Chapter 33:

An unusual briefing

The Sequence of Kai

“Everyone downstairs! We’ve got another one.”Bookmark here

Paul shouts at us from his office, unaware that all three of us are in the room adjacent to him and not, in fact, upstairs. Bookmark here

It’s a surprise to hear him speak without provocation but what he says isn’t surprising in the least. He only calls us in when we’ve got a job to do. Bookmark here

‘Another one’, another person like us, someone unfortunate enough to have been dealt in.Bookmark here

We find our way into the office in reverse order of how close we were to the hall, Trish then me, then Aaron. Bookmark here

Naturally, Trish was first, she didn’t even bother standing up, just transferred herself from the chair she was on to the one she leaves in Paul’s room for exactly that purpose. Even more naturally, Aaron is slow to react, indecisive, so I was already in the hall before he had even finished standing up out of his chair.Bookmark here

“What are we looking at this time?”Bookmark here

“The 10 of spades just went live in France.”Bookmark here

“Ooh, is it Paris? I love Paris, it’s, like, so beautiful!”Bookmark here

She said she loved Reykjavik too on the basis that it was ‘like, so cold!’ She just likes going places. Bookmark here

“Just outside, a chateau on the outskirts.”Bookmark here

I decide to cut to the chase to eliminate all of the superfluous questions Trish is sure to have.Bookmark here

“What’s so special about this one? Apart from the obvious.”Bookmark here

The obvious is that this new case is closer to us than it is to Kohsan, we’re not in the business of body retrieval. Even then there has to be something more, Paul isn’t one to put us at risk for someone no more useful (or dangerous) than a street magician.Bookmark here

“…..”Bookmark here

The pause catches us all off guard, Paul doesn’t start speaking with intention to pause. These ‘briefings’ are usually pretty concise, it’s hard to know exactly how his abilities work without being in his head but up until now he’s always known what he’s needed to know. Bookmark here

Names, locations, abilities. It’s rare that someone gets dealt in and he doesn’t know, in fact, the only time I’m aware of that happening was with me, though I’m not a good point of reference.Bookmark here

“Mallory Peyrin, early 20s, currently residing in a chateau outside Paris, she’s……. Her ability….. She can see something, something I’m not permitted to see….”Bookmark here

He’s not going to expand on that, even if I ask.Bookmark here

“What do you mean, you’re not permitted?”Bookmark here

Surprisingly Aaron, normally the least critical amongst us, is the one to speak. Unsurprisingly though, Paul doesn’t answer him.Bookmark here

“I want to know what she’s able to see, it might be important to winning this game.”Bookmark here

What Aaron means is that it might give us a way to beat Amir. It’s a long shot but right now we’d jump at a one in a million chance to find such a thing. Bookmark here

Trish pipes up to ask the obvious question.Bookmark here

“What about Bastien?”Bookmark here

“He’s still…… no, he hid himself from me a few moments ago, I’m sure he’s on the move.”Bookmark here

Bastien is the only player we know of that can remain hidden from Paul, other than me. Though his ability to remain hidden is active. Most of the time he lets Paul see where he is, to let him know it makes no difference if he knows where he is, there’s nothing we can do to him.Bookmark here

“Alright, me and Trish will go get her.”Bookmark here

“Uh, why you two?”Bookmark here

The one interjecting is Aaron, Paul has already accepted things as resolved and is writing in his book again.Bookmark here

“Well, Trish has to go because she can get us there fast.”Bookmark here

“When I said ‘you two’ I thought you might catch that I meant why I’m not going.”Bookmark here

“Because she can only take one person with her.”Bookmark here

“Then she should take me, I’m the only one here who can find out what she’s seeing, right?”Bookmark here

I don’t have to argue with him on this one, he’s looking to Trish for backup. She started getting her nervous smile ready when he started his protests.Bookmark here

“Uh….. Sorry Aaron, you’re really no good in a fight, I’m going to take Kai.”Bookmark here

She kicks her legs out like a restless child and hides her mouth behind the sleeves of her jacket. It’s always nice when Trish can settle one of these like that, even if it sickens me. Bookmark here

I should probably smooth things over on my side, I don’t want to get on the bad side of people Trish is close to if I can help it.Bookmark here

“Look, you can find out what it is she’s seeing, when we bring her back here. If Bastien’s involved, then I’ll need to go, if you want her brought back in roughly one piece that is.”Bookmark here

I think I may have failed to smooth things over if his eyebrows are anything to go by. Must’ve worded it wrong.Bookmark here

“Just don’t do anything that gets you into trouble.”Bookmark here

He storms off while trying to pretend he’s not. Trish has a look on her face like ‘why did you say it like that?’. It’s one of her favourite expressions. Still don’t know what I said that was wrong.Bookmark here

***Bookmark here

We don’t leave immediately, we have to change first. Bookmark here

I leave a special set of clothes in Trish’s wardrobe for snap missions like these, so I don’t have to go home. I always insist on changing first so now I’m just waiting for her.Bookmark here

The reason we have to change is because Trish’s power doesn’t take everything with it. There’s been several times where she’s whisked me away from somewhere in a hurry only to leap off my naked body whenever we’re in the clear. Bookmark here

There’s no patch of skin on my body that hasn’t been buried in snow at this stage, she never chooses to escape to somewhere warm.Bookmark here

Aaron supposedly made some thread that fixes that, one of his famed impossible items. If Trish sews it into something, then that thing can be taken with her. Honestly, I’m not sure how it all works, I’m not even supposed to know that’s how it’s done, he said to me he’d modified the clothes personally. Trish let the thing about the thread slip, she wouldn’t tell me why he’d lie about that.Bookmark here

She doesn’t have to, it’s about control. Aaron has a strong sense of his own ideals, of course, he does with a power so strong. He didn’t tell me about the thread so that he can pretend there are things he can’t make, should he be opposed to making them. Things like clothes that don’t stain.Bookmark here

It makes me upset that Trish is into such a coward. All the power in the world and he’s too afraid that things will break, it’s pathetic.Bookmark here

“Hey, I’m done.”Bookmark here

Trish opens the door to let me into her room. I breathe in and out. I hate the feeling of her ability, it made me throw up the first time.Bookmark here

She checks the camera feed of the Paris transfer zone to make sure nothing is blocking the way. When she confirms that it’s safe, she puts her hand on my shoulder and starts moving the world around us.Bookmark here

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