The story so far: With their world threatened by the vanishing sickness, Tollon and his friends and sister prepare to call upon the gods to send them into confrontation with the god Overdisca. Now read on . . .
I had considered whether we all ought to follow Honorable Alencar’s example and sacrifice a finger to Thessar, and explain to the god that we are doing so as we prepare to confront Ovedisca. Mia simply refused, saying that Thessar could ask no more from us than our lives, which we were staking. So instead we made the usual sacrifices to propriate Thessar, before beginning the spell to send us into Ovedisca’s worlds.
Magic works on contacting a spirit (or god), using symbolism, whether pictorial, verbal, or in some other fashion. We’re calling upon Thessar, of course, but also Thessar’s sister, Mrokitar, “She Who Walks Among Worlds,” who is also known as “She Who Gives Birth to Worlds.” Mrokitar is a shadowy figure, even in legend, and hence we’re trying a number of ways to contact her, without being sure any of them will work.
Jallia just finishes the 100th repetition of a chant when she doubles over and collapses on the floor. Before anyone can help her, I shout, “Stay where you are.” Magic is working on Jallia.
Jallia rolls over so she is lying on her back. Her face has been transformed into something bright and otherworldly which I can’t look at for more than a few moments without fearing for my sanity. She is chanting something now in a voice that seems to come out of the air, instead of from her. I think a sprit has possessed her.
She convulses. And then her belly begins to rise. It looks exactly as it might if she were pregnant, and running through her term in a matter of perhaps a minute. Her clothing splits as she swells up. She reaches what looks like full term and keeps growing. Her chant stops, and she begins screaming in pain. Bigger and bigger she grows until her belly is bigger than the rest of her.
Abruptly her screams stop. The huge mass of her belly shifts, and we can see muscles working across her ridiculously swelled abdomen.
She’s going into labor.
A light spills out from between her legs. Light and heat. It gets more intense every second. I have to shield my eyes, but that’s not stopping the heat. One must hold one’s place in an evocation, but to do so risks destruction. I turn to flee, and find I can’t. Instead, I’m being pulled, inward.
I regain consciousness. I’m sitting in a field of short grass. Honorable Alencar, Mia, and Katrina are also sitting here, arranged in a circle. There is no sign of Jallia.
Instead, in the middle, is a short, squat, androgynous figure with gray skin, gray hair, and gray eyes. It’s looking at me. It says to me, “Thank you for the sacrifice.” It says that to me in Jallia’s voice. It goes on. “There is nothing that was your sister’s that is not now mine.” It transforms in front of us, until it looks exactly like Jallia. “I think I will go to your world and play with it for a while.” And it disappears.
Katrina looks over to me. “What was that, Tollon?”
I know. I think my sister is dead, or worse. So I tell Katrina. “That was a god. But it wasn’t Thessar or Mrokitar, as we intended. That was Ovedisca.”
(To be continued . . .)