“Brian and Janie between them have an additional gift, mayhaps because they’re almost identical twins, because the random sort of chromosomes for fraternal twins managed to give them almost the same set of chromosomes, though obviously not quite the same, namely they can trade their gifts. They did. It was Janie using shields and plasma torch who took down the last of Emperor Roxbury’s robots. As we’ve said, Trisha has ultrafast flight, deep space navigation, life support, meaning she can breathe for the people she’s carrying through space, this invisibility which she just mentioned, and telescopic vision. On a clear night, especially if she goes above the atmosphere, she views a fair number of stars as having obvious discs. And planets. Questions?”
“I did say,” Abigail said, “that we should respect my children’s privacy so long as they were not going to get into any trouble or do anything dangerous. From what you’re saying, my twins are safer with their gifts than they would’ve been without. What am I missing?”
“There was the issue I learned about yesterday, which is alarming but not dangerous,” Morgana answered, “and there is the issue I learned about tonight, which may be dangerous. The alarming but not dangerous issue is that on rare occasion the Wizard of Mars invites people for tea. Those people are very well advised to go. That’s totally safe for the people involved, as opposed to visiting the Wizard of Mars and playing trade questions. Trading questions with the Wizard of Mars rates up there with flying to the center of the sun… as a suicidal act. For reasons I do not know and am not about to fly to Mars to ask, the Wizard of Mars has been inviting Trisha and Janie and sometimes Brian for tea. He asked that they not tell anyone, because it would be dangerous to the whole world, and they fortunately had the wisdom to honor his wishes. The last time they visited, he said that they could tell their sensei, and I could tell you. So far as I can tell, he has been asking them completely innocent questions, and telling them educational stories. I think he’s why Janie got over her issue with gifttruth. I would strongly urge you to rely on the Wizard of Mars having good intentions. He always has. Also, the warning ‘dangerous to the world’ should be taken extremely seriously. If someone had given the Lords of Eternity that warning, they would’ve had conniptions.”
“Brian is selling his models?” Patrick said. “He never mentioned. He only talks about fixing things. Wait! My taxes!”
“I checked,” Morgana said. “Harry Truman’s Lemonade Stand exemption. It’s strictly Brian’s work…he might get audited, but there’s no tax.” Patrick, she thought, is a truly self-centered person, someone entirely worried about how his children’s actions might reflect badly on him, and not at all on what might happen to them. Most heads of state would sell their families into slavery for an invitation from the Wizard, and he is brushing it off in favor of his income tax being paid correctly.
“If you say the Wizard is safe for Janie and Brian,” Abigail said, “I believe you. I don’t think anything is safe for Trisha.”