Master PC – Mind Magi
Chapter Thirty-Seven – Many Memories
After everyone had calmed down a bit, I contacted Renée. ~Thank you for the help. I wasn’t sure how I was going to get passed Dr. Livingston’s abilities.~
~I didn’t think that spike of fear was normal,~ she replied. ~I’m guessing that Michael and his family are safe now?~
~Yes they are. I’ll be in touch again when we go after the other hostages.~
~Good. Give them hugs from us.~
Katherine and Jenna had calmed down enough that I was able to offer the hugs from Renée. Of course, that was after some introductions. Once that was done, I extracted Michael. He would have plenty of time to explain things in detail later.
I said, “I hate to interrupt but I really need to talk to you.”
Michael nodded, and after giving his wife and daughter another hug each he followed me to the other end of the room.
Sally, Steven, Meg, and Mr. Gilman all gathered around Katherine and Jenna, trying to answer other questions they had. Dr. Livingston kept his distance, not sure if they would understand what he had gone through.
Michael glanced back at them. “I can’t tell you thank you enough.”
“You’re my friend,” I replied. “You don’t have to.”
He nodded and focused on me. He started to ask something then did a double take. “Ral, your eyes!”
I nodded. “I know, they’re amber. I’ll worry about that later. Right now I need your insight into the Mind Magi.” I held out my hand and said, “I’m going to show you everything that I’ve learned since we left the meeting yesterday.”
Michael nodded and shook hands with me. After the sharing, he started thinking. It didn’t take him long to say, “Jennifer Greenwood? Why would Whisper believe Lord Greenwood is involved?”
“I don’t know. I think the only way I’ll be able to find out is to get to Jennifer and before making her immune to the program, allow Whisper to explain himself.”
“If he will,” Michael said. “From what you’ve told me, Whisper isn’t likely to answer questions he doesn’t want to. Besides, he’s already given himself away by calling you right before you put Russ in the hospital.”
“What about tracking him?”
“Tracking him? He’s too good with the program.”
Michael nodded. “True, but didn’t you say you met him once?”
I thought about that. “The mall. When my abilities were first manifesting.”
“Exactly. Just show up where ever he is and make him talk.” Michael glanced back at the others as if pointing them out as an example. “I’m pretty sure there’s not much he could do to stop you.”
“Do you believe Lord Greenwood might have anything to do with this?”
That seemed to drop Michael’s smile. “I honestly don’t know.” He looked at me again. “If he does, woe be him.”
“What might he gain from this?”
“If he were after power, I would say a lot. He might try to steel the other’s mantles, but that hasn’t happened.”
“Is there a ritual for that?”
“Yes,” Michael answered.
“Well, normally, all the House Leaders witness the transfer. Honestly, it only takes the two people involved.”
“Does it take long?”
“Minus all the preparations, not really. I’d say fifteen minutes at most.”
“Well, a circle of protection is created. That way the power doesn’t jump to someone else by accident. Incantations are spoken that allow the new Leader to choose the House color, but they usually forgo that and keep it the same. Then the sender and receiver essentially grasps hands and focus on the transfer.”
“So the sender, the one giving the mantle, is a willing participant?”
“Not necessarily. There have been instances when a Leader’s mantle has been stripped and handed over to a new Leader.”
“So, basically, as long as the receiver makes the preparations, they can force the transfer of the mantle?”
Michael nodded. “They have to have a third if that’s the case. Someone to ‘act’ as the giver. The two of them then grasp the hands of the Leader being stripped instead of each other.”
“Then if Greenwood is after the other’s mantles, he would need help.”
“I seriously doubt any of the other House Leaders would help him with this.”
“Agreed,” Michael said.
We watched the others for a minute, then Michael said, “Fiona Bennet.” He looked at me again. “I didn’t send anyone to pick you up at a warehouse. I couldn’t have. I was a prisoner of the Dragons. So how she knew where to find you or how to get you away from the Dragons, I don’t know. I would find her and ask her about that.”
I was somewhat troubled to hear that. She had seemed genuinely helpful. However, if Michael hadn’t sent her, how did she know where I was? How did she get me from the Dragons?
I looked over at the group. “Steven, can I ask you something?”
“Sure,” Steven said and he joined me and Michael.
“Last night you were with the other Dragons when I found you in the warehouse. What happened after I was knocked out?”
He shook his head. “We just left you there. No one thought about binding you or taking you with us. We just left.”
“Was it like everything else that you had been doing inexplicably?” Michael asked.
Steven nodded. “I just had the massive urge to leave.”
“Did you see anyone else arrive before you left?”
Michael said, “If Fiona isn’t under Master PC’s influence, then I’m betting she’s behind the behavior of the Dragons.”
Steven looked from me to Michael. “Who’s Fiona?”
“Fiona Bennet,” Michael answered. Then he looked at me.
I told Steven about waking up at Fiona’s place and what we talked about. Finally, I looked back at Michael. “And I’m not sure about the relevance, but her mark is a complex circle on her back and it’s gray.”
“Is it as complex as yours?”
I shook my head. “I only caught sight of it for a moment. I’m not sure.”
“Well, you’ve met her. You can track her,” Michael said.
I nodded. What bothered me most was the attraction I had felt for her. Even now, after fully binding Sally to me and feeling less need for the touch of my other girls, I could still feel Fiona’s body against mine.
That triggered another memory.
I was laying in a bed with a woman pressed to me. The air was hot and muggy. We were both sweaty not only from the conditions of the room but what we had just done.
She sat up on her elbows and looked into my eyes. We smiled at one another and kissed.
My hands ran over her body and I was hardening in anticipation of something more.
Her hand moved down and gripped me. “From behind this time,” she said in sulky tones.
I got up and moved behind her. She watched me over her shoulder as I got into position. She guided me into her and as I began moving, enjoying the feel of our connection, I looked down.
There was a gray circular mark on her back. It looked a lot like Fiona’s but lacked some details.
Other memories chained off that one. Again and again I saw the mark. Whether we were having sex or she was wearing something that allowed her mark to be seen didn’t matter, it was always there.
The woman was always different too. She always had dark hair and eyes, but varied in skin tone and other dimensions. But I knew. It was her. It was always her.
She had lived as long as Theodore had. She had the same ability to transfer to another body when it came time.
Shutting out the memories took a bit of effort. I looked at Michael.
“What is it?” he asked.
“Fiona is long lived. Her mark is complex and has grown over many, many lives.”
Michael shook his head and Steven looked dumbfounded. “Please, explain.”
I told them about the other memory that I had seen when making Dr. Livingston immune. “Theodore Fitzgerald was already going to be a Mind Magi. Whoever I… er… he was before that, he knew. He also knew the infant’s mother had telekinetic abilities. He wanted that for himself.”
“That shouldn’t be possible,” said Steven.
Michael, however, had a different answer. “I’ve heard of such Mind Magi. Exceedingly rare, they are referred to as Phoenix Magi.” He looked at Steven. “Like your title, the Dragon Magi, but for a different reason all-together.”
Steven looked horror stricken. “You’re telling me there are Mind Magi out there that can jump from one body to another?”
I nodded. “But it seems to be limited to when they’re close to death.”
Steven shook his head. “Ah man! How could someone do that to a baby?”
“It’s pure survival,” I said. “An individual’s instinct to live can be strong. Besides, if they’re as old as these memories suggest, he got over the moralistic issue long ago.”
“And if Fiona is also a Phoenix, she would have as many powers as you Ral.”
“I would think a lot more, but that still doesn’t make her responsible for what’s happening,” I said.
“It doesn’t eliminate her either,” Michael said. Then he seemed to really look at me. “I’m guessing you got a lot of memories of being with her?”
“You cannot let those memories affect your judgment. If she is responsible, we have to stop her.”
I thought again about Fiona, the woman who had lived as long as Theodore. Concentrating on more recent events, I thought again about the meeting Theodore had with my parents. What had he found out that led up to that?
I was in an office with another life of Fiona’s. She was called Sandra McMillan at the time.
Sandra had tried to explain the complexities of the computer she was working on. She had purchased a company that had built what they called a super computer but it had failed government tests and was abandoned. Sandra bought it with a different purpose for it in mind.
“I’m going to finally allow the Mind Magi to come out of hiding,” she had said. It was the first thing that really held my attention.
“What?” I asked. “How?”
She patted a computer monitor. “This computer will have a program that anyone with a computer can use. It will allow them to do things they normally couldn’t.”
“What kinds of things?”
“Well, that’s still undecided. However, what we’ve accomplished so far is astounding.”
I looked at the monitor. It reminded me of televisions. “I don’t see how that would be possible Sandra. A Mind Magi can only endow specific objects with power.” I looked back at her. “That’s not something you can mass produce.”
“I don’t have to,” she said smiling. “Only the main computer will have the endowed powers. Any other computer would access those abilities.”
I shook my head. “The way you’re talking, people would be able to do this anywhere.”
She nodded with enthusiasm. I had never seen her so excited about anything. “Yes!”
I pulled from the memory. “I think she created Master PC.”
I shook my head. “I only know what they talked about. She said that the computer system she was working on would be endowed and anyone else with a computer would be able to access it.”
“Mind Magi have been able to endow objects with power for centuries,” Michael said. “Do you know where that computer was?”
I thought about the visit to where Sandra had been. “The World Trade Center here in New York.”
“If that’s where the computer was, how is Master PC still working after 9-11?” Steven asked.
“It had to have been moved,” Michael answered. He looked at me. “Ral, did Theodore visit her at the computer system again after that?”
I shook my head. “If he did, it was after he passed his memories on to me.”
Michael nodded. “If she kept records of renting space with the Mind Magi, then I’ll be able to find out where that computer was moved to next.”
“What if she didn’t?” I asked.
“Well… Do you know what the name of the company was?” he asked.
I thought. “Yes, Betadyne Industries.”
Michael nodded. “I have a contact with the city of New York. He should be able to find out when Betadyne rented space in the buildings and a forwarding address.”
Steven looked between me and Michael. “So, are we saying that this Fiona created Master PC and is responsible for what’s going on?”
“She may have created it years ago,” I said, “but anyone else who had been involved could have taken it from her for whatever reason.” With a look from Michael I added. “However, she is not ruled out.”
“Ral, with your abilities, I wonder if your parents were involved in the project.” Michael said.
I shrugged. “I guess. I can remove code from anyone I touch.”
“What if Theodore found out about what Fiona was planning and contacted your parents to help stop it?”
“If they had tried to sabotage her project…” I said thinking. “She wouldn’t have let them get away with it. She had heavy security at the facility Theodore had visited. She would have known.”
“Well, if the program is working, then they couldn’t have sabotaged it,” said Steven.
Michael and I nodded.
“I don’t like the idea that she may have had something to do with my parent’s death, but this still doesn’t help us with the current situation,” I said.
“There has to be a reason Theodore gave you those memories,” Michael said. “Especially the one where he spoke to your parents.”
“Are you suggesting he knew what she was going to do?” I asked. “I don’t have that memory if he did.”
“Think about how well he knew her, Ral. Consider how you might anticipate something from your own girls. You don’t need to know the details, just a hint of what might happen. If he knew that she wanted to bring about a change in the world and that she had finally found a way to do that…”
I thought about it. “The conversation Theodore had with Sandra about the computer… She said something about bringing the Mind Magi out of hiding.”
“You’ve already had the first law abolished. What if she’s trying to have the second law abolished as well?”
“Why take the hostages?” I asked. “That would reaffirm that the program was dangerous in the wrong hands and reinforcing the need for secrecy.”
“Not if someone like you were to save the hostages. You’ve already displayed your abilities to the public. You helped to bring down the kidnapper in Texas too. If secrecy is the issue, or stopping the secrecy, then she’s already using you to help her agenda.”
I shook my head. “But Fiona didn’t give Vikkor the program.”
Michael nodded. “How did Lord Lasarge find out about the program? Who gave him a copy for his daughter to have?”
It was so difficult to fathom. Had she actually planned this so many years ago? No one could have put it all together.
Except Theodore, and he had passed his memories on to me.
“Why didn’t Theodore just jump to a new body if he were so sure of what she was doing? Why not make sure she was stopped?”
“You already know that answer. It’s already affecting you,” Michael said softly. “He loved her. He always loved her and probably knew he would hold back from stopping her. The only way to make sure she was stopped was to pass his memories on to someone else.”
“How could he have known I would find out about anything she had planned. I could have died or never found the Mind Magi. Any number of things could have occurred to keep me from being here.”
“Only you can answer that, Ral. You have his memories. You have his combined knowledge. Think. What would you do to make sure the child you had entrusted with your powers and memories were made safe?”
“I wouldn’t. I couldn’t, not if I knew I was going to die soon.”
Michael thought about that. “Then he must have had a backup plan.”
“Well, if you couldn’t stop her, or the computer, then there had to be a way to stop it for someone else.”
“And how do you take away the powers of an endowed object?”
Michael looked up. “With a counter object. When objects were endowed, it was a side effect, but there would be equivalent objects that, if brought into contact with the original, would permanently disable both. They were called cursed objects because they were usually horrible to use.”
“Good thing you like visiting the Historians,” I said. “What would we look for?”
Michael shrugged. “Well, if they were endowing a computer, or parts of it, then I would say other computer parts.”
“And where would we find those?”
“Your parents left a vast fortune to you. Was there anything that the lawyer told you about that made no sense at the time?”
I shook my head. “No, just the money, the house – which burned down – and…”
“And a safety deposit box I never even checked.”
Michael and Steven looked at one another. Michael said, “So simple.”
I checked my watch. “There’s no way I’ll be able to reach the bank to have them check for me.”
“Don’t worry about the bank. Send Sarah Johnson. She can get in, get the whole box and get out without any need to wake the employees.”
“You’re suggesting I send someone to break in…” I said with a chuckle.
Michael just looked at me. “If you were given these memories and powers to stop the program, it would be good to have someone standing by with the cursed object if you fail.”
I had felt pressure when taking tests in school, but this was something else all together. “You do know we are guessing at some of this, right?”
Michael nodded. “But too much of it makes sense, considering the memories you have.”
Another look at my watch reminded me, “What about this midnight deadline Whisper suggested?” I asked. “Is there any significance with today’s date or such?”
Michael shook his head. “Unless something was programmed into the server itself, I don’t think any deadline would have an affect on Master PC.”
“Then I need to talk to Fiona,” I said. “The only problem is, even if I find her, that doesn’t mean she’ll be with the server.”
Michael nodded. “I’ll find the server. That way if we have to shut it down we can.”
Steven looked from one to the other of us. “Shouldn’t someone do something about the hostages?”
Michael and I looked at Steven. “Good point,” I said.
“If we spring the hostages free, Fiona, or whoever else is behind this will probably do something else,” Michael said. He glanced toward his family as he did so.
That’s when more good news came our way.
Not only did I hear what she said, but Charlotte was quite excited when she thought, ~Ral, I’ve cracked the password protection in Master PC!~
Michael looked at me, catching my change in expression. “What’s up?”
I smirked. “We’re clear to go after the hostages. Charlotte’s just told me that she’s cracked the Master PC passwords.”