El of a Thing
Chapter 3

Copyright© 2010 by Ol'Mac

TUESDAY 7:30 A. M. The Loop Area, Chicago, IL

Mark Latham was simply the best at what he did. Steady and reliable along with a step by step logicality that left no stone unturned. Oldham would not have hired him otherwise. He and his partner had grid one on the search map. They would start at the edge and work toward the grid's ground zero, which was City Hall. Just another day at work, was his only thought.

TUESDAY 7:32 A. M. Hell, Upper Level 1.5

The council's mental request for an audience caught Alzor somewhat by surprise. They knew the price of failure. Alzore's single thought was, 'This had better be good.'

"Appear." Hissed the command.

Immediately the twelve lay in obeisance before him. The smell of fear rising from the group was very satisfying. "Well, let's have it," hissed out the next command.

Rising from the floor, one of the twelve said, "My Lord, we have been tracking a group of humans that seem to be diametrically opposed to the human guardian contingent. We believe we can influence this group and in so doing bring them into direct conflict with the guardians. If they can eliminate the human element of the guardian forces. That will effectively leave the Nexus in a position to be over run by massed attack waves."

"Do it!" Screamed Alzor's answer.

Compared to the council's alacrity in departing, the term - instantly- resembled a geriatric three-legged sack race.

TUESDAY 7:48 A. M. Elfrealm Lake's Edge, Hold of Elnore, Third Lord of House-Elman

Though the news of a possible unlimited Mage potential had made Elnore euphoric at first. That didn't mean the other side was Asleep-At-The-Wheel. 'Don't get distracted here boyo, ' ran the thought directed at himself, 'You know those Demons are being driven to attack just as you are being driven to defend. It's just the nature of the beast.'

Even through the glow of all these glad tidings there was still something itching at Elnore. Like the phantom pain that amputees sometimes report. Acting on this impulse he sent a quick scan through the Portal and swept the Loop area of downtown Chicago. Nothing overtly wrong appeared, but there were anomalies. Ordinary things that were just out of place. Disturbed beyond measure by these findings, he decided to bring other assets into play.

'This just needs a finer toothed comb than I can wield from here. Clan Fairy would make a perfect set of Bush Beaters. Plus it will give Lannee her first Official run in her newly established "Q" position.' Chuckling to himself he thought, 'This should be interesting to see how she operates in a middle management slot, instead of her normal front line grunt position.'

Establishing the mental contact. He found her Up-To-Her-Hips in reports and collating like someone going mad. 'Greetings, Lady Lannee.' He sent, 'A Moment of your time, if I may?'

Her response came instantly, 'My Lord, be welcome. What can Clan Faery and I do for you this day?'

I've been scanning the Loop area and continue to pick up the echos of anomalies. Things that would be normal background noise anywhere else. But in this place and at this time, they become very disturbing. Questions are being asked that should not. Folk, that would normally fly under any Official human radar, are being looked at. It seems coordinated. But if so, it must be at a much higher level than what is on the street. Do you have resources available to sweep the area and possibly put together a feel for what this activity might be?' Elnore sent.

'At once, My Lord. I have ten teams that have had sufficient rest and should be ready to instantly attack this problem.' Responded Lannee.

'Excellent. I shall leave this in your very capable hands then, ' sent Elnore, 'My Lady. If I may ask a personal question? How are you finding your new slot in the command structure?'

There was a slight delay in her response, 'My Lord. Do I have permission to speak freely?'

'As always, My Lady. There must be truth between us all. Nothing else will accomplish the goal, ' Elnore replied.

'Very well.' Came the responding thought, 'If Coordinator Kilian were within my reach at this moment. I would certainly take great pleasure in kicking his testicles to the region of his neck. Then rapidly tying them off there. But, at the same time I realize that this new position seems so overwhelming, just because it is new to me.'

'If I might offer a bit of hard won knowledge, My Lady?' Elnore asked.

'Of course, My Lord. Your advice is always welcome, ' responded Lannee.

'Good. Then here is my hard won treasure in a nutshell, ' came Elnore's thought, 'Trust Your People. It really is as simple as that.' Then he added, 'It will drive you to the edge of madness with your penchant for hands on application. But, you must come to rely on the talent put at your disposal. It took me years, to learn this one invaluable lesson and with much hair pulling in the bargain too. You have such gorgeous hair and I'm hoping that all of it will be saved by this timely advise, ' flavored with a chuckle.

The hint of a chuckle also flavored the return response, 'You have my deepest thanks, My Lord. As always your advice is deeply appreciated. My hair certainly will not be the only thing that will be giving thanks for it either. I'm fairly certain Director Kilian's testicles will be singing a paean of praise at seeing this advice come to his rescue.'

TUESDAY 7:53 A. M. Olson Residence, Chicago, IL

Sarah hustled to get everything ready for the morning blast off.

Allen's and Ella's lunches were packed with all their favorites. Check.

Ella was at the kitchen table tucking into her Blueberry Waffle. Check.

Everything seemed in order when Allen walked into the kitchen and Sarah's knees turned into jelly. The gentle hand on an upper arm and nuzzle behind the ear literally made her wet, down there. 'Oh my God, I'm like a love sick teen or a horny honeymooner, ' Sarah thought, while struggling to keep a semblance of decorum.

The littlest Mage on the planet just grinned with her eyes. 'They really do deserve this kind of happiness, ' she thought, as Al took off for work.

Then something tweaked at her awareness.

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