Heat rose off of the concrete in waves, people in the city flocking to lakes and air conditioned buildings. Only the river lacked bathers, but the Mississippi was not to be trifled with. Danielle, for her part, had traded in her hoodie for the moment, wearing a t-shirt from a Goodwill. The more popular place for people to be was the blessedly cool skyway, the unique system of enclosed walkways that sprawled through the skyscrapers of Minneapolis. She leaned on a wall, doing her best to not look like a derelict. The crowd was decent-sized, a busker walking down with his guitar, singing different songs for money. Stores tended to be good about it if the buskers asked for permission first, but Dani was just a little kid. Not that anyone had noticed her. She looked, making sure no one was looking, and seemed to disappear into the wall, invisibly phasing into the store behind her. She appeared a couple moments later. Had anyone noticed she was ever gone, they'd notice now she had a bag of chips now. She was certain otherwise, yet one set of eyes had. A woman nearby stopped by her.
"Dear, that is no kind of lunch. When was the last time you had a real meal?"
The woman was a dark strawberry blond with jewel green eyes, wearing a lavender suit and glasses. She looked to be middle-aged but her manner and voice were youthful. Dani looked at her... She felt a mild chill, her ghost sense going off... She looked around a moment, and seeing nothing but the woman, shrugged...
"I honestly can't remember," she answered truthfully. It had been a rather long while since she'd had something approaching a meal.
The woman's mouth twitched.
"Come, you have an apology to make. I will feed you if you do," she promised, a small smile on her face.
She looked at first a bit surprised, and then distrustful...
"For what?" she asked, playing dumb, she was sure no one was watching...
"Those." The woman poked the bag of chips.
She raised a brow, but lowered her voice. "You didn't see that. No one did."
"No? Are you sure?"
"I always am... I make sure before I do... There are others who would have me dead."
The woman nodded.
"Well, auntie cannot hurt you."
She smiled sardonically.
"Cross my heart." She placed her hand on Dani's shoulder. "Will you do the right thing with me behind you?"
"...If she... reports me, my appearance, it could... It could lead him right to me..."
A sort of unbridled anxiety filled her voice when she spoke of him.
"...I... Barely escaped with my life before... I will put them back, but... I can't risk that."
"She won't." She grinned. "You have no reason to fear."
"How do you know? You know her personally?" Dani asked, looking her in the eye... She'd learned you could tell a lot about someone from how they respond when looked in the eye.
"In a sense, I know everyone, including you," she spoke seriously, "You have reason to fear, but likely no reason that would ever occur to you from me. I cannot harm you, little one."
Dani paused, sizing her up again... "...Fine. I... I trust you, for now..."
I hope I'm not making a mistake, she added internally.
The woman smiled and held out her hand. "Come on, then. First, to the store, then to a cafe."
She spoke the last words with a flair of some rough accent, like English wasn't her first language. Dani nodded, and brushed her hair from her face, leading to the proper entrance of the store... She walked in. Every bone in her body was telling her not to, but, she went to the counter, placing the chips back in the display by it.
I'm sorry," she said, looking down a bit.
The woman looked at the girl at the counter.
"Whatever. You put them back. That's better than most folks who don't bother. Have a nice day."
The young woman sounded incredibly bored.
Danielle was rather relieved. Most of the people working convenience stores had a hair trigger on the alarm button. Maybe that woman had known something...
"Thank you, dear." The woman bowed her head. "Now, little niece, let's get something far better to eat."
Dani nodded... She wondered a moment just who this woman was, really, before leading back out of the store. The woman seemed to smile through her glasses in a sort-of maternal way. Half between warm amusement and curiosity.
"So, you... Live around here?" Dani asked the woman. That was the logical answer to how the woman would know, she figured it was worth the attempt to ask.
"I had come to give a speech at a college nearby. I own a company that operates construction, labor centers and has many kinds of charity work for the poor, she explained, "I am the head of Polydeux Limited. My great-grandmother created it in the 1920's."
"Oh," Dani replied... The name was familiar, probably from hearing some of Vlad's corporate activities... "That's cool."
"...why the interest in the small stuff, then?" she asked, leading to the nearest cafe.
"I am Sophia. Sophia means 'wisdom' in Greek and it is wise to pay attention to small things. Many leaks sink a great ship-1929's Black Thursday was certainly a lesson in that."
She spoke almost as if she'd seen it personally, wincing.
"What a disaster that was."
Dani got them a table, one off in a corner- there was fair amount of unoccupied space between it and the next occupied tables, enough to speak freely.
She took a seat,
"So, you seemed to know a little about me..."
She gave her a bit of a suspicious glance.
The woman rubbed her forehead.
"Sort of... I know something of what you could be."
She took a cursory glance at the menu.
"We have more in common than you may think. Or less than I think."
"...we certainly don't have being cryptic in common," Dani replied, with a bit of a wry grin, "You said you run a large company... Would you happen to know Vlad Masters?"
She sighed. "He asked me out once for a quote one-on-one unquote. I turned him down. Rather obvious."
Dani nodded... "He can be, sometimes... You sound like you don't much care for him. To say I feel the same would be understatement."
The woman looked empathetic. "I know precisely the way you feel. My family weren't very warm. I was the changeling, a freak as they put it so indelicately nowadays. I didn't even know who my parents were really until I was thirteen."
"... Can I trust you to keep secrets?"
The woman nodded. "More than you know."
Dani lowered her voice. "Vlad Masters... Is half ghost. And I... Am his daughter, of sorts. He created me from another like him, a boy... But since I defied him, he's been trying to kill me. He's who I was talking about earlier..."
The woman looked concerned. "...he... must be... say no more here." Her face changed to relaxed as a waitress came by.
"Chocolate shake, large fry."
"Bacon-cheeseburger. Medium fries and a vanilla shake."
Dani took advantage of this unusual resources, a meal that size could keep her a good ways.
"Okay, folks." The waitress nodded, her bangs bobbing energetically as she walked over to the counter.
"Have you... ever been to school?" Sophia asked hesitantly.
"...no... I don't exactly understand it, but he... Managed to educate me before I was ever conscious. Some sort of neural interface, I think he said..."
She nodded. "That is extremely theoretical here... but not... elsewhere. Not with help from a certain Technus."
"I... Have the education a kid my age normally should have."
Sophia nodded. "Hmm... so about middle school as they regard things here."
"Yeah... That and what I've picked up on the streets..."
Sophia smiled at the waitress came with drinks and one of the fries. "Your burger will be along shortly." The waitress made a friendly smile.
Dani nodded, "Thank you."
She took a good sized sip from the shake.
Sophia took out the straw and sucked out the liquid before placing it on a napkin. She dipped her french fries into her shake. "Hungry, dear?" She laughed before taking a bite.
The waitress brought out Dani's plate.
"Famished," Dani replied, nodding gratefully at the waitress before taking a bite of her burger.
"I take you mean that in a more literal way than most Americans." Sophia frowned thoughtfully. This was only a rather small exaggeration. The girl was lean, almost overly so, beneath her loose clothes.
Dani nodded, smiling a bit sadly. "I take only when I truly need it, and a good take is far between."
Sophia nodded. "I see."
Dani ate once more, doing her best not to do so too rudely fast.
"Thank you, miss," she told Sophia.
"I am sure that dinner will feel even better for you. Come, I have a fair bit of a walk." She took out a card marked with her company's name and gave it to the waitress.
Dani smiled, standing... "Really? Just like that?"
She nodded. "I can't leave a fellow out in the cold. I owe all of you... more than you would know, being so young."
Dani chuckled and nodded... "I know that feeling."
Her actions touched Dani, deeper than Dani would let on outside.
Sophia took back the card, signing the receipt. "Thank you, dear." She spoke, handing over a bill. "Now..."
"Omigod, omigod, are you sure?" The waitress held a hundred dollar bill.
"Yes. Once again... off to my speech." Sophia smiled.
"Lead on," Dani told her.
Sophia led Dani by the hand, firm but not as if she were preventing Dani from leaving. "I never got your name, dear."
"Danielle," she replied, "I've stopped using my last name for obvious reasons."
"God is My Judge. Interesting." she spoke.
"...God? Thought that one over a few times, I've hidden in churches once or twice... And as a created individual, I... Have my own thoughts there."
She didn't quite buy it all, but figured there was someone out there, and they probably weren't too bad, given what man'd survived.
Sophia smiled. "I spent a fair amount of my life Catholic. Swallowing everything never got to me."
Dani nodded.. "Cool. So, uh... You..."
She fumbled a bit, trying to figure out how to ask what she wanted to ask her.
"...How long do you plan on me staying around?"
The woman had mentioned supper, but Dani'd figured that'd be it.
"Hmmm... that depends on a few things. A while, perhaps," the woman teased warmly, "You'll need clothes... schooling. So much..."
Dani was surprised the woman was actually considering long term...
"...if you're serious, we'll need an explanation too... I mean, you're a public figure..."
"I have done this before. Friends and a fair bit of money can cover a lot, especially for a good cause." She waved.
Dani nodded... "And... I'd like to avoid any press we can... The less we give dad to work on, the better..."
Her personal confrontation plans were to avoid if at all possible.
"I am notoriously publicity shy, " rhe woman laughed, "I have very good reason."
"Good," Dani replied, flashing a grin, "you never did quite tell me the reason... I'm curious. But I understand if you don't feel like laying your hand on the table yet."
"Well, you will hear more in time. The Skyway is not the place or time." She led them into the humid air, busses and different vehicles going by. "Have you been on the light rail yet?"
Dani nodded. "On the way up... It's my first time in this city."
"You must've caught it nearby. Some of those engineers were so bad those first few years. They got better. I visit this city-the University of Minnesota is a nice, practical college-one of the land-grant colleges. Iowa, Wisconsin, Florida-all land grant colleges."
"Huh, cool," Dani replied, "what're you going to be speaking about there?"
"Companies and policies that include charity and improving the world instead of wrecking. Did you know that two different chocolatiers made special places for their workers to live? Hershey even created an orphanage and boy's school so they could escape the inner city. Good men. Those boys were the children he never had. Unlike the utopia settlements and communes of the day, those cities still exist."
Dani smiled, there was something about this woman, something that stuck a chord with her. She liked it.
"It is possible to hold onto ideals and be practical about it. It is nice to be able to do the right things, even if it's indirectly for me much of the time."
Sophia walked into a glass building none too far from the skyway. "This is a special high school, my first stop."
Dani nodded... "I try to do what I can on the road. Every now and then I can do something to help someone..."
More than one woman had her to thank for stopping petty crimes.
"Sometimes little things can help more than you think. I heard a saying once in a comic book of all things."
Dani hesitated at the door... "Should I come in or wait outside?"
She grinned. "A man asked a killer if he had ever spared a life. The killer had thought himself utterly worthless and he said; 'a baby. It was so small and cute.' Oh, come in with me." The woman mussed Dani's hair.
Dani nodded, following...
"The man said: "One day, this baby will grow and have a descendants, enough to someday become a great clan. They will say 'We exist here today because of this man. Honor him, for his mercy ensured our greatness now.' The killer was able to die in peace that day," she explained.
Dani considered it, her mind turning momentarily to her father... "I guess. For all he's done since, dad did bring me into this world."
"Alright... here we are. Hello, I am Sophia Polydeux. This is my amorette, she'll be watching me today." She introduced at the desk. "I am scheduled? I'll need two visitor passes."
"...is that her name?" The guard asked.
Sophia laughed. "No. Perhaps Euronome. Fitting. Or Eurydice?" Dani would be known; not those names.
Dani nodded at Eurydice. It sounded familiar, but she couldn't entirely place it. Probably something she'd read in a library book... Libraries were rather good at reminding here there was more to things than running, and they were free.
"Eurydice it is. Fitting!" She laughed as the guard wrote.
Dani took hers, placing it rather squarely over her heart.
"So, where's the place you're speaking?"
Sophia hummed as she stuck her on her heart.
"I know my way to the lunch room cum audience hall," she spoke, "Over this way."
She led down to a smallish lunch room, large enough to hold a fair number of students. Chairs had been set up. Dani followed, taking a seat in the back to leave the better seats to those this speech was for.
Sophia brought out a small notebook and opened it, placing it on the podium. She read over it, mouthing the words to herself quietly as students filed in, some of high school age, some of college age. None seemed to do more than look at her once or twice but left her alone when they found Polydeux written on the pass. No more attention, good... Dani didn't much like it to begin with.
"...is that her daughter? That's so sweet?" came one voice a few rows away.
Sophia watched the crowd settle.
Dani shifted just slightly, listening just a bit to the buzz about her, but giving it little credence.
"You ever seen the pictures of her mom and grandmother? They look almost the same. Lucia, Jeanette and Sophia have the same faces. Kinda creepy," another voice commented.
Dani raised a brow... She had an inkling the reason.
"Alright, folks. Quiet down!" Called a teacher. "We have a visitor today many of you may recognize. Sophia Polydeux, if you will."
Dani sat back, interested to hear what this woman had to say.
"America was far away from the thoughts of those who had been fighting in the trenches. A shot supposedly heard around the world meant nothing to the nurses tending to soldiers. It was the turn of the century, a war to end wars-what we know now as World War I."
"That shot wasn't even known to most of the French nurses who tended American soldiers. One was my ancestor, Lucia," she spoke
Most of the time, there was very little the nurses could do but ease their pain. Doctors and medicines were in short supply and the trenches were something none of them had even considered. When it was done, one million were dead. The Versailles Treaty had been made, to someday cause the rise of Hitler. Many of those soldiers returned home with French brides. Lucia was just fifteen but she was one of those brides-and lucky to be one. The land of promise would greet her, as would a new age."
She sounded almost as if she had been there personally, her tone and manner believable. This served to all-but-confirm Dani's thoughts- Sophia was her own family tree.
"What Lucia saw in the Grand War she never forgot. Her husband formed a business that did well during the roaring twenties, but the Depression almost killed that business. Her husband had all but given up, but that woman took charge."
Dani listened contemplative... How long had this woman been around, then? Over 100 years, at the least..
"She was inspired by the penny auctions where neighbors would keep foreclosures away by bidding low enough that their neighbors could buy it back. She hired workers and paid them in food and merchandise but it was not enough for all. Her children discovered a way for their community garden could help ends meet. That community pulled through when others did not. Her daughter took these lessons to heart when she expanded the business in better times. Taking her mother's name, my grandmother incorporated."
The woman eyed the students. "We are told many times that where we come from and what we are matters. A foreigner running a local business? A woman? Even I hear those today and yet my family's company stands and I stand when others could not. We found inspiration in our beginnings and an English firm and gave away profits when maxing them was the order of the day. How many dot-coms from the nineties still exist?"
"No matter your origin, identity, past-what you do becomes what you are. Who we can become is without limit. Determination gets us there, even when things are not going the way we want."
"When we respect what others do-even snakes and poisoners rather than fear them, we can be better. We already are when we decide to make our hearts and minds our business, not money. The money follows if enough believe. Polydeux believes. In this country-and in you. And to put money where my mouth is, your teacher is going to offer applications to our special internship program. We find those of promise and we bring the promise of college to meet you. Our company guarantees a full-ride to those that make it. How many summer jobs do that? With that, let the future begin for us all!"
Applause rang out with cheers.
Dani applauded... The woman had very good skills at speech-making, and she'd proven these beliefs to a point already... Sophia bowed, her manner happy as she stepped into the crowd, greeting different students. She seemed to have just enough time for each person, neither brushing any aside or lingering overlong. Dani waited patiently... Sophia certainly seemed to have time for everyone, a far cry from her father's near anti-social reclusiveness...
She finally came to Dani. "Ready for the next thing, my little Eurydice?" She seemed relaxed and at ease.
Dani nodded, "Of course. That was some speech you made."
"I have made that one a few times. It gets better every time. Hmmm... I know just the thing. We will need a cab, the Skyway doesn't go that far."
Dani nodded, "Sounds good."
She waited for the woman to lead- at the moment, she was in a rare place, the backseat of decision-making. It was nice. Sophia led them out, calling for a cab. The cab came quickly enough and they were on their way.
Dani turned to her... She had a question, of course, but it occurred to her it might not be the best place to ask.
"I like this city. The parks are so beautiful and they often connect."
The neighborhood they moved through was more upscale, parkline surrounding the homes. Bikers and joggers were everywhere, shade trees towering over them all. "Ah, here we are."
"Nice," Dani commented, looking at the city... She seldom stopped to really appreciate the cities.
That was reserved for the countrysides, the middles-of-nowhere she could see approach from all sides in. The cab pulled into a parking lot with a large building with an extended ground with picnic tables set around. Sophia paid and led Dani down past it to a path, something roaring quietly in the background.
"...what's the noise...?" Dani asked quietly.
"Minnehaha Falls." Sophia grinned as they came to an opening, a large, twenty-five foot waterfall came into view.
Dani took a quick look around, making sure there was no one in eavesdropping distance.
"Not a lot of people this time of day."
Sophia smiled before flickering out of view a very short moment.
"...what was that about?" Dani asked, not startled but merely surprised at the flicker.
"Oh, I can't go to my true form. This shell is truly alive." She stretched. "Too bad I never get tall..."
"...what are you, really, then...? You spoke... As if you lived in those times. And I heard you and your family were... Rather identical..."
"A very, very old ghost. I remember the first Democracy." She grinned. "I am Psyche."
"Psyche... That sounds familiar..."
Dani thought... "...Greek mythology, right?"
She winced. "It was not much like the myth but yes."
"Ah... What is it like, then...?"
Dani was rather curious.
The woman shrugged. "When I was thirteen years old, I was married to Eros by my father. I had not known either of them really until my wedding day. We were married for three years and did not have a single word to say even the day he murdered me."
"...I... Wow... How could you go through with that? I mean, married? That young?"
"I was considered a woman. My grandfather had been looking for a suitor for a year. None would get past my beauty. Some thought I was Aphrodite," she explained, "It was my duty, there were no love matches then."
"I see. Hmm. Never thought much of duty to patriarch, but I'm probably biased since mine tried to kill me directly and indirectly after I refused to try something that'd be suicide."
She nodded. "Mine cost me my life."
Sophia-or rather Psyche hugged Dani.
"Thank you. It was a very long time ago. Two-thousand five hundred years about. You have such a heart for justice. That is what Eurydice means: broad justice."
Dani smiled, softly.
"Thank you. You seem, ah... More than a normal ghost... What exactly are you, if you don't mind...?"
"We were called gods once. We called ourselves Spinners, Lachaesae. Humans sometimes called us elves or fairies."
Sophia looked distant. "I haven't thought about that in a long time."
"Fairies... Huh. That's cool. I didn- ... That phrase, I mean, it's not ah, lethal, really, is it...?"
She laughed. "No."
"Good. I'd hate to have to fear losing a friend to someone else's loose lips." Dani grinned.
"I lived through the Enlightenment. The only thing they have right is iron. And somewhat mistletoe."
She smiled wryly.
"And luckily, I am a ghost so such things do not harm me. Instead I have my abilities increased. I created this body but it is truly alive and human."
"Nice... Your sort, I wonder... How... effective, can magic be...?"
Wheels in Danielle's head were turning.
"Magic?" Sophia frowned. "My... magic is useless. My abilities as a ghost are limited in this body as well."
"Ah. Too weak, then, likely for what had struck me..."
What did you have in mind, amorette?" Sophia asked.
"I was going to ask if there was some way to make Dad just forget I even existed... End that before he catches up with us."
Sophia shook her head. "I can do something almost like that but that would be a violation of his mind... and my ethics." Sophia sighed.
"...I see." She sighed as well. "Too bad. Well, we can probably take him if he comes poking around anyways..."
"I-we'll see if and when the time comes." Sophia smiled. "How does pizza sound? I know a great place."
They returned to the patiently waiting taxi and Sophia tossed a few bills.
"Dulano's. Too bad Pizza Shack is gone but the recipes are over at Dulano's. Best pizza in the midwest."
"Nice. I... Haven't had pizza, much. Haven't much had the chance."
Sophia brought her into a boisterous pizza place, where many of the other customers wore leather jackets with patches. Motorcycles had been parked outside so they had to be bikers.
"Your pick of toppings." Sophia grinned as she picked a booth, waving at an older man who waved back.
"I've only had pepperoni, don't know what I'd like aside of that."
Sophia thought. "Hmm... do you like sweet, savory or salty? Pizza is much like a dessert."
"Salty's good for me, at least it is now that I won't be running... I avoided it when I could living on the run because of how it worked against hydration."
Sophia thought at that. "Alright-I have just the thing in mind. Hello there, young man." She grinned at the older man, who looked to be actually in his seventies but well-aged for all that.
"I'm surprised you came on a Thursday, you know about biker night but you never do keep track of things like that."
Sophia laughed. "Pepperoni, mushroom, olive. Coke for me. How about you, Eurydice?" She asked Dani.
"I'll have the same."
"Good, good. I remember how you were so miffed at me when we closed down Pizza Shack." He shrugged. "Not my fault Jimmy retired and Evie went with him."
Sophia nodded. "Ah, but Dulano's is still around. Good luck with this one."
The man laughed and walked off.
"You've known him a while?" Dani guessed.
She nodded. "Since him and a friend opened their pizza places. I've been coming to Minneapolis since it was the mill capital. A long, long time."
"Where do you normally live?" Dani asked, a bit curious, as she had a feeling she'd end up there sooner or later.
She shrugged. "For the last hundred years about... the United States. The soldier who found me was from here. I've lived in France, Florence, Naples, Thessaly..."
Dani was looking for an address, but didn't mind more of the life story. "I see... nice. You have a personal home, or just wherever the work takes you?"
"I have a home in a few cities. Right now, I live in a home near Lake Nokomis." She stated.
"Sounds nice," Dani replied, "Any other business around here? And are we going to say anything before the media gets its mitts on the fact I'm with you?"
"I keep my life pretty private, few know anything about me, even if I am with anyone or not. My family was known for adoptions long before Angelina Jolie," she stated.
Dani shrugged, "So I shouldn't be too big of a thing. Good. That'll keep Dad off a while..."
She nodded as a waitress brought drinks. "Yes. A haircut, different clothes and my protection should also help buy time."
She nodded, "Yeah... Though if I'm in one place long enough, his bugs may catch up... Terrible little things, trackers. They usually find me when I stop in one place longer than a few days..."
Sophia nodded. "It must follow your signature. I can help with that."
"You'll see..." She grinned, moving her soda as their pizza was brought.
Dani dug in rather enthusiastically- she still was just a tad over the edge of malnourishment.
The pizza had a crispy thin crust and the cheese seemed different, more fresh. It was greasy but rather a step up from the sort of pizza that was usually served up. Sophia was a bit more polite in her eating and looked thoughtful. Dani felt just a bit self-conscious after the first couple slices, slowing down a bit. Sophia smiled good-naturedly. "I've starved, too."
"You have?" Dani asked curiously, continuing at a moderate pace.
"Right after The Terror, when Madam Guillotine took my last body's head. I began as a child again and wandered hungry in the streets of Paris." She stated.
Dani winced... "Eeesh... The Revolution. Let me guess, you were one of the more moderate reformers?" She remembered a simple maxim on the period- The French Revolution ate its young.
She shook her head.
"I was executed because I was married to one of the royal family. I had very little to do with the revolution until I was beheaded. After that, I was a very vehement Vesuvienne."
"Of course... Must've been dreadful, living through that..."
She nodded. "It was. All the people had turned on one another. I had something to do with how it ended." She wore a scowl. "One of the few times I had done such a thing. He had to lose power. That he died the same way I did was purely coincidental." She stated.
"Wouldn't have blamed you if it wasn't," Dani replied, "I've... had some less-than-pure thoughts myself in the area of violence."
She didn't need to voice whom to. Sophia nodded and let Dani talk.
"But, in the end, I... I can't really hate him. I don't know how much of his kindness before the attempts on my life was real or sincere..."
"I cannot tell you if it was or not. What I can tell you is that we may yet see what happens now."
Sophia brushed a hair out of Dani's face.
Dani smiled... "Thank you again, for everything, Sophia..."
"This is only the beginning, amorette." Sophia smiled fondly.
"Heh. So, where are you-Er, we- staying tonight?"
"My home nearby in the area. It's protected and you'll have the time to make a room your own." Sophia sipped on her soda.
"Heh. That'll be nice," Dani commented, "dad kept me too busy between training and little jobs for me to worry about that back when I had a room..."
"How is your pizza?" She grinned.
Dani smiled, "It's great."
She took the last bite of the slice on her plate...
"That's about enough for now, there."
She grinned. "I'll have the rest boxed up for later. Cold pizza is just as good."
Sophia motioned to one of the waitresses, who came around once some others had been taken care of. Fairly quickly, they were on the street, the sunset making things cooler, waiting for their taxi. "I remember coming to town-so many things are different."
"When did you first come here?" Dani asked.
Sophia chuckled. "I married a soldier who had fallen in love with me," she spoke, "He brought me to America from France. I barely spoke English then."
Dani smiled, but just a bit of sadness entered as an implication came into her mind... "...how... how can you attach like that, as a ghost... I mean, knowing that... they'll die and you won't?"
"Because I cannot help it. My most resourceful heart ensures a connection remains. I remember Athens and the lives I led there as clearly as I do that young soldier. People pass, but as long as I exist, the people I loved and that loved me are living still, if only in my memory," she replied.
Dani smiled softly... "For what it's worth, I might endure with you... No one knows what'll happen when I die, no half-ghost has died yet... And it could go either side of the coin. All of me moving on, or the human half just becoming ghostly..."
Her tone belied she'd thought about this before. Sophia placed an arm around Dani.
"You could even be ageless now. No need to wonder, we will take things as we come."
She did the same... "Yeah, I guess so..."
She felt oddly at ease, for the moment... a rather enjoyable change from her usual nerves.