Come El or High Water
Chapter 9

Copyright© 2010 by Ol'Mac

WEDNESDAY 8:50 A. M. CST Olsen Household, Chicago, IL

Ella was astounded because for the past twelve hours now the 'Mage-In-The-Oven' had been broadcasting a continuous strong clear signal. This was underlying her normal comm mode and if Ella was decoding it correctly, it was shouting, 'COME HOME!'

'Come home?', Ella thought, 'come home, where?'

But the signal strength didn't slack off for one second and if anything, kept increasing in clarity and volume.

There was even the hint of a secondary signal piggybacked on the primary, but Ella couldn't even begin to decode that one.

'It's almost like one of those 'homing beacons' I've read about, ' thought Ella, 'but what for?'

Aldana was almost aghast at what she was witnessing. The Clutch was in hyper-growth mode. All 322 eggs were growing almost fast enough to see with the naked eye and showed no signs of slowing down. The only thing that kept her from freaking out was the underlying love beaming from her charges. Like hundreds of voices whispering, "Don't worry, Mom."

As she made her way among her brood, she continued her crooning and strengthened the love broadcast their way. A fleeting thought past though her mind then, 'My babies will be needed soon.'

The crooning continued to pass through the cavern.

WEDNESDAY 9:00 A. M. CST Angelo's Alleyway / The Nexus

When Tina passed by the news stand, she reflexively clutched the data CD in her right hand pocket, while nodding to Mike. If anyone had asked, her answer would have been, "Oh course I'm scared silly!" But the bonds of family would let her take no other course.

Entering the alleyway, she made her way to the assigned meet place, wrapped invisibility about herself like a cloak and waited.

She was so lost in her own attempt to keep it together that she never once caught a hint of all those on guard.

Stan clung to the building wall cloaked in invisibility and using his shield like mini-pitons to anchor himself to the brick, ready to strike at the first hint of danger.

Rick, similarly cloaked, stood to her right, wanting desperately to let her know things were OK and also knowing full well that she had to do this on-her-own.

Unknown to both these guardians, Marga stood on the other side of the alley doorway, gathering and concentrating her own brand of magical assist with Angelo's hand on her shoulder feeding support.

If Stanley and Mitch had known what they were headed for ... they would never have shown up.

Stanley and Mitch made their way toward the meet ground using every trick they had learned through the years. Nothing seemed out of place but that didn't relax either of them.

Entering the alley, they took their places and waited. Glancing at his watch, Stanley said, "Late. It just figures. Was I ever this freaking new?"

Mitch chuckled under his breath and whispered, "Green as grass buddy. Green as grass."

At this time Tina dropped her cloak and whispered, "Meatball."

Whirling in place, Stanley scanned the immediate area and concluded it was clear while Mitch whispered the counter, "Spaghetti"

At this, a huge smile spread across the girl's face and her right hand withdrew from her pocket with the CD. Handing it to Mitch she said, "Our business is done, yes?"

Mitch was still somewhat loopy that the contact turned out to be this elfin like girl and then something rose up from the depths of his soul as he remembered his own first time. Taking the CD in his right hand, he took hold of her hand with his left also, then cleared his throat and said, "On behalf of The President and a grateful nation thank you for your service from the bottom of our hearts."

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