The crash of thunder through a quiet night startled the man out of a fitful sleep, and he sat bolt upright on the sofa, breathing hard. The lights in the windows opposite his, like many other nightowls in the city that never sleeps, flickered ominously, and Lisandro worked to get his racing pulse under control. It was just a storm. A little natural light show, some rumbles, a bit of rain. Nothing to worry about.
It wasn’t like it could hurt him like it – like he – could hurt others.
Still troubled, he let himself fall back on the sofa to stare at the darkened apartment ceiling. All around him, beyond the walls and windows, life signatures lit up his constant awareness as a sorcerer. Neighbours flocked to the bedrooms of their children rudely awoken by the brewing storm, or drunkenly hit on level twelve’s new chick in the elevator on their way back from a ridiculously late night on the town. All of them lived in the moment, dealing with what the world presented them with at that time, and not one of them worried themselves with what might happen in ten, twenty, forty years from now. None of them would be willing to bet so much and do what he’d done to cement a future so distant, so obscure.
Orphan a girl. Create a future in which she grows into her power. Get away with it.
Another flash of electric brightness illuminated the pre-dawn grey of the city outside his window, and he got to his feet ahead of the rolling reply of thunder. Stairs and elevators were for the mortal, the observed and the guiltless, and Lisandro did not fit these categories. He grabbed his briefcase from the corner he’d thrown it at after getting home from the circle at Susannah’s, and with expert control, he opened a wormhole through space.