Awakening (Part Two)

May 01, 2016:

Sometimes it takes a dream to make you see.

Giizhigong

A vast canyon in the boundless spiritual plane of the Native American Deities.

Characters

NPCs: Old Man Coyote

Mentions: Lichbane, Fenris

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It's a dream, she thinks as she looks around. Standing alone on the edge of a steep cliff, one so wide and deep she can't see the bottom, nor what's on the other side.. The last thing Jes remembers is the clearing in Delaware. The battle against the Wraith's, Timat. Timat had attempted to take Walker and she'd.. Reacted. "Oh. Oh Walker..what have I done?"

"Getting to be a habit with you, isn't it? I've been a thief a time or two.. " The Old Man's voice is full of amusement, the word left unspoken but implied (thousand.) Perhaps, hundreds of thousands. With him, she never knows. Her Father is as old as the Universe, maybe older. Honestly, Jes doesn't really want to know the truth. He'd given her a taste of all that eternity not so long ago and she suspects it might take just that long to fully recover from the experience.

"But stealing souls?" Coyote eyes his offspring with a raised brow. "I didn't.. Just one. Kind of. He's still alive!" Jes steps back, a small step, wary of the ledge, her voice defensive and slightly panicked. "Yeah, that's true and you didn't plan this one, I know. The others though, you did. That white boy dies, you're gonna come runnin' regardless of what he decided, aren't ya? And that little trip you're trying to work out? Think I didn't know about that, hmm?" Jes flushes and gasps. She'd scarcely even thought about that second thing, too risky, too worried he or someone else would figure it out and stop her before she's done what she needs.. Okay, wants, to do.

"When have I ever stopped you?" Another raised brow, but this time Jes answers with a growl. "The warehouse." The Old Man seems to consider this. At least she isn't blaming him for the last boy, though that might not be the improvement he's hoping for. "Was it you I stopped? Really? Or was it-" "Fine!" Jes growls again and turns away. Her thoughts are whirling storm, random and unfocused and entirely unhelpful. She isn't sure just what it is she's done, what the consequences will be, nor has she been willing to face what she'd been considering before this and how it doesn't fit. This isn't what her people do. This isn't what their Gods do! Not even a shaman would claim the souls of the dead, let alone the living, as their own. Not a proper shaman. Communicate with them, control them if necessary, yes. But this.. This is something else entirely.

Despite being raised at least in part, by an Elder shaman of her tribe, Jes has never been entirely comfortable with the mystical side of her heritage. Even with her very nature, she'd always focused on the physical side of things. It's part of the reason she's been so slow to learn any real magic since her Awakening. Even Fen's urging and her own natural curiosity haven't been enough to get her to do more than the bare necessity and saying that would be reaching a bit. She's always seen herself as a hunter, a fighter. Born survivor, that's what she is. It's also true that whatever has happened, whatever she's been thrown into, Jes has always adapted to fit the situation. It's what coyotes do and that is a big part of what she is too. A mystic though? If this could even be called that.. It's not a path she'd ever imagined taking, or finding herself on. Standing here now, considering it, slowly, Jesana turns back around and eyes her Father.

"It's not even.. This isn't how they do things. It's not how anyone good anywhere does things! You don't take your friend's souls. You don't take them period unless you're some kind of monster!" The Old Man smiles. "Is that what the Necromancer is?" "No!" A snarl and Jes steps forward and jabs a finger at her Father's chest. "He is not! It wasn't his fault or his choice! He does the best he can with the mess that was thrust upon him and.." She trails off as the sound of his laughter echoes around them. "Isn't that what you've done? I know this is what you fear, becoming the monster yourself. Why do you think power will be the cause? Mastering your abilities, discovering what those abilities even are, that would only lead to further control, don't you think?" Jes glowers, then frowns, and finally, just regards her Father with puzzlement. She can't find any fault in that logic but why does he seem to be encouraging this path? It doesn't make sense and even if it did, there's still the reason. "Even if that's true.. It still matters why. I didn't do it to save him, and I wouldn't be doing it to save the rest of them."

"Well why then? Do you plan to eat those souls, feed on them? Maybe torture 'em for shits and giggles?" Jes gapes at The Old Man and flails her arms in surprise before reacting in anger and attempting to punch the smug grin right off his face. Rolling his eyes, Coyote simply pops away and back up behind her. "No then, I'm guessing. So you'd be saving them, in part anyway. So what is the reason? Why risk the torment of another trip into that Christian Hell? It wouldn't hold you forever if you got caught but they can still mess you up girl. Or have you forgotten how the damage to your soul was acquired in the first place? That wraith battle did not do you any favors you know, your self control is gonna be shit for awhile." For a several long moments Jesana doesn't answer, doesn't even turn around. She's too pissed off to think about anything other than throwing him over the side of the damned cliff if she could manage to be fast enough to catch him. Not likely. Twice in the past year she did catch her Father off guard. Twice more than has happened in Milenia, not something she''ll be able to succeed at again anytime soon. Or far, for that matter. Finally, using every slow breathing technique she can think of, as well as some very creative mental image therapy, Jes calms enough to answer.

"Because they don't deserve to be there and to Hell with anyone that thinks they do. God or Angel or Demon, I don't care. I'll fight them all for what's mine and maybe, maybe they aren't really mine but they were, for a time and that's enough for me. I've lost so many that I loved and I know I'll lose more. Despite what you showed me, I know what I want. I understand what Fenris meant now, I do. I'm still going for it. I won't always be able to save the people that matter to me and I probably won't even always be able to change their fate, but when I can, well then why shouldn't I?!" Jes whirls back around, brown eyes flashing, voice crackling with demand as she stares at her Father.

The Old Man watches his Daughter, his own eyes glinting with a secret grin. "Who are you?" Jesana raises her brows, not the answer she'd expected. "What the hell kind of dumbass question is that? You know-" He shakes his head. "Who are you?" A sigh of annoyance. "Jesa-" "WHO are you?" Again. "Your Dau-" "WHO ARE YOU." WHO. WHO. WHO. ARE YOU." The rock beneath her feet shakes from the force of the words sounding around them. "COYOTE. I'm COYOTE." She screams, first in anger and then again, as realisation hits. "Coyote. Coyote's Daughter. I am Coyote's Daughter and for good or ill I do as I Will." The Old Man nods once. "And what do you will?"

This time the moment doesn't draw on in anger or annoyance or confusion, it simply pauses. Time, in this place, for this minute, slows, hovers, poised and waiting for the decision being made. How long the two stand there as she thinks, Jes doesn't know. No one save perhaps THe Old Man ever will. She might be more inclined to the darkness right now than her nature would otherwise be, but that will pass with time so long as she doesn't succumb to it. Her fate unlike so many others, is her own. Whatever else Jes is, has been, or might yet be, always, she's her Father's Daughter and won't, can't, ever change though everything else about her may.

So no, Jes realizes, this isn't the path a Shaman would take. It isn't the path any of her people, would likely take. It's a path all her own, if she chooses to make it. Not take, no. It will be something new, something different entirely. She doesn't fit the mold because there never was one for her. The usual rules don't apply because if she can't break them then she can bend them. Or find a way around. Slowly her eyes track back up and meet The Old Man's.

Again, no confusion as she considers him. She'd thought that what he wanted from her was a new line. A chance at bringing back the old ways that have been lost. Isn't that why he's refused to help in the current battle to save the earth from the World Serpent? If Mankind falls he can usher in a return of all that used to be. Herald another time for him and his kind here on Earth. His kind, not hers, not entirely. She's the child of two worlds, and none. Belonging to neither, searching for her own place, not just in the grand scheme of things but, her own place period. Where does she fit? How does she fit? Coyote, Human, God, Native American, Daughter, Sister, Mother, Lover, Friend, Protector, Hunter, Killer, Survivor, Soultorn, Ardent Worshipper of a Nordic God most others fear or hate. I am all of these things and more. I am Me. Does it matter where I fit then? Not right now. I know who I am. I know what I want. The rest can come later, and if it doesn't then maybe when I'm ready I'll make my own place. My own Way. She smiles, and returns her Father's nod. Maybe there will be a day when he get's what he wants, if that truly ever was what he wanted in the first place. Today he's got what he has, her and for the first time since her Awakening, Jesana is truly awake. This time the laughter ringing out over the canyon comes from two voices.

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