A Tall Ship Tale: #20: Kernel Knowledge

Another chapter from Paul de Anguera.

The First Mate walked carefully around the tree, looking for his three companions, or for evidence of violence. He had no previous experience on Crete, and did not know whether the Cretins were friendly or dangerous. On the far side, he noted a carved inscription under a low branch and stooped to read it:


Bewildered, he stood up, giving his head a mighty crack. He staggered and fell into the undergrowth. The spot where he fell proved to be an overgrown sinkhole, and at the end of the fall he tumbled out into an underground passage. He looked around to see Almo Sather, Kernel Sanders and Jim Dayman. They were just sitting up and rubbing their heads.

“Where are we?” he wondered, rubbing his own head and getting to his feet. Kernel Sanders went to a niche in the wall and brushed a net of websites away. They gathered around to peer at what he had found. In the middle of the niche was inscribed a single glyph:

“It’s the sign of King Minos,” he explained. “He built the Labyrinth for his son the Minotaur, and I think we are in it!”

“Bull,” the First Mate snorted. “All that happened ages ago — back when TV was black and white.”

“This is no fairy tale,” Sanders said grimly. “A descendant of the Minotaur inhabits the Labyrinth to this day — the Monitor!”

Gesturing for silence, the Kernel led them through a succession of long stone corridors with many intersections, each of which was marked with a Minos sign. “He must be a hall Monitor,” Almo grumbled. With a hideous roar, a one-eyed monster sprang out of a side passage and rose in front of them! But then it paused, motionless.

Shakily, the Kernel reassured the trembling sailors. “See the hourglass in his eye? That means he’s busy. Now run for it!” As quiet as a mouse, they edged around the Monitor, then pelted onward through the maze. Soon they saw bright light ahead, and entered an area where the roof had collapsed. The cause was soon apparent; the metallic wreck of a flying machine glittered amongst the ruins.

“Now, that’s a strange sight,” the First Mate commented. “I’ve never seen anything like it!”

“What do you suppose it’s made of?” Sanders said. “I can’t even tell what color it is.” Almo and Jim moved forward to investigate. Soon the…

..two beckoned; “Tin-hued!”

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