A while back I had a bit of a falling out with a friend. The nature of the dispute isn’t important: I’m sure we both think that we’re in the right and the other is wrong. Only three major points emerge: 1) We have worked together in magical setting before, and know how the other works; 2) we are no longer on speaking terms, although our mutual friends are being very good about not taking side or doing anything to exacerbate or (even worse!) resolve the situation, instead just letting it be and ignoring it like civilized people; and 3) do to statements the other party has made previous to and during the falling out, it is very possible that he considers me to be less-than-human.
Now, upon our falling out, I did what any good Scorpio magician would do in a similar situation with another Scorpio magician: I redesigned my house wards, buffed my personal shields, and awaited a first strike while preparing but holding back on launching my own (Partly because he was living with a friend of mine, who I did not want in the crossfire). That strike never came, and I can only assume that his response was either similar or identical to mine (which I actually find hilarious).
So I trusted the wards, put my wand away, and moved on. Why then, am I mentioning this at all?
Two reasons. First, while I believe this person to be hubristic, pretentious, and misguided in some of his beliefs, he has taken a position far more extreme, and has made statements to the effect that I no longer classify as fully human in his eyes. This concerns me greatly, for if I am seen as sub-human, many fates and punishments against me can be justified. Even considering this, I haven’t been concerned, until the second point arose.
See, being the brilliant magician he is, this individual has created a kind of spiritual construct. It’s more complex than an elemental, and more aware and free-willed than a normal servitor. And at the local pagan festival this summer, it buzzed by my tent. And on a few occasions in the past couple of months, I’ve felt/seen it testing the perimeter of my house wards. One time I think it actually got in, and my son had some nasty nightmares that night.
That first strike never came, but he has sent a construct to do surveillance.
So I have a few options. I’ve considered building a trap for the construct in case it comes by again. It’s possible I could feed it false information, reprogram it altogether, or simply destroy it. Or maybe keep it for ransom or something, who knows? It wouldn’t be that hard to tune the wards to more specifically block the construct, and I’ve got a pretty good idea the way it could have bypassed the wards and fixed the problem.
Should I consider this an act of aggression? If the construct did in fact penetrate the wards, that’s a pretty flagrant violation of my home space, especially if that was the cause of my son’s distress that night. But I am certain that the thing was hovering around the perimeter wards, and I’m not sure how aggressive I should consider that to be. Checking out my defenses is not an overly friendly act.
So I’m back to square one. Do I batten down the hatches, prepare a retaliatory strike, and rely on MAD to keep the first strike from coming? Do I escalate by sending my own construct to test his wards? Send a warning shot? He moved recently, and is probably still settling in to his new location. He’d be fairly vulnerable, but then again that may explain the recon. But does it excuse it?
And the construct hasn’t been by for a while (or it’s better at hiding now). Perhaps it knows I detected it and hasn’t bothered to come back. Maybe my ability to detect the intrusion was all he was testing. But again, that doesn’t excuse what I see as a hostile act on my home territory.
And or course, I could just ignore it, which is pretty much what I’ve been doing to this point. But I’m not Wiccan, don’t follow no Rede, and I keep thinking I’ve been served a bit. So I ask anyone who still reads this, should I lay a smack-down?