No Time Like the Present

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Prologue

"Dying is a very dull, dreary affair. And my advice to you is to have nothing whatever to do with it."

--W. Somerset Maugham


Trevor Anaheim knew with sickening, crystal clarity that he was about to die.

It wouldn't be a soft, quiet death; he wouldn't just fall asleep one night when he was old and gray and fail to wake up the next morning. And it wouldn't be from natural causes, either. No, Trevor was going to die because he was running pell-mell down a London alley with a leather satchel over his shoulder whose contents he had no business possessing, let alone dying for.

Yet that was what was going to happen, and as the footsteps behind him increased their pace, he felt the bitter irony of the sacrifice he was about to make. Not because of his death; every Watcher expected to be killed in the line of duty. His sacrifice was one that countless other Watchers had accepted: a silent death for greater purpose…that no one would ever remember.

The footsteps were gaining on him now, but he did not dare turn around, his heart hammering in his ears and his breaths coming in painful gasps. Still running and stumbling, Trevor opened the brass snap of the satchel with shaking hands. The runes etched into the leather glowed with a soft light, but even with the illumination Trevor didn't try to translate them. He'd never had time to sit down and look at them like he'd planned.

As the flap opened and the contents of the satchel released their telltale glow, he wondered, one more time, if what he was doing was the right thing to do.

Blinding light enclosed him, and Anaheim saw the universe. In that one excruciatingly beautiful split second before he joined it, he realized a very important thing. It didn't matter if what he did was right or not…because it was the only thing that could be done.

And it had to be done.

When the footsteps rounded the corner, they found an empty alley. No man, no blood…and no satchel.

Trevor Anaheim had given the ultimate sacrifice. But in one small respect, he had been in error. Though it would take many, many days longer than it should have, he would be remembered.

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Author's Note: Welcome to the new story! We'll see how it goes. I can't tell you how long it's going to be or how long it'll take us to get there, but I assure you that it'll be a fun time. I've never had as much fun writing something as I have the first few chapters of this story so far. I hope that feeling transfers to you as a reader. So buckle in, welcome back and enjoy your stay! I can't wait to see what's in store.