Tea With the Enemy
Refusing to be carried was a relief, yet aggravating. Acknowledging they were both wounded was a weakness she did not care to admit, however it was satisfying to know she did not have to carry extra weight. The three of them were exhausted from the journey and although they were not faced with adversity from the forest wildlife the terrain was enough to give problems. After many hours they found themselves on the outskirts of a village, long aware of the hidden city--the ancestors of this tribe were welcoming neighbors. Times change however. Famine, disease, this village suffered as much as Amazonia, nonetheless they were still here; adjusting to keep their traditions in a modernizing world. Sammy spoke their language, though its traditional form that lacked the modern suffix the elders held no difficulty in understanding her--one glance at underneath her mother’s bracer and they were eager to help. Eona tried to see what was underneath, however Sammy was in the way and that could not be accomplished.
Following the elder they walked into a clay and wood hut where dry clothes, food, and supplies awaited them. After a few short words with the elder--ones Eona did not understand--he left.
“He says he’ll have someone take us to Manaus, from there we’ll travel on boat using local streams to either Macapa or Belém; whichever is least guarded.”
Eona nibbled on a tablet, “If we can find transportation to Rio de Janeiro I have a safe house there only Wolfgang and I knew about.”
Sammy was surprised, she has yet to hear Eona speak about him--the oldest and most devoted guard she had in the Nation...he has neither been seen nor heard from since then and the worst was expected. Eona dropped on the ground leaning her back against the wall thinking that she has not been in a survival situation for at least two-hundred years. Back then she was far more fierce and indeed a huntress herself, living with Wolfgang in the forests with Pomo Tribe of what is now known as Northern California. For a long time it was only those two, untrusting of anyone, even allies who were loyal to Carmella. Wolfgang refused to allow anyone near, nonetheless as Eona grew it was found that they could no longer rely just on themselves. The world was changing, Eoma had become a woman and one who wanted to replicate the relationship the tribe and they shared. Two- hundred years later and here they stand half-way to that dream.
“I’m surprised...you have yet to mention trying to return to Alucard.” Eona stood up again to undress.
Sammy did the same when answering, “Recent developments, when it comes to him, have led me to decide that for the meantime it would be best to keep our distance.”
This doubt primarily revolved around that monster’s words ...Even if it means taking the blame for an act you never committed. She kept talking as if she had no choice, as if all she had done was because there was no other way--bullshit. There is always a choice, always another way; what she says is that if a person is given two choices that person can only make the one on the right regardless of what it is. There was no use in trying to understand a monster, they are beyond reason--at least her reason. Eona is the only hope that monster has to connect to people.
The Goddess for now appears to be indifferent to the current situation, nonetheless she is determined to see thru that monster’s wishes. However what happens ‘after’--Sammy shook her head not wanting to think of what will allow an ‘after’ to happen. No, there is no use in that, what matters is Eona and her child ‘they’ are the hope--Eona can change Kira and her child will change the world. She sighed, if only Adam was here, as a man who stood within that insanity, taking part in the Association’s annihilation he knew the mentality of her best. At least he would have an idea...she hoped he was alright.
“You don’t trust him?” Surprising.
“As far as I can throw him--just because I worked with him does not mean I trust him. That man has more secrets than I care to count, even worse than when he sent ‘me’ to kill her.”
Eona grew quiet for a moment, suspicious of what could be worse than sending Sammy to kill Kira, not to mention succeeding. The huntress explained further: Alucard has been plotting for nearly ten thousand years only to take down the Goddess? No man is so single-minded, he has already prepared for what comes after; confident that his plans will succeed. Based on his sudden summoning of Sammy to hunt Kira, something had seemed to go array. Adam noticed it too, in fact it was by his words that Sammy was willing to believe that there was more to this war than ‘the greater good’ and sides are not simply black and white.
“He’s hiding something--as quickly events accelerated after the castle, Alucard was ‘too’ prepared at ensuring your safety and survival.”
Their clothes matched that of the locals, though Sammy was a native, Eona’s completion would have her stick out regardless until they reached a larger city.
“Knowing him, I doubt he wouldn’t hesitate to abandon us to save you and the child.”
The elder returned, quickly ushering them into the vehicle to be on their way. Fishermen had informed him vampires had been spotted not far from the village and it would be in all of their interests to not be here. The two women were gone soon after, traveling to their next destination hoping to evade Alucard...even if it meant everyone else as well.
“Neither of them would.” Sammy glanced across the truck bed, “Even now Kira protects me, regardless how much she hates Alucard or this child she still wants to protect me.”
A small smile was drowned out by tears, “Right...?” She brought her knees to her chest, “That’s why she won’t come back...”
Sammy stood up and sat beside Eona. She was never an affectionate person and refused to trust anyone however those solitary years had done nothing expect cut her off from others. The huntress reached around Eona, hugged her and pulled her against her shoulder. She will not forgive that monster, for making Eona cry, for everyone she has made suffer she will pay. Once again the wish for Adam to be here was made, he always knew what to say and his infamous years of knowledge and wisdom would do good here. Nothing a war-dog says could ease her pain--she was born to kill not calm.
“When I was young, after my first battle, I didn’t take the act of killing well. The deaths of my enemies haunted me in my dreams.”
Eona’s tears ceased.
“My father came to my room and stayed with me, holding my hand, while telling me stories of our ancestors until I fell asleep.” Sammy chuckled, “He was a man of few words and it didn’t really help me as quickly as I wanted. When I grew up I realized that’s how he showed his love and that his stories were meant to show that everyone had felt the same.”
Eona fell asleep. Long and deep in sleep she was not woken when Sammy carried her to the ship nor when they arrived at her safe-house. The house’s furniture was covered in sheets, dust and motionless air. No one had been here for years, nonetheless water, gas, and electricity was active.
Sammy set her on the bed and shut the door, moving to the bathroom to access her wounds. Her hands were unwrapped, soiled wrappings left on the edge of the counter while she ran her palms under water. They stung, but the pain dulled after a time, her hands had begun healing, but without proper rest and sustenance there would be scars. The first aid kit was above the toilet, filled with gaze, wraps, and kartin to continue blood clotting. Her shirt came off next, broken ribs, bruises, surprisingly no internal bleeding. Various scars covered her body, proof of her experience in battle. Each one she can recall getting and by what means so it did not happen again. There were lacerations along her body, backlash from the raging vortex she created to escape the grounds. Shards of stone heated to high temperatures grazed her in numerous places, but they were healed to a point where a cover patch to prevent infection was only necessary.
The huntress clenched her fists, feeling her hands shake when recalling those boney finger wrap around her neck. She had not said anything at the time, but there was something sinister, far worse than they had faced before, coming from the monster. She fought off the Holy Ground, she actually made her Ancestors fearful, warriors long dead who fought all their lives. It was sudden, like something had snapped because the castle was not like this, it was a dark and heavy presence, but this was far beyond the Goddess (or at least she did a good job of suppressing it). She could not let that demon near Eona, no she was beyond saving; redemption, the demon had to be killed.
Sammy swung behind, her hand hitting nothing, but knowing ‘something’ had just been behind her. Without hesitation she ran out of the bathroom and went towards Eona’s room. Her feet stopped mid-step, jerking back when seeing the one who sat in the chair across the living room. The spear formed in that moment, canted back to thrust it was grabbed and stopped.
“There is no need for violence Amazonian.” She held the spear despite it’s surface searing the flesh of her hand.
Focus. Sammy could have easily been killed just now and yet hasn’t. There is a purpose, they are not here to fight, or kill, or acting under the wishes of the demon. Eona was sound asleep meaning she could not help. The huntress thought hard and quickly: the spikes spread from the spear, catching them off guard--space created between them was enough to move. Her hands shake, unable to aim and grip her spear with ease. They use their gift, encasing her--more spears to keep it from closing in, creating a net to spread further and further, making an opening. Too late. They have already moved forming their own spears and ending Sasumiashima.
The huntress remained quiet, no matter what scenario she played in her mind the end result was the same. Her spear dissipated, allowing for nothing to come between her death at the Goddess’s hand.
“Was that so difficult?” Akasha smiled, speaking in a common tongue when lower her hand.
Sammy’s eyes did not peel away, she calculated all possible ways to end her again, all reasons she would be here, but one presented itself rather casually: the demon did not know she was here. Akasha gestured for the huntress to sit, however she did so alone understanding of the uneasiness. They were enemies after all, but it did not need to be so always.
“What do you want?”
Sammy’s authoritative tone was disrespectful and obviously she did not fully understand her place, but that would come later. For now, until Eona awoke they would wait.
“A cup of tea would be preferable--”
The human snapped quickly, “You're plenty capable of serving yourself.”
Akasha’s patience was being tried, yes they are enemies, however a degree of ‘respect’ should be shown to one another. She has not harmed a hair on either of their heads, nor has she brought anyone with her because all that is desired is to talk. The Goddess stood and made herself and the other two tea though not of any decent quality considering what is here is non-perishable. There was no enhanced speed or strength, tea was made carefully and time was taken when when setting it on the table--all they have is time.
“I suggest you fix your attitude, its leaving a bad taste in my mouth.” Akasha commented when sipping her tea.
“Bite me and that won’t be the only thing that leaves a bad taste in your mouth.”
Akasha giggled, how feisty, but at least she could hold her own even against Kira. Considering this human also is the one who killed her in the first place it would be said that she is partly to blame for their current situation. Blindly listening to her grandson’s orders; many have fallen into the belief of his version of ‘truth’. Perhaps after today then the very illusion Kira seeks to erase with be lifted from Eona and Akasha’s eyes.
Not long after, the queen left her room oddly surprised and yet not fearful of the Goddess’s appearance within her home.
“What brings you here grandmother?”
Akasha was pleased with having at least ‘one’ of her family refer to her as such, then again its probably because she happen to catch her in a ‘good’ mood. If she was not careful it could turn very quickly. Hopefully nothing would turn violate therefore she knew to choose her words carefully. Eona would never understand ‘who’ Kira is, but she had to understand ‘what’ and ‘what’ will become the means to correct a mistake before it is made and one that already has been.
“I’m more curious as to ‘how’ she is here.” Sammy crossed her arms suspiciously.
Akasha pointed to the huntress’s shadow when explaining, “You know my power is to manipulate darkness, shadows of the world, than is no secret, but you do not know just how extensive my domain truly is.”
“You conceal a clone of yourself in people’s shadows--that’s how you always know where your pet is, am I right?”
She is an Amazonian worthy of her title; calmly able to analyze anything she sees and to come with a conclusion--many conclusions--with the knowledge at hand. Akasha nodded in acknowledgement, this also means her fragment can jump between people’s shadows, but the only downside is that a fragment cannot use the gift expect to remain within and out of shadows. It can be said the fragment is no stronger than the average human.
“I would appreciate it if you kept this from Kira, seeing as though she does not know I keep a close eye on her.”
“You don’t trust her?” Eona’s eyes lit up.
“I do...its a mother’s intuition...” Akasha rephrased. “I worry.”
Akasha once again invited those standing to sit seeing as this would be a long conversation. Eona took her seat across while Sammy continued to sit behind staying her hand for the meantime. If what she concluded was correct then the Goddess truly was no threat, but whatever came ‘after’ this conversation was obvious. Once again Akasha sipped her tea, she lowered the cup slightly and looked into its contents; her crimson eyes reflecting.
“I have come to tell you the truth about Kira, but in order to do such I need to explain from the beginning which starts with my gift.”
The power to govern ‘darkness’ can be interpreted in many different ways. Darkness is defined: “the partial or total absence of light” and “wickedness or evil”. There can also be it considered as the “shadow” to “light” and “day” to “night” is merely depends on one’s point-of-view.
Akasha’s gift makes all these interpretations a reality as she twists and the very fabric of it to her whim. The notions of ‘life’ and ‘death’ are irrelevant to her for she is the original of all immortal souls. That being said...
“I am not perfect, even I have a limit to what I am capable of.” Akasha shut her eyes, “The only souls I hold domain over are my children of the night; natural vampires...those that contain my immortal geneo that causes one to be a vampire.”
Sammy and Eona’s faces went ghost white. Only vampires can be resurrected, how can that be if Kira who is only ‘half’ vampire was brought back? Does that mean Kira turned completely--that should not be possible! Eona’s mood changed quickly, Sammy sensed it and touched her shoulder in hopes it would help the pregnant vampire retain composure. Before long Akasha continued.
“I made a mistake; I did not, at the time, understand the fine line that limits what I can do.”
Something that had been beyond her knowledge, how could she have know? Half-human, half-vampire had never existed until now, such a thing should have never been possible. Nonetheless it became possible and that lack of knowledge, of ability, lead to failure.
“What I resurrected was only Kira’s immortal soul--her body was still alive, despite the Amazonian's best attempts.”
It did not matter to Sammy. Whoever she is, was, it did not matter the demon will be judged on her actions, all of them. Human, vampire ‘what’ a person is does not determine their actions--being an Amazonian who hunts sinful vampires and humans has not possessed her to kill Alucard (though personally her wants to).
Eona almost leaped from her seat, “What are you saying, that the human half of her didn’t come back?”
“I do not know the exact extent of her state, her body and soul are undoubtedly alive, but her mind; she has no memories of a life as a human.”
Kira’s human self, the servant raised by Eona, was the collection of her emotions and memories until she ceased being completely human all of which have, in a sense remained dead or perhaps suppressed somehow. Anything she felt, she did, everything prior to waking up in the hospital, as a half-immortal, were gone; after that point all mortal connections, those bonds, are--as dead leaves on a tree--from the only thing human she possessed: her heart. There was more to it, they noticed her reactions to certain people: Adam, Jake, and Eona, Kira was disconnected from them; she did not remember any of what they shared under the life of a ‘human heart’.
Kira did not care at first, she felt nothing towards having no past. Over time she became ‘curious’ when these people she ‘never knew’ constantly brought up things that did not exist to her, but were in a relation to a past self. Illusions of a false past, a false world, that no longer existed and yet something changed on her last return to the island. Seeing this change brought hope--perhaps not a ‘change’, but a ‘return’--for her other and self to come back. However that would be possible, Eona must be the key.
This was not for her however; not for the past, or a future--it was Akasha’s selfish wish. She wanted to see Kira’s true face, to bring her back whole, and to know for Kira to understand her own wish. This was preferable rather than acting blindly on the whims of the biased memories her immortal self had. If she had to rely on others than so be it--Eona is the last living link to anything ‘human’ about her.
The queen thought hard, how can Kira not remember their relationship? Even after she became a half-vampire they still saw each other, spoke, even--how can none of this be remembered? The slaver, the house, her brother; what they shared and felt together...the vampire Kira remembers nothing? If that is such the case, then the one who killed her father and all those humans of the Association was not the real Kira after all! Hope blossomed like a flower to the bright sun; what she has done since her revival was not the actions of the ‘real’ Kira!
Akasha noticed the smile on Eona’s face and wished to strike it off. How arrogant. She knows exactly what her granddaughter thinks, the selfishness and desire for that which she will never again have--it is a disgrace to the very memory of Kira.
“Let me make this perfectly clear: you don’t know anything. Whatever you may believe about her is wrong: what she has done until now is no different than from before the Amazonian killed her.”
“What do you--” Eona was cut off quickly, ‘The only side you acknowledged was the human you fell in love with. A fragile, shy, child who kept her feelings at bay and a bird whose wings you could clip. You refused to believe in the power of her vampire, a woman whose choices were not yours to make.’
Akasha was not fond of Eona’s choices, the woman who cast aside her duties for Kira and then abandoned her to fulfill them. It was unforgivable to cause a beloved so much pain and to believe they will go without consequence.
‘You accepted the gentle human who could always be with you; sheltered under your shadow and rejected the vampire who had the power to protect you, but could not stay be your side--that was your choice.’
Sammy shouted, arguing that Eona is the only one who believes Kira had anything ‘good’ in her anymore. That is also her choice, just as it is Sammy’s choice to ‘not’ try to kill the demon yet--it was also Kira’s choice to leave Eona, nothing else provoked it!
'Nothing else provoked it?' Akasha rose a brow; her shadows crept, covering the room with a thin veil, 'It would be in your best interest not to lie to me again.'
Recoiling her bearing fangs she stood, “Although I despise your choices I have come for Kira’s sake and for her sake you are necessary.”
Sammy prepared to draw.
“Do you know why all of her memories of you are gone, even those after she became a mixed-blood? It has me wonder, whether or not her memories are something that were intentionally missing.”
Everything human about Kira is connected to Eona and Emily. All of her happiness and joys of life were because of those two and that was the attachment to her ‘humanity’. By severing those attachments to her ‘humanity’ her memories of them and that life were also lost. Eona does not believe their bond has been severed.
Even if people lose their memories of their friends and loved ones, those bonds are forever carved into their souls. Akasha would never understand that type of connection, ‘parental love’ and ‘true love’ are not the same. What Eona understands of Kira and what Akasha does are different points of views of the faces she has worn.
“You keep saying that I rejected her vampire self...that isn’t what I reject: I reject her lies, lies she has told me her entire life, human or vampire.”
As long as I can be near her, that’s enough.
Akasha curled a small smile for a moment before heading to the door. Eona did not disappoint her. Despite those twisted words, those that are meant to lead her astray, she remains true to her way. That she can be proud of of her granddaughter; a truly strong woman--for her sake...Akasha’s smile faded...she prays Eona can remain that way at least for Kira’s sake. That is just this old woman’s selfish wish however.
Quickly Eona spoke, “Kira may have forgotten me, but her heart hasn’t, that’s why I haven’t been killed!”
“Why don’t you ask her yourself then?” A lovely envelope is held between her fingertips, “In one month’s time I am hosting a masquerade ball. Social status, species, creed, loyalty; I forbid all of it for a single night, a prelude to the world we seek to create. All will be equal and the only thing to conceal the illusion of what the world makes us to be are the masks.”
“That not true...” Eona took the letter that fell to the ground with Akasha’s departure, “Masks are meant to hide behind illusions of our own making.”