Chapter 09

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“She is among the holiest, but no, not a priest.  More like a very holy monk.”

“And Nicole is to meet this woman to –,”

“– To become a Perfect.  Yes.  Nicole has been trained in discipline her whole life, and when she meets the Perfect, she herself will become a Perfect.”

“Why now, has she come of age or something?”

“No, that is not how we do things.  The Perfect is old and her time to pass back to the spirit realm comes soon.  We travel to meet her before…” Marie held her hands up, “before it is too late.”

“That makes sense.”

“What does Mister Kincaid?”

“If the Rex Mundi know this, they probably think the old woman is going to pass on some secret.”

“They believe this to be true.  New York was the first time they surfaced in quite sometime.  They will not stop until they have Nicole.  She has been trained for this too.”

“Hmm,” said Cameron.  He gazed at Nicole, softly sleeping in her seat, “That is a lot for the two of you to have on your shoulders.”

“It is worth the price.  Nicole is very special.  To be her guardian I too have trained all of my life.  We are prepared.”

Marie placed her hand on Cameron’s shoulder and smiled at him again before rejoining Nicole.

*

The first buildings of the US immigration naturalization complex absorbed the southbound lane of interstate 87 followed by a series of gated sentry booths holding back long lines of cars, trucks, and utility vehicles.  Cameron leaned into the middle aisle of the bus and saw the northbound sentry booths entering Canada clotted with as many cars and trucks.  Before falling in behind the queues, the bus veered to the right, trailing an eighteen-wheeled livestock hauler full of hogs.  Interstate 87 switched to autoroute 15 at a large sign bearing the word ‘Quebec’ in large letters between two equally large fleur de lis.  Below read a bilingual French and English welcome. The bus drove into a staging area filled with cargo haulers and other buses.

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