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Straight Into The Storm
Rani pushed through the psionic din and fell a few inches onto the marble floor of some fucked-up temple, but she landed on her feet this time, wobbling only a little, both arms out like a Montasi surfer. Checked her flank; Tarrin still there. Swept the room; there was Aithne, waving and calling her name. She was wearing some kind of diaphanous black dress, and a gauzy shawl that left the tops of her shoulders bare. Hopefully she’d been wearing that number before Rani got here. If there was one Rat Packer Rani was likely to let idle thoughts misdress, Aithne would probably be it. Val was beautiful, of course, but Rani had been there and done that, and besides, her end of the relationship had been more emotional connection than physical obsession anyway. And there were Khyrisse and Mina, who did make nice eye candy, but those relationships were too firmly platonic for her really to think about them that way even when she was drunk off her ass. Aithne, on the other hand, Rani could have dreamed up one wall of the Hotel and down the next. That winsome thing just got her every time.
Luckily, though, Rani wasn’t drunk today, and she’d had enough of trying to convert Jack’s girlfriends for the next 144 years. “Hi, Aithne,” she returned the younger girl’s greeting coolly. “Khyrisse said to tell you to stop trying to kack Jack. He’s not really an impostor.”
“I know,” Aithne agreed. “Diaidh tell me already.”
Rani didn’t know who that was, but before she could ask, John Tucson stepped through the marble frieze behind her. “Rani,” he sighed. “You aren’t going to be able to run away from this one.”
“I can give it the old Rimbor try,” she snapped, grabbing Aithne by the forearm. “I’m not going to do this your way.”
“You don’t have to, but you have to do it some way, Rani. You can’t just ignore us and hope we go away.”
“Rani,” said Aithne in a stage whisper. “That isn’t really child, Rani. That is Sidhe.”
“Do you think I didn’t know that?” Rani sifted through the dense energies of the construct desperately, hoping the witch would help her stall long enough to find what she was looking for.
“Well, you better do what he says,” Aithne whispered. “Sidhe are very powerful here.”
Rani found it. “So am I.” She reached into the heart of the construct, grabbed it, and threw herself in.
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