“By the way, how did you know that she was my sister?” Anne asked curiously and she pointed at the unconscious form lying on the ground. Rijiin’s face showed question at first, staring at the face, the dark eyes, and the hint of black hair on her shaved head. The elf stared into the dark eyes for a long moment before he grimaced. Turning his head, he glanced at the other prisoners who had watched the carnage and the elf as he sheathed the blade. He had a sinking feeling.
“Anne Frank? I presume?” He asked, suddenly recognizing her and he pointed to Margot who lie motionless on the ground.
“Margot?” He asked again, and he turned to see her timidly nod to both accounts. The elf let out an exasperated breath.
“Do I know you?” Anne asked and he said nothing, staring at the young woman in silence as he contemplated his answer.
“No mistress you do not, I am a traveler as you will and have come to spirit you and the others out of here. I felt your need and traveled to you.” The elf replied politely as he knelt beside her sister who moaned. Slowly, Margot opened her eyes and they focused on Rijiin and Anne standing over her. Rijiin suddenly realized he seriously changed history and events where Anne, Margot and many others would die of typhus, starvation and other diseases. The elf had helped and healed just as he been able a long time ago, giving them all another chance at life. Rijiin, because of his healing, left shadowed and uncertain sixty-years for them all. The elf helped Anne’s older sister to a sitting position and he nodded to her when she looked up into his gray eyes. They twinkled uncertainly in the dim light.
“I don’t understand. Who are you? What are you?” Anne asked, and Rijiin managed a slight grin.
“My name is Rijiin.” He told them, speaking to them in their native tongue as he helped Margot to her feet, “I am an…”
“Are you an angel? Are we dead?” Anne asked, and Rijiin smiled, shaking his head with an amused chuckle.
“No. Not now.” Rijiin replied absently, “You are very alive and well now. As for me, I am a traveler, an immortal from the winds of time who has come from the past, four and a quarter centuries. Like you I am a prisoner, but not with walls, or a fence but a prisoner of time.” They let out a low gasp as they stared at the elf.
“What does that mean?”
“I have lived a long time.” He declared sharply, “And today I made an error that has changed the future, from which there is no balance or a way out. Be at peace, you both shall live now, live again and conduct yourselves with a new chance at life. You shall both have a long life and a new future.”
“I don’t understand.”
“You died in this place, along with many others.” He told them, “Because of my disrespect for history, that you and your sister and many others have been granted a second chance. There are still many to bury here, which I was too late to help. In one possible future, the Allies will place a marker at the front of this place marking your presence in a mass grave.”
“What?” Gasped the young women and they glanced at each other, “W-we died?” Rijiin met their curious looks.
“Aye, it is so until I rewrote history and that timeline no longer exists. You should be dead but are not now. You now stand together, alive and well.” He said, “Thanks to an ability of healing I learned a few centuries ago. Be at peace, you will be returning home soon, the Allies will be here in a couple of weeks to liberate the camp.”
“H-how do you know that?” They gasped, and many questions overwhelmed the Elf.
“You must be American or British.” Anne declared, eyeing the elf suspiciously “What do you know about the war.”
“I am neither.” He said in their native language, and then he smiled slightly. “The Germans have lost the war and you both are free.” He told them. The elf had said it in perfect English, accented slightly, with the slight inflection of the elves that he still had despite his travels across the world. It made them gasp openly.
“You are American!” She exclaimed, but frowned when she heard the strange unidentifiable accent. He thought a moment before answering. She was right. Rijiin realized that he had come from a town far away, on the west coast of North America. He found that he could hardly able to remember that time and place. The name of the town even eluded him, thanks to the centuries of wandering the world.
“Perhaps I was once,” He replied, managing a quiet laugh “But that was a very long time ago.” He saw their smiles. There was a pause as Rijiin turned to face them. The elf pushed back his hair behind his slender ears and met their startled expressions. The sisters stared at his fair features in silence, and the bright twinkle of starlight in his gray eyes. They sensed more to this stranger than met the eye.
“Come my friends, let us journey away from this place and return both of you home where you belong.” He said putting out his hand and both young women took it as they stood up. Anne and Margot smiled at Rijiin and both embraced him.
Here, the elf took Anne and Margot by the hand and he spirited them aside before the Allies would arrive. The Allies would find many German soldiers slain along side of the multitude of death around them. Severed arms, legs, heads, and severed torsos littered the ground through the compound. The elf’s action had gained great notice by the Allied army. Rijiin left only dismembered body parts as a calling card in the worst and vicious massacre the Allies had ever seen.
As for Rijiin, he led the sisters and the few remaining survivors to a safe place. Here, they would wait together until the Allied army liberated cities around them before they attempted the route home. He told them that they, with their father, are the only survivors of their family. The sisters learned the fates of the Van Daams, their mother, and Mr. Dussell. Their reaction would be astonishment and then sadness. Little did they know that Otto Frank, their father would return home first and he would meet with Miep who would give him Anne’s diary. Both he and Miep are unaware that both Anne and Margot now lived. He too would learn the fates of the others who were in hiding with his family and of their deaths in the camps.
Like a shadow, the elf blended in with time and space as he faded into the winds of history. He would travel through war torn Europe, passing the German Army fighting the Allies, and the Allied armies as they continued fighting the Germans. He found himself disgusted by the whole event, knowing that it would be a long tedious time to destroy this evil with a terrible cost of life.
“And I can only exterminate the Nazi murderers who are behind this and perhaps rescue a few more Jews if they can be located.” Rijiin thought and he walked on. What he was thinking would be the death marches of the prisoners forced to walk by the Nazis to the west. It would be an almost needle in a haystack to locate these people in time but Rijiin also knew he had a mission and work to do. The elf would use Elven magic to intercept the marches and rescue other prisoners whom would surely die. He had turned his sights east, traveling to the locations he knew by reading and learning history. Instead of bodies of prisoners lying dead on the ground, soldiers of the Reich lay butchered instead, the ground stained red by their blood. The elf would help and heal, leading the rescued prisoners to the Allies. Many times, the elf also would leave the same calling card as he had at Bergen-Belsen, leaving dismembered soldiers lying dead in the mud just like the camps he would wipe out single-handedly.
Rijiin slew many German citizens and soldiers in his travels without question too. The elf took the fight back to the Germans, paying back a five to one ratio for every Jew killed, that five German citizens/soldiers died. The action alone sent an unrelenting, bone-chilling, message through the Reich that Rijiin was out to target each one of the thugs and murderers out there. He was also evening the score for the relentless murder of whole families. His message had been crystal-clear and of his intentions. The elf would travel to other camps and here he would help and heal those in need. Soldiers and upper echelons of the Nazi party, already aware of the massacre of Bergen-Belsen, would send reinforcements only to find the places they were reinforcing already massacred in the same way. Rijiin sometimes would slay the reinforcements operating as an unstoppable killing machine, taking life from the Nazi and giving it to the prisoner subjected to a terrible evil. It was payback time and Rijiin was their champion taking the fight back to their oppressor.
The elf would destroy the camps who dealt with plain gassing and elimination of the Jews too. He stopped the needless slaughter of thousands a day and turned it around against the Germans. Rijiin knew if he could stop the execution of thousands a day there would be a lot to be stand against those in charge of the camps at the end of the war. The German leaders, he knew, most would face their fate at the end of the war. Although according to history there were a few that slipped away during the mass confusion of retreat. He grimaced realizing that he had to intervene and eliminate them himself. The elf also realized that for his actions in this time, he too would have to stand accountable before the Goddess of the elves to find renewal next May. Right at this moment, however, the elf continued his one-man war taking it to the upper echelons, eliminating a few of them one by one. The Allies called him a renegade but the elf was doing what they could not with little fear of death. He had lived so many lives and through so many bloody centuries before this one. It was the price of his immortality.
“What is another bloody event?” The elf thought, “It is a service to the world that I am providing. But then again, the Nazi soldier is only human, mortal and following what he believes is right, told to him by his superiors. He knows no difference, maybe I should concentrate on those who actually participated in the killings.” The elf considered what he was doing at this point and realized how far he had come. He knew there was no turning back, deciding to take it all the way to the top if possible. Because the elf left a massacre of soldiers or citizens at every place he fought, more and more soldiers surrendered to the Allies instead of fighting. They were afraid of losing their lives at the hands of the ‘gray ghost’ as he was nicknamed by the Germans.
Rijiin on the other hand, successfully saved over fifty thousand people, and slew more Nazis than any part of the Allied army in history. He worked behind the lines, moving fast and efficiently picking up the trail of his target and eliminating them with extreme prejudice. The elf left a number of massacres at cities across Poland, deep into Germany and leaving destruction in his wake. He massacred men, women and children just like the Nazis. Because he killed five to every one Jew they murdered, the Germans accused the Allies in their own propaganda of illegal and inhuman conduct to soldiers and citizens of the fatherland. The Allies denied Rijiin’s existence, his conduct as a renegade, with no official ties to the Allied forces. The American and British had used Rijiin as perfect weapon to bolster their own forces morale. Both sides offered a bounty for the capture of the ‘Gray Ghost’ as a propaganda tool on either side.
The elf would return to his cabin quickly and when it was time, he would personally escort Anne, Margot and several others to Amsterdam. The elf, with the sisters in tow, soon stood with them as they walked together toward the building containing the Secret Annex and their home before betrayal to the Nazis. Anne and Margot both smiled when they saw it on the outside and both were glad to be home after their ordeal of the two or more years in the concentration camps. They both were thankfully alive and well because of Rijiin who stood beside them. He stood beside all the survivors there, rescuing them from the jaws of death, helping and healing as elves once did in the world before they faded long ago. They stood outside for several minutes, waiting for the right moment to surprise all hands inside the building. Rijiin smiled at the thought.
“Now…” Rijiin said, and they all crossed the street and headed to the door leading into the business of their father. When the elf and the sisters entered, they walked into the building unseen. Here they stood quietly waiting as everyone turned their heads to stare at them. Miep had appeared at the door and she let out a yelp of astonishment. Two of Otto Frank’s business associates looked up from their desks at the doorway. Tears appeared on Miep’s face as she stood and shook her head, unable to believe her own eyes.
“Anne? Margot?” She asked, “Is that you?”
“Miep!” Anne and Margot replied, running toward Miep warmly embracing her in the middle of the room. She turned her head and with tears in her eyes, she called to the other room.
“Mr. Frank, your daughters are alive and here!” Miep called out and there was a commotion next door, as more people rushed toward them. Turning her head, she let out a fearful gasp of astonishment as Rijiin stepped in the door from the shadows and he stood there like an avenging angel beside the sisters. The elf is clad again in his green and gray with the gray cloak that he wore over it, held together by the gold and silver clasp of an interlocked, crescent moon and star. The clasp brightly twinkled in the light and so did the starlight in his eyes on his fair featured, battle-worn face. The long brown hair, streaked with silver, fell smoothly to his shoulders, pushed back over his slender ears, revealing whom and what he is: an immortal elf. He held his head high, defiant and proud, as he had long ago unafraid of mortals. At his side is the blade he wore openly, the instrument used as the gray ghost who had slaughtered Nazi soldiers in cold blood with no quarter of mercy. Miep, like the others stared at the stranger among them and turned as Otto Frank entered the room, gasping loudly as he saw his daughters.
Everyone clustered around the young women, and Rijiin stepped back allowing them to do so. He stood aloof and silent, the vision of the starlight clear and cold in the darkness as it had been over four centuries ago.
“PIM!” Anne cried, running toward their father and embracing him. Margot followed suit.
“Anne! Margot!” He replied running to embrace his daughters. The elf silently watched as Anne and Margot emotionally and tearfully reunited with their father Otto. Rijiin said nothing as he stood nearby, holding himself aloof, aware but dreaming as he bathed in the starlight. He closed his eyes briefly letting their power calm the turmoil inside him and quietly relieved that everyone in the room seemed to ignore him for the moment. As the elf stood near the door, he wondered how his changes would affect the world.
The diary no doubt still found publishing in the same way but not with the same moral outrage as it had previously because of her youth and unthinkable death at the hands of the Nazis. It is a cloudy future for both sisters and the multitudes that he had helped and healed. Even Rijiin himself, an immortal elf, could not see what would be shadowed for the next sixty years. He could not say he had been wrong for what he did, changing history in this manner. The elf wanted to change history and make things right, especially during his wandering. Rijiin had already been an observer for the last four-hundred years, witness to more atrocity, bloodshed, death and violence than the Nazis accomplished by murder in the entire few years it existed.
“Aye but even still, I botched the whole idea of what I am supposed to do.” The elf thought, “Healing, comfort and aid. I changed history unknowingly and rewrote it where people lived where they should have died. I butchered mortal men, just as I had centuries ago after passing judgment upon them.” With that, Rijiin grimaced slightly at such thoughts. Otto, Anne, Margot, Miep and others turned, finally glancing at the stranger who stood near the door. Rijiin saw them turn and he touched his forehead, bowing slightly, as he turned to leave.
“Please wait, Rijiin.” Anne called, making him stop, half turning to face them and their father. The elf met the youthful, faces of the sisters and he managed a grimace despite the surroundings he found himself.
“Please.” Otto said in an askance tone, motioning for him to come toward him.
He walked confidently toward Otto, Miep, Anne and Margot, but he also kept a respectful distance. His eyes flashed as he met the dubious expressions of everyone present, staring at his fair features in question.
“Mistress, you have a need?” He asked politely, meeting their smiles. Anne and Margot both embraced the Elf. Otto put his hand on his shoulder.
“You have my thanks.” He told the elf, “For returning my girls to me.”
Rijiin smiled, “Be at peace, it is the least I could do.” He told them. Everyone raised an eyebrow, hearing his silted German, slightly accented with the inflection of the elves. “Where they were there were many casualties of this war and many people died there. If I had not happened across their camp, they too would have perished.” His statement made them all smile.
“You should and please find happiness.” Anne said as she embraced the elf again and he peered into her dark eyes. “And I give you our thanks too.” Rijiin nodded, laughing aloud and it echoed the interior of the office.
“Alanea ea Yolisi, Elthia, sii’ naa ten’oio.” He murmured, “Namaarie Annai, namarrie Margotti.”
Turning he exited through the door, and he headed east outside Amsterdam moving quickly across the lines of war as the allies pushed farther into the Rhineland. As he walked, he felt an odd energy surround him as if an electrical current ran through his body. Rijiin felt the winds of time pulling at him and he suddenly realized that he was being pulled again through time and space at the hand of the Lady. The elf thought he finally was getting his wish, to fade from this world to join the other elves who he knew from the past. He did not realize that he was only was stepping out of time, merely drawn to a far away land.
His reminisces faded quickly, and realizing that he had shadowed a uncertain sixty years for all of those people, he had saved from death in the camps of the Nazis. Ones who should have died, but with his help he had changed history.
"But when will it end?" Rijiin grumbled to himself, "How much more can the world endure with persecution, and death that it produces? How much more bloodshed can there be?" The Elf turned, still holding his wife in his arms, and inside, he had already answered his own question. It would never end, so long as there was evil in the world. There would always be people persecuting others and hatred raging in the world.
Rijiin kept a tight surveillance of the jungle around the waterfall and center lagoon. Every night he would watch and wait. He would shadow the natives from high above, keeping an over watch of the lagoon. Every night Natil would join him for a little bit, holding each other as they stared upward at the star-filled sky and listened to the drum-beats around them. They peered at Mirya's star that twinkled above them, as they sat holding each other tightly. Katherine slept nearby safely in dream land in their encampment at the lagoon.
"This is just as we did back in Adria." Natil said casually, peering up at the stars. Surprised, Rijiin met her blushing face with a smile. "Tell you the truth I missed this for a long time. I often wondered what happened to you, and wished for your speedy return, but that day never came."
"Yes, I remember, and so did I." Rijiin replied, "Hard to believe it has been five hundred years, and I am so glad to be with you again. I apologize for not returning, I did not even know where I was or where to start in order to return to Adria. By the time I finally came home, one and a half centuries had passed, having wandered the world over."
"It seems like yesterday." The Harper replied, "I miss those times, and the others a lot. I miss Adria from time to time, when everything seemed to make sense for the Elves. Then you came along and showed me a lot about myself, I never thought I could be."
"Good Grief… I did? Like, how?" Rijiin asked, his face showing astonishment.
"First, you showed me how to love. I never thought I would find someone like you in the fourteenth century, or the twentieth century, who I could love. I thought I would be alone, and incapable of loving anyone as much as you love me, but here you were.” She said with a smile, “You showed me that I am much more than just a friend, or even kinfolk to you. You always listened and respected my opinions, thoughts, and dreams. You always encouraged me when I needed it, were always there for me when I needed you, and you supported me without question."
"Second, it was jumping through time as we did. You utilized our magic like a double edge sword, almost effortlessly after transformation into an elf by our magic. You showed compassion and wisdom to humans, even though they persecuted, hunted, and exterminated us. You slew the soldiers and clergy efficiently, but you surprised me more by helping and healing the humans that were out to destroy the Elves without any conditions. Despite everything that happened, and when someone needed you, you were always there to help no matter what."
"And you kept the peace with that in yourself, focusing on our ways, and keeping your objective despite the horrors of the surroundings." She whispered, "For that I love you a lot." Rijiin managed a smile and held Natil close.
"And I will continue to always love you, until time stops." He told her, "Unconditionally, and forever. After all, we still have each other and lots of time lost to catch up on."
Natil laughed as she nodded. "Yes we do."
He held his new wife, and both stared up at the stars, as the drums seemed to drown out all the sounds around them. They were unaware that as they watched the stars, that Katherine walked from her place where she slept toward the jungle floor. Rijiin and Natil, sensing her rise, had intercepted and stepped in front of her from a nearby bush.
“I was just going for a late night swim.” Katherine said, “Need to cool off, this humidity is inhuman.”
“That is not advisable, mistress.” Rijiin warned, “We need to stay low and out of sight when they are here on this island.”
“I know.” She replied, “Those natives. I was planning to stay in the pool behind the falls.”
“We need to be careful, I know.” The young girl added, nodding her head slightly.
“Well, it’s not just that, I do not want to risk you and Natil against them.” Rijiin replied, “I do not want to have to totally annihilate a people, just to be safe and unmolested.”
“You could do that?”
“It is so.” The elf replied, “Just as it was for the last four hundred years, as it could be again. I would rather not be forced to do such a deed. It would be a crime to humanity and all living things.”
“Four hundred years?” She asked, an expression of curiosity and question appearing on her face.
“Yes, I am immortal.” Rijiin said, “I am Rijiin L’Theil of Elven Home. I was born in thirteen forty, and I cannot die. That is my partner, kinsman and wife, Natil. We have lived the better part of four plus centuries.”
“That’s not possible.” She said, “No one is immortal.”
“I have been here for a very long time on this planet and seen many shifts of time and power shifts.” He said, “I can already see doubt on you face. Let me prove what I say is true.”
Rijiin took up the knife, and he put it in her hand.
“What are you doing with that?” He held her hand roughly, and he thrust the blade into his heart. The girl gasped and yelped as she stared at the knife blade sticking from his chest, and weeping he pulled it out. She expected him to drop and when he did not that the elf peered into her eyes and smiled.
“Oh my god.” She quailed “It’s true! But…”
“Talla Na-Pooka!” A voice shouted, and there were footsteps crashing toward them. Rijiin was on his feet in a heartbeat and with two punches and a thrust kick, learned from his days in the martial arts and orient, threw the native off the edge into the lagoon below. Katherine saw the grimace on his face, as he intently scanned the clearing and the lagoon area below. He saw natives gathering below in the darkness, and they held torches.
“What is it Rijiin?”
“Oh dear Lady, it appears we have been discovered.” He told them quietly. Katherine gasped, and ran toward Natil.
“Be at peace.” He told them, “Come, let’s hide behind the waterfall and get out of sight into our encampment.” He motioned to them and they darted daringly down the path. They dove under the waterfall, soon surrounded by a wall of water, and they sat together, waiting for their tormentors.
Before Rijiin had arrived the young women had moved their encampment to the cave behind the waterfall, dug in by the water that had cleared it out for years. There they had found their shelter, keeping hidden behind the wall of water that cascaded around them with only one entry and exit entering under the falls. The women huddled in the cave, while Rijiin took a post outside, holding a spear at ready waiting for them to be found by the hostile natives scouring the island.
He knew he could probably annihilate the entire population of the natives, but also realized that it wouldn’t help them much unless he was able to get them all. He made his mind up, and decided they must leave, but the boat was probably a mess, damaged beyond repair by the natives who would tear it apart if it was found. They were trapped if that happened, or were they if he used Elven Magic from long ago to assist. He didn’t know if that happened or not, but he was not wanting to go out there in at any hour to find out.
“A fine mess we are in, but at least we are together.” Rijiin thought, “And I will protect my beloved wife to the death. I swear it.”
Out in the jungle, Rijiin could hear the native drums, and the screeches and yells of the natives all night long. He knew the natives knew they were here and at the moment could not get at them. But he diligently kept watch. The next morning, he watched the light of morning encroach on their island, and he still could hear the screeches and yells of the hostile island neighbors as the combed the island. Natil and Katherine joined him outside the cave, having not slept at all with the noise of the jungle. The elf heard a screech, and through a hole through the rock above, he could see a native standing on falls above them. He had not noticed them.
“Alright, enough is enough.” Rijiin declared solemnly, “I am going to settle this.”
“What are you going to do, Rijiin?” Natil asked, and he gave her a glance.
“I have half a mind to kill their chief, but that wouldn’t help.” He replied, “They’ll just elect a new one. It may look like to remain here that we have to annihilate a people. But that makes me no better than any of the people I fought along side and factions and hatred in the world for four hundred years. I keep saying it would be a travesty but it looks like I have no choice to have to do it.”
“Oh don’t do that, beloved.” The maiden said, “You said it yourself, you didn’t want bloodshed. If we knew their language, we could speak out our intentions.”
“Or use Elven Magic to get us out of here, to be on the safe side perhaps…” Rijiin mused, and he turned to the ladies. “But it gets harder to call to the Lady for the powers of what was, it drains me to do so, but we have little choice.”
“Which would be better then, beloved?” Natil asked, “If you wipe out a civilization, you are no better than they are, trying to wipe us out or use Elven Magic and embrace possible oblivion of your very existence.”
He weighed the options carefully, and wondered by his choice to get them out of there, if it would claim him to oblivion. He didn’t know if it were possible to cast a spell like that, over a long distance and be able to maintain it for long.
“Have you decided what to do?” She asked, and he grimaced.
“I have decided to get us out of here, by risking oblivion itself to take us home.” Rijiin said, “I do it for your safeties. So as the old saying for camping goes, pack out your trash.”
“Don’t do anything to endanger your personal self, beloved.” Natil said, “I don’t want to lose you.”
He smiled and he embraced his wife warmly.
“I do love you, you know.” Natil said, “And we have a lot of catch up to do after four hundred years.”
“I promise I will try, but with what is ahead, it may take its toll to keep us safe.” He said, “You know that Varden finally used what power he had to fade to oblivion, being denounced by his own son.” He muttered, “Now I have to use it to survive and risk disappearing to save us. What a choice, but I do it for the safety of you my Beloved Harper.”
Rijiin watched as they scrambled and gathered up the important stuff brought there with them from the beach where they had been before. He pointed to the open wall of stone. The young maidens were dressed in comfortable clothes they had salvaged from the chest. They had the medicine that was left from the boat, some food in the form of fruit, coconuts and bananas, and anything else that was useable packed in the trunk.
“Behold.” The Elf said solemnly.
“Pela en’bela templa!” The Elf said, calling in Elvish for the Dimension Door spell with a shout, and a moment later, there was a crack of energy.
A disc of energy had appeared on the wall and it swirled brightly of white, pulsating energy. It shimmered as it crackled, and he nodded to Natil.
“Where does it go, beloved?” Natil asked, “Elven Home?”
“I am not sure.” Rijiin said, meeting her astonished look, “But anywhere is better than here, at the moment.”
The Elf turned his head as there was another shout and howls by the natives as they had heard the clap of thunder. They combed the lagoon area for them. Natil cringed at the sound and motioned to Katherine who hobbled toward them.
“You’re right.” Natil replied and walked toward the disc of energy. Here, the Harper took up the hand of Katherine Grace who limped slightly toward the energy. The young maiden shook her head, and stepped back from the portal.
“I’m not going through that, what is that?”
“Escape, hurry and follow my beloved Harper.” Rijiin instructed, and motioned with his hand.
“What about you?” Katherine asked as a frown of concern appeared on her face and the look appeared on his wife’s face too. They both were perplexed by the relaxed expression that Rijiin had at this very moment. It was as-if he was expecting this to happen and he clearly was unflustered by it.
“Don’t worry about me, I will be along shortly, I will hold these gentleman a while. I will give you both some escape time.”
Natil frowned at her new husband’s tone, and a grimace appeared on her face. She shook her head at the tone he had used.
“The heck with them beloved, let’s get out of here.” Natil exclaimed, motioning with her hand and Rijiin smiled, laughing quietly as more shouts as they came closer. The elf in the dim light could see through the entry and the shadows of people under the water.
“Go on, beloved, take Katherine through, I will be there in a moment.” He said with a nod, and Natil cocked her head, seeing the content look on his face. She took another step toward the portal and pulled Katherine toward it.
“I told you I’m not going near that… Hey!” The young girl had been complaining when Natil had quickly stepped back and with two hands pushed her through. The Harper dove toward the energy and disappeared through the disc too. She took the chest through too.
Rijiin was alone as he stood there, and he heard the shouts and voices in the passage outside. Twelve warriors entered, and they blew pipes and darts all were aimed at Rijiin, others had their spears as they charged, intending to impale the Elf.
“No.” the Elf said solemnly, and time seemed to freeze. The darts hovered and were stopped in mid-flight, a foot from the Elf. The natives paused and lowered their weapons, staring at the sight in fear and confusion as he began to glow brightly, almost pulsating with energy around his person. He took up one of the darts from the air and examined it, careful of the poison and then with his eyes moved them downward as they all dropped onto the sandy floor. He turned his head slowly toward them, his eyes glowing brightly.
“Ram en’ tessa.” Rijiin said solemnly, calling for the paralyze spell, and he pointed a finger at the warriors. There were gasps as native limbs stopped moving, and legs, some fell to the floor other stood where they were like statues.
The elf stepped forward toward them. He had a look of anger on his face, and perhaps a little sadness. He shook his head in silence.
“I tried to communicate and let you assholes know that I came in peace. But you hounded me, tried to kill me, and now broke into my home.” The Elf said with a growl, “You are scum, in which now you shall pay the price, even if you do not understand. Fare thee well.”
The Elf walked toward the portal as more natives arrived, but as they raised their weapons, he disappeared through it. When he disappeared, the transformation was instantaneous as a white flash appeared for a brief moment, as the interior that is part of the cave; a massive explosion rocketed outward, displacing the water. There were screams of terror as some natives had ran toward the exit, but were silenced as they were thrown into the water and pulled under. There were others who stood around the lagoon, having seen the explosion rocket outward that sealed the cave forever with rocky rubble. A thunderclap echoed across the water, then silence. It was over.
A few seconds after Rijiin had stepped through the portal, the Elf appeared in the raft that he had magically moved from the island to the open sea. He sat with a sigh across from his wife and Katherine Grace who sat in the rear of the metal lifeboat. Here he took up the oars, placing them into the water and the Elf began row them toward the shore that was not far off. Katherine was up on the bow, her hand shielding her eyes when she saw the shore not far off.
“It’s Mexico and Baja! How the hell did you get us here?” Katherine asked, “Is it more magic?”
The Elf didn’t answer, as he pulled off his shirt and continued to row them toward the shore in silence. Natil watched her new husband row the boat toward the shore, transfixed by his rippling muscles. He smiled at his wife, realizing he was on display.
“Oh my god, look at that!” A shout had called as it grew closer to the shore and all three of the boat’s occupants smiled as they heard it. People had begun to notice the Elves and the young woman as they sat in the lifeboat. They came to the shore and with a thud, running it up on the beach. Rijiin hopped off into the surf and grabbed the mooring rope to pull the heavy boat on shore, securing the craft to shore with an ore jammed into the sand.
A crowd of people had gathered on the beach as lifeguards ran toward the craft, the elf helped Natil to the beach and carried Katherine to shore. They all sat on the beach, as lifeguards clustered around them.
“Are you alright?” The guard asked, “Where did you come from? Do you need a doctor?”
“We’re from the sunken cruise ship the SS Salvadoran Hato that was lost about two hundred and fifty miles north from here.” The Elf stammered, “We have been on the open sea for three weeks. We also have wounded!” Rijiin pointed at Katherine, at her bandaged side and splinted leg.
The guard was on the radio, and more people clustered around the elves and human. One had a medical kit.
“Are you three in the news that were lost at sea over three weeks ago?” An older woman asked, “What happened out there?”
“We are.” Rijiin replied, and there was a gasp and a ripple of chatter moved through the group of gathered people. The elf described their plight on the sea, but refrained from talking about the island where they had all ended up, safely.
“Where are we, please?”
“You are all at Cabo San Lucas.” A voice answered and the elf glanced at his wife and nodded.
The guardsman inspected the wound on Katherine’s side, and the suturing job that Natil had done initially on the raft that was healing, despite the redness it had around it. Many questions echoed through the crowd, and everyone was just astonished by the trio’s presence. Sirens echoed the city as fire trucks, and ambulances were called to arrive on the scene a few minutes later. News reporters arrived too, having heard the call on their scanners, making it a media circus.
When the medical personnel arrived, Natil, Rijiin and Katherine were sitting on the beach and sipping water from bottles given to them. They were being questioned by the lifeguards and then the medical people as they began examining the trio.
“What are your names?” A medical technician asked, as he knelt beside Natil and Katherine first, taking their vitals and examining them.
“I am Natil L’Theil.” The Harper said formally.
“I’m Rijiin.” He replied, “I’m her husband and the young woman is Katherine Grace.”
“Please, we are very tired after being at sea and glad to be here.”
They were quickly examined by the medical personnel, and vital checked.
“Well, by the looks of you three, you appear to be a little dehydrated, and a bit under nourished, but seem to be in good health otherwise.” The tech commented, glancing at his machines. “Better come with us to get checked out further. What on Earth happened out there? What happened to the ship to put you in the raft in the first place?”
Rijiin described the explosion that night aboard the ship, fire sweeping across the yacht, and the people thrown from the deck, trapped below in which he had rescued, including the Captain. There were gasps at his vivid descriptions. A low murmur rippled through the crowd by the trio’s responses and smiles passed between the three of the travelers.
“Well rest assured you are safe here on shore.” A tech remarked, “Just lay back and we’ll be going soon to the hospital for a once over. Are there any other injuries between your three?”
Rijiin shook his head.
“Only Miss Grace here, she has a broken leg, and a puncture wound.” Natil replied, “Rijiin and I have been keeping it clean and dry as much as possible.”
“I checked that out, and it’s a little swollen and infected.” The tech replied, managing an impressed nod. “Nice piece of work. Its fine, for now, the sutures need to be redone, but it’s not bad. You did that while you were bobbing on this craft?”
People gasped when the Harper nodded, and there was an impressed look that appeared on the tech’s face.
“Not a bad piece of work.” He complimented, making Natil smile openly.
News people clustered about the trio as they were examined and interviewed by the reporters. Katherine was placed on a gurney, her wounds still red and angry looking as they better immobilized her leg. The trio was taken to the hospital where they were checked out and as they were loaded into the ambulance questions were being shouted as pictures were being taken of the raft and the three of them. They knew that no doubt their pictures would be on the front page of every civilized newspaper around the country they represented and on television news.
At the hospital, the Elf and his wife shared a room. Together they waited as tests were being run on them and they both chatted informally between them. They spent several days in the room, as Rijiin stayed at Natil’s side always, holding her hand. It was a few days that the Harper, of course, didn’t mind.
A few days later, Rijiin and Natil were in the room as they were in their beds, and they turned their head as they were visited by the doctor. The doctor is clad is in a white coat, with a set of scrubs underneath of it. He was tall and dark, with dark eyes and short gray and black hair. His appearance made Rijiin and Natil smile immediately, as he shuffled in, followed by another doctor and nurses.
“Hi, name is Doctor Roberto Del Suan.” He said, introducing himself.
“I am your doctor and we completed the tests finally on your two.” He told them and both Natil and Rijiin glanced at each other to cast a smile between them.
“How are we doc?” Rijiin asked, and Natil nodded in agreement.
“You both are suffering from a bit of exhaustion, and dehydration, but are in good heath otherwise.” The doctor explained, “I am surprised for both of you after such an ordeal and especially you, Ms. L’Theil with your unique condition.”
Natil frowned, and stared at the doctor with a questioning look on her face. His statement perplexed her, and so did the smile that he and the nurses had on their faces. He walked further into the room toward the Elves. Natil turned her head to meet the grimace of her husband who was just as perplexed as she was.
“Oh don’t worry, you are both fine, But didn’t you know?” The Doctor asked, turning his head to Rijiin and then back to the worried expression on Natil’s face.
“Know what?” Natil asked, finally breaking the silence, and there was laughter.
“Oh my god, you didn’t know.” He replied with a chuckle, and the nurses joined in. He stepped in and silently held out a series of ultrasound pictures. Here, the Doctor pointed at the picture. Natil and Rijiin both frowned as they peered at it. When then they saw what he was pointing at, both gasped loudly.
“You’re pregnant my-dear.” The doctor said, “Approximately a month and a half.” He turned to eye the astonished maiden who sat with her mouth dropped open. Natil glanced at Rijiin who showed equal surprise, and he met her gaze with a dumfounded look. Congratulations went all around by everyone to the young looking couple who had not been expecting this to happen.
“You are both lucky. You and your child are fine. Both of you have not been too dehydrated, and you certainly ate enough.” He said with a laugh, “Despite what you both described.”
“Oh dear lady,” Natil whispered, “I-I don’t believe it.”
“You’d better believe it. You are lucky, you are only five weeks, I am surprised you didn’t miscarry with the strain of the shipwreck, and by swimming a lot to gather food. You are a very lucky young woman.”
“Also I am very astonished too.” Natil added, as she lay in the bed and he sat beside her on a stool.
“So Rijiin, how does it feel to be a dad?” The nurse joked but Natil had to nudge him, making him shake his head and turn his head back to the discussion at hand.
“I’m alright Natili.” He whispered, “This just caught me a little off guard.
“Caught you off guard?” Natil said in mock sarcasm, and a mystified grin appearing on her face, “You’re not the one who ended up pregnant.”
Rijiin met her look with a grim expression, but he caught the meaning of her statement almost immediately with a nod. He smiled.
“Aye, I grant you that, beloved.” Rijiin told her politely, “But, as I used to say though, it always takes two to tango.”
Natil stared at her husband in silence only for a moment before she laughed and it that echoed the room. The statement had struck her immediately funny, even though Rijiin was being quite serious. He shook his head slightly, glancing at the smiling doctor’s and nurses who worked around them, chit-chatting with the couple. The Doctor presented Rijiin with a cigar and the Elf laughed when he saw it, making him feel much better somehow.
Turning their heads they met the head of the doctor who entered the room, with a nurse, young Katherine Grace and a couple of detectives from the Cabo Federalizes. She rolled toward them in the wheelchair, as she was pushed in, and standing the young teenager embraced Natil and Rijiin warmly.
“You both are looking well.” Katherine said cheerfully and Rijiin smiled broadly, nodding several times.
“So are you.” Rijiin said, “How’s the leg?”
“Still hurts a bit to move it.” She replied, “I can’t walk on it quite yet with crutches. I will be okay by the time I leave though.”
The elves were smiling openly.
“I have word that my papers are through and the embassy has alerted my family who will be down in a few hours, so if I don’t see you, this is goodbye.”
“You are leaving?” Rijiin asked and the young woman nodded.
“You both have my thanks, for saving my life, especially you Natil.” She said and she limped toward the bed to steady herself next to it. “If you both are in L.A, look me up, it’s doubtful I will be going to the ocean for a while.”
“You are quite welcome.” Natil said, “Your father would be proud. You looked after me, a passenger, just as you were supposed to. You are quite a young woman.” Katherine blushed and looked at the floor.
“It was you looking after me in the raft that saved me.” She replied, “I would have died if you didn’t remove that sliver of wood and patched me up.”
“Very true, us being here is thanks enough. I will be glad to be home with my husband and my little one.” The Harper replied and the young teenager looked up startled.
“You are expecting?” She asked, startled and Natil nodded.
“You did all that fishing and swimming too.” The young woman gasped, “Congratulations, I didn’t know.”
“Truthfully, now.” The Harper admitted, “Neither did I.”
“Excuse me, Ms Grace,” The nurse said, “Your sisters are here.”
Katherine gasped and smiled as she was assisted back to the wheelchair. Here she grabbed her bag, as she was wheeled into the hall. The Elves watched her go, as she was wheeled out, and both returned the wave of the young woman. Rijiin and Natil both turned their attention back to their discussion of children’s names. They did not hear the discussion at first, or then the heated words exchanged by Katherine and her sisters outside. They turned their head when they finally heard shouting and weeping.
Rijiin sat up, grabbing a robe and he crept silently to the door to open it a crack. Here the Elf saw Katherine wheeled away back to her room. The Elf grimaced, glancing at his wife. He watched as Katherine’s older sister, Barb, depart leaving her middle sister, Theresa, to only briefly remain, before the older one snapped at her quietly, forcing her to depart too.
“What is wrong, beloved…?” Natil asked and he managed a heavy sigh. He heard weeping in the other room.
“Apparently Katherine’s family just denied her being alive, even though her identification and presence proves otherwise. All the papers they did on her to bring her back to life with us, wasted.” Rijiin replied absently, “The older sister obviously would not let her leave with them. After what she had been through with you, the best medicine would you think, be with family to get her through this.”
“I agree, beloved.” Natil replied, “If they won’t let her go home with her family, she has nowhere to go. Perhaps she can come with us then, so she has a place to be.”
“At Elven Home?” Rijiin asked and his wife nodded and he managed a smile when he quickly considered the suggestion.
“She won’t be alone then, she will be protected, and have a place to be with friends.
“A good idea,” Rijiin mused, “The least we can do for her, after everything you and she have been through.
“And you too, beloved.” Natil added, sweetly and she smiled.
“But we do not know the entire exchange, or situation, between her and her family.” He said, “It might be premature to suggest such a course of action.”
“Aye you are right, beloved. I sense she will come to us in time and tell us what happened. We should fake innocence to get the whole story.” Natil replied.
Rijiin grimaced but he also agreed with a short nod.
“We’ll be out of here soon, I think.” The elf commented absently and Natil let out a gasp turning her head.
“H-how do you know that?”
“I just have a feeling, just wait and see.” He replied, falling silent as the door entered and the wheelchair entered containing Katherine Grace. The Elves could see she had been crying. She was pale and drawn, her face wore an unhappy frown than the smile she had on her face these last few days. Something had happened and Rijiin and Natil sensed that.
“I guess you heard the commotion outside a while ago…” She said lamely, and Rijiin glanced at Natil who nodded slowly.
“We did, but we were not sure what was going on… A problem usually finds resolution from a friendly ear.” Natil said, and that was a broad hint to tell her what was going on, that she would listen, no matter what.
Katherine considered the suggestion and nodded. “It seems my family rather I be dead.” She intoned, “At least my father and older sister. I guess there was more money in insurance with a death of a family member, now that I am not, they don’t get that. They are calling me an imposter and already fighting the discovery of my being alive.”
“If I don’t have my family, or other relatives, I can’t stand with my greedy shit-head father and sisters, as a family that is. Then where do I go?” She whined, “It looks like I am stuck, and I might as well should be dead.”
“Steady. Don’t talk like that…” Natil coached, and she motioned to the young woman, “You are going to come home with us, you are more than welcome to come with us to the home.”
“You guys live at a home?” the girl asked timidly, disbelievingly, “You are both a little young for living in a home aren’t you?”
Rijiin smiled, laughing heartily as he shook his head. She frowned at his mirth.
“No, it’s the place we call it, our sanctuary and place we share, is a cabin in the Rocky Mountains. It is called, we call it Elven Home.” He said, “Since you have nowhere else to go. You are welcome to stay there as long as you like.”
“Oh…” She replied with a grimace, and she shifted in the wheelchair.