conch shell

The Clerk

Pub life went on that evening at its regular clip. So did Bee Bee’s. After her small outing down the stairs and back up, even with Eitilt’s help, she was a bit tired. That was noted by everyone and she was tucked back into bed and all were told to be someplace else.

It was good to rest, she decided as she felt a twitch in her side. But doing a little research would help to keep her awake until her husband came upstairs. And besides, she wanted to record all this new information she had about Keevan. With her cup of tea and her laptop, she spoke to The Clerk. “New subject, King Keevan.”

“Which files do you wish,” The Clerk, began, “about King Keevan? Those kept by…”

Bee Bee sat and listened to the information that was methodically and logically filed. Then she started making hash marks as the information just kept being read out. When she reached one hundred she said. “Stop. I wish only the newest files about King Keevan.” The lovely voice continued on. “Stop,” as she picked up the device. “Oh shit,” she murmured. Then it was, “I want only the newest files about Eitilt, House of the Son.” The Clerk asked her if she wanted the presenters in alphabetical order.

“Stop.” Her mind was racing. So, there were still present-day fae that used The Clerk. And plenty of them had things to say about Eitilt. “Find a conspiracy theory centering on Eitilt, House of the Son, input by Rowan, king of the fae.” The information started flowing out in Rowan’s voice. Staring at the shell, it was time for back-up.

“Cecil, are you near by,” she called out.

“Always my Queen,” he stuck his head through the door.   “What is required?”

“Please tell Eitilt I need to see him, right now. I am sorry it is the dinner rush, but I need him, right now.”

“Of course,” he bowed and then he was gone.

There were running steps up the stairs, then the door burst open. “B.B.?” his voice was full of concern when he scooped her up into his arms.

“I am fine, I think,” she smiled at him. “But, I need you to speak to The Clerk and ask it about the conspiracy theory centering on Eitilt, House of the Son, input by Rowan, king of the fae.”

Eitilt repeated her words to The Clerk. Nothing happened.

“What?” he asked her, “are we waiting on?”

“Huh,” she stared suspiciously at the device.   “The Clerk holds all types of information. I would ask a question and it would rattle off all types of sources. See,” she held up her paper, “I have seventy-five hash marks just about the colors of the House of the Son, alone.”

“Yes,” he nodded. “I see.”

“This is not the pain killers talking,” she arched an eyebrow at him.

Sitting straighter, he said, “Clerk, give me any file you have about the House of the Son.”

Silence greeted them.

“That is not right,” Bee Bee pointed her finger at the small device that resembled a conch shell.   “It was not broken before I called you up here. Clerk, give me any file you have about the House of the Son.”

“How do you wish to cross-reference your previous information?” The Clerk asked.

Eitilt sat back, dumbfounded. “Cecil,” he looked over at their guard. “If you would please, I would like a representative of each different fae downstairs. If you have any question at all about their loyalty, bypass them. I want only those that you would trust with your Queen’s life.”

“Of course my King,” he replied.

It did not take long for their return. Eitilt was surprised at Cecil’s selection. There were ten different fae, all of them on the small side.  Each one asked the same question of The Clerk.

“Thank you,” Eitilt smiled, bowing his head in acknowledgement. “I am sorry to take you from your evening.” The only one left to ask was Sandra.

“My King,” his second-in-command arched an eyebrow at him after talking to The Clerk and getting no response.  “What is going on?”

“Bee Bee, if you would,” he smiled at his wife who then asked about the conspiracy.

All were momentarily dumbfounded as they listened to Rowan and his plans for the future of the fae. In her rage, Sandra shifted to dragon and was up on the roof, bellowing her anger! The other fae were horror-struck!

“Where my King did you find this?” Cecil asked, pointing a finger to The Clerk, his other hand hovering above his sword.

“This device is not known to you?” Eitilt’s  voice sounded shocked, even to himself.

“No,” Cecil shook his head. “The Library was just open stacks of books, nothing so fine.”

“The Clerk came out of my Grandmother’s treasure hoard that she left to me,” was all Eitilt had in a way of enlightenment. “She explained to me what it was. A way of recording your thoughts. I had no use for it. I gave it to Bee Bee so she would have a way of tracking her notes. Granny said it was good for doing that. The Clerk must be some type of fae, itself, maybe?” he said, shrugging.

“They spelled it against the fae,” Yarborough hissed. “Whether The Clerk be fae or not.”

“Appears to be that way,” he said, “but no one had the thought to spell it against the humans.”

“Your library at one time,” Bee Bee was thoughtful, “was open to everyone, or at least what I have seen from this says that. I do not know if The Clerk ties into something like a mainframe or if each one of these is its own mainframe and they are just linked to each other. But you are able to access all of them in the string as long as you are not fae.”

“Apparently so,” Eitilt picked up the lovely artifact.

“Explain to me,” Bee Bee asked, “from the beginning about the female dragons.”

They all heard Sandra as she came down from The Rotunda. And from her vibration on the steps, they were able to track her as she shifted from dragon back to human. There was still fire coming out of her mouth and nose and sparks were flashing from her eyes. Standing against one wall, she nodded her head. “I am ready to listen, now.”

“Bee Bee,” Eitilt continued, “the female dragons are larger than the males. When they produce a child, they become even larger, faster and stronger. Something from the child imparts to them and makes them so.”

“So if the child cannot take flight?” Bee Bee asked. “Does this somehow diminish the mother?”

“We have no way of knowing,” Eitilt said. “We have nothing to compare, too. Sinead drank the Pansy while carrying Aed. Did this change her…? I would not know.”

“Yes, but she had already birthed one child that could fly,” Bee Bee countered. “So maybe Aed just subtracted what she had gained with you. Maybe that is why she needed her sister Pigg to fly with her to kill Albie. He was poisoned. Why could she just not do it on her own?”

“Good thought,” he said and Sandra nodded in agreement.

“Aed,” Eitilt spoke to the fire.   “Bring the family. We have news.”

Chairs were pulled forward and Eitilt welcomed his family with a drink, pulling the stopper on several different decanters while he filled their glass with their choice. He explained about finding The Clerk and what Bee Bee had discovered.

“There are now fifteen dragon houses that stand with Rowan,” his eyes held his brother’s as Aed sat down next to Gael. “Half. You heard Rowan’s notes on The Clerk. He has promised the dragon houses that stand with him… that once King’s Law is proclaimed, that The Pansy will become a required drink of all female dragons.”

Engl made the sign for the evil eye while Gael muttered a curse directed at Rowan.

“Flight would be bred out of those dragon houses that did not stand with Rowan. Make no mistake. This was Albie’s idea and he had you, my brother, to prove to Rowan that it would work.

Rowan says in his notes that he is going to make the pitch to those dragons that were at The Tower. That those stand with him, the head of the house can determine which females of their house will or will not drink.   The head of the house will believe that he has finally found a way to control the females and there will be a shift in power.

Only Rowan does not tell them is that he has decided to take this one step farther. The old dark ones will give him a very long life and over the ages, Rowan will continue to use The King’s Law to his advantage until all dragons are denied flight and it will be forgotten that they could fly at all. Also will be forgotten is why the King’s Law was invoked in the first place. All any will know is that the king rules supreme.”

“Once they start with the dragons,” Engl’s voice was harsh, “he would find what worked on others that could fly and other fae would follow.”

“Yes,” Yarborough spit. “Rowan would think to control our numbers by selective breeding.”

“Somehow Mer’lyn mixes into this,” Aed was busy sharpening his sword. “He wants our son for what?”

“A sacrifice to lock the old ones in their bone yard,” Gael hissed, “so the dark magics can walk without consequence.”

“How do we defeat him?” Aed asked his wife, the wildness and fierceness of the stars staring back at him from her eyes.

“Wynd rydr,” her eyes cut to Bee Bee. “Eitilt’s fire will be complete with his wynd rydr upon his back and it will wake the old ones whose bones stand guard.   The sevens shall dance in the air,” her voice became louder as she began to float and twirl above their heads. Her skin was glowing and pulsing with lights of blue and green! “And the Wynd Rydr shall scream in victory!” she shouted as the fire of their house rained down upon them.

Gracefully Gael floated back to the floor, her eyes still shining with blue and green sparks that had haloed her earlier.

Engl and Gay’el watched as the flames absorbed back into the bodies of the children of the House of the Son.

“So it shall be,” Engl said as she raised her hands to the heavens. “We proclaim victory before the war has even begun.”