|The Trail goes Cold
||[Dec. 30th, 2005|07:45 pm]
"What the -?" Niel lurched to a sudden stop. "Wait - there's something very wrong."
Synthia did not wait. What Synthia did do was race off towards where their target was supposed to be, regardless of Niel's huffed warnings. A "Synthia, hold up!" had no effect. It'd appear, thought Niel, that she's giving my input the usual amount of attention.
Fortunately, Synthia eventually came to a stop at a street corner and began examining the area. Niel tried to catch her attention again. "I just felt - old magic. Strong magic. There's not supposed to be magic like that around anymore."
This attempt finally succeeded. She turned back to him, eyes questioning. "What do you know about it?"
"It's not ancestor magic and it's not null magic. That leaves a kind of magic that's been so incredibly weakened, almost no one uses it anymore." He suddenly noticed that his partner was not running. Synthia the tireless, the focused, the mission-first-and-old-men's-stamina-be-damned OIS commando was not running. That meant something. "Do you have any idea where Specimen 00 is, and how the hell he can use that?"
She shook her head "He was right here, then he was gone."
"It's as if he no longer exists."
No outward expression gave away Synthia's frustration, nor did it have to. Niel was visibly frustrated enough for both of them. "Great. Any indication that he had magical abilities before?"
"Yes, but I do not believe even he expected this. He was running full stride. There was no pause or any kind of indication that he was the cause." It was the most logical induction Synthia could make.
"If I knew anyone he'd been in contact with...- wait, what indication was there?" Niel turned curious.
"As I said, there was none." Synthia's face was emotionless. Niel could not tell if she thought he was referring to previous indications of Specimen 00's magic (of which he knew nothing), indications that this was not his doing, or if she was simply hiding something from him. He decided to press the matter later.
"That leaves who he may have been in contact with. Old magic doesn't just make spells like this happen. What do we have for background information on him?"
She returned to examining the corner. Like a Machine she moved - methodical, eyes scanning in patterned left-to-right sweeps. "He has not been in contact with anyone, as far as I can tell, he has done nothing but run with no discernable destination since his escape."
"And now he's nowhere." Niel sighs and runs fingers through graying hair. "Well, that leaves me with little...you have any idea what to do?"
"You have a better idea?"
Despite her lack of a tone of voice, Niel still felt distinctly talked down to. "Depends on what better means to you. If we can't tell where he's going, we could backtrack. Find how he got into the Dome. Trace his path. Maybe a clue to his final destination. I'm not sure. I could also talk to an old friend, who knows magic like this better than I. She might be able to tell us who's left that could attempt a disappearing spell." The thought of speaking to a sane female seemed a welcome break.
"Then perhaps you should contact her, but I see no point in physically retracing his steps," replied Synthia, not bothering to look up at him. "I will wait here."
"Fair enough." A memory of her literalistic nature struck him. "By 'wait here' do you actually mean standing in this spot and not moving?"
She gave him a slightly annoyed look "If he reappears in the same spot, I would rather not have to continue our pursuit."
"Go figure," he muttered under his breath. He could probably take a few months off to open his own business and come back to this corner to find her waiting. "I suspect I'll catch you here. The old friend I refer to is a midwife. She works at the Dome 9 central hospital. Send word there, or something, if he shows up."
She simply nodded. Niel knelt to grab a scrap of paper on the side of the street, and raised it to his nose for a smell. It's scent carried enough of the spell's Aspect for someone better versed in Old Magic to identify the casting. This would do nicely. Stuffing the paper into his pocket, he left Synthia behind to scan the world line by line as she wished.
Time to pay Sara a visit.