Maybe if we wish upon a star...
Hello! Er... I'm afraid this is a one-time update. I mean, I'm going to update again, sometime, but it's like fighting molasses, trying to write this thing, so future chapters are going to be few and far between. I'm sorry! I know how that sucks. Got a few authors on a "to shoot" list, myself. But, well- molasses
Anyway, hope you enjoy this one! Happy New Year!
As always, nothing is owned.
“Wizard Dresden,” the Gatekeeper rumbled gracefully.
and hid behind me.
Rashid looked a lot like a silver-haired Ra’s al Ghul, if someone took a knife to his face. The movie one, not the comics. Okay, so I guess he looks a lot like a silver-haired Liam Neeson if someone took a knife to his face. And popped out his eye for a steel ball-bearing. He’s definitely got the voice for it. I wonder if the two of them are related somehow…?
“And your lovely companion is-?” Rashid paused.
“Oh, sorry.” I pulled Willow in front of me. “This is Willow Rosenberg. Willow, this is Rashid, the Gatekeeper. He likes to laugh watching me. I suspect he bribes the Fates.”
“Nothing so mundane,” Rashid said with an amused smile. Willow giggled. His smile dropped in consternation. “Dresden, I cannot See this girl. Who is she?”
“Ehhh, that’s kinda what we came to talk about. She’s not from this dimension.”
” Rashid said sharply.
“I kinda maybe accidentally had a teleport spell go wrong?” Willow mumbled.
“Ah.” The man relaxed. “A visitor, then, not an Outer being.”
“You know something, then?” I asked.
“They happen, from time to time. I once met my own counterpart near the Gates.’
“Like an evil twin from an alternate timeline?” Willow asked. I wondered if his evil twin came without a goatee, or if maybe he
was the evil twin…
“No. There are no alternate timelines here.”
“But- how- that doesn’t make any sense! I mean, this place is just like my home, mostly! And the history is the same! What about George Washington? We both have George Washingtons!”
He sighed. “Magic has density, do you understand? And will, intent is the heart of all magic. So in the worlds with denser magic, more tightly-woven realities, the intent must be stronger and it… radiates, and affects, the lighter dimensions. A woman might name her son Alexander in one and that decision would push the thought to mind in another. Both children are unique and original. But both are named Alexander.”
“So what’s the difference?” Willow asked.
“The difference, Willow Rosenberg, is that their decisions, however much they might be influenced- and who among us is free of influence, regardless? However much they might be influenced, their thoughts are not inevitable.
Now, the lighter dimensions are not as dense and thus not so locked and so, they split. The timeline allows for both
decisions, and so the future is only uncertain in that you do not know which tail you may end upon. The lighter the magic, the freer, the more easily the worlds divide, until nothing is impossible because all possibilities are accounted for. You simply have to find the right stream. In fact, that is the foundation of one dimension’s branch of magic- finding the right probability and pulling yourself into it.”
Willow scrunched her nose. “So… I came down
“A close approximation.”
“And if you removed the dimensional barriers, they’d collapse because they’re stacked?
“I suppose…” Rashid looked unsettled. Hell, I
was unsettled! I remembered that plot!
“How did they get back?” Willow asked.
“Normally with whatever brought them here.”
Willow crumpled. “I don’t have any of Dawnie’s blood left.”
The Gatekeeper sighed and closed his eye. His other eye, the steel ball-bearing, flicked back and forth. Finally, he opened the live one.
“I cannot see you. I can see your effects, the way you shift things, but I cannot see you
. And I do not know what future is the result of which action. However, at some point, you either leave- or die.”
With that bit of depressing news, we went back to my apartment hoping the others had had better luck. I opened the door to find Molly literally surrounded by books.
“Don’t tell me,” I said. “You got bored and decided to build a fort.”
“Words are haaaard,” Molly whined, turning another page.
“Seriously, who are you and where’s Molly? I can’t get you to read through Gamp’s, much less a…” I glanced at the cover. “Treatise on Zeta Function Regularization? What the hell?”
“It’s fascinating stuff!” Molly protested, carefully picking herself off the ground. Mouse snorted.
“My thoughts exactly,” I told him.
“Ooo, Max Tegmark!” Willow exclaimed.
I rolled my eyes at the manifestation of nerd and went down into the basement.
“Bob? Bob, are you back?” I asked, fumbling for the light switch.
“Yeah, um… yeah.” Well, that didn’t sound good.
“What’s wrong? What’d you find?” I asked as I walked into the workroom.
“Nothing. Well, I mean, I did find a spell, but you’re not gonna like it. It’s got all sorts of… interesting ingredients.” Bob’s glowing eyes shifted back and forth.
“Like…?” I asked warily.
He sighed. “A fresh lightning bolt, two unnatural smiles, a silver tesseract-”
“A silver tesseract,” Bob repeated. “It’s a four-dimensional cube. We’ll need it to mix things in.”
“Oh. Um. Okay. Leaving that aside, what else?”
“An infinitely sharp knife, a clip of the transportee’s hair, and three kinds of blood- a virgin’s blood,” Naturally. “A faerie’s blood,” Oh, joy. “And a holy warrior’s blood.”
I rubbed the scruff on my chin. “Huh. Okay, the first and last blood types should be the easiest. I know Molly’s clean, and I’m pretty sure Sanya-”
“Ah- the, ah, holy warrior- she has to be female.”
“I’m going out,” I said as I walked past the girls.
Molly looked up. “Need us to go with?”
I paused. Molly wouldn’t do any good, but having Willow along might
help… scratch that, she’d help a lot, but only if I was going to ask her
… and, well, that wasn’t going on my list. Gard should fit the bill, and she might be willing to help me find an infinitely sharp knife. Valkyries were closet weapons nuts.
I shook my head. “Nah. You keep doing that book thing. I’ll bring Mouse along just in case.”
“Outclassed by a dog,” Molly muttered, going back to her book. “How sad is that?”
Mouse gave her a look.
“I’m just saying!”