NaNoWriMo 2007 – Eight pt01

Eight. (in its unedited NaNo mad glory) 
Its Magic. Idiot.
Sitting at the register of Sctoma Sera was bored. She had plans to meet Bug later that night flaming over to DC for dinner and a movie or a night of wandering that might bring them back into the city but for now she was bored.
It was the middle of the day on a Wednesday, not many people were in the market for suppressors, amulets, or any of the other back room goods and the front room was a hodgepodge of craft supplies. Felt, yarn, cloth, papers, paints, pencils, all the accoutrements for an aspiring artist or crafter.
Turning to the cash register that was also a fully functioning computer she sighed.
****

Standing on park she glanced toward Grand Central and stared. Ever since the first time she had seen the giant statue of Hermes she had been entranced. She watched trying to decipher if it was an unconscious illusion. She held up her camera an excuse to any one paying attention to her that she was just a foolish tourist, as much as the very thought rankled her.
She watched as the same uncanny event that she had seen since she was a child happened. Hermes stepped out of his pose and despite the distance looked directly at her with empty stone eyes. Then as he stood facing her his hands began to move in the gestures that she still did not understand but knew they had to have some meaning.
He touched both wrists to each other, then his right hand went to his groin with the fingers splayed his hand came out and went back in and lastly his left wrist with fingers splayed as well touched his temple. Staring longer Sera wondered what it all meant hoping this tape would help her as he returned to his flight position. She looked around her and wondered if there were any who were not normal and if they had seen anything.
Sighing as the lunch crowd swelled around her she walked over to 5th avenue and the library. Standing outside coffee cup in hand and, in a pair of dark blue jeans and a long sleeved navy button down over a black t-shirt, Josh stood his blue eyes amused as he smiled at passers by be they male or female. It was only a matter of time until someone stopped, then again knowing Joshua it was a matter of time until someone else stopped.
“Are you done with your deep dark secret mission?” He asked sliding into step with her his arm going around her waist. Enjoying the light weather they walked together to Bryant Park, sitting at one of the larger tables and she pulled out the camera and played the video over for Joshua.
“What am I supposed to be seeing?” He asked and she looked over and watched the statue move its hand from over its groin, out and back in and frowned.
“Is the statue doing anything?”
“Being a statue?”
Frowning Sera stared at the camera and knew it should not be possible. She had a task force issued camera; it would show any illusion that a person saw no matter what.
“I can see it.”
“Show me what its doing then.”
Sera stood shaking her head and repeated the gestures. Sensing movement at the corner of her eye she spun but saw nothing out of the ordinary or what had drawn her attention.
Joshua looked thoughtful for a moment hair falling into his eyes. “It looks familiar but I ca not place it. I know you wanted to send Jamie a file but you doing it works just as well. Just make sure.”
“Yes, the motions are exactly correct. Your little brother is a tad bit creepy.”
“He’s a genius and supposedly destined to fulfill a prophecy that no one can agree on. He should not have to grow up like that.”
Sera fell silent feeling foolish for brining up his past. It was only 12 years ago in fact that Joshua who had been groomed for the same wavering prophecy had been cast out a half-breed unsuitable to be the savior of were kind. The son of the queen of America and an Incubus Lord, the ‘abomination’ that he was had only been kept around because he was the child of the new world queen.
But the moment she had become impregnated by her latest consort and had a full were child Josh had been cast out. His brother more tech savvy than their ancient mother would ever be was the way he kept in touch with that side of his family.
Being taken in by his father had been a curse and a blessing. He had remained the boy prince for years fifteen and no older, just barely entering manhood. He had not known what it would mean to age with his other half.
There were times when Sera could see in his eyes that he wished he had remained 15, not for any foolish reason as to avoid responsibility, he had thought the fate of his entire race was his responsibility but to go back to a time where heads did not turn as he walked whether he willed it so or not. A time when he did not have to have a bed partner every few days or fall ill and eventually die.
She had not known him before the change but it did not mean she could not see. She understood that sometimes he just did not want to be what he was. As much as he played at enjoying it she hoped he would become stronger, needing less feedings. Or would be able to develop a secondary feeding style.
His father could feed on sex as well as the fresh passion of others. She had not understood until she learned that he owned a chain of hotels known for their amazing honeymoon suites in places such as Hawaii, Aruba, San Juan, and even New York which had surprised her. She loved her home, but felt honeymoons had to be someplace exotic, Joshua had laughed at her and said only a native could walk around this city and think it normal.
Joshua yawned and she stared at his teeth though they were perfectly normal, perfect, white, and straight but nothing otherworldly. She had no idea what he turned into when the moon was full, part of his mother’s decree as no one knew what she became, her children would take after one of their parents unless they had a powerful affinity for another animal.
Without his title as a buffer anymore the story of his birth had made the rounds again after 100 some odd years. And people assumed whatever he was, his mother was as well. Depending on the strength of the creature another may try to claim her centuries old throne.
Her edict had been in place longer than the colonies and because of that American were’s were just that. Weres. Only one from South America, Asia, or Europe would call themselves Werewolf or Werebear, or like African weres still used the truly old title Werehunter.
Wereprey were believed to be extinct or in hiding. They did not want to resume the hunt. Though weres were nearly invincible in their animal form, it was not appealing to be prey. The hunt would not harm the prey but they would be like slaves the rest of the month.
“What are you thinking?”
“Wereprey and if they are really gone, or if they are like the elves.”
“We know where the elves are, we know they are still there because their magic is still there. We just are not stupid enough to approach of all things an elf. I like my limbs where they are.”
“How is anyone sure elves are that bad?”
“Look I know you are pretty young but do not they teach you anything? People do not come back from the elves if they get past the repellant, pieces come back.”
Sera rolled her eyes knowing he was teasing her for believing he was 20 when they had met. She glanced at her clip on watch, one small step away from a pocket watch and pulled her messenger bag, complete with the back room Scotoma logo so it was on display.
Almost instantly someone started to approach them. Both Joshua’s and Sera’s eyes widened. He was taller than the pair of them which was quite a feat at her six feet and his six two. He was tanned with blond hair that shifted from a light brown to almost a white blond in soft waves that framed his face.
Sera wondered if it was natural or a dye job, and almost in the same breath wondered what he was. Joshua’s nostrils flared and he frowned not able to place the stubborn out of place scent. Sera gently touched his hand as the man walked the last few steps to them as they stood.
“Hello,” Sera said nodding to the man.
“Hi,” Joshua repeated at the same time extending a hand.
“Hello, are you the proprietor of Scotoma?” He asked nodding to Joshua even as he asked Sera the question.
“We are partners in the shop,” she nodded wondering if the messenger bag made him defer to her. “Why did you want to meet us here?”
“There have been strange reactions to my latest product. I did not want to put your shop in needless danger.”
“Danger? You said you were a suppressant maker.”
“That I am. I have been trying to find my footing for some time and I thought I could find it in this. It took some years but I think I have mastered the development of suppressors.”
“How so?”
“Let us sit,” he said gesturing to the chairs and the trio sat down. He opened his own brown leather messenger bag that would not have looked out of place 100 years ago and Sera wondered at his age.
He pulled out a black and red leather cuff with the old elemental symbol for fire and she eyed the cuff warily. She had been required to wear a suppressor once and she had nearly died from it.
“You are wary.”
“The last time I wore one of those things I almost died.”
The man frowned and Sera realized with a jolt she had not asked his name. Her social skills as stellar as usual, before she could bring up the awkward question he began to speak.
“That is one of the factors I have worked on improving. One this particular band suppresses unconscious non vital magic. I designed it in mind for those who have been in isolation, seclusion or dormancy. So they could acclimate to the world again.”
Joshua’s was the one who stared at the piece of leather than and Sera glancing at him knew he was thinking about his other problem which was getting worse and starting to affect his day to day living. So much so he no longer had a cell phone.
“What about uncontrolled magic?”
He pulled out another two bracelets and placed them on the table. “This one would control any uncontrollable and undesired magic effects that are again non vital. This second is actually incomplete. It would be able to control one aspect of the owner. I think it would be useful for children who are experiencing a magic surge or someone who gains their negation or a second element.”
“People do not gain a second element, not any more,” Joshua said calmly.
“There is no reason to not be prepared. It would also work for people who simply get a new manifestation and are unable to go off to train it right away, if they are in the eyes of the blind.”
“These are good but I still do not see what the danger is.”
He nodded a few blond strands falling into his eyes as he pulled out what looked like a seamless circle of metal with other metals swirling through it like veins and another that only had black veins swirling through it.
“The first one is a full suppressor. No power would be able to escape your body but if your life was in danger magical or not, it would cease to function instantly. It does not nullify magic like the other suppressors so you would not get the feeling of a moving through syrup and the dullness of vision that has been the chief complaint of those that wear suppressors.”
Sera looked at the array of tools and could understand why they would be competition the more she saw. They were the everything she had ever heard regular users complain about.
“This last one will defect all magic focused on a person. It will not stop generalized magic and mostly would work as a shield. I thought this would be best presented to the task forces. I heard you had some connections to the taskforce.”
Sera sighed, this was always how rumors started she had had an encounter with the Nausikiaa force and together they had stopped the exposure or mermaids to the public for who knew what number of time that month. She did know someone who worked in supplies because of it, but it was mostly cleaning them.
“I can try to contact them, but my connections are nothing special.”
“That is secondary; I would be willing to make these for you and your partner for now because I do not know who is truly upset at my forgings.”
“What have they done?” Joshua asked with a frown.
“Nothing I can prove, but I will meet with a shop or a distributor they will agree then they will pull back. They will not contact me and if I reach them all I get is the pervading sense of fear.”
“There are dozens of other shops in the city, I’m not he most popular, well known, or even the largest.”
“But you are the only one willing to meet with me.”
“What are not you saying? You have an idea who this is.”
“I think it’s the order.”
Sera almost snarled. “I will do it.”
“Sera!”
“What? I think it would be a great thing to open the website with.”
“I’m not going to change your mind on this am I?”
“No.”
“Will the order change your mind on this?” He asked.
“No, they will not even try. How do we get un touch?”
The man, no Adam she said reading the card with all his contact information. She ignored Joshua’s frown for the moment knowing she would have to explain to him why doing something that was against the mandate to the order was so appealing to her. She knew he might not understand but he would most likely agree.
“When can we expect your first shipment Adam?”
“I will contact you in a week. If you are still willing then a day or two after that, I simply need to bring the ready made supplies and the contact information for those that want the personalized ones. Also what material they ewould want theirs in as bands are my design of choice but not required. I can make them as any common material with some forewarning.”
“I would say look into rings and necklaces. If demand calls for it then look into things that appear to be clothing and you will be fine for years to come at the very least. Let’s talk cost.”
“Cost, I’ve never made it so far with another seller.”
“I’m not just any other seller.”
“We’re not just any other seller,” Joshua added in a huff and Sera realized she had been ignoring him. She slipped a hand to his thigh under the table and hoped that would calm him down for the moment being.
He may not agree but the product was amazing. Its powers were unparallel to any kind of suppressor that she had seen and if it was really the order trying to keep it out of public hands she was pleased to throw a wrench in their arrogant plans.
“I will have to take pictures of these items.”
Joshua nodded taking pictures with his digital camera sometimes adjusting the suppressors to the light. Adam took a folder out of the messenger bag and slid it over to Sera as Joshua continued to take pictures. She opened it and saw it was a description of each suppressor and a list of what types of items they could be made from beyond the bands. Next to each was a list of what he thought selling price should be.
“Is that price for me or for the customer?” Sera asked surprised to see they were at the moment priced at quarter less than the current market of suppressors.
“For the clients . I will sell you my first batch at cost. If this continues further than that we will discuss pricing and distribution.”
“Alright sounds like a plan,” Sera said holding out her hand to shake.
Adam nodded with a smile then held out his hand to Joshua as well.
“Thank you for this.” He said standing and gathering all the suppressors he had laid out on the table. He pulled out two necklaces with ying and yang patters on them in the traditional black and white.
“These are another design of the magic blockers. I am not positive how much power they have at repelling but they would block any subtle attempts to use magic on you.”
“Thank you,” Sera said as Joshua took the necklaces in hand.
They watched together as Adam nodded and departed and glanced at each other. Joshua broke the silence with a whistle and Sera grinned.
“If I did not know you had a hard on for kicking the order down a peg or two I would say you did it because he’s pretty,” he said standing and offering a hand to Sera as he slipped the necklaces into a pocket with another.
“He was was not he? And tall.”
“He past tall quite a while ago.”
Sera grinned and hooked an arm around Joshua and slung her messenger bag over her shoulder. They headed for the sixth avenue entrance of the train and glanced at each other.
“Food?”
“Who’s cooking?”
“Sushi Park?” She asked.
“Only if we stop at Pomm Frittes on the way home.”
“Sure,” Sera said with a grin.
Standing on the platform she watched as Joshua’s nostrils flared repeatedly and knew even after five years in the city he could notstand the scent of the subway which must be an overwhelming stench to his sensitive nose.
“Ok?” She asked.
“Yeah, it could be worse. So what do you really think of our tall blond?”
“I’m not sure, if his suppressors do even half of what he says we will change the way everything is done. We will have to get it out to a few key people and see if it really works that way.”
“Do not you trust him?”
“Do you?”
“I could nottell what he is.”
“Not at all?”
“All I got was the faint smell of blood and metal. Not your usual combination.”
“Blood? Vamp?”
“With a tan? Even the one’s that can go out in daylight ca not tan.”
“True. I could ask next time.”
“Only you would. I know they teach etiquette at those camps.”
“Yeah well you know me and following the rules it does not appeal to me as much as breaking them when it suits me and besides its mostly for not getting yourself killed more than anything else.”
“Politeness goes a long way in that.”
“But it’s so boring I mean really.”
Joshua opened his mouth to retort as the train can barreling into the station drowning out anything that he was trying to say. Getting onto the train first she sprawled across two seats ignoring the sneers of the other passengers entering the train and looking for a seat. Shifting as Joshua finally joined her and plopped down beside her.
****

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