Chapter 24: The Secrets We Keep

For the record, this chapter kicked my ass. Sorry it’s so late, everything about it was hard lol.

Also, CW: this chapter gets pretty gory because paranormal shenanigans.

The In Between Inn

Mikel

The In Between Inn

Mikel checked the radar screen one more time. He hadn’t kept it because he was sentimental—though he was that—he kept it because it was his. Or maybe salvaged. 

That was the right word. 

He salvaged it because it was his. 

His. The word sent a shiver through him. Mikel, who had never thought of himself as particularly selfish, could not summon even an ounce of embarrassment over how good it felt. 

You didn’t own things on Sixam 9. Not unless you won. Even royalty respected that rule. 

In all his 310 quarks, or 36 planet rotations, Mikel had never won. 

Not even once.

Turning to his bureau, he checked the settings on his simray before placing it back in the case. He felt protected at the In Between Inn but he also understood that protection was an illusion. 

He flushed as he stared down at the case. He hadn’t ever wanted to use it. But desperate times

His train of thought was interrupted by a loud banging on his door.

“Mikel! Are you making breakfast or what? We’re starving out here!!” Penny shouted, punctuating each word with a sharp knock.

The radar screen froze. It was impossible to get it to sustain any sort of connection when it was so far away from the rest of the console. He would keep trying though. 

Penny banged on the door again. “Seriously. Mikel. For the love of practical magic, what is taking so long?” 

She paused and Mikel heard muffled conversation. 

“Also, Miko says we’re going to need tech support in about four days!”

He sighed. Though his job had been tech support on Sixam 9, he much preferred cooking. 

A good meal made everyone smile and Mikel loved making his friends happy. He loved having friends. 

He loved not being alone. 

But from each according to his ability and all that. 

“Just a minute! I’ll be right down!” he called out.

He could never say no to Penny. Omelettes…she liked omelettes. He’d make them with extra cheese.

Before he left the room, he opened the case one last time, unable to resist double-checking. He breathed a sigh of relief. 

The simray was still set to “engage.”

    5 comments
  • lonecat82
    June 1, 2020

    I really wish there were werewolves in the game, but I like the CC you used to create them. And this story just gets better and better. I like the additional characters that have been included and I’m really liking Miko as one of the fates. The lore and world-building are very creative and interesting. 🙂

    • feroshgirl
      June 4, 2020

      We NEED werewolves. I did find some better cc for future chapters but still. Throw us a bone, EA. I really enjoy writing Miko. In a world of slytherins, she’s like a hufflepuff that keeps trying to do some plotting, but she is not good at it lol.

      • Ninja Pink Sex
        September 8, 2022

        2 years too late for this chapter, but at least you get to use wolvies in The Strauds!!! 😀

  • theplumbob
    July 9, 2020

    Gah! Holy cowplant, so much unpacking in this chapter, woah! I’m liking the whole “all of this has happened before, and all of it will happen again” theme, it’s awakening my inner Battlestar Glactica nerd haha.

    Miko’s fluid timeline loop is interesting. I never thought I’d like her (as a premade she just doesn’t do it for me), but you’ve made her amazing! So ditzy yet sage at the same time. I wonder what Akira’s planning. Clearly he has no idea what she’s up to, but he is attempting to help her. Somehow I feel like his actions will be detrimental to her plans, in spite of his sole motivation being trying to win her back. But that might just be me looking for twisted tragedies ha!

    That warewolf scene was intense, crazy. Vlad’s dark whatever-the-heck he is form is so beautiful yet terrifying. I’m glad all the timelines end with them falling in love – you know, minus the doom it results in, of course 😆

  • Ninja Pink Sex
    September 8, 2022

    Unfortunately, I had to read the first half of the story a previous day, so this review might suffer because of that :\

    I recall I had read (I think the character page) that Mikel and Miss Hell were in a rocket together, flying in outer space, and he might become her in-flight meal. So…. Hmmmm. Also, that Mikel has a thing for Penny. It’s sweet that he knows that Penny likes omlettes, and seems to make them special (con queso!) for Penny. I suppose we’re supposed to like this cuddly man do-gooder, but I’m keeping an eye on him. I’m *sure* he’s harmless. He looks harmless. He acts harmless. But some of the most inconspicuous predators are the ones that know how to … look/act a certain way to be undetected.

    Turns out, I’m not the only one suspect of the supernaturals in BBD: Alice. Alice learned not to just ooooh and ahhhh the supernaturals. I mean, it took meeting Contessa, but at least she learned.

    “Oh…so that’s what he looks like. We should definitely leave,” Ben observed. – I took that as, OH SHIT AKIRA IS HOT AF. RUN BEFORE YOU END YOUR DRYSPELL WITH NOT THE VAMPIRE KING. But it seems *that’s* not what Ben means. I’m getting major Oda Mae Brown vibes with this scene. MOLLY YOU IN DANGER, GIRL.

    “We help the poor fool learn how to date,” William replied knowingly. Me reading this passage: OH FOR FUCK SAKE!
    From what I know about William, he’s had lovers, but he hasn’t had a serious relationship since his husband (which was CENTURIES – plural – ago). Yeah, dude, you’re a 21st-century love expert. Hope you’re romance-game has more consent-accountability than your friendship with Vlad. BOOM. (yes, Ferosh, I am mic-dropping in your comments… that’s… not an euphemism).
    Has CALEB even been with anyone? I mean he must have when he was alive, he was a pampered rich boy, but again… CENTURIES ago. And, SURE, Caleb has kept up his tech-game/invention-game knowledge throughout the centuries, but… his love game… that is unknown.
    Anyways, if either of these fools were good at love, they would be chasing romantic partners, instead of acting like a couple helicopter parents to Vlad.

    “Even the prospect of facing whatever foul creature the God of Death was riding around in did not subdue his determination.”
    This is hilarious and TELLING. At some point/several points, Ben must have chosen sims who acted a fucking mess. A. FUCKING. MESS. Like D.Lothario stroking a kidnapped woman’s forehead with his micropenis level fucking-mess. Y.I.K.E.S.
    but it’s also pretty funny that it is NOT the case now, which reinforces my theories towards Mikel. THE UNSUSPECTING ONES. OR maybe Alice is a “foul creature,” and you’re tricking the reader by giving us a description of what Alice actually is through Akira’s words. OKAY FEROSH, I’M GOING TO SEE WHICH WAY THIS GOES. I don’t think Alice is the antagonist in BBD, but fuuuuuuck what a reveal if she is.

    “They called him the Reaper but Vlad didn’t come for the death…
    He came for the fear.”
    Oh snap.

    I feel like I’m jumping through hoops and not really finding the “easter eggs,” but I’ll admit, I’m not re-reading the linked stories, just scanning the first paragraph for something I might have missed. I may have to re-read this chapter and then look at the links for a closer examination. It seemed like Vlad is… the devil (abashed the devil stood…) but I don’t think the devil would be stronger than Alice. So … just piecing together the pieces.

    The ending(s) with Miko are interesting. I might need to let that fully digest, because I don’t know what else to comment. There’s a lot. Her and Akira’s pining for each other after centuries. Miko ending the world revelation. Miko having seen the same ending several times and still trying to make it different. There’s just A LOT. Like dang, Miko, you need a vacation, girl. Also Mikel and Miko have EERILY similar names. So… that’s interesting.

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