Phillipe (formerly known as Suit #1) was puzzled… normally girls who looked like they were barely out of high school weren’t running investigations. Of course, the girl had marked herself as more than human when she’d casually breezed through the security setup, even if it never had been intended to stop magical beings (after all, there was no point in trying to hide the existence of magic from someone who already had it). She evidently had quite a lot of power for her age though – and the contact information for this “Charles” person was more than a bit odd too! He had quite a selection of subtle knacks – knowing when to fight and when to talk, knowing when something was important, knowing where a phone number connected to without having to look it up…
And that one… It might be to something warded – but it didn’t feel like he was being blocked; it felt like it was simply very VERY far away! Also, it had entirely too many digits for any place he’d ever heard of! It was well beyond “international”. Could that possibly mean off-world – perhaps with those “Alchemicals” – or off-dimension? What in Oblivion was going on? Gods or Demons again? That was the usual source for magic beyond the Terrestrial level – but they weren’t usually so… profligate with it! They were usually a lot more recognizable too – and when they did father kids they were rarely so… consistent.
Usually when he got called in it was just a new Exalt who didn’t know to keep things quiet, or an argument between Exalts that got over-conspicious, or some natural magical phenomena that couldn’t be easily explained or bribed away, and the like. Maybe, in the REALLY tricky jobs, some Yozi cult or group of ancestor worshipers trying to summon a powerful entity across the veil.
It was upsetting enough to discover that the blasted doctors had a label and an established protocol for sudden outbreaks of inexplicable mass healing – and that it was “code archangel” and “make excuses and shuffle the critical patients – youngest first – through as fast as you possibly can to take advantage of it while it lasts”. That said right there that they KNEW that it was some sort of magical intervention, that it wouldn’t last, and that there was very little use in trying to analyze it!
(Aikiko) “Anyway… I’ve got other stuff to check out today. Do you need anything else? I think I’m done here unless you do.”
(Phillipe) “Is there ANY way to persuade whatever is on the other end of those links to quit spreading magic that’s beyond the Terrestrial level all over the place?”
(Aikiko) “Did you try asking?”
(Phillipe) “We can’t get past the ward to try ANYTHING!”
(Aikiko) “Ouch. Sorry about that… I’m not much of a mage myself, but maybe my friend can help.”
She called Charles herself. It was looking more and more like this was his mess, and it was only fair that he should have to field some of the questions!
(Charles) “Er, hello?… Oh, what’s up Kiko?”
(Aikiko) “Hey, Charles, dude? Do you know anything about werewolves?”
(Charles, distractedly) “Stop that Silky!… Um… What kind? There are the Totem-Linked, and the Kickaha, and Lunars, and god-bloods with alternate forms…”
(Aikiko) “The kind that have babies.”
She explained, at some length.
(Charles) “Hm… The totem-linked don’t pass on their power, and the god-bloods usually don’t, and lunar half-castes vary – unless they’ve all been mating with a wolf, which seems unlikely… I’ll ask the Kickaha! (Pause) Oh bother!… Er… how many?”
(Aikiko) “Uh… three boys, and three girls.”
(Charles) “Aaargh… Just a moment!”
Charles’s inquiries hadn’t taken very long… One low-status Kickaha boy tracing the Canadian dragon lines had passed through a park where a concert had been being held, and had stopped off to play with some teenage girls who’d been smoking hemp, listening to the music, and who had found the incredibly-attractive young man quite irresistible. The youngster had put up a privacy ward, had his way with them – and had moved on half a day later.
Since then he’d been recalled by his Alpha, sternly lectured, and restricted to working in Aden thanks to his tendency to get distracted – but naturally enough no one had tried to stop him from using arcane links to watch over his upcoming children. That would just be WRONG.
Charles, of course, found taking advantage of intoxicated teenage girls just WRONG as well – although he couldn’t argue with him responsibly watching over them and his kids-to-be afterwards.
He popped over to pick up sixteen-year-old Idarin and stunted his way down to earth – emerging from the reflection in a window towing Idarin along by the ear.
(Charles) “Right then!”
(Aikiko) “Whoa! Thanks for coming down, Charles.”
Fortunately there weren’t very many other people in the room – and they seemed to just… turn away after an incurious glance, rather than being confused, curious, shocked, or any combination of the three…
In fact, she got a vague feeling that Charles had probably arrived normally, and she just hadn’t seen him come in – although the impression vanished the moment she actually thought about it; it was nothing more than a wandering doubt. That wasn’t a bad trick! It didn’t actually do anything besides a little subliminal whisper of “Naah…”… She’d have to adapt that for her own use!
Whisper of Normalcy: Sometimes you blink, or glance at something, or open your eyes in the dark, or catch a glimpse of something at the edge of your visual field – and your pattern-seeking brain turns it into something either familiar but impossible or utterly bizarre. You blink, you give it another glance – and in an instant it resolves into something quite mundane. Everyone has that happen – often enough that doubt wells up even if you really did catch a glimpse of something that doesn’t fit into your view of the world.
A “Whisper of Normalcy” is a Raksha Artifact-0 – a trivial aspect of dream, the equivalent of a minor thaumaturgic talisman. When you wrap it around yourself, and send it’s subtle influence wafting through the surrounding area, it produces the vague impression that any brief disturbance of mundane reality “must” have just been a trick of the eyes, and that there is a perfectly normal explanation. The impression won’t stand up to any real inspection, or if any confirming evidence pops up, or if the viewer really wants to believe – but people who are busy already, or who don’t want to be bothered, or are otherwise distracted, and who don’t really want to believe, often seize on the proffered “explanation” as a reason not to mention something that will make them sound crazy, and dismiss it.
Well, ask and he’d probably give!
(Aikiko) “So… I guess he’s (indicating Idarin) the dad?”
(Charles) “I’m afraid so! I wasn’t really expecting that kind of thing! I tought they’d got it out of their systems already!”
(Aikiko) “I’m… not going to ask. So what are we going to do about it?”
(Charles) “Uhm… Child support? He’s already restricted to Aden by his Alpha! Although I suppose they could come to Aden if they wanted!”
(Aikiko) “But they’re all under 18. We’d need their parents’ permission… though I’ve got no problem with looking the other way.”
(Phillipe) “Wait. What? Aden? Who is this boy? And who are YOU?!?!”
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice, Aikiko’s Search, Prelude I from Emergence Campaign Weblog (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice LXXVII – Aikiko’s Search (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice LXXX – Self-Development; No Pain, No Gain! (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice LXXIV – Alchemical Factions from Emergence Campaign Weblog (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice LXIX – Where Have All The Flowers Gone? (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles Of Heavenly Artifice LXXVI – Advanced Deiphagy (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice LXXII – Manses and Morgans (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles Of Heavenly Artifice LXXVI – Advanced Deiphagy from Emergence Campaign Weblog (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice LXXIX – Memories of Dream (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice LXX – The Djinn of the Lamp (ruscumag.wordpress.com)