Read The Elders Online

Authors: Dima Zales

The Elders

The Elders

Mind Dimensions: Book 4

Dima Zales


Mozaika Publications

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is purely coincidental.

Copyright © 2015
Dima Zales

www.dimazales.com

All rights reserved.

Except for use in a review, no part of this
book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.

Published by Mozaika Publications, an imprint of Mozaika LLC.

www.mozaikallc.com

Edited by Elizabeth from
arrowheadediting.wordpress.com

Cover by Najla Qamber Designs

www.najlaqamberdesigns.com

e-ISBN: 9781631420757

Print ISBN: 9781631420764

Description

Going to Level 2 gives me unimaginable power. So naturally, now that everyone I care about is in trouble, I can't do it anymore.

The Elders can, but will they teach me, and if so, at what price?

Ultimately, it comes down to a choice.

What am I willing to sacrifice for those I love?

Chapter 1

F
unerals are weird. Doubly so when you’re the one who killed the person being buried. Triply so when you’d kill him again if you had the chance.

Despite my lack of remorse, I do feel a twinge of
something
.

Hundreds, if not thousands of cops were at the wake that preceded this funeral, honoring Kyle. Their somber faces were everywhere. Maybe it was their respect and loyalty for
one of their own or their show of solidarity that was bumming me out. It was touching, though misplaced.

To them and to the media, Kyle died a hero—a detective killed by the Russian mob while in the line of duty. A man taken from the ranks of the brave far too soon.
 

In other words, they didn’t know a thing about the real Kyle
Grant.

It’s fine, though. I understand that people need a hero from
time to time, and I won’t take away their delusions. It’s just hard being among the few who know the truth.

It wasn’t just the mourning cops that got to me. It was the sheer scale of the event: the traffic-blocking motorcade through the city, the solemn flag-draped coffin, the mayor’s speech—all culminating in a couple of freaking helicopters doing a fly-by.

What made it even worse was the presence
of all the Guides. Considering the New York Guide community is supposedly small, some of them must’ve come in from out of town just to attend Kyle’s funeral. At least, I assume the crowd I saw consisted of Guides. A few of the faces I recognized from the nightclub Liz had taken me to so I could meet other ‘Pushers’—like Bill, aka William Pierce, my boss at the fund. We didn’t get a chance
to speak at the wake; we only exchanged glances. I guess he and the others were there to pay their respects to a fellow Guide. Almost all of them looked genuinely sad, which meant they didn’t know the real Kyle either.

The Guide community probably believes the same thing as the media. I wonder whether they’re planning to investigate Kyle’s murder. I hope not. Some cop will more than likely kill
Victor—Kyle’s shooter—and judging by what I’ve seen on the news, they’ll do it soon. If the authorities think you’re a cop killer, your fate is dubious at best. Once Victor is gone, I’ll be in the clear, unless Liz or Thomas rats me out. They don’t know for certain that I’m responsible for Kyle’s death, but they’d be stupid not to suspect. Besides, I pretty much spelled everything out to Thomas
before he asked me to stop talking. And I know if I go to therapy, Liz will want to discuss everything. But I’m not planning to go, mainly because I don’t want to hear her say, “I told you you’d need therapy if you killed your uncle.”

At least none of the Guides followed us here, to the burial. Things are much simpler at Cypress Hills Cemetery. Only the people considered closest to Kyle are present.
They consist mainly of a few dozen cops who worked with Kyle or knew him well, and my moms and me in the role of ‘the family.’ Mira is here too, as moral support. And last but not least, there’s Thomas.

Why is Thomas
really
here? The question, or rather, the possible answers to the question make me uneasy. He certainly has no official reason to be here. I suppose he could be here for Lucy, since
he’s her biological son and might be feeling guilty over the critical role he played in what happened.

Alternatively, he might be here to pay his respects to his biological father, Kyle. That’s the possibility that worries me. Could he be upset with me for taking Kyle away from him before he got the chance to know the bastard?

No, I’m probably overthinking this. After all, given what Thomas
knows about Kyle and Mom and what happened between them, he might be at the funeral in the same capacity as Mira—moral support for myself, or perhaps for Lucy.

I can’t fathom what Thomas is thinking, especially with his face as unreadable as always. Is he holding a subconscious grudge? Is that why he’s standing off to the side, not really part of the funeral gathering? I hope not. He’s my recently
discovered adoptive brother of sorts and a good friend. I don’t want Kyle to posthumously mess that up.

I look around the greenery of Cypress Hills Cemetery, searching for something positive. With the grass and oak trees all over, the area is tranquil, provided I ignore all the tombstones. In fact, for a cemetery, it’s almost soothing.

With effort, I focus on something less morose. Kyle’s parents
had him when they were rather old, so thankfully, I don’t have the added burden of watching a mother or father mourn the loss of their son. No matter how much of a son of a bitch Kyle was, that would’ve sucked. It’s bad enough that my own mom, Lucy, is crying over him. She almost never cries. Of course, she doesn’t know that this funeral is a huge blessing in disguise. If she knew everything
he’d done to her, she’d probably spit on his grave and celebrate. Unfortunately, it’s only been ten days since Kyle died, and Liz hasn’t had the chance to work enough of her magic on my mom to get her to the point where she can safely remember what happened.

Okay, my attempt at thinking positively failed. Then again, I’d choose these thoughts over listening to the priest’s spiel, especially since
they’re distracting me from the undertaker lowering the casket into the ground.

As I realize the ceremony is almost over, that weird feeling comes back with a vengeance. Maybe it’s because my mom Sara is also crying. After Kyle tried to use a belt on me, Sara liked him about as much as I liked my ballet lessons—which, in case it isn’t clear, was not at all.

And what’s this? Is my chest actually
tightening from reminiscing? Am I thinking fondly of the time Kyle tried to whip me? Can’t be. But my eyes feel all watery. Dust must’ve flown into them, or maybe my allergies are acting up from all the damn ragweed that blooms in the fall.

I don’t get a chance to berate myself for feeling whatever it is I’m feeling, because all of a sudden, the world freezes.

The sobs coming from my moms stop,
as does the rustle of leaves in the warm autumn breeze.

The resulting silence is the familiar, telltale sign of the Quiet, only it’s not my doing.

I look around.

Everyone is frozen in place, except Mira. One version of her is animated and looks worried, which is unusual. Annoyed, sure. Angry, too often for my liking. Sarcastic, always. But worried is not a common expression for her. She’s standing
next to a calmer-looking, frozen version of herself.

“Split out, get right back in, and pull me in,” she says, her voice tense with urgency. “I might not have enough Depth.”

“But what—”

“Promise you’ll do it,” she insists.

“Fine, I’ll do it,” I say. Now I’m beginning to worry.

Without saying a word, she touches her frozen self, and I’m back in the real world.

I instantly phase in and pull
Mira in, as ordered.

“What’s up?” I ask as soon as she turns up. “Why did you pull me in before? I don’t exactly want to savor—”

“Shut the fuck up for a second,” she says, “and look at those cops.”

She points at the somber-looking men in uniform. They’re standing near Thomas, on our left and about a dozen feet to the side.

“What about them?” I ask, walking toward the men.

“Look at their hands.”

Closing the distance, I take a look. It
is
odd. Every officer is reaching for his or her sidearm, and they’re all looking at my frozen self.

“I don’t like how this looks,” I say.

“No shit.”

“Maybe there’s a good explanation? Maybe they’re planning that salute thing they do at military funerals? Don’t they do that for cops too?”

“In that case, what are
those
idiots for?” She points at the rifle-bearing
dudes who have been standing off to the side for a while. She walks up to the nearest cop and takes his gun. “Also, they only do the salute with blanks.”

She shoots the cop in the foot. The hole in her victim’s shoe confirms that the gun is most certainly not filled with blanks.

“Crap,” I say.

“You can say that again.”

“So why are they looking at me like that? Did you Read them?”

“Just some
superficial thoughts, but they
are
about to shoot you.” She pauses. “They’re being Pushed.”

Pushed
. That’s the last thing I expected to hear, yet it’s the only explanation for why cops I’ve never met before would want to shoot me. Only, the man who was behind similar orchestrations, the man who Pushed people to kill me in the past, is being buried as we speak. Unless—

“Are you there?” Mira asks,
interrupting my thoughts.

“Yes. I’m just trying to digest this.”

“Digest it later. You have to act.”

“If someone is Guiding them, I can override the order,” I say.

“Provided you’re more powerful than whoever is doing this.”

She says this without any anger. My acknowledgment of my Guiding abilities has recently stopped receiving strong negative reactions from Mira. In general, I’d say her
feelings toward Guides have warmed. I like to think I’m the catalyst for her change in attitude.

“Yes, well, thus far, I’ve been more powerful than anyone I’ve met,” I say without false modesty. “But shouldn’t we pull Thomas in to apprise him of the situation?”

“A Pusher is controlling these cops,” she reminds me. “Don’t you want to make sure Thomas isn’t the one doing the Pushing before you
pull him in?”

Okay, maybe I see what I want to see when it comes to Mira’s improved outlook on Guides—a term she’s still not the biggest fan of. In this case, the problem is compounded by her general mistrust of strangers. She hasn’t interacted with Thomas as much as she has with my aunt Hillary, whom she was stuck with at the Miami airport. Mira’s attitude toward my favorite miniature relative
is what gives me hope. Though I wouldn’t go as far as to say that Mira and Hillary became BFFs following their ordeal, Mira does treat my aunt with reserved trust and, more importantly, begrudging respect.

“You can’t seriously think Thomas would do this,” I say, looking at Mira. Despite my words, liquid nitrogen fills my stomach at the idea of Thomas attempting to kill me. In a flash, I replay
the episode of Kyle getting shot in front of him and recall my own emotions when I learned that Kyle killed my biological family. I wanted—no, I
needed
—to kill Kyle afterwards. Is Thomas feeling the same way about me?

No. I don’t want to accept this possibility. It’s just fear talking. Kyle was guilty of more than the murder of my biological mom and dad. Had he only been guilty of that, I’m not
sure I would’ve killed him for it.

Or maybe I would’ve.

“You’re at his father’s funeral.” Mira’s words echo my dread. “You know how his father died. Do I need to draw you a fucking diagram?”

Instead of responding, I walk up to Thomas, all the while thinking,
This can’t be right
.
Could Thomas do something like this?

Thomas is frozen in the process of moving toward my frozen self, which is odd.
The funeral isn’t over, and a sermon isn’t exactly a good time for a stroll.

Then I see his face. His glassy eyes are looking intently at something in front of him.

I follow his gaze. He’s staring at the immobile me.

“Yeah,” Mira says. “I wasn’t just talking out of my ass. He’s giving you the evil eye.”

“There has to be another explanation.” I wonder whether she detects the hope in my voice.

“Well, you can tell the ‘tone of voice’ of the Pushing instructions during a Read. Why don’t you check to see if you can recognize your buddy Thomas in there?” She knocks on the head of the cop she shot.

“He’s also my adoptive brother,” I say. “And why can’t
you
do that?”

“I tried, but I couldn’t tell if it was him. But I didn’t even have to check. Given what we know, he’s the most logical choice.”

“He’s the least logical choice,” I say stubbornly, wishing I felt as confident as I sounded. “I’ll prove it to you.”

Walking up to a large cop, I touch the hand that’s reaching for his gun.

* * *

We’re watching Kyle Grant’s funeral. It’s more than a little selfish to be thinking about the upcoming game, but as the priest says his sermon, we get flashbacks to when we used to zone out in
Sunday school, and our thoughts wander. We think about the team we’ve assembled. As the department’s designated quarterback, we know every player’s strengths and weaknesses. We know that Kyle was one of our best guys. With him dead, the guys from thirty-third will wipe the floor with us . . .

I, Darren, disassociate. I must’ve jumped in a few seconds ahead of the Guiding.

I let the memory unfold.
It consists of more plans and worries about the precinct’s football team. Some people never outgrow the ‘being the team’s quarterback’ stage of their lives, a stage I missed out on in high school on account of being younger than everyone else. I still wanted to try out, knowing the Quiet would’ve helped me dodge people, but the coach laughed me out of his office when I brought it up.

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