Kayla came running around the corner towards us, stopping and staring at Jarod when she got close. “Hi! Are you Deyanira’s boooyfriend?” she asked. Quickly turning to Deyanira, she asked “What about Brandon!?”
“Hi there. My name’s Jarod. I live here, and I’m actually married to someone else.” he explained. “Who are you?”
“I’m Kayla. IIII live here, and I’ve never seen you before.” she insisted.
“I’ve been on my honeymoon for a couple weeks.” he told her.
“Jarod lives past that gym we were in this morning.” I informed her.
“Really!? Emma told me there’s a pool on the roof of that section! Is it amazing!?” she asked.
“I enjoyed it. There’s also an underground pool that looks like a cave. I can see if Ai or Mai will show you sometime.” he suggested.
“I don’t know if leaving her alone with the twins is the best idea.” I told him. Then I said to Kayla, “Jarod’s the one who invented that flying machine you’ve been using.”
“He is!? Those things are awesome!!!” she exclaimed.
“Flying machines?” asked Deyanira.
“Yes. They’re these small platforms you stand upon and control with a wireless device.” I explained.
“Wow… That sounds interesting.” replied Deyanira. “Are they safe?”
Jarod shrugged and said, “Relatively. The board will auto-adjust to some extent if you seem to be trying to balance, but I didn’t want that taken too far, or you’d be dramatically limited on maneuverability.”
“I assure you that they turned out marvelous. No injuries as of yet.” stated Mila.
“They’re super fun!” exclaimed Kayla. “I can’t believe you built them!”
“Well, Mila usually does most of the actual building. I didn’t even fully design them myself, just the basic layout. Aurora did all the fine-tuning, and I heard James helped out with a little modification of his own.” explained Jarod.
I quickly said, “I really didn’t do too much.”
Jarod’s wry smile seemed like an argument, but we couldn’t say too much in front of Deyanira.
“Kayla, want to check out my lab?” offered Jarod. “I’m going to check on Aurora.”
“Awesome!” exclaimed Kayla.
“Who is Aurora?” asked Deyanira.
“Jarod’s lab assistant.” I informed her.
“Can I see this lab too?” she asked.
“Sure. Come along.” replied Jarod. “Hey, Brandon! I’m stealing your girlfriend.”
“Hey, now! No stealing girls. We’re not exactly dating yet.” stated Brandon. “I mean… we’ve gone on dates, but… it’s not… well.. you know…”
“Do I!?” exclaimed Deyanira, looking a bit perturbed.
“Well, I mean… we didn’t exactly ever talk about making anything official, and I didn’t want to assume anything. So… are we dating?” he asked.
“I don’t know. I guess we’ll need to talk. Later.” she stated, turning to follow Jarod.
Brandon was looking wildly between his monitor and Deyanira, obviously struggling to focus on both as he took a hit in the game that he should’ve been able to avoid.
After a few steps down the hall, I asked “So are you two dating?”
“We’ll see.” she stated.
“Wasn’t that a little mean though?” I asked.
She smiled and said, “Isn’t he adorable when he’s flustered?”
“I can’t really say I’ve thought of him as adorable ever.” I replied.
<Master, a moment.> signed Mila.
<Yes?> I asked.
<Aurora’s rather active in the lab. This may not be the best time for Deyanira to visit.> she informed me.
<I see. Thank you.> I told her.
“I’ve just been informed that Aurora is in the middle of an experiment, and we’d best not interrupt her at the moment.” I announced.
Jarod turned to look at me curiously for a moment, but his expression changed after a moment. <Is she using one of the suits?> he asked.
I nodded, since Deyanira was looking at me.
“Sorry, guys. Next time. I suppose I should’ve asked Mila about that first.” stated Jarod. “Care to play around on the… hmm… I really should name those. How about…”
“ZOOMIES!” exclaimed Kayla.
Grinning, Jarod said, “Sure, why not.”
“Mila, can you spare a body for safety?” I asked.
“Anything for you, master.” she told me. “I’ll bring four right up.”
“Uh… Maybe I’ll just watch.” stated Deyanira.
“Mila, mind bringing an extra and getting Brandon out back?” I asked.
“As you wish, master.” she told me. “Lady Pendreigh will be joining you as well. Oh. Ai and Mai will be coming to yell at Jarod. I’ll bring a couple zoomies for them.”
Jarod laughed and nodded. Then he said, “Kayla, I might require your help naming more things in the future.”
“Really!? Sure thing!” she exclaimed. Grabbing Deyanira’s hand, she said, “Race you there!”
I was worried for a moment, knowing Kayla was wearing her suit, but she kept her pace somewhat reasonable as Deyanira chased after her.
“Is her brother as excitable?” asked Jarod with a grin.
“More anxious than anything. I’m sure he’ll relax eventually.” I replied.
“I’m glad to be home. As beautiful as the island was, I missed being able to tinker. Seeing everyone is good too, of course. This place can change so much week-to-week. Even Brandon’s probably catching my stats on Ancient Tribes of Earth now.” he told me.
“I somehow doubt it. Glad to have you back.” I told him.
He suddenly grabbed my arm. Then he said, “You’re really not wearing a suit, are you. Was there a problem?”
“Oh. My magic interferes with the enchantment I place on them. Turns out that I don’t really need them.” I told him.
Jarod barked a laugh and said, “I’ve noticed.”
“Umm… really. Turns out I can move faster than Alma when she’s wearing a suit. Some things happened, and I found out how to control my magic a bit better.” I explained.
“Wow.” he stated, shaking his head. “You really get more amazing all the time. What are you going to do next? Realign a planet?”
I adamantly said, “No. Of course not. I wouldn’t even begin to know what would be safe. Even if I did the math and everything, there’d be no explaining it. Besides, why would I want to do that? I’m sure there’d be consequences, other than the entire world wondering what happened. I suppose I could give a giant meteor a shove if one was coming toward the planet, but even then, there’d probably be a cost…” I realized I had been rambling, lost in my thoughts about the details of doing such a thing while trying to avoid the memories I had of feeling such power. I said too much.
“You can really do it, can’t you…” he stated, stopping and staring at me.
“I… sorta discovered something while you were away.” I admitted.
He nodded and waited.
“Remember that stone room with all of the engravings?” I asked.
“Yeah…” he stated.
“I know how to use it now.” I explained.
“Use it? What do you mean exactly?” he asked.
“You can’t tell your wives about this, okay?” I demanded.
He nodded, frowning.
“I haven’t told Alma either, but that room allows me to access a powerful source of magic. Overwhelmingly powerful. The things I could do from there are frightening.” I insisted.
“Such as moving a planet.” he replied with a nod. “Wow. Can anyone use it?”
“No… From what I gather, most people would die if they somehow managed to start it.” I told him.
He nodded again and said, “You probably absorb enough energy to counter its negative effects. I wonder if its creator could do something similar? Even worse, someone might have figured out how to create it, tried it, and died. Still, useful thing to have in your arsenal, isn’t it?”
“I never want to use it again.” I stated.
“What? Why not?” he asked.
“Jarod, power like that is too much for me. I could accidentally wipe out our planet. I don’t really want to talk about it.” I admitted.
He looked like he was about to argue, but then he shrugged. “Okay. But wow… seriously. That’s incredible. I hope you can muster the courage to use it if there is some sort of catastrophe. Great power, great responsibility, and all that.” he teased with a wink.
I nodded, still feeling glum. I wished I could convey to him how frightening the experience was. How could I really get the point across without bringing someone else in on the secret?
Jemal ended up joining us as well, claiming he wanted to supervise his sister. I could tell he was having fun. Deyanira seemed to enjoy herself as well. I was glad we convinced her to try one, until I heard her gasp and watched her fall.
Mila easily caught her, but my little fairy friend was plainly visible, eagerly telling me about her day. Alma could probably take away the last couple minutes of memory from Deyanira, which would probably be the simplest solution, but would that really be the correct one? I wasn’t sure.