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Fairies, Ch 4 - Peter Hunting

It was actually a week before I got chance to go back to what had come to be called the "Peter Bunker". Only two others with me this time - Chaz and Kraff. Chaz because he's a walking cargo hauler, and Kraff because he's best with a snare and noose.

Now, we still foraged greens and all, and shot whatever we could on the way, but we still made a beeline for the bunker.

When we arrived, it was still before mid-day, and we took the time to look it over well. The peters were still there, and we got a few that didn't get inside fast enough. Those were our lunch.

The bunker was partially overgrown with ivy and other bushes, but we still could find only one door. The windows were narrow, and had been glazed with glass on mesh. Most of it was cracked out, of course, but a regular person still couldn't fit into the window wells. The window casings were iron anyway. The madestone had chipped away somewhat in a few places, revealing the heavy iron mesh that gave it its strength from within.

From a magical viewpoint, the thing looked like a vortex of blankness among the fairly alive forest around it. The peters couldn't be seen until they were outside it, it hid them so well. They weren't affected by the seeming darkness, apparently.

Chaz, of course, didn't want to get near the thing. The kid may be a little bit oblivious to lore about the ancients, but he always learns well from his own experiences. He and Kraff set to laying snares near the peters' exit points, while I took a closer look at the door.

Yes, I walked up to that damned door. It fascinated me. I had chowed down on a healthy bit of peter for lunch, so my reserves were up. I had my wood and stone picks with me, as well as my best insulating gloves. Chaz and Kraff thought I was nuts.

I must have spent over an hour studying that door. Hell, it took a chunk of that time just to be able to differentiate the fittings! It was that *dark*, like the reverse of looking straight into the sun. I finally got to the point where I could discern the shades of black - and the minute variations in energy that it had.

Then, I gave myself a headache - I tried to pick the lock, in the usual way. You know, with picks and a little magic on the parts? Not a good idea. I ended up damn near falling down the hill, with Chaz and Kraff laughing at me. I mean, yeah, looking back on it it was a funny, dumbass stunt, but I only had ever been taught the one way to pick locks!

I marched back up the hill all pissed off, and gave the damned door a good swift kick with my heavy boots. It made a booming thud, my foot felt numb, and about a dozen or so peters came scampering out, straight into the snares. Needless to say, Chaz and Kraff stopped laughing and set about gathering the peters.

After my foot regained its sensation, we headed back to camp. My head hurt like I'd smacked it into the damn madestone wall, but I had a brainload of sensation to think about. That and my stubborn had been tripped - I wanted into that damn bunker.

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