The End of Days

2002

The world was becoming increasingly small. The technology that so entranced her advanced at an almost dizzying pace. Internet, cell phones, email, databases and spreadsheets. It was making it more and more difficult to hide behind new identities.

Aurora's siblings started dropping by with increasing frequency. Despite having done well for herself over the centuries, and despite most of them not seeming to give a damn before now, they had suddenly decided that the youngest among them needed to know what they could teach her. None of them were Seers, so she had no idea where this was coming from. Neither did they really. Peri blamed it on the shrinking globe; Benoit on the increasing violence that she needed to know how to protect herself from; Firuz had always worried about her. Diana just felt everyone should know how to use a gun.

Aurora wasn't all that impressed with guns, still preferring a bow to a firearm. But she was a hellcat in hand-to-hand.


Christmas 2002

For reasons she didn't understand, all seven of her siblings had called by October to see if they could spend Christmas with her. She had known they would call, but not why. The life of an assassin made her paranoid anyway, but Diana seemed especially on edge when she spoke to her.

Aurora didn't argue. She was in fact delighted to have them. For the first time in over a thousand years, she would have all her remaining family under one roof.

Around Thanksgiving, Aurora was starting to suspect their reasoning. Her shop had been broken into while she was at the ranch. The shop itself had remained untouched, but her apartment and library above had been thoroughly searched. She could find nothing missing, but it unsettled her.

Two days later one of the ranch hands reported trespassers. They had been run off, but they had been very close to the house before they were spotted.

More then once she felt like she was being watched, and she had answered a number of calls to her private cell phone that were nothing but static and hissing.


Two days before her family converged on her, Aurora received a package at the shop. It had been hand delivered the evening before, according to Cynthia, who couldn't for the life of her recall what the delivery man had looked like. There was no post mark, just Aurora's name - and not the name she was currently using; it was addressed to Aurora Eden Huntingdon.

She called Diana in a panic. Aurora hadn't gone by Huntingdon in close to sixty years. Her sister told her not to do anything with the package until she got there. Not even move it. Aurora left it under the counter and fretted for the next 18 hours until Diana arrived from Italy to make sure it wasn't something dangerous. She had Aurora cast several spells over it before they took it up to the roof to open.

Aurora was a bit disappointed to discover it was a book after all that. The language was foreign to her, which was notable in and of itself. Covered in old leather, the front was decorated with twisting silver and bronze sigil with pieces missing. She left Cynthia in charge of the store and she and Diana went to the ranch and Aurora's real library to start translating the text.

By the time everyone else arrived, Aurora had just starting developing the key that would allow her to start translating the text. They came with stories similar to Aurora's; phone calls with no one on the other end, homes and places of business being broken into and searched, the undeniable feeling of being watched.


The hairs on the back of Aurora's neck stood on end. She was out of her chair with a spell flashing on her fingertips when the man appeared in the middle of her library. For a moment that seemed an eternity, all eight of them stared at the man, and then chaos erupted as hands went for guns, for knives, for the nearest heavy object. The man remained unruffled in the center of it.

Without dropping the build up of energy in her fingertips, Aurora called for calm. She pointed out that if he had wanted to harm them, he quite possibly could have already, judging by how he had arrived.

He told them a story of powerful beings that were closing in on the location of the children of Kadmon and Eden; their intentions were to keep them imprisoned in this world or kill them. He confirmed what they all already knew or long suspected; that their parents were long dead; that their father had shoved them through that door to keep them safe, and that he was not the one that had been watching them. Or not the only one.

He had risked his life to warn them, to get them the book that would get them home. But it was all he could do. The rest was up to them.

And then he was gone as suddenly as he had appeared.


Drawing on memories he could barely call up of a language he hadn't spoken in a millennium, it was Firuz that had helped her crack the key they needed for the translation. Then they had split up into pairs and gone in different directions to throw off their pursuers.

On the run with Diana, Aurora was able to determine that they needed the missing pieces of the sigil that would act as a guide to get them home. Only home was referred to by a name unfamiliar to all of them.

Amber


March 2003

Benoit had found the first piece of the sigil in an antique shop in Brighton. He had hand delivered it to Diana in the middle of busy street in Puerto Vallarta with Aurora watching from the third floor hotel room across the way.

He never made it back to Rhialla.


May 2003

A message from Firuz took Aurora and Diana to the Valley of the Kings. Only their brother was not what they found there.

The fight was long and hard. Just as it looked as if they had won, an attack from the cliff top behind them made Aurora's world explode with white hot pain. There was an explosion of sand and rock, and the last thing Aurora saw was her sister's worried face hovering over her.


There was dark, dim light, a wave of color she recognized as her own magic. She heard voices; indistinct and urgent. She thought she recognized her sister's and one of her brothers' but she couldn't be sure. There was a space of silence interrupted only by the dim beep of medical monitors, which were replaced by voices she didn't know at all.

Then there was a flare of white light and the voices faded into rumbles. Aurora's consciousness turned towards the brightness. In truth she was more then ready to die. She was tired of this life, tired of running, tired of pretending. She could finally fulfill her promise to Alexander; they would finally be together again. Her final moments of awareness were thoughts of Julian Longbow and their son, waiting for her in the Summerlands.

TOCAnd then she woke up

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