The Bitter Road - Capitulo 1

Chapter 1: Victoria - The Magician

"The Magician is a person with many talents. As an alchemist and transformer, he epitomizes the ability to translate ideas into action. It represents possession of power and influence, cunning and diplomacy. It can also represent trickery or a sly person waiting to play others.

Reversed, it represents too much communication, someone too intellectual, manipulative and insecure. It can represent too the use of one’s skills for destructive ends, as well as deception or power used for evil causes."

“Can a magician kill a man by magic?” Lord Wellington asked Strange.
Strange frowned. He seemed to dislike the question. “I suppose a magician might,” he admitted, “but a gentleman never could.”’

- "Stephen Strange & Mr. Norrel", by Susan Clarke

"Knowledge is power. Power corrupts. Study hard -- be evil."
- Camila Montenegro


Victoria twirled the rectangular piece of cardboard in her hands, thoughtfully. She flipped the card up and studied the old bright colours and the scene it depicted: a man holding a wand, while pointing at the ground. The Magician. Touching both heaven and earth at the same time -- which was a pretty accurate definition of her status as a mage.

That card had been the first gift her Quaesitor mentor had given her: it was supposed to represent her and the journey in front of her... whatever that meant. With a sigh, she put it back in the small box that contained all the things that were important to her. Despite her status as the heiress to the Ashley-Croft fortune, she was a firm believer in owning as little property as possible. She had things, many things, pretty baubles, expensive trinkets, but she didn't "own" them. They were unimportant -- if she had to, she'd leave them behind without a second thought:

"Own too many things and soon they start owning you."

She smiled to herself as she remembered the words of her mentor and looked around. There were happy shouts from down the hall, sounds of rushing feet, and cries of joy as the other students of her year greeted their last day and welcomed family, relatives and friends that came to see their graduation ceremony. A soft smile came to Victoria's lips: her mother had been called in an emergency involving some incident in London and her father was locked at the hospital, working around the clock to save some guy who had only hours to live, while Andy had gotten himself into an accident, and now her twin brother and her nephew sat at a public hospital, waiting for the child to be looked at -- Bastian hated to be associated with his father, so he'd go out of his way not to find anyone related to his work; therefore,she had nobody to come watch her claim her degree, but she didn't mind-- she enjoyed the tranquility and also it was a good reminder of what she was. That she was different.

One thing she had learned while living in New York City was that there are so many people, so strange, races, cultures, that nobody was actually alone or "different" in their role in life.

That was.... except for her. And people like her.

There were many magic users s in New York. None was like her. And even if the whole Order of Hermes was in the city with her, she would still be as alone and different. Each Mage walks a path that they must walk alone.

Always alone.

From the box sitting on her knews, she withdrew another of her treasures, the first book she had owned: the Adventures of Alice in Wonderland. She opened the book at random and read a passage, which surprisingly seemed fitting to what her life was turning into.

After checking her watch, she shut the book and chuckled. How very appropriate that was -- how very refreshing compared to the graduation speech she had been conned into giving: top of her class, heiress, and society celebrity, she really should have seen it coming. She shoved the book into her box and stood up. Show time. This step of her life was over and it was time for her to give the next step.

As she walked to the improvised stage where all of her classmates were sitting, looking to the large number of parents and friends and relatives sitting in the audience, she smiled slowly: how could all of them lead those boring little lives of them? How could they live on without the magic, the wonder, the uncertainty? How could they sleep when a world of wonders paraded in front of them?

She looked over the sea of strange faces in front of her, tossed the paper where she had written the boring, proper and average speech people were supposed to give in those ocasions behind her, and pulled her book out of the box. She opened it where she had opened it before, and read:

"But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
`Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: `we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.'
`How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.
`You must be,' said the Cat, `or you wouldn't have come here.'

She closed the book, and stepped down, watching as the audience tried to make sense of her actions and words.

Let those who have ears listen.

Those who don't, may they enjoy their tranquil slumber with dreams of white picket fences and 2.5 kids.

She? She was having too much damn fun to go back to sleep.