ASN 3.4 Why Border?

by Matt P.

“So why Border?” Walter asked, as they got in to the car. The file review had taken long enough that it wasn’t too early for lunch, so the crew had gone separate ways to eat. He and Morgan had broken off to the parking lot each with the intention of driving, but his pleading look had prevailed on her letting him be in control of the car.

Morgan blinked a little bit as she adjusted herself in the seat of his Highlander. Dropping off the kids in the morning had required the larger car—purchased once they had gotten too big to force them all to share one row. Adjustment, in this instance, meant putting her feet up on the dashboard and making sure the “What do you mean, why Border?”

Walter shrugged in turn as he turned the car on and began pulling out of the parking lot. “I mean…you’ve lived here for decades, you’ve saved the city a couple of times now, and you apparently stopped the mayor from summoning a squid god. I get that when Oberon was alive you couldn’t go back to Faerie…but why Border?”

Morgan was quiet for a moment, considering her dark blue flats as she kicked them on the dash. “The Border is a nexus, a place where all the edges of the supernatural world meet. It has its own power, both inherent and for whatever faction controls it. Even if I had been able to live in Faerie the whole time, I would have spent a fair bit of my time where the Border is—and did, before the geas.”

The Old Market slowly rolled past them, brick buildings slightly dark from the morning’s rain. The slight dampness didn’t stop the area from being filled with people shopping or eating, and a man stood on the street corner outside of Robby Rocket’s Rocket Burger Bar with a bagpipe serenading the passers by. “Probably not Rocket’s, it’s going to be packed with high schoolers,” Walter commented idly as they rolled passed it.

“Plus it kind of blows,” Morgan pointed out wryly, to which Walter nodded in agreement. “We’ve always controlled the Border, to answer your next question. Or at least kept others from controlling it—that’s why the Fey have always been a big part of its make-up. For a long time it was in Germany, a rare place untouched by the wars of religion. For a century, it was in the Kingdom of Ayutthaya—that was a good time,” she offered with a fond smile. “That’s where it was when Tania and I found our father. We spent a lot of time in the capital. I still have some of the clothes in my wardrobe in Faerie, as a matter of fact.”

The trendy restaurants and shops continued to pass them as they drove, the all you can eat sushi place spot that Siobhan and Antigone and Ryan the younger all loved. “What happens if you lose it? Can someone take it?”

Morgan sighed at that, shaking her head at some foggy memory. “Yes, they can take it under very particular circumstances. We can also…force it to move early, under very particular circumstances. Either one would be very bad.” She sighed at that, and glanced over at him. He gave a little nod, which she rightly took as a signal that he was in fact going to ask. “We had to do that before it came here,” she gestured to the city rolling past the windows. “It was ugly, and yes you’ve heard of it.” She took a moment to deal with a memory of some kind, something that briefly looked like it blocked out the brick buildings in her eyes. “Roanoke.”

Walter had to jerk the wheel suddenly to keep it from drifting into the other lane of traffic. “Mysteriously disappeared, probably suffered some calamity and were absorbed by local Native American tribes Roanoke?” He shook his head. “So there was a disaster caused by having to move Border early, and that’s why?” At her nod and silence, he continued his questioning. “So you know what happened to the colonists?”

Morgan nodded again, and sighed. “I do. And I cannot talk about it at this time—I might be able to later, but I can’t now.” At his look she shook her head again, loose curls tumbling around her head. “I swore a direct oath, and I can’t break that without breaking a part of me. If, God forbid, the circumstances are right then I can talk about it.”

Walter took a moment to process this, and to make sure that he wasn’t going to risk a jaunt in to the other lane again. “If that happens in Border, it is going to be worse than what Oberon wanted to do, isn’t it.”

Morgan looked out at the people walking past them on the street. Mothers and fathers, students, shoppers—families, singles, and above all living and vibrant people streamed past. “This isn’t a small city, Walter. It would be hideous beyond all imagining. That’s why Border, and why Roanoke, and why the village near Ayutthaya. Because for someone else to take it prematurely would be just as bad, and we can’t let that happen.” At the silence that fell in the car, as they both contemplated that happening, Morgan offered a little smile. “But hey, it hasn’t happened in centuries, so what are the odds it will happen in the next ten years—right?”

At that allegedly cheery thought, they pulled into Bosch, Bottles, and Bailey for drinks.