Just A Typical Day

From the Story Arc: A Sistah's Burden

Next Story in the Arc: Part 2: Well This Looks Familiar by Gaia's Soldier (Thursday, July 21, 2005)

(posted Thursday, July 21, 2005)

Aura sat on the cool metal fire escape, her legs dangled through the bars swinging absently. It was still dark now, the streetlights giving the early morning a grayish cast to it. She traced a finger lazily through the dew that settled on the railing above her. Waiting.

Slowly the sun began to rise. First a warm glow, like that of a candle, rose above the high buildings to the east. Deep reds, oranges and golds, the pale light of it seemed to make everything around it so much darker. Aura watched this miracle nearly every morning yet when the sun awakened fully, blazing color across the sky, and lighting the city like it was on fire, she held her breath, in awe of it all.

She watched it until the blaze of colors faded, leaving the early morning glow that meant the Row was waking. This was a place of hard lives, or even harder work. Of people who took pride in a job well done. Even with the crime that she and the other heroes of this city battled to keep at bay in the Row, the people here kept going, doing what needed to be done. Aura had an admiration for them all. No powers or special defenses, but they stayed here, unwilling to give up their home. Her home.

Aura wasn’t born in the Row. She grew up in Northern California on a two hundred acre piece of land which held forty families. Women who had come together to create a place to keep their families safe to practice the ways of Goddess had bought the land thirty years earlier. It had grown into a secluded small town, self-maintaining and self sufficient, importing and exporting only a few times a year to keep that seclusion protected. Year long homeschooling within the compound had been the norm, though they kept up a old bus to take field trips into the city several times each year.

Watching the school buses begin rolling down the street she sighed a bit wistfully. She often wondered what it was like for the kids here who went to public schools. Aura saw them at many of the fields trip he community classes had gone to. They seemed so different, so bold and primal. She had often envied them. Not that she didn’t love her home, just she was so much for quick to fire, so much more primal blooded than any of the other kids she grew up with, she never quite felt a part of things.

Aura chuckled, a slight bitter tone in it. She hadn’t been part of them, not really. She had been chosen, trained, purified as the hand of Gaia. Aura was a guardian of the Earth. Gaia’s Solder. This is why when she felt drawn to the city, to here, much to the dismay of her family. It was why she had chosen to use that name. She was Gaia’s Solder, a champion of the people. Her stomach rumbled and Aura grinned stepping back through the window and into her studio apartment. Right now the champion was hungry and there was work to be done.

After a hearty meal and a change into uniform, Gaia’s Solder pounded the streets, eyes scanning for trouble. She did not patrol here as often as she used to. She was finding that the gangs and dealers that had once held the core of her ire were small potatoes. Bigger and badder puppeteers pulled their chains and much of her attention had turned to that problem. If she took down the puppeteers it would make it easier to wipe out the weakened puppets.

Today she had an informant to see at noon but figured no sense wasting the day away when she could cut a few strings here. A scream drew her attention and her eyes blazed, the dark aura that always lay just beneath the surface on her, rising up, vibrating.

Gaia’s Solder ran in the direction of the woman’s voice, finding its source behind a set of condemned apartment buildings. There were two women in business dress, clinging to each other and whimpering in fear. Gaia snarled and quickly counted the opposition. Twenty Skulls surrounded them. She was not certain why they had so many here but as she saw the taller of the two woman clutch the bag she carried tighter and speak in wavering tones Gaia began to understand. “You can’t have it. It is too dangerous. The conclave will not…”

“Shut up, bitch. We take what we want.” The darkly dressed Skull leader stepped forward only to suddenly find the little black woman in green BDU’s standing in front of him snarling.

“You don’t call a sister out of her name, asshole.” A booming uppercut knocked the Bone Daddy off of his feet and the rest of the Skulls swarmed her. Gaia laughed. She loved this, all of this. A flurry of punches took down the smaller group to her right, leaving her a path to see the woman. “Go! And tell Azuria she owes me another one.” The taller woman grinned weakly and both ran out towards the street. She took the leader down as she drained his essence to heal her wounds and turned to the rest of his men. “Now lets get this party started.”

Within moments the gangers lay about her. Sweating and spattered with blood Gaia grinned. Yep her family would just not understand. This was why she stayed here in the Row, in the pulse of it all. A movement made her turn as she saw a Skull jump out from behind a dumpster and run in the direction the woman went. “Oh no you don’t.” She sprinted after him, her strong legs and natural speed allowing her to catch up quickly. He turned a corner and she followed.

Her breath caught in her throat, and he skin went cold. The ganger lay on the asphalt of the basketball court, no more than clothes, blood, and torn flesh purred with bone. Around him stood creature she had only seen pictures of. “Oh hell, Rikti.” Before she had time to wonder much on why they were here she felt a searing pain in her skull. She cried out and held her head. “NO!” A burning pain to her chest and a blow to her head and then…there was nothing.