14 – Sister

Clinging precariously to the ledge, you watch the smoke from Wanahton’s pipe drift out the window.   You decide the best thing to do is to get down off the building and look for Owl.   After Akachi, you trust the Owl the most.  It was still lunch time, so maybe you can convince him to cancel the rest of classes and help you find Nanny.

Though, Sasha seems to care about Nanny.  How does she know Nanny?   You have never seen her before.   Maybe she knew her before you lived with Nanny?  But that didn’t make sense.   Sasha said she exalted three years ago.  As you consider this, you remember something Akachi said, “When you take your second breath, Arcane Fate is at its most powerful.  It completely wipes clean your existence from the Loom of Fate.”

You yelp as you lose your balance off of the ledge.  You realize who Sasha could be!   Wanahton leans back out of the window to see what made the noise.   Eye wide, he steadies you before you fall to your death.   He curses in a language you don’t recognize and then says in Earthtongue. “Get back inside, you stupid boy!  You’ll fall and kill yourself.   Just because you’re exalted doesn’t mean that you are invincible.”

You climb back into Nanny’s apartment, unsure if you are shaking from the near fatal fall or the realization that there was something missing.   That someone has been wiped clean from your memory.

Sasha rushes to see what is going on.  “Are you okay?  I was worried that whoever took Nanny took you too.”   She hugs herself, when she says this.  You look the girl over again.   Her face is not recognizable.   You have never seen her in your life.   Is this how it was like for Gina?  For Nanny?   Maybe you are wrong and this girl is nothing to you.

“Who are you?” you ask, in Spirit Speech.   “I know your name and that you are Sidereal, like I am.  But who are you to Nanny?”

“Nanny raised me.   Just like she did you.”

“But you said that you exalted only three years ago.  Does that mean….you are my sister?”  You always yearned to have an older sibling.  Someone to ask advice from.  Someone to protect you from bullies.   Someone to be your friend.

She smiles, “Well, we aren’t blood relatives.   But yes, I’m your sister.”   She slowly walks to you, not to startle you.   She takes your hand.  “I tried to visit after my exaltation, but you were just a kid.  You didn’t want anything to do with a girl you didn’t remember.   It was awkward and I was very busy with training.  So I stopped coming by.  “

You weren’t alone.  You had someone to help you find Nanny.   Someone who loves Nanny as much as you do.   Someone who understands what you are going through!   You spontaneously hug Sasha.  She gladly returns your embrace.  “I missed you so much, little brother.”  You can feel her tears dripping on your hair.

“I came here to talk to Nanny and someone took her!   Because of me.   “   You try to hold back from crying yourself.  You break away from Sasha, uncomfortable by the depth of your emotions.  You pull out the note out of your pocket and hand it to her.  Then you turn to look at one of the paintings still hanging on the wall, trying to calm down.  You are twelve years old.  Too old for crying.

Wanahton approaches, upon seeing the note.   He was hanging back to give the two of you space.   “What does it say?”

“It says that if we bring them the boy, then will return Nanny unharmed.”  Sasha switches back to Earthtongue.

“They could be talking about some other boy…” You and Sasha stare at Wanahton.  “I don’t think that is likely either, but it is something we should keep in mind.”   He paces for a moment.  “Let’s say that they are looking for Svante.  What would someone want with a twelve year old Oracle?”

“He’s young, so if say, the Lunars get a hold of him.  They could have a Sidereal help them.”

Wanahton scoffs at this.  “Unlikely.   He was raised here and has been indoctrinated against Lunars just as you have.   He would never work with them. “  He takes a puff of his pipe.  “What else?”

“He’s a chosen of Secrets.  “  She turns to you. “You haven’t been spying on anyone lately, have you?”

You pout a bit.  “Akachi has keep me hidden away in his lakehouse until yesterday.   I haven’t been able to do ANYTHING… until now.”  But you have an idea.   “Where is it? “ You start digging through your pockets.  “Here you are!”  You pull out a small emerald green pattern spider.   You put in on the kitchen counter and it slowly unfolds itself, as if just waking up.

“Is that a pattern spider?”   Wanahton says.  He comes over to take a closer look and pokes at it with his pipe.  The pattern spider curls its legs away from the Messenger’s pipe.

“Please don’t piss off the pattern spider,” Sasha says, exasperated.   “They don’t like being poked.”

You pick up the pattern spider and hold it up to your eyes.  “Spider, who wants to hurt me?”  A strand of fine silk drops from the ceiling and the spider climbs up and disappears.   A few seconds later, it returns.   “Warning:   Results will take two hours, twenty-three minutes, and forty-seven seconds to relay.  Do you wish to continue?”

“No…” You are dismayed at the number of enemies you have apparently accumulated.

“What did it say?” Wanahton asks.   He laughs after Sasha translates for him.   “We are Sidereals, kid.  Everything wants to kill us.  Everything that remembers us, that is.”  He takes a puff off of his pipe.  “Ask it something else.   Ask who took your Nanny?”

You relay Wanahton’s question.   The spider answers “No results found.“

“What?” you are starting to lose your patience.  “ You stupid spider.  What do you mean no results found!? Wait!  That wasn’t a real question!”  But the spider was already gone.

When the spider returns, it says “Results must be known to at least 100 creatures under the influence of the Loom of Fate.   Results must not be concealed or hidden by any means supernatural or otherwise. Results…”

“Okay.  Okay.  I get it!  You are useless, Spider.”  You throw the spider back down on the counter.

“Hey! Show some respect!”  Sasha thinks for a moment.  “A question 100 people know the answer to…”  She quickly picks up the note.   “Ask whose handwriting this is?”

The spider comes back.  “Trailing Sorrows”

“Who?   Ask it what department Trailing Sorrows works for? Svante?”  You don’t answer Sasha’s question because you already know the answer to it.

“She will leave you alone if the scroll leaves your domain” you, but not you, said to Owl long ago.

“She doesn’t work for any department.  Not anymore.   She was fired for insubordination.   But that was just an excuse.   The Department of Humanity just didn’t want to be responsible for her actions.”

“How do you know this Goddess, Svante?”

“I don’t know.  I remember Trailing Sorrows, but I know I never met her.  It’s all confusing.”

Wanahton curses again and Sasha sighs.   “You might have never met her, but your past incarnation must have.”

Wanahton puts down his pipe and dumps out the salt shaker on the counter.  He draws the sign of Mercury in the salt and meditates on the symbol for a while.

“I know where we need to go next.”  He says, brushing the salt off of the counter.

Where does Wanahton say you need to go next?

  • Go to Owl.  He must know something about what is going on
  • Go get the other Sidereals.   This might get bigger than the three of you and it would be nice to have backup.
  • Continue on your own.  Between the three of you, you got this!
  • Other

OOC:  Gold star for Kazorth for figuring out that Sasha is more than she seems.   😉

Also, Svante only has the Auspicious Prospects for Secrets.   Fortunately, Wanahton has Investigation favored, so he has Auspicious Prospects for Journeys.   (He is rather good at reading people).  Though I am unsure walking a few blocks away is considered a “Journey”, but since we are already playing fast and loose with the rules….