“You wanted to see me, sir?” Theis had been participating in a training activity in Field C when he received the summons to Timothy Baker’s office and thus stood rigidly before the Head of the Order hoping he wasn’t leaving piles of sand all over the man’s carpeting.
“Come in, Commander.” Timothy gestured towards a chair. “Have a seat. Have you met Paladin Sparks before?”
Theis took his seat and exchanged nodded greetings with the man seated next to him. “Not as yet, sir. Paladin Sparks, it is an honor to meet you.” He turned his attention fully back to the senior paladin who had summoned him.
“For five months now we’ve been tracking a Priority Gamma situation in Region Thelos.” Timothy began. “Recent information has risen the case to sub-Alpha Priority. We do not think she is a threat, but there is enough concern to warrant our direct intervention.”
“Who is the target?” Theis ask. “What do we know of her?”
Everett Sparks tried to suppress a chuckle as he handed a tablet to the newly-commissioned commander. Theis looked at the tablet and the picture of a young girl displayed there. Her dark hair was worn in pigtails and her bright blue eyes sparkled with mischief and intelligence. Theis quirked a brow in confusion. “Sir?”
Paladin Sparks picked up the explanation. “This picture is over 5 years old, but it is the last clear picture taken of Evelyn Harris. She was 12 years old when she left her family home in Khovoda and moved to Thelios City to attend Academy there.”
“Thelos Academy accepted a 12 year old?” Theis asked incredulously.
“No, they didn’t. Nor did her family move to Thelios City. She essentially ran away because she wasn’t going to let rejection of her application stop her.” Everett grinned. “For 5 years she’s been evading all attempts to catch her and send her home. Nobody knows where she lives or how she gets by, but she’s been attending classes and lectures all over the Academy. She’s 17 now.” He reached over and tapped a button on the tablet. The display changed to show a number of pictures taken around the campus. Theis could see the girl growing into a young woman.
“She seems to be doing all right for a runaway,” Theis looked up from the pictures. “Why does this warrant our intervention?”
“Five months ago we received reports indicating she’s using magic to escape the authorities. Still, nobody was being hurt and she’d managed to keep it secret for five years. So we had some of our people in Thelios City keep an eye on the situation.” Timothy Baker replied.
“Then we got this.” Everett reached over once more and tapped another button on the tablet. The display changed again to show a security vid of a campus garden surrounded by a high stone wall. In the vid, a young woman hurried across the garden, looking over her shoulder. She was cornered – nowhere to go but the way she’d entered. She ran towards a stone wall as if preparing to try to jump up and climb it, but instead she waved a hand towards it and several of the rocks leapt out of the wall and hovered in the air on either side of the hole. As she ran through the opening, she waved her hand once more and the stones fell back into place. The wall looked untouched as the security guards ran up and looked around, completely baffled at how the girl had once again gotten away.
Theis blinked. He tapped the controls to replay the vid. He shook his head slightly, as if not believing what he saw. “She didn’t just move the stones, but kept them hovering in the air and then fit them back in place perfectly behind her… while running.”
“This is why it warrants our attention,” Everett sat back in his chair. “Nothing in her past indicates an intent or desire to harm others, but that kind of power cannot be ignored. I would like your help in finding her so we can do an evaluation.”
“My help, sir?” Theis asked uncertainly. “I will certainly help to the best of my ability, but I’m not sure just how much help I can be in this situation.”
Everett smiled reassuringly. “I realize this would be your first assignment as a Commander, but I have no doubts you will be of great help in this mission. I requested your aid because of your experience before coming to Dawn’s Light.”
Theis nodded in understanding. “My brief stint as a professor. But that was Minos Academy. Thelos Academy will be a different culture – I’m not sure my past will help much there.”
“Our plan is to arrange for you to go to Thelos Academy as a visiting professor to present a series of lectures on ancient warfare.” Timothy explained. “Miss Harris has very eclectic tastes so she may well be interested in attending the lectures. If not, though, the series will be spaced out to allow you plenty of time to become familiar with the campus and more importantly, for you to become known.”
“Part of the problem the security has had in trying to catch her is that the students and faculty seem to work together to help protect her.” Everett explained. “So don’t go asking around about her or we’ll be shut out completely. It will likely take some time before they warm up to you.”
“Right,” Theis nodded in understanding. “Then I guess I’d better go dust off my professor clothes and get ready to go back to school.”