Chapter 7: Deliverance – part 7
Green flames leaped from the plush carpet of Chairman Carlyle’s office. Giovanni studied the small, heatless fire between him and his Matron. Despite being one of the senior witches at Triptych, Gio had never seen this particular spell before. The unearthly flames combined Mind, Light, and a bit of Matter. The latter was particularly intriguing.
Matron Carlyle looked up from her spell. “Ready, Mattioni?”
“Yes, Matron.” He’d been ready. Serving the Matron was an honor. Being summoned to her office further underscored the assignment’s importance.
The Matron nodded, pleased. “Step into the fire.”
Gio obeyed. The flames were neither cold nor hot, but tingled as they twined up his legs. Within seconds luminescent tendrils crisscrossed his body.
Matron Carlyle stated, “You have ten minutes.”
Gio didn’t waste time on a reply. He placed the portal seed he’d been carrying in his hand on the floor in front of him. The golden bead melted, spreading into a metallic puddle two feet in diameter. Gio stepped on the thin disk, and the scenery changed. The gold disk below Gio’s feet reflected the dim light in what should be Addison Harris’ living room. Judging from the toys scattered across the sofa, armchairs, and floor, his portal was on target.
All was quiet and still, so Gio proceeded with his task. Still standing on the portal, he whispered an appeal to Achaea. The goddess granted his request, allowing Gio to see beyond sight for a short distance.
Gio reached out, feeling for auras. The first he sensed was the solid, familiar earthiness of a mundane, presumably the nanny in Harris’ employ. Her ochre glow breathed soft and steady with sleep. A short distance away was the brighter, nuanced aura of a child. It had the slick feel of a psychic, and something else. Again, the aura’s owner was asleep, so Gio moved on.
Further away Gio found his targets, all of whom slumbered. The psychic he presumed was Harris pulsed a steady quicksilver. The other–likely Myers’–was… odd. His aura was quicksilver over ochre over pale light. The infant’s aura was a fledgling combination of his parents’.
Assured that he’d traveled to the correct quarters, Gio stepped off of the portal and padded down the short hallway. As he passed the first door on the left, the child’s aura caught his attention. Gio paused to satisfy his curiosity. He focused on the child’s–the girl’s–mostly quicksilver aura. Intertwined with the slick silver were violet threads, the same hue as his aura. Another of mine, he thought with mild surprise.
Since the girl wasn’t his concern, Gio stepped up to the closed door at the end of the hallway. He carefully pushed it open and listened. Only sleep-slowed breaths met his ears. After checking the strength of the Matron’s glowing green mesh, Gio strode inside. The night-dim lights showed Harris and Myers tangled together in bed under the covers. Their son slept in a bassinet near Harris’ side of the bed.
Standing at the foot of the bed, Gio whispered his carefully prepared invocation to Aeolus. Three tiny zephyrs swirled before him. Gio assigned one to each of his targets. The eddies flitted to their marks, hovering just above Myers’, Harris’, and the baby’s faces.
Gio held out one hand palm-up and nodded. The zephyrs dove, then flew back to Gio’s outstretched hand. His fingers closed around the retrieved items as mother, father, and child stirred in their sleep. Then Myers’ eyes fluttered open.
Gio froze. The Matron’s spell will hide me, he told himself. She’d explained that magick, Triptych’s third facet, could fool even the most talented psychic or scientist. Gio hoped it would fool science and psionics combined.
Scowling, Myers peered around the room while rubbing one eye. After a few moments he lay down. He curled up behind Harris with a sigh.
Gio waited for a full minute before returning to the living room. By the time he stepped on the portal disk, the Matron’s spell was waning. He grinned as Harris’ quarters morphed into Matron Carlyle’s elegantly appointed office. Beneath his feet the gold disk evaporated.
Carlyle hadn’t budged. She raised an expectant eyebrow at Gio. “Did you get them?”
Gio tried to damp down his smile. “Yes, Matron.” He held out his hand, uncurling his fingers. Three eyelashes lay on his palm.
Matron Carlyle’s smile reached her eyes. “Excellent work.” She carefully plucked the lashes from Gio’s hand. Magick tingled from the brief contact with her fingertips. “Go rest. You’ve earned it.”
The past few minutes caught up with Gio in a rush. “Thank you, Matron.”