I am now the CEO's favorite 'almost' chief. I finished my report this morning, and then asked if he had reports from other Citywide units in the region. As a thank you he forwarded me copies of their reports.
I spent the better part of the day pulling the data out of the reports and remapping the incidents. As expected several more incidents appeared than originally tabulated. I know it means something but I have no idea what. That's not my area of expertise. No, I can crunch the numbers but what it means, that's someone else's department.
I handed my results in to the Star, the Marshal Service and the Lodge. There's a serious advantage to having representatives of each around the Sunday Night Dinner Table.
While the magically oriented people started going over my reports, I began researching a few things myself. By dinnertime we'd all pretty much reached the same conclusions: there are four probable days between now and New Years, and a general idea as to location.
The possible dates:
December 16th - New Moon
December 17th - First day of the next Lunar Month
December 17th - Total Eclipse
December 21st - Winter Solstice
December 31st - Last Full Moon of the year/Last day of the old year.
The possible locations:
The trend we've been able to identify puts the 'ideal place' anywhere along the ring of fire, including Seattle and the South Pacific and the Total Eclipse is going to be best viewed just south and east of New Zealand.
When it comes to mystical mumbo-jumbo, a total eclipse along the ring of fire in the shadow of a new moon sounds pretty much like the recipe for 'weird shit' to me.
Interpol, the Marshal Service and the Star's Magical intervention team all seem to agree with me. They also all agree that the 'where' is rather up in the air. Since we don't know what is going to happen, if anything, we're trying to cover as many bases as we can.
Case and Nathan will be traveling with the Star's contingent to the site of the total eclipse.
I had another long talk with Philip. Let's face it with Jonathan still on the mend he's not going to be up to watching over me, and Philip is our defacto head of security.
When he asked what to expect, I gave him the clearest answer I could. I figure it will either be a plague of frogs or free pizza delivery. Let's face it, you can never tell with this city.
He made me promise I'd stay on the Island as much as I could, and if circumstances took me off the island, I'd be playing by his rules. We agreed that most of the 'fun' would occur on the 17th during the eclipse, which would be the 18th for Case and company. There's no real way of telling but judging by the range of the 'incidents' nowhere is really going to be all that safe.
The ball is in the air and all we can do is play it loose and fast and pray we get it right.
Three days till the eclipse. Case and the others are somewhere in the South Pacific and I've got… snow. And did I mention… snow?
Yeah, even if I were on the bike, I'd be off of it right now, putting chains on a bus. Fortunately the weather, the situation and Jr. relegated me to a day of paperwork. I had to go into the office for a few things and I'm not sure if I was shadowing Philip and Michael or they were shadowing me but either way I made it through with nothing worse than a paper cut and a strong craving for something from the Orc underground.
Today was surprisingly mellow all things considered. There were no (known) attempts to kidnap me or interfere with me doing my job. If anything the streets were quiet enough to be unsettling.
I behaved myself and followed Philip's lead and the city seemed to co-operate. It was enough to worry me. Odds are if any pre-ritual events are planned they'll be tomorrow and probably kept as quiet as possible.
Friday seems both far away and way too close for comfort.
I talked to Case tonight. They're almost in position and they'll be running silent from now until after the eclipse. They've got a lot of ocean to cover, but the full eclipse will only affect a limited area for about three minutes: December 17th 00:19 to 00:23 Zulu time that's the target.
We're about 8 hours behind so it will start about 16:19 our time.
We won't see anything, but I have a feeling we're going to feel it.
Note to self: 00:19 December 17th Zulu time is indeed 16:19 Seattle time… the day before. I’m still trying to get my mind around everything that’s happened, and let me tell you—there’s been a lot. To say the day was hectic would have been an understatement. There were back to back calls from about 06:00 on.
We had snipers, snipers with drones, accidents, bomb threats, fires, protests… pretty much anything that could spread our forces thin. It was like all the previous incidents were just dry runs for today and for all I know that’s exactly what they were.
We were coping and Philip and Michael were doing their level best to protect me right until a demon with a face of fire closed in on us, completely focused on Michael. One minute Philip was warning me that something was targeting us and the next Michael was lifted up like a rag doll and the heavens seemed to open up.
Philip and I tried to adapt but whatever had him was something only a mage would understand and neither of us qualified. I mean, we could see whatever it was was using Michael’s power to open or hold something but we were at a loss.
Gunfire only made the demon return fire and his was a lot more potent and affective against us than ours was against him. It was then I heard a voice inside my head… Yachachek.
“Jessica, it is time…” he said. For a moment time stood still until I finally understood the power of the statue wasn’t finished… not yet. It had one more thing to do—and that was to seal the hole that was opening above us.
Now I’m both tired and hyper and Jr. seems to be doing the Yang Long form…
I’ll write more when I understand what actually happened…
It's taken the better part of the day for Jr. to calm down, and for the rest of us to figure out just what happened. We're still not sure of all the details and I think Philip's more than a little… annoyed with me for telling him that the eclipse was today.
It was today… it just wasn't our 'today'.
I think he was more than a little annoyed that he'd been caught off guard, but let's face it he made the classic mistake: he listened to his little sister.
In my own defense, I'm a medic, and while I may be an information junkie I don't claim to know everything. When I read 'December 17th' I think… well… today.
At 16:19 yesterday, the eclipse began at 13:19 today.
We know that in Seattle the forces at hand were kept busy with all sorts of situations, all designed to bring out our magical forces and slowly but surely bring them to the point where they were needed: as a power source.
In Seattle the chosen source was Michael. In Cal Free State it was a Phoenix Shaman, in Hawaii it was a Priestess of Pele… all powerful fire/firelike Shamen providing power that would, quite literally burn them out.
They were to form a wedge to help open up a tear shaped tear in the fabric of our world… a rift.
They were all pulled into the air suspended by the power that had been summoned over the course of the year. All at the same time as the moon cast its shadow in the South Pacific on a boat that had been turned into floating temple.
It started a chain of events and sacrifices all timed to the eclipse. Yachachek had felt the pull of the magics involved long before I'd caught on, long before any of us even realized something had found Michael 'intersting'.
I wouldn't put it past him to have set things in motion to get us to re-unite with the statue… It was, in his words 'the only thing with enough power to seal the rift.'
It was the only thing short of sacrificing the power of a dragon… or a feathered snake to do it. From what I've been able to gather that would have done it too… Is it any wonder he wanted us to use the power of the Inca instead?
Hopefully next time, if there is a next time, he'll get that old adage of a stitch in time saving nine.
As it was the nine came in the form of a medic, her head of security, a Shalish Lodge, the power of a long line of Incan Kings, a LoneStar Magical Strike Team, A Marshal, an Interpol SWAT Team and a mismatched pair of heroes.
And somehow, we did it.
While I was releasing the power of the statue, using it to free Michael from the demon creature I saw and seal the barrier between them, Case, Nathan, Tabs and their contingent were interrupting the sacrifice at sea.
The power destroyed the boat, sending everyone scurrying. Nathan and Tabs were on the wrong side of the ship when it went down, but somehow… Nathan pulled off his escape in style. By the time the rescue ship found them with the help of Mom Walker and company, he and Tabs were halfway to Tahiti in a dingy, sipping fruity drinks brought to them by a spirit.
Michael is doing better and Jr. has finally settled down. I'm going to think of the consequences of our actions… tomorrow. For now, I'm just happy we're all in once piece.
I have spent the better part of the day with Neo-Natal specialists, a feathered snake, Trina, Mom Walker and the whole lodge both individually and as a group.
It started with me not getting any sleep last night. It seems doing Tai-Chi forms wasn't enough for Jr. and he's taken up Aikido.
And I thought caffeine was bad.
It seems that exposure to that much power, no matter how indirectly is not good for a developing child, especially one who will be, most likely, awakened.
I am now under orders to do nothing more taxing than sit in front of the Trid until he decides to make his grand appearance. There will be no Christmas calls, no New Years details, nothing..
I am to be watched over, pampered and protected, and I'm going to enjoy every minute of it, until it gets old. I'm predicting about half an hour before I crack.
Mom Walker and the rest of the contingent were betting on somewhat less time, and have been plotting ways to enforce my pampertude.
It seems a trip to Tahiti to meet my husband and spend the rest of my 'convalescence' time in a resort that just happens to be next to one of the world's premier magical/holistic/hi-tech neonatal care facility is indeed just what the doctor, the shaman and mages ordered.
It also seems to be just what they ordered for Jonathan, but I think that was more to get him out of their hair than anything else. He's almost as bad a patient as I am. I guess it goes with being teased. He's never been hurt this badly before.
Copyright 2010 M.T. Decker