It's been said that the best place to hide something is in plain view. What needed to be hidden, in this case, was me. I needed to go back to the City without the knowledge of a single soul. I would have normally chosen to travel under cover of night. The darkness of Toxia, however, was not my friend. There, in the wee hours of morning, the City fitfully wakes and it's denizens roam freely. I knew I must return, but I would go in the hazy noonday brightness, instead.
I unfastened the bodice of my gown and began to pull off my skirts, shrugging out of my petticoats and dropping my clothing on the floor in a heap. I made quick work of my corset and garters, pulling off stockings, and then finally my chemise. I couldn't afford to be seen in my usual attire; I needed clothing that would draw no attention. I rummaged through Kryss's things until I found black leather trousers and a long coat. It was the uniform of the City and assured I would go unnoticed.
On the docks of the mainland, I waited impatiently. The ferry was late in arriving, and when it did, I purchased passage with a munitions shipment and one or two unfamiliar lycans. The ferry travelled swifly, much more quickly than I had supposed it would. I stood beside stacks of crates watching the water slowly swirl from blue to green.
As I disembarked, I gathered my thoughts and headed straight for the Library. It was no longer home to the Omega Institute, but housed a faction named the Illuminati. The streets were empty and the Library, once I had stepped inside, was quiet. A dark haired man sat with his head bent over a pile of maps that were laid before him on the large, oaken Library table. He paid me no mind.
Opening my hands, palms spread before me, I began to pulse, looking for the remainders of a death struggle. From the hearth to the landing to the balcony overlooking the street I roved, watching.
But there were no ghosts.
No impressions left by the mark of violence.
Not one life had been lost.
It was, in the end, a lie.
My Beloved was alive.