Glad you could join us for the next invasive episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…
The urgent buzz of an approaching bee snatched Drago’s attention from the Crone’s trail. “Clifton!” he shouted as the Queen’s nephew shot past. “What are you doing here?”
Banking hard to reverse direction, Clifton dropped to hang in front of the Runner. “Drago — you’re all right! We were worried when we didn’t hear anything from Fen.”
“What do you mean, you haven’t heard anything? My shift is just starting, but two Runners went out yesterday. The first one should have reached you by last night.”
“We haven’t seen any Runners from Fen since sunset before last. Do you happen to know where Queen Lilian is?”
“Yeah, I just left her in the Audience Chamber.”
“I’ve gotta go see her. Be careful out there. Something’s going on. Something big.” And he dashed off leaving Drago determined to locate his fellow Runners as soon as he found Madam Duggla.
“Why would she tell us the truth?” Vernon wondered after Clifton delivered Commander Torlex’s message confirming the Crone’s statement. “She must know more.”
Rubbing her temples, Lilian said, “I’m certain Madam Duggla knows General Hai’s strategic and logistic plans, too, but I doubt she’ll be willing to share them with us. I’ve sent a Runner to the Daylight forces at the western border with orders to reinforce the northern and eastern borders, and then recall the Nocturnal forces who should have reached the General’s base this morning.”
“What happened to the last two Runners?” Clifton asked.
Vernon frowned. “Duggla probably knows the answer to that, too.”
The entrance Guard called out, “Your Magnificence, Sheela from the Light of Day Aero Squadron requests an audience.”
“Send her in,” Vernon instructed.
Flyer First Class Sheela bowed to the three of them when she entered. “Queen Lilian,” she said, “the enemy has crossed into Fen over the Northern and Eastern borders. Their numbers are extreme and they took us by surprise. We lost almost half the contingent posted there before Captain Harper sent me to request reinforcements.”
“Clifton,” the Queen commanded, “I need you to take a message to the Allies.”
To be continued. . .