Into the Fire (The Mieshka Files, Book One)

Into the Fire (The Mieshka Files, Book One) by K. Gorman Read Free Book Online

Book: Into the Fire (The Mieshka Files, Book One) by K. Gorman Read Free Book Online
Authors: K. Gorman
Tags: Science-Fiction, adventure, Fantasy, Magic, Fire, Young Adult, Urban, teen, elemental, element, power
wondered what his sleep cycle was like now.
    “The Fire Mage?” he pronounced slowly, as if he hadn’t heard it right.
    “His name is Aiden. He offered me an apprenticeship.”
    He leaned his shoulder against the wall. Under the loose t-shirt, he looked too thin. The light put a sickly yellow on his oily skin. With his gaze withdrawn, he took a long, quiet moment. The kitchen clock ticked in the interim.
    “Why?” he asked.
    “Because his machine told him I had magic.”
    Another quiet moment.
    “ Magic? ”
    The tone that made her smile. The gravelly quality of his voice had lessened. He sounded more like her old dad. “You don’t have magic.”
    Nice support network. She didn’t take offense. His eyes were still withdrawn, forearms crossed over his stomach as if he were cold.
    “I told him that, but his machine insisted. He’s going through the data right now.”
    She decided not to tell him about what had happened in the ship. It would only worry him. Besides, it was hard enough explaining the rest of it.
    “Magic.”
    “He wants me to be a student.”
    Her dad raised a hand to his face as if to rub his eye again, but thought better of it.
    “What kind of magic?”
    “I don’t know. I thought you could help me figure that out. Aiden will want an answer within a few days.”
    “On whether you’ll study magic or not?”
    “Yes.”
    “Does it cost money?”
    “I don’t think so.”
    “Are you sure he’s the real Mage?”
    “He showed me his spaceship.”
    He was silent, fixing her with a stare.
    “I suppose you aren’t doing drugs. If you were, you wouldn’t be telling me any of this.”
    She raised an eyebrow.
    “What? You’ve been in the big city for two months now. A parent’s got to wonder.”
    “They’re easier to get in Terremain.” She was lying, of course. She had no idea what went down in either city. He gave her a hard look.
    “So, magic.” Apparently magic was easier for him to believe than her doing drugs in the Terremain gutter.
    “Yeah. Magic. I thought I’d go ask the Internet about it.”
    He began to pace. Slowly. A ponderous step here, another retreating. In those small steps, she saw the return of her father.
    “Magic.” He said again, and turned back to his room. His hand reached out, fingers curled as if to type while walking.
    “I’ll grab us some dinner, then?” she asked his retreating back.
    Something that wasn’t pizza, she thought. She took the rotting boxes to the garbage on her way out.
    She found Chinese instead of pizza, and set the take-out on the kitchen counter. Roused by the noise, her dad emerged from the dark, scooped some into a bowl, and retreated. She took his preoccupied look as a good sign, and took her dinner to her room.
    The Internet, as it happened, did not have much. There were a lot of theories, formulated on forums at great and dubious speculation. Conspiracy theories aside, the common agreement, which followed what she remembered of the official history, went something like this:
    The Mages arrived into this world when their old world became uninhabitable, slicing through the dimensional boundary with their black ships. With them came knowledge, advanced technology, and magic. Their magic had an elemental base, which had less to do with chemistry than with the old definitions of the word: the Greco-Roman element wheel and its four elements was mentioned frequently. On one forum, the five Chinese elements surfaced.
    There were more elements that mythology provided—Terremain had an Electric Mage, if she remembered right—which had people speculating on how many elements there were, exactly.
    Lyarne had three Mages: Fire, Water, and Earth. That agreed with the set-up at the memorial: the fountain, the trees, and the burning names.
    She chewed her chow mein, thinking, then searched for video.
    Bingo.
    Except for the occasional news coverage, most video was taken from cell phones. One showed a teleport: a man walked up a street in the

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