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To speak with the City Spirit

I lay my rug down upon the snows of the grave yard. Tired I am with the burden that I carry but I have one duty to perform. Giri has its requirements as does faith. Great are the trials but satisfying are the rewards…

I compose myself to quiet and send the invocation…

“Tried has the city been and tested have been the citizens. Dark was the time and tired was the soul. Blessings to the spirit of the city. Praise to the spirit of the city for the gift of light. Honor and glory to the spirit of the city for its courage and hope. Banzai ! Banzai ! Banzai !”

The weight I have borne lifts and I feel calm once again as I did when I first came here. It’s time for the call I think. I take the cleansing breath and enter the space of here/not here.

“The shrine maiden of the Temple has fulfilled the agreement. Trust within faith is the payment she has offered. Who shall accept this payment? Who lives for Babbage in death as they did in life? Will who talked to the mad ghost of Henri Metier speak now to the Shini Megami?”

A snow laced wind swirls about me and then moves to the front of the three spiral headstone. From within the flakes a spirit of a Victorian Lady appears…

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“Good evening dear. It is so nice to meet you finally. I certainly hope you are doing well after all the excitement today?”

“Good evening. You are the spirit of the city then? Excuse me, I expected a more imposing, shall we say, figure.”

“Oh my, I guess I could if that would please you. But this is how I have pictured myself; a kind lady with a bag full of surprises for those who require it.”

“Not at all. In Nihon we have many kami like you. Our house and village ghosts tend to be dressed like us. So for you to look like this is no great shock. I would think that the men of the city would expect a warrior perhaps.”

The ghost laughs gently. “Men do expect that, don’t they? Well that is the way men think, all action and fire and smoke and sparks. Now, women understand things get done without that much fuss and bother wouldn’t you say? The quiet use of tools and wisdom goes a lot further I think”

“Agreed. Might I ask how you became connected with the magicks of the Engineers? I must say thank you again on behalf on the citizens for helping us. I would have never thought to see Cloud Angels.”

“The Angels knew that they were the solution to the problem. I hope you did not mind flying to catch them. They have their own set of rules, you see and tend to be playful.”

“It did cause some confusion but everything ended well enough.”

“It was a pity that the knight died. His path was a lonely one. You know that he was a helper of mine in addition to his goddess.”

“I had wondered about that. It was said that he invoked both of you during the ceremony.”

“He did. It was the correct thing to do. It certainly got what he needed, didn’t it?”

“It appears so. There seems to be some loose ends but the city authorities are trying to tie them down.”

“This is Babbage dear child. There are always loose ends no matter how things happen here. Speaking of that, you realize you are a loose end yourself. Metier connected the two of us together you know. What shall we do about this? I know the connection puts a strain upon you as you are a frail vessel of flesh.”

“I know. Would a sacifice work for you? I am prepared to cut a piece of myself as an offering.”

“Gracious me! I require nothing as nasty as that! Have you been listening to the priests around Babbage? You see, your entire body is the connection. All that is needed is a lock of your hair. Then the connection is preserved but the burden of it is removed.”

“Hai! That I can do!” I release the kanata from its sheath and cut a forelock of hair. Tasha will complain that my coif is ruined but hair grows back as fingers do not. I place the hair upon the stone and the ghost lifts it up and into her bag.

“Think not that your obligation to me is released Temple maiden. I may have need of you in the future. This lock of hair shall be my binding upon you if your service is required.”

“I understand. Please might I ask what became of Metier and will he return? You still have not answered my question about the Engineers either.”

“Metier now occupies a different world than you know of dear. If I need him I shall bring him back. As for the Engineers of the Elder Time? My My…what would a lady be without a few secrets to keep. Perhaps another time for that chat dear.”

She waves and then lift a fingers and moves it in a circle. The wind comes up again and she disappears in a cloud of flakes. The lady does have a sense of style with her comings and goings I must admit. She has kept her agreement. I no longer feel the connection as a weight upon my soul and I feel like I could dance all night. But, if I search for it inside me, I still feel a string of it binding me to Babbage, just as it should be…

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One Comment

  1. Henri Metier Henri Metier December 18, 2011

    Given the choice between a ravenous beast and her, knowing what it intended for that delightful woman…there was simply no contest!

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