Published as a part of A Companion In Zeor #13, 14, 15 & 16
Jason leaned nonchalantly against the wall his arms folded across his chest as he watched Raymond, the Gen instructor, talking to Tony before he began to practice again with the various weapons spread out in front of him.
Jason, who in recent years had become more than just proficient in the use of many weapons, did not require Raymond to tell him that Tony was still very much the novice. As though reading his mind, Raymond's dark head turned to look at him and the instructor raised his eyebrows expressively, and then shrugged. Jason sighed. Tony had to put in a lot more time both at the shooting range and on the mat. True he would never be an expert in either discipline, but at least with enough effort he should be able to defend himself a little.
Tony turned towards him a smile on his lips, as he crossed the space between them. 'Well, what do you think?'
'You have to put in a lot more practice.' Jason said bluntly.
'I know, but I have so many duties to perform. I've already cut my sleep time from seven to six hours.'
'And that's another thing. We leave here at the end of the week you shouldn't be carrying out any householder work right now. You don't have the time. Have you spoken to Jordan about it?'
Tony shook his head. 'My workload has been cut by more than half. And Jordan is still carrying out all his responsibilities.'
'Of course he is, he's Sime! Look, Tony, either you speak to him about this, or I do.'
'I'm seeing him at breakfast I'll mention it then.'
'Okay, make sure you do.' Jason smiled at the Gen to soften his words, and then changed the subject. 'The Sime we're meeting tonight, Roy Peretti, do you know who he is?'
'Yes. Sectuib arranged for him to come here as soon as we knew the date of this assignment.'
'I know that. But who is he, and what does he do exactly?'
'Perhaps Jordan should tell you that.'
'Shen it Tony this isn't on a "need to know" basis. We're all in this. You may be a householder but I'm not, remember that and don't start playing politics with me please. We're going to be working together for some time and our lives quite literally are going to depend on each other. I don't want to go into this thing half blind because you're afraid to share information. So start changing your attitude right now, okay?'
'Yes, I'm sorry. It's hard to beak the habits of a lifetime.'
'I can appreciate that, apology accepted. Now, talk to me!'
'Let's walk across here it's a shortcut to Jordan's rooms. We usually breakfast there.' Jason fell into step beside him as he led the way. 'Peretti is an alias. He's a Channel, a Second. He has a Gen Companion who works alongside him, Wil Harris. They have both been working undercover for years now on two of the worlds that we know have large numbers of Distect living there. Both men have degrees in various disciplines, including alien psychology and biology.'
Jason snorted and Tony stopped talking and glanced across at him. 'You wished to make a comment?'
'No, just ignore me. I'll keep my thoughts to myself for the time being, carry on.'
'Very well,' Tony frowned slightly but continued, 'they have been able to glean a lot of information during the last few years, information that Jordan feels could be of great help to us.'
'You don't sound convinced.'
'I'll reserve judgement. These two men, they're householders I take it?'
'Which house, Zeor?'
'I'm sorry that really is on a need to know basis. You'll have to ask Jordan to tell you that. They'll be going off world again, and their lives could well depend on their anonymity. The less you or anyone else knows of their personal lives on Earth, the better.'
'Okay, I'll speak to Jordan if I want to know more,' and he gave a quick nod as they parted company, and Tony headed towards the Sectuib's rooms and his breakfast.
Jason was of course aware that he could not blame Tony for not readily answering his questions. He was after all a householder born and bred, and Jason was not. It was hardly surprising therefore that the Gen would be uncertain as to what information he could share openly with him and what he could not. And looking at it from his point of view, being tight lipped was a lot better than being loose mouthed.
Vidal and Jason were the last to arrive at the meeting that evening, which was being held in one of the smaller Conference Rooms. Vidal gave Jason one of his "there, didn't I say we'd be late" looks, and bit back an angry "tut" as his Companion smiled sweetly back at him in that infuriating way that was his alone.
Earlier in the day Jason had told Vidal what Tony had said about Peretti and Harris, and as he had expected, his partner knew all there was to know about them. He also shared the information freely with his Companion.
Indeed, Vidal had gone on to explain that they did not belong to either Zeor or any of the other older established households, but to a new one; one that had been brought into being and established in recent times. Five years ago to be exact, around the time that Jordan had begun to take an interest in Distect activities, and to wonder if they could be turned to Earth's advantage.
The household was made up of various scientists and intellectuals drawn from many of the households on Earth. Men and women who were quite prepared for a time, to give up their normal lives, and to go and live amongst the Distect members, to study and report back on both them and their way of life.
The young household in question was being run by a small number of dedicated people based here on Earth, and to keep what it did a secret from the outside world, only the Sectuib of a household and his second in command were aware of exactly what some of its members were doing.
'So what's it called?' Jason demanded.
'Glory, yes I've heard of it, but I can't remember what I've heard. Except it was nothing to do with the Distect.' Jason admitted honestly.
'Well, when a Household is first set up, and not many have been established in the last century; they have to give it a name, colours and mundane things of that nature, and most important of all, its raison d'être.'
'Raison d'être?' Jason interrupted, 'what's that?'
'It's reason for existing, its purpose, something that would distinguish it from all the other Households - for example Frihill, whose interest lies mainly in history and archaeology, and Imil who are into fashion and design; although nowadays they're all into diversification too of course.'
'Yes I see what you mean. They couldn't very well say that the new Household Glory was "sending its members to Distect worlds to spy on the inhabitants,"' Jason observed with a grin. 'So come on tell me, what do they say?'
'That Glory is a House dedicated to meditation and spiritual enlightenment.'
'Of course that's right!' Jason snapped his fingers together. 'I remember now. There was quite a lot of comment in the media at the time, something about finding themselves and searching for their soul, all that sort of crap!'
Vidal sighed as he nodded. 'Crap? Not exactly how I would have defined their stated goals and intentions but essentially correct I suppose.'
'They're a "closed order" too aren't they? That's a hell of a good cover story. No one can go and just visit the place without the sanction of the resident Sectuib, right?'
'Correct. It was planned and set up that way. In the very beginning they let the media go in and take pictures of everything, all very open and above board, nothing hidden.' Vidal smiled briefly, 'and because of that, unlike other households, no one from outside a household can apply to join. In other words Glory only accepts candidates from other Households.
'On top of that only the Sectuib of an existing Household can apply to transfer one of his own members to Glory. This means that new members are carefully vetted for all the necessary qualifications, well before they're offered a place there.' Vidal explained, and then went on.
'Of course, there are some who are genuine house members; people who really are there purely for enlightenment and meditation purposes, and nothing more. However, for security reasons they know nothing at all about the more, for want of a better word, "nefarious" activities undertaken by other Glory members.'
'So if anyone takes enough interest in Household Glory to break into the place, they'll simply find what appears to all intents and purposes, to be a bona fide regime being carried on, on the premises?' Jason asked finally, and Vidal had replied.
Jason's thoughts were interrupted as he realised that he was being introduced to their two guests, and he quickly pulled himself back to the present with a wry grin. 'Sorry about that, I was miles away.' He confessed, as he studied the Sime and Gen with open interest.
Both men were not just thin, they were almost painfully skinny, indeed if he had not seen the Gen's forearms; he might easily have mistaken him for a Sime.
Roy Peretti was tall and had straight black hair cut like a cap on his head similar to a monk on old statues he had seen, and he also had intelligent black button eyes. Whilst the Gen called Wil Harris, although just as tall, had a mass of short red curls that looked more like wool than hair, and light pale brown eyes.
As soon as the introductions were completed, the two men took the vacant seats at the head of the long table, with Jordan, Tony, Vidal, and Jason, ranged on each side of them. It was Jordan who spoke first.
'I asked Roy and Wil to come and speak to us tonight, because I think we all have some very preconceived ideas about the Distect, many of which are outdated, and in some cases based on sheer ignorance. Therefore, as we will be living and moving amongst these people then the more we can understand them, the more chance we'll have of completing our mission.' He nodded at the two men. 'All of us are to some degree in the dark on this subject, so the floor is yours gentlemen; please enlighten us.'
Roy cleared his throat and leaning forward began to speak in the clear and very precise tones of a lecturer. For the first hour he gave them only basic and general information that covered the way most members of the Distect lived, dressed and worked. Jason wasn't sure what he expected to hear, but he quickly realised that in many ways they seemed to live their lives along similar lines to most of the people on Earth. This was hardly surprising, since basically they all came from the same rootstock.
It was only when Tony asked Roy a question that Jason was able to whisper his own query to Vidal. 'Couldn't he have simply given us a written summary of all this, to read at our leisure?'
His partner bit back a sigh. 'Yes, he could. But would you have bothered to read it? Besides, this way we can ask questions.'
Before Jason could think up a suitably scathing reply, Wil had taken over from Roy and began to speak sounding just as precise and pedantic as his colleague, except he spoke with a slight dialect, one that Jason could not place. So he spent the next few minutes ruminating on where the Gen came from originally.
'Now there are several rather interesting things that we have discovered about some members of the Distect.' Harris paused. 'I must however emphasise, that as with most things in any Society, these observations do not apply to everyone. No more than they would amongst our own people.'
Jason stifled a yawn as he willed the Gen to get on with it, and then realised that Roy, Jordan and Vidal were all staring across at him. Damn it, was nothing safe from their prying? Glancing across at Tony he saw he was smirking openly. Quickly he turned his attention back to Wil Harris, ignoring all the others, and endeavouring to look as innocent as he could.
'As most of you will be aware, it's less than half a century since the last witch was burned for practising her black art here on Earth.' Wil stated calmly, and Jason's attention flew back to the head of the table. What, if anything, did witchcraft have to do with the Distect? Had he missed something important here?
Roy Peretti took up the narrative. 'That's true. But the definition of witchcraft varies according to who is discussing it.'
'Sorry, but I don't understand what you're getting at.' Jason interrupted.
'May I answer that?' The Sectuib asked as he glanced across at Wil and Roy, who both nodded their agreement. 'It's quite simple really Jason. Tell me, what do you define as witchcraft?'
'Well if I believed in it at all, which I don't. I suppose I'd say sorcery, and the casting of spells and things of that nature, would constitute magic as I understand the word. I don't mean stage magic or anything like that, because most of what magicians do is only trickery or slight of hand anyway.'
'There is a great deal of difference between a stage magician and what we are talking about here. What about the ability to move objects with nothing but the mind, to set fires without being physically present at the time, or to levitate?'
Jason stared across at Jordan in surprise. 'I've read about such things, who hasn't? But you're not telling me you actually believe them to be true? I've never seen anyone do something like that without the aid of props, have you?' He challenged.
'No I haven't.' Jordan conceded.
'Well there you are, then.'
'But to continue my original question if I may. Tell me Jason, how would you define the abilities I have just mentioned?'
'I don't know. I suppose if someone was born with such skills, then I don't think I would really call it magic. But, if that person had to use some outside influence, say a potion or spell, to help them achieve the same end. Then yes, I suppose for want of a better definition, you could legitimately call it magic. Is that what you mean?'
'Yes.' Jordan glanced around the table. 'However, you are the only one here who does not know very much about the Farris line. I think perhaps it's time that you knew just a little more. I would only ask that you do not repeat anything that I tell you now to anyone else outside this room.' He paused while Jason nodded quickly.
'Magic, voodoo, witchcraft, call it what you may, has been practised since the very dawn of time. Now whether we take that measurement from the beginning of the ancient civilisation; or the splitting of humanity into Sime and Gen, doesn't really matter.
'After all, in parts of our Globe even today, whether you believe it to be true or not, magic is still carried out with varying degrees of success by sorcerers and other exponents of the art. Now let me make it clear, what we are talking about here is not that type of magic. Although both types of magic undoubtedly exist,' Jordan suddenly extended his tentacles and touched the tips of his fingers, before he went on. 'I take it that at your school the curriculum covered the setting up of the Households, and the birth of the modern Tecton?'
'Yes, and the basic history of Zeor was compulsory reading as well.' He said with a slight grimace.
'Good. However, fortunately or unfortunately according to which side of the fence you happen to be standing on, the complete history of Zeor and the Farris line has always been sketchy at best. Schools usually tend to concentrate on a handful of important people who have been deemed to have changed history, for example, Klyd Farris, Rindaleo Hayashi, Digen Farris and Ercy Farris. Although many don't realise the full role that Ercy played.' Jordan smiled briefly before he went on. 'It's hardly surprising when you remember that during the more turbulent times a lot of documentation was lost, and we have to rely on word of mouth stories handed down, or written down years and years after various events actually happened. In many instances it's the only proof we have today - if it can be called proof - as to what actually transpired at that time.'
Tony got up from the table and walked to the side buffet to brew a pot of trin. He obviously knew the story by heart, Jason thought with a grin.
'Now one of the more recent events involves my ancestor Digen Farris, and his daughter Ercy.'
Jason nodded, 'I've read about him. He became a Doctor in the Gen sense of the word, worked in hospitals and operated on people - physically operated, hands on - not like today when Channels do it by remote control.'
'Exactly. I can only guess what he must have gone through at that time in a wholly Gen run hospital and operating theatre, with no backup at all from other Simes.' Jordan shuddered openly at the mere thought.
'Wasn't Digen the one who brought down the original Distect, blew it up or something?'
'He had a hand in bringing down Rior that's true, but Ilyana Dumas was the one who actually caused the explosion; and it was not the only Distect settlement either. We now know that there were others. Also not all members of Rior died in the explosion, many escaped, and though injured, they joined up with various Distect groups in other areas. Which is where the modern Distect as we know it today, has originated.' He looked up to thank Tony who had placed a glass of trin in front of him on the table. 'However, in this instance, more important even than Digen himself, was his daughter Ercy.'
'Didn't she run off with her Companion? I can't remember his name.' Jason murmured, frowning slightly.
'Grant Halimer.' Jordan replied, for none of the men in the room whether Sime or Gen were aware that the passing of time had caused the name of Halimer Grant to be transposed.
'Yes Grant Halimer, that's him. I understood it was a love story.'
'I suppose it was in a way. However the official story that was put out to the media at that time, was far different from what really happened. But I digress. What happened to Ercy Farris and Grant Halimer is not relevant at the moment. But what is important is what Ercy was capable of doing.'
Jason frowned. 'What she was capable of? As far as I can remember the history books mentioned something about her using the phases of the Moon to help her grow prize plants. I think someone accused her of using witchcraft, but we now know that that's nonsense, because we use that method today, nothing magical about it at all.'
'True. But Ercy was capable of a lot more than that. Zeor has documentation, written by Digen himself, in which he states...' To Jason's annoyance Jordan stopped, and picking up his glass of trin in his tentacles sipped at the hot liquid. Jason picked up his own glass to stop himself from shouting at the Sectuib, to get the hell on with it!
A few seconds later the Channel did just that, 'According to my esteemed relation, his daughter had several unusual abilities including telekinesis and clairvoyance. She could also apparently teleport not only herself, but others, from one place to another.' His voice dropped an octave lower, 'Digen Farris also stated that Ercy had pyrokinetic capabilities.'
'You mean she had the ability to set fires? She was a firebug?'
Vidal joined in the conversation. 'Because she had pyrokinetic abilities, does not mean she was necessarily an arsonist Jason.'
'No Vidal, your Companion is essentially correct. If someone has such a unique ability, but cannot control it, then yes she could well be called a firebug. In actual fact, when the phenomenon first manifested itself she was totally unable to control it, which is one of the reasons why she decided to go away with Grant Halimer. His people could teach her to both control and use the gifts she possessed.'
'Okay so she could do all those things, and I suppose to the ignorant she might well be thought of as a witch. But what has all this to do with the modern Distect?'
'I'll explain if you'll allow me to do so.'
'Sorry, my lips are sealed.' Jason pantomimed locking his lips and throwing away the key.
'Thank you. Now during his remaining years Digen did a thorough investigation into the phenomenon to see if any of the various gifts she had displayed, had also manifested themselves in any other members of his House, or indeed any other Households. He found that they had not. Only in Zeor had they come to light, and only in Ercy through the Farris line.' Jordan paused and then went on more slowly. 'Since then some of my ancestors, even up to the present day have displayed some unusual gifts, but nothing to rival Ercy.'
'I recall you telling me once that your Uncle Miles had some telekinesis ability.' Vidal reminded him.
'True. But as I also told you, the Tecton prefer us not to broadcast the fact, and so he did not pursue it. In fact the only time he used the ability at all, was at family birthday parties mostly to entertain the children. Unfortunately he died when I was ten, so I never had the chance to discuss the matter with him.'
'And you haven't discovered anything unusual in yourself?' Vidal pressed.
'No. But then to be honest; I've always been far too busy to pursue the matter to any great extent. I shall have to give it more consideration, when I have the time.'
'I see what you're getting at now.' Jason forgot his promise of silence, as he made the intuitive jump. 'You believe that most, if not all these abilities might perhaps be found in some members of the modern Distect, right?'
'Yes I do. Remember that Hugh Valleroy founded Rior, and at one time Valleroy and Farris blood were intermingled.
'That's right! Didn't one of Valleroy's descendants kidnap one of the Farris women?'
'Yes, but we haven't got time for a history lesson now. I'm sure Vidal will fill you in on the relevant facts if you ask him.' Jordan snapped.
'Sorry I didn't mean to interrupt again, carry on.' He said graciously.
'What we don't know for certain, is whether this ability came only through the Farris line, the mingling of both lines, or indeed if the Valleroy line also developed these unusual abilities, independently, quite possibly around the same time.' Jordan glanced across at Vidal. 'As you know the Farris gene was considered so important that promiscuity was positively encouraged. Perhaps the same philosophy was followed in Rior, again we just don't know. Records simply haven't survived.'
'So they encouraged sleeping around. You know, I don't think I'd have needed any encouragement if I'd been around then. Those were the days eh?' Jason winked across at Tony, managing to ignore Vidal's stony glare, before he went on. 'Then again of course it could have nothing at all to do with either family. Perhaps it was just a natural progression in evolution that just happened to manifest itself at that time. Okay, we know it was noticed in this Ercy girl because of who she was, but would it also have been noticed in some one who happened to live in the back of beyond somewhere? I very much doubt it. They'd simply have been burned as a witch, wouldn't they?'
'I can see your point, and I agree it is a possibility.'
'You don't sound very convinced Sectuib, can I hear a "but" coming?'
'Yes, because to be honest, I'm not convinced.'
'But Jordan, think! As I understand it a lot of people were being burned for witchcraft around that time. More especially of course in Gen territory; can you be absolutely certain that all of them were charlatans? Couldn't some of them have had exactly the same abilities as this Ercy was supposed to have? After all, to the ignorant, even clairvoyance would have seemed like a form of magic, and that's not even counting the other abilities you mentioned.' Jason leaned forward across the table as he went on earnestly. 'And just consider if they couldn't control these talents, and had no one like this Halimer fellow to help teach them control. They might very well have been considered sorcerers or demons, simply because of the hand that fate was cruel enough to deal them!'
'Again I concede the validity of your argument, but I still maintain that the only documentary proof we have, is based on Ercy Farris, and on her alone.'
'And apart from your Uncle Miles and possibly a few others, there's been no one else in your family ever since, who could set fires and levitate?' Jason pressed, still unconvinced.
'Not to my knowledge. However to be honest with you, Households now carry out very little research into anything of this nature. Even the normal duties that we have carried out over the centuries have, for the most part been taken over by the Tecton long ago. Our status today is more of an honorary nature, and little else. I think I speak for all Householders when I say that we no longer even bother to monitor our people for unusual skills.' Jordan looked across at Jason as he spoke. 'In the same way, that since the introduction of the Rindaleo Hayashi teaching machines, towards the beginning of the last century, we no longer look for Gens with outstanding transfer talents or any other type of ability.'
'We've all been extremely lax.' Tony replied, and Jordan nodded his agreement.
'But to cut to the chase, you believe the Distect far from ignoring or trying to hide these talents, have been actively pursuing them - right?'
'Yes I do. And Household Glory agrees with me.' He looked at Roy and Wil who were both nodding their heads.
'So we're going to be up against Distect Simes and Gens with unknown skills we can neither emulate nor fight. Just great!' Jason tapped his fingers on the table and then raised his green eyes to meet Vidal's dark ones. 'How come the Organisation hasn't utilised these skills before now? It doesn't sound like them to just ignore the possibilities that they open up, does it?'
'No it doesn't,' his partner conceded.
'We've been thinking along those lines for some time.' Jordan stated. 'We know the Organisation does most of their recruiting from the Distect home worlds. And it could be that the Distect, unlike us, has discovered a method of finding out who has been so gifted in early childhood. Then again, perhaps these various abilities only become evident in their teens, or even at changeover. Pure conjecture, I know, but a basic hypothesis is all we have at the moment.'
'Okay, so let's say they can find out who these kids are. What do they do with them?' Jason demanded.
'Ah, now that's the big question isn't it?' Tony said with a smile.
'I have to admit that we have not been able to find out anything concrete regarding that.' Wil admitted. 'If anyone does know the answer, they're certainly not very forthcoming in talking about it, not to anyone.'
Roy leaned back in his chair his black button eyes moving to encompass the entire table. 'We have considered the possibility that such children might all be brought together in one place. Perhaps a school or even a research institute has been suggested.'
'Sounds reasonable to me, and if they've been actively looking for these children, and not just sweeping the whole thing under the proverbial carpet, they must be decades ahead of us.' Jason observed candidly. 'But there's one crumb of hope in all this isn't there? There's got to be a reason why the Organisation hasn't got any of these kids working for them yet; because if they were I'm sure we'd know about it by now. So either the Organisation don't know of their existence, or if they do, the ordinary Distect members won't let them be recruited.'
'But why would they do that?' Tony asked looking across at Jason.
'I don't know, but whatever their reasons, we have to be grateful.'
'I agree, but how much longer can this state of affairs go on? After all, if we have reason to believe that they exist. Then it follows, that the Organisation must also be aware of their existence, and will be actively seeking them.' Roy glanced around to see if anyone was going to argue with his analysis.
'And therein lies the crux of the problem.' Jordan said with a deep sigh.
'Sectuib, perhaps you should mention the other matter?'
'We have no real proof, Roy.'
'No that's true, but at least two of our people have heard stories in the last year alone, and Wil and I have also heard rumours.'
'But none of it has any real substance, so I wonder whether it's wise to muddy the waters at this time.'
'That's up to you of course.'
'Look if there's something you haven't told us, don't you think you should?' Jason demanded, looking from Roy to Jordan and back again.
'Jason, please. If Jordan feels the information he has is not truly sound.'
'Shut up Vidal! I for one want to hear everything these men know, whether it's true or not! Forewarned is forearmed as far as I'm concerned.'
Tony gasped at the way Jason had spoken to the Channel, but managed not to comment, and neither did anyone else. Jordan merely grinned ruefully, and extended his tentacles towards Vidal who was opening his mouth to speak. 'No my friend, I agree with your Companion. It's wrong not to tell you everything, even though I don't believe all that I've heard. Will you do the honours Roy?'
'As you wish,' the tall thin Sime turned to face Jason and Vidal. 'I must stress that what I am about to tell you is not proven, and is based only on rumour and hearsay.'
Jason bit his tongue as he tried not to yell, "spit it out!" Why the shen did householders take so long getting to the point?
'We understand that some members of the Distect can change their appearance at will.' Roy said bluntly.
'Change their appearance?' Jason asked. 'You mean cosmetically?'
'No, he means they can shape-shift.' Vidal stated, not even bothering to keep the scepticism out of his voice.
'Well if that's what he meant, it's no big deal.' Jason said looking around the room. 'We know for a fact there are shape-shifters on Tal'Sha'Vai, which is why their whole system is off limits to humans.'
'The shape shifters on Tal'Sha'Vai can turn into anything they choose, from a human to a rock.' Roy informed them, 'The Distect shape-shifters that we are talking about. If indeed they exist at all.'
'And if you ask me, that's a very big if!' Vidal interrupted.
'Agreed. If they exist at all, then from what we have heard, Distect shape-shifters can only change into animals.'
'You mean like a mouse or a lion?' Jason gave a bark of incredulous laughter.
'No. A mouse would be far too small. The animal they become would have to be of an equal body mass to themselves. Also they can simply change at will, or so we've heard, they don't need any outside influence to assist them.'
'He means like a full Moon.' Wil said baldly.
Roy nodded and then hesitated before he went on more slowly. 'Several of our people have suggested that this shape shifting ability might well be due to inter-breeding, possibly with the indigenous people of at least one of the planets in the quadrant they have settled in.'
'That's a possibility I suppose,' Tony murmured, and grinned broadly, 'after all what if humans had landed on Tal'Sha'Vai before they'd known about the shape shifters living there? Inter-breeding might well have taken place, especially if the two species were physically compatible. It always has elsewhere.'
'Yes, sex always seems to find a way. I think it's one of the few constants in this Universe of ours.' Jason smiled back at Jordan's Companion. 'But I'd hate to think what the result might have been if they had interbred. Just think back to the early days of space travel, a lot of mistakes were made in the beginning. Remember the fiasco on Hibbler 342 in the Jarreaux System?'
'No, I don't recall that. Hibbler 342 did you say?'
'Tony! Jason, please! As interesting as I know the Hibbler incident was, can you please discuss it later, and let us get on?'
'Sorry Sectuib.' Tony said at once.
Jason simply nodded his head and avoided looking at Vidal's frowning face. 'Going back to the shape shifters, there have been stories about such creatures living on Earth in the dim and distant past, haven't there?'
'I take it you're talking about werewolves, and the full Moon syndrome that Wil just referred to. They are and never were, anything more than legends and folk tales.' Vidal stated unequivocally, and with finality.
'That's it, no more discussion everyone - the Oracle has spoken!'
'Sarcasm is not called for Jason. We all know that werewolves were mythical creatures that could supposedly change from human to wolf form at the time of the full Moon. Has anyone heard of anything more ridiculous?' He glanced around the table, and everyone apart from his partner, appeared to agree with him.
'I'm surrounded by so many closed minds. Which is strange, since you are all perfectly prepared to accept that the shape-shifters on Tay'She'Vai are real, and that there just might be humans who can change into an animal shape on at least one of the Distect planets. So tell me gentlemen, if that's not the same as werewolves, what is? And as far as the Moon is concerned, it affects all kinds of things on Mother Earth, from plants to tides. After all, if some humans in the past could change their shape, why shouldn't they be affected by the Moon when doing so?'
'Point taken,' Jordan said with a smile, 'And as I recall, you come from a part of the world where some of the tales about werewolves and such first originated.'
Jason grinned. 'Yes, I suppose I do. As a matter of fact my maternal Grandmother had what was euphemistically called "the sight." My mother told me it has always been in our family, sometimes it's missed a generation, as it missed my mother, but it always returns.'
'Indeed?' Jordan settled his gaze on the young Gen. 'Correct me if I'm wrong, but as I understand it isn't "the sight," a form of clairvoyance?'
'Yes, I suppose it is.'
'Tell me, has it at any time, manifested itself in you?'
'If it had I would have known about it.' Vidal interrupted, as Jason said almost simultaneously. 'Yes it has.'
'You never mentioned it to me, and I've certainly never been aware of it.' His partner snapped, looking slightly annoyed.
'No, it's always been too vague Vidal. Just a general feeling that something is wrong, or is about to happen, nothing really specific. Some people would call it a hunch I suppose, but it's a bit more than that - a premonition perhaps.'
'The next time it happens, mention it to one of us.'
Jason stared into the Sectuib's earnest face. 'Yes, I will,' he promised.
'Good, even a vague warning of possible trouble, is better than no warning at all.' Jordan stated, and no one argued with that.
Read Chapter 4
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Companion in Zeor is Copyright © 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 by Sime~Gen Inc.
A New Beginning is copyright © 2000, 2001 by Sime~Gen Inc.
The Sime~Gen universe was created by Jacqueline Lichtenberg and is owned by Sime~Gen Inc. This story and its setting may not be reused without explicit permission of the Corporation. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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