It was like blossoming. The way her powers unfolded and nestled inside her mind. It started as a gentle unfurling as layer upon layer opened. Nell. The name settled in her. The blossoming gave way to a torrent.
Power. Undiluted. Coursed. Surged. Filled her. Cascaded through her. Everything thrummed. She could feel the age of the rocks, taste the mineral tang of the dust. Hear the tiny bugs scuttle in the crevices. Reese. The name reached out to her. The blackness moved; it was nuanced. The shades of the dark danced and but she became one with it. She melted into it. Poured through it. Became it. The world took shape around her as she came into herself. She blinked. Once. Twice.
She noticed the hand first as her eyes focussed. She willed her senses to calm. She forced down her shields. There was too much of everything. She blinked again and someone scuttled to close the curtain. She tried to sit, but she was too dizzy. Whose hand was this? It moved at her command. But it was not hers. She looked down at the rest of her body. It moved at her command, but it was not her body. She closed her eyes again.
She heard the word, but it was from far away. An echo in the distance. She turned her head towards the sound.
“Reese, what happened?”
Louder this time. She opened her eyes again slowly to find a young girl leaning over her. She was feeling along her arms, her body.
“Are you hurt?”
Nell sat up the dizziness was still there but it had started to subside. ‘I don’t think so.” She looked at the hand. The foot. The body that did not belong to her.
“You are Alice.” She looked at the girl. She knew her name. She knew this person. But she did not. Panic pushed its way up her spine.
“It happened.” It was the girl’s turn to panic. “By the gods. It’s happened.” She grabbed a book nearby and paged through it. She looked at the pages but shook her head and put it down again.
“Where is Morgan?” Nell mumbled.
“Who?” the girl looked at her in alarm.
“A young man. He was with me.”
“Daniel!” the girls said and rushed out the door. Nell couldn’t move. She watched the girl stand in the adjoining door not knowing where to go or what to do.
Nell heard a groan come from the other room. The girl rushed away.
“Two of you. By the gods. There are two of you. Daniel, are you ok?”
Nell knew who Daniel was, but she didn’t know how she knew. She took in her surroundings. The room was warm. She was still on the floor. A bed was pushed up against the wall. Judging from the lumps in the bedding someone was in the bed. The book the girl had turned to for answers lay on the bedside table. She reached for it. It was a thick leather journal the kind the Founders used. The kind they had been reading for months. Embossed in the leather was her seal. She ran her fingers over the familiar emblem. Her journal. She turned to the last page. Her words hastily scribbled sat on the page. It had happened. The Summoners had lost.
She closed the book. The person in the bed stirred drawing her attention.
“Jessop?” Nell’s voice hitched in surprise. At least she thought it was Jessop. She searched of signs between the creases of his skin. Marked by age, folded by time. It was him. Jessop. She put a tentative hand on his, but he did not stir. She reached out with her mind unfurling her powers but came up against…something.
“He’s been like that for weeks.”
It was the girl again. Standing in the door.
“Daniel…mmmmm, your friend. He’s through here.” Alice gestured to the other room.
She looked back at Jessop. She had so many questions, but she needed to check on Morgan. She braced herself. What would she find? Would she still know who he was? Would he know who she was?
“What year is it?”
“Here in this pocket of time, it is simply today.”
“On the continuum, it’s roughly 2022. Depends on where you aim.”
Nell just shook her head. Memories fought. Her’s. Reese’s. Morya’s. She walked into the other room. A study. Bookcases lined the wall. Books stacked and tucked in everywhere. Morgan sat on the floor looking a little dazed.
“This is what Jessop was talking about when he told you who you were?”
Nell nodded. It was Reese’s memory, but it was also her’s.
“You look so different. Familiar, but completely new.” He smiled.
Nell was relieved. It was his smirk. His eyes had a new shape, but it was him.
“Do you remember?” She was scared to hear his answer.
“Yes, my own memories, but also,” he looked down at the body, “his.”
Nell reached out a hand and helped him up. As they stood, they caught their reflections in a looking glass. They stopped and stared.
Morgan turned his face this way and that. “I suppose you can say we aged well.”
“At least he isn’t awful looking.”
Morgan pulled a face but laughed at her teasing.
“This is certainly going to take some getting used to.”
“Speaking about ageing, Jessop is here.”
“That’s a relief. I have questions about being remade. “
“In hindsight, we probably should have asked them sooner.” Nell took one last look at the strangers in the mirror and lead Morgan into the other room.
The girl, Alice was sitting on the bed. A small locket bounced on her chest. Inside it’s prefect metal cage was one of Bonair’s little balls. Nell gasped and turned to Morgan. He took a step back. Nell reached for it, but there was no hum.
“It won’t affect you.” She pointed to the locket. “The magnifier won’t affect you. You’ve been remade.” Alice said.
Nell let go of the locket. She needed answers.
“We were hoping Jessop would be able to guide us when we got here. Are you the acolyte?”
“Sort of, but it’s not as formal as that.”
“But,” she carried on, “if you are here it means Bonair has won and he’s probably already here.”
- : Fantasy/Sci-fi/Time travel
- : Amateur fantasy writer