“James! Who’s that!?” exclaimed Emma as she excitedly grabbed my arm and pointed at Aurora.
I sighed while wondering what would be the best way to protect Aurora from Emma. Then I said, “Everyone can be introduced shortly. First off, step up beside one of the devices on the ground.”
I had spent a large part of the past week enchanting the flying contraptions Aurora had tweaked for me, but she was rather determined to demonstrate them. At least, that seemed to be her plan with how she was showing the device to everyone and pointing to parts.
“Is Jarod already having an affair?” teased Brandon.
I didn’t bother dignifying the question with a response and certainly wasn’t going to stop Brenna from hitting him.
“Ow!” he exclaimed. “I was only joking, sis. Chill out! Boss, my sister’s using her suit to abuse an employee.”
“Oh?” I asked. “I didn’t see anything. Mila, do you have any record of abuse?”
“No, master. I surely would have filed such a thing immediately.” she replied.
“Come on… You both saw her hit me!” exclaimed Brandon.
“Just pay attention.” snapped Alma. “Aurora’s already starting her demonstration.”
“Are we supposed to do what she does?” asked Jemal.
He and his sister just moved in yesterday. I already had enhancement suits prepared for them, though Aaliyah had to convince me that his sister needed one already. The thought of an unnaturally strong ten-year-old running about the house didn’t seem safe, but Aaliyah pointed out that she’ll be safer in a suit than out of one if she falls victim to someone else’s horseplay.
“Yes. Please, follow along.” I told him.
“Jemal! Jemal!” whispered Kayla excitedly. “There’s a fairy!”
“Pay attention. You know better by…” he started to say, but his words cut off as he caught sight of my little friend. “J-James… There’s a… There’s really a…”
“Yes. Don’t mind her. Just try to pay attention.” I told him. “Oh. You may start to feel like you’re daydreaming due to images and sensations coming to mind. That’s just how she communicates.”
He nodded, but Kayla was quite obviously too distracted to watch Aurora’s instructions, not that the instructions were exceptionally helpful without narration. Alma seemed to agree with me on that point, suddenly giving voice to how the latch mechanism grabbed ahold of shoes. Well, she also pointed out the potential for scuff marks and mentioned how to disable the mechanism if one were to try using the device with bare feet.
Oh. I had missed that Emma’s shoes were missing. I wasn’t particularly surprised, not even when plant matter rushed around them to form a sort of shoe with a wooden sole. Typical Emma. She even added a tree-shaped emblem on the side.
Unabashed by the mixed attention she was receiving, Aurora took hold of the control and lifted into the air. She then stared at the rest of us, possibly wondering why we weren’t flying yet.
I carefully used the controls to rise into the air as Alma finished her explanation of the control parts. Portentia and Emma were quick to do the same.
“Jemal! They’re flying!” exclaimed Kayla.
“Yep. Let’s see if we can too.” he told her, looking determined.
Before he even lifted off the ground, Aurora was demonstrating the mobility of the craft, flying circles in the air.
“Yo, boss. Mine seems broken.” stated Brandon.
“Did you hit the ‘on’ switch?” I asked.
“Huh? Where’s that?” he replied.
“Twist the bottom of the remote, doofus.” stated Brenna.
“It’s working!” he exclaimed.
“Hey, James. How fast can this thing go?” asked Portentia. “I could probably make use of this for my…” She glanced at Jemal and Kayla before saying, “For my nightly activities.”
“I should mention that flying outside of my yard is probably illegal for the time being, but Mila informed me that her mother is already negotiating a law to be passed in the city to allow use of these devices for testing purposes. We could save a great deal of time getting to our jobs if we bypass traffic, and I’m sure any of you who are interested will be able to master the use of these devices.” I explained. “Besides, they seem like fun.”
“Kayla look! I’m flying!” exclaimed Jemal.
“Can’t catch me!” she replied, shooting into the air.
I was surprised by how easily she took to it, slowing and spinning around thirty feet off the ground.
“Careful! It’s not…” started Jemal as he tried to pursue her, but he lost his balance, veering even farther in the opposite direction when the machine tried to adjust for his positioning.
I didn’t bother moving, seeing Aurora already diving toward him. Besides, Raine was watching with one sleepy eye open as she napped in her cat form. I was certain that she could catch him if he was an inch above the ground before she moved. Furthermore, he was only around ten feet in the air when he lost balance. A drop like that was insignificant while wearing the enhancement suit.
I hadn’t expected him to catch himself with magic before he spun all the way over. Aurora still pushed him upright and started demonstrating movement again when he was watching.
“Did you see that?” asked Alma, flying over to me.
My little friend seemed interested in what was happening as well, darting over to investigate.
“Yes. I told you about their abilities.” I replied.
“His expression though. I don’t think he realized he could do that.” she told me.
“I’m not surprised. He seemed dubious about magic existing when I interviewed him.” I explained.
Kayla dove down by her brother, nearly falling herself, and started teasing him.
“Would you be offended if I did a bit of matchmaking?” asked Alma.
“I’m afraid so. You want him to marry into your family.” I stated, guessing at her intentions.
“His magic’s strong enough to lift his own weight. Imagine how such magic could be utilized with the strength of my family behind it.” she suggested.
“At least allow him to get acclimated here before you start meddling.” I told her.
“He might not be interested in leaving then.” she claimed.
I smiled and said, “I can hope.”
“James, my family really isn’t as bad as you seem to believe. We do protect this world.” she insisted.
I was well aware that she believed what she said, but I believed in the eldest three vampires more than Adelmar Slayer by the end of one night with them. I had no intention of idly letting the Slayers do as they wished, at least not in regard to my friends, and I was certain Jemal could be my friend.
Our discussion was interrupted by Portentia rushing over to me and signing
She grinned, obviously hopeful. Then she said, She flew over to the side, jumped to the ground, and maneuvered the flying machine higher into the air as she ran beneath it. Then she leaped into the air, flipped backward, and landed on it again before spinning around with a grin.
“Jemal! Did you see that girl jump!?” exclaimed Kayla.
“Yeah. Don’t try that.” he replied.
“But Jemal… how did she run so fast?” she asked.
“No idea.” he admitted.
“I did warn you that everyone here had abilities.” I told him, speaking loudly enough that he might hear.
Jemal barked a laugh and said, “Yeah, you did.” His mouth went slack as giant plants grew from the yard.
“Obstacle course, everyone! Let’s really test these things!” exclaimed Emma as she rode one into the air and hopped back on her flying apparatus.
I really needed to get Jarod to name these things, but I approved of Emma’s initiative. This could be fun.