((With thanks to the player of Salvador Delahada))
16 March 2009
Tick ... Tick... Tick... The seconds ticking off made Diana aware of more than the passage of time. It made her aware of what was to come, what was to be. What should have been a simple blessing ceremony for two children on one of the most important days of her mothers' native land, was turning into a meeting of the War Council. The women in the family did things their own way. When one of their sisters was in trouble or needed support, it was the War Council that answered that call. It was a mother's love that had raised them all to believe they had the strength within them to do what must be done. It was their mothers' strength that showed them the way.
Duality, it's what the elders called it. While Kirin was actually the mother of the older group of offspring, they gave the same reverence and deference to Colleen. Few outside the family fully understood why there was Rhiannon, thirtyish, with a husband and three children and a Rhi, aged fifteen. Rhydin was funny like that, twists of time and fate brought beauty and insanity into the lives of many.
Tick.. tick.. tick ... more time and midnight struck. It was Mairead's birthday; she was three years old and smart as a whip. Limele, Rachael's daughter, would turn five when fall came. Where Maggie was outgoing, Limele was reserved, shy. They reflected the personalities of their mothers in their pre-school years. In a few hours, a small family party would take place. When it was over ... decisions would be made.
While the women in Rhydin planned and made ready, Kirin made her own plans in a world far away. She tended her children, the youngest of the brood, three weeks old, their lives were endangered.
Diana had a few ideas of her own. She went to the one person she knew the understood the spirit world and wouldn't pass judgment; she went to Sal. She had faith in Dr. Valkonan's gifts as a healer, but this went beyond the physical realm and Diana had no time to spare. It was one day and they needed to get and out in as fast as they could, much like they had in Orlando. Diana knew that had been hard on the man sitting across from her. It had been hard on all of them; they all lost something or someone in that war. To call it a battle might have been politically correct, but to say it was less than a war was an insult to those that were there.
Sal wasn't one to give false hope. He was like his mother it that respect, to the point. After the pleasantries and asking if she could pick his brain, they began.
"What's on your mind?" Sal asked
Diana looked to Sal and lowered her voice, "A soul stealer... after two infants. Some sort of shadow beast that can take a physical form or be a parasite on a human host."
Tilting his head closer to the sound of that hushed information, his brows knitted and a frown stole his mouth. "Nn." Absorbing that. First his eyes ticked back aside to regard Diana, then a slow turn of his head to once again look at her more directly. "What else?"
"Any idea on how to distract it, to tempt it away while the kids are removed to safety? It feeds on anger, pain... anything negative."
"Shadow's usually weak to light. Like black to white. Night to day. Shine a light on it and make sure there's nothing casting a shadow for it to crawl into. Unless the shadow's white..." He bared his teeth a little with a momentary distant glaze in his eyes, at that thought.
The answer to how to deal with a white shadow was pretty much to give up hope and abandon faith. Diana went on to explain to Sal how the beast had a burning desire to capture something pure and innocent. And when it was revealed that the infants in question were her brother and sister, the importance to the family had become clear.
Scratching his jaw, Sal considered things further. "If it's one going after two, it's either gotta split itself or decide on one. Could maybe bait it and trap it. Not sure how, though, unless I knew what kind of spirit it was. Some things take iron, some things take silver. Crystal or gold. Mirrors. Could be anything."
"Good point. It can't take both. According to Kirin, it wants to something innocent. A newborn is the easiest prey. " She narrowed her eyes, it made her angry. "Something pure ..." Her brows shot up. "Sal, you're a genius!" In that moment Diana realized that Sal had opened the door into her mind that she'd been hoping for!
"Fear I know. Don't know what'd be Anger and Pain. So many of the lesser ones. I mean, if it's fae." Brows knit again, considering further. "Could be something demonic. Nn. In which case you'd need something Godly. Holy water. Sanctified ground. That sort of thing." Sal had a startled expression on his face at her outburst.
"Magic works there in a different way from Rhydin. Illusion could work, but so could tempting it with something that oozes innocence and purity. We have to get the kids out of harm's way before we do this."
"Oh. Right." Like that's just what he said, though by his expression he couldn't recall actually saying as much. "Well yeah. You don't want them getting caught in the trap."
One nexus gate in and out of the other world was a problem, but the best case scenario was if the thing followed the sisters back to their family home. There was castle ruin on the estate. It was place where ceremonies where held; it was where Colleen had said her final goodbyes to Kydwyn after she died in Orlando. It was holy ground in the home of beasts known to possess the purest of healing magic.
As Sal had so colorfully put it, "That'd... Jesus. That might just ****ing vaporize the thing."
"Hence why you're a genius. You reminded me that the obvious solution is often the best."
"Mm. Holy ground." He nodded his understanding, approving.
After they parted company, Diana went back to Navarra to set forth her ideas for the night to follow. Some would remain behind, some would travel, but all would be ready.