Two days later the meetings detailing the organization of the next steps began. The High King stood and spoke. "We will have a week of meetings. Many of you are going to be returning home. This will entail big changes, remember 900 years have passed. We have much to accomplish. We are safer than before when we were hunted down because much of the world believes we only exist in the minds of children and people who are delusional. We are much safer," he repeated.
There are growing numbers who have sighted us and respect us. There is an undercurrent of belief just as there is a cover of greed and avarice. You younger ones think it has never been this evil. This is not true. Look at the history the humans teach, even in their own history there are countless times that are as dark as this. There is just more information and a greater ability to harm now."
I was playing tag with Jacob. How that boy could navigate without sight always amazes me. Laughing I caught him and told him I hadn't forgotten the trip I'd promised him. I had to wait for my meeting with the King before plans could be made. I didn't tell Jacob, but I was anxious about my upcoming meeting. This seemed so strange to me after being with him as Bill so many times, yet anxious I was. I was also anxious and conflicted about being around Conner who I had been avoiding. My attraction to him had grown over time as I watched him with Jacob and Milika. "Let's do a ‘just the two of us' trip" I said to Jacob.
I promised him that after my meeting with the High King I would take him horseback-riding into the woods. I told Jacob of the rivers and streams, and how I used to play hopscotch with the frogs. I hummed the song of the bees, which would lead them to the sweetest meadows, filled with the abundance of life. I wanted Jacob to meet the special bear who had saved my life when I'd been kidnapped in the cave and to become familiar with our communal life so he could feel safe anywhere.
I had forgotten how much I had loved riding. Jacob and I would ride faster than the wind flying through the woods as though I had never left. "Belinda" a voice called. " It is time," the gnome said.
I kissed Jacob telling him I would be back as soon as I could and would tell him more of what our trip would be like.
"Your Highness,"I bowed as I entered the room. He smiled and asked me to sit "Belinda, you have outdone every expectation I had. So much so that I must ask you to do one more task." Flattered at the High King's trust, I replied "of course" thinking maybe a scouting expedition with the eagles was what he might be ordering.
"I am going to ask you to disappear." I was stunned. I was not expecting this at all. "What do you mean?" The High King continued. "I am going to ask you to go into the Darkness so you can shine Light on it. No one except myself will know where you are."
"But Gammy and the others will worry" I protested, not liking the sound of this at all. "I understand your concern and fear, but regrettably, it will be because they do not know that will make it all the more plausible Belinda."
Blinking back tears, I immediately and simultaneously remembering and regretting pledging her utmost allegiance and obedience to him. "Where?" I asked.
He told me he was sending her to be part of a conference of world leaders. She would attend as a scribe but her primary mission was to befriend one or two of the leaders. "Befriend?" I almost shrieked. "Don't be daft girl, let them father you, everyone wants to take care of you. I want you to be the waif you have never been."
"You want me to spy on them?" I was incredulous. His Highness continued. " You will find much that is ugly, but only when the ugliness comes out can it be corrected. It will be very dangerous child, you will get lonely and you want to confide in someone but you must not trust anyone"
"When will all the training take place?" I asked in a small voice. The King replied "Belinda, you have been training for this since the day your parents died. You will leave immediately."
"But your highness, I don't mean to be disrespectful but Jacob will be wounded. Remember, he lost his Mother…and Gammy. will be devastated not knowing where I am" The King now spoke forcefully. "Belinda do you think I don't know these things? But I have and will continue to protect you. We are on a mission that is filled with danger, we are not the only ones who have magic, Evil holds knowledge as well. The world leaders will be scanning all of them for them for a hint of treachery that could be used to kill you. I am not without feeling my child. You are the perfect faery to send in. If anything were to happen to you, I will be haunted by your Father for eternity."
"I don't want to do this Sir but I will." The next thing I knew I was dressed differently and was walking into a huge conference room made of glass and steel. I looked around and recognized many of the faces from the news.
"I am so sorry sir." I had tripped and bumped into who I recognized as a very important head of state. "I am afraid I am a little nervous, this is my first day" I smiled sweetly and the man reassured me in a way that made me think I was a very convincing ingenue. "Don't let these people scare you, a lot of them are just full of themselves." He smiled and in a somewhat patronizing way let me know it would be fine.
l found a seat and watched them all carefully. Many odd things were happening. For instance, the translator sometimes changed the meanings of the negotiations, There was one woman who caught my attention. She appeared bright, calm, with a smart human quality about her.
"We hold so much power in this room, it in and of itself this power is the most treacherous weapon we have. Some of you have been bought and have prostituted yourselves, some are angry and want vengeance and maybe a handful of you give a damn about life and helping this planet be a desirable place on which to live and flourish." Speaking to a man beside her, I heard her tell him "Oh nonsense Malcolm, you know what I am talking about. In the 20th century, President Truman ordered the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, not to end the war. No, the Japanese had already offered to surrender to Russia. The bombs were dropped to feed the illusion of power the U.S. had and to give them the edge on Russia. Generations of pain still exist from that corrupt decision. I want us to step beyond that level, I want a planet, a world, with humanity." A man started to chortle. "Don't you dare Herr Krach, do not try to belittle what I am saying. We all know what you have done to get here" she glared at the red-nosed man in his sixties.
I left the room with my head reeling. As I stepped on the elevator a voice said "Awful, aren't we?" I looked up in surprise at the man who had earlier been kind. I must have looked confused because the man said "you don't have to answer, see you tomorrow."
I found the address the King had given me and took a cab. It was funny, I barely thought of flying myself anywhere anymore. I walked into a small apartment. There was a refrigerator filled with food and a vegetable pie in the oven. After showering and eating I fell asleep with visions of owls swooping down, birds everywhere but mainly owls.
Owls! I woke with a start. I sat up in bed and took from my tiny bag my precious objects, the stone, the hair, the ring, and Dakeh's scale. Softly I hummed the refrain and as I did light whirled around me. Invoking spells I hadn't known before they came to me easily. To hear thoughts, to see the truth and to be protected from harm. I sat in the little apartment fully entranced as if I were in full ritual in the forest. It was working, owls swirled around me and I grew in knowledge and power. I asked the doves to take love to Jacob and Gammy, who were heartbroken as a result of her disappearance. Although I was still angry at being sent away, my heart softened as I saw the Kings dilemma. I finished with a chant of gratitude and returned to sleep.
As I got into the elevator the next morning I felt certain that today I would access much truth. I smiled brightly and innocently at the important personages who only saw me as a function. The kind man stopped to say good morning. I stared at his back, sensing his turmoil. He wanted to vote with the woman but some were pressuring him to go in the other direction. He was offered a great deal of money to conform. A nasty woman glared at me and l recognized her as the one who wanted to harm the earth for money. l concentrated hard on her till I found a long forgotten vulnerability to which I sent light. I then sent intense light to the man. I felt a cold cruelty in the room. Two ambassadors were laughing and talking and I almost gagged when I tuned in. I noted their names. I couldn't penetrate the Dark, it was too thick. Fierce with my thoughts and disciplining myself to a mindfulness that kept me in the present, I noted everything possible in order to revisit it in the safety of my apartment.
I wore my amulets close to my heart and then put an invisible shield around myself so that I would not be able to be scanned. I was so focused and clear. I felt something brush against me as I sat there transcribing the meeting. My head turned and I saw a yellow piece of paper had fluttered to my feet. It read, "Meet me for a drink after work?" The note wasn't signed. I didn't know who it was from. I looked around the room for a clue but saw no indication.
At the end of the day, the woman who had spoken the first day got into the elevator beside me. "Oops sorry," she said as she practically fell into me. When I put my hand into my pocket I found another yellow note that simply read ‘Hotel Randolph, near the Square.'
I walked into the hotel. On full alert, I stepped into the bar area walking to the back to find a booth. The booth was empty. I sat for 10 minutes when the waiter delivered yet another note. It wasn't really a note this time, rather an envelope in which I found many discs that looked like recordings. "Destroy this note after you read it. Let the truth come to the surface, please get these to Arnold Damahl, the most powerful news commentator there is. He will have the courage to broadcast. them." Reading the note quickly I put the discs into myr pocket. She left money for her bill on the table.,
Arnold Damahl lived 1000 miles away.! I had no idea how I was supposed to get him this information. Knowing I would be scanned the next morning before entering the conference I realized I had only that evening to get the discs to Mr. Damahl.
I had to work fast. First I found a different place to stay and bought some different clothes at the gift shop. I called room service and closed the blinds. After eating a light supper I sat cross-legged in the middle of the floor and meditated. I sat in stillness for several hours. I got up and went to the airport where I found the airline I was looking for.
A tall dignified woman in her late 70's walked to the counter "Mrs. DamahL"? I asked. "Yes", the woman answered. I started to speak very rapidly. "May I have a word? I have information for your son that could help save many things in the environment which I know is very important to your son. Rather than trying to come up with an elaborate ruse to see Mr. Damahl, I thought I would come to you, the only person he would allow in to see him" I took a deep breath. Could I trust this woman? I forged ahead. "I am part of a realm that is attempting to save the earth. I am not working for a government, I am working for your grandchildren, for clean water, the mountains, and all wildlife."
I had encased the discs in a layer of light so that only those of the light could see them. " Mrs. Damahi stared at me long and hard. "Do you have any idea how many people want to harm my son? How many try to reach him?" "I do not" I replied "but I have two hours left and I was told he was the one who could be trusted. May I show you this?"I took the stone my father had given me and placed it in the woman hand. I asked her to close her eyes with me and she obliged. Ten minutes later "Mrs. Damahi said, "It is done, I will see him in an hour." She looked hard at me again. "Your father sends his love." She took the discs and walked off.
I watched the older woman leave, her words about my father thundering in my head. I returned to the hotel and slept, visions whirling before me. I dreamt about Gammy, Jacob, and Milikah and how they must all be suffering. not knowing where I was.
A huge image came to me in the dream, it was one of a beautiful woman, and the love that flowed from this woman was more than I had ever encountered. I felt not only loved but at peace and safe. I saw Jacob with Milika and Gammy. Their faces looked happy and they were playing hide and seek with the frogs. I was swamped with relief. I thanked the beautiful woman and asked for her blessing and fell quickly into a deep sleep.
I ran to the conference the next morning, it was abuzz with voices. The TV was on, Arnold Damahi was announcing atrocity after atrocity against the earth. The financial system and several world leaders were implicated. A messenger ran in saying he had an announcement. The lovely woman who had spoken the first day had been found in the river. There would be more information but all he could tell us was that her death had been ruled a homicide. There was pure chaos. The chairman called the room to order. "In light of these events, I have no choice but to cancel this symposium. If we reconvene it is obvious some of you won't be participating."
I watched wide-eyed as rage filled the faces of some, relief on a couple. "She did it to save what she could" the man from the elevator said to me as he walked past. Those with dark energies were conferring and in the confusion, I slipped out into the bustling street. I had no idea where I was or where to go and fell to my knees.
When I had regained my composure, I looked up and to my disbelief found I was looking at and kneeling before the King. I was unable to speak I was so confused. "Time and space are illusions and I have the spells that can transcend them." No one here even knows you were gone. Get up my dear you've earned it. I had to have you totally believe that you had disappeared or the dark ones could have discovered you. The greatest gift you have is your whole hearted sincerity. Well done, well done."
I burst out crying and looked at him angrily "so I tossed and turned imagining their suffering and you knew they weren't. How exactly was this to protect me?"
"You focused so hard in order to be sure you wouldn't slip up. I knew you would be sure to keep that focus if you thought Gammy, Milikah or Jacob might suffer. My dear, I hope you can forgive me but it was the safest way for all." My anger began ebbing away as I realized the King's wisdom.
"What about the woman who was killed?" The King nodded slowly. "She was sadly beyond our help but helped us so much. Now my little genius, how did you think to get through to Damahi through his Mother?"
"It just came to me as I thought of Dakeh and her love for Milikah and how that love flows through us to the little one. A mother's love is such a deep bond, it was the only way to access him in such a short time." I recounted what happened at the airport.
I looked at the King and asked him about the message from my Father. He teared up. "Your father had ways of permeating time and space. Mrs. Damahl's energy triggered a message he sent centuries ago. He was truly a remarkable man. Now Belinda, you need to rest. Go say goodnight to the others, this is a major breakthrough. I am very proud of you. You didn't try to do what you couldn't. You remembered what you knew, a Mother is the trusted one, therefore the way to get in. I am grateful my child, we have stepped forward in our cause."