Alice stepped up beside Glen to watch the fighter touch the clouds. “I feel like part of me is up there now. That was not fair, you know.” Glen said nothing. “I must say, he did not seem so scary this time, even before you transferred the language and all.”
“He wasn’t shooting at you.” This time Alice simply nodded. “So what were you going to say about Althea?” he asked.
“I revised my estimate.”
“Spit it out.”
“Okay.” Alice appeared to choose her words carefully. “It is the first time I have seen you as a woman who is not drop dead gorgeous. She seemed so normal.”
Glen laughed a little. “She used to hang out with a fellow named Herakles. Some of the gods worried about him so they gave her all sorts of gifts to help protect him.” That was all Glen was going to say at first, but then he changed his mind and added, “She also went sailing with a fellow named Jason.” Alice did not get the reference. “The Golden fleece?” Alice frowned. “Hey, it was my ship, or my father’s anyway.”
“Why is everything with you so hard to believe?”
Glen shrugged. “It isn’t, really. I’m the one who is hard to swallow. I know because all sorts of monsters, creatures and things have tried.” He paused to look for a reaction but Alice was serious. “Really, though, after you meet me, the rest sort of falls into place. I mean, it hasn’t even been twenty-four hours and you have already been introduced to a secret international organization, you have not only seen a real-live space alien, but you just got his language and culture implanted in your brain, and by magic no less. You have had contact with a real-live fairy, and an elf and have at least heard about the gods and such things.”
“I know all that. You’re not helping.”
Glen understood. “It is a lot to process. Just imagine how much I have to process.” He rolled his eyes and looked up.
“I’m beginning to understand that.” Alice sounded sympathetic.
“Think of it this way.” Fyodor interrupted. He had stepped up to one side while Sergeant Thomas took the other. “Everything that you once imagined might be possible, like life on other planets is true.” Alice nodded. “Then everything you always thought of as an impossible fantasy is probably also true.”
“What do you mean probably?”
“There are some things I haven’t asked about.”
Alice nodded again as they all turned to go back up to the main building. The limos were already there and waiting. Poor Bobbi had to ride with Colonel Veber, but Fyodor volunteered to join her, he said, to deflect the worst of it. Miriam went to keep her company as well. Doctor Roberts and Mirowen snuck back down to the barn with the escape pod. That left Glen, Lockhart, Alice, Boston, Pumpkin and Sergeant Thomas to ride together but there was an argument first.
“Get big,” Glen said to Pumpkin.
“No. Not yet. Please.” Pumpkin sounded more like a teenager than she did someone who was more than five hundred years old.
“If you want to go with us to the White House, you have to get big and you have to stay big the whole time.” Glen was firm. The fairy fretted and clicked her tongue as she flitted back and forth. She flew up to face Boston and Lockhart, then Alice, then Bobbi and Fyodor and then flew back to Glen where she continued to flit back and forth like a pendulum.
Finally, Pumpkin came to rest and with a surprisingly pleasant voice she said, “Okay, that should be fun.” She seemed to vanish for a second and reappeared as a full grown woman without the least sign of wings. She looked remarkably human except for her beauty, which Alice noted. She was not a beauty like Alice’s namesake, Alice of Avalon who had a look that belonged on magazine covers and where designers might come to physical blows to get her on their runway. She was also not a beauty like the Princess who had an attractive quality that exuded her sexuality. Alice imagined the Princess would draw men to her like flies to flypaper. No. Pumpkin big was beautiful in a way that could only be called inhuman. It was a little hard to focus and take it all in.
“Shall we go?” Pumpkin asked. At least her voice sounded the same.
As soon as they were rolling, Glen pulled the red ball out of his pocket—the one he took from the escape pod and briefly plugged into the Vordan communicator. He had made everyone wait while he got himself a laptop and now he plugged the ball into the computer.
“Internet card.” Glen stuck out his hand and Lockhart handed him what looked like a credit card.
“Free world-wide internet.” Lockhart explained for Alice.
“Why do you need the internet?” Alice asked.
“Google Earth? Look, what is that thing, some way to pinpoint the Vordan location? I saw you take it from the Humanoid ship.”
“No. I already got the location of the Vordan by a different bit of Humanoid technology. This is caller I. D. Same principle anyway. I figure the Vordan will have a decision to make. I am hoping they will call whoever brought them here to get instructions before they attack.”
“Attack?” It was Boston who reacted out loud.
Glen looked up and was a bit surprised by the strength of the reaction. “Oh, I’m not worried about the Vordan. I want to know how they got here. Someone helped them and it is a bit disturbing having no idea who that someone might be.” As Alice said earlier, that did not help. “Maybe a story would be in order,” he decided. They had a journey to get to the White House.