Thursday, March 15, 2018

Spirit of Seattle

July 19th, 2059

0700 hours

I had the windows open and the rain outside gave the world that fresh, clean smell.  The grass around my house was growing up nicely. (Seriously, can ANYONE tell me why we call those areas 'yards'?) It was a gentle, refreshing rain and I just stood there and listened to it fall.  I heard the floor creak behind me and caught the scent of honeysuckle and vanilla as Aria's arms wrapped around me.

"Good morning," she yawned. "Did you make breakfast yet?"

I smiled and said, "You are the bravest woman I know.  How do you stand my cooking?"

"It's the thought behind it, not the flavor." She paused a moment, then added "Though it may be a good idea to teach you a few things."

I turned and looked into her eyes, "I'll do my best to stop burning the bacon." I kissed her on the forehead and we walked into the kitchen to confront the menace that was my cooking.

Aria nibbled on the very crisp bacon (honestly, it was a little burned), ate her eggs with no complaint, and confronted my attempt at grits with lots of butter.  "That's my guy," she chuckled, "great and powerful magician, romantic boyfriend, and apprentice cook."

"I don't think I rate 'apprentice' yet but thank you." I replied.  The meal was horrid, but I ate it.  If Aria could be polite enough to eat what I prepared I could bite the bullet and do the same.  Though swallowing bullets may have been easier.  "Are you working tonight?"

Aria nodded as she struggled to swallow a nibble of bacon, "Yes, I'm closing with Sandy. I need to go home for a while and take care of some laundry." She looked at me hopefully, "Fly me over?"

I gave her a thoughtful look, "After you ate this?  I think you deserve it."  We finished eating what we could of the food I had abused then spent an hour playing through our AR-MMORPG.  Our troupe was planning an event later that evening but with Aria working I wasn't particularly interested in playing through that.  She and I ran through a quest, confronted the demonic lord of the Eastern Islands, and were killed repeatedly.  It was a fun time.  When we were done, Aria made sandwiches which we packed up for our flight over to her place.  We went the long way, the very long way, by flying out over Puget Sound then skirted south of Ft. Lewis. We banked east and then flew in a lazy arc for a few miles to her building.  It was a fun flight punctuated by moments of laughter from each of us.

I saw Aria to her door, kissed her fiercely, then took my leave.


I landed in my back yard under cover of invisibility. The ground was damp from the morning rain, and the clean smell after a fresh rain was being replaced by the odors of the city wafting up from Seattle proper.  I checked the wards on my house and found them exactly as they should be, then accessed the security system Angel had put in for me.  It wasn't convenient, but it gave me piece of mind.  I wandered through my house, my astral sight open, as I checked for any unwelcome visitors.  I was being cautious, or maybe paranoid, but it was a routine I had fallen into and I was comfortable with. No one had broken in while I was away.  The kitchen still bore the echoes of breakfast.  Affection and humor lingered at the table and I could just catch the faintest hint of honeysuckle and vanilla in the air.  I finished my circuit of the house, made certain all the locks were secure, then headed down into my basement to get to work.

I had been devising a formula for the summoning of my very own ally spirit, what some people would refer to as a 'familiar'.  Having done a great deal of research on the subject I was suffering an unfortunate side effect.  I knew of so many traits an ally spirit could have that I was having trouble defining which I would like for my ally spirit.  I had been introduced to a traditional hermetic magician whose ally spirit could take the form of an automobile, a street shaman I knew partnered with an ally spirit that took the form of a young Salish girl, and one magician I had read about had conjured an ally spirit which could assume the form of women of each known meta-type.  The options for what forms an ally could take were seemingly limitless and it presented me with so many options I was having difficulty deciding.  I had decided that I did want the spirit to have multiple forms it could assume, a vehicle seemed useful (and would save me some of the charges I was racking up with my car service), different meta-types and appearances would help conceal a relationship with the spirit when I had to change my identity again. Something low profile, like a small inanimate object, would be handy for bringing the spirit with me discreetly.

Ally spirits can have a wide range of abilities as well.  They can evoke spirit powers, cast spells, and utilize skills you teach them during the summoning.  I knew several spells I would like my ally spirit to have access to. Most of those were to save my own hoop if things went pear-shaped, while a few were just generally useful in everyday life.  I also wanted the spirit to be powerful.  Let's face it, in my line of work you must be prepared for bad things to happen.  I wanted a spirit powerful enough to help me to stay alive the next time I crossed paths with a vampire or {shudder} the next time I faced off against one of the dark spirits that had animated the dead.

My work on the formula was delicate and precise work.  I had created an outline of abilities, spirit mana expression calculations, fourth dimensional physics models, and a collection of images I liked for the spirit's appearance.  I had been working on the ritual design for most of two weeks but there was still a great deal to do.  I was carefully incorporating a healing spell into the ritual matrix when the alarm on my pocket secretary went off.

I turned the alarm off and marveled at the time, 2130.  I had spent my afternoon and early evening at the work and time had slipped away from me.  I showered and pulled on my form fitting body armor.  I dressed for the hot weather and a low profile.  Good jeans, a grey shirt and my rescue rated combat boots wouldn't stand out.  I added my low-profile concealed holster for my viper sliver gun.  I chambered a round but left the safety on.  I wove an invisibility spell around myself, checked the locks and wards, then stepped out into the backyard. My air elemental carried me out to Redmond and the Brick Yard.

I landed in the parking lot and let the invisibility spell unravel as I walked around to the front entrance.  Little Rickie nodded at me when he saw me turn the corner, he reached for the door then asked, "Any vampires around?"

I paused for a moment and focused on the web of detection spells I had layered upon myself.  "No Rickie, no vampires or ghouls about." The large man nodded and opened the door for me.  I checked my sidearm inside and made my way to the bar.  Sandy slid a tall lemonade in front of me and gave me a grin. "Saw you coming," she said.

"Thanks Sandy you're the best." I said.

"Are you eating today?" she asked.

"Oh God yes," I replied. "Aria recommends the filet mignon, what do you think?"

"Out of my price range, but I'm told its great." She shrugged her broad shoulders. "Wanna try?"

I gave her a nod, "Yeah, ask Solomon to fix mine the same way Aria likes hers. Add on one for you and three more for the kiddos.  And,"

"Triple shot of the best rum for Solomon?" she interrupted.

"Yes ma'am," I said.  I turned my attention to the trideo as Sandy strode away.  I savored my lemonade and watched the news feed.  Soccer was dominating the news that night as was more speculation on the corporate court and who was going to sit where. A preview of a new show was cycling up, apparently it was about a Lone Star detective who fights evil sorcerers while battling his own personal demons. I decided I didn't want to see that and turned on my stool to look for a familiar face.

"What's up baby?" Aria asked.  She had been walking up behind me.

Her smile was contagious. I found myself grinning back at her, "Nothing honey, I just don't think I like modern trideo.  Give me those old flatvids anytime."

"They are fun.  I can't wait to see the rest of those witch hunter cartoons. Her hair is cool and I love the coat!"  She gave me a kiss then bounced away to take bottles of beer and glasses of liquor to other patrons. I imagined her in the long black coat with her hair done up. I have to admit, it was an interesting image.

Crank walked in, saw me at the bar, walked over and sat down on the stool next to me.  "Oi, what's up little elf mage?"

"Crank, good to see you omae."

"I got a question for you if you have time," he said.

"Sure thing chummer," I replied. "What's up?"

"I used to know this magician.  Wizard really.  Young guy but sharp," he paused for a moment. "Anyway, he used magic to make himself tougher and faster. It was sort of like cyber reflex enhancement, but by magic."

I felt bad for hiding from my chummer in plain sight.  "Yeah, that's tough stuff but useful.  I use a bit of that myself."

"Yeah," he waved Sandy over and ordered a pitcher of dark beer. "well, my question is, can just magicians do that?  Can you not, I don't know, put the spell on someone else and make them faster?"

I thought about that a moment. "I think it may be possible," it was an intriguing idea. "I think you would want to anchor the spell, so it didn't fizzle when you weren't looking at it.  I think you could, perhaps, devise a technique that allows you to weave a self-sustaining mana loop to make the spell permanent on another person.  Maybe a tattoo or a brand and enchant it. I heard a rumor about something like that. Supposedly, some of the Yakuza sorcerers can enchant tattoos, but I've never actually seen it."

Crank seemed pensive, "Yaks aren't exactly famous for being troll friendly."

"No. No, they aren't," I replied. "But if a Yakuza sorcerer has discovered that technique then it's something I expect others could learn to do."

"Yeah, but magicians aren't easy to come by." Crank's beer arrived and he drained half the pitcher in one long pull.  "If I can find someone to do it, how much do you think it would cost?"

"I don't know," I told him.  "I think part of it would be what you wanted done and how hard it was to cast upon you in the first place.  Then there would be the matter of what costs might be inherent in the method used to hold the spells in place.  What kind of spell were looking for omae?"

Crank wiped at his mouth. "I want to get that magic like Tommy had.  He was fast chummer. He was really fast. I'd get the cyber but the doctor says if I get it installed I won't be able to get much more after that.  I wouldn't want to get it done only to find out that I can't get an artificial heart if I ever happen to need one.  I thought, that if I could get it by magic, it would be better."

I followed his logic and I couldn't deny it. "I think that is a great point chummer.  I don't know how to do it, but I can ask around.  If I can figure it out we can talk about getting it done. How much does the cyber cost?" I asked him then took a drink of my lemonade.

Crank told me, I choked, then lemonade shot out of my nose.  Just so you know, it felt like it was burning through my sinuses. "Are you fraggin' kidding me!?!?" I coughed and wheezed and blew my nose as hard as I could.  The lemonade tortured my sinuses and Crank laughed at me.

"Yeah omae, I thought the same.  It's fraggin' expensive and you have to have permits for them if their legally installed." Crank shook his head.  "I'm not liking that idea.  Good way to get pinched by the 'Star."

"I'll keep my eyes and ears open for you chummer.  I'll be careful about it. I wouldn't want someone casting something on you that you didn't want." I stepped down from my stool. "Hold on Crank, I'm going to the restroom to clear my head.  I'll be back, save my seat."

When I came back Sandy was bringing out my steak.  Crank was eyeing it so I ordered the same for him. "My treat, Crank" I told him.

"Thanks, chummer" he ordered another pitcher of beer.

The rest of my night went much better.  Crank drank quite a bit and was telling jokes by 2330 hours.  He had a new joke about a Ares weapon salesman and a priest that had me laughing so hard my sides stitched.  Aria visited me when she could, and I promised her a flight home if she wanted. Her smile was all the answer I needed.

"Mind if I stay over?" she asked.

"I'd be crazy to say 'no'."

I put a very drunk Crank in an SUV that Ratchet was kind enough to send.  It cost me, but you don't leave a chummer drunk in the Barrens. "You're alrigh' omae," Crank slurred at me.  The vehicle whisked him away shortly before 0200. Aria and I were walking into my house shortly before 0300.  The security system and wards were intact, and my sweep of the house showed me that no one had been in since I left.

"Any plans for the evening?" Aria asked coyly.

I had a sudden inspiration, "Yes, indeed honey." I winked at her. "Why don't you go grab a drink and I'll run a bath for you."  Aria gave me a mischievous grin as she wandered into the kitchen.

I ran a bubble bath for Aria and treated her as best I knew how. Being a waitress is hard on several muscle groups, so I massaged her arms and shoulders, then spent time rubbing down her calves and feet. She let out little moans of relief as her body relaxed.  I invoked a little magic and released a healing spell into her tired muscles.

"Oh, you are definitely spoiling me." Her eyes were closed, and she had a smile on her face. "A lady could get used to this."

"Well, you work hard. I was just working in the lab today." I grabbed the shampoo and set to washing her hair for her.

"Oh no, you cannot wash my hair if you aren't going to make it a regular event, " her playful scolding made me laugh.

"I can't make it a regular event. You aren't here every night." I laughed.

Aria sat up and looked at me. "Do you want me here every night?"

I thought about it for a moment. "I would love to have you here every night.  I just wonder if it's safe for you. And I'm probably not the easiest to live with. I mean, I work in the lab a lot, and my 'other' work takes me away pretty often." She looked me right in the eye and I blurted out, "Yes, I want you here every night."

Aria threw her arms around me, splashing water and bubbles all over me. "I want that too, Tommy, my beautiful idiot."

We slept well that night.

I had a nerve-wracking meeting at the Aria's place two nights later.  Aria and I talked to Sheila about Aria moving in with me.  I didn't want my best fixer mad at me, particularly Sheila as I knew first-hand how protective she was of her 'little girl'.  I was pleasantly surprised when Sheila X, bad-ass fixer, super protective mother, and the woman I once saw shove a heavy pistol down a man's throat smiled and said, "It's about time."


Aria had her stuff moved in before August.  We made some adjustments, with me changing the furniture in the bedroom to include a larger dresser and I made room in the closet for her clothes there too.  I had an extra room I had used for storage, but I pulled out the handful of boxes I had there and we turned that space into a reading room.  The house started feeling more like home.

I kept up my work in the lab as I continued to devise the ritual formula for my ally spirit. I talked to Aria about my plan for the familiar spirit and she listened attentively.  She had a lot of questions. "Where will it sleep?  Do you have to feed it?  What will it do while we're sleeping? It will have different forms, you mean like those aliens from the cartoon?"  There were a lot of things she wanted to clarify.  I explained that the spirit would be bound to me permanently and that it would mean I would have extra back up when I went 'to work'.  I also pointed out that it would mean extra protection for us at home.  I showed her some of the images I had in mind for the forms the spirit could take and was pleasantly surprised by some of her suggestions.

"The meta-human forms are all male. You should make them female so you can have the spirit on your arm if I'm not available and you have to meet with a 'client' in a social setting.  A sports car stands out, wouldn't a Ford Americar be more low-profile? Can one form be a dog? I always wanted a dog." I took her suggestions to heart and began to redesign the ritual.

I picked up Aria every night and brought her home.  We found our routine within a few weeks.  I would show up an hour or so before she got off and either watch the trid or, if a chummer was about I would hang out a bit.  Then Aria and I would fly home, taking different routes as the mood hit us.  I'd run a bath for her and we'd talk about work I had done in the lab that day and she would catch me up on any interesting rumors going around.

Those first weeks of August saw a lot of runs against Wuxing and Renraku but I didn't work any of them.  There were a few other magicians working the scene out of the Brick Yard by that time.  Creep was getting a lot of work. Though few people liked him, he was brutally effective if you needed magical mayhem.  Another wizard called Shade was making a name for himself as well.  Far more likable, smart, talented, powerful and discrete, you didn't hear much about Shade unless you were in the biz.  Whereas Creep was fond of burning places to the ground, Shade was smart and slick, getting into places through brains and leaving little to no trace behind.  I told Sheila I wasn't going to be available for a while as I was working on a delicate magical operation.  Sheila was fine with that and asked that I let her know when I was ready to work again.


I walked into the house and turned on the lights.

"Hi honey!" Aria cried out to me. "I'm so glad you're home."  Aria hurried to me, a bundle of some kind in her arms.  I heard a baby begin to cry. "Oh, she's up.  Hurry, wash up and help me with her. She's missed her daddy."

I dashed to the bathroom and hit the lights.  They came on in glaring brilliance revealing a streak of blood I had left along the switch.  I turned to the sink and saw myself in the mirror.  Black smudges marred my face. My viper sliver gun rode in my shoulder holster, blood caked the grip and my hands were covered in blood up to the elbows.  I turned on the water, drops of crimson falling into the sink.  I grabbed the soap and scrubbed furiously but I couldn't get the blood off.  I turned up the water temperature until is threatened to scald me but try as I might, the blood clung to my hands. I couldn't get it off.

"Tommy?" I heard Aria as if from far away.  "Tommy, baby, are you okay?"

I jolted awake, standing in front of my sink.  The water was steaming up the mirror.  I was naked, sweaty, and my hands were covered in soap suds.  I turned to Aria, "I'm sorry honey, I guess I was walking in my sleep."

Aria placed her hands on my face. "You're crying baby what's wrong?"

I looked into her beautiful, worried eyes and lied, "Just a bad dream honey. I'm fine."  She hugged me, and I held her tightly.  "I'm fine honey, really."

I didn't feel like going back to sleep, and Aria seemed to sense that.  She took me into the living room and turned on the trid. I sat down, and she disappeared into the kitchen for a few minutes, emerging with two cups of hot cocoa topped with marshmellows. We watched century old flatvid cartoons about a rabbit that tricked and abused a human hunter who seemed to be cursed by a speech impediment, until the sun came up.

August 21st, 2059

I took the ritual formula and inspected the summoning circle.  It was the most complex working I had ever attempted.  The circle was inscribed with dozens of arcane diagrams.  I had centered the circle beneath the small glowing orb that poured magical energy into the local astral space.  The circle's components were carefully arrayed.  I checked and re-checked each element.  I couldn't find a single flaw.

At 0900 hours, local Seattle time, I lit a dozen enchanted candles and began the summoning rite.  My words rang out, echoing within the circle.  Silver light rose from the arcane diagrams, and the air buzzed with barely constrained power. The energy building within the circle made the air feel alive with static, and the scent of ozone mixed with the candle smoke.

Hours passed. I was channeling potent magical forces as I called forth the ally I sought and empowered it. My ritual carved a piece of my own magical energies away, imbuing the spirit with great power and binding it to me forever.  I held the ritual formula of my ally spirit and poured out mana, holding the complexities of the spirit in my mind as I sculpted the magical energy.

Night fell, and my ritual reached a crescendo.  "Come forth spirit of my will, journey with me my ally, take this power I offer and serve as my familiar, I invoke thee!"  I collapsed as a piece of my magical talent was sliced away to merge with the spirit energies erupting in my basement laboratory.  The spirit took shape, its first form clearly visible.

My ally looked human and stood two meters tall.  She had black hair, pale white skin, and dark intimidating eyes.  As I watched she changed, becoming an elf woman with chestnut hair, amber eyes, and flawless brown skin.  The spirit changed again and became a black rottweiler with a brown chest and belly.  The spirit continued to reveal the forms I had empowered it with, taking the shape of a winged angel, a small gold ring, a motorcycle, a young blonde elf girl, an ornate carpet, and a pegasus.  When she finally resumed her pale human form I heard her voice enter my mind.

"I am here," it said. Unlike Mr. Johnson's skull ringing invasions of my mind, this communication was comfortable and felt natural.

"Welcome great spirit," I said.  "I have summoned you to aid me. I will treat you with respect and kindness. If you agree, I will call you 'Rose'."

The spirit contemplated me a moment. "I am Rose.  Thank you for the gifts you have bestowed upon me."  Rose walked out of the circle and looked me in the eye. "How may I serve you?"

2230 hours

Rose and I slipped out to the backyard. She took on her pegasus form and I climbed upon her back. I wove an invisibility spell over us and we took to the sky.  I felt drained, incredibly tired, and a bit weak but the thrill of flying was enough to bring a smile to my face.  We landed at the Brick Yard and I let the invisibility spell unravel from around us.

"Rose, I want to take you inside with me.  Please take the form of the gold ring.  I'll wear you inside and introduce you to Aria"  I asked.  Pegasus Rose shimmered, and a small gold ring took her place.  The ring hovered in the air until I grabbed it and placed it on my finger.  I could feel the raw power of the spirit against my bare skin.

I walked around to the front. Little Rickie opened the door and for the first time I walked into the Brick Yard with Rose.



Aria fell in love with Rose almost immediately.  Aria was, in many ways, the mother Rose could never have. It took time for Rose's personality to develop, much like it takes years for a child's personality to reveal itself.

No, 'Rose' isn't her true name.  That's a secret I'll take to my grave.  She has been by my side ever since and I love her like she's my own child.  That isn't to say that we haven't had our arguments over the years, because we certainly have.  But we are allies, and we'll fight the whole world together if we must.


From the author:

I enjoy writing these fan fiction stories.  Thank you for taking the time to read them!

I hope that if you have enjoyed this story you will share it with others.  Your comments are most welcome.

I also write role-playing game material (for another rpg system) which I publish under my own company, Sinopa Publishing LLC.  You can follow me on KickStarter to be alerted to new projects I fund there.

Thanks again for reading my stories.

W.S. "Sam" Quinton


  1. I enjoyed the story. Thanks for writing it. Keep up the good work.

  2. Thank you!
    I'll work to keep them interesting.


Thank you for your comment chummer.