It occurred to Geoff that after his rather embarrassing exhibit of bursting through the front door and demanding answers that his audience did not seemed too surprised to see him. After a few icy and suspicious glances a conversation commenced that he had obviously interrupted. The voice that asked him who he was came from a face in the crowd; a very unusual looking bunch to say the least. A young woman sat in the chair by the fire swung her dark red hair away from his entrance and continued, addressing the group.
Why did I leave the Airport? Flights started becoming endlessly delayed, customers began acting very strange. It just got way too confusing...’
The handsome human seemed frustrated and a little distressed as her head fell into her hands. Her voice faded away as Geoff examined each face closely; it was what he was best at, he knew it was the only reason the agency had kept him.
‘You got that right.’ A steely voice trickled into his earpiece.
‘Right, that’s it! If you can’t give me any constructive information I’m going to cut you off and smash this bleeding thing!’ He growled to himself.
‘Alright short-stop, I’m working on it. But you better stop talking to yourself, because that halfborn doesn’t half like you.’
Geoff was confused. What halfborn?
‘What do you mean by blasting in like that? Coming in the normal way not dramatic enough for you? Or do you intend to shoot us all and use our hides as trophies?’ A deep resonant voice grumbled from behind him.
He turned to see a large figure, with a rather threatening look in his eyes. Oh dear. This wasn’t good. His large horn and protruding wings were intimidating. He didn’t know a great deal about halfborns, but from what he knew, they were fierce, but ultimately trustworthy; if you got on the right side of them.
‘Which you haven’t. Say something then Geoff, don’t just stand there!’ Tolstoff half-cackled.
‘I..er, I’m sorry; I think we may have got off on the wrong foot here...my name is...Geoff.’
The halfborn continued to look him up and down suspiciously and seemed to snarl. Geoff backed away slowly...his power was low, he could not take on such a powerful creature. Besides he needed to get him to see he wasn’t a threat.
‘Look, I’m from the Pixie and Elvin Humanitarian Division. I was sent on a mission to talk a human out of revealing a book that contains our version of human history. I know that you are from our realm... I pose no threat to you or anyone and I certainly don’t want to use anyone’s hides as a trophy. I heard a banging noise from outside and panicked. I thought that maybe...’ He trailed off and looked down and his shoes.
The halfborn loosened.
‘You heard that? Well, yes that was me. I was trying to find a way out and it seems that we are trapped here according to one of them.’ He indicated to the mob still listening to the auburn-haired human.
The halfborn stared hard at Geoff for several seconds, then put out is hand, albeit cautiously.
‘My name is Ara. You mind putting that weapon away? I see you are not human; your outer shell may fool them, but not I.’
Geoff inwardly sighed. He put away his stun gun and smiled sheepishly. Phew. Thank god. He looked like he wanted to rip my face off.
‘Shame. Now that would have been entertaining.’ Tolstoff’s voice once again flowed into his ear. Growling, he put out his hand and shook Ara’s.
‘So what part of the – wait, wait, what!? We’re trapped? Here? How do you know?’
Ara considered his answer.
‘One of them, I think the human with the extra arms.’
‘Right. That’s just great.’ Geoff looked around again at the group.
Ara took one last icy look at Geoff and stalked off to the corner of the room and returned to observing. Geoff sighed. What am I going to do?
‘Ever considered you were warped here on purpose, Genius?’ Tolstoff’s voice mocked, but it was edged with a serious tone; even concern. Just then a small frog hopped into the room. Everyone turned, stared for a moment, and began to laugh; heartily. Even Ara’s mouth seemed to curve upwards into a smile. Geoff remained unmoved. He slumped himself into the nearest chair.
On purpose? This was going to be a long night.