Tag Archive: Marius

Emery skidded into the room from the veranda in time to see Arturus catch the governor by his shoulder. Naturally, the security team assigned to the man drew their weapons immediately. “Hold your fire,” Emery shouted, counting on the fact that they were trained to listen to the sound of an authoritative voice. “He’s a valuable witness in a murder investigation,” he continued into the silence that followed the attack.

“Arturus,” Miles said. He ran forward but stopped short of the pair. There was a strange, almost feral look in the cat-boy’s eyes. “Arturus, please, relax and let him go,” he murmured, not making eye contact.

“Arturus,” Emery said, stepping up to Miles’s side. “I know you want to stop him but if you do anything rash, he’ll be the victim. Relax. Think this through. Let him go.”

“He needs to pay for what he did to Mother,” the older boy growled.

“He will,” Emery promised. “He will, but not this way. Let us take him into custody and gather evidence of the crime. Let him go. We won’t let him get away. He’s done with the free ride.”

“Emery?” Morrissey said softly as he entered the room.

“It’s alright,” Miles said softly. He stepped forward and set a hand on Arturus’s shoulder. “Relax, Arturus. Relax and let him go. That’s right, just let him go.”

Slowly, as if unsure what he was doing, Arturus released the man who’d killed his mother. “I want him arrested,” the governor said to Morrissey as soon as he was free.

“You first,” Morrissey said calmly. “You are under arrest for illegal enslavement and suspicion of murder.”

“Conspiracy too,” Emery added. “He worked with several others to hide the body.”

“Too true. Come with me, sir,” Morrissey said softly as he escorted the governor out of the ballroom. Emery sighed in relief as he saw several wardens joining the investigator in the corridor.

“Enslavement? Of who?” Emery asked.

“Me,” Marius said. “Yes, I intend to testify, before you ask. I told Morrissey on the way here. It’s high time I stopped hiding.”

“You aren’t the only one who can finally come out in the open,” Miles replied. He glanced over at Arturus, who was being greeted warmly by the uncle he’d never known.

Marius stood and watched as the pair of investigators headed off. Since he’d come to this world, he’d had the sense that something would happen to his employer – his owner. Now he was certain of it. He heard the wind murmuring that the man would soon die if something didn’t change.

Hoping he wasn’t too late, Marius bounded after the pair. “Investigator Morrissey,” he called softly as he came up behind them. Both spun to face him, Emery assuming a stance that spoke of wariness and readiness. “Sorry, but… if you don’t hurry, he’ll be killed. Don’t ask me how I know but it’s true.”

“Right, we’ll go with that for now. You can explain later,” Morrissey said softly. Emery was already running ahead.

Marius settled back against the trunk of the tree and smiled as he hadn’t in years. “I feel like I’ve been talking almost nonstop about myself. Surely, I’m boring you.”

Elizabeth shook her head. “It’s much more interesting than needlepoint… or business or… riding… or whatever men usually talk about when they’re in my company,” she said. She gazed up at the stars and added, “What you do with the wardens… not only is it so very important, but it’s… almost like magic.”

“Any sufficiently advanced technology appears like magic,” Marius said softly. “Strangely enough, it works the other way around too.”

“Really?” Elizabeth said. She leaned forward, listening intently.

“Where I come from – originally, I mean… Where I come from people are more technological than magical. Here it tends toward the reverse. Both could learn from each other, I think.”

His smile grew as he watched her talk about the mixes of magic and technology that were possible. The moonlight lit her face and danced in her eyes. To him, she seemed like a bright flower about to bloom. She paused, catching him staring.

“What?” she said.

“You’re beautiful,” he said. “Your features are so delicate… so dainty. Sorry, I’m embarrassing you.”

A light blush has stained her cheeks. “No one has ever spoken to me like that,” she admitted. “I always figured that I was rather plain.”

“Not to me,” Marius said. He sighed and looked back toward the building. “We should probably be getting back.”

“My father will be wondering where I’m hiding myself,” she said. She stood and turned toward the garden. “Call on me… maybe we can go for a walk in the park.” Then she was gone.

Emery watched the couple head out into the garden together. They seemed an unlikely pair on the surface, but Emery could feel the kindred spirits that dwelt within each. It was times like these that he remembered the other use his gifts had. So often he dealt with trauma – fear, anger, hopelessness, injuries and death – that he often forgot that he could feel the remnants of positive emotions as well.

“What are you doing?” Stevie asked softly.

Emery startled and then glanced away as he replied, “Feeling… I can sense the emotions of people around me – differently than Miles but similar. I get impressions of the actions that prompted the emotions – and are prompted by it.” He glanced back at the door the couple had left through. “He’s gonna kiss her.”

“Leave be,” Stevie said, chuckling slightly. “Give them some privacy, no more mental snooping. To think you’d analyze even that.”

“Habit,” Emery said with a shrug. “I’m a forensic mage. We analyze everything.”

In the years since the governor had bought him, Marius had gained more and more freedom in his captivity. In fact, the past few months had seen him find a new “job” as a technical consultant with the wardens. He almost wanted to warn his master about what was to come; but then he would remain the man’s property. So he stood back and watched as important people arrived from all over Ameria.

Among the dignitaries was a young girl, about his own age. She was beautiful but seemed to regret having come. Instead of mingling with all the other youngsters, she stood back from the crowd. Chewing his lip thoughtfully, Marius let the wind guide him over to her. “You don’t like parties?” he asked.

“Not really,” she said softly. “I’d rather be reading… or outside.”

“Would you like to see the herb gardens?” Marius asked. “There’s a little wood not far off. I like to go there to think.”

“That sounds splendid,” she replied. “I’m Elizabeth… Elizabeth Sterling.”

“Marius Farfield,” he murmured. He gestured toward the door. It was, perhaps, time to let go of his anger and let nature take its course.

Marius followed the men willingly enough. He’d learned long since that fighting only got him hurt. If he were biddable, then they would leave him alone. Any resistance would only make then feel the need to break him in further.

“Is this he?” a well-dressed man asked, turning to face the trio.

“The centaur, Marius, sir,” one of his captors said.

“He looks human enough,” the man said, tilting his head inquisitively. “This was what you meant when you said they could alter their form?”

“Yes, and he can read the wind as well, sir.”

“You can tell me what my future holds, can you?” the man said. He waved a hand and Marius was dragged toward the window. A light breeze fluttered the curtains and Marius closed his eyes, enjoying the voices of the wind.

“You worry about the results of an election,” he said. “You shouldn’t.” He paused and allowed a small smile. Truly, the man had more important things to worry about. Not only was he likely to lose the election, he was more likely to be murdered or jailed before the ballots could even be cast. It all depended on who caught up to him first.

A glance over his shoulder told him the man was satisfied. He was paying the men who’d kidnapped Marius for a job well done. If Marius remained in this manor, he was more likely to be either rescued or to escape on his own. He watched the men leave with a calm that he hadn’t felt since his the attack on the herd.

He knew he’d never see the herd again, but he’d be able to make a life for himself here. He only had to wait. “Is there more you wish to know, sir?” he asked his patron.

Monica Ferris

an author with many hats

A Land of Curiosity

From the files of Shynian Intelligence

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