Operation Alfur Chapter 8

Operation Alfur Chapter 8 Operation Alfur Chapter 8

Status: In Progress

Genre: Romance

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Status: In Progress

Genre: Romance

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Summary

Following Chapter 7

Tags

Summary

Following Chapter 7

Chapter8 (v.1) - Operation Alfur Chapter 8

Author Chapter Note

Following Chapter 7

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: August 01, 2016

Reads: 271

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: August 01, 2016

A A A

A A A

OPERATION ALFUR:

Chapter 8.

 

Dinah arrived at seven o'clock on the dot. They drove out of Copenhagen until the city had given way to farm lands and forest. Not long after that, the two of them came to a small house surrounded by tall pine trees. Parked outside was an old green Toyota Land-Cruiser.

 

The two women approached the front door, and it opened. A rugged looking man, perhaps in his late forties or early fifties, came out to greet them. He invited them inside, and closed the door behind them again. He offered them a drink. They accepted, and he poured them each a small glass of brandy. For himself, he drank whiskey straight from the bottle.

 

“The police here have just found out that both Draxx and Olafson have been killed. It was on the news this morning.” Johansen stated.

 

“Yes - well they got what was coming to them.” Responded Caroline.

 

“If you still want to go back to Iceland, then we're going to have to move quickly. You don't want to wait until the cops have started to figure out what happened.” He advised.

 

“Agreed.” Came the reply, “My passport is still valid, and I won't need a visa to travel. So I can leave whenever I'm ready.”

 

“You mean - when we're ready.” Johansen interjected.

 

“You don't have to come with me.” Caroline said.

 

“Oh yes I do. I know what these guys are capable of.” He insisted, “Draxx and his buddy might be out of the way, but they are not alone. There's a whole bunch of people who have wanted to get rid of you before you were able to tell your story.”

 

“Dammit! I thought that I had solved the problem.” She stated.

 

“What - Did you think they were working alone? Why did your own faculty head not come forward after the accident? My guess is that he only supported you provided that you came back having proven that there was no such thing as an Elf. But he soon realised that there would be all sorts of crap if you had evidence that they did exist.” The retired officer explained further.

 

“But Professor Sorenson sponsored the expedition.” Exclaimed Caroline, “He paid for the whole thing. Surely he wouldn't sabotage a project that he had bank-rolled!”

 

“Agreed. But who hired Olafson in the first place?” He insinuated.

 

“You don't think he knew what that scum had planned. Do you?” She asked, suddenly realising that the possibility existed. “Oh my God! That may be why I haven't been able to get hold of him, not to mention that he hasn't even tried to contact me.”

 

“Exactly.” The man agreed.

 

“There's just one thing that I don't understand.” Caroline continued, “I get that Olafson wanted me dead, but I could never fathom what Draxx had to do with it.”

 

“I looked at that myself, and came up with something that I think you may find interesting. Two brothers were reported to have also had dealings with the Alfur. In an attempt to shut them up, a certain doctor classified them as 'Mentally Imbalanced'. The situation became so bad for them that they left Iceland ...” Johansen explained.

 

“Sven and Arnold Moreson!” Exclaimed Caroline.

 

“... Indeed. And there's no reward for guessing who the above mentioned 'Doctor' was. None other than Doctor Goran Draxx. He was the one that reported that the two brothers had been somehow 'brainwashed', so that they could not remember what happened to them. It turns out that he works for a company that sends interns between Norway, Iceland, and the other Scandinavian countries. And guess who came to Bourganess when you arrived.”

 

“Draxx. Okay - but how did he know that I was being airlifted there?” She asked, trying to make sense of the whole thing.

 

“The hiker told the dispatch who you were when he arranged for the helicopter to come and rescue you.” Johansen mentioned.

 

“So - it was him!” Caroline exclaimed. “I knew I recognised him! That was why I panicked when he came to see me. The bastard! He knew all along.”

 

“Okay - Enough jabbering.” The man stated, “We need to get going. You go back to the safe-house and pack your things. I'll follow you, and then we'll leave from there.”

 

In convoy, they drove back to the house where Caroline had been staying. Luckily she did not have much with her, and soon was ready to go. The only thing she still needed to do was to say good-bye to Dinah.

 

She put her arms around the therapist, and hugged her, saying: “I don't think I can thank you enough for all that you have done for me. I will never forget you. Thank you so much! I have one more favour to ask: Please give this letter to my mother. I had decided, almost from the time that I returned to Denmark, that I wanted to go back. She may not understand, but at least she will know that I'm alive. I've included that photograph that I asked your assistant to take in your office as proof. And please would you post this one for me as well.”

 

Dinah replied: “It was my pleasure. I will make sure your mother gets her letter, and I'll post the other one for you too. Now go - before someone comes and screws up a well-conceived plan.”

 

Caroline threw her pack into the back of the Toyota, and soon they were heading for the airport. Upon arrival, they were told that the next flight to Reykjavik was departing in three hours. They were able to book two tickets. The clerk took some time confirming the flight, and for a brief moment, it appeared that there might be a problem. At last, to their relief, she smiled and said: “All done. Enjoy your flight.”

 

Some time later, they were on board, and heading back to Iceland. The plane landed amidst dreadful weather at the airport in Reykjavik. Once again, at customs, there seemed to be some delay. But it did not last very long, and they gathered what little baggage they were carrying, and left.

 

 

 

 

The next obstacle was finding transport. Johansen found a rather seedy second-hand dealership that sold them a Jeep for a reasonable price. The bodywork was a little tattered, but the engine still seemed to be in good shape. They did not waste any time looking for accommodation, but left immediately for the Saedesdalur Valley. They planned to find somewhere to stay closer to their destination, perhaps in Bourganess itself.

 

They spent the night in a hotel in the centre of the village. At dawn that following morning, the two of them departed for the Saedesdalur Valley, and the last leg of their journey. As they left town, however, things started to go wrong - very wrong!

 

The village was barely behind them when Johansen noticed a vehicle following them, at a distance in an attempt to make them believe that this was not the case. As the veteran slowed down, so did the other vehicle so that they kept their distance. But as he sped up, the other car accelerated in order to stay within view.

 

“Hold on girl.” Instructed Johansen, “It's going to be a bumpy ride from here on.”

 

Caroline hardly had time to comply when he swerved off the main road, and headed across country. The other vehicle followed them for a short distance before its driver realised that they could not compete with the four-wheel drive. Soon the Jeep was beyond their reach. Johansen knew that they could not go back onto the road, just in case their pursuers had continued on it, and the terrain was starting to become too rough for even the vehicle to manage, so they decided to travel the rest of the way on foot. According to the map, the Alfarkirkjan was a day and a half's hike away from their current position.

 

Just before they left, Johansen handed something to Caroline, saying: “I don't know if you can use one of these, but we may need it some time.” It was a hunting bow and a quiver of arrows. “Sorry, I couldn't manage to get you a gun.”

 

“That's okay. My dad taught me the basics of archery, and besides, it's not that difficult.” She replied.

 

“It's not as easy as you think, but there is no time to teach you now.” He responded.

 

The rest of the day was uneventful, and as the sun was sinking, they made camp near what appeared to be an old mine. After an early supper of bully-beef and savoury biscuits, they were sitting next to the fire talking.

 

“How did I ever get into this mess?” Caroline asked, “I mean, back when I started the expedition, it was all so exciting. I was so enthused by the notion of proving that all the legends were true. How did it become so sordid?”

 

“I guess not everyone shared your dream, your enthusiasm. People can get so caught up in their own theories and beliefs, that they will do anything to preserve them. From Dante to Darwin, these men - and women - were ahead of their time, and they ...” Johansen stopped mid-sentence.

 

Abruptly, the ex-soldier put his finger to his lips, and pointed into the darkness on the opposite side of the fire. Caroline looked in the direction to where he was indicating. At first she saw nothing, but then there was a movement in the under brush some distance from the edge of the fire's glow. There it was again. And another behind it, and still another.

 

 

Johansen drew his weapon, and stood up. In an instant there was the crack of gunfire, and he fell to the ground again, clutching his leg. As he did this, one of the figures stood up to fire again, but not before Caroline released an arrow, hitting him in the shoulder. From his position, the experienced soldier let off a shot, and hit the other figure before he could even stand up. A third turned and ran before he suffered the same fate. Only the one that Caroline had injured followed suit.

 

Caroline turned around and said in jest: “See? Piece of cake. Oh God, your leg!”

 

Johansen had been shot in the thigh, but luckily not dead centre. The bullet seemed to have gone right through, as there was a gaping hole in the back of his leg as well. Nonetheless it was obvious that he needed immediate medical attention, and more than a mere first-aider could offer. Caroline did her best to try to stop the bleeding. For the meanwhile, the pressure bandage would hold, but the wound was too severe. It needed proper surgery.

 

In the rush of their escape, they had left the radios in the Jeep. Caroline told Johansen: “I'll go back to the vehicle and radio for some help. You stay put, and don't run off.”

 

The injured man responded: “Oh yeah - Very funny. Now get going or else I'll stand up and chase you!”

 

Caroline winked at him, and smiled. She then shouldered the quiver of arrows, and carried the bow and a torch in her hands. She left the hand-gun with Johansen, and headed off towards the vehicle. Luckily she did not meet with any more attackers. And - what was even more fortuitous - the battery had not run dead yet, and the radios were still working. She was able to contact the emergency depot, and alerted them to the situation. The dispatcher informed her that a helicopter would be on its way shortly. Caroline thanked the woman on the other side, and headed back to where Johansen was sitting, his back against the trunk of an old tree.

 

By the time she arrived, it had started raining.

 

“Still here?” She joked as she helped the patient up so that they could take shelter in what was left of one of the old mine buildings.

 

“Yep - Decided to stay and was just enjoying the view when the weather turned all shitty on me.” The man retorted.

 

“Okay - jokes aside. The chopper is on its way. I'll stay until it gets here.” Caroline offered.

 

“Oh no you won't!” He argued, “We don't want to run the risk of anyone finding out what the hell happened here. I mean, that would really screw things up, and the risks we took would all be for nothing. No, you must go now. I'll be okay until they get here.”

 

“You know. It's people like you that restore my faith in humanity again. I just wish there were more of your kind. I might have even wanted to stay.” She stated. He indicated that she should help him to stand up. This she did, and then hugged his neck and kissed his cheek. “A thousand thank yous wouldn't be enough. But thank-you is all I can say.”

 

“It's okay girl.” He replied, “I just didn't like to see you screwed over the way you were. Now go, before I find a way of convincing you to stay.”

 

“Just one more question: Why did you offer to help me in the first place?” Asked Caroline.

 

“Oh hell! I'll tell you the short version of the story: I had a daughter once. Her name was Greta. She was about ten years younger than you I guess. She joined some environmental organisation that campaigned against the whaling still taking place in Iceland. One day she came to me for help. She told me that she thought someone was after her. Before I could do anything, there was a knock on my door. It was one of my fellow police officers. He had come to tell me that my daughter's body had been picked up, having washed up on a beach somewhere near the city. That did it! I retired from the cops, and moved out of town.” He answered, his voice becoming laden with emotion.

 

“I'm sorry.” Responded Caroline, putting her hand on his shoulder.

 

“But that's enough about me.” Johansen said, trying to hide his feelings, “Go now! Before the chopper arrives.”

 

Just as Caroline headed for the thicket of trees, she heard the rescue helicopter overhead. She knew that he would be okay, and that was enough.

 

As the sun rose, she saw the cliffs of the Elf Chapel above her. Climbing free-hand, she finally made it to where the small cave was situated. As she stood on the same ledge where Andy Talbot had found her, she bade a silent farewell to Iceland, and the world of humanity, and began crawling through the cave once more.

 

Johansen had given her a small headlamp, similar to the one that had failed the first time she attempted the climb. She turned it on when she arrived at the top of the shaft. Thankfully it was narrow enough for her to chimney climb, this time without a rope. Many of the struts the Alfur had put in place were still there, which made the climb that much easier. She clambered on to the ledge where she had fallen the first time.

 

Caroline crawled to the second shaft, and this time descended straight down until just before the cave itself, then dropped onto the floor. There she found the picture of herself she had taken as a clue when she was last there. It had turned sepia, but was still in good condition. But she could not waste any time. She had to press on before the batteries in her torch ran out.

 

When she reached the part where she had to crawl on her stomach, things became a little more difficult once again. This time it was not a fractured rib that troubled her, but what remained of the wound from where Olafson had shot her. With determination, she pushed on until the end of the narrow tunnel, and heard the trickle of running water. Again she followed the stream until she was back at the small lake where she had first met Shael.

 

Suddenly a horrifying thought came to her. “What if she's forgotten about me? Although we both said that we thought we might see each other again, I think that we both realised that the possibility was extremely slim.”

 

Caroline tried to put the thought out of her head as she rounded the lake, and made her way down the convoluted passage towards the Door. Halfway there, however, her headlamp eventually packed in. She had to navigate the last section in the dark. In the blackness that enclosed around her, she feared that she would lose her way. Her fear made the journey seem longer, and she began to panic. She sat down in the tunnel, and tried to calm herself down. Once she was able to, she continued down the passage that she was following. Just as she was certain that she was lost, a voice called out to her.

 

 

 

He spoke the same dialect as Shael had when they first met, and ordered: “Halt, and declare yourself! I am Tyree, the Door Keeper to the land of Alfheim. Speak now, or leave!”

 

Caroline replied: “My name is Caroline Erhardt. I was once a friend of Shael Revven, one of your scouts.”

 

“Well met, Caroline, friend of Shael. She is no longer a mere scout, but has been made Ti'Daquin and resides in Yaderheim now. Often she has spoken of you, and most affectionately as well. It is well that you speak our language, or else I would have turned you away. Wait - I shall open the door.” Greeted the Door Keeper.

 

The darkness receded as the scenery changed once again in front of her, and she saw the lamp-lit passage to the Elven Realm extend before her once more. Her heart almost skipped a beat at the sight. She thanked Tyree, and headed off through the Door with renewed vigour, despite the storm that seemed to be raging at the other end of the tunnel …

 

… A few days after Caroline's departure, there was a knock on her mother's door. When she opened it, she saw a young woman with shoulder-length black hair standing in front of her. She introduced herself, handed the woman an envelope, and bade her farewell. She opened the letter, and saw the picture that was with it. Her eyes welled up with tears, and she realised that her daughter was alive. She proceeded to read what was written.

 

It said: “Dearest Momma. I know that, when you get this, it won't make much sense, and that you have probably only just come to terms with the news of my death. But I want you to know that I am alive and well.

 

I am sorry that I could not make contact with you before, and that this letter is nowhere near a suitable substitute. But some bad things happened when I returned to Denmark that I don't really want to upset you with. Suffice it to say that I have been forced to leave the country, and go back to where I had been living before I was rescued, or should I say 'captured'.

 

Momma, the newspapers were half-right. A hiker did find me in Iceland, but I was not captured by the Alfur. Some bad people tried to kill me to stop me from finding the Alfur in the first place. Thankfully I was rescued by one of them, and she looked after me until I could make it back to our own world. Mum, you know me. I wouldn't lie to you ...”

 

She went on to relate to her the whole story of what happened to her, and tried to explain why she had decided to go back to Alfheim. She signed off - “Love as always - C.” ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


© Copyright 2017 Tristan Biggs. All rights reserved.

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