“Where do we start?” Riverbend asked honestly, not exactly sure what they were looking for.
Emily was up, dressed, and pacing. “Get your friends,” she said, and she waited while Riverbend called for the four elf maidens she had left in her direct command. Emily sent the first to fetch Heinrich. He was to meet them at the administration building. Then she instructed the others and sent one to the Library, one to the science building where she could also keep an eye on the engineering and technology building, and the third to security. “I know it isn’t recommended, but I need you to be willing to use elf speed and let me know if anything unusual is happening.
“That is spreading us rather thin,” Riverbend said.
“I know, but right now I don’t see as we have much choice,” and with that they set off for the administration building. Heinrich showed up after a half-hour with his elf in tow and they took turns watching the campus side of the building and the street side.
Emily looked up at the widows of the President’s office. The lights were on like the man was working late. She pulled her phone and found Nancy’s number. It was picked up on the first ring.
“Hello Nancy? This is Emily. I see the lights on. Are you working late?
“Yes,” she said. “President Batiste is waiting for a package.”
“What kind of package?”
“Oh, I don’t know. I was just told to wait.”
“Listen, Nancy. If a package arrives, don’t bring it into the President’s office. It’s a matter of life and death.”
“Oh, I don’t know if I can do that,” she said.
Nancy paused before she said, “All right. I have to go now.”
“Thank you. Thank you. It really is that important.”
“Goodbye. I have to go now.” Nancy hung up, and Emily shook her head and put her phone away.
It was slow waiting until the elf from the science building came back to report a strange little man came out of the science building wearing hot pads and carrying a metal box. That was how she described it. She said she would not have thought twice about it but he headed straight for the administration building.
“Riverbend, you and your friend need to check on the others—the library and the security office. I suspect things are happening and you need to bring them back here to report.” Emily paced before she sat on the building steps and tapped her foot like Latasha. It was only a moment before the other two elves came back. The one from security said there were a half-dozen security people headed toward the administration building but she did not think anything of it because she thought security people were supposed to come from the security building.
“Same here, sort of,” the one from the library spoke. “A car and a van parked in the library lot and a bunch of men got out but I did not say anything because they were not going to the library. They were headed here.”
“There he is.” The elf from the science building pointed gleefully, thinking she got something right. But the man with the metal box and hot pads was going into the administration building and Emily could not help the words.
“Damn it.” She was going to run for Heinrich who was on the street side of the building, but she found him coming to her.
“There are security people coming,” he reported. “And look who I found.” It was Sergeant Margaret Holmes and Trooper Sebastian Scott, state police.
“Shut-up.” Emily yelled and everyone did that. “Sergeant, you are in charge. Sebastian, you stay outside, too. Riverbend, I need some elf magic from your troop. We got security people about to arrive and unless I am severely mistaken, there are drug people coming up the library walk. I want you to get them fighting each other because they should both be going after the same prize. And I think that prize just went inside. Keep the men with guns out of the building. Heinrich, we have to stop the madness.” Emily grabbed Heinrich’s hand and dragged him up the front steps.
“I am not activated,” he whispered. “I don’t understand. I should be activated.”
Emily understood. Whatever was blocking Amina and Zoe was blocking Heinrich as well. She took his hand again and they walked into the office where Nancy was standing behind her desk. Only the desk light was on. The rest of the room was in shadows. They heard a voice.
“Stay where you are or the secretary is the first to die.”
Four men stepped from the shadows. The speaker, Ferdinand Franco had a gun trained on Nancy’s head. The other three had handcuffs which they put on Heinrich and Emily and then they made them sit on the floor, out of the way. They heard the ding of the elevator. Emily began to tug on her cuffs, but they were too well made to snap easily. Heinrich could only sit and watch as the man with the pot holders, holding the metal box, limped toward the President’s office.