BEHIND CLOSED DOORS: POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

By Kimberly T. (e-mail: kimbertow AT yahoo DOT com)

(Author's note: This is another missing scene from the multi-part story "The Times, They Are a-Changin'…"This one was deliberately left out of the Labyrinth scenes in "Part 4: Vows". Fox wasn't able to successfully eavesdrop on the conversation, but that doesn't necessarily mean the readers have to be left out…)

Xanatos led Owen to the private room the Labyrinth woman had directed them to, and locked the door behind them before directing Owen to sit down on a chair. Then he asked, "So, you want to tell me what you saw in Delilah?"

"Sir?"

"Don't give me that look, Owen; you don't do 'innocent' any better than I do. You were looking at Delilah with your True Sight, weren't you? And you found out that she inherited more from her clone-mothers than just her looks. Specifically, she inherited more from Demona than just her wings, tail and sleeping habits, didn't she? Raw magical talent; she's got potential to be a sorceress, just like Mommy #2, am I right?"

"You are correct, sir. However, there is more that she inherited, which you're likely utterly unaware of…"

"Oh, really? What have I missed?"

"She inherited the potential for mortal magic from 'Mommy #2', as you said. But she inherited the potential for Fey magic from 'Mommy #1'…"

"Whaaat!"

"Yes, sir; from Elisa Maza. The detective has Fey blood in her veins, and that part of her heritage was passed on to Delilah as well."

"She has--Owen, are you pulling my leg! If she has--why the Hell didn't you tell me this before!"

Owen eyed him with what appeared to be a touch of sour humor. "Frankly, sir, I'm rather surprised the notion hadn't occurred to you before. When you were in Arizona this last spring, did you not notice the resemblance between Coyote and the members of the Maza family that were present at the time?"

"Uh, well… okay, I missed that. But now that you mention it…" as Xanatos sat down in another chair to think about this new revelation. "Hmmph. So the resemblance wasn't just a whim of your cousin's…"

"His appearance may have been a mere whim when he first assumed that form, several hundred years ago, but after siring progeny with a mortal woman and deciding to keep track of the bloodline he'd started, he apparently has kept the appearance up for sentimental reasons. I believe he is Detective Maza's paternal ancestor from roughly a dozen generations back."

"That far back, hm? Then by now, the magical power level…"

"Is, for Elisa Maza, so extremely low that it's simply not worth mentioning under normal circumstances, just as it is for Anne Marsden. If informed of their Fey heritage, and after years of work and meditation, either of the two women might be able to light a candle by themselves; no more than that."

"Hmm. Except that I notice you said, 'under normal circumstances'…"

"Yes, sir. When Fey blood is mixed with the blood of mortal magic-users… You are aware of the concept of synergy…"

"The interaction of two or more elements so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects would have been. Like mixing alcohol with other depressant drugs; some people have ended up comatose or even dead as a result."

Owen nodded. "The same principle applies here. The Fey blood enhances the mortal magic potential, which thereby increases the Fey magic potential by several multiples. But the end result is completely unpredictable; a simple spell that a normal magic-user of either strain could cast with no problems, if cast by a mixed-blood could spin wildly out of control."

Xanatos nodded slowly. "I do remember you telling me once that it was highly dangerous to mix magics…"

"Yes, sir. The same principle applies if a Fey and a mortal magic-user attempt to combine their talents in a spell." Owen looked grim. "There have been occasions where the resulting effects were exactly as hoped for, but more often… In the last great disaster that we know of that resulted from attempting such a feat, an entire island continent was destroyed."

"An entire… no, don't tell me, let me guess. Atlantis?" And when Owen nodded again, Xanatos sighed. "Wonderful, just wonderful. So what do we do?"

"Nothing."

Xanatos had been running through possible scenarios in his head already, everything from giving Delilah iron jewelry to wear in hopes of canceling out her Fey powers to just sneaking into her chamber one day with a sledgehammer, but he hadn't been expecting that response. "What do you mean, nothing?"

"I mean, sir, we do not tell her of her magical heritage, on either side, and we do not teach her any magic whatsoever. Just as with your wife, and with… Phillip Marsden, a person with magic potential who never discovers that the potential exists and never receives the training necessary to use it, will never use it."

"Except that Bethany was using True Sight even before we met her, and Fox, utterly untrained, was able to hit Oberon with a bolt of pure magic hard enough to hurt him…"

"True Sight is more of a sense than an ability, sir, though a magic-user can acquire and strengthen that sense with training. If Delilah had been born, or rather created, with access to True Sight but without understanding what that sense was telling her, I believe we would have already heard someone commenting on her 'vivid imagination'; seeing things that apparently aren't there or perceiving people differently than others, just as Bethany had been doing. And Fox was able to access her magic potential only after she had been informed of her true heritage, once her mother had shed her mortal guise. Considering Fox's past mercenary activities, there have doubtless been other times when she was in grave danger and under great stress, but her magical abilities were never used until that moment. Sir, can you use a dagger to stab someone if you're utterly unaware that you have that dagger in the first place?"

"Okay, I see your point. So you're recommending that we say nothing, leave her alone, and hope nobody else ever wonders if she's inherited magical powers from… Demona. Who, while we're on the subject, has another daughter, made the old-fashioned way… What about Angela, does she have magic potential?"

"She does, but again, without that knowledge and without training, she will likely never be able to access it. And as her magical potential is purely of the mortal kind, even if she asked me to I would likely not be able to teach her enough to be truly useful."

"Hm. Well, as much as having a purely mortal magic-user around might come in handy, since their magic isn't affected by cold iron, I'm not going to be the one to suggest signing her up for lessons with Mommy Dearest. Besides, having Puck, Alexander and little Bethany all under one roof is more than enough magic potential to deal with."

"A wise decision, sir."

"But if Delilah's potential is as dangerous as you think it might be… I've been involved in two citywide disasters in the last two years; 'The Big Sleep', and Demona's 'turn-to-stone-at-sunset' spell. And I'm not going to be a party to any others if I can possibly help it… I want you to keep some sort of watch over Delilah, whether it's by True Sight or Scrying or by spies in the Labyrinth or whatever it takes. And at the first hint that she's beginning to use her magic potential… you are to consider her a danger to the entire city, and therefore a danger to Alexander, and act accordingly."

"Yes, Sir."

THE END… or is it?