The Fairy King
by Grey Bard
"Willie," said Neil Burnside, "I need you to check out the King of the Fairies."
William Caine, Ex SAS-man and highly trained operative, spat out his coffee.
"I don't mean feel around in his pants, man!" sneered the operations director of SIS "Oberon's ilk, not nancy boys, although come to think of it there isn't much distinction. Look, it'll just be a quick reccy mission on a man who isn't supposed to exist, that's what we pay Sandbaggers like you your admittedly pitiful salaries for."
Willie helped himself to some of the hard stuff that his boss kept on hand for traumatised visitors and dignitaries. This was obviously not a coffee day. "Do you mind explaining that a bit more clearly, sir?"
Burnside sighed and walked to the window."There's an awkward dimensional portal just off the coast of Cornwall. Certain people with features typically appearing in fairytales left through it a while ago and we'd just as soon know if they plan on sailing back anytime soon."
"This isn't April Fool come early?" asked Caine hopefully.
"Don't be absurd," Neil snapped. "Checking up on the Elves is a perfectly routine duty that comes up every seven years or so. I did it before your time back when I was a Sandbagger and you can do it too."
"Elves?" asked Wille, choking down much needed alcohol. "You mean like Tolkien?"
"Yes, Willie," said Burnside patiently. "Very much like Tolkien."
"Well, what about the ethereal beauty and songs of unearthly sweetness and so on?" he asked.
"I'll have you know that I have quite a passable singing voice," his boss said primly. "In a certain light," he added, "I can even pass for ethereal."
The mind boggled, but not quite so much as it ought to have."Yes, sir." He went for the door.
"Oh, and Wille..." Neil added, "Stop by the armory. You'll want to be issued your ears and hair extensions."