Author Topic: Invasion from the 8th Realm: a story of fairies, witches, elves, and others....  (Read 6027 times)

Offline Braceface2015

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I assume the fairies would have some access to the military, even if it is unofficial. The fairies have a form of intelligence gathering that matches or exceeds what the military has, so there is bound to be some cross-over of resources.

I'm sure that some of the witches in the military would be a part of at least one of the covens and would provide some form of contact for Serena. Even if it is low-level, it is still a way for her to gain access to higher levels of authority in the military.

Offline Braceface2015

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That last chapter should be 9.

Offline Sparky

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I assume the fairies would have some access to the military, even if it is unofficial. The fairies have a form of intelligence gathering that matches or exceeds what the military has, so there is bound to be some cross-over of resources.

I'm sure that some of the witches in the military would be a part of at least one of the covens and would provide some form of contact for Serena. Even if it is low-level, it is still a way for her to gain access to higher levels of authority in the military.

Yes, I think the fairies would be aware of the military, but with Serena being the only human / witch who seems to have the magic to make them visible, that rather restricts what the fairies can actually do. Apart from making them cups of tea and giving them cakes!!!

Witches in the military: for most of them, the fact they were a witch would be relatively irrelevant, as most witches in my story do no more than trivial magic. If they are any good at magic, and use that 'in the line of duty', then it's something they will NOT be able to talk about ('official secrets act' and all that!), although, yes, someone in a coven might be willing to say that a family member is in the army or whatever. But the likelihood is that would lead to a non-useful person. So I'm thinking she needs some way to find army witches.

One disadvantage Serena has is that she is not only young, but relatively inexperienced at dealing with 'people in positions of power'. Technically, she could easily teleport past any security into the Prime Minister's office, or similar... but would they be willing to talk to her? Probably not. She'd be taken by security pretty quickly, if she didn't teleport out too quickly. So starting right at the top would be rather difficult too...

We'll find out in the next episode what she does.... (it was the best I could come up with, and it's vaguely credible!)

Chapter # updated! (that'll teach me to cut'n'paste!)

Offline Sparky

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Chapter 10

Hereford was a long way away from home, but Serena needed to be there, because THAT is where the Special Air Services seem to be based.

Serena, Harper, Sarah and Samantha had spent some time talking about how they could find someone who could give them some 'suitable' training in fighting. They worked out that, if witches made up even 0.1% of the population, then there must be quite a few witches in the armed forces. They guessed that most of them would simply 'fit in', carrying out minimal magic, just like parents would when looking after their kids.

But there must also be a small number who take a normal skill set, and develop it: let's think gymnastics for example: we all do a little bit of it at school, but there are a few who compete at the local level. Then there are people like Harper, the elite, who show off their skills at the national and international level. The numbers of people can be counted on a few hands. But that's the sort of numbers they were thinking of in the forces. In the SAS (according to Wikipedia) a troop is 16 members: having a troop of all witches would make a LOT of sense, they would have some amazingly special skills, but skills which both they, and the military system would keep very quiet about. And even if they had it wrong, and there was no specific witch troop, there would definitely be witches somewhere within the SAS. And if not the SAS, then the Para's.

And the military must have known about witches for quite some time, so we're not talking about something recent. You might ask 'why would the military know about witches?'. Well, if Serena's headmistress was aware, then there's no question that the military would be aware.

So, they needed to somehow make contact with this team of elite witches. The question was how.

One thought was to try and find such people when they were not on base... so maybe down the local pub... bit let's be honest, that's not going to be THAT easy.

The other thought was to 'start at the top'. Harper did some deep searching online, and discovered that Brigadier General Smith had take over as Director of Special Forces in 2021. The question was where he was based, and lived. The SAS has their RHQ in Hereford, but they also have a presence in the Regent's Park Barracks, in London.

Sarah had booked them all an AirBnB in Hereford, which was only a couple of miles from the base in Credenhill. The plan was that Serena, and others as needed, would get closer to the site, to let Serena probe around, and find out where Brigadier General Smith had his office, and where he lived.

Luckily, around where the base was located, there was plenty of countryside, where they could legitimately be: that might let them do some training, but it was a place where Serena could sit, and probe into the base. She would need to be careful, because if there were, as they thought, highly skilled witches on the site, it's quite possible that some of them could be on some form of 'advanced guard duty', scanning for other witches. Serena's hope was that they would be scanning for ACTUAL witches, and not be able to detect a witch scanning into the base.

Google maps showed a lot of identical small buildings, which they assumed would be the actual barracks, the living quarters for the men, so the 'offices' would likely be in one of the larger buildings.

So, their cover story was that they were simply 4 friends who had decided to have a short break, and take the opportunity to visit some local countryside. The first place they visited was the SAS Cemetery, a rather nice place where it would not seem unreasonable for people to want to visit, and sit and contemplate. It was also conveniently close to the main entrance to the base.

So they all wandered around the cemetery, then went and sat on the grass, and drank the drinks they had brought with them. Serena was able to 'wander over' to the gatehouse, where luck was on her side: there were very simplified base maps there for visitors, to help them find where they needed to go, and the main office building were shown.

So Serena wandered over to the first one. Yes, it was indeed offices, but more for support staff, not for the higher ranking members of staff. Finally she found a building that fitted the bill a lot better. As she started to 'wander around' the building, she probed the people she passed, to see if any of them were witches. The problem was, of course, that a witch with any reasonable level of skill would detect a probe, so Serena had to make them incredibly fast and light. Yes, she found one witch in a small office, and having scanned her and realised that she was a witch, she decided to stay there a bit, and watch how she reacted - luckily there was no apparent reaction, which pleased Serena. As she continued to wander around the building, she noticed that there were a few armed personnel around, clearly guarding the place.... all of which made Serena believe she was vaguely in the right place.

"Serena, I think we need to get going soon" suggested Sarah.

"Can we manage another five minutes? I'm making some good progress.."

"I think five minutes will be ok...."

She went up a floor, where she found a couple of small meeting rooms, and then a much larger 'briefing' room: she felt that she was maybe in the right place. There were a few rather nice but small offices along the corridor, with people in them. A minute later she hit gold: a much larger office, with a fairly fancy desk on one side, plus a meeting table to the other... but noone there. She worked back, to find a small outside office, with a couple of clerical staff of some sort. She scanned them, in case they were witches, but they weren't. Then she had a quick look around at various bits of paperwork on the desk: one had Brigadier General Smith's name on it.

"Ok, I think I found his office, but he's not there at the moment. So, let's move on...."

"How you feeling there, Serena?" asked Samantha, as they got up to go back to the car.

"If you're asking if I could do with some of your magic, then yes please...". As they walked back to the car, Samantha took Serena's hand, and cast some recuperative magic on her.

"Find any witches?" asked Sarah.

"Just the one, a lady in an office. She didn't seem to be worried by my quick probe though. So, let's go to that Sugwas Pools park place, its not far from here: it has some nice paths and trees to the south, how about you take us there? Once we're there, I think I'll teleport over onto that small island and check it out, might be a bit quieter for us....."

"Good idea. So what your plan?"

"I'd like to probe around a bit more, see how many more witches I can find..."

Online TrainTrack

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Really good story, I like that it is not a story focused on only braces, but a whole lot of other things as well, along with a developing plot line. Also, how do you find time to write this much, especially with something like 3 stories going at once!?

Offline Sparky

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Being semi-retired gives me quite a bit of time. Before the words are written, I think the story concept through in spare minutes of the day... plenty of those. Plus, the story development has been happening over a period of several months.... Carol was started probably almost a year ago...big chunks got written there, then deleted, as the story was getting silly and the direction difficult.

The amount of braces in Carol will reduce massively now she has her new retainer...

Offline Braceface2015

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Writing takes time. Some of my stories were started years ago and I have worked on them off and on.

You have to make the time to write. Find a quiet place where you can work on your story and don't worry about writing a lot of pages. Even if all you do is write a few lines, you have still created something for your story.

Write about what interests you, not what you think everyone wants to read. Sparky and I have very different interests and it shows in what we write.

I prefer to use GoogleDocs when I write, while others use Microsoft Word. All of the popular programs have a spellchecker and I highly advise using it. Another good idea is to find someone to proofread each chapter for you. By the time I post a chapter, I have read it several times and still find things I missed later on.

Offline kelly-Marie

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When I used to write stories I had to write it as I thought of it then post it straight onto this site especially as I can't write by hand  I only have a tablet computer and have no idea how to do it any other way. Also I never had any training on how to use this or any other computer I'm not making excuses just stating fact. Sparky another way the fairy's could find the military people they are looking for is to take advantage of their Fi5 training and use it to gain access to the human Mi5/Ci5 organisations that could be helpful? Wish ide suggested it earlier but I've only just caught up with my reading

Offline Sparky

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.....Sparky another way the fairy's could find the military people they are looking for is to take advantage of their Fi5 training and use it to gain access to the human Mi5/Ci5 organisations that could be helpful?

Yes, I guess it could be quite easy for the fairies to find out stuff (but remember, in my fairies universe, adults generally can't see them, so can't interact with them). I'm sure they could easily hack the relevant computers if they wanted, but where would be the fun in that? We need some fun, some adventure....

No, I felt that finding a way into the military was something that Serena needed to do (although I'm sure she'll call on the fairies for a bit of help at some point!).

So, I guess you'd like another chapter, wouldn't you?.....

Offline Sparky

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Chapter 11

When they got to the park, Serena 'popped over' to the island, then came back to the others. "I think it would be advantageous if we all went over there: there's plenty of space, also plenty of cover, so we should be able to remain undisturbed".

Over on the island, Serena sat down and continued her probing, while the others used the opportunity to do some exercises, led by Harper. Like she had done earlier, Serena started to probe around the army site, but this time she decided to try the smaller buildings, where she found quite a few army guys. Outside one of the huts, she discovered a guy, and a very light probe indicated that he was a witch. She started probing a group of others nearby, to discover that they too were all witches.

She moved her attention inside the block, and could see another group, actively practising some magic. Yes, she had just hit gold: a group of army witches whose use of magic was well above the 'calming an upset child' level.

Knowing that they were all witches, Serena decided to continue very carefully - she didn't really want to be discovered yet, she needed time to work out what to do.

Over the next hour, Serena saw various other people come and go, interacting with the others, but probing for such a long time was very tiring.

"You ok, Serena?" asked Sarah when Serena had opened her eyes.

"Yeah, a bit tired, but it was well worth it." She explained what she had found out. "I think I need to stop for today, but I'd like to come back, tomorrow morning, learn more about their abilities, and who's in charge of them. From what I read, there should be 16 of them in the troop, plus a captain in charge of them... I'm sure whoever he reports to must be onsite too, and maybe that's who I need to talk to...."

"Ok, well let's go back to the house, then you can tell us more about what you've found out, and we can think about what to do."


Back at the house, Serena tells everyone else what she's learned, and they do a bit more research online, but don't really find anything of use, so decide to return the following morning.

As for Sarah, Samantha and Harper, they had spent the time doing some simple physical stuff: after 'warming up', they did some jogging and running, then used the trees: climbing them, and using then for pull-ups and things.

So, next morning they are back on the island, and Serena starts to probe again. They guys aren't in or near the hut, but she eventually finds them, working out in what might be simplistically called a 'gym'. She recognised a couple of the guys, and wanted to confirm what she believed, that they were all witches, so she lightly probed a few of them, to discover that yes, they were.

As she continued to watch them, she could detect that they were using some simple bits of magic, to help them do what they were doing. Another guy came in, and one of the others - one of the guys she had probed, went over to him and whispered something to him - unfortunately, it was sufficiently quiet that her probe was unable to hear what was said.

"I'll go have a word with the boss" he says.


There was a knock on the door.

"Come" replied Major Tom. The door opened, and Captain Hughes walking in, and closed the door behind him.

"Permission to speak openly and freely, sir?" he said

"Take a seat, and go on...."

Serena was still on the island and was still remotely eavesdropping. She had followed the Captain as he had walked across the site: this was her chance to find out who was next in the chain of command - and probably the person she actually needed to speak with.

"Some of the men have reported a strange feeling... a feeling of maybe being probed by an experienced witch from outside".

'Oh crap' thought Serena, 'I could have done with a bit more time to prepare for this....' She had to think on her feet....

"My apologies Major Tom, Captain Hughes, that would have been me.....". Serena was using magic to talk directly to their minds. She had worked out the captain's name when he spoke to the major's secretary, who was in the next office. The major's name was on his door. "By the way, just talk to me, I can hear you ok..." The two of them were silent for a moment, clearly very surprised at hearing Serena's voice in their heads.

"And you are? And what do you want?" asked Major Tom.

"To answer your second question, I need your help, or more specifically, I guess it would be your troop's help. As for who I am, I hasten to say I am not a threat to any of you. Have you read the 'witches' prophecy', the one written about 500 years ago?"

"It sounds familiar....." said the Major.

"Just a moment, let me send you a copy.....". Serena summoned a copy of two versions of the prophecy, and used more magic to send copies of them to the Major's desk. "Take a look on your desk, Major....".

The Major turned and looked at his desk, where he was slightly surprised to see two new pieces of paper. He spent a moment reading them, then passed them to Captain Hughes. "Yes, now I see it again, it does seem familiar..."

"I'm that young witch, named in the prophecy. I'm sure you appreciate that what I'm doing right now is probably classified as 'great skills and abilities'. And as you'll see, the prophecy says that I have to 'defeat the attacks of the darkness'... and that's where I need your help!"

The two army men looked at each other: this wasn't the way they had been trained to do things, but it was clear that this witch who had intruded was quite capable, but so far, was not posing any sort of threat.

"What sort of help do you mean?"

"Well, for a start, I'm actually quite young, so - not too surprisingly - I don't have any military training. Plus, whilst we have some rather amazing magical weapons available to us, we could really do with some training on how to use them. And I'm also hoping your troop of witches might be able to help in the fight... "

"Our troop of witches?" said Major Tom.

"Yeah, the group of guys that Captain Hughes leads. Come on, I've been watching them yesterday and today, I know they are all witches!"

"Shit, she's good!" said the captain to the major.

"Thanks for the complement!" said Serena. "So, yes, I could really do with your help to help defeat this 'dark threat'".

"So, you really want us to believe that this - 500 year old, you said, didn't you? - this prophecy is actually true?"

"Well, if you think about it, all the things up until the 'uniting the covens' bit have actually already come true... I mean, 'plague of the mask' is pretty clear!"

"Ok... and uniting the covens?"

"It's happening! Hundreds of witches from across the country are once again talking to each other, in a friendly way. So yes, still a long way to go, but it's happening..."

"So this supposed 'attack of the darkness'. You really believe that it is true?"

"Various covens have been able to provide 'resources', resources which specifically respond to me and my small team - and only to us. All apparently linking into bits of the prophecy. I'm talking not only information, but a substantial cache of advanced weapons."

"And I don't suppose you happen to know WHEN and WHERE this confrontation will take place?"

"Well, 'from unattributable intelligence obtained', it's definitely going to happen: we believe we know the place and the date... in just under 2 years time we believe."

"And you know this how?"

"I'm sorry Major, I can't give any further details right now, 'need to know' and all that." Serena was secretly amused that she was able to turn the tables on 'the authority figures' for a change! "Look, I'm rather nervous about what I'm doing at the moment. I'm probably breaking so many laws right now just talking to you, and I have no desires to get myself arrested...."

The Captain chuckled quite briefly. "Yes, I can understand you're probably a bit nervous. Can you at least tell us your name?"

"My name is Serena..."

"Hello Serena!" said Major Tom. "From what you have told me, I think we ought to meet with you, and talk a bit more...."

"I'd like that, I'm just a bit apprehensive. I mean, there's a soldier stationed outside your group of offices with what appears to be some sort of machine gun, and I can see that Captain Hughes also has a gun on him.... If you could promise me that I'd be safe, I could come there right now..."

"Yeah, might be a problem getting you through security at such short notice...."

"Sorry, I didn't explain myself too well there, did I? When I said 'come there', I was meaning I could teleport into your office."

"You must be very close to be able to do that...".

"Not at all, but my advanced magic skills let me teleport quite long distances."

"Ok, Serena, just give me a moment...". Serena heard him pick up the phone, and spoke to some sort of secretary: "I'm in an important meeting with Captain Hughes, no interruptions of ANY sort for the next 30 minutes, please!"

"Thank you Major, give me a moment..." said Serena. Serena was actually with her 'team' over on the island of the country park / lake: she told them what she was about to do.

"If I'm not back in 30 minutes... then.... to be honest, I have no idea who would be able to help!"

"Ghostbusters?" suggested Harper, smiling.

"Yeah, probably your best bet! Actually, get in touch with Elida if there's a problem."

"Good luck, Serena!"

Offline Sparky

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Chapter 12

Serena fitted her dark-metal jewellery, then held her hands up as if surrendering: she didn't want anyone to feel a need to point a gun at her. Then she had a word with her braces and Wanda, and teleported herself into Major Tom's office: it looked exactly as her scanning had indicated. She had specifically landed on the opposite side of the office from where the two SAS men were.

"Good morning Major, Captain. The only weapon I have is my wand, and she's hidden right now, for her own safety." The Major and Captain both looked at Serena: a tall slim 18 year old girl, gentle but bold makeup, piercings, long hair, jeans, t-shirt, and a denim jacket. The Captain went over and patted her down - Serena understood that they couldn't be too careful. 

Serena still felt very apprehensive and rather nervous, so had taken the precaution of preparing another teleportation spell, which would allow her to leave at a moment's notice.

The Major motioned for her to sit down and join them. "I have a feeling you should just start at the start, and tell us both what you know..."

Serena told her story: that, like in the prophecy, she was an only child. At 16 learnt that she was a witch. Found magic pretty easy to do. At 18 pledged to 'the light grey', which turned out to match the prophecy. She explained about the 'teeth of metal', how the braces were actually sentient, and provided a lot of protection from the dark magic that she was continuing to learn. "I have met my three companions, as per the prophecy, plus we have gained access to a large set of magical weapons that were being protected by a local coven..."

"When you say weapons, I'm guessing you mean old swords and shields and that sort of thing?" suggested the captain.

"Well, initially, yes, but we ran an upgrade spell: we now have some rather advanced stuff, some of which we haven't actually worked out yet..."

"What sort of things?"

"Laser rifles. Guns that can shoot around corners. That sort of thing..."

"You mean laser guided rifles?"

"No, I mean laser rifles, like you see in sci-fi films! The problem we have is that none of us have any military or weapons training: I was rather hoping you might be able to help us with some training."

"And what would we get out of this?"

"Well, if you don't mind, I think we will need your team to get involved, you know, in the fighting. Then, if things all work out, I don't see why you couldn't keep some of the rather nice magic weapons, weapons that noone else in the military has, or would be able to use for that matter."

There was a short pause. "So, this 'battle with evil', what do you know about it?"

"Well, as I said, we are pretty sure whe know where it will be, and that it will be in about 2 years time. And we have a good idea WHO it will be too."

"And who WILL it be?"

"This is the hard part to explain. Would you mind if I asked a fairy to join us?"

Captain Hughes started to laugh. "A fairy? You're joking?"

"No, I'm absolutely serious. There are 7 known realms, the human realm, where we are now. Then there's the Fairy realm, the Elven realm and 4 others. Am I ok to ask my friendly fairy to join us?"

"I guess so, if it helps to explain things" replied the Major, smiling. "Fairies indeed!" he muttered half under his breath.

"I hope you both like cream cake!" said Serena. The other two looked at her, as if she was a bit bonkers. "I wish Elida could bring us 3 slices of that lovely cream cake. And 3 cups of tea to go with it would be even better! And something for youself too."

A piece of paper appeared in mid-air, and fluttered to the ground: Serena picked it up. It simply said "Serena, please can you give me 3 or 4 minutes? Elida". She passed it over to the Major, who looked suitably bemused: he was still unsure what to actually believe. He knew what Captain Hughes and his men were capable of, and that pretty much covered everything that Serena had apprently done so far. Bits of paper with writing on falling from the air was something a 16 year old could do. Teleporting short distances was a bit harder, but the troop of witches used it regularly to their advantage. But if Serena was trying to perpetrate some sort of hoax, then why?

"Ok, so while we wait, let me tell you about the 'who'. We believe that we will be attacked by some sort of - and we assume magical - creatures from the 8th realm. There is little information about them, but the fairies and I have met with members of the other 5 realms, who realise that we all need to join together to fight them, with a variety of magic. Anyway, everyone has gone off to look in their old books to see what they can find out about that 8th realm. The big problem that I see is that as soon as anyone in the military discovers that we are 'being invaded', they'll go in mob-handed... but they'll have absolutely zero effect, apart from probably getting themselves killed. It's going to need magic to defeat a magical invasion, and a lot of it. That's part the reason I needed to find you guys. Not only can you guys help out, but Major, you need to try and persuade the military to stay well away!"

"This is starting to sound like a lot of sci-fi films..." commented Captain Hughes.

"Yep, it is. Hopefully you'll believe things a bit more when Elida gets here.". It was just then that three cups of tea, and three small plates with cake on appeared on the Major's desk.

"What the....?" said the rather suprised Major.

"Ah, she's made it... let me make her visible....". Serena called for Wanda, and ran the spell that allowed them all to see Elida: about 6 inches tall, with rather cute wings, Elida was wearing a t-shirt over a longer top, with jeans and trainers, and a short skirt on top of that. Her long ginger hair was tied back in a ponytail. Oh, and on her wrists she had some rather nice studded wrist straps. Her overall look made it clear that Elida was quite 'street-wise'.

"Major Tom, Captain Hughes, this is Elida. As she has explained it to me, she's as powerful a fairy as I am a witch, and she's one of the three fairies that runs FI5. If you hadn't worked it out yet, Elida, we're at an SAS site."

"Good morning gentlemen, nice to meet you both! By the way, do enjoy your elevenses... So, yes, I help to run FI5 - it's the fairy equivalent of your MI5. I've actually been on this site before, with some of our FAS troops, to watch what your guys do..."

"FAS?" interrupted the Major, still getting over the shock that fairies actually existed.

"'Fairy Air Services', of course. Modelled on you guys! So, what can I do to help, Serena?"

"I've just been explaining how we need their help to train us and to fight the 'invasion' from the 8th realm.... I think you should start by explaining the 7 realms to these gentlemen." suggested Serena.

"Ah, yes. So you humans exist in one of the realms, we fairies are in an adjacent realm... in fact, of all the realms, our two are the closest, and easiest to move between. The fact that we're in a different realm is the reason you can't normally see fairies. We fairies seem to exist to make your human lives a bit more pleasant, by granting your wishes - like the tea and cake there. Then there's the Elven Realm: elves are also magical, but the magic of each realm is substantially different. Then we have the Cyclops, the Leprechauns, the Goblins and the Centaurs," explained Elida. "all magical in their own ways."

"Oh, come on, you're kidding me... Leprechauns and Goblins?" said Captain Hughes.

"Yeah, and I'm clearly NOT a fairy, and you guys aren't witches!" said Elida, with a big smile.

"Point taken....". Major Tom was finally starting to believe that this was NOT a hoax: the magic needed to create the illusion of a fairy was well beyond their ability, and whilst an experienced witch might be able to do it, Serena was still rather young. Occam's Razor would therefore suggest that, strange though it might seem, this little creature WAS in fact a fairy

"Anyway, we've made contact with the other 5 realms, and they agree - in principle at least - that they ought to be working with us on this one. They realise that if your realm gets invaded, it's only a matter of time before the other realms are at risk. I assume Serena has explained that your traditional armies won't be able to do anything, it's gonna need a lot of strong magic, which I'm hoping Poppy and I will be able to help with - ah yes, maybe I should explain: Poppy and I are what is called 'Protector Fairies', we exist primarily to protect the 7 realms - yourselves included - from any untoward fairy magic. Put simply, we're the most powerful pair of fairies in the country. But we reckon we'll be able to help you all against this new magic threat too. Hey, you told them about the weapons you got? They are pretty cool!" said Elida enthusiastically.

The Major and Captain still appeared to be a bit in shock: this was the first time they had met a fairy, and this was the first they had heard about the other realms.

"Yes, briefly... I'm just not 100% sure about these guys yet..." said Serena.

"Hey, Serena, if you're worried about what they might do to the four of you, I can easily get a team of FAS guys to keep an eye on you, protect you from them..."

By now, the Major and Captain were both starting to take Serena far more seriously, and they had a quite useful conversation for the next ten or fifteen minutes.

"So, what next?" asked Major Tom.

"I'd be very interested in seeing some of the weapons that Serena says she has, and maybe try them out." suggested Captain Hughes. "It would certainly add a lot of credibility to her story."

"I'm ok with that," replied Serena. "especially if it means you'll take me more seriously. Would you like to do something this afternoon?"

"Why not?"

"Ok, well 16 of you would be far too many... how about 3 or 4 of you? And Elida, maybe your FAS guys could join us too? Keep an eye on things, plus report back to you what goes on."

"Where do you want us to go?" asked the Captain.

"Don't worry, I'll find you, and teleport you to where we need to go, it's not that far away. Whilst you won't NEED any weapons, I guess you'll feel happier if you have some!"

"And don't worry about our FAS guys, they'll find you!" said Elida.

"Major, Captain, thank you not only for your time, but for being so open minded about everything. Maybe after Captain Hughes sees the magical weapons we have, you'll both be more willing to believe everything I've told you. I/m sure we'll be talking again soon. Captain, see you after lunch." Serena looked at her phone. "One thirty sound ok?"

"13:30 will be fine...."

Offline Braceface2015

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You finally managed to get a mention of braces into your story.

Offline Sparky

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Chapter 13

Serena could see remotely that all 16 members of the troop were in their 'hut', 4 of them were clearly dressed up to be outside. They had left plenty of space for her to teleport to.

The four of them: so Serena, Sarah, Harper and Samantha had had some lunch, and were now back on the small island in the middle of the lake, just to the south of the SAS camp. (* this is actually all true: there's a small country park, Sugwas Pools, to the south of the SAS camp in Gloucestershire, with a lake and an island. Go look on Google maps!)

They had all summoned their magic armour, and a very small number of the traditional weapons. Serena specifically had her sword on her back, with her dagger on her belt to her left.

"Ok, guys, I'll be back shortly...". She used a spell to pick up the old steel engine block that she had found at a local scrapyard, and that she planned to take with her.

Serena re-probed, then teleported to where the SAS troop was: she was looking at 16 well built guys: she had no doubt that Captain Hughes had told them what had happened earlier on. "Good afternoon gentlemen!". She could see several of the men were smirking at her. "Please do not let my appearance deceive you, I am probably a lot more powerful than any of you could possibly imagine. That's why I brought this along..." she said, pointing to the metal engine block that was now on the floor in front of her.

Whilst she knew that she had gained a certain level of credibility with Captain Hughes, she had realised that she needed to gain a similar level of credibility with the other 16 witches, and she needed to do it fairly quickly. So she had thought up this little bit of 'theatre' as a simple demonstration of her abilities.

For a bit of fun, she used some magic that let her pick it up, as if it were no more than a cardboard replica, then dropped it the last couple of inches onto the floor: the 'thud' it made very clearly indicated that it was, indeed, heavy!

Serena then slowly removed her sword, offering it to Captain Hughes. "Captain, you won't damage the sword - please take a good swing at the engine block, to see what damage you can do! Go on, humour me..."

The captain took the sword and swung it hard onto the metal: there was a loud clank, and there was the tiniest of dents on the metal. The sword was, of course, undamaged.

"It's a magic sword, MY magic sword, so I control who can use it. Let me show you what it can REALLY do!". She took the sword from the captain, and without swinging it at all, used the sword's blade to cut through the engine block, as if she were cutting butter. The engine fell apart into two pieces. "I'd love to have a go on an armoured car some day!" said Serena. "But just a small demonstration of the sort of weapons we have available to us... even these old things are pretty capable!".

All 17 of the SAS guys were by now suitably impressed - it's amazing what a simple demonstration can achieve.

"Nice demonstration, Serena. These guys are looking forward to seeing the more modern stuff that you have". He introduced the three others that would be going with them. "Ok, so how do we get to where we're going?"

Serena held one of her arms out. "Just hold on to me....". With her other arm, she called up Wanda, and used her to teleport them over to the island. She could see one of the 4 guys was getting something out, clearly to work out where they were.

"Don't panic, I can tell you exactly where we are. You know the country park south of your site? Sugwas Pools. We're on the island in the middle of the lake, we've been doing a bit of practicing here... gives us a bit of privacy. I guess we need to introduce ourselves... as you know, I'm Serena. This is my teacher and mentor, Sarah. Harper here is a world-class gymnast, and is picking up a lot of powerful magic. Finally this is Samantha: not a fighter, but a healer... I'm sure you can appreciate how important that can be. Captain, I'm sure you will remember them from the prophecy I showed you earlier.". The army guys introduced themselves too.

"And I'm hoping the FAS guys are here too..."

"FAS?" asked one of the SAS team.

"Fairy Air Services.. so like you guys, just a bit smaller. Probably just as capable though!". Serena cast the spell to make them visible: they were a team of 6 fairies, looking pretty much like smaller version of the SAS guys, also wearing protective armour, but of course they had wings, and could fly. Whilst Captain Hughes had already met a fairy, the others hadn't, and they were quite surprised.

"Ok, guys, the rules for the afternoon are simple: we're all on the same side here, we need to learn from each other so we can work out what we can do to protect the human realm from this invasion... so please, no shooting each other! The weapons we have are quite a few miles away, but I can summon them as we need them. And, like my sword, they are all pretty useless unless one of us four - we 'own' everything so to speak - run a spell to let one of you use them. Let's start with this sword for example." Serena held the sword in her hand. "Captain Hughes, touch the sword's handle will you?". He put his hand on the sword, and Serena cast a spell. "Ok, you should be able to do what I did earlier...". He took the sword from Serena, and gently but easily cut through the metal engine block that Serena had brought back with them. "Try a rock or a tree, if you like...". Captain Hughes took a slice of a rock, and chopped up some old logs with little effort.

"Not bad for an ages old sword!" he commented.

"Ok, so I'm sure you'd like to see something a bit more up-to-date, how about some laser-rifles?".

Serena called up Wanda. "Visible please, Wanda...". "I guess I should introduce my wand: whilst you won't be able to hear her, she is actually sentient, and gives me good advice. So let me use Wanda to summon a couple of the laser rifles". Moments later, they were in her hands. "Now, when I say laser rifles, their ammo IS actually the laser, they are not just simple laser-guided rifles! Harper, want to give the guys a demo?".

She passed one of the rifles over to Harper, who took it, and fired it at a piece of rock some distance away... it exploded. "Who wants a try?" asked Serena. One of the guys came over to Serena. "Ok, hand on the gun, so it learns who you are". Serena cast the spell. "Ok, it's yours for about 30 minutes."

"Only 30 minutes?".

"Yeah, I need to be sure you won't just run off with it. I'm sure you could just teleport back to camp in 2 or 3 hops....."

"You said something about a gun that can shoot around corners?" said the Captain.

"Hold on... hey, don't suppose you brought some targets with you, did you?". Serena summoned one of the 'shoot around corners' guns, and 'allocated' it to one of the other members of the SAS team, who set up some targets, and tried it out. Being a magic gun, it shot silently, which was useful, as they didn't want to draw attention to themselves. One of the other guys tried it, but it didn't work until Serena 'allocated' it to him.

"Nice weapons," he agreed, "and I do like the safety mechanism!"

"Didn't you also say something about some fancy weapon you hadn't worked out yet?" asked the Captain.

"Ah, yes, THAT one. I think we're all interested to know exactly what that one does.... Let me get it!". Once again, she called up Wanda, and summoned the weapon. "So, there's this big bit here, and this helmet thing. When you put the helmet on, a display comes on, but we had no idea what it was about, or how to control it. Who wants to give it a try?"

"I think Jack's probably the best choice, he used to use this sort of stuff before he joined us". Serena 'allocated' the weapon to him for half an hour. He put the helmet on, and picked up the other bit.

"Oh, yeah, nice!" he exclaimed. "Hang on a moment...". He started making hand movements. "So where's the ammo for it then?" he asked. "You'll be looking for something about so big," he continued, making a size with his hands.

"Ah, so THAT's what those things were for... half a moment!". Another wave of Wanda and some magic words later, and a very small wooden crate appeared. "Something like this?". Serena opened the crate, revealing 4 small stubby rocket-like things.

"Yes, exactly like those, but only four of them?". Jack took one of them and slipped it into the weapon, then using his voice, his eye movements, and some motions of his hand the small 'rocket' looking device was launched, silently. Unlike most rockets which, once launched, tend to go in a gently arc towards the target, then explode, Jack was able to completely control this one. At one point he simply had it hovering about twenty or thirty feet above them. "Let's see what this baby can do. Not that far from the island that they were on was another very small island, and that's where he sent it: there was a gentle explosion. "I thought I'd better keep it on its lowest power setting. But this is so cool!"

He leaned over to pick up a second one, to find that there were STILL four of them in the box. "Where did that come from?" he asked Serena.

"Ah, yes, we've found that, when you use something, they seem to magically 'fill up again': we first noticed it when we were playing with a crossbow! Which means we get pretty much unlimited ammo!"

Offline Sparky

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I trust you all had a pleasant Christmas! I had family visiting, which is why I've not been writing or posting for the last week.

I'll apologise now for this next chapter, it's a bit of a filler...

Chapter 14

The afternoon session with the four SAS guys turned out to be a success at so many levels: they quickly realised that Serena's magic abilities were at a level far higher than theirs. In fact, she took the opportunity to teach them some new magic too. Plus they now believed what she had said about the magical weapons: in the SAS guys more experienced hands, they were pretty spectacular.

Serena left Captain Hughes with one of the laser rifles, with all four of them being 'registered' to use if for the next few weeks. It was hard for Serena to 'give away' even one of the weapons, but she realised that the goodwill it generated was well worth it.

The most important thing to come out of the afternoon was the credibility they now had with Major Tom and Captain Hughes.

Over the next few weeks, there were various meetings, at various levels, many of which Serena and the others were invited to.

And as a result of all that, they were invited to join some training sessions 'in certain out-of-the-way places': they were finally receiving the practical training that they desperately needed.


Serena was meeting with Sarah, Harper and Samantha.

"I've been thinking..." said Serena, "so far, our contacts with the other realms have been brief and informal, and things have worked fine with me going with Elida or Poppy. But things are starting to get 'real', and I think that we need someone, an 'ambassador' so to speak, to take on the job of meeting with the 'ambassadors' of the other six realms. They need to be someone who is good with people, especially people who are not actual people, if you see what I mean. Someone who is completely 'on side' with what we're trying to do. Someone who doesn't have their own 'power agenda'. Someone who is non-aggressive...."

"And why are you looking at me?" asked Samantha.

"Because I think you would do a great job! Sarah, Harper, what do you guys think?"

"You know, I think Samantha would do a great job! Whilst I can think of a few other people who might be able to do the job, they all fail on one criteria or another," said Sarah. "Besides, it would send quite a positive message to the other realms if one of us does it, that these meeting are likely to be very important."

"Yes, and Serena is so right about needing someone who is non-aggressive. I could see all sorts of issues arising if one of us three were to go," added Harper, "plus anyone else really not appreaciate what's happening, we'd be spending so much time explaining stuff."

"But I've never done anything like that before..." said Samantha.

"I understand. But Sarah has never done any fighting before, like we're doing now. And Harper never had the need to learn magic like she's been doing. And I've never lead an army to protect us from an invasion. But we've all been learning, and I think you'll quickly learn what needs to be done. Yes, I'm sure you'll struggle a bit to start with, but the simple fact that you are 'one of the four defined by prophecy' will give you a huge amount of credibility, and I have no doubt that the others from the other realms will completely accept you. Please, have a think about it. A very serious think...."

"You REALLY think I could do it?" asked Samantha.

"I have no doubts at all." said Serena.


A couple of weeks later, Samantha had her first meeting with creatures from the other realms. She wasn't alone, Serena went with her, plus Poppy went along with the fairy's new ambassador. Initially rather nervous, she settled in well: it was clear that what they were doing, and what they were wanting to achieve, was new to all of them.

The strangest thing was seeing Poppy at 'human size', a quirk of the way they had to travel between the realms... of course, in human terms, Poppy, like Elida, was normally a matter of about 6 inches tall.

Offline Sparky

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Ok, some action (no braces though :-) ) coming up...


Chapter 15

Serena was at home with her mum and dad, watching TV, when her phone rang.

"Serena, it's Captain John Hughes here."

"Oh hello... wasn't expecting to hear from you," replied Serena.

"No, sorry for interrupting your evening. We have a...... a 'situation'... a situation for which I think we could use your skills. I was hoping you might be willing to help us... maybe you could think of it as some 'real world training'..."

"Ok... so what's the problem?"

"Umm, you know who we are, so if I say it's not something we can discuss on an insecure mobile phone connection, I hope you'll understand."

"Ah, THAT sort of a situation!"

"Yes. Any chance you could join us, you know where to find us."

"I'm sure I could do that. Should I bring the others with me?"

"Let's just start with you, then we can decide what to do. That sound reasonable to you?"

"Sure, give me a few minutes. At this distance I don't want to jump straight into your place, so I'll probably stop off at the island in the country park first, bit more space if I get my positioning wrong. What's the weather like down there?"

Serena had no worries about jumping into a room with a load of burly SAS men in: she had been training with them all at various times, and a lot of trust had built up between them, in both directions.

"Absolutely bucketting down... you'll want your waterproof!"

"Ok, see you soon...."

Serena had a word with her parents: they still got a bit worried about Serena when she went off to do training - despite the fact that her only injuries so far had been very minor, and usually quickly healed by Samantha. The fact that Serena was going off on an evening, at short notice, worried them a little more than normal.

"Don't worry, I've got a team of big burly guys to help protect me...". Serena had never explicitly told her parents that she was training with the SAS, she had just called them 'a small team of experienced military guys'. Mind you, she hadn't told them about the cache of weapons that she had access to either: I think that if they had known about both of those, they would be having heart attacks. But so far, true to her word, despite sometimes coming home caked in mud or oil or whatever, she had always comeback safely.

Teleporting such a distance would need her to use some dark magic, which in turn meant that she needed to take the ring (made of the 'dark' metal) off her finger, and split it up and fit the rings to her lip and nose. Next, she called up her 'military outfit' (not quite sure how to describe it, but it was the clothes that they had all got as part of the cache of magic weapons), and put it on. Over the top, she wore the substantial waterproof jacket (given to her during one of their training session recently). She stood in the hallway, and relaxed, taking a few deep breaths. "Oh, Wanda, braces... going to need a bit of the darker stuff, we need to go to the island first of all, then from there, a much more accurate jump over to the SAS guys...". She had teleported to the island many times now, just not from this distance. But because the location was 'well tagged' on those many yellow-stickies she had filed in her mind, she could soon feel the place. Yes, it was definitely raining hard, so possibly muddy under foot.

A moment later she was there, the rain coming down hard on her head. She was within a foot or two of where she had intended (which over the diatance wasn't that bad), and was only an inch too high..

She took a few breaths to recover from the long teleport. Luckily the next one was easy by comparison. She probed over to where she expected the guys to be: captain Hughes was there by himself.

"You're right, it's wet out!" said Serena as she laned just in front of him. "So, where is everyone?"

"They're in a briefing room, but I thought it better for you to land away from 'prying eyes'. Put this on..." He handed Serena her site ID badge: they had long ago agreed that John would look after it for her, it wasn't the sort of thing you wanted to get lost out in public! But with the ID, Serena would be far less likely to be stopped. "Come on, let's go there....". They walked from the 'hut' where the guys effectively lived, over to the main building, and into a fairly large room. The 16 members of the troop were there, as well as Major Tom, plus a few others she didn't recognise.

"Thank you for coming Serena!" said Major Tom. "John, do you want to explain?"

"Sure. Ok, Serena, we have what we believe is a terrorist hostage situation, in Reading. There's a team from London there now, but from reports we believe that the terrorists have all angles covered, so trying to get in will be hard... well, for THEM it would be."

"You're thinking about us teleporting in?"

"Yes, but there's a few issues before we can do that. First of all, it's going to take us an hour to get there without your help. Second, we need to know what's in there, and we're aware that our probing skills aren't all that great. We need your help on both those. Plus we could do with any suggestions, you know your capabilities far better than any of us do!"

"How many people are we talking about?"

"We believe between 6 and 8 terrorists, and probably a dozen or more hostages. At the moment, the only presence visible to the terrorists are the Police, who are trying to buy a little time. Obviously they don't know about our guys being on site, but can probably guess that there would be some sort of military presence. I guess I should say: don't worry, we're not expecting you to be DIRECTLY involved. You'd be close by, but in a safe location. We need your skills to understand who is where, so we can get in, and do what we do best - the last thing we want is casualties. So, let me show you the building, and a rough building layout...".

The captain explained the layout, and where they believed everyone was.

"This may sound a bit presumptive, but I think we ought to get Elida or Poppy, and the FAS involved..." suggested Serena. "I mean they could go in and see EXACTLY what's what, without being seen. And do we know if any of the terrorists are witches?" Out the corner of her eye she could see that, of the faces she didn't recognise, several were looking a bit confused. "John, do those guys know... well, about the FAS and Elida or Poppy?"

"Nope. They know that we are witches, and that you're a much more powerful witch. But that's about it. You want to explain?"

"Ok..." Deep breath. "Gents, please have a VERY open mind. Elida and Poppy are both very powerful fairies. Yes, fairies DO exist, with the advantage that, generally, they arte not visible to us humans. The FAS is the 'Fairy Air Services', modelled on you guys, they've been training with us recently. I guess I'd better get in touch with them...". Serena smiled. "Boy, are you guys about to get a surprise! Ok, here goes: I wish I could speak to either Elida or Poppy like right now, this is pretty urgent, code red and all that stuff!". A small fairycake appeared on the table in front of Serena, which confused her, as a couple of months ago Elida and Poppy had worked out some fairy magic that allowed them to be visible to humans.

Serena ran her 'show fairies' spell, to find a fairy that she hadn't met before standing on the table in front of her. Needless to say, a few jaws were dropping on the other side of the room.

"Hi Serena, I'm Winnie. Elida and Poppy are both 'off duty' right now, we're trying to get in touch with them..."

"Hi Winnie, nice to meet you. Thanks for the quick response. This IS all pretty important. Hey, you in a position to get the FAS guys ready to help us?"

"Sorry, no, you'll need to speak to Elida or Poppy. Hang on.... ok.... she'll call you on your phone in a few seconds.... I'll hang around in case you need anything else!"

"Thanks Winnie!". Serena got her phone out, and had just turned it on when it rang. She answered it, putting it straight on speaker. "Hi... Elida?"

"No, it's Poppy. How can I help?"

"Hi Poppy! I'm with captain Hughes and his troop, and a few others. It seems there's a terrorist incident with hostages over in Reading, could do with your help, also the FAS team's."

"Ok, that sounds important enough to me, give me a couple of minutes to 'suit up' and I'll be with you. I assume you're out at their base?"

"Yes, but not in the normal place, we're in a briefing room not far away..."

"In that case, could you throw up a beacon, so I can easily find you?"

"Sure, see you in a moment."

"Um, I don't want to appear awkward," said one of the guys Serena didn't recognise, "but you just gave away sensitive details on an insecure line..."

"Don't worry," said Winnie, "the call didn't go over your mobile network; in fact it's probably far more secure than the 'secure lines' you guys use, we often listen in to your supposedly 'secure' calls!". Serena smiled: she loved it when someone, especially a fairy, could put a 'clever-dick person in an apparently high position' into their place!

"Ok, Wanda, can we do a beacon please? And you'd better make yourself visible".

"Sure can, on both of those! Want to ask Winnie if she can see it ok?"

"Yup, Poppy will be able to see that!" replied Winnie a few moments later.