Tuesday was busy, but uneventful.
No one home. So strange to miss Xen and Exzy after decades of living alone. I’ll just enjoy the peace and quiet. Take a look through a recipe book and surprise someone.
The house was still quiet and empty at midnight.
Nothing has happened to either of them! Don’t be silly!
She searched the house for the bag handles, then checked her office. Back to the house.
If he was doing anything dangerous, he’d have handed Exzy off to Q.
And suddenly felt that deep magical presence, heard the rattle of the garage door, and walked out into the back yard to meet them.
Blinked at Xen’s weary body language, and fresh-scrubbed look.
“Sorry I’m late. We had a really hairy medical emergency. Pretty much had to rebuild a heart, but I think he’s going to make it.” He handed her the handles. “I may be there all day tomorrow, too. We bagged our patient so we didn’t have to worry about his dying while we caught some sleep.”
Rael bit her lip . . . He shook his head, refusing to answer the unspoken question.
“Well, in that case, I’d better feed you and tuck you into bed.” Rael turned and hugged him hard. “I love you, you nasty close-mouthed enemy agent.”
“I have no idea what you are talking about.” He flopped on the sofa. “Have I ever mentioned that ‘Dr. Rael’ is a great villain’s name? Or for a Supervillain, ‘Electric Rael’ would be awesome.”
Rael snorted. “Have I ever mentioned that you’re crazy? All I'm doing is failing to find Purple spies.”
She slid quietly into his dreams. Surgery, spying, purps . . . a warehouse with magic training going on. A dozen kids of all ages, a lot of purple hair . . . watching from the shadows. Watching the woman in charge. Puzzled. Why is a Oner training Earthers?
She eased away, and rolled out of bed. Wrote it all out, with descriptions of both kids and coaches. And especially the woman in charge.
Pity I’m not an artist, but I happen to know one . . .
He kissed her goodbye in the morning, and left.
Rael sighed and glanced guiltily at Exzy’s bubble handles. “We’ll play in the Fast Room later. It’s just one day . . . but I think I really do need a nanny.”
Ra’d blinked at her memory, put down his sketch pad, turned to his comp, and pulled up a series of pictures.
“That’s her! Who is she?”
“United Earth Central Intelligence Agency. Miss Catherine Sideris, General Black’s right hand . . . something. She stays well out of sight, most of the time.”
“Really?” Rael eyed the pictures. “I . . . caught a memory of Xen’s popping up in a dream after I chattered about the Purple complications. In the dream, she was training a bunch of older kids and teenagers, a lot of them with purple hair. He was wondering why a Oner was doing that.”
Ra’d stiffened and he stared at the pictures, nodded. “She could easily be a Oner, from her looks. That thick wavy mid-brown hair is about what you get with several competing engineered color genes. She’s average height for an Earth woman, she’d be a bit short for High Oner.”
He eyed the picture. “How much credulence do you give a dream, and . . . that’s not really a good way to maintain a loving relationship, is it?”
Rael giggled. “It is with the God of Spies. The archetype is rough on wives, but a femme fatalé never gets kidnapped. Although occasionally the hero shoots her.”
“Those people are insane. And I’ll add that information to the Cat Sideris file. The next time she’s on Embassy . . . maybe I’ll try to communicate with her.”
“Don’t. If we’ve actually gotten an agent that far into the UECIA . . . One! Nothing in writing, tell no one.”
“So no leaks. Got it.” Ra’d eyed her. “Urfa probably knows.”
“Yeah . . . but he hasn’t got a bug proof room any more, and there are high probability Earth agents on campus. Damn.” She shook her head at the picture. “A forehead wrinkle so she’s at least a hundred . . . Ajki might know if she’s a mole or gone rogue. Training Purps.”
Ra’d gave her a sharp grin. “Remember that curiosity killed the cat. Cat Sideris, in this case. And your Purps may be pretty well trained. Be careful.”
“Yeah. Damn. Let me have one good picture of her . . . then I’ll have to contain my curiosity.”