A single voice intoned the chant.
Other voices joined the first in staggering succession as if each new chanter required a sense more substantial than mere hearing to recognize the invitation. As the number of chanters grew, others joined more quickly until the swell of the chant could not be ignored by the remaining few—save one, the chant’s initiator.
Thima, toak-Slay, had ceased chanting once sufficient others took up the imbuing chant. It waited silently but not unmovingly for the remaining Imbuers to join. Thima then maneuvered the crowded dais to the edge and signaled for the next hoop to be lowered into place. It worried they would fail in their task.
The unseen audience—hushed to silence on their benches in the steep [auditorium]—drew a collective breath as the second hoop descended from the darkness. Lit from a bright point at the apex of the chamber, the silhoutted ring channeled a cone of light on the chanters below that transformed into a cylindar of rays as it dropped to match with the first. Had a blonde-haired girl, arms out and twirling in the evening air, stood in the center she might have been able to touch the insides of the ring. Had a tall man hoisted the iron torus in his grip, he could have put thumb to fingertip. The three well-recommended Translators laid the second ring atop the first with the sound of felt on felt. And now the work was back to Thima.
When its manager, Mrs. Vayda Carn, had first asked it to stay a moment in the conference room following the status meeting half a year ago it had not even known there was a project to be specially selected for. In fact, Thima’s breath ceased for the entire time Mrs. Carn gently closed the door to the room and singled it out. It assumed it was being let go.
“Thima, you may have heard we are working on something new,” she said like a question. Thima breathed in. It shook its head no. “Good. If you haven’t then we’ve been successful at least in that so far. I need a team leader for an uncommon portal imbuing.”
Mrs. Carn waited there for a nod or an ascent of some kind. Thima had noticed her habit of making all conversations like a classroom lesson and wondered regularly if the woman hadn’t been an early-grade elementary teacher before she came to [magic corp name]. Thima accepted what she’d said; Mrs. Carn continued.
“You’ve done well since coming to [magic corp name]. Worked under [some well respected retired guy]. You are not as senior a choice as we might have made, but your…”
“Neutrality,” Thima interjected into the slimmest of pauses.
“Yes, your neutrality. Our truncated and brief investigation into this imbuing leads us to believe that will be of value to our success.” She waited.
Sequel: emotion | thought | decision | action
A flush of pride warmed its face and it smiled a little. Thima pondered this. It’d never given much thought to its imprecisely defined gender as a contributor to its magic.
517 words on day 826