Summary: 1725-2000


She couldn't stay in Europe any longer. Between her refusal to return to England, the longer lifespans of the mortals, and an ever growing population and more complete record keeping, she was starting to feel hemmed in. She spent a few years returning to places she had used to hide her possessions and touching base with her descendants before she packed everything up and bought passage on a ship to the New World. To the wild Western Coast and New Spain

She found the new land breathtakingly beautiful, though her disgust with the European settlers grew with each passing day. Woman or not, her feminine wiles and the significant amount of gold she dropped into the lap of a local Don ensured her a large land grant for an area in the Napa Valley; the only non-Spaniard at the time to hold lands in New Spain. She paid taxes to Spain, set aside a large portion of her land for horse breeding, and became once again an herbalist and midwife, as trained Healers were sorely lacking in the area.

She granted sanctuary and protection on her lands for the local indigenous peoples to protect them from the idiot missionaries sent by the Church. Designing her house herself, she hired local Mexican immigrants at twice the going rate to build it for her. They didn't understand the network of pipes she wanted until the place was built and she showed them the wonders of Ancient Roman engineering.

She found the religion of the the Native Americans simple and beautiful. After what they had been through at the hands of their conquerors, it took time for her to build a trust with them. But time was something Aurora had in abundance. Soon enough she was trading information with the tribe's Wise Woman and Medicine Man. She taught them how to read both Spanish and English, and saw to it they they always had whatever they needed. When the heavy rains came, she invited them into her villa, though it was usually only the children and elderly that took her up on it. In turn they guarded her lands, shared their secrets with horses, made certain there was always meat on her table, and protected her place from the summer wildfires right along side the Mexicans she employed as well as herself. They knew she was a witch, and it was a secret they protected as fiercely as they came to protect her.

Knowing she would have to stage a change of ownership soon, Aurora married a local merchant who spent more time on his ship then on land. It suited her just fine. She was pregnant when his ship was lost at sea and no one looked askance her when she closed up his shop and returned to her villa.

Her daughter was born with dark hair and green eyes and reminded Aurora strongly of her own father. When Elizabeth was old enough, Aurora shared the family history and disappeared into the tribe that still called her lands home for the next few decades.

Another sister made her way to the Coast of California on a whaling vessel. Aurora had known she was coming and met her at the docks. Rhialla barely remembered her after 800 years, but Aurora couldn't blame her. Her sister had probably been the smartest of all of them. She had found herself on a small fishing island off the coast of Norway and had never left the area. Eventually the small population was made up of her descendants or the offspring of trusted family allies. She hadn't made an effort to hide her immortality and the small village considered the gifted immortal a gift of the old gods, sent to watch over them. They protected her as fiercely as she did them.

The ritual that kept her lands off the radar of the combatants in the Mexican-American War left her comatose for nearly a week. But no one bothered her or 'her people'.

Aurora's visions had led her to a significant gold deposit long before those few flakes were found at Sutter's Mill that sparked a period of madness in the country. She could live like a Queen for centuries on the gold stockpiled in the warded room under her Spanish home.

Twentieth Century

Society actually seemed to move backwards, much to Aurora's irritation. Most of the Native Americans who had once called her lands home had moved on, though some remained.

She again found herself in a position that required a man in her life. She was loathe to marry yet again; they all felt like cheating to her. Completely by chance she found a man who wasn't in the least bit interested in her womanly charms, but he was in a similar position as herself in that he needed a spouse to be seen as respectable. It wouldn't do for anyone to look too closely into his private life and discover his interest in the Occult.

It was a perfect arrangement.

Charles was thrilled with Aurora's library, and she was relieved to have someone she could actually talk to about esoteric matters. His lover was invited to live with them, and Aurora found Marcus equally as charming. Marcus did have an interest in her womanly charms, and with Charles' blessing, Marcus was the father of her Aurora next son.

After Charles' death five years after Marcus', Aurora left the Villa in her son's hands to go to the East Coast and establish herself as Aurora Huntingdon. In 1922, she and the rest of the world heard of the discovery of the tomb of the boy king. Grave robbing offended Aurora on a personal level; she knew how she would feel were she to discover Alexander's final resting place had been disturbed by treasure hunters.

Drawn to the Valley of the Kings, she heard the wild tales of a cursed tomb and finagled a tour of her own into the tomb that held the wealth of a nation. But she wasn't interested in the gold. She had learned to read the ceremonial pictographs centuries before, so it was no challenge for her to evaluate the curses, then make them active.

Perhaps people would think before they violated anyone's final peace.

Returning the the States, Aurora eyed the increasingly uptight population with near disdain. History was re-written right in front of her, and accepted at face value by a population that was forgetting how to think for themselves.

Returning to California, she culled through former haunts of Charles' and discovered the underground fledgling Occult movement. It was, in her opinion, the perfect thumbing of her nose at the Church. She moved in, took over, and begin to introduce them to the joys of Goddess worship under a Priestess who could actually make the rituals work.

Aurora had one more son. She didn't bother marrying his father and passed herself off as a widow again. He had her father's dark hair and her green eyes. She was determined to find a way to stay in this one's life; to be there when her grandchildren were born, when their children were born. She named him Julian, because there should always be a Julian in the world.

She bought a building in the area that would become Haight-Ashbury and opened a bookstore, leaving the Villa in the hands of her grandson for the time being. Julian was a bright, inquisitive child and was more often then not to be found among the stacks in his mother's store as he grew up. He shared his mother's love of astronomy, and they took many a trip into the mountains just to watch the stars.

While she had loved all her children, she had never loved them as fully and without reservation as she had loved her first. But Julian was close. He was the apple of his mother's eye, and even the uptight fussy women who thought she should remarry for the sake of her son couldn't fault her as a mother.

The Sixties brought the Free Love movement to her neighborhood. As amused as she was by it, she was proud of Julian for not getting so involved that he forgot the future. He was accepted into Berkeley and had just settled into a major in Astro-Physics when it all went to hell.

Drafted to fight in a war neither of them believed in, Aurora said good-bye with a growing sense of dread that reminded her far too much of the last time she had done so. Just like the time before, she felt it when he left that world and part of her died.

They sent him back to her in a box with their condolences and a flag. The US Government called him a hero for fighting for American freedoms. Aurora knew better, as did most of the civilized world.

Julian was interred under his favorite tree on her ranch in Napa Valley. Afterwards, Aurora walked across to the park in Haight-Ahsbury and handed the flag to one of the peace protesters. She told them her son's story and told them if the ever needed anything they needed only ask. Her door was open.

It was her hand that struck the match.

The bookstore became an occult shop. The Neo-Pagan/Wiccan movement started by Aurora years earlier had grown beyond her wildest dreams and now she profited from it. A replica of Stonehenge had been built in an oak grove on her ranch and she had a carefully selected group of women that made up her coven.

She held faith in no god, no goddess. Aurora had seen too much, experienced too much to believe in some invisible puppet master. If there was a Supreme Being, he was a perverse bastard and wasn't worth her time.

She dated, but only because she was bored, empty. There were fleeting moments of something like contentment, but no real happiness. She knew now that her chance at that had been taken firmly in both hands nine centuries ago and it would never come again. When her siblings came to visit, she put on a carefully constructed mask. They came to her to recharge, to gain some level of peace in this world; in this Room they remained trapped in, and she was willing to be that for them.

TOCDinner Conversations:2002

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