Glad you could join us for the next aerodynamic episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…
“I’ll dispatch two nocturnal corps tonight, one land and one aero squadron,” Queen Lilian promised.
“Aero squadron?” Elliot wondered.
“Yes. Fen holds its winged citizenry in high regard. Day and night divisions of Reconnaissance, Prey, and the Hive Elite serve in flight. Our land troops represent the same divisions, except for the Elite.”
Cassandra’s eye stalks quivered. “It must be exciting to see them in action.”
“It is, Lady Cassandra,” the Queen agreed, “but it can be dangerously chaotic to be in the middle of it.”
Vernon appeared at the entrance. “My Lady, the first deployments are standing ready.”
“Thank you, Vernon. It’s time to see the troops off. Would you like to join me?” Queen Lilian led them to a field surrounded by gnarled tree skeletons whose branches creaked and groaned beneath the weight of hundreds of owls.
Owls, Elliot shuddered. He peeked through the tall meadow grass. I wonder if the Suns of Glory are here. He saw only furry little wedge-shaped ears edged with white pointing at the darkening sky, so he moved along the side of the field, hoping for a better view when the soldiers headed out.
All movement halted when the Queen rose high above their heads. The air hung heavy with silence and anticipation.
“Loyal citizens of Fen,” her voice rang through the tension, “it is time to answer the call from our friends in the Kingdom of Bog. What threatens one is a danger to all, and it falls to us to end it! Be fleet of foot, swift of wing, and brave of heart! Fight for honor! Fight for family! Fight for life! Go now with courage — return with victory!”
Clamorous hooting and barking erupted everywhere at once. Wings beat the air into gusting blasts while the grass waved and whispered with the departing forces. Elliot couldn’t tell which way they were going until the grass parted in front of him.
His heart pounded to a stop.
To be continued…