Vivid Dream Reality Book 3 Chapter 18

Chapter 18 Tia's POV

As the head of an emerging new state, I had a theoretical to-do list a mile long, however it was so much and so overwhelming that I had realised early on the power of delegation. Without micromanaging I still wanted to keep my finger on the pulse and usually had Andi keeping me up to date. I was confident in the people I had surrounded myself with, but now that the world was known to be dying and the big hint I had received was that I was the only one who could save it, I had to release any control I thought I had, trust my people and concentrate on saving the world.

There was an element of freedom, by releasing all my other worries to concentrate on just one, but that one was so important that it carried enough anxiety on its own. That didn't mean I didn't have fun though. I focused and worked my druid abilities as much as I could, both on Earth and on Lagbit's World. For my sanity, I needed to have breaks and Vee was there to make sure I took them and was wonderfully distracting. Still the majority of the time I spent working with druids to fulfil my druidic potential.

The male elves on Lagbit's World didn't stay long after they had been copied but spent some time educating me on the more brutal warlike familiar tactics. They felt a need to get back to the war. To some extent, the training was more a case of educating my familiars than me, since I would ask them to do something and the manner they acted was up to them. This was achieved by presenting them with challenges to overcome and give or show examples of outside the box thinking. In the end, I knew my familiars were ready to defend me.

After they left I concentrated on how my familiars could help with the constructions that we had planned. My metal and earth familiars worked together to create very strong walls. I worked with elven architects to design a palace and normal dwellings. Andi was somehow able to record these structures into a digital memory so I could build up a repertoire of different designs. When I returned to Earth, Andi sent them off to Simone and Mia so that they could be looked over and tweaked to work with modern desires and technology. I also looked into a geothermal power plant, using designs that already existed and discussing them with my familiars who would explain what was possible and the difficulty of the different elements so that we could work out the optimal schematic.

My other technique for settling in my metal familiar, Dina, was meditation. Dina was my fifth familiar, so I was getting better at communicating and working with all my girls, as I thought of them. This time it took me three weeks in Lagbit's World or three two hour sessions before I felt comfortable enough to go for another familiar ceremony.

Knowing that I was hoping for a wood familiar, Leaf slightly altered our usual ceremony, by having me holding a branch in one hand and talking about a tree during her hypnotic meditation. She thought it hadn't worked as there was no obvious glow to the branch, but I felt the life in it flare and brought it to my forehead to receive Adi, my wood familiar.

I then set to work to commune and integrate Adi with myself and all my other familiars. After two weeks I felt ready to attempt to talk to the trees. I wasn't ready for another familiar, but I had started being able to understand what Adi was saying to me and felt her desire expressed to me for the next step.

My original thoughts of just walking up to any tree went completely against my instincts which drove me to wander through the forest touching various trees until I came across a very large oak tree. I was on my own, as much as a princess could be. Vee and my honour guard had followed me at a discrete distance, Leaf accompanying them as well as Branch.

I had spoken to Branch before who had told me how it worked for her. As usual with most druidic abilities, you couldn't force or attempt to control the experience. It was more about listening and waiting for permission to ask your own questions, then being patient enough to hear the answer. So I put my hand on the trunk, closed my eyes and just listened. Initially, all I could hear was normal forest sounds. I just relaxed listening to them and eventually became aware of another presence listening with me. When I became aware of that presence I felt a welcoming feeling, as it responded to my notice.

Somehow I felt the tree's peace, serenity and satisfaction with life and then it paused as if waiting for me to add my part of the conversation. Rather than immediately ask about Nudi and the World Tree, I expressed my enjoyment of life. How I had met someone who made me very happy and the beautiful future that I was looking forward to. The anticipation of our child and our attempts to build a good and peaceful nation, so that child could grow up surrounded by love. I included the love that had been shown to me by my adoptive mother and her parents and all my familiars as well as all my dear friends. Going through it all I felt such gratitude and I tried to convey that. Finally, I expressed the need to communicate with Nudi.

Then I waited. And waited.

Branch had told me that I would receive an answer, even if it was negative, so I knew I just had to have patience.

Finally, I received a sense of agreement and then I knew the talk was over. I withdrew my hand and headed back to the palace.

“Well?” Vee asked.

“Hmm...” I answered. “It is not easy to express in words. I asked to speak to Nudi and eventually, I was told 'yes' and then the conversation was over.”

“So what is next?”

“I think Nudi has agreed to speak with me, but I don't know if I have to do anything else or go anywhere to make it happen,” I answered Vee.

At dinner that night I had the same discussion. Geri was pretty sure that there was no knowledge of where Nudi or the World Tree was in the library. Leaf and Branch thought the next step would be obvious when it was meant to be. They didn't believe we needed to do anything else but wait.

That night was the last on Lagbit's World before I slept for real on Earth and now that I had achieved what I needed to I could pick up all the balls that I had dropped while I waited. When I took the VDR headset off and looked around, Lacy looked very busy and everyone else had gone to sleep. I checked with Andi that Lacy didn't need my help or direction and after Andi suggested I leave her to it, we turned in for the night.

The next morning I organised a meeting, including Mia, Katie, Roni and Simone, so that everyone was up to date with my quest and I could be updated on theirs. I was asked to go first, so I went through with my journey and my present status, which was effectively waiting for something to happen.

Lacy went next. She didn't know where Cari was, but she knew where she was headed. She had been sold to an Arab. Andi had infiltrated the computer system that was used for anonymous bidding with a little help from my honour guard. She had a whole list of people who bought human sex slaves and more than one of them had bid on Cari.

Andi was in the process of stealing all the money from each and every one of them. The organisation that was responsible for the kidnapping was one of several crime families. Lacy had worked with Killash and had managed to confront every active member to leave them with mental compulsions. For six months they would gather evidence on all the organised crime that they were aware of and then they would enter a police station and confess their guilt, providing all the details that they had accumulated. An Andi app had been installed and hidden on all their computers and phones.

Lacy proposed a team composed of druids and modern warfare experts, rather like my honour guard, be sent to retrieve Cari and deal with the man who had bought her. She suggested the strong message that I wanted to send to the world that elves needed to be left alone or there would be consequences, should be done there. She also pointed out that my presence was not required.

Part of me wanted to go, just because I felt responsible for all my elves, but I couldn't find a good argument so had to go with the consensus. I mentioned that we would probably find more victims than just Cari so we needed to plan for that. Exactly what punishment we intended to deal out was debated, from death, castration to various forms of maiming. My elves, especially those who originated from Lagbit's World could be quite brutal. In the end, we agreed on a more psychological statement. All those involved would mysteriously disappear, with a message left behind that would be uploaded to the internet.

Harriet reported that all those who had passports or were able to get them would travel to the Isle of Wight on airplane tickets that Andi had organised. They needed to move quickly before their bodies changed significantly towards their new Elf selves. They were going as a group with the majority of our security forces, but this left the girls who had no passports, those who had been copied from characters on Lagbit's World, Tia and her honour guard that needed to leave without a trace.

Simone talked about the ship that was waiting for them. She had found it easier and quicker to use her own pleasure ship that had been in Florida. She had managed to crew it with applicants for change, we just needed to get to it. Leaf, Berry, Branch and Vienne had already been ferrying people across, with the help of the copied druids from Lagbit's World, who had a wind familiar. That night, we would be ready to move out of the warehouse under cover of darkness and start heading for the Isle of Wight.

Mia said the handover was progressing well and left it at that. Katie and Roni went through our affairs in Fiji, but there were no major issues there either. I felt that I had caught up, so we finished the meeting. I had breakfast with Vee and we returned to Lagbit's World for our next stint.

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