When the wind blows like dragon-song in her ears Rogue knows she is suspended in time. At times like this she thinks of her mother. She remembers her first awareness of being in the womb. The knowledge of her mission.
And she opens her mouth, howling into the wind of the void, the place of stars and darkness. Then, with the same pain of passage she experienced in the birth canal she spills herself out into the bathroom of the 1369 Coffee House where the Frankenstein is emptying 20 bags of the Bat, the strongest heroin in the Boston area, into his blackened cooker. The monster is crying.
He turns as he senses the intrusion. A beautiful young woman with massive thumbs on each hand is uncurling her body as he watches. Her eyes peer directly into his. They are wet also, a dark brown coloured iris. The Frankenstein is falling, dropping into her eyes. She reaches out and rests her hand on his arm and sorrow, a yearning, a great remorse spills out of her into him. He is stunned by the intensity of it and stares at her in wonder. Her affliction is at least equal to his own.
The Rogue tugs the Frankenstein gently into her arms. The creature feels himself falling, falling towards white space. His head is spinning. His heart trip-hammers in his chest and then, suddenly, he feels a great peace permeate his entire being. It takes a minute for him to realize he is crying.
“What have you done to me?” the Frankenstein asks.
Rogue smiles. “I opened you up to the other place. The place inside you, but outside you. I cleared your cord. Your human creators could do many things when they made you, but they never were able to do this.”
“Christ, I’m not even dope-sick anymore.”
Rogue threw her head back as she exploded with laughter.
“Ssshhh,” she said as she touched his lips with her finger. “No one is supposed to know who I am.”
At that moment the air in the bathroom of the 1369 Coffee House turned grey, the smell of ash filled the air, and Ar Lain Ta stepped through the closed door. His aura bathed them in the stench of ancient opium dens, the petals of poppies fell about them, and the sound of wind chimes rang in the distance in a way that made time begin to flicker.
Rogue snapped her fingers once, then twice. The flickering ceased, the smell of opium remained.
“You can change some things Rogue,” said Ar Lain Ta, “but not all things.”
The Frankenstein stepped toward the smaller man and lightning flashed out from under the Oriental’s eye patch. Ar Lain Ta grinned and the diamonds in his teeth began to flash.
“No, not now gentle creature,” Rogue said as she touched the Frankenstein. “Then he wins. His victory shall not come today.”
“But it will come,” Ar Lain Ta hissed. “Even the fact that you do not do what you were created for plays into my hands.”
“Never mind what I was made for,” snapped the Rogue. “There are some things even the Gods fail to take into account. I’m a product of the limitless, selfless love of one man for a woman.* * When the Eumenides arrived at the scene of the accident — well, who knew?”
Frankenstein watched the exchange. Suddenly he realized he had twenty bags of junk in the cooker. He picked up the cooker and turned it upside down over the toilet and then broke his needle and syringe into small pieces.
“No more,” he said as he stared at Ar Lain Ta. Then he turned to the Rogue and said, “Thank you for releasing me from bondage.”
Ar Lain Ta sneered. “You’ll be back, you forlorn creature. All this time you’ve yearned for death. Heroin brings you closer to death than anything.”
“I have one more card in my thumb,” said the Rogue to the Frankenstein, and she poised her hand to snap once more.
“Wait,” said Ar Lain Ta, “I have one more thing to say.”
“Shall we indulge the Imp of Plants,” Rogue said as she turned to the monster, “and hear him out before we leave?”
Frankenstein smiled warmly at the Rogue and nodded his head.
“Listen,” was what Ar Lain Ta said.
A sudden wind blew open the bathroom door. Outside the door the Troll sat in his wheelchair, a curled grin on his face, his one good eye beaming, a tiny bit of spittle running down his grizzly chin.
“I wondered what was taking so long,” whispered the Troll. His voice resembled the sound of stones running down a red-dirt mountainside. “You aren’t the only ones in the world that need to shoot a little umbrella into their receding veins. It’s always raining out here.”
As the trio left the bathroom and the Troll rolled in, they all noticed Moshe Dean. His forehead was resting in his potato-leek soup. His sparse hair floated on top of the liquid in the bowl.