It was as exhausting as playing soccer but not as thrilling. The creation of a Magician’s Shield was as basic as one could do. Jonathan never lacked an imagination but at the same time – never thought of it to this extent. He began picturing the image of protection of expanding the ideal to encompass his body. It was difficult initially until Walling produce a small fire from his hand and lobbed it at him. Almost instinctively it all made sense.
The fireball hit the shield and flowed around him. It was like being in the center of an explosion.
When it had passed, he dropped the shield and yelled at Walling, “WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME WITH THAT!?”
Walling flexed his hand, “No – but these will,” and flung his hand forward. Three beams of light cut through the air like knives. Without thinking, the shield went up again. The difference this time being that they cut through the shield like a hot knife through butter. None of the beams hit him – but the point was clear.
“Basically shields are dependent on the user. The more of yourself that you pump into a shield the denser it will be and the more protection it will give. The shield you threw up to protect yourself and Savannah was done with everything you had. Kine’s spell would have passed through your first shield here like nothing. Instead it shattered itself. Only part of it made it through. You had put so much of yourself into the shield that it took its toll on you physically. The magical gas tank within you can only hold so much and part of that is linked to your own life energy. While you didn’t use any of that – you came dangerously close. This is why we start with Shielding. As Vince Lombardi once said, ‘There is no room for second place. There is only one place in my game and that is first place.’ Being alive is taking first place in any fight. Now concentrate! Don’t image the shield being thicker – imagine it being stronger. Think steel – think Iron Man.”
He flexed his fingers again drawing up the light.
Jonathan let his mind go – the memory of Savannah and the panic he felt it well up.
Stronger – think stronger
Walling snapped his fingers outward just as the shield went up. Like knives throw into the wood – they stuck in the shield. For a brief moment – the three beams of like did appear to elegant silvery white knives. They faded away into nothing and the holes they left slowly reformed with a thought.
“Better – not great, but better. Depending on the situation, you either want them stuck in your shield or you want them deflected. If you have enemies around you – deflecting is a great tactic. It causes them to get pissed at the guy who originally threw them. By letting them stick – it saves your allies from being hit. Many times a new Other throws up their first shield to deflect an attack and an innocent get hurt in the process. Be aware of your surrounding and think three steps ahead before you act. It’s a lot to take in – but believe me, your mind can take it,” said his mentor with a bit of a grin.
“Why do you guys keep calling Jeremy Fisher – Luther Kine?” he asked.
Walling was silent for a moment and then nodded his head. “Jeremy Fisher is the name that Kine used as of 50 years ago. He’s been here for a while and has had others. The problem with the modern age is records. Everything is recorded. Even with a bit of meddling from our IT Department – records and ages still show up as well as property records. Others need to change their name up every so often because we no longer age, or rather age one year for every 50 or hundred years. The more powerful your classification – the less you age. Take the Boss for example. She is well over two hundred years old. I would hazard she may be close to five – though not where she could hear me. Women are very particular about their age. Any ways, Kine took the name Fisher – met a nice woman who had a baby and married her.”
He took out his e-cig and took a long thoughtful drag. As he exhaled, “I’m assuming you still don’t live with him do you?”
Jonathan silently shook his head. He hadn’t lived with his father in over a year. He never really thought of him as a ‘step’ because he had been there all his life. He was kind and never evil much less a fire throwing demon. They talked once a week but they were both busy with work, or may be not in his dad’s case.
“Don’t think too much on it. When it comes to Watch business – the lines are usually pretty clear. Outside of the Watches – people have families. Everyone from vampires, were-creatures and us have some sort of family-friend unit. We all fit into the world and the family unit is necessary in order to have a sense of stability. Sure you fit in with your co-workers but no one wants to live at work. Being in the Watch is both a job and a life style – it’s just a matter of finding your groove,” he said.
Jonathan nodded his head and asked, “Does every Other join the Watch?”
“No – not always. Some of the more powerful ones retire to a life of leisure. Others simply want nothing to do grand scale of the Light and Dark. They adhere to the Treaty and occasionally get a knock on the door to make sure they are still alive. The problem is more trouble comes from non-Watch others than anyone else here. People get bored or tired and want to make a difference that is free from the constraint of the Treaty. Sometimes it’s commendable but no good deed goes unpunished. Anyways – enough of this – back to stance Daniel-san,” Walling said as he shifted his posture, “Prepare yourself…”
Jonathan felt the power seeded in his mind – he was ready to stop whatever was coming.
Then it hit him.
The air smelled warm and spicy – like a sewer on fire filled with hot sauce.
Jonathan began to fan the air, “OH MY GOD – WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!”
Walling closed his hand and with an open palm pushed forward. It felt as if a load of blankets and hot ass fell on top of him. Jonathan yelled in disgust and frustration.
“Rule #8 – not all attacks are magical. A Dark One could very easily try to stab or shoot you. A shielding spell could also be used to protect against gas and other biological agents. As for this,” motioning to the invisible weight, “This is a Press spell. It inhibits movement and if done in combat – can be used to crush an opponent. Personally – I have found the gas and Press combination works well with people who don’t know you,” he said as he release the spell.
Jonathan got up and shook his head, “Man – you are gross…seriously that was foul.”
“Could be worse Daniel-San,” he said, “You could be in a real fight.”
Savannah opened her eyes. Every muscle in her body ached. It reminded her of being in a car accident a few years ago. Even with magic on your side – things happen and car accidents are a part of life. She slowly pushed herself up and saw the Boss sitting across from her drinking coffee from the old blue tin. “Before you ask – the boy is fine. Yes he is an Other – more specifically a Light Other. If it were not for his intervention – the Red Lotus would have hit you and you would have been in a worse position than you are now. Based on our scrutiny, it should fade within a week. However, I have questions for you if you are ready?”
The younger woman nodded her head.
“Did you know Jonathan Fisher was an Other when you started going to the book store he worked at? Was it your intention to initiate him if you knew he was?” the Boss asked.
She shook her head, “No – I never thought to look at his aura. Nothing about him seemed extraordinary to warrant a look. He showed none of the signs outside of being too nervous to ask me out on a date.” She gave a small smile to herself as she looked down, “I think he was building up to it.” She looked back up at visitor. “No – I didn’t know. Had I did – I would have told Phirun and went from there.”
The Boss nodded, “Phirun had attempted to beat a confession from Mr. Fisher. It seems Luther Kine is Mr. Fisher’s stepfather.”
The blood had drained from Savannah’s face with shock. Before she could answer – the Boss raised a hand, “You will need to dictate and sign off on a statement saying such. If I know Phineas – he has already sent a dispute upwards requesting that the Inquisition look into this. He is going to try to squeeze this incident for all it is worth. I will send someone in when you are ready.”
She rose out of her seat and headed for the door, “Oh – by the way, your mentor is on a temporary assignment for the next month. Ricky will be taking over your training. Now rest up.”
When the door had closed, she slowly allowed herself to slide back into the pillow. Phirun was being punished for his outburst. How bad it was she will probably only get out of Jonathan – that is if he was allowed to speak with her. Her mind raced back to the memory of leaping over Jonathan to protect him. She didn’t understand how he fell into the Gloom – but now it made sense. She had heard stories of new Others accidentally finding themselves in the Gloom and dying there because they didn’t understand how to get out. He was a 2nd level Magician and she was barely a 4th. She was had just rose in the past year due to Phirun’s diligence.
She looked under the bed sheet. There were bruises along the sides of her thighs and presumably her back. Extending her sense out – she saw the bruises replaced by red flares along her skin. They looked like petals. Petals made of burning embers. He had saved her from the brunt of the curse. They say when people are put in a traumatic situation – they are able to lift cars and do other amazing things. In Jonathan’s case – deflect a powerful spell with a shield. She shook her head. Why had Kine attacked him? Did her being there prompt the attack? Why was he spying on his step son from the Gloom? There were a lot of questions and she was in no shape to ask anyone. Looking up, she saw the healing enchantments floating above the bed. It reminded her of what a baby’s mobile. The only thing she was lacking was a melody. She looked around and saw her mp3 player and earphones.
Underneath them was a small note, “Strength is not just in the body but mind – P”
She smiled and put in the ear buds. Hitting play, she let first track play. It was Marvin Gaye asking “What’s Going on?” What is going on she thought? Looking up at the floating markings, she closed her eyes.