• 02 - Mirrorheart

    48 – Onward

    Stef slid into her chair and allowed herself to smile at Leaf.   Things would hurt. Maybe always hurt. But- But there was no reason she couldn’t enjoy the cuteness of a child right in front of her.   ‘All right?’ Jane asked.   Ryan saved her from questions about the long bathroom break by making a deadpan comment that she’d been defending the honour of a fictional character.   Jane had simply pointed out that Kay was still missing, then stopped Leaf from choking on an orange wedge.   ‘Any idea who your docent is going to be?’ Alejandro asked as he sat back in his seat but declined…

  • 02 - Mirrorheart

    47 – Ready to Start

    Stef stared at the three-foot-tall crystal.   On her first day as a recruit, she’d had no baseline for what was and wasn’t normal within the Agency, so it hadn’t seemed out of place.   Now, with the Venn diagram of magic and tech being a near-perfect circle, it seemed to stick out like a sore thumb.   Everything about the Agency was…simple. Streamlined. Simple commands and defined parameters.   The crystal didn’t fit into that worldview.   ‘Andrea?’   Andrea raised her head from the preparations she was making at her computer. ‘Mm?’   ‘I-’   There was a straightforward way to test the theory. She folded her hands…

  • 02 - Mirrorheart

    43 – Cake

    In a way, the rest of the day was familiar.   After the accident, she hadn’t been in a coma – which was apparently Ryan and the others were referring to “being dead for nearly a month”.   No coma, but a long stretch without many memories. A long sleep, like a princess in a castle.   After she finally had a longer period of wakefulness, the days had been filled with tests. Blood draws and tentative appointments with specialists to address what hadn’t been sorted in the major surgeries.   A lot of her doctors had been hesitant to give her details – assuming that either she wouldn’t understand…

  • 02 - Mirrorheart

    38 – Grey Miasma

    Ryan allowed himself to be led out of the research facility and onto the smooth pavement.   ‘Come on, Newborn,’ Jane said gently as she pulled him down the street.   Behind a deli, there was an anonymous-looking service door that led to a set of fairy stairs.   There was the usual momentary disorientation of leaving a System area, though without the accompanying fear that came with entering a Solstice-created blackout zone.   There was no reason it should be hitting him hard. He had been sure that he’d gone through all the possibilities, that-   And there was nothing logical about griefs, even when your very programming was…

  • 02 - Mirrorheart

    37 – Among the Unfamiliar

    After April left, Ryan busied himself with the notes she’d given him.   There was a genuinely astonishing variety in the people present. People who had made wishes; people who’d had wishes made on their behalf; others, fewer than the other types, who were part of experiments. And lastly, those who had been in the wrong place at the wrong time.   In the research he’d done, he knew there were far more than this who’d had their lives touched by mirror. Even more than the “dusties” that weren’t present, but in many – most – cases, the mirror could be removed without lasting effects or even without conferring a…

  • 02 - Mirrorheart

    30 – Discontent

    Curt stared at the inbox, then slid his chair a little to the right, and went back to picking at his breakfast.   He’d never had an ordinary work life – after school and after graduation, he’d worked for his dad’s stores, hauling cartons of fruit and veg for a pay cheque inflated by nepotism.   There’d never really been anything to work out there – there was always some experienced manager ready to yell instructions about what truck to pack or unpack.   Even learning the register had taken all of five minutes to understand.   Then there’d been his time with the Solstice – both the closest and…

  • 02 - Mirrorheart

    25 – Pretence

    Magnolia pressed her security card against the sim room’s operations screen.   It was rarely a good sign when a meeting with an agent was to take place in a sim.   In what amounted to a holographic chamber capable of recreating anything from your weirdest sexy fantasy to the tiniest detail of all your underlings dying on a failed mission, there was always the chance that the tech would be used to chew your ass out – and not in the fun way.   Jane was there to audit them – something that was far overdue from an outside perspective and something that could destroy her Agency and her…

  • 02 - Mirrorheart

    22 – The Beginning, The Future

    [Join me in the lab, Newborn, if you please.]   Ryan stared at the text message – text was an unusual format for Jane to use for such a short message. Longer emails were common enough, but otherwise, she tended towards voice.   He took a moment to finish the form he was working on.   As much as he hated to admit it, if Jane did appoint Curt as his aide – even in an interim capacity – it would streamline things. He signed the form, touched it, and submitted it when the prompt appeared in his HUD.   The lab, which Jones had near-anonymously designated eight-alpha, sat at…

  • 02 - Mirrorheart

    18 – Far From Basic

    Ryan adjusted the blinds on the board room windows – the tinted glass kept out the majority of the glare. Still, it was something to fill the time, something to pass the seconds before everyone else arrived.   A meeting macro had aligned the table, set out jugs and glasses – everything was in place, except for the participants.   At his place at the head of the table sat several folders. Copies of both the basic outcomes of the night before. Under normal circumstances, these would be the meat of the discussion, as well as a preliminary folder with facts about Stef’s condition.   Jones walked in, nothing more…

  • 02 - Mirrorheart

    17 – The Simplicity of Touch

    When nothing else called her attention, she liked to spend the hour before any relatively important meeting near Taylor, so that she could ensure that he was on time. Not that it was something that Ryan commented on – he knew better than to start shit over something so petty. Still, she was sure that Clarke kept a record of every tiny transgression, for the day he needed blackmail.   Magnolia casually ducked the thrown knife, then ran forward on the balance beam, dipped and tagged the finish line, listening for the second knife as she turned to run back towards the starting position.   As she headed towards the…