The Commission - 4
Chapter 4: Elves and Women
Meanwhile, back on the other Earth Pismo Beach
Hans stood up and walked over to fill his glass again at the bar. He liked scotch, and really meant to bring a few bottles with him when it was time to go home. Pouring his drink, he turned and looked at the girls sitting in the living room with him, waiting for him to get to whatever he had summoned them for.
Sarah, the petite brunette and leader of the group; Cheryl, the pixie looking redhead and the healer; Michelle, with honey colored hair who handled the details for everyone; Beth, the tall blonde who ran the business end of things; Kim, the tall brunette who handled a number of different things; and the newest girl, Holly, who was just as sharp as the others, who handled legal affairs. All of them were fairly powerful wizards now, well trained (except for Holly, who was still a novice) and who could handle themselves even back on his home world of Shiron. They had all been through some pretty intense adventures the last couple of years, and he would be happy to call them agents back on his world.
“Ok, your highness, you wanted us
here, so what do you have in mind?” Sarah asked, deciding he had stalled long
The other girls looked anxious,
worried that he might have bad news about Wes, who was working on another Earth
Michelle decided she couldn’t stand it any longer, “is it about Wes, is he alright?”
Hans noticed how tense the girls
were, and mentally kicked himself. Of course they would be wondering if the
worst had occurred. Michelle and Sarah he could tell were working especially
hard to hold back their emotions, and the rest were almost as worried.
“I am sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you. He is well, and he and Grim are doing just fine on their mission according to his last message yesterday.”
He could see the very perceptible
relief in all of their faces, and silently promised to make it up to them later.
“No, I didn’t summon you together
for bad news, but for something else.”
The girls recovered themselves and
focused their attention on him again.
“You remember when you were trained, and when you were given honorary positions in the Scouts, well, it wasn’t entirely honorary. I promised that you wouldn’t be called back to fight for Shiron, or anything like that. But I did say that I would give you the opportunity if you wanted.”
Pausing for a moment, Hans sipped
his scotch and watched them. They looked interested, although he could see
suspicion dawning in Cheryl’s eyes.
“I have a job for some of you, if
you’re willing. On the same Earth that I sent Gavin.”
Sarah was looking at him with suspicion
now, and so was Kim, while the other three waited patiently for him to continue.
“I have a plan to get some, a small sample really, of the people off that doomed world. I can’t get more than a few hundred at most, maybe if things work out, a few thousand, but I can rescue some.”
Sarah visibly relaxed and so did
Cheryl. “Magically I am guessing, right?” Sarah remarked.
“Yes, magically of course. I can settle that many on Shiron. But, it won’t be just anyone. I want the ones with the skills I am looking for, who can mentally adjust to the situation without massive magical tampering. People like you actually, although a broader cross section of skills. And, to help them a little deal with the situation, it should for the most part be people without strong ties.”
“You mean you want us to help you
kidnap them, or approach them and recruit them?” Kim asked, suspecting she knew
“Both will be required before we are done. Now this Earth is very similar to this one, so I think your computer wizard, Cindy, will be very helpful. I have her coming up with a list of the type of people we want, and she will be coming too.”
“Assuming you take the job.”
Kim got up and walked over to the bar. Unscrewing the cap of the bottle, she lifted it up and took a long drink. Shuddering (she hated scotch and it turned out to be what she picked up blindly), she looked over at the Elf and the girls, trying to find her voice as she sputtered.
Cheryl grinned as she watched Kim’s antics, then became thoughtful again. “Who do you have in mind for this exactly? Holly hasn’t trained for this, and somebody has to stick around and mind things while Wes is away you know.”
“Riley filled me in on everything that occurred when you took on Andrea. I think you, Sarah, Kim and Michelle will do. Beth should stay here to keep things operating smoothly, and yes, I agree, Holly you aren’t ready for this yet.”
Holly just shook her head. She had seen some amazing things in the year since she was rescued. An Elven prince, something out of a movie or novel, was hardly the strangest. The powers these women had, and even more, the power that Wes had, was something she never believed possible.
In her wildest dreams, she never imagined that a woman would kidnap her at a convenience store, transform her into a sex slave and mannequin (depending on her mood) and that the woman would turn out to be an elf. Holly still marveled that as unreal as that was, it was only part of the strangeness. A group of girls much like herself but with magical powers, and a man with even more power, had rescued her.
Hans looked carefully at each of the women sitting before him. He liked them all. Not only were they perfect beauties, but they were brave, smart and like him, they wouldn’t be able to turn down the challenge ahead. Gavin, or Wes as they knew him, had chosen them very well.
Sarah finally replied after they all mulled it over for a few moments. “Ok, I guess it’s a good idea. One question though. Are “we” there too?”
Hans nodded. Well, they would have certainly asked eventually. “Yes, your counterparts live on that Earth. They are not on the list I have drawn up, per se, but I will leave it to you as to what you should do about that.” Sarah and Cheryl looked very thoughtful, while the other girls seemed a bit confused for a moment.
“Make your own decisions on that. I will have your individual missions for you tomorrow. We leave then.” Hans said.
The Elf left the room, walking down the hall to his bedroom, while the girls sat thoughtfully. Sarah and Cheryl talked in low tones as they drifted out into the balcony while Kim sat on the couch, drinking a glass of brandy, something she found more palatable. “I won’t kill anybody this time” she muttered to herself, unaware of the look of compassion Michelle gave her. Beth and Holly excused themselves, and went home to their houses soon after. They wanted to rest so that they could pretend to be ok tomorrow when their friends left to go into danger without them.
Michelle sat on the couch, staring at the fire long after the other girls went to bed one by one. She thought of her life if she hadn’t been kidnapped in Texas that day long ago, and wondered what she would find when she saw herself on this alternate Earth.
Finally, she got up, and turned off the light before going home to her house across the yard. It was a peaceful night and she enjoyed the sound of the surf before it would be time to leave her little paradise.
The next morning, Hans had breakfast with everyone, and then one by one talked with them about their missions. Sarah, the leader, would be in charge of everything, while Cheryl, a registered nurse would handle recruiting the people with the medical skills he was looking for. Kim, a hair stylist, and who used to be an army wife, was ideal to recruit the military types he wanted, as well as the college graduate students he wanted as well. Michelle, a former stripper, had plenty of office skills, and could handle obtaining models and dancers, as well as skilled administrative people. Cindy would handle any computer research that needed to be done, and handle logistics for them all. Except for Cindy, the girls had sufficient magical talent to handle the mission, and they were beautiful enough to pass for a model anytime they liked. They looked young too, about 22 as humans aged, and could pass anywhere from a high school student to a 30 something professional. They were perfect.
“One last part of the mission. When the time comes, we will be evacuating some small hamlets too. There are a few close enough to the gates in Ireland and New Mexico so that we can get a few hundred out through gates. I will need your power to reinforce mine for that.”
The women nodded. It was time to go. Hans excused himself after kissing Beth and Holly goodbye. He gave them some time to say their goodbyes before they all joined him at the portal in the back yard.
A few moments later, Beth and Holly waved as they stepped through one by one into the teleport portal on the first step on their way.
October 30 Fayetteville, North Carolina
Kim walked into the little hair salon and smiled at the receptionist. She was no longer the unreal beauty she had been a few days before, but looked more like the pretty girl next door type she had used to be. “I was wondering if I could get my hair trimmed today?” she asked.
The receptionist, a cute teenager, drawled that it wouldn’t be a problem and that Tracy would be with her in a couple of minutes. Kim sat down and began pretending to scan a fashion magazine while she checked out the place. Only one hair dresser, who must be Tracy, was working this late in the day, and as she knew, evenings just before close are when you gave yourself a little room for walk ins if you wanted to increase your clientele. The hair stylist looked a bit like Kim, tall, leggy and with nice hips, and although she had blonde hair and green eyes, it wouldn’t be hard for Kim to take on her appearance.
She had found the right spot. Besides, the girl was certainly pretty enough to fit in with the requirements she had been given for abducting people in any case. For that matter, the young receptionist who looked and was probably just over 18 would do as well. She would make sure later though.
A few minutes later, Kim was chatting away with Tracy as her hair was washed. A brief little spell when Tracy’s back was turned, and Tracy was cheerfully and unwittingly telling her the story of her life. Tracy worked slowly as Kim intended, and by 8, the teenager was gone and the shop was locked up behind her, leaving just Kim and her hair dresser behind.
“You do good work Tracy.” Kim said
when they were done, “I would be proud to just as good a job.”
“Are you a hair stylist?” Tracy asked. She was pleased at how well things had gone. She really liked this girl from California, she had never found anyone so easy to talk to before. It amazed her how quickly she had been telling this friendly stranger her life story.
“Yes I am. It’s the main reason I am here today actually.” Kim slipped out the little doll from her jacket, keeping her eyes locked on Tracy’s. The woman never noticed. Firmly enchanted by the little friendship spell, she could only marvel at how friendly and kind and nice this new friend of hers was.
Kim, keeping the little doll palmed in her hand, brushed it against the outstretched arm as Tracy reached forward with her business card.
Tracy felt the touch of the plastic doll as she was giving her card so that her new friend would have her home number. Suddenly, she felt strange. A warm fuzzy feeling was slipping over her and for some reason she couldn’t move anymore.
“You see Tracy, I need to take over
for you for a while. I need your shop as it will make it easier to do my job
here. You are going to go away with me when I am done though, but for now,
you just relax, you are going to be amazed at how good you are going to feel
in a minute.”
Tracy looked at herself in fuzzy amazement in the mirror in front of them. She couldn’t move anymore, and now she looked very strange. Her skin was beginning to shine like the plastic mannequins in the store next door, and she watched as her tan skin begin to lighten. As her eyes dimmed, just before she heard nothing more, she heard Kim talking to her. “It’s ok Tracy, I will take good care of you now.”
The befuddled hair dresser slipped into dream as the spell completed her transformation into a plastic life sized doll.
“Ok girl, time to shrink you down
and take you back to your apartment so I can learn all about you.” Kim whispered
kindly. “Sorry for the surprise though, but I hope you will forgive me eventually.”
November 2 North Carolina
Kim smiled to herself as she cut the hair of the man sitting in her chair. He was a soldier, she could tell, her experiences as an Army wife told her that much. And from the way his hair was cut, in the longer civilian style, he was special forces too. He would be perfect. She listened and flirted back as he chatted and flirted with her. He wasn’t married, as not only didn’t he have the ring, but he didn’t have the tell tale callus where one would be.
She stood behind him, her name tag now reading “Tracy” and she looked exactly like the young woman whose role she had assumed a couple of days ago. Poor Tracy, completely charmed, told her everything she had needed to know to assume her life for a few short days. Time enough to complete her mission here and move on to the next one. Of course Tracy didn’t mind now though, she was very happy in her blissful dream state as she lay in Kim’s purse, a plastic doll merely 12 inches tall.
It was a simple matter to arrange a date with the handsome soldier for later that evening after work. A date he was going to remember a long time when she transformed him into a little GI Joe type action figure.
November 3 Bakersfield, California
Sarah walked to her car after a long day at work. She was tired, it had been a long frustrating day dealing with paper work, unprepared job seekers, and a constant stream of people and phone calls. Her friend Dave waved goodbye and she gave him a brief smile and waved back. She still wasn’t sure what do about him, she knew he was in love with her, but she just wasn’t ready yet. But he was a good friend, and she respected and really liked him. She would have to make up her mind soon she knew.
Driving home, she started to relax. Her ex had the kids today, so she didn’t have to hurry over and pick them up from day care and she could go home, take a nice long bath and go to bed early.
A few minutes later, she was home and sitting on the couch going through her mail. More bills, and once again the asshole was late with his child support. She sighed, and walked into the kitchen to pour herself a glass of wine. At least tonight she could forget about things and just take it easy.
A strange feeling came over her. She suddenly felt that something was wrong. Turning around, she felt that someone was in the house with her. Grabbing a knife out of the kitchen drawer, she then picked up the portable phone and walked back into the living room.
She screamed in surprise and fright
when she saw a woman standing in the doorway in front of her, pointing a wooden
stick at her. The woman looked just like her, except she was what Sarah
wished she looked like. Perfect skin, no wrinkles or frown lines, a bigger
chest, and the woman seemed more poised. Panicking a little, Sarah tried to
bring up the knife as she tried to dial the phone, just a green flash of light
zipped out from the little stick and engulfed her. Suddenly, she couldn’t
move, couldn’t speak and could only watch helplessly as her twin? walked over
to her and gently took and phone and knife from her paralyzed fingers.
“Sorry to scare you, but I couldn’t
think of any other way to handle this” she heard a voice, HER voice, say behind
her. “You can’t move now because I think I should explain a few things to you
before you try to stab me with that knife.”
Sarah decided that she must be losing her mind. Someone was talking to her in her voice, someone who appeared to be what she dreamed of looking like. A million questions ran through her mind as she stood helplessly watching herself talk to her.
“You see, I am.. you. I have come from another Earth, and well, to make a long story short, I am here to rescue you and some others, including those I loved there and you love here. I have a mission to do other things actually, but I figured I would take care of this first. You see, on my Earth, I was just like you, same kind of life, and from what I have seen, married to the same asshole. But one day, a man came along and he kidnapped me. Odd as it may sound, I was already in love with him when it happened, and he taught me things you would never believe. I am a witch now, which is the easiest way to explain it, and I can do some pretty interesting things. That is why you are standing there helpless now.”
Sarah was completely astonished at what she was hearing. It was her, and she was positive of it now. Rescue her? Why? And what was going to happen next?
The stranger picked her up effortlessly, and carried her over to the couch, gently laying her down on it. She pulled up a chair, looked around a bit and smiled. “Its amazing, you are definitely me, your place looks just like mine used to before I met Wes. I suppose that makes sense though” she laughed. “I am going to release you a little, so you can talk to me. Don’t scream, or it will only be harder for us to talk. I am not going to hurt you, ok? Trust me, you want to here what I have to say.”
Sarah realized she could blink her
eyes, and she could move a little know. “How can this be happening?”
“Well, it’s a long story, so you just sit back and I will tell you all about it.”
A few minutes later, the two women were engrossed in conversation that went long into the evening.
Later that evening
It was nearly 10 now, and Sarah was fighting back yawns. Her counterpart, the witch, had told her some amazing things and she had told her twin all about her life here. It had taken a while for her to trust this twin, but in the end she finally decided that she should. The news that something horrible was going to happen, along with her twin occasionally demonstrating some spells (such as shrinking the television to the size of a shoe box and then returning it to normal size) had been almost more than she could handle. But eventually she accepted the truth. Her twin was here to save her, and others, and Sarah decided that if she was crazy, there was nothing to do but go along with it for now
They had made a list of who she wanted to come with her, and her twin promised that she would get them all together. Her sisters, their kids, and hers of course, all of the husbands (except her ex naturally), mom and dad, and finally, after some prodding, she decided she wanted someone for herself too. Of all the men she knew, Dave was the most likely to be able to deal with the weirdness of it all. She would take him with her.
She still wanted that bath, and
she was thirsty. “You want something to drink?” she asked.
“Sure, let me get it for you though, you look tired.” Her twin got up and walked to the kitchen, while Sarah leaned back on the couch, closing her eyes for a moment.
“I wonder what how she plans to get everyone together? We never talked about that.” Sarah wondered.
A couple of moments later her twin
was handing her a glass and Sarah took a long drink. It tasted a bit like
apple cider, sweet and very refreshing actually, and she wondered about that.
She didn’t remember having any apple cider in the fridge.
“Why don’t you take that bath Sarah, I will wait in here for a bit. I need to think about what we want to do next.” her twin remarked. As the potion worked its way through her, Sarah decided that made perfect sense.
Sarah the witch watched her counterpart go into the bathroom. In a few minutes, she would be completely relaxed, and it would be time to put her to sleep for a few hours while she went and collected her counterparts family. Tonight, while everyone was asleep would be the ideal time, that way no one would get alarmed, especially the children. Tomorrow she would collect Dave, who looked disturbingly like Wes. After she let the potion finish its work on her counterpart, she would transform her too, and then it would be time to leave. She did have a mission to do after all, and Cheryl and Kim were depending on her to grab their counterparts here in town, and a few others they wanted rescued.
After about 20 minutes, Sarah walked into the bathroom, casually unlocking the door with a simple spell. Her counterpart lay in the bathtub, sleeping, looking very peaceful. She could see the potion had already started its work, her freckles were fading a bit already, and a her stretch marks from child birth were already gone. She helped her groggy twin awaken a bit, and then helped her into bed. She needed a few more hours for the potion to complete its work, and would be ready tomorrow sometime. Sarah watched her twin fall asleep a few minutes later, then casting another spell, deepened it to make sure she would remain that way for the time she wanted. Turning off the alarm and the ringer on the phone before she left, Sarah smiled. Things were going very well.
Sarah watched Dave as he cooked them dinner at his apartment. He was clearly in love with her twin, he had tried to cover it up, but she could tell by the way he stole glances at her whenever he could that he was completely smitten. She smiled to herself as she thought about the parallels to a dinner she had a few short years ago with a man that looked just like him.
As he cooked, she thought about the last couple of days. The night she met with her twin had been exhausting but she had done everything she had promised. All four of the sisters, the two husbands and one live in boyfriend, the kids (six in all), plus mom and dad had been easily transformed as they slept into the little onyx statuettes now in her suitcase at her twins house. She had called in sick for her twin that day, and then called Dave who leapt at the chance to meet her for dinner that night. It had gone very well, from his perspective, and she had easily wrangled an invitation to his house for today. Her twin, naturally, was blissfully unaware. She had joined her sisters in the suitcase this morning, still sleeping when she was transformed, but the potion had finished its work. She would be very pleased with her body when she awoke, just like her sisters would be eventually.
Sarah decided she would wait until after dinner before she added Dave to the collection of statues. He was really a nice man, and he was very smart too. Good looking enough, and she wanted to slip him the potion as he could use it. Dave was 40, and although he still looked like he was in his mid thirties, he could drop a few pounds and had a few lines and wrinkles and a light sprinkling of gray she was sure he wouldn’t miss. The potion would also remedy his dreadful nearsightedness, and clean up the effects of the years of smoking.
As they ate, she decided she would have recruited him in any case if she had run across him otherwise. He was incredibly knowledgeable about history, politics, and a whole range of other subjects. He was the scholarly type, and loved those fantasy games. He would fit in perfectly in Shiron, and Hans had told her to look out for scholarly types who could teach.
She smiled at him, and when he went in the kitchen to clean up dinner, she slipped the potion into his drink.
“Well, how did things go in Bakersfield,
Sarah?” Cheryl asked over the phone.
Sarah lounged on her bed in the hotel in Morro Bay, watching the sun set behind the rock. “It went perfectly, I have our counterparts safely packed away, plus everyone you and Kim asked for and the ones I wanted.”
Sarah glanced over at the trunk she had picked up. Inside, 38 little statuettes of onyx sat peacefully, the people that had been transformed into them dreaming blissfully. In addition to her counterpart and her family and friend, Kim and Cheryl’s counterparts and a few family and friends that their witch counterparts had selected were packed safely away as well. With the addresses that Cindy had furnished, stealing them away as they slept in their homes had been easy.
Sarah smiled with relief at how
easy it had been and chuckled when she thought about Dave, “Would you believe
I even found Wes’s counterpart here?”
“Your kidding! Are you sure?
“Well, not exactly, but a pretty
close fit. Turns out he was in love with my counterpart, so I persuaded her
to take him along.”
“Wow! That’s too much.” Cheryl
chuckled, and on the other end of the phone, Sarah did too.
“So how goes things on your end?”
“Well, Kim has been grabbing special
forces soldiers and is finishing up in North Carolina. I am about done in
Baltimore, picked up a couple of doctors and a couple of nurses, and working
on securing the other medical types. We should be ready to meet you in a couple
“How is the next part of the plan
going, have you heard from Michelle?”
“Yes, she called yesterday. She
sounded like she has everything ready in Houston.”
“Ok, well, I am going to eat some
dinner, I will see you in a couple of days. By the way, heard from our glorious
“Not yet, but you can bet he is
checking on us. You be on your best behavior sweetie.”
“Naturally” Sarah grinned, her eyes twinkling, “wouldn’t dream of doing otherwise.”