“Well, the way the stones here still grumble a little about fire – Alan was here. Years ago. At least as far as this door. And I think he kind of talked the spells into thinking they might be open when they weren’t. And then….” Aladdin moved his hand just above the floor, whispering. “The rukh here remembers you, Maria. And it felt you trying to get out, and – it remembered the pattern-of-fire.”
Maria moved her hand to just beside his, then touched the cloth of her shirt just above the crystal cross. “You can tell? It is so… dim? Not lit?”
“Faint?” Aladdin suggested. “It is. But I’ve had to look for Ali- for Alan’s rukh in some pretty weird places. I know what his magoi feels like, even years later.”
Morgan tried not to shiver. She remembered the way her Household Vessel had guttered out; the cold fear that had clutched her heart at the knowledge that Alibaba was dead, dead at the hands of a friend he’d loved, dead and she hadn’t even been there….
He wasn’t dead. Not quite. He came back. It just – took him a while.
Maria rested her hand near Aladdin’s again, and shook her head. “But Alan is not a magician!”
“He’s a king,” Aladdin told her again, face lit with patient humor. “If the rukh can help him look after his people, it will.”
“He did not even know I was here!”
And Morgan could hear all the doubt in there, all the fear. What if he did know, why didn’t he help, why did we suffer so long?
“He didn’t know,” Morgan said firmly. “He’s not a magician. He has to work to see the rukh; I don’t think he saw it at all until he met Aladdin. But he can feel it. Like….” She cast about for something that might be close. “He is like Han. Aladdin can see the rukh, like Jedi feel the Force. Alan just gets a bad feeling about this.”