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ne me quitte pas

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She doesn’t know where to go, so she follows the trail of a video gone viral.

It’s as good a trail as any, when the mysterious Lady-Bond you met on a little island nation between Madagascar and Mozambique is involved. That little Comoros adventure had been enough thrill for a lifetime, but now Charlotte’s on her toes, and she doesn’t know where else to turn. So she turns to the woman who laughed away her battle wounds, saved the day, fell into bed, and left with a somber smile and a cryptic farewell—and not so much as an address or phone number.

Charlotte understands that there was more there to Helen than money secreted away. Knowledge of abnormals, as she’d called them, was a key factor there. She understands the need for secrecy, and she doesn’t hold the lack of communication against her. In fact, all that’s furthest from her mind when she first sees the video, packs her things, and finds a flight into Vancouver International Airport without any more backward glances than it takes to cover her trail as best she’s able.

It feels almost too easy, getting to Old City.

Her search, on the other hand, is the opposite. Somehow, the people who know the woman from the news know little, if nothing, about her. She wanders the city for two days before stumbling upon the Fifth Ward, and it’s there that a man without pupils looks her dead in the eye and says, oh yeah, Helen Magnus.

“Lived in the old cathedral down by the water. Sanctuary, they called it. Did her best to keep things runnin’ smooth around here, I guess.”

“Where is she now?”

“Dead. Place burned to the ground, her and everything else inside.”