Death Comes Not Here 4:
A Touch of Knowledge
by Fur and Fantasy
PG-13 for M/F and Violence
full contents and notes located at the bottom of the file
Jake and Abi were snuggled up against each other in bed one morning, two days after she'd found him in her office, when she worked up the nerve to ask him a question that had been bothering her since then.
"Jake," she asked softly. "What's it like, when you ... die, if that's really the word for it?"
"It's the same as for a mortal," he sighed softly and hugged her closely. "The difference is that after the darkness and sensory deprivation, you wake up, more or less whole. At least most of the time. A lot depends on just how you die."
"You're aware the whole time?"
"No," he shook his head slightly and rubbed her shoulder. "When your body is dead, you are out. Rather like being unconscious in a lot of ways. I can be extremely disorienting when you've been moved."
"I would imagine," she said quietly, rubbing his back. "I suppose I thought there would be something more to it. It sounds like it could be ... frightening," she added, after a moment of searching for the right word.
"It can be," Jake said with a gently reassuring kiss to her forehead. "It can also be a real relief. Especially after it's happened a few times and you know what's going to happen."
"How could it be a relief? Unless you mean that you know it'll stop hurting until you've woken up again."
"Just that," he chuckled softly. "Knowing you'll recover fully doesn't make pain any more pleasant to endure. For largely the same reason pleasure is still just as intense. Nerves don't deaden just because we're not mortal."
"I'd be surprised if it did help," Abi said with a slight smile. "Though it is odd that things don't fade over time. Or is that just the difference between boredom and something honestly being less intense?"
"That would be boredom," he chuckled softly and kissed her with a gentle nuzzle. "Learning how not to give into it is one of the most critical survival skills for an Immortal. It's very difficult to fight your best when you don't care."
"Hard to do anything your best when you don't care," Abi agreed. "Though somehow, I have a hard time imagining being bored in this city for any real length of time."
"True, though it can be very depressing, and that is just as bad," he murmured and let his eyes drift closed for a moment. "This isn't a place where it's easy to make any progress."
"That's bound to change eventually, Jake," Abi said softly, rubbing his back gently and felt his body gain more interest in her than the conversation.
"Eventually, everything does," he chuckled and ran a hand along her back in return. "A few centuries, maybe a millennia or two, and the city isn't likely to exist anyway."
"Certainly not in any form we'd recognize as MegaKat City," Abi agreed with a smile. "I have to admit, a part of me hopes that nobody finds historical records of what the city was like right now. I don't think the opinions formed would be very flattering ones," she chuckled.
"No, it's not likely," he agreed quietly. "Though unless you mean after all knowledge of the current civilizations have been lost, it's quite unlikely. How you keep records right now does make them very unlikely to survive such an event. Technology is so fragile in many ways."
"And books aren't really made to last anymore," she agreed with a nod. "Ironic, really. We've advanced so far, and we're probably the least likely to leave detailed records of our existence. Our urns and bones, and that's about it."
"Books were never really made to last," Jake chuckled softly and nuzzled her neck. "Not the plan-fiber kind anyway. Stone and metal are the way to go, or very good natural protection. Baked clay seemed to work well too. Mostly modern societies don't value things that last. It's a consumer society, and if something lasts, the company looses money on replacements."
"I suppose you're right," she said, returning the nuzzle affectionately. "At least that keeps down the odds of somebody mass-publishing something like the Pastmaster's spell book," she chuckled.
"Even if they did, it wouldn't be of any use," he smiled gently and kissed her. "For a spellbook to be a spellbook, magic must be used in both its construction and in setting the spells on paper. There is no way to mass produce such a thing."
"Not ones that powerful at least," she smiled, kissing him back and holding him close. "A very good thing, I'm sure, or we'd be overrun by would-be archmages in a matter of months."
"I don't even want to think about that," he shivered slightly. "Though thankfully the ability to use them is also limited to a relatively small part of the population. A part that is shrinking rapidly."
"Too bad there aren't more who are willing to use that sort of power to help the people," Abi sighed slightly. "I'm sure I'll understand eventually, but it doesn't say much that the ones who are willing to expose themselves are apparently only the ones who want to wreak havoc."
"Because the rest know the poor response of most cities to such power," he pointed out quietly. "The same reason the city can't know it has Immortal defenders. It's just not safe."
"But don't things like the Pastmaster already break that veil?"
"That strange creatures exist? Well, yes, but people have always believed that. The fact of the matter is that neither society nor law is prepared to deal with anything like me, much less some of the more unusual creatures as anything but an enemy. A few societies managed it, but definitely not this one. The only safe way to live is to stay out of sight as anything unusual."
"And people still think that being paranoid and reactionary is a good defensive measure," Abi sighed. "I'm sorry, it's just one of those things that I can understand logically, but it'll take a while to really get."
"It usually does, though you are lucky that you will always look normal."
"Definitely good," she agreed. "But ... if most don't look normal most of the time, then how could they hide so well that almost nobody knows about them?"
"A large part is being slightly careful and the fact that people don't generally see things they don't want to." He shrugged. "Even in this city, people are blind to most of what's around them. Many of the truly unusual creatures either do not interact with people much, staying in their own territories and among their own kind, or use magic to pass as a something fairly normal."
"Modern camouflage," she mused. "It certainly seems to work for them. Are there ever incidents when they're found out? Aside from the Omegas that make it on the news?"
"Sometimes," he nodded slightly. "Individuals find out, and they are dealt with to keep things quiet."
"Dealt with how?" Abi asked, fairly sure she probably wouldn't like the answer.
"Depends on what they found out and who knows about it." He sighed and looked up at the ceiling. "They may be sworn to secrecy, have their memories wiped out, killed, blackmailed into silence, discredited ... whatever works best in the situation."
"That better than what I'd expected to hear, honestly," Abi said quietly. "It's something you've had to deal with too often, isn't it?"
"Not nearly as often as many. I fit into society very well for having predated it," he sort of chuckled. "The Garou, Dragons, Vampires, Wraiths, Mages and more anti-social types have much greater trouble in these times when it's so hard to avoid mundanes. It much easier to keep a secret when you understand who you're keeping it from."
"Which is hard to do when you can't pretend to be them," she agreed. "Are any of the creatures of legend just legends? It sounds like they're all alive and well, after a fashion."
"Most, really." Jake smirked and kissed her nose. "The majority of mythical critters are exaggerations on existing beasts, or just long extinct, and a few mage-created one shots. Mundanes have truly amazing imaginations for things they only half see in the firelight. Of course, you haven't found a lot of them too. Quite a few aren't mythical or magical, just unknown."
"Well, that's a job for the biologists, once we figure out they're still breathing," Abi chuckled, shifting to kiss his lips softly and found the advance greeted with eager tenderness. "Not that I mind a little overlap," she said with a slightly teasing tone to her voice.
"A good thing, since you haven't had a lot of choice," he smirked and scritched her ear. "Pastie does tend to do all sorts of damage to the 'extinct' list."
"I wonder if he'll ever realize how good a living he could make just doing that for zoos," she chuckled with a smirk of her own, her ear flicking slightly as he scratched it. "Though I was thinking more about the fact that you're most definitely a blend between the two."
"He'll never learn," Jake laughed and shook his head. "It's not in his makeup."
"Oh well," Abi sighed, though not at all serious about the resigned tone to her voice. "Maybe we'll get lucky and he'll put his portal in the wrong place, and drop a gigasaurus on himself."
He snickered at that, then laughed out loud as the mental image formed more fully. "I might be able to arrange that."
"Probably the most fitting way for him to finally stop being a nuisance," Abi chuckled. "And probably one of the least dangerous," she added, nuzzling Jake gently.
"Nah, it wouldn't faze him. He's undead, remember?" He chuckled and kissed her between the eyes. "It'd just annoy him that much more."
"That'd be worth points on its own," Abi smiled. "Still, I think even the Pastmaster would have difficulty shrugging off a couple tons dropping on his head."
"Couple dozen," he corrected with a chuckle. "And there's no way he could shrug it off. Once it was moved, though, he'd just be annoyed."
"I guess it would take something like an exorcism to finish him off, then?"
"In a way," he considered it more carefully. "Though an exorcism is for possession, when there's a spirit in the body that belongs and one that doesn't. He's more in the realm of Necromancy and soul removal."
Abi nuzzled him lightly, thinking about that. "You're going to wait for your friend, Shy, to get here before you try taking him on, aren't you? I don't know much about that type of magic, but what I do know says it's usually anything but safe."
"I don't know enough about Necromancy to even try something like that," he shook his head and nuzzled her back reassuringly. "It's much easier to just obliterate his body anyway."
"Good," she said, relaxing again. "And yes, I imagine it would be. Wouldn't that require the use of magic to, most likely?"
"Magic, high tech, or a natural damage zone." He chuckled softly. "Anything that can reduce the body to ash or less would suffice. Magic is actually the hardest way, since he's protected himself very well against other mages."
"I'm afraid that's not a field I can help much with," Abi said, chuckling a little. "I'm sure you know what you're doing, though."
"I do have some resources in the area, yes." He grinned playfully. "At any rate, he's not around right now."
"Somehow, I think he'll wish that was still the case when he finally shows up again," Abi smirked, causing Jake to laugh brightly.
"Oh, definitely. He's going to choke when he finds out who Razor is."
"I take it he knows you from the past," Abi asked curiously. "Other than your little stint as Sir Razor?"
"We've met a few times," he shook his head. "Though he knows Tyr more by reputation than experience. This area hasn't been mine for all that long."
"Somehow, I think the look on his face when he realizes who you are would be worth seeing," Abi chuckled. "He definitely deserves whatever happens to him."
"You'll get pictures, promise." He smirked and kissed her nose. "Just don't try to see in person, okay? A first death by magic can really screw you up."
"I wasn't planning on it," she smiled, nuzzling his neck with. "Unless he decides to show up in the middle of something I'm working on and keeps me from getting out of the way again."
"Good, and he'd better pray he doesn't," Jake growled with flattened ears and a deep, protective rumble in his chest. "Or he's going to hurt before he dies."
"Jake, it's nothing he hasn't tried before," Abi pointed out. "We'd probably all be better off just getting rid of him without stretching it out. He's harder to get rid of than a cockroach," she muttered.
"I know," he settled a bit. "I still want you as far from that battle as possible."
"That makes two of us," she agreed, hugging him. "I might have a penchant for getting into trouble, but I'm not Ann," she added, shaking her head slightly.
"Thank Bastet," he let a breath go. "You'd have given me heart failure years ago with that mentality."
"I'd have given myself heart failure," Abi chuckled. "I don't think there's anybody alive who's luckier than she is."
"Or tougher," he chuckled softly. "She's not a mundane. I'm not all that sure what she is, but she's not normal."
"It wouldn't really surprise me that much," Abi agreed after a moment's thought. "Though I'd be surprised if she knew it herself. And I'm not sure if it'd be better or worse if she found out," she added with a chuckle.
"Worse," he smirked. "Definitely worse. If you think she's insufferable now, imagine what she'd be like if she knew she wasn't just the luckiest person alive."
"I can't help but think the law of averages will catch up with her eventually," Abi chuckled, shaking her head slightly. "Just hopefully not in a way that's going to do more than knock some sense into her."
"It won't," he murmured sadly. "People like her and Chance just don't calm down willingly. They live fast and die young and relish every minute of it."
"You're right," Abi said quietly after a moment, nuzzling him gently. "But I don't know that they'd have it any other way, really, even if they knew how it was going to end up."
"Most of them know," he managed a small smile. "And relish in that. They get more out of their few decades than many Immortals get out of centuries. I know Chance got more living done in a year than most mortals do in a lifetime. He knew how it would go down, but it's who he was. He's miserable when he couldn't fly with that huge adrenaline load."
"And I think the fact that most people would have called him crazy for it just would have made him look for something flashier to do," Abi smiled fondly. "He was something else."
"Yes, he was, and most did," he chuckled weakly. "He loved it, showing off and showing them up. He made it easy to pull a lot of stunts, overshadowing me and the gear so much. I could never have brought so much of it to bear without such a flashy partner."
"I'm sure he'd have said the same, Jake," Abi smiled, nuzzling him gently. "If you hadn't kept improving things, he would have been stuck at the limits of what his gear could handle. You brought out the best in each other."
"Yes, I suppose we did. He gave me incentive to try new things too. He could always handle anything I managed to put together. He'll be my example of how mortals aren't just sheep for a long time."
"He'd be proud to know that, I'm sure," Abi smiled. "He was a lot of things, but never a sheep."
"No," Jake chuckled softly. "He was a hero."
Death Comes Not Here 4: A Touch of Knowledge
PG-13 for M/F and Violence
Het Level is Medium Slash Level is Femslash Level is None Herm Level is None
16 KB, Story is Complete, Series is Finished
Written February 28, 2004 by Rauhnee Ranshanka and Karl Wolfemann
Setting: Highlander (generic), SWAT Kats
Primary Races: Kat
Contents: Furry. Het (M/F). Alternate Universe, Death
Pairings: Jake Clawson/Abi Sinnian
Blurb: Abi finally works up the nerve to ask about death.
Disclaimer: All things taken directly from the sources listed under 'Fandoms' belong to the owners of those shows. No harm is intended and we're definitely not making any money. Now, the things we created are ours, and if you see 'Non-FanFic' up there, it's probably all ours.
Page Hit Count from February 17, 2005