The New Open Road -- Section 20-D1-HAW
THE NEW OPEN ROAD -- Branch & Hawthorn (Segment 20-D1) Copyright 2020 Dorie B. Welcome back to The New Open Road, an intimate look at the magical boys & girls of the District, Maryland, and Virginia. It's been a year since aspiring commuter pilot Hawthorn Maina met a Swedish woman named Dorsey Lindstrom. Both of their lives have never been the same since. With Hawthorn's magic, they unlocked the powers of the anjelica fairies, and it came at a good time as one of the pilot's former friends was helping sinister fairies with their crooked plans. Fortunately, the petal fairies are supporting them in this battle too, since they're the ones under attack by the foul fae. Now as a new decade begins, Hawthorn's life could change again with another chance encounter. The Anjelica -- THE CO-PILOT One day in Stafford County, Hawthorn brought his girlfriend Jelesca Blanchard aboard a small rental boat on the Aquia Creek. They are searching for a woman that Hawthorn has finally been able to reach concerning a possible new plane. Jelesca was feeling quite comfortable riding along. "It feels pretty good out here for January." Hawthorn sighs, not liking how weird winters have been in this region lately. He continues to scan the different piers for where they need to land. There was nothing just yet. The pilot says, "I hope it isn't too far now." Then, Jelesca spots a lady in a purple coat on the edge of a nearby pier. She asks him if that's where they need to go. Hawthorn believes so, and pushes the throttle to full so they can make it before she walks back. Once at the pier, the woman turns & cries "Hawthorn dear, you made it!" Hawthorn was rather speechless because he all this time he never considered how to greet her. Thus, a simple hello was given. Jelesca did not expect his friend to look like this. The woman gives Hawthorn a big hug, and twirls around as if they were long lost lovers. Hawthorn wants off because he was squeezed too tight for his liking. The woman apologizes. Then, she introduces herself as Paige Viswanatha, a pilot who trained alongside him a few years ago. Hawthorn introduces to her his new girlfriend Jelesca. Jelesca wonders if she used to be his girlfriend back then. Paige explains, "We almost did, but my heart was taken by another." The travel agent then realizes that was an example of Hawthorn's poor dating record. He admits that it did hurt at first, but they stayed good friends afterward. Paige still feels it would've been interesting if they did stay together, but she's with a great man now. That alone makes Hawthorn proud for her. Jelesca takes the pilot's arm & adds, "And after all that I think he's found a great woman." They head up to a pavilion nearby where a team of workers are repairing all sorts of aircraft parts for other planes & airships. Hawthorn wonders what's with all these people. Paige answers, "My boyfriend had the idea to hold a work session all the way down here, and he seemed to pick a good day for it." Hawthorn's eyes light up. He recognizes a large number of parts, some of which are used in skytrotters back in Bellflower. He asks Paige if this is just a body shop, or if they're building something. Paige says it's just a body shop, and decides to take them to her boyfriend. That boyfriend is Booker Landmark, a tall & dark skinned man with a clean shave. His body was average, but more muscular than Hawthorn's. He sees them arrive, and cries "Ah, you must be the co-pilot she raves about. I'm Booker, nice to meet you." Paige introduces him to the others. Hawthorn tells him, "So you're the lucky guy. You must love her a lot." Booker replies, "Well, she can be a lot to handle, but it's all good in the end." Jelesca is curious as to what me meant by that. Hawthorn reminds her of when Paige nearly suffocated him, which afterward she gets it. Inside, she wonders if she should be weary of this other lady. Then, Paige tells Hawthorn she wants to show him something really cool. He's eager to see it, recalling that she had something that could be huge for his career. He turns to Jelesca and asks, "You'll be okay by yourself for a while?" Jelesca replies, "You know I'm a fully capable anjelica fairy. If anything happens to this place, they won't away with it." Paige is surprised. She tells Hawthorn, "Okay, you have some explaining to do. You did not tell me that your girlfriend was an anjelica fairy." Hawthorn thought it wasn't important, but Paige felt it needed to be addressed before they went home. Jelesca turns to Booker as they walk away. She asks him, "Did I say something wrong?" Further down, Hawthorn & Paige arrive at an open lot. Before them was a new airship that looked like a different model skytrotter. Hawthorn couldn't believe it. The peach color scheme was an added touch as well. He reacts, "That is so awesome! Did you guys build this?" Paige replies, "Partially. We took an old skyhopper, gutted most of it out, and gave it a good old makeover that everyone can be proud of." He knew about skyhoppers, which were longer in both passenger capacity & range than a skytrotter, so this left a positive impression on his face. Paige adds, "Here's the best part, we are going to pilot that thing!" Hawthorn is confused. He says, "We are flying it? I mean, I still have a job over in Bellflower, and I don't think I could make time to pilot another ship. What's going on, Paige?" Paige's plan was quite simple, they can use it as a touring ship, or to chauffeur VIPs for big coin. Hawthorn can see where she's going with this, and thinks something like that could work beautifully. "All our dreams, on that ship, you may just be right about this." As much as Paige wanted to teach him how to fly it now, time was getting short. As they walk back to the pavilion, she also wanted him to explain what he's doing with an anjelica fairy. Hawthorn was wondering how she knows about them. Paige pouts. "You think I don't keep up with your adventures? Ever since you & those fairies popped up I've been curious about them myself. Anyway, Booker & I have been trying to catch what we think may be one of them for quite some time, but he keeps getting away." Hawthorn was surprised there could be another hiding in plain sight. She adds their last sighting was in Falls Church, but word is he can cover a lot of ground real quick. What Paige wants is his help in tracking him down. Hawthorn says, "Well, I wish I could be of more help, but I'm not around these wood as much as I used to. I may be able to hook you up with some of my other friends that definitely can." That was all she needed to hear. "Thanks. As you can see, my chubby self isn't the fastest thing in Northern Virginia." Hawthorn chuckles. Back at the pavilion, Hawthorn & Jelesca thank them for inviting them in. Jelesca suggests, "I have an idea. Let's all get together this weekend for a double date!" Paige loves that, as long as the guys pay for it. Booker & Hawthorn object to that. In honesty, Jelesca wanted to get to know the couple a bit more, and possibly work together on stuff. Booker would want that too, but he would like to see her & her boyfriend in action first. Hawthorn thinks that can be arranged, and it won't cost the guys anything more. Jelesca & Paige pout. The Anjelica -- FAIRY DARK MAGIC One day in Karis Island, Oluchi Mediros & his allies the Starlight Fairies are outside on a secluded beach not far from their hideaway. Bound & taped silent to a steel chair was a drifter they found trying to set up a homeless tent near their property. Delphinium stands in front of the frightened man with a smug look on her face. "You picked the wrong beach to plop down on, old man. The man struggles to speak through his taped mouth. Oluchi adds, "Don't look gloomy, at least you can do us a favor while you are here. We call it...an experiment." The man looked confused, yet still fearful of what the experiment may entail. Oluchi commands the fairies into their positions around their captive. Delphinium, Lilac, and Anemone begin an ominous chant. "Great goddess Morrigan, lend us your magic." The sky around them turns dark, and lightning begins to flash above them. They repeatedly cry "flo-wa fay-go", which eventually brings down a huge bolt onto the man. The bolt enfuses the man with an enormous amount of power & rage, changing him into something other than a man. Oluchi chuckles in approval of the monstrosity being created before his eyes. "If this experiment is successful, the pods will be meaningless to us." A few hours later in Bellflower, Hawthorn, Jelesca & Dorsey are chatting during a lunch break at the Lindstrom's food truck. Dorsey asks, "What was with that angry sky this morning?" Jelesca thinks it could have been Oluchi's doing. Hawthorn sighs. It was not what he wanted to return to work to. "As excited I am about maybe working with Paige again, those fairies better not screw things up for us." Dorsey comforts him, saying that he shouldn't let stuff like fighting bad guys get to him. The pilot agrees. Meanwhile in Allegany County, California Minette is at his family's work shed, working on a wooden crafting project after finishing his homework for the day. Then, his furry buddy Winter rushes into the shed. They cry, "Cali, I sense Hawthorn & the other fairies may be in trouble...and what are you making there?" Cali seemed conflicted. The project he's working on was a token of apology to Mrs. Aubrey Lindstrom, at the suggestion of his father Texas. Winter felt pretty bad for him, but the more immediate situation needed to be addressed. "I get it, but for now let's go help the fairies. Maybe that will take some of that gloom off your snowy mind." He agrees, and heads out with them. Back in Bellflower, Hawthorn & the ladies encounter a chameleon monster on the way to Jelesca's second home. He was bashing several vehicles along the freeway in unadulterated rage. Dorsey, wondering if this is what the Starlight Fairies were conjuring, cries "That beast has to be stopped!" Hawthorn adds, "You're right. It's time to shine ladies!" He pulls out his Pilot Light & says "Spirit of the belle, shine on!" He changes into his peach belle dress in seconds. Dorsey & Jelesca cry "Cast on!", and they transform into their fairy forms. Dorsey however was wearing a blue long-sleeve dress instead of a bra & skirt, as the dress feels a bit more comfortable to her in colder weather. They rush in to attack the chameleon monster, who punches back at them. Dorsey summons her spear, and uses gravity magic to force him off the freeway. As he is slammed to the ground, Hawthorn commends Dorsey on that move. The monster quickly gets back up, and uses magic of his own. What was one suddenly became four--red, yellow, green, and blue. Hawthorn complains, "Aww, that is so wrong!" Jelesca reminds them they cannot back down now. Fighting resumes, with Hawthorn & his fairies getting walloped by the multiple creatures. Then, they surround the group & hit them with energy blasts. As they slowly get up however, California & Winter arrive & bash the red monster. Dorsey turns & sees their comrades there to back them up. "Cali! Winter! Thanks a lot!" Cali notices that her mother isn't around, but is just glad they made it to the battle. Winter adds, "Three against four, that ain't right." Cali tells them that's why they learned all those spells over the holidays, and now was the time to put them to good use. They took on the four monsters one on one, with Winter supporting them as needed. The fox's support magic gives the fairies' weapons enough of a boost to deal noticeable damage to each of the foes. Dorsey was working against the blue one. She charges her spear & nails it with her special attack. The chameleon falls, then explodes in sparkles. Then, she seemed disappointed. "Aww, that wasn't the real one." The other fairies finish off the rest of the monsters, as they explode into sparkles as well. They seemed confused. Hawthorn cries, "Are you kidding me? They were all fakes!?" Seconds later, an invisible entity whacks him & the others without reply. Jelesca complains how difficult this monster is to fight. Winter thinks they have a solution to stop him. Cali thinks he knows what's coming, and motions for the other fairies to watch their back. Winter calls out a special chant that casts a heavy snow over the scene. Hawthorn admits that was pretty clever. Dorsey adds, "You brought some of that snow from Frostburg! how nice of you." The snow sticks onto the chameleon, which makes it visible enough for the fairies to attack it. Winter cries, "Now's your chance, guys!" Hawthorn & the fairies quickly bombard him with their special attacks, which cause serious damage to the monster. The chameleon monster struggles to get back up. Watching from afar, Oluchi & Delphinium feel they've seen enough, and don't want the fairies to purify their experiment. So, Oluchi transforms into his beastly elk form & fires a mouth blast at the battle. He & Delphinium make their presence known to the anjelica fairies. Winter asks Cali, "Is that the bad guy they're fighting?" Cali nods, and warns them that the enemy have some frightening magic in their arsenal. The fox steps back a bit, scared by the warning. Hawthorn grunts at Oluchi, who tells them "I'd like to play with you guys, but this creature is going home with us today. Sorry." Delphinium casts a spell to whisk them back to Karis Island. The pilot takes a few steps forward, and shouts, "Curse you, Oluchi!!!" Jelesca comforts him, and ponders if they started caring about the monsters they're making now. Cali is just glad they won the battle today, which to him is all that matters. Dorsey cautions to him that whatever they did needs to be taken seriously, and they cannot be complacent. That was a truth the anjelica fairies did not want to hear as they move on from the scene. That evening in Frostburg, California gets a call from Hawthorn, who was back home in Vienna in VA. He tells him, "Thanks again for saving us earlier. You & Winter seem to be working together really well now." Cali replies, "You're welcome, sir. We are trying, but there are still some moves they still have a few knots to get rid of." The pilot also wants him to send a hello to his dad. Cali says he will, and wishes him a good night. At the shed, Winter was examining Cali's project. They thought it was beautiful, and thinks they could do something to give it a special touch. Then again, they would get yelled at if they touched it, so the fox creature lets it be & closes the shed for the night. -- The anjelica fairies know they'll have to face the chameleon monster again next New Open Road. What other tricks could be up Oluchi & the Starlights' sleeves as they work to master the new, dark magic at their disposal? Also, Hawthorn & Paige make their flight plans for what could be their big break. So grab your ticket for more action & adventure coming next in Section 20-D2-HAW!