Beelzebub, the Senior Fire Elemental for planet Earth, was not happy. During the brief time he took to disconnect and reconstruct, something or someone had caused a massive stir among the fire elementals in the New Mexico region of the North American continent. It could have been a stray lightning that hit just right. It could have been a rogue elemental. It could have been a smoldering cigarette butt discarded by a human by a roadside somewhere. There was no way of knowing. Whatever it was – it sent them flying into the delirium of a full-blown fire dance. Something they were not supposed to do outside of a specified place and time and without a specified reason. Damnation!
- Mr. B? - a bubble of green popped up next to him and coalesced into a big-headed, big-eared, big-eyed creature in a green robe.
- I am going to have to descend, Dump, - he told his assistant gnome, wincing as always at the name. They have to come up with a better way of naming the poor creatures other than just pulling the names out of various dictionaries. They could at least employ some kind of a filter and not use any of the insulting or just plain stupid terms.
- Ah, yes, the New Mexico thing. I have already canceled all elemental hiring assignments in that area and told the gnomes to work on other leads.
- Very good, Dump. Come to think of it, check our list of potential candidates in the areas adjacent to the fire. We may want to dispatch someone in that direction shortly. If we are going to have a full-blown natural disaster on our hands, we might as well take advantage. People will be thinking about the environment, at least for now, until the fire burns out and they go back to watching reality TV.
- Alright, sir. I will take care of it. Don't worry, we'll mind the place while you are gone. How do they say? You have a bigger fish to fry.
Beelzebub winced again.
- Something is definitely frying down there.
Human beings looked tiny before a huge wall of fire and smoke. Beelzebub materialized just out of sight and was immediately approached by a group of fire, tree and earth elementals he gathered to be from the area.
- How come you guys didn't get sucked into this? - he addressed one of the fire spirits.
- Apparently, whatever started this only impacted the elementals fully active at the time, which turned out to be plenty to start the mayhem. We were few of the lucky ones.
- I don't know about that. They seem to be enjoying themselves.
Even from the distance, Beelzebub could pick up individual elementals enveloped in fire – joyous, triumphant, drunk with delight, twirling and undulating. Each seemed to be doing his or her own thing, but together they wove a complex pattern of the dance, causing the fire to rage with preternatural intensity.
- Alright, people. I want the available fire elementals to get in there and start pulling your brothers and sisters out of there. At this level of intensity, the dance had to have exhausted them somewhat. Take as many as you can out of the pattern, get them well above the human flight paths and put them in stasis. I need a couple of seniors with a good dance pattern knowledge to coordinate that.
Two fire elementals – a male and a female – floated forward. The male preferred the fireball shape, but the female clearly favored a semblance to her former human form.
“That was a good idea we had,” - Beelzebub thought, “So much easier to have humans reborn into elementals than growing elementals from scratch.”
The female. Well-chosen – she was every bit a goddess.
- And you? Don't tell me your name is Rama.
- No, - the male literally bristled around the edges, - I am Prospero.
- An English Major?
The male dimmed shyly.
- Very well, Prospero and Sita. Take over this part of the operation. You have my vibe. Find me if there are issues.
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