*Outside the Spirit and Meow detective agency*
As he continued to stand guard by Maus, Sovan's ears twitched as he became aware of a rather peculiar sound--it started out as a distant whisper, but began to grow clearer with each passing second. Before long, the golden-furred one could discern the sound as a melody which carried a strange dream-like quality to it and echoed slightly. This was unlike any other music he had heard before; he seemed to hear it with his mind as much as he did with his ears--somehow, he knew that it wasn't coming from a nearby radio or a passerby singing, but rather that it was caused by something on a more spiritual level. As he listened to this peculiar melody, Sovan recalled what Maus had said earlier about detecting echoes. *Is this the result of his efforts--am I experiencing Zen-Dao's "echoes?* the Star Dragon thought to himself in wonder. He was about to say something about it to Merryjest when he noticed something else in the song--voices. There seemed to be two of them--a male and a female-and it sounded like they were talking about something. Then things seemed to blur before Sovan's eyes as a scene took form in his mind's eye--an orange-furred anthro cat in a black shirt and jeans was talking to an attractive anthro she-cat with white fur and shoulder-length blond hair; they were in what seemed to be an office which had just been moved into--or was in the process of being dismantled for the purpose of moving out. For a moment, Sovan was confused. Then he realized that this was probably the result of Maus' spell--he was now seeing the past events which had taken place here.
Closing his eyes, Sovan let himself sink fully into this recollection of the past. From there, it was no longer a subtle feeling in the back of his mind; he could see everything taking place as if it was a program he was watching on TV. As he watched and listened, the Star Dragon learned many things which were of great interest. When Zen-Dao first mentioned the loss of his powers and the sense of emptiness that replaced his previous awareness, Sovan felt sympathy for the former Transcendental Detective--though he didn't suffer from the same thing, he could tell from Zen-Dao's words how hard this must be on him. As Wendy and Zen-Dao talked about what was going to happen following the closing of the Spirit & Meow agency, the golden-furred one took note of Wendy's noticeable concern for Zen-Dao's future. He also raised an eyebrow when he heard how she and Zen-Dao had been engaged in college, but it hadn't worked out. *Maybe it's possible,* he thought to himself, *that they still have some feelings for each other?*
Sovan also heard Zen-Dao talking about how he was scheduled to meet an old school rival of his--a guy by the name of Manchia--about something. Before the Star Dragon could consider this information, he soon noticed something else taking place which chased the thoughts of this "Manchia" fellow from his mind--Zen-Dao Meow was attempting to try and regain his mystical powers. Sovan watched with great interest and wonder as the former Transcendental Detective began to levitate, and was successful in maintaining this state while floating outside his office window, with the ground a hundred feet below. For a moment, it looked like things were going to work out, that Zen-Dao had regained his powers. Sovan felt a rush of glee; perhaps Zen-Dao had succeeded in dealing with this situation. But then things went bad--what happened exactly, Sovan couldn't say for sure. All he knew was that one moment, something had happened to make Zen-Dao lose his concentration--in the next moment, he was no longer floating, but falling as gravity took possession of him once again. Only his own quick reflexes and Wendy's assitance kept him from meeting his demise on the unforgiving pavement far below. As the vision came to an end, Sovan saw Wendy helping a shaken Zen-Dao back into the room, and felt another pang of sympathy for the former mystic.
Opening his eyes, Sovan looked up at the sky, considering what he had seen. *Wow,* he thought to himself, *It looks like Zen-Dao's been through quite a bit since that whole incident with Baka Kitty in Chinatown.* His expression became wistful as he recalled the feeling of emptiness that Zen-Dao had described to Wendy in bitter detail. "Poor guy," the golden-furred one murmured to himself. "Things must be pretty rough for him."
Next to him, Maus was also awakening from the flashback created by the mystic "echoes" of his own spell; he opened his eyes and took a deep breath, an expression of wonder on his feline visage. "Wow..." he muttered. Then his hands began to quickly describe strange figures in the air. After a time, they finally came to rest beside each other, cupping the empty air. In the center of this cup a little green light, round and no bigger than a marble, appeared. As it moved slightly in one definitive direction in the cup created by Maus' hands, it emitted an almost inaudible twinkling. "Those echoes...wow..." Maus said aloud, finally realizing the scope of his powers, and just how much they had heard.
Then he looked over to Sovan, showing him the marble-sized light. "This is attuned to those echoes we picked up," he explained, "it should lead us to where Zen Dao currently is... that girl's voice, Wendy, was harder for me to pick so I didn't bother with trying to locate her...I guess it was because I was expecting a male's echo, so I wasn't prepared for her." Then Maus frowned slightly as a thought occured to him. "I'm afraid this is going to be a tad visible...with all the paranoia going around, maybe I'll just cup it in one hand and consult this...this..." He paused for a second as he considered a name for his creation, then snapped his fingers as one occured to him: "...Harmonic Compass...every few blocks or so? I don't want people to freak out if they us walking with an extended hand with a strange glow around it. That'd do no good."
As he spoke, the marble of light rolled forward in one direction, pointing down the street. After taking notice of the direction and making sure no one besides him and Sovan saw it, he concealed the "Harmonic Compass" in his right hand so that the light was hidden from view. Then he looked to Sovan, a slight smile finding its way onto his face. "Are you ready, my friend?" he asked.
Sovan nodded, returning the smile. "Of course!" he said. Then he paused, a worried frown crossing his features as he remembered what he had seen on the televisions in the nearby electronics store. "There is a problem, though--while you were calling up those 'echoes' of yours, there was a televised interview with the Dancing Yin..." From there, the Star Dragon went on to describe the whole interview to his friend, taking care to not leave out any of the details--from the Dancing Yin's cryptic replies to the questions asked of her to the dynamic outburst which the self-proclaimed goddess had unleashed in response to the almost accusing inqueries made by the reporter known as Kit Kannidy, he recalled it all with a vividness that few besides an eyewitness could give.
When Sovan was finished, Maus looked properly surprised. Then the tiger-striped anthro feline whistled softly in an impressed manner. "Wow," he said, "It looks like I missed some really major stuff while I was away." Then his expression changed from surprise to great concern as a thought occured to him. "If that's how things went, then we should probably find Zen-Dao as fast as we can and get out of the streets." He winced. "I don't want to find out how the public is going to react to that kind of act on the Dancing Yin's part".
Sovan nodded in agreement, worry also showing on his face as he heard his friend's words. "No kidding--since she's more or less the 'mother' of the Psychadelic Avatars, or at least the one who awakens them, then the public might think that all of us Avatars are just as volatile and potentially dangerous as she is!" With a grimace, he added: "And I wouldn't blame them either--with all the transformations taking place without warning on a regular basis, and the way more than one of the new Psychadelic Avatars have been abusing their power, I'd probably be a little worried myself..." He paused, then exclaimed: "Heck, what am I saying? I AM worried! If this keeps up, there's no telling what steps the authorities might take!" He nodded in the direction that the Harmonic Compass had indicated. "We'd better get going--there's no time to lose!"
As they started to leave, Sovan halted abruptly in his tracks as a thought occured to him. "But first, I'd better do something about this," he added, indicating the katana sheathed at his side. Gripping the weapon by its scabbard, Sovan pulled it from his belt and stepped closer to Maus. "Give me a little cover so no one sees this, okay?" he asked Maus. Before his tiger-striped friend could ask what he was up to, the Star Dragon closed his eyes in concentration. A few seconds later, the katana was enveloped with a neon green light. Then both the sword and the glow which had infused it vanished into thin air. The procedure complete, Sovan stepped back and noted the look of surprise on Maus' face. "I just bonded my sword with my Chi," he explained, "People would get suspicious if they saw a guy walking around with a weapon like mine in plain view."
Maus blinked once as he recovered from seeing the sword vanish, then nodded slowly as he noted the wisdom in his friend's statement. "Er...you've got a point there," the musician-turned-Avatar said. "That would make people wonder if you were a Psychadelic Avatar." With a shrug, he nodded in the direction which his Harmonic Compass had indicated. "Well, come on--let's go!"
Without further delay, the two anthro felines took off down the sidewalk, with Maus keeping the marble of light hidden with his right hand. Whether anyone noticed them, and how long it'll take take for them to find Zen-Dao and Wendy (or if they even succeed) is up to the Mythic Eye.
The Star Dragon,