Elsa's return to Arendelle met with great celebration. Kristoff, Anna, and Olaf had organized it. They knew something good had happened when the clouds folded and crinkled from the sun's gentle burn.
Elsa met them at the dock, where the Barefoot Maiden lay in repose. Anna couldn't stop hugging her sister.
The royal guards cleared a path for the carriage to take them to the castle. Without it, the citizens would have mobbed their queen in celebration. Instead, they traveled behind the cart, singing songs of victory.
Elsa looked out the window at Arendelle. The sky was still a bleak and dismal slate, though that was typical for the
CHAPTER 40: For the Last Time in Forever
From the thick gray fog, it looked like a volcano at first. But the temperature drop didn't agree with that. The floor no longer felt like the soft wood of the boat.
"Rapunzel?" she called out. She waved her hand through the fog.
"You're only here because of your power. You're not my equals. I could have killed you eons ago," Arcius's bodiless voice said. "You're no better than the power you hold. The power you don't deserve to hold. It brought about your weakest moments, when you were your worst person."
The fog in front of Elsa cleared. She was standing on a frozen plain. Another Elsa sat on her
CHAPTER 39: Paying Off Debts
Boats stretched across the mighty fjord, facing outward. Each flew the dual flags of the Southern Isles and Weselton. Hans's flagship held behind the blockade, barely visible.
"Do you think this is going to work?" Ariel asked Rapunzel who steered.
"If Elsa believes it will work, I think so. She's confident enough of our powers."
At the bow, Elsa held a telescope to her eye. She stood like the maidenhead of the ship they were on.
"I just hope she's confident about hers."
Above the bowsprit was a gigantic copper cone, manned by an ensign. The wide end pointed at them, making them think it was some kind of cann
CHAPTER 38: What You Did in the Dark
The restoration of Arendelle's proper regime would take days. But the first priority was dismantling the resistance, which offered resources they could use. Plus all the men and women involved were eager to get the kingdom back on its feet. It was what they had worked for, after all.
That meant many trips back and forth between the ice palace and the castle. Thankfully, they didn't have to use the secret tunnels anymore. Thanks to Sven, the ice harvesters, and many other volunteers, plenty of vehicles were available to take them up and down the mountain.
The first room they cleared out was the command c
CHAPTER 37: Shatter Me
A trail of white crystals followed Elsa. Opal icicles rose out of her footsteps like stalagmites. She had lost sight of Ansel, but she knew this castle intimately. There was not an alcove he could hide in, that she wouldn't find.
The path took her to the throne room doors. She could have taken the side entrance at the back wall. It existed so nobility didn't have to tread the same carpet as commoners. But she was no longer nobility. She was more.
She kicked in the door. Ansel was standing in front of the throne, adjusting his leather jerkin.
"This is not your throne," Elsa said. She stamped her foot.
Her power spre
CHAPTER 36: Castle Panic
"Is my outrage apparent? Is it getting through to you?" Ansel yelled. He paced back and forth in front of the crackling fireplace. His five top lieutenants sat on the couch, a comfortable place for getting chewed out.
"Sir, they knew the castle better than us. They've lived here all their lives," said Erlend, the eldest. He had handlebar mustache and bushy white eyebrows.
"That's no excuse, Erlend," Ansel snapped. "Two girls snuck in and took our most valuable prisoner. If not for one slip-up they would have escaped without difficulty."
"We've had to staff the jail with our own men, who are spread thin as it is. W
CHAPTER 35: Winter Is Coming
All eyes lay on the ice queen, but for different reasons. The eight spearmen held out their weapons, defending the commander behind them. Rapunzel and Ariel lay on the ground, uncertain if this was their friend or not. And what transformation had she undergone.
Ansel was the only one with presence of mind to speak. "Four to me! The rest, seize her," he yelled.
Four men formed a vanguard around Commander Ansel. The others stalked forward, one cautious step at a time.
Elsa swept her hand to the sky, sparkles of frost trailing. As if pounding a hammer, she struck down.
A tall pillar of ice grew out of the ground
CHAPTER 34: The Will to Thrive
Under the shroud of night, a black shape floated across the fjord. One figure rowed with a single pole. The other sat cross-legged.
"Ariel, I love you. But this seems like a stupid plan," Rapunzel whispered.
"I know. But it's the best I came up with. But I think it'll work," she said.
Ariel oared toward the embankment of sharp rocks. They could have moved faster with the trident, but she didn't want to risk losing it in capture. The last thing Ansel needed was more power on his side.
So far it looked like the resistance's reconnaissance had been correct. Guards were looking for fleets, not small rafts. As a
CHAPTER 33: The Resistance
"Watch out for the fire. Don't touch," Olaf said as he picked up a torch.
The tunnel's upward incline told them they were heading north into Arendelle's mountain range. Thanks to the reflective ice on the walls, the single torch kept the tunnel well lit.
As they walked, Olaf explained how he came to be guarding the door. "So then they told me to go stand guard at the door. I guess they've got it all cleaned up now. But the noodles might be stuck there."
No one could get a word in edgewise as Olaf rattled through whatever came to mind.
"I still think we need a catchy name. I even thought of a few, like the 'ice
CHAPTER 32: Follow the Flakes
The dockworker stood where they would have lowered the gangplank, blocking their path.
"Welcome to Arendelle. May I see your permit please?"
"Permit?" Flynn asked.
The dockworker tapped his foot. He wore a domed helmet with a nose guard. As far as Rapunzel could see, all the dockworkers had been replaced by royal sentries. They paced up and down the shoreline with sharp spears.
"All ships need to have writ of consent from one of the allied kingdoms before being granted dock."
Rapunzel whispered to Ariel. "That's new."
"We can't allow in a potential risk, if your kingdom is not part of Arendelle's axis of c
brought to you by
Tribbles: Cute and fuzzy and help you lose weight. How? They eat everything you own!
The Galactic Warp Speed Limit Commission: Warp 5; it's not just a good idea, its the law.
And now on with the show.
SCENE: U.S.S. Voyeur in space stock shot #3MAINWAY: Captains log: Stardate 2 million or whatever. Who cares? No one's going to read this anyway since we're 70,000 light years from home and its going to take 75 years to get there.
SKIM: We're down to 73!CREW: Yay!
MAINWAY: Anyway, I just finished wat
"What are we doing here again?"Link had his arms crossed defiantly, a few feet inside Zelda's room, the door securely closed behind him. This morning, Zelda had told him to be in her room at 22:00 sharp, and he had been wondering all day what for. Now he was impatiently waiting for his answer. She didn't seem mad, but she didn't seem happy, either. She seemed... determined. She didn't have on her nighttime clothes and the way she was hurriedly moving around indicated she had no intention of getting them on soon.
Her blue eyes focused on her mirror image as she ran her hairbrush through her smooth yellow strands quickly and hastily, making ri