Lllewellyn's leather wings beat a fast and steady rhythm as he chased Mike Ollerond upward, angled Northward away from the island. He instinctively followed his mental link with Morgan, as she was carried away by the monstrosity that Ash Van Helsing had become.
“Mike ... Mike ... stooooooooooooppp!” I screamed as I held onto Llewellyn's neck, and leaned forward.
We were getting close, but Thalion was closer, as he rode Galen directly into Mike's path. Mike tried to fly around them, but they blocked him at every turn. We blocked Mike from behind, until he was forced to hover in the air between Thalion and I, on our two dragons. I could see by his aura that he was fuming with frustration, fear for his daughter, and anger at us for stopping him. He was just about to slip away from us to the side, but he stopped and stood upright in the air, fluttering his wings, as a voice came out of nowhere.
It sounded like Mrs. B. and it sounded desperate. I knew that she was on the island, so it must have amplified her voice so that it could reach Mike. His head slumped with fatigue and despair, as he responded to Mrs. B.'s voice. Galen flew up under Mike, and supported him with one wing as Thalion reasoned with him.
"Mike, you can't fly all the way to the stronghold alone. You're not strong enough, even if you don't get lost on the way. The island has instructed us to take a rescue party to the stronghold, led by Queen Helena. I think it would be best to come with us. The battle below is just now winding down, so we should head toward the hospital tents. That's where we're most likely to find Mrs. B. She'll want to see you, I'm sure. I think that's why she's calling out to you, she needs you. You won't be doing Morgan any good if you die before you even find her."
"Fine," Mike sighed. "We'd better go soon, before they feed her to their pet creatures."
I shuddered with panic as I realized the truth in what he said. "There's still a connection between Ash and Morgan. I think he will try to protect her, even if he isn't really sure why," I told Mike as I drew Llewellyn closer.
"I hope you're right," Mike said as he turned away from Galen and spread his wings. He flew back toward the island, with the rest of us close behind.
We followed him as far as the hospital tents, then flew on up to the castle. All of the combatants still well enough to walk, wandered around the great hall as we entered. Some of the the generals were either dead or seriously injured at the hospital, but we wouldn't really need them anyway. I had a strong feeling that Queen Helena would want a small force that knew Morgan well, and would be the most motivated to rescue her.
I was relieved to see Katha, Theo, Hazel and Layla sitting at a side table drinking coffee. Theo's left arm was in a sling, and Katha had a thick bandage around her head, just over her eyes. Layla had her fatigue pants rolled up to reveal a white dressing covering half of her right calf. Hazel didn't have any obvious injuries other than a few deep cuts on her cheek, but she looked as though she was in deep shock. Her battle damage might be harder to repair than the others' physical wounds. I felt sort of guilty that I had no injuries to prove that I had actually seen combat. Layla stood and started to limp toward us, as we approached the table.
"Do you have any news? We last saw Morgan at the hospital tents with Mrs. B., Devil's Flat, and Petey at dawn before the battle. I think I sensed the island's spirit there, too. When we went back after the fighting died down, we couldn't find anybody. I haven't seeen Mike, either ... have you seen him?" she cried.
I rushed forward and supported her back to the table, before she hurt her leg any further. I sat down and held her close, to lend some comfort. This wasn't going to be easy. I knew how much Morgan's friends cared for her, and I could tell by Layla's aura that she cared deeply for Mike.