The Traveller
Chapter 7: Chris Beaker

Copyright© 2010 by Wandering Lanes

Chris had been working in his library; he was trying to see how to send Sar'ha's spirit back to her own body without affecting his. He noticed that his range of colours had altered; along with the White and Black books he now had Grey and Yellow books.

He looked into the grey books and found the story of The Traveller, how she was supposed to find a major mage of the Art, called the stranger, and to bring him back her home planet. He noticed how it failed to say how this would be achieved.

He was sure that Sar'ha thought he was the stranger and wanted him to somehow go back with her, but he wasn't sure how he'd be received, there was a warning regarding his arrival, it seems there was a faction on Sar'ha's world which would reject his arrival.

The grey books told him that the yellow books would hold scripts that were of use only on his planet, they could not be used on another world, these showed how electricity could be used to create objects from the energy it held. Then another book discussed how some natural electricity could also be harnessed, but only at a cost to the planet and so only a few adepts should use them.

"That's all well and good but how do I defend myself against others." He said out loud and a book fell to the floor. He went and picked it up, 'Defensive scripts' was the title – Chris had found that the library was either haunted or responded to his words, if he wanted a script it would appear.

He started to read the book when Sar'ha reappeared in the library, from her face he knew that something had happened he asked Sar'ha what it was.

She shook her head, "It worked but now it seems that I've cursed him instead. Rachael says that he doesn't need to remain here, but can be released, except he doesn't know any life except places like this. What do I do?" she asked.

Chris weighed up the possible options. "He's more used to being here, and he knows what he was like and can relate to the others patients?" He asked Sar'ha who wasn't sure about that and said so, "So what's stopping him from studying to be a mental nurse? He'd have to be provided for, or at least sponsored, but he'd have somewhere to live and train. I'll suggest that to Doctor Rachael in the morning ... Oh, how can I do that?" He mused realising that he shouldn't have any knowledge of Keith's awakening.

"I'm afraid I've messed that up as well." Sar'ha said and told him of what happened in the office, Chris realised that this would help him and smiled. "What's up now?" Sar'ha asked him puzzled by his look.

"You've just made my life here easier, I'll just have to confirm what you said and then we'll see what happens." He took her hand and rubbed it seeing how tired she looked even in her spirit state, "Don't worry, these things happen and for a reason, now why don't you get some sleep, you're going to need it tomorrow." He made a gesture unseen by Sar'ha and created a single bed, a very comfortable bed, Sar'ha laid down on the bed and its spell made her sleep.

Chris made another gesture and the bed, with Sar'ha on it vanished to the glade where she would be safe.

Chris spent the next few hours studying the books and practising defensive spells, he smiled if only a certain fictional wizard could see him now! He thought to himself and then sent a spell that gathered up the books and deposited them onto the shelves, in alphabetical order.

He spoke a spell that would allow him to sleep for a few more hours to awake refreshed early in the morning, and then returned to his body.


Chris awoke at 6 O'clock he walked to the bathroom and had a quick wash, dealing with the normal ablutions. He went back to his room and checked his clothing, most of it needed washing, he thought for a moment and then spoke some words, the clothes seemed to shrink down and then expand before folding themselves up and neatly positioning themselves on the shelves.

Chris quickly dressed and then conjured a phone which he put into his pocket, then there was a knock on the door and Jeff was there looking in, "Good morning Chris rise and ... oh sorry Chris I was expecting you to still be sleeping." Jeff said looking puzzled at Chris' clothing.

"That's alright Jeff, I know that some places start early, so what's on the plan for today?" Chris asked him.

Jeff frowned, "Well normally you'd be seeing Doctor Wilson to start the tests, but there's been a shake-up with one of the other patients." Jeff said.

"Oh yes, Keith, I think he's going to start worrying about his future life, you know you should suggest a nursing job for him, so that he's going to have to have something to focus on." Chris said which made Jeff stop.

"How did you know about that? It happened after you went to bed, and you couldn't have heard anything these rooms are soundproof." Jeff studied Chris.

"I have my way Jeff, but don't worry I'm here for appraisal only. Now when is breakfast?"

Chris asked with a smile at Jeff's look


After breakfast Chris was called to an office where Doctor White and Rachael were waiting for him, they invited Chris to sit down and then Rachael spoke, "Chris we had a strange report from Jeff. How did you know about Keith and his recovery?"

Chris gave a smile and regarded Rachael, "If I was to answer that then you'd never believe me and I'd be locked up, if I was in America I'd plead the Fifth." He said.

"Well we're not in America and I have to know the answer." Doctor White said.

"If you're certain about that, but what I say will have to be in strict confidence, no record – of any type – is to be kept of this, is that understood." Chris looked at both the Doctors.

"Of course Chris, you'll notice I'm not using my notepad at the moment." Rachael said holding up her hands. Chris smiled and muttered a few words - from a drawer there was a flash and then a coil of smoke rose into the air.

Chris shook his head, "I said of any type, you were recording this session and that has now been destroyed, you will also find that the video of this room isn't working either, I haven't destroyed that just deactivated it, I think it would be too expensive for the hospital to replace."

"How did you do that?" Rachael said opening the drawer and removing the ruined tape recorder.

"It's a long story, just where do you want me to start?" Chris said looking the pair of them.

"I think there's a book that has the words 'start at the beginning, go through to the middle and then onto the end.' That would do." Rachael said with a smile on her lips

Chris made himself comfortable and then spoke, "I kept having dreams, or rather the same dream, it was of two women in a circular area, they were casting spells against each other and deflecting them, they were practising their skills and had a teacher watching them, then one woman sent a spell that seemed to kill the other, except she wasn't dead, her spirit had been driven out from her body and that was her memory. She drifted until she found a host. I was that host, unprepared for her arrival I thought it was a mental problem, and so I went to Doctor Wilkinson.

"After some weeks I was contacted by the woman who explained who she was, she showed me how her magic worked and that I could also cast spells, I found that my work and health was improved with her help, I had to go to Doctor Wilkinson appointment, because she said I couldn't just cancel without her approval. When I explained that I didn't need her services anymore she told me I was wrong and tried to put me in a nursing home, I went to leave her office, she had locked the door – but that didn't stop me – I unlocked it and went out, but two attendants tried to hold me as the Doctor injected me with something, as I blacked out Sar'ha took over my body and escaped.

"She took me back home, and then after packing went to the train station. When the train stopped in Bath I left it and spent the night in a hotel, you know the rest." Chris finished and looked at the pair of Doctors who had both sat down in their respective chairs.

"You did it?" Rachael said looking at Chris, "You did those bicycles, making them rust away to nothing. But will it work today?" She accused him.

"I expanded it slightly, and it will. There are several types of scripts, as Sar'ha calls them; single shot, passive and continuous spells. The rust spell is a continuous one, powered by people; as long as the majority want to follow the rules then it will remain." Chris looked at Rachael, "I changed it slightly, to include cars as you suggested." He added.

Rachael's eyes started to tear up, "Thank you." She said which made Doctor White look at her, "My cousin was hit by a speeding car - they didn't bother to stop. They'd just robbed an off-licence and were being chased by the police." She explained to Doctor White.

"You mean you believe him?" He asked incredulous at her attitude.

"Yes, I 'met' Sar'ha last night, it was she who brought Keith back, I'm troubled about Keith he's able to be released into the world as far as I'm concerned, but to do what?" She said her mind troubled over his fate.

Chris spoke up, "If I might make a suggestion?" He said and told them exactly what he had suggested to Jeff.

Doctor White and Rachael looked at each other, "It's a possibility, but is he capable of completing the course, it's over 3 years, and how will he be able to afford to live during that time?" Doctor White asked.

"I can arrange something to help him, and I think he'd want to try and help others, it will help him as well." Chris said moving back in his seat.

"You're certain of that? I mean what if we decide that you should remain here?" Doctor White said in a neutral tone.

"I'm not sure I'd agree to that, from what I've learnt Chris is as sane as the next man, although please remember to me you are the next man." Rachael said to Doctor White with a laugh in her voice.

"It won't matter; I'll ensure that Keith will be able to afford to live while studying." Chris said and spoke a phrase, in his hand a pink lottery ticket appeared. "This will help him." He said putting Keith's name on the ticket.

Rachael took it from Chris' hand, "But if he wins the jackpot he won't have to work." She said.

"Oh it's not the jackpot number, it's the 5 numbers plus the bonus, enough to live on - not enough to allow him to waste time indefinitely but enough to allow him to study and pass a mental nurse examination." Chris said watching her,

"What if I were to keep it and claim it as mine?" Rachael asked watching Chris closely.

"Then the wrong numbers will come up, that ticket will only work when Keith is holding it at the time of the draw. I've made it like that." Chris told her

"But then you could create a ticket that would win the lottery, you'd be rich. You wouldn't need for anything." Doctor White said surprised.

Chris shook his head, "That's the problem with the craft, anything done for personal gain is nullified, I cannot profit from the spells I cast, not directly anyway. It's designed to keep the casters honest and honourable."

"Are you an honourable person Chris Beaker?" Rachael asked Chris her eyes watching him.

Chris gave a laugh, "I don't know Rachael, I try to be but then I'm biased." He said and then Sar'ha came into his mind and spoke up.

"Doctor Rachael, I do think he is. I can only be drawn to a person like myself, I did expect the gender to be the same but fate is strange."

Doctor White frowned but Rachael was quicker on the uptake, "Sar'ha I presume, Chris has told us how you took over his body, how do we know that you're not just a psychotic personality made up by Chris?"

Sar'ha laughed and spoke a phrase, there was a flash of light and then she was visible to all in the room, Chris shook his head, "Doctor White, Rachael, may I introduce Sar'ha of the House of Grork'n, she is the reason why I was acting as I was." Chris said.

Doctor White shook his head, "This isn't possible! You've got a projector somewhere, hidden." He said.

Rachael laughed out loud, "Knock it off Paul, how would he have got it into the room in the first place? And to have all this set up beforehand? – face it he's telling the truth, stamp a little red lion on his head and send him out." She said and then turned to the image. "Sar'ha, I'm pleased to see you, and I thank you for what you did for Keith." She said.

Sar'ha smiled back, "I only did what I could do for him, and he deserved as much help as I could give him."

Rachael looked from Chris to Sar'ha, her head nodding as she did so, "Are you honourable as well Sar'ha?" She asked.

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