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Authors: H.R. Moore

Legacy of the Mind

BOOK: Legacy of the Mind
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LEGACY OF THE MIND

By HR Moore

Published by Harriet Moore

Copyright 2013 HR Moore

 

http://www.hrmoore.com

 

 

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this ebook with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this ebook and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

*****

 

For Chris and for Alice.

 

*****

 

CHAPTER 1

 

‘You won again.’  It was a statement, not a question as Cleo knew what the answer would be.

Anita inhaled, lines appearing on her forehead as she raised her eyebrows, two graceful dark wings framing impatient grey eyes.  She had entered and won every challenge since she was twelve years old.  First she’d won all the junior challenges, then when she was fifteen and competing at a pace none of the adults could keep up with, people started to care more about who came second, as that’s where the real competition was.

‘So nonchalant.’ Cleo teased.

‘It’s hard to get excited about winning when you know you’re going to win.’

‘I don’t know, Bas’ got pretty close to you a couple of times,’ said Cleo mischievously, her eyes glinting as she threw her long, silky, black hair over her shoulder.

Cleo on to her favourite topic of conversation so soon, that must be some kind of record, thought Anita. She half smiled and raised one lofty eyebrow. ‘Bas.  Beat me?’ 

Cleo smirked.  ‘No, I suppose not’. 

‘Come on, we’ll be late if we don’t get a move on, and I’d be happy not to be late to our Mind class given how terrible I am at it.’  Anita was very definitely a Body.  She could take anyone on when competing in Body disciplines and she regularly did.  She suspected there may be a fair bit of Sprit in her blood too, but Mind had always been a challenge.  She didn’t really understand why everyone had to continue with these ridiculous classes for years after school anyway.  She was 25, but formal weekend education had to continue until 30, the age when the ‘Centre comes together’, whatever the bloody hell that meant.  Allegedly, at the mystical age of 30, one’s Mind, Body and Spirit blend into one, and from that point developing any one skill becomes more of a challenge.

Well Anita found Mind enough of a challenge anyway and seeing as nobody she knew had morphed into some kind of new magical being at 30, she suspected that it was all just propaganda anyway.  The Descendants and their Councils had always had a passion for the theatrical.  However, today was not the day to challenge the Descendants’ vision and she really didn’t want to have to play chess for hours on end with a Councillor, the punishment for being late, so it was best to be on time.

 

*****

 

‘Oh look who’s here,’ said Cleo playfully, shooting a sly sideways glance in Anita’s direction as they approached the Temples.  Anita looked around and saw the cause of Cleo’s sudden excitement; she’d clocked Bas’ tall, muscular frame, angular features and short sandy coloured hair.  He exuded his normal relaxed demeanour, leaning back against the base of a large oak tree soaking up the sun’s hot rays, legs half bent in front of him, arms resting easily on his knees, ‘and he seems to be looking for someone…I wonder who that could be.’  Cleo was in her element, mincing her sparrow like legs, boyish hips sashaying gleefully as they approached.

Anita shoved her roughly, putting an end to the strutting, but knowing all this would really do was encourage her.  ‘I see him every day at the Observatory.  He’s probably looking for that girl we saw him with last week,’ she said, a little too defensively, because not very deep down Anita knew Cleo was right.  He was waiting for her, like he always was.  She could feel his energy perk up every time he saw her, a sharp intensification that directly corresponded with the wide, endearing smile that would spread across his face.  Thank the Gods not everyone could feel energy and nobody knew she could.  It was usually a skill reserved for the Spirits, and usually only those that had spent a very long time studying, but she had always been able to do it, ever since she could remember.

 

*****

 

They rotated round classes.  First was their Mind class, where today the aim was to move an object using only the energy of one’s mind.  This everyone thought was ridiculous; nobody had ever known anyone who could do this.  Not even the Councillor leading the lesson could do it, so it all seemed pretty pointless.  Some girl in the back had a hysterical moment when she swore she’d managed to move the flower in front of her a little, but seeing as she couldn’t repeat the feat, everyone lost interest pretty quickly.   Anita wasn’t a fan of the Mind Temple, its gothic features made it oppressive, like the walls contained secrets and the doors might suddenly slam shut, locking you in, never to let you go.

They escaped the gloomy Mind Temple and moved onto their next class, Spirit.  Anita had always loved the Spirit Temple.  It was so lofty and light, sunlight streaming in through enormous slit windows that extended up its clean lines to a spired point towering acres above.  The flowers everywhere were free and wild and flitted about spontaneously in the light breeze that always seemed to play across the colossal open expanse of the Temple’s floor.  Whereas the Mind Temple had a number of closed off, secluded areas, full of dark corners where it was easy to hide, conspire and observe, the Spirit Temple was one enormous open space, sectioned loosely into areas by the soaring columns that seemed too few and too high to effectively hold the walls in place.  Obviously Anita was most loyal to the Temple of the Body, but she had always felt an inexplicable pull towards the Spirit Temple.

The lesson focused on joint meditation, where two people sit opposite one another and meditate together; the idea being that the two peoples’ energy works together to take them both to a shared mental space in one or the other’s mind.  They have a shared experience that is invisible to the outside world.  This again had seemed ridiculous until several months ago when Anita and Cleo had been paired.  Whilst meditating, they had each been in a boat on the sea.  Although they hadn’t seen one another there, through much in depth comparison, they’d found that the details of the boat, the weather, the sea, had all been identical, so they usually tried to be paired with each other to see if they could get any further.  Today however, Bas had jumped in before Cleo and Anita could pair up, so Anita spent a couple of very uncomfortable hours trying to ignore Bas’ soaring energy and closing herself off to anywhere he wanted to meditate to.

It wasn’t that there was anything wrong with Bas.  He was gorgeous; tall, athletic frame, olive skin, classic good looks.  He was a kind, loyal friend, Anita’s only real close friend apart from Cleo, usually came second to Anita in Body challenges, not to mention that he was intelligent, in an academic sort of way, ran the energy Observatory, and came from a well-connected Council family, but Anita had just never seen Bas as anything other than a friend.  She could see the girls all swoon when he walked by.  Most of them would have swooned just because of his family connections, social climbing rife amongst Empire’s well to do, mothers with nothing better to do spending their days plotting how to marry their daughters off in advantageous ways.  But in addition, Bas was handsome, clever, and didn’t have a big head about his background, making him target number one for the scheming mothers; but his energy never shifted with any of their daughters like it did with her.  Anita had made it pretty obvious that she didn’t see him that way, but he never quite seemed to take the hint.

Next up was Body class, where people were taught how to use their energy to influence the actions of their bodies.  This afternoon was all about shooting, but seeing as Anita was a better shot than any of the Councillors, she was allowed to skip the lesson.  In fact she hardly ever went to Body lessons, unless something like yoga was being practised and this was only because there was a cross over with the Spirit disciplines that she could work on.  She usually went for a run or a ride during this time, meeting up with Cleo and Bas afterwards to walk home, but today she decided to stay in the Spirit Temple and meditate; she hadn’t exactly had a productive session with Bas after all.

 

*****

 

After two long hours of not really being able to concentrate, having spent most of the time running her hands irritably through her shoulder length brown hair, Anita was thinking maybe she should have gone for a run after all, when she felt a sudden surge of energy in the Temple.  She looked up and from where there had been a circular stone in the floor in the centre of the Temple moments before, there was now a hole with a man emerging from it.  Like Bas, the man was tall and athletic, but whereas Bas was thick set, this man was lean.  He must be a Councillor Anita mused, almost losing interest, but as he turned Anita’s breath caught involuntarily in her throat.  He was exquisite; ruggedly handsome with broad shoulders and tanned muscular forearms just visible under his heavy, red, floor length cloak, protruding from a loose white shirt with casually rolled up sleeves.

His mind was somewhere else, the stone sliding closed unnoticed behind him, his face angled towards the floor, brow furrowed deep in complex thought as he started walking towards where Anita sat transfixed at the back of the Temple.  When he walked he seemed weightless, moving apparently without effort, yet purposefully, with the grace of a highly trained dancer.  He looked up and Anita’s blood seemed to stand still in her veins as she saw his face.  His eyes were a bright, piercing blue that had both a depth that could have been a century old and a life that hinted at a rebellious intelligence.  His face was framed by his tousled blond hair in a way that suited him down to the ground; neat enough not to be outlandish, but messy enough not to be conformist.  His jaw was locked, lips a little pursed and twitching, betraying his consuming concentration. 

Much to her confusion, Anita felt her energy start to bubble uncontrollably inside her.  She felt it rise rapidly as though riding on the back of a bird frantically flapping its wings, thrown upwards from her stomach to her chest.  Here she could contain it no longer and it burst free with a force so strong that Anita feared she may find an actual hole, if only she could muster the will to tear her eyes from the form in front of her and look down.  He snapped out of his thoughts and looked immediately alert, his radiant energy rapidly diminishing away to a very ordinary horizon as he tracked Anita’s energy back to its source.  His eyes found her without difficulty and ran searchingly over every contour of her body, taking in the potential threat before his shocking blue eyes locked with hers.  Anita couldn’t begin to read what she saw there.  Confusion? Aggression? Wariness? Intrigue?  It was all she could do to hold his gaze with her own inquisitive eyes, her energy shamelessly betraying her emotions as he considered her from a distance.

He stood stock still, she sat spellbound, each considering their next move when a crisp, impatient voice rudely shattered the silence, ‘Alexander,’ it said, as a second man strode confidently into the Temple.

Alexander?  Surely not?  Anita’s energy changed, she turned defensive with a sprinkling of panic and Alexander smiled, intrigued by her reaction.  ‘I’m coming Marcus,’ he responded, not taking his eyes off Anita for a second, ‘is Gwyn ready?’

Shit, it is them Anita managed to compute, unhelpfully diverted by Alexander’s voice, rich and smooth like melted chocolate.  She struggled to regain some composure.  Why are they here?  Anita mustered the tremendous strength required to tear her eyes from Alexander to take in Marcus’ form and was completely unprepared for what she found.  Holy Gods, he too was perfect.  He was as tall as Alexander, but his finer form made him seem somehow more refined.  Whereas Alexander was wearing a loose shirt, slacks and beaten up soft leather mules, Marcus was impeccably dressed in expensive, well cut attire.  Everything seemed flawlessly in place, from his shiny leather brogues to his pressed white shirt with expensive gold knot cufflinks, to his perfectly quaffed, short dark hair and chiselled cheek bones.  His eyes were dark and opulent and contrasted with Alexander’s for reasons more integral than just colour.  Marcus’ contained none of the grounding of Alexander’s, instead they flitted playfully, looking for something, anything of interest.  They were impulsive, giving the impression that most of life bored him, that their sole occupation was to find something entertaining that could supply at least a small diversion before life returned to its usual dull monotony.  He too sported a floor length red cloak, but he wore it with a different kind of authority, an audacious authority.  Whereas Alexander seemed to flow when he walked, Marcus was more overtly commanding, arrogant almost with clipped, impatient strides.  His energy was the most potent she had ever felt and as it flowed over where she was sitting, it had a drug like effect on her.  Once again Anita felt the pressure in her chest build, knowing like a bottle being filled from a tap, there was nothing she could do to stop it from erupting without the source being shut off.  Given that Marcus remained where he was, it once again poured out of her, Alexander turning casually back to look in her direction, the side of his mouth twitching almost unnoticeably, raising one infuriating, mocking eyebrow as he flicked his impertinent eyes over her once more.

‘Come on.  We haven’t got all day,’ came what must have been Gwyn’s voice from the entrance, curt and officious.  Anita couldn’t see her, but she sounded horrendous.  Wow, thought Anita, you haven’t even seen what she looks like yet, let alone talked to her and already you’re insulting her.  You’re a total bitch, she thought as she struggled vainly to get her energy under control.

Marcus spun briskly around, striding past Anita to join Gwyn outside without sending as much as a glance in her direction.  Alexander followed him out but stopped as he came close to where she sat.  ‘You should really learn to control your energy,’ he said in a voice soft and low but commanding, ‘with energy that strong you are a very desirable asset.’  With that he flowed out of the Temple after Marcus, leaving Anita sitting dumbfounded, head spinning, drained and empty, wondering what in the world had just taken place.  That he could obviously read her energy was horribly embarrassing, but why did her energy rise like that towards both Alexander and Marcus?  That had never happened to her before.  Her energy was usually so static, unless of course she found a new challenge and then it soared.  Was this a challenge?  How?  What did Alexander mean about her energy being so strong and what did he mean about her being an asset?  Most of all though, why were the Descendants in Empire?  They usually lived in Kingdom so they could be close to the Grand Temples and very rarely came out here.

Anita spilled out of the Temple and almost ran headlong into Bas and Cleo, who must have just finished their Body lesson.  ‘Oh my Gods, did you see her?’ Cleo practically sang, she was bristling with delight, swishing wildly the ends of her thin cotton scarf; Cleo’s equivalent of rubbing her hands together with glee.

‘Yes, I saw all three of them in the Temple.  Alexander just appeared out of the centre and then Marcus came in, and then Gwyn called for them from outside, so I suppose I only saw two of them and heard Gwyn, but oh my Gods, what are they doing here?’ Anita blurted out in a jumbled rush.

‘All three of them?  We just saw Gwyn.  She appeared from the centre of the Body Temple, all flowing golden locks and cloak,’ Cleo said cattily.  Anita was glad to see she wasn’t the only one who had reacted badly to Gwyn.  ‘What are Alexander and Marcus like?  I bet they are gorgeous just like everyone says.’

Anita could feel Bas’ jealousy at the mention of their names, noting that boys seemed to have the same negative reaction to Alexander and Marcus as girls did to Gwyn.  Given that she wasn’t sure she could find the words to adequately describe them even if she tried, she changed tack.  ‘More importantly, why are they here?’

‘Don’t know.  Nobody in our class knew either.  Well the Councillor probably did, but he wasn’t letting anything slip,’ Bas replied.

‘Well, it will give me something to find out at work then,’ said Cleo.  ‘If there’s any gossip to be shared, then it’s usually done at The Island.  I’ll see you there later?’

‘Yep sure, see you later.  Have fun at work.’  Anita knew full well that Cleo was about to be in her element, fun was an understatement.

Cleo worked at The Island, a bar on an island in the middle of the river on the outskirts of town.  It was pretty much the only place to socialise in Empire, so that’s where everyone went and Cleo used her place of work to find out everything going on before anyone else did.  She wasn’t above slipping a few free drinks across the bar to help people on their way and she was incredibly persuasive when she wanted to be, so she was right of course, the quickest way to find out why the Descendants were in town was through Cleo, at The Island.

 

BOOK: Legacy of the Mind
2.41Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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