“Hector!” Mae ran forward and hugged the strange man she had met only a few days ago. But, she felt like he was a long lost friend.
“What are you doing here?”
Hector motioned toward an empty chair. “Sit.” He looked toward Amity. “You did good girl.” She beamed at him. He turned back to Mae. “Are you alright? That was quite a show you put on up there.”
“Me? What did I do?”
“The power going out. That was you. You didn’t know?”
“About the song. You have the power. Didn’t your mother tell you that either?” he paused and looked at her. “Judging by the look on your face, no she didn’t.” He started mumbling under his breath, “Oh Bea.”
He looked around the room, paying particular attention to the door they had just come through.
“Amity. Go stand by the door. Listen and warn us if someone’s coming.”
“Okay boss.” She gave him a mocking salute and grinned. She then went to the door, arms followed and ear to the board.
“Okay Mae. We probably don’t have a lot of time before we need to move; your performance up there will have drawn attention. For all we know the whole goddamn Royal Guard are on there way here.” He took in her startled expression, and placed his hand gently on top of hers. “Don’t worry, it’s nothing we can’t handle. We needed a bit of excitement around here. Heh heh.”
He lent back in his chair. “As I say we don’t have much time, but I think you’ve been kept in the dark long enough. “
Mae’s face started turned resolute, she looked directly at him. “I’m sure I have. Will you finally tell me what the hell is going on.”
“Ok. Do you remember what I told you about the Amethyst Song?”
“Sure. It’s some kind of amulet. Right? A family heirloom belonging to my…my real father.”
“Yes. That’s right. But it’s more than that. The amulet is just a physical embodiment of the great power that is the Amethyst Song. The Song is power, a great energy the connects everything with everything else. Most people have a small amount, but for some that power manifests in the ability to manipulate the world around them.”
“Manipulate the world around them? What like magic?”
“Kind of like magic. But the word magic implies tricks and other such nonsense. The Song isn’t for side shows and carnivals. As I said it is about energy. The energy of life in fact.”
He checked that Mae was following along.
“Anyway as I said most people have it. But for some, the power is so strong that it gives them various…abilities. I know I’m not explaining this very well, there are others who know more about it that can explain it better. As it happens those with Langston blood, are particularly connected and attuned to the gift.
You remember I told you about your grandparents, Theodore and Evelynne. Well, Evelynne, being a Langston was a particularly gifted practitioner of the Song; and she passed on the gift to her sons. Your father was quite adept with the Song, but your mother, Clarissa who was also a Langston was exceptional. It is a curious aspect of the Amethyst Song that it is particularly strong in the female line.
This is where you come into it.”
Mae was looking at him, wide eyed.
“As the daughter and granddaughter of too remarkably gifted women, you were always destined to have great power. Add in your father, and the fact that you are the heir to the throne, I should imagine that your power will be extraordinary. I wouldn’t be surprised if you were the most powerful woman for centuries.”
“So, you’re like saying she has like superpowers.” Amity piped up from her sentry post.
“In a manner of speaking, I suppose so.”
“Wow! That’s like really cool. Way to go sister.” Amity nodded in Mae’s direction. For her own part, Mae who was still been getting used to the idea that she was in fact a princess in hiding, found the idea that she had some kind of magical powers to be absurd.
“OK. So I have powers. What does that mean?”
“It means that you are special. But it also means that you are in some danger. There are people, your uncle for example, who don’t like the idea that someone else is more powerful than they are. You are only just starting to get your power I gather, but from what we just witnessed you’re going to be huge.”
“What you just witnessed? But I didn’t do anything.”
He raised an eyebrow. “Really? You think so. Did you sing something?”
He turned to Amity, “Did she?”
“Only like karaoke.”
“No wonder the whole place went out. You do not need a microphone or amplification.”
“What are you talking about?”
“You haven’t worked it out yet. I thought you were brighter than that. The power is in music. When you sang you released the power. That’s what made the lights go out. It was a pretty strong blast, my guess is the whole city is probably out. It’s impressive. But it also means that you’re very easy to find right now, for anyone who is attuned to the Song.”
“Will that happen every time I sing something?”
“Every time? No, well eventually not every time. You need training, you’ll learn to control it. But for now, I would avoid singing in the shower if I were you.”
Amity started to stir near the door.
“Boss. I think I hear voices upstairs.”
Hector stood next to her. He closed his eyes and started to quietly hum. After a few minutes, he opened his eyes.
“He’s here. There are others too. It’s a bit muffled, the afterglow from your performance makes it hard to work out who they are. They could be friends, but we’re not taking that risk. It’s time to move.”
“Move? Move where?”
“We’re getting you out of here. Out of the city if we can.”
“But…um..what about Mama?”
“She’ll be fine. She’ll be glad you’re safe. Trust me.”
He turned to the two blonde giants, who had been silent the whole time.
“Claus! Lars! Grab the packs.”
The two men stood, they each had to bend slightly to stop from hitting their head on the ceiling. They went to the corner, and hoisted an enormous pack each, onto their back. Each pack was the size of a compact H.O.R.S.E. but the men carried them as though they weighed nothing.
Hector went to an old filing cabinet. It had a combination lock attached. He entered the combination. After a pause of a few second a clang and a click could be heard. Then the cabinet swung out, revealing a hidden passage. He motioned for everyone to pass through, he came through last, closing the door behind him.
Mae saw that on the wall next to it, there was a metal panel with two sets of hand prints. Hector stood next to it, and motioned for her to come over too.
“Okay. I’m going to need you to use your power for me.”
“What? I don’t think…I don’t know how.”
“It’s fine I’ll show you. Just your hands on the plate like this.” He put his hands against one set of hand prints. Mae did the same. Looking at him expectantly.
“Now, I want you to clear your mind of everything.Close your eyes if it helps.”
She closed her eyes, and concentrated on clearing her mind.
“Now picture a flame. Make it small, like you’ve lit a match.”
She followed his instructions. She could almost feel the heat from the flame in her mind.
“Now, I want you to hum, under your breath, the tune of Happy Birthday.”
The two of them started humming. After a few minutes there was an explosion on the other side of the wall. The wall shook with the intensity of it.
“Good girl. You’re a natural. I knew you would be.”
“What was that?”
“Just a little precaution we had set up just in case we need to leave quickly. It’s a bit of a shame, it was a cool hideout, but never mind. Let’s go.”
With that he turned and lead the group through the tunnel.