Faerieland: Part 11

The glow of the blood red gem on Amy’s armor’s breastplate was the only remnant of the transformation as Amy took step toward me. “Do you want me to carry you, or do you want Vaughn to float you upstairs?”

Samita cleared her throat. “Maybe you could carry me?”

“Why?” Vaughn asked. “Did I do something wrong? I tried not to flip you over or anything.”

“No. It’s just that you and the Rocket have been on the same team for years now, so I thought he’d probably be more comfortable than–” Her voice trailed off. “I’m sorry. I’m lying. It’s because it’s terrifying. I’m sure it’s fine for you because you’re controlling it, but I was falling in the dark. I couldn’t see anything but wall, and the only thing stopping me from hitting the ground was air.”

Still illuminated by Amy’s gem, Vaughn nodded. “I get that. I’ve got to admit that I was a little nervous too. Sometimes there’s not much wind to work with underground. Don’t get me wrong. I could feel a lot of air flow here, but if we did hit someplace I couldn’t control the air… Yeah, that wasn’t going to be pretty.”

Samita didn’t say anything for a few long seconds. Then… “That doesn’t make me feel better.”

“No big deal. We’ve got all the air we need. Are you ready, Nick?” Vaughn raised an arm, and  the dust on the floor began to whirl.

“Wait a second.” Amy walked toward us, fishing for something in the pouches of her belt.

She pulled out a bottle. “Can you take off the helmet?”

“Sure.” My suit’s helmet disappeared, sinking into the suit.

Just like the last time I’d done it (when Haley started her climb), I plunged into darkness. Unlike the last time, Amy’s gem glowed dimly, and I could see as she pulled a black chainmail glove off one hand, pulled a bottle out of one of the pouches, and opened it. Then she touched a finger inside the bottle, and touched my forehead.

I didn’t bother to ask what was in the bottle. I could smell the blood.

She said a few words in a language I didn’t recognize, and a warmth spread through my body. At the same time, the room brightened–sort of.  Everything had a red tinge, but I could still see mostly normally. More light collected around  Amy.

That wasn’t surprising. Whatever allowed us to see probably came from her somehow.

“Here’s how this works,” she said. “This is temporary. If you get too far away from me, or if I fall asleep,  you won’t be able to see anything.”

“Are you likely to have a problem with staying awake?” I asked. She didn’t look tired, but it was worth a question. I was  trusting my life to it after all.

“While fighting?” Amy laughed. “No. That’s what they created the Bloodmaidens for from the beginning.”

“Amy,” Samita said in a loud whisper. “We’re not going to fight our own people unless we have to.”

“I agree,” Amy said, “but I’m certain we’ll have to. Anyway, Nick’s set. Are you ready?”

Samita took a breath, and glanced upward. “I’m ready.”

Amy picked her up, and floated upward, stopping only to say, “Later,” before flying away.

Vaughn said, “Not by much,” and then we flew after her. The wind surrounded me, and I found myself moving upward.

It wasn’t as bad as Samita described it. Sure, it was dark, but I could see the smooth rock walls and Amy flying above us. That wasn’t much, but it was enough.

I supposed it might be worse if I wasn’t used to flying, and was flying downward. That would feel more like falling.

It didn’t take long to reach the top. The shaft ended in a room only slightly wider than the one at the bottom. The major difference being that the room at the top had a five foot high rock wall that effectively fenced off the hole from the room around it. There wasn’t much room around it though–maybe two people could walk next to each other.

Vaughn took the two of us over the wall, landing on the sidewalk next to Amy and Samita.

As they turned toward us, I asked, “So what’s next? I want to find Haley, but is there anything we have to watch out for here? And where is here anyway?”

Vaughn turned around. Following his gaze, I noticed the door–a very thick metal door. It was shut.

“We’re under everything,” Vaughn said. “After Amy and Samita got the spell done, we heard what happened and went looking for you. They did a locating spell, and that led us down here. The only reason we happened to find you was that you started playing Rush. I knew the song.”

Amy added, “No one was down here when we came down. My guess is that they didn’t catch Haley until she got further up.”

“Okay.” Not sure whether I should do it or not, I allowed my phone to connect to the network. It risked the possibility of revealing my existence and location to anyone who might be watching, but it represented my best chance to find out what Haley was doing.

Anyway, I had a hard time believing the fae were monitoring the compound’s wi-fi.

12 thoughts on “Faerieland: Part 11”

  1. You never know Nick!
    You never know, I would totally believe that somewhere there’s a fae that has an interest in the internet. But it would probably be a fairly antisocial otaku-esque fae. And while the fae might have good tactics, stories make them out to be poor strategists. So it’s unlikely they would have enlisted such a fae (they probably pick on him), but beware the network fairies Nick… they are out there!

  2. I expect someone already did the “Fae-tal Attraction” pun. [grin]

    In the dark, with unknown numbers of enemies, who would normally be your friends… Not a fun situation to be in…

    Typo(s):

    “Still iluminated by Amy’s gem” – should be ‘illuminated’.

    “and touched my forward” – should that be ‘forehead’?

    “and then we took off after her. Then the wind surrounded me” – would it sound better if you dropped the second ‘then’, and started the sentence with ‘The’?

  3. Yay, we’re getting somewhere!

    Typo:
    “That was much, but it was enough.” – That wasn’t much?

  4. Nick would know if there were any Faes interested in the internet. They’d all be Trolls and not able to resist goading him.

  5. Hmmm, talking about faeries and networks, while they may not have any interest in tracking or monitoring network signals, since they are all about illusion, which is another way of saying their raison d’être is twisting information signals to their own ends, they would be very interested, and quite possibly inherently capable, in making any information that people (including Nick) get via the network into something other than what it appears. With the fae, ALL appearances, regardless of the source, can be deceiving.

    Hg

  6. typo: “before flying taking off.”

    They’re already airborne, so “taking” is probably the redundant one.

    I find it kind of funny that Sam’s scared of being held aloft by Vaughn’s winds, but doesn’t seem to have a problem with being carried by Amy, who is apparently held aloft by *nothing*.

  7. stopping only to say, “Later,” before [flying taking] off.

    I think you want one or the other there, Jim.

    Network fae sounds too good not to use lol

  8. Does that blood make for some sort of illusion/magic spotter? I’m just not sure exactly why Amy did it.

  9. Typo: “do you want Vaughn float you upstairs?”

    I think it should be,”Vaughn to float you”

    I’m both concerned and maybe excited(?) to learn what happened to Haley.

  10. Thanks all for noticing typos. I think that I’ve fixed them now.

    Starshadowx2: I’m hoping what I’ve got in mind for her is worth the bother.

    AVR: The blood is basically an improved (less disrracting) version of the spell Amy worked up after faeries got the information about Turkmenistan from Vaughn. It allows them to see through illusions, see in the dark, and some limited protection from magic.

    Charles: Doing something with Saru’s “otaku fae” idea would be funny. I probably won’t, but it’s an amusing idea.

    John: I tend to see Samita as very careful and prone to watching the details of anything she does in an effort to control her own nervousness in some situations. She’s a little claustrophobic, and when she’s being held up by air, she’s go no control of her life at all. When Amy’s carrying her, she at least understands the magic Amy’s using to stay in the air.

    Hg: People can pretty much assume illusions will play a big role in what comes next.

  11. Yeah, it makes sense, especially with Samita being a mage herself and all, but I still think it’s kind of funny. “Nope, being blown around by the wind is too scary. Seems like it would be a whole lot safer if I were carried by that magical girl who’s kept in the air by dark blood-fueled arcane rites!”

  12. Some needless repetition:

    “Wait a second.” Amy walked toward us, fishing for something in the pouches of her belt.

    She pulled out a bottle. “Can you take off the helmet?”

    And later:

    and I could see as she pulled a black chainmail glove off one hand, pulled a bottle out of one of the pouches,

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