Photo via Visual Hunt
Jordan guided the drone over the valley. He marveled at the images the camera was sending back. “This is amazing,” he said, glancing over at his business partner.
Braedon just grunted. “How is this going to make us money?”
Jordan rolled his eyes. “Virtual tourism is the new big thing, Braedon. You know travel is just too damned expensive these days.”
“It wouldn’t be if there wasn’t the ban on fossil fuels,” Braedon said.
“Airlines and ships can still use them,” Jordan said. “You know that.”
“Yes, and they get to set their own prices,” Braedon said. “The cost for them is astronomical so that gets passed along to customers.”
“True, but you notice that doesn’t stop people from traveling. Why do you think the new infrastructure projects have been put on high priority? The president is determined to make life in America better for all of us,” Jordan said.
Braedon grunted again. Jordan shook his head. President Samantha Harrison was an amazing woman. She was one of those rare politicians who made moderate promises and managed to keep most of them. Jordan was a realist. He knew there were things she wouldn’t be able to do because of circumstances beyond her control, but still she was doing a very good job.
Braedon jabbed the screen. “What’s that?”
Jordan frowned. “I’m not sure.” He guided the drone down closer to the treeline as another flash of red and gold too large to be an animal moved into view.
A young woman dressed in a bizarre costume stepped into the light. She was followed by several other young men and women. Jordan was astonished by how tall they all seemed to be as he compared them to the trees behind them. They moved with the grace of dancers. “Who are they? I thought this place was supposed to be undiscovered,” Braedon said.
“It is, and I have no idea,” Jordan said. He moved the drone a little closer.
He was now able to see more details of their appearance. Jordan couldn’t help but stare. They were the most attractive people he’d ever encountered. They were slender, with the build of the dancers they moved like. Their faces were perfect ovals. They had almond shaped eyes that were the deepest blue he had ever seen. Long hair was pulled back and he could swear they had pointed ears.
“Bloody cosplayers,” Braedon groaned. “They think they’re elves.”
“I don’t know that they aren’t,” Jordan said. Unlike his partner, Jordan still believed in magic. He’d always held out hope he would see a faerie, an elf, or a dragon. Braedon was far more down to earth than he was, which was why they made good business partners, but his lack of imagination sometimes dragged them down.
“You’re insane,” Braedon said. “Elves don’t exist.”
“Braedon, look at their hands,” Jordan said.
They watched as something sparked around their fingers. They went to the pool beneath the massive waterfall and knelt beside it. The elves – Jordan couldn’t think of them as anything else now – dipped their hands into the water. Light erupted from the pool, spreading up the waterfall and into the ground surrounding them.
The waterfall split and a gate opened. A beautiful land filled with wonders Jordan couldn’t identify appeared. The elves lifted their hands from the water. The light remained. They walked across the water as if it was a hard surface and one by one filed through the opening. The first woman to enter the valley paused and looked back. She fixed her gaze on the drone. She frowned and made a gesture. There was a burst of static and then the words “no signal” appeared on the screen.
“What the hell was that?” Braedon asked, his voice full of confusion.
“That, Braedon, was an alternate dimension,” Jordan said. “Those were elves. And that woman destroyed our drone with magic.” He turned to face his partner. “I think we’ll leave this valley as undiscovered.”
“I agree,” Braedon said. “Not because I think those were elves, but because there is definitely something dangerous there.”
“I’ll go set up the next drone,” Jordan said. He stood and walked off into his garage where the spare drones were sitting on a shelf, his mind still on the elves.