Oh my! Stay safe!
No, not yet.
We need to be ready though.
ugh. energy concentration hurts.
Alright. Ill get a charm or two ready in the meanwhile. Can i carve it or does it have to be drawn?
When attacked, fire back while taking cover. We will be ready.
M: Of course.
T: Tell me what you need from me? Tell me what you need to feel comfortable here. I want you to feel you made the right decision.
[He thinks they won. He thinks we’re in KS and I gave in. Have to play it.]
M: I did this to know what I’m capable of, not to help you. Not to help whoever’s controlling you.
T: No one is controlling me, or you for that matter. They simply want us to explore the world’s potential. All our potential.
M: To control us. For their own gain.
T: You have no conception of the incredible things that’ve done for this world, while asking for none of the credit.
M: Like what they did to your son? What they did to Nate?
[Mistake. He’s pissed.]
M: I’m sorry.
T: What happened with my son was not… Was not their doing. It was mine. Do you have any idea how many people are walking this earth like you? Like Nate? Unaware of what they’re truly capable of, unaware of the wonderful and terrible things they can do? Untrained, unskilled. Unbelieving. You think magiq is some idyllic energy, floating around us like butterflies. I have seen the terrifying things it can do.
M: Like the Storm? Is that for the good of the world too?
[He’s up, walking around. I’ve lost him. I have to check my own feelings. My anger. It was a lot smoother with Augernon. Somewhere inside him Teddy doesn’t want to tell me anything.]
T: Have you ever heard of Saverina’s Canon?
T: Saverina was a very talented storyteller who lived in the 16th century. Her books are the rarest of all mundane works. She was considered la strega because, according to lore, her stories were spells. They had power in them. Though you and I both know that’s entirely possible, it wasn’t true for Saverina. Before her death she published twelve canonic works, and my beloved wife, Ava, and I had collected eleven of them on our travels around the world. That is how we stumbled upon the Silver, as you call them.
After finding them, my new work with them became my life, while Ava cared for our son. We never found the sixth book. It was lost to history. But I used to read the other books to Nate. He always wanted to hear about our travels, how exciting it was to find a new book. I was gone for much of his childhood. And as young boys often do, he did whatever he could for his father’s attention. For my approval. My pride. By the time he was five things would go missing from the house and he’d confess that he had “unhooked” them, we thought he was lying at first, acting out… until we replaced the roof on the house, and in the eaves we found a keepsake box, untouched for decades. With Ava’s lost engagement ring inside it.
This is good. Thank you marty.
He was fighting you even in this state. What a smug old charlatan. As if he didn’t owe you more than answers.
He really believes he wasn’t wrong.
Well, I’m glad your safe Marty, even if things went wrong, you accomplished something most of us wouldn’t of been able to do.
M: Did they know?
T: I had to tell them.
M: And they wanted him.
T: Not at first. But they were curious. It wasn’t until he was nine, when he brought Saverina’s sixth book to me, here, in this office… He’d wanted my attention. He wanted to make me proud. So he brought me the missing book. It was the first time I realized what he could actually do. I’m ashamed to say how many hours passed before I realized what had happened. Where my Ava had gone. It wasn’t just that Nate could unhook things and send them to another time… It was a trade. He could send things from now in exchange for something from the past. I tried for weeks to get him to bring her back. I would’ve given anything. When he was finally able to—
[He couldn’t talk. He was trying to keep from crying.]
T: She had died, alone, sometime in the 16th century. He pulled her right out of a potter’s field. I had requirements. They agreed he wasn’t to be part of any other project. They told me they’d been able to cure others of their abilities, being adept, while also collecting their power. They said they’d do the same for Nate. Whether it was a lie or an exaggeration, I don’t know. At the end of the day, I knew what could happen. They swore things had changed since the early days. I didn’t understand then why his power was so important to them. I didn’t know at the time that they intended to collect all magiq artifacts. And with his power they could. Even from the past.
[He’s staring out the window.]
T: I want to say that I brought him to Kemetic to cure him, to try and rid him of this curse… but part of me knew that trying to siphon his power would kill him. Like it had the source of Sweeper, and Stormkeep. All the others… If I’m being honest, there was another part of me that hoped I would finally be free of the pain I felt every time I looked at him and saw her eyes.
M: They killed Nate to give his power to the storm.
T: To trade for valuable things from the past.
M: What is the storm, Teddy? Really? It’s a collection of adept power?
T: The modern incarnation, yes, partially. They don’t talk much about how it originally came to be. I heard it was a dark and nasty affair. But they have amended and added to it for centuries. It gets stronger the more minds it pulls into its eye.
M: Don’t you worry that it could get so strong that it would be out of their control? Or that they’ll start using it to pick off anyone who knows what they do? Like you?
T: I know what you want.
M: I want you to realize what you’re helping them do is wrong.
T: No you don’t. You want to know who they are, and how to stop them, how to stop the storm.
Well, he went straight to the point… I’m even more nervous now.
[I didn’t want to say anything.]
T: They are so far beyond your comprehension, Martin. This world is theirs. You work alongside them or…
M: Or else.
[I go to him.]
M: I don’t think magiq is all good. It’s like everything else. There’s good, there’s bad. But what they’re doing with it, doing to us… it’s unconscionable. Don’t tell me you would have led your son to slaughter if you’d really had a choice.
M: That’s the lie you tell yourself to sleep at night. That you have a say. That you have control. The minute you slip up, you’re gone. You know it. I know it.
[I could see his hands were trembling. I had to go for it.]
M: Kemetic Solutions is gone, Teddy. They wiped it out. And you. The only reason you remember any of this is because of magiq. And when it wears off, you’ll be gone again. For good. Please help me stop them.
T: You can’t.
M: We can start with the storm. How do we fight it?
T: Fight it? You can’t. That’s the truth.
[I could tell in his voice he knew something.]
M: Tell me what to do.
[He thinks, then throws his scotch back. He turns to me, whispering.]
T: I’ve heard them speaking to it. I heard them telling the part of Nate that’s inside it what to search for, what to take. They tell him stories. Like I did. Stories about lost things, and how much it would mean to have them again. Then they send him to things or people that are of equal importance, and he switches them in time. He wants to make them proud. He thinks he’s making his father happy. I couldn’t bear it. I would try and talk to him when they didn’t know. Hoping I could free him, or let him rest. But he’s part of something darker at the core of that thing now. In the eye. The thing there told Nate there is a way to stop it, to let it die, but how exactly has been forgotten or destroyed. It told him it could only surrender to the one who controls it. That’s all I know. Truly.
M: It’s something.
T: This is all going to go away isn’t it?
T: It feels… light. Fading. Like it could blow away in a breeze.
The nurse came back with the housekeeper. They asked me to excuse them but Teddy told them I could stay. The nurse said she’d gotten a call from the hospital. And she was confused because they referred to Dr. Adler as “she” and they didn’t know who I was.
T: He’s a friend of my son’s. And he was just leaving.
That was it. I got in my car and left. And someone must’ve tipped off the Silver cause they sent the storm a few minutes later.
There’s one more thing I need to tell you. The last time I talked to Alison she told me what mattered most was Teddy’s son. More than the Silver, more than stopping the storm. I had to learn everything I could about Nate. It’s what she was looking into when they found her. I asked why she was looking but either she didn’t want to say, or couldn’t. It makes sense now.
We need Ascenders half of the spell.
I’m driving south. Will be on the road for a few hours but will check in when I can. I’ll be careful. I don’t want to be the one who let’s that thing into the forum.
We all are gonna have to start exercising more caution.
That storm could pop up anywhere and I personally don’t want a repeat of the story of Nevergreen and friends.
Well, if that isn’t the most heartbreaking and disturbing story I’ve ever heard in my entire life, I don’t know what is. And I don’t want to know.
The personality of the boy is infused in The Storm. It sounds like that’s how they’re using it now.
We will have our work cut out for us.
What’s more, it seems that RK Adler, Dr. Adler, whose access to The Lost Athenaeum we’ve commandeered, is both Teddy’s “therapist” and a part of The Low. Given the way things worked out today I’d say not a friend of ours.
As usual, we have about two more questions for every answer we’ve received.
Thanks, Marty,… Please be safe.
I wonder how adler might play into all this. Maybe shes the one directing the storm
Yes we do. I think we need to contain the Storm for a small period of time and use the spell on it then.
I’M BACK! I’m all caught up, I think… Anything my services could be of use for?
I suppose now we know what Teddy meant when he wrote in his personal records that the KS research team didn’t know where people went when they were “unhooked” using the Wanderer program.