So how does this “ghosts share worlds” concept work, if we push at it? Let’s find out.
Leonardo sits, legs folded, eyes closed. His body floats three feet above the blue glow of a mystic circle. The ritual is complex, but familiar: first, the levitation spell, for he must not touch the ground, to avoid grounding out celestial energies into terrestrial vessels. Second, the circle of warding, to focus his energies along the right astral conduits and avoid interference from outside. The actual spell of divination is simple enough, but error-prone in the extreme. He does it rarely, because it’s a hassle and he’s naturally impatient. Only a serious matter compels such attention to detail. As it turns out, This is such a matter.
He comes out of the trance and settles back to earth. Nearby, the shifting blue form of Undine, his assistant, apprentice, friend, and lover, betrays nervousness. “What did you see, Leo?”
“Woe. Summon the others,” he commands.
The team gathers. Harold the Fleet, Son of Mercury, of House Gale. Alycia, Daughter of Achilles. The starry-eyed Concord, hailing from a distant land and with powers from one more distant still. Charlotte Paumer, the spectral Frenchwoman.
“As you know, I am one of the Seven Hundred and Seventy Seven, the scions of magic. Though I have not graduated to the Seventy Seven, and will not–”
Alycia rolls her eyes. “Leonardo, we know of your magical ambitions, you’ve told me alone twice since I joined your band. This bitter pining over the lack of promotion avails nothing.”
“Sorry.” It was a sticking point, but Leo let it go and kept on. “The point is, even a novice like myself can sense a dark power growing. In our world, the parallels between worlds were explored, understood, then sealed shut with magic. For the most part. But other worlds took divergent branches, learning mechanics rather than magic, and lack our modern tools. There is a breach between two such worlds, near to us in the celestial orbits, where it makes its home. Its name, Pandemonium, echoes across the heavens–”
Leo is distracted by Alycia rolling her eyes and making a circular motion with her hand. Get on with it, wizard.
“Anyway. It may threaten our world. I need to prepare. I have learned its secret.” The young wizard points at Charlotte. “It is a mass of ghosts, centered around another you.”
“Moi?” the ephemeral girl asks, surprised. “Another me as in…” She glances at Undine.
The water spirit looks away. Her befoulment by House Rook’s alchemists, and Leo’s own cursed father, are still fresh in her mind. And there is her sister…
“No,” Leo says firmly, cutting off that train of thought. “A … parallel you.”
“What needs to be done?” asks Harold, sounding every bit the hero he and his ancestors are.
“There are still breaches to be found in our world,” answers Charlotte. “This is my raison d’être, you know. They must be closed. Then we will be safe.”
“I will transport us there, if you can locate them,” Concord volunteers helpfully.
“It must happen quickly.” Leo’s voice is tense. “I’ll summon Taurus and the Phoenix as backup as well.”
“What if we don’t close them all?” Alycia asks, ever the optimist.
“Then… We must fight here,” Charlotte announces. “Or join with others, in other worlds, who are doing the same.”
author: Bill G.