Ever since her mother had opened up that second clinic back in Jerusalem, it was nothing but work and international calls all the time. Not that Natalie minded the distance, she didn’t exactly have the most nurturing relationship with her mother. Ms. Portman was…a corporate Amazon, with all the motherly nature of a rampaging ogre… to put it nicely. It wasn’t her mother’s fault really, but the fact that a noted fertility specialist with clinics opened worldwide was only able to produce a single defective daughter was a bit of a bruise on her mother’s giant ego.
Growing up had been interesting with all the “Why won’t you go sparring and why do you insist on all this baking nonsense?” Natalie fondly remembered the horrified look on her mother’s face when her five year old self had declared pink her favorite color. As she recalled, she started archery the next day.
But now she was living on her own, she had a steady job (a great feat after the recent economic shift) and she could live her own damn life. In fact, as soon as she finished sending this latest batch of applications over to the bank to be credit checked, she was going straight home to make and devour a home-cooked meal…and there were probably cupcakes. Speaking of cupcakes, she needed to pick up oranges if she wanted to try out that new recipe she had found online.
The food service didn’t usually send fresh fruit, even when Natalie requested it oh-so-nicely, so she thought she’d probably have to stop off at one of the street markets that the farmers were so keen to set up. The nice part about living in LA was how close she was to all her favorite foods. Oranges, grapes, apples were just up the street…if you knew how to find them. Growing up all around the world, she hadn’t always had access to luxuries like fruits.
That was the last application, there. Sighing in relief, she grabbed her jacket and engaged the security system. She was in the process of knitting herself a sweater, but until she managed to track down the light blue that she thought would offset the greens nicely, she’d have to deal with this sad excuse for a comfortable jacket. She jammed cap on her head and headed out to catch the monorail.
She found herself at the monorail station that was slightly more crowded than usual, in the beginnings of what appeared to be a summer storm. i hate the rain, i hate these storms, why can’t the meteorologists just fix this Natalie inwardly groaned. She hated when people were afraid, that always amplified the emotions. You didn’t have to be a telepath to see the woman who was broadcasting so loudly. She had fear written all over her face.
It was interesting to see that these days, people were finally starting to relax the rules, show emotion, dress freely. In her mother’s time, a woman like this one would have been ridiculed for such a public display of emotion. Natalie turned toward the woman and smiled, exuding her most calming vibe. The woman gave her a tentative smile back as a crack of lightening lit up the sky.
The woman flinched and moved away quickly. It began to rain harder and harder with lightening strikes every few seconds…Natalie was starting to get worried. This probably meant power outages, spoiled food in the fridge…and apparently swirling vortexes of terror opening up directly overhead. The woman was screaming now, but Natalie had other things on her mind. Namely the fact that she was being slowly pulled upwards into the sky.
And suddenly it wasn’t the sky at all, but a stone chamber. She was still descending…falling pretty rapidly, but she managed to hit the ground in a roll, landing on her feet. She was in a cell. Stone walls, big heavy door, pile of straw in the corner, small lake of questionable water concentrated in the far corner.
“Well,” said Natalie quick cheerfully as she surveyed her surroundings. “fuck!”