Which Came First?


castle4_icon.gif chess5_icon.gif eve6_icon.gif ff_eve_icon.gif castle2_icon.gif

Also Featuring:

brennan2_icon.gif ff_jonathan_icon.gif

Scene Title Which Came First?
Synopsis Eve Mas prepares for her death, surrounded by family.
Date June 12, 2021

A howling wind whistles through the crumbling port of entry for the personal fiefdom of one of the Pelago’s most prolific residents, Lowe. The entry for this ancient skyscraper is an eviscerated floor of former offices in what was once known as 40 Wall Street. Now, this sea-level floor of the verdigris-capped skyscraper connects to a series of ramshackle wharves and docks. As the Travelers disembark from the Yeah, Buoy! it is Eve, Castle, and Chess that are stopped by Jonathan and delayed from joining the others. Jonathan, a few steps ahead of them, holds out his hands and offers a nervous smile.

“Sorry, uh, I just need a minute.” Jonathan says with a nervous smile. He glances over his shoulder to Nova leading the others away and gives her a thumbs up. Everything is fine. But when he turns to look back at the others his expression says anything but.

“Eve?” Jonathan’s brows rise, crinkling wrinkles in his forehead. The next words out of his mouth are some of the worst in the English language when strung together:

“We need to talk.”

The Manhattan Company Clinic

The Pelago

June 12th
6:37 am

Several floors up from the harbor is a multi-story medical facility now known as the Manhattan Company Clinic, the closest thing the Pelago has to a hospital. While the tile floor and concrete walls are clean, it is the shimmering gold of kintsugi-style copper sealing in cracks that makes the structure seem at once regal and resplendent. Much of the first floor is a wide open office space of mismatched antique desks, folding screens for privacy, oil lanterns, and salvaged throw rugs.

It is difficult to tell practitioners from visitors here, though some rugged folk with heavy backpacks and caches of salvaged medical supplies are clearly traders and volunteers. As Jonathan leads Eve, Chess, and Castle up to this floor from the south stairwell, he offers an apologetic smile over his shoulder to them all.

“So, obviously after that, I owed my savior a debt of gratitude. Mad Eve doesn’t just pull someone out of the ocean in a net and let them walk away with debts unpaid.” Jonathan explains, wrapping up a harrowing tale of his survival from a shipwreck thanks to the Pelago’s most notorious seer. “And she gave me explicit instructions that once I got you here, I was to take you to see her first, before you went anywhere else.”

Jonathan looks Eve up and down, grimacing slightly. “No matter your uh, condition.”

"Favor for a favor." Eve coughs into her hand while making her way forward with Jonathan whose shoulder she lays a hand on to steady herself. Her hair is even more lame and lifeless if that were possible, her eyes are turning back to the color of the host's. Dark blue mixing with doe brown. "Sounds like me." The wild woman looks from Chess to Castle. "Come come let's not leave the old granny waiting."

Eve wasn't scared about dying now. Not with so many people gathered in one place. If there was one thing you could count on in a place where lots of people gather, someone was gonna wind up dead. Plenty of chances for a new host. "It was only fair that she sought me out, I am visiting! And reuniting her with our child!" Mmhm mmhm, she nods to herself. "Is it hot in here?"

It would seem meeting yourself does cause some spike of nerves to shoot through her. Wrapped up tight in loose sweats and a hoodie, the hood covering her head Eve looks like a junkie or something to that effect aka not good.

"Maybe she saw my condition and has a new host waiting!"

“I’m pretty sure that’s how she came to have children. Fishing strange handsome men out of the ocean. So you’re lucky it was just a favor like this,” Agent Castle says with a small joking wink because surely they were teasing him— or perhaps they were not. After all, it sounded like a truly Mad Eve way to end up pregnant. Twice. By two completely different men. In two completely different oceans.

It’s a joke, but there’s a nervous worry about them despite that attempted lightening of the mood. They are worried about their younger mother’s state. They are worried about other things as well…

It was supposed to be Basil that was standing here. Not Saffron.

Saffron had wanted it to be Basil standing here. Even if Basil had been very nervous about it. This had been supposed to go differently. It reminded her so much of the day they left. The last time they had seen her. “I wouldn’t be surprised if she saw all this. I stopped being surprised at what she’d seen and never said anything about a long time ago.”

Chess follows quietly, her dark eyes cast on the floor beneath her feet, intrigued by the copper mending. She smiles at Jonathan’s loyalty to his savior. It does sound like her Eve, even if the one they’re about to meet is much older.

She glances up at Castle’s joke and huffs a soft laugh, then reaches out to squeeze Eve’s shoulder. “Weird to anticipate meeting one’s self, for both of you, I would think. So you have that in common already,” she says lightly. “I want to hear the time traveling stories.”

It’s an optimistic wish, given that look in Jonathan’s eyes, and Chess realizes that a moment later, and glances down again, brows drawing together with worry.

“Maybe there’ll be time for that,” Jonathan says with a weary smile. “This is as far as I take you, though.” He says, looking back to a tall and dark-haired man with a hint of gray at his temples approaching the group. He’s dressed for the temperate air, a dingy white button-down with the top button undone and sleeves rolled up to his elbows. There’s blood under his fingernails.

“Right on time to the minute,” the newcomer says, scrubbing his hands clean with a washcloth as he does. He smiles in a way that wrinkles his onse, looking around at the others behind Jonathan. “Not that I should be surprised, given the givens.”

“Eve,” Jonathan says, motioning to her. The introduction causes the newcomer’s eyebrows to shoot up toward his hairline. “Meet Doctor Herve Brennan, your uh… your physician.”

Doctor Brennan throws the cloth he was using in a nearby metal bin and slowly approaches the group. He offers a nervous but light smile to Eve, searching her eyes with both astonishment and recognition. “I can totally see it. I—I’m sorry, hearing it is one thing, seeing it is another.”

“This is Eve’s daughter, Saffron,” Jonathan continues the introductions, “and Eve’s friend Chess. I figure she’s—”

“Expecting all three of them.” Brennan finishes Jonathan’s sentence.

"Did you feel weird meeting your sister?" The one that looks more like Chess than the rest of the Chesstras.

Physician. "I do hope she behaves herself when you're checking up on her." There's that devilish grin splashed across Eve's features.

"I don't necessarily look my best Doc! So good to see that you're a good guy in this world as well!" At least Mad Eve had the same sort of friends hanging around her it seems. Nothing like Debbie being her best friend or anything like that. Eve pats Brennan's hand and looks over to Castle. "Prepare yourself dear. I know it's been a long while."

Expecting all three.

"…is my sister from another universe okay?" Eve squints at the man and then looks at Jonathan.

Jonathan coming to grab them makes sense, a doctor meeting them gives Eve flashbacks to when she visited her grandmother in the hospital while she was sick.

There’s a wince when Saffron is told that she is expecting all of them. Not that they were really surprised, but maybe they had hoped that, somehow, things had been supposed to go differently. That she’d at least seen him in a dream. “We’re ready,” they say with a nod, but at the same time— they were not at all. “I know she’s old, but I’m surprised she would tolerate a long term physician…” Their mother had always struck them as being— well— not the type to seek out medical help unless something was threatening to fall off.

Or worse. So if she had a physician. And had for a while

How long had she been sick? They wanted to wonder if they should have been here for her through this, but they had no regrets about going to the Ark. They found love by going to the Ark.

Even if the current situation had made that love…


“Thank you for coming, Chess.” Basil had wanted her here. He just wished his hand was the one reaching toward her as they followed the younger Eve inside.

At the question about meeting her sister, Chess can’t help but frown slightly; it’s not the same situation, but she isn’t going to point that out to Eve at this moment.

“At least this one wants to see you,” is all she says — Kimberly hadn’t known they were coming, and Lanhua hated her, after all.

She glances at Castle with a frown when Eve asks if the other her is okay — being escorted immediately to a clinic would probably suggest otherwise, but the group has gone through a lot, and it’s not her place to point out what is probably obvious to her friend. The hallway is only so long; whatever the truth is, it is imminent.

“Of course,” she says softly, taking the hand that feels strange in hers — she recognizes some of Basil in this new Castle, when the eyes shift to green, when the tone becomes his. But there’s a way her fingers fit, like puzzle pieces with Basil’s, and the fit isn’t quite the same in Saffron’s. It doesn’t matter just now. She squeezes the hand and offers a wobbly smile of support.

“I’ll wait down here.” Jonathan says with a polite smile, not wanting to leave the three totally untethered for when they’re done with whatever they need to do. Doctor Brennan offers Jonathan a mild smile, then gestures for the others to follow him.

“Eve—” Brennan starts, then corrects himself. “Our Eve checked herself in here to this clinic two weeks after the conflict with the Sentinel. We’d just finished tending to the wounded as much as we could and she just… rolled in. But I mean, it’s Eve. She didn’t need a doctor to tell her what was wrong. She knew.”

Brennan’s expression hangs a little as he walks the group through the wide open expanse of the triage center floor to a set of concrete stairs that wind up further into the building. “Eve has a hemangioblastoma, a type of slow-growing brain tumor. According to her she knew she had it from the moment she left the Pelago a few years ago, and for what it’s worth she’s at peace with her situation.”

Reaching the top of the stairs, Brennan turns to look at the others with the matter-of-fact demeanor of a man who deals with death on a daily basis. “She…” Still, he struggles with how best to deliver the news. “She’s been here the last six months as symptoms worsened. Memory loss, partial paralysis. I don’t know how long she has left, but Eve says herself it isn’t long.”

Brennan looks between the three, frowning softly. “Her room is just down the hall but—if you have any questions before we go in or if you need a minute alone to process this, I understand. It’s a lot to take in all at once, especially given your, ah, situation.”

"What I wouldn't give to be your sister." Eve whispers to Chess with a sad smile.

"Oh…." Eve places a hand on the wall to steady herself, world rocking. "I'm so sorry." To Castle, to Chess, to herself. She had been so excited to meet herself only to hear she didn't have much time after all. The woman immediately looks to Saffron and reaches out to grab her hand, squeezing hard and pushing off the wall to stand firm next to the blonde. She frowns back at Chess and considers everything. She was going to meet her maker, in a way. There would be a gift, Eve wouldn't let herself die alone.

"We shouldn't leave her waiting then, she needs us." A sad look at Saffron, "She needs us darling." Eve whispers in her ear and leans her head against Saffron's temple. Tears form in Eve's dry eyes and she lets out a shaky breaths, coughing right after.

"Not like I have much time left, I want to hold her hand. Yes?"


That stunned voice could have been Basil, it could have been Saffron, it could have been both of them together. “Is this some kind of prank?” they were both there right now, and they both knew that, sometimes, their mother played games. And sometimes the games seemed funny to her, but could feel mean at first, until they gained a laugh a moment later. They had even gained some of the habits from their mother, breaking into places to make breakfast has been totally a Mas thing to do, after all.

But this—


This wasn’t a prank. Letting go of the hand, they move away from Chess and Eve both, not even waiting for the minute to process. For a moment, from the way they move, Basil’s nervous energy and highly emotional state could be more easily seen. Saffron had been dampening it, keeping it at bay as they had tried to process things— but now she too was upset.

They didn’t wait to find out what door they needed to go into, they looked in each one on the way down the hall, until they found the one they were looking for. “Why would you send us away when you knew this was happening!” they call out even before they find her.

Chess manages a small smile for Jonathan, though her focus is on Eve, Castle, and now Brennan. Her fingers tighten around Castle’s as the situation is explained, and her other hand goes to Eve’s shoulder, squeezing more gently, gingerly, really, since she knows the body beneath is already beginning to fade.

When Castle pulls away — Basil, really — her brows draw together and she makes a soft, inarticulate sound, the kind that comes from pain, and the pain that comes from seeing someone one loves in pain.

“It’s good we made it in time,” she says softly to Eve as she follows after. “She probably held out just for that — knowing you. You would.” Her eyes fill with tears as she looks down the hall. “At least they can see her one more time.”

She can’t help but think of the people she’s had to say goodbye to — how long or little they had together in the end.

Doctor Brennan gives Saffron a look, but it’s hard to decipher. It’s somewhere between a polite, please keep your voice down and I totally understand which is very frustrating to parse. He leads the three through a pair of metal doors with flaking green paint, through down a concrete corridor to what may be this clinic’s version of an intensive care wing, or perhaps it’s just somewhere private they were able to put together for Eve.

Brennan pushes a heavy canvas curtain aside that leads into Eve’s room, a large concrete-walled space without windows and lit by oil lanterns. It’s warm here, comfortably so. The lack of windows probably makes it easier to keep out the colder night air. Charcoal sketches and oil paintings on loose canvas are hung up on the walls. There’s a bed in the middle of the room that looks as if it came from an actual hospital, the back raised.

Eve Mas, some seventy or eighty years old, lays in the bed draped in hand-made quilts and afghans. Her wild gray hair spread out across her pillow and down her shoulders and though she is old enough to be everyone in the room’s great grandmother, there is not a bit of lucidity lost from her tired old eyes.
Brennan offers Mad Eve a mild smile, then quietly says, “Take all the time you need,” before excusing himself from the room.

The lack of lucidity doesn't mean that Mad Eve is silent.

"The earth shall shake. The stars have been drawn. Covet your heart, covet your sacrifice."

The younger of the Eve's but in no better shape hobbles along after Saffron, wincing as they yell. They had every right. "Dearie-" Falling silent as she enters the room and her whole world tilts, staggering back and then forward to grasp Chess' shoulders with a gasp. Mad Eve's eyes don't track to them as of yet, she's reveling in whatever daydream has her hooked. "The Sun. The Moon. The Crescendo. Born again. Born to see. Born to be used, Born to be-" Saffron's feet carry them loudly enough into the room that the old woman finally snaps her mouth shut and she closes her eyes.

Eve steps forward to lean against the bed, the tail of her long coat trails behind leaving light water stains, soon she is staring down at herself with wide mismatched lifeless eyes. Droplets of water from her hair sprinkle onto the pillow. A piece of her cheek begins to fall off but she doesn't seem to notice.

"Your breath stinks." One dark eye pops open to eye the younger woman staring down at her. "Hello Egg. I'm—"

"Chicken." Young Eve snorts and looks sheepish, dipping her head in complete reverence of an elder and backing away as she does so. The women are twin energies, the same exact grin, tilt of their heads. This time they snort in unison and the younger of the two covers her face noticing the falling skin in the process with a mild shriek which makes Mad Eve cackle in delight.

"Maybe it's the opposite, hm?" Something distracts Mad Eve from her wild demented grin because she notices a blonde standing right there.

A flood of emotion washes over the old woman's face and she erupts into loud sobs, curling away from Saffron with a look of horror on her face. An utter betrayal given foundation in her wrinkles. "Floods. Travel. Hoppers. Endless Loops. Tangled Cords. Sacrifice. Sacrifice. Sacrifice. A Devil For A Mother." Mad Eve snaps out of it and blinks towards Saffron but her gaze soon fades out again and her eyes roll into the back of her head before they close firmly.

"I'm.. so… sorry. My sweet Princess." The nature of her decline in health paired with seeing another version of herself as well as the child that had previously died and gone onto another world, sends the old woman's already feeble mind on a tear. Saffron and Basil were used to their mother's unstable emotional state but what they were more use to was lacking, her harshness. How hard she always pushed them, relentless even. They had purpose. Eyebrows twitch and she begins muttering to herself again, tapping her fingers along her arms and giggling at random moments.

"Saffron," Eve looks torn as reaches over the raving old woman to clasp the blonde's shoulder. "Your gift my dear, your gift. Share your memories, hers. Share the emotion inside."

Connection with blood, something that could maybe bring Mad Eve back before her tiny body took its last breath.

There’s something very torn about Castle at this moment. There are tears running down her face, but the tears are not even theirs. They’re his tears and her face and her fists that are tightened in anger. “You apologizing right now— You dying now— it won’t make me forgive you,” she says in frustration, looking down at the old woman who looks somehow far more fragile than she’d ever imagined she would look. Even as she had aged, she somehow still looked—

Whole. Mighty. Big. Strong. But now she looked… “I forgave her for that ag— “ he doesn’t even get to finish the words before she pushes a hand down against the bedside. “I know that. And I hate her for it. I hate her because you loved her so much you could forgive her anything and she still let you die.”

“Saff.” It was weird seeing them argue in the same body. Even Chess had never really seen this. They were usually so much in agreement. But this was one subject that was the most difficult. One subject where— She reaches out and takes Chess’s hand, then the younger Eve starting to fall apart, and puts the two dying Eve’s hands on top of each other, wrapping her fingers around them.

“I’m not doing this for you,” Saffron adds, still angry as—


The room melts away into a warehouse. Cracked and destroyed pavement surrounds the area. Abandoned motorcycles, cars, and boats sit about. A garage door can be seen open, looking out onto a painted sky, the painting of the lighthouse.

Candles light the place. And inside stand all five of them. “I did this because he wanted you to see him again,” she adds, still with anger in her voice, looking very much like she’d like to leave, and like she doesn’t really want to share her memories. “And you would have if the trip hadn’t been messed up.”

“Sorry,” he adds in Chess’ direction, for dragging her along on this, even if— well— that had been for him too. Because he’s standing next to her and holding onto her hand. Didn’t want to do this without her at her side. Basil. No longer a twenty-year-old boy barely grown, but an adult. Even if he still looked boyish and young and far too skinny for his mother’s tastes.

Chess watches wide-eyed as two versions of Eve — one young, one old, both dying — talk to one another, and then the two halves of Castle begin to argue. She hangs back, a little away and behind Saffron and Eve, the picture of the awkward visitor at a family reunion unsure of where to place themselves when the family drama begins to spill out.

But then Saffron takes her hand, and Chess finds herself somewhere she’s never been, holding Basil’s hand. When she looks up and around, her dark eyes glitter with tears, and her free hand wipes at them in irritation. The hand in Basil’s interlaces her fingers with his — they fit this way, the puzzle pieces aligning the way she’s used to.

She doesn’t speak, but glances up at Basil, then busies herself by smoothing out the blanket along the edge of Mad Eve’s legs where it’s gotten rumpled.

"Quiet girl. I am dying, make your peace." In this space Mad Eve has more control over her mind, how much she raves or loses herself. She's sitting up now and looking over at her children. Together, just like she dreamed it. Sound emits from her mouth when she clicks her tongue and an old hand comes to rub Chess' hand in thanks for her kindness, her son had found a great partner. Mad Eve slides out of the bed and stands before the four, drawing herself up to full height. Her body is not broken here, neither is her mind.

Basil. The old woman's eyes grow teary and she tilts her head, "I told you I'd see you again." Striding forward to place a hand on his cheek, thumb playing with an impossibly dark curl. "My Apollo." Next she grabs Saffron's hand and squeezes while she leans in, touching the tip of her nose to her daughter's, "My Artemis."

The younger Eve sighs in relief as the pain her stolen corpse evaporates in this space but the feeling of knowing she didn't have much more time persists, grows stronger even like the tide gaining power as it surges towards a sandy beach. Mostly she stays silent and walks over to lay her head on Chess' shoulder, watching the trio in front of them. Studying every move they make, every word they utter and marveling at the magic that is at work on this sad day.

"I've made many mistakes." As if she hadn't just raved a sorry to her daughter in the waking world but the world was as the old woman saw it and that still hadn't changed. "But there was no mistake in bringing you both into this world, in making a bargain with the man known as Hiro Nakamura. On securing that you would be able to live some semblance of a happy childhood before the darkness would truly begin. Even if I had to drag us all through the past to do it."

Some of this they all know, but some of this is new. Added context to events the siblings have yearned to know more about.

"I had a dream six months before I met your father," Saffron's hand is released and Basil's cheek relinquished back to him as the old woman hobbles backwards and leans against the bed. "In it I saw the end of all things, a culmination of events that will pop the worlds out of existence like Christmas lights on a line." These sorts of visions are not unusual to hear of, all of the Eve's had a knack for foretelling the coming apocalypses. "But I also saw your faces and I knew you were mine instantly. A mother always knows." Mad Eve frowns and folds her arms in place before she erupts into laughter. "My babies were going to help save everything. You just needed to be born." The frown deepens and she sighs now, mood fluctuating like a confused hurricane but the five near the calming eye of the storm as the old woman continues.

"But how do I raise you, in a world with a sea of dead? The Flood was still approaching. Was it fair to not let you touch and fall in love with the world and people you were meant to save?" It's a rhetorical question. As she speaks images begin to play in the air around them. Tiny televisions tuned to their own memory:

Eve landing in a field with a man with a sword, words exchanged before he vanishes as if he was never there. There are lights in the distance.

A younger Eve staring up into a bright, hot spotlight as she sang her heart out on stage, various circus freaks perform a dance in tune with her voice. Arms outstretched and fingertips wiggling, hoping to reach the heavens as she hops into the air, a crowd screams in applause for her.

The same Eve at an old bar snickering and laying a hand on a bearded man's shoulder, curling her fingers. This was the one.

Sliced pineapple and bananas in ceramic bowls, pale fingers pluck the fruit from their new homes and pop them into her mouth. Her free hand wields a paint brush and Eve makes broad strokes that don't seem to connect at first. After a time, she puts the brush down and studies her work with a pained expression. Her fruit stained hand goes to rub the large belly with Saffron inside.

"No. So we lived through the decades, smuggling our way through time. I wanted you to see it all! Wanted you to taste it and give yourself to the world one hundred times over."

Another image plays near Mad Eve's head, the pregnant Eve sobbing in a ball on the floor. The large painting she had finished showed a blonde woman and dark haired man, wrapped in an embrace in one frame but the blonde loses grip in the next. The shock and pain on their faces. The last frame of the man's body at the bottom of the ocean but something green rises from within him, hurtling it's way up.

"There was a piece of your journey that I wanted to shield you from," It's said quite lamely and Mad Eve is deflated as the memory of her discovery of Basil's impending death replays near her head. "But Baz living meant you'd never unite. You'd never leave me and this world. You'd never gain the gift," and everything she had done would be for nothing and her children would have died anyway in the end, unable to help the world. "For that I am sorry, I let you suffer. I should have found a better way, worked even harder." She looks more at Basil now, trying to convey just how sorry she is.

But every vision pertaining to that event was the same and she had forced a lot of visions. She should have done more. "You are here now though and your journey isn't half done. You will press on, you will succeed because you have the blood of the headstrong bullish women of the Mas line running through those delicate veins. Because you are mine."

The younger Eve looks over at Chess and whispers, "She talks just as much as I do."

"I heard that!"

“I mean I didn’t think it would be like this,” Basil responds, looking down with a little bit of guilt. They could have done this at any time, with his sister’s ability, but he would have looked how he always had before— when he had died. A boy of barely twenty who hadn’t even grown into his full self yet. They still don’t know why they had been the right age when they woke up on the other side, why he had been there at all

But now that was over. And he couldn’t help but glance at Chess with a little bit of guilt, because he hoped that the same could be said for her— that she would see him again. And not quite like this.

“We know the story, Mother,” Saffron says with a growl, refusing, at first, to even look at the memories building around them. “And we told them both, too. But if it makes you feel better to tell it yourself…” There were definitely things she was adding that neither of the kids had brought up in their version, and then she does glance around and frowns a little as if realizing something about the images being built from her mother’s memories. Or maybe she’s just mad.

They’re very clear, though. The shifting memories of the locations they had lived, the fleeting flickers of Hiro— of her father of Basil’s.

When she gets to the “reason” her brother had to die, she hisses a little, looking back at her mother. With a sudden wash-like white paint being brushed over a colorful canvas, the memory scape goes blank, stark white, the person in charge of it rebelling against everything that she’s heard. “And it was all useless anyway. The Castle is gone. We can’t even use it anymore. We’ve tried. Now we’ve just got this and my ability isn’t going to fix anything.”

From where he stands nearby, Basil opens his mouth as if he wants to say something but then looks down, choosing silence. The Mas women always were stubborn. And in this case, the youngest one was angry.

“About the same,” is Chess’ whispered reply to the younger of the two Eves, glancing from her to the older version, and musing that they need a third to make up the three faces and phases of woman, witch, goddess. The thought flits away, distracted by the tensions of the Mas family around her.

One hand seeks the hand belonging to the Eve she’s known and loved for so many years, though her eyes return to Castle, tears welling up again in reactionary empathy for the siblings. “I should go,” she whispers to her Eve, though she doesn’t yet move away.

"BAH! You think I'd gamble your lives on something I wasn't absolutely sure of?!"

A moment passes.

"Don't answer that. But I didn't," Mad Eve glares at her daughter. "The Castle is right where it needs to be and it will be right within your fingertips again the sooner you reconcile with," Waving her hand at the loose memories floating around them. "All of this shit. Find the Key, step into your purpose and make it so all of this wasn't for nothing. This is my last charge to you, this is a hard duty that is unfair. I don't expect you to forgive me for it my children," Eyes on Saffron, "But I do expect you to live."

Her gaze softens for a moment and the cranky old woman takes in her greatest gifts to the world, "You are the best things to ever happen to me. I love you."

The younger of the Eve's frowns and places a hand on Chess's arm in farewell. Wounded for the three in front of them unraveling their familial trauma in the way only a Mas could, truly a chaotic storm of emotions and personality.

"And now, it's time you let me and this spring egg talk."

"Old one, I don't think that's-"

"I said what I said."

"Go on," to the other three, waving her hand dismissively. "Myself and I have a few things to lay out. Do try to keep us in this state will you dear? It's more pleasant than the reality of our bodies right now." Those last words to Saffron before Mad Eve claps her hands and they are in the pair's childhood room.

It was Eve's memory scape. Both of theirs. "Now this is more like it." Exclaims the old woman as she shuffles forward and picks up an unfinished joint, lighting it and taking a puff. "Dad always had the good shit didn't he."

"He's not-"

"I know, but that is your journey and mystery to unravel. I have no interest and you'd do well to not forget the man who raised you in the pursuit of a biological benefactor. Momma was stubborn but she had her reasons." Just like the old woman herself did for what she did regarding her own children.

"Fine." The younger says with a sigh and a crossing of her arms, "Yes he had the good shit."

"That's my girl."

Passing the joint before settling down in the small bed, "I don't have to tell you that the days ahead will be harder than you're use too. People dying, seemingly unstoppable forces and betrayals, the whole nine." Whistling while looking at a poster of Stevie Nicks alongside Lauryn Hill and then those aged eyes take in the sketches and drawings pinned on the wall. Some things even looking vaguely familiar from recent memory. "We never knew what we were doing. But we always made sure to do it, hmm?"

Now puffing on the joint the younger Eve sits on the floor and lets the smoke fill the room, Valerie Mas would have their heads if she were here. "I'm not sure I can really do anything, I know we have to save everyone even when they only want to save a few." That was something that still didn't sit right with the former seer.

"It is the job of the people you're with to remain pragmatic, it is yours to believe. Follow the path that is shown and you will be rewarded. Have you not been rewarded already? Gifts come in many forms and some we do not like but they are necessary to change."

The meeting of children she would otherwise never have, even the changing of her ability so many times, seeing her mother again, there was truth in the crone's words.

"I have so many questions, like what's real fresh seafood taste like? Did you fuck any pirates?"

Mad Eve barks in laughter and slaps her knee, "Silly girl! It tastes the same to be honest! And more than my share! FOCUS!"

"Heh, it was just a joke."

"Keep joking because the moment you stop is the moment you start to lose your spark."

"There is a cache of paintings, my last bit from the days before the Flood that I left in a safe location on land. Should be sealed up tight still, you'll find a map in my cabin. And a letter, all for you. There are letters for the children but if you could wait a little while until you give them those, I think you'll know the right time."

It was all happening much too fast, faster than either of them wanted it too but every moment savored. Eve would think on this day for the rest of her life. "There's no way the universe would let two of us be alive in the same place at once."

Snickering in unison before leaning forward to grasp hands, "Our journeys have been vastly different my little egg but we are made of the same stuff and I would bet on myself being able to pull this off so, I'm placing my last and final bet, on you. All in baby." Squeezing the younger woman's hands and looking into those red eyes warmly.

"Trust your gut, trust your gifts, trust your friends and family. Protect my babies, they are yours to love now." Closing her eyes and laying on her back in the bed she grew up in, Mad Eve's eyelids flutter and her breaths get more and more shallow. "And for goddess sake find someone to love and grow old woman with, we don't wear single hag well in our crumbly years."

"HA! You wear anything well, even your unwashed dresses."

Eve kneels by the dying old woman with a slight sob, "I wish we had more time, I want to know everything about you. So much mischief we could have gotten into together, my friends would have loved it!" She can also feel herself fading, that familiar tug towards a host. There are multiple she can feel within her grasp, but the one closet feels like home. So she crawls into bed with herself and wraps her arms over the smaller and older version of herself.

Without opening her eyes Mad Eve pats Eve's shoulder,"Silly girl, I will be with you, dream of me. Think of me. Remember me and all that I have left. It is your inheritance."

"Now shut up."

Some Time Later

The Real World

Red mist drifts up from the younger Eve's stolen body that lays with its head on the corpse of Mad Eve's shoulder. Hours had passed since children and family stood around her bedside. But what was going to happen here was neither for the faint of heart, nor those who wish to remember either Eve as she was…

Not as she has become.

The elderly Eve Mas has stopped breathing, her eyes half-lidded and staring up into the ceiling as if in revelation. The younger Eve Mas slouches further, and then begins to rapidly decompose. Her skin yellows, blots, blackens, and then splits revealing rotten bone and muscle. She collapses out of her chair into a heap on the floor, viscous fluids coagulating through the fabric of her knit sweater, blood swirling in the pool of accelerated rot.

In the same moment, that red vapor has formed into a cottony fog that clings to the elder’s bed. It creeps along the blankets, then sinks through it and into her flesh, giving it a glistening pink sheen as if she were freshly coated in blood. The elderly Eve Mas sucks in a sharp breath, weathered old fingers curling into the fabric of her sheets. Her heart-rate monitor that had silently been showing a flatline now spikes with activity. Her back archer, she sucks in a sharp breath, and then exhales a cloud of swirling red vapor as—

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License