Character Name: Joy Wayne
Alternate Identities: Time Child, Ivy Fireoak
Player Name: NPC
|Joy is a beautiful young girl of about 13, with dark brown eyes and hair, always worn in a ponytail. She is of average height but a little thin.|
When the girl leaped off the top floor of the tallest building in San Francisco, I assumed it was probably some poor soul looking to end a terrible life. I didn't expect a thirteen year-old child. Even though I believe that everyone should have the right to determine their own Fate, when I realized it was a child, I had to save her.
"At last," the child said with a sigh as I gathered her into my arms and slowed our fall to a stop. "I was getting tired of falling and falling. I've been doing it for five hundred and thirteen seconds."
Well that certainly took me aback.
"I gather you were expecting me to save you."
"Of course," she replied. "You ARE Ghost Archer, right?"
"Yes, I am."
"Good. Can you help me?"
“I thought I just did."
She looked down at the pavement below. "Oh, no, I had 2145 milliseconds before I hit. Plenty of time to go back and start over."
"So you were just trying to get my attention."
"Why else would I jump off a building?" She crooked a finger at me to come closer then leaning to my ear, as if to whisper, she said, “Spock, two home, please.”
The computer complied.
“This is much better,” the girl said as we were deposited us on the lawn before the school.
“What’s your name,” I asked.
“Oh, I am sorry, you forgot we haven’t met.”
She thrust out her small hand in a very matter-of-fact manner and I took it.
“I am Joy,” she replied. “Joy Wayne, or perhaps it is Ivy Fireoak, what time is it here?”
“Nearly noon,” I said, puzzled by her answers.
“Oh, excuse me,” she very carefully took three steps to the right then looked up.
Overhead I could pick out the faint buzz of one of the kids’ drone and spotted it just in time to catch the red ball’s trajectory. I took two steps to my left and ended back in front of the girl. The ball splattered on the grass, the water-based crimson paint making a splotch about the size of a dinner plate.
“Nicky!” I snapped.
Just inside the entrance to the hedge maze I saw a dark head disappear.
“That’s okay,” the girl said, “I’m used to it by now.” Small fingers entangled mine and she tugged me toward the Manor rather than the school. “If we hurry I can beat Nicky to the last piece of boysenberry pie.”
“Who ARE you?”
“I know, you prefer Joy, so Joy it is,” she replied. “My Lady was so puzzled to see me. But then things are a little backwards now.” Without direction she followed the path around the end of the Manor to the terraces and mounted the steps to the first level. “Oh, hurry!”
She broke into a run and hit the French doors to the kitchen at speed. At the opposite end of the room, coming up the interior stairs, also at a dead run, was Nicky.
“Hi, Marie,” Joy called as she just barely snatched the pie plate from under my son’s hand. “Mine for the paint bomb.” She stuck out her tongue.
Marie blinked at the newcomer, “Hello …?”
“Joy,” I said filling in the blank.
The girl was practically covering the pie with her body as she jerked open the freezer and grabbed the vanilla ice cream. She bumped the door closed with her butt and set the ice cream down, not relinquishing her possession of the pie. Next she pulled open a drawer, found the ice cream scoop and a spoon.
“But …” my devil child started. “I won that from Aaron!”
“You cheated,” Joy retorted. She had the ice cream open and was trying to scoop some out with one hand still full of pie plate.
“I did NOT!”
Joy paused what she was doing and gave Nicky a long, hard stare.
“Not MUCH …” he whined.
With smug satisfaction she set the pie down and went about ala moding the wedge. Nicky made no move to recover his illicit prize. Unlike most of my brood, she actually put the ice cream back in the freezer, washed the scoop and dried it, then returned to the plate. Taking it up she scooped up pie and ice cream in roughly equal proportions and stuffed it in her mouth. Her eyes closed in ecstasy.
“Oh, Marie, you don’t know how much I have missed you pies!”
What came next only added to the wonderment that was Joy. The girl stopped eating and set the plate carefully on the counter then turned to the stair case that led to my library.
“I look terrible,” she whispered as if to herself. A hand went to her hair, finger combing it. “I know she doesn’t care yet …”
Raven started down the steps and as she reached the bottom, Joy dropped to her knees, head bowed.
“My Lady,” she said.
Raven seemed amused as well as flattered and took the girl’s hand. Joy rose but drew back one hand, holding it up, palm out to my wife.
“You may not!” she proclaimed and vanished.
She reappeared by my side.
“Never,” she said, her hand still up to Raven.
“She’s like us!” Nicky scowled. “That just means she is more of a challenge!”
Joy ignored the future dragon and remained fixated on Raven.
“Welcome, sister,” Raven said. “Welcome to my home. Would you like some milk to wash your pie down?”
“That was my pie!” Nicky complained.
Joy relaxed and dropped her hand. She bowed low at the waist.
“The ice cream is sufficient, my Lady.”
“Marie, will you please bake anther dozen pies, one for just my sweet Nicky?”
My son’s eyes lit up, “Cool! Thanks, mom!”
“I knew I should have dressed up,” Joy muttered. “The berries on the west side are the ripest.” The last was directed at Nicky.
“She is correct, Nicky,” the old cook said. “I will need at least a bushel.”
Raven glanced at me then the girl, then back to me, puzzlement evident.
Luthien chose that moment to come thundering down the stairs. The girl NEVER thunders.
“Mom! She’s coming!”
“Hello, Luthien,” Joy said at my daughter’s intrusion. “Too late, as always.”
“Who is she, Luthien?” Raven asked.
Our daughter said nothing but stepped behind her mother.
“I cannot see,” Luthien whispered.
That WAS unusual. I turned to Joy and inspected her.
“She is not a danger,” I said, with absolute confidence.
“As you will, my beloved,” Raven said stiffly.
I recognized the fight or flight response hovering over Raven. She was ready to bolt with the kids.
Joy took my hand. “No, I will never be a danger to you, my Lord, or to my Lady. She will one day see. You should hug Luthien now.”
She released my hand with a little tug toward Raven and my obviously distraught daughter. Before I’d taken a step, Raven scooped Luthien up, fierce defiance in her eyes.
“Wait!” Joy raised a hand again. “I must explain now.”
Crossing the kitchen she retrieved her pie and gave it a sour look. It was mostly a purple puddle. Setting it down, she took up a stool.
“You cannot read my mind, my Lady, for I have much you cannot know, not yet. For that I am sorry. But know that I harbor none in this Valley any ill will. Things simply must be as they will be.”
She picked up her spoon and tried a bit of the boysenberry soup.
“Luthien, I am sorry that you cannot see me, this too must be. I know you will never be comfortable around me for this reason, I can accept that.”
Joy sighed. “I knew I’d screw it all up,” she whispered.
“Beloved, I will see you when we return,” Raven said.
“I know where you are going, my Lady but if you are more comfortable there, so be it. I will leave.”
Raven, Luthien and Nicky vanished. Joy closed her eyes and a tear broke to trace a faint line down her cheek.
“I knew it would not matter,” she said to me. “But she MUST NOT read my mind. If she does, too many will die.” Even as she spoke I relayed her words to Raven. “And she will be responsible. It will destroy her, my Lord.”
I took the stool beside her and watched as Marie began work on her pie crusts.
“I think, for a mentalist, it is hard for them to trust anyone without looking into their heads,” I said. “Me? I just read their faces, their body language, and their tone of voice …” I touched the tear streak on her cheek. “Their involuntary responses.”
I saw it building and was ready for the crash. Joy threw herself into my arms, weeping like what she was, a teenage girl. It wasn’t feigned, not the way it shook her, the deep racking sobs were impossible to fake. All I could do was to hug her.
*Raven, you feel what I feel. You are going to have to trust my judgement on this girl.*
*That she is lost, yes, that she came for something, yes, but do I trust her? No.* Raven replied through our link.
Joy became still and limp, and I felt a shift in her breathing. She was asleep.
*She’s asleep,* I told Raven. *I am going to put her down on one of the couches in the Library.*
As I carried her up the steps she barely stirred and when I lay her down, she just rolled over and faced the back of the couch, snoring slightly.
*Father. Mother.* Luthien joined our link. *I know that what she said is true. Mother, you cannot ever read her. That I can see … everything else is too far away.*
*I do not wish to pry deep, only surface for that is how I share my heart with you all,* Raven explained.
And so, Ivy came to live at the Wild Hunt Valley, every bit as much a mystery as Dawn. Though in this case, the odds of her being my daughter were pretty slim.
|Joy controls time, at least to a degree. Her powers are varied and can be startling and quite deadly. She recalls, vaguely, causing some animal that attacked her to age to a point that it turned to dust. It is possible for her to actually make herself look young or older and while she is not really sure exactly how old she is, the age she presents currently is the age she feels is the most natural. This power to affect time enables her to accelerate the body's natural healing to an amazing degree. In this she is even faster at healing than Ghost Archer. She has the ability to step in between nanoseconds of time and act freely for a full minute, subjective time, before she must leave Null Time. She can interact with the normal time world to a degree but that is limited by her strength.|
|Joy is sweet-natured and very matter-of-fact young girl with no idea who she is or how she came to be jumping off a building. All she knew at that time was the she had to jump and Ghost Archer would save her. It worked. She is quite happy in the Valley but has yet to fit in with Archer and Raven's nine plus Dawn. Nicky is seriously frustrated by her ability to avoid every trap he lays or practical joke he tries which delights Aaron. Luthien is very stand-offish with her, possibly because she sees something in the future that bothers her. Ivy tells her 'not to worry, everything will come out right'.|
Created: Wed, 15 Jul 2020 16:35:40
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