Esther Bauer

Esther Bauer

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Esther Bauer is a half-mad half-ghost obsessed with the secret meanings of reflections and prophecy. As drawn to the unknown as she is terrified of it, Esther feels at odds with herself, an explorer lost at sea.

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Here is a stern figure in pale hunting gear. Grey streaks her bunned hair and something other than years has worn creases into her face. She’s hunched over the ruins of a machine, some cobalt red-eyed sphere-thing that’s been split open like an egg and has coughed a maze of wires and delicate plastic upon the floor. She brushes her broken arrow aside and sifts through the remains like she’s lost something, although she’s never seen a creature quite like this one. Her eyes are wild. Sometimes her fingers pass straight through a piece she wants to move, and when this happens she hisses surprise or frustration but doesn’t try to move the piece again.

The rustling of machine detritus goes quiet. There is a second of hesitation, then she snatches up her bow, scatters the dead parts with a boot, and runs. Like a haruspex with a sacrifice she’s seen something in the guts of the automaton, a warning in the arc of its ruined pieces or the guttering light of its eye, an omen in her reflection glinting upon cracked sensors.

Known by some in the Community as the half-ghost woman, Esther has a reputation for disappearing. Sometimes her quarters empty overnight, other times she vanishes practically mid-sentence—still others Esther’s slipped, over days, into a spectral between-state until she is seen and heard only as though through some heavy veil and, finally, not at all. Used to unexplained strangenesses, most in the Community regard this as the unfortunate vagaries of an otherwise decent, if forceful, spirit.

She has coexisted with the Community in this way for countless cycles. According to her own tally she is some 30-odd corporeal years old, but there are none now who remember her birth. In these past few cycles her condition has begun to stabilise, and she finds herself arriving at some measure of control.

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Esther Bauer

Switch Case Chronicles rexx1888