The front door burst open again.
Will I need that replaced or will it live up to this rough treatment? Anna caught herself wondering. She had been anticipating this – the Telepath on guard outside had sent a mental probe to tell them that the Celryn had arrived.
As the Celryn entered the living room, they already showed signs of a fight. Their limbs were cut and oozing their odd, greenish-black blood: The Protagonists on duty outside had not let them down, and among the dark, demonic creatures were several new Telcontar. Matt immediately took command of them, guiding them in their first fight on the side of good, as Anna drew on her magic to destroy those that were left.
She saw nothing but the image in her mind’s eye of the beauty in the world that they would be destroying. The seas, the mountains: the wild places, where humans had not yet spread their poisons. Some hitherto unnoticed fairy sense came alive in Anna’s mind, then, showing her pictures of forgotten coves and landscapes beneath the deepest oceans – sights that no human had ever seen, and if the Celryn had their way, never would.
Anna saw nothing but everything that she was fighting to protect. She saw those that she loved, the places that she loved, and she saw visions of the future if she failed. She could see the stars, shining before being snuffed out by the evil that the Celryn brought. But she did not see the overwhelming numbers that the Celryn had on their side; she did not see the growing host of the Telcontar that arose to fight them.
But those that were fighting alongside her saw many of the Celryn fall at Anna’s feet, until their comrades had to be threatened to make them advance, for fear of the girl. They saw her flashing blots of fire, streams of water and lava; saw the compressed air which she sent to hit her enemies in the stomach, winding them and allowing someone else to finish them off…
After a mere forty minutes the Celryn gave the order to retreat. Their casualties had been too great – they had lost almost three hundred soldiers, which was three-quarters of the Celryn host. For, like the Telcontar, they had less than five hundred of their entire species, and although they reproduced swiftly, life was short because of the age-long feud that raged between them. They could not allow this fight to go on, and they began to retreat.
The host of Telcontar pursued them, felling many. Those that fled fell at the merciless hands of the Protagonists. Only when none remained did Anna look around her again. Seeing the carnage, she collapsed, to be caught by the steady hands of Spook and Delorfinde.
“You’re alive,” she whispered, an insane joy arising somewhere within her. But blackness overcame her and she fainted. Her friends laid her gently on the sofa, which was yet again in tatters.
Victorious, the mismatched army returned to the living room to confer.