Chapter 16 Tia's POV
Professor Baldwin left, leaving us to discuss our next moves. Today was easy enough. We knew what we were going to do today, we also knew our longer term plan. The real question was what were we going to do tomorrow?
“Roni, is the house Simone has organized ready to move into?” Vee asked.
“Yes, we can move in today or tomorrow morning. It is a bit sparse in terms of furniture, but that can be sorted quickly.”
“So we temporarily move our treatment to there. Meanwhile, we research where else we can go while getting the Fiji island ready.” Vee stated.
“Sounds like a plan. Davina, security is our most important factor for our next location. I have to say I am a bit disappointed, I was hoping this research would help me work out my limits.”
Vee held my hand. “There may be another way. He said it was like a psychic ability. It sounds logical that if you use a psychic talent, you make it stronger. Myra seems to be your channel and she was also the one who told you that two transformations in one game day was a strain. Maybe we should ask her.”
“That is a very good idea. Andi tells me I am ready for my next familiar and I don't know how much that will affect things. Also we can't bring more people into the game with me unless we stop going in for seven day stretches and start going for a day at a time.”
“That is doable, but today we are set up for our usual seven day immersion, but we could fit an extra person if Katie didn't go.” Roni said.
Katie looked distraught. Far more than I think she should be. I needed to get her alone and see what is up. Right now, there were no cameras present so it might be a good time. “We haven't organized anyone else and there is not a lot of time. Let's keep it the same for today and I will talk to mum and see if she thinks we can do more, then we can experiment when we are doing the transformations at the house. Katie can you stay behind when everyone else leaves.”
Everybody except Vee took that as time to leave and left so it was just Katie, Vee and me. I waited until we were sure it was just the three of us and no one listening in. I checked mentally with Andi and she reported no listening devices.
“Katie, if you were struggling with something, you know you can talk to us, right? Tonight we are going to dinner with Vee's parents and both you and Roni are invited. You are invited because I think of you like you are my sister, and my sister seems to be hurting.”
I stood up and went to her chair and just held my arms open. Katie got up and hugged me, then Vee was there and we had a threeway hug. Katie is so big and strong now that it was almost like she was hugging us rather than the other way around, still the emotions were right.
Tears were in her eyes, so we just held her and hoped that she would break the silence. “You are going to think I am crazy or silly.” she said.
“Maybe. Until you tell us I have no idea how I am going to react, you would still be my sister though. Even if it was a crazy silly one.” I said with a smile.
“I know logically that when we enter VDR together we are interacting with characters that you have essentially made up. But they are so believable, so real.”
I was still clueless, but Vee gave an 'Oh' as she worked something out. “What's her name?” Vee asked.
“Ash, she is with us during Taigoa practice and then I practice weapons with her and Holly.”
“Have you slept with her?” Vee asked. Finally the penny dropped for me, but I left Vee to continue the conversation.
“No. I'm worried that if I did, I would no longer see her again and I couldn't take that.”
“And if you did and found out that you were bonded, how would that work out? What a mess. They do say that it is better to love and lose than to never love at all.” Vee stated.
“You think I should give it a go?”
It was my turn. “If you find out you are bonded, I can insist that you are always connected whenever I go in. I am spending seven days in Lagbit's world for every day here. Sometimes it feels more normal there than here. All I can say is I don't think you are happy with how things are now. If you sleep with her and it works out, you can spend seven out of every eight days with her. Not a conventional relationship I will grant you, but I think it can work.”
“But what if it doesn't?” Katie asked.
“Then you need to know that. I don't know whether we will live a normal human span of years or an elf span, but I believe there is someone out there for everyone. A soul mate, bonded, whatever you want to call it, if it is not Ash, there will be someone else, eventually.”
“But she is just a made up character from your mind.”
“We don't really know how my 'psychic ability' works. Maybe I am tapping in to real people in an alternate universe. Myra or mum as I like to call her, feels so much more real than my real mother. In the end I decided that I had to treat her as real. When you are with Ash, do you treat her as a real person or as an imaginary figure? Follow your heart. We all have doubts, but our heart never leads us astray.”
“Alright. I'm going to do it. I am not a coward and I feel like I have been behaving like one. It is time to woman up.”
“Whatever happens, we will be there for you. To celebrate hopefully, please make sure to include us.” Vee asked.
We had lunch with a very thoughtful Katie and set up for the last time in the Imperial College laboratory. We had got it down to a routine now, so I had confirmation that everyone was connected and hit resume. My headset had been repaired by one of our staff so that Andi could keep the resume point saved to multiple locations.
I woke up in bed with Vee and the maids around us. After our Taigoa practice both Vee and I wished Katie good luck and sat at the bench to talk to mum. I looked at Vee with a question in my eyes and she knew what I meant and gave a subtle nod.
“Mum I have some questions for you, but I also have some good news, which would you like first?”
“Let's go with the questions.”
“OK. There are a lot more people who would like to be transformed than we will ever possibly transform. I was wondering, are you finding it an easier process than it was originally and could you perhaps transform more than we are managing at the moment.”
“You are right, I am finding it easier. I was wondering if I could transform more than one at a time. I will try that today and see how it goes. Now, how about the good news.”
“Well, we took your advice about err.... new positions and after two weeks I bled, but Vee didn't.”
“Do you mean?”
“We don't know for certain, but it looks like, maybe, Vee is pregnant.”
She jumped up and hugged us both. “That is wonderful news. Do you mind if I check?”
“Of course not.” Vee replied.
Mum put her hand over Vee's belly and started chanting. She stopped chanting, smiling hugely. “I'm going to be a grandmother.”
“There may be some complications.” I said.
Her smile turned into a frown. “What complications?”
“Because we travel between worlds and time passes differently in the other world, the pregnancy may last a lot longer than usual.”
“That will be as Lagbit wills it. It won't affect the baby will it?”
“I don't think so, but I think the baby will be born in the other world and I am not sure how to bring the baby here until she is sixteen.”
“To an elf, sixteen years is nothing, but I really wanted to hold a baby in my arms.”
“Err.. sixteen of our years would be equivalent to one hundred and twelve years here, but Andi, my familiar, has told me there might be a solution. She believes that I can take a copy of her here. She would be here permanently, so someone would have to take care of her at night when I might not be here and after one hundred and twelve years, when I can bring our daughter from our world with me, there will be two identical versions with a different history.”
“So I would have to be her mother at night?”
“It doesn't have to be you.” She gave me such a look. “But it would be wonderful if it could be.” I continued quickly. “When we travel between worlds, we often disappear at night and return in the morning, but a baby, especially, when they are very young needs attention during the night.”
“So I would be breast feeding her during the night? It would be almost like having my own daughter. How did you know it was a girl, I didn't say anything.”
“Vee is convinced that we are having a girl.”
“She is right. You are making me so happy.” She had tears in her eyes. We held each other tight.
“When do we tell Mary and Kayla?” I asked.
“Can you wait until dinner? If I do a double transformation, I am not sure I will be able to make lunch and I want to be there.” She said that loudly. Elves have great hearing and I suspect that the whole palace will know shortly, but Mary and Kayla would probably be kept out of the loop so that we could surprise them tonight.
We separated to get on with our tasks. My routine was a little different today since Leaf was going to be directing my meditation for my next familiar. When it came time for my druid training, Leaf led me back to the glade we had been in before and I went through the same process. This time when I opened my eyes a feather glowing white was hovering above my forehead. To accept my new familiar all I had to do was bring my head forward to touch the feather. I felt like a gust of wind went right through me, so I knew I now had a wind familiar. My following druid sessions would be trying to start and then improve my communications with my new familiar.
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