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The Return of Starlight (standard:fantasy, 85275 words)
Author: Erwin A.StevensAdded: May 09 2018Views/Reads: 304/158Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Sequel to Healing Starlight of a long trek to the future where redemption, regret and second chances are given to Rijiin who travels through the ages...
 



Click here to read the first 75 lines of the story

Rijiin grimaced and began wondering why, the hell, he was even at the 
gathering if no one wanted him here. 

“Those games are a heck of a lot better than this stupid party. At least
I am wanted in the games rather than here.” Nathaniel thought to 
himself, and after ninety minutes, just as he thought of doing, he 
gathered what he brought with him and walked unhindered out of the 
doors. As he pushed the inner doors aside, he stepped into the dim 
corridor that leads to the interior section of the Mall. The young man 
did not look back as he turned and moved with hollow steps on the tiled 
floor. 

Across the room, four members of the Bulletin Board System saw him
leave, and there were surprised expression on their faces. As they 
stood there, they glanced at each other in wonder at the sight before 
them. 

“Hey where's he going?” Monte had asked, breaking the silence. 

“Oh who cares let him go I never liked him anyway.” Chelle replied
frowning at Monte. 

“We'll ask him the next time we see him on line.” Lithium replied,
nodding twice to the other two who stood with him. 

Joe, the owner of the board and the young man's friend from school,
sauntered over toward the group of three that had seen him leave. Joe 
is heavyset, with dark eyes and hair, and he had seen his friend, and 
tried many times to go talk to him, but kept getting distracted by the 
others. Now he had seen Nathaniel, his classmate leave, and had 
grimaced when he had done so. 

“Hey, where's Nathaniel off to?” Joe asked and the three of them turned
their head to shrug. 

“Ah let him go... he wasn't invited to this thing was he?” Chelle asked,
and Joe only raised his eyebrows in surprise. He turned as Anna and 
Michael sauntered up too, and had overheard the comments.  They too had 
seen him leave, like Cheshire, Steve, and many others had. They had 
shown surprise by the audacity of his departure. 

No one had stopped Rijiin from leaving the Red Robin Restaurant™ in
Eastridge and the four members of the BBS who saw him leave had a 
sinking feeling of death, overwhelm their senses. A strange feeling 
moved through their senses that somehow told them that this time would 
be a last time they would see their fellow member again. By the time 
they had reached the doors, trying to take action, the young man was 
already long gone. They all peered in both directions down the corridor 
that led from the outside doors to the interior of the mall and there 
was no sign of him. It seemed like he had vanished like the wind. 

“Joe I have a funny feeling that we aren't going to see him again.”
Chelle told him in a worried tone and she met her friend's look with a 
nod. “I think we'd better check up on him.” 

“I know.” Joe replied, “Maybe we should rally the guys here and go look.
We have not been a very good host to him and everyone has totally 
ignored him since we all arrived here. I think that is the reason he 
left from here.” 

Chelle, Monte and Lith grimaced, if not gasped at the revelation. After
a moment of thinking about it they frowned, but shrugged. 

A few moments later, everyone gathered in the small room. Joe gave the
low down and the situation, and suggested they rally and head out into 
the mall to look for their fellow member, that they were worried that 
something sinister was about to happen to him. 

“Yea, everyone split up, keep in touch with each other and if you find
him hold him and have someone come find us or call we have an analog 
cell.” Chelle replied, turning to motion to the others. They separated 
in groups of three and four. Joe and Chelle walked toward the Sears and 
Roebucks™ side of the mall and as they walked quietly talked among 
themselves. 

“But what happens if he doesn't want to come back?” Chelle asked, as
Monte and Lithium both glanced at her and then to Joe who shrugged. 
They paused at a stairwell. 

“You and Monte go up and spot him from the second level.” Joe suggested
to Lithium and Monte, both silently nodding to clamber up the stairs. 

“He's got to be here.” Joe said, “Unless he left already.” 

“No I had a couple Sinners check out the bus station.” Chelle replied,
“They would have called if he was there. Unless they missed him, and he 
got on a bus already but busses on a weekend for the mall mostly run 
every hour.” 

“Then where the hell is he?” Joe grumbled, walking toward the west end
of the mall, peering into the open shops trying to spot him as they 
continued on their way. 

As for Rijiin, a few minutes later, he stood outside the large entry of
store known as The Dungeon Gaming Company, staring in placid interest 
at the gothic text written on the sign before panning a quick glance to 
his surroundings. 

The outside of the store is underneath the main escalators leading to
the upper floor across from what used to be the Woolworth's store™ and 
left is the lower entrance to Sears and Roebucks™. The shoppers glanced 
at him in semi disinterest. He carried a bag containing some extra 
stuff he had purchased this morning for the experience in the gaming 
store. He glanced at his wrist and he grimaced at the time. It was 
still early but he was definitely looking forward to another round here 
at his destination. He nodded to a few people who passed him as he 
stood outside and smiled as they passed through the doors to the 
Dungeon Store. He glanced again to his surroundings and he frowned when 
he recognized Joe Cram and his girlfriend Michelle walking toward him. 

“There he is!” A voice called and Rijiin looked up to see Lithium and
Monte on the far side of the upper walkway pointing down at him. 

“Varden! Wait!” A voice called and he turned his head to see more of the
fellow BBSers running toward him from Sears and Roebuck's™ lower 
entrance. Rijiin quickly stepped into the store, and as he entered the 
Dungeon store, made a sharp left into the sea of shelves toward the 
partitioned area that leads to the games. He quickly flashed his ID 
card and slid it, to disappear through the metal detector into the 
partition maze. 

Behind him, his fellow BBSers stepped into the store too and they
quickly split up to search, having seen him enter the store. Rijiin 
quickly navigated the partition maze, turning left, right many times, 
and passed open areas with a table and chair where many people sat 
playing a manual round of DND. The young man moved on and he quickly 
found his way past the vending area and soon arrived at the entrance of 
the locker rooms. Stepping into it, through the door, he quickly found 
his way to his locker. 

Rijiin changed into a simple tunic, leather pants and boots, then
strapping his blade to the belt around his waist, a Japanese Katana 
with a bone handle design. He closed the locker door with a thud, and 
he locked it, walking toward the far exit.  Outside the maze, BBSers 
gathered and they walked toward the entry of the maze. The guard on 
duty motioned to the sign posted on the metal detector that promptly 
stopped the group. ‘Members only.' It said. 

“Sorry members only please.” He told them politely, “If you aren't a
member, you can get one over there. The guard pointed to the center 
desk. They glanced at the center desk where there was a line waiting 
for the registers where three women worked ringing up sales and taking 
care of customers. There were also staff members replenishing the stock 
and answering questions out on the floor. 

“What's back in this area?” 

“Beyond this point are twelve full virtual reality games.” He told them.
“Not unlike the Star Trek Next Generation Series Holodeck on TV, 
meeting areas, and game areas. 

“Sound cool.” Monte said with a chuckle, “Can you see if a member passed
through here though?” 

“At the front desk they can.” The guard replied, and nodded to other
people who passed through the gate. Joe, Mike, Chelle, Monte and the 
others all moved off to the main desk. They waited and when they got to 
the front, they greeted a young woman dressed in a long flowing gown, 
and a pointed hat. She has blue eyes, sandy blond hair and even through 
the gown could see she is tall and slender. She is a cashier here at 
the store. 

“How can I help you?” She asked. Joe and group glanced at each other. 

“Can you tell me if a member checked into your virtual reality games?”
Joe asked. 

“What is his name?” The woman responded pleasantly, moving to the
computer in front of her, a black and white terminal with a cable 
sticking out the rear of the box. A keyboard sat on the counter before 
it. 

“His name is Miller, first name, Nathaniel.” The woman's hands danced
across the keys quickly and she nodded after a moment, reading the data 
that streamed over the screen. 

“He just checked in.” 

“Is there any way to reach him in the game area?” Monte asked and the
woman shook her head. 

“In the games it's not possible, but by intercom we can page him over
the loud speaker in the staging area. 

“Hrml, interesting.” Cheshire mused, making Joe and the others smile.
The leader of the group stared at the list of memberships and he 
hatched a plan. He wondered if they could get him themselves. 

“I am just wondering, how much are your memberships? I have a large
group of users from a BBS and I was wondering if we could do a group 
membership.” Joe asked, making Chelle peer at him in silence. The 
others all glanced at him in silent question. 

“Why yes, group memberships are only seventy-five dollars per year, and
are starting at minimum group size of twelve members per group and 
maximum, twenty-four people.” She told them, “Single memberships per 
month are only twenty-five dollars, for limited and fifty dollars for 
unlimited access.” 

“Sounds reasonable...” Joe muttered, “Good we can get him ourselves.” 

“I'll take a group access, for my BBS.” Joe said, glancing at the others
who were smiling who had all come from their wandering in other 
sections of the mall, summoned by cell phone. Five minutes later, they 
learned of the games Joe had signed up for the group and so had Michael 
(Cmike), and Cheshire to get everyone in there. The group seemed to 
like the idea, ready to play. They had another agenda in mind however 
to find their lost comrade. 

“Costumes are priced as marked.” The woman said, “You must go in
costume, street clothes are not permitted, neither are cell phones, 
pagers, food or drink. We are trying to maintain authenticity for the 
play. Here are vouchers for our first weapon, and costume, others can 
be purchased with the credits accumulated in game or separately.” 

Joe grimaced and nodded. 

“Enjoy yourselves.” The woman said, “Please step over there and full our
character sheets.”  She pointed to the other desk where several people 
worked putting together character sheets. 

In a half hour, everyone was set and they all moved to the gate of the
partitioned maze. Stepping through the gate the Sinner chatters walked 
through the maze and as they did so, peeked into areas that were filled 
with voices of mirth where others played manual games, passed a vending 
machine area and a round table where meeting were conducted. 

They went to the store portion where items were sold, and picked up
their costumes. They all waked further on, and entered the locker 
rooms. Here they changed, and they reached the other side they walked 
down a dingy, dim corridor and past many doors that lined the wall. 
Ahead of them, the hallway ended at a large and open staging area where 
benches and tables are set up and other doors. 

“This looks cool. No wonder he left the party.” Joe thought, and he
glanced at Chelle as they all stepped into the staging area. People of 
all ages sat here, many of them dressed in costume. Moving in a circle 
there are four doors on each side of the room. The northern wall is 
where vending machines and other machines are located here. They also 
noted the doors that ran down the hallway. 

“We got a lot of ground and games to cover.” Joe grumbled, and it
finally hit them, that they had lost him. 

It had been too late for them. Rijiin stood outside of one of the games,
having entered a few and exited, to find the right one he wanted to 
play in. A few minutes before the others of the BBS had reached the 
rear area, the young man prepared himself for the new adventure within. 
However, he had not sensed the portal over the entry and had no clue 
that the situation would be real after stepping through the entry he 
thought to be the games. 

As he had done so, he felt a disorientation and found himself tumbling,
spinning out of control down a wormhole of a conduit of energy that was 
multi-colored. The youth continued to tumble and tried to grab on to 
something, but he seemed to bounce along the walls of it.  The young 
man had appeared in a great forest a moment later. 

The portal had had closed behind him, leaving him stranded in this new
time. The young human's situation became even more real and intense 
when a sword would be ran through his body, allowing his real blood to 
spill from his wounds. Rijiin would flee from the village, wounded and 
evade a pursuit party into the woods. He would be far away from the 
place where he had started collapsing in a wooded clearing among the 
short undergrowth leaves and twigs, lying in a pool of his own blood. 
He did not know how far he traveled, or what direction, or even how 
long after evading his pursuers. 

Hours, days, passed, and Rijiin was unsure how long he lay in the wooded
clearing until he heard the snort of a horse nearby. Walking into the 
clearing, Terrill and Mirya stepped out of the undergrowth and stopped 
when they saw Rijiin lying on the ground in the center of the clearing. 
The couple was heading south, along the path known to elves toward 
Saint Brigid and to their encampment outside the fair village.  Mirya 
let out a startled yelp when she saw the inert body lying there and she 
reached for the blade at her side, on her hip, called Rain fire.  The 
elves had not been expecting to find a human on the paths know only to 
Elves and they glanced at each other in wonder. 

“Terrill,” Mirya breathed and he turned his head to peer at the body of
what appeared to be a man. She approached cautiously with her hand on 
Rain fire. Terrill followed and as they finally stood over him, they 
saw the puddle of blood on the open ground. 

“It looks like the human lying here is badly wounded, beloved.” Mirya
whispered as stood over him, the maiden kneeling beside Rijiin. Quickly 
she uncovered the body of the wounded human, of the leaves and debris 
that covered him. She grimacing at the unsightly sword wound in his 
mid-section. The wound on Rijiin's body is open to the air, oozing 
blood and puss. Flies buzzed around him, attracted by the blood, his 
insides partially exposed to the open air. 

“By our Lady!” Mirya gasped quietly, “What a mess.” 

The maiden glanced at the severe wound of the human laying here in his
blood and turned her head to fight down the nausea that overwhelmed her 
senses. The elf maiden had not seen a mess like this for a long time, 
not since she healed Roger of Auverelle when she found him mauled by a 
bear. She found herself reminded of that day when she found him, 
healing him, and his thanks for that healing had been to rape her. 

At first Mirya thought it was Baron Roger lying here on the ground
mortally wounded again, but upon closer inspection of the blood-covered 
face, but realize thankfully, it was not. The elf maiden suddenly 
sensed something strange about this person, something at first that she 
did not understand. She sensed he is a stranger to this time, even this 
region, and that he certainly was out of place. 

How she knew is by the clothes he wore. It was not any normal chain mail
she had seen before, having seen many mail made while talking with 
Francis the blacksmith in Saint Brigid. This was something different 
and Mirya had gasped as she stared at the tag located at the neckline 
of the garb. ‘Made in Taiwan' it said, and her eyebrows arched in 
alarm. 

Quickly manipulating the strands of energy, making up Rijiin, the maiden
saw glimpses of events that made up his persona. She saw the store in 
Eastridge, the games and the portal that had brought him here as he 
stepped unknowingly into it. She saw the battle and his retreat to come 
to this place. Now in person, Mirya watched as he lay dying before 
their eyes. 

She had met his eyes, noticing that he had turned his head to gaze at
her in a delirious fever. Mirya smiled shyly and nodded to him. 

“He is awake and can hear me beloved.” She told Terrill and he joined
her kneeling beside the human's battered body. He grimaced at the sight 
before him too. 

“I am Mirya, can you understand me?” She asked, and after a moment of
thought, Rijiin slowly nodded his head. “I am going to heal you, just 
stay with me and everything will be fine again.” 

She noted his look drawn far-off gaze and Terrill noted her look of
fear.  She remembered Baron Roger in this state. The elf maiden 
remembered what would happen if she healed this human afterward. 

“Are you alright?” Terrill asked, sensing her alarm, “Do you know who it
is beloved?” She shook her head, frowning. 

“I do not.” She replied, “I have never seen him here before, beloved. I
have never seen his face or the likes of his garb before. There is much 
more to this person than meets to eye.” 

“What do you mean?” Terrill asked, and with that, she pulled the tag and
he grimaced at the sight of it. 

“What is made in Taiwan?” Terrill asked, “What does that mean? I wonder
where this Taiwan is located...if he is from there.” 

“We will never know, if I do not heal him soon. I sense he is fading.”
Mirya said with a frown. She shook the human slightly. “Come on 
messier, you can do it, stay with me and listen to the sound of my 
voice.” 

Rijiin intently perked up, finding strength to nod weakly at her. 

“Do you have a name sir?” She asked casually, “What do you go by?” 

“Rij...iin” The human whispered as he slipped toward unconsciousness. 
She nodded, taking her dagger to cut the cloth away from the wound. 

“Be at peace Rijiin.” She said, “It is a pleasure to make your
acquaintance.” 

“And of course we always heal humans or anyone that is wounded.” Terrill
mused quickly flashing a grin at the maiden, “Human ways are not our 
own, I am hopeful that he will be as grateful as Baron Roger was when 
you healed him.” 

Mirya shot him a look as if to say, ‘What do you mean by that?' 

“It is only a little humor beloved.” Terrill said gently, silently
sensing her frustration. 

“If that only were true, Terrill, if only...” Mirya replied, “I have not
thought of that in a long time. Although I had slain him, I did worse 
to him: I healed him and reminded him of what he did to me and to 
others he brutalized. A persona he will always have to live with and 
reminded of when he looks in the mirror. It was until I changed even 
that persona to something more human.” 

Terrill grinned and he found himself nodding in agreement. 

“I sense your unease, beloved, I am here and nothing will happen to you,
I will slay him if necessary to protect us both.” 

A moment later, Mirya laid her hands on the bloody gaping wound and a
white flash appeared, with a warm sensation overwhelmed Rijiin's body 
as the wound closed up. There was nothing left of it, only a bloody 
spot on his clothes to show where he had been stabbed. The flesh was 
clear of his wounds. Rijiin closed his eyes during the healing and fell 
into unconsciousness sleep. Around him a pulsating aura of energy 
appeared, starting small and growing outward around Rijiin until it 
completely engulfed him. 

It startled Mirya and Terrill who both jumped back from the injured
human's living, healed and now glowing body. The blue and silver glow 
pulsated around him. 

“What in the name of the... What is that?” Terrill had gasped, holding
his sword at ready. Mirya stood across from Terrill on the other side 
of Rijiin's body and she too peered at it in surprise. She had not been 
expecting something like this to happen either. Mirya expected him to 
sit up, thank her and walk away. Rijiin lay unconscious on the ground, 
surrounded by an aura of Elven magic instead, pulsating as it changed 
from a blue to a silver color. 

“What is that Mirya?” Terrill asked with a suspicious look, “Have you
seen anything like that before when you healed others?” 

“Actually no beloved, this is a first time, and it is so strange that
this is happening. All I did was heal, him.” Mirya declared as she cast 
a quick look at the swirling energy that now surrounded Rijiin, “It 
appears something beyond my abilities has happened and was triggered by 
my healing.” 

“I have a funny feeling too, that I know what this is Terrill, and I
have seen this before.” Mirya said thoughtfully, tilting her head in 
wonder. 

“You know, Mirya, I am having that same thought.” Terrill confessed, “It
is something the humans call déjà vu. It is an event plays out 
unexpectedly, exactly as is thought. We both have seen this, and just 
cannot recollect where and when.” 

“Varden described the same aura around you in one of the many bedrooms
of Kay's house when you were transformed by his abilities with magic. 
Kay and Varden both did not understand what they were seeing, or the 
reason why, both knowing it was necessary.” He said with a grimace, “He 
described it as a blue and silver aura that swirled just like this. It 
might be the same thing, and very necessary.” 

Mirya frowned at the thought, “And I was flying through the air as a
falcon and to the lady. S-she told me it was not time and sent me back 
to Saint Brigid even though I did not want to go. Maybe with all the 
change he is enduring is not quite complete and the young man here is 
experiencing the same thing as I did during my transformation period. 
There is a lot of confusion and disorientation, but with one like 
experience that we now probably both share in this same instant: We 
went to the Lady.” Terrill frowned as he met Mirya's expression, the 
twinkle of starlight bright in her eyes. 

Little did Terrill or Mirya know that she had spoken the truth and a
lone Red- tailed hawk swooped, darting through the air, and through the 
thick cloud cover. The universe revolved. Worlds shifted. Rijiin 
dreamed, floating in the silence of oblivion. He heard voices, and he 
ignored them without answering. Starlight surrounded him as the hawk's 
wings cut the starlight as they had the wind, their feathers shining 
silver white. There was a star calling to him, and for a moment, he 
hung over it, poised, spreading his wings to stall ever so slightly, 
eyes flashing with anticipation... 

...and he swooped, a bright feather, bone and blood that hurtled into
the stellar flame. It roared about him for a moment; then he settled 
softly onto the arm of the Lady who stood on the grassy plain beneath a 
glittering sky. 

“Have you come so soon, child?” she said, stroking the sleek feathers.
“But then, you have a great heart and your soul has wings, so this is 
not unexpected.” 

The hawk blinked at her, knowing only that he was home, that he wanted
to stay, that the eyes that met his, that flashed starlight and 
moonlight both, holding the many universes in their depth, were eyes 
that would never turn from him. 

“Be at peace, child,” said the Lady. “But return to your new friends,
lest they grieve.” 

The Hawk preened nervously. 

“Fear not. You will be back, and you will have full knowledge then. Go
now.” 

With infinite strength and gentleness both, the Lady lofted the bird
into the sky. Again, the bird's wings bit starlight, and again he 
soared aloft. Mirya shook her head, clearing the images she saw in the 
starlight when it came from Rijiin himself. She saw his arriving in 
Saint Brigid, transformed by the elven magic that protected this Free 
Town. 

“I know this is going to sound strange and you will be against this, but
I think we should not leave him here.” Mirya declared, “I have a very 
strong suspicion that Varden would know what this is and what is going 
on behind it. We should, at least, bring him to Saint Brigid for 
safety's sake.” 

“I don't think we should.” Terrill replied, “Even if it is something
that the Elven magic is doing to him. Humans are unpredictable and he 
might do what Baron Roger did to you, or worse kill every one of us. He 
might bring the Inquisition down on us and condemn the very village we 
find, as elves, a haven. It would not be fair to the residents if that 
happened, and the elves vanishing instead of protecting the village. 
Many here would go to the stake for what they know and who they 
associate with.” A look of knowing appeared on Mirya's face as a single 
thought passed through her brain: ‘Not while I am still here they 
won't.' 

“True, Terrill but I sense something more to this person than I have
seen in others whom I have healed.” Mirya replied, choosing her words 
carefully. “I know you are suspicious of humans, even after what they 
do to us, hunting and persecuting us into extinction. I know what 
happened before with Varden and it is not the situation here, or at 
hand. This young man, I sense, is not part of the Inquisition and he 
comes from somewhere far away.” 

“What do you mean far away?” Terrill asked suddenly, “You mean that
place Taiwan?” 

She shook her head. Here he examined the whole conversation with his
analytical mind and he closed his eyes seeing the unfamiliar images of 
Rijiin and Natil as a couple. His mouth opened slightly expelling a 
startled sigh. 

“Where else should he come from if not from here?” 

“He originates from another place, from somewhere in the winds of time
itself.” She said, “I saw it in the starlight as I moved the energy 
that makes up his very being, and saw that he is from a century far 
away in what is to come.” 

Mirya had seen the images of Natil and Rijiin's relationship in the
twentieth century, the images of them as a couple that took place in a 
far away land. Here he was polite and cordial showing her the way to 
go, and something had clicked between them, making Natil stay for a 
while just for Rijiin. Terrill saw the same images and he raised an 
eyebrow. 

“So what is he doing here? How did he get here, by the energy that
surrounds him?” 

“I do not know, Terrill.” Mirya replied, “The energy manifested in a
portal over an opening of a doorway and he stepped through. He was not 
expecting the portal to be there and he only realized that when he was 
injured by the sword wound.” 

“If that be the case, where the heck has he...” Terrill began to say and
Mirya shook her head making him fall silent. 

“I still think we should take him with us even if you are correct in
your analysis of what could happen.” Mirya spoke, her tone of 
understanding, “I pray that we are wrong about him, as I sense this 
young man is good. Where the heck has he been is not the question here, 
its where the heck is he going?” 

Terrill frowned in impatience at the situation before him, following his
instincts of what happened with elves when they got involved with 
humans many times over. He remembered a night in particular that he and 
Varden descended upon a farmhouse in the north, slaying the occupants 
of it in cold blood after they tortured, raped and killed Mirya, long 
before she was reborn from a dark haired, battered healer girl. She is 
the very person who stood beside him and who gave him council, his 
lover. He retained his blade after that ordeal, and Varden had put his 
away forever. 

“I do not understand what this aura is exactly beloved. What we are
seeing before our very eyes, is happening.” Mirya said in a soothing 
tone and he glanced at her. “As you can see, even as we stood here over 
him in the last few minutes and he has changed a lot more and looks 
different than he did when we initially found him. I sense the powerful 
magic at work here.” 

Terrill's eyes widened at the revelation studying the face silently
before nodding. He could not say he was wrong at what he saw, having 
sensed the magic here too. The elf nodded silently but his instincts 
also told him to beware. He could almost see the same event happening 
as it had before. Terrill grimaced at the images and the thought with 
the shake of his head. 

“Alas aye, so do I and I agree with you on that point of taking him with
us, but I still trust my instincts.” Terrill replied, “Can you slay him 
if it needs to be done?” 

“Aye, if he turns out to be part of the Inquisition or enemies of the
elves then yes I can and will slay him with no problem.” Mirya replied 
as Terrill sheathed his blade at side and picked up Rijiin on his 
shoulder. 

“Then we will take him to Saint Brigid.” Terrill said with a nod and he
hefted Rijiin on his shoulder walking toward the waiting horses, Cloud 
and Night flame that grazed nearby. He walked with silent steps, 
despite the vegetation around him toward the horses and he raised his 
hand to the one known as Cloud. 

“I must use you as a pack horse, Cloud and I ask your permission to do
so.” Terrill questioned and after a moment, his mount bobbed its head. 
‘I will carry him.' The reply said softly. The elf nodded to the horse 
as he placed Rijiin slumped over the saddle. 

“Thank you my friend, the hand of the Lady be upon you.” Terrill said,
placing his hand on the neck, patting the gentle beast known as Cloud. 

“We are not too far away, beloved.” Terrill told her, “We will make
Saint Brigid in a half and hour.” 

“It will feel good to be home, Terrill.” Mirya replied with a smile and
a nod, “I am looking forward to relaxing for a change, unless something 
else comes up.” She pointed to the body on Cloud with her thumb. He 
grinned at her. 

“Yes it will be good to be home and with the others.” Terrill said,
glancing at the body of Rijiin still enveloped by the blue and silver 
aura that surrounded him, “He is still unconscious and that aura has 
become brighter, still pulsating from blue to silver and back. Nothing 
has changed by the strange power something is afoot, he certainly does 
not look as he did.” 

Mirya leaned back to stare at their visitor and raised an eyebrow,
remaining silent as she looked at the ever changing aura of energy that 
still changed their passenger. 

Together they walked down the path away from the bloody spot where
Rijiin lay dying a few minutes ago and as Terrill had pointed out it 
took them a half-hour to reach the gate of Saint Brigid. The gate, 
opened at the sight of the elves and David approached, Terrill pausing 
to talk with him. Mirya led Cloud to the home of the village priest, 
Kay. She knocked on his door. She pulled Rijiin down and steadied him 
on her shoulder. Turning, Terrill stood at her side with Night Flame. 

“I will return shortly, I am going to take Cloud and Night flame to
their meadow.” Terrill told her as he approached and Mirya nodded. She 
knocked on the door again and she heard footsteps as he came to the 
door to open it. Kay answered with a surprised look as Mirya stood 
before him. 

“Mirya!” He said with a gasp, “What brings a fair folk to my humble
home.” He examined the body of Rijiin who remained unconscious as she 
steadied him. 

“We found him on the road, Kay.” Mirya said as she brought Rijiin
effortlessly through the door. He was hurt severely and he required 
healing, but we must fetch Varden, there is something happening to him 
that triggered when I healing him. I think he might give some insight 
on what's happening, you can see.”  The village priest glanced at the 
unconscious form of Rijiin and noted the aura that surrounded him, 
pulsating from blue to silver and back.  He understood immediately and 
let out a gasp. 

“I see... But for now... come,” Kay replied, “Bring him upstairs, I have
a room for him.” 

Many days would elapse and he would awaken in the village of Saint
Brigid. As he slowly and painfully opened his eyes, they focused on the 
open beamed ceiling of a room. Immediately Rijiin glanced down at 
himself, quickly relieved he found himself still in one piece and his 
eyes slowly focused on the strange surroundings around him. He lay 
under a thick, warm comforter in a hand-carved framed bed made of ash 
wood. Along the wall, there are two sets of drawers and a large 
wardrobe adjacent to the entry door into this room. A crackling fire in 
the fireplace warmed the room. Rijiin sensed someone next to him and 
turning his head he beheld Mirya sitting silently beside him on a small 
stool next to the bed. The maiden smiled as she turned her head. 

Rijiin gasped when he remembered those images, and he shook his head as
he walked down the familiar north-south road in Adria. The elf had been 
traveling many hours now, arriving in Adria and home via ship that 
dropped at the northern port in the Inquisition held city called Maris. 


He remembered walking through the gate, traveling openly, and passing
through the arch into the inner city clad as an elf in the green and 
gray garb of his people. He also had his hair tied back, revealing his 
fair features and slender ears. Rijiin also blatantly carried the blade 
at his side, an elfish dagger on his belt that indicated who, and what 
he was. He was an elf, an immortal that had helped and healed in this 
realm among humans. The youthful elf was also a slayer of evil, having 
skirmishes with the soldiers and clergy of the Inquisition that he had 
slain on so many occasions while living here. 

As he walked through the town of Maris, he was ready for anything the
likes of the Inquisition could dish out, his strength tempered by his 
traveling through the ages and hard like the steel he carried at his 
side. 

The only thing that Rijiin really had been going for him was his
knowledge of time. He already saw a century of the horrors of history, 
with a lot of bloodshed and carnage. He had seen many battles, wars and 
death among martyrs of history. Rijiin had fought along side warriors 
in history. He had also seen their passing, unable to help them 
survive, their fates already marked in the winds of history. The elf 
learned the experience of living through these times, mostly to have 
understanding and patience for the world around him. However, despite 
it all, he also remained very passive, perhaps mindful as he walked the 
streets of cities. He had little fear of a religion that had persecuted 
the elves for centuries and would be the organized religion that sent 
the remaining immortals into the very confines of extinction. 

Rijiin, as he walked along the street in Maris, he received many glances
and overheard the few mutterings among soldiers and common folk alike. 

“Apparently they do not approve that I am here.” He thought, as he held
his head defiantly high but met the looks with a friendly nod. 

“Blessings,” He said simply. Rijiin greeted the people he passed openly,
“Good day to you.” 

He studied their reactions, and sometimes he got a response, other times
not. He sensed their conditioned fear and hatred spurned by the control 
of the Inquisition who held this city in check. 

“Even in this day and age the persecution of the Inquisition carries on,
even after one hundred and forty years with little change.” He 
grimaced, remembering his pledge to understand humans and their ways. 

“Soldiers! Arrest that creature by the name of God!” A voice shouted.
Here Rijiin paused, his back deliberately to the soldiers and clergy. 
Casually he dropped his hand to the pommel of the sword at this side. 
The elf unsnapped the safety catch of his blade, readying it for a 
fight.  Swords drawn, they ran toward him from all directions and he 
turned his head to meet the intense looks on their faces. 

At first, the elf sensed the determination that showed on the faces of
many and fear from the others. The young elf let his hand rest on the 
sword handle before he drew the blade. There was hesitation from the 
soldiers when they saw the flash of steel, and Rijiin stood waiting 
almost impatiently for the fight to begin. The soldiers had not 
recognized the strange blade and glanced confused at the priest who 
screamed at them. 

“Arrest him or you will be sent to stake in his place.” 

“Who is it that interferes with business of others, and who needs twenty
men against one?” Rijiin said aloud, his voice thick with the 
inflection and there was a pause as the soldiers stood there 
hesitantly. The soldiers found themselves puzzled by his question. 

“Very well, who is first to be slain, which of you have made the
decision to die?” Rijiin exclaimed quietly holding his now drawn blade, 
“I am a creature of peace, and who does not take life, but if you 
insist I am thy death.” 

The elf stood waiting as he cast a gaze to each of the soldiers around
him. It was a question that had made the soldiers glance at each other 
and hesitant to act. Rijiin sensed they did not want to die, and now 
were faced on making a choice among themselves. They glanced at the 
priest, and back to the elf. The priest continued screaming at them to 
no avail. 

After a few minutes elapsed, a soldier stepped forward as he drew his
blade with a shout, and Rijiin responded by parrying his attack. The 
elf let his blade move swiftly in one motion, and without a word had 
beheaded the young soldier, exactly and precisely where he stood. There 
were screams as the common folk, the priests and soldiers stared at 
him. A few more soldiers stepped forward to meet the same fate as their 
comrades while the priest continued shouting orders to the guards. A 
few minutes later, when there were at least six dead, and twelve 
wounded men, the Captain of the guard stepped in, and he stopped the 
fight. 

“Enough.” The captain said, “Please no more.” 

He motioned to the guards who stood before Rijiin, peering at the living
and hurt soldiers. His gaze fell upon the bloodthirsty crowd. The 
guards lowered their weapons. 

“Pass that elf.” He said, “Escort him to the southern gate.” 

As the young traveler passed the Captain of the guard, he felt a hand on
his arm. 

“Please go in peace.” The Captain told him, “Please no more bloodshed.
My guards will see that you are not molested to the edge of the city.” 

“Blessings upon thee for your kindness,” Rijiin replied, passing by the
Captain of the guard meeting the smile and his nod with one of his own. 


“Pass that elf!” Another shout said as a small group of soldiers
surrounded the elf and others held the townsfolk at bay. 

Rijiin was ‘escorted' toward the gate, and for the first time, a
heretical being so ordained by the church was allowed to leave freely 
and unmolested from an Inquisition held city. An unthinkable act that 
would no doubt send several soldiers to the very dungeons and torture 
that many Heretics had endured and died. 

Outside the gate, Rijiin headed for the trees and he found himself in
the familiar forest he knew to be Beldon Forest. Here he would rapidly 
travel south, following the familiar paths he knew to be there, and 
skirting the Capital city of Hypperex to enter Malvern Forest beyond 
it. 

Rijiin traveled quickly, as he had many times with Terrill, Mirya and
even with Natil on these paths, staying clear of the road and the 
guards posted from the capital city in Adria. 

Walking through the forest, he crossed along the border of lands
belonging to Baron Roger of Aurverelle as he entered Malvern. Here he 
let out a breath, having a piece of mind that he would have no further 
dealings, he hoped, with the Inquisition. 

Now almost to Saint Brigid, hours later, he found himself in this
oncoming winter storm. Looking up he examined the same billowing clouds 
and cold weather that had spirited him from these lands in the first 
place. Rijiin had been deep in thought as he passed by Saint Blaise and 
Alm, thinking of events that had already happened, and the year he had 
been living as an elf in this century. He also had remembered his many 
adventures, his travels through the realm with his new friends, and 
thought of the many good folk who lived in Saint Brigid. They were 
people he could almost say was his family and where Rijiin found 
unconditional acceptance without question. Even after his change by the 
elves' magic. 

“Well at least for a few months until I completed my transformation.”
Rijiin corrected himself and shook his head, a smile appearing on his 
face, “And despite it all, a great cost for losing humanity but it did 
have a lot of gains too.” 

“I gained the love of a beautiful Harper.” He thought, “And I learned to
help and heal. I know the path that I walk and have learned compassion 
for life.” 

Rijiin had changed when he had healed Mouse, risking his existence as he
traversed the winds of time and space to help her. He could go to the 
Lady, clad in blue and silver anytime he wanted. He could kneel before 
her, finding her blessing, her council and love. That had been a long 
time ago, however. The human part of his existence had faded away and 
unknowingly had split from him. It had appeared as a dismembered, 
bloody, body laying in a cement gully across from the Mall in a 
residential area. 

When the elf rounded the corner, moving back to the road, and after many
hours traveling, he had not been paying attention to his surroundings. 
When he finally looked up, he realized he was in the remains of a 
village remotely resembling some sort of civilization. Rijiin at first 
had not recognized his surroundings of Saint Brigid, as it had changed 
a lot since he had been here. The streets of this once thriving village 
is overgrown with brush and the buildings, are disintegrating piles of 
crumbling debris. The elf had no idea in the last century that this 
village had again become a battlefield. Foreign armies had invaded 
Adria after he had disappeared, the forest was set ablaze and the 
remaining elves helped to quell the violence by stopping a war machine 
from gaining control of the entire realm. 

Here, the elf scanned the surroundings several times, standing alone in
the remains of what appeared to be a town square, and the silent 
overgrown streets as large flakes pelted his cloak. Snow swirled and 
fluttered in the wind around him as he cast a brief glance at each of 
the piles that once made up the buildings. A familiar sight caught his 
eye. Walking quickly toward one pile, he brushed the debris and snow 
aside, revealing the remains of a hand carved panel. He immediately 
recognized it as the very panels carved by David the wood smith in 
Saint Brigid that hung in the church long ago. Rijiin, when he saw them 
gasped aloud and quickly turned his head side to side, scanning each of 
the piles of debris with his gray eyes. 

“What? By our lady, I'm home.” He exclaimed, turning to stare at the
remains of the Kay's house, the church, and then turning to scan the 
rest of the village. His gray eyes quickly found the pile that made up 
the remains of the Francis, the blacksmith's house, gazing at it in 
wonder.  He could not believe his eyes. 

“It's Saint Brigid...” He panned a silent, astonished stare at the
overgrown street, shaking his head in disbelief. 

“What happened here?” Rijiin asked himself several times. 

“Even in a few hundred years, someone could have still been here.”
Thought the elf, “But by the look of this place it has not been a 
village for some time.” 

He then remembered it had been more than just a few years, it had been a
hundred and forty years: A century and a quarter. His gaze fell on this 
solemn scene many times, hoping to find a clue that would give him the 
answer he sought. 

He immediately thought of friends, long passed now. Rijiin thought of
Francis, Hester, Kay, Mick Andrew, David, Roxanne, Charity and 
countless others who lived in this village.  Rijiin never thought for 
an instant they would ever, even with probably their children's, 
children's, children would have abandoned such rich soil. 

But then again, so many signs that showed that battle had come to Saint
Brigid and he wondered if it was the reason why the residents abandoned 
its walls and let nature overrun the very streets of a place he called 
home. 

“But then again there is nothing here, except piles of debris.” He
thought, shaking his head. “Perhaps it was the Inquisition.” 

The elf somehow just could not see the occupants of this village rounded
up, taken away, tortured and burned as he had seen many a heretic's 
fate. He closed his eyes, standing in the middle of the square and 
thought of a different time and place when the free town village had 
thrived, with a few elves remaining in the world to help and heal. When 
he opened his eyes, the area seemed to shimmer as the people and 
buildings seemed to return.  He smiled at the sight. 

“It is another time and place.” Rijiin thought as he warmly smiled at
his reminisces. He wished he could return to that time and this place 
in an era when everything made sense for the elf, instead of having to 
endure the bonds of solitude. Shaking his head, Rijiin blinked his eyes 
and the solemn scene reappeared around him. Once again, he was alone in 
the overgrown square and turning his head, He panned a long gaze to the 
forest of Malvern that lay before him. 

“I wonder if the paths are there.” He thought, “Perhaps the elves
spirited them away into hiding if it was the Inquisition.” 

Rijiin bolted toward the crumbling northern gate of the village and
passed through its twisted remains. Walking along the outside of the 
wall, the elf finally entered the forest and when he stepped onto the 
familiar paths, Rijiin nodded slightly. 

“They are here.” Rijiin thought, smiling to himself as his booted feet
touched the ancient familiar paths of a home he knew very well. He 
could feel the energy, smell the scents and hear the sounds of the 
familiar forest. It was everything he had missed in a century. 

Quickly and with little effort, he reached the great oak on one path,
passing it and then he turned onto another. He had only walked several 
meters past the great oak though when the paths abruptly ended and he 
stood in an unfamiliar clearing where three pathways ran off in three 
different directions.  A look of astonishment crossed his face as he 
became acutely aware of drastic changes in this part of the forest. He 
sighed as he stood close to the great oak, realizing the ancient paths 
were gone and he now stood in all new Malvern, re-grown after a fire 
set to it over a century ago by the enemy who invaded Adria. 

“You helped me, once.” He said, “I am a kinsman of these lands, guide me
now.” 

Rijiin murmured, trying to invoke the Lady. He called her name and to
the power that elves once had. Only a hushed whisper of falling snow 
had replied to his call.  Walking ahead, he came to another unfamiliar 
clearing and an hour later, he sat under a thick pine tree after making 
camp. Here, he sat alone, staring at the crackling flames of his 
campfire as smoke and embers flashed as they rose upward into the 
dimming light sky. 

“The elves would not have perished so easily despite they were fading
even when I arrived.” Rijiin murmured, now left to wonder what had 
happened in the last century and a quarter he had been away. 

The elf really wondered about Saint Brigid, and the fates of his kinfolk
and the townsfolk who lived here in this village. He thought of Varden, 
Mirya, Terrill, Talla, Sana, and Cara. Rijiin thought also of the young 
Elven woman, the Harper named Natil, whom he had fallen for again after 
coming to this time. He wished he could join them in oblivion, than 
wander any more in the hostile world. Rijiin had no idea that he was 
following the same path as his beloved Harper. She had traveled to 
Saint Brigid, said a fond farewell and found herself forced to wander 
through time until pulled through to Elven Home in Denver, of the 
future. 

His eyes found the deep red sunset filling the western horizon as the
day ended, the clouds parting to allow the sunlight to shine brightly 
upon the white frozen landscape and the elf smiled at the sight. Rijiin 
suddenly found himself reminded of the times with Natil in Aleser 
Mountains where they shared many of the spectacular scenes like this 
one in each other's loving embrace. He watched the sunset for several 
more minutes until the light was gone and looking up, he watched the 
stars as they twinkled brightly above him. Rijiin stared at the 
infinite light of space and the thousands of stars in unrecognizable 
patterns. A cold winter wind whipped briefly and became calm. 

“That was a long ago indeed.” 

He then turned his attention to his surroundings, listening to the wilds
of Malvern's nightlife as it echoed through the forest and here he 
tended his campfire. Here Rijiin played a small instrument he had 
brought with him from the future. The sound, a sweet soprano, from his 
instrument echoed the forest. He looked up to meet the looks of several 
animals that had clustered outside the firelight to watch him play. 
Rijiin nodded a greeting to them as he continued to play Ave Maria, a 
religious song of the ages, mostly sang in Latin by the Dominican 
Priests of the turbulent times. When he finished his song, he spoke to 
them. 

“Blessings upon you rabbit, deer, fox and unto you brother wolf,” Rijiin
said, and met each of their gazes with a polite nod. The rabbit, fox 
and deer seemed to glance at each other as he spoke to them, his 
accented words echoing across the campsite. 

“Thank you for being my company my friends.” Rijiin told them,
“Especially on a very cold, blustery night such as this, best to share 
warmth of a fire and company of friends.” 

He grinned broadly at the cluster of animals.  They seemed to understand
and stayed with him. He fed them some scraps he had with him. 

Later, Rijiin did something that the elves never did in his time or
their entire existence. He slept and dreamed of the past, the future, 
as somewhere in the night sky high above him was a large 767 flying 
overhead in the night. As he lay in his camp, the power of the elves, 
their magic spilled over him in a white light. When the light finally 
faded, the forest clearing had remained, but the elf had disappeared. 
The only remains of him or his camp had been the empty spot where he 
had been a moment ago. 

When Rijiin awoke the next morning, he was unaware of a time shift that
had happened, only aware that it was very cold and the ground covered 
with a new layer of snow. The animals that had been his company were 
gone, far behind him in the past and by the magic that had guided the 
elves. 

Rijiin awoke in the future. He managed a sleepy yawn before sitting up,
stretching and glanced up at the billowing clouds of a partly cloudy 
sky above him.  The youthful traveler then turned his head to scan the 
surrounding woods thought by Rijiin to be Adria. Quickly, he cleaned up 
the camp and as he did so, nibbled on the rations brought with him from 
a pouch at his side. Rijiin listened to the unfamiliar sounds of the 
woods around him and quickly took in a breath of the frosty, crisp air 
before donning the gray cloak about him. He stood up and turned to the 
east, walking a few yards away from his camp expecting to find the road 
that connected the north and south of Adria. Rijiin only found forest. 

“Where is the road?” Rijiin thought, as he stood in the middle of the
forest, turning three hundred and sixty degrees a couple of time before 
he walked to the south fifteen paces. In those few steps, he found what 
appeared to be the road, and quickly nodded relieved. He frowned, 
sensing something different around his surroundings, suddenly realizing 
that he did not sense the familiar paths that had brought him to this 
place. 

“Strange. Oh well, back to Saint Brigid,” Rijiin thought again, and
turning he walked through the canopy of trees, following the 
snow-covered road. He did not realizing this road ran east and west 
rather than north and south.  As he followed it, he expected it to 
return to the remains of Saint Brigid. When Rijiin turned the corner, 
the road abruptly ended and he gasped when he stared at the sea of 
white as a large open field appeared before him. 

“By our lady,” He exclaimed, “This is not Adria.” 

Rijiin quickly crouched next to a nearby tree, keeping himself hidden in
the leafless thicket to scan the unfamiliar surroundings. The Elf also 
kept his hand ready on the handle of the sword at his side, turning his 
head to scan back and forth to the open surroundings ahead of him. 

A gleam of sunlight caught his eye on the horizon. It is the reflection
from a car traveling on a nearby road in the distance and it gave him 
one clue to tell him where he was. Rijiin realized he was no longer in 
the fifteenth century but the twentieth century. Looking up he also saw 
a jet streaking high above in the partially clear sky. 

“Well this is a fine how do you do,” He declared, “I'm in the future.
Now this is a switch and how did I get here? Perhaps I am asleep... and 
I am dreaming all of this.” 

He quickly realized he had forgotten what it was like to live in the
twentieth century, and that part of him had died when he had changed 
into an immortal. 

Still crouching next to a cold trunk of a frozen, leafless tree, Rijiin
watched his surroundings for a long time before deciding to move. Many 
times his solemn gray eyes examined the backboard and he finally 
recognized it as a baseball diamond. His eyes found the chain link 
fence nearby on his left bordering a path beyond the backboard. 
Further, ahead he could see the track and a football field. Kneeling, 
he peered off into the distance at a cluster of buildings, and what 
appeared to be a frozen gravel service road running between them. 
Rijiin shook his head in silence. 

“I wonder where I am,” He murmured, “Other than being in the twentieth
century again, this place is a damn bit familiar.” 

Slowly, he made his way across the field, his footsteps a quiet padding
in the snow as he walked toward the buildings. The elf had been quite 
alarmed at the feeling of déjà-vu he was having and clearly distracted 
by the strangely familiar surroundings. He had not been paying 
attention as he walked toward the buildings, and had not seen the fence 
that separated the field and road. 

Rijiin, when he struck it full force, found himself flung backward two
feet before he knew it was there. He sat on the ground, staring 
incredibly at the fence. 

“Terrific.” Rijiin murmured, as he picked himself up, brushing the snow
from his cloak and clothes, “I'd better watch where the hell I am 
going.” 

Feeling foolish, he turned his head to an opening in the fence a couple
of feet away from where he hit it. Rolling his eyes in disgust, Rijiin 
walked toward it, passing through it onto the service road beyond.  The 
elf stumbled on the ice for a moment before regaining his footing and 
his eyes slowly moved along the pathway that led to the larger building 
on the left, then to the road lined with snow covered telephone poles 
bordering it on either side. The road led to a parking lot a short 
distance away and adjacent to the road was a grass area beside it. A 
few cars were parked in front of the two buildings. Beyond the parking 
lot, he clearly could see the major roadway where earlier he had seen 
the cars moving across it.  His reaction had been surprise. 

“Something is familiar about this place.”  Rijiin thought, turning his
head to the larger building on his left and the other on the right, 
“Something old, a place I knew from my past. I wonder what it is.” 

The elf's footsteps padded through the snow, as he kept off the ice
covered road in the center, and he walked toward the lot ahead. Large 
flakes of a steady snow fell on him, reducing visibility and concealing 
his presence, which he was thankful. Rijiin had not seen the face in 
the window of the building on the right, however, where a student had 
gasped aloud seeing the stranger as she watched the snowfall outside. 
As others joined her, after she waved to her classmates, and they 
watched him continue on his way toward the large building next door. 
When he disappeared around the corner, there was great conversation in 
the several classrooms that had seen him. 

As for Rijiin, when he reached the front of the building, he turned to
the sidewalk that ended at the lot. The elf padded on a bit further on 
with silent steps, passing a large glass entry that made up the entry 
of the large building. It is here he received an abrupt, blunt answer 
to his question a few minutes ago. 

A familiar mascot, a great Golden Eagle, is perched on the building and
its claws mounted in the top as if it would carry it away. The elf 
gasped when he saw it at first and he stared at it in astonishment, his 
mind quickly remembering the name of this place that he could not 
believe what he was seeing. Rijiin also knew he could not say he was 
wrong either. 

“Bellbrook?” Rijiin muttered under his breath in alarm, staring at the
mascot made of fiberglass, gold paint and metal. “What the hell is 
going on?” 

He quickly pulled back the hood of his cloak as he stared in silent
bewilderment at the huge statue. Quickly, the elf also became aware of 
his surroundings, glancing at the windows into the classrooms where 
students sat in their seats. Rijiin knew he was visible and in a few 
seconds, everyone in those rooms would see him. At this point, however, 
the elf just did not care. The elf was astonished being here again in a 
place that once upon a time, he had attended when he was human a very 
long time ago. 

“This cannot be.” He muttered quietly, shaking his head to dislodge the
snow that pelted his skin and had caught in his long brown hair. His 
eyes moved silently from the mighty mascot to the windows and back many 
times, as he stood there. 

“Oh my Creatrix, my Lady, what have you done?” Rijiin asked, staring up
at the mascot, as now fell thickly around him. “Why have you brought me 
back to this place? It has now been four hundred plus years, four 
centuries and I have made a full circle.” 

He continued to peer at the mascot, totally blown away that he had come
a full circle, suddenly wondering what time and date that he had come 
to. 

Inside one of the classrooms, however, Janae Dorn had been working on
her paper for her class. Feeling chilly, she had glanced up once to the 
window as a thick blanket of snowflakes fell outside. Here, she turned 
her head, and her eyes fell briefly upon the elf, clad in the green and 
gray leather clothing. She resumed her work but had done the comical 
double take and stared at Rijiin for a long time.  He caught her breath 
in silent surprise, narrowing her eyes as she peered at the elf. 

“Who on earth is that?” Janae thought, and she took a quick look at her
classmate sitting next to her. 

The young woman, her classmate Amy Solomon, as did Brian Sanner and many
others stared out of the window next and focused intently upon the 
young man. She managed a quiet smile. Several snickers, sparse bursts 
of laughter and curious murmurs rippled through the room like wild fire 
as everyone spied the elf. An insensible curiosity swept through the 
room. It also swept through the other classes next door. They peered at 
the stranger in amusement, his odd, old-fashioned garb that included 
the cloak that draped down to his legs from his back. The students and 
now staff stared at him, watching him, as he staring transfixed at the 
mascot standing on the roof of the building and all had begun to wonder 
why. 

Rijiin finally realizing he was on display, had felt their gazes burning
into him and at first, he did not acknowledge them. Turning his head 
finally, he grimaced at the familiar faces before him and after a 
moment, he managed a slow nod to them, touching his forehead to bow 
wide and low.  His eyes had focused upon Janae first, his jaw twitching 
when he recognized her from the past, or in this case future, and if 
their gazes could have sparked, it would have caused fire. Rijiin, 
despite his strange plight had handled this strange predicament very 
smoothly and he managed a polite smile as he quickly recovered from his 
surprise. 

As for the students who looked on at the elf, there were many mixed
reactions by each person. They all, even Janae, had never seen such 
solemn gray eyes, or handsome fair features like Rijiin's before. The 
young woman also felt a strange déjà-vu feeling when her eyes fallen 
upon him for the first time. Beside her, she and the others in the 
classrooms sensed a strange spark of energy ripple through them. 

Rijiin casually placed a hand on the handle of the blade he openly wore
at his side. His attention moved to his surroundings quickly and then 
back to the mascot. They saw the elf grin openly at the mascot, 
exhaling silently, as if he were relieved to be here. 

“Relax, and be at peace,” Rijiin silently thought, hearing the silent
words of Varden and Terrill. “This time does not hold you.” 

He turned his head, ignoring the comments, laughter and their stares at
him.  Rijiin's gaze remained transfixed on the mascot. Inside the 
classrooms, there was great conversation about the strange visitor who 
now stood outside. 

“Who is that?” Ms. Zerkle asked, “Why and what is he doing outside? Have
any of you seen him before?” 

“I don't know Ms. Z.” A voice replied. 

“He's very handsome, that's for sure.” Ms. Z said, “Is he a student? Why
is he looking at our Eagle like that?” 

“I don't know.” 

“That's one hell of a costume though.” Another student commented, “Right
down to the sword and dagger at his side.” 

“A sword? What sword?” Ms Z asked, and she looked again, gasping to
realize indeed, there was a sword visible from his cloak. An ivory 
handled sword and its sheath.  Janae's gaze fell upon the handsome 
features of Rijiin and something told her there was something more to 
the young man she was gazing upon. 

“Perhaps he's a visitor.” A student said, “He looks like he has a
purpose here.” 

“You know, you may be right, but we'll see.” Ms. Z said, “OK... Let's
get back on the task please and take your seats.” 

She headed for the door. 

Rijiin turned his head when he had seen Ms. Z and two of the other
teachers exit their rooms. He knew in a second they would all be out 
here and this situation clearly would be out of control. He quickly 
remembered her as one of the tougher staff members at this institution 
of learning. 

Stepping forward three steps, he entered the door of the gym in front of
him. As the students all retook their seats, Janae watched him for a 
moment, before he took several steps toward the gym entry and then 
turned her focus back to her work. As Rijiin stepped inside the 
gymnasium, he cast a sweeping gaze at the interior surroundings and he 
managed a quiet polite laugh. 

“Some things never change.” He thought and shook his head. It is the
same as he remembered when had attended here. The building has a large 
cavernous interior, open and airy, the same large steel girder beams, 
and large spotlights above. Large bleachers, facing the basketball 
court make up the one side of the room, and the other side was the 
stage. He noted the stairways on either side of the bleachers and 
stage, recognizing they led into the locker rooms and storage areas 
below. A large wooden floor made up the basketball court and walking on 
it he moved to the center where a large purple spot marked the center 
court. There in gold black and white was the familiar logo of the 
mascot of this place, a Golden Eagle. Rijiin, kneeling beside it let 
his fingers brush across its purple and gold surface. 

“So it's true.” He murmured, “I am really here, I have jumped time, but
when? ...And why I am I here again? This really makes no sense.” 

Standing up, he turned his head when he heard voices behind the stage
curtain. Quickly, Rijiin spun on one heel, walking, half running with 
silent steps toward an inner door. Behind him, Reynolds, Zerkle and one 
other teacher has exited into the snow, noting he was not there, and 
the student pointed to the Gym. They bolted toward it and entered, 
having not seen the elf disappear through the far door. 

Outside the gym, that he crouched by a heavy piano that obscured the
hall and waited. The elf peered into the deserted dim hallway, watchful 
for anyone who might have seen him. Behind the elf, in the large 
auditorium, students appeared after a workout on the stage and he 
watched them walk to the locker room. No one seemed to notice the elf 
standing in the dim hallway or partially peeking into the doorway. He 
had withdrawn behind the piano when he saw the three teachers walking 
toward the hallway. They passed him by, not noticing him behind the 
piano, his cloak blending in with the walls. The walked back to their 
classes, but had alerted the Principals who were the administration 
here. 

At this point, he peeked in the door, and then turned away, stepping
back from it and slowly his eyes moved within a familiar long hallway. 
Quickly Rijiin traversed the hallway, passing the doors of the Art and 
Music Departments. He quickly arrived at the first cross of the 
hallways running the length and width of the building. Standing near 
the edge, Rijiin stood away from the center of the hallway cross and 
adjusted his bearings. He peered down the hallway at the far end, able 
to see another set of doors and outside light visible there where he 
knew the other hallway crossed this one. His head turned to stare down 
the hallway toward the front of the building where he knew the office 
to be, the tutor room and the lunchroom. He then turned his attention 
to the double doors entering the library. Rijiin stared at the short 
hallway, recognizing this hall and it made him smile. 

The elf had recognized two familiar voices that echoed from within the
classrooms nearby. 

“Ms. Long.” He murmured, “Ms. Bender, no way.” 

The elf had to make a big effort not to look in on the classrooms as he
remained near the edge of the wall, his cloak allowing him blend into 
the darkness and provide him some concealment. Rijiin, as he stood 
beside the wall, he let out a sharp silent exhale as a student and 
staff member passed him. The elf watched as they continued on their way 
and he managed a grin. He was thankful they had not noticed him and he 
let out a breath, surprised to realize that he had been holding it. 

Quickly, Rijiin walked past the first cross in the hallway, into a
brightly lit section of this hallway near another office. The elf noted 
a nearby alcove, next to some exit doors to the outside and he headed 
toward it. His being in the alcove kept him clear of the main hallway, 
offering some additional concealment and it quickly allowed him to 
gather his bearings from his memories of this place. 

“Okay, this is the freshman/sophomore hallway.” Rijiin thought quickly,
remembering back when he served here, “Down that way is the Junior 
hallway that parallel the Senior one to the front. Right now, I am near 
the counseling office.” 

Rijiin's gaze scanned the tiled, white walls and the lockers of the
freshman/sophomore hall, decorated in the festive orange and black of 
Halloween. The elf remained in the empty alcove next to a door that 
exited to the outside. Sure enough, he had recognized the doorway of 
the counseling office on one side of the hall, opposite to a row of 
lockers and the windows. As he continued to watch, peeking out of the 
alcove, his gray eyes silently studied the surroundings as strong 
memories of this place overwhelmed his senses. 

“This is so strange,” Rijiin murmured, “Being back at Bellbrook.” 

His eyes beheld something even more familiar to him. He smiled when he
had seen it and had left the alcove to walk up to it. Rijiin's hand 
touched the metal door of his old locker and his fingers brushed its 
metal surface. He had been so engrossed in his nostalgia that he did 
not sense the two people who had appeared from the counseling office 
doorway behind him. Maryanne Martin, one of the councilors here, had 
appeared at the door with a student. 

As both of them stepped into the hallway, they had not sensed Rijiin
standing there. When they finally saw him, the student had seen the elf 
first and had let out a startled yelp. Martin, who stood beside the 
student had turned her head, and had raised her eyebrow in silent 
surprise. Both of them glanced at each other after staring at Rijiin 
for what seemed to be a long time. 

“Damn, that's a cool costume.” The student murmured and the councilor
beside her had nodded silently in agreement. Both the councilor and the 
student stared at Rijiin strangely, unable to take their eyes off the 
handsome stranger in the odd garb. 

“Who is that, do you know him?” Martin asked and glancing at the
student, the freshman shrugged. Rijiin, when he sensed them, 
instinctively reached for his now concealed blade under his cloak as he 
turned.  He relaxed his hand, quickly closing the cloak when he 
recognized the familiar face. 

“WOW.” She said, walking toward Rijiin, studying his fair features,
“That is a great costume... Did you make it? Who are you under that 
makeup?” 

Rijiin stared at the face, his mind searching for a name. He finally
raised an eyebrow when he realized whom it was who stood before him. 

“Maryanne Martin, Councilor.” He murmured, politely shaking his head in
response to her questions. 

Beside her, the young student had heard him speak and she had raised her
eyebrows as a surprised look appeared on her face. She had heard the 
inflection and accent in his voice. The young woman had let out a 
silent breath and realized that something was amiss about this 
stranger. He clearly did not belong here. Little did she know he was an 
immortal, literally from the winds of time and space itself. 

“But how does he know Ms. Martin.” She asked herself, and shook her head
in confusion. 

Rijiin forced himself to relax, keeping his reflexes ready to spring at
a moments notice. The student noted his stance and his readiness. 

“Come here for a moment please.” She said, motioning to him to follow.
Rijiin walked confidently with her in the hallway, and the freshman 
student studied him, her eyes moving from his face to the garb he wore. 
He looked battle-worn to the student, his costume patched by Rijiin's 
own hand and not realizing that he had fought so many terrible battles 
against so many enemies throughout the places he had wandered through 
aimlessly in the century and a quarter away from his home. 

“Look at this fantastic costume Jane.” Chortled Martin, pointing at
Rijiin to the secretary he knew as Ms. Jane Sparrows of the Counseling 
section. The secretary looked up and gasped. Beside her, the freshman, 
one of the class members of ninety-two smiled at the reaction. Rijiin 
studied her reaction in silence. He also managed a grim smile despite 
the situation. 

“Wow, she has not changed.” Rijiin thought to himself, and peered at the
older woman. 

Jane Sparrows is tall and lean, has white hair, and is clad in pseudo
business casual, wearing a simple white blouse, black pants and dark 
framed glasses. Her dark eyes narrowed, studying the elf as if her 
piercing stare could look through him. Rijiin took a step back 
instinctively. 

“Now that's a costume don't you think?” Martin asked and the secretary,
seated at her desk had managed a slight nod. 

“Wow that is really well done.” The secretary replied, nodding her head
in agreement, “You will win the costume contest hands down. What are 
you supposed to be?” 

She had addressed Rijiin and he met her piercing stare. At first he was
silent, considering for a moment the question asked by the secretary, 
and he grinned in spite of himself. 

“I am a folklore legend, an elf.” He said, his accented voice echoing in
the room.  Everyone showed equal surprise when they heard the 
inflection his voice, and the realistic, thick accent.  They had not 
expecting to hear the accent or inflection and it had caught them 
clearly off guard. 

“That is a wonderful accent.” The secretary complimented, “It sounds
like it is real.” 

Suddenly there was a shift as they all felt something was amiss about
this stranger. Rijiin nodded slightly at the woman behind the desk, her 
questioning expression. She studied the fair features of Rijiin, and 
the twinkle of what seemed to be starlight in his eyes. 

“My thanks, it is indeed.” He replied simply. 

An astonished expression appeared on Ms. Sparrows, Martin and even the
student's faces by his answer. It was an expression that that made the 
elf smile. Another uncomfortable pause rippled through the office. 

“So where are you supposed to be now?” She asked, “uhm...” 

“Rijiin, Rijiin L'Theil, and I am at your service.” The elf prompted and
quickly bowed slightly. There were grins at the unusual custom and it 
had reminded them of Robin Hood with Errol Flynn. 

“What kind of name is that?” Sparrows asked, “Who are you really? You
are playing your roll well.” 

“It is my name...” Rijiin began. He stopped speaking, feeling a chill in
the air and suddenly realizing this was clearly getting out of hand. 
The elf felt the need to withdraw. There was surprise on everyone's 
face. 

“That is an unusual name, if it truly is your name.” the student
commented. She gasped when the elf nodded. 

“Be at peace, I am not from here...” The elf began and grimaced to shake
his head, falling abruptly silent. 

“But you are really familiar to me, have we met before then?” Martin
asked and he pondered only a brief moment to nod slightly. 

“It was a while ago, but yes, you might not remember me though.” He
responded formally, “A lifetime ago perhaps.” 

“A Lifetime ago... What do you... mean by that? I really doubt that.
Where are you supposed to be now, Rijiin...?” Martin asked, smiling, 
amused by the role he thought he was playing, and doing so well. 
“Please get your stuff and go there.” 

“Aye, I was in the process and shall.” Rijiin replied, “Be at peace. The
hand of the Lady be upon you.” 

He stepped away from them, and without turning, he paused. His eyes fell
on the opening door to a tall muscular, man with a handlebar mustache 
and sandy blond/graying hair and brown eyes. The elf smiled seeing the 
man nod to him politely before turning toward the door. He remembered 
another name, Bob Yux, one of the other coaches and councilors here at 
Bellbrook. 

There was astonishment by his statement and a suppressed laugher that
followed. Rijiin withdrew and stood in the alcove across from the old 
locker unobserved. He let a breath out in silence. 

“That was too close.” He thought, “Why was I not found out and
questioned more?” He grumbled, “That made no sense.” 

Rijiin scanned the notice he had taken from the board next to the office
door as he had stepped out of the door. 

“October 31st, 1989.” The notice said, and Rijiin nodded in half
understanding. 

“It is a year and a few months after I left but it still says nothing of
why I have arrived back at this place.” He thought, “At least it tells 
me when.” 

The elf quickly folded the page and placed into the pouch that hung from
his side. Rijiin withdrew a bit further into the alcove when he heard a 
bell, and he grimaced, realizing it was the bell for changing of 
classes. He had forgotten about that and Rijiin's gray eyes found the 
clock on the wall that read ‘11:30'. He shook his head in amused 
silence. 

“Oh, it is the lunch period.” He muttered, “Just great.” 

He watched as a sea of students filled the hall and the elf managed a
silent smile at the costumes. Rijiin remembered the certain day they 
dressed up. 

“Ah yes, I remember now, its Halloween.” He murmured, “I will fit right
in...” 

With that, he glanced down at his costume, the one he had worn for a
long time as he had traveled Europe. It was patched in a few places, 
having taken damage from battle in which he had fought. Rijiin scanned 
the hallway and smiled at the students who were in full form of the 
Halloween spirit. Many memories flashed in his brain and names of those 
he now gazed upon that he had not seen in a long time. As they passed 
the elf, he flashed a grin as he recognized them, knowing a few by 
name, and others not. The students began to notice him and a low murmur 
rippled in the hallway as they stared in confusion at Rijiin. 

Upper classman had also seen the elf, and they grimaced at the sight of
him. They all stared at the green and gray garb, his cloak and his fair 
features. They recognized a very good costume that would be recognized 
and judged as the best costume for the day. They decided to play a 
prank, part of the trick portion of this day and throw eggs at him. 
Their intent was to ruin his costume, and make him look like a fool. 

They stretched back as they took aim, unaware that they were in for an
abrupt wake up call. Rijiin had had his back partially to them when he 
sensed the incoming food and had pivoted slightly, letting it splatter 
on the wall next to him.  There had been a pause as the upper classman 
glanced at each other, and they had thrown a couple more eggs. The elf, 
this time in a leisurely maneuver had moved and his hand caught the 
eggs, one at a time, without breaking them and he threw both eggs back 
at them.  One hit one upper classman on the forehead and another in the 
face. There was a gasp by all who looked on in silent amusement and 
great laughter followed. 

The elf's back was again turned partially to them as they approached,
intending to start a fight. He had not particularly been interested in 
fighting with anyone, as that was not his purpose here today, but it 
seemed to come to him nevertheless. The elf sensed a fist moving in 
toward him, and with little effort, he dodged effortlessly letting the 
hand expel into the air, another hitting the wall. A yelp followed as 
it hit the wall covered by egg that ran down to the floor. The elf 
dodged again as another punch moved in and Rijiin pivoted a third time 
to block it. He let another punch move in and this time the elf grabbed 
his assailant's wrist, pivoting to slam the young human's face into the 
wall next to the raw egg that ran down the tiled surface. There was a 
gasp by all as the elf held him there with one hand, his grip, to the 
student, was like iron. 

“You forgot your egg.” Rijiin snarled, “And you are way over your head
boy.” 

He stepped back as others moved in to help and he swept the knee from
under the student, striking him in the chest, knocking him down onto 
the floor. The others who had ran into to join the fight had thrown 
punches too. Rijiin with confidence had stepped in, his hand flashing 
to block one punch and with amazing speed, catching another other in 
mid-flight with a strong grip. There was a gasp and the hall was still 
as the elf held him effortlessly with one hand. The fight had ended 
abruptly as it had started, the visitor holding the struggling human, 
squeezing his hand and inflicting great pain on his wrist as he brought 
him to his knees. The student he held screamed, and glanced at his 
companions who stood around silently. Rijiin heard his finger bones 
giving way with a loud crack. 

“What are you waiting for, hit him! Hit hi...AAAGH.” 

“Enough.” Rijiin exclaimed, cursing softly under his breath. 

Around him, a low murmur echoed from the gathered crowd. He turned his
head and met each one's gaze, all surprised by his accented voice and 
at perhaps the hint of starlight that had twinkled brightly from his 
eyes. The elf turned his head, coldly staring at the melee of upper 
classman who stood around him. 

“I would suggest you move along.” Rijiin said coldly, the inflection of
the elves strong in his voice, “Before you get in over your head and 
take this punk with you.” 

With that, he opened the cloak and revealed the long dagger on his belt,
but his sword that hung inconspicuously at his back. They took a step 
back and he pushed the student toward them. The upper classman he had 
been holding rubbed his hand, cradling it as they slowly moved away. He 
stood in a posture, showing his readiness and the body language that 
clearly said to ‘Back off.' Reluctantly the other upper classman backed 
off, leaving Rijiin well enough alone as he stood his ground. Mixed 
applause and mutterings followed. 

“Are you alright?” A voice asked. Rijiin turned as Katie Roth approached
from the sea of students and he managed a smile, staring at her 
familiar, youthful features.  He remembered her enduring, bright and 
enthusiastic spirit that was enough for the whole class of ninety-one 
at Bellbrook. He managed a silent nod. 

“That was amazing, are you new here?” She asked, “I have never seen
anyone fight like that or have seen you here before.” 

“It was indeed!” Another voice chimed in and Rijiin glanced at several
people, recognizing many of the familiar faces as they clustered around 
him.  The young elf stepped back into the alcove as another sea of 
people crowded by him, who glanced at him before passing him by. For 
many, there was intrigue, wondering who it was behind the costume and 
what they thought was makeup. 

Rijiin had not hurt the human, able to break his hand if he chose to. He
was a healer and it was not for him to cause pain. The young elf could 
heal, having done so many times in the century that he called home and 
a region known as Adria. It was a memory of a place that was far away 
for the elf, and he passed a hand over his face as if to clear the 
harsh memories. 

“My name is Rijiin, Rijiin L'Theil.” He told her, bowing slightly, and
she smiled at the voice as she glanced at the others. All had heard the 
accent and thick inflection in his voice. Surprise had appeared on 
their faces. They had not expected someone like this to grace Bellbrook 
and be in their presence today. 

“Katie Roth.” She said, turning to a few of her friends and even fellow
classmates who had seen the fight. 

“Jade Claycraft... Melinda Morris... Kathy Lehman... Amy Panstingle...
Stacey Warner... Rob Paisley... class of ninety.” The voices said, 
taking turns and Rijiin bowed slightly. He exchanged handshakes. 

“Good to meet you.” The elf said and his reply made them frown. Even
though he had not said it directly, that the word ‘Again' seemed to 
hang in the air around them. To the students and others who approached 
him he seemed very familiar to them. 

“So where are you from?” Katie asked, “That is a wonderful accent.” 

“I am from all over.” He said, “Many different places across the
Atlantic.” 

“Oh you are from Europe.” 

“Aye,” Rijiin said, “Mostly near the Mediterranean area, close to Greece
and Italy out of Spain. I lived in an area called...uh Adria.” 

The elf's voice trailed off, his eyes betraying the surprise on his face
when they fell upon a familiar face, one that he would think never to 
see again in a lifetime. A face whom he remembered from his time here 
and as he faced his own death while lying somewhere in time in the 
midst of a forest clearing in Adria. His eyed fell upon and beheld a 
familiar young woman named Emily Montgomery, who had been walking with 
her friends in his direction. 

The young woman met his look with no sign of recognition, nodding to a
now stranger who wore a unique costume thought for the day. He quickly 
remembered his homeroom class with Ms. Hill and the young woman was in 
her class next door. They had waved to each other every morning. 

The others turned their heads to smile when they realized whom he was
staring. He touched his forehead as he silently nodded his head at the 
young woman. Stephanie Riner, standing nearby had seen the motion and 
smiled. 

Janae Dorn had been walking the hallway to her locker, and had turned
the corner to see the stranger. She had immediately realized the 
cloaked man standing here had been the same person in front of the 
school a bit ago, dressed in the fantastic but strange costume. Angie 
Stethem, Christine Zucker, Steven Herres, Mark ‘Boz' Alsobrook and the 
others, all had watched in astonishment of the entire event a few 
minutes ago. They stepped toward him too. 

“Oh my god he was real!” Janae thought, her expression showing surprise.
It had been no dream. More people had started to notice Rijiin now. 
Doug Woolard, Steve “Twinkie” Gardnier, Denise “Watts” Watson, and 
Reggie Wax and many others the elf knew well in another life, another 
time, perhaps another dance. Seeing these people again had unnerved him 
and he overheard the many comments about his old-fashioned costume. 

As Emily had approached him, the elf stepped back as he drew them into
the alcove and letting others pass in the hall behind.  Around him, he 
sensed a faint shimmer of magic. 

“Hello.” She said, smiling at him. Rijiin in turn had managed a slight
grin, staring at the face he had not seen in a long time. 

“Blessings,” He replied. The young woman grinned when she saw the
motion, of touching his forehead first as he bowed slightly. The others 
around him grinned at the custom. 

“Nice costume.” She said, “Who are you... Are you from the Senior Class?
Who are you under all that makeup?” 

Rijiin only managed a grin, and shook his head in a silent reply. 

“It is with my thanks.” Rijiin replied, as the students stepped forward,
clustering about him. “But as I said, I am not from a class here, I am 
a...” 

With that, he paused, contemplating his answer quickly and wondered how
much he could divulge in information that would not harm the time 
stream. Rijiin thought of the many science fiction shows that came to 
mind and how in each program that a minor slip could disrupt future 
events. As for Rijiin, he had almost slipped and caught himself before 
saying an ‘Elf of Malvern.' Here at this place of learning and among 
the now large group gathered here, he would not have been out of line 
to say it. The elf sensed no bigotry, racism, or persecution here. His 
only crime would have been their doubts of Rijiin's identity. 

“... a visitor and old friend... We met a long time ago and you may not
remember me.”  He continued, slowly panning to meet the smiling faces 
of those clustered around him. 

“A friend,” She replied with a smile, “It must have been a while ago.” 

“It is so.” Rijiin replied remembering someone else who had said the
exact same thing, “It has been a long time, and I did not look like I 
do now.” 

“Oh... Well, I'm Emily.” She said, and Rijiin took up her hand, kissing
it gently as he bowed. The young woman had blushed at the old-fashioned 
custom and everyone around them smiled in amusement. 

“It is a great honor,” Rijiin said, “To meet you all, and make your
acquaintances.” 

Although Emily and the others present did not hear him say it, they had
heard the word ‘again' indicated again, a moment after he had replied 
to their chatter. 

Rijiin turned slightly, keeping the blade hidden under his cloak as he
nodded to each one of them.  His words hung in the air a long moment, 
before turning to meet each face. He managed a nod to each one. 

“Alas, they are young.” Rijiin thought, as he stared at them, “So
young.” 

“So, you were the one in front a while ago weren't you?” Janae asked, as
the rest of the group walked up to stand beside him. Rijiin slowly met 
the familiar faces of Katie Roth, now Steph Riner, Angie Stethem, Jen 
Metzler and now Reggie Wax. He spied Brian Sanner, Brian Rupp, Brackney 
Cooper, Doug Woolard, Casey Hess, and countless others peering at him 
from their places down the hall. 

The elf felt uncomfortable, he felt old now and only nodded his head
positively to the young woman. More students who are more familiar to 
the elf had walked up. 

“Aye,” He said, and her face showed surprise, “I was.” 

“Why were you looking at our mascot, the eagle like that?” She asked,
“He was outside earlier, probably just arriving here and he was staring 
transfixed at our mascot.” 

Janae glanced at Rijiin. 

“That mascot reminded me of something very old, from my past ages ago.”
The elf replied, “I was not sure if I had been to this place before. It 
has been a very long time since I saw your mascot or that sort of thing 
in my travels.” 

“Huh?” Janae asked, and he shook his head, as if to again clear harsh
memories. 

“It is of no consequence. I am here.” Rijiin told them and grinned. “Be
at peace.” 

Smiles appeared on everyone's faces. They did not quite know what to
make of Rijiin and his presence here.  The elf had intrigued them by 
his presence, his garb, looks, even his accent. They were not sure whom 
it was that stood before them. Rijiin wondered if he could tell them 
without disrupting the time stream. 

“You are so strange... I have a feeling I know you from somewhere...”
Angie said and the elf managed a quiet chuckle. Others present had 
nodded in agreement. 

“You must be a student here, but your costume looks, and your accent
sounds so real. Are you sure you are not from the senior class?” 

“More than you know.” the young elf thought as he met her smile, “If you
only knew.” 

He only shook his head in response to the many questions. 

The elf met the surprised, but dubious expressions on their faces. He
smiled when he saw Rachael Fabrick and Dawn Fader walk up toward him. 
Doug Lehman followed with Joe Laux. 

“So Rijiin what brings you here?” Emily asked, intrigued like the others
and curious about this stranger. He glanced up, almost replying without 
thinking, but fell silent as he contemplated his answer. 

“I am just visiting, a traveler as you will, coming on a whim.” He told
the group, “I am no student here... Not for a very long time.” 

There were more confused dubious looks on their faces. Rijiin then
sensed something he had not felt in a long time. It was a powerful 
sensation, one that made him gasp aloud. The sensation seemed to 
overwhelm his senses. 

“By our lady,” He gasped, shaking his head as he reached out to steady
himself on the wall. Rijiin gasped when his inner sight kicked in and 
he felt an overwhelming sense of a sinister evil approaching. It is the 
same feeling he had felt well over one hundred years, when he had 
traveled across Europe. An evil power that the elf would fight a long 
time ago and thought destroyed by his own blade. 

Outside, as it snowed a clap of thunder boomed across the landscape. The
clouds seem to billow violently. Everyone heard it, a few who were near 
the doors peered outside. The sky had grown dark and the clouds 
billowed, an almost purplish in color. Inside Rijiin swooned, holding 
onto the wall. 

“But that was a long time ago.” He thought, “That cannot be what I am
sensing.” 

“Are you alright, Rijiin?” A voice asked, watching Rijiin and seeing the
astonished, pained expression on his fair features. He turned carefully 
in a circle as his head and eyes scanned the hall. Everyone present 
laughed, others stared in astonishment when the elf straightened as he 
readied for a fight. 

“Correction, it is here,” Rijiin declared suddenly, knowing he had a job
to do. He would have to fight the evil he now sensed, and there was no 
escape from it. He only suspected what the evil was and a name came to 
mind. 

“Katie, Steph, Emily, Angie, everyone clear the hall... Quickly!” The
young elf exclaimed, reaching back to draw the blade from the scabbard 
with a sharp metallic sound. There were gasps of alarm as the onlookers 
saw the blade, and realized it is a real one. 

Rijiin slowly turned, holding the blade ready and his eyes ever watchful
for any signs. It was here nearby, probably watching and waiting. 

“I can't see you, but I know you are here.” Rijiin said clearly, ducking
as the whistle of a blade whipped over his head, and a loud clang that 
followed. Rijiin rolled clear, onto his feet, and held his blade ready. 
The elf had surprise on his face at what he saw, a man whom he had not 
seen in over a hundred years and he thought to be dead. It would not be 
unlike the elves starlight, green and gray garb, gray cloaks and their 
magic, all having perished a long time ago. 

The wizard was quick to get his blade free, moving in on the elf and
Rijiin barely able to react except by instinct. Sparks flew as their 
blades struck several times, and he pivoted to kick the wizard in the 
chest, making him back up a few steps. He suddenly remembered the name 
when a dark overlord named Tantras of Thay forcefully took control of a 
realm and tried to enslave the common folk. The elf had fought against 
everything the wizard stood for, having seen his harsh methods of 
control and death among men, but also not limited to women and children 
too. He managed a grimace. 

“Nice to see you... Tantras...” Rijiin exclaimed sarcastically. The
wizard's name instinctively came to his lips as the wizard stood before 
him, clad in the familiar red robes. The elf knew who he was, the 
purest evil the elf had ever encountered or known in his travels. He 
held up his blade in a side stance his blade straight up as he stared 
at Tantras' leathery face. Rijiin noted the complex scar at his neck, 
where a long time ago he had cut him the last time they had fought, in 
which he thought he was slain by his blade. 

“By our lady, the man has not changed,” He thought grimacing, “Still
twisted and evil.” 

“Rijiin,” Tantras exclaimed, his voice a mere growl and he turned to
glance at the crowd of onlookers. There were murmurs among students and 
staff who had heard the growl by the figure cloaked in red. They 
glanced at Rijiin who stood fast, holding his ground as he faced down 
the figure in red, showing little emotion or fear. He held his blade, 
gripping it easily, as he stared into the almost flaming albino eyes of 
the evil wizard.  Tantras snarled and he raised his staff as he stepped 
in toward Rijiin. 

Quickly the pair fought, exchanging flashes of steel that resonated
through the hall. Sparks danced from the blades as they met, and a 
crackle of static electricity echoed through the air. A ripple of fear 
by the many students moved through the hallway, having retreated. They 
sensed the hatred between these two and knew that it was deadly real 
and this was not staged or were they friends.  Many of the students had 
departed to get their lunch and quickly returned only to see this 
unholy situation brewing before them. 

The elf relied on his deftness of foot, his skill at steel-play and his
knowledge of battle as he fought Tantras. Many times, Rijiin let the 
powerful strikes expel into the open air, the wizard's blade whistling 
loudly as they came within inches of his person and others he 
skillfully parried. He spun like a cat in place, letting Tantras' blade 
whistle along his back. This fight would be nothing like he had 
encountered in his travels or like the last time the young elf and 
Tantras would clash. 

Before when the elves fought, they relied on the starlight that helped
them in battle, but again that was a long time ago and there was no 
starlight now. The power of the elves long since had faded at the end 
when they gave themselves to oblivion. Strike after strike the elf 
parried or dodged the wizard's strikes, pivoting away from him. The 
whole time, with each motion, Rijiin lured and drew him farther down 
the hallway deliberately away from the crowd, his intent to protect 
them so that no innocent blood spilled on this day.  The crowd around 
the elf and wizard dodged and cleared the hallway as they continued to 
fight. 

A door opened and two staff members stepped through the door, gasping
aloud when they saw the unholy situation of violence brewing here. They 
stared at Rijiin a sword in hand, who squared off with Tantras a bladed 
staff in hand, as live steel exchanged between them. The elf could see 
the Martin and Sparrows stood too close to Tantras, who lunged at them, 
trying to distract Rijiin's attention to get an underhanded strike at 
him. The elf blocked one blow that had almost taken Martin's head off 
and he pushed her aside knocking her clear. He moved to block as Yux 
appeared at the door. All three were shocked at what was happening 
here. 

“I beg your pardon messier, mistress.” He told them as his fist
connected with the wizard's chin and the elf grimaced when it made the 
wizard back up three steps. 

“Please Maryanne, please Bob, keep the students back, and the staff
needs to stay back too,” Rijiin growled, “This is my fight, and I 
cannot allow anyone to lose their lives, not to this man. I am the only 
one who can defeat him. Fear not, I will protect everyone from him.” 

“Who the hell is that Rijiin?” The councilor stammered, “What is going
on here?” 

“Maryanne, please,” Rijiin said, making her look up, hearing the urgency
in his tone. The other councilor heard his tone too, seeing the look 
the elf gave him and his first name. The elf shook his head at both of 
them. The young elf stepped forward bravely and brought the blade up to 
block and sparks appeared, lancing out to kick him, pushing him back 
three feet. The wizard stood there stunned for a moment or two. 
Standing beside the elf it had startled Martin to hear her first name 
and usually it was not appropriate for a student to do that. 

She suddenly sensed there was more to Rijiin L'Theil than she
understood, and gasped to realize he was no student. 

“Much more,” She thought, frowning as he stepped forward toward the
figure cloaked in red.  Moving in they exchanged several more shots and 
the clashing of the blades and the thunder outside could be heard 
throughout the hall. 

“Jane, you'd better call the police.” Martin said and the secretary
turned. She paused a moment when something extraordinary caught her eye 
and realized the elf was glowing slightly with an aura. Blinking her 
eyes, she looked again for confirmation. The students and staff saw the 
same thing and stared in silent wonder. 

“He's glowing?” Thought Sparrows, “What the heck is that about?” 

She found herself unable to move for some reason. 

“What on Earth is that!?” Martin exclaimed as more staff appeared from
the hall and rooms around them. 

Rijiin had heard Martin's instruction, and he almost laughed aloud at
the absurdity of the thought, knowing fully well that the police would 
not be able to take Tantras by normal means. He would slaughter them 
just as he had men, women, and children over a hundred years ago. The 
wizard, the elf knew, was uncontrollable by mortals or anyone and he 
had shown that during his evil reign over a kingdom he had taken over.  
He dodged several more strikes by the evil one in red, lunging to 
thrust his blade forward. 

“I wouldn't bother with calling your authorities...” Rijiin told them,
“They will die the same way as you all will if I fail to stop him.” 

“I-I don't understand, why is it your fight Rijiin?” Maryanne asked,
“What do you mean you are the only one to stop him?” 

“He has come for me,” Rijiin replied coldly, “Be at peace, he cannot
harm me, Tantras of Thay is a known killer and has been after me for a 
long time now, for almost a hundred years. He is the purest evil you 
will ever know. You humans have one life, and if you value it I suggest 
you all stay back.” 

The elf had echoed the warning by Conner McCloud from the Highlander
movie. 

“What!” Gasped the councilor, a look of surprise on her face, “T-that's
c-crazy, that's impossible!” 

“Not if you are an elf and an immortal.” Rijiin said, as he held his
blade ready, “I am Rijiin L'Theil. I was borne at in the year thirteen 
hundred and fifty two in the forest's of Malvern. I am immortal and I 
cannot die.” 

He paused, turning toward the wizard and glanced at the startled
expressions around him. Rijiin pointed the blade at Tantras and then 
put the blade against the floor as if to draw an invisible line on the 
floor in front of him. He straightened after the motion and held the 
blade, daring the wizard to cross it. 

“Come wizard, take me if you can,” He challenged and the wizard
grimaced, snarling venomously. There was surprise by the staff member 
and the students present who heard Rijiin's challenge. He stepped 
forward, trading steel and he cut the wizard on his shoulder. The elf 
had followed through and had stepped back from Tantras. Everyone saw 
the bloody slash, the very real blood on the red robe and the 
splattering of it onto the tile floor. A low murmur followed as the 
wizard's blood dripped onto the floor. 

“First blood, don't bother to yield,” Rijiin exclaimed sharply, as he
had spun away after following through and stood with his blade ready. 
Tantras snarled, quietly cursing before he moved in, trying to hit the 
dodging elf with flashes of magic that he cast upon him.  As Rijiin 
backed, he moved from side to side, letting the blade expel into the 
empty air and his spells. Students and staff moved aside in all 
directions as they fought. He motioned for the wizard to follow, 
drawing him back, and leading him toward the alcove on the far side of 
the hall. Other staff members had come into the action, and the elf 
parried to move back, standing between them and the wizard. 

“What the heck is going on?” A shout asked as many others had come from
all directions. 

“There's two people sword dueling in the sophomore's hallway.” 

All eyes had turned, watching the sword battle and the flashes of energy
from Tantras. Rijiin continued to trade steel as he backed down the 
hall, leading the wizard along with him. Many times people scattered to 
avoid being taken up in this violence, and elf had made sure to head 
for the door taking the fight outside. Sparks lanced out from the 
blades as they struck in the cold air.  Above them, thunder boomed 
despite it was cold and snowing. The clouds seem to be billowing and 
seemed to be reacting to each strike. 

There was astonishment throughout the whole building at the thunder and
lightning that boomed and the lightning that crackled overhead. Staff 
appeared at the door, as did the students, watching in silence as the 
two circled and fought. The elf dodged and did the splits and with a 
lunge, he pushed and flipped in mid air over the blade of the wizard. 
There was a gasp and cheer by the students and staff. 

“Very well done, Rijiin!” A voice shouted as cheer resonated across the
field. The elf grinned as he landed on his feet to turn and parry 
Tantras' blade, sparks appearing in the open cold air. 

“You still are as good as you were centuries ago.” The Mage grumbled,
“But you are still weaker than I and are still weak for keeping the 
wrong company. We pathetic humans killed your people into extinction a 
long time ago, and yet you still care for them.” 

Rijiin listened carefully to the statement, as did the others around
him. There was a low murmur echoing through the group who watched. 

“You are dead.” The wizard said, as a strange aura surrounded him. 

“Save the empty threats, as it has been tried before and that has
failed. Come and fight if you dare wizard.” Rijiin challenged. 

Tantras snarled and leapt in, Rijiin barely dodged the reckless move
that would have severely damaged him.  The two circled and Rijiin 
slipped in and he cut Tantras again, his blade slicing cleanly on his 
throat.  A scream echoed the field from the spectators as blood spilled 
from the wound. Grimacing, the evil wizard's face showed rage as he 
staggered backwards. 

“Hurt?” Rijiin taunted sarcastically, thinking of the character Ramirez
from the Highlander movie. He had taunted the Kurgan character in the 
fight between them in the movie when he cut him across his throat. He 
grinned in spite of the situation here. His life certainly had been 
like the Highlander movie for the years he had been alone, traveling 
and living many lives. There was a sporadic chuckle from the 
spectators, recognizing the statement from the Highlander Movie. 

“Die elf!” Tantras coughed. 

“My cut has improved your voice.”  Rijiin sarcastically taunted and he
smiled again before ducking the blade as it whistled over his head. The 
elf had just barely moved the blade in the parry. Again, they circled 
and Rijiin waited for the right move that would make him victor to this 
fight, if it were possible.  Rijiin dodged as Tantras cast his arcane 
magic making steaming holes in the snow where it struck. The elf 
staggered backward as the wizard' blade flicked out and cut Rijiin's 
arm, before the point found home in his chest. Rijiin had only let out 
a sharp grunt, and staggered falling to his knees as the wizard found 
himself tackled from behind. He heard the scream and voices from the 
group now gathered and from others who ran toward the elf. 

“Leave him alone!” A voice shouted, as five people had tackled Tantras,
including a staff member. 

“MISHEAR!” Tantras' voice thundered and a moment later, he saw the five
people who had tackled Tantras, thrown back ten feet.  The elf heard a 
curse, as Janae tackled the wizard, and he watched as Katie followed 
suit followed by two other upper classman. The wizard drew a dagger and 
without a word, he cut Janae's throat, thrusting it Katie's chest. 
Blood spurted from the wounds, and both had no chance to cry out.  
Others were on him but promptly thrown off. Students and staff stood 
their ground in front of the wizard as a ball of energy appeared over 
his head as he cast a spell. 

“Poran cir argos!” Tantras snarled as the energy thrust out, throwing
them back. Many dodged but in the path of the fire, several were not so 
fortunate.  There was a loud scream, as many burned alive. More 
students and staff squared off before the wizard, much more cautious 
now as a few of the students tried to help the wounded. He saw Katie 
and Janae's classmates held something against the wound in her chest. 

A staff member and a couple of students had charged the elf to help him
and they knelt beside him. 

“Rijiin,” A voice said. The young elf turned his head and saw no one
near him. 

“Get up Rijiin.” Her voice commanded, echoing in his head.  “You must
help them.” 

“I am finished, my Lady, let me fade.” Rijiin replied, “Let me join the
others.” 

The group gathered beside the elf heard his reply and raised their
eyebrows, wondering who he was talking to. Rijiin closed his eyes for a 
moment. 

“Get up Rijiin! Damn you...” Another voice echoed in his head and he
raised an eyebrow when he thought he heard the voice of Mirya, 
Terrill's lover. The elf turned his head and thought he could see the 
images of Sana, Cara, Talla, Terrill, Varden, and Mirya nearby. 

Rijiin lay back and closed his eyes. He gasped when he saw something he
had not seen in over a hundred years. He saw starlight burning 
brightly, clearly and coldly in the darkness. He let the starlight 
flow, something else he had not done in centuries and as it filled in, 
it did so in a burst of energy. Slowly he sat up, startling the several 
people who stood or knelt beside him. As he stood up Rijiin motioned 
with his hand and the blade carried by one of the students flew from 
his hand. 

“Wait, you will bleed if you get...”  A concerned voice said and the elf
met the speaker with a silent shake of his head. They let the elf stand 
on his feet, and they saw the blood had stopped, only covering the 
leather tunic he wore. The wound was gone. 

“Oh my god!” A voice said, and all attention focused upon Rijiin. Time
seemed to stand still, as he began to glow and an aura of starlight 
energy appeared around him. A wind whipped from behind the elf, making 
the falling snow swirl across the field. 

“What the f...” A voice exclaimed, “Oh my god, he's...” 

The voice fell into silence as the students, and staff who surrounded
Tantras, had stopped and turned. Everyone present had been astonished, 
seeing Rijiin standing alive, well and walking toward the evil one in 
red. The wizard himself had also turned, seeing his adversary standing 
there and his jaw had dropped open at first. Quickly recovering 
himself, his mouth twitched slightly. 

“No.” Rijiin declared solemnly, “I cannot allow this, this is a time
that has never known battle and should remain as it is. It shall remain 
without bloodshed. Come and fight me wizard.” 

The young elf had challenged and he pointed the blade at him, “If you
dare, because Lord Tantras, you have chosen the wrong timeline and 
focal point!” 

Another shift in time seemed to happen. 

“You now have two troubles Lord Tantras.” He challenged coldly, the
inflection strong in his voice and full of starlight, “Swords and Elven 
magic.” 

Everyone around them heard Rijiin's words, the cold icy tone that filled
his voice, and he kept the blade pointed at the wizard. Staff and 
humans looked on as he walked between the bodies of Katie and Janae. He 
let the power of starlight flow over him and the wizard did not move 
until Rijiin stood practically in front of him. Tantras roared as he 
jumped in at the elf, thrusting his weapon toward him and Rijiin had 
already connected to the stars when the wizard had lunged. The elf 
expertly brought up his blade easily in one motion to block Tantras' 
blade. 

Quickly Rijiin felt the power surge from within and the starlight
flowing fluidly through him. The elf moved in easily, able to see 
images of battle lay out before him. He knew what the wizard planned 
even before Tantras knew himself. Rijiin's blade flashed as he dodged, 
parried or blocked the motion of the wizard as they circled. Both 
traded steel shot for shot, and Rijiin did not budge letting most of 
wizard's powerful strikes expend cleanly into the air. 

Tantras swung his staff across the body and tried for a head shot. The
wizard had to step back quickly, almost breaking his own neck to avoid 
Rijiin's blade moving in toward him.  The elf lanced out with another 
spinning kick, hitting the wizard in his sternum and he flew backwards 
five feet to land with a hard thud in the snow. Tantras sat in the snow 
dazed for a moment, and he reached up to touch his throat when he felt 
a dribble of warmth on his neck. He stared at the blood, his own blood 
that now was on his hand and realizing the elf had cut him again.  He 
jumped to his feet. 

“Damn you elf.” Tantras spat as he stood there facing the calm
expression of Rijiin who waited. The wizard muttered a spell and 
multiple times his arcane magic and his staff lanced out at the elf 
with no avail. The wizard's face showed frustration, as the elf calmly 
stood there and his bladed staff whistled as he lashed out. Rijiin 
danced away as Tantras moved in and lifting his leg, the elf drove his 
knee in his sternum. The wizard exhaled sharply and Rijiin threw him 
clear. The mage was on his feet, and left then right the elf parried 
the onslaught by Tantras with his bladed staff. 

“This shall end now.” Rijiin exclaimed as their blades clashed loudly.
Every strike seemed to resound with thunder across the field as they 
fought. Lighting and thunder crashed above them, the clouds still 
billowing as they fought. 

“ELTHIA!” The Elf's voice rang out clear and cold. Students and staff
had heard the voice of Rijiin to look up as he parried the bladed staff 
of the wizard. Rijiin stood his ground his blade at ready. Tantras 
charged in toward the Elf a second later he saw his opening. He pivoted 
on one foot as his blade lanced out, slicing the wizard across his 
throat. Rijiin followed through and pivoting in behind, he let his 
blade flash as it sliced again. The wizard staggered forward as a 
grayish complexion appeared on his face and around them time seemed to 
stop. 

No one moved for several seconds as everyone stared at the wizard then
to Rijiin. Slowly the head of the wizard, as if in slow motion, slid 
from his body from the neck. A scream sounded as Tantras' head rolled 
three times, and the body fell behind it.  It was over and Rijiin stood 
beside the wizard's inert body. 

“There can be only one!” Rijiin declared solemnly as a glow appeared
around the body of Tantras. It became incandescent as the body began to 
rise upward. White energy and sparks had appeared from the neck of the 
body that moved outward toward the elf. Students and staff all stared 
in silence, as the energy enveloped Rijiin and the elf closed his eyes 
as he soaked in the white energy. He shook as he took in the electrical 
energy and a moment he screamed as a wind whipped around him. Windows 
from the nearby buildings blew outward covering everyone in glass. It 
was same scenario from the Highlander movies after the battle ended 
between two immortals. Rijiin brought up the blade to his forehead as 
another burst of energy swirled about the elf before he sank to his 
knees. Clearing his head quickly, glanced at the others around him, the 
other students who watched this event from the beginning to end.  He 
stared hard at the body of the wizard. 

“What the hell was that?” A voice asked, as a low murmur rippled through
the gathered students and staff. 

“The battle has ended and Rijiin has won.” A voice said, “Just like the
movie Highlander.” 

“No, I will not heal you, damn you.” Rijiin said, almost with a growl,
still kneeling over the body of Tantras, his voice filled with cold 
starlight, “This and your life line will end now.” 

Students and staff present had heard him, and they turned, eyebrows
raised. The elf's voice had been hard, without mercy and yet tempered 
like the steel he held in his hand. Again, glances went from Rijiin to 
the wizard and back again. The elf, sheathing the blade had turned to 
walk toward the bodies of those fallen and toward the humans who had 
gathered around the bodies of their friends who lay in the snow.  The 
staff members and students were baffled. Everyone stayed where they 
were, as they watched the elf in astonishment and all surprised by what 
they had just seen. 

The elf sighed before he turned and walked to the first two bodies. Here
he knelt beside Janae first. Rijiin glanced up at the people who had 
knelt beside her and they met his look. 

“What are you?” A voice asked, “Who was that? Why did you kill him?” 

Rijiin said nothing, as a hard look appeared on his face, and an
incandescent aura seemed to flow from his hands. The power in his hands 
seemed to shift as it surrounding him, making him glow brightly. They 
jumped back as he let the starlight flow and were silent as the strange 
glowing aura surrounded the bodies of Janae and Katie lying in the 
snow. 

“HEY what are you doing?” A voice asked and Rijiin turned to see Steve
Herries standing over him as well as Val and others. Many of the young 
women were weeping over the dead who lay in the snow. There was a white 
flash, as if a flash of sunlight pulsed in the cold daylight, the aura 
still surrounding Rijiin. 

“I am and elf and healer.” He replied, “I can help and heal. A talent, I
shall lend to repair this madness.” 

Rijiin had spoken quietly, and matter-of-factly as he looking up to meet
each expression of sorrow. 

“But they are dead.” Val said, and Rijiin shook his head. Staff members
stood like the students, watching what he was doing, unsure what to do. 


“You humans give up too easily.” The elf murmured, “It is so, Val, but
death is only a condition that can be reversed.” 

Rijiin pushed back his hair, and revealed his slender ears that showed
clearly.  They stared at the elf's fair features in astonishment. They 
realized there was something more to Rijiin. His statement had been 
true. 

“What does that... uh... mean?” The young man had been startled to hear
his name and like several others had never told Rijiin who they were. 
Val, like the others had realized that Rijiin had already known who 
they were from his time together at Bellbrook and where he had been a 
part of these people's lives. 

They had stared aghast at the energy now swirling in a sphere around the
elf and their fallen classmates. Rijiin focused the starlight, seeing 
the wound closing up before his eyes and he felt the young woman's 
presence once again before him. Turning he let the incandesce strike 
Katie and healing energy poured over her. He sensed them both here and 
living again. Rijiin allowed himself to smile, as time seemed to 
freeze. He could almost hear the hymn of the Lady sang by Natil as she 
played her harp, a long time ago. 

He looked down at the young woman named Janae and over at Katie who lay
in the snow, knowing they could feel healing warmth coursing through 
their bodies. Slowly both opened their eyes and turning their heads, 
stared at the face of Rijiin. 

“W-where am I?” Janae whispered, “What happened? It's cold...” 

She tried to sit up but Rijiin gently pushed her back. The young woman
had a surprised look on her face. 

“Just lay there a moment and relax, until you both gain your strength
again.” He said, and turned his head to regard Katie who had opened her 
eyes too.  They remembered the last images as a dagger flashed. 
Everyone looked on in amazement at what had happened. Rijiin had 
brought them back from the dead, and healed them. 

“What's going on?” 

“Oh my god they're alive! Look!” A shout said and everyone ran toward
Janae Katie, and the others. 

Janae turned her head. “What's wrong? What happened, why are you all
staring at me?” 

Katie had the same question on her face and they turned to regard
Rijiin. They heard the shouts, their classmates and staff members 
clustering about the two young women. Their eyes never left the elf, 
kneeling beside them. 

“You were both dead.” Rijiin whispered, “All is well, I... I brought you
back.” 

“I... We were dead?” Katie asked, glancing at Janae, but both did
remember the flash of a silver dagger and a brief pain from their slash 
wound. 

“But...h-how can you be alive, we saw you stabbed in the chest!” Katie
stammered, staring incredibly at the elf, “You should be dead! I saw 
the wound!” 

“Be at peace, it is very difficult to kill an elf.” Rijiin replied, “Ta
nae seasamin. Lle anta est.” 

Rijiin spoke Elfish to them, as fluently as he had centuries ago. There
were cheers, yelps of joy, shouts echoing around them as Janae and 
Katie sat up. He stood up, walking toward the others helped up by 
fellow students. The two peered at the place in the snow where they had 
fallen over fifteen minutes ago and both wincing at the blood, their 
blood, that still stained the snow.  Many voices echoed across the 
field, trying to explain to them that they had been dead for ten 
minutes. Katie's first reaction was a puzzled glance down at her shirt, 
seeing the hole and blood on it.  Her mouth was open as she pulled the 
top of her shirt open and peered down at the sound flesh there. 

“There is no wound!” Katie exclaimed to herself, still peering at the
sound flesh. Her gaze fell upon Rijiin, walking a short distance to the 
others who had fallen here today and he knelt beside the charred 
remains of what had been Emily, Stephanie, Brian, Mark and several 
others, even a staff member or two. Without another word, he reached 
into his pouch and withdrew an amber stone.  The sphere of energy 
seemed to fill into the stone as he knelt there and it began to glow. 
Students and staff had turned to stare at Rijiin and had drawn back 
when they saw the stone he now held in his hands. 

“Oh my god!” Janae and Katie exclaimed, their smiles fading when they
saw the glowing stone. Rijiin sensed their fear and all eyes had turned 
to stare at him. He thought he heard the harp music somewhere. 

“What is he doing?” 

“Be at peace.” Rijiin declared, pitching his voice loud enough for them
to hear, “I shall deal with the others who perished here this day.” 

Closing his eyes, the elf let the starlight flow through him and the orb
began to glow dully. There were murmurs of question, yet no one moved, 
they were just aghast, staring at the strange energy that surrounded 
Rijiin. Murmuring, he recited the words that belonged to the hymn of 
the Lady.  The aura around the stone grew white hot and he turned to 
regard the faces of the people around him as he held the orb. He was 
ready. Outside at the parking lot that he saw the flashing lights of 
the police and rescue. 

“Arae ea circa.” Rijiin said, “Let it come forth. Let time restore to
what it was this day.” 

“Hold it right there!” An authoritative voice shouted, “Drop that
stone!” 

“HEY! What is...?” A voice shouted and there was silence as the elf
turned his head and flashed a smile. 

There was a scream as Rijiin stretched up and as he threw down the orb.
A white-hot energy blew outward in a great explosion where the elf 
stood as the power surrounded the bodies of those slain by Tantras. It 
blinded everyone as it swirled brightly in a large flash. Rijiin 
suddenly realized he was doing the exact same thing that Varden had 
done long ago. He remembered the story of Charity. It had been on a 
cold winter's day when his kinsfolk handed the orb to the blacksmith, a 
protection of magic against the leather woman who lived outside of the 
village of Saint Brigid. He had been helping her, patching her house, 
giving her food. The blacksmith had confronted her when she had 
appeared outside her doorway, and keeping the peace, he handed the orb 
to her. She threw it down and there was a great explosion. The 
disfigured woman had vanished and Charity had been borne. 

On the other side of the large gym, in the building next door, the loud
explosion echoed as the energy raced across the snow and it literally 
shook the ground. The students of the Junior High next door and staff 
had ran to the windows and saw a wave of energy appear, shaking the 
ground as it rolled across each building. As the hot energy flew 
outward, striking the buildings, there was a flash and silence. Rijiin 
was standing in the small field outside when the flash cleared, waiting 
for the effects to wear off and he stared hard at the snow. Time had 
shifted and everything had seemed different. He looked upon the empty 
ground at the white snow, then looking up he saw Emily, Stephanie, and 
the others killed here, standing nearby. He smiled broadly. The 
vehicles had vanished as time was reverted backward. 

“By our Lady!” The elf thought, “Natil! They're here!” 

His mind had shouted out in relief as he had stood watching them. Their
expressions had been surprise. The students killed by Tantras' arcane 
magic had been staring at each other in bewildered silence, unable to 
comprehend what had just happened. Their last memories had been their 
attacking the wizard, a flash, and then nothing else. Slowly they 
turned their heads, peering in astonishment at the elf who stood there 
smiling with Janae, Katie, and several others that burned with them. 
Blood still stained the snow where the two students, their friends and 
classmates had fallen. 

They turned to glance at the silent stone expression of Rijiin as a cold
wind whipped around them, rustling the elf's gray cloak. Large flakes 
of a steady snow began to fall from the clouds above. Time changed 
back, reverting to what was and the memory of what the wizard had done 
to the students was fading. There was surprise from inside as Rijiin 
glanced at the faces behind him in the doorway and to the few who were 
outside. 

“W-what happened?” Katie whispered, “What the heck did you do?” 

“I was able to help and heal. I changed the time stream and pulled back
time to what was. I saved Emily and the others from death and changed 
the history timeline that we had traversed.” Rijiin murmured, “They 
have been restored to what was. They died in this place by a man who 
had come for me and that was not the focal point of this time stream.” 

The elf glanced at the confused expressions everyone present, who had
heard the elf's explanation. Other students and staff clustered about 
the elf, the two young women and the few who had been hurt here today. 
There was a lot of shouting and embracing, especially for Emily, 
Stephanie and the others. Everyone that had seen them fall, students 
and staff were glad to see them. Emily and the others turned to the elf 
as he managed a grin of his own as they clustered about him. The elf 
stepped back. 

“Be at peace you are safe, and I must leave. The time stream has been
restored to what it was and the evil that happened here is no more.” 
The elf exclaimed, and he turned with only a swish of his cloak. 

“H-how did you do that?” 

The elf sighed. “Humans,” He said, and grinned. 

“Thank you, I think.” Emily said embracing Rijiin warmly and even kissed
him on the lips. There was a smile and laughter, whistles, catcalls 
even an ‘Oooh and Ahhhs' out of the crowd.  They held it for a full 
five minutes. 

“Thank you Rijiin.” Emily whispered lustily, returning the smile the elf
gave her. 

“You are quite welcome me' lady.” He replied, bowing slightly. Janae and
Katie also tried to embrace the elf but this time their hands passed 
right through him. 

“What the...” They both gasped, as a Cheshire cat grin appeared on
Rijiin's face and he felt the winds of time pulling him. Emily put out 
her hand.  The others looked on in silence, as the elf nodded slightly 
to the groups gathered, and the staff. 

“Fear not. You shall see me again if you desire to do so. I shall be
waiting west in a place called Wilcox!” Rijiin told them and pausing he 
saw Emily's hands out and the sad expression on her face. 

“Don't worry.” He told the group, “Hey it's a kind of magic...” 

With that, the elf flashed a smile at the group gathered before he
disappeared in a flash. 

Lying in the camp he had made, back in the fifteenth century, Rijiin
stirred from his sleep and slowly opened his eyes.  He sat up and 
panned a long astonished look to the familiar trees and forest around 
him. Slowly he stood up, and cleaned his camp before turning to walk 
not more than fifty paces. Here he would stand again at the remains of 
Saint Brigid. The elf felt confused by the memories and images of 
battle. Rijiin wondered if while he had slept, he dreamed the whole 
thing. He closed his eyes to see only blackness there. Even the 
starlight had been a possible hallucination or part of a dream. 

“The memories were so vivid and real.” Rijiin thought, “Was it?” 

He did not know or could not be sure if it were a dream or not. A few
minutes elapsed before Rijiin had traveled back to the remains of Saint 
Brigid and there in the falling sleet and rain he stared at this 
depressing sight. Rijiin stood as Natil had, at least a hundred years 
before him, at the edge of the remains of this village. The elf touched 
his forehead and bowed slightly. A solemn scene remained there as rain 
fell upon it and the drops pelted the hood of the elf's cloak. 

“I must go.” Rijiin said, “It is here that I say goodbye and I shall
never forget you all. I must leave now, and you take care wherever you 
are.” 

With that, the elf turned and he walked away from the remains of Saint
Brigid. Rijiin had done the same thing as Natil had done too. She had 
said goodbye to the town and the people who had known the elves and 
accepted them as is. The Harper then moved off to the northeast. He 
unknowingly followed his beloved Harper's steps, as she had traveled 
the same direction to leave Adria all together. 

Walking alone, the young elf journeyed along the eastern road that would
take him again to the north, leading to another village not unlike 
Saint Brigid, called Furze and here he traveled alone through the 
falling snow. A couple of hours elapsed and he soon came to the 
familiar fields of Furze. He stepped up to the bridge that would cross 
the Malvern River into the village itself, walking the road openly and 
undisguised. The young elf had pushed the hood of his cloak back, and 
adjusted his hair to revealing his fair features, clearly showing he 
was an elf as he threw the penny toll into the basket. He glanced at 
the astonished guard who stood on watch. The guard stared incredulously 
at Rijiin and the elf only nodded respectfully to him as he crossed the 
bridge. 

The elf, as he entered the village met the many expressions of the
village folk that lived here, as well as soldiers and clergy who had 
walked through the streets. They eyed him suspiciously and the Rijiin 
sensed their hatred, disapproval and even fear of him. The people knew 
who and what he was. 

He remembered the Inquisition and the conditioned fear that had gripped
this village. As for the common-folk, they looked away when they saw 
the elf, or moved aside to wait for him to pass. Mothers grabbed their 
children, drawing them back against them. Many soldiers scowled at the 
elf, and low murmurs echoed by the people present through the town. 
Rijiin realized he is getting the same reaction as he had seen in the 
northern-western town, Maris. 

“What do they fear?” He thought, as he nodded to a Dominican Priest who
walked toward him. 

“Blessings upon you this day good priest,” He told him and the priest
only grimaced as he passed the elf. Behind Rijiin, the priest had 
suddenly paused realizing that an elf, a heretical being they were out 
to vanquish from earth completely, had passed him. He turned and 
frowned, staring at Rijiin like the common folk of the village. 

“A heretic!” exclaimed the priest, as other clergy joined him and a low
murmur passed through his small group. The priest glanced at the guards 
who stared at him too. 

“What are you waiting for?” He shouted, pointing at Rijiin with a
shaking finger, “Arrest that creature in the name of God!” 

Screams followed as soldiers ran from all directions and Rijiin drew his
blade. He parried the attacks with speed and precision, slaying each 
soldier with without a word. Rijiin with his blade still drawn and 
still in his hand he walked down the middle of the street. 

“Come and fight me damn you.” He snarled at the soldiers who put up
their hands and withdrew from the street. He lashed out and his blade 
flashed as another soldier fell. Others fled from his presence when 
they realized that this being was not going to give them mercy. 

“No not you!” A voice said. “Please sir, mercy!” 

Rijiin said nothing and slew him anyway as he continued walking to the
far end of the village. The elf headed to the eastern gate that would 
take him out of here. He fought only the soldiers who had been brave 
enough to challenge him and others he left behind their lack of action 
allowed them to watch a wake of violence move through the streets. 
Rijiin sensed they were allowing him to leave despite the urging of the 
clergy who screamed curses at them and at the elf. Rijiin turned, tired 
of the shouting and he charged the clergy. Sword flashing he slew each 
one and they fell in a bloody heap. He held one and he had the point of 
his blade at his throat. Fear gripped the clergy as he raised his hand 
to motion the soldiers back. 

“Next time, be wary.” Rijiin snarled, “I give you back your life. Easily
taken and now freely given. May you use it wisely in the future!” 

“You never had it Satan.” Spat the priest, “It is not yours to give or
take.” 

Rijiin grimaced as he roughly grabbed the priest's collar front, and in
front of the many soldiers and common folk, he ran his sword through 
him. Blood splattered from his body onto the ground and there was a 
scream. 

“Then die.” Rijiin said coldly, “And vengeance to my slain brothers and
sisters, and their needless persecution. For, I am the last of those 
folk to roam these woods.” 

The priest heard the words and a smile of triumph appeared on his face
then a look of fear. The common folk had heard his words and frowns 
appeared on their faces, a growing hostility toward the clergy and the 
Inquisition. Rijiin sensed death sweeping in to take the soul of the 
priest a moment later, and he pulled out his blade from the corpse 
wiping the blood from it onto the dead priest's robe before standing 
upright. 

The elf held the blade ready as he made his way to the edge of town,
walking down the middle of the street. He glanced on either side at the 
common-folk who stood watching him and soldiers who stood back away 
from him. When the elf reached the gate, he met the look of some 
soldiers on the gate who had seen the violence in the square and they 
drew back, allowing him to pass. No one challenged him, no one followed 
in pursuit, having heard the words of the elf who spoke clear, 
concisely and his tone ice cold. Rijiin returned a respectful nod to 
soldiers at the gate as he passed and disappeared into the falling 
snow. 

A few hours later, Rijiin found himself far from Adria on the road to
the east where he would travel for a full day before he camped. He 
managed to make it this far without incident, leaving the control and 
realm of the Inquisition forever. 

As the elf sat alone, beside his makeshift cover in his camp and next to
a warm fire, he sat with his eyes closed to stare at the darkness. The 
elf wished he could see the starlight as the elves could a long time 
ago and wished he could go to the Lady, clad in blue and silver robes 
to seek her council and wisdom. All he saw was darkness, that power 
having long since vanished over the many centuries of wandering by the 
elf. 

Opening his eyes at the sound of the crackling fire, he stared at the
burning wood and embers as they traveling upward into the star filled 
sky. The elf thought of the trip to the future that he had undertaken 
with Natil and wished that he could return to those times when 
everything made a difference. A time where there were few elves left 
gathered in the thickest forest of Malvern. He was alone with no star 
to guide him in a now vast world of men. 

In the future, at the same moment in time, that a lone truck from Uhaul™
lumbered down the highway known as 50-East as it crossed the long 
stretch road across the desolate part of Nevada. It is heading east 
toward the next town called Ely and inside the cab, Becky and Mimi 
occupied it. Together the young women travel together with no idea 
where they are going or a reason why. They both found themselves drawn 
by an irresistible urge to head east, just as Rijiin had told them they 
would. Together it would take Mimi and Becky four months after not 
finding the portal to pack up everything they owned, put it in a truck 
to depart abruptly from California without warning to anyone. 

As Becky sat behind the wheel, Mimi peered out ahead as she took
pictures with her camera and they entered the outskirts of the town of 
Ely. Each one took turns driving while the other sat with their eyes 
closed idly staring at the starlight that seemed to twinkle in the 
darkness or continue to take pictures, idly chatted with each other or 
listened to the radio. They had a power they still did not understand, 
one given to them by Rijiin and Natil's healing powers, several months 
ago on the campus of De Anza College. A power of help and healing that 
would change them both into what they were supposed to be, immortal 
elves. 

The elves magic had changed Mimi first but as they did so, the powers
swirled and surrounded the rest of the group present. Mimi and Becky 
both could see the starlight that the firstborn elves could see, its 
power changing them as the weeks and month progressed, but the 
starlight still troubled them both. They did not know what they were 
supposed to do as elves. Both had traveled frequently to Eastridge and 
had found the portal that took them through time and space to the past. 
They had arrived many times, four hundred plus years where Rijiin and 
Natil welcomed them warmly with the other elves. Lately, however, they 
found themselves left empty and hollow after not able to find the 
portal to take them to Adria. Only this trip had brought them closer 
together in knowing what they were looking for. 

Mouse also knew also that by now that Robert would be going ape shit
frantic, finding and reading the note, she left him. Mimi had told him 
that she loved him, and needed to seek out what called to her. Mimi 
omitted deliberately her destination, who she traveled with, and when 
she would return. She closed her eyes, letting the starlight touch her 
very soul and it seemed to calm her excitement and uneasiness of what 
they expected to find ahead of them. 

“Where the heck are we Mouse?” Becky asked, and Mimi turned her head,
opening her eyes and reached out to grab the map. 

“We're 5 miles from Ely, Nevada.” She replied, “We'd better fill up, it
is a long way to the next town in Utah.” 

As they entered the city of Ely, there is a main drag for buildings, a
downtown, and many casinos line the streets. It is an old town, most of 
the buildings dingy from the heat of summer, and the harshness of 
winter. Ely is a former mining town that would be their waypoint to 
fill the Uhaul™ truck's huge fuel tank and their stomachs. 

As Mimi pumped the gas, she stood at the station's pumps taking pictures
with her camera while Becky grabbed some snacks for them to eat on the 
way. When it was finished fueling, Mimi locked the truck and walked 
into the convenience store to the bathroom. Mimi returned a few minutes 
later. Becky stood outside the truck, stretching her legs, arms and 
back as they prepared to continue their journey. 

“I got you a Dr Pepper™, some chips and some candies.” Becky offered and
Mouse smiled, “Also got you some more film.” 

“With thanks.” Mouse replied, stepping up to seat herself in the
driver's side while Becky took up the passenger seat.  The inside of 
the cab was rather spacious, despite the camera bag, purses and grocery 
bags that sat on the floor between them. It had a standard two-bucket 
seat setup, with a bench fold down for a third passenger.  It was quite 
roomy for a truck. 

“Say, did you call Robert?” Becky asked suddenly, “Let him know we made
it to Ely?” Mouse shook her head negatively. 

“No way, I told him why I left and omitted our destination, since
neither of us know where that lies.” Mouse replied, “Actually I should, 
but I don't think he wants to speak with me. After all, he thinks I am 
not me, but someone else. He obviously didn't like what Rijiin and 
Natil did to me I guess.” 

“I can bet that he didn't like you leaving either.” Mouse added, making
Rebecca laugh. 

“I'll talk to him.” Becky offered, and Mouse shook her head again. 

“Let's call him when we reach the next town and stop for the night.”
Mouse suggested, “We have a lot of miles to go.” 

She was suddenly thankful that she had avoided the abuse she would have
had to endure, taking to Robert. Mouse found she was glad to be away 
from that influence to find their true calling of where they now 
belonged. 

“Off we go then.” Becky declared with a grin and nod. Mouse turned over
the engine and it idled quietly before she put it into gear. Hitting 
the accelerator, the truck slowly crept forward onto the driveway. Mimi 
kept watch for traffic before punching it and the truck roared back 
onto the 50-East. Once again, they sped down the highway and Mimi 
sipped at her Dr. Pepper™ while Becky closed her eyes, to gaze at the 
starlight she saw there. She thought of Natil and Rijiin, and even she 
wondered if they were alive and well, and wondered if they would find 
them at their destination. 

“They said they were immortal.” She thought, “I wonder if they survived
through the centuries. I hope we have someone to greet us at our new 
destination.” 

As Becky sat in the seat, she reminisced back to when Natil and Rijiin
entered the Fireside Dining Room. She stared at the starlight that 
twinkled in the darkness and remembered the look on everyone's face who 
had gathered in the Fireside Lounge on De Anza's campus on a cold, 
December morning. As they looked over at the doorway, there was a low 
murmur and Rijiin's first reaction had been to ignore the low murmur of 
the people gathered here, walking with silent steps toward the table 
where Mimi sits in her wheelchair, surrounded by her longtime friends 
on campus. 

As Natil and Rijiin entered the Fireside Dining Room, the few who were
in the room who had gathered here on this cold, December morning had 
looked over at the doorway. Rijiin's first reaction had been to ignore 
the low murmur of the few people gathered here, walking with silent 
steps toward the table where Mimi sits in her wheelchair, surrounded by 
her longtime friends on campus. Here the elf silently stood next to her 
chair, until Mouse turned her head, curiously looking up at the cloaked 
figure standing beside her.  Behind him a few, including a few staff 
had gathered at the doorway to peer at the cloaked figures in 
astonishment and raising an eyebrow at the blades at his side. 

Rijiin, with a flair for drama reached up slowly to push back the gray
hood of his cloak revealing his fair features. He managed a nod of his 
head to Mimi and then glanced silently at the group around her known to 
him as the *De Anza Rat Pack, who are all seated at the table. Their 
reaction was silent surprise as they stared at his unfamiliar face. 
Mimi looked upon the elf, noting he was very handsome with his fair 
features, his long brown hair that cascaded to his shoulders, streaked 
and sprinkled with silver. She also peered into his solemn gray eyes. 
The middle-aged woman saw their laughter and a twinkle of what she 
thought was starlight there. If Mouse had known the elves, she would 
have been right. 

Low murmurs echoed the Fireside Dining Room and both of the elves let
the many comments pass without response. Everyone present had their 
eyes locked on Rijiin for several minutes until they finally glanced at 
Natil who stood beside Rijiin with her cloak's hood shadowing her fair 
features. 

*Authors Note: De Anza Rat Pack consisted of Mimi, Robert, Dave, Becky,
Chris, Omar, Vi, Steve, Patrick, Cathy, 'Jello' Jen, John, Ray, 
Christopher, and Katherine as named in story. 

Rijiin's eyes then fell upon Becky Mc Gough, a youthful woman who sat
beside Mimi. The young woman is someone whom he had met not long before 
his journey into a past and showing recognition, he nodded silently to 
her. Rijiin smiled when realizing that she had not changed during the 
year he had been away. Becky is the same, average, heavyset woman, with 
hazel colored eyes and long gracious brown hair that spilled to her 
shoulders. She is clad in a striped t-shirt, black knit pants, sandals, 
and a thick purple coat. 

Becky, like the others present, was speechless at the sight before them
all. Her first reaction to the elves had been to gasp loudly, 
immediately recognizing the strange green and gray leather garb the 
elves wore, also the pendant that hung around his neck. The young woman 
had gained a lot of her knowledge to identify the garb and pendant from 
her boyfriend who practiced the ways of Wicca. Even with some of what 
he had taught her, she was unsure exactly whom or what she was seeing. 
The garb, Becky knew, had not been around for four plus centuries and 
neither had pendants, cloaks or swords. The young woman had not 
expected to see the garb or the pendant that Rijiin wore about his neck 
here in this century, neither the sword at his side. She shook her head 
in misunderstanding. 

Sitting on her right, Robert, Dave, Chris and Omar were beside her at
the table. Katherine, Jen and Vi sat on the other side of the table. 
They are all astonished to see the cloaked figures, and then the elf's 
face as she was. Rijiin likewise met each gaze with a slight nod of his 
head and realized they are his friends that he had not seen in a year, 
having changed only slightly than he remembered them. 

"Blessings upon you this day Mistress Stewart, the hand of the Lady be
upon you." He said quietly, speaking with a calming tone. The elf 
touched his forehead to bow wide and low. 

Everyone sitting with Mouse at the table, including Mimi herself smiled
at the old-fashioned motion. Becky smiled at the use of the ancient 
witches greeting. 'Merry Met.' As the elf stood bent over beside Mimi's 
chair, many more students and staff gathered around them. They had 
stopped, curiously staring at the couple who are dressed in the strange 
garb and to their surprise had noted the sheathed blade at his side. An 
uncomfortable silence followed for a moment. 

"It's impossible but this garb should not be in this century, neither
should the pendant. But here it is!" Becky thought to herself with a 
gasp, "Something totally unexpected has come today. I wonder what else 
is going to happen." 

As for Mouse, she intently looked upon the elf's fair features and his
ghostly familiar face. The middle-aged woman did not understand why at 
first she was startled. Mimi then remembered the hallucination she was 
having yesterday. It had been the one where she found herself spinning 
in the vortex and finding herself flying high above an unfamiliar 
landscape below. A journey where Mimi had ended up landing in a forest 
clearing and where she saw two people, like this young man and his 
strange companion who now stood before her. Around the neck of Rijiin, 
the pendant of a crescent moon, and interlocked, rayed star made of 
gold and silver hung there from a gold chain. Mouse was astonished, as 
she peered at the familiar pendant that seemed to twinkle brightly in 
the fluorescent light. 

Quickly, Mimi unzipped her belt pouch to withdraw the same piece of
jewelry from the main pocket. Mouse's eyes darted from Rijiin's 
necklace to the pendant and chain in her hand. She realized it is the 
same necklace as the elves wore. Strangely, the pendant in her hand 
began to glow brightly with an almost incandescence and Mimi gripped it 
tightly. The middle-aged woman suddenly remembered the woman clad in 
the blue and silver robe, her statement about a messenger being sent to 
her. It made Mimi suddenly wonder, making her tilt her head as she 
looked upon the fair features of Rijiin. 

"Oh my god," Mimi thought, "The meadow, forest, castles and sea I looked
down upon wasn't a dream. I wonder if he is the messenger that the 
robed woman spoke of." 

Mouse cast a puzzled look at the other cloaked figure standing beside
him. No one had known about what Mimi had experienced a day ago, and 
she had told absolutely no one about it. It would have been 
uncomfortable for her to explain something that she could not exactly 
understand herself. 

"Rijiini, tir- n'ea..." A voice said softly in elfish and he turned his
head to meet curious students, a few staff members of the college, and 
four security officers who stood around them. 

Mouse heard the name and curiously looked at him. Her expression had
been puzzlement, and undying curiosity about these strangers. His eyes 
moved to the others in the room and silently he nodded a greeting to 
the security officers, acknowledging their presence when he realized 
they were here because of the blade at his side. 

His look had silenced them from speaking to him, the flash of starlight
in his eyes indicating that he was someone not to mess with, and 
someone who had seen a lot of violence in his travels. The security men 
sensed death before them, and they did not intervene for the moment. 
The elf turned back to Mimi who sat there staring at him. 

"Thank you for that greeting, I think, uh... Rijiin, is it? What kind of
name is that anyway? D-do I know you?" Mimi croaked, "Have we met 
before? I certainly don't remember you." The elf said nothing at first, 
formulating his answer before he smiled. 

"Indeed we have Ms. Stewart. We met once a long time ago, but you might
not remember me." He replied smoothly, making Mimi smile when she heard 
the strange accent in his voice. He managed a thin, almost pained 
smile. 

"I am Rijiin L'Theil, the Just and I am at your service. This is my
traveling companion, kinswoman and my beloved wife, Natil." Rijiin 
glanced over to Natil, nodding slightly to her. The Harper, with the 
same flair for drama, reached up and she slowly drew back the gray hood 
of her cloak. There were several low murmurs as everyone realized it 
was a beautiful young woman who stood beside him. 

Mouse frowned slightly, confused by the couple and stared in wonder at
them like the others who had gathered here. Robert pursed his lips 
exhaling a sharp breath at the young-looking elf-maiden who stood 
beside Rijiin. Dave, seated beside Robert grinned openly. Chris and 
Omar on the other side of him, gasped aloud. Vi, Jen, Becky and 
Katherine exchanged silent glances at each other, turning their full 
attention to the couple who stood before them. 

"My god she's beautiful. She is just like the red/gold haired maiden I
saw in the clearing the other day with the handsome black haired young 
man." The disabled woman thought as she shook her head. Mimi blushed, 
unable to take her eyes off the strange woman beside Rijiin. Natil 
heard her thoughts and nodded to Mouse. Both of the elves realized what 
Mimi was describing to herself, happened to be Mirya and Terrill before 
they arrived back at the encampment. 

"You have my thanks Mistress Stewart." Natil said aloud, smiling at her
and making Mimi grimace, sensing something amiss when realizing that 
she had read her thoughts. 

"Be at peace Mimi, we are here to repay an old debt to you. It is one
that I owe a lot to you and will repay it with healing, comfort, and 
aid. Something my people are known for." He declared solemnly, "Be at 
peace, no harm will fall upon you dear lady, as I sensed your need and 
traveled a fair distance to come to you. Among my people you are well 
known for your courage, kindness, compassion, generosity, and 
understanding." 

Mouse sat quietly in her chair, coloring slightly with his compliments
before looking up at Rijiin's strangely familiar fair features. Beside 
her, Becky was shaking her head. 

"Rijiin, what old debt," Mouse questioned, "I don't know you." She
turned her head to frown at the couple. The elves both met her 
expression with a shrug and his eyes seem to twinkle brightly with 
starlight. 

"Aye, we do." Natil murmured softly, "Please be at peace Ms. Stewart and
trust us that what we say is true." 

Everyone turned their heads when they heard the Harper speak, her accent
and inflection strong in her voice. Something about her intrigued 
everyone in the room, a stamp of strangeness fell over everyone present 
in the Fireside Dining Room. Smiles appeared on many faces of the 
people who now gathered about the room, who stared at the young 
immortal elves who graced the Fireside Dining Room with their presence. 


"And you would be right." Rijiin murmured, overhearing the thoughts
around him that were about them. 

"Oh my goddess, I do believe that you have guided folklore legends to
come to De Anza College but that can't be, they are only stories and 
legends!" Becky thought to herself, staring at the couple, "How can 
they be real unless they existed long ago? This is something that 
should not be in the twentieth century." 

"Mimi, do you know this couple?" Dave asked, "Who are these people?" 

"Yeah they seem to know you very well." Robert added, "Are you holding
out on us again?" 

"I am not sure Dave, Robert. I can't remember where I met them." Mouse
lied, already knowing that the couple is probably from the same place 
she had encountered Terrill and Mirya in what she considered a 
hallucination. Robert studied the couple and his eyes moved back to 
Rebecca then to Mimi and back again. Robert saw a look of astonishment 
appear on the face of Becky, and her narrowing her eyes as if to 
examine the couple who stood before them all. 

"What is it Becky? What's wrong?" Robert asked gruffly, "What's going
on, are you alright?" 

Robert stared at Becky's face, her astonished expression that appeared
there and had guessed it was about the visitors standing before them. 
Omar, Chris and Dave, turned when Robert spoke to Becky and like the 
others who they sat at the table, they waited for her answer. Everyone 
at the table and around them suddenly realized this couple did not 
belong in this century. It is nothing like they had ever seen on the 
campus before and especially Rijiin, who carried the sheathed blade at 
his side. The blade has an ivory handle in the form of a dragon's head. 
A katana from Japan, but Rijiin had brought that from the games into 
the past and it was very sharp and keen, able to take a life as needed. 


"I'm not sure." Becky replied, "I have seen this garb and that pendant
before. The pendant and garb is really old, several centuries old for 
sure." She replied, examining the garb that the elves wore with her 
eyes. Her eyes fell upon the pendant that hung from the chain about his 
neck. The pendant is a gold and silver crescent moon and interlocked, 
rayed star. It glistened brightly in the fluorescent light. The gold 
and silver clasp that held their cloaks together at the neck also is 
the same shape. It was a sign for the young woman that something was 
afoot here at the college. 

"Do I know you Rijiin? You seem so familiar to me, where did you come
from?" Becky asked, “You seem to be out of place in this century.” At 
first, the elf said nothing, thinking about his answer, his only 
response was a slight nod of the head to her. Her eyes widened at his 
response. 

“You do mistress.” Rijiin replied, “Very much so and we are out of the
winds of time and space to be here today.” 

Becky gasped again, surprised by his answer and astonished by the slight
inflection in his voice. The couple REALLY seemed familiar to her, but 
she could not put her finger on where. 

Robert showed clear frustration by the couple who stood before them, and
Becky's clear acknowledgement of them, the garb and the pendant they 
wore. He grimaced. 

"Okay, you have seen it before... like where? Maybe you would like to
please elaborate?" Robert demanded, but Becky at first, said nothing as 
she silently contemplated her answer. She wanted to give him and the 
others an accurate account of what she was seeing and what she had 
learned from her boyfriend, John. Becky surely wanted it to be what she 
thought it was, however: An old religion and custom found in ancient 
times, now here before them in the modern world. 

"Yes Becky, by all means, please do so if you know what is going on and
maybe try to make us understand who and what we are seeing." Mimi added 
curiously, her attention falling to the young woman sitting beside her. 


"...And what do you mean old?" Robert pressed, "You're not making sense
Becky. Can you be a little more specific?" He snapped at impatiently at 
her, trying to understand what she was talking about. He did not like 
riddles, especially when it was about something he did not understand. 

"Well the first thing is that this garb, and the pendant shaped in a
crescent moon and interlocked, rayed star that hangs from the chain 
around their neck is something that is over four centuries old." She 
replied annoyed by the tone he used with her. "It seems to have come 
from the past, originating in the Renaissance Age, about twelve hundred 
and fifteen A.D."  Katherine nodded slightly to Becky in agreement and 
it made her smile. She had forgotten that her religion was Dianic Wicca 
too, and some druid because of her folks. 

"Whaaaaa? What was that? Are you serious?" Robert replied with a gasp
and the others stared at her in silence. 

"Well you asked." Becky said with a smile. "I can't explain why it is
here in this place and in this time, but here it is. It should not be 
here, not in this century. My boyfriend John, if you would give him a 
chance, could tell you more about it than I can!" 

Here, Robert snorted indifferently at the use of the term 'boyfriend'
for John whom she met on this campus. Robert did not like John. John, 
in turn, did not like Robert. Both disliked each other for different 
reasons: John thought Robert was petty and a tyrant. Robert did not 
like John because he is lazy, and disrespectful. The disabled man also 
thought he was a better person than John was, to court Becky, at her 
dismay. He did not approve of John's trifling with Wicca, spell casting 
and demonic entities that he brought to this world. To Robert, it is a 
red flag to him, who thought it could become deadly if something went 
wrong and they released something evil into this world. Something that 
could possibly seriously injure or kill both of them, if what they 
summoned broke away from their magic that would hold them in the circle 
they cast to manipulate energy. 

"And he is getting Becky suckered into it by teaching her that satanic
bullshit."  Robert thought, "I rather teach her metaphysical stuff that 
I learned from Nathaniel a while ago before he was killed and keep her 
from the abyss of Wicca." 

A while ago, he had learned an ability of metaphysics from his friend, a
fellow college student and the Vice President of Ham Radio Club. It is 
Robert and Mimi's best friend whose mutilated and dismembered body 
turned up a year ago in a cement culvert across from Eastridge Mall. He 
had taken to it well but he often abused it and inflated his ego doing 
strange things with this new bit of knowledge. He was getting stronger 
as he used it, but had not been taking care to have control over his 
ability. His ability could definitely kill, just as it could heal. 

Beside him, Becky grimaced and decidedly wanted to know if Rijiin and
Natil were who and what she suspected they were. An ancient religion 
long passed through the winds of history and her best friend who was 
killed. 

"Excuse me, Rijiin, are you...?" She started to ask, and her voice
seemed to fail, falling off into a whisper. The elf turned his head, 
smiling slightly. Rebecca found confusion by the presence of the elves, 
and remembered a discussion a while ago with her friend about 
metaphysical realms and teachings of the old, four centuries ago and 
today's teachings. 

Rijiin nodded, sighing quietly. "It is true mistress." He whispered,
only loud enough for the table to hear him, "We are elves, and we are 
here to help and heal." 

At first, Robert and the others had smiles on their faces. Low sarcastic
murmurs rounded their table, and many more jokes made at the two's 
expense. Mimi studied Becky, seeing the look of recognition and 
frustration on her face. Even Katherine had gasped and gaped openly at 
the strangely clad couple. Although she could not say, she was wrong 
what she saw before her. Everything seemed so very right about this 
couple. 

Behind Mimi, in the doorway of the internet room, John, Becky's
boyfriend, had opened the door to start the day in the Internet Lab. As 
he opened the door, stepping through, he had glanced only once to the 
table where he saw his girlfriend sitting with Mimi and the others. He 
did the classic double take when he looked again, seeing the unfamiliar 
faces of Rijiin and Natil who stood beside them, surrounded by many 
others. John's eyes fell on the elves and he stood watching the couple, 
startled as Becky did and the others had been seeing them for the first 
time. He did not move from the doorway, something about the visitors 
had intrigued him for reasons he could not explain. 

"Talk about a blast from the past." John thought to himself, shaking his
head as he looked at the couple, "I wonder if they are who I think they 
are." 

Becky's boyfriend found himself looking back in his memory remembering
what he read about elves and the folklore legends in one of his Wicca 
books. The texts that were about the goddess that warlocks, witches and 
folklore legends like elves worshipped which happened to be a woman. It 
also talked about their ability in magic. He had known about the old 
stories and wondered if this was truly, what he saw here before him. 

"This is impossible! I told Nathaniel, what he described in regards to
ancient teachings of the metaphysical art from four centuries ago and 
modern teachings of the metaphysical art could never meet." Becky 
exclaimed, "Even your garb, and the pendant are all signs of the old 
ways? Who are you really Rijiin?"  She turned to Robert next to her. 

"You were there with us, remember Robert?" She prompted and he turned
his head to nod in agreement. 

"Yea, what he taught us was very useful for healing talents and being
open to your surrounding energies." Robert replied, "Too bad Nathaniel 
is not here, he would have been all geeked out, meeting an elf." 

"It is so." Rijiin replied casually, "I remember when you told me that
Becky and that day when we were together talking about it." 

The elf had let a very broad hint fall before her, and even Robert,
pointing to the identity that he once was. Rebecca did not notice it 
but then gasped when she heard her name. She suddenly was aware that 
she had not introduced herself, and yet he clearly knew who she was. 
His statement finally had sunk in and she gasped even louder. 

"As for Natil and I we are mere travelers Ms. Mc Gough." Rijiin declared
solemnly, he was about to say something else, but Robert interrupted 
his train of thought. He did push back his hair, revealing his ears, 
marking him as different. Again the young woman gasped, as did 
Katherine beside her. 

"You know, I hope by Christ, this couple is not John's loser friends
pulling some bullshit and dressing up in the old garb of the dark 
ages." Robert muttered who glowered in annoyance at John who still 
stood in the doorway of the internet lab. "He'd do it like the 
dunderhead that he is..." 

Although John heard Robert spew off his usual gibberish, he let the
comments pass and his eyes remained locked onto the couple who stood in 
the room. 

"Okay, this is getting to be very weird." John thought, grimacing when
he saw his features clearly and they matched a spell book illustration 
he had bought from a magazine located in a Colorado based store. 
Becky's boyfriend acknowledged the couple with a nod, meeting their 
gazes as he openly approached the table. He noted the pendant that was 
described belonging to their deity, their Creatrix whom they 
worshipped. John stood beside Becky who sat at the table and like the 
others, he was thoroughly curious about the strangers who now graced 
the Fireside Lounge with their presence. He put his hand on Becky's 
shoulder and she looked up at him with a smile and a nod. 

"Robert, that was not nice, and to your information, if anyone is a
dunderhead it is you..." Becky snarled, "I don't think my boyfriend 
here would do something like that. I have a news flash. I think we are 
looking at the genuine article." 

Becky, however, did glance at Rijiin for confirmation. She saw Rijiin
manage a slight smile and a nod to the young woman who was seated at 
the table. 

"I am neither the people you speak of mistress, nor have I been paid to
impersonate such a thing. I am as I am." 

His voice stated evenly. An aura shimmered around the Elf. Becky's face
showed a smile, but it suddenly faded as this strange aura began to 
grow around him. It became bright and incandescent as it started in his 
hands first, then fully surrounding him. 

The faces of the others, including John, had shown alarm and confusion,
making them all back away from the table. The security men and everyone 
had backed away from them. 

"Be at peace, I am here for a reason." Rijiin said suddenly, turning to
Mimi, who sat in her chair. She had her eyes tightly closed when his 
hands touched her shoulders. 

"Just relax beloved Mimi." He told her, letting the energy and starlight
flow through him, as he utilized the healing powers of the elves of the 
fourteenth century. Mouse suddenly was reminded of someone else she 
knew and she instantly thought of her friend, who willingly massaged 
her shoulders for her. Mimi realized that Rijiin had the same gentle 
touch as she remembered her friend to have. 

Rijiin suddenly grimaced, hearing her thoughts and turned his head to
focus upon the disabled woman. Natil heard her thoughts too, showing 
surprise, but also a sad expression appeared her fair features. Rijiin 
met the Harper's expression in silence as he managed a shrug. Mimi had 
been thinking of him when he was human and when he was reported 
deceased and murdered a year ago. The San Jose Police and the FBI had 
been called because neighborhood kids found an unrecognizable body, his 
body, lying in a nearby cement culvert across from Eastridge Mall. They 
had identified him by his wallet found in his pocket left untouched. 
The elf suddenly realized, other than the portal not being there, this 
was the main reason why he could not return to the future. Everything 
suddenly made sense to Rijiin and this new fact suited the elf just 
fine. 

"Ta ilya forya, a'mael."  He murmured with a sigh, "Reea forya Natili.
Mimitti quenea I'-zuz, taea e' I'- silma. Amin curtamanea ta eller." 

Rijiin told her it was all right, Mimi spoke the truth. It is in the
starlight. I saw it there. The Harper picked up his meaning, and his 
reaction to it. The reaction to this piece of information, confirmed by 
Rijiin, was not the one reaction she expected him to take. He had just 
confirmed Mimi's statement, quickly able to look into the starlight 
where he could manipulate images of the past, present, and future. He 
let his consciousness move among them effortlessly. Rijiin managed an 
affirmative nod to Natil when he met her questioning expression. 

"Seere a'mael, amin cael- utue amin telaien, amin yestaien. Amin utuea
amin yamen e' I' palurin. Ta uumea il'- karn bir n'atyaea tanya amin 
gurthea. Amin valin- ta tele- ar' amin naa ie' seere yassen ta." Rijiin 
replied, telling her to be at peace, I have found my ending, my 
beginning. I have found my place in the world. It does not make a 
difference that I died. I am happy it is finished and I am at peace 
with it. 

Becky heard Natil gasp aloud when she heard his answer and slowly nod.
The Harper had not expected to hear this answer from him. A look of 
respect, admiration and deeper love for Rijiin appeared on her face. 
Beside the elves, Mimi's friends and Mouse herself listened to the 
strange language they spoke between them. There were murmurs among the 
gathered people here, who heard the curious language between the elves, 
and how it freely flowed. Becky found the words eloquent, and 
beautiful. 

"What language is that, is that elfish?" Becky asked, and there were
murmurs throughout the room. Everyone was equally curious about the 
couple and the strange glow and power they wielded like a double-edged 
sword that he carried at his side. 

"What did you tell her, it was absolutely... amazing...?" 

Rijiin had not answered Becky's question as he turned his attention to
Mimi, and he placed his hands back on her shoulders. Everyone watched 
as the incandescent glow appear around them, and it swirled about the 
elf, Mimi and her friends who sat with her. Rijiin shook his head after 
a moment and turning his head, he grimaced at the Harper. 

"I don't know about this." Katherine said, "If I am up on languages, I
think he told her to be at peace that he found his ending something 
about a beginning and something about his death that he is happy it 
happened..." 

"Lle quena eldalie?" Rijiin said, turning to Katherine and she smiled.
He asked if she spoke elfish. 

"Bir -elle." She replied with a bow, "Quenjen rangwea I' quenjen en'
yuuyo palurinea. Firya, Eldalie... nae Taur'Amandil...” 

She told him that she spoke a little that it is best to understand the
best of both worlds. Human, Elven... and Druid..." Rijiin nodded with a 
smile, glancing at the smiling Harper. 

"There is a lot to do still Natil, and I am growing fatigued. Perhaps if
you play something on your harp, we can help her together. There is a 
lot more to do than I can do alone." 

Becky turned her head as he spoke to the Harper and the elf maiden
considered his request for a moment had nodded in agreement. She took a 
seat in an open chair to pull out her harp from under her cloak. The 
first reaction of everyone present was a questioning look when everyone 
saw the harp, but soon understood that the Harper was going to play 
something on it. Becky watched as she took a seat in an open chair. Her 
hands danced over the strings as she quickly inspected the cherry wood 
frame and the bronze strings. She quickly tuned the instrument. 

"Naa lle desiel Natili?" He asked her, the Harper met his look with a
grin and a silent nod. He asked if she was ready. 

"Amin' e desiel, Rijiini," Natil replied, still smiling as she put the
harp in her lap, and quickly she readied herself to play. She had 
informed him that she was ready and positioned her hands on the strings 
of the harp. 

Becky noted that the room's attention focused on Natil when her fingers
rippled off a couple of notes. Mimi's friends sitting at the table had 
smiled when they heard the notes. Around the room, there were quiet 
murmurs, before silence completely fell over the entire room. It would 
be a feat, to Mouse's knowledge, only the second time ever to happen in 
this dining hall. The Harper's hands expertly moved across the strings 
with a ripple of notes. As the elf maiden began to play, she played one 
melody written at the beginning of her existence and the world. The 
notes were a familiar melody that Mimi recognized from the other day in 
the quad. The old song came to Natil easily and fluidly as she played, 
her hands dancing across the bronze strings. 

"Ele asta a mirurore, 

Cira a ciraie, 

Elthiai calasiuove, 

Marithae dia." 

Natil sang the words quietly in elfish as her hands danced across the
strings of the small cherry wood, and bronze-strung harp. She had 
played the healing notes, as Rijiin's starlight energy remained focused 
into Mimi and it spilled unknowingly into the others around her. Mouse 
of course, felt the warmth in her limbs and the others watched in 
silence at the strange aura that seemed to surround her and everyone at 
the table. No one in the room interfered or moved. Students and staff 
around them looked on as the mysterious young woman played a strange 
melody on her harp, shifting with several variations. The people who 
had gathered did not understand what was happening and did not 
understand that she, with her companion, was helping and healing Mimi. 
Becky's head turned slowly, casting a sweeping look about the room, 
watching the many faces in the Fireside Dining Room and she smiled. The 
silence in the room was ominous as the only sound was Natil's harping 
echoing through its interior. Katherine was listening with her eyes 
closed as she felt the power of the elves as they helped and healed 
Mimi and Natil harped for her. 

"Such great power," Becky thought as Natil played her harp for a
half-hour, helping and healing Mimi with Rijiin. She watched in 
amazement as the healing energy flowed over her friend, becoming a low 
swirling white energy. 

"Healing, comfort and aid, that's what it's all about, and I can help
them if I so choose." Rijiin murmured, suddenly feeling differently and 
now fully understanding his purpose as an elf. He realized that as an 
immortal he had potentially great abilities and power to change 
anything he wanted. The elf had that ability and free choice if he 
wanted to help the world, giving back a little hope to make it a better 
place. The question that he asked was what time would he help change 
and make better... Would it be the past or the future? 

Rijiin also found himself one with his new existence as an elf, the
scrap of soul he had as a human, finally leaving him and his 
transformation now complete into becoming fully Elven. The elf realized 
that he no longer belonged here in the twentieth century and only 
belonged in the fourteenth century. Time seemed to shift around him as 
the Elven couple sat in the Fireside Lounge. The Elf turned his head to 
peer at the Harper who sat across from him and he smiled at her. He had 
found love too, the purest, truest love. He would be with her forever, 
living out his days with his promised mate, which suited him just fine 
too. 

When Natil sensed his thoughts, the Harper looked up with a smile, her
hands continuing to dance skillfully across the bronze strings as she 
played the melody on her harp to its climax. The energy she sensed 
around them swirled, having already became a bright incandescent light, 
as it shifted in many patterns and in an array of color. It enveloped 
Rijiin and Mimi completely until, a moment later, when Natil let her 
hands drop from the harp strings, that the room became abruptly quiet. 

The only sound within the room now was the murmur of astonishment by
everyone who had seen the elves help and heal today. There was not a 
dry eye in the room as the Harper hugged the harp, and she watched the 
swirling energy around them fade away. There was scattered applause 
that followed at first, echoing through the room as it became louder as 
more people joined in with their applause. The loudest had been 
Katherine and she managed to whistle as she applauded. 

Sitting across from Natil, Becky saw the Harper smile when she heard it.
The young Elven woman nodded to the group and to the other people 
present, who showed their appreciation of her music. The Harper's next 
reaction had been to turn, casting a quick look at Rijiin. Natil gasped 
aloud as her friend, kinfolk and new lover lay sprawled across the 
table, succeeding in his task to help and heal his friend. He had 
unthinkably changed the patterns making up the woman known as Mimi 
Stewart and when Natil saw him sprawled out on the table, she feared 
the worst. The Harper feared that Rijiin may have given himself too 
much and possibly sacrificed his life for Mimi's, which he openly said 
he would do if necessary to protect his best friend. Natil immediately 
hoped she was wrong with her assessment of the situation. 

"Rijiin," Natil whispered, as she reached over to shake him with no
response. 

"Oh dear Lady," She murmured, "RIJIIN!" Tears formed in the Harper's
eyes as she lightly shook him several times, again with no response. 

"What's the matter with him?" A voice asked, and everyone turned to
stare in fear at Rijiin, who was slumped forward across the table. They 
glanced over at Mimi who was slumped forward too, both totally 
enveloped in a swirling mass of energy for several minutes. Katherine 
understood what had happened and what she had witnessed, the use of a 
power that had not existed in at least four centuries. 

"Aye Natili... Please be at peace, I am all right." He told her, pushing
himself back to a sitting position. 

Natil immediately heard the change in his voice, thick with the strong
inflection and heavily accented like her kinfolk. Becky heard it too, 
and like the others, they fearfully looked at Rijiin and Mimi several 
times in silent disbelief. Even the Harper showed surprise on her face 
when hearing the strong inflection. The energy that bound the elves had 
changed him fully, the semi-recognizable face from earlier had gone 
away, leaving someone completely different. It had surprised the group 
and strangely Natil too. 

"Oh my Lady," Natil murmured, "What has he done? Did he do what I just
think he did?" The Harper's face softened in understanding. 

Becky stared at Mimi who at this moment sat slumped face down on the
table, still half-stunned and disoriented because of the massive 
healing she had undergone. As Mimi lay there, her first sensation was a 
tingling throughout her body. The maiden opened her eyes, her blue eyes 
focusing on the table. 

"What's going on?" Mimi thought, "What happened to me? I must have
blacked out or something." The disabled woman tried to make sense of 
what happened to her over the last few minutes and realized she could 
not account for herself.  It would be a few minutes before she would 
regain conscious awareness back at the campus of DeAnza College. Mimi 
and Rijiin, in the period of many minutes they were enveloped by the 
incandescent energy, both standing on the grassy meadow with the Lady, 
the Creatrix of the Elves. As Mimi stood here, the moon glared down as 
if in judgment. Mouse knew what was about to happen and she returned 
the glance by Rijiin and turned to stare at the Lady's gray, solemn 
eyes. 

"I'm not afraid." She whispered, "Please." 

The Lady stepped up to stand beside Mimi, her blue and silver trimmed
robe shimmering in the darkness. In her hand, she held a staff of pale 
wood. The Lady's face looked neutral with no emotion that Mimi could 
see on her fair, kind Elven features. Closing her eyes, the Creatrix 
whispered something to herself in her own language; and with 
understanding that the light in her mind had given her. Mimi caught a 
brief glimpse of a teenage girl clad in green and gray garb, a crescent 
moon behind her and a star in her hand. The Lady finished the prayer 
and looked down at Mimi who knelt before her. The Lady nodded gravely 
and rested a hand on Mimi's forehead. 

Relaxation flooded into her body, as though every nerve and muscle fiber
had been oiled, warmed, and massaged into limpness. Mimi sighed softly 
and almost drifted into sleep, but the woman's soft voice brought her 
back. 

"Blessings be upon you and within you, now and always." 

She sighed, bowing her head for a moment then gestured toward the moon.
It hung at the zenith, full and round, though she did not recall that 
it had been in that phase when she appeared on the meadow the first 
time with the Creatrix. 

"This is the Night of Completion. Mimi." The Creatrix of the elves told
her. "Watch the moon. Relax and let her light fill you. Let it protect 
you. Let it empower you." The Lady smiled at Rijiin who stood nearby, 
nodding to him in silence. He had his eyes closed, using his abilities 
from his transformation to help with her change. He had his eyes 
closed, using his abilities from his transformation to help with her 
change. 

Mimi shifted her gaze to the shining disk, breathed regularly, and felt
as though she were glowing. The Lady stepped out of her vision, but the 
quality of light changed and the middle-aged woman realized the staff 
was brightening as the Lady held it over her head. 

Mimi kept her eyes on the moon. 

A tight feeling gripped her. Mimi found she could not have moved if she
wanted to and could not even blink. Eyes locked on the moon, she felt 
herself drawn toward it. It grew larger, filling the sky and her 
vision, the white light blazing through her, harrowing her soul and 
mind with a seething glory. 

Mimi wanted to close her eyes, to look away, but she might have been
stone for all the movement she was capable of at this moment. 

"I trust her. I trust the Lady. But I am scared..." 

She heard the sea, the sound growling as rapidly as had the light, the
waves rising about her until, invisibly, they overlapped the meadow and 
flooded her, turning the moon into a featureless sky of white mist. 

Mimi almost lost consciousness, but the thought of being unaware
terrified her into full cognizance. She realized she was looking into 
the mist-shrouded face of a teenage girl with blue eyes, the color of 
aquamarines and long dark brown hair. The form of the teenager smiled 
at Mimi and reached toward her with a strong hand. 

"I am not afraid." Mimi said, extending a hand and in her mind, a voice
answered her: Good. Their hands met and gripped. The strange teenage 
girl smiled again and her lips silently formed the syllables of Mimi's 
name just before her fingers tightening for an instant. She was swept 
forward to merge with her. 

A jolt racked Mimi's body as though she had been struck, and the white
mist fled from her sight. The stars appeared, shining, glorious, their 
brilliance as razor-keen as a warrior's sword.  Transfixed by their 
light, she saw, unfolding like a flower before her, an infinite complex 
of futures in which all potentials and possibilities bound and 
connected by a vast web of starlight. It went on and on, each future 
merging with another and with yet another, a convoluted knot of maybes, 
and might-bes, and ... and ... 

... and one reality. 

Mimi screamed, muscles spasming, as she fell to the ground and she
rolled to the side, fetal, fighting for sight, for thought. A river of 
starlight poured over her. Something widened within her, and the 
light-flooded in. "Elthia! Rijiin! Help me! Please!" 

A hand came down to touch her on the head, and her spasms stopped
abruptly. "Be at peace... Mimi." 

Mimi lay for sometime on the ground, waiting for her heart to calm.
Behind her closed eyes, the stars shone, and the tenuous arm of a 
nebula shimmered in the distance. Her thoughts slowed gradually, and 
she forced herself to feel the grass beneath her, replaying the day's 
events to relink her with the world. 

Opening her eyes she could see the ghostly shape of her former self as
she walked away from her, and disappeared in a flash of bright light. 
The young girl was nowhere to be found and that puzzled Mimi. Only the 
Creatrix of the elves and Rijiin stood in the meadow with her at this 
very moment. Mimi frowned as she peered in wonder at the flash after 
the girl had disappeared. 

“Have I been hallucinating? Who was that young girl?” Mimi asked
herself, her mind racing with questions that burned in her mind. 

Mouse, however, had been surrounded in the purest starlight energy. She
had found a semblance of peace despite her many questions that echoed 
through her mind. The Lady helped Mimi to her feet, and together they 
stood on the threshold, chatting with each other The now youthful elf 
maiden turned her head to smile at Rijiin who stepped up to kneel 
before the Lady who put a loving arm on his broad shoulder. The Lady 
nodded as he looked up into her gray eyes. Standing, Rijiin nodded to 
Mouse before stepping into the shadows. 

A moment later, the meadow faded around her too and Mimi slowly opened
her eyes, quickly realizing she was slumped on the table in the 
Fireside Dining Room of De Anza College. She had been enveloped in the 
energy, an almost blinding light as she was transformed before 
everyone's eyes. Mimi had opened her eyes, her vision quickly clearing 
as she focused on her hand, her hand that sat a few inches from her 
face, lying on the table. Gingerly, she flexed it, turned it, touched 
the tabletop, and watched the fingers move according to her own will. 

However, she did not recognize the hand at all. 

It was still obviously the hand of a woman, but that was all she could
find in common with it. Medium and strong, it looked very capable of 
wielding a sword. The fingers were long and tapered. In the moonlight, 
they had looked like they were carved out of ivory. 

It took her several minutes as she lay there, flexing them, before
pushing herself backward with the help of a firm arm of Rijiin, who 
helped her into a sitting position. She had no idea that she had been 
changed by his use of the elves' magic. The now youthful maiden's 
aquamarine colored eyes darted to the pleased expression of Rijiin, who 
sat nearby. The newly changed elf, Mimi, noted that he seemed different 
from before and his face no longer what it was when he had first 
arrived at the dining room. He seemed different to her in many ways, 
even on the meadow where they stood with the Lady. 

"What did he do to me? I really feel so strange." Mouse thought, hearing
a gasp and turning she met the astonished look everyone present around 
her. Her gaze turned back to Rijiin, who still was smiling and he 
silently nodded to her. 

"Huh? What's wrong?"  Mimi asked, "Why is everyone looking at me?" 

Mouse turned to scan the room meeting the astonished faces of those who
knew her and others not. She fell silent when hearing her voice, it had 
changed to a smooth contralto instead of a rough soprano and it was 
accented ever so slightly. She s amazed by it. 

Becky had watched Mimi push herself back from the table, with Rijiin's
help. Now she looked down at herself. She could see the relief on the 
now young woman's face, thankful to find her body still in one piece, 
but realized that something was definitely amiss. Rebecca watched as 
Mouse examined herself, lifting her shirt to peer at her waist and her 
curved figure. Pulling at the neck of her shirt, she peered down at her 
now B cup breasts. Feeling a weight on her head, she took a handful of 
her now long dark hair in her hands. Gasping in realization, Mouse 
turned her head at the strange face of Rijiin and over to Natil who sat 
across from him. The elf managed a slight nod in response to her 
questioning expression. She suddenly realized that it was not her body. 


"Holy... Shit! What the fuck is going on here?" Mimi exclaimed in a
panicked voice, rising to a standing position and catching sight of her 
reflection in the glass of one of the pictures on the wall. An 
unfamiliar face appeared there and Mouse gasped in realization what was 
happening. Mimi realized the face in the reflection of the picture's 
glass is not her own. She could partially see in the reflection that it 
is rounded, fair-featured and she now has aquamarine colored eyes. She 
had noted the long deep dark hair that fell in curls down to her mid 
back. Mimi stared at her new face and body that was very unfamiliar to 
her. Mimi had exhaled sharply, putting a hand to her face as-if to 
stifle it, having full realization of what was happening 

"Oh my god, it is the face of the young girl who was wearing green and
gray garb!" Mimi thought, "What the hell is going on here? No wonder 
all attention is focused on me!" 

Mouse placed her hands on her face, as-if to examine it. They touched it
several times, as she stared at the look of astonishment on her face, 
reflected in the glass of the picture frame. Mouse turned her head 
regarding the unfamiliar face of Rijiin who was smiling. 

"W-what have you done to me?" Mimi sputtered as her head swam with
overpowering sensations and she was giddy with disorientation. She 
tried to pull back, but looked down only to realize that he had taken 
her hands. Rijiin had sensed panic in her voice and he touched her head 
silently. 

“Peace.” The elf said simply, and the feelings of panic and confusion
subsided. 

"W-what you have you done to me?" She demanded again and Rijiin gravely
met the clear, bright and piercing, aquamarine colored eyes in silence. 
"W-why have you done this to me?" 

The elf silently met the look of anger on her face, and he casually
dismissed it. 

"By the lady, you look so different Mimi." Katherine told her, staring
in silent astonishment the fair features of her friend that she had 
witnessed changed in the matter of an hour and a half, before her eyes. 


"Peace, I healed you Mouse." He told her, his voice thick with the
inflection and accent, "Call it a gift if you like, but I settled our 
long outstanding debt with help and healing. It is today that I give 
you back a new chance at life." 

Mimi raised an eyebrow at Rijiin's explanation, closing her eyes only
briefly before gasping loudly. She stared uncomprehending at the 
twinkle of starlight that filled in the darkness and perhaps her very 
soul. It is the very same light Mouse saw when she stood with Rijiin 
and the Creatrix of the elves on a meadow under a star-filled sky. The 
sight of the stars seemed to calm her disorientation and Mouse did not 
understand their meaning quite yet, so she kept it to herself. 

"There is something strange about the starlight, a meaning behind it
perhaps." Mimi thought, opening her eyes curiously meeting Rijiin's 
smile with a tilt of her head. 

"Be at peace Mimitti, there will be no harm to you, only truth, as you
and I always kept that between us. Remember that I never will 
candy-coated an answer to your questions." Rijiin replied with a warm 
smile, "I am here to help you and answer any questions you have." 

The elf let his awareness flow out and over her. Mouse suddenly knew the
truth of the matter as images of his journey began to form in her mind. 
She gasped loudly, peering dumfounded at the elf, her mouth dropping 
open in complete surprise as she watched the images. 

Across the table, a look of rage appeared on Robert's face, annoyed by
Rijiin's openness with his best friend and fiancé, Mimi.  He didn't 
understand who it was, or that it was indeed Mimi sitting in her chair. 
 The elf, his companion had been enveloped the entire table in an 
energy sphere and in an hour and a half had changed Mimi before 
everyone's eyes. Robert thought he had taken Mimi away from him by his 
demeanor, trying to help her understand the last hour and a half. 

Rijiin, had merely opened his mind to utilize the starlight and show
Mouse his identity, before his transformation into an elf. It would 
also explain a few things to her after his jumping through time and 
space to help her. The images were like a high-speed movie camera 
flashing images in her brain at double speed. Mimi now had full 
knowledge as Rijiin promised her, knowledge of his journey but they 
were like a whirlwind in her brain. Mouse tried to make sense of them, 
but she was unable to put them in order like a giant jigsaw puzzle with 
matching pieces. Mimi turned her head to meet the smiling face of 
Rijiin who sat next to her. 

"This can't be!" Mimi exclaimed, shaking her head, "But he, you are
dead! How can you be him, it is not possible!" 

"Be at peace mistress Stewart, I am who I say I am." Rijiin replied,
nodding a couple of time despite the dubious look on her face. 

"Can't be who Mouse?" Robert asked, as the others turned to the young
woman and all were nodding in agreement. They wanted to know what was 
going on. Rijiin could hardly blame them for wanting to know what he 
had just showed her. The elf considered what he could do, and almost 
showed the others in the group, but he did not want to cause a riot in 
the Fireside Dining Room. That would not be constructive use of the 
time allotted to help and heal his friend. 

"Who are you talking about Mimi?" Omar asked, and a chorus of voices
bombarded the young woman all at once. 

"Come on Mouse, I am who I say I am." He whispered, making a motioning
sign with his hands, "You can do it. You may tell them, beloved, 
although they might not believe it." 

"He is what? Who is this person?" Robert asked, "Mimi you are not making
sense." 

"I can't Rijiin, it's just not possible." She replied, falling silent as
tears formed in her eyes, "Your body was dismembered beyond 
recognition.” 

Mouse began to weep as she covered her face and everyone peered at
Rijiin, a look of anger, perhaps misunderstanding on the faces present. 


“Please do not make me live through that nightmare again. I finally got
over it." 

"What the fuck are you doing to her Rijiin?" Robert snarled angrily. 

"I am not doing anything to harm her, Ungai." The elf replied sternly.
Rijiin turned his attention back to Mimi whose eyebrows had climbed in 
absolute astonishment followed by a large grin. Mouse had gasped when 
Rijiin had called Robert the nickname he had given him a long time ago. 


Katherine, across the table had briefly yelped with laughter. There was
a chuckle among the group. A long time had passed since they had heard 
the nicknamed used for Robert. The elf briefly turned his head to meet 
Becky's puzzled frown as she sat next to Mimi. He then turned to the 
others who watched the exchange between himself and Mouse. They only 
suspected that it was their friend, the only the person they knew had 
called Robert ‘Unga' but they realized that person had died. 

It was also very difficult for Mimi to believe it was her friend. Mouse
even found that she could not accept the changes to her mind and body. 
Let alone having to accept the changes of Rijiin, her best friend in 
the world like the ones on De Anza's campus. What the elf did for her, 
however, had happened and she could not deny it with what she saw in 
the reflection in the glass of the picture nearby. 

"It is true mistress. I was he, but no longer." The elf told her with a
nod, reading her conflicting thoughts (as the elves could), "As you 
already know." 

Mimi regarded the elf for a moment, grimacing but managing a nod back.
She need not ask him where Rijiin had been, already knowing the answer 
to that question. Mouse was just glad to see him and she stood up and 
embraced him warmly, tears filling her eyes. 

"That is enough!" Robert exclaimed, with an almost shout, "Who the fuck
are you? What are fuck are you? What did you do with Mimi and who is 
that in her chair?" 

The elf could hear the snap of disbelief and confusion in his voice. He
remained silent, sensing his anger and hostility there. He had lunged 
at the elf and everyone saw his hand flash to the blade at his side, 
resting a hand on it. 

"It is Mimi... We healed her and gave her a new chance at life." Rijiin
replied coldly to Robert's outburst, "Be at peace, she is unharmed, as 
you can rightly see. She just has been changed and her existence 
altered through time itself." 

"What I see is a lot of bullshit." Robert growled, eyeing John with a
nasty look, "And you better not be behind it with him, you asshole." 

"They're elves Robert!" Becky exclaimed, blurting it out as she
attempted to touch Mouse's shoulder. She abruptly pulled back her hand 
unsure. Rebecca turned her head to meet Rijiin's neutral expression and 
she saw him nod slowly to her. Robert shook his head, with a sarcastic 
expression on his face and a look of anger in his eyes. He whirled on 
Rijiin to explode on him. Katherine was on her feet and the elf merely 
raised his hand. Something had told her to get to her feet and assist. 
Something about this couple had intrigued her like the others. She did 
not know why but had jumped to her feet anyway. 

"See're, Katherine." He told her, and she paused, looking at Rijiin who
nodded to her. "There will be no battle here, he cannot harm me." 

"Don't give me that double talk." Robert shouted, "Who are you people
and don't give us that bullshit about being elves, or able to help and 
heal." 

Although Robert, even with his limited mind could not say he was wrong
what he saw Rijiin and Natil accomplished this morning. He had seen it 
done with his own eyes but even he was still skeptical, like many 
people around them. There was only three present, who could say what 
they saw was real, and the couple before them was genuine. 

"Robert, that is not a friend of John, I assure you he is not involved
in this and does not know what is happening either, like the rest of 
us." Becky said in a soothing tone. She glanced at John who shrugged 
silently, raising his hands. 

"Aye, as you wish, Robert but truth is truth." Rijiin quietly replied
pausing shortly to sigh and his words seem to hang there for a moment. 
“As always he is unable to accept and open his mind to new things.” 

Everyone around them heard his reply and so did the others around the
table. All of them had a questioning expression on their faces. They 
did not understand his reply to Robert's outburst. The elf and his wife 
obviously wielded a power that not everyone in the Dining Room 
understood and a power that had not been in existence in probably four 
hundred years. The couple had cured Mimi's Cerebral Palsy, the very 
affliction she had been born with, and had confined her to a wheelchair 
for over four decades. They had healed her of other health issues, and 
had done it willingly, effortlessly as-if it was second nature to wield 
such a power. 

"But that is impossible!" Becky said, rubbing her eyes as she peered at
Mouse and then back to Rijiin who stood up now, having been bent over 
beside her, his hands on the table. Her head turned to the young Harper 
and Rebecca wondered where she had come from, and how Rijiin got 
involved with her. Becky glanced at Katherine who had reseated herself. 


"Rijiin please tell me... Please explain to me... I don't understand all
of this..." Mouse sputtered, trying to find words for her question and 
Rijiin met her confused expression with a slight nod. 

Taking her hands, the elf, with a small tug pulled at Mimi's hands. A
low murmur echoed the table and the room. 

"Stand and be recognized Mistress Stewart." The elf said with a
commanding tone. He glanced once at the others seated at the table, 
then to the room around him. Mimi dubiously looked up at him, not sure 
what he wanted her to do and immediately shook her head. Mouse quickly 
realized, after a moment, he wanted her to stand up and walk with him 
on her own two feet. 

"I can't walk, Rijiin... you know that... if you are who I think you
are." Mimi replied as she shook her head and met his saddened 
expression. A look of curiosity appeared on her face, as did the 
others. 

"Mistress Stewart," He replied sadly, "One would not know until they
try. Remember you have been healed and no longer will you be confined 
to the wheelchair. You will be able to walk on your own power." 

"Whaaat?" Omar and Chris said with a gasp, both staring at Rijiin as if
he were from outer space. Dave had glanced at the others before staring 
at the elf in surprise. They had not been expecting him to say that 
with such a serious tone. 

"Bullshit." Robert snapped, "She can't walk Rijiin, her legs do not work
normally, not with Cerebral Palsy." 

"No bullshit, Robert." Katherine murmured, "I think he means it." 

"I am aware of her affliction, Ungai." Rijiin replied sharply, cutting
him off and Robert frowned in annoyance. The others chuckled again when 
he had used Robert's nickname. 

Rijiin grinned at Mouse before he pulled at her hands and she put her
feet on the floor. The young-looking woman rose up with some 
deliberation but she managed to succeed, standing on her own two feet. 
The elf held Mouse by her hands, steadying her as she staggered for a 
moment before gathering her footing. The pain in her body was gone and 
so was her Cerebral Palsy. Doubt was on Mimi's face as she looked down, 
but her muscular legs obeyed her. 

"Walk with me, my lady." Rijiin repeated, still holding her hands gently
and he stepped back. 

There was a low gasp by everyone at the table, and the surrounding
people who stood watching the couple. A frown had appeared on many 
faces as she stood up, and even a few stood up to strongly object. It 
was especially around the table where Mouse had been seated. 

"But...?" Mouse started to reply but her voice caught as she looked down
at her legs in surprise as they obeyed her command. She was walking. A 
hush fell over the Fireside Lounge as everyone present saw the once 
disabled woman stand up. People she knew on staff looked on in startled 
silence as something incredible and amazing was happening. Robert put 
his hands on the table, ready to get to his feet and prepared to charge 
Rijiin and his fiancé only to find Becky barring his way. 

"Let me go. She's going to fall." Robert complained and Becky shook her
head slightly, 

"He's going to hurt her. She cannot walk. You know that and what will
happen!" 

"I know she could not walk before, but I think now it's going to be
alright Robert." Becky told him, "Let's wait and see what happens." 

She turned her head, looking upon Mimi and Rijiin nearby, gasping
quietly as she witnessed before her eyes, her friend walking on her own 
power. Everyone was astonished by the sight before them, even though 
there were still a few on their feet, and the others around them 
postured themselves to move in on Rijiin and Mouse. The elf nodded 
slightly to the young maiden who peered at Rijiin in astonishment. 

"I don't WANT TO WAIT." Robert yelled and tried to lunge toward Mimi and
Rijiin. He struggled and suddenly found that the small arm of Natil 
held him in place this time as she stood over him. She had sensed his 
hostility and his plan to intercede when it was not necessary and was 
on her feet quickly. Robert snarled belligerently at the Harper, and he 
proceeded to grab her arm. She looked at him, her blue eyes twinkling 
brightly. 

"I would advise you not try that." The Harper murmured quietly, and
something in her eyes told Robert to sit back down and be quiet. He 
snarled belligerently again at the young Harper, his anger clearly 
showing on his bearded features. Around him, people sat or stood in the 
Fireside Lounge, watched as Rijiin and Mimi interacted. The elf was 
nodding in approval as she walked with him. 

"You seem to know what is going on Becky. Come on. What is all of this?
Stop keeping stuff from me." He whined and turning his head, watched 
Rijiin and Mimi walk together toward the door. 

"Be at peace Messier." Natil told him, "I assure you no harm will be to
your beloved Mimi." He muttered a horrible curse under his breath, 
turning his head as a jealous rage fell upon Mouse and Rijiin. Robert 
showed his open hostility toward this upstart Harper who came with him. 


"I wasn't talking to you lady." Robert snarled at the Harper, "I was
talking to my friend." 

Rijiin, standing near the door, had flashed a grin at the table when he
saw what was going on but he quickly turned his attention immediately 
back to his best friend. The elf walked backward as he pulled Mouse in 
front of him. Murmurs and conversation filled the room. Mimi 
tentatively took a few more smooth steps, and she looked down in 
amazement. Her astonished gasp echoed around her. 

Katherine, John and Becky looked on in silence, like the room itself, a
hush had fallen over the interior. No one intervened or tried to 
interfere. Everyone around them just watched what they could only 
perceive as a miracle. 

"Oh my god I'm walking," Mouse exclaimed. She felt her legs move
normally with each command. Rijiin let her hands go, and her arms and 
hands fell smoothly to her side. Mimi turned her head, breathing out 
sharply when realizing that she was walking away from the group and the 
wheelchair where she spent the better part of four decades. It was no 
dream for the now youthful woman, it was reality, and she was actually 
doing it. 

"OH MY...!" Mouse gasped, stumbling slightly and like lighting Rijiin
was there to catch her. A murmur of conversation rippled through the 
room like wildfire. Dave, Chris, and Robert stood up quickly ready for 
action to assist as needed. The students and staff around her, watched 
in startled silence. They were unsure what was happening. 

“Be at peace, Mimi is all right." Natil said, "As I have said no harm
will befall her. She is in good hands." 

The Harper shifted uncomfortably in the chair, having reseated herself.
Here the maiden closed her eyes briefly gazing at the starlight in the 
darkness, letting it comfort her. The trio who stood grimaced by her 
statement and glanced at Rijiin and Mimi nearby. 

"Natil, can I ask you a personal question." Chris asked and the Harper
opened her eyes and turned her head to nod slightly, "Where are you 
from and do you have a sister. You are really hot." 

The Harper frowned when everyone at the table laughed, including Robert
and promptly some banter followed between them. She had been perplexed 
by the question, remaining silent, contemplating her answer. 

"Yeah, I totally agree with that." Omar agreed, "You are a fox, Natil, I
hope you have sisters, I can bet they are like you."  More banter 
followed from the table, including Katherine, John, and Becky. 

"I do indeed, several." The Harper replied, with a frown, "Does that
make a difference?" 

"Cool, where are they?" Chris said with a boisterous laugh, "...and are
they young and single?" 

"They are in another time and place." The Harper replied quietly. "Alas,
they are not in this world and if you count the time we are sitting in 
now, it has not been for a long time." 

Everyone's attention, especially those seated at the table had focused
upon the Harper with complete surprise when hearing her answer. Their 
laughter and banter had stopped, the room becoming strangely silent 
when she spoke. Her voice was calm, barely audible, an almost musical 
sound filled with the same strong and strange inflection that Rijiin 
had. Everyone's attention turned back to Mimi and Rijiin. Dave and 
Robert watched Mimi, their friend and acquaintance for a long time, 
walking on her own power before peering at Natil. 

"What the hell does that mean?" Omar asked, grimacing at the Harper, a
puzzled frown appeared on the faces around them. Her answer had not 
been one that they had expected to hear. 

"This is all bullshit." Robert exclaimed, glancing at Becky, "No one has
that power to do what you and Rijiin did for Mouse... unless it is god 
himself." His voice had been a half in anger and disbelief. Natil let 
the anger pass knowing it was his right to be this way. Mimi sensed 
Robert's fear of something strange and unfamiliar to him. The Harper 
sensed that with many people around them. 

"Aye, as it is possible by your god it was also possible by elves of
centuries past, but no longer." Natil murmured, "There are only a few 
among us that have that talent to heal." No one moved in the room, 
likewise, did they lunge or riot toward Natil. They just looked on in 
silence at the revelation by the good-looking Harper. Mimi continued to 
stand with Rijiin and she saw her astonished expression again, catching 
the image of her face in a picture frame's glass that was a little 
clearer. A low murmur rippled through the crowd, seated and standing. 

"I..." Mouse stammered, whirling on Rijiin with her hands still touching
her face in wonder. "I want you to undo this..." Mimi demanded 
suddenly, and he calmly met her frightened expression, feeling her 
anger. 

"Be at peace, Mouse." Rijiin said simply, "I know you are afraid and I
really understand. It will take time to adjust to your new form and you 
now have several lifetimes to do just that. The magic is still in flux, 
there will be some abrupt changes you will see immediately, but know 
this there are also a few gradual ones that will happen over time." 

Mouse was shaking her head slightly. 

"This cannot be!" She exclaimed, "It is impossible! I told you that I
wanted to be as I am. I was happy with myself and my life." Mouse's 
voice faltered, falling silent when hearing her new voice. It made Mimi 
feel so strange hearing it. 

"WHY did you do this?" Mimi whispered, "I cannot accept this... It's
not..." 

"It is not human?  It is not, it is Elven. I did it because I am your
friend, and I care for you." Rijiin interrupted, "I did it because you, 
Mistress Stewart deserve the same kindness as you showed me when I 
arrived here at De Anza. I had no one to talk to, brand new to this 
place. You and Robert offered your friendship without question or 
expectations. I always remembered and appreciated that. If not can say 
I love you dearly, as my best friend in this world." 

The elf met Mouse's surprised expression, and they stood staring into
each other's eyes in silence for a moment before the teenage looking 
girl nodded slightly in sudden understanding. Mimi had confirmed her 
suspicion by the statement he made, figuring out who Rijiin really was 
and it was true what she had seen a few moments ago when he let his 
awareness touch her mind. The events she had seen were real and the elf 
was her friend, despite the major changes that he obviously had gone 
through. Mimi met his solemn gray eyes in silence but she also found 
herself shaking her head at the thoughts that she was having. 

Mimi suddenly glanced down at her hand, turning it over to reveal the
crescent moon and interlocked, rayed star pendant and gold chain she 
still held in her hand. It twinkled brightly in the fluorescent light. 
It was a reminder of what she had seen with her own eyes and where she 
had stood in person with the very essence of the Elves and their 
Creatrix. She found peace and transformation by the strange powers they 
wielded. She could not deny that it happened and on that very morning, 
she had literally traversed time and space. She gasped loudly. 

Rijiin had motioned to Mimi. "Walk with me, my kinswoman." He
instructed. Both the elf and Mimi walked alone, far out of range of the 
table. Together they talked in low tones to each other. No one at the 
table ever heard Rijiin and Mimi's conversation or had heard what they 
had talked about between them. No one needed to know but was one 
conversation Mimi would never forget. She hugged the elf after a 
moment, to grin as he fastened the necklace bearing the pendant of the 
crescent moon and interlocked star that hung from the gold chain around 
her neck after the elf gently removed the other necklace belonging to 
Robert. He removed it, instead of allowing Robert to hurt her by 
yanking it from her neck. Together they returned to the table and Mimi, 
healed, sat lounging in her wheelchair. In her hand, Mouse held 
Robert's necklace. The young woman sensed his anger directed toward her 
as she placed the half pendant and chain on the tabletop in silence. 

"Here is Mimi, I return her to you." Rijiin told the group. He spoke
quietly, and his voice was thickly filled with the strange accent and 
inflection of the elves. "Human ways are not our ways and we must be 
going. We must return to where we belong." 

"Speaking of that, where is that Rijiin?" Becky exclaimed, "What do you
mean human ways are not yours?" 

All present were thoroughly curious about the couple who had graced
their presence on this cold December morning. 

"You seem so familiar to me. Who are you really?" She asked and there
was a murmur of questions by everyone. The elf did not reply he merely 
grimaced as he stepped back one-step from the table. 

"Rijiin, do I look like the reflection I saw in the glass of that
picture frame?" Mimi asked suddenly and he turned to regard the 
beautiful young woman before him. He met her aquamarine colored eyes in 
silence with a single nod of his head. 

"Mistress Stewart, you are not ill-formed by any means, and quite
beautiful." He said solemnly, "Yes, you will look exactly as you have 
seen, perhaps even more so. The energy that you were subjected to is 
still in flux and there will be a lot more changes over time." 

"Yeah that's an understatement." Dave murmured meeting the nods of Chris
and Omar who had heard him. Their attentions returned to Rijiin who 
stood nearby and all noted a change about the elf. Mimi's hand touched 
her cheek in curiosity as she stood up again and stared at a nearby 
picture frame. Mouse could see herself partially in the reflection, but 
the face in the glass was not clear enough to show her what really she 
looked like. She remembered there was a mirror in the Physical 
Education (PE) Quad in the locker room and made mental note to go over 
there to look. 

"There are going to be a lot of changes in the next few hours, perhaps
even days. Our magic is unpredictable and can choose many different 
paths. It is hard to say exactly what path the power of transformation 
will take or what changes will happen. Only time will tell what you 
gain." He explained, "You have though, reached Arae ea oombra, which 
means the Day of Completion and for you, that day is today.” 

The elf paused as he glanced at the other people in the room, then to
the table to nod affirmatively. 

“Furthermore for you, it is also Arae ea circa, which means Day of
Beginnings, which for you Beloved Mimi begins for you today too.” 

"Is it because of my healing Rijiin?" Mimi asked. Becky and the others
present saw Rijiin nod affirmatively. The elfish words made everyone 
peer at Rijiin in curiosity then glance at Natil who was smiling. She 
nodded her head at him. The group present at the table had felt a jump 
inside themselves, like an electrical charge that passed through their 
bodies when hearing the elfish words. Katherine had understood the 
terms and gasped quietly. 

"It is beloved, very much so. Arae ea oombra because your old lifeline
as a human has ended as you know it and Arae ea circa, as you change 
more and more into an what you will become." 

"Are those holidays or something?" Chris asked formally, "I have never
heard of that before. Those names sound important or something." 

"They are events in a lifeline, like the winter and summer solstice."
John replied, "The elves use those terms to mark changes in a lifeline 
by their manipulation of energy.  Kind of like what you saw with Mimi. 

"It's not a Wicca thing is it?" Omar asked, aware that Jon practiced
that ancient religion but John himself, shook his head. 

"No, but warlocks and witches do celebrate the solstices, and would be
guided by the same markers when they manipulate energy like the elves." 
John replied, "Although for Wicca, we work in circles where elves do 
not. It is..." 

"It's bullshit." Robert interrupted, "You are so full of shit John, and
you too, Rijiin. All that has happened to us, Rijiin has hypnotized us 
somehow and you used some of your pagan Wicca bullshit. That is not 
Mimi. It is someone paid to impersonate her. This so-called change 
cannot have happened, there is no such thing as elves or magic, it is 
all fantasy. You and your gay lover John are trying to pull a fast one 
on us, so spare us the horseshit and tell us where Mimi is really." 

John grimaced at the insult and was about to reply in anger but his gaze
fell upon Rijiin who grimaced at the banter between them, sensing the 
dislike between the two. The elf raised his hand silently and shook his 
head. 

"Be at peace, he is not worth it. You spoke the truth." Rijiin murmured
quietly, "As it is, truth is truth and for some they just can't handle 
it." 

John tilted his head for a moment, in half understanding before
returning a nod in understanding. Rijiin understood what John was 
talking about and he was respectful of the young man's craft. He had 
dealt with witches like Roxanne, and Charity back in the fourteenth 
century. The elf had learned a thing or two from them. He learned to 
respect the craft (witchcraft), other people's feelings, the laws of 
nature, and perhaps some humanity that the elf had long forgotten over 
the course of a year. 

Rijiin, still grimacing, turned his attention to Robert who continued to
spew more disruptive comments. The elf hardly heard them as he turned. 
He coldly met Robert's bearded features and his hazel-colored eyes in 
silence. When Rijiin finally spoke, it was like a double-edged sword. 

"By our Lady, that is enough out of you. Dina, Ungai. Lle vanwa kolien
usquentiri huan." The elf snarled coldly. The others in the group, 
seated around the table, gasped when they felt the chill of the cold 
Elfish words spoken by Rijiin, "You otherwise will have trouble in your 
future if you do not. Do not think I will not act upon it, as it is a 
promise, not a threat. I have seen many things and battles in my 
travels.” 

"Oh and boo hoo... You will call security." The elf replied
sarcastically, "I honestly do not think you will have the chance 
Robert. I can take you out in a heartbeat. So remember that before you 
take the swing." 

Robert's eyes had widened in surprise when Rijiin interrupted him and
his train of thought. He had responded to what he was the disabled man 
was about to say back to elf in the form of an angry threat and what he 
planned in his head. The elf had been reading his mind, and looked 
ahead to see him become violent, throwing the first punch in a fight 
between himself and Rijiin. However, his body language clearly gave 
away his intentions the most. 

"Know this too Ungai, elves are creatures of peace and should not be
provoked. We do make formidable opponents, however. I suggest, for your 
own good, you sit there, be quiet, and listen. You might learn a few 
things. However, there will be no battle here today." 

The elf had turned to Mimi, talking quietly to her and had sensed the
incoming fist toward his head. Rijiin, with little effort had dodged, 
letting the strike expend into open air. The elf quickly blocked two 
more swings at his head but not a third strike, striking Robert, making 
him back up a couple of steps. The elf put a hand to his face as an 
expression of anger appeared on his fair features. Around them, gasps, 
ooohs, ahhhs and a low murmur from rippled through the crowd. 

Mouse turned her head to see the expression of anger on Rijiin's face,
and the bright twinkle of starlight in his eyes. Mimi had her mouth 
open, clearly surprised and shocked that her fiancé had struck him, 
seeing the blood on the edge of his mouth. Rijiin quickly connected to 
the starlight, and the motions of the dance the elves used for 
fighting. He saw feints, openings, and many possibilities that lay 
ahead of him. Robert moved in with another fist. 

The elf also could see that there was one possibility of swordplay that
would take a turn for the worst, when Rijiin would have to slay him. He 
shuddered at the thought, wishing this could be settled in peace. 

Rijiin glanced to the crowd when someone suggested going and getting
security. The elf continued to dodge Robert's punches or blocking, 
using Aikido from a long time ago. He tried desperately to not harm 
Robert, easily able to injure if he so chose. Two students left the 
room and he sensed they were going to alert security, and the manager 
of this building. This whole incident would be an ugly mess. Robert 
bent backward to wind up intending, after grabbing one of his crutches, 
to use it as a club. The elf stepped back, letting the crutch whistle 
past his face a few inches from it. He ducked when the second crutch 
came in toward him, letting it pass his body. The elf's hand flashed to 
the blade at his side, un-securing it and allowing it to be drawn. 

A look of sadness appeared on Natil's face when Rijiin unsecured his
blade, knowing fully that he did not want to fight in this manner and 
have the possibility of hurting Robert. He glanced in her direction and 
he saw the look and the slight headshake of his traveling companion. 
The elf, she sensed, wanted this solved in a peaceful manner but 
because Robert took a swing at him, he would have no choice but to use 
force. The elf continued to dodge each crutches as they were swung at 
him. A look of frustration appeared on Robert's face when he realized 
they were not getting close to Rijiin. 

The elf, sighing as he felt the futility of it all, drew the blade from
its sheath with a metallic rasp, and there was a gasp by all. Sparks 
appeared as the elf's blade and the metal crutches connected, the elf 
easily parrying the attack. Rijiin stepped back again and he ducked 
into a crouch, letting one swing expend its energy over his head. 
Abruptly the elf brought his blade up and he cut a chunk of Robert's 
beard down to the skin. Blood trickled from the disabled man's chin 
after hearing a whistle of the blade pass him by. 

"First blood, do not bother to yield." Rijiin exclaimed coldly, turning
after following through and stood his ground. Robert stepped back, 
placing a hand up to his chin, and he looked down in with a grimace 
when he realized that Rijiin had cut him. He silently wiped the blood 
from his skin. 

"Rijiin, please no more, that is not why we are here." Natil warned, as
the elf stepped back, readying himself for another onslaught. Robert 
snarled as he thrust his crutch like a sword and Rijiin moved to parry 
easily. Without warning, the elf stepped forty-five degrees to the 
right and with his left hand struck him with an open palm in the 
sternum. The hit made Robert back up two steps and here Rijiin followed 
through to spin away from the disabled man, coming up, his blade 
finding its home on the back of the disabled man's neck making him 
freeze and the elf put it to his jugular vein. The battle was ended. 

"By our lady, what is that you seek Robert?" Rijiin demanded, "Is this
what you are after?" 

The elf held the blade at his neck, and he grimaced at the sight before
him. He realized what he was doing and relaxed his grip on the blade at 
Robert's neck just so. Rijiin managed a low sigh. 

"If I would have chosen, you would have been slain here. However, in my
travels I have learned some compassion and understanding for humans, 
despite what I have seen." He told him solemnly, his tone ice cold, 
"Thankfully you never will understand, or know of our trials. This 
battle ends, however, I suggest you go get a drink and cool off Robert, 
also clean yourself up. You should maybe even have someone look at 
that." 

Rijiin, holding his blade ready, had stepped back. Robert stepped back
away from him too. The elf thought the battle had ended. A crutch moved 
toward the elf when Rijiin had turned away. 

"Watch out beloved!" Natil exclaimed, and the elf ducked letting the
strike expend in open air, a few inches from his head. He felt the 
second crutch hit his shoulder, feeling a sharp pain. Rijiin's blade 
flashed, as the first crutch was already was coming in at him and he 
skillfully parried it. The elf backed off, and raised his blade waiting 
for the right opening. The elf realized he had no choice what he must 
do. Natil sensed what he was doing and the opening he sought. 

"Here we go." Rijiin muttered, "Just one step and one parry, he breaks
the parry and a quick cross body strike across the neck that is 
virtually unblockable." 

Rijiin saw the opening and his blade flashed once to parry, locking the
crutch behind the blade. Robert fought to break the hold. The elf was 
poised to let loose and his blade would execute the strongest move he 
had developed in his sword fighting techniques. A technique that he had 
sprung on Terrill and even with his skill could not parry or dodge. 
Robert broke the parry and Rijiin let loose. (He had taken from the 
movie Highlander) In the back of the elf's mind, he remembered that 
Robert had not been taught in the way of the sword that he was relying 
on street brawling using his crutches in an underhanded way. 

"Oh by our Lady, Rijiin don't do it!" Natil shouted. The elf maiden
suddenly realized what he was doing, that he was about to take life 
unnecessarily. The elf heard Natil's shout, and pulled back at the last 
minute, realizing what was happening. Rijiin let the blade whistle 
through the air to cut Robert's beard and he realized what he had 
almost done. The disabled man, having started the fight, staggered 
backward with a look of fear in his eye having felt the wind of the 
elf's blade across his throat. The elf spun clear and he held his blade 
upright, knowing he had pulled back. However, if he had not, Robert's 
head would slowly be slipping from its shoulders onto the ground right 
now. The elf held his ground, holding his blade ready, straight up at 
his side. Mimi stood out of her chair and stepped between Robert and 
Rijiin. The elf was not breathing hard but Robert was. 

Rijiin glanced at the nearly empty room as people had bolted, scattering
as the elf and Robert began to fight. He grimaced in pain, his shoulder 
aching where Robert had hit him with the crutch. He was glad that no 
one else was injured in his or her fight, even on accident. 

"Enough." Mimi firmly declared, holding up her hands, "This is not going
to solve anything if you idiots fight. Bobby, go get us a drink as 
Rijiin suggested and cool off. Go to the infirmary and get your chin 
looked at. Rijiin, you sit down and let Natil check your arm." 

"Shut up you imposter." Robert snarled, “Don't tell me what to do.” 

He turned in a huff, lumbering toward the door and around the corner. 

"You might have trouble with security in the next few minutes." Mimi
whispered, "He is probably going to get them and have them call the 
police. But, are you all right?" 

"Just like him to be so immature." Rijiin growled, turning his attention
to the group. He quickly sheathed the blade but he left it at his side 
unsecured, "I am not unwell, Mimitti. Be at peace." 

"So Rijiin when you meant changes, you mean I will be changing into an
immortal elf then?" Mimi asked, "So I am clear on this." He managed a 
shrug in reply to the question. 

"Perhaps, if that is the path you walk and seek then you will become
just that." He replied, motioning to Natil who had joined him at his 
side. The Harper embraced him, holding him closely. She had felt him 
flinch when she touched his shoulder. The elf returned the warm embrace 
anyway and leaned over toward her, kissing her on the lips. 

Dave, Chris and even Omar were grinning at the couple. Mimi sat with her
eyes closed, and she stared at the starlight before her in silent 
astonishment. 

"Rijiin, what am I really seeing?" Mouse asked. She sat with her eyes
closed, gasping when she saw it, now very bright, uncomprehending its 
meaning as she had stood on the meadow and now in the Fireside Dining 
Room. Its power seemed to calm and refresh her. 

"I am seeing starlight." She murmured, and he nodded. "What exactly is
that about? I saw it when I stood before the Lady too." 

"It is the healing energies that bind the elves, and their power." He
said, "They are the lady, who is us, who made the elves." 

"Oh you mean the lady in blue and silver?" Becky had chimed in and
Rijiin showed visible surprise at first, but he did not shake his 
negatively. He in fact had nodded to Mimi and Becky, surprising them 
both. The elf leaned over toward Natil, 

"It is time beloved, our task is complete. We can return home and to the
safety among the trees." The Harper met his smile with a look of 
surprise but she also nodded, thankfully in agreement. 

"We must go now." Rijiin announced. Mimi, Omar, Becky, Dave, Chris, even
Katherine turned in surprise as he bowed slightly at the waist. 
"Perhaps we shall meet again." 

"Whoa, you are leaving?" Becky asked, "You still have not told us who
you are. We have a lot of questions for you two." Questions echoed 
around the table, and Rijiin met the grin of knowing on Mimi's youthful 
face. 

"Yeah, that's an understatement Becky." Omar commented. Chris and Dave
nodded in agreement. They were perplexed today, by what they saw and 
wondered if they had imagined the whole thing that happened. 

"I don't know how or what we saw today, but it certainly happened."
Becky declared, "The proof is sitting here with us and I can't deny 
Mimi's appearance or change as anything else." 

"And you would be right Mistress Mc Gough. Be at peace. Natil and I do
not belong here. We must leave you all now and travel to the place 
where we arrived this morning. So we may return to our proper 
destination." Rijiin declared with a nod, "We are as we are, but know 
this, what happened here has also affected all of you who sat with Mimi 
this morning." 

He paused to scan the room in silence, shaking his head quietly. The elf
felt uncomfortable here, realizing that he and his beloved Harper did 
not belong here. They did not belong in the modern age among humans as 
immortal elves from the Renaissance Age. He longed for the safety of 
trees and the forests of Malvern in a different time, lifetime and 
different dance. 

The Harper when she heard his whispered words had raised her eyebrows in
surprise but she also nodded slowly. Natil's face showed her 
acknowledgment of whom and what she was seeing. There was no doubt now 
that he was fully Elven and no longer human. He half turned to open the 
pouch at his side and he withdrew cards from the shop in Eastridge. 
Rijiin passed them out to the people he had called friends. 

"Come to this place, there you will seek the answers to your questions."
Rijiin told them and he nodded a couple of times, "It is here that you 
will find your way." 

"Aa' menle nauva calen ar' ta hwesta e' ale'quenle." He said aloud and
Katherine, sitting at the table stood up and bowed formally to the elf. 


Aa' lasser en lle coia orn n' omenta gurtha.' Katherine said back,
making the elves smile and nod. 

"What is this, a way to what, Rijiin?" Mouse asked, scanning the card,
but when she looked up Rijiin and Natil had already gone. The group 
around the table, where the now very youthful looking Mimi sat in her 
wheelchair, was aware of anything different. They all talked in low 
tones about what had transpired here, and still could not get over how 
much Mimi changed. 

Becky, Omar, Dave, Katherine and even Chris had felt strangely different
as Rijiin and Natil's healing ability that had swirled about them 
touched them all. The group felt healthier, charged up and each person 
had a peculiar feeling inside them after all they had seen today. The 
group had witnessed the miracle of an ancient religion's magic that had 
long since passed and all were unsure where he or she would be going 
from here. Robert, as Mimi had foreseen, had returned to the Fireside 
Lounge with Ben and a few security guards but the elves were already 
gone. 

Becky's reminisces faded when she felt a hand on her shoulder and she
opened her eyes. On the horizon, the lights from the town called 
Salida, Utah are there and it is at this desolate oasis among the 
desert they would pull off for their second night out of California. As 
they pulled into the parking lot, Rebecca glanced at Mimi in the 
darkness, clearly outlined in lavender and purple colors, and then back 
to the dim lights of the small humble motel that they had spied while 
entering the town. 

“Where are we?” Becky asked. 

“Salida, Utah.” Mimi replied, stretching herself in the seat and
managing a yawn. They had pushed over five hundred miles, managing to 
reach deep into Utah, crossing Nevada in record time. Both of them had 
risen at 6 AM, two days ago and already they had reached this far, 
driving straight through. 

Grabbing her purse, Mimi hopped out of the truck, followed by Becky and
together they stretched before walking toward the office of the motel. 
The motel itself is rustic, with a chalet type office and adjacent 
buildings that make up the rooms. Around them a zoo, makes up the 
surroundings with a restaurant adjacent to it. Mouse and Becky both 
smiled seeing the rustic setting amidst this desert setting. The air 
was hot outside but as they opened, a plate glass door leading into the 
office, a cool breeze blasted them both in the face. An older man sat 
behind the desk at the computer, dressed in a tank top and comfortable 
khaki shorts 

“Can I help you ladies?” He asked politely, meeting the gazes of Mimi
and Becky. 

“We'd like a room for the night...” Mimi said, “Non smoking.” 

“We have one available, for 36.99 a night.” He told them, and put up a
form on the counter, “Please fill this out. I will get your key.” Mimi 
filled out the form quickly, and both signed it. She flipped him her 
credit card and he took it. 

“Can I see your identification please?” He asked and Mimi smiled handing
him her new driver's license she recently acquired over the last two 
months. He nodded handing both back to her and she gladly took it. The 
office manager handed them both a key. 

“Check out is at 11:00 AM, Restaurant is open all night.” He droned and
both smiled, nodding their heads. 

“With thanks.” Mimi replied, “Be at peace.” 

Together Mouse and Becky adjourned to the room, a rustic set room with
oak furnishings, a dark red shag carpet, yellowish tinged walls, and 
not very well lit with the amount of lamps that surrounded the room. 
The bathroom consisted of a marble tabletop counter with a sink built 
into it, bright shiny fixtures, a door to the right led into a walk in 
shower and toilet. The bathroom, brightly lit by powerful fluorescent 
lighting offered a heat lamp. It was rustic, but home for a night. 

“Not bad for 36.99 a night.” Becky had muttered and they piled their
luggage in a narrow alcove near the door. They hit the restaurant 
first, having a quick meal, entering the diner through a series of 
double glass doors and stood waiting at the sign that read ‘Wait to be 
seated.' 

“Seat yourself anywhere!” A harried middle-aged server called out and
Mimi grabbed two menus. The diner was as rustic as the hotel. A medium 
sized main room and two smaller rooms filled with a sea of tables. They 
sat on the far side of the diner close to the windows that overlooked 
the zoo, and after their orders were taken they relaxed. 

“The way I see it, we fuel up here, we can easily reach Grand Junction.”
Mimi said, “Or head north to Interstate-80 via highway-fifteen to Salt 
Lake and cross Wyoming and come down to Denver from the north. A few 
more miles out of the way but a safer bet than trying the continental 
divide in our Uhaul™ beast.” 

“Whatever seems the easiest, Mouse.” Becky replied, smiling at the
inflection in her voice, “We still have to cross mountains even on 
Highway-80 through Evanston.” 

“That's true.” Mouse mused and she thought a moment, “Either way it's
going to be a climb. I am unsure which would be easiest.” 

“I wouldn't worry. Let's do that when we get there.” Becky suggested. 

“What do you think we'll find, Mouse?” Becky asked suddenly, “We are
coming to a high place to the east, at least from California.” 

Mimi thought a moment, and shook her head, “I really don't know. It will
be good to know what we are getting into and if there is someone there 
to meet us though.” 

“Me too.” Becky replied with a smile, “And I hope heir names are Natil
and Rijiin.” 

Mimi smiled at Becky and nodded as they chatted, making small talk as
they made plans for the next part of their trip. It was right up until 
their food came to them, piping hot, and they ate in silence. After 
they were finished, Becky paid the bill then both stepped out into the 
night and gazed up at the sea of stars above them. A shooting star 
streaked across the night sky. Mouse and Becky both smiled when they 
saw it. The star-field reminded them of another place and a grassy 
meadow where they stood with the Lady. 

When they returned to the room, both showered and lay on the two queen
beds on their side. Both lay listening to the TV, and yet both had 
their eyes closed, staring at the starlight they saw in the darkness. 
Becky wondered where they were going from here, and where their 
destination lay. Opening her eyes, she glanced at Mouse, in the 
darkened room and clearly outlined in purple and lavender colors as she 
had seen in the truck. Blinking her eyes a couple of times Becky gazed 
at Mouse again, seeing the strange aura. 

“Now this is weird.” Becky thought as she blinked her eyes again, then
realizing that as an elf she could see in the dark. “It appears that we 
have another skill elves apparently have.” 

Mouse opened her eyes and peered at Becky, her eyes shining in the dim
light. 

“We can see in the dark.” Mouse informed her, grinning at her companion.


“Yeah I noticed.” Rebecca replied, “How much more and how many more
abilities are we going to gain?” 

“I don't know Becky.” Mimi replied, “But thus far it has been an amazing
discovery as we move forward.” 

“That's for sure. Mimi.” Becky replied, grimacing at her friend. “You
look tired Mouse.” 

Becky had made the simple observation as Mimi yawned, before looking
over at her companion to shake her head. 

“Hardly that,” Mimi replied, “This is going to be tough. I thought Elves
slept. I feel energized after eating and that shower. I feel really 
strange right now, too wired to sleep.” 

“I don't feel tired either. I know the feeling about being energized.”
Becky replied, “It must be these changes happening to us.” 

“Maybe.” Mimi replied, “Let's try to rest a bit anyway.” 

They lay back, but in the darkness, Becky and Mouse both were
wide-awake, their eyes closed, keeping the vision of the starlight as 
the hours the night encroached into the wee hours of the morning. 

The next day, both dressed quickly, and together they put their bags in
the truck. Together they stepped into the diner, was seated and ordered 
breakfast, Mimi and Becky took an hour and ate a hearty breakfast. 
After settling the bill, they headed to the service station nearby 
where they filled the Uhaul™. 

Becky took first watch on driving duty, racing down Highway 50/70 at
break neck speed as they set their sights on Denver instead of 
Cheyenne. They only had a few stops, at Montrose, Green River, and 
Grand Junction to fuel the truck, get food or to switch off the task of 
driving. Hours later, Mouse sat behind the wheel, as their truck 
crested the hill and in the dusk hours that her eyes, focused on the 
lights as they approached and saw Denver on the horizon. 

She turned her head and looked up at her traveling companion curiously.
Mimi noted Becky closed her eyes and she carried a strange aura around 
her. 

“Becky.” Mouse whispered, “We're here.” 

Becky turned her head as the lights of Denver grew closer and closer. A
smile appeared on her youthful looking face. He cast a glance at Mouse 
who drove and who was smiling too. Both were glad to see Denver, hardly 
sleeping over the last few days to push far to the east and staring at 
wonder at their destination where they seemed to know that they were 
going to meet those people like themselves.  They could hardly contain 
their excitement on that fact and looked forward to tomorrow, their 
first day in Denver. 

“So we're at Denver, as you asked, what do you think we looking for, do
you think this is it?”  Mouse asked.  Becky turned her head to reply 
and only grimaced, to shrug her shoulders. 

“I still have no idea Mouse.” Becky replied, smiling quietly glad to see
Denver on the horizon. She let out a silent breath as she cracked the 
window, letting the cool fresh air fill the cab. 

“The goddess said they would be just like us, as if they are brothers
and sisters.” Becky recited, “Seek a high place in the East. Rijiin 
said it too.” 

“Well we made it this far.” Mouse replied, “The part about seeking a
high place in the east, at least. The Rockies are high and east of 
California.” 

“True.” Becky replied quietly, “I don't know but I have a pretty good
feeling what we seek will be here Mouse. We'd better stop for the night 
at least, it is getting very late.” 

They stopped at the nearest Motel when they reached the confines of the
city of Denver and there they rented a room. Together they had a quick 
meal in a local diner not far from their accommodations and when they 
returned, Becky lay on the queen bed near the far wall. She glanced 
sideways at companion, sighing quietly as she lay back. Both of them 
did not sleep. Elves rarely slept, and they both peered at the 
starlight as they lay with their eyes closed in their hotel room. They 
let the light sooth their senses and it seemed to energize them as 
before. 

Unlike the first borne elves of Malvern, the starlight had faded over
the remaining centuries, as did the elves themselves. Their magic, 
their ways had faded and Natil had been the last one, so she had 
thought, traveling throughout the realm, harping for those who enjoyed 
her music. Becky and Mimi saw the starlight, and both transformed with 
the same magic of the old ways. Despite the patterns of starlight, the 
ones they could see in the darkness, it is not the same as what the 
first borne elves could see. Their abilities were far from how it was 
for the first borne elves. The patterns had changed in the darkness 
becoming unrecognizable and both were unable to go to the Lady, the 
Creatrix of the Elves, as they had been able to before. 

“Rijiin I hope you are here.” Becky murmured, focusing on the
unidentifiable patterns in the darkness. She wondered and hoped that 
was true, and they would find what they were looking for. 

The next morning they were still awake when morning encroached on Denver
and they had a hearty breakfast at a diner near the hotel. Together 
they panned a gaze about the streets of Denver, shadowed by the Rocky 
Mountains. Both of them stared at shops around the area, looking for a 
sign that would be for what they sought here in Denver. 

“A people they would know as them as brothers and sisters,” Becky
thought, repeating Rijiin's words. She glanced at Mouse in silence as 
she took in the surroundings with her. A sign did catch their eye, one 
that read Watterston's New Age Emporium. A look of surprise appeared on 
both of their faces. Becky recognized it from the magazine publications 
her boyfriend had received by mail. Mimi sensed a strange feeling as 
they stared at the sign. 

As they walked toward the shop, they exchanged a glance before they
entered through the plate glass door to find a large room dominated by 
a long counter with an enormous cash register sitting on top of it. At 
present, the register, as though impelled by its very size, was 
totaling up three-figure purchases for a milling crowd of women clad in 
various combinations of fringes, shawls, bead work, turquoise, silver 
plated tin, and imitation eagle feathers. Mimi and Becky both hung back 
by the door. Mouse could not help notice that at least three shelves of 
the bookcase next to entrance, crammed with books on Iridiology. It was 
just as Natil had taken in when she had visited here and met Sandy Joy. 
Becky joined her and both peered at the books. 

“Iridiology?” Becky said with a questioning tone. “That's not Wicca I
think.” 

Mimi only shrugged in reply as they scanned the perimeter of the store. 

“No Idea, Becky.” Mimi replied, “I don't know Wicca, you know that.” 

“Yes I know.” She replied, “It's nothing, trust me.” 

Racks and shelves of books, in fact, filled with every free section of
wall and spilled out into the middle of the room in double-side 
displays, but as Becky and Mouse strolled through the store, they 
narrowly avoided collisions with the milling customers, their fringes, 
and their imitation eagle feathers. 

Both noted that Watterson's New Age Emporium offered much more than
books. In fact, it seemed to have one, if not several, of everything. 
The sections were overwhelming. 

Scented oils with astrological correspondence, tiny suede sacks adorned
with iron-on Nordic runes, Aluminum cards that attracted ‘Pyramid 
power', Crystal Pendants, Feathered sticks, Little chrome balls that 
jingled mysteriously when shaken, Bags of incense specially blended to 
mediate the energies of the Solstice, Dark mirrors, Pseudo Native 
America Shields, pipes, headdresses, and amulets lined the shelves. 
There were also Talismans of Mercury, Mars, Ariel, Uriel, Jupiter, also 
several planetary and angelic powers that Becky did not recognize at 
all. Baskets of landscaping rocks were here, as was Lumps of clay, 
boxes of glass marbles, and large arrangements of copper wire and iron 
ingots that appeared to have something to do with ‘Channeling energy.' 

Next to Becky, Mimi noted the fake Egyptian necklaces, oriental
earrings, Celtic bracelets, museum replicas of ancient statuary. There 
were tons of mass produced replicas of modern kitsch, alabaster eggs, 
teak wood boxes, color-coded zafus, little pewter figurines of 
sorcerers and mermaids. Also present were large plaster images of 
satyrs and nymphs, chalices of stainless steel, brass, bronze, and 
copper. Wands of wood, stone and plastic were in separated baskets. 
Gourd rattles. staves with carvings... and without. There were bowls, 
incense burners, crude paintings of goddesses (breasts and hips 
prominent) and Gods (penises and horns prominent). Several Muslin robes 
and colored cord hung from a hangar, quantities of quartz crystals, 
geodes apache tears, jasper pebbles, moonstone beads and... 

Becky and Mouse, overwhelmed by the displays found themselves split in
two parts of the store, Mimi browsing the merchandise on the shelves. 
Becky found her way to the display in the long counter. Peering into 
the display, she saw magician's caps, and other accessories used for 
Wicca. Specialty items and sales items also appeared in the display. 
Rebecca's gaze fell onto a box containing black stones. She managed a 
grimace at the price tag with it. It took her a moment to identify what 
she was looking at. 

“Boji stones?” She murmured to herself, ignoring the woman behind the
counter who is dressed in a leather tunic and skirt. She has blue eyes, 
and her round cheeks almost matched her red hair. She smiled at Becky 
as she stood there watching her inspect the display and the many items 
for sale in the glass case. 

“Boji stones for sixty bucks?” Becky gasped, and her attention turned to
another box next to it held smaller ones. 

“Holy crap, thirty bucks?” She asked herself, “For small Boji stones?
You have to be kidding and they look like charcoal briquettes.” 

“Can I help you?” the woman asked and Becky politely shook her head as
she moved along. 

A man in a thread barren robe stood next to the register and from her
position in the store, Mouse saw Becky head his way to have a polite 
conversation with him, which lasted several minutes. Mouse saw Becky 
smile politely putting up her hands to decline the sales pitch he was 
showing her and a few minutes elapsed before she walked toward Mimi in 
silence. She had thanked him for his information that was quite helpful 
to her, tracking down a possible lead of the immortals in Denver. 

“Find anything Mouse?” Becky asked and Mimi shook her head. 

“Well this is certainly not the place.” Becky declared in disgust, “The
shop owner is interested in nothing more than sex and the greed of 
Wicca. However he put me on a couple of leads though.” 

“What kind of leads?” Mouse asked, feeling something jumping inside by
her statement. 

“Well he put us to a Kingsley College, where he thought two students
currently attend.” She suggested, “He described two beautiful young 
women, a redhead and a dark haired woman who had come in here, 
searching for books on casting and books on the Wicca religion. They 
were searching for others like themselves.” 

“That sounds like Natil.” Mouse gasped, “I wonder who the other one is.
I know it can't be Rijiin.” 

“No Rijiin had dark brown hair, streaked with silver.” Becky said, “He
said an unidentifiable and very attractive female. The classes they 
offer here too are a joke, a farce...  He is a petty little man and a 
traitor who should call himself a Warlock.” 

Mouse gasped when she heard her echo John Stack's words, Becky's former
boyfriend only because she had left California with Mimi. She hoped one 
day she could tell John where she was and hoped he could share in this 
strange journey, also the same transformation. He was, after all, 
present when Rijiin and Natil had come to De Anza and had healed Mimi. 

“Then let us leave.” Mimi suggested, “Perhaps we can find them at this
Kingsley Campus.” 

As they walked to the door, Mimi paused, bowing respectfully to the
shopkeeper. Together they returned to their vehicle, piling in, and 
drove the streets in the city of Denver for a couple of hours. They saw 
the sign that would put them on the right path to get to Kingsley 
College and where they unknowingly would find Natil working as head 
groundskeeper. Mimi got off the highway and they soon arrived at the 
college, pulling into the parking lot. 

“Okay, if we can find them, we should be able to get some information on
where we need to go and also we can see about registering.” Becky 
murmured, making Mimi nod slightly. 

Nearby Natil had not been paying attention, working on a row of flowers
in the planters as head gardener of Kingsley College. She had her 
floppy straw hat on, it being early spring she worked about the flowers 
packing the earth about them. The maiden suddenly felt strangely and 
looked up in alarm at the narrow walkway nearby, waiting and watching. 
She suddenly had felt a strange presence, one sense she had never known 
to have before. Looking down the Harper finished her work and glancing 
up again she stared across the campus that sprawled out around her. The 
Harper did not see anyone near except a few students who walked 
together toward the Administration building. 

“By our lady, that was strange.” She thought, grimacing at the feeling
of energy that surged through her body. 

At first, Natil had seen nothing but the feeling had startled her. The
Harper turned and had her crew take the empty flower carts to her shed 
and pick up fresh ones for another area on campus. The elf maiden had 
not seen the duo that arrived on this campus, people she could have 
called family after she and Rijiin had healed them, jumping through the 
winds of history to do just that. It is when the elves still existed in 
the forests of Adria and the last few remaining in the world of men. 
Natil had been with them near the free town called Saint Brigid, the 
last remaining haven for heretics and the immortals as the Inquisition 
still persecuted the last of their race from existence. 

As the Harper worked, she began to reminisce back to the past, where
well over four hundred years ago she had been in Malvern and thought of 
Rijiin, her beloved who had come from this time. A name she had not 
thought of in centuries, and the one who had loved her without 
question. Natil's beloved who had on a cold morning, four hundred plus 
years ago, had vanished in the forest, saving the life of a young child 
and the common folk that was lost in the middle of a blizzard that had 
descended on the forest and the town. 

Natil and Rijiin had stood on the road. His last words had been, ‘Hey
it's a kind of magic' and here, he had flashed a dazzling smile at her 
as he disappeared into the woods. He had succeeded in saving the lives 
of the townsfolk and the child they were trying to rescue. Natil had 
gone ahead at his direction, promising to catch up to her in the 
encampment. The elf had nodded to the rescue group as he made his way 
into the forest, heading for home. 

When Rijiin had not arrived at his destination, everyone thought he had
been claimed by the elements. The Harper was devastated for a long time 
after that, unable to come to terms with her loss. Natil had loved him 
dearly, returning the love he had shown her. 

“Wow, I have not thought of that name in a while.” Natil thought, and
she peered at the two women who walked along the building's walkway. 

Standing slowly, she took off her hat and her long, dark red hair,
streaked with silver glistened in the light. Her face showed 
astonishment as she stared at them. The Harper had quickly recognized 
them from her and Rijiin's travels into the future where they had 
helped and healed his friend. Becky walked with Mimi and their curious 
gazes moved to the surroundings. It had been a moment later that Mouse 
had sensed Natil, and her sharp eyes fell upon the Harper. 

“Oh my word!” Mimi gasped, and her breath whisked away as she beheld the
beauty, also familiarity of the Harper. 

“What is it Mimi?” Becky asked, turning her head as she too scanned the
surroundings of the college, impressed by the very size of it. It 
reminded the young woman a lot of De Anza. Her eyes moved along the 
walkway and to the many flowerbeds that lay scattered with newly 
planted flowers. Her eyes glanced at the Harper who stood beside the 
largest one. 

“It cannot be.” Mimi exclaimed, “I don't believe it but it surely is.” 

“My god is that Natil?” Becky replied sharply, doing a double take,
gasping as she peered upon her, recognizing the Harper who came to De 
Anza with Rijiin. Becky had recognized her from their trips through the 
portal in the mall shop where they jumped literally out of time and 
space to the fourteenth century, greeting the couple at the encampment 
of the few remaining elves that lived in the area known as Adria. She 
let out a loud gasp. 

“Oh my lady... it is N-Natil.” Becky breathed, walking toward the Harper
who had spied the duo and who dropped her hat. Natil had been startled 
when she had seen them, her heart leaping upward literally into her 
throat.  She had recognized Mouse who walked toward her, followed by 
Becky. 

Both stood in front of her a moment later. She peered at them
incredibly, unable to believe her own eyes. They were fair and 
beautiful, peering at the youthful face of Mimi who had not changed in 
the long time they had been apart. A long time had passed with the 
wandering of Natil through time and space, and she had not expected 
them to be here. 

“You dropped your hat mistress Harper.” Becky told her, handing it back
to her. Natil stared with wide eyes, staring at what she thought to be 
a vision, a mirage. 

“Natili, Na ta lle?” Mimi asked, “Ya ae llea atara?” 

Mouse met the startled face of the Harper. 

Natil gasped as she bobbled her head in response to the question, just
as Rijiin had taught them in Elfish a very long time ago. 

“It is. I have a mother, and I am she.” Natil replied instinctively,
echoing her words used centuries ago and when she stood before Paul Del 
Mari's soldiers, displaced from Shrinerock Castle. The elf maiden had 
gasped loudly at the words and narrowed her eyes, desperately trying to 
place names and the faces that stood in front of her. 

“Mimi? Becky?” Natil asked, finally remembering the names “Is that you?”


“Yes, we're here!” Mouse exclaimed, and she raised her arms before
embracing the confused Harper. 

“I-I don't believe it.” Natil replied with a gasp, “H-how on Earth did
you get here? H-how did you know to come to Denver? H-how did you know 
what time and I would be here?” 

“I don't know, something told us to come here.” Mimi said. The Harper
had gasped, as tears welled up from her eyes to embrace the duo warmly. 


“Strange, things never seem to change for the elves. We always seem to
continue despite the world around us and have visions that result in 
strange journeys with no explanation.” Natil replied softly, “And I 
didn't expect them to come here, or see them again either.” 

Her blue eyes examined Mimi, and Becky, both transformed by the power of
starlight from long ago. She saw nothing of what they had been during 
those times, the magic transforming them fully into elves and the scrap 
of soul that had been once human had vanished from them fully.  Mimi 
was still a young teenage elf maiden with long dark hair and aquamarine 
eyes. Her form still was thin and muscular. She was still as youthful 
as Natil remembered after she and Rijiin had changed her. Becky had 
become lean, curvy and had long dark hair that fell in curls around her 
shoulders. The Harper had gasped at them, astonished by their 
appearance. 

“You look great mistress Harper.” Mimi complimented and noted a blush on
the Harper's still confused face. The magic had changed them viciously 
into beautiful, youthful-looking elf maidens. Natil could not see 
anything of what she had remembered them to be. She smiled at the sight 
before her, shaking her head silently in disbelief. 

“So do the both of you.” Natil replied, “A very welcomed sight.” 

“So where is Rijiin?” Becky asked, and Mimi glanced at her. “Is he with
you here in Denver?” 

They both saw the grimace appear on the Harper's fair features. 

“Nay, he is not. I...I do not know... where he is...” Natil replied, “He
vanished into the forest a few months after we returned to Adria. He 
risked venturing into a blizzard to save a young child. He perished 
that night, and never returned. I suspect something must have happened 
and he was not able to find his way. There is always hope that he still 
lives, as it is very difficult to kill an elf. Perhaps he will end up 
here as I have. There is always hope.” 

They bowed their heads in silence, stunned by the news. 

“I hope so too Natil.” Becky replied, placing a hand on her shoulder. 

“Come, we have a lot to catch up on and it is five o'clock. I shall take
you to a place, a sanctuary where you will be safe.”  Natil explained, 
excusing herself to make a phone call. After she was done, she regarded 
the duo with a smile. 

“Will Talla and the others be there?” 

The Harper gasped loudly, peering at them, as a pained look appeared on
her face. She shook her head slightly, a grimace on her face. Memories 
of her family, four hundred plus years ago overwhelmed her senses and 
Natil had to shake her head, as-if to clear the harsh memories. 

“Oh no, they have faded centuries ago...” Natil said, bowing her head, a
look of pain still on her face, “I am, at this moment, the last.” 

She forced a smile, staring at them, people whom she had traveled the
winds of time to help and heal with Rijiin. She wondered if Rijiin were 
out there somewhere, if so, where and how the elf would know to come to 
Denver. She wondered if he would make a grand entrance, a smile on his 
face and return to his place in her arms. 

“They are gone.” Natil said, “However, in light of that, there is a new
chance for the elves, and they have gathered here in Denver.” 

Becky and Mimi had shown surprise at the statement. 

“How?” Becky asked, “If you all were fading?” 

“Yes, how can the elves return to the world, even though they faded long
ago?” Mouse asked in half understanding, and met the slight nod of 
Natil. 

“The new elves in this world were changed by the awakening old blood in
them.” Natil told them, “They do not know what we had to endure so many 
centuries ago, and only now are learning of the lady. I have been 
extremely fortunate to find them here.” 

“Can you take us there?” Mouse asked. 

“We have a truck over there.” Becky added, “We can give you a lift if
you like.” 

“It is greatly appreciated. In fact, I canceled my ride to the home,
explaining I found another way of getting there.” Natil replied, as she 
hugged each one, still startled by their presence here. She wondered if 
this was a sign by the Goddess. 

The Harper did not know that Rijiin was alive and well, somewhere in
time itself.  She had no idea that he wandered through time, the world 
over and having to endure solitude of the many events around him. Her 
mate was certainly on his way, moving through time just prior to her 
coming to Elven Home. 

As they walked toward the vehicle, they all began to chat amongst
themselves, laughing and carrying on, glad to see the Harper who in 
turn was glad to see them too. 

Many events and destiny were looking up for the duo, finding Natil. They
were about to discover a new secret in the mountains of Colorado, a 
secret well kept from all but the few elves who resided in Denver. 
Mouse drove as Becky and Natil sat beside her, down Highway 70-West 
leading them toward the mountains, they made the transition to highway 
6. They drove on for at least five miles before Natil motioned at the 
window at the curve in the road. 

“Turn here.” Natil directed and Mimi complied. 

“There is no road here.” Becky said as the truck disappeared into the
forest and through the trees. 

“I don't know if this Uhaul™ beast will make it. But we'll certainly
try.” 

“Be at peace, and trust me, we are on the right way to get to our
destination.” Natil told them quietly. 

The makeshift road went up the hill a ways and there in the trees that
Elven Home appeared before them, surrounded by two vehicles.  A large 
tower rose from one wing, and silver filigree glistened just beneath 
the curved eaves. Everything gleamed: the walls, the slate roof, the 
windows... Both of them had expected a small cottage or a timbered 
lodge.  They both found themselves overwhelmed by the sight before them 
and stared blinking their eyes to wonder if this was just a dream. 

“My god,” Mimi murmured, staring at the home, astonished by the almost
fairy tale castle in the wood, “It is fantastic! It's like a fairy tale 
castle!” 

Mimi blushed slightly at the revelation. Natil was smiling. She had
heard the words echoed by Sandy when she first arrived at Elven Home. 
The Harper gazed thoughtfully at the Home and managed a nod. She had 
never though of Elven Home to look like that, but somehow it was an 
accurate description of what people saw before them. 

“I think we're home.” Becky murmured, amazed by this sight. --- 

Natil got out of the truck, Becky, and Mimi followed. At the door Ash,
Hadden, Raven, Wheat, Laurie, Heather, Kelly, Dell, Web, Allesandro, 
Bright, Marsh and even TK were there. They were all there. All had 
peered at the truck that had rolled up to the clearing below the home 
and watched as Mimi, Becky, and Natil got out of the vehicle. 

“We go on foot from here...” Natil told them and they followed the
Harper toward the glistening structure. 

Both Mimi and Becky had found Elven Home and people they did not know.
They had both found themselves welcomed with open arms, greeted as 
relatives who had finally come home and without question. Natil and the 
others had sat together and they talked, laughed and cried as they 
shared the woes of the world. Mimi and Becky both dreamed of starlight 
as they sat together in a nearby alcove, listening to the banter of the 
others. 

For Mouse and Becky, Elven Home had become a haven for them both as
elves once again returned to the world of men. It was strange, however 
for both Mimi and Becky to sit in one of the alcoves nearest to the 
main gathering room and listen to the others laugh and cry at the 
stories of the world outside Elven Home or a typical day in Denver. 
Many of the stories were mostly tragic and sad. 

Becky realized she still had a lot to learn what it meant to be an elf
and remembering the strong lessons four hundred plus years ago with the 
others in Adria. The elves that were fading even though Becky and Mimi 
traveled to the portal that would take them through time and space. 
Both Mouse and Rebecca were deep in thought as both sipped cocoa in a 
white mug, staring at the outside gardens. They were thinking of those 
travels, how much they learned from Rijiin and the others. 

“You two going to sit there in that alcove all day or night, or are you
going to join in?” Ash asked peering at the duo who at gazing lazily 
out the windows onto the garden that was highlighted in the moonlight. 
Mimi and Becky turned their heads, but not without exchanging a look at 
each other. Kelly ran toward them and bounced into each of their laps. 
Becky and Mouse both managed a chuckle as the young girl embraced them. 


“Come its alright, you are welcome here.” She said with a smile and
Becky nodded her head as Kelly took up her hands. The young girl pulled 
at them making her rise and she led her to a plush beanbag chair in the 
living area. Mimi stood up and followed her, taking a seat beside her 
and setting the mug carefully on the plush carpet.  Both of them smiled 
and managed to laugh at the others expressions. 

“We know Kelly.” Becky said, “Be at peace, and don't worry. We are with
you all. We just had a few things to sort out that we had been through 
before we came to Denver. We did not mean to offend by isolating 
ourselves.” 

“It's not necessary you mean.” Hadden said with a smile and Ash turned
her head to chuckle quietly. “You both need to come to term of your 
troubles. That is what we are here for, to help and heal. You both have 
not said very much how you found us and Natil.” 

“We've known each other for about a year. We separated in the last few
months and we ended up coming to Denver on a whim. Something seemed to 
tell us that we needed to come here.” Mimi explained, “She came to De 
Anza with a young man from her clan and at the school I was a student 
at and employee.” 

“A companion?” Hadden asked, making Mouse nod and everyone glanced at
Natil who shook her head quietly. They noted she was flushing slightly. 


“He was Natil's kinsman.”  Mimi replied with a smile. 

“Yes, a young man who is her kinsman from the past came with her. They
traversed the winds of history itself to meet up with us, bringing help 
and healing to us.” Becky added. 

The group glanced at Natil again who grimaced tightly and still was
blushing. 

“We used the power of the elves because of a sixth sense my companion
had where he could sense Mouse and he sensed trouble.” Natil said with 
a casual nod, “He seemed to know her and had a strange connection with 
her, from his relationship before with her. It was an uncanny ability 
according to him.” 

This time it was Mimi's turn to flush. The young teenagers nodded.  “Yes
he did.” 

“Soooo... a companion...” Heather mused, and all were smiling at the
young Harper, “A red hot lover Natil?” 

The Harper grimaced as she shook her head, blushing as red as her hair. 

“Oh no... He was my kinsman and a good friend.” Natil said, and she
glanced at Sana who was grinning, shaking her head. 

“I'm sure he was.” Sana replied, followed by a lot of banter and
laughter, as the Harper was really blushing. 

“So we had power back then?” Laurie asked, “The starlight we are just
beginning to see now?” 

“We did and a few of us had the capabilities for magic and helping and
healing.” Natil replied casually, “Rijiin... he gained it when the 
magic changed him while he lay dying in a forest clearing by my 
kinswoman. He had come through a portal of Elven magic that had opened 
where he was. As you said, it was like instant recognition like family. 
We seemed to hit it off and we had so much in common. We became fast 
friends. When he came through he had been human but that changed 
quickly after my sister, Mirya healed him.” 

“Wow, how romantic.”  Heather said with a snicker meeting the grinning
face of Hadden and the others. 

“Where are you Rijiin?” Mouse thought, grimacing as a steady cold rain
fell from the dark clouds above the Rocky Mountains.  Mimi's attention 
turned to a whimsical look from her friend and traveling companion. Her 
gaze also fell upon Natil, the resident Harper of the Home whom they 
both knew very well back at De Anza what seemed a lifetime ago. 

Both cast a bemused look at the window at the falling rain. 

“He's out there Mouse.” Becky said, “I just know it. Some place, some
time, but he is out there. He is probably on his way, I expect him to 
make a grand entrance.” 

“I hope so.” 

“Me too.” Natil added with a smile, “He is probably living large and
waiting for the opportunity to make that grand entrance.” 

“Yeah that would be Rijiin alright, his style.” Mimi said with a laugh
as a ripple of laughter echoed the room. 

Mouse sat beside Rebecca with the others and they both cast a silent
glance to the stormy weather outside. Cheers, laughter and sometime 
tears echoed the room as the conversation continued.  They teased Natil 
mercilessly about Rijiin and asked so many questions, ones that the 
Harper tried to answer, having hardly thought of the young man for a 
very long time. 

The next day they put a lot of Mouse's stuff in storage in Denver,
unloading the truck to turn it in and returned to the Home. However, 
somehow, Mouse seemed to know that Rijiin lived and was out there, even 
if it were out of time and space. 

Even through the zeal of time itself, Rijiin managed to stay alive and
continued to wander the world over. He had traveled to many continents 
now, and having seen many places. He fought unwillingly in many wars, 
seen much death by plague, war and disease. He had also seen many a 
death, mostly of martyrs who would later die in battle as he fought 
beside them. It seemed to Rijiin, seeing the futility of the turbulent 
world, that it is the same ugly sorted history that he witnessed every 
day of his meager existence on Earth during the last few centuries. 

A time, he recognized that elves did not belong now, since about
thirteen hundred and sixty, when they long since faded away. He was the 
last of his people, not knowing about Natil, his beloved Harper who was 
a prisoner of time too and forced to wander the world over for a short 
time. He didn't know about Elven Home or the future of the Elves that 
had returned to the world. 

“And nothing changes, I can only observe and not able to make the
changes necessary to make it better.” He thought, feeling the futility 
of it all, wanting more and more to fade into oblivion like the other 
Elves of Malvern. He felt the old, older than time itself, and 
powerless to stop the turmoil in the world. The elf felt the same 
futility of it all, as his kinsfolk named Varden had long ago. They 
could only watch, wait and be unable to bring good into the world as 
they used to. 

“So what's the use if we cannot change what we are seeing, why haven't I
faded like the others?” Rijiin thought, not understanding the plan of 
goddess, their Creatrix known as Elthia. She had told Varden once that, 
‘all her children would not be separated from her' and she had told 
Rijiin that too. The elf wondered if that was true. 

Rijiin also had in this time, literally jumped through history with the
strange power of the elves. Many times, he would end up in the future, 
observing many events he had been a part of already or part of time, he 
would have read about in books. Lately now, he tried to stay hidden 
from the world becoming a recluse from the shifts of powers and wars 
fought between many world nations. He stayed in a large cabin he built 
in the deepest forests he found in Europe and there the elf remained, 
staying strategically away from death, war and destruction that would 
make their mark in history. It was not far enough though. It seemed 
like these events sought Rijiin out and somehow forced the elf to take 
an active part in these battles and wars. 

The last historical event that Rijiin would have any consequence and
part of would be his journeys across the Atlantic with Christopher 
Columbus who would discover the Americas. He would break off and spend 
a century traveling across the North American Continent, from the east, 
to the Mexican held west before returning to Europe to become a 
recluse. 

He avoided historical events of the eighteen hundreds, and remained
isolated in the forests in Europe, until two world wars broke out and 
he discovered caverns, which he moved a lot of stuff into, remaining 
underground unnoticed. 

While existing alone in the woods, the elf did not know he found himself
into a turbulent time where the world was at war yet again. When he 
awoke once more from a period of sleep, he stepped outside the door of 
his hidden underground fortress as the sounds of war had come to his 
door. War ravaged the land as Germany had invaded countries, engulfed 
men women and children in the crematoriums of evil that sprung up 
around him after their death in the gas chambers of the many camps. 

Starlight power of the elves that inhabited his very soul had long since
vanished in now four hundred years he had been around in the world. He 
was completely and utterly alone with no sign of the Creatrix of the 
elves, or the starlight that inhabited his very soul. Rijiin 
unknowingly found himself living through the war and into the year 
nineteen forty-five, deep into Germany during the last days of World 
War II. 

Rijiin walked often in the forest from which he lived freely. He would
take many walks often in the forest, his home remaining hidden from the 
armies who had fought through them. It had been rare to find anyone 
about, as a war-torn land befell him. However, it is in the midst of 
his latest walk that he saw lights and almost invisible, one of the 
famed death camps of Nazi Germany. 

Rijiin, as he approached the camp's edge in the tree line, had sensed
death, and saw bodies of those who had died here. The bodies of the 
dead lay strewn on the ground, rotting and unburied. The half-starved, 
living prisoners stood like zombies against the wire. Rijiin sensed 
disease that ran rampant here too and through it all, the elf knew he 
could not help them, as he had been able to before. 

“Damn.” Rijiin muttered, shaking his head at the horrifying sight,
stepping back as if to put a distance from the stench and the situation 
that now lay before him. 

The elf, carrying his sword at his side walked into the open near the
gates of this hell and when he saw more prisoners and bodies, he let 
out a silent moan. The elf closed his eyes seeing only darkness, 
wishing that he could just fade like the others into oblivion. Although 
to the elf, if he had the starlight he could always help and heal, 
making a difference to change what is happening now, to put an end to 
this mess. Nevertheless, he could not do anything to help or change his 
surroundings. 

Opening his eyes abruptly, he only saw the zombie figures of those
people highlighted in the dim light and turning his head, he heard 
shouts as a few men in uniform charged toward him with dogs. The men 
held nasty looking weapons, shouting at him in German. Rijiin stood his 
ground as they approached and he held his blade ready to draw. When a 
soldier had stepped up toward him, he drew and beheaded him on the 
spot. The head rolled from the soldier's neck and the face showing 
complete surprise. 

Blood splattered across the ground as the body dropped limply to its
knees and Rijiin sharply kicked it down with his foot. There was a gasp 
by all of the soldiers present, unprepared for Rijiin's barbaric 
display as they saw him slice cleanly across the soldier's neck and the 
blood spurting from his body, splattering the ground. The elf had shown 
little no mercy as he slew the soldier. Rijiin moved in a quick spin 
and in the same fashion pivoted to do the same deed to another soldier. 


The elf stared at them in the dim light, holding his blade ready, almost
daring them to approach. They saw Rijiin's gray eyes seem to twinkle 
brightly, as if there were starlight there and the soldiers clearly saw 
death in the elf's eyes. He did not know he was glowing slightly and 
the soldiers murmured in fear. 

Kneeling, he wiped the blade on the uniform of a dead soldier and closed
his eyes to blot out the offensiveness around him. As he knelt there 
for a brief moment, he gasped as a flash of starlight flickered and 
burst in like an explosion throughout his body. It is something that 
Rijiin missed in now four hundred years, four centuries as he traveled 
across many nations, without the starlight of the elves and the power 
that bound them. 

“By our lady, why does the starlight always appear during a conflict?
And why is it coming during this specific one?” He wondered, “Perhaps 
it is the lady looking out for me as she did before.” 

Remembering the soldiers, Rijiin turned his head, and with eyes
flashing, he knew what to do. The elf would do the same thing as he had 
done centuries ago. He would declare a one-man war and waste the 
soldiers where they stood, just as he had done through the ages he had 
lived through. He knew what stood before him, the Nazi Third Reich, 
mass murderers of a few million Jewish people who had no beef with the 
Nazis and he had an opportunity here to make a just a little of that 
right. 

Holding his blade, Rijiin pointed it at the soldiers who fired their
machine guns at him, and the bullets struck him. The elf stumbled, 
knocked down by the bullets, but was unharmed as he sat up, still 
grasping his blade in hand. The elf put some comedy to it, grinning at 
the soldiers, brushing off the bullets that fell on the ground with a 
metallic ‘click' sound. Fear came over the soldiers as he silently 
stood up and he faced them. They fired again and with the same result. 
The elf merely stood up and faced them. This time he let out a laugh at 
the soldiers as they glanced down at their weapons. It was a maniacal 
laughter. He put his blade to the ground and he drew a line, daring 
them to cross it. 

“Now it is my turn.” Rijiin declared sharply, holding the blade ready,
the razor sharp steel glistening in the light as he pointed it at the 
soldiers. He would now become their executioner. 

Moving his hand, he pointed to the gate and it opened behind the
soldiers, a stiff wind whistled through the opening. It made them 
murmur in fear as it rustled the leaves around him and the elf's cloak. 
He charged them, pivoting as they tried to strike him and without a 
further word, he beheaded two nearest to him. He pointed the blade at 
the other soldiers, and they saw the now bright aura that surrounded 
the elf. There was a murmur of fear as they took one-step back as he 
charged again. 

The elf's blade flashed as it struck their hands, cleanly cutting them
off, and the weapons clattered as they hit the ground. He ran the steel 
through their hearts watching the blood spurt as they fell to the 
ground to lie still in a pool of their own blood. Their screams echoed 
through the camp and around him, the prisoners watched as Rijiin 
charged the soldiers. The elf cut them down with no mercy, ignoring the 
ones who surrendered to slay them too. He spun in to kick a third, 
making him fall and he thrust the steel downward to twist. Rijiin 
turned his attention to the remaining men, noting that many had seen 
the slaughter and retreated for reinforcements as he walked toward the 
nearest gate. The elf had no idea who was here, and how many countless 
people had perished in this place.  He was a healer, and all he really 
felt was the starlight power coursing through his veins. 

“ELTHIA!” His voice rang out as he charged and the cold steel cut more
soldiers of the Reich down in cold blood. 

Prisoners and soldiers alike had both looked up as the elf's voice rang
out. Rijiin continued his onslaught, leaving dead Nazi soldiers in his 
wake. Others soldiers watched in horror as the elf cleanly killed their 
comrades no matter they were armed or unarmed. He slew them anyway for 
the sheer sport of slaying them, knowing the evil they represented. It 
was the same way as the soldiers long ago, who were part of the 
Inquisition, the same slaughter, no mercy, and total revenge. 

Then it occurred to the elf with a sudden realization of what he was
doing and he gasped at the revelation. 

“Whose revenge would it be for, Elven or Jewish?” He thought, realizing
he had slain the Nazi Third Reich soldiers after passing cold-hearted 
judgment and execution of each one. 

“What right does it give me to pass judgment on mortals?” He asked
himself, “I am immortal, and it is not my place to be judge, jury and 
their executioner for what they have done and are not a part of. I am a 
healer, and have been for centuries. It is my place to help and heal, 
not kill. No matter if they be German, Polish, French, Jewish, any 
nation, it should not matter at all.” 

The elf felt a chill sweep through his bones, and he shivered slightly
at the feeling deep down inside. He knew he would have to answer to the 
goddess, if she still existed, and silently sought renewal and peace 
next May 1. 

“But then again, what right does the Nazi have to mass murder millions
of Jewish people in other camps like this one and who will stop them 
and not let them get away with it?  What is one less Nazi to sleep in 
hell tonight for his actions against others?” The elf did not know the 
answer. He would not understand until much later when he stood before 
the Lady in blue and silver many years from now. 

Right now, however, the elf continued walking further and further into
the camp, passing the soldiers as his blade continued to flash. When it 
was over, the elf held the blade in hand, walking toward the bunch of 
tents that made up this horrific sight around him. Rijiin peered in at 
the ghostly, startled faces that stared back at him. His hands began to 
glow and he closed his eyes, letting the starlight flow. Rijiin felt a 
tug on his arm, and the elf knelt beside a young girl, perhaps thirteen 
years old who stood at his elbow. He let the healing energy cascade 
over her. 

“Are you American or the British?” The voice asked, Rijiin cocked his
head, and he shook his head. 

“I am not. Be at peace, the war is over for you.”  Rijiin said, letting
the healing touch flow over her.  “...And for you all!” 

The elf frowned when he did not hear a cheer, only seeing the effects of
abuse, the haunted and hollow stares. The young girl gasped as she felt 
warmth of healing energy touch her very soul. The disease, sickness, 
and starvation vanished.  Rijiin turned to another, and he let the 
power flow freely over them. More people walked toward him and the elf 
healed them too, going from tent to tent examining each person. 

“Come be healed and we shall leave this terrible place.” He told them,
“Come with me if you want to live.” 

Rijiin kicked open the door of one barracks in the compound, amidst the
remains of unburied bodies. He walked among the half clothed females 
who squealed in terror as they saw him enter, holding his blade ready 
in his hand.  He sheathed the blade, speaking in their native language. 
In his travels, the elf had learned a lot about the world he lived in, 
and was able to catch on and quickly learn many languages. The elf kept 
his wits about him as he walked into the structure. 

“Come, be healed, and be whole.” Rijiin murmured as he went to each bed,
examining those who had lay on them sick or dying. The elf let the 
power of healing flow as he healed them, the glow of starlight flowing 
through him. He cared for the sick and dying as Mirya had centuries 
ago, or even perhaps Natil who would have harped for them. He suddenly 
wished the young Harper were here with him right now, finding it 
difficult to ignore the horrors of war around him caused by the 
needless persecution of another culture and race. 

“All based on hatred.” Rijiin thought as he remembered it was just like
the Elves, only much worse, and the only difference it is in a 
different time and place. 

“By our lady there is so many.” He thought, “Natil and I together could
heal quickly if she assisted on the harp.” 

The elf grimaced as he turned, continuing his task of healing. As the
young traveler did so, he did not recognize two young women who lay 
sick and dying on the bed before him. Rijiin, as he healed found 
himself overwhelmed by the abuse conducted here by the Nazis. He was 
unaware that it was Margot and Anne Frank who lay unconscious on the 
beds before him, and he was in Bergen-Belsen the famed camp where they 
would die. The young elf let his healing powers flow over them, unaware 
of their identity and when he finished, he had nodded to Anne whose 
eyes fluttered open a few minutes later. He moved to finish his task in 
this shanty, healing many more prisoners who were crammed into this 
confined space. 

When Anne sat up, her dark eyes found the elf nearby healing fellow
prisoners. She peered at the solemn gray eyes, filled with the twinkle 
of starlight as he worked over another female prisoner. Smiling, the 
elf nodded a silent greeting to her. The elf's face showed a hint of 
recognition, feeling a strange déjà-vu at the familiar face. 

As Rijiin walked toward her, the others around him watched the elf
curiously. He knelt beside Anne's sister Margot who remained 
unconscious. Shaking his head, the elf picked her up in his arms, 
carrying her to the door with the multitudes of survivors he had 
managed to save from certain death. Outside, the elf spying the arrival 
of reinforcements, he had put down Margot and he motioned the prisoners 
back. He drew his blade and he stood alone to face them. His blade 
gleamed brightly like the starlight in his eyes. 

“It is not right that life's blood, being precious, be spilled this day
and you have committed acts of vulgarity to the rights of humanity.” He 
shouted loudly, “They shall now be avenged!” 

Rijiin, felt the starlight grow, and a glow appeared around him. He
stood with his blade drawn as the soldiers opened up with their machine 
guns on the elf. Their bullets seemed to stop in front of Rijiin, as if 
time became frozen. There were gasps of amazement all around by 
soldiers and prisoners both. The elf stood facing them, with the power 
of starlight strong in his eyes. He stared at the bullets that seemed 
frozen in time before him and he reached out to take one, examining it 
before he dropped it onto the ground. The rest dropped to the ground 
with the same metallic click. 

Rijiin raised his blade to point it at the soldiers.  They looked down
at their weapons as he approached them. Fear and amazement rippled 
through the soldiers and prisoners. 

“It is enough. You now all shall die, quickly, mercifully and
painlessly.” Rijiin declared, “Revenge for the millions you have 
murdered in cold blood for I am the eleventh commandment: Thou shalt 
not get away with it.” 

The elf spoke clearly, his accented voice filled with starlight as it
carried no hatred, anger, or mercy when he charged the soldiers, 
cutting each one down in cold blood. A few of them cowered in fear and 
Rijiin felt their terror as he slew them. Turning, he beheaded another 
soldier who stepped toward him with his arms up in surrender. Each 
soldier died without a sound as he had promised. 

The elf stood before the Commandant of the camp who pulled his pistol
and shot at Rijiin. The elf took three bullets without stopping and 
placed the blade at the commandant's throat. The elf saw fear in the 
human's eyes as he realized that Rijiin was not affected by his bullets 
or could be harmed by mortal man. The elf with one swipe, took his head 
that rolled from the neck of his body. When he was done, bodies lay at 
his feet, as did body parts and here he cleaned his blade of blood on 
their uniforms with two strokes.  The battle had finished, Rijiin and 
the prisoners were the only living things behind the wire of this camp. 


Turning he walked back to the stunned and perplexed Anne who knelt
beside the unconscious form of her sister Margot. Rijiin met her dark 
eyes in silence and merely nodded a greeting to her. Around them, 
everyone's attention now focused upon the elf. He was the one man who 
had walked alone through the camp, continuing an onslaught against the 
Germans with no mercy or compassion. Rijiin glanced at Anne who watched 
him continue to help and heal every prisoner still living.  They had 
heard his statement, and most had curious looks on their faces. 

“Why did you kill them?” Anne asked, “You slew the unarmed soldiers who
dropped their weapons and raised their hand in surrender. Aren't you 
going to take prisoners?” 

“Be at peace.” He said, “Revenge for persecution me' lady, as it was
with my people once, it is with yours. We share a common goal mistress, 
for you, your sister and the many others now standing about you.” 

The young woman showed surprise as the elf spoke to her. She heard the
unfamiliar accent in his voice, stilting his German and she raised an 
eyebrow. He had not answered her question, but had deliberately avoided 
it. By his action, and the violence around him it clearly had spoken 
his intent that there were no quarters or captives taken this day. The 
elf knew by this action he was no better than the Nazi, murdering in 
cold blood. The Reich though, Rijiin realized was pure evil, needing 
removal like a virus and the elf was the tool to do it. 

He frowned slightly at the idle thoughts and realized that he could
always escort Anne and Margot to their home in Amsterdam when it was 
time. Right now, he could only offer the many survivors safety in his 
spacious fortress, well stocked of provisions. 

“By the way, how did you know that she was my sister?” Anne asked
curiously and she pointed at the unconscious form lying on the ground. 

Rijiin's face showed question at first, staring at the face, the dark
eyes, and the hint of black hair on her shaved head. The elf stared 
into the dark eyes for a long moment before he grimaced. Turning his 
head, he glanced at the other prisoners who had watched the carnage and 
the elf as he sheathed the blade. He had a sinking feeling. 

“Anne Frank? I presume?” He asked, suddenly recognizing her and he
pointed to Margot who lie motionless on the ground. 

“Margot?” He asked again, and he turned to see her timidly nod to both
accounts.  The elf let out an exasperated breath. 

“Do I know you?” Anne asked and he said nothing, staring at the young
woman in silence as he contemplated his answer. 

“No mistress you do not, I am a traveler as you will and have come to
spirit you and the others out of here. I felt your need and traveled to 
you.” The elf replied politely as he knelt beside her sister who 
moaned. 

Slowly, Margot opened her eyes and they focused on Rijiin and Anne
standing over her. Rijiin suddenly realized he seriously changed 
history and events where Anne, Margot and many others would die of 
typhus, starvation and other diseases. The elf had helped and healed 
just as he been able a long time ago, giving them all another chance at 
life. Rijiin, because of his healing, left shadowed and uncertain 
sixty-years for them all. 

The elf helped Anne's older sister to a sitting position and he nodded
to her when she looked up into his gray eyes. They twinkled uncertainly 
in the dim light. 

“I don't understand. Who are you? What are you?” Anne asked, and Rijiin
managed a slight grin. 

“My name is Rijiin.” He told them, speaking to them in their native
tongue as he helped Margot to her feet, “I am an...” 

“Are you an angel? Are we dead?” Anne asked, and Rijiin smiled, shaking
his head with an amused chuckle. 

“No. Not now.” Rijiin replied absently, “You are very alive and well
now. As for me, I am a traveler, an immortal from the winds of time who 
has come from the past, four and a quarter centuries. Like you I am a 
prisoner, but not with walls, or a fence but a prisoner of time 
itself.” 

They let out a low gasp as they stared at the elf. 

“What does that mean?” 

“I have lived a long time.” He declared sharply, “And today I made an
error that has changed the future, from which there is no balance or a 
way out. Be at peace, you both shall live now, live again and conduct 
yourselves with a new chance at life. You shall both have a long life 
and a new future.” 

“I don't understand.” 

“You died in this place, along with many others.” He told them, “Because
of my disrespect for history, that you and your sister and many others 
have been granted a second chance. There are still many to bury here, 
which I was too late to help. In one possible future, the Allies will 
place a marker at the front of this place marking your presence in a 
mass grave.” 

What?” Gasped the young women and they glanced at each other, “W-we
died?” Rijiin met their curious looks. 

“Aye, it is so, until I rewrote history and that timeline no longer
exists. You should be dead but are not now. You now stand together, 
alive and well.” He said, “Thanks to an ability of healing I learned a 
few centuries ago. Be at peace, you will be returning home soon, the 
Allies will be here in a couple of weeks to liberate the camp.” 

“H-how do you know that?” They gasped, and many questions overwhelmed
the Elf. 

“You must be American or British.” Anne declared, eyeing the elf
suspiciously “What do you know about the war.” 

“I am neither.” He said in their native language, and then he smiled
slightly. “The Germans have lost the war and you both are free.” 

The elf had said it in perfect English, accented slightly, with the
slight inflection of the elves that he still had despite his travels 
across the world. It made them gasp openly. 

“You are American!” She exclaimed, but frowned when she heard the
strange unidentifiable accent. He thought a moment before answering. 
She was right. Rijiin realized that he had come from a town far away, 
on the west coast of North America. He found that he was hardly able to 
remember that time and place. The name of the town even eluded him, 
thanks to the centuries of wandering the world. 

“Perhaps I was once,” He replied, managing a quiet laugh “But that was a
very long time ago.” 

He saw their smiles. There was a pause as Rijiin turned to face them. 
The elf pushed back his hair behind his slender ears and met their 
startled expressions. The sisters stared at his fair features in 
silence, and the bright twinkle of starlight in his gray eyes. They 
sensed more to this stranger than met the eye. 

“Come my friends, let us journey away from this place and return both of
you home where you belong.”  He said putting out his hand and both 
young women took it as they stood up. Anne and Margot smiled at Rijiin 
and both embraced him. 

Here, the elf took Anne and Margot by the hand and he spirited them
aside before the Allies would arrive. The Allies would find many German 
soldiers slain along side of the multitude of death around them. 
Severed arms, legs, heads, and severed torsos littered the ground 
through the compound. The elf's action had gained great notice by the 
Allied army. Rijiin left only dismembered body parts as a calling card 
in the worst and vicious massacre the Allies had ever seen. 

As for Rijiin, he led the sisters and the few remaining survivors to a
safe place. Here, they would wait together until the Allied army 
liberated cities around them before they attempted the route home. He 
told them that they, with their father, are the only survivors of their 
family. The sisters learned the fates of the Van Daans, their mother, 
and Mr. Dussell. Their reaction would be astonishment and then sadness. 


Little did they know that Otto Frank, their father would return home
first and he would meet with Miep who would give him Anne's diary. Both 
he and Ms Gies are unaware that both Anne and Margot now lived. He too 
would learn the fates of the others who were in hiding with his family 
and of their deaths in the camps. 

Like a shadow, the elf blended in with time and space as he faded into
the winds of history. He would travel through war torn Europe, passing 
the German Army fighting the Allies, and the Allied armies as they 
continued fighting the Germans. He found himself disgusted by the whole 
event, knowing that it would be a long tedious time to destroy this 
evil with a terrible cost of life. 

“And I can only exterminate the Nazi murderers who are behind this and
perhaps rescue a few more Jews if they can be located.” Rijiin thought 
and he walked on. 

What he was thinking would be the death marches of the prisoners forced
to walk by the Nazis to the west. It would be an almost needle in a 
haystack to locate these people in time but Rijiin also knew he had a 
mission and work to do. 

The elf would use Elven magic to intercept the marches and rescue other
prisoners whom would surely die. He had turned his sights east, 
traveling to the locations he knew by reading and learning history. 
Instead of bodies of prisoners lying dead on the ground, soldiers of 
the Reich lay butchered instead, the ground stained red by their blood. 
The elf would help and heal, leading the rescued prisoners to the 
Allies. Many times, the elf also would leave the same calling card as 
he had at Bergen-Belsen, leaving dismembered soldiers lying dead in the 
mud just like the camps he would wipe out single-handedly. 

Rijiin slew many German citizens and soldiers in his travels without
question too. The elf took the fight back to the Germans, paying back a 
five to one ratio for every Jew killed, that five German 
citizens/soldiers died. The action alone sent an unrelenting, 
bone-chilling, message through the Reich that Rijiin was out to target 
each one of the thugs and murderers out there. 

He was also evening the score for the relentless murder of whole
families. His message had been crystal-clear and of his intentions. The 
elf would travel to other camps and here he would help and heal those 
in need. Soldiers and upper echelons of the Nazi party, already aware 
of the massacre of Bergen-Belsen, would send reinforcements only to 
find the places they were reinforcing already massacred in the same 
way. Rijiin sometimes would slay the reinforcements operating as an 
unstoppable killing machine, taking life from the Nazi and giving it to 
the prisoner subjected to a terrible evil. It was payback time and 
Rijiin was their champion taking the fight back to their oppressor. 

The elf would destroy the camps who dealt with plain gassing and
elimination of the Jews too. He stopped the needless slaughter of 
thousands a day and turned it around against the Germans. Rijiin knew 
if he could stop the execution of thousands a day there would be a lot 
to be stand against those in charge of the camps at the end of the war. 
The German leaders he knew most would face their fate at the end of the 
war. 

Although according to history there were a few that slipped away during
the mass confusion of retreat. He grimaced realizing that he had to 
intervene and eliminate them himself. 

The elf also realized that for his actions in this time, he too would
have to stand accountable before the Goddess of the elves to find 
renewal next May. Right at this moment, however, the elf continued his 
one-man war taking it to the upper echelons, eliminating a few of them 
one by one. The Allies called him a renegade but the elf was doing what 
they could not with little fear of death. He had lived so many lives 
and through so many bloody centuries before this one. It was the price 
of his immortality. 

“What is another bloody event?” The elf thought, “It is a service to the
world that I am providing. But then again, the Nazi soldier is only 
human, mortal and following what he believes is right, told to him by 
his superiors. He knows no difference, maybe I should concentrate on 
those who actually participated in the killings.” 

The elf considered what he was doing at this point and realized how far
he had come. He knew there was no turning back, deciding to take it all 
the way to the top if possible. Because the elf left a massacre of 
soldiers or citizens at every place he fought, more and more soldiers 
surrendered to the Allies instead of fighting. They were afraid of 
losing their lives at the hands of the ‘gray ghost' as he was nicknamed 
by the Germans. 

Rijiin on the other hand, successfully saved over fifty thousand people,
and slew more Nazis than any part of the Allied army in history. He 
worked behind the lines, moving fast and efficiently picking up the 
trail of his target and eliminating them with extreme prejudice. 

The elf left a number of massacres at cities across Poland, deep into
Germany and leaving destruction in his wake. He massacred men, women 
and children just like the Nazis. Because he killed five to every one 
Jew they murdered, the Germans accused the Allies in their own 
propaganda of illegal and inhuman conduct to soldiers and citizens of 
the fatherland. The Allies denied Rijiin's existence, his conduct as a 
renegade, with no official ties to the Allied forces. The American and 
British had used Rijiin as perfect weapon to bolster their own forces 
morale. Both sides offered a bounty for the capture of the ‘Gray Ghost' 
as a propaganda tool on either side. 

The elf would return to his cabin quickly and when it was time, he would
personally escort Anne, Margot and several others to Amsterdam and 
other cities. The elf, with the sisters in tow, soon stood with them as 
they walked together toward the building containing the Secret Annex 
and their home before betrayal to the Nazis. 

Anne and Margot both smiled when they saw it on the outside and both
were glad to be home after their ordeal of the two or more years in the 
concentration camps. They both were thankfully alive and well because 
of Rijiin who stood beside them. He stood beside all the survivors 
there, rescuing them from the jaws of death, helping and healing as 
elves once did in the world before they faded long ago. 

They stood outside for several minutes, waiting for the right moment to
surprise all hands inside the building. Rijiin smiled at the thought. 

“Now...” Rijiin said, and they all crossed the street and headed to the
door leading into the business of their father. 

When the elf and the sisters entered, they walked into the building
unseen. Here they stood quietly waiting as everyone turned their heads 
to stare at them. He led them into the office area. Two of Otto Frank's 
business associates looked up from their desks at the doorway, showing 
astonishment. Miep had appeared at the door and she let out a yelp of 
astonishment. 

Tears appeared on Miep's face as she stood shaking her head, unable to
believe her own eyes. 

“Anne? Margot?” She asked, “Is that you?” 

“Miep!” Anne and Margot replied, running toward her warmly embracing her
in the middle of the room. She turned her head and with tears in her 
eyes, she called to the other room. 

“Mr. Frank, your daughters are alive and here!” Miep called out and
there was a commotion next door, as more people rushed toward them. 

Turning her head, Miep let out a fearful gasp of astonishment as Rijiin
stepped in the door from the shadows and he stood there like an 
avenging angel behind the sisters near the door. The elf is clad again 
in his green and gray with the gray cloak that he wore over it, held 
together by the gold and silver clasp of an interlocked, crescent moon 
and star. The clasp brightly twinkled in the light and so did the 
starlight in his eyes on his fair featured, battle-worn face. The long 
brown hair, streaked with silver, fell smoothly to his shoulders, 
pushed back over his slender ears, revealing whom and what he is: an 
immortal elf. 

He held his head high, defiant and proud, as he had long ago unafraid of
mortals. At his side is the blade he wore openly, the instrument used 
as the gray ghost who had slaughtered Nazi soldiers in cold blood with 
no quarter of mercy. Miep, like the others stared at the stranger among 
them and turned as Otto Frank entered the room, gasping loudly as he 
saw his daughters. 

Everyone clustered around the young women, and Rijiin stepped back
allowing them to do so. He stood aloof and silent, the vision of the 
starlight clear and cold in the darkness as it had been over four 
centuries ago. 

“PIM!” Anne had cried, running toward their father and embracing him.
Margot followed suit. 

“Anne! Margot!” He replied running to embrace his daughters. The elf
silently watched as Anne and Margot emotionally and tearfully reunited 
with their father Otto.  Rijiin said nothing as he stood nearby, 
holding himself aloof, aware but dreaming as he bathed in the 
starlight. He closed his eyes briefly letting their power calm the 
turmoil inside him and quietly relieved that everyone in the room 
seemed to ignore him for the moment. 

As the elf stood near the door, he wondered how his changes would affect
the world. The diary no doubt still found publishing in the same way 
but not with the same moral outrage as it had previously because of her 
youth and unthinkable death at the hands of the Nazis. 

It is a cloudy future for both sisters and the multitudes that he had
helped and healed. Even Rijiin himself, an immortal elf, could not see 
what would be shadowed for the next sixty plus years. He could not say 
he had been wrong for what he did, changing history in this manner. The 
elf wanted to change history and make things right, especially during 
his wandering. Rijiin had already been an observer for the last 
four-hundred years, witness to more atrocity, bloodshed, death and 
violence than the Nazis accomplished by murder in the entire few years 
it existed. 

“Aye but even still, I botched the whole idea of what I am supposed to
do.” The elf thought, “Healing, comfort and aid. I changed history 
unknowingly and rewrote it where people lived where they should have 
died. I butchered mortal men, just as I had centuries ago after passing 
judgment upon them.” 

With that, Rijiin grimaced slightly at such thoughts. Otto, Anne,
Margot, Miep and others turned, finally glancing at the stranger who 
stood near the door. Rijiin saw them turn and he touched his forehead, 
bowing slightly, as he turned to leave. 

“Please wait, Rijiin.” Anne called, making him stop, half turning to
face them and their father. The elf met the youthful, faces of the 
sisters and he managed a grimace despite the surroundings he found 
himself. 

“Please.” Otto said in an askance tone, motioning for him to come toward
him. The elf walked confidently toward Otto, Miep, Anne and Margot, but 
he also kept a respectful distance.  His eyes flashed as he met the 
dubious expressions of everyone present, staring at his fair features 
in question. 

“Mistress, you have a need?” He asked politely, meeting their smiles. 

“Thank you for your helping us, and doing what you did, saving us.” Anne
said. 

“Yes, thank you.” Margot told him. 

Anne and Margot both embraced the Elf. Otto put his hand on his
shoulder. 

“You have my thanks.” He told the elf, “For returning my girls to me.” 

Rijiin smiled, “Be at peace, it is the least I could do.” He told them.
Everyone raised an eyebrow, hearing his silted German, slightly 
accented with the inflection of the elves. “Where they were, there were 
many casualties of this war and many people died there. If I had not 
happened across their camp, they too would have perished.” 

His statement made them all smile. 

“You should and please find happiness.” Anne said as she embraced the
elf again and he peered into her dark eyes. Rijiin nodded, laughing 
aloud and it echoed the interior of the office. 

“Alanea ea Yolisi, Elthia, sii' naa ten'oio.” He murmured, “Namaarie
Annai, namarrie Margotti.” 

Turning he exited through the door, and he headed east outside Amsterdam
moving quickly across the lines of war as the allies pushed farther 
into the Rhineland. As he walked, he felt an odd energy surround him as 
if an electrical current ran through his body. Rijiin felt the winds of 
time pulling at him and he suddenly realized that he was being pulled 
again through time and space at the hand of the Lady. 

The elf thought he finally was getting his wish, to fade from this world
to join the other elves who he knew from the past. He did not realize 
that he was only was stepping out of time, merely drawn to a far away 
land. The Lady had stopped his onslaught and changing of time, taking 
him forward to his destination. 

Back at Elven home at the same moment: Mimi stared out the window as she
sat in the many alcoves of their new sanctuary and stared at the window 
to the mixed sleet and snow that fell outside. They had been here a 
several months now, and both Mimi and Becky both had managed to secure 
jobs. The maidens had also become permanent residents of the home, like 
Natil, safe from the hostile and turbulent world. Mouse sat alone in 
her favorite alcove and glanced periodically to the main living room 
where on weekends the others sat together. She was engrossed with mixed 
up memories. 

“We still owe Rijiin a lot for our change.” Mouse thought, “For our
healing and everything. I'd love to repay him for that, he deserves 
it.” 

Her gaze fell on the large snowflakes that fell onto the cold ground
outside and the young elf maiden shivered at the thoughts. She glanced 
to the warm interior of the Home, suddenly aware of her mood change. 

“Perhaps it is Elven home that affects me like this.” Mimi thought,
seeing her reflection of beauty in the windowpane and she managed a 
pleased smile. 

“There's another thing I must thank Rijiin for.” Mimi thought, turning
when sensing someone at the entry to the alcove. She stared at Becky 
and Mouse noted how different she looked from what she had been before. 
Becky is still medium height but is very slender now, with brown hazel 
eyes and long curly auburn hair that cascades to her mid-back. Mimi saw 
the light shining brightly in her eyes. The magic had surely changed 
Rebecca as it had changed Mimi and her friends, who had been present 
when the elves had come to De Anza. Mouse met Becky's gaze with a 
silent smile. 

“Becky,” Mimi said, “What's wrong?” 

“Nothing, it is lunch.” She said, “Just wondering if you would like
anything.” 

“Yes, a cup of cocoa,” Mouse replied, “I'll be there in a second and get
it.” 

Mimi rose to her feet smoothly, wrapping the warm blanket around her
shoulders as she grimaced, still not used to being able to stand and 
walk on her own power. Mimi followed Becky to the kitchen and both were 
standing waiting for the kettle to hiss when quite suddenly a strong 
disorientation hit them. It had made them both stagger and they met 
each other's startled expression. 

“What the hell was that?” Becky asked and Mouse shrugged. 

“I feel strangely, don't you?” Mimi asked suddenly and Becky regarded
her for a moment to nod slightly. 

Turning to the kettle, Becky picked it up and poured water into their
cups. Mimi glanced at the window as she stood there, staring out at the 
steady falling sleet and snow outside. She saw a flash, one that she 
had at first thought to be a lightning flash, hearing a thunderclap 
shortly after. Mouse saw another flash and this time the silhouette of 
someone caught her eye. A flash of green and gray appeared as a cloaked 
figure appeared about a hundred yards from the home. She gasped when 
she saw the garb. 

“Oh my god!” Mimi had gasped, staring through the window at the figure
for at least three minutes. Becky stood beside her, a look of 
astonishment on her now fair features. The figure slumped and fell to 
their knees on the rock. Both Becky and Mouse glanced at each other and 
back to the window. 

“Who is that?” Becky asked and Mimi shrugged, but both recognized the
familiar garb of green and gray, also the gray cloak. They knew of only 
one person who would be wearing that garb. His name came instinctively 
to Mimi's lips. 

“Rijiin?” Mouse gasped, and exchanged a look with Becky. 

“No it couldn't be.... Could it?” Becky asked and both women stared at
each other for a long moment. A sudden realization hit them, like a 
lightning bolt. 

“Good lord! It just might! Dear Lady, Natil, Hadden, Ash! Everyone come
quickly!” She shouted and a commotion followed as the other elves 
poured into the kitchen. 

“What's going on?” Hadden asked. He cast a glance at Natil as Mimi
pointed to the window. Natil and the others peered out of the window, 
and all saw the green and gray clad figure sitting slumped on a rock. A 
low murmur of curiosity rippled through the gathered elves. 

“What on Earth?” Natil gasped. 

“Who is that?” Ash asked, and she glanced at Natil who shrugged. 

“I am not sure, but I have a pretty good idea.” The Harper replied,
glancing at Becky and Mimi who stood transfixed out of the window. They 
could not believe their eyes. 

“It reminds me of when you arrived, Natil. You wore that same kind garb
under your patch work cloak.” Laurie commented. 

“They sure do, just like that.” Heather agreed and Natil met her glance
with a smile 

The Harper did not comment, silently peering at the window and hardly
hearing the comments around her about the strange event that is about 
to unfold before them all. 

“It is something I have not seen in a very long time that is certain.”
Natil thought to herself, “Who is that sitting out there on the rock? 
Could it be?” 

“By the Lady...” The Harper exclaimed, grimacing as she peered out of
the window and saw the figure on the rock had fallen forward. He lay 
unmoving in the snow and ice. 

“Ash, come quickly.” Natil said, “I think we will need a healer.” 

The Harper ran out the side door into the falling sleet/snow mix toward
the cloaked figure. Natil did not care it was snowing/sleeting, her 
thin shirt revealing more than she wanted to show but she was first on 
the cloaked stranger. Grabbing their shoulder, the Harper turned the 
stranger over. 

“By our Lady.” Natil gasped with a yelp, spying the red blood that
covered the front of the stranger, “What in the goddess' name is with 
the blood?” 

“What the hell?” Marsh exclaimed, grimacing at the blood that covered
the stranger's body. The others had also gasped seeing the blood too. 
The young Harper had gasped loudly, staring at the very garb she 
herself had worn openly not long ago and over four hundred years ago. 
Natil stared at the woolen cloak, closed by the familiar silver - gold 
clasp of a crescent moon and interlocked rayed star that held it 
together, in total amazement. 

A moment later, Natil gently pulled back the hood of the cloak to reveal
the weather beaten, blood covered and fair features of Rijiin L'Thiel. 
She recognized him immediately and a surprised look of wonder appeared 
on her face, tears forming in her eyes. 

“By our lady!” The Harper exclaimed, “Rijiin?” 

She had gasped even louder as she peered at the familiar face, making
Ash and the others glance at her. Their gazes moved from Rijiin, back 
to the Harper several times. 

“Who is it?” Ash asked, glancing at the Harper “Do you know him Natil?” 

“I-It cannot be.” The Harper replied, clearly stunned by Rijiin's
presence, whom she thought lost a long time ago. She shook her head. 

“It is Rijiin, my... kinsman... my beloved... who disappeared over four
centuries ago.” 

Natil looked up at the others to meet their surprised but amused smiles.
Her cheeks reddened slightly in a furious embarrassed blush, after 
realizing what she had said. They had never known about Rijiin fully, 
the Harper mentioning him a few months ago when Mimi and Becky had come 
to the home with her. A few smiles passed between the other elves who 
gathered around Rijiin. They watched in silent amusement as Natil's 
finger traced his jaw as she searched vainly for a pulse and exhaling 
sharply when she found it. 

“Oh dear Lady, He is alive!” Natil exclaimed, her tone indicating
astonishment but also a hint of relief there. Becky narrowed her eyes 
at the unconscious figure, joining her. 

“Rijiin!” Mimi exclaimed with a gasp, joining Natil at her side with
Rebecca. 

“How the duce...” Mimi gasped, “Where on earth did he come from?” 

“Natil is right he lives still, but his condition is currently unknown.”
Ash announced, “We will need to get him inside where he might require 
healing.” 

The elf maiden turned to the others, meeting the glance of Hadden and
the other elves of Denver who had gathered around him. He managed a 
slow nod to them. The elf lay pale and unconscious as Dell, TK, Hadden, 
Marsh, Tristan, Web and all the elves helped carry him into Elven Home. 
Inside the home, Ash healed him of his wounds and they helped place him 
in one of the many bedrooms. All of them looked after him in shifts and 
all hands thoroughly astonished by his presence. 

“Where the hell has he been?” Becky gasped, staring at the face, the
scars on his hard muscular body, old scars that had not faded after and 
during the times not protected by starlight. 

“I have no idea, but look at his jaw, it clenches even in an unconscious
state.” Mouse observed, “He must have gone through hell out wherever he 
came from...” 

“Oh my beloved,” Natil murmured, “Where have you been?” 

Sana smiled as she saw Natil exit for a moment and returned with her
harp. The maiden hugged it before sitting down in a chair she had 
brought to his side. Her hands rippled across the bronze strings and 
she played for an hour, feeling the healing energies swirl about her. 
When her hands fell silent on the strings, she peered at him and 
frowned. His wounds were many, and deep. All of them found healing by 
Ash's abilities but the elf remained in an unconscious state. Natil had 
attempted to heal his mind and soul, which she sensed was among them, 
but was unable to wake. 

“Rijiin,” She murmured, as she felt small hands on her shoulders.
Turning her head, she met the pensive look of Sana. 

“He'll be okay Natil.” She told the Harper, “With all of us here, he is
in good hands.” 

“Alright, we'll take it in shifts to make sure if he wakes, someone is
with him.” Hadden suggested, “Let Natil have the first watch, maybe she 
can harp some more and bring him out of it to perhaps give us some 
answers.” 

Everyone cleared the room except for the Harper, and she watched Rijiin
for any sign of life that he would stir and wake. She sat beside him on 
a stool and she played her harp for him. The Harper played the same way 
as she had healed many others, a long time ago in the village of Saint 
Brigid, helping him as she had helped the flowers at the college, Rag's 
bloody paws, and even Terry Angel. 

“Rijiin, can you hear me beloved?” She asked, her tone showing the worry
in her voice. “Please come back from wherever you are.” 

Several days elapsed as each of the elves took shifts to watch Rijiin
who remained motionless in the bed. Natil had taken many of the shifts 
herself, not leaving his side in many days. The Harper looked 
exhausted, but she tried not to show it to the others. 

“Natil you need to eat.” A voice said and the Harper jumped in her
chair. Natil looked up turning to see Laurie standing at the doorway 
with a grin on her face. 

“That's twice you almost jumped out of your skin.” Laurie said with a
laugh and the Harper forced a grin. Sana, Wheat, and Ash stood with her 
as a cheer sounded from the downstairs. 

“He will be alright Natil.” Sana said, flashing a grin when she saw the
young Harper nod slightly. 

“I'll mind him, and if anything happens I will call you.” Sana offered,
and she stepped into the room. She met the relieved expression of the 
Harper who walked toward Laurie and the others at the door. 

“Thanks.” Natil replied, “But only for a few minutes.” 

“Just one thing,” Laurie asked, “Why didn't you tell us you had a young
man? Are you holding out on us again Natil?” 

Sana caught herself as she laughed loudly, peering at the blushing face
of the Harper and fell abruptly silent when she sharply turned her head 
to grimace at her. 

“You have good taste Natil.” Wheat teased and she grinned broadly at the
Harper, “I thoroughly agree with it, he is quite a find and quite a 
sexy hunk.” 

“Oh no,” Natil replied quickly, “He is someone who came to us, and was
transformed into an elf by the old ways utilized by the elves of the 
past, four centuries ago. He was a human then, but somehow our magic 
changed him into being fully Elven after his arrival into the 
fourteenth century.” 

“Oh! He was human too?” Laurie gasped, and she glanced at the
unconscious form of Rijiin in the bed. She could not see any of the 
traces of humanity in Rijiin's face, having changed fully when he 
healed Mimi and manipulating the patterns of her very soul. 

“Yes.” Natil replied with a smile, “A handsome young man that gave up
his entire existence to spend it with me in the Renaissance Age as an 
immortal elf and gave up his home in the twentieth century.” 

“Oh how romantic.” Sana commented and she smiled at Natil who frowned
slightly. 

“It may sound that way, but it goes a lot deeper than that.” The Harper
told them, “Rijiin met me in a different timeline. I had been traveling 
in the twentieth century and asked for directions and he had been 
sitting there eating his lunch.” 

She paused to nod slightly to the questioning looks of the others who
stood with her. 

“When I first lay eyes on him, it was almost instant recognition between
us like we were friends for a long time. He was very polite and helpful 
to point me into the right direction.” The Harper continued, “We seemed 
to hit it off almost immediately with common interests, spending a lot 
of time with him until I had to leave. It got even stranger when he 
came to the fourteenth century, and that is when the timeline was 
changed.” 

“Changed? How?” Sana asked. 

“His presence changed the timeline just being there, and Rijiin came
long before I had left Adria and traveled through the ages. The event 
of meeting in the twentieth century had not happened yet.” The Harper 
explained, “The timeframe had become literally a clean slate for both 
of us. The event happening in the future that would never take place. 
In his eyes the images of that line revealed themselves in the 
starlight and I had full knowledge afterward.” 

She paused to catch her breath. “It is like a chalkboard and you used an
eraser, the slate became clean. We started from scratch and still it 
seemed like we were inseparable.” 

“Then we had great power back then?” Ash asked and Natil shook her head.


“Back then the few elves that remained had limited magical and healing
abilities, to help and heal at will. The last few of us in the world 
did what we could to coexist in a world of men, despite the Inquisition 
that persecuted elves for centuries into extinction and the elves 
fading into the winds of history.” She told them, “Rijiin is no 
different, he can help and heal too but he disappeared after utilizing 
the power of the elves, transporting us through the winds of time and 
space to help and heal Mimi.” 

“You mean you hopped timelines and into the future to heal Mimi?” Sana
exclaimed, “That's incredible.” 

“Aye, he risked both of us and his existence when he utilized the
unpredictability of the old ways, using the elves magic back then that 
surrounded the elves.” The Harper said with a smile but her grin faded 
suddenly, unnerved by her reminisces of the past. 

“By our Lady, did I tell them too much?” The Harper wondered and she
shook her head slightly. 

“Be at peace, I think we should have answers soon and we'll all find out
what happened to him and where he has been for close to four hundred 
years.” Natil murmured, “I sense he is close, and he is aware of us, he 
just cannot wake for some reason.” 

“Go eat Natil.” Sana declared, “You need a break. As I said I'll watch
him and call you if there are any changes.” 

Natil smiled, leaving the room with Laurie, Wheat and Ash, leaving Sana
sitting in a comfortable chair, her eyes watching him closely. 

The youthful woman wondered what kind of human Rijiin had been, knowing
it was for Natil he remained in the Renaissance Age rather than live in 
the Modern Age. Sana wondered if there was something more about him 
that the Harper was not telling them. She noted he had a strange 
bluish-silver aura around him. 

Rijiin, on the other hand, stood on the green meadow beside the Goddess,
the Lady robed in blue and silver who had guided him through history 
and time. She had protected him many times, as he had fought beside 
many famous people. He witnessed many a historical event and took part 
in his latest rage against mortal man and an evil that would make a 
significant bloody mark in history. He embraced the Lady when he saw 
her for the first time and after a long time. 

“My Lady, it feels good to be held in your arms again, and to be again
in your presence.” Rijiin told her, and he stepped back to return her 
smile. 

“I know Rijiin.” She said, “Be at peace, you are home now, and someone
special awaits your return to her.” 

“How can I face her?” asked the elf, “I am just a killer. I killed for
the sheer sport of it in most cases. I enacted revenge and murder upon 
the mortals I am supposed to help and heal. I passed judgment over them 
where it is not my place to do so.” 

“You are supposed to help and heal, but under the circumstances, you had
no choice. It was that or be slain by another's hand.”  She said, 
“Margot, Anne and the multitudes of others you healed in that period 
will always be grateful for your bravery and your compassion. They did 
not want to die, not that way, and you gave them the opportunity to 
live by changing circumstances of their own fate.” 

“You followed your heart and did what you tried to do in Adria. You
tried to help, heal, comfort and aid.” She said, “You are very wise, 
despite the many times you risked yourself on your foolish errand. I am 
very pleased to see you have such wisdom for doing the right thing. You 
have grown a lot in these centuries.” 

“Fear not, the world will not be destroyed by your changing history
where people who were supposed to die but did not.” She told him, “The 
world will welcome them home with no questions, as no one else will 
sense the change in time except for you. Time is fluid like a river and 
is ever flowing with many currents, eddies and rapids. In another time 
stream, instead of their needless deaths in that place, which you 
changed, those people actually survived. You changed the time stream to 
another reality with your help, healing and compassion.” 

The elf remained kneeling before the goddess, sensing there was more to
this than he realized. 

“As for renewal, you have until May first, to take heed and find
forgiveness in yourself for the unnecessary slaughter of those you 
killed without mercy or compassion. I cannot give you the absolution 
you seek for that magnitude of slaughter you performed against the evil 
that rampaged Europe.” She told him, “I had to intervene, however, and 
stop you from becoming engrossed in revenge for another race who did 
nothing to the elves or you.” 

Here the Lady paused and grimaced, but she also nodded too. 

“Remember what Terrill, Mirya, Varden and Natil taught you, and said
many times. Human ways are not ours. You walk the path of an immortal, 
you exist to help and heal those in need, which you did, not declare 
war and become judge jury and executioner on mortal man.” 

Rijiin smiled, seeing her meaning and he looked up meeting the
expression of the Lady. He saw the twinkle of starlight in her eyes. 

“I know me' lady, I understand.” He said, and he bowed slightly, “I
forgot myself and purpose while in those places. I felt anger toward an 
organization that was murdering thousands with no mercy or compassion. 
It reminded me of the persecution of the elves so long ago. I turned 
and took the fight back to them in their stead as their champion.” 

The Lady, clad in blue and silver nodded slightly, and placed her hand
on his shoulder. 

“Be at peace, they had a purpose in life, and it was their fate to die.
Fear not, their tale and memory will never be forgotten, even in 
death.” He managed a slight nod. “That part of history has been 
preserved and many of those camps were preserved as-is as a teaching 
method of history.” 

“You also have my thanks me' lady,” He told her, “For everything, for
keeping me safe during the times without the starlight. It was very 
hard to stand by to observe and do nothing.” 

“You are welcome and also are welcome at your new home.” She said and a
grin flashed across his face. “You must return to her now, and you must 
face her. Be at peace I am here always for you and the others.” 

He nodded formally to the Creatrix of the elves, and he bowed slightly.
She raised her hand and a moment later, Rijiin found himself spinning 
in darkness. 

The elf slowly opened his eyes moment later, focusing upon the white
ceiling of a warm room. As he lay there, he realized he was in a warm 
plush bed with a thick comforter over him and slowly he examined the 
surroundings with his eyes. The room is bright with white walls, has an 
open beamed ceiling and one large window that allowed the cold daylight 
to spill in through it. Standing on the wall beside the window, there 
is an oak dresser, a wardrobe on the wall adjacent to the window and a 
door on the farthest wall from the bed. A small stand sat in the 
corner. His blade and dagger sat in a small holder on top of it. His 
musical instrument was leaning in a corner still in its leather pouch. 

He suddenly sensed a presence beside him and slowly he turned his head.
His gray eyes fell on the face of an unfamiliar woman sitting beside 
him.  Rijiin, confused by his surroundings, found himself reminded of 
Saint Brigid. He remembered one of many rooms in Kay's house where his 
adventures had began a very long time ago. The youthful elf at first 
thought he was dreaming, but realized it had been Mirya not this 
beautiful light haired woman who sat at his side. He stared at her for 
a long time, reminded of someone else a long time ago too. 

“Charity...?” He croaked, finding his voice “Where's Mirya. How long was
I out and down for the count?” 

The young woman gasped as she turned her head to regard him in startled
silence. She smiled openly at first, glad to see he was alive and well. 
Sana frowned playfully at him, thinking about his question and the 
response. 

“Who?” She replied politely, confused by the name. “There is no Charity
here.” 

“Who are you then?” 

“Sana.” She replied, frowning again, staring at the gray eyes of the
young man and at his familiar fair features. She had instant 
recognition when she saw him the first time as they rushed to his side 
and to his aid. Rijiin was feeling the same confusion as he stared in 
wonder at the light haired woman and into her star-filled blue eyes. He 
knew it could not be, knowing that the young girl Charity lived over 
four centuries ago and was long since gone from the world. The elf also 
knew she believed in renewal and she was a priestess of the elves. 

“Roxanne, then?” He asked, because of her name and she shook her head
again. He had known another person by the name Sana many centuries ago 
but to Rijiin, the woman here, looked close to her but not exactly like 
her. 

“My name is Sandy. Sana Joy,” She told him. 

Confused and uncomfortable, Rijiin panned a quick glance to his
surroundings before he sat up and he swayed back and forth before 
falling back on the bed. Closing his eyes, he focused on the twinkling 
starlight, surprised but also relieved they were still there. He let 
them steady him from his disorientation. 

“You should rest.” Sana told him, “You have been through a hell of a
lot.” 

Opening his eyes, he met her blue eyes that twinkled brightly, still
reminding him of someone else. Her blond hair fell around her 
shoulders. 

“You don't know the half of it Ms. Joy.” Rijiin thought, and he saw her
frown. 

“You are safe here, at Elven home, however.” 

“Elven home?” Rijiin asked, turning his head, feeling a strange leap of
his soul at the sound of the name. She nodded affirmatively to him. 

“Elven home.” The young woman repeated. 

“What is this place then, called Elven Home and what year is it?” He
asked quietly and Sana's eyebrows climbed quickly, clearly surprised by 
his question. 

“Elven Home is a haven for people like your self.” She replied, “Elves,
who have returned after so many centuries of silence and it is the year 
of the blessed Goddess, nineteen ninety five. We are a few miles 
outside Denver, Colorado. Why, what year do you think it is?” 

Rijiin deliberately avoided the question, unnerved by the familiar, but
clearly unfamiliar person who sat beside the bed. He found himself not 
surprised by the information that he was still in the twentieth 
century, in modern day times again, but there was one difference, he 
was immortal and had lived over five hundred years. The elf calculated 
quickly and he grimaced, realizing it was now approximately over fifty 
some years from the time he had just been living through and what he 
had done in a time of war. The elf is unaware that the United States is 
once again engaged in war though, called Desert Shield, and Desert 
Storm against Iraq and Saddam Hussein. Many continued to die in battle, 
preserving peace just as TK had when he served as a human in the U.S 
Army. There would be many sacrifices to come and more battles to fight 
as the months and years rolled on. 

In the meantime, Rijiin only shrugged, managing a pained grimace as he
tried to sit up again. 

“You don't want to know Ms. Joy.” He muttered, shaking his head before
carefully examining the surroundings. She did not stop him as he sat 
up, swooning with disorientation and he turned his body to drape his 
legs over the side of the bed. Rijiin quickly glanced down at himself, 
and was relieved to find himself in one piece. He was dressed in a 
simple pair of sweats and a thin white shirt. His ripped upper body 
showed through the white t-shirt. 

“We brought you into Elven Home when you appeared outside, that was
about four days ago.” Sana explained. “You were covered in blood. You 
were slumped on a rock on your knees and...” 

Rijiin turned his head as his eyes twinkled in the light and he silenced
her with a look. 

“Be at peace.” Sana told him, acknowledging the look on his face with a
polite and friendly smile. The blood covering Rijiin had been his own 
after tumbling violently through a vortex of energy, taking a beating 
as he fell over one hundred feet after appearing over the forest and 
down a rocky hill. He quickly realized they did not know what he had 
done and Rijiin refrained from disclosing that information until it was 
time. He shuddered at the label he put to himself. 

“I don't know how I can Sana.” He thought, “If you only knew what I did
through the centuries. I am a killer. I killed men women and children. 
I killed many in battle. How can you accept someone as I am?” 

“Did I require healing then?” Rijiin asked, and he managed a grimace
when she nodded. 

“Yes, by Ash and Natil. They have that talent among us.” Sana replied.
Rijiin wanted to ask who Ash was, but he refrained himself.  He raised 
his eyebrows in silent surprise when she mentioned Natil's name. 

“Are you one of us?” She asked suddenly, feeling the insatiable
curiosity about this stranger. 

“I am.” He said, straightening, “Rijiin L' Theil, the Just at your
service.” With that, he touched his forehead and bowed slightly. 

“Where on Earth did you come from?” Sana asked with an exasperated sigh,
staring at Rijiin in silent recognition and his use of old customs of a 
century past.  An almost ‘déjà-vu' feeling swept over her and she 
stared at the young man's gray eyes that twinkled in the light. 

“I...” Rijiin said, and suddenly stopped. He quickly contemplated his
answer. “I am from all over, many different places.” 

“Are you Natil's lover?” Sana asked, blurting out the question suddenly
and he gasped loudly when she spoke the Harper's name again. Rijiin had 
grimaced, feeling a flush rising up to his face. The Harper's name and 
his recognition of it had been a little more than he had cared to show 
and his facial expression had given too much away. It had shown the 
young Elven woman how clearly unprepared he had been to hear that name. 
She had an amused smile on her face. 

“That is the first time in ages I have heard that name.” He said
solemnly, “But to answer your question, I... I was one of her kinfolk, 
and friend once but it has been a very long time. Is Natil here?” 

“She is.” Sana replied, “And worried, as we all are about you. We
thought you were very close to death.” 

“It is very difficult to kill an elf.” Rijiin said, echoing Varden and
Terrill's words from so long ago. 

He sensed that Sana seemed to understand. An uncomfortable silence grew
around them as they sat in the same room together. 

“We?” He murmured, “I thought elves faded long ago.” He peered at her in
wonder. He did not know of the nineteen plus elves that came to 
Elven-Home. 

“Do you want to go see her?” The young woman asked, turning her head to
see the slight nod he had given her.  She noted the grim expression on 
his face, feeling the fear and disorientation from Rijiin. She could 
almost sense his reluctance to want to see the young woman he had loved 
so very much. 

“So, I am free to wander this place,” He asked, “...called Elven home?” 

“Of course you are. It's not like you are under arrest or anything.”
Sana replied sarcastically, “Come, I will lead you.” 

As Rijiin slowly stood up, the maiden helped him to his feet. Sana
steadied him, allowing the young elf to prop himself on her strong 
shoulder as she walked along side of him. She kept him from stumbling 
as they reached and navigated the main stairs. He peered at his 
surroundings, the plush, thick carpeting, the off-white walls, and open 
beamed ceilings.  He had a curious expression on his fair features. He 
not realized the size of this place, and the feeling of magic that 
seemed to shimmer about him, just as it had four hundred years ago, 
also during times of conflict when he wandered through the centuries. 

When they reached the large, spacious kitchen, Rijiin glanced at it in
astonishment, as he did to the living space that connected to it. The 
kitchen was large and bright, outfitted with cheerful copper pots and 
pans, a modern stove and oven, a big refrigerator, gleaming counters 
and burnished cabinets. Beyond and down the hall and deeper in, were 
dark wood paneling, precise parquetry, and carpets thick as meadow 
grass. There were snug rooms with cushions and plants. A small fountain 
sitting in one alcove gurgled quietly, its soothing sound filling the 
air with a silver presence. Wide double-insulated windows looked out 
onto the trees and mountains, a courtyard, gardens... 

Rijiin was staring in silence, amazed by this place. The other elves sat
in the living area and here he leaned on a nearby counter. He stood 
there until they all were looking at him, a low surprised murmur 
rippled through the group. They said nothing to him, just peering in 
amazement at the stranger, or perhaps a family member who had come to 
stand among them. 

Sana looked on in silence, a grin on her face as she studied the
reactions of the other elves. She glanced at Rijiin who grimaced when 
he met the unfamiliar faces of the elves that came to the home. He was 
stunned that the old blood had changed so many and so many more than 
there were so many centuries ago. His eyes seemed to flash as he saw 
the unfamiliar faces of Becky and Mimi. Even though their faces had 
changed a lot from what he remembered, Rijiin sensed it was his friends 
from DeAnza in California. 

Both maidens equally showed surprise to see him and a smile appeared on
their faces. He sensed they were extremely glad to see him alive and 
well. They stood up slowly. The elf smiled when he sensed Natil nearby. 


Natil had been sitting in one of the many alcoves and she looked up when
she sensed him. Her face had a surprised expression on it and she was 
on her feet in a heartbeat, walking, half-running toward Rijiin.  The 
other elves saw Natil walking toward Rijiin, and there were smiles on 
many of the faces. She stopped, as he bent over before them. 

“I claim Hearthright.” He intoned solemnly, bending down as he touched
the carpeted floor, and staggered to one side.  There was a low murmur 
among the elves. 

Sana had gasped when he staggered and had caught him in her strong arms.
Natil also gasped at hearing the words, remembering the similar 
happening with Mirya a long time ago. 

It had been before Rijiin had come to their century and certainly a
lifetime ago when Mirya had asked the elves' help to free a midwife 
from the dungeons of the Inquisition. The midwife had helped her heal 
and had sent her to Saint Brigid. There she found change from a 
battered healer girl into an elf herself, thanks to Varden. 

“Well said.” Natil said as she had exhaled aloud. Her exhale had made
the others focus their attention briefly toward her and back to Rijiin. 
The young maiden realized she echoed the same words that Varden had 
said in response to Mirya's claim. She was amazed to remember that 
night so vividly and wondered how he knew of that night, having not 
arrived yet in their century. 

“It is not necessary for family to claim Hearthright.” the Harper
replied, her eyes misty with tears of joy “Your errand is complete 
Rijiin, welcome home.” 

Rijiin heard the breaking voice of his beloved Harper and turned his
head to peer into her blue eyes. Both Natil and Sana helped him to a 
standing position and the Harper put her hands on his broad shoulders. 
Her face had a bright, warm, smile on it and she nodded her head to 
him. He stared at her face for a short time before he drew her into an 
embrace. Natil felt his centuries of loneliness fall away as he held 
her, kissing her passionately, almost hungrily as if they were lovers 
reunited after centuries apart. 

Becky and Mouse watched them, as did the others, all with smiles on
their faces. Low chuckles moved around the room as two minutes passed, 
more laughter after five minutes passed, a cough and shuffle of papers 
after ten minutes, a low murmur of conversation after fifteen minutes 
passed. Natil and Rijiin continued to hold each other in a rousing 
passionate kiss. TK pursed his lips and exhaled silently, casting 
glances to the other Elves. Laurie covered the elfling, Kelly Blue's 
eyes. Heather and the Marsh exchanged uneasy looks with each other. Web 
was beaming with delight. Bright, Wheat and the other Elves shuffled 
their feet or glanced at their watches. Raven managed a whistle at the 
pair. A tension of uneasiness filled the air. 

“Jesus, get a room you two...” Marsh joked, breaking the silence and
there was sprinkled laughter. 

“Dang that's some kiss.” Wheat observed and Laurie, smiling had nodded
in agreement. 

“Yeah, no kidding...” Hadden replied, “Geeze, you'll melt all the snow
if you keep that up.” 

Sporadic laughter rippled through the gathered elves. Kelly struggled in
Heather's arms and she saw what Natil and Rijiin were doing. 

“Oooooh! They're kissing!” The Elfling chimed in and there was great
laughter that followed. Rijiin and Natil broke from their passionate 
kiss, both blushing a deep crimson as they laughed too. Mimi suddenly 
realized she was jealous of this couple as Rijiin stood beside the 
young Harper. 

“Nae saian luume',” He told her, “Amin sal mela lle.” 

Natil gasped, hearing him speak Elfish, just as he had centuries ago. 

“You have not forgotten.” She stammered, “After all these centuries, I
never thought I would hear Elfish or see you again. What happened to 
you? Where have you been?” 

“Aye, I took a wrong turn someplace and ended up far away from Adria
after losing my way in that blizzard.” He said, “I had almost lost 
faith, until now. I am so glad to see you and be in your arms again.” 

“I am glad you are alive and safe.” Natil told him, “Rijiin, as always
playing the hero.” 

She kissed him again on the lips. Natil and Sana stood with him as
Becky, Mouse and the others gathered around him as chatter filled the 
room. 

“Welcome home Rijiin.” Becky said. 

“Yes, welcome home.” Mimi said, placing a hand on his shoulder and he
met their smiling faces with an astonished, but pleased look. 

“Thank you for the warm welcome.” Rijiin told them, “I am very happy to
be here and in one piece.” 

He paused, as he panned a slow look around Elven Home and at the others.
He bowed slightly at the waist. 

“May I present, Rijiin L' Theil, my companion from long ago.” Natil said
formally with a wave of her hand, “My... err...” 

“Lover, Natil?” Sana asked, and there was laughter as Natil furiously
blushed.  Rijiin blushed too, but joined in the laughter. 

“Hardly, more a good friend, we have known each other a long time.” The
Harper replied, smiling sweetly at Rijiin who in turn smiled back. 

“For four point three million years?” TK asked, and she turned to shake
her head. 

“Rijiin and I have known each other long time, since thirteen hundred
and...” Natil began and stopped. 

“Be at peace, you can tell them.” Rijiin whispered and he saw her
eyebrows rise upward. “They have a right to know.” 

“...Thirteen hundred and fifty two, AD.” She said with a sigh, and he
nodded meeting the others astonished look. 

“That's a long time.” Marsh said ominously, “Four hundred plus years.” 

“Originally I came through to their time via a portal in this century
and ended up in the fourteenth century, wounded, alone and half dead.” 
Rijiin replied, “Thanks to their magic and healing back then, I was 
changed into an elf by their magic. This relationship between Natil and 
I has been a long endured friendship.” 

“I figured with my transformation into an elf, I belonged more in the
fourteenth century rather than the twentieth century. The human part 
faded away fully when I jumped with Natil to the twentieth century 
using the elves magic to heal Mimi.” He told the group and there was a 
brief silence. 

“I remember.” Mimi said thoughtfully, and she smiled at Rijiin. “I owe
you a lot of thanks Rijiin.” 

“Me too.” Becky chimed in. 

“You are both welcome Mistress Stewart, Mistress Mc Gough.” Rijiin
replied with a nod and he grinned, “Be at peace.” 

“On that note....” Rijiin declared thoughtfully, as if an after thought
came into his head and he paused for a moment. 

“So Natil, are you going to marry me or what?” He turned his head,
glancing sharply in her direction. 

A loud sharp yelp echoed through the large room and a hush quickly fell
over it. Everyone peered at Rijiin in amazement, all the elves faces 
showing complete and utter stunned shock. He managed a grin. Natil, 
surprised as the others who now occupied the large room stood there her 
jaw hanging open at her companion from the past. 

The Harper let out a silent breath as he knelt before her, taking up her
hands. She sensed that he was quite prepared for what he was about to 
ask her. 

She managed a smile and peered lovingly into his gray eyes. Everyone
held their breath as they waited for her answer. As for Natil, she 
contemplated her answer during that time, having said a long time ago 
that she was not ready for a relationship as lovers. She had 
acknowledged the feelings that Rijiin had for her. It had been on an 
excursion with the newly transformed elf, freshly arrived from the 
future that they traveled together into the Aleser Mountains. They went 
to a place that he had found while exploring the realm and one trip she 
remembered vividly as it was yesterday. 

It had been a partly cloudy spring day as they walked through the forest
of Malvern in silence, traveling home to Saint Brigid and the 
encampment of the elves from the mountains. The whole trip, the maiden 
had felt strangely by Rijiin, still intrigued by his presence even a 
year after his arrival into this century. The first thing had been the 
startling thoughts she had heard when he embraced her the initial time 
she had laid eyes upon him. The second had been the superb, passionate 
kiss that had followed their embrace. Natil did not know what to make 
of it, and of the young elf himself. The Harper glanced at her 
traveling companion. 

“It is strange how we are getting closer and yet still so far away. He
is so familiar to me but is not. Who is Rijiin L'Theil and what are his 
motives?” 

Rijiin, even over the course of a year, had astonished them all, taking
well to his new existence and transformation by their magic. Rijiin had 
only been to the encampment a few times and each time greeted with open 
arms and warmly welcomed. Natil watched him interact, and as he sat 
among them, and he told them of many adventures in the year he had been 
traveling throughout Adria. 

“Where and how does Rijiin fit into everything going on right now,
starting with his unexplained appearance and change into an elf.” She 
asked herself, “Is he truly my companion and true love?”  He startled 
her with his interest in music, playing for the villagers at Christmas 
mass. Rijiin played the carols of the season on a strange instrument he 
brought with him from the future. The music had been uplifting and 
cheerful. Nothing like anyone of the time had seen before. He played 
the instrument flawlessly and the music made her smile. The elf nodded 
to the Harper and she pulled out her harp. Together they played a duet 
that seemed to come effortlessly to her. 

Natil shook her head in silence as Rijiin walked beside her. The
youthful maiden decided to open up with a bit of chitchat hoping to 
learn more about her traveling companion Rijiin L'Theil. A young elf 
that had came to them a broken human, who had found his ending and 
perhaps a new beginning thanks to their magic. 

“Diol lle a'mael, lye n'eirn nae seasu.” She said, and Rijiin walking
beside her, did not turn his head. He had only grunted in response as 
he nodded. Natil had told him Thank you beloved that they had to do 
this again sometime. Rijiin shook off the images he was seeing, staring 
inwardly at the starlight and what seemed to be through into a 
different time and space. He glanced in her direction, seeing the hurt 
on her face, and had managed a forced smile, with a polite nod. 

“Sea samin, A'mael.” He replied, taking up her hand, telling her it was
very pleasant and he kissed it gently, “We shall do it again soon. I 
promise.” 

Smiling Natil nodded, “I would like that. Ta vanima.” 

“Aye Natili,” He said, glancing to the surroundings. Rijiin smiled when
he saw the familiar landmarks, and from that knew they thankfully were 
almost home. Natil, before she stepped onto the path with Rijiin, had 
stopped. She still held his hand, and it made him drop backward a step, 
making him turn in question. The Harper's face colored as she looked 
down and smiled as she tugged on his hand, pulling his arm as she led 
him toward her. Natil put her arms around him in a passionate embrace. 

“Thank you for a wonderful time.” She whispered lustily, and she drew
him in close. She put her lips to his in a tender passionate kiss. 
Natil and Rijiin held the kiss for a lengthy time, one that was sweet 
and filled with a promise. He showed an expression of surprise on his 
fair features. After they broke, they met each other's gaze, staring 
into each other's eyes for what was a very long time. 

“Sai- seasu.” He murmured, telling her it was pleasant, “And very nice.”


“I know how you feel about me, and I wish to have a little more time.”
She had told him, “I heard your wish up there too and I am very 
flattered and honored, but I am, alas, not ready for a relationship 
like that. Perhaps we can be friends for a time before we take that 
step. As immortals we do have all the time in the world.” 

The elf, named Rijiin had wished he and Natil could be a couple, to take
each other as lovers, just as it had been with Varden and Roxanne.  The 
elf loved her without question, back in a different time stream when he 
had met her as a human and even more so now that he was here among the 
others. 

“It is if Natil will accept me.” Rijiin thought, and he grimaced, only
to reply aloud, “I understand.” 

Rijiin tried to force himself not to react to her statement. He did so
with tact and with understanding, rather than emotion. She watched as 
he let a breath out, and Natil sensed he felt at ease. 

“But alas, that was four hundred years ago.” The Harper thought,
becoming suddenly aware of her surroundings. She wondered today in 
Denver if she were ready. The Lady had not said anything about Rijiin 
or the possibility of bringing them together. A lot had changed in over 
four centuries. She found the elves had returned to the world, the old 
blood awakening a few in the city of Denver. She had found a sanctuary 
in the Rocky Mountains called Elven Home. The maiden had a social 
security number, a driver's license, an identity and job. Natil had 
found freedom to move in this century with no persecution or hatred 
toward the elves in the world of men. 

His presence seemed to complicate her freedom, perhaps her existence and
she considered right away remembering her pledge over four hundred 
years ago, to say no to his proposal. 

“Come on Natil, don't keep us in suspense.” 

Natil shook off her memories and turned her head from Rijiin to scan the
surroundings absently, then to the other elves. 

“I-I...” She began and her eyes moved to each of the elves meeting the
surprised looks and few smiles on their faces. She sensed their 
acceptance to the newcomer and their thoughts. Her face carried a 
confused expression. 

“You need to find happiness mistress Harper.” Hadden told her, “Be sure
it is what you want to do, and don't be afraid of taking a chance.” 

“He's a winner, Natil! Take a chance!” Sana exclaimed, smiling openly at
her. 

Natil felt her eyes welling with tears and she decided to take the
chance of a lifetime at the encouraging words of her friend Hadden, 
also Sana. Although that May 1st, was far off, the Harper knew she 
could still find council and wisdom from the Lady. Even perhaps 
renewal, if she thought she had made a grievous error.  The Harper 
sensed, deep down inside, that she was not making a mistake, and knew 
that Rijiin still loved her as strongly now, as ever before. 

“Yes Rijiin, I will.” She said, and he rose to embrace her. 

“I have a ring for you. It's in my place in Europe.” He whispered to
her, “Which is almost invisible in the deep forests there, despite the 
war torn land it has survived through.” 

The Harper grimaced, but slowly nodded to him, her one and true love.
She smiled brightly as she embraced him. Around them, the other elves 
cheered as Rijiin kissed her passionately. He put her arm around her as 
they sat together and Rijiin told them the stories of the close to four 
hundred plus years he had traveled across the world. He spoke of many 
events and the great evils that the world had endured, and seen in his 
wandering across the Earth. He mentioned the many famous people he had 
met, and the many battles he had fought with them. He mentioned his 
adventures through a war torn Europe from which he had helped and 
healed a sickening sight of a concentration camp within the confines of 
a secluded forest. He did not mention his rage on the Nazi party, 
responsible for the holocaust, having slain many a soldier, civilians 
with no mercy or compassion. 

Rijiin also mentioned Adria and the many adventures of the elves, his
adventures, as he explored the region with Natil and her kinfolk. 
Everyone present had listened in fascination by his vivid tales, and 
Natil had found herself fascinated as well. She smiled when he 
described Terrill, Varden, Mirya, Talla, Charity and the others of 
Saint Brigid whom they protected. He described how many a time they 
would journey to the north to visit the mayor of Saint Blaise, George 
Darcy. Together they stayed up all night and he answered many of their 
questions, all smiling and laughing at the stories he told at the 
Harper's expense. Some had made the Harper blush and they teased her 
gently, politely, about them. 

When morning came, a typical Monday came the other residents departed
for their jobs in Denver. Rijiin was alone at the home, and he sat in 
an alcove, staring at the fair amount of snow covering the ground after 
last night's storm. Here, Rijiin wandered the property, and the home. 
He donned his long gray cloak, as he held his sheathed blade and 
disappeared into the forest outside. He did not venture too far from 
the home, but he did find a great overlook from which he stared out 
across the snow-covered forest below. 

Rijiin suddenly found himself reminded of Adria, as he walked among the
trees and thought of a similar the place he brought Natil. A special 
place where they shared many a sunrise and sunset together, wrapped in 
each other's arms. 

Here he drew his blade easily as he practiced the forms from his
training in martial arts, and the fighting dance of the elves. He moved 
easily, the same as he had centuries ago, slashing, dodging and 
blocking.  The motions seemed to come easy for him too, just as they 
had four hundred years ago and he felt the energy flowing freely 
through him. Hours passed quickly, and Natil arriving at the home 
first, discovered he was missing. Walking into the forest, she searched 
and found him easily. He sat on a flat rock with his legs crossed, his 
eyes closed as he focused upon the stars he thankfully saw in the 
darkness. He sensed her approach. 

“Rijiin?” She said and opening his eyes, he turned his head, smiling at
the young Harper.  She had a worried expression on her face. 

“Natil...” 

“I was just checking up on you.” She said, “Are you alright? What are
you doing out here?” 

“I am just enjoying the view..." He replied pointing to the spectacular
view in front of him on the western horizon. A view where the sun began 
to set, arrayed in deep crimson reds, spectacular burnt orange, golden 
yellows and a sinister purple color array. Shadows fell over the 
snow-covered forest below. 

Natil managed a quiet laugh, but became solemn as she stared at the
sunset, suddenly reminded of the Aleser Mountains where they shared a 
similar romantic moment between them. Rijiin put his arms around her to 
hold her after she sat beside him.  He kissed the back her neck, 
holding her against him. She felt the warmth of his breath on her neck. 


“Just like we did before in Adria,” He remarked, “A different era and
time, but the same glorious sunset. Remember?” 

Natil managed another laugh, “I do indeed, and it is just as glorious as
the first time we watched it together.” 

“It was the one thing I missed in four hundred years.” Rijiin told her
and she turned her head, shadowed by the sun as she peered into his 
eyes, “To share a sunset and a sunrise with my beloved companion and 
lover. It is also great to be alive.” 

The Harper's face showed an expression of surprise and loving
admiration. 

“The one thing I regret, though,” Rijiin replied and he grimaced. Her
face had a curious expression on it. 

“And what is that beloved?” 

“I should have played it safe and not have tried to be a hero. You know,
always trying to save the day all the time.” He said, “I should have 
camped and waited out the storm. If I had done that, I would have been 
still with you. You would not have been alone.” 

Tears showed in her eyes, not of sorrow, but of joy and love. Here the
elf maiden had embraced him, holding him close. 

“I love you so much, so much more like I did back in the Renaissance
period with the others.” She said and their lips touched. He nibbled 
her earlobe and her neck making her gasp and giggle. 

“I love you too.” He said, “Always have and always will. In this time or
back in the fourteenth century. I loved you, even while I wandered 
alone in history without starlight and the goddess. You are my life, 
and my truest love. I am not going to let you go this time that is a 
promise.” 

“As you are to me,” Natil said, holding him as she let his hands wander.
She smiled as their hands caressed each other. She moaned as she felt 
him caress her ample bosoms and they found each other stripping, 
ignoring the cold as they made love under a thick pine, the sounds of 
passion echoing through the woods. 

After they were finished, they both sat together, wrapped in his cloak
as they watched the sun continue to sink onto the western horizon, the 
sky deepening with darker crimson red, orange fire, and a deeper purple 
array. They watched the night sky filled with stars until a stiff cold 
wind made it unbearable. Together they dressed quickly and walked 
hand-in-hand back to Elven Home. Both entered to smile at Mimi and 
Becky who had arrived, staring at them in wonder as they came through 
the door giggling. 

“Are you both alright?” Becky asked, “We were about to call Hadden and
the others to come find you.” 

“Oh we're fine.” Rijiin said, “We were just watching the sunset and the
stars together, Right Natil?” 

“Oh yea,” Natil replied, as Mouse and Becky both exchanged a glance at
each other, sharing a smile between them. Both had laughed as the 
couple, their friends adjourned holding hands to one of the many 
alcoves and there they remained together cuddled in each other's arms. 
They both peered out at the skylight at the stars that burned clear and 
cold in the sky above the home, murmuring thanks to Becky who handed 
them two cups of steaming cocoa. Natil and Rijiin tapped their mugs 
together. 

“Manea.” Becky replied, smiling as she backed out of the alcove and
turned to walk toward Mimi who had watched the whole exchange. 

“Holy shit, did you see that?” Becky asked, and Mouse managed a nod. 

“I did and this is all starting to become very weird.” Mimi replied and
both shot another look across the living area to the alcove where 
Rijiin and Natil both sat together, his arms around her. The elf kissed 
her neck as he held her. They did not know what to make of the whole 
event or situation. 

As the months followed, there were many preparations made for Natil and
Rijiin to be hand fasted in the traditions of elves. They planned a 
meal for a banquet, the chair seating arrangement, and the decorations 
for the ceremony itself. The elf worked on the invitations, quickly 
doing them on a computer and he wrote in Elfish on each one with a 
strong hand of calligraphy. 

No' i'- minquea ea asta, i'- ratsea re, e' i'- yen en' i'- aman arwen,
nertenen randa nae nertenen, kinta sinomed, kam- i'- canwae i'- Natili 
Carnesir en Denveri nae Rijiini Singollo en Maverni. 

Lye aldarion meneldur lle a' saragon e' i'- gal-, no' i'- enque ea asta,
ratsea re, e' i'- yen en' i'- aman arwen, nertenen lempe nae nertenen 
enque ae' Treestari e' Deveray Coloradai.” 

“On the eleventh month, the fourteenth day, in the year of the Blessed
Lady, nineteen hundred and ninety five, hereby make the announcement of 
Natil Summerson of Denver and Rijiin L'Theil of Malvern's engagement 
and wedding. 

We cordially invite you to share in the celebration, on the sixth month,
fourteenth day, in the year of the blessed Lady nineteen ninety six at 
Tree star in Denver Colorado.” 

As Rijiin worked on the invitations, Natil popped in to check on him and
she had peeked over his shoulder as he hand designed more of the unique 
invitations. The maiden had gasped openly at the large stack that now 
sat on the table next to him. She was about to leave with a few of the 
other residents of the home and travel to Denver to try on gowns for 
the event that was to come. A pleased look brightened her face when saw 
the finished invitations, and the envelopes that Rijiin had created. 
The maiden embraced him with tears in her eyes. 

“It is perfect beloved.”  She said, “I love it.” 

The others clustered around her as they peered at the invitations, and
exchanged dubious looks between them. 

“You have not forgotten the old ways.” She said, “You do us honor
Rijiin, and the Lady.” 

“I am glad you like it.” Rijiin said, glancing at the group who was
walking to the door. 

“So where you all off to,” He asked, and Natil paused at the door. 

“We're off to try on gowns.” Natil replied, winking at Rijiin who nodded
silently. 

“You are going to be a magnificent bride, mistress Harper.” Hadden told
her, “It almost makes me want to take Ash and do this with you.” 

“You know Hadden, that's not a bad idea.” Rijiin suggested, “A double
wedding would be really cool. Mister and Missus Hadden and Ash 
Morrison, it does not have a bad ring to it.” 

A sprinkle of laughter rippled through the group next to Rijiin and
Natil. 

The young elf known as Ash, smiled quietly at Hadden's words and
chuckled at Rijiin's agreement to the idea. She winked at Hadden before 
she turned to follow Sana, Wheat, Laurie, Kelly, Bright, Raven, Fox and 
Heather out of the door. Rijiin turned and opened a cabinet nearby, 
withdrawing bottles from inside it. The elf smiled, when he spied the 
label in the cabinet and something he had been holding onto for a long 
time. 

Turning the other bottles, he dug out the other ragged labeled bottles.
Here, he grabbed several glasses and set them in the center of the 
table as, Hadden, Marsh, TK, Dell, Allesandro, Web, and Tristan joined 
him. 

“We should take you out, you poor soul.” Marsh said, “Married life,
sheesh, and with someone so young.” 

Their laughter echoed the living area as several bottles sat in the
middle of the table. 

“I know, but this romance has been going on for a very long time, there
is not a day that I wandered the earth and fought in many battles that 
I did not think of Natil.” Rijiin said quietly, “I knew I had to keep 
moving and find my way. It seemed to keep my sanity. The Lady did just 
that, she helped me find my way back to her and I am fortunate to find 
her again. This time I am not going to let her slip away.” 

Rijiin poured a crimson liquid from a dusty bottle into the glasses. 

“Hear... Hear...” 

“So what do you have there Rijiin?” 

“Something I have kept for such a special occasion.” Rijiin replied,
holding up the glass to examine the crimson liquid in a brandy glass 
that he had in front of him. 

The elf in the last couple of months had traveled back to his place in
the woods, the very one that he had left behind a long time ago. He 
recovered many things, taking them back with him to his new home. 
Rijiin had a treasure trove of antiques that spanned several centuries 
that he brought back and shipped by air - freight container to the 
states. He now stood among his friends with his glass in his hand. 

“Brandy produced in 1783.” He said, “A good year, 1783. Mozart wrote his
first mass, the McDuffie brothers went up in their first balloon. 
England recognized the Independence of the United States.” 

There was a long silence, a pause as the others glanced at each other,
unsure what to make of this strange toast. Rijiin quoted words from a 
movie he knew quite well called ‘Highlander' and the words of Conner 
McCloud. His life had certainly been like that movie, living many 
secret lives and a life that spanned through the many centuries in 
solitude with no sign of the Lady or the power of the elves. 

He certainly had surprised them all with the antiques he had brought
back from Europe that were probably worth a small fortune for what they 
were. A whole part of the finished basement was converted and setup 
just for Rijiin, dedicated to the claymores, armor, shields, pictures 
and other artifacts that he collected throughout the centuries. It is a 
fortress of solitude for Rijiin where he could work on his writing, 
sitting at a solid oak desk in corner of the room. Otherwise, it was 
large enough to allow him to exercise with his blade, or meditate. 

“Really,” Marsh said, “Quite sure are we?” 

Rijiin glanced at him with a knowing smile on his face. Hadden and the
others had silent grins on their faces. They realized where the quote 
and toast had come from. It seemed to be fitting for how long Rijiin 
had wandered across the face of the world. 

“Yes.” Rijiin replied, “I am quite sure.” 

He raised the glass and he sipped at the superb drink. The others
followed suit. Marsh coughed after sipping the crimson liquid. 

“Holy Christ, that's smooth.” He croaked, and there was laughter among
the group. Rijiin smiled broadly at the hilarity and the jokes that 
followed. 

“Ah what's the matter Marsh, not man enough for a little brandy?” Hadden
joked, “I guess when it comes to hand fasting time we will have to have 
a supply of milk on hand just for him.” 

Laughter followed through the group, making light of the moment. Marsh
of course, laughed too grinning ear to ear. 

“How old is this brandy anyway?” Dell asked and Rijiin turned, taking
another sip. 

“About two hundred and five years old.” Rijiin replied, “I was in
England at the time.” 

“Wow.” TK gasped, taking a sip, “Man this is some good stuff. I like
your style Rijiin.” 

Rijiin smiled and bowed slightly. They stood around toasting and
drinking as he remembering many time he had traveled the world over. 
There was always one thing he cherished most, what lay ahead with his 
beloved Harper. He could not say he was wrong. 

A couple of months passed quickly into January without incident, and
within those months, Rijiin and Natil became almost inseparable. Rijiin 
was not far from Natil, taking up a job at Kingsley College working 
with computers as a Tech Support staff member on campus. He was in 
charge of field support on campus for the many PC's and other platforms 
used by staff members and students on campus. 

The maiden dined many a lunch with her companion and they did so as a
couple. During their break, most times, they sat in a secluded park 
like area on campus and they went to the Lady often utilizing the old 
ways. He also knew that the elves of Denver were just now seeing 
starlight and the Lady and only recently had been able to go meet her, 
as the first borne elves had been able to. 

Rijiin held his arm around his beloved Harper's waist as they walked
onto the campus of Kingsley every day. They stood outside her shack as 
they held each other, staring into each other's eyes a long time before 
they kissed. 

“By our Lady, I love you.” Rijiin said, touching her cheek and she
flushed a bit. 

“As do I my love.” 

“I'll see you here at five.” He told her, smiling and nodded shortly,
“We can have lunch whenever you like.” 

“I'd like that beloved.” Natil replied as she stared at him. He nodded
and turned to walk toward the Aylesberg Hall, the Administration 
building on campus. 

She still could not believe he was here, walking among them, alive and
well after a long time apart. The Harper examined him, staring at his 
tight, hard, muscular buttocks, his narrow waist and ripped abs and 
arms. She found herself blushing, realizing what she was doing. Natil 
was checking him out. The maiden suddenly realized fully she was madly 
in love, more so as the days and weeks progressed. 

They dined in the cafeteria near the student union on campus at twelve
o'clock. As they pushed open the glass door, many voices echoed the 
room where a sea of tables lay before them and many people sat at those 
tables. The room itself is rather large, with large windows letting the 
bright light spill into the room. It reminded Rijiin of another college 
that was far away from here, called De Anza College in Cupertino, CA. 
It is a place after he received his Associate's Degree that he spent 
some time taking classes to further his career in Information 
Technology.  It is here he met Robert and Mimi to become fast friends 
with them. Natil and Rijiin navigated the tables quickly and headed to 
the Sandwich Corner. 

“Lunch is on me beloved.” Rijiin told the Harper and Natil managed a
smile as he met the stare of the middle-aged Hispanic woman who stood 
behind the counter. She is dressed in white from head to toe. She wears 
a stained apron and her hands she wears plastic gloves. The woman has 
long black hair, neatly put up under a hairnet. 

“What can I getcha?” She asked and he pondered a moment glancing at the
menu. 

“I'll take a pastrami combo, number one.” He said, “Everything but
jalapenos on it please, and hold the mayo.” 

“I'll take a ham and turkey sandwich combo.” Natil told her, and the
woman scribbled down the order quickly. She handed it off to another 
person and Rijiin turned to cast a long sweeping gaze to the cafeteria. 


“Busy place today...” Rijiin casually commented and Natil turned to scan
the surroundings, “It reminds me of another college a long time ago.” 

“Ah yes, De Anza wasn't?” Natil asked and he nodded. 

“Yes, you have a fine memory Natil.” He told her with a grin, “A place I
miss sometimes, but for those times, I would have rather spent it with 
you in the fourteenth century.” 

He turned as a plate containing his sandwich was passed into his hands.
Another plate was handed to Natil. Large cups, turned upside down, sat 
on their trays and silverware lay discarded next to it. When they 
reached the cashier an older woman quickly punched buttons on the 
computerized cash register. 

“That will be nine dollars.” She told Rijiin and he handed her a
ten-dollar bill. The register beeped quietly as the drawer opened and 
she handed him back the change.  He put the change in a container on 
the counter that was for the cure for Cerebral Palsy. 

“Ironic they have something for C.P.” Rijiin thought, thinking of Mimi
before her transformation from a human to an elf. She went to school 
here part time and she worked in Denver not far from here. Turning they 
navigated the room again. 

“It looks like there is very little room here beloved.” Rijiin told her
and she nodded. Together they made their way to the fountain drink 
counter and they both filled up the large cups. He pointed to a nearby 
table where there were two open seats. Taking a seat, they put their 
trays down. As they ate, between bites, they talked about their hand 
fasting, ironing out a few details that had come to Rijiin's mind. 
Natil liked the idea for Marsh's band to play for the hand fasting, and 
Hadden to walk her down the aisle. Natil blushed at the thought and 
smiled openly at the suggestion. 

“Have you asked him?” Natil asked and Rijiin nodded. 

“He was all geeked out about it.” Rijiin replied, and he smiled when
Natil laughed quietly. 

“I thought he might.” The Harper replied, “Who is going to officiate our
hand fasting?” 

“That's the last thing I am working on.” Rijiin replied, “Don't worry I
have something in mind.” 

He placed his hand on hers, and with the other, he held a small box.
Natil gasped loudly staring at a felt box, not more than probably two 
inches square. 

“I almost forgot this mistress Harper.” He said handing her the box. 

“What's this?” She asked and he grinned. 

“Open it.” 

Natil fumbled with the box for just a moment and when she peered into
the open box is an s-curved setting where a single one caret diamond 
surrounded by smaller diamonds were set next to it. 

“Oh my word!” Natil stammered, “It's beautiful.” Rijiin took it out of
the box and put it on her left hand on the appropriate finger, leaving 
the shadow band, also set with small diamonds in the box. Natil 
immediately blushed staring at the ring in silence. 

“Remember the Saint Brigid gold florins?” He asked and she nodded, “I
paid for it with those, according to the gold price, that amount of 
gold is worth about a two thousand dollars a piece.” 

“You still had Florins from Saint Brigid and Adria?” Natil asked,
stunned by the news, and he nodded with a smile. “They are some 
souvenirs of another time and a special place. I still have a lot of 
them.” 

“You really should not have done that.” Natil chided, “A hand fasting
according to tradition is cords tied in a Celtic knot after it is 
placed over your hand. 

“I read about it. But in common traditions the bride usually has a ring
to signify a union with someone.” He replied, “I thought we could mix 
hand fasting and the traditional methods of marriage, besides it was 
too beautiful to pass up, just like you.” 

Natil smiled, tears welling up as she leaned forward to kiss him. 

“Thank you beloved.” Natil told him and he nodded. They finished off
their lunch and he glanced at the clock to gasp aloud. 

“Oh dear lady, Time to get back to work,” He told her, “I will see you
at five at your shack.” 

Standing they embraced and he departed while Natil walked back to her
shed, staring at the ring in the light that brightly sparkled. The 
Harper found herself stunned by the beauty of its setting and the 
unique shape of it. 

“He must have paid a fortune for it.” She thought, walking toward her
shed. 

Little did she know that it was a gift from an Arch Duke around sixteen
hundred and forty. Natil walked into the shed, and put the ring in a 
safe place before gathering up the tools needed to clear the snow that 
accumulated on the walk that came down in thick flakes. She pull 
started the motor of her tractor and hopping up into the seat to 
proceed to lower the scoop and plow away the snow. 

Like clockwork at five, they met up at her shack, embracing each other
before they walked together to the bus stop that would take them west 
into the mountains and together they hiked to the home, hand-in-hand 
with Mimi and Becky who joined them on the bus to the last stop. It 
reminded Natil a lot of Adria, their adventures together as they 
traveled the realm and that overlook Rijiin had found in his travels in 
the region. 

“Just like that overlook near the Home.” Natil thought and she smiled
quietly to herself at the pleasurable memories of the past and now 
future they would be sharing together as husband and wife. 

Another month and a half passed quickly, like clockwork and more
preparations were on the way for their wedding. Rijiin found himself in 
downtown Denver, and outside a travel agency. He had just been walking 
by when he spied the two glass display cases that dominated the brick 
wall of the building. They are both on the outside of a narrow heavy 
plate glass door between them, the window covered with brochures of 
exotic places to travel. The elf smiled as he watched the television in 
the window for a moment and looked at the brochures on the 
cloth-covered surface beside it. The display, decorated with a lawn 
chair, swimming goggles, and an umbrella sits in the middle of the 
glass display. He laughed when he saw a ducky swim float next to the 
lawn chair. He stared at many of the brochures in silence. 

“Hey this is a great honeymoon idea, take her on a cruise.” Rijiin
thought to himself, and yet he balked at the overpriced numbers for 
each trip, “It's not going to be cheap that's for sure.” 

He noted there were so many to choose. He glanced up at the sign: ‘Rocky
Mountain Travel Agency.' He turned his attention back to the display. 

Rocky Mountain Travel Agency  - Cruise Lines 

Hawaii Cruise (7day/6 night) - $2,150 per person Bahamas Cruise – $429
per person Caribbean Cruise - $1166 per person (5 day/4 night) Alaska 
Cruise - $1520 per person (7 day/6 night) Australia Cruise - $826 Per 
Person (7 day/6 night) S. American Cruise – 3,100 Per Person (7 day/6 
night) 

Still intrigued he stepped to the other side where a lot of photos and
official itinerary for a private yacht for a Mexican Rivera trip for 
two. He read the brochure tacked to a cloth covered background with 
silver thumbtacks and as he read more, he found himself interested by 
the display. 

Mexican Rivera Cruise: - Sun Cruises Ltd. 

Come and travel with us to the exotic ports de Mexico. A fun filled
all-inclusive trip to south of the border for 7 days/6 nights from the 
Port of Los Angeles. 

Just $1500.00 for a party of two. (Round trip ticket.) Amenities include


Fine Dining			       Casino Floor Shows				Full Buffet Comedy
Club			Deep Sea Fishing Excursion Paragliding Excursion	       Full 
Cocktail Lounge Online Business Center              	 	Gift Shop 
Laundry Service		Private Beach Party Excursion Snorkeling/Scuba 
Excursion       		Golf Excursion 	Onboard Gym 

Ports include San Diego, Encinitas, Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, and
Acapulco (Airfare not included). 

“Now that is something we can do for our honeymoon.” Rijiin told
himself, and he grinned, stepping aside for a person on a bike to pass 
before he moved toward the doorway. He pushed the heavy plate glass 
door open and a bell sounded. A young woman appeared from the back 
room. She is perhaps in her thirties and she was dressed in white 
pants, a striped shirt, and a blue denim jacket. The woman has a 
pleasant round face, brown/blond hair and blue eyes. She wore a nametag 
on the jacket that read 'Julie.' He immediately thought of the ‘Love 
Boat TV Show' and he grinned. Julie McCoy had been the Cruise director 
character aboard the ship where they filmed it. 

“My name is Julie, may I help you?” She asked and Rijiin picked up the
brochure for the Mexican Rivera Cruise. 

“Yes, I'd like to purchase tickets for this cruise. My fiancé and I are
getting married soon and I thought this would be a splendid honeymoon.” 


“Oh! Congratulations. Yes, it is a great and affordable trip along the
California and Mexican Coast down to Baja California, Cabo and Puerto 
Vallarta. It is a popular cruise during the Red season, high traffic 
and during Spring Break.” 

“Sounds interesting with all the amenities it offers.” Rijiin told her
and she nodded. 

“This in particular trip offers a lot of excursions with it, inclusive.
You will have a wonderful time. You can also elect to go on excursions 
from the ship as it is in port. It ranges from Horse back riding in the 
Sierra Madre, Snorkeling/Scuba excursion off the Marianas Island, Deep 
Sea Fishing in Baja, or have a private Beach party on a beach near the 
Marianas Island. There is a lot to do during the trip.” 

“Sounds like it.” Rijiin replied and he sat down at her desk. 

“Will you need airfare to get to Los Angeles also?” She asked and he
nodded. 

“Yes, for two, first class.” He replied, and the young woman nodded. 

“That will cost you about seven hundred and thirty four fifty.” She
quoted looking at the computer. I will discount for the cost of the 
cruise and the Airfare into one bundle. It will be about two thousand 
and thirty four dollars and some odd cents.” 

“That's quite a lot.” Rijiin mused and she shook her head. 

“It's a great deal when you can bundle air fare and a cruise into one.” 

“I see your point, and I think you just got a customer.” He said with a
smile and Julie handed him a clipboard. 

“Please fill out the form here and personal information, such as
address, city, zip, phone, etc.” She instructed and he took out a pen 
and he set to work. 

“Would you like a soda or water?” She asked, and the elf nodded. 

“Soda please.” Rijiin replied as he began writing on the form. A few
moments later, she returned with a Coca-Cola ™, “Thank you kindly.” 

With one finger, the elf popped the top to take a determined sip of it.
The form was ten pages long, one of them a survey from which he filled 
out and he signed. Rijiin handed back to the form to the young woman. 

“Nice to meet you Mr. L'Thil...?” She asked with a question and he
looked up. 

“It's pronounced Theil, but you were close.” Rijiin corrected and he
managed a smile at the young woman, sensing her discomfort. The elf put 
his hand on the desk. “Be at peace miss. I didn't mean to make this 
harder than it is.” 

“Oh no you're fine.” She replied nasally, busily typing and entering the
data in the computer. “This computer is kind of flakey some times.” 

“So when are you getting married?” Julie asked, “If you don't mind a
personal question.” 

“Oh no, not at all, we are getting married in June, during the
Summer...” Rijiin replied, “We've been together for a long time and my 
fiancé just now felt like she was ready to tie the knot, so to speak.” 

“Oh, it's a long engagement!” She exclaimed, “How romantic.” 

“Something like, that.” Rijiin replied, making small talk. He was
careful to hide his accent, and withhold that he had been with her four 
hundred plus years, a short time at that. It would have been a 
situation for Rijiin that would not bode well with the young human 
helping him. 

“I will also need your driver's license for identification.” The
youthful woman said and he quickly dug it out, brand new fresh off the 
presses. Rijiin handed it to her and she took down the information. 
Handing it back she smiled pleasantly. 

“Your trip confirmation has been sent to you via mail, and it will
include the airline ticket to Los Angeles Int'l Airport where you will 
be picked up by complimentary limo and taken to the ship out of the 
port of Los Angeles.” After five minutes of entering the data, she hit 
print and the tickets spit out of the classic HP III DeskJet™ that sat 
on a small stand. She took the perforated pages, breaking them apart 
and put the tickets into a small sleeve. He handed his VISA™ to the 
young woman who slid it in a slide reader and it beeped accusingly at 
her. 

“Okay it is going to be Two Thousand and thirty four dollars and fifty
cents total that is the two tickets to board the SS Salvador Hato, and 
two round trip tickets from Denver Int'l to Los Angeles Int'l Airport. 
I assume credit?” Julie asked and Rijiin nodded. 

After a moment, it printed a tag that he signed quickly. He took the
yellow and handed her the white copy. 

“You are all set.” She said, “My card and information is in there, if
you have any questions and you can use these tickets up to a year.” 

“Thanks.” 

“Enjoy yourselves and congrats again.” Julie replied, “Thank you for
choosing Rocky Mountain Travel Agency.” 

She peered at the strange young man she had just helped as he walked out
of the agency. The young woman did not know what to think of him, other 
than he was rather handsome, and youthful. 

“He is almost too youthful.” Julie thought to herself and thankfully, to
the elf, she did not notice the strange aura surrounding the elf or 
notice the twinkle of starlight in his eyes. 

Traveling back to the college, he arrived five minutes before the end of
his lunch and he quickly punched in on the terminal in the computer 
lab. The elf took out the tickets and he put them in a leather 
briefcase that contained important documents for his support role as a 
computer person on campus. He found he could hardly wait to hand the 
tickets to Natil, to see her surprised face. Work for the elf was busy, 
but the hours seemed to fly by quickly. 

When he looked up at the clock, he managed a grimace that it read four
forty-five. He would meet Natil soon and both would make their way to 
Elven-Home. At the end of the day, at five P.M. Rijiin walked quickly 
along the sidewalk past Aylesberg Hall, the Administration building, 
and the Student Union on campus, heading to a back area toward a metal 
shack. Meeting his fiancé, he kissed her lightly on the lips, as she 
warmly embraced him. 

“Good afternoon Mr. L'Theil.” She said with a teasing tone and he smiled
managing a quiet laugh. 

“Good afternoon soon to be Mrs. L'Theil.” He teased back and she
laughed. 

“You know, that really sounds corny.” Natil told him and he frowned. 

“It's all I could think of when I was transforming into an elf, who
heard of an elf named Nathaniel?” 

She laughed and nodded, “Good point.” 

“Besides, that name should not be in existence now, that part of me died
when they found my so called body in a gully.” Rijiin continued, and 
here the elf paused a moment and after pondering, he managed a grin. 
“Nice to be free isn't?” 

She cast a surprised look at him for the notion of what had happened and
he had indicated he was still all right with it. Natil smiled widely 
and she embraced him. 

However, little did the elf know that in another timeline, another
place, even another existence that possibly that he was doing it all 
over again as a human being. He would possibly find the shop, the 
portal and travel through it. 

“The same feeling he had when he healed Mimi and Rebecca.” Natil thought
and she slowly nodded in agreement. 

“Are you about ready to leave, beloved?” Rijiin asked and she shook her
head. 

“Fifteen minutes.” She replied with a grimace, “Trying to pick up and
catch up on my paperwork.” 

“Oh fun.” Rijiin replied with a smile, turning to stare outside at the
snow-covered ground, and feeling the cold wind chill, he shivered and 
stepped inside her shed. It was warmer than the outside.  The 
overwhelming smell of oil and gasoline permeated the air. Her office is 
small, with a desk crammed in it, with a small chair amongst the 
blowers weed eaters, mowers and tools for her gardening. 

“It is another typical cold, snowy February day in Denver.” Rijiin
thought, and placed his briefcase down on the chair beside him. He 
watched his beloved Harper as she worked, or glanced at the papers he 
carried with him, including the Travel Itinerary for their plane trip 
and boat trip. He then realized that she had never been on an airplane 
and he managed a grin, looking forward to her experience abroad. 

Fifteen minutes later they stepped out of the shed onto the snow covered
walk and they walked together to the battered blue van belonging to 
Hadden that took them onto the highway 70, leading them into the 
mountains. They got off the highway, second to last stop and picked up 
Becky who clambered into the van through the side door from her job. 

“Damn its cold.” Becky complained, “The temperature must be in the
negative numbers with the bloody wind.” 

“Last I looked it was about 15 degrees out here.” Rijiin told her and
she grimaced. 

“Brrr that's too damn cold, at least in California for February it was
usually maintaining a constant 45-50 degrees.” She complained, “I guess 
it's going to be hot chocolate all around when we get to the home, 
something to at least warm my cold bones.” 

Natil and Rijiin both chuckled quietly. They went up two blocks and
stopped, allowing Mimi to board the van too, greeting her warmly. 
Together they took off to Highway 70 again into the mountains. They 
soon came to Highway 6 and they made the transition. 

“Next stop... Elven Home!” Natil said merrily, and she met the smiling
faces of her passengers. They soon came to the familiar turn off and 
they found their way on the makeshift road that led to the Home. 

When they arrived, Natil, Rijiin, Becky and Mimi exited the vehicle and
walked with soft steps through the thick falling snow, to a side door. 
Here they entered, stepping inside to a whoosh of warmth that filled 
the air, as the electric heater kept the place around sixty degrees 
when no one was at the home. Rijiin walked to the fireplace and he 
immediately put logs in it and lit a fire that started to heat the 
entire home. 

He sat with Natil on the plush benches in one of the many alcoves, his
alcove with some of his antiques and there they watched the clouds 
billow outside as large snow flakes fell on the cold ground of the 
Rocky Mountains. 

Becky and Mimi sat with them too, all sipping hot cocoa, from white
ceramic mugs. Rijiin, Natil, Mimi and Becky as they sat in the alcove, 
laughed, cried and talked among themselves. A vigorous conversation 
about the past, remembering happier times in a place they had all been 
together for a long time and what happened for today at their new jobs 
in Denver. Becky secured a job as a Secretary at a local law firm. Mimi 
got a job with a school as a Teacher's Assistant. Other times they sat 
in silence, staring at the flakes or with their eyes closed, at the 
starlight. 

“I have something for you beloved.” Rijiin said breaking the silence,
and turning to his briefcase, he grabbed the tickets, “These are for 
you Natil, a gift to you my beloved fiancé.” 

“What do you have there Rijiin?” Mimi asked as Natil took the tickets
and peered at them. She examined the ticket and itinerary for American 
Airlines flight 556 to Los Angeles, California and the other ticket to 
board the SS Salvador Hato the Liner/Yacht that would be taking them on 
a cruise to Mexico. She stared at the brochure with a shaking hand. 

“Happy honeymoon!” He exclaimed merrily, smiling broadly, as she read
the brochure that came with the tickets. Natil embraced him warmly 
after a moment. 

“My word, you are going to take me on a cruise to the Mexican Rivera?”
Natil exclaimed, “It is wonderful Rijiin, I love it! I love you.” 

“You got her a cruise ticket?” Becky gasped, “Oh you are so lucky
mistress Harper.” 

“I heard about that cruise, it's really well done.” Mimi declared, “A
friend at De Anza went on it with her husband and they had a ball.” 

“Thanks beloved, you really made my day.” The Harper told him, “I was
wondering what you were up to the other day looking stuff up on AOL™.” 

“I actually saw it in a place while I was downtown Denver today and the
brochure was so intriguing, I had to look into it. It has a lot of 
amenities as you can see, and several excursions, adventure trips on 
shore.” 

“I am pleased you thought of it.” Natil replied, “It looks like a
wonderful cruise.” 

“How much did it cost you Rijiin?'” Mimi asked, “My friend said it cost
them over three thousand dollars for round trip and airfare.” 

“I got a sweet deal for the time we are going. It is not quite the red
season which is high travel months like JuLY to September and it's far 
after spring break.” He said, “It only cost two thousand and thirty 
four dollars with tax. Both with airfare and the cruise itself are 
together in the cost.” 

“Geeze, you made out like a bandit.” Mimi replied, and Rijiin grinning,
nodded his head. 

“You are going to have a ball, make sure you take a lot of pictures and
maybe a video camera to tape it if possible.” Becky added jokingly, “I 
can bet everyone would love to see your adventures on tape.” 

“I can do that.” Rijiin promised and he smirked at his fiancé who was
also smiling. 

“Here's to a happy wedding for my friends.” Mimi said and all smiled as
Becky brought another round of cocoa to the alcove. The four of them 
tapped their mugs together in toast. 

“Amen.” Natil murmured and she smiled too. 

When it reached April, time seemed to move rapidly along for Natil and
Rijiin before they knew it. The sun came out from behind the many 
clouds parked over the Rockies and spring-like conditions came to the 
woods around Elven Home. Snow still caked the Rockies at the higher 
elevations, a few patches were still around the Home but the elves were 
out in it over the weekend, turning to and making good use of the 
perfect weather. 

As the time passed, Natil realized she is growing more nervous by the
day and the days ahead clicking quickly down toward the event of a 
lifetime. Natil knelt next to her garden, attempting to weed and plant, 
but her mind is elsewhere at this moment. Her mind is focusing upon the 
event to come, her wedding to Rijiin. 

She is a typical bride, fretting over the arrangements made for their
wedding and double-checking everything setup by the wedding planner. 
Natil kept running through a mental checklist of the wedding party, and 
all the components involved, especially fretting over scripted words 
belonging to the hand fasting ceremony while in her room before going 
outside to the garden. 

“What if this goes wrong?” She thought to herself, “What if I don't say
them right? This is hardly Adria of the fourteenth century. What if I 
cannot remember the words to say?” 

She gasped aloud at the turmoil of thoughts cascading in her mind and
shook her head slightly as if to clear them away.  Natil suddenly 
realized how nervous she is right now. The Harper had gasped when she 
had glanced at the wall of her room this morning in the Home, peering 
at a calendar tacked there and realizing the date. 

“By the Lady, my wedding is only two months away!” Natil thought,
quickly reminding herself of the time and that her day is not quite 
upon them yet. Despite the time closing on them both, the Harper 
realized there are still many things needed to be finished before she 
could relax. Rijiin had been taking a lot of the strain off her, being 
a fine future husband, making the necessary calls and changes that 
Natil wanted to see for their wedding. Rijiin also comforted her often 
at the home, showing her a deeper love than she realized. 

She also realized that she is having difficulty focusing on her job at
Kingsley. The turmoil started taking its toll on her and causing her to 
make her first mistakes ever while on the job. The mistakes were simple 
and small, but nothing serious that she and her crew could quickly 
repair or change. The Harper and her crew had been tilling the 
flowerbeds, getting them ready for the planting at the end of the 
month. The Harper, on accident hit a water pipe for the sprinklers that 
had to be un-earthed and repaired before they planted for the spring 
semester. Here Natil fought to put the offending images of her personal 
life aside and closed her eyes to let the starlight sooth her very 
soul. 

The Harper, shaking her head, had cleared the images and here she
managed a smile, knowing that once wedding ceremony itself is complete, 
she could relax during the honeymoon with Rijiin. She focused on those 
images and managed a slight nod and a smile. 

“I hope everything goes smoothly.” Natil coached herself, “Please let it
go smoothly.” 

Looking up from her work in the garden at the home, she stared at her
betrothed who worked with TK, Hadden, and Marsh nearby. Rijiin helped 
dig a trench for a drainage system for the garden and flood control 
around the Home. Natil quietly smiled, staring at the men who had their 
shirts off and the Harper watched Rijiin's hard muscles ripple. She 
noted the few scars he had on his muscular form as he hefted the 
pickaxe, thrusting it into the ground. Natil found herself totally 
mesmerized by the spectacle of the elf-meat, her soon to be mate that 
stood next to the garden's edge. 

“By the Lady, he is handsome.” Natil said to herself realizing she was
madly in love with Rijiin. “I am glad the Goddess sent you back to me. 
I don't know what I could do if I lost you again now that you are back 
with me.” 

She forced her eyes back to her garden where she had been working but
kept periodically glancing up at the men as they took a break. They all 
took a beer from the chest, Becky had brought them full of ice-cold 
beer. The other elves worked outside around the home too. Dell, Fox and 
Web brought trees to plant on the property. Tristan and Raven worked on 
the roof, repairing and cleaning the gutters. Ash, Heather, Laurie, 
Bright, and Sana were working inside. They also were helping and 
helping Allesandro and Wheat in the kitchen as they prepared lunch for 
everyone. Kelly kept herself occupied in one of the many alcoves of the 
home with a novel. 

Becky, though was running drinks as needed keeping the men stocked with
ice-cold beer and the others with a pitcher of iced tea, she also 
helped Mimi and Natil in the garden. Natil noted the drastic changes 
she had gone through since they found healing and transformation by 
Elven magic of the past. Becky like Mouse looked so Elven. Both were 
very lean and slender with long dark colored hair that draped to their 
shoulders. Their features were fair, with brown and blue eyes that 
twinkled strongly of starlight. Hardly the same as they had been before 
their transformation. 

She wondered if any more of the group with them at De Anza College who
would come to Denver after the magic from Rijiin's hand had spilled 
outward as he had healed Mimi. Shaking her head the images faded. It 
was extremely difficult to say if it did or not. It depended on the 
amount that had been absorbed and exposure to the energy around them. 

A moment later, the hilarity started when Heather stepped outside of the
door and rounded the corner, followed by Wheat, Laurie, Bright, Ash, 
and Sana. They had all come out to ready the barbeque for lunch and 
brought snacks for everyone on metal trays. Ash and the others smiled 
when they saw the men working near the garden, noting their shirts were 
off. 

“Wooo! Hubba Hubba.” Heather shouted gleefully, “Sexy half naked elf
meat! Avert your eyes, gals.” 

Ash, Wheat, Laurie, Sana and Bright all laughed heartily, mock fanning
themselves with their hands, and mock swooning. Raven and Tristan 
peered over the edge of the roof grinning broadly. Dell, Fox and Web 
glanced up from their planting to flash an amused smile on their faces. 


Hadden, TK, Marsh and Rijiin looked up to smile at Heather and the
others. They glanced at each other for a moment to laugh, then dropped 
their tools to mock pose and flex like body builders. There was instant 
hilarity among the elves, as all burst into hysterical laughter, even 
Natil laughed loudly. The laughter lasted over fifteen whole minutes. 

“Oh baby!” Ash called out, “Sweaty man-meat. Oh baaaby, flex them
muscles.” 

Whistles and catcalls followed by the others. 

“You mean Elf meat.” TK commented, and there was more laughter. 

“We'd better be careful guys.” Hadden said with a mock horror, “We poor
guys might get our bones jumped.” 

“I wouldn't mind that.” Rijiin said with a snicker, “Bring it on!” 

“You know you can get your wish later, Rijiin.” Natil catcalled, and the
others smiled openly at the Harper after an ‘Ooooo' sound. 

“Now, now... Put the hormones in park and let us get this section done
before lunch. Let's get back to work men.” Hadden said with a chuckle, 
and the four of them put down their beers. They returned working on the 
drainage piping and together they placed a length or two of piping in 
their ditch, connecting it to another main drainage pipe.  Rijiin 
turned his head to Natil who knelt next to the garden. He winked at 
her, making her blush. Ash shook her head. 

“I have snacks for everyone who wants any.” She announced, “By the
goddess, everyone take five for Pete sake.” 

The elves dropped what they were doing and all gathered around the tray.
They each dipped into the chest of soda, pitcher of iced tea or the 
chest of beer. The men stuck to beer of course. Natil grinned at her 
soon to be husband who stood over her, peering lovingly into his gray 
eyes. He put out a hand and Natil took it allowing him to help her to 
her feet. He helped brush off the loose dirt from her gardening 
clothes. 

“My thanks, beloved.” She told him and he smiled. 

“I kind of like the sound of that.” He replied and she saw him flash a
pleased expression at the thought. 

Allesandro appeared at the door with a platter in hand containing
hamburgers, hotdogs, corn, steaks, and potatoes. Hadden walked to his 
side, quickly grabbing an apron and a spatula to assist his kinfolk at 
the grill.  Everyone who had gathered in the garden area sat on the 
wood benches along a groomed gravel pathway or on the grass. Drinks 
passed hand-over-hand until everyone had one. Rags made his rounds 
wiggling his tail at the attention given to him by the elves. A low 
murmur and laughter rippled through the group. 

As Natil joined in the conversation she glanced periodically at her
fiancé who sat nearby gazing out at the trees, he seemed to be 
preoccupied. The maiden wondered if the wedding worried him. Knowing 
Rijiin too well, she would have said no to that. Something bothered the 
elf and she could not put her finger on it. Rijiin sensing her gaze, 
turned to flash a quick grin and a nod to her, as if to say ‘I am 
alright, don't worry beloved.' 

Rijiin after a moment stood up and went inside, returning shortly with
his sax. He started playing, the music free flowing around them as it 
echoed off the trees and mountains. Natil had gasped openly at the 
music. She realized that it had been a long time since he had played a 
musical instrument in her presence and it startled the Harper.  
Everyone was astonished that Rijiin was playing an instrument and had 
never known that he had talent as a musician. The bittersweet soprano 
sax echoed through the trees. He played ‘Going Home' part of the first 
live album that Kenny G produced. He played it effortlessly, surprising 
everyone present. 

Marsh and TK glanced at each other. TK shrugged slightly, as if to say
‘No big deal, so Rijiin can play.' Rijiin, however, was only playing to 
entertain, not trying to show off for Marsh or TK since they both were 
in the same band. The elf sensed their thoughts and grimaced, moving to 
Natil's side. A look of surprise appeared on everyone's faces when he 
hit a high note and he held it for five minutes. He finished the song 
quickly. 

Beside him, Sana returned from the home and she handed the Natil's old
harp to her. She rippled off a note, tuning it quickly and she nodded 
to Rijiin. 

They were silent as Natil and Rijiin played a duet together, the
Harper's hands smoothly and quickly rippling across the bronze strings 
of her harp. It is a familiar tune from one of many albums of Kenny G 
Rijiin owned on CD.  The song was entitled ‘Sentimental' and it came to 
him quite easily. He played as he walked among his new kin folk who 
watched in silence. Like before when Natil played the harp, there was 
not a dry eye in the group. Wheat sobbed into the arm of Laurie as the 
last ripple of notes and the sax floated away with the wind. Rijiin 
smiled at Natil warmly, nodding his head. 

“Sai-vanima.” Natil told him and she flashed a quiet smile. 

“That was amazing Rijiin!” Mimi said with an amazed look, “Since when
did you ever play.” 

“I had a lot of practice over the centuries.” Rijiin replied, “Had to
take it easy on what I could play, or find myself in the dungeons of 
the Inquisition or kingdom as a warlock, a Wicca spell caster.” 

Natil smiled at the thought but also knew he spoke the truth. He had
seen a lot of time in dungeons before his escape from them. 

“Not bad.” Marsh said with a smile, “Keep practicing. Could we have
another horn blower in Elven Home?” 

“Aye, it appears so Marsh.” TK replied, “He's not too bad at that,
although I am unfamiliar with the music he is playing.” 

“That's my secret.” Rijiin replied with a laugh and he grinned. He
played another duet with Natil. As he played on for half an hour and he 
could sense the swirling starlight, as it surrounded them, the home and 
the area. The others sensed it too and all looked on in amazed silence. 


“It's Kenny G, I think.” Wheat said after a moment, “He's a sax artist
who plays Jazz. It's very interesting that you picked those Rijiin.” 

Rijiin smiled at Wheat's revelation, nodding slightly then bowed
slightly at the waist. 

“I picked him because his music is unique in its own way. He has been a
great influence even through the centuries I wandered. It's mellow, 
very uplifting and can be quite calming.” 

“You play it very well, beloved.” Natil said, and she smiled at her
future husband. Nodding her head, she signaled another duet with him. 

Together, with his beloved on her harp they tackled ‘The Champion's
Theme', a harder piece to master because a section of it required 
several high notes. Rijiin managed to whiz through it with difficulty 
and after they completed the song, there was applause by all. Rijiin 
and Natil both acknowledged the applause in silence.  The last song was 
one that he had wanted to play for Natil for a long time. ‘Forever in 
Love' and she smiled as he played it. 

“Lunch is ready folks.” Hadden announced and they formed a line using
paper plates and loaded up on food to eat outside. Marsh had setup Tiki 
torches that would keep the insect-life away as they ate and provide 
light for later in the evening. Rijiin of course sat next to Natil who 
tackled a decent sized steak. 

“Beloved, I think I have someone for the hand fasting, but they are in
California.” Rijiin started and she looked up in surprise. 

“Will he do it?” 

“I am not sure to be honest. After all they are druid and not Elven.” He
replied, “There might be another if not.” 

“That makes no difference.” Natil replied, “Any denomination can do the
deed.” 

“It is a she mistress.” He replied, “I have not asked yet. It looks very
promising.” 

“We need to get that arranged as the last thing Rijiin.” Natil
counseled, “We need to have that done, we have two months till our 
wedding.” 

“Be at peace, I think I'll have it done by then.” Rijiin replied with a
smile and nod. He planned to surprise the maiden with the Creatrix of 
the elves, old and new who would and could be their officiating party 
over the hand fasting part of the celebration. 

Everyone enjoyed their meal and after they finished, the men quickly
finished off their work outside. They broke close to sunset to watch 
together at the overlook near the home, the sinking sun falling behind 
the mountains in array of deep crimson reds, spectacular burnt orange, 
golden yellows and sinister purple colors. 

“Glorious.”  Rijiin murmured, as he held Natil in his arms “A good end
to a long day.” 

The elf maiden turned slightly, smiling to nod at the revelation of her
lover. Rijiin glanced at the other elves. 

Marsh had Heather in his arms with Kelly beside her. Wheat held Laurie
in her arms. Hadden held Ash in his arms. The others had smiles and 
looks of silent admiration on their faces. They watched until the light 
had gone and the twinkle of many stars appeared in the sky. 

“Thanks for sharing that Rijiin.” A voice said, and looking down he
nodded to the Elfling who stood before her parents.  Marsh put his hand 
on Rijiin's shoulder to nod. 

“It was magnificent.” Hadden said, as he passed the couple with Ash and
the elf managed a smile. They all went back to the home together for a 
new day before the weekday would begin for the rest of the elves' lives 
ahead in the mile high city. 

Natil and Rijiin paused however, standing alone on the overlook and they
peered lovingly into each other's eyes. Even in the pitch-black 
darkness, he could see her clearly in the violet and lavenders that 
highlighted the elves ability to see in the dark. 

“I really love you mistress Harper.” He told her, putting his hands on
her shoulder, “Never changed and I looked forward to this day being in 
your arms again.” 

“As do I you Rijiin. I don't know where I'd be without you after being
returned to me like you had.” 

“Alone like I was, trust me it was not fun what I went through, to see
death destruction, disease, murder, and other dark human emotions, it's 
not a place Elves belonged until now.” 

“You are home, its over, you must let it go.” Natil said, and he nodded.


“I have one month to find renewal if not another year, and perhaps I
will find peace. But for now the goal is to be a good and loving 
husband.” 

She gasped and he embraced the Harper, to kiss passionately. A clearing
of the throat made them turn their heads. Marsh stood near the path 
leading to the home. 

“Are you two coming?” 

“Aye, be right there.” Rijiin replied as he took up Natil's hand, and
with Marsh, they made their way back to the home. It suddenly dawn on 
him that Marsh had echoed the words that Terrill had asked after coming 
home with his Harper to Adria. 

Two months passed quickly before they knew it, during that time
everything was prepared for probably the hardest thing either of them 
were about to do. It was time to celebrate their wedding as a couple. 

People from far away had gathered in Denver to celebrate Rijiin and
Natil's wedding. As the elf walked out the door of the building 
belonging to Tree Star Surveying, he is clad in the familiar green and 
gray garb habitually worn a long time ago. 

Rijiin walked alone toward the party, greeting the many people who
arrived bearing their invitations. He also cast a long panning gaze at 
the surroundings, dressed up in white with netted streamers through the 
trees and a trellis that runs along to the gazebo where the wedding 
will actually take place. 

As he walked further onto the Treestar grounds, he managed a smile and a
nod, greeting the familiar people whom he had known at De Anza College. 
He peered at the familiar faces of ‘Jell-O' Jen, Omar, Chris, Katherine 
and her family, Ray and his wife Lisa, Cathy, Patrick, Steve, and even 
John, Becky's boyfriend. 

They were familiar friends of Mimi and a few of Becky's but only a few
of them were present initially when the elves arrived on that cold 
December morning. The same morning Rijiin and Natil utilized their 
abilities to jump time together, and heal Mimi. A handful of them had 
actually witnessed her transformation into a beautiful young elf 
maiden, touched themselves by the magic of the elves. 

Rijiin greeted each one with a handshake, a nod and some of the female
guests with an embrace. 

Turning his head, he had sensed the young women, Mimi and Becky
approaching. Both were clad in long flowing gowns that fell to the 
ground and seem to flatter the formidable curves of their bodies. 
Rijiin managed a smile at their attire. 

“You both look stunning and beautiful.” He told them and both of them
blushed slightly at the compliment. 

“Thanks Rijiin, you aren't bad looking yourself.” Becky replied and he
smiled. 

“You really wear that well, you always looked like you belonged wearing
that garb.” Mimi complimented and he managed a solemn laugh. 

“Perhaps a long time ago I did, but it does not seem fitting now in the
modern age.” He replied, “But you do have my thanks.” 

“Sure it does, especially for this hand fasting.” Mimi corrected, “You
are an Elven Ranger, and she is an Elven Harper.” 

He laughed loudly, and nodded his head, but his laughter subsided when
it dawned on him that he had not seen it like that. He raised an 
eyebrow and he met the amused expressions of Mimi and Becky. 

“That is a very good observation.” Rijiin said, “I never looked at it
that way before...” 

Both maidens bowed slightly. 

Becky and Mimi had turned to their friends, embracing many as Rijiin
made small talk. He turned, excusing himself to mingle with the large 
audience that had shown up. Beside them, the elf met the smiles and the 
warm greeting of Katie Roth from Bellbrook, and the others whom he 
recognized from the old school he had attended a long time ago. The elf 
embraced Stephanie Rhiner, Janae Dorn, Kathy Lehman, Amy Panstingle, 
Melinda Morris and Angie Stethem, even Emily Montgomery and other class 
of ninety.  He shook hands with Mark Alsobrook, Reggie Wax, Doug 
Woolard, Steve Herries, Steve Gardiner and countless others he had 
known once in another lifetime, another dance. He had got in touch with 
them and got their personal information that he could send each an 
invitation. 

“Thank you for coming.” The elf told them, and moved on to stand before
two older women with middle-aged people beside them whom he introduced 
to others as Anne and Margot Frank. 

He had finally confessed one of his sins of violence. Rijiin told the
tale to the elves during one night at the home of that one day when had 
found his way and stumbled onto the sickening scene of a concentration 
camp of Nazi Germany. A place where he helped and healed, slaying the 
soldiers with exact precision. 

He also disclosed finally the horror of how he had declared a one-man
war against the Reich and he massacred a thousand troops after finding 
that camp as judge, jury and executioner. A grim sad reminder of long 
ago when he lived in Adria, slaying the soldiers of the Inquisition of 
the fourteenth century with the same resolve. He admitted changing time 
as he had helped and healed those who had lost their lives in that 
terrible place, saving many of their lives from death itself. Rijiin, 
in his saving many lives, had ultimately changed time leaving an 
uncertain sixty years ahead for Margot, Anne and the many others who 
were supposed to perish there. 

He had surprised the residents with this tale and surprising them at his
resolve to change history without the creation of a paradox that would 
have destroyed time, as they knew it. Rijiin had been carefree with his 
healing during that time, also destroying an enemy and taking the fight 
back to the Nazis for the death of still a million people at their 
hands. 

The Creatrix of the elves had finally intervened to stop Rijiin and
forced him to let history run its course. 

Rijiin returned the embrace of Anne and Margot, who even in their
sixties seemed younger than they were. He greeted their children, now 
in their thirties and their extended family that had come, including 
Miep who had helped them while they were in hiding. He wondered if 
Elven magic was playing tricks on him, or was it something more to what 
is going on around them. They seemed to be surrounded by a strange 
aura, one the elf could not quite put his finger on. 

Turning, the elf crossed the threshold to the gazebo where Lady Elthia
herself stood clad in the familiar blue and silver robe. Rijiin met her 
smile as she held a book in her hands, hand written in Elfish. He noted 
the silver in her long dark hair that cascaded smoothly about her 
shoulders and to her mid back. The elf approached the gazebo and he 
drew his blade, in a sweeping motion bringing it to his forehead in a 
swordsman's honor salute. She smiled at the motion. 

“You do me honor Rijiin.” She told him and he bowed slightly before
sheathing it in the scabbard at his side. 

Inside the building however, at the same moment, the young Harper named
Natil occupies one of the many corner offices inside the Tree Star 
building. As she waits for her day to start, her hand fasting to 
Rijiin, she paces the office back and forth like a caged animal. 

She is dressed in the long ruffled white wedding gown, her face made up
and she wears her hair up in a neat bun. Natil is a young beautiful elf 
maiden but a very nervous bride to be. She held a wad of Kleenex ™ in 
hand, as she dried her tears and nervously wept every few minutes. Her 
gaze fell upon a mirror in the office and transfixed she stared at the 
radiant reflection of herself. The realization had hit her solidly that 
she was going to be wed today and never thought, centuries ago, that 
she would be with someone or find anyone in her travels she could love. 


“Oh by the Goddess, are you ready for this Mistress? Do you know what
you are doing?” 

The Harper had said it aloud as she stared at the mirror, and she
managed a confident nod to the reflection she peered at in the mirror. 
The Harper smiled at the image of herself, a very youthful looking 
Elven woman, who is four point three billion years old, and one of the 
first borne elves of Adria. A young maiden who is now clad in a 
magnificent white ruffled wedding gown of the period. Natil grimaced as 
she felt her eyes welling up with tears. She peered at her beautiful 
reflection. 

“Oh Mirya, Talla, Roxanne, Varden, Terrill, Charity,” She said their
names aloud. “I wish you could see me now. I wish you were here.” 

She had called out the names of those of four hundred years ago, her
friends, and those whom she considered family who faded long ago. 

“We do.”  A voice said echoing in her head and she managed a smile,
holding the Kleenex™ against her face. 

Turning her head, she sensed Heather and Kelly Blues, Hadden, and
Laurie. She had not heard them enter the room behind her. All had heard 
her say those names, and they all stared at the magnificently clad 
Harper in stunned silence. 

“Mommy is that Natil?” Kelly had asked but Heather had been too stunned
to answer right away. She cleared her throat, finding her voice. 

“Yes Elfling that is Natil.” She said in a choked voice, heavy with
emotion. 

Kelly walked toward the Harper who had knelt down and the young girl
embraced her around the neck. Kelly is dressed in a green gown like her 
mother and the other elf maidens who make up her bride's maidens. 

“You are very pretty Natil,” She said, holding her tightly. 

“You are too Elfling.” Natil replied and grunted at the tight embrace by
the young girl. 

“If I may tell you this Natil, you look...” Laurie had said, pausing to
wipe her eyes “Fantastic.” 

Hadden had a smile on his face as he stood there. 

“You do, and quite radiant mistress Harper.” He told her, “A stunning
sight, I told you, you would make a beautiful bride.” 

Natil felt her cheeks get hot as she blushed, fighting back the tears.
Hadden wore a tuxedo, and he looked sharp, his eyes gleaming. 

“Thank you Hadden.” She replied, “Thank you Heather, Laurie, and you too
Kelly.” 

The Harper embraced each of them warmly her friends from the beginning
of her time here at Elven Home. 

“So Natil, are you ready for this?” Heather asked and Natil grimaced as
she shook her head. 

“I can bet you are nervous, I was when I married Marsh.” 

“I just now stopped crying.” Natil admitted, “And I am very nervous. I
am nervous for what I am getting myself into and wonder where life will 
take me from here.” 

“If you think this is a mistake, I doubt it Natil.” Hadden said, “Rijiin
is good and a decent elf, who is one hundred percent in love with you. 
It shows very clearly between you two.” 

Natil felt her eyes tear up and she wiped them, fighting the urge to
start bawling her eyes out again. 

“You and he both deserve all the happiness.” He said, “Even after four
hundred plus years, or four point three billion years, you have 
mistress Harper, found your moment. A moment, that when it comes, you 
should grab onto with both hands, and hold on tight.” 

“Damn.” The Harper muttered, as she wiped her eyes. She gasped, hearing
one of Rijiin's favorite words that he said often. A smile appeared on 
her face. 

“Profound words Hadden.” Laurie said, and he managed a broad grin. 

“So tell me this Natil, why didn't you tell us about Rijiin?”  Laurie
asked, “And who is Varden, Talla, Roxanne, Terrill, Mirya and Charity?” 


“Yea, I never heard those names before. Are they family or something?”
Heather asked, her face showing the same question as Laurie. Questions 
bombarded the Harper who held up her hand. 

“You didn't ask.” Natil replied, “I had long forgotten about Rijiin
until Mimi, and Becky had arrived at the college. As for the others, 
they are the first borne elves, my family that perished into the winds 
of history. A young woman named Roxanne bore the named Sana back then 
and was my kinsman, Varden's lover.” 

“Oh...” 

“She was a very wise and a powerful witch during the times where she
risked being burned at the stake for her beliefs.” 

The group was speechless by Natil's vivid description of Roxanne, who
made the Harper smile at such thoughts of a long time ago. The maiden 
had such good friends and whom she considered family. Natil nodded her 
head three times. 

“I was certainly surprised to see Mimi and Becky again.” Natil replied
solemnly, “I guess this is what the goddess had always meant by saying 
that not one of her children would be separated from her. The Goddess, 
I guess, had waited until everyone had come together before bringing me 
to Denver. Even if would take over four plus centuries to do so.” 

“That is a long time, Mistress Harper.” Hadden admitted gravely, and she
nodded. Natil felt her eyes welling up, as she picked out a tissue. 

“Just relax.” Hadden said, “You will be magnificent Natil.” 

Glancing at his watch, he grimaced realizing the time. 

“It's time.” He told them and he put out his arm which the Harper
reluctantly took. Outside, Natil could hear the music, thanks to Marsh 
and his band who had volunteered to pitch in and help for their 
wedding. The young Harper had butterflies in her stomach as she walked 
with Hadden, trying to keep her composure as they reached the doors 
where Ash stood waiting, baskets in hand. 

“If I must say you look incredible in that dress!” Ash exclaimed and
Natil smiled. 

“Thanks Ash.” The Harper replied, embraced all four of them before
opening a glass door and stepping out into the light. The Harper gasped 
as she appeared from the doorway, staring at Elthia in silence, 
standing next to Rijiin at the gazebo. 

Many murmurs, astonished faces, and smiles appeared on the guest's faces
when they saw the bride. Marsh and the band had stopped playing when 
seeing the Harper and a low gasp echoed across the bandstand. Dell, 
Wheat, Fox, Raven, the other elves turned when they had heard the low 
murmur through the audience. Their gazes had fallen upon the Harper 
dressed in white and respectfully, the audience stood as Hadden led her 
down the aisle. The band began to play with Marsh Blues on the Guitar, 
TK on the Sax and Sana Joy on the Harp. The young woman played, her 
hands rippling across the harp strings. The song is a familiar one 
Rijiin heard before called ‘The Wedding Song.' again by Kenny G and he 
managed an impressed gaze at the bandstand. 

“Thank you Marsh.” He thought, nodding slightly to a smiling Marsh and
TK. 

As Hadden led Natil toward Rijiin, the Harper's gaze fell upon the young
man whom she loved dearly, standing at the gazebo. He stood with the 
Goddess, clad in the familiar green and gray leather, his sword at his 
side and his cloak. He openly wore the same garb that she wore a long 
time ago when she lived in Adria, the same time when a few elves lived, 
to help and heal in the world. 

Rijiin had let out a breath when he had turned to see the beautiful
young Harper appear with Hadden. He stared at his lover, wearing the 
long white flowing wedding gown, and her long dark hair neatly put up 
in a bun. The young elf shook his head silently in amazement at her 
radiant beauty and a low murmur by the audience rippled again through 
the seating. Natil had also gasped when she had appeared at the 
doorway, spying the woman in blue and silver. A smile appeared on her 
face, glancing at Hadden who had her arm. 

“Steady Mistress.” He whispered. 

“I can't believe it but he got someone to officiate our wedding. I am
pleased by his wisdom and his choice.” Natil thought nodding her head 
silently.  She continued walking with Hadden toward the gazebo. 

“By the Lady she is beautiful.” Rijiin thought grinning as the Harper
continued walking down the aisle toward him with her friend Hadden. The 
groom turned as she stood beside him a moment later, taking up her 
strong hands to kiss them, before turning to lead her into the 
structure.  Hadden took up his place on Rijiin's left side, joined by 
Marsh, TK, and Dell. 

Sana, TK and Marsh had dashed down the aisle from the bandstand.
Heather, Ash, Kelly, Lauri, and Sana took their places beside Natil on 
the right side. 

Both Elves had turned to face the woman robed in blue and silver.
Together they knelt before her. Elthia herself moved a hand over them 
as she blessed them, reading from the book in her hands. After a 
moment, the woman nodded and both opened their eyes, grinning at each 
other before meeting the smile of their Creatrix. 

The other elves had been astonished to see the woman in blue and silver
who blessed the couple. They knew her by name, as-if they knew her all 
their lives. They stared at her beauty and they openly were smiling. 

“Arise thy son, arise thy daughter of Earth.” The Lady said and she met
the others who watched her intently. Rijiin and Natil stood facing each 
other.  The audience with a shuffle retook their seats. 

“Know now before you go further, that since your lives have crossed in
this life you have formed ties between each other. As you seek to enter 
this state of matrimony, you should strive to make real, the ideals 
that give meaning to both this ceremony. Also the institution of 
marriage,” intoned the Lady. Here she paused and nodded a couple of 
times. 

“With full awareness, know that within this circle you are not only
declaring your intent to be hand fasted before your friends and family, 
but you speak that intent also to your creative higher powers.” 

“The promises made today and the ties that are bound here greatly
strengthen your union; they will cross the years and lives of each 
soul's growth.” She continued, and here she paused to glance at Rijiin 
and Natil. 

“Do you still seek to enter this ceremony?” 

“Yes, we seek to enter.” Natil and Rijiin both replied together. 

“In times past it was believed that the human soul shared
characteristics with all things divine. It is this belief which 
assigned virtues to the cardinal directions; East, South, West and 
North.” explained the Lady, “It is in this tradition that a blessing is 
offered in support of this ceremony.” 

She put her hand on the book and closed her eyes. 

“Blessed be this union with the gifts of the East; Communication of the
heart, mind, and body, fresh beginnings with the rising of each Sun and 
the knowledge of the growth found in the sharing of silences.” 

“Blessed be, this union with the gifts of the South; Warmth of hearth
and home, the heat of the heart's passion, the light created by both, 
and to lighten the darkest times.” 

“Blessed be, this union with the gifts of the West; The deep commitments
of the lake, the swift excitement of the river, the refreshing 
cleansing of the rain, and the all encompassing passion of the sea.” 

“Blessed be, this union with the gifts of the North; Firm foundation on
which to build Fertility of the fields to enrich your lives, and a 
stable home to which you may always return.” 

The Lady caught her breath, the starlight flashing around her. 

“Each of these blessings from the four cardinal directions emphasizes
those things which will help you build a happy and successful union. 
Yet they are only tools. Tools which you must use together in order to 
create what you seek in this union.”  She paused as she glanced to the 
couple who held each other's hands. 

“I bid thee to look into each others eyes.” She instructed, and Natil
and Rijiin, both turned to peer lovingly into each other's eyes. 

“Rijiin L'Theil, Will you cause her pain?” asked the Goddess, as she
turned to face him. 

“I may.” 

“Is that your intent?” 

“No, my Lady,” Rijiin replied formally. 

“Natil Summerson, Will you cause him pain?” asked the Goddess, as she
turned to face her. 

“I may.” 

“Is that your intent? “ 

“No, my Lady,” Natil replied, flashing a grin at him. 

“Will you share each other's pain and seek to ease it?” The goddess
asked, standing between Natil and Rijiin who stood beside her. 

“Aye.” 

“And so the binding is made.” The Lady said solemnly, “Join thy hands.” 

The woman, robed in blue and silver, withdrew the first cord and she
draped it across Rijiin and Natil's hands. The cord, heavily woven, 
colored a deep crimson red, and blended with a gold hint to it. 

“Natil Summerson, Harper of Elven Home, and of Malvern. Will you share
his laughter?” Asked the Lady and Natil glanced at Rijiin, smiling 
before she nodded her head. 

“Aye,” Natil replied, “With all my heart.” 

“Rijiin L'Theil, Elf of Elven Home, Will you share her laughter?” Asked
the Goddess, turning to him and she paused as Rijiin met the young 
Harper's look silently. 

He smiled, and a moment later, he too nodded his head. 

“Aye,” Rijiin intoned, “Till thee part at the end of time.” 

The Goddess turned her head from Natil to Rijiin who met her fair
features, looking into her starlit eyes. 

“Will both of you look for the brightness in life and the positive in
each other?” 

“Aye we shall.” Replied the couple together. 

“And so the binding is made.” 

The Goddess draped a second cord across their hands. The cord was this
time was blue with a gold hint to it.  Both turned their heads to the 
Lady who stood waiting. 

“Natil Summerson, Harper of Elven Home and of Malvern, Will you burden
him?” 

“I may.” 

“Is that your intent?” 

“No, my lady,” The Harper replied. 

“Rijiin L'Theil, Elf of Elven Home, Traveler of Earth. Will you burden
her?” 

“I may.” 

“Is that your intent?” 

“No, my lady,” Rijiin replied. 

Again, the Goddess turned to face them both and she held another cord in
her hands.  The cord was brown with a gold hint to it this time. She 
placed the cord across their hands. Looking down the couple stared at 
the cords for a moment. Both shared a reality check. 

“Will you share the burdens of each so that your spirits may grow in
this union? “ 

“Aye,” Rijiin and Natil replied together. 

“And so the binding is made.” 

With that, The Goddess draped the third cord across their hands. 

“Natil Summerson, Harper of Elven Home and of Malvern, will you share
his dreams?” 

“Yes.” 

“Rijiin L'Theil, Elf of Elven Home, will you share her dreams?” intoned
the Goddess. 

“Aye, me Lady,” Rijiin replied. 

Again, the Lady faced them both. 

“Will you dream together to create new realities and hopes,” asked the
Goddess. 

“Aye, we shall.” Natil and Rijiin both replied together. 

“And so the binding is made.” Intoned the Goddess, and she withdrew a
forth cord, draping it across their hands.  The cord was white and gold 
interwoven. All four were heavy and multicolored. 

“Rijiin L'Theil, Elf of Elven Home, will you cause her anger? 

“I may.” 

“Is that your intent?” 

“Nay,” He replied, “It is not.” 

“Natil Summerson, Harper of Elven Home, will you cause him anger?” 

“I may.” 

“Is that your intent?” 

“No, my Goddess,” 

Again, the woman clad in blue and silver turned to them, her eyes
flashing as they met them and with a solemn look on her face. 

“Will you take the heat of anger and use it to temper the strength of
this union?” 

“We will.” replied the couple together. 

“And so the binding is made.” 

This time the Goddess withdrew a bright silver cord, heavily woven and
it seemed to glisten in the light.  She lay it across Rijiin and 
Natil's hands and the couple managed to gasp at the almost luminance of 
the cord. 

“Natil Summerson, Harper of Elven Home, Will you honor him?” 

“I will.” 

Rijiin L'Theil, Elf of Elven Home, Will you honor her?” 

“I will.” 

The Lady met their looks, her gaze moving back and forth to both several
times. 

“Will you seek to never give cause to break that honor?” 

“We shall never do so.” The couple intoned together and they heard a
gasp by all. 

“And so the binding is made.” 

Finally, the Goddess draped a light blue cord across their hands. It was
the same woven cord and it seemed to glow with a strange luminescence. 

The Lady took up both ends and handed them to Rijiin and Natil. 

“The knots of this binding are not formed by these cords but instead by
your vows. Either of you may drop the cords, for as always you hold in 
your own hands the making of breaking of this union.” 

“Are there any objections?” The Lady asked, turning her head to meet the
many faces of the crowd who had gathered here today. “Speak now or 
forever hold thy peace.” 

She had paused, waiting and when no one spoke up, the Lady, clad in the
blue and silver garb, turned to tie the cords together. She made the 
knot quickly and letting go, the goddess smiled at the couple and 
embraced both of them. 

“You come here on this day to be hand fasted, both of you showing your
unbounded love for each other.” With that, the Lady removed the knotted 
cord and she placed it on the small pedestal beside her. “I now declare 
you bound, as husband and wife.” 

“You may kiss the bride!” Raven had shouted, “And make sure it's a good
one!” 

Sprinkles of laughter from all, human and elves alike moved through the
audience. 

Natil and Rijiin laughed and he drew her into his arms. A cheer
resounded through the open air as it echoed around them and louder when 
Natil and Rijiin embraced, passionately kissing each other in front of 
their guests. Applause sounded as they kissed rather heatedly. They 
held it over fifteen minutes, the same way in front of the other elves 
at the home. 

Hadden, Marsh, TK, Dell, Sana, Heather, Ash, Kelly, and Laurie were
smiling openly. The elves glanced at their watches, shuffled their 
feet. 

“Man that elf can kiss...” TK muttered to Marsh, making him and Hadden
chuckle openly. There were giggles by the elf maidens when they heard 
Marsh's comment. When the couple broke their kiss, Rijiin laughed as 
Natil blushed, yelping and sarcastically fanning her face. 

“He's a criminal!” Natil gasped, “Oh dear Lady.” 

She fanned her blushing face and there was laughter by Hadden, Marsh,
Sana, TK, Dell, Heather, Ash and Laurie. The other elves laughed too 
along with the audience. Rijiin grinned ear to ear, as he turned to the 
goddess who stood with them. She laughed too. 

“Thank you my Lady I...” He started to say, but interrupted by a voice
that carried over the applause, whistles and cheers. 

“I Object!” A screechy voice had said, and hush fell across the grounds
of Tree Star. 

Becky, Rijiin, Natil and Mouse, all four of them had turned in surprise
when they had heard the familiar voice, not expecting it to be here 
today. A look of surprise swept across their faces and Becky shrugged 
as she met Mimi's confused expression. 

All four elves stood staring at the two speakers, a short dwarf of a man
who lumbered along side a taller young man with sandy blond hair. 
Rijiin recognized them immediately as Robert and Dave, Mimi's friend 
and her ex-fiancé from De Anza. 

“I object.” Robert repeated glancing at the guests who glared at him. 

“Robert...” Dave whispered, “I think you better take it easy and had
better do this with tact. I think we are not...” 

“Shut up Dave.” Robert snapped as he lumbered forward and his face
glowering with rage.  The hush that had fallen over the garden had been 
replaced by low murmurs by the guests and Rijiin had grimaced when he 
saw them, realizing what Robert was doing. 

“He probably thinks that I am taking Becky away from him and not Natil.”
Rijiin thought, staring in silence at the pair. 

“It would be like him to be so careless,” Thought the elf. 

Dave at this moment had felt a dread-like feeling wash over him when he
realized all the guests, the bride and groom who stood in the gazebo 
had all focused upon them. The sound of a braying ass was sounding 
somewhere in the back of his head. He had also recognized that it was 
Rijiin and the young Harper named Natil who stood at the gazebo. 

Dave flashed an uneasy smile at the young couple, his eyes finding a
very beautiful and different looking Becky who was already in route 
toward them followed by a very different looking Mimi. 

“Greaaat and Robert as usual, will make a damn fool of himself.” Dave
thought, his face showing silent surprise that Rijiin let Robert 
continued his tirade. 

“Robert, that's not Becky at the altar or Mimi!” He whispered,
“That's...Natil, the Harper who came to De Anza a while ago! This is 
their wedding. Like I told you many times!” 

“Oh...” Dave thought, casting an annoyed glance at his best friend,
“Shut up Robert. Shut up, shut up. Please just shut the hell up. Shit! 
Shit! Shit!” 

Robert continued his tirade, spewing horrible curses and making obscene
comments directed at the couple at the gazebo. Insults and comments 
that made the crowd mutter quietly several times. 

“Who objects,” Rijiin asked, finally fed up with the tirade, “And what
business does he have here.” 

His voice carried a frightful sharp and frigid tone when he had spoken.
“What right does he have to speak at a wedding of strangers?” 

Rijiin glanced at the Lady, who met his apologetic expression with a
slow nod. The elves of Denver looked on in surprise, feeling the chill 
in the air as Rijiin spoke. 

Robert heard the elf and stopped speaking, a look of annoyance on his
face as he had felt the sudden chill in the air by Rijiin's statement. 
It had been a bold statement, a broad hint to ‘Get lost,' and as 
always, Robert had failed to get it but Dave had. He had exhaled 
sharply and had taken a couple of steps back from his best friend. 
Rijiin stared at Robert, as he sensed the rage welling up inside him. 

“There is no reason for him to be angry, but he is.” He thought, “He is
probably unhappy we interfered in his world and did something that he 
could only talk about. We helped and healed for real.” 

“Or perhaps it might be because Mimi and Becky are here in Colorado and
had left him in California. When it comes to Robert's motives it is 
hard to tell.” Rijiin thought silently as he let out a quiet sigh. The 
elf had learned compassion and patience in his wandering across the 
world. He had seen a lot of hell in his travels across multiple 
continents, and through it all, he tried to understand the human race. 
His anger tempered like the steel that hung at his side. 

“...I object to the stupidity of this whole event.” He said, “There are
no such things as elves or magic. I am Becky or Mimi's chosen one, not 
you.” 

“Oh shit now you did it.” Dave thought, exhaling sharply again and this
time he backed up three more steps. He had put a distance between 
himself and Robert, sensing the possibility of something bad about to 
happen. 

The young human had seen the looks of rage on many people's faces and
even a couple of them had taken a couple of aggressive steps toward 
Robert. Rijiin held up his hand in silence, glancing at TK, Laurie, and 
even Ash who had taken those aggressive steps. 

Robert had seen Rijiin motion them back and had taken a defensive
posture on his crutches. The elf sensed his readiness to use them as a 
weapon, and he knew if Robert was ready to do that, he was dangerously 
unpredictable. Letting the starlight flow over him, the elf breathed 
out calmly before opening his eyes and meeting Robert's hazel eyes in 
silence. His gray eyes flickered in the sunlight. 

“Peace.” He said, “There will be no battle here today and certainly not
at this ceremony, which happens to be my wedding day.” 

Dave a short distance behind Robert had noted the elf gripping the
handle of the blade at his side, ready to draw it from the sheath at 
any moment. The only time that Rijiin would have drawn his blade was if 
Robert would have charged in at him using his crutches as a weapon. 
Rijiin played it smart, knowing how Robert was positioned and not to 
provoke him. 

Dave, standing back behind him sensed an overwhelming calm at this
garden, as if a magic seemed to shimmer around it. If he had known the 
elves better, like Mimi at the beginning, he would have been correct.  
He had already started to see strange stuff happening, changes in his 
physique and the dim starlight in the darkness when he closed his eyes. 
Omar, and Chris, Even Katherine and Jen had started to see remarkable 
changes to their bodies and soul too. They were unsure what was 
happening, only to know it was probably related what they had seen at 
De Anza. 

Robert glanced at the many of the guests who had come for the hand
fasting and was surprised to see Omar, Becky, Chris, Ray and his wife 
Lisa, Cathy, Jen, Patrick, Steve, Mimi, Katherine and her family and 
several others. He was surprised to see a few staff members that Mimi 
worked with too. 

“Now what the hell are they doing here?” Robert asked himself, “If Becky
is over there... and Mouse is over there too... Who is that?” 

Robert, something in his limited mind put the connection together. He
stared at the Harper, clad in white, back to Becky and back to the 
Harper several times. 

Becky had walked up to his side, nodding a short greeting to Dave who
seemed to understand as she stood beside Robert. Becky met Rijiin's 
questioning expression and her look said it all. 

“We'll handle this.” It said, “Leave it to me.” 

Rijiin nodded silently as he turned abruptly back to the goddess and to
his wife who had stood watching. 

“Is there anyone else who objects,” Intoned the Goddess and there was
silence. 

“Faila I' men amin vet ta.” Rijiin whispered and Natil chuckled. The
elves turned, both bowing formally to the goddess. 

“Our thanks my Lady,” Rijiin said, “From both of us.” 

“Be at peace,” The Lady told them, “You both have earned this and
deserve all the happiness in the world.” 

“May I present, Mr. and Mrs. Rijiin and Natil L'Theil.” The goddess
announced and a thunderous applause followed, with a few whistles as 
the couple turned to face the crowd. Becky, Dave, and Mimi had joined 
in the polite applause. The DeAnza Rat Pack, as Rijiin had nicknamed 
them a long time ago had also joined in, just as the students from 
Bellbrook and others. They whistled and catcalled. 

Rijiin turned his head to smile and laugh, grabbing Natil in his arms to
give her another passionate kiss on the lips, making them applause 
loudly in the crowd. The elf made her blush and laugh as he held her 
firmly in his arms. He waved to the group. 

A moment later, Becky nodded to Dave, taking up Robert's one arm, and
Robert's best friend understood to take up the other. Both pulled 
Robert down the aisle, practically dragging him out of the range of the 
guests. Even through the applause, the screechy voice of Robert still 
carried from the edge of the Tree Star grounds and Rijiin let out a 
sigh. The elf walked toward the crowd and he returned the many 
handshakes, backslaps and words of wisdom from them. He grimaced as he 
glanced at the end of the walkway. Natil joined him, still carrying the 
very beautiful bouquet in her hands. 

“What's wrong Rijiin?” Natil asked suddenly, glancing at him curiously. 

“Nothing, I am going to take care of this madness once and for all,” He
said, walking toward the now four, as Mouse had joined them, and 
muttering under his breath.  A few of the elves grimaced as they saw 
where Rijiin was headed and knew what he planned which was probably not 
going to be a pretty sight when it was over and done. 

“The reception will start in five minutes, dining dancing and the Bar is
open.” An announcement said and there was a rowdy cheer. The crowd 
walked toward the area that had been set aside for the reception and 
Marsh and his band began to play as people began to dance, chat, laugh 
and carry on in celebration. 

“By our lady, must there be battle on a day of celebration?” Rijiin
grumbled and shook his head. He drew his dagger as he moved toward 
Becky and the others who argued rather venomously. They all glanced at 
Rijiin, who stood in front of them and all saw the annoyed expression 
on his fair features. 

“Enough, what is your business here Ungai?” Rijiin said, cutting Robert
off, “Is this how mortals respect a sovereign power?” 

Dave heard the claim and he had a strange understanding by the meaning
of the statement. 

“Na- ae' seere, Beckai, Mimitti,” He told them, “Ro va nolya nae amin
cael n'umo detholea sii'. Amin cael a' magh poldor a' kam ho selya.” 

Mimi and Becky had taken three steps back. They quickly got the
seriousness and blunt message of Rijiin's question to Robert. Mouse had 
grimaced when she glanced at his solemn expression.  Robert started to 
speak, but Rijiin bluntly cut him off again, his tone ice cold. 

“Dina, Ungai.” He snapped, “Just listen, you are trespassing on let us
say that is considered to be holy ground by my people. If you cannot 
leave your anger at the edge of these grounds, and be here as a guest 
in peace, you must leave.” 

With that statement, Rijiin pushed back his long hair to revealing his
slender ears and his eyes flashed as brightly as the dagger or the 
blade he carried at his side.  Robert stared at Rijiin, and glanced at 
the others around him. 

“It's not posted as private therefore it is a public place.” Robert
challenged shaking his head at Rijiin who let out a silent breath. The 
elf grimaced, stepping forward toward Robert and as he did so, kept his 
guard up. Rijiin kept himself ready for anything to happen. 

“You should reconsider your position young human.” He said sharply,
“Before you end up losing yourself in this place. This is a place of 
business, therefore it is considered private.” 

Robert's eyes widened when he met Rijiin's cold gray eyes and clearly
saw the starlight within them. A light he did not understand. He 
exhaled as rage welled up inside. 

“Then why are Becky, Mimi, and all these people here?” Robert demanded
tightly. 

“They are here to have fun.” Rijiin said, “And celebrate MY wedding day
with my beloved Harper. Just so, not be made the fool. If you do not 
calm down you must leave this place. Treestar can and will have you 
forcefully removed by the police.” 

“Are you threatening me?” 

“Try promising.” Rijiin replied gently, “There will be no violence here.
You are at a place of celebration. Do not dishonor yourself by bringing 
anger or violence to this sovereign and peaceful place.” 

The elf had openly tried to reason with him using logic and tell him of
what he faced if he did not abandon his violence and attitude that he 
had clearly brought with him. He had come with Dave, by force, having 
seen the invitation sent to him by Rijiin's own hand and the message 
within. The elf did not want him here if he was going to be an ass, and 
cause harm to those around him. He had not sent him an invitation in 
the first place, knowing he would be this way. 

“I'll show you violence.” Robert muttered and a moment later he stepped
in and his crutch headed toward Rijiin's head. The elf had sensed the 
motion, almost too late, and an underhanded one to be sure. The elf 
ducked to let it whip cleanly over his head and spinning away on one 
foot he spun away, dodging the second one that had come in close behind 
the first one. 

Around them, the crowd who had moved to the dance area and reception
watched in astonishment, a low murmur echoing through the party. At the 
bandstand, Marsh and his band played familiar tunes of every genre and 
was well received by the crowd who danced. They grinned as they played 
the Mission Impossible Theme, making Rijiin glance at them a look of 
sarcasm on his face. 

Rijiin turned his attention to Robert and he moved like lightning as he
dodged and weaved, narrowly missing the crutches swung at him.  He 
watched and waited for an opening, already connecting to the stars, as 
the elves had been able to centuries ago. The dance, the motions, 
feints and openings clearly showed in the starlight. He let the powers 
flow over his entire body, seeing past, present and a few future 
events. Rijiin saw the universe in a whole and answered his question of 
how the elves were part of the universe, they existed, they helped, and 
they healed. They had purpose to be there as needed. 

“I must not injure him. I must keep him from harming others and
himself.” Rijiin thought, glancing at the concerned, almost saddened 
look of his wife who stood beside the Creatrix of the elves. She 
realized he was his friend of long ago, and she saw the seriousness of 
the conflict on her husband's face. He did not want to take this action 
to keep the peace and knew he wanted to resolve it differently. It had 
been the same when they fought on De Anza's campus, the same 
consequences and actions.  Robert just did not want to listen to 
reason. The other elves of Denver looked on in silence, as did Becky 
and Mimi, everyone showing equal concern on their faces. He dodged many 
strikes by Robert and his crutches, just as he had when they fought 
before.  This time the elf vowed to keep the blade at his side 
sheathed. Robert in turn kept swinging and the whistle of his crutches 
moved past the elf. He grimaced when he realized his crutches were not 
reaching the elf. 

A moment later, Rijiin saw an opening, and he dropped to one knee,
lancing out with an open palm to strike cleanly into Robert's sternum. 
Stunned, Robert stepped back a few steps for a brief moment before 
lashing out with his crutches. Rijiin continued to dodge, letting the 
crutches whip wildly over his head, and coming a few inches short of 
his body. He sensing another opening had sidestepped to trip him, 
knocking him to the ground.  The fight suddenly was over but Rijiin had 
grabbed his arm to help lower him to the ground, making sure not to 
injure him. He refrained from drawing the blade at his side or the 
dagger at his side, and he put a knee on the young man's chest, pinning 
him on the ground, to hold him there. 

“Yield and I will not harm you.” Rijiin demanded, “You would not listen,
Robert, and you gave me little choice. I asked you if you could leave 
your anger and attitude at the door, and you refused therefore this 
request will not be so nice.” 

Rijiin nodded to Hadden who was on his cell phone, quickly summoning the
authorities. When the Denver Police finally showed up, they escorted 
him to a squad car, promptly removed as Rijiin had promised. Dave had 
glanced at him as he watched his friend hauled away. 

“Do you wish to press charges?” Rijiin shook his head in response to the
officer's question. 

“No sir, just hold him until he calms down, Tree Star will not press
charges against him unless he does actual harm to anyone here at this 
celebration.” Hadden replied, letting out a sigh. 

“What about him?” the officer asked, as he motioned to Dave. Rijiin
shook his head. The officers saw the blade at his side but did not 
comment. 

“It is the other gentleman who took the swing first.” Rijiin said, “This
gentleman...” 

Rijiin motioned to Dave, “Mister Riggen... is a welcomed guest and he
has an invitation.” 

The elf glanced at the officers who peered at the blade, sheathed at his
side. He grimaced. 

“Fear not, the blades, although real, remained sheathed the whole time.”
Rijiin said, and the officers showed astonishment that he knew they had 
questions about the dagger and sword at his side. 

Becky nodded, and Mimi did too. 

“I... We... can vouch for that.” Becky added and smiled. 

Mimi and Becky had been standing nearby when the fight had broken out
and had stepped back when the crutches began to fly. Across the short 
distance, the goddess and Natil looked on in silence. Natil, Becky, 
Mimi and the others found themselves impressed by his handling this 
disturbance. 

Rijiin had handled it with tact, wisdom, compassion, and understanding,
making every effort not to harm Robert, despite what happened before 
and ended the battle quickly without injuring him. It would not like 
the battle at DeAnza in which Rijiin was forced to draw his blade and 
cut Robert's chin, almost taking his head until Natil called out, 
making him pull back the stroke. 

Rijiin had earned a respectful nod by the Goddess and Natil. He turned
to walk over and he knelt before the goddess. The middle-aged woman 
smiled and placed a loving hand on his broad shoulder. A moment later 
in a flash of brilliant light, the goddess was gone even though he 
asked her to stay and take part in the festivities with his thanks. 

When the second officer had gone, Dave heard a quiet laugh from Mouse
who stood beside him. 

“Mr. Riggen?” Mimi asked quietly, and he glanced sideways at her,
rolling his eyes. She laughed at him warmly and embraced him. 

“Come on Dave, let's dance.” She told him and Dave laughed as they
joined in on a slow dance. Rijiin put out his arm and the Harper who 
had joined him at his side, laughed as she took it. The couple headed 
to a table near the dance floor. There was applause as the party 
started to jump and the bride and groom approached the reception. 

Rijiin bowed formally, they took a seat on a nearby bench.  A few
minutes later, Robert returned, and he stood before Rijiin and Natil 
who sat together at the party. 

“I apologize, I was not thinking, and did not know you and your lovely
bride were going to get hitched.” He said, “I made a preverbal ass out 
of myself, I was wrong for what I did and hope to make up for it.” 

“Be at peace Robert, You were coming with the illusion of other
intentions, as it said on the invitation, Natil of Malvern, and Rijiin 
L'Theil.” He told him, “Have a drink and enjoy yourself, all has been 
forgiven.” 

Rijiin glanced sideways at Becky, handing Robert a root beer, and here
he laughed shaking his head and picked up a real beer. The elf raised 
his bottle, as did Becky, Natil, Mimi and Robert too, all five 
toasting. Their bottles made a quiet ‘clink sound' as they all drank. 

“Ms. Mc Gough has been chewing at the bit for a nice slow dance. Perhaps
we can oblige her wishes.” Rijiin suggested and Robert managed a short 
laugh, 

“I bet she would.” 

“I know my young wife would like to dance.” He intoned, “Perhaps I
should remedy that.” 

Rijiin stood and put out an arm, which Natil took. Both he and his young
wife headed to the dance floor.  There was applause again by everyone 
as the party cleared the outside dance floor. 

“First dance belongs to the bride and groom.” A voice said. Together
Natil and Rijiin walked out on the dance floor and they slow danced a 
few minutes before everyone joined in around them. Robert and Becky 
danced, and they were all smiles, as was Mimi and Dave. Rijiin noted 
the others in Bellbrook were dancing too and some were standing around 
chatting with others in their group. After the dance, the elf moved to 
the surrounding groups making his rounds to chat informally with 
everyone. 

Later, Rijiin held Natil as they sat together at their reception and
watched the great celebration around them. There were some moments 
where Rijiin sat with Marsh and TK, jamming with them on sax and on the 
guitar. He played fluidly, easily as he made an effort to keep up but 
many times surprised them. The elf played Kenny G tunes on the sax, 
where Natil broke out the harp and she played a duet with him. There 
was silent admiration by Hadden remembering another time he had done 
that, two months ago. The other guests, smiled and listened as the 
couple played several more songs together. 

He showed his brimming talent, all because of a long time ago and the
paths he had taken through history. Rijiin also had surprised them as 
he sat behind the drums and he assisted as the band did a couple of 
Phil Collins/Genesis songs. He even jammed with Marsh on the guitar. 
The young elf also danced with Natil, many dances and the drinks flowed 
freely as the celebration continued far into the afternoon. 

The couple sat together, Rijiin with his arms around his new wife to
hold her, as they watched the festivities.  He grimaced when he felt 
pain in his face, and realized his jaw hurt from smiling too much. 

A bit later, the couple managed to slip away together for a quiet
moment, and both sat together watching the sun began to fall on the 
western horizon over the shadows of the Rocky Mountains. Several hours 
had elapsed and the celebration went far into the late afternoon and 
early evening. The young Harper gazed up at the mountains as she sat 
with Rijiin's arms around her and they watched the sun set in the west. 
Natil fidgeted nervously, inside a whirl of thoughts and excitement 
filled her very soul. Lights were turned on, colored strands along the 
trellises and the Tiki Torches™ burned to keep the night insect-life at 
bay. 

“I have survived the hardest thing I thought I would ever be able to
do.” She thought, “Harder than leaving Adria, harder than being in the 
dungeons of the Inquisition and even wandering for a hundred years. I 
survived my wedding day to a good man.” 

“Amin mela lle, Natili.” He said, looking in her blue eyes, as he held
her. 

“Amin mela lle, Rijiin.” She replied, “Oio vor iire omentien lle I'
yeste' luume'.” 

Rijiin smiled, nodding as he embraced her, his attention returning
skyward. The Harper let out a quiet yelp realizing she had spoken 
Elfish, something she had not done in a while because there had been no 
need for it. 

“Look...” He whispered, pointing to the sky. “Beloved, ta i' entul en
Mirya astael.” 

Staring in wonder, the Harper had gasped when she stared at the sky and
saw the star. The very one that she had not seen in centuries that had 
faded long ago when Mirya and Terrill had disappeared into the forest 
to stop the forest fire set by the enemy.  She had told him much of 
what happened during the time he disappeared and learned about the fate 
of Saint Brigid. 

“Make you wonder doesn't?” Rijiin asked, and she nodded continuing to
stare at the patterns of starlight that twinkled brightly in the 
heavens.  The elf casually saw Hadden heading their way and he realized 
what time it was. 

“Ah yes, its cake cutting time.” Both had returned to the tables where
their cake laid untouched ready for cutting.  Hadden stood up and he 
held up a glass, “I want to make a toast!” 

There was a chant. “Toast, Toast!” 

Hadden tapped the glass with a fork, and it rang out clearly. 

“I'll have wheat with butter and jam!” A drunken voice said and everyone
laughed, including the couple. 

“Here is to our friends, the happy couple. May they be together always,
not drive each other crazy and have rebellious children together.” 
There was brief laughter that echoed the garden area. “May they find 
happiness in each others arms for the times to come.” 

Natil glanced at Rijiin with a mischievous grin on her face and she
winked. In her mind, the Harper thought she heard his laughter. 

“Hear! Hear!” A voice said, and everyone raised the glasses to take a
drink. 

“Thank you all.” Rijiin said, raising his glance to meet his wife's
mischievous twinkle in her blue eyes. 

Together they held the knife as they cut their splendid cake, a lemon
and white cake with a Celtic design on the top. In Elfish the words, 
‘Congratulations, Rijiin and Natil' drawn in the frosting on its 
surface. There was applause as the couple held the cake on a fork and 
both fed each other a piece. Laughter followed as he got frosting on 
her nose. Everyone dined on the splendid cake and there was 
conversation that rippled through the garden area of Tree Star. More 
dancing and music followed. 

“Congratulations Rijiin.” Anne said, walking up beside him and he smiled
at her. Margot stood with her. 

“May I present, Anne and Margot Frank.” Rijiin said formally, bowing
wide and low to the two women who stood before him. Natil stared at the 
middle-aged women who were famous for her diary that she wrote that 
painted a picture of the adversity they faced by the Nazis, through her 
eyes when she was only fifteen years of age. Natil bowed slightly to 
them as well. 

“They are the ones that were famous because she died and her diary got
published showing her courage in the adversity of the Nazis right?” 
Natil whispered, “The ones you saved by changing time?” 

He nodded. 

“Thank you both for coming.” Natil told them, unsure what to say to
them. Natil glanced at him sharply as he spoke another language 
fluently other than English and Elfish. It was fluent German. 

“How can you speak that?” She asked, “How did you pick that up as you
wandered through the world for the last four hundred years? 

“I learned many languages.” He replied, “It was to be able to
communicate or not eat. Be at peace, I can teach you a few if you 
like.” 

“Now I'd really like that...” Natil declared, kissing him on the lips. 

Many groups cycled around to congratulate the couple, and Rijiin nodded
to each one. He embraced ‘Jell-O' Jen, Katherine, Cathy, and a few from 
his old class of 1991. He was glad that they had remembered him when he 
contacted as many as he could. They all remembered him when he had 
appeared at the school and had fought the evil wizard, Tantras of Thay, 
not realizing when he reverted time that the wizard had disappeared to 
where he had been, escaping death at the hands of the elf. He wondered 
about the others and wished they had come too. A few minutes later, the 
couple turned when they heard the hooves on the cement and spied an 
open air, horse drawn red and gold trimmed carriage. 

“Ah, how ironic, our chariot comes.” He said and he heard Natil laugh. 

“It reminds me so much of Adria, our old home.” 

“This is home.” She corrected, “Adria is long past for both of us.” 

“That it is beloved.” He said, “But I will always hold Adria as a
special place for both of us. It is an ending for me and also a 
beginning for both of us, not unlike this one after four hundred plus 
years.” 

Natil realized the gravity of the sentiment spoken by her new husband
and his very words that rang true for them both. He had an ending when 
he had given up his human existence in Adria of the fourteenth century 
and found change by Elven magic. Rijiin had also embraced the changes 
and his new existence in, for him, a brand new century. His beginning, 
as time changed for Rijiin and the Harper. A fresh page, so to speak 
and uncertain future that waited for the couple until now. 

His family had never been told by Mouse or Becky that the school had a
visitor, and had ever admitted that Rijiin had been Nathaniel. It was 
too ironic and if not crazy for them to speak out indicating the elf's 
identity. They had thankfully remained silent.  None of the “DeAnza 
Rat-pack” had known that Rijiin had been their friend, neither Robert 
nor Dave, had guessed his identity, which had passed away as he became 
an elf. 

The Harper was silent for a moment, contemplating his words, and she
smiled with a short nod. As the carriage approached, a man dressed in 
black sat on the carriage top and a woman on the back.  Rijiin exhaled 
loudly when he saw this man, a lean man with fair skin, long black hair 
and steel gray eyes. His eyes held a strange intensity almost an 
analytical type gaze to them. His wife, a young woman, fair and 
beautiful sat on the back. She had a round face, long reddish gold hair 
spilling across her shoulders and a trim figure. Her green eyes seemed 
bright and laughing in the light. 

“By the Lady, do you see that?” Rijiin had asked, and had turned his
head when he heard his wife gasping. Natil could not believe her eyes 
either. 

“She looks like Mirya!” She breathed, “And he looks like Terrill!” 

“I am named Miriam.” The woman said, her voice having a thick Irish
accent to it. 

“I am Terrance.” He said, “Are ye the happy couple?” 

“Aye,” He said, “We are. May the hand of the Lady be upon you.” 

Rijiin bowed slightly and cast a look at his wife who rolled her eyes.
He shrugged slightly. 

“It was worth a shot,” He murmured, cocking his head as if to read her
expression in silence. He nodded to Natil in silent agreement. 

“This is a very strange, but humorous coincidence.” She said, unable to
stop staring at the coachman and his wife.  Natil sensed something 
different about this couple and wondered how in time there could be 
people who looked like her kinfolk from the fourteenth century. Both 
Rijiin and Natil had remembered the star of Mirya that twinkled high 
above them. 

“Remember what Varden said about renewal beloved,” He said, “Perhaps
somewhere Talla, Charity, Roxanne and even Varden have found renewal 
too.” 

“Perhaps,” Natil agreed, “It is a good possibility.” 

“I certainly hope so.” He replied, and he met the smile on her face with
one of his own. Standing along the walkway, a few of the elves, and a 
few friends stood beside it, all waiting for the couple to make their 
way toward them. When Natil and Rijiin neared the steps, they glanced 
at each other as they saw a group stand rigidly at attention as the 
others threw rice at them. Laughter and chatter filled the air as it 
pelted the couple. Rijiin glanced at Natil, who grimaced as they stared 
at this serene scene. 

“Honors HUT!” A voice shouted, and their friends and fellow elves drew
the blades in unison and raised the blades over their heads making a 
bridge of steel. A hush fell over the crowd behind them. The Harper put 
her hands to her mouth to stifle a gasp and hide a smile. 

Rijiin stood beside her with a flattered look on his face. As the couple
walked down the bridge of steel together, Hadden and Marsh stood as the 
last two on the row. They lowered the swords. 

“Now Rijiin, you be a good boy tonight.”  Hadden kidded gently and Marsh
smiled. 

“Yeah, don't do what I wouldn't do.” He told Rijiin and the elf chuckled
quietly as did Natil. 

“You guys.” He chided as he pushed up the blades. Behind them, Marsh
turned to the others, smiling. 

“At ease,” He said and they all rest the blades on their shoulders. 

At the head of the coach, Hadden had walked toward the horses, a gray
stallion and a mare that pulled it. Their friend and new clansman stood 
in the middle of them and he was whispering to them. After a moment, 
the beasts snorted and whinnied, bearing their teeth. Both bobbed their 
massive heads. 

“That is a good lad and lass.” Hadden told it as he patting the mare's
neck and the stallion beside it, “My thanks.” 

Behind the carriage, Bright, Fox, Laurie, Wheat, Ash, Bright and Sana
helped put a big sign on the carriage. 

“Just Married --” It said, in big letters and they tied cans and shoes
on the end of the carriage. Snickering they returned to the front of it 
as Rijiin led Natil to the carriage.  He paused a second to motion to 
Kelly. 

“Kelly, do me a favor and hand this to your father.” Rijiin told the
Elfling as she took the blade and the dagger. “And don't draw it lass, 
I don't want you to be hurt.” 

Everyone threw the traditional rice as the couple walked toward the
carriage, and both laughed as they climbed on, turning to wave to the 
others. Natil threw the bouquet and it was caught by Mouse who gasped, 
blushing as red as the carriage the couple rode in. Robert blushed 
beside her and as she held the bouquet, exchanged a kiss with him. She 
waved at the carriage as it pulled away. Rijiin and Natil, seated in 
the carriage held each other, staring into each other's eyes, kissing 
each other passionately. 

Mimi and the other elves stood around at the Tree Star as they cleaned
up the grounds quickly, recycling as much as the paper and everything 
that had been setup for the wedding and reception. Together, Jen, Mimi, 
Becky, Omar, Chris, Dave, and even Robert all gazed down the road at 
the departing carriage. The party continued with music, dancing and 
entertainment by the band. 

“It has sure been a strange period of time.” Mimi said, “First his
changing us, then his disappearance and now all of us coming to 
Denver.” 

“I don't know.” Becky replied, glancing at the small group of her
friends, “It does not seem too different to me, just a really good 
ending to a good novel and a long journey with a hitch, there is a new 
beginning.” 

“So where do we go from here?” Becky mused, glancing at the others. She
peered at old and now very new friends she found in Denver.  There were 
silent questions by all, which for some would be answered in due time. 
For the moment though, there seemed to be peace among them. Even for 
Robert who had witnessed the union of the couple and had found perhaps 
a piece of mind and renewal of his own. 

Together the newly married couple rode the carriage, headed to a Limo
company that would take them to the airport. There a plane would take 
them to Los Angeles and then taken to a cruise ship that waited there, 
chartered to take them to Mexico. 

Life began for Rijiin and Natil, as it had for them four plus centuries
ago. This would be a second chance that would take up from its 
interruption long ago. 

“It is a time for renewal.” He murmured, and Natil turned her head when
she heard him. 

“Beloved?” 

“Just thinking of what Varden said once.” Rijiin replied as he thought
of the young elf that had seen the futility of the world.  The same 
futility that Rijiin had seen in his travels not long ago, the same as 
his kinfolk had seen ages ago. Although he knew that May 1, was far 
off, the young elf knew he had a several months to find renewal for his 
actions and perhaps peace of mind. This was one start. 

“Are you happy Natil?” He asked, and the Harper turned her head,
frowning. She embraced her new husband after a moment, a smile on her 
face. 

“I am.” The Harper told him, as he held her, “I am so glad you are home,
my husband.” 

“Vee' amin Natili,” He told her, “A'maelamin vesse.” 

Rijiin and Natil sat in the back in the carriage and in his arms, he
held Natil. He watched as the passed many people who stared at the 
coach and who laughed seeing the card on the back. As Rijiin held her, 
the elf was deep in thought as another adventure waited for them and 
life, for them both was just beginning. 

----------------------------------------------------------- 

Literary Notes: 

----------------------------------------------------------- 

Story is based on Gail Baudino's Series Strands of Starlight, Maze of
Moonlight, Shrouds of Shadow, Strands of Sunlight, and Spires of 
Spirit. This story is a fan fiction that takes place in 40 years 
between first and second book. The next story is taking place a year or 
more after the last book. It is dedicated to Miss Baudino and the 
Elves, because something in the story was able to touch me, and allow 
me a bit of healing too. It uses and features, three dialects of real 
elvish tomes, based on Tolken, Gray Company and Quenya Elvish. 

This is a FICTIONAL, Fan Based story and it may or may not be accurate
to the storyline. Amin hiraetha (I apologize to Ms. Baudino and the 
Elves, in advance) 

Below are some phrases not translated in story. 

(The Elvish phrase) = (English Translation.) 

“Natili, Na ta lle?” Mimi asked, “Ya ae lle atara?” – Natil is it you?
Mimi Asked, “Who is your mother. 

Vee' Amin Natili. He told her Vee' amin.” – So Am I Natil, So am I. 

Nae saian luume'. Amin sal mela lle.”  -  Be at peace. I still love you.


“Amin ele- astael” – I can see starlight. 

“Alanae ea Yolisi, Elthia, sii' naa ten'oio.” He murmured, “Namaarie
Annai, nanmarrie Margoti.” 

“The hand of the Lady be upon you, now and forever. Farewell Anne,
Farewell Margot.” 

“Beloved, ta I' entul en Mirya Astael!” - Beloved, It is the return of
Mirya's star! 

“Lema ed' ando en' templa.” – “Journey by gate of magic” 

“Amin mela lle, Natili” – I love you Natil. 

“Amin mela lle, Rijiin.” – I love you Rijiin 

“Oio vor iire omentien lle I' yeste' luume'.” – Ever since the first
time meeting you. 

“Na- ae' seere, Beckai, Mimitti,” = Be at peace, Becky, Mimi. 

Ro va nolya nae amin cael n'umo detholea sii'. Amin cael a' magh poldor
a' kam ho selya.”  = He will not learn and I have no choice now. I have 
to use force to make him learn.” 

“Faila I' men amin vet ta.” Just the way I like it. 

“Vee' amin Natili,” Me too Natil 

“A'maelamin vesse.” My beloved wife 

Seasamin, A'mael = My pleasure Beloved. 

“Lle lakwenien Rijiin? Sut alhalman lle quenea tanya yol?”  You joking
Rijiin? How can you speak that way? 

Arae ea oombra = Day of Completion 

Arae ea circa = Day of Beginnings. 

Dina, Ungai, Lle vanwa kolien usquentiri huan.”.” = Be Silent Unga, You
over bearing smelly dog 

Lle Desiel? = You ready? 

Amin' e Desiel. = I am ready. 

Aa' menle nauva calen ar' ta hwesta e' ale'quenle = May thy paths be
green and the breeze on thy back 

Aa' lasser en lle coia orn n' omenta gurtha = May the leaves of your
life tree never turn brown 

===========================================================


   


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