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 Post subject: A Wolfless Winter Night
PostPosted: 18 Nov 2010, 18:31 
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Precursor post:
This story is turning out waaaaaaaay longer than I anticipated, so I'm going to be breaking it into several posts. That being said, double-posting is ok'd for One-Shots in the Midgard forum.



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 Post subject: A Wolfless Winter Night
PostPosted: 18 Nov 2010, 18:31 
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Our story begins and ends on the same day, though it covers many. It starts in a cold, dark, lonely city at the edge of the multiverse. Of course, the multiverse has no literal edge. And the city isn't really lonely, so much as the universe's been dead for a long, long time. But you get the point anyway. It starts with a girl. The oldest young girl there is. Although verily, that's not true either, given you've heard my words first. So really, our story begins with me.

The Narrator.

Wolf hummed as she walked, a slight spring in her step, you might say. She wasn't exactly what anybody would call happy—she so rarely was—but she had a certain cheery pleasantness about her just now, which only served to make the task ahead all the more difficult. For you see, everybody needs reminders from time to time. You can be intending to make the most wonderful cake in the world for your mother, and have it all prepared and in the oven, but you may indeed still require that reminder lest later you're told that it smells like something is burning. And then of course, the cake is ruined.

It doesn't much matter how you became distracted, even if it's for something just as fabulous as the cake. The point is, you'd still let the cake burn. Burn, yes, to tiny little cinders.

Thank god for sounding timers.

But our story isn't about timers or cakes. I'm not entirely sure if Wolf has ever actually even baked a cake. And I've digressed again.

It was about this time, when our ancient young heroine was all on her own, headed back from her spectacular little guild's armoury of magical science to her own ramshackle home on the edge of the multiverse, that I dropped in to be her kitchen timer.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

"Ah, you there!"

Wolf jumped at the sudden voice ahead of her. It didn't sound familiar. In fact, upon looking up, she was sure the bespectacled, middle-aged looking man in the brown, calf-length overcoat and gold-topped cane was unfamiliar in his entirety. By all rights, he shouldn't have been there at all. He had been sitting on a rickety bench on the edge of the abandoned park in Midgard, which was about halfway between Icarus' Roost and the new combination Alarm Room and Armoury and Wolf's own sparse accommodations in an old apartment building. Wolf naturally tensed as he stood and made towards her. He didn't really appear threatening though, in movement or expression.

"Yes, yes, you. The lady in the long black coat. You are the only one here, I believe."

Wolf took a single hesitant step backwards as the man came beside her, a perplexed look gracing her usually stiff but comfortable features. "May I…help…you?"

The man removed his gentlemanly flat cap, exposing his salt-and-pepper hair briefly before reseating the cap on his head, "Yes, I was just wondering if perhaps you could spare a moment to listen to a story I just heard."

"A story."

"Yes."

"That you just heard?"

"Yes, just now."

"From who?"

"Everybody. Everything. Everytime. It's really a 'grand old yarn' if I do say so myself."

At this point Wolf decided to stop playing along. Jokesters in her and her team's home may not be quite as bad as some of the things Midgard had seen, but he was still here, and he still gave her the creeps. "All right; who the hell are you?"

The man put his hands on the inside of the lapels of his coat, tugging at them and raising his chin up a bit, "A friend, I promise. And don't hurt my feelings, please. I truly do have a story to take you on that is of massive importance." Wolf was unimpressed, and her stance tightened a bit more. She never was that trusting, given her experiences, the poor girl, and I doubt the phrase "take you on" helped to alleviate her distrust. A poor choice of words, in retrospect.

"A story, that you're going to 'take me on'? That doesn't make much sense."

The man's face showed a mild though not angry annoyance, and he waved his hand dismissively. "Oh, no, it makes perfect sense! It's a story of what is, was, could have been or still could be. It's exciting! Verily! You'll just have to see it. Let's go along, now…"

"Um, no. And you still haven't told me who you are."

The man sighed. "We are going, I assure you. As for me, you may simply call me—"

"The Ghost of Weavers Past?"

"No, call me—"

"Oh, the Ghost of Weavers Present."

"No. I'm—"

"Sorry. I just got back from a trip with Icarus. He rubs off on you that way."

The man gave an exasperated look, and waited for a few seconds to make sure she was done. "You may call me The Narrator."

Wolf eyed the man skeptically. "The Narrator?"

The Narrator—that would be me if you're just now tuning in—placed a hand on Wolf's shoulder. "Yes. And now we're late. For a very important date."

And the duo was suddenly gone, leaving only a butt-shaped dust void on a nearby bench as proof they had been there. Luckily those pants were of no consequence.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

It was white.

Very, very white.

Although, Wolf thought it may just be her eyes or her mind playing tricks on her, it didn't seem to be a perfect endless whiteness in every direction. There was just the slightest something about it. Almost like a graininess, some sort of imagined texture. She would have reached out and touched it, had she not been simply floating. She noticed The Narrator beside her, likewise, though he seemed to be standing rather than floating; some magical floor that only he could see beneath his feet and dropping away before it reached her. And further she noticed her mind somehow remaining very calm and composed in spite of the fact that she'd been, for all intents and purposes, kidnapped by this peculiar man and taken to this seemingly totally empty, mind-numbing white void.

It was probably just that big emptiness making her panic seem insignificant. If I were a psychologist that was aware of all of Wolf's formative experiences, I'd probably say some nonsense like that. And I am. In a matter of speaking. Ok, that's misleading. Anyway…

"You have absolutely no idea where you are."

"Yeah. Thanks for that reminder."

The Narrator smiled disarmingly. It didn't work in the slightest, but he pretended not to notice. "Let's make it a bit more familiar then, shall we? Do you like the woods? Or maybe you're a city girl and like the skyline?"

"I need something under me. I think I'm going to throw up."

"Natural." Wolf didn't respond, only taking a deep breath. The Narrator clapped his hands together, the cane between them, and then rubbed his hands together. "Righto then, let's make this a literal take. Something huge, something vast and mysterious, but so, so familiar." From beneath The Narrator's—that means, my—feet came what looked like lines, sketched on a pad of paper. They seemed to drag themselves outward slowly at first, as if being sketched by some sort of lazy art student on his lunch hour on a napkin. A really large napkin, mind you, but that's beside the point. And then suddenly, the lines exploded in every direction, drawing themselves onto the vast nothingness too quickly to follow with the unaided eye. And they diversified, forming shapes and colours and textures, progressing from a rough sketchy form not dissimilar from the sparse, hard lines of Asian wood block prints to full realism.

So quick and fascinating is the process, even for me, that when the Great White Nothing finally and completely submits to a scene like the sandy shoreline and pounding waves of a beautiful twilight-lit beach that had been produced, one always finds that they had been holding their breath, and exhales at its culmination. Some things never fail. That's their own special beauty.

As for Wolf, a rocky outcropping drew itself under her feet, and she had the soundness of mind to straighten her legs under her before the ground brought the rest of her to it. Her surroundings were now almost completely devoid of white, save the centre of the sun on the horizon, the pricks of emerging stars in the midnight blue sky in the opposite direction, and the foam on the crashing waves. Instead, along with those things, there was a sandy beach, interrupted sporadically by large arches or small outcroppings of smooth, wet, weathered stone erupting from the sand. Eventually these became more frequent until the stone met a cliff that arched over into the ocean, with water-filled caverns inside its base.

I know because I was there.

Wolf stood motionless looking at the scene, a breeze tugging at loose strands of hair about her forehead. It wasn't until The Narrator, standing beside her, also looking out to the permanently setting sun, spoke that she moved.

"It'll never be night here, you know."

Wolf suddenly clenched her hands into fists and haltingly took a breath, "Explanation. I want one, now."

The Narrator wasted no time, speaking as he started to lazily stroll closer to the water and in the direction of the cliff. "Yes, I would too. You ever wonder if everything you do has any impact at all?"

Wolf nodded a bit, and then nodded more and stronger. "Yes. All the time. And if this is all to give me a pep talk, then you could have just told me at Midgard. So now we chit-chat while you lead the way, tell me how I'm this, " she motioned to the not-so-far cliff, "fortress of strength, weathering all this crap that comes my way. I get that. I'd rather know what your agenda is."

The Narrator simply looked at Wolf with a wry smile. It was true—she had been spending too much time with Icarus. I hoped at that point I hadn't actually taken that impetuous little troll by accident. I knew I hadn't—I know a lot of things—but still, the thought crossed my mind. She couldn't have been hanging out with Ute Kernspecht instead? "You're not the rock. You're the water." He motioned for her to follow again and continued on, "Come on, I have things to show you." Wolf followed, annoyed, just a little ways until the pair reached one of the outcroppings of rock, which was connected to a natural smooth, brown, stone arch, which hung over it. The arch crossed diagonally over a pool of captured seawater which had formed in the jutting rock outcropping, undoubtedly at a time of high tide. Was high tide in the evenings or mornings on Earth? I forget. Forgot.

The Narrator pointed to the pool, which could have only reached Wolf's knees at its deepest. "Look hard, and tell me what you observe."



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 Post subject: A Wolfless Winter Night
PostPosted: 19 Nov 2010, 00:47 
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Wolf looked into the pool, and saw sudden quick lines sketching crabs and urchins and snails and the like into being. She paused thoughtfully, seriously studying the pool before answering. I reckon at this point she had decided to "play my game," and if she wanted out she'd have to do so convincingly. It wasn't the point, really, at all, but if it works, then I say it's for the best. After a little bit, she shook her head, "I see a pool of water. It's its own little ecosystem almost, everything working together, even when they don't agree, to survive. Each creature is different, some are tenacious and stubborn and tough, others are beautiful and fragile."

The Narrator smiled and nodded approvingly, taking a step closer to the edge of the water, where a hermit crab was crawling out. He nudged the crustacean gently with the tip of his fine looking dress shoe, which somehow had no sand on it. "A very nice observation. And if I may add, with this sort of pool, no creature," he gave his ankle a flick, sending the hermit crab tumbling backwards and back into the pool, "knows exactly whether or not if it will be there the next day. The next turn of the tide. And tomorrow—if there indeed were ever going to be a tomorrow here—there would be some new little creatures dragged in by a relentless surf and completely unaware that they could have ever found someplace other than the vast ocean they knew." He suddenly turned from looking down into the pool to look at Wolf, and extended his hand. "Would you?" Wolf looked at him suspiciously, and did not take his hand. "Come now, take the hand, girl." He reached out took her hand regardless, Wolf not resisting.

He pulled her forward slowly, and then pushed her back violently, allowing himself to be pulled into the pool with her.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Wolf stumbled backwards, her eyes tightly shut in expectation of a splash and rock hitting her side, but instead found neither. Her feet, suddenly clad in something resembling wingtip brogues, clacked against a very old looking hardwood floor. Looking around sharply and anxiously, she found her surroundings now appeared to be an old university classroom around noontime, like something out of a film set in nineteen-fifties America. Actually, it looked a great deal like where Professor Henry "Indiana" Jones Jr. taught when he wasn't doing something cinema-worthy.

This room, however, was no classroom by the looks of it. It was a long-ish room, and the far end of it was crammed with people. Most of the people looked like reporters, again with a very nineteen-fifties look to them, with large cameras and wingtip shoes and pinstripe suits and some greased back hair. Wolf gasped as she suddenly realised she too was dressed in a grey pinstripe suit to match the magically appearing wingtip brogues. The Narrator suddenly walked up beside her from somewhere behind, his costume unchanged, twirling his cane and whistling.

"What the hell was that?!"

The Narrator raised his eyebrows, "Hm? Oh, that. It was necessary. But don't take it too hard, you should pay attention. I don't know how many more questions he'll answer before we're all asked to take our leave. "

Wolf bit her tongue to hold back a river of more questions and possibly some accusations, and managed to forcefully turn her attention to the small crowd of photographers and journalists crowded about the room. They were a bit rowdy and loud, as the stereotype goes, but nobody seemed to be making any effort to calm them, and there seemed to be several clusters, indicating more than one person of interest to the media. Seeing as this contradicted with The Narrator's singular use of "how many more questions 'he' will answer," Wolf's interest was suddenly piqued. She made her way forward, until she was in the back of the small but unruly bunch, with which she blended very well in her new costume.

Listening for a voice that seemed to be answering questions rather than posing them, Wolf finally picked out not only one that was, but several that were. And sounded eerily familiar. "And furthermore, I deemed it highly unlikely that any such poorly planned operation would be supported by any person or persons with the contacts, skills, and resources needed to orchestrate a full-scale terrorist attack." Wolf pushed rudely to the front of one cluster of reporters to the far left, amidst a few swear words and demands that she return to the rear and wait her turn. She reached the front as the voice continued, "Having assessed the situation to an acceptable degree, I did in fact accept the risk, and, as you put it, 'called their bluff."

It was Ignatius. He was wearing a tweed coat of a colour reminiscent of his usual olive green, and standing politely before the reporters in his typical stiff manner and hard eyed but empty gaze. Wolf continued to watch him until his gaze met hers. Wolf brightened, expecting a remark, but instead Iggy's cold gaze merely continued to the next reporter, who elbowed Wolf out of the way to ask her question.

Wolf didn't pay attention to the question nor Ignatius' reply. I have to say neither did I. I knew it would be about here that she put the pieces together. I told you my task wasn't an easy one. I'd've preferred going when she was having a bad day, rather than ruining one of her nice ones, to be honest.

But a sudden call from the door on the opposite side of the room, away from the windows by which Wolf, Ignatius and the cluster of reporters had been standing.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we apologise for the inconvenience, but a matter for which Mr. Ward's professional opinion is required has recently come to attention, and must be addressed. A further questioning will be scheduled and announced for a later date. Mr. Ward?" The announcement came from a man in a SWAT-ish looking uniform, though admittedly the uniform seemed scaled back from the full outfit one would expect, who was standing at the door, holding it open. The reporters, surprisingly, backed off respectfully, at which point Wolf realised why there seemed to be multiple persons taking their questions.

Ignatius, as well as his two replicants, nodded at the man, officer, agent, whatever he was, and suddenly pulled together into one man and left with a brisk walk, the man leaving the door open behind them as he left. The reporters, left behind, all suddenly paired off—the journalists and their photographers—and began talking loudly again and reviewing their notes. Wolf made her way slowly back to The Narrator, who had remained to the rear of the room, leaning against a wall. As she looked at me in that instance, I recall her eyes were hard and glassy, almost hateful. Mine were tired, the creases in my face seeming more showing of age.

"You're a sick person."

"I am."

"Why am I being taken through this story? Are the others here?"

The Narrator looked past Wolf to the floor, "Here? The others? I haven't the slightest inclination." He straightened up and refocused on Wolf before glancing around. "Everything you see here is naturally just a single universe, wherein each individual has one and only one destiny. The odds of a single person becoming one of your 'Weavers,' such as Ignatius Ward here, is astronomical. Two in the same universe? The odds suggest it impossible. And as I recall it, one of yours isn't even from Earth. So are they here? Perhaps they are, but no." He paused before continuing, gesturing slightly with his cane to a nearby journalist who was—to Wolf's surprise—pecking away not at a memo pad with a pencil, but a cell phone or PDA with a stylus. "You could always ask if dear Mr. Ward has any cohorts in crime."

Wolf didn't bother to respond with irritation; it was a good way to acquire the answers for herself and she knew it. She walked up to the reporter and gave him a tap on the shoulder. He looked up with a jolt, apparently having been very engrossed in whatever he had been doing. He was a very young looking man with smooth round features and brilliant green eyes. Very modern looking hair, kinda sticky-uppy, contrasting with some of the more greaser-inclined reporters in the room.

"Sorry, didn't mean to scare you."

The man smiled, "No problem. What can I do for ya? Name's Craig by the way. Craig Henshaw, with the Seattle Times."

Wolf shook the hand Craig offered. "Thanks Craig. I was just wondering, and this is going to sound crazy, but…what year is it, and where are we?"

Craig looked at Wolf, expectedly, as if she were indeed crazy. "You're right, that sounds crazy. You been livin' under a rock or somethin'?"

"Outside the rock, so to say."

Craig just nodded with a confused but amused look on his face. "It's 2116, and this would be Princeton. As in, New Jersey, United States of North America, Earth, Sol.

"Oh…" Wolf trailed off for a moment, leaving Craig with a look that said: "Is that…all?" Wolf picked the ball back up, "Mr. Ward, who does he work with?"

Craig snorted, "Nobody but the brightest. Or so we're told. He does, but of course the government keeps him on a leash to lead him around to jobs they want him working on. If you ask me, the world's lucky to have one superhero—it should probably share him."

"Superhero?"

Craig finally put his phone/PDA thing away in an interior pocket of his suit jacket and folded his arms. "Really?"

"Uh…yeah…"

"Ok, what do you know?"

"Not much of anything."

"Right. So back in 2089, construction crew in Egypt accidentally breaks into this cavern. Surprise! There's a guy inside. Says by his count he's been in there 169 years. Turns out it's 173, he was last contracted work for the British Protectorate in Egypt back in 1916. Or at least by his word he was, for some reason no records keeping group has ever heard of him. So of course no one believes him and he's just some kook who turned up in an unmapped cave. At least, until he demonstrates that he has super powers. Yeah. He's like Multiple Man; can split himself into five people who can act independently, then recombine. Science can't explain it, so suddenly everything he says is plausible, since, hell, he's proof of the impossible. Becomes a celebrity, the USNA contracts him to work in the military, big salary, lots of relative freedom, and exceedingly few needles and probes. And he's crazy 'logical,'" Craig punctuated with air quotes around the word logical, "Did I mention that? He's better than a one man crime lab. And as long as he keeps being correct, the government keeps making heavy bets and winning big."

Wolf swallowed hard. "Five people? I thought he could only go as far as three…"

Craig's forehead furrowed in confusion, "I thought you didn't know who he was. Who are you anyway?"

Wolf backed up a step, The Narrator walking a up behind her and replacing his hand on her shoulder again, "I'm just…a bit lost."

Craig smirked, but with good intentions. "Well, there's a time for things lost."

Suddenly, a man burst into the room from the far door, "The Chinese Ambassador's plane just exploded in flight from Vegas to Los Angeles!"

Craig grabbed his nearby photographer partner by the arm, "Come on, the Ward's entire platoon couldn't have left all ready, we can grab a comment!" He pulled his device from his pocket again as he spoke to Wolf, "And it looks like Ward's time just expired. His statement today was to assure that he'd all ready managed this splinter group…" Craig turned to Wolf, but she, nor the man she had been with were there anymore.



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 Post subject: A Wolfless Winter Night
PostPosted: 19 Nov 2010, 11:16 
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Fascinating story. Can't wait for the end of it. You've left me intrigued as to where it's going, which is exactly what's required in a piece of fiction. And as I remarked yesterday, I like your writing style. The introduction, especially, is quite distinctive, and it really made me want to read on.



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 Post subject: A Wolfless Winter Night
PostPosted: 19 Nov 2010, 15:29 
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dinowoman wrote:
The introduction, especially, is quite distinctive, and it really made me want to read on.
The ramble? :P



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 Post subject: A Wolfless Winter Night
PostPosted: 28 Nov 2010, 23:29 
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-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Wolf kicked up sand on the twilight beach as she angrily marched away from The Narrator. The wind was a little stronger, and her hair was starting to come loose from the band holding it back into the usual low ponytail, resulting in some of it blowing into her eyes as she turned to shout at him. She was back in her favourite black trenchcoat, which followed suit in the wind.

"So what's the game? Huh? Why? I'm supposed to get a pick me up from seeing people's lives be better without me? Great job! Really, just, awesome! I feel great!"

The Narrator wasn't looking at her as she vented, his profile instead aimed at the cliff in the near distance. Wolf, waiting for some sort of perceived sagacious response, noticed he looked a little different. When he turned to face her more directly, she noticed some of the creases had faded from his face, and the salt-and-pepper hair was now a more full black, and shaggier. It was like he had gotten ten years younger.

"Not a game, Wolf. I told you, I dropped in to be your kitchen timer." Wolf looked at him like he'd lost his mind. I almost had. "Wait, no, I didn't say that yet. Or I did, but…I'm just here because I must."

"You've not given me a single solid answer since you met me; and definitely not since you abducted me."

"True."

"…True? True? Just 'true.'" Wolf clenched her fists and banged them against her sides before closing her eyes and taking a deep breath. She held it in as the Narrator stepped down from the rock outcropping that held the small pool they hadn't actually fallen into down to her level on the sand. She didn't acknowledge him, and he waited patiently until she exhaled heavily and opened her angry, hard set eyes. "But his life wasn't entirely better, was it?" she asked.

The Narrator shook his head, and pecked at the sand with his cane. "No. I would figure that his error exposed at the end of our observation will have some very unfortunate consequences for him. Could get even worse than, say, living by scrounging in a dead universe on the edge of forever with a bunch of misfits, don't you think?"

"Oh, so I'm actually supposed to feel better because people's lives are terrible without me?"

"No. You're not meant to feel any better or worse than you did before."

"Just frustrated and exasperated, then?"

The Narrator cocked his head to his right, "Walk with me again." Wolf followed, not really seeing as there was any choice, as he led her down the beach once more, closer to the cliff with the carved out base with seawater flowing in and out. Eventually the sand gave way to much more rock, save the very edge nearest the cliff base. Climbing the sometimes slippery and wet, other times dry and gripping surface of the subtle incline, The Narrator came to a stop at a very large chunk of stone which rose up like a massive but broken wall. One of the stone arches protruded from its surface and curved elegantly to bury itself in the horizontal stone about two and a half metres away. One could easily walk under the arch to the almost staircase-like stones leading back down to the water and the last small sandy stretch before the cliff face.

The Narrator indicated the arch with a gesture of his cane. "Looks like a door almost, don't you think?"

Wolf sighed almost inaudibly, "Doors usually have doors."

"Depends on your definition of a door. Let's see where this one goes."

"I think I might know all ready."

"Hm?"

"Nowhere I want to go."

To be fair to me, I did not push her through this time.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

The bar, well no, it would be better described as a lounge, was rather dimly lit, as the places tend to be. Wolf, having wised up a bit from her first encounter, stopped to examine herself and her surroundings before taking another step. The entryway to the dim room was behind her and The Narrator, and had doors of a very stylish and expensive nature, but with a sort of old-world look to them—lots of dark wood, glass and brushed steel. The room beyond to Wolf's left was mostly a series of booths around the wall and tables and chairs on the floor in the centre. Directly ahead the swinging doors obviously led to some sort of kitchen or cold room, maybe even an office for whoever managed the place. Beside that there was the bar: brighter lights peeking from under the wood and glass cabinetry to shine on the bucket loads of bottles and tap spigots and the small section of mirrored wall behind it. The bar counter itself was a very dark wood with a ridiculously shiny varnish of some sort that made it seem much less like wood. Maybe it wasn't at all. The stools at the bar counter were white, and had squared backs with holes in the centre, and actually looked somewhat comfortable in spite of it all. To the far right of the lounge was a small step up to a tiny little stage with a grand piano and a drumset on it—currently only the piano in use by a middle-aged black man in a white button shirt and solid blue tie with black dress pants. There were tables in front of the performance area as well, similar to the other side of the lounge, but only the side opposite the bar had booths, and less, so as to make room for where Wolf and The Narrator were standing, at the entryway.

Wolf noticed that as for herself, she was now in a stunning, full-length, slinky, red dress. She didn't seem impressed at the time, which is a pity, because I thought it was pretty sexy. She noted with something akin to—no, it was definitely disdain—that The Narrator's costume had still remained unchanged. Her hair was loose and was held back by her ears. All things considered, it was probably the least favourite thing she'd ever worn in her life.

There were several, if not many people in the lounge, including a waiter, a waitress, and a bartender behind the counter. The waiter, upon spotting Wolf made his way over. He looked to be about thirty-five, maybe a little less, with soft brown hair that sat in a lazy part on his head and grey-blue eyes, and was dressed in pretty stereotypical uniform for a waiter for an establishment catering to the apparent socio-economic class.

"Oh, awesome, you're here early. You can wait in the back if you want or out here; we'll have you on at ten." With a pat on the shoulder he hurried off, Wolf following him with her eyes before looking to The Narrator, who merely shrugged.

"I can't sing, and have a gymnast's body, not a model's. This wouldn't be my life, I can promise that."

"You assumed that it was."

"I don't see anyone else here."

The Narrator started making his way to the bar. "I had this friend once, who told me something I'll never forget."

Wolf hesitantly followed him, more than a little self-conscious in the dress. "Yeah?"

"Can't see an invisible ninja." He pulled back one of the stools and sat, waving at the bartender, "The closest thing to antifreeze that you have, please." The bartender nodded once—apparently accustomed to such ludicrous requests—and looked to Wolf.

"I'm fine, thanks," she replied as she took her own seat beside The Narrator, sitting and then rotating, still uncomfortable in the get-up. She noticed a clock above the bar said it was nine fourty-eight. One thing she was sure of, she was walking out of here before it struck ten. The bartender nodded again and went for whatever questionable whatnots he'd give to The Narrator. As soon as he'd looked away, Wolf pulled in a little closer to The Narrator and spoke softly, "I don't like sitting waiting for something to happen."

"Why not? You've done it many a time."

"Yeah, but when I'm waiting for my 'weavers to do something I usually all ready know what it is."

"You're paranoid."

"You kidnapped me."

"Good point. Ah!" The bartender brought The Narrator his drink and then went farther down the bar to see to the other two sitting there. One was a shaggy haired fellow who was hunched over the counter so Wolf couldn't see his face; he was sitting three seats down and Wolf couldn't make out if he was eating or drinking something or not. The last person at the bar was a woman who had apparently just finished her drink and was rummaging through her purse. She gave something, presumably money, to the bartender and then made her way out, leaving Wolf to either ponder the hunched fellow or continue her visual scan of the room. Given nobody seemed as particularly suspicious as hunched fellow, she figured...well...I don't know what she figured, but it was the right figuring, whatever it was.

The Narrator sipped on his drink and watched from the corner of his eye as Wolf carefully got up from her stool and made her way to the hunched man, choosing the seat next to him and tapping him on the shoulder for attention. He looked up hesitantly, almost with a sort of cautious fear but still resilient, like a cornered snake. His face looked tired and unhealthy, with his dark tanned skin tight on his cheekbones and skull and what looked like a good three days or so without shaving showing on his lip, chin and cheeks. He was a very young man though, probably got carded, and so the raggedy facial hair wasn't too thick. All things considered though, he really didn't seem to fit in at all. Even his jacket, which was fairly nice originally, no doubt, looked very worn and tired. His eyes were very sharp though. Sharp and intense, taking in every detail about the woman who had attracted his attention.

"Sorry, I was just wondering what this place is. It sounds crazy, I know..."

The young man pulled away from her and resumed his hunched stance over the counter, "I do not speak English well."

At the sound of the man's voice, Wolf shifted uncomfortably. She knew what was coming in the back of her mind, it just hadn't hit her yet. "Oh. Where are you from?"

"It does not matter." He added something else in some other language. Wolf didn't really understand the exact words, but she got the strong impression he was asking her to leave him alone. Not just from the body language or anything either. She just had this instinctual feeling that was exactly what he meant. Which if she was getting that...

Wolf's eyes widened as she replaced her hand on the man's shoulder and pulled him out of his hunch, much to his annoyance. "Egypt?"

The man's eyes softened from the angry look that had formed on them when he was interrupted a second time, mostly out of curiosity, "Yes..."

Wolf stifled a gasp, "Hasbro?" He looked confused, until Wolf realised the name would be unfamiliar to him if he in fact hadn't chosen it for himself when he joined up with her and Iggy. "Er, Usi. Hasbro Usi?"

At this something dawned on Hasbro as well, and his eyes widened similarly. For a moment Wolf's heart skipped a beat, imagining that he did but simultaneously realising he couldn't recognise her. No, instead, Hasbro wrenched away from Wolf's hand and stumbled back onto the floor in front of the bar, knocking over his stool in the process. Naturally, this drew attention from the lounge patrons and staff, who all suddenly diverted their eyes to apparent episode of a drunk.

"No!" Hasbro turned to run, but Wolf leapt up and, thanks to her own special ability, beat him to the door, blocking the exit. Still in the red dress too. It was impressive if I dare say so myself. Hasbro skidded to a stop, looking panicked and confused at Wolf, before closing his eyes as if concentrating.

It was at that point Wolf realised she couldn't move. Not her limbs or head anyway—she was rendered completely immobile, and flitted her eyes around the lounge as Hasbro opened his eyes. Nobody else was moving either, all frozen and staring at Hasbro and Wolf. Except the piano man, who was breathing heavily and looking around for himself from the stage, and The Narrator, who was getting up from his seat with a sigh.

He looked over to the piano man first, "I recommend staying on the stage, chap. Very well lit there."

Well lit. Hasbro was using his powers. In a dimly lit lounge. Which, curiously enough didn't seem to hinder The Narrator in the least. Hasbro turned and saw this, and backed away from The Narrator, who had walked between Hasbro and the other exit, into the kitchen or offices or whatever.

When Hasbro spoke, it wasn't in English—undoubtedly in his native Egyptian, but thanks to them both having a crossover, Wolf was instinctively aware of the gist of his message: "How aren't you affected by this?"

The Narrator smiled politely and tapped the floor by his feet with his cane, "No shadow. Not at the moment anyway." He twirled his cane as he took another couple steps forward. "Now look what you've both gone and done. I think it'd be much better if all three of us just cool our jets and walk out of here calm and cool, don't you think? Especially since I know Usi isn't so keen on being caught, and he knows they're on their way here right this minute." He looked intently at Hasbro, "I know you understand me just fine—everyone can."

Wolf just rolled her eyes. That's bull.

Hasbro looked at The Narrator, and then turned his head to look at Wolf. The Narrator, too genre savvy to miss the fact that Hasbro had his doubts about the lady in the menacing red colour with superhuman speed who just tried and succeeded in blocking his exit, added, "Trust me, she just sincerely wants to talk to you, and then you're free to go your merry way."

I may have added some persuasive force of will to my voice in that instance, but it didn't hurt.



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 Post subject: A Wolfless Winter Night
PostPosted: 29 Nov 2010, 12:44 
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Great to see you've added another update. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it and look forward to the next episode.



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 Post subject: A Wolfless Winter Night
PostPosted: 14 Jan 2011, 19:32 
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All right guys, here's the entire thing in a document for you to read. It would be awkward posting the entire length that it came out to be here.

Tell me what you think once you've read it; I'm very interested to hear both what you thought of it as a story and what it gets you speculating to.

And I suppose that'll leave Mage to decide whether or not it's canon.

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 Post subject: A Wolfless Winter Night
PostPosted: 15 Jan 2011, 18:47 
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I loved this. I found it a fascinating story, particularly because it's all about characters whom we all know and, hopefully, love. It's a nice illustration of chaos theory, and it was also fascinating to have a glimpse of what might have been in other circumstances.

I'd love to see more of how Wolf ended up having an influence on Ute's family.



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 Post subject: A Wolfless Winter Night
PostPosted: 15 Jan 2011, 19:31 
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Or didn't, as the case may turn out to be.



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 Post subject: A Wolfless Winter Night
PostPosted: 20 Jan 2011, 21:14 
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Zeth wrote:
And I suppose that'll leave Mage to decide whether or not it's canon.
No. No, it's not canon. It's not canon at all. You spent all that time writing a full-length novella, and I'm here to tell you it's not Weaver canon. Nope.

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 Post subject: A Wolfless Winter Night
PostPosted: 20 Jan 2011, 21:40 
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BAWWWWWWWWWWWW
;_;
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