Chapter 25
by writerdee

*As soon as Ha-kee and Alpha were out of sight, Queen Raine slid back into the clearing, scanning the area carefully to make sure she was completely alone. As soon as she was satisfied that she was, she glided over to where TGC was lying in the grass.*

QR: Stupid! How stupid could I be? *She stomps away from the boy, and then back to his side. She crouches beside him.* I mean...I didn't have to tell them that they could do [i]anything[/i] to you.

*As the ball continues to glow a menacing red, she shakes her head. Carefully, she extracts a pair of thick black gloves, seemingly out of thin air, and puts them on. Then, she clasps the ball between her hands and raises it slowly away from TGC, making sure not to jostle it. As soon as it is high above her own head, she begins to chant quietly until the ball reverts to it's original color. She then slides it carefully into her own bag.*

QR: You really aren't the one we are looking for. There's no reason for you to be hurt. *She runs her hands over his body slowly, and her hands begin to glow brightly. Finally, she takes her head in her hands and leans down, pressing a kiss to his forehead.* Awaken, oh Great One. Awaken and see only... *She trails off, somewhat disturbed by the thought of putting the boy under another spell* Awaken and see everything as it is.

*TGC's eyes flutter open, and he stares adoringly up at Raine.*

TGC: Cartle by snu brack?
QR: Oh no. It's already started to take effect. Stupid! I could have saved you from the werewolves easier than this! *Rises to her feet, and starts to pace away, but stops when TGC begins to get to his own feet* No! No...stay there. Don't move.
TGC: *staring at her wonderingly* Mav?
QR: *shaking her head* Umm...Brack la ya xen. *Watching him to make sure he understood, and smiling when he lays back down.* Lor. Gra Lor. *Paces away again* I'll have to find the antidote. I don't have the time to go looking for glowing blue flowers right now! I don't!

*Her head comes up as she hears something in the forest, and her form quickly shimmers until she has disappeared. An elf has wandered to the edge of the woods and slowly makes his way across the grass.*

Elf: La, la, lalalala, la, lala, la, laaaa.... *Shakes his head* No...that's not it. I'm off key somewhere. *Stumbles back when QR shimmers into form three steps in front of him.* Ahh!! Work of the great one!! *He falls to his knees and begins bowing to her frantically.* I will do anything you ask of me, oh spirit!
QR: *stifling a laugh* Yeah...spirit. That's me. *Picks up the elf and holds him high in the air.* Ever known a spirit who could lift you off your feet?
Elf: Uh...I've never really known a spirit before, actually. I just thought...I mean...You aren't a spirit, eh?
QR: Not exactly. *Releases him, but he remains suspended in mid-air.* Let's just say that, well...I'm just as powerful, but I have the tool of life on my side. *Chuckles as the elf squirms in mid-air.* Who sent you?
Elf: *squeeking in outrage* Sent me? No one sent me! I was practicing for a recital that my wife wants me to give tonight! I wasn't expecting anyone to be here!
QR: *shrugs and waves her hand. The elf falls to the ground* What's your name?
Elf: *rubbing his shoulder, which he landed on* I'm Winter-Dee. *putting his hands on his hips, boasting* I'm in charge of the winter. But... *Gesturing around at the flowers and trees* As you can see, it's not winter. It's my vacation time.
QR: *rolling eyes* Figures. I capture an elf, and it's one who's on vacation!
WD: Capture? What's this capturing business?
QR: *spreads her hands and a dark cloud begins to rumble overhead* Are you sure you want to disagree with me?
WD: *shrugging* Fine with me. If I'm captured, I can't give this stupid recital. I didn't want to do it anyway.
TGC: Jin cran tu las?
QR: Not now, Chad! *Rubbing at her temple.* So many things to do! If only i hadn't forgotten that duplicating spell!
WD: Oooh...that's a doozy. You don't want to do that spell to often, or you'll stay split forever!
QR: *looking down at him* You think I don't know that? You think I don't know everything? *shaking her head* You're right, though. It would only complicate things more. All I need is three of me running around out here.
WD: Three?
QR: *shaking her head* Nevermind. *Suddenly inspired* Hey! You're a wintersprite!
WD: Uh...yeah. Thought we established that already...
QR: That means you know where I could find a blue morningstar...
WD: Oh. *shuffling his feet* Uh...maybe.
QR: *lifting him off his feet again* Tell me, little man, or this recital isn't the only one you'll be missing!
WD: They're down Mirage lane. All of them are. It's the only place they're indiginous to.
QR: Fabulous! *dropping him to his feet and rushing over to TGC* I'll be able to cure you. Then I can forget about this whole mess and go back to my mission!
TGC: Nib lo kimble?
QR: *throwing up her hands* Jeez! Um...kin gra bimble ling. Sa fran tyun.
TGC: *nodding, and trying once more to get to his feet* Ha la bran veen.
QR: No. You can't go with me. What if someone saw us? *shaking her head and rising again to her feet* I'm sorry about this, Chad. Really, I am. *She raises her hands and begins to chant slowly. Bars begin to form around TGC, and he begins to look frantic, grasping them in his palms and shaking them. When he is completely enclosed, the cage begins to rise up off of the ground until it is resting on a branch high in a tree. Raine waves her hands and branches move to hide the cage from view* Sleep now, Great One. I will return for you with the cure.
WD: Uh...what was that all about?
QR: Nevermind. *Gripping his arm before he can run away* Oh no, little're coming with me. Just to make sure that you didn't lie to me about where these flowers are...
WD: I was afraid of that...

*QR and WD start off through the wood towards Mirage Lane, leaving TGC sleeping in a cage up in a tree...still under Ha-kee's evil spell...*

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