Night Lights in the Forest – 6

Emmy looked at Eryndir and then walked hesitantly into the room which looked like those military command centers she had seen in movies. Except that instead of wires, there was tree branches or roots leading up to and surrounding each display or control panel. All of the equipment, monitors, keyboards, display panels grew out of the wood.
On the far wall, huge screens displayed maps of the forest and surrounding areas. Highlighted in bright colors, she saw groups of dots and in other colors were groups of little squares. Everyone in the room was talking at once.
Tables with two to three elves worked at workstations with large screens that covered smaller portions of the large screens on the wall. Each of the elves had on a wooden headset connected with small, leafy tendrils and rapidly conversed with someone. Occasionally, one of them reached out and moved something on his or her screen. Immediately, a group of dots or squares on the large screens flashed and moved to a new location.
Eryndir poked Emmys arm with his elbow, “Come with me. I want you to meet someone.”
Emmy turned and told Booger to sit and stay, he whimpered but sat down. She then followed Eryndir. One of the darkened, unused monitors, flickered briefly on as Emmy walked within a foot of it.
They approached a woman elf surrounded by other elves providing reports to her, listening to her responses, nodding quickly and running off to deliver the information or to pass on orders.
“Galalithe, ma’am?”
“Yes, Eryndir, what is it?” Galalithe continued to look at one of the large screens and give orders in a subdued voice.
“About that captive human girl taken into the vortex…”
“Get to the point, Eryndir, what is it?”
“I have her sister here and she wants to go on the rescue mission and…”
Galalithe whirled on her heel to face him, “…and what?”
“And, so do I.”
Galalithe looked at the two of them for a short moment. Her eyes darted back and forth between them quickly like a flickering light.
“No!” She turned on her heel and walked away, issuing orders to others in rapid fire as she went.
“Ok, smart guy, what now?” Emmy said while watching Galalithe move quickly away from them.
Emmy turn to face Eryndir, “Is that it? Is there anything we can do to change her mind?”
Eryndir looked Emmy in the eyes and stammered, “No, not that I can think of…Galalithe must have…”
“Oh, never mind, I’ll take this into my own hands.”
Emmy turned on her heel and walked directly toward Galalithe, still surrounded by uniformed Elves either reporting to or getting orders from her.
Emmy stopped about three feet directly behind Galalithe, within inches of an unused workstation, put her hands on her hips, cleared her throat and announced in a firm voice, “Galalithe. I am sorry to interrupt you, but I am going to help rescue my sister.”
Silence filled the room. People stopped moving, stopped talking, turned toward Emmy and stared at her. Then their gaze shifted past her to the monitor that had flickered earlier.
“What is your command?” a voice intoned behind her. People rushed forward to see the monitor. The crowd parted to make room for Galalithe and Emmy, who now stood side by side staring at the formerly lifeless workstation.

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