“My lady.” The elf maid tried to wake Boston, but Boston felt determined to sleep in. She never had so comfortable a sleep in her whole life. “My lady.” It did no good.
“Stand aside.” The fairy fluttered down to the end of the bed and pulled out her wand.
“Oh, no.” The elf shut her eyes. The fairy waved her wand and a spark struck Boston on her toe. Boston sat up like she got charged with lightening.
“What? What? I’m awake, mom!” Boston’s eyes came into focus. “Fairy,” she said. The fairy had her hands on her hips and tapped her foot in mid-air.
“Up, lazy bones.”
“What is it? Why is it still dark out?”
“You must dress. You are needed.”
Boston looked around. “But my clothes? I laid them out here for the morning. Where did they go?”
“Lady Alice said fairy weave only.” The elf maid lifted a skimpy bit of cloth from the bed.
With the word fairy, Boston dared another look at the one in the room. “I am sorry miss fairy,” she said. “I was having such a wonderful dream.”
The fairy softened her look. “Quite all right. Good dreams are worth holding on to. And it is Mistletoe.”
“I’m Mary Riley, but everyone calls me Boston.” She looked at the elf who was still holding the little bit of cloth.
“Lady, you must put this on.”
“But that isn’t even enough for a bikini,” Boston protested.
“It is fairy weave.” The fairy fluttered in close. “Her name is Rosemary, and this little cloth is magical. It can be grown or shaped with a thought. It can be separated into several pieces and even hardened to make shoes or boots. You can make everything from an arctic outfit to a bikini and even color your bikini with lavender flowers, if you like. Here.”
Mistletoe helped Boston dress in sensible jeans, running shoes and a shirt while Rosemary took up the explanation. “You can make a nightgown for the night and freshen the clothes in the morning with a thought and without ever having to put them in the wash.”
“Remarkable,” Boston responded at last. “But how do I know it won’t change every-which-way every time I have a stray thought?”
“Good to know,” Boston said, and while they fixed her shoes she had another thought. “How is it you know about running shoes and such?”
“I’ve been to Earth,” Mistletoe said, flatly, like Boston should have guessed.
“And Miss Mistletoe is friends with the Kairos’ daughter.”
“I was once. I am sure she does not remember.”
“Of course, in your big size.” Boston had a revelation. “You can pass for a human. I remember Missus Pumpkin getting big. So, you have been to Earth and pretended to be human.”
“Not too well,” Rosemary whispered and nodded at the fairy, as if Mistletoe could not hear. “She is too pretty to be human.” The fairy shrugged and Boston turned to the elf, but Rosemary anticipated the question. “Oh no, Lady. You are the first mortal human I have ever seen.”
“And I think you are rather pretty yourself,” Boston complimented the elf and saw her turn her eyes away, just a little.
“Enough now. Come. We must be going. They are waiting on you.” Mistletoe led the way. Rosemary stayed behind to straighten the bed.
“Why so early?” Boston asked, but Mistletoe did not know.
Boston found the others in the banquet hall where she made herself a plate of hot eggs and biscuits from the breakfast bar someone had set up. She imagined it had to be the fat little dwarf lady from the night before that seemed determined to make her gain twenty pounds in one night. She enjoyed the breakfast, and only got startled briefly when Lockhart set a backpack beside her.
“Medical kit. Hope we don’t need it.” Lockhart gave a short answer as he checked his shotgun. Boston saw he was also armed with a police pistol. Lincoln had a pistol and a wicked looking knife attached to his belt. Roland sat at a nearby table, sharpening his sword with a whetstone. Boston looked quickly in her pack and found a Berretta, like the one she used on the range, and her own wicked looking knife. Beside the medical kit, there was something else. She pulled it out.
She saw it was a handheld computer, which she immediately recognized as a database, and maybe a few other things. “What is this?” she asked out loud. No one answered at first, and then Boston had a real shock. She saw Captain Decker and Lieutenant Harper. They looked more than well-armed, with weapons that looked pretty sophisticated for regular issue. Decker also had some equipment, which from her distance looked like scanning equipment. Harper had a similar handheld, and she walked toward Boston.
Boston held up the handheld so Harper saw the back of the unit. “That is a Reichgo battery,” Harper said. “We haven’t learned how to duplicate it yet, but it will put out a continual electrical charge up to ten years or more depending on usage.”
Boston paused and thought about what she was going to say. “I don’t get it,” she said at last, to whoever might be listening. “I thought we were just going to retrieve them and come right back.”
“Here.” Lieutenant Harper put something like a watch on the table. “This is an old-style walkie-talkie with a ten to twenty-mile range that should work without satellites.” She walked back to her equipment.
Boston picked up the watch, examined it closely, and put it on in time to see Lady Alice come in, followed by Doctor Procter. The Doctor carried an amulet, which he shook, listened to, and shook again. The amulet appeared to be made of wood and strung with leather so it looked like nothing special, but Boston knew appearances could be deceiving. She wondered what it was for.
“Are we ready?” Alice clapped her hands when she spoke to be sure she had everyone’s attention. Boston raised her hand like a schoolgirl and Alice answered her unspoken question. “Mingus has taken his daughter to the beginning of history and insanely leapt into the chaotic void beyond where even I cannot reach him. I do not know if they can be saved, but we need to be prepared for any eventuality. The guns will never run out of bullets. The fairy weave you are all wearing can be shaped and colored as needed to blend in with the locals. Oh, and…” Alice reached out like she was picking an apple from a tree. A golden orb appeared in her hand, which she quickly put into the pouch that hung at her side. Then she vanished and Glen came back to stand in her place. He looked once around the room.
“You have no idea how much I miss this place when I am not here,” he said.
“I can imagine,” Boston spoke softly as she put on her backpack and noticed Katie Harper looking at her with wonder in her eyes.
“Perhaps you can.” Glen smiled for Boston before he clapped his hands like Alice and they all found themselves floating in a multi-colored stickiness and unable to breathe.