1.01 The Ceura





Agnes. Eule.







It is not time yet.



Sleep so you might wake.


When you are ready, we will meet again.







“His name is Sam Rice.” Olivia carefully pushed an open file across the table towards Agnes. “We had heard… rumors that he had plans to start a massive war between several gods under the orders of his own master.” 


Agnes stared numbly at the face staring back at her in the picture. It gave her a chill looking at the scars that marred his face. That was the face of the man who told her she would die if she let go of that bomb she carried.
She didn’t know she could hate someone so much.
“Why?” It was all she could ask.


Olivia’s brow furrowed and she sighed softly with no good answer to give her.
“-Because he is a follower of the Goddess of Lies and Betrayal; it has very little to do with you, and far more to deal in political climates.” It was Olivia’s husband who answered her. She had forgotten his name, but she didn’t want to ask again.
It had been something unusual…


He set a cup down in front of Olivia and she smiled at him in a way that made Agnes avert her gaze to the envelope below her.
Seeing his face, however, didn’t help at all, so she looked the opposite way, catching a glimpse of Louise - no, Esmerelda - looking down at her phone on the table. 


It was all too overwhelming.
It made her angry.
No, just him.
He made her angry.
“So… I’m just a pawn in all of this…?” Agnes choked on her voice when she spoke.


“Unfortunately…” Esmerelda spoke that time and she rubbed her face, seeming to grow more and more tired as the conversation went on. Agnes had woken in this place after fainting from the bomb - the sun had just set and Olivia took her to a room with her things somehow in it so she could change.


Olivia said she had stopped at the vacation house to get her bags shortly after Agnes had even left it.
It was like the world was just laughing at how little in control of her life she even was. She hated it. She hated him. Erik. Sam. Whatever the fuck his name was - it didn’t matter. She hated him for what he did.


Olivia interrupted her thoughts by placing a hand on her shoulder with a slight smile. “He tried to treat you like a pawn, but he didn’t realize you were much more than that… which is what I wanted to talk to you about.”


She gestured to the necklace Agnes wore - the one Erik had left for her at the house. Agnes wanted to hate that too but she couldn’t bring herself to for some reason. It didn’t feel related.
She had grown… almost attached to it, if that were even possible.
It overcame this horrible day alongside her.
“Do you know what your necklace is, Agnes?” Olivia asked.


Agnes touched it gingerly with her hand. “It’s a Scarab Beetle; they’re considered good luck in Egypt, and they symbolize rebirth.”
She had always wanted to go to Egypt - ever since she was little. She petitioned her family to go, and it was always met with a “we’ll see.”
Agnes had even asked Erik to consider it and he laughed before saying they’d go next year.
Next year.
Her stomach soured.
Asshole.
How could he do this to her?!


“It’s an artifact. A magical artifact.” Olivia emphasized.
That got Agnes’s attention. “A… what?” She knew she had heard Olivia right, though and she shook her head. “This is what he was after… isn’t it?”
Esmerelda was nodding. “He was out to steal it so he could frame someone else for it and cause a war.” 


“We believe its technical name is the Ceura.” Olivia’s husband interjected quietly. “My father studied the Ceura for quite some time; he even modeled Quinn’s amulet after one of its properties.” He gestured to Esmerelda who looked down at the amulet she wore.
“Well, shit.” Esmerelda pursed her lips into a slight smile. “That’s neat.”
“That’s not the important part, though.” Olivia grabbed Agnes’s attention, looking at her sincerely. “Artifacts - specifically naturally-formed artifacts - are extremely powerful and extremely finicky. Each artifact has… well almost a sort of sentience, you see.” 


She briefly looked towards her husband who nodded, confirming her phrasing before she continued on: “While artifacts are powerful, they typically don’t let anyone handle them unless they’re man-made, like the necklace Esmerelda is wearing.”
Agnes looked down again and touched the necklace with a gentle hand. “So this one is probably man-made?”
It was then Olivia reached over hesitantly, her eyes asked for permission to handle the necklace she wore and Agnes nodded, moving her hand out of the way.


Agnes could feel her hand approach, and her heart-rate increased. Why? 
She had gone digging internally for a reason when suddenly the artifact electrocuted Olivia.



Agnes recoiled back in her seat and looked at Olivia with wide eyes. Her husband was already gripping her hand as they exchanged a look.
Esmerelda burst out laughing, “holy shit! Let me try!” In a heartbeat she had leaned over and tapped onto Agnes’s necklace before being sent backwards with the same electric shock. She kept laughing all the way through it.



“Are you alright, Ezzie?” Olivia looked at her concerned.
“I think I tasted my own brain.” Esmerelda rubbed her head as she caught her breath, and Agnes snorted in response. 


Even Olivia’s husband had broken down laughing at the comment.
“So… I think it’s safe to say that’s real.” Esmerelda breathed as she leaned on the table.
Agnes frowned to herself. “But how?” She was touching it. It hadn’t shocked her yet.
“Because it chose you, Agnes.” Olivia answered her with a warm voice. 
“...Chose… me?” 


It is not time yet.

Olivia nodded. “Naturally-formed artifacts do not let just anyone touch or use them… they select someone - someone who becomes their host.”
Agnes brought her gaze down to the necklace. “I’m… the host?”
“It would seem that way.” Olivia’s husband confirmed.
“So… what happens… next?” 


“Well, we already had planned to keep you here - off the grid - for a while until things cooled off and it would be safe for you to return home. This is all still possible, of course, but… we’ll need to return the artifact to one of the gods involved, and preferably not Calypso.”
Agnes gripped the necklace then. Give it up?
No.
She couldn’t.
It made fear rise in her gut to part with it.


… but it was just a necklace.
She could go home.
Home to what? Her mind echoed. She was supposed to be married. Supposed to be happy enjoying her honeymoon right now. Erik not only broke her heart, but he tried to take what wasn’t his. She hated him. She hated him so much.
“I don’t think I can do that.” Agnes whispered it, staring blankly at the table. “...Maybe… maybe I should?”


“There’s no hurry to act on this now. We’ll have to take it as it comes, it’s getting late though, and you should get some rest. You’ll be safe here and we’ll consider our options more after we’ve had some time to see how the chips fall.” Olivia had been touching Agnes’s shoulder gently, it was comforting.
“Fucking thank you, I’m exhausted!” Esmerelda had already dragged herself up from her chair. “I’m crashing here tonight, by the way.”
“Sounds good.” Olivia nodding, remaining in her seat. 



“Come’on Agnes. You got the room next to mine! We’re gonna be wall-mates!” She grinned as she helped pull Agnes to her feet.
Agnes hesitated as she looked to Olivia and her husband, both of whom seemed to be having a silent conversation. 


“We’ll see you guys tomorro-er later today!” Esmerelda gave Agnes a tug and they began walking. “Don’t mind them, they always look at each other intensely. It's how they have conversations sometimes. You get used to it.” 
Agnes felt sluggish as they walked, almost not really hearing Esmerelda as she spoke.


“-and this is me, you’re the next one! Just knock on the wall if you need me, I’m a fairly light sleeper. Or you can just come in, but be warned, I might punch you accidentally if you wake me.” She shrugged. “Old habit.” 


“Th-Thank you.” Agnes slowly sputtered it out. She hadn’t thanked anyone yet tonight. They had all stuck their necks out for her and she hadn’t even bothered with basic politeness to acknowledge that.
Esmerelda seemed surprised for a moment before she grinned. “Hey, no worries! We’ve got your back! Try and get some sleep, ok? Olivia and Kefka have got this, I’m pretty sure when they put their minds to it, then can make anything happen.”
“Thanks… I’ll try.” 


It was hard to feel comforted by it, but it was all she had.


Perhaps it didn't need to be?




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Author's Note - so... how did I do?

5 comments:

  1. God preach it girl, Eric is really SUCH AN ASS
    But apparently he managed to leave you a fancy necklace there. I'm going to VOTE for you to keep it. NO reason really snort, but mere curiosity XD
    Hehhehe I KNOW ALL THESE CHARACTERS
    Gosh, i don't say it enough but I love that you have so many stories all in the same world and that we get to see them interact in different time periods! It adds such a beautiful depth to it all!
    Hehehe only chapter 2 and I'm super deep into this story already :D

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    Replies
    1. Hahah, ONE VOTE TO KEEP, absolutely counted - but ONLY for curiosity's sake. ;)
      Whooooooooo? Theeeemmmm? Nahhhh we don't know THEM. They're strange folk from other stories we know nuttin' about. XD

      <3 Thanks for being fantastic!

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  2. Olivia and Kefka are already married :O I'm glad Olivia remembers him in this time line, or does Kefka have to show her a videotape of their life every morning like in 50 first dates? XD (sorry, I'll stop)

    Another vote for keeping the necklace! It's meant to be with her, right?

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    Replies
    1. Hahahah! Yes they are already married! It was way too much patchwork to find reasons for them to NOT be, all things considering. Lol, you know now that you MENTION it though... KEFKA GET THE CAMCORDER! XD Hahaha could you imagine though? That's SO much life to capture!
      JUST OH AND BY THE WAY we run a crazy complex organization, but DON'T WORRY YOU'RE A NATURAL. (chokes on laugh) That's freaking great hahaha!

      Woohoo! Two votes for the necklace! Lol now if only I had any POWER in this story to implement it...
      The necklace has CHOSEN her yes, so in a way, it is meant to be with her!
      I can't imagine many necklaces pick their wearer... or maybe they do, and that's why I've not been strangled yet, lmao. XD Thank you so much! I really needed a boost today and seeing your comment (albeit, belatedly, *shakes fist at blogger's email notifs being broken) has really perked me up!

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    2. Sorry, the late commenting is more me than anything else. If you're not in my blogroll I'm really late to reading an update. But I did finally add the Reapers so I should see the next chapter right away when you post!

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