Tuatha's Children  

                                                                                 By Bert McKenzie 

                                                                                  Copyright 2011 

 

 

Chapter 11

"Brother Victor?  What happened?" Craig asked as he and Jeff rushed to the
man's side, working to untie the knots in the ropes holding the man to the
chair.

The monk laughed a bitter sound.  "He's crazy, you know.  Father Stephen.
Somehow he found out that I was working with you.  He had his thugs beat me
and bring me down here.  I assume you are Mr. Langston.  And this is
obviously a vampire.  I can tell by the paleness, the coldness of his
touch.  But what are you?" he asked looking up at Robin.

"You would call me a fairy," the king responded.

"I am sorry you came here for naught.  You see, he expected you to do this.
I am the bait.  I'm afraid we are all prisoners now."

"What?" Craig asked in shocked surprise.

Robin quickly turned to the door and found it was locked again.

"Don't worry, we'll get you out of here," Craig promised and the three men
stepped to the door, the older monk remaining in the chair.  "Can you do
that thing you did with the locked door again?"

Robin reached over and waved his hands over the door and hummed to himself,
then tried the door again, but it didn't open.  He looked surprised and a
little angry.  He again made some odd gestures over the door knob and then
said a brief chant in Tuathan.  He tried again and the door opened.  As it
swung open, the three were confronted with several men on the other side
armed with rifles.  An old man with long white hair wearing a black monk's
robe stood to the rear of the armed men.  They were dressed in what looked
like army fatigues.  The old man smiled.  "You will notice," he said
loudly, "that the guns are pointed at Brother Victor.  After all, he is the
traitor in our midst.  I know you have several tricks up your sleeves, but
please don't try them or surely Brother Victor will die."

"You're insane," Craig said, trying his best to hold his anger in check.

"It is a fine line between insanity and genius.  Perhaps you are just
looking at it from the wrong perspective," the man said with a beatific
smile.  "Now all of you back in the room.  I'll bring my own wizard in to
fortify our locks.  Something with iron I think.  That will hold this
demon."  He pointed at Robin.  "I shall call our council of elders together
to determine what we shall do with all of you.  I think we will bring that
one," he pointed at Jeff, "out into the sunshine to see if we can give him
a nice tan.  He looks so pale."  The man laughed, then made a gesture and
one of the armed soldiers pushed the door closed.  They heard the lock snap
in place.

"Well this is just great," Craig growled.

"Wait a minute.  You're a vampire.  Can't you turn into smoke and slip out
through the cracks?" Brother Victor asked, looking at Jeff.

"Sorry, I'm not that kind of a vampire," Jeff replied.

"What kind are you?" Brother Victor asked again.

"The real kind, not the Hollywood kind.  I can't turn into a bat or smoke
or anything.  And before you ask, I don't sleep in a coffin."

"But you are a night walker," Robin said.  "You can move incredibly fast.
If I can get the door open and shut again, you could slip out and not be
seen.  The door would be closed before the guns could fire."

"Worth a try," Jeff agreed.

Robin stepped to the door and made the gestures over the knob, chanted his
chant and tried the latch.  It was locked.  He got down on his knees,
focused his will on the door lock and slowly spoke the opening spell saved
for only the most stubborn locks.  He gripped the door and pushed.  It
refused to open.  "This wizard the old man spoke of must be very powerful
to defeat that charm."

"So we're stuck here for the time being," Craig said.  He then pulled out
his cell phone and quickly dialed a number.

* * *

"How long has it been?" Willow asked.

Scott looked at the clock on the dashboard.  "Nearly an hour.  Surely they
should be there by now.  Hope everything is going well."  Just about then
his cell phone rang.  Scott picked it up and answered.  "Okay," he said in
the phone.  "I've got an idea, hang in there."

"What is it?" Willow asked.

"They are trapped, locked in a basement cell."

"Great.  I knew something like this would happen."  Scott began dialing the
phone.  "What are we going to do?" Willow asked.

"We're going to call in the cavalry."  He reached the house in Waterford
and explained the problem to Jennifer.  She relayed it on to Caseldra.
"Yes," Scott said, "Of course there are trees; we're in the middle of a
damn forest here.  What as that got to do with anything?"  He suddenly grew
silent and gave Willow a startled look.  He then hung up.

"What?" the younger boy asked.

"Well, when I call in the cavalry, I guess I really get the cavalry.  They
are focusing magic on our location.  Just hang on and we'll see what
happens."  After the hurried phone call, they just sat and waited.

In about ten minutes, Willow perked up.  "Something is happening.  I don't
know what, but I feel really strange."

"That's probably the magic.  It's using you as a focus since you are part
Tuathan and we're located in the woods."

"But what is it?  What's going to happen?"

Suddenly there was a loud rustling in the trees, and Rood stepped out
between two tall pines followed a large white horse.  Willow gasped in
shock and astonishment.  Then as he looked closer, he realized that it
wasn't just a horse.  There was a long golden horn extending from the
animal's forehead.  It was an actual unicorn.  Willow and Scott quickly
stepped out of the van.  "Firebrand, it's good to see you, old friend,"
Scott said addressing the unicorn.  The animal stepped forward and nuzzled
Scott, making sloughing horse type noises.

"Is that...is that really a unicorn?" Willow asked in astonishment.  Before
him stood a huge stallion.  It was pure white with deep blue eyes.  There
was a sharply pointed, golden horn coming straight from its forehead, about
two foot long.  Its hooves were a matching gold in color and it had a long,
shaggy main and tail.  The animal was a beautiful thing to behold, and
something right out of a fairy tale.  "I didn't know they...I mean I
thought they were just..."

"Just a fairy story?" Scott asked with a laugh.  Firebrand made a nickering
sound as if laughing along with Scott.  "And you have to be careful what
you say.  Firebrand can understand English.

"He speaks our language?" Willow asked in astonishment.

"He doesn't speak it, but he understands it."  The stallion nodded his head
in agreement.

Scott turned to Rood and began speaking to him in Tuathan.  At the same
time Willow looked into the trees and saw movement.  Other fairies and
unicorns were stepping out among them.  The other animals appeared slightly
smaller than the leader of the herd, and their horns and hooves were
gleaming silver.  Most appeared to be females with only one or two males in
the group.  The fairies who walked along beside them were all wearing
battle armor, chain male tunics gleaming gold over white under tunics, and
gilt capes hanging down from the shoulders.  They wore golden helmets
capped with white plumes, and each carried a silver long sword strapped to
their waists.  They appeared to be mostly men, but Willow noted that Rowana
and Caseldra were both in the forefront.

Rood held out a bundle to Scott, who unrolled it, revealing a gold
chainmail tunic and belt, a cape and sword.  Scott quickly pulled it over
his head and belted it over his shirt and jeans.  Scott then leaped up onto
Firebrand's back.  Rood and the others began mounting the rest of the
unicorn herd as they came out of the woods.  "What about me?" Willow asked.

"I think it best if you stayed with the van.  We may need it as a quick
getaway."

With that, Scott said a word to Firebrand and he leaped toward the steep
hill to their right.  Willow stared in awe.  The three men who had headed
up the hill earlier in the evening had to climb it slowly as if
mountaineering.  It was practically a cliff.  There was no way a rider on a
horse could possibly ascend the embankment.  But the unicorns bolted after
their leader, each one deftly running up the slope and dancing up the
almost vertical incline.  As swift footed as mountain goats and graceful as
ballerinas the unworldly animals climbed swiftly up and out of sight.  As
they all disappeared, Willow realized someone else had stepped out of the
woods.  He turned to see Jennifer standing there.  "Amazing, aren't they?"
she said.  "I'm here to keep you company while the rest of them are out
rescuing our loved ones."

"Just what I needed, a babysitter," Willow remarked.

* * *

Firebrand leaped over the crest of the hill and out onto the short flat
field surrounding the compound.  He broke into a full gallop heading
directly for the wall in front of him.  The rest of the unicorns charged
over the hill and onto the field behind him with the palace guards clinging
to their backs.  As he neared the wall, Firebrand planted his feet and
leaped sailing into the air and over the white adobe barrier.  The rest of
the unicorn herd followed, easily clearing the ten foot wall.  As Scott and
Firebrand dropped gently into the courtyard of the monastery a loud alarm
claxon began to sound.  In a matter of minutes, men were running out of the
dormitories, many of them armed with a variety of weapons, mostly silver
crosses, wooden stakes, and bottles of holy water.  But a number of them
also carried what looked like flame throwers and automatic rifles.
Fortunately the men armed with wooden stakes and holy water were in the
forefront so the men with the dangerous weapons hesitated rather than
shooting through their own ranks.

"We could use a little help here," Scott yelled as he swung his sword,
easily slicing a wooden stake in two.

"Now, Caseldra!" Rood shouted and the girl hurled a small bottle toward the
oncoming army.  It smashed on the ground and a purple haze seemed to emit
from it, blowing toward the armed men and engulfing them in the cloud.

"They're using poisoned gas!  Hold your breath!" someone in front of the
cloud shouted, but the sounds of the battle seemed to diminish.

In no time the purple vapor dissipated to show an empty area.  The men were
gone.  "A simple traveling spell," Caseldra explained as she brought her
unicorn up beside Scott."

"Where did they go?" Scott asked in concern.  "Where did you send them?"

She smiled brightly.  "I looked at a map and set it for that really huge
canyon that you have to the west of these mountains."  Scott began to laugh
as he imagined the group of men suddenly looking about themselves to find
they were in the bottom of the Grand Canyon.  The remaining fighters were
quickly encircled and standing quietly.  Once they found that silver
crosses and holy water had no effect on the army of elves and unicorns,
they pretty much surrendered.

"Now where would our heroes be?" Scott asked as he slipped to the ground.

Meanwhile inside their cell, the men heard the sound of the alarm.  "That
means someone has breached the wall.  We have intruders in the courtyard,"
Victor said.

"Great, now Scott and Willow have probably been captured," Craig growled.

"You can't open this door?" Jeff asked, looking again at Robin.

"No, the lock is spelled stronger than I, and the door is reinforced with
iron."

"Well, vampires don't worry too much about iron," Jeff said and walked up
to the door.  He took a deep breath and kicked it with all his might.  The
door groaned and made a loud cracking sound, but seemed to stand in place.

"I think that is even more than you can manage, night walker," Robin said
as he stood aside.

"Think so?" Jeff asked and leaned against the door.  It groaned again and
fell outward with a loud crash.

"Come on, let's go," Craig said and jumped through the doorway, quickly
followed by Jeff, Robin and Brother Victor.  A lone man, left as a guard
was laying face down with the door on his back.  Brother Victor stopped to
pull the door aside and check on the man as the others ran down the empty
hall and pulled open the door to the stairs.  They dashed up the stairway
and down the hall, rushing out the door and into the courtyard, Jeff taking
the lead.

A young fairy standing close to the door was just about to open it as it
burst open and three men rushed toward him.  He thrust his sword stabbing
the first man in the stomach.  The man groaned and collapsed onto the dirt
of the courtyard and Robin shouted.  The fairy guard instantly realized his
mistake and jumped back.

"My lord, night walker!" Robin shouted and dropped to Jeff's side.  Craig
did as well, seeing the long sword still impaling his friend.

"This is gonna hurt like hell," Craig said and grabbed the hilt of the
sword.

"Just do it," Jeff groaned as others of the fairy army came forward,
surrounding him.

Craig yanked the blade back out, handing it to the stunned fairy who had
stabbed his friend.  The blood gushed out of the wound.  Robin quickly
ripped off his shirt and dropped to his knees trying to staunch the flow of
blood.  "Scott," he called.  "Call for medical assistance."

"No, it's okay," Jeff said in a pained voice.

Scott had run up to the group and quickly whipped out his cell phone.

"It is not okay," Robin said urgently.  "You are severely wounded.  If we
get you not medical assistance immediately, you may die."

Jeff was breathing a bit easier now and tried to sit up, but Robin held him
down.  "Dude, I'm already dead.  He missed my heart, so I'll be okay."
Robin jumped back in surprise as Craig reached down to help is friend up.
The vampire slowly got to his feet and pulled away the blood stained shirt,
handing it back to Robin.  He then pulled up his own blood soaked shirt,
showing a deep wound in his stomach.  It had already partially closed.  "By
morning this will be a scratch," Jeff said gingerly holding his stomach.

"Yeah, a painful one," Craig growled, glaring at the young guard.  The
young elf dropped to his knees before Jeff and mumbled something in Tuathan
as he stared at the ground.  He lifted the hilt of his sword toward Jeff.

"He's offering you the opportunity to return the deed," Scott said.

Jeff just laughed although it was obvious the laughter caused him to hurt
again.  "Buddy, I don't think you could survive the same," he said as he
clasped the younger guard on the shoulder.  The fairy looked up in
astonishment.

"Come on.  Let's find out where the boy is," Craig said as he turned to the
men that had been rounded up and were staring nervously at the fairies in
their gold tunics with their beautiful unicorn mounts.

Jeff smiled at them and said, "I think that's my job again."  He took a
deep breath and began to dash off toward the buildings to the far left.
Craig, Robin and Scott ran after him.  They ran around the buildings and
through a narrow alleyway.  Just as they came out into the opening they
heard a loud whining whir.  They had come out to a small heliport pad that
was located behind several of the buildings.  A helicopter was rising out
of the compound in the dim predawn light.  It quickly rose up and darted
off toward the east.

Brother Victor came running from between the buildings to rejoin the group
watching the helicopter leave.  "Father Stephen is in that helicopter," he
said quickly as he ran up to Craig.  "With the boy!"

"No!" Robin cried and began to dash toward the disappearing helicopter as
it vanished over the buildings in the east.  He dropped to his knees in the
middle of the helipad, and realized Scott was right beside him, holding
him.

"We'll get him back," Scott said.  "There's nowhere in this world he can
take our son where we won't find him."

"Dawn will be breaking soon," Craig said, putting a hand on Jeff's
shoulder.  "We need to get you somewhere safe."

 

 

 

 

 

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