Avera sat cross legged on the couch in the corner of the break room eating her lunch. It was a good lunch room. Small, with a few tables and had a nice view of the mountains off in the distance. But more importantly, it was empty. It had almost everything to do that no one knew it existed. And that was fine with her. It was her own personal hour.
She felt a prickle across her skin as she was taking another bite of her sandwich and frowned. Avera couldn’t be quite sure, but from what Vicky explained once as she understood it, the prickle was the same thing Kyle or anyone else felt when she got too close. She checked under the couch and in all of the cupboards. The icebox was also empty. Nothing in the room had changed.
With nothing else to go one, she resumed eating her lunch by the window. Now she stared out with an intensity of a hawk. She also began weaving a large pattern with Thread. It would take time to complete. The faint yellow glow of her taint barely registered against the sunlight streaming into the room.
Her meal done, she packed away her lunch box and checked in on her pattern. It had gotten brighter, but only against what it had been before. The sun still easily washed it out.
“Ms. Villi, it’s so good to see you again!” A male voice said from behind her.
Avera jumped two feet into the air at the voice. He was shorter then her by several inches. He wore a top hat trench coat. On his face, he had dawned a pair of goggles that had an array of micro-engines mounted to the leather strap that held it to his head. The lenses, while frosted over, glowed a pale green. Losing her concentration, her weaving immediately began spontaneous and violent unraveling.
In mid-air she whirled around around and threw the mess of the weave at her intruder before she hit the ground on all fours.
The wall behind him shattered to dust and caught fire.
“Oh, impressive. I see that you are continuing your training. Good, Good.” He turned his back on her to inspect the damage.
“Not for your sake,” Avea snarled and began another weaving. It wavered as she also reached for her satchel.
The man turned his focus all back on her. “Really, you don’t need to make these meetings so difficult.”
“You won’t get me this time, Ben!” Her weave flared, blinding everything in the room as it flashed brighter then the sun for a brief instant.
“I’m not here to ‘get you’,” Ben sighed as he stepped forward again, unaffected by the distracting light. “Getting better as casting I see, good. Still could use work, if you only had proper training.”
“I already told you, I refuse!” Avera threw a handful of small caliber castors at the man from her satchel. Each crystal glowed a different color. She cast another pattern and focused hard on the Thread to weave it. The castors would hit the ground before she had finished weaving her pattern together. She concentrated harder, her heart thudding against her chest. She dropped to her knees, panting and dizzy, unable to focus more Thread towards her pattern.
“Yes, yes, as you’ve said before,” Ben said.
There was a brilliant neon blue flash that filled the room. Avera looked up just in time to catch his weaving as it appeared in the span of a moment, not like her several seconds. And the precise details, lines and intricate geometric designs that made up his weave were amazing to look at. Nothing like her own pattern that looked like it had been drawn in crude crayon in comparison.
The shells floated, spinning slowly until he plucked them from the air to inspect them. “This is quite a bit of firepower right here. Did you make these?”
Avera nodded, sweat beaded on her forehead, still breathing hard as though she had just run up the side of the mountain she had seen out the window.
“How long did it take you?”
“About a month… for each.”
“It would be a waste to use them here, then.” He reached down and pulled up her hand and placed the shells into her open palm before closing her fingers around them.
“You’re still -9.8, but you are getting much better at using your abilities.”
He stood up and removed the goggles revealing bright blue eyes. “I’m sure one of these days we’ll recruit you. But until then, I wish you wouldn’t fight me so hard when I come to check up on you.”
Avera grunted at him before leaning back against the sofa on the floor.
From over the doorway a large rabbit appeared, spotted in the same brilliant blue she saw earlier.
“Hi, Pip, I wondered where you where,” Avera said through several breaths.
“It’s nice to see you to, Avera,” Pip the rabbit said. He jumped up onto Ben’s shoulder.
““I’ll see you soon again.” Ben doffed his hat to Avera and then he and his rabbit twisted in on themselves into a bright blue point of light and vanished.
“Arrgh!” Avera kicked over one of the tables. She shook from head to toe, out of breath and exhausted. She had been having a good day.