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Badar Consultant Agency
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#71
1 - Entropic Spiral - 7A
Blondemaverick
Jun 10, 2018
1
0
11
9 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!8RBAzUiHYdPb1bkba5ePposted on PENANA

Finding the right future with the correct phone number was actually simple, but if Jaeborn Dae had attempted to See something so variable like that even a year ago, his head would have exploded. Plugging the number into his cell phone, Jaeborn wondered again why his mind hadn’t turned to mush years ago. Something had to be keeping him alive and functional, he reasoned. The voices reassured him that it could all be luck. He could be just that lucky, with no strings attached. For some reason, he couldn’t abide this answer from the voices, but they hadn’t steered him wrong yet. They could be trusted. Maybe it was all luck. Twenty-two years of solid, unerring luck.copyright protection11PENANADw7cZNuo5S

However, Jaeborn had never believed in luck before the voices had started offering their infallible guidance. It wasn’t called a Fate’s eye for nothing. He had accepted that the world was a bead on a string, trailing along behind and before identical beads… and that every now and then, someone or something would come along and cut the string and the bead would fall onto another chain of endless beads.copyright protection11PENANA7dKJOjD61C

Sometimes, the bead would fall to the ground and shatter. Sometimes, the bead would fall onto a string with no other beads on it. Sometimes, the bead would fall and simply disappear. And Jaeborn had Seen the structure of it all--the endlessly expanding web of strings and moving, spinning beads--for only a moment when he first used his Fate’s eye. He hadn’t been able to get the full measure of the universal construct, because he had gotten distracted by the futures that involved himself directly.copyright protection11PENANAkROm28xddM

Jaeborn Dae had wondered for years after that moment, Who would I have become if I had Seen it all? Would I have gone insane with the truth of it? Would I have given up on becoming a Circle Lord, overwhelmed by the beauty inherent to the universe? Would I have stayed in Columbia’s old Raiser Circle as her second in command, filled with bitterness at the futility of it all? What would have happened? He would never know for certain. They were the handful of What if? questions he still entertained, because those variables were untouchable to him. Seeing the outcomes that involved himself… had narrowed the span of his possible futures. He couldn’t See where the universe was headed anymore. He could only Watch that which involved himself--save for the absence of a certain werewolf anyway.copyright protection11PENANA3Ria3iXyG2

Maybe that’s how I’ve survived so long, he realized upon reflection, listening to the dial tone absently. Maybe it isn’t luck. Perhaps it was just the conservative usage of his gift. So many before him had gone out, seeking the framework of the cosmos, the blueprint of the grand design; perishing frighteningly fast; burning out like flares, instead of candles, in the darkness of time. And the voices? His increased dependence on his eye was surely the root cause behind their--copyright protection11PENANAqNgaw4uabv

Enough. You haven’t time for second guesses, a voice hissed.copyright protection11PENANANvmBRpJpDX

The voices were right. A second later, a bored-sounding midwestern accent answered the phone with, “Lord Jaeborn Dae.” The translation mage would know that lilting, breathless voice anywhere, anytime.copyright protection11PENANAbGOuRSMOqs

“Mister Holland. How’d you know it was me? Your mindreading has that kind of range?”copyright protection11PENANARRg81McwXn

Call it a lucky guess. So… to what do I owe the pleasure?copyright protection11PENANA2KTpmKO6as

“I have someone you and your attack dog want. You have something I want. Let’s deal.”copyright protection11PENANA3l8SP0LBOb

Let’s.”copyright protection11PENANA4G3kO571B4

“Put Mister Sherwood on the phone.”copyright protection11PENANApDPi3c3Sid

No.”copyright protection11PENANAklytdotZ0i

“Do you want to deal or not?” Jaeborn crossed his legs and sat back in his chair.copyright protection11PENANAb4ZeoOjvPV

The other side was quiet for a long time and then the vampire said, “I have a couple theories I want to run by you before I give you over to my better half… if you’ll indulge me.”copyright protection11PENANAAezqwCCAuU

“Curiosity killed the cat, Mister Holland. I’m not falling for that.”copyright protection11PENANANOgliuKMtK

You forget that satisfaction brought it back, Lord Dae.” There was laughter in his voice, which irked Jaeborn. Wasn’t he even concerned for Woody’s mother? Shouldn’t he be on his guard? His tone… His words… It was like the vampire was playing with the mage. Still… Jaeborn was intrigued. He’d be lying if he admitted otherwise.copyright protection11PENANA4EO3ScRcIH

“Indulged. You’ve got one minute, Mister Holland. Blow my socks off.”copyright protection11PENANA7jWGJtil3M

The creature took an audible breath before it said, “First scenario is contingent on you serving The Circle and wanting to rise to the top. You’ll threaten Woody, try to get a rise out of him. You’ll do everything in your power to get a time and a place to put us down. You might even let Misses Sherwood go.” They knew who he had? The only person he’d told was… Taggart. His heart dropped into his stomach. Had Tag…? Was Tag with them? Or had she merely tipped them off to annoy him? He pushed the loathing and surprise down and cleared his throat. “But when push comes to shove, you want to be a hero in the eyes of the magical community. Putting down two rabid, blood mage sympathizing supernaturals is sure to spur The Magus into banning non-humans from Dareklind… which will give you the leg up you need to help Detroit annex Dareklind. You’ll be given a nice position close to the top… and accessibility to all kinds of magical projects and resources beyond anything you’ve ever come close to having in the past… Hell, they may even make you Magus of The Circle in Dareklind.copyright protection11PENANAgQBwcU0WGu

Jaeborn cleared his throat again. He felt more than heard a buzzing in the back of his skull… like a dozen ghosts were drumming their fingers on the inside of his head. He squeezed his eyes shut for a second before stating gruffly, “What’s your second theory, Holland? Tick-tock.” He didn’t know how the words left his mouth. Had he even moved his lips?copyright protection11PENANAGK8uO1HGdq

Jude said, “Personally, I think all that’s bullshit… I think there’s something else going on. I can’t put my finger on it, but I’d bet my immortality that whatever you’re doing serves to benefit someone you may not have even met… The Crimson Circle would love it if The Circle in Dareklind lost its sovereignty. Dareklind in the middle of a power struggle opens up the city to threats you can’t even begin to imagine, Dae…” The vampire was quiet for a moment, but then he said, “I think you’re moving against your will. I think someone has you in their grip. If you tell me who it is, I can help you… Jaeborn, I know you better than you realize. I know you’re ambitious, but you never would have gone this far if something wasn’t coercing you… You’re not the kind of man that would risk everyone he loves just to see himself higher on the totem pole… You’re better than that. Change my mind.”copyright protection11PENANAokJk0sNjOQ

Tell him to fuck off. He doesn’t know you. He doesn’t know anything.copyright protection11PENANA65HHBTCCPi

Between his teeth, the translation mage hissed, “Fuck off, Holland… You don’t… You don’t… Please, God… I can’t stop… You don’t know anything… Help me… Please… You can’t help me. You can’t.” Before he knew what was happening, he ended the call, got up, and went into his kitchenette. He opened the microwave and put his cell phone inside of it. But his hand shook as it hovered over the quick-start button.copyright protection11PENANA6w3f1SgIyt

He eventually opened up the microwave and took the phone out, sweat pouring and settling into the collar of his shirt. He called Jenna on speed dial as he fell to his knees. His heart was about to burst out of his chest. The ghosts were raking at the backs of his eyes. His skin was on fire. He couldn’t catch his breath.copyright protection11PENANA9XOShOl489

Hello? Jae?!” Nana greeted, alarm in her voice like she knew he was fucking dying.copyright protection11PENANAVefCVQwytm

“Jen… Jen… Let her go. Get her out of there. Just let her go…”copyright protection11PENANAQzSUOTM4Cl

Jaeborn--Jae, what’s wrong? You sound--copyright protection11PENANAyLimEzbZEj

“Jenna! Listen to me!” he shouted into the phone as he slipped down onto the tile floor. “Let… Let Misses Sherwood go. I don’t… I don’t care how you do it. Get her out of there. Give her up to Magus. Do you understand me? Put her in a cab, get her on a bus, I don’t care… Just let her go. Get her to… Columbia… Please. Do this for me.”copyright protection11PENANA9zxoctfI1I

Okay, okay. She’s gone. She’s gone. I’ll be over there in ten minutes. Should I call an ambulance?” There was real panic in her voice, but purpose. She loved him, but she knew when to shut up and follow her orders. She was a great valkyrie. She had always been a better friend. When had he realized that? When had he realized that she stood out from the rest of the vibro witches? When had he noticed that her smile was so much more sincere?copyright protection11PENANA5SiXM6Rybt

When had he given up on Tag to pursue his lieutenant?copyright protection11PENANATKfc6TLiTp

It didn’t matter anymore.copyright protection11PENANAB2Z9rcCGVE

“No… No…” Jaeborn heaved into the phone. He put it against his chest as he took deep, fast, labored breaths. “Nana… I love you,” he whispered out loud. He heard chatter coming from the phone against his sternum, but he didn’t have the strength to lift it to his face. “I love…”copyright protection11PENANAo0wGYjNPRZ

That’s enough, a voice said in his mind and Jaeborn, in a moment of clarity, thought it sounded like an actual person, like a woman with a deep voice like that of a mountain. He also realized it was the same voice that had been guiding him for the last three months.copyright protection11PENANAjLJyXQsJ8l

Oh, this is fucked up, the Lord of the Woden Circle thought absently. This whole time, I figured I was going crazy… But Jude was right. I’ve been had. Something’s been in me this whole time… Someone’s been in me.copyright protection11PENANA9Ko9TPlwvh

We underestimated your will, Jaeborn Dae. We won’t make the same mistake again… The downside with this kind of coup is you don’t get exiled to some island in the middle of the Mediterranean… You just die and we take command of the ship.copyright protection11PENANAbUiIBg1p6T

You can’t, Jaeborn thought at it. You’ll lose out on my magic.copyright protection11PENANAopE8YCYrl7

That’s cute. You magi still believe your magic comes from the soul? That’s an adorable concept, really, but it’s completely inaccurate. It’s in your blood, Dae. As long as we have your body, we have your magic… Believe me, we’ll make better use of it.copyright protection11PENANAMvSbEM00iw

Why? Was Jude right? Is this some kind of blood mage plot? Did you make me a puppet? copyright protection11PENANAhurzc2QdrW

Wouldn’t you like to know? The voice laughed.copyright protection11PENANA7QlMYkoXLK

Well, I tried, Jaeborn thought in resignation.copyright protection11PENANA4ygXJUJKU2

You did… the voice said sympathetically. You did try.copyright protection11PENANAgcwIMIKCWc

And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.copyright protection11PENANAy32UQ1ffY0

Goodbye, Jaeborn Dae… copyright protection11PENANAZ3zf0iaK25

Lord of Failure.copyright protection11PENANAMjhi231NGX

54.81.112.7

ns54.81.112.7da2
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