The Pellegrine

Soul Lark

Book IX
The Ambitious Magus

Chapter 6

© The author reserves all rights to this work.


This story is of an adult nature. It is not intended for minors nor for those whose law in their land forbids them to read this material.
This story is entirely fictional. Any resemblance to actual people is purely coincidental and unintentional.

NB: Words found between asterisks (*) refer to words exchanged in psychic or telepathic communication.

Date: 29 March 2676, Wednesday

“The charges you bring up are very serious, Jorg. Do you have any evidence?” asked Benedict, president of the magi council.

“With regard to the attempt on Matthew Keith’s life – yes,” answered Jorg. “We managed to subdue the two magi involved. With regard to the complicity of Ryan White, I’m afraid I don’t have concrete evidence. I only have circumstantial evidence. The two magi worked for White and have been suspected of running White’s dirty jobs. Furthermore, if they’re willing to open their minds to the council, the truth can be easily determined.”

“That seems fair to me,” said Tsui, one of the fifteen council members.

“Their memories could’ve been tampered with,” suggested Nkime, another council member.

“Not unless the magus in question agreed to it. We’d find traces of forced memory change if the magus resisted the change in memory,” replied Ganesh. “I’m willing to take a look at the evidence before deciding.”

The council seemed to be divided.

“If the council would permit me, may I remove the protective shield from the prisoners? I was afraid of an external attempt to erase their memories.”

“Council?” asked Benedict. The other fourteen nodded their heads.

Jorg did not remove the shield in the conventional way. Instead he expanded the shield so that everyone was within the shield. That brought about a sudden change in the council.

“My apologies, members of the council. It would seem that something had been influencing my will,” disclosed Lucia, the councillor from South America. Several other members of the council expressed the same idea.

“What happened Jorg?” asked Benedict.

“When I reached here, I could sense that there was a difference of atmosphere in the council chamber. I realised that someone was able to penetrate the protective measures of the council chambers. I just enlarged the shield I had over the prisoners so that everyone in the chamber was protected. There’s no doubt that there’d be someone out there who’d be very irritated right now.”

“Oh no!” exclaimed Lucia. “I sent those magi to protect Matthew Keith … I believe that they are working for Ryan White too!”

“How could you be so stupid?!” asked Nkime.

“Please councillors,” said Jorg in a firm voice. “Whoever influenced you is very strong and subtle. Please don’t blame yourselves. I’ve already taken some precautions.”

“What?” asked Benedict.

“Let’s just say that the magi sent wouldn’t be able to do anything to Matthew Keith without a significant number of other magi knowing about it.”

“Good,” said Benedict. “You’re always prepared, Jorg. Let’s start examining the prisoners.”

† ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ †

Elias was sitting on the bed playing cards with Heath and Jacques. They were in the bedroom of the suite. The other magi were in the living room. Matthew had gone to sleep in the bed nearest the bathroom. He had played cards until his eyes became droopy. After the last hand, Jacques said that he was feeling very tired, too. Heath just yawned.

“Get to sleep like Matthew. You should just go to bed. It’s easier for us if you weren’t moving around,” said Elias.

“All right. Yawn! Sorry. I know I’d better get to bed,” said Jacques, slumping onto the remaining bed in the room. Heath had just gone asleep on the second of the three beds.

As soon as Elias turned off the lights, everyone in the bedroom disappeared.

† ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ †

The Council had examined the prisoners and found enough evidence of their crime and how Ryan White was involved. After a few minutes of deliberation among themselves, Benedict stood up and proclaimed, “We’re convinced of the guilt of these magi. They’d attempted to kill Matthew Keith. This goes against all that the magi have held dear. The only consequence as prescribed by the Magi Regulations is nullification.”

Both Liliana and Gilbert were silent.

“I wish to be the executor of nullification,” said Jorg. “I’ve reached level fifteen and both of them are below that level. I should be able to do it.”

“Is this acceptable to the council?” asked Benedict, looking around. There were no objections and so he continued, “Very well. We’ll supervise the process.”

Magi do not usually experience pain when nullification is carried out. As they lose the power they are so accustomed to, they feel a sense of loss which grows as the nullification process proceeds. Often, this sense of loss is enough to cause a great anguish within nullified magi that they would scream or yell in grief.

Jorg looked at Gilbert and Liliana. They stared at him defiantly. Jorg closed his eyes and reached into Gilbert’s mind first. He had to locate the seat of the magus’ psychic powers. Once he located it, he disactivated the ability of the magus to absorb natural life energies from the surrounding objects. Then he expelled the remaining psychic energies from Gilbert and allowed it to dissipate to all the objects within the room. It was then that tears formed in Gilbert’s eyes.

When the nullification process for Liliana was complete, she was wailing and weeping. Jorg then released the protective shield that he had maintained. Kean came forward and spoke to Jorg in low tones.

“What is it, Jorg?” asked Benedict.

“I believe White is acting,” answered Jorg. “He’s moved Matthew Keith and his two friends.”

“What?!!” Benedict exclaimed. This caused a commotion among the councillors asking for information.

“I’m afraid Matthew Keith and his two friends have disappeared,” replied Jorg.

“Are we been too late to save them?” asked Nkime.

“No, councillors. I’ve a contigency plan,” replied Jorg with a mysterious smile.

“What’s the plan, Jorg,” asked Tsui. Tsui had served with Jorg when he was President and she enjoyed it when Jorg took charge.

Jorg looked solemnly at the councillors. “We’ll need to locate them and then we’ll have him red-handed with the people he intends to harm,” he said.

“So you know where they are?” Lucia asked.

“Of course,” Jorg answered.

“So, you’re going after White?” asked Lucia.

“Not without the blessing of the council,” said Jorg. “Do I have your permission to lead a team to apprehend him?”

“You have mine,” answered Benedict. “I believe the council has all the evidence it needs regarding Ryan White’s guilt.”

“You’ve mine too,” answered Tsui.

“Let some of us go and bring him,” said Lucia. After some discussion, six councillors volunteered to go with Jorg.

† ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ †

Ryan White was livid. “So, the fool, Jorg, thinks that he can hide my son from me? He may be able to hide him for a while but not forever. I’d be able to extract enough information from you three though,” he said to three magi.

White had tried to remove his biological son and two other humans but found that he had moved three magi instead. He had transferred the magi to his special room. Unknown to many, Ryan White had constructed the room when the present RCC building was being built. He had hired and fired four different construction teams during the construction of the RCC building. Using four different plans and clever manoeuvring, he managed to build the secret room. The room was about two storeys high and was situated on the second and third basement levels. It was not noticeable from the outside and the door to the room was inconspicuous and well hidden. The walls of the room were thick and made of very many different materials. They were powered to provide magnetic and phasic shielding, preventing any psychic and electromagnetic energy from entering or leaving it. Inside, the walls measured only 4 metres by 4 metres by 2 metres. The room was painted in a very neurtral grey and was bare except for four chairs. One chair was occupied by White himself and the other three were occupied by each of the three magi that White had captured.

White was glad that he took notice of Jorg. The former President of the Magi Council was a maverick that White was extremely wary of. Jorg was a firm believer in tradition; and the magi tradition stated that magi exist to help humankind reach its next evolutionary level. Magi tradition frowned on any magus who believed otherwise, especially those who held that magi powers were for dominating humanity. Ryan White believed in the latter and Jorg was an obstacle. Although Jorg was a less powerful magus than White, he was more influential. Although White had the wealth and influence in the human world, Jorg had access to the more important magi resources. Although White was in command of the largest network of both magi and normal human operatives, he lacked something that Jorg had: personal loyalty. The magi operatives that helped Jorg did so because they were his friends. They were loyal to him because he treated them as equals. Ryan White had to buy his loyalty. Some magi operatives that worked for White did so because his doctrine offered them power. Many of his operatives were loyal because they feared him. He was their employer and also the holder of their secrets. Ryan White had his operatives’ loyalty so long as he held their leashes. Jorg had nothing and yet he had loyal friends. That infuriated White.

What infuriated White even more was Jorg’s sexuality. Ryan White had an immense hatred for homosexuals. When Jorg was elected to the Magi Council, White began to lose his faith in the Magi Council. When Jorg was elected as President of the Magi Council, he left the Rescue Corps, convinced that the Magi Council had been corrupted. He approached those who owed him favours and was able to establish the Ryan Communications Company. That was the start of his plan to purge the world of all ‘corrupted’ people – especially homosexuals.

When he was about to start his final phase of his plan, White knew he had to monitor Jorg to see if he knew anything. He started a whole network of magi to monitor Jorg’s activities, who had kept him appraised until about five years before. Jorg became suspicious and had discovered that there were magi eavesdropping. Fortunately, Jorg was not able to identify all the eavesdroppers. If he had, Ryan White would not have found out about his illegitimate son, Matthew Keith. Ryan White gave a wry smile. Jorg had actually helped him to discover the existence of this illegitimate son.

White lost his smile when his eyes rested on the three magi in front of him. He was quite sure that he had found his son and the other two normal human beings. However, he was confronted with three magi instead. Jorg had somehow outwitted him and this annoyed him. The three magi were deep in concentration. They seemed to be focusing their energies on something.

“Your shouts for help won’t work. No psychic thoughts can escape this room nor enter it. Most signals and energies can’t even penetrate these walls!” boasted White.

“… Which is why I was able to find it so fast,” said Jorg as he opened the door from behind White.

White turned around looking very surprised. “How could you …?” His face grew hard when he saw six of the councillors and Kean entering with Jorg.

“So, you’ve come to nullify me? What have I done? I’ve captured some magi? These were renegades from the rescuers. I was just doing the council a favour.”

Jorg smiled. “You said you’ve captured magi? Look carefully, you’ve really captured four people, and only one is a magus.”

White turned pale when he saw Brin standing behind the unconscious figures of his son, Jacques and Heath.

“What kind of trickery is this?!” he exclaimed.

“The same kind you played on the council. You’d influenced their minds and their wills ever so slightly that it was only when I enlarged the protective shield around the Council were they able to realise what had happened.”

“Why wasn’t I able to penetrate Brin’s shield?” asked White.

“You didn’t look,” replied Jorg. “If you’d started the information extraction process, you’d have discovered the shield. Fortunately for us, you hadn’t.”

“Yes, but fortunately for me, you removed the shield surrounding the councillors,” said White with a sneer.

“Yes, he did, White. We’re now able to nullify Jorg,” said Lucia.

Jorg turned and faced the councillors. He looked surprised. He turned as White started to laugh.

“Ha ha ha!” laughed White. “You didn’t realise that Lucia was already mine. Your shield did nothing to her. When you removed the shield I was able to reactivate the influence I had on these five other councillors through her. She’d been careful not to activate the influence before the shield was off or else someone would realise that there was a traitor.”

“Why didn’t you get all the councillors? Why only six? Why not all the councillors?” asked Jorg.

White had a roguish smile, “If I’d all the councillors, it’d have forced you underground and that would’ve made things more difficult. Furthermore, only these six would be eligible to seek re-election. Except for Benedict, all the others would have to step down for at least a term.”

“Then,” said Jorg sadly, “Benedict is already in your power. He’s the only one that doesn’t need to be elected into the council. He’s the Custodian.”

“No,” laughed White, “Benedict’s my link to you. If I influenced him, you’d see it straight away. He’ll be a thorn in my side when I become president of the council but it wouldn’t be so bad. His protests may even boost my popularity. Now, councillors, I believe that Jorg warrants nullification.”

The seven knotted their brows and looked at Jorg. Jorg shook a little and collapsed to the floor. Kean rushed to Jorg and knelt by his side.

“Jorg, are you okay?”asked a concerned Kean.

“Flee whilst you can …” muttered Jorg.

Kean shook his head. “I’ll stay by you all the way.”

“But you’ll be nullified …” Jorg protested.

“Such sweet words!” said White in disgust. “I’ve never liked the unnatural unions of homosexuals. Councillors, Jorg’s lover needs to be given the same treatment as well. Perhaps then they can live together in old age.”

“Why don’t you just kill us?!” asked Kean angrily.

“And not let you suffer for disrupting my plans? I want to let you see me succeed where you’ve failed.”

“What about me?” asked Brin. “You’re going to silence me as well? Are you going to kill your son? His friends?” Jacques, Heath and Matthew were still unconscious.

“Brin, Brin. Such a loyal friend but really stupid. You were willing to help out Jorg even when your wounds are not totally healed. So sad that when you’re nullified, your shoulder’d stop healing and you’d really be a cripple!” Then White turned to the councillors whose faces remained blank. “What are you waiting for? Handle Kean Feehan, and Brin as well. They’re not as strong as Jorg. They should be easy to nullify.”

However before they could do anything, the councillors, except for Lucia, disappeared from the room. Lucia looked around the room in panic.

“What’s happened?!” asked White.

“I don’t know … some one must have brought all of them out,” muttered Lucia.

“Who?!!” asked White. He stood up and tried to move himself out of the room but could not.

He looked and saw that the door was closed. He was more and more confused. Then he saw Iris standing inside the room. Iris had been standing outside the open room when Jorg entered. When the affected councillors had disappeared, she shut the door. White directed an attack at Iris but Jorg appeared in front of Iris and took the psychic blow. It did not faze him. White was confused. He realised that Jorg was not nullified at all. It had been a trick and he was trapped. However, he was not about to make it easy for Jorg to defeat him. He had something to take care first. He attacked Kean. Jorg moved in front to take the blow but before the blow struck Kean, White fired a psychic shot at Matthew. Jorg received the blow from White but did not have the time to make it to Matthew. The blow was deflected.

“How? Why?” White shouted.

“Just before you gave the order to nullify me, I extended a protective shield over the five councillors and they were freed from your control,” explained Jorg.

“Then … then …” stuttered White.

“They did nothing to me. They were receiving instructions from me to move out of the room the moment a signal was given. Brin was also unaffected. You don’t know how high he’s gone, White,” said Jorg. “After all, he’s been recovering from a physical wound. His mental training could still carry on.”

“He isn’t that strong! Unless …” said White as his face turned pale. “Lucia … you betrayed me.”

“No! No! I didn’t!” protested Lucia. “I’ve been loyal … uh …” Lucia collapsed as White hit her with a psychic blow.

“Another mistake White,” said Jorg. “You forget that neither Iris nor Kean was hit. They could still reinforce Brin’s shield.”

“But they aren’t that strong …” muttered a very distraught and confused White.

Jorg smiled. “Your room is made to shut off energy from entering and leaving. Even the life energies that magi normally absorb cannot enter here. When you launched your assault, you used up energies that was not replaced. In fact, all we did was to hold up a shield. You wasted your energies with the psychic blasts.”

“Then I’ll have to get out of here!” shouted White. He ran towards Iris and pushed her away as he ran out of the room. Iris got up and ran out of the room.

*Iris, stay and watch the others!* Jorg instructed. *I’ll go after him.* Jorg turned to his friends and said, “Look after Matthew and the rest. I’ll be okay. Iris’ll stay outside the room, just in case.” Then he focussed his energies and he disappeared.

Kean wanted to stay with Jorg mentally but he was unable to because the room was closed. He was very worried.

A minute went by very slowly. Then they heard a group of people coming into the room. Kean and Brin went on high alert.

“No, stop! It’s the good guys!” Iris shouted from outside the room.

“Sorry for giving you such a fright,” apologised Tsui. “Except for Benedict, all the unaffected Councillors are here.” Tsui looked at the fallen person of Lucia. She shook her head and transported Lucia back to Magi Headquarters.

“I think we should help out Jorg,” said Tsui. “Brin, take the unconscious Matthew and his friends and bring them back to the hotel whilst the rest of us help Jorg out. I’ll get reinforcements.” Brin nodded and he brought the group back to the hotel.

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