Vrin Ten Mortal Gods(50)

By: John Michael Hileman


“Are you still dreaming the dream?”

“I believe I am a part of the dream now.”

His furry brows danced. “Amazing!”

“I’m glad you think so.”

He brushed me off. “I’m sorry for my enthusiasm. I must remind myself that you are in great danger in this body. Gaza himself is searching for you, and you are without your power. I should not be indulging my petty curiosities. Please, accept my apology.”

“I am humbled by your wisdom and restraint, Arganis. It would not be so with me, if I were in your place.”

“Your compliment brings me great honor.”

I gripped the table and stood. “It is deserving, I assure you. Now, let’s get down to business.”

He stepped back and allowed me room.

I thought a moment. “The cognosphere remembers everything that has ever been done, correct?”

“Indeed.” There was youthful enthusiasm in his expression.

“But it doesn’t just remember the past. It places the present.”

The wizard’s face dropped.

“What I mean is, the cognosphere remembers where everyone was standing, how big they were, what time of day it was, the odors, the sounds-- everything, right?”

“You mean, in the past?”

“Yes. The cognosphere remembers everything.”

“I suppose it does.”

“Imagine controlling all of those things, location, weight and such, in the present simply by telling the cognosphere that what it is recording is different.”

He looked down at the table, then spoke. “It knows where this candle is, but you can tell it to remember it being elsewhere?”

“Yes. Everything in this world is recorded in a book, for lack of a better word. What has happened in the past cannot be rewritten, but the page that contains the now, the present, that can be changed.”

“And any mortal man can tap into this power?”

“No. Only one who understand the language that the book is written in, can change what is written.”

His irises looked like tiny green islands on a sea of white. “And you can write this language?”

“Yes.”

“Can the other gods?”

“None that I know of, except Gaza.”

“That explains why he is so greatly feared.”

“Yes. And why I must learn your magic to stop him.”

He squinted. “How can my magic compare to such power?”

“It doesn’t. But it may be my only way back. See, when a person enters an event cell, the pages of the book are turned back, and he is brought to the page where the event is written.”

“Like a storybook.”

“Yes. Like a storybook. But in a blank event cell, the entire book is scrambled, and I won’t know what page I’m on.”

His eye grew wide. “This is when the madness sets in.”

“I hope not.” I grimaced. “Hopefully there’s a way to order the information. I’ve seen the book before, and I know what it’s supposed to look like. The only problem is, getting back.”

“You just close your eyes...”

“What if I don’t know where my eyes are?”

His face turned down.

“I believe your magic will help me find my way back to this body.”

“How?”

That was a good question. “I don’t know. I need you to show me how it works. Maybe it will spark an idea.”

He shook his head sadly. “I do not see how my magic can help. It is not of this world.”

“That is precisely why I think it will help me. I’m going to leave this world.”

He looked at me intently. “I don’t understand, but I’ll show you what I know.” He went to a trunk in the corner of the cellar, and removed several items from its cover. It made an awful creak as it opened.

“This,” he said, pulling a heavy book from within, “is the book I told you of. It was written by my ancestor Nor’ Trull. In it is all we know about the magic.” He came back over, set the enormous book on the table before me, and opened to the center. The letters and numbers were written in a faded calligraphy. “See these numbers.” He pointed. “They correspond to notes on this.” He pulled a tarnished metal tuning fork from his pocket. It had several tines protruding from a handle. “When I strike this instrument, it tells me what sound I must make with my voice. Such as...” He hit the tuning fork against the table. The sound resonated off the wet cellar walls, and Arganis joined his voice with it. The two became a perfect match-- and I felt something brush past me.

“What was that?”

“The magic responding to the command.”

“What was the command?”

“I asked it to make a box around you.”

I reached out and my hands came in contact with something. It gave way as I pushed on it. “It moves?”

“Only because we are far from The Circle. If we were closer, it would not move, and you would see it as I have envisioned it in my mind.”

“You communicated what you were thinking, through music?”

He laughed. “It is not that amazing, I’m afraid. The magic can be anything I want it to be. The sound is just what tells it to listen to me. There are actually only five notes.”

My jaw went slack. “Only five? How does it know?”

“The magic is like a gas, and I make it a solid. It responds to my thoughts. All I do, is give it the sound, then imagine what I want.”

“What are the sounds?”

“Like I said, there are five sounds. Each corresponds with a command. The commands are: create, destroy, move, and move me.”

“That’s only four.”

“Yes. I don’t know what the fifth one is.”

“Doesn’t it say in the book?” I looked down at the page. “Speaking of the book, this is a large book for only five notes. I thought you said he catalogued all the vibrations.”

Arganis smiled, and the smile touched into his eyes. “He didn’t realize till the end of the book that it was his thoughts producing the effects.” He flipped the book to the last page. On it were the five notes with their corresponding command word. The description for the fifth note was scratched beyond recognition.

“Who did this?” I rubbed my fingers where the book had been damaged.

“I do not know. My father forbade me to ask about it.”

“So this is it, five notes.”

“Yes, and the closer you get to The Circle, the more real your creations become.”

“Fascinating.” I ran my eyes down the page, pronouncing the words in my head. Create. Destroy. Move. Move me. “The first three I understand, but what is move me?”

He stepped back and began to sing, and as the song filled the room, his feet lifted from the ground, and he floated to the other side of the room.

I couldn’t help myself. “You’re flying!”

“It will take me any way I wish to go.”

I leaped to my feet. “That’s it!”

“What is?”

“That’s how I will return from the event cell! I’ll use the fourth note!”

The wizard dropped back to the ground. “Well then,” he said, smiling with satisfaction, “let’s teach you how to make the sounds!”



CHAPTER 29



THE COGNOSPHERE

001001011001110

The lesson was over, and I waited patiently. Soon the stairs began to creak, and a dark form entered the room. As he came into the light of the candles I recognized him. I could not remember his name, but the face was familiar. He was a stout bald man, and was garbed in clothing I knew well, the uniform of the Sky Searchers League. His eyes gleamed as he approached. It was clear he recognized me as well. This was not uncommon, I was sky searcher to the throne, and there wasn’t a sky searcher in the kingdom who did not know my name-- a name made even more famous by my recent run in with Gaza.

“This is Gadson,” said Arganis. “He is a trusted friend.”

The man bowed low. “I am honored, Charm.”

“It has been many years,” I replied.

Arganis snapped a look at me. “You know each other.”

“I believe we met once, at the capital.”

“I forget, you lived many years before...”

I brought my hand up. “We should move forward with what we came to do.”

I could see the apology on his face. He had almost revealed more to Gadson than I would have liked.

Arganis held his hand out toward his friend. “May I have the event cell.”

Gadson took a leather bag off his shoulder and handed it to Arganis. Arganis opened it and held it out to me. “Do you mind if Gadson stays with us? I would feel more comfortable.”

“Not at all,” I said, reaching into the bag. I drew out the event cell. It was cold and hard in my hands. I lifted my eyes toward Arganis. “Are you ready?”

His eyebrows raised.“ What's more important is, are you ready?”

I shrugged. “Ready as I'll ever be, I guess. If I don't come out in a few seconds, you know what to do.” I began to lift the cell to my forehead.

Gadson’s hand shot out and clutched my wrist. “It is empty, did Arganis not tell you?”

Arganis placed his hand on Gadson’s arm. “It is alright, my friend. He knows.”

Panic flashed in Gadson’s eyes. But he released his grip on me, and stepped back He knew better than to probe us with questions.