From the Story Arc: Coming Home

Next Story in the Arc: Wax And Wane Pt 1 by Victoria Victrix (Monday, January 12, 2009)

(posted Monday, January 12, 2009)

Vickie Victrix climbed up the ladder to the inconspicuous grate on the wall between a pair of ‘porters. Sera wafted by and smiled up at her, on her way to PI. “Housekeeping, Vickie?”

With Red gone, she spent as much time as she could finding things to do...and this was one that was very important.

Vic nodded, popped the cover, and extracted the filter. She carefully folded it to preserve not only the visible hair, but the invisible skin flakes and other detritus, folded that in a specially made silk envelope, and popped that in turn into a tyvek-lined fireproof envelope marked “Maya” and slipped that in her pocket. Then she pondered. Was it time to change out this filter’s parameters?

Not yet, she decided. One more round at least.

This was the last to change. She climbed down off the ladder, got Calignous Storm to put it away for her, and went back to her vault.

This was about as secure a safe as could be imagined, multiple locks, embedded in the bedrock with motion sensors in it, installed in the safe room. She went through the fifteen minutes of protocol to get into it, and finally the door opened, revealing what looked like an old apothecary cabinet. It was very similar to one, and the magical protections on it were about as involved as the physical, electrical, and mechanical protections on the safe itself.

Each of the little drawers was a letter of the alphabet; each contained a number of those envelopes that she now carefully filed away.

These were her backup; hair and skin samples from every RPC member that she could manage, and blood samples from every CCCP member. The blood samples were easy; Bella got samples every month for medical exams, and Vic got what was left. The others though, that required…planning.

And required the magical Laws of Contagion and Unity.

The Law of Contagion: anything that has once been in contact with someone or something, always remains, to a certain extent, in contact with it. The Law of Unity: that which has once been part of something is always a part of it.

If you drank from a paper cup, left behind a gum wrapper, borrowed one of Vickie’s books…that was enough. That gave her the sample she needed to create a filter.

And that filter, in turn, went into a little wall-wart that collected whatever bits of you that you shed as you passed through the CCCP base. She had similar filters, carefully hidden, in plenty of other more public places too.

This was how she’d had Jazzy’s hair to pass on to Miss Leah. This was how she had bits of just about anyone when they were needed. It was not a bad system, and only she knew what filters were for which people, so even if someone stole one while it was still out in the “public,” it would take DNA testing or some complicated magic to figure out who they were for.

Well, so much for the weekly housekeeping.

Insurance is to cover the things you hope will never happen.