Short Story: The Plan

The stories of the Fae are not so different from the ones we tell our own children, although the focus can be somewhat odd to our eyes. To them, we are invaders to their lands; an alien and brutish form of life that is utterly inimical to their way of life. They feel that we are disconnected from the web that they feel between all natural things; and it is not entirely impossible that they are correct.

Humanity has its tales of terrors in the night, stolen babies, and the flint arrowheads on the chalk downs that bring disease and misery. The Gentry, or Fair Folk, are titles used to placate and ward off attention. Humans would rather believe that a fancy title or term of flattery will make the fae walk by than accept that to many we are as low as any other beast in the field.

The Fae, for their part, spin stories of their fearless resistance fighters who mounted raids, stole away livestock to feed their families, and drove off the invaders who tortured the land with their harsh iron blades. At least, those are the treasured tales told these days as they live in humanity’s shadows. The concrete overlaying what were green fields, and the metal that binds every building and settlement have sundered the fae from their connections.

It would be a dangerous assumption to think that they are defeated. The war has just evolved. Many of the myriad types of entity that fall under the fae banner are incredibly long-lived, and think nothing of waiting a few centuries for the iron to rust, or to change the battlefield. Many of those entities are close enough in appearance to pass for human too, so infiltration is surprisingly easy.

And so, with arcane sleight of hand, and the complex truths that bind the unwary, some fae have moved beyond simply kidnapping children and replacing them with changelings. They have married, mingled, birthed the half-breeds. And over the generations, those families have then spread, and mingled further, and let the blurring of lines between humanity and fae take hold.

Only a select few of these half-breeds have even been taught their heritage, the better to infiltrate the hated enemy. The minds behind the scheme have no compunction against sacrificing a few generations of mixed blood to get their pieces in place to access the levers of power and influence. Let the humans think themselves enemies of other tribes, they think, and steer the world back from the ruins they leave when they are gone.

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