Fey Fyre (Part 13)

The lights on Freemont Street glared bright twenty-four hours a day, the illuminated arch extended several blocks like a curved monitor pointed down at the tourists below, going from hotel to restaurant to strip club along the adult playground. The Limo slowed to a stop in front of Rip as he sat on his motorcycle. He had been waiting for his partner to arrive since he had located their target.

     When Tom stepped out of the back of the limo Rip smirked to himself.

     “Isn’t that a little flashier than your usual style.” Rip chuckled.

     “Actually,” Tom replied. “I have no problems with luxury, I just feel the need to maximize my investments, and in Las Vegas it costs no more to take a stretch limousine than a normal taxicab. Besides I have been the majority shareholder for this particular company for over a decade now, so this is not costing me anything.”

     “Leave it to you, to come to Vegas and worry about the cost of everything.” Rip drawled.

“For someone not trying to conserve money, then why have you been riding around on that old thing for so long?” Tom asked pointing to the ancient motorcycle.

“Best thing the Pirate ever came up with.” Rip replied. “Can’t bring myself to part with her. Come on, the place she’s working is this way.”

     Rip pushed his way through the crowd leading Tom down the street, the fact that it was the middle of winter in the rest of the country made the streets crowed even at three in the morning, not that the time of day mattered in Vegas.

     Rip stopped in front of what had once been a rundown strip joint in the middle of Freemont Street, but just looking at it made it obvious that the owners had been doing exceptionally well recently. It still had a sleazy seventies style to it, but the entire place looked brand new showing the resent investments made in the building. Looking at each other, neither was surprised that they would find her here, the building exuded a style that both would associate with her.

      Inside the club was dark, one of the girls was up on a large stage in the middle, while two others danced in small cages off to the sides of the stage, the songs were primarily seventies rock songs. Obviously this was the opening act as many of the men and women around the stage were not even paying attention to the dancers and just waiting for the headliner. They could tell by looking around the room at the faces which members of the crowd had seen her perform before and which were drawn in by the rumors. The returning customer’s faces held a look of ecstatic anticipation.

     Rip slid up to the bar and ordered himself a drink while Tom examined the location. They needed to get time alone with her to talk, but neither was interested in drawing too much attention to them, unfortunately drawing attention is what she did for a living.

     Soon the girl on the center stage finished up and headed backstage, the two girls in the cages quickly joined her as it seemed all of the women who worked in the club went to take breaks all at the same time. The regulars started to buzz with excitement. The lights dropped down until the room was almost pitch black, the spotlights were turned up to their full intensity and suddenly everyone realized that a person wearing a cloak with the hood up was standing on stage.

     “And now The Kitty Klub presents its exclusive headline performer,” The deep voice of the DJ boomed over the speakers. “Ladies and Gentlemen welcome to the center stage…. Syrie”

     The cloak dropped to the floor revealing the exquisite form of a female. Compared to her the other dancers had been skin and bone and flab. She was lush ripe curves and sensual musculature. The music had stopped but no one cared, she was in motion, spinning and twirling trailing the veils connected to her limbs.

     She moved as if she was weightless, one moment her body exposed and the next hidden. At all times though she called out to her audience with every fiber of her being, calling them to come closer and closer, promising pleasures that none of the people who watched her had ever dreamed about before.

     Rip remained at his spot by the bar, watching, not sure if the owners knew what they were doing and the chaos that would ensue if she pushed it too far.

     She carried the crowd along with her on a ride to the far reaches of ecstasy; some in the group breaking down crying and others grabbing the nearest person in a passionate embrace. She brought them up and down through a rollercoaster of lust as she twirled across the stage. None had ever seen a sight so exotic in their lives. Money flew through the air and landed at her feet covered the space on the stage around her.

     As the dance ended the hum of the crowd persisted and many of the patrons rushed out into the night to find a quiet place to be alone with the person they had brought, or just someone they had met there.

     Rip gestured to Tom they saw Syrie slip backstage and the regular employees returned to their duties. They both crossed to the door leading to the back of the club. They were stopped at the door by a guard who was taller and weighted more than the two of them combined.

     “Line for the private rooms is back that way gents,” He grumbled pointing across the room.

     “We were looking to speak to Syrie for a moment.” Tom explained.

     “Sorry, she does not do private dances,” The guard replied. “Any of the other girls would be happy to assist you fellas.”

     “We ain’t here for a handjob tubby.” Rip growled.

     The guard reached out to take hold of Rip’s collar, but before he could get a grip Rip slipped a motorcycle chain out from under his coat and spun it around the guard’s neck. Grabbing one end of the chain in each hand he yanked down sharply drawing the guard’s face into his waiting knee. The guard slumped to the floor dazed.

     Bending down, Rip propped one of the guard’s eyes open with his fingers as he spoke to him.

     “You just behave and stay there, and you might be able to walk tomorrow.” Rip calmly explained. “We’re going to have a talk with our friend.”

     Rip and Tom them turned and entered the back room.

     Since all of the female employees were out front taking advantage of the sexual hysteria that Syrie had raised, it was abandoned in the small dressing area.

     “Time to go, little girl.” Rip said.

     Syrie didn’t even turn to look at them when she responded. “Why do you need me?” She asked.

     “The fight is coming soon,” Rip explained. “We need everybody together for the battle.”

     “But…I…I’m not a warrior.” Syrie sobbed. “What good will I do in a fight.”

     “Don’t be foolish,” Tom interrupted. “The fire that you can raise will be the strongest weapon against them. There is no way they will be able to stand against us.”

     “It’s your duty to the family.” Tom through in. “We have to stand together to fight this menace, or they would wipe us all out.”

     “I won’t,” Syrie shouted. “And you two brutes can’t make me.”

     “This is not just the two of us, The crown prince has sent us here.” Tom emphasized. “Lord Robin demands that you come join us, and stand by our side when we finally face them.”

     Syrie sat shocked, she could not believe what they we asking her to do. Her tears came stronger and stronger.

     “Do you understand what it is like!” Syrie screamed. “How horrible it is.”

     Tom went to speak, but she continued without even acknowledging him.

     “Out there, I feed them the fire and I can feel how it affects them. I guess all of us can to some extent. But for me it is stronger. I can feel the passion that runs through the humans and it gives me a rush, but when I am faced with those things, that I can feel too. When the fire rips away at their flesh and eats them from the inside. I can feel all of the agony that they do, and you ask me to turn that on hundreds of them at once.”

     Tom laid his hand on the woman’s shoulder and stroked it in a show of sympathy. She calmed for a moment and then tensed up as Tom pressed his thumb against a nerve in his neck that paralyzed her entire body. Within moments she lost consciousness and slumped in her chair.

     “Gather her up we need to be going.” Tom told Rip. “With any luck, Robin and I’s plan will not have to sacrifice her sanity to work.”

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Fey Fyre (Part 12)

Elwin worked his way around the small kitchen making his evening cup of tea. While the water boiled in the pot he shuffled his way back to the den to get out his pipe and tobacco. He packed the pipe and with a flick of his wrist lit it before heading back to the kitchen to finish making the tea. This was his favorite time of day, when he could sit back and continue on with the greatest work of his life. He remembered back to the day he had struck the deal with Lord Robin, in exchange for guarding the package he would be allowed to educate the human population with what they needed to know. For decades he had been planting the seeds, slipping hints into his books that only the right people would understand. He opened the secret compartment in the end table he drew out the battered manuscript. Once the time was right he would be allowed to reveal all to the entire human population and they would rally behind Robin and the Fairies to battle against the Demon Son and his ruthless Vampire hoards. Elwin knew in his heart that this was the right thing to do. Normally working on his final manuscript would bring him a certain kind of calm, knowing that he was fulfilling his great purpose, but for some reason on this night he was uneasy, as if a blanket had been drawn across his heart. The early sunset had left a chill in the air that dug into Elwin’s soul.

                The noise from out in the garden was the first thing that alerted him that it was more than just a feeling of trouble coming, but that something was truly wrong. He made his way through the cottage as fast as he could stopping for only a moment to collect the crossbow and stakes from inside the backdoor. Rushing out in the garden as quickly as his bad leg would allow, he was stunned at the scene that stretched out in front of him. A large fire had been lit around Jack the flames digging into his bark as he twisted around in silent agony, somehow unable to find a voice to express the pain.

                Elwin dropped the crossbow and rushed forward, stumbling over and trying to scatter the wood that fed the horrible carnage.

                “Jack, can you hear me,” Elwin begged. “Who has done this to you?”

                 In his determination to help his friend he did not even feel the first iron spike as it penetrated his right shoulder and dug into the tree.  It was not until he looked down and saw it that the pain registered in his brain. By the time he tried to move the second the second was driven through his left lodging him in place trapped against his oldest friend. Elwin tried to turn to face his attacker in vain, but it did not matter. He knew who he was dealing with.

                “It has been quite a while, Elwin” Feverstone hissed in his ear. “I have been meaning to get back here to finish what we had started.”

                “You should have told me you were coming,” Elwin winced, trying to maintain his dignity. “I have nothing prepared for you.”

                “Do not worry Elwin; I shall not be staying long.” Feverstone replied. “I have just come for something that belongs to my master. And as much as I would enjoy standing here watching you and the oak suffer, I must get to my task while the darkness remains.”

                Elwin could hear Feverstone turn and stride back towards the cottage. Elwin knew that without permission there was no way for Feverstone to enter the cottage. He strained his hearing trying to determine what his adversary was trying to do. The sound of the flames soon reached his ears and he realized that since he could not enter Elwin’s home Feverstone was going to be content with burning it to the ground. Elwin hung suspending in place by the cruel spikes listening as the fire grow and consumed more and more of his life, destroying his home slowly and eating up all of his unfinished works. The hours that it took for the fire to work its course felt like a lifetime, but finally the sounds of the flames died out and were replaced with Feverstone sifting through the rubble. Elwin hoped against all odds that his hiding place was still intact and would be able to conceal its contents until the rise of the sun. When he heard Feverstone return from his search he began to despair.

                “It truly is beautiful.” Feverstone mused, running the flat side of the black blade across Elwin’s back. “Has your master ever told you what it is?”

                Elwin tried to speak, to challenge his old enemy one last time, but the strain of the last several hours immobilized had left nothing in him.

                “The little dwarf Mulciber was one day staring into the flames that lit Vulcan’s forge, and in those flames he saw the coming of the end. He knew that it was his destiny to help create the blades that would lead both sides.” Feverstone lectured. “He fled from his master and found the greatest of all human sword smiths. Together they created the blades, two of brightest silver and two of blackest iron, one blade for each of the Lords, and one blade for each of the heirs.  However when Jenks realized what they created he betrayed us all and hide the blades. Most of us believed them a legend until the Dark Lady dispatched the pirate to find them. Now here I find one of the Black Blades in your hands. It makes perfect sense of course. That fop Prince of yours would need someone who could actually touch the blade in order to hide it.”

                Elwin caught a glint in the surface of the blade as Feverstone ran it across his shoulder, taunting Elwin with it.

                “Now that I have it, it would appear that your usefulness has come to an end.” Feverstone explained.

                Elwin never felt that blade fall and sever his head from his neck.

                But the time morning light shone down on the garden what little life remained in the ancient tree was slowly ebbing away, and at its base the headless corpse of its best friend remained pinned to the trunk.

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Fey Fyre (Part 11)

     Robin approached the cottage with relief. He had been in England for over a week and had no luck making contact with any of his old allies here. It appeared as if Bathory had made preparations in case Robin tried to pull his allies together quickly, those outside of the family were the easiest to pick off, as neither the Treaty or the Highfather’s authority would cover them.

     He strolled up the front walk and could sense a level of contentment radiating from the small cozy building; past it he could see the majestic oak tree that dominated the garden behind the home. As long as the tree still stood nothing could be out of place here and proceeded around the side of the cottage to locate the sole occupant.

     Elwin was sitting in the shade of the towering tree reading aloud from an original version of Beowolf.

     “Doesn’t he get tired of you read him that?” Robin yelled out as a greeting to the old man.

     Elwin looked up and after a moment his lined face brightened with realization.

     “Prince Robin, It is good to see you after all this time.” Elwin said. He struggled to climb from the chair against the weight of his hundred plus year frame.

     “Please stay seated old friend.” Robin said.

     “My Lord, it is my honor to stand and offer my hand as welcome to our garden.” Elwin replied. He limped forward towards his long-lost friend. “I am thrilled to see you after all this time. We hope you will be able to sit with us for a while, we have missed your company.”

     “I do not have long, I came to seek the advice of some of my closest confidants.” Robin said. “I am trying to gain the support of the Bard, and I am not sure how to best motivate him to work to my advantage.”

     Elwin sighed. “It has been a long time since we dealt with that crotchety old man, isn’t it my friend.”

     With a slow and agonizing groan the tree seemed to twist around as if it were turning to face them.

     “He is a tough nut to crack, my lord robin.” The face in the tree slowly gasped. “Many who face death do not have as long a perspective as he does on the workings of the world.”

     “I understand that Mossbeard.” Robin said. “I just don’t understand how I will demonstrate to him that I mean no harm to the humans that he wishes to protect.”

     Mossbeard signed with the sound of sandpaper. “You can not lie to him my lord.” Mossbeard explained. “If you have no concern for the humans tell him that, but also explain why what you propose would be better for them than the alternative. With that you will gain his respect and possibly his assistance.”

     “Your council is very much appreciated my old friend, you have always been wise beyond your years.” Robin stated.

     “Do not fool me, my lord.” Mossbeard rasped. “We both know that I was impetuous once.”

     “Yes, Jack you were, but we all survived.” Robin replied.

      Mossbeard remembered that night so many years before.

     “Jack, Jack.” Elwin whispered.

     The huge lumbering boy crept up beside his old friend peering around the corner of the street they could see the front of the tavern in the dim gas lights.

     “Did they go inside?” Jack asked.

     “Yes, all three of them.” Elwin responded. “I could spot them right away. I saw him on his last tour in London.”

     “What do you think they are doing here?” Jack asked.

     “From what Robin said they are meeting the Physician to see the pictures.” Elwin responded. “That’s why we need to get the sixth one before they see it.”

     “Well let’s go then.” Jack said and marched into the night headed straight for the front door of the tavern.

     “Oh, hell.” Elwin mumbled to himself and followed his rash young friend.

     Inside the tavern was only moderately crowded. There was still enough space between the tables that they could grab one next to the group they were following.

     The two held their heads together as if having a private conversation, but focused as best they could on what was being said at the next table.

     “Erik, I don’t understand why you have dragged us all the way London to meet with this daft Irishman.” The tall one said.

     “Don’t start on that ethnic crap again Howard.” Chimed in the youngest. “Regardless of his lineage, he is a man of science, how he has gotten himself sucked in by all of this Spiritual hogwash is what bothers me.”

     “Don’t you start up on this too Walter?” Erik responded finally. “I have told you already he is a very old friend, and I will show him the courtesy of coming to listen to what he has to say.”

     Both men fell silent as Erik brought the subject to a close. The three of them nursed their drinks in quiet waiting for the arrival of their company.

     Suddenly an older man burst into the tavern. His bushy mustache disheveled in his excitement.

     “Erik, there you are, I have them.” He shouted. “I have the proof.”

     “Calm yourself Arthur.” Erik replied. “You told me that in your telegram. What exactly is it that you have.”

     Arthur sat at the table with out even giving notice Howard and Walter.

     “I have pictures that concretely prove the existence of fairies.” Arthur said. “They were taken in Cottingley a few years back, but I just now was able to get my hands on them.”

     Elwin and Jack cast a glace between the two of them, they knew that they would need to get their hands on those photographs or destroy them, but Arthur was keeping them too close to himself to be able to get at them.

     Jack rose from the table holding his half full drink in his hand and began to stumble as if he had drunk too much. He suddenly lurched sideways and bumped into Arthur spilling his drink all over the front of Arthur’s shirt.

     “Excuse me.” Jack slurred bracing his hands on the sides of Arthur’s chair to get himself back upright.

     Elwin rushed over and took Jack’s arm as if he needed to steady him as they walked away.

     “That was foolish, now you have drawn attention to us.” Elwin chided.

     “Yes, but I think we have done what we need to do.” Jack replied. “Remember that dust that Robin gave us, and told us to sprinkle on the photos once we got them. I dumped it all in his briefcase.”

     “Are you daft, what if the photographs are not in the briefcase?” Elwin replied.

     “Let’s hope they are.” Said Jack.

     The two of them moved to a table several away from the group they had been watching to try to avoid any suspicion.

     “You have to see them” Arthur insisted, reaching into his briefcase.

     Jack smiled at Elwin for a moment before turning back to look at the men.

     “You will see unequivocal proof.” Arthur said handing the packet of photographs to Erik.

     Erik flipped through the photographs one at a time. He wore a look of shock on his face.

     “What is this Humbug?” Erik exclaimed.

     “What do you mean?” Responded Arthur.

     “You drag me all the way here for your concrete proof, and you hand me a stack of photographs of girls playing with paper dolls.” Erik said.

     “What?” Arthur asked grabbing the photographs. “But, no this is not what they showed.”

     “Arthur,” Erik said standing to leave. “I have tolerated you and Col. Bard’s obsession with spirits and fairies for far to long. Our friendship has been pushed too much. Please do not contact me again. Howard, Walter it is time for us to go.”

     The other two rose from their seat and escorted Erik as he walked out of the tavern.

    

     “If I could just find the bastards one weakness.” Robin said.

     “That’s easy, why didn’t you ask?” Elwin replied. “It is the queen of spiders. She hangs on him like a puppy, but she is only out for herself. There were rumors during the War that she would go out and take care of things for her own benefit while he was distracted with the War effort. If I were you I would use that against him.”

     “Thank you for the advice my friends,” Robin said. “It will all be helpful”

     “I wish we could be more useful than advice now.” Elwin said. “But our time for diving into the fray is long since over.”

     “Don’t worry yourself.” Robin explained. “I will return once things have been resolved to spend a proper visit with you.”

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Fey Fyre (Part 10)

     Feverstone arrived at Bragdon Wood late in the evening; he had traveled for almost a day due to his unique needs while in transit. The limo slowed to a stop at the entrance to the monstrous estate, the black marble columns of the entrance dwarfing everything around them. Feverstone climbed out of the back of his windowless car and made his way inside. He had missed his home greatly in his travels, but his loyalty to his lord and master was absolute and he would never veer from the path that he had been set on.

     His minimal staff greeted him on his arrival. The stared out of terrified eyes knowing that if even one thing was out of place from when he left almost a decade earlier then retribution would be the least of their worries.

     Feverstone instructed them on what was to be done in preparation for his trip to Worchester. He then headed to his chambers to relax and prepare for the confrontation.

     He locked the door to his chambers from the inside and lit the heavy black candles that surrounded the room. Stripping naked he knelt down in the center of the room to focus his thoughts for the battle.

     Every step of the way this thorn had been in his side and he was determined not to allow him to impede on the plans of his benefactor. He opened up his sense of smell and could almost sense they blood waiting for him.

     Rise casual from his meditation he strode across the room casually and flipped the switch to release the concealed door next to the fireplace.

     He descended the dark staircase with easy down into his private chambers. The room was exactly as he had left it cared for with meticulous attention.

     He reached the bottom deep under his estate and looked around the room. Off in the far corner strapped to the wall was the naked woman. She glisten with a sheen of sweat all across her body causing the fresh scars that covered her to be highlighted by the moisture.

     “Mark, attend me!” Feverstone ordered.

     Rising from the heap of rags in the corner the hollow figure scurried over to Feverstone.

     “Yes, my lord.” Mark said. “What is your command?”

     “Have you been caring properly for our guest?” Feverstone asked.

     “I have, My Lord.” Mark replied. “She is administered to on a daily basis as you have commanded.”

     “Good, I would have a word with her.” Feverstone said.

     Mark crossed to the bound figure and slapped her hard across the face to rouse her from her unconsciousness.

     “Wake up trollop, my master would speak with you.” Mark demanded.

     Feverstone approached the woman and stood before her in all his glory.

     “It seems that I will soon have the opportunity to renew the acquaintance of an old friend of yours.” Feverstone stated. “I know that you have prayed for years to be rescue from this damnation by your prophet. However I wish to make it clear to you that he has long forgotten about you. This man never cared for you more than as a piece on his chess board. And while he has thwarted many of my plans over the decades, that time comes to an end. I have been tasked by my master to ensure that he will not a thorn in his side as well, and I do not plan to fail in that.” Feverstone explained. “And when I am done I will bring the head here for you to witness his final defeat.”

     Feverstone watched her head hang limply from her restrained shoulders. With blinding speed his hand shot out and gripped her jaw yanking her face up to stare into his eyes.

     “You will be my possession for many years to come and I will have more time once my master has sealed his domination to personally minister to your torment.” Feverstone said.

     Opening her eyes she suddenly spit into his face.

     “I will never surrender my hope to you.” She screamed. “A monster such as you could never defeat him.”

     Feverstone whipped the liquid from his face and bare chest. Every instinct in his body screamed to strike out at her, destroy her and prove his superiority. But he know that there were greater ways to destroy a soul that to crush the physical body.

     Snapping his fingers Feverstone gestured for Mark to join him at his side.

     “You will need to administer to her more tonight.” Feverstone instructed.

     Closing his eyes Mark’s body seemed to become dark as the shadows the surrounded the small room. His entire body shuttered as he allowed the thing inside him to take over. Razor sharp claws began to extend from his fingers with excruciating slowness.

     Mark looked up through soulless eyes and saw nothing but a piece of meat in front of him. To be treated as his Master demanded. He crossed the final steps between them and leaned in to smell the fear that covered her. He reached up with his jagged claws and raked them across her body and crisscrossed her old scars with fresh trails of blood. She held on for mere moment before she was forced to scream out in renewed agony.

     Feverstone smiled as he enjoyed the sight. Leaning in next to her ear he whispered to her.

     “Jane, have I ever told you that he knows exactly what he is doing. He understands completely the agony he is causing you, but cannot stop himself. The pleasure that he receives from your torture outweighs any feeling that he might have once had for you. This will be your fate for eternity, to have your husband torture you everyday and enjoy every single second of it.”

     Soon her screams trailed off in exhaustion, the only sound left in the small room was the scratching of claws and Jane’s sobbing.

      

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Fey Fyre (Part 9)

     Cal Grey sat back and waited for the waiter to bring her the drink that she had ordered. She was sitting at the most sought after table on the most exclusive restaurant in New York, and she never had to make reservations. Tourists milled around trying to see who this woman eating alone was that had been escorted past them all and walked to the center of the dinning room. She smiled to herself; they would all assume that she was a star of some sort, and actress or model. They would be wrong. Cal was the highest and most influential book editor in the entire publishing industry. And with good reason too, the last six books that she had worked on had immediately landed on the bestseller list the week that they were released. All of them had gone on to critical praise and awards. She leaned back in her chair knowing that the streak would only continue. She had just finished editing bestseller number seven and was having her staff dig through the slush pile for her next project. She preferred to work with unknown authors since they were more malleable.

     When her phone beeped with a call from her assistant she assumed that it meant they had located something promising they wanted to show her. When she heard the quivering in her assistant’s voice she knew something was wrong.

     “Cal, there are some people here who say they need to speak with you immediately.” Grace said.

     “Who are they? Do they have an appointment?” Cal asked. She was not used to her assistant being so scatter-brained.

     “No, but the woman insists that the two of you have a mutual friend.” Grace explained breathing heavy into the phone.

     “What in the world is going on there Grace?” Cal demanded. “Who are you talking about?”

     “She says that she is a friend of Mr. Barrie.” Grace tried to explain.

     Cal stopped for a moment and realized what was going on at her office.

     “Let them know where I am having lunch, tell them to meet me here.” Cal said. “And Grace you may have the rest of the day off, you are going to need it.”

     “Thank you, ma’am.” Grace said. She began to moan as the call disconnected.

     Cal sat back and fumed, her day had started out beautifully and now after all these years she had to meet with the little harpy. There was nothing that she would have not done to avoid this, but if she was coming for Cal better to face her out in the open head on.

     She gestured the maitre de over to speak with him.

     “Philip, I will be having an uncouth woman and a vacuous young man arriving shortly to join me for lunch, they will be dressed most inappropriately, please show them to me with as little fuss as possible.” She requested. “And you should have all of the male staff stay as far away as possible.”

     Cal sat back waited, knowing that the time she had to compose herself would be short. Before she knew it Philip was returning to the table with the two of them in tow.

     “I see you brought the new one.” She said to T. “Does this one have any talents, besides the obvious?”

     T was taking aback for a moment with the viciousness of Cal’s comment. Without even stopping to allow her to react Cal turned to Peter.

     “Your Charles I believe?” She asked.

     “My name is Peter.” He responded the annoyance showing in his voice.

     “They are all named Peter sweetie. Try to be an original sometime.” Cal bit back. “You know T, Jamie used to moan in his sleep, but it was always the name Margaret, not yours.”

     Once again Cal turned back to Peter. “You know the last ones closest friends died because they were in the way when someone tried to kill him.” Cal let the implications hang in the air as she pointedly turned back to T.

     “Enough of this, we are happy. Can you not leave the past alone?” T responded.

     “I am not the one forcing myself back into your life.” Cal snapped.

     As the two women bickered Peter could not help think back to his earliest memories. That night being taken from his crib brought to the window and held as the large smelly man climbed out onto the ladder. The jostling as they moved down the ladder. He remembered the crack of the rung braking and a moment of weightlessness. Them suddenly it wasn’t him, and something that might not even be alive cracked down on the windowsill and fell to the ground limp.

     He looked up to find T’s deep green eyes staring back at him. She laid him down on the ground and whispered something that he could not hear.

     “Explain to me again why this is necessary.” Jareth asked.

     “With my brother gone I will need knights of my own,” Robin said. “His men will not be loyal to me, and I would not trust them.”

     “So this is how you are going to fill out your knights.” Jareth continued to question.

     “Yes like this and with members of the family I can trust, you, Rip and George.” Robin insisted.

     “Everything is done” T said.

     As the two of them stopped their conversation and turned to look at him, Peter realized he was changed, he was a fully-grown man now, as if he had always been this way.

     “So you are Charles Jr.?” Robin asked.

     “Actually I think I am Peter.” He responded.

     The noise level in the dinning room snapped Peter back to the present. Hastily he looked around.

     “Ladies!” Peter snapped and then gestured to the rest of the room.

     Both of them turned and realized that T’s heighten anger had spread around. Several most of the men and women at the tables near theirs were sweating and caressing each other passionately.

     Cal signed and blew a kiss to a man sitting with a woman near them. Suddenly the man dropped down to one knee and recited and original love poem of amazing beauty and clarity, in the end he proposed and she accepted, even though it was their first date. The sudden romantic gesture calmed the mood of the room and the three turned back to face each other.

     “Very nice,” said T. “but have you considered explaining to him that the voices will not stop for a long time, and when they do he will feel lost and alone. Should you tell him about the drinking and the drugs to try to make it better? And then the anger, or maybe you should tell his new fiancée that he will crush her skull on their honeymoon because he just can’t make it stop.”

     Cal turned her head to look away from T’s accusations.

     “They have all contributed to the world in ways that you would not understand. Their names will live on for eternity that is what they want.” Cal preached.

     “Have you asked Tom if that was what he wanted, if it was not for the little girl where would he even be, just another used up wreck following in your wake.” T lectured.

     “Why have you come here. Get on with it. Is the Prince upset about something again, sent his little messengers to chastise me.” Cal sneered.

     “Robin has sent us to bring you in, he wants everyone he can get.” Peter explained.

     “What could be of so urgent need?” Cal asked.

     “We are going to War. Bathory has come to the States and is trying to move in on Robin, but we are going to take the fight to him.” Peter replied.

     “Oh, please. He is jumping at shadows again, he is beginning to sound like the Thunderer with his tales of doom and gloom, the battle at the end of the world.” Cal said.

     “He has sent Rip to apologize to Syrie for him.” T said.

     Cal stopped for a moment, unable to phrase a response to this startling revelation.

     “What?” Cal mumbled.

     “He requested that I come to you personally.” T said, “He knew that the only way this would work is if you and I set aside I past. Please come back with us and at least hear him out.”

     Cal sat for a moment and considered her options.

     “Fine,” Cal finally said. “I always have had trouble refusing my baby sister.”

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Fey Fyre (Part 8)

      Kali opened the door to the suite that Stephen had provided for her and allowed her guests to enter. Richard Feverstone and his two servants marched into the room almost as if they were dignitaries prepared to meet a head of state.

     “My Lord with be with us in a moment.” She hissed.

     Feverstone nodded and took a seat on the armchair that had been provided as Kali left them. The elongated Ritz and the fierce Mags stood behind their master in their parodies of servant’s clothes. Feverstone did not flinch as he sat and waited for Stephen. Like his Lord he was a man of infinite patience and would not be bothered by a wait of a few moments. He simple folded his gloves and his lap and admired the surroundings. His Lord always made a point to meet with servants in the most luxurious surroundings. It was a principle that Richard himself had adopted from his master. Showing proof to an underling who was of the higher standing and power. Richard expected he would feel great pride in his Lords control of power, if he felt any emotions at all.

     Stephen smirked as he entered to room, pleased to see that the pieces of his plan were ready and waiting for his summons.

     “Richard, I am glad to see that you have arrived.” Stephen said. “I have need of you and your servants to perform certain tasks for me.”

     “As always my Lord, I am here to be at your service.” Richard responded.

     “Good, good” Stephen replies sitting in the chair opposite to Richard. “I have been very pleased with the work that you have done for me in the past. I would like to have you depart very soon back to England. It would appear that the green-blooded Prince has gone there and I would very much wish that you could keep me updated on his activities. I do not plan to be caught off guard by any changes that he would introduce into my plans. All of the pieces on the board are in the proper place and ready to move.”

     “It shall be a pleasure to return to England and work once again for you Lord Bathory.” Richard stated.

     “Oh I don’t doubt that you will find much pleasure. I suspect that the Trickster has gone to gain the aid of an old acquaintance of yours, the elf friend.”

     Richard licked his lips at the mere mention of his old adversary. “His meddling in my past affairs was troublesome enough, I will see to it that he proves no bother to you my Lord.” Richard promised.

     As they spoke Kali entered dragging a fat old woman dressed in rags into the room and flung her down between the two men.

     “It appears that our evening refreshment has been prepared.” Stephen commented. “I would like to present the prior resident of this abode. It has been her honor, if not pleasure to have us here.”

     “As much as I am genuinely pleased at the offer to share this with you, I must decline. I do not eat so soon before a hunt and am greatly looking forward to this chase.” Richard insisted.

     “Perhaps your servants would enjoy this meal with my compliments. I have need of them in another capacity and it will not allow them the joy of feeding anytime soon.”

     Stephen gestured to allow them to feast.

     I flickering candle light gleamed off of the bald white flesh of Ritz’s head as he and Mags sprung forward tearing at the living flesh, they gorged themselves together ripping chunks of skin from her writhing and screaming body, teeth sinking into warm flesh as the two gentlemen continued their conversation.

     “If I may ask my Lord what is it that you need from my servants if they are not to be hunting for you.” Richard inquired.

     “I have need for them elsewhere. One of my most loyal servants has been languishing in a human penitentiary for the last forty years. The time has come for him to rejoin us. I will have need of his skills as a commander when the war starts. Maddox will lead our forces against the warriors of the Thunderer.”

     Richard gasped in surprise. “The Thunderer has returned?”

     “Yes the little fools are falling into my plans exactly, they will march against us the we will bring the forces of ours as well as the wrath of the Bard against them, it will weaken them enough so that they will be driven out and this land will be ours to control as we wish.” Stephen said.

     Their conversation paused for a moment while they sat and listened to the two servants gnaw away at the bones of their suffering victim. After a few moments Mags became annoyed with the sounds and looking down at her meal with her dark hollow eyes, bit down on the spine and ripped it apart. The corpse thrashed for a few moments before going limp. Ritz contented himself with licking the pools of blood that had run down the body before it got cold.

     “It is good to see them enjoy a proper meal.” Richard mused.

     “True.” Replied Stephen. “But you all must be off. I have made the necessary preparations for you to fly to London and they to depart for Corcoran, California tonight. I expect to hear good things from all of you in the next several days. Loyalty such as yours will not go unrewarded.”

     Kali returned followed by several Shades to remove the remains of the night’s meal. Stephen rose from his seat to indicate that their audience with him was at an end. The wretched servants slowly backed away from him.

     “I will be traveling to the Delta so that I might meet with Lord Damien and begin the final preparation for our end game, any news should be conveyed to me there. Once you are all done with your appointed tasks then all of the family will be meeting at that location.” Stephen instructed.

     “Of course, My Lord. We will do your bidding and join you as soon as these tasks are accomplished.

     Kali escorted the trio out and Stephen stood and watched the whirls in the black pools of cooling blood as it soaked into the once pristine hard wood floors.

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Fey Fyre (Part 7)

Corporal James had been in Afghanistan for almost a year and had been through assignments that would have many almost anyone else turn cold with fear, but he had faced his fears every time knowing that he was doing what he needed to do for his country. The assignment that he was on currently however was something that he would have gladly traded for the option of facing down a terrorist ambush. His Lieutenant had dispatched him to bring a message to Major Arthur Thor. Major Thor was in command of the most forward unit of the Division and was known for not only being the toughest and smartest commanding the field, but the least willing to deal with command politics and civilian interference in military affairs.

     He reached the command post that the Major was operating from in less than an hour. He could see the major consulting with his units as he pulled to a stop. Major Thor stood easily at six-foot five and with his jet-black crew cut stood out from any of the other member of the command. He had been chewing on the end of a cigar for over an hour after it went out refusing to give up on the end of it. The Corporal quickly rushed to meet up with the Major as he walked away.

     “Major, sir” the Corporal said. “I have a message from headquarters.”

     “What is it?” the Major rumbled.

     “Two civilian VIPs are waiting for you back at headquarters, sir.” The Corporal replied.

     “Who the hell is it?” the Major asked.

     “I was told that they are from Avalon, sir.”

     The Major sighed like the west wind howling on a frozen night, “Fine, let’s get a move on.”

     The corporal chose to remain completely silent for the entire ride back to headquarters, he was relived that the Major decided to do the same. As they slowed to a stop in the center of the base the Major did not even wait for them to come to a complete stop before he was out of the vehicle and on his way.

     The Major was more pissed than he had been in years, to be all the way out here doing what he needed to do, and to have that group of lay about pansies come slithering here to try to talk him into coming back was a waste of his time. He was sick of dealing with all of the backstabbing and politics, especially when most of it came from his own family.

     The Major matched directly into the offices at headquarters.

     “General Sir, I was instructed that I had civilians that were requesting my presence.” The Major barked.

     He stopped for a moment when he saw the look in the general’s eyes. It was a look that he had been quite familiar with in his youth; he could see the sweat starting to bead up on the General’s face as the glamour took stronger and stronger hold of him.

     Thor spun around to face them almost directly behind him. “Would you stop that? They are not toys for your amusement.”

     Mini was lost in though as she toyed with the Generals mind and only after a second stopped and paid attention to Thor as he towered over her almost twice her size. “Alright Uncle, you have become more of a drag the longer time goes on.”

     Thor spun away from the diminutive beauty and turned on Jareth. “Why have you come here? I have told you over and over again I am tired of the games you people play. And if the Prince wants to say anything to me then he had better come himself next time. I am not interested in talking to his little messenger boy.”

     “I am sorry Lord Thunderer, but the Prince is unable to come himself as he is busy making plans for war.” Jareth responded.

     Thor had taken the General by the shoulder and almost led him from the room when Jareth’s words pushed through his anger. He stopped in his tracks and shoved the barely coherent General out of the room and away from Mini’s influence.

     “What are you talking about War? The Highfather would never break the truce, and the Demon Son is too afraid of the combined power of the Highfather and the Bard against him to start anything.” Thor raged.

     “True, but there is another snake that is guarded from the Bard by not being involved in the truce and beneath the Highfather’s notice.” Jareth responded.

     “What are you…” Thor said his voice trailing off as a reality dawned on him. “Bathory is coming for the family?”

     “Yes, he is. The Prince has dispatched messengers to most of the loyal family members in order to bring you all together. So when the snake finally shows his hand then we will be able to combat him. If this becomes an all out war then we will need you at our side. You were one of the things that kept them in check for so many centuries.

     Thor turned on Jareth in anger “So now after all of this time that I have been telling you people that we need to take the fight to them, that these vermin need to be eradicated from the face of the planet, Now you realize that I was right all along. Has the Highfather admitted that he should have allowed me the chance to crush them when I wanted to?”

     Jareth stopped, unsure of how to respond.

     “The Highfather does not know what the Prince is planning.” Thor said. “He is completely unaware of what is going on. Well then slink back to your master the prince, little lackey. Tell him that the Thunderer will return when the Highfather comes to his senses and admits that he was wrong.”

     Thor turned and began to leave. Jareth’s blood ran cold, as he knew that Robin would be furious that they were unable to bring back the Thunderer.

     “Now who is playing games?” Mini shouted.

     Thor froze where he was and his shoulders tensed. His was the pure blood of the royal line and even if this little thing was family, he was not to be spoken to in such a tone.

     “What did you say to me?” Thor boomed not even turning to acknowledge the small girl.

     “Your brother has sent us to bring you back, not out of some insane family squabble, but because we face an enemy that not only threatens us, but all of your precious humans on this planet as well. If you could see past your petty grudges with grandfather then you might be able to see that this is more important than any of that. You said you were tired of the game playing, but now you are the one doing it. You withhold assistance that could turn the tide only due to your over-inflated pride. Get over yourself already.” Mini challenged him.

     “Follow me.” Thor grumbled.

     Marching out of the office Thor brushed past the still dazed General. He crossed the compound at a rapid pace will Jareth and Mini close on his heels. He walked directly into the supply area and boomed at the top of his lungs. “Sergeant!”

     An aging fat man quickly rushed his way forward knowing that The Major’s fury was not to be tested.

     “Yes, Sir. What can I do for you, Sir?” The Sergeant mumbled.

     “The Crate.” Thor responded.

     Suddenly the room was a flurry of activity as the Sergeant grabbed three privates to help him lug the huge crate from the back of the supply room to a spot at Thor’s feet.

     The crate was marked ‘Top Secret’ and ‘Do Not Open’ at several point along the bare wood, but not other markings told what was inside. On the end in fine lettering was the words ‘Major Arthur Thor”. The crate itself was over five feet long and at least three feet wide. Thor walked around it three times determining which was the top end. He looked up at Jareth for a moment and smiled.

     Thor drove his massive fist down into middle of the top of the crate and crashed through into the contents. His huge forearms flexed for a moment and then withdrew his prize from inside.

     Even in the low light the giant head of the Hammer sparkled with silver brilliance.

     Mini grasped, after hearing so much about the legendary weapon to see it in person for the first time was awe-inspiring.

     The shaft of the Hammer itself measured almost four feet in length, and was as wide as a mans wrist, the silver head extended a foot out from the shaft and was almost that wide. Thor held the prized weapon up to the light soaking in its power.

     “Forged in the center of Mount Vesuvius itself, the metal smelted by Mulciber and worked by Vulcan. Its power is only matched by my own.” Thor chanted.

     Thor looked over a Jareth, “I’m ready. Let’s go.”

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