James: "You guys, yes all three of you, listen up. I'll be busy all day getting ready for the party, a party for adults. So just run along, now! Do whatever it is you do all day when you're not at school, just don't do it here."
There, that took care of things. Now to get down to business.
Alpha's plans for the holiday had consisted of a nice, long meditation up in the catacombs anyway, so the dismissal didn't bother her too much. Epsilon had intended to go to the fall festival, but a steady rain had been falling all morning, so Alpha invited Epsilon up to the catacombs with her. Epsilon had been telling her older sister the other day about how much she'd enjoyed her class trip to the town cemetery, especially how silly all the other kids were for being scared, so Alpha thought that she might enjoy seeing her own family graveyard. Alpha had proceeded down the stairs before Epsilon got there, so the young girl hurried to keep up. She shivered as she reached the bottom, though the air was hardly any chillier than it had been outside. There was something wrong down here. She didn't know what it was, but the sensation balled up deep inside her, making her feel almost ill.
Epsilon: "There you are. Why are you so far in?"
Alpha responded without opening her eyes or dropping the meditation pose.
Alpha: "The farther in I go, the more peaceful it feels. You can still hear the outside sounds in the first room back the hall, though the paintings in there are nice. Did you know our grandmother painted those?"
Alpha opened her eyes.
Alpha: "What's wrong?"
Epsilon: "Can't you feel it? This place gives me the creeps."
Epsilon: "It's not the dead people, they're not scary. I don't know what it is, I just feel really funny. I don't want to stay."
Alpha: "It's raining outside, where are you going to go? Dad'll just get mad if you go back to the house."
Epsilon: "I'll go to the festival. I'm not afraid of a little rain. It's not like I'll melt, or anything."
Alpha: "Suit yourself. Check in on Omicron on your way down there, alright? I'm not sure if Dad'll be okay with him just hiding out under the shelter in the backyard."
As Epsilon hurried up the stairs and out of the catacombs, Alpha closed her eyes and began to lose herself in her meditation again. She didn't know what had bothered Epsilon, the girl wasn't easily spooked at all. But if there was something bad down here, then surely she would feel it too, right?
As the guests started to arrive, James got more and more upset. None of them were impressed by his culinary achievement! Furthermore, the dishes they brought were almost an insult. Mac and cheese, autumn salad, cookies, and a cheese plate. A cheese plate! How much effort does it take to cut a block of cheese into a bunch of tiny, uneven cubes? And who brought waffles to a dinner party? The people in this town were just baffling.
Epsilon: "Hey, where were you? I was looking for you earlier to go to the festival."
Omicron: "Oh, I was in here. Nobody really noticed me, it was fine."
Epsilon: "So you're a tiger?"
Epsilon: "Who did your face paint?"
Omicron: "Some lady, I don't know who. She's the one who knocked the waffles all over the floor."
Omicron: "No, it was someone else this time! So what are you, Geo Boy?"
Epsilon: "No, I'm Geo Girl. All the cool superheroes don't have to be boys, you know."
Omicron: "Oh, yeah, that's cool too. Are you ready? I want to go get candy!"
It was late when Alpha left the catacombs. She didn't expect anyone to be waiting up for her, so she took all the time she needed to center herself. Overall it had been quite a productive, yet relaxing, day. She looked forward to hearing how her younger sibling's days had gone.
Magician: "Miss Woods, it's a pleasure to meet you at last."
Alpha: "Miss Bunch-Landgraab, actually. Who are you, and how do you know me?"
Magician: "Oh, I've heard much about you. You fascinate me. It's unusual to meet a young woman with such strength of character, especially with an upbringing such as your own."
Alpha: "Excuse me?"
Magician: "Your father, of course. A brilliant man, highly intelligent, but not a shred of decency regarding the care of children. I'm sure you would agree."
Magician: "Following you? No, it was a chance meeting-"
Alpha didn't let him finish, interrupting coldly.
Alpha: "A chance meeting at my family catacombs? That doesn't seem very likely to me. Just turn and walk away. I can defend myself."
His demeanor changed as she spoke, his eyes becoming cold as he took a half-step back from her.
Magician: "Very well then. I tried to be civilized about the matter, but you have left me no choice."
Alpha: "I don't know who you are, but stay away from me. And stay away from my family."
Atop the hill, the Magician watched the young woman run for her home. He couldn't pursue her there, of course, unless he was invited. He could catch her before she reached the home, but he didn't. She was a puzzle now. How could a human girl - for she was human, that much was obvious - have resisted his intrusion into her mind? And to react to his attack with such speed...surely that was impossible. And yet it had happened. He wanted to know why.
~ * ~
Oh noes! The Magician is after Alpha! Good thing she's got her head put on straight, and doesn't fall for honeyed words from evil vampires. That last scene takes place significantly later at night than the lighting suggests. I just wanted to make sure that it wasn't too dark for you guys, so I shot it in early evening, and now I think it looks silly. And please ignore his weird outfit, he changed out of what he was supposed to be wearing while I was fast-forwarding to evening and I didn't notice until I'd already shot way too much to go back.
Kind of a short chapter, but hey, at least it's an update. That's better than I've been doing for the past several weeks.
So I tried to write this last night, but I got stuck listening to Epsilon's mother's music(which I picked out the same night I found Epsilon's, along with a particularly badass song for the generation 2->3 transition sequence) on repeat and having sad feels, so it didn't happen. :\ I don't know why I got stuck on that, as Acadia isn't even in this chapter!