The Queen and her soldiers ended up in the library, as it was the nearest room in which they could take refuge. Some of the books were wet, but fortunately the sprinklers had not been on for very long. The first thing the Queen did was marvel, and the Wizard marveled right along with her.
“There are not this many books in all of Truscas.” The Queen admitted.
“Perhaps in all the world.” The wizard mused. Several of the soldiers who had picked up the language well enough to grasp reading began to riffle through books. The Queen and wizard did this as well.
“History.” The wizard announced.
“Mine appears to have something to do with cooking.” The Queen said, quickly putting the book down. She looked around, trying to grasp the wealth that room represented.
“Printed works.” The wizard announced.
“Mine’s about some cat that walks around in a funny hat, but I don’t understand some of the words.” One soldier admitted.
“Mine’s about castles.” Another said, and they all looked at him because he was one of those soldiers with plenty of brawn but not much brain. “OK.” He said, defensively. “I can look at the pictures.” He held it out and the Queen gasped.
“That is the finest looking etching I have ever seen. Wizard, look at this detail.”
“Majesty.” Captain Tor spoke up with his head turned ninety degrees to look at a shelf. “This appears to be a whole collection of information, from A to Z, and beside it is another encyclopedia, whatever that is, but it is a scientific encyclopedia.”
“Oh, I must see that.” The wizard came right over.
“What is this place?” The Queen shouted to the ceiling, not expecting an answer.
“The sign out front said something Middle School.” Captain Tor responded.
“No, surely it cannot be a school for children.” The Queen protested, wondering why anyone in their right mind would let children within a mile of such treasures.
Red Rayder died. Princess Ashanti began to cry. “I’m so sorry.” Doctor George comforted her while Nurse Shirley hugged her. “I did my best without any medication or anesthesia. The arrow was not deep, but it penetrated the heart. There was nothing I could do. Those few who still had their wits about them shuddered to think what the boy’s parents would say. Even the Truscan soldier who had the bullet removed from his leg said he was sorry, too. Everyone felt awful, except the mad Dentist Ethan, who had taken advantage of the moment to work on the still semi-conscious Count Severas.
“There’s the bugger.” Ethan said with a grin, and he put his knee on the Count’s chest and pulled with the pliers he had found in the Janitor’s closet.
“Oooowww!” The Count screamed and became suddenly wide-awake, but the tooth came out with a few yanks.
“Now let’s see what else we can find.” Ethan said. “But maybe you better spit first. That one was kind of bloody.”
“Get off! Get Off me!”
Several hands grabbed Ethan and dragged him off the poor man. The Count put his hand to his mouth.
“The tooth was going to abscess any day.” Ethan said in his own defense.
The Count looked like he wanted to cry.
Meanwhile, in the kitchen, with Chef Brian so distracted by the Red Rayder incident, and the gunshot Truscan, and the dentist running amok, Witch Brittany got Queen Jessica and her three ladies in waiting safely into the corner where the big pot was filled with fresh water.
“A nice hot bath for her majesty is just the thing.” Brittany said, and Nichole and Molly, her fellow witches, snickered.
“Yes.” Queen Jessica said. “Hot bath.” She was not very coherent. Clearly she was drugged, as were her ladies. About all that any of them could do was walk where they were guided and stare blankly, without recognition. Queen Jessica got right in the water. She did not take her clothes off and did not sit in the so-called tub. She did not have the presence of mind for such a thing, but that did not bother the witches. They began to dance around the cauldron, chanting, and tossing in bits of who knew what. The water slowly began to heat.
Out front there were red lights and sirens. David and Arosa pulled up right behind the fire engine. Police Chief Jefferson was immediately behind them, and they all paused a moment to look. There was no smoke and no sign of any fire.
“Probably one of the kids just set off the sprinklers.” Fire Chief Brown guessed. “Happens about every three years at one of these dances.”
“Thank goodness for that.” Arosa said, and her wings relaxed, but only David really noticed.
“I just hope it wasn’t my daughter, Tania.” He told the librarian in confidence. “Came dressed as a firefighter like her old man.”
Arosa nodded and smiled. “Mines a fairy, but I think she just likes the idea of magic.”
Chief Brown nodded. It did not seem he thought much of magic. David smiled a knowing smile and Arosa caught it and joined him. Then she saw two figures by the side door which caused her to pause and almost panic.
“What are we saluting for?” Opas asked.
“Cause she is the real Queen, you know. Wife of poor King Dunovan who died in the war, may he rest. Ours is just regent these past ten years.”
“Oh, I see.” Opas said, straightening his salute a little. “I was wondering about that.”
Arosa pushed to the front and almost literally flew down the hall. She found Barten-Cur pacing in front of the gym door. She saw a Spaceman go to one knee and bow before her angelic form and beside him was a professional cheerleader, looking a bit confused.
“Barten-Cur!” Arosa spoke. “What have you done?”