Foaly paced the Ops Booth silently, his sadness the only feature on his face. It seemed practically etched into his features permanently now. Ever since the end of “The Fowl Siege” that was all the centaur could do, and feel. He killed one of his few friends, definitely one of the closest, so how could he not be upset? He hadn’t left the ops booth in days, weeks even, he had lost count after a short while. It didn’t matter really, he wasn’t planning on leaving soon.
Foaly sighed and sat down in front of the computer, ready to try and do the first spot of work he had done in who knows how long.
He was just about to start some files when commander Root strode into the room.
“Did you get those files done, Foaly?” Root asked, still looking down at his stack of paperwork.
“Just starting them, Commander,” Foaly replied sullenly.
Root looked up, his face starting to get red. “I gave you those files a long time ago centaur!”
“I haven’t been able to get any work done, Julius.”
Root calmed down, seeming to realize what was wrong. Giving a reassuring glance to Foaly, he took a nearby chair and sat down next to the centaur.
“Listen to me, Foaly. Holly was a hostage negotiator. She knew the risks of these situations. It’s not your fault. It’s no one’s fault, really, except Fowl’s. She was a good officer, and she worked on instinct instead of the book. That’s not very common. I sent Trouble to go pick her body up yesterday, and he should be back any minute.”
Just then Trouble burst into the room, out of breath and panicking.
“Fowl is alive!” he breathed.
Root and Foaly shot out of the chairs simultaneously, both exclaiming, “What?!”
They looked at each other before looking at Trouble. “What do you mean, Captain?” Root demanded.
“We went there, but before we even got into the vicinity my officers were getting sick. He’s alive.”
Foaly perked up a little bit, a sprout of hope forming. “What about Hol- Captain Short?”
Trouble shook his head. “We took a heat scan of the basement. No life signs. Whatever he did, Fowl didn’t spare her.”
Foaly visibly deflated, his little hope crushed with the ending of that statement. “Oh.” Then: “Is there anyway he could have moved her?”
Both Trouble and the commander gave him incredulous looks. “Out of the basement? Are you kidding? Even if he did spare her, she would still be a prisoner, nothing more. I highly doubt that he’d show her any hospitality at all.”
Trouble snorted at the commander’s words. “Impossible. The captain was one of the most stubborn elves I’ve ever met, and even if he did spare her or try to show her any kind of hospitality, she wouldn’t accept it. Likely even if he had intially spared her, she’s dead by now. He would probably have lost his temper with her long ago, and I could only imagine what he would have that mountain man of his do to her. If it was me in that situation, I’d rather be dead.”
Both the other fairies in the room couldn’t help but agree with that statement. There was silence for a few minutes and then Foaly said, “well, I suppose that makes me feel a little better. At least we know she’s not being tortured by him or something.”
“Right,” Trouble muttered. “She’s probably happier where she is now than she would be alternatively. Death was probably her best option from there.”
Again silence descended over the room briefly. Then Root spoke. “Okay. Thank you, Captain, you can be dismissed.”
It was phrased as though he had a choice, though it was clear from the commander’s tone he did not. The other fairies in the room heard this, and Trouble inclined his head slightly before turning and silently exiting the room.
As soon as the door closed behind the captain, Root flopped back down in his chair and said, “back to work, centaur. I want those files down ASAP, understand?”
He nodded. “I’ll get right on it, commander.”
“Good,” the commander muttered. “Now, I’ve got to do something about all this paperwork…”