Thursday, December 01, 2016
Flash Fiction # 227 -- Saving Everywhere. Part 11: Others
I took a step back, worried about what was going wrong now. I had no idea what to do. Power enveloped the man in a shimmer of gold, but I didn't feel anything dangerous in it. I was ready to move to protect others -- but I didn't think I needed to after all.
Tom was growing taller, thinner -- more silvery so that his hair almost glowed. His eyes turned bright blue as they stared at me -- amused, I thought. The transition did not take long and when I blinked he was still Tom, but different. And he was, beyond a doubt, fae -- but not like any I'd ever seen before. When he looked at me, I felt more power than I had ever encountered before. I stopped moving, uncertain of what I should do. Was this good? Bad?
"Elder fae," Edmond said, his voice a little shaken. He dropped down on the floor and settled by my feet. "He's an elder fae, but that's not possible. They never leave Elsewhere. This can't be real --"
"Be calm, furred one," Tom said as he smiled. He stretched as though he had been cramped in the smaller size for too long. The others didn't look surprised, I noted. Well, except for my companions. Edmond backed up behind me, and I could see him peaking around the back of my legs. Tom laughed and it was a bright sound. "My name is Tosemin (Edmond mewed in distress) and I am an elder fae. One of the top ten, as your little friend realizes. I came here because there was a dire need, but I am limited in power and understanding. I had to gather those with power and I used the humans' paranoia to do so."
It took me a moment to realize what he was saying -- that he'd brought us together to fight the enemy. I didn't know if I should trust him, but Edmond was starting to come back out again and I thought he might be hopeful rather than afraid.
"What are we going to do?" Collins asked. I was glad to have him back as the guard tonight. I can't say I even knew when he came in. Everything had been so confused that I wasn't certain I trusted anything right now.
But was there hope?
Tom gave a wave of his hand and a 3D map appeared in front of me. "The Gate to Elsewhere is here," Tom said, his finger pointing to a spot that brightened. "We are here, far across the high mountains. They act as a barrier to whatever magic we have gathered in this place. Darman created his army of weres in an area of the gate, which also is wooded and hilly so that what is out there is hidden, but we know there are far too many of them and they won't be easy to defeat. We had to collect an army of our own to go up against him. You cannot go back without us."
I started to argue, but Maggie had already agreed with an emphatic nod and I trusted her even more than I did Edmond. I didn't want to put others in danger, but I also knew that I couldn't fight him alone. We wouldn't get many chances. The others all understood the situation and I had to come to terms with situation.
"What do we do?" I asked, committing myself to the group. "We can't take over enough trucks as they come in. How are is the nearest train tracks? Do trains go by often?"
"We don't need a train," Davis said with a quick nod. "Just make something that looks like one and illusion and magic can do the rest."
Tom looked pleased by this idea and I refrained from saying I had no idea how that sort of thing would work. They did. I had to trust that my allies -- who were far better trained in this than me -- knew what they could do.
I had been fighting this battle almost on my own, I realized. I'd had friends and allies all along the way, but it had been my work that brought us all here in the end. I wasn't the most powerful person in this group, but I was central to everything that had happened.
I listened as the others talked about what they would need, what they could do, how much it would take to power this magic as far as they needed to go. I needed to learn some real magic, but I feared there wouldn't be time before we started this journey.
There was a feeling of urgency in what we were doing, as though we could sense that the trouble was growing even with the mountains between us.
"We have to move carefully," Smith said. We'd had a quick dinner but no one had left the table yet. "There are some humans who still believe we are docile prisoners, and if we start showing any thing to the contrary, it could get messy. We don't want that kind of trouble now."
"The work is spread out among the different groups," Davis said. "Everyone is being careful of the guards we don't trust, but mostly we'll be fine for tonight. The next question is to decide when it would be best to go."
We were still discussing that possibility when someone knocked softly on the door. Collins went to answer, while the rest of us stayed very quiet. I couldn't hear what was said, but Collins took a newspaper from the person and pushed the door closed again.
He didn't look happy when he came back to the table.
Collins unfolded the paper and showed us the front page.
Battles, attacks in several places -- things were falling apart in the east.
"We don't have any time to waste," I said.
Tom nodded agreement. "We go tonight."
To Be Continued....