Fully Alive: Chapter 5, a short story by HarrySaintcrow. Date added: 2011-07-17. Times viewed: 917.
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- Intro: Audery tries to talk some sense into Kira and unknowingly leads Kira down the road to ruin.
“Over a year now and you still haven’t said anything.” Audery said. They were both sitting at the kitchen table with the window looking outside. Kira was sitting with her back to a wall and her left side to the window while Audery sat on her right facing the window.
“I really don’t know where I should start.” Kira said.
“Start anywhere you want.” Audery said.
“I guess maybe the problem is I don’t know what I should be feeling right now. I want to be sad but I know Tim wouldn’t want me to cry for him.” Kira said.
“How bout you worry about what you want for right now and not what you think Tim would have wanted.” Audery said. Kira stared at her coffee for the longest time before she spoke again.
“For the first few months, I felt numb. Like it was just a dream I’d wake up from but it was after one of our training sessions, when I came home and there was just nothing but silence. I think that’s when it really hit me, that he was gone. No goodbye, no chance of seeing him again; just gone.” Kira said. Audery didn’t say anything. She only sat there and let Kira talk listening to every word.
“I couldn’t face that. Not alone.” She said.
“You know you’re not alone.” Audery said.
“It’s not the same. I know you and Lance and Everado have been there, but none of you can be there for me like Tim was. You’re my friends, not my lover.” She said.
“I think I know what you mean.” Audery said.
“God I hope not.” Kira said.
“Either way I know that what you and Tim had can never be replaced; but sitting here wasting away or drowning yourself isn’t going to make things better. Trust me; your problems are only going to come at you harder if you run from them.” Audery said.
“Then what should I do?” Kira asked finally looking Audery in the eye. Audery held her stare right back. She had decided a long time ago that the least she could do when some one shared there pain was to listen and to never look away from it.
“That I can’t answer for you; but I can tell you what would help in your decision.” She said.
“What’s that?” Kira asked.
“Why don’t you take a vacation? Go somewhere exciting or peaceful. Somewhere that’s not depressing you. I think your biggest problem is this house. You keep living here so you have to face all these memories while your wounds are still raw.” She said.
“Wounds?” Kira asked.
“Emotional wounds. Your hurting emotionally and the memories tied to this place just keep opening them up and you can’t heal. Go away for a little while and let yourself be you.” She said.
Kira sat there for the longest time thinking about the possibility of going somewhere before she looked at Audery.
“I think your right.” Kira said.
“I know I’m right.” Audery said. “I’ve been there for others who were in the same spot as you.”
“What about you?” Kira asked.
“What about me?” Audery asked.
“I mean, how have you been dealing?” Kira asked.
“Fine, I guess. Why do you ask?” Audery asked.
“Tim hurt a lot of people that night, but none more than you. I just thought I’d ask how you felt about that.” Kira said. The question caught Audery off guard for a moment and she could only sit there and think on how to respond to that. She could tell her about the nightmares she had about what happened, but she was finally starting to reach her. She couldn’t tell her how the love of her life still frightened her, could she?
“I refuse to believe that the man that stabbed me was the man you loved. Whatever demons or darkness that Tim held in check was what we all saw that night. That is the thing that hurt me and I believe that that demon is now dead and buried and I think Tim gave his life to make sure it never hurt another person again.” She said.
“I guess that’s one way of looking at it.” Kira said.
“It’s the only way if I want to keep my sanity.” Audery said.
“I thought you already lost your sanity.” Kira said.
“You’d think that would be the case; especially looking at whom I married. Of course that makes you wonder who’s crazier; Lance or me for marrying Lance?” Audery said. Kira finally gave a small laugh at that and Audery smiled with her. “See, I knew you had a smile somewhere.”
“Okay, you got me. I’ll take a break from all this. Maybe the Bahamas will do me some good.” Kira said.
“Better make it a private beach, some of the tourist down there can get really weird.” Audery said.
“I’ll keep it in mind.” Kira said.
“Okay, good. Listen, I need to run to Everado’s and pick up some books he’s got on hold for me. After I’m done there I’ll be back and then I’ll help you plan for this thing.” Audery said. A few minutes later Audery was pulling out of the driveway as Kira watched her go through the window in the living room. When she was certain that she wouldn’t be coming right back at that moment, she went down into the basement of the house. Without a second thought she went through the enchanted archway that led to the real study of the house. The place was a dimensional rift of space that was connected to the archway she had walked through. Tim had built it as his own personal sanctuary, safe from prying eyes. Kira now used it for the same purpose as she had begun to read through the hundreds of books he kept on the shelves. The tables in front were just as Tim had left them with one filled with glass vials and tubes, looking like a mad scientist’s chemistry set. The other table across from that had small gears and tools and something that Kira had never quite figure out what it was. Shelves of books lined all three walls and went up to the ceiling with a small walkway balcony separating the space into an almost second floor with a small loft type area in the back. Some of the shelves on the second floor held trinkets and items that Kira could only imagine what they were used for or where Tim had acquired them. She went up the spiral stair case past Tim’s desk and to the larger shelves in the loft area.
The space was big enough for a large sofa and a table with a large framed painting depicting a crystal ball atop a silver pedestal. The image in the ball changed every time she came to the study but today it depicted nothing. Kira didn’t pay much attention to it and pulled the painting forward. It lifted like a garage door and disappeared into the ceiling above. Behind the paining was a different sight then the soft glow of the study. Harsh fluorescent lights depicted a more military bunker than study.
The walls were lined on either side with metal mesh with lights set behind them. A small table ran the length of either wall and under that were large crates of what Kira knew to be ammunition for the collection of guns that lined the wall to her right. To her left the wall was lined with a variety of swords and large knives that Tim had used before. She continued to walk down the hall until she came upon the back wall and what lay upon it. On the wall was an empty space where Tim’s sword and his hand cannon of a gun had once laid along with his old rig and a few other weapons. In there place sat a large black metal canister that now contained Tim’s ashes. When he had burned she had collected as much of the ash as she could and later placed all of it in this container. She had put it here in what she thought was the safest place she knew of to put anything. For a second she thought that maybe the canister was what Tim had meant when he said it was very dark where he was. She picked the canister up and tucked it into the crook of her arm while she retreated from the space.
It wasn’t long before she was sitting on her bed staring at the black canister sitting on the dresser in front of her surrounded by all the familiar pictures that lay upon it as well. Each one was a happy memory of before the tournament and Richter’s machinations. It was the one near the right side that caught her attention. It was a picture of her and Tim at a beach in California. She was behind him with her arms wrapped around his waist and leaning her head against his back while he seemed to listen to the ocean. Both of there eyes were closed and a content smile showed on both of them. Of all the memories staring her in the face and feelings that came with them, this one hurt the most to remember and no matter what, she wanted that familiar feeling back. She needed it back desperately. She picked up her phone at the edge of the bed and dialed the number on the white card she’d been holding the entire time. It rang for what seemed like the longest time before she heard the familiar click of someone answering.
“name.” a gruff voice said on the other end of the line.
“I’m looking for Andre; Andre LeStrade.” Kira said.
“Andre is asleep right now. Who’s asking for him?” the voice said.
“Tell him Kira Rayne wants to give his plan a try. Tell him to call me when he wakes up.” She said.
“I’ll relay the message.” The voice said but Kira could tell whoever it was wasn’t too enthusiastic about it. She didn’t care. She hung up the phone and waited on the bed for the phone to ring again. Her mind was racing now with the thoughts of what her actions would bring. Would people be hurt by this? Would her friends freak out if it worked? Would they even welcome Tim back if it worked? Though all these questions and more were running through her mind she only had one answer for them all. She simply did not care.
Audery pulled her car into the driveway of her house just before sunset. She had a few things she wanted to grab before she went back to Kira’s. She went in through the back door as she usually did and put her purse and keys down on the counter in the kitchen. She could hear two men talking in the dining room through the entryway leading there. One she knew was Lance but the other she had never heard before. As she got closer she could tell she’d arrived right at the beginning of the conversation.
“I don’t care what you’ve got to say; I want you out of my house now.” Lance said.
“This is big soldier. Bigger than any disputes you have with us and the way the situation is setup you’re the only option I’ve got.” The man said. Audery walked in and found Lance standing near the doorway while the other was in front of the bay window. He noticed her first with a quick glance and then Lance turned to see her there.
“Everything alright?” She asked. “Who’s he?”
“Audery, this is Keselbrock.” Lance said. Audery knew from Lance’s stories who the man was by reputation but she had never seen him in pictures or person.
“A pleasure, I’m sure.” Keselbrock said with a slight bow of his head.
“He was just leaving.” Lance said.
“If I leave now, you’re putting millions of lives at risk. Do you really want that on your conscience?” Keselbrock asked.
“I’ve got plenty on my conscience; what’s one more thing?” Lance said.
“It’s Arkham.” Keselbrock said. With that name Lance went eerily quiet. “He’s out.”
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