Chapter 8: Forgotten Warmth

The average Other possesses the ability to wield magical energies, but at the same time they can also shut them down. Some consider such a test of humility, especially for those who began to take their power for granted. For example, a simple spell can allow an Other to walk unnoticed in a dangerous neighborhood or just be invisible all together. Though this isn’t an overt show of power – it is an advantage that most people do not have. Though they lack the ability to hide their aura which can be viewed by peering into the Gloom – and an Other without magic is just like everyone else when it comes to being hurt or even catching the common cold.

She was a Battle Magician and a Shifter. She had grown up in Rwanda and became aware of the world at 19. By that time she was already wed and a mother of three. She was a different woman then with a different life. Violence had taken the lives of her husband and her sons. The pain and rage of loss ignited something within her that caused her would be rapists to burn in fiery agony. Running amidst the chaos and death, she could do little else. Confused, scared and in grief – she ran. When she finally stopped, the dawn had finally broken over the land. Its reddish-orange hue flooded the horizon and the chill in the air was replaced by gentle warmth. For a moment she imagined the warm arms of her children and her husband. All she could do was cry. She knew that they would find her eventually and probably do worse that what was done to her family.

“There is always another way out child,” said a voice.

Turning around she saw an older woman. She gave a sad but warm maternal smile. In her mind she heard, “Trust me child, there always is another way.”

Savannah sighed softly to herself. A lifetime had already passed since her things had changed. Part of her tried to forget the past and for the first decade it was nearly impossible. It was hard dealing with the pain and emptiness in her heart. Gone were smiling faces that looked up to her, and were often accompanied by the need to wipe away tears. She forced herself to sit up. She could not linger on that world anymore. Looking back into sky – she watched her little angels fly away behind the clouds as the sky was starting to change from black to a deeper blue. Dawn was coming soon. Wiping the unconscious tears from her eyes, she shifted her legs to the edge of the bed. Slowly planting them on the cold linoleum floor, she allowed her body to stretch. It was a wonderful sensation of pain. The wildness in her wanted to run free. Looking at the mirror and sink that were across from her, she saw her first goal. Taking a deep breath, she let her weight go into her feet. The cold sensation of the floor coupled with the pins and needles crawled through her feet and up her legs. With gritted teeth, she waited for the sensation to pass. Taking a deep breath, she took a gingerly step forward.

Locke sat in silence during the entire drive. He had thought about using his Power to make the car more innocuous, but the Boss wanted no magic of any kind involved. She had spent several hours placing a spell on the car itself. Whatever she had done, the car was driving like normal and he could sense no Power emanating from it. Stranger still was the cargo in the back seat. By all rights, he should have been able to sense it. He watched her bring it down. It was wrapped in a blanket and was no bigger than a gallon of milk. She told him not to touch it and when he arrived at this location – someone would take it from him. The boss was usually hands on with something this secretive – though who wasn’t to say that she was watching or having him followed. It didn’t make him feel any more comfortable. It would take him three and half hours to go that far north. Luckily it was almost 11PM on a Wednesday so there wasn’t a lot of traffic to be concerned about.

Twenty minutes had gone by and he felt naked. Lighting up a cigarette, he rolled down the window and let the tobacco and warm night air mix in the car. Turning on the radio – he let Jim Morrison’s voice guide the journey down the black and red asphalt. He always thought that Morrison looked like a dirty hippy, but the man’s musical vision more than made up for that. A crystal ship he was as he drove through the night.

The old Volvo pulled up to the camp ground. There was no one else there and the gate that normally restricted parking had been left open. He knew the Grand Canyon was just on the other side of the buildings up ahead. Even if he had the time to look – it would just look like an abyss of darkness. Turning off the car, he sat in the dark and waited. He couldn’t see anyone anything stirring. He wanted to call the Boss but he knew that his signal would give away who and where he was. For something so valuable and powerful, he could not afford to endanger his cargo.

Shaking his head, he yawned and stretched his tired legs. Looking forward – he saw three men standing in front of the car. He could see from their build that they were tall and muscular. The man in the middle stepped forward – the ambient light only partially gave away his features. He simply nodded his head and walk to the passenger door. Opening it, he gingerly picked up the wrapped object. Without a sound, he closed the door and walked back to his company. They walked into the shadows and vanished from sight. It was by far the strangest experience that Locke ever had.

When he had returned to the office, he told the Boss of the entire ordeal. The tension in her brow relaxed. Whatever the object was – it was enough to make her worry and that alone was dangerous information. He decided to hazard a question even though he knew the answer, “Sooo?” She leaned back in her chair saying nothing. Her silence was heavy but intentional. Whatever the object was – it was best left forgotten. Locke shook his head and took a sip of the coffee.

An hour later, Locke opened his eyes. His body was sore at the waist. It felt like he had been sitting for hours. He looked and saw the Boss. She was pouring through a stack of files on desk. Without looking at him, “I understand you and I are closer than most Locke. However, my office chair is not an appropriate napping area. We have a dorm downstairs for a reason.”

Locke looked at his watch. It was almost three in the morning. He sighed and yawned. He had been out for almost four hours. He pondered whether the length of a man’s nap was conducive to his age. She looked up at him with a sense of tolerated irritation. He rolled his eyes and got up from the seat. He told himself that he needed to set an alarm next time if he was going to try to sneak in another nap, though at this point – he might as well go to bed. He wordlessly nodded his head and headed out.

The elevator door closed.

A single tear drop hit the file folder.

He could have slept until 10, but Jonathan was already awake at seven. He looked to the bed on the other side of the room. Locke was still in his clothes and snoring loudly. The sound of ringing alarm clocks being chucked into a wood chipper was by far more pleasant. Sighing, he got up and began his morning routine and closed the door behind him.

The warmth of the coffee drifted in his nose. The lunchroom was more like an extended kitchen. Looking at the walls, he could see where a wall once could have been. It gave the room a welcoming feel with the open kitchen. The policy at his old job was you eat what you brought. Outside of the coffee machine there was a fridge, a stove with a large flat sheet and a few gas pilots. It was the kind of set up that you would expect to see in a food truck. Standing next to it was a short woman with thick black hair. Though she had her back to him, he could tell she was in the zone. Her hands moved like quicksilver across with a spatula chopping against the flat surface. Whatever she was cooking – it smelled deliriously good. All the while – she was sort of dancing and bobbing her head in place. The telltale wire coming from her ear told Jonathan that she was lost in the rhythm of the song. The savory smell of food was interrupted by a sweet and minty smell. Walling was sitting across from Jonathan watching the show. Saying nothing, he merely pointed to the woman as if to say “Watch this”.

Without a pause, she reached into the fridge and pulled out two eggs. Spinning them in place on the hot surface, the eggs seemed to gain more speed as the unnaturally sped up. She gave two quick flicks of the metal spatula and the shell separated leaving the gooey eggs to cook. Mixing them together, her hands flew as she added unseen ingredients. Jonathan watched her dance and in his head, he could almost hear the music. Jackie Wilson was telling him how he was lifted higher and higher. Strange enough, her body was working with the beat of the music. Dancing and moving to the beat still – she moved to the cabinets and pulled down a stack of plates. She began to dish out the contents of the grill: eggs, bacon, hash browns, pancakes and sausage links. Like a bartender, she slung the two plates down the long table to Jonathan and Walling. Walling smiled and stood clapping his hands. Her high cheekbones made her smile bigger as she bowed before the “audience”. Her dark eyes had an indescribable cheerfulness about them as well as bit of wildness. At that point, several other people walked into the lunchroom and began to file up near the grill and serving themselves breakfast. Jonathan looked around for the cooking musician but she wasn’t anywhere in the room.

“That was Kaos – spelled with a K instead of a ‘CH’,” Walling said in between bites. “She’s a Clairvoyant – kinda sees possible futures and things that may have happened. She is really good on investigation, but a shitty opponent if like games. It’s not like she cheats or anything. To her, it’s like watching a re-run all the time. All this,” motioning to the food, “is what she does when she’s bored. If she went to school – she could be a head chef.”

“So she’s a cooking clairvoyant?” asked Jonathan.

“Well…rumor also is that she writes songs and sells them off to up and coming bands. Its also been said that she is a master forger when it comes to painting and she actually placed in the Iditarod. She is a lot of things. Personally, I think she tries new things in hopes of surprising herself one of these days. Knowing what is coming when it is coming can take the zest out of life. So she does whatever strikes her at the moment.”

“Kaos…,” he said looking at meal before him and simply nodded. “If she could see the future, how come she is with you guys? I mean – why not see the winning lottery numbers or bet on a ball game in Vegas?” Walling smiled, “Look at me slick – do you think I would be here if I could do that too? Truth is – all Others have a form of the Sight. For Kaos – she has it in HD Surround Sound. The trick is that she can never see events that involve her. She also has no control over what she is going to see it or when she is.”

“Then wait – why did you say that she is always looking to surprise herself with new things if she can’t see herself involved in the event in the first place?” Jonathan asked.

“Think of it like this. Imagine you had a mystery novel without page numbers. Take all the pages and scatter them up in the air. You start collecting them and try to put them together solely based off what you can read. Some of it will sync up and make sense and other pieces not so much because everything has lost context. She isn’t sure if she has seen something already of if it is about to happen. Due to this – she trains on everything and anything. She knows anything from cooking, natural history, programming, graphic design to Tai Chi. If she has a vision of a child drowning or getting hit by a car – she is going to learn how to be a strong swimmer or take up roller derby to build up her skating speed to pull the kid out of the way. Not very many people can be a true clairvoyant. Most end up killing themselves or asked to be lobotomized. Kaos is has found her flow and because of that – she is one of the greatest assets of the Watch here,” said Walling as he began rolling the bacon around a sausage link.

Jonathan played with his food for a moment before asking, “So what am I supposed to be?”

Speaking with a mouth full of food, “You’ll know when you are ready.”

“When is that?” asked Jonathan

“When you don’t need to ask,” Walling said and then let out a loud belch. Standing up and saying in a loud voice, “My compliments to the chef!” It was met by laughter and applause.

“Finish up – you have class and then more fun with Kung-Fu,” his mentor added as he picked up his now empty plate.

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