A Lost Sister (Sins of the Father Prelude)

Summary:
November 1, 2014: Lorna receives mysterious letters from someone that claims to be her sister. But she is a single child… or not?

New York


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:


‘Dear sister,’ that is how the handwritten letter began. It followed an explanation about how this woman from Argentina recently found out she was adopted and went on investigating her real parents. Apparently her hired PI found out she had been born in this hospital and that she was Lorna’s twin sister. There are even printed copies of the birth certificate that prove she was born there from Lorna’s parents. Of course Lorna never heard of this, and… it makes little sense. Her parents weren’t the type to give up a child, they had money and they raised her fine until their untimely deaths.

The documentation seems genuine, though. The letter is signed by someone called Zala.

'Dear sister'? Who starts a letter with 'Dear sister'? Outside of Downton Abbey and other period dramas that Lorna would never admit to watching, anyway. Even if she does. Late at night. In one of the lesser-used sitting rooms at the Xavier Mansion, so she's not disturbed. Whatever. In any case, Lorna isn't a character on Downton Abbey, and as she scans the somewhat crumpled letter yet again, she does so with a deepening frown.

A sister she's never heard of? That sounds… unlikely. Not to mention suspicious. Lorna's half expecting to find a request for money buried somewhere in the letter, but no. Just the equally crumpled copy of the birth certificate, and a PO Box to reply to. That adds to Lorna's caution. Not even a proper address for her 'dear sister' to reply to? Lorna's been an X-Man, off and on, for a while. She's survived her fair share of traps and kidnappings. It's made her reluctant to take too much on faith. But… there IS the birth certificate. Lorna skims the letter again and sighs. She's not going to be able to ignore it, even though she probably should. Folding the letter back up, she stuffs it into the back pocket of her jeans, making a vague mental note to get her address updated now she's actually staying here long term, and goes to find her coat.

A short time later, and Lorna's standing at the enquiry desk of the hospital where, as far as she knows, she was born. And where, if the letter's to be believed, her sister was also born. Feeling very much out of place and in no small measure like an idiot, Lorna waits her turn to see the receptionist. Finally getting to the front of the queue, she spreads the birth certificate out on the desk and tries her most winning smile. "Um." She begins. "I was wondering if there's any way you could tell me if this is genuine?"

There is certainly something fishy going on. The hospital staff confirms the certification is genuine, they double check. It is in their computers, they got it all digital a few years after Lorna was born. However, they don’t do copies like this anymore. They have printers, they have for 20 years.

The copy is genuine, but it was made 24 years ago! And this means the PI story in the letter is likely false.

There is more, though. There is no records whatsoever of Lorna’s sister. She was born (Zala Dane would be her name) and the next day vanished and was forgotten. No records of anyone being given to an orphanage, or being given vaccines or even existing past the very day of birthday.

Lorna's a little surprised that the receptionist tells her anything other than 'go away', but she's not going to turn down the help that's offered. Unfortunately, she's left with more questions than she started with. She'd been prepared for the whole thing to be fake, and had almost been hoping that it was - link to her birth parents or not, the idea of finding out she has a sister now can only complicate her life - but that part is (apparently) true, which might not be all bad. Except her 'long lost sister' has waited until now to contact her, and has done so with a lie. And also, 'Zala Dane'? That sounds a lot more exotic than 'Lorna Dane'. Maybe Lorna needs to have a talk with her aunt and uncle about what they know about all this…

No. Lorna decides, perhaps irrationally, that she's not going to drag them into this. Not yet. If this is a part of her past that should remain buried, then she's going to find out and make sure it stays that way. Besides… she's loath to admit it, but the idea of having a sister is… intriguing.

Even so, she's not going to jump on a plane to Argentina right now. Particularly since she doesn't speak Spanish. She can imagine how well that wouldn't go. Instead, she decides as she leaves the hospital, she's just going to have to write back. Polite, a little guarded… but open to the idea of a meeting. If her 'dear sister' has anything to hold over her, it's better that way.

Three weeks later there is another letter. This one includes a small picture of Zala. If any of Lorna's friends would see it, they would conclude Lorna bleached her green hair black and took a selfie. There are a few differences, though. Zala's hair is not just black, it is also curlier. Are her eyes green? They seem darker. She also seems pretty serious, almost stern. Intense.

The letter says little but hints much. Zala seems to hint there is some important secret in their family, claims she knows about Lorna powers and to be a mutant herself. There is a plane ticket to Buenos Aires, and then another for a town south of Argentina. From there Lorna would take a boat to Marguerite Bay, in the Antarctic. Also paid.

Zala wants Lorna to use her powers to fly about two hundred miles inland, past the Eternity Mountain Range, to a place in the middle of the Antarctic Peninsula!

Three weeks is a long time to wait for a reply, and Lorna had started to wonder if she was going to get one, or whether the whole thing was some kind of elaborate joke. In fact, by the time the letter finally did arrive, the whole incident had begun to seem quite unreal to Lorna.

The picture, though. That was a shock. So close to what she sees in the mirror every morning, if not for the hard look in the eyes that stare back at her from the picture. It's an odd choice for someone professing to be welcoming, and it adds to Lorna's unease, prompting her to check that the photo was what it purported to be. She might not be an expert in photo-analysis, but at the X-Mansion, you can generally find someone with whatever skill-set you need, however exotic… and the photo doesn't appear to have been tampered with.

The letter itself is as unsettling as the picture. Whoever this woman really is, sister or not, she seems to know too much about Lorna, more than she's comfortable with, at least, and the hints that she's hiding something more? First impressions do count, and Lorna's not getting a great first impression of 'Zala'. It doesn't incline her to trust that the plane and boat tickets will get her somewhere she really wants to go, and as for the final destination? Lorna feels like she's about to enter the Twilight Zone, and has this one chance to step back from a course she might regret.

But she knows, despite her unease, despite her common sense arguing against it, that she's not going to be able to leave this alone. She's going to have to follow up on it. All the way to Antarctica if need be. "You're an idiot. Don't do this." She says the words softly to herself as she scans the letter, then shakes her head, her green hair swaying with the sharp movement. "You ARE an idiot." She tells herself as the decision is made. She'd hoped that, if need be, she'd be able to surprise her 'sister' with her mutant powers, but that's out of the question now. "Time to find out who ELSE is an idiot in this place." She says, a bit of resolve firming up as she folds the letter away, and goes to see who she can talk into taking a vacation to the bottom of the world.

(emits by Magneto)


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