“Well it’s not too bad” remarked Da N’tan looking around the bedroom and putting down the cases.
“I suppose not rakas, but Vectis?” asked Sirki testily. “Why the Hell couldn’t this bloody thing be haunting Kernow or Oostende?” She sat on the bed, kicked off her shoes and let down her hair.
“Because it hasn’t been seen there I… what are you doing?”
“We agreed we’d treat this as our honeymoon, remember?” Sirki was pulling off her yellow stretch dress with a grin on her face.
“We’re supposed to be looking for this apparition, Sirk… when did you stop wearing underwear?”
“Today, as it so happens!” now naked, Sirki took up a provocative pose, “Well, soldier, are you stood to attention?”
“I guess it can wait a while” replied Bren …
They lay together looking into each other’s eyes cornflower blue to lilac. “Who would have thought I’d ever be on a mission with a huscarl? It’s quite exciting.”
“You think this is exciting, after all you went through a couple of years ago?” exclaimed Bren in surprise.
“Jaa, nej-one is trying to kill me this time, its nice exciting.”
He looked at the scars on her swan like neck and kissed it gently, she held out her right hand opening her fingers to show where the makeshift garrotte had cut them to the bone as she tried to claw it off and he kissed them too. “Anywhere else you’d like to kiss?” she purred.
“Later perhaps, we should consider making a start on this wild goose chase.”
“You don’t believe in this gast do you? Perhaps I should have brought Penni along?”
“You and Anderson have got a bit thick recently I’m not sure I trust you alone with her.” he replied jokingly.
“Hej not fair, we’re just good friends that’s all and hark at the pot calling the kettle black.” retorted Sirki, their mutual attraction to the pretty Beta being a bone of contention between them.’
“Nothing has happened between us and nothing will, I promise” stated Bren.
“Swear it to Tiw.”
“What, you swear it to Thor first!”
“Sorry rakas only kidding, I trust you really” she asserted rather too quickly.
“I’ve never understood why you believe in the supernatural with you being a Psi and all that?” asked Bren quickly changing the subject.
“Why not, strange things happen all the time? You believe in nothing do you not even Tiw?” she held his wrist aloft with its red zigzag tattoo representing the god’s injury.
“It does no harm to keep an open mind about the gods but I admit to thinking of them as merely a comfort blanket and anyway, if there was something behind this rumour wouldn’t the Psi Wing have found it already?” he caressed Sirki’s Mjolnir tattoo, which like most women from Soomi she wore high on the right thigh. “We really should get up, Sirk.” He added quickly, as his ardour was returning.
“That sounds like a good idea!” said Sirki gleefully jumping on top of him.
“That’s not what I meant…”
It was getting dark when they eventually left the tiny cottage with Sirki more appropriately dressed in slacks and a windproof coat “I hope Freya’s not fretting too much” she had wanted to bring her but both Bren and Mina thought it a bad idea so they had left their infant daughter in the care of her mother which his mother, the formidable Lady Scartho, didn’t like at all.
“You could have easily left Freya with my mother you know, Scartho is much nearer to Wessex than Soomi?” asked Bren. “But, of course, you did it to upset her didn’t you?”
“Jaa you bet I did.” replied Sirki with a grin, Hildegard of Scartho tended to look down her nose at her daughter-in-law who was merely a “landowner’s daughter” in her eyes. “I’m just a common backwoods’ hore remember?”
“She was upset when she said that!” Bren remembered only too well.
“She’s been upset with me since she found out about me, anyway lufiend this is the first time we’ve been away together since we wed so let’s not fall out.”
“Sorry dahling you’re right.” They linked arms and continued along the coastal path where they met several other couples walking out and wished them a good evening. “I’ll bet they’re all looking for the famous gast too” he remarked.
A significant number of the local population had reported a strange apparition which appeared as a huge glowing lion, psionic activity was suspected and a small team of Psi had been sent to investigate discovering nothing but the tales grew so her old Psi mentor, the Highest herself, approached Sirki who had refused to join the Psi Wing. She entreated her former acolyte to come to Vectis and use her enhanced powers determine if there was any truth behind the story. The Da N’tans had visited the local Ward upon arrival, picking up a useful morsel of information that since the appearance of this gast small items, mainly food, had gone missing from the surrounding shops which suggested the strange apparition was of a more earthly origin than some believed.
“Do you know the local people call this land the Isle of Gasts?” asked Sirki.
“Coincidence surely?” asked Bren, Sirki shrugged and they walked on for a mile or so. There was no-one about and it was quite dark but it bothered neither of them as night sight was just one of the abilities possessed by the Novae.
“The main sightings are around the Swordpoints” remarked Sirki. They were currently on the headland overlooking the spectacular rock formation that seemed to thrust its way out of the waves. “The apparition is usually seen from here onwards.”
After continuing for a distance they stopped on spotting movement ahead. A small figure was walking easily along the cliff edge without need of a lamp. “Sirki do you think that person has something to do with what we’re looking for?” asked Bren.
Sirki concentrated and said “They have nej resonation it’s probably a norm, a smuggler maybe?”
“A norm that can see in the dark?” he considered this then shouted. “Hei!” and they both watched in surprise as the mystery figure blurred quickly away. The couple went into quickspeed to give pursuit then halted when they realised their prey had eluded them. “Where are they?” asked Bren.
“They must be Novae but I feel nothing” insisted Sirki.
“They can’t have just disappeared!” then Da N’tan saw something in the corner of his eye and he turned to see a glowing lion charging at him. He recoiled in surprise and fell back straight over the cliff edge.
“Bren!” shrieked Sirki. She caught her husband telekinetically then after pulling him to safety wrapped her arms about him “Oh gods you’re safe, thank you Thor!”
“Thor didn’t have anything to do with it rakas that was all down to you.”
“Don’t say that I could have dropped you without his help.”
“Check Sirk, if it makes you happy” said Bren. “I suppose they’ve disappeared?”
“She?” asked Bren.
“Jaa that lion was a Psi avatar I could see that quite easily, how many male Psi’ do you know?” she stated. “And she was blocking herself from us.”
“But Sirki you’re the only Psi who can hide their resonation?”
“The women in my family have been able to do it since before mummo Sirkku, dahling. I must tell Mina about this. Do you want to carry on looking?” she asked.
‘No, we need to consider a course of action. Let’s go back to the cottage’ Bren felt quite slightly unnerved by the experience.
“Nej-one has been harmed by this apparition before” asserted Sirki. “I don’t think she meant to push you over the cliff.”
“Hmm?” was Bren’s only response.
Having reported what had occurred and stressing to Mina that backup was not required as yet, Bren sat with his A-pad and examined a relief map of the area with interest before Sirki insisted they retire to bed where she reminded him why he married her in the most carnal way possible. Next evening Sirki was allowed to prepare the meal and her famously disastrous cooking skills produced something almost inedible, even to Bren who as a huscarl had eaten some pretty revolting things then they set off in the same direction as the previous night.
Stopping some distance from the scene of the previous night’s encounter Bren asked. “Well Sirk, are you still willing to do this?”
“I’m on a mission with my husband, of course I am!” beamed Sirki.
With that Bren warned her to be careful then he moved inland and uphill into the dense scrub while Sirki continued alone along the clifftop path. Once past the Swordpoints the path had become narrower and more precarious when she spotted a shadow in the distance. The figure wasn’t aware of Sirki as she was suppressing her own resonation to make her psionically invisible and was walking casually in the opposite direction.
“Hej, who are you?” she path’d to the figure who turning in surprise, raced off again at a blur but Sirki was already moving in quickspeed and her quarry could not lose her this time.
It stopped slightly ahead and faced her with bright blue eyes.
“I don’t mean you any harm” path’d Sirki.
A large glowing white lion materialised in front of her and roared, baring long canines.
‘Two can play at that game.’ Sirki’s hair appeared to be blown about by a non-existent breeze and she levitated a foot or so off the ground as two blue cats the size of tigers appeared by her side. ‘Your move!’ she thought.
The lion reared up on its hind legs to spring at her but Bygul and Trjegul, her twin cat avatars, pounced upon the creature dragging it to the ground to rake it with their claws. There was a scream and the lion vanished, the figure disappeared into a cave hidden in the undergrowth but Da N’tan was already there and dragged the small figure out by its arm.
“Bren, don’t hurt her, she’s only a child and she’s frightened!” path’d Sirki urgently.
Bren regarded his captive with surprise, she was a dark-skinned girl in her early teens with dirty clothes, unkempt hair and blue eyes wide in panic. “Who are you?” he asked angrily.
The girl spoke rapidly in a language he did not understand, Sirki had now reached them and removing her brown lenses to reveal her true eye colour path’d. “Don’t be scared lapsi I’m just the same as you” the girl regarded her face curiously but did not respond. “What is your name?” Sirki radiated her charm but the girl seemed resistant, at first.
“Ife… Ife Asante” she replied finally.
“You are from Akebu-lan?” asked Sirki, glad that the girl had absorbed a lot of Aenglish on her travels.
“Yes my lady, I am from Olej a town near the port of Malua, I hid on a ship and travelled across Frankia to Calais and then from there to this place.” The girl replied.
“I know someone called Ife and my name is Sirki” she smiled warmly. “So you came all this way from your home, why?”
“In Olej when I became a woman I felt the voices in my head, I knew they came from the north so I came to find them, many people in Europa were afraid of me because of my eyes and called me witch or demon so I came to this island but kept myself out of sight because thoughts are hostile here too. I took food from their shops making them forget I was there and if people came close to finding me I would send out my lion to scare them away, when the strange women came looking for me I was scared and hid myself from them. I did not mean to push your big blue-eyed man off the cliff, I am very sorry.” Ife told Sirki.
“There was no harm done Ife but what of your family, will they not worry about you?”
“They were sorry to see me leave but I am grown up now and they understood I had to follow my path, what you folk call wyrd.”
“Do they have your abilities?”
“The women of my family are all seers but I am the only one to have so many powers and the bright blue eyes, can you tell me why?”
“Because you are a Psi my child” replied Sirki.
A Midge came from the Port of London to pick up the young girl and she was flown back to the Psihearg where Ife would be welcomed in and given training then her parents in Olej were traced and informed that she was safe and well. Mina was overjoyed that a Psi with a power only previously possessed by Sirki had been found and wanted to join the Psi Wing.
“She may be the descendant of an Alpha who found their way to Akebu-lan years ago?” Sirki mused. They had decided to stay in Vectis as the cottage was hired for the week.
“Is it possible her family came about their abilities some other way? Hispania is directly north of Malua, what if Q-energy reached Akebu-lan from there and it’s taken hundreds of years to affect susceptible people?” asked Bren. “Do you think there may be others like her out there?”
“I don’t know that’s for the Psi Wing to find out” she replied. “We have other things to do.” Sirki began kissing Bren passionately, pushing her body against him and pathing. “Do you want to make another descendant?”
“Er it’s a bit soon after Freya isn’t it?” he asked nervously.
“How about we just practise then?”
Bren could smell the heady musk in her hair, Sirki was using her charisma and he knew there was no was no point in resisting. “Well we are on honeymoon after all…”