Monday, September 28, 2015

Practical Magic: Further Exams (Practical Magic #15)

Dot, Deidre and Al were back in the observation room. Charles had readily agreed to the further testing that Greg had suggested. Everyone who had been called to examine his memories around the night of the robbery agreed that though they were blank it was more that they were covered up than cut out. After much consulting and planning they were gathering today to test their theory. The plan was to try and remove a portion of the block today just to see how if they could and then go back in and remove the rest piece by piece. It wasn’t a large portion of his memory so it shouldn’t take too many sessions but as it was a new experience for all involved they felt that slow and steady would be the best course of action.

Dot and Al were more interested in watching the proceedings than Deidre was. Deidre knew her Aunt would be reading and watching all of the other Prophets as they worked, seeing things that she could not. And Al would be able to see the threads that tied all of the people working on Charles together, he would also be fascinated by just the fact that this was new and unknown, Spell-Caster curiosity at work. For Deidre she would just be watching the proceedings because it was her duty to Charles. She would only see Charles and three other people sitting in a room for how ever long it would take. She would be able to feel the magic as they raised it in their circle but not having the ability to read in to his mind she wouldn’t see what was happening there. Not possessing the connected gift she wouldn’t see how they were all working together. But she would watch anyway. And wait.

Greg was leading the circle since he had been the first person to discover the anomaly in Charles’ mind. Those sharing the circle with him had also examined Charles so they were aware of what they were looking for, there was Deborah Livingstone who was a Prophet known for her memory skills. She was able to reconstruct even the older memory from the tiredest mind. In fact she made a living working with the elderly of The Gifted putting their life stories down in print for their families. Working with Greg and Deborah was a younger member of The Gifted. Joshua Tanner was one of the rare who had been called with complete dual gifts. He was a Prophet and a Healer. He had more than just a trace of one with the other being dominant but was a true Healer and a true Prophet. He had taken the dual natural of his gifts and used it to perfect his studies in neurobiology. He had studied with The Others as well as with The Gifted learning as much as he could about the scientific and the magical natural of the brain and memory and thought.

Together they had formed a plan. They would join each other in a circle of sharing, a very fancy name for allowing each other in to their minds. Basically dissolving the physical barriers around themselves then they would enter Charles’ memory, using Greg as a sort of doorway. They would then focus their energy on the thinnest edge of blot that they had found. Where the blank spot started. There was a jagged edge at that point that they felt they could visualize picking up, maybe rolling against the other and then lifting it away. As they were all working toward moving the blockage away Deborah would be concentrating on the memory beneath, making sure it was not being damaged, and Joshua would be focusing on the rest of the brain activity around them. They still weren’t sure what they were dealing with but after Shakel everyone was cautious. What if this was a trap? Only made to look easy to remove but there was more underneath? Possible a spell hiding in Charles’ mind waiting to call on their power to trap them? No one thought that was likely but no one really wanted to take any chance either, so they would move slowly and cautiously.

Deidre watched the three form a circle and begin breathing in sync. A sign the sharing had begun. Right now if you were to check their heart rates they would all match. She could feel the prickle of magic along her arms, knowing if she had been in the same room with them it would be even stronger. Then she turned to look at her Aunt and at Al. Both were leaning forward watching the circle intently. Deidre knew they were both seeing things that she could not. She understood what they were watching from her classes, she knew the theory of it all, understood it as much as she could, but she still could not see what they did. Which was fine, they couldn’t see what she did either. Like how fast she would have to move to be from where she was seated to inside that room if something went wrong. What she would need to do to alert The Guards in the outer hallway of any danger. She didn’t expect there to be any, but she could have no more sat in that room and not figured out the safest way out and the best way to protect those around her than her Aunt Dot could stop from seeing the sharing of the circle. It was who they were.

After about 20 minutes Dot sat back in her chair, “They are finishing now.”

Deidre watched as the circle slowly dissolved their connection. She felt the power lessening and then saw Joshua shake his shoulders out a little.Then Deborah stood and stretched out slowly. Finally Greg turned toward the mirror and gave the three in the next room a tired smile and a thumbs up. “We can all meet to discuss the results with the council if you’d like?” then he turned to Charles, “You are of course welcome to join us as we will be discussing your memory.”

Charles, the three observers along with the three Prophets from the circle met jointly to discuss the results of today’s session.

“I will start with my own observations and then ask Deborah and Joshua to chime in,” Greg began, “It was much like we thought. The blank spot in Charles’ memory seemed covered up more than removed. We worked on a small edge of that cover and were able to remove it leaving the memory underneath in tact.”

Dot interrupted, “Before we hear more from the circle, Charles, can you tell us how you feel? Do you have any further memory of that night?”

“Not really, I still remember going to bed and starting to dream but then nothing. Maybe after some sleep? It’s sort of exhausting having that many people in your head at once.”

Dot smiled at him, “Yes, I can imagine it would be. Okay, Greg, continue.”

“We didn’t take much today. I think this is the best, as you can see it’s very taxing on Charles and truth be told on me as well. Using myself as a doorway was the best idea we had but it’s a hard thing to maintain that split concentration of keeping the link to Deborah and Joshua open while at the same time working on the edges of the block with Charles. I would imagine you two feel the same?”

Joshua and Deborah nodded agreement. “The interesting thing we found today was that there is nothing worth hiding just yet.” This was Deborah.

“What do you mean?”

“What we found as the block was lifted and separated from his base memory was the dream he was starting when he fell asleep. So whatever it is we are looking for must be deeper in.”

“And you found no evidence that this was a false dream? We aren’t looking at a block hiding a false memory are we?”
“Noooah,” Deborah yawned as she spoke, “Excuse me, sorry about that, no, as far as I can tell it’s a true memory. There are no signs that a new memory has been woven in.”

Al turned to Joshua, “And what did you find? How is Charles handling the procedure?”

“Well. Really well actually. Though I wouldn’t want to move any faster than we did today and in fact as we get to the more solid areas of the block we might even need to slow down further. Trying to lift out the block without damaging what is underneath as well as adding all of our thoughts in to his space is, as you can see, draining. What we don’t want to happen is for his body to start fighting us and try to protect that block as it would a memory.”

“Okay, so what we know so far is that what we thought might work seems to be working. We need to be patient and take it slowly. And so far we know nothing new about what actually happened that night?” Deidre looked to her notes.

“Yes, that seems to sum everything up, now if you will excuse me, I think I need to have a nap.” And with that Greg stifled a yawn and stood to leave with Deborah, Joshua and Charles fast on his heels.

Deidre closed her notebook and put it in a vest pocket, “Let me know when you want to schedule the next session, it seems to me that we should not do them daily, at least while we figure out how taxing this is going to be.”

Dot nodded, “Yes, I think we should give them a day at least to rest. Let us all check schedules and I will have my assistant call you to verify free times.”

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