Parvenu 4.2: Nevermore

Chapter 29

"Shawn? Are you alright?" Conrad asked with concern.

"Yeah. Give me a second." Agent Roberts said breathlessly, then looked back through the archway at Otis struggling to approach.

"Just step through and you won't have to worry about the feeling anymore." Agent Roberts called out to him.

A moment later, Otis lunged through the doorway, whereupon he was caught by Agent Roberts and Agent Fastbeck.

"Thanks." Otis whispered gratefully as he tried to regain his composure.

"The good news is, that was the worst of it. The next time you have to enter the vinculum, it will be easier because you'll know what to expect and you'll know without a doubt that if you keep going, that the feeling will eventually end." Agent Roberts said encouragingly.

"Glad to hear it." Otis said with a weary chuckle.

"What's going on, Shawn? Why did you bring Otis here with you?" Agent Fastbeck asked cautiously.

"Because I think he's going to be needed." Agent Roberts responded simply, then said to the group, "For those of you who haven't met him yet, this is Otis. He's a friend of mine from back in Waxell."

Several uncertain and bewildered looks flashed around the group.

"Otis, I think you already know Agent Fastbeck. Next to him is Paul, who will be one of those performing the spell later today."

"Spell?" Otis asked timidly.

"Yeah. Even though I could tell you a long story about that, it's pretty much just like it sounds." Agent Roberts confirmed.

"Nice to meet you." Paul said uncertainly to Otis, then looked to Agent Roberts, obviously seeking some sort of an explanation.

"Next we have Archdruid Highley. He's going to serve the same function that Agent Fastbeck and I do in the impending proceedings. In fact, it may end up that Otis will be performing basically the same function. We'll just have to wait and see how things work out."

"You can call me Jarvis." Archdruid Highley said quietly as he offered his hand to shake.

"Nice to meet you." Otis quietly responded as he briefly shook the offered hand.

"I don't know if Milo has a title, but he's going to be performing the spell, like Paul."

"No. No title. My name is Miklos Szabla, but everyone just calls me Milo. I'm one of the Druidic Ovates of Nevermore." Milo timidly explained.

"And you're going to be performing a spell? Does that mean that religious people actually have some kind of legitimate magic?" Otis asked cautiously.

"Milo was born with his magical ability. Him being a druid is mostly unrelated to that... from what little I know of it." Agent Roberts thought to add, then looked at Archdruid Highley with question.

"Yes. While there is such a thing as religious magic, that isn't what we'll be working with here today." Archdruid Highley confirmed.

Milo nodded his agreement to their assessment.

"Next we have 'Reaper', who is also known as the Child of the Sword. He'll be the third and final magic practitioner, at least in regard to the spell that we'll be involved in."

"What is he?" Otis asked in a whisper as he stared wide-eyed at what seemed to him to be a tall, pale, incredibly thin man, dressed in a black suit that appeared to be a few decades out-of-fashion.

"Would you like for me to explain?" Agent Roberts asked Reaper simply.

"Yes. Please, Friend-Shawn. I would not know what to say; what is relevant."

"Reaper's a Nephilim. His dad is an angel... one of the big ones, from the sound of it."

Reaper demonstrated agreement much as Milo had done earlier, with a simple nod.

"Okay. But what I still don't get is why you brought me here." Otis said honestly.

"I think Paul can probably explain that better than I can." Agent Roberts said frankly.

"Me? What can I explain?" Paul asked dubiously.

"Well, if I understood what Reaper was saying earlier, what you bring to the table in all of this is the magical 'mechanics'. The reason I invited Otis to join us is because I think he's going to be essential for what we're about to do... from a mechanical perspective."

"How?" Paul asked cautiously, but seemed to be genuinely interested.

"Not being a witch, I don't know much about the basics of magic theory. But from the little bit that I've been able to cobble together from my observations, there are normally four basic elements, right?"

"I guess at the most primary level, yeah. I mean, before you can do much you have to at least be able to manipulate the quasi-elements, but you can't even tackle them without an understanding of the basic four." Paul confirmed.

"Okay. And in the spell that you're going to be doing, you have three elements. Right?"

"Yes. But that makes sense. There are only three colonies. Air, water and earth."

"Are you sure?"

"Do you seriously want for us to play guessing games right now?" Paul asked darkly.

"I suppose not." Agent Roberts chuckled at his sour reaction.

"Friend-Shawn, please continue with what you were saying. I have interest." Reaper said slowly.

"Waxell... or the world of humans in general, it's the fourth colony; the fourth element. It needs to be represented."

"I have been given no knowledge of the need to include a fourth element." Reaper reminded him.

"That makes sense if they don't want for any single person to have all the pieces required to tap into the magical reserves." Agent Roberts said seriously.

"But this person... Otis, isn't a being of power, is he? I don't see what you think you can accomplish by including him in this." Milo said slowly, obviously not trying to offend, but simply voicing the thoughts uppermost in his mind.

"Okay. I'm going off on a tangent here, but I can't think of a better way to explain my reasoning... mainly because it's more of a feeling than anything else."

"Go ahead. Your instincts seem to have been pretty good so far." Paul said frankly.

"The first element, earth, is the foundation that everything else is built on. Speaking geometrically, it's a point, a speck of something which exists in a sea of nothing."

Incredulous looks went around the room, but they were all interested enough to continue to listen.

"The second element, the water, is a point that's taken on a new dimension, becoming elongated, as a line or a plane."

Agent Roberts glanced around the room at everyone paying him their full attention, then continued, "The third element, the air, rises up from the plane and quite literally forms the third dimension. The three combined give us height, width and depth."

There were slight uncertain nods from some around the room, that were more likely prompts to continue than an indication of any understanding of the point he was trying to make.

"If you do the spell now, that's what you'll be working with, the three dimensions of the spell, changing what 'was' into something new."

"I don't see the problem with that." Paul said honestly.

"The fourth dimension, the fire, is change. It's the passage of time and allowance of the future. Unless I'm totally mistaken, even though the spell done with three elements would probably work, it would be something stagnant, prone to atrophy and entropy. It wouldn't have the capacity to live and grow and adapt."

"I wouldn't know how to do something like that... something that grows..." Paul began to say, then trailed off in thought.

"You do it already. That's the magic."

"I guess... maybe..." Paul responded noncommittally.

"Reaper? What do you think?" Agent Roberts asked curiously.

"Before I answer, please tell, how did you come to this understanding?" Reaper asked cautiously.

"I'm a trained investigator. I do my best to keep my eyes open and continually try to fit different pieces together in different ways. Following what I've observed about magic so far, this is how the puzzle pieces fit together for me." Agent Roberts carefully explained.

"Say for me the words, so that there is no misunderstanding. The cambion did not feed you these ideas, did he?"

"His name is Paul." Agent Roberts said firmly, then continued, "And no, he didn't tell me any of this. His only involvement was that I saw him perform his magic a few times. While watching him, I got an abstract understanding of what's required for a spell to work."

"Apologies, Paul. No disrespect. Only concern for succeeding in our common project." Reaper said haltingly.

"No problem, Reaper. But remember this in case I accidentally insult you sometime later." Paul said with a smile.

"Agreed. In such an event, forgiveness is forsworn." Reaper promised.

"That'll work." Paul said easily, letting it be known with his casual demeanor that he wasn't offended.

"So, what needs to be done next? I have the feeling that we don't have unlimited time." Agent Roberts asked curiously.

"Before we get into that, you should know that we may have a little problem with the Wudewas." Agent Fastbeck said grimly.

"What would that be?" Agent Roberts asked cautiously.

"Ud-wra has said that the belief has been that the Wudewas, as a people, have become incurious and complacent. Such people have no need for magic, and so it has been lost. The only thing he could suggest was that there are ancient magical texts that survive which could be used to train the one who will rise up."


"Yes. At least he thinks so." Agent Fastbeck confirmed, then cautiously asked, "How'd you figure that out so quickly?"

"He's the one who had the courage to go outside their barrier and get help. He's the only one who's really had a taste of the outside world. With the courage and the knowledge that there's more in the world than what he's familiar with, I can see how that could drive him to want to take a chance and try something new." Agent Roberts explained.

"Yes. I suppose that would make him the only real candidate. Hopefully he'll pass the test and prove that the Wudewas magic isn't really lost."

"Isn't that going to take more time than we have?"

"It would if he were going to go through the entire training, but Ud-wra thinks that if Rhuru-wra can pass the initiate trial, that it should be enough. It will prove that the Wudewas people are still capable of channeling magic."

"How long is that going to take?" Agent Roberts asked cautiously.

"I guess that depends on how long we stand here talking about it." Agent Fastbeck answered frankly.

"Does that mean that he's doing it right now?"

"He's waiting for us. I get the feeling that Rhuru-wra has become disenchanted with his peers and is desperate to be included in a group of like-minded and similarly motivated people. I think it will mean the world to him if all of you would attend the ceremony and show him your support."

"How long is that going to take?" Agent Roberts asked cautiously.

"The ceremony is going to be held in a clearing about a three minute walk from here. From what Ud-wra said, the ceremony itself shouldn't take but a few minutes. Either Rhuru-wra will be able to wield the magic or he won't." Agent Fastbeck explained.

"Open the archway and anyone who wants to can follow." Agent Roberts said decisively.

Agent Fastbeck turned to face the archway that opened to a dim scene of thick foliage and mist before saying, "In the name of Cernunnos I seek entry to the sanctuary entrusted to my care. I use the power granted by gods. I am the guardian."

As soon as the words were spoken, he stepped forward and passed through the archway.

Agent Roberts turned to Otis and said, "You're welcome to join us if you like, but if it's getting to be too much for you, you can stay here and wait for us. This shouldn't take too long."

"I don't know what it is that's about to happen, but I have a feeling that it's something that I don't want to miss." Otis said honestly.

Agent Roberts smiled at the response, then said, "Well then, come on."

* * * * *

After stepping through the archway, Agent Roberts looked around to find that all those who had been in the vinculum chamber had chosen to follow.

The light was dim and although it wasn't particularly warm, the level of humidity was astonishing.

"Agent Fastbeck is the only one who can communicate with the Wudewas. Just listen to him and he'll explain anything that's important to us." Agent Roberts quietly explained to Otis.

"What's a Wudewas?" Otis asked in a whisper.

"You'll see in a minute. Just, whatever you do, don't freak out. Please try to trust in the fact that Agent Fastbeck and I wouldn't intentionally put you in danger. I have a feeling that we're about to witness a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle and it'll be great if you're in the right frame of mind to appreciate it."

"I'll do my best." Otis said nervously as he struggled to remain at Agent Roberts' side.

* * * * *

As Agent Fastbeck had said, the trek through the misty, heavily forested area took the group about three minutes.

They finally came to a natural clearing, about twenty feet around and stopped as each member of the group caught sight of who was already there, waiting on them.

Much to Agent Roberts' surprise, only Ud-wra, Rur-wra and Rhuru-wra were present. He had actually been expecting at least a few other members of their colony to attend the ceremony to show their support.

Agent Roberts looked to his right to find Otis frozen in place, staring wide-eyed with his mouth hanging slightly open. Although it wasn't exactly the reaction he had hoped for, he supposed that it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been.

As he looked past Otis, he saw Archdruid Highley's frozen expression of horror. Considering Archdruid Highley's contact with the Nephilim, Agent Roberts expected him to be the member of their group most at ease with the Wudewas.

Milo and Paul, on the other hand, appeared to be equal parts excited, amazed and enthralled. It made Agent Roberts smile to see the delight dancing in their eyes.

When he looked at Reaper, Reaper met his gaze with calm serenity.

Agent Roberts mirrored his expression before turning his attention toward Ud-wra and his sons.

Ud-wra growled something quietly which Agent Roberts took to be instructions for his younger son.

Rhuru-wra took two steps to the edge of the clearing and retrieved a large, crudely made basket, woven out of reeds.

Everyone watched silently as Rhuru-wra extracted a stone tablet, intricately carved with tiny symbols.

Rhuru-wra reverently placed the tablet on the mossy ground before him, then stood to his full height of nearly ten feet.

He was an impressive sight, somehow both frightening and strangely beautiful at the same time.

Agent Roberts was surprised when Rhuru-wra began to slowly perform gestures as he growled and chittered in his strange native language.

"What he's saying is some kind of spell. Although I can make out the meanings of the words, there's no direct translation that would make any sense to you. It sounds to me like more of a stream of consciousness than any of the spells that I've heard before." Agent Fastbeck said quietly, doing his best not to distract from Rhuru-wra's performance.

* * * * *

The growling, chittering chant went on for a few minutes before Rhuru-wra became still and silent.

Everyone watched and waited for something to happen... but nothing did.

The quiet was finally interrupted by Ud-wra growling something quickly at his son.

Rhuru-wra immediately retrieved the stone tablet from the mossy ground in front of him and replaced it with another.

Agent Roberts got the sense that the words and gestures were somehow different from the first attempt, but he couldn't point to any specific thing that had changed.

Regardless, everyone watched silently, and waited for something to happen.

Although Agent Roberts was hoping for the best, he was increasingly preparing himself for the worst.

Everyone continued to watch and waited as the late adolescent Wudewas worked with single-minded determination to accomplish his magical goal.

A movement drew Agent Roberts' attention and he was relieved to see a small misty vortex forming in the center of their circular clearing.

The tiny whirling dervish took on a more tangible form as it began to stir up some of the damp leaves scattered around the clearing.

Agent Roberts tore his attention away from the little whirlwind long enough to glance at Rhuru-wra.

What he saw in that flash of an instant was a level of concentration that could rival that of any of the students of magic that Agent Roberts had recently come to know.

In that moment, Agent Roberts had no doubt whatsoever that Rhuru-wra had been able to reconnect to his lost magical heritage.

Ud-wra growled abruptly and Rhuru-wra immediately responded with another series of growls and gestures.

The little whirlwind dissipated into nothingness right before everyone's amazed eyes.

"That was very well done, Rhuru-wra. We're all very proud of you." Agent Fastbeck said firmly.

Agent Roberts couldn't help but voice his agreement, as did the others around the circle.

Ud-wra growled something which caused silence to fall over the rest of those gathered.

"Rhuru-wra has just proven to us that the Wudewas have retained their connection to natural magic, which has always been supposed as being their birthright. That being the case, Ud-wra wants us to know that, when the time comes, the Wudewas people will be honored to stand in unison to support us as we remake the barriers." Agent Fastbeck announced to the group.

"So him doing that one spell proved that all the Wudewas were capable of learning magic?" Paul asked uncertainly.

"Rhuru-wra has proven that the Wudewas haven't strayed so far from their magical heritage that they've lost the ability to reconnect with it. That being the case, we should be able to use the entire Wudewas community as a retention pond for magic for Milo to command in the coming spell." Agent Fastbeck said seriously.

"As I understand it, Milo will only be responsible for releasing the magic stored in the Southseid barrier. Someone else, probably one of the teachers, will be the one using the released magic and recasting the Southseid barrier spell." Agent Roberts said informatively.

Rhuru-wra grunted inquisitively, drawing everyone's attention.

"This is Milo. He's probably going to be the one releasing the magic to you and your people." Agent Fastbeck responded as he indicated Milo amongst their group.

Rhuru-wra turned his attention toward Milo and very slowly grunted and growled in his direction.

"Rhuru-wra wants you to know that he considers you to be his teammate and coworker. He wishes to share his vow to you that he will do his best to see that no harm comes to you in your upcoming cooperative work." Agent Fastbeck carefully translated.

"Please tell him that I will make the same vow to him. We'll watch out for each other so that we can both succeed." Milo quietly responded.

"Milo wants you to know that he will make the same vow to you. Be it success or defeat, you will achieve it together." Agent Fastbeck relayed.

Rhuru-wra grunted a quick phrase, then looked to Agent Fastbeck to translate.

"He suggests that we proceed to the next phase of our plan. He says that he has done what he set out to do here. He will meet with us at the vinculum chamber later."

"What are we doing next?" Agent Roberts asked cautiously.

"I think you should return to the vinculum chamber, then each of us should go and find the people who will be doing the spellcasting and let them in on all the new developments." Agent Fastbeck said simply, then continued, "Paul and I can leave from here and round up Professor Everstone, Filipe and Mr. Bentley Brown and bring them back. Archdruid Highley can go get the group at... what do you call it? The Protectorate?"

"Just call it Nevermore. That includes the protectorate and everything that surrounds it." Agent Roberts explained.

"Right. Archdruid Highley can go and get the team that's there and bring them back to the vinculum chamber. While he's doing that, Agent Roberts can go get the team at Brynnhollow. It turns out that the vinculum chamber there is located within Brynnhaven. Andrea will be standing by to help you there."

"I've never met Andrea." Agent Roberts reminded him.

"I know. But when I had a chance to think about it, I realized that things could end up going this way, so I talked to her about what was going on. She volunteered to keep a lookout for you. As soon as you emerge from the vinculum chamber, just follow the walkway and she should be waiting for you nearby."

"Okay." Agent Roberts said uncertainly.

"What should the rest of us do?" Paul asked curiously.

"Well, you'll be going with me. As far as everyone else, I think it'll be best if everyone goes to the group that they'll be working with so that we'll have the most opportunity to compare notes and make plans." Agent Fastbeck said seriously.

"You're aware that I've mostly been teamed with Mr. Hansen, Dex and Zanner, aren't you?" Agent Roberts asked cautiously.

"Yes. I'm aware of that. But as far as I know, there are only three of us who can open the doorways. Do you think it would be better if Archdruid Highley went to Brynnhollow?" Agent Fastbeck asked simply, obviously not believing it to be so.

"No. You're right, of course. You've just had the most contact with the Brynns. It seems like you should be the one working with them."

"That would have been nice, but it didn't end up working out that way." Agent Fastbeck said simply, then continued, "It's time for us to stop talking about it and start doing it. Does anyone have anything else to add before we go?"

"What am I going to be doing while all of you are out doing this?" Otis asked cautiously.

"You can go with me if you want. I think it'll be good for you to meet some of the different people that we're going to be working with." Agent Roberts said pleasantly.

"Excuse interruption." Reaper said abruptly, then when he had all attention focused on him, he continued, "There is much preparation for Assembly of the Magi. Would it be possible for Paul and Milo to remain with me in the meeting chamber so that we can discuss, plan and prepare?"

"Yeah. I know that Milo's going to need to work on his spell for sure and there will probably be a lot more things that the three of you will have to work on together." Agent Roberts offered in support of Reaper's suggestion.

"Yes. It sounds like that may end up being a more productive way to proceed." Agent Fastbeck cautiously agreed.

"Then I guess we've got a plan." Agent Roberts said, then turned to Ud-wra and bowed with respect before turning to withdraw down the path that they had arrived on.

Otis mimicked Agent Roberts' action, then followed him.

* * * * *

As Agent Roberts retraced their path through the misty forest, he realized that the others were following along behind him and Otis. When he finally stepped into the clearing, he got his first good look at the outer manifestation of the archway to the vinculum chamber.

Earlier, they had been so intent on meeting with the Wudewas that he hadn't thought to look back. Since the archway didn't seem to be shimmering with magic, Agent Roberts supposed that it was still open from when they had passed through earlier.

"It's Stonehenge." Otis said in amazement.

"Yeah. Something like that." Agent Roberts absently said as he stared at the mossy ancient stone archways, positioned to form a circle with roughly the same dimensions as the gazebo.

After a quick dismissing shake of his head, Agent Roberts continued on and entered the vinculum chamber with the others following immediately behind him.

"What are we going to be doing now?" Otis asked cautiously, then shyly admitted, "I didn't understand most of what you were talking about back there."

"Try not to worry about it. Everyone has their own things to do, but you and I have a mission all our own."

"What's that?"

"You know that big scary place that your mom talks about? It's called Brynnhollow. That's where we're going." Agent Roberts said frankly.

"The place where people go and never return from? That place?" Otis asked reluctantly.

"Yeah. That's the one. But I've been there and I've gotten to know a few of the people who live there. I can promise you that it's nothing to be afraid of." Agent Roberts said seriously.

"Maybe not for you, but I'm just a normal human being." Otis said anxiously.

"So am I..." Agent Roberts began to say when he was interrupted.

"Would you guys mind moving back so that I can make us a table and some benches?" Paul asked hopefully.

"Come over here." Agent Roberts said quietly as he guided Otis to stand by the wall.

Without much more than a lifting gesture, Paul 'summoned' a table and benches to erupt from the floor with a great sucking ::whoosh::.

Otis was obviously startled and stared at the table and benches in wonder.

"Come on. We'd better get going. These guys need to get to work on their stuff and I can try to explain some of this to you along the way." Agent Roberts said quietly as he gently guided Otis to walk across the room to another archway.

"But... how did he do that?" Otis asked in amazement as he continued to stare at Paul.

"It's magic. That's really about all I can tell you." Agent Roberts said simply, then as they stopped to stand before the archway, he extended his open palm upward and carefully said, "I call upon the powers-that-be to grant me entry to the sanctuary, I use the power granted by devils. I am the harbinger."

"Hey! Who are you calling a devil?" Paul called across the room at him.

"The guy who sprouts horns when he's angry, that's who." Agent Roberts playfully called over his shoulder, then guided Otis to walk through the archway into an exquisite ornate garden.

* * * * *

"When you were talking about the crossroads you said there were different realms. Which one is this?" Otis asked as they stepped out of a beautifully carved stone structure. It looked something like a mausoleum to Agent Roberts untrained eye, but he thought it best not to share that particular observation.

"Like I told you, all of these places actually exist on earth, within our realm. But where we are now is a sanctuary that houses a group of witches."

"Witches? Like Halloween with brooms and pointy hats and all that?" Otis asked cautiously.

"Not quite. They look like regular humans but have magical powers. I'm not clear on everything about them, but from what I understand, the people of this colony have been cursed and as a result, they aren't able to live with regular people in human society." Agent Roberts explained as they walked through a breathtakingly elegant formal garden.

"But you said that we don't need to be afraid of them. Right?"

"Well, they have magic powers and they don't know us. That being the case, I wouldn't go out of my way to piss them off. But since Agent Fastbeck said that we're expected, I don't think that we're in immediate danger."

"Are you Agent Roberts?" A pleasant looking woman asked as she stood from a stone bench that they were approaching.

"Yes. That's right. You must be Andrea."

"Yes. It's a pleasure to meet you. Conrad's had nothing but good things to say about you since your arrival. You've really impressed him."

"I'm lucky to get to work with an experienced agent who's not only willing to share his valuable insights, but who also encourages me to take risks and try things on my own." Agent Roberts said sincerely, then thought to add, "Andrea, this is Otis. He's one of the residents of Waxell."

"Do you mean like one of the regular townspeople?" Andrea asked cautiously.

"Yes. That's not a problem is it?"

"Well, only in the sense that his people would do everything in their power to hunt down and kill every last person in Brynnhollow if they knew that we were here. I don't know anything about Otis personally, but I'm scared as hell of what he represents. He could destroy everything and everyone in the world that I love." Andrea carefully explained.

"I have a feeling that including him in what we're doing today might go a long way toward preventing what you're ultimately afraid of." Agent Roberts said frankly.

"Conrad trusts you and has mentioned your good instincts about things. So based on that, I'll do what I can to help you." Andrea said seriously.

"Well, the only thing I was going to ask you was to help us find Miss Oaken and her students. I'm supposed to take them to the vinculum chamber."  Agent Roberts explained.

"My sons have been visiting with them, so I have a pretty good idea of where they are. Come with me and I'll take you somewhere that you can wait while I go get them."

"Why don't we just go with you? Otis hasn't had a chance to look around yet and I wouldn't mind taking the grand tour." Agent Roberts suggested.

"Can you fly?" Andrea asked simply.

"Not without a plane." Agent Roberts reluctantly admitted.

"Then you'd just slow me down. Come on. I'll introduce you to someone, then I'll go get them for you." Andrea said pleasantly.

After a glance at Otis to verify that he didn't have a problem with the arrangement, Agent Roberts agreed and began to follow.

* * * * *

"Queen Marimba, I've brought you the guests that you've been asking about. May I present Agent Roberts from the FBI and his companion Otis, a resident of Waxell." Andrea said formally as they entered what could only be described as a castle via a patio entrance from the garden.

"Welcome gentlemen. I am Queen Marimba, both the sovereign leader and the elected leader of Brynnhaven. I realize that dear Andrea has other matters that require her attention at the moment, but perhaps the two of you would enjoy a leisurely walk in the garden with me while we await her return." Queen Marimba pleasantly suggested.

Agent Roberts was immediately put off by the ceramic mask and faded finery that the elderly woman wore.

"Yes. Neither of us has had a chance to see much of your beautiful... town? Kingdom? I'm sorry, I don't know exactly what to think of this place." Agent Roberts finally admitted.

"If you'll excuse me, I'll be going now." Andrea quietly interrupted.

"Yes. Do hurry back, Dear. Otherwise I might be tempted to feed these men and I wouldn't want to spoil the picnic that they so diligently planned and had prepared for them." Queen Marimba said warmly.

Andrea bowed slightly before backing through the patio door that they had entered through.

"Come this way. We need to stop in and check on the babies before we're on our way."

Agent Roberts and Otis shared an uncertain look before following Queen Marimba out of the room, deeper into the castle.

To Be Continued...


Editor's Notes:

Well, Shawn did tell Otis that he would learn a lot.  I have a feeling that we are all going to learn a lot.

Darryl The Radio Rancher