Yep. I did mention I was sitting on this story for a long time. So, it's been kicking around in the back of my mind for that length of time.
Mother Knows Best
<It's been three days,> ND said, like she was forcing herself to, <shouldn't we bury . . . bury him?>
No one said anything about this. It had been a full three days since Cloak fell, and just over a half hour when Shadow stormed away. Cloaky looked so weak, broken and beaten, so utterly defeated. It clawed at the hearts of the RAFians who knew him.
"That would be his family's decision," Gaz said, her voice was dull with the emotional stress of the last few days.
"Yes, well, that would be fine and all," Parker said, arms folded, looking intently at his feet. "But how exactly do we contact them?"
Blue nodded, face expressionless. "Right, only a Realm Walker can get to the Nexus. He was the only RAFian Realm Walker."
"They may not even know," Horse put in.
"Not likely, I'm sure Shadow told them." Guy said.
"Then they will come here?"
"I don't see why not." Nate said.
"Then what's taking them so long?" Darth Poseidon inquired.
"Don't forget," Richard spoke for the first time in a long while, "they are Realm Walkers as he is. They may not be in the Nexus."
Richard heaved a heavy sigh, then continued, "And who knows how many realms there are out there."
"Cloak inferred to me that there are more realms than stars in the sky," Dino recalled.
But, before the conversation could continue further, then the door burst open, and an ursine Realm Walker in a scrubs-green cloak burst in. All at once, you could tell that this was NOT a person to trifle with. She was very intimidating and frightening when riled. She was Cloak's mother, Ursa.
She was followed by a vulpine Realm Walker in a royal blue cloak, and Shadow, who wore a deep violet cloak. The vulpine Realm Walker was Shadow's mother, Ursa's firstborn, and Cloak's elder sister -- Faith.
"Where is he? Where is my son?" Ursa demanded without so much as a hello.
"Who --" Richard said, who looked genuinely flummoxed at this interruption.
"My meemaw, Ursa," Shadow explained. "And my mom, Faith."
"Never mind that," she said, uttering a growl which the RAFians took to be Shadow's true name, "I won't say this again, WHERE IS HE? We need to take him back to the Nexus, I doubt your medical staff could cope with his needs!"
The RAFians tried not to look offended (some of them not succeeding very well). But Ursa seemed oblvious that she even said anything offensive. But such is her way.
"He's right over there." Genies said, as gently as she could.
Ursa strode over to him, and checked out his injuries. She seemed very agitated, but let a small sigh of relief leave her.
"I'm sorry, Ms. Ursa, for your loss," AniDragon said, sweetly.
"What are you on about, child?" Ursa said imperiously.
Faith intervened to explain, "Realm Walkers are born from energy, and, when we die, we return to energy. Cloak is still corporeal. He's not dead."
Before anyone could really take this in, Ursa finished her diagnosis. "He cannot be moved. His CSI is barely stable. To move him would be to destablize it."
"His CSI?" Aquilai queried. "His crime scene investigation?"
Ursa glared at him.
"Are you trying to be stupid?" It was a quite sincere question -- she wasn't sure if he was joking. "Everyone knows that 'CSI' doesn't stand for 'crime scene investigation'. It stands for 'corporeal structural integrity'. It means that he hasn't translated to energy yet."
"Point is, he's alive." Blue said, mostly for the other RAFians' benefit. And he was trying not to be smug about the fact that he was right.
"I will stay here and give him the medical attention he needs." Ursa said.
"And I'll serve as his replacement in any meetings you have. . . . Er, can I, Mom?"
Faith was concealing a small smile at her daughter's forwardness. "Yes, you may."