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Of Talk and Talismans
a Jin-Dui fan fiction, Eavesdown Docks
Year 2509: The War.
Bettor’s Knob, Beylix
“Gorram it! Leigh, Callahan, Kim Chon! No, not you. I mean Other Kim Chon! Left flank! ‘Squatch, you an’ M’Duk take Beartooth and Baker up that gulch there.” The lieutenant pointed with such ferocity at the dry cut that Tom felt like he was providing the absent air support with his index finger alone. “First Kim Chon, you take that high point an’ provide cover fire. Don’t let them zhū yòu nǎo Purplebellies so much as blink sideways ‘til we get our angels now, y’hear?”
First Kim Chon gave a curt salute, gripped his longneck rifle and scampered through the brush up the Knob. Tom lugged the heavy pack onto his back and joined Sergeant Devon Baker. Bits of dirty-blonde hair poked from under the man's helmet and tickled at his dusty-blue eyes.
“You ready to do t
:iconshaudawn:Shaudawn 2 2
How to Hunt Rabbit
How to Hunt Rabbit
The Adventures of the Jin Dui (Original Characters/Firefly 'Verse.Novel-Style RP Club)
(more about the Jin Du at the ship's website)

Year 2499: Fifteen years ago
Core worlds move fast.  Speed of sound.  Speed of light.  Word and waves fly faster than both, ‘Verse folk say.  Commerce, right behind.  Person comes too late to opportunity ain’t gonna find nuthin’ but an empty hole, the old timer wasi’chu would say.  The only thing that moves slow is bureaucracy, but slow don’t mean patient just as patient don’t always mean slow.
Carrot dangles by a thin wire.  Downwind, two figures lie in the dusty canyon floor.  Wind nips at long hair black as the ravens that visit open wasi’chu dumpsters.  Not one word.  Not one muscle
:iconshaudawn:Shaudawn 2 0
upon reflection
Yesterday he thawt he was some body
Today he looked In the mirror and saw he was no body
No body looked back through dIs-membered eyes
floatIng In a frIgId sea of Ice
I see Icy I’s he thawt
They saId, you are so full of It that your eyes are streaked brown
But today the brown had run out of IMAGinE
And the Ice swallowed the paIr up
Until whIte became red became black
And no body was left
But the body they found later tomorrow
:iconshaudawn:Shaudawn 2 0
Mature content
An Injun in Eavesdown :iconshaudawn:Shaudawn 1 1
Most Western towns were built around something.  Some were built around gold and silver mines.  Others were built around trade posts and lumber mills.  And some were built around crossroads or railway stations.  But the town of Lodgepole was built around Nothing.  
“No, really.  Lodgepole was built around Nothing,” says Coyote.  
“How can it be built around nothing?”  I continue to brood in the back seat as the car slips into the town-turned-county seat.  Sagebrush and cottonwood start to share space with grass lawn and flowerbed.  Buildings cease to be occasional shacks and some gain a second story.  Rounded foothills big enough to be called mountains in other places presage granite up-thrusts to the southwest.  A frantic creek big enough to be called a river in some places breaks and rolls and jounces northeast over rocks big enough to be called boulders in still other places.  The road and the r
:iconshaudawn:Shaudawn 2 1
A Camping Story
“Welcome!  I’m Kathy.”  The comfortably plump woman spreads her arms like an afghan.  Her smile illuminates the Walking-World like a bedside light.  She gestures into the Room.  It is pleasant and spacious.  The chairs have cushions, and the cushions broadcast happy patterns.  A wide window looks out to a big sky.  “We’re pretty informal here, so just come on in and make yourself at home.  There’s beverages on the table, and we’ll have snacks after.”
I just stare out the window.  The Room is for visitors, not residents.  Not us.  It is an interstitial meant as advertisement.  Propaganda.  “All is well within,” The Room whispers.  “Do not think of this place as a repository for your loved ones.  You didn’t dump them here just so they would be out of the way.  This is a place of care.  See?  Your tax dollars are at w
:iconshaudawn:Shaudawn 2 1
Earth Thinks
Perhaps we human beings are little more than the thoughts and dreams of Earth.
     Like all thoughts, we think our existence and our agency as the primary importance.
     Sure, we can mingle with other thoughts, change and evolve into something a little bigger or grander.
     But then, like a thought in the head, or a dream in the night, it ends, whether by eclipse or by cataclysm.
What if we are simply dreams of Earth?
     Brief like shooting stars.
     Ephemeral as auroras.
     And being Earth, Earth dreams and thinks with so much more complexity and grandeur and age—
          a temporal narrative that unfolds and changes where aeons span her heartbeats.
Is Earth obsessed with her latest thinks?
     Do we, these infant ideas which she has only just now considered,
:iconshaudawn:Shaudawn 130 13
Reasonable and Prudent
The window of Elk’s car rolls down.  Mirrors meet.  An infinity of light reflects between eyes that see beyond.  It is the police officer that finally speaks.
“Do you know why I pulled you over?”
It’s a smug question.  No police officer ever really cares if you are up to date on local traffic laws.  First, they want to establish their dominance over you.  Second, they want to know if you are a threat to them in any way.  Sometimes those priorities interchange.  More and more, it’s the threat part that’s scaring them.  That’s probably why a number of them shoot first, ask questions later.  It is the West, after all.  However you break it down, they want everyone in their vicinity to know the pecking order, and that they are at the top.  Protect and serve your ass.  
“You are probably going to tell us,” says Elk.  Elk has this way of speaking that makes it so
:iconshaudawn:Shaudawn 2 2
Do Dead Dream?
Do the dead dream?  That’s a tricky question.  As with most preconceived notions of the Afterlife, there are a lot of schools of thought.  There are those that would say, “Of course not!”  Those people quickly branch off into the theists who say that the Afterlife is more real than this one, and the atheists who maintain that there’s absolutely nothing here but the complete absence of anything.  Both sides of the same coin, really.  Then there are those that say that it is death that is nothing but one big dream, much to the consternation of many a merry row-row-rower.  For those of us that have been to the Afterlife, though, we know that each of these speculations is right.  And wrong.
“Are you going to sleep the whole way?”  Coyote pokes me with a pen.  
I keep my eyes closed and bat him away with a groan.
“I’m bored.  Make some scenery, why don’t you?”
:iconshaudawn:Shaudawn 5 1
A White Notebook
Monday, April 06, 2015 — 10:06 AM
“How are we doing today, Mr. White?”
I cringe.  “That’s not my name.”
The orderly just nods and gives me a patronizing smile.  He sets down the tray adorned with paper cups of multi-chromatic pills and a large plastic pitcher alongside a soft plastic red cup.  
“I hate taking those.”  I fold my arms and use my forehead to point generally at the drugs.  “It’s morally irresponsible for you to make me take them.”
He just frowns at me, picks up the largest horse-sized one, and hands me a half-filled cup.  “If we start with the larger medications, the smaller ones will go down easier.”
“I’m not crazy.” I keep my arms folded and turn away from him.  “I’m neither delusional nor schizophrenic nor mentally ill nor suffering from any psychiatric disorder.  The moment you tell yourself that I’m
:iconshaudawn:Shaudawn 2 2
The Fourth Seal
Dear Reader,
I don’t quite know how to put it in a way that you’ll understand, so I might as well begin this tale by getting this part of it over with first:  My name is
It’s alright.  I’m assuming that if you’re reading this particular story that you are of a mostly Western European/American modernist culture, probably heavily influenced by one of the Abrahamic religions, even if you proudly declare yourself an atheist or some similar kind of nonsense.  So, I’ll give you a moment to get the image of a dark robed monk with a scythe and a head of a human skull out of your head.  Blood.  Maggots, perhaps.  Tombstones.  
Okay.  Did you get that out of your system?  Settle down a bit now?  Good.  Listen, I’m probably not even doing this right.  I’ve never been an Author, so I’ve probably already ruined the ending for you.  Broken the Fourth Wall or whateve
:iconshaudawn:Shaudawn 2 0
Mature content
The Third Seal :iconshaudawn:Shaudawn 1 0
The Second Seal
"Line 'em up!"  Sargent Blake shoved one of the women up against the wall.
"Sarge?  What the fuck ya doin'?"
"Shutup, Riley."
"These are women and children and old people.  Civilians.  This is wrong."
"I gave you an order, Riley.  Now shut the fuck up and line these gooks against the wall."
"But they aren't the enemy.  They're innocent civilians.  You can't just shoot 'em, Sarge.  It's against…"
"You wanna join 'em, Riley?" Blake shouted in his face.  "Can't tell if they're innocent, and I don't give a flying fuck.  They were harboring the enemy, and that's good enough for me.  So we'll just do 'em all and let God sort 'em out."
The mortar blast was swift, silent and efficient, landing with such precision that it utterly disintegrated Sergeant Blake and Private Riley.  The villagers screamed and ducked, shivering in their terror against the wall, expecting either bombs or bullets to end their misery.  When nothing b
:iconshaudawn:Shaudawn 1 0
The First Seal
Ranged weapons had changed over the millennia.  He remembered the first—a simple stone, aimed with patient care.  He remembered how the man’s temple erupted, how the man crumpled unconscious to the ground, how the blood stained the soil.  It wasn’t that the stone was always lethal.  That wasn’t his interest.  What interested him the most was how it took away that bastard’s arrogant power over his brother.  
It wasn’t long.  Stones were paired with slings, then with branches to be fashioned into spears.  The spears became atlatls and then arrows powered by bows.  The stones went from being flint to bronze to iron.  Bows evolved into guns.  And the guns evolved into new forms of conquest as the world slipped into new power structures.  
The device he held in his hand concealed its own power.  Tiny thing.  It held no arrows, no bolts, no bullets.  It held the invisible.  Ele
:iconshaudawn:Shaudawn 1 0
Into the Prison
There are too many people who die in the hopes that whatever pain they feel, it will end once they are dead.  But it doesn't end, much to their sadness and surprise.  People still feel pain in the Afterlife.  We all feel it, perhaps more than we did in life.  And here, there is no death to save us from this pain.  Some poor souls will go through great lengths to avoid it, but the best anyone can do is put it off for a while.  That’s the reason we end up here—to finally deal with the pain once and for all.  Easier said than done, I know, but it happens.  And if we can do that?  Well, then we get to move on.  Usually.
The Prison never used to be here.  I'd heard a story by an old rabbi once.  He said that after Cain invented murder and founded a city, Abel found himself in the Afterlife, crying out through blood and earth for justice.  After he’d calmed down a bit and realized there was little point in fus
:iconshaudawn:Shaudawn 3 4
Going the Wrong Way Out
There is no government in the afterlife.  No bureaucracy.  There is no Saint Peter standing at pearl-lined gates, checking your name in a book or scroll or database.  When I was young, they would teach me stories in Sunday school about heaven.  It seemed funny to me that the same people who told me segregation and exclusion were bad would turn around to tell me that Heaven was a place people were kept out of while hell had open membership.  It sounded more like the difference between a country club and the little shit-hole city park by our apartment with a broken swing dangling like a lonely noose that never got fixed.  When I pointed this out to the local priest, he just picked up his golf clubs and told me to go play.
There was once a god-fearing politician who always ranted about how much he hated big government.  When he came down the old road, he became more and more upset.  He would complain to those people passing by who looked like god-fe
:iconshaudawn:Shaudawn 6 11

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christ of the unholy lepers
Soul bent like an angel's zither with broken melodies;
Blaspheme of endless remorse that shattered all that shimmers and glittering stars of heaven
Of which, there's no sign of Eden
Only the serpent that dwelt among the crumbs of spirit from a twisted fairytale
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Donovan Malley
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United States
Send HELP!

I am trapped in teh InterWebz! The scanner ate me when I fell asleep on it!

Current Residence: South Puget Sound...or the nearest mountain
Favourite genre of music: ambient, trance...sometimes chill... anything I can nod my head to
Favourite photographer: them
Favourite style of art: ...the kind that makes you think, feel, or be glad about Life!
MP3 player of choice: full
Shell of choice: chocolate
Wallpaper of choice: scenic
Skin of choice: yours
Personal Quote: What if everything you assume to be right and true and real is, in fact, wrong?


a Jin-Dui fan fiction, Eavesdown Docks

Year 2509: The War.

Bettor’s Knob, Beylix

“Gorram it! Leigh, Callahan, Kim Chon! No, not you. I mean Other Kim Chon! Left flank! ‘Squatch, you an’ M’Duk take Beartooth and Baker up that gulch there.” The lieutenant pointed with such ferocity at the dry cut that Tom felt like he was providing the absent air support with his index finger alone. “First Kim Chon, you take that high point an’ provide cover fire. Don’t let them zhū yòu nǎo Purplebellies so much as blink sideways ‘til we get our angels now, y’hear?”

First Kim Chon gave a curt salute, gripped his longneck rifle and scampered through the brush up the Knob. Tom lugged the heavy pack onto his back and joined Sergeant Devon Baker. Bits of dirty-blonde hair poked from under the man's helmet and tickled at his dusty-blue eyes.

“You ready to do this, buddy?” Devon grinned at Tom.

Tom grinned back. “Yep.”

Devon's smile only widened. “That’s what I like about you, my friend. Man of few words, aimin’ t’ please.” He fingered the metallic cross that seemed to be standard issue out here. “I do believe it's going to be a right beautiful day.”

Tom nodded and hefted the heavy pack again. “Says the man who is carrying just a rifle.” He winked.

Devon's smile evolved into a full on gut laugh. “You win us a metal today, Beartooth, and I swear on my mother's grave I'll lug that thing back for you, dong ma?” He winked.

"Wait, you were just talking to your mother last week."

‘Squatch nodded at the pair with a spot more sobriety. “If you two lovebirds are through, we gots ourselfs a broke troop transport t’ fix.”

“Lead the way," gestured Devon magnanimously. “Any Purplebellies come, you can jus’ kick in their teeth for us. Kindly. Be quieter that way, come think.”

‘Squatch stroked the thick pride-and-joy that was his beard, betraying a smile underneath to indicate he, too, thought today was going to be a good one.

Devon then pointed at M'Duk. “Take the rear. An’ watch our backs. Don' wanna git caught unawares none. Them gorram Alliance been snatching Browncoats 'round these parts an' I got me a notion to remain untook, dong ma?”

Devon winked at Tom and gave his silver cross one more tug. “Stick close.”

*   *   *

Two Hours Later

“There's the transport,” muttered ‘Squatch. He pointed at the portion of the armored vehicle that was smoking. The pings and dings of Alliance bullets could be heard from their end of the gulch. Ricochets buzzed around in the air like frustrated wasps. A few bodies draped in brown were lying motionless around the mechanized troop transport. It was hard to tell if the red was a scarf or something more terminal.

The troop hatch was opened. Devon aimed his scope at the opening and saw the troops huddled inside, cowering at each attempted wasp sting. But none of them looked as bit as those that had tried to provide cover outside.

“We gotta go git 'em 'fore they bring in th’ tanks an’ mortars, Sarge,” ‘Squatch rumbled and he started to launch himself up. It took Devon, Tom and M'Duk's full combined weight to keep the bear of a man down.

Gorram it, ‘Squatch! Hang on!” barked Devon. “You go play hero now, you'll end up just another lump a' brown over there. We gotta think this through all manner of careful, dong ma?”

“Dunno,” M'Duk smirked. “He would make pretty good cover to hide behind. I say we let him charge.”

‘Squatch growled and stroked his soup-catcher.

“You can make M'Duk scoop his teeth out of the dirt when we get the job done without no one gettin' holes in 'em,” said Devon. He lifted the scope back up and looked about. The cloud deck was still too low for air support, but the wind had cleared the field enough for a view. At first he concentrated on the ridge and held his gaze there for a while. Yep, there they were—purple-armored bastards. He clucked and then swung the scope over to where First Kim Chon was. Presumably. He was a right good camouflage expert, that First Kim Chon. Or was that Other Kim Chon who was the expert? Devon hoped to God whichever one was given sniper duty was still there and had ears and eyes. Faith. Yep. Devon stroked the cross again, half-absently as his mind bubbled. Then he smiled.

“Tom, you got a radio still?”


“Talk Navajo, will ya?”

Tom frowned. “One, Alliance gots radios. Two, they know that trick an' have Navajo translations programed in. Cherokee too. They'd know.”

“And three?” smirked Devon.

Tom's eyebrows creased in something fierce. “Three?”

“You, my friend, are neither Navajo nor Cherokee. You are a proud, proud Cree man, dong ma?” He clasped Tom's shoulder with firm regard.

Tom blinked a few times.

“Understand?” Devon repeated in Anglo.

“Everything except dong ma.”

Devon's eyes narrowed in confusion. He hoped the exertion of lugging that huge pack up the gulch hadn't made his best friend in this whole gorram war stupid with exhaustion. Then, both of them fell into a titter of chuckles.

“You bet your pretty floral bonnet I'm a nēhiyaw who is smart enough to know what you know, niciwā. That Alliance never did think it necessary to program any of their gorram translators with nēhiyawēwin.”

Tom's smile lit up the overcast weather as he pulled out his radio from that Sisyphean pack and spoke into it.

A moment later, the crack of a high-powered riffle sent red flying into the wind, and this time, purple-gray uniforms took up permanent sections of the ground. Devon smiled righteous vengence as he peered through the scope. No mistake, the red there was definitely not a uniform bandana. He put the scope away and clasped Tom on the shoulder again. “Good job. Kim Chon got the message.”

“By the way, you ever tell me to talk Navajo again, I'll have ‘Squatch put your teeth in the dirt, Sarge. “dong ma?”

‘Squatch just scratched his chin. “Which Kim Chon?” M'Duk shrugged back at the question while shaking his head.

“Alright. Ain't got much time.” Devon helped Tom get his pack back on. “We took out their little hive, but no doubt they got out word an' there's reinforcements a-comin'. M'Duk, watch and cover us if need be. Then haul yer pìgu over.”

With nods from all, Devon signaled at the scared faces in the transport using a flashlight. Within moments, the three Browncoats were across the scrubby windblown terrain to the transport. One moment more, and M'Duk's pìgu showed up intact as well.  

*   *   *

Moments Later

Tom knocked on the transport's cab door. He couldn't see the figure through the window very clearly. It was a thick window, now further obfuscated by smoke and dust and apparently a lot of heavy breathing. Like on those carefree nights that seemed too long ago on Hera when he and some local town girl had taken his grandfather's pickup out somewhere very dark and secluded and private. Only this was the fog of war, not love, and those carefree days were gone.

Tom unlatched the door and carefully opened it. The figure in the window was sitting in his seat, staring straight forward. He was just a kid. A scrawny kid who probably had to get his parents' permission to join up. Or had run away and forged the papers. In any case, this kid should have been on his own planet with his own girl making their own kind of fog.

“Hey there. I'm Tom. I'll be your mechanic today.” He smiled kindly.

The kid didn't acknowledge. That wasn't a good sign. He was just rocking back and forth, holding his riffle like it was a life preserver.

“Where's your driver?” Tom asked gingerly and stowed the banter. He glanced over at the driver's side of the cab and wished he hadn't. No wonder the kid was near catatonic. Tom walked around the cab to the driver's door and carefully opened it. He took the body and laid it on the ground with the rest of the fallen Browncoats. It was slow and quiet and reverent. But the burying would have to come later.

Tom returned to the cab and felt under the steering column. Finally, he found the release and pulled hard. “Just going to have a little look under the hood okay?” He motioned for the boy to follow him. Like some remote, the boy did, still clutching his rifle like a doll. Tom lifted the hood. "Say, what's your name?”

The kid shivered. “God… God has abandoned us… Must be angry… fer our sins… Fer out lack of faith…” He was rubbing a silver cross that hung around his neck with such ferocity, Tom was certain the silver was going to rub off in the poor soldier’s fingers.

“Hey. Hey, now. Listen, little warrior…mahihkan. It’s all going to be alright. We’re gonna fix this transport up an’ get your pretty God-lovin’ face back home now, y’hear?”

“You… you a prayin’ man?”


“Do you pray? You know, to God? Cuz God don’t hear the prayers a’sinners. Say so right in the Bible. John 9.” The boy pointed at Tom’s neck.

Tom took his eyes off of the mess pretending to be machinery and looked into the boy’s eyes. He could see how the fear was paralyzing him so hard that it froze his mind and muscle into a mass of useless. Tom was seeing this more and more as the War was dragging on, and it was really starting to concern him. He put his tool down and reached into his shirt.

“Yeah. I s'pose I do sometimes. You see my pouch here, huh? This pouch right here. See?” Tom held up a tiny leather bag small enough to fit inside a man’s palm. “It’s from the traditional ways of my Grandparents, like it has been for longer than Earth-That-Was. Now, reckon we got our own prayers an’ they keep me plenty safe. Ain’t been hit by a bullet. Not once. Way I see it, you respect the Great kihci-manitow, an’ that’s aplenty. So you just keep on praying and your God will save you. Dong ma?

The kid wasn’t looking too convinced. But after a while, he nodded and gripped his silver cross again, launching into an “Our Father who art in heaven…” He looked skyward as the prayer tapered into feeble mumbling and returned to the cab.

Tom shook his head and turned his attention back to the machinery. “Come on, askihkokan. Talk to me. Tell me where it hurts now.” His eyes danced over the dirty oil-slicked engine and he spotted a splash of green ooze.  

*   *   *

Forty Minutes Later

Devon pointed after the rumbling vehicle. “See that? Right as rain, Injun. You an’ me. When we win this gorram war, they gonna pin shiny silver metals on us. Call us ‘heroes’, reckon?”

Tom nodded and gave him a subdued smile. “Reckon they are.”

“Hundred soldiers on that boat,” Devon smiled. “They'll get back to base now that you worked your voodoo. What was it? Broken flex-shaft?“

Tom shook his head. “Busted coolant hose. Took out a couple a' belts. Wouldn't a' seen it normally, but that transport was right talkative. Made it easier.“

Devon’s head cocked to one side. “Aw, speakin' a talk, you hear me hearin’ that? The air support's here. The angels gonna send rest a’them Purplebellies to th’ hot place now.”

Tom laughed. “Was a good day, if one can be had in a war like this.”

The image of the boy's face finally relaxing hovered in Tom's mind. Machines break. That's the way of it and Tom did his job. People break too, he thought. And to see that boy's face a mite patched until he could get himself more proper care...well... maybe that wasn't in Tom's job description, but it was what made the day good to him. He didn't need no shiny silver talisman as either reward or reminder. Maybe that was the Fourth Thing his grandfather always talked about.

Devon smirked, gave his silver cross a quick kiss, and flipped his hand out to Tom’s shoulder in a playful nudge. He shouldered his rifle and started to pack up his trowel. A number of earthen mounds and makeshift markers stood where there had once been brown coats; the bodies were sealed in bags until the hostilities ceased long enough for a proper extraction.

“Ready to head out in five,” came ‘Squatch’s rumbling voice.

Tom nodded but kept staring after the vehicle, now starting to pick up just enough momentum to get beyond the rough terrain. When the transport transformed into a ball of yellow-white flame, it felt like Judgment’s eternity had frozen him in place.

Kěpà de cuòwù! Tom, git down!”

Tom found a weight slam into his side and he went down into the dust before the Independent ASREV thundered like a fiery seraphim sword over their position. ‘Squatch’s roar sounded behind them both, but the shock and the scream of the gunship's engines drowned out even the voice of Sasquatch.

Gorram it! Gorram it! They got their targets wrong! Ó, tiān nǎ; wǒ de tiān a! They…oh, God Almighty. They hit the transport!”

Tom managed to get up from under Devon. Thick black smoke bellowed like the mouth of hell had opened up and swallowed the transport whole. Up the hill, ‘Squatch bellowed over the radio to check the target and call off the air support. If they heard, Tom didn’t know. He just kept staring at the black pillar of fire and smoke raising up to the heaven of an angry God. 

Year 2514: Now.

Westgate District, Eavesdown, Persephone

“Are you a praying man, Mr. Beartooth?”

Tom and the man named Geller sat in the back of a squad car as it wound its way across the Westgate District. He looked at the shiny silver badge displayed with prominence on his lapel. The wear showed it had been frequently polished beyond just normal maintenance, at just the right angle and even with a spritz of nano-polish to catch the light of all the ‘Verse’s floating suns in some manner or another. He noticed the serial number.

“I said, ‘are you a praying man?’” Geller’s handlebar mustache twitched in a rather unpleasant manner. The steel in his eye wasn’t exactly the warm type.

“Not anymore,” Tom muttered. He nodded at the man’s chest. “A bit out of your jurisdiction, ain’t ya?”

The handlebars twitched again. “And you’re off the reservation, which is why I ask if you are a praying man.”

Tom glowered at him. His lips were pressed firm against the flood of words that wanted to come out.

“You know what other criminals do to pedophiles, don’t you, Mr. Beartooth? Funny how even among the scum of the 'Verse, there’s still this odd kind of moral code. And you're about to find yourself on the bottom rung. Even lower than rehabilitated Independent soldiers off of Redbird Reservation.”

Tom continued his glower, but remained silent. He felt sick just thinking about those that would do the kinds of things he was being accused of. It was his worst fear that Jessa would run into someone like that one day, which is why he gave her that gorram long blade in the first place. He looked out the window instead, trying not to vomit. All of his aches and pains from being pummeled by Wil added their throbbing to his head.

“Oh, I know what you’re thinking,” grinned Sergent Handlbars. “I don't have evidence, and even a good judge who would like to see the streets cleaned of fèiwù like you might still have a very difficult time convicting you. And you’d be right. But, you see, that's where I just let your street buddies do the justice for us. ‘Oops. Sorry.’” He leaned back in the seat. It creaked objection under his weight. “Or, you could just tell me where she is, and God will listen to your repentant heart.”

mikoskatisiw,” Tom muttered. "Listen. One, the arbitrary anger of your fickle wasi'chu 'God' is your people's problem, not mine. Two, I already told your buddies in Northgate District, I don't know where she is. I have no idea where you're getting this fèihuà from about me being a—"

Tom broke off abruptly. His stomach gave a heave, but he managed to keep it down by concentrating intensely on the scene outside.

"Oh, please. If you have to vomit, don't do it in here."

"Wait. Hang on. Do you hear that? Where are we?" Tom's eyes widened as he scanned the shapes outside. A lot of dark shapes. Too many of them, clothed in black robes with red cordage holding silver talismans.

"Sir, there seems to be some debris in the road," the driver interrupted with a grumble. "Idiots burned out a hover-mule. Let me just try to maneuver around the crowd here. Shall I radio Headmistress Yako—"

Kěpà de cuòwù! Get down!” Tom tried to stuff himself as close to the floor as possible, which was no easy task since his arms were still tightly bound behind him.

Sergent Geller didn't even have time to voice his annoyance or his surprise when the blast hit the car with such force that it left the ground, somersaulted once, then landed against a wall of concrete and steel. The windows shattered, and anything not held down now found itself in a new location. Tom's own head swam in yet another thick haze. He willed himself to find up again and somehow managed to be successful at it. Geller's own head wobbled, and his eyes found it nearly impossible to stay still. Blood marked the driver and most of the front seat, but Tom couldn't tell if it was a sign of fatality.

Tom's mouth opened to speak, but before the energy of his breath came out, the door on Geller's side lurched open. A rifle pointed right at the lawman's chest, and the blast from it bounced all up and down his body. Geller slumped. The echos of the supposedly nonlethal concussion weapon sloshed about the car, bumping Tom in the face before sloshing out the opened door.

Tom's legs scrambled backwards in vain as his door was pinned to the steel and concrete wall. The blurry, dark form grabbed the lawman and dumped him on the ground before leaning back into car. Tom raised his hands defensively. This was going to hurt. Again. He wasn't sure how many more times he could withstand a blow to the head without suffering permanent brain damage. He squeezed his eyes tight.

"Tanisi, cousin!"

Tom gasped in surprise and opened one eye. The dark blur turned into a light blur which then turned into a man. Tom blinked a few times and rubbed his eyes. The man remained. This wasn't a memory. He managed to squeak out the man's name—a man he used to hunt rabbits with when they were both boys.

"J... James?"

Translation Log:

Translations are likely inaccurate.  However, who knows what it will be like centuries in the future?  The Anglo-English is a mite colorful, too, gorramit.

Warning: May contain strong language.

askihkokan [Cree] =  “engine”

dohn ma or dong ma or dohn la ma [Chinese] =  “understand” or “are we clear here?”

fèihuà [Chinese] = “bullshit”, “nonsense”    

fèiwù [Chinese] = “junk”, lit. “abandoned thing”  

gorram [Fireflyese]  = probably evolved from “goddamn” — approved by Fox Network censors for your entertainment pleasure

Kepà de cuòwù! [Chinese]  =  “Horrible blunder!”

mahihkan [Cree]  =  “wolf”

mikoskatisiw [Cree]  =  “He is annoying and troublesome.”

nehiyaw [Cree]  =  “a Cree person”

nehiyawewin [Cree]  =  “the Cree Language”

niciwa [Cree]  =  “Friend!” or “Brother!” or “Male parallel cousin!”

tanisi [Cree]  =  “hello” or “how are you?”

Ó, tian na, wo de tian a [Chinese]  =  “Oh my God; Dear God in Heaven!”

pìgu [Chinese]  =  “butt”

zhu yòu nao [Chinese]  =  “pig-brained”

Of Talk and Talismans
Been a long time coming, this one.  I've switched to World Anvil for my writing and worldbuilding, which is much, much easier than doing it on Deviant Art.  Much better.  Easier to edit and link articles.  Come check out my worlds!  :D :earth: ...starting with The 'Verse, which is where the stories of Tom Beartooth are now taking shape.


See the beginning of our story with An Injun in Eavesdown.
The part previous to this is called How to Hunt Rabbit.
Also see the parallel story A Resolute Woman in which we first encounter the charming Sergeant Geller.

It will continue on with: TBD (as in I don't have a title yet)
So, as if having a co-worker of mine question my abilities at work with such intensity that I turned into a blubbering, stammering pile of spineless goo, my real spine (well, technically my neck vertebrae) decided to pinch a nerve with such intensity that I had to go to the emergency room in the middle of the night.  This was about a month ago, not too long after my last journal entry.  A few x-rays, an orthopedic doctor, several pain killers, opioids, steroids, and physical therapists later, I can finally use my right arm again.  The only thing that still bugs me is that I cannot feel my right index finger, which has made typing anywhere from eye-crossing painful to annoyingly amusing since I often miss the keys and start to s[e;; tjomgs fimmu/. 
Eyeroll Icon   See what I mean?

I've been trying to get back into the swing of things.  Summer is going way too fast.  There were a lot of days where I did nothing but sit on the couch waiting for the pain to stop.  Having a dead dominant arm that is unresponsive is disconcerting to say the least.  But the physical therapy has really turned things around.  Except for that finger, I can turn my head and use the arm again.

But it could be worse (QUICK!  Knock on wood...or...whatever is teh interwebz equivalent!!!).  Just yesterday going to work, as I was about ten feet from the door to my building, I heard this crack followed immediately by a strange whizzing sound.  Being early, it took me several seconds to realize that I'd heard these sounds before growing up in Montana.  I'm not sure on the facts, but someone--probably driving by--shot at our building and the ricochet that sounded was directly over my head!
omfg Shocked  OMG  Fear 

Once I realized that, I hurried toward the building in case a second one came.  At the same time, one of the company Fire Department/Emergency guys drove up to a spot by the door.  I went over to him, and he, too, was looking around.  He had heard it too and came to the same conclusion as I did.  Since I was outside and heard where everything was coming from, I pointed out the directions.  The crack came from the street, and the ricochet from overhead, probably off the very top of the building, which is about four or five stories tall.  Our building is by a large airport, but it isn't really a "bad" part of town.  I have no idea if there was a reason.

I figured after it sunk in that I'd freak out about it, but really, it just ended up pissing me off.  To recap, this year started off with the death of my uncle, continued with the grim fatal cancer diagnosis of my aunt (who is still with us and I pray continues to defy), moved on to helping my son with his schooling which became so oppressive it was soul-crushing, followed by being utterly humiliated by my co-worker, and then the year hit me with a debilitating pinched neck nerve and being shot at.  Not a great year.

But I'm still here.  I listen to the news these days, and I know I can't be the only one.  I know others are having much, much worse of a year.  A lot of us have forgotten how to listen to one another and see one another as human beings instead of labels.  I decided to do something nice.  I bought coffee for the entire PT clinic I'm going to.  I didn't have to, but I thought about it.  If something nice happens to a person, they most often pass it on.  A gift or a treat to some people brightened their morning, and they, in turn, passed it on to their clients, many who have more pain and debilitation than I.  I believe that affects their healing.  And maybe they go out and are kinder and do things for still others they meet.  Ripple effects.  What does hate do?  It shuts things down.  People put up walls.  Things don't get done.  And that whole cycle is like sand in the gears. 

You don't have to do "great things".  You don't have be recognized for it.  You give a person a smile.  Say a kind word.  Show respect.  Show patience.  Recognize and walk in beauty.  I believe that a bunch of little things and gesture, done with great love and respect, is more powerful than violence and hate because it grows, and things that grow are alive.  It is subtle and not as flashy as those negative things, but the negative crap is just a loud pop.  Granted it seems very, very powerful at the time, but true power isn't measured in destruction.  It is measured in creation.  Destruction is easy and mindless, and dies with quick disgrace like a deflating balloon or cold ashes.  Creation is what makes mountains and galaxies and sunsets and clouds.  That is the power I want to be a part of.  Life, not death.

So, dang it, 2017 -- you better be good from here on out. They're all out to get me... I've got my fingers crossed. Please Hahahahaha. No. 
  • Listening to: bullet ricochets
  • Reading: Black Science
  • Watching: the solar eclipsAAARGH!!! MY EYES!!!
  • Playing: ARK
  • Eating: sammiches
  • Drinking: nitro cold brew coffee with sweet cream...MMMMM...


Add a Comment:
xlntwtch Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2015   Writer
Your rather lengthy comment under The Great Water Debate is just what I hoped for when I wrote that vignette. You were clear and answered every point made by others. Thank you! :hug:
Shaudawn Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you for that.  I tend to get a little carried away with my writing, so after I hit the "submit" button, I was afraid I was just being too wordy and a bit rantish (though I've had some real fits in my day...)  Again, thank you for your story.  It had a great mix of humor and yet brought up a very good topic worth talking about.  They way you put it helps people to talk about the issues, rather than argue about them, so, again, I thank you for letting me and others into your initial story.  May your future be as fruitful...keep up the good work.  :D :earth:
xlntwtch Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2015   Writer
You're most welcome. Thanks for adding more compliments for me. :D I'll try to be "fruitful and keep up the good work."
I hope you do the same.
ambassador-brouwer Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2014  Professional Filmographer
Thanks for the thorough compliment on my picture of Tilly and Cooper of the good ship Jin Dui. I'm so glad you enjoyed it and I always appreciate feedback!
Shaudawn Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
It really looks like a fun little crew.  Keep flyin'!
uki--uki Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2014
Thank you so much for the appreciation! :hug:


▀█▀ █▀ █_█ ▀█▀ █▬█ Я Ξ √ Ω L U T ↑ ☼ N

We are here to help to break the spell of programmed humanity
and change the nature of the experience here what we call earth.

We are here to create a revolution unlike any that has gone before.
A Conscious Awareness Tsunami that will sweep the planet and shake our modern world to its very core.

Breaking the Illusion about what most people in the world believe to be true,
the government lies, banking system scam, main stream media tailored news,
that shapes the mind of all people around the world and creates this illusion of "normality".
A hijacked reality that people can't see because is repeated every day.
Mark-Heather Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2014
Thanks for the fav! :)
Shaudawn Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
You're welcome!  Thanks for posting this.  It's like a breath of fresh air.  Keep up the good work!  :D
RatherSketchy Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Shaudawn Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
A little slow on the draw, but thanks for the poke!  :)
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