Night Lights in the Forest – 10

Galalithe stepped forward, took Emmy by the arm with one hand and Eryndir with the other. “Both of you, my office, now! The rest of you, back to work. We have an important mission to mount. I want status in fifteen.”
The three of them walked quickly. Galalithe, still gripping their arms, walked them into an office with what looked like glass walls. There were small torch like lights mounted around the room, just below the ceiling creating a diffused lighting effect. The desk was the same grainy wood as those in the larger room, with the same leafy wires leading to monitors on the windows. She released their arms. “Sit. Please.”
Eryndir spoke, “Commander Galalithe, Mom please, I…” Galalithe held up a hand like a stop sign and looked at Emmy. “Young lady, do you know who you are? Better yet, have you even a clue as to what you are?”
Emmy looked back and forth between Galalithe and Eryndir sputtering, “I am . . . who? What?”
“It took me a few minutes to figure it out, but your face is so much like hers.”
Emmy scooted forward on her chair, “My face?”
Eryndir sucked in a big gulp of air, “Oh my!” He looked at Emmy and then Galalithe and then back at Emmy. “I thought you looked familiar! They were all supposed to have died! They were lost!”
Galalithe leaned on the edge of her desk between Eryndir and Emmy. “Right, we thought that Gwyn had captured and destroyed them. We had given up hope.”
Emmy stood up, “Hold on, stop the train, and back up the bus. Who, or what are you talking about. I am completely lost and confused, but all I care about is getting my sister back from those faeries who kidnapped her! So, can we concentrate here on what really matters and not whoever or whatever you think I look like that’s long gone and dead?”
Galalithe smiled and looked at Emmy, “We will, trust me, people out there are working on a plan as we speak. But you also need to understand why your sister was kidnapped. They almost got you as well. May I ask you some questions?”
Emmy shrugged, “As long as we get to the important stuff soon, ok.”
Galalithe leaned forward, “Do the names Aranhil or Aegliriell mean anything to you?”
A tiny chill caused Emmy’s neck hairs to flutter, “Uh, no. Should they?”
“How about Eruraina or Miluiel?”
Emmy got that chill again, a bit stronger this time. “No…”.
Galalithe stood up and walked over to one of the glass walls, touched it and spoke. “Show me the Lost Elders.”
A rectangular portion of the wall darkened, and a set of pictures displayed showing a group of twelve Elven men and women.
“These are our ‘Lost Elders.’ We had a terrible war with the Fae and had to hide some or our Elders in order to keep from losing them to the Fae.”
Galalithe, using her fingers moved and enlarged a portion the picture so that two of the group were visible.
Emmy gasped. “That’s . . . they . . . they are my parents! They look different and are dressed differently. But, oh no! That’s ridiculous. They’re just normal people, like me.”
Emmy fell back into her chair.
Galalithe squatted next to Emmy’s chair. “That would have been the whole point. To escape detection, murder, or capture by the Fae. The last two remaining Elders would have to appear as normally human as possible. They would need to take deep cover, to blend in completely. Their two daughters would have to never know their true heritage.”
Galalithe stood and returned to the screen. “Show the ending of ‘The Final Battle’ and mute sound and other sensory experience features.”
“What are the sensory experience features?” Emmy whispered to Eryndir.
He leaned over and whispered into her ear, “We call it smell-o-vision. It’s a nice feature, but trust me, you don’t want it for these scenes.”
“Oh, okay.” Emmy said as she focused her attention on the screen again.
The picture on the wall showed a panoramic view of a completely devastated landscape, bodies scattered everywhere.
“We lost nearly everything, but the Fae were banished from the earth to another reality to keep them from conquering the earth. That was a thousand human years ago. We have spent that time rebuilding our society, strengthening our defenses, preparing for the day when they might try to strike back.”
She touched the screen again and swiped those pictures away.
“Show incursions of the Fae on earth over the last hundred years.”
The screen lit up with a rotating darkened globe showing specks of light at various locations.
“Notice the significant concentration of incursions in the area around this location. We believe that they have discovered our underground headquarters. We now also believe they suspected that the ‘Lost Elders’ were located somewhere close by. Those lights you saw near your home were faery manifestations designed to attract attention.”
Galalithe stood silent for a moment and then turned to face Emmy.
“I now believe that they were designed to attract human attention. The Fae may believe that capturing human children, draining their life force, may give them the power they need to overcome the magic that had kept them banished.”
Emmy spoke, “So that’s why they tried to capture me but got my sister instead?”
Galalithe nodded, “There may be more to it than that. They may have actually suspected who and what you were and targeted you specifically. There is no way to know that yet.”
She moved back to the screen, “Re-display photo of Lost Elders.”
The picture re-appeared and Galalithe cropped it to show her parents again.
“We believe that these two, the last of the elders are your parents.”
“But, if those two are elves . . . ”
Galalithe moved to Emmy’s chair, squatted down and touched Emmy’s shoulder, “That is right. You, my dear, are also an elf. You are one of us and a descendant of the royal family. That is why the workstation out in the command center responded to your presence even though your appearance has been magically altered to appear human.”
Eryndir added, “Then that would also explain why the command center door unlocked and opened when you touched the entry panel!”
Galalithe stood, “Where are your parents? Are they nearby?”
“Yes, they were still sleeping when I left home.”
“How close is your home? If the fae kidnapped your sister, they must know who and what she is by now. They will also know that your family is near. We need to get to them and bring them safely down here as quickly as possible! They could be in mortal danger. Can you show us where the house is?”
Emmy gulped, “Yes, of course.”
“Excellent! Wait here.”
Galalithe quickly moved out of the office, called out some names and huddled briefly with a group in uniforms.
Returning she addressed Eryndir, “Take Emmy and get her suited up for an op. Take her and your strike team, get her parents and bring them here.”
Eryndir stood, snapped to attention and saluted, “Yes, ma’am. Right away. Come on, Emmy. Let’s go get your parents and bring them to safety.”

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Night Lights in the Forest – 9

“Gwyn.”
“Your magic seems . . . a bit weak. I almost didn’t recognize you.”
Regan turned to face a shimmering likeness, tall and elegant, radiating an evil grin, “You always were the clever one. Why are you here?”
Gwyn laughed in a low chuckle, “I was wondering the same about you, my old…”
Regan stepped closer to the vaporous figure, “I am not now, nor have I ever been your friend. Now, why…how are you here?”
“Ooh! Temper, temper my ancient adversary. Hmm? Do you like that better? Ha!” Gwyn’s laughter echoed throughout the clearing creating a chill down Regan’s spine.
“Gwyn! Why are you here? You and your clan have been banned from the Earth for over a thousand years.”
Gwyn lowered his voice to a threatening rumble, “I am here for you. You are the one that caused us to be banished. YOU are the reason for our continuing misery. I. Am. Here. To return the favor!”
“And how do you intend to do that since you are nothing but a loud, ugly apparition.”
Gwyn reared his head back and laughed in a way that caused Regan to tremble slightly, “You don’t know do you? You haven’t found out yet, have you?” He laughed again and this time he took it down to a sinister chuckle, “We have found a way to create a wormhole, a vortex between our worlds.”
“What? How . . . how did you do that?”
“Wouldn’t you like to know that? The one thing that you DO need to know is that we have your precious daughter. We almost had both of them, but your precious Wood Elves interfered and got the older one.”
Regan began to seethe with anger.
Gwyn began to smirk, “We are going to drain her of her elf magic and create a permanent conduit back to this land. Oh, all it will cost her is intense agony until she dies!”
Regan lunged toward the image but fell right through it.
“How do you like them apples Aranhil? Ha ha ha ha!” Gwyn’s laughter echoed again as his image began to fade, “…and there is nothing you can do to stop me! Farewell!”
Gwyn’s image completely faded, but his voice continued to echo in Regan’s mind. He collapsed against a tree and began to weep.
A slender hand touched his shoulder he turned to see Pat standing there with tears running down her cheeks.
“Regan.”
“How much did you—” he asked.
“Enough” She took his hand and pulled him up to her.
“Then the masquerade is over. We need to resume our lives as the Lost Elders of the Elves. That’s the only way we’ll be able to fight him and get Gigi back.”
“Well, we were never really lost. But you’re right, and we need to find Emmy too.”
“From what he said, I think she’s in good hands. She’s probably with someone like Galalithe.”
“Let’s hurry and go close up the house; we may have some other use for it another time,” Pat said turning to go.
Regan, keeping pace right beside her, smiled and took her hand, “I’ll pack up that stack of your pancakes in a bag to go. We’re going to need extra strength for the battle to come.”
Pat smiled, “Well, better pack up some butter and honey to go with them. That’s the way you like ‘em, my beloved Aranhil.”
Aranhil looked at her with a big grin, “That is true my dear Aegliriell”
They both broke into a run, heading toward the house for one final time.