The universal planes house a number of worlds that are home to the higher beings and demonic entities aligned to the side of Good or Evil. Within the higher planes you can find the realm of The Elders, the spirits of good souls, and the ever-watchful Powers That Be. The lower planes are home to the demons of old, the souls of the damned, and things much more sinister. Noticeably, the Heavens are heavily traveled by Whitelighters and other Angelic agents. Conversely, the Underworld is the most prominent of the lower planes and is frequented by many demons and other evil beings.
Save the Underworld, the universal planes all have but one nexus, which allows for one point or method of entry. Because of their limited access to the Mother Nexus only minor feats of magic can be performed in these worlds. Only higher beings have enough power to accomplish great magical feats.
Tristan finds himself nodding along, encouragingly, as he listens to Esme describe Ashleigh to them. It's apparent that she cares a great deal for her charge. Isn't that the one through line that binds all whitelighters together? Their concern for the welfare of others? It may manifest differently person to person, but it's always present if not readily apparent.
He perks up a bit at the mention of Burak's name. It's familiar. And foreign enough to his ear to have made a unique impression. However, he doesn't comment upon the familiarity initially - not having enough information for it to be useful.
"Your instinct isn't wrong," Tristan starts off. He wants to make sure that he reaffirms Esme's decisions. There'll be many more in her immortal life. The sooner she gets used to that, the better. "It's obvious your charge and this spirit were brought together for a reason. As a medium, her role is to help spirits move on."
He pauses here as he turns the various pieces of information around in his head, trying to puzzle out a workable solution for Esme. Or at least point her in the right direction.
"What if..." he starts off, eyes gazing upward as though he may find the answer scrawled on the ceiling. "... what if she is meant to help him move on... but not the way that they're going about it." Tristan brings his focus back on Esme as he continues to lay out his thoughts. "Mediums are meant to help spirits move on... but they are ill-equipped to take on a warlock. Let alone several. Maybe they are only meant to send this spirit on his way and that's it. Though he isn't one now, going after this Burak could be traumatic enough to cause the spirit to become vengeful."
Tristan shrugs. Truthfully, he isn't certain of the truth himself, but the circumstances seem stacked. "Unless one of these mediums has connections to someone with a bit more firepower, it seems unlikely that they'd have much success in their current endeavor."
"They recently found out the leader of the warlocks was someone named Burak Saat. Does that name mean anything to you? Or you?"
"Depends." Trey raises a brow. "Is he related to Obama?"
"Right now I'm just at a loss."
The whitelighter grimaces. (This is tough.) It seems, in Trey's opinion, that Ashleigh has already made up her mind. Being a stubborn bastard, he can't fault her for that; home girl's got a work ethic. Nonetheless, this plan sounds... half-cocked. Suicidal, even. He folds his arms across his chest, biting his tongue. Trey doesn't want to come on too strong; Esme appears too gentle for blunt honesty. Maybe he can frame his thoughts in a more constructive--
"Your instinct isn't wrong."
Trey turns to the other man, already feeling a "teachable" moment brewing.
"Mediums are meant to help spirits move on... but they are ill-equipped to take on a warlock. Let alone several. Maybe they are only meant to send this spirit on his way and that's it."
He nods. If he were an old woman in a Baptist church, Trey would be fanning himself with a gloved hand, murmuring: "Yasss Pastor. Teach the babies."
"Though he isn't one now, going after this Burak could be traumatic enough to cause the spirit to become vengeful."
The whitelighter clenches his teeth. (Plot twist.) His eyes shift to Esme, half-curious to see how she's processing all this.
"Unless one of these mediums has connections to someone with a bit more firepower, it seems unlikely that they'd have much success in their current endeavor."
"Dude," he breathes, rolling his eyes back to Tristan, "isn't one of your charges Superman with curls? Persuade him to go to Europe. Kiss some babies. Stretch out his legs."
Trey sips his coffee.
"Uppercut some black magic users." He pauses, considering. "And why's evil magic gotta be black? Ugh. I can't even..."
Tristan rolls his eyes at Trey's verbal gymnastics. He doesn't envy any of his charges in the Warren line. Virtual celebrities of the magical community, the family is often sought out for every little problem that arises. It was bad enough when the original Charmed Ones were active, but has only grown worse since Wyatt reached adulthood.
"No need to use a cannon to kill a fly. Wyatt's got a lot on his plate right now." (They all do.) "We can figure this out."
Tristan stares across at Esme with expectation, and she gives him... nothing. Long after the elder whitelighters' words have faded, a silence continues to stretch out before them. It becomes an itch longed to be scratched.
"Look," he says. "I still think a direct conflict is certain suicide for your charge, but I may be able to help you get information." Tristan drops a pointed look at the books Esme has collected. "Information from this century."
He raises his gaze back up to Esme as he continues to speak. "Forewarning you that it could be dangerous. And it's definitely not sanctioned. What do you say?"
Trey says nothing when Tristan rebuffs his suggestion about Wyatt. The other man's charge is dealing with a great loss.
(I almost forgot...)
The whitelighter sinks into a contemplative silence. A man who died early, he never suffered a great loss. Not really. His losses came in the form of abandonment. Empty promises. Personal failures. Still, somewhere in the back of his head, he wonders what it would've been like to grow old. Get married. Raise a tribe of independent-minded kids. (What would grieving feel like?) Trey has only grieved the loss of one life:
So, uniquely, his relationship with grief is backwards. He's in the clouds, looking down on people staring up, wondering where their loved ones went. Trey shakes his head.
Upon hearing a jingle, he straightens up in his seat. It's a welcome sound; he's getting too deep for his own good. "Esme, best of luck with your research." He smiles cordially at the brunette woman. Dark eyes shift to Tristan. "And Tristan, I say this with utmost respect..."
He narrows his eyes playfully.
With those departing words, Trey ORBS to the Hall of Reverence.
The only sound that left Esme’s small lips as her fellow Whitelighter’s speak is the sound of her breathing. Her thoughts were a jumble of emotions; doubts, confusion, anxiety, concern, and some hope, that feeling was one that was always with the Whitelighter. Her eyes focused on Tristan’s as he spoke. His words, and approval even so, were meaningful to her and she didn’t want to miss a moment for fear of missing part of the elaborate puzzle that was being presented to her piece by piece.
“Your instinct isn't wrong,"
His affirmation sent a warm jet of comfort in her heart, although it seemed silly to a lot, her feelings were what she lived… and died by. Having them confirmed as being accurate, especially when it was concerning such a deep matter, did give Esme a boost of confidence. This was her first time with a major sort of “crisis/decision” for her charge and she wanted to make the right choices, the perfect choice, even though perfection wasn’t really attainable, not even for a Whitelighter.
"What if….what if she is meant to help him move on... but not the way that they're going about it."
As impulsive as Esme was when she jumped in to “protect” Ashleigh from the perceived threat in the alley, her conversational tactics were much more protected. She typically tried to really think out what she was going to say and this conversation was one that she didn’t want to seem childish or ill informed, which is what Esme was starting to feel about her charge’s plan as well as her allowance in it. Would Tristian think her an immature Whitelighter just seeking action, or with her head in the clouds? But then again just staying in silence wasn’t doing her any good. Her eyes moved over to Trey as he spoke and she found another smile on her face. He made her felt at ease with the worry in her mind, if just for a moment.
The fact that Esme didn’t even realize or think about the consequences that Tristain mentioned. It made the heavy feeling in her stomach grow up to her throat. What good could books and research do if Ashleigh was bent on using her powers and had the same vision of positivity at the outcome as Esme herself did. Wasn’t it her job as her Whitelighter to guide her? And not just let her practice willy nilly? The actuality of the situation was dawning on her and she let out a defeated sound, somewhere between a sign and a groan of despair.
Esme didn’t even realize the conversation had continued in her interlude of the mind. Silence was never something that Esme was uncomfortable with. It allowed her time to collect her thoughts. But most people, or beings, weren’t like that. After the long silence when Tristan spoke again did she feel embarrassed for not answering him at all.
"Look, I still think a direct conflict is certain suicide for your charge, but I may be able to help you get information. Information from this century."
Warmth flooded her cheeks as she realized what he meant. Finally, for the first time in a much too long period, Esme spoke. “Yeah…” She started sheepishly. "It was kind of the first idea that popped in my mind. I thought of all places, maybe in this vast of a place, I could maybe find an answer…" Her voice trailed off as she heard the childlike tone in her voice. But she wouldn’t give up her disposition. There had to be an answer. And maybe it was ok accepting that she didn’t have all the means necessary to deal with this on her own. That maybe she was biting off way too much, that she didn’t have to prove something for her first big decision as a Whitelighter.
As Trey stood and bid her farewell she grinned at him with all the warmth she had. She really hoped she’d get to chat with him again, he was pleasant company to keep.“Thanks Trey. I appreciate you listening to me, and for your advice. Good luck to you as well”
Looking to Tristan again, Esme realized he was speaking again.
"Forewarning you that it could be dangerous. And it's definitely not sanctioned. What do you say?"
Of course she would endure the danger. Ashleigh was becoming the most important thing about her new “life”. She would protect her as much as she had protected her own daughter in life. Perhaps that’s why she was chosen for this life? But those were musings for a different day. “Tristan, if I know Ashleigh from the time I’ve spent watching over her, she’s headstrong. All I feel right now is her determination.” Right now the words were flowing fast and free. Hopefully he would follow her stream of consciousness.
“The last thing I knew was that her, the other medium she was with, as well as the spirit they were trying to help; we’re going forward full steam ahead with their plans. Am I supposed to be knowing what they are doing? Is my part of research and planning all misconstrued?” Esme realized she never really answered his question. “I’ll do anything if it can help her in some way. What do you suggest?" She didn’t ask the underlying fear of possibly being too late from Ashleigh and her group starting something already that couldn’t be unstopped.
"Peace, ho." The orbs have left the vicinity before Tristan is able to respond, but he rolls his eyes anyways. Oh, the things he puts up with associating with Trey Harris.
"What do you suggest?"
Tristan refrains from delving out advice with any immediacy. Gone are the days when he would make rash decisions. Like that one time he got himself killed chasing a ghost girl. The literal embodiment of a poor life choice. Instead, he takes a moment to collect his thoughts on Esme's predicament.
"If your charge and her friends will not be dissuaded, then it's your duty to equip them with as much information as possible." (And, if we're lucky, that will convince them to let this go.) "Your role is one of support and that can look differently situation to situation, charge to charge."
He's careful with his words, not wanting to interfere too much. This will ultimately come down to Esme and her charge, not him. He wants to be respectful of that.
"It seems like they are committed to this path, but lack the information catalyst necessary to move forward." Tristan succinctly summarizes the issue, a tool to keep them focused moving forward. It's difficult to reach a conclusion if they don't know where they're headed. "That's the primary obstacle at the moment - lack of strategic information. Everything else - firepower or even a plan - hinges on acquiring information they can actually utilize.
"You have a couple of options. Since you haven't explored that avenue yet, there's the Elders. Both Celestial and Glynn are more than capable of this. Another option is my contact in the Underworld. He's less than savory, sure, but he also has access to a lot of people - and a lot of information." Tristan sits back in his chair, clasping his hands together before him. "Either way, the source is going to have an agenda of their own that may or may not be in line with yours. The choice is yours."
With neat and clean strokes, Glynn jots down the details of a recent vision. Now that the Hart sisters have assumed their Destiny as the newest iteration of the Charmed Ones, it has sent ripples through time, affecting previously gleaned details that will now need to be verified or adjusted as necessary.
For this task, the precognitive Elder is tucked away and her usual spot at a desk on the uppermost level of the library - about as far from the entrance as one can get. Though she can often be found among the ancient collection of texts and tomes, it is not her responsibility to maintain the library. So she finds that only those who truly need to seek her out actually make the effort to track her down.
Glynn pauses, pen hovering above the page as she pores over her notations thus far. After a moment, she continues on, intent upon finishing the thought before the one she has summoned makes their appearance.
Shane walks into the library. Technically she could orb, but she really hasn't gotten full control over that yet. In fact, she hasn't really have any control at all. She hates it. Turning her body into those little particles of light.. Noooooo Thank you.
She will just stay up here. Forever. No germs, no dust, nothing that can physically come in contact with her if she didn't want it to. It was like a barrier for her up here. She didn't have to think about any of the awful things that could completely ruin her every moment. The only thing she would love to change about this whole experience is the damn jingles in her head. That.. That is a bit overwhelming at times. To say the least.
But there they are, in her head, jingling away. She takes a quick glance around the library for the one who summoned her. Shane knows exactly where Glynn is, as it is exactly where she finds her every time. This newly formed white lighter appreciates that. She gets it. Even though she can't see her, Shane heads to where Glynn is. With a smile she slides into the seat across from the Elder.
Shane's footsteps pierce the quiet solitude of the library's upper level, but Glynn does not stray from her task. She finishes a few last notes before looking up from the pages and laying the pen on the table. Shane - a relatively young guide - stands before her, inquisitive and expectant. (Is she ready for such responsibility?)
Truthfully, she is not certain - and said as much when Xan approached her about reassigning one of Alyson's charges to a whitelighter-in-training. The veteran whitelighter had many charges, and her disappearance have left them all out without the guidance and support the Elders and their angelic agents provide. Most have been reassigned now, leaving only one - which is why Shane stands before her now.
"Shane," the Elder intones warmly in greeting. Glynn laces her fingers together before her on the desk, giving the other woman her full attention. "How have you found your training?"
No need to jump right in. An initial dip of the toes to test the water is always a welcomed and measured approach.
The moment that Glynn gives Shane eye contact, she knew her undivided attention was on her. It was unsettling how she could do that. Turn everything off, and just focus on Shane. Something Shane could never do. She could never just focus on one thing at a time. I mean.. What if someone was to almost bump into her. This white lighter always chooses to be on alert for anything that can come into her immediate vicinity.
“Well… The orbing thing really isn’t going anywhere. But I am 100 times better at handling the mind invasions.”
She can live without orbing. But the voices… That one was a tough one. They were worst than any kind of brain eating dust skum she has ever imagined. Just random bouts of voices popping in.. But thankfully she is a quick learner armed with an arsenal of breathing techniques to help calm her.
“Oh, its great up here! Nothing that needs immediate cleaning or organizing for that matter.” The young white lighter glances around at the books, they were perfection. “I have been using the same hand wipes package since I got here!” Her eyes are huge with excitement. “And that’s saying something! I could go through a pack in a day.”
She sits back in the chair, a small smile on her face, proud of this realization.
Glynn gives a reassuring, but small smile as Shane speaks. The girl is unique - and she says that with a millenium under her belt. Underneath Shane's quirks, there's a large, warm heart that is open to the goodness of humanity. It's why she was chosen to join the angelic ranks as a Whitelighter after her untimely death at the hands of Electros. Sad turn of events that was.
"I'm glad that you're adjusting," the precognitive Elder says, preparing to end their current topic and move the discussion in a new direction. There's a pause as Glynn orders her thoughts while also giving Shane an opportunity to add anything more to what has been said thus far before continuing.
"I would like to follow up on some of what you have been learning from your mentors and peers. A calibration, if you will." Glynn pulls a notebook from a drawer at her side and sets it on the desk. After opening to a fresh page, she peers across at Shane. "A lot of the work that we do relies on everyone being on the same page, so to speak.
"Explain to me your understanding of a Whitelighter's role."