The HyperBorean

“So Cherith welcome back to the show.” Rad Raven said to a round of applause from his audience, next to him sat a petite woman with pristine white hair wearing a blue pastel suit and metallic white dress shirt. She sat with an air of icy calmness as she smiled politely at the host. He in turn simply turned to the crowd and said, “At least she’s still as cool as ever am I right folks?” the crowd cheered and as he laughed his trademark maniacal laugh.

“Thank you Raven, it’s a pleasure to be here if only to check in to make sure you’re not up to your old ways.” Cherith said making sure to keep an eye on the entirely black clad man beside her. “Oh, look!” she said in mock surprise as a picture appeared on the digital window behind them. “Old memories, isn’t that when you tried to hijack the banking servers to filter funds into your own accounts?”

Behind them a photo of raven with a bloody nose and frosted clothing was kneeling before police, with Cherith in full grey and blue pastel costume standing next to him preparing to remove blocks of ice encasing his hands for the police.

Raven’s unflappable smile twitched for a second as he glanced between his guest and the audience. He looked like he was about to protest the hijacking of his show as his feathered hair bristled up a bit, before he smoothed them back with his hand. Finally, he gave a soft chuckle and said, “Wow that does take me back, I mean it’s been like twenty years since I pulled that job, but despite your legendary paranoia I’m not exactly on the most wanted list anymore.” he winked at the audience. They laughed dutifully, knowing that Raven had been a reformed citizen for over fifteen years.

Cherith just sat with the same elegant composure, smiling in a way that held more judgement and confidence than warmth. “I’m sure you think that and I’m honestly glad of the work you’ve done here.” she said gesturing to the television set around them. Then returned her eyes to watch Raven continuing, “However, I’m also aware of the fact that the only reason you’re still sitting in the gilded cage you’ve constructed is because I’ve kept an eye on you, little bird.” she said the last two words as the corner of her mouth curled a little higher.

Raven seemed to notice as well because for the second time he winced and his usually unflappable grin faltered. Then he laughed heartily, “Isn’t she such a kidder ladies and gentlemen!” he mocked. “But if that’s how you feel…” he said, then plucking a feather from his head. It burst into black smoke as he transformed it into a golden ring with a comically large diamond. “Will you marry me?” the crowd burst out laughing as the smile dropped momentarily from Cherith’s face.

She reached out and plucked the ring looking it over with scrutiny. Then with a small smile, “Interesting choice of stone to mock me with, this cut is the same as the batch from the shipment you stole on valentine’s day.”

The smile and facade dropped from Raven’s face as he looked in shock down at the ring, “What?!! Let me see that!” he grabbed the ring back and squinted at it closely before frowning, “Freak coincidence!” he snapped while blushing, the ring vanished into the same dark smoke that had created it. It wasn’t until it evaporated that he seemed to remember that he was hosting a television talk show. His scowl instantly transformed back into his mischievously impeccable grin. “The first and only guest to pry the smile from my face,” he said to the audience earning a round of laughter from the group, who seconds before had been deathly silent from the altercation. “Can I get a round of applause for Cherith here?” he asked as the audience willingly obliged. She stood and bowed her slightly to the crowd as raven shot, “The HyperBorean, my favourite cold-hearted nemesis!”

Another round of laughter broke out and Cherith shook Raven’s hand as she whispered so only he could hear, “Call me cold hearted one more time and freeze yours so you know how it feels!”

Raven nodded quickly and ripped his hand back as soon as she let go. Then as she turned and walked off stage he turned back to the audience hiding his now frostbitten fingers behind his back. “Who knew the HyperBorean was a pillow talker, am I right folks?” he grinned as a line of nervous sweat ran down the left side of his face. “We’re going to cut to commercial but stay tuned after the break for a live conference call with Nathaniel Thompson, aka Crius who is going to tell us about the poetry book he’s been working on after these messages.”

One of the crew yelled “And… We’re clear, five minutes people.” As soon as he heard the word ‘clear’ Raven marched off stage and into his dressing room where a medic was waiting. Then, unheard by the audience, Raven screamed as they quickly began treating his hand. Cherith, who was standing around the corner heard him scream just fine, a slight grin formed on her face but was interrupted by an incoming call with the name ‘King Valor’ attached to it.

She took the call as she said, “Hey hun, you think the frostbite was too much?” as she turned and headed towards the elevators. Raven glaring daggers at her back as she left.

 

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