by Robert Teague
This story is written solely for the entertainment of Winx club and Trollz fans, and no copyright infringement is intended. This story may be reproduced, provided no changes are made, and you let me know.
On the side table by the bed, Sapphire Trollzawa's spell phone began playing the classical piece she used as a ring tone. The blue-haired troll girl had been sound asleep until that moment. She reached over and groped around until she found the offending piece of technology.
"H'lo?" she said, sitting up and wiping at her eyes.
"Hello, Sapphire?" said an unfamiliar female voice.
"Yeah..." she answered, still mostly asleep.
"Oh, I'm sorry, did I wake you?" said the other.
"Uh huh." She was letting herself slide back toward sleep, wanting to end this rather one-sided conversation quickly. Maybe whoever this was would get the hint.
"But isn't it nearly eight in the morning?" said the voice, now a bit worried.
Sapphire turned her bleary eyes toward the clock, having to blink several times to bring it into focus. "Uh huh. Long night of studying. I was gonna sleep in. Who is this?"
"Oh, silly me. This is Tecna, from the Alfea School."
The troll was instantly wide awake. "Tecna!"
"I see you remember me," came the amused voice, "Good morning,"
Sapphire spluttered for a moment. After she and her friends had met the Winx Club, she and the magenta-haired Fairy of Technology had gravitated together, finding many interests in common. She felt a kinship with the fairy as deep as the friendship she had with the other four trolls in the BFFL. It had been some months since they had talked.
"Well, yeah I remember you!" said Sapphire, putting her feet on the floor. "Good morning! But how are you talking to me? Our phone systems are incompatible."
"Not any more. They recently replaced the aging communications satellites in geosynchronous orbit, and provision was made to include your frequencies," said Tecna.
"Really? But Simon is still a threat. Why did they do that?" asked Sapphire, putting her glasses on her forehead.
"Ever since your visit here and ours there, not to mention Mirta's accidental visit, the government in Magix has been in contact with the Troll Nation government, debating bringing your people back into the greater world. This is a first step," said Tecna. "The situation has changed. Thanks to new communications technology and means of travel, you're no longer alone. Trollzopolis can get whatever help it needs quickly, so Simon is much less of a threat than he was."
"I see... where are you? Alfea?" asked Sapphire.
"Actually, I'm one point zero six hours from Trollzopolis," was the answer, "I was hoping we could get together."
"YOU BET!" said Sapphire, grinning, "School is having a teacher's workshop, so I've got a few days open. My friends and their families went to Trollidelphia for a sports exhibition, but I really didn't want to go."
"Great! Perhaps you'd be interested in helping me with a mission, then," said Tecna.
"I'd LOVE to!" was the answer. "What's going on?"
"I really can't discuss it over the phone. Meet me at the airport when you can, and I'll tell you there," said Tecna.
wc/bffl wc/bffl wc/bffl
Somewhat over an hour later, Sapphire was in the passenger seat of her mom's car, being taken to the airport. Her mom wanted to meet this Tecna who had made such an impression on her daughter.
Mrs. Trollzawa parked, and they went to the side gate for the area where helicopters were kept. The guard checked their IDs and let them in. Spotting the Red Fountain ship was no trouble, and Sapphire had to stop herself from running to meet Tecna.
"Hm. This ship is smaller than the first two," she remarked as they approached the open ramp.
"Hello? Tecna? It's Sapphire," she called up into the open hatch.
But instead of a fairy, another person altogether came down to meet them.
"Mr. Trollheimer? What are you doing here?" Sapphire asked.
"Good morning to you too," he said. "Mrs. Trollzawa, nice to meet you again." He shook her mom's hand, then turned to the blue-haired troll. "To answer your question, your friend called and asked me to meet her here," he answered, "She wanted me to hear the particulars of the mission, and give my opinion about you participating."
Sapphire swallowed, hard.
"Oh, don't worry, I told her I thought it was a good idea," he said, smiling.
Sapphire gave a 'whew' of relief.
"And I'll even give you extra credit for the project," he added.
"Wow! Thanks!" said Sapphire.
"Is this going to be dangerous?" asked Mrs. Trollzawa.
Mr. Trollheimer shook his head. "I don't think so. It's more observation than anything else. But it will give your daughter more experience in the world, and a chance to see other technology and sciences and magic. It's a good opportunity for her."
"Sapphire?" asked a voice the troll girl was glad to hear. She turned toward the ramp, and there was Tecna, looking at her with a gentle smile.
Sapphire went over to her and held out her arms. The fairy looked puzzled for a second. "OH!" Then she squatted down and gathered the troll into a hug. "Sorry. Still not used to this much contact."
"It is so good to see you!" said Sapphire, holding on as tightly as she could.
"Mutual," was the answer, and Tecna tightened her hug just a bit.
"Who can doubt we're witnessing the reunion of friends?" Trollheimer whispered to Sapphire's mom.
She nodded but didn't answer, being preoccupied with the fairy. She hadn't been sure what to expect. The non-troll girl was tall and thin, with short magenta hair and teal green eyes. She seemed friendly, and Sapphire was certainly glad to see her.
The greeting ended, and Tecna went over to the older woman. She bent at the waist and shook her hand. "How do you do, ma'am? I'm Tecna of Zenith, a student at the Alfea School for Fairies."
"H- hello, it's nice to meet you, after everything Sapphire has said," said Mrs. Trollzawa, looking up at the fairy's face.
"I believe the old joke is, only nice things, I hope?" said Tecna.
"The best!" Sapphire interjected with a grin.
"What were you and my daughter going to do?" asked Ms. Trollzawa.
"Let's go back inside, and she can explain," said Trollheimer.
They went into the small ship and clustered around the control console, the two female trolls looking around. At the top of the ramp was a corridor with a hatch on either side. The far end led into the main cabin where two chairs sat in front of the console. The port was wide, curling around 180 degrees. There were side consoles that were turned off. And that was it.
"This is a lot smaller than the others," said Sapphire.
"It's a scout ship," answered Tecna, "Designed for two occupants for missions of up to two weeks. She pointed to one hatch. "That's the bunk room and water closet. The other is for gear and stowage. In front of that is food prep."
The fairy pulled up a file from the computer. "Here's the situation. There's a protected region near the city of Magix where a number of exotic animals and other things live. Among them are the Hunter Trolls."
A picture of a large, blue-skinned bipedal being appeared. It had long black hair and wore animal skins.
"That's a troll?" asked Mrs. Trollzawa.
"Yes. Their tribes have lived in the region for a very long time. Their sense of smell is very acute and accurate, and they use it to hunt food. As a rule they stay to themselves, but sometimes they are exploited to find other things. They are somewhat intelligent and can speak simple sentences, but reject technology more advanced than fire, or a club."
"Mr. Trollheimer, do you know if they are related to us?" asked Sapphire.
"Yes, they are," was the answer, "We have a common ancestor but branched off long ago." He smiled. "Yes, long before I was born. I've no idea why they are blue, though. The ancestor wasn't."
"The reason for this mission is that things have changed," said Tecna, "Normally the tribes are scattered, but lately they have been gathering together. And we've gotten reports of them suddenly having more advanced weapons. People in the area have been attacked, which is how we know."
The Fairy of Technology looked at the three trolls. "This is not a natural event, and warrants investigation. I volunteered to run a monitoring mission and see if I can find some answers."
"And you wanted me to come along?" asked Sapphire, staring at the picture of the Hunter Troll.
"Yes. Besides wanting to see you again, I thought it would be prudent to have a troll along for behavioral insights," was the answer.
"I'm not sure I can help with that," said Sapphire, slowly, "Until now I didn't even know this branch of trolls existed." She looked up at her fairy friend. "But if my mom and Mr. Trollheimer agree, I'm in."