Not-a-Station

uncertainkitten:

(I don’t know yet if this takes place on the Oracle’s universe or not. I think probably. I also don’t know what They are here, can some fae trade one weakness for another? Are there tales of urban fae? Anyway…)

Sometimes, late at night, public transit systems have minor glitches…Sometimes it’s a train when services have long closed, or maybe a slightly off color on a given line (maybe a faded red, almost a pink on a red line), sometimes it’s a train with no lights. It almost never has passengers; it’s worse if it does…worse still if they get off the train. If that happens, it’s best to not acknowledge anything or anyone, and it might already be too late.

As you might have guessed, the train will not take you to any destination the line routes to. If you’re lucky, you might just stop at another part of the subway system, much much sooner than should have been possible given distances. You can get off these trains, but be wary and mindful of detail. All it takes is a misplaced letter, a differently named street, a subtle cue that you’re where you don’t belong to tell you to avoid that stop.

Sometimes, you might end up at the next stop, but things will seem fresher, newer, almost renovated. You know this stop hasn’t had renovations for 30 years; it’s also daylight and people are milling about. Their clothes strike you as a bit off though…you know if you step off here, you might have a long journey back…but at least you know it’ll only take time.

Rarely, though, the train is coming for no one but you, taking you to a place that doesn’t exist. The old courts used enticing paths in the woods, seemingly natural circles of stones with just a bit too much order, a clearing in the dead of night. Now everything is iron and disbelief, so others have taken the traditional roles and adapted, even shaped our modern era. And sometimes they need favors. Unfortunately, if this is your train, it is frowned upon to decline, so you must board.

You know how sometimes a train will stop for no reason in a tunnel, despite no delays and clear traffic ahead? It’s stopping at Not-A-Station, and it’s the only way back if the court chooses you. Maybe it’s early enough, or close enough to the end of the line that the doors can open just for you…the passengers must never be aware, so if someone is in your car, it’s unfortunate; if you’re lucky they may be asleep, if you’re not, they’re awake, and you wait for the next train. The court doesn’t mind, of course…they love giving travelers their hospitality.

Going to Not-A-Station is a generous boon, and not ceded easily. If luck isn’t with you, well, naturally it’s just that you belong more with the court than society. You’ll get used to it. Someone has to drive the trains, and the conductor never gets off.

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