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 11

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ



OUR STORY CONTINUES


EVERYWHERE and NOWHERE

The transit through the wormhole was progressing as expected.  There was the sensation of being icy cold and rushing along a twisting, turning, spiraling tunnel of flickering, blue-white light.  O'Neill knew the brief journey—technically instantaneous, according to Sam, although it always seemed to take several seconds—would probably be somewhat disorienting to Keller, since this was her first trip.  After assessing the tactical situation around the destination stargate, he reminded himself to check on her condition, being careful to stay out of the path of any possible projectile vomiting, of course.  The ol' "technicolor yawn" was an atypical but not unprecedented reaction to gate travel.

He could tell the end was near.  There was the impression of a rapidly approaching blue wall, and then—

There are fairies at the bottom of our astrophysics lab
Chapter 11

The dragon kept flying towards the spiral mountain.

Sam was getting a serious chill.  Shivering and quaking in her bonds, she turned her gagged head to check on the Hailey-fairy caged in the fingers and talons of the dragon's left hand.  The little fey was also shivering, and was clutching the tapered tips of two of the dragon's talons with white knuckles.  It was difficult to be sure at this distance, but the Hailey's pale skin, lips, and rigid nipples might have taken on a slightly bluish tint.  Sam glanced down at her own nipples.  They were rock hard, as well, but not, thank god, pale or blue.

Sam bucked and struggled with all her strength and the "Queen's Star" to which she was lashed shook in the dragon's grip.

The colossal dragon lowered its long neck and twisted its head to stare at Sam.  "Be still!" it ordered, in its great, booming voice.  "We are almost there!"

The dragon straightened its neck and continued flying.  Almost there? Sam wondered.  The spiral mountain was still on the horizon, miles and miles away, and it didn't seem to be getting any closer.  The forest below was a green carpet, interrupted only by the occasional clump of boulders or a patch of flowery meadow.  Then, directly in their path and approaching fast, Sam noticed a shadow line and a white cloud billowing from the ground.

They passed over a ridge—no, it was the rim of a canyon.  The Dragon soared in a slow, wide circle, and Sam could take in the full details.

It was a pocket canyon, an elliptical valley about two miles long, a half-mile wide, and pointed at both ends.  Sam was no geologist, but it looked like it was probably a sinkhole.  The canyon floor was perhaps a quarter-mile below the level of the forest, and most of it was taken up by a blue lake.  Three or four streams fell into the canyon from the rim, and at one end, the volume of a small river emerged from the rock face, halfway down the sheer, vertical canyon wall, and thundered into the lake.  This was the source of the cloud Sam had noticed earlier.  The billowing whiteness was dissipating steam, clear evidence of geothermal activity.  At the other end of the canyon the lake drained into a cavern and disappeared under the ground.

The dragon spiraled down into the canyon, towards a narrow, boulder-strewn beach near the main inlet.  It propped Sam and the Star against the canyon wall, released the Hailey, then turned and dove into the lake with a colossal splash!

The fairy pattered to Sam and embraced her spreadeagled body, shivering with fear.

The dragon exploded from the water and perched on a boulder near the shore, stretching its wings full-length.  "Unbind the Queen!" it ordered.  The Hailey stared at the great beast in terror, continuing to shiver.  "Unbind her NOW!" the monster roared.

The fairy's fingers began fumbling with the knots of Sam's bondage, working her way across the frame and gradually releasing Sam from the Star.  All the while, she continued to shiver and steal glances at the basking dragon.  Tears rolled down the pixie's face as she sobbed and worried loose the seemingly endless knots with her pale, shaking fingers.

As her bonds melted, Sam's position became increasingly precarious.  Fewer and fewer of the thin cords were supporting her weight.  However, the Hailey-fey was bright enough and together enough to release her Queen in a sequence that allowed Sam to support more and more of her body with her feet and legs as her torso, arms, and wrists were untied.

Finally free, Sam pulled down her gag, spat the wad from her mouth, and pulled the Hailey into a tight embrace.  "There, there," she cooed.  The fairy was cold against her skin, and they both continued to shiver.

"Bathe in the water!" the dragon ordered, "but take care.  The water is hot!"

Sam glanced towards the inlet.  Steam was rising from a small side-pool, fed by a branch of the main river.  "C'mon," she told the Hailey, and, hand-in-hand they picked their way across the rocky ground to the pool.

Sam dipped a cautious toe in the water.  It was hot, but not dangerous.  The naked pair waded out and found that the deepest part of the pool came to Sam's nipples, which was nearly at the level of the Hailey-fey's chin.  Sam sighed, absorbing the welcome, wet heat.  For the first time, her fairy companion met her eyes with a cautious smile.

Sam noticed a scratch on the fairy's upper right bicep.  It broke the skin for half its length, and was oozing blood.  "Aw," Sam sighed, and led the fairy back to the shallows.  "Let me see that."

The Hailey lifted her arm for Sam's inspection.  "The dragon," she whispered.  "When it grabbed me."

"It doesn't look bad," Sam said.  She untied the cleave-gag still around her neck, gave it a thorough rinse, then wrung it out and tied it as a bandage over the scratch.  "Keep it clean and it should be fine," she advised.

"Thank you, my Queen," the Haily sighed, a shy, worshipful smile on her pixie face.

"Fairy!" the dragon growled.  "You have done what I brought you here to do!  Go back to the others!"

"No," the Hailey answered, shaking her head and embracing Sam.

"Do as you are told!" the dragon huffed.

"No, I stay with the Queen!" the Hailey squealed.  Her embrace tightened, and her brown eyes welled with tears.

"GO BACK TO THE OTHERS!" the dragon roared, its mighty voice echoing off the canyon walls.

The Hailey shivered, with her head buried between Sam's breasts.  "Leave her alone!" Sam shouted, hugging the fairy close.

"She is not needed!" the dragon growled, glaring at Sam with its giant, golden eyes.

"Leave her alone!" Sam reiterated, glaring back at the giant reptile.

The staring contest continued, while the Hailey continued to shiver and sob, held tight in Sam's arms.

"Very well," the dragon conceded, finally.  "She cannot lift you from the canyon by herself, anyway.  Stay!"  With that, the dragon vaulted into the air and flew away.

Sam followed its dwindling form for a dozen wing-beats, and then it passed the far rim of the canyon and was gone.

Sam examined what she could see of the surrounding cliffs.  All were more or less vertical and devoid of anything even remotely resembling a path up to the canyon rim.  She'd have to conduct a thorough exploration, but her initial impression was that she was hopelessly trapped.  She glanced down at the top of the Hailey-fairy's blond head.  Hmm... I do have an air element, she reasoned.  Maybe we can rig some ropes and she can help me get past the worst parts.  Just then, the soaring form of the dragon passed overhead... far overhead... traversing the canyon in a lazy glide.  If Goldeneye lets us, that is.  At her current size, the canyon walls were as sheer and forbidding as Yosemite's El Capitan.  Further complicating the situation, a giant, flying dragon wanted her to stay put.

"C'mon," Sam sighed, kissing the top of the Hailey's head.  "Let's see if we can't rig up a camp of some sort."

The Hailey-fey lifted her chin and looked up into Sam's face with devotion.  "I am your slave, my Queen," she whispered.

Sam shook her head.  "I don't need or want a slave," she muttered, then instantly regretted her words as the fey's brown eyes welled with tears and her chin quivered.  Sam smiled.  "However," she continued, "I could use a friend."

The Hailey smiled and shivered with delight.  "My Queen," she whispered, and hugged Sam tight.

There are fairies at the bottom of our astrophysics lab
Chapter 11

The fairies milled around the base of the Machine of Life in consternation.  The Darklings and Lightlings had separated into segregated groups, with the Haileys mixed between.

The Machine flashed and flickered, as usual, with no apparent change in its complex light-show.

"It has taken the Queen!" a Lightling wailed.

"Filthy lizard!" a Darkling growled.  "It has taken the Queen!"

"What shall we do?" another Lightling cried.

"We must find her!" a Darkling suggested and both sides agreed.

"We must rescue her!" A Lightling shouted.

"Rescue Zam!"

"Rescue the Queen!"

"Slay the Dragon!"

"And how the hell do we do that?"

"Kill the filthy lizard!"

"Forge a giant sword and... and... Rescue the Queen!"

Darklings and Lightlings gave a weak cheer, then grew silent.  The excited fey knew they were strong on enthusiasm and weak on plan.

"We cannot wield a sword," a Lightling sighed.

"We could pummel the filthy lizard with our staffs all day and it wouldn't even notice," a Darkling grumbled.

"At least we should see where it has taken her," a Lightling suggested, to general agreement.

"We should arm ourselves," a Darkling said, "gather food and water for the journey, and—"

"Listen to me, my Daughters," a booming voice interrupted.  "I have modified The Plan."  Lavender lights flashed across the face of the Machine of Life, in perfect cadence to the voice.

"The Machine has changed The Plan!" a Lightling gasped.

"What was your first clue?" a Darkling muttered.

The Lightling smiled, the first fairy smile seen since the Queen's abduction—since the Queen's latest abduction.  "Uh... the giant dragon?" she suggested.

"Hush!" several Janets of both variety scolded their Sisters.

"The Great Hunt is suspended!" the Machine continued.  "My Dark Daughters, explore the caverns of the Dark Mountain on the far side of the Portal and establish yourselves.  My Light Daughters, a vast grove of forest giants grows in the opposite direction, equidistant from the Great Temple.  Begin building your platforms and houses among the upper branches.  Divide my Hailey-Daughters evenly between the Dark and Light.  My Felger-Sons shall continue their work in the Great Temple, making tools and devices for you both."

The fairies listed to this long speech in open dismay.

"What of the Queen?" a Darkling demanded.

"What of Zam?" a Lightling agreed.

"The Plan has been modified," the Machine intoned.  "Do not fear, the Queen is safe.  She shall come to no harm."

"But... she is our Queen," a Darkling muttered.

"The Plan has been modified," the Machine repeated.  "I promise you that the Great Hunt shall resume, but only after other work is accomplished, work that I have for you now, before you begin to build your homes."

The Janets looked at one another in confusion.  The Haileys were confused, as well, but they'd been in a continuous fluster since the Terror-of-the-Dragon.

"We have guests," the Machine announced, "invading guests from the Queen's World, some of which are known to you."

"Guests?" a Lightling asked.

"Invaders?" a Darkling inquired.

"They are in my care, and soon I shall give them into your care," the Machine explained.  "I have already harvested and stored the essence of the males, to make more Sons.  You shall harvest the essence of the females.  This is my gift.  One shall go the the Light, and one to the Dark."

"Hail the Machine of Life!" several fairies cheered, Dark and Light.

"But what of the Queen?" a Darkling whispered to one of the Lightlings.

"I do not know," the Lightling whispered back.

"The Queen is safe!" the Machine reiterated.  "Prepare for the harvest!"

The fairies cheered, again, and began to scatter; but the Darkling and Lightling that had whispered together remained behind.

"We mean no disrespect," the Lightling said, addressing the Machine.

"We love our Queen," the Darkling said.

"This is baseline data," the Machine intoned.  "The Great Hunt shall resume.  The Plan is modified, not abandoned."

Just then, a pair of Felger-trolls ambled up to the Janets.  One held a silver collar, which he handed to the Darkling.  The other had a collar of gold, which he handed to the Lightling.  The furry artisans turned, in unison, and shambled away.

"Second-Hatched of the Dark and Light," the Machine said, "you are now my First-Hatched.  Your former Elder Sisters are lost to you, and to me.  Go forth and lead your Sisters in the execution of The Plan."

The Fairies closed the collars around their necks, nodded to each other, bowed to the Machine, and flew away.

The Machine of Life continued to flash, glimmer, and glow, as it had for millennia, and as it would for millennia to come, with a high degree of mathematical certainty.

There are fairies at the bottom of our astrophysics lab
Chapter 11

O'Neill opened his eyes... focused... and found himself staring at a row of thick iron bars set about six inches apart.  He was sprawled on a stone floor, and he was naked.  "Here we go again," he muttered under his breath, and carefully sat up.

He was in a cage, roughly twenty meters square and five meters in height.  The top half of the vertical bars bent inwards and met at the center, and the bottoms were all sunken into the floor.  There didn't seem to be anything even remotely resembling a door, locked or otherwise.

Daniel, Teal'c, Warren, and two of his Marines—two male Marines—were also sprawled on the cage floor, and were also naked.  Hailey, Keller, and the female Marine, Cadman, were nowhere to be seen, as was Janet—the Janet-fairy, their Janet-fairy.  Jack climbed to his feet and walked around the cage, giving his fellow prisoners a quick visual inspection.  Assuming they weren't in comas, none seemed to be the worse for wear.

He shifted his attention to what was beyond the cage.  They seemed to be in a vast chamber.  Far overhead he could see the sloping interior of a giant dome.  A staircase, a giant staircase, rose to his right, step after colossal step, then spiraled out of sight.  A sheer wall, about fifty feet in height, was at his back.  Before him was a huge, rectangular opening something like a hundred feet wide and two hundred feet tall.  To his left, there seemed to be a sheer drop to the floor of the dome.

Daniel groaned and sat up.  "Let me guess," he moaned.  "We've been captured."

O'Neill shrugged.

"The lack of clothes is new," Daniel noted.  "System Lords aren't usually this impolite."

O'Neill shrugged, again.  "The women are missing."

"So they are," Daniel agreed.  "You don't see my glasses anywhere, do you?"

"'Fraid not," O'Neil answered, then nodded towards Warren.

The SG-3 CO was waking up.  He blinked, uncertainly, then jumped to his feet and turned to O'Neill.  "Uh, Colonel," he said.

"Major," O'Neill answered.  "You seem to be out of uniform."

Warren grinned.  "I'll put myself on report."

O'Neill grinned back.  SGC team commanders were used to dealing with unusual situations.  The other two Marines were stirring and climbing to their feet.  "Bosco, Penhall," O'Neill said, nodding to each in turn.

"Colonel," the Marines responded.

"The women are missing," O'Neill noted, for the Marines' benefit.

Warren surveyed their surroundings.  "Any sign of who or what—Wow!"

They looked up in response to a sudden, fluttering noise and stared in wonder as a dozen winged, pointy-eared, naked, 4' 9" copies of Jennifer Hailey flew over the wall, coming from somewhere under the vast, dome-covered space beyond, and landed beside the cage.  They were giggling, smiling, and carrying what appeared to be covered ceramic bowls and two-handled jugs.  They set their burdens down, near the bars, then scampered away, several feet, huddled together in a shy group, and continued to giggle and stare at the naked men.

"There's something you don't see every day," Daniel muttered.

"Hailey-fairies," O'Neill nodded.  "Uh... hello, ladies," he said, with a friendly wave.

The Hailey-feys lifted into the air and fluttered back the way they'd come.

"They could have at least have said hi," O'Neill groused.

"It would have been polite," Daniel agreed.

Suddenly, everything came into focus for O'Neill.  The giant staircase was a normal-sized staircase, and the vast dome overhead was actually the size of an earthly sports stadium.  The wall at his back was a balustrade, and the rectangular opening opposite was a normal, human-sized doorway opening onto a normal, human-sized corridor.  "We've been fairy-zapped and made tiny," he stated.

"Apparently," Daniel agreed, "and the 'Machine of Life' has made itself some more fairies."

"Using your Lieutenant as a template," Warren noted.

O'Neill knelt, reached through the bars, and eased one of the jugs between the bars.  "Water," he announced, after lifting its cup-like lid and peering inside.

"Some sort of meat stew," Daniel said, having retrieved one of the bowls.  The Marines helped pull the remaining supplies into the cage.

Just then, they heard a girlish, soprano scream from somewhere in the distance.

"Ahhhhhhhhh!"

It was a more-or-less continuous scream, and was increasing in volume.

Suddenly, a naked Jennifer Keller came into view out in the corridor.  Her wrists and elbows were bound behind her back and she was sprinting for all she worth.  Her breasts bobbed and shook as she ran.

"Ahhhhhhhhh!"

"Doctor Keller!" O'Neill shouted, but the Doctor didn't seem to notice that O'Neill or the other occupants of the cage were even there.  She was too intent on escaping whatever was on her heels.

And then, Keller's pursuers came into view, and it was a dozen—no, two dozen—pale, dark-haired Janet-fairies, hopping, skipping, and fluttering in her wake.  They were teasing the terrified Doctor, hooting and laughing.

"We're coming Jennifer!"

"We're going to get you, Jennifer!"

"Run, Jennifer, run!"

A half-dozen of the Darklings paused to wave at the caged men.

"Yoohoo, Jack!"

"Hi, Daniel!"

"Lookin' good, fellas!" 

They giggled and rejoined the hunt, and the bizarre parade was past.  Keller's terrified wail faded... and was gone.

O'Neill grabbed the bars and pulled with all his strength.   "Urrrah!  This fairy crap is starting to piss me off."

"There's nothing we can do for her right now, Jack," Daniel said, quietly.

O'Neill heaved a grim sigh, and nodded.

Suddenly, Teal'c groaned and sat up.  The last of the cage's occupants was awake.

O'Neill walked over and put a hand on the Jaffa's right shoulder.  "You okay?" he asked.

Teal'c blinked, uncertainly, and looked around at the cage.  "O'Neill," he said, then focused on the others.  "Daniel Jackson, Warren, Penhall, Bosco... my friends."  He gazed at his companions with a broad, somewhat dazed smile.  "We are naked... we are naked captives... but we are friends.  All will be well!"  He sighed, blinked several times, closed his eyes, and lay back down on the floor.

"Teal'c?" O'Neill muttered, gently shaking the Jaffa's shoulder.

"My friends," Teal'c mumbled and rolled on his side, still smiling.

"Naquata," Daniel said, quietly, then focused on the Marines.  "The phase transition seems to have a mildly narcotic effect on anyone carrying a Goau'ld or Tok'ra symbiont," he explained.

"And a Jaffa, like Teal'c, has a larval symbiont," Warren nodded.

Daniel sighed.  "Yes, which puts naquata in his bloodstream, and we think that's what causes the... reaction.  Anyway, he's gonna be inebriated for a while."

"At least the big guy seems to be a happy drunk," O'Neill noted, then focused on the jugs and bowls delivered by the Hailey-fairies.  "Anybody hungry?" he mumbled, then shook his head.  "Why am I asking?  Marines are always hungry."

There are fairies at the bottom of our astrophysics lab
Chapter 11

Sam and her new friend found a shallow cave near the inlet.  It was close enough for the steaming water to provide some warmth if the nights were cold, deep enough to provide shelter from the rain, but, unfortunately, not deep enough for them to be beyond the reach of Goldeneye's talons.  The floor was covered with a carpet of sand, which was much more comfortable than the rocky shore.

A careful exploration of the immediate area revealed a tiny, shallow bay in the lake shore, perhaps the splash zone of a seasonal waterfall from the overhanging cliff.  It was only the width of a large bathtub and perhaps ten meters in length, and they managed to surprise a school of small fish feeding on algae.  They were each about as long as one of Sam's forearms.  Most of them were able to escape back into the lake, but Sam managed to scoop four of them into the rocks, where they flipped and flopped and finally, lay gasping on their sides.

"Maybe we can start a fire and have a fish fry," Sam suggested.  She'd seen some flint-like rocks scattered about and thought she might be able to knap a few Stone Age tools to clean the fish and whittle herself a fire drill, as she'd been taught in SERE training.  The Hailey-fey helped her gather the fish, and Sam looked one over with a critical eye.  "You know," she told her diminutive companion.  "These things look like fry to me, rather than minnows."

The Hailey blinked, uncertainly.  "Fry?"

Sam smiled.  "Baby fish, as opposed to a species of small fish."  She nodded towards the lake.  "That means there may be adult fish out there, as in big adult fish, fish that might consider a hovering fairy to be a tasty snack."

"Oh," the fey said, staring at the blue water with wide eyes.  "I'll be careful, my Queen."

Sam nodded.  "Okay.  Now, lets have that fish fry."

The Hailey beamed.  "A fry fry?"

Sam laughed.  That sounded like something Hailey would say, the real Hailey.

Sam did manage to start a fire, in less than an hour.  The Hailey-fairy was fluttering up and down the shoreline, gathering drift wood.  The fish were cleaned and spitted, and Sam was waiting for the fire to burn down to coals.

Suddenly, the dragon flew down and landed on its former boulder perch.  It had some sort of animal hanging half in and half out of its right hand, an obviously very dead animal. To Sam and the fairies it was about the size of a cow.  To a Bigling, it would have been about the size of a large rat.

Come to think of it, Sam thought, it might very well be a rat, or maybe a weasel.  Whatever it was, it had shaggy brown fur and was dripping blood.

"You have fish!" the dragon growled, and hefted the dead animal.  "You will not need this."

"Uh... no," Sam said, evenly, "but thanks.  It's the thought that counts."

Staring at Sam with its golden, cat-like eyes, the dragon bit the animal in two, chewed the front half of the carcass a half-dozen times, and swallowed.  It then consumed the back half in the same manner, including the beast's long, pink, scaly tail.

The Hailey-fairy fluttered up, dropped a load of wood on the growing pile, then settled next to Sam and leaned close, putting her arms around her "Queen's" waist.  She stared up at the giant dragon with wide eyes.

Sam smiled and put an arm across the little blonde's shoulders.  The Haileys always seem to have wide eyes, she reflected.  I wonder if experience will make them more... blasé.

The dragon rose to its full height, leaped into the air and folded its wings, then plunged into the lake.

The waters churned, wavelets lapped the shore... and slowly... the lake grew still.

The Hailey whispered in Sam's ear.  "How big do you think the fish in the lake might be, my Queen?"

Sam smiled.  "Not big enough, I'm afraid," she whispered back, and kissed the top of the giggling fey's head.  She frowned.  "Did you see that?" she asked.

"The purple flash, my Queen?" the Haily asked, and Sam nodded.  "In the lake.  Yes, I saw it."

Several large bubbles disturbed the lake, and then, a gigantic, female figure erupted from the depths—a gigantic, female, naked figure!  Water streamed from her tan, athletic body and long, waist-length, blonde hair.  She was something like two-hundred fairy-feet in height, the size of a Bigling, or the dragon!  Her back was turned to the shore, and Sam rose to her feet as the giantess turned.  Her face was covered by a curtain of wet hair, but there was something familiar about—"Hey!"

The giantess had leaned down and snatched Sam with her right hand.

"No!  Let her go!" the Hailey-fey cried, hovering in the air, quivering with impotent distress.

Sam was on her back in the palm of the giant's hand.  "I'm okay!" she called, then stared up at the giantess' face.

The giantess parted her hair with her left hand and—

"Anise!" Sam gasped.  The giantess was Anise/Freya, the Tok'ra scientist.

"Freya," the giantess corrected.  "I am called Freya."

Sam couldn't help but stare.  The face was that of Freya, as was the voice—at substantially increased volume, of course.  But the eyes!  Giantess Freya's eyes were gold and slitted, like the dragon's.  "You-you're both of them.  I mean, you can change between human and dragon form!"

"The Queen is clever," Freya purred—a purr deep enough to make Sam's breastbone rattle.  "Yes, I can change my form.  I am both dragon and lady."

Sam's eyes darted to Freya's colossal breasts.  The giant version of the Tok'ra had nipples the size of beach balls, and the breasts themselves...  And I thought you had a big rack BEFORE! Sam mused.  "Hey!"

Freya had transferred Sam to her left hand, and the index finger of her right hand was nudging Sam's crotch.

"W-what are you doing?" Sam demanded.

"Isn't it obvious?" Freya sighed, and gently blew her warm breath across Sam's body, fluttering her short blond locks.

"Stop it!" Sam cried, quivering in Freya's giant hand.  There was nowhere for her to go, other than to try and dive into the lake, which was about a hundred feet below.  "Stop!  Y-you can't do anything to me!" she protested.  "You're too big!"

"Actually," Freya whispered, "I think you're too small."  Her smile broadened as she stopped rubbing the colossal digit against Sam's slit and began teasing her tiny nipples with her giant nail.

Sam tried pushing the colossal finger away, but it was impossible.

"I believe the coals are ready, my Queen!" the Hailey-fairy cried.

Freya turned her colossal head to stare at the hovering fairy.

"We're having a fish fry," the fairy explained—trying very hard not to seem like the totally terrified, naked little dragon-snack that she feared she might be.

Freya smiled, then set Sam back on the shore.  "Perhaps we can try later," she said, flashing a wicked grin.  "I can change into dragon form and use the tip of my tail... the very tip of my tail.  It may be small enough to serve our purposes."

Sam stared in horror.  "I-I..."

Freya laughed, turned, dove into the water, and swam away, towards the far shore.

"I believe she was joking, my Queen," the Hailey-fey said, settling to the ground and taking her usual place at Sam's side.

"She better be joking," Sam muttered, as she arranged the spitted fish over the coals.  She then smiled at the blond fey.  "That was very brave of you, to distract her like that," Sam whispered, then leaned close and kissed the fairy's lips.

"My Queen," the blushing fey giggled.

"What's your name?" Sam asked.

"Name?" the fairy asked, blinking in surprise.  "I am Hailey, my Queen."

"You can't all be Hailey," Sam responded.

"But we are... because we are."

Sam smiled.  "How's your arm?"

"Still a little sore, my Queen."

Sam untied the bandage and examined the scratch on Hailey's bicep.  "Hmm... I'm afraid there's a chance that may leave a mark.  I wish I had something to put on it."  She reached for the silk cloth that had been the stuffing of her gag.  She'd rinsed it in the lake, earlier, scrubbing it as clean as she could, then dried it in the sun.  She smiled as she folded it into a bandage and tied it over the healing wound.  "That's it!  I'll call you Markie."

"Markie?" the Hailey asked.

"Markie," Sam confirmed.  "By decree of the Queen, you are now Markie."

"Markie" the grinning fairy sighed.  "I am Markie."  She snuggled against Sam's side and sighed, again.  "Markie."

Sam gazed at the roasting fish.  She was glad she's remembered the trick of weaving thin, green sticks into a sort of cross-hatched brace.  Otherwise, the fish would have been difficult to turn without them spinning on the spit and charring on one side.  Her attention shifted across the lake and her smile faded.  The giantess Freya had climbed from the water and was stretching out on the far beach.  At this distance, she looked very much like a naked Freya/Anise... as opposed to the giant, naked Freya/Anise that she was.

"She better be joking," Sam whispered under her breath.

"What was that, my Queen?" the fairy inquired.

Sam's smile returned.  "Nothing, Markie.  Nothing."

There are fairies at the bottom of our astrophysics lab
Chapter 11

THE
END



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