Since she apparently had an apology to make, and the only advice she had been given was to beg for forgiveness, Lisbeth had to come up with her own plan. It was oddly close to Sinclair’s advice once she was done.
The plan should have been simple, requiring a few quick trips to set things up. The real problem was simple didn’t mean easy, sure the setup was easy, but that wasn’t the nerve-wracking part. No that came next, actually talking to Nerissa. By the time Lisbeth worked up the nerve to talk to her, Nerissa had already gone to her Monday classes.
By the time Nerissa did return Lisbeth had passed through, nervousness, apprehension, worry, fear, and looped right back around to nervousness. She had managed to work herself into something of a state when she recognized Nerissa’s pattern entering the building. Sensing people with magic was easy enough, actually recognizing a person was more difficult.
This however was Nerissa, and Lisbeth had taken care to remember exactly what she would appear as to magic. The advanced warning gave her enough time to fix her hair. Not that there was much she could do with it, but it was the motions that mattered to her nerves. She also considered changing again, but realized that that would just be stalling.
She knocked on Nerissa’s door five minutes after Nerissa had retuned. To give her enough time to put things down.
“Nerissa, can we talk?” Please hear me out.
“Yes we can.”
Nerissa backed away from the door to allow Lisbeth entrance. Lisbeth for her part entered, closed the door behind herself and opened a gateway on the wall beside them. The other side of the gateway was dark.
“What’s through there?”
“Context.” I want you to see the world I see.
“There’s also a great view that I wouldn’t want to spoil. You’ll like this I promise.”
Nerissa motioned for Lisbeth to lead the way with one hand. Lisbeth did so, doing her best to hide that her hands were shaking, she really did hope Nerissa liked the view. Nerissa followed and looked a little confused, as she looked out.
“It’s beautiful” It was, the dark sky will with stars that seemed brighter, and clearer than any she had seen before.
Nerissa did so and gasped. She was looking at the earth, a large mostly blue ball. It looked about the size of what the moon appeared to be, floating there in a dark void. The moon could actually be seen, only partially peeking out from behind the earth.
I hope you like the view, it would be hard to find a better one.
“I like it, that’s amazing.”
Good, I was worried I would have to track down a solar flair, and I don’t think I’m up to being too close to one of those.
I’m a gatekeeper, opening holes is what I do best. I can even choose where I want those holes to lead.
“You really can go anywhere can’t you?”
No, I do have range limits, but I’ve never had to push them.
“Why did you bring me here.”
Because I want to show you pretty things.
I am, I want to show you beautiful things, I want to see you smile, I want to see you laugh. Most importantly I don’t want you upset with me.
“You let people die for your own profit.” There was a certain amount of sting to Nerissa’s words, but it was tempered by the wonder still in her voice.
I also wanted you to see the world I see. It is both massive and so very small, it is populated by billions of people.
“It’s ok because it’s populated by billions of people?” Less wonder, more sting.
Of course not, but I wasn’t raised seeing the people, I was raised seeing the world. It’s alive, it breathes, it changes, it adapts, it does it’s best to survive.
“Is there a point to this.”
I was raised to be able to do what I’m doing now. I haven’t been surrounded by very good people, and they tainted my perspectives. I could try to change that, and in a way I already have, but it’s too late.
“I’m sorry, but I will do my best to reduce casualties.”
“You still haven’t said what’s going to happen.”
“I do so hate to interrupt, but I’m going to have to interrupt this touching moment. You and I need to talk Lisbeth.”
The two girls spun around to look at the newcomer. It was Bill, in all his childish charm. Lisbeth moved to stand between him and Nerissa. It was a purely symbolic gesture, magic rendering it useless. However it was a metaphorical line in the sand.
“Bill, you should have called ahead, as you can see I’m quite busy.”
“Yes sorry about that Lisbeth, but this was urgent. You really shouldn’t have done that. There are consequences for this kind of thing.”
“Yes I know, but what’s done is done, you would have to be a god to undo this. And we both know they don’t care.”
“Lisbeth, what are you two talking about?”
“Sorry Nerissa, but you need to head home. Bill here is going to try to kill me again.”
“She’s right, I am.”
Lisbeth opened another gate under Nerissa’s feet. She fell through with a startled screech. Lisbeth meanwhile prepared herself, this was going to get messy.
“Thank you for letting her go.”
“I wouldn’t dream of fighting you with a handicap. It wouldn’t be fun. You even went to all the trouble of setting up this perfect stage.”
“I didn’t do it for you, now I’m going to have to track down a solar flair or something.”
Lisbeth puled power into the architecture laced through her body. Allowing herself to become more than she was, more than she had been. She felt her clothes burning off in response to the heat her body was generating.
“I was worried about fighting you before. But now, I find I’m more worried about trying to apologize to Nerissa again.”
“If you live that long, shall we get started?”
They got started.