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The mask wasn’t as hot as he thought it was going to be. The mesh over his lips was barely noticeable, for instance. After trying it on, he’d stood in front of a mirror for a long time contemplating how to not freak someone out. At one point he considered wearing a cross necklace on the outside of the shirt, but left it behind after deciding that the symbol wasn’t a universal sign of peace he was raised to believe it was.

In the back of the car, he was twisting his hands in his lap. The gloves breathed as easily as the mask, but his palms still sweat. Agent Devarona bid him luck when they said goodbye at the Kremlin. It was just him and a driver, now. Jensen had no idea where he was going except to trust along the way. This part of Moscow was unfamiliar to him. They passed massive estates lit up in the dark with spectacular landscaping.

Finally, they entered the gates of one such estate. The car dropped them off in the back near where he assumed deliveries or staff entered.

Security cameras met his eye, and for the first time, he was glad for the mask. He had nothing to hide anymore, but he felt like an insect under the microscope.

Someone opened the door from the inside. It was a woman in her fifties, he assumed. She was wearing a pencil skirt and blouse.

She looked the man in the white suit up and down. Her gaze landed on the silver and white symbol sewn into the sleeve of his jacket. Jensen’s gaze followed hers down, then he showed it to her for her inspection.

She seemed about as unsure of this as Jensen felt. After a moment she opened the door further: “Come in, please,” she said.

Jensen ducked inside.

The mansion was spectacular. While under house arrest on Kremlin grounds, he had wandered every museum and gallery many times, still continued to discover breathtaking sites. In the Kremlin, it was expected, but this was someone’s house. It made his estate back in Preston Hollow feel like a shack.

He was led to one of the primary downstairs living spaces. Enormous windows overlooked a back terrace, pool, putting greens and a guest building. When he walked in, three people turned to look at him.

The first was a dignified-looking doctor wearing a crisp white doctor’s coat. The second was a woman with flowing white hair. She wore a silky gray dress and high heels that Jensen found an impressive feat for a woman surely in her sixties. Diamond earrings were fixed to her ears that Jensen had to assume were valued in the millions of dollars.

The final person who stood was a man in a suit. He had the same sweeping hair as the woman, but his was light brown. Perhaps in his thirties, maybe nearing forty, Jensen couldn’t quite tell. The only other striking feature about him was his tie was pulled loose at the neck.

The three seemed to be expecting him, but as they looked their guest up and down, they clearly weren’t expecting this.

Jensen tried to remember what Agent Devarona told him to say. Luckily, the woman broke the silence.

“You are the one Ascendancy sends?” she asked. Her accent was Russian but her English was immaculate.

Jensen nodded. “You can call me Iásōn.”

Iásōn? Is that Jewish?” she tried to repeat the foreign name. A frown touched her brow like she wasn’t quite sure how she felt about that.

Jensen shook his head. “It’s Greek,” he corrected. The name was related to the greek iáomai, which meant healer. The English deriviative was Jason. The Russian version was Ясон.

“You have a loved one that needs help?” he asked.

The doctor spoke up then.

“There’s nothing else that can be done. He has had the best care medicine can offer, I assure you.” The doctor glanced at the people in his company. By then Jensen had assumed they were mother and son. He doubted what was going to happen. Jensen would have doubted the same had their places been traded.

“Please show me where to go,” he spoke gently.

The four of them were followed by the woman that met him at the door into the primary master bedroom. Inside the main suite was transformed into something of a luxury home hospital.

But it was the little figure in the bed that drew him close. It was a child, maybe ten years old. He was on a ventilator, asleep or perhaps in a coma, Jensen couldn’t tell.

The doctor moved amid machinery and instruments, checking everything as he went. The man with the loose tie knelt on one side of the bed, gripping the child’s limp hand, and the family’s picture came into view.

His heart sank for them.

Agent Devarona told him to keep the mask on. Back in the Facility, Jensen practiced channeling while the mask covered his eyes. It worked, but he hadn’t tried something as complex as the Gift of healing until now.

He tugged off his gloves and tucked them into his pocket. Then he leaned over the side of the bed, brushing the boy’s hair away from his cool forehead.

The Gift’s light brightened the room. He glanced up at the doctor. “You’ll want to be ready to take that out. I imagine it will be uncomfortable when he wakes up,” pointing at all the tubings plunging down the boy’s throat.

There were few moments in Jensen’s life when he truly felt connected to a larger purpose. He used to feel it standing on stage leading an audience of thousands through prayer and contemplation. He used to think it was when he comforted the sick on chaplaincy rounds. Then there were the few moments since coming to Moscow when the Gift’s purpose finally made sense.

As the Gift settled like golden light upon the boy, Jensen truly knew peace. It flooded his body and soul with light and hope, and all his desire poured into the healing.

When he pulled back his hands from the boy’s forehead, it was into a curled position in front his chest. His head sank low for a moment of silent gratitude.

And he stepped out of the way to let the family welcome their healed child back to life.

Behind the anonymity of the mask, Jensen was smiling.

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