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After eating way to much as usual I shove my chair away from the table and say I,p want to go for a stroll we have things to talk over and I am so dead tired I am going to call it an early night ,
We get up excuse our selves and I give Opel a hug an d a peck on her forehead thank you it was wonderful and as usual you out did your self see at breakfast.
She smiles at me and says good to have you back home now go rest.
Imp and I walk slowly up to out special place under the tree on top of the little hill we set and look up at a beautiful full moon and the night shy ablaze with sparkling stars .
My heart is full as well as my stomach and I look at Imp through the eyes of a Father because that is how I think of her remembering the wild child we found now growing into a woman and soon to fulfill her destiny she has come so far and yet as so much more to do ,, but how do I tell her that when she becomes The Golden Queens Rider she becomes imortal?
Her voice snaps me back and she says pkay so what's up??
I go on to tell her she has a lot of work ahead of her training wise and she is in for a good work out and you my dear have a lot to learn but I know you can do and I am sure Alya will help .
What you think of me as a sniveling brat that can not defend myself???
I laugh no but it is that temper that is going to get you in trouble ,
All will become clear on your birthday my lil one not only will you change from street wise fighter but you will become one who will be respected and honored and I know you will bloom into one very beautiful woman.
Now enough for tonight lets just drink in beauty of a night ,, she wraps her arms around mine and leans her head on my shoulder and what seems seconds she is fast asleep.
I gently lift her in my arms and carry here to her cottage and lay her on her bed and cover her with her favorite blanket the same one she had with her when she was rescued ,, it is more like a moth eaten rag but she will not let anyone clean nor fix it.
I gently kiss her forehead and close the light and door whispering sleep well my lill one.
I head of to my own cottage man I am so tired I could sleep for a year ,,, so hot shower and off to bed..........
I feign being asleep in the MG's arms waiting till he leaves before I pester the Golden Queen... Once I'm sure I'm alone, I sneak out through the window for a face-to-face meeting... Smoke starts to trail me, but I want to be alone with her and ask him to stay behind... I know something is up because of her one-on-one meeting with our fearless leader...
The Queen knows I'm coming and invites me into her presence... Now that I'm here, I'm nervous and tongue-tied... The Queen stares intently at me while I struggle to find words that are not blatantly disrespectful... Still it's MY life and they seem to be in determining MY future... I don't want to lose my temper, but getting some answers instead of constantly leaving me in the dark might calm the storm building inside of me...
Finally, the Queen speaks: "I can feel your anxiety growing by the minute... Ask your questions and I will answer as truthfully as I can."
"Since you've broken the ice, I have feeling you and the MG were discussing the future... I'd like to know what part you would have me play."
"You're not a puppet, Gamen. You have a destiny, but you also have a choice."
"That's good to know, care to elaborate further." as I try and fail to keep my go-to sarcasm in check..
"As my rider, you're official place is in Pern.. If you choose to embrace your rightful place, you will become immortal."
I feel the shock of this announcement course through my body as if struck by lightening... "IMMORTAL?!... Please tell me you're joking!... Have you MET me?!... I spend MOST of my days brooding in darkness, consumed by FEARS of growing close to these people only for them to die and leave me abandoned once again and you want to condemn me to this living Hell of torment and loneliness for ETERNITY?... Are you TRYING to turn me into Arabella?... I ran away from her to escape the endless torture only to turn to you... and YOU would inflict a whole new form of endless torture but THIS time, it's for what?.. a thousand years, two thousand?.. how LONG must I endure this life?"... I am shaking so badly with fears I can not control that I begin to hyperventilate... I struggle to catch my breath, but the panic is overwhelming...
The Queen chants in her ancient tongue and covers me with purple smoke as the room fades to black...
Smoke feels the loss of the connection with his new young mistress, quickly transporting himself to her side... He looks to the Golden Queen for an explanation and sees a troubled dragon deep in thought, staring at the unconscious body...
Smoke breaks her concentration "What happened?!"
The Queen sighs heavily and sadly states, "Nothing good. If I had not been so caught up in my own grief and loss, I would have noticed just how badly broken and damaged her mind is. She is on the verge of a psychotic split and if her mind shatters completely, she may well be lost to the darkness forever. The Captain sees her as some innocent 5-year old child in pigtails and a pink, frilly dress. She may have had innocence in her first year or two of life, but she has only known torment and pain in her formative years. Consider that her foster parents tried to survive on cursed lands, having no time to show her what love is, only having time to show her how to survive on next to nothing before dying of a plague Arabella placed on their village. She alone survived because of my mark on her. Despite being only 10 years old, she showed courage and a remarkable resilience to survive. Her next test came when she was caught stealing an apple and placed in wrist and ankle shackles forced into slave labor, beaten routinely, bearing the physical and emotional scars to this day. There was no love there, only abuse, torture and torment so that she began to view authority figures with mistrust. She was not seen as a person, but as a tool to be used at the whim of her oppressors. She escaped only to fall into the clutches of a band of thieves, who also did not see her as a person, but a tool to be used for helping them to steal. Once again, authority figures who showed no love, only abuse and constant ridicule. This band of thieves were captured by this camp and have been reformed but she was left alone again, only to be caught by Arabella who had been searching for her since her birth. Arabella wanting myself and Gamen as weapons, capitalized on her broken, damaged mind seeking to break her completely by routine physical and mental torture knowing that the only way Gamen could protect herself was to become a cold, heartless monster herself. Her plan would have worked if she had not escaped during the chaos of my rescue and brought into this camp. Six months of being surrounded by good, loving people does not "fix" her years of torture and abuse. There is still light in her, but there is FAR more darkness than light. Magic is only a bandaid. She can see what love looks like here in this camp, but she does not understand it herself. She does not know how to love. She has been taught that people are only a means to an end, that power is the only worthwhile thing in this world. By making her immortal, she will have power, and if her mind shatters, the darkness will take over. The lust for more and more power will be her only thought, and she will kill all who stand in her way. Since your's and my mind are intimately linked with hers, we will not be able to fight this darkness and become darkness ourselves. We will become the weapon Arabella intended. If I had been paying attention, I would have understood her need for counseling and being taught techniques to help her heal her mind. I have seen the beast of rage she tentatively controls struggling to break free. I have seen what happens when it is loosed on a former abuser. She gutted him like a fish, slicing and dicing his body into pieces, and what was left, Karis destroyed with her hooves till there was only a bloody, gorey heap that was unrecognizable as being human remains. The Captain wishes to teach her to fight, but when the beast takes over, she is relentless, and with immortality on her side, she is in danger of becoming pure evil."
Smoke listens in horror to Imp's past and her possible future... He had not searched Imp's mind out of respect for her privacy.... He knew there were always dark clouds hanging over her head, he had no idea of their origin and she refused to talk about them.. He knew she had little respect and a great deal of mistrust for authority, was quick to be sarcastic, that she kept her distance from most humans often choosing silence and solitude but he had no idea how damaged and broken her mind truly was nor how close she was from being sucked into the darkness forever.
"Are you saying there is no hope for her?" he asks the dragon in dismay.
"Quite the opposite, my dear friend, there is always hope. If I thought there was no hope for her, I would not have allowed her the choice of immortality. She will need professional help and strong council for years, maybe centuries to come. She will never be whole as one born in a healthy, loving environment but that does not mean she can't know some form of happiness. If she chooses immortality, we will have to be on constant guard for the battles that will rage in her mind. I will consult with the Elvn healers, one in particular helped her when we first came to this camp. Maybe she will be up for the task. Keeping her physically safe will be a cake walk compared to keeping her mentally stable so that the world stays safe from her. Even now, in her unconscious state, her mind is a battlefield between the darkness and the light. Immortality would connect our minds to her's on the deepest levels, her struggles of good and evil would become our own. We would be in a fight for our very souls. If she chooses immortality, are you ready for this war?"
Smoke does not hesitate with his answer: "To the bitter end." And with that, Smoke lays by Imp's side, resting his head on her chest, willing his mind to link to her's, joining her in the circle of light surrounded by the suffocating darkness threatening to consume them. He is joined almost instantly by the Queen and together they help Imp beat back the feelings of despair and loneliness with their images of joy, beauty and love that the world has to offer giving her hope that all is not lost. That even in immortality, there is grace, there is mercy, she could hold onto her humanity, she would simply have to fight for it.
As I return Imp to her cottage and lay her down and make sure she is covered by her blanket well what is left of it.
I lean over and hug her to me
and take her face in my hands I search every line on her face and know some what of her past . of her torture she suffered, the shame she lived most of her childhood, the search for someone to love and protect her was what drove her but all she found was terror and more shame ,, how do I explain that all her terrors , shame , wounds, and hurt are coming to an end?
How do I break through?
I know some what of her tormentors and have spent every waking hour searching for them and not kill thta would be to easy but make them feel some of the terror they put my Imp through,,, we have caught several bt the main ones still aldes us but I swore I will never rest untill they meet there makers and Imp can deliver the final blow.
I walk out and close the door softly as not to awaken her and blow out the light... I near my cottage and decide to go to my tree and take my best pipe ,, my mind is racing ,, so mush so I do not see Imp sneak out of her cottage and head towards to Queens Liar,,,siting drawing on my pipe my mind is whirling with how can I fix this,,, how is Imp going to take her destiny , how is she going to take becoming immortal,,, the biggest question is how is she going to take to her mate??? the one she has no idea is in her future and destiny ,, I never mentioned once about The Wise One Rider who was her Father ,, The Golden Queens mate and her mother her rider,,,, there is still so much my lill one knows not of and I know in my heart of hearts she will need more so much more then my love and guildence and I know exactly who can that can be.
My head splits with a pain that makes my stomach churn and I see Imp laying down with Smoke's head on her cheat and see the Golden Queen chanting in her ancient tongue,,, I run as fast as my feet will carry me and enter The Queens Liar,,, out of breath I bow legs shaking and ask Mt Queen ... what happened????? I left Imp asleep in her cottage and now she is here???
The Golden Queen proceeds to tell me all that just happened and how worried her and Smoke are ,, I go to Imp , look down at her and my eyes filled with tears my heart breaking ,,, I turn to the Queen and ask ,,, I did this? I failed her?? what can we do ?
The Queen Smoke and I surround Imp and hold her in our thoughts until we see her body stop shaking and watch as little by little her body relaxes
The Queen Smoke and I break from Imp so we can talk ,,, your Majesty I have an idea that might help us reach her and with there help and guidance we can get Imp to heal,,, I am not saying we can totally heal her that is not possible for her past will always be part of her present and future but with help we can get her to understand the horrors she went through and accept our love.
I know and understand we can not do this alone but I had a thought ,,, please give me your wise advice and tell me if I am wrong in my thinking?
The Queen waits as I go on,,,,, I am thinking that we need two healers from The Elven Clan ,, and I know exactly who we need if you agree with me.... Smokes head jars up ,, ears pointed ,,,, I think we need Anessa Blue and Robyn with Shadow and Apollo ,,,,, I know they love our Lill Imp and I am sure they will help please your majesty am I wrong in thinking this??
The Queens eyes go soft and Smoke comes yo me and licks my face .
The Queen speaks **** My Brave One you are not wrong in your thinking,, *** My heart soars as does Smokes to think we will seek and find the answers with Anessa Blue ,,, Robyn,, Shadow and Apollo...
The Queen tells me to return with Imp to her cottage and she will keep her in the dream like state until we return from the meeting.
We return to the Queens liar and she chants softly calling Anessa Blue ,,, Robyn,, Shadow and Apollo .........
I fall into a fitful sleep lulled by the Queen Dragons soft chanting
I awake with a jerk almost cracking my head on the bed frame that Imp is sleeping... my back and neck are crinkled as I fell asleep all cockeyed but was very warm that do to Smoke being curled around me.
I look towards my Queen and see's she is very still not moving a scale but seems to be talking to someone..
She feels my eyes on her and opens hers then speak in her ancient tongue ,, I smile sorry My Queen I have not learned that as of yet but maybe one day I will.
She nods her huge head and says that she has managed to speak to Anessa Blue and The Elven Counsel and will do what they can to help us,,, Anessa will be arriving shortly for I can not keep Gamin under much longer but as to Robyn . Shadow and Apollo it has been explained there souls are still under there protection and have not completed there journey as yet but if you go to her Memorial with an Elven Priest you will be able to speak to them again my brave one I must stress to you they will help us in this difficult time but as you know can not interfere only guide ... I answer yes my Queen I understand and will do my duty to fulfill this task for we must save Gamin and have her take her rightful place in Pern.
There is a voice outside I recognize as Rosie and the other is Penny ,, Rosie asks Penny has she seen me , Penny answers no not lately.
My Queen may I leave you for a bit and speak to my troops??? she nods and I bow out in resprcy backwards.
I startle Rose and Penny as I say I hear you are looking for me?/ whats up?
They both snap a sharp salute that I return and Penny with a beet red face thanks me perfidiously for her rank ,,you earned it and I know you will do your position honor.
Rosie turns to me and says Cap it is good to have you back home and I have a few things to show you and I hope they meet with your approval ,, I raise an eyebrow but follow her.
We pas behind Salty's where I see the villagers are decorating the outside ,, party I ask Rosie Gal??? you will see just follow me and hush,,,, lol nope Rosie still the same hard arsed I left in charge,,
As we get closer to a newer wider longer more open field that The Dragons use I hear swishhhh thud swissh thud swiishhhh thud in rapid succession I stop and draw my Sai ,, Rosie says no need Cap you will see what that is in a minute just keep up will you.
I then hear groans and grunts and the sound of swords flying,,,, we round a small slope that flows into flat land and I am amazed at what greets me,,, the land has been turned into a fake battle ground complete wit dummy Trolls Gnomes Dogs from Hell , what looks like Murk and Arabella ,,, I watch as one of the villagers yells and stabs a Troll *** made from straw** and to my surprize it spurts blood.... Rosie tells me that the Boys got together and built all of this and used the blood from the slaughtered meat we hunt.
Man it is so life like and so very well done.
I then hear that swoosh thud again and look to my left and see The Amazon wit her bow and arrows ,,, she aims at a target and in rapid succession fires of three arrows the first hits the bulls eye the next splits the first arrow then the third splits the second all perfect shots ,,, I have to remember to keep on her good side ,,,, just a fast as she fires of the arrows she runs and leaps on her War Horse and they take flight ,, they swoop and she draws her sword and lops of several heads of the Trolls.
She lands close to me breathing fast and dismounts ,,, very very impressive I say to her not that any less would please you,, I have heard that you will be staying with us for awhile and you are very welcomed so may I ask you one thing?
She looks deeply at me and raises an eyebrow??? will you teach and protect My Imp until she is fully trained?
I get what I take as a yes nod from Alya and nod back.
Now we must help Imp through this dark time so Rosie , Penny and Ayla could you gather everyone villagers and all our animals and meet me out side Imp's cottage I will join you all there.
I head towards the woods to where The Golden Queens Liar is and hear footsteps behind me,,, I draw my Sai and turn fast and ready to plungs it deep,,,
I stop in mid air when I see who it is ,,,,, I cross my chest with my Sai and bow deeply for before me is a site to behold,,,
There standing before me is My Lady surrounded my four Elven warriors one being Ireth ,,, she takes my breath away for she is more beautiful then the last time I saw here.
She laughs her sing song laugh and holds her hand out and I take it head still bowed and kiss it.
My heart is beating out of my chest with pure joy that she would join us to guide and help us in this very dark time.
She places her hand om my shoulder and says so very good to see you My Brave One and we are here to help as much as we can,,, now please take me to Our Queen.
Yes My Lady this way as I show them the entrance to The Queen's Liar ,,, My Lady enters and we five remain outside to gaurde ,,
From where we stand I can see the whole village and our animals gathering in front of Imp's cottage,,,,
My Lady joins us with The Golden Queen and I am informed we are to preform a prayer circle around Imp's cottage and must be done now for we will loose her if it not be done.
We form a prayer ring as instructed by The Queen she sits on the knob of the hill and spreads her huge wings and waits for us to complete the rings.
We have to follow the prayer ring exactly or it will not work,,, My Lady stands at Imp's head , I am on her right, Alya to her left , followed by Rose next to me Penny next to Alya Opel and The boys complete the inner circle and out side another circle is completed by all villagers and the last one formed is the Animals.
We all join hands close our eyes and speak to Imp allowing our minds to join to fill her with the love and devotion we all have for her,, My Ladies body glows as our power and our love flow to Imp.
We all hear Our Golden Queen call on her ancient leaders and there power I feel Imp so close to me and tell her over and over how loved and needed she is to follow her heart and follow the path home to us.
The chanting stops and I look at Imp who now seems to be in a very calm sleep like sake,,,, The prayer ring breaks up and every one returns to there duties.
My Lady and I walk outside and Alya stays with Imp,,, My Lady says we have done all we can for now but you must be sure to get her to drink this three times a day it will make her stronger and able to fight these demons,
My Brave One I must leave now for my time runs short but I am always a thought away ,,, before you leave My Lady I have some news for you and Ireth back in the other realm one of my group there is working on a cure for those poison arrows like the one that wounded Ireth she is close to finding a cure and I will make sure you have it as soon as it is done.
With that she fades like the sunset and be brave is all I hear .
I am about to enter and check on Imp when I get a panic message from my Amulet ,,, it is Roo calling me.
I listen and think what bad timing this is but I am needed there ,,,, I rub my Amulet and expain to the Queen what is going on but am cut off as she says go Imp will be taken care off just do not be gone long.
I call Frost and we head to the other Realm................