Once upon a time there was a lad, with boyhood behind him and manhood close, who heard the call of the King to follow him back into Enchanted City and do the work of the Kingdom….
Hero was afraid. He watched the Ranger hold a burning torch to the ring of stones that circled the place of the Great Celebration. The Sacred Flames ignited with a W-0-0-O-O-O-SH, lifting the hems of the blue robes of the protectors of Great Park, who stood as sentries around Inmost Circle. The silver insignia of the Rangers caught the light and flashed in the outer circle around the rim of fire.
Tonight he would leave these friends, leave Mercie and Caretaker, leave these Woods, these dear fields, leave everything in the world he had come to love. Well, almost everything, he reminded himself: What he loved most in the world was the King and to be a King’s man and to do the Kings work.
Careful to keep her balance, she strapped around her left knee the most important weapon of all, her ever ready beeper. Steadying herself with a sturdy walking cane in her right hand, she cautiously touched that knee to the ground, setting off the beeper. She bowed her head closely to listen. B-z-z-z-z-z—z-z-z-z–. B-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z. Ah, good! The battery was still strong, the signal low but clear. She was ready to take her place on night patrol.