tagSci-Fi & FantasyR.O.A.N.G Ch. 05

R.O.A.N.G Ch. 05

bymacleen©

"I say we go off the grid, lay low for a while."

"That's just a band-aid."

"Maybe send him to Hades, he always liked you."

"No."

"We could add extra security?" Charles spoke again.

"Another band-aid, and to what end. Also, since when did you start thinking like humans?"

"Just trying to help." Charles raised his hands in surrender.

"How about one of you finds a way to get him off Argo and on to Olympus?"

"You want to bring him closer to the Queen?" Adrastea asked.

"Do you really think distance matters?" Adrastea shrugged at the question. "I expect you to work on it, it's time to initiate our first contingency. My siblings and I are beginning to work on the rest of the safeguards."

"It shouldn't be too difficult," Adrastea said.

"Speak for yourself," Charles frowned.

"Is there a problem?"

"He's reluctant to leave his old apartment," Charles said.

"You made him aware of the dangers of staying?"

"I did, he's still reluctant."

Athena sighed, some Olympians had a tendency to be territorial; her father was one of them. She had everything planned to the letter, but one variable was about to upset everything she devised. It got worse as that same variable was the centerpiece of everything she had orchestrated.

"I'll deal with it. In the meantime, I want Raymond off Argo as soon as possible." Athena said, and the two nodded in acknowledgment. Adrastea got up and left her study while Charles remained seated. "Progress report?"

"He is getting better combat-wise and exhibits an unnatural aptitude for learning but could do even better if you helped." Athena just stared at him. "He's exceedingly loyal, smart, resourceful, a bit daring, but he is also heedless, rebellious, naïve. I could go on. Case in point, he is nowhere near ready."

"I made a wager with him, and I intend to see it through."

"Is that a good idea?"

"I have my reasons. As a demigod, he should fit the entry requirements."

"That could work, or it could backfire in a big way."

"Let me worry about that. In the meantime, switch up your training, introduce him to weapons, he's going to need them for the contest."

"Sure."

After Charles left, a ghostly figure materialized at the edge of Athena's study table.

'Do you really think he's going to be necessary?'

'Maybe, maybe not. Either way, Raymond is going to need his help.'

'I hope you're right about this one.'

'When I'm ever wrong brother?'

Apollo's ghostly figure smiled, 'I guess you have me to thank for that.'

'It'll all work out. Trust me.'

*****

"Do I need to close my eyes?"

"If that's your thing. Now quit interrupting me and repeat after me." Emma raised her voice a little higher than she wanted and almost drew the attention of the few people currently occupying the café. It was a slow Monday, and they had just finished their morning lectures.

"Ad somnum. Only this time, reach for your magic."

"How, I still can't distinguish magic from my other abilities?"

"I don't know, I've never had to teach an Olympian before. Okay, let's try this..." she picked up a knife. "...give me your hand."

Raymond hesitated.

"I'm not cutting your arm off, jeez! Give me your hand."

Ray extended his hand over to her while looking around the café. They were seated in one of the corners with his back towards the wall while Emma had hers towards the rest of the tables.

She spread his palm and gently cut his palm from the wrist on his thumb side-across-all the way to the base of his pinky.

He groaned and instinctively focused on his bleeding hand.

"No, don't. Let it heal on its own."

He did as he was told and silently swallowed the stinging pain. They stayed that way for close to ten minutes until the last of his skin knitted back together. Before he had a chance to protest, she cut his hand again. This time he managed to stifle a groan as the healed flesh burned in protest.

"Go ahead and heal it."

He quickly focused on his hand, and the flesh began knitting itself back together in a matter of seconds.

"You noticed anything?"

"Yeah, it stings." He grinned but was met with a level gaze. "Okay, I was able to use magic to heal, but I still can't differentiate magic from divine power."

"Three supernatural powers shape reality. Cosmic and divine power and magic. Only Kaos and primordial beings have full access to the cosmic power and the other two. Titans and olympians both possess divine power, but only olympians have magic; that's what separates a Titan from an Olympian.

"When your hand first healed, that was your innate divine power at work. The second time you channeled magic through you to speed up the process. A god like Apollo, due to one of his aspects being healing, can speed up the process without the use of magic."

"It makes sense, so divine power is basically control over certain aspects of the universe like nature, energy, matter," Ray observed.

"Not only that but also abstract concepts like law, emotion, intelligence, death among many."

"What about cosmic?" He asked.

"What we were taught was that it's the closest thing to reality warping as you can get and it is practically unlimited. Now focus and use your magic." She said and proceeded to cut his hand again.

Ray groaned before muttering the words again, "Ad somnum."

There was a calmness that washed over him followed by strange tingling at the base of his skull- like the feeling he had when he first tried weed- well at least before all the supernatural stuff started. He closed his eyes to enjoy the fleeting feeling one last time before he felt warmth followed by a sudden rush. He then heard something hit the wooden table. He instantly opened his eyes to find Emma's head lying face deep in her plate.

"Shit!"

Raymond looked around to see if anyone noticed the incident but almost pissed in his pants as he found several people slumped in their seats. The girl at the counter was gone. The door opened, and two guys walked in, he was about to shout at them to leave before they too, dropped on the floor and quite comically, began snoring.

Ray rose to his feet and walked away from his table, a peek over the counter, he found the girl slumped on her ass in a deep, peaceful slumber. Walking towards the door, he saw a cyclist approaching the café from across the street, and he quickly rushed for the door to stop him from coming into the café.

Swinging the door open he almost went back in when a vehicle swerved dangerously into the sidewalk, before smashing into a lamp post. He instinctively rushed to the totaled car and took a peek through the window. His head was dropped on his left shoulder, eyes closed. Ray flinched back as realization of what was happening began sinking down to his core.

A quick look back at the cyclist he saw him sprawled in the middle of the road; a few bruises and scrapes visible on some of his exposed skin, his bike still between his legs. Ray's breathing began to pick up as he looked all around him, bodies lay on the pavement others inside the various buildings.

A ball of lead dropped down his stomach, and he rushed back into the café. Sounds of glass breaking and metal hitting metal, coupled with constant car horns was all he heard before he grabbed Emma and summoned the aether with haste.

He immediately materialized inside Athena's mansion and screamed for help. Moments later Adrastea appeared.

"Shit, shit, shit! I messed up." Ray gently placed Emma down on a plush couch.

"What happened?"

"I used a sleep spell."

"Relax she'll wake up, eventually."

"No. I used it out there too."

Adrastea frowned at first but then her eyes bulged out like an owl's, "Why on earth would you use a spell in public without any training?"

"Um...it was part of my training and...I don't know. I just cast a small spell and then it kind of spread like wildfire."

"Did you let go of the spell?" ¬¬¬

"What! She never said I was to let go."

"Then do it now!"

"I can't¬...I don't know how to access my magic. I mean I know when I'm using it and how to use it but-"

"How did you cast the spell then?"

"Um...pain. She cut my hand—ow!" Raymond rubbed his chin when Adrastea slapped him.

"Do it!"

"That's not how it works. It takes a serious...wait...seriously?" Ray protested when he saw Adrastea pull out a dagger out of nowhere and almost slashed his chest if he hadn't jumped back.

"Stop being a baby, you've taken much worse than a simple cut."

"You aren't seriously going to gut me just so I can access my magic?"

"Fine. Give me your hand."

She made a quick but deeper slash into his hand. Raymond reflexively pulled his arm back, clutching it close to his chest while glowering at Adrastea. He reached for his magic and soon the gnawing pain subsided.

With his head working straight again, he felt the familiar rush envelope his body. He immediately forced it back into his body and felt it stop.

Raymond breathed a sigh and took a seat on another couch, "What's going to happen to all those people?"

"You and I are going back so you can reverse the whole thing. with proper instructions this time. Then we're going to come back here so you can learn the rules of magic before you do something this stupid again."

Raymond wanted to protest going back but knew she was right, "fine, but I'm warning you, it's not pretty."

He rose and took Adrastea's hand before teleporting out of the mansion and back into the café. The several sleeping bodies were still in the same state he left them.

"What now?" He asked as Adrastea took in on the scene.

"Go ahead and cut your hand and repeat these words, Nolite somnum."

Ray did as he was told, "Nolite somnum."

He didn't get time to see the results before Adrastea grabbed him and they teleported out of there.

"Wait how will I know when to stop the magic?"

"How long did you take before you came here?"

"I don't know, two, maybe three minutes?"

"Then stop your spell by then, but unlike a sleep spell, waking people up isn't problematic. If it makes you feel any better, the spell will stop spreading out on its own once your limit is reached. Anyone awake won't be affected."

"Good to know, thanks."

"Don't thank me yet, you still have a sleeping beauty to deal with."

"Why isn't the spell working on her?"

"Because you didn't cast it on or anywhere near her," Adrastea sighed and muttered a short spell. Emma slowly began to wake up.

"You can override my spell?" Ray had a questioning look on his face, she could've have saved him a lot of trouble.

"I wasn't overriding your spell but rather waking her up. Your spell already worked its purpose, which is to induce sleep, nothing more. There were too many people back in the café for me to wake up without being drained."

Emma was fully awake by the time Adrastea finished her explanation. "Where am I?"

"Athena's house," Ray answered before Adrastea replied.

Emma blinked for a few moments before shooting off the couch. She muttered a few words before looking back at Ray, "why can't I jump out of here? Forget it, get me out of here."

"Calm down, Athena is a friend."

"How nice, some of us don't share your sentiments."

"You aren't afraid of me," Ray tried to reassure her.

"You're nothing like them."

"You should probably take her home and come back if you want to learn more about magic," Adrastea said before going into the study.

"Is this about the Medusa thing?"

"Good, you're learning, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Now get me out of here." Emma said as she closed the distance and took Ray's hand.

*****

"Hey, Irene," Det. Kyle spoke behind an unsuspecting nurse, causing her to jump in surprise.

"Jeez! Jeremy, what are you doing in here? This place is restricted, nurses and staff only."

"I've got a badge that says otherwise. How's my favorite niece doing?"

"She's good, learning how to walk, but cut the bullshit, why are you here?"

"I'm wounded, can't I be just here to see my little sister?"

"When was the last time you came to see me, and it wasn't about work?"

"Fair point. You were here the night I was working on the beach case?"

"Yeah sure, what's up, you catch the killer yet?"

"No, not yet. I'm however not here for that. There's this kid, tall, dark hair, blue eyes goes by Raymond Storm. I saw him being brought in and I don't have to be a doctor to know he was in a pretty bad shape..." Just as he was explaining, Detective Kyle couldn't help but notice the change in his sister's demeanor. She went from tired but relaxed to alert but stiff.

His people-reading skills kicked in almost immediately, "...you know you can tell me anything sis, I'd never rat you out?"

"No, it's nothing. I'm just being paranoid. I haven't come across a patient by that name."

"There's another?"

"I don't know, he fits your profile, but a lot is going on, and the rumors aren't pretty."

"Do you mind checking the patient for me then?"

"Okay, wait here and don't go around shaking trees. I work here."

Jeremy grinned, "I swear on our mother's grave."

Roughly ten minutes later, she came back, making sure they were still alone before she began talking, "Nada, your patient's a ghost."

"Interesting...what's with this other patient you mentioned?"

"Nothing, which is what spooks me. He was brought in the same night but disappeared the following day. The doctors aren't saying anything, and the nurses and staff are all treading on eggshells. Everything is hush-hush.

"I hear Dr. Spencer is telling the nurses it was all a setup, some kind of a drill to test our casualty readiness for some future VIPs, and the patient wasn't really injured. I know none of the nurses are buying it, but no one is going to stick out their neck for it."

"Did you at least get a name?"

"Yeah, Justin Walker."

Jeremy took out his notepad and scribbled down the name, "you say he also fits the profile? Was he alone, family, friends, guardian?"

"Just one, male, medium height, no name though."

"Okay thanks sis, I will stop by and check on her, promise."

"You better."

Jeremy spent the next twenty minutes driving back to the Station and went straight to his office. He pulled open his left drawer and fished out a dossier. After confirming the file, he grabbed it and left his office for upstairs.

He went straight to Dispatch, walked in to find just the guy he was looking for.

"How's everything up here Tim?"

"Peachy, need something?"

"Sure," he reached into his pocket and pulled out his notepad, "can you run for me this name?" He handed Tim the name.

They went through several people but none fit the description his Sister gave him, and there weren't that many Justin Walkers to speak of.

"Is he someone you know?"

"I hoped so, never mind. There is something more important I need you to do for me." He dropped the file on Tim's desk, "He is one of the suspects we arrested in the drug bust."

"You want his location?"

"Yes, and his history for the past week. Something about him is wrong, and I'm willing to bet I'll get plenty of answers soon enough."

"Anything else?"

"Yes, off-the-books," Jeremy gave him a lopsided grin. "Just in case there is blowback."

"Sure, can do, I'll get to it in a few."

"Keep me posted."

Det. Kyle walked back to his office and grabbed his keys. It was almost noon by the time he arrived at the University.

*****

"For most people, before they try their first spell, usually tend to learn about magic first. In your case, we can do a quick introduction. There are three ways of using magic, the first is well known by pretty much everyone. Channeling. All magic sensitive beings can harness magic through their bodies and use it however they please. Though not all Supernatural can do this.

"The second method is through portions. Unlike channeling, portions can be used by anyone. Preparation, however, requires channeling magic. And lastly artifacts or enchantments, these are objects imbued with magic, and like portions, they too can be used by anyone.

"As your first magic lesson, you need to learn about one rule. For any successful spell to be cast, there are three things to consider. Source, command and intent." Adrastea droned on.

They were behind the mansion and on a large patch of grass, a few meters from a large pool. He was barefoot with his shirt half buttoned and sleeves rolled up as he stood akimbo.

"As you might have noticed you're an example of a source. Think of magic as a sentient yet impressionable being. The sleep spell you used earlier is your command; it tells your magic what to do. Your magic followed your command to the letter, the only problem is, you left out your intent.

"In this regard, magic behaves like a flame, if left alone it turns into a raging inferno. Attacking anything and anyone within its reach, provided you can fuel it.

"Some people have more fuel in their tanks than others. This makes their spells more potent. But with intent, you can decide on how much, who or what you want your magic to affect and to what extent. Once a spell is done, even if you leave your connection open, your magic won't take any liberties."

She took a moment to concentrate on her raised hands and a purple orb—the size of a snow globe—materialized between her open palms.

"Cool."

"What you're seeing is magic in its raw form. We call it arcane energy. It varies from one person to another depending on their arcane affinity. At the very bottom, there is dark purple, and it goes all the way to light blue.

"Magic in this form can act as both energy or concussive force. It can be shaped in any form limited only to your imagination."

She explained as the orb went from cloud-like form to a more pronounced solid form before flattening into a disc, it then took a bowl shape. "It's due to this property that also enables it to be used as a shield."

The bowl suddenly flattened again but expanded to cover her whole torso. The shield further extended until it reached her knees before it disappeared and a panting Adrastea emerged behind it. "It also takes a lot of energy and concentration to sustain it as it grows bigger and presents one's limit."

She reached behind her back and pulled out a small dagger before throwing it to Raymond. "Your turn."

"Can't you just teach me how to use my magic without me having to mutilate myself?"

"It seems to be working so far."

"Seriously?"

"Okay. We're going to do a broad-spectrum of your abilities and find what gets triggered by what. What can you do so far?"

Ray raised his hands like Adrastea did but formed a ball of invisible air instead. The whooshing sound and fluffing of his half-buttoned shirt gave it away. It immediately disappeared only to be replaced by a tendril of bluish electricity that lashed from his right palm only to latch on his left palm like a whip.

He held it for only a few seconds before he disappeared. He reappeared seconds later with car keys in his hands.

"They're Charles'," he said after Adrastea gave him a disapproving look.

"Okay, anything else?"

"Yeah, but it's going to be hard to show this one."

"Show me what?"

"This," a disembodied voice replied, but unlike Charles, Adrastea didn't even flinch.

"Good, what did you experience when you used each one of your powers?"

"Well, air is the easiest, I could just wave my arm and send out a large gust or just a small breeze with little to no concentration. The electricity, though I need to concentrate if I don't want too much of it. Otherwise more of it exits my body especially when I touch the ground or handle metals.

"With the astral projection all I have to do is push my mind out of my body. My view changes from frontal to both frontal and back unless I assume a humanoid shape, that way my vision is the same as when I'm in my body.

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