Nox @time_parad0x
Chapter 03 - A Necromancer's Decision

Disclaimer: I don't own Worm

Chapter 03 - A Necromancer's Decision Monday 17.08.2009

I got up and made my way to the kitchen. I took the lasagne out of the fridge put it in the oven, and started the reheating process. I pulled out a chair from under the kitchen table and took a seat on it.

My thoughts drifted back to my dream. I wondered if it was possible for my subconsciousness to come up with a scenario like that without a basis to build on?

As far as I was aware, I never met any of the persons staring in this dream of mine. I didn't even know someone resembling them. In addition to that, I was also sure that none of those people resembled an actor I knew of. So they couldn't have been taken from memories of some movie I have seen to populate my dream.

So the question was, what was this? I had a hunch, but could that really be?

I stood up and walked over to the kitchen door. I listened for a minute to make sure, that Dad was still asleep and hadn't been woken by me. Then I closed the kitchen door and pulled the curtain of the kitchen window closed. Despite it facing towards the exterior wall of our neighbor's house, I thought it a prudent precaution.

When I was done I returned to my chair. I summoned my female shade. My shadow extended towards the location I intended for her to appear, and shortly after that, she slowly grew out of it. It looked a lot like a diver breaking the surface of pitch-black water gradually walking towards the shore, with every step increasing the part of his body that was above the water. The only difference being - My shade didn't move. She was just standing there and steadily being expelled from my shadow.

It was a fascinating process to watch. I even got this niggling feeling that I was able to accelerate this process to something near instantaneous if need be.

I waited for her to materialize in full. Not a second later, I noticed how my shadow returned to its original position; behind me, opposite of the light source, and once again followed the typical behavior of a shadow.

I took a close look at her. I was unable to make out any more details than I did when I first stood in front of her. But this time, I got uncomfortable staring at her naked form.

I blamed the stress I was under for this happening now and not before, on the fact that I had other things to worry about the last time we stood face to face. I had a hard enough time to come to grips with the situation I found myself in back there and still had some trouble believing that I really was the one who handled that situation.

I blushed at the thought that she wasn't the only one I saw naked in the warehouse. I decided to hold off for now on summoning Aka and Kuro again.

It was difficult to determine if this woman in front of me was the one I impersonated in my dream. I never saw a reflection of her me in those dreams or memories.

I might be able to verify some of the facts I still remembered. There was just no way that, nothing of what I experienced didn't make it in some way into the newspapers or at least on PHO if it really happened. Was PHO even a thing back then?

Something to check out later. For now, my going theory was that this woman in front of me, was in fact, Iron Rain, daughter of Allfather, his supposed heir, older sister of Kaiser, her murderer.

It was quite ironic that she might have been a lesbian. Who would have thought? If events played out a little bit differently, she might have inherited the Nazi gang Empire Eighty-Eight, which had control of a good chunk of the city for more than twenty years. I wonder what it might have turned out to be under her rule today.

Given her hate for her father and everything he stood for, I wouldn't have put it past her to destroy his empire the first chance she got, just to spite him. On second thought, it would have been far more ironic if she would have done the deed after he died. She was supposed to continue his legacy what better way to disregard his wishes than to let it all end with his death. She seemed like the type to do that. - a public coming out might have sufficed.

But before I continued this train of thought, why didn't I make sure. I already saw her liquify metal, something the Iron Rain in my dream could do too. But she was also able to excrete liquid metal from her skin, could sense the presence of metal in her surroundings, and if I remembered correctly, her sense of touch extended along any metal she was touching.

I concentrated on her and demanded from her with my thoughts to create a little metal, not much. Otherwise, I might have a problem getting rid of it later. I felt an [affirmative] along the link that connected me to her. She lifted one hand, and I watched as the tip of her forefinger excreted a black liquid. It wasn't distinguishable from the black she was made out of. The blob of black was then formed into a perfect sphere and hovered over her finger.

"Can I touch it?" I asked aloud.

[affirmative] was the response I received. I reached out to it. It felt cold to the touch and offered a lot more resistance than I was used to from other liquids. Probably because metals usually weren't in their liquid state at room temperature, I thought to myself. I withdrew my arm.

"What can you do with it?" I wondered.

That was when she started to show me. She was able to change the form of the liquid into anything she desired with merely a thought, little figurines, geometric figures. It all seemed to take nothing more than a few moments to be made a reality. Which was quite a sight to behold.

She even showed me that she could hold onto the forms she turned the liquid into, but it took effort. Curious about the resilience of her constructs I tried to damage them and failed.

I wasn't able to damage the most fragile-looking figurine, a ballerina, even after using the tools I found in the kitchen.

I couldn't help but note that she possessed an extremely versatile power. There was no wonder she was a highly valued member of the Empire 88 and feared by everybody else.

When she was done, she let the drop of metal float over the table and put it down. Then she completely shut her power down. In the first moment, the marble lost its cohesion and slumped to a heap. As if someone tried to melt metal and stopped partway. I reached for it, and with a little effort, I was able to remove the solidified metal from the table. Which revealed some of the weaknesses her power possesses.

Apparently, the metal only keeps the form she gave it to as long as she wills it. The moment she stopped, the metal melted for a few seconds and became solid. This made her power unsuitable to create lasting objects like blades or armor. It could be done but would require a lot of effort, like using molds, to circumvent this downside.

In a sense, the complete opposite of the power her brother Kaiser is said to possess. The ability to create solid metal constructs. Allfather, her father, if memory served me correct, had a power that resembled the one of her brother more than it did hers.

Assuming the information from my dream was genuine, her power trumped the one of her brother and possibly the one of her late father.

I had to force myself not to start laughing like a maniac. I had a construct, a shade under my control that could no sell the power of the leader of the biggest gang in Brockton bay. One of the more powerful capes, currently residing in the city.

I would dare say that this was a great start for an aspiring hero.

I wondered what else might be possible with my power and what limitations there were to them? Even with the limited knowledge I had of them at this moment, I definitely did not qualify as a pushover. If I could get more shades to serve me even if there was be an upper limit to their number, I alone could rival most parahuman gangs. A scary thought and something the local gangs wouldn't easily tolerate in their city, for the simple reason that I wouldn't either if put in their shoes. This really only served to reinforce my decision to play this whole I have powers thing as close to the vest as possible.

A short glance towards the kitchen clock, let me know that my lasagna should be good to eat. I unsummoned Iron Rain and put the black metal heap she created in my sweatpants pocket. I fetched a plate and a fork and filled it with a good chunk of the steaming Italian delicacy. Since I felt hungry, having skipped yesterday's dinner. I gave the fact that one serving wouldn't cut it to sate my hunger a high probability. Therefore I left the rest in the oven to keep it warm after I put it out. I went back to the table, sat down on the chair, and began to still my hunger.

In the end, it took me two and a half-plates to succeed. I put my plate fork and the glass I used in the sink and went back to my room. For a moment, I debated going back to sleep. It was still dark outside, but then I remembered the contents of my nightmare, of me being buried alive, and decided against it. I'd rather not live through that experience again if I could help it. I took one of the books I took with me to summer camp and wasn't able to finish and continued reading it where I left of.

The next time I took notice of my surroundings must have been hours later because I did so after my neck started to hurt. I stretched like a cat on my bed. A glance on my clock told me it was already after ten.

Strange, shouldn't I have heard dad after he woke up and went down in the kitchen. I must have missed it, immersed in my book. I went downstairs expecting to find dad either sitting in the kitchen reading the newspaper or in the living room, to my surprise, he was neither here nor there. Slowly but surely, I began to worry. Dad always was up and about at the same time every single day.

When Mom was still with us, we joked that our clocks could be set after his sleeping habits. Going into bed and waking up, always at the exact same time. I wandered into the bathroom and took a peek outside; to verify that our car was still in the driveway. So he didn't go to work like he said he would. Then where...

I went upstairs to my dad's room and knocked on the door. I heard shuffling on the other side.

"Dad? Are you in there?" I asked through the door, having trouble keeping the urgency out of my voice.

"Taylor? Yeah, I'm here. Why are you waking me? Did you have a nightmare?" He answered sleep-addled. I was relieved to hear his voice.

"No, dad I didn't," I said. A white lie I could live with. "I was worried about you. It is past ten o'clock, and you weren't up."

"Is that so?" He wondered as I heard more shuffling from the other side.

"Woah, you are right. I can't remember when I slept that long the last time." I heard him say from the other side of the door.

"Dad are you okay?" I asked. I couldn't remember my dad ever having trouble getting up. He was the very definition of a morning person.

"Yeah kiddo, don't worry. I will be down in a minute, "He tried to reassure me.

Still, something didn't feel right, but I allowed myself to be placated by his words and put aside my worries and answered.

"Okay, Dad. I'm gonna prepare breakfast in the meantime."

Somewhat relieved, I went back downstairs and started making pancakes. Dad joined me a few minutes later when the pile was already a few centimeters high.

"Good morning Dad." I greeted him.

"Good morning Taylor," he said back.

I noticed that his voice was hoarse, and I believed to have heard some pained undertone. I turned around and took a closer look at Dad, who already took his seat at the kitchen table; my worries back on the forefront of my mind.

"Dad, are really okay? I asked. "Because you look like you haven't slept for days."

" 'M not sure," he said weakly. "Felt like I was tossing all night."

Worrying about me must have been the cause. Great job Taylor, wasn't that the one thing you tried to prevent?

"When you woke me, I had the mother of all headaches."

"Dad," I said. He ignored me and continued with his rambling.

"I had hangovers back in college, but this feels like my head is about to explode."

"Dad!" I repeated myself this time more forcefully.

"You said something, Taylor?" Dad asked, finally taking notice of me.

"You are bleeding Dad," I said.

I pointed at his nose, which leaked quite a lot of blood. I grabbed a clean dishtowel from one of our cupboards and handed it to him. He tried to reach for it and said, "Thanks, Ta"

but didn't come further, when the words died in his mouth. He slid from his chair and collapsed on the ground in front of me. Taken by surprise, I was too slow to reach him.

Immediately, I kneeled down beside him.

"Dad, dad! Talk to me," I repeated over and over as I tried to shake him awake, nor did he show any reaction to my increasingly frantic screaming his name.

"Dad, no, no, no, no, this can't be happening. I can't lose you too. Dad?"

Shit shit shit...

I scrambled to my feet and ran into the living room to the phone. I ripped the receiver off the hook and dialed 911.

"911, please state the nature of your emergency," The Operator with

a pleasant female voice said.

"This is Taylor Hebert, my father; he needs help. He just started bleeding out of his nose and collapsed a moment later. Please, you have to send help," I said, panicked.

"Okay, Taylor right?" The voice said evenly, "I know this is difficult, but first of all, you have to calm down okay. Your father is counting on you to keep a cool head. So take a deep breath, can you do that?"

"Yes," I pressed out, trying to regain my mental balance. I noticed it was easier to do than yesterday.

"Good," the operator said, "So first of all, where are you?"

How could I have been so out of it not telling her that I scolded myself, "my father and I live at Lordstreet 15."

"The Paramedics are on their way. Did you check your Dad for vital-signs?" She asked.

I didn't. How could I forget to do this? I haven't taken part in a first aid course, but I watch tv. I was about to tell the woman, that I did not, as I remembered that I had powers. A short moment of concentration, and I was sure my father wasn't dead because I couldn't sense any essence in the vicinity.

"He is still alive. Unconscious and unresponsive but alive." I told her.

"That's good. Tell me, can you go to your dad with your phone?" she wanted to know.

"No, I can't. The cable of our house phone isn't long enough, and neither my dad nor I own a mobile phone." It was the first time in a while that I regretted the unspoken agreement with my dad of not using the devices at fault for my mother's death.

"All right then, when your father collapsed did he hit his head?" She asked.

"I don't think so," I replied.

"Okay, Taylor I want you to listen very closely. Do you know of the stable side position?" She wondered.

"Yes, I do."

"Good," she said. "I want you to go to your front door and open it; that way, the medics won't have to ring and can come in without wasting your time and theirs, then I want you to go to your dad, and check his breathing. If it isn't obstructed, I want you to put him into a stable side position. Can you do that?"

"Yes, yes, I think so," I said.

"Good, then put the receiver down next to the phone," she instructed. "This way, should the need arise for you to talk to me again. It will be faster than calling back."

"Understood, Thanks."

I did as she bid me and put the receiver down. Then I went to the front door and opened it. When I went back into the kitchen, dad was still lying there, exactly the way I left him. I kneeled next to him and checked his breathing. I couldn't find anything wrong with it. So I put him into the stable side position.

Then the waiting started. This was the worst thing I could imagine happening, being unable to do anything, forced to endure the uncertainty regarding the condition my father was in. I hated it, feeling this powerless.

What I hated, even more, was the fact that I probably was responsible for letting my father experience something similar just yesterday. Then the question hit me, was I responsible for this, for what happened to him. Was it the apprehension, he must felt about me that put him in this state? I couldn't hold back my tears any longer. Did I kill my dad too? I barely survived knowing that I was responsible at least in part for mom dying, but now this.

I sat on the floor hugging my knees right next to my dad, as I heard a masculine voice calling out,

"Hello, someone in there?"

I wiped away my tears and intercepted the Paramedics at the door.

"Please, help my dad," I pleaded.

"That's why we are here." The younger one replied. "Can you show us to him?"

I lead them into the kitchen, where they lost no time and got to work. Watching them, help my dad the feeling of uselessness, returned. The paramedics talked to each other, at the beginning, I tried to make some sense out of the technical terms but gave it up shortly after.

"Sorry to say this kid, but we have to bring your father to the hospital."

The Paramedic, I talked to earlier said. His partner then stood up and walked past me out of the house.

"Can I come with you? with dad?" I asked.

"Once again sorry, but it is against regulations. We can't take you with us even if we wanted to."

I wasn't happy to hear that. But it wouldn't do me, nor my dad any good to start a discussion.

"I understand," I relented. "Where are you bringing him?"

"Brockton Bay General Hospital," was the short answer I received.

The other Paramedic returned with a stretcher. They placed dad onto it and carried him into the ambulance. The older one stayed with dad in the back while the younger one boarded the vehicle on the driver's side.

"Don't worry kid. I'm sure he will get better," he tried to placate me.

I sure hoped so. Then they drove off. I went back inside the house. Thinking of what I would need to take with me to the hospital. I went into the living room in search of my father's wallet. He usually placed it on a shelf together with his keys when he was at home. I found it lying where it was supposed to be. Good, at least I was spared having to search for it. I grabbed it and took it with me. I also noticed the receiver still lying next to the hook.

I took it up and said,

"Hello, the Medics arrived and took my Dad with them to the hospital."

"That's good to hear," was the answer I received from the woman.

"I have to go, thank you. Bye" with those words, I put the receiver back on the hook. Next, I went up to my room and changed my clothes into something more appropriate. I chose blue jeans, a long-sleeved shirt, and took a light jacket with me. I put the money I got from Aka and Kuro in it. Despite it being summer, I didn't know at what time I would get back home, and the temperature declined quite fast the moment the sun set.

Then I went into my father's room, where I found a gym bag and filled it up with essentials, clothes, towels, and the like. I didn't know how long they intended to keep him, but I wasn't keen on taking any chances. Better safe than sorry.

When I was done I took all of it with me to the bus stop the next street over. There I studied the bus routes on how best to get to the hospital and back. I had to change the bus three times, to get to the hospital, and it would take me half an hour to get there. I originally considered walking because I might have been faster, but carrying a heavy bag filled with my dad's stuff all the way had me reconsider. Especially in light of what happened during my recent walks.

Of course, I was far from helpless now that I accepted my powers and had a grasp on what they can do; still, tempting fate didn't seem like a good idea.

The bus ride was uneventful and thirty-five minutes after I stepped onto the first bus I arrived at my destination.

I stepped into the hospital and towards the female receptionist past all the people filling up the waiting room sitting there with their affliction and diseases. I was lucky, even though the waiting room was filled to the brink; no one was at the reception desk. Guess they all are waiting for a doctor to treat them.

"Hello, my name is Taylor Hebert. My father Daniel Hebert was brought here about half an hour ago after collapsing at home. Can you tell me where I can find him?"

I asked the African American nurse in her mid-twenties manning the reception desk, who according to her name tag was called Diane.

"One moment, please." She shuffled some folders around, then started typing something into the computer. "He was admitted as a patient and is in room 306, that's on the third floor. Around this corner, there is an elevator and stairs that lead up there."

"Thank you."

I followed her directions and used the elevator to get there. The door to room 306 was open. As I got closer, I could make out some voices.

"We will know more after an MRI," a gruff male voice said.

"Shame that that Panacea girl can't do brains."

a young-sounding female voice said in response. Are they talking about my Dad? Does this mean they can't do anything to help him?

"Yeah, it would make cases like this far more easier," the male voice agreed. "I want you to check up on him every half-hour and inform me of every change in his condition. For now, we are gonna keep him sedated."

"Understood," by the time this was said, I stood in the door frame.

The person they talked about was without a doubt, my father. Since he was the person, who laid in the bed, the nurse and the doctor stood in front of, during their conversation.

"What is wrong with my father?" I questioned.

They both turned around facing me. The bald man wearing a doctor's coat with glasses asked.

"And who might you be young lady?"

"My name is Taylor Hebert and this is my father," I said as I pointed at him. "So please can you tell me what is wrong with him."

"Where is your mother, child," the doctor asked. The question that came out of nowhere hit me like a freight train, all the corresponding feelings, the guilt, the regret, me dreadfully missing her resurfaced. My eyes started to water up.

"Don't answer that," he said and turned towards the nurse. "Jean would you give us a moment."

"Sure," with those words, the nurse left the room and closed the door behind her.

"Listen, child. I'm legally bound to notify child services in the instance that one or both parents of a child are admitted to the hospital, and there is no one left to take care of it." I understood what he was trying to say.

"Therefore we are just gonna ignore my last question, and if I'm asked, I will just say I forgot. Being a doctor is quite a stressful occupation, you know. Such a slight oversight happens all the time. So if you give me and the others no reason to suspect otherwise," he left the rest unsaid.

I just nodded along.

"Please, can you tell me what's wrong with my dad?"

"Oh, I would love to. But we don't know. We are waiting for a timeslot to be able to use the MRI. Which might take a few days, those machines are permanently overbooked. But instead of purchasing more of..." He suddenly stopped himself. "Sorry, hospital finances is probably not something you want to hear me talk about. It is a sore topic for me. So like I said until we can get a look inside his head we can only wait."

"I overheard you saying you sedated him. Why would you do that?" I wanted to know.

He sighed, "when your father arrived here, he regained consciousness for a short while. He wasn't responsive and only mumbled unintelligible things to himself. After a few more tries to get him to react to external stimulus, he attacked one of the medics. Before we were able to sedate him, he went into a seizure. Until we know exactly what it is, your father is suffering from. We decided the best course of action would be to keep him sedated, at least for the time being. His condition is stable and doesn't look to deteriorate at a fast pace, which should give us the time we need to diagnose him."

"His condition is deteriorating" I repeated after him dread seeping into me "and you don't know the cause? Is he gonna die?"

"Yes it is, and we don't know the cause nor what the future holds. The only thing we are reasonably sure about is that consciousness seemed to have accelerated his decline." He paused a moment thinking something over.

"One of the paramedics said he was told, that your father had a headache prior to collapsing is this correct?" He asked.

"Yes, he complained that it feels like his head might explode any moment. Is that important? Does this mean you can help him?" I practically demanded from him.

"It depends," he trailed off. "Did he have headaches or similar symptoms in the past?"

"No."

"Okay, Taylor right?" I nodded at his question. "We will do everything in our power to save your dad, but for now, we can only wait. You are free to stay here, with him if you'd like."

He left the room, leaving me alone with my demons. I sat next to my father for hours, my thoughts constantly circling around one question, was this a repeat of what happened to mom? With the difference being, that this time I was forced to watch him die a slow death. I couldn't, I wouldn't accept this. I clenched my fists. But what could I do? I was just a 14-year-old girl. Sure I had a power, one which was so useless in this kind of situation, that I might as well have none.

Painfully aware of my inability to do anything relevant. I put the bag with my father's belongings in one of the unused closets of his room. With a last glance back to my dad lying helpless in his bed, I left the hospital. It wouldn't have taken long before they would have asked me to go anyway, considering the time. I was lost, alone, and had no idea how to go forward. In the past, I would have sought help, direction from Emma. There wasn't anything, I couldn't talk to her about, no subject I couldn't bring up, at least that's what I thought wasn't it.

Then why didn't I tell her about my powers? I had to wonder. Sure, I was scared of them, but was that really all? Wasn't there something else that nudged at me not to? Was I somehow aware that I couldn't trust her, was that it or just the fear that she would perceive me differently once I told her? Fear that she would no longer see her as a friend her equal, that our relationship might turn into something else.

I didn't know, and I was not sure I even wanted to know. It might be quite possible that if I would have told her, we would still be friends. Did I still want to, knowing what I did now? That she would just discard our friendship that lasted for the better part of our lives like it was nothing. I didn't think so.

Strange, somehow my conviction felt hollow - doubtful.

No matter, she was not someone I could go to. But who else was there that might be able to give me some perspective aside from Emma. I didn't have anyone I would dare call friend. They are all at best strangers. How could I trust them with any of this and expect help? I rummaged my brain, wasn't there anybody else? The sad answer was no; there wasn't. Was I really that pathetic?

Mom would have known how to...

My thoughts came to a full stop. How could I have overlooked that for so long? How was it possible that I didn't even consider this possibility before? I changed my direction. I wasn't planning to go home any longer. There was somewhere, someone else I had to visit.

By the time I made it to the cemetery the sun was already setting. The dark red illumination this resulted in gave the whole place an eerie outline. The short stone wall topped by an iron grill railing, sharp points spearing toward the sky, protecting the inhabitants of the property.

It was quite interesting, getting close to the cemetery. Without even concentrating on my power, I was able to sense all these corpses and their lingering essences without even trying.

I noticed the few times since I stopped actively suppressing it, that there were many small fragments all around me most of the time. I suspected, those to be the remains of all kinds of animals. But this, this was a near overwhelming sensation. I found myself surrounded by bright stars that my power was calling out to.

But as abundant as death was to my power, my eyes could see the life of this place. The ground soft and populated with bugs. The area was filled with trees offering cool air to those visiting during hot summer days like this one.

I found it interesting how those two contrasts were able to form this entirety without contradicting themselves.

Perhaps something the architects of this place intended, to illustrate to the ones visiting that death was a part of life and vice versa, that without the existence of death we wouldn't cherish life. That all was connected, an endless cycle the remains of the death serve as fertilizer for new life. That death wasn't the end but a new beginning. I just wished I could see it that way.

I have been here a few times in the past. I gently placed my hand on the tombstone that marked my mom's grave.

Annette Rose Hebert

1969-2009

She taught something precious to each of us.

I remember coming here every day, in the week after her funeral. How I cried for losing her, talked to her, and yelled at her for leaving me.

And now, I was standing here with the intent to bring her back to me. Meaning, to disrupt the natural order of things.

To deny those I made into a shade their part in propagating life, taking them out of the cycle.

The whole way to get here, I was uncertain if this was the right thing to do. My mind was occupied with questions like; If there is an afterlife a heaven wouldn't it essentially be me dragging them from wherever they are back here. Would they even want to come back given the chance?

Because, if I considered the shades I currently had. I didn't think they would like to get resurrected to serve me, especially Kuro and Aka wouldn't be happy about this prospect if they were able to express themselves. What right did I have to enslave the dead?

None should be the answer shouldn't it – but somehow, I couldn't bring myself to care, not in this case. She was taken from me long before her time, and I was just rectifying this mistake.

In this context, the question I asked myself; that really terrified me was the one; of what was gonna happen to mom If I brought her back?

Would she also be some kind of barely sentient being like the others, or was there a chance she might be different?

At the moment, I didn't have a sample of shades big enough to even start guessing what might happen. Sure, I knew that Iron Rain seemed to be more aware, not as restricted in her actions than the other two who seemed like automatons; Lacking the imagination and initiative she showcased while using her powers. But this could be the result of any number of reasons. She had powers the others didn't. She was a woman, just to name a few differences.

I couldn't rule out that it has something to do with how strong their will was or how long they were dead before I got my hands on them. The list of reasons why she might be different from them was near endless.

I could make sure by experimenting. After all, I was standing in the middle of a graveyard. I was sure, if I started transforming the lights, I felt into new shades. It would only be a matter of time until I understood or at least could guess the rules my power operated under.

But did I really want to, resurrect them all, just for me to be sure if what I was attempting to do might work or not? And what would I do, if I discovered that I couldn't bring my mom back, only a shadow of her past, stripped of everything that made her, her?

I noticed I was already grasping at straws with this line of thought. If the straws turned out to be illusions, I knew it wouldn't end well. There was only so much I was able to take. Because of this, I decided not to prolong the way to certainty but cut it short. My mind was already made up as I whispered the words.

"Arise."

One of the first things I noticed was that the essence in my mother's grave also possessed a shard-like Iron Rain essence did. A fact, which surprised me quite a lot; because if my theory of the shard representing parahuman powers was correct, then this meant my mother was one of them.

Furthermore, I also noticed that the essences around me were all less pale than I remembered Iron Rain's of being. Further back in the cemetery were all kinds of dim to pale lights. I knew the fresh graves with the recently deceased were located where I was currently standing. So it was fairly easy to deduce that the paleness of the essence had to be an indicator of how long they were already dead. I wondered if this implied that waiting too long would make turning them into shades impossible? Something to keep in mind.

I resolved to just take my mother, or at least what I hoped to be my mother, with me. I had to reign in the gluttonous Abyss not to take any more from the full buffet of dead people the cemetery provided.

It took all my self-control to resist the urge to summon her right here in the open. I had to wait until I was back home to verify If my hopes were misplaced or not. Which was exactly where I was headed, this time without taking a detour.

Authors Note:

Contains short excerpts from Imago 21.2. The date of death on Annette's grave is no mistake but part of the AU setting. For this story to work the way I intended, her death couldn't be that long ago. It had to be fresh in her mind. As I started writing this story I thought it to be so, I noticed my mistake when I reread this part of canon.

Anonymous reviews have been disabled. Login to review. 1. Chapter 01 - The First Follower 10566 0 0 2. Chapter 02 - Dreams of the Dead 11590 0 0 3. Chapter 03 - A Necromancer's Decision 6228 0 0 4. Chapter 04 - The Shadow of a Mother 6248 0 0 5. Chapter 05 - Second visit to unknown 8486 0 0 6. Chapter 06 - Parahuman Parents 5953 0 0 7. Chapter 07 - A monster in the Bay 11272 0 0 8. Chapter 08 - Queen Administrator 4628 0 0 9. Chapter 09 - Shadow Cabinet 10614 0 0 10. Chapter 10 - Attack on the PRT 6549 0 0