Master PC – Mind Magi
Part Four—Love, Sex, and Sorcery
Chapter Twenty-Seven—Prophecy Revealed
Getting out of the car, I kept my eyes on Lady Reynolds. She wore dark sunglasses and a trench coat. It was pleasant outside. I was sure that wouldn’t last.
“Lord Setton, I’ve been looking for you,” she started.
“How many are with you?” I asked.
I could tell she was blinking at my blunt question, even with the glasses impeding my sight of her eyes.
“How many Dragons are here Cicely?”
She cleared her throat and croaked, “Two.”
“Get in the car and tell Sally I said to leave. I’ll handle them.”
“Ral, I can’t just leave you.”
I looked over Cicely’s right shoulder. I could see Russ waiting in the distance.
“Ral, I heard about the attack on your store.”
“That was fast,” I said looking at Cicely again.
“It was on the news. There was even footage of you fighting off the gunners.”
“Did you also happen to notice that one of the attackers was a Dragon?”
“I don’t know her name. She had bright green eyes and moved pretty fast.”
It was obvious Cicely was thinking about my description. “Did she have dark hair pulled back in a pony tail?” I nodded and she said, “Ral, that’s Sever.”
Cicely nodded. “Her ability is a kind of neural blades. They glow green and will cut flesh. At the same time they will make you go numb or disrupt your nervous system.”
“Fantastic, my luck’s getting better all the time,” I commented and then asked, “Has anyone from your House found out about the hostages?”
“That’s why I’m here. We found them but when we moved in to get them the Dragons were too much.”
“Where are they?”
She handed me a card. It had an address on the back. “And Ral, one of the House Lords is involved.”
I was about to ask who, but Russ chose that very moment to interrupt. I saw him coming and moved just as fast to open the car door, push Cicely inside and close it. If nothing else, she would be safe from the fight coming.
Like before Russ came at me with knives, but this time he moved with a grace and precision I didn’t think he could have accomplished. I ducked and dodged, moving away from the car, leading him away from those who couldn’t protect themselves.
“Give it up Russ, you can’t touch me.”
“That’s what you think...” he said and picked up the pace as he changed attack styles.
We must have looked like two blurs moving around the parking lot. No one could have recounted what happened. I didn’t think about attacks or counterattacks; it took all I had just to stay away from his blades.
When I had seen him with Roy and the third Dragon, I wondered how long he could have followed us had he decided to chase. It became apparent that endurance was something he never worked on because he started to slow down. I didn’t feel tired in the slightest.
Finally I took the opportunity and grabbed one of his wrists; however, he chose to let me and stabbed my arm shoving the knife completely through it, missing both bones. It hurt like nothing I had ever felt.
Blood splattered the cars we were next to. More dripped to the ground. The pain had stopped me for only the merest fraction of a second. Then I kicked him. I didn’t care if he stabbed me again; I knew what it would feel like. I planted my foot in his chest and knocked him back, all the way across the parking lot.
Russ had let go of the knife stuck in my arm. His expression at my retaliation was something I would have considered comical, had I not been hurting.
I watched him land, waited for him to get up and come at me again. I would have said he had the edge, because I would have protected my arm and he could pull out another knife and be fresh for the fight. Fortunately, he didn’t get up.
Another surge of pain flashed through my arm. I looked at the knife and grabbed it. I knew I could heal but I had to remove the knife and that was going to hurt just as much as when it went in.
Moving away from where Russ lay, I hunkered down between two cars. I thought about Sally and Lady Reynolds. My thoughts didn’t go unanswered. I could feel Sally worrying for me; feel the motion of the car as she drove. They were away and hopefully safe.
Still gripping the knife, I focused. I tried to remember what I had been doing when I had been stabbed, so I could put the muscles back in the same position, the same state of flex for when the knife came out. I gripped the side of my leg as best as I could and pulled at the knife. I couldn’t move it.
Looking closer at the wound around the knife, I could tell that I was already healing, sealing the knife to me. I could also feel the knife inside my arm, as if my muscles were as touch sensitive as my fingertips. I was gripping the blade of the knife with my arm. I had to relax, but it hurt.
Looking around to make sure no one was heading in my direction I caught sight of the other man I had seen Russ with earlier. He was looking for me but didn’t have Russ’s speed. He would find me eventually, but I had to get rid of the knife first.
Focusing again, I relaxed my arm as much as possible. Again I pulled at the knife, trying to rip it out of my arm like ripping off a bandage really fast. Again, it wouldn’t budge.
“What the hell?” I thought.
“If you’re curious Mr. Setton, let me explain.”
The voice was right next to me. I looked around expecting the other Dragon to be there but I spotted him even further away. It looked like he was going to check on Russ.
“My name is Steven Davis. I am a mind Dragon. Unlike most Dragons, I do not attack you physically. I have witnessed how you can very easily dispose of the other physical Dragons in such confrontations.”
Again the voice was there, as if he were standing next to me. “You attack my mind then,” I concluded for him.
“Correct. Not only can I keep you from removing the knife from your arm, but I can very easily add more.”
Fear ran through me. Fear of what he might make me see, the illusions he could make real.
“Yes, that’s right Mr. Setton, what I do is nothing more than illusion. You can keep telling yourself that but it will not stop it from happening.”
“You’re the one who hit me with abstract hammers back at the warehouse.”
I had met Mind Magi who could force you to do things simply because you already wanted to. What was I going to do about one who could make up anything, whether you’ve thought of it or not, and make you believe it was happening?
I looked at the knife again, felt not only the shape of the grip in my hand but the metal of the blade inside my arm. Was the knife real or was I seeing an illusion he forced me to see?
“Mr. Setton, you’ve done quite a number on Russ. He’s going to need an ambulance. Is this how you intend to treat the Mind Magi bound to your House?”
“The Mind Magi of my house don’t try to stick knives in me.”
I focused on the knife, and only the knife. Moving my arm I watched how the knife moved, felt how it impeded the muscles in my arm. I was sure the knife was real.
Looking around I realized I was in the shade of a car. Sarah Johnson could travel from one place to another through shadows. Since I could borrow her ability as her House Lord, could I move only the knife?
I thought about what she had said when she described it to me. “It’s kinda like swimming but with a lot less friction cuz there’s not really anything there to impede you.”
I thought about what it would feel like to submerge my arm into water, hot, cold, lukewarm, it didn’t matter. The sensation stole over me, over my whole body. I thought about Sally’s car and focused on the back seat. When the sensation lifted, I felt the bump and motion of the car. I was lying on the floorboard and the knife was gone.
“Not exactly what I had in mind but it works,” I said as I pulled myself up.
Sally and Cicely jumped. Sally regained control of the car and looked at me through the rear-view mirror. “Ral?!”
I nodded. “Yeah.”
Cicely turned to face me. A combination of shock and relief were etched into her face.
I sat back and relaxed. Thankfully Steven would have a limit to how far away he could affect someone. I looked at my arm. The suit jacket and shirt sleeve were severed and I was healed under it. The knife had been real.
“What happened Ral?” Cicely asked.
“Well, Russ tried to cut me up like before and Steven had a chat with me while I tried to figure out how to get a knife out of my arm.”
Sally glanced at me in the mirror again. “Are you okay?”
“Thanks to Sarah Johnson, I’m doing better than I had hoped.”
“Who’s Sara Johnson?” Sally asked.
“One of my House members,” I answered.
“Ral, how much does she know?” Cicely asked, nodding her head toward Sally.
“Everything,” I answered.
Cicely just looked at me as if astonished that I would share privileged information with just anyone. Sally seemed a bit smug and that made me chuckle, which in turn made Cicely frown more.
“Cicely, this is Sally. We haven’t seen each other since last summer and things are picking up right where they left off. You know what my life is like and you also know I keep no secrets from any of my girls,” I explained.
Sally smiled at me in the mirror and Cicely finally turned around to face forward.
We had just stopped at a red light when my cell phone rang. It was Renée.
“Hey Lover. We’ve just landed and are picking up our luggage. Charlotte is scheduled to land in another half an hour so we’re going to wait for her before leaving for hotels.”
“Good to hear the trip when smoothly because things here sure haven’t. We need to meet. Things have changed.”
“Changed? What happened?”
“I’ll tell you when we get together.”
“Okay. Did you ever get a hold of Lady Reynolds?”
“I’m with her now.”
“Did she give you a copy of the prophecy?”
“I forgot all about that, hang on.” I pulled the phone away from my ear and asked Cicely, “Did you bring a copy of the prophecy for me?”
She looked back at me while reaching into her coat. “This doesn’t make a lot of sense Ral. I don’t think it will help us.”
“It may not help with the coup but I need to know what it says nonetheless.”
She handed me an envelope. Into the phone I said, “I’ve got it.”
“What’s it say?” Renée asked.
I opened the envelope and unfolded the one piece of paper.
Born to parents of opposing views, there will be a child whom none can resist... Marked with amber... The first sign of our world’s end... Everyone will know... [Magi] shall bow... Unearthly powers... Eternal benevolence... Shall guide those of faith... Bonds will change... Lives will be [uplifted]... Views [unencumbered]... The bringer of peace...
I read it over twice and then asked, “Is this it?”
Cicely nodded. “I said it wasn’t much help.”
Over the phone Renée asked, “What’s it say?”
I read it to her and her first response was, “Well, now we know why they made the first law, with that bit about ‘the first sign of our world’s end’.”
“But the world’s end has been predicted over the centuries. Every time ‘the end’ has meant for a society or a kingdom’s reign, not the entire planet.” I retorted. “This would be no different.”
“That may be, but the Mind Magi society has been around for how long?”
“Agreed, if that’s what it’s referring to.” I looked at Cicely and asked, “Can you get a copy in the original language so we can have other professionals translate it?”
“We have some of the best translators in the world,” she started.
“I understand that, but I want someone who would be unbiased in its meaning.”
“Ral, you’re already in trouble with the Council. I doubt they’ll hand over an original copy for you to take to outside sources.”
Renée must have been able to hear her over the phone because she asked, “What’s she mean you’re in trouble with the Council?”
“That’s part of what I mean about things changing. I’ll tell you when we get together.”
“Okay, obviously there’s more going on than I thought. Where are we going to meet?”
“Sally, are there any nice restaurants near the airport?”
“Of course there are. What are you hungry for?”
What I was getting hungry for wouldn’t be on anyone’s menu. The pangs I had felt earlier were finally returning. I wasn’t sure what had held them off until now but I was certain I would have to take care of it soon.
“Ral?” Renée asked over the phone, “Who’s Sally?”
“I told you about her last summer,” I said still trying to consider a decent place for us to meet.
“The girl who broke up with you for asking to go all the way?”
“The very same.”
“Where did you find her?”
“I’ll tell you about that when we get together too,” I answered looking up to catch Sally watching me in the mirror.
“Is she coming with you to our meeting?”
“I couldn’t leave her out of it any more than you.”
There was silence on the other end of the line, but Renée’s emotions came through loud and clear. Some were excited, others worried. “You’ve already bound her to you, haven’t you?” She wasn’t accusatory but it was the closest I had ever heard it from her.
“Yes, but not in the same way as you.”
“What do you mean?”
“I’ll explain later,” I said looking at Sally again. She had already turned us around and I knew we were on our way toward the airport. Sally, Renée and I discussed meeting options and finally decided on a small Italian restaurant. Renée, Erin, Chloe and Charlotte would meet us there.
After I hung up Cicely asked, “I’m not sure I want to be at this meeting of yours Ral.”
“Actually, you might be interested in what we have planned.”
She looked at me with furrowed brow. “What you have planned? What do you mean? I thought you sent your girls out of town to keep them safe. Why are they back?”
“How much do you know about Master PC?” I asked in return.