Master PC – Mind Magi
Part One – The Mind Magi Council
Chapter Five – House Nautikuus
Renée had noticed Lady Reynolds apparent interest in me as well. ~If I didn’t know better, I would say that Lady Reynolds may have done something to help make sure that the First Law was abolished.~
~Just because she seems to want to climb inside my slacks doesn’t mean she manipulated the vote. However, it looks like she’s going to take full advantage of the outcome nonetheless.~ I thought back to her.
Renée’s idea that Lady Reynolds had somehow manipulated the results just so she could jump my bones wasn’t completely out of question though. What would she have offered the other House leaders? For that matter why did they agree to allowing me to have a copy of the Prophecy after Lady Arneson made it clear that only House Lords and Ladies were privy to that information? Did that mean they had already gone over my petition to make my House official and made their decision before this meeting? Did that mean I was going to be soon called Lord Setton?
I would have shared my thoughts with Michael as well, but he didn’t think it was necessary or prudent. I had realized that the Council was having mental discussions with one another throughout our meeting. I was certain they could tell that I was having telepathic communications with Renée too. It wasn’t like I was trying to disrespect the council because I felt if they could use such methods to confer with each other then I should be allowed the same if I had the means.
Lord Morehouse, for his own reasons I was sure, moved on to the final topic of our meeting. “Mr. Setton, you have also entered a petition to have your House recognized as one of our official Houses. We have already deliberated on what you have written to be the benefits to our society by the addition of your house. This council has already deliberated on many of these points but we do have some questions.”
It seemed like they had rehearsed what they were going to say and ask because Lord Greenwood started immediately with apparently no queue from Lord Morehouse. “Mr. Setton, you have stated that your House, though not official, has already recruited more than three hundred followers. I’m curious how this recruitment is being facilitated.”
“I’m not sure I understand the question, Lord Greenwood. Do you mean, how am I finding Mind Magi to be my followers or how am I binding them to me?”
“Well, both,” Lord Greenwood quipped.
“Our locating of followers has almost been non-existent. A full ninety percent or more have come to me asking to join my House. Most even know that it is not an official House but do not view that as a problem,” I answered. “As for how I am binding these followers to myself, I merely share one of my talents with them and the connection is made.”
“Mr. Setton, how is it you share your talents with other Mind Magi? Have you already participated in the Leadership Ritual?” asked Lord Hawthorne.
Fortunately, Michael had already told me how most House Leaders were able to function in recruitment and sharing of abilities. Why Lord Hawthorne asked me about the Leadership Ritual baffled me. Only the other House Lords and Ladies were the ones who performed the ritual to instill those talents to a new House Lord or Lady and I had never been among any of the Council members with the exception of Lady Arneson. “I’ve only ever met one of the House Leaders, Lady Arneson, before this meeting. So, no. I’ve never been involved in the Leadership Ritual.”
“Then your ability to share your talents and bind other Mind Magi to you are a part of your own assortment of talents?” asked Lady Brooker.
There were a few whispers and then Lord Flemming said, “Michael, we understand that you are a member of Mr. Setton’s House. Would you please show the Council your mark for confirmation?”
Michael was one of the few Mind Magi I knew who could consciously hide his mark. He merely nodded and his mark appeared. The first time I had seen it, it was gold, like Lady Arneson’s mark, but now it was amber.
“And Michael, for the record, what talent did Mr. Setton share with you?” Lord Flemming continued.
“He has not shared a talent with me.”
Lord Flemming smiled just a touch. I was sure he was feeling smug. “And why is that?”
“Because I have yet to decide which talent I want,” Michael answered calmly.
My thoughts suddenly returned to our discussion in the hall. I even smiled a bit at the thought of what his wife would say if he could find out what their daughter was up to with no help on my part. I would offer that idea later.
“Considering Ms. Hollander is a Newling rather than a full Mind Magi, I am curious if you can share talents with her like any other follower,” said Lord Hendon.
It was a good idea, but I wasn’t sure if they wanted me to try just then. “Are you asking me to attempt this now?” I simply asked.
Lord Hendon nodded.
I turned to Renée, ignoring the rest of the Mind Magi. “What talent would you prefer, if it’s possible?” I asked her.
I could feel her excitement at the idea. “I… I don’t know. I’d rather have better control over my own talent.”
I smiled gently, “You don’t like how you look?”
She blushed a bit. It was difficult to not notice how stunning Renée was. Her ability was to alter her shape, contours, and general skin tones to match what her current lover preferred. When I had first met her the only real difference between what she was like and the statuesque buxom blonde standing before me was the lack in size of her breasts. I thought she might want to reduce them but she surprised me. “I wish I could do more,” she said that while pressing her incredible bust against my chest, “but I’m not sure how you would feel about it.”
I understood her innuendo. It excited me that she wondered if her bust was big enough. I didn’t think bigger would be better, at least not in her case. I still wanted her to be able to function. Then a thought occurred to me. If she could alter her shape consciously then she could make changes as necessary, both to function and to enjoy. I thought it was a good idea, the question was could I do that for her.
The Council and Michael remained silent. I took Renée’s hands in my own and closed my eyes.
Was it possible to give her what she wanted? I didn’t know. I had tried making changes to her before, but her own ability seemed to prevent it. Now though, I didn’t want to change how she looked, but change how her ability worked. Since it was a physical ability rather than a mental one, there was a chance that my ability to alter others physically could work. I knew what she wanted, as did she, now all I had to do was allow my talent to do its work.
With that thought I felt my arms fill with what I had always associated with some kind of warm liquid. The sensation made me want to open my eyes and make sure someone hadn’t doused my jacket and shirt sleeves in something, but I knew from countless previous uses of that ability that I was perfectly dry.
As my talent passed into Renée, she shivered. The sensation would cover her entire body, inside and out. If she was to have complete control over her ability to shape-shift, then her whole body would be affected.
Once the sensation passed, I opened my eyes and looked at Renée. She still looked like I had always known her to look but her expression was one of shock.
Then, all at once, her long golden hair shortened and took on a ting of red, making it more strawberry blonde. Her eyes changed to a deep brown then lightened to a soft tan that I had never seen on anyone ever before. Her breathing became labored and I felt her chest press into mine, however she wasn’t pressing forward into me. Her breasts threatened to rip out of her blouse and jacket but just as I thought her clothes couldn’t take any more, they began reducing down to something others might consider normal. Her skin tone changed too, becoming darker and darker until she looked like she had been washed in chocolate. Then it lightened to the point of looking as creamy as milk. Her nails changed, becoming longer, shorter and changing colors. Her nose and lips changed shape. Her eyes became bigger and more exotic, if that were possible, then reduced to mere slits with nothing more seductive to them than the near boredom of the meeting we were in.
So many changes occurred in such a short time I wasn’t sure what I was seeing. I watched, and deep down I worried. Renée reveled in her new found freedom. She was a thousand different women and none of them all at once. She looked up at me and I smiled. However, her smile dropped a bit. ~Lover, what’s wrong? Aren’t you happy for me?~
I had mixed emotions about her question. I tried to explain it the best I could. ~Yes, I am. I never thought it would be possible for you to have control over your ability. Yet, I’m already missing you. I already long to see your sky blue eyes, your rosy lips and that mischievous smile.~
She started changing again, reverting to what she had looked like before her control was established.
I responded immediately. ~ No! You don’t have to change for me. This is your body. You should take on whatever look you want. ~
Her smile was gentle and consoling. ~ But I don’t want to see that hurt look in your eyes, Lover. It’s not worth having control over my abilities if it means your not looking at me with hungry eyes every time.~
~This isn’t about what I want though. They wanted to know if I could share abilities with a Newling. We’ve answered that question, in spades I would say. It’s yours now. And honestly, I don’t know that I could turn it off short of breaking our bond, and I would not do that for all the powers in the world.~
~Oh, Ral!~ she thought as she lunged at me and locked her lips to mine.
I was so caught up in the moment that I was almost surprised when Michael tapped me on the shoulder and I looked around to find the Council still there watching us.
Renée giggled and even blushed. As bold as she was when it came to her body, it was a rare treat to see her as such. I turned back to the Council somehow even more confident about everything in general, especially since Renée chose to keep what her body had automatically chosen for me.
We turned to face the council. It appeared that they were just recovering from their reactions to what I had accomplished. Did I once again impress or scare?
Once again it was Lady Reynolds who spoke boldly. “Mr. Setton has the ability to share talents and bind other Mind Magi to himself, just like the rest of us. The only thing he lacks is an official status and I see no reason to deny him that.”
Lord Flemming, sitting right next to her, looked at her with as much incredulity as he could muster. “Just because he can do these things does not make him a House Lord.”
Lord Morehouse nodded. “I would agree with Lord Flemming,” and Lord Flemming nodded, excited that Lord Morehouse so openly agreed with him. “However, there is also the fact that Mr. Setton already has a growing following. There has to be a reason so many are approaching him for membership rather than any of us.”
Lord Hawthorne asked, “Mr. Setton, could you explain to us why you believe this is happening?”
I had some ideas, mostly due to me asking those who had approached me that very question. “There seems to be no singular answer that. Some simply like the fact that I am making no demands on their parts to become members. Others have been looking for a house that is open enough to discuss and help train them in the use of their abilities. And others seem to be…well…”
Lord Hawthorne leaned forward. “Well? Well what?”
I took a deep breath and looked him square in the eyes. “They seem more intrigued by me than anything. Somehow it has become wide spread knowledge about my birth and they wait for something to happen as if I were something more than the normal Mind Magi.”
Someone muttered, “So much for modesty.”
“I assure the council that I am not strutting about like some kind of peacock. I have asked every Mind Magi that has approached me about membership to my House and I am only repeating what I have been told.”
“Mr. Setton, you said that some of these recruits were interested because you made no demands on them to become members. Could you explain that?” asked Lady Brooker.
I was thankful for her change of question, taking the focus away from me being the reason members were joining. “I couldn’t say I’ve made no demands. My House has a couple of systems in place to help out its members and no one has complained about that. What I believe they mean is that there is no initiation or ritual to join. No oath of loyalty or basic quest to prove that they deserve to be a member.”
That seemed to cause a bit of a commotion. “You are not using an oath or initiation? Then how do you know if the members who are joining your house will work out?” Lord Mathews nearly demanded.
“We’re not talking about a business here. This is more like a club. The only requirement is the members have some special ability, and all of them do. So, essentially, I see no reason to put further restrictions on individuals who are already struggling to deal with something that, in many cases, is completely new to them.”
“A Club?!” barked Lord Flemming. “You call this a club? You insolent little...”
“That is enough,” Lord Morehouse cut off Lord Flemming. “Mr. Setton has made a valid point. We are not a business.” He looked back at me. “However, we are more than a club, Mr. Setton. We are a governing body over those who are more than normal humans. You say they turn to you seeking aide and guidance. We also offer that. What I find ironic is that you are still learning to deal with your own talents while trying to help others. How is a House Lord supposed to handle situations like that when he is in the same situation?”
“We learn and grow together, which is why I am not the only one helping those who have asked for it. Michael, Renée and I have setup a buddy system for my followers. Those who have already come fully into their abilities and have a good understanding of what is going on are paired with those who are new to this. That way they have someone they can turn to for advice.”
“Surely, these members who are ‘new to this’ could turn to their parents?” asked Lady Kroeger.
I shrugged. “I’ve not asked them such questions. If they volunteer the information then it gives me and the rest of my house a better understanding of their needs, but otherwise I see no reason to pry into their lives.”
“I would like to know why you have involved one of your schiavi in how your House is run,” Lord Hawthorne requested.
“Renée is the Manager for my store back in Texas. She has a good sense of organization and I asked for her help. I am merely utilizing the resources I have at hand.”
“A sign of any good leader,” quipped Lady Reynolds.
Lord Flemming shot her another scathing look.
“Oh, look at me that way if you want Flemming, but consider this: he naturally has the talents for a House Lord, he’s resourceful, responsible and deals with situations as needed without having to plan his every word. If he doesn’t fit the qualities of a House Lord, then point out anyone else in this room who does,” Lady Reynolds shot back.
Lord Flemming just glared at her. Either he was too angry to retort with a solid answer or he could not honestly dispute what she said.
It was obvious he didn’t want me to be declared an official House Lord. I would encroach on his territory and with his attitude here as well as the rumors his House had spread about me back in Texas, trying to talk to him sensibly was not going to work. So, I chose to stay silent and allow the Council to decide. Besides, what could I really do if the majority of the council felt the same way as Lord Flemming? I was happy even one of the Lords or Ladies were confident in me. As young as I was compared to the rest of them, that was saying something.
Of course, my age had to play a role in this. Lord Flemming looked at me again. I stood there, giving him as blank an expression as I could. “Look at him Reynolds. He’s a kid! He’s not even old enough to buy alcohol.”
“So?” she returned. “Most of our armed forces are his age. If one of them took up leadership in the heat of battle and came home victorious, would you belittle him for his age?”
“This isn’t war. This is a long term commitment to something he has no understanding of.”
“Really? Not a war? Then ask him what his own grandfather did. I repeat my statement of his ability to think under pressure.”
Lord Flemming was shaking his head. “I’ve read that report too. Just because he got lucky with his Grandfather doesn’t mean he’s capable of fulfilling the duties of a House Lord.”
“Then what other duties are there? I felt we covered all of them quite well already.”
Again, Lady Reynolds had Lord Flemming in a corner. He didn’t answer her and everyone watched in quiet for more than a minute. Finally he turned and looked at me again. “Do you really think you’re ready for the responsibilities of leading a House?”
“Whether I am ready for it or not, I am considered a House Lord by those who are bound to me. I can only hope to fulfill that role to the best of my ability and should my followers find someone else to replace me? So be it.”
“And modest to boot,” said Lady Reynolds. “Shall we vote then?”
Lord Morehouse made no comment on the exchange or my answer to Lord Flemming’s question. “All of those in favor or recognizing Mr. Setton’s House as an official House of the Mind Magi?”
Several ayes were announced and those hands were raised. Unlike the vote regarding the first law, this vote was very much in my favor. In fact the only hands not raised were those of Lords Flemming and Hawthorne. Of course, when Lord Morehouse asked for those who opposed, those two were more than eager to announce their decisions even though they knew it would do no good.
“Welcome, Lord Setton, to the Mind Magi Council. Please, announce your House,” Lord Morehouse directed.
“House Nautikuus,” I answered.
“So be it noted, that from this day forward, Lord Setton of House Nautikuus is hereby recognized by this council and all as the fifteenth House. You do understand that your status will change as you gain more followers?”
“Good, and seeing as the Leadership Ritual is not necessary I ask if there is any other business for this meeting?” No one motioned for the need so Lord Morehouse concluded, “Then that concludes this meeting.”
There was a tangible feeling of everyone relaxing in the room. Chairs scooted, the House leaders rose from their seats. The meeting was truly over.
Renée squeezed my hand and I turned to receive her hug and kiss. Michael pulled me around and shook my hand, his knowing smile more akin to pride.
The girl who I had assumed to be a go-fer approached me and asked for contact information so I could be informed of the next meeting. After giving her that I was then approached by some of the other House Lords and Ladies. Lady Reynolds ended up waiting out everyone else and gave me a very seductive smile as she shook my hand.