Charles sat in his room, looking out at the window.
What season is it, he wonders. How much time has passed since he was last taken in by the Foundation.
He worries also about Stella, Florence, Reina, Karis, and Julius. Are they alright? Have they been taken care of?
A gentle knock at the door forces his mind back to reality. "You have a visitor," shouted the guard at the door. Although Charles was being treated well, he remembered that he was still a threat to the Foundation, and treated as such.
Would they finally categorize him and lock him in a cell for good?
Getting dressed, he exits the room, as two guards escort him down to the foyer and into the dining room. He was not in any of the Foundation's containment sites, but instead, some sort of outpost disguised as a luxury house.
A chair was pulled out for him as he took a seat. In front of him was an elegant lady, dressed professionally, like a businessman. Almost like that one girl, Ethel, he thinks to himself.
"Good afternoon, sir Radford," the lady opens. "My name is Doctor Adrienne Falk, and I am here from the International Center for the Study of Unified Thaumatology, as a liaison for the Foundation."She stands and extends her hand.
Charles replies: "And I am Lord Charles Radford, 39th Head of House Radford, and Master with the Knights of Elora." He takes her hand and gently shakes it, before both of them take their seats. Definitely something weird going on, he thinks to himself, for a research doctor and not an interrogator to come to him.
Adrienne pulls out a folder, and organizes some of her paperwork. "The reason I'm here today is to discuss potential resettlement and education options for you, considering you have been in custody long enough for the Foundation to deem you a low-level risk, and a potential future asset and employee."
Charles' eyes go wide. Why would the Foundation want to hire him, a defeated commander and a prisoner? What sort of madness is this, he thinks - he would've expected execution, long-term imprisonment, or slavery, but not freedom and a potential career - concepts unheard of in Sereste. "What do you mean employee?" he asks, testing the waters. Maybe this is some sort of elaborate trap, meant to catch and finally destroy him.
Adrienne pulls out some more paperwork, and lays it in front of Charles. "Based on aptitude testing performed during your period of custody, the Foundation would appreciate having you join me to further expand its knowledge of thaumatology, particularly within the field of Serestian workings. It would include your training in modern combat, any university studies to cover gaps in your education, and employment with the Foundation as a specialist, complete with benefits and competitive pay."
"…" Charles is dumbstruck. This may be a real deal after all. "I would've thought that you people would execute me or lock me away after capture. Not… this." Behind him, two of the guards begin to laugh.
Adrienne stifles a giggle. "We try not to do that these days. Besides, you should be grateful that we are more civilized than whatever threats you have gone up against." She smiles and pulls out some more papers from her envelope.
Charles eyes her carefully. "I suppose I should thank your people, in particular Psi-7, for not turning me into a pincushion." He gently grips his hands, and is internally surprised when he realizes he can feel the flux at the tips of his fingers again.
Finally, he thought, now able to access his abilities again. His irises shift color to violet for a second, as he examines the room around him, only to fully stop and stare at Adrienne, awash in her own powerful glow.
"Finally noticed?" Adrienne stands, and lets some sparks gather at her fingertips. "You are I are not that much different." She takes some scrap paper, and ignites it in the palm of her hand. "Both you and I are 'gifted' in a way, that we can utilize the aether, or, as your kind calls it, the ethereal flux."
She gets up, and sits beside Charles, who is in shock that someone could match him in knowledge and in apparent power. "So, Mister Radford, what do you think?"
He cannot help but smirk, and takes the woman's hand for a firm shake. "It seems that we have a deal, Doctor Falk. Mind you, you are not the first doctor I have met, so… try to improve my image of doctors a bit?" She stifles a giggle.
"Oh, Charles, you've much to learn about what us doctors can do…"