I still had at least twenty minutes to get my stuff together, so there were a couple of things I needed to do. I took a couple of satellite phones off the wall. I took one over to Thalion, where he was storing our stuff under the seats.
I reached my arms around him as he knelt on the floor, and kissed him loudly on the back of his neck.
"Mwah! Hi honey, I have a favour to ask you." I reached around his neck to hold one of the phones out in front of his face.
"Will you call Hazel's Uncle Emerald, please? I'd like him to come to the helipad. I want him to come meet his Niece. He can get to know her better by showing her around a bit. He can take her to the castle great hall, just inside the main doors. Aunt Sarah will be waiting to take Hazel up to her room."
Thalion turned his head sideways and picked me up by putting his arms under my bent legs. I squealed happily as he turned around and unceremoniously dumped me on one of the seats. He sat down beside me and took my hand, and looked at the phone.
"I see the phone is working, and your thumbs haven't fallen off. Why can't you call him?"
"You know him better. I only met him once. Pleeeeeease?" I batted my eyes foolishly at him, and gave him a big grin. He laughed and took the phone from me.
"What I do for love," he said, heaving a big fake sigh.
"Thanks, honey. Oh yeah, I'll be strapping in for the landing with Hazel. I need to talk to her."
I jumped off the seat and gave him a big kiss before he could protest. I walked over to Mike, who had just finished storing things, and was just about to buckle up. I sat in the seat across from him, and handed him the other phone.
"Hi Mike. You can use this to call your brother, if you like. I'm sure her majesty has straightened things out by now. If she has, we can send this helicopter and more, back to Faerie land, to whatever troops are willing to come here. Perhaps you could try to get Hazel's mom here too, please?"
"Sure, I can do that Your Highness."
"Ha ha ...What?" I laughed. Now it was my turn to be surprised.
"Would Princess Gloria be better?" He grinned, teasingly.
I'm not usually a giggler, but I sat back in my seat and giggled till my face turned red, and tears of laughter fell from my eyes. He stared at me, probably confounded by the strange fit I was having.
"Well ... that is your title now, right?"
I almost went into another spasm of giggles, but then I saw that he was serious.
"Sure, but I only go by that title when I'm in the Elven Realm. Here at home, I'm the same old Gloria I've always been. "Would you rather I call you Mr. Ollerond? "
He laughed and shook his head. I got up and walked over to Hazel, who had already strapped herself in. I sat beside her and buckled up. I turned to her, and began to tell her what to expect.
"Your Uncle Beriadan will meet you at the helipad. He'll take you on a short tour around the castle grounds, then he'll take you up to the castle, where My Great Aunt Sarah will take you up to your room.
You'll have a room next Morgan's, which is right across the hall from mine. I've asked Mike to call his brother. The Queen did promise to help, so eventually Cecil Ollerand's interference will be overruled, and your Mom will be allowed to come here with the rest of the Faerie contingent. As soon as she arrives, She'll be brought up to you."
"Oh ... okay." Hazel said hesitantly. I smiled to reassure her. I'm sure she was missing her Mom terribly right now. The pilot made his final announcement.
"Please make sure everything and everyone is strapped in, tucked in, and battened down. We land in five minutes. Wait in your seats until I shut the rotors down, and I give the all clear."
We felt hardly a bump when we landed. We all sat quietly in our seats as we heard the engines and the rotors power down.
We all made a general scramble to gather our belongings. Several castle workers stood at a short distance with rolling trolleys to take everything up to the castle. I saw Hazel's Uncle standing off to one side. I took Hazel's arm, and guided her over to where he stood. He looked as nervous as Hazel. He knew she must know at least some of the truth by now, but he didn't how much she knew, yet.
They moved toward each other and went into an embrace.
"H ... hello, s ... sir." She blushed crimson.
"You look very like your mother at your age," he commented.
She nodded assent, she already knew this.
"M ... mom always called you Uncle Emerald. I didn't know about your side of the family. W... Why were we sent away? Didn't our family want us?"
"Your mother took you to Faerie land for your own safety. She is half Faerie, and you were showing some signs of Faerie affinities, so she thought you might end up developing those skills, and becoming more Faerie if you grew up with it."
I inwardly gave a sigh of relief. Hazel was stronger than I gave her credit for. This separation from the Elven side of her family hurt her all her life. Now she was going to find answers. Good for her! I quietly backed away and went back to join Thalion at the Helipad. When I got there, Thalion's face was pale as he listened silently to the cell phone he held to his ear. I stood beside him and waited for his call to end.
"Yes Father, we are in full battle preparation now. The Van Helsing horde cannot be allowed to win. Be careful Father, please. I love you and Mother more than I can ever say. Can you tell Mother that, please? I know she already knows, but just in case ... " Thalion cleared his throat painfully, then continued.
"May the Gods go with thee, Father. Fare ... thee ... well." I was hoping for my beloved darling's sake, that this long distance conversation was not his last farewell.
He put his phone in his pocket and faced me. Tears were gathering under his eyes, and threatening to spill. It broke my heart. I waited for him to find his voice.
"There's been a new assault on our Realm. Father says there were creatures he never knew existed in the world. They must have been the result of evil genetic tampering. There were dragons with the wing spans of jumbo jets, They didn't just breathe fire, they spewed forth Hell's infernos. The Realm's layers of protective charms are holding up, but the onslaught has been relentless."
"Oh Darling, no!" I sobbed, hugging him tight. He braced himself, and continued.
"Your Uncle called, and it looks like the stronghold horde is headed this way, and it seems to be led by ... Ash. I don't know how they figured it out. Maybe Morgan's nightmares, maybe the seer's visions. I don't know. I just know that we're sending every non combatant off the island to Sanctuary. Your mom is packing up Sarah
Morgan Now. There's an ocean liner ready to take everyone off the island who isn't actually fighting. The brave hospital staff have all decided to stay here for the wounded. Sanctuary already has a good hospital of its own to take the worst of the wounded over to safety."
"We better get down to the docks now, then. I don't want to miss seeing Mom and Sarah Morgan off. "
I started to run, but Thalion picked me up in his strong arms and flew me down to the shore. I noticed his wings were bigger and stronger than they were. Perhaps the magicians on the island have been helping the Elves prepare for aerial battle.
When we got down to the shore, we saw a long line of people with only a couple of suitcases each, walking up the ramp of the ocean liner, in orderly single file. We got down to the dock just in time to see Mom, James and Fancy Anne wheel Sarah Morgan's carriage down the path from the castle. We could hear Sarah Morgan screaming from a thousand yards away.
"Noooooooo Mommieeee Daddieeee me stayyyyyyyy!"
She was throwing the worst tantrum I have ever seen any child throw. The problem with Elven toddlers, is they bounced around a lot more than Human kids. Mom couldn't keep her in the carriage. It was all Fancy Anne and James could do to keep her safe in pillows of clouds. Thalion and I ran to our child and enfolded her in our arms.
She stopped screaming and allowed us to hold her tight. We rocked her in the cradle of both our arms, as I crooned her favourite lullaby. She settled, but she didn't go to sleep. She hung onto our arms with both hands. She had a grim stubborn set to her jaw that meant she wasn't going anywhere!
Just then, Galen and Llewllyn landed on the beach. Galen was pretty much always shape shifted into a dragon these days. They came up to us, and casually stood beside us. Galen had Hardy in the pouch they had brought Hardy back from the stronghold in. The little boy had really improved with a steady diet of wholesome food, and loving care. He and Sarah Morgan were all but joined at the hip. They continuosly pestered the dragons for rides.
Hardy poked his head out of his sling. "We're goin' up to the big boat. Wanna come?" He said to Sarah Morgan.
She looked desparately at both of us, then Hardy, then Llewllyn. Her sling was already in place. She wanted to go with Hardy. She wanted to stay with us. She was only two and a half. She wasn't capable of such life changing decisions. We rocked her gently in our arms, and edged closer and closer to Llewelyn. We gently placed her in her sling, as I continued to croon her lullaby. Once she was in, the magical restraints kept her there. We gradually let go of her.
"You know that Mommie and Daddie love you more than anything else in the whole world. We have to stay here to keep all the bad people away. You go with Hardy up to the big boat. Grandma will be there with you to keep you both safe. Then you're going to go to another island okay?"
Sarah Morgan nodded, tears bubbling up under her eyes. I gave her one last hug and kiss, and so did Thalion. We stepped back, and Llewellyn lifted off. I stepped over to Galen. and kissed Hardy's forehead.
"You stay with Sarah Morgan, okay, Hardy? keep her company, play games with her, make her smile. Can you do that, honey? "
He nodded solemnly. Sometimes he seemed awfully mature for a five year old. Considering how he grew up, he was doing very well. I gave him a final hug and a kiss. Thalion ruffled his hair and told him to stay safe, for Sarah Morgan's sake. I signalled, and Galen lifted off.
Mom walked over to me and held me one more time in her loving embrace.
"I love you, Gloria. No matter what happens, know that I will protect Sarah Morgan with my life if I have to. Stay safe, my wonderful little girl."
"I love you Mom. Stay safe." I gave her one last hug and kiss, then she trundled the baby carriage up the ramp to the boat.
When she was out of sight, I collapsed on the beach, and sobbed as though my heart was breaking, because it was.