Authors: Karina L. Fabian
Book 2: The Miscria
Karina L. Fabian
Copyright Â© 2013 Karina L. Fabian. All Rights
To my husband, Rob, whose love is one of the steadfast Truths i
n my life.
“Get up, O Great
Ydrel! Dr. Malachai wants to see you.”
Don't call me that,
Deryl Stephens griped, but did not voice the objection aloud. Instead, he rolled over in bed and cracked his eyes open just long enough to see the orderly looming over him. “Thought you got fired,” he muttered and started to pull the covers back over his head. He surreptitiously pushed his old stuffed bear, Descartes, under t
Roger yanked the covers off roughly. “Only in your fantasies. Sleeping in your clothes now? Thinking about
Deryl ignored the taunts and sat up, yawning and running his fingers through his hair. He glanced at the clock: 5:05. Just as well; he was having weird dreams, anyway. He was in a park in his hospital gown, about to kiss Clarissa, when Tasmae spun him around and demanded to know what was wrong with her uniform. He'd looked over the red outfit that hugged her curves and could only think that the color was stupid. Then she'd swung a sword at him just as a piece of the moon fell out o
f the skyâ¦
“Nothing. I just knew Malachai would come into work early,” he replie
“Because you're psychic?” Roge
“Because Malachai's ticked about Joshua proposing to Sachikoâand even more so about her accepting. Bet he didn't sleep at all. Figured he'd want to take it out onâ¦work.” He almost said ”on me,” but he wouldn't give Roger a reason to report him for paranoid fantasies, not when he was this close to convincing the staff that he could make it in the world outside the asylum doors. Besides, his new approach of not reacting to Roger was raising the man's frustration level in a most satisfactory way. He put on his sneakers, carefully because the incision site from his appendectomy was a little sore, and followed the orderly placidly to the chief psychiatrist
He felt tired and a little shaky as they made their way down the long hallway. He wondered if he had a fever again. If so, this time, he'd actually tell one of the duty nurses. Last time, he'd let fear stop him: The Master had invaded his dreams and forced him to fight, and when he refused, had punished him with Netherworld wounds that left real bruises. The Master's demons had probably slaughtered his appendix, he suddenly
And I was so afraid if I said anything, the staff would think I was delusional. Of course, I blew that when the demons followed me into the waking world. I wonder if that happened because I was feverish. Thank goodness Joshua was there to stop me before I really hur
“It was freaky,” Joshua had told him in the hospital later. “You threw things around with yo
And yet, only Malachai and Joshua believe I'm psychic.
Deryl snorted t
“What's your problem?” Roge
Quickly, Deryl grabbed something from Roger's thoughts. “Just thinking how it probably cost more to decorate this hallway than it would to repaint your entire a
“Hurry up, you little shit,” Roger growled and stormed down the tasteful hall with its heavy mahog
A wave of weariness swept over Deryl. He was definitely going to mention this in the morningâor maybe to Sachiko in the afternoon, if sleeping in didn't help. In the meantime, he didn't think he had the strength to keep up his mental shields and deal with the chief psychiatrist. He reached out psychically for a ley line and pulled in its energy. Thus fortified, he marched smartly to the office door with the gold lettering that proudly proclaimed, “D. Randall Malachai, Chief of Psychiatric Services” Along with a slew of designations, both honorary a
As soon as Roger left, closing the door behind him, Malachai spoke. “You honestly think you will be leaving our institution soon, don't yo
Deryl smirked and crossed his arms. He didn't think it; he knew it. Thanks to Joshua and his unique way of helping Deryl “tackle his issues,” he'd learned to control his powers and shield his mind from othersâeven the Master. Even Tasmae, but he couldn't think about that now. Not if he was going to have to prove h
“I agree,” Malachai
Deryl forced his jaw not to drop at the chief psychiatrist's statement, but he didn't trust himself
Malachai continued, “You need to keep one thing in mind, however: Our star intern has made remarkable progress with you, but Joshua will be gone at the end of the summer, either finishing his degree or pursuing that music career he's so set on. Meanwhile, I remain the ultimate authority at South Kingston Mental Wellness Center. Further, your family has trusted my judgment for years.” He paused, letting Deryl draw his own co
Deryl stomped to the chair in front of the desk and sat down. “What do
“What I've always wanted, Deryl. To better understand your unique a
Deryl bit back an angry reply, but nonetheless countered, “You told everyone Tasmae wasn't real. That I couldn't telepathically communicate with anyone, much less an alien, and that she was a figment of my imagination I had to give up. Changing your s
“Interesting that you mention her and not your telekinesis. Are you still in contact
I told her to go away. I shoved her out of my mind. She was so scared when I told I'd almost died from my appendix, and I made her go away.
He felt a stab of guilt and loneliness but squashed it before it showed on his face.
But I have to get better, get out of here. Then, then I can figure out what she me
ans to me.
When Deryl didn't answer except to glare his challenge, Malachai shrugged. “Thanks to yourâ¦demonstrationâ¦while delirious during your appendicitis, I believe it's safe now to admit you do have some unexplainable talents, and that they may indeed be a factor in your emotional stability. Quite a breakthrough, if you think about it.” He leaned his elbows on his desk, hands clasped, and regarded Deryl with a not-quite s
Deryl seethed inside, but forced himself to mimic the psychiatrist's posture. He was getting out of this place, one way or anot
Malachai raised a brow, and the fullness of the plan pressed into Deryl's mind even before he felt the i
Still, Deryl squinted, making a show of concentration. No way would he let Malachai know the extent of his abilities. He'd always had a hard time reading the chief psychiatristânow was his chance to take advantage of Malachai's openness. Besides, he needed time
Malachai's name on respected psychiatric journals. No more articles in rag-mags like
“You want to study my abilities openlyâ¦” Deryl spo
Malachai on the podium at international symposiums, presenting his findings to his peers, video of Deryl in an MRI chamber performing tricks while the results of his brain scan played on a separa
Malachai nodded. “In return, I will arrange for you to have outpatien
Deryl being called to his side, like a faithful dog, and told to perform similar tricks for Malachai's
Malachai pointed to the EEG machine in the corner. That surprised Deryl; usually, it remained discreetly behind the cabinet doors until he had Deryl's cooperation. “It's the best we have at the moment, but enough for a start. We'll do a simple telekinesis exercise and get some preliminary readings. Monday, I'll use that data to arrange for more precise instruments. This is your chance at a nor
Malachai with his own private institute, combing the country for other psychics. A team of scientists under Malachai's direction, drawing blood, administering drugsâplaying with Deryl's body chemistry to determine the cause of his abilities. Seeking a way to replicate them
A normal life?
Deryl shivered. “And if
A barrier clamped down so hard on Malachai's thoughts that Deryl
“I think neither of us wants to investigate that possibility,” he replied, but Deryl felt the threat in his bl
Deryl held his jaw so tightly, it hurt to nod, but nod he did. Malachai had just made it startlingly clear that he could not gain his freedom by, as Joshua said, “Sha-moozing the staff.” Still, he needed time: time to think, tim
e to plan.
By the time Malachai had finished applying gel and placing the last sticky circle to the base of his skull, Deryl had decided his best course of action was to play along until he could get out of the facility on his ownâone way or another, but nonetheless far enough away that Malachai couldn't drag
He had a fake ID and control of his inheritance, even some cash to get started, all hidden in his bear. He just needed a way out. He imagined just wishing himself away, like a psychic Houdini. If only he
Malachai switched on the equipment and took a seat in the leather chair, setting a baseball on the coffee table between. Across the room, the small butler's table held a catcher's mittâMalachai's idea of a clever joke, a
“This should be a simple enough
“Fine. You do it.” Deryl crossed his arms. He couldn't make it look like he thought it
“Now, let's not be difficult. You've demonstrated the ability to move objects. Try to relive what you experienced
Deryl shook his head. Stalked by demons only he could see, his gut on fire, too terrified to ask for help, flinging whatever he saw at his attackers, only to have the objects pass through them, but their own blows landing with painful accuracy? He never wanted to relive that day. “I don't remember. I was d
The psychiatrist shrugged. “You thought yourself in dangerâattacked by monsters, correct? Why not imagine a monster in the direction of that mitt, and hurl the ba
ll at it?”
I expelled those monsters, same as I've expelled the Master and Tasmae. The only monster here is you.
For a wild moment, he thought about flinging something at Malachai, knocking him out, and running. Behind his arms, his hands clenched with the desire. He forced them to relax and set them o
n his lap.
And go where? I have to get far awayâthe farther, the better. Roger's outside the door. Running won't work, and I'd have to grab Descartes first. Even if I got off the grounds, then what? I ca
“I'll try.” He sighed and pretended to co
In reality, he'd been surreptitiously moving things around for weeks. He could almost do it without thinking. Now, he strained to keep the ball from simply zooming across the room to land smack in the center of the mitt. He focused on distractions: how the electrodes itched, that the equipment's sounds resembled breathing, what Roger might have done had he found Descartesâ¦ Malachai's impatience morphed to greed when, despite his best efforts, Deryl caused the ball to shake a bit on
“Yes, come on, Deryl. You can do this.” Malachai's expression turned salacious, and Deryl could feel a lustful possessiveness coming from him. It made his s
How long could he keep up the charade? How hard would Malachai push? He couldn't give him what he wanted. He wouldn't! He had to get away. Without thinking, he pulled power from around him, letting it envelope him like a cloak, even as he protested,
I want to get out of here,
Deryl thought. He felt the power growing around him; it took effort now not to direct it toward the ball. “I am trying. This isn't as easy as
Escaping wouldn't be easy, either. Malachai would search for him; all the running in the world wouldn't stop him. He leaned forward, and pressed against Deryl's shields. Deryl shivered, and the ball
“Do it! Want the ball
“Back off!” He leaned away from Malachai. The psychiatrist's greed flowed over him, repulsive and terrifying. He hadn't felt like that since he was a child andâ
I have to get out of here!
He trembled against the ur
ge to run.
“Into the mitt! Do it!
I want to get away
The power surged th
A sudden, terrible
Awareness returned with a shock. His head buzzed, both psychically and physically. He felt groggy, his muscles as weak as when he'd awakened from the anesthetic after his operation. Dimly, he noted the baseball in
He lay on the shattered remains of the table that had held
He forced himself to concentrate, his eyes to focus on the other side of the roomâthe part of the room where he'd been only momen