The 10th of the month already? Quick, let us return to Vancouver Irrealis then, before it's too late!
Oh, and for those of you who would like to write today but are finding myself, Greg, and Morganna are too far along our tale for you to join in... how about this prompt instead? It's the most recent one that has yet to be bestowed with a comment. Well, the last post that actually has a writing prompt.
Either way, that took me way too long to find, so please feel welcome to give it some love.
Day off went well, other than the migraine in the middle. Morning and evening featured beach and family time, with a pancake breakfast and our usual Sunday night BBQ at the beach bookending things nicely.
Within minutes cushions, pillows, and blankets had been distributed among the three hideaways and a reasonable level of comfort had been achieved. With fatigue trying to squeeze his eyelids together, Tristam decided to voice his question once more. At worst, he figured, the answer would be so boring it would lull him to sleep.
"There are two ways for an overcross to go home," Rewand replied as he settled into his cushion fortress. "The first is simply time. Eventually the two cities lapover again and take back their own. The second... as I said before... is more complicated."
"Try me." Tristam had to repeat himself, as a jaw-cracking yawn garbled his first attempt beyond comprehension.
"A device is required." Rewand paused, considering how in-depth his explanation needed to be. A glance at Tristam's face let him know a perfunctory version would do for the moment. "It's used when a specific exchange is needed."
"As in a particular person on our side wants to replace a particular person on yours," Anne-Marie said.
"Right. But in order for that to happen, the two persons need to be in the same location at the same time when a lapover occurs." Rewand frowned, and Tristam realized it pained the old man to leave the lesser details out of his answer. "Within arm's reach of each other, really."
"So... it's like a kidnapping?" Tristam asked.
"I suppose that's as close a comparison as you can get. But you can imagine the difficulty involved. These are not small cities. They spread, they are filled with more streets and houses and open spaces than any of us can really grasp."
"Some sort of knowledge of the target's schedule would be required," Anne-Marie said, thinking aloud. "The agent would have to mirror the target's moves, just waiting for a lapover to happen and then..."
"Boom. Bag over the head." Tristam rubbed his palms against his legs, trying to control his emotions. "And then suddenly everything is... changed."
"It must be very hard," Anne-Marie said. "I can only imagine."
"There is one aspect of the exchange that gives me hope," Rewand said. "The device cannot possibly be brought over. Nkare had to leave hers behind when she took you."
"What are you saying?" Tristam was suddenly wide awake. "That if we can find it I could use it on her?"
"If?" Rewand asked with a laugh. "I think it's about time you had a look inside that bag of yours... or hers... or... oh, just open it up already."