The intruder pulled off her hood. Long curly brown hair entangled with several parts of gray, flooded out of the hood. Evelyn tossed it over her shoulder as she turned to face Kat.
"Mom!" Kat gasped, slipping off the chair in surprise. Toby glanced between Kat and her mother wordlessly massaging his rib.
Kat climbed clumsily to her feet and rushed towards her mother. Her mother caught her in a hug, almost falling backwards from the force. Evelyn couldn't help but let out a relieved laugh as she wrapped her arms around her daughter. Tears rolled from her eyes as she mumbled her relief and worries into Kats hair.
Evelyn had a strong face outlined by a sharp jaw line and sturdy chin. her nose was thin dominated by a pair of fierce eyes that showed a relentless fighter. Lines traced the outskirts of her pale lips engraved by years of a confident smile that showed no fear. Yet even now in the absence of her smile, the lines remained as a reminder of her past. Kat bore an unmistakable resemblance to her mother in almost every aspect. It was strange for Toby to see. He couldn't help but smile at the warm greeting. Yet, he could sense a coldness in Evelyn that was not present in Kat and acknowledged it, though he was not quite sure what it meant.
Finally Evelyn pulled Kat away from her and looked her sternly in the eyes.
"Don't you ever do anything like that ever again!"
Kat didn't reply.
"Do you hear me?" Evelyn repeated.
"Someone had to." Kat pointed out softly.
"It didn't have to be you." Evelyn hissed, shaking Kat's arm.
"Then who?" Kat demanded. "All the other plans involved either of you dying!"
"I understand your worried but you have got to trust us." She said caressing Kats cheek.
"Or you could trust me?" Kat interjected hopefully. "I have a plan, Toby and I have been working on it. It's gonna work."
Evelyn looked over at Toby acknowledging his presence for the first time.
"Sorry about that, I didn't know you were on our side." She said.
"Likewise." Toby replied.
Evelyn looked around the small room for a pause before asking,
"Where is Skipper?" A note of hesitation in her voice.
"Asleep I should think." Toby replied.
"Great." Evelyn sighed, relaxing a little. She took off her cloak. "So what is this plan?" She asked shaking out her cloak and slinging it over the back of Kat's chair. "...you know what, let's wait until morning."
Morning arrived with a strange anxious excitement that outweighed the trepidation that had plagued Kat since her arrival. She felt with her mother by her side her outrageous plan might just work. She wondered if Skipper would feel the same upon seeing her mother. However, he didn't seem at all surprised by Evelyn's presence in the house. He met her appearance with a nodded of recognition before continuing to nonchalantly ask.
"What brings you here Evelyn?"
"I'm here to save my husband." She replied coolly. Toby and Kat watched the exchange quietly unsure of what to expect from this encounter.
"I thought Kat was doing that." Skipper said with no gusto to his voice as he shuffled over to the unlit fireplace and removed his pipe from the mantle. Despite his lackluster greeting Evelyn watched him affectionately.
"Well then I'm here to save her." She said, striding over to Skipper, she took his pipe from his hand and tapped it against the mantel.
"And who'll be saving you?" Skipper took down his tin of tobacco and twisted it open. Evelyn took a large pinch of the shredded leaves and packed it into the bowl of the pipe, before offering it back to Skipper.
"Positions still open, want to pair up one last time you old cynic, or have you had enough of my games for one life time?" She asked a faint smile tugging at her lips. Skipper took the pipe from her hands. Evelyn struck a match and lit the tobacco for him. Skipper took a puff of his pipe, a smile finally found its way across his thin lips.
"Evey!" He beamed, reaching out and pulling her in tightly for a hug.
"Skip you haven't changed a bit." Evelyn said, sighing nostalgically.
"I could say the same about you. And you've have made double of yourself." He said gesturing towards Kat.
"I can't take all the credit." Her smile sobered. Skipper nodded understandingly.
"I'd like to tell you everything will be fine Evey but I can't promise anything. I'm powerless this time, you can ask Kat she's the only one here who has any inkling of a plan and it's a downright reckless one at that."
"Sounds a little too familiar." Evelyn muttered under her breath, placing her hands on her hips.
"Whatever it is, we need to act fast, I...Skipper...Gword is dead. I don't know what Stratagus did with the body but..."
"Gword is dead?" Skipper gasped. Kat and Toby exchanged a worried look.
"Emmlia can't find out." Skipper said firmly.
"Skipper, be reasonable. Stratagus has Gword's body, you don't think he's saving it for a opportune moment. And you can't hide something like that from Emmlia she's the queen of the fireflies for crying out loud! she's got native power that could blow this place sky high I think she'll be able to figure out if her lover's died." Evelyn said.
"I guess we better get to it then." He said.
Evelyn nodded, she looked over to Kat.
"What's the plan then?"
"We're gonna kill the cursed fire fly." Kat answered, surprised by her own conviction.
Evelyn raised her eyebrows. A confident smile, with a mixture of pride, filled the wrinkles around her mouth, quirking up the edges of her lips. "Continue."