zeeth_kyrah: A glowing white and blue anthropomorphic horse stands before a pink and blue sky. (Default)
[personal profile] zeeth_kyrah
This is a continuation of "Beyond All Terror", wherein T'ema goes to Urbanburg following the urging of her magic, and begins to acquire clues as to the nature of Dan's assailants. It is set in the Polychrome Heroics universe by permission of [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith.

--

"I love you" whispered in her ear;
She had no choice but to follow,
Eyes open for the chance
To find, to see, to understand!
No spirit was present and yet
It spoke alles omnes
To her wondering heart.

The bus ride had wearied,
And the trail was cold;
Yet to this city she had come,
T'ema, unicorn-woman, wanderer.
Justice had called her,
Justice and hope.

She sighed, asking for guidance
To the madmen who had taken
One living weapon and
Made of him a tool of fear.
No answer came.

She asked after the local shelter
Of a man standing ragged
Outside the bus terminal.
He gave her an address.

When she arrived, the sky,
Darkening, was filled with
Hints of Spring.

Her heart was haunted.
What had passed before?

That night she dreamed.

A madman, laughing on a stage,
Playing tricks, screaming.

His tall hat flashed
And in his mind were fragments,
Falling out, of other minds.

He carried knives which he juggled,
But they were made of glass.
Upon the stage came a woman
And he threw them at her!

The woman threw them back,
Deft, and a piece of him
Fell away at his feet,
Bleeding like clear water.
T'ema knew him now.

To her, the energies of spirit
Would manifest. She could
And would track his bleeding soul,
Following the dribbles of memory
And Power, until she came
To his hidden hole.

She snapped awake, her illusion
Disrupted by the touch
Upon her shoulder. The woman
Gasped.

"Miss! You- you're--"

T'ema knew what had happened. Her spirit focused.

"I was talking? What did I say?"

"You said, He needs a mother.
She forgot him. Where is his father?
"

T'ema nodded.

"Thank you. And yes, quietly:
I am what you see.
The Power hides me, but
It can desire me seen at times."

The shelter worker nodded.
"Let's get you to a quieter spot."

"No, I need water and company. Tea, perhaps. I need to collect myself."

"That's something else you were saying. He's falling apart."

"Thank you, I remember that from my dream."

Together they left the small room,
T'ema bringing the blanket with her,
And spent the hour until dawn
Sipping tea and chatting
About happenings in Urbanburg.

The magic whispered in her.
Tomorrow she must hunt.

--

Notes:

"Alles omnes" is a combined-language term: Alles is German, meaning "all", while "omnes" is Latin, meaning "everything". The phrase implies that something is "coming from everywhere" or present all around.

In the language of dreams, personal symbols are most important. However, there are common symbols within families, cultures, or species. In a dream, the generic meaning of a cutting knife is a weapon or tool for cutting precisely and up close, or for attacking distantly with an edge (a sword is for longer attacks and/or broad cuts, while an arrow pierces rather than slashes). When thrown, the user may be sending a thing distantly (as in a ranged assault, or a communication by mail or telepathy). Things which are transparent or made of glass may symbolize spirit or thought, the transparent abstract which contains a form and holds meaning.

Homeless people often sleep in barracks-like conditions at shelters, but some have smaller rooms. Here, T'ema is implied to be in a smaller sleeping room. Overnight shelters generally have someone present all night in case of disturbances, so that the other people can sleep. Unfortunately, the rule at many shelters of local-Earth is for all clients (people sleeping there) to leave shortly after dawn, which can keep homeless persons sleep-deprived. Sleep deprivation has many detrimental effects, including falling asleep in public. Fortunately, Terremagne is aware that caring for people in need leads to fewer incidents of crime and addiction, as well as a healthier society overall. A healthy society makes less overall use of its safety nets, because the safety nets catch more people who will rebound easily, and keeps those who are unable to rebound from falling all the way down where they can drag society into the mud by the sheer weight of picking up after them.

When sleep is disturbed, it can help to spend time in a calm situation with comforting things before trying to get back to sleep. For T'ema, herbal tea (she adores mint and lavender) and quiet conversation are peaceful things.

--

[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith "found a very fine facility to use as a model for the Peregrine Homeless Shelter in Urbanburg. It offers several levels of housing with varied privacy and duration." With her permission, here are links and information about it.

The facility: http://www.moderndallas.net/thebridge.html

Here's a night view of the outside:
http://www.gordonhuether.com/cache/widgetkit/gallery/60/1_Huether_Dallas_Homeless_Assistance-aed709bb76.jpg

See the floor plans with service areas marked:
http://www.archinnovations.com/images/stories/Project_09_q3/Overland_Bridge/Bridge_all_plans.jpg

Peregrine has a full-service kitchen. At night the facility runs with a skeleton crew, trying to keep most services open but not the fancy stuff. So the food service probably has a giant crockpot of soup, packaged snacks, fruit, and coffee. Might or might not have premade tea, but would certainly have hot water and a basket of assorted herbal packets. They seem to run around the clock, with a full shift of mostly professionals supplemented by volunteers during the day, second and third shifts more paid interns and volunteers to keep the basics running.

From the description, T'ema is probably in the interim housing on the third floor, which has little semi-private cubbies. The transitional housing on the second floor has studio apartments. They fill occupancy partly by length of stay and individual need, but also from the best slots downward, so they can move someone up to a better empty berth if necessary. Peregrine manages to provide at least partial privacy for most of its guests most of the time. The big sleeping pavilion is for emergency overflow, mainly used during inclement weather or other crisis situations.

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