“I’ve heard that before, Legate.” The words came from the last remaining person sitting at the table. She seemed about the same age as Lady DeFroix, but spoke with a great deal more authority. Like the others, she had an accent utterly alien, and Sam could not even begin to identify it. Eyes seemed to be a very strangely unique thing in this place because the woman’s eyes were completely vacant orbs without any signs of an iris. “Those are the same words that my father said before he died in the First Shifter War. These beasts are a real threat and must be treated as such.”
The room went dead silent for a few moments, as no one, not even the brash legate, wanted to object. “Very well, Lady Gwyneff. Captain Armand,” Eveline said breaking the tension. “Have you actually taken measures to address this?”
“Yes, your ladyship,” Armand responded, “I have already gotten my lead reconnaissance experts scouting for information, and have sent a cohort of infantrymen to inspect and support the frontier garrisons.”
Eveline nodded. “Then I’m tabling this issue for a later time. The actions you made should be sufficient until the situation develops. Is there other business for us to discuss?”
The words had barely left her lips before Elain answered. “Your ladyship, I have some new information on the issue of the rifts you have asked me to look into.”
Eveline nodded to her old friend who almost managed to coax a smile out of her just from being there. “You may proceed, Lady Elain.”
“Actually,” Elain continued, “Sir Samuel can tell you far more than I can.”
For the second time, every eye in the room turned to Sam. He felt a nervous shake run up his spine as he sat there stunned. “Very well. Sir Samuel, proceed.”
Sam stood- he thought it would be more professional that way- and bowed to the princess. “Well, um, your ladyship… I… I’m not from here.”
There was a confused look on the young ruler’s face as he finished his sentence. “I presumed as much given I had never heard of any of those titles. From where do you hail precisely?”
“Well, that’s the thing, your ladyship. I’m not from here. Like, I’m not from this country, or planet, or possibly even universe for that matter. I’m from a place called New Orleans on the planet Earth.” Sam could visibly see the members of the council trying to wrap their heads around what precisely he was trying to say. All except Elain who solved the mystery for them.
“Samuel is from the other side of the rift,” she said.
Six pairs of eyes went wide as she finished her sentence. Even Eveline was taken aback, losing her formal demeanor out of sheer curiosity. “Elain, what in spirit’s name are you talking about?”
Elain stood to address the gathered diplomats. “The anomalies that have been popping up are portals with a two way transport system. Samuel is the first person to have come here from their side that we know of-”
“Well, that’s not necessarily true,” Sam interrupted.
Now it was Elain’s turn to be confused. “What do you mean, Samuel?”
“I was with a friend when I came through the gate. We were separated inside and I lost track of him when I fell into your library.”