Janet (le Fey) Fraiser _____ Sam has a new
              friend!


There are fairies at the bottom of our
              astrophysics lab!


A WORK OF STARGÅTE SG-1 FAN-FICTIONby Van ©2010

Chapter 2

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ



OUR STORY CONTINUES


Sam was trying to make herself wake up, but something was wrong.  She felt... funny... kinda giddy... and something was physically wrong.  It reminded her of the time she took a zat blast from that escaped convict on that planet where she first met Warrick.  What was it called?  Anyway, she took the blast... Ow! ...and woke up with her wrists cable-tied behind her back, her ankles zipped together, a strip of ninety-mile-an-hour tape over her mouth, and lying in the dirt outside the prison ship—which had sucked, big time!

She could still feel the bite of the tie on her wrists, and the sting when Teal'c ripped the tape from her lips.  It wasn't his fault, of course.  Quick-as-you-can was the best way to deal with that stuff.  Besides, Sam would forgive the big, adorable lug anything.  Teal'c was a giant teddy bear... unless you were on his People-Who-Need-Killing list, in which case he was a giant grizzly bear.  Anyway, her current predicament was something like that, only this time she was naked and...

Sam's eyes snapped open and she screamed into the hard mass of nubby material filling her mouth.  She was naked, and her wrists and ankles were tied, as were her knees and elbows, and the thing in her mouth felt like it was probably a knotted ball of rope.  She could feel the tight strands that anchored the gag pressing against her cheeks, and they were tied together at the nape of her neck.  She focused on her bonds, those that she could see, anyway, and found they were some sort of twisted, olive-drab rope, and the stuff was shiny and synthetic.  It reminded her of the reel of heavy-duty parachute rigging thread she kept in one of her junk drawers, only, of course, this stuff was much bigger.  Parachute thread was non-conducting, and strong, and she sometimes used it to lash small parts together when she was jury-rigging some piece of equipment.   It was just the stuff when glue wasn't appropriate, the spacing wouldn't allow her to solder or spot-weld, a cable-tie was too awkward, and...  Sam shook her head.  Concentrate, Sam! she chided herself.  The rope was just like parachute thread, only orders of magnitude increased in size.  It's grown, or I've shrunk, she reasoned, like in that hallucination I was having, where I was tiny, and Janet was a fairy, and...

Sam shook her head, again, and focused on her surroundings.  I'm still in that hallucination, she decided.  She was on the top shelf of one of her lab's equipment shelves, between a portable oscilloscope and an old radiation monitor, only they loomed above her like the sides of a pair of cargo containers.  She squirmed to the edge of the shelf—I should dust up here more often, she thought—and looked down.  Yes, it was her lab, and it was still huge, or she was still tiny (action figure-size).  Her clothes (all normal-size) were still arranged on the floor as if she'd dropped to the floor and evaporated.  The experimental machine on the lab table was also still there, but the racks of multicolored crystal were now dark.  Also, the large brown and gray eggs she'd seen earlier were gone, including the fragments of the hatched egg that had been on the floor.

"Tee-hee-hee!"

Sam turned her gagged head and looked down her naked, bound body towards the darkness at the back of the shelf.  The Janet-fairy stepped from the shadows!  And she was Janet, with the same heartbreakingly cute smile Sam remembered so well.  Her shining, rainbow-hued, semi-transparent wings projected from behind her back at a jaunty angle, and she was swinging her hips in a very seductive manner.  She was totally naked, as before—as naked as Sam, herself, at the moment, not counting her rope bonds.

That machine really zapped me
, Sam thought.  She'd had more than her share of concussions in the course of SG-1 missions, and her share of hallucinations—mostly in the form of conversations with people she knew weren't really there.  She supposed this qualified—in a particularly bizarre manner—but this particular incident was especially vivid, elaborate, prolonged, and... kinky.  She's beautiful.  Sam shook her head, yet again.  She WAS beautiful, Sam reminded herself.  This isn't Janet Fraiser.

"Hello, Zam," the Janet-fairy said.  She knelt at Sam's side, and gently cupped the captive's rope-framed breasts.  "You're so pretty, Zam," the fey creature cooed, and began a gentle massage.

Sam stared up at her literally fantastic captor, and tried her best to ignore the sensation of a naked fairy with pointy ears and dragonfly wings kneading her boobilage.  Boy, when I hallucinate... I hallucinate!  The Janet-fairy had the cutest little accent.  She spoke with Janet's voice, but in a slightly higher pitch, and apparently she had a propensity for pronouncing the sibilant "S" as something more like a "Z" when she spoke Sam's name.  Cute!  Sam blinked and strained against her bonds.  Time to wake up, Sam, before this dream turns into a coma.

"I'm sorry my ropes are so tight," Janet sighed, continuing her massage, "but we had to keep you safe while we cleaned things up."  She leaned close and kissed Sam's gagged mouth.  "We could have left you on the floor, as a Bigling, rather than bring you with us into the Fey-Realm, but this is a lot more fun, don't you think?"  She cocked her head to the side and smiled sweetly.  "You don't mind if I play with you, do you, Zam?"  She lifted a leg, straddled Sam's hips, and settled her weight, what there was of it, atop the prisoner's stomach.  She continued massaging Sam's breasts.

Sam continued struggling.  Wake up, Zam—I mean Sam! she ordered herself.

"My Dark and Light sisters are busy hiding our shells," the Janet-fairy said, "and preparing for The Great Hunt."

What the hell is she talking about? Sam wondered.

"When we're ready... the game will begin," Janet continued, "and we'll come back for you.  It's going to be sooo much fun, and you'll be a beautiful Fairy Queen, Zam."

I'm losing it, Sam decided, and closed her eyes... then opened them again and moaned through her gag.  She felt lightheaded, like she was drunk, or high on something... something other than the sensation of Janet's gentle hands kneading her breasts.  "Mrfh!"  And now Janet arched her back, slid the lower, forward edge of one of her folded wings between Sam's thighs and against her sex, and started sliding it back and forth!  Sam fought her bonds with renewed vigor.

"Easy, Zam," Janet cooed.  "I have to capture the flavor of your aura."  The stiff panel of the wing eased between Sam's labia and continued its slow, gliding massage.  "Then, it will be easier to come back, later, to take you away with us."  She giggled, and began teasing Sam's left nipple with the fingertips of her left hand, and she leaned close to flick Sam's right nipple with the tip of her tongue.  "You have to do the little dance now, Zam, so I can taste you."

Sam continued writhing and squirming, but she realized it was more an attempt to move her body in rhythm with Janet's wing and body than to escape.  It felt good... it felt very good. The rigid wing slid freely through Sam's increasingly wet sex during up-strokes, but met increased resistance on each down-stroke.  It felt like it was covered with thousands of tiny little scales, like the skin of a garter snake, or the rasping tongue of a kitten.   God... I'm having a WET-hallucination, Sam thought.  That's a first.

"Oh, Zam," Janet sighed.  "I've wanted to play with you for so long, even before...  before I..."  Janet's hands went still, and she stared into space, as if trying to remember something.  "Before..."  After several seconds, she smiled, giggled, and resumed playing with Sam's nipple and sex.  "No matter.  So beautiful!... You're so beautiful, Zam."

Sam moaned and clenched her eyes tightly closed.  It was impossible to ignore what Janet was doing to her.  It feels so good!  Besides, it's only a dream, she decided (rationalized).  Why not enjoy the fantasy?  It feels... so... good!

"Dance for me," Janet whispered.  "Dance the magic dance!"

Sam moaned, and focused on Janet's smiling face.  She felt wicked, and happy, and her magical lover seemed to know just how to push her buttons, in just the right way.  She knew how to—"M'rmpfh!!"—Sam clenched her eyes tightly closed, held her breath, shivered in her bonds under Janet's featherlight weight and the squeeze of her strong thighs—and then convulsed in the throes of a crashing multiple orgasm!  It went on, and on, and on... and then it was over.

Janet stood, still straddling Sam's body, with her feet on either side of the captive's waist.  She smiled down at her panting, sweating prisoner, reached behind her back and stroked the edge of the wing that had done the wicked deed, then lifted her hands to her lips and slowly licked her musk-filmed fingers.  "Umm... yummy," she cooed.

Sam gazed up at Janet's glistening sex, pubic bush, flat tummy, at her firm breasts and flushed nipples, at her naughty, angelic face, and her devilishly cute pointed ears.  Her wings were slowly flexing, their semi-transparent panes flashing in the dim, indirect light as they changed angle.

"We'll see you soon, Zam," Janet said, with a saucy grin, then extended her still shining index finger, pointed it towards Sam's face, and—

There are fairies at the bottom of our astrophysics lab
Chapter 2

"Major Carter!"

Someone... Freya, it was Freya... was calling Sam's name, and shaking her shoulder, and trying to get her to wake up... but Sam didn't want to wake up.  She felt good... and naughty... and good!

"My god!  What happened to her?

That was Hailey.

"She's naked!  And why is she giggling like an idiot?"

That was Hailey, again.  Sam was naked, and she was giggling, but she didn't want to wake up.  And she didn't have to.  Sam was a Major, and Hailey was only a First Lieutenant.

"Major Carter, wake up, immediately."

Freya again.  Sam didn't outrank Freya.  She opened her eyes and smiled up at the Tok'ra scientist and the Lieutenant.  "Morning!" she said, and yawned.

"Hey, what's goin' on?"

That was Felger.

"Mornin' Jay!" Sam said, and started giggling again.

"Oh-my-gawd—?  Hey!"

Hailey had jumped to her feet, shoved Felger back across the threshold of the lab door, and slammed it closed.

"Hey!  Let me in!  Major Carter's naked??"

That was still Felger, but now his voice was muffled by the steel door.  Sam stopped giggling and batted her eyes at Freya and Hailey.  "Why am I naked?" she asked.

Hailey helped Sam to her feet, then rummaged through her uniform, which, for some reason, was on the floor.  "Uh, why don't you tell us, ma'am," Hailey responded, as she handed Sam her military-brown panties, "while you get dressed."

"Oh..." Sam responded, and took the panties.  "Okay."  She stepped into the panties, pulled them up, then accepted her military-brown bra and started donning it as well.  "I came to the lab early, as usual, and the machine..."  She nodded at the experimental rig on the nearby table,  "...was flashing, and making eggs, and one of them had hatched, and it was Janet, only she was a fairy, and—"

"I believe she is in shock," Freya said.

"Don't interrupt," Sam scolded, and stepped into her combat uniform pants.  "She was a tiny fairy, and she made me tiny, too.  And she tied me up, and..."  Sam blinked.  Her head was spinning.  "I..."  Time seemed to slow to a crawl as her legs went out from under her and she started to collapse—only Hailey and Freya caught her, and gently lowered her to the floor.  They're so nice, Sam thought.  She was losing consciousness, again.  This is getting to be a habit, she said... or thought... she wasn't sure which... and then she closed her eyes.

There are fairies at the bottom of our astrophysics lab
Chapter 2

Sleepy SamSam opened her eyes to find herself in the SGC clinic.  She was in one of the beds, under the covers, and someone had dressed her in a set of patient pajamas.  Various sensor-pads were taped or pasted to various parts of her body, and their attached leads snaked away to the usual medical equipment and monitors.  This was far from a unique experience for Samantha Carter, but it was the first time she remembered waking up in the clinic not battered, bruised, and/or burned, and not in a morphine-mediated haze of pain.  This time, her head was perfectly clear.  Okay, she was a little tired, but as far as she could tell, otherwise, she was perfectly fine.

Holding a hushed conference on the far side of the room were Jack (Colonel O'Neill, Sam corrected herself), Freya, Hailey, and a very young-looking female doctor Sam had never met before.  Sam remained perfectly still, with her eyes half-closed, and listened.

 "My instruments are limited," Freya said, "but the readings indicate elevated levels of various neurochemicals, including norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin—"

"Ah-ah-ah!" O'Neill raised a hand to halt the Tok'ra scientist in mid-sentence.  (Sam suppressed a smile.  The Colonel had zero tolerance for technical explanations.)  "Cut to the chase.  She's okay?"

"Her blood-work won't be back for at least another hour," the doctor said.  "However, her vitals are normal, and there are no signs of physical trauma.  I've ordered a full cranial series."


Hailey and Anise"So..." O'Neill said.  "What happened?"

 "I have no explanation," Freya intoned.

"We came to the lab at about zero-eight-hundred, to start work," Hailey explained, "and there she was, curled up on the floor on top of her clothes... uh... naked."

"Naked?" O'Neill asked.

"Naked," Hailey confirmed.

"We revived her," Freya said, "but she was incoherent and in mild shock.  She lost consciousness, again, almost immediately."

"We called in a medical team," Hailey continued, "they brought her here, and..."

"So," O'Neill said, "what happened?"
Jewel Staite as Dr.
          Jennifer Keller

"I think the machine zapped me," Sam said.


The group rushed to her bedside. 
The doctor pulled a penlight from the pocket of her white coat and began examining Sam's eyes, flicking the tiny beam from side to side to check her pupillary response.

"What is it with you medical types?" O'Neill mumbled under his breath.  "Always flashing your little lights in people's eyes...  It's very irritating, you know."
 
The doctor ignored him, concentrating on the task at hand, but Sam couldn't help but smile.  She noticed Hailey was smiling, too.  Almost everybody at the SGC had developed an appreciation for the Colonel's teasing and often self-deprecating banter.

"Got yourself zapped again, eh, Carter?" the Colonel inquired.
Richard Dean
          Anderson as Jack the Wiseass

"I think so, sir," Sam chuckled.  "When I came into the lab, our apparatus was at full power, and then..."

"Yes?" O'Neill inquired.

"Uh, it must have been emitting some form of hallucinogenic radiation, or something," Sam continued, "because, I started seeing things."

 "Like what?" O'Neill asked.

The doctor and Hailey were listening, attentively.  Freya had produced one of her hand-held Tok'ra devices from a belt-pouch and was pointing it in Sam's direction.

"Uh... things," Sam muttered.

"Okay," O'Neill sighed, "elaborate, but please don't make me regret asking."

"A fairy," Sam whispered, her cheeks burning.  "I saw a little fairy, with wings... and a bunch of eggs."

"A fairy... and a bunch of eggs," O'Neill repeated.  "It was having breakfast?"

"It, I mean she," Sam continued, "I think she hatched from one of the eggs, and there were others.  Other eggs."

"The Major's hormonal state suggests recent sexual arousal," Freya announced, focusing on the instrument's tiny, glowing screen.

"Freya!" Sam and Haily protested, simultaneously.

"I am only sharing relevant data," Freya responded, in a matter-of-fact tone.  She returned the device to her belt, then focused on Sam.  "The hallucinations were erotic?"

"Uh..."  Sam's face was now bright crimson.

"Eggs and erotic hallucinations," O'Neill mused, aloud.  "Never mind, Carter," he continued.  "You can put all the details in your report."

"Colonel!" Sam and Hailey protested, again.

O'Neill turned to Freya and Hailey.  "I want a thorough analysis of that machine and the lab," he ordered.  "It usually takes a lot more than a little exotic radiation to get Carter out of her clothes."

"Colonel, please!" Sam sputtered.

O'Neill turned and gave his subordinate a significant look.  "P3X-595?"

Sam lowered her gaze and continued to blush.  "Stop it, sir," she mumbled.

Hailey carefully suppressed a smile and mentally memorized the system designation.  P3X-595—P3X-595.  That was one mission report she intended to read at her first opportunity.

"Anyway..." O'Neill continued, turning back to Freya and Hailey.  "A complete, detailed analysis, with tricorders and interocitors set on full gizmosity, got it?"

Freya frowned.  "I do not under—"

"Got it, Colonel," Hailey interrupted, took Freya by the arm, and led her away.  "Later, Major," she called, with a wave and a smile.

Sam waved back and managed a weak smile, but was still too embarrassed to speak.

"Be sure and check for quarks!" O'Neill called after the departing pair, then addressed the doctor.  "Do your tests and stuff," he ordered, "and take good care of her."  He turned to Sam and smiled.  "Fairies, huh?  I always pegged you as more the unicorn type.  Well, things to do."  He spun on his heel and headed for the exit.  "Oh, and Carter..." he called back over his shoulder.

"Yes, sir?"

"Try to keep your clothes on!" he finished, before making his exit.

All the nurses and orderlies in the clinic stopped what they were doing to stare at the Colonel's disappearing back, shifted their collective gaze to Sam—then quickly returned to their immediate tasks.

"I'm gonna murder him," Sam muttered under her breath. She was still blushing, but was also suppressing a smile.

The doctor chuckled and gave her patient's arm a reassuring pat.  "I'll testify at your court martial.  Extenuating medical circumstances."

Sam grinned.  "Thanks."

"Jennifer Keller," the doctor said, extending her hand.  "I just joined the staff.  I'm on the rotation roster for the Atlantis Expedition, but the powers-that-be insist I do a tour at the SGC, first, to get used to 'unusual circumstances'."

"Pleased to meet you," Sam said, shaking the doctor's hand.  "And I'm afraid you'll find that around here unusual is often very usual."

"I believe you," Jennifer chuckled.  "Rest," she ordered.  "We'll be ready for your CT scan in a few minutes."

"Okay," Sam responded.  She watched the doctor walk away to talk to one of the nurses.  Jennifer Keller looked like a teenager dressed up as a doctor for Halloween, but Sam knew General Hammond wouldn't approve anyone for posting to his command unless they were the best-of-the-best.   Sam let her head lay back against the pillow and closed her eyes.  What the hell did that machine do to me? she wondered.

"Tee-hee-hee!"

Sam's eyes popped wide.  She lifted her head and quickly scanned the room.  Nothing was out of the ordinary.  Sam let her head drop and closed her eyes, again.  I... I guess I imagined it, she decided.  Yes... I imagined it.

There are fairies at the bottom of our astrophysics lab
Chapter 2

THE ASTROPHYSICS LAB

"It wasn't fair," Felger muttered.  He was removing the crystals from the experimental device, one at a time, and using an illuminated magnifier to examine their surfaces for flaws or burn-marks.

"Does your culture not have a pronounced public nudity taboo with respect to gender?" Freya inquired.

"Uh... yeah," Felger admitted, "but I could have helped."

"Your assistance was not required," Freya intoned, "and probably would have exacerbated Major Carter's agitation."

"It looked like she was drunk or something," Felger muttered, "more than agitated."

"My scans have eliminated the presence of ethanol or narcotic compounds in her bloodstream," Freya intoned.

Felger finished checking the last crystal.  He returned it to its position and slid the tray closed.  "Nothing," he sighed.

Just then, Hailey entered the lab with an alien device in her hands.  "One 'Transphase Eradication Rod'," she announced, "properly checked out from the Armory."  She handed the streamlined, compact object to Freya.  It was technology the Tok'ra had shared with their Tau'ri allies, and defeated personal cloaking devices by emitting a beam that revealed enemies attempting to hide in an out-of-phase state.

"Excellent," the Tok'ra scientist said, carried the T.E.R. to a lab bench, and opened her equipment case.  "I shall remove the weapons module and replace it with a transphase harmonic amplifier," she explained.

Felger laughed and pointed at the cylindrical tool Freya was using to dismantle the device.  "That looks like a sonic screwdriver!"

Freya frowned as she removed a section of the device and replaced it with a bulbous pod.  "Why would one design a tool that used acoustic energy to manipulate recessed fasteners?"

"Just ignore him," Hailey sighed.  "The rest of us do."

"Very funny," Felger huffed.  His eyes were on what Freya was doing to the T.E.R.  "A harmonic amplifier, you say?"

"Properly tuned," Anise explained, "an amplified search module can illuminate matter that has been in recent contact with an intense transphase field."  She made a final adjustment, raised the modified T.E.R., and depressed the trigger.

"Wow!" Hailey and Felger gasped.

The entire experimental machine was now glowing with a bright violet light, especially the sub-space nexus crystals.  As Freya slowly swept the beam across the entire lab, it revealed additional hot-spots, some large and some small.

Hailey pointed to one of the larger violet blobs on an equipment shelf.  "Tell me that isn't what I think it is," she said.  Whatever object had caused the hot-spot had been very close to the side of a cardboard box, and the glowing area was actually a pair of oval shapes, one on the surface of the shelf, and the other on the box.

Felger took a step closer.  "It's like a double shadow, cast by a really big... egg," he said, quietly.

"Here's another one," Hailey said, pointing to a lab table, "another oval."

"Many of the large areas are similar," Freya noted.  "We should document this as quickly as possible.  The transphase residual effect will degrade in an exponential manner, and will be undetectable in just a few hours."

"I'll get a camera," Felger said, and sprinted from the lab.

"Get one of the digital survey cameras with full spectrum capability!" Hailey called after him.

"Duh!" Felger's voice echoed back from down the hall.

Freya handed the modified T.E.R. to Hailey, then headed for the door, as well.  "I have a holo-recorder in my quarters," she said.  "Do not use the illumination beam until I return.  Its use will speed the degradation."

"Uh... okay."  Hailey set the T.E.R. on the table, and surveyed the lab.  The tell-tale, florescent blobs were gone, of course.  She noted that the lab, itself, was as well-organized and neat as ever... as neat as any working lab, that is.  They had bundled the remainder of Major Carter's combat uniform and boots and taken them with her to the clinic, so everything was just as she remembered from the previous day... with one small exception.

Hailey knelt at the base of one of the equipment shelves and discovered a snarl of olive-drab thread.  Parachute thread, she realized.  She picked it up and was about to drop it in the trash—when she noticed something peculiar.

She went to the lab bench, picked up the illuminated magnifier, and began a careful examination.  Most of the clump was simply individual, tangled threads, with none of the strands more than several centimeters in length, but one piece was tied in an amazingly complex knot.  Under the lens of the magnifier, it was something like a monkey's fist, the knot sailors tied in the end of a heaving line to give it weight... only this knot had two free ends, and it was more involved than the examples of monkey's fists Hailey had seen at the marina where her dad kept the family boat.  The macramé-like ball was incredibly neat and tightly wound, and would have taken a great deal of time and effort to tie.  In fact, Hailey decided, it probably would have taken specialized forceps or robotic micro-manipulators, and a surgeon's skill.

Why would the Major tie something like this, Hailey wondered.  Why would anyone tie something like this?  She pulled an empty vial from a drawer, popped its cap, and dropped the knotted thread inside.  She then snapped the cap closed and put the vial in her pocket.

"Tee-hee-hee!"

Hailey glanced around the lab.  "Great," she muttered under her breath.  "Now I'm hallucinating."  The machine on the lab table was still dark.  Its power button was in the off position, as it had been earlier, when they discovered Major Carter on the floor.  Upon their return to the lab they'd taken the added precaution of disconnecting the power cable, and it was still disconnected.  Maybe there's some sort of residual radiation, Hailey reasoned, something we can't detect.

Suddenly, it seemed very prudent to await the return of her fellow team members from what she hoped would be the safety of the hallway.  Hailey exited the lab and pulled the door closed behind her.

There are fairies at the bottom of our astrophysics lab
Chapter 2

High on a shelf in the lab, a group of Janet-fairies stepped from the shadows behind a row of oscilloscopes and monitors, and fluttered down to the main lab table.  They were seven in number, and all but one had skin so pale it was almost white, hair as black as a raven's wing, and violet eyes.  The exceptional fairy possessed the well-tanned skin, auburn hair, and brown eyes of the late Janet Fraiser.  There was one other difference from her fey companions—she was bound and gagged.  Her wrists were tied behind her back and bound to her tiny waist by a band of rope.  (It was more of the parachute thread, actually.)   In addition, her knees were bound together, and multiple bands of rope cleaved her grimacing mouth.  Lastly, a noose was around her throat, with the free end clutched in the hand of one of her captors.

"Drat," one of the fair-skinned group complained, glaring at the closed door.  "We could have captured her."

"We cannot," one of the others responded.

"It is not allowed," another agreed.

"The Great Hunt has not begun," a fourth fairy added.

"We shall have another chance," yet another pale fairy said, "when all is ready."

Just then, a second group of fairies fluttered to the table from another shelf.  They were equal in number and composition to the first group, only with their appearances reversed.  The free fairies were of the tan-auburn-brown variety, and their rope-bound captive was pale-black-violet.

One of the newcomers stepped forward and raised a hand in salute.  "Hail, Dark Sisters," she said.

"Hail, Light Sisters," one of the first group answered.  "This is the final exchange, is it not?"

"It is," the other agreed.  She made a gesture, and one of her auburn-haired companions lifted the noose from the neck of their black-haired captive and gave her a push forward.

The fair-skinned fairies removed the noose from their captive, as well, and the still bound and gagged fairies crossed the space between the two groups.  With their knees bound, their pace was slow and their steps awkward.  They eyed each other, warily, as they passed—and rejoined their kind.

The auburn fairies began untying their sister, but the black-haired fairy with the rope simply dropped the noose over the dark-haired captive's head and pulled the slip-knot tight.

The two spokespersons continued to eye each other.

"We have found a suitable location for our lair," the black-haired fairy announced.

"As have we," the auburn fairy responded.  "It is agreed we shall not linger in this place.  It would not be prudent.  The Snake-Lady has magic that can track us."

"It is agreed," the dark-haired fairy nodded.  "There are many chambers in these caverns with material we will find useful.  It will take time to craft all that we require, but it shall be done."

"It shall be done!" the fairies of both groups chanted in unison.

"The Great Hunt shall begin when all is in readiness and the omni-spheres are aligned," the auburn fairy announced, "all captives taken at time of hatching have been returned, and there is truce between Dark and Light."

"There is truce!" all repeated.

"Until the Hunt, then, my Dark Sister," the auburn fairy said, bowing to the black-haired fairy.

"Until the Hunt," the black-haired fairy replied, bowing in return

The tan-skinned group, including the newly freed captive, lifted into the air and flew to a ventilation duct.  One of their number pulled on the edge of the grill cover and it swung open on its hinges.  The fairies entered the duct, pulled the grill closed behind them, and were gone.

"It is really truce?" one of the Dark fairies asked, in a wistful tone.

"It is the law," another responded, then reached out and grabbed the left nipple of her bound sister and gave it a tweak.  The captive grimaced in pain and glared at her tormentor.  "However, nothing in the law says we can't 'entertain' a sister who was clumsy enough to let herself get caught while still wet from the shell."

"One day," the fairy who had done most of the talking announced.  "It shall be for one day.  It is pure chance this one hatched in the midst of Light sisters with already dry wings."  She stepped forward and tweaked the prisoner's right nipple.  "But undeserved punishment is sweet, is it not?"  She locked eyes with the captive.  "As First-Hatched Darkling, I sentence you to dance against your will as prisoner and plaything of your Sisters, for one day."   She turned and stared at the door.

"The one called Hailey?" one of her sisters asked.

The senior Dark fairy smiled a chilling, dimpled smile.  "It may be unlawful, but it wouldn't spoil the Hunt if we had a little fun before the start, would it?"

"Not if we don't get caught," another answered, and they all laughed (except the gagged prisoner).

"The Snake-Lady, as well," another suggested.

"Let us not tempt the fates," the Darkling leader answered.  "There will be time enough for the Snake-Lady after we have our Captive Queen."

The Dark fairies, with their prisoner fluttering at the end of her leash, followed their Light sisters into the ventilation duct.  The grill snapped closed, and the astrophysics lab was silent.

There are fairies at the bottom of our astrophysics lab
Chapter 2

THE
END



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