Search And Rescue 14-08

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In the months since I had been recruited by Crossroads Academy, I’d had to do some very difficult things, things that I thought were impossible at the time. But none of the things that I’d had to do in these months came anywhere near being as hard as it was to spend over a day around my father without telling him that my mother had made contact with me. None of the fights, none of the life-or-death situations, absolutely none of it even scratched the surface of the kind of effort it took not to tell my dad that I’d spoken to her. As simple and unimportant as it might have seemed to some, that single conversation was everything to me. And I knew that it would have been everything to him as well.

My mind had started trying to come up with justifications ever since Seller had dropped me off back at home late Friday afternoon after I’d had a chance to sleep for a solid six hours. Because as it turned out, I had left Eden’s Garden before Abigail woke up. With, of course, the promise that they’d let me know the second the woman was conscious and take me back there.  It was just the easiest way to avoid lying even more to my father about what was going on. Besides, spending time with him was important, and it kept me busy.

In any case, my brain kept pointing out that I didn’t have to include any of the supernatural stuff. I could just tell him that she’d sent me a message to see how I was doing, that she made contact. I didn’t have to say anything about the actual circumstances, did I? It could be enough just that she was alive.

But that was wrong. It wouldn’t have been enough. I knew that because it wouldn’t have been enough for me if the positions were reversed. I would have wanted to know more. I would have wanted every single detail, and after he gave me the details, I would have used all of them to try to track her down.

Whether to hug or to scream at her, I didn’t know. But I would’ve done it, and I knew my father was the same. He’d pick at me for absolutely everything he could use to track her down. And, well, that would be bad. Especially since anything I told him would be a lie. The truth was, as much as I wanted my dad to know that I’d had a chance to talk to Mom, I didn’t want to lie to him any more than I had to.

So, as hard as it was, I spent the rest of Friday night and all of Saturday trying to pretend that everything was fine. Shiori and Asenath knew, of course. But they couldn’t really do much with my father there. We talked about everything that happened while I was ‘showing them around town’, and they helped. Even Twister hung out with me a little bit sometimes while the others were asleep and dad was safe. She didn’t really talk much about herself, but she did say that she had a child of her own out there somewhere from one of her previous lives. Apparently she still sent them money regularly.

In any case, Saturday seemed to pass excruciatingly slowly. Eventually, however, it rolled over into Sunday. It was mid-afternoon and I was reading the Sunday comics on the living room floor while Shiori and Asenath slept (my cute classmate was trying to stick as much to her sister’s schedule as possible for these few days that she had to spend with her) when I finally got the call from Seller. Telling my dad that I had to run out and visit with someone, I ran to meet the man about a block away.

“She’s awake?” I asked quickly while pretty much skidding to a stop next to the well-dressed man.

“They’re checking her over right now,” he replied. “One last set of tests, just in case. Koren wanted me to get you asap. Something about wanting you to be there when they’re ready for her to have visitors.”

Breathing out, I nodded. Koren had already made it clear to me that she wanted me there when her mom woke up. Which was fine with me, because I really wanted to be there to meet my half-sister.

Before we went anywhere, I produced my phone and quickly typed out a text message to Tristan, who had gone back to Crossroads once I was back home. I warned him about what was about to happen. Once he sent a response back that he was ready, I nodded to Seller. The man took me by the arm, leading me out of sight behind some trees. He produced another of those pieces of bark, holding me while activating it to send us back to Eden’s Garden.

The nausea leapt back to me, twisting my stomach even more than it had the first time. Maybe part of it was my own nervousness and emotion. Either way, I almost lost my lunch, stumbling sideways a bit.

A hand stopped me from falling over, and I heard Wyatt blurt, “Felicity! Are you all right? What happened to you? Is it magic?” His voice turned dark, directed toward Seller. “If you did something–”

“I’m okay, I’m all right,” I interrupted quickly. Straightening, I forced a smile to my face. Putting my hands on my older (extremely protective) half-brother’s shoulders, I met his gaze. “See? Fine. I’m just not used to that teleportation. And I guess it affected me more right now because… well, I’m nervous.”

To say that Wyatt had been upset when he found out what Koren and I had been up to had been an understatement. He’d basically been out of his mind. Especially when he’d found out what actually happened. And he wasn’t just upset about Koren and me being in danger. When we told him what happened to Roxa, he had been just as pissed off. It was his job, he’d said, to protect all the students. He took his security position incredibly seriously, and thought that it was his job as the only Crossroads security team member at Eden’s Garden to make Pace pay for what she was partly responsible for.

Actually, it had been all we could do to convince him not to go tearing off to find her on her own tribe’s branch. He hadn’t cared about starting a war with Garden over attacking one of their own members, or how impossible it would have been to get to her. All he had cared about was that someone had hurt one of the students he was supposed to be taking care of, and had tried to hurt me. If we had let him, he would have stormed in there and dragged Pace out to face justice, every other consequence be damned.

Finally, however, we had convinced him that the time would come to get the crazy girl. Attacking her when she had the backing of the rest of her tribe or her werewolf pack was a phenomenally bad idea. Not to mention the fact that starting a war with Eden’s Garden would put more of the Crossroads students at risk. It was that last point that had finally calmed Wyatt down enough to think clearly.

Despite that, however, he was obviously still even more protective than usual. I’d had to point out that Dad wouldn’t let him stay with us, and that I had plenty of protection at home already. Besides, I’d added pointedly, he had to stay here at Eden’s Garden to protect Abigail and Koren. That had finally been enough to convince him to let me go home without his supervision. And now, here we were.

“Have you seen Abigail since she woke up?” I asked, changing the subject away from my thankfully rapidly fading nausea. “Have they let anyone in yet? Where’s Koren?” I was already looking around.

A different, yet familiar voice spoke up. “The healers are just finishing up their examination, Flick.”

Looking that way, I smiled in spite of myself at the sight of the large, red-armored man standing near the edge of the freeway-sized branch that Seller had brought us to. “Croc! What’re you doing here?”

The Unset man gave me a brief, small smile, touching his fist to his chest in a brief gesture that looked like a salute. “Visitors to our Garden require escort, Flick. Even ones who are here for a second time.”

That was about as far as we got before another voice yelped, and I saw Tristan come stumbling out of nowhere. Our connection had, sure enough, dragged him along for the ride. Actually, I still had to wonder about the difference between Crossroads and the rest of the world. I thought it was another world as well, because of how it was on the same time-scale as North America despite being in the middle of the ocean. Yet Tristan hadn’t been yanked away from Crossroads when I went home for Thanksgiving. Which meant… I had no idea. It was another thing I was going to have to ask Gaia.

“You okay?” I asked the boy once he had stumbled to a stop near the edge of the branch.

He gave me a quick smile, saluting with two fingers. “At least I had a chance to warn Vanessa this time. Though I had to talk her out of holding onto me when it happened. She really wants to see this place, but ahh, after Roxa fell off…” His face darkened just a little bit. “Not taking that chance with Nessa.”

“Boy,” Croc grunted. “I see you chose to arrive with clothes this time.” His tone was hard, but I could tell he didn’t mean it. The man clearly enjoyed giving Tristan a hard time about his original arrival.

“Yeah, well,” Tristan replied while giving the man a charming grin, “I didn’t wanna show off too much and end up luring a bunch of your students back to Crossroads. I don’t think we have room for them.”

Together, Croc and Seller guided Wyatt, Tristan, and me along the enormous tree branch. We passed several buildings built into and alongside the branch, before eventually reaching the main trunk of the tree itself. It was like walking up to the Empire State Building, if it had been made out of wood. The thing was beyond incredible. At some point, I wanted to come back here and look around while I wasn’t worried out of my mind about Abigail and everything else that was piling up. I wanted to enjoy it.

At the moment, however, Koren and her mother were all I could think about. Croc led us into an opening in the giant tree, and I saw a grand entrance hall. The place was enormous, just like everything else about this place. It wasn’t just a hole in a tree, the place looked like some kind of grand ball room or something. There were three different levels of balconies all overlooking the central area. There were stairways and ladders connecting all of the balconies to each other and to other holes that I could see led to other branches. Clearly, the balconies belonged to the tribes, and the holes were their own entrances.

Beyond that, in the center of the large room I saw more Unset. Each of them had their weapons ready and were warily watching over everything and everyone who entered. This place wasn’t like Crosroads. Miranda had already explained that a lot of the tribes loathed each other and would take any chance they had to start a fight. They were allied against the outside world, but inside there were rivalries.

I also saw wooden elevators and stairways that seemed to lead everywhere, all of them guarded either by Unset or by random tribe members. A lot of them were staring intently at Wyatt and me. I had the distinct impression that they weren’t exactly happy about our presence, but they said nothing. Probably because of Croc’s presence, because the large man met each person’s gaze until they turned away.

Then he led us to one of the wooden elevators, flicking a finger that made the other Unset guard standing near it step out of the way. We climbed on, and Croc pulled a lever that made the platform start to sink down into the floor, slowly taking us further down into the base of the giant tree.

We descended for several minutes before the elevator stopped. There was a metal door in front of us that Croc put his hand against. After a couple seconds, the door slid out of the way, revealing a corridor cut into the middle of the tree with more metal doors along both sides. Straight ahead, there was a semi-circular desk with a man in some kind of white medical uniform seated behind it. The guy didn’t seem to be much older than I was, maybe a couple years or so. He had semi-long black hair that hung close to his eyes, almost covering them like a sheepdog. The ends of his dark hair were tinted white.

As we walked off the platform, the man glanced up and immediately straightened. “Ah, you must be the Crossroads visitors.” His voice was firm and business-like, but I thought I heard just a bit of curiosity behind it, like he really wanted to know more about us but didn’t want to push his luck.

Croc stepped forward, saying something in a low voice to the man, who nodded and stepped out from behind the desk. “Right this way, I’ll take you to where they’re keeping Miss Fellows and her daughter.”

As we walked that way, the man introduced himself as Thieter, basically pronounced like Peter only with a Th sound. He explained that he was a junior level medical assistant, which basically left him to man the desk and mop up puke and other nastiness whenever he had to. He was also part of the Dust-Striders tribe, a group that Miranda had mentioned awhile back had originated in Egypt. Hence the name.

It turned out that Abigail’s room was at the far end of the medical wing, as far from the entrance as possible. I wondered if they did that on purpose, to make it harder for anyone to notice her presence, or to find her if someone decided they wanted to see the woman (for ill purposes or just out of curiosity).

Either way, as we approached the end of the hall I saw Koren pacing back and forth. She pivoted quickly at the sound of our footsteps, and came to us. “I can hear her in there,” she blurted. “They’ve gotta let me in! Why aren’t they letting me in? Is something wrong with her? What’s going on?”

Tristan stepped out of the way, while Thieter moved to open the door. I heard a voice inside say something to him, and he turned back to us. “Uh, you can go in now. Just family members.”

Together, Koren and I moved that way. Wyatt stalled, looking a little nervous until I took his hand. “It’ll be okay,” I promised him. “We’ll explain everything to her. It might take awhile, but… she’ll get it.”

Then we were in the room. A couple of the other medical personnel gave us brief looks before they left, and my eyes finally settled on the woman who sat in the nearby bed.

Abigail looked even paler than she had before, though her face was flushed with obvious confusion. As soon as she saw her daughter, however, she tried to sit up. “Koren!” Her arms opened, and the girl beside me fairly leapt that way to embrace her mother. “What’s happening? Where are we? These people aren’t explaining anything. They’ve barely said a word to me since I woke up. Is this a hospital?”

“Mom…” Koren hesitated a bit after giving her mother a long, firm hug. “I—how much do you remember?” She asked the question a little awkwardly, glancing back toward the two of us.

“I…” Abigail trailed off, frowning noticeably. “I remember your father… wait… no. No, that man wasn’t–” She sat up abruptly, eyes widening considerably. “That man wasn’t your father! He was… he was…” Her frown deepened and I saw the rush of emotion. “Why can’t I… remember what your father… what… what…” With each word, her voice grew louder, and she was trying to get out of the bed.

“Mom, it’s okay! I—we know, we know, Mom.” Koren winced, holding her hands up to calm her mother down. “It’s… oh god. It’s a long story.” Her voice cut off a little, sounding a bit strangled from emotion. How was she supposed to tell her mother that her husband had been erased from her memory?

Trying to help her, I stepped forward. “Miss… Umm… Abigail?” I started a little awkwardly. God, this was my sister. I had a sister. It was all I could do not to hug her, which probably would have confused the woman even more than she already was. Beside me, I could feel Wyatt tensing up as well, obviously stopping himself from lunging that way.

The woman’s eyes found me and she frowned a little. “Do I know you?”

Swallowing, I put a hand on Koren’s back. “I don’t think so. Not yet. My… my name is Felicity. Felicity Chambers.”

“Felicity,” the woman echoed, her eyes widening even more. “I know that name. I… no, that was a dream.”

“It wasn’t a dream, Mom.” Koren’s voice was quiet. “It was a vision.”

“A vision?” Abigail shook her head. “I don’t—did someone slip something into my food? Did I overdose on something? Is this–”

“Mom, listen,” Koren interrupted. “Please, just… just listen for a minute. I know you’re gonna want to interrupt. I know you’re not gonna believe this at first. I know you’ll think it’s crazy and impossible. So let’s start with the impossible and… and move on from there.” She looked to me then. “Flick, could you…?”

I nodded and stepped a little closer. “Abigail, I—umm, just watch, okay? It’s okay, no one here is gonna hurt you, I promise. We just have to show you some stuff.. and tell you about… the world.”

Abigail opened her mouth to say something then, but I preempted her by focusing on my face-shifting power. At a thought, my features morphed until I looked identical (from the neck up anyway) to Koren.

Well, that got a reaction. Abigail practically jerked off the bed, her eyes wide as she blurted a curse. “How did you—what—wait–wait, you–!”

“Mom, Mom, it’s okay!” Koren stepped closer, catching her mother around the shoulders to hug her tightly. “I know, Mom. I know it’s a lot. I’m sorry. We just had to—I didn’t want to tell you the whole story until you knew that the impossible things really are possible. We needed you to understand that we’re not crazy. You’re not crazy. Look.” She pointed to me, while I changed my face back to myself, then to Abigail’s own face, then back once more.

“What we’re going to tell you is going to sound insane,” I told the woman before gesturing to get her attention down to the clip on my belt. While she was watching, I tugged my staff up and out of the tiny container, showed it to her, then pushed it down again. “But it’s the truth.”

“The truth? How were you… how were doing that thing with your face?” Abigail demanded, clutching her daughter tighter to her. “Who are you? What was that… that dream about… about…” She trailed off, her expression pensive. “And who…?”

Her gaze moved toward Wyatt then, before she froze. “You… I know you. I… I’ve had dreams about you.”

The poor guy seemed to freeze up briefly before shifting a little awkwardly. “I—Uhh, my name is–” He gulped, sending his pronounced Adam’s apple bouncing. “My name is Wyatt. Um, I’m… I’m…”

“We should start from the beginning,” I announced, helping him as much as I could.

“Right,” Koren sat down on the edge of the bed, still holding onto her mother. “Mom, please, just listen okay? Like I said, this is going to… it’s gonna sound insane. But it’s true. It’s all true.”

Then, between the three of us, we started to tell Abigail the truth. All of it.

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29 comments

  1. Thanks for reading, guys! There’s another chapter down, finishing off this particular arc.

    Anyone who’s worried about not getting to see Abigail’s full reaction, don’t you worry. That’ll be coming up in one of this arc’s two interludes! Yes, we’re having two again. I want to cover Abigail’s reaction in her own chapter, as well as having a chance to go over her vision.

    That, however, will be the second interlude. First, we’ll have another one chosen by our lovely donators, who can expect an e-mail within the next day or so in order to vote on that.

    And speaking of voting, you guys are STILL keeping us up at number eight on Top Web Fiction! That’s awesome, seriously. We’re hanging in there, thanks to all of you maintaining your votes. So thanks! And if you’d like to keep renewing those votes, you can do so by clicking here!

    Beyond voting and all that, however, we have something else to mention. It’s time to start a little contest! Yup, an actual contest. Fun, huh?

    Here’s the deal. We’re starting to get toward the reveal of who actually killed poor Professor Pericles. It could happen at any point as we go on throughout the rest of the school year. I’m not going to warn ahead of time before the actual reveal comes, and you might not expect it when it does happen.

    Anyway, anyone who would like to try to guess who was responsible before the reveal may do so either in public or private. Everyone/anyone who gets it right will be added to a special group of people to vote on a 3,000 word special bonus chapter absolutely free. If only one person gets it right, that one person gets to choose the subject of the bonus chapter. If it’s more than one, they all get to vote on it. This is separate from the regular interlude. Think of it as commissioning a mini-interlude, which at 3000 words would be a sixty dollar value. There may be multiple winners, which as I said, just means that those people will vote among themselves. They can all suggest who they want to see, and I’ll send the list of everyone’s suggestions back to them to see if any change their minds toward what someone else has suggested.

    You may change your guess at any point as you get more clues up to right when I post the chapter that reveals the answer, but you may only have one active guess at a time.

    Finally, today’s tags are: Abigail Fellows, After Two Days With The Guy – Croc Is Trying To Work Out The Logistics Of Recruiting Wyatt For The Unset., Croc, Felicity Chambers, Flick, Koren Fellows, Seller, Thieter, Tristan Moon, You Know A Story Is Crazy When ‘You’re Currently In A Tree The Size Of The Empire State Building’ Is Probably The Least Crazy Part.

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  2. “So, as hard as it was, I spent the rest of Friday night and all of Saturday trying to pretend that everything was fine.”
    Me: That is a likely unique form of unpleasantness.

    “When we told him what happened to Roxa, he had been just as pissed off. It was his job, he’d said, to protect all the students. He took his security position incredibly seriously, ”
    Me: Indeed. The fact that they was very little he could have done to prevent this turn of events likely means nothing to him, true as it may be.

    ” Though I had to talk her out of holding onto me when it happened. She really wants to see this place, but ahh, after Roxa fell off…” His face darkened just a little bit. “Not taking that chance with Nessa.””
    Me: I’d have to agree with Tristan’s precaution. I do wonder if there is a way to modify that spell though…

    “Abigail opened her mouth to say something then, but I preempted her by focusing on my face-shifting power. At a thought, my features morphed until I looked identical (from the neck up anyway) to Koren.

    Well, that got a reaction. Abigail practically jerked off the bed, her eyes wide as she blurted a curse. “How did you—what—wait–wait, you–!””
    Me: This may have been not the best choice on Flick’s part…

    “Then, between the three of us, we started to tell Abigail the truth. All of it.”
    Me: Hm. I can see the need to a cliffhanger/timeskip, because this conversation would likely take several interruption filled hours in-setting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me: That is a likely unique form of unpleasantness.

      Yeah, definitely not fun.

      Me: I’d have to agree with Tristan’s precaution. I do wonder if there is a way to modify that spell though…

      They should probably get on Gaia about that.

      Me: Hm. I can see the need to a cliffhanger/timeskip, because this conversation would likely take several interruption filled hours in-setting.

      Yeah, I didn’t want to rush it. Thus: we’ll see it in Abigail’s interlude.

      Like

  3. Anyone who’s worried about not getting to see Abigail’s full reaction, don’t you worry. That’ll be coming up in one of this arc’s two interludes! Yes, we’re having two again. I want to cover Abigail’s reaction in her own chapter, as well as having a chance to go over her vision.

    And now I play the waiting game, because I really want to see Abigail’s vision and reaction. Badly. Waiting for the update next Monday is going to be absolute torture.

    Her gaze moved toward Wyatt then, before she froze. “You… I know you. I… I’ve had dreams about you.”

    This surprised me more than it should have. It makes perfect sense. And speaking of Wyatt…

    After Two Days With The Guy – Croc Is Trying To Work Out The Logistics Of Recruiting Wyatt For The Unset.

    This is great, and canon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And now I play the waiting game, because I really want to see Abigail’s vision and reaction. Badly. Waiting for the update next Monday is going to be absolute torture.

      lol, sorry. We’ll get there though!

      This is great, and canon!

      He knows competence when he sees it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. From 13-07: “‘He should’ve been,’ the voice snapped. ‘Especially considering everything I did to make sure of it. But the Headmistress’s little bitch still has whatever protection thing he put on her. Which means I can’t do anything to her without blowing my cover and ending up with half of Sinclaire’s lapdogs falling on top of me. Whatever he enchanted, it’s invisible and intangible. Even she probably doesn’t know it’s on her. But it’s there, and until it’s gone, I can’t fucking touch her. Which means there’s two fucking choices. Either strip her down and do a full on search–'”
    So do we have to guess who the voice is?
    If so, I guess I choose… Zeke?
    IDK, kind of random guess…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m going to say it’s either Marina Dupont or Andrew Bruhn, because the phone message implies that whoever it is has been taught by Tangle, and recently. We don’t know the names of any 3rd, 4th, or just graduated students, so it can’t be any of them. That means that it must be a 2nd year student.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m not sure it’s a student at all. After all, Petrocles was a full heretic, one of the stronger ones. I have a hard time believing anyone but another Heretic could take him down.

    I’m going to vote Tribald Kine, because we keep getting prompted for interludes by him and I’m paranoid like that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t underestimate the value of a surprise attack even against a experienced Heretic. It was presumable someone Prof Pericles knew, either another staff member or a student. That could allow them to get close to him to ‘ask him something’, a strong sucker punch followed by a merciless barrage of followups until he dead, he may not have ever had a chance to react.

      Like

  7. My money’s on Gabriel Ruthers being the one to kill Pericles. I have no evidence, justification, or motive for why he would possibly kill a loyal comrade, but I just really, really hope it was him. Fingers crossed!

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  8. The thought occurs, that since the Tree is at least a kilometre high, that FAR dwarfs the ‘Empire State Building’ comparison in the tags.

    In relation to the Periclesicide perpetrator, have we met, heard mentioned or had their identity introduced distinctly in canon so far? Otherwise it’s akin to finding a shapeshifting, teleporting needle in a multidimensional stack of randomly empowered needles, with only a vague description of possible traits to go on.

    Wow, that sentence was supposed to make much more sense. Sleep is needed. Thanks for the story!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In relation to the Periclesicide perpetrator, have we met, heard mentioned or had their identity introduced distinctly in canon so far?

      The person who killed Pericles has been introduced, yes.

      Like

  9. my cute classmate

    You’ve got it bad Flick. At least you are somewhat aware of the fact you have it. Now you just need to act on it.
    Clearly the only sane solution here is a four way relationship with Tristan Flick Shiori Avalon Flick. Maybe Tristan Shiori as well but we don’t know if she’s into males or not.
    We need more Tristan Sean in our lives as well. I’d just love to see Flick’s reaction if both of them were shirtless together, maybe all wet from coming out of the ocean… . *Bites right index finger* I’ve gone and given myself naughty thoughts. For shame, for shame.

    I am inordinately proud of myself for mentally pronouncing “Thieter” correctly before we got a clarification.

    Then, between the three of us, we started to tell Abigail the truth. All of it.

    Or as least as much as they can. There is still that pesky spell that prevents people from remembering all that much about Joselyn (who isn’t on the cast page, which is a bit of an oversight). Though thankfully it doesn’t look like the spell on the twins prevents them from remembering that they are, in fact, twins (or Wyatt would have forgotten, since he was told while on Crossroad’s island and not another world). I guess maybe the spell can’t effect the actual targets of the spell itself or some other restriction we don’t know about on that one.
    That is going to be a very a long talk.

    After Two Days With The Guy – Croc Is Trying To Work Out The Logistics Of Recruiting Wyatt For The Unset

    You’d have have to get Flick and Koren from Crossroads and have then join Eden’s Garden. To do that you’d have to get Shiori to join as well and also get Avalon back. To get Avalon back you’d have to deal with the people that want her dead, but dealing with them would get you the “Secret Keeper” necklace which would go a good way towards getting Flick to join. And that’s only just the surface, I’m sure there’s a lot of other steps that’d need to be taken, if only on an administrative side of things.
    Wyatt may be very damn good at what he does but I don’t think he’s worth that much trouble

    Looking forward to the Abigail interlude!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, right, WordPress uses HTML code, it probably thought I was trying to do tags and failed at doing tags.
      I had (less than) (dash) (greater than) signs to denote the relationships between characters. -_-

      Tristan and Flick
      Flick and Shiori
      Shiori and Avalon
      Avalon and Flick.

      Then I also had (LT)(dash)(GT) between Tristan and Sean.

      Like

    2. Or as least as much as they can. There is still that pesky spell that prevents people from remembering all that much about Joselyn (who isn’t on the cast page, which is a bit of an oversight). Though thankfully it doesn’t look like the spell on the twins prevents them from remembering that they are, in fact, twins (or Wyatt would have forgotten, since he was told while on Crossroad’s island and not another world). I guess maybe the spell can’t effect the actual targets of the spell itself or some other restriction we don’t know about on that one.

      Abigail will be able to retain information about Joselyn. From 12-02:

      It was Avalon who answered. “Gaia explained it to me earlier. There are two spells. First, there’s the one that erased the memory of Joselyn from everyone that was involved, and stops the ones who were shielded by the spell from talking about her. Anyone who finds out the truth from some other source, or just figures it out based on other evidence, can share what they know. It’s like… a person censored by the spell would be someone who had personal knowledge and was trying to share an actual memory. The spell won’t let them. But someone like Chambers who just happened to figure it out isn’t sharing an actual memory of the specific censored person. She’s just telling a story, so it gets past the spell.”

      “Let me guess,” I put in. “The other spell is the one that stops us from sharing what we found on those papers in the security room. Specifically, the bit about Mom having other children. Which, I guess means Koren is immune to it for… some reason? Wait, is it because we’re related or something?”

      “Because she’s related to the subject of the spell,” Avalon confirmed. “That’s why she can retain the information without going to some other world to share it like you did with Porter over here.”

      As one of Joselyn’s children, Abigail can learn things about her mother that someone unrelated like Miranda can’t.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So is the spell on the book or the information from the book? If it’s the former, then Flick, et al, who learned it from the book can’t talk about it. But people like Tristan (who learned about it in a world where the spell isn’t in affect) and perhaps even Koren and Abigail (who are immune through being blood relatives) should be able to tell people what they have been told since they didn’t learn it from the book directly.

        But if it’s on the information . . . okay, yes, they got around it by reading the book, that’s in a location shielded from the spell itself. But shouldn’t they then forget it once they leave that shielded location? I’m still a little confused as to how that second spell works.

        Incidentally, I came here from a recommendation from The Gods are Bastards (which everyone should read; it’s excellent) and then binge-read for a while, finally catching up a few days ago or so.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Welcome to the comments! We’re glad to have you.

        I have been very slowly working my way through the Gods are Bastards, but I kind of stalled a few chapters into the fourth arc. I’m sure I’ll get back to it sooner or later.

        Like

      3. “So is the spell on the book or the information from the book? If it’s the former, then Flick, et al, who learned it from the book can’t talk about it. But people like Tristan (who learned about it in a world where the spell isn’t in affect) and perhaps even Koren and Abigail (who are immune through being blood relatives) should be able to tell people what they have been told since they didn’t learn it from the book directly.

        But if it’s on the information . . . okay, yes, they got around it by reading the book, that’s in a location shielded from the spell itself. But shouldn’t they then forget it once they leave that shielded location? I’m still a little confused as to how that second spell works.”

        The spell is on the information. Specifically, the information that Joselyn was ever a heretic and that there was ever a sort of-civil war among the heretics. The spell prevents anyone who doesn’t already know from learning and deleted the information from people not specifically excluded when it was cast. However, now that it’s up, it only deletes the information as it is being imparted on Earth, rather than deleting it from people’s memories.

        Like

      4. As Hendy said, great to have you! And yeah, from the little bit I’ve seen, TGAB seems like a great read too.

        Anyway, as far as this goes…

        So is the spell on the book or the information from the book? If it’s the former, then Flick, et al, who learned it from the book can’t talk about it. But people like Tristan (who learned about it in a world where the spell isn’t in affect) and perhaps even Koren and Abigail (who are immune through being blood relatives) should be able to tell people what they have been told since they didn’t learn it from the book directly.

        But if it’s on the information . . . okay, yes, they got around it by reading the book, that’s in a location shielded from the spell itself. But shouldn’t they then forget it once they leave that shielded location? I’m still a little confused as to how that second spell works.

        The spell affects the information itself and blocks people from remembering said information about Joselyn having those twin children UNLESS they’re close blood relatives (within a few generations) or being given the information out of range of the spell (on a world that wasn’t included in the spell).

        Since the spell is on the information, even people who learn it away from the spell’s influence like Tristan can’t actually share it because the spell will stop anyone who doesn’t already know from retaining the information.

        The short/easy version is that the spell checks short term memory, not long term memory. They don’t want to risk the spell erasing important information from the people that SHOULD have it. Therefore, it only erases the designated info from someone’s short term memory if it hasn’t been there long enough to become an established part of their long term memory.

        Think of it in computer terms. The spell is constantly watching out for certain keywords. When those keywords come up, it rushes over and scans the person’s mind. If the information has been there long enough to be an established part of their long term memory, it leaves them alone. But if it’s only in their short term memory, as in they’ve just learned it, the spell immediately erases that information before it has a chance to settle.

        ,

        Liked by 1 person

    3. “There is still that pesky spell that prevents people from remembering all that much about Joselyn (who isn’t on the cast page, which is a bit of an oversight).”

      The woman under the spell that erases her from people’s memory as you learn about her is not listed on the page that would let you learn about her? Seems rather fitting that she not be listed on the cast page.

      In fact, I think… wait, who were we talking about again?

      😉

      Liked by 3 people

  10. There were stairways and ladders connection all of the balconies and to other holes that I could see led…
    Change connection to connecting
    Erase the word “to”

    And there was another, but I’m on mobile.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fixed, that bit should have been: “There were stairways and ladders connecting all of the balconies to each other and to other holes that I could see led to other branches.”

      Thanks for pointing it out! 🙂

      Like

  11. Could really feel how Flick was torn here over telling her father about her talk with Joselyn because it’s something he would want to, and even ought to know about, but yet at the same time, couldn’t, not only because of the security issues, but also because he’d likely go off half-cocked trying to find Joselyn & get flattened by Fossor. Just hope that events will allow Flick to tell her father at an appropriate moment of her choosing, and not have her hand forced by events at some inopportune and/or awkward moment.

    See that Wyatt is aggressively caring & protective towards the Crossroads students, to the point where he’d have been willing to cause an incident that could have started a war, in order to get Roxa that choker she needs, as well as his freakout over Flick & Koren running off into the forest like that. Combine that with meeting Abigail, & learning about the werewolf pack that’s infiltrated the Garden, is mixed up in whatever conspiracy assassinated Pericles, and is part of the group gunning for Avalon, and his stress level’s getting ramped up a few notches.

    Croc continues to be one cool dude.

    And then, there’s Abigail’s stunned reaction at all the unbelievable things that happened to her, with a vision that apparently included Flick, realizing that her husband has become an unperson, and Flick’s power demonstration. Oh, and things are going to get better, when the whole thing about Heretics & Alters gets explained, as well as Flick being her half-sister & Wyatt her long-lost brother, whatever they can tell her about Joselyn, and anything else that’s going on. That things are being left on a cliffhanger & having to wait some time for a new chapter to see how that all goes down….

    Though, since now that Abigail’s become a Heretic, she’s going to need to be trained so she can stay along, and because she’s an adult who got their upgrade in the middle of the year, the standard school curriculum might not be the best approach- so who would handle it- Crossroads or the Garden, and how would they go about doing it?

    Plus, now that it’s come up, curious as to where on Earth Crossroads might be.

    “At least I had a chance to warn Vanessa this time. Though I had to talk her out of holding onto me when it happened. She really wants to see this place, but ahh, after Roxa fell off…” His face darkened just a little bit. “Not taking that chance with Nessa.”

    Understandable that after that disaster with Roxa, he’d be reluctant to let anyone, let alone Vanessa fly Air Tristan when Flick teleports somewhere, even if it could be a really interesting destination.

    “Boy,” Croc grunted. “I see you chose to arrive with clothes this time.” His tone was hard, but I could tell he didn’t mean it. The man clearly enjoyed giving Tristan a hard time about his original arrival.

    “Yeah, well,” Tristan replied while giving the man a charming grin, “I didn’t wanna show off too much and end up luring a bunch of your students back to Crossroads. I don’t think we have room for them.”

    Well, Tristan certainly hasn’t let his popularity with the ladies go to his head, has he?

    Liked by 1 person

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