This leaves her plenty of time that afternoon to get herself worked up. Should she tell him? That resolves fairly quickly to 'yes'. He's her husband, he's dealt with all her parents' Watcher nonsense so far. But how to tell him, she can't not tell him, but she doesn't want him to think she's going back to being a Watcher. Slayers consult with plenty of people when they're active, right? Witches and priests and any of the other Watchers with expertise their own Watcher is lacking. She's not going to leave the girl hanging if she can help, but she's a nurse now. She has to be clear about that.
Should she tell her parents? That causes a lot more debate. Her parents don't know where the Slayer is, and it's upsetting them. And Emma does know where the Slayer is, and she has no desire to be a Watcher herself, so she really should tell them where the Slayer is, so they can arrange for someone to come and step in. But... Emma's kind of upset with her parents, right now. Watcher training is not more important than your daughter, than your daughter's expressly stated plans she made with her husband. And what if her parents insist that she has to be the Watcher, when she has no intention of doing so? She goes back and forth on that one for a while, and decides to get Phil's opinion. (He's her husband, they share, they come up with plans that work for both of them. Wouldn't it be nice if her parents could do the same?)
She briefly comes up with "should she tell the Watcher's Council separately from her parents", but dismisses that one even faster. Same problems as her parents, but her parents would also be upset she went over their heads. If she tells someone, it should be her parents, not the fussy old British men she's only met a handful of times.
And what happens if something happens to the Slayer in the meantime, that having a Watcher could have fixed? Is she responsible?
Emma is very stressed by the time Phil's home from work.
Thanks for replacing the previous Watcher.
I'm definitely interested in engaging help from various quarters, but by the time I found out Watchers existed, I was already underway on constructing my own support system and consider going on with that a viable option. Your plausible advantages of experience and knowledge are only good to me if they don't come with enough personality conflict and wastes of time to outweigh improved speed and accuracy at finding how to kill specific demons or interpret any given prophecy, and I am keenly aware that there are probably people who think that if they don't like the current Slayer they might want to hurry up and get ahold of the next one, so to speak. At present my identity is the only leverage I have as long as I don't want to take up assaulting living human beings, so I'm being cagey.
What do you say to consulting by e-mail for a while?
- the Slayer
Glad to help. You might consider adding resources to your list; the Watcher library is extensive, and Watchers often have supplemental personal libraries of their own. I understand your caution (and it's a healthy instinct for a Slayer I happen to applaud) but I promise my goal as a Watcher is to help you become a better Slayer. With that in mind, if e-mail makes you more comfortable, I'm happy to arrange a trial run.
Good to know. I'll put this email account on my phone and stop emailing at only specific times of day; this will presumably make me easier to track down, but I think I'm going to extend you enough trust to allow that on the understanding that I don't want to work with you if you turn up or look into the details of my life before I ask you to.
One thing I haven't been able to find much about in the books I've turned up is the existence of people who can't do magic. I've been trying to supplement my Slayer-ability package and gotten no results. Any idea why that might be?
- the Slayer
I think I can manage that much. As it happens, I find travel tiresome and stressful and welcome the excuse to avoid it.
There's actually a few ways on record for humans to be unable to perform magic. By far the most common is a simple lack of magical power. But we've also been unable to locate you with magic. Have you encountered any other plausible magic-related abnormalities that could be relevant that you're willing to share?
Bella drops the salutation. I also have no prophetic dreams and had to be notified of my calling in person by a Power That Be, and didn't have any nightmares when poisoned by a Sonoral demon.
There are cases on record of humans born with innate mental defenses. There is no precedent of Slayers with such abilities, so I cannot speak to your prophetic dreams, but it's the closest match for the experiences you've mentioned. Does that seem plausible?
Sounds it. Does this have any other ramifications I should know about?
It prevents you from performing most known forms of magic, which you seem to already know, which has its pros and cons. It protects against mental effects and sendings; I might have called that an unambiguous good, but I'd be wary of warnings you might miss, if it's interfering with your prophecies. And it protects against magical scrying, which you probably already figured out from my original question, which is also a positive except possibly in cases of emergency.
What forms of magic might I be able to perform anyway? Is there a good alternative source of prophecies, if we assume the Powers That Be aren't going to show up for everything they might have wanted to tell me?
Okay, good. Any prophecies due to be relevant any time soon that I should know about?
Two that are unreliable enough as to be barely worth mentioning, and one that's more reliable but vague enough that it's considered 'possibly relevant' about every decade. I wouldn't schedule plans around them. But do let me know if you start seeing 'angles with fists of gold', I suppose. Or angels, to adjust for poor spelling.