Lexa opened her eyes.
The steel coloured clouds whistled past, too fast to be natural. At the horizon, only the white crests of the waves showed where ocean met sky. All around there was nothing else save the pinacles of rock standing out of the tempestous ocean, being smashed by the great waves.
Nothing... save the other person, standing on the other rocky tower.
She noticed, though details were sparse, that it was a woman, with long black hair and wearing a khanid style dress, a kimono.
As she blinked a bridge appeared between the towers, a long rope bridge, old and worn. It had not been there a moment ago, but somehow she knew, it had always been there, in the place where this was taken from. And somehow, she knew, it would hold her weight.
Looking down she noticed, as if for the first time that she was also wearing a kimono. She scowled, and blinked, the outfit had changed. A sharp serpentis cut suit now clad her body, stylish heels and her hair pulled back tight. A mirror image of the suit she wore for corporation business. Reaching down she pulled her heels off and walked onto the bridge.
The howling of the wind became more apparent, the taste of the salt spray from the waves, the lash of the wind. High above great sea birds flew and danced around the bridge. Danger was ever present, as the rope strained with each step. A slip could be catastrophic, death almost instant, knocked unconscious by the fall, and either drowned or slammed by the waves into the towers.
Stepping onto the other tower, unconsciously putting her shoes back on she looked over at the other woman. Walking around to face her she gasped, though she had guessed who the woman was as she was crossing.
They looked at each other, the tempest around them growing more fierce. Carmilla smiled, the harsh features of her face, the gentle Sebiestor matched with the angles of the Amarr. In the blink of an eye Alexandra saw the past lives of the woman before her. The slave, the puppet, the freedom fighter, the murderer, the saviour, the worshipped, and the Mistress. A thousand images flooded her mind, and a thousand more stood at the edge waiting to be seen. Decades of torment, of love, of hate, of servitude of loneliness all flooded her at once. She fell to her knees, her hands holding her skull, her mouth open in a silent scream.
"Its good to see you Alexandra, I was hoping we would, before someone tried to kill one of us."
Lexa shook her head.
"What.. was that?"
"My memories, my life.. or lives if you wish."
"Such pain... and anguish.... and such love at the same time."
"True, very true. Same could be said of your life, though... not of the love."
"What do you know of my life?"
"Everything. All you know I know, and now all I know, you know. Kim does very good work, doesn't she? Though I don't think even she knows the full capabilities of the interface she created."
"Carmilla, what are you talking about?"
"Our minds have been melded. Joined together. Fused if you will. Of if you will, your mind was placed into my body. A fitting punishment for my crimes."
Lexa stood up and looked at the woman before her, an expression of untold sadness was on her face. She walked over and flung her arms around her, holding her tight. Carm, accepted the hug.
"When you sleep at night I use our body to find things out. When you are awake I can't control you, I think Ithiria took care of that. Especially after the last time. But it has been enough to get the details I needed. Of who you are, and why you were chosen.
"But this is my body, I mean, out there, isn't it?"
"Your mind is in a dominant position, mine is being restrained. Think of me as a...."
"A whispering ghost... yes.... Lasa and Eric knew something was wrong when parts of your leaked out."
"So sad, that they should see me such. But I think they know I.. we are in good hands."
"You... use my body?"
"Our body really, we both share it. And when you are asleep you are not using it... "
"But how come I don't know about it?"
"How would you? You're asleep."
"Your personality sleeps, the body doesn't. You'd have to ask Kim the details."
"So... tell me.. about me."
Carmilla took hold of Lexa's hand and blinked, then sat down on the end of the pier. Lexa looked around and frowned.
"How can you do that?"
"We're in my mind. Our mind. At the moment, if I make my guess, Kim has us wired up to a virtual matrix, or one of her talking heads, so we can talk."
"Because things are moving fast. People want us dead, or at least one of us. Probably me."
"Because I've done bad things and pissed off important people. And the people who can help us are few and far between, and some of them I can't trust."
Lexa sat down and took off her jacket.
"This is your Geisha House isn't it?"
"The only place I feel truly safe. Although.... that too hasn't always been the case."
"You were saying about me?"
"Victor found you. Dying in a hospital in Penitant City. You fit the bill for what was needed for my incarceration. Your body was frozen, your mind downloaded. My body was changed to resemble yours, Kim's work again. Your memory was uploaded and mine locked away. Just, not very well the first time. You were given false memories when you awoke. Naturally you had to believe you were a capsuleer, we figured you would do something, but not even Victor guessed what you did. Luckily he was watching you, otherwise it could have been messy."
"What about the brutor?"
"Oh him? One of my more discrete bodyguards, never let him take me while I was me, guess he took the opportunity when it arose."
She chuckled at the memory.
"So what do we do now?"
"I propose a deal, Lexa. If you are removed from this body, you will die. Unless Kim has improved her percentage rate, you'll be transfered to a body and loose about sixty percent of your mind."
"Its an imperfect science. Actually, it's not even science, its something out of a horrorzine. If people ever catch on we'll be disected."
"I dont want you to die, you remind me of me, many years ago."
"Yes, I've seen the memory. Not the most pleasant."
"Oh, and pit fighting and living in squalor is?"
"Touche. So what is this deal?"
"We share the body."
"Can it be done? So we don't go insane?"
"Yes, if you are accepting we can meld around the edges. You'll have access to my memories and more importantly my skills."
"So all those people I think I know when I see them, I'll actually know?"
"Most likely. And it saves me from waiting til you are asleep to do what I have to do."
"Will it work when we are both awake?"
"From what Kim has said, it'll just be like talking to ourself."
"And she's tried this out before?"
"I thought so. Do it. I'd rather be half a person than no person at all."
"Lexa.. thank you."
"Just don't make me regret it."
Alexandra opened her eyes. Kim was looking down at her with a smile.
"Hello my dear. Have a nice chat with my daughter?"
"Yes I did. Why am I tied down?"
"Had to. Didn't know who would wake up."
Kim pulled the strap on the restraints and pulled Lexa into a sitting position. Her left arm slammed out, knocking Kim back.
"Sorry Mother, but you had that comming. Carm that was just wrong! Oh behave Lexa, read my memories about her. Hmm, you have a point, but be nicer in the future."
Kim picked herself up and rubbed her jaw.
"By the moons, you did it? You're bothe awake? How does it feel?"
"Strange. Yes, very strange. We'll have to work out a rota, or something. I agree, otherwise people will think we are mad."
Kim grinned and released the rest of the restraints.
"Good, while you are deciding, there are people waiting for you. Now be nice, both of you."