A Friend's Sacrifice

From the Story Arc: A Sistah's Burden

Previous Story in the Arc: Moving On by Gaia's Soldier (Tuesday, August 23, 2005)

Next Story in the Arc: A Friend's Sacrifice (part b) by Gaia's Soldier (Tuesday, August 30, 2005)

(posted Monday, August 29, 2005)

Heavy Brother stood in the hallway to the front of the house and watched the woman work. Each time the tip of her tiny paintbrush touched the frame of the door there was purpose. A low hum emitted from her lips, a chilling sound coming from such a normally warm person. It was strange to see Sister Hecate out of her robes. The deep purple half shirt and black denim capri pants seemed so unlike her. Her tiny feet were speckled with red paint as was most of her arms and hands. She was such a tiny woman, but even he could feel the power that seemed to ebb around her all the time. The air was thick with it.

He paused for a long while watching her. He wanted to… needed to talk to her. Trouble was Heavy Brother wasn’t sure whether interrupting the mystic right now was all that wise an idea. This was magic. Not really something he had all that intimate knowledge of.

Fortunately Hecate solved his quandary for him, though never slowed her work as she talked. “Did you need something, Anthony?”

There was a knowing tone in her voice that irritating him somewhat. “I thought we should talk.”

“About Aura?”

“Yeah.” Heavy Brother. “About that… thing…”

Hecate dipped her brush into a small glass veil. “The symbiote?”

“Whatever it is.” He frowned. “I have talked to every specialist I can think of, and none of them can figure out how to remove it.”

“It has become a part of her.” Hecate was quiet for a moment while she drew another symbol. “Aura is getting stronger. I do not believe it will cause her any further pain. It seemed to be completing its connection. I do not think it intended to cause her harm.” She held the brush still. “In fact, much of her recent boost in power seems to be coming from the symbiote.”

“Aura wants it out.”

Hecate turned to look up at him, her green eyes glowed lighting her face eerily. “And you?”

“It’s her body. If she wants that thing out, so do I. It’s got no business being there anyway.”

“It was in fear for it life. It needed her to save itself.” Hecate stood slowly.

“And now she wants it out.” Heavy Brother’s tone was calm but firm.

“I see. And you want to know if there is a magical way to remove it?”

Heavy Brother nodded “If it won’t come out on its own, then yeah, I need to know if you can evict it without hurting Aura.”

She bit her lip as she considered his words. “There are many way to remove a foreign entity from a body, but most of what I know involve souls. This being is physically fused with her. The risk would be great to her. Her chances of surviving…”

“She doesn’t want to live like this.”

“Even though the symbiote brings her power?”

Heavy Brother met those unsettling eyes without blinking. “It’s an invader in her body, dig? She didn’t invite it there. She don’t want it there. Aura has never needed some alien thing to give her power, and she don’t need it now.”

Hecate stood there silent a long time. “There may be a way. It is not something I have even tried before. The risk to all three involved would be great.” She looked into his eyes. “You love her very much don’t you?”

His answer came without hesitation. “Yeah.”

She set the brush on a small table nearby, the painted end hung in the air. “There will be some things I will need. I will make you a list.”

“Whatever you need. I’ll take care of it.”

“I will have to ward the room heavily. This means whatever you may hear you must no past the threshold. You must simply stand guard to be certain we are not interrupted”

“What if something goes wrong?”

“If something goes wrong the wards will fall and there will be likely nothing to be done for either of us.” Hecate walked forward to Heavy Brother. “You sure about this?”

“It’s not up to me. It is Aura’s body. It is her choice.”

Hecate went to her bag on the table and got out a notebook and pen. “While you gather these things from my apartment, I will finish up here.” She ripped off a sheet of paper after listing about fifteen things on it. “The books will be in my bedroom, the other things should be in the chest at the foot of my bed. I will talk to Aura while you are gone.” She sighed. “You are right. This is her choice alone to make. I may not agree but I will do this if you both wish it.” Hecate opened the door and moved aside. “My planetary journal should be by my bed on the little table. I will need that to know when it would be best to do this.”

“Like I said, Hecate my sister, whatever you need.”