The egg was perfectly formed, and just the right size. Already, Quientia could sense that the child inside was going to be well, and so she lay down to rest. Russell continued to gaze at the egg, until he realised that something was wrong. The originally green egg was slowly changing to a yellowish shade as it grew. Russell soon realised that the egg was no normal Norn egg. It looked like it was changing into a Grendel egg. Worried, Russell decided that he should wait until the morning and then ask his mother, so he slept next to the egg.
As Russell slept, his mind drifted back to when his mother was lecturing him about what was good to eat, and what would give you fever. "Now this", Quientia began, "is a tomato. Harmless to all but grorns, it will give you a warm feeling and later in your life, a desire to be with other norns." Russell awoke, with the realisation that this was the fruit Charlie had spoken of. He glanced at the egg, which was slightly larger than before, and a uniform shade of green, and he went back to sleep.
Meanwhile up in the Grendel tree, Athos, Ben and Aramis gathered around Charlie, as Carol the Grendel’s medical expert fed Charlie a special herb. Charlie slowly came around and was feeling a lot better. Carol turned to Aramis and began to whisper in to his ear, soon Athos and Ben were involved in the discussion which, as far as Charlie could tell, centred around him and his health. Soon, Carol came over to Charlie and told him to rest. She asked the other grendels to leave her so that she might care for Charlie more effectively. They wandered off in the direction of the tree house.
Once Aramis and the others were out of earshot, Carol turned to Charlie and said "Charlie, once you are well, you will have to flee this place", Charlie looked quite puzzled and so Carol continued "I have discovered that you are not Grendel, not Norn, but grorn. It seems that Aramis wants nothing to do with you if you are not a Grendel, but he has granted me my wish that you shall stay here until you are well."
"What happened to me?" began Charlie, getting more and more flustered by the minute
"Calm yourself" soothed Carol, "It seems that a silly female drugged you with tomatoes and then you got carried away."
"Do you mean that we kisspopped?" asked Charlie, becoming more and more worried
"It wasn’t your fault" explained Carol, "You were drugged and so she took advantage of you." However Carol knew that this wouldn’t be the end of it. As Charlie was a grorn, it was entirely possible that the female had conceived, and as such, her child may not be cared for as she may think it the child of a Grendel. Carol knew that Charlie would have to return to health and find this child.
In the garden, Quientia had awoken early in the morning, before Russell, and having written him a small note, she ran off toward the submarine bay. She never got that far, for as she passed the foot of the Grendel tree, Aramis and Ben appeared and forced her into the lift. They took her down to the nightshade mushroom and made her eat three of its deadly poisonous loads.
Feeling incredibly sick, Quientia lay down on the cold cave floor to try and regain her strength. However as the glycotoxin spread throughout her body, she could feel the life force drain from her very soul. As the grendels thought she was dead, they began to chat about what they would have to do with Charlie's child once they found it.
Hearing what the grendels intended to do to her child, Quientia silently evoked one of the ancient spells left to her by her parents. It was the spell of afterlife communication. Having uttered the immortal words, she had used up all of her remaining energy, and she fell lifeless on the cave floor. Aramis prodded the now limp body, and pronounced her well and truly dead. The grendels spent a few moments laughing at how easy it had been to get her to eat the mushroom, then they took her lifeless body and out it in the submarine, sending it to the bottom of the ocean with little ceremony or tact.
Russell awoke, feeling warm and cosy, and snuggled up to the egg which was now a uniformly deep green colour. "I must have been dreaming" he thought as he remembered the egg turning yellow. It looked at least half a day from being movable, and so he went off in search of something to eat. He walked over to the lemon trellis where he had eaten two or three of the bitter fruits before he noticed a palm leaf on the greenhouse shelf. He walked over to it and saw that it had writing on it. He read the note carefully, several times to ensure that he wasn’t dreaming
"Dear Russell, I realise now that what I did was wrong. While you were sleeping, I seduced Charlie and fed him tomatoes. He was out of control, his desires overwhelmed us both and we kisspopped. I’m sorry for and hurt I have caused you, and I hope that you will eventually be able to forgive me. I have gone to the submarine to be alone for a while. Please look after Rona, and if my child is a boy, please call him Ronald. Your loving, if a little afraid, mother – Quientia"
As Russell was reading the note, the egg had reached full size, and Rona had appeared from the kitchen. Rona, seeing Russell was engrossed in the letter, picked up the egg and carried it to the incubator where she started the hatching process. Russell was disturbed by the noise of the egg cracking and he ran to the incubator, just in time to see the doors open and a small Norn pop out. He had his mother’s purple body, his sisters arms, and his head. Only one thing was strange about this Norn, he had Charlie’s feet. Rona smiled at the baby and looked at Russell. She was now almost eight months old and had learnt to speak very well.
"Russell" she began, "Can I take our brother to the computer?"
"Of course you can" said Russell, glad to be able to leave Rona to look after the child; "Call him Ronald though, that’s the name mom wanted."
With Ronald and Rona in the lift on the way to the computer room, Russell sat back by the oven to think about the situation he found himself in. Charlie was not a Grendel but a grorn. This meant that should the Grendels find out, they would most certainly banish him from their domain. No one must know about Ronald’s feet he thought, and so he set out to find his mother.