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The River and the Sea

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It had been a long, long day. Huang had retreated to the Void, silent and sullen, and Taylor had managed to soothe JJ to a fitful sleep finally. His hiccuping sobs would haunt her for a long, long time. She was somewhere past implacable rage and bottomless grief to a place far more dangers; grim determination. Alone, in her sanctum, Taylor looked every inch the mage sans parallel that she was. Hadn't she sacrificed enough? Hadn't her children sacrificed enough?


With a grimace she swiped one hand through the air and sent Jack's last note spinning away across the room to vanish into a wooden box. A flick of her fingers bound the box in magic. She'd not let either of her children read that letter yet. JJ was... too young. Too much his father's son and Taylor wasn't about to let Jack's fears and issues of control swamp their son. Not for the first time, she curled her fingers around crackling power as it rose unbidden. She could send out magic and resources. Her husband was very, very good at hiding but the days that he outstripped her powers were long gone. But what then? If he was even still alive... 


Taylor's hands curled into fists, crushing the light to flickers and embers between her fingers. For all of her power, she couldn't make Jack want to fight for his humanity. All she could do now was deal with the aftermath...


Gathering up her power once more, Taylor sent it down to fill the circle at her feet, charging it for a great work as books flew from her shelves at her call. She'd never made a simulacrum before, and this one had to be perfect. Something that would pass as human to mortals and be able to defend her children in a fight... Something that the vampiric half of her offspring would be able to accept into their home... Something that would love them and be able to... if not take the place of their father, at least provide some sort of paternal presence...


As the glowing figure took shape slowly in the center of Phantom's circle, she stepped to the side to pour wine into a glass and eye the rough form with a critical eye. Deliberately, she built the form to have a passing familial resemblance but no more. Rougher, older. More worn, more human. Someone who could pass for an 'uncle', perhaps. Someone who it wouldn't hurt to look at every day. 


Damn you, Jack.


Setting the empty wine glass down on her desk, Taylor sketched out symbols rapidly with her fingers; filling the simulacrum with pathos and life and purpose built out of her best memories, and her worst ones. She threaded the void through its veins and the earth through its bones and tied its purpose to the boys. Without Jack it was just her and she had so many enemies. They had so many enemies and after everything else, Taylor could not face losing her boys. 


"Live," it was a command; it was an adjuration. 

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