Wax And Wane Pt 1

From the Story Arc: Coming Home

Previous Story in the Arc: Insurance by Victoria Victrix (Monday, January 12, 2009)

Next Story in the Arc: Wax And Wane Pt 2 by Victoria Victrix (Monday, January 12, 2009)

(posted Monday, January 12, 2009)

It had been a long, long day and just as long of a night. The problem with wearing three hats was that Vickie was only one person. So while she was still honing her mage-skills at the side of Reverend Hale in the Rikti War Zone and doing further research (sadly a dead end) into the Candra situation, she was also spending many hours back on the streets of KR relearning how to be a warrior. The latter was actually easier. After getting back into shape with the single blade, she had picked up her dagger again and gone back to square one with the double blade system she had once been known for, Underhill. That was actually easier than the magic, truth to tell. It was all a matter of getting the reflexes back, re-learning the combinations. Always easier the second time around. And oh, how she wished Red was here. He would have laughed so hard to learn that the names of her elven-forged blades were “Tire Iron” and “Can Opener.”

Then there was the third hat—she still had books to write. That was what had kept her up late last night; final edit on a manuscript. When she was satisfied, had saved, archived, archived again, made backups and hit send, it was four in the morning and the coffee was definitely wearing off. She fell into bed—still carefully leaving three fourths of it for Red—welcomed Grey under the covers where he turned into a nice warm vibrating ball at the small of her back, and fell dead asleep. As always, her last thought was for Red. He would be back. Mandy had promised. Sera promised. He would be back.

And she was jerked awake abruptly just after dawn by the electric shock of the spell she had set when she could first find no trace of him after his Portal jump.

The spell, now much enhanced and improved upon, ensured several things. First, no matter what condition she had gone to sleep in, she was now wide awake, alert and sober. Second, that the second layer of the spell told her he was all right. Physically at least. He did not need rescue. He was not sick, hurt, or otherwise incapacitated.

She sat bolt upright in bed, and sketched sigils in the air as Grey watched with eyes big as golf balls. With primary and secondary concerns assuaged, the caution that had made her layer this thing so deeply kicked in.

He had left, so far as she could tell, with Rancor.

Rancor had a lot, a lot, of secrets.

This was one of them.

And given the level of secrets Ranc had, even though right now she wanted to tear him into a million little pieces and stomp on them, she knew there had to be a much larger issue at stake here. Bigger than her, bigger than him, bigger, probably, than Paragon City or Rhode Island or maybe even the whole world. So. No blowing into this one, Vic. First see if he’s alone—

He wasn’t.

She didn’t try to ID the three lifesigns. Rancor had explicitly not trusted her with this one. She didn’t need to know, and of late, need to know had been looming very large in peoples’ lives—first Vanguard and the second Rikti Invasion, and now this time-traveling and mending business, which she herself had not yet investigated. She wasn’t entirely sure she wanted to. The mere idea of time travel and the possibly fracturing of reality that could occur made her head ache.

So she waited—and got dressed, because she had fallen into bed wearing one of Red’s wife-beater t-shirts and while there were plenty of heroes who wore a lot less than that, she’d rather not display that much of herself in—

--where was he?