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 The Werewolf and the Phantom

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PostSubject: The Werewolf and the Phantom   Wed Jan 02, 2013 5:02 pm

Timeframe: November 26 - December 31 / Lana has secluded herself in a location known only to herself and Malik. This is a glimpse of day one. This is not a thread. There will be more to come.

November 26

The days following Flynn's death were full of official document writing, signing and issuing of new orders. Lana did not miss any of the appointments set to her by Umbra, but the days were bleak. She was in a state of mourning for her fallen superior. The man who had been like a father to her when she had no blood family to speak of. She was just so...lost.

Lana sat on the edge of an uncomfortable bed, in an unfamiliar motel room, staring down at the papers that had been delivered to her moments ago. A temporary leave of absence from her duties, the upper eons were calling it. Time away from work so she could deal with her loss and recoup from the battle with her enemy.

But...what was she to do? Lana looked to the unembelished urn that sat on the bedside table, as if the ashes of her foster father (she thought of Flynn now in those terms) would give her the answers she sought. She released a shuddering breath, crumpled the papers in her hand into a ball and threw them at the waste basket across the room. She was not a woman to sit by idly and twiddle her thumbs.

She could not ask anymore of Malik. He had helped her enough, too much in fact. She owed him many debts and could not in good conscious ask him for more without giving some recompense for the others first. Nor did she believe his pride would welcome another disturbance from her. She smiled ruefully at the thought.

Cats, the werewolf muttered in her head. Rising from the bed she strode over to the dresser containing her clothes and promptly began to pack them into the duffel that was sitting on top of it. Once the dresser had been emptied she disappeared into the bathroom, bundled all her grooming supplies into her arms and returned to the duffel where she unceremoniously dumped them.

All of the meticulous organization she usually had was forgotten in her haste to be away from the city. I can't calm down! she snapped, lifting her green gaze up to the urn, having heard Flynn's cool voice in her head. He told her to stop, relax, breathe. She could do none of it. The city was suffocating her and she would not rest until she was away.

Was she going crazy?

Scooping the urn up under one arm, Lana carted her belongings out to her Ducati and strapped them to the back of the bike. She would retreat to her home high in the mountains for a time. Yes, I know you don't approve of my choice of transportation. She eased her helmet on, covering her bright red hair and face beneath a black shell.

Flynn thought her Ducati a death trap. He deplored anything that didn't have four wheels and wasn't made by Porche or Rols Royce. She grinned to herself, bringing the engine to life with the turn of a key. Perhaps she was going crazy. The worst part was, she could feel him. A bit of time off might do her some good, now that she thought about it.

Her musings continued long after she left the city limits. Flynn sometimes broke into her thoughts but not often. She was relatively peaceful by the time she reached her cliffside abode well after dark the same day.

Some years ago it had been a cozy little B&B, before the war had run off the owners. Lana, having claimed it her own, made the necessary renovations to make it habitable. Surprise, surprise when she found that the B&B fronted for a ring of drug and arms trafficking. What was left from the stash had been locked in a high security vault built into the mountain, below the residence.

So she dumped the drugs, kept the weapons and turned the vault into her own little armory. Not even Flynn had known of its existence. Until now. She carried him through a back door into the spacious kitchen. Both the urn and her bag were set on a round, cherry oak breakfast nook while she went back out to move her bike into the imitation garage that was camoflauged by the mountain side.

This is my home, she announced upon return; answering the question Flynn's voice posed in her head. Well why would I tell you about it? A wolf den is sacred. She found a place for him on her fireplace mantle in the den. He sat between an incense burner in the shape of a wolf head and a framed photo of her biological parents. The photo was taken when her mother had been large with child (Lana) and her father was smiling with pride as a hand rested on his wifes swollen belly.

She favored her mother.

In her bedroom, which was decorated in warm browns and dark blues, Lana emptied her bag, tossed the clothes down the laundry schute and arranged her grooming essentials in the connecting bathroom. Of course I trusted you! But, it was instinct that made me keep the secret. She sounded hurt, but wouldn't let this phantom Flynn voice make her feel guilty.

She changed out of her riding clothes into a pair of loose sweats pants and a t-shirt that was many sizes too big for her. It didn't belong to her, but a dark-skinned man she knew who wouldn't miss it. Looking at her king-sized bed, a sudden wave of exhaustion washed over her and she was grateful for its comfort as she climbed beneath the duvet. She could sleep for weeks perhaps. But first she let her grief overcome her and cried for the only man who ever cared for her above anything else. She didn't even feel the brush of unseen fingers against her tear stained cheek, because her body was so wracked with sobs.
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PostSubject: Re: The Werewolf and the Phantom   Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:10 am

December 1

She sat with her hands clasped in her lap. Her eyes red rimmed from crying. Her nose snotty from crying. Her hair disheveled from lack of product or a brush. The couch beneath her sucked her down into the cushions so she was sunken within, staring blankly at the empty, cold hearth. But I don't want to go back. I don't care who needs me. The voice of Flynn.

He was in her head. Telling her to go back to Librium. The faction needed her. But she didn't care. The five days she'd been here and this was the first she left her room. Lana hadn't showered or eaten in that time. Her body was gaunt and she stunk. But she didn't care. What?

She looked over at the heavy drapes covering the window. They blocked the sunlight so she wasn't sure if it was daylight out or night. I don't want to. You do it. She looked up at the urn. Silent as ever except for the voice. His voice. Her stomach rumbled painfully, but the thought of food made her sick.

She must though. Insisted the voice. Rising weakly from the couch she shuffled on bare feet into the kitchen and stood on front of the open fridge. A blast of cold air upon opening it hit her in the face like an anvil. She blinked several times to focus and held onto the door for support. Meats and fruits and vegetables looked back at her. None of it looks appealing.

Yes I have pots and pans. But why did the voice care? She grabbed a couple pounds of ground beef and a few of the vegetables. After some coaxing by the voice she made some cowburgers (because hamburger was so incorrect) and sat in the breakfast nook with a plate of four burgers.

Even the nook was shrouded in darkness, under cover of the same heavy drapes that were in the den. Lana ate slowly, almost reluctantly. But eventually her plate was empty, her belly full and a bit of color had returned to her complexion. Next he made her clean the dishes, put away the leftovers and go upstairs. He was only a voice but he was so bossy.

Stripping down to nothing she stood in the standup shower, beneath an adjusting spray of cold, hot then warm water. It was a waterfall that rained directly from the ceiling above her. So she kept her head bent down and let the water wash away her morose...and her stink. Don't talk to me like I'm a child, she growled at the voice.

Lana snatched her shampoo from the shower shelf, poured a generous amount into her hand and lathered the mint colored liquid into her hair. Fingernails scratching her scalp, she began relaxing her muscles one by one. Easing the tension and grief from her body. I'm sorry, she muttered to the empty air.

Hair clean, body scrubbed with a boars hair brush and soap, she stepped out of the shower, dripping on the tiled floor to stand in front of the mirror above her vanity sink. She almost looked herself. Except her body was still too thin and she sported dark circles beneath her eyes. I'll do better tomorrow.
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PostSubject: Re: The Werewolf and the Phantom   Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:06 am

December 10

Bent over the dismantled handgun, Lana focused intensely upon cleaning the Colt 9mm while the drone of the television played in the background. She had kept her promise about being better. She was eating regularly again and had regained all the weight she had lost. She didn't spend her time wallowing in her self pity and returned to her daily routine. She also realized that the voice in her head wasn't a hallucination.

Flynn's voice in her head no longer bothered her because it was almost like he was still alive. But more invasive was he now and very critical of the things she did. At least she was able to maintain her privacy and if she tried hard enough she could even block him from her mind. He didn't like it when she did but she had to remind him that he didn't know everything about her before and was just fine with it.

I did call her. She doesn't care that you're dead. It was sad, yes, that the estranged mother of Flynn's bilogical child didn't care he was dead, but it was the truth. She would not lie to him. Reassembling the gun once she was finished cleaning it, Lana returned it to its mount onthe wall. She was working in the armory today; cleaning certain weapons while Flynn chattered in her head.

Turning back to the stainless steel table set in the middle of the room, Lana found waiting for her a neatly stacked pile of hand grenades. She stared at the pile in silence for a heartbeat, glanced at the shelf they should have been on (which was empty) and back to the pile. So you've learned a few tricks, have you? Parlor tricks was all this was. She did not think him strong enough to set one off.

When the armory had been set to rights she locked the vault and climbed the stairs up from the basement to the main sections of the house. The tiny hairs in her arms stood in end, making her aware of the presence she could sense but not see. He had not touched her since that first night. She glanced warily over her shoulder, looking for something that wasn't there. Yes, I remember.

He was asking about a book she had retreived for Umbra many missions ago. It was rumored to have the knowledge of awakening the dead. To date no one has attempted it (that she knew) and she wasn't interested in startimg. What about it? Her question was posed with caution as she could already guess the path of the conversation. I don't think that is a good idea.

He retreated from her then; going where, she did not know, but when she called to him there was no answer. She looked around where she stood, her gaze wary as she waited for something to happen. When nothing did she continued on her way, heading up to her bedroom for a nap before she fixed supper.
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