Staring straight ahead, his eyes were pitch black. Rather than the table and chairs in the room, he only saw the patterns of power criss-crossing the room. The lines were the color of magik and extended beyond the walls. In several spots nearby, the lines clumped together, smelling of fate and fortune. With effort, he could divert power to or from someone, changing the shape of fortune surrounding him or her.
One of the bundles near him, on the same floor of the house they all shared, caught his attention. Fate suggested a great success was close. To get a better view, he drew power from the pattern to strengthen his own sight. There was nothing malicious in his actions; curiosity was simply stronger than anything even remotely resembling common sense. Fate tipped from almost certain success to failure.
After, he continued to study the patterns. Most of his time was spent this way. It was possible to learn, to uncover secrets by careful observation of the various patterns. Mostly, however, he just enjoyed watching them. A knock at the door interrupted him.
“Jason! Get out here!”
He blinked twice to return his vision to normal. Even then it took a few more seconds to adjust to seeing the mundane world. Meanwhile, the pounding on the door continued.
“Jason! Dammit! Open this door!”
He couldn’t remember why they called him ‘Jason.’ It wasn’t his name. On the other hand, he couldn’t remember his actual name, so he didn’t object. The man outside his door looked familiar. And angry.
“David?” He thought that was correct.
“You were doing that thing again, weren’t you? Remote viewing, or some such?”
“Of course. What else would I be doing?”
“Normal research, perhaps?”
“You messed up my incantation again. It had been proceeding just fine until you showed up.”
Another member of their cabal arrived. Sarah? That sounded right.
“What is going on? You guys are making quite a racket out here.”
“Jason messed up one of my projects. Again. I need to move rooms.”
Sarah shook her head. “Can’t. The reconstruction work has put a premium on space. And you’re the newest resident of the house.”
“This is intolerable.”
“Well, if you don’t like it, you can leave.”
He wasn’t really listening to the two of them. Instead, his eyes had blinked black again, and he was studying the bundle of power that was David. It was fluctuating wildly.
“Don’t go, David. Your fortuned doesn’t look good if you leave.”
“What are you talking . . .”
Sarah placed a hand on David’s arm to stop him. “Jason’s warnings should always be taken seriously. He may be difficult, but he isn’t often wrong.”
David fumed silently for a moment before capitulating. “Fine. But quit watching my lab!”
“Oh. Of course. I’m sorry. I didn’t realize I was bothering you.” With that, he closed the door and went back to his chair.
In the hall, David’s anger deflated. “Will he really stop? It can’t be that easy.”
Sarah laughed. “He’ll stop. Until he forgets. You might have a day or two. Use it wisely.” She turned and walked back to her own room, leaving David to mutter curses under his breath.