“Have you been to a doctor yet?” asked Þora.
Þora and Mary were talking in Þora’s apartment. Sean and young Vilhjálmur were nearby at a small park, a trip that was Vilhjálmur’s idea. Þora was glad to get a little respite from her childcare duties.
“I really should have, I’ve been sort of busy lately,” Mary said, with a rueful grin, “I have been taking my vitamins. Outside of some morning sickness early on, and being tired and hungry, and absorbing the wisdom of the universe, I’ve been doing alright. Is there anything you’d care to share with me about the experience?”
“Do you have any family history of difficult childbirth?” said Þora, “It’s different for everyone, of course, but I think there is something to be said for the experiences of your female relatives. My mother, and especially my grandmother, helped me a lot.”
“I don’t have any blood relatives of which I am aware. I was adopted.”
“Have you ever tried to find you birth mother?” asked Þora.
“My adopted mother never talked about it. I was kind of anti-social when I was younger. I was my own person and didn’t want to pursue it,” Mary paused, “I’m still that way, to some extent.”
“Sjálfstætt fólk…” said Þora, “… independent people. It’s both a blessing and a curse. You might say that it is the one trait which defines Icelanders the most. I was reluctant to ask Sean for help, but… well, you know as well as I do the Vilhjálmur Stefán is no ordinary child.”
“I received a book of spells which Sean’s grandmother had. In the last few days, I’ve been working with Hilmar, preparing a group of spells for an app for his society. Some of the spells concern children,” Mary said, taking out her phone, “Can I send them to you? They are in Old Norse, Hilmar has made phonetic translations.”
Þora gave Mary her email address and Mary forwarded the spells.
“I can use all the help I can get,” Þora said, “How do you know they will work? Do I have to understand the words in them? I’m ashamed to say that my knowledge of old Icelandic isn’t what it should be. I’m part of the young generation, I really didn’t study the sagas the way my ancestors had.”
“Trust me—they work.”
John Regelind III had arranged to meet with FBI agents in Richmond. When he hadn’t want to take the risk of being seen with them at their Washington D.C. headquarters, they suggested the old Richmond train depot. It was usually deserted in the afternoon. The agent in charge of Sean’s case had just returned from Seattle and would personally conduct the interview. At the appointed time Regelind arrived at the station. Walking up to the portico, he found the agent in casual attire. Regelind had been instructed to dress that way as well.
When Regelind sat down, the agent introduced himself, shook hands and, after making sure they were alone, displayed his identification.
“Thank you for coming. We have a lot to discuss. You and I both understand that this is a most unusual case and that we are dealing with a dangerous situation. Although I am in no position to guarantee immunity from prosecution, your willingness to come forward and cooperation in this investigation will be taken into account.”
“I… I understand,” Regelind said, speaking softly and slowly.
“Before we begin, I’d like to ask you a personal question, if I may,” said the agent. After Regelind nodded his consent the agent continued, “All of this—the business with Sean and his family—has been going on a long time. Why did you decide to come to us now?” There was a much longer pause before Regelind answered:
“I can’t live with myself anymore. There was a time when I thought I was doing the right thing; that I was entitled to the privileged life I enjoyed. I don’t feel that way anymore. I can’t stop thinking of the suffering I’ve put people through; the degradations and perversions.”
The agent remained impassive but inwardly was somewhat surprised. This would be no ordinary confession. There was so much to cover. According to Mary and Sean’s testimony there was at seventy years worth of interaction with The Brotherhood and Sean’s family.
“Tell me what you know about Emily Carroll,” The agent said.
“That’s where it all begins. Emily had power. My father and his father before him knew that and used her powers to enrich themselves. I’m guilty of that myself.”
“How is that possible that you are involved?” said the agent, “She’s been missing and presumed dead since 1946. When you were only a child.”
“She’s not dead. I’ve seen her, I’ve touched her. I know where she is,” said John Regelid III, "She’s not alive, but she isn’t dead.”
At the small park, Sean and his son Vilhjálmur were sitting on a bench. Vilhjálmur was giving Sean an informal lesson in Icelandic. Sean would point to an object and Vilhjálmur would give Sean the name. When Sean would repeat what the child had said, Vilhjálmur would laugh. An elderly woman, one of Þora’s neighbors, walked up to the pair. She knew Vilhjálmur but had never seen Sean before.
“Hver er þessi maður?” the woman said—asking the boy “Who is this man?”
“Það er pabbi minn!” the boy cried excitedly. “Það er pabbi minn!”
The woman looked at Sean intently.
“So you are the father?” she said.
“Já.” said Sean, who was still in his basic Icelandic mode. Shifting to English, he added: “Yes, this is my son.”
“Sum börn vaxa upp í sérkennilegu hátt,” muttered the woman as she walked away.