Atop a stony plateau overlooking the lands of central Idalos, and growing wealthy from the gem stones pulled from the rocky soil, Etzos is a bastion of independence; firm in its belief that man should rule Idalos, not be servants of the vain Immortals who nearly destroyed it. But can the many factions set aside their conflicting agendas and see this through?
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Zi'da 1st, 717
The air was cold and it nipped at the features of the half-breed as she sat on a small rock outside her home. Her expression was twisted in silent contemplating, all of her muscles completely still as her gaze zoned out on an endless sea of pitch that others called night time. Insomnia, nothing new, usually the result of one nightmare or another. The half-breed had them often enough. Her restless mind just adored the idea of tormenting itself, even in her dreams she faced off against the money enemy she feared she would never be able to face. Herself. Such dream scenarios were usually demonizations of past actions on her part, the faces of past foes haunting and blood coated, their eye milky and their bodies bloated. Sometimes she would find herself at the end of death’s scythe, her life slowly bleeding out of her body.
Tonight was different though, something that was obvious enough when it came to her response. These nightmares, they were usually followed by pacing and huffing, her body streaked with cold sweat. She never dared to face night time in those states, instead of staying inside and forcing her fire pit to roar with life. The darkness after dreams like those always made her feel like she was being swallowed. This time was a completely different scenario. This time, she’d woken up somber but somehow relaxed. Well rested, one might have used to describe it. But also sorrowful like mourning something lost. The dream still fresh in her consciousness she had wandered outside slowly and found something not entirely uncomfortable to sit on. It ended up being a flat rock positioned not too terribly far outside of her cave. With that she’d sat in silence, merely pondering thoughts she didn’t often speak out loud, the only light around her being cast by the little glowing band on her arm.
She wasn’t entirely sure how to describe what she’d undergone. It wasn’t an unpleasant dream. By all means, when it left her she hadn’t felt as uncomfortable as she usually felt upon waking up and actually remembering one of her dreams. This dream had been interesting, to say the least.
At the start of the dream, it had been two arcs ago, Vhalar. It was more of a memory than a dream. Standing with Mal and talking. She couldn’t remember what they’d been talking about, but the proud visage of the Hyx had been burned into her mind. As the story progressed people came to take Mal away. She was pretty sure it had been Vuda but she wasn’t entirely certain? She’d seen the man a total of one time and yet somehow her dreams always managed to demonize him. Not important, though. When they’d come to take Mal away the half-breed and the Hyx had tried to fight. Of course, they were trying to fight Etzori fighters who were military trained, and this was two arcs ago so the half-breed in her dream wasn’t’ anywhere near strong. They’d both ended up getting defeated.
The woman had honestly expected the dream to end there, but it didn’t. Dream Mal had made up some elaborate lie about how he used magic to trick her into helping him. For some reason, a judge appeared out of nowhere and decreed that she was innocent, but Mal was not. The scenery had immediately changed into an execution complete with a guillotine. Which was odd. Etzos tended to favor hangings. Besides the point. Before Dream Mal was beheaded he had looked right at the half-breed, smiled (or at least what she thought was a smile), and had quietly said goodbye.
Now, maybe not that long ago the half-breed would have woken up after a dream like that kicking, screaming, and crying loud enough to wake up Storm who ironically enough could sleep through a thunderstorm as long as neither she nor he was in any direct kind of danger. But, when the half-breed woke up, there was only a silent calm that made her entire body feel cloudy and strange. Heavy but at the same time floaty, almost like she was still in a dream state. But she knew she wasn’t, that much she could be certain of. Which left her with a couple questions.
Not knowing what to do the half-breed found her way into her current position, just quietly contemplating the meaning of the dream and the strange effect it had on her. She still felt utterly at peace which would have been eerie if it wasn’t for the strange almost delusion like state she found herself in, a state where nothing seemed to matter and there was a sharp distance between herself and any emotions that popped into her mind. There was nothing distressing about the current situation, which was interesting enough considering that Nightshade was a living ball of anxiety.
She couldn’t figure out for the life of her why Mal’s death in her dream wasn’t freaking her out. She expected herself to yell or scream or do something in response to it, but even in the dream she had simply become quiet and watched. Was it because this gave her closure? The kind of closure she’d been lacking when Mal promised her that he would come back two Arcs ago and never did. On top of that, to make things all the more distressing, he had come back! He just never found Nightshade. Instead, he’d started this whole Padfoot's freakshow mess and disappeared again as though his entire purpose in her life was to make it harder and give her pain. She would have flinched thinking about the mutants had she not been quietly sitting on her rock. There was still so much that needed to be done with that situation, dear immortals it was a mess and she had to straighten it out.
Eventually she came to the conclusion that her serenity had nothing to do with the closure. She’d gotten enough of it in quite a few bitter doses after he disappeared a second time, leaving only memories and rumors of his existence. The great big hyx down in the underground, serving up his monster soup. It was something different. What else had happened in the dream. She probed her memory trying to come up with some kind of explanation. Her mind however always went back to the ending. The moment where the large hyx look up at her from where he bent at the guillotine and said goodbye. A read goodbye, a forever goodbye.
It struck her like a lightning bolt when she realized it. Actually enough to jump. Her subconscious had killed up the hyx, severed the deep emotional dependence that had formed after the hyx decided to be her first friend in years. The way she’d clung to him, the way she’d hoped he would return, it had all been severed with one final goodbye as she remembered uttered a response to him. Was that really it? There was something relaxing in the thought, she realized as she continued to ponder the situation. Letting go of him like that. She’d used the Hyx as a crutch for so very long there was something deeply freeing about finally letting go of him. It felt good like she’d reclaimed a piece of herself that had gone away with him. He didn’t care enough to come back for her or found himself in a situation where he couldn’t. She shouldn’t cling to something she wasn’t supposed to ever have, right?
He chest felt lighter at the thought as though she was getting rid of something that had been a heavy burden for quite some time. In essence, he had. Mal had been holding her back for seasons, the hopeful childlike nature of the half-breed clinging to dead dreams. The same could be said of other people in her life. Why not get rid of Alexandria while she was at it? The crystalline girl had been kind to the half-breed when she got herself banged up real bad and needed it. In return the half-breed had paid her in flying lessons for her avriel form, as well as a second face with a promise to go with it. Alex had obviously actually cared, actually been her friend. But, at the same time, she’d been caught up in a terrible situation. She knew about poisons and was associated with assassins. That much was obvious and the half-breed didn’t feel very inclined to dive deeper. She loved Alex as a friend, and one day hoped to see her again, but their paths had drawn them in two very different directions. And that was enough. They both had their ways to go in life and the past shouldn’t be lingered on.
The half-breed tilted her head up with a little father, a small sight resting on her lips. It was time to let go, time to stop worrying, time to be brave and stand on her own. Perhaps, maybe one day, she’d have the strength to let go of everything binding in her actions. She’d be able to act completely in the name of courage and honor. But that day was not to today. She still clung to the idea of changing Noth, but she’d made progress. With a small hum cupped her hands and blew through them. On her breath, she sent out her worries and thoughts of those she hung on to in an unhealthy manner. She needed to let go, it was doing her more harm not to. And so she did. And into the night sky those emotions an thoughts went.
Perhaps, just maybe, she’d actually be able to get back to sleep.
word count: 1677
Common ~ Ith'Ession ~ Lorien
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CommentThis thread is poignant and heart warming. It deals with loss and with moving forward in life after losing someone. Night's realisation that the way she wakes up is different feels like a real "awakening" for her and that's really nicely written. Enjoy the rewards!
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