(( Yes, you'll notice Anita Blake references, I usually use that verse for my were-animals and vampires but am open to others. I hope you enjoy the read! There is some violence talked about, but it's not in any real detail. I feel like it fits PG-13, but if it doesn't please let me know.))
"In a time where the White-men were Devils,
a child by one was Damnation. "
History is not a count of fact... it is truth as the writers want you to remember it. Historians will tell you that a Dutchman named Willem Janszoon didn't make landfall on the Cape York Peninsula in March of 1606... but my birth says otherwise. There's latter recount that the wanker came back and this time did make record of being ashore in 1611, though he wrote it as an Island. Don't ask me why, I couldn't tell you if he was trying to cover up what he'd unleashed or if it was an honest mistake. Before I get into all that, I need to explain the misfortune of my birth.
You see, like you'd expect out of men who feel themselves Superior, they raped and pillaged. So, enter the half-breed demon child like me. In a time where the white men were Devils, a child by one was damnation. But, where ever there's a sodding hell, there's an Angel or Sheppard some place look'n to save your soul. You get an old lone hunter a little bit out of his gourd raising a babe on his own you should expect the child to come out a bit off. I like to say it only seems off because it's not how you came up. He took the prospect of self defense and self preservation to a whole new level. He was what you might have called a cross between a Monk and a Ninja Assassin (ask me they're one in the same).
" ..I wish I'd have understood what he meant then.. "
In those first crucial years of my cerebral development that bloke taught me things about awareness. "Take the time" he said, "feel the world around you". I
might have been like any other child (easily distracted, impatient, defiant and so on), but he wasn't like any other Pseudo Parent. "People can be trained" he later told me. I wish I'd have understood what he meant then, but I was young and naive and just interesting in the world beyond ours. I was different and I wanted to know where I belonged. Like any young person might who was viewed like blood on the virgin beach.
When I was four, Janszoon brought with him what was perceived at the time as demons. Little did most of the indigenous people know there were already such creatures on the land. They took a small space and minded their own for almost two decades. A time I spent unawares, learning things like human anatomy and tracking. I was taught how to feel the world around me, to open and exercise an already natural gift of detailed understanding. It made me a better hunter, better than I think he expected me to be. At the time, I never would have imagined being who and what I am today. I don't think the adolescent me would like the me now. Of course, I was so unknowing...
I was twenty-eight when hell broke around us; the two Pards went to war. It was pure dumb luck I was even in the area when they came romping through, tarring at each other like hell-hounds. To this day I haven't a clue what exactly they fought over. Had they been human, I could have put them all down, but they weren't. I didn't stand a bloody chance. I think which ever one took me down meant to kill me, but you know how war goes. Can't get a moment to yourself before some Pisser's at your back with some unkind threats and intent to kill.
"Those first few years Hell rained down where ever I went. "
I patched myself up and tried to get as far away as possible. Thinking I'd dodged the death of a life-time. Fuck me if I wasn't wrong. If anyone were to ask me what hell was like, I'd tell'em it's like getting infected and left unawares. I barely made it across the Strait to Papua New Guinea when I noticed the change. My first shift... I swear I thought the Spirit of the Earth was trying to rip through my body. I'd been through much pain before but nothing like that. What I became was an abomination. Pure demon magic or something... Imagine my despair when I couldn't even kill myself; believe me, I tried everything from impalement to burning.
The burning might have actually worked if Kylic hadn't saved me. There have been times in my life I loathed him for doing it, and then times I was more grateful for that single act than anything in the world. I can tell you in those first few years there are many peoples who would damn him to eternal suffering for saving me if they could. Those first few years Hell rained down where ever I went. He was smart enough to know what he'd found, someone as in-tuned to the world as I was gave my change more potential. Problem was, just because you get this new power, doesn't mean you know how to control it and that went for us both.
"It was the first of many mistakes I'd made with Kylic. "
I went from Ev'nk to Evonka and was given a last name. LaVarjek. Kylic was an alpha Wereleopard which was what no doubt gave him a predisposed power over me. He was charming and offered me hope and I was distraught and desperate for salvation. Kylic apparently knew people could be trained too because he taught me that I needed a kill-switch. Made me believe he had one too and that it was standard for those like us, to protect the people of the earth. It was the first of many mistakes I'd made with Kylic. Oh he taught me how to control my beast alright, and in doing so, made it to where he practically controlled me. Snap of the fingers. To this day I can't stop that sound from resetting my mind and making me look for it. Where it came from. To this day, it can stop me cold.
The Bastard Beast of a man took the skills I'd been taught as a hunter, provider and care-taker, and he twisted them. Slow and gradual so I wouldn't notice and I didn't. I didn't know what he was teaching me, I thought it was to control the animal inside me, to tame the animal spirit that possessed my half-breed body. He taught me to listen to the sound of his voice, he said he'd be there to talk me down if ever I was provoked. If the beast in me was provoked. It wasn't a total lie but he wasn't interested in talking me down, he was interested in brainwashing me. Or, hypnotizing depending on who you ask.At first, he'd put me under and tell me the black out was him fighting my animal. Over time, I started remembering things. Not because I was strong enough to fight the hypnotism, no, no... he built it into the process. Decades went by like the blink of an eye. He'd used my weakened state to build a killer the likes of which this world doesn't need.
"I was a puppet and I had no sodding idea. "
When you sleep, your mind is more open to things. Open to the power of suggestions. As I believe it, it shall be true. You're not weighted by the laws of the world and he used this to teach me without my natural resistance. I was a puppet and I had no sodding idea. It was like muscle memory, like remembering how to ride a horse or a bike and what not. He taught me things as his puppet when my mind wasn't my own anymore, and then started letting bits of it filter in when I came to. So they weren't black outs anymore. He showed me only what he wanted me to see, these awesome skills I'd learned as I honed my animal.
As far as I could tell he was helping me! Oh he did, in a way, he gave me exactly what I'd asked for. Control of it all. He taught me how to bring up the memories he'd given me in the hypnotic state and showed me that my body remembered. My body remembered how to move. Of course, as I became more aware of myself and what he'd done to me, with me, I also started to notice other things. The way the few other Leopards I'd met, stayed away from me. Looked at me with this hint of fear I didn't understand.
I noticed how things in my world got increasingly violent. I'm pretty sure he didn't really anticipate his technique backfiring on him. It was brilliant really, I mean, talk about mind control. In giving me holes to see the other world of my hypnosis he gave me something to pick at in my dreams. Before I knew it, I'd torn the memories wide open and was flooded with reality. I think that surge broke something inside of me because I'd never felt so cold and disconnected in my life. I hated it. I hated that place...
"Every fiber of my being woke to the task
and I could feel the world again. "
Somewhere around a hundred years old I reckon, cold and filled with anger I built the nerve and confronted him. He'd turned me into a monster, into the very monster I didn't want to become. I don't know if he got in my head that night or if he was right. He told me I was born for it sure as man walked on two legs and Wereleopards existed. Born to be the exacting weapon of his justice. Bloody fuck'n lunatic he was. Why is it all the geniuses are?
I'm not a vigilante' and hell, at the time I didn't even really care about vengeance but listening to him spew word vomit of my potential and how he planned to use me really, I realized he had to die. He must have seen that glint in my untrained eyes because he snapped his fingers to reset my brain. It worked, worked like it always did but in that moment he gave me clarity back. Every fiber of my being woke to the task and I could feel the world again.
"I'm sure he'd have shouted "Piker", like it was my name,
and watched me submit like he'd trained me to if he could have... "
The warmth that had been beaten back for fear of sensational overload, was back. Like the reset had given me what I needed to box up the burden of my damnation and leave only the muscle memory and raw instinct. I'm sure he'd have shouted "Piker", like it was my name, and watched me submit like he'd trained me to if he could have...
His mouth barely opened with the intent to say it and without thought I fisted my hand in his hair against his scalp and yanked his head back to expose a throat I quickly crushed under my fist. I took his own short sword and I swung it to separate his head before his body hit the ground. Then I screamed, I yelled and growled and shifted on my own for the first time without the pain.
I recall thinking 'this is what freedom feels like
'. It was a temporary thought as I suddenly realized I wasn't alone and there was a whole different world I was fucking oblivious to waiting for me. Break the chains of one Master, pick up the collar of another. Rorik was Kylic's right hand man and knew more about me than I did up to this point. His gaining power over the Pard wasn't very well received but he had a weapon unlike anything they wanted to fuck with; me.
"You have to remember, this is a time around the
early 1700's where women were subservient. "
He called that name, "Piker!" and that part of my brain I still can't get to, shut down everything else and I followed his command. While in Aussie lingo it typically means a loner, someone who doesn't play well with others it was used in the sense of withdraw. A command for me to back down and without fail, whenever I hear it I feel the intention just wash out of me and this damning compulsion to step back and kneel. I did. I do. Every fucking time I kneel with my knees on the ground and my hands palming either side where they touched.
You have to remember, this is a time around the early 1700's where women were subservient. Kylic trained me to kneel to the command because he was a Man of the period and I, a woman, his puppet. It's not just the word mind you, at least not anymore. As it stands I've found usually only out of the mouth of an Alpha or Master am I compelled. Fuck the tosser Kylic for his brainwashing. To the outside lookers of the pard, I'd not only just killed their Nimir-Raj but I'd bowed to the sodding cunt of a weasle-Leopard Rorik.
I'm sure you can fill in what half of the next hundred years was like for me. The hound of the Pard... the cat trained like a dog
. Part of me wishes I'd have killed them all when I took Rorik out, but I wasn't that jaded then. I still clung to the hope of goodness. I didn't think anyone would find out about those triggers but every so often, someone does and I'm again fighting for my Freedom. Freedom from an oppression in my own head.
"In reality, I'm reacting to their projected intent;
because they don't know how to shield it. "
In the time between then and the early 1800's I'd taken the time to teach myself
a few things. Really focusing on my connection to the world and the way I feel the things around me. My skins like a sensor amplified to pick up movement like a motion sensor. Range varies sadly, affected by my mood and the conditions around me. In the best cases I've ranged it at about 10 yards, but we're talking open field scenario...
It's been proven that intent changes the water molecules in your body. Best I can tell, I'm super sensitive to those projections and as such, I feel intent. This was a birth right of mine you could say, which has only been amplified by the enhanced senses of my beastial self. Fighting a human, it probably looks and feels like magic. Like I can predict their movements before they know what they're going to do. In reality, I'm reacting to their projected intent; because they don't know how to shield it.
Someone who can shield their intent are harder to pre-empt because I'm entirely reliant on being faster than they are. Even back then, it held true more often than not. Perhaps an advantage to being a woman, I have less bulk to sling around. An advantage I sacrifice power for, in comparison. Because I knew the effect intent has, I also spent that time as Rorik's attack-cat, learning how to shield mine. I didn't want Rorik to see it coming, I didn't want anyone to see it coming.
"I was weak, I gave in and I did what he wanted. "
Rorik wanted to own the entire region and he thought with me he could. I tried to resist and tell him no but I couldn't take being in a cage all the time. I was weak, I gave in and I did what he wanted. I did what he wanted so I could get stronger. As I learned to shield myself and to manipulate him and the others with half truths and suggestion I got better at what I did. Every time he sent me into an 'enemy' home to send a message I used it like a grinding stone to sharpen my skills. To sync my mind with my body so there's no thought, just a knowing. Of course, it may seem like a lot of thinking but that's only because I'm describing it to you.
My specialty, what I'm best at, is killing in closed quarters. Because I can feel the movement around me and because I was trained as a weapon. Drop me in the middle of a room of hostiles and I'll kill everything without a tangible thought. It's mildly problematic in a team sense because I drown in the intent that the hostiles want me dead that when that one friendly vibration crosses my flesh it's too late, I'm already going in for the kill because they were there
"Maybe it was cheating; beating him up and letting
Carj finish him but the Pard wasn't going to
need a warlord for a Nimir-Raj anymore. "
I recall the day I made Rorik kneel, it was a small audience but still only two of us lived past that moment. His would be protectors didn't stand a chance, I'd learned how to feel human and shielding my intentions it was a frontal blind-side. Of course, after I'd broken the first one's neck they knew. Knew like the sun rises to the east and they both came at me. One from behind, one in the front. Intent, it's a damnable thing and it betrays you if you let it. I dodged a jab to the face and fisted the bloke's hair to expose his throat. I did it so hard I almost broke his neck too but as fighting goes the one behind me wasn't waiting around for me to finish.
It was one of those times I had to be faster and more efficient. Two birds, one stone. The backward swing of my right arm had duel intent they wouldn't feel coming. The back of my elbow whipped like a striking snake into his nasal bone jamming it into his skull. In the forward motion of that arm I crushed the second one's wind pipe and stepped over him for Rorik who hadn't noticed the ear-plugs. He shouted to no avail and I broke seven major bones in his body before I left him to Carj who would be the next leader.
Maybe it was cheating; beating him up and letting Carj finish him but the Pard wasn't going to need a warlord for a Nimir-Raj anymore. Carj would make peace with the other breeds and I was set to get out from under my chains. I finished off all the Rorik followers without hesitation and I did it to give them peace. They deserved some peace...
"It started as a whimsical offer to snuff this
bloke for some Bartender I favored. "
The whole world was changing and for the first time I really felt like I had a chance to make a name for myself. Not a name under the thumb of someone else. I guess part of me had also hoped anyone who did hear of the ways to shut me down, would know better than to try and use it. It's been about fifty years now, since the last time someone intentionally snapped their fingers or used that word to put me down.
But there was a time, before I made it all the way up to Europe, when I couldn't enter a city with a Pard that didn't have someone who'd heard and wanted to try it out. Europe changed things for me. Gave me a world to get lost in, a place few knew who the bloody hell I was or what I could do. I found peace. Or I thought I did. It lasted all of a few months of would-be normalcy before the itch for more kicked in.
It started as a whimsical offer to snuff this bloke for some Bartender I favored. Next thing I knew I was a contract killer for all sorts of uglies. I kept what I was a secret for the most part, not because I was ashamed, no, I'd gotten over that whole demon-spawn thing a long while ago. But I didn't want anyone to know who I was, I didn't want to be faced with chains again so I learned to tone it down.
"No, there are better stories, like the first
time I encountered a Vampire. "
I became known simply as Stack. I could tell you how the name came about but it's really not that interesting. No, there are better stories, like the first time I encountered a Vampire. I was bloody clueless. As children tend to be with new things, and while I wasn't a child then I sure felt like one. Master of the city he was, and insulted that I'd come in to kill someone on his turf. Fuck'n vampires and their politics and formalities, I tell you. Sheltered as I was I didn't realize he wasn't just some Zombie mutation in a nice suit and he slapped me around like a sodding rag doll.
I guess I'm one of those sorts who has to learn hands on because I feel like I always get broken before I overcome my obstacle. I can't say for sure why he let me live and simply kicked me out but I didn't give him reason to take it back. I did, however, later spend specializing in Vampire Executions. I don't like not being prepared.
"Sharp as I was, I was weaker alone. "
It'd been a long time since I'd been hurt that bad and it also made me realize how much it sucked not having a Pard to crawl home to. Sharp as I was, I was weaker alone. It made me want to find a place to belong but you have to understand my hesitation. I wasn't confident enough time had gone by for people to forget who I was and how to put me down like a mutt. Lucky for me there's always someone to hunt, or something
The Industrial revolution still amazes me. The America's became exactly the new home I needed, or I thought they were. New territory to claim just meant more wars. Undercover wars no less for fear of persecution from the humans who were more abundant no matter how you sliced it. Look at the Salem witch trials... Not entirely unfounded but bloody hell... who wants to be on the other end of that?
Still, I went on that trip and I tried to find my way. Turns out Blacks weren't the only things kept as slaves in the south. I learned what it meant to be a Vampire's animal to call when I was down there. Bound in a way I'd never felt before and it scared the bloody shite out of me.
"There is no helplessness like that of involuntary slavery. "
I fed the mouths of a select few fanged with an iron collar about my neck under the threat of a silver tipped whip and those forsaken commands Kylic set deep in my mind. I damn him to this day for that and look back and wish I'd have tortured him a little before I killed him. There is no helplessness like that of involuntary slavery. Through it I learned the discipline of endurance and patience. I also learned about love and sorrow.
Few stories out of the slave-south are happy ones until you get to the likes of Harriet Tubman. Beacon of hope I tell you and not just among the humans. The civil war became a war for our freedom too. Those of us under the chains of another. This wasn't how it was supposed to work. I was smart enough to know that and also smart enough to know life isn't always wrapped up nice and neat. It's sodding complicated.
I took the final strides into my potential as the war began. Finally refusing to submit any longer I roused the lot and we made a blood bath of it. I'd have to say that was the moment when things clicked for me and I grew into the alpha status that would give me a little more peace of mind in the next roll of the century.
"I wasn't going to go back to Virginia
unless my life depended on it. "
Slavery was abolished, I was free once more and the Nation which would soon become a global power-house was knitting itself back together again. I spent the first twenty years following those wars, hunting down some of the monsters, Man or otherwise who'd stripped me of my dignity. I went back to the shadows and took to the world of silent execution. I've even made a few good relationships with Pards across the nation.
Some would call me a coward to hide and shield the way I do now. When you've lived as long as I have, killed as many as I have killed and suffered under the slavery of something you can't control you learn that you've nothing to prove to anyone. You learn that underestimation is the best weapon you could ever hope for.
I wasn't going to go back to Virginia unless my life depended on it. Someone once told me you don't choose your lot, the lot chooses you. Not sure if I believe that or not but I'll be damned if life hasn't made a liar outta me. I've come to learn, Rorik, the weasel of a Leopard was never killed that day and word has it the tosser is in Norfolk fucking Virginia.
I'm not a vengeful person, but I have to know... and if he is still alive. I'm going to make him cry and beg forgiveness before I kill him...