• 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

    42 – Birthday

    The hug was the only thing in the world.   One arm cradled her head, one wrapped around her back, and both held her to a warm, strong chest.   ‘Are you all right?’   There was the stock answer you were supposed to give to that question. The “yeah yeah, I’m fine, nothing to see here, you don’t want the real answer” polite deflection that most people expected.   If a cashier asked that, you weren’t supposed to give a real answer. They weren’t paid enough to deal with the emotional dump from a stranger.   If a magic secret agent man asked that after you’d just been resurrected,…

  • 02 - Mirrorheart

    31 – A Dance, A Diary

    Every interaction with a person was a tiny snapshot of their whole. Sometimes, one moment could express everything about that person – a moment of courage or cowardice, charity or callousness.   The rest of the time, it took a lifetime to build up a picture of a person, and even then, they could surprise you.   Ryan tried to adjust his face so that he wasn’t staring so dumbfounded at the newest aspect, resplendent in shades of green.   The more he learnt about Stef, the more he realised he didn’t know.   He had always known, logically, that he had a very incomplete picture. That despite the almost…

  • 02 - Mirrorheart

    26 – The Greater Good

    She wasn’t sure she’d ever expected to be a mother.   Andrea slowly sipped her coffee, pecked at a couple of keys, starting the next round of scans, then dutifully began to sort through the latest crop of crayon drawings.   Agents who became parents tended to be a lot older than she was, for a start – early 30s was a perfectly normal age for a human to have a family. However, for agents, it was still very much on the “Newborn” side of life.   There were exceptions, of course – some agents came to their emotional maturity – or at least their emotional selves – fairly early…

  • 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

    06 – Last Requests

    Every tiny detail seemed blown out of proportion.   The sensation of his own breath. The brightness of the lab lights. The touch of fabric against his skin. Every pinpoint of information that was never otherwise considered.   Ryan wiped his cheeks, aware of every line on his palm touching the skin. Every unnoticed detail of hands he’d had for over a century. Hands he’d always feared shared too many details with Rhys.   So much – too much – of his early life had been in the shadow of a man simultaneously gone and not gone – as was probably the way with other templated agents. Other templates though,…

  • 02 - Mirrorheart

    05 – A Step Towards an Ending

    No news, it was said, was good news.   Central was taking their time to respond to his request. He’d spent a long hour in his office, alone and waiting for judgement, before deciding that if these were his last moments alive, he didn’t want to spend them alone.   Ryan had walked through the halls of his Agency, making what might be his last memories, before joining Jones and his comatose recruit in a hurriedly-assembled lab on level four. Four was primarily unused, except for a bit of secondary storage, and some supplies for “end of the world” scenarios.   It was the right choice – a safer option…

  • 02 - Mirrorheart

    02 – Ripples

    Ryan stared at the drone, each second as slow as eternity.   Between each eternity, he felt like he could still see like Death. Could still see all the possibilities and consequences as part of him tried to calculate which was the best way to go. And he knew, that in a hundred other worlds, other Ryans were just as frozen, just as overwhelmed by the decision.   With each breath, a new reality was born. Doppelgangers who ran for Faerie. Men who snatched up another shard of mirror to wish their way out of it. Agents who were frozen by the gaze of the drone.   Reynolds had always…

  • 01 - Mirrorfall

    43 – Storming Calm

    Afternoon slid into early evening, and as it did, more techs started to fill in the empty desks, taking up their position as guys-gals-and-nonbinary-pals in the chair, support to their field or combat recruit.   And in another world, she’d be doing the same thing.   Stef held back a sigh, and tried to fight down any feelings of missing out. She was lucky – more than lucky – to have found a place where she might belong. An entire flight of luck dragons had been drained in order for the stars to align just right. The fact that maybe in a few weeks or months she’d have to transfer…