Master PC – Mind Magi
Part One – The Mind Magi Council
Chapter Four – Law and Prophecy
“Make your presentation to abolish the First Law, Mr. Setton,” directed Lord Morehouse.
I nodded. “My presentation is fairly straight forward. As you all know, the First Law was established to help prevent the first sign of a long ago prophecy. A prophecy that told of some unknown doom, disaster or change. The Mind Magi of the time took the steps they felt necessary to help, but they could have never foreseen that anyone would willingly or unwillingly go against such a law. It was simple, to the point and difficult to argue against.”
“Nineteen years ago, two Mind Magi broke that law. Whether willingly or under duress, no one will ever know. As a result, I was born. The prophecy stated that the birth of a child of two Mind Magi would be the first sign to this impending doom, disaster or change and that part of the prophecy has already come to pass. The efforts of our fore-fathers have lasted quite some time but ultimately it has been made moot.”
“I stand before you, the Mind Magi Council, as living proof of what transpired and as a living embodiment of the, now, lack of effectiveness of the First Law. There is no longer a point to having it.”
I nodded to Lord Morehouse and the other Head Lords and Ladies to indicate my conclusion. Michael again suggested a short speech rather than a drawn out explanation. He had also suggested leaving out my parent’s names to help soften the blow, but more importantly I had to point out that my existence was all the proof I needed to have the law abolished.
The only bit of information we did not have that could have made my petition even more profound was the rest of the Prophecy. The Mind Magi had so long worried about that first part that the rest of it had been all but forgotten. We were hopeful that Lady Arneson might have been able to get us a copy of the prophecy, as she was sympathetic to my situation, but time ran out.
Lord Morehouse and the other head Lords and Ladies sat in silence for a few minutes. If they were having mental communications, I couldn’t tell by their expressions.
“Mr. Setton. You’re entire petition to have the First Law abolished is based on your birth,” Lord Morehouse started. “I find it rather arrogant of you to believe that your birth was what the prophecy described.”
I wanted to ask if there had been any other children born of two Mind Magi recently or even previously. Any way about it, such an event would make the point of the First Law moot. However, I held back my questions.
“It is known to this council that you are unique. And that goes without saying that our collective understanding of the prophecy and its deeper meaning go beyond a simple birth.”
So they did have a copy of the Prophecy. I couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t share it with anyone else, especially me. It might answer some questions regarding the mystery of my birth. Then again, if I was being, as Lord Morehouse put it, arrogant, then there might be nothing that would support my birth being the first sign.
Before I could request a copy of the prophecy, however, Lord Greenwood asked, “You said that these two Mind Magi broke the law either willingly or under duress. Why would you suggest they were forced to do this? You were raised and seem quite healthy. I would speculate that an effort had been made by your parents, and in turn that would suggest they were willingly breaking the First Law.”
I was certain the question was presented to distract me from making my request. The Council probably knew I wanted a copy and either didn’t want me to have it or had some rule against sharing it with anyone other than the top leaders.
“I was not raised by my biological parents. I was adopted when very young.” This could lead to the chance to find out who might have been involved with my parents’ deaths, if any one of these leaders continued bombarding me with questions about my past.
“Many of us knew your parents. Even during the time your mother was pregnant with you. We were told that the father was a normal human. She seemed happy regarding her pregnancy. Would that not suggest she was a willing participant?” asked Lady Brooker.
“That is information I was unaware of until this moment,” I replied.
“Would it have not been more effective on your part to find out more about your parents before attempting to make them appear as victims while breaking the First Law?” asked Lord Flemming.
I was cut off by another question from Lord Hendon of House Overton. He sat at the right table next to Lord Lasarge of House Wolfgang at the end of the table. “You say you were adopted. I understood that your parents died in the South Pacific. Where were you when that happened?”
“I don’t know. The family that raised me, the Settons, lived in West Virginia. At least that is where we lived after I was adopted.”
I could feel Renée’s anxiety running up and down my arm like a nervous horse looking to run from an oncoming storm. I was getting anxious too. With the number of different Lords and Ladies asking questions it was looking like more were involved in what happened to my parents than just one or two.
“If you were adopted in West Virginia, why was it your parents left you behind for their trip to the South Pacific?” asked Lord Mathews.
I wanted to say they did it to protect me because they knew they were being pursued, but instead I told them what had been originally told me. “I was told they were going on vacation and left me with friends while they were gone.”
Lord Flemming dropped his eyes and shook his head. The impression I got from him was that he thought me unprepared for this and nothing more than an irksome fly in his soup. I had doubts he was involved with my parents.
Most of the rest continued to stare at me while either adjusting their seats or completely motionless. It felt like Lord Greenwood stared the most intently. He had a stoic, poker face that I would never want to see on the other side of a card game. Not that I played cards.
“Why would your parents leave on vacation shortly after your birth? Most parents spend the next few months staying home with a new infant,” said Lord Hendon.
I wasn’t sure what he was getting at. I shrugged and said, “I don’t know. That is something I would have liked to ask them, but seeing as they’re dead, I doubt I’ll get an answer.”
“That is enough,” said Lord Morehouse. He looked around at the other Lords and Ladies. “It is obvious that Mr. Setton does not know anything of the mind sets of his parents. Further questions about his parents will not gain us any more answers.”
Then he looked at me. “Mr. Setton, it was known to this council at the time that your parents had willingly broken the First Law. Why they did it when everyone else was perfectly capable of refraining from taking the chance, none of us know. Some have speculated that it was merely love and the consequences of such. Others believed a more insidious reason. The steps your parents took to escape justice and hide the evidence of their crime suggested that they were not victims in some plot or that the pregnancy was an accident. As it has been attested here and at previous council meetings, it was known that your mother was happy with her pregnancy, suggesting that she was a willing participant. When we learned who the real father was, they had gone on the run. We tracked them down and instead of turning themselves over for justice, they fought. I am sure Michael has told you about the efficiency of our Dragons and the reasons we choose the particular Mind Magi who receive that title. Fighting them was a mistake on your parent’s parts. Had they come quietly they would have been Banished and allowed to live out their lives together.”
I stood there for a moment taking in what had been said. My parents had me either because of love or some insidious reason? Love I didn’t have a problem believing, but what insidious reason? They couldn’t have wanted to see this disaster that the prophecy described, could they?
Before I could offer a rebuttal though, Lord Morehouse continued. “Furthermore, I believe I have an entirely different reason for keeping the First Law. You describe your talents as continually growing and evolving even months after you first discovered them. It is true that some Mind Magi will have gradually evolving talents, but nothing like what you have described. Reports as to the nature of your abilities and your remarkable range of different talents also disturb me. Your parents were known to be able to seduce and control, but you, Mr. Setton, have also developed abilities beyond this. Taking into consideration that no other child has been born of two Mind Magi, we cannot confirm what we believe to be correct without further studies. However, if children of two Mind Magi are as wide-ranged and powerful as is reported of you, then it may be best to not allow other Mind Magi to conceive children with one another.”
I didn’t know what to say to that. If his theory was correct, there would be a lot more Mind Magi running around with abilities that could be far more dangerous or uncontrollable. I spent a lot of time coming to terms with what I would have to live with and how to control it. Not everyone would be so lucky.
“And finally, having pointed out the possibility that such children would be the norm for such conceptions, there is the Second Law that must be considered. Many disturbing reports have come to our attention that originated from your place of business and home. These reports deal directly with the Second Law and your blatant disregard for it.”
I almost blurted out, “Blatant disregard?!?” but held myself in check. I wanted to know which situations they were referring to that were considered so heinous.
“What have you to say to this?” Lord Morehouse asked.
Great! Just what I didn’t need. They were wanting me to defend myself without knowing what they knew. Well, two could play that game. “I’m not sure what situation you’re referring to.” If he wanted to be vague, then so could I.
Lord Morehouse opened a file folder. I wasn’t sure what all it contained, but it looked like it had a lot of information. “Let us start with a certain event at the Parks at Arlington Mall. You were seen walking through the corridors inducing sexual responses in just about every female around you.” He looked up at me. “Do you care to explain this?”
I didn’t roll my eyes. I didn’t blush. I really didn’t respond physically in any way. After staring back at Lord Morehouse for a moment I asked, “When your talents first manifested, how much control did you have over them? For that matter, did you really even know what was going on?”
Lord Morehouse’s brow furrowed. “I knew what to expect and how to deal with my developing talents. My father was my Mind Magi teacher and he made sure I knew what to expect and how to deal with it.”
“Oh!” I said in mock surprise. “Well, it would have been nice if my parents had been around to offer such assistance. For that matter if any Mind Magi had found me before my talents sprang up as they did, I’m sure I would have been better equipped to handle it. However, I did not have such an education or a guide. I had no one. So, as for your list of my blatant disregard for the Second Law, you might as well stop right there. There was no way for me to know such a law existed on top of the fact that I didn’t know what was happening to me. I didn’t gain really good control over my Charm until after I had already bound about nine women to me. And even then, my talents were developing at an alarming rate. So, you’ll have to excuse my indiscretion regarding those situations.”
Obviously, I was mad. Who were these people to believe that a kid could deal with what happened to me just like any veteran Mind Magi. It would have been impossible.
Again, another minute passed as the heads of Houses seemed to mentally deliberate. Then Lord Morehouse turned to the back of the folder and started moving through the pages from the end. Finally he stopped and read the report he was looking for.
“I have a report of your exploits in West Virginia. It says that you were in an accident that put you in the hospital over night. The attending doctor was a Mind Magi and smoothed over your quick recovery with some cleaver paperwork, however, one of the nurses was reported to ‘magically recover from life-long scars to her face’.” He looked up at me again. “This report comes after you had already learned of our society and spoke to Michael in depth about our laws. What say you to this?”
“Anna was mine when I made that change. I bound her to me and made arrangements with the same doctor to have her transferred to a facility in Texas so she could live with me and not worry about how those she worked with took to the sudden changes. That same doctor, Doctor Jarvis Holzer – a member of my House, made sure the staff who knew Anna understood that she had been using a new therapeutic cream to help relieve the scar tissue. No one had a very good look at Anna after the change, the Doctor and I made sure of that.”
Lord Morehouse stared at me. As stoic as his expression was, I wasn’t sure if he was disapproving or what. There was no emotion to him at all it seemed. I wondered what his life was like away from the other Mind Magi.
He looked back down at the folder, flipped through a few pages and then stopped. He read the report and looked up. “Another report says that your adoptive family, including your sisters, are aware of your talents. There is some leeway in the Second Law that allows us to share who we are and what our talents are with those who are bound to us, but not anyone else. Not even close relatives. What say you to this?”
First, I’d like to know where the hell he was getting all of this information. It was like I had a Mind Magi sitting on my shoulder and telling them everything I did. I couldn’t shake the feeling of that possibility and for the first time since meeting him, suspected that Michael may have been the one reporting so much to the Council. He and I would have to have a discussion about that. But it could wait until later.
“My adoptive family was in danger. A danger not just from some natural disaster or recklessness about the home or in a car. Not the kind of danger normal people face on a daily bases. They were threatened with mortal death by my Grandfather. A Mind Magi. They knew something strange and incomprehensible was going on because he was forcing them to do things they would have never consciously agreed to. The only person there to save them was me. If you think, even for a second, that I was going to just stand by and allow him to do harm to the people who had raised me, then you are so sadly mistaken. Not only did they figure out what was going on, I told them about me and what I could do. I didn’t spill the beans on your precious society. They know they raised a very special boy and that’s all they care to know.”
My anger was barely contained. My speech a suppressed roar.
“I could go on about how none but House Issacs attempt to assist during that crisis, but I’m sure, since you know so much about me, that you already have that information.”
“Save the society, to hell with everyone else,” I finished with my sarcastic understanding of what they really felt for how things were.
Finally I saw something emotional in Lord Morehouse’s eyes: anger. “How dare you. How dare you!” Funny, but he didn’t say anything more.
“Dare? I don’t dare. I do what is needed. If I have to run down a highway to save someone I care about because driving isn’t going to get me there fast enough, I will. If I can heal someone and keep them from dying while in the middle of a crowded street. I will. If there is anything I can do to help anyone who needs it, regardless of the danger to me or who finds out about it, I will!”
If Lord Morehouse had ever been more outraged, I would have like to have seen it. Looking around, I noted how many of the House Lords and Ladies either squirmed in their seats or looked about nervously. Except for Lady Arneson, who had been the one to offer some assistance as I had mentioned. She sat calmly and waited for things to cool down. Given how much I had been stirred up I thought it was a good idea and worked to calm myself.
“A very stirring speech, Mr. Setton,” retorted Lady Reynolds. “I’m sure if any of us had been aware of what was happening we would have offered assistance as well.”
I was sure some of them would have. I looked about again. It seemed that their nervous glances and anxious fidgeting might have been due to not assisting rather than knowing and doing nothing. My anger may have skewed my judgment. I had to remember whom I stood before. These were not just any panel of normal people but a collection of what were probably the most powerful people on the planet. And I didn’t mean just politically.
“My apologies to the Council for any undue implications. My outrage at suggestions that helping my family should have been reconsidered in light of the Second Law got the better of me.”
There was still an underlying implication to my apology, which should have made the apology moot, but it was true. The way they carried on, I should have just dug a hole and buried myself in it.
“Mr. Setton, we would never suggest that you not help your family,” replied Lord Morehouse far more calmly than he had been a moment before. “We merely point out that your actions and decisions lead to the possibility of breaking the Second Law. Under the circumstances, I’m sure anyone here would have done the same.”
“Then I beg the council’s pardon and ask if there is a more specific definition to what the Second Law prohibits and what it allows?”
Another moment’s silence. This time I was sure it was just Lord Morehouse trying to clear any remaining emotions so he could deliver a concise definition. “The Second Law prohibits actions or statements that could lead to public knowledge of our society’s existence. It would be impossible for any of us to keep this a total secret. No one could live with such stress nor have anything that could pass as a normal life. As such, we allow our schiavi to know about us, though to what extent is decided upon by the individual.”
“In the case of your family, I believe a further exception can be made. Such traumatic situations would call for extreme changes that would later look suspicious and lead to questions which we would prefer not be asked. As such, allowing enough information to pass to appease the immediate curiosity would save us from concerns of a deeper probing.”
Finally Lord Morehouse looked around at the other Lords and Ladies. “Does anyone object to this?”
Not a single one of them made a motion or noted any dispute.
“Very well. As to your petition to the Abolishment of the First Law, I do not believe we have adequate proof that its importance has been diminished. Since it is not up to only me to decide this I ask the Council: All for the abolishment of the First Law?”
There were several “Ayes”. I looked about as those same individuals held up their hands: Lord Constantine, Lady Kroeger, Lady Brooker, Lord Lasarge, Lord Barossa, Lady Arneson, Lord Greenwood and Lady Reynolds all held up their hands.
I knew there were only fourteen council members, and that was eight of them.
Lord Morehouse took in the count as well and then asked, “All those opposed to the abolishment of the First Law?”
Lord Rhoads, Lord Hendon, Lord Thornburg, Lord Mathews, Lord Flemming and Lord Morehouse all raised their hands.
“The count is eight for and six against. Let it be known that from this day forward, the First Law has been abolished. Procreation between Mind Magi is now allowed freely.”
In my opinion, Lord Morehouse had a valid point regarding children of two Mind Magi. If other kids ended up with my kind of power then the Second Law might soon become moot.
Even still, I was excited that they had agreed to my request. Renée felt elated too and squeezed my hand. And in light of the vote, I wondered what exactly had made the difference. I thought about the Prophecy and wondered if their understanding of, as Lord Morehouse had put it earlier, “its meaning beyond just the birth of such a child” had anything to do with it.
There was one way to find out. “If the request is not out of order, I would like to obtain a copy of the Prophecy. I have been intrigued about it since Michael explained everything regarding the now former first law and why my birth may have been the one mentioned in the Prophecy.”
Lady Reynolds was the first to respond. “I see no reason to deny such a request.” She glanced at Morehouse and when he didn’t refuse, she said, “I’ll see to it you have a copy by tonight.”
With the slight smile Lady Reynolds wore, I suspected she would be delivering that copy of the Prophecy in person.