Lisa interrupted her call from Sara and yelled to Mitzy at the front desk. “Call in the troops and then call Captain Rogers at the State House and tell him to do the same. The ghouls have taken over City Hall.” Lisa went back to her phone conversation while the lone police officer working quietly at his desk in the back corner of the room cracked up laughing at the thought of ghouls in city hall. “Stay by the phone,” Lisa said, hung up and gave the officer a strange look while her fingers zipped to the right contact.
She had to leave a message on Emily’s phone. She tried Jessica, but again had to leave a message even as she remembered that Jessica was with Latasha tracking down spiders. She tried Maria, and got an answer at last.
“Yes,” Maria said. Mindy, Melissa and I are trying to get Amina to look at pictures.” When Lisa explained what was happening, Maria added, “Melissa has access to a car this semester. Should we get Emily?”
“No,” Lisa said. “I left a message on her phone. Amina might be needed to find strays in hiding and Mindy for identification and Melissa, and I’m afraid we might need your talents too.”
“I understand,” Maria said. They were expecting the confrontation to be bloody. Maria had to take a calming breath at that thought.
“One more thing,” Lisa said. “Tell Melissa to do the speed limit. You’re no good if you don’t arrive in one piece.” Lisa hung up and called, “Aurora!” The elf, looking like a shy young girl appeared in the corner, but it was where the police officer could see. He swallowed his laugh and the chair he was leaning back in fell flat to the floor. Once in the car, Lisa let Ashish have his fun. He was allowed to turn on the siren, the blue lights, and run the stop lights as long as he was careful.
There were already two state troopers and Millsaps was there when Lisa arrived. Lisa hung up the phone from talking to Mindy and set the rules for the others. “Groups of three. Stick together. Ghouls can cause hallucinations, but usually can’t fool more than one person at a time. I hesitate to say this because it could get you killed, if you try to take them alive they will eat you, but please be careful who you shoot.” Then they waited.
Lisa got out her phone and tried Emily again. She could not imagine where the girl might be. She hesitated, but then called Sara even as another state trooper came roaring up.
“Yes, we are fine for the moment. They seem to be leaving us alone.”
“They’re scared of Sara,” a man spoke.
“But Lisa. I’m thinking about what we all said not that long ago. The ghouls are the distraction. The real thing, the ambrosia may be happening on the campus even as we speak.”
“Damn!” Lisa let out that same human expression Paul seemed to like and she hung up. Lisa went straight to the state trooper who pulled up and was just getting out of the car. “Get back in,” she said, and when she saw who it was she added, “Perfect.” She explained the situation and sent them off to the University. Then she tried Emily one more time. This time she got an answer. It was Riverbend.
“She is napping,” Riverbend said.
“Well, wake her,” Lisa yelled. “Emily. There are ghouls in City Hall.”
“What?” Emily sat up at that. “I’ll be right there.”
“No, wait. Sara reminded me that the ghouls are just a distraction. Everyone is coming to City Hall. We can handle things here. It’s just you and Riverbend there. We are depending on you.”
“Get Heinrich. I forgot to call him.”
“I will, luck.”
“Luck,” Lisa repeated and she hung up as Rob Parker and two more state troopers arrived. The girls came moments later, and Mindy herself stood up on the trunk of her car and repeated the instructions about groups of three against ghoul trickery. Then Lisa made Aurora call her troop. They appeared armored, with shields and spears, sword and bows and helmets that only showed the eyes. Lisa yelled, especially at the state troopers, that they were not to kill the elves under any circumstances, and they entered the building.