It was fortune that when Ami fainted, one of the healers was looking her direction and went to her aid. I was a bit concerned for her well-being, but hadn’t recovered enough to manifest again at that point. Using that much power with the restraints that manifesting puts on me tires me out, so I try to refrain from doing so unless absolutely necessary. I quickly checked the ley line as the healer’s partner pulled some sort of wheeled bed towards her and placed her upon the bed.
Thankfully, the line would recover on its own after some time from what I assessed, so I returned to Ami’s side as the healers loaded her into a vehicle of some sort and started moving out of the area of the stadium. I followed them from the air, dodging order spirits and electricity imps, faded memories and the souls of the recently departed on their way to the Judging Grounds. Luckily humanity of this realm has yet to make this healer’s vehicle have a top speed close to my own, so I was able to keep it in sight as it bobbed and weaved through the streets as I did through the gap in the buildings that made them. It pulled into a building with a solar cross upon it, and once I was within earshot, they wheeled Ami into the building.
“What happened with her?” I heard a male healer that met them at the door ask.
“She just dropped and hit her head on the pavement,” one of the healers that had rode with Ami said. “Figured it’d be best to bring her in.”
“Take her back, I’ll get the Doctor on duty to look at her. With all the injured from the Manifesto fight things are pretty hectic here.”
I tried to follow them through the double doors, but was blocked by a barrier.
“Do you have business here?” the barrier spoke as a healer passed through it.
“I’m concerned for the one who was just wheeled through you,” I said, stirring the air a bit in the hallway.
“Concern is not enough, my lady,” It said. “You know the rules, only a death spirit, personal guardian, ancestor, god, or spirit tied to this place can pass a privacy barrier. Unless, you have a personal invitation, that is. We can’t have patients being attacked while they are trying to heal in the Seen.”
I looked at it, slightly annoyed. “Fine, but could you let me know when she comes back into the public part of the building, living or dead?”
“Why would you want to know?”
“She’s a different human, with eyes that see unclouded. The ravens would be jealous.”
It took him a few minutes to respond. “Yes, my lady. She will be known.”
I nodded and turned to return the way I came out of the building and rest upon the awning until she returned to public space.
It was a few hours before I felt her come out of the private space. She didn’t spot me as she left the building entirely and made her way towards a mass transportation station. When I landed upon the vehicle she was going to take, I had a thought. Though mechanical netjeri are not as communicative in the ways that most humans would understand, I know enough that I sat down and held on so that I could rest my wings on the way there.
After several hours’ ride on top of the train, it stopped and I followed Ami in this new city. I didn’t know if she was oblivious, ignoring me, or could only see spirits, but it was evening by the time she entered a new building and I had to negotiate with a lazier privacy barrier. All it wanted was a gust of energy and then it was happy to let me pass. By the time I’d found the energy and given it to them, I had lost sight of Ami. Thankfully the air in the area let me know her residence number and I proceeded to find the correct door.
While I could have simply slipped into her apartment on my own power, it is considered customary for my folk to at least try to get an invitation into a private domicile before wandering in. I didn’t want to manifest just to do so, so I gathered what energy was in the hall (which made the lights flicker and a couple of light spirits in the fixtures a bit miffed) and used it to make the knocking sound on Ami’s door. It didn’t take her long to answer.
She opened the door, and seemed oblivious to me for a second before I lowered the temperature of the air a bit. “Whoa, I didn’t see you there! I guess my medicine is wearing off again…” She said.
“There’s medicine that blocks the sight of the near Unseen?” I asked. “Clearly those healers should know it’s harmful.”
“Well, it’s complicated,” She said and looked both ways down the hallway. “I’m not supposed to see you, humans aren’t like that.”
“I’ve met many a human in other worlds that have a gift like yours and are prized for it.”
“IT’S NOT PRIZED HERE!” She yelled. “Why don’t you quit bothering me and go back where you came from?”
“I can’t, not until I complete my mission. Could you please let me in so we can talk? I’m usually very civil, unlike that unbalancer that attacked that coliseum.”
Ami looked around again, spotting a neighbor that had poked their head out to see what the commotion was. “Very well,” she sighed. “but don’t mess with any of my belongings.”
“Fair enough,” I said and walked in past her. The place was small, but I could spread my wings to full span if I needed to. I sat down upon the couch as Ami calmed the neighbor before closing the door.
“So, what did you need to talk to me about?” Ami asked and then sat down on a chair at a desk with a strange machine on it.
“It seems to be rare that those with the talent to see the near Unseen are present, at least from what I’ve experienced so far since I’ve come here,” I said. “It used to not be this way, from the last time I was in this universal group. Was there anything that had happened since the human Gregorian year of 1503 AD to cause that gods-given gift to become so rare?”
Ami looked at me in what I presumed was shock. “How old are you?”
“In this world? Old enough to predate most forms of life, though that might be older or younger depending on the different universal growth rates.” I could see the disbelief in her eyes. “We faerie are effectively immortal, but our creation date matters little to me and my mission.”
Ami took a bit, then said “We humans don’t live that long…as for that curse you call a ‘gift’, seeing things that aren’t there has been considered insanity since at least the 1800s.”
“And what year is it now?”
“It’s in the 2000s right now.”
So it had been about five centuries since I’d visited this world, no wonder why the humans had changed. They have such a short lifespan compared to even the other mortal races I’ve encountered with technology that they must make every day count. I guess that is what draws my kind to theirs, the passion for life. Even the most remote faerie can smile at their efforts.
I thought long and worded my phrases carefully as I spoke. “Listen Ami, I do not agree with your assessment that seeing my kind or into the near Unseen is a curse. However, I am stuck in a world that I know little of its human culture of this era and technology until I can complete my mission here. I need someone who knows both and can communicate with me while I work unmanifested to conserve energy and to not put a strain on the fabric of the world. I have done this many a time when I do not know the local cultural layout or it has been many centuries since I have been to a world. You are the only one I’ve met today that has such a gift to communicate with me in such a way. Would you be willing to assist me on my mission here in that capacity?”
“What’s in it for me? And just what is this mission of yours? Will I be in danger if I help you?” There was a struggle in Ami’s eyes, between caution and curiosity, and whatever else that she was feeling at that point.
“I would not take you off-planet, as the mission is local to the area. I may have gated in close to where the disturbance is happening, but that’s as close as I could jump without setting off suspicion and disrupting the ley lines in the area further. They get quite jumpy when someone of my power level comes in suddenly from the in-between. I am usually assigned missions of this level if the world and galactic level powers cannot or will not be able to take on the imbalance. There might be a level of danger present, but I do not know until I can assess the area where the disturbance is if it will be reactive or inert. If you do agree, I will defend you as best I can if it comes to that point, but even I cannot clone myself. I would think that a fair trade, no?”
Ami blew a sliver of dark brown hair out of her face. “And I assume you need a place to stay while here?”
“Only while I’m actively investigating the disturbance,” I said. “I can jump home once it is resolved. I will not disturb you during your normal routine unless I need your services, and even then I will be discreet.”
Ami thought for a while. “Fine, I’ll help. But only because you saved my life and this is a debt I am repaying, got it?”
“Of course.” I extended my hand to shake hers. With the alliance sealed, I would have to talk to her personal guardians lurking in the mid Unseen to let them know of the agreement. They would, of course, have their own demands that I would have to see to, but it was nothing I hadn’t navigated before. “So, may I ask, what were you doing at that coliseum? Human gatherings tend to fascinate me.”
“Nothing much, just was on a date with a guy I met online. He ditched me once Manifesto showed up, the jerk. After I met you, I passed out, woke up in a hospital and came home once the doctors deemed me fit to travel.”
“Have you eaten yet? You look a little sullen.”
“I ordered pizza, but it hasn’t gotten here yet.” The buzzer went off not five minutes after she said that.
The rest of the evening was a lazy one, with Ami promising to teach me the layout of the city while she ate, grumbled about having to go into school the next day, and then finally going to sleep well past her ancestors’ bed time. I placed a charm on the domicile to protect against evil spirit intrusions before resting a bit myself and then jumping to the mid Unseen to deal with what humans would call “the paperwork”. This would be the start of a fruitful endeavor, I could tell.