Sanctuary

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Wheel of Fortune was ending. Ran and Alli sat on the couch and listened to the rain drops striking the windowpane.

Ran rubbed Alli’s upper arm, “Was there anything in that lab that could have hurt you?”

Alli sunk into the crook of Ran’s arm and kept her eyes on the television set, “There are other types of avatars: Dark Avatars that are like shades; they live in their own grayscale world.”

“There are also Anti-Avatars, that are sentient, and take on human forms, like avatars, but their true forms are not beautiful and iridescent, but bestial and ugly. Monstrous.”

Ran’s face grew pale and she looked down at Alli, “Did you ever see one of those things?”

Alli nodded; her hair was soft, cut in a medium fade, “A few times. One appeared and got through…the night Aro was hurt…Then the lab was closed down.”

Ran held Alli close, in the darkening room, to protect Alli from something Ran herself knew little about. Water cascaded down the glass.

Alli let off an involuntary shudder and closed her eyes. Ran reached through the gloom and encroaching feelings of dampness, to turn on the lamp.

“You can find great strength, within your vulnerabilities,” Alli remembered Aro saying, yesterday evening on the beach, in Atev. Aro still wore her hair cut in a high fade, even though she now wore tailored suits, smoked cigars and had many gold rings on her fingers – instead of a jean jacket with holes in it.

“You deserve all of it, after what you’ve been through,” Alli had said, setting down her knife and fork, after their meal.

Aro smiled, “You deserve it too. Become the Sky Avatar. You deserve to be happy.”

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