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Between the Lines
Part 2

by Robert Porter
sleestak2@juno.com

 

After some careful planning, dodging, cunning, luck and fast running, Rick and Holly managed to slip past Big Alice at the Lost City, into the Sleestak caves, past the Sleestak, and to Enik's chamber. They found him there, stooped over his matrix table and scrutinizing the crystals. "Enik!" Rick cried out with urgency in his voice. "We need your help!"

The Altrusian looked up. If his face could show expression, it would have displayed annoyance at the intrusion. "Rick Marshall," he intoned, "now is not a good time."

Holly sighed in exasperation. "Is there ever a good time for you, Enik?"

The Altrusian paused, cocked his head, and slowly answered, "That is a good observation, Holly Marshall. There is never a good time for you humans to disturb me in my chamber. Now please go." He returned to his matrix examination.

"But Enik," pleaded Rick, "we may have found another time doorway. Will fell inside and is somehow trapped in it. We need your help to get him out."

Again, Enik paused. "Where is this other time doorway?"

"It's near the crevasse. There's a matrix table that looks very old. It's been broken and damaged, but when Will tried to put it back together, he discovered someone trapped inside a time doorway. We tried to save this person and now Will is trapped in there with her."

Enik sighed, then waved his claws over his matrix table. The crystals on the table suddenly dimmed. "Was it just within the hour that you used this new matrix table."

"Yes."

"Then that would explain the disturbance I have been experiencing in the dimensional shift. And you say there is someone else locked in this time doorway?"

"Yes, a girl."

"Is she or your son not moving, as if stuck at one moment in time."

"Yes, both of them, but they moved when we manipulated the crystals."

Holly spoke up. "We're sorry if we messed up your time calculations."

"That is all right, Holly Marshall. What your father describes will explain why I have been having difficulties with my equations for many weeks now."

"It does?"

"Yes. You humans have discovered a crack in time."

Holly's face bunched up in confusion. "How can time be cracked?"

"Simple. Time flows forward, much like a river. Like the water, it may be faster or slower in different parts of the river. There may be many tributaries leading in or out of the main river. Like the river, there are a multitude of factors that can effect how time exists. A crack in time is like a stagnant pool, external to the river. Time has fractured at that point and does not move forward. If anything or anyone exists within a crack in time, then they do not experience the normal flow of time."

"So Will and the girl are stuck outside of time?"

"That is correct. For many weeks now there has been an unknown variable effecting in my equations. It has prevented me from finding the proper coordinates to return to my world. I suspected a crack in time, but have been unable to locate its source. You have found that source. I must now repair this crack in time, and restore some semblance of order to the time continuum within the Land of the Lost. Only then will I have a chance of finding the coordinates to my world so that I may save my people."

"But if the crack in time is like a stagnant pool of water, then how can it effect the rest of the time when it doesn't have anything to do with the rest of it?" Holly asked.

"An intelligent question. However, the river is but a simple example for your human brain. The actual behavior of time is most complex and I'm afraid it is far beyond your primitive understanding."

Holly's face contorted in frustration and she was about to retort when her father put his hand on her shoulder to stop her. "Will is trapped in this crack in time, Enik," he said gently. "Will he be all right?"

"That is unknown."

"Can we save him?"

"That is possible. In order to seal the crack, your son and the other human must be removed. All items must be removed or the crack will remain. If the crack remains, it could eventually consume everything in the Land of the Lost and all would be destroyed."

***

Darkness.

Will found himself floating in darkness. But it was much more than the absence of light. It was the absence of anything. He couldn't see anything. He couldn't hear anything. He couldn't feel anything. There was no sensory input of any kind.

Am I dead? he asked himself.

Time was irrelevant here. He had no idea how long he had existed like this. There was no frame of reference with which to measure it. It could have been a few minutes or it could have been years. There was nothing.

Slowly, like washing ashore on a gentle beach, sensations began to return to him. He vaguely felt the brush of cool, humid air blowing against his skin. It smelled musty and damp. Somehow, he was standing on solid ground again. But there still existed no sight or sound. Darkness and silence remained.

He flung out his arms to feel where he was, but there was nothing but air in front of him. "Wha—" he started. The sound of his own voice echoed, telling him that he was in a small area and the sense of sound had returned.

Cautiously, he stepped backwards and reached behind himself. His hand met a smooth, solid wall of rock. From the sensory input he was receiving, he figured he was in a cave somewhere. Unlike the Sleestak caves, however, there were no crystals lining the walls to light up the darkness. He could still see nothing.

"Dad?" he called out into the darkness. "Holly? Are you there?" He waited a few moments for a response, but there was nothing. Had he fallen into the mysterious, frozen girl's world? Was this what she was experiencing? Was she here now? "Hello? Is anyone there?" There was still no response.

By now, his eyes had adjusted to the darkness. He could just barely recognize a faint light that was coming in from an adjoining area to his left and slightly above him. It meant that he was close to something, possibly the way out.

Feeling about, for hand and footholds, he made his way toward the light. Sure enough, he turned a corner and could see he was in a cave, with sunlight streaming in from around another corner. Spurred on, he climbed the rest of the way out of the cave.

He was stunned by what he found. Before him were several gentle hills of soft green grasses. Off to one side was a tiny stream winding off into the distance. On the other was a thick forest of deciduous trees. In the distance were several majestic mountains reaching toward a sky that was bright blue with only a few wispy clouds wandering through it. The air was crisp and clean and comfortable. He was in an ideal fantasy land, far removed from the Land of the Lost's prehistoric jungle.

Drinking in the beauty, he smiled and ran out onto the grassy hill before him. At its summit, he laughed with joy and tumbled onto the ground. He ran his fingers through the carpet of grass. It had been so long since he'd felt normal grasses. The odor of it struck his nose and reminded him of long ago and cutting the lawn back home.

Home. Could this be home? Could he have stumbled onto Earth?

Will looked around himself for anything recognizable, but there was nothing he could see that was man-made. "Holly!" he cried out in hopes that his family had somehow come with him. "Dad! Are you here!?"

He returned to the cave entrance and called into it for his family, but there was no response. Next he ran down to the tiny stream and looked about. He ran along its shores, looking frantically for something or someone familiar. Nothing.

Stooping to the stream, he cupped the cool, clean water in his hands and splashed it on his face. He knew he had to think clearly. He was afraid to wander too far away. If his family was to follow him to this place, he knew it was most likely they'd end up in the cave, just as he had arrived. He would return and wait there for them.

Climbing back up the hill toward the cave, he froze when he caught movement out of the corner of his eye. At the edge of the forest—

There she was. The girl they had found frozen in the rocks back in the Land of the Lost. She had just stepped out of the forest and stood watching him with fascination. Her expression was clearly stunned. Will was beginning to think she was still unable to move, but she blinked a few times, then broke into a wide, beautiful grin. He waved and started toward her.

Suddenly, she dropped whatever she was carrying and sprinted the short distance up to him. Will stopped and waited, then realized a second too late that she wasn't going to slow down. With unexpected force and enthusiasm, she hugged him, nearly knocking him over.

He hugged back, but with mixed emotions. He was unsure what all this meant and was cautious, but he couldn't deny the feelings and emotions of another human being who was so happy to see him.

"I'm so glad you're here!" she squealed into his ear.

"Well, I'm—"

She pulled back just enough that she could pepper his face with tiny kisses, ending with a long smack on the lips, then back to hugging. "I've waited for this for so long!" she told him. "I almost can't believe it's real!"

"Well, I—"

Pulling back again, she looked him in the face again, her expression turning to mock seriousness. "You are real, aren't you?"

"Well, yes, but... Do you know me?"

She grinned so wide that her eyes vanished into tiny creases. "No. But I'm very glad to see you." She hugged him tight again. "And we're going to get to know each other very well. Very well, indeed."

Will couldn't deny the intense emotions he felt when she hugged him like she was. Her beautiful smile and enthusiasm was infectious. But something just wasn't adding up. He gently, then insistently, pushed her away from him. "Look. What's going on here?" She reluctantly broke the hug, but refused to stop holding his hands. "Who are you? Where are we? And why are you so happy to see me?"

Now her expression turned to sadness. "Oh! You don't know where you are?"

"No. I just got here. It's kind of hard to explain, but I... well..." He hesitated, unsure if he should explain the Land of the Lost just yet, lest she think him crazy. "I came from a different world altogether."

"Oh, dear."

"Listen, this is going to sound strange, but... is this Earth?"

She looked at him intently, as if trying to understand why he would ask the question. Slowly, she answered, "No. I don't think so. I'm not completely sure where we are."

"Well, then, what is this place?"

Again, she broke out into a joyous grin that caused her eyes to disappear. She laughed nervously and said, "Let me start from the beginning and maybe it'll make sense. Then you can tell me about yourself."

She directed him to sit in the grass, which he did obligingly. She sat beside him, close enough to be sure they remained in physical contact at all times.

"First of all, my name is Andrea Charleston." She extended her hand for a polite handshake.

Will thought the handshake was a little unusual after the hugs and kisses she had just delivered, but he took her hand regardless. "I'm Will Marshall."

Instead of shaking his hand, she drew it to breast and cradled it. Will let her take it, but wondered at her. She was acting like a lovesick girl. He was feeling it too, but seemed to have better control over his faculties.

Realizing her faux pas, she let his hand go. "I'm sorry. I just can't help it. I just can't believe you're really here."

Will noticed she was shaking, although he was unsure if it was joy, nervousness or both. He reached out to put his arm around her shoulders to calm her down. She immediately used the opportunity to nuzzle up to him again. "Calm down, Andrea," he commanded her. "Just settle down and tell me about where we are. We've got plenty of time." At the last comment, she pulled away and gave him a strange look. "Tell me where we are. I left my father and my sister behind and I may need to help them."

"Okay, okay," she said. She took a couple of deep breaths and cooled her enthusiasm. "My name is Andrea Charleston and I am from a farm outside of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania."

"And I'm from California," Will offered.

Her eyes grew wide with astonishment. "Really? Wow!"

Will decided he'd better just keep his mouth shut and let her finish her story. "I'll explain later. Go ahead."

"Well, it was just a few days after a big battle with the south. Me and my father were trying to save the corn the army hadn't requisitioned. We were out in the fields tending to the plants when I heard a funny whirring sound. I figured it was maybe one of the southern deserters doing something—"

"Wait a minute," Will interrupted. "You're talking about a battle with the south. Are you talking about the American civil war and the battle at Gettysburg?"

"Yeah."

"Oh, wow."

"What?"

"From my point of view, that was a long time ago."

She looked at him with sadness, then shook her head as if she had understood. "Yeah." She then continued her story where she'd left off. "I went off to the edge of the cornfield to get away from the deserter. After being beat by the Federal army at Gettysburg, they were nothing but a mess of trouble and I wanted no part of it. So I went into the woods and followed a path to my house. The whirring sound got louder and I panicked. I ran back into the cornfield when there was this really loud explosion. Then it was all dark and for a while I thought I was dead."

"Something similar happened to me."

"Really? Well, when I woke up, I was here. And it's... not Pennsylvania. It's some sort of strange land. I'm the only one here and as far as I can tell, I've been here a long, long time."

Will pondered that. His family had been trapped in the Land of the Lost for nearly two years now. Andrea couldn't have been here much longer as she looked to be about his same age. "How long?" he asked.

Her face turned down. "Near as I can figure, I've been alone for nearly a hundred years."

"A hundred years!?"

"Yeah. I started keeping count for a while, but I know I messed up a few times, so my best guess is a hundred years or so, maybe a little less... or maybe more. I don't know."

"You've been all by yourself this whole time?"

"Yeah."

"But you don't look a day over seventeen."

"Sixteen, actually. But it's funny here. It's like time doesn't work on me or something. I've never grown old. I've always stayed the same."

The long time period of being alone explained a lot of why Andrea had reacted to Will the way she did when they first met. It also explained why she now tried to stay in constant physical contact with him. She was hungry for human contact and wanted to drink in every second with him she had. "I'll bet you've been awful lonely," he told her. He reached out to grasp her hand.

Her face contorted with a physical battle between sadness at her loneliness and joy and his presence. Finally, she took his hand and buried her face in his shoulder. "It's been very lonely. I need you here with me, Will Marshall."

***

Big Alice roared at the intrusion into her territory.

Rick, Holly and Enik quickly stepped back into the protection of the Sleestak caves. "Doesn't she ever stop?" Holly lamented.

"She's doing what's natural to her, honey," Rick offered. "She just want to protect her territory from intruders."

"But we've been here enough times that she should know us by now. She should know that we're not going to do her any harm."

"The one you call Alice," Enik stated, "does have a short memory. However, the Sleestak have developed a symbiotic relationship with her and so she is tolerated. Alice keeps out unwanted intruders and the Sleestak occasionally feed her to keep her close."

Rick was surprised to hear this. "You feed her?"

"I do not feed her. The Sleestak feed her."

"With what?"

"The creature you call, Spot."

"You mean the Sleestak hunt the ceolophysis and feed it to Alice?"

"On occasion, yes."

Apparently there were still a few scary things about the Sleestak that they hadn't yet discovered. For all their hissing and slow moving, they were generally more intelligent than they seemed.

Alice put her head near ground level and roared at them again.

"I must seal this crack in time, Rick Marshall," Enik stated. "I will use my telepathic powers to suggest to the dinosaur that there are bigger and more threatening intruders elsewhere. She will leave and we will have time to safely leave the Lost City."

"Wait a minute!" Rick exclaimed. "You can telepathically communicate with Big Alice!?" He was learning all sorts of interesting things today.

"I cannot read her mind. It is far too primitive. However, with limited success, I can place thoughts and suggestions there. Enough to let us escape from the Lost City."

"Well, then do it."

Enik faced her and imagined a tyrannosaurus entering the Lost City at its far edge. He imagined himself as the allosaurus seeing this image and projected it outward.

Alice turned toward the unseen enemy, roared and stormed off.

"It worked!" Holly exclaimed. "C'mon! Let's go!"

The trio ran across the stones and into the protection of the jungle.

***

After several searches of the cave where he had arrived, Will finally conceded to Andrea's insistence that there was no such time doorway there. She had explained that there was no escape from their little universe. She had had plenty of time to explore her environs and knew them all intimately.

It had been a little over two weeks since his arrival and they had already explored everything. This strange place was small. Although it looked endless, with plains and mountains stretching off in every direction, they could only wander about a mile square of land. As they approached an unseen edge to their universe, the world seemed to slow down around them. If they went too far, they would fall into the nothingness again and eventually get bounced back inside. It was like a giant hand numbed their minds and pushed them back. It made for a very efficient cage.

As it was, this tiny little universe wasn't so bad. They had everything they needed for their survival. The stream running through it provided water. Various edible plants grew in the forest and Andrea had even taken to cultivating a little garden over the years. The forest provided protection, although apparently the weather was always pleasant with only an occasional light rain from which to hide. Strangely, there was no insect or animal life here.

Although the sun rose and set, the plants grew and died, and the stream ran continuously, time did seem to not exist for selective items in this universe. Besides Andrea herself, who apparently never aged, she said many of the items around never changed. Certain rocks and plants remained constant. She pointed out one bush that she said had never grown or died since she'd arrived. Her clothing, a simple brown and white dress, never seemed to wear out. While she watched the stream erode and smooth out various stones over time, there was one jagged boulder that stubbornly refused to yield.

This tiny universe was beautiful and ideal, but Will could see how she would be lonely here after a while. Even paradise need a little shaking up every now and then.

He told Andrea all about his home back on Earth, history and how the world had changed since her time. She drank in every syllable he gave her, asking constant questions about this or that. He also told her about the Land of the Lost and all its strange creatures. After explaining the mixed up time doorways in that universe, they figured that their world must be somehow mixed up in it all. After all, Will came from the Land of the Lost and Andrea came from Earth, so both worlds must intersect with this one. As such, Will insisted that there must be some way they could get his father and sister and they could all go back to Earth. Andrea hoped it were true and was willing to do whatever Will asked, but secretly she had her doubts. She had tried off and on for a hundred years to find a way out of this place, but had not had any success.

Due to their youth and their loneliness, they were naturally drawn to each other. They shared each others lives intimately, telling of their homes, hopes, dreams, fears, etc. With all the emotional and physical contact between the two, it didn't take long for them to fall in love. After that, Will readily gave up his pursuit to find a way out.

They grew to enjoy this little universe that they had all to themselves.

***

Having escaped Big Alice using Enik's telepathic trick, Rick, Enik and Holly had made their way through the jungle and across the crevasse. They approached the broken stone column where Will had found the broken matrix table.

Enik paused and looked at the broken rock, then up at the rock wall. "Yes!" he declared. "I think I know this place!"

"You do?" Holly asked rhetorically.

"Yes, Holly Marshall. I have been here before, but did not recognize it for it has changed greatly over the eons since when my people ruled this land."

Rick looked about for dinosaurs, before taking Enik by the arm and guiding him toward the gap in the rocks. "What is this place, Enik?" he asked.

"No place more special than any of the other pylons found in the jungle. This area was a waystation used to transport my people through time and space. It is— or was— a time doorway." He crouched to fit into the gap in the rock.

"Then maybe we can find a way home!" Holly enthused.

Pausing momentarily, Enik turned back to her. "Of greater importance is to eradicate the crack in time. None of the time doorways can operate predictably until this task is done. Usage of the time doorways can have very dangerous consequences."

"What do you mean?"

"Once, when I was a hatchling, there occurred a crack in time. There were many Altrusians during this time that thought to travel to a another universe that we inhabited on occasion. Although the calculations and appearance of the time doorway showed them going to this other universe, many Altrusians died before it was realized that they were actually traveling to an unknown universe— one in which the air was toxic with sulfuric gasses. Only by chance did one Altrusian manage to return and uncover the error."

Holly's eyes grew wide in shock. "You mean you thought you were going to one place, but you ended up somewheres else?"

"That is correct."

Rick, who had moved ahead, came back to tug Enik into the gap. "C'mon!" he commanded. "We have to save Will and repair this crack in time before someone gets hurt."

It took some more digging and pushing at the hole leading into the larger chamber, but eventually they were able to squeeze Enik's larger frame through. Holly immediately checked to see if Will and the girl were still there.

"How do they appear?" asked Enik.

"They haven't moved," she answered. "They look exactly as they did before. Like they're frozen in time."

Enik nodded somberly.

Crouching, Rick showed him the broken matrix table that had been pieced together and contained a few, glowing crystals. Enik got down on his knees and looked at the table. "Can you fix it?" Rick asked.

Sighing heavily, Enik said, "I believe so, Will Marshall. Please— give me a moment to concentrate."

Rick backed up and moved to stand beside his daughter to stare at the frozen image of his son and the mysterious girl.

***

Lying atop their hill, Will Marshall rested on his back and stared at the night sky. Although there were clearly not the constellations he knew from earth, nor the Land of the Lost, the stars were beautiful. There seemed to be so many more of them here and when their single, large blue moon was beyond the horizon, they could see almost as many stars as there were grains of sand on a beach. He loved lying here at night and finding shapes and figures in their designs.

It never changed here. There were no seasons and no storms. It was a constant, comfortable temperature and there was only a light rain on occasion. Will figured it had been somewhere between six months to a year that he'd been here with Andrea, but the environment remained constant. Not that he'd minded. They had been so enraptured with each other that the time flew by unnoticed.

Momentarily blocking his view of the stars, Andrea leaned over him and planted an affectionate kiss on his forehead. Her long hair fell forward and tickled his nose and lips. He reached up to rub at the tickle when she pulled back and stared into his face. She looked so beautiful. Her face was young, bright, energetic— He found himself enraptured with her tresses as they drooped forward off her head and surrounded her face in a odd, yet alluring manner, with the night's stars surrounded her head like an angelic halo.

"I love you," she stated simply.

Will grinned and reached up to touch her cheek. "I love you, too," he replied quietly. They stared silently at each other, both drinking in their emotions for a moment. Finally, Will moved his hand from her cheek and to the back of her head to pull her to him. They kissed long and passionately.

Finally they pulled apart. When Will again looked into her face, her cheeks were stained with tears. "What's wrong?" he asked gently.

Andrea grinned softly. "Nothing's wrong. These are happy tears."

With quiet understanding, Will pulled her to him where she rested her head on his shoulder and molded her body into his. They lay there under the stars, each lost in thought.

Will was the first to break the silence. "Do you still miss home?"

There was a long pause before Andrea's muffled reply came from where her mouth was nestled on his chest. "Sort of. I mean, it's been so long, I don't remember all that much about it."

"Can you remember your father?"

"Yeah, I guess so. I can still hear his voice, but I forgot what he looked like a long time ago."

"Really?"

"Yeah, it actually happened pretty quick."

Will considered this. He tried to recall Holly and his father's face. He could sort of see it, but the image was fuzzy and indistinct. It had been more than half a year since he'd seen them. He could hear the voice in his head, but the harder he tried to remember their faces, the more they escaped him. His mother, he couldn't recall at all! This bothered him. "I'm having trouble remembering the faces of the people I knew as well. I'm surprised I've forgotten so quick."

Andrea squeezed him in comfort. "Don't worry about it. I think maybe it's natural. Just imagine their touch. What did it feel like to shake your father's hand or hug your sister?"

Trying to recall the feelings, they came much better than the images. "Yeah, I can remember that. You're right. It's much easier to remember."

"Then that's what's important," she told him.

Will considered his father and sister. He missed them terribly and felt rather guilty for not thinking of them in quite a while. The world in which he and Andrea existed was quite tiny, even compared to the limited confines of the Land of the Lost's closed universe. They had quickly explored every corner and found nothing that showed a way out. At first, Will wouldn't believe her— even with her many years of searching. There had to be something she had missed. But all his searching had turned up nothing. In the end, he was simply left with Andrea. He couldn't fathom how she survived for nearly a hundred years here, completely alone.

They had spent nearly every moment together. They shared many stories and events from their lives. So much so, that they knew each other most intimately and had begun to easily read each others moods. It had brought them so very close and Will could see how he could begin to forget about his father and sister stuck back in the Land of the Lost.

Maybe it was time to let them go altogether. He'd held out hope to find a way back to them or to Earth, but this place offered nothing. Unlike the Land of the Lost, this place was a one way ticket. You could get in, but you couldn't get out. There were no pylons and mysterious time doorways to give hints of other universes out there. Maybe it was time to put aside those hopes and dreams and start to consider a life here with Andrea. A permanent life. This would be their new home and they would be a family...

***

Enik ached. He'd spent the better part of the day and into the night reconstructing the broken matrix table. At last he'd gotten the crystals aligned and could actually start making some sense of the time fluctuations the broken table was causing. It had broken long ago in some unseen disaster, but only recently had created the crack in time from what he could calculate.

While he'd been working, Rick Marshall had gone to get them food. Holly stayed behind at Rick's insistence. The humans were so determined to stay here to save the boy, that Rick had eventually retrieved their soft bedding and they'd set themselves up to sleep in the tiny cramped area until Enik could fix the crack in time.

Holly had long ago fallen asleep, but Rick remained sitting on the ground and staring at nothing, lost in thought. "Rick Marshall," Enik said quietly, so as not to disturb Holly.

He looked up, his face haggard and tired.

"I have repaired the matrix table. I will now begin attempting to close the crack in time."

Rick scrambled forward and kneeled next to Enik. He stared at the repaired matrix table, as if it would offer up the answers he needed. "Can you save Will? Can you get him out of there?"

"I do not know. When I close the crack in time, there is no guarantee that your son will survive. He may simple cease to exist."

"Enik!" Rick shouted so sternly that Holly stirred at the noise. He lowered his voice appropriately. "Don't say that Enik. You've at least got to try to save him. He went into the crack in time from here. Surely you can get him out from here."

"It is not that simple, Rick Marshall. A crack in time causes many anomalies in the space and time continuums. Existence at or near them can be very unpredictable. They are very dangerous."

"You've got to try," Rick demanded.

Enik sighed. "Very well. I will attempt to find a way to retrieve your son before I close the crack in time."

"And the girl too."

"And the girl too— that is, if they are even in the same place and time."

Rick's face turned gentle. "All I ask is that you try."

Enik nodded somberly and set himself to the task.

It didn't take long for Enik to find the problem. A piece of time and space had sheered off from the normal universes. It now existed externally to the rest of existence, yet it's proximity was warping and distorting the known continuum ever so slightly. It was like an errant comet within a solar system. It existed because of the solar system, but it lived a life outside of the normal solar system's rhythms. Albeit small, it did have mass and energy that could effect the solar system. The crack in time was like that and was causing Enik's time calculations to be thrown off. The fact that they could actually see Will Marshall and the young female within the crack in time meant that the crack was very near their universe at the moment. Like the comet analogy, a collision at the right place and time could prove disastrous.

If not handled correctly and the crack in time collided with the Land of the Lost, their universe could cease to exist. It was imperative that Enik close the crack. However, at Rick Marshall's request, he would first try to save the children within it.

He could see what he needed to do to close the crack. It was amazingly simple. One tweak of a few crystals and it would no longer exist. Unfortunately, that would leave the children no longer existing as well, or at best, trapped in another universe. His hand hovered over the crystals and pondered his actions. He would simply tell Rick Marshall that he was unable to save his son. It was for everyone's good that he had sacrificed his life. They would—

Enik's hand dropped. He could not do it without at least considering a way to save the children. He pondered the problem a little more and found that if he established a third dimensional coefficient into the fifth matrix, he would have a momentary connection to the crack in time where they could retrieve the children. It would be risky, and he would have to recalculate a new set of matrices to get back to his current state, but he could do it. But was it the logical thing to do?

He pondered what the humans had once taught him about compassion. Numerous times they had foolishly risked their own lives to save one another. It was most illogical. Should Enik risk his own life, the lives of these two humans, the Sleestak, the Pakuni and all the other Land of the Lost residents on a chance to save Will Marshall and the girl? It was not logical.

The fact nagged at him that it was his race's own lack of compassion that had been their downfall. If he were to learn from this and save his people, then maybe it was time he did something... illogical.

"Rick Marshall!" he commanded loudly. "I am about to open a very small moment in time when you can reach in and retrieve your son and the girl. Be ready for it."

Startled, Rick stood and looked about. "Where will they be?"

"There." Enik pointed to the blank wall in front of him.

"Daddy?" Holly asked sleepily.

"Watch out, Holly," he answered her. "Enik's about to open up the doorway and I have to pull them out."

Holly jumped up and ran to the spot where she could see their images before. "Daddy, their gone!"

Enik struggled with the matrix table. "Do not be alarmed Holly Marshall."

"But—"

"Shush, Holly," Rick commanded. He grabbed Holly roughly and pushed her back away from where Enik would be opening the doorway. "Stay out of the way and don't get yourself stuck in there with him."

When he turned back, a puff of smoke appeared on the far wall. This quickly turned to a boiling mist from which a gentle glow emanated. The glow grew brighter and brighter and lit the tiny rock room brighter than daytime.

Holly screamed.

The light vanished and they were plunged into darkness.

"NOW! Rick Marshall!" Enik shouted.

Rick stepped forward into the darkness and caught the dim shape of two human forms. He blindly reached forward and pulled. He felt his hands wrap around cloth and soft flesh, but they did not move so easily. They moved slowly and with great effort, as if pulling them through water.

Suddenly, the resistance stopped. Will Marshall and the girl fell backward into the Land of the Lost. The three of them crashed into the opposite wall before crumbling into a pile of bodies. There was a loud bang and the connection to the crack in time that Enik had created vanished.

Will stood shakily and stared at his father in astonishment. "Dad?"

The girl, still lying on the ground, looked at Enik and screamed.

 

FADE TO COMMERCIAL

 

Go to Part 3