Mirra felt faint, but she did her best to pull herself together, and then said, “We will do everything possible to get you back home, I promise.”
PFC Barrett and Sara were waiting for Dr. Arababe in her office when she entered the room. They were both surprise to see Sherri following her into the room.
“Are you sure?” PFC Barrett asked Dr. Arababe.
“I am surer of her than I am the two of you,” Mirra told him, “Now, what it is you wish to speak to me about?” Sitting down at her desk, Mirra looked up at the two young people standing before her, and waited for their answer.
“Well, you see Sara and I are in love, and we try to meet when we can. You understand how it is here, between couples, don’t you?”
“Yes PFC, I know very well what General Anderson does when he discovers that one of his men is in love. He does everything to destroy their relationship. Now, exactly what does that have to do with this situation?” Mirra queried.
“Yeah, so Sara and I try to meet in the supply room when we can. Not often you understand, and only when it is our break time.”
“Please PFC Barrett, tell me what is so important that it could not wait,” Mirra Arababe tiredly encouraged him to get on with the story.
Blushing, PFC Barrett continued, “Sorry about that ma’am. Anyway we were in the supply room yesterday when we heard General Anderson standing outside the door talking to someone. At first we thought someone was with him, and then we realized he was talking on his phone. I heard him say…
”Now Abigail, are you sure you’re not just upset that Mrs. Pettyjohn won’t let Bertha into her school?” He was quiet for a moment, and then he said… “Yes of course, if our esteemed cousin, President Austin, thinks there is something to this witch stuff, then it will be my pleasure to bring them in, and question them.” The scariest part was the horrible sound of his laughter and what he said next. He said, “No problem, they will never be seen again. All I have to do is tell Bill that the witches, or aliens, whatever the heck they are, are out to destroy his presidency. I will tell him they are going to put one theirs into office, and he will allow me to wipe “Mrs. Pettyjohn’s School of Knowledge of the face of the earth. The fate of these brats won’t matter in the least.” PFC Barrett finished telling what he had overheard.
“Dr. Arababe, the other thing is the results of our testing today…, you see here,” Sara pointed at the lab results which she placed on the desk, “The tests show that the children are normal, but…”
“That’s great. If the tests show they are normal, then we should be…” Mirra Arababe stopped mid-sentence and stared at the paper in her hands. “Oh lord no,” Mirra cried out.
“What is it Mirra? What’s wrong?” Sherri asked worriedly.
“Their human alright, but beyond that…, they’re super-human. The test results show that they have surpassed anyone that has ever been tested. It’s as if they are humans on steroids, both physically and mentally.”
“Oh man, when General Anderson sees this, there is no telling what he will do,” Sherri said quietly.
Everyone nodded in agreement.
“If anyone has an idea how to get the children out of her, now is the time to speak,” Mirra said.
Ngame was awakened with the sound of Mirra Arababe’s apprehensive voice in her head. Robbing her eyes and trying to come awake from a deep sleep, Ngame answered, “Yes, I am here. What’s wrong?
As Mirra repeated what she had just learned from PFC Barrett, Ngame rose quickly from her bed and took off running towards Mrs. Pettyjohn’s office. On her way there she saw Trevor coming from the direction of the boy’s living quarters. They arrived at the office door at the same time, and started banging on it. Nina opened the door quickly and looked at the frightened children.
“What is it, has something happened to the children?” She said ushering them in the room, closing the door behind them.
After being filled in on everything the children had just learned, the anger inside Nina started to boil and stepping away from the children, her body burst into flame. Nina’s voice changed to the sound of fire roaring, “She must be stopped…, her petty jealousy has gone too far now. I will go to see Abigail Norton, and stop her myself,” Nina roared.
Ngame and Trevor had seen a flame torrent before, but never to this extent. Nina Pettyjohn was reportedly the only person of her fire-starter clan, or any other clan, who could create a blue flame. The blue flame was by far the most intense flame known to man, or beast.
“Nina! Calm down please before you burn these children alive, not to mention burn down the school,” James Tolliver ordered as he stepped into the room.
“Hi Mr. Tolliver, Trevor said. Don’t worry; Mrs. Pettyjohn is controlling the heat. She’s just angry, so she’s trying to burn off a little energy before she goes nova and explodes, taking the earth and everyone on it with her,” Trevor grinned. As a child from the Star Fire Galaxy, this was something he was well acquainted with.
“Yes, yes of course, however I do believe I feel my feathers starting to melt. So if you would be so kind to extinguish the fire, my dear Nina, I wish to know what is going on here.
Nina began to breathe deeply, after a few moments she spoke, “The troll wife and her evil family have gone too far this time, James. I do believe it is time to show the town what she truly is. Abigail is out to destroy us, using those in power to do it.”
“True, however, my dear Nina, first we need to free the children, and then take care of Mrs. Norton. I have heard that there are those in town, who are angry with Abigail and Bertha, for what they have done, including Mr. Norton. It is my understanding that meeting are now being held that do not welcome Abigail and Bertha in their midst. As a matter of fact, I heard that the children met at the school gym last night, and when Bertha showed up they told her to leave.”
“I bet she was mad about that,” Ngame said.
“Yes indeed she was.”
There was a knock on the door; Mrs. Pettyjohn opened the door to find Professor Knor standing there glasses in his hands, briskly wiping the lenses with a white kerchief. The little man was no more than five feet tall with his thick grey hair standing straight out from his head. The children were always saying Mr. Knor was once struck by Zeus’s Astrapes, or Greek fire as some called it, and that was why his hair always stood up in all directions. Mr. Knor’s normally big brown eyes were larger than Nina had ever seen them.
“Professor Knor, what may I do for you?” Nina asked the elderly augury professor.
In his high voice Mr. Knor said, “I do believe that half the town is headed for the front gate at this moment. It was a truly strong felling of the future that I received, therefore I assume you will need to be on your way quickly.”
“And the reason they are coming?” Nina Pettyjohn asked him.
“They are angry with the two females who created this mess, of course. As they should be naturally,” Professor Knor put his Benjamin Franklin glasses back on his nose and said, “It is a possible future telling that I say now, however if you were to ask for their help, perhaps they would have ideas on what should be done to stop this disaster before it is too late.”
With that the elderly man turned and walked down the hall, carrying on a conversation with some unseen person. Mrs. Pettyjohn would have been worried, but as humans walked around, seemingly, talking to themselves, however in reality using their blue tooth devices, those who were professors had internal implants so that they would be able to stay in touch with their families on their home worlds.
“I am glad that I burned off my anger a moment ago. Perhaps now I will be in control when I speak with the people from town,” Nina said as she checked in the mirror to see to her hair.
“Mr. Tolliver, I believe you will need the services of Professor Travell, to leave here unseen. He is preparing for tonight’s battle, in the library, I do believe,” Mrs. Pettyjohn told him.
“Thank you, Nina. I think I will have him set me down a couple of minutes behind the group who are coming here. I want to hear what they have to say.”
Mr. Tolliver left the room and Nina Pettyjohn walked out into the hall heading for the massive oak front doors. Word had obviously gone out that there were visitors on their way to the gate, because when she stepped out the door she saw the gate was completely hidden from view by a sea of black clad people. Nina looked up to see that there was a full moon out tonight, and though this upset her, she kept walking. As Mrs. Pettyjohn approached the gate, people stepped to the side to allow her, Ngame, and Trevor to move to the front of the crowd.
Nina Pettyjohn watched as the people from town approached the front gate. It looked as though the children were leading the adults, with one tall blond-haired boy in the front. The young man was a handsome lad, Nina thought. He was tall and though still a bit gangly she could see that in a year or so this boy would become a muscular man. His face was strong and angular, with a square jaw. Yes he would be a good-looking man, but would he be a good man. Well, now is not the time for the nonsensical thoughts running through my head such as this, she thought. Everyone stopped about five feet from the gate, and then the blond boy stepped up to the gate.
“Are you Mrs. Pettyjohn?”
“I am. Why are you and the others here?” Nina asked.
“I…, We came to tell you…,’ He looked back to see his friends holding back, then one by one the children’s parents pushed them forward. “I’m Seth Williamson, and I was at the barn last night. We went to see what everyone had to say…, about you and this s-school,” he stammered
“Were you pleased with what you heard?” Nina Pettyjohn quietly asked.
“No, not really, but people have told ghost stories about Arcane Mountain for as long as I can remember. We knew that Bertha and her mother were just trying to cause trouble, and we sure didn’t know some of the kids from your school were going to be captured by the military. Everyone knew that Bertha’s uncle was an army general, but we never thought they would go so far as to get him to take some of your kids, honestly we never meant for this to happen.”
Nina looked at the sad looks on the children’s faces, and decided that perhaps there was still hope for earth and some of its children.
“I understand, and hopefully you and your friends have learned that when you follow others, you must make sure the one you follow has a soul filled with kindness and compassion, not evil and hatred,’ Nina Pettyjohn said softly.
“Yes ma’am,” the children all said in unison.
“Ma’am, if you don’t mind…, will you please tell me why everyone is wearing black,” a pretty little dark skin girl asked.
“And your name is?” Nina asked her.
“I’m Marcy Dylan. I’m six years old, so they would not let me go to the barn with them last night. I told my daddy and mama when Johnny, my brother, went to the barn. Mama and daddy were really angry with Johnny.” Marcy walked up to the wrought iron fence and cupped her mouth with her hands, then whispered, “Mama says that Mrs. Norton and Bertha are really bad people. I think they are mean,” Marcy whispered.
Smiling down at Marcy, Mrs. Pettyjohn said, “Thank you for telling me that Marcy, I believe your mama is right, and you will do well to pay attention to what your parent’s tell you.”
A large black man stepped up behind the small child, laid his hand lovingly on her shoulder and said, “We,” he waved his hand to indicate the people behind him, “I’m Raymond Dylan, and we want to know what we can do to help bring the children home. Tonight Abigail called a town square meeting, which was to start ten minutes ago. No one will be there, as we chose to come here instead. I am the owner and publisher of the “Arcane Mountain Tribune and tomorrow’s front page is devoted to the cruelty and wrong-doing Mrs. Norton and her daughter has heaped upon the people of this town.”
“ You do understand that If you print that, and Mrs. Norton has her way about it, tomorrow night everyone who owes money to the bank will be bankrupt, don’t you?” Nina asked him.
“Yes ma’am we know, however she has gone too far with her ‘Holier-than-thou’ attitude, especially when could cost children their life,”
“In that case, Mr. Dylan, thank you. I believe you and these good people are doing everything possible for my missing students,” Nina told him.
Raymond Dylan inclined his head to her and turned to leave.
“On moment if you please, Mr. Dylan,” Nina said.
When he turned back to see what she wanted, Nina asked, “Do you believe what the Norton’s are saying about us?”
“If you are asking me do I, or any of the other town’s folk, believe you are abusing these children, the answer is no. However if you are asking me if I believe you and your student’s are different, in some way, from the rest of us, then truthfully the answer is yes. I neither know nor care how you are different, but what I do know is that you have never harmed any of us or our ancestors, ever. You and your predecessors have shown nothing but kindness to each of us, and it is time we return the decency.”
“In that case, When Mr. or Mrs. Norton tries to destroy any of you, remind them that I own the land that their bank and home sits on. Inform them that if my students are not returned to me immediately, that I will cancel my agreement with them. Tell them that if they do anything to you, or these other good people, that they will answer to me,” Nina said, she turned and walked back to the school.
“Yes ma’am, it will be my pleasure to tell them,” Nina heard Raymond Dylan say.
Now, it is almost time for us to leave. Trevor, please ring the bell for assembly.”
“Yes ma’am, Mrs. Pettyjohn,” Trevor said as he hyper-morphed into the bell tower. In only a minute’s time, Nina heard the bell ring.
To be continued…