Agents of the Vault – Part 25 & 26
Parts 25 & 26 – Does Charlie become a true Agent of the Vault?
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Agents of the Vault
By Grant Baciocco
The next day, Charlie was well enough to get a tour of The Vault. A deep, underground bunker that went below Yankton for several stories. It was a feat of engineering for the time and it was safe to assume there was nothing much like it anywhere else on the planet.
Doc explained, “There are several Vaults throughout the United States and some throughout the world. All part of the Coalition to keep historic, mystical artifacts safe. This one here in Yankton is the biggest in the world. Most of the Agents work out of here.”
Doc took Charlie around to the training rooms, a series of room where Agents of the Vault could work on their hand to hand fighting as well as their accuracy with pistols and long range rifles. Most impressive, however was the lowest level, The Vault itself. Spanning for what seemed to be about a mile underground, The Vault had row upon row of trunks, much like the one the writing desk was carried in. They were stacked six high in some places.
Doc pointed down a row of stacked trunks, “The desk you and Grisom brought in is now safely stored away here. It’s a good thing we had the other desk out of storage for study when Grisom wrote to us. That’s how we knew where to find you.”
“What you see here just barely scratches the surface of the artifacts with mystical powers out in the world. And these are just the ones from the United States. The purpose of the Coalition and The Vault is to keep these items of power out of the wrong hands. All of these Vaults are defended by the bravest men and women on earth. And now, you’re one of them.”
Charlie reached into his pocket and felt the leather case that held Grisom’s badge that was now his badge. He was nervous and excited to be one of The Agents of the Vault, but there was also a small piece of him that was terrified now that Grisom was gone. He really had no idea what he was doing, but steeled himself in the fact that Grisom seemed to be the best Agent of the Vault on the roster and he always trusted Charlie, so he would trust that.
“We’ve got a wagon all set up for you,” Doc said. “You can get the Prairie Fire back to the indians.” Doc turned and led the way back towards the Vault’s entrance. Charlie turned and followed him, stopping to look one last time at the rows of stacked trucks in The Vault.
Two days later, Charlie rode from the Pawnee camp having delivered Pahaat. The Pawnee Chief had greeted him when he had arrived, but there was not a pleasant mood within the camp. The Pinkertons and the Calvary had done a number on the members of this tribe. There were survivors but only a handful.
“I feel like we brought this trouble to you.” Charlie said. “We led the Pinkerton’s here.”
“You had only good intentions.” The Chief replied in his rough English. “And you have returned Pahaat. A small sliver of sunshine throughout the storm.”
They sat in silence for a moment. About ten feet in front of them, Doris and Pahaat tumbled and played in the dirt. Their antics brought a smile to both men’s faces.
“Has your little one decided to remain with Pahaat?” The chief asked.
“Not yet.” Charlie replied, “But I have a feeling it’ll be soon. They seem more dependent on each other after Doris rescued him form the Pinkertons. I have a feeling it won’t be long before we are back here.”
The Chief looked across his village, his people slowly were rebuilding and cleaning up the damage the calvary had done. “I’m afraid a great conflict is coming between my people and yours.”
“I feel it coming too.” Charlie said.
“It is a shame that we cannot live in harmony with the wonders that are around us.” The Chief said, watching Pahaat jump tackle Doris from behind as the two played. He turned to look at Charlie, “But you are an honorable man as was Grisom and as long as there is honor, there is a small glimmer of hope.”
Charlie reached out for the Chief hand and shook it. He then gave a whistle and Doris looked over from her dominant position on Pahaat to Charlie and realized it was time to go. She looked down at Pahaat and gave him a big, sloppy lick across the face and then bounded off toward Charlie, stopping to rub her head against the Chief’s leg.
The Chief looked down, smiling, “See you soon little one.” Doris gave a whistle and smile and then bounded off after Charlie who was already getting into the wagon.
She scrambled up the wagon wheel and took her spot on the buckboard right next to Charlie. Charlie clicked his tongue and gave a snap of the reigns and the horses began to pull out. Once they were underway, Doris gave a Charlie a questioning whistle.
“Where are we off to?” Charlie replied, “Let me see.”
He reached into his pocket and pulled out a pice of paper, unfolding it with one hand as the other hand held the reigns. He read Doc’s writing and then nodded, “We are headed to Baxter Springs, Kansas. Apparently, that is where George Washington’s tent is currently being held for us.”
Doris let out another inquisitive whistle.
“Apparently, the tent has properties that keep it impervious to cannon fire. It’s one of the things that kept Washington safe during the war.”
Doris let out a whistle of agreement and settled in next to Charlie.
They rode in silence for about an hour, en route to Baxter Springs. Charlie felt Doris shift next to him and glanced down to see her with her back turned to him looking at something in her hands.
“What do you have there Doris?” he asked, startling the creature. Doris quickly turned to him keeping the object hidden behind her. She looked up innocently at him. Charlie smiled, “Come on, show me what you got.”
Shyly, Doris brought her hand around into view to reveal a tiny, grey egg. Charlie’s mouth hung open. He was so flabbergasted, it took him a second to realize that he was pulling the horses off course. He looked straight ahead and corrected the horse’s walk, then turned back to Doris.
Doris looked up at him with the big dark eyes, smiling.
Charlie let out a laugh and shook his head. Doris gingerly placed the egg back into her pouch and the wagon continued onward towards Baxter Springs.
©2015 Grant Baciocco/Saturday Morning Media – www.SaturdayMorningMedia.com