Eventually my body gets too sore to carry on, and I force myself to drain the tub. Every small part of me shudders at the feel of the receding water and it's impossible not to delight in. My whole body feels so sensitive, pulsing and throbbing and aching in pleasure, pain, and afterglow.
It can't even be six o'clock (unless my fingers really are as pruned as they look in my hazy vision, then maybe) and I'm already exhausted from some sensual self indulgence.
That's what naps are for, right?
My legs are shaky as I rise up to stand, and I almost fall over before steadying myself against the wall. Back when I could spark myself until I was cold and starving at least I never got dizzy like this. Of course, I used to actually eat decent meals and not have nightmare filled nights, but that's not really worth going into anymore than I already have.
Taking a seat on the edge of the tub I carefully towel off, and then wrap it around me before I head out into the kitchen to throw some waffles into the toaster. Just the smell of the waffles starting to toast makes my stomach growl and my mouth water. The smell of the syrup as I pop open the top and wait eagerly for the toasters to slide up reminds me of the texture of Pink's gloves, and a part of me wants to go shopping to see if I can't find a pair at all similar at least aesthetically if not functionally.
When the two waffles do pop up with a loud ding, they're quickly smothered in syrup and devoured covering my pretty blue plate with a glaze of syrup and specs of . . . waffle. There's no other way to describe it.
My stomach stops aching, but my fingers and my crotch don't. Ow. The word raw has never felt so perfect a term to describe a sensation.
Sighing I plop down onto the couch and reach out for the remote. After I click on the T.V. I let my eyes slowly scroll down to the VCR stationed beneath it. Since I’m not an idiot and for whatever reason my apartment still has cable, the clock is accurate enough even if the display on it shocks me more than just a little.
It actually is six o’clock. 6:07 to be precise, but it’s really not that big a difference. The T.V. is set to video since the last thing I watched was an old home movie . . . But I don’t want to even think of that right now. There should be news on some channel still, after all, it’s pretty early and heck if its too late I can always just switch to one of those twenty-four-seven news networks. Shouldn’t have to though, it is a Wednesday.
I think . . .
With the remote I click over to my favorite station for early morning news ad wince at how quickly I’m greeted with that phony newscaster voice of an early morning news show. “And today Claudia we have a very special announcement, don’t we?” The news caster talking is a man in a suit, a young man whose young in that way that makes it look like he’s dressing up and pretending to be daddy, and the set is one of those more talk show based sets as opposed to where they would show reporters discussing urgent breaking news or weather.
Claudia though, she’s always been eye candy enough to help me tolerate waking up to either dramatically bad news or ridiculously upbeat faux-news. “That’s right Charlie! Today we’ll be giving you an interview with a woman whose already destined for the history books! Katya Emerald herself will be on the show today!”
Cheers are screamed out from the audience, and I’m more than a touch sure that half of those cheers are for Claudia herself. Her dark chocolate brown hair is cut just short enough that the length curls at the ends just over her shoulders, and her bright blue eyes are beautiful in a way that reminds me vaguely of Pink’s - or would if they didn’t have the strangest twinge of color that almost looks violet.
Her figure is right up there with Pink’s, too. It’s not that I think they could be the same person, but they have a similar sort of beauty and I miss that mischievous lollypop baring receptionist. I really hope wherever she is, she can’t stop giggling her adorable head off.
Pink always did seem happier when she didn’t have to think. Of course, that was how she made sure she always had sweets . . .
“Well, let’s not keep the people waiting, David! I hope you’re all as excited as I am! Welcome the woman responsible for -” The camera starts to move away from Claudia so I change the channel. My luck, it’s the woman they’re giving credit to for Chronos going down…
Deciding to skip past the crappy morning shows, I shove another fork load of waffle into my mouth an flip the channel to the 24 hour news network. Another female news trained voice flows out of my television’s crappy speakers, this one much more somber though in a plastic “this is a sad story - you should feel bad and question how you look at your life” sort of way.
The visuals are just about as depressing as the words… “Though the giant headquarters of the mind controlling mercenary company known as ‘Chronos’ has been dissolved, authorities are still searching for possible business partners of the billionaire entrepreneur and mastermind behind the company, Jessy Colloten. Though her records were seized and she has been brought to justice, man believe the records were either incomplete, are full of pseudonyms or were deliberately falsified either before or after their seizure.”
Behind the anchorwoman is a view of The Lady’s 100 story fortress. Above and to the uppermost right of the screen, is a small portrait of Her. Just seeing her face makes tears build up in my eyes and desire surge in ways that feel impossibly strong.
Seeing her makes me feel small . . . Unimportant . . . Yet somehow so precious . . .
The feeling though, no matter how glorious, is depressingly brief. I want Her. I need Her .. . I exist to please Her! Programming or not, she was my purpose, and serving her made me happy in ways I haven't ever felt any other way . . .
Unlike the others who've toyed with my mind, she could be warm, she could show me affection . . . I was never just a toy.
"All known Agents of Chronos are accounted for besides a 'recruiter' agent known only as 'Dust'." A picture of Dust takes it's place beside The Lady's own photo. "She was brought into custody during the initial raid, but after being turned over to a psychologist both disappeared without a trace. Foul play is suspected."
If only they knew. Would they believe it? Supers may in abundance in Midas, but witches? I know there are a few supers in town with "magical" power, but its generally just a limited amount of tricks and looking overly flashy. Compared to that, my sparks are magic!
For the moment, I'm just glad that no eyes have been focusing on me. This time, people would be noticing my lack of silver coloring, not a plethora of it. I'm sure I have a few enemies that would just love to know I'm helpless.
With a final bite I finish my waffles and weakly sigh before clicking the TV off. I don't want to hear an more opinions of Chronos from the outside. None of them knew Her. They have no right . . .
In the corner, my silver colored cell phone rings and I stiffen. Only one person has the number to that phone . . . and that's because she gave it to me.
The daffodil was still in my hand and I couldn’t seem to get rid of it. For some reason, it was soothing. The sky outside of the building was bright and cheery, but that was just depressing. I didn’t recognize the outside of the building, but I recognized the part of town that we were in. Everything important was more or less close so at least we weren’t stranded without Yanta to portal us all back home.
Sighing I looked back to Dust and Jade. It felt like being followed by two ghosts from two different incarnations, but far worse. I was the one who was dead. “So . . . I guess this is the part where I ask what we do now and pretend like I’m not already formulating my own idea until I get one to three from either of you. . .”
It was a lame joke, but I needed to say something. I had been so distracted, so wrapped up in my own grief. The shock was still too strong though, so at least I didn’t fall to my knees and cry.
“Thanks a lot for . . .” Jade blinked and I watched her worriedly. “Just thanks . . . There are things I need to catch up on . . . people . . .” Her eyes slowly dart to the skyline and then all around us and I can’t help but nod. Nightshade alone will no doubt love to see her partner in crime fighting again.
“Me too . . .” Dust nods and I still wish we’d had time to talk about who she really was before The Lady. Who knows where she’ll be going? I know I don’t.
I nodded and looked between them. One was like a sister, a lover, and at the same time an off and on enemy. The other . . . I wanted her, but that seemed to be all that could ever be in a rather hopeless way. “Yeah . . . You’re welcome Jade. I . . . I hope I see you two around . . . Not sure where I should go.”
“Don’t you have a place to stay? One from back before . . . Her?” Dust rubbed one arm trying to warm it and Jade just stared at me worriedly with sympathy written all over her face.
Powerless, and homeless. It was a great feeling.
For a long time I didn’t respond and neither of them prompted me again. My response wasn’t going to be happy, so I was in no rush. “I haven’t paid rent in . . .” I held up my hand and flash my fingers like a little girl describing her age in fives. “Months. So I’m thinking no . . . I’ll find something . . . I’m sure. I’m all resourceful and . . .”
They were staring at me, so full of pity, sympathy, and it killed me. It was like an icy knife right into my heart. Without a thought I wrapped my arms around myself and just tried to imagine myself disappearing.
It wouldn’t have been such a horrible tragedy, not right in that moment.
“Hey . . . how about we give your old apartment building a call . . . See if they have anything . . . and if not, I’ll find you something . . .” Jade steps closer, sounding hopeful. Dust looked like she was about to say the same, but when Jade spoke, Dust stepped back.
I smiled weakly and looked between the two of them worriedly. I wish Dust hadn’t stepped back. Some of my thoughts aren’t healthy, but I still want her here, I still want her closer than wherever else she’ll be. “Sure . . . Sort of broke at the moment, but uhm . . . People don’t accept amateur art for rent anymore, do they?” I can’t draw, can’t paint, but the joke almost, almost makes me smile for real.
Dust waved gently before stepping back even more, mouthing “see you around” and bursting silently into a million small gray particles of her dust and then just disappearing.
I really wished that she would have stayed, but I didn’t even begin to blame her. “So uh, . . . This might be very inappropriate to ask, but what happened to The Lady . . .?”
Jade smiled and steps a little bit closer, but not in a touchy sweet way, but just for support. “Not sure. Major jail time, federal and such, big crash down, she might still be in trial . . .” She shrugged, and idly ran her fingers through her pure black hair. So beautiful, so matter-of-fact . . . “Hey, and if you need some place to stay, or just money, I can loan you some, believe me.”
“Oh . . .” I winced and sighed, shaking my head. Of course there would be major jail time, she had done so much, and had enough money to drag out a trial . . . “Well . . . Maybe I can just stay with you for a couple of days till you know, I figure out what I want to do . . .?” The pointer finger on my right hand twitched a couple of times, but I tried to ignore it. A part of me wanted to just spark her up to make things easier . . .
Was a shame I really couldn’t.
“Oh well . . . yeah maybe . . .” Jade scratched her head just a little and looked around slowly again. “But first let’s see about your old apartment building . . .?”
The aura of “I don’t want you sleeping anywhere near me” was so loud that it almost made me whimper but I tried hard not to. I couldn’t blame her for feeling like she did. “I . . . I’m sorry for what I did I . . . If I could go back I know I would screw up and just moan and gush out my brains again or refuse to say my own name but I . . . I really wish I could take it back . . .”
Jade’s eyes looked sadder than any eyes I’d ever seen before, and after a moment she stepped closer and threw her arms around me, hugging my tight. All I can feel is pity, and not wanting me close makes the hug feel strange and insincere. “Don’t you ever say that. Ever.”
Not wanting to rock the boat, I just hugged her back. That was all I could really do. The hug is nice, but the rejection still lingers. “I . . . Okay, if you insist.”
Jade gave me a firm squeeze in the hug before she let me go and took a step back. “Come on . . . let’s find a bank, get some lunch, call your apartment building . . . I’ll loan you some money or whatever you need. It’ll just be a loan of course . . .”
Several hours of dropping by banks, running errands, and shopping later, we were chomping down on burgers. It was so hard to resist ordering a milkshake! It had been forever since I'd had a burger. They're so unhealthy so The Lady wasn't especially fond of them - not that I had minded. For a moment that made me feel guilty, but I'd earned a little comfort food.
I'd earned a whole tub of ice cream, but that didn't mean that I still wouldn't get the pounds.
"So I guess now I go back to my patrols like I used to before all of this mess started, huh?" Back to patrols, back to being a waitress, back to the life I'd had before I met The Lady. It didn't sound good to me then, but Jade didn't know how unhappy that made me. It was bad enough she knew I missed The Lady at all for having asked... I couldn't see her understanding.
"I dunno. Maybe take a break from the whole crazy life bit and just live for awhile. That's what I'm considering doing. This is dangerous work . . ." Jade was chomping down on her own burger, looking happy and only vaguely concerned.
She was free and happy about each little aspect of her freedom. While I felt my own path was more appropriate for me, I’ll admit that I envied her. She might have lost less than I did, but even still . . .
Maybe if she’d met Her then she’d be in the same state I was in. Whose to know? “It is . . . it is . . .” I laughed a little and kept eating, trying not to sound hesitant or worried. “A little bit of normal living might feel absolutely insane after all of that . . . Is it bad to miss it though?”
“Naw . . .” Jade half slimed and tossed a small cell phone into my hands before tossing me the small green phone and silver cover she’d gotten me earlier during our shopping spree. She’d even gotten me a wireless plan . . .
Yet nothing would convince me that she wasn’t still wanting me more than far away and I hated it. “You’ve been so sweet Jade, even after everything that’s happened . . . I don’t know what to say, and saying I owe you another one would be just as silly as it was the last time I said it.” Leisurely I worked on putting the silver cover onto the green phone. It felt so weird to see peach colored hands do that . . .
“You don’t owe me anything. We have to look out for each other, especially in our business, huh?” She stretched out and put her arms behind her head before leaning back. She looked normal, dressed to simply, just jeans and a t-shirt after we’d stopped by her place briefly, and it was so weird to see her not made up like some mahogany goddess of the arrow.
I’d borrowed more of her clothes, just black jeans and a black top that was just a little lose on me. They weren’t mine, but they were more normal clothes than I’d worn in a long time. “We do, we do . . .” I lean back too, tying to mimic her and smile. She was so pretty, and I really wanted to believe her that she didn’t blame me, but it was so hard. “Do you have another name besides Jade?”
“No . . .” She seems sad, as if she wishes that she could give me more, but it doesn’t stay on her face for long. After a moment of looking for a pen she wrote a series of numbers on a small piece of paper and handed it over. “You ever need me, you call that, and unless I’m currently in danger for my life, I’ll answer.”
“And if you are, well . . . you better call me!” I smiled back and held the piece of paper, just staring at it. “Jade is a pretty name, so don’t worry about it . . . I sorta liked Silver better than Sarah anyway, even if it doesn’t work anymore, so just... Sarah works from now on.”
“Sounds good . . . So . . . Maybe see if they have an opening at your old place? Or just go check out the classifieds?” She really was so concerned, and I could feel her sincerity, but everything was tainted by her reactions. Just a night staying with someone else close nearby would have made me feel infinitely safer, but she didn’t want that.
At the time all I was thinking was how much I wished I wasn’t tempted to find Dust’s phone number or try and pull off some thrilling rescue of The Lady. “I’d like to check the old place first, it was sort of out of the way . . . It might not even be taken yet, or maybe the super still has my stuff somewhere . . But I can take care of it on my own. I’d hate to take up so much of your time with me being boring and normal . . .”
She looked a little sad again, but then stood up and stretched as she did before she waved just faintly. “Okay . . . Sure . . . You have my number . . .”
“Take care Jade . . .” I waved back and had to force myself to smile as I stared at the phone. I had a new phone, her phone number, a few numbers still etched in my mind . . . phone books . . . Jade had loaned me some cash and my bank account still had some money in it from a lifetime ago.
Sighing I just walk my way to my apartment. I need to check out that old building, see if they at least have my stuff. Then maybe, I decided, I would go and look for Dust. If not, I had no clue what to do . . .
The walk to my apartment building felt infinitely long and depressing. I should have let Jade come, but I had wanted to do this alone. When I reached the inside I approached the receptionist’s desk and sighed. She looked nothing like the receptionist I missed desperately already. “Uhm . . . sort of had some nasty stuff happen and I sort of disappeared off of the face of the earth for awhile, is there someone I can talk to about well . . . my stuff, my room . . .?”
“Sure, uhm . . .” The woman clicked some buttons on her keyboard and looked over the screen as if scanning a list. She was fast. I wondered how often that sort of thing happened. “Name?”
Sighing I wished I wasn’t so desperate not to hear it before responding. “LaSilvas, Sarah . . .”
“Oh yeah sure. Um . . . You dropped off the face of the- whoa, you’re not silver anymore . . .” She looked up from her screen and just stared at me, so surprised and shocked. “Um .. . Your room has been paid for up until a month from now.”
Blinking I had to resist sniffling for multiple reasons. That meant that The Lady had done something to keep my room as mine. Not only that, people remember me as the silver vixen I was and aren’t going to be able to stop giving me grief over my lack of chromatic covering, a thing I am not delighting in the thought of at all.
“Really . . .? Well then uhm . . . Is there a spare key I could borrow or . . .”
“I’ll need some identification . . .” It took about an hour dealing with them getting into my room to get my wallet, remembering my mother’s middle name, and my social security number before she’ll believe me that I am genuinely . . . myself. Which is a very strange thing.
Once I finally started to walk towards the hallways of my room to spend some quality time with myself alone, I started to feel panicked. The number was burning a whole in my pocket. I wanted to call her, but I didn’t want to deal with knowing she would only talk with me because she felt she owed me or something stupid like that.
The room was there, as it had been when I left. I hadn’t been inside of it for such a long time, and for some reason the room almost seemed to smile.
After unlocking the door I tossed my key into the tray and closed the door behind me before collapsing back onto my old bed. “Hello room . . .” I’d muttered out tiredly. I was glad to be back only compared to being stuck with Yanuka and the prospect of the streets. Otherwise . . .
I lift up the phone and almost take the call . . . but instead I turn it off. My mind is useless enough without Jade's mixed signals or odd auras of pity. It was so clear she didn't want me anywhere near her . . .
Though it's not as if I blame her.
It's so easy to remember helping Mind Bore get her. Jade looked more beautiful than ever, and even better as my brains leaked out . . . oh she looked like a goddess as the wires turned her mind off. Her whole body just went so perfectly limp, and Mind Bore being happy with me felt like pure bliss. I could have just stayed in that moment forever . . .
The part of me that misses Chronos is not the part of me that misses Mind Bore's laboratory or my shelf therein. I don't mind missing Chronos. I don't want to stop missing Chronos. However, I'd happily give up my desire for metal in my ears.
Those fetishes are still laced through my brain. It's not such a bad thing really. Actually, being in control of my mind means that it's not as much as if I turn into some crazed nympho when I see fishnets, I just get to feel a sharp tingle. Not that I'm sure I would mind turning into a toy for any hot latex clad pair of legs . . .
Just thinking of that woman with the fishnets, who just wanted me as her little whore makes me shudder. Her ass was the tightest I’d ever seen, and just the way it moved, the lewdness of the whole situation . ..
Shaking my head, I resist the urge to whimper. No one will hear me anyway.
Unbidden, a thought occurs to me, and I open my phone book to find an address. If anyone can help me, it’s her.
“Do you have an appointment?” The receptionist is an older woman, either with cat eye contacts or cat eyes. Midas is probably one of the safest (and dangerous) places for someone with even a hint of other worldly ability, so neither would surprise me.
Shaking my head I tug at the collar of m shirt. It feels too tight. Everything feels constricted, dizzying. I shouldn’t have come. “No, but I know her. I just need to see her, please.”
She frowns and clicks something on her screen away before frowning. The waiting room has a very dark aura in it, or that’s just my paranoia and absolute surety that this was a bad idea. People with appointments are glaring at me hatefully. It’s almost enough to make a girl cry.
Me being an emotional fragile girl, it’s even closer. There are all of these conflicting feelings, and every small thing brings them to the surface.
“Eh-hem . . .”
She must have responded and I didn’t even notice! My cheeks are burning and I’m sure they’re dark si- . . . red. “Sorry! I’m very, very, very sorry, I just . . . I need to see Rae Keeneson, now. I’m not trying to get special treatment, I just . . . please.”
The thought of making an appointment didn’t even come to mind. Thinking of it, that really makes a lot of sense but I’m desperate. The last few days have been hell, absolute hell. A loud part of me screams that this is no different than Yanuka, but I know that’s not true. That doesn’t make convincing myself any easier though.
“I’m sorry miss . . . What did you say your name was again?” Her scalding feline eyes almost look predatory, and momentarily they make me miss Silhouette, my little shadow kitty.
“Sil- . . . LaSilvas. Sarah LaSilvas.” Lucky for me, I haven’t been on every news station from NRP to Midas Public Access. The Lady must have kept my name off of the books, or somebody likes me.
The receptionist doesn’t, and her snort is rather damning evidence. “I’m sorry Miss LaSilvas, but Miss Keeneson is a very busy woman, if you’ll make-”
“It’s all right, I’ll handle this Gladys. She’s an acquaintance of mine.” In the doorway stands Rae, turtle shell glasses sitting gracefully on her nose in a way that almost looks stylish but only ends up refined and very fitting of her occupation.
Some people always go by their super name, like Dust or Jade. Some people can manage an alias, and do. Once Rae waves me back I make a weak smile and then stare at the floor. “Hey, Mystic . . . Sorry to make a scene and mess up your schedule . . .”
“You should be, but it’s okay. I’m surprised it took you this long to come, after I spoke with Jade. Well, come on, we need to talk.” Her voice and expression are still cold as the last time I saw her, but I know she’s not a cruel woman.
There’s only a brief hallway before Mystic’s very simple office. The simplicity and functionality of it makes me immediately look around for a pen, but I can’t see one, or any oil. That only makes me feel a little bit better, but it’s enough.
Mystic walks over and sits behind her desk. “You really aren’t Silver anymore. I can only imagine how that must feel . . . Please take a seat. Is there anything left in your head that you need plucked out?”
Stiffening, I shake my head and nervously drop into the seat in front of her desk. “I had to, for Jade and Dust . . . If they weren’t there . . .”
“You would have just let that woman keep you like some sort of toy?” Her voice is disbelieving, and on the edge of being tragically worried.
“She still has me, in a way. I sacrificed my powers and one woman’s freedom for two women and the shell of a third. How I’ve defined myself since I was ten years old is gone. I’m not Silver. I’m not super. I’m a misfit. People don’t stare at me the same way now. I betrayed the only family I ever had, and all of my morals. I’m better off as a mindless husk.”
Mystic just stares. I can tell that she’s at a loss for words. So am I. Here I am, laid bare and vulnerable. This might be a result of my programming, but this is how I really feel. This is me. This is what no one ever wants to hear.
After what feels like an eternity, she speaks. “Then,, why are you here, Si . . . Sarah? Why are you here if you’d rather be a mindless Husk? I don’t make husks, I try to make minds work better.”
As soon as I hear her words, I know she’s right and I stop myself from contemplating and imply as can be just respond. “I want you to fix me. Do what you did before. Don’t make my mind ‘normal.’ Give me a reason to live. Make Sarah a woman worth being. Hypnotize me, use your power, destroy anything besides my memories... and make me whole.”
Her eyes stare, and the look on her face in one word is disbelief.
“You . . . after all that’s happened you want more people going into your mind?”
“Why me?” Mystic stares still just as unable to comprehend. “Why do you even think I’ll say yes?”
“Because I trust you. Because I know you must be able to. Yes? I don’t think you will. But I’m desperate. I need some new tether to reality. I can’t and won’t go back to a normal life. I have no powers, and no owner. I have no degree. My only living relative is the other who wanted just a normal little girl . . .”
Mystic ever so faintly sighs before shaking her head and closing her eyes. “Sarah . .. How old are you?”
Closing my eyes to pull it out of my memory, I try to recall the date and wince. “I turn twenty five in a week.”
“Sarah . . . Go back home. Not to your apartment, visit your mother. Where did you grow up, anyway? Visit. DO things in your life that show you that Silver was a facet of Sarah, and that powers or not, owned or not, . . . Silver is still a part of you. And so is Chronos. I won’t twist your mind for you. That’s not what I do. I help people find themselves.”
“Thanks mystic . . .”
“And return some of Jade’s calls, she’s worried sick.”
I just have to see it with my own eyes. Mystic's advice was right, but it was vaguely misplaced. My mother's home isn't my home, not anymore. I need to go see my home. I couldn't do it before, but I need to do it now. A part of me just can't believe it. Even with Dust and the television insisting that Chronos is gone . . .
The morning is cold and my arms wrapped around me aren't helping much at all. Midas is normally a warm place - comfortable anyway - but the mornings in winter are a bitch and a half. I'm cold as a witch's teat, though I'm glad I'm not latched onto one. That doesn't make the gusts of wind that seem to kick up every moment any warmer, but it does make me feel a little bit more grateful that I'm able to freeze my ass off of my own free will.
Not enough, but the thought alone has merit.
My denim jacket feels almost sleeveless, and my jeans feel . . . oddly foreign. I've always loved jeans, but I don't really feel like I belong in them anymore. There's no easy access for Her to delight in.
If only that still mattered . . .
Being out in the "normal" world is frightening. Every small thing is so loud, and so bright. Everywhere something is making sounds, and I still need to adapt to actually needing to squint or close my eyes when things get too bright.
So many shadows beg to be lit up by a few well placed sparks, but I can't. If my apartment was closer than home, I just might turn around.
Jade's cell phone is in my jacket pocket and it feels like it weighs a million times. She said I could call her if I ever needed her for any reason. I'm not in any especially great amount of danger, but that doesn't mean that . . .
Gritting my teeth I move a bit quicker and my converse smack down on a few errant puddles. Before I was Silver I was Silver Girl. My body still works - I can hold my own in a fist fight and I bet sometimes even in a knife fight - though that brings back bad memories of metal chains.
The area is dirtier than I remember it being. There are so many more broken liquor bottles, and scattered sheets from newspapers. Just about the only thing that I see less of is lose change.
For awhile - what felt like an eternity - this area was safe and clean. Not a single thug prowled these streets for at least ten blocks. My chest must be more impressive than I remember it being, because it feels like they're literal eye magnets to everyone I walk past. Gawking is not a sexy facial expression, even when it's on an obviously pretty face.
The Lady would never have approved. Land around Chronos's headquarters was sanctified. A lot of my old patrols had gone towards keeping this area safe. Seeing it in disarray feels like finding out the park I played at as a kid is now a crack den.
I can only hope that Coredellia is in as good of shape as it was when I left. Never had the time to look back, never wanted to.
Damn it, my mind wandered! Cursing at myself under my breath I glance around to make sure I’m not surrounded by chain wielding maniacs. Luckily, I’m not. At least I guess I’m lucky . . .
There are only a few blocks between me and what was home. My room had been so lavish, and I’d accepted it in suck a lackluster way . . .
It would have been cheaper to store me in a closet, but She didn’t. She gave me a better life than I could have ever afforded on my own. I was so ungrateful . . . She took away the doubt of whether I had a purpose or not, and I never just praised her and thanked her for that and the wonderful life . . .
Just two blocks away now. I resist looking up to the skyline. That isn’t important. There’s no seeing inside the 100th floor not when there are no clouds, and today I can taste the rain in the air.
The prospect of rain doesn’t bother me, but the clouds do.
Every little step feels all important and beyond consuming as if every step is the most important decision I’ve ever made in my life. Short of getting someone’s help I won’t be able to unsee this. Seeing Chronos gone will make it real.
Reaching out I grasp a familiar lamp post to help me steel myself. Silver Girl cold do this. Hell, the Domina could do this.
Closing my eyes tight I fight with myself to wipe away the image of my older still silvery self. What I did I had to do. She was the one who sent the Slut Squad after me and it was her meddling with the timeline that lead to Chronos’s end. Even if it’s my fault, she was the catalyst . . .
Finally I open my eyes and walk the last block towards home. The closer to HQ I get the messier everything looks. Windows are broken, and a few doors even have their locks broken off and hang from their hinges like a nearly severed limb.
It’s no place to raise a family, or even go walking to see something “historic.”
A working girl or two gives me a flirty look but I just ignore them. Silver skinned or not, I don’t need to pay for my women. Prostitution never used to be anywhere near here, but I guess that all things change.
The building is in front of me and it’s an empty, desiccated husk. Between me and the building stands a “for sale” sign that has been gratified by gang markings and profanity. Some of these markings, I recognize.
I could have sworn that the Infidels were all supposed to still be in prison. If they’ve had time to reclaim some old territory . . .
Suddenly, leaving - and quickly- seems all that much more important. I can reminisce with myself all I want later after getting back home and figuring out if Mystic’s advice is good or not. Maybe I do need to see my mother and clear some issues out of the way . . .
When I turn around to leave, I realize by the far too happy faces on the women surrounding me that it’s already way too late.