Sedona, Arizona

Three weeks passed since Robyn arrived. The harsh desert weather of the Mesa had bleached her blond hair nearly white and tanned her skin from her many sojourns with Windstorm She pulled the sheepskin lined Levi Jacket around her tightly as glossy black quarter horse picked her way down the steep path that lead back to the cottage, only white strip on the horse's nose and Robyn's pale ash blond hair were illuminated by the low lighting on the last part of the trail.. Lady and Lord, she missed Michael. Even at home when he was away his presence was still there but there was no sense of him here she thought as she slid out of the saddle, then led the mare inside the barn. Seeing to the mare's comfort, she removed tack and began to brush her down. She felt like a homesick little girl. Giving up and giving in was not an option...

Gray Walker made contact after the first week. Gray was a tall man with piercing hazel eyes, desert roughened exterior still somehow graceful and lithe with 265 pounds on his near 7 ft frame. Nicknamed Gray because his black hair turned nearly gray when his avatar awoke. After a few meetings at Starbucks with much talk over coffee, he invited her to visit the Cabal. Gray tested the limits of her knowledge and found it lacking. Robyn's training began in earnest. He taught Robyn how to manipulate time and use other forms of magic together with it. Often stretching the minutes of the day into who knew how long then feeling them contract to "normal." Robyn learned to use the hypersensitivity that she developed as foci, a silk scarf, a glass of fine wine or a gentle caress. All to easy Robyn thought. Trippy. By the end of the third week Gray was teaching Robyn to defend herself from attack and paradox. While Paradox was inevitable, there were ways to soften its bite.

Evenings found Robyn searching discretely; inquiring in various shops. A few weeks passed before meetings with those who were called authorities on things mystical were made. Robyn found that some of these supposed authorities on the subject of the supernatural were survivors of the 60s. Most had tuned in and dropped out and went one step beyond the Neutral Zone. Even so, some of their words rang true and gave clues to the knowledge she sought. It was a small world indeed; the search for knowledge reintroduced her to a fellow graduate of Harvard. Vincent Carl Kay. A member of one of those secret organizations--the Arcana, Arcane: no, the Arcanum. A Society of Watchers that extended membership to individuals they felt were specially gifted. It all sounded prudish and a bit voyeuristic to her at the time. But now, now Robyn wondered as Vincent, Thea and she were re-acquainted. Intuitively Robyn knew the Arcanum was a gold mine of information. That night she phoned Rebecca and made all the arrangements for a "proper" search when she returned home.

Robyn shielded her thoughts and abilities from these not so normal beings. Carefully learning all she could. Vincent realized what she was doing of course, and kept silent. They needed someone with Robyn's gifting. They wanted her. She wondered later, why?

Voice Mail:

Was Michael unaware where his niece was? 1 week to the day, the stable owners called and left a voice message. Which James played for him...with a smirk. - Are Robyn and Windstorm were enjoying thier vacation in Sedona. Had she gone on the Pink Jeep tours? Tried the healing waters of the Oak Creek pools? Beautiful place both horse and rider. --Especially with the full moon coming. Please give us a call so we can keep Windstorms stall available. - "She's good. " James said. She managed a week inspite of Michael's tight security without him knowing her location.

Michael sent a couple of ghouls to keep an eye on her...and two that she would spot and believe she had her ole Tio beat. Michael was cunning and shrewd, but he was concerned. It was the first time Robyn had not told Angelo and Rebecca where she was going. This was not her usual game, if it was a game at all. Why was she being so secretive? Then he caught a glance of himself in the mirror and laughed. She was more his daughter than niece. His mortal blood.


back | when the student is ready..

This short story posted on AOL on 20-February -03 to 03-March-03


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