The Archives of the Heroes: Series One - Foundation.

This is the story of two brothers growing up in our Universe. They manage to find themselves all kinds of trouble and adventures while travelling from galaxy to galaxy with their father.
Or, in some cases, by themselves.


16. Episode Two: Yet another troublesome mission.


Liart glanced at Strongh, who glanced right back at him. Liart glanced at Jaliq, who was down-cast and eating. He glanced back at Strongh who was watching his father, and then turned to face his brother, still staring at him. It was unanimous.

'Father,' Strongh began, 'may we ask you some questions?'

Jaliq sighed and closed his eyes. He had obviously been expecting this. 'Rose.' He muttered. Then, quite clearly, threateningly, and with his eyes open, 'No, you may not.'

Liart was dismayed, but Strongh ignored his father's reply.

'Right. Question number one: what happened to our mother? Question two: how come you just showed up with both of us...'

'Who told you that?'

'We heard it from the butcher a while ago.' Liart replied.

Jaliq was not as patient as he had once been, and demanded, 'when, exactly, Liart?'

'About last week, when we had to buy meat for dinner.'

Jaliq saw no reason to disbelieve this, and there was no reason for him to shout at his sons for that. He had given them permission to buy groceries.

'You shouldn't talk to the butcher.' He said instead. 'He only spreads gossip.'

'Actually,' Liart replied, 'he wouldn't tell us everything. He said to ask you, because it was personal.'

'Alternatively,' Strongh put in, in a rather threatening tone, 'he suggested asking Mrs. Brawl.'

Jaliq panicked immediately. 'Don't you dare go to that woman's house!' He cried. 'If you do we'll never hear the end of it!'

'We won't have to go if you answer our question.' Strongh answered. 'So why don't you just tell as the truth for once?'

Jaliq hesitated. He seemed to want to, but couldn't quite bring himself to do so. Finally, his fear prevailed, and he answered, 'no. And you'll not find out around town.'

And so saying he left the table.                                  

The boys sighed, as they knew exactly what came next.

Their father hired a permanent baby-sitter – their old tutor actually. Despite the fact that the boys did not like being constantly watched, they loved seeing their old teacher once more.

'So,' Strongh began as soon as the man stopped speaking, 'what's new?'

The tutor smiled. 'I see your manners have not improved since I last saw you.'

Strongh only smiled. 'I've been hanging with Australians. Blame them.'

There was laughter now. 'Oh, Strongh! You really are quite hopeless!'

This was understood to be a joke, so no offence was caused. Both Strongh and Liart laughed.

Everything with Ahkah – sir, as he was so vaguely called by the boys – was a lesson, though not even Strongh found it mundane. Everything he said was interesting and relevant. Today he taught them the history of cinnamon while they cooked tea-cakes.

'Who can tell me where cinnamon comes from?'

Liart frowned. It bothered him realising he did not knowing something so basic about something he considered to be so common. Strongh only shrugged.

'Sri Lanka.' The tutor replied, seeing that neither could answer. He then proceeded to explain the details of how cinnamon was made. Admittedly, even Liart glazed over about half way through.

'Ahkah,' Strongh interrupted, much to Liart's relief, 'what do  you know about father?'

Ahkah chuckled. 'No, no, don't ask me that. Your father's business is your father's business.'

'Well... can you tell me about Rose Eye?'


'Are the two connected in anyway?'

'Good grief, child, what makes you suppose such a thing?'

Strongh smiled. 'You should have seen them, Ahkah. Father asked if they could make up. Something obviously happened.'

'Something scandalous.' Liart put in. 'And I bet it all happened when father showed up with us.'

Ahkah only smiled and clicked his tongue. 'Don't try such 'subtle' tactics. I''ll not fall for them.'

The boys smiled at their teacher's intelligence and got back to cooking their cake.

Jaliq arrived home about fifteen minutes later, looking pale and distressed.

'Father!' Strongh cried eagerly. But Liart replied more seriously.

'Are you alright?'

Jaliq nodded and put his bag down.

Strange things were running through his mind at the moment – thoughts of regret and guilt. But he knew if he contemplated these things too long Liart would guess what had happened, and he did not want that at all. He would have to pretend everything was fine, at least as well as he could. And so, fighting every instinct, he did not walk to his room, but walked up to his children. He rubbed Strongh's back while gently kissing Liart's head.

'How are things?' He asked Ahkah.

'Brilliant.' The man replied.

Jaliq smiled. 'Maybe I should hire you permanently.'

Ahkah shook his head all too eagerly, though his eyes were still very bright. 'No, thank you. I think a few hours a day is plenty for me.'

Jaliq seemed disappointed, but not overly surprised.

The tutor left ten minutes later, and the house fell into an uncomfortable silence. Jaliq tried his best to keep up conversation, but wasn't able to do so for more than five minutes. Strongh and Liart gave up helping him after his fifth attempt, and so dinner was eaten in silence. 

Jaliq would occasionally groan in frustration, and even ran his fingers through his hair. Then, when Liart looked up at him, he would smile as if nothing was wrong – a tell-tale sign that it was.

'Father,' Liart said eventually. 'If something is wrong, you don't have to pretend it's alright. And you don't have to tell us exactly what it is either.'

'Yeah.' Strongh put in. 'It's not like you do anyway.'

Jaliq scowled. 'It's only for your benefit, so shut your mouth.' Then, more kindly. 'Thank you, Liart.'

Jaliq continued in his distressed manner and managed to finish his dinner before agitatedly fleeing the room.

Liart turned to Strongh, intrigued. Whatever had happened today, Liart was sure it had something to do with their mystery.


Jaliq ran the day's event through in his mind and groaned. He was so ashamed! Infinitely ashamed – how had he behaved so badly!?

He'd finished work at the usual time, but instead of coming straight home he'd made his way through the streets to a small-looking house, though he knew it was bigger on the inside.

He was angry. He shouldn't have gone – he knew that now. He was a fool.

The door was opened to him before he even got there. Poor, unsuspecting girl. She positively shook when she saw him.

'Jaliq!' She cried, quivering non-stop. 'What have you come for?'

'Are you going to let me in?' He had replied gruffly.

The girl hesitated.

'Do me a favour and don't let me in unless I'm welcome.'

The girl looked at her feet. 'I'm sorry I ever did.'

'So am I.' Then, 'I suppose you know whom I'm looking for.'

The girl nodded and stood aside. 'You can come in. You're welcome, so long as you don't have any... crazy ideas.'

Jaliq's eyes were hard, as was his face. 'I don't.'

He entered the house and led himself to the lounge. He knew this house all too well. It was somewhere he enjoyed being – somewhere he liked coming. But at the same time it was somewhere that scared him. Somewhere that made him sad.

And angry.


It was a small, sweet voice, full of fear. He turned around, saw the owner, and softened briefly.


'What are you doing here?'

'I came to talk to you about something important.'

The woman sighed. 'Please don't tell me you came here to apologise.'

'No.' He hardened again. 'I came here to tell you off.'

She staggered. She knew exactly what was going on now. 'Jaliq, I'm sorry! I just...'

'Don't tell me you're going to apologise.' Jaliq mocked her, putting on a false-etto voice.

She rolled her eyes. 'Cut to the chase, Jaliq.'

Jaliq did not appreciate the woman's tone of voice, but did so anyway. As he thought about what he was going to say, anger welled up within him, and he made sure to convey it in his speech.

'How dare you ignore me, cut me off for nearly eleven years and then turn up on my doorstep – and when I'm not even there!'

'I'm sorry, Jaliq! I just had to confirm the rumours!'

'You could have at least sent your sister! Do you know what problems you've caused? Knowing my boys they'll find out everything and something more besides from Mrs. Brow!' He emphasised the name, receiving the desired reaction.


'Yes! I'll have to spend the rest of my life trying to stop them unless I tell them something – and what exactly should I tell them? And the worst part of it all is, they know I showed up with them and caused a scandal – they asked the butcher!'

Rose was horrified. 'Jaliq, I'm sorry, I didn't realise...'

'Of course not!' He was screaming now, as much as he did. He was not a terribly loud man. 'You never realise everything! That's what started this mess, ended this mess, and that's what's going to start it all over again! Do you realise how long they've been asking me about their mother for? And then you come along – what do you think's going through their minds now?!'

Rose flinched. 'I don't know.'

'No, you never know do you?'

There was a pause.

'Look.' Jaliq again. 'I did you a favour and left you alone. You didn't do me any favours and ignored me for all these years. Now, in the words of some-one very foolish, leave me alone and get on with your life.'

'I did not say it like that!'

'That's exactly what you said.' He pushed past her. He was leaving, whether she liked it or not. And he refused to feel bad about it. He was only copying her, after all.

But he felt bad now.

She had called after him, like he had called after her all those years ago. Oh, what he had said had been true, but it had all been said in anger – horrible, terrible anger. He wished he could just take it back – he wasn't innocent any more.

He'd finally retaliated.


'Can we play hide and seek?'

'No. Knowing you two you'd run off when I turned around.'

Strongh smiled at his brother slyly. Ahkah was far too smart now.

'Where do you want to go exactly?'

Liart jumped in now. 'We just want to visit Mrs. Brow.'

The man frowned uncertainly, as if he knew that was a bad thing, but wasn't quite sure why.

'Are you married?' Strongh asked, and Liart gave him a nudge.

'Yes.' Came their tutor's reply, much to the elder's surprise.

'Perhaps your wife knows Mrs. Brow.' Strongh tried to cover up quickly, and Liart was sure it was all over.

Ahkah shook his head. 'No, we live in the country. So you see, I have to travel here every day just for you two.'

Strongh beamed, as did Liart. In that case, he had no idea that Mrs. Brow was a ferocious gossip.

'So can we?' Liart pushed.

Ahkah hesitated. 'Well... I don't know. From what I understand you boys never do anything without a purpose.'

'Not true.' Liart replied. 'Mrs. Brow is just an old friend. I simply long to see her. She's so friendly and talkative, and I feel bad because we've been here for weeks and not seen her once.'

Ahkah sighed. 'All- alright then. I suppose I'll be with you two make sure every thing's alright. What could go wrong?' The last part was said sternly, as if daring the boys to reply. They only smiled brightly.

And so they were off.

Strongh knew he would have to rely heavily on Liart for this 'mission' as neither of them had ever met Mrs. Brow in their life. They didn't even know... oh no.

'Liart!' He hissed. 'We don't know where she lives!'

Liart nodded. 'Don't worry, I've got it all worked out.' Then he turned to their tutor. 'I don't remember exactly where she lives. I'll just ask some-one.'

Ahkah frowned. 'What do you mean 'you'll just ask some-one'?'

'She's very well-known.' Strongh replied, as Liart pulled a middle-aged woman aside.

'Excuse me,' he said politely, 'can you tell me where Mrs. Brow lives?'

The woman sighed, as if she knew what they were doing, and gave very particular instructions. Liart listened carefully and then nodded.

'Thank you very much.'

They were off again.

Fortunately, Liart remembered the directions perfectly, and they reached the house with no more difficulties.

'It hasn't changed a bit!' Strongh cried brightly, earning a glare from his brother. He knew what he wanted to say: if you can't lie, don't bother trying.

Liart went first, and knocked on the door as routinely as he could. It was answered at lightening speed by a bright, friendly looking lady who made both boys beam at once. Yes, Liart thought, they could be great friends. Especially if she pulled through for them.

'Why, is that Strongh and Liart Hero!?'

Gee, she was quite the stalker.

'Yes,' Liart said, beaming as familiarly as he could. 'We thought we'd come and see you, seeing as we hadn't since being home.'

The woman seem to sense intrigue, and lent forward, whispering in the boy's ear.

'Are you here in secret? For information on your father?'

'Yes.' Liart replied, speaking normally, brightly, lest Ahkah suspected anything. 'We would love that. Have you met our tutor, Ahkah?'

Ahkah laughed and extended his hand. 'Danley Ahston. Please to meet you.'

Liart frowned. 'How come we were never told your name?'

Ahkah (for the boys could not stop thinking of him as sir, despite the fact that they knew his name now) laughed. 'You never asked.'

Well, that was true.

The woman ushered the three inside, and Liart wondered how she was going to tell them anything while Ahkah was present. Still, the woman seemed unusually perceptive. She'd probably work it out.

They were seated in the most ridiculously comfortable chairs, and offered tea, coffee, hot chocolate, or whisky (though she informed them that she advised strictly against it, as it was bad for such young people, though she might consent to serve it to Mr. Ahston, should he so desire).

'Please,' Ahkah replied, 'call me Danley.'

'Only if you call me Luv.'

Ahkah's face fell at once.

'Yes, that usually shuts people up. Quite a distressing first name, I assure you, had I of been my parents I wouldn't have done it.'

'Better than being called hate.' Strongh supposed.

Mrs. Brow only laughed.

She served hot chocolate for everyone, though they had never actually specified their preference, and began asking them a million and one things about their travels. Liart did all the talking, and was very careful not to reveal anything, really, lest the whole universe should hear about it.

'We didn't really do much. Just tried to stay out of trouble. Sometimes failed.'

Ahkah helpfully stayed quiet.

'We've been trying to learn English.' Liart said eventually. 'But we're not so great at it.'

'Yeah,' Strongh added helpfully – actually helpfully. 'Ahkah can't speak it, so we're a little stuck.'

That was probably the best lie he'd ever told. Both he and Liart were fluent at English.

The woman's face lit up immediately, and she switched to the Earth language. 'Well then, shall I tell you all in English? If I make it look perfectly innocent?' She added, smiling.

The boys nodded eagerly, but Liart took care to first turn to Ahkah.

'Sir, may we practice English? You will not mind?'

The man smiled. 'Of course not! Make the most of this time!'


'Okay.' Liart said, trying to speak slowly for the sake of authenticity. 'But you'll have to speak quickly.'

Mrs. Brow nodded. 'My dear, that's my specialty.'

'And could you tell us about Rose Eye too?' Strongh hurriedly added.

'Child, the two are completely connected.'

The boys turned to each other.

They had learnt so much already.

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