Martin Rank

Martin Rank

A Quick Check-In

It’s been a while. Sorry. But don’t worry, I’ve been keeping tabs on you. Nice to see the Mountaineers are still intact. We have that thing we did and we’re connected by it, pretty much forever I imagine. @Saberlane gave me access to the Ackerly Green blog so, no promises, but I’ll check in more often, if I can, and if there’s cause. (Trivia: I spoke to Saberlane a couple times way back in the 90’s when he was just a kid. I doubt he remembers, given what happened, but I thought the handful of you magiq-wonks out there might appreciate that connected thread.)


So the quick check-in: Aether, Port, and Alison are safe, healthy, and as far as I know, happy. I haven’t been back in a few months, but when I left, they were pretty much a family unit. Port’s in therapy, and school. And doing really well. Aether’s been scouring what’s left of the Low as we knew it (get to that in a second) to find a way to reverse the memory effects of the Storm. I wouldn’t hang my hat on that prospect, but it keeps Aether busy, and at the end of the day I think he just wants hope that maybe his mom and Constance, and everybody affected, will be okay.


And Alison, well Alison is Alison. She’s keeping everything that happened at KS locked up. I get it. She doesn’t owe anybody anything in my book.


She met up with her mom but I wasn’t there, and frankly it’s none of my business how that went down, despite my nosiness. (mainly because I’d really like to know what’s happening with Monarch’s Mountain, post Ascender’s “forced reorganization.”) She did tell me Endri says hi to us all. Yeah, she met Endri. To me, that’s like casually saying you met Vishnu.


The trio is finding it harder to use their powers. Whether it’s trauma, decompression, or the fact that whatever we did last year used up most of what’s left of magiq here, I don’t know. If adepts really do eat magiq to use their power, makes sense. But what the hell do I know? I’m just a well (according to the not-all-that reliable Teddy Fallon.)


Truth is, I think I needed them more than needed me, which is good. So I’ve been keeping myself out of their hair and busy by digging back into the Low, which went to ground (even moreso) after they found out Monarch’s Mountain had seeded their whole “secret” cell and basically used them as pawns to distract The Silver. I mean, I’m sure it’s deeper than that, but that’s the gist, according to Deirdre’s bird informant at least.


So the Low is even harder to find than it was before.


But– it turns out, I have an informant too.


It’s a very new flirtation and we’re taking it slow. I don’t know who they are, but I know why they’re helping me. It’s because of you. Seems like you’ve got a pretty devoted fan club out there in the new Low. From what I hear, there’s even a blog about you that dissects everything you did, and are currently doing. The hilarious best part? You have fans and detractors in equal measure, because despite everything they’ve seen to the contrary, some people still don’t fully believe that this magiq thing is real, and they pretty much call bullshit on everything you/we did. They say it was a lie, or a game or some alternate-reality-puzzle. Whoever’s tipping me reached out because everybody was saying I was fake. As in not a real person. I’ve spent the past two weeks proving I am who I say I am to someone I don’t know, to get information I don’t know for sure they have.


You haven’t made it until you have crackpots shooting holes in your actual existence. So thanks for that, and congrats. We’re (magical) internet famous.


Other than that, I’m… I don’t know… Waiting? Wondering? The one thing I know is that there seems to be a kind of calm, post Stormslaying. Like a weight’s been lifted off the world, or our little corner of it anyway. But there’s uncertainty too.


We did this thing and now what? It’s just… done?


I don’t like feeling like that. The limbo of it all. Maybe I’m barking at an empty dark (or maybe I just don’t know what to do with myself without some menace or mystery) but I’m wondering what happens when someone breaks an all-powerful shadow-society’s favorite toy. You think they go home and pout? Or you think they retaliate? Is this the post-Storm world, or the calm before the next one? Or am I just an old man looking for a problem because I don’t know what to do with myself otherwise?


Everybody’s off wondering what-now and I’m stuck here worrying what-next.