Disclaimer: Diane Duane owns YW, not me.
Chapter One—No Way!
The golden early dawn light streamed in through the semi-closed curtains in the bedroom of a sixteen year old girl, who would prefer it stay outside and let her sleep, thank you very much.
The girl groaned, mumbled something incomprehensible about planetoids, and rolled over, falling back asleep. An hour or so later, she remembered what today was. Today, was Saturday.
"Oh my gosh!" She sat up hurriedly; and literally leapt out of bed. What time is it, the girl mused, fumbling around her desk for her watch.
Nuts! I'm dead. I've got twenty minutes until I have to be at the beach…
She showered as fast as possible, and dressed in her usual style: old beat-up jeans, and a T-shirt. She brushed her long auburn hair quickly, and went to collect her supplies. She grabbed her old beat up library book (a necessary accessory) and her jacket, before intentionally disappearing.
She appeared at the beach, and quickly scanned the area, taking in the cool ocean breeze, and the scent of salt water: a perfect aroma to stimulate her senses, and awaken her mind.
She turned around, and grinned at the tall, Hispanic boy standing behind her. He was wearing jeans, and a white T-shirt, clean and unstained. He grinned back at her, before stepping a little closer, so that they could look at each other properly.
"Kit," Nita said simply, and surprising both herself and him, hugged her wizard partner. She could feel Kit's smile, as he hugged her back, hard.
"I missed you so much!" Nita exclaimed, pulling back from him, so she could look at him again.
"I missed you too," Kit replied.
They looked at each other with smiles of friends who have been parted for a long time. It had been three weeks since they had seen each other, and for them, that was a very long time indeed.
"Kit, I tried to get your coordinates while you were on vacation, but you seemed to be moving around a lot, from place to place, and it was hard to trace. And even then, with that promise…"
"I know, it seems so ridiculous. Your parents and my parents both made me promise not to just give you the coordinates. I guess they really wanted us to have time apart, this time."
"I guess. But Kit, you have no idea how glad I am to see you! Those weeks seemed like forever."
"I know what you mean. But we'd better hurry, the wizards said they'd meet us near the inlet, so we'd better get walking if we want to make it there on time."
They set off walking down the beach, talking about their summers so far, and how boring it had been the past couple of weeks, their feet sinking into the golden sand as they tread across it. The water sparkled as the waves rolled around in the tide.
"I was just wondering…if you've ever thought about the future…you know, what is to come."
Nita turned towards Kit. "Your parents didn't hit you with another one of those, 'prepare for the future' lectures, did they?"
"No!" Kit said defensively, "I've just…it's just something I've been thinking about lately. Something I've been thinking a lot about lately," he said, correcting himself.
They stopped walking, and Nita comfortingly lay a hand on Kit's shoulder. "If you're worried about the future, just believe me, everything's going to be alright, and worrying never helps." Believe me, she thought to herself, I would know…
Kit looked at her, with an expression similar to shock. "Hey," he said aloud, "I heard that." Nita looked bewildered. "I thought that had stopped happening, at least mostly. Wow, that's the first time we've heard each other's thoughts in months!"
Oh no, Kit thought, she said, 'each other's' thoughts. Did that mean that she could hear mine as well? Wonder what she heard.
"Kit, you're spacing out on me again. Are you alright?"
"What? Oh, sure Nita, I'm fine. Look, there's Tom, down by the water." Kit broke away from their conversation to run up to Tom. Nita simply shook her head and sighed, watching him. Then, she went after him.
"Hey Kit. Oh, and hi Nita," Tom added, as Nita came up behind Kit.
"Ready to get started?"
"Yeah," both Nita and Kit answered, then smiled at each other, and unintentionally shared a thought about how they had spoken at the same time accidentally. Tom watched the mind-touch in silence, understanding and sensing their nervousness at being that close again.
"Anyway," Tom started again, snapping Nita and Kit's attentions back to the reality, "We need to get started. I assume you two know what's going on?"
Nita and Kit looked at each other, and shook their heads. "We were just told that we needed to report here this morning, and that further instructions would follow," said Nita.
"Well, since you haven't been told, I'll have to explain. Today you two have been assigned to help out those in need of…assistance. Kit, you're going to be working with me, Nita…just wait for a moment…ah, here he--uh, it--is now!"
A flash of pale blue light blinded them for a second, leaving them blinking in the sunlight, which seemed dim in comparison to the blue light. Nita's mouth dropped open, and she realized who had appeared. No way, she thought, and earned a glance from Kit, who had heard her.
"Ah, Chiao, how good to see you," said Tom, and then to Nita, "Nita, you will be working with Chiao here. Chiao, meet Nita Callahan, Nita, this is Chiao, the Transcendent Pig."
"We've met already," said Chiao simply, looking, as always, vaguely amused by its surrounding and companions. "Good to see you, Nita Callahan."
Nita smiled at it steadily, and then greeted it. "Hi," she said, "what-" but she got no further, as the Pig cut her off. "If this is another attempt at 'what is the meaning of Life,' I don't want to hear it. I'm having enough of that now, with all of the meetings I'm going to, and with all of the wizards I'm talking to, and as I have said, I'm not going to slip up, and tell."
What? Kit thought, Neets, it's using the present tense again. All the meetings it's 'going to?' as in currently? And it's talking to wizards at the moment, as in now? Wait, even that didn't make sense…
Nita chuckled quietly to herself. You didn't look up the definition of 'transcendent' yet, did you? she shot back to him.
You kidding, Kit replied, I can't even spell it…
"Anyway, Chiao," Nita answered the Pig, "I was going to ask, 'what am I going to be assisting you with,' not, 'what is the meaning of life.' So, what am I going to be assisting you with?"
"Oh. Sorry, it's sort of becoming a habit for me to be objecting to the 'meaning of Life' question, I'm just getting sick of it. I'm beginning to think it's a conspiracy among the seniors," Chiao said, flicking a penetrating glance at Tom, who flinched.
"It was the Powers who put 'the proper way to greet the Transcendent Pig' in the manuals, not us, Chiao. And please answer Nita's question," responded Tom.
"I'm going to. Nita, you will be helping me with the repairing of various… distortions in the continuum that shouldn't have ever come into existence in the first place. It's a complex job, but I'm being told that you would be right for it. Are you up to it?"
"Sure," answered Nita, "sounds fun."
"Tom," Kit started, "what am I going to be helping you with?"
Tom grinned. "That," he said, "is for me to know, and for you to worry about aimlessly. Speaking of which," he added quickly, "we have to get going. Chiao, Nita, meet back here this evening, when all's done. Now Kit; stand here. Good. And off we go. See you!"
Kit waved at Nita, and grinned a goodbye, before both he and Tom vanished without making a sound.
"Smooth," commented the Transcendent Pig calmly, turning back to Nita. "We're on a time limit, so we need to go. Here," it said, handing her a wizardly containment unit, "put your name in here. That'll fix the transit detail. You'll be able to transit with me, without the bother of a spell.
Nita detached her name from her claudicational pocket of time-space, and flipped the "lid" of the container open, placing her name inside. After she had done that, she turned back to the Pig.
"So, where to first?" It smiled faintly at her.
"Here," it said, and as Nita watched, the scene around them changed though they appeared to stay unmoved. Nita saw a large open landscape, with a darkened area at the horizon that hinted at faraway mountains. The sky curved over them like a bowl, a brilliant blue, untainted by clouds.
"Beautiful," said Nita. "Where are we?"
Chiao smiled his slightly ridiculous smile of amusement. "The late Triassic period, I think. Or sometime around there."
So that's the end of the first chapter! Please review. I have the next chapter written already, so if I get any reviews on this one, I should have the update within a week.