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.”

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18 Responses to “Chapter 7: Deliverance – part 7”

  1. Ziggy August 18, 2009 at 6:31 am #

    Second to the last paragraph.
    “You’re earned it”
    Should be “You’ve earned it.”

    It was good though. I’m thinking it’s cloning time.

    • nancy August 18, 2009 at 9:16 am #

      *facepalm* Thanks for catching that, Zig!

      As for the cloning speculation… nope. You’ll see why the witches went to all of that trouble soon enough. :)

  2. Alexandra August 18, 2009 at 10:16 am #

    Wow–now witches! Way to keep us in suspense. Always something new and intriguing (and troubling–like in Lord of the Rings). You two ROCK.

    • nancy August 20, 2009 at 8:12 am #

      Aww, shucks! Thanks, Lexie. 😀

  3. Mujaki August 19, 2009 at 4:13 am #

    Who do dat voodoo dat you do so well?
    And there was mention of witches before. They were in the background, helping a certain high level executive eavesdrop on the auspicious birth. This is the first time we’ve really seen them in action.

    • nancy August 20, 2009 at 8:12 am #

      Yup. Scary, innit?

  4. Soph August 19, 2009 at 11:01 am #

    The best part about going on holiday is finding 4 new chapters to read when you get home *g*

    So witches are the 3rd facet of Triptych? What are the first two, normal humans and psychics? Homo sapiens and Homo superior? Am curious.

    ..also, if Ashlynn has a tinge of all 3, is she almost as much of a holy grail as Jacob?

    • Mujaki August 19, 2009 at 4:17 pm #

      Science and psychics, I believe.
      Wait, make that “SCIENCE!!!”

      • nancy August 20, 2009 at 8:13 am #

        Exactly right, Mujaki. I was trying to finally drop that tidbit of information without saying, “Hear ye, hear ye! Triptych really is a triptych, comprised of science, psionics, and magick.”

    • nancy August 20, 2009 at 8:16 am #

      Vanessa and I aim to please. :)

      See Mujaki’s and my comments below about the three facets.

      Ashlynn the Little Princess is as much of a holy grail as her brother. Damn those meddling Chairmen!

      • Soph August 21, 2009 at 3:47 pm #

        Funky :)

  5. daymon August 19, 2009 at 12:51 pm #

    Well I am sure Shane and Addison will not be happy when they find out. The witches can do all kinds of nasty things to a person with part of them.

    • nancy August 20, 2009 at 8:16 am #

      True dat. :) But who says Addison and Shane will ever find out? Bwahahaha!

  6. Eonknight August 20, 2009 at 9:26 am #

    Magick can fool the most talented psionic or scientist, but Shane is also an Alien, and I suspect even the heads at Triptych do not fully understand the scope of Shane’s powers. Shane has been disturbed by Gio, so the magick doesn’t entirely fool him. And being the suspicious man he is, I think he won’t let this fly…

    Also, if Shane and Addison successfully thwart Triptych’s influence on Ashlynn and Jacob, those two will be the undoing of Triptych.

    • nancy August 20, 2009 at 8:40 pm #

      Actually, Shane was fooled by the magick. Having an eyelash plucked woke him up. I figured if any of them would wake up from that, it would be Shane. He’s the most in tune with his body.

      And you’re right about Ashlynn and Jacob potentially being threats to the Triptych powers-that-be. That’s why they’re working so hard to keep them and their parents in check.

      • Eonknight August 23, 2009 at 2:41 pm #

        Too bad… Still, it wouldn’t be an interesting fight if the powers were not evenly matched… They need to have Ashlynn train her magick skills asap!

  7. Mujaki August 20, 2009 at 7:44 pm #

    So, Ashlynn has potential for magic and psionics a la homo superior, whilst Jacob would have both human- and alien-sourced psionics. Obviously science skill is merely a matter of intellect and instruction, and could be provided to both of them.
    I’m willing to say that, somewhere in the offices of the department of genetic refinement, an experiment has been proposed in which these two submit their “anonymous” genetic samples. The risk of incestuous congenital deficiencies is outweighed by the potential power of the offspring, and the corporate policy of having your morals hypnotically and/or surgically removed when promoted to upper management.

    • nancy August 20, 2009 at 8:35 pm #

      Mujaki, I believe you’re Triptych upper management material! 😉

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