Welcome back, dear readers! Quite the plot twist I left you with last time, eh? Don't worry, your questions will soon be answered. Please note that in this chapter, there are actually two characters named Madeleine.
Our heroine, Madeleine Brighton, is still referred to as Maddie, while former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is referred to as Madeleine. I hope this preemptively clears up any confusion. A Sorcerer in Downtown Atlanta Chapter 9 The Masons "The famous David Brighton, we meet at last," Ben said with a grin.
"Take a seat, young man. We have a lot to talk about." Dave stood there in shocked silence for a moment more before he managed to regain his composure. Disentangling himself from the two beauties on his arms, he took a seat at the table with Maddie on his right and Nimue on his left.
Ben spoke first, his voice as soft-spoken and calming as it had always seemed to Dave from his interviews on TV. "So, we are here today because we have a number of questions for you, Mr. Brighton," he began. Dave replied coolly, "With all due respect, Dr.
Carson, I believe my questions for you deserve to be answered first." After glancing at his colleagues, Ben replied, "Fair enough." "Who are you people? Why did you try to have me killed?" "We are the Masonic Brotherhood of American Sorcerers, or MBAS," said Ben. "Tell me, have you heard the stories of the Freemasons as they relate to the original formation of the United States of America?" "Of course," Dave answered.
"They were a secret society of men devoted to liberty and freedom. Many of the Founding Fathers were Freemasons, as I understand it." "Correct," Dr. Chu chimed in, "but what history books won't tell you is that there was an even more secretive branch of the Freemasons made up of sorcerers. This was the first formal organization of American sorcery, even before the nation was officially founded." Madeleine Albright spoke next. "At first, sorcery was a private matter, practiced only among magical families with skills passed down through the generations.
Most felt that there was no need for a formal government for sorcerers, particularly in the quiet and secluded colonies. All that changed in the year 1692 in Massachusetts." "1692," Dave muttered, searching his memory. "Wait… you're talking about the Salem Witch Trials, aren't you?" "That's right," said Condoleezza. "Poor little Abigail Williams was an eleven-year-old girl with incredible magical potential.
She was just beginning to discover this potential when she caused some accidents around town that she couldn't explain. Both she and her cousin and confidant, Betty Parris, were smart enough to know the consequences should the Puritan governors get wind of what had happened.
Thus, they felt they had no other choice but to feign fits of madness and blame the unexplainable occurrences on witchcraft, accusing innocent people with no connection to these incidents. I'm sure you know the rest." Dave nodded. "Almost a year of investigations and kangaroo courts, with over a dozen innocent civilians executed for witchcraft. The rock on which theocracy was crushed in America." "And also, the rock on which the old ways of sorcery were crushed," Ben said.
"Abigail Williams had exceptional potential, but she did not come from a family of practicing sorcerers. Thus, she had nobody to go to when she began to discover her sleeping power. When combined with her decision to blame her own sorcery on innocent citizens, this illustrated for the small group of sorcerers in the colonies the need for a governing body of some sort.
Not only was there a need to provide a secure foundation for chicklings discovering their powers for the first time, but also to protect the general public from potential harm.
From the aftermath of Salem, the first government for sorcery was born in our land, and we are the modern version of that government." "This is all very fascinating, but it doesn't answer my biggest question: why you tried to have me killed," Dave replied.
Ben sighed at this. "In short, we didn't. Mark Iger's actions were not sanctioned by this Security Council. He acted alone and of his own accord." "I see. What is being done to prevent him from acting in this manner again?" Dave asked pointedly.
"We'll get to that. First, I think it's time we receive some answers to our questions." Dave growled, "Now, you listen-" "Dave," Maddie said, placing her hand on his shoulder. "We have plenty of time. Let us hear them out." Through gritted teeth, Dave asked, "What is it you want to know, Dr. Carson?" "How is it you became so powerful at sorcery without our knowledge?" Ben asked.
"We have developed the means to detect surges in magical energy but found nothing from you up until a month or two ago. By that time, your power was already nearing the level of a Master Sorcerer.
How did you manage this?" Calming himself, Dave answered, "I was apprenticed to Merlin for a period of three months in medieval Camelot." "Impossible!" said Madeleine.
"Time travel spells have been outlawed ever since the formation of the Freemasons, and even amongst the magical communities the world over, it is forbidden. I daresay there is not a sorcerer alive who could perform one." "For that, you need to speak to my friend," Dave replied.
All eyes shifted to the stunning blonde sitting to Dave's left. Each member of the Security Council studied her for several moments before glancing at each other, almost as if they were conferring in silence.
For all Dave knew, they might be doing just that. At last, Ben spoke. "You aren't human, are you?" "I am not. I am an immortal water nymph. My name is Nimue, though I am certain you would know me better by my name of legend, the Lady of the Lake." The four secretaries were visibly taken aback at this. Hesitating a moment, Ben said, "You have our attention. Please continue, Nimue." "ONLY MY FRIENDS MAY CALL ME BY MY NAME ALONE!" she rebuked him with a fiery look in her violet eyes.
"Whether you are friends remains to be seen. Until such time as I decide, you shall address me as Lady Nimue." The silence was deafening. Though he had only known her a short time, Dave had never seen this sort of ferocity from Nimue.
It seemed, he thought, that Mark's attack had struck a personal nerve with her. Smiling to himself, Dave remembered when he first met Nimue and how he had been deathly afraid of offending her in this exact way. It seems the Security Council still had some ground to make up in her eyes. "My apologies, Lady Nimue," Ben said, holding his hands out in front of him. "We mean you no disrespect. Please, continue." Clearing her throat, Nimue replied, "As you are doubtless aware, my role in the lives of Merlin and King Arthur was brief yet vital.
I was Merlin's teacher in his youth, as well as the one who bequeathed the mighty sword Excalibur to Arthur. But beyond this, I have strived to remain neutral in the quarrels of man, such as the war between Arthur and Mordred. But I am also an immortal and am able to peer into any time of history at will.
In this way, I discovered that history was in danger of deviating during the end of that war." "Peer into history? What do you mean by that, Lady? Do you claim to be omniscient?" "No, I would never be so bold," Nimue explained. "Rather, I can peer into any point in history that I have lived in. Still, I have indeed lived a long time, thus I may seem omniscient to a mortal man.
As such, I learned that the circumstances of the fall of Camelot were different than they needed to be. Arthur and Mordred would both fall, yes, but Arthur's half-sister, Morgan le Fay, was the problem. She had been possessed by the spirit of her mother, Igraine." "The same Igraine who bore Arthur?" Steven asked in surprise. "Indeed. She had died of natural causes, but at the moment of her death, Morgan had attempted a mind merge with her mother.
That action allowed Igraine's spirit to remain in the mortal realm, latching onto the only living thing present. Morgan le Fay had become nothing more than a puppet of her mother's anger and lust for vengeance. If I had allowed her to remain unchecked, the rampage she would have gone on would have left England in ruins.
Such would be England's devastation that it would have taken centuries for it to again rise as a prominent world power. From that conclusion, I imagine you know the likely consequence as it relates to you." "If England isn't a world power at the right time, there aren't the same colonists to the New World!" Condoleezza realized.
"Meaning the United States may well never form," Ben continued. "Precisely," Nimue said. "This is why I needed Dave. I gazed into so many points in history that I feared none would be powerful enough to set things right with the fall of Camelot, but Dave possessed a unique blend of courage, ingenuity, and curiosity that made him perfect for the task.
I brought him back in time to the year 932 against his will, knowing he would meet Merlin in the process. Merlin sensed his massive potential and began to train Dave in sorcery with the hope of teaching him to travel through time so that he might return home.
However, as the war escalated, Merlin soon discovered the true nature of Morgan le Fay, his former apprentice. Her possession was something Dave had never once heard of, and he is an expert on Arthurian lore. Thus, Dave figured out that she had to be freed before the end of the war to prevent a major paradox, a deviation from history's intended path. Once he accomplished this task, I returned him home to the year 2017.
Dave never once used this forbidden spell to travel through time, I can assure you." Sitting in awe for a few moments, Ben at last said to Dave, "That's quite the tale." "And it's all true, crazy as it sounds," Dave replied. "Yes… I do believe you two. Still, that doesn't answer our next question." Turning to Maddie, he asked, "Elise Madison Adams… is that your real name?" Dave began to sweat at hearing this; for Ben to ask such a question, he must have discovered something about Maddie's true nature.
Maddie, on the other hand, remained as calm as ever. "No, it is not." "Then why did you lie? Why did you take this identity as your own?" Ben pressed. "Because I had no other choice," Maddie admitted. "I am not of this time. In truth, I am a citizen of Camelot." "So, it's true," Ben muttered in disapproval.
"Young man, do you have any idea the damage you've caused by bringing her here?" Madeleine scolded Dave. "You don't know the whole story!" Dave insisted. "What else is there to know?" Condoleezza chimed in.
"It's abundantly clear what happened. You met her during your little time jump, became smitten with her, and decided to bring her back with you, consequences be damned." "It's not like that at all!" Maddie protested. "Why should we believe you?" Condoleezza shot back. "Because she should be dead!" Dave shouted in anger, silencing the room. "When I first arrived in the past, I encountered an overturned carriage under attack.
Maddie's father and fiancé had already been killed in the attack, and the last of their assailants was about to rape and murder her. So, I did what I had to do and killed him. Later, I came to realize that she is actually Madeleine of Saxon, daughter of Lord Byron of Saxon. This is the same Lord Byron that history tells us was in talks to form an alliance with King Arthur and Camelot.
Do you know what history says became of those talks?" "The attempted alliance fell apart when an attack killed Lord Byron and his entire family," Steven said, realizing where Dave was going with this. "Exactly," Dave replied.
"Maddie should have died in that attack, but because of my intervention, she didn't. From that moment on, she didn't belong in Camelot any more than I did.
When I explained this to Arthur, he immediately had her quarantined in her room to ensure she would not come into contact with anyone she shouldn't. Believe me, we took every precaution to ensure her survival wouldn't cause a paradox." "Be that as it may, it still doesn't explain what she is doing here," Ben pushed back. "She no more belongs here than she did in Camelot after she should have died." "It was the best solution available," Dave insisted. "Better than ending her life to protect history?" Ben asked.
"You bet your fucking ass!" Dave growled. "I never once even considered that as an option, and do you know why? Because I have a fucking CONSCIENCE!" Dave was dumbfounded that Dr.
Ben Carson, a man he respected for his incredible accomplishments in the medical field, would even think to suggest that Dave should have killed Maddie for the greater good.
But after a few tense moments, a tiny smile spread across Ben's face. "I'm very glad to hear that," he said. "You were put into an impossible situation, but it seems to me that you handled it as well as could be expected." "Wait… you're ok with what I did?
With bringing Maddie here?" "As long as your story is true." "It is," Nimue interjected. "Then I think we've gotten the answers we need," Ben finished, confirmed by the nods of approval from his colleagues. "I feel we owe you an apology for being so rough in our questioning," Madeleine said, adjusting her glasses.
"We had to be certain not only of what really happened, but also the motivations behind your actions. We had to test you, as it were." "I guess that makes sense," Dave replied, beginning to calm down. "Make no mistake," Steven continued, "if Mark Iger's suspicions had been correct, we would have had no choice but to arrest you. But I am pleased to learn that he was mistaken, as I thought he might be." "So, what happens with Iger?" Dave asked.
"He's a threat to my entire family, as far as I'm concerned." "We're still working on the proper course of action, but rest assured, he can do no harm to you or your loved ones right now," Ben replied. "Now, there is another matter to discuss, Mr.
Brighton." "And that is?" "This," Ben said, sliding a sheet of paper across the circular table to Dave. "Huh… application for membership to the Masonic Brotherhood of American Sorcerers? Wait, you want me to…" "We want you to become a Mason, Dave," Ben grinned. "We need people like you," Steven agreed. "You are powerful, yet your power is guided by a moral compass." "The members of this Security Council, myself in particular, are growing older by the day," said Madeleine.
"Our time is nearly done. But yours is just beginning." "Young sorcerers like yourself are the best future the Masons could ever hope for," Condoleezza continued.
"We would consider it a great honor to have you aboard." Glancing at the application, Dave replied, "This all seems very flattering, but there's still too much about your organization that I don't know. You gave me your abbreviated history earlier, but I need the whole story. I need to know what sort of group I would be joining up with." Nodding, Ben said, "Condi, you're our master historian.
You wanna take the reins?" Clearing her throat, Condoleezza began, "As you know, the first government of sorcery was formed in the aftermath of the Salem Witch Trials. At that time, it was pretty small and informal, since there were not even two-hundred sorcerers across all thirteen colonies at that time. Their primary purposes were to help find chicklings struggling with the discovery of their powers and to report on any potential abuses of magical power.
It was a simpler time, but that changed in the course of less than a century. "During that same time period, the King of England began tightening his grip on the colonies.
This brought about the desire for revolution, though the sorcerers were a bit hesitant to participate in any revolution. If they did openly use their powers to end King George's tyranny, they would be seen as nothing more than conquerors themselves.
They did sympathize with the Loyal Nine and the Sons and Daughters of Liberty societies, but it was the Freemasons that the sorcerers felt comfortable aligning with. They shared many of the same ideals of liberty and freedom and were particularly attracted to the group's acceptance of different religious beliefs, so long as their members were of sound morals.
Thus, many sorcerers began to join their local Freemason lodges. "When it became clear that revolution was inevitable, the sorcerers met and decided that even if they could not use their power to influence the revolution, they believed in the cause all the same. Thus, they elected one of their most prominent members to aid in the formation of the new nation that was to come. I am sure you've heard of Benjamin Franklin. In addition, there were still a number of sorcerers that did not officially join Freemason lodges, in spite of their agreement with many of their ideals.
This was primarily due to their wariness of secret fraternal organizations in general. Thus, Franklin selected two other sorcerers not part of Freemasonry to contribute as well, ensuring all viewpoints were represented in the contingent of sorcerers.
These other two men were Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton." "Franklin, Jefferson, and Hamilton were all sorcerers?!" Dave exclaimed. If he had been drinking something, he would have spewed it out of surprise. "It can't be that surprising," Condoleezza chuckled. "These three men are viewed as among the most intelligent and influential of the Founding Fathers.
Why wouldn't they have also been sorcerers?" "Was it just those three, or were any of the other Founding Fathers sorcerers?" Dave asked. "Just them. The sorcerers felt it important that they have a say in the revolution and the forming of our nation without becoming dictators. That would have been a betrayal of the ideals that had drawn them to Freemasonry in the first place.
Once our Constitution was written, it was natural that these three would be offered prominent leadership positions, though this was not necessarily the goal. It just happened to work out that way." "So, if both Jefferson and Hamilton were sorcerers, why did they oppose each other so much?" Dave wondered. "Their disagreements as part of Washington's cabinet are legendary. Was that all just an act to throw off suspicion as to their connection?" "To our knowledge, their rivalry was completely genuine," Condoleezza replied.
"They were both sorcerers, yes, but that doesn't mean they agreed on everything. Jefferson was a big proponent of a smaller government and more power to the states. He saw that as the best way to protect the population in general, and especially the growing number of sorcerers. Hamilton, on the other hand, did not share Jefferson's natural distrust of a powerful federal government. He felt that only by being proactive and highly involved could a government be good stewards of their citizenry, hence his financial plans.
In spite of their shared love of country, their disagreements were as real as history says they were. "Anyway, President Washington actually helped establish a precedent for sorcery in this new government by including sorcerers on his cabinet, even if he was unaware. Since then, one of our members has been included on every President's cabinet, not as a spy or a plant, but to ensure that the ideals of Freemasonry are maintained.
The sorcerers wanted to coexist with the new American government, not overtake it, and having one of their own work closely with the President was the ideal way to accomplish that goal. Even to this day, every President has had one sorcerer in their administration." "Clearly," Dave laughed, seeing as he was surrounded by four of the most successful cabinet members alive. "How can you be sure that a sorcerer will be appointed to a cabinet position?" "There are usually several prominent sorcerers in contention for cabinet positions.
We've never had to use additional influence. Every one of our members was appointed of the President's own volition," Condoleezza said. "Does anyone in the government know about sorcery?" Dave asked. "Only the President," Madeleine said.
"Once the new President is inaugurated, one of the first orders of business is for the sorcerer on their cabinet to meet with them and reveal the truth, for their ears only, of course. Usually this revelation goes over well, but… not always." "Oh, this has to be good," Dave chuckled.
Ben continued, "Every President reacts differently to this sort of news. When I told President Trump, for example, he laughed it off at first, said I was high on something. But when I showed him a bit of my power, he got angry that I had hidden this from him, threw me out of his office. He calmed down after a few days, but I don't think he's ever trusted me again." "I might have taken that over how President Obama reacted," Steven chuckled.
"What did he say?" Dave wondered. "He was, in a word, incensed. Offended," Steven said. "The man is a profound narcissist. Granted, every President is, save for George Washington himself, but Barak seemed to have it worse than anyone I've ever met. He thinks so highly of himself, and when he learned that sorcery existed in those with genius-level intellect, he was quite offended that he did not possess this potential.
That resentment carried on for some time; it was the reason I could no longer work for him in his second term." Condoleezza chimed in, "President Bush, on the other hand, barely reacted to this news at all; I wondered at the time if he had even heard me, but he had. I thought things would go well after that, but the difficulty came after the September 11th terrorist attacks.
I was Ambassador to the UN at that time and was called to Camp David in the aftermath of the attacks. He practically interrogated me on why the sorcery community did nothing to prevent the attack." "And why didn't you?" Dave asked. "Because we aren't all-knowing or all-powerful," Condoleezza explained. "We had no more prior knowledge of the attacks than the rest of the government did. As I'm sure you're discovering, even sorcery has its limitations." "True," Dave nodded.
He then turned to glance at Madeleine Albright. "What?" she asked. "Come on, you really think you can get away without sharing? Now, I have to know how Clinton reacted," Dave chuckled. The rest of the Security Council was practically crying as they attempted to hold in their laughter; they had all heard this story before. With a heavy sigh and an exasperated eye roll, Madeleine spoke. "President Clinton was not as bad as the rumors about him said. He was worse. When I went to meet with him after his inauguration, he had just finished 'introducing himself' to one of the young ladies interning at the White House.
Once the intern had left, I told the President what I needed to tell him. He gave no reaction other than to ask if I could use sorcery to light a marijuana joint for him. I was naive enough back then to think that he was simply in a celebratory mood, but this became the norm. The man was an insatiable skirt-chaser and stoner. Sadly, I actually had to perform a spell of selective mutism on President Clinton." "Selective mutism? What does that mean?" Dave asked.
Madeleine explained, "It prevents an individual from speaking about a certain topic, ensuring they don't divulge top-secret information by accident. As loose as he was in every other aspect of his life, we couldn't take the chance that he would be able to keep our existence a secret. Once he left the White House, I asked him whether he would prefer to remain under the spell or to have his memory of our conversation wiped.
He chose to have his memory wiped, to my great relief…" Ben then deadpanned, "I had to use the selective mutism spell on President Trump, too. I mean, have you seen the man's Twitter feed?" The entire room burst into laughter at that. After several seconds of much-needed levity, Ben turned to Dave and continued, "I believe we're getting a bit off track.
What do you think of our offer, Mr. Brighton?" "I must admit, I'm intrigued," he replied. "Still, there's one more thing I need to know before I can answer that question. What happens to my wife?" Grimacing, Ben asked, "How do you mean?" "Oh, come on!
Regardless of my reasons for bringing her here, she's still an illegal resident of this time. That's bound to set you governmental types off!
If I'm going to join up, I have to have assurances that Maddie will be safe from any retaliation and that she'll be welcome to live out the rest of her life in the United States.
If I can't get that, then I can't in good conscience join. It's that simple." Ben contemplated this for a few moments. "I'll need to make some calls before I can give any assurances like that.
After all, hers is a… unique situation. We've never encountered anything like this before." Dave was about to fire back a retort, but the feeling of Maddie's hand on his silenced him for the moment.
"That will be fine, Dr. Carson," Maddie said. "It will give my husband and I time to discuss this matter in private before he gives you a decision." Ben smiled at seeing their interactions. "My wife has the same effect on me," he said to Dave.
"The power behind the throne, eh?" "Something like that," Dave chuckled. ***** Dave groaned in frustration as Maddie worked his cock with her mouth, backing off just as he was close to blowing his load. "Tease…" "That's not a nice thing to say to your wife," she purred. "It certainly is no way to make her give her best effort on the task at hand." "Just remember… turnabout's fair play." "Is it?
I hadn't considered that," Maddie giggled. "Oh, come on," Dave whimpered, feeling her slowing her pace again. "Poor husband of mine," Maddie cooed, keeping a firm grasp on his member while moving her face level with his.
"Is there something you want me to do, Dave? All you need do is ask. What do you want me to do?" Dave was a babbling pile of goo by this point, having been worked to the brink of exploding time and time again by his wife.
It was all he could manage to eke out a weak reply. "I wanna cum… please, make me cum…" A wicked grin spread across her face.
"If you insist." In one swift motion, Maddie mounted her husband and slid his cock all the way into her damp pussy. She had restrained herself for quite some time, trying to pleasure Dave and build him up slowly, but the time for that had passed. The look of hunger in her eyes was unmistakable, and Dave lost his mind altogether when she began to ride him with wild abandon.
Gone was the timid girl he had first made love to in Camelot, replaced with this insatiable sex goddess. As his cock bulged with his hot seed, Dave let himself go and filled his wife's pussy with his semen, groaning in ecstasy the whole time. By the glow on Maddie's face, she enjoyed it just as much as he did. "Oh, my… I love you," she breathed, collapsing onto her husband's chest. "Love you, too," Dave smiled, wrapping his arms around his wife. The lovers laid there for quite some time, dozing in and out of consciousness while enjoying each other's touch.
After a while, as the sun began to set outside, they heard a soft knock at their door. "Hush," Dave whispered with a grin. "If we're quiet, they'll go away and we won't have to move." With a flirty giggle, Maddie gave him a peck to the lips and disentangled herself. "That would be rude, Dave," she said, putting on a satin robe. Tossing another robe to him, she continued, "Make yourself decent for our company if you would." "Nag, nag, nag," Dave griped playfully.
Once they were dressed, Maddie slid open the door. "Nimue! Come in!" "Hello, Maddie. I must say, you look positively radiant this evening." Maddie blushed at this. "Oh… um…" "Oh, don't be embarrassed!" Nimue said with a grin. "I do hope he took wonderful care of you." "He… always does," Maddie admitted.
"Good evening, Dave," Nimue said, stepping into the room. "Hey," he said, blushing a bit at their exchange. "I, uh, hope we weren't too loud or anything…" "Nonsense! The only reason I could tell what you were doing was the intense magical energy brimming from your room." "Really? Does that happen every time we make love?" Maddie wondered. "It is quite common, yes, especially when two powerful sorcerers join together.
Ah, but I did not come to embarrass you about your love lives!" "Of course not, just an added benefit," Dave smirked. "Perhaps," Nimue giggled, "but I wanted to share with you some information that may aid in your decision regarding the Masons." "That would be lovely, thank you," Maddie said, taking a seat with Dave and Nimue at a small circular table in the corner of their room.
"Definitely," Dave agreed. "After everything we've been through, I value your opinion and input just as much as I do Maddie's." "You have my sincere thanks," Nimue said with a smile.
"I wanted to tell you that I have been meditating for the last several hours, and I can say that everything is as the Security Council said in the meeting today.
There was no deception in their tale." "You read their minds?" Maddie asked. "No, not precisely. Instead, I managed to gaze into history to the points they described today. Everything happened as they say it did. It was, in truth, quite impressive. Very rarely have I encountered an account of history that was as accurate as theirs was today. I believe them when they say they have always worked to coexist with the American government, rather than overthrowing it." Dave realized, "You've sensed my hesitation in joining up with a secret organization of sorcerers that has infiltrated the government." Nimue giggled, "Yes, but one does not have to be an immortal to see that." "True," Maddie agreed.
"So, what's your opinion of the Masons?" Dave asked. "Would I be walking into a brood of vipers by joining them?" "It is difficult to say," Nimue replied.
"Their beliefs are sound and their leadership is strong. However, there is also the issue of that man who attacked you." "Iger…" Dave growled. "Yes. It is unclear if he is an exception or if there are more sorcerers like him within the Masons, ones that would jump to conclusions and take unilateral action, consequences be damned. In my opinion, much will depend upon how the Security Council handles his punishment. If they handle it well, it shows they will not tolerate corruption, even from their own members.
But if not…" "It could be a sign of a larger problem," Dave nodded. "Still, I think you should take great consideration of their offer," Nimue continued. "You must remember that it is not only yourself that is impacted by this, but also your wife. She is not yet a legal resident of this time, with no education and limited means of employment, besides.
Joining the Masons could solve both these problems in a single stroke." "Be that as it may, you must do what is right in your mind, Dave," said Maddie. "I would not want you to be trapped in a corrupt organization for my sake." "I appreciate that, but I think Nimue is right," Dave replied.
"If I can make it work with the Masons, I need to join them, provided they'll allow you to live in peace, of course. If not, I'm not sure what to do…" "If they do not consent to that, which I think is highly doubtful, I am certain you would have a home here with Sato," Nimue replied.
"All right, where's that application?" ***** "Mr.
Brighton, do we have a decision?" Ben asked to begin the next day's meeting. "First thing's first, Dr. Carson," Dave replied. "What about my wife? Do I have your assurance that she will be allowed to live with me in peace in America?" Ben nodded. "I have contacted the people in our organization that would handle that and explained the situation to them. It'll take some time to resolve everything, but I can promise that no action will be taken against you or your wife for your decision to bring her here.
All things considered, it was the best solution." "And what of Iger? I will not set foot on American soil again until I know for certain what will happen to him for his actions." "We are handling the situation," Ben assured him. "Not good enough!" Dave slammed his fist on the table. "He nearly killed me and tried to kill my wife! I deserve to know what you plan to do about that!" Ben sat stone-faced for a few moments before replying, "As soon as I return to America, I will be placing him under arrest for attempted murder.
He will stand trial for his actions." "Trial?!" Dave snorted. "After everything he did, he gets a trial?!" "We follow the United States Constitution, Mr. Brighton!" Ben shot back. "Unlawful as his actions may be, he is still entitled to due process!" "Right. The same due process I received when he decided to spy on my apartment?" "As I've previously explained, we had probable cause. You had already used sorcery to violate the law and help your wife steal a dead person's identity.
That gave us every reason we needed to bug your apartment. And furthermore, I'm not sure I appreciate your tone, Mr.
Brighton. I still have not charged you with any crimes, even as it is my right to do so with everything I've learned." "And why haven't you?" Dave growled. Ben sighed. "Call it… gut instinct. I don't believe it would be the right thing to do, all things considered.
But make no mistake, you two are out of favors." "Out of favors, eh? Then why do you want me to be a Mason so badly?" "As strong as you are? Better to have you as a friend than not," Ben grinned. "I see." Pulling out his application, Dave continued, "If I were to submit this application to you today, what sort of life could I expect as part of the Masons?
Would I be required to spy on my fellow citizens, like Iger did with me?" "No. We only sanction surveillance spells on American citizens when absolutely necessary, as it was with the two of you, and even then, no sorcerer can be forced to do it.
We can only ask, but you have every right to refuse." "So, what sort of work would I be doing?" Ben replied, "We'd start you out with the basics, entry-level magical detection and whatnot, maybe help us locate a few chicklings.
Once you get more comfortable, we'd find a position more suited to your skills, of course. In any case, the pay is exceptional; you'd never have to worry about finances for the rest of your life, as long as you're smart with your money. "How can that be?" Maddie asked. "If this society is so secretive, how is it so well-funded that you can afford to pay your members as such?" "It's complicated," Ben said. "First, any position in which you're integrating into normal parts of society, such as my job with the government, is paid for by that entity.
You still have to do that job in addition to your Masonic duties. But for the positions completely related to sorcery within MBAS itself, we do have plenty of funds available. Much of it comes from the excess salary from some of our more affluent members, myself included." "So, you'd be paying my salary?" Dave asked. "Doesn't that create a pseudo quid-pro-quo situation?" "Not at all. The extra money I make is donated to MBAS in the same way a charity donation is made.
Once I make the donation, I have no say over how that money is used. Our accountants have complete control at that point." "Sounds good, just wanted to be sure," Dave replied. "Oh, one last question about this section at the bottom where I must agree never to run for President of the United States.
Has that been a problem in the past?" Ben shrugged. "Not exactly. It's more a precautionary step. Obviously, only one sorcerer has ever become President, that being Thomas Jefferson. He was the one who set this precedent. During his time, he tried to balance his duties as Head of State with his position as leader of the sorcerers.
This ended up creating several difficult situations in which he would have made different decisions for each group. In those cases, he made the decisions that he needed to make as President, which the sorcery community ultimately agreed with, but it illustrated one of the biggest difficulties of leadership." "One cannot serve two masters," Dave agreed. "Correct. That's why, during his second term in office, Jefferson resigned his leadership within the sorcery community and renounced all magical capabilities, save for the simplest spells that he used in his everyday life," Ben continued.
"This motivated the sorcerers to draft a clause for all their members stating that they cannot run for President, or if they do, they must first resign and renounce sorcery. That clause still exists today, as you can see." "But you ran for President, right?" Dave asked.
"Yes, and during that period, I did renounce sorcery. But we have also provided an easy path back to the Masons for any who runs for President and loses; there isn't any sense in locking someone out over that.
When we got wind that President Trump was interested in making me a part of his cabinet, it was a simple next step to make me the official liaison to the White House." "What would have happened if you had used sorcery during that period that you were running for President?" Dave wondered. "In short, it would have been bad. I'm talkin' the entire Security Council after me, possibly my imprisonment, that sort of thing," Ben said. "It's a big deal for one of our own to run for President, and one of our biggest goals is to ensure that no abuses of power can occur." "Which brings me to my most important question of all," Dave said.
"What if I choose not to hand you this application? What if I have decided I can't get onboard with what your group does?" Ben grimaced, knowing this question couldn't be avoided. "You would be banned from practicing sorcery for as long as you are on United States soil." "That's unfair!" Maddie exclaimed. "You have no more right to restrict his powers than you do to tell him how to think or believe!" "Unfortunately, that's an apples-to-oranges comparison, young lady," Ben replied.
"How so?" Dave asked, doing his best to remain calm. "Very simple. Freedom of speech is a constitutional right.
Sorcery is not. That's what it boils down to." "I have read your Constitution," Maddie seethed, "as well as the Declaration of Independence. It states clearly that our rights are inalienable and endowed to us by our Creator. If that does not describe sorcery, I do not know what does!" "And besides, the Constitution guarantees our right to bear arms," Dave chimed in. "How is this not protected under that clause?" "You're not wrong," Ben agreed.
"I do believe God has endowed a select few with this great gift of sorcery. But that means we must hold ourselves to a higher standard. To your point, Mr. Brighton, sorcery is not covered under the Second Amendment.
I believe in the Second Amendment, but it does not, for example, give citizens the right to own nuclear warheads. Neither does it give sorcerers free reign to use their sorcery as they please. One rogue sorcerer with the right power and motivation could overthrow the government in one fell swoop and establish dominion over the nation. That's something we Masons have worked to guard against since the beginning, which requires us to police the use of sorcery in America.
It may seem to you that we're a dictatorship, and I suppose we are, but only as it pertains to the use of sorcery. It's that simple. We're the good guys, whether you believe it or not." The realization struck Dave like a bolt of lightning. As much as he wanted to rip into Ben for such restrictions, his assertion was correct.
Sorcery is not a constitutional right. And if the Masons did strive to coexist alongside the U.S. government, rather than circumventing it, it would make sense that they would follow the same constitution.
Besides, these measures were exactly what Dave would have thought of to protect the public at large from potential harm as a result of sorcery. Despite what his gut reaction was, Dave's head knew Ben was right. "That does make sense, Dr. Carson. Tell me, was sorcery ever considered as a constitutional right?" Ben said, "In the beginning, there was some talk of slipping some language into the U.S. Constitution that could be interpreted by our legal teams as pertaining to sorcery, but that idea was shot down by Benjamin Franklin.
He asserted that it would amount to twisting the Constitution for our own purposes, something we needed to avoid." Dave nodded. "A wise move, I think. It could have set a dangerous precedent." Glancing once more at the paper in front of him, Dave continued, "Dr.
Carson, please accept my formal application to the Masonic Brotherhood of American Sorcerers." Ben smiled as he took the piece of paper from Dave. "Mr. Brighton, I can't tell you how pleased I am to have you aboard.
I believe we're going to do great things together. Great things, indeed. Now, as I recall, you were on your honeymoon before everything was so rudely interrupted. As such, your first assignment is to spend another two weeks on vacation with your bride, on our dime. Pamper her, Mr. Brighton. That's a direct order." "I think I can manage that," Dave said, taking Maddie's hand. "Good. I'll be heading back to America, but before I go, I have one request of you." "And that is?" Ben smirked.
"Face me in a duel. I want to see what you can really do."