Disclaimer: Characters within are intellectual property of Marvel, non-profit, etc. The Shadowlands, as well as the Oasis, are the brainchild of Alicia McKenzie, and used with her permission. The Shadowlands website is right here: http://jenali.hispeed.com/shadowlands/.
Other characters used, including Ilsa, Rich, Patrick, Amy, and Pam, were created by Alicia, Persephone, or myself (and others). Please ask before using.

Series: This is third in my series set in the Oasis. I recommend reading those before you read this, because some references won't have the same impact, otherwise. The whole Oasis series, stories by both Alicia and myself, can be found here: http://jenali.hispeed.com/shadowlands/oasis.htm

Big heartfelt thank yous: To sevenall and Alicia for the wonderful betas. To Persephone for salvaging a third of it when I lost the whole thing. To Tapestry, Peek, and Ali for ideas and help. To everyone for the CBFFA. To everyone else, in the Corner and otherwise, for the hours of help I've gotten. And to Doqz, for the spellcheck, and being annoying enough that this got finished at all.

Title: In Latin, it means "to wash away, wash to pieces, dissolve, drench, dilute, mix". Also, "to weaken, lessen, impair".

Archiving: Alicia, Luba, go ahead of course :) Anyone else, just ask.

by Lise


It was way too hot, Domino grumbled to herself, and before that it had been too humid, and to top it all off, there was nothing left to drink. Domino made a face when she discovered this, leaning over the bar, and went back to their table with a jug of water.

Patrick looked annoyed. "Tornadoes are not supposed to be stationary. There aren't supposed to be five hundred cyclones in stationary positions over random patches of fucking Oklahoma. That isn't even meteorologically possible."

Domino sighed, rolling sore shoulders back and trying to work the tension out of muscles that were well-abused over the last five days. She answered, "It doesn't matter if it's possible or not. We're home now."

Richard was almost bent double in his chair, and his eyes were half-closed. The boy was getting good with the rifle, bringing down bigger and bigger game. He said, "I want to wash so badly. But I don't know if I can move."

Patrick slapped the kid's shoulder, making Rich wince because of his bruises. Patrick replied, "Oh, don't worry. We're all in the same boat."

Dom stretched her legs out, and then rose slowly, feeling all her joints pop. She looked at the two of them. Patrick was solid, strong, and reliable. Rich was getting there -- stable in the shifts, quick on his feet. He adapted quickly. Neither had any mutations, except Rich's blue skin and Patrick's tendency to eat anything he came across and survive. Dom still wasn't sure whether that was a mutation, though, or just an iron stomach. He had been a Marine at one point, and that might have made the difference.

Rich, too, might not even be a mutant in the strict sense. His whole family was tinged pale blue. Their whole world might be blue -- no reason to think that he was close enough to human that they were even the same species. His mother was thin-lipped and silent most of the time. The little girl was too young to talk. They had been lucky to get this far, but so far only Rich was thriving.

Patrick waved at Ilsa, who was busy doing rounds and checking on the population of the Oasis like she did every afternoon. She came over, and leaning on his elbow and tilting his head, he asked her, "Is there anything I can do to make your day a little easier, Ilsa honey?"

She smiled at him patiently, shook her head, and answered the same way she always did. "No, Patrick, but if there is, you'll be the first one I call."

It was their little ritual. Domino smiled a bit. Things seemed almost... normal, today. The hunt had been successful, and they had brought back three medium sized antelopes -- of some kind. They were an odd mix of bluish-gray, with three horns, but they were fresh meat. She glanced out the doorway into the 'roadway' -- a rough dirt track -- and saw a couple of kids running around with a basket of blue apples. A dog was even taking a nap under the tree a little ways away.

Things seemed very domestic.

Following the track towards the alleyway behind the bar, Domino shuffled her feet, almost glad of the chance to keep her pace slow. Boredom hit goddamned easily here, but once and a while, she just needed a break.

She came to the end of the track, right near the beehives. Mikhail flew past her, in a dead-out run, being chased by Tanya, Rich's baby sister. He skidded to a halt right before the shift wall. She started to yell, 'wait!' but it was too late.

He fell through.

Leaping to the boundary, Domino shouted, "Ilsa! Patrick! Mikhail's gone!" She took a breath, and prepared to plunge herself through after him -- when he popped back inside again, soaking wet.

Too shaken up to stop from yelling at him, Dom demanded, "What the hell happened, Mikhail?! What were you doing!"

His face was a little scared. "I'm sorry -- we were playing and Tan was it and so I had to run... I didn't mean to. I don't play near here because you say not to. I don't."

She tried to calm down, momentary panic abating somewhat. Then she noticed he was dripping water on the dry dirt. "Mik, what on earth did you find out there?"

He wrung his sleeve out, chubby little fingers shivering a bit. "Oh, there was a storm."

She said carefully, "A storm." He nodded. Trying to sound calm, keeping the concern out of her voice, she continued, "What kind of storm?"

He looked up at her. "Oh. A biiiig one. There were trees flying around, and lightning hit this house."

"It must have been raining pretty hard for you to have gotten soaking wet in just those few seconds."

Mikail grinned at her, exclaiming, "Oh, it was raining alright! But I got wet cause I fell in the water."

"Water?" Dom suspected her voice was sounding a little more concerned. She couldn't help it.

"Oh yeah!" he replied, shaking off more droplets. "The whole field was flooded. It looked like the whole earth was flooded! You better tell everyone else not to go over there. They'll get wet."


continued >>

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