This chapter has been updated and revised as of July - 25 - 2020; chapters 1 - 5 will be revised and edited before new chapters are created.

PROLOGUE

There are things in this world that can't be explained, things that paranormal investigators look into and explore to protect families - the everyday person. Victims. They are just barely scratching the surface of what they don't yet understand; barely dipping their toes into this other world. They see it through a thin sheet of glass, too scared to look beyond it, too scared to shatter it and dive fully into the unknown. Probably for the better - most of them would likely drown, biting off more than they can chew from things that would happily chew them.

Evil, darkness, madness…. Magic…. It all ties within the paranormal world, stringing through it like a sewing needle with a blood-stained thread, like a warning that no one wants to acknowledge. Its thread spreads its roots into the ground of the land and works its way into people's souls, tempting them by disguising darkness as light, hate as love. Necromancers are born through that thread; voodoo, dark ritual magic, it all stems from it and breeds more darkness.

The darkness is spreading too fast, crawling its way into magic users across the world - across the dimensions - creating problems on world-ending proportions. It's effecting things on a more domestic level too; on a level that doesn't catch the eye of most heroes.

She's seen the headlines. A man murdered his family in Amity, Ohio, using an ax to kill them in their sleep. A farmer in Nebraska killed ten teen girls before he was discovered. Several serial killers making their way through Europe. More in Australia. Drug and turf wars spreading through South America. It's subtle, but it's there in the really violent acts. People who claim to have no memory of what they've done, some saying the devil made them do it. Demon possessions - demons without possession. Some cases even her dad worked on personally. Some she was even present for.

That violence seeps into the soil and breeds a level of violence that attracts things on a more paranormal level - things that don't belong here in this realm. Things that normal paranormal investigators aren't ready for when they're still filming chairs moving in the middle of the night or waiting hours for a toy car to cross the room.

She doubts that she's ready for it, but she's not scared of it. Unafraid of drowning in it, it's everything she was raised for - everything she grew up with. So she is going to at least try her damn best. Nowadays, her father is doing God-knows-what, probably pissing off the wrong types of people and creatures, but hopefully helping with some world threat or another. The more she thinks about it, the more she believes that he's just passed out in some bar on the other side of the galaxy. Uncle Jason won't be any help, but at least with him, she knows that he's tracking down some world threat or dark force. Likely has his hands full doing it too.

But at least she knows that they have the bigger threats covered in their dimension; she can't help but worry for others. Worry for the ones that have never had the same sort of world-ending crises with heroes to stop it. The ones that lack heroes. The ones that are full of everyday people trying to get by. She knows that she can be that hero - somewhere deep in her bones. Maybe not the righteous type of hero, maybe not even the biggest or strongest one, but she can be a hero to those who need her.

So she steps through the portal into another dimension, knowing that she's fully on her own, but thankful that at the very least it's a parallel earth. Different - with a lack of tight-wearing heroes in the news and world threats, but familiar - normal. At least on the surface. Just like her world, she can feel the darkness breeding under her feet. The energy creeping through the air of monsters and demons and ghouls. Now that's familiar.

A loud crash comes from behind her, causing her to jump and turn swiftly to see a familiar spirit looking at her sheepishly, a broken vase shattered on the floor. Almost on my own.

"This is the last time I ask a spirit to help me move," she groans, rubbing her temples, "I told you not to touch anything breakable. That vase could've had some trapped spirit or force inside of it. Breaking it could have released some awful evil upon the world that cannot be banished, only contained."

Boston blinks blankly and looks down at the vase, kicking it with his foot - which doesn't do much, being a spirit, his foot goes through its remains. Jen steps forward to start picking up the pieces, looking over each one with a furrowed brow.

"Did it?"

She turns over to show a sticker on the bottom of one of the pieces with a relieved sigh.

"No, I got this one one sale. But my point remains - I think that something is trapped in that one."

She jabs her thumb toward the unmoving, small red jar on the shelf behind her.

"You think," Boston balks, his eyes wide before he glances at the other vases that are placed throughout the room - unsure and untrusting. He does a double take at the blue tall one near the door that moves.

Jen doesn't seem nearly as concerned as he is, even as he points at the vase that periodically wiggles. She shrugs, uncaring, and just points toward the salt circle around it, inferring that he has nothing to worry about despite his insisting otherwise. She instead focuses on the shattered store-bought (and safe) vase with a frown. She waves her hands, sigils forming in the air around each finger as a purple magic-infused wind sweeps up the remains for her and brings them back together to form the original vase.

She meticulously looks it over and makes a satisfied nod when she sees no signs of the damage that occurred. She sets it on its rightful shelf as Boston watches her with a tired expression, floating a few inches off the ground as he crosses his legs.

"If you can do that, Jennykins, I don't see why you need any help -" He catches her expression and crinkles his nose, "Yeah, yeah, I know, you like to use the traditional way of things, but come on, a little magic ain't ever hurt nobody. You already use it to fix everything you break."

She crosses her arms against her chest, "One, don't call me Jennykins. It's Jen. Just Jen. Two, everything you break and that's what magic does. It's supposed to fix things, not make you too lazy to do anything yourself. Besides, magical cancer and all that shit ring any bells? Too much of anything is bad for you - magic included."

He snorts, "Maybe you should tell ya father that."

"Yeah," she raises a brow, "And how do you suppose I do that? Through the cell he never answers, the emails he never reads, or a summoning he banishes before it can even work?"

Boston scratches at his head with an expression on his face that tells her that he knows that she's right. She nods triumphantly and turns her back to him to continue rearranging furniture. A new office isn't easy work between the furniture, the jewels, gemstones, warding, and plants. It's a lot of damn work. The good news is that at least she's almost done. Two more boxes of artifacts sit against the wall, a few paintings and artwork lay beside them. Freshly potted plants aline the window sill and there's multiple plants hanging from the ceiling. Incenses and essential oils burn in a container on a shelf, filling the room with peaceful aromas.

"You didn't have to follow me to this place, you know. For all I knew, this could have been some weird apocalyptic dimension or something." She opens the last two remaining boxes, with a flourishing swipe of a box knife. "It's not as if you're bound to me or anything. You have free will and a hunger for justice to fill."

"I think you just answered your own question, baby cakes. I am not prepared to leave you by yourself. No way, no how, sweetcheeks."

Boston lingers behind her, causing the hairs on the back of her neck to stand on end, "Besides you tend to find all of the tormented souls anyway. You take care of helping them move on and I get to bring their killers to justice. It's a win-win."

Jen rolls her eyes, but doesn't deny his logic as she begins setting out different artifacts from the boxes on one of the bookshelves. She pays careful attention to their markings and intent, not wanting to mix anything that shouldn't be mixed. She already burned the entire area with sage, cleansing absolutely everything so the artifacts' energy won't be affected by any lingering negativity within the shelves' wood or the air. Pink himalayan salt sits in a shell on the table in the center of the room to soak up any negativity that may enter. The wards that have been set make her bare feet tingle, knowing that they are working properly. Salt lines the windows, hidden by potted plants. There's a small break in a salt line at the door so Boston can go and leave as he pleases, but he knows that when the office is locked, the line will be filled in.

She may not always know what she's doing, but she's not stupid enough to let Boston have free-range of any artifacts in the office.

"I'm still surprised Blood let you have this."

Boston admires one of stones,, his hand reaching out to touch it, eyes wide as saucers. She slaps his hand away. He looks at her with a stunned, hurt expression, holding his hand to his chest as it sizzles. She gives him her best no duh expression as she lifts her right hand at him, particularly the middle finger - a double ring shines brilliantly, reflecting off sunlight that comes in through the opened window. He recoils at the sight.

"I'm offended you think you need that for me. I'm wounded, Jen, wounded."

Her grin turns devilish, "The Clairsentient, the only ring made by some god or another who got tired of Hades' shit and decided that they should be able to touch spirits too. Little did they know, it would prove to be one of the most effective method on scolding annoying pests."

"But it burns," Boston whines, but he won't be gaining any sympathy.

"Visit Hell, then you can complain about burning." He grumbles touche at her comment as she sighs, "In the meantime, your help is much appreciated in shelving these volumes of Muse. And Boston -"

She gives him a pointed look, waving toward the direction of the stone that oozes atrocious energy, "Don't touch it. In fact, don't touch anything. I have one rule - follow it."

She taps on the sign that she just finished putting up on the wall. Sitting in a nice frame is a beautifully embroidered piece, full of flowers that reads Don't Fucking Touch Anything. Boston sheepishly shrugs, scratching at the back of his neck as he makes his way toward his assigned task, muttering curses under his breath and making a few choice expressions at her behind her back.

It takes three minutes of working on shelving the books before he finally stops grumbling under his breath - he gives up trying to possess her to change her mind, but a quick kick to the shin got him to stop. She's worked with her father for years, but Boston is the real reason she's thankful for the Clairsentient. She glances around the magical artifacts in the room - the various stones and gems, the shield with ancient ruins that hang on the wall, the haunted doll on a table contained by an enchanted glass dome, various vases that contain various things. The list is essentially endless, especially combined with the extensive book collection of various magics - ancient, modern, and warding. She thinks that she got it all covered and a few hours later, she can't help but feel a sense of pride of what's been accomplished.

Everything looks beautiful and the room feels light and warm. The plants add a touch of life that balances everything out. The desk, filing cabinets, bookcases, shelves, are all a reminder that it's an office.

Her office. That's a lot to take in. She was thrilled to know that this parallel earth has the same currency rates - including the same type of interest in gold. The gold she brought along with her was enough to pay for everything and even as she filled out the paperwork to buy the building, she debated long and hard about what the name of her new agency should be called.

She can't exactly use her last name, it would just be a big bright neon sign to everything magical in the entire dimension that hey I'm right here. Not exactly helpful when her goal is to help all the people suffering from the magical, mystical, and paranormal.

Boston has tried to give several name suggestions, but all were turned down when a majority were more suited for a more adult workplace. It took a long time for her to settle on Lifetower. She may or may not have heard of the Watchtower from her father and decided to stick to the theme. She may as well considering that no one here would be able to put the pieces together anyway.

"Jennygirl, it's past your bedtime," Boston chimes and she turns to see him pointing toward the clock, "We should probably head out. It's getting pretty late."

She resists the urge to correct him on the fact that since she is an adult, and on her own, she doesn't have a bedtime, but a yawn overpowers it. He is right, it is late. She nods sleepily and follows him out of the room, barely remembering to grab a container of salt to bind the line after she left. She turns off the lights, makes it through the doorway, about to finish the salt line, when her eyes look through the dark office at the rocks that stand out against the shadows - she chooses to swallow down her annoyance at the shadows that seem to move across the wall.