Solomon: Chapter 12
Jacob woke to the sound of Aidan’s voice. “Solomon? Solomon, wake up,” said the boy as Jacob’s eyes fluttered open. “Felicity’s awake. She asked to see you even before I told her you wanted to know when she was awake.”
Jacob sat up and nodded. He reached over and secured his hat firmly on his head before following Aidan into Felicity’s room.
The ten- year- old was sitting up in bed, waiting patiently. She wore an expression that spoke of intelligence, serenity, and worldliness beyond her years. It was the sort of expression you imagined would be found on a fairy-tale queen, not a real-life child. It was a regal thing that was becoming familiar to Jacob even in his short time knowing her.
Jacob bowed and removed his hat as he crossed the threshold of Felicity’s room. “Hello Felicity. I hope you’re feeling better?”
Felicity nodded, the feeling of sagaciousness she projected undiminished. “The battle was the first true test of the limits of my abilities I’ve had in a long time. I fear I may have slightly overestimated my capabilities. We were fortunate to have your intervention.”
“I am happy to have been able to assist my friends when they needed me.”
Felicity stared at Jacob. “I assume that you and Lucinda were accosted on your way back to us? That would account for her weakened condition when you arrived.”
Jacob nodded. “Yes. When do you think you’ll be strong enough to forge the Pact? The sooner we accomplish that, the better off all of us will be.”
Felicity’s serene demeanor was temporarily suspended for frankness. “I really don’t know. I feel strong enough now, but I should probably wait for at least another hour. The pact itself is not incredibly intense magic, just complicated. More effort will go into setting up the spell circle than the spell itself. Have we decided on a name for ourselves?”
Jacob shrugged. “I hadn’t really thought about it. It’s not like a name is required for a cabal.”
“Agreed,” she said. “But it does lend us some power. A name gives substance to the ephemeral. It will be easier for our enemies to fear something that they can attach a name to than one that they cannot, if only because it will be easier for them to think about us at all.”
Jacob saw her point. “Very well. Would you like to come into the living room to see everyone else now? Or do you need to stay in the bed?”
“I am sufficiently recovered to mingle with the others. As long as I refrain from any magical activity for the next hour, whether or not I am walking around should be largely irrelevant.”
She stood and accompanied Jacob and Aidan back into the living room. Jacob realized that he hadn’t really payed any attention to how his companions were when he woke up, so focused had he been on Felicity’s wellbeing. He mentally chastised himself; when a demonologist got unobservant people died. Now he took stock of how his allies were coming along.
A quick glance at the clock on the mantle revealed that it was now just after six in the afternoon. That meant that Jacob and Felicity had been asleep for just about three hours. Jacob wasn’t sure what Aidan had been doing during that time, but he looked much better. Of the four remaining magicians, Lucinda was still asleep on a couch opposite Jacob’s, Silver and Vivian were playing a card game by the fireplace, and Mort was nowhere to be seen.
“Where’s Mort?” asked Jacob, mostly to Silver and Vivian.
“Upstairs,” answered both of them in unison without looking up.
“Wait here for me,” Jacob said to Aidan and Felicity. “I’ll be back with Mort soon.”
Jacob made his way up the stairs, looking around instead of calling for his friend. He followed a hunch and found Mort standing in what appeared to be a guest bedroom, hands behind his back, looking into the mirror. Mort spoke when he saw him approach.
“Solomon. Something is wrong. A shudder ran through the Webwork while you slept. You can still feel it echoing if you tap into it.”
This was very bad news. The Webwork was a metaphysical network known to the practitioners of the darker arts, analogous to the ley lines utilized by those on the brighter side of magic. Powerful acts of dark magic could be felt by those tapped into the Webwork.
“When exactly did you feel the anomaly, Mort?”
“About two hours ago.”
Shit. Any magic powerful enough to still echo after two hours was going to mean trouble indeed. Jacob let himself tap into the network and feel around for the shudder. He didn’t have to look for long. It was big magic. Ritual, multiple participants. A summoning. As he examined the spell’s signature further, he felt his spirits sink. It wasn’t the power of the spell itself that was causing it to impact the Webwork so profoundly; it was the being that had been summoned. Jacob couldn’t tell what it was, specifically, but he could tell that it was both powerful and malevolent.
Jacob drew his attention away from the Webwork to find that Mort had turned to face him now. “Were you able to identify the nature of the spell, Mort?”
Mort shook his head. “All I could gather was multiple participants. Beyond that, everything was unfamiliar to me. I thought it might be a summoning. I figured you’d be able to tell me for sure, being that summoning is very much your thing.”
Jacob nodded. “You were right. It is a summoning. And the strength of the echo isn’t coming from the spell itself, it’s coming from the summoned being. Someone in the Darrington territory has summoned a truly horrifying creature to our world and I have a hunch who might have done it.”
“The Baron?” Mort ventured.
“Exactly,” confirmed Jacob. “And I’ll bet you my lucky hat it has something to do with us.”
“I need to check on our perimeter,” said Jacob. “I’ll be just a minute.”
Mort nodded. “Of course. Take as much time as you need.”
Jacob stepped out of the room and placed two fingers on his forehead. Marchosias, are you there?
The demon’s voice answered him in his mind. I am here, my Master. How may I serve?
What’s our security situation?
Everything appears to be calm. I have fully disposed of the remains of our attackers. I have not spotted any suspicious characters since the initial confrontation.
Good. Alert me if the situation changes.
Jacob stepped back into the room with Mort. “Mort, come with me downstairs. We have a few more matters to attend to before Felicity can forge the Pact.”
Mort shrugged and followed Jacob down the stairs and back into the living room.
“Hello, Mort,” greeted Felicity as they came into view.
“Felicity,” acknowledged Mort. “It is good to see you are feeling better.”
Just then, Lucinda began to stir on the couch. “Iz, are you there?”
“I’m here, Lucy,” Jacob said, moving more into Lucinda’s field of vision.
“Good,” mumbled Lucinda as she rubbed her eyes, stretched, and sat up. “Is Felicity okay?” Lucinda smiled as she spotted the little girl. “Hey Munchkin, feeling better?”
“Much,” was Felicity’s simple reply.
Jacob cleared his throat. “Now that we’re all here and awake, Felicity has brought up an excellent point that should be resolved before we move on with the forging of the Pact. We need a name.”
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