At the foot of the main road off to the side of the castle, Zoe lay and awaited their tour visitors. The gravel road went on and into the castle, across the river that acted like a moat and the drawbridge too, but here a few hundred yards away, the floater just waited out of the way. Not the best position tactically, Javor thought, but it’d have to do.
At the bottom of the catwalk, Sue had been resourceful and had put together a waiting area. Those who were there for a ride but not in the actual group could sit and wait in a bit of comfort. She’d raided one of the storage areas, and more than thirty chairs were arranged around a table or two that held cold drinks. Wayne had even rustled up some hors d’oeuvres for them to munch on while the tours went on. They had no idea as to who would be in which tour group nor for that matter how many there were even going to be.
As the gate opened up on the castle, two dozen castle inhabitants walked out, and they did sound excited, Javor thought. Taking a ride on the floater was not a biggie to him, but to others, being up high in flight might be exciting.
“Least we hope so,” he said to himself.
As the group came closer, he could see the sorceress, Jennifer, was accompanied by two of her banshees.
No mages, he hoped. Mages were invulnerable, and they supposedly had magic wands that could kill.
He’d never seen the wands, but the magic spell that kept Bruce’s bullet from killing that gray mage as they’d been greeted just yesterday was impressive.
Would love to have one of those myownself, he thought. He smiled as the group presented itself in the bright sunshine on this clear summer day.
The banshee who must have been the head banshee looking after the sorceress spoke up first. “We would like to thank you, Sue and all of you, for the chance to see our kingdom from your floater. It will be a really enjoyable experience,” he said, as he gestured to the sorceress beside him. “We would like the sorceress to be in the first group of ten that you’ve requested for us to take the ride and she is—as you can see—very excited to do just that,” he said dryly.
Jennifer smiled shyly, but she nodded her head vigorously and skipped forward for a few steps.
“Might we ask—if this is allowed—” Sue said, “to get, say, the sorceress and her banshees to take up a position on the gangplank so that we could take a photo or two to present to the warlock later today?”
It all came down to this. No mage meant there was no real danger to the group. Banshees could be injured, and that was what the group counted on.
At his waist, a sudden vibration on his monitor warned him of an incoming notification from the Drake and that might mean but one thing—but he had to postpone that look as what was happening in front of him took precedence.
As the head banshee nodded, Javor thought, Bingo, and took up his position at the end of the gangplank. He had a big camera on his belt, and he raised it up and began to give the posing instructions to one and all. “We’d like Sue and the sorceress at the front of the photo with her banshees and our group behind them, if that’s okay?” he asked. “The rest of the first group, just wait here for the photos to be taken and then come on up and into the floater behind us,” he said.
Wayne and Jon pushed up the gangplank about ten feet and then turned to face downward. The two banshees came next and slid up the gangplank to stand right in front of Wayne and Jon. Perfectly positioned to be captured, Javor thought, as he played with the lens of the camera, sighting it, and adjusting the dials and settings.
“Lastly, our honored duo,” he said, as Sue took the sorceress’s arm and led her up to stand in front of the banshees.
All were in position, and Javor took his place in front of the gangplank, a few feet off the prow of same.
Someone behind him shouted, “Boathi … that’s a Boathi shuttle ship,” and all hell broke loose.
Javor quickly gave a thumbs-up, and above him, Toby saw same, and Zoe went up in a rush as their plan went into action.
Javor jumped quickly for the rapidly rising gangplank and saw that both Wayne and Jon had the jump on the two banshees in front of them. They had quickly put them in choke holds and had swung them off their feet and over the side to the ground as it fell away.
Two down, the sorceress in their hands … but Boathi, Javor thought, they’ve found me…