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Dawn's Greeting

User Thread
 47yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that Sorceress is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Dawn's Greeting
I'm going to post a few chapters of my book 'Dawn's Greeting' as a response to the thread on Indigo Children. Any comments most welcome.

Children of the Dawn

in heaven
wherever that may be,
in whatever form or reality,
grant us a diversion from your continuity,
give us all a little peace to savour your piety
and the sight of wisdom to travel your road with dignity.

Mother Earth so patient and tolerant of our sins,
take away the chains of greed and give your children wings
to fly from our shortsightedness and plant the seeds of hope,
may they blossom with love and charity and help lost souls to cope.

Children of the dawn greet the day anew,
absorb the bright sun's energies and savour every view.
Lend a helping hand to keep the stars from falling,
to be the hands of destiny is your only calling.

Yours is the road less travelled,
it is the road of time,
help us now to plan our route
that leads to the

Dawn was the most beautiful and sacred time for everyone. For Sharra it was almost seductive, the sheer power of the new day at its birth flooded her with a vitality that was transparently evident throughout the colony by the enthusiasm she expressed in everything she did. Her positive attitude and bright and sunny disposition was always an influence on the young students in her care. Now, she sat on her balcony and gazed out over the lake for a brief moment, and then with her eyes closed she took two deep breaths and recreated a mental image of the familiar vista. She had no need to physically look as she had experienced this very same view every dawn since she entered the colony as an adolescent.
As the first edge of sunlight fringed the lake in a gentle red glow, she took one long deep breath and held it. Then sensing the warmth of day on her face, she opened her eyes. The sunlight flashed across the water despite the slight surface mist and seemed to strike her with its full force of being, she sighed at the familiar pleasure it gave her and savoured the rest of the day breaking. She took in every nuance of this intricately perfect design of nature, the subtle colours in the forest, the merging of sky and water aided by the dawn's haze and of course the multitude of wildlife on the tiny island and she tried to pick out each species by its own dawn song greeting. As the dawn song became less of a frenzy and calmed to its routine chatter, Sharra sighed again and smiled to herself. She took one more deep breath and then got up from her meditation cushion in her usual way, extending her arms out to her sides, uncrossing her legs and leaning on her knees using them to push her to a standing position. She always ended this little personal ritual by raising her arms up straight above her head, much like a gymnast at the end of an exercise. Finally she gave in to a little morning stretch and a yawn. The dawn's greeting complete, she went to the wooden railing and looked down.
Darrow was ending the dawn's greeting from his favourite spot at the lake's edge. As he opened his eyes and stood to return home for breakfast, he glanced up at Sharra as she leaned over the balcony to call down to him to join her for the main meal of the day. He smiled and waved to his cousin,
“You cooking?” He laughed,
“Of course, I wouldn't want you poisoning me with that junk you call healthy eating!” Darrow laughed again and straining his neck to look up one of the tallest trees in the village at Sharra's dwelling, he saluted the young educator,
“I'll be right up!” He yelled, and then just before circling the tree's huge trunk to the entrance, he turned one more time to see the last of the dawn's beauty. The red sun always seemed exceptionally beautiful at this most special time of day and the four moons of Clio (the fourth planet in the system) could still be seen faintly in the sky, as ever a reminder of the strange forces they evoked in the inhabitants of the tiny green planet.
The most common tree on Clio was the magnificent Ia tree, which grew the highest of all other tree species and had a massive trunk which even when hollow (a natural occurrence in most of the Ia population) made it strong enough to build sturdy tree houses, that in theory could last as long as the tree and protected its inhabitants from some of the more dangerous creatures native to the planet, especially the nocturnal hunters. The trees were also used for building the dwellings themselves and the furniture inside. The bark was also used for many reasons, but its main use was in medicinal potions, which cured anything from headache to flu and the fruit of the tree, a large, red, juicy pear was the favourite fruit of the planet.
The people of Clio were not native to the planet; they had arrived originally some five thousand years previously and had eventually settled in quite nicely. Clionions still traversed space, as they recruited adolescents with a particular talent from throughout the universe. The whole planet was a beautiful, mysterious world with many hidden treasures and when viewed from space appeared unoccupied by a space faring race, as the communities not only lived in the trees but in the many cities hidden from view underground.
Clio was a war free planet and had been for its entire history, it was war that brought civilization to Clio in the first place and the culture that molded the world did it as a peaceful haven separated from all outside conflict. Clio generally did not interfere in any other planet's politics unless absolutely necessary, however because of Clio's unusual occupation it did recruit from as many humanoid planets as it could to create a diverse culture with a vast multitude of experiences that each individual brought with them to share with their own pool of knowledge and history.
Sharra and Darrow were from a planet in the next galaxy, neighbours to Clio who often supplied young people rich with the talent Clio appreciated. Darrow had been the first of
the family to be recruited. It was an honour for their people and was a blessing for his family as they were quite poor and having a child with the gift would have benefited them greatly, as they would have been compensated for the loss of their child. Some planets even paid Clio for saving them from the child's ‘gift', which to many alien cultures was seen as a curse. Sharra's gift had come as somewhat of a surprise to the family as she had shown no inklings of the power before officials from Clio had shown up in the night and insisted she must go to Clio for immediate training that very evening for her own and their safety. She had not wanted to leave her family and friends and had to be sedated so as not to endanger those around her from her as of yet untrained talent during the emotional move. As it turned out Sharra was one of the most talented Clio had ever seen and in only five years she had become a teacher in her own right, and was the favourite of all the young students on Clio. Darrow had been another surprise, as two gifted in one town let alone one family was very unusual, indeed some planets only ever had one born with the gift.
Darrow entered the door to his cousin's home without the need for a key, there were no locks on Clio, they weren't required. Trust was the ‘key' to this unusual community, it had to be with so many talented people living so close to one another, if there was no trust the whole planet and perhaps even the galaxy would self-destruct! He padded up the spiral stairway that was the entire inside of the trunk of the Ia tree and hummed to himself, he looked forward to another productive day and the end of the work cycle, fourteen glorious dawns to look forward to with no need to break the reverie to go to work. Sharra frowned on such behaviour, she thought it was disgraceful and lazy to waste a dawn's power by losing yourself in its wonder for the whole day, not to mention unproductive and completely lacking in self control.
“Good dawn cousin.” He said, theatrically bursting through the door, arms outstretched in announcement of his arrival. “And what a glorious one it was too.” Sharra didn't move from her place at the breakfast table, she just glanced up over her work station which was waiting for her to access her daily schedule and flashing at the incoming daily news report, she frowned at his display of lack of self control as usual.
“Good dawn Darrow, looking forward to your holiday I see, will you be allowing yourself to waste time as usual or will you use your rest period to partake of some off world exploring?” Darrow grinned and shrugged, “You lazy so and so!” she mocked.
He sat opposite the beautiful young teacher at the polished Ia dining table and grinned again in his usual boyish way, just as he always had done as a child to get around the adults and later to woo the girls. Often those who knew he was talented would be a little uneasy with his boyish ways, a cheeky little boy with the gift growing in him could be very dangerous, especially through puberty. He was spoilt because of this and always got his own way so as not to get him upset. If they had known of Sharra's own even more powerful gift laying dormant inside her they would have cringed at the way she was disciplined in the home. As it turned out, it was her strict upbringing that had stood her in good stead when she did finally realize the gift she had. Unlike others who are tiptoed around and spoilt to keep them sweet, leaving them spoilt, arrogant and far too prone to emotional outbursts and leaks of power, Sharra had lots of self control, a good personal moral code and she was polite and modest, all qualities which a true Clio Dawn Child should have as a matter of course. Yes, Sharra was a rare creature, especially on Clio.
“So cousin,” Darrow sidled up to Sharra, “What are your plans for the next two weeks? Some sun bathing, water sports, a bit of hanky panky perhaps?” Sharra huffed and closed her personal work station and put it to one side,
“I wish! No, I'm afraid I'm scheduled to go on a mission, to find a gifted child whose awareness is just starting to stir, far off in an unknown system. It is only a level two planet, so it is a tough assignment.” Darrow sobered up,
“A level two? Isn't that a bit unusual, to find a talent on such a primitive planet? Not to mention dangerous!” She nodded,
“Precisely why I am going, if we can feel the child's talent from this far away…”
“Who knows what a danger she is to the surrounding systems!” Sharra frowned at her cousin's annoying habit of finishing off her sentences for her,
“Exactly! I need to bring the child here to start training as soon as possible, we don't want any nasty little accidents causing troublesome chain reactions in the space-time continuum do we?” It was Darrow's turn to frown this time,
“Want any help?” Sharra faked choking on her breakfast,
“What give up your r and r? Really Darrow that's very unlike you, to want some responsibility!”
Darrow sat down again at the other side of the circular table opposite his cousin and helped himself to a glass of fresh Ia juice and a home-made bread roll,
“This assignment intrigues me. A level two planet with talent is very rare and I feel I ought to go along with you for your own protection.” Sharra could see that her cousin
was being serious for once, so she shrugged,
“If you wish, but I warn you Darrow, you must be on your best behaviour. This is a pre-talent planet and this child is the first of her kind to be born with the gift, so we must be very careful not to alert the planet's governments of the fact, just in case she is an exception and no more are born. After all, if such a primitive, warring species start to use the gift against each other as an extension to their own barbaric warfare, it could mean genocide for several systems, and judging by the strength of this one's power, even our own.” She stopped to gauge if what she was saying was sinking in then finished by adding, “Clio and our home world, gone forever! No amount of talent can reverse such devastating paradoxes. I have never heard of a level two planet ever creating a being with the gift, it could start off a chain reaction that could eventually end everything!” Sharra's voice rose to an agitated squeak, the young man put a gentle hand on her shoulder, and with a delicate nudge of his power brought her to a calmer moment in her immediate past. She composed herself and thanked him, rather annoyed with herself for losing that famous self control.
“You're over reacting Sharra, surely, it can't possibly be that desperate, is it?” Sharra got up and walked to the balcony to experience the dawn for the second time that day, this was the calmest time for her, Darrow was right to choose this moment to bring her back to center herself.
“Am I? Look what happened in Clio's past, the war that was being fought was extremely hazardous, it destroyed the Clionions original home planet and half the next system as well, and that was just a tiny conflict between immature talents. Who knows what a major war could do.” Darrow looked deep into her eyes,
Agreed. Who detected her?” Sharra shut her eyes as the sun rose for the second time for her that morning, she absorbed the dying star's energies, “You?” Darrow asked, not really surprised, “How close is she do you think, to realizing her gift?” Sharra closed the shutters, sat back down and started to dish up breakfast for the both of them, she sighed as she did so.
“Very close cousin, very close indeed. Unfortunately, it is a planet that has no prior knowledge of the gift as far as I can tell, so she may not realize what is happening until it is too late. I just hope she doesn't do anything to disrupt the system's time line. Fortunately for us they have not left their own solar system yet, so there would be no other habited planets in that galaxy to be affected by any alternate time lines developing. Any paradoxes she creates should be contained in the system, but it depends on how far back she may jump and how serious the changes to her own personal history. I know you know all this already Darrow, but the difficulty of our assignment is that we have no knowledge about this planet what so ever. We don't know how they communicate, what species they are and we certainly don't know anything of its history to correct any damage the talent might inflict.”
The cousins sat for a few minutes in silence as they ate and both thought carefully about the situation, then Darrow broke the silence,
“Poor kid! She'll be so frightened when she has her awakening transition, she may get caught unawares. How quickly can we get to her?”
“With the two of us using the gift, an hour at the most, if we really pull the stops out.
The thing is Darrow…” she paused and took a deep breath, “…I think she may have had her awakening all ready.” Darrow dropped the single pronged fork that was just heading for his mouth,
“Moons Sharra! Then why are we still sitting here? Come on, we should have left the second you knew.”

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""Each child holds the world in an open hand to mould it into any shape they choose.""
 47yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that Sorceress is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Kelly was late for school again, her mother yelled up the stairs that she was off to work and Kelly opened a weary eye to look at her alarm clock. She had forgotten to turn the alarm on for the third day in a row, which would mean detention this time.
“DO YOU HEAR ME UP THERE MADAM? IF I GET ANOTHER LETTER FROM THAT SCHOOL, YOU'LL HAVE MORE THAN DETENTION TO WORRY ABOUT. NOW FOR GOD'S SAKE, GET UP!” The front door slammed and Kelly got up, slowly pulling the bed covers back and yawning, she sauntered into the bathroom. ‘Oh well' she said to herself in the bathroom mirror, ‘even if I was to hurry now, I'm still late so I might as well take my time. I hate first period anyway.' She made a face in the mirror, ‘Sod ya Mr. Parrot face, you'll just have to manage your boring old maths lesson without me.'
She took her time getting ready and wandered down to the kitchen for some toast and a cup of tea, then realizing she was starving with hunger she had a bowl of cereal as well and grabbed a packet of crisps and a handful of biscuits before she went out the door. As she walked down the road to the bus stop, she shielded her eyes and looked up towards the sun, it made her recall a strange dream she had had just before waking. She had dreamed that she woke up just before dawn and watched the sun rise from her bedroom window, it had made her feel wonderful, as if she had been on holiday laying on some sun soaked beach for a week and at the same time as if she had dived head first into an icy cold pool after lazing in a sauna for an hour or two, really renewed of energy, in fact full of energy! But paradoxically drained of energy at the same time. She had fallen back to sleep almost immediately. ‘Come to think of it' she reflected ‘it wasn't like a dream at all it felt so real! Well with dreams like that its no wonder I'm so frigging tired all the time and late for school.'
Kelly turned the corner just in time to see her bus pull away after dropping off its elderly passenger struggling with a shopping basket on wheels. She was too far away to run for it so she walked on in a foul mood, ‘Damn!' she cursed under her breath, ‘If I had been just a minute earlier, now I'll have to wait God knows how long for the next one.' She kicked the pavement as she continued towards the bus stop, feeling a bit pissed off that her day was starting off so disastrously, when another bus sped past her and stopped for a moment to let a lady off who looked remarkably like the woman who had just got off and with an identical shopping basket. ‘How odd!' she thought and looked around for the first lady to compare similarities but she was nowhere in sight. ‘She was quick for an old dear with a shopping trolley.' Kelly laughed to herself, ‘She must have been in a hurry to get to Marks!' Kelly kept watching to see if the first woman would come out of Marks and Spencer's for the whole forty-five minutes she had to wait for the next bus. She cursed again as her watch alarm beeped ten o'clock. Oh boy was she in trouble now.
Kelly got off the bus reluctantly. She had half considered staying on the bus and really bunking off school for the day, that way she would have felt like she had really earned the trouble she was going to be in waltzing into school after first break. She looked at her watch and swore under her breath, ‘If I could have been in early just this once,
instead of ending the week with four out of five late slips already to the term, all in one week!' She shook her head forlornly and looking down at her feet started towards the gate.
Just as Kelly was about to reach her hand up to the handle of the main gate that was always closed after the register, a girl ran past her shoving her out of the way,
“Get out of my way tart!” The bully swore and ran through the open gate to her mates that were hanging around the bike shed. Kelly looked up confused, as it seemed the whole school (out of nowhere) suddenly seemed to be arriving as if it were a normal school morning. ‘Perhaps there was an inset morning that I didn't know about.' She thought baffled, ‘No I'd remember a teacher training day if it meant getting a lie in.' She stood there like a statue, trying to make sense of it, when her best friend Tara whacked her on the shoulder with her bag.
“Hey Kel, early for a change?” Kelly stood there gawking at her friend, blocking the main gate for a few seconds, as people shoved past her to get into the school. “Are you ok Kelly? You don't look very well.” Kelly finally moved her arm to bring her watch up to view. It couldn't possibly be true, but it was, the digital display showed as plain as day, eight forty- two a.m. Kelly fainted.

When she came to, Kelly found herself in he school first aid room, Tara was sitting next to her and the school nurse was holding her hand.
“Kelly, how are you feeling?” Kelly didn't know how to answer that question, she felt disoriented. She couldn't very well tell anyone that she thought she had travelled through
time, just as she whished it on a whim.
“A bit confused to be honest.” She managed to croak. The nurse and Tara exchanged a brief, concerned glance, then the nurse asked Kelly if she had had any breakfast. Kelly laughed at the understatement,
“Oh yes!” she said, just as her stomach rumbled in protest, she was starving again. Had she had breakfast? If the clock on the wall was anything to go by, she hadn't even got up yet! The nurse raised an eyebrow,
“Well, have you got your period?” She shook her head. The middle aged school secretary come nurse cleared her throat nervously, “Ehm. Well, I don't know quite how to put this Kelly, you, ehm, couldn't be pregnant could you?” Kelly guffawed at the thought,
“No! I'm a virgin and proud of it, thank you very much.” The nurse sighed with relief
“Well, it has been known to happen dear, I do have to ask these things you know, one never can tell these days. Anyway, that's a relief. So, I think we had better call your mother to come and pick you up then, don't you?” Kelly sat up quickly,
“No, please don't do that, she'll kill me for dragging her out of work.”
“Don't be silly Kelly, if you're sick you're sick, now, you might be coming down with something…”
“No honestly, I'm fine.” The nurse shook her head,
“Well, if you're sure, but you make sure you come back the second you feel dizzy or sick or otherwise unwell, ok?” Kelly agreed, then the nurse left Kelly to lie down until the bell for first period sounded and Tara was sent to register for the both of them.

Once Kelly was left alone, she shuddered and looked at her watch to check the time. How had it been possible? Was she going mad? Had she dreamed waking up late, being shouted at by her mother and missing her bus, twice? But to suddenly become conscious of real time at the school gate! She massaged her temples as they began to ache. What of the two old women? Could it be possible that it was the same woman and the same bus? She had wished she had been a minute earlier. Had time answered her wish literally and given her back her minute? She sat there for the half an hour of registration and went over and over it in her mind.
The bell made her jump, time for maths. As she got up to go to her first lesson, an intriguing thought occurred to her. If she had somehow come into the gift of controlling time itself, she ought to practice, and think of how she could take advantage of such a gift. She sat down and looked at her watch again, nine-fifteen. Then she closed her eyes and pictured her watch display showing eight thirty.

At first she was perplexed by the fact that it was dark, then as her eyes adjusted and she found herself in her own bedroom, she realised that she had thought ‘eight-thirty' but not specified am or pm. The only thing was, was it last night or tonight? Past or future? She got up out of bed and tiptoed down to the living room and checked the date and time on the TV's Teletext. It was the previous night. She had done it! She had travelled back in time! Tired and exhausted from the day's events and frightened, really frightened by what had happened, she decided, eventually, after staring at the seconds ticking by
methodically on the top right hand corner of the screen for a good few minutes, she came to the conclusion that she must have dreamed the whole thing and in fact she hadn't even started the day in question yet at all. So she tiptoed back to bed and fell asleep the second her head hit the pillow. Kelly's mother popped her head around her bedroom door and was surprised to see her daughter asleep so early. ‘Oh well!' She thought to herself, ‘Early to bed, early to rise, hopefully, for a change.'

When Kelly was awoken by her mother screaming up the stairs to her again exactly as she had the day before, or rather the other this morning, she leapt out of bed in shock and stood in the middle of the room staring at her unset alarm clock in horror. She could feel herself spinning inside her head in her room. Everything blurred into everything and she began to shiver with the realization of what she had done. What should she do now? She wondered. Carry on as if nothing had happened, or try and repeat it, try and will herself to travel through time again. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath and got back into bed. She was suddenly feeling very ill indeed, she decided to stay off school and sleep the day and the strange problem away, maybe she was still dreaming! The thought occurred to her that it might just be the stress at the prospect of exams and fell asleep once more.

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""Each child holds the world in an open hand to mould it into any shape they choose.""
 47yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that Sorceress is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.

Sharra and Darrow sat close in the pod and took it in turns to shift space and time, using their gift to its limit to reach the time distortion that Kelly was creating, before she did anything dangerous with her raw and as of yet untrained power. The closer they got to Earth the stronger they could feel Kelly's power and also the strength of the star that was the source of her power. This was a young star, a young system, no wonder it was only a level two planet.
The cousins could feel Kelly as they entered the outskirts of the solar system, they sensed she was confused and it seemed she was in the early stages of hibernation, a state that all Dawn Children entered into early on in their awakening transition phase. It gave their minds a rest period to adjust to the shock. Darrow was overwhelmed by the power of the young star as they came closer to the third planet in this immature system,
“Sharra, how can a being on such a young planet have evolved sufficiently enough to harness the power of the gift? And from such a powerful star? Surely the strength of this sun should have killed her before the gift could take hold.” Sharra agreed with him,
“There is more power within this child than the whole of the Clio Dawn clan put together, we should be very careful, she may have violent tendencies this early on in the planet's evolutionary cycle. Not to mention the volatile nature of such a young star, any over active sun spot activity could create a loop in her power.” Darrow was starting to be very afraid for the safety of the space/time continuum,
“Cousin we should call for reinforcements.”
“Agreed, but they will take longer to get here, so we should monitor and secure the
situation very carefully in the meantime.”
The force of the sun's power took the cousins' breath away and as they passed it and came closer to the Earth, they shivered and sat in a tight embrace to save themselves from going mad as the power of the sun surged into them, and Sharra thought Clio's dawn was exhilarating, the Dawn's greeting on this planet must be beyond ecstasy, she thought shivering again at its powerful effect. As the planet came into view the cousins both drew in a sharp breath,
“Darrow, it is beautiful!” Sharra exclaimed.
“But look at the size of it, and the oceans, there is so much water! This must be a very powerful planet indeed. It is only a matter of time before more Dawn children are born to it. We must inform Clio, war may be inevitable, especially when other planets learn of its existence and its rich resources.” The Clionions looked at each other and for a long moment neither said what was on both their minds, then it was Darrow that stated the obvious, “We must take the child before the planet's authorities discover her gift, when she is trained she can decide herself whether she wants to return.” Sharra looked out of the pod's transparent hull at the huge blue/green planet, she felt its gravitational pull start to draw their tiny bubble ship into its orbit,
“But cousin, that is against the law, only with the subject's parent's permission can we take a child…”
“Unless the child is a direct threat to the continuum. Come on Sharra think for a moment. The consequences of such an untrained mind!”
Once in the planet's orbit they used their power to block any radar detection and tried
to centre in on the time distortion.
“Darrow, she will not come willingly.”
“Then we must win her over cousin, charm her!” Sharra smiled and layed her hand on her handsome cousin's shoulder,
“In that case, I'm glad you came. No female can resist your charm.” Darrow frowned,
“For once Sharra, I hope you are right. We are going to need something on our side. After all, we are the aliens here and the last thing we need is our little Dawn child screaming ‘invasion!'”
They orbited the planet for several hours before they felt they could close in on a more precise position, then they hovered over the spot they were sure Kelly was and waited for dawn. As soon as the sun's rays hit the surface of the planet, there was no doubt at all in either of the cousins' minds that this was indeed the right place. As power flooded their own bodies, they also felt the strength of Kelly's newborn power. Before they could lose the link with her, they shifted space and time to land the pod as close to Kelly's position as they dared. Then they emerged from the pod and wandered calmly up the path towards the hospital where Kelly was oblivious to it all. The pod merged into the hospital ground's scenery, where it would only be discovered if someone tried to walk through the spot it was hiding.
“How are we going to play this Sha? We can't just march in and demand by Clio authority to take this girl, our authority is unknown to them.” Sharra tutted and gave her cousin a dirty look,
“Darrow, I am not stupid, please don't keep stating the obvious to me. I intend to sneak in and check the girl is safe, then later on we'll pose as some authority of this planet and take the child that way. First we need to spend some ‘time' associating ourselves with the ways of these people to blend in.”

Kelly's mother had received a phone call at work at lunchtime to inform her that Kelly had not shown up for an important physics mock exam and to ask if she was well enough to come in this afternoon and take it. Angela had covered for her daughter and then went home to give her more than just a piece of her mind. When she found her daughter in bed she started to shout at her, thinking she was being her usual lazy self,
“Kelly, what on earth do you think you are doing? Being late is one thing, but not bothering to go in at all when you have an important exam, it's just not on. Kelly? Kelly are you asleep?” Angela got no response from her daughter and called an ambulance and her husband at the same time. The doctors seemed baffled, it was almost like her body had slowed right down and gone into hibernation rather than just an ordinary coma. She had an unusually high level of brain activity considering the way the rest of her body functions had almost shut down completely. Her heart beat and breathing was so slow it almost seemed to stop.
Ron and Angela Kemp sat at their daughter's bedside and held onto each other for comfort, each holding one of their daughter's hands.
“She's so cold Ron, she feels like she's dead.” Angela sobbed, “All I've done this week is shout at her.”
“It's alright love.” Angela wiped her eyes and nose with a tissue and sniffed,
“No Ron, it's not alright, I've been having a go at her for being so lax this week with her studying and being late so often for school, when the whole time she was probably really ill.” Ron gently rubbed his wife's back,
“We weren't to know she was ill Ange, nobody could see this coming, even the doctors don't know what's wrong with her, so how could you?” Angela burst into tears again, her husband tried to comfort her, but as he looked down at his daughter's lifeless body, he wondered about her condition, what was wrong with her?

Kelly's body was of course in a high state of hibernation, well more like stasis, sort of frozen in time, that's why it felt so cold and lifeless. Her mind however was racing. She was going over and over in her mind what had happened, she was confused and was trying to come to terms with what it all meant, which of course she couldn't. Her body in the mean time was also physically going through changes, as the new ability in her adapted itself to her fragile human frame. This was a very dangerous time for Kelly, as she could do one of three things. She could come out of hibernation as a perfectly tuned Dawn child, ready to use her new powers, go completely mad as the power overloaded her brain capacity or she could inadvertently disrupt the space/time continuum. So while she was going through her transitional phase and her parents were going through their own personal hell, Sharra and Darrow were posing as a doctor and solicitor, which on a level two planet was easy because Earth medicine and culture was prehistoric to them!

Ron got up from his daughter's bedside and strolled over to the window of the private isolation room. He looked out at the stars and prayed to God to send a doctor that could
help his little girl. Angela had fallen asleep with her head in her hands on the bed by Kelly's hand, so that she would feel Kelly's hand move if she awoke from her coma. The room was deathly quiet.
A doctor came into the room a little after twelve o'clock, Ron turned to see who had entered the room and noted that she looked very young, surely she wasn't even in her twenties, he assumed she was a student.
“Good evening, it's a bit late for student doctors isn't it?” The young woman seemed distracted by this comment,
“What makes you think I am a student Mr Kemp?” Ron shrugged,
“I don't know,” he stuttered, “You look, well too young to be a doctor.” The young woman smiled, it was a very infectious smile and he couldn't help but return it, she was beautiful, almost angelic he thought, should be a model not a doctor.
“Well, I am flattered, but I can assure you Mr Kemp that I am more than qualified to help your daughter.” And he had no doubts at all that she was.
She walked over to Kelly's bed and lifted the notes from their position at the end of her bed, looking through them briefly, she tutted, then looking at her watch added some notes of her own. Then she took Kelly's pulse, temperature and blood pressure, added these to the notes and nodded to herself. Ron watched all this with interest and then said quietly,
“I'm sorry doctor I don't think we have been introduced yet. We normally have Doctor Price.” The young doctor put down Kelly's notes and raised her hand up to Ron to shake his,
“Oh, I am sorry, where are my manners. Doctor Sharra Dawn, I'm here to assess Kelly for her transfer.” Ron shook his head in ignorance,
“Transfer? What transfer? We've not been told anything about a transfer.” Sharra smiled again, almost melting Ron's heart,
“Well, it really is the best thing for her at the moment, in her present condition. It is best if she is placed in absolute isolation in the coma hospital.” Again Ron shook his head in ignorance,
“What coma hospital?” Sharra motioned for Kelly's father to sit down, glanced at the corridor and at the sleeping Mrs Kemp and then shut the door. She glanced at Kelly lying motionless in her bed.
“I'll be truthful with you Mr Kemp, Kelly's condition is serious, life threatening in fact. I am an expert in my field and I know that once a person enters into a state like this…” and she indicated Kelly with a nod of her head, “…they rarely come out of it overnight, or even within a year!” Ron slumped into his chair, his face fell into his hands as he wept. Sharra felt absolutely awful lying to him like this, but what else could she do? She had to make it look convincing. “I have a…well let's call it a retreat rather than an institution. It's a place where all such cases I encounter can be placed and cared for and studied to find out what it is that makes them go into such a ‘hibernating' state. It is essential to the patient's, Kelly's recovery that you allow the professionals to take over completely until she comes out of her coma. We send all our families monthly reports, videos etc. and the minute she comes out of her coma you will be sent for.” Ron looked
“You mean we can't visit her?” Sharra gently took his hand,
“Well, not too often. We will give you a visiting schedule. It really is the best for Kelly, and you and your family.” Ron nodded mutely, not really sure about the whole thing, but he didn't question her authority. “Best if you and your wife go home now Mr Kemp and leave the worrying to me and my team. You can see her into the ambulance if you like.” Kelly's father nodded solemnly and replied quietly,
“Can I have five minutes to discuss this with my wife please?”
Sharra nodded and place a hand of comfort on his arm,
“Of course. Let me know when you're ready and I'll call my team to get her in the ambulance.” Again he nodded and Sharra left the room so he could wake his wife and tell her the bad news.

After a week of Kelly's hibernation in the hospital, Sharra and Darrow had managed to shift time enough that they could falsify papers and documents and be accepted into the medical community. They had gone back fifteen years and spent it preparing the ground for the moment in time when Kelly could be safely and legally extracted from the hospital with her parent's permission. Dawn children tend not to age when they are away from their home planet or Clio, so the Dawn cousins hadn't in fact wasted any of their own time playing this cosmic trick on the continuum. Unfortunately, they had caused a few minor paradoxes as they changed Earth's medical history, but it was a small price to pay to get Kelly out of the Earth's solar system before she made a few of her own possibly major changes to Earth's history and caused a catastrophic paradox, which could end the universe as they knew it.
Sharra stood in the corridor and tapped her foot impatiently, they had spent a lot of time and effort preparing for this moment and she hoped it wasn't in vain. She hated to think they would end up kidnapping her after all. She hadn't lied to Ron Kemp when she said she was an expert in her field and had an institution for coma patients, she had in the last ten years on Earth established herself as an expert in the field and was most respected in the medical community, as was Darrow as a solicitor. It had to look as natural as possible when Kelly literally disappeared off the face of the Earth.
Doctor Price strolled up to Sharra and smiled,
“Sharra.” He said in a simple greeting. He was a tall man, well over six feet and was a handsome forty something, clean-shaven and smartly dressed under his white coat. “It is always a pleasure to see you, shame it has to be under these depressing circumstances.” He looked her up and down and laughed, “Why is it that you never seem to age? You are as beautiful as the first time I saw you, what, it's got to be eight years?” She nodded,
“Steven, you flatter me as usual.” She blushed, authentically, she really did like this human, even if he was physically old enough to be her father, she was in effect with all her time travelling adventures old enough to be his great, great, great grandmother.
“How is our patient this evening doctor?” He returned to his professional voice for a moment, “Any change?” Sharra shook her head and looked through the corridor window into the room,
“No change I'm afraid. I was just preparing Mr Kemp for the fact that I will be transferring his daughter to my own unit.” Steven Price shook his head sadly and followed her gaze into the darkened room towards the couple that were holding each other in a tight embrace. Steven had seen this scene all too many times and Sharra had always been there to ease the families' burden.
“It is a most unusual case though doctor. Have you ever seen anything like it before?” Sharra coughed and pretended to clear her throat, she hated lying,
“Only a few doctor, and all scattered across the globe, but I'm sure that once she is under mine and my team's care in the unit, she will make progress.” Steven smiled and touched Sharra's arm affectionately,
“Of that I have no doubt doctor.” He was just about to enter the room to speak to Kelly's parents when he seemed to change his mind. Sharra's heart skipped a beat, “Ehm, Sharra, would you care to join me for a late meal before you go back to your clinic?” She tried not to breathe a sigh of relief and felt hugely flattered. She thought back to the doctor Price she had met nearly ten years previously, a younger, very dedicated workaholic. He had obviously started to change his priorities, about time he started looking for a mate. It couldn't be her unfortunately, she wasn't going to be here for many more months. Shame, she liked him, a lot.
“Oh, Steven I'd love to…” he smiled “…unfortunately, I can't.” His face fell, “I'm sorry, I really do have a schedule to keep. Perhaps another time.” Steven mentally kicked himself, why hadn't he taken up the courage five years earlier when he had started to feel attracted to her. He felt stupid for leaving it too long, he knew he had lost the chance. She must have someone else. What was he thinking, of course she had someone else, a beautiful, brilliant woman like that. She must think him a rat for hitting on her.
“Yes of course, I'm sorry, another time.” He stuttered and entered the room. Sharra followed him torturing herself for having to let him down. She hoped her being in his life hadn't disrupted his own future with a wife, which would be another change.
As the two doctors entered Kelly's room, her parents stood holding hands to support each other.
“Mr and Mrs Kemp, doctor Dawn has informed you of our next proposed course of treatment for your daughter. I am so sorry that she hasn't come out of her coma by herself at this stage, but I have had the pleasure of working with Doctor Dawn for many years and her coma hospital is most definitely the place for Kelly now. Doctor Dawn has an excellent record for bringing coma patients out of their states in the least time and her program for rehabilitation of those patients can't be faulted. I know it is a hard decision to make and that not being able to see your daughter as often as you would like is difficult for all the family, but I must reinforce the fact that I personally see it as your best option.” He turned to leave the room after shaking their hands, “I shall leave you in Doctor Dawn's capable hands.”
“Thank you Doctor Price for all your efforts.” Angela said tearfully as he left. She turned to Sharra and whispered, “I know you will do all you can for our daughter Doctor, we will leave her to you now, please, if there is any change, you will let us know immediately won't you?” Sharra tried not to show her emotions,
“Mrs Kemp, I will treat your daughter as my own, and be assured, you will be kept up to date with her progress in every minute detail.”

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""Each child holds the world in an open hand to mould it into any shape they choose.""
 47yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that Sorceress is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Kelly awoke to a darkened room. It was warm and cheerfully decorated with printed curtains and matching wallpaper and bedcovers. There was a television and a bookshelf and by her bed a tray holding a jug of water and glass and a small cup with two tablets in. She tried to sit up but her head thumped and her body ached. She brought her hand up to her mouth that felt like a dry sponge and saw that her arm was full of tubes that were attached to drips. ‘I'm in some sort of hospital.' She concluded and looked around her bed for a button to summon a nurse. She found it and pressed it as hard as her weak fingers would let her. For what seemed like a long time nobody came, then a head peeped around the door.
A very young looking doctor smiled and stepped into the room,
“Kelly, it's lovely to see you awake at last, how are you feeling?” Kelly tried to talk but her throat felt so dry, nothing seemed to come out. Sharra saw her struggling and strode over and immediately placed a comforting hand on her shoulder, gently pushing her back down on her pillow. “It's ok, don't try and talk, you've been in a sort of coma, actually we like to refer to it as hibernation. Before you get all worried, your mum and dad are fine and have left you in my capable hands. You just concentrate on feeling better, ok?” Kelly nodded and turned her head to get a better view of the room. Sharra came round to get the water Kelly was trying to reach for. She poured Kelly a glass and then helped her to sit up and get comfortable in the bed. “Don't try and do too much yet and only take small sips of water for a while, the drips have been doing your drinking for you for the past three months.” Kelly's eyebrows lifted in horror behind the glass she was sipping from, she swallowed slowly and painfully and then croaked,
“Three months?” Sharra nodded, Kelly was in shock. How could she possibly have been in a coma? She thought to herself, she hadn't had an accident. “Why was I in a coma? I don't remember being in an accident. Have I been ill?”
Sharra sat down on the bed next to her and inclined her head slightly as she looked at Kelly in what seemed to her to be something close to pity.
“No, like I said, it was more like hibernation, your body shut down to give your brain a chance to adjust to a change in its functioning.” Kelly shook her head to indicate she didn't understand. Sharra knew she needed to tread carefully, she had thought long and hard about this moment. “Before the coma, did something, perhaps a little strange happen to you?” Kelly looked at the doctor cautiously, she didn't answer, but it was obvious to Sharra that she had realised what had happened to her. “It's alright Kelly, you aren't going mad you really did travel through time.” Kelly pushed herself back in the bed, unconsciously moving away from Sharra.
“How could you possibly know that?” She whispered, looking nervously about her. Sharra relaxed when Kelly didn't react violently,
“Did you also experience the pleasure of the dawn?” Kelly made an involuntary surprised noise, taking that as a yes Sharra smiled and touched Kelly's arm familiarly, “You are a Dawn Child Kelly, you have the inborn ability to harness the power of the sun to move through space and time. Not just your own sun, although that is where you get your power from, but any star that holds a system of planets in its embrace. My name is Sharra, I am also a Dawn child. I was sent here to bring you back to my world to teach you how to control your gift, so that you may use it wisely and safely and not disrupt the space-time continuum, or be discovered by your own governments and used as a weapon of war. I know it is hard to believe, but since you have had your awakening of power and know you can move through time at a whim, then you must surely be able to see how important it is that you learn to control your talent.” Kelly didn't say anything to Sharra, she sat quite still and breathed calmly. Sharra could see that Kelly was still turning over in her mind the information she had just unloaded on her and was frankly quite surprised at just how calmly she was taking it.
Kelly may have looked calm on the outside, but inside her world had just turned upside down. ‘I need ‘time' to take this in.' She thought to herself, she could see Sharra talking to her still, but she wasn't listening to what she was saying. Her heart started to pound extremely loudly in her chest and her ears started to buzz, she felt the very blood in her veins suddenly rise in temperature. She tried to breathe slowly and relax but her body seemed to be reacting on its own.
Sharra was trying to get through to Kelly, she suddenly realised that something wasn't quite right when the girl's expression went blank and she didn't respond to her questions. She waved her hand in front of Kelly's eyes.
“Kelly? Kelly this is not a good sign. Try and relax, don't use your power Kelly, you must focus and resist the urge to use the gift as an escape from reality. Kelly? Ke…”

Kelly looked at Sharra and blinked a few times to clear her vision of the perspiration that was making it hard to focus. She caught Sharra's last sentence, why had she stopped
midway? Her vision cleared and she saw that Sharra was sitting completely still with her mouth open in mid sentence and her hand in mid gesture. She was completely frozen in time. Kelly blinked a few times as if that would help, then she suddenly realised how quiet it had become.
All noise had stopped, not just the doctor, or alien or whatever she was, not just her voice but the noises that had been in the corridor and outside, the birds, the wind in the trees, planes, traffic, everything, it was totally void of life, of time, of meaning. She looked out of the window, it was as if she had taken a remote control and pushed pause. Everything was waiting freeze framed for her to push play again. It was weird, spooky, frightening. She went to get up but remembered she was attached to drips, she wouldn't be able to do any exploring now, but what the hell, she was immortal, she could explore later. First she would need to learn more about this new power. She smiled to her self; this was going to be great. She looked at Sharra still absurdly immobile like a wax work, she giggled to herself and then holding up an imaginary remote control wand, she pointed it at her and pretending to press a button said,

“…lly, don't do it!” Kelly grinned at the woman who had suddenly become reanimated and finished the sentence she had started oblivious of Kelly's little episode. Sharra waved her hands in front of Kelly's eyes again and the teenager pushed them out of the way.
“Do you mind?” Sharra heaved a sigh of relief,
“Oh my dear child, I thought I'd lost you. What happened?” Kelly grinned again, she sat forward so that she was leaning over to the older woman,
“Nothing! Nothing at all. I just can't believe my luck, that's all.” She grinned again, a very cheeky grin, a devious grin. Sharra couldn't help but compare it to her cousin's. “Do we get to go in a space ship?” There was a very badly stifled laugh from the doorway. Darrow stood there waving a folder in front of Sharra's face.
“That you do my dear, that you do.” He laughed at Kelly. Sharra embraced her cousin and he winked at Kelly behind Sharra's back. Kelly blushed.
Sharra drew away from her cousin and became serious,
“Is it legal, can we take charge of Kelly?” Darrow stepped back and nodded towards Kelly.
“We can, however we are going to have to leave it a few weeks before we attempt to take Kelly away from her home world. It has got to look convincing and her parents are bound to want to keep up their visitation rights. After all they are her parents and they're not going to want to let go completely. I suggest we send for the cover team now, that gives us time to prepare Kelly for the journey.” Sharra nodded and Kelly eyed them both suspiciously,
“What's the cover team?” She asked nervously, unsure she wanted to go through with it after all. Darrow sat on the edge of Kelly's bed and made firm eye contact with the teenager, before clearing his throat to explain,
“The cover team are the group that will set up permanently on a newly discovered base planet, in other words a planet that has just created a Dawn Child, like you. They keep
their eyes open for any anomalies in the continuum that tells us a Dawn Child has been born with a ‘connection' to the planet's sun, so that they can isolate the child as soon as possible before it disrupts the continuum. Earth is going to be tricky as it is very early on in its development.” He stopped and looked at his cousin for help explaining.
“You see Kelly, you are quite unique. Apart from being the first dawn Child to be born to a level two planet, you are also the oldest ever to come into the awakening of the power. It is very rare to awake to the gift in adolescence. Every Dawn Child has their training as an adolescent, but usually it is detected very early on and the child is monitored in their own home until they have their awakening transition, which can be treated with the care and attention that is necessary until they go into hibernation, which usually lasts for years. There has only ever been one other like you in the past one thousand years on record, and that's me.”
“You?” Kelly asked in surprise. Sharra nodded solemnly,
“Yes and believe me it is not a good thing to awake to this gift so late in life, because it isn't as easy to adjust to it.”
Kelly swallowed hard, was this really happening to her? Being prepared to go away with aliens. She looked back to Darrow,
“This cover team, how do they get around the parents of the children that are being taken away?” He nodded; he had been waiting for this question,
“Well Kelly, we don't usually get Dawn Children born to planets that don't already know about our existence and what we do. You see, the Earth doesn't know about space travel as we do, because it doesn't know about the gifts of the Dawn Children who pilot our crafts by shifting space and time with their minds, therefore unlike other planets under Clio's ‘protection', your parents, as humans aren't prepared to give their children to Clio authorities. We are going to have to put a changeling clone with your likeness in your place, until we can have something happen to you to remove your existence from Earth without suspicion. It isn't going to be easy and the cover team are going to have to be very careful not to let anyone close to guessing the truth, at least not until we can prepare mankind for the inevitable surge of Dawn Child births and their consequences on your planet, its people and its place in the universe. It's a lot to take in when you've just woken up, isn't it babe?”
Kelly stared at Darrow with a dumb look on her face,
“I just can't take it in,” she whispered incredulously, “I mean, are you telling me that while I'm on another planet learning to control my…gift, there will be someone who looks just like me back here on Earth?” The Dawn cousins looked at each other and grinned then Darrow gave Kelly a friendly little peck on the cheek,
“That's right my little morning star, you've hit the nail right on the head. We can't pull any wool over this one's eyes, can we cous?” Sharra scowled at him,
“I must say Kelly, for a human you really are quite exceptional. You are alright about all this?” The dark haired, brown-eyed teenager grinned,
“I feel great, special, I mean if I am the first of my kind on Earth, then I've got to pave the way haven't I?” Sharra sighed, sat down hard and said with relief,
“Well I am so relieved that you feel that way, I must say I was expecting to have to sedate an irate teenager and drag you kicking and screaming all the way back to Clio.”

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""Each child holds the world in an open hand to mould it into any shape they choose.""
 47yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that Sorceress is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Before you read chapter five i just want to say that even though this is a completed manuscript and I may post it all on as it currently is, it is still a work in progress and I am currently re-writing it as well as two other manusscripts as I have researched a lot more since i wrote it and well I've re-read it myself and some of it makes me cringe so I'll have to change the parts that have that effect on me. Anyway its still a good story, so enjoy...


The changeling clone was settled into Kelly's bed, Kelly couldn't keep her eyes off of it. It looked just like her, even she couldn't tell the difference.
'Won't it wake up and blow our cover?' She asked, thinking it couldn't possibly have all of her thoughts, feelings and memories. Darrow laughed and looked as if he couldn't believe what she was asking,
'Wake up? No it won't wake up Kelly, because it has no consciousness. It isn't alive in any real sense of the word. To everyone around here it is you, in fact it's an exact replica of you built from your own DNA, but it will never be self-aware because its brain doesn't function. Basically its like a photo copy of you but without a soul.'
'Oh!' was all Kelly could manage.
'You see this way everyone can see that you are still here and in your coma, eventually it may be terminated.' Kelly frowned,
'What do you mean 'terminated'?' She couldn't imagine her parents giving up on her, and 'terminated' was such a cold word. Darrow tried to explain,
'Well, if you decide after your training that you don't want to return to Earth but want to carry out official work for Clio, then eventually your parents will be told that you are brain dead and may as well be put to sleep.'
' 'Put to sleep'? You make me sound like a pet dog.' Darrow looked chagrined,
'Sorry morning star, you don't remind me of a dog, but you are a bit of a pet!' She smiled despite herself, but still couldn't imagine her parents giving up on her. She took one more look at her duplicate and then sighed,
'Oh well! This is it then. Time to head off into the unknown for adventure and discovery.'
'And hard work!' Sharra put in, shattering Kelly's illusion,
'Oh yes, about this 'hard work', how hard exactly is it?' Sharra laughed,
'Hard enough. Now if you are ready Kelly, we have left it long enough.'
Kelly turned to Darrow and childishly gave him a hug and a peck on the cheek, Darrow returned the expression of affection that had built up between them equally as carefree. She was as free spirited as he was and they had been good company while the group from Clio had covered their tracks and prepared her clone to take her place. The group had all also shifted time to create their own illusions of personal histories and Kelly was very impressed with this aspect of the Dawn Children's dedication to detail.
Kelly linked arms with Darrow and started to head for the door,
'You can point out all the interesting systems and phenomena on the journey.' She said in excited anticipation. Darrow stopped and gently released Kelly's arm from his, he held her hand delicately and planted a gentle little kiss on the back of her hand,
'Oh, I'm afraid not morning star. I'm not coming back to Clio, at least not yet, my task is to see to things here on Earth. You see, more Dawn Children may be born now and I am the best qualified to organise cover teams and the sensitive job of dealing with the children's awakenings and hibernation.' Kelly stared at him in disbelief,
'Why can't someone else do that job?' She whinged and realised she sounded like a baby not wanting to leave a parent to go to school for the first time.
'Because morning star, it is my job, but we will meet again soon enough.'
As she pouted and walked out the door ahead of Sharra, Darrow gave her bottom a playful smack, a bad habit he had picked up on Earth and one that Sharra disapproved of most heartily.
'You'll get into trouble for sexual harassment if you carry on like that. You shouldn't tease a young girl who has a crush on you, you'll only make her infatuation worse.' Darrow stopped grinning and gazed after the girl who was waiting a little way off in the corridor in her disguise.
'Don't be ridiculous cousin, she isn't attracted to me like that, she just sees my affection towards her as brotherly... doesn't she?' Sharra patted him on the arm,
'You just keep telling yourself that cousin and you'll be fine, especially if you are going to be dealing with teenage human females for the immediate future. But I have seen enough school girl crushes in my time to know that Kelly is seriously and genuinely head over heels in love with you.' She emphasised the word 'you' by prodding him in the chest with her finger, 'Be very careful cousin, her hormones are highly charged with the gift at the moment, don't be too hard on her when you let her down.'
'Let her down?' He spat at her in uncharacteristically angry retaliation. 'I have no intention of 'letting her down' because there is no more to be said, now be swift cousin and train her well.'

Kelly and Sharra walked out of the coma hospital into the cool evening air, Kelly looked around her at the countryside and suddenly felt very sick to be leaving her home and her family without even saying goodbye. How could she just up and leave without seeing them just one more time.
Sharra walked quickly to her car that was parked as close to the hospital entrance as she could make it, she held the remote key out towards the car door and pressed the button, it made the familiar electronic beeping sound and Kelly suddenly had a thought. Of course, the answer was simple, she would just do her remote control trick and freeze time, that way she could visit her family and go and get some memories from her house, like a few photographs and no one would even know, including Sharra. She would just come back, unfreeze time and be on her way. There was just one problem, she didn't know where she was or how far away her home was. She was going to have to be sneaky.
'Sharra, can we just drive past my house so that I can see my home just one more time before we go, Please?' She fixed eye contact with Sharra and tried to look as young and innocent as possible. Sharra nodded slowly,
'Yes I suppose that would be OK, but we can't drive there it's too far, we'll take the pod.

The pod was as fantastic as the whole situation seemed to Kelly. She thought it resembled a soap bubble, it certainly looked as fragile, as if it would pop at the slightest touch. She touched it, it didn't feel like anything she had ever felt before. It was like touching ice except it wasn't cold it was warm. It was solid with some sort of liquid film that slipped over the surface and shimmered, flashing with all the colours of the rainbow like a rain puddle with a coating of oil. The weird thing was it was transparent just like a bubble one minute and then oil black the next, shifting from one to the other almost as if it was blinking in and out of existence. Kelly couldn't imagine how it could sustain passengers and fly through space.
'What's it made of?' she asked Sharra who now seemed even more alien to Kelly than ever before.
'That is a very hard question to answer Kelly.' The girl frowned and didn't want Sharra to think she was just a stupid human teenager so she said confidently,
'I'm not stupid Sharra, try!' Sharra laughed,
'I know you're not stupid, it is just that it is quite complicated, especially as it is difficult to explain in human terms.' She rubbed her chin while she thought for a moment how she could translate it into something Kelly could understand. She had been on earth for ten years and had tried to keep up to date with human endeavours in scientific research, such that it was. 'Do you know anything about quantum mechanics, particle theory, relativity, those sorts of concepts?' Kelly shook her head, 'Oh well, do you know anything about physics at all?' The teenager shuffled her feet uncomfortably,
'Not really, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't understand it if you explained it to me. I never really paid much attention in physics at school, I wish I had now.' Sharra laughed,
'Well never mind, I don't suppose it will make much difference anyway. Do you know what 'matter' is?' Kelly nodded, 'Good, well matter is made up of atoms which are in turn made up of particles, there are many but the main particles are protons, electrons and neutrons, we won't go into quarks and the like, all you need to know is that particles are very important when it comes to understanding time and space. You also need to understand that there are many forces in the universe. On Earth you have discovered such forces as gravity, electromagnetism and strong and weak nuclear forces, your scientists are always trying to unify all these forces into simpler combined theories but all you need to know is that it is a combination of such forces and particles that create the means to travel through the continuum using also our own special gift as Dawn children to harness the powers and energies of the stars to move through time.
The space pods are time machines, not just simply space ships as you might think, although you can't in reality have one without the other as to travel through space is to travel through time. They are made up of a particular matter extracted from deep space containing very special particles which are combined with a metal not found on Earth, we call it micromacromium. The way it flows over the surface of the ship acts a bit like the particle accelerators that your nuclear physicists use, except that the particles move faster than the speed of light, in fact faster than the speed of thought. The surface of the ship also absorbs light, very much like a black hole but with what we call positive time energy.' Here Kelly stopped her,
'Positive time energy?' Sharra sighed with the effort of trying to explain,
'Black holes are collapsed stars, they have a negative time energy. The sun, like all stars is a living, breathing star with positive time energy. This energy, once trapped by the pod allows a Dawn Child to propel through space as well as time. We do this by making quantum jumps just like in quantum physics when the tiny electrons also make quantum jumps, the pod simply disappears from one part of space and the Dawn Child uses her gift and the positive time energies collected by the ship to control where and when it reappears. There are other factors involved such as electromagnetic radiation and antimatter, positrons and antineutrinos but the more in depth I try to explain it all to you the more confused you will become, especially as much of it is not known to Earth scientists, who in my opinion make everything far too complicated as it is. If they didn't complicate things by bringing mathematical equations into everything and stuck to visualising the physical world as physical not numerical and abstract, then you humans would be far further on in your evolutionary cycle, perhaps even interstellar instead of planet bound and barbaric like you are.
'You see, because Dawn Children have never been born on Earth before your people could certainly never grasp time travel. Especially as on Earth there is something known as the uncertainty principle which means you cannot control the electrons' quantum jumps. I believe your Einstein detested quantum mechanics and its unpredictability, he said 'God does not play dice.' I suppose he was right because God has given us Dawn children the ability to control the electrons during the quantum jump and therefore the ability to move through time. I know it is all very complicated, once you are on Clio you will learn the theory, but for now do you understand a little better?'
Kelly shut her mouth which had been open wide catching flies, swallowed and blinked in an exadurated way. She took a deep breath,
'Do you know, I think I do.' She laughed, 'So as well as controlling time as Dawn Children you also control it through the time pods.' Sharra smiled,
'You're sort of right. We don't actually 'control' time though, we just travel through it and space.' Kelly frowned again,
'You do control time. If you can move backwards and forwards through time and freeze it as well then surely that means you can control it.' Sharra was stunned by Kelly's evaluation of the situation, she ushered Kelly into the pod before anyone saw them and activated the cloaking device,
'Whatever gave you the idea we could move forwards as well as backwards and freeze time as well?' Kelly felt her heart flutter and resisted the urge to say 'because I can!'
'Well I just assumed.' Sharra sat down after activating the pod and pulled Kelly down also into the plush softly furnished seating interior,
'My dear child, never assume anything. When on a planet's surface we can only travel backwards in time and then forwards to the exact moment we originated, not forwards beyond that point. Therefore we can be visited by other Dawn Children from the future, but cannot visit there ourselves, just like we can visit those in the past but they cannot visit us in our present, their future, do you understand so far?' Kelly nodded dumbfounded again. She bit her tongue and dared not tell Sharra what had happened to her.
'When in space, time is different, you need to read up on your Einstein's theory of general relativity to understand, but basically time slows down as you approach the speed of light and since we travel at the speed of thought, practically instantaneously, we do not need to jump backwards or forwards in time when travelling through the universe. We simply dematerialise, jump to whatever point we want to get to (I suppose you could say we fold space and then hop across the fold) then we materialise again. We don't know exactly how it works, just that as Dawn Children, that is how we manipulate space, not control it you understand just manipulate it. Also every planet has its own measurement of time and because of this Dawn Children do not age except on their own planet and Clio. As for freezing time, well that would be controlling time and that is simply impossible my dear as it would be going against all the natural physical laws of the universe.'
Kelly smiled to herself, she sat back and watched on with interest as Sharra 'jumped' or 'shifted space' to reach Kelly's home. So she wasn't just an ordinary Dawn Child if any Dawn Child could in fact be ordinary, so what was she and how could she do the things she did? This was going to be some adventure.

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""Each child holds the world in an open hand to mould it into any shape they choose.""
 47yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that Sorceress is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.

The time pod materialised in the garden of Kelly's house. It was teatime and Kelly could see the flickering of the TV through the patio doors and her mum getting the dinner ready through the kitchen window. A tear threatened to start a downpour so she sniffed and said quietly to Sharra,
'Would you mind if I get out for a moment? I won't give myself away, I promise.'
The pilot of the strange craft gave the teenage girl a hug,
'Sure, I understand.' Kelly watched what beam of light the alien time traveller broke
with a sweep of her hand to open the hatch then Kelly stepped out and froze time.

She turned around to look at Sharra to check if it had worked and sure enough the pilot was completely motionless. She then turned to the house and started to walk towards it. It felt strange with no time, the wind didn't blow, in fact there was no movement of the air at all and she found she felt slightly suffocated by the stillness of it. With no time everything was so quiet, the birds, stationary in mid flight seemed eerily unreal, the clouds, unmoving made the sky look like some old master painter's oil master piece, the artist's dream of the perfect sky, captured for all time.
As she moved closer to the house she could see her mother clearly now through the kitchen window, she was standing at the kitchen sink looking out, but not really seeing anything. Kelly wondered how all this had affected her. She had argued constantly with her mother, but she still loved her desperately and it hurt to think of her mother worrying about her and the stress she must be under.

Entering the porch Kelly nearly fell over the cat that was playing with a string toy attached to a scratch tower, she was paused mid pounce in mid air. Kelly laughed and passed her hand through the space between the cat and the floor, she felt like a magician doing some bizarre levitation illusion. Her father was glued to the box, which was very unlike him as he was usually obsessed with the internet! She walked over to him and gave him a gentle kiss on the forehead, he looked sad, and there was a tear about to fall. She looked from his melancholy expression to the television which was paused on Kelly during a karate exam, she examined her stance for a moment, scrutinizing every detail of its form, then suddenly snapped out of it, shaking her head to clear her daydream. She looked back at her father and wished she didn't have to put him through this misery.
Kelly walked around the living room drinking in the atmosphere; it was still home despite its waxwork museum feel. As she turned to walk into the kitchen she knocked an ornament from the fireplace, she span around to catch it before it smashed on the floor but quickly realised that once the contact between her and the object was no longer there the ornament would have no time to travel any further, it hung there curiously in space and she found herself wondering if all forces needed time to interact with matter. She plucked the object from its place in mid air and returned it to the shelf. Once in the hallway Kelly knew she would have to pass the hall clock, she looked at it fixed on the exact moment she had stopped time and she suddenly felt in total control of the universe.
Angela was peeling potatoes in the kitchen sink, the running water frozen in time looked solid like ice rather than a flowing liquid and the potato peel hung off the peeler ready to fall into the sink. The whole situation made Kelly weep with the thought of leaving everyone and everything she knew behind. She turned and sprinted up the stairs two steps at a time and looking only briefly and sentimentally around her room, picked up a small bag and loaded it with some photographs and a few personal bits and bobs and ran crying all the way back to the pod without looking at her parents again. She went inside the craft and packed her things away in her small suitcase out of sight and then returned carefully to the exact spot she was pretty sure she had been standing before she froze time. She composed herself, stopped sniffling and then unfroze time once again.

Kelly stepped away from the pod, looked around her and the home she had lived in for the past seventeen years, breathed the now moving evening air and listened to the trees rustling in the breeze and the birds twittering their twighlight song, then taking one last look at her house, climbed back into the pod with the strange time traveller from another galaxy who would soon take her away from everything she ever knew to be reality to a strange new fantastic alien world to be with other cosmic misfits to start her Dawn Child training.
Sharra made eye contact with Kelly,
'Kelly, answer me truthfully, did you just use the gift?' Kelly's heart went into her mouth but she answered calmly,
'No! Why?' The teacher shook her head,
'I'm not sure, it's just I felt an unusual disruption in the continuum and saw you, or thought I saw you flicker, almost jump, just ever so slightly. Are you absolutely sure you didn't travel through time just a little?' Kelly smiled at her wonderfully forbidden feeling secret and shook her head at Sharra,
'No I swear, I didn't travel through time.' Sharra nodded,
'I trust your honour Kelly. Are you ready to go to Clio now?' Kelly looked a little guiltily towards her house and then at her suitcase holding her forbidden treasures and smiled,
'I'm ready, let's go.'

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""Each child holds the world in an open hand to mould it into any shape they choose.""
 47yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that Sorceress is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.

Angela Kemp was preparing the dinner, daydreaming about her daughter and listening to the news on the radio. There was a debate between leading astronomers and scientists about the leaked story of a huge meteor heading towards the Earth and apparently on a collision course. One leading scientist was dishing out facts and figures and basically predicting the end of the world and the other was saying how it was all a load of rubbish and scare mongering, saying he shouldn't cause a world wide panic for no reason.
As she was staring out of the window she thought she suddenly saw an extremely bright flash of lightning with no accompanying boom of thunder. She jumped at its sudden brightness and stared out of the window for a couple of minutes before conceding to reality and continuing with her potato peeling.
When Angela had finished preparing the dinner she joined her husband to look at the home movies of their daughter, she loved to see her bright little girl on the screen just as she remembered her, a sweet, intelligent little girl, quick and full of questions.
'Oh Ron, she was a beautiful little girl, still is. Only now she's even more innocent and vulnerable.' Ron Kemp placed a hand of comfort over his wife's hand that was resting limp in her lap, limp was how she felt, limp and useless, not able to do anything for the child she gave birth to now rotting away in a hospital miles away from the family who love her. He lifted her chin and looked her in the eyes,
'What are you talking about woman? Stop talking about her in the past tense. Look at her.' And he nodded towards the screen, 'She's not a vulnerable little girl anymore, she's growing up into an independent, free spirited young woman. She's a fighter; just look at that girl pack a punch! She's stronger than you give her credit for, you'll see, she'll fight this thing whatever it is.' He held her close for a few moments and then said, 'Besides, She's here in spirit with us, I even felt like she had kissed me a moment ago, right here.' And he touched the exact place that his daughter had in fact kissed him. Angela laughed,
'You're probably right.'
'You know I am.'
Angela got up from the sofa and went over to the fireplace to look at Kelly's first school photograph; she was such a cheeky little girl. She picked the picture up to look at it more carefully and noticed the clean mark it left in the surrounding dust, and also another mark in the dust where an ornament had been, she didn't remember moving it.
'Ron, you didn't move this ornament did you?' Ron laughed,
'No love, why would I do that?' She frowned,
'It's very odd, like its only just been moved, there's no dust on the mark.'
'Perhaps Tibby's been up there.' Ron answered half-heartedly and continued to watch the television, not interested in irrelevant fancies.
'What, so the cat just jumped up here leaving no paw prints, picked the ornament up in her paws and moved it and then jumped down without knocking anything else over?' She looked at her husband for a response to her point.
'Yes dear!' came the terse reply. Angela tutted,
'Oh well, you're probably right dear, Tibbs did it... somehow.' She always ended up talking to herself after he said 'Yes dear!' so what was the point? She concluded that she must have moved it herself earlier and anyway she was getting rather forgetful these days; it must be that she's using up all her thoughts on Kelly. 'I'll go and dish up dinner then shall I?' Her husband barely moved from his chosen spot on the couch, he didn't even look around at her. He simply raised his hand to scratch his chin and mumbled inattentively as he carried on with his movie watching,
'Mmm? Oh, yes dear!' Angela returned to the kitchen, she shivered and took in a deep breath as she smelled the dinner cooking in the kitchen. Then she caught another odour lingering in the air tantalizing and mockingly,
'Kelly?' She whispered to herself, 'Oh God, I'm even smelling her now.'

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""Each child holds the world in an open hand to mould it into any shape they choose.""
 47yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that Sorceress is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.

The time pod lit up like a camera flash when it made the jump into space, Kelly hadn't been expecting it and screamed at the shock. Sharra span around and placed a hand of comfort on her young charge's shoulder,
'It's OK Kelly, you always get a flash when you make a quantum jump like that, it's the energy the electrons give off when they dematerialise. You get another flash at the end of the jump when the ship materialises again at its destination.'
'I didn't see a flash when we jumped from the hospital to my house.' Kelly observed. Sharra grinned and settled back down again,
'Yes well there was a very small flash probably more likely to be seen from outside the pod. That wasn't really a time shift as such, just a small jump across space, I suppose you could say that the electrons didn't get very excited.'
Kelly relaxed again and looked out of the transparent hull at this very strange new system,
'Where are we? Is this Clio's solar system?' Sharra shook her head and had a bite of a chocolate bar she had brought along to boost her energy,
'No, it takes several time shifts to get to Clio, it's a long way a way. This galaxy has no life. It's very rare actually, because there are a good few hundred habitable planets. Life just hasn't got going on them yet, well intelligent life hasn't evolved yet anyway and who knows if it ever will. Maybe someone will decide to repopulate one of them in the future. Let me just get my breath back and then I can use the gift again.'
Kelly looked out at the stars and planets in this alien galaxy, she couldn't believe she was actually in space, in a space ship!
'Why do you refer to it as 'the gift' and not 'the power' for example?' She asked, still marvelling at the cosmic view. Sharra shrugged,
'It's always been that way. I suppose it's because in the culture of those planets that regularly give birth to those with this unusual 'power', it is considered a great honour and is a 'gift' from God to help keep the universe in order. It is a great responsibility.' Kelly tore herself away from the amazing view to look at the older Dawn Child,
'And just how do you keep the universe in order Sharra?' Kelly asked, perhaps a little bit more derisively than she had meant to, but before she could answer, Sharra had shut her eyes for the next jump.
Kelly was a little more prepared for the flash this time and the second one at the other end of the jump, which again was as quick as a blink of the eye. Sharra looked at Kelly very closely through a thoughtful expression and answered,
'Why by training all Dawn Children in the use of their gift so as not to disrupt the continuum with it and by repairing damage to certain time lines made by illegal or untrained use of the gift; and sometimes, by saving planets from destroying themselves and often neighbouring systems with their own weapons of destruction.
'Sometimes we are employed to carry out such tasks as dealing with criminals before they commit a crime, subsequently creating a preferable consequence in an alternate time line, but these have to be researched thoroughly before action is taken so as not to cause paradoxes. But mainly, it is our job to insure that the universe as we know it is not itself destroyed by paradoxes which unmonitored time travelling creates.' Kelly sat in awe at Sharra's little speech. 'Now do you understand what a responsibility you have and why we went to so much trouble to get you off your planet without the authorities finding out? After all we wouldn't want your own governments fighting over who has the right to use your gift to their own ends now would we?'
Kelly nodded thoughtfully, she now realised that she had even more of a responsibility than most Dawn Children, but to do what she did not yet know.
'You are in fact a Universal Time Police of sorts, aren't you?' At that Sharra bent over double and laughed until her eyes watered,
'Oh Kelly, Darrow would love that description of our job. I suppose you could look at it like that yes, but I see the Dawn Children in a more spiritual light than an institutional one, it is more of a calling than a job. We are born with a talented gift given to us by a higher power, that gift is regenerated every dawn and no one but a Dawn Child can know how it feels to be literally filled with the sun's energy every day; to be reminded that we are all made of star dust and we will all return to star dust. So you see, just as we are created from the beginning of time from one tiny densely packed universe that needs to stretch itself out like a person who has just awakened stretching themselves to their very fingertips to feel fully awake, so the universe eventually needs at the end of time to curl itself back into its original state, like a person curling up into a foetal position to go to sleep at night. And just like that never ending birth, death and rebirth of the universe, Dawn Children are continually being born and reborn with the gift as the sun constantly rises and sets again in a never-ending circle of existence.
'We are a minute part of the design of the universe, like tiny stitches in the weave of a great tapestry that shows a single point in an historical event; and as all minute parts of the universe, even the teeny, tiny particles that make up all matter, we have been designed to do a specific job. Only you yourself can decide what that job is, but whatever you decide, that is the way it should be.
'Have faith in yourself and use your gift wisely and even you will help to keep the universe in order. Surely God only gives gifts to those he loves and trusts. I'm sure you won't let him down.'
'I'm not sure I believe in God.'
'Well, look at it this way. The gift is like the needle used to make the tapestry, merely a tool, and it requires practice to become accomplished at needlepoint. Like anyone born with a gift, it is not enough to say, 'I am born with a gift therefore I don't need to work hard.' All the more reason to work harder than anyone else to be the best that you can be, and whether or not you believe your gift is God-given, it is still a gift and you must accept it and take care of it as if it were the most precious gift you have ever been given, nurture it and it will grow with you and serve you well.'
Kelly was amazed that Sharra seemed to have such a tidy view of the universe, she wasn't so sure it was as simple as that, it was too neat and well ordered. She had always seen the universe as chaotic and full of paradoxes already. As for her faith in God, that was another point Kelly hadn't worked out in her own mind yet. How could a single being be so all-powerful and have absolute control over something so infinitely vast as the universe? Such a force would have to be so overwhelmingly powerful. Although, whatever force caused the universe to exist would have to be the most powerful physical
force ever and she wasn't sure she could believe that the universe simply existed and always had done and always will, after all it must have come from somewhere and have some start point, some beginning in time, didn't it?
Then again, if someone so small and insignificant as herself, a sixteen-year-old human could freeze the very fabric of time, then an all-powerful God could have power over the very fabric of all existence, it stands to reason, doesn't it? She nodded to herself. She would keep an open mind about God until she knew what was to become of her and how she was to use this amazing gift she had most certainly been blessed with by whatever universal power that might be!

Finally they came to Clio's system. Sharra materialised the pod on the outskirts of the solar system so that Kelly could see the way it was designed. She was amazed to find out that there were in fact two habited planets, Clio and Izo. Izo was a barren desert planet with very little water and so the main trade of the peoples of Izo was the metal 'micromacromium' for water and since the metal was so important for the construction of time pods across the whole known universe, the Izonions were not left thirsty and the planet was a rich one.
They didn't stop to sight-see, Sharra flew her pupil straight on to Clio and when the human teenager came into view of the tiny green planet, she gasped out loud at its beauty. It was so unlike Earth in its colour and size and yet somehow she felt at home already.
She could feel the pull of Clio's sun on her talented unconscious mind and longed to experience the dawn as she was having withdrawal symptoms from that part of her
awakening already. Sharra was also looking forward to Clio's dawn; because of the nature of the gift and the sheer amount of time she had travelled through on her mission, she had been away from Clio for far too long and she felt she was beginning to forget what her home was like and that was not good.
Once in orbit around the planet, Sharra shifted time and space one more time and landed the pod in the capital city of Clio.

Kelly looked around at the fantastic buildings and structures of this alien city, she couldn't quite put her finger on what it was but something didn't quite feel right about it, but she simply couldn't work out what it was that was wrong. She felt different too, more like she did before she went through her transition.
Sharra sensed Kelly's unease, she smiled and patted her sympathetically on the back, then she helped Kelly out of the pod into a large square which was in front of a tremendously impressive building that seemed to tower miles in the air and appeared to be made of a material very similar to that of the pod, except it wasn't completely transparent but glimmered like rain drops on a window pain with the sun shining through them. She stood there with her mouth open in awe like a child looking up at the school building on the very first day of the very first term.
'I know exactly how you feel, I was the same when I arrived, everyone is. It is quite awe inspiring isn't it?' Kelly nodded mutely. 'You feel different as well don't you?' Kelly turned to Sharra puzzled that she should know how she was feeling.
'Yes, but how did you know?' Sharra smiled her now familiar expression of self-satisfied patronising superiority, which Kelly recognised as completely unintentional and a purely unconscious act.
'The reason you feel so different is because you are deep underground away from the sun's addictive allure and of course away from the source of her power, a Dawn Child is not so likely to have any beginner accidents.
'This is where we bring all our new recruits, it is also our nerve centre, mission control if you will. It is where the council monitor the continuum for anomalies and send out teams to correct them; and it is also where we sense newborn talents ready for recruiting, such as yourself.'
Sharra watched Kelly carefully as she looked around bemused by this tremendous underground city, it was so bright and beautiful that Kelly simply couldn't tell they were inside the planet. She looked up and took a double take, Sharra giggled playfully at her reaction to the illusion of sky projected above the city.
'Impressive isn't it? It's a bit like a giant hologram. We found before the holo-sky that it was very dark and dreary, and even with artificial lighting many people felt extremely claustrophobic and restricted. People became sick with a sort of darkness depression, very similar to the winter blues many people experience on your planet.' Kelly began to feel quite overwhelmed by it all, she just didn't feel like she was inside a planet but at least now she knew the reason for the uneasy feeling.
Sharra started to walk, 'Come on Kelly, let's go and get you linked up straight away,
'Linked up? I don't like the sound of that.' Kelly crooned but Sharra didn't stop to explain, she strided onto a moving platform with the human teenager jogging to keep up.

As soon as they were on the moving walkway Sharra said simply, 'The link!' and the world suddenly seemed to pass Kelly like a bullet. She thought she should have fallen over or at the very least feel a little dizzy from the force of their sudden acceleration and their current speed but surprisingly she didn't even feel uncomfortable, she just looked on at this never-ending city passing in a blurr either side of her and marvelled at it.
Occassionally the walkway branched off and she saw many other moving walkways zooming around the city like some bizarre pedestrian motorway, but it was impossible to focus in on any sights because of the sheer speed, the eye simply didn't have time to relay what it was sensing to the brain, therefore normal perception was quite impossible and the whole journey appeared to Kelly like a very surreal fairground ride.
Kelly also realised that the journey was very quiet, she expected to hear the noises of the walkways zooming around like cars or the wind rushing past her face but it just felt like she was in an enclosed lift quietly and calmly moving up and down conveying its passengers from floor to floor.
'Why don't we fall over?' She asked Sharra, who not even giving her a sideways glance, shrugged and answered nonchalantly,
'Something to do with your inner ear, it controls your balance. Whilst on the walkway some sort of small electrical charge, quite harmless you understand, is passed through your ear and it somehow compensates for the movement of the platform and if you try to move your feet you will see you are not able to.' Kelly tried to sound like she understood but she was actually even more confused by the answer,
'Oh I see!' She tried again to focus her attention on some distant moving scene and again failed so she tried another question, 'So what's this 'link' then?'
Sharra turned to Kelly reluctantly, she was trying to think, to catch a moment to herself to reorganise and reorientate her thoughts,
'Huh? Oh the link. Well it's how all Dawn Children communicate. It's a small implant that gives us a telepathic link with Clio wherever and whenever we are. As I think I have told you before, thought is the quickest form of travel, it is instant, and as Dawn Children follow their own time line, not that of any one planet or system, we seem to be able to link up across the continuum, somehow bridging time and space completely. Clever huh?' Kelly nodded dumbly, her head was beginning to ache with all the information and new concepts it was having to deal with. Then something suddenly occurred to her about the nature of time in different galaxies,
'But if you are ageing on Clio and say Darrow is on Earth and he isn't ageing how can he communicate with you if time is passing at different levels?' Sharra giggled but put her hand over mouth to stop herself,
'Oh Kelly, try not to question it all so much, just try and accept it. You'll go quite mad trying to understand everything about time and space and the nature of the universe all in one day. Come on we're there.' The walkway had suddenly stopped, although Kelly hadn't even noticed and as she stepped off and followed Sharra she felt like she certainly might go quite mad by the end of this very long and very strange day.

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""Each child holds the world in an open hand to mould it into any shape they choose.""
 47yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that Sorceress is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.

The police had been questioning all the staff at the coma hospital all day and the staff were becoming rather tired of it all, especially Rhea, it was certainly an oversight on the cover team's part, of course people were going to ask questions.
'So, eh, Miss...eh...' Rhea raised her eyebrows at the young detective and tapped her foot impatiently,
'Rhea. Just Rhea.'
The detective nodded slowly and scribbled her name down in his notebook, then looked up for the first time into the piercing blue eyes of the nurse he was questioning, she was so beautifully angelic looking, almost perfect, like a goddess he thought. He didn't let her good looks and enigmatic nature distract him though; he knew there was something not quite right about this place. He coughed to clear his throat and bring him back down to earth,
'Oh Rhea, right. So, ehm, Rhea, when did you last see doctor Dawn?'
Rhea wasn't stupid either, far from it, she was about three hundred years older than this pubescent nitwit and knew how to work the oldest distraction in the book, the female allure. As her delicate almost feline frame silently moved to pass him and slide sleekly into a chair, she gently brushed her leg against his as there wasn't room for her to pass, her hand not quite accidentally stroked his groin.
The detective wasn't as nave as the Dawn Child had hoped for however and even though she did affect his concentration ever so slightly, he was used to females trying it on to get their own way during questioning. 'Just answer the question Miss.'
'Ah well,' Rhea sighed seeing there was no getting round the issue, 'That would be Tuesday afternoon just after she had finished her rounds. She said she wasn't feeling too well and decided to go home.' The detective wrote that down on his pad, Rhea could almost see the old brain cells doing their job,
'Was she alone when she left?' Rhea shrugged and stopped trying to bat her eyelids at the completely indifferent policeman.
'I've no idea, she was certainly alone when I saw her leave the ward.' He continued to scribble and nod his head to avoid eye contact,
'And apart from feeling ill, did she talk to you about any other personal problems perhaps involving family or her boyfriend, anything of that nature?' Rhea tried not to look ticked off by this young man's probing questions, she feigned interest and pretended to think back to the day in question. She shook her head,
'No, no she didn't mention anything. She didn't have any personal problems as far as I know.' The detective huffed,
'Everyone has personal problems of one kind or another Miss eh...Rhea, it's just that some are more prominent than others.'
She smiled innocently and looked even more angelic and he had to really pull in the reins of self-control not to grab her and kiss her wildly and uncontrollably right there and then. She was like some wild siren of the deep hypnotising him with those almost alien eyes. If only he knew! He blinked and swallowed to regain his famous self-control and outwardly looked completely calm and unmoved by her attempt to steer him off his current course. 'Thank you for your time Nurse Rhea.' He said simply, nodding at her unemotionally.
Rhea watched the detective move on to his next victim, he was going to be a problem, she could see that. She carried on her work of monitoring Kelly's clone whilst he questioned another member of the cover team.
'How long had Miss Dawn worked at this hospital Terry?'
'Five years, and it's Derry not Terry.' The detective raised his eyebrows,
'Another unusual name, there seems to be a lot of those around here.' Derry shrugged and carried on writing her notes. Alan Miller leant both elbows on the counter and leaned over towards the small, plump but very pretty nurse who seemed to be hiding behind her paperwork. Sensing his probing eyes she put her pen down carefully and took her reading glasses off, letting them hang by their string around her neck.
'I don't see anything unusual about it.' She said, confidently keeping eye contact with Alan. He looked away and then down at his own notes and realising she suddenly had the balance of power in the situation Derry said quickly and assertively, 'Look! P.C. Miller is it?' Alan stiffened slightly and became rather unprofessionally defensive,
'Detective Sergeant if you don't mind.' She huffed and stood up, once again looking him straight in the eye and said,
'Well Detective Sergeant Miller, Doctor Dawn also happens to be the founder of this unique hospital, as you must well know if you have looked into her background properly; and in all the years she has worked tirelessly for this institution, I don't believe she has ever had one day off sick. She has probably gone off somewhere to recuperate in peace, as in without being disturbed.'
He nodded and tapped his pencil on his notepad in a rather annoying manner,
'Yes, well I thought of that, but you see dear lady, some things just aren't adding up in our Miss Dawn's 'background' as it were. For one thing, if you run an institution of this size you don't just decide to bugger off on holiday because you're not feeling very well and not tell anyone about it and not leave a mobile or pager number for emergency contacts.
'Another odd thing about Doctor Dawn is that she appears to have no family history to speak of, in fact no family to speak of at all, just one cousin. No there's something odd about our missing Doctor Sharra Dawn and I'm going to get to the bottom of it, and I'm going to start with this solicitor cousin of hers.'

Rhea and Derry watched the detective leave the hospital to find Darrow, Derry looked really worried. Rhea smiled and touched Derry reassuringly on the shoulder,
'Don't worry Derry, everything's under control!' and she opened the link.

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