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TS56: Double Feint

“Who are you?” Aden’s character Lamont asked. “When you’re awake.”

Aether chimed with Mr. Johnson’s response. Most of the game had decided that this was a non-player character that Jove made up instead of someone played by his familiar. Edward asked if Mr. Johnson was played by Aether but I’m not exactly Aether.

Jove read out loud, “Mr. Johnson shakes his head. He says, ‘I’m just a faceless contact. Tomorrow night, I’ll find you. In the meantime, I’ll get the school records for the missing girl.’” Jove looked about, “And that seems like a good place to call game. We can worry about what you guys do before the next night this week.”

“This is not what I was expecting.” Edward said. “There’s a lot more story involved then I expected. What were those shadow things?”

Tan shrugged, “Not sure, the rulebook only has suggestions. They kidnap dreamers into another world or oblivion or something. The specifics are in Jove’s head. I’m looking forward to seeing what he’s come up with.”

Julius smiled. “I’m glad I decided to show up. That was good.” He looked at Chris. “I can’t believe you were so active. Evan said you were a good friend. I’ll have to explain that you’re getting back to yourself.”

Chris didn’t respond.

Jove offered, “I think gaming is easier for him because only he knows what his character will do.” He looked at Chris, “It was nice to see you be social for a while.”

Carole called over from her game, which was also wrapping up. “You coming for food?”

Jove shook his head. “Not tonight. It’s been a long day.”

The walrus shrugged. “I understand. Haven’t had anyone try to kill me in a long time.”

Jove shivered. This world was very different. He was used to just getting beaten up by bullies. Still, they did tend to only pick on him once. As everyone wrapped up, he asked the elephant, “Edward, was your hunch correct?”

Edward nodded. “Yes. I’ll have to let Azarias know. I’m positive your father is the author now.”

Jove asked, “What makes you say that?”

Edward looked around. “Outside.” He lead Jove, Tan and Chris outside into one of the courtyards. “This doesn’t get repeated. It will cause issues with the Animus Council.” He drew a few runes in the air. “No one is listening. That’s good. Okay, this is embarrassing.” He took a breath. “I think Dominus made my magic addicted to your fifth element, Void. I think he was planning on using me as an inside man within the Council, using that addiction to keep me in line.”

Tan shook his head, “I don’t get it.”

“Aeon calmed my magic. Jove, your game calmed my magic.” Edward spoke calmly. “Whoever writes Aeon has Void as a primary element and is using it without control.”

“Written words can’t carry spell energy.” Tan objected, “Not after they’ve been copied. Not after being displayed on the internet.”

“No,” Edward agreed. “More that the words were shaped by a connection to Void. I doubt Dominus could have written something positive, so your father is the only option that makes sense.”

“Speaking of my dad,” Jove asked, “Why isn’t Azarias back yet?”

Edward paused. He scribbled a few notes on his ever-present spiral notepad. “He’s still in communication blackout? Something is wrong.”

Chris asked, “What kind of wrong?”

“I’m trying to find out.” Edward said scribbling furiously. “Ms. Astrom is under watch, they’re going to be moving her here for… Why would they do that?” He muttered under his breath. “I’m here with his son, don’t give me that communication restricted line.” He let out a snort. “They located the programmer who maintains the Aeon server. Mr. Astrom does write it. Apparently, Leon- I mean the programmer is going to be visiting as well.” Edward stopped for a moment. He looked at Jove.

Jove shivered. “What? What happened to my father?”

“I don’t know.” The elephant said, “He’s missing. Azarias must be trying to track him and if there’s a communication blackout that means they think Dominus is involved.”

“Dad? Why would he be a target?” Jove found the answer to his question before it had finished coming out of his mouth. His father was a mage. His father could use Void. Merlin must have confirmed Jove was a Void user that morning and realized that his father might be one as well. “They’re going to eat him?”

“I don’t know. There’s too many unknowns here.” He took a breath. “We’re going to find him. I promise.”

Jove nodded. “Thank you.” He sighed. “I don’t think I’m going to be sleeping much tonight.”

The moment of silence that followed was cut by an alarm from Edward’s notepad.

Tan asked, “What’s that?”

“Did they find something?”

Edward shook his head as he read. “No. Someone’s breaking into the Council prison. They’re trying to free Dion.” The elephant winced. “I have to go. Now. Before they’re overwhelmed. I’ll try to give you an update when I can.”

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