It was impossible. Reprehensible. Absolutely one hundred percent straight fucked up.
Larch regarded her list with the air of someone regarding the time and date of thier execution.
This should not be. I still have dreams at night of the research room. My scars ache when the weather changes. And this- it is personal insult to previous injury.
What kind of monster do I have to be to even contemplate…?
She resisted the urge to pace. Her wagon, covered and smelling of loam and greenery and the cool damp night, was private. Here she could have her own personal existential crisis if she needed to.
Larch did, in fact, need to. She took off her round glasses and buried her head in her hands at the face of the list’s damnation.
I only just got my feet under me. I am getting to know these people; and most of them I am fond of at the least. I can admit that I have an appreciation of camaraderie and… some admiration on a purely intellectual basis for some things. And yet- I feel as if the rug of the world has been pulled from under me. How the fuck am I supposed to deal with this? The god was right in that the Doctor isn’t- but that doesn’t-
The shaman repressed the strong urge to throw things, frustration and horror and more mingling with barely strangled fear- of herself, of him, of what this could bring if true.
I wish Amalya was here. I wish Father or Mother or even Old Smoke-… no. I… respect thier tribe, and the wisdom of an elder, but I am still a fledgling shaman. I need to present myself as an equal, for what little remains of the Wolves. I can’t show them I have this weakness unless I am certain it won’t be used against me. I don’t THINK it would, but… This is… This is too personal.
I hope Flower hurries. She said she needed to grow for a time, that our bond and our power was changing, but if nothing else I could use her acerbic wit and her guidance….
She felt her breathing quicken and fisted her hands in the dirt, trying to ground herself.
….He could be wrong. Calm. Breathe. Gods are not infallible. I have no previous data from which to make a judgement after all. My difficulties can be attributed to a number of extremely valid reasons. And there is as much evidence in the against column as there is in the for column.
Calm. Breathe. I am here. I am free. The seed grows slowly. Picture it, roots below, shoots above. Every detail. The plant is growing. Paint the picture. Calm. Breathe.
Her mind settled, slowly, like an nervous greyhound.
Even if it was true, no one has noticed. My strangeness is attributed to my personal mannerisms, and he is strange enough that he is unlikely to notice as well, as long as I can keep things as they have been. Mallory suspects something, and the rest of them may as well given the nature of my discussion with her god… but I can just lie. This is my own issue. I will deal with it. My integration into the group is paramount, and I won’t jeopardize that on what ifs and maybes, especially impossible ones. I need them. And…. I believe my skills are beneficial to them as well. A shaman’s duty is to protect the tribe and intercede between the spirits and the world. They are not Wolves, but…
She felt the earth between her fingers and exhaled, a long ragged breath.
I will take it one day at a time. I will compile evidence. I am not required to act in any way, shape, or form just because I have been given dubious information. I will be a functional asset to the party in the meantime and assist them as I promised. No one knows. I am safe and I am free. This is fine. I will be fine.
I will be fine.
….But I think I will sleep here tonight. The dreams come less when I am close to the plants. And I’m… tired.
Larch scrubbed her green eyes, exhausted beyond all reason. She didn’t even bother with a bedroll; she just rolled up her cloak and fur shawl as a pillow then set her things to the side, took off her shoes, and laid down.
Sleep didn’t come till much later, however, when the vines slowly creeped around her like a living protective blanket, and she finally closed her eyes.