Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Marching Orders (super people)

[This plotline now has an index.]
[Last installment left off with Enzie asking about the giant robotic pangolin.  You know, I don't think that I ever mentioned it was giant in the text.  Anyway, that's where we start here.]

"Did you not see the robotic armadillo?" Icelos asked.

"Robotic armadillos are a dime a dozen," Enzie said, "the pangolin was more interesting."

"Focus on the matter at hand," Java said.  Enzie definitely got the impression that the statement was focused at Icelos.

"But I took down the armadillo," Icelos said.  "I deserve credit."

"We just found out the world might end again," Java said.

"If the kid's six that gives us a dozen years to prepare," Map said.

Enzie nodded at that.

"The issue that faces us in the present moment is that there is a child who is being sought out by a cult that wants to make her into a monster," Corv said.  "This is most definitely not about the fate of the world right now."

"I wouldn't be here if it were," Enzie said.  "I don't give a damn who collects taxes, I do care about the fact I have family who seem to be in danger."

"I thought that you did not like your family," Aster said to Enzie.

"I don't like my father," Enzie said.  "I have no reason to think that my sister or her daughter are anything like him.  I'm not."

Java said, "I'll try to find out if regular law enforcement has been doing anything that might be related. Map, Icelos, there's a good chance we'll be dealing with demons again.  Anything you can whip up to help would be appreciated.

"Aster, go to the main computer, familiarize yourself with every location we've found that has significance to the cult of Corv's father.  Go to each, patrol around them for as long as you deem fit --look for anything remotely magical-- and then move on to the next.  Surveillance only; unless you actually locate the girl and she's in immediate danger, do not engage.

"If you do locate her, regardless of whether you're forced to engage, contact us over the coms immediately.

"Corv, Enzie, find a way to track down your relative."

* * *

"Exactly what does Archipelago expect us do?"

"The island of Java is part of the Indonesian archipelago," Corv said, "and I believe you are aware that that is not the thing to which Java's name refers."

"Point.  The question still stands though."

"You are not merely a half angel; you are also an archer," Corv said.  "I have skills that do not come from my biology as well."

Enzie knew what Corv was talking about and said, "Somehow I think being demonic gives you a bit of a leg up over fully human magicians."

"Perhaps, but it is none the less true that I am well versed in human magic," Corv said.

"Your father has many followers, of them some are likewise magic," Enzie said.  "What do you expect to do that they cannot?"

"They can likely call upon my father for spells of locating," Corv said, "but any such spells will be limited by the fact they can only call upon her paternal heritage."

"Not much of a limitation considering how seldom he reproduces," Enzie said.

"There are more powerful spells that require the cooperation of individuals from both sides of the subject's family," Corv said.  "I can serve as the individual from the paternal side, you can serve as the individual from the maternal side."

"Powerful enough to break through whatever's been keeping child and mother out of the cult's reach for nearly six months?"

"Perhaps not," Corv said, "but with such force seeking them, concealment magic should be hard to maintain continuously."

* * *

Inside of a magic circle, Enzie sat back to back with Corv.

"What happens if this works?" Enzie asked.

"I have never had the opportunity to test this spell before," Corv said.

A moment later they were standing nowhere.

Then they were somewhere in the world, but it was so hazy it was impossible to make out.  Another place became overlapped with it, then a third.

Then the places shot apart and they were high in the air above all three, a pulsing, though very dim, light marking each.  More lights came into being, each time they were forced farther from the surface of the earth, so that they could view them all.

In the end they stood in void.  The earth before them, spotted with dim lights, too many to count, spread across North America, Europe, and Western Africa.

"I'm no mage," Enzie said, "but I'd class this as a failure."

"None of these results are strong enough for a relative as close as my sister and your niece," Corv said.  "These must be relations we share through our mothers."

Enzie nodded.  "Which wouldn't be very close relations."

There was a pause.

"Is my body blinking?" Enzie asked.

"I do not know," Corv said.

"Well you'd better get us back in ourselves before our eyes get all dried out and itchy or something."

"I did not realize that the spell would be so immersive," Corv said.  "I suggest that next time we close our eyes before beginning."

A moment later they were seated back to back within the magic circle.

"So . . ." Enzie said, "that accomplished nothing."

"On the contrary, now we know that the spell will work for us," Corv said.  "We shall need to repeat it continually at pseudo-random intervals to have the best chance of detecting our relative."

"So that's it?" Enzie asked.  "Spam the spell in hopes that at some point random chance dictates that we use it when their concealment has lapsed."

"That is merely one part of it," Corv said.  "I have contacts within my father's cult and intend to use them to locate my sister.  For me, that will be the next part of it.  What you do is up to you."

"Of course I'm coming with," Enzie said.

People don't say the name of Corv's father.  I honestly haven't figured out why that is yet, but it's just not done.  Demons might use his name, but only in Hell itself.  Even his earthly cult doesn't call him by name, instead calling him "our god".

It could be as simple as it being hard for humans to pronounce, it could be something with vast metaphysical implications, all that I've got so far is that no one in this is going to call him by name without a very good reason.

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