“Science is a pair of glasses with which I perceive the world, and there are flaws, yes.  The scientific method doesn’t leave a lot of room for eureka moments,” she took a brief pause to enjoy the phrasing, then continued. “I don’t think it’s too much to ask for potential replication in my results, given my methodology. That’s the only way one can share a spell, is like if it is a recipe,” Eve said. “Shared cultural resonances are their own faith, yes, but what if you could test it? I wear a hematite ring. If it suddenly splits, is that a flaw in the stone, or did it reflect a negativity aimed my way? When that computer fails, there are so many measurements that can be taken – temperature, moisture, electrical fluctuations, maybe even baby spiders on the motherboard.” She shrugged. “But I honestly believe the only thing keeping magic from being science is having the right tools to measure it.”

“So we’ll get a magic-o-meter, and suddenly every scientist’s a wizard?” I asked. It probably sounded a lot more sarcastic than I meant it, and she frowned.

“Maybe,” she gave a half-shrug. “I’m full,” she said, pulling at Roberto’s sleeve and not looking at me.

“No more pudding,” he told her. He called over the waiter for the bill.

“Look, I am not going to say anything foolish like, ‘I’ve got to do this thing alone,'” I said. “Trust me, I’m not going anywhere near something like this without a team.”

“You have one of those?” Eve asked.

“Yep.  It’s you and me, kid, and Roberto here, and who knows, maybe I can talk some other foolish mortals into it.” I didn’t need to gesture towards Rayya, but I was aware of her. “Or immortals,” I added, with a chuckle.

“Good,” she said, seriously.  “just don’t forget to put up the bat signal when you need it.”

“Bat signal?” I asked, pulling out my wallet to pay for lunch.

“My digits.  Flare your aura my way. Send a courier. I don’t care how you do it, just make sure you don’t get distracted or kidnapped and forget us.”

I signed the slip and sighed. “If I say anything now, I’ve jinxed it,” I pointed out.

She chuckled. “I guess there’s that.”  She gave me a fist bump, and then she and Roberto checked out.

I dawdled a little, letting Rayya join up with me. “So, what do you think?” I asked, once we were in the car.

“It is not my place to opine,” she said.  I think she heard her my internal aggravation, because she continued.  “Much was said. What in particular would you know?”

I shrugged. “In general?”

“What you call science is a key, as is magic.  The problem is, as you keep unlocking the doors, when do you learn more than you can handle?”

“You’re a beacon of light and hope, or at least you’re on the same road I’m on. You don’t have to open every lock, and you don’t have to press every button.”

She was quiet.

“Is silence disagreement?” I asked, grinning.

“In this case, yes. I think so,” she said after a moment. “I think we are meant to develop in this world. Man, fey, even Dragon,” she shrugged. “Different means to an end, but lessons nevertheless.”

“Buddhism?” I asked.

“Something like, maybe.”

“Have I asked you before what the fey believe in?”

She smiled. “It’s a silly question. What do humans believe in?”

“Point, yes. Just you and your brother, whatever you guys are,” I said.

“Your bodyguards,” she responded. “We are supposed to believe in keeping you safe.”

“From demons?” I asked, and yeah, it was a little petulant.

“Do you have free will? Agency? Can we keep you from a foolish path?” She scoffed a little, I think.

“Well,” I said, and I didn’t really have much to add.  I considered a few responses, but I think she scored another point. I made a note to myself that I needed to be less tired from dealing with my sister when verbally jousting with professionals.  I knew I would forget, but it was good to try remembering that than my failure.

I tried to parse the information Roberto and Eve had given me, much of which was just hanging out. I still felt Roberto was a little intense, but I enjoyed a little talking shop.  I still had a lot of questions for Eve, but I liked the idea at least as a philosophy of science witches. I put a pointy hat, a white lab coat, and a set of safety glasses on her mentally, and then giggled. To myself, because Rayya was still beside me as I walked in the door and she would have had questions about my mental stability.

Okay, that made me laugh out loud.  But, as inscrutable fey go, she just raised an eyebrow and let my laughter happen without comment. After all, I was one of those weird mortals. We probably did lots of things that made no sense.  Or made fey go blind, science notwithstanding.  I mean, someone had to grow hair on their palms.  Or, rather, no one has to, I guess, but we could test for it.  Because science.

I may have lived with the two of them, and shared many a meal and a weird laugh together, but I didn’t feel comfortable asking either of them about their masturbatory habits. Some things were better left to the– I cut the thought off. Maybe not left to the imagination.  I didn’t think of them as sexual beings.  I never even wondered what Rayya looked like under the white robes she wore.

She did laundry, I mean, although she didn’t seem like the kind of elf who fixed shoes. We all did laundry. We had a little chart as to who did the folding, too.  They both did the same trick Doloise did, in weaving glamours based off of existing items to clothe themselves.  Nen did once show me that they could craft outfits out of creatures, in this case a Miller moth. I will have nightmares about that for years.