After meeting with who was left of the villagers, Fenella decided it was time to take action.
“Friends, you say these pirates come on ships to invade your land?” They answered affirmatively. “You may not believe me now, but my family and I might be able to help you. Prepare yourselves for battle, and I will call on my family to protect you from further destruction. You were so hospitable to me, and I feel the need to repay you.”
“You owe us nothing, child,” Bridget said. She shook her head. “We only did what we thought was morally sound.”
“Gillespie has become my home-away-from-home. It breaks my heart to see it reduced to rubble. We will ward off these attacks, and rebuild together!” The town cried with enthusiasm and hurried to begin preparations.
Oliver grabbed Fenella’s arm. “What will you do? I thought your clan hated humans?” He was panicking.
“You needn’t worry, Oliver. If I have to do it by myself, your village will face no more peril.” She looked worriedly into Oliver’s eyes, which studied her closely.
“Be careful, Fen. Come back to me, aye?” Fenella smiled and put her hand on his.
As soon as her toes tapped the water, she began her transformation. In seconds, she was spiraling between rock formations and through schools of fish that swam past her. When she reached her family’s outcropping, she lunged to the surface and hurried to where they all were gathered. “Mum, Aunt Annag–I have a request,” she announced, breathlessly. The elders had already gathered, alerted of her transformation into a seal.
“Fenella, what in St. Andrew’s name happened but moments ago?” Moire demanded. “You used a transformation spell?”
Fenella sighed and concentrated again, ready to turn into a human before her clan’s eyes. Every selkie gathered became speechless and gasped at the sight of Moire’s youngest daughter on two human legs.
“Fenella!” her mother chastised, astounded.
“Mother, listen. Everyone, hear me! We selkies helped humans long ago. Aunt Annag told me that, doesn’t everyone remember the tale? We mustn’t fear them all! There are murderous, poaching pirates approaching who will take our lives just as they will take the humans’ and their supplies! We must help them. Their village has already been burned to the ground, perhaps we can help rid them of the pirates.”
“That sounds quite dangerous, Fenella,” Maesie said. She could tell there was a tremble in the crowd. Fenella walked next to her sister and put her human forehead against her sister’s.
“I have a plan. We won’t be hurt.”
“I forbid this! It is foolish to involve yourselves with the humans. They will betray our trust and hunt us for entertainment, for food. They do not deserve our respect or protection,” Moire ordered.
“They saved me,” Fenella fought back. “If not for Oliver’s gun, or his parents’ food, or the village’s hospitality and protection, I would already be dead. I wouldn’t have ever returned to you. Oliver has kept my secret to this day. I have to return that favor, whether or not any of you will join me!” Fenella climbed onto a rock where she could stand over everyone, and raised her human fist. “Who will join me in battle?”