Anna was all ready to start tracing the Celryn. She realised then that in effect, what she was planning to do was hack into their computers. Smiling slightly, Anna opened the ‘My Computer’ tab to search for the camera.
“Wait a second,” said Matt urgently, pointing at the screen. “You’ve got a message.” Anna looked at the bottom right corner, and sure enough, a tiny icon informed her that ‘she had mail’. Who on Earth could it be from? Unless, of course, it wasn’t from someone on Earth.
That’s always a possibility, she reminded herself humourlessly. You are, after all, engaged in a war with aliens, and have a pen pal who is an alien of a different sort. Anna smiled. What would she have said to someone who predicted this, eighteen months ago? Probably to wait for the nice men in white coats, she realised. I was harsh like that.
Clicking on the message to open it up to full screen, Anna skim-read it quickly. In disbelief, she read it through again, sure that she must have made a mistake somehow.
“What?” she muttered. The message bore the unmistakeable menace of the Celryn, and she was sure that they were the senders, although it was not signed, and the e-mail address was concealed.
“What’s it say?” said Matt, craning his neck, trying to read it sideways. Anna moved over, turning the laptop so that he could see it.
“It’s from the Celryn. They want me to join them.” Her voice was flat, emotionless, because whatever it was that she had been expecting, it was not that.
“You’re kidding me?” said Matt, and he read the message for himself. When he’d finished he sat back, his expression thoughtful. “No, that makes sense, actually. They cannot kill you – you are too strong. So they need to make your powers harmless in some other way, and they’ve chosen to use them for their own ends.”
“I’ll never join them!” Anna exclaimed. But it was not going to be that easy – the message had been quite clear about that.
Anna, it read.
Yes, we know your name. We know everything about you – the fact that you are a fairy child, even up to your training and the extent of your powers.
We have one offer to make you. If you do not accept, you will most certainly regret it, for we intend to bring you around to our way of thinking eventually.
You must join us. If you do not, I daresay you will go the way of your parents. Your powers would make us strong, and in return we could give you a power beyond your wildest dreams. We could make you more important than you’d ever imagine, and you would no longer have any need for the ghost whose company you frequent, for our people are so much more worthy to teach you.
There is only one decision, really. You must learn to make the right one.
That was the end of the message – it was short and to the point. Anna shuddered as she ran over the veiled threats yet again, although they were imprinted in her mind already.