The friends

by YWCom Admin

In this universe, you’re not necessarily surrounded by other wizards all the time — though you can be if you like. There are a million worlds where wizardry isn’t something you feel the need to hide, where wizards out on business can hold their heads up and identify themselves for what they are. “I am on errantry, and I greet you!” is a statement which is honored and welcomed across the width of this Galaxy and its neighbors. Wizards out working the High Road can depend on friendship and a welcome from their opposite numbers wherever they are; they have “cousins” of every shape and color and size and state of matter, colleagues who breathe water, or plasma, or methane, and still have the same old Enemy in common. (See below.)

But you don’t have to go anything like that far for a welcome, or to meet someone who understands you, if you’re a wizard. After all, somewhere between three and five percent of all human beings are wizards,1 so at least a few of them are likely to be living in your neighborhood, no matter how far away from the heart of things you think you live. Indeed, some seriously important people may live just around the corner from you: people who’ve saved the world…and then just gone home and gotten on with what passes (among the nonwizardly) for Real Life.™

Tom Swale: The crazy guy who lives behind the high hedges in the house down at the end of his street. Never goes to work, lurks around in there all the time, some kind of weird hermit…or so all the other kids think. Nita and Kit know him better: he’s one of their two local Senior wizards, a freelance advisory to any wizard who might need a particularly complicated spell for a particularly tough job. Mentor, advisor, experienced and smart, Tom is one of the people to see when you just can’t think how to solve the wizardly problem that’s driving you crazy. (It also doesn’t hurt that he has dogs who Find Things.) But as a wizard who also makes his living writing magazine articles, commercials and short films, the question is: which frightens him more — the Lone Power or the FedEx guy?

S’reee: If you told her she was all wet, she’d laugh and agree. What do you expect? She’s a whale. At four years old the youngest humpback ever to be made a Senior wizard, S’reee works the waters of the Great South Bay, supervising the magic done there while trying to avoid being run over by supertankers and bugged by overenthusiastic whalewatchers out for an afternoon of enjoying the environment. The humans who catch a glimpse of her never guess how much of the environment she’s saved for them to enjoy…

Carl Romeo: He works for one of the big TV stations in the city, selling commercial time. But that’s not the only kind of time he sells. Want a piece of next Tuesday, or last Saturday morning? As an Advisory wizard who specializes in timegates and worldgates, Carl can get it for you wholesale. Just make sure you’re qualified…and that you can afford the price. Timeslides don’t come cheap…

Carl is Tom’s co-Senior for the New York metropolitan area — an advisor in another mode, expert in the complications of time and space and how they affect the wizards who work with them. He also raises koi…or are they koans? Stopping in to ask him yourself might solve the riddle: he’s home a lot. “We don’t usually leave the planet,” he says. “Would you step out the door of a car you were driving?”

Darryl McAllister: One of the youngest of the Young Wizards, a hot new power with a goofy, cheerful disposition, a newly discovered genius for gadgets, and no idea why he’s really so hot. The wizards around him know…but they can’t tell him, because finding out the truth would kill him. And he’s too much fun to have around for that…

This list is far too short. In this universe, Kit’s and Nita’s lives are full of memorable, friendly characters, human and otherwise. But it’s the old story. What sticks up more in your mind — the safe people, the ones you know you can depend on…or the ones who’re out to get you?

 

1There’s some disagreement about the exact figure. There’s always some disagreement about the exact figure. So what else is new?

 

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