The Fae World: Thian: Bastien: Talking to Lottie

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the Fae World: Thian collection

“Thian is a world with magic.” Bastien stood, making his way over to the window. “It’s the reason we’re here.” He thought back to his own arrival, and how complicated it had been. Lottie seemed to be taking it all much better, but then there was no way for him to know what she was truly thinking or feeling. “Someone who’s given the chance to call Thian home is here because the world wanted to give them another chance to live out the life they should have had.” Running his tongue over his lips he turned to look at her. “You do know how you’re here, don’t you?”

Smiling, she nodded. “I know, Bastien, but there’s nothing I can do to change what happened. It is what it is. All I can do is be grateful I was given this chance, because not everyone would be. There are rumours of another world that works a little like Thian. Rumours were enough of a reason for me to accept what I was seeing.”

“When I first found myself staring at those options I honestly did think I was dreaming. Acceptance, for me, took much longer.”

“I’m not going to say this is easy, but, so far, I haven’t had much of a chance to think about what it was I left behind. My emotions… they’re still distant. I think, maybe, it comes from what happened, and in time they’ll come back.”

“Others have said the same sort of thing, and their emotions did hit them later on.” Bastien glanced down at the parchment. “The person who’s bag you have died too. From what I’ve been told that’s normal, and you were chosen to follow their path. What we have found is that doesn’t mean you have to follow that path. You do have choices, Lottie, even now.”

“You’re worried about what it says, aren’t you?”

“Not worried, exactly, but…” Bastien tried to find the words to explain it all. “Having been given my own path to follow, one I didn’t truly understand until I started walking it, and I don’t want anyone else to make the same mistakes I did.”

“Isn’t that why you’re here?”

“Yes, it is, but you can ask me to leave you to deal with this alone. That’s what I did. It was a mistake, only I didn’t accept that until later. She stayed for long enough to tell me about Thian, and the magic here, before accepting that I really did want to be alone, because… well, I didn’t take dying anywhere near as calmly as you have. At first all I wanted to do was go back, which just isn’t possible. Instead I was trapped here, with no way to tell the people I loved I did have another chance, and even if I did have that it wouldn’t have helped. What I really wanted was to have my old life back.”

“Honestly, I’d like to have my old life back too. Leaving the people I love isn’t something I wanted to do, but being given this chance at something so different to the life I could have led… it’s fascinating. I have magic now.” She looked down at her hands. “I don’t know what that means yet.”

“Soon enough you will.” Bastien stepped back across the room, and held the parchment out to Lottie. “Magic here is more complicated than it is in a lot of the game worlds that have been connected to ours. Even though you were asked to create an avatar this isn’t like any of the games I ever played. It’s more real. I think, in part, that beginning is offered to us in order to make it a little more simple. When I was creating an avatar I didn’t have to think about what had happened. It wasn’t until I got here I stopped to think about what it all meant. That was when my emotions hit me. I didn’t have that disconnection to them.” The same emotions he felt back then swept him, the way he knew they would. “My girlfriend and I were together when I died. I don’t know what happened to her, and I think that’s the hardest part of all this. I have no way of going back to see if she did survive, and I haven’t come across her in the time I’ve been here. I keep hoping I will, but so far it hasn’t happened.”

“I’m sorry, Bastien.” As she took the parchment she seemed to make sure she gently touched his fingers at the same time. “I can’t imagine what that must have been like.”

He shrugged. “It is what it is, Lottie.” Stepping back, Bastien did his best to push away those emotions. Time did make it a little easier, but it still hurt, and he knew it would never not hurt. “We should be talking about Thian.”

“We can talk about anything you want. I don’t mind listening.”

“Thank you.” He found himself smiling. “I do appreciate the offer. This time is for you, though. You’re the one who just arrived here.”

Nodding, she looked down at the parchment. “I know.” She nibbled her lip, looking far less certain than she had done before, and when she looked up once more it was easy to see that in her eyes. “Why am I here, Bastien? Is there some reason I was chosen?”

“Unfortunately that’s a question I don’t have an answer to. So far, at least according to all the people I’ve spoken to, there is no reason, but that doesn’t mean we won’t find there is one.”

“The person who once owned this bag died, though.”

“It does seem to work that way.” Bastien sighed. “I don’t know when it would have happened. Some deaths happen long before their bag is found, and we’re still trying to work out why that’s the case.” He sat back down again. “Honestly, Lottie, there are a lot of things we still don’t know. What we do know is that we’ve only been drawn here for about the last five years. There aren’t a lot of us, but we do like to come together for the solstice celebrations. I think it would be good for you to join us for the next one, although that’s a couple of months away.”

“Depending on what happens while I’m here I’ll definitely try to do that.” She looked back down at the parchment. “What do you think I should do, Bastien?”

“Give yourself some time before you make the decision. Learn more about Thian. Learn more about what you can do here. You don’t need to jump into doing something right now. I did that, because I wanted to stop myself from having to think about anything, and that was easily the worst mistake I could have made. There were far too many times when I nearly died because I didn’t know what to expect from anything. Having been through that I want to make sure you don’t make the same choice. Especially having read that.”

“Demons exist here?”

“Some do. There are a number of unusual beings you’re going to come across. Walking the demon hunter path… it’s not something I’ve heard of one of us doing before, but that doesn’t mean it’s not something you could do. In the end the decision has to be yours.”

For a long time Lottie was silent. “Before I can make the decision I need to learn more about what those demons are. I can’t imagine it’s going to be an easy path to walk.”

“You aren’t wrong. The demon hunters I’ve met… actually there’s someone else here who could help you more than I can.” Bastien looked at Lottie. “Come downstairs with me. I’ll introduce you to Esmerelda.”

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