Take a Breath

Glad you could join us for the next restful episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…

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Photo credit: Geoff Gallice

Beneath the churning web, agony’s wail rode the final unbreaking wave as it crossed the field to leave behind the silent, still shallows of death. The enemy Flyers who dared to attack its surface learned too late that the struggle to destroy it only drew the attacker further under. Those who witnessed it from above soon retreated toward The Arids.

Vernon and Ambassador Arturo waited at the web’s edge where an escaping whisper of breath hinted at the Wildlands ants’ approach. Commandant Marabunta was the first to emerge.

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Above and Below

Glad you could join us for the next tangled episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…

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Image credit: mirmiran-architecture / fogdenphotos / S.T. Ranscht

The gluey silken lattices fell like a curling wave, spreading across the battlefield as the Alliance Flyers approached the Hive. Enemy land troops ran, but the smothering webs overtook them and trapped them where they stood. Arids Flyers, circling low after the retreat sounded, tangled in the ropey strands and fell, unable to escape. Webs continued to rain across the clearing, blunting the impotent struggles of the doomed, advancing toward the Hive.

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Joining the Battle

Glad you could join us for the next enlisted episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…

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Photo credit: Rosa Shieh

Scant hours before dawn, as the storm passed, the Freelands bees gathered in the Hiverarchy’s Assembly Chamber. Arturo, the Freelands wasp who served the Alliance, had returned to speak with Queen Madalena. Rumors claimed she would send them to fight with the Alliance, but they had no heart to die for someone else’s hive.

The Queen emerged from the Inner Chamber with Arturo at her side. “Our neighbors — our kin — in Fen request our help in the war they fight against The Arids tyrant. I believe this is not our war, but the Alliance Ambassador argues that our freedom depends on its outcome. I refuse to order anyone to fight for a cause they do not believe in, but I cannot deny the family bond many of us have with Queen Lilian’s people. I invite any who wish to speak for or against this request to speak now.”

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They’re Here

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Photo credit: Mark Hamblin

Dawn’s tender light bled across a sky of beating wings streaking, diving, charging crimson, brown, and gray toward the Hive, glinting off the snapping, stabbing beaks, battling members of both Aero Squadrons and the Hive Elite, ripping at the Queen’s home, skewering the drones who shielded its narrow entrance and swarmed to fight them off.

Trevor vanished into the melee yelling something Barry couldn’t make out beneath the buzzing-squawking din tumbling overhead that muffled but didn’t mask the tearing, shredding rasps that screamed the inexorable destruction of Fen’s soul.

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Guarding the Future

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Photo credit: rockrose

“Knights!” Cyrus called as he flew into the Bower, raining a trail of herbs. “Creepers and Flyers are attacking the Hive!”

The Knights sprang into action. Trevor ripped off his sling, and retrieved his weapons while Barry drew the sleeping infants from their carrier to lay them beside their mother.

Wide-eyed, Cyrus asked, “Twins? You had two?”

The Princess nodded. “A girl and a boy,” she said, love and hope shining through her exhaustion.

Surveying the chamber, Cyrus hovered over Arturo as he scummed a dusty pool of the beast’s blood from the floor.

“What happened here?” the young Guard inquired as the midwife left her plastering to retrieve the Assassin’s stinger from a high shelf and hand it to Barry. “What’s wrong with the Prince?”

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They’re Coming!

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Photo credit: Kimballstock.com

At the Hive, Captain Avery’s screeching alarm yanked Vernon from his troubled dreams of nameless shadows creeping in from all sides, and threw him into a harsh reality of impending doom and death. How Lilian had remained asleep he couldn’t fathom, but leaving her to enjoy a few more moments of peace, he flew outside to find out what the hell was happening.

The Captain of the Dark of Night Aero Squadron flapped through the dwindling spatter, stark against the lumpy sky, lit in a final blast of lightning. Spying the Queen’s Liaison, he landed on a branch above the Hive.

“Sir,” his breath burst hot on Vernon’s face, “a patrol of grounded Flyers has discovered five slain Guards right here in Central Fen.”

“The General’s henchmen?”

“It looks that way, Sir. They’re too far apart and too recently dead to believe there was only one killer.”

Vernon closed his eyes. “And Cyrus? The Guard outside the Bower?”

“I’m not certain. If he’s one of the victims, he’s been dragged away and hidden. But we found another body — an enemy’s — close to the Bower.”

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It’s a New Dawn

Glad you could join us for the next daybreak episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…

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Photo credit: Sorin Petcluescu

While dawn raked its way through depleted clouds, Trevor returned to the Bower to find the Princess on the floor beside the Prince, his head cradled in her lap, her tears falling onto his face. The Knight’s heart dropped to his stomach.

He jumped when a hushed voice at his elbow said, “Sir?”

It was Miranda, pale and shivery, but on her feet and ready to work.

“Miss Miranda,” Trevor breathed. “Am I glad to see you. Are you really well enough to be up?”

“Yes, Sir,” she nodded, “I’m a mother. Now, if I might have those herbs? I’d like to start on the medicine and tea.”

Clark called out from across the room where he was playing with his sisters and brothers, “Knight Trevor! Did you see? My mama’s awake!”

“Yes, I did. That’s great news for all of us, Clark.”

Barry, carrying both babies in a sling he’d contrived for himself, took his brother Knight by the elbow and led him away from the Prince. Lowering his voice, Trevor asked, “Am I too late?”

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