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Raveled

One Witch, Two Witch, Red Witch Blue, Witch: IC

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Not too far from where Dead Head was getting acquainted with Freedom City's invisible population, Robin's VW Bug crept down the streets of Greenbank. The neighborhood was mostly warehouses and loading docks, but there was also more than a few apartment and tenement buildings. Most were run down, and several showed the scars of old fires. Despite the tone of the city around her, the sorceress didn't pay much attention to her surroundings. Rather, she drove with one eye on the road and the other on an odd ornament hanging off her read-view mirror; several threads of nylon rope, tied to a silver eye of Horus charm. As Robin circled the burned-out buildings, the charm swung like metal near a loadstone. After a little weaving and block circling, she determined which building the charm was being attracted to and parked directly in front of the doors, in contravention of all traffic codes.

Robin got out of her Bug and studied the building carefully. It was ten stories tall, with most of the top three floors marked by old scorch patterns, and the ground floor windows had been boarded over long ago. Likewise, the front door was boarded over and covered with graffiti. The sorceress grabbed her staff and checked around back though; surely enough there was a metal fire door there, a thin chain from from its inside pushbar outside handle to keep it from closing all the way. Robin eased the door open and slipped inside.

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Robin Cross prowled the first floor of the abandoned tenement, her staff shedding a cold, pale blue light. The floor had been an institutional green tile at one point, but now many of them had been broken, carted off, or worn through, showing the baseboard underneath. Junk and detritus had gathered in the corners and where the floor and walls met, and Robin was forced to avoid the larger piles in oreder to preserve her stealth. This close to her quarry, the tracking charm wouldn't work, so it came down to checking every single room personally.

The sorceress moved through each room carefully, the werelight from her staff pushing back the dark. None of the ground floor rooms were occupied, but even that tripped Robin's senses. The poor didn't change much from millennia to millennia; this place was dry, warmer than outside, and there wasn't any obvious structural damage. There should've been someone on the most accessible floor, but it was deserted. The word must've gotten around that this was a bad place to stay.

Robin stood at the bottom of the stairwell and looked up, fighting the urge to tap her staff on the floor. How many stories could she go up before her phobia froze her? She took a deep breath a put her foot on the first step.

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The second and third floors were clear, but Robin couldn’t force herself to go any higher. She stood in the stairwell, staring up at the next landing, and for the life of her she wasn't able to take the step. She stood there, shivering slightly and sweating openly, for several minutes. Then she turned abruptly and went back in the third floor corridor, into one of the disused and empty rooms. She say down in a corner, the thick, ensorcelled leather of her longcoat protecting her against bare nails and bits of glass. She put her face in her hands and sobbed quietly for a time, angry at herself that she couldn't surmount such a simple obstacle, that she was letting her fear get the better of her. For a long time she sat there, crying in anger and frustration. All she could think was her target was right there, maybe right above her head, and but for a stupid dream this evil, twisted necromancer would get away.

When her tears finally dried, Robin felt drained and tired, but also curiously cleansed and unfettered. Her anxieties and harsh emotions had drained out with her tears, leaving her mind focused. The answer to her problem was as obvious as if it was written across the opposite wall in neon letters four feet high. She folded her legs into a full-lotus position, balancing her staff across her knees. She closed her eyes and breathed slowly, concentrating on the pneumatic motion of her lungs and chest and diaphragm. In a very short span of time she had sunk into a meditative trance. One she was ready, she stretched in a way that had no physical analogue, and stood in a manner that didn't involve her legs. Her body was still sitting there, but to those with the proper sight she was also standing over her body, flexing her hands and looking around herself. Now this, she could do.

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