“Ready?” Camilla asked me “Again!”
I tried it again, my muscles contracting, trying to expulse my stomach's content. I hadn't eaten in the last 24 hours so there wasn't anything for it to throw up.
The closest thing I'd gotten to food or water were a pair of pills. I had no idea what they were, but by the room looking like melting chocolate with sprites dancing all around, I guessed it wasn't just flu medicine.
“I hate you” I muttered at Cam, my belly full of cramps “Is there really no other way?”
“There are, but they aren't safe ones. It gets easy as you get accustomed to it.”
Again, I visualized the light and energy flowing through my body, feeding the cells that composed my being. I commanded it to come out, my stomach trying to throw it out due to one of Cammy's caps.
I kept on going for two hours, Camilla sitting next to me, encouraging me.
“This... Isn't working...”
“One last try Zeke.”
I sighed hard and redid the exercise. Visualization, expressing the will, physical effort... I felt it come out that time, not undigested matter but a silvery liquid with golden hues. It flowed out of every orifice, bleeding out of my eyes, nose and ears. The thing twisted and whirled about, expanding and contracting without any pattern. The small blob, roughly the size of a tennis ball floated in the air, right next to my arms.
“Jeez... The heck is that?”
Camilla gave me a triumphant smile “Told'ya” she retorted.
“And that, is quintessence. Or Chi, Mana, Ether, Primal Element, Ichor, Ka. There's a lot of name so let's just stick with Quintessence. Literally, fifth essence. It's what is neither an Energy, a Liquid, a Solid, or a Gas nor is it one of the four elements.
What you have here, is the most valuable resource ever. Potential”
“Potential?” I asked dubious
“It isn't something Zeke. It's the potential to be something, anything actually. It is the raw matter of the universe.”
“How does it work?”
“At your level, there's little you can do with it. But, it's what allows us to create our Foci. Those rods, staves, wands, athames and all those were infused with it. They went from inert matter to spiritual channel and reservoirs.
The first step is easy. You craft the thing you wish to enchant. You don't need to do it from beginning to end, but it's better to make it... Proper to your style.”
“Every mage has his traditions, from the druids of Ireland, to the hermetic wizard passing by the ecstatic Yogi and the magical-hacker. You didn't really chose to get into this so you enter in a virginal state we could say.” She gave me a mocking smile as she spoke the last part.
“Do I just copy the next guy over for his stuff?”
“No. That means you have to search within yourself the truth. Meditate on the nature of the world, it's mechanics. To use the powers you have to believe. Seek your own truth. Remember this, everything is true.”
“What about false things?”
“Even false things are true.”
“How can that be?”
“It's how the universe works. The mind is all, that is the first hermetic principle. Belief and ideas have power, if you enough believe and channel it, the imposible can happen.”
“Alright any Idea where I should start?”
A knock on the door cut her mid sentence, when Camilla opened the door, Nova stood there, visibly nervous. “It happened again” She said to her lover, in a hushed tone I could barely hear.
They discussed a bit in a low voice, I couldn't hear most of it but one thing catched my attention. “Damn it... He's not ready.” Camilla muttered.
“We have no choice. They're already rising up and we're shorthanded. Just take him with you alright?”
With hesitation she nodded and came back to sit next to me. “We'll have to continue another time Zeke. We have to move, Something's going on.”
“What about this?” I asked pointing the blob.
“Take a great inspiration, as strong as you can. Even if your lungs are full.”
I did so and the ball of mojo flew right into my mouth before spreading all trough my body. It felt nearly orgasmic, I felt the power revitalize my being, rejuvenating it to a semblance of health.
“We're going to a club downtown” Informed me as we hopped into her car.
“What's going on?”
“Something has been murdering members of the supernatural community. The others are blaming us for them... If we don't solve that problem, war will erupt.”
“Ready?” Camilla asked me “Again!”