Searching

Ana strode down the street, her hips swaying intentionally to give the illusion that she walked with purpose. She had to try to look like she knew what she was doing. She stood out too much here. Her dark skin and ice-white hair contrasted sharply with the locals. They had all been nearly useless thus far in helping her find what she wanted.

She winked as she passed a group of women. They turned their stares aside. She knew their gaze would return. Her jeans and her floral print blouse diverged greatly from the local fashions, all old-timey stuff, like Ana had stepped into a renaissance fair.

This world seemed like a promising place. Ana desired power. She had some, of course, but it seemed inconsequential next to what she had witnessed on Danahar, Elal, Teverin, Aia, Callaie, or any of the other worlds she had visited. Ana could find the doors, and open them. So what, if she couldn’t find any actual power of her own?

She had witnessed wizardry. She had decided to call it that, though the inhabitants of some worlds called it by different names. It took too much work, to many hours and sometimes years spent perfecting such precise little motions. Ana didn’t have the patience or the mind for that.

She had witnessed what those on Elal called Powered. She longed for their amazing capabilities, though through her study on that world she had learned she would never obtain it. One had to be born a Powered in order to be one. She cursed her luck. Ana now believed she was a Powered — what else could explain her ability to open the doors? — but she’d been born with such a useless ability. Why couldn’t she fly, or use telepathy, or super strength? Such things were fantasy on her world, but on others, they were very real.

She had not witnessed the secret of this world, though she had heard rumors of it. That gave her purpose. That’s what made her mark this door in that mysterious red tunnel full of seemingly infinite doors, so that she wouldn’t lose track of which entrance led her here, when she had to go home for food and rest. Unfortunately the door lead to this useless town. She didn’t want to waste time casting about blindly to try to find a door to a more useful place on this world, but she supposed she might have to. She had wasted plenty of time here already.

This world held something its people whispered about, something they called entities. They did not speak of them as the people of Aia did their gods, or even as the people of Avyra spoke of their seasons. The entities were something else, something better, and the people here claimed they could grant power beyond imagining.

Ana would find them. She would take their power, and have it as her own.

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