First things first. Twelve hours of sleep. Then bacon, four cinnamon rolls, a bucket of coffee and enough strawberries to kill a horse. Time travel is hungry work.
Then we took a little time to lay our cards out on the table. Varus was forthright (now there’s a sentence) about how House Mann basically wanted to keep tabs on the Kalbs, and the Temple of Aisling wanted to determine which of us is “unbound by fate” – as if that were a thing, but that’s not Varus’s fault. Also I assume that Lord Mann wanted to keep tabs on me as well, as I cannot believe in that huge of a coincidence – but file that under “whatever.” Seriously don’t know what I’d do if I ever actually got to confront any of the Manns. What would I ask for? Answers? A pony? It all seems so unsatisfying. I suppose kicking the crap out of a few of them might make me feel better, but beatdowns like that are like meat on a stick – initially satisfying but you feel unsettled and empty later.
So when we got to talking about our futures/fate/whatever, and Varus asked me what I wanted from my future, it caught me kind of flat footed. I mean, there’s things I want – answers about my “family”, a cure for Ivraham, to have some kind of path that’s meaningful and rewarding – but I don’t really know what a future with those things would be like, or how I’d get there.
Didn’t have much time to ponder that because in the course of Varus trying to see our futures (which resulted in a very strange vision he described as a shadow play of me, or multiple versions of me fighting in unison, set against a group of assailants on some great height, and then – a clap of my hands and water? What?), he accidentally summoned a decidedly cranky aspect of Aisling. On her day off. She was not pleased. Amongst other things, she told us that the one among us who was unbound by fate was…Byron’s chewed stick. Of COURSE it was. Also, she told us (in a roundabout Aisling sort of way) how to find Paolos. So off we go to tear that fucker into bite sized shreds. On our merry march to mayhem, everyone gives me no end of shit for not just apparently asking Ivraham to dinner. Because it is that easy. I’m an unstable half-elven prostitute who can’t seem to leave this city no matter how hard she tries, who has inadvertently caused her shadow-self to drain the life force out of her Xeph spiritual advisor. Who is slowly dying. Because of me. And because of this city I can’t leave. So clearly we should just go get coffee and it will all just work out.
At least Alice bought ice cream. That stuff is amazing.
We go to the bar, where I lose two copper betting against Alice’s ability to put down literal fire whiskey (that girl is tougher than she looks, and a smooth talker too), and she manages to get one of the guards to tell us where the puppet’s mansion is.
I let the Kalbs et al handle the assault planning. Boy, it feels weird to be in a Kalb-minority group these days – can’t believe I’m sort of missing Raisa. Also I need a better name for this group. I run off to fetch Lady C, sans pants. My pants, not hers. It was complicated.
Upon returning, I find that Byron’s managed to exchange notes with Herrik, so we now know that the hired security force hasn’t been checking in with their bosses for some time. Awesome, so we have a mind control situation on our hands on top of everything else. Bitches. Bitches everywhere. Bitches get stitches.
Realizing we’re going to need as much help as we can possibly get, I decide to get Ivraham. I show up at his door, and he’s already arming up. He is…not well. He is really not well. At this rate he’s going to be dead in weeks. Maybe sooner.
I have to do something. The lady said he needed to be pushed to tap into his abilities (something like that – I should check my notes. Ha, who am I kidding, I don’t keep notes.). And the bright sun. So…do I jump of a cliff at noon and make sure he sees it? I’m not good at this woogy stuff. I don’t know what to do.
I’ll think about it after we deal with Paolos. Bitches get stitches.