Glad you could join us for the next tenuous episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…
“If you know who I am,” Sirehta replied bringing his face close to the speaking crack in the wall, “you have the advantage. Come out and let yourself be seen. You will come to no harm.”
Two twitching antennae and a round little head poked out from the crevice. Locking eyes with the viper, the oversized hopper scaled the wall to rest on a protruding stone at the top, facing the snake full on.
“My name is Drago Galadeen,” he chirruped. “I’m a runner for Queen Lilian of Fen. I saw you down in Bog when you switched sides to fight for King Arnie.” He cocked his head. “You haven’t changed sides again, have you?”
“Am I to trust a stranger with the General’s mark upon his back?”
Glancing down into the empty hollow, Drago whispered, “I might ask you the same thing, but don’t you think if I were loyal to Hai, I would have told him what I knew about you?”
Contemplating this unexpected ally, Sirehta nodded in fluid waves traveling the length of his upright body. “You seem to speak truly. If you wish, as we do, to bring down the Evil Ones, perhaps we can help one another. My brothers and I are indeed here in the service of the King of Bog. He prepares for a war he still hopes to avoid by turning one called the Assassin against the General. I know not who this Assassin is. Do you?”
“Everyone here knows him, but only the General calls him friend. His name is Anthony, and he’s also known as the messenger. Turning him might not be possible.”
He cast a look across the bleak landscape now splotched with moonlit cloud shadows. “What are your friends going to do when they meet anyone who’s not marked?”
“Their orders from the King are to befriend those who have no love for the General, and attempt to organize resistance to his tyranny. They will question all they meet, but they will not strike except in self-defense.”
“I’m glad to hear it,” Drago chirped. Studying the sky, he said, “If those clouds keep building, there will probably be rain in Fen before midday. Not here, though; I don’t believe it ever rains here.”
He gathered himself to leap off the wall. “I have to run. The Queen needs to know she lost a valuable member of the Hive Elite tonight. I’ll let her know King Arnie has friends here now, too. You and your brothers should more than make up for that traitorous Crone, Madam Duggla. Watch out for her — she’s not just mean, she’s crazy.”
Sirehta watched him hop into the shadows. Determined to learn all he could about the enemy’s plans, he curled up outside the cavern’s entrance, listening to the escaping echoes of conversation.
To be continued. . .