Amadeus put a hand on Richards shoulder cutting him off whatever angry retort the other man had intended to direct at Kyle.
His voice was calm and very even. “We were told you were a necromancer and you had to be stopped before you could complete a ritual that involved killing babies.”
“What? A necromancer was just someone who told the future by consulting with spirits. They don’t kill babies!” Kyle was aware, even as he did it, that tossing around that particular bit of knowledge was a little hypocritical given how he’d learned it. Actually, he wasn’t entirely certain none of the Greek cults had practiced infanticide. It didn’t seem in keeping with the Greek culture, but there were certainly cults that had done that and worse. Still, his words came out certain because he was still ticked off.
“Really,” Amadeus asked. He sounded genuinely puzzled and more than a bit surprised.
“Yes, it’s Greek from the root words for death and foretelling. It was basically the equivalent of a modern day fortune teller claiming they can give out advise from the other side.”
“That’s not what we were told. Everyone knows that magic and information have something to do with each other. We were told that you could get a great deal of magic by destroying the formation of the information that an infant’s mind would have held as they lived.”
Amadeus delivered the explanation as though it made sense, but it was such a bit of strange nonsense that confusion actually distracted Kyle from some of his anger, “What? No, killing someone wouldn’t destroy any information!”
“Of course it would,” Richard put in, “all the things the victim might have learned.”
“You’re anthropomorphizing information. The stuff magic deals with is much more basic. Even if you killed someone all their neurons would still be in their brain, and any event they would have known about would still happen. Well, or if they would have caused it the mass energy, that would have been involved would still exist.” Kyle remembered something Jessie had told him about her kidnapping and it made him angry again, “Anyway, how does that get you to zapping cops? If you thought you were stopping a murder they’d be on your side.” In his pocket, his phone dinged, but he ignored it.
Amadeus sighed, “We stunned him with a spell. It’s non-lethal. We wouldn’t have even done that, but we were told the secret of necromancy couldn’t be allowed to get out, and you might leak it if you were placed in a normal jail without the right sort of magical precautions.”
That made sense, at least if you tried to look at things from the viewpoint of someone who got most of their information about magic from TV. “Your partner, the monster, wasn’t non-lethal.”
“No, but he was supposed to be in a program to help him deal with the side effects of his enchantment. We actually reported him to Thomas after that, but….” Amadeus trailed off. Probably that bit of reporting hadn’t done much good. Thomas had told Jessie the same thing; it seemed he recycled some of his lies. That probably helped with keeping them straight.
“And when you said you were going to shoot me in Thomas’s hospital?”
Richard answered that; he sounded much less angry and more tired. “Yeah, I was going to shoot you.” Then he sighed, “I’m sorry, I was duped and I let myself get convinced I was saving the world. It’s just it was Thomas giving us our info! We just… we just assumed we could trust him.”
Kyle took a deep breath. He wasn’t one hundred percent mollified by the men’s story, but it made a lot of sense. The same sort of shows where someone “hacked the FBI” as easily as checking their email had wizards doing stupider things. If one of the world’s foremost magical experts said something was possible with magic that should have been impossible… Well, that was basically Kyle’s apprenticeship right there. The men could have been tricked, and if they’d believed they were stopping some sort of mad baby killer he could hardly blame them. “Yeah, I guess that makes sense. Maybe I got a little too bent out of shape.”
Richard shrugged, “I’d have been pissed to.”
Kyle shrugged, “Bygones, then.”
Wanting a distraction, he dug into his pocket and pulled out his phone. The message that had arrived earlier was an encrypted text from Jessie. It said: Watched meeting with group’s benefactor. They know we’re spies. Trying to flip us.
“Shit,” Kyle mumbled. That made the fight he’d just been having seem stupid.