Glad you could join us for the next obtuse episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…
Scaling the tree next door to the Captain’s, Drago Galadeen called, “Captain Avery, sir!”
A snoring scimitar beak snapped shut, a pair of gleaming citron orbs snapped open, and the feathery face surrounding them swiveled two hundred and seventy degrees, searching for the call’s source.
“Who is it? What happened? Did they attack?” the owl asked, now as alert as if he’d known Drago was coming. “What are you doing over there, Galadeen?”
“Following my Momma’s advice: ‘You can never be too careful when you wake a bird of prey.’ ”
“Your Momma was a wise lady,” Avery chuckled. “Is there a problem?”
“No, sir, nothing like that. Her Magnificence wants to see you before sunset.”
“Any idea what it’s about?”
Stretching his neck and wings, Avery fixed the Runner with a disgruntled look. “Between you and me, Drago, it’s a bad business, this war we’re headed into. What do we hope to accomplish — annihilate all the Stingers in the Arids? Claim that desolate place so we can divide it three ways? What’s one third of nothing worth?”
“They really are getting ready to attack, you know,” Drago insisted. “I’ve seen it. I’ve been to the General’s base.”
“I know, I know, and I don’t doubt you,” Avery allowed. “But they’re only Stingers, aren’t they? Can’t we just eat ’em at the border?”
The Hopper leaped to the captain’s tree. “It’s more than just Stingers. It’s every angry Arids’ predator the General has helped since the end of the Great War. He’s united them. He treats them like a colony instead of letting them be solitary like they’ve always been, and he’s willing to feed the children of anyone who resists to his troops.”
Somehow, Captain Avery’s eyes opened even wider. “Are you saying he’s just looking for meat?”
“That’s only part of it,” Drago explained. “He believes we owe him the Hive, so he’s built an army bigger than any of us can imagine, and they’ll be hungry when they get here. Fen’s citizens are meant to be a renewable food source with a tyrant in the Hive.”
The Captain ruffled his feathers and shook his entire body. “Well, we can’t have that,” he blustered. “Still, there must be a less destructive way to handle this. If the Queen’s open to suggestions, I’ll make my pitch.” Dropping from his hole, he glided across the forest floor, trailing a long shadow.
Drago Galadeen hopped to the ground and watched the captain vanish into the gloom. “I hope General Hai is right in front of him when Avery finally wakes up.”
To be continued. . .