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The Pale Web Reboot: Book II

Count Vashra

Lord of Shadows
True Blood
Sep 29, 2013
A short(er) story between the Pale Web reboot's first installment and the next. The Blood Dragon Lucinia attempts to persuade the Lahmian Annabella to allow her to move in for a time, whiel the latter scrutinises Lucinia's mental companion.


Annabella frowned when Lucinia mentioned Shadow. "I've never heard of such a thing."
I am nota thing, Shadow protested within Lucinia. The vampire felt outrage.
"You're not," Lucinia assured her. Then in the real world, "What do you mean? Her sea-blue eyes widened.
"I mean, child, mind-wardens don't exist. Whoever told you that..." Annabella brushed Luicnia's cheek. "No. Your companion, if that's what she is, is something else."
"But she seems so real. We talk all the time, especially in dreams. She looks just like me!"
Annabella's blakc eyes slowly blinked as she subtly shifted her position on the couch. "I'm not saying she doesn't exist. And I know you don't like magic, so she must, but what she is..."
"Well, I'm glad you're not calling her it."
Annabella smiled. "I can tell you're very close - sharing a body must do that - and I have no intention of insulting either of you."
That's a surprise.
"Shadow's surprised."
"I would expect so. Living in terror of being found and ripped out, I suppose. Listen, Shadow-of-doubt. You can hear me, i mean?"
Lucinia nodded.
"I don't know what you are, but you're close to someone very dear to me, so I won't jump to conclusions, and unless you're something I know to be malevolent, I want to be your friend, too."
"Thank you for understanding." Lucinia felt emotions that suggested agreement.
"Now, when did you first meet her?"
"When Sir Luis turned me, I went into the transformation sleep and went into a dream. We were in a shadow-form of my house, and I asked her what she was. We talked, and we found we liked one another." Lucinia laughed nervously. "We've been friends ever since."
Annabella put a hand on her chin, thinking. "A possible result of the transformation process? I'd have to ask a Necrarch - I know one or two - but I've never heard of it."
"Shadow, did you lie to me?" Lucinia asked, so Annabella would hear too.
No! I would never lie to you, Hadris! The idea seemed to upset Shadow. That's what I knew. Or thought I knew.
Lucinia shrugged. "She arrived with that in her head."
"Oh. Then she can't help." A pause. "Interesting. No magical signature. She should have one."
'Are you hiding it?"
No, Hadris. Listen. We've established I'm not malevolent. Can we stop discussing what I am, please? She sounded desperate and uncertain. Lucinia hated that.
"She wants us to stop discussing her nature. So do I, really. I mean, she's not evil." Lucinia looked into Annabella's eyes pleadingly.
"Not intentionally, but perhaps unknowingly. You said those Necrarchs extracted your blood. Her knowledge? And what about that spell? She comes from somewhere." Annabella stroked Lucinia's crimson hair. "Although, we won't achieve much here."
"She thanks you."
"You are most welcome, Shadow-of-Doubt."
"You can call her Shadow, as I do," Lucinia reported happily.
"Excellent. I thought we could be friends. Now, Lucinia, you wanted to stay here?"
"Only for a time. Until I recover."
"Take as long as you need. Shadow, too may of course stay."

The next proper adventure will be later. Hope you enjoyed this tying up loose ends.