Rudolf picked up the compositions. The girl was good, he had to admit that. He leafed through the twenty two pieces of music until he found the one he was looking for, the song Alice had written called ‘Halo’.
Rudolf was a mystic, not accustomed to the ways of society or social graces, so he thought nothing about ‘borrowing’ the manuscripts. He knew successes in the annual HALO music competition had become legendary, capable of changing the fate of entire countries. In this case the weight of the entire world was on Alice’s shoulders. Alice was the key to stopping the war and making peace a natural birthright for all the children on Earth. He was on a mission to find the girl before he died. That gave him only a few days.
Alice's first line was from Emerson.
"Flowers are the earth laughing"
The melody was flawless, the girl a prodigy.
Rudolf got up from the tree stump he had been resting on and continued trudging through the forest. His boots were muddy, his dark cloak tattered and torn, his face salty and caked in sweat. The Palatinate Forest was large, and Castus, now the lines for the New Europe had been redrawn, a very restricted zone, housing the three great Magistra and their followers in the monasteries and convents. Luckily he had managed to slip through the border patrols undetected.
It seemed improbable that a girl so young and beautiful could be the next great Magistra. He was sure of it now, having seen her song ‘Halo’. Hildegard of Bingen had been born exactly one thousand years before Alice and written music that resembled ‘Halo’ in an uncanny way.
"Alice, you can't hide forever," said Rudolf.
Unfortunately, the mystic failed in one very critical aspect. He didn't notice the sinister shadow trailing him through the forest, leaving no trace of its presence as it passed.