So, I had a bit of a crazy Labor Day weekend and I’m giving At The Pool credit for it. Friday night, a friend and I met up with Hadria (a buddy from At The Pool who I’ve met with a number of times over the past month) and a bunch of his friends for dancing. We had such a great time and Hadria’s friends were so nice that even after an evening filled with dancing, I stayed up super late talking with the guys and watching movies… well, trying to make them all watch Mean Girls with me. I spent the next day with my new friends, even after our mutual friend had gone home. It was really cool to meet people who made me feel at home in their friend circle, even though I was the gal who their friend met through a website.
New friends at my apartment. Sadly, Hadria was not included in this photo, as he had already left ;-(
Further proof that great minds think alike: Earlier in the week, I got a message from a guy on At The Pool who I had talked to on Twitter a while back, but had never actually met. I thought that was a “small world” moment, but I was chatting with one of my friends, Melis, a day or two later and she mentioned that she was meeting up some guy from ATP and we soon realized that she was meeting with my Twitter buddy, Abel. They hung out and she ended up introducing him to several of our mutual friends and they all really liked him, so I was looking forward to meeting him in person on Sunday. We had okay burgers and a good conversation. Monday, I was hanging out with Melis and a friend of her’s who is visiting from NYC and we all ended up meeting Abel at a park. Our little group spent the afternoon taking pictures of street art and each other.
Abel taking a picture of Melis
For dinner and drinks, Hadria and one of Abel’s friends joined us. It was a great group and we had a lot of good chemistry. If it wasn’t for At The Pool, this weekend probably would have been a lot less awesome. I think we even convinced some skeptical minds to give At The Pool a try, after they saw the real world results of a few online messages. Keep up the great work - you guys rock!
In the dark, purplish-black confines of a holding cell, Instructor Daybreak was screaming.
The frantic scuffle of boots against a cold, shiny floor and the rustling of tightly-coiled arms was all that held the professor back from his charge. His eyes were wild and brimming with terrified tears, and his voice was hoarse from days of fruitless shouting and dehydration, but no amount of pain registered with him now. The two men in their red and gold raiments jerked him roughly backward, to another cut-off wheeze and gnashing of teeth from the trembling, flailing mage.
“Hadria! No– no, we can’t– you have to let me go,” Nolarian roared at them, lunging forward again with one restrained arm outstretching feebly. Ahead of him, crumpled against the far wall, a young Sin'dorei woman sat near motionless save for the rattling in her chest. Only her eyes weakly followed the thrashing figure of her professor as he fought off his rescuers with fire in his eyes.
“We have to go,” spoke one of the two agents, a tad more brusquely than he’d intended it. His iron grip tightened on Nolarian’s arm. The professor’s forward lunge was cut short by the slam of the other agent’s hand into his chest, holding him still and slowly but firmly pressing him back toward the open cell door behind them.
“I’m sorry, my child,” the pale-faced Sin'dorei addressed him, black hair glinting bluish in the violet light of the hold.
The professor’s thrashing drew to a halt, his body growing weak in both men’s arms. Turning his head to gaze through tear-filled eyes at the agent on his right, he instead began to quake with vain, impotent rage. “I can’t leave her here,” he miserably croaked through mounting, wracking sobs, another feeble attempt at breaking free proving equally ineffective. “Please, let me stay with her! I can help her– she…"
Far behind them at the distant end of the prison wing, the marching of militant boots was making its way through narrow halls, singleminded clockwork footfalls signaling certain death. The man on his left yanked him backward again, this time harder.
“We’re going NOW,” the agent barked, the two of them pivoting abruptly, stumbling together through the creaky cell door and out into the hall. Nolarian flailed and fought him once again.
“No–! Hadria, get up! Come with me, please!” bawled the professor – and, turning to look frantically back over his shoulder, it was only then that he realized the second rescuer had released his arm.
Kneeling beside the apprentice’s wheezing body, the black-haired agent tenderly sank down to envelop the girl in his red-and-gold embrace. A crystalline, white-gold light surrounded him, and for a moment Nolarian thought he could make out a pair of unearthly, spreading wings. The relentless marching of men drew ever closer.
“Lysandrin!” shouted his rescuer, hesitating, looking back as well – but the other made no move to come along. The gleaming man spoke simply in reply.
“Go,” he rumbled out, and behind his ghostly light the dying Hadria’s eyes were gazing, struck with awe.