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Parvenu

Book 5: Sun & Air / Son & Heir

By MultiMapper
Copyright ©2002-2021 MultiMapper.
All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter 15 - Shoulders of Giants

"Lex, you might not want to take Zephyr out where he can be seen." G cautiously warned him.

"Dad, do you know if it's safe for us to do magic in front of the workmen?" Paul asked curiously.

"Most likely it is, but it's always better to err on the side of caution in such a situation. Just hold on for a few minutes and you can let him out at the train platform." D said carefully.

"So everyone else can have their helpers out while I have to hide mine whenever we're around anyone?" Lex asked to verify his understanding of the situation.

"Wow! Life's not fair. Who would have guessed?" Paul asked with an impressive amount of sarcasm.

"If Zephyr is wearing an illusion already, can't you just change his illusion to be something that you can take outside with you?" Lucky asked curiously.

Paul and G looked at each other, almost appearing to be speaking telepathically.

Lex turned to the tiny horse on his shoulder and quietly asked, "Would you like to be an otter or a hedgehog?"

In response, Zephyr began to fill out, becoming bigger and drastically changing his shape, despite his overall coloring remaining mostly the same.

"Um, Lex. It looks like your horse is melting." G said slowly, in case Lex hadn't noticed.

"I think Zephyr is modifying his illusion from inside the spell." Lex said uncertainly.

"I don't think you can do that." G said cautiously.

"Actually, I know you can, because... I can. This isn't much different from me changing from my 'G' form to my 'Cousin Lex' form. Since most of Zephyr's appearance is an illusion, he should be able to change it however he wants to."

"And he wants to be a melting furry blob?" Paul asked cautiously.

"Give him a minute. He's working on it." Lex chided, then looked to his shoulder and encouragingly said, "Go ahead boy, take all the time you need to get it just the way you want it."

The furry blob raised its head to reveal a pair of soulful droopy bloodshot eyes.

"Hey! That's wonderful!" Lex said happily.

"What is it? What did he do?" Paul carefully asked.

"He's turned himself into a Basset Hound. It's perfect!" Lex said happily.

"I don't think Basset Hounds are usually that small." G cautiously offered.

"We'll just say that he's a Teacup Basset. Unless we're talking to a dog expert, there shouldn't be a problem." Lex said confidently.

"Actually, he's probably right. There are enough miniature and teacup breeds of dogs that no one should have a problem believing it. For all I know, there may be such a thing actually running around in the mundane world." D said as he gestured for the boys to start walking again.

"Do you think Zah Zah can do that too?" Lucky asked curiously.

"I can think of arguments to explain why she could and why she couldn't. I guess the only way to know for sure is for her to try." G said frankly.

"She doesn't understand what Zephyr did and how he did it." Lucky said honestly.

"Zephyr adjusted his outer illusion. His was a horse and now it's a dog. Zah Zah's illusion is the gentle cuddly kitten that she uses to lure people in." Paul said with a smile.

"When I make her, she does most of the illusion herself. But she doesn't know if she can change it from what she's already got set." Lucky said carefully.

"Maybe she can't." Lex said simply, then explained, "But if you think about it, she can already pass as a natural creature, so there's no reason she should have to change. If she can find a way to do it, that's great. But if she can't, it really doesn't cause a problem."

The drooping mass of loose skin and fur on Lex's shoulder made a quiet whinny which was a bit of a surprise.

"Can you make any dog sounds?" Lex asked hesitantly.

Zephyr, in his dog form, shook his head, which caused his long ears to flop and slap against his neck and head as he did so.

"So Zephyr isn't going to be able to spend much time around mundane people. He can pass at a distance, but he can't be in their company for very long." Lex said to the group as they walked.

"Was that ever a real possibility?" G asked curiously.

"There's always the chance that Curtis or someone will come over, but that doesn't seem too likely." Lex said frankly.

"It probably would be best if you didn't have any of your animal helpers hanging around too much when we have visitors." D said seriously.

"Nazzy and Vinda are okay with Mah Zah and Ginh Zah." G automatically defended.

"So are Filipe and Arjun." Paul quickly added.

"It wouldn't hurt anything if Corabeth saw Zephyr." Lex quietly added.

"I wasn't saying that you couldn't ever let the animal helpers out. I was just saying that as a general rule, outside a select group of trusted friends, that we should limit who sees them. Even among witches, we're talking about some non-standard high-level magics being used." D cautiously explained.

"From what I hear, most witches don't do much more than an occasional spell to make things easier in their day-to-day lives. The way we live every day would probably be seen as an excessive flaunting of power to them." G said frankly.

"It sounds to me like one of those situations where people get jealous and make up stories until they finally end up storming the place with torches and pitchforks." Lex said, sounding casual, despite his startling words.

"You don't really think that would happen, do you?" Paul asked cautiously.

"How about we not find out?" D suggested.

"Yeah. That sounds like a way to go." Paul agreed.

* * * * *

After a few minutes of walking, G cautiously asked his father, "Are you all caught up on your work for the weekend?"

"Yes. I touched on each thing that I needed to be updated on, took action when necessary, and I'll check back on Monday and make adjustments, if needed." D said simply.

"That's all you have to do?" Paul asked with surprise.

"That's all I have to do this time." D said seriously, then explained, "Any one of a number of things could have cropped up to prevent me from going with you this weekend, it's just fortunate for us that they didn't."

"So it wasn't your fantastic planning that made this possible?" G teased.

"Actually, it was." D said simply, then explained, "If I hadn't structured things this way to begin with, then us taking an impromptu weekend would be out of the question. Thanks to diligent planning, the determining factors were able to fall into place."

"So you had your chess board all set up and the gambit laid out, all ready for you to execute?" G cautiously speculated.

"Exactly." D happily confirmed.

"Uncle D? Do you think you'll have time to show me some more tricks that I can use on Zah Zah?" Lucky asked hopefully.

"Yes. Once we get the engine up to speed, you and I should have some time to talk and we should be able to try a few things." D said pleasantly.

Lucky seemed to have a little extra bounce in his step at the prospect of having his 'Uncle D' all to himself for a while.

* * * * *

"G, you know how it works. Your backpacks and whatever else Beth decided to pack for you is on your beds in the sleeper car. There will be food and drinks available in the club car, but remember that I'm planning on us having dinner shortly after our arrival. Don't fill up on snacks." D told the group as they crested the hill that overlooked the train station.

"So, do you want us to use the time on the train to get our school stuff caught up?" G asked to confirm.

"If you did, I would consider it a constructive use of your time." D said seriously.

"It's possible that the things that Lex and Lucky are working on will take us the whole trip to figure out." Paul said frankly.

"And even if it doesn't, I've still got a Sorcery project that Lex could help me with." G said honestly.

"It sounds like no matter what, we'll find a way to fill the time." Paul finally concluded.

"Good. Because if you can get your things resolved on the trip there, we'll be able to enjoy our time together that much more." D said confidently.

"How does Mom feel about us doing all of this without her?" Paul asked curiously.

"She thinks that after all the changes we've gone through in such a short period of time, that we need something like this to help us bond and become a family and all that sort of thing. She thinks us having 'boy time' and her and Kay having some 'girl time' will contribute to that." D said frankly, then admitted, "I just wanted to do it because it sounds like fun."

"It does." Paul agreed.

"One other thing." D said as he suddenly stopped.

All the boys halted their progress toward the station and waited for his next words.

"For the rest of the weekend, you can be yourselves. You don't have to hide your magic." D said happily as he made a grand gesture toward the train.

All around the little station building, things began to shift and move, each performing some necessary function to support their departure.

"Hang on, Zephyr. I'm going full sized." Lex announced as he began to grow.

Not to be outdone, Zephyr reverted back to his traditional 'horse' form.

"Zah Zah? Do you want to be yourself?" Lucky cautiously asked.

The cat-creature made a screechy hiss in response as Lucky put her down.

In a flash, Zah Zah appeared to back-flip, twist and transform all-in-one lithe movement.

The fluffy little kitten that Lucky had been carrying was now a scribbled nightmare, which to be honest, was more representative of her nature.

"You can go demon if you want." G told Paul quietly.

"Nah. I only feel like going demon when I'm doing powerful magic. I'm fine like this for now." Paul said honestly.

A 'meow' from Paul's shoulder drew his attention.

"Yeah. That's probably a good idea." Paul said in agreement.

"What's that?" G asked curiously.

"Ginh Zah was just saying that she and Mah Zah should go home for a while so that they won't be too weakened if we need them for something important later." Paul said seriously.

"Right. You can always call them back if we need their help." G confirmed.

Mah Zah let loose a yipping little bark before jumping off G's shoulder.

"We'll call you back later, when there's something fun for you to do." G assured her.

Ginh Zah yowled a long phrase in cat, then waited for a response.

After a moment to consider, Paul finally said, "I'll check back with you later to see what you've found."

A slight blur in reality appeared and both familiars immediately stepped through.

"What was Ginh Zah talking about?" G asked curiously.

"She just said that she was going to talk to some people about Zah Zah to see if they had any suggestions of things we can try." Paul answered seriously.

"That's good thinking. I wouldn't know of anyone around here to talk to about something like that." G said honestly.

"I think that Mr. Howlen has been the most helpful person we've found so far." Lex said consideringly.

"Get aboard and get yourselves settled in. Lucky will sound the whistle when we're ready to leave." D said as they stopped beside the passenger car.

"Do you happen to know where that toolbox went that we left on the back porch?" Lex cautiously asked.

"It's in the club car. It looked to me like something that you might have a use for on the way there." D said frankly.

"I'm hoping that between us, we'll be able to come up with a usable charm." Lex said frankly.

"Just keep after it and don't get discouraged. Remember that the most valuable lessons are learned in our defeats, not our victories." D said sagely.

"Winston Churchill?" G asked his father curiously.

"Susan Lucci, I think." D said uncertainly.

After a long moment of consideration, Paul reluctantly admitted, "I don't know who that is."

"It doesn't matter. All I'm saying is to keep trying and be aware that sometimes a failure can teach you more than a success. Don't be discouraged that something didn't work. Figure out why it didn't work." D said seriously.

"Got it." G said confidently, then thought to ask, "Is there anything you need for us to get done while we're en route?"

"Nope. I've got it all under control. Just do what you can of your schoolwork to get it out of the way." D said confidently, then glanced to Lucky and asked, "Are you ready?"

"Yeah." Lucky answered immediately, then looked down and said, "Come on, Zah Zah."

The cat-beast with the too-human eyes looked at D distrustfully, almost as if measuring his worth.

"Do you want for her to put her kitten illusion back on before we go?" Lucky thought to ask.

"I just want for everyone to be comfortable. If she wants to wear her illusion, she can. If she doesn't, that's fine too. And if you two want to put your heads together to come up with a new illusion for her, I don't see any problem with that either. We should have plenty of time, no matter what you decide to do." D said reasonably.

"You wanna?" Lucky asked happily, then before Zah Zah could react, Lucky scooped her up and started toward the train's engine.

"Remember that even though travelling by train may feel like we've gone a century back in time, we're not trying to make things uncomfortable or inconvenient for anyone. If you need anything, I'll be a phone call away." D said reasonably.

"Come on!" Lucky called urgently.

"You heard the boss. We're leaving." D said with a grin as he started walking toward the engine.

The boys watched as D hurried forward to join Lucky and Zah Zah.

"Since Dad is using his magic, he could be ready to go in a minute or two." G said as he ushered Paul and Lex aboard.

* * * * *

"Where's the toolbox?" Lex asked as he looked around.

"Dad said he left it in the club car, that's the car ahead of us. If you're needing to change clothes or anything like that, your personal items will be in the sleeper car, that's the one behind us." G said seriously.

"If you guys don't mind, I'd like to get started on my charm work. If you'll just give me a diagram and a little push in the right direction, I can probably take care of the rest of it myself." Lex said frankly.

"Let's go up to the club car. We have tables in there that will be excellent for diagramming. You'll have plenty of room to work." G explained.

"So, what's this car for?" Paul asked as he looked at the rather ordinary train car, with the seats all facing forward.

"It's good for reading or just sitting quietly and watching the scenery go by. If you're wanting to talk or play a game or something like that, it's usually better to go to the club car. Think of it as this car being for solo pursuits and the club car being for group activities." G carefully explained.

"Come on." Lex said as he started moving toward the club car.

"Can you tell me where we're going yet?" Paul asked as they followed.

"No." G said simply, then explained, "The truth is, I'm not sure what Dad has planned. Going this direction, the track forks a couple times before it loops back on itself. We could actually be going a couple different places. We might be going to any or all of them before the weekend's over."

"Watch your step through here." Lex said as he stepped through the connecting door from the passenger car.

"It's not so bad when we're still like this, but it's a good idea to always be careful when changing cars. It's really easy to misstep and lose your footing. Spending the weekend with a sprained ankle probably wouldn't be much fun." G said as he followed.

Paul was careful as he followed Lex and G, making sure to step exactly in their footsteps.

* * * * *

Once they were all in the club car, G happily said, "I don't know for sure where we're going, but wherever Dad is taking us, I know it's going to be great, so there's nothing to worry about."

"Paul. Can you show me a diagram so that I can get started? I really want to get as much of this done as I can before we get to wherever we're going." Lex asked hopefully.

"Sure. I'll go ahead and give you the diagram to install the enchantment into a suitable vessel. That's the tricky one. The rest of the spells that go into it are just typical castings, just about like what you'd expect." Paul said as he gestured to a tabletop.

As he did, the entire top of the table began to glow with precise drawings filled with writing.

"Tricky? Someone could have spent a lifetime developing a diagram like this." Lex said slowly as he examined all the intricate details.

"Yeah. Then I copied it and did things with it that they probably never thought of. Now you and Lucky are going to take what I've done with it and you're going to make it do even more." Paul said frankly.

"First we'll have to see if I have any aptitude for enchanting a charm. It feels like I should be able to do it, but I won't know for sure until I actually try." Lex said seriously.

"Sounds like a plan." Paul said happily, then continued more seriously, "If you have any questions, I'll help you if I can. But I think you should be able to figure everything out just by following the text in the different sections of the diagram. Power links just like you'd expect, and the potentialities are all declared in standard ways."

"Yeah. Give me a chance to look this over, then I may try a few things." Lex said absently as he fought to make sense of what he was looking at.

"I know that you probably already know this, but I just want to say it to be sure that we're all on the same page." G said in prelude, then continued, "Here in a few minutes, the whistle should sound in two short bursts. That'll mean that we're about to leave. Paul and I are going to go back and make sure that all our belongings are secure for travel."

"Is there anything I can do to help?" Lex asked as he looked up from the diagram.

"No. We've got this." G assured him, then thought to add, "Don't worry if we're not back right away. This will be the first time all day that we've had a chance to be alone together."

"And you're going to the sleeper car... I get it." Lex assured him.

"No. We just need a little snuggle time. It's been a long day." G told him frankly.

"Go on. Besides, from the look of it, I think this is going to keep me occupied for quite a while." Lex said honestly.

"We'll be back before you know it." G said as he turned to leave.

"Have fun." Paul said with a grin as he happily followed.

"Yeah. You, too." Lex chuckled after him.

Once Paul and G had passed through the door to the passenger car, Lex focused on Zephyr and said, "Let's see if we can make a charm."

* * * * *

As G had predicted, the whistle sounded in two short bursts before the train lurched forward to begin its journey.

Lex and Zephyr carefully studied the spell diagram, trying to discover just how it functioned, so that Lex could develop something similar to accomplish his goals.

While Lex studied a passage of text which defined the pre-enchantment state of the vessel, Zephyr walked around on the diagram, apparently getting a feel for where everything was and how things related to each other.

Zephyr let loose a little 'neigh' that drew Lex's attention.

"What have you got there, boy?" Lex asked as he looked away from the text that he had been studying.

A stamp of his right forehoof was Zephyr's immediate answer.

After a moment to get the gist of the passage of text Zephyr had indicated, Lex cautiously said, "We're planning on manifesting a base then covering it with an illusion. This is just a standard enchantment definition."

Zephyr stamped his hoof again, seeming to be a little more insistent this time.

"I take it that there's something about the definition phase that I'm not seeing." Lex said slowly.

Zephyr went up on his hind legs and waved his forehooves in the air before suddenly reverting to his classical 'nuggle' form, being made entirely of mist.

"This is a basic spell. Your elemental nature shouldn't play any part... wait. That's the lie, isn't it? When I didn't specify a form for you, you manifested on your own from the pathways etched into place by my animal form and the ancient folklore." Lex said speculatively.

Zephyr began to change shape and color and seemed to transform into something else. While what he became could never be mistaken for a seahorse, at the same time, one could easily detect elements of both the sea and of a horse in its makeup.

"Zephyr?" Lex asked uncertainly.

The green and black horse beast made a wheezy sound as foul toxic fog spewed forth from its mouth.

As Lex began to slowly back away, Zephyr's eyes flashed red for an instant, then he seemed to suddenly revert back to his usual self.

Lex froze in place, not understanding what he had just seen.

Zephyr, now completely back in his nuggle form, illusion and all, went back to the spell diagram and stamped his hoof on the passage of text again.

"A benevolent spellcasting will typically yield a benevolent result when not specified otherwise. But we can't assume that we know the intent of the person who will be taking up the charm. So in crafting our spell, we need to take possible intent into account, otherwise the charm that we assume we are creating may end up introducing a horrible evil into the world when it's turned to the wrong purpose." Lex said slowly and speculatively.

Zephyr bobbed his head in agreement with the analysis.

"It might be interesting to see what happens when you don't define it and see all the different ways the spell can manifest." Lex said speculatively.

Zephyr whinnied and shook his head forcefully to let his feelings about the suggestion be clearly known.

"I was just saying that it'd be interesting, I wouldn't actually do it." Lex hurried to assure him.

Zephyr looked at him dubiously for a moment, then went back to perusing the spell diagram.

* * * * *

"Isn't this amazing? The countryside is beautiful." Paul asked as he and G walked into the club car, now wearing their casual clothes.

"Is it?" Lex asked as he looked up from the spell diagram distractedly.

"I think there's a life lesson to be learned here." G said frankly, then explained, "You need to take time to enjoy the beauty around you or you might miss out on something really special."

Lex took a moment to look out the windows at the, admittedly beautiful, scenery as it passed by.

"Have you had any luck deciphering that diagram?" Paul asked curiously.

"Yeah. But it's a lot more complicated than it looks." Lex said seriously.

"Honestly, it looks complicated as hell." G immediately declared.

"The funny thing is, our eyes can't even register the true complexity of these diagrams." Paul interjected.

"I'm beginning to realize that." Lex reluctantly admitted.

"Really?" G asked as he moved closer to see for himself.

"Complexity and precision are part of what makes the magic work. I mean, maybe the religious magic can work on belief, but from what I've been able to put together, witches need repetition, exact crafting and perfect execution along with the actual magic to make their spells turn out right." Paul said seriously.

"I was never worried too much about the theory behind it all before..." Lex quietly admitted.

"You're talking about me, aren't you?" G asked playfully.

"Kinda, yeah." Lex timidly admitted.

"That's what makes my wizard's light diagrams so useful. It's not just that I can call them up so quickly, but also that as long as I cast the spell correctly, the diagram will be perfect every time. The slightest imperfection can spoil the enchantment and even lead to a catastrophic miscast or an unintentional curse." Paul said instructively.

"Why didn't Mrs. Cualla ever warn us about that?" Lex asked curiously.

"I think it's because, if you goof it in class, most likely nothing too bad is going to happen. You don't get the really bad consequences unless you're really close to grabbing the big payoff. She'd probably know if you were anywhere near doing something dangerous." Paul said frankly.

"So that's why the really good charms are so hard to come by? Not only because of the magical cost, but also because of the danger?" Lex asked speculatively.

"Right. And keep in mind that sometimes an enchantment will fail for no reason. I mean, you do everything exactly right, you can go back and double-check everything and you'll still end up paying the price. I can see how knowing that could make someone not look forward to going into work each day." Paul said honestly.

"Zephyr was telling me to be sure to declare the intent while we're casting, or it could flip our charm into a curse." Lex said thoughtfully.

"Can Zephyr talk to you?" G asked curiously.

"Not in words, but yeah. Pretty much." Lex said with an affectionate glance at his tiny companion.

"Well, he's right. Casting with ill intent can definitely cause a problem, but even after that, the person taking up the charm can unleash a curse if the charm was created without proper safeguards in place." Paul said seriously.

"I don't think that I can create a spell diagram as complex as yours. If I tried to do that with wizard's lights I'd probably still be casting it this time next week." Lex said honestly.

"If you can find something that I can draw on, I can make a permanent copy of the diagram that you can take with you and use as many times as you need." Paul said honestly.

"What about a tablecloth?" G suggested.

"You don't think Dad will mind, do you?" Paul asked uncertainly.

"No. But if he does, I'm pretty sure he can afford to buy another one if he feels like he really needs to." G said, obviously amused by the question.

"Where are the tablecloths?" Paul asked as he looked around.

"In the dining car." G said as he pointed toward the car in front of them.

"I thought we were going to eat in here, since we have tables and stuff." Paul said uncertainly.

"We can eat in here, but this is more like a hang-out spot where we can chat and play games. The dining car is just what it sounds like. It's a place where we can all sit down and enjoy a meal together." G explained.

"I know where the tablecloths are. I'll be right back." Lex said as he hurried toward the front of the car.

G and Paul watched him go, then turned in unison to look at the little horse, still standing on the spell diagram, looking back at them.

"You're keeping him on the right track, aren't you?" Paul asked in a strange, low voice.

Zephyr tilted his head slightly and seemed to be carefully considering. Finally, he gave a single nod in Paul's direction as he met his eyes.

"I didn't intentionally give you to him. You know that don't you?" Paul slowly asked, not sounding anything like his usual self.

Zephyr tilted his head again, and this time ended up looking away.

"You don't have any obligation to him... or to me, for that matter." Paul said frankly.

"Do you already know Zephyr from sometime before?" G asked uncertainly.

"We travelled along the same path for a time." Paul said cautiously.

Zephyr turned himself so that he was facing the door that Lex had passed through.

"Just remember, as an elemental, he may very well be immortal. A promise made to him carries different weight." Paul said carefully.

"Am I speaking to Paul right now?" G hesitantly asked.

"So you shall be." Paul answered, then looked at G strangely for a moment before asking, "What was I saying?"

"You were talking to Lex about tablecloths, I think." G said slowly.

"Oh. Yeah. Spell diagrams. Are you sure Dad won't care?" Paul asked uncomfortably.

"Yeah. I'm sure." G said confidently, then glanced at Zephyr, who was watching the door that Lex had passed through.

* * * * *

"Is this alright?" Lex asked as he held up a folded white tablecloth.

"That should be just fine. If you'll spread it out, I can make a clean version of the diagram for you." Paul said professionally.

"Come on up here, Zephyr. We need the table." Lex said as he indicated his shoulder.

As Zephyr began his gallop into the air in slow motion, Paul waved his hand and dispelled the previous version of the spell diagram.

As soon as he had a clear table to work with, Lex spread out the tablecloth.

"Before I start, would you like any of the formulae or spell texts to be filled in for you?" Paul asked cautiously.

"No. I just need the structure. I'd really like to be able to tinker with the actual spell and make changes on the fly when I have an idea." Lex said frankly.

"Seeing you doing this makes me wish that I'd started out trying to create something new instead of altering other people's already created works." Paul quietly admitted.

"I don't think what I'm doing is that different. Maybe we're approaching it from different directions, but I think it's going to end up being about the same." Lex said frankly.

"I guess so." Paul reluctantly admitted, then thought to add, "Your way just feels more 'honest' to me."

"You're standing on the shoulders of giants. You haven't stolen their work, you've continued it." Lex said simply.

"Yeah. Okay. I can live with that." Paul said with a content smile.

"Let me get the Lapis and the brace out so that we'll be able to see what we're enchanting. I always like to have my target in sight for visualization's sake." Lex said seriously.

"Tell us if you need for us to do anything. Otherwise we're just here for the show." G said frankly.

"If you wouldn't mind, stay handy so I can ask you questions. I might even need one of your famous stone tablets at some point, just to literally spell it out for me." Lex said frankly.

"I don't think I want to be doing stone on a moving train. But I can make a writing surface for you whenever you want." Paul assured him.

"I'm going to see how much I can do before I have to ask for help." Lex said seriously.

"Well, if Lex doesn't need your help right now, I could use your opinion on my illusion for Sorcery class." G said hopefully.

"Are you guys alright for a while?" Paul asked Lex curiously.

"Yeah. I think Zephyr and I will have our hands and hooves full doing it, but we need to do this for ourselves. If we can manage to cobble something together, I may call on you to look it over before we do a test run." Lex said with a smile at the tiny horse on his shoulder.

"Sounds good. Yell if you need us." Paul said as he followed G a few tables away, where they could talk comfortably without having to worry about distracting Lex.

To Be Continued...

Editor's Notes:

I still can't get over how quickly I can rearrange this so it looks right.

I keep remembering how I had to do it all by hand, so to speak.

It is so cool to see how intelligent Zephr is.

It is fun to see just how all the magical pieces fit together to make things work.

What with us readers being introduced to magic, we are often pretty unsure of how something is supposed to work, let alone being able to make it do what we want it to.

I am going to postulate that the next chapter will deal with what Lucky is trying to accomplish and how D will be able to help him work out what he will be able to do.

I will be waiting here with worms in my mouth (bated breath) to see what will happen next.

Thanks for another intriguing chapter.

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher