How do you Arrest a Fairy?

“Is this seat taken?” asked a quietly spoken man whom Veronica had never seen before. She looked up from the document she was reading. The man had sandy hair and the insignia of a flight lieutenant. He was pointing to a chair the other side of the table from Veronica.
“That’s not a seat.” She glared at the chair. “Come on, Varag.”
Suddenly their was a chuckling sound coming from the seat and it began to ripple as if made of water. Then where the chair had been there was now a man. He was short, less than half a metre, and had a bushy brown beard that divided into two at his chin. He was dressed in earthy colours made into a patchwork waistcoat. He smiled and clicked his fingers. Suddenly a chair appeared, he levitated onto it causing the chair to wobble. “I am Varag, son of Jelvitch.”
“I’m Flight Lieutenant Scott Biggs.”
“Pleased to meet you. Have a seat,” Varag said. “Don’t worry I’m pretty sure every other seat in here is genuine.”
Biggs picked up a chair from the next table over. He gingerly poked it before sitting. “Then you must be Dr Veronica Giles?”
“I am.”
“Its a pleasure to meet you. Your reputation precedes you. From the reports I’ve read it looks like you’ve saved the planet many times.”
“Perhaps. Though some of those times were just clearing up my mistakes.”
“I look forward to learning from you. I’m the new security officer. I hope to do as well as my predecessor.”
“No-one is that good,” Varag said. “His promotion was very well deserved.”
“Have you spoke to the Air Commodore?” Veronica asked.
“Of course. First thing I did when reporting.”
“Then I assume he explained giving you magic.”
“Somewhat. To be honest it’s still sinking in that witches and wizards actually exist. It’s an amazing secret.”
“For one thing we don’t use those terms. They have so much of a stigma attached to them so we use ‘mage’ instead and sooner or later we will let the world at large know about magic.”
“I doubt that the government, any government, will be thrilled by that idea.”
“They may not have a choice. Stacy Tanner is quite adamant that disclosure happens soon.”
“That’s if she is allowed to,” Biggs said.
Varag and Veronica exchanged a look and then laughed. “Stacy Tanner commands the respect of an entire army. If the UN, or whomever, decides that the secret must be kept she’ll probably force the issue.”
“Really?”
“She may not be subtle about it either!” Varag said. “Might send elves and the centaurs to dance the can-can on Britain’s Got Talent.”
“That is a strange image!”
“Yeah…” Veronica said. “Come on let’s get you magic.” Veronica stood and indicated the way out of the room. They headed down the corridor and entered a lab. There was a high table in the middle of the room and boxes stacked on the surfaces around the perimeter.
“So you can just give someone magic?”
“Yes.” Veronica picked up a varnished wooden box from the back of the room. “At least now we can. We do this by means of a potion and a wofonoma. That’s comes from ‘wand for the non-magical’. Tina Hilton designed the potion. You won’t have the same degree of control as a natural mage but we have had a good deal of success with it.” Veronica clicked open the box. Inside there was a syringe along with several vials of coloured liquid.
“An injection!” Biggs said. “It’s that simple?”
“Not quite. Tina Hilton worked for a long time to come up with it. As you may be aware all humans have magic, at least they do at birth, the ability to harness the power drops off significantly with age.”
“Is their a chance that this won’t work?”
“…yes.”
“But…”
“It shouldn’t affect your job if you can’t have magic.”
“I’m not so sure about that.” Biggs moved round the the table. “How do you arrest a fairy?”
“You’re expecting trouble from the fairies?”
“No, but security of this base is my responsibility. If one of the…what’s the PC term? Non- humans?”
Veronica shrugged.
“Okay non-humans. Anyway if one of them becomes a problem then how do I go about arresting them? They’d fit through the bars of the average cell.”
“I’d never thought about it.” Veronica had prepared the syringe while they’d been talking. “Please roll up… you have short sleeves.” She pushed the air bubbles out of the syringe and dabbed at his arm with some cotton wool.
“You do know what you’re doing.”
“Trust me, I’m a Doctor.”
“Of ancient history!” Biggs said.
Veronica scowled at him. She pushed the pink liquid into Biggs’ arm. “That should do it.”
“How long does it take to take effect?”
“Try and move those boxes.” Veronica jerked her head in the direction of the far wall.
“I don’t want to damage anything.”
“That’s what they’re there for.”
“Oh.” Biggs held out his hand in the direction of the boxes. He didn’t know what to expect so he just thought about moving them. Suddenly an orange orb appeared just in front of this palm. It shot forward and hit the stack. The boxes shot up into the air and spread around the room – some of them caught fire. “Oh, boy.” Biggs shook his hand awkwardly. “This could take some getting used to.”
“It certainly will. This is like… like… like being given a skill completely. I’m not being clear. It’s like knowing nothing about food and suddenly being given the skills of a Michelin Star chef. You’ll be fine, but it will take some time to get used to it.”
“So what, I’m Joe 90 now? To be honest my most pressing concern is having a nasty accident the next time I go to the toilet.”
Veronica smiled. “You’ll get used to it.”
“I hope so. Is this reversible?”
“Why do you ask?”
“Well I won’t be able to use magic in any other assignment. So when I’m reassigned I wouldn’t want to continue to have magic because of the risk, and temptation, of using it.”
Veronica nodded. “We can always remove your magic. It’s been done before.”
“What’s next?”
“I’ll take you to a safe place to practice and to get a wand. A wand will give you more control.” She snapped her fingers and thrust her hand across the other side of the room. The box clicked shut and flew itself back to its place. “Follow me.”
As they headed down the corridor they passed many of the other personnel who worked on the base. They were the expected officers and aircraftmen and women but they were also: centaurs, elves, dwarves, fauns and fairies. Biggs tried not to stare at the fairies. They glowed and sparkled as they flew and were brightly coloured in shades of pink and blue.
“This must be a fascinating place to work.”
“Yes,” Veronica said. “Keep your eyes forward else you might walk into someone.”
“Sorry.”
They stopped where the corridor dead-ended. There was a door ahead of them. There was nothing remarkable about the door and judging by its position Biggs couldn’t imagine that there could be much more than a cupboard behind it. “Let’s go.” Veronica placed her palm flat against the door and indicated for Biggs to do the same. “This may be slightly disturbing.”
“I’ve been in a Tornado,” Biggs said.
“You have?”
“All I can say is that my presence was required in a speedy fashion.”
“Well this is nothing like pulling Gs. Some say it feels a kaleidoscope of butterflies having a aerobatics contest in your body.”
“Kaleidoscope?”
“It is the proper term. Ready?”
Though he wasn’t exactly sure what he was being asked Biggs nodded. He kept his hand on the door and his eyes on Veronica. He closed his eyes as she did. Suddenly he felt it – a swirling sensation in his chest. He was also aware of being pulled slowly forward, but it wasn’t scary – it was more like the pull of a lazy river. His vision had become hazy but his hand did not respond to his commands to wipe at his eyes. Then, almost as quickly as it started, everything returned to normal – except that now he no longer seemed to be standing in the base. He was standing in front of another door and the wind was blowing around him. Biggs took a moment to properly look at his surroundings. He was stood on top of a skyscraper which was surrounded by trees.
“We’re in the magical world!”
“Ithoya, yes,” Veronica said.“If you feel okay to walk we’ll take a trip.”
“Lead on.”
Veronica smiled. “Come with me on a magic carpet ride.” She led the way across the building to where the roof sloped and then flattened. On the flat portion of the roof there were carpets laid out ready to go.
“Two person carpet please, Doug.” Veronica spoke to the Air Boss.
“All ready for you, Veronica.”
“Excellent.” Veronica sat at the front of one of the carpets. Biggs sat behind her. Despite Veronica’s assurances that this was just as safe as any aircraft, Biggs remained unsure. “Ready?”
“As I’ll ever be.”
“Put these on.” Veronica handed him a pair of goggles. “Let’s go.” The carpet shot off the platform and into the air. Biggs felt the rush of air. He spread his arms wide, closed his eyes and imagined that he was flying under his own power.

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