Two of the Tuatha Dé Danan stood silent and immobile on one of the northern islands off the coast of Scotland. Accompanied only by the sharp wind, they stood companionably close, some might notice lover-close, and watched the night sky flash and burn against the horizon from the far south. As the sky blazed and the sound of Merlin pounding his staff on the deck of HMS Victory faded, one spoke.
“He’s back,” said the shorter one, in a trembling whisper.
“Indeed,” replied her lover.
“Will the humans understand what’s just been released?” she asked looking up into his eyes.
“No. Their only reference is cartoons or friendly novels,” said her lover shaking his head.
Both contemplated this thought as they watched the southern light show fade.
A shiver of fear went through her and she leaned into him.
“They’ll be surprised, won’t they?” he said turning and looking down into her eyes.
“Oh, my dear. You have no idea at how deep Merlin truly is – both in kindness and cruelty. Merlin was ancient and powerful before the Roman legions and their genocidal war against our peoples,” she said.
He nodded and sighed. “Yes, I know. I was there beside him as his shieldman at the fall of Rome itself. With a battle axe in one hand and a short, stabbing sword in the other, he led the charge that broke the Roman legion lines. Merlin was magnificent in his rage and was one of the very few berserkers to come home again. And it’s why he led all the survivors he could gather to these islands and why, in some of the more remote areas he’s still called Tá Súil Agam or “Bringer of Hope.”
There was no answer but her trembling.
After a full thirty seconds had passed in silence, he pulled her tighter and broke the silence, “Let us remain in the north for at least the rest of the summer.”