PYRAMID POWER – snippet 33:
Miggy Tremelo appeared to be in a far better temper when he met up with them upon their arrival in Washington. “Easy flight, I trust?” he asked, cheerfully. “Let me introduce you all to our Norse mythology consultant, Dr. Lars Gunnarsson.”
Mac had expected all mythology experts to look like Jerry Lukacs. It was a bit of a shock to find that this one looked as if he’d be more at home in a Norse myth himself. Okay, so he was a little old for it, with some white hair in his beard, but you sort of expected him to be wearing a mailshirt and a bear-cloak.
“Very Norse-looking dragons,” he said, professionally. “More serpent-like than the modern pictorial image is usually.”
“They’re Colchian,” said Medea.
“We’ve got indigestion,” said Bitar.
“From the Caucasus, are they?” said the scholar. “You know, we all tend to think of the Scandinavians as a bunch of blood-thirsty Norse Vikings raiding England, but it was their trading voyages that spread their influence across Europe and even in my opinion, America. Huge numbers of traders plied the rivers in what is now Russia. Ibn Fadlan, the Arab traveler and diplomat, records meeting them on the Volga. And although his description was hopelessly sensationalized, the Scandinavians were there, to the northwest of the Caucasus, as well as on the Dnieper. They would have brought memories home to influence their culture. I wonder if these were not the source for the prows on all those longships?
Medea shrugged. “The females live in the water. They only come out to breed.”
“Even more plausible,” he beamed.
“It would seem,” said Tremelo, “that our friends probably have ended up in a place called Geirrodur’s castle. Anyway, we’re scheduled to appear before the Senate committee charged with overseeing Krim pyramid affairs. I have organized hotel accommodation, and for the dragons, this hangar…”
“I think we’d all better stick together, Prof,” said Cruz. “Here is good for all of us, if we can get some camping gear.”
Tremelo looked at them, taking in the children, and the concrete floor. “You don’t think that’s a bit extreme? I had ordered some hay for the dragons.”
Mac shook his head. “You don’t know, first hand, what these PSA guys are like, Prof.”
Tremelo hesitated. Then, shrugged. “Okay. I think the PSA may have cut its own throat, but they’ve got enough loose screws rattling around inside that organization that it’s hard to predict what they’ll do. I’m also getting the feeling that support for this clandestine operation went deeper than we’d like to think it did. Very well, you stay right here. I’ll get the camping gear delivered. Is there anything else you might need?”
“Maybe some sleeping tablets for Tina,” Cruz pointed at the Jackson child. “She’s taken this pretty hard, Professor. She’s fallen asleep a couple of times and seems to go straight into nightmares about her twin.”
The mythology expert smiled. “As it happens I am a psychologist. Or I used to be until I retired to focus on my first love, Scandinavian mythology. Let me have a talk with her. She is naturally very traumatized.”
A few minutes later a very troubled looking Scandinavian mythology expert came back from the corner where he had been talking to Tina. “I am afraid I must strongly recommend against using any sleeping tablets,” he said shortly. “She isn’t having nightmares. I have read Dr. Lukacs’ reports about the mythworlds they found their way into last time. This girl is dreaming about things she could not possibly know, but that her sister in the mythworld may be experiencing.”
“Telepathy?” said Tremelo skeptically.
Dr. Gunnarsson shrugged. “We don’t exactly know where they’ve gone. It may be contact with a spirit medium for all we know. But she knew details about Geirrodur the troll-king’s castle, Thor, Grid’s rod and the belt of strength and gauntlets of iron, as well as about Fafnir and Sigurd—none of which a girl her age would have known, and all of which goes well beyond coincidence. And I am as skeptical with regard to telepathy as you are, Professor Tremolo.”
“I guess the mythworlds—and the denizens of them,” Tremelo said, nodding at the Sphinx in animated conversation with Bes, “should teach me not to be so skeptical.” He grimaced. “Somehow I don’t think I’m going to introduce that into testimony into the hearings, even if I do believe it.”