Haunt 13

Afternoon Snack: Heck yes. It might be a bit, but I accept your prompt. Thanks for the support!

The climb took less time than before- - - she knew her way now. Upon entering the Relicle, she was met with silence. The Keeper was absent- - -or hidden.

She immediately set about setting up the explosives, attaching them at key points in the Relicle's structure. It was going down. There was no way around it. That's what she'd come here for.

When she placed her last pack, he appeared. She stood slowly. "You're the one who saved me."

It wasn't a question.

"Yes," said the Keeper. "I knew you then. I knew you were important. I knew that I needed to protect you." He smiled. "I kept your DNA hidden, here. Dormant. I've waited until now to bring you back."

"Why?" She wasn't that important. She didn't matter much, in the grand scheme of things. Not really. But he seemed to think otherwise, and told her.

"I knew that your strength would survive with you." The old man nodded knowingly. "Changed needed to happen. I thought that if I brought you back you might reach Trevor. You always could. And I was right. You did."

Thinking of it now, she had started a change. The Monicans were the roots, honestly, the driving force, but had it not been her who had been selected to kill Trevor, had she not had the connection to him, he would've killed her as soon as she'd been caught, not locked her up in a cell. He wouldn've laced her water with a message, beseeching her to see him. She would not have visited the Relicle. He would not have been on the run from the council. The secret of cloning would have not been reviled. Oren would not have grabbed control.

"I have to end it," she told him, a little regretful.

"Yes," he agreed, smilingly slightly. "Start over."

A thought occurred to her. "What about you?"

"I've waited 400 years for this day. I'm tired."

She believed him. Aeon took his words as an excusal to go. She moved passed him.

"Stay alive, Aeon, you are needed," he said as a parting, serious words posing his message.

Throwing herself down the net, Aeon caught the tail of one of the netpieces just in time, sliding down carefully as the Relicle neared the ground. When it crashed into the wall, she released the tail and tumbled on the grasses, watching as stones, concrete flew hundreds of feet in the air before blacking out.

When she woke several minutes later, people were nearing the crashsite. Three women, Una among them (she had been in the marketplace when the flying machine began its decent, and had rushed to the scene as everyone else) kneeled over her. She was bruised, battered, but alive. Alive enough to give her baby sister crap about her pregnancy. Una blushed, but admitted the news. She was glad enough to share.

None would approach the world outside-a world with strange noises. The dark green floral swayed in time with the breeze. It was not the barren wasteland they had been told of. Aeon thought it was mysterious, deep, and reasonably pretty. She gazed upon the greenery as others moved passed her. They were nervous. Some, even a little frantic. One fellow, for instance, was darting through the crowd, calling out for-someone. She could make out a name. Whispers of Chairman Goodchild surfaced, but she was too preoccupied with the crumbled wall, and Una.

In the crowd, a hand found hers, and she was spun abruptly. Aeon was ready to deck the intruder, but she was cut off by the hand on her cheek and wildly concerned pair of hazel eyes. "Trevor," she realized.

"Aeon," he breathed. "I saw you on the Relicle. And I couldn't find you anywhere…I looked…."

Her mind flashed back briefly to the day in the park. Climbing the tree." What if you had fallen? What would I have done then?... I wouldn't have known what to have done with myself. Do you understand, Aeon?"

"More upset than you are now?"

A different kind of upset. More sad than angry. If anything were to happen….You are my life, you and Una. To see you hurt would break me."

He didn't ask for permission. Merely kissed her, hard, on the lips. She let him, smiling against his mouth. They were alive. Together, and alive. The cloning was over. Una would have her baby, it would grow, and be an entirely new person. They were free. And alive.

When they broke apart, Trevor stared into her eyes, passion swelling. But Aeon looked to Una, who did not appear traumatized (as Aeon might've assumed) but rather pleased, and perhaps a bit smug. Assured that her sister wasn't cringing to death, Aeon looked back to her companion. He held out a hand. She accepted, her eyes drifting up from their combined limbs to Trevor Goodchild's eager eyes, which were asking so, so heavily, "Is this okay?" She just squeezed his hand. "Yes."

He couldn't take his eyes from her.

Then she released him, walking toward the boarded. He stared after her, forlorn. Aeon made no indication that he should follow, so he stood back, letting her visually explore. Others approached with her.

For a moment, he was drawn back. Back to a time, nearly four hundred years ago, when he was leaving that coffee shop. Right after he met her. That girl. The girl he saw every morning. Ordering a chai, usually to go, and a hot croissant. Every day, the same time he picked up his Columbian blend.

She was so much younger than he was-young and beautiful and impossibly too good for him. As they left the shop to go their separate ways, he made a bold decision. He was usually reserved, so he opened his mouth, mustering up his might to call out.

"Hey. Katherine."

It was halting. His voice sounded stupid. But she turned nonetheless. So beautiful with those curtains, layers of thick dark hair, a creamy scarf wound around her neck.

"Will I see you again?" His voice shook. So, so nervous.

She laughed then, lightly, looking down. Smiling, she didn't answer, but walked on. He grinned, and turned to go too. He looked back once, the same time she did. Then, he knew he was positively in love with this girl. The rest of the day in the lab, he was on cloud nine. His supervisors scolded him twice, but he couldn't get his mind off of her. Katherine.

He couldn't get his mind off of her for the next four hundred years.

Aeon had stopped. The people of Bregna were hushed, uncertain. Trevor walked to her, slowly at first, then picking up speed. He took her hand up again, accepting that they needed work. That she didn't love him quite yet. That it might be some time, but he would have his wife, his life, back again. Aeon smiled softly.

And together, they gazed into the new world that lay beyond.

My sole reviewer requested a follow-up based on Katherine and Trevor I. I thought the snippet of memory at the end might be a starting point?

Thank you for sharing this with me, I hope you're enjoyed reading as much as I've enjoyed writing this.

Reviews would still be great. Yeah.