha planet of the Rigel system and, the Atlanteans fear and loathe them.

The Athenians originally kept the Atlanteans as slaves. The Atlanteans fled that captivity in the same way the Israelites did in Exodus. They landed here on earth 15,000 years ago.

The fight broke out when the Athenians showed up to claim their lost property. It sank Atlantis to the bottom of the ocean and stranded both Atlanteans and Athenians on earth forever.

We added two new Atlanteans to the gene pool after our adventure in Victorian England. Yes, the Atlanteans can time-travel. I know it sounds incredible. But it really isn't such a difficult trick, once you have the right technology. Mankind will discover the same thing in the next ninety-five years. I know. I've been there. I saw it. So, withhold your judgment until then.

We had twins. They were conceived just before our Ripper adventure. They are named Diana and Apollo and yes, we are talking about THAT pair.

The entire Greek and Roman Pantheon has Atlantean roots. As Arthur C. Clarke once put it, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." So, when the Greek's early ancestors stumbled on the Atlanteans they thought they were "gods" and enshrined them as such.

For example, Maria's dad is a direct descendent of the Greek God Poseidon. Except Poseidon was never a deity. He was just an Atlantean with powers that appeared "god-like" to the primitive proto-Greeks.

Maria herself is the goddess Themis. Themis is the Greek goddess of "wise counsel." Maria became that goddess when she spent a short time fucking Alexander the Great.

Maria's job was to "advise" the Great Conqueror to stay away from the Tan Sheng mountains, which is where New Atlantis is located. If Alexander had stumbled onto that city all human history would have changed. And that would have violated the basic laws of time.

Maria disappeared right out of Alexander's post coital embrace after she had convinced him to go back to Sogdiana. Of course, he just assumed she was a goddess and enshrined her in a big temple. He dedicated it to Themis, meaning Maria.

He didn't build it out of religious fervor. I know what he was ACTUALLY commemorating. Believe me, a night with my wife would make you want to go out and erect the Taj Mahal. Hmmmm, I wonder if...????

We visited Maria's temple in our time. The ruins are indeed impressive. But, the thought of being tunnel buddies with Alexander the Great STILL gives me jealous conniptions. I tell myself that it happened 2,300 years before we met. So, it really doesn't count.

But it wasn't like my wife fucked the star quarterback in high school. I mean, seriously!!?? Alexander the Freakin' Great!!

Maria says that she loves me and that's why she married me. But I suspect it was my Atlantean pre-disposition that sealed the deal.

Our daughter Diana was born with the usual Atlantean abilities, but she also has the gift of telekinesis. So, she can move things with her mind.

Her twin brother Apollo has the same ability. My gorgeous wife says that precociousness is a sign that the generations are developing toward some sort of ideal. She told me that her parents have none of the cloaking ability that she has.

At present, Diana was rearranging her room - while sitting on her bed plugged into her iPod and perusing a teenybopper magazine.

Her brother was messing with her, by putting the things she'd just moved back to where they came from. The problem was that he was sitting in our kitchen.

We heard, "MAAAAAAA MAKE HIM STOP!!" all the way out on the patio.

I don't know whether its an advantage that our Key West Mansion is so "open plan." The kids need line-of-sight to do their tricks.

Space was at a premium when we had the kids. So, we moved out of the tug and bought a place on Sunset Bay. The views are incredible. It cost a fortune. But, compound interest generates lot of wealth. So, what's money to a 13,000-year-old civilization?

We left our tug moored at the Key West Bight Marina. We still use it for family trips. But the only permanent resident is our ships' cat Bastet.

Of course, like everything else in my life Bastet isn't exactly a cat. She's an Egyptian Mau. Mau's are the cat-like creatures you see on Egyptian monuments. They preceded the housecat in Egyptian history.

I'm not worried about intruders. Bastet is the Egyptian goddess of war which might actually understate her attitude.

The only person she lets touch her is my wife. Bastet condescends to allow me to feed her and change her litter box. But, Bastet and Maria are perfectly sympatico. It's like she views Maria as her sister, which is basically an accurate comparison.

Once, we had a nocturnal visitor on the tug. Whether he was there to rip us off remains to be seen. That's because almost instantly a screaming entity came flying out of the dark claws out.

The dude actually stumbled into the cop shop over on Roosevelt and begged them to lock him up. He claimed that he'd been attacked by a Tasmanian Devil. Now nobody goes near the tug unless its us.

We call Apollo "Champ" - since the only other person we knew named Apollo was the dude in Rocky.

I wasn't worried about Apollo being harassed about his name. He is god-like handsome and his Atlantean powers make him bully-proof. But the last thing we needed was for him to get in a fight. It might draw too much attention to the special things he can do.

We try to get both of our children into kid society as much as we can. Since, they are going to have to learn to live with humanity. But it is not easy disguising their Atlantean powers among the rest of the sixth graders.

Apollo, or Champ, is different from his sister in that he has a knack for solving complex puzzles. That ability is the one thing that differentiates me from his mother.

Maria has awesome mental powers. But I am the king of reverse engineering. It makes me proud to think that I might have contributed something to the next generation.

Champ is more of a daddy's-boy. So, I gave Maria an, "I've got this," nod and walked into the kitchen. My son was leaning way over the kitchen island, almost into the built-in sink, watching where his sister was moving things.

As I came up behind him, I said gruffly, "Stop that!" He nearly fell into the sink.

He sat up looking guilty. He should have sensed me coming. But, he is still just a boy, even though he is exceptionally tall like me, and his powers have not yet fully matured.

He whined, "DaaaD, I didn't do it."

I said amused, "Didn't do what?"

He said glibly, "Whatever that little brat is accusing me of."

His sister takes after her mother, which is fortunate. She is small and exquisite and almost cat-like in her self-containment. I said, "So you weren't moving things around in her room?"

He gave me a look of sheer innocence and said, "Oh that; well she shouldn't have moved them in the first place. Mother always tells us to not use our powers unless there's a good reason."

Clever little varmint!! He had me in that classic kid fork. If I agreed that Diana shouldn't be moving things. Then, I would be telling him that it was okay to mess with her. And if I told him he shouldn't be doing it. I would be de-facto telling him that his mom's advice was wrong.

I settled for the standard response, "GO ASK YOUR MOM!!"

He scooted out on the terrace yelling, "Mooom!!" I followed.

Maria said, "You heard your father! Stop messing with your sister, or else..." She might be an Atlantean Princess. But in that particular moment, she sounded like any other harried mom.

What "or else" would have been, was interrupted by both of us catching sight of the Poseidon pulling into the Key West Bight.

That ship is Maria's family's gleaming white 200-footer. It was making its way past the breakwater headed toward its normal dockage space by the Jefferson Island Ferry.

The appearance of the Poseidon is always an ominous sign. They are traveling from 13,000 years in the past, so they have to materialize in the remotest part of the Atlantic.

Otherwise the flash-bang of their arrival would be noticed.

Even so, it wasn't like the in-laws were dropping in for dinner. In order for Maria to be relieved of her priestly vows, agreed to do side-jobs for the Atlantean Royal Council. The Poseidon has their Atlantean time-travel gear on board. So, every time the Poseidon makes an appearance Maria and I end up getting dropped neck-deep into the kimchi.

I could see both parents getting on the launch. Poseidon's launch was a classic 1930s Chris Craft, all mahogany and chrome. Both of them were seated regally in the back as it pulled up to our dock.

The liveried coxswain tied it up and helped Maria's parents ashore. Carlos is usually smiling when he arrives. But he strode up the dock with a grim look on his face. That was a very bad sign.

Carlos is an exceptionally fine-looking man, middle height, perhaps five-ten. He has a handsome Castilian face, very cool and controlled. There is just a hint of grey at the temples of his thick, black, perfectly groomed hair.

His immaculateness seems god-like; which I suppose is true, since he's essentially an Olympian God.

Maria's mom was gliding along behind her husband. She had on a light linen dress that showed off her lushly voluptuous body. The front of the dress was unbuttoned three buttons and it was straining under the bounty of those huge tits.

My mother-in-law is the High Priestess of Cleito, who is the Atlantean Goddess of fertility, and she looks the part. I could see where Maria got her bounty.

There was the usual hugging and back slapping. They both kissed their daughter. Carla managed to mash her monster jugs into my chest as she hugged me hello. The woman simply can't be anything but sensuous.

Then Carlos said with a somber voice, "We need to talk. This is a very urgent matter and we have to resolve it immediately."

Uh-Oh!! The last time he uttered those words we ended up back in Victorian England tracking down Jack the Ripper.

*****

There was no way we could exclude Champ and Diana, since they are telepathic. Hence, the entire family sat around the table on the veranda.

There was a lot of conversation. Of course, none of the servants could hear it because it was all in our heads. It must have seemed like the entire family was staring off into space stoned.

I don't have anything like the other's telepathic abilities. So, I have to talk to contribute. They finally stopped the silent family chit-chat and turned to me. Carlos and Carla were obviously there to recruit us for another adventure. We just needed to know where, and when.

Every time Carlos drops me in the crapper, he uses the same gambit. I don't believe he's trying to be cagey, since he can read my mind, and it isn't a matter of convincing me to do it. He knows I'd do anything for Maria and my kids. It's more a matter of shaping my approach. I think he just tries to get me in the right frame of mind.

He took a sip of cool sangria from his double Old-Fashioned glass and said mildly, "How much do you know about the Arthurian legend?"

My gift is eidetic memory. I may not read minds as well as the rest of them, but I retain everything that I see. It might even be just an "earth" thing. Since, none of the Atlanteans have my kind of photographic memory.

I knew plenty about Arthur. I said, "It depends on who's telling the story. If you read anything prior to the twelfth Century, Arthur's the overall protector of England. If you read anything after 1100 AD, you get the Geoffrey of Monmouth, chivalry story; Knights of the Round Table, Lancelot and Guinevere." He invented all that.

Carlos nodded. He was trying to get me to elaborate, just to see what my feelings were. So, I said, "Personally, I think it's all bullshit since everybody agrees that Arthur was operating in the period a few years after Rome fell and the Dark Ages began. That was six hundred years PRIOR to Geoffrey, who made up the whole fanciful story about Knights Errant. It's just a fairy tale."

Carlos looked interested. He said, "Well who do YOU think Arthur is?"

I said, "He is probably a composite of fifth century Romano-British warlords, who were trying to hold off the flood of Germanic people invading Europe in the 400s. Nobody would have even heard of Arthur, if the British hadn't won a major victory over the Saxons in 483."

Carlos said, "So where does Merlin fit into the story?"

I immediately saw where this was headed. There is a lot of "magic" involved in the Arthurian legends, and where there's magic there're Atlanteans.

I said, "Roman influence was steadily eliminated after Rome pulled the legions out of England. Of course, the Romano-Britons didn't know their era was over. That's because, all the Roman technology and government apparatus was still there, just as it had been for over 400 years."

I added, "Vortigern, was the king of the Romano-British. He started out as an advisor to the last Roman governor. He then got to the throne through a dedicated program of murder, betrayal and all-around skullduggery. He was the one who invited the Saxons over to Britain from Germany. That act spelled the end of Roman civilization on that island."

I told Carlos, "The problem was that the governor had a son, Ambrosius Aurelianus. He was a little kid when Vortigern murdered his old man and so Ambrosius fled across the Channel to Brittany. Northern France was still part of the Empire. So, when Ambrosius returned to England he had what amounted to the Roman military backing him.

I continued with, "These were real Roman soldiers. Remember, the legions didn't just disappear when Rome fell in 476. So, even though it was a relatively small force, Ambrosius quickly cornered Vortigern and killed him. That made Ambrosius the de-facto King of the Britains.

I added, "Ambrosius turned his attention to the Saxons after becoming king. The Saxons were Germans. Vortigern had initially invited them into Britain to help repel Scottish and Irish invaders. But that set the fox loose in the henhouse and the Saxons quickly overran most of southeastern England.

It is said that Ambrosius fought twelve battles and never lost one of them. That was supposedly proof of his mystical powers. However, having a Roman army at his back probably had more to do with it than magic."

I said, "The culminating battle was fought at a place called Badon Hill, near present day Bath. Most of the description of that battle is fanciful. But it's clear that the Saxon presence was largely eliminated, and the result was years of peace and prosperity."

Carlos nodded again. I wished he would stop doing that. If he knew the story, then why ask me? I finished with, "We all know that the Saxons came back. But that was historically a long period of time afterward. So naturally Ambrosius, or as his name was anglicized "Arthur" was a national icon and hero."

Carlos said, "So where does Merlin fit into this?"

I knew Carlos was trolling me again. But I dutifully answered, "Ambrosius Merlinus. Or Merlin, was probably Romano-British like Ambrosius Aurelianus. Merlin was Ambrosius's "magician." Since they had the same surname, they might have even been related. Merlin protected Ambrosius by countering other magicians. The legend is that Arthur was successful because he was served by a better wizard."

I said, "I know what you are about to tell me. The other magicians were Athenians and Merlin was Atlantean, right?" Carlos nodded smiling. I continued with, "And for whatever reason there is a problem back in that era now, and you want us to sort it out."

Carlos said, "Merlin is indeed an Atlantean and he specifically asked the High Council for our help. He wouldn't request it if there wasn't a potential civilization altering event. You and Maria are our best team. So, we are sending you two back."

I looked around me. The Key West breezes were rippling the palms. The sun was bright, the waves were blue, and my father-in-law wanted me to journey back to the Dark Ages. The things I do for family!!

*****

We weren't about to expose our children to the chaos of the Fifth Century. So, we did the Atlantean equivalent of dumping the kids at the grandparents.

The kids didn't mind. Carlos and Carla might be deities in their day job. But when they're watching them they let their grandchildren run riot; which I believe is the natural state of things with grandparents.

Maria told me that her parents never spoiled her like that. But, now that she'd produced them she was basically irrelevant. Plus, Apollo and Diana's Atlantean peers were all back in New Atlantis. So, they finally had a real set of friends to hang out with.

I'm not Atlantean. So, I've never been to New Atlantis. Thus, I can't say whether there are shopping malls there. But Diana's two BFFs Aphrodite and Persephone are there, as well as Apollo's buddies Ares and Hermes. I can't imagine what the school cafeterias are like.

Prior to being sent back, Maria and I did the usual preparatory work. When you think of the Dark Ages, you visualize "dark." But the era that we were going into was closer to the classical period than the anarchy of the true Dark Ages, which came 300 years later.

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