While I'd always been average in just about anything, my direction sense was one of the exceptions. I'd always been able to find my way, I knew where the cardinal points were at all time. And I could remember any path I'd seen. In another life I would have been a great explorer. In this one, I instead my karma made me become a cubicle farm worker and a couch potato.
I got to the place quickly, I knew the corners of downtown pretty well and took short cuts in alleys and parking buildings. I reached a towering building, a deluxe apartment complex by the look of it.
The guard at the both didn't seem to notice me. A good thing considering my attire. I looked like a hobo...
Apartment 81. Which as I found out, was the top floor. It was actually the penthouse...
As the elevator opened, I knocked on the metal door, which looked out of place with the regal corridor deco. It looked like a bunker's door... Actually, thinking about it, It probably was.
I waited a minute before knocking again, right on time as a woman opened the door...
In front of me, stood what I presumed was a woman, her short hair, gender neutral clothes and demeanor made her androgynous. Her small breast were the only thing giving her gender away.
That's what I noticed at first. It took me a second to register a few pieces of information...
One, she was armed, pointing the biggest handgun ever in my direction.
Two, her eyes were luminescent aquamarine. And I mean literally luminescent.
Third, her skin was teal colored...
I didn't think before acting and tackled her to the ground, as I did, she fired a shot from her handgun, which was the size of a small violin... When she pulled the trigger, a thunderous boom filled the corridor and my ears went deaf for a full minute, the gun screamed like a raging god of death and destruction. The bullet thankfully missed me by about a tenth of an inch.
We wrestled the gun from each other’s control and tried to pin the other down. She was obviously a better fighter than I, but with her being a few inches over five feat and me only a hair below 6 with broad shoulder, gravity was definitely on my side.
Kicks and punches were thrown, mostly with me on the receiving end. It lasted for a full minute of brawling, screaming and until a weak voice cut us both.
Leaning against the wall, was Camilla. Wearing nothing but pink jammies. She looked like hell, with her hair a mess and sunken eyes.
"Will you two just stop?" she said in a tired voice
The teal lady, nimbly swept away from me declaring "That guy just assaulted me!"
"Assaulted? You pointed a BFG at my face!" I yelled out. Well sort of. There's a lot of insulting and sexist terms I removed from this bit for tastefulness’ sake.
The raven haired lady sighed and helped me back up. "Look, just forget about this. Both of you." She nodded at the other girl and said "Ezekiel, this is Nova." And then "Nova, meet Zeke."That… thing is Nova?" I said in disbelief, staring at the blue-green woman next to me.
Camilla nodded and turned to Nova "Can you leave us for a while? I'll take care of him." Without a word, she left. Disappearing swiftly behind a door into one of the side rooms.
"What is she?" I asked in a low tone.
"Human." She replied in a firm voice and commanding voice.
"Humans aren't that color with cat like glowing eyes!"
Camilla just let out a sigh of pure irritation and dragged me forcefully to the living room, sending me crashing onto the couch. As she sat down, legs crossed she explained a few things to me.
"Look. I know it's hard to take, but she's just like you and I. I didn't want you to see it right away, it often scared novices. But there's a law to magic. Everything you do come back to you. As you change the world, you change yourself. Nova's special appearance comes from that."
"So we all become... Like that?" I said, stopping myself from saying monster at the last second.
"Yes and No. It takes along time for the effect to kick in. And It only does as your own powers progresses. For a full transformation, one must be an arch mage's level of power."
"Full transformation? Are there partial ones?"
"Yes. Eyes, are the window of the soul, it changes rather quickly, within a few years of reaching a noteworthy magical strength.
"It'll seem weird, but stare into my eyes, don't look away"
I did as she said not sure where she was going.
"Look into the eyes, not at the reflection or the eye itself, see yourself passing thru it. Send your sense all over the place."
I tried. It didn't do anything. But I'm nothing if not stubborn so I continued. On my fifth try, it happened. My eyes burned as if I'd been in a dark room, and someone turned the light, clashing musical notes assaulted my ears, indescribably feelings crossed my body. And finally, I looked back at her.
Gone were the sunken eyes and pyjamas, instead I saw her in tight studded leather, a cloak around her shoulder, glowing symbols running across her skin A long golden, ruby tipped staff in hand. But more importantly were the eyes. I saw them, uniform black except where the iris should have been, instead, pure white flames danced across her eyes. I felt a silent pressure upon me, a need to cower down from the sheer aura of power she radiated. She wasn't just any chick.
She was something more. And she shone by the light of her determination...
A moment latter, someone grabbed me by the arm, and shook me strongly. I blinked several times and looked at my left. Camilla was there, her spiritual image super imposed upon her current look.
"You need to close it Zeke!" She said nervously.
I gazed at her distantly, as more images came to mind, like ghosts from the past haunting the room and coming rushing toward me.
"Picture a mirror in your mind, slowly, get thru it, leave the reflection behind. Separate yourself from the world beyond. Focus on what lies on this side. The mundane, the physical world.
I tried as she instructed me. But the me from the reflection grabbed my arm, pulling me in. Dragging me back to his world...
Crap... This stuff keeps happeneing to me.