Another Unwanted Visitor, Part 5
Location: Talon’s Lair - Location Unknown
Timeline: The Year of the Apocalypse - 22 January 2012
The impromptu chef pull the steaks off the stovetop and plated them quickly. “If you want, after dinner, I will show you where we play fetch.” Putting the fries and onions on the plate he carried them to the table. “Do you have a knife...“ Then answering himself he said. “Ah! That is right you were in the danger room you would not have one.” The Shaman removed his pocket knife and set it on the table next to her plate. “Here you can use this one.”
Bethany actually laughed. “I normally carry a combat knife. I feel kind of...well...naked without it, strangely enough.” She took up the blade, opened it up, and inspected it before bowing her head and closing her eyes. She gave thanks, the way that her mother had always taught her, to the Creator for the life that would sustain her. She then opened her eyes and cut into the steak. She smiled, then the green-eyed girl looked over at Dyami. “Thank you,” she said, holding up a piece of the rare steak, as if in salute, then popped it in her mouth.
Dyami also gave thanks to the Great Spirit, and the the animal who gave its life to sustain his. “I can understand that, I usually have a great many weapons on me, I believe in always being prepared for anything.” Reaching down he pulled a hunting knife out of his moccasins and began cutting the steak, skewering a piece he took a bite savoring the rich flavors. “I am glad to be able to share this place with you, but I have to ask you to tell no one of it. Not even a description. It will be our secret.”
The young woman nodded, the look on her face rather serious at Dyami’s request. “Jon is the only person that I ever showed my cave to. It really bothered me when Miss Syn found it. It was like having my sanctuary invaded. It was the only place that I ever felt truly safe,” she said, sighing a bit heavily as she carved off another piece of the steak. “So, I promise that I’ll never tell another soul.”
The Shaman bowed his head, “Thank you young one. At some point in the future, I will try to find another sanctuary for you. A place where you can be alone if you would like.” Dyami took another drink and offered to refill Beth’s glass.
Bethany nodded and pushed her nearly empty glass towards the man. She finished chewing the steak and said, “It’s not really about being alone. I’m not sure how to explain it, but it was a place that I could go to and feel safe. Home was definitely not safe. I felt closer to God there, His creation, than anywhere else, really. Does that make any sense?”
“Perfectly,” The Shaman said refilling her glass, “I feel the same way about this place. When I was first brought here many years ago I knew that this would be my true home. The place where I could finally relax and even let my guard down.” Dyami took another bite and continued, “I think we all need that in our lives.”
“I stumbled onto mine completely on accident,” the green-eyed girl said, smiling a bit at the memory. “I had escaped the compound and was wandering around in the foothills. I just happened to see the opening at sunset, at just the right angle, and decided to explore it. After that, I always longed to be there, so I’d escape any time that I could. The beatings were bad for a while when I got home, but it was worth it.”
The blue eyed Indian finished his food and drink, stood and collected his dishes and brought them to the kitchen. As he did he responded, “Places like that one, or this, are rare in this world and are cherished by people like us. And while I agree with punishment for misbehavior, never do I approve of beating a child.” Dyami thought for a moment, “I suppose that is part of what makes us different than that piece of filth.”
Bethany shrugged, finished off her food, then took her own plate to the kitchen. She wasn’t really used to being waited on, and she cleaned the plate and knife, before returning the blade to Dyami. She sat back down on the couch and took up her glass, sipping at the liquid before saying, “The Preacher was a nasty piece of work. I took a lot of beatings by him. But mama took as many of them for me as she could. Sometimes, I wish she would have just let him kill me, rather than take that for me. But, I guess she figured that I took enough with the training.”
The young woman sighed, looking at Dyami, her eyes curious. “I really don’t know what it is that makes you want to save me. Is it just because my training is useful to you? I mean, it’s not like you know me very well, or anything.”
“I know that I have told you this before, but I will never lie to you Beth. Yes, your training is useful to our cause. But there is more to it than that when it comes to me, personally. Let me see if I can put it in a way that you will be able to understand clearly.” Dyami pondered and chose his words carefully, “Imagine if one day you were sitting in your cave and God himself told you that he was going to be sending some people to help you fulfil your heart's desire. And when those people showed up they were in need of help. Would you not do everything in your power to help those people, to keep them safe, to even risk your own life knowing that God’s plan would continue with or without you?” Dyami waited for her response.
Bethany eyed the shaman, an eyebrow raising upwards. She thought about what he said for a moment, then responded. “Well, I guess if God actually spoke to me, then yeah. I mean, I almost died to protect someone that I knew was going to take the most important person in my life away from me for far less grand reasons. So, if I asked you what your heart’s desire was, would you tell me? What purpose, what grand design, am I supposed to help you fulfil?”
Dyami sighed, “That is a big question requiring a lengthy answer. Do you want the long or short version?”
The young woman shrugged. “I guess whatever you’re willing to tell me,” Bethany said, still eyeing the native man curiously.
“Well, I have nothing to hide. Although not many people know the story.” Dyami paused and thought about it, “I guess I will start at the beginning. When I was a young man, and remember this was in the early 1840’s, my sister was chosen by the Great Spirit to be the Shaman of our people. I was delighted for her, knowing the good she would do in this world. I was a young teen and she was only a couple of years older than I.”
Dyami took a drink of his lemonade, “I was walking to school with her one morning when a group of men approached on horseback. They asked if we knew where the Shaman lived and of course we answered truthfully having no reason to lie. At that point my sister casually mentioned, with no small amount of pride, that she was going to be the next Shaman after my grandfather. The men were shocked and identified themselves as agents of an organization named Hydra, and they were there to take my Grandfather into custody, and since she was to be the next in line they would take her as well.
Dyami stopped for a moment and reached in his pocket pulling out a hand rolled cigarette. Lighting it it became clear to Beth that this was Sacred herb. “She, of course, did not want to be taken and protested that they had no rights on tribal land but this was so long ago, they could basically get away with anything.” The Shaman took another drag and slowly exhaled eyes closed. “The next part is a bit fuzzy, as I received a nasty head injury that day. But what I do know is that my sister fought them, changing into a wolf creature and killing several of them before they killed her. During the fight I was severely injured by one of the men, but I clearly remember who killed her.”
“I have waited many years, building up resources and contacts in order to take on Hydra, and in particular the man who murdered my sister. I could do nothing then, but after her death I was chosen to be the Shaman and was given powers that I could use to defeat him. And before you ask; yes, he is still alive, although he doesn’t go outside much. He is the head of Hydra’s Biological Research Department. A man named Dr. Arlen Razor.”
Taking another drag the Shaman continued, “So, personally, I would say that I want revenge, but in a bigger picture sense, we would be helping out the cause of Mutant Rights. This will not be easy.”