Running away from a psycho with a sword was not exactly what Kendra wanted to do for her Friday morning. Still, as she ducked around a corner in the bustling food court that sat a mere five blocks away from school and was easily reachable for anyone who didn’t want to scarf down school lunches, she had to admit: It was slightly more interesting than marching band!
She giggled to herself, her hand going to her coat as she looked over her shoulder. No bad guy. No good girl. No swords. She bit her lip as she looked back in front of her, seeing all the shops that were just starting to wake up: There was a mom and pop burger joint called 1984 for reasons that she had never been able to nail down, a corporate pizza chain that tasted like utter ass, three different bread shops that all catered to a slightly different kind of breadish goodness – a donut shop, a Parisian styled café, and a shop that specialized in sandwiches.
And all of them were closed, the doors locked despite the people within moving about and setting up their seats and starting their cooking.
So, Kendra sat down on one of the metal seats that ringed around the metal tables that peppered the space between all the food stores. She reached into her pocket and scowled.
“Where the hell is my phone?!” She drew her hand out of her pocket and then groaned. It had fallen out of her pocket, she was sure. “Great, first my thermos, now my phone. What next, universe? What are you going to steal from me next? My Firefly ringchain? Oh! Oh! I know! Take my-“
She trailed off, noticing that one of the people who was cleaning the corporate pizza joint’s windows had come outside and then stopped his squirting and rubbing of windex to gape at her.
She glared at him.
“Don’t you need to be in school?” He asked.
Kendra scowled at him, drumming her fingers on the tabletop.
And then, with a squeal of metal on concrete, her head was jerked back to the table: The tall, dark skinned woman from before had arrived without so much as a noise to announce her save for the sound you get when you drag a metal chair along a cold, concrete floor. She plopped herself down, panting softly.
“Crichton won’t bother you for a while now, don’t worry.” The woman smiled.
“What?” She looked nonplussed.
“Nevermind,” Kendra put her mitten covered hands over her face, breathing steam through them. “What is going on?”
“Do…you want the long version or the short?” The black woman was smiling calmly – her teeth shockingly white against the dark oval of her face. The sun had started to peek around clouds and shone directly in Kendra’s face, turning the woman into a pure silhouette. Kendra winced.
“Name, first, then short. Then, when I don’t believe you, you can explain the long version…”
The woman nodded, then smiled: “I am Nefertari.”
“It is Egyptian.”
“Ah.” Kendra nodded, her eyes still scrunched up.
“I am Immortal.” Nef – as Kendra started thinking of her almost immediately – said.
“Ahh.” Kendra nodded again.
“And so are you.”
“OKAY!” Kendra put her hands on the table. “I’m just going to leave, uh, now!” She turned around. This was too weird. This was too weird and she was late for school and…and the sun was in her eyes and there were so many many MANY reasons to just turn around and leave and never ever come back.
Nef sighed. “Kendra…first, I believe you should check your pockets.”
She slid her hand into her pocket.
And she pulled out her cellphone. Then, sliding her hand into her other pocket, she felt that it bulged – quite suddenly – with the thermos, straining against the pocket. She pulled it out with a bit of grunting, squirming and shifting her hips to get the thermos to slide free.
She held both objects, then turned around to face Nef. From this angle, she could actually see the details of the other woman’s face without the sun blazing everything out.
“Neat trick…” Kendra gulped. “If I stay…will more psychos come after me with a sword and try to hack my head off?”
“And if…I leave…will more psychos come after me with a sword and try to hack my head off?”
Nef nodded again.
Kendra fogged the air before her face and sat down. The thermos sat before her – the unicorn horn gleamed in the sunlight, looking remarkably…swordlike. She looked at the thermos, then at the woman – at the ancient Egyptian.
“I am Immortal,” She said. “And so are you. Immortals have existed since the dawn of human history, but we have always been drawn, one to the other, by the ripples we make in the world. That rippling effect, that…change that we can create, that is what brings us immortality and what keeps us at eachother’s throats. For if there is ever only one Immortal…he or she will be a god.”
Kendra nodded, slowly.
“Those of us who wish to be a god, The God, seek to slay every other immortal for this prize. Those of us who believe humanity deserves its own fate, they seek to foster peace among immortals. I will take you under my wing, and teach you the ways of our kind…but if you wish to pursue the prize, I will not stop you, though I cannot promise that I will always stay my hand.”
Kendra thought, for a long moment, her brow furrowed.
“So, my choices are…kill a bunch of people to become god, or not kill people and stay my old, boring self?”
“No,” Nef smiled. “Either way, you will be extraordinary.”
Kendra bit her lip.
“And you will have to kill a lot of people.”
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